Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm sorry

OK, so maybe I’m not the most self-motivated person in the world. Four months ago I had grand visions of everything I was going to do to “find” myself. I have, however, come to some conclusions, through general life experiences, spending time alone, and through therapy sessions.

With this “not doing anything to find myself” bit, however, I should not be too hard on myself. I was active, in that I didn’t sit around all day in front of the T.V. all day. And I know I was active and eating healthy enough because I had been taking medication that is notorious for sudden weight gain, which did not happen to me. But my mind was not clear, and I never knew how I was going to feel day to day. I definitely still had my issues going on.

However, a new doctor placed me on more appropriate (ie, less harsh) medicine, and I’m feeling so much more stable and normal.

However, something happened last week that really hit me hard, and made me realize that I was wrong for not doing anything about getting a job, or doing something useful (volunteering). I had been taking this path, MY PATH, in which I was doing what I wanted: sleep in, Facebook for much of the time, etc, that was leading me nowhere.

I should have instead been thinking about what GOD wanted me to do. While I think He really did want me out of my former job, I don’t think He wanted me lazing around as much as I did.

So last Friday I had run across a series of videos on Youtube which discussed entertainers in our society today which cause us to follow Satan. While I understand that they were taking some liberties and giving extreme examples, there was a basic message, which I understood:
Much of popular culture is about pleasing oneself, instead of having the focus on pleasing God. There is a huge difference in the message communicated between your mainstream pop song and a Christian pop song.

These past 4 months I have been living life as was pleasing to myself, with not as much focus on what was pleasing to God.

I am so sorry this happened and pray to God about this.

But, the good news is: God forgives!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fresh Air

Today I got up early enough to beat the heat and go for a walk in a local park.

This summer’s weather had been quite oppressive between the extreme heat and humidity, so for the past few days I’ve had to walk around a mall to get some adequate exercise. Not quite the same as taking a walk in fresh air!

Last night the young ladies in the downstairs apartment didn’t have the air conditioning on as high, so I was able to open my windows. I’m not much of a fan of air conditioning. I appreciate the change of seasons, and the various temperatures that go along with these changes. (However, I’ll admit that this summer has been quite hot, and have required AC at times.)

I love sleeping with the windows open! I usually sleep so well when I have fresh air to breathe! Last night I probably wasn’t asleep for the full 8 hours, but I think the quality of sleep was excellent because I woke up so much more awake than I have been in quite a while!

So I got up a tad earlier than I had been and decided to finally go on a decent walk.

I got to the park just a bit after it opened. Everything feels so fresh and new when I get out into the world before everyone else! There was still morning dew on the grass. Everything smelled wonderful and looked so green! The chorus of birds and locusts was so loud that I couldn’t even hear the traffic from the turnpike! I saw numerous bunnies (my favorite animal) with their white cottonball tails.

There were a few others there by the time I was finishing up my walk. I saw an older man with what was probably a young Labrador retriever. The man was trying to get the dog back to the car, but he was not having any part of that! His dog was enjoying his day out in the park too much! He rolled over onto his back in the grass, so the man had to literally pick him up and carry him back to the car! The whole time the puppy was wriggling around like a little child! It was so cute!

After my walk I came home, and was so happy, refreshed and energized, that I finally did some organizing and cleaning that my apartment desperately needed.

And still, hours later, I am still extremely happy and content after my walk! I hope I can be disciplined enough to get out early most mornings so I can take a walk in the fresh air!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

We have all been asked this question many times in our life. When we were little, the answer was very general because that was all we knew: fireman, doctor, astronaut, teacher, waitress.

When we reach high school, we get a little more specific, because we are about to go off to college, or technical school, and we need to pick a major area of study: chemist, physical therapist, chef, plumber. We may change our answer a number of times (those of us who were on the 10 year college plan, haha!)

But then when we graduate, we need a much more definite answer… environmental chemist, high school Spanish teacher. Some of us know exactly what we want to be at this point, but others have a general idea, but are open to trying whatever job comes up that they have the ability to do.

I have been thinking about a lot lately about the original question. I have had a lot of answers throughout the past 34 years:

• Astronaut
• Artist
• Waitress
• Physical therapist
• Meteorologist
• Fashion designer/seamstress
• Environmental chemist
• Baker/chef/caterer
• Self-sufficient farmer
• Wife and Mother
• Homemaker
• Therapist
• Teacher
• Nurse
• Architect
• Plumber/carpenter/electrician

The list could go on and on…

And I have been considering these items. What do I have the ability to do? What might I need more schooling for? Which would satisfy my inner need to do something I believe in?

