Do You Live In The Moment, Or Are You Waiting For The Future?

Article by Wendy McCance

Anyone who has read my Searching for the Happiness blog for some time knows a little about my background.  The abbreviated version is that in 2009 my husband and I lost our jobs, lost our home, and have spent years rebuilding our lives with three kids in tow.

After several years of working to get back on our feet, we have found ourselves in a better place.  We can breath again.  We have weeks where there is extra money.  It has been awhile since we have worried about where we would find the extra money to get our kids new clothes.  It’s been even longer since we worried about driving our cars because we barely had enough money to pay for gas.

Through all of our struggles, there was something I realized that we completely neglected.  We never took the time or care to make our new house a home.

When we lost our home, it was 2011.  Our family was crushed.  This was our dream home. We had big plans for that house and we were certain we would live there forever, or close to it.

Because of a unique situation, we were lucky enough to move into a new house when we lost the dream house.  The new home was smaller, the neighborhood not as picturesque, and we didn’t see this new home as anything more than a transitional space. Nevertheless, we were extremely fortunate and were relieved to have a decent roof over our head.

For two years we have lived in this new home.  The house is kept up neatly and we did paint each of the kids rooms.  Honestly, it was only the kids rooms that we completely made into cozy retreats.

As for the rest of the house, we have what we need, but there is no personality to any of the rooms.  There are few signs of personality in any of the rooms.  Without realizing it, we were so certain that this would be a temporary situation that we never made an effort to make our house into a home.

With extra money coming in, my husband and I began discussing what the house needed.  A coat of paint here and there, new curtains that actually fit the window and we needed to get rid of some peeling wallpaper.

Our discussion regarding the house revolved around getting the house in order for the day that we would move into a better home in a better neighborhood.  That’s when it dawned on me.  I was spending so much time planning out the future that I wasn’t embracing what was around us every day.

I realized that I needed to slow down and make the most of what I currently had in front of me.  I wanted the kids to have a house that really felt like their home.  I wanted to add those homey touches that make you want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book and feel content with your surroundings.

It occurred to me that I didn’t need to spend a fortune to spruce up the house and it wouldn’t be a waste of money to put some finishing touches in some of the rooms.  I wanted the kids to feel at home and what I was giving them was making the kids feel like they were in limbo instead.

Back when we lived in the dream home, we worked at making each room special.  We celebrated our home by entertaining often, decorated for each season and we did a lot of cooking in our kitchen.  In the new home, we don’t decorate much, we don’t do any elaborate cooking and we have felt uncomfortable doing much entertaining in the house.

My husband and I allowed our feelings of disappointment to in a sense, put our lives on hold.  Why it took me so very long to see what we were doing, I don’t know.  After two years in this new home, I am ready to embrace what we do have and celebrate the fact that we have been fortunate.  We were never out on the street.  The kids were able to have their own private bedrooms.  We have nice neighbors and the area we live in has top rated schools and is safe.

It’s time to let go of those low moments in our lives and start living again.  The kids have gone through so much stress with us and they need that feeling of security that a house can bring when it is turned into a home.  With the weather cooling down and several holidays approaching, I will be decorating the house and baking up a storm.  It’s time to make new memories and enjoy our family and friends like we used to.

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Living Life When You Have Health Issues

Article by Wendy McCance

Do you remember Michael J. Fox?  He is an actor who was on the very popular Family Ties television show.  He went on to do a series of well-known movies, Back to the Future being one of his best.

Do you remember when Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?  He was so young to be afflicted with such a life altering disease.  He had a family, a successful career and was living the american dream.

All of this could have been unbelievably crushing.  He could have holed up in a corner and waited to die.  How would he be able to go on?  How would he take care of his family financially and emotionally?  What would happen to his career?

Michael J. Fox is the perfect lesson in taking a life altering blow and turn it in your favor.  He didn’t give up on life, he did a do-over.  He revamped his life to work with any limitations he might have.  He then went on to have tremendous new success.  He wrote books, continued working as an actor and became a leader in the fight for a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

The point of bringing up this actor is that sometimes life will give you something you never saw coming.  It isn’t something that is in your life plan and could destroy all of your hopes and ambitions…if you let it.

If you are dealt a serious blow like a health issue that could prevent you from continuing on as you always had, you have two choices.  You can sink into a horrible depression and give up on life, or you can choose to take this as an opportunity to get it right.

