Thursday, January 31, 2008

Say what?

Have you ever said something that you wished you could take back? Maybe you spoke too soon or said something you really didn't mean to or used words to hurt someone you care about. I've learned over the past year to think about things before I speak, when I really have something to say. When something has really upset me, I take a while to think about how to communicate that, which is better than speaking out of hurt irrationally.

When do you decide it's better to share something with someone rather than ignoring it or never saying it? How much do you share--do you go deep and bare your soul or just enough to test the reaction of the one hearing the news before going any further? What if you've been burned in the past which causes you to keep your mouth shut in the future? Do you pass something over because of the past or take a chance and hope that the new outcome is better than before?

Don't have many answers on this...sending these questions out into the universe to see if those wiser than me have answers. My ears are open to your words of wisdom...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Drunken post

Well...buzzed post. Haven't had dinner and am on my third glass of wine. I need to pack after I post, which will be interesting. Hopefully I make good choices while intoxicated. =)

There's a lot going on that I could post about, but some of it's not appropriate at this time. So those posts will have to wait. Topic of choice tonight...emotions (which I have now typed three times to get right!)

Do you ever wonder what life would be like without emotions? Pretty damn boring, if you ask me. Even the bad emotions, like fear, are exciting, in my opinion. Emotions I absolutely love include:
  • excitement (always tops in my book!)

  • Gratitude

  • Love, though I don't know that I've ever fully experienced this

  • Vulnerability, but only with the right person

Emotions I would rather not experience:
  • Jealousy

  • anticipation

  • Boredom--I HATE being bored! There's too much in life to experience, no reason to be bored

  • heartache--is that an emotion? I want to erase this one from my vocabulary and life as I've had enough any 30 year old woman (am I really 30??? that's got to be a misprint, right?) should experience, especially if there hasn't been love to make up for it...

I read this post the other day and cried. I cried over a post on someones blog. What is that all about? I thought it was beautiful that this woman's fiance is willing to make it work with talk it work it stand by her and love her. Yeah--I'm crying now even as I think of how lucky she is to have a man who will fight to make it work, to realize there's something wrong and be willing to make it right. I never saw this in my house as my mom divorced my dad when I was 5. She didn't even try. I don't think she really loved him or else she would've, right? I'm scared that I won't know how to really love someone as I've never seen that in real life. At least not in my house.

Loving someone means sticking it out, even when times are tough, right? Not only sticking it out, but working it out...that's the real way to show you love someone. To admit that things aren't the best they could be and to try to make them better. To give it a shot before giving up.

What about when you love someone who doesn't love you back. This...this is something I think I've experienced time and time again. You'd think I'd fucking learn after the 3rd, 5th, 15th time, right? Maybe it's that all those other times weren't really love. They were lust to the nth degree. If that's the case, when do I learn to stop and when do I learn to take a chance again? Do I ever believe that maybe, just maybe someone will love me the way I love them? Why isn't the pain of heartache strong enough to warn me not to fall for it yet again? Granted, it's been a while, but damn, it still hurts just as much.

Why is crying yourself to sleep comforting sometimes? I guess it's because it feels like a release and a reality check-like, 'Oh yeah, what was I thinking?' Then I realize that I'm really better than those thoughts I have about myself.

Damn, I was just about to go on a real rant about things from the past and stopped. No need to do that.

Seriously, buzzed right now. It's been one of those nights...hell, it's even been one of those weeks and it's only Tuesday. Lord, help me! If I'm lucky, the tears will all come out before I go to bed and I'll have a nice peaceful, sleep-filled night.

g'night friends.

Monday, January 28, 2008

This week's going to be hell!

I have a huge college student conference that I'm overseeing this weekend and I'm planning on working tonight until at least 10pm. I'm hoping this will give me a normal work day on Tuesday and help us get on the road at the right time on Wednesday (we were 2 hours late last year!) I do have a bottle of wine waiting for me at home to partake and help me unwind from the day. Well, make that a half a bottle of wine as I had a few glasses last night. ;)

Can I vent? Thanks---I got an email from my boss last night asking if I had done something specific already. I haven't as I asked him to do it over a week ago. He also included in his email, "I hope you weren't waiting on me for this." Ummm...yeah, I was. It's things like this that keep me from delegating. I ask someone to do it and then they don't and I feel like I have to. I know he'll get this done, but it just makes me mad that he assumed I'd do it even though I asked him to do it.

