A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘Life’

9 Random Thoughts

  • I don’t want to live here anymore.
  • I can’t get to where I’d like to be right now. Hellooooo, Canada! I think I’d even be happier on another island with less people, less traffic, and more niche opportunities (although I haven’t thought of any yet). This tiny island is overrun. I could use a change of scenery and pace.
  • Tomorrow, when I have the time, I want to make a list of the things I’m good at.
  • I need some beach time. I think I’ll get it on Monday.
  • There is far too much work to be done, and far too much is on my plate instead of being divided into manageable amounts.
  • The people around me (at work) are crazy, inconsiderate, rude, panicked, and unorganized. That’s their problem. I will not make it my own any more than it already is (with just having to deal with them).
  • Good thing I stopped at Ma’s and made myself a breakfast sandwich this morning. I’d be famished without it.
  • I’m pretty sure the time has come for me to do my own thing. I just need to figure out what I want to do, and how to make it work. I need to be happy, fulfilled, and well-fed. Must be able to pay the bills.
  • I’m glad there will be a birthday celebration on the weekend, planned by my pretty. I’m blessed and loved. I will be more than happy to indulge in good times with good people.

Thankful Thursday

More busy days, y’all!

Monday and Tuesday whipped by like nobody’s business. Yesterday seemed to drag a little, but that was fine. There was a lot to be done. I still have quite a few things to wrap up before the end of the work week. I feel like one of those wind-up toys. Spinning, spinning, spinning, then… Slooooowlyyyyy spiiiiinniiiiing. I have to finish everything before the wind-up power is gone and I’ve slowed to a halt.

Anyway, it’s THURSDAAAAAYYYYY! I’m thankful for:

  • Bright colours
  • Take-out dinner last night (Does NOT happen often)
  • Dessert
  • Cool run spots
  • The world of information at my fingertips (aka internet)
  • The weekend coming up
  • My Neo2 (will be put to work this evening between work and a meeting)
  • Breakfast for dinner (tonight!)
  • New shoes (bought last weekend)
  • Planners/Calendars
  • Breathing exercises (They really DO have an amazing effect)
  • Good books
  • Critique group
  • Discovering two great tv shows: Modern Family and Downton Abbey
Here’s a song that has a really interesting song, humorous lyrics, and a strange feel-goodness about it:
I neeeeeed to get it in iTunes and on my Running playlist. LOVE it.

Lots of questions for you today. Answer one, some, or all of ’em in comments. 🙂 What’s going on in your world? Is your week flying by, or dragging on? What are you thankful for? Is there a song you’re really diggin’ right now?

Wordless Wednesday: Positivity

5-1 Things

Five Things About the Weekend

  • The thing I remember most, sadly, is that someone close to me called me mean. I feigned surprise at something (pens from my office being at home), and the response I got was, “Yes, I’ll bring them back. I know you’re mean.” Seriously?! THAT’s what you think of me? Great. Really good to know. Thanks. For clarity, I am concerned about 20 pens not being in my office because, really, my principals at work are seriously likely to call me and ask me to bring some of those “bunch of pens” in my drawer (because THEY PUT THEM THERE) to some random place. If they’re not there, I’d have to explain why, or find my way to storage to get some if I have that opportunity. Big deal? Probably not. Likely? Probably not. I’m just saying. But seriously… I’m mean? Oh. I have seriously stressed about this for the past few days, thoroughly thinking it through. Sad? Yeah, probably. *Sighs*
  • Shopping. Ugh. Babe had to get a million things for an event she was hosting. We also got a few things for our game night. I got some towels for my grandmother, plants for my grandmothers, and one or two other things. Traffic was ridiculous. I hated every minute of being on the road. Being in the stores wasn’t much better. In the middle of the errands, mum called. She needed a ride from the hospital (visiting my grandmother). I popped in to hail grandmother, then took mum home to grandmother’s house. Back on the road we went. Being in my grandmother’s area was the push we needed to get mace for Babe and a stungun for me. Yay!
  • Had a fun game night at our place. My cousin was the first to arrive. We chatted until our friend (who we met through my cousin) arrived with her new girrrlfriiiend. We chatted more, had lots of laughs, and played a few games of Cranium. After that, they played a few games of Dominoes. I’m not big on Dominoes, so I sat those out. I focused on eating the brownies my cousin brought. Have I ever mentioned my insane snackiness? I LOVE snacking. And snacks. YUM, YUM, YUM! FOOOOD!
  • Ran on Sunday morning. Opted to do 15 minutes instead of the usual 20. Just because it had been so long. I pushed more than usual. I didn’t run particularly fast. I just tried to run for longer. I usually do 2 mins running OR 3 minutes running alternated with 1 minute of walking. I did that at the very least. When I felt I could, I ran for longer. With that, I managed to run my fastest mile. YAY! I’ll post the details of the run on Ice Cream Runs a bit later.
  • Sunday was stupid. Got horrible news about grandmother’s health. Felt very alone and inconsolable. Blah, blah, blah.

