Saturday, November 29, 2008

Traditions & Holiday shame....

The holiday proved to be very docile and passed with little fanfaire despite the expectations. My brothers' very, very young pregnant -with -twins girlfriend was sick with the flu and did not attend. We all had so looked forward to getting to know her.I had met her once awhile back when they first began dating. It caused quite a scandal(well.... with my mom) when it was revealed she was with child. But she seems nice enough, albeit a little naive.
My daughter is now actually moved in. She is feeling better and went to the gym(mostly observing)and to get groceries this week. She has also helped out a bit (lightwork) around the house. I must say, though, having her there sure puts a new spin on things.We were actually able to play a family game board last night!
Which makes me remember her childhood, which in turn brings me to thought about traditions.

1.In some families, it seems to be traditional at Thanksgiving to go 'round the table saying what you're thankful for. We never really did this at my moms, although we do it at my husbands parents.After dinner, the guys watch football, and this year the girls watched "It's a Wonderful Life" colorized in another room. This may become a tradition.
2.At my in-laws, the mom, sister & cousin helped serve dinner & put away dishes. I , for some reason, was excluded. But after a few attempts to help & being sent off to be with the guys, i figured it out. It was their "tradition".
3.When my kids were little, i moved around between boyfriends & lovers fairly often & we experienced a wide range of family traditions. Not only at thanksgiving, but year round.
Christmas Where would I begin?
4.Some have the family over Christmas eve. Others Christmas day. Some open all the gifts on the eve. We always only opened one. And when my brother & I were seemed our christmas eve gift was always pajamas(hmm...wonder who planned that!)In the morning, stockings were first.
5.When I was under ten we went around to different homes all day on Christmas Day. It was wonderful and we felt like we had 5 or 6 Christmas's!Now, it's just not practical to do this since some of the family is on the outs, others live too far away and there have been numerous divorces. Not to mention the economy & gas prices.
Speaking of which, how bout these gas prices??! At BJ's near us, it's only $1.65. Now, i know the financial players are saying this is BAD for our economy in the long run. But as long as i have no control over the prices, i'm not going to complain. It has really been a blessing since it comes at a time when i had a lot of unplanned excursions to the hospital.
So , i truly am grateful.
What I am NOT grateful for is hearing about the Walmart employee in Long Island.Shame on those people.What in the world has become of us as a civilization if we trample people to death in our greedy attempts to get a sale price at Walmart??Totally insane. We are not even as civilized as some third world countries . I am embarrased to be a human today.And to ignore emergency workers trying to help this poor employee???Every single shopper in that store should go to trial.
Enough said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Things

Brought my daughter home from the hospital today. At age twenty three, she had to have her tonsils out. This was a weekend of a lot of "firsts" for her, as she pointed out. First surgery, first time under anesthesia,first overnight stay at a hospital....etc. We talked a bit about how "firsts" are a good thing. Otherwise we wouldnt be alive...
We need that"first breath"
We need those "first steps"
We need those "first words"
This is the kind of thing one doesnt usually think about daily, but their importance cannot be overlooked. Rather than sounding off like a typical self help blog. I'd like to share a few of my "firsts" and maybe get you reminiscing about your own.
  • Can you remember the first time you saw fireworks? I remember watching them at local carnivals with my cousins growing up. We ate funnel cakes and sat on blankets.
  • How about the first time you went on an airplane?I was on a 4 seater Cessna with my two kids belonging to a pilot i was dating. My son was so excited i thought he was just gonna die! As a bonus, we just happened to be flying over several places setting off fireworks.
  • Do you remember your first cotton candy? I was about five and thought my grandmom was tricking me into eating took me about 10 minutes before i gave in, fully expecting to be made a fool of!We were at a circus and ,weirdly, i only remember that and not any of the acts.
  • Speaking with my daughter, i had to think back to my own first overnight at the hospital. It was for the same reason...tonsils out.I was 11.
All these firsts made me really first jeans, my first love, first kiss, first boat ride, even my first computer!
At any made for a great FunFactor tonight. I think it will be lovely having my daughter with me.Will be posting on her moving back in with me.This oughtta be interesting!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Check out The Sneeze

Ok, in spite of myself, I have decided , in fact, to blog tonight.Briefly.
In spite of doing battle with my spouse for 3 days straight. And just having a week worthy of being featured in LifeSucks Magazine.

