The Gift IS The Anticipation
Anticipation is Powerful
I’m spent weeks preparing for Christmas. Even if I counted the full 24 hours of Christmas day instead of the 16 or so hours I will actually be awake, it’s a lot of prep time in comparison to the actual celebration.
Anticipation IS our Journey
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By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoWho I AmLearning to Sleep in the Bed that I MadeNo TV. Ok, well I do own a TV and am honestly a huge movie buff with lots of movies and some sitcoms, but I do not have a cable network of any kind. No channels. No commercials. Been that way for over 20 years now. I still get hooked on sitcoms! I owned every season of Gilmore Girls and if Agents of Shield has a season on DVD, I’ve bought it and watched it in marathon order over a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long).My current addiction is Arrow. In a recent episode I learned the origins of the character, Felicity Smoak. (Third Season in case any of you are Arrow buffs, too) While it wasn’t anything too horrific…think Bimbo mom and illegal computer hacking stuff, it was something that she was embarrassed and ashamed of.One of the point’s I’d like to make is that we all have things in our past that we are both embarrassed or ashamed of. The first of those are the decisions that we have no control over. Felicity did not choose her mom or her circumstances growing up. The second are decisions we make that may cause shame as we see them as mistakes or just plain ugly bad choices. In Felicity’s example it was creating a super crazy computer virus from her college hacker days and nearly spending her life in prison.But where is she now? Working for a millionaire dude (who’s handsome and sexy by the way) and The Arrow as a computer genius who is calm under pressure, knows her stuff inside and out, and has made herself indispensable. She is also friendly and is loved by just about everyone who meets her (except the bad guys, of course).Which brings me to my second point. Her upbringing and her so-called “mistakes” brought her to this part of her life. Her life is not without mistakes now and it’s not perfect, but those life experiences made her who she is today. They shaped her into the woman she has become.Your life up to this point has made you who you are today. Right now in this present moment. Who are you? Where did you come from and where are you going? I’ve been pondering a lot about this lately in my own life.
This is WHO I WAS:I believe my upbringing was pretty darn good. My mom taught me to choose the right and how to be strong. She showed me that she was human and made mistakes like everyone else. I learned to ride horses, ride a bike, and do good in school. I loved to read and compete in spelling bees! In unfortunate typical fashion, my parents were divorced when I was 11 and my mom re-married a wonderful man with 5 boys. As per usual in most divorced families, it’s just tough. Tough to figure out your identity, tough to reconcile your mom and dad not being together. Tough to adjust to doubling your family size and learning to get along with not only 2 brothers, but 7! (It’s just a flat out miracle that mom was never committed to a looney bin. She gets huge props for that.).Imagine 9 kids; 7 boys and 2 girls all under the age of 11. I know I had it tough, but my mom and step-dad are down-right saints in my book. We were all on the local swim team and all of us did some kind of sports. I remember doing basketball for 6 years, soccer for 3 and swim team for 3. I was also in the band with a killer marching ensemble for parades and half-time shows. My parents did the best they could and honestly, even though I might not have agreed with my mom and dad’s “parenting skills” (what child does??) if I had followed their advice, my life would have turned out better than the decisions I made for myself.The rest is all me. I made my bed and I laid in it. Every good and bad decision was up to me. It still is. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I love to work outside the home. I love the challenge of new opportunities. I’ve been a property manager, an Ombudsman to a Naval Ship during the 9/11 conflict, worked for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, made burgers as the Drive-Thru Queen of Burger King (age 18, cut me some slack for that one), lasted one whole week at Taco Bell, sold MaryKay and Pampered Chef, and yes, even the dreaded Amway for a spell. I’ve owned my own business for a lot of years and was even a stay-at-home mom 9 years straight which was the hardest “job” I’ve ever had in my life.I’ve been married more than a few times with the common denominator of failure always being me in those relationships. My two older kids are no doubtedly scarred for life due to my inability to have, find, and keep good marriage relationships. While it is not an easy thing to talk about or simply admit, it is most definitely part of my past that made me who I am today.
