How to Finish What You Started.

Writing at the kitchen table, I’m also listening for the soft chime of the washing machine, checking emails, and avoiding my sweet dog who’s looking at me wistfully for a walk.

How am I supposed to finish a blog post on finishing what you start, when I’m being bombarded with distractions? It’s not easy, but for the sake of my readers and editor, I’m going to get it done!

how to finish what you started.

 

The unfinished project

To be honest, finishing projects is something I struggle with. Ten years ago, yes, ten – I had a strong desire to form a community with other pilot wives. So, I hired a life coach to help me clarify what it was I wanted to share with other wives. Over a decade my vision has traveled into a few areas:

  1. Wanting to put together a forum of veteran PW’s to speak to those that have just begun their own flight plan of a PW.
  2. Write a book about the Twelves steps of a Pilot Wife. However, I have learned there are more than 12 steps, much more!

However, just as I was starting, I stopped before I could finish. Ever been there? It was discouraging.

The vision that I had those many years ago got re-routed, and some have vanished into mid-air. I was raising three kids and raising a little boy (my husband’s nephew).  Also, I’d had faced some problematic roadblocks in my health that kept me from focus in on those goals that I had started for myself.

While the passion for my goals has never diminished, I’ve learned how I can keep striving for them.

The question you need to be asking

The last few weeks I’ve been reading a lot about goals and finishing what you start. The question that kept landing in my reading was to ask yourself, what is important right now? I would say there are three important things to me right now:

1. To finish that book I started a decade ago.  Having finally discovered my voice, I’m confident of what I want to share and convey. I’ve decided to write a memoir about being a pilot’s wife. I’m currently taking classes and have registered for more workshops to help me write my story.

2. To finish my painting projects. Last summer I painted our dining room and promised myself I would paint the kitchen as well. It’s still not painted. I also need to touch up a few spots on the wall over our fireplace. I currently have the paint and paintbrush sitting on the floor. That was three weeks ago! 

3. To organize my closet and kitchen so they function as they should. I’ve read all the magazines, watched all the HGTV shows, and even followed advice from the pros, such as my editor, who also happens to be an organizer.  I have every intention of applying what I’ve learned, but then, like Scarlett O’Hara, I tell myself I’ll get to it tomorrow. Sadly, I never do.

How to cross the finish line

As I take the time to reestablish the projects I once started, I have found ways to complete them in a way that is doable for me.  Here are a few things that might help you, too, as you seek to finish what your start:

1. Identify what’s keeping you from finishing. If you have little ones, find a friend to watch them for a few hours. Or be vocal in letting your family know what you want to accomplish and see how they can help. Or ask that they leave you and alone for a while!

2.  Keep your vision in front of you. Create a poster board with pictures of what finishing your project looks like or take a piece of paper and simply list those things left for you to do.

3. Stop thinking it has to be all or nothing. If you want to conquer your closet or your desk take small steps in achieving your goal. Sometimes incremental progress can make the biggest difference. 

4. Be flexible. Remember you don’t have to do everything in the right order. Maybe do what will take the least time and stress. Be flexible in the management approach of your to-do list.

5. Research what it is you want to accomplish. Learn from others what helped them succeed in how they achieved their goals. Ask for advice and support from your friends and family.

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Are you up to the challenge?

In his book The Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt says, “To accomplish anything we have to believe we’re up for the challenge. That doesn’t mean it will be easy or that we even know we’re going to accomplish it. Usually, we don’t know. It just means we are capable; we have what it takes to prevail.”

For me, writing a book is a huge undertaking but a challenge I’m ready to tackle. I know there will be obstacles. Every goal has them. But it’s how we work through those obstacles that will help us see the end in sight.

Do you have something that’s left unfinished?  A project you started years ago, or even just a few days ago? Hopefully, these tips will help you overcome the obstacles standing in your way and allow you to finally cross the finish line!

Love to hear about your projects, big or small. I know you have them.

I’m sure we can all learn from each other and offer encouragement and love.

Jump over to my Facebook page and let’s continue the conservation and talk about those unfinished projects. 

 

IMG_3765  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

The Six Things I’m Packing This Year?

Do you have a particular way you pack your suitcase? 

Do you pre-plan what you’re going to take weeks in advance or, PW, do you fly by the seat of pants?

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Me? I’m a plan-ahead packer.  I check the weather for my upcoming destination (usually ten days in advance), gather my 2-oz bottles and mentally begin deciding which outfits I want to take.  I’m sure it drives my husband crazy.  After all, he does travel on a weekly basis, and half of his stuff is already in a bag.