I decided tonight to give you one of my great StumbleUpon finds!(Secrets- you already got it first ,you lucky devil!)
I laughed so hard i just wet myself(figuratively) when i came upon this one & got sucked in for FOUR HOURS! Check it out: sure you scroll down the right sidebar to "Steve, Dont eat it!"(if you get routed to the main page )---thats the best!! But also i cried (tears of joy)over "Cheap-as Cereals" and some of the thoughts on the Tree Brain.
This is my kinda guy!
I also have found some new blogs i like and have been into lately, although not for humor. I've posted them on my sidebar under "Other Original Thinkers".These are more for inspiration,etc.
Also, i was finally able to download & transfer all of my pics to a disc & have freed up some space on my computer. So i now have to take new pics and have no images to post really.
You'll all just have to suffer.
Sorry so short, but time marches on!
Peace out.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dont ya just love My New Look?

I 've been called a shrimp before, but this is ridiculous!lol...
I'm at a fairly new case tonight, one that i was switched to without being asked first. And of course,Murphy's Law being prevalent in my life, an adult is sleeping on the floor in the room in which I must stay with the child.Joy.
This...after another Blow up with my husband right before i left tonight for work....again.
Reader, please tell me how is it I can get blamed for something my son does when I am not even around to witness or prevent it?I'm not talkin about bad manners, or having a messy room, or some life lesson-type stuff that i should have taught him but didnt.
I'm talking about this, for instance....My son decided to drive his car while i slept. My husband says "why did you let him drive?". When i say i was asleep..."you should have taken his keys".Mind you, he is not grounded or being punished, so he didnt drive without permission.He just was told not to drive in inclement me, twice this day.My thought- why didnt he take the keys????
When my son wrecked the other car, i was at home..asleep.( I sleep during the day - since i work at night .)..Yet, I was blamed because i "coddled"him too much.Where does that even come into the picture, i ask you?
For some unknowable reason , my husband always blames me for my sons choices, whether it's his schoolwork issues, whatever girl he is seeing or dating, why he does or doesnt go to work, it has no end.
Yeah, I guess now I have officially crossed over into venting. Sorry. I am just so darned frustrated ......

Friday, November 21, 2008

This year -The Real Gift!

I must confess.
I was reading blogs tonight before i posted, despite striving to come forth in virgin blogger mode.
But i have a valid excuse. I was trying to deflate my anger somewhat before posting so that the incredible amount of negativity I was holding did not spew forth. So I read a few posts concerning marital arguements , the economy, and a few "real" blogs (where i got some relief realizing that others out there still struggle with real-life issues).
Prior to this I had calmed myself in two ways. The first was healthy. I went to the gym and put on my prize-fighter attitude, beating my anger up with the free-weights. This always makes for a satisfying lactic-acid producing hangover! I felt sooo much better afterwards.Almost back to the serene being I prided myself on last night. Until I got back home, and again got into Battle Royale with my husband.
After that,I didnt even realize I was "stress-eating" till I was halfway through my candy stash. Even then, I knew I was going to need to continue, until I was sated emotionally.
Well, maybe this will give me some insight into the reasons some people are overweight.Seriously.
But, I digress....
As Thanksgiving is upon us, I will share what I am grateful for now.I am grateful that I got 2 CD's out of the above events. Since I was so angry, I bought a CD with most of the money in our savings, thereby preventing someone from getting into it and spending it again. My second CD was a music CD from a fellow Gym Rat who'd promised to burn some tunes for me after we spontaneously traded shuffles for our work-outs one night(ooo!a FunFactor!).So, I not only invested money, but also saved money. Sometimes, good comes out of bad.
On another Holiday note, one of the blogs i went to (my third stress relieving endeavor) made me think about choices for Christmas this year.Last year i decided I would start a tradition of staying over my moms Christmas Eve every year so we would both know & look forward to spending the Holiday as a family.No more decisions about who goes where.
This year, we are not exchanging gifts at all. Hallelujah! Goal accomplished.I have wanted this for years, believing it should be enough to spend time together as a family. That is a gift, a gift from God.(Goes along well with "wanting less, having more",huh?)
Many, many people in this world do not have this luxury.
We are still getting gifts for the kids. But hopefully someday future generations will see the blessing of family, not gift wrap-tearing, as Christmas.But ......this is a start!
And the yeast works through the whole batch of dough........

