Monthly Archives: September 2011

A thought about “normal”

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Normal could be described as ordinary, average, usual and plain,
But to me that’s four reasons to stay the same.

And in a perfect world we would all be normal.
But in my world normal means perfectly plain.

And as far as anyone knows, we are a normal family………………

But as far as I know, nobody has a normal family!

 
Did you like my little rhyme up there?

This sign hangs in my kitchen and I don’t believe there’s one person out there that cannot relate to this in some way!

Despite what it says, being different is not something to be ashamed of.

I think too often we try to change those differences and compromise to make way for what we feel would be “acceptable”.
However,  is there really such a thing?
I believe normal has been a model of what perfect would look like – if it ever did exist. And the meaning of the two have become almost the same.  But the reason people see it as such, is because nobody is perfect, and no one has ever been able to achieve it!

There’s who you are, who you want to be and then there’s trying to be someone else.

If your trying to be normal, then you haven’t seen the benefits there are to being different.

Its actually another thing I’ve learned to have fun with! Once you accept it, your possibilities are endless.

Who cares if you eat breakfast for dinner, or have dessert for lunch….. if you want to try something when no one else does…..just do it! Because there’s nothing saying you can’t. And just because it doesn’t seem like the way things are “supposed” to be; maybe its supposed to different for you……

 Just something to think about. 😉

Living means having and accepting your differences and not trying to perfect them, because you never know where they might take you. Theres always something waiting to be discovered. You shouldn’t decide whether you want that based on the way others might judge you.

Because its not about what other people think.

and realistically, they’re not any closer to “normal” than the rest of us.

Finding a “balance” between work and other things…

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As you may have noticed, I tend to do a lot of thinking. And in my case, a lot of thinking requires a lot of writing, which means a having a hard time concentrating on anything else, especially the things I should be doing.
Even when I’m not writing, I’m always thinking -about something- no matter how much I try to focus otherwise.
My brain is constantly going a mile a minute, my fingers are having a hard time trying to keep up, and my poor computer is pleading insanity (a figure of speech, not to be taken literally) for a break from all the information I’m trying to cram into it. (My cell phone screams in equal resentment)
If I could, I would write every single second of every day. I’d keep going until my fingers hurt and could go no more, and even then that would probably never stop me.

But realistically at the moment, what I want and what I need to do seem to be colliding head to head. (Writing included)
Trying to organize the two of them is rather tiring. When I’m supposed to be working, I find myself jotting down thoughts and words and ideas, (leaving post-its on the walls, chairs and other neighboring furniture items) hence neglecting all of the “need to” things.  And the more I try to ignore it, the less I end up getting done.

I know I can’t be the only person who this has happened, and/or is happening to. Trying to find a balance that keeps both sides happy and still be successful…
Its either making sure your priorities come first and put everything else behind. Or letting the priorities fall so you can follow in another direction. And unless that means turning your wants into needs, the result is not always a successful ending.

We can only go for so long doing any one thing before inevitably we reach the point of “burning out”. (That by the way, is an actual term. Ask any college student studying for an upcoming exam. )
And that is the part where the figure, “All work and no play.” literally comes into play.

And part of the reason I am still here writing.

We can work as hard as we want to get ahead in any one direction, as long as were willing to let something else fall. But we can also fail to take care of the necessities if we get too caught up in what we would prefer.
That doesn’t mean work has to be a bad thing, (unless you choose to make it that way.) And wanting to do something else isn’t bad either.
But when you’re at the point of feeling guilty for not tending to what you think you should, then you know its time to make a change.
Sometimes the things you want are really what you need, and knowing when you need them helps to keep them balanced.

I could stop writing if I wanted to, and try to focus strictly on working……..

And it would last a grand total of about a week.

If I’m lucky.

I could also drop everything and do nothing but write.
In which case I would probably be perfectly happy, but at the same time I would also jeopardize the priorities in my life.

In either case, nothing would be complete, because each side completes the other.

Its about balance. Its about knowing what makes the other work more efficiently, and finding what works best for you.
I write because I think clearer, it helps me gain a better understanding, and I’m more likely to work better when after I do.

I wrote this because I wanted to, because I enjoy it and because I know its my own little level of “balance”.
Even if you can’t choose, you can still incorporate something that you want and enjoy, just because you look forward to it or it inspires you in some way.

I still have other things I need to do- a lot of them actually.

You probably do to, and yet you’ve chosen to take the time to read this instead…..Isn’t it funny how things work out like that? 😉

 

So, needing to get back to the priorities; I hope I haven’t kept you too long. But if you happen to have another moment to spare…..

