Oola Challenge Day 16: Love

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 16: Love

See how real-life romance takes you to Oola.

When we think of romance, it’s easy to get caught up in what the world tells us it looks like: rose petals, candlelit baths, extravagant dates, and expensive jewelry. At it’s core, true romance is simply thoughtfulness. When you listen and interact with your significant other with care and empathy, you realize that the most romantic gestures aren’t ones that you’ll necessarily see in a movie. Instead, they’re the actions that simply show you’ve been paying attention.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to do one romantic thing for the love of your life. Seize the moment and go be a hopeless romantic in a way that changes your relationship.

Story books, fairy tales, movies and even the “adult novels” are full of romantic ideals that just pollute our minds with unrealistic expectations of love, relationships and sex.

Yup – I said it.

Does that mean I don’t love them? Nope. I do.  Lol.

But, one of the things I’m, ironically, most grateful for…is all the times my romantic hopes and dreams did NOT come true. All those unanswered prayers…they led me to Drew.

He is my match (or superior, if I’m honest but shhhh….don’t tell him) in nearly every way. There are the personality and health differences…Myers Briggs has me as an ESFJ preference….he’s an INTP. I’m OCD, he’s chill. I’m sugar and cream…he’s straight black. I’m lazy, he’s active. He’s a night owl, I’m a morning person. He’s intellectual, I’m emotional.  Then there are the parenting differences…he’s patient, I hover. He’s playful, I’m the enforcer. He’s present, I’m planning. But probably the number one differ BDE and the reason I love and need him the most…I’m stress and he’s calm  ❤️

He is my centerpoint, my rock in the storm and the one that pulls me back from the ledge and restores my balance. He’s the keeper of my hopes and dreams and while he claims to not know what goes in in my head…he knows my heart without a word. Every time.

I constantly strive to “take care of him” and handle the “little things” without being ask. In some ways, I think that IS “real love and romance” but…we have another difference (of course we do) and it’s in our love languages. I’m physical touch, acts of service and gifts while he is quality time and words of affirmation. So, here I sit struggling with how to do that today 🤷🏼‍♀️

Weve spent the morning entertaining kids and purging the house…in some ways, that’s just what he’s looking for…less clutter in our lives (on that point we agree completely). But, I think we need to go somewhere today…just the two of us for at least an hour and just simply breathe. Not talk about the day or the upcoming week like we usually do but…just touching one another and breathing in the moment. I’m pretty sure that’s his idea of heaven. And y’all…

Don’t wait til tomorrow to give each other what you need and to show them how much you love and need/appreciate them. Just like there is no “ideal time” to have kids…there’s never gonna be an “ideal time” to make the gesture and say the words. And I know that if I live another 60 years with this man…it will never have been enough time…so, why waste a single minute?




Oola Challenge Day 15: Gratitude

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 15: Hunt the Good Stuff

In the past seven days, we’ve covered the OolaBlockers. These bad boys keep you from the life you dream of and deserve – your OolaLife. We encourage you to continue overcoming all the OolaBlockers in your life. During these next seven days, we’ll discuss OolaAccelerators. These are the characteristics and traits that take you to your OolaLife faster.

The first OolaAccelerator is gratitude. If you want to fast track your journey to Oola, embrace gratitude during the good times and the bad. Be grateful for every part of your journey. The more grateful you are, the more open you are to joyful opportunities.

Hunt the Good Stuff is one of my favorite exercises as a resilience trainer. But, it’s deceptive in how easy it sounds. When you first start doing this exercise it can be a real challenge (for us negative nellies, at least) to find something of consequence (i.e. more than, my alarm went off and I woke up) or something that is more than a silver lining to the bad parts of your day (like, at least it’s over or only happens once a year). The benefits of a grateful outlook though? Y’all.

Statistics show that grateful hearts live longer, sleep better and are more readily adaptable to stressful situations.  And guess what? They are happier because gratitude is contagious and spills over. Once you get accustomed to looking for and finding beauty (things to be grateful for) in your life…you start to see them everywhere. In essence….happiness takes practice! And it’s really not a big bowl of malarkey that…happiness is a choice 😳

Studies also show it takes at least 21 days of dedicated practice to make something a habit. I am pretty stoked to throw myself all-in on this experiment….cause who doesn’t want more happiness and better sleep (and all the mamas said Amen! #amiright).

So, today I’m grateful for:
A husband who gets me…who knows when the bear needs kicked out of the cave (not just poked) and who would drive 45 min thru rush hour traffic in downtown Kansas City on Friday night just so I can show my bestie something quintessential KC.