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Leany,Meany Yogini

I am back to my Yoga class tonight.
After a week on vacation , i had skipped 4 sessions and boy did my hamstrings feel it!
While i did spend some time in practice while at the sound, as well as a few bike rides & walks, my body knew...deep down ...that i was being pretty lazy. Tonight was payback!
Additionally, i ate like a pig whilst on my sabbatical, but amazingly i gained no weight.
Yup, let me say it again.
I stop watching what i eat, stopped looking at a scale daily, and didnt exercise and (gasp!) the world did not end.
So now, i can put it all in perspective.
I realize fully that I am getting bored.
My new plan is to continue Yoga at the gym , where it is free, for the time being twice per week. But instead of burning my self out before loving my mat, i'm gonna lift weights on 2 or 3 of the other nights so that i can really focus on the intent of each session.
In the future, i will be gathering some info. on local Yoga studios. I know they cost more, so i will be chewing on the pros & cons for awhile before jumping in.
Some strangeness has come into my life these past 2 weeks with odd illnesses in the family, and many unexpected and sad events. A freinds mother attempted suicide. My daughters father might have a brain tumor, another freind had a car accident, and an estranged friend left a message on my cell.A whole lot of other minor clamor has also ensued .
Seems like its all"swirling" around me.
It's in times like these I realize how much calmer I've become in dealing with the stressors. I cant help but believe that , on some level, even the short amount of time i have spent incorporating Yoga into my life has helped make this difference.
Whenever these moments strike, the initial drama/emotion has become shorter in duration and then comes a floating, serene-like way of handling it. In the moment.
Not dreamy, or laid-back, or care-free. Just different, and hmmm....easier.
I'm gonna bask in this as long as possible!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homesick? Staycation!

Just got home yesterday from vacation. Spent time unpacking and pondering on the events i left behind. It's interesting how a week away from home makes you realize some of the stuff you miss!
#1...i really missed my Keurig coffee! i have apparently gotten so spoiled by that perfect cup from the coffee "pods"that the regular coffee maker (by the carafe) tasted sort of like muddy water while i was here, even with the bottled water we used. Yes, we sort of had to use bottled water since the place had no water filter.

#2....i also missed my pets. While walking the neighborhood we encountered so many friendly dogs, saw a few cats and even a horse! Talking with one of the locals about how she uses only holistic treatments for her 5 dogs (accupuncture, herbal/supplement injections) made me think about my own pets at home.

#3...i missed the smell of my clean , fresh linens. There's nothing more welcoming than coming home and sliding into cool fresh, just from the dryer sheets. Next time i will make SURE to check the bed size in the master bedroom at the beach house we rent before leaving. We spent the nights on a mattress pad since it was a king size bed, and i only brought queen sheets!

#4....i really missed my son , who stayed behind this time to go to school. My mom stayed over with him to keep an eye on him. I always miss him when i'm away,but this was our 1st vacation without him in 4 years. It felt weird!

There's alot to be said for "staycations" now and my husband and i are considering one or two for next year. Honestly, i kinda feel like i've had too much vacation this year. Staying at home may be our best bet and a real savings.The idea has been to research the outer banks for a future move there (5-10 years). So far the job market and weather are the two biggest negatives. We need to keep the purpose in sight.
After all, why move to the beach if you are going to live in an overpopulated area just to be near your job, and why work endless hours at a job you might hate just to live close to the beach? these are just some of the considerations.
But grandchildren will certainly factor in, if that happens in the next 5 years...will keep ya'll posted!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Wanted: A Frugal Mindset

Hundreds of Pine Cones in the trees!
A strange , eerie shape in the sand....

