Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Propagation

I light of my new fondness of taking care of plants, I have started relating that care and growth to my own life experiences. One of my favorite things to do is propagate plants. I love watching the roots form and multiplying my plant family.

This led me to think about what little parts of me am I taking off to grow in the hopes of multiplying parts of me that I wants to add to the world.

I work at a university. Part of my job is to help students develop skills to succeed academically and in the world. I hope sharing the good parts of me with them so they can continue to grow.

I hope I am doing the same thing with my son. It is funny to see that we have almost the same interests and similar personalities. He too in an introvert, loves to read, and he loves the arts. I’m not sure how much of that I am responsible for, but I like to think of him as my most successful propagation.

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Bloom

I have often been criticized for being too nice or too optimistic.  I have been challenged by people who say that I am not being realistic, but I disagree.  I know  things are not perfect all of the time, but they are not bad all of the time either. 

One of my new pastimes is taking care of plants.  I have a myriad of houseplants and am now working on establishing some outside as well. I love watering them, repotting them, pruning and cleaning them.  I have done hours of research on the care of my new personal jungle.  I find the entire affair quite revolutionary.  Especially in terms of my own personal growth.  One can relate much of what I have learned about plants to one’s own life. 

Life needs to be lived and nurtured.  We need to take care of our lives and work toward growth.  Not all growth is easy.  Sometimes you must be uprooted and transplanted to new soil in order to flourish.  Often you have to evaluate an environment to make sure it is well suited to your growth and development.  Sometimes you may only need to make minor adjustments, and other times you may need to do things completely differently.  There are times when we must reduce in order to make way for the new.  We may also, on occasion, have the opportunity to take a little part of ourselves and give it away to create something new and fresh.  With all these changes, we must allow for some trial and error.  No thing is perfect.

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Renewal

 

Soon it will be spring and with it comes thoughts of things starting anew.  Along with the blooms and pastels there will be new beginnings.  Some mark this change of season with cleaning house from top to bottom.  I usually don’t follow such customs, but this spring I am committed to a renewal.

Are there things that you need to renew?  Are there any slates that should be wiped clean and a new story written in its stead?  Let’s use this upcoming spring to start something afresh.

 

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Just Leave it Behind

There are some things we have to leave in the past if we want to have a different future.

That is a lesson that has taken me years to learn.  We can get so comfortable with past experiences that we make them our present and our future.

Many of us have lived through a tragedy, had our hearts broken, or been mistreated.  There is no reason to keep reliving those horrible moments.  Certainly those experiences have shaped the people we are today, but they don’t have to shape us in a negative way.  We should view those experiences as learning moments.

We often use past traumatic experiences to excuse our present behavior, but the only reason these past experience continue to affect us is because we continue to reach into the past and bring them to the surface.  If you have ever uttered the words “I am like this because_________happened to me a long time ago”, you are guilty of allowing past experience to shape your present life.  Stop creating issues and focus on healing and moving forward.  Learn from those experiences and make better choices for yourself.

If you were ever in a relationship with a dishonest person, don’t create trust issues.  Make better decisions on who you share your life with.  If you grew up in a household where accountability and responsibility were nonexistent and you can recognize that, don’t allow that to be your excuse to continue that pattern.  I admit that not everyone who exhibits a  certain negative behavior is aware of the reason, but for those of us who like to blame current behavior on past experiences, we know exactly what we are doing.  We know there was a problem in the past.  Let’s leave it behind and move forward.

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

We all let things slide, put things off, procrastinate.  There are some things that we really need to take care of before it’s too late.  This post was inspired by the “I don’t know who this is for” memes I see in many social media posts. I thought it would be a good idea to turn this post into a friendly reminder for all of us to take care of those things that we tend to put off.

iBourgie’s List of Things That May Need Your Attention

  1. Get a new toothbrush
  2. Change your air filters
  3. How old is your makeup? (Seriously, I don’t wear makeup often and I am certain I have had the same foundation for over a year.)
  4. Dust (I can’t remember the last time I did this)
  5. Cancel that free trial!
  6. Do you have any useless subscriptions? Cancel them!
  7. That ugly sweater that Aunt So and So gave you five years ago, donate it! She’s never seen you in it anyway.
  8. Throw all the stuff your ex gave you away.
  9. If you have a hope chest, start using that stuff now.
  10. Clean your belly button.  It’s a lint trap
Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday

Put it On to Pull it Off

I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me.  I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it.  I was, for all outward appearances, average.  I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic.  I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look.  I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”.  I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor.  I was not too plan, but not too flashy.   Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary.  I hated it.