Four Things About Today

  • My legs are still a bit achy from my first run in friggin’ aaaaages on Sunday. I didn’t wear my calf sleeves. Silly, silly. I’m going to wear them next time.
  • Brought lunch today. I have food from FamJam on Sunday. Babe has food from last night. We did beef strips with potatoes and carrots. And rice, but she doesn’t eat rice and potatoes at the same time. *shrugs*
  • I neeeed to get out for a run. I’ve realized that it’s the release/therapy that I need sometimes.
  • I’m worried about things. I know that worry doesn’t help, but it’s there. What am I supposed to do? Not worry? I sort of have to.

Three Things About This Week

  • It doesn’t feel like Christmas is less than a week away.
  • I want this week to be over.
  • I wish I could just sleep.

Two Things About Christmas Weekend

  • I’m not looking forward to it, but I DO want it to hurry up and come, and then leave.
  • I wanna go to Junkanoo. That’s about it. Sunday night/Monday morning will be my salvation. Or something.

One Thing About Life

  • I should always expect the unexpected.

Is This Hell?

Sad. Confused. Lost. Useless. Helpless. Tired.

This seems like a good time to warn my regular readers. This isn’t my usual Happy Monday or WHOOP-DEE-DOO! Life! stuff. I’m going through something. You may not want to read this post. It’s a bit much.

I am exhausted. These past few weeks have been torturous. I feel like this is a little bit of hell. I mean, really. If there is a hell, it doesn’t mind coming to earth. When it comes to earth, it visits people. It’s the guest that was never invited, and doesn’t ever want to leave. Apparently, it’s my turn to house it. Hell.

My mother had a multiple sclerosis crisis a few weeks ago. She was in the hospital for two weeks. She’s now staying at my grandaunt’s. I’m glad that she is now able to walk with a 4-prong cane instead of the friggin’ walker. And she’s moving much faster. She still has to pace herself. She can’t do too much. It seems that she’s getting better, and will make a full (but slow) recovery. This is fine. For now.

Mother was discharged on Monday. I believe it was Thursday that my grandmother was admitted. Seriously?! All I could think was, Seriously, can this stop now?! Apparently not. Things just keep getting worse. There was a family meeting last night. Really, it was my mother and her siblings. Plus my sisters. They weren’t invited, really. But they were there. Everyone needed to be told what was going on. I think my uncle was the only one who knew. And maybe my aunt. The other 5 brothers didn’t. Actually, one of the brothers is in New York with his daughter who just had a baby. I guess he still doesn’t know.

My uncle is the primary contact and my mother is the secondary contact (that the doctors have for my grandmother). The doctor couldn’t reach my uncle yesterday morning, so they called my mother. She called my sister to take her to the hospital. They needed her to sign the discharge form. They went on to explain things. Things my mother knew nothing about. But she pretended. She wanted to get more information, so she kept saying the “Yes, yes, okay” stuff but all she really wanted to do was scream. I talked to her this morning. She still wants to scream.

They’ve decided to keep things quiet. Everyone knows that Grammy has been having problems breathing lately. About 2 years ago, they had to get her an oxygen tank. Her shortness of breath was crazy. It’s still crazy. And not getting better. Sometimes, it seems like she has to fight to catch a breath between her words. Even talking is difficult now. There’s some type of pulmonary fibrosis and something-something else. That’s the story everyone has agreed to stick to. There will be no mass dissemination of new information. It’s scary. That word. That one word with six letters. Everyone dreads it. No one thinks it will happen to them, or anyone close to them. Least of all, their 80-something year old grandmother. The sweetest lady in the world.