Waiting for ferry to Ocracoke

Spending less on a vacation with a less-than-thrifty mate can be exasperating. I want to just stay in or walk the beach & shell, or ride bikes,etc.While fishing was acceptable to me , we still had to spend $ on a reel/rod because my husband didnt bring one from home,planning to buy a surf rod for surf fishing. When we got here, he didnt "wanna go to the ocean by myself".I really am not patient enough to sit in chilly, windy, weather for a few hours at the crack of dawn watching him fish. I had planned on some actual alone time at the house reading , doing crosswords and surfing the web.Anyway, now we will have 2 (hardly used) fishing rods at home.

Additionally, now he is talking about buying all the gear for surf fishing, which , at best, will be used once a year on vacation.

I try to explain that it is wasteful and ridiculous to buy all that stuff for use once a year, kinda like buying kayaks. It would be easier and less costly to borrow them.

So, what is a Frugal Diva to do?I suppose i will continue with the following:

1. Frequenting thrift shops- i did actually convince hubby to take us to one yesterday where we spent $2.14 on a winter cap (for him to wear fishing on the dock in the rain & wind) and a Trivial Pursuit game(wahoo!-we played for 4 hours! and, of course, i won each time).My fav game.

2.Buying stuff at the $ store when i can- for instance, these places are great for gift wrapping stuff!!!

3.Using what i have , for as long as i can- clothing,etc. I make sure my pantry is all but empty before i shop for groceries and plan the next 2 weText Coloreks menu using up what' s still there. I buy classic clothing that wears well- like turtle neck sweaters, etc. I have a houndstooth jacket i've had & refurbished for about 20 years!

4.Making new aquaintances- yes, this too is a great help. Lending & borrowing, useful referrals to the best businesses, and invites to parties- all reap savings . Good deeds exchanged and helpful advice create good neighbors to lean to in rough patches as well.

5. Less impulse buying- hard to curb at times, but waiting usually yeilds better prospects and saves $ for better, more fullfilling things later on.

6.Watching our 401k's over the next 6 months- the market promises to remain volatile. a hawkeye will be beneficial. I say, follow your instincts and dont trust advisors, the government,etc. The people who will sink if you stop sinking $ into their funds.

So, those are some of the things i plan on doing. In spite of my spendy-spendy mate..i will do my best.P.S. Posting some more vacation pics......Having a great time overall!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Vacation Speak

This morning i am cleaning the oven here...yes, on vacation i am cleaning...i hate it! But someone left a spill in the bottom and it's been making me sick smelling it burn this week so i had to. also we have a slight ant problem which i am calling the rental company about today since we cant get it under control. oh's the only 2 negatives here.
Yesterday we did go on the ferry to Ocracoke. The weather was so great, we also took a long bike ride right before we left.
Today it's raining (we expected that) but the temp is really mild so we can actually use the screened in porch!Hubby has been fishing off our little dock but so far hasnt caught anything. Good thing we dont rely on the Hunter/ Gatherer theory....we'd starve!(p.s. yes, i know this is a behavioral psychological theory but what i mean is, if we were cave people and he had to hunt for our food...we'd be eating my berries ......)
I am compling a list of our expenses while we are here so as to compare with the June vacation. We have hardly spent anything....just food, gas and a fishing rod/reel.I had put back a $100 budget for books(secretly saved up at home for about 6 weeks)and so far have only used $11.34!!I love books....sometimes i just cant get enough!
This morning since it is raining i plan on spending sometime with my Yoga mat. I've been doing sporadic Surya Namaskar and some Balasana/Savasana. Also a great deal of back & forward stretch poses. But not any sustained practice.
I'm posting a few pics later today or tomorrow. I've been doing things differently while on vacation...posting in the a.m. ,watching a lot of movies with hubby, eating quite differently and i have hardly even picked up a pen this week!If you know me at all, this is HUGE! because i live & die by "the Lists " that i make everyday at home...
So, while hubby is still in bed and the oven cleans , i am going to go take an A.M. bath...ahhh....solitude!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vacation Relations

First...I get to wear these most of vacation! weeeee!
A large tropical tree...a palm, i guess, in neighbors yard

A beautious sunset on the sound last night.

