A – Z Challenge ~ R is for Reinvent

sunny day
sunny day (Photo credit: jhoc)

How do we reinvent ourselves? We have to change things up. Reinventing means taking something old and making it different. We reinvent ourselves when we take a long hard look at what is going on in our life and figure out what is or is not working.
Maybe you have a bad attitude at work or maybe you wear the same damn type of clothes every single day or you read the same types of books all the time. CHANGE IT UP!

When we reinvent ourselves we are giving our self permission to step outside the box – that box of fuzzy blanket comfort – and recharge our batteries.

Maybe you had your eye on a new journal to write in that will bring forth ideas for that book you have been wanting to write or maybe there is a class that you have been wanting to take because you just know it will do you tons of ooey goodness.

I’ll tell you what.  All the nerve I possess I can thank my Gram for.  She never let me be a sissy and stay in the same humdrum routine when I was a little girl.  She taught me that if I want anything to change I have to change it.  I have to reinvent it.  I reinvent myself each day when I try something new or put a positive spin on a negative situation.

You can do it too!

The Day’s Ponder:  When was the last time you reinvented yourself?  Write down three ways you can reinvent yourself.

A – Z Challenge ~ G is for Gusto

image: globalgraphica.com

gus·to

[guhs-toh]hearty or keen enjoyment, as in eating or drinking, or in action or speech in general: to dance with gusto. Synonyms:  enthusiasm, delight, relish, zest, spirit, fervor.

Ah gimme da gusto!  Ok, bad Italiano attempt there… but, hey… it is Saturday and Saturday is alright for Gusto!

Gusto is something that I have lacked for the last two years of my life.  I write, I work, I eat annnd… I sleep.  I just realized this as I left the gym this evening and came home.

I lack gusto. I lack oomph. Pizzazz!

So what should I do?  What should you do if you are lacking GUSTO?

Go out and find it!  I realized on the way home from the gym tonight that my lack of gusto is my own darn fault.  SO if you are lacking gusto, let’s figure out why!

And if you got lots o’ gusto goin’ on.. don’t be stingy.. share your tips with us. 😀

A – Z Challenge ~ B is for Believe

Believe.  What a strong word. I believe in you.  I’m a believer. Daydream believer. You gotta believe.  I believe I can fly.

Sure is a lot of believing… and why not?  Believing in something or someone gives us hope.  It gives us something to look forward to.

Here are some songs with “Believe” in the title:

  • Do You Believe in Love – Huey Lewis and the News
  • Daydream Believer – The Monkees
  • She Believes in Me – Kenny Rogers
  • I Believe in You and Me – Whitney Houston

The most important thing you can believe in is you. YOU have to believe in YOU. If you don’t, who will?  It is kind of like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus, when we stop believing, it no longer exists. Think back to a time when you believed or stopped believing… how did you feel?

When I believe I am a good writer or that I can go to the gym, I do those things.  How about you?

Believe in positivity, forgo negativity…

Quotes About Believing

  • “We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm.” Winston Churchill
  • “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” Noam Chomsky
  • “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D. Larson

So you see, believing is a wonderful thing and whatever you believe is your truth.

It’s Better, It’s Worse… It’s Both

************************************************************************************************************

I joined Oprah’s Lifeclass a few weeks ago and I have to say… I love it.  I am about ten classes in and am learning a lot about myself by answering thought-provoking questions that only I can see the answers to.  There is also a Daily Life Question that we have the option of answering.  It is linked to the users Twitter account.

As I read some of the answers (a lot of them anonymous) I shuddered at some of the things a lot of people have been through usually in great part by their parents.  I saw remnants of abuse, both physical and sexual, mental anguish, alcoholism, abandonment… 😦

It just got me thinking.. like.. what the hell do I have to bitch about?  Ok, yeah.. my childhood wasn’t the greatest.. I have always been socially awkward and put a lot of my worth on my physical beauty (but am too lazy to do any upkeep on it).  I tend to talk way too much when I get nervous and yes.. I am an alcoholic.

BUT – I am sober!  I AM beautiful!  I grew up poor.. but I have character.  I have small boobs.. but I have a great butt!  I can be very indecisive, but when I know what I want.. no one is stopping me.

It is so important for me (and you!) to look at the silver lining in the dark, looming clouds that hover over our heads from time to time.

We have all been through our own share of hell.  I remember years of self-pity, beating my head against the wall as I cursed and screamed “WHY ME?!”

Well, why not me?  Bad things have happened to me because I have the ability to help others.  If all I can do is take my experiences and share them with another, then whatever I have been through is not in vain.

Whatever doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger. 

