Tag Archives: Life

The Road of Happy Destiny

“You have arrived at your destination,” my GPS stated last Saturday afternoon.  As I sat in my car in the parking lot of yet another shopping mall this simple phrase prompted elaborate thoughts about my journey and purpose in life.  The thoughts/words that came to mind were the following: Crossroads, Faith, and Being.

I have, like many others, come to a fork in the road a time or two in my life.  The first of which was going to college; leaving the comforts of home, the world in which I was coddled felt exciting.  Here was my opportunity to enjoy freedom and instead what I focused on what needing to excel, always looking toward the day when I would graduate and receive a piece of paper which told me “you’ve arrived!”   Then, I thought, only then, would I truly be free.

The time came.  I graduated college and moved into my first apartment.  I was satisfied but still not content.  The veil of graduation fell and I was looking toward the future, still unable to truly sit in the present.  I starting working a job that paid the bills but my mind was always on the future.  “When I have this or until I get that…” I need to push harder.

I received a Master’s Degree and started working in my dream career field.  Still, I was unsatisfied.  It wasn’t because I didn’t love my job or my life but because it’s always been so difficult for me to deal with being.

I find myself at another crossroads, thinking of my journey and what my conception of a “destination” is.  Maybe my GPS has a point, maybe each place I go to, and each time I “arrive” I should appreciate it more, be more in the present and, in all honesty, have a heck of a lot more gratitude for even “arriving.”

The question now becomes what am I going to do with this new-found knowledge (that I’m sure I’ve been taught hundreds of times before)?  I have a choice to stay the same path and continue to worry about a future I cannot control or I can do something different.  The opposite of fear is faith. I’m terrified (in a good way…if that makes sense) for the road ahead because my life is going to be changing over the next few months.  One thing for sure is that I will never know, so there is no use worrying about it.  Of course that is easier said than done and that’s where faith (and a lot of prayer) comes in handy.

I wake up every morning and pray.  I ask God to watch over me and my family and then I ask to be of service.  Living in the present is the only way to enjoy the journey because who knows, maybe the journey is the destination.

sunrise

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When it Comes to Chocolate, Resistance is Futile

A while back one of my good friends forwarded my a chain mail (1990 much?) that her sister had sent her. It was called “7%” and I often go back to it when I’m feeling particularly uninspired or stuck. One of my favorite life lessons is the title of this post: When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. I can think of that in the literal sense of chocolate or in the bigger sense of all the things I seem to struggle against.

I’m a fighter and I hate change. Sometimes my fight can be good, but what about when I’m fighting God? That’s my biggest struggle, knowing and seeing what God’s path is for me and then taking a sharp left turn because I’m too scared to trust Him.

Just let go I hear a little voice say, but still I resist. I hold tighter until my hands are red and chapped and with that everything starts to unravel. The art of letting go is truly that, an art, a gift that I have been given but have to work hard at keeping. It’s odd to me that by working hard I really mean not working.

I resist the chocolate; the wonderful beautiful gifts that God has in store for me because I think I can do better. It is only when I let go and embrace the chocolate that I am able to actually enjoy it, taste it, and appreciate it.

Resistance to God’s will, as it is to chocolate (for me) is futile and the more I resist, the move I crave it, need it and go crazy trying to get it. Letting go, releasing the chains on my heart and my life, taking a deep breath, stepping back, not resisting, that’s how I live in the present, open myself up to receive all the beautiful gifts that are in store for me.

Daily Charge: Today I will enjoy the gifts and not fight against them. I will take action to show I appreciate the gifts that have been given to me and I will live today (and each day) knowing the decision to fight can only be combated by my faith in the process.