Well, as usual, God was quite timely with His help. Two days ago, when I had just gotten over being really down on myself for not doing anything lately with my plan, I was sifting through my email. I happened to open a message about clubs/activities in the Philadelphia area. This is not something I do often, open these types of messages, but God led me to do this on that day. There was an announcement about a free teleconference for women about this very question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” It would be given Tuesday night. All you need to do is call in. A recording of the talk would also be sent within 24 hours. I understood this talk was to be given by a life coach in an effort to drum up some business. But I thought “What have I got to lose? An hour? You have lots of extra time!”

I actually waited until today to listen to the recording. It was very good, and she brought up a lot of excellent points. However, one of her main points was that we are asking the wrong question, or, more specifically, we need to think about the question differently.

Thinking of what we want to be is actually self-sabotaging. It is setting ourselves up for failure. Basically, when we understand it this way, we are actually asking what we aren’t. While it’s very good at certain points in our life to make goals, if we always ask it this way, we are never going to be able to live up to those expectations!

Another way to think about is to ask, “What do you want your life to be about?” The "be" here is more about how you want to live your life, the way you want to move through the world. You take into account the inner qualities you already possess (creativity, humor, honesty), and apply it to want you are already doing.

The speaker told us about a TV show she watched recently, “Undercover Boss,” I think it was. The CEO accompanies one of the employees on the job for a day, but the boss is undercover, so the employee is unaware that this person is the CEO. This episode was about a man who cleaned out port-a-johns, or spot-a-pots, whatever you want to call them, daily! At first thought, we are like, “Wow, that’s one of the worse jobs possible!” But what the employee said was that he is very happy to do it, because it is a very necessary task. He likes to hike in the woods a lot, and he understands how pleasant it is to come upon a well-maintained outhouse.

Well, readers, when I thought about this, I completely understood. I like spending time out on hiking trails, and, yes, often need to use an outhouse. Trust me, there is a huge difference between a well-maintained versus a dirty outhouse!

Hearing this story made me think that this job was not so bad after all, in fact I don’t think I would mind it at all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Operation Summer 2010 is a go. I repeat: Operation Summer 2010 is proceeding : D

So I made my fresh Strawberry Peach Sorbet, and it’s delicious! I can’t believe that this stuff is actually good for you! : )

I used about ¾ peaches (3 of them) and ¼ strawberries (about 5 of them.) I used a sugar syrup solution and a little more lemon juice than was recommended in the recipes. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I was experimenting by combining at bit of 3 recipes (Peach, Strawberry, and Peach-Strawberry.) I do that often. Anyway… at first I tasted the puree, and it lacked that certain something.

I added another slice worth of lemon juice and…. ZING! That’s good stuff!

I also checked up on Americorp. Not much new there. There are 2 opportunities I am investigating. I may have missed the one opportunity’s deadline. The other I’m not sure about.

Why do I let me talk myself out of things? : (

OH… and the other thing I did today was post my Blog’s address to my FB profile. This was a big step for me because it is very hard to reveal my inner thoughts and feelings to others, even (and sometimes especially) those I am very close to.

I just posted the address to my Info section, and FB let everyone know that I changed my website information. I didn’t want to make too big a deal out of it. I didn't want to be like, "Everyone look at my new blog!" But there are a number of individuals who have asked me to keep updated on my summer, so here it is.

But if you are reading this blog and would like to comment, please don’t be shy. I welcome feedback. : )


Well OK. I have not kept up with the blog as much as I had hoped. But I am trying not to be as hard on myself as I was a few days ago.

I am not "working” four weeks now, and I haven’t been as faithful to my plan as I expected. However, I have had two lovely vacations in the meantime, with some of my most favorite people in the world.

I now have a solid 2 weeks to work on myself. Someone suggested I make lists, which I am doing. I just made a list of daily chores I need to do, plus the extras, which include:

I am going to get in touch with 2 individuals, one of which is a newish acquaintance, who has been going through the similar things as I have. I was told by a friend that she would like to connect with me. The other is an old friend who I haven’t made enough time for, but we keep saying we need to get together, or at least talk at length. There are so many others I need to get in touch with, but there 2 individuals are a start.

I will start to seriously look into volunteer opportunities: Americorp, places around that have opportunities, and friends who need help. I need to get more serious about this.

