Friday, December 22, 2017

Blogging for Conflict Resolution

You might have noticed that I've put off blogging for quite a while. As I described in my previous post, I've been very busy. Yet at the same time, I've tried to analyze myself and figure out why I've not been blogging like I truly desire. I finally realized that I haven't made blogging a priority because I've been having some issues with my extended family. It's difficult to write that here on my blog—a wonderful public space I've created for myself, but it's true.

I've struggled mightily over the past several months due to feelings of frustration and sadness over a lack of closeness between myself and some extended family members—both in my family and Greg's family, but especially mine. And no matter how much time has gone by, or how many efforts of goodwill I've extended, those issues frustratingly remain to some degree, or another.

I've been greatly misjudged on many levels, which tears at my soul! So many times I've found myself tearing up saying, "I can't believe they honestly thought that way about me! I can't believe they didn't think to ask me about the real story! I can't believe they wouldn't call to talk to me in person instead of jumping to such conclusions based on hearsay! —because we all know what gossip and judging without actually talking with the person you've been offended by does.

I'm such a happy person—it's true! 😀 I live my life very well—exactly how I desire! 😁 So when you love people as much as I do and some of the very important people in your life misjudge you and put you into a category that you don't belong, well, it feels horrible. Of course, I'm the type who will happily keep going about my life, day in and day out, without letting someone curb my enthusiasm, but that doesn't mean their actions don't affect me—especially when I care deeply about said souls!

I won't go into the nitty-gritty details because there's no point. Suffice it to say, my heart has squeezed with sadness more than once over the past several months. Forgiveness has taken on an entirely new meaning to me! I've forgiven everyone, but I don't know and can't tell if they've forgiven me, or not—which is a struggle to my soul that I consciously and continually push away. I keep striving my best every day to say and do the Christlike right things, but that doesn't mean my heart doesn't still twinge with tears.

I don't know if any of you have experienced anything like this before (and I'm sorry I'm not being more specific), but, to me, it feels like no matter what I say or do (or said or did), those select extended family members have placed me in the new classification of "other," or "no longer welcome," which feels terrible—and it seems as if there's no way for me to be reclassified! 😞

So. What I've been trying to do is learn from these torturous feelings. I've tried valiantly to see where other people are coming from—even if their actions/words don't make sense to me. And, I've let my extended family members "go," to the extent possible—which is unbelievably hard for me, but I let go because I love them.

I'm hoping that by finally writing about my issues here, I will feel better and be able to move on. I love writing so much(!)—it works wonders for my soul! Thus, it's been difficult when I've felt that I can't speak of my situation (my truth!) here on Enthusiastic Fantastic because someone might misinterpret my words—which is why I stayed away from blogging for such a long time in the first place. But that ends right now with my version of conflict resolution—or, what I like to call "Blogging for Conflict Resolution"!  I think it should be the hip new call to action, don't you?! Ha ha. 😃

Now I'm going to share what I'm thankful for...and just know that these thoughts relate somehow to the situations I described previously—meaning the lack of those actions, too. Did any of that make sense?! 😄