 While it may be easy for our pilots to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice, we PW’s many of us may not be so adventurous. But this year I want to flip the switch. I want to say, “Where are going and what do I need to pack?” when my husband invites me with him on a trip. It won’t be easy to do this, but I think it will grow me and our marriage as well.

My packing list for 2019

For the New Year, my goal is to pack items that will get me out of my comfort zone. When 2019 comes to a close, I hope that I will have grown and matured into an accomplished traveler God intended me to be. And I learned to pack without overthinking my choices. 

I’m choosing this new way of traveling because last year was a challenging, yet encouraging year for me. I finally found my writing voice. (I still need that extra voice of from editor, but I’ve found my own to share with others.)

Whether we realize it or not, all of us are approaching a new year with new arrivals in our lives.

That means we might need to pack a little differently going forward. For me,  I’m going to make sure I have the following with me whenever I had out on a journey.

 1.The idea that  I don’t have to conquer “everything” at once. Jeff and I have entered the Empty Nest season of life…  Do I have to have it all figure out immediately? No!  I had one PW tell me to relish in the spontaneity, have no agenda and think of ourselves as newlyweds. It’s a process, and it takes time to adjust.

2. To not immediately say no to new opportunities just because I don’t know the outcome. I want to be flexible and dare to try something different. When Jeff says we’re going someplace warm, I’m going to have my swimsuit ready, even though I don’t feel pretty enough.

3. To not overthink past failures and regrets.  In the past, I often compared myself to other women and believed that I wasn’t a good mom. Many times I wouldn’t speak up as a wife and admit to needing help or wanting my own joy. This year, I’m letting that go and promising myself to be more vocal of my needs rather than stuffing them in a bag.

4. To be true to me.  If I had a one-word mantra for the new year, I immediately said, “My voice.” In 2018 I found my voice in so many different ways, and I want to continue strengthening in 2019.

5. To not get so wrapped up in the jacket of discouragement. Instead of wrapping myself in defeat, I want to wear the coat of encouragement that reminds me I’m doing what is best for my child. Yes, my son is at boarding school. Having him attend this school will be awesome for him in so many areas of his teenage life. I want the best for my son. I want him to excel and shine into what God has for him. 

6. Find a sense of adventure and be willing to take risks. My girls told me over the holidays that I needed to revisit that girl.  They encouraged me to take that trip to Paris, go out on date nights and be bold in voicing what I want. They both unanimously said, “Its time, Mom, its time!”

6 things i will pack 2019

 

 

A new bag for 2019 

So my fellow PW’s, when you pull out your suitcase to a new destination, pick out the things that will bring you boldness, the willingness to be flexible and spontaneous and adventurous.  More importantly, the one outfit that makes you, you!

 

 

 

How will you pack for 2019? What goals do you hope to accomplish, or what word will guide as your travel through the year? Leave a comment; I’d love to hear what it is!

Happy New Year!

Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

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What Are You Waiting for This Christmas?

Hope.

Peace.

Love.

Joy.

In preparation for Christmas this year, my goal was to focus on these four words. Not only that, I wanted to see how these Christmas promises intersected with what I’m currently needing and waiting for.

These last few months I’ve been yearning for hope, seeking peace, trying to find that loving feeling and waiting for the joy to overtake me. There are moments when they come, and when they are fleeting. 

To help me re-discover these things, I planned to sit in my chair with a cup of coffee and read a daily devotional to welcome in the season of Advent. (This is a great book to learn more about Advent).IMG_0504

But you know what they say about the best of intentions … and unfortunately, I haven’t been fully committed to reading my Advent devotions as I had hoped for. When I do sit down, within minutes my thoughts turn to what needs to done right now from my never-ending to-do list.

Ever been there?

While I haven’t focused on these words as I’d planned, I have still managed to figure out a few things in respect to them.

What I need

I’m not sure why this always happens to me at Christmas, but as I reflect on things this holiday season, I see that I have experienced some of these things already:

1. Hope. God knows my struggles and frustrations. He offers me hope in the difficult times. Recently,  I‘ve shared some struggles we’re having with our son. In the last few weeks, God has placed people in my path to offer me support, and hope. They’ve shared their own stories of struggles with their child. I’m forever blessed God brought those mamas to me.

2. Peace. The peace I receive from His equipping is what allows me to survive each day. He brings me encouragement in areas where I need it most.  It gets me through those moments where I want to yell and lose my mom cool or beat myself up cause I feel I’m failing as a writer when I can’t focus.

3.  Love. I try finding love in all circumstances and focus on the blessings. God’s direction can sometimes be hard, but in those circumstances, God loves me and has a plan. Not only for me but those I love as well.

