Broken

The funk continues. I think something has broken inside of me – I want to stay home, I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone (apart from the Wee One)…I just want the world to go away. This is certainly not the norm for me, I’m usually super social – but I’ve got a serious case of the Rhett Butlers: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. About much. Ugh.

This time hibernating at home has given me some happiness, though – I found a few things online that warmed my increasingly cynical heart:

1) The microphone died at a Toronto Maple Leafs game the other night as the singer sang the American national anthem – not to fear, though, the Canadian fans stepped up and sang along. Nice. :-)

Click on the picture to see the video! :-)

Click on the picture to see the video! :-)

 

2) A teacher in New Jersey set the world record for most pull-ups (chin ups) in a 24 hour period…and he did it to raise money for cancer research in the name of a former student of his who passed away from the disease. If that isn’t the most awesome, hard core thing – love it! :-)

So. Awesome. Click the picture to visit an article with the full story :-)

So. Awesome. Click the picture to visit an article with the full story :-)

 

3) A bunch of pictures that have been sent from the picture heavens to make me feel better. I think. I hope.

This.

This.

Dolly is my spirit animal.

Dolly is my spirit animal.

Love this :-)

Love this :-)

I need to learn this

I need to learn this

 

4) In-n-Out Burger finally opened in San Antonio on Thursday – and I could not be happier. I love In-n-Out, and have been going nuts waiting for their arrival here….imagine my joy to find that their first location is a three minute drive from my work!! This will undoubtedly mean bad things for my already-wide arse, but….who gives a shit? Life is too short to miss out on even one Double Double Animal Style! :-) A really cool thing happened on Thursday – my secretary and I were chattering about our excitement for the grand opening, and a parent who was dropping stuff at school for his daughter heard us. He returned to the office 45 minutes later with a bag of burgers for all of us in the office – how AMAZINGLY kind is that??! I am still blown away by such kindness, and can’t believe that I was not only the witness to such a gesture, but the recipient. Mind blown….heart full.

Good people do exist :-)

Good people do exist :-)

Love love LOVE  ❤️❤️❤️

Love love LOVE ❤️❤️❤️

 

I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to take to get me out of this ditch that I’m wallowing in…and I’ve no idea how long it is going to take. I just know that I feel like a ball of exposed nerves, everything rubs me the wrong way – and I’m not exactly fit for human consumption. I feel like I exist for others to take advantage of, and that I give and give and give – and get nothing in return. I’m sure that I should be okay with that – but I’m just not. :( On Friday night, I went to see the movie “The Theory of Everything” starring the brilliant Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking. His performance was mind-blowing – and the story was pretty great, if perhaps a smidge too sweet. It’s hard to even imagine the triumph of the human spirit as shown in that film, and the story of Stephen and his wife – and what she did for him and their family – is nothing short of incredible. I hope that you’ll go and see this movie – it’s wonderful. :) I doubt that I could be as graceful as Jane under such circumstances!!

I’m off work this week, and all I have planned is cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family, and a few get-togethers with friends (provided I can tear myself from the couch). I plan to spend the rest of my time plowing through good TV and movies, drinking some Beaujolais Nouveau (or Tito’s Vodka – my heart belongs to Tito’s), and just enjoying the peace and quiet of my home. Perhaps this time will be just what I need to heal me, and help me glue the pieces of me back together. I just need to get a broom and a dustpan and sweep them all off the floor – now, where’s the Crazy Glue?

 

xxx

 

 

 

In The Mood

I’ve been having somewhat of a hard time lately, and feeling rather blue. Life has been kicking me around a bit,and I’m afraid that I’ve not dealt with it in the best way. I’ve been grumpy with people, kind of short tempered, and introverted…totally not me. I’ve even been needier than usual (which is saying something, because for all my independence and big talk, I’m one of the neediest mo’fos around. It’s gross, and something I seriously need to change). I’m very disappointed in myself. :-(

I've been feeling as blue as this guy!! :-(

I’ve been feeling as blue as this guy!! :-(

Things at work have been tough,too… I find myself bummed about the behavior of some of the adults around me, but I’ve yet to crack the code on handling it. It’s my job to inspire them and make them want to make better choices-but I can’t seem to figure out how. I’m left scratching my noggin, wondering how I can be inspiring when I’m not terribly inspired myself. As well, I keep getting reports that I’m mean to people, and that I speak harshly to them – which is troubling. I’m not harsh at all. I just tell it like it is, and I don’t suffer fools. I’m very straightforward, which I would think would be a refreshing quality – but apparently it is neither refreshing nor appreciated. I am always respectful, and I always suppress the urge to tell people that I think they are raging arseholes…even when they are. I’m kind of a hero, actually – I should be given the keys to the city. Or maybe a sticker. I’m just not sure why those around me just don’t get it. :-(

 

The truth.

The truth.

The other day, I had to reprimand a student who had done something egregiously stupid. I was surprised by the magnitude of her brain fart…but I managed to soldier on and continue the conversation. The next day, I heard that her father contacted somebody else on staff to complain about the brutal treatment I unleashed on his little girl, and how I tore her apart. I was shell shocked, and afraid that I had suffered a small stroke, since I had done no such thing :-( An hour later, the girl’s mother called me personally, to share some additional information about the situation (which did nothing but reinforce that stupidity runs in that family), and tell me that should I wish to talk to her daughter in the future, I could call her father instead.

Huh.