What are some things that help keep a balance for you?

Time doesn’t have to “fly”

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Lately I’ve realized time is going by faster than ever. It seems that new years was here only the other day. Now already nearing Halloween, I feel like I may have lost a whole year and I’m still trying to figure out where it went.
Everyday seems to be growing faster and faster- its daylight, its dark. You wake up and its time for bed. Spring ends and before you know it, winter arrives.
I tried to ignore it, hoping that only a busy schedule was to blame. But what I realized is that I might actually be avoiding what was really going on.
 
Adults and family members used to tell me that as you get older, time starts to fly by, and before you know it, you’ll be 40 in the blink of an eye. The thing is, I’m not sure I ever really believed them. I do realize this has probably been going on for some time now. How long however….I’m not quite sure of. (I am still trying to figure out why this happens to us in the first place).
I guess I thought that I might be able to escape it – or maybe I never even thought about it at all- but the reality is, I don’t think anyone is exempt from this change in life. And even though I didn’t believe my parents at the time (- I promise, I do now) it appears that I too have fallen victim to “growing up”.
 
When you were younger, did you ever think that life could go by so fast? That days would blur to weeks, and soon weeks into years? And then one morning you would wake up and realize that they not only came, but went, and were still going before you had time to say “Stop!”? Because I know I sure didn’t……..
 
When I was little, I remember days that seemed to drag on forever. I remember everything I looked forward to felt like it took a century to arrive.
The anxious waiting for what was to come, and some days that felt like they would never end.
-I remember the excitement of waking up not knowing what was going to unfold( and not caring) because it was always a new adventure around every corner, and every minute was a new journey that time could never touch.
 
When we are kids, we stop to take in every little detail. We never miss a blink or the time of day. We live in the moment of now and what happens next. And all we can think about is how it feels to be here and nothing else….and that’s all we have to worry about.

What would happen 5 or 10 years from being care and worry free didn’t matter, all we knew is that eventually it would come and bring with it a new adventure.
 
10 years later, I now realize just how perfectly children take on the world……How differently they see it, and I may even be a tad bit jealous for that. More than anything though, I find myself searching for answers to why growing up involves such a drastic change in the way each day manifests. The frightening thought of what we could be missing, before we realize we are missing anything at all. And to think that if we don’t catch it and take hold of every second , time may pass us by altogether.
Even though it seems overwhelming, its impossible to control everything that goes on in our life. And that part of where we tend to get caught up in it!
Unlike children we get caught in a place where now doesn’t exist, then already was, and what will be is already spoken for.

We worry and stress about what hasn’t even happened, yet we still wonder why our days are blurring together right before our eyes.
We try to focus on so many things at a given time, that none of them are ever left making any sense. And the only logical explanation I could come up with, (yes, I can think logically on occasion) is that time appears to move faster because its trying to fill in the missing pieces.
And maybe, I thought, it doesn’t have to be that way. If time moves faster when things are needing to be done, then maybe not-needing works in just the opposite . Perhaps we just never tried slowing things down. Letting time move naturally, as it should, while finding a peace within our own everyday lives.
 
Now more than ever, as I’m experiencing this whole “growing up” thing, I’m starting to realize that if I can avoid it, I don’t want to wake up one morning to see how much I’ve really missed. I want to be able to wake up and write about all the moments I’ve been able to capture.

I know what’s time is still ahead, and I don’t want to miss that. But what is 5 or 10 years away from now, I can’t worry about today.

And instead of running from it, I’m trying to slow down. I’m learning that growing up doesn’t have to mean missing anything. It doesn’t have to be scary, and it definitely doesn’t mean giving up the things you love.

I still draw with crayons,

ask a lot of questions,

eat cereal straight from the box

and dance on my bed every chance I get.

And I will never stop doing any one of those things. They keep life running at a slower pace; just as it should be.

And instead of watching life fly by in a blur, I’m starting to see the things that make it stop altogether.

In the midst of something that seems so simple or real, I’m catching myself saying “Capture this, embrace this moment, and remember this feeling.” Because I don’t want to miss a thing or single chance, and I know that bringing myself out of reality is the only way to make it slow down.

Life is what you make it.

Growing up is only a small part.

And time doesn’t have to fly in the process.

Children see the world for what it is, and they dont worry about anything but that.

Before I know it, time will eventually catch up with me, no matter how young or old I think I might be. But that day doesn’t have to come any time soon.

 Because by seizing the clock, rolling it back , and living in, not with the moment, we can choose our life to be the way we want and make the most out of every day and days yet to come.