This is your chance to go after the things you have always dreamed of.  This is your chance to take a second look at your relationships, career and way you live your life.  Decide what works and what doesn’t.  When I found out I had Fibromyalgia, over several months, it became glaringly clear that my career choice would not work with this disease.  I had to figure out what career would be a better fit.  After much soul-searching and moments of feeling bad for myself, I found writing.  It was the greatest, most unexpected thing to have happened.

I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to me in a pull the rug out from under you sort of way.  I was forced to stare into my life and really admit how happy and content I was.  How was I going to make my life better?  How do you make something better when you feel worse off?

I know it’s unbelievable, but from health challenges can come growth, wisdom and increased happiness.  It all depends on how you play your cards.  Choose to recreate your life into something that feels better.  Surround yourself with friends who aren’t toxic but loving and drama free.  Take a hobby seriously and pursue it as a career.  Get more adventurous and daring.

Put yourself out there and really live your life.  You only get one life so you might as well make the most of it.  Illness doesn’t need to be the end.  It’s just all in the way you adjust to it and the spirit you create with what you have got.

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Do You Want a Job or a Family Because You Can’t Have Both!

Article by Wendy McCance

When I was growing up, most families looked like this, there was a father who worked and a mother who stayed home with the kids.  In our home, my father traveled for work and was gone more weeks out of the year than home.  My mother worked as a substitute teacher part-time.

I envied the other kids.  The ones who had a father who seemed to only work 9-5 pm and was home every evening and on weekends.  I envied the kids whose mother never worked at all.  They never came home to a babysitter ( especially some of the rotten babysitters we had growing up).

These days, both parents work because they have to.  Jobs demand long hours and devotion to the company.  Forget about the family because your boss will make you choose, is it us or them?

Kids these days sit in empty homes, do homework and make dinner without an adult around and sometimes even put themselves to bed at night.  It is a sad state where we have landed as families.

I was repulsed by the amount of heartbroken souls that worked at the car plant with me. Many marriages had fallen apart.  Many kids had little knowledge of who their parent were.  These were people who were desperate to create a good life for their families.  They worked hard and dealt with the long hours and endless overtime.  They paid for their loyalty to their job with the loss of their family.  These lost souls would move around the plant as if a zombie.  They were physically present, but they were completely numb.  They couldn’t feel anymore.

Many of these people had heart attacks and died when retirement was near.  I think they died of a broken heart.  They would panic because they had no idea how to live outside of the plant.  The plant had become their one and only home since they had lost their family.

My husband began a job a year ago that held promises of a good future and light travel.  The year he joined the company, travel was a few weekends a year and maybe one solid week.  Well, guess what?  Business is booming and all of the workers are being sent to outside locations for weeks and sometimes months at a time.  My husband has spent at least half of the last 4 months away from home.  Each time he comes back, I feel a little more sense of a loss.  We are slowly pulling apart and it frightens me.

I know that many people work long hours, travel and spend more time with their company than their family.  I was one of those people, I lived it.  It broke my heart to decide if I wanted money for my family or time with my family.  I felt like I had sold my soul to the devil each time I picked money over family.  I had no choice, I had to provide for them.

My husband has no choice right now either.  It is a devestating feeling and one most people are facing every day.

I feel lucky to have been able to carve out a job at home.  I work my butt off so that I can support the family and hopefully give my husband the opportunity to find a better job that doesn’t require constant travel.

If I knew before I had a family what I do now, I would have started working from home right after graduation.   I am not adverse to working, hell I think it keeps us sane.  It gives a purpose, goals and a sense of pride.  I just don’t want to pick between time with my family or time at the office.  I don’t want a boss breathing down my neck telling me I need to devote more time to the job.  It just makes me sick that our time is taken up by nurturing a job instead of the ones we love.

What does this mean for the next generation?  How will they manage to raise a family? Will more people decide to forego the family because there isn’t time?  What about friends? How many people view their best friends as those they work with?  How many relationships come from the work place?

If you spend all of your time at a job, it just makes sense that you would form a small family there too.  It’s comfort.  When I worked in the plant, I met my husband.  We made good friends.  We had family events like bbq’s right in the plant on days when there was overtime.  We carved out a family and created close relationships.  We lost friends and family on the outside of those factory walls a little at a time, more as the years went by. We were seldom not working, and when we weren’t working we were taking care of our family or trying to catch up on some much needed sleep.