Me ...all bundled up by the seashore.....still very cold down here (just like home!)
We talked with a nieghbor on a walk yesterday for about an hour . He was a very nice man, an old "hippie" who had moved down here with his wife in '84. We learned alot, some we didnt like .
We talked about things like the weather(the worst part of living here) and the devastating effects it can bring.
This wise man says" If you live here, you cant get attached to your things". It really made me think hard about a life where all of my stuff could be gone in an instant.There are lots of hurricanes, tropical storms and floods here.But, of course, this saying should be true no matter where you live.
But on the positive side, there is community here in this little town of Frisco. The people are friendly,and you sure cant beat the sunsets!
Everyday Adventure:Today i believe we might take the ferry to Ocracoke. There's something about a place where you can do that...everyday if you want(for free).And there's something about looking out the window and seeing boats and palm trees and cacti and a big , gorgeous , never- ending ocean.....right outside your door!
My FunFactor today: Checking out all the cute misc. coffee mugs left in the beach house cabinets for us to use. Some have funny little sayings, others are neat ,offbeat pics of beachlife, and still others are plain , but with different shapes, colors and textures.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sound

the bike ride
the herons

the waterfront(our "back yard")

This is a picture of the beautiful water front where we are staying. Mostly we've spent lots of hours sleeping and laying around watching movies because i was sick the first 2 days(it figures).But the plan was to have a less extravagant vacation where we just enjoyed the relaxation time...

Still, i've taken 2 bike rides in spite of being sick because i needed some fresh air. There are awesome sunsets on the sound side of the outer banks in Pamlico Bay..
I've also included a pic of our boat dock where these two beautiful herons(?) like to land and watch the world, right outside our window...

Friday, November 7, 2008

A very boring post

Last evening I spent two hours with my mom & daughter at Disney on Ice (ice capades). Although the show was wonderful, it sucked that we got stuck being seated by persons taller than us & had to move a row back so we could stand to see.

Today, more preparations for vacation. We leave sunday morning at 3 am - i think.Maybe earlier. It's unclear as to whether I'll have decent internet service so i may or may not blog for a week. Besides, I figure I must be so radical in my views on things no one can take me for long anyway.
No worries. I'm not scared of being myself...or trying new things either.Most people are.
Like , for instance, i seem to be the only person around who isnt into Obama. But I think I'll have the last laugh on that one.

So there!!

More importantly...what a great week weather-wise! We've had our traditional "Indian Summer" in these parts and have had 70 degree days! I can only hope the weather at the beach is this mild.I did download the pics of my house , as promised earlier , for the before(left) & after(right). My mom, whom I have never been able to get approval from on anything, asked me if I was cleaning, and said "is that why the furniture's away from the walls?" Ugh.

I have also included a pic of one of my two cats. This is Precious, the skinny one.

I have nothing of value to blog on right now, but you cant be a genius! Just kiddin'! ----Peace & Love