Excuse me??? I had done NOTHING to deserve this, but because I held the child accountable for her actions and didn’t kiss her ass, then I’m an evil bitch who is mean to kids. I simply don’t get it. When did crap like this become acceptable???! It’s so frustrating, and I’m losing the will to keep trying so hard….which is never a good thing. :-(

I’ve always prided myself on being a try-er. I don’t generally half-ass things – I’m extremely motivated and hard working, but I’m losing sight of why. Why do I try so hard? Why do I put tons of effort in to everything that I do – when I don’t get the same in return? Am I pathetic? It’s starting to feel that way. I fear that those around me are sitting back and laughing at what an idiot I am…and I don’t like those kinds of thoughts. :-( I try to see it this way: I treat people well, the way I want to be treated. I do unto others as I’d like to have done for me…but it rarely happens that way. I’m just tired of trying so hard. :-( Surely I will get a break one of these days?

image

I feel like I’ve lost my mojo, somehow….although the jury’s out on exactly how much mojo I had in the first place. I can’t find my stride, I’m acting kinda pathetic, and I’m just not in my groove. Much as I wish I could pull a Stella and hit a tropical island for a shag with a hot man, that’s not going to happen….but something has to give. I’m not enjoying this funk at all. :-( I ordered a book last night that I hope will help me find my way. The book is Danielle LaPlante’s ‘The Desire Map’, and I’m hopeful. Very, very hopeful. Do you know Danielle LaPlante? I wish I knew her personally – I think we’d be peeps. :)

Here’s the synopsis of the book:

 

Your bucket list. Quarterly objectives. Strategic plans. Big dreams. Goals. Lots of goals and plans to achieve those goals-no matter what. Except.

You’re not chasing the goal itself, you’re actually chasing the feeling that you hope achieving that goal will give you.

 Which means we have the procedures of achievement upside down. We go after the stuff we want to have, get, or accomplish, and we hope that we’ll be fulfilled when we get there. It’s backwards. And it’s burning us out.

 So what if you first got clear on how you actually wanted to feel in your life, and then created some “Goals with Soul”?

 With The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte brings you a holistic life-planning tool that will revolutionize the way you go after what you want in life. Unapologetically passionate and with plenty of warm wit, LaPorte turns the concept of ambition inside out and offers an inspired, refreshingly practical workbook for using the Desire Map process:

 

  • Identify your “core desired feelings” in every life domain: livelihood & lifestyle, body & wellness, creativity & learning, relationships & society, and essence & spirituality
  • Create practical “Goals with Soul” to generate your core desired feelings
  • Why easing up on your expectations actually liberates you to reach your goals
  • Self-assessment quizzes, worksheets, and complete Desire Mapping tools for creating the life you truly long for

 

Goal-setting just got a makeover.

There are more than 10,000 “Desire Mappers” who have worked through this system. “Every day I get stories about inner clarity, quitting jobs, dumping the chump, renewing vows, pole-dancing classes, writing memoirs, moving on,” says Danielle. “This is about liberation. And pleasure. And self-determination. This is about doing much less proving, and way more living.”

If you’ve had enough of trying to trick yourself into happiness through affirmations or bucket-listing your hopes into some distant future, then you’re ready for The Desire Map-a dream-fulfilling system that harnesses your soul-deep desire to feel good.

 

This looks great, eh? I think this is what I need. I’m lost, my darlings…and I want to be found. Now. Thank goodness that next week is a holiday from school – perhaps the time away will be good for my mind, my heart, and my soul.

Time to build my desire map.

 

 

Xxx

 

 

Islands in the Stream

I remember when Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton were all the rage in the ’80s. I’m a longtime worshipper at the temple of Dolly (who isn’t?), but I was never much of a Kenny fan (my mom was, though…she even had a poster of him on the inside of her closet door in her bedroom – so. weird. ) One of my friends from home and I used to giggle and sing “Islands in the Stream” when anyone with boobs (ie: she and I) would swim backstroke in the local pool. Get it? Boobs? Islands? I know. Lame. :-(

Dolly = Perfection :)

Dolly = Perfection :)

Anyway….although I’ve always known all of the words to sing along (because the bloody ditty was EVERYWHERE), I never stopped to listen to them. Until yesterday. Let’s take a look, shall we?

You do something to me
That I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on
Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel
Needs no conversation
We can ride it together, ah-ha
Making love with each other, ah-ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ha
From one lover to another, ah-ha

I can’t live without you
If the love was gone
Everything is nothing
If you got no one
And you did walk in the night
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us
And we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never

We start and end as one
In love forever
We can ride it together, ah-ha
Making love with each other, ah-ha

 

Lovely, don’t you think? I kind of love the words and the ideas presented…I wish someone felt that way about me!! It reminds me of this article that some friends posted online recently (women friends hinting at their husbands) entitled Ten Things To Do For Your Wife Every Year:

When your words and actions are intentional, the hope of a better marriage becomes reality. Here are 10 things to do for your wife every year.

Take a trip alone with her.

Make a big deal about her birthday.

Give her a weekend away.

Get dressed up (suit and tie) and take her on a date.

Pray continually for her and with her.

Take her to the place of your first date.

Give her a week off from “mom duties.”

Take her to a show.

Write a love letter to her.

Give her a head to toe massage without expecting anything.

 

The Best :)

The Best :)

Can you imagine??? I know. Me, neither. I know women, though, who are treated this way monthly….it seems like a fairy tale to me! ;-) Can you imagine….a man in a suit and tie and nobody died??! I love it!! Somebody taking you to a show without you having to book the tickets and make all the arrangements??! That’s bloody magic, that’s what that is!! Crazy town!! I just think that when people try and do anything for those around them to show that they care…it’s pure magic, whether it’s a grand gesture or not. Doing things to make others happy and feel good is one of the best things we can selfishly do for ourselves as well….and we all ought to try it more often. :-) Who knows, friends….2015 is coming quickly, and perhaps with this new year will come a bunch of great things for all of us! Like Kenny and Dolly sang….This could be the year for the real thing. :-)

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

How To Get The Girl

On her new album ‘1989’, Taylor Swift has a song called ‘How to Get the Girl’…I love this idea of a how-to list on how to be with someone – it would certainly take out all of the guess work and make things a whole lot easier, don’t you think? Love this. :-) So….in the spirit of Miss Taylor (of the Nashville Swifts), I present you with a list of how to get me:

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t presume that you want to get me specifically – most of these tips will apply to many females with brains in their heads and feet in their shoes)

 

You want this, don't you?

You want this, don’t you?

1) You mustn’t be lazy. That quality is never desirable, and women who tell you that they are okay with it are lying to you. For real. We want men who are hardworking, motivated, and ambitious. You don’t have to be the next Steve Jobs or a coal miner (those dudes work sooooooo hard it’s insane), but you do have to have some hustle to you. I am driven insane by the laissez faire attitude that is so common these days….’I don’t know, see what happens???’ Come on, guys….let’s get some get up and go!!! :-) Playing video games for hours a day, day after day, while in your sweats and smelling like CheeseDoodles is never cute. Ever.

