Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What do you do when you're disappointed?

What disappoints you?
The weather? The ending of a movie or book? Your finish in a race? A meal at a restaurant? Politicians; or just people's behavior in general?
How do you react when you're disappointed? If you're like most people you run through a whole mix of emotions. You may feel sadness, regret, anger or bitterness, or even a bit of guilt. The first reactions are to be expected, but why do we sometimes feel guilty? We may wonder if the person or situation that has disappointed us could have been avoided. Was it because of something we did or perhaps didn't do? Is the situation or outcome potentially any fault of ours? We'd be na├»ve to think that we're completely blameless in some situations. Choosing to eat that heavy dessert after dinner may not have been the wisest decision, so we need to accept some of the blame when we don't feel well later. But people are different, they definitely aren't a dessert that we chose to over-indulge in.
People are complex, and YES, people can make choices. If you feel disappointed by the behavior of someone step back and take an objective look before you start blaming yourself. It's fine to accept some of the blame at times, but I don't think we should automatically think their behavior had anything to do with us. Everyone has the ability to make a choice, but in doing so we should also accept responsibility for any outcomes related. If someone behaves poorly or out of character, maybe there's something else going on. Before we automatically think, 'Oh, I'm sorry. Did I do something to provoke their behavior?' perhaps we should take a deep breath and ask ourselves, 'I wonder what THAT was all about?'
It's normal to be disappointed; in others' behavior as well as our own. Maybe it would be more constructive and beneficial to find out the 'WHY something happened' rather than the 'WHAT happened'. We cannot change the choices people make, only our own. We may never uncover, or even understand the 'why'. We need to cut ourselves some slack. I know, easier said than done. It's hard not to want things to go smoothly or even nicely. It's disappointing when we witness people behaving in selfish or vicious ways. People will always do and say things they regret, but actions AND words have the ability to be hurtful and cannot be taken back. Someone can acknowledge what they've said or done or sometimes what they haven't (but should have). That moment can be crucial and life changing, but it's their moment to take ownership of - not ours.
Be supportive, be a good listener, but never allow yourself to be a doormat.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Don't Lose Sight Of Yourself

It's the time of year where when you run into someone you haven't seen in a while they ask you, 'How's your summer been?' Lately when asked that question my husband and I have been responding with, 'We're hoping next summer has a little less drama and chaos.' Our last two summers have been filled with a lot of good, but also a lot of 'life'. Primarily we've been dealing with the needs of our mothers; their medical care, their residences, etc. Needless to say, we've had a lot on our plates for two summers in a row.
When 'life' happens and hits you smack dab between the eyes you do what you do best ... you deal with it. You put a lot of yourself on hold and you take charge. You put in long hours, you handle the new responsibilities, you try to cheer them up when they need it, and you grab some sleep when you can.
It's easy to lose track of your own life when things like this happen. You tell yourself that YOU can wait; your laundry can wait, taking care of your yard can wait, grocery shopping can wait, and vacations can wait. But is that a good idea? Probably not. There's a lot to get done; a lot with deadlines. You get done what you can and add the rest to tomorrow's To Do list.
A few months ago my mother broke her hip, had surgery, and went into physical rehab. Unfortunately she did not get the outcome she had hoped for and made a move into nursing care. At the same time that all of this occurred I was approached to participate in a special project. I was barely keeping my eyes open during the day due to the lack of sleep and added stress, but the more I thought about it the more I still wanted to participate in this project. The timing may not have been the best, but timing has never been perfect or predictable.
This year marks my 10-year anniversary of being cancer-free. In the midst of everything else going on in my life right now I didn't want to miss out on this chance to celebrate. I didn't want to lose sight of the goodness. So I jumped in with both feet, literally.
I am participating in a 'Dancing With The Survivors' fundraiser on October 8, 2016 for The Pink Fund; a local non-profit organization that assists breast cancer patients currently going through treatment with non-medical expenses. Fighting cancer takes a toll on people physically, mentally, and financially. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone (and learning ballroom choreography no less) to raise funds for this event, help people I can personally relate to, and celebrate life!
Whatever curve balls life throws at you remember to keep your eyes open and duck if necessary. There is a lot we cannot control on a daily basis, but there are some things that we can. We can keep a positive attitude, we can focus on the good, and we can try our best to make a difference.
If you'd like to support the 'Dancing With The Survivors' event please click on the link below.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It's All About The Curve