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Extreme Mental Makeover

Once upon a time I was in a very bad relationship. I was completely convinced the person had total control over everything I did, said, or felt.I would spend my days covering all my tracks so that I wouldnt screw up and bring some unfortunate event upon myself.
There was a point where i even used a copy machine & typewriter to alter a phone bill containing calls made to my mother and my best friend because my spouse was opposed to me having any contact with them (or with anyone besides himself, as a matter of fact). Talk about crazy.
I was brain-washed and living in disconnect from my very soul. I was in emotional limbo , just trying to get by.
Then , i chose freedom.
And one fine day, I left.
What it took to get to that day physically is a pretty mundane story, oft repeated in TV movie
themes, and fabled in the mainstream movie "Sleeping with the Enemy".
But what it took mentally is the real story.
Most of us go about our days with a certain mindset. We believe what we are as soon as we wake up (we're really sleeping, but we don't know it).If we are a housewife with 3 kids , this is our identity and we add little attachments to our lives to support this - such as soccer schedules, playdates, doctor & dental appointments,etc.By the end of the day we are what we started out as and we go to bed , numb to our deepest feelings and desires.
If we are a single , young person we do what that usually entails- maybe start a career, go out to the clubs on weekends, buy a new car. And at night , we go to bed, smug with our superficial little identities.
But .....what will that person ( whoever you claim to be in your mind most days) do when a real crisis occurs in your life?When you are forced to accept something your mind was unprepared for .
This is what it takes to have an extreme mental makeover.
If you are the housewife(as above) and one day you come home early from soccer practice to find your hubby of 15 years in bed with your best friend, that flash of blind rage, seeing red and your gut churning....these are just the symptoms of the illness that has plagued you all your life. You just didnt know it.
See, most of us can live everyday going through the motions, occasionally reading a self-help book, or taking a class to feel"real" and validated. We have no idea what we are truly capable of.The connection with our most fascinating self has been unexplored, ignored, or just too hard to get to. Like Antarctica, that doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
And it takes a searing wake up call ,a willingness to be constantly humbled and an melting ego with a boxers mentality to calim your prize.
  • Step 1:
Take all the stuff you currently have in your attic and/or basement and just look at it. What does it say about your past, present & future? Do you identify with it-is it your true identity? Or is it what you have allowed yourself to see yourself as?Get rid of it.
  • Step 2:
After you've gotten rid of all that junk ( not the really valuable stuff- keep the things that you never used, they are the key to changing your habits), start to enjoy the new found space you've created. What can you do with it? Who can you be?
  • Step 3:
After you've made those decisions, take a vacation. Yup. Dont look at any of it for at least a
week.Did you have trouble deciding where to go? While you're there speak to at least 10 people you'd never be caught dead associating with.
  • Step 4:
Once you're back home,seriously consider what your job contributes to your life besides an income.This may be the hardest step because only honesty here will help you get a clue. And most people are unable to complete this step.In all of its uncomfortable, non-materialistic enlightened truth.
  • Step 5:
Create drama in your life.How can you do this? ha! Following the steps above should have given you a great foundation.....From here you could: Quit your job. Move to an exotic location and befriend unusual people .Rent your home out and go sailing for a long,long time. Dye your hair the opposite color of your natural one and begin to create a new identity(it's important that you physically SEE yourself different in the mirror first).Add your own ingredients for a complete overhaul.

You should see results immediately after all steps are completed.
Then, you can blog about it.
P.S. This isnt for wussies, you need a backbone and 100% dedication to living in your new state of superior mental health.
Blessings!And Buona Fortuna.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Minority Wins

I am not an obama fan. I deleted a huge paragraph i had originally posted because it comes across as rude & offensive. So let me now continue with what i need to say.
I am not predjudiced against any one group of persons. I DO believe racism should be over with. So let's stop having these "special" groups and privileges for minorities (scholarships, funds,etc)If we are to truly become"ONE" NATION UNDER GOD, then stop segregating us.Why should we have to even check a box on a form stating which race we are?Why must we prove we are a certain race to get land, an education, or a job?
I DO believe that homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else. But a marraige is a religious arrangement by definition. And those religions should have the right to preserve their beliefs as we honor "freedom of religion " in this country.A civil union can be had by any person reguardless of religious beliefs or otherwise. I am not Jewish, so i don't expect a Bar Mitzvah.I am not Catholic, so i don't take Confirmation.I am not a Muslim, a Hindu, or a Har Krishna- so i don't expect to celebrate or devalue their traditions by insisting they "do it my way now".It is wrong and disrespectful to everything freedom stands for.
I truly want change. I want a world where every person treats every other person with respect and dignity.Not just the white race. Not just men, or women. Not just heterosexuals.

EVERYONE!!!!-ya know, we can still be individuals, and express ourselves without stepping on each others toes.

In order to do that , we all have to participate. Stop taking advantage of the things offered only to specific races, genders or sexual preferences. Stop with the KKK rallies, Gay Pride parades, Women's Lib(it had it's place, but now let's just BE equal ),scholarships for only a specific race,etc. Do away with those old labels.
Lets' see real equality movement, and then maybe we will see real freedom , and real change.
P.s.- I am a white Christian woman , by the way. So if you have any gripes, comments, insults, etc.- here i am- have at it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Economics 101

Many people around me have been complaining.

Like "everybody" , they are concerned about the state of our nation , especially as it relates to their household budget.Some days (when i am at my most negative) i join in on the banter.

But mostly, i am just sick of hearing about it.

Geeze.....when are the elections gonna be over already?

Then i can start griping about football. LOL!

Never mind, i have the perfect solution. I've been collecting these wonderful gems in my favorites- just waiting for the right moment to unleash them here.