He's told me he's purposely not going to be available much this weekend in order to push our local team to do what they need to. I'm anticipating getting a lot of questions from staff and am ready with the response to check in with the local director. By default, they come to me, which annoys me. I even had one email me this week who said, 'sorry for all the questions but everyone keeps telling me to ask you.'

I also have the joy of having the one staff who irks me the most coming to Indy this weekend for the conference. He's the Local Director for our other student conference in NC and thinks he's the shit. We both rub each other the wrong way and even more now since my boss has told me that he's interested in my job (translation--he'll be appointed to my position eventually). This guy is really good friends with my boss (my boss mentored him), though my boss gets annoyed with him at times too for not doing his job, which makes me feel better. I've already backed down on a few things for his conference because it's not worth my time to fight with him and help him understand that I have procedures set for a reason. I have had to tell him to back off and let me do his job. That helped for a day, then he was back to thinking his way was the better way. So....he's coming to Indy to see how we do things at the BIG conference (his conference is 1/3 the size). I've already told my 'assistant' from my office that if I leave the room when he comes in, she knows why. I've told other National staff that if he tries to talk about his conference this weekend and get things taken care of with us, we are all to tell him that it's Indy weekend and he can be in touch with us next week. I love that!

I'm so annoyed right now and am really trying to keep a good attitude about this week. On a positive note, I got a hot new haircut yesterday. CUTE!!! Send me good vibes and encouraging words. I need all the help I can get! Hope your week is fabulous!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Victim of my own optimism

I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and then I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.~excerpt from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I'm very optimistic about a lot of things. I even wrote about how disappointing this can be for me. I had a little dose of disappointment last night as I sat across the table from a guy I developed an interest in over 6 months ago. He was cute, funny and loved music as much as I did. We hung out throughout the summer, I initiated contact a few times to do something, yet he never nibbled on the bait I was putting out there. I heard from a friend that he is REALLY shy when it comes to girls and as far as she could tell...he was interested, just wasn't confident enough to take that next step. Well, that just wasn't going to cut it for me. I gave up and moved on, wondering, yet again, what was wrong with me that a guy wouldn't take a risk in approaching me to take things to the next level.

Last night, as he sat across from me and we talked about my upcoming move, what I'd be doing and how it all came about, he looked at me and said, 'Sounds exciting and I'm happy for you, except that means you won't be here.' I truly felt that he was trying to tell me, in his own way, that he was interested. Then again, maybe that's me hoping for that, not necessarily from him, but from anyone. He even put out there that we should hang out together before I leave a few times. For me, I wonder why waste time, why even try to go there? Actually, hindsight, I see that he would never make a good 'better half' for me, dating or otherwise. I need someone who can take control and he's just not there. I have a high potential level set for the man of my dreams and thought he might be able to reach it. I realize now, he would probably never reach it.

I've been on the opposite end of the optimism as I was hanging out with a great guy who I could definitely see myself dating (he's a surgeon, loves March Madness and is caring). A mutual girlfriend of ours said to him, "Karen really gets into this March Madness stuff. It's a little overwhelming." His response, 'No...I love it.' *Swoon* We flirted, he made comments like, "if we keep hanging out, people are going to say we're dating" yet never asked me out. After learning more about him, I realized he had the ideal woman in mind and I wasn't it, so he wasn't even going to go down that road. Wow--that hurt.

Then there's the time I got real ballsy and just put it out there...I told this guy I was interested. That I thought he was great, funny, cute, smart, witty, the list goes on. I didn't want to play games, so I didn't. After a few weeks of avoiding an answer, he finally emailed saying let's start as friends. So that's where we stand and it's great. I'm just trying to keep my heart in check, not to cross that line as it could be dangerous on many levels. It could also be great, which scares me just as much.

So I'm I let go of the potential I see in men? Do I stop looking for 'him'? Do I give up on those I've had an interest in? I know what I want and honestly, I'm not settling for anything less. I need someone who will know how to understand me when I don't talk, who will hug me when I try to push him away, who knows what I need and gets it for me-without me having to ask, who will adore me-no matter what I do, who will love me unconditionally and someone who will let me do all of that for him.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm in love!

