Posted in Selfish Saturday

When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

How many times have you heard or been told to not forget where you came from? Have  you ever uttered those words to someone else? Maybe you feel pressure to “Keep it Real” now that you have reached a level of success that has placed you in a totally different socioeconomic position and thus separated from your old peers. The one thing that I must emphasize is to not feel in any way guilty about your success. You have earned it on your own merit and you should be very proud of it.  I realize that it can be difficult to watch as your friends and family remain to struggle in a lifestyle that you have managed to rise above.  There may be an urge to take the cliche of “not forgetting where you came from” and making some very poor decisions.

If you are a person who has, through hard work, luck, or divine intervention, risen above your circumstances to make for yourself a better life, your life has indeed changed.  The same rules no longer apply in your new life that used to work in your old one.  So, you must cleverly adjust to those new changes.  This does not mean becoming a totally different person, but what you must to is make some major adjustments.  It is very similar to losing weight.  Your old clothes are now too big.  Does it make sense to keep wearing them?

I have all too often seen individuals so desperately wanting to be accepted by their less fortunate friends and family members try to force themselves into an environment or situation that should no longer be a part of their lives.  Rather than being called a snob or traitor to their past lifestyle, they choose place themselves in places they no longer belong.  This is when I believe “keeping it real” goes wrong.  Your past is part of you, but if you have created a new and better life for yourself, you have also created a new reality.  This new reality is what you need to immerse yourself in.  Be an example to your old peers, but do not allow them to make you feel guilty about your success.  These feelings of guilt may cause you to make choices that are not beneficial to you and may cause you to lose all that you’ve gained.   Remain selective about the company you keep even if it means losing a few friends.  Those who really love and respect you will understand.

Last year my son’s swimming instructor gave him a valuable swimming tip for helping someone who is drowning in the pool.  He told him to lie down on the edge of the pool and reach for the person’s hand, because if you get into the pool with that person, they may drown you as well.  In life, we must not allow those to pull us off into the deep end with them.  Instead, we must keep our bodies firmly on dry land so that we may help them without sacrificing ourselves.

C. JoyBell C.

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Lyndon B. Johnson

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.
Steve Maraboli

“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
― Steve Maraboli
Oprah Winfrey

“The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.”
― Oprah Winfrey
Posted in Good Stuff

Good Stuff : Staying Focused

The first week back to school is now over.  Now my son and I have brand new and exciting things to learn and do.  He and I have been very busy.  My son loves his new teacher and I am thrilled with all of my classes.  I am so glad that my son has the same passion I have for  learning .  He learned from his teacher last week that his class will be learning to take notes and that is all he has been talking about.  I have always told him that knowledge is power, but with great power comes great responsibility.keep-calm-and-stay-focused-36

I am now teaching him to fight through distractions to help him focus on his tasks as I had difficulty with this in the past.  My problem was that all of the distractions were in my own head.  I have learned to work around it.  It seems that I need a lot of outside activity to focus.  I tend to write and study in a noisy room.  I find it difficult to work in quiet, but it seems the opposite for my son.  Certain tasks he can complete within seconds, but others take some time if there are outside distractions like other children.  Working in a group is distracting to him.  He seems to only be distracted in writing exercises, but not with math (I had the some problem, but it was the total opposite.  I could drown out distractions when I was working on writing projects, but I would become extremely distracted when working on math).  Although, my son is an honor roll student, I don’t want this to become a problem for him.  I am opened to suggestions.

My son loves to read and is extremely focused when he is reading.  I know he is capable of focusing,  He has had this issue with focusing on a task in the past, but I didn’t last the entire school term.  It would usually happen close to the beginning.  Still, I don’t want it to hinder him.  I hope I am not overreacting, but I want to be proactive so it will not grow into something that will disrupt his academic success.

 

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #7

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Today’s Writing Prompt:  Describe one thing from three different points of view.

  1. A three-year-old
  2. A teenager
  3. A 50-year-old woman who has just completed a 30 year prison sentence
Posted in Introvert Lounge, Tea Talk Tuesday

Introverts: You Gotta Love Us, but Understand Us First

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I have been called many things because I am an introvert.  I’ve been called shy, standoffish, snobby, weird, and the list goes on and on.  I have noticed that since I have come to love, accept, and be honest about my introversion, everyone else has done the same.  It still takes a while for people to get used to me, but I no longer worry about whether or not they like it or not.  I love it and I love me.

