Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bit #52: The Crowd Isn't Always Right

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 52: Learn to Make Unpopular Choices

You have heard the saying "If you're friends jumped off a bridge, would you?"

There will be tough lessons in life that require you to take stand and make perhaps some unpopular choices and decisions.

That is ok. Following the crowd may be easier, but it doesn't always mean it's right.

By making the RIGHT choice, you can get the crowd to follow you and get those friends off of the bridge!

If you read yesterday's and still singing the song, Lessons in Lyrics which featured "Get Up, Stand Up" by Bob Marley, you will see how this idea also ties in.

Get up, Stand Up. Take a stand.

Try to make life choices that will improve your standing as a person. This may mean making some unpopular decisions sometimes. Always following the crowd because it’s the easy thing to do can lead you into a dead end. Sometimes you have to say ‘No’.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bit #51: Lessons in Lyrics~Get Up, Stand Up

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 51: Don't Be Afraid to Stand up for what you believe in.

This week's song choice is Bob Marley's "Get Up, STand Up." This is a song that you will have in your head for a long time and probably one that you have been singing for MANY years. Perhaps you have never taken the time to read over the lyrics and think about.

Marley wrote this song to take action against oppression. He grew up in Jamaica and fought to earn respect for his radical Rastafarian religion.

Have a reat day.

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

Preacher man, don't tell me,
Heaven is under the earth.
I know you don't know
What life is really worth.
It's not all that glitters is gold;
'Alf the story has never been told:
So now you see the light, eh!
Stand up for your rights. come on!

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

Most people think,
Great god will come from the skies,
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high.
But if you know what life is worth,
You will look for yours on earth:
And now you see the light,
You stand up for your rights. jah!

Get up, stand up! (jah, jah! )
Stand up for your rights! (oh-hoo! )
Get up, stand up! (get up, stand up! )
Don't give up the fight! (life is your right! )
Get up, stand up! (so we can't give up the fight! )
Stand up for your rights! (lord, lord! )
Get up, stand up! (keep on struggling on! )
Don't give up the fight! (yeah! )

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bit #50 - Finding That Girl - February Goals

It's the first day of February. Much like the first day of a new year, I take the same stance on the first day of a month. I think of it as a clean slate, a fresh start and a new beginning. I heard a quote this week and I don't remember where, but it struck me. It said, "Nobody can go back and change the beginning, but they can always look ahead and plan for the end." It's cliche, and slightly cheesy but I still like it. It's so easy to dwell on a mistake we made in the past that we don't even allow ourselves the opportunity to change it, make up for it and write a whole different ending.

Anyway, 2010 is still fresh - it's not the end - it's just February, and February happens to be my favorite month of the year! I'm going to be super busy this month, too and I couldn't be more excited for what plans the month holds.

February 2nd: The anniversary of 2 of my best friends. And Groundhog day!

February 7th: Superbowl! Go Saints!

February 9th: I'm going to see Jersey Boys at the Orpheum!

February 14th: Valentine's Day - my favorite holiday!

February 20-21st: Nashville!

Evan also has his basketball tournament in February and because the season isn't over we don't know the exact dates yet, but we're very excited!

Since I knew February was going to be such a busy month, I kept my goals small this month. Small, but still goals I'll have to work to achieve.

1. No carbonated beverages all month - This is going to be so difficult for me because one of my vices is Diet Mountain Dew. I love it, I crave it and I don't know how I'm going to go without it. But, I'm going to do it. Hopefully I will be able to almost eliminate them from my diet forever!

2. No "out to eat" meals all month - With the exception of my Nashville trip, of course. I want to be more responsible with not only my diet, but my money. Constantly eating out or ordering take-out is a waste of money, it's an expense I need to cut out. So, I'm going for it.

3. Stick to my daily workouts - I'm serious here. I'm starting a new routine today, one that I'll talk a little bit more about on Weight Watchers Wednesday on my blog and I'm very excited about it!

So, what are your goals for February? Please share!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bit #49 - Finding That Girl - January Progress Report

First of all, I want to thank you all for the comments and emails from last week's post. Y'all are so sweet and your words were so encouraging.

So it's the last Monday in January and so it's time to report my status on my January resolutions to you.