It's been many years since I've felt like this. Something inside of me is waking up and the adrenaline is starting to pump. I'm a little scared of what's to come, but am willing to take the risk. It could hurt, yes. I could look the fool. But really...I don't care! This piece of me hasn't been alive in over 4 years and I'm ready to bring it back to my life.

I've been talking about my move to CA in a few months and have already been scoping some things out to help me get settled in. I've found it! Funkanometry! Yes, I'm talking about dance. But not just dance...hip hop/funk. Check this out:

Yep, I'm in love. They have a 10-week performance workshop (for CHEAP!) which is 6 hours of dance a week. They also have a Raw and Sexy class (Adults only, please) and a Femme Fatale workshop that's offered. Really...I don't think I'm going to invest in a gym membership when I can take these classes. I love being able to move to the beat (there's a difference from moving to the music!) and having someone else teach me in a fast-paced setting. It really gives my brain a workout, which has been lacking as well.

I can't tell you how freaking excited I am about this. It's been so long since I've taken a GREAT hip hop class like what this place offers. BTW--I'm already learning the dance from the video, just to get me started. ;)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Life Lessons from The Little Gym

My first job 'real' job (translation=full-time, with benefits) was with The Little Gym. It was here where I taught kids for 45 hours a week, yet I really learned a lot from the kids which helped form my outlook on life. The Little Gym is a non-competitive gymnastics based training program for kids ages 6 months old through 12 years old. I mainly worked with the 6 month olds-5 year olds.

I can't tell you how much I loved hearing those little ones call me Miss Karen for the first time, because they were just learning to speak, or seeing them take their first steps in the gym after giving their parents exercises to work on at home or hearing them laugh after doing a back flip over the mats with a big 'ta-da' finish! My heart always swelled seeing them succeed. It makes me wonder how much more intense that feeling will be when it's my own child doing those things.

As Instructors, we were trained to give specific positive feedback to the kids when they completed an activity. This meant something like, "That was a great cartwheel, Sara. I really liked how you kept your arms straight!" Sounds cheesy, right, but think about carrying that over into the 'big people' world. We get lazy in expressing ourselves and say things like, 'Good job' which is a blanket phrase, but not specific. Sometimes it's nice to hear specific positive feedback and it's always great to give it as it makes you think a bit more about what you're saying.

One thing I had to do with the babies is force them to try something new, like a backflip. It's not natural for a child to go backwards over something so there were often tears...the first time. Once they did it and saw how much fun it was, they wanted to do it again and again and again. Life lesson learned--be willing to try everything at least once, because you just may like it. Damn! Mom was right.

We always finished each class with bubbles. It was so fun to hear the kids say "bubbles? bubbles?" when the class was closing. They knew what was coming. Why use bubbles? They're slow enough for the kids to track with their eyes and try to catch on their fingers, toes, heads, whatever. They helped develop eye-hand coordination. Oh yeah, they were fun too! This helps me remember to try to find fun ways to learn new things. Who wouldn't want to play with bubbles each day? ;)

I think having such a fun job as my first 'real job' really helped set a precedent for what I looked for in future jobs. Even though I'm no longer working in the recreation field (I had 3 jobs in that area), I'm still having fun with what I'm doing. It's a priority for me. I'm really looking forward to starting the new job and being able to have some creative freedom in planning events and giving them my own taste of fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some WHINE with that cheese?

**WARNING---I'm going to be a bit whiny here. You've been warned.**
I hate being sick. It doesn't happen too often but I've now been fighting a cold since Friday and I'm ready to be done with it. I can't sleep at night (I went to bed around 8:15pm last night...but was up all night long) and am coughing all the time. I feel miserable. I wish there was someone around to take care of bring me food and OJ, to rub my back while I try to sleep, to keep me entertained with movies galore while I lay on the couch. Mom, man or other...doesn't matter to me, at least not right now.

I'm getting a little nervous about what may happen next week at my big conference as my co-worker STILL isn't getting things done. Before I left yesterday, I asked her if she wanted to stay late one night this week...that we could work together to get things done and order food in. She said she couldn't. So my reply was, well, as long as things are getting done. She then came back with, "Well, I'm doing what I can." Sad, but that's not cutting it right now. I'm trying to be patient and using the, 'we'll deal with the issues that arise when they arise' frame of hopefully it'll be OK.

