Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

BEcoming who you want to be.


I came across this list, on a random blog I stumbled on - Restored Style. 
I took this list and the picture from this blogs site because...I liked it and wanted to share it.
It says, 19 things to stop doing in your 20s.  I read it anyway...eventhough i'm 41. I still do things on this 20-something's list.  
I'll tell you what...I printed it out and I think you should too. I'm going to keep it in my bag to read and reread to remind myself to continue to work on myself. 
19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20s 40s

1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.
2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.
3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.
4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.
5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.
6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.
7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.
8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.
9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.
10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.
11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.
12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.
13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.
14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.
15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.
16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.
17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.
18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.
19. Stop being afraid.
I don't know what you are thinking...but it seems so easy....doesn't it? 
STOP BEING AFRAID...among other things.
I hope after reading this you feel encouraged, hopeful and ready to take on whatever it is that has been holding you back. 



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Do you judge a book by its cover?


I'll be the first to admit...sometimes I do.  

How can you help it?  

Especially, when you stumble across a few classics in this watercolor edition.  
What an eerily intoxicating story the cover alone tells.  
What gothic romance awaits? 
What secrets lurk in the castles above?

And so began...
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

My friend Diane shared one night, that this book, of ALL books, was her favorite.  
I thought to myself...rightfully so...it is deemed one of the greatest works of English Fiction.

I couldn't wait to read it after she raved about it. 
I mean, how many books come along that you just looove?  
I mean..love so much...they are deemed a favorite!  

I only have a few...and they aren't trending as 'classics.'

Have you read this?  
All, 453 pages? 
I guess you either know the plot or not.  

In a nutshell,  it's basically an against-all-odds sort of love story.

This Jane character...wow, what a strong moral compass...dealt a tough hand of cards. 
Yet, what I loved most about her, was her strong sense of self, independence and her spirit.

Dealt a bad hand, or not...the cruelty she endured during her childhood, in my opinion, helped develop her independent nature.

She yields more to women of today than back in the day.  
Where we knew that era to prove women submissive, no voice...no dreams...Jane, was quite the opposite.  
A woman, definitely ahead of her time...and I liked that about her.

I'll be honest, I found myself, at times, drifting off...you know...a couple of pages later catching my thoughts and having to rope them back in.  

If you pick this up, you have to be in the frame of mind to read.  Absorb.  Take it in.  

Is it worth the read...or do you rent the movie?  

I guess it's up to you.  

I'm plowing through the classics...it's on the bucket list. 

In fact, my mantra of late...

I.must.read.the.classics.

What's next you ask?  

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte...the sister writes...stay tuned.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

If; a conditional clause


It’s odd really….trying to pen your thoughts on why sometimes you disappear. 

Why you don’t feel like sharing. 

Or how you can feel nothing…and let the days drift by in a helpless haze…

So, I won’t even try. 

I will say, I have felt a bit of a creative starvation…and feel the need to get back in the game of life. 

I guess as spring begins…I’ll try to as well. 

I’m sure you have read this poem, IF, by Rudyard Kipling before?  It is one of my favorites…and I’ve read it so many times over the past few months…I have almost memorized it. 

IF you haven’t read it yet…or, maybe you haven’t read it in awhile…

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
—Rudyard Kipling

What wise words!  I may have completely fallen under Kiplings spell…

Many of life’s greatest virtues paid tribute, with reminders of how to rise above the fray.

Here is to all things IF.