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 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 Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

When to Change, and When to Stay the Same

I love myself. I can’t remember if I ever didn’t, but I really love myself now.

There were times when I felt I needed to change. Those times were mostly because I was told so by someone else. Even then I wasn’t convinced. When I was younger, I was told I was too thin. I didn’t have any health problems, and I didn’t think I was too thin. Nevertheless, I gained weight. I didn’t to it to please myself, but to please someone else. I did quiet a few of these changes in my people-pleasing years.

There were times when I felt the need to change, and I did. I did so because I wanted to. The things I needed to change were the things about myself that I didn’t think served me or were not good for me. I changed my diet because I was not as healthy as I wanted to be. It was a personal decision. That was one of the first things I did at the resistance of those people I was trying to please. It was hard in the beginning, but I did it. All subsequent personal changes were a lot easier.

Sometimes you may need to make some changes, but they should be for your own reasons and beneficial to you. Trust your gut. You know yourself better than anyone.

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 Uncategorized

New Beginnings and Starting Fresh

A lot has happened since I started this blog, and even since my last post. I have sold a home, moved, caught COVID, got divorced, got engaged, bought a home, and got married. It is crazy how life works out. For me, it has definitely been for the better.

At the start of the pandemic, I began working from home and my son began virtual school. This was a very eye-opening experience. Lots of things have been put into perspective for me. I feel brand new.

Sheltering in place and working from home were wonderful for the introvert in me. I was extraordinarily productive with my office work and work at home. I learned to better manage my time and set work/personal life boundaries. As I was limited to a certain amount of social interaction, I had plenty of time to self-reflect. I that I had too much stuff. I had more than what I needed. I realized how much of my money was going toward ordering in or eating out. When I was working away from home, I was often tired when I got off from work. I was also spending a lot on gas traveling to and from work and to and from my son’s school. I started investing the money I was saving.

I have embraced minimalism (relative to my former lifestyle) and literally got rid of 75% of my stuff. When I joined my husband in our new home, we both decided to start fresh. I gave all of my furniture to my brother and my husband either sold or donated his furniture. Then we shopped for all new items to furnish our home. Fortunately we have similar tastes, and shopping was easy. We both wanted our home to feel bright and uncluttered. Both of us have the tendency to collect things, and we have to continuously hold each other accountable to our decision to remain clutter free.

I have also become a plant mom! Plants are my new obsession. My home is filled with light and vegetation. Taking care of and being surrounded by them is so calming. I was horrible with plants before. Cacti and other so-called un-killable plants have perished in my care. Now my thumb is viridescent! I can rehabilitate the struggling ones. I can propagate, separate, and repot. I am so proud of myself. I sincerely believe that they are thriving on all of the positive energy we have infused in our home. My husband, son, and I are so happy.

My husband is also a skilled woodworker so I am really living my HGTV dream. If I can dream it, he can build it. When we were dating, we always talked about working on various projects together. Now we are doing it. I am looking forward to sharing our work.

I often reference my season of unfortunate events. I am now in a totally new and exciting season. I can really appreciate what I have because of all of the lessons I learned in the past.

Posted in Uncategorized

Back at It Again

I started my blog as a collection of my thoughts and reflections on life. I did not expect many people to follow or read it. I consider myself a relatively boring person. As I have been publishing my thoughts, and closely examining my relationship with the world, I have learned so much about myself. This blog has been my escape to be myself.

I noticed I haven’t posted anything since the onset of this pandemic. Naturally, I wondered why. I’m not sure that I have an answer, but I have learned so much about myself during this time. I think this has been a blessing in disguise to many of us. As horrible as this disease is, the result from the closings and sheltering in place have forced many of us to confront our true selves.

Since my last post, I have been working from home and my son has been attending virtual classes. I was shocked at how productive I have been in the comfort of my own home. Do I miss the interaction of all of my coworkers and students? Yes, but I am still able to communicate with them. What is no longer present is what I call “background people”. Background people are the people who you just tend to happen upon. People who are just around. You may not have any business with them, but there is some social pressure to interact with them in some way. As an introvert, It has been a relief to have some control over my social interaction. I feel my battery life has been extended.

My son’s virtual schooling got off to a bumpy start, but it has taught him discipline. He is becoming self-motivated and responsible. I have noticed he too may be an introvert and expressed little discomfort in sheltering in place. Although he missed seeing his friends, he has been able to stay is contact with them.

I have become an even better cook. My son and I have been experiencing different dishes and cooking techniques now that I am not spending hours in the car commuting. I have lost 10 pounds, I feel better, and less stressed. Life is more relaxed and I have gained in the area of productivity. This is a perfect work/life balance.

So as I was examining my life during this pandemic, I wondered why I had stopped blogging. I have taken many breaks since I started the blog, but I had explanations for those breaks. I could not quite put a finger on why I had stopped, but I think like most people during this time, I was adjusting. I was adjusting to a whole new way of life. My daily routine had drastically changed. I no longer have a set schedule. Although I make myself available during my normal office hours for work, I now have some flexibility to make lunch or dinner in between calls, dress comfortably, and to be in the comfort of my own home. This for me, is ideal.

I am back at it again. I suppose I have adjusted enough to this new normal to start writing this blog again. It feels good and just like all of the other changes, I feel relaxed.

There have been many other developments in my life that are quite extraordinarily wonderful. I feel that my life is better than I could have ever hoped it would be. I have rekindled old friendships, started restoring furniture again, and I just have a fresh outlook on life in general. I have a lot more to blog about, and I look forward doing so.

Posted in Uncategorized, Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #63

Today’s Writing Prompt:  Rewrite History

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to participate in a pivotal point in history?  What what it have been like as a conductor on the Underground Railroad?  Have you ever wondered how the ancient pyramids were constructed?  Write about what it would have been like for you.

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Social Distancing

 

Fortunately, I am able to work from home.  These next few weeks will be interesting. Many have joked how us introverts have been prepared for times such as this.  I am wishing all of you well and for those who have fallen ill, I wish a speedy and complete recovery.  God bless!