Here's a selfish whine...I'm losing weight, which is great, but my clothes aren't fitting anymore. I bought a new pair of jeans a few weeks ago and had to go down a full size. They're already too big on me now. I am eating, just not as much and have cut snacking out A LOT! I'm working out every now and then (wish it was more) and am drinking lots of water. Funny...I work with people who were in sororities/fraternities in college and now work with Greek students. We, the staff, were all together a few weeks ago and I was basically asked by one staff if I had been eating. *These staff know first hand the signs for eating disorders as many of them have had them and know many students who are struggling with this now.* I've never had an eating disorder. I love food too much!!!! ;)

Alright...enough whining. I need to get to work for a bit and then I think I'm coming home to work from the couch and hide out. Love having that option!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My lips are sealed

Why do we not express our thoughts and feelings more often? This is something that for the past year I've been trying to do more often and can't tell you how freeing and life-giving it's been. Coming from a single parent family where mom was never home, communication wasn't something we did well. It's hard for me to have the 'how was your day' conversation with roommates and friends because I didn't grow up with that. It's awkward, for the most part and honestly, feels a bit superficial to me. Ask me a different question like 'what made you most happy today' or 'what was the most interesting conversation you had today'? Those at least make me think a bit more instead of regurgitate what I did.

What do you have to lose by expressing yourself, telling people how much they mean to you or how much you appreciate them being in your life? You may seem like a sap, but honestly, it's worth it. Have you ever had someone tell you how much you mean to them? What was your reaction? Wasn't it something you wanted to hear and experience every day? You can get just as much joy from being the teller instead of the receiver.

I feel like there's a negative connotation to 'expressing' yourself...that it makes you weak, especially if you're a man. Am I the only one? Is this just in America? I think it should be the opposite way, that by being able to express yourself you are, in fact, a stronger in tune with your inner being and not just the outer self you show to the world. Expression makes you a whole person, with a soul...not just a skeleton or shell on the outside.

From someone who pushed feelings aside for years and years and years, I'm embracing this new insight and am ready to share with the world. I wish more people felt/thought the same.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Forgiven, but not trusted?

I don't think it's possible to truly forgive someone without being able to trust them again. What do you think? Doesn't the trust piece compliment and complete the forgiveness? Think about get busted for throwing a party while your parents are out of town. They say they forgive you, but won't leave you home alone again for a weekend. Do they really forgive you if they can't trust you being home alone again?

What happens if you don't think you can trust the person again? Do you ever forgive them? Wow--deep thought and issue from my past coming up here--my mom has never forgiven my dad for cheating on her. She filed for divorce quickly after finding out and bad mouthed him for many, many years and still does every now and then. I'm just old enough to stand up to her now and tell her to stop. In my opinion, she knew she wouldn't be able to trust him again, thus has never forgiven him and still resents it.

I think of another couple that are good friends who have been married for many years. He had an affair and an addiction to porn, yet she's stood by him. They don't have kids, so why would she? (which, btw, I hate the excuse of 'we'll stick it out for the kids.' it's almost always a bad stand alone reason!) Because she knew him...she knew she could trust him again and could forgive him. He lost his job and many, many friends because of this getting out. I know she's hurt by what's happened, but I think she's even stronger for sticking with him, for being there for him, for working it out and for forgiving him.

Yes, we're hurt sometimes and so it's hard to trust again. Don't ever feel like or think you have to say you forgive someone if you really don't. This isn't something that has a time limit on it. It took me a year and a half to forgive myself for something...and that was me forgiving myself...not someone else. During times of hurt and lack of trust, communication is best. Tell them it's hard for you to forgive and trust them again right away, but be willing to work on it.