20150223_153446 [This is my favorite mug. Drinking tea is one way I unwind and relax. While I’d prefer to use loose tea leaves, sometime’s I’ll take what I can get. This is Twinings “pure peppermint” with a little bit of honey]

Here are all 45 “Life Lessons”
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short – enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19.. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Social Media: The Escape From Reality

“The black hole” is what we call it at work. That moment you go on the internet to find a video, or an article, just one, harmless enough, and then you look up and an hour has flown by. You wonder “where did the time go, I just went on to this site to look at one thing?!” The black hole can be entertaining, comforting, and very dangerous. For me, the biggest myth of the black hole is that it’s adding meaning to my life, that it’s in some way adding value. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining as heck but sometimes (read: most times) it’s just down right depressing. Not depressing because what I see is sad or lack-luster but because I fall victim to the disease that so many other do: Comparison.

I compare my life to others and all of a sudden this day time hobby turns into a pity party for poor ‘ol Rebecca. The reality is that my life is wonderful and had far exceeded my expectations for where I’d be at this age but the devil of comparison knocks at the door and I let him in. Not only do I let him in, but I bake him cookies.

For the last few months I’ve been stepping away from social media and phew is it freeing. Every other day my “friends” would be posting about their engagements, and babies, and extravagant trips they were taking. I was exhausted just trying to keep but when you add feeling sorry for myself in the mix, it was a full time job. So I stopped, I got off and only got on if I knew someone put up a post I wanted to see. For instance, my little brother posted photos from a trip that I wanted to take a look at. I had him text me when they were up and I jumped back on.

Let me interject a little story: I had a friend who was madly and deeply in love with her boyfriend. She would post pictures every other day of them together and all the activities they did. One day, the posts stopped. She didn’t post anything bashing him, the “good” posts just ended. I asked her what happened I said “I thought you two were so happy,” to which she replied “you can’t always believe what you see.” Behind her posts was a world of hurt and the way she dealt with it is by wearing a mask on social media, pretending that everything was OK to save face to a bunch of people she didn’t even know. It was that moment that I realized posting happy times isn’t bad if they are actually happy and you truly want to spread that joy with the world, but posting to cover up something is dangerous, not to everyone else, but to yourself. We’ve all done it, trying to boost the ego with “likes” and re tweets. There’s nothing wrong with that, do you, but for me, I want to live my life honest with myself.

Comparison can be good when it acts as motivation but what I had drifted to was so far from motivation, and just straight depression. Why as a society must we base our value off of what others think? Why must I show the world how good my life is to think or know it’s good. The real issue is with me, I know this, not those who post.

The take away for me is this: I can be happy for others and share in their joy but I must not compare. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

So as Valentine’s Day approaches I encourage you (and myself) to not compare your journey to someone else’s; no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, behind the 2 dozen roses. If you don’t have a Valentine make yourself your Valentine and remember, it’s never too late to be happy, but it’s all up to you and no one else.

*Steps off soapbox*

Discovering self-worth

“YOU ARE WORTH THE JACKET,” my father sternly yet lovingly said to me at the end of a heated conversation about Christmas presents.  At the time I really didn’t understand what he was saying: how could the choice to buy a jacket be translated into a larger interpretation of how much or little I value myself?  I thought to myself “this is way too much of a leap, there is no way.”  Humility struck again and I must admit my father was right.  Lets Tarantino this (as Dane Cook would say) and I’ll take you back to the beginning…

My father, like most fathers, is a loving yet assertive man.  He’s an Army veteran who served during Vietnam and grew up the 3rd child of 4 with only sisters.  He put himself through school, and received his Ph.D in Psychology with no assistance from his family.  Yes, that’s right, growing up with a psychologist for a father was always interesting.  I talked about my feelings…a lot…and there were endless hugs (even if I didn’t want them).  I love my father, both my parent’s for that matter, but I have to admit, I’m a Daddy’s Girl.  Always have been and always will be.

This conversation started like any other “what would you like for Christmas, Rebecca?” Innocent enough, right? Wrong.  I told him I’d get back to him because I was at work and didn’t have the time to think about it at the moment.  A few hours later I get an e-mail from him saying there is a sale going on one of the stores he frequents and asked if maybe I’d like something from there.  Again, I was too caught up with work and responded with a quick “I’ll check when I get home.”