In no particular order, I'm truly thankful for:
  • genuine smiles
  • looking me in the eye
  • happy hugs
  • questions asked in a kind and truthful manner
  • "likes" 💖 and comments on my Instagram posts
  • continuing to follow my Instagram accounts (I absolutely love my Instagram world I've created!)
  • responding to texts and emails I've sent
  • giving me the benefit of the doubt
  • not jumping to conclusions
  • talking to me directly instead of gossiping about me
  • loving me and liking me 😊 (you know, because families must love each other even if they don't like each other very much)
  • desiring to understand where I'm coming from
  • sharing time and energy with me
  • having a willingness to listen to what I have to say
  • valuing my thoughts and opinions
  • acknowledging that I have something to contribute
  • respecting my differing opinions
  • recognizing boundaries and not overstepping
  • staying connected to me even though we see things differently
  • sharing your world with me even though it looks vastly different from mine
  • not being jealous of my happy life
  • recognizing that I consistently work very hard to have my wonderful life
  • acknowledging that my happy, wonderful life isn't easy—unlike others who have misjudged it as such
  • being genuinely happy for the amazing and endlessly-loving eternal marriage that Greg and I have created together
  • appreciating my sincere endeavors to make this world a better place without labeling me as a "show off," or a "bragger"
  • accepting my true friendship efforts with the intent they were offered
  • letting go of any resentment or anger directed towards me
Now I'd like to share some lovely quotes I've really appreciated over the past few weeks—they've helped me tremendously!
Remember: "Despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they've met themselves." – Matt Kahn 
That genius quote deserved a typographic design of its very own! I really enjoyed creating this one! 🌲
"Being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it's leadership."Ralph Marston 
"There's a common denominator in our human experience... Everybody wants to know: Did you hear me, and did what I say matter?"Oprah Winfrey
With that, please enjoy these inspiring lyrics from "I'll Begin Again," by Leslie Bricusse, in the movie musical Scrooge. Yes, I'm totally applying these wonderful thoughts to myself, but I truly believe they should live in all of our hearts every day of our lives! 😇
I'll begin again
I will build my life
I will live to know
That I fulfilled my life
I'll begin today
Throw away the past
And the future I build
Will be something that will last  
I will take the time
I have left to live
And I will give it all
That I have left to give
I will live my days
For my fellow men
And I'll live in praise
Of that moment when
I was able to begin again  
I will start anew
I will make amends
And I'll make quite certain
That the story ends
On a note of hope
On a strong amen
And I'll thank the world
And remember when
I was able to begin again
I absolutely love this inspired version by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

Lastly, I know this is not one of my most enthusiastic fantastic posts, but it's where I've been for quite a long time, and I felt the need to share. So, thank you for making it this far with me! Your reading efforts are greatly appreciated! I hope you have a wonderful day! 💙💛

Saturday, September 2, 2017

What I've been up to...

Happy Saturday afternoon, everyone! Can you believe it's already September?! I can't! Every summer month of 2017 felt like it ended after two weeks—and I didn't like it! Ha ha.

Before school began, I sincerely wished I had at least 21 more days with my babies at home (when they weren't with their friends), but my wish wasn't granted. #sosadface! My three darlings went back to school 10 days ago, and I've been in denial ever since. I just wish they could stay home with Greg and me forever, but that's not going to happen. That said, I'm utterly grateful for the excellent schools they attend—in one of the best school districts in Utah! We are so blessed to live where we have access to such great education!

So, what I've been up to these past few months is varied...yet the same. I'm sure I sound like many other stay-at-home moms during their summer vacations. My little family and I greatly enjoyed our summer break! We loved staying up late and sleeping in! We loved not having a schedule that we had to stick to! Well, I was teaching piano every weekday, so I wasn't completely off the hook, but our summer days were pretty darn awesome!

We didn't do a whole lot of adventuring, but we did get to go on an extended family vacation (thanks to my generous mom) to the incomparable Sun Valley, Idaho! 🌞 It was a (mostly) marvelous experience, but there were a few instances where I struggled with the sometimes lack of communication between my extended family members and me.

Yet isn't that always how family vacations go?! 😄 Don't we all have these grand ideas about how our vacations will be sheer familial bliss? Yet when reality hits, we remember that everyone is imperfect with their deeply-held likes, dislikes, and opinions?! Yes, that is exactly how family life is miraculous: we all somehow come together, despite our differences that are as vast as the seven seas!

I've also been a piano-lessons-teaching machine! It shocks me to write that I'm now teaching piano to 24 students(!)—including my daughter! Yay! My youngest son is taking a break from piano, but he should be back to it shortly. So I guess I'll be teaching 25 students(!) very soon!

Yes, piano lessons are keeping me very busy. Even though I "only" teach piano for two-and-a-half hours a day, Mondays through Thursdays, one-and-a-half hours on Fridays, and a half-hour on Saturdays, I am totally wiped out when I finish teaching! It's definitely a tiring endeavour as I have to be on-my-game 100% of the time! Yesterday when I was so utterly exhausted after a long week, I mistook an "e" half note for a "d" half note and incorrectly told my student what to play! Yeah, I had to quickly correct my mistake, and my student probably thought I was nuts! 😆

I've also been trying my best to keep up with my growing children. If I'm not shopping for their food, I'm shopping for their clothes, or shoes, or school supplies, or, or, or...the list goes on and on! Interestingly (and going along with the theme of my growing children), my little family is at the point where Greg and I don't really have to help out very much with homework anymore! We'll still have random projects where our kids will ask us a question, but for the most part (in terms of homework) they're fully self-sufficient! It's a strange feeling, for sure!