A friend with the curiosity and patience to dive into purging with me (on my terms- God bless you, Brogan) and spend back-to-back Saturday mornings helping me “let go” of the “things” in my life!

A mother who flies cross country whenever I need her to love on my babies…I pray they will have sweet memories of their Nana to last a lifetime. ❤️

What are you grateful for today?

Oola Challenge Day 14: Focus

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 14: Narrow your focus to fast-track your progress.

One of the most beautiful things about life is that we get to be so many things to so many people. We’re parents, children, mentors, friends, teammates, classmates, and colleagues. We’re constantly taking care of all the people and responsibilities we have in our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in all these labels and forget who we are and what makes us unique. Sometimes we even find ourselves reigning in our energy a little as we hold back things we want to say and doubt ourselves.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to take 30 minutes and do something for your soul. Set aside the requests, demands, stresses, and deadlines and take the time to focus on yourself. Do something that allows you to be yourself, express yourself, and have faith in yourself.

Oh man. I feel like I’ve spent years of my life working on this post. Serious.

I definitely get caught up in all the roles and responsibilities in my life- mom, wife, Soldier, etc. Sometimes I wonder what happened to Sherri. My besties have always been there to remind me and to make me feel needed and appreciated just for being me. But, time, space (and kids if we’re being honest) have made our reunion opportunities few and far between 😭

For the last three years, the Inspired Living team (my Oily crew) has helped fill a void in my life….a need to be with other women pursuing something I’m passion about, sharing laughs, sharing in celebrations and losses and just enjoying some good ole girl talk now and then. But, as my team has grown (by leaps and bounds) this year, some of my loneliness has crept back in. I haven’t been able to find my new “fit” as we’ve grown and in some ways my Oily world has shifted such that it’s now another “hat” that I wear. It’s one of those things that is both wondrous to behold (dreams becoming realities, new leaders taking off on their own) and a little sad (they don’t need me in the same way they used to).

Put the changes in my oily world together with all the personal (overwhelming clutter) and professional (new duty position) stress in my life over the last 2-3 months and well…it’s clear that my focus is not where it needs to be because everything is suffering from personal relationships (where I didn’t put my best foot forward), to motherhood (lack of patience and enjoyment), to marriage (lack of connection and real quality time)  and now it’s evident in my health…

Apparently, I have a lazy eye but my body/brain have always done such a masterful job of compensating that it’s been undetectable. But, at this year’s physical it was glaring and severe. Based on the amount of deterioration in the last year, the flight surgeon says I’m suffering from chronic fatigue and if I don’t do something about it soon…I’m gonna go blind. For real. My brain is starting to shut down those processes that aren’t necessary for function…and my double vision is one of them. 🙁

Whoa. Talk about a wake up call, huh? So, as I approach my 40th birthday, I’m spending a lot of time re-examining how I spend my time and energy. Hence…my renewed vigor towards decluttering my life (mentally and physically).

It’s an inch a visit but the work with my professional organizer, Brogan, is really helping. Her presence forces me to FOCUS on the task at hand. Seeing progress is motivational and I can finally see a light at the end of that tunnel…no matter how faint. By our two year anniversary in this house…I will finally be settled in 😂 It will probably be just in time for the next Army move but with a lighter load. So, I can be happy with that.

And, on the weekends, I am doing better about “sleeping when the baby sleeps” because…everything else can wait. Mama can’t anymore. So, some things aren’t getting done- around the house, in my biz and on the job- but I’m enjoying time with my kids and husband. Balance is an illusion…we are really all just that guy at the circus with a bunch of plates spinning on sticks (thanks to the Oola Guys for this analogy….such an eye opener). “Balance” is learning where to focus when one of the plates starts to wobble and reprioritizing your energy (FOCUS) to get it back in rhythm with the rest.

I don’t know if all of this will save me from eye surgery. But, I can honestly say…I feel poised to make the next 40 years even more amazing than the first because I’m learning to embrace myself (flaws and all), the present (inspite of the past and despite the future) and to accept/respect that spending time on yourself isn’t selfish. Self-care recharges the soul. And, when I’m full up…I have a lot more to give ❤️

Oola Challenge Day 13: Jealousy

  1. Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 13: Trade Jealousy for Inspiration

Have you ever become overly consumed with someone else’s life? Maybe you’re checking their Facebook page every day. Maybe you’re constantly comparing their relationship to yours. Maybe you wish you thought up their business idea so you could be crushing it.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to identify everything that person has that you want. Whether it includes traits or things, put it all on there. Now, cross off his or her name and above it write, “What is possible.”

Let the things other people have inspire you instead of making you feel jealous or envious. You are worthy and have the talents and abilities to get what you want out of life.