It is a strange feeling knowing that bonds are created over a common understanding.  A way of feeling that no one on the outside of a company’s walls would understand.  Yet, when our factory closed, we let those close friendships slip away.  Hell, I think we ran away from them.  We felt half-insane closed up in that plant.  I think we needed to get away from the people we had gotten close to just so our memories of  that time in are life could fade more quickly.  It was a painful time and the fewer reminders of life in the plant, the better.

What are family’s like today?  Do kids get the same type of attention they did back when we were kids?  Does life in today’s world make it to difficult to have a job and a family?  I feel like we have lost the dream.  That dream of growing up, getting married, buying a home, raising a family and retiring at a nice ripe age of 65.  I don’t think a lot of kids today will be able to have a job and family when they grow up..  I don’t think kids these days will be able to afford a house let alone afford to ever retire.  It’s scary, but the future looks like all work, no play and lost connections.

What do you think?  Does the future look promising to you?  Do you see a pattern of the dreams of our youth unraveling?  What will the future hold for our kids?  Please leave a comment and tell us what you think.

 

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Does Your Need For Approval Hold You Back In Life?

Article by Wendy McCance

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to do something big, and were seeking approval from others?  If you have ever experienced this, did you go forward with your plans no matter what others thought?

Growing up, I was that kid who desperately wanted my parents approval.  I would get a good grade, or find a new hobby, make a new friend or do something especially nice.  Each time I had a positive moment I looked to my parents for approval.  I wanted them to be proud of me.

I went through a lot of disappointment growing up.  I felt like the invisible kid.  I had a sister who seemed to hog all of the attention because there was always some dramatic situation going on with her.  At the same time, I was pretty low-key and got lost in the shuffle.

I think my parents were so consumed with worry over my sister, that I was forgotten.  I rarely had situations that required all of my parents attention.  They took me for granted, feeling that I didn’t need looking after in the same way, and I basically disappeared from their thoughts.

I learned to depend on myself.  I knew only I could truly make myself happy.  I was of the belief that only I would ever be proud of me.  It was up to me to make something successful out of myself, because I had no one to depend on or look to except myself.  That is how I felt growing up, and it affected my adult life in many good ways, and just as many bad ways.

I became ambitious and strong-willed.  I felt if I worked hard enough, I could have what I desired.  I was never a good student in school, and so all of my accomplishments were because of street smarts more than anything.  I envied the kids who went to college, got a good degree and by their middle 20′s, were living the dream.  They had the house, money and a great career.  There was a retirement plan and savings in the bank.

I had to find ways to be creative.  I learned that I had a talent for sales and entrepreneurship.  These were the skills I used to built myself up.  I counted on myself and did what I had to so that I could live the dream as well.

My downfall was in the form of relationships.  I had incredibly low self-esteem in that arena.  I was extremely private and was unable to open up to anyone.  I felt that trying to let go and exposing who I was and what I strived for in life would be met with a lack of care for my feelings and that I would be ignored.  I held tight to my inner most feelings and let no one in.

My friendships were fairly bland.  I really just had a pile of acquaintances.  Sure I had people to hang out with.  I knew a lot about my friends and I was there when they needed me.  Not one friend ever questioned how little they knew about me.  I was accepted for who I was or had friends who just didn’t care.  I’m not sure which it really was.

Romantic relationships were the most toxic.  I ended up with boyfriends with a high need to be the focus of attention.  There was always drama and an urgent situation that needed tending too.  I became a doormat and little more than a servant.  I tended to their needs, but wasn’t thought of in return.

Over the years, I woke up.  That’s the best way I can explain it.  I had children and I believe that was the turning point in my life.  I reflected often on what I had experienced growing up.  I thought of what type of mother I wanted to be for my kids.  I learned to open up and was able to form close relationships with my kids.

Along the way, I also figured out what I did and didn’t want in a romantic relationship.  I went through enough toxic hell to shake myself loose from my learned behavior.  I am in a healthy relationship now.  My husband knows me as well as I know myself.  I finally feel the support and appreciation.  I now know what it’s like to have someone love me so much that they stay present in my life.  They know what my struggles and successes are.  They cheer me on and comfort me when I need a shoulder to lean on.

I realized early on that when I looked for approval, I ended up holding myself back.  If I felt that people didn’t approve of what I went after, I would give it up.  I felt that if I got enough attention to create a view by another, if they didn’t approve, it must be a bad idea.