Paying our endless bills seems to take up a good chunk of my time, too. Each time I think, Oh, yay! I don't have any bills to pay!, something unexpected will pop up—every time! Ha ha. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love paying bills, but it's just time consuming to make sure Greg and I are current on everything.

I'll never stop being grateful for my first fully real/grownup job in a finance department! I learned so much from my time there! I learned about creating Excel spreadsheets to keep track of bills and purchase orders, and creating budgets, and allocating money to/from cost centers. There's more, but I won't bore you. 😉

I'm also grateful to my parents for helping me see that we should try our very best not to use credit cards unless we can pay them off immediately that next month when the bill is due. Greg and I don't always perfectly follow that advice because we've had legitimate emergencies in the past where there was truly no other option other than to charge our credit card. But we always try our very best to get our credit card balances back to zero as soon as humanly possible. I don't think we've ever carried a credit card balance longer than six or seven months (at the very most), most are paid off the month they're due, or within two months.

But I digress...

I've posted fairly frequently on Instagram this summer, but it's a pretty tiny snapshot of my life compared to everything that goes on. Yes, Instagram is still one of my happiest of happy places ever! I absolutely love Instagram! I'm sooo grateful for the connections I've made there, and for the beautiful pictures I get to see. I get inspired by my Instagram peeps every single day! 😁

I've also been able to workout a lot more lately than I have in the past year! Yayayayayayayay! Fankle still gives me painful grief, but I'm continually working through it. I'm progressing ever-so-slowly every day, and that's what matters!

I'm so excited because I implemented a new laundry system at my house this past week! I'm seriously jumping for joy at my new inspiration! So, for nearly twenty years (next week!), I've been the laundry queen of the Peterson household. You see, not only do I love serving my little family, I'm also very picky about the way our laundry is done. I won't settle for anything less than very clean, great smelling, nicely folded clothes! Yet my desires for a well-dressed family has taken a huge toll on my free time—i.e., no time for blogging! 😢 I've spent quite a bit of time each week doing laundry.

With the addition of so many new piano students—and still trying to keep up with everything a mother and wife needs/wants to do, I was feeling the time crunch worse than I have in years! And yet our family totally needs the income I receive from teaching piano lessons—it's truly not an option for me to quit...unless we want to downsize and move again, which will not happen! We are here to stay! (Unless something randomly "hits" us out of the blue...)

Thus, I decided to stop my laundry insanity and quit being such a sweet laundry lady for my family. The good news is, I have zero guilt about it, so I know it's the right thing to do! Ha ha. My husband and children aren't thrilled with my new system, but they know they totally hit the jackpot with me doing their laundry for 19+ years, so they didn't complain when I gave up my crown! 👑 Hahaha. Greg helped out with our family's laundry many times over the years, but my persnickety-ness mainly kept him away (I don't think he minded!)...until now! 😆

I bought a few extra square laundry baskets from Walmart to make this system work. I wrote my family members' names on 4x6 blank note cards and taped them with strong packing tape on the laundry baskets—under the handle areas.

Each of my family members now have two big laundry baskets—one for whites and one for lights/darks. I've situated the laundry baskets on and under my laundry table in the basement for easy access.

I still separate and wash all of my family's laundry because I know the best settings to use on our washer and dryer—plus, we need to wash/dry full loads to save energy.

Once our laundry is dry, I separate it into each of my family member's baskets. If I easily see two socks that match, I'll pair them up, but otherwise, I try to divide/separate our clean laundry as quickly as I can into the appropriate baskets!

Obviously, I fold my own laundry and all the household linens, and put them away. But for the rest of my little family, they're on their own!

I can't describe how liberating(!) it is to not have to worry about folding all of my family's laundry anymore! I've cut my laundry time significantly! Yay yay! Happy day!

I've told my family it's their choice what they choose to do with their laundry. I make sure everyone's clothes are clean (As long as their clothes are in the hamper they'll get cleaned; if they're on the floor, they'll stay dirty until they're put in the hamper!), but they know they have to put everything away themselves.