This is WHO I AM:I am in a beautiful marriage relationship with my best friend and hero, Eddy. He has given me a safe place to grow and learn about myself and who I have the potential to become. I will forever be indebted to him.I love to sing. I like to knit and hate to scrapbook. I love riding my mountain bike and I love to cook. I like making my house feel like a home where anyone that comes in will feel comfortable and at ease. I stink at keeping green things alive. Many a plant has died at my hands over the years. I love to read Louis L’amour and I love to watch action movies and chick flicks. I love to speak with people and connect with them. I love the mountains, but don’t much care for the beach.I believe in God and love my church family because they show love to me unconditionally. I am a WFPB health crusader (yes, I eat plants and yes, I get enough protein). I have two dogs that are sweet as pie. They are both black and both boys. It seemed only fair as I have three daughters and my hubby was the only testosterone representative in the house. I love making goals and then checking them off my list. Did I mention I was a list-maker? I LOVE LISTS! The best part of my lists is marking the things off I’ve accomplished.Some of my favorite things are freshly cleaned sheets, new pillows, the sound of the dishwasher or dryer running, Kelly Rae Roberts, my courtyard fountain, the smell of jasmine in full bloom, Brooks Cascadia trail-running shoes, and getting packages in the mail.
This is WHO I AM BECOMING:First and foremost, I am always working on being more kind and being of service. First to my husband and children, then my neighbors and then my community and ultimately the world. I’m also working on being more cheerful and not complaining so much about bad drivers. 🙂I’ve recently started collecting pull-over hoodies…don’t know if that trend will stick, but it seemed worth mentioning.I want to learn how to pop a wheelie on my mountain bike. I want to replace the rest of my VHS tapes with DVD’s. I want to take a trip to Whistler and ride some killer trails up there. I want to find out who my Gram’s biological parents were as she was adopted at age 5.I want to write a book, public speak to women who need a confidence boost and power uplift in their lives. I want to do a weekly podcast starting in February of 2016 to support these same women to help them believe they are capable of more than they think.I just had to highlight this last paragraph in orange because I’ve accomplished it since I wrote this post in October of 2015. My book came out in 2018 and the podcast is now over 2 years old – go me! I would like to do more speaking to women, but I have done that as well. Setting goals is oh so important! Party in the house right now after reading this again!!!Oh, and I want to own a Model X Tesla…
Please comment below and tell me some things you already know about yourself. Be proud!
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
What does it take to be focused on setting goals or what I have termed “Promises”? This year I decided to shake things up a bit and use different description words and generally make my goals a lot more FUN! I wanted to use my creativity and playfulness – we can sometimes be so stodgy, strict, and stick-in-the-muddy when it comes to making our serious goals.
I decided that while I am serious about reaching my goals there wasn’t a reason on earth not to make them fun, playful, creative and attractive.
The next Four Blogs will be entitled:
Dream Big, Reflections, Bite Size Chunks, and Accountability
For today, let’s focus on DREAMING BIG. How would you complete the following sentences?
- If money were not an option, I would______________________________________________.
- If I could set my fear aside, I would______________________________________________.
- My dream job would be____________________________.
- If I had extra money to donate to any philanthropic organization I would pick__________________________.
- 3 Things I would add to my bucket list__________________________________.
- 3 Movies I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t taken the time are_____________________________________.
- If I had an entire day to myself I would spend it doing__________________________________.
- If I had more time to workout I would do_____________________________________.
- My Secret Destination Dream vacation would be_____________________________________.
- Something purely fun I want to learn___________________________________.
- I want to retire at age__________________.
- If I wrote a book it would be titled___________________________________.
- 2 Projects I’ve put off for entirely too long____________________________________.
- 1 House Project that I would love to finish this year____________________________________.
You get the idea here, right? Allow yourself to dream big. The goal of this exercise isn’t to necessarily see them ALL happen this year, but to realize or work on them throughout the year. Is Paris your dream vacation? Start a savings account specifically for that purpose, play a French film with subtitles while eating a crescent to keep your dream alive. Have a nagging house project? Write down what it would take to accomplish that goal.
For example, last year I wanted to get new carpet upstairs so long before that became a reality I started saving for the carpet, picked out the carpet and pad as well as got quotes for installation. Want to donate to a philanthropic organization but don’t have the money you would really like to donate? So what! They appreciate all donations. I donate $10/month to PCRM and this year my husband picked 4 different charities he wanted to support at $5/month each. Do something…not nothing.