2) You must woo. You don’t have to go over the top insane and chase me like it’s your job (although that’d be kinda fun, yes?), but you need to show interest. You need to put in the effort. I don’t require grand gestures (but I do think they are cool as hell), but you need to show that you are trying. Tries count for so much, you know that? How else are we supposed to know that you care?

3) You must be kind…and I don’t just mean to me – to everybody. If you treat the server in a restaurant like crap, then the day will come that you’ll treat me like crap, too…and I ain’t having it. If you’re anything less than respectful to the people in the service industry, then I am going to conclude that you think you’re better than other people – and, guess what? You aren’t. We all put our pants on one leg at a time, and nobody is any better than anyone else. Even you. So don’t bother. Just be nice…it’s really not that hard. I promise. :-)

4) You must have a sense of humor…because if we can’t laugh at life, we are likely to cry. Things around us can get really serious, and it’s hard not to get bogged down in the minutiae of life, even the littlest of things becoming massive catastrophes. It shouldn’t be that hard to laugh, my friends…. :-)

5) You must be smart. I can’t respect someone that I think is dumb….no way. And you absolutely must LOVE it that I’m smart. You need to encourage me, and be proud of the fact that in spite of my charm and flawless dance moves, I’m a clever clogs as well. ;-) This needs to be a good thing. :-)

6) You must not think I’m hideous to look at. I would like to say that you must find me cute/beautiful/pretty/gorgeous/attractive, but…let’s be real. I’m not those things, which is okay – it is what it is, but….I do hope that you will find me at least a bit fanciable. :-)

7) Finally, be thoughtful. I have such tremendous respect and admiration for people who are considerate of those around them. I love it when someone sends a message just to say hi, because they are thinking of you….that is great. :-) I think it’s awesome when somebody brings you a little trinket for no reason at all other than they dig the idea of making you smile – that’s awesome. (I truly do mean little trinket – ring pops and candy are always cool….I don’t mean that the poor guy has to go to Jared) Doors being held open, shopping bags being carried for you, someone who takes the garbage out – these things are amazing, awesome – and thoughtful. I love that. :-)

 

image

So….there you have it!! How to get most girls!! Easy, eh? Now…..go on and get started! I can’t wait to hear how you do!! :-)

 

xxx

 

Wildest Dreams

I had a lovely weekend with my Wee One…we dressed in matching costumes for Halloween on Friday (if I don’t win Mother of the Year for this, then I never will – I looked like a friggin idiot. She, however, was adorable. Go figure.), and we spent Sunday on an adventure together. We drove to the little town of Medina, Texas, had lunch at the Patio Cafe at Love Creek Orchards, bought some great apple products (including a yummy apple pie), and headed out for Lost Maples state park. I’ve been feeling really homesick for Canada lately, and I thought that seeing some maple trees with changing leaves might do me some good. Unfortunately, there’d been a terrible accident on the road and it was closed, so we will have to go back another time. We did have a beautiful drive through the Hill Country, however, and time together is always a great thing. :-)

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

The best apple pie that's ever pied. Yum.

The best apple pie that’s ever pied. Yum.

My love :-)

My love :-)

We did a lot of car singing on our trip yesterday – my stepdad gave her the new Taylor Swift album, so she grabbed the CD insert and sang along. We sang and sang and sang…it was the best. :) There’s a song on the album called ‘Wildest Dreams’, that made my eyes begin to leak, and I nearly had to pull the car over.

Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress staring at the sunset
Babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams oh wildest dreams oh ah, wildest dreams

Isn’t that a lovely sentiment? Say you’ll see me again? Those words speak to me, a person with chronic abandonment issues…I live in constant fear of being left by those that I care about (based on my history, no doubt), and I fret about being forgotten. I want to be remembered, especially by those that I care about, even after  they leave. I have always tried to be a pleasant memory I’m hopeful that there are people who have a warm fuzzy when they think of me, but there are others who will surely become filled with a murderous rage at the very sound of my name. It’s a tough balance to find.

This song went on to kill me again with these lines:

Nothing lasts forever, but this is gonna take me down…

You’ll see me in hindsight tangled up with you all night
Burning it down
Someday when you leave me I bet these memories follow you around

This is so me, and it about does me in…how many times do we embark on something that we know is a TERRIBLE idea, but we do it anyway for a multitude of reasons : it feels good, we want to, we’re feeling kind of selfish and wanting the world to be all about us? Do you do this? Please say yes so that I don’t feel like the worlds largest douchebag. Yes? The final bit really got me to thinking….When the people in my life who leave me (and there are a few) are gone, do they ever think of me? Does a smell, a song, a sound conjure up images of me? Do they see something on TV and find themselves flooded with memories of me…Or am I fooling myself? I remember people like this, you know. I hear the first strains of the REM song “Losing My Religion” and immediately think of the boyfriend I had when I graduated from high school and the hours we spent driving and listening to that album (same thing with the Black Crowes – their “Shake Your Money Maker” album was the soundtrack of our relationship – this might help explain why we were doomed for failure)…when I smell oranges, I think of another great love, who loved them with all of his heart and always seemed to have a faint citrusy smell about him. Happy thoughts. :) There are places that I travel that conjure up mountains of memories and all the feelings of people and things and situations left behind.  Memory is a powerful sense, my darlings…just like our wildest dreams.

I hope that I am remembered – even if it’s just pretend. :-)

 

xxx

All I Owe

While getting ready to drive my Wee One to school this morning, a story came on the news about a nurse on the East Coast who had been exposed to the Ebola virus through her work, but was balking at the 21 day quarantine, because she wasn’t showing symptoms and had so far tested negative. I don’t know all the details of the story, so I asked my mom a few questions (she’s got way more time to keep up with stuff like this than I do). She sent me the following news story:

Maine health officials said Tuesday that they are prepared to go to court to force nurse Kaci Hickox to comply with the state’s “voluntary” 21-day quarantine period for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients, as the nurse vows to defy the state.

Hickox, on Wednesday, told NBC’s “Today” that she doesn’t “plan on sticking to the guidelines” and is “appalled” by the home quarantine policies “forced” on her.

