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

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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

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

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 Introvert Lounge, Uncategorized

Introverts and Socializing at Work

As an introvert, I don’t feel I am at a disadvantage most times. I have grown to love my introversion and do not view it as a hindrance, but when you are in a situation where you are you must work with mostly extroverts those advantages don’t seem to put you in a favorable position.

Working with extroverts, especially those who try to for you out of your introversion can be difficult. Most of the work activities are stirred toward forced social interaction, team-building, and all things that they may enjoy, but we find uncomfortable and tiring. It can be challenging to be an introvert in those situations. I have found some ways to cope with them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. When they do, it is a win-win for all involved. Below are some of the tips I have used in the past.

 

Offer to do the planning and the setup.

I love to plan.  Planning an event is never a problem for me.  It’s attending the event that sparks my anxiety.  That anxiety is exacerbated by the idea that everyone will thing I am antisocial or unwilling to participate because my energy will drain and I will begin to power down in the middle of the event. If I become heavily involved in the planning, I can still participate in my own way and often alone.  I can also busy myself with the setup and thus avoid any sustained interaction.  

 

Find another introvert

I call this the magnet method.  The introvert is easy to spot.  Search all corners of the room and that is where you will find us.  Generally introverts who understand each other are content with congregating together and not socializing.  

 

Excuse yourself ahead of time

If you are not on company time, it is perfectly fine to have other plans they will cut into the event.  When you feel your energy start to drain, leave.  It works well to have something planned ahead of time so everyone can be prepared for your departure.

 

As I mentioned, these tips don’t always work for every situation, but they can ease some of the introvert’s anxiety.  The main thing is not to feel guilty for using these or any other coping strategies. We are who we are and we cannot help that.

 

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 Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #62

 

Today’s Writing Prompt: Road Trip!

I really don’t have any memorable road trips that were taken just for the reason of having a road trip.  My trips usually have a specific purpose like a visit or to attend an event. I have always wanted to just jump  in the car to no particular destination.  I would love to take a few weeks of just traveling to see the country.

For today’s writing prompt, write about an epic road trip.  Get very detailed.  Who will go with you?  What will pack?  What vehicle will you drive?  For how long will you be traveling?

Have fun with it. Maybe it will inspire you to make it a reality.

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #61

 

Today’s Writing Prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?

 

I recognize that many of you who will be reading this post are probably already grownups.  I work in higher education and I often ask the young adults I counsel, “What to you want to be when you grow up?”  We often have ideas of how certain jobs lack financial stability or may not live up to the expectations of others.  Many of us have had careers for many years, but there was that one thing or job that you always wanted to have.  A dream job.

For this writing prompt, write about your dream job.  What would you daily activities be?  How would your life be different? Who knows, you may be inspired to take a leap of faith and follow your dreams.

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!