When I was a young girl one of my best memories was going to the Detroit Tigers baseball games with my mom, my dad, and my sister. My dad generally travelled most of the week for his job, but if it was summer time you could bet that if the Tigers were playing at home we would pick my dad up from the airport and go straight to Trumbull Ave. to catch a night game. My dad insisted (no matter how young we were) that if we were going to go to a game, we were going to UNDERSTAND the game. He would buy a program and teach us how to fill in the stats; the number of pitches, the strikes, the fouls, the outs, the batting order, etc. He would teach us to watch for pitches; the slider, the fast ball, and the curve ball. The curve ball was interesting - the way the ball would seem to switch directions and turn back in.
A curve in baseball can change the game. A curve on an icy or wet road can be treacherous. We don't always see a curve coming, then we have a mere instant to react.
Life is sometimes no different. Every day 'life' has a learning curve attached.
  • Young children don't come with an instruction manual; we try our best with what we know but some days they will get IT right and other days they won't. There may be some tears involved and perhaps a few Band-Aids.
  • Teenagers present a whole new set of challenges. They suddenly become the age where they're convinced that you know absolutely nothing, you could never understand what they are dealing with, and they often feel like they are invincible and untouchable.
  • Life continues and we suddenly find ourselves trying to care for our parents. They may or may not have had a plan, but now it is up to us to work through their past, their present, and their future. Sometimes in a short amount of time.
Yes, life definitely has a learning curve. Some days we will find ourselves exhausted, a bit frazzled, majorly overwhelmed, and often talking to ourselves.
The moral of this little story ... don't give up, don't give in, keep on trying a new way to smooth out the bumps, and always continue to search for the calmness that will eventually come. Will we have all the answers? Probably not. Will we make mistakes and poor choices along the way? Undoubtedly. Will we survive to see a new day? That's my hope for you, as well as me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Catch A Glimpse

There are days we look in the mirror and think, 'Who is that person?' We don't recognize them. We've changed. We've gotten older or heavier or thinner or maybe we look sad or tired. How 'we' see ourselves is often quite different than how others see us. We see ourselves mostly with our minds, by how we think and feel. We forget to use our eyes; well most of us anyway. We see what's in our hearts and in our gut. Some of us have forgotten how to just 'see'.  We'll meet a stranger who sees us for the first time and their perception will most likely be more accurate; they're seeing with their eyes. They don't see the baggage or the struggles or the accomplishments. They see what is right in front of them; pretty eyes or a warm smile.
Recently I've taken on a new exciting project (more details to come), but I can
tell you that this project will take me completely out of my comfort zone to a place where myself and others will definitely SEE me differently. For this project I needed a photo that could be used in promotions. I couldn't come up with any that I could use; I generally seem to be the one taking the photos. So what did I do? I engaged the services of a talented young lady who was beginning her photography business. Sometimes you just feel like things are meant to be. I was nervous to get my picture taken. I was nervous that I would feel awkward. I was nervous that even though I'd recently lost 20 pounds that I wouldn't look the way I wanted to. Then I met Sarah. Sarah Zick is a wonderful new photographer who has an engaging spirit, a God-given talent, and a knack for making her subject feel relaxed. Now, I am in NO way suggesting that I am quitting my day job as a Church Administrator and becoming a super model (yah, right, lol), but I am willing to admit that after looking at Sarah's pictures I am starting to see myself again perhaps the way others see me. Yes, I have flaws (plenty of them), but I'm more comfortable now about not hiding them. I am who I am and I need to learn to be proud of that.
It's a rare occasion that I endorse a service or product, but if I believe in it or them then I will. I would recommend Sarah's photography skills to anyone. She was an absolute joy to work with and I wish her nothing but the best in her growing career. She truly sees her subjects (both inside and out). She finds a way to make them blend.
If you would like to check out Sarah's photography you can find her on Facebook at 8:28 Photography or on her website at

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pet Project: DIY Hanging Basket Kit

The time has come to share my 'pet project'. Many of you know I have a love for flowers; the multitude of colors, the shapes, the sizes, and the endless combinations. There are so many gardens out there to enjoy; so many better than mine. They inspire me, they make me feel creative, they lift my spirits, and they give me hope.

My blog has always been conversational; the kinds of posts I share come from my heart. I write as if we were talking across the kitchen table; sharing insights and ideas while maybe snacking on a plate of home-baked cookies and fresh iced tea. I don't usually advertise or promote on my blog unless it is something I really believe in and have tried myself.

A while back I wrote a teaser review on a sample flower from Proven Winners
Direct. It was a hit, so I was willing to expand with a bigger review. A few weeks ago Proven Winners Direct mailed me a DIY Hanging Basket Kit. I was so excited when the big box was delivered to my front porch on June 23rd; I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.

Everything I needed was packed neatly and securely in the box (absolutely nothing was damaged in any way); the basket, the sturdy hanger, the exact amount of potting soil I would need, the packet of Premium Continuous Release Plant Food, six Proven Winners annuals, and a simple diagram with easy to follow instructions.

I carefully laid everything out and took a quick inventory.  The planting process was a piece of cake. I grabbed my favorite orange garden gloves (always a bright color so I can find them when I leave them behind) and my hand shovel and in under 15 minutes I was done! I even had a little friend stop by to watch.

Ready to get started ...
A great combination of colors!

He stops by quite often.

Just about finished.
I initially hung the hanging basket on a shepherd's hook, but after a lot of growth in just 2 1/2 short weeks my shepherd's hook started to lean and bend. That was okay. I found an easy solution and a better way to properly showcase my 'pet project'.

A good friend gave me a portable small white table. It was perfect! I easily removed the metal hanger and moved my new plant to a better location. IT IS THRIVING!! I think it likes the new location. You know what they say; LOCATION ... LOCATION ... LOCATION.