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I’m not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” she said, saying she’s in “perfectly good health.”

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew earlier declined during a news conference to comment specifically on Hickox, who was confined against her will at a New Jersey hospital before traveling home to Maine. But Mayhew said her department and the attorney general’s office were prepared to take legal steps to enforce a quarantine if someone declines to cooperate.

“We do not want to have to legally enforce in-home quarantine,” she said. “We’re confident that selfless health workers who were brave enough to care for Ebola patients in a foreign country will be willing to take reasonable steps to protect residents of their own country. However we are willing to pursue legal authority if necessary to ensure risk is minimized for Mainers.”

Hickox’s lawyer insisted Tuesday that she was not under quarantine and said she was seeking time to decompress at an undistclosed location in Maine.

Hickox, who volunteered in Africa with Doctors Without Borders, was the first person forced into New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine for people arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from three West African countries.

Hickox, who spent the weekend in a quarantine tent, said she never had Ebola symptoms and tested negative in a preliminary evaluation, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were sharply criticized for ordering mandatory quarantines.

In Maine, a quarantine comes into play only when people have had contact with Ebola patients; others who’ve been to the three countries will be monitored, officials said.

On Monday, Hickox traveled from New Jersey to Maine, where her boyfriend is a senior nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Her boyfriend opted to leave Fort Kent to spend time with her during the quarantine period, officials said Tuesday.

If Hickox were to show Ebola symptoms, then her boyfriend and any others who had contact with her also would be subject to quarantine, Mayhew said.

The news of Hickox’s return to Maine swept across the town of Fort Kent and the university campus, which has 1,400 students.

Faith Morneault, a 19-year-old behavioral science student, said news that Hickox may be headed to Fort Kent had caused “a lot of panic” among students. But she said she understands her desire to go home.

“You can’t freak out in this situation. You have to understand it,” she said.

Another student, 20-year-old behavioral science major Kayla Michaud, said students also are worried because of the potential presence of Hickox’s boyfriend in the school community.

“If she’s in quarantine, is he going to be quarantined, because we don’t all want to be contaminated with the Ebola virus,” she said.

Not everyone was alarmed, however.

Paul Berube, who works at a local credit union, said he thinks some residents are “overreacting.”

“Listen, we don’t live in a Third World country. We have some of the best medical hospitals here. We’re prepared for it. We can’t stop living. We need to live one day at a time and just be happy,” said Berube, 58.

 

I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t she just voluntarily do the quarantine? What’s the big deal about three weeks if it means ensuring safety for yourself and the people around you? It’s 21 days!! (I would love love LOVE the idea of 21 days of peace, quiet, and solitude myself) I don’t get this sense of entitlement that seems to exist in society these days…and I probably never will. I’m not just speaking about this particular situation (I choose to believe that there are mitigating circumstances in this situation that the media and I aren’t privy to), but I’ve grown really fatigued with the general sense of entitlement that’s becoming more and more prevalent these days. If I hear one more person telling me that they DESERVE something (anything), I am going to scream or punch them in the face (likely both)…most of us need to learn that we don’t deserve a whole lot in life, and be a little bit more grateful for the things that do come our way. I wish I was just speaking about the teenagers that I see in a day, but I’m not…the adults walking amongst us are just as bad.

I will never tell someone that I deserve their respect – unless I’ve earned it. I won’t demand loyalty from those I work with – without first earning their trust and respect. I am not entitled to anything – and I’m bloody grateful when something good does come my way. Sometimes people at work will offer to do things for me because they figure that I’m entitled to it since I’m in administration – I’m always tremendously grateful, and I make sure to repay the favor tenfold…but I never embrace the idea that I am entitled to anything. It makes life better that way, you know that? When you are consistently expecting nothing, you are grateful for anything and everything that comes your way….and you are NEVER disappointed. Imagine being never disappointed? It’s kind of great. We all ought to try it more often. :)

I came across this article, and it is AMAZING!!! Entitled “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy“, it breaks down this whole current sense of entitlement thing perfectly. Let’s give it a look, shall we? :) (be sure to enjoy the pictures :) )

Say hi to Lucy.

2013-09-15-Geny1.jpg

Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She’s also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group — I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

So Lucy’s enjoying her GYPSY life, and she’s very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:

Lucy’s kind of unhappy.

To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:

2013-09-15-Geny2.jpg

It’s pretty straightforward — when the reality of someone’s life is better than they had expected, they’re happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they’re unhappy.

To provide some context, let’s start by bringing Lucy’s parents into the discussion:

2013-09-15-Geny3.jpg

Lucy’s parents were born in the ’50s — they’re Baby Boomers. They were raised by Lucy’s grandparents, members of the G.I. Generation, or “the Greatest Generation,” who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, and were most definitely not GYPSYs.

2013-09-15-Geny4.jpg

Lucy’s Depression Era grandparents were obsessed with economic security and raised her parents to build practical, secure careers. They wanted her parents’ careers to have greener grass than their own, and Lucy’s parents were brought up to envision a prosperous and stable career for themselves. Something like this:

2013-09-15-Geny5.jpg

They were taught that there was nothing stopping them from getting to that lush, green lawn of a career, but that they’d need to put in years of hard work to make it happen.

2013-09-15-Geny6.jpg

After graduating from being insufferable hippies, Lucy’s parents embarked on their careers. As the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s rolled along, the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. Lucy’s parents did even better than they expected to. This left them feeling gratified and optimistic.

2013-09-15-Geny7.jpg

With a smoother, more positive life experience than that of their own parents, Lucy’s parents raised Lucy with a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility. And they weren’t alone. Baby Boomers all around the country and world told their Gen Y kids that they could be whatever they wanted to be, instilling the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches.

This left GYPSYs feeling tremendously hopeful about their careers, to the point where their parents’ goals of a green lawn of secure prosperity didn’t really do it for them. A GYPSY-worthy lawn has flowers.

2013-09-15-Geny8.jpg

This leads to our first fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Wildly Ambitious

2013-09-15-Geny9.jpg

The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

Cal Newport points out that “follow your passion” is a catchphrase that has only gotten going in the last 20 years, according to Google’s Ngram viewer, a tool that shows how prominently a given phrase appears in English print over any period of time. The same Ngram viewer shows that the phrase “a secure career” has gone out of style, just as the phrase “a fulfilling career” has gotten hot.

