Releasing Anxiety – Learning To Say No

Releasing Anxiety - Learning To Say No

Overwhelmed, and over-stressed, not just something must of us only suffer throughout the holiday season, but rather all year long. No matter if you are your own boss, an artists trying to create on your time off, or work in your dream job, stress catches up with everyone of us at least every once in a while.

I am not an exception. But I am thankful that I have come across a little trick to keep at least some of this stress at bay – saying no. Not just to what others want me to do. Yes, that is important, because the demands of others upon our time and energy can be draining, but I am also saying no to myself.

There are always so many things I want to do, accomplish and create, that it  can feel like I am drowning in want to do lists, and should do lists. But there is no way I could ever create EVERYTHING I have on those lists, so I learned to tell myself no.

Floral - by Claudia H. Blanton

Floral – by Claudia H. Blanton

I gratefully said no to the following items on my want-to-do list

1. Post every day on this blog (heck, I had the Flu, work almost full-time, and run my own business, there is simply not enough time in the day)
2. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
3. Bake multiple batches of cookies during the week – I limited myself to once a week baking.
4. Have all holiday shopping done by end of November. No one will care when I bought them their present.
5. Work on multiple book projects simultaneously. I am finishing up my Flash Fiction book, publish it and then work on the next project.
6… and many more

This was an important decision to make, one that kept me from re-living those anxiety-filled moments, where I constantly worried about not doing enough. Those moments stole my sleep, and any type of ability to relax, and stay focused upon the most important aspects of my life – my family. It is hard to enjoy someone’s company, I realized, when their attention is on what he or she should be doing instead, making those around us feel like they are not as important.

Taking charge, and saying no to myself allowed me to make that healthy shift from anxiety to true productivity.

Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at times? Are there any items on your list you could let go off?

Christmas Cheer Postcard

Christmas Cheer Postcard

One thing I do not let go off, are my gratitude lists. And because it is Friday, I am adding 5 things I am grateful for right now, to this post:

1. My thick red favorite sweater. That piece of clothing has become my best buddy over the last few weeks. I just wish I had multiples of the exact same one – warm, soft and cozy.
2. Coffee – of course. I am always cold – see above – so a hot cup of coffee is always by my side.
3. The loudest cat I have ever met, but who happens to have chosen us as his family. My goodness, I have had many cats, but never one as demanding and loud as this one. He talks. To me, the dogs and whoever is willing to listen.
4. Sleeping in – I was actually able to sleep in a little yesterday, which has been rare lately. That felt good
5. Silence – at this very moment, it is absolutely quiet in here – no barking, no talking cat – he is asleep – the kids are quietly busy, and the phone is not ringing. Ahh, this is nice!

I hope you have a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful for as well.
Today’s post is part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds

Share With Me

What Are You Doing – Blog Hop

Inspire Me

Celebrate The Small Things

Appreciation, Flu, And “Winter” Blues

Appreciation, Flu And Winter Blues
Over the last few days I have been MIA from this blog – out of two legit reasons: 1. because my kids and I have been battling the flu, and 2 because this part time job, helping out someone with building a business has been resembling more a full-time job that hope that by the end of next week, all of this will be settled, and I can resume at least a more passing schedule.
But there are also many things to appreciate today. I woke up to the most wonderful notes from my children, wishing me a Happy Birthday, which was so sweet, and then I got to open many emails and social media messages filled with well-wishes and greetings. Every one of those put a smile on my face.
I feel gratitude for the fact that the sun came out to greet me as well, which suits me well, considering the last few days have been dreary, reminding me more of those days when Winter Blues set in, in Germany, and the days were one big sea of continuous grey. Not exactly the best sight. The morning sun, as I walked the dogs, felt like a balm to my soul, exactly when I needed it.
I enjoyed this afternoon’s crumb coffee cake in all of its sweet glory – on top of that, I enjoyed that I did not have to bake it, my family did instead – I am usually the one backing all of the goodies, so that was a nice change in pace.
I am enjoying the fact that I let go of some anxiety that came back this week, with not being able to accomplish as much as I usually would like to, by employing the power of no. I will write about the benefits of this wonderful little tool tomorrow. Let me just tell you now, that it is a sanity-saving tool everyone should apply.
I am  thankful, that my dogs seem to be having no problems with the colder weather, actually I am surprised how much my shorter haired Athena is enjoying it. Still, I am looking for sweater for her – which is harder for big dogs like her, especially for when it gets even colder  than it already is.
A Floral Heart Keepsake Box by Claudia H. Blanton

A Floral Heart Keepsake Box by Claudia H. Blanton

I am also in appreciation that I was able to design a tiny bit. One of these examples is the heart design I started you just saw. When I create something, at least a little bit of something, I feel a little more productive on a personal level. And that feels good.
So what have you been accomplishing this week? Was your week as crazy as mine, or did you have a chance to relax a little more? I hope you, and all of your loved ones are healthy, and I am looking forward to hearing from you all!.
Check out the following blog hops, that this post is a part of and give the other participants some love!

Let me tell you about this dog… – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

 

 

If we were having coffee this weekend, I would welcome you, and tell you that I am relieved that my friend’s dog is okay. I was worried about the puppy all day yesterday because she is still so little (and cute), but she seems to be fine now. I would also use this as the major excuse, why I did not get as much work done yesterday, as I had planned to.