4. Joy. The joy I have when I see a smile or hear “I love you” from my children and husband. It’s in those little moments that I’m reminded that joy comes at times of unexpected moments.

Let me ask you, as you reflect on these four things – hope, peace, love, and joy – how have they been supplied to you this holiday season or this past year?

It’s important that we take time to look back so we can better plan and anticipate what is to come.

What I’m hoping for

I don’t know about you, but this time of year I think about what God has blessed me with and how He has traveled alongside me during seasons of stress and worry.

As we get closer to Christmas, and the New Year approaches, I have faith God has it all planned out. He knows the steps I’m to take, the prayers I’ve lifted to Him. More importantly, that I’m to trust him.

 

This coming year I’ve been in prayer about what is to come…

1. A New Hope. I’ve had a few mentors (excellent, God-fearing friends) tell me I have a story to share. A story of hope, healing, faith, and encouragement. Now it’s time to make the commitment and share it.  In the new year, I will be focusing on writing a memoir of how God has brought me healing and hope.

2.  A New Peace. To have peace that I’m a good mom. God has a plan for my son. I’m to trust that God has it all under control. My son has his own story, and it’s just beginning.

3.  A New Love. Date my husband. Whether it’s going on spontaneous trips to a warm destination or putting those golf lessons to use and playing 18 holds with him, I want to have fun with my pilot and shower love on him.

4. A New Joy. Discover an unexpected joy in trying new things and entering a new season of my life.

As we travel into the new year, do you find yourself hoping to bring a dream to life, for peace in a situation, experiencing love on a new level, or rekindling the joy you once had, but hope to see again? Don’t worry you’re not alone! We are all traveling this journey together!

My hope as we celebrate Christmas and approaching of a new year is that we each find a renewal of hope, peace love and joy.

Isn’t that what we all want as we travel into 2019? Please say ‘Yes’, because I want that for us too!

But these things may take time to meet us, and that’s okay. Waiting is hard, but it’s always worth it. In her book, Come Lord Jesus: The weight of Waiting, Kris Camerly writes, “The advent season provides us beautiful, and sometimes difficult, opportunities to practice waiting. We won’t do it perfectly. There will likely be more tasks, more invitations and more opportunities for distraction on our calendars then we can manage.” Oh, but when the wait is over, it’s glorious!!

So when it comes to hope, peace, love, and joy, what is it you need and what is it you hope for? Leave a comment and let’s share and encourage one another!

And finally….

Merry Christmas, my PW.  May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

P.S. Be on the lookout for new things with Take-off and Landings for 2019!

LOVE FOR YOU TO FLY ON OVER TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE.  

IMG_3765  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

 

 

A Present of Perspective.

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Nestled in a comfy spot on the couch with my iPad, I was about to click on Pinterest and look for tree ideas for a Farm House Christmas when my husband comes into the living room with an announcement.  He suddenly has a great idea about the master bath downstairs and suggests we move our bedroom to the first floor.  He gave me a whole plan of what we could do. 

What? I just wanted to figure out where to put a Christmas tree.

Within minutes my thoughts went from a Christmas tree to a bathroom makeover.  Do you want to know what my first concern was when he landed the idea into my lap?

The downstairs bathroom only has one sink! How am I going to go to his and her sink and abundant counter space to one sink?  Not only that, if we move our master bedroom downstairs, it means I have to move my office upstairs. What will happen to my sanctuary?

Here I was merely thinking about where to put the Christmas tree.  Maybe I should just put the tree in the bathroom and call it done. (hahaha)

So for the last few days, I have been thinking about a bathroom remodel and where to put the tree. Both of them require rearranging things.  I tend to rearrange things in my home as therapy.  Though, right now, I see a different kind of treatment may be with wine.

The view I wish to have

I once read If you want a different perspective change your view.  Let’s face it a new bathroom and rearranging the furniture for the Christmas tree will definitely change my view.

But I’m also praying for a new perspective on some big decisions and new paths that God has me on. All of which overwhelm me. Honestly, I could use a new perspective in quite a few areas this time of year:

1.Holiday expectations. I have hopes of how our home will look to who will be here.  How much are we going to spend on our kids and family? Since Jeff’s schedule changes from year to year, will we do family dinner or breakfast this time of year? My expectations might need a new view this holiday season.

2. A new remodel.  Not only for the bathroom but for me as well. It will mean new surroundings, a different view than what I have now. If you know me, I’m not good with change. How am I going to adjust to having a less counter space to share? It’s called flexibility. 

3.A change of plans. What does God have for me right now in this season of my life? I’ve been thinking more and more about writing a memoir and the commitment that it would take.  Not only that, there are changes I want to make in my ministry to my PW tribe.

