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Tag Archives: Life

Top 5 Things You Don’t Want to Hear at the Dentist

Helllllllooooooooooo my virtuals!  I recently had the displeasure of getting a root canal.  While I am grateful that I no longer have pain in my tooth, the experience still left little to be desired.  I thought we could take a minute to appreciate 5 things you would never want to hear at the dentist…that I had the good fortune to hearken in the chair.  Have something you would like to add to the list?  Leave a comment below.  Thx for reading.

5. “I’ve never seen that before!”

4. “Gosh darn it!”

3. “Uh oh.”

2. “Oops!”

1. “We’re going to have to try this again tomorrow.”

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Decluttering My Vanity…and My Life

Decluttering My Vanity…and My Life

So I thought I would kick off the new year by getting rid of things I have lying around that are seldom used and gathering dust. Makeup, clothes, home decor, and toys were making their way into the “donate” pile. This quickly became an exercise in self reflection.

At first I felt the urge to justify keeping things, thinking, “Oh I’m sure I’ll use this soon.”  But as my stack began to grow, the buzz of having more space and simplifying my home began to kick in.  Before I knew it, I was happily tossing things in. I began to feel more energized, and it occurred to me just how long it had been since I felt that way.

I realized that not only did I need to declutter my house, I needed to declutter my life.  It wasn’t just about “things” zapping my energy.  Unhealthy habits, relationships, and priorities can throw everything off kilter. They steal our time, energy, and quality of life. And just like justifying the keeping of unnecessary things, we legitimize those habits by saying, “It’s not that big of a deal.” We defend unhealthy relationships with family, friends, and partners, thinking, “It will get better.” We excuse skewed priorities with, “I’ll get to it later.” But later never comes.  Not that way.

Later is now. This moment is what we have to work with.  Maybe “it” is that big of a deal.  And how can things get better without correction?  Ask yourself honestly what (or who) needs to go, needs to change. Even if the one who needs to change is you. Change is scary, but what scares you more? Changing…or staying the same?

What will you “declutter?” Leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.

When Good Friends Move Away

English: Start of a long road

English: Start of a long road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s official: the Smiths don’t live here anymore.  They drove off into the nightwith Fat Lucy in the backseat, signaling the end of this chapter.  Today is a sad day.

I’m talking about our neighbors; Fat Lucy is their cat.  We bought our houses the same year and became fast friends.  While this move is exciting for them, we, of course, are mourning the loss.  No more will their house be a second home to our kids. They fed us, gave to us of their time and talents.   They watched out for our kids while they played.  They babysat, fed, and loved our kids.  They let them pick flowers from their garden.  They caught Titus (our beastly Great Dane) countless times he got outside without a leash.  If we ever needed anything and they were able to help, the answer was always yes (even when I’m sure they didn’t want to).  House sitting, pet sitting, helping with projects, and truly sharing life.  In our eyes they were everything a neighbor could be.  Every member of our familes are close.  So many things in common, so many differences; yet somehow we all clicked.  This seems like a rarity in this day and age of hiding behind privacy fences.   We’ll miss their kids telling us, “You guys are the best family!”  And our countless long talks of hilarity or depth about joys and sorrows, our kids, extended families, friends (and sometimes spouses :p).  They are very gracious, genuine people.  People who let you see their house (and their very lives) messy. There is a trust there…an understanding.  They are people we can be completely real with who do not judge us.  I value that so much, and it is a quality that seems scarce.  How do you tell someone that?  That they mean all these things and more which words cannot express? I hope you who may be reading this have someone like that in your lives.  The street seems so different now.  And time marches on.

Hopefully we’ll keep in touch.  There’s e-mail, phone, Skype, planes, and cars to aid in that.  Yet life happens, and sometimes things we hold dear get forgotten…foggy.  As trivial as it might sound, we are grieving this loss.  My prayer is not only for their safe adjustment, but also that we would stay connected.  That perhaps we could sail together once again; let the kids have a sleepover again.  May we travel together someday like we always talked about.  May life be good to us all; not because we deserve it, but because God is so very good and abundant.  And that they would be blessed.  They are so giving, Lord please give to them; and please fill this hole with yourself and your love.  I hope the roads of our lives continue to lead us in parallel, though separate, directions.  Who knows, maybe they won’t be separate forever.

Have you had a close friend move away?  Or perhaps you were the one who had to move?  I’d love to read about it in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” 1Thessalonians 1:2

*”Smith” is not their real name but a generic one used for their privacy

Water in the Basement

We’ve had some pretty nasty thunderstorms here lately, leaving many people with water in their basements.  Fortunately, our house had very, very little so it was more annoying than catastrophic.  Due to this water, we were going through boxes and things that have been stored down there and I came across a box I have not touched in years.  It contained memories from college.

Inside the box were many things I had both treasured and mindlessly thrown in to accelerate the moving process.  Class schedules, pictures, funny notes my roommate and I had taped to our door, flash cards, and e-mails I had printed.  Even notebooks I would doodle and journal in if I was bored at work at the mall (yes I was a total mall rat).  The nostalgia hit me so hard it was almost painful.  College was a very interesting time for me, simultaneously fun, challenging, chaotic, and amazing somehow.