What experiences have made you stronger?

The Gratitude List

I just read a tweet from a fellow tweeter.  I got the impression she was down in the dumps… she said she felt, “out of sorts.”  I have felt like that many times in my life (I’m sure most people have).   I replied to her tweet and told her to make a gratitude list.

Then I thought, “Darlene!  You’re a genius!  You should make one.”  So I am.  Right here, right now.

I am grateful for:

  • my sobriety
  • my children
  • the ability to use all five of my senses
  • music
  • the gift of writing
  • nature
  • green lights
  • coffee
  • my cats
  • my genes
  • a sunny day
  • a Sunday morning
  • making some one smile
  • a brand new notebook
  • that I was born exactly when I was born
  • Tyler State Park
  • other people’s opinions
  • tolerance….

These are just some of the things I am grateful for.  But, I want to hear from you.  What are you grateful for?  What makes you say thank you.  What helps you through your day?

I Need One Of Those Thingies – Ya Know… That Doo Dad Thingamajig

It has come to my attention (through running around like a mad woman and having twenty-nine pieces of paper in my purse) that I need one of those planner thingies.

I currently have a little notepad, blank index cards, post-it notes and pieces of ripped paper.   This method is not working!

“I know I wrote that down,” I say as I rummage through my larger than necessary purse, filled with lots of stuff I do not need.

These items include:

  • Kindle
  • wallet
  • cup of gum
  • hair band
  • hair spray (I never use it – why is it in there!)
  • notepad
  • 2 tubes of hand lotion
  • keys
  • 27 pieces of paper (I threw 2 away)
  • 3 highlighters
  • 7 multi-colored sharpies (those great pen ones)
  • my other much bigger wallet
  • the wonderful letter my daughter Sarah wrote me when she was about 17 years old
  • 2 tubes of lip gloss
  • change purse
  • bottle of fast release Tylenol
  • hand sanitizer (which I never use – and I rarely get sick)
  • dental floss
  • loose change
  • 4 lighters
  • 11 dollars in cash
  • 3 post-it notes
  • a pack of matches

Ok, I think that is it!  I need one of those little day planner thingies.. but not so much a calendar, but one to write other stuff down.  Maybe it has pockets or something for my little papers.

I also think I need to trade in my large (very pretty) Maize colored purse for a much smaller some other color purse.

What do you carry around with you?

Ooh Ooh.. Growing Up..

When I was a teenager I thought I knew everything.. I guess most teenagers feel this way. I have a teenage daughter, and I see a lot of myself in her.

Remember when we were fourteen or fifteen and we thought our parents were idiots, totally uncool and basically, had no idea what they were talking about?  Yeah, that’s where I am now.  I find myself repeating a lot of the ideals that were told to me at that fork in the road age.

I remember my first heartbreak.  Ugh.  I was so devastated! I was totally head over heels in love with a boy that lived around the corner.. he was kind of cocky, super cute and really wanted nothing to do with me.. I am not sure why it was this last quality that attracted me most to this boy.  Perhaps it was the fact that my father ignored me for most of my childhood and since I couldn’t get his attention, I could try to get a boy’s attention.

Needless to say, he wanted nothing to do with me.  So I decided to date his older brother.  Yeah, not the best idea.  He was a really nice guy (ack!) and I just didn’t pine for him like I pined for his brother.  Strike one.  I dated the older brother for about three weeks and then the kid I crushed on decided to test my loyalties to his older brother.  He told his brother (I came to find out later) that he was going to flirt with me and that I would ditch older brother.  Younger brother nailed it.   He was pretty smart for a sixteen year old, and I was devastated when he said to me, “I knew you didn’t like my brother, so I tricked you.”  Nice, eh?  However, I did like his older brother.  He was tall and he made me laugh with his Peter Gabriel and Kinks impressions.  But his brother liked me too.

I was so crushed by the “trick” played on me (which was one of a few different boys played on me) that I had enough and decided that it was time to get on with it.  It was time to die.

I went into my room, I put on some Pink Floyd, took the razor blade I got from my dad’s top drawer and slit my wrists.  Extreme, I know.  But no one knew who I was.  No one understood me.  No one got what I was going through.  Certainly not my parents.  They were never really around at that crucial teen stage and it didn’t matter anyway.  I felt it was too late for me. I was screwed.

I still have those scars on my wrists.  They are a haunting reminder of how unhappy I was.  The pictures of me around that time (none of which I am smiling in) are haunting reminders as well. I now use those scars to remind people about depression and suicidal thoughts should they ask.  Not many do.