For anyone who is not used to the behaviors of introverted people, here are some things you may want to know:

  1. There is no need to “break us out of a shell”.  Certainly we have a shell and we usually like to spend time in it alone, but its our shell and we like it.  If you are patient enough you may be invited in.  By no means should you attempt to break it!
  2. Our need to be away from you should not be taken personally.  You haven’t done anything to offend us.  We just need alone time to think and recharge.
  3. We do like people.  We just pick and choose the time we spend around them, and we usually like them in smaller doses.
  4. There is nothing wrong with us.  Please stop asking if something is wrong and if we tell you nothing is wrong – BELIEVE US AND WALK AWAY

The main thing to consider is that we are just the way we are.  Don’t try to fix us because we aren’t broken.

Posted in Munchie Monday

Packing a Lunch

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I was packing a lunch for my son this morning and I flashed back to the night before when I was in the store getting the last of his school supplies.  I was peeking into other people’s shopping carts and scoping out what they were buying and wondering if what they were purchasing would wind up in a child’s lunch boxes.  Then I wondered what  influenced those particular selections.  Then I started to think of other possible alternatives for my son.  Here are the three questions I ask myself as I plan my son’s lunches:

  1. Will it “go bad” before lunchtime?
  2. Is it healthy?
  3. Is he going to like it?

I usually pack things like celery sticks, nut butters, grapes, and things like that.  I steer clear of processed foods.  Although my son has never complained, I would like to switch it up a bit.  Any suggestions?

Posted in Soothing Sunday

Enjoying the Final Days of Summer

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Just relaxing on the porch

 

I have been absent from this blog to enjoy the last few days before school starts.    My computer’s main use has been for ordering school supplies, books, and scheduling meals for the upcoming weeks.  Luckily, I had many of the clearanced school supplies I bought last year and only had to purchase a few items.  I have been very busy, but it has also been very exciting.  My son will be starting 2nd grade and he is thrilled that he will be learning to take notes.  We met his teacher last week and she is just as excited.  My son and I have been planning his lunches and picking out his outfits.  He wants to  wear a tie at least one day a week.  We’ll see how that goes.

I will be starting my fall semester on Thursday and am equally as excited as my son.  I really miss school during the summer.  I am looking forward to the reading and the studying and the new people I will be meeting and reuniting with those I have been sharing classes with in the past.  I look forward to blogging about some new things.  I’m sure I will have plenty of fresh ideas.

Posted in Introvert Lounge, Think About it Thursday

Hooked on a Feeling

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I recently had an amazing conversation with my favorite uncle.  He is in his early sixties, but you would never guess it.  He is in extraordinary shape and lives a very healthy lifestyle.  The conversation we had was about how his peers believe he has some unattainable ability to get up every morning and exercise, eat only good food, and take such amazing care of himself.  He said he was so tired of hearing how people would say things like “I wish I could get up at 5 in the morning to go running.  I just don’t feel like doing that.  I just don’t feel like watching everything I eat”.  Then he told me that when he gets up in the early in the mornings it may be cold, or hot, or raining, and oftentimes he does not feel like it either, but he does it anyway.  He then went on to say that if he let fleeting feelings dictate his life he would be out of shape and miserable.  He told me that the feeling of not wanting to get up and workout disappears the moment he steps into the gym, or on the track, etc. and he feels great afterwards.  He is rewarded by a much greater feeling by pushing through a temporary negative one.

How many times have you let a feeling prevent you from doing what you knew was going to help you?  Have you created a multitude of weak excuses not to take care of yourself?  Have you convinced yourself that by indulging your feelings it is okay to slip into an unhealthy lifestyle?  I would like to encourage all of us to stop doing that.

There have been so many times I have started  fitness routine and just one day I wouldn’t feel like doing the exercise or I wanted just one unhealthy food, and those feelings began to accumulate and all of the progress I had previously made would quickly slip away.  Then I was left feeling terrible for giving in to those feelings.  I have learned to push through those fleeting feelings to stay on track.  The rewards have been tremendous.

This does not only apply to physical fitness, it also applies to overall fitness.  We can take this same tool and use it in every aspect of our lives.  Sometimes it means stepping outside of our comfort zones to accomplish a goal.  A small moment of discomfort is quickly forgotten when you are reaping the rewards of your perseverance.  I had often used my introversion as an excuse for passing up on things I wanted.    I have learned to use my introversion as an advantage.  I no longer sit on the sidelines and hope for my goals to reach fruition.  There were times I had to step outside of my comfort zone, but it was worth it.

My challenge to all of us is to not get hooked on a feeling.  Don’t let a small moment in time affect your success.