Perhaps it was being an adult without 100% of the responsibility that would eventually come.  Maybe it was that my whole life was before me, full of promise and possibility.  I used to daydream about what the future would hold: what will my career be?  Who will I marry?  Where will I live?  How many children will I have?  What adventures will we create?  What will all of that look like put together?  My imagination would run wild with these things, picturing both the exciting and mundane.  I loved to dream.

Sitting there it occurred to me how, at this point, it seems so much of my life has been decided.  I know the answers to most of those questions now.   As a child in school I remember how much I looked forward to the weekend.  In time, I realized it was more the promise the weekend held than anything else.  But I miss dreaming a little, and I’m not entirely sure why.  Perhaps I feel a little trapped, like I can’t make any major change without disrupting the kids or job security.  Not in an immature, bored kind of way.  I have been very content with my life since undergrad, full of so many wonderful people and experiences I would never trade in.  And I certainly wouldn’t want to repeat college all over again.  Yet in the background there’s always that nostalgia that won’t be completely quiet.  And sometimes, times like now when I find an old photo or hear an old song, it becomes a guttural scream; a cry of restlessness.

Perhaps I need to remind myself that life is never fully decided.  That, in many ways, my proverbial “whole life” is always ahead of me; be it 80 years or mere moments.  Maybe the cure for the common life is to do something spontaneous.  To keep dreaming big.  To believe that God still has something special up His sleeve.  This can be a bit scary.  After all, not all change is pleasant.  And as I sit in the mildly musty basement lost in thought and memories, my little boy runs up to me and gives me a craft he made for me.  My heart warms, and I pack up the past and head back upstairs to my gifts of the present; reassured that I still have the right to dream.  For a romantic like me, I’m glad to have something to dream about.  And glad for a little water in the basement.

Just What the Internet Needs-Another Blog

P writing blue

P writing blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never wanted to be a blogger.  Let me provide some background.  I have loved writing ever since I was a little girl.  I used to make up songs and poems and share them with my mom.  I always had book and movie ideas floating around inside my brain.  As I grew older, my love for writing continued.  However it seemed there were so many other things fighting for my time and attention: music, dance, foreign language, choosing and pursuing a career, spirituality, my social life, and starting a family.

While I was in my undergraduate program, I agonized over what my concentration should be.  Having been blessed (or cursed depending on how one might look at it) with so many interests, I had no idea how to narrow my focus.  One of my many not-so-fabulous characteristics is that I get bored easily. And since interest does not equal talent, I decided to take the logical route for my career.  I chose Psychology as my first major because it is so diverse and interesting that it would be difficult even for me to get bored with that career.  I also wanted to do something that would, with any luck, have a positive impact.  I elected for Spanish as my second major in order to continue studying a language that I loved and hopefully to become more marketable while applying for a job.

While this decision has gone well for me occupationally, there was still a nagging problem: I missed writing.  This was abated while I was in graduate school and had to write papers ad nauseam, but now that I have been out of school for some time I find myself growing restless.  I could write academically and plan to do so at some point, yet what I realized through prayer and self-exploration is that I miss writing creatively.  Then more questions came.  Should I write a novel?  This I have considered heavily, unfortunately in my current stage of life I do not have the time to devote to such an exhaustive project.  This realization initially left me feeling sad and frustrated.  Then those feelings gave way to immense appreciation for my current phase of life.  While I still do counseling and facilitate trainings part-time, most of my time is spent with my little ones.  I know this chapter of our lives is fleeting, and I am filled with gratitude and joy for it.  That is, when I am not ripping my hair out.  Sound contradictory?  That’s me!  I think that is a part of being human.

Which brought me to my next decision: what should I write about and how?  For some strange reason (note heavy sarcasm here), magazines are not knocking at my door begging for me to write for them since my only published works are a couple of poems I penned many moons ago.  This led me to consider blogging.  At first I completely rejected this idea as the World Wide Web is oversaturated with bloggers and vloggers.  Yet the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that this was the perfect engine for me at this time.  I don’t have to deal with the stringent rules of academic writing, and I can write at my own pace about anything I choose.  “They say” that to write a good blog, the author needs to stick to writing about one thing that they know well.  I’m sorry but that is something I cannot do (easily bored, remember?).  I also read that the author should keep the blogs about the same length and style.  Another rule I am going to have to break.  If I only write about one thing, I am almost guaranteed to get bored and quit after a few months.  As for blog length, I feel that what is most important is that whatever I write be authentic, which can be anywhere from 100 words to 1000 depending on the subject and the muse.  This means I am running the risk of creating a crummy blog.

I had to make a decision at that point if I should pursue this.  What if not a single other person ever looks at my writing?  What if people read it but no one likes it?  What won out was this drive to create that I am unable to shake.  Maybe it won’t be earth-shattering.  Maybe it will seem conflicting-at times amusing or thought-provoking, fun or passionate.  You don’t have to agree with me.  I just hope you will take the time to consider it.  Thanks for reading.  Let me know what you think in the comments below, along with any subjects you would be interested in reading about.