As I walk through these changes, it’s a good reminder that the best growth comes from rearranging and looking at things from a different view than before.  When we see the finished product, we find a surprising joy that we didn’t expect.

The outcome will be beautiful 

When I shared this story with a close friend of mine, she reminded me that finding that perfect place for the tree to remodeling a room in my home can be chaotic.

She also encouraged me to be open to a new outlook of what God has planned.  Cause life is a story. You have a start, a little conflict, and obstacles to overcome all of which lead to a beautiful ending that you didn’t expect.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29;11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29;11Text placeholder

 

God gives me hope to what is to come.  A beautiful arrangement of his forever love and blessing. Although I’m fretting about these things, I’m grateful God has a plan, His perspective on how things will be.

Just like when my husband comes to me and says that we should toy with the idea of redoing the bathroom and moving our bedroom downstairs, there is a plan in the making.   But all I can see is chaos and construction.

 

Isn’t in those times we should open our minds and hearts to welcome those changes?

My PW, are you looking for a new perspective on something?  If so, let me assure you’re not alone!

This holiday season I pray you find a new way of looking at things, be open to change, and expect the unexpected. Maybe some of them will come with a big red bow around them.

If you have any rearranging to do or remodeling projects on the horizon, leave me a comment below. That way we can commiserate together!

Love for you to fly on over to my facebook page.  

 

IMG_3765 Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

Have a Favorite Place to Sit?

Have a Favorite Place to Sit _

Do you have a favorite place to sit? Your go-to chair at home or let’s be real — your favorite seat on the airplane?

A few years ago when we finally made our arrival in our new house in Houston, Texas, I asked my mom, if I could have my Nana’s chair. It’s a chair that my Nana had when she was a little girl. I bet if the chair could talk there would be amazing stories to share. It has the smell of my Nana and my mom.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has that one place that we call ours. It’s in those seats you feel comfortable, secure, and it feels right.  Kind of like Goldie Locks finding her just right chair to sit in. “Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed. 

However, when Miss Goldie settled into her chair, it broke. I can relate.

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Every morning you can find me sitting in my favorite chair with a warm cup of coffee and having my quiet time in my cocoon of warmth and love. Because I’ve occupied the chair so much, it’s showing some wear — the seat cushion needs more bounce, the springs are getting loose, and the floral material has slowly been fading.  It’s time for me to give it some TLC and have it recovered.

To be honest, I have avoided reupholstering it. That would mean my chair would be gone and I would have no place to sit. But when I spotted the perfect fabric and color for my chair on sale, I knew it was time for me to let go. Within a week, I’d found a trusted upholsterer and shipped my beloved chair off for a new life.

Where do I sit now?

For the past few weeks now, I’ve been without my chair. Quite frankly, I have no idea where to sit or find an area in my house where it feels right.

I told my mom, “I have no idea where to go in the morning and drink my coffee. The smell of Nana, you and the cocoon of warmth is gone.” She laughingly told me that the next time she’s at my house, she will sit in the chair and cover it with her smell.  All I can say is I’m holding her to that!

While I know this is not a first world problem, it feels like it. I don’t know where to sit! My morning routine and the predictability of sitting with my coffee has been disrupted.  I know it’s only temporary, but it feels like this void will last forever.

Time to get out of your comfort zone.

“Life is full and overwhelming with the new. But its necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter.” Eileen Caddy

Letting go of our comforts isn’t easy. I’m learning that every day my chair is not here with me. As much as I crave the comfort of my favorite spot, I know that the only way to make way for the new is to let go of the old. 

We need to re-evaluate why and seek out areas where we can renew our thoughts or actions for whatever God has for us.

Recently I’ve been contemplating  ( you can read more here)-my writings, my parenting and my desire to find something that gives me belonging.

Whether it’s letting go of a particular item, an unhealthy behavior or negative thinking, removing these things allows us to open our hands and lives to the better things God has for us.

For me, I found that not only do I need to move out of my favorite seat for a while, I also need to get rid of some other things as well:

1. I will sit down at my desk to write AFTER I’ve cleaned the kitchen put a load of laundry in the washer or catch up on all the social media happenings.  But that isn’t helping me become a better writer.  I need to schedule my writing time with a red pen and commit to it.

2.Thoughts of being perfect. I tend to think that I have to be the ideal mom. The truth is I screw up, and I don’t have it all together. I’m not perfect, and neither are my kids, but thankfully God is.  He knows what’s best for us and loves us anyway.

