Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Labels

I heard the word labels so many times in so many different contexts so much every day. People talk about designer labels, relationship labels, personality labels, etc. Why do we need them?

On this blog, I talk a lot about being an introvert and I have labeled myself as such. I will admit I feels some type of pride in being in the introvert tribe. I feel it because it makes me part of a group without working on developing the social capital that it takes to be a part of any other group. I can just declare it. It does give me a shared sense of identity and validation. Although I love being considered unique and individual, there is a part of me that wants to be part of a collective with similar tendencies and propensities. Then I began to ask myself why am I quick to run from many other labels.

When I was in college, I was totally against joining a sorority because I felt I didn’t need to be a part of a group to feel accepted or special in any sort of way. As I got older and changed may major to English, I was thankful to have “found my tribe”. Being a part of this group seemed to be more acceptable in my eyes. I want to take some time to examine why that is.

I believe joining a group like a sorority would be forced. I was would be choosing a sorority based on what? Then there was the fact that my acceptance into this group was at the whim of others. I had to be deemed worthy to be a part of this group. Not only that, sororities have certain attributes associated with them. Membership is based on exclusivity. It isn’t something that happens organically like my tribe of English majors.

As many who know me are well aware, I love quality and things that are well-made. It is not about a designer label for me, but sometimes the designer item is very well made. When I buy things I tend to keep them until the disintegrate, so it is important for me to buy high quality things that I will use often and keep for a long time. Even when I purchased a designer item, I chose something that was understated and without the designer logo plastered conspicuously all over it. I don’t like those kind of labels either. It is not important for anyone to know how much I spent on an item or what particular brand of item I own, or that I own a designer item. I’m not sure if it is the aversion to pretention or the need to not draw attention to myself. I do believe it is a combination of both.

Posted in Uncategorized

Planting Season

Last year, I rekindled my love of plants. Now I have tons of plants in our home and they are thriving. I even started a small, yet very successful vegetable garden. I was so impressed with myself and I decided that I would continue to plant vegetables every year. As I began to research more, I certain foods should be planted in different seasons. For instance, I love kale. Kale should be planted in the fall, potatoes should be planted before spring and before the last frost. I love kale and potatoes, but I was not prepared for the planting season. I hadn’t done adequate research or preparation. Fortunately, I was able to get my potatoes planted, but I will have to wait for fall to do the kale.

Preparation is very important in gardening. You must have the right soil, fertilizer, ground temperature, etc. Also, it has to be the right time. It is possible to try to plant in the wrong season, but it may not yield the desired result. Life can be the same way.

In my work, I counsel college students. Many of them have a plan and that if they stick to that plan all things will work out. What I try to get many of them to understand is that plans are great, but they don’t dictate definite outcomes. There are times when you can’t have what you want when you want it. There are some things that just can’t be rushed. There are times we may try to do something at the wrong time and not get the desired result.

What I have learned in gardening and if life is that things cannot be rushed. Although it may be impossible to have specific outcomes, there are reasons for careful planning and patience.

Posted in Good Stuff

Just be Nice

2658904988_be_nice_xlarge

It is so simple.  It’s free and it make you and others feel good.  I try to give as many compliments as I can.  I have been accused of being fake because I am nice to people that are not nice to me.  I just like being nice to people. Really!  It makes me happy.

My default is nice.  It is much easier and doesn’t take much energy.  I do get mad, upset, sad, frustrated, etc., but I don’t let those emotions change the way I treat people.  I don’t believe anyone deserves to be treated badly.  I feel that if a person has been terrible to you, just distance yourself from them as much as possible.  That way you are not compromising your mental health.

I was recently in a very challenging situation.  There was a person who was constantly trying to paint me in a bad light to others.  I didn’t understand why this person was doing this.  I would hear from acquaintances that this person was insinuating that I was a person who could not be trusted.  My pleasant disposition was claimed to be  disingenuous. It was all very disturbing, but my reputation speaks for itself.  The claims were taken as baseless and silly.  It did more damage to the person spreading the allegations.

Even though it has always made me happy to be nice to others, it used to be a struggle to be nice to those who were not particularly nice to me.  What I had to learn to do is to see those people with compassion.  There are so many factors that can contribute to a person’s negative or hurtful behavior.  I choose not to consider myself as the source, and I definitely choose to not allow it to influence my attitude.

Posted in Uncategorized

Write On Wednesday #67

Today’s Writing Prompt: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I am really looking forward to this Christmas. Last year my then fiancé and I had COVID so we couldn’t spend it together. Fortunately, we both were mostly asymptomatic and recovered effortlessly. This year, we plan to really go all out. We started decorating the first of November because we got into the Christmas spirit early.

For today’s writing prompt, write about the best holiday you have ever had, or hope to have. Let your imagination go wild. Write about the location, the gifts, the people, and or course, how you feel.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pruning

There are some things that need to go in order for proper growth to take place. I have many plants inside and outside my home. I rarely prune as I like things to grow organically and wild, but there are times when you must: to protect the health of the plant or to protect people and property. For instance, you may have a tree growing too close to your home or a powerline. You may also discover that part of your plant is diseased and threatens the health of the plant. There are also times when the pruning should take place in your life and in relationships.