These days, I block out the noise of naysayers.  I trust my gut and go after what feels right to me.  I am open to others and will listen to their advice.  I just won’t act on it if it doesn’t ring true when I hear it.

What about you?  Have you given up a dream because you didn’t get the approval from others that you were looking for?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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What Your Home Says About Your State Of Mind

Article by Wendy McCance

Have you ever noticed that when you don’t like something you own, you are careless with it?  Take a piece of clothing for example.  You don’t like the color or the way it fits or how it makes you feel when you wear it.  You might toss it on the floor instead of hanging it up.  It might get stuffed in a drawer without being folded.  What about a car that is getting old and embarrasses you to drive.  How often does it get an oil change?  How easily does it seem to get dinged by grocery carts at the store or scratches on it while sitting in your driveway?  What about the inside of the car?  Is there trash on the floor or stains on the seats?

I was thinking about how the state of your mind affects what your personal items look like.  The best example I can give is to look inside someone’s home.  There are three distinct styles of managing a home that I can think of.  I have been in some homes where the house seems to hum with happiness.  The home is clean and straightened but not in an extreme way.  There is some happy clutter.  There might be kids book bags in the hall, a few toys scattered about and books or magazines in spots where it looks like someone had gotten up briefly but was in the middle of reading.  There is energy in the home.  Food is cooking, kids are playing, etc…

People in these homes seem to be happy and content.  They know how to juggle their busy lifestyle in a way that is comfortable and has minimal stress.  They aren’t procrastinators and are good at prioritizing.  They know how to get things done, but also give themselves a break and make sure that they take care of themselves and enjoy some free time.

I have visited homes where the home feels like a museum.  Everything has its place.  The house is immaculate to the point where you are nervous to walk in shoes or eat anything for fear you might drop a crumb of food and it would stand out as an incredible mess.  There is little life in the home.  There is no way to know what the occupants hobbies are or what makes them happy.  There are no books to see, no photos to look at and no projects sitting out.

These people tend to be control freaks.  They are rigid and feel that everything in their life must be perfect and in its place.  People with homes like this have a hard time giving themselves a break or find time to allow themselves downtime.  They are usually workaholics and are very critical of others living up to their standards.

The last style of keeping house that I’ve seen is the home that looked like an explosion occurred.  You walk in and see piles of dirty dishes, a trail of dirty laundry running through the house and projects everywhere.  The home is utter chaos and has an uneasy feel to it.

People in these homes are always busy.  There are a million responsibilities, errands, favors to others etc…  These are good-hearted people who put everyone ahead of themselves.  They will say yes to any favor someone asks of them no matter if they have the time and energy or not.  They never want to disappoint and will stretch themselves as thin as humanly possible.  They tend to put their own needs last and don’t know how to enjoy their own company for any length of time.

Of course these are generalizations.  There are many people who might not feel they fall under any category listed above or think that the descriptions of the type of people who live in these homes are off.  When you find peace for example, it’s hard to live in a messy home, it just doesn’t feel peaceful.  You will get the urge to straighten what is around you to increase that feeling of peace that you have.  The point is sometimes by looking at the state of what you live in can give you direct clues as to the state of your mind.

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The Family Connection

Article by Wendy McCance

I have 3 children, 4 pets and a wonderful husband.  Home is my favorite place to be.  I love nothing more than to fill our home with the hustle and bustle of friends and family popping in at a moments notice to hang out.  I encourage the kids to have friends over at every opportunity.

People always comment on how peaceful and happy our house feels when they come over.  We have definitely become the “hang out” house for our kids friends.  My family says I’m the mushiest person they have ever met.  I have to say that my most enjoyable moments are when there is great food cooking on the stove or baking in the oven, and there are friends and family that are hanging out in the kitchen talking and playing some game or other.

I have had many obstacles put in my path.  Divorce, jobs with long hours, loss of income etc…  I only see my kids half of each week which although it’s been about 8 years since the divorce, is something I have never grown accustom to and generally hate.  I spent 7 years in a job working for General Motors on the assembly line.  The plant ended up closing down and my life as a factory worker came to an end.  The best part of the job had been the money and benefits.  I was truly able to support my family and make a good salary.  The worst part was that the job made me feel like I was selling my soul to the devil.  Basically I needed to pick whether money or family was more important.  At the time I was a single parent without a lot of college behind me.  To have a job that kept the family afloat with a nice house, safe neighborhood and good schools was everything to me.  The part that broke my heart daily was not seeing the kids much.  I wanted so desperately to have been able to choose the kids over the job, but options for other jobs would have left us without the home, neighborhood and schools that the kids needed for their own success.