Last night sucked. I find out this stuff from my mum and then I drove home. To an empty house. Babe was out, hosting a thing. I couldn’t bug her. I still wanted to speak to her. Just to say, “Hello,” and maybe possibly send some sort of wordless message that I needed her. Not that it would have done me any good. She was busy. So I sat on the couch. I stared at the wall. There was no music. She had the computer and the iPod with her. I didn’t know what to do. I got my new book. I didn’t feel like reading. I didn’t even open it. I text messaged a friend. A good one. Vanessa. I didn’t want to lay my burdens down, so I just kinda said, “Hey, whassup?” We chatted randomly. Then she asked about my mum. I told her. About my grandmother. And that I really wanted to go for a drive, but it was far too dark and sketchy. She offered to come get me, but I declined. It would have been too much. Too far for her to drive. And for what? To be stuck in a car with me? I couldn’t do that to her. Plus Babe went out with no keys. I couldn’t leave. I wanted to have a hot shower. But I couldn’t. What if she came home? I got no answers to my phone calls or text messages. I was pissed that I had no idea when she’d be back, or even if she was okay. No communication. That always pisses me off, but I was really on another level last night. The day and night just sucked. And it was no one’s fault.

I didn’t even have feelings. I was just numb. I sat there. With thought. Thoughts. Too many of them. Lungs. Liver. Spleen. Hospital. The unspeakable word. Quality of life. Future. Stupid, stupid Christmas. Eventually, I got a notepad. I scribbled some words. When I was done, I rested it down. Then, all of a sudden, I felt. And it was a lot. I cried like I don’t remember ever crying in my life. It was like I couldn’t breathe. I could get no air. It was horrible. I wondered if that’s how my grandmother feels when she talks to us. I told myself that I deserved it. To feel that way. That I was too selfish. Too mean. Too focused on ME, ME, ME. Babe was right when she said it in her own way. I was right to hate myself a little bit more than usual. I was a terrible person who was not nice. Maybe I caused this. Maybe, somehow, my overall crappiness as a person caused this. Maybe I’m the link. I’m the one bringing all these enormous heaps of awful to the people around me. It was me. And I cried. And then I saw the selfishness in that. I was pitying myself.

Babe called, finally. She said she was 10 minutes away. I took that time to go in the shower. Of course, 3 minutes later, the doorbell rang. Out of the shower and onto a towel, I shuffled across the floor to unlock the door, and then back to the shower. I finished up. I calmed myself. Straight to bed, I went.

I’m exhausted. Did I mention that? I can’t seem to catch myself. No matter how much I sleep, I’m not feeling rested. At all. This has to be more than a physical exhaustion. Mental and emotional too, I bet. There is too much happening. Too fast.

What will tomorrow bring? Hell. What will the next MINUTE bring? I have no idea. I don’t even know if I have any hope left. *puts hands in pockets, and takes them out. Empty*

Questions from Sunday Stealing

If you’re here looking for my answers to the Community Meme 2011, head over to Flavor Internationale where I posted my answers. I did it late because I had things to deal with on the weekend. If not, you can still check it out, but read this post too!

You already know I LOVE answering interesting questions. I stole these from Sunday Stealing. No, I don’t feel bad about it.

26) Are you happy with the person you’ve become?

YES! It took me a while to get here, but I’m here. And loving it. Thankful for the getting-away-from-the-family experience. I really needed it to come into my own. I was too busy being who people thought I was and/or who people thought I should be to ever really get to know me. Isn’t that crazy?! I had to go two countries north to have enough space to grow.

27) What’s a sound you hate; sound you love?

I hate the sound of pencils on paper, cardboard scraping cardboard… That type of thing. I love the sound of the ocean.

28) What’s your biggest “what if”?

Hmmm… What if I never went off to school?! My gooossshhh. TRAGIC! Seriously. Oh, wait. What if I never took a chance, never opened up, never siezed an opportunity? I’d have missed out on education, amazing experiences, perfect love… Oh, man. WHAT IF?!

29) Do you believe in ghosts?

I believe in spirits. Scary creeping things in white? No.

30) How about aliens?

I believe in the possibility of the existence of aliens. I also believe that I am part alien. And that’s okay.

31) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?

To allow myself to be open.

32) What’s the worst place you have ever been to?

A place called “Alone.” People say it’s okay to be alone… Just not lonely. And that there is a difference. Let me tell you… The human condition… It is such that it requires that we do not live unto, into, or by ourselves. That’s just the way that it is. And if you are ALONE… With no one else around, no one to talk to, no one to lean on, no one to laugh with… Darlin’, you are LONELY. Maybe not for a day or a week, but you stay in that situation for an extended period of time, and BELIEVE me… You will intimately know LONELY.

And I am NOT talking about boyfriend/girlfriend-boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. I’m speaking in a broad sense.

