Monday, February 9, 2009

The little picture

I don't like making year long resoloutions. They don't really make sense to me-- I can't wrap my brain around something that takes a year to accomplish. I know, that may very well be a sign of my immaturity, but so be it: Growing up is a slow process. Regardless I have learned to optimize on this weakness by tricking myself into achieving year-long (big picture) goals by setting week-long (little-picture) stepping stone goals.
Goal: Get in shape became... I'm going to see if I can 'work out' for 30 seconds every day this week. So I drop and do ten pushups. It was hard the first few days, and has gotten a little easier. Are you jealous of my fit and ripped physique yet? No. But next week, I will add sit ups. Becuase as it turns out, 30 seconds of pushups isn't so bad, and proved to myself that I could do it.
Goal: Alter entire wardrobe to fit new (we'll call it 'curvier') shape.... became mend one pair of pants a week. Currently, I have three pairs of pants that I can wear again... and it's barely a dent in my absurd amount of clothes, but it's three more pairs of pants than I was wearing before...
Goal: Train dog not to attack... became Winston needs a walk at least 5 days a week. Even if it's just 10 minutes, we get out there and walk, he burns off steam and energy, and BONUS so do I. He is much more focused and happier to listen to me when he gets to burn off that energy, and I think I am more patient as well. He is still a brat, but hasn't bitten anyone for over a week, success! YEAH!
Goal: Find a new job... became get one application/interveiw/resume sent a week. Do I have a new job yet? Nope. Am I closer? Eh...? Do I feel more confident and prepared for when the interveiws and offers start coming in... OH, yes!
Thus far my little-picture goals are moving me steadily toward the big picture goals I try to set, and thats awesome. I think when I try to look at the big picture I get overwhelmed, but breaking it down has brought small successes as well as self-confidence, and so hopefully by the time december 31, 2009 rolls around i won't be thinking what a worthless bum I am because I never got around to tackling my lofty goals... but I'll be thinking, oh yeah, that was easy. I am so badass. ;)
This weeks little picture goal addition: Don't be so messy is playing out like this: Everything i put into my car this week, leaves the car with me when I get out... is there a less messy car in Valerie's future??? Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Everyone has a story to tell. Some are simple, some a little more complicated. Some are short, as they have just begun, and some are more like epic tales spanning a lifetime. Some end in a definite hopeful direction, while others seem to stop abruptly at the worst possible place and linger there...
but everyone-- no, EVERYONE has a story to tell.
There's a song I learned several years ago that has a line that has stuck with me since the first time I heard it. It says: You've come far, and though you're far from the end, you don't mind where you are, 'cause you know where you've been. I always liked it, but didn't really understand why until recently. I think often times on our life journey we feel like we get stuck, or we aren't really sure where we are headed or why. Often times it is not until we look at where we have been that we understand where we are headed. Or maybe it is not til we acknowledge where we have been that we realize we want to head in a different direction.
Regardless, I think there is value in remembering your story, and learning from the "where you've been" part of it. Too often I think I get caught up in where I am and where I am going, and when I stopped this week to consider where I've been... over the past six months, the past year, the past couple years, the past decade... honestly, I am a bit overwhelmed.
Here's what I know: Everyone has a story to tell-- including me. My story is a beautiful story about grace and redemption and a God with a love so big that pursued me relentlessly through so many trials, rebellions, and lapses in judgement. And thats not to say my story is complete, or even that it has slowed a bit... because my story has a very exciting and hopeful ending... yet to be determined!
I know over the past few months there has been some stirring inside of me... and my heart--and my head!!!-- have been prepared for this. It seems like a giant, GIANT step of faith-- I don't want to and I am honestly terrified. But... I think I am ready to tell my story.

Monday, February 2, 2009

If it's not your dog, don't whisper.

I have come to the conclusion that every male who has ever seen an episode of The Dog Whisperer thinks they are a professional dog trainer. In fact, they are so confident in their skills they believe if you have a dog, or have ever had a dog, (whether or not they actually have a dog) you are in want of any dog training tips they can offer. They also tend to believe if your dog is in the vicinity you obviously are dying for a demonstration of their 'whispering' skills.
Here's the deal, I get that you all like to think you are the master of something... However... My dog is my dog. I work on specific training techniques and methods that I have determined are best for my dog... and he's doing okay. Doesn't really need anyone else to step in. Doesn't really need three or four other people hissing and inflicting their idea of training on him. It's not always appreciated... and in fact, I would go so far as to say, unless asked, it would be best to keep your dog training tips to yourself.
Or think of it this way: If it's not your dog, don't try to whisper it. Dogs and dog owners alike will appreciate your restraint.