In my search for the happiness, I have come full circle.  I am in the midst of trying to find that job which will allow me to make the kids my priority.  I know these type of jobs allowing more flexibility are low paying, but I am determined to find a way to make this work.

In the scheme of things, you get one life.  There are no do overs, only learn from your mistakes and do better.  When I was working in the factory, I saw so many people that had given their life to GM so that their family could be taken care of comfortably.  The problem was that these people who had basically stepped out of high school right into the factory had nothing else, this had to work for them.  I can’t begin to stress how many stories I heard of kids growing up without a parent because they were always working.  These same families faced divorce because the connection was lost between the husband and wife do to the long hours.  Eventually these people would grab at all of the overtime because there was no life left to go home to.  No family or friends because they were never there.  The factory became their friends and family.  The most heartbreaking part of this story was that these people who tried to give their families everything and ended up with nothing would fall dead on their last day of work.  There was no life left outside of the factory.  Retirees would stress about the last day.  They would say, “oh just one more year then I will retire” even though they already had 38 years in.  I’m not joking though when I say that the last day of work many of these people would have a going away party, talk about what they would do in retirement and never make it out of the place at the end of the shift alive.  Usually these people would fall dead of a heart attack.

Sadly, because of the economy and fears of not finding a job, companies are more than ever paying very little while expecting the world from their workers.  Companies expect that families be prioritized far below work commitments.  9 to 5 is no longer acceptable.  At a moments notice extending the day or working on the weekend is something that should be expected and treated as a normal part of the job.

There has to be a better way.  What is a job that will afford you a nice comfortable lifestyle for you and your family without having to decide between the job and the family?  Does this even exist anymore?  I would love to hear from you the reader.  What are your thoughts on this?  What are your experiences?  Do you feel a strong correlation between family and personal happiness?

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What Makes You Happy?

Article by Wendy McCance

Over the weekend it snowed.  It was a beautiful snowfall.  Big, fluffy flakes of snow fell and made the homes, trees and bushes look like they had been frosted.  It was so quiet and peaceful outside.

Inside the house, I had decided it was a perfect day to use our crock pot.  I spent some time cutting vegetables, browning meal and mixing ingredients.  I also made a big pot of soup.  The house smelled fantastic.

The kids were sprawled out throughout the house with blankets and books or in front of the television playing a video game.  The kids were content and happy.

As I worked in the kitchen, I would peek out the back window mesmerized by the falling snow.  It just felt like a perfectly cozy day.  I said as much to one of my daughters.  She just rolled her eyes and asked what it was about everything having to be cozy?  She said she was convinced that I was happier by the those little things than anything a person could do to make a day great.  I thought about what she said, and knew she was right.

We began a discussion of why that seemed to be the case.  I knew the answer immediately.  When I was growing up, my father travelled a lot for work.  My relationship with my mom, dad and sister was strained.  We moved several times when I was very young.  I believe all of these events culminated into me relying on myself for any happiness I felt.

I used to read often.  I loved the family stories set in picturesque locals with close family members, overly loving parents and a few loving pets sprinkled in.  I felt that this was the type of life that would make me feel best.  I dreamed often of having that type of experience growing up.

As I got older, I rode my bike quite a bit.  I loved riding through the neighborhoods with the picture perfect homes and the well manicured yards.  I would see the kids playing in the yards while the parents were outside gardening or washing their cars and my daydreams for that perfect life increased.

I was great at making friends as I grew up, but I never got too close to anyone.  I was afraid to put too much effort into any friend because I didn’t want to be disappointed if anyone didn’t turn out to be a person of the type of character I hoped they would be.

It’s hard growing up.  Kids do change as they grow and not all moments are all that great.  Fights between friends are common and loss of friendships inevitable.  I was sensitive and loss was painful so I kept friends at arms length.

So back to the discussion with my daughter.  I basically explained that I began to depend on myself as I grew up.  I knew I would not disappoint myself.  I always did the things that I enjoyed and took nothing for granted.  Seeing the beauty in the little things was something I focused on and drew content from.