An interesting story on forgiveness and trust, which actually inspired this post. Enjoy:
Loving actions can do much more than change your feelings; they can also communicate in unmistakable terms the reality of your forgiveness and your commitment to reconciliation. Thomas Edison apparently understood this principle. When he and his staff were developing the incandescent light bulb, it took hundreds of hours to manufacture a single bulb. One day, after finishing a bulb, he handed it to a young errand boy and asked him to take it upstairs to the testing room. As the boy turned and started up the stairs, he stumbled and fell, and the bulb shattered on the steps. Instead of rebuking the boy, Edison reassured him and then turned to his staff and told them to start working on another bulb. When it was completed several days later, Edison demonstrated the reality of his forgiveness in the most powerful way possible. He walked over to the same boy, handed him the bulb, and said, "Please take this up to the testing room." Imagine how that boy must have felt. He knew that he didn't deserve to be trusted with this responsibility again. Yet, here it was, being offered to him as though nothing had happened. Nothing could have restored this boy to the team more clearly, more quickly, or more fully.

Grounded, not Swayed

Week 3
No matter what happens to me, I am intent on remaining personally grounded: no longer thrown off course by events or by my reactions to them.

Hmmm....remaining personally grounded. Great thought, though I think it may take some effort on my part. I definitely could've used this right before Christmas as I felt my world was falling apart (phone issues, car break-in, etc.). David Richo, author of Everyday Commitments (from which this is pulled from) offers these practical tips to help stay grounded:

  • Remind myself that I have faced hurdles before with success and this one is no different.

  • Rally my support system, a group of friends, a therapist, and any guides who stand by me and help keep me on track. Ask them to call me on my vagaries and awaken me if I drift off course.

  • Seek help from a power beyond my ego, in whatever form or tradition that fits for me.

I really like the thought of working on not being thrown by my reactions to the event. That's really what gets me sometimes. I know that I can face challenges and that I've overcome things in the past, so whatever comes my way shouldn't be a big deal, but really, it's my reaction to what's happened that makes it bad. Richo also adds this about trusting ourselves to stay grounded, "We do this when we let ourselves go through an experience without being driven or stopped by our fears or by our desires for a specific outcome." It's not my fears that stop me and cause irrational reactions (I really don't fear much), but it's my desire for a specific outcome and when that doesn't happen--watch out. I definitely can become ungrounded.

Now, this doesn't happen on everyday happenings. I'm not that unstable. But on bigger things, when I really want something or are completely blindsided by something I wasn't expecting. That's when it happens...

I hope to remember this week's lesson the next time my reactions start to control my life. That's never a good place to be and would much rather be grounded, than swayed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Playing By Heart

I was home sick on Friday and took a break to watch a favorite movie (it's on VHS...need to upgrade to DVD), Playing By Heart. Ever heard of it? Probably not, but check out the cast: Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Dennis Quaid, Gena Rowlands, Jillian Anderson, Jon Stewart, Ryan Phillipe, Anthony Edwards, Jay Mohr, and the list goes on. Great movie...makes you think about life and love.

I connect with a few of the characters and their situations throughout the movie. One is a woman who starts a relationship with preconceived ideas of the man (Jon Stewart, btw. Send him my way any day!) that just aren't true, but because she's been hurt in the past, she carries that over and potentially ruins something great before it even starts. She finds it hard to accept that a man could be interested in her and really care about her, without the prerequisite of sex. This is totally what I do. When I meet someone new, if there is any interest from their side, I immediately put up a wall and won't let them near me. Why? Because I don't think a guy would be interested in me from the get-go without wanting sex right away, which is a no-go for me.

Another storyline is one of a chance happening between two people, one who thinks he's completely unlovable because of being 'damaged goods'. Aren't we all damaged in some way? It's a love/hate relationship, so it seems, but you come to find out that it really is a love/love relationship.

A third storyline is of a couple who's been together for many years. They continue to ask deep questions of each other and are still learning about each other. I want a relationship like that many, many years from now. I want to be able to continue learning about my husband after being together 10, 20, 40 years. The conversations this couple has throughout the movie have to do with an alleged affair. I won't ruin it, but it's another of my favorite plots of the movie.

And yet another plot has to do with an actual affair. Both parties involved are married and talk about how they wish they could make their marriages work. I don't understand why people don't make an effort if they really want a relationship to work. Why not bring it up and take a risk on making things better. I don't understand. I really hope that I never get to that point on wishing my relationship was better, but if I do, may I have the strength, courage and passion to do something about it.

