Screw the Lemons!!


 

Screw the lemons!

Please NOTE:

This post was made & saved as a draft back when life was hunky-fucking-dory and there were no black clouds looming on my horizon.  I think it is a nice post with a nice message, so I am putting it out there.  However, in my world the shit has hit the proverbial fan and I am bordering on suicidal-not to mention the fact that I am bawling like a cow & smelling like one too.  The explanation to that will come in my next post.  For now, enjoy these earlier, happier days! On to………

SCREW THE LEMONS!!

We’ve all heard “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!!”.  Overall, it’s great advice and I am a staunch proponent of making the best of the hand we’re dealt. However, there’s a problem with the actual application; when one is mired in a rotten lemon pile, it’s pretty damned hard to mobilize the squeezer.

With that being said, I AM in lemonade land right now.  Life is good for me and things are going my way in all directions right now.  Why am I posting this then?  Because life is about cycles.  If one is on top of the heap now then it is reasonable to anticipate settling downward.  As a non-physics major I can’t spout the formula but I’m sure it’s one of the universal laws of the universe or something like that.

My take-away message?  Plan ahead, stay prepared, be humble, be positive, pay it forward because we only have two choices: we can hide out or help out.  Ride the wave of good times, just be prepared for when the tide goes out. 

More Changes!


It’s time for another brief update and I will soon be on a normal blogging schedule again!  On the home front, I have decided to give up my second job.  My list of reasons for keeping it was very long in the beginning but ultimately, I would rather spend the time doing things I enjoy.

Since graduating, I have cleaned out, sorted, reorganized, purged and otherwise reevaluated a number if things in my life.  Turns out, the second job also needs to go!  I’ve given notice and in about a month will only have ONE job!  In the meantime, I have started a number of crafty home projects I have had on the back burner for a couple of years.  Today I’ve been working on painting old furniture I’ve retrieved from other people’s cast-offs.  Refurbishing & up-cycling are two of my most favorite past-times and today I have loving a natural/fantasy theme:

 

foliofinebooks.com

foliofinebooks.com

Botanical-Flowering-plant-Italian-1http://vintageprintable.com/wordpress/vintage-printable-entertainment-recreation-2/

I wanted to take a moment to update & share–back to crafting & painting!!

Lessons of Time


LESSON OF TIME
When a bird is alive…it eats ants.
When a bird is dead … Ants eat the bird.

Time and circumstances can change at any time!

Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in life.
You may be powerful today but remember time is more powerful than you!!

One tree makes a million match sticks, but when the time comes…
Only one match stick is needed to burn a million trees!

So be good and do good!

Author Unknown

Anita Wood owns this beautiful image!

From: PICK YOUR BRAIN


Shared from PICK YOUR BRAIN’s page.  Nothing helps us be more successful than a well designed plan combined with an open mind.  Read on…..

FIVE WAYS TO LIVE A DRAMA FREE LIFE:

Drama sucks.

Not “dramas” as in movies, TV shows, plays, etc that are serious in tone, but rather “drama” as in the petty ridiculous conflicts that get blown way out of proportion for no reason at all.

Urban Dictionary has my favorite definition of this kind of drama: “making a big deal over something unnecessarily.”

We’d like to believe that petty social drama ends the day we leave high school, but sadly, this is not the case. No matter how old they are, people can still find ways of adding unnecessary conflict to their relationships, be they at work, at home, or with friends.

This is truly a shame, because drama increases stress, ruins relationships, and eats away at that one precious commodity none of us can afford to waste: time.

If you want to stress less, have better relationships, and make the most of the limited time you have on earth, I would highly suggest you eliminate as much of the drama from your life as you can.  Here are 5 things you can do to live “drama free”:

 

Make No Assumptions

Assumptions are where drama starts. Somebody does something that bothers you, and then you run off and start making assumptions about why they did it.

What you observe someone doing is fact. If that bother you, then you need to deal with it. The moment you start making assumptions about their reasons, motives, or inner dialog is the moment you move out of the realm of rational thought and into the world of unnecessary stress.