Look into different career paths. I spoke to some people on Saturday that work at a biofuel company in the area. They go around collecting old oil from various purposes and try to figure out how to reuse it. That sounds like a lot of fun. It got me very excited to listen and think about it.

I am going back to eating healthier… more raw fruits and vegetables. About 3-4 weeks ago I was making green smoothies. Not quite the same as when I made them last fall for some reason.

: (

And yesterday I made fresh hummus… using real lemon juice.

They say having a lot of fresh lemon in your diet is one of the healthiest things you can do. It keeps your body pH alkaline.

Today I am going to make fresh Peach Strawberry Sorbet : ) Just look at these pretty peaches and beautiful strawberries I found!

Yum! I will let you know how it goes!

But for now I am going to go for a walk before it gets too hot....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Step

I quit my job.

No, I did not quit because I had another job to go to. Nor did I quit in order to follow a spouse to their new job. I quit because it was the right thing to do.

I think God had wanted me to leave for quite a while now. I was with the company for over 5 years. It was a fine job, and more than paid my bills.

But it was an “OK” job for me. It’s not exactly what I always wanted. But I stayed, because that’s what I do.

A year ago, I was told my position was to be eliminated. I was completely shocked, as was everyone I worked with. I was quite competent in my job. Why me?

At first, while I was completely shocked, I knew there were better positions for me out there, away from the corporation I had worked for. I was looking forward to taking time to find the perfect job for me … at first.

Then, other people got to me: “You’re so competent – why don’t you ask if you can get another position here?” “It’s always easier to get a new job when you have a job.” Etc., etc.

So I asked. And they found me a job. Same department, but completely new field. A field I previously never had any interest in.

But hey, I told myself, I would learn a lot, and you never know, I may grow to love it.

And at first I did love it. Cool lab equipment, the potential to work more closely with customers! Many other good things were happening in my life at that time as well, and life was wonderful. (I actually said this to people when they asked me how I was doing, and they typically gave me a funny look!)

But, at the same time, there was an underlying stress going on inside me. I wasn’t sleeping well. Actually, I wasn’t sleeping at all. Then, a few months later, my stress came out in a pain in my neck – literally! I got to a point where I could not move my neck. They sent me to physical therapy and everything. And that’s when I actually liked my job!

Then in early 2010, we had new management, and my job and entire psyche went downhill: I was dreading going to work in the morning. Not sleeping. Obsessing about the small details. Crying non-stop. Panic attacks involving chest pains, hyperventilation, intense crying. Eventually, I reached a point at which I simply wasn’t functioning at work. I wanted to quit right then and there, but I knew I wasn’t thinking clearly. My doctor put me on Medical Leave, thank goodness. Over that time I rested, talked with friends and family, did relaxing but useful activities, slept some more, prayed about and pondered my decision, napped a lot (see a theme here?)

CHENGDU, CHINA -JUNE 11:  A panda sleeps on a branch at the Panda Breeding Center June, 11, 2008 in Chengdu. Tourism is at an all time low at the Panda center after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 69,000 people almost one month ago, with 17,500 classified as missing. In the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve yesterday workers buried, Mao Mao, a 9 year old panda killed in a landslide during the quake. Mao Mao is the only Panda confirmed dead while another one Xiao Xiao is still missing. Across the region the quake relief efforts are continuing but corruption remains a major concern as many question where the hundreds of millions of dollars of donations are going. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

And every time I pondered my decision which I knew would affect he rest of my life, I came to the same conclusion: I can’t stay in my job. It’s not right for me to stay here. It is making me miserable. It’s negatively affecting my health.

So I quit.

And I am at peace with that decision.

Novice Blogger : )

Let me start out by saying that I have never blogged before. However, I have been following a few blogs for a while now, and am at a point in my life’s path that I’ve decided to give it a go.

My reason for blogging at this very moment, you ask?

Well, my life is currently going through a number of changes. I took a major step about a month ago (more on that later), which perhaps (hopefully) initiate a series of further positive changes in my life. Positive changes that will lead me in finding the real me.

Because, and perhaps many of you can relate, somewhere along the way, I lost sight of myself. I am easily influenced by other people. I want to get to a place where, when I wake up in the morning and get started on my day, I know that this is what God made me to be and do.

My hope is that by blogging about my goals, thoughts, results of my trials and errors, and, as Oprah would say “A-ha! moments.” I am also hoping that writing out my goals and plans will keep me on track.

And … perhaps my ramblings may inspire a few others to take some steps to find their true self?