2013-09-15-Geny10.jpg

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To be clear, GYPSYs want economic prosperity just like their parents did — they just also want to be fulfilled by their career in a way their parents didn’t think about as much.

But something else is happening too. While the career goals of Gen Y as a whole have become much more particular and ambitious, Lucy has been given a second message throughout her childhood as well:

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This would probably be a good time to bring in our second fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Delusional

“Sure,” Lucy has been taught, “everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd.” So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better –

A shiny unicorn on top of the flowery lawn.

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So why is this delusional? Because this is what all GYPSYs think, which defies the definition of special:

spe-cial | ‘speSHel |
adjective
better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

According to this definition, most people are not special — otherwise “special” wouldn’t mean anything.

Even right now, the GYPSYs reading this are thinking, “Good point… but I actually am one of the few special ones” — and this is the problem.

A second GYPSY delusion comes into play once the GYPSY enters the job market. While Lucy’s parents’ expectation was that many years of hard work would eventually lead to a great career, Lucy considers a great career an obvious given for someone as exceptional as she, and for her it’s just a matter of time and choosing which way to go. Her pre-workforce expectations look something like this:

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Unfortunately, the funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they’re actually quite hard. Great careers take years of blood, sweat and tears to build — even the ones with no flowers or unicorns on them — and even the most successful people are rarely doing anything that great in their early or mid-20s.

But GYPSYs aren’t about to just accept that.

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.” He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?” He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”

And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here:

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Lucy’s extreme ambition, coupled with the arrogance that comes along with being a bit deluded about one’s own self-worth, has left her with huge expectations for even the early years out of college. And her reality pales in comparison to those expectations, leaving her “reality – expectations” happy score coming out at a negative.

And it gets even worse. On top of all this, GYPSYs have an extra problem that applies to their whole generation:

GYPSYs Are Taunted

Sure, some people from Lucy’s parents’ high school or college classes ended up more successful than her parents did. And while they may have heard about some of it from time to time through the grapevine, for the most part they didn’t really know what was going on in too many other peoples’ careers.

Lucy, on the other hand, finds herself constantly taunted by a modern phenomenon: Facebook Image Crafting.

Social media creates a world for Lucy where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. This leaves Lucy feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well, only adding to her misery:

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So that’s why Lucy is unhappy, or at the least, feeling a bit frustrated and inadequate. In fact, she’s probably started off her career perfectly well, but to her, it feels very disappointing.

Here’s my advice for Lucy:

1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it’ll work itself out — just dive in somewhere.

2) Stop thinking that you’re special. The fact is, right now, you’re not special. You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.

 

 

That equation up there really says it all….happiness = reality – expectations. I think that this is something that I (like most people, I imagine) have battled for years. I always thought that some parts of my life would turn out so differently than they have – and the disappointment of that has been quite crushing. On the other hand, some things have so wildly exceeded my expectations that I find delirious joy in them (I’m talking to you, my little Muppet child!! :) My job is pretty damn amazing, too! :)  )…it’s all about the reality/expectations thing. I love what the author wrote about the bullshit that is the Facebook phenomenon…people, for the love of all that is holy, STOP BRAGGING ABOUT YOUR DAMN LIFE ON FACEBOOK, AND GET OUT THERE AND LIVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! ARRGGHH!! Okay. Rant over. Sorry.

The three pieces of advice for Lucy are great, and would serve all of us well: dream big, impossible dreams…those are the ones that end up changing the world; realize that while you may indeed be a special butterfly, that you live in a whole world FULL of butterflies, each one more special than the next…so be good to your fellow man (or woman), and realize that they are just as special as you are; and finally, ignore the goings-on of everyone around you. You do you — that’s more than enough. :)

xxx

 

PS: And stop acting like you’re entitled to anything. Be grateful, dammit!!! ;)

Unpretty

I am not a fan of my appearance….probably never will be. My colleague across the hall walks in to our office at least once a week and announces that he cannot believe how very good looking he is – he’s not joking. Needless to say, words like that will never come out of my mouth – partly because I will never feel that way about myself, but mostly because I don’t want to sound like an arrogant prick. I’m not saying that all people with confidence in their appearance are arrogant pricks, but my neighbor sure is. Surely there must be a happy medium? :-)

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You’d really think that looking like this would give me heaps of confidence, wouldn’t you?

I spent the last few days laid up with a terrible spasm in my neck…it’s been rotten. I’ve watched entirely too much TV, laid around in whatever awkward position managed to bring me a bit of comfort and relief, and have basically been bored out of my skull. I couldn’t really fix my hair as it hurt too much, so I’ve been walking around resembling the arse end of a badger since last Thursday – that is not nearly as attractive as it sounds, friends. I’ve not been feeling terribly great about myself lately anyway, so this  little spell has done nothing for the already fragile ego. On Friday night, a former student and friend of mine posted the following on Instagram:

Take a moment to realize you’ve never seen your face in person, just reflections and pictures. Some scientists believe that if you saw a clone of yourself you wouldn’t recognize it as you, because our idea of what we look like is so different from what we actually look like.

Isn’t that brilliant? I know – mind. blown. I spent the better part of the weekend thinking about that, and was telling someone about it on Sunday. This sweet soul directed me to a Dove beauty campaign video that I had never seen before – where people describe their appearance to a police sketch artist, and then somebody else describes that same person…and the differences in the images are SHOCKING. Here’s the video:

Click on the picture to see the video :)

Click on the picture to see the video :)

I was almost crying when I finished this video, partially for the beautiful women featured in the clip, and partially for the way I treat myself. I don’t know when the self-loathing started, but I do know that I desperately wish it would end. I don’t ever want to spend another second of life apologizing to someone else for the way that I look – that’s insane. I never want to miss out on another outing because I look a hot mess and am afraid to subject anyone to the sight of me. I don’t want to purposely avoid looking in mirrors and try to free hand my makeup so that I don’t have to see myself…because the crooked, wobbly look that results does nothing for my appearance. I’m tired of thinking about the way I look. Tired of it all. I wish that I knew a solution to build a damn bridge over the entire subject of appearance, and get the hell over it. If you have this problem worked out and licked, give me a call and share the deets, ok?  I’ll be waiting.

