success

Where I am

It’s day 76. I’m leaving another successful gathering with great food and amazing friends. I’m honored. I get in my car and turn it on to the sound of “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. My soul smiles and I begin to sing along.

As I drive, I’m reflecting on my weekend and the conversations I had with various people who crossed my path. People I haven’t seen in a while, people I am not close with, but also family and close friends. Yet, I connected with them all on some deep level about life and relationships (both friendly and intimate). Thank you. I can appreciate every moment of time I spent with each person because it contributed to my epiphany.

While the music of WGTS 91.9 feeds my soul, I begin to experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and inner peace. I realized that I am truly at peace with myself – finally! I’m at peace with not only where I am in life, but who I am. For the first time, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and going where He wants me to go. My purpose? Maybe. I certainly don’t have it all together and I never will, but I know I’m on the right path.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  – Luke 19:10

I’m home. In more ways than one, I’m home. I’m in my parking spot looking at my little home and I love it. Not everyone can say that they had that moment of clarity (for lack of a better word). People seem to look for their reason for being; at least I did. Now, I can smile because I love me and where I am. I can smile because it’s actually true. I’m blessed and I’m determined to do something big with the seed that’s been planted within me.

Inside, my puppy Bishop waits with extra excitement. It’s as if he knows I’m extra happy…ooooor, he has to pee. 😉

 

 

(Photo from http://www.purposedriven.com – I read Purpose Driven Life years ago and I highly recommend it.)

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Sharing my goals and receiving inspiration.

It’s February 5, 2016 already, and for a lot of people who make resolutions, they’re starting to fall apart, if not all but forgotten by now.  I, too, had a list of resolutions for the year.  I’ve started most of my resolutions: gain weight, spend more, keep a messy room, stop working out…you know, the usual.  I managed to add a few serious ones in there, too.

One in particular – learn sign language.

It’s not the first time but, over the busy holiday shopping season, there were more than a couple of situations where I wish I had known sign language so that I could help someone who was struggling with a store employee.  I can’t even begin to attempt to be helpful in that particular situation and that’s frustrating for me; imagine how they feel.  😦

So, I shared this particular “resolution” with my kids and my youngest princess was super excited.  So much so that she decided she wanted to do it, too.  Like most things, it was exciting at first; the thought was exciting.  Then came the part where I try and figure out where to begin.  There are so many resources online and, as we all know, everything on the internet can‘t be trusted so I really had to do some research.  Then life happened and the momentum was gone.

2 weeks later my princess had her dad send me a video.  The video was of her saying “good night” to me in sign language.  I absolutely loved it and it sparked a new excitement in me.  A few days later, she was at my house again.  I came home from work and when I walked in the door she didn’t speak like she normally would, she signed “Hi Mom.  Finally, you are home.”  #proudmamamoment  It was so sweet.  Of course I had to ask her what she said, but still, it was so encouraging to see that she was trying to learn.

It inspired me, but not enough.  Not yet.

The next morning she signed that she loved me.  That evening we were sitting at the dinner table and she has a piece of paper out with a long list of words on it and she said, “quiz me.”  After I was done quizzing her, she signed “thank you.”  I asked what that meant.  She told me.  Then she finally says, “Mommy, who’s resolution is this, anyway?”  That’s when I finally put aside my excitement about HER learning it and decided to do what I said I was going to do.  How embarrassing for me to have my daughter remind me that it was me who said I wanted to learn so that I could help others.

The rest of that evening was spent learning the alphabet alone – it’s hard to teach this old dog new tricks. 😉  The next morning, she comes into my bedroom, half awake, and says, “Come on Mommy, let’s go over the alphabet again.”  She curled up in bed with me and we went over the alphabet, again.  When it was time for me to leave, I ask if she knows how to say “have a good day,” but she doesn’t.  Lesson number 1.  I learn it during the day at work and when I come home I show her.  She, in turn, taught me some new phrases and that’s how it’s been all week.

She inspired me to start and keep the momentum going.  I am truly blessed to have received the gift of my children.  They keep me on my toes.  Where would I be without them?  🙂  I’m no ASL pro, but with their inspiration and motivation, what was once a simple new year’s resolution on a piece of paper will become my second (or third if you count broken Spanish) language.

