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SimplicityWithSarah

Simplify your life, Strengthen your spirit

Ham it up!

This morning, I was busy packing lunch for my daughter when I noticed my 17 year-old Chihuahua staring up at me with sad little eyes. He knows this is the time I usually give him a piece of ham, which serves as a delicious vessel for the medicine that eases his aching little body. As much as I love that little guy, he sure doesn’t make it easy for me. I have to be very strategic about how I wrap his pills, or he will spit them out; at the same time aggravating me with his stubbornness.

The first pill went down, no problem. I waited anxiously as he took the second pill, chewed twice, and spit it out. “Fine! Be in pain!!” I shouted as I secretly knew I didn’t want him to be in pain. That dog is so stupid; he doesn’t know what’s good for him, I thought to myself.

I continued prepping my daughter’s lunch and forgot about the uneaten ham on the kitchen floor, maybe hoping he would come back and eat it. Back and forth to the fridge I went, grabbing this and that, selecting ingredients for my breakfast smoothie, when all of a sudden, I skidded across the floor, flailing my arms like a maniac out of control. Really, you should have seen it. I felt like Bambi when she tried to walk on ice. “What the heck??” I wondered as I looked around for the culprit for my acrobatics. My eyes glanced to the floor and instantly saw a smeared piece of ham….the very ham I chastised my dog for not eating. And I had to laugh.

I could have had a different reaction. I could have been angry at the dog for not eating the ham. I could have been angry at myself for not picking up the leftover ham. Instead, I thought, how often do we have things that are good for us right under our noses, but we continue to ignore them? We think they’ll go away. We think they are insignificant, yet when they are unattended, when they are ignored, they can cause us a great deal of harm. They may come disguised in a package we don’t like, but we should be open to the thought that what on the surface doesn’t seem appealing, underneath that is actually something that can make us better. Lessons are all around us. We just have to look for them. I found this lesson in a little piece of ham. And I had to laugh.

Forget your age and discover the secret to life

My husband’s 95 year-old grandmother recently had hip surgery. You read that correctly. 95. She is such a sweet, thoughtful woman with a great love of family, scotch, and golf. Over the last few years, she has struggled with the deterioration of that hip and didn’t ever want to do surgery. She convinced herself that she was too old and there was no point in having surgery at her age. However, after the pain became too great and the things that brought her joy were falling out of reach, her doctor convinced her that despite being 95, she was in excellent health and there was no reason to not have the surgery. After attempting numerous treatments and medications, finally, she agreed, knowing that life is meant to be lived, no matter your age.

The surgery went well and I was so proud that she made the decision, I decided to tell a friend about it. “95, can you believe it??” I asked. My friend was so pleased to hear of someone at the age of 95 taking the chance of a major surgery. But my friend followed this excitement with a sad and heartbreaking story of a young child that didn’t have such a happy ending.

A 12 year-old girl who attended her church was playing in the snow with her four siblings when she suddenly collapsed. At first, the children thought their sister was playing a joke but quickly knew something terrible had happened. This child never had any health issues, never had any physical problems, and never recovered. Each day she was on life support, we prayed there would be recovery, but it was not in God’s plan. I’ll never forget the words of my friend used to let me know this precious child was gone. “God’s army just increased by one…Tabatha died.” My heart sank for this little girl that I didn’t even know. It broke for her parents, her siblings and her friends. Tabatha was full of life, laughing and living, and in an instant, she was gone.

As I watch my 5 year-old daughter at her swimming lesson, blowing me kisses and waving, my heart is filled with love for her and is filled with heavy sadness for those parents who will never again see their daughter swim. Never smile. Never live her life.

We all know life is not guaranteed. Age shouldn’t be a factor in deciding to do something. Take a chance. Live your life. Love.

Simplicity, You Have Taught Me So Much.