33) Can insanity bring on more creativity?

Ever watched Pollack? Hahaha. If you did, you’d know that the answer is YES. Now, does it ALWAYS bring on more creativity? NO.

34) Most attractive actor of your opposite gender?

I’m not good with actors’ names. And I’m not good at recalling people with any particular quality. Good looks, nice hair, best speaking voice… Nothing like that. Not on demand. So I’m stumped.

35) To you, what is the meaning of life?

You can find the meaning of “life” in any dictionary. What is to be questioned is the PURPOSE of life.

As far as a definition goes, maybe life is just the time between birth and death. Maybe it’s the word that describes a way of living. Maybe it’s characterized by abilities to breathe, move, respond, reproduce, etc. *shrugs* So many possible definitions. In my opinion, just breathing isn’t living. It’s not enough. So by that, life can’t just be breath. Right?

36) Define “Art”.

Open to interpretation. A name given to the innumerable ways of representing people, places, things, and ideas. A way of sending a particular message. The transfer of a dream, vision, and/or feeling to a tangible shared piece. The act of birthing the intangible into a 3D world.

37) Do you believe in luck?

Probably. By another name. Or term. I believe in the power of the universe. I believe in the cycle. In reaping what is sown. Even so, I believe in chance. And possiblity. I believe in cause and effect. And choice.

38) In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?

Great people, for starters. Honesty, trust, loyalty, and friendship work together to make a great foundation. Everything else is just aesthetic. Depends on the taste of the people in the relationship.

39) What’s a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?

Ummm… This is another one of those things that I can’t think of on the spot. I have to hear the song to know. Hella Good by No Doubt is playing right now. This makes me feel good. 🙂

40) Where were you yesterday?

Yesterdaaayyy… Spent the first part of the day at home with Babe. The afternoon and early evening were spent at the hospital with my mum. Then back home to Babe.

41) What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?

Horrid infection that almost ate away my entire ear. Sexy.

42) Do you have any obsessions right now?

The idea of writing. I have to say “the idea” of it because I haven’t been doing enough of it. I just think about it a lot. Fantastize about it. I WANNA do it. It’s just the tiiiiime. I have great space to do it in. I just need life to chiiillllll for a minute.

43) What’s up?

I’m at work. Printing the last of over 400 envelopes. I’ll be spending the afternoon (and probably part of tomorrow) folding letters and stuffing the envelopes. Babe is here too. Working away. Our lunch order didn’t get placed in time, so we’re gonna run out a little earlier and grab food.

I just called my aunt (my dad’s aunt) to see what’s up. She said my uncle (my mother’s twin brother) called to say he’s taking her there (from the hospital) at 2pm. WOOHOO! She’s getting out of there! A part of me is a bit afraid. I don’t know how it’s gonna go. My aunt is great, and she’ll make sure mum eats on time and everything, but she’s over 70. She can’t hold my mother’s body weight up. I don’t know how she’s going to get to and from the bathroom. She’s still only making about 15 (tiny) steps at a time, and in about 3 minutes. Maybe we’ll have to buy a commode for her.

I don’t know. I don’t wanna stress. I just want things to be okay. *breathes*

44) Ever had a rumor spread about you?

Probably. *shrugs*

45) Do you believe in real magic?

No. But I DO believe in FAKE magic. What the hell kinda question… LOL.

46) Do you ever hold grudges against people who have done you wrong?

I have, yes. I don’t any more. I’ve learned that it’s harder on me than it is on them. I’d rather free them if it means that I can free myself. I don’t wanna go around carrying unnecessary baggage/burdens. Let it go, let it go, let it go. Nothing is so serious that I have to take it around with me.

47) What’s your favorite (non-pet) animal?

ELEPHANTS!

48) What is your secret weapon to get people to like you?

I don’t have one. This is likely because I don’t care. 🙂

49) Where is your best friend?

Right here. 🙂

50) What do you think is Satan’s last name?

Dedogdemon.

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On an unrelated note, mysuper talented friend Ashley entered an art competition, and needs your help to win. Please click this link to like the picture of her submission. It counts as a popularity vote.

Join the question-answering fun! Link your post back here. 🙂

10 Laws of Productivity – StumbleUpon

It seems like a lot of people have productivity issues. People waste time. Some people use time, but in the wrong way. A lot of people procrastinate. Some people have trouble getting started. Others find it difficult to keep going. The issues are not unique. People have been fighting them for as long as there has been time (and things to do with it). It takes a little hunting, and trying, and testing, and evaluating, but it’s possible to find a way to make it work. Make TIME work. And make YOURSELF work. Here’s something I came across, and just had to share with you. As always, I’ve highlighted major points (to me). If you have anything to add, feel free to do so in the comments.

