Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Organizing a Desk

A Practical Organized Teen Desk

trash bags, bags for items to give away, plastic tubs, cleaning cloth

How to Easily Clean Your Desk
1. Begin with the top of the desk. Then systematically open each drawer and decide it the item is trash, to give away, to save or currently to be used. Only handle each item one time. Once you pick up an item it goes into:

Trash bags

Bags to Give Away
2. Keep only the commonly used, or unique items in a designated space to the side.
3. Use the trash bags as much as possible.
4. Give away things to someone who will use them.
5. Store items that you may want to look at very rarely or have as a keepsake.
6. Start with clearing the top, then wipe it down, then clean out each drawer and wipe it down. Then replace items you are keeping.

Organizing Items

1. This desk has the top of the desk and 5 drawers. When organizing the items you are keeping, visual yourself using the desk. The top right drawer has small items that are fun. The top left is a remote and ear plugs. The bottom three from left to right are small notes, pencils/pens/markers/etc. The middle drawer is for larger papers, notebook paper, etc. and the final drawer has items that are bedtime.

2. The top of this desk actually has more items on it than I recommend, but again, it is unique to the person. I believe in simplicity. This desk has lights, photographs, a tin for small items, a pencil sharpener and encouraging stones. Remember you are going to be bringing work to this desk. Keep free as much space as possible.

3. Make the desk inviting so that work is more pleasurable and productive.

Your Organized Desk

Happy Organizing in 2015!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bridging Life During the Holidays After Divorce

Life during the holidays is hectic for everyone. The most important point I would like to share is that although the holidays can be a reminder of the results of divorce, they also are the perfect time create a positive new beginning. This is a photograph that I took. This bridge illustrates a positive way each of us can use to move from our past to our future.  After divorce, each family needs to reestablish support systems, and rely on friends and family. Often some of your relationships you had during your marriage end.  This is a time to ask for help. Plan times to see the ones you love and who love you. It is important to avoid isolating yourself if possible. Building a bridge of support or relying on the support you already have in place is essential. A support system is a netting that is there to hold you, to catch you and to support you. A support system could include:
Counselor/Psychiatrist/Medical Doctors
During the next 6 days, make an effort to reach out to others who need a Thanksgiving plan. If you do not have plans, reach out to your support system to make plans to that you are not alone. 

Below is a calendar I use in my home to remind us to be thankful. It can be easier to focus on the sadness, depression or negative outcomes from divorce. Having each family member write a thankful card on the calendar encourages a thankful heart. I get 
ours out each November. I know that we have about a week until Thanksgiving Day. I encourage each of you to take one moment each day to write down something for which you are thankful. I also encourage you to share it with your children or someone in your support system. 
I did not blog in October and November, because I have been redoing my website. www.parkcitiescounseling.com I hope you will find it to have informative information. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Breaking the Rules

Breaking the rules has been a long, ongoing conversation with many friends of mine throughout the years. I have found it fascinating to examine this concept during my life. There are several aspects that I enjoy analyzing consistently as I look at how my perspective has changed over the years. I know that rule breaking and following begins very early in life. For me rule breaking was in full force as I became a driver. Driving highlighted or amplified for me the concept of following or breaking the rules. As a young 16 year old driver, I thought of the rules of the road as guidelines to follow. I did not think of them as rules to follow for the safety of me and others. Far too quickly I begin to see that taking my eyes off the road to pick up a cassette tape, that flew out onto the passenger side floor as I was ejecting it, would lead me to drive up onto a hill and do a 180. I thought of driving as a way for me to get somewhere while accomplishing other tasks such as eating. Gas was not a necessity but something I would take care of if time allowed. Keys weren't that important unless I had locked them into my car. As is very common in my life, as I break rules, I am caught right away. I didn't always like this growing up, but I am so very thankful for it. Driving did not fail to show me that the rules of the road are meant to be followed. I remember thinking that I was just unlucky and that surely this would stop. As I moved into my young adult years, I was thankful to have a job so that when necessary I could pay for damage I had done to my car, others cars, or tickets. I was proud that I would take care of these things but still relatively unaware of how my thought process continued to effect my outcomes. You see back then, as many of you will remember, we were not on film for everything. So, if I could get through the light just turning red, go for it. Right? The only way I could get caught was if the police officer was right behind me to see that the light turned red before I was half way through the light. My thoughts into my 30's continued to flash ideas of well, I'm younger and faster, so if I get there first, too bad for you. I really do not think that I gave much thought to being an offensive or defensive driver much at all. My life took a harsh right when I became pregnant with my twins. I began to realize that I was taking two people with me every day as I drove. I started being very aware of the posted speed limit signs on major highways and if possible I avoided long drives. You see at this point I had been drive for a bit more than half of my life and we all know that deep patterns had set in. So, even on my ernest days, I would look down and see I was speeding. I was in shock, because I mentally made a choice to not speed as I pulled out of the driveway. I continued to have thoughts about how important the safety rules of the road had become. I later had my precious daughter which had me driving around with three children under the age of five. As if driving around alone wasn't enough pressure, it was common to have hungry, tired, irritable, or hyper children in the car distracting me. Again I was determined to follow the road signs, to obey the laws and to be a safe driver. I continued to mess up, get tickets, and what I then began to see is my behaviors of entitlement. These behaviors started to become crystal clear. I would tell myself it was perfectly fine to go down the street the wrong way for half a block because my children were starving. No one was coming, no one would get hurt, and I needed to hurry. I would tell myself that I can cut in the carpool lane, because I had an early morning client. Slowly as I evaluated my driving I began to see that after years of practice I was able to follow the safety rules of the road and now it was necessary to deal with my ugly entitled behavior. As you can see it took me many years to retrain myself to drive safely. It took practice and diligence. I had to attack my entitled behavior mentally before my actions in driving began to change. Now when I see the teenage drivers, I shutter to think about how underdeveloped the 16 year old brain actually is and how diligent parents must be to train good decision making. I have to admit that as I was thinking about my blog this week I had a hilarious moment that summed all of this up. I was standing in front of the high school talking to a friend. All of a sudden this pimped out suburban comes barreling down the street in the wrong direction. I say to my friend, "Isn't this a one way street?" She says.  "Yes, and the parking space he just parked in is a handicapped space." We looked at each other and laughed as she said, "The Entitlement". Neither of us were judging but we could recognize the behavior. Thankfully we are all a work in progress. Life gives us boundaries, rules and regulations. Many are in place for the safety of not only you, but others. Think of the chaos without rules. #entitlement #safedriving #breakingtherules #rulefollower