You have no way of truly knowing what a person is thinking or why they do the things they do. Catch yourself when you start making those assumptions; if you want to live drama free, let those assumptions go and simply resolve to deal with the observable behavior.

Don’t Believe the Grapevine

Problems tend to increase exponentially with each additional person who is added to the communication chain. If I hear you say something, I can be pretty sure of what I heard. If Sandy tells me that John told Jane that Steve heard Sheila say something, chances are that the story you are hearing bears little resemblance to the actual truth.

Each additional person alters the story to some degree. They may remember things differently. They may add in emotion of verbiage that wasn’t there before. They may just be flat out wrong.

If you hear something through the grapevine, it might be worth investigating. But if you work yourself up into a lather based on third, fourth, and fifth party communication, then you are just feeding the drama monster.

Don’t get sucked into this. Skip the grapevine and go straight for the horse’s mouth. It will save time and cut the drama factor way down…

Be Direct

Drama is simply a byproduct of people’s inability to communicate like logical, rational adults. This is why it is so prevalent in highs school. This is also why it should be 100% unacceptable in the adult world.

If you have a problem with someone, talk to them about it. If you believe that someone has a problem with you, talk to them about it. Direct conversations nip drama in the bud. This is not to say that direct conversations make all problems go away, but they will help you cut through the nonsense and deal with the real issue.

Relationship challenges begin and are compounded by passive aggressive behavior and indirect communication. If you want to cut out the drama, be willing to have those “crucial conversations.”

Be the Bigger Person

Fighting fire with fire is good if you are trying to control a raging wilderness inferno. It’s not so good if you are trying to eliminate needless petty conflicts from your life.

When you find yourself the victim of some small offense, your first instinct may be to respond in kind. While this may feel good for a moment, it usually just escalates the situation and makes everything worse. If you truly want to live drama free, then you need to be willing to be the bigger person and let things go.

You don’t need to get in the last word, you don’t need to “one up” the other person, and you certainly don’t need to make them pay for wronging you. Just let it go, and watch the drama flow away.

Avoid Drama Queens

After you have made sure that you are not creating the drama yourself, the best way to keep your life drama free is to eliminate the drama queens (or kings!) from your life.

This is easy when you meet new people or are dealing with someone you aren’t very close to. Once you realize they are “drama prone,” minimize (or if you can, eliminate) the interactions you have with them.

With people you are close to, have a long history with, or are related to, or who are genuinely good people who’s one major flaw is their tendency to make a big deal over nothing, you don’t have to cut them out of your life altogether. Just acknowledge that quality about them and, when they start acting up, don’t get sucked into their “drama vortex.”

We are functions of our environment. To live drama free, get as many drama creators out of your life as possible.

You may never be able to eliminate all the drama from your life, but with just a little bit of focus and discipline you can certainly minimize how much you have in your life. It’s well worth doing – the less drama you have in your life, the room you have for fun, joy and great relationships!

***
Avish Parashar is the Motivational Smart Ass. As a speaker and on his blog, Avish makes people laugh while sharing with them simple ideas to make their lives easier and more successful. To read more of his ridiculous rantings on self improvement, watch videos of him in action, and download the free “How to Think Quick” MP3, visit his Motivational Humor Blog at http://www.MotivationalSmartAss.com

Money & Politics


I received this email today & haven’t researched any of the facts within.  Gotta admit though, it contains several novel ideas & I wanted to pass it on.  I think it would be interesting if our elected officials had to live within the same system we do.  I would love to hear your opinion!!

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best
quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a
law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP,
all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.” The
26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3
months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it.
That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,cell phones, etc.Of the 27
amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to
become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of
twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do
likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America
will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed
around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1.No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in
office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2.Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All
funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
system immediately. All future funds flow in to the Social Security
system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not
be used for any other purpose.

3.Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
do.

4.Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5.Congress loses their current health care system and participates in
the same health care system as the American people.

6.Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
people.

7.  All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with
Congressmen/women.Congress made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then
go home and back to work.