Here are 10 laws of productivity we’ve consistently observed among serial idea executors:

1. Break the seal of hesitation.
A bias toward action is the most common trait we’ve found across the hundreds of creative professionals and entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed. While preparing properly as you start a new project is certainly valuable, it’s also easy to lose yourself in planning (and dreaming) indefinitely. We must challenge ourselves to take action sooner rather than later. The minute that you start acting (e.g. building a physical prototype, sharing a nascent concept with your community), you start getting valuable feedback that will help refine your original idea – and move forward with a more informed perspective.

2. Start small.
When our ideas are still in our head, we tend to think big, blue sky concepts. The downside is that such thinking makes the barrier to entry – and action – quite high. To avoid “blue sky paralysis,” pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept. Can you trial the idea of a multi-day festival with a smaller performance series? Take an idea for a skyscraper and model it in miniature? Work out the flow of an iPhone app by sketching on paper? Once you’ve road-tested your idea on a small scale, you’ll have loads more insight on how to take it to the next level.

3. Protoype, prototype, prototype.
Trial and error is an essential part of any creative’s life. As Ze Frank says, usually when we execute an idea for the first time, it kinda sucks. The important thing is to synthesize the knowledge gained during the process to refine the idea, and create a new-and-improved version. Serial idea-makers like Jack Dorsey, Ben Kaufman, and Studio 7.5 all attest: Prototyping and iteration is key to transforming a so-so idea into a game-changing product. Rather than being discouraged by your “failures,” listen closely and learn from them. Then build a new prototype. Then do it again. Sooner or later, you’ll hit gold.

To avoid ‘blue sky paralysis,’ pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept.

4. Create simple objectives for projects, and revisit them regularly.
When working on in-depth projects, we generate lots of new ideas along the way. This can lead to a gradual expansion of the project’s goals, or “scope creep.” This insidious habit can make it impossible to ever really complete anything. The best way to avoid it is to write down a simple statement summarizing your objective at the start of each project. (If you have collaborators, make sure there is agreement about the objective.) And then – this is the part we overlook! – revisit it regularly. When scope creep starts to happen, you’ll notice.

5. Work on your project a little bit each day.
With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice – developing a new business plan, writing a novel, or just learning a new skill – it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum. Just as when you run everyday, the exercise gets easier and easier, the same thing happens with your brain. Stimulate it regularly each day, and those juices start to flow more freely. As Jack Cheng argues in a great blog post, “Thirty Minutes A Day”: “the important thing isn’t how much you do; it’s how often you do it.”

6. Develop a routine.
Part of being able to work on your project a little bit each day is carving out the time to do so. Routines can seem boring and uninspiring, but – on the contrary – they create a foundation for sparking true insight. In his recent memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami writes about how a rigorous routine – rising at 5am and going to bed at 10pm every day – is crucial to his impressive creative output. (In a side note: Alex Iskold derives a series of lessons for start-up entrepreneurs from Murakami here.)

7. Break big, long-term projects into smaller chunks or “phases.”
To help manage expectations and stay motivated for year-long or even multi-year endeavors, break each project into smaller chunks that only take a few weeks or a month to complete. The dual benefit of this approach is: (1) making the project feel more manageable, and (2) providing incremental rewards throughout the project. It’s crucial to pause periodically to take stock of what has been accomplished – even if there’s a long way to go.

With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice, it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum.

8. Prune away superfluous meetings (and their attendees).
Few activities are more of a productivity drain than meetings. If you must meet (and this should be a big “if”), make sure everyone knows what needs to be accomplished from the outset. If people are present who don’t help out with achieving that objective, let them leave. Qwest COO Teresa Taylor, recently interviewed in the NYT‘s Corner Office, starts her meetings with the question, “Do we all know why we’re here?” and then follows with, “Does everyone need to be here?” To trim the runtime of internal meetings, you can also try the standing meeting.

9. Practice saying “No.”
Creative energy is not infinite. Seasoned idea-makers know that they must guard their energy – and their focus – closely. Take author Jim Collins for example. His books Built to Last and Good to Great have sold millions of copies. His business acumen and insights are in demand. Yet, “even though Collins demands over $60,000 per speech, he gives fewer than 18 per year.” More than that and Collins wouldn’t have enough time to focus on the research and writing that yield those bestselling books. When you’re in execution mode, keep in mind that “unexpected opportunities” also mean distraction from the work at hand. Saying no is an essential part of the productivity equation.