 

 

I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces.  I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent.  I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.

As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest.  That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself.  It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair.  As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off.  It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready.  I really did not miss my hair.  I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short.  I loved it!  I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture.  What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.

 

I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks.  People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown.  Some asked if I had been ill.  I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom.  She had jokes every time she saw me.  She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”.  My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.”  What??  Me?? I was one of those women??  Mission accomplished!!!

 

I was on from that point.  I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find.  I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too!  I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected.  Only what I loved and made me happy.

 

Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off.  My advise to her was to just put it on.  Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.

I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Stop, Look, and Listen!

One interesting and odd fact about me is that I am a huge Patsy Cline fan.  She sang a song titled “Stop, Look, and Listen”.  I was reminded of this song when I was on my lunch break today.  I went into a cafeteria style restaurant at the height of rush hour.  The servers were moving fast and making quick and rapid movements.  They were spilling things, bumping into each other, and hearing the customers’ orders incorrectly.  Often, they had to stop what they had started to either clean up something or start completely over.  Sometimes it is not worth the rush.

Another instance of something very similar happened a few years ago.  I was on my way to class and could see a car behind me weaving in and out of each lane, passing every car in front of it.  Soon the car was behind mine riding closely and recklessly darting back and forth in an attempt to pass me.  When the car was in the lane right next to me, I could see that the driver was a woman in my class.  She sped down the road in front of me as I continued on.  When I got to the school parking lot, she pulled into the parking space beside me.  AT THE SAME TIME.  She did all of that and we got there at the same time.  Actually, I was there a few moments before.  Then when I got to class, she came in late!

My point is we use so much energy rushing when we could just take our time.  When we rush, we are anxious, we make mistakes, we could cause accidents, and still not have the result we are in such a hurry to get.  This is not only when we are in a hurry to get somewhere or do something.  This is the same with life in general.  We can miss so much. make mistakes and even get further behind when we are rushing.

I would like to challenge all of us to just stop, look, and listen.

 

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday

People Pleasing

 

As a recovering people pleaser, I have done tons of self-reflection on why I do what I do.  The jury is still out on that, but I’m no longer as concerned about why.  I just want to stop.  I do okay for a while and then I relapse.  I have noticed that it is easier to stop with certain people and not so easy with others.  I am constantly saying that you teach people how to treat you.  I realized that my people pleasing tendencies have taught people how to treat me.  More importantly I have taught them that they are able to use my urge to please to their advantage.

I have made a list of the things that go through my mind in the middle of my people pleasing thoughts.  I have found that my thoughts are really based on nothing.  As mentioned previously, this people pleasing behavior only comes into play with only one or two people.  Actually most who know me would be shocked that I struggle with this.  I generally give little thought about what others think, but my desire to please or not make a certain few uncomfortable has honestly stunted my personal growth.

I think all people pleasers need to examine their reasons.  Here the list of questions I asked myself:

 

Question:  What is my true motivation?

Answer:  Duh, to please another person.  This led me to ask myself another question.  Why?  I realized that I didn’t want any conflict with that person.  The person I didn’t want any conflict with is a huge part of my life.  I interact with this person on an almost daily basis and I love this person.  There is a certain degree of “I want to please this person because I fear not doing so would cause that person to think less of me.”  After thinking about this for a while I realized that although I may disappoint that person, that person will not stop loving me.  That person has been disappointed or upset with me before.  So what if it happens again.  Is it really as big of a deal as I have worked it up to be in my head?  I began to realize the root of my people pleasing is fear.  That fear is often based on what I think may happen.  I need to learn to deal with others disappointment rather than avoiding it.  So my motivation to please is based on what I fear may happen.

 

Question:  Why am I worried about what they are going to say?

Answer:  First of all, who is “they” (also known as “people)?  “People” and “they” are our own reservations and insecurities.  We are just putting a name of group of nameless people to an issue we are not willing to address ourselves. Are they even important enough to really be concerned about?  So what if they do talk.  They will talk anyway.  This is something I have gotten over, but I feel people pleasers generally stress over the ubiquitous “they.”  What I have learned is that if I am concerned about the “they/people”, that is a personal concern of mine. This thing may be something I am not quite comfortable with.  It may be something that requires a bit of a risk, so I want to be let off the hook.  What lets me off the hook is blaming my dependence on the “they”.  This finding led me to my next question.

