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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

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

Thanks to this editorial on for sharing this!

These are great life lessons and snippets for us all to remember!

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. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
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.
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. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
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. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
Part II coming tomorrow! Have a great day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bit #45: Finding that Girl~Set Monthly Goals

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 45: Instead of Yearly Resolutions, set monthly goals or resolutions

{Editor's Note: Happy 2010 again! Welcome back to Whitney and her weekly, Finding that Girl piece. I love this entry and think this idea is perfect. It not only will help us be more accountable, it will also encourage us to reach those goals. Let's kick our new year off to a great start.}

Here we are on the 11th day of 2010.

How do you say this year, by the way?

Do you say "Twenty ten" or "Two thousand ten" or something else?

Me? I go back and forth.

The one thing I can't stand to hear people say is "oh 10." You know, like '09 or '08? It does not have a zero in front of it, people!!!!

Anyway, it's too early in the year for me to start complaining about petty things. I'll save that til at least February.

Do you make resolutions? Some people don't. Then, there are the people who make "goals" because they don't like the word resolution. Personally, I think the "goals" that you make in January are just resolutions without the champagne hangover. Either way, I think it's good to have something to set yourself up for each year. I've never liked to call mine resolutions, personally but I've always made a list of things I'd like to do for the year.

One problem I've always had, though and something I've noticed that I've now changed this year is that I make unrealistic expectations for myself. I set goals that I know are too difficult to achieve in a specified timeframe and then when I don't achieve them I go into a depression-like funk that is never fun to try and pull myself out of. I've always been this way and I do it in more areas than just goals. I place unrealistic expectations on everything and then when I'm disappointed, I wonder why.

So, yes at the beginning of this year - just like any other year - I set goals for myself. But in a different way. First, I began by looking back on 2009. I looked at what I thought I did good during the year and what I thought I could improve upon. Then, I made a decision. I decided that I wasn't going to make yearly goals for myself, rather I would make monthly ones that were much more attainable. I'll share those goals with you every month and let you know where I stand on the previous challenges I set for myself. I believe this way, I'll keep better track on what it is that I've set out to do and my shortcomings will be more fresh in my mind so I can make better judgments on where I went wrong and what I can change to achieve the goal in the next month. Because let's face it - a year is a long time and no matter how disappointing or hurtful something is the details of the situation can become fuzzy over time and cloud our judgment when assessing our year on January 1st when it's time to make our goals.

So here's January:

1. Quit old job and start new one. (Technically I took care of the quitting part on 12/31/09, so it can be crossed off.)

2. Start the habit eating 6 servings of fruit a day.

3. Walk 3 miles daily without stopping. (Soon the walking will progress to running!!!)

4. Begin writing my business plan. (More on this later! So exciting!)

5. Write at least 5 snail mail letters a week.

I'm already off to a good start. I began the year with a completely new job, a new haircut(bangs included), some new clothes and most importantly a new outlook on life. 2010 (however you say it) is going to be a fantastic year. I can feel it, I can see it and I'm so excited to see what this year has to offer me and all of you!

What did you resolve to do in 2010?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bit #44: Don't give up

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 44: Even if you start to fail, but really want something, don't give up.

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." ~Dory, Finding Nemo

This idea has particular meaning to me and to Good Will Grace.

You see, we love this concept and this idea. It is refreshing and is a great way to send bits of goodwill and grace in this crazy world.

Whitney, who writes our "Finding that Girl" piece is just phenomenal and has such wonderful ideas and her posts are always intriguing and funny. She is such a wonderful asset to us.

Life in this crazy world gets busy and sometimes this wonderful community of Good Will Grace has gone on the "backburner."

We apologize and vow that this year, this will not happen.

We want this community to grow and become a part of everyone's daily blog read.

If you have an ideas or suggestions for topics or "bits" or you would like to guest post with your take on little life lessons, we would love to hear from you. Email us at

In this new year, it is a great way to renew that commitment and look forward to all that 2010 has to offer.

Happy, Happy New Year!