When I got home I looked through the site and found these absolutely adorable winter jackets.  I’m perpetually cold and they looked oh so warm.  I found 3.  I sent him the link to each, in my order of preference…sort of.  See, I’ve always been very cautious with my finances, to the point when I was a little girl and my family would do Sunday dinner’s at a restaurant my Grandma would complain that I ordered with the right side of my menu (where the prices were often located).  It’s true, spending money, mine or anyone else’s is difficult, but I never thought of it in the way my father was about to describe.  He called me when he got my e-mail and said something to the effect of: you put the most expensive coat at the bottom but in parentheses you wrote this is the one you really wanted, why did you put it [insert: yourself] at the bottom of the list?  It was at this moment he began to explain (as only a psychologist father can) that “this is part of a larger issue,” and that “you don’t think you are worth the jacket.”  There was a pause in the conversation, because truthfully I thought he’d like the fact that I was trying to save him money, and then he replied “YOU ARE WORTH THE JACKET.”

A week later I received the jacket in the mail and I absolutely LOVE it.  I wear it every day.
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I’m not saying go out and spend money you don’t have, please live within your means, but if there is something that is within your means, like this jacket is for my parents, go for it, treat yourself, enjoy the gifts of your hard work.  I mentioned magazines in  my previous post about vision boards and this is where it ties in.  The little things in life can make a huge difference.  What I’ve tried to do is one nice thing for myself every day, which may or may not have a monetary component.  I love nail polish (and I’m the furthest from girly but I still love it) so when I see one I like, if I haven’t done something nice for myself that day, I’ll buy it.  

Go to the gym, get a massage, plan a trip, sleep in, cuddle with God, give yourself a break.

The word of the month (and possibly year) is empowerment.  Let go of the control you think you have over your life and be empowered to accomplish your dreams.  Speak into existence the wonderful things you know you deserve (and even if you don’t know/think you deserve them, speak it anyway because I’m here to tell you, you do deserve it).

When I rest my head on the pillow, no matter how the day went, I want to be serene, relaxed, calm, and empowered to know that I did my best…and even if I didn’t God loves me anyway.  Imperfectly perfect.

Vision Board: A purpose for the year ahead

I made my first vision board a few years ago at the suggestion of a friend who had been making them each year for almost 10 years.  Being an “arts-n-crafts” kind of gal I thought it was a great idea…but how exactly do I go about doing this, I wondered.  She suggested a few magazines to buy (Real Simple and Better Homes and Gardens being two of them) and go from there.  That’s what I did.  Sat down with my magazines and got to cutting.  I found images that grabbed me, made me smile, made me laugh.  Phrases I could relate to, words I wanted to live by.

Here is my board from 2013

2013 and 2014 2014

As I sit down to do a vision board for 2015 I feel excited.  I see my vision board as my chance to be creative, hopeful, and purposeful. “If X is my goal, what do I need to do to obtain it.”

My personal opinion is that this project is best when you just go for it , but, for those of you who enjoy a little more direction, Christine Kane has a helpful site.

Lucinda Cross suggests readers “Pick images that will trigger an emotion into an action.”

First step, gather magazines that grab you, may it be an image on the cover, or an article of interest.  [side note, I never purchase magazines but for this project (and a new mantra of mine) I said hey, I’m worth it]

Mag20150106_115303 1

I read through each magazine once and flagged pages that I wanted to go back to.  Then, I grabbed my scissors and went for it!

The result!

2015 vision board2

 Things I learned:

1. Although I certainly didn’t mean to do this, there were a few specific areas of my life that kept coming up: travel, home, and most of all self care.

2. I’m a sucker for a unicorn.  I mean, how could I not put that picture on here.

3. In the grand scheme of things, my life is very blessed. I enjoy the strive toward perfection, the trick is accepting that I’ll never get there…or maybe it’s realizing and accepting that I’m already there, perfect just as I am…

Here are my 3 favorite parts:

unicorn snowhome

With that, I challenge you to put together your own vision board.  Happy creating!