Rights & Choices


Can you tell me what’s wrong with this very popular picture traveling around on Facebook?  On the surface, it sounds like a very live-and-let-live approach to life.  Think it through though…

First, not all of these things should be lumped together as “rights”.  Given the spectrum of the list, it’s like comparing apples, horse shoes & Volkswagens.  Also, factor in the reality that a large subset of society routinely chooses the  easy, fun & hedonistic option over the smart considerate  one, no matter WHAT the better option is ~OR~ the impact on others.

Gay marriages, guns , abortions & sex fall into a different area than smoking, alcohol & drugs & they shouldn’t be lumped together.

Regarding rights, I definitely have the right to NOT be subjected to second-hand smoke–one person’s right ends when it negatively impacts the right of another.  Alcohol is fine, in moderation & in an appropriate manner & setting.  With that being said, I have the right to drive without getting hit by a drunk driver, or go to the mall without being accosted by a drunk.  Regarding drugs:  I have the right to NOT be jacked by someone tweaked out on meth.  I also have the right to NOT have my home broken into by some drug-seeking individual whose concept of rights & boundaries have been blurred by addiction or substances.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down???

Happy Mother’s Day!


Hello!  This Mother’s day I have a couple of notable “firsts”:

1.  This is my first Mother’s day as a Grandmother–totally cool!  I babysit each weekend and this morning at 3:30 am, her little head popped up over the crib rail and yelled “Hi!!”  Way too cute!

2.  This is the first Mother’s day that BOTH of my kids have been clean, sober, out of jail, out of treatment, living successfully on their own and gainfully employed, both at the same time!!!  I even received a dozen roses from them in an assortment of beautiful colors.  After I woke from the sudden, dead faint that struck me, I made sure I thanked them both.  Wow!

My daughter in law also surprised me with some awesome beauty/hair products that were COMPLETELY unexpected (but MUCH needed). What an sweet, considerate thing to do!  She’s working, going to school, keeping up a home for Peanut & running herself ragged.  What a great group of youngin’s.

Wishing each of you a happy, peaceful Mother’s day!  Thanks for stopping by.

Simple Living Pledge


I found the simple living pledge at Kanelstrand: Simple Living for Human Beings  and think it’s a fantastic idea!  I’m mired in a house full of unnecessary stuff and it’s choking the life & spirit right out of me.  Honestly,  I had started a post titled Drowning in Success, which was based on my accumulation o’ crap.  No I’m not a hoarder but it’s not for lack of desire….  Here’s the information on the simple living pledge.  Check out the link above to take the pledge yourself!

What is Simple Living?
  • Identifying what is most important for you and eliminating everything else.
  • Freeing up time for doing what inspires you and being with the people you love.
  • Decluttering your mind, your everyday life and your virtual life.
  • Single-tasking and learning to diminish stress.
  • Striving to live frugally by wanting less and buying only what is necessary.
  • Slowing down and being actively present in the moment.
  • Living a healthy life, including cleaning your home and your body, eating, exercising and thinking.
  • Striving to be green and sustainable as much as your surroundings allow.
  • Enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
  • Simplifying your goals, tasks and expectations.
What is the Simple Living Pledge?
This is a solemn and personal promise to live a simple life in a complicated world. Simple living is the conscious act of cleaning your mind and surroundings of clutter and filling the space with the things that you value. After spending years entangled in stress, multitasking and clutter, 3 years ago my family started a conscious simplifying process in all aspects of life and now I am the first to sign the Simple Living Pledge.
Why take the pledge?
By taking the pledge you are making a conscious decision to keep your sanity in a modern life, where everyone is screaming the opposite. It has long been known that after you make up your mind, the next step to fulfilling a wish is to write it down. Signing your name and pasting the badge on your blog/website is what will serve as a reminder to slow down, relax and look for the simple truths in life even when you are tempted to forget and get back to normal. Let simple be your new normal!
Who can take the pledge?

Anyone – regardless of age, nationality or language. You don’t need to have a blog or website to sign the pledge. The only thing you need is willingness to live a better, simpler life.