I haven't watched this movie in a few years and am glad I did. It gives me hope that even though I'm broken, scared and damaged, someday...someone will love me for who I am and accept all my baggage unconditionally and be willing to fight with me to make it work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saying Yes to Reality

Week 2
More and more, I say yes to the givens of human life. Everything changes and ends; things will not always go according to plan; life is not always fair or pain-free; and people are not always loving, honest, generous, or loyal.
I got some news today that was disappointing. I've been working on an event for a client; partnering with someone I've never met on it who was going to do this event, but couldn't do it alone. We decided to partner up and have been working on it for a few months. Granted, we haven't put 100% into it, yet, but had time.

I got a call today that the client wants to back out. She has some other big things going on and feels like we're up against too many deadlines now. I talked with her for 40 minutes, trying to see if she'd give us a second chance, but nothing. I think I'm most disappointed that she hasn't expressed her concerns before now and if she's acting on a whim based on her feelings today, I'm disappointed that she wouldn't give us a few days to come back with a proposal.

This brought up feelings that I let someone down, which I try my hardest not to do. I feel blindsided by this news, especially because my partner and I were making good strides in getting this going. I don't like giving up and at the same time, I don't have the energy in me to fight for a second chance. I wasn't getting much money out of this, hardly anything, and was doing it for the experience, to meet new people and to get my name out there. None of that is worth trying to persuade this person. Her mind is made up. What's funny is she apologized numerous times to me on the phone. There's a lot more that she said, but no reason to hash it out...time to move on.

Week 2's info, Saying Yes to Reality, is very fitting...things will not always go according to plan...people are not always honest...or loyal. I think I accept reality and the things I can't change pretty well, which is good. That's why I'm not too distraught about the news today. Life goes on. I have other things that I'm focusing on and much more excited about.

An exercpt from this chapter says, "We express our feeling without blame or aggression and the chrge around them disappates. Saying yes to life as it is doesn't mean that we never feel disappointed or saddened by our lives. Saying yes means that whatever happens, we take the stance of remaining open and friendly toward our experinece." Really, that's all we can do, right? What good comes from focusing negatively on something that's happened? Nothing. Be open to what's happened, learn from it and move on. We all make choices and have things happen beyond our control. Why waste time? Move on...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is life passing me by or am I passing by life?

I was out last night with some friends (more about this in a bit...) and one of my guy friends met up with us later in the evening. As we started talking, he said, "I haven't seen you in so long." We finally figured out our last encounter had been in November. Really? Since November? Ouch! This is a guy who is a good friend and yet, we've managed to lose touch with each other.

Confession, I heard quite a few times last night, "I haven't seen you in so long!" I know that this is my 'busy' season with work, but I hate using that as an excuse. My boss is quite the supporter of getting out to do things with friends and stop working overtime. As a workaholic, I need people to tell me when to take a break and stop working and am becoming more aware of it personally.

I haven't been to church in months and the group I was with last night were all in that circle. *and yes, we were at a bar and not having to repent about it this morning!* Everyone was asking what time I was going today and I avoided the question...well, it depends on what I feel like when I get up, I don't want to commit to a time, etc. For some reason, church hasn't been enjoyable for me lately and I can't figure out if it's the church I attend in general or if I'm avoiding God about things. Probably a little of both. Maybe I'll bite the bullet and go tonight. Then again, I can always watch it online... **Side note, check out It's my old church back home and is doing amazing things online. They have LIVE services Saturday night/Sunday morning via the web. Yes, LIVE. Not taped...the real deal. The music is like a rock concert (which I enjoy) and the speaking is real. Good stuff! Check out Porn Sunday which brings the Porn Pastor and a Porn Producer together for a great conversation. Very eye opening, heartbreaking and promising! Great story at the end about Ron Jeremy.**

I've been out two nights in a row and have had a great time. It's been quite a while since I've been out with friends, because I've always made excuses of 'I have work to do' and have come to allow work to rule my life. It's hard to not allow this, because I love what I'm doing. Really...I am. There are times when I am not enjoying it, but the times I love override that. I work hard and need to make sure I'm taking time to play hard too.

So is life passing me by or am I passing life by? If I was standing still and sitting back, being stagnant, I think I'd say life was passing me by. But, by being focused on work and being busy (not that I aim to do that, but it happens!), I think I'm passing life by. Time is flying by. Where did 2007 go? It's already halfway into January. Crazy!