The Question?
We get up, get ourselves ready, get the kids ready, get breakfast, go to school, go to work, come home, get dinner ready, and go to bed. Every day. The same thing. For such a seemingly simple routine, why are our lives so gosh darn complicated? Constant decisions. Constant interruptions. Constant chaos. My life was going pretty well. Things were great; my daughter was healthy, my husband was healthy, I was healthy, and work was fine. But something was missing. I kept feeling like there had to be something more. But what could it be? I couldn’t figure it out, and I felt guilty for having those thoughts.

The Answer.
One day the answer to my question of what was missing came in a very unexpected way. I was introduced to a company that was transforming not only people’s health, but also people’s lives. It was a company that I had never heard of. People were talking about that crazy wrap thing, and quite frankly, I thought they were all crazy. A friend of mine was a Distributor with It Works and she asked me if I would try any of the products. Turned out, It Works had something other than that wrap, and there was something for everyone. Since I was looking to lose a little weight, I decided to try one of the products. I was still skeptical about the company (aren’t we all skeptics in some way?) however, once I actually started trying the products and researching the company, I was quickly impressed. Hesitant at first, the products helped me lose weight and improve my skin (more on that another time), and I felt like I had a responsibility to share this opportunity with others. I felt like maybe I could help others. I felt like that’s what was missing. I needed to help other people in some way, and I realized It Works was the way I could do it. I dove in and became a Distributor and have never once regretted it.

Simplicity? Seems too simple!
I can be easily distracted and am embarrassed to admit that I have difficulty remembering too many details. Maybe that’s part of why I believe so strongly in It Works. The foundation for this company is simplicity: Simplicity in the products, simplicity in the pay structure, simplicity in the recruitment. And that’s when I discovered simplicity is my key to a happier life. I was always overcomplicating things and overanalyzing everything. I worried about things over which I had no control. Through my experience as a Distributor, I learned that I just have to keep things simple and focus on what I can control. I can control my attitude. I can remain positive even when the world and others around me are being negative. I can be disappointed but quickly let it go. What I didn’t realize I was missing, I found with It Works: a chance to join with a group of people who were passionate about helping people. About making a difference. Once I saw the difference It Works was making to so many people, in so many different ways, I finally found what I was missing. I have also found many new friends. That is not something that has ever been easy for me, but my It Works team has produced many new friends for me. I may not see these friends in person, but I feel their support, I feel their compassion, and I feel their genuine desire to see me….and everyone who joins us…succeed. That’s pretty incredible. And I am forever grateful to have become a part of this team. One team. One mission. Simply wonderful.

Clear the clutter.  Keep the memories.

I have long wanted to clear out my garage. I can’t be alone in this, right? The garage becomes a desolate wasteland of things that you don’t have time to deal with, yet things with which you aren’t ready to part. Amongst the holiday decorations there are boxes upon boxes of things I have collected over my lifetime. Always something I would do “someday”, I finally decided on Veteran’s Day to spend a few hours going through those boxes. Why I chose that day to finally get out there and clear out the clutter, I can’t say. But I had finally had enough.

I couldn’t believe how much STUFF I had been holding onto!! The initial intention was to clear out some baby items to drop off at a donation center, but it soon became evident that I was holding onto more than just strollers and bibs. Turns out, I only had two bags of Madison’s baby clothes, and they were clothes that I simply did not want to get rid of. They were outfits I loved seeing her in and outfits that bring a smile to my face; maybe someday I’ll pass them on to her for her daughter. Knowing some things are worth keeping, I quickly decided that those two small bags could stay put, and my attention then turned to boxes of dusty old tapes from my television reporter days. Yes, I said tapes. As in VHS tapes. And there were many. I was astounded that they survived several years in my garage with the extreme Arizona heat, but I was able to watch a few t-a-p-e-s and stroll down memory lane.