If your out there, and reading this, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

What do you think about growing up?

What makes time stand still for you?

Autumn Arrives

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Today I found myself in the kitchen- inevitably when this happens, there is a 99% chance that baking is involved in some way or another. Today was no exception. And with the temperature dropping, and the harvest festivals and activities starting this weekend, its soooo hard to NOT want to join in. And baking always seems to do the trick.

Considering the pumpkin muffins I made the other day were nearly gone, and there were two bags of apples sitting on the counter, I figured an apple cobbler was a good place to start.


Not too bad. Not the best ever either, but at least the house is now infused with the smell of cinnamon- no glade scented plug-in can compete with that. 🙂

And I still have plenty of apples leftover…….any ideas?

Since I moved to Georgia, I’m amazed at how attracted I’ve become to the autumn months. Being from florida, I guess its just not something I ever put much thought into. Down there, we only have three seasons: hot, warm, and sweater worthy. Palm trees look the same everyday, every year, all year, unless of course a hurricane comes around and knocks a few of them down. But even then they really don’t look much different.
So when I first got the chance to experience the fall “change”, it opened my eyes to a whole new season that I honestly didn’t even know existed.
Crisp air, colored leaves, corn mazes, apple festivals, halloween and pumpkins that actually come from a FARM, not your local walmart………..
There’s just something special about that. Its a transitional phase, and (according to my terms) the end of the year. Because in a matter of weeks, every tree drops its leaves, dropping away a years journey and paving the way for a fresh new start. Maybe that’s why its called “The Fall”. It leaves behind the old, prepares for the new, then comes back greener than ever, even after months of harsh cold weather.

Every year its predictable, guaranteed, and amazing and I never get tired of it…….As the seasons change, so do we.

Even though I tend to complain about my distaste for the cold weather, -yes, 60 degrees IS cold- I do have to admit, fall may now take my “favorite season” award.

Winter on the other hand has yet to win me over. When ice covers the road for a week at a time, I would LOVE to see palm trees any day of the week.

Is there a certian time of year that you tend to favor more than others?

Anticipation or Realization?

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Anticipation………and you thought that was only for the kid who couldn’t wait to open his presents on Christmas day.

Nope. Turns out it can happen to anyone.

This afternoon I stared into my closet looking desperately at the usual clothes I’ve grown tired of wearing. Of course there were the usual culprits: tees, tanks, short sleeves, long sleeves, winter shirts, summer shirts, and a complete side designated to sweaters and parkas.(possibly because I find that I am always freezing)
I’ve yet to understand why all neat things are discovered under the bed or in the closest somewhere, but from the corner I pulled out a purple party dress. – complete with ty-dye sparkles. and a pull back sash. Something that I’ve had for the past 4 years at least, and only worn a handful of times. Looking at it, I briefly drifted off into a day dream (this seems to happen quite frequently) and began thinking about if and when I’d ever get the chance to wear it: more rather, whether there would ever be an occasion to which I could wear it to.

I looked in the mirror, then back at the dress. I owned it, I loved it, yet hardly wore it. What’s the point in having something if its not being enjoyed? Why do we save certain items for only “special” occasions when LIFE is an occasion itself??

Someone told me you can wear a party dress to a grocery store if you want to just because you feel like wearing it. So, instead of standing there, that’s what I did………….
With the one exception that I had no reason to go to the store today…. Otherwise you probably would have found me in the produce section somewhere. 😉
However, in the future I would not be surprised if you do see me there dressed as I was today.

With nowhere to go and no place to be, I quickly put it on and added a scarf, purse and pair of heels to complete the outfit. Immediately I felt a sense of freedom. Like a million bucks and someone had just said go out and see the world!

Okay, maybe that’s saying a bit much, but there was something definitely different.

 I didn’t realize at first, but that dress was a change all by itself. Not only because it was something different than I normally did wear, but because I saw it as important and special and beautiful and I anticipated the chance to be able to wear it. Even if I didn’t know when that chance would be.
I hadn’t even left my room but when I put it on I felt the same way: I felt an anticipation for life as if it were a special occasion waiting to happen. Its strange and beautiful all in the same. And that’s when I realized. Anticipation and waiting are separated by realizing when waiting is necessary and anticipating becomes closer to showing you the right moment.

My lesson for the day of course, was that the day doesn’t have to look different for you to see it in a new light.
And if something as simple as a dress helps you feel somewhat closer to that, then by all means wear it.

You never know when an occasion will arise, but the truth is, if your still waiting for one, then the right moment is never going to come.