It's been interesting to see who decides to fold their laundry and put it away, vs. who likes to keep their laundry in a basket and hastily hunt through it in the morning—or at night when they're ready to take a shower! Ha ha. I just laugh to myself and joyously think, "It's not my problem! I've done my job so I can rest easy!"

Just as a reminder, I very happily chose to fold and put away my family's laundry for all those years—no one forced me to do it. I'm sure I could have implemented a less-time-consuming system years ago, but I chose not to. I'm also very happy with my decision to quit providing that laundry folding/putting-away service!

Lastly, I've been listening to and watching so many great talks, speeches, articles, and podcasts while working around my house, and I shared them on Pinterest! So if you want to check out the amazing speakers and uplifting subjects I've enjoyed, check out my Pinterest page! *And please remember that I don't receive any sort of kickback or payment from you visiting my page—I'm not sending you there for any reason other than I want to share all of the goodness I've found! #fulldisclosure! 😀 I spent quite a bit of time pinning today because I felt all of it was soooo important! Thus, it would make me super duper really happy if someone out there benefited from my sharing! 😁

With that, I must end my blogging for today. I hope all of you readers are enjoying this glorious weekend! Now, go hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love them, and how important they are to you!

P.S. I'm totally praying for Houston. I have been utterly shocked at the devastation people are enduring there. I can't even imagine how deeply their hearts are hurting! 💔 My heart so goes out to all of them! 💖 That said, I absolutely love what my church and its members are doing to help out—we truly love serving and helping our brothers and sisters! 💛

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Love My Blog!

The other night, I clicked on a link inside a Google Domains email I received. Google wanted to confirm and/or update my blog's contact information. While nothing has changed in that area, I wanted to check and see what info they had for me, and I wanted to make sure it was all private. Thankfully, everything is in check—my blog looks great and is good to go!

Before I left Google Domains, I looked at how long my Enthusiastic Fantastic domain is good for—i.e., how long I've paid to keep and run my own website. I was happy to see that my blog is paid up through October, 2020. I thought, "Wow, I still remember when I switched from Go Daddy over to Google Domains, which didn't seem very long ago!" Yet, if I remember right, it's been two entire years since I made the switch! I cannot believe how time has flown by!

I also debated whether to pay to extend my website for a few more years. Yet because my family's budget is tight at the moment, I decided to wait for a while to extend my blog. Oh, who am I kidding? My budget has been tight for the past 19+ years! 😆

As I thought about Enthusiastic Fantastic and all that it means to me, I realized I've not given it the time and attention it deserves. Not to mention, I really want to spend more time here! I love my blog! Yet my lack of posting on a regular basis indicates otherwise.

So why the procrastination of putting thoughts to keyboard? Well, it's because my life is busy (not a good excuse) and there are a million ways to spend my minutes (a better excuse)! I think my lack of posting also comes from a subconscious worry that I won't have time to create my posts in the way I so deeply desire—so if I don't start them, I won't be frustrated when I literally don't have time to finish them. That personality trait of mine is also why I never joined the scrapbooking craze of the early 2000's. (Which, by the way, I don't regret in the least! I have all the essential photos of my children's lives—they're just not cleverly put together on a scrapbook page!)

But let's revisit the money it costs to run Enthusiastic Fantastic. When I really think about all that goes into this website, it's not an inexpensive hobby. Yes, I only technically pay $12/year for my spot on the www, but I don't make any money from blogging, either. And in terms of my hours spent writing, creating typographic designs, and posting (here and on other social media sites), well, Enthusiastic Fantastic is definitely an expensive little spot on the web for me! Remember, time is money!

All of that said, againI love my blog! I love writing! I love creating! I love leaving my thoughts for my posterity! Whether those wonderful future people will enjoy my thoughts remains to be seen. 😄

Will everyone in today's technological society be seen as annoying to future technology users—simply due to the fact that there's an overwhelming amount of information to sift through? While I like to think that my great-great-great grandchildren would be thrilled to read of their third great grandmother's life and thoughts, the fact is, they just might not! Ha ha.

But even if no one finds my blog to be helpful or exciting, I still really love blogging! I want to put more of my time here. I am going to create more space in my life schedule to contribute to Enthusiastic Fantastic more frequently!

And with that, I'm signing off to start writing my next post! Funny thing is, I've been writing it in my head for months now, so it's high time I get crackin'! 😁