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

College Student Goal Setting 2014

Most of us think of goal setting as something we pretend to do right after gorging ourselves  over the holidays. I have long preferred to set goals 3-4 times a year. I can envision myself actually accomplishing a goal if it is a 3-5 month goal rather than a 12 month goal. I am not against a goal that is a year long. So, it has become my custom to set goals in September, January, and May. Roughly I am doing 4 months, 4 months and 5 months. This time frame has worked for me. I can think of many times throughout my life where I was able to set goals and achieve them. I believe that setting a short time frame with a beginning and an end is very important. I often counsel college age students during the school year over the phone and then in the office during breaks and summer vacationBefore you begin to question what is wrong with these students, I will tell you up front nothing. After you read below about specific goal setting, I think you will see how most typical individuals could use a coach along the way. I believe that preventative counseling is extremely helpful. I encourage students and parents to not wait until the student is in a ditch because then emergency help is needed. Goal setting can be boiled down to five areas for all of us. 

     Mental This area includes study times, days, grades, study groups versus quiet spaces, a reward system daily or weekly, internships, organization, calendars, and relationships with professors.

    Physically This one is most easily neglected by the average college student. This area would include, sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Think about how difficult it is to eat a nutritious meal when have an established routine at home and now every routine and pattern including living space is in upheaval. 

    Emotional This area includes anxieties, depression, joy, sadness, hopes, dreams, and expectations. Remember that most college students are under the age of 25 years old. This means that the frontal lobe of their brain is not fully developed. This is one of the four major lobes of the brain. The main function of this part of the brain is to recognize the future consequences of our current actions. For a moment, if you dare, think about how the decisions of your life currently are effected by decisions made between the ages of 18-25 years old. I know I have both positive and negative. I can think of many that I thankfully don't have consequences from today, but easily could have. Helping these fragile brains by guiding them through the ups and downs of various emotions can help them to choose the best for themselves.

    Social This area includes balancing school requirements with social activities. If this pendulum swings too in either direction it can threaten a healthy balanced experience for the student. The college student must begin to realize that they are now an adult. They are responsible for the decisions that they make. They must begin to visualize what their personal boundaries, reputation, internal beliefs will be as they make day to day decisions. 

   Spiritual This area includes spiritual beliefs from the student that they want to continue to grow while away at college. The student takes the foundation they have been given in their home and starts to forge a path as an adult. 

Goal setting is not for college students only. Before my children could write their own goals, I would begin to talk to them at the beginning of the school year and in January. We sit down together and brainstorm about school, friends and sports. I encourage those of you with children that are still in the home to begin this lifelong pattern of goal setting now. In my home, we are mid-way through the first week of school. I hope to sit down before next Monday to evaluate the first week and to see what they want to do. I as well am going to use the above 5 areas to goal set. Remember that you cannot do it all in a 4 month period. The goals are to be realistic, measurable and hopefully fun. 

This may be new to your college student. That is okay. Life is full of new things. 




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Steps

In beginning this blog, I find it to be exhilarating, terrifying, eye opening and life giving. For years I have thought about writing blogs, books, posts, or articles to express concepts, passions, information or ideas that I have encountered along my journey. Today, I read a blog by Jill Bellomy, a long time friend of mine, who is a middle school librarian. She inspired me to begin my own writing. I feel this was the final inspiration that I needed to begin to share a part of me that up until this point I have not. When reading her blog I felt proud of Jill, this brought me to beginning my journey of blogging with pride as I take my first steps. I hope my blogs will nudge you too, in your own desires, to begin to take the first step to doing what YOU want to do. It could be in physical feats such as  walking, running or yoga, writing, reading, goal setting, a new adventure, setting a meeting, calling a loved one, forgiving, or using an artistic skill. As I start my first steps of blogging, I hope you will consider taking your first steps in your new direction. I think back to when my twins were first learning to walk. I believe it gives insight into how different we are as individuals. Baby A chose to sit back, relax and to watch happily as Baby B chose to struggle, fight, claw, and force learning to walk for months. As Baby B would laugh, cry, scream, giggle, and fall down to test out his new walking legs, Baby B would be present, sit, roll around, suck his thumb and relax. One day Baby B takes his first steps across the room. He smiled in relief and in joy. He looked to Baby A with pride. Baby B smiled with pride for his younger brother, and calmly stood up, easily balanced himself and confidently took his first steps. You, like me, may be more like either Baby A, Baby B or a mixture. It doesn't really matter as long as you are beginning your path, your walk, your life, your destiny. Happy First Steps!