And just as a side note…I do have on my promises list for something purely fun. My hubby and I are going to learn to pop wheelies on our mountain bikes! Yes!
After filling out your DREAMING BIG categories, it’s time to make them fun. Please tune in next week for the Reflections topic where I look at my goals that I started printing out in 2010 and how this year I changed them from stodgy to playful.
If this was helpful, please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!
By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoA Story of My Best Friend’s DepressionThe Back Story
Have you ever had one of those days? Or maybe one of those weeks, or months, or a year? How about multiple years? Well, this is a story of my most precious friend in the entire world who was in his second year of things not going well at all and me being in such a dilemma watching him suffer that I just had to figure out some way to help. My best friend is my husband and he was drowning.The back story all started when his mom passed away in March of 2014. No, I think it actually began around December of 2013 so let’s begin there. Our family-owned business was doing great! While we are a very small company, we had always seen an increase every year or at least stayed level, even during the recession. We had been in business for ten years and decided it was time to expand our space. We spent quite a bit of money with upgrades and of course the new rent amount, double the utility bills…you get the picture. Not two months later everything stopped. Quite literally stopped. I swear that our clients were abducted by aliens and left the planet for at least six months. Business was that bad. That’s enough to cause anyone stress, right?Enter mom falling again and going into the hospital. She was in ICU for awhile, began to get better, was moved to the rehab facility that we didn’t like much and during this whole transition, my hubby contracted bronchitis. Not only is bronchitis a knock-down, drag-out illness, but it rendered him unable to visit his mom for fear of getting her sick in her current condition. While he was on the mend with crazy antibiotics and rest, mom took a turn for the worst while still in rehab by catching a deadly form of pneumonia that put her back in ICU to what would become a fight for her life that she was unable to win.Not only was business bad and he was sick, but his mom had passed away which is always a heart-wrenching thing. He was close to his mom, taking her out to dinner on Wednesday nights and us having family dinner with her and the rest of the family every Sunday. While after 5 weeks of her being in the hospital it wasn’t completely unexpected, it changed everything.A couple months of sadness pass and we enter the summer months. Business still isn’t going as well as we would like and while his mom and dad had a trust (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) so that things run more smoothly, you still have to take care of things…lots of things. Bank accounts, the house, furniture, knick-knacks, jewelry, the dog, and enough Christmas decorations to light up the White House…you get the idea. That’s when the shingles hit. More antibiotics, more rest.Then come your first set of holidays without your mom with whom you’ve spent every Christmas with the exception of maybe one or two from the time you were born. No one feels like celebrating, much less decorating, even if you have White House worthy decorations. That can just be tough. Really tough…more depression.
January rolls around and he feels a little ambitious. The business picks up just a tad and he starts riding his bike again, but this time he isn’t recovering very well. Gym workouts? Same thing. Sore for too many days than you should be sore. He hates going to the doctor so he toughs it out for a few months to around the one-year anniversary of his mom passing and takes a little fall on his bike. Nothing major, just a little “owie” on his elbow that starts to get better until about two weeks after when the scab gets bumped off and it gets infected. So infected that his one arm looks like Popeye (no joke!) and of course we were out of town so you end up at an unfamiliar urgent care. Dual shots of antibiotics in both butt cheeks (writhing on the bed kind of pain for those shots!) and oral antibiotics just for kicks….let’s just knock this out along with any good flora you might have had left in your intestines up until now.That was the last straw. He felt so miserable, so depressed, couldn’t work out, didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I imagine that this is the definition of a permanent funk that just won’t go away. It was awful to watch. It didn’t matter what I did or how much I tried to “pump him up” as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say…it just wasn’t enough. I felt completely helpless as to how to help.