10. Remember that rules – even productivity rules – are made to be broken.
Did we say develop a routine? This and other tips here should only be followed as long as they are working. If forward motion has become impossible with your current routine, try something else. Whether it’s taking a long distance trip, popping into the art museum, walking around the block, or talking to a perfect stranger, make sure you occasionally shake up your normal routine. Breaking habits offers new perspective and helps recharge us to head back into the fray.

Source: 10 Laws of Productivity :: Tips :: The 99 Percent – StumbleUpon.

Ok. You’re up! Give me your thoughts.

Be Beautiful

As you already know, I like sharing things. Little bits of happiness. Advice. Smiles. Jokes. Today, it’s something I think we can all stand to read at least once in life. I spent some time hanging out over at Bloom Anyway today, and came across a link to THIS (and you KNOW I’m highlighting things):

Here are 36 ways to start feeling absolutely beautiful right now:

1. Smile. It lights up your face. It triggers happiness in your brain. It makes others feel happy.

2. Remember your posture. Stand up straight. Hold your head high. Throw those shoulders back. You look confident, energetic, amazing!

3. Focus on the best not the worst. Stop staring at the wrinkle or the bulge. Quit comparing yourself to Patty Perfect. Let your “worst” features recede and focus on your best instead. You have far more beautiful features than you see!

4. Be amazed at the wonder of your body. No matter your size, shape, or age, your body is a miraculous temple. Observe how wondrously it operates to house the beautiful person you are.

5. Appreciate your flaws. You are part of the Great Community of Flawed Persons. Welcome to the club. So embrace your flaws as a reminder of your connection to humanity. Flawed is the new perfect.

6. Be expressive. When you are animated and expressive, the fullness of your personality shines through. What could be more beautiful?

7. Get excited. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic and excited about life. Don’t let your concerns about appearance hold you back from embracing the beauty of living. It will reflect back on you! <<< I admit that I struggle with this. Even when I get excited, no one knows. This was actually brought up one day at work. Co-founder said, “Are you going to show this much enthusiasm with everything?” *sighs* Must. allow. self. to get. EXCITED. Legitimately.

8. Break a sweat. Get some exercise. Put on that lovely spandex and move your beautiful body. Get an endorphin high. Let your hair get sweaty and greasy. Through the sweat you are shining like star!

9. Practice beautiful movement. Try ballet, tai chi, yoga or some other movement that is fluid and allows your body to respond in beautiful new ways. <<< This is my thing for today.

10. Acknowledge your inner beauty. Get pen and paper and write down all of the beauty that you do, that you give, that you create, and that you are. You are a powerhouse of beauty.

11. Show kindness. A kind person is exquisite in their beauty. It shines from them like a beacon of hope and peace.

12. Don’t try too hard. Don’t overdo it with make-up or clothes. Don’t spend thousands getting surgery. Don’t exercise yourself to death. When you try too hard, you look desperate. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you feel desperate. <<< This is my life. Easy.

13. Don’t act your age. Your age doesn’t define you or your capacity for beauty. In fact, age ripens you and provides a lushness to your bad, beautiful self! Live the age you feel.

14. Create something. Creativity is the handmaiden of beauty. Creativity is beauty expressing itself through you. Paint, write, garden, scult, cook, sew, decorate — be creative and you will feel beauty spilling out of every pore.

15. Inspire others. As the poet Rumi writes, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Do beautiful things. Live beauty. Be beauty. You will inspire others through your beauty.

16. Stop your thoughts. It’s hard to feel beautiful when your brain is whirring away like a ticker tape with negative thoughts about your appearance or age. When you are trapped in those thoughts, stop yourself and redirect your thinking.

17. See yourself through the eyes of a loved one. View yourself the way those dearest to you see you. Offer yourself the love they offer you. Feel the beauty they feel around you. <<< Now THIS is a REALLY good idea! Love it.

18. Connect with the beauty of nature. You are part of the natural world in all of its infinite glory and seasonal changes. As you experience nature, become aware of your connection to the beauty around you.

19. Listen to beautiful music. Certain music speaks to your soul. It touches and enlivens the most spiritual and beautiful parts of ourselves. Listen to Brandenburg Concertos #5 by Bach to feel your beauty come alive.