My daughter said that she was the opposite of me.  She is incredibly social and puts quite a bit of emphasis on her friendships and family relationships for her happiness.  I am happy that she has close relationships and feels so much happiness from them.  I am also happy that she seems to have picked up some of my traits.  Quiet moments will sometimes bring her peace and a sense of contentedness.  She by no means is as caught up in it as I am, but she seems to have found a healthy balance between the two extremes.

What makes you happy?  What brings you those content and peaceful moments?  Or are you happiest when there is a lot of activity around you?

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The Challenges of Juggling Work and Family Life

Article by Wendy McCance

I am a work from home mom.  I have 3 kids and my own business as a writer and social media consultant.  I remember looking forward to the beginning of the school year to get more work done on a daily basis.  Boy was I mistaken about what I would be able to juggle.

I should mention up front that my husband’s job has gotten more challenging for the family dynamics as a whole.  He has been travelling quite a bit for work which has put a major crimp in the overall flow of how we have been running the household.

With my husband gone at least one week a month if not several, I have realized quickly how very much I depend on my husband to help out around the house and do some of the driving.

I have a full-time job of my own to attend to.  The stress of so much time away from the family as well as the stress it has put on me to take on all of the household responsibilities has put my husband in a position where he is looking for a job that doesn’t require much if any travel.

In the meantime, I am juggling school schedules, after school activities and doctor appointments on my own.

A typical week has been looking like this:

Monday: Drive 1 kid to and from school.
Drive 2nd kid back and forth to a different school.
After school dentist app. for 2 kids with braces.
Make dinner.
Help with homework.
Tuck in kids at bedtime.

Facebook and Twitter maintenance for a client.
1 article 1,000 words.
Write to 30 prospects for work assignments.
2 blog posts.
Answer emails.
Post to my social networks.

Tuesday:  Drive 1 kid to and from school.
Make dinner.
Evening Basketball practice.
Help with homework.
Tuck in kids at bedtime.

2 blog posts.
Write to 30 prospects for work assignments.
Conference call.
Answer emails.
Post to my social networks.

Wednesday:  Drive 1 kid to and from school.
After school counseling app.
Make dinner.
Help with homework.
Tuck in kids at bedtime.

Facebook and Twitter maintenance for a client.
2 blog posts.
Write to 30 prospects about writing assignments.
Meet with client for social media consulting.
Answer emails.
Post to my social networks.

Thursday:  Drive 1 kid to and from school.
Drive 2nd kid back and forth to school.
Evening dance class.

Write 1,000 word article.
2 blog posts.
Write to 30 prospects about writing assignments.
Read and research.
Post to my social networks.
Answer emails.

Friday:  Drive 1 kid back and forth to school.
Grocery shopping.
Kids getting together with friends.

Twitter and Facebook Maintenance for a client.
blog posts.
Write to 30 prospects about writing assignments.
Post to my social networks.
Answer emails.
Write up a product review and post thoughts on product to social networking sites.
Conference call.

Saturday:  Drive 1 kid back and forth to a weekend class.
Clean the house.
Kids getting together with friends.

2 blog posts.
Answer emails.
Post to social networks.
Paperwork, filing, write in business expenses/mileage.

Sunday:  Baseball practice.

2 blog posts.
Answer emails.
Post to social networks.

This schedule doesn’t include the press releases, sell sheets, LinkedIn profiles etc… I will do.  I just did a bare bones schedule of what I have guaranteed each week.

Now picture my husband out of town and you get the idea.  It’s hectic to say the least.  Did I mention I have 3 pets to take care of (2 cats and a ferret) as well as fibromyalgia?

The point is not to write up a poor me article, but to bring light to what so many parents really do behind the scenes.  For many, juggling is much more difficult because it is a single parent taking on the workload.

I often wonder how people juggle work and family when there is an aging parent that resides with the family, or a child with health issues of their own.  What about the families that have dealt with the loss of a job and now work two jobs to support the family?

Can you relate to this topic?  What have you experienced that challenged your use of time between work and family?  Have you found a way to ease some of the pressure of time management?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts on this subject. Let’s get the conversation going.

 

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Giving Back To My Readers

Article by Wendy McCance

I have had so much wonderful support from my readers.  I would like to thank you and show my support for you.  If you would like to promote your blog, book, business or whatever it is that you are trying to get more people to check out, please write a comment about it below this article.  If I am familiar with you, your blog, business, book, etc… I will also write a comment and help you to promote it.