How would you describe yourself to a sketch artist? :)

 

xxx

A Simple Kind Of Life

I’ve had some humdinger days at work recently…it appears that the whole world has lost its damn mind. Collectively. I’m not sure what’s in the air, but I hope it blows on. One of the issues that I’ve been dealing with lately is bullying. I HATE a bully like you would not believe, and it takes a lot of restraint for me to keep it together and not go off on the bullies and rip them a new one. Having to be the adult and the professional sometimes really sucks. Please promise me that you’ll never be a bully, ok? Meanies suck. :-(

My own attitude this week hasn’t been the best, either…and I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve been feeling like I’m a nuisance to everyone around me again, feeling like I’m in the way, that I constantly screw up…all of that old stuff. I forgot to do something at work this week – I remembered before it was too late and got it taken care of, but…I’m still disappointed in myself for forgetting. Which is dumb, because I’m only human, right? Grr. I’m a frustrating individual. :-(

I love this :)

I love this :)

I was at work late last evening at an event, and while I was driving home, I became so full of sadness (and my eyes so full of tears) that I ended up just pulling over and taking a minute. I was annoyed at the rest of the world who seem to have life come so easily to them, while I must struggle every single day. I was frustrated at how really, really hard I work and try at everything I do…my job, my family, relationships – and yet I still feel like I fail. I got angry at myself for feeling this way – I do have a lot of great things going on around me, but for whatever reason I am still feeling blue. Perhaps it’s my shoes for today? ;-)

Smurf Sabahs - the BEST shoes ever!!!! :)

Smurf Sabahs – the BEST shoes ever!!!! :)

 

I believe I need a kick in the arse….any takers? I found this article today about getting yourself out of a funk – it’s good! :-)

 

10 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk

1. Check out your biological balance. Take an inventory: Are you going to bed at a decent hour? How is your sleep? Are you eating well and keeping your blood sugars stable? Could you be Vitamin D deficient? Are you stressing your liver with too much alcohol and processed foods? Are you dieting or not eating enough calories? Our bodies work hard to keep a chemical equilibrium at all times– but sometimes we need to consciously work on helping with that process. A chemical imbalance can (and will) absolutely affect our moods. So good sleep, nutrition and self care are not a panacea– they are critical in helping us regain emotional balance.

2. Do time with the issues. As much as we would like to be able to simply transcend our worst mental and emotional struggles, we need to acknowledge them and take a look. Ignoring them is completely useless– our issues will continue to grow and upset us until they have our full attention. Acknowledging negative emotions is not the same as indulging them. Our feelings are there to help us understand and explore the situation better. Don’t let them run you over; allow them to guide you. It is helpful to write them down. Start with a feeling: “I feel disappointed.” and then go further– “I feel disappointed about….” Go deeper again. Whatever the feeling, it is completely worth the time and energy to spend a little longer defining it more specifically. Remember that specifics are more manageable than vague feelings. Do not be afraid to identify whatever it is that you are angry, sad, scared, or frustrated about. These feelings are valid and need to be acknowledged before they can then be released.

3. Write about it. Journaling is not just for sentimental types! Writing down your thoughts can be extremely helpful in crystallizing your thoughts and feelings. One practice I especially recommend is writing “morning pages,” as described by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. The idea is that you write freehand first thing in the morning, filling three pages every day. It doesn’t matter at all what you write about– just put down whatever comes to your mind. This has an incredibly clarifying and freeing effect. At the beginning of the day, you get to notice and release all of the things that are clouding your mind as you begin. This process is very helpful for me whenever I feel stuck creatively or overwhelmed with my work or parenting, or any other kind of funk.

4. Create something. Using the artistic/ intuitive parts of your brain can help you bring understanding to the parts of your life that you cannot logically comprehend. Likewise, there are things that you cannot express through words– so use your creative side, engage your senses, or move your body through dance as a way of expressing yourself. This could also come in the form of learning a new skill– which helps get us out of our heads and more into our bodies.

5. Channel your energy in a positive way. When I am feeling upset about something, my house usually looks cleaner than usual. Anger really gets me cleaning, as does trying to problem-solve. If you are feeling stuck, consider your surroundings– are things piling up around you? What is your living space doing for your mood? Clearing out clutter and improving your environment can really help you shift your own energy, and focusing on a task like this can also give you space to think and work some things out.

6. Get Bodywork. Have you ever heard the saying, “We carry our issues in our tissues?” It’s true. I am a bodyworker myself, and it’s amazing how our emotions and life experiences find their way into our muscles and other tissues, and stay there, producing pain, limitation and even disease. Getting massage or energy work, or acupuncture from a talented practitioner can be extremely helpful as you navigate life changes and difficult situations. Releasing tensions in your body helps in also letting go of tensions and anxieties in your mind. I have witnessed powerful personal transformations as a result of effective bodywork treatments.

7. Give in to it, for a time. Make an appointment with yourself to be in your funk, and to explore those feelings. In the past, making a mixed tape (or CD) of songs that I felt embodied my emotional state, helped me. I listened to that music, and felt those feelings until they eased. This is the opposite of the advice most of us get– “If you’re feeling sad, put on some peppy music! Dance it out!” This can work sometimes, but I feel this approach is more of a band-aid than a healing process.

8. Give to others. Kindness can heal, and gratitude does, also. When you begin to feel sorry for yourself, make a point of doing something kind for someone else. Or reaching out and thanking someone for the joy or nourishment they have brought into your life. This will take your mind off of your own issues and open the world up to you just a bit. And guess what? Kindness and good deeds are proven mood-lifters! Even making a donation to a charity helps.

9. Go outside and move your body. Taking a walk in nature is helpful in many ways. Invite a friend to walk with you if you want, and then you get three-for-one therapy: community, exercise, and talk therapy. I like to walk alone and think– it can be very clarifying. For me, there is no bad mood that can’t be dispelled by a walk in nature. Sometimes when I get there I am very skeptical about whether or not it will work, because I’m feeling so bad. But it always does, every time!