If you will remember for 2010 I decided to not give myself yearly resolutions, rather monthly goals that allows myself to reach my ultimate goals more efficiently and with less stressful expectations.

Here's what I set out to do for January:

1. Quit my old job and begin new one. Done - check mark here.

2. Begin eating at least 6 servings of fruit per day. I'm up to 4, and I'm satisfied with that.

3. Begin walking 3 miles daily. I didn't meet this goal, so I'm adding it to February's list.

4. Begin to write my business plan. Done! Still waiting to share it with y'all, but it's done!

5. Write at least 5 snail mail letters per week. I've averaged out at 3 letters per week.

All in all, I'm ok with what I've done. Yes, I would have liked to accomplish everything on the list, but realistically I was adjusting to a new job and I've been so busy from that I've met myself coming and going.

I'll be back next week with February's goals! February is going to be such a busy month for me, but I'm excited for what it has to offer?

How are y'all doing on your resolutions/goals?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bit #48: Find Yourself Helpless with Laughter

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 48: Find Yourself Helpless with Laughter at Least Once a Day

We have discussed this before, but as life gets harder and throws more curve balls in to our daily routines and life outlooks, we must turn to laughter.

"Laughter is an instant vacation." ~Milton Berle
Laughter really is the best medicine.

If you can't laugh, you have nothing left to give.

At least once, even if only for a brief fleeing moment, find yourself helpless with laughter. I mean belly-aching, tear inducing, drink almost spewing, snorting laughter.

Laugh at anything: laugh at a sitcom, laugh at a distant memory, laugh at yourself, laugh at an embarassing moment you had, laugh at a fictional scenario you played out in your mind after seeing the clumsy and slightly bizarre man in Starbucks, or a joke you heard last week.

You don't need an audience to laugh with, but call your best friend, sister, or mom if you feel you need one.

That brief moment may be the only highlight of the day, but it can be that instant vacation that takes you away from whatever is stressing, difficult, or just plain agonizing.


"A good, real, unrestrained, hearty laugh is a sort of glorified internal massage, performed rapidly and automatically. It manipulates and revitalizes corners and unexplored crannies of the system that are unresponsive to most other exercise methods." ~Author unknown, from an editorial in New York Tribune

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bit #47: Finding That Girl~Who Said Choosing a Life Path Would Be Easy?

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 47: Finding That Girl~Choosing a Path Ain't Easy

"Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility." ~Oprah Winfrey

{Editor's Note: Finding the right path in life is tough. It is something that everyone struggles with and even after you make the "choice," you will always wonder. We all have MANY talents and interests and combining what we want to do the MOST with something that will make us money to survive, and something we will enjoy doing for the rest of our lives is tough. Thank you Whitney for your honest thoughts on this process.}

Do you have any idea how I spent my Saturday morning?

If you answered picking out china patterns for my upcoming wedding, would be wrong.
If you answered filling out my baby registry at Target, wrong again.

If you answered holed up in Starbucks thinking about life......ding ding ding ding ding! You win the prize. Except there's not really a prize, but you do get to read this post. Don't all jump up and down at once; please try to control your excitement.

It seems strange, even though it happened to me, to think that at 26 I'm still trying to decide what to be when I grow up. Sure, I've been the career girl. I made my way up the retail ladder faster than you can say "80% mark up." I've been involved with just about every aspect of that particular business - and I was forced to walk away. I don't tell people this story very often because I have a problem appearing weak, but this is an honest blog and I'm a honest person and I want you to have the full story before you begin to judge me:). In January 2008 I got very sick. I, at first, thought nothing of it - I was coming off Christmas and a particularly difficult inventory and I just figured I needed a couple days off. Then came the Friday that I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely lift my head off the pillow. I was in bad shape. I went to the doctor and to make a long story short I was suffering from severe exhaustion, I needed gall bladder surgery and my tumor had grown to almost twice it's previous size because of all the stress I was subjecting my body to, what with working 90 hours a week and all. My doctor strongly advised me to find a new line of work. At first I thought it was insane; my job was my life and it was all I knew how to do. Then he explained that it was like a slow form of suicide for me and so I had to make a decision. Long story short - I walked away. Sure, I was making good money. Sure, I was on the fast track to a corner office in the corporate headquarters of a certain national retailer. But I also had no life outside the store, no time to call my own. I saw my family maybe once every two weeks, my friends even less than that and my apartment walls were the only thing I had to talk to when I got home from the store at 1am. Well, and then there was the whole "slow form of suicide" thing.

