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Share the Load!

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“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne

It’s that the truth! Lean over to pick up 25 pounds and you just might hurt your back to a great degree. If you squat, grab that same load, and stand straight you then you’ll likely end up with no problems at all. Funny how that all works!

The bottom line is that it’s not necessarily the task at hand that can wear you out either physically or mentally, but how you choose to either handle or in some cases, not handle it!

We all have burdens, trials, tasks, and otherwise that we are either responsible for on a daily basis or that may pop up out of the blue and strike us from the blind side. Often times we take these battles full on or without asking for help and overwhelm ourselves to the extent that we feel lost or even helpless. We sometimes tend to carry with us unnecessary weight that we just don’t need or can handle alone.

Why not stop, see what’s wearing on us or beating us down, think of alternate means of addressing the issue at hand, ask for help when we need it and break adversities down into small, more manageable tasks or “chunks”…smaller more “light” loads seems to be a great way to carry the “bigger” heavier and potentially damaging load or burden you may be facing.

For example, maybe you’re practicing or preparing for a 10 mile run. In the past the furthest you’ve run without stopping may have been 5 miles. So, rather than go straight from 5 to 10 miles (which you would likely not be able to accomplish with ease) you decide to start early and build your stamina 1.5 miles at a time. You run 5 miles for a while…kick it up a notch to 6.5 miles for a couple runs, then 8…then 9.5 or even 10 and keep on going.

You get the point. Don’t be overwhelmed by looking at a single task without seeing how you can break it down into more small, manageable tasks that won’t be such of a trial. I have found that in trying to manage one large task that I might fail in the accomplishment of that mission, at least the first time, and though I like to get back up and try again it was a little disheartening to fail the first time.

Over time I have become unashamed to ask for help of take small steps to get a job done…sort of the “crawl, walk, run” theme we so often hear about and it seems to work out great!

Give it a shot! Just a thought!

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It’s a Great Day to Love Yourself!

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“Be gentle with yourself first if you wish to be gentle with others.” – Lama Yeshe

It’s easy to be rough on yourself, I know I am…I always think I can be doing more, and I likely can, but I TRY not to fret because I firmly believe I have plenty of time left to make the things I want to happen, happen. The thing is, and I’ve been told this time and time again, is that time takes time! I know it sounds a little cliche or whatever you want to call it but it’s the truth, not all things happen over night!

I know there is a plan out there for each of us and that it will fall into place one way or another. Granted, we each have to do our part to allow these plans to manifest but they will if we continue to move forward and follow our hearts.

I know this because I spent many years battling inner demons and past “wrongs.” Was always depressed and often let it get the best of me. Finally, I learned to embrace who I was now and let go of what I was “then.” Listening to others, reading and doing my best to engage in healthy activities that set my mind at ease eventually led me to a career of service to others.

I am now able to treat myself with care and do the same for others to the best of my ability. It is possible to be there for others and not yourself but it’s certainly not pleasant.

Treat yourself and others with love and compassion. You’ll totally dig it!
~ Brett

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Tune In Or Get Tuned Out!

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Most of you don’t know that I maintain (to the best of my ability) a website entitled “The Step-Dad Diary”. I choose not to combine the two blogs (the one from my page and this as the other is dedicated to step-parenting, parenting, mixed-families, etc…) but I thought this was a pretty good post that might come in handy to many parents out there or parents to-be!

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much more time I spent “targeting” my Step-Son for things I didn’t want him to do or things I thought he was doing wrong than I was trying to develop a good relationship and parental report with him. I felt like I was failing at becoming a great Step-Dad and someone important in his life and I couldn’t figure out why.

We don’t enjoy the same sports so I was never as engaged as he was when he wanted to watch basketball, football, or sports along those lines. I might, just might, be there in a physical sense but definitely not in a mental sense. I’m more of a non-mainstream sport guy like rugby, lacrosse, volleyball, skiing, golf, swimming, etc… We both like electronics, social media, cool apps, and things along those lines but when he’s doing that stuff he definitely doesn’t want me looking over his shoulder and watching what he’s typing. Okay, I understand but that doesn’t leave too many ways for us to connect and bond.

Buuuuuttttt…we do have a Xbox now and I really have no clue how to play these games with fifty-thousand buttons on the controllers and crazy themes. Guess who does? Yup, you guessed it…my Step-Teen! (and probably all young teenagers these days) So, I found a common meeting ground for us where he could lead, teach me a thing or two (or ten), run the game and keep me alive while at the same time we could “bond” and spend some quality dude time together.

Now, I have no idea why I didn’t think of that before because he is always itching to play the Xbox as that’s in the family room on the big TV and he has a Playstation in his room (which isn’t as cool by the way) and all I had to do was ask if he wanted to play and he jumped all over it! It gave me a chance to learn how to play, have some side conversation with him about nothing deep, and he had a blast (I think) showing me how bad I was since he had to keep bringing me back to life in the game.

The bottom line was that I was able to just stop knit-picking at him for small things and just hang out for a while. For me, it really wasn’t about the game (though it was fun.) It was about getting past that barrier where my Step-Son would almost literally run to his room when he heard me coming in because he knew I was going to find something to target.

I realized that I have to get on a certain level to connect with each of my Step-Kids. For my Step-Son it might be video games, for my Step-Daughter it might be the swimming pool and I’m sure it will change for both of them over time. If I continued going in the direction I was headed, I was likely to permanently hinder any chance at having a good relationship with my teen because he’s already getting up there in age and maybe even with my Step-Daughter.

I’m going to make it a point to not be so picky about everything. My OCD kicks in every now and then but I have to realize most people don’t hone in on every little thing that’s out of place or a bedroom that’s a little out of order like I do and I shouldn’t expect them to. That’s not to say there’s no time to put my foot down but I have to make sure I leverage that with fun time as well!

Now, I gotta roll…GAME ON!!! 😉

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