10. Play! Playing or having fun may feel like the last thing you want to do. But it can be so helpful. Laughter is an incredible stress reliever, and going out and doing something frivolous or silly helps put life back into perspective. This is also a great way to bring your family into your life when you have been brooding. Watch funny movies, look for good stand-up comics, play silly games with your kids. Do cartwheels if you know how– being upside down once in a while is good for you, too! Whatever it is that makes you smile, laugh, or forget about all the things that are on your mind– do more of that, and make it a priority.

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There are things on this list that are really good…I love the idea of doing time with the issues – I never do this. I rarely permit myself the time and energy to sit down and just feel all the feels. I’m too busy running around and doing stuff for everybody else, and I almost never take the time to truly acknowledge what is going on inside of me. Perhaps if I paid more attention to that, it’d make things easier overall. I know that my lack of sleep helps nobody, but I am working all the time at addressing that…I think it’s getting better. I wish that I had time for walks outside, and massages, but they’ve never been a high priority item on my list, so…they get pushed aside. Sadly, I have not one but two gift cards for massages sitting in my damn purse, but I’ve never used either of them. Part of the problem is giving the time to myself, but the other is a fear of the massage process/naked thing/relaxing so much that the ol’ caboose makes a breezy sound (not mine, silly…I don’t do that – the massage therapist)…I drive myself insane with my fretting. I need therapy.  ;)

I love the idea of writing my bad thoughts away – that’s what I do with you guys here, so…thanks. :) I’m a huge fan of the suggestion to do creative things – we all know that I’m not your average bear, and thinking outside the box happens to be my specialty, so…I’m always down with that. :) I’m a huge fan of giving to others…nothing makes me happier. I made dinner last weekend (on Sunday – pretty much the only day of the week that I have time to do some cooking), and delivered plates to a few people. It was kind of them to eat my food, but it made me even happier thinking that I could do something for them and make their day just a smidge easier. :) Yaaa! :)

Finally…I’m right down with the idea of taking time to play. I’ve been working REALLY hard this year at work to get home earlier, not spend quite so much time at events or in my office…and just do stuff for me. I’ve seen a few movies recently (woohoo!), and I’ve gone out for some truly lovely meals. :) I’ve taken time at home to just sprawl on the couch and watch TV (if you haven’t seen the first episode of Dave Grohl’s documentary series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highway yet, rundon’twalk to the nearest idiot box and hit that bad boy up – the series is going to be AMAZING! Fo’shizzle! ;) ), and I even left work early one day this week to pick my Muppet up from school. :) I’m trying to focus more on doing stuff for my own enjoyment…and it’s starting to work. I just need to sustain it, and work at chasing the demon voices in my head away. Like the picture up there says – I need to run my day, or it’ll run me. ;)

 

xxx

O Canada

What happened in Ottawa yesterday broke my heart…I hate senseless acts of violence anywhere (who doesn’t?), but I really really hate it when it happens in the homeland. I watched news coverage online, and marveled at the brilliant way the Canadians dealt with it – calmly, gracefully, and with class. The CBC coverage anchored by veteran newsman (and longtime awesome possum) Peter Mansbridge is basically a how-to for journalists on handling a crisis. He was – as always – right dipped in awesome sauce. :-) Check this out: Canada’s Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame.

 

The dude. :)

The dude. :)

 

Three cheers to the good people in the Pittburgh Penguins organization for singing O Canada prior to last nights game against the Philadelphia Flyers. These folks are classy. :-) Here’s video:

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Click on the picture to see the video :)

 

Think good thoughts for the people up north…Canadians are globally quiet people who don’t tend to make a lot of noise and fuss…but they are people who can always be counted on in moments of tragedy, no matter where in the world a helping hand is needed. Send them your love and support.

 

xxx

Strong Enough

I have 6 tattoos. When I write that, it seems like a shockingly high number and that I’m some sort of deviant….but it isn’t, and I’m not. I promise. ;-) My tattoos (or pictures, as the Wee One lovingly refers to them) are cute, small, and in safe places. I do not resemble this guy:   My mother asked me how many I had the other day, and when I answered her, the unimpressed look was clearly etched on her face. I’m well accustomed to that look having received it for most of my life, so it was no big whoop. I did let her know that I’m not done yet…that I have (at least) one more tattoo to get. Not to fret, my pets, it’s not the same as that one above (heh heh); instead, I want the phrase Satis Sum, tattooed to the inside of my wrist. Satis Sum is Latin for I am enough…perhaps my hardest struggle in life. I never, ever feel anywhere close to good enough. For anything. Ever. It’s hard.:-(

One of my newest pictures :)

One of my newest pictures :)

I happened across this article the other day entirely by accident (I was Googling kitten pictures. Again. I’ve no idea how this article came up – we’re going to go with divine intervention.)…and it couldn’t be more appropriate for me. I kept it open on my iPad for three days, reading parts of it over and over again, hoping like hell that some of the words would seep into my extraordinarily thick skull. It bugged me, taunting me every time I opened a window to do some online shopping (which happens far too much) or read Jezebel. Behold 20 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough:

Truth be told, you can’t berate yourself into a better version of yourself.  And even though I know this, I sometimes still fall victim to my own negative thinking.  Sometimes I’m downright rude to myself.  I make a mistake, or fall short of my own expectations, and instead of treating it as a learning opportunity, I beat myself up about it. I’m sure you can relate.  We’ve all been there.  We all have bad days and moments of self-doubt. Sometimes the pressure coming from peers, family, work, and society in general is enough to make us feel completely broken inside.  If we don’t have the “right” job, relationship, lifestyle, and so forth, by a certain age or timeframe, we assume we’re just “not good enough.” 

So what can we do about it?   Here’s how I handle it: Every time I catch myself thinking I’m not good enough, I immediately write down an opposing thought that debunks my negativity. I’ve been doing this for the past several years and it’s made a tremendous difference in my life. I challenge you to do the same. If you need a little extra inspiration, here are some things I’ve come up with – 20 good reminders when you’re feeling “not good enough”:

Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you. – YOU are walking your own path. Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel. Forget what everyone else is doing and achieving. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life.

Where you are right now is a necessary step. – Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on our ideals, that it is not where we should be or want to be. But the truth is, where you are right now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.

