Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Are You REALLY Too Busy?

How many times have you reached out to make plans with someone and been told, 'I'm sorry, I'm just so busy right now.'? Then you ponder through Facebook posts and see comments and photos of that other person doing something or going somewhere with someone else. So, they were too busy for you, but not too busy to 'check in' at a local restaurant?
I get it. We all have lots of family, friends, and acquaintances. We all have a lot of responsibilities and only so many hours in a day. The next time you turn someone down on an invitation ask yourself this, 'Am I REALLY too busy or am I just not that interested?' OR 'Am I taking this person for granted; after all their time is just as valuable as mine?' Sometimes it's better to be truthful and find a nice way to say it, than to continually put people off for no other reason than 'I'm so busy right now.' Because as long as we're being honest you obviously found time to do the other things you wanted to do. I guess it all comes down to choices and making your priority list. IF you truly value a person's time and friendship you will find a way to fit them into your schedule, after all you manage to fit the 'other stuff' in. I guarantee someone would rather hear, 'I can't do lunch next week, but how about we meet up for a cup of coffee instead?'
People are unique, they're funny, they're giving, they're compassionate, and surprisingly they have feelings too. If you're only available for certain people when it's convenient for you, then it's more of a YOU issue than a THEM issue. You are the one that is valuing your own time more than other people's. You are the one who, for some reason, seems to think your feelings and schedules are the only ones that matter. You are the one who needs to take a closer look at what is really important. When you finally take the time to look deep inside and figure some of that out, don't be surprised if you've pushed a few people away in the process. Don't be shocked when you finally make the time to call them and ask to make plans if they say, 'I'm sorry, but I'm so busy right now.'

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reunions Can Be Tricky

Relationships come and go. When you're in high school you think it'll be the absolute end of the world when everyone leaves for a different college town. You tell everyone at graduation that you'll keep in touch, but rarely do. You get busy at college, you make new friends, and your life moves forward. You find that if you do get together with some of the 'old gang' everyone just talks about the big game, the prom, the marching band, and that unforgettable trip to Cedar Point. You don't have as much in common anymore because you have a new life. And that's okay. They probably do too.
You make new friends in college; you broaden your horizons. You have common interests because of your major or minor. You have four, maybe five, years together. You're older now, and hopefully wiser. You make relationships based on more than living down the street from one another or having a nearby locker. Surprisingly you'll make those one or two friendships with people that you knew before college but didn't travel in the same circles back in the day. With all of the drama and cliques removed you now have a fresh start. Then there are those who take a different path and go to work or get married or enlist in the Armed Forces.
Suddenly your five and ten year reunions roll around and you have to ask yourself the BIG question; 'Will I go? Should I go?' At my earlier class reunions everyone seemed to do one of two things; either relive the past or try to out impress each other. Needless to say my ten year reunion was the last one I went to. I had an opportunity to attend my 30th, but reluctantly passed on it. Between Kindergarten and 12th grade I had attended six different schools. I moved a lot and therefore had a hard time feeling like I ever belonged in any one place. I seriously thought about attending my 30th reunion but wondered if too much time had gone by. Many of my classmates had known each other their whole lives; many had gone off to college together. Would anyone even remember me? I was the editor of our yearbook; the first issue to ever have a senior section printed in color ... we were so ahead of our time, lol. But would that be enough for people to remember me by? Perhaps, since a lot of people would undoubtedly dust off the old book just to brush up on names and faces before the big event.
I now have an opportunity to attend my 35th reunion later this summer. Again the BIG question; 'Should I go?' Since the 30th I've reunited with a few classmates via Facebook. Some seem very genuine and we appear to have a lot in common. We are all scattered now over various parts of the U.S. and the state. Should I take the risk of going this time and feeling like a wallflower? Should I take a leap of faith that I could have a wonderful time? Perhaps I should; nothing ventured nothing lost. I'm older and wiser now. I have thicker skin, so my feelings shouldn't be hurt as easily. I have the opportunity to not dwell on the past, but rather take a chance on making some friendships stronger.
What would you do?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Flowers?

This week I have an opportunity to write a product review; not something I usually do. I don't write a travel or cooking blog where I am utilizing different products and have an opinion. I write a conversational blog and speak what's on my mind. But I do love flowers and have many in my garden; I talk to the plants, I arrange the colors just so, and I constantly rearrange the garden ornaments to enhance things. For Mother's Day I received a beautiful miniature house orchid from my son's family, then my husband and daughter let me pick out 2 ceramic small birdbaths for my perennial garden. One was bright red and the other a vibrant cobalt blue. Now if the weather would just cooperate and stay warm I would begin the planting phase.