I would then make you a coffee in my new French Press. Never owned one before, always went for the traditional machines or the espresso machines, but I decided to try it anyway. Can you taste the difference between this one and a standard coffee machine? I am sorry I can’t. But they take away less space, so when I send my daughter off to college, she will get one of those.

We are having chocolate oatmeal cranberry cookies today (vegan). I am hungry, haven’t had much of a chance to eat, because I had to catch up on yesterday’s slacking, so excuse my manners if I shove a few extra cookies into my mouth. I hope you don’t mind. No worries, there are plenty, I made extra. The apple pie in the fridge (also vegan) is not for us, though, it is for the above-mentioned friend, who could really use a treat right now – and can’t bake worth a darn. Sorry, but being a friend means you know their strength and their weaknesses, and embrace them both.

I would tell you, that I would have three things on my agenda today that are a must:
1. Visit the blogs on my list I did not get to read yesterday
2. Write as much as content for the two holiday projects I have coming up (they are kind of secret, so I have to show you, but I can not let the cat out of the bag over the internet yet)
3. Write the outline for the script I have in my head. It isn’t a complicated script, but it was originally a story idea, that just would translate better on screen than it would in a book. Simply because it has a lot of physical action.

Once I wrote the outline, I will be able to define it better, and present you a short synopsis. Still working out all of the plot holes in my head, which are the size of a Florida sinkhole at the moment.

What are your plans for the day, the weekend? Any special projects you have in place, or something that did not go as planned, but worked  out at the end? Why not add your thoughts and plans to the linky  right here.  (Via Part Time Monster)

I hope you enjoyed your stay, and will join in again next weekend. I am always baking something – I can’t help myself – so always come hungry!

Blessings!

Claudia

Far & Wide Collective Home Decor Collection

Friday Gratitude: 5 Reasons To Be Grateful – A Celebrate The Small Things Post

Be Grateful! Five Reasons Why You Should Be!

I found myself looking forward to this post “Celebrate The Small Things” (via dear Lexa Cain)  post this week because there is so much to celebrate!

1. The #MarWritingChallenge is going great! Everyone who is participating is doing such a great job, and I am honored that I am the one to guide them through it this month. This is definitely something I will do again in the near future.

2. Avalon-Media – our soon to be new business adventure is beginning to take shape. I will not reveal too many details, as these can and may change a little, but essentially speaking, we will be offering our own e-books, positive resources and down the line some e-courses. By we – I mean, my husband and I.

3. I am getting better at managing my dogs severe allergies. Well, only one of them has allergies, the other one suffers from anxiety – always has – as a result of the shelter and the too early separation from her mother. My allergy-dog had to be switched to home-cooked foods and has to stay away from even the tiniest flea – which is a chore in Florida. But we are getting there.

4. I love creating posters, infographics and all of that stuff via canva.com. I have been learning a few things from their extensive tutorials, as well as some wonderful people who share their thoughts via YouTube, and I love creating with it. So no more boring pictures!

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Looking forward to reading what you were grateful for!

Celebrate The Small Things – A Weekly Blog Post

Celebrate blog hop

Every week a ever-growing list of bloggers join together to celebrate what we are grateful for. This week I have chosen to make it a stand alone post – lately I have been so busy with posting other things, and writing off-line, that I smashed two blog hops together, but not today.

I got side tract from writing today, because I discovered a very good, very emotional romance novel, which grabbed me from the first page, and did not let me go, until I devoured it this evening. Sometimes books have that effect on me, allowing me emerge myself so much into the story and characters, that I want more until I have worked myself through the entire novel. “Silver Thaw” by Catherine Anderson was a gem of a book like that. I am grateful I followed my impulse to purchase it, when I was at the grocery store yesterday, even though I have a long list of books that I am supposed to review. I am glad I listened to myself.

I am also grateful that yesterday was a little warmer, then it had been, so the kids and I decided to take a very long walk with our dogs – something we do at least 3 times a week during the summer, but have not been able to since November. That was nice, we all enjoyed it very much, not just the dogs.

Speaking of dogs, my dogs recently developed a food allergy, which made them itch like crazy and break out all over, my bigger dog worse than the little one, she scratched herself raw. Thankfully, now that we switched their diets, strictly no people food, and only special food and snacks, there has been an improvement. I am glad to see that they are no longer suffering, it broke my heart to see them like this. They are doing so much better now.

Apart from that, this week was uneventful, which is nice too, so I got more writing done. I hope you all had a wonderful week, and I am looking forward to reading what you are grateful for in your posts.

Forever – A Flash Fiction

Forever - A Flash Fiction

“How could anyone ever abandon something as beautiful as her, is beyond me”, Sue sighed. “Beautiful she is, even in this condition, you are right.”, Meryl agreed. “Hopefully, as soon as she is fed, washed, and gets some rest, she will be able to find a good forever home.” The young woman smiled, at the vet, while stroking the light brown fur.” Don’t worry ’bout her, I’ll make her mine.”

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

This post was inspired by this weeks flash fiction prompt “Abandon

At Her Service – A Flash Fiction

At Her Service - A Flash Fiction

It did not matter which offerings I brought, nothing was good enough. No feathers, no wealth, no special items, that I knew where usually to her liking, tamed the voracious appetite for more, and for drawing blood. My hands bore witness of that fact, leaving me tethered, with stinging reminders of my shortcomings. Carefully, I stepped further back, waiting for another attack, launched out of a dark corner. Ah, the pleasures of being owned by a cat!

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

This post was inspired by this weeks “Five Sentence Fiction” prompt “Offering”.