      3. My unwillingness to change. Often it takes stepping out of our comfort zones for us to discover new things. For me, I need to embrace the new season of life I’m in whether it’s volunteering or enjoying a hobby with my pilot, if I insist on staying where I’m at, I’ll miss out on some amazing adventures.

In what ways do you need to make changes in these areas? Are there things you feel that you need to let go of to make room for your best life?

Girl, life can be full and overwhelming at times, especially when changes are involved. But don’t let those things keep you tied down. You and I were meant to fly. Sometimes though, that can only happen when we let go.

When I finally get my new chair, I know it won’t be the exact same as it was. I will  have to create my own smell, warmth, and comfort (although I’m tempted to call my mom to come to sit in it a while! )

But when I settle into it, I’ll know that whether I’m evaluating my writing, my parenting or something that gives me belonging, I’ll look at them with a new perspective.

All from a chair with a new pattern and comfort of its own.

Let’s discuss and see how we can expand on this a bit.

 

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fullsizeoutput_4b1  Take-off and Landings, Always Tiffany

How to Discover Your Next Steps When You’re Re-routed.

 

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If I had a dollar whenever someone asked me where Jeff was flying to, I’d be one wealthy woman!  The majority of the time, I tell people, “I have no idea. His route changes all the time because of weather, late arrivals, or they need him to fly a different trip then was scheduled. There’s no set route.” ( Go here to read more PW questions I get asked.)

As much as we like predictability in life, we know that life is anything but predictable. There are always constant changes and re-routes thrown our way.

So, my PW girlfriend, let me ask you… Do you fly the same route? Do you have a specific itinerary for your day, your week, or even the next five years?

I know, I know. You must be thinking – Wait, you’re kidding, right?

I feel as if I always have to shift my routing from one place to another. Whether it’s five minutes, a week, or the next five years, I’m still thinking and praying about what’s next.

What’s the best route for me?

This morning I listened to a podcast, “Girls Night Out,” with Stephanie Wilson.  The guest speaker was Emily P. Freeman, who was sharing how she discovered what the “Next Right Thing” was for her. In other words, what is the next best route for me at this time in my life,  and for the season I’m in?

Listening to Emily, I started to question what my next step was. What do I need to be doing or changing in my life right now? It can be making goals you want to accomplish, losing weight, pursuing a career, or opening a business. It’s your journey.

next steps re-routed

  What’s my direction?

We all find ourselves planning, preparing, and making a check-list for our day-to-day operations. But when life throws us off course, and we are to figure out how to bring back focus, that’s when Emily said, “Ask yourself what makes sense to me today?”

Thinking about that, I asked myself what makes the most sense for me right now and remembered I needed to take the clothes out of the dryer. ( literally, I was thinking that)

But yet, I still have more important questions about the bigger things in my life. What makes sense for me to focus on today or a month from now, six months, or even a year from now?

Recently I’ve struggled to figure out what’s next in certain aspects of my life. To be honest, some of them cause my anxiety levels to rise, but at the same time, I find myself more courageous as I pursue the things that really matter to me :

1. What to do about my writing journey? I’ve been writing continuously for a year now, and I’ve seen myself evolving and changing the way I think and write. I’ve been more willing to share my struggles and vulnerability that wasn’t there before. Don’t get me wrong I still struggle with opening up my heart. But as I sit down at my computer and search for the words that will bring hope and love to other women, I’m compelled to keep moving forward.

2. What can I do to bring hospitality back into my life?  A Book Club, Supper Club, something that allows me to open my heart and doors to a community of women who enjoy reading, eating, and sharing the love of God. But being hospitable requires courage to step out, invite others to join me, and let go of my control. (which is a whole another  story!).

3. What is the next step in my season of parenting a teenage boy? I often find myself on my knees, praying for wisdom and direction. At the moment, I’m fearful of where God’s path may be in leading us concerning our son’s next season of life. Letting go and trusting that God knows what is my son’s best thing is hard.

When is all said and done, the heart question I need to be asking is: Am I willing to change my route, or am I going to stay grounded in fear?  Sometimes that is a difficult question to ask.

These are the things that have me questioning my current flight path and the possibility of re-routing. I have to approach things differently as a woman, a mom, and a wife. For you, it might be something else.

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There are days when turbulent moments/events will happen.  When they do, I remind myself  of one of my favorite go-to verses: “Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.” Proverbs 3:6 CEV 

When it comes to offering advice on the best possible route or step someone should take, I’ll admit, I’m no expert. When I question my path, I rely on God to show me. He always makes it clear to me what my next route is.

What will you choose when things change, and you’ve to consider when life is re-routed? What will be your next step be?

fullsizeoutput_4b1   Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

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