From there, I opened boxes filled with newspapers from the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series and the year our world changed…2001. Those newspaper headlines and images from the day after 9/11 reminded me of what is important in life: the people I love and the moment I’m in right now. Maybe Veteran’s Day was the perfect day to go through these things….a day to remember sacrifices people made so that we can live freely, and to remember what is truly important in life.

I went through a few more boxes of things I kept from high school, and while it was fun to read old notes passed back and forth between myself and my friends, it mostly made me realize that those little details from my life don’t need to sit in my garage collecting dust. The primary memories of those years are intact and in my heart.

I don’t need to keep boxes of little things that make me smile for a moment, only to be forgotten later. If they’re easily forgotten, then they aren’t important enough to sit in a dusty box in a garage. I need to hold on to the things that make me smile longer. The things that matter. The simple things, like love, family and friends. If you want to simplify your life, think about what things you are holding onto and why. Chances are, there are a lot of things among the clutter that you can clear out. Just make sure to hold on to the memories that matter.

Through disappointment and confusion came clarity and strength

One of the most difficult moments of my life came on a Wednesday afternoon. Hump day, dump day; that was me. For well over eight months, I was lining myself up for a huge promotion that I convinced myself I wanted. I thought it would bring me more income, more influence and more happiness. Little did I know, I was about to discover the path to all those things….and it didn’t involve that promotion. When I learned someone else was selected, I was completely devastated. I felt cast aside. Useless. I couldn’t understand it. Everyone who knew me couldn’t understand it. I was searching for answers; they were answers I desperately wanted, but I would not receive. My thoughts were consumed by this failure and my heart was broken. I managed to get to sleep early that night but awoke in the middle of the night wanting to know: Why?? As my mind wandered, I slowly began to feel a sense that everything was going to be ok. I didn’t need to know the reason why. I just needed to move on. Time would show me why.

At that time, what I NEEDED was to find my inner strength and to learn that I had the power to bring my dreams to me. That job was not what my spirit needed. What my spirit needed was peace and satisfaction within. At that moment, the memory of a gift given to me 20 years before popped into my mind. 20 years ago, my mother had given me a gift: A one-year Bible that she had read the entire previous year, thinking of and praying for me as she read it. She wrote messages to the future Sarah that were inspired by her reading. I crawled out of bed and went to get that Bible. I found the page for that exact day of the year and the words hit me straight in the heart. The message I received couldn’t have been clearer. I needed to hold my head high and have faith that this was the best thing for me.

A wave of peace washed over me and I felt sunlight beginning to break through the clouds in my mind. Things will happen in the way, and time, they are supposed to. Inside that precious gift was also a piece of paper that I had put there at some unknown time. It was an insert from a sermon that was all about waiting…

I got the answer; I needed to wait, but new questions started forming…what are you waiting for? I asked myself, “Sarah, what do you want? What do you truly want, from the bottom of your heart?” I have always been confused and conflicted by that question because I don’t know what I want, specifically. I feel like I need to create a path, follow it and it will lead me to where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I need to control everything in my life, otherwise I will end up nowhere. But sometimes, we need to hand over the controls. In the words of a dear friend, I need to “get out of your own way.”

During this journey, I have been supported by some amazing people who are helping me to make myself better, personally, not professionally, and I know there is a major shift in my spirit. I was also introduced to a life-changing philosophy from the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The Secret has shown me that I need to think, feel and say what I want. I need to visualize it until I feel that I already have those things. The universe will bring them to me in the best way possible. I need to act when opportunities are presented to me, and I need to be open to following those opportunities. And I am ready for that. So here is what I want:

More time: with Jeff and Madison, creating a peaceful, harmonious home for my family.
Make a difference: Help people. Inspire people. Make a positive impact.
Live life: Explore the world. Enjoy time relaxing with family.

So here it is. In print. What I want. I am on a new journey with the end goal in mind. And I can’t wait to find out how I get there! In the words of Bob Proctor, “Go for it. Be radical.” You got it, Bob. I’m going for it.

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