Caution to All

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So far I’ve only made 3 posts each of which exceeded 800 words. My mother informed me that I am slightly “wordy” and I didn’t even know that was legally a word. I think my blog should have come with a sign saying “WARNING! This girl is overly talkative and tries to cram too many words in one sentence! All readers are subject to develop similar habits and/or long winded syndrome. Proceed with caution!!!”
See how I said “Should have”, which means I didn’t think of it until after the fact. Although……..I did mention “I tend to get carried away” on my first post. You should have taken that as your warning. 😉
 
Anyway, instead of trying to talk you into insanity right away, I thought it might be wise to post a simple picture instead. You know, that way your brain has time to re-cooperate from its most recent confusion.
After all, they say a picture speaks 1,000 words, and I’m sure I would have no problem writing 1,001.
 
Meet Diamond and Buddy. I will try to sum this up in 10 or less.

 
 
These dogs have always brightened my day, no matter what.

Gratitude IS an Attitude

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I’ve heard this before, many, many times, but never stopped to think of what it actually meant. We all know what attitude is- and its not always the good kind either…..But really, have you ever stopped and thought about what it actually means to be in the “Attitude of Gratitude”? Some think its the way you feel around holidays or special occasions, but most people don’t even know the physical meaning of the word. So, drum roll please…….here ya go, straight from Webster himself: 
 
Gratitude: The state of being grateful: THANKFULNESS

Short. Sweet. To the Point.

Now here’s my definition:
 
Gratitude is being able to feel grateful for the things in your life, (all things) including people, animals, places, experiences and feelings, both significantly great, and insignificantly small.
 
People can say wellllll,” I’m grateful for my cat, my dog, my job, my house and my family.”
And that would be true, because most people are grateful for those things. But what if you were to ask that same person about something not as obvious? Perhaps something such as finding a penny on a sidewalk, and you were to ask them if they were grateful for that. They might say no, or not know what to say at all. Some could say, “Why would I be grateful, it’s just a penny.” While others might say, “Yeah, sure.” put it in their pocket and continue walking. But being and feeling are two separate words with two separate meanings. Some are not sure, and a few don’t know the difference between them, and that’s okay.
 
When you feel grateful for something, you feel it on every level and truly understand the impact it has made in your life. Whether it’s something big or something as small as a penny, you can be grateful just because its there and you appreciate it.
 
If you’re in the attitude of gratitude, everything you come across in the course of a day you can look at and just say thank you, because you see everything as a source of light and a source of thanks. Not just because you say it, but because you feel it.

However, it may not always be the things your grateful for that you’re forgetting. Sometimes it’s the things you take for granted that your not thinking about.

When you wake up in the morning, how do you start your day? Despite what’s going on in your life, you could get out of bed and dreadfully say, “Ugg, I hate that have to go to work today.” Or you could think to yourself, “Thank you, I am so blessed for all the things in my life, and I have so much to be grateful for today.”

The choice is yours.

Even if you feel like you don’t have anything at all, you could start by feeling like you do. And you feel better about your day, all day, not because you say it, but because you feel it and you feel what it feels like to be grateful for you and grateful for your life.

On the flip side, when there’s something we consider “bad” or are having a “why me, why now” kind of moment, it can be really hard to find a reason to appreciate it, and even understand it. Sometimes we even feel MORE strongly about that than anything else. Why? Because it’s not the type of thing you would normally look at and say thank you for, especially if it has had a negative effect on your life in some way. As humans, we find it hard to look at something that didn’t have an outcome we wanted and say thank you for it. Even with that said, there is still the ability to find thankfulness within it.
You could say to me, “I burnt my finger on the stove this morning, how is that a good thing.” Well, obviously it’s not the best thing in the world considering it probably hurt terribly, but what it did do was make you more aware and the next time you will know to be more cautious.

Okay, not the best example. Reasonably speaking though, that is something you could be grateful for.
 
I’m not trying to say that you’re going to be able to bring yourself to say thank you for everything, because gratitude is more than just a subconscious way of thinking. It’s a way of life. 
And even if it feels like your life is spinning in circles (Kind of like that dog that’s always chasing his tale and never going anywhere), or there is something going on that’s not quite right, try thinking about the things that ARE going right. Or try thinking about something that doesn’t involve what you DON’T have, what you DIDN’T do or what ISN’T there. It can be something as simple waking up and not dreading going to work that day. You might be surprised at how you start to look at things differently.

Because in my opinion – notice I did say opinion here- , Gratitude is most definitely an attitude.

It’s all about how you choose to wear it.