TA DA !!!

Want in on the summer fun? It's easy! Proven Winners Direct by Four Star Greenhouses, Inc. wants to offer you a chance to enjoy their premium DIY Hanging Basket Kits at a discount.

Your unique discount code is SEASONPWDIY.

Use this code when ordering from

The code will be live from 7/18/16 to 8/1/16.

Now go out there, plant some color, and enjoy! If I can do it - so can you.

I received this free product from Proven Winners Direct.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Where Do You Fit Compassion In?

Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering; at least according to Compassion is about remembering other people's feelings and taking them into consideration. It's about being mindful and aware and hopefully respectful. Showing compassion in all that we do can sometimes be tricky. In our hearts and minds we feel empathetic, but if we have to answer to someone else there are things like policies and procedures that can get in the way of doing what's morally right.
Whatever you do professionally or personally, whatever your role is and your responsibilities are it's important to TRY to keep compassion in the equation. I see paramedics, policemen, and firemen show compassion a lot while still doing their job. I understand that getting the right balance can be difficult, but it's worth the effort when you consider the person you're trying to help.
If you are a boss and are about to lay someone off from their job, do it with compassion. See them as more than 'the bottom line'. Be prepared to give them a good referral or advice of who to contact for a new job.
If you're a doctor and are about to give a patient some bad news, keep in mind that they are a human being with feelings and not just another billable patient. I've known some amazing doctors over the years whose one-on-one communication skills are top notch.  If I have to wait for an appointment because my doctor is running behind I can only hope it's because he's taking the time needed to deal with something or someone important.  You never know when YOU might be grateful that the doctor spent a few extra moments with you.
In today's human race there are many moments where compassion seems to be missing. Some days I feel like the world is about nothing more than crime, politics, policies, deadlines, and bottom lines. So many bad people, bad decisions, and bad ideas. Sure, it's easier to just go with the flow and assume that everything in life is black and white, right and wrong, profit and loss, etc. But why settle for the easy way?
Some people may consider me a Pollyanna, but I don't care. I would much rather walk around reminding people of morals and values, and pose questions to them like, 'Is there another way we can do this?' 'Do we have any other options?' 'What can we do to make the situation a little better?' 'How can we show some more compassion?'
You remember the saying, 'No pain, no gain'? Well here's another one ... 'If you don't ask, you'll never know.' Maybe there's a better way out of your situation. Maybe there's light at the end of your tunnel that you just can't see right now because of all the obstacles.
Hang in there, wherever 'there' is. And remember that what goes around comes around. Start showing more compassion in your life and hopefully it will be returned to you tenfold.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

When You Know More Than You Ever Wanted

There are times in our lives when we strive to know more. We want to be smarter. We want to be more organized. We want to be able to compete with our peers. We want to be our best and do our best. Anything worth being a goal is going to take work; hard work. That work may be mental, physical, or spiritual. We'll need to put ourselves out there. We may need to do a ton of research and learn, and we'll need to learn how to apply our newly gained knowledge.
But sometimes we're put in situations that we don't want to be in. We're dealt a new hand of cards that, to be honest, leaves us feeling vulnerable and completely out of our comfort zone. We aren't sure how to act, how to move forward, what to think, and what not to think. We simply don't want to be in the situation we are now forced to be in.
Maybe you find yourself going through a divorce. Years ago when you said, 'I do', you thought it was forever. Now you're running a household by yourself, raising a family, going back into the workforce, and trying to sleep at night amidst all your new worries.
Maybe you've just lost a loved one. Perhaps you knew it was coming, but maybe you didn't. Maybe when you kissed them goodbye that morning you didn't think it would be the last time. Now you're trying to plan a funeral and figure out not only how you're going to attempt to reorganize your life, but how you're going to wake up each morning to a bed that's now half empty.
Maybe you've just been diagnosed with a disease. You had your life going pretty good. You had plans. You had goals and ideas. Now all your plans have changed. Instead you're feeling sick, you're going through treatments, and you're taking time off away from your job, your schedule, and things you wanted to do with your family.
Maybe you're caring for an aging parent. Hopefully you've been fortunate enough to have a good relationship with them before all of this happened, so now you're working together as a team to make things better or least as comfortable as possible for them. But maybe you haven't been that lucky. Maybe you've had a strained relationship for years and now you're in a position to try to help this person, but they don't want your help.
Most people, if they're being honest, have dealt with ups and downs in their life. No one's life is perfect. We'll try to live responsibly, productively, and hopefully humbly. We'll focus on our own lives, our families, and our responsibilities; but we'll also try to get through the less than perfect times. We'll be afraid, we'll often feel uncertain, and we'll definitely feel frazzled ... a lot. We'll search for the strength we need from God and our families. We'll learn what we need to learn and when. We'll have many sleepless nights and perhaps a few more grey hairs. But in the end we'll get through it and discover that we know more than we ever wanted.
Someone recently gave me a book to read. On the back cover it says, 'You'll get through this, whatever "this" is.' I'm going to hold on to that.