Harboring a Spirit of Withoutfulness


When I was a little kid, I knew people who were always “without”.  The parents spent much of their time talking about what they did NOT have & what they could NOT do & how much money they did NOT earn/have.    In turn, the children trudged around, wallowing in withoutfulness as well.  If a well-meaning individual suggested something helpful such as “get a different job, retrain, save more, spend less, down-size” they were subjected to a sticky web of poor-me excuses as to why none of those things are possible for them and they are just pitiful victims.  Sure enough, you could feel your life force being sucked out your ear from 20 feet away…..  Holy shit Batman!  Had they put HALF the effort into “doing” that they put into NOT “doing”, they would be unstoppable forces!

My parents called it “poor mouthing”;  all I know is they (like drama magnets) sucked the life out of the universe.  All the while, I watched my parents creatively “doing”.  Not bragging about doing, or making an event out of doing…… Simply doing.  We always had plenty—OK, a more apt description would be “We always felt like we had “plenty”.  As an adult, I can look back and see we had lots of tight spots.  However, my Dad could’ve (sort of) fixed the Space Shuttle with two coat hangers and a roll of duct tape, and we shared a spirit of good fortune.  We didn’t have bad luck, we simply had creative challenges–even though it was never described that way.  Our roof leaked.  A LOT.   How great was it that we had buckets to put under it and were healthy enough to keep them emptied!  Yep, that’s the can-DO spirit!  This is NOT sarcasm:  It’s about playing the hand we’re dealt, wearing a smile.

When my kids were little, I was on public aid–welfare, food stamps, medical card, free school lunches, heating assistance–everything.  However, it was important to me that I not instill a sense of “less than” or withoutfulness in their minds and hearts.  Sometimes I had to bite my tongue, because life was tough & I sometimes felt pretty damned without–but I couldn’t stand teaching my kids that “woe is me”  is the way to be.  Sooo, I would smile and tell them “We’re budgeting for something else.  That’s why we can’t get new shoes right now.”  After all, it was the truth.  Every week, before grocery shopping, I made sure I had four extra quarters in my pocket.  Just before it was time to pay the cashier, I gave each child two quarters to get something from the gumball/toy machine at the front of the store.  They never saw me counting out food stamps.  Back in the day food stamps came in books and had to be torn out and counted, one by one.  I didn’t want to stir up a realization in their minds of what we did NOT have.

I have always been able to hone in on this spirit of withoutfulness, and while it’s a negative emotion/concept, it’s more than simple negativity.  It’s something much more destructive if it isn’t remedied.  Are any of you old enough to remember Bad Luck Schleprock from the Flintstones?  Well Wowzy, Wowzy, Woo, Woo…. That sense of NOT ENOUGHEDNESS follows these people throughout life, weighing them down like itchy, wet wool blankets draped around their souls.   You know what I’m talking about—You’ve been waited-on by THAT insurance agent, THAT clerk or THAT customer service rep…..Really, the problem isn’t a lack of resources–is it a lack of SPIRIT?  Or could it be a  lack of  CREATIVITY or a lack of GRATITUDE?   Questions for the day:

Are you making excuses instead of DOING?

Are you wearing a dank, itchy, heavy shroud of withoutfulness?

Can YOU modify your perspective today to begin throwing it OFF??

My Personal Wellness Plan


When I started this blog  I was sick & couch–bound.  I  hoped to loosely chronicle my slow ascent to better health.  Well, I am officially pronouncing it a success!  Yes I’m doing much better; most of it because I’m making better choices & have learned the rules for being the “new me”.  Had I continued to live the same way, I suspect my outcome would’ve been much less impressive.

One of my biggest choices was how to continue working & maintaining my independent life. The prospect of living on disability, for me, was a worst-case scenario and I could NOT wrap my head around it. Realistically  chronic illness creates bad days/weeks/months where I feel like hell and there’s no way around it.  Soooo,   I concluded that most times being at work didn’t make me feel worse & sometimes it even made me feel better.  Plus, it’s better to try than not.  At that point  I realized I had to tweak & clarify what REALLY worked,  accept that my life has changed FOREVER, then find a way to make it work.  GAME ON!