I want to make it a point to enjoy life. To stop...take a break from working to enjoy what's going on around me. To take time to invest in my friends, which is tough right now since I know I'm moving. To really live life to it's fullest. If I'm not doing that, then what am I doing?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Loving Kindness

Week 1
I am always looking for ways to intend, express, and act with loving-kindness.

Isn't it amazing how much more enjoyable life is when you love those around you, even if they're strangers? One of my strengths is WOOing. That stands for "Winning Others Over" from the "Now, Discover Your Strengths" book by Marcus Buckingham. (Great for teams working together or spouses. Highly recommend it!) It says that 'WOOers can walk into a room with new people, but don't see strangers; they see friends they haven't met yet.' Yep, that's me.

I have a knack for seeing the good in people and loving complete strangers. At the hotel I was in last week, I told the housekeeping people 'thanks for all you're doing' when I saw them in the hallway. At Starbucks, I was willing to wait for fresh coffee being brewed, as I was in no hurry, and was given the coffee free. I instead left the money in the tip jar. I even paid the toll for a car behind me as I was driving home from the 'rents a few weeks ago.

I also try to express loving-kindness with those closer to me. I'll wash a car or bring them a meal, stop by work with a bouquet of flowers or kidnap them for a bowling excursion. I try to be gentle with my words, though this is the area I need to work on the most. I genuinely care about people and am glad that I do. I find joy and happiness in doing so.

What are ways you've acted with loving-kindness lately? Be on the lookout for ways you can show others loving-kindness this week.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Sometimes I really hate having options in front of me, especially when I'm happy with what I'm already doing.

Do I check out the new option...sounds interesting with lots of potential?


Do I let it pass me by and wonder 'what if' for the rest of my life?

Serously! This is so not funny...and thus why you don't create a plan which could cause you to be blind to new options or opportunities.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stuff that's been stirred up...

It really bothers me that I can't control my emotions and how deeply I care about people in my life. There are a few people that I'd do absolutely anything for, yet don't know if they'd do the same. I'd hope they would, but have no guarantees. I truly love some unconditionally and it scares me that I'm so deeply involved emotionally. Is it because I'm looking for this same kind of love and support so I offer it hoping they'll do the same? That's a bit risky, isn't it?

I'm so excited to experience the West Coast flava as my life has been very 'white' lately. I am white, but grew up with multi-cultural friends (I even had one friend whose parents called me 'the white girl' as they spoke little English). As I've been with 1300 people over the past few days who greatly embrace our ethnic differences, it's been refreshing. Music has been fabulous, singing in different languages, including French and Spanish. Beautiful!

I've realized I've been very selfish lately...with my time, resources, love. (I know...this seems to contrast my first section, but really, it doesn't.)

Social injustice really pisses me off. My heart aches for people who don't have the things they need across the world. What have I done to be blessed with what I have and to live in the U.S.? I want to learn more about what is going on outside of my country and how I can help. I also want to be more aware of opportunities where I can serve in my community. People here need just as much help and love as those overseas.

Until I learn to truly love myself, how can I expect someone else to love me? How can I expect to love someone else? I have to realize how much I'm worthy of being loved before I love someone else whole heartedly. Otherwise, it's a recipe for being walked all over and giving my all for nothing in return. Been there, done that. Not good.

I've lacked confidence in some areas the past few months. I don't like that. I'm an amazing woman with many skills and talents who is passionate about many things. For this, I should be confident in who I am.

I long for my passion to burn for ALL I do, not just some things. If I don't feel the passion running from my head to my toes about something, why do it? I want to live my life as passionately as I can. Remember as a child when you discovered something new...that's the passion I want. I'm excited just thinking about this new outlook on life. :)

I've become aware of the different emotions that bring tears to my eyes. During times of worship, I used to have tears of joy, realizing how much I was loved and for the hope I had. Lately, the tears have been from brokenness. This weekend, the tears come from the healing process that's started. Tears of joy are in my future...soon, I hope.

As I've been with my staff this week, I've heard from many of them how much they'll miss me when I'm gone. These next few months are going to be very emotional as I'm complete my time. I'm confident that I'm doing the right thing, but that doesn't mean it won't be hard.