My cousin always teases me about how quick I am to cut things and people off. It sounds mean or unfeeling, but it is all about self-preservation and mental health. As you would cut off a diseased limb of a plant, you must cut off some people, habits, and/or ideas that threaten your health. Sometimes the decision is hard, but when you begin to thrive and grow, you begin to see how the disease was affecting you. You will see how much better you are without it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Humble

Many moons ago, I worked for Walmart. I worked for Walmart for several years and I really enjoyed it. I met many people and formed long-lasting friendships. I remember after my first semester of college after taking a several year long gap year, I was determined to work for the world’s largest retailer. The company had such a wonderful reputation at the time and when I started working there I was able to see the values and principles that Sam Walton built the company were practiced at store level.

Recently, my cousin, who also worked for Walmart (at the same store) asked me why isn’t Sam Walton mentioned in the same breath as Elon Musk and Bill Gates? My reply was “Genuinely good people aren’t as celebrated”. Now of course I don’t know any of these men personally, but my cousin had the opportunity to meet Sam Walton and he always speaks of how humble he was. That there was no hint of how rich he was in his demeanor or how he spoke to others.

This lead us to another discussion: Why is it that humble people aren’t as interesting? Is it that they don’t seek the spotlight? Or is it that generally people want to look up to people who have over-the-top personalities? Why is that the humble are somewhat not as popular even if they achieve the same amount of success? Or is being humble not attractive?

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #66

Today’s Writer’s Prompt: Your Dream Home

My husband and I recently purchased a home, and we love it!

There are so many elements of our home that I have always wanted. It is truly a sanctuary for me. It is even difficult for me to find vacations as satisfying as being at home.

For today’s writing prompt, write the listing for your dream home. Pretend you are searching for your dream home and you are writing the listing that will sell you on it. Go into detail. Describe the landscaping, the architecture, and all the features you have dreamed of.

Posted in Uncategorized

Harvest

I have renewed many new hobbies and started a few new one. The new one that I find most pleasurable is gardening. I have a ton of houseplants, but I wanted to try my hand at growing actual food.

I haven’t committed to a full-fledged garden, but I convinced my husband to build me a small raised-bed container garden. In it, I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, banana pepper, and jalapeños. I was so surprised that I was able to grow so much. I was so proud of myself. I had more than I could eat. I guess my next hobby will be canning.

Along with being absolutely overjoyed to actually producing food, I was also able to draw a connection to my life journey. I am beginning to reap the benefits of what I have sown.

Years ago, I made the tough decision to go back to college almost immediately after losing my grandmother, miscarrying for the second time, and coming to terms with the fact that my marriage was over. Going back to school was something that I always wanted to do, and at that time I felt I owed it to myself to continue my education. I didn’t want to pursue the path I had previously chosen. I wanted to pursue something that interested me, and I did. I had no career plans in mind for my chosen field of study, I chose with my heart and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As a result of that decision I was able to gain a position at my university, and that position has evolved into something I really love. With a job, I was able to support myself and my son. I was able to move out and live on my own. This was my first time doing so. Surprisingly, it was very exciting and not scary at all. I had never lived on my own, but I was never afraid of it.

I loved my new independence. My son and I loved our quiet home in the country. I loved my job and everything was great.

Shortly after divorce papers were filed and I was beginning to think about what my life would be like as a single mother. I had two and a half years of practice as that was how long it took my divorce to be final, yet I was technically still married until the divorce papers were signed (thanks to the laws in my state).

During this time I was able to really see what kind of person I could be on my own. I was trying new things, enjoying impromptu ice cream runs in the middle of the night, and for the first time in a very long time, I was no longer worrying about what may happen next. I was living in the moment. I still had responsibilities, but I was teaching myself to take one day at a time. I was appreciating every small good thing that happened in my life and I devoted my energy and focus on that.

The shift in my life was extraordinary! All of the things you hear from the abundance and manifestation gurus were happening to me. Synchronicities, miracles, pleasant surprises, all became, and still are a part of my everyday life. Unexpected sums of money, gifts, and all types of wonderful things have become common in my life.

I had to change my mindset from the constant fear of the unknown to the appreciation of the present and the hope of the future. Now I am enjoying the fruits of my harvest.

Posted in Uncategorized

How to grow a lemon tree from seed.

Find healthy lemons from your favorite grocery store or fruit stand. Slice the lemons up. Remove seeds from the lemons. Remove the protective …

How to grow a lemon tree from seed.
Posted in Uncategorized

Writing Prompt #65

This week’s writing prompt: Your ancestors

Have you taken those personal genetic tests? Were you surprised by the results? Did your results confirm what you already knew?

For today’s writing prompt, write about your results. Paint a picture of the people and circumstances that were instrumental in your existence.