Tag Archives: love

work & life balance. constant journey. found yours?

4 Aug

suddenly i’ve hit an age where i feel somewhat wise.

not in a smart, know-it-all kind of way. it’s just a result of age. i feel wise because, for me, i’ve may have figured it out. priorities. you know when you are in your 20s and 30s (at least 4 me) i kind of – how do you say – worked my ass off. i was single focused on:

finding out what the expectations are and exceeding them. from my boss, from my clients even from my friends. some call that being a people-pleaser and i wouldn’t disagree but i’d add to that definition. i would call it being driven.

and that changed as i grew up. in my 20s, when i started to wonder about the bigger things in life like “where do you go when you die?” and “is this all for nothing” and “is this world really all about… just us?” i dug into all kinds of spiritual things and spun out in a place of faith where i know is the right place to be. but the point here isn’t that – it’s that what i started to be driven towards changed and grew.

but now, in my 40s i’ve started to question the engine that is driving me. i go back to the place i’ll call my eye opening moment. my dad’s funeral. you can read about that here. it was when all the work folks poured in and dealers from all over the country filled the room and i thought to myself THIS IS WHERE YOU END UP! all your stress and your voicemails and emails and strategy – you end up here.

so i came up with my own priorities that i thought about and spelled out and think about now – at least for the past week since I made them up. i am going to run everything through this and it will tell me how worried to get about something or stressed or even happy for that matter.

here it is, in this order, with the background of photos i took in northern michigan last week:

this is my new driver. first God. not my version of God. to each their own, but i know my God. it is the God of the bible and the one you only can know through Jesus. that is most important to me because it puts me on track and is more than just this life.

second is a combo meal. it is health and love. health has never ever been on my radar. i would say my priorities for the most part of my life have been more in this order: 1. work 2. love & feel good. not anymore. i’ve got a functional medicine nutritionist and i’m working the simple plan. striving for a life change and for paris!

love is ROF and my friends and family. if i don’t have my health, i won’t have them and they won’t have me. like peas in a pod. and they mean the world to me. more than work and feeling good and anything else.

third is work. and this is key. this is what i run the most through my stress gauge now. does it affect my relationship with God? am i putting work before God and health and love? yes? then something is off.

we’ll see how this works out but right now, i’m feeling great. now off for a beautiful sunday with ROF driving in JWK (old car) to a car show.

this is JWK:


what is your priority filter? i’d love to know – please share!

it’s fall … make a great chicken recipe!

8 Oct

this week i’m heading to beautiful new york state and i get the opportunity to pop in to spend some QT (quality time) with some of my very favorite people in the world.  that would be the prendevilles!  

in honor of that, i’m going to repost susan’s awesome chicken recipe from last year.  you must know that it was and still is my #1 most looked-at post!

so looking forward to seeing you this week!

hi, my name is susan

and i am lucky enough to be “the appreciator’s” sister in law and ROF’s sister. she asked me to share a recipe and since i would do anything for her, i agreed. leave it to the appreciator to invite guest bloggers – always the includer.

dear trish – my sister in law on my husband’s side – made this dish when we visited years ago and it has become a family favorite. i selected this recipe because i wanted the opportunity to tell you about (appreciate) trish.

trish & my mother-in-law eileen

she is a gentle soul and one of the best listeners i know. one of the things i like best about her is the way she shows me things. trish tells the story and holds the thing in her cupped hands in a way that conveys her treasure of it. i can always feel her feelings… when she shows and tells.

trish has given me:

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final wednesday story

24 Aug

wednesday will still continue being a part of the week, but this story ends today. 

if you’ve missed any of the previous postings and want to start from the beginning, you can click on the list over to the right  or click here for the beginning.

as you can tell, the story has a little more to it than what people thought.  the experience has taught me so much.

#1.  don’t live off of gossip, hear-say and half stories.  remember everyone’s story has probably way more to it than you can imagine, another viewpoint and a little more depth.  don’t be one of those petty people that just passes on bad news.  i learned this from the hurt i felt from one comment from one pretty insignificant person.  thank you.  i now know how not to act. that goes for your feelings on cancer, old people and divorce.  just because everyone goes through it doesn’t lessen the blow.  it’s still painful.

#2. be open to peace.  i once asked my mom how she could forgive karen.  how unusual of a reaction that was.  she told me “i prayed for peace and God gave it to me”.  i don’t understand – what does that have to do with anything?  “because of what we went through with dad dying, i just wanted peace and i felt like i could go be bitter and angry and making matters worse or forgive.”

#3.  everyone, everyone has a story.  and we liked karen’s.  we all love karen like she was a part of our family.  in fact, my mom and karen are very, very close.  they both built houses in a retirement community (hello, swank, i might add!) and travel together and attend family functions together.  they don’t advertise their background to everyone and consider it funny because they both have the same last name and people always say “are you SURE you’re not related?”  i would love to hear karen and mom’s story together.

#4. ask for forgiveness.  you might just get it and a new best friend after all.

#5.  remember the little stuff every day.  it will stay with you for the rest of your life.  when someone has such a profound impact on your life – it is hard wrapping your mind around not “doing life” with them any more.  i can still remember holding my grandma’s hands and feeling the softness of the tips of her fingers and the ridges around her knuckles.  i can still remember my dad’s hands big and strong and then weak and painful.  i can feel it like they were both right here with me now.  thank god i got 9 months with my dad.  to laugh, to cry, to allow him to say “i’m sorry” .  i feel more blessed because of the situation than to have gone on life hating karen and my dad and feeling sorry for my family.

i end this story with one more very private admission.  well, when i drove to whole foods with my mom and found out dad had died and we were racing back down lemmon avenue  – the same road i was on when i found out dad was sick –  my vision turned technicolor.  it was so bright i could barely see.  the green grass was florescent, the sun bright yellow.  i wasn’t dreaming this, it happened.  it was a feeling of comfort and peace like i’ve never felt before.  i know dad is in good hands.

i finish this story with this picture. 

if i had to pick one picture of my dad and i this wouldn’t be it.  but it is a close second.  this is my dad real proud of me.  is there anything quite like the feeling of your dad being proud of you?  there are certainly substitutions, especially if your dad is an a-hole.  but for me, this was what it was all about.  here, in my ugly 90’s outfit (must have been about 22) and bangs.

thank you for letting me share my story.  And thank you to mom & karen for letting me.  i love you.

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