20. Make love. No explanation needed. <<< !!!!!!!

21. Wear clothes well. If you aren’t a natural at dressing to suit your body type, age, and coloring, find someone to help you find clothing highlight the beauty inside of you.

22. Hug often. Share loving physical touch with friends and family. It’s a beautiful thing!

23. Get enough sleep. You know what lack of sleep does to your appearance, not to mention your mental health. A good night’s sleep is a mini facelift!

24. Dance. Dance alone. Dance with a partner. Dance like no one is watching. Dancing makes you feel like a beautiful child, carefree and happy.

25. Update your make-up. Make sure your make-up doesn’t look dated, too heavy, or just wrong. Sometimes we get stuck in make-up ruts. An new look can highlight your most beautiful features.

26. Have a beautiful mind. Don’t corrupt your mind with ugly thoughts about yourself or others. Don’t dwell on unpleasant things. Don’t watch violence or negative programs or movies. Fill your thoughts with loveliness. <<< Good call!

27. Stop smoking. It ages your skin, it smells bad, it’s bad for you, and it doesn’t reflect self-love. Dropping this bad habit will instantly make you feel more beautiful.

28. Be outgoing, even if it’s hard. Initiate conversations. Show interest in people. Make introductions. Smile. Bridging the gap between stranger and friend feels beautiful.

29. Do physical work. If you have a desk job, sometimes you miss the beauty of a task completed with the physical evidence of your accomplishment. Do something physical like washing the car, raking leaves, gardening, etc. to see the fruits of your labor. Moving, working, accomplishing — that feels beautiful!

30. Take care of your teeth. Since you are now smiling often, you want your teeth to look their pearly best. White, clean teeth make you look ten years younger. Plus, it’s hard to smile if you are embarrassed about your teeth.

31. Create beauty around you. Let your surroundings reflect the beauty inside of you. Remove clutter. Clean windows. Add flowers. Let your home be filled with your beauty. <<< SUPER important in my life. I neeeed things clean. And neat. And clutter-free. Otherwise, I’m confused, unable to think clearly, unhappy… Not good. GOTTA keep the surroundings as I keep myself.

32. Cook a beautiful meal. Well-prepared, healthy, and delicious food prepared by loving hands is beauty for the mouth and the soul.

33. Reduce stress. Anxiety, a furrowed brow, a tense frown, hunched shoulders are all the physical manifestations of stress. Find the cause of your stress and do something to relieve it. Shine the light of your beauty on the situation. It might dissolve.

34. Exude self-confidence. Show the world that you know you are beautiful where it counts. Your self-confidence rises in direct proportion to your self-acceptance. Love the unique and beautiful person you are and share that with the world.

35. Dress up. Life has gotten increasingly casual. Dress up on occasion. In fact, be the best dressed person in the room. Wear red! Turn a few heads.

36. Express gratitude. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you have. The handful of complaints you have about your appearance is nothing compared to the cornucopia of blessings that surround you. Bathe in the beauty of your blessings, and it will transform you from the inside out.

 

Sweet list, right? What would you like to add to it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

50 Lessons Life Taught Me

You already know I love this stuff. Nice quotes, little bits of inspiration, things to think about, ways to grow, food for though. I love it. And I’m not selfish enough to keep it to myself when I come across it. Gotta share! As usual, I’ve highlighted my faves.

50 Lessons Life Taught Me

By Regina Brett

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

 It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. When my odometer rolled over to 50, I updated the list.

Here it is:

  1. 

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.


  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

 <<< Ummm… I’m don’t agree with this one.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.


  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
  16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.


  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.


  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”


  27. Always choose life.


  28. Forgive everyone everything.


  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.


  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion. <<< And Proverbs.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.


  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  45. The best is yet to come.
  46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.


  47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.


  48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  49. Yield.
  50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift…

Regina Brett is the author of God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours. Her book is an inspirational collection of essays and stories about the lessons life taught her along the detours of life. 
 
She was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist twice, in 2009 and 2008 for columns she wrote for The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper. Learn more at www.reginabrett.com

50 Lessons Life Taught Me | Maria Shriver – StumbleUpon.

Anything you’d add to this list?

Randomness

Hey, hey, heyyy! Crazy day after quite the weekend. I just couldn’t let the day go by without a little bit of an update. I have to do it the quick and dirty way though. You’ll see why.