Big Smiles

Point blank:  Life is too short to frown….besides, the selfish part of me doesn’t want to see you frown.

In this day and age of technology where it seems like everyone, men and women alike, is smiling to themselves to take a selfie, we forget how much a smile can brighten someone else’s day.

Smile.  For someone else.  Now there’s an idea.  You’ll end up with an even bigger smile on the inside.

I felt compelled to write about this today because, in general, I have always thought of myself as an optimistic and positive person but, lately, I don’t know where all that went.  Somewhere along the road of life, I let some of that positivity go.  Not all of it, but I only allowed it to come around when I was in a good mood, instead of thinking positively to put myself in a good mood every day.  Instead of consciously deciding to be in a good mood and optimistic.  The day is what you make of it.  Right?

So this morning I woke up, thanked Almighty God for another chance to put a smile on His face, and I was determined to have a good day after that.  That’s all there is to it.  There isn’t a large formula to make it happen.  Sure, positive thoughts are involved, but a smile is a smile.  A smile is contagious.  A smile makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  A smile will give a jump start to a crabby situation.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I didn’t get braces to have beautiful, straight chompers for nothing!

So…..I DID IT!  I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  Once I started it’s like I couldn’t stop.  Smiling to this person and that person and building up my happiness reserves on the inside to a level that almost seemed ridiculous because I could see it made them smile back.  SUCCESS!!  That’s the important part.  Can I make you smile, even for a second, and make you happy that someone is happy to see you?  Nobody could possibly make me upset this morning – not for anything.  Genuinely asking how someone is doing and reconnecting with people around the office that I don’t get to see on a daily basis anymore.  Not just the usually happy suspects, either.  EVERYBODY.  Everybody deserves a smile…..yes, they do – stop thinking what I know you’re thinking, THAT person deserves a smile.  😉

Give it a try.  Share your smile with someone today.  It’s great to smile to yourself and give yourself a boost.  It feels good, I know this.  Just don’t keep it ALL to yourself.

In honor of my campaign to smile today, I decided to take some selfies – which I almost never do because I feel weird.  So, enjoy the peek into my happiness.  I didn’t edit or retake a million until I was pleased with the picture I was going to share.  I just took a few here and there that I thought represented where everybody else seems to do it…the gym…office desks…the bathroom.

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The College Woes

So……

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

And if you compare that to the fact that apparently….

Sixty percent of U.S. college graduates cannot find a full-time job in their chosen profession, according to job placement firm Adecco.

Then I shouldn’t be too, too upset about my daughter not getting into the college that she wanted, right?  WRONG!  I was still upset, which annoys me because I thought I prepared myself pretty good to read those “Regrettably….we will not be offering you admission…” letters.  My whole spiel about how “college isn’t for everyone” seemed to go right out the door as those letters started coming in the mail.  Man, what a rip!   You would seriously think it was ME that was trying to get into college.

So after crying about the most recent letter that was received – that would be me crying, not her, at least not in front of me and I didn’t cry in front of her – I had to really think about why this upset me so much.  Yes, I was upset for her, but the bottom line is, I never went through this whole process before.  I didn’t go to college right out of high school, so I never experienced this whole you’re accepted/rejected stuff.  I don’t remember how my mom handled it with my brother and sisters, either.  I guess it’s the “mom” in me that wants to protect my child from rejection when, in fact, she needs this.

Fast forward to the present day and we are at the point where it’s been accepted that she’ll start at the community college and transfer after 2 years, which makes economical sense, anyway.  I’m not dogging community college, at all.  My child is just in need of getting out and experiencing independence and being responsible for herself and all that stuff that comes along with living on a campus.  I guess I could kick her out so she could get a place of her own and go to school and work like a lot of people successfully do, but that hardly seems like the right thing to do.  She just started her FIRST job for pete’s sake!  Ugh!  I’m usually all for “tough love”, but not like this.  If she were a horrible child, I would think differently, but she isn’t.

Ssssooo….yeah…..this is where we are….I’ll still be here to help her get a running start, but I’ll have to let go…Graduation is coming, the 18th birthday is coming, summer is coming…..I’M NOT READY FOR ALL THIS!!

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(I don’t recall the website I found this doozie from, but I like it and I can’t take credit for having made it up.)