I have been very lucky and have gotten a tremendous amount of views per day on my posts.  I hope that I am able to help you drive some traffic your way.  If you have a positive story from your promotion on this blog, please comment on that as well, I’d love to hear a good story.

Sincerely,

Wendy McCance

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5 Lessons Every Child Should Learn

Article by Wendy McCance

I don’t know what it is about this particular summer, but it seems that my children are maturing into young adults so quickly it’s making my head spin.  I have been reflecting on the lessons I have taught them over the years and what type of children they have developed into.

It occurred to me that there are a few lessons I am grateful to have taught my kids.  these lessons have had a profound affect on their experiences and how they have handled themselves.

I hope the things I’ve taught my children might be helpful to anyone raising or interacting with a child.

1.  Children need to learn how to enjoy their own company.

I can’t stress how important this skill has been for my kids to have learned.  I have seen far too many people who have never learned to enjoy time by themselves and the devastation it has caused.  When spending time alone, you learn so much about yourself.  What your likes and dislikes are, how you feel about yourself and what makes you happy.  This skill has given my kids so much confidence in themselves.  It has also helped them to make good decisions.

2.  Compassion for others and sharing are important, but so are your own feelings.

I’ve seen my kids go overboard trying to make others feel good.  I love that they do this, but not when it comes in the way of their own happiness.  One of my daughters would have playdates and she would do whatever the other child wanted to do.  She gave and gave to a fault.  The kid would leave and she would feel miserable.  She didn’t do anything she had found enjoyable and was disappointed that her friend hadn’t asked her or insisted they do what my daughter might enjoy.  My daughter ended up very popular with a group of kids she didn’t enjoy being with.  She was popular because she didn’t rock the boat.  She always gave in to their needs and ignored her own.  She didn’t have friendships, she was more like a servant to the needs of other kids (though unintentional).  She has since learned that her feelings matter.  Give and take are the way to go for a healthy friendship.

3.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated (especially with regard to your siblings).

My kids believe the philosophy of karma.  What goes around comes around.  They have done a good job of treating others kindly, fairly and with compassion.  They have been able to foster friendships based on these beliefs.  I’m lucky to have good kids with good friends.  What I have pushed more than anything has been that having siblings is special.  The way you treat them will be remembered and returned.  I have seen the kids baby each other when one of them was sick or had a bad day.  I have seen the kids comfort each other when there was disappointment or fear.  I have also seen them go out of their way to celebrate their sibling and create special moments for each other.  It has been the greatest gift that they have given each other and a gift for me to see as well.

4.  Don’t judge others.

The kids have a great deal of compassion towards others.  They seem to gravitate to those who look lonely, lost, sad or alone.  I am grateful that the kids don’t avoid these people but embrace them and genuinely get to know them.  You never know what’s really going on in someone’s head and actions can be the result of some trauma unknown to you.  We have had many discussions on why someone might react in a certain way and what might be going on in their life.  I have seen the kids become more generous with their time and motivated to want to give back.  The kids have worked at places such as a food bank because they just want to help others.  By not judging and taking the time to get to know people instead, they have become such well-rounded kids.

5.  Have goals, plans to put them in action, and just do it!

From an early age, the children knew what they wanted to be when they grew up.  For one child that career choice has changed as she has grown, but not her ambition and determination towards the finished product.  Last night my oldest daughter sat down with me to discuss her plan for the upcoming year.  She is almost done with high school and realizes that she needs to make some big decisions.  My child is determined to not only write down what she wants to accomplish, but has been researching how to make her wishes a reality.

Kids need to have dreams and ambition, but they also need to continuously work on making those dreams come true.  My daughter knows what she wants to do for a living.  She understands that she will need a job so that she can pay for a car and insurance while she is in school.  She has picked out the school she wants to go to and has a plan in place to make that decision possible.  She is also aware of what place she would like to work while in school.  She has networked and has a few people who can give her advice and a recommendation for her choice of employment.  She is also practicing interview questions and how to write out a resume’.

The lessons I see as incredibly important are those lessons that begin to mold the kids into the successful, confident and happy adults they will one day become.  I hope this information has been valuable.  I would love to know what lessons you have taught your children that you are grateful they have learned.

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