Everything is coming together… maybe not immediately, but gradually. – When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Pain is part of growing. Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

It is your resistance to “what is” that causes your suffering. – Remember, happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with “what is,” rather than wishing for and worrying about “what is not.” “What is” is what’s supposed to be, or it would not be. The rest is just you, arguing with life. Think about that for a minute. This means your suffering only ever occurs when you resist how things are.

You cannot control everything that happens to you; you can only control the way you respond to what happens. In your response is your power.

Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace. – Choose to be miserable and you’ll find plenty of reasons to be miserable. Choose to be peaceful and you’ll find plenty of reasons to be at peace. Think about it. Are you skilled at making yourself miserable? With those same skills you can make yourself motivated, effective and fulfilled. Do so.

You are always good enough to try, and that’s what’s important in the end. – Everything you achieve comes from something you attempt. Make the attempt. Trust me, twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. Give yourself a chance.

There’s always something small you can do. – There is absolutely nothing about your present situation that prevents you from moving forward, one tiny step at a time. Remember, vision without action is just a daydream; vision must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, you must step up the stairs. And all you have to do is take one step at a time. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take that step.

Failures are really just lessons that need to be learned. – No day is ever wasted when you live it with purpose and presence. Value and enjoy the journey, even when there are detours along the way.

Yesterday’s impossibilities may be possible today. – Experience is the hardest kind of teacher; it gives you the test first and the lesson afterward. But this is really a blessing. It means you’re growing stronger and more capable with every passing day. So don’t you dare give up on today because of the way things looked yesterday. Don’t even think about it. What “might happen” can only stop you if you let it. – Rather than worrying about what might happen, move forward and use your energy and intelligence to deal with what does actually happen.

The quality of your vision drives the quality of your life. – It’s up to you how you visualize things and what you focus on. Forget what you don’t like. Focus on what excites you. If you see a possibility, explore it. If you have a dream, live it. Those who are passionate and excited about what they’re doing have an advantage that is nearly impossible to conquer. Be one of these people. 

You don’t need to get everyone’s approval first. – Stop listening to what the world says you should want. Start listening to who you are. Truth be told, there are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them.

What you’re capable of achieving is greatly based on how much you want it. – When it means enough to you, then you can do it. When you are willing and committed and persistent, you will get yourself there, every time. Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural outcome of consistently applying your focused effort to what you want. The fatigue might be there sometimes, but you must understand that putting it aside is the single most important factor in succeeding.

Your best bet is to give yourself no other choice. – It’s amazing what you can do when you have no other choice. In fact, achievement consists mostly of giving yourself no other choice. You are more than good enough; you just have to own it – you have to own everything you are and everything you’re up against. If you believe your troubles are too powerful, then you’ll never allow yourself to rise above them. Stop fretting. Quit worrying. Don’t complain. You know what you must do. So do it.

You have to work hard on yourself too. – Self-respect, self-love, self-worth… there’s a reason they all start with “self.” You can’t receive them from anyone else. Earn the respect of others by having the audacity to respect yourself. Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with pots of gold at both ends. It’s your responsibility, above all, to see your own value. And this responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and deciding for you; it means learning to use your own brains and intuition to make things happen – hence, grappling with hard work.

You are stronger than whatever is troubling you. – Use each setback, each disappointment as a cue to push on ahead with more determination than ever before. When something bad happens, you can either let it define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you. The choice is yours. So pump yourself up! You are a lot stronger than you think you are. You may not be where you want to be yet, but look how far you’ve come. Celebrate the fact that you’re not where you used to be.

For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else. – Appreciate what you have today. Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. No regrets, just lessons. No worries, just acceptance. No expectations, just gratitude. Life is too short. The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end. So stop re-reading the bad one already, and turn the page.

You have made the best of some tough situations. – Smiling doesn’t always mean you’re happy with everything. Sometimes it just means you’re strong and smart enough to accept it and make the best of it.

Your scars are symbols of your strength. – Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph. So don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain.

You are still here trying. – If you have no other testimony right now, you have this one: “I’m still here trying.” Be positive, patient and persistent. The more you feel like quitting, the more there is to be gained by continuing to do all three. Because the strongest people aren’t the people who always win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.

Afterthoughts The wisest, most loving, and well rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair. These people have experienced many ups and downs, and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding and a deep loving wisdom. People like this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of time. And you’re getting there.

 

Good, right? There are so many things here that hit home with me so hard I felt the wallop on my head.  The second point the author made about the place you are right now being necessary was SO powerful to me, a compulsive planner who sometimes (frequently) has a hard time enjoying the present because I’ve got my eye on the next step and a better future. What’s so bad about relaxing into the moment and just enjoying it? Nothing, I tell you. I need to smarten up.

The idea of always being good enough to try is a beautiful one…I love that, don’t you? :) They also wrote about not needing the approval of others – again, a wretched struggle for a people-pleaser like me. I’m always trying to make everyone else happy, a Pollyanna constantly seeking the approving nod of everyone she meets – how ridiculous is that???! Who cares if other people approve of what I do??? It’s something I need to work on, that’s for sure. My need for constant reassurance and positive affirmation is annoying as hell to me…how does anyone else put up with me?!?!??! Grr!!!

I love the point the author made about working hard on yourself, and how important that is. It’s no secret that I am probably my own harshest critic – you’ll rarely hear me say anything terribly nice about myself…and I don’t really know why, since I’m not that bad, am I? (Except for today – I’m a hot mess today. I got to work, was here for a good 45 minutes before I looked in the mirror…and realized that I had forgotten to put makeup on! Yikes! I didn’t have time to go home, so I started digging through my purse – I found an eyeliner, bits of last week’s bagel, mascara, and plum-colored lipstick. I proceeded to throw out the bagel – how gross am I? – and put the lipstick on as eye shadow, doing what I could – see Exhibit A) At least I’m trying, right? ;)

Exhibit A - plum lipstick eye shadow. :)

Exhibit A – plum lipstick eye shadow. :)

 

Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough for something/someone/everything/everyone? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you – and, if it’s any consolation to you, my darlings…you’re ALWAYS more than good enough for me. :)  Je vous aime. :)

xxx