  1. i was able to state my "pledges " this year to #'s 1,2,3,5,6,9, & 10.Although i originally wrote a detailed list explaining each, i figured--what the hay? you're gonna have to figure out your own, anyway!

  2. now i know who posts on "dumpster diving" as a hobby

  3. few reminders for all of us. I especially like #'s 8,11,15,16, & 18. they sort of resonate with me in general.

  4. site is especially close to my heart. If you think we have a crisis in the United States note this quote specifically:

  • "Together, unclean water and poor sanitation are a leading cause of child mortality: an estimated 5,000 children die daily from severe diarrhea, which is spread through poor sanitation and hygiene. A baby born in Africa is over 500 times more likely to die from diarrhea than a child born in Europe or the United States.

  • On average, women in the developing world walk six kilometers each day to collect water, time which could be spent in school or at work. In total, the World Health Organization estimates that 40 billion working hours are spent collecting water each year in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Studies show that more than half of girls who drop out of primary school in sub-Saharan Africa do so because of a lack of separate toilets and easy access to safe water. "

Now, i know that if you do go to each of these sites and actually read , understand and reflect deeply on the message each is trying to give us, you'll probably be feeling a little woozy. I usually feel a bit superficial, materialistic, and ungrateful ( being a "recovering" serial consumer-still with many issues). So i MUST also include the following:

  1.! only 71 cups til my untimely death!

  2. oh please click on every single short clip! they are absolutely hilariousOk,so there ya have it. My "list " of the day.

Hope you have a nice one!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Personal Values

So, the visit to the microbrewery was pretty fun. Lots of great costumes and cute guys!My friend got a tad too toasted so it wasnt all good. But for the most part i enjoyed the night out .
I wish i had taken a camera though. There was this one count dracula costume with a blow up doll sewn on the crotch area to look as though she was "using her oral skills"....what a hoot!
I hope that everyone had a Happy Halloween and is looking forward to a wonderful turkey day like i am.
But, anyway.....
What are they? how are they different from goals or morals or ethics or mission statements?
Yup, there sure are a lot of ays in which we express ourselves.
To quote Wikipedia: "Personal values evolve from situations with the external world and can change over time. His Integrity in the application of values refers to its continuity; persons have integrity if they apply their values appropriately regardless of arguments or negative reinforcement from others. Values are applied appropriately when they are applied in the right area. For example, it would be appropriate to apply religious values in times of happiness as well as in times of despair."
Another definition On Changing :"..Values are, in fact powerful drivers of how we think and behave"...."we use different values when we are under stress." says"A value is a belief, a mission or a philosophy that is meaningful".
Even knowing or reading all of this it may still be difficult to list or define ones own personal values.It's not always easy to sit down & come up with a a basic list that applies solely to our unique selves.
Here's how i start: I figure my values are , bottom-line, how i chose to live my life. They are what guides most of my decisions - good or bad. When i am faced with a decision i will chose A or B, according to what I think is right,what is meaningful to me ,what gives me purpose.The reasons i chose the things i do might relate to my childhood or adulthood , but they are based mainly on experiences.
I am at a store. The clerk gives me too much change. I , personally, would bring this to the clerks attention. I didnt use to be that way. When i was a teenager i thought"woohoo! free money! hehe!"But after getting ripped off myself a few times in business, i learned that it's not fun to lose hard earned dinero.
On the other hand, this value (honesty) didnt necessarily come only from experiences. When i became a cChristian a few years ago, many of my values changed. I became aware of how my actions affected others and thus make every effort to keep this in focus.I dont always succeed however.
Now for a confession, another example: I am at an all-you -can -eat -buffet(I dont go to these anymore, but i used to). I stand in line behind a morbidly obese person, waiting impatiently for them to stop filling up their plate.Instead of looking the other way, i will stand there rudely rolling my eyes, sighing and tapping my foot while thinking nasty thoughts about their food addiction.
Why would i behave this way? Especially proclaiming to be a better person these days?Off the top of my head i could say that i have a great fear of becoming fat. And that i have been treated rudely by such people myself, as if i should be penalized for being small or thin.Or maybe i'm just vain.But i think deep down it has more to do with values.

I value a healthy body.