This week I received a box from Proven Winners. I was like a kid on Christmas morning, just waiting for it to come. There was the box when I got home from work. I quickly dumped my work belongings on the laundry room floor and went right back out to the garage to open the box. It still amazes me that living, breathing plants can be shipped in a box with air holes and arrive safe and sound to your doorstep. My trial plant was intact and in bloom.  Now comes the big decision. Where should I plant it? Where is the perfect spot? Should I plant it in the ground? Should I plant it in a porch pot? Should I plant it in a hanging basket? Oh my! I'm starting to sound like Dr. Seuss.

I think I need to wait a few more days to make my choice, but in the mean
time my little ray of 'pink' sunshine is receiving water and occasional light.

So here is the fun part ... this little plant is a prelude to what is to come. Yes, I am anxiously awaiting another BOX. This one is special. It will have a brand new DIY Hanging Basket Kit from Proven Winners Direct. I am so excited. I can hardly wait. This minor review is the teaser to get you as excited as I am about trying out a new product.

Stayed tuned for another review and perhaps a telling photo of where this little pink beauty ended up in my garden.

I received this free product from Proven Winners Direct.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Just Because

I know I am always talking about responsibilities, To Do lists, and how to try and keep a healthy balance in today's hectic world. Here is my answer is a nutshell ... do something 'just because'. Because it will make you smile, it will remind you of a happier time, or because for a moment  it will make you feel good about yourself.
So what should you do? That depends on you. What helps you to de-stress? What makes your heart sing with joy? It could be different for everyone. Maybe the next time you're home alone you need to pop your favorite CD in and dance and sing around the room like no one is watching, but guess what? If, by chance, someone rings the doorbell and happens to see or hear you, they'll probably be jealous - so sing loud and proud. Maybe you need to go for a bike ride and if you just happen to end up at the DQ or 7-11, treat yourself; you'll work it off on the ride back home. Maybe you need to splurge and take 45 minutes to sit on your patio and read a book. If you have to blow the dust off the book jacket first, that's okay. I promise not to judge (or tell since it's happened to me several times).
What would you do 'just because' if you could or simply if you allowed yourself to? I'm making time to go to one of my favorite places this week; an afternoon at the public library. I'll find my quiet table by a window that overlooks the statues and the garden and I'll most definitely be in my happy place. I'll surf the Internet, I'll play a game or two, I'll blog (I have a review to write about flowers), I'll read someone else's blog, I'll send out some emails, and I'll relax. I cannot wait; it's been way too long.
Take today to think about it and then let me know what you're going to do in the 72 hours 'just because'. I know life is crazy and busy and sometimes all about schedules, but in the case I'm giving you a deadline. 72 hours ... okay, now go! I want to hear back from you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Every Little Thing You Do

Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder if you're doing enough OR if what you are doing even matters? If you do, then I can guarantee you are not alone. Some people will do things in order to be recognized or receive a pat on the back; maybe they have low self-esteem and need reassurance. Others will do things because it's just a natural occurrence for them. I suppose it all comes down to asking, 'What is your motivation?' What are you doing (or hoping to accomplish) and WHY are you doing it? What are you hoping your end result will be?
Perhaps you are working toward a fitness or financial goal. Perhaps there's something you are hoping to accomplish at work to reduce your stress level or work load. Maybe you are working at strengthening a relationship or furthering your faith journey. We all deal with hurdles and obstacles. We all think we know what we want to accomplish and how we want to get there, but often life throws us unexpected curve balls that we don't anticipate. If we focus on the intended results and work hard we can usually get there (or at least close). Ironically though, as much as WE think we know where we are headed and what we need to do; there's a bigger picture. Our plan may not be God's plan and maybe God is putting certain obstacles in our way because he wants us to change course or learn something important about ourselves along the way. That is where we need to stay strong and have faith. It is hard to deal with the unknown, but it is easy to give up when we don't understand things.
I was listening to a song on the way to work yesterday. As I sat at a red light waiting for my turn to move on through the intersection I just listened to the radio; listened to the words discovering that they were the 'proverbial two by four' hitting me square between the eyes. The song is called 'Do Everything' by Steven Curtis Chapman. Here is just the chorus.
Do everything you do to the glory of the one who made you
cuz he made you
to do every little thing that you do
to bring a smile to his face
and tell the story of grace
with every move you make and every little thing you do.
Wow! There is your clarity and motivation in a nutshell! Every thing you do and say matters. YOU matter. It's okay to not understand everything. It's okay to feel discouraged. It's okay to get off track as long you try again and again and again. Just don't give up. Talk to a family member or a friend or a co-worker or a mentor. Talk out your frustrations and questions. They may not have the answers you want; they may not have any answers. But sometimes just working through obstacles and situations out loud can be helpful. Remember, you don't have to get through this thing called 'life' by yourself.