Robotic Women

28029856-female-robot-holding-a-serving-tray-with-a-blank-card-advertisement-with-room-for-text-or-copy-spaceDisclaimer: Although this piece is geared toward women, I do understand there are many men that may also relate to the thoughts presented here.

 EarlyAutumn:  A chill begins to descend as the daytime wanes and the trees begin to shed their leaves. We take inventory of our childrens’ clothing and footwear, peruse Pinterest for Halloween costume and home decor ideas.  We may get the slow cooker out so our families come home to hot meals.

The notices from school come in: fall conferences,  concerts, supply lists, parent organizations.  We try to keep up on our childrens’ needs after working all day and attempt to have a healthy meal ready to share with whomever we live with. There are sporting events and activities to dash off to.  We may have time for a bubble bath or work out at day’s end, but oftentimes our beds call out to us before that occurs.

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School fundraisers begin.  We call upon our friends and relatives to buy magazine subscriptions or trinkets they really do not want or need. Classroom teachers request  volunteers and there are Halloween costumes to make or buy. Our homes may need winterizing, the autumn  rains bring in muddy footprints, we have bills to pay, organizing to do and it is time to begin planning holiday gatherings. Meanwhile, the kids may be coming down with viruses and we may be losing  pay to stay home with them.

As moms, we take this all in stride and the rewards of a happy family are worth all the extra effort. It seems we are always on the go and the demands and requests are supplied endlessly.  We pat ourselves on the back for a job well done or lament that we could not  fit everything in.

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Late Autumn/Winter

We just finished up with either hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, or visiting loved ones throughout the day.  Even if we did not host, there were extra errands and cooking to do to make this a memorable day of thanks. Chances are many enjoyed football on television, board games or visiting while the people that did all of the cooking are now doing the clean up.

With Thanksgiving over, it is time for holiday shopping, baking,decorating and cleaning.  We scour the ads for good deals, stand in lines, decorate, stay up all hours looking for perfect gifts online, plan parties, attend parties,  and may even make homemade gifts.  There are usually extra activities at church, synagogue or mosque, cookie swaps, craft fairs and  fundraising drives for the less fortunate.

Every year there is a new electronic or toy “all the kids” want that we “must” supply to our children.  We envision our families delight as they open gifts for the holiday we celebrate.  Most of the time, we are successful in creating a happy day for our loved ones.  The children play with their new toys and our partner relaxes while we do clean up.  Usually, we are fine with carrying the holiday workload, as that is what generations of mothers and grandmothers have done before us.

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Late Winter/Early Spring

The magic of the holiday season has worn off.  Depending on where we live, we have been sunshine deprived and are weary of driving on ice and scraping off car windows. The kids are getting bored and we are feeling cranky. We may try to immerse ourselves in a good book or movies to escape, but those fleeting times are peppered with “Mom..can you…?  Honey…can you…?”

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The air is less chilly and signs of new life are appearing outdoors.  We feel hopeful and are looking forward to walks, biking, swimming and picnics. If Christian, there is Easter to plan for.  There is more mud to contend with, spring cleaning, new clothes to buy and the kids have spring school activities.  By this time, we have established an ebb and flow, so it feels less hectic than the beginning of the school year.

With summer’s arrival, the main concern is childcare if our kids are school aged; yet too young to be left alone.  We plan vacations, family visits and picnics. The past year flew by quickly and summer goes by way too fast,  We try to cram in as much fun as we can.

Robotic Women

There seems to be a pattern moms/parents/nurturing women follow.  We go through the day trying to make sure life flows smoothly for our loved ones.  If we are empty nesters, we may still be acting as the the “glue” that holds family together:  hosting holidays, caring for parents, and still acting as the primary housekeeper in our partnership. Our earlier  patterns may be continuing.

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Who said you have to be the one that holds it all together for family?  Ponder this for a moment.

If it brings you joy to do all of the things discussed earlier, great!  Keep on doing it. If you feel stressed or worn out most of the time, most likely you are becoming a robotic woman.  How do we change that?  Do you feel stuck?

Now, let’s go back to the earlier question:  Who said you have to be the one that holds it all together for family?   I think the answer is : ourselves.  Stop telling yourself lies!  We are not responsible for another’s happiness.  Happiness comes from within!

Practice using the word No, take time to play, lock the bathroom door when you take a bath, schedule a spa day,  meditate, take a fun class, demand an hour of uninterrupted time, let the deli do the cooking for your events, ask for help,  take shortcuts, have fun!  The world will not come to a halt if you do these things!

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One thing I do to for healthy meals on the go is enjoy delicious bars called Life Bars.  They fill me up and on especially hungry days, I enjoy with a handful of nuts.

CHEERS!

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Wednesday Wisdom

We all  procure and obtain wisdom. Most wisdom comes from experience and education. Many of us seek wisdom from either health or wealth specialists, as good health and financial security may improve the quality of our lives. A specialist I am not; but a seeker I am!

This morning upon awakening,  I had a thought that our bank account is like our bodies. When we put green (money) into our bank account,  it grows through interest. When we put green (nutrients) into our bodies, our health grows.

This time of year, we tend to withdraw from both our bank and health accounts.  There are small steps we can take so our growth in these areas does not stagnate. We may have already overspent financially,  but it’s not too late to counter the effects of that!

Following are some ideas to replenish our financial ” green” :  At a restaurant,  drink water instead of a beverage.  That alone can save you $2 -$10 a person. Speaking of beverages,  brew your own coffee at home until your bank account is back to where it was before the holidays. Ladies,  those party dresses you’ve been eyeing? Skip them! Follow  A Small Wardrobe blog for some great ideas on shopping from your own closet. Are your shoes looking used up? Give them a good polish and new insoles from the drugstore.  Ladies,   decorative clips can turn plain pumps into party shoes. Skip the hairdresser for your formal occasions by finding YouTube tutorials. At home,  make a big batch of homemade soup for inexpensive and quick leftovers. There are many other ideas to cut corners on Pinterest.

It is definitely a challenge replenishing our  health account during the busy holiday season! Although I make no claims of expertise, I do know what works for me

There are quick,  easy hacks to keep our bodies nourished. One is to take whole foods supplements,  as our bodies will not assimilate chemically based supplements properly. Another thing is to keep healthy snacks with you, so you aren’t as tempted to grab junk food while out and about.  Some ideas are: raw mixed nuts, whole grain or gluten free crackers, Life Bars, snow peas, hummus, natural nutbutters and low sugar dark chocolate.  Many so-called nutrition bars are no better than candy bars. Make sure they are non-GMO, all natural with less than 2 grams of sugar. Also, keep a water bottle with you at all times

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Our workout routines may understandably  be on hold  now.  Still try to get a good nights sleep, stretch a lot,  and ask for foot ot shoulder rubs. Take time for a soak in the tub with Epsom salts. 

Whether our bank accounts or health get replenished or not,  staying grateful and doing the best we can will still help us achieve in the big picture. Happy holidays!