Towards that end, I worked part-time and spent a number of  years streamlining my health management routine-such as it has become.  I’m officially a high maintenance health gal and frankly, the whole process makes me yearn to poke my own eyeball out with a fork.  Yeah–it’s that much fun.  However, the alternative is even less desirable, so I’m on board!

Thus began years of picking & choosing, trialing & erroring, trying & failing, wishing & whining;  a quest to  find what works without feeling like I’m suffering, missing out or deprived.   I’ve kept food diaries, symptom diaries, pain diaries, vital signs diaries, feelings diaries, calendars, day planners, medi-planners, appointment planners, project planners…. You know what I realized??  I still did whatever I wanted or felt like.  (Sez the cranky old lady who preaches accountability and responsibility all the time…..)  Most of them were only mildly helpful since I kept opting to forget to use the information I learned about me.  I think I have a post on DENIAL somewhere… Finally, I figured out (admitted)  I actually had to USE the information I discovered….

Anyway,  I have been able to implement a few (basic)  key things most of the time and a few more some of the time.  I can tell it’s been helpful and my health world has improved.  I wouldn’t say I’ve been wildly successful since some of the more important efforts have been epic fails, but I’ve MORE than scratched the surface.  Here are some of the things I’ve done/learned that have made a great difference:

1.  I say “NO”.  Lesson:  When you say ‘no’ to something, it means you’re saying “YES” to something else.  You are not required to explain to anyone why.  If the recipient of said “no” feels that “why” matters, stick by your guns.  It’s THEIR boundary issue, not yours.  Let’em stew.

2.  I get enough sleep.  It’s ok to take a nap if you need to.  See #1 if required.

3.  I always carry a couple of durable, healthy snacks in my  bag/car so I’ll remember to eat them instead of a donut at least half of the time.  DO NOT leave an apple in the glove box from February ’til May ~OR~ put a ripe banana in a tote bag….Just keepin’ it real….

4.  I take my medicine like I’m  supposed to and I don’t get dramatic about side effects.  Drama is the enemy in all things.  Remember–Your Dr. is NOT trying to kill you.  Side effects are expected; that’s why they’re listed on the information we’re given at the pharmacy. Many of them pass with time.  If the side effects are insurmountable, talk to your health professional INSTEAD of talking about them behind their back. IF every medication has (in your mind) side effects which aren’t tolerable, then you haven’t been sick enough yet.  Keep NOT taking care of yourself; soon the side effects won’t seem so crappy.   Communication is the single greatest FAIL in health care today and I see a lot of patients dropping the ball.  Rant over.

5.  I try to manage the options within my control.  I resolved to stretch/exercise four days a week.  I actually do it only 2-3 days a week.  I feel better though and I feel best when I stick with my resolution.  Without it, I lose strength & lean muscle at the speed of light.  (Not to mention my ass hastens its quest southward)  My attitude also starts circling the drain-if you know what I mean… Our bodies truly are “use it or lose it” mechanisms.  No way around it and no pill and no amount of complaining will fix it.

6.  If I eat foods with ingredients I can’t pronounce, I’ll feel like words I shouldn’t say…..

7.  I always take a multi-vitamin.  Really.

8.  I think and plan ahead.  If I  know my medications cost a lot of money every month, I don’t act like it’s a surprise every time they roll around.   If you’re struggling with med costs, check out www.needymeds.org  Sometimes it’s a sacrifice but a $50 prescription is better than a $10,000 hospital stay….

9.  I take care of myself in general.  Keeping a basic daily routine makes a difference.  So does keeping some sort of log or diary. Putting on a little makeup helps.  De-cluttering areas that cause me stress REALLY helps.  If I only have five minutes to spend, I can make a difference in my life, my surroundings and how I feel about them.

10.  When I have setbacks or get discouraged, I remind myself of the progress I’ve made ~AND~ that my process remains a work in progress.

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