As a last ditch effort, we tried what I call a “voodoo doctor”. Tons of blood tests run, loads of supplements taken (and when I say loads…I mean LOADS), more blood tests in certain intervals. No dice. My man was shot so full of holes you could strain spaghetti through him. His body had been hurt multiple times, his heart hurt over the loss of his mother, he couldn’t work out because it was debilitating which left his self-esteem in the toilet, and work wasn’t altogether going well either. Sleep was the order of the day and the more of it the better. I had to do something!The Physical Plan
I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, have taken classes through Dr. John McDougall and received a certificate in plant-based nutrition through eCornell University. I started researching everything I could about healing your immune system while my husband started reading books on the subject. While there is a ton of information out there and only varied opinions on the subject, we made a plan to repair his health.We started a 5-day juice fast following the incredible recipes out there by Joe Cross from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. (He has the best ones out there, hands down…although anything that juices a turnip ends up like smelly gym socks or disgusting body odor, so I don’t recommend anything with turnips in it!). Admittedly, after day 2 we were so sluggish that we decided to add a light, healthy dinner as we just couldn’t function at work without more food in our guts, it was wonderful and it made me feel great! It was the perfect re-boot for our bodies.We then followed up with a 21-day elimination diet that took out known trigger foods. All that means is that while you may not have a specific allergy to a food, you could have some sort of reactions to particular foods. We eliminated gluten products, corn, and soy because while they recommend also nixing dairy, we are already vegan so no worries there!We then followed that up with a 2-week round of Arbonne’s pre-biotic/pro-biotic packets once per day. Needless to say…it worked! While it took several months to re-gain strength and endurance (imagine not working out for 18 months…you’re a bit out of shape), but he’s doing fantastically well physically. He’s not 100% yet as I can still beat him uphill on a mountain bike, but he’s sticking right with me now so I know it’s only a matter of time before he will be kicking my rear end again!The Emotional PlanWhat happened with the emotional part, though? I can hardly wait to tell you! This is by far the most interesting and fun endeavor I’ve undertaken…all in the name of love and hope! I call it Eddy’s 60 Days of Sunshine and it brought my hubby’s soul back from the dead…literally. (You can download it for FREE when you sign up for my weekly emails on my website HERE)I got to thinking that the only way to reverse engineer something is to do the opposite of what got you there in the first place. The negativity had built up over a period of time. It snuck in until it had taken over the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body. While we had fixed the physical part which in turn helped the mental state, the emotional and spiritual still needed a tune-up.Enter a plan that included friends and family. I printed out 2 months worth of calendars for a total of 60 days and made a list of all friends and family members I could think of that cared about my best friend. The list totaled over 80 people. I then started making phone calls, texting, Facebook messaging all of them. I assigned one person each one day and the only guidance I gave them was to just check in, see how he was doing and let him know they cared and loved him and why.At first I decided not to tell him what was happening. Let’s just say that he was so far down what he would later call a “wormhole” that he didn’t even figure it out or get suspicious until day 16! Day 16!! I was at my mom’s and out of town for the weekend when he called me and I had to confess what I was doing. When I told him it was day 16 he was flabbergasted. I had to tell him who had been assigned which day just to convince him.He will admit that at first it seemed a bit saddening to learn it wasn’t the “universe” just reaching out to him in his time of need, but I figured we are instruments in the Lord’s hands and he has a lot to do so he uses us to answer others prayers for help. Even if they don’t realize they need the help.Some sent him texts or emails. Some took him to lunch or dinner. Some called and visited for an hour. It was an awesome experience to watch that much love being shown for one individual. And you know what? It worked! The 60 days ended with a trip up to San Francisco for him to play a golf tournament with his buddies and visit old friends. The perfect ending to a perfect 60 days.
My only dilemma as the days were coming to an end was how to keep the love going. I created a Facebook page dedicated to him and invited all of his friends to post about their experience they had on their assigned day. On day 60, I added my hubby to the group and he was able to read their messages. He will then be able to go back and read them when he’s feeling blue. He is also more connected to some long, lost friendships that had needed some attention.The best side effect getting out of this depression was the reaction from the friends and family I had asked to participate. I did not anticipate the good will felt, the love felt of service being rendered. The gratitude of those people that they were made a part of something bigger that quite literally saved a life.Today I am grateful again for my husband who supports me in all I do, even if it’s off-your-rocker kinda crazy (which lots of my ideas are). I am grateful to all who pitched in to make this project work. I am grateful to my daughter who would help me text and make some calls while we ran errands to set up the next week’s participants. It worked!You can listen to Eddy’s side of this story by going to Apple Podcasts, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, Episode #011.While I am not a clinical psychologist and you should seek professional help if you are depressed,this worked for us and I am so happy it did.