This is not a self-loathing post, trust me. I have a point.

So, ever since I walked away I have been thinking seriously about what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I didn't finish college because my chosen career path didn't require one; I had no back up plan because I had no intention of ever leaving retail. Well, I knew I would leave eventually - when I died, most specifically, but nevertheless I had no real idea of what to do. I took the first job I could get my hands on - office and account management and I was good at it, I liked it. But the company I worked for was a small, family owned business where the owner was corrupt and the economy took it by storm. So, I jumped a sinking ship and now I'm a nanny.

It's not that I don't like my job, because I do, but for a few months now(even before the nanny job came along) I've been feeling strange. I don't feel right; I don't feel settled.Back in October, I made the decision to go back to school to be a teacher and I still think I could do that and like it, but what if that's not really what I want to do? What if I want to start my own business? That has always been in the back of my mind. What if I just continue to be a nanny until the children are in college and are looking at me wondering why I'm folding their clothes and making them macaroni and cheese in their dorm room at college?

This brings me back to Starbucks. So, I'm sitting here thinking about my life, contemplating my options when people from both the scenarios I mentioned above walk in the door. One couple had just come from Macy's and they were having a playful argument about the china pattern they had picked out. I listened, amused and jealous all at the same time. A short while later another couple, this time an expectant one and one of their mothers came in and their conversation allowed me to learn that they were headed to Target to register for the upcoming bundle of joy that was about to enter their family. The mother, I presumed the wife's mother, was asserting her opinion much to the chagrin of the husband and once again those feelings of amusement and jealousy collided inside of me.

It forced me to recognize something that I've known deep down for a long time. My feelings of being unsettled and unhappy stem from one thing. My inability to decide what I want to be "when I grow up" come from a place of, in actuality, being perfectly clear with what I want. What I've always wanted to be, more than anything in the entire world, is a wife and mother. And I'm not, in fact, I'm not even close to either of those things. And I would be lying to you if I said that it didn't make me sad, because it does - more sad than anything in my life has ever made me feel. I'm terrified that it will never happen, the one thing I feel called to do might never come to fruition. And it scares the crap out of me. It scares me to say it aloud, to type it in this post, for you to read it.....absolute terror. For so long I lied to myself and to everyone else about it. I was the career girl, I didn't need a husband or children because I was married to my job and the clothes, accessories and home goods were my children. Yeah freaking right. It was all a lie and now that I have no career to be passionate about the facade is all stripped away.

And you know what? I still have to live a life. I still have to be a good person, honorable and pleasing to God. I still have to get up each morning and do whatever it is that I'm doing - and well - because otherwise what kind of a person am I? What kind of person did my parents raise?

For a long time I was angry about walking away from my job. I was pissed(to put it bluntly) that I was, in essence, forced to give up something that I loved. But you know what? I don't feel that way anymore. Because I was in a state of denial, and as much as I love that little town of oblivion it's never good to become a permanent resident. I knew way back then what I really wanted and I was supressing my feelings of inadequecy over not being a wife and mother. And had I not quit retail I would still be in that place, probably worse off than before.

I still don't know what I'm supposed to do with my life without a husband or children, shockingly it's not revealed to you immediately after crossing the border outside the state of denial, but maybe that's what this new year is for - to show me what it is that I'm supposed to be doing. Or maybe not, maybe it's next year. Or the year after that. (Although I hope it's sooner.)

And I'm not going to lie to you, I know it isn't going to be all flowers and rainbows trying to make these kind of discoveries, but at least I'm not living in denial anymore. At least now I'm not lying or pretending to be something I'm not. I'll just say it - I'm a 26 year old single girl working in a dead end job and living in her old room at her parent's house. And you know what? That's just fine for now. And you know why I have to make it fine? Because that's where I am right now. Whether I like it or not that's the place in my life that I've come to at this point and I know that one day I'll understand why everything happened the way that it did and I'll even be grateful for the turns my life has taken. But right now? I'm just going to take it one step at a time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

45 Life Lessons You Won't Learn in School: Part II

Thanks again to the editorial on for this. Here is the second installment of this fabulous life list.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but 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. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

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. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.