First, a quick note on the difference between envy and jealousy. Jealousy is wanting what someone else has (even when we can’t possibly know all the behind the scenes circumstances). But envy is something altogether uglier. You know you suffer from envy when you not only want what others have, but you also want to make sure they don’t have it. Yuck, right? It doesn’t feel good to even consider the possibility that we harbor those kinds of feelings.

But y’all. Ugly truth bomb 💥! I’m guilty of this. Not so much because I don’t want them to have it but because rather than looking for all the work they are doing behind the scenes or for ways to get after it myself….I am guilty of thinking how karma will catch up to them, characterizing their good fortune as luck instead of the payoff for hard work or perhaps worse…justifying why I don’t have it or am not worthy of it. 😱💔

Enough 🙅🏼

Over the last year a few things have been revealed to me (or I finally faced the truth):

  1. Social Media does not equal reality  or at least it doesn’t tell the whole story.
  2. Some of these folks have been willing to make a lot of sacrifices that I haven’t…of time, sleep, finances, other interests, etc.
  3. Until I am willing to assess myself honestly and put in the work required….I’m not going to make forward progress.
  4. I can blame circumstances and contrast myself with others (capabilities, network, opportunities) but the reality is….I have no one to blame but myself if I’m not successful. Ouch!

This year I taught an elective at the Command and General Staff College on Resilience (I know, I know….those who can’t….teach, right?). One of the TED Talks I used also happened to be the guest speaker at YL’s Convention this year. Shawn Achor is the author of “The Happiness Advantage” which proposes two big things I highlighted in my classes (and which I think are particularly relevant for me):

  1. Positive people have an advantage in life, in that they are grateful, more resilient and more likely to appreciate the present moment.
  2. Success must be defined and not in terms of “when I….I will be happy” because that, my friends, is a moving target that we will never achieve.#grassaintalwaysgreener #carefulwhatyouwishfor

So, I’m really concentrating on enjoying my journey, letting go of the past and trying not to sacrifice the present for the future. And, I’m trying to remember that the picture on social media only tells half the story because we all have pain, sorrow, jealousy and fear that we don’t display for others; my worth and value aren’t determined by what I don’t have but rather…what I do…and the effort I put forth in pursuing my dreams. And, finally, anything is possible with Faith, elbow grease and some positive energy.

OH! But the biggest lesson the last few years has taught me (and what I’m gonna post on my mirror, my phone and any other surface where I need it): This life may be lived on my terms but not on my time. It’s His time and I’ve only ever been disappointed by unanswered prayers when I lacked the faith to believe He had something better planned for me ❤️


Oola Challenge Day 12: Laziness

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 12: Overcoming Laziness

On the path to Oola, there is no room for lazy. It cannot be a part of your life in any way, shape, or form. It’s easy to get caught up life’s routines and feel comfortable where you are, but feeling comfortable is a double-edged sword.  At Oola, we encourage you to find contentment and gratitude in your situation, but we also want you to have faith in how much further you can go.

A life you desire but only think about is just a dream. Written down, it becomes a goal. By writing down your goal and reading it every day, you will constantly remind yourself to take steps closer to the life you dream of and deserve.

Y’all. Honest self-assessment here. I don’t think I’m lazy (except in the gym). But, I struggle with unrealistic expectations for myself in terms of the amount of stuff I can accomplish in a given window of time. I let myself get overwhelmed because I can’t set priorities (if everything is a priority, then nothing is) and then I don’t know where to start and so….I don’t.

This is the primary reason I’ve had “declutter life” as a goal for the last couple of years. From the stuff that piles up (of its own accord and in record time) on my kitchen counter, to the knick knacks from years ago I haven’t been able (or willing) to part with, to the time sucks (errr…commitments) I get stuck in. It’s relationships that aren’t value added, the toys no one plays with anymore, the clothes the kids have outgrown that I will someday organize, sell or donate. It’s the things I think I HAVE to do and the to do lists that never end.

That sounds pretty hopeless, huh? The truth though? I’ve just been too tired (mentally and physically) to do anything besides whine and complain about it. Woe is me. 😳 Ummmm…I think that might be the definition of lazy. Crap! It’s only “hopeless” if I let myself get stuck in that mindset and remain inactive.

So, it’s time to get real. Set some mini goals, hire some assistants (remember Day 2?) and get after it. I want my time and energy back. Last week I spent a few hours going thru baby gear and toys and making ads with my organizer in FB groups. Stuff has been slowly trickling out my front door and the rest has an expiration date. We still have piles upon piles to go but it feels good to be getting it done. And you know what?

Progress=Motivation ❤️