 

Question:  Am I making excuses?

Answer:  Sometimes.  I will admit it has been easy to say that I don’t want to do something because I don’t want to rock a boat, but in actuality I’m just scared.  I have noticed this when I verbalize my decision to do or not to do something to another person who I am certain to share my view.  Once I get that confirmation, I feel that have been let off the hook.  I use people pleasing as an excuse because, unfortunately many people can relate to it and often find it acceptable.

 

What I have learned is my people pleasing has been rooted in fear.  As I have started to break a lot of my people pleasing habits I have realized that when I fight against the urge to please, the results and reactions are not as drastic as a I thought they would be.  Of course certain people did not like certain decisions, but that’s life.  No disavowals, or broken relationships.  Life simply goes on as usual.  Once I began to hold fast to my own decisions, I got little to no interference, not two cents were thrown into the mix.  It was just accepted.

I would like to continue to challenge all of us to examine hour people pleasing tendencies.  Let’s get to the root of it and grow beyond it.

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Are You Responsible for How People Treat You?

 

I have made a huge change in my life.  With this change came a lot of work that I needed to do physically and emotionally.  I will first explain the physical work.  I  made a physical move.  My son and I moved into another home.  Our new home was very close to the old one so I didn’t plan on hiring movers, and there was no deadline for me to leave my old home so I could take my time.  I packed our essential things gradually leaving the things we needed readily accessible in place.  I had no clear-cut plan on how the move was going to get completed.  I just relied on the fact that there was no rush.  I had time and I was only moving a few miles away.  So I packed my nonseasonal things in boxes and drove them to my home each day over that span of several weeks.  I chose not to fill my fridge with groceries as I would be moving it to.  Although I still had no plan on when and how I was going to do so.  The same went for my large furniture items.  I knew I would have to move them eventually, I didn’t want the shell out the cash to pay for movers, and didn’t feel the pressure of time.

A few weeks went by, and  I was still a one-woman caravan for my manageable items, but the larger items remained and I was starting to feel the effects of being unsettled.  I was rifling through packed boxes to fish out things I needed, but had packed because I believed I would only have use for them when I had completed the move.  As my frustration started to build, I began to wonder why no one had offered to help.  Everyone in my circle knew I was moving.  They all knew how I was traveling back in forth with my mid-sized SUV packed to the hilt.  They had all seen me stooped in pain from carrying boxes back and forth, loading and unloading.  I was getting upset with everyone around me for watching me struggle with this move.

Then I realized that I had never asked for help.  Not only that, several times in the past, I had refused help when it was offered.  It didn’t click with me at the time that my constant refusal of help may have been a signal to all of my friends that I didn’t need the help.  I was responsible for how they were treating me, but being the stubborn person that I am, continued to move unassisted.  I moved beds, a coffee table, shelving units, boxes, all by myself.  I even carried a six-drawer dresser up six stairs into my new home.

Eventually, I hired movers to move my refrigerator and sofas.  I have no idea how I was able to do so much, but I paid that price.  I visit a chiropractor twice a week now.  I could not walk the day after I completed my move, and two days later I couldn’t stand upright.  Was I proud of what I had done? Yes.  Was it stupid? Yes.  Was it necessary? No. Could I have asked for help? Absolutely.  Have I learned my lesson?  Not yet, but I’m working on it.   Old ways die hard and I am certainly open to suggestions.

 

 

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Change

Change-Sign

Change happens.  There is nothing we can do to stop it.  We can prolong it but, it is  inevitable.  We don’t have to like it but, we must learn to accept it.  It makes some people uncomfortable. Oh well.

I have always been the type of person who accepted change.  I am not normally a combative person.  I do like to challenge things and  I am assertive.  I also know when to pick my battles.  Sometimes it is not worth it to put up a fight just to kick the can down the road.  I like peace and peace comes with acceptance.

In the past year, my life has changed drastically.  For the most part it is good but, there are some things that weren’t so great. Fortunately for me, those bad things were temporary.  Nonetheless, there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I had to work with what I had.  I had to make adjustments and, more importantly, I had to get on with my life.  I had to surrender, embrace the changes, and work through them.  Had I fought it, I would have prolonged the discomfort.  Now it is just a distant memory.  I even laugh about it now.

Life is good and I will continue to give little time to the things I cannot change.