In fact i worked very hard to obtain it and even harder to keep it.
Much like those who value holding a job tend to feel towards people on welfare. And they tend to react rudely towards someone cashing a welfare check or using food stamps or begging on the streets for money .The reason this person is is their situation cannot be known in these cases.
But our values are automatic - even if it is only in our thoughts.Even if we mean to behave differently.The value is applied reguardless.
This doesnt mean values cannot change. Any number of stressors or experiences can change our values.If we are in a life or death situation , or have a near death experience, or watch a loved one go through an addiction.I might , say, be absolutely against doing illegal drugs- but if someone put a gun to my head and said "smoke this pot or die"i would of course chose to live.....or if my son developed a crack addiction and i helped him through rehab, i might have more empathy for addicts in general. You just never know.
Overall i think to find your own values it comes down to asking yourself a few questions in any situation :
  • What kind of choices do i have?
  • How is my choice going to make me feel tomorrow?
  • Why am i choosing A over B?
  • If I am uncomfortable with a long held value, why? and
  • What does my choice say about me to others?

Enough said.

That outta keep ya busy for awhile! Peace!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Self- Motivation-The Biggest Factor

Woohoo! I am now FINALLY eligible to take my CPNE ! That's the clinical needed for my RN associates degree.Man am i excited!In fact, I just spent 3 hours looking at related stuff i need to do (like workshops to prepare, the application, etc.) I AM STOKED!
Getting down to business.
Tonight I want to address something that has been extremely important to me over these past 2 1/2 years it has taken me to get to this place with my education(as well as in many other areas of my life.)
It's a little secret I call "Making a Commitment to Yourself".
Now, i know that this isnt a new idea or an especially interesting-sounding one. But listen to the words as you say them aloud slowly.Emphasize that last word. That is the key.
We all make commitments, all the time. A commitment to go to work, another to pay our bills, another to care for our children and spouse, or perhaps our own parents.We commit to other things that are more optional along the way, such as getting enough sleep , eating healthy, caring for pets, keeping our house clean.
But at some random time there comes a turning point and a decision of depth and motivation and true commitment needs to be made.
This is the time for the ultimate choice in something that could change your life.And it takes a deep and powerful commitment to YOURSELF to do it.
That is how I, personally, motivated myself through a self- study course to obtain my associates degree in nursing. And how I plan to continue on with my Bachleors and masters degree as well.

Before I took the plunge I was presented with the costs, estimated time of completion, study materials needed & other resources. I had to ask questions , not only of the sales rep., but also of myself, before I was willing to invest in this expensive, time-consuming endeavor:
  • Did I believe I would really , actually buckle down and study, like i needed to?
  • Did I have the time, the inner strength, the money & the "moxy" to make it worth it?
  • in short-Did I believe in myself?

Only after I could answer all of those questions (and a few others) did i sink my teeth into the program. It required more self- motivation than I ever thought, especially after meeting many others who had started and then given up or procrastinated, or even just failed for lack of conviction. Most just seemed like their biggest problem was lack of motivation.I heard so many times.."i'm going to finish someday, i just dont have the time right now" or " well, i thought i would do it when i first signed up, but then i just procrastinated and now i could kick myself because i paid out all that money for nothing".

Wow, I thought to myself, what a colossal waste of life and finances.But, on the up-side , it motivated me even more.

I made a plan and stuck with it. Each night i spent "x" amount of time studying before i did anything pleasurable ( like reading magazines or watching movies or surfing the net). And after i read all the material and started notes, I scheduled (& paid for) my test as a motivating timeline. During the countdown i took several practice tests from different resources, coversed with colleagues, did a little outside research(mostly for personal enrichment), and such. The day/ night before the test, i ran through notes one more time and made sure i got a good nights sleep and a good breakfast or meal right before. I never crammed or stressed (until i was actually on my way to the test center- but that was short-lived.)

That's it!! That was the simple plan that i stuck with . I made it work because i made it personal. I wouldnt allow myself to fail myself.After all, if i dont look out for me, who will?

This method has worked for me in soooo many other areas of my life. Leaving abusive relationships, quitting smoking, getting through nursing school, the purchases of 3 consecutive houses, leaving bad jobs ,etc.

It's not easy, and it's not for sissy's.

So I ask you,Do you BELIEVE in YOURSELF?