  • Went to FamJam on Sunday. Was fun. Watched football with my brother, and tennis with my dad. We had some pretty good jokes. My family is hilarious. Here’s part of a verbal exchange:
    • Dad: We’re watching the tennis game. Serena’s playing.
    • Brother: Oh. She played Djokovic yet?
    • Dad: Djokovic is a MAN!
    • Brother: So?
    • Me: *laughing* Men don’t play women.
    • Brother: What?! Someone should protest that!
    • Me: All of the feminists are busy right now.
    • Brother: But that’s… That’s… *thinking really hard*
    • Me: Sexist?
    • Brother: YES! That’s sexist!
    • Dad: You ever seen WNBA play the NBA?
    • Brother: *looking at Dad like he’s an idiot* That’s just STUPID!
    • Dad: Ever see a man golfer play a woman golfer?
    • Brother: *frustrated* There’s no such thing as a “women golfer” though!
    • Me: *dying of laughter* WHAT?!
    • Brother: *whispering to me* No such thing as women golfers, right?
    • Me: YES, there ARE!
  • Serena Williams has anger management issues. WOW. The girl acts like a real fool when she’s good and ready. She goes OFFFFFF. Read about Sunday’s outburst here. Remember in 2009, when she said she’s shove the f%$#ing ball down the line judge’s f%$#ing throat? Oh, man. Anyway, Stosur played a HELL OF A GAME!
  • Yesterday was crazy. I had my sister’s Jeep again. YAY! She’s awesome. I got to take her children to school (fun, fun, fun). Whenever we ride together, it’s hilarious. From there, I went back to her place so she could drive to work, then turn the car over to me. Babe couldn’t get out of bed at 6:15am with me, so I had to make a return trip. Typical! Hahaha. Dropped Babe to a hair appointment, and off I went to the local department store (Kelly’s). I got a shower curtain rod (FINALLY!), bath mat (FINALLY), basket to keep our bathroom things in (like toilet paper, feminine products, etc), a new toilet scrub brush and caddy, and a mat for our front door. I was please. Our bathroom is now fit for humans. We love it. I was happy that Babe was happy. I was afraid I would make all of these decisions, and end up with a bathroom that I love and Babe hates. Nope. We’re all good! I’ll borrow the iPhone to take a picture and post it later. One room down, 17 to go (not really)!
  • Got a little talk from the GM at work today. It’s no secret that I hate this job, right? Well, for the first few months, I was bored out of my mind. Work was not coming fast enough, or keeping me busy long enough. Eventually, I learned to drag my feet enough to fill my days with the crappy amount of work I got. Now, it’s super busy. Shipments coming in, items on the floor needing pricing, phones ringing, etc. Too bad I’m still working at the same pace. Anyway, she caught on. So now I have to work to my true potential. At a job I hate. Until I find a new one. Please, can I have a new one?! Can Ride For Hope PLEASE stop advertising the gosh-darn job that should be MINE?! It’s time to really stop running those ads, read those resumes, call me in for an interview, and PICK ME! Sheesh!
  • There are a bunch of things I want. That’s a post all on its own, really.
  • I made a big decision. I’m going to train to run 5k (January or February in Florida). Yep. I used to say that I hated running. I don’t think I ever ran (enough) to really know whether or not I like it. Well, I’m giving myself the chance. And the challenge. A chance and a challenge in one. I found a few training programs. There’s one that I think will work for me. I talked to Babe about it last night. I made it clear that I need full support. And requested, in advance, Babe’s presence when I actually do the 5k. The response was something like, “Of COURSE I’ll be there, Babe! Are you serious?! You think I wouldn’t be there?! I will be there.” That made me smile. So that’s another thing I’ll definitely be posting about, as I make progress, hit walls, yell at myself, make changes to my diet, find cool running gear (see previous post – hahahaha), etc. This is something totally new for me, and I love it. I randomly come up with things I want to do, things to prove to myself, things that are outside of my comfort zone, and then I GO IN FOR THE KILL. Yes, I do. Cheer me on, y’all! I’ll make ya proud. Oh, Babe also said something like, “I’ll support you. I just won’t be out there running with you while you train and stuff. I’m not doing that.” Hahahaha. That is one not-so-into-fitness-or-exercise person I have there. Another quote: “And you have to get a complete physical. So tell me when you’ve seen the doctor.” Meh! Precautions schmercautions! Is that really necessary?! I don’t know. I guess I should do it to be on the safe side, and to make Babe feel comfortable with it.
Hope your week is off to a great start. I’ve had some ups and down already, but it’s a-okay. I’m breathing, and remembering to live. As long as there is life, there is hope, right? 🙂