If I could go back and talk to myself, I would tell me that it was all going to be okay.  That I was going to grow up and be a beautiful woman so smart and too wise.  I would tell myself that everyone goes through  a heartbreak or two and that it is the heartbreaks, failures and things that don’t work out that make us wiser and keep us strong.  It is those things that help us to grow into strong, resilient individuals.  I would tell me to have faith, it will all work out.

It always does.

Picture courtesy of www.weheartit.com

Let Bygones Be Bygones

Meditation For Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When we are young we learn about disappointment, hurt and anger.  As we grow most of us learn tools to handle these pains and letdowns.  Those of us who do not learn effective coping tools wind up holding onto resentments that hurt our own well-being.  Holding onto pain from the past hurts our future.

Emotional pain sticks with us longer than physical pain.  If we fall down and skin a knee, we may cry for a moment, but we get up, brush it off and keep on trekking.  However, emotional pain burrows inside of us.  We sit and we dwell and we think of ways to get even or we manifest misdeeds done unto us, letting it damage us continually until we are full of hate.

In the movie American History X, Edward Furlong’s character says, “Hate is baggage.  Life’s too short to be ticked off all the time.”  When I heard that line a light bulb went off in my head. He used a stronger word.. but you get the point.

When we are angry at others, or full of hate, the only ones we hurt are ourselves.  Most of the people we are angry at long forget that we were ever mad at them in the first place.  Others never knew that they had upset us or maybe they did and didn’t care.

So there we sit, in our dimly lit room, or driving our car, stewing over the injustices done to us by careless people.

Get over it.  When you keep your anger, you give away your power.  You are letting the actions or words of others dictate your well-being.  Why would you want to give someone else that kind of control?

If you are so upset that you can’t see straight, write it down, scream at the wall or punch a pillow.  If you feel you really must let the person know how upset you are, write it down first.  It is important that you do this so that you can read it over a few times and let the situation sink in a little.  Often, we realize we are overreacting and wind up tearing the paper up and never saying anything.

If you feel you must say something, it is important that you get it in your head in a way that will be effective in communicating why you are upset.  Calling someone names and rehashing things that have long been talked about can lead to an argument and more resentment.

Meditation for the day:  Letting go of resentment and anger kindles my wellbeing.

Sometimes We Need To Be Lazy

Meditation for Sunday, February 20, 2011

Being lazy has always been frowned upon.  We call unmotivated people lazy, children who do not excel in school lazy and the unemployed lazy for not pounding the pavement 24/7 looking for a job.  It is painful looking for work when jobs are so scarce.

For those of us with plates so full the tasks are spilling out over the sides, being lazy is a great idea once in a while.

When I say, “be lazy”, I do not mean, “do nothing.” I mean, slow down.

When we are overrun with errands, meetings, exercise, and what to make the kids for lunch on a daily basis, tasks start to blur together.   Before we know it, we open our carefully packed lunch to find a pb&j with the crusts cut off.  Your child is sitting in school scratching her head because she knows that you know she hates veggie wraps.

Being lazy helps us to regroup and realize our priorities.

Rome was not created in one day.  Cliché, I know, but it hits the point home (I’m hoping).

Take your time.  There are a lot of things in life that can wait until you get a few spare moments to tackle.

In the morning, quickly go through your day.  You can do this in your head or on paper.  Check off the things that need immediate attention.  Leave the items that can wait unchecked.  Be honest with yourself.   If it is Tuesday and you have a meeting, the kids have violin practice and the dog has to get to the vet, do you really need to vacuum the entire house? The fuzzballs can wait.

Realization for the day: Being lazy once in a while is okay when we focus on the big picture.

Love Thyself

We love our partners, our children, certain foods and animals. But do we love ourselves? These days we are so wrapped up in taking care of everyone and everything else, we often forget that we need care, too.

Take a long bath, get a manicure or buy that book you have been itching to read. Self care is important. If we do not care for ourselves, our health suffers and then we cannot care for those we love.

If you are down on yourself a lot, sit in a quiet room (maybe even light your favorite scented candle) and think positive affirmations. Thoughts like, ‘I deserve happiness’ and ‘I am awesome’ are simple chants but they help when we need that little jolt of self-love.

Having no love for yourself makes it difficult for us to have true love for others.  There are days when I put a lot of things before me, neglecting my need for self-love, and those are the days that I do poorly on projects in work.

Going for a walk in the afternoon (or whenever you can manage it) is a way to give love to yourself.  Alone with your thoughts and ideas you can come back to whatever you were doing prior with a fresh outlook.

So today make it a point to love yourself!

Affirmation for the day: I am worthy of love and love myself completely.