FRIENDSHIP

I was scrolling through Pinterest and read a few friendship quotes. I began to contemplate how relationships differ and what part that plays in our lives. There are friends far and near. Some we speak to on a regular basis, some we communicate with occasionally. There are temporary friends and those that last a lifetime.

People drift in and out of our lives. We’ve all heard the expression, for a reason or for a season. Sometimes, someone enters our world to teach us something. The result could be good or bad, but there is a lesson to be learned. Perhaps we help someone going through a difficult time or vice versa. It may be a professional that is only meant to be temporary support. Friendship doesn’t have to last forever for it to be meaningful.

The best kind of friendship is a real one. One where you’re free to be who you are without judgement. It’s encouraging and nurturing. It isn’t always about similarities, sometimes it’s about differences. Imagine if friendship was everyone’s priority. Imagine…

WAR

I can’t stop thinking about the tragedy in North Carolina yesterday. I wrote about the situation before hearing how it had escalated, before hearing of deaths. How quickly things go from bad to worse.

It would appear that tempers are flaring more than ever. We are so divided that it’s hard to imagine peace being restored any time soon. So-called demonstrations or rallies have become excuses to spread hate and bigotry. I don’t see peace marches, I see riots.

Our president stated that mistakes were made on both sides. While I agree with that to a point, I think what he’s not addressing is how it began in the first place. It wasn’t a peaceful protest, it was an act of agitation. It was a gathering meant to incite anger and reaction.

The rest of the world is struggling enough without us turning on each other. Stop shouting over one another and start listening instead. Everyone just may learn something, learn that there is common ground to be found. Learn that the best thing for us all is to prevent a war, not start one.

 

FREEDOM

I had another one of those moments when I realize my choices are now truly my own. If I want leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast, then that’s what I’m eating. I seriously doubt my stomach knows the difference. Food is food! Funny how that makes me feel so rebellious.

The second season of “The Crown” is about to be released, so I’m re-watching the first. How nice to be able to do that in peace and quiet. I’m starting to think that maybe single life isn’t so bad. What else do I want to watch again?

To socialize or not to socialize, that is the question! How wonderful to choose Netflix over bars or loud restaurants. Knowing I don’t have to be the life of someone else’s party is a beautiful thing.

I watched a news report of demonstrations in North Carolina this morning. Two groups on opposite sides of the fence. Nothing is being accomplished other than hurling insults at each other. Neither has sense to come out of the rain. They remain like ostrich, but it is their choice just the same.

Right or wrong, good or bad, we are free to make our own decisions. Some take that too far while others don’t exercise it enough. It can divide us or unite us. We all have the right to decide for ourselves. It’s called freedom.

 

 

SPACE

I seem to be encountering space invaders lately. I’m not talking about aliens. These are humans that seem to be completely clueless with regard to personal space.

While paying for groceries the other day, I had a young gentleman standing behind me . I mean, RIGHT behind me. If he had a halitosis issue, I definitely would have known. ¬†I turned and looked at him a couple of times, but he seemed oblivious to my agitation. Now, I don’t want to sound paranoid, but I’ve heard the news reports about people stealing your personal information this way. Sort of like the card reader scams. So while I don’t want to be a victim of theft, I don’t want to come across as a crazy lady either. I proceed with my transaction and promise myself that the next time, I will say something. But what?

That wasn’t the first time that has happened, which is why I’ve decided that it’s time to address the issue. People, when someone is conducting a financial transaction, give them room! Unless the two of you have an intimate relationship, they shouldn’t be able to feel or smell you. If I turn to you and ask, “Excuse me. Are we together?”. Please have the courtesy of taking two steps back. After all, everyone needs a little space.

COMMUNICATION

I am happy to report that my job search is over! What an amazing feeling to be back in the land of the employed. Simply glorious! The hunt was a very interesting experience. I was struck by how differently we communicate these days.

So much of our world seems to happen online. It’s now how we socialize, date, and search for jobs. Even interviews are conducted via the web. Our president is certainly a fan of relating this way! With so much happening online, have we lost something else?

Now that I’ve posed the question, I’ll be the first to admit that I prefer email and texting over talking on the phone. Personally, I don’t believe either method of communication is better than the other, as long as it’s done honestly. I consider it more of a personal preference. But does a difference in personal preference effect understanding?

Considering all the different communication styles in this modern age, I’m wondering how we even keep up. There’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to communicate with anyone, anywhere. Then there’s the decision to call, text or Facetime. Is the latter different than Skype? What about Snapchat? Are so many options good or bad? There is probably a new way being created as I write this.

One thing I do know is that we should never stop communicating. It’s not always easy. We have to make an effort and take the time. We have to understand that we all have our own style and that’s okay. The most important thing is that we always try. I think of AT&T’s slogan, “Reach Out and Touch Someone”. Thanks to modern technology, that’s even easier now.

 

BELONGING

I’m job hunting…and hunting…and hunting. The frustration of such a task is challenging. I’m beginning to wonder where I belong.

I realize that I’m not exactly a hot commodity. I’ve pretty much been a housewife for the last twenty-two years. I may excel at many things, but my resume isn’t being read thoroughly. I’m middle-aged, not a college graduate (although I’m working toward that) and I can’t rebuild a computer. Certainly, those aren’t the only things people care about.

The things that are important, at least in my eyes, are the things being overlooked. I’m eager to learn new skills and build a life of my own. I will show up every day without an excuse and work hard. I won’t be on my cell phone or social media. I will be an exceptional employee. Surely, ¬†someone could benefit from my desire to achieve and that I take immense pride in my work. Isn’t there an employer looking for THOSE skills?

I will NOT give up because that’s not who I am. I will persevere. I will continue the search and pray that my efforts will soon be rewarded. I know that I’m not the only one going through a difficult time and I will pray for those as well. I am committed to my journey…and God willing, it will be a successful one!!!

 

 

TRANSITIONS

I’ve actually surprised myself lately. I’ve had to revamp plans so many times that I’ve lost count. The last month alone has been full of revisions. It’s been downright scary at times, but I haven’t given up. I have to say, I’m proud of myself. Adjusting to single life after a 27 year commitment has been surreal, to say the least.

There are still mornings that I wake up and immediately remember that I’m on my own. My heart will begin to race and I have to remind myself to breathe. Then there are days that feel normal. Those are the best days and I’ve learned to treasure them. I know that in time, there will be a lot more of those!

German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger”. Thanks to Kelly Clarkson, I can sing my new anthem! I’ve found strength that I never knew I had. Just thinking about that makes me emotional. I’m at a point in my life where I thought I would be slowing down, not starting over. Yet, I’m so excited about my future. I don’t really know what it will bring, but I know I’ll make the best of it and be happy.

Transitions are scary. Especially when you weren’t planning on change, but it can also be exhilarating! This isn’t the life that I thought I would be living, but it’s better. I’ve regained my independence and am making decisions that are right for me. If there’s a message to spread, it’s to not give up on life!!!

FAITH

Another crazy week in my life. One minute things are smooth sailing and I’m on cruise control. Then, in an instant, the wind shifts and I find myself holding on for dear life once again.

I struggled to keep from slipping down the rabbit hole. I focused on finding a resolution to my problem. I refused to give in to the sadness and prayed… a lot! On the third day, God answered my prayers. Once again, He walked me through the fire.

I was watching a television program yesterday and a character was asked if they believed in God. I laughed when there was hesitation and uncertainty. My response would be immediate. The only reason I’m here is because of faith! So many times I could have gone to the dark side out of despair. I could have stayed in that room and refused to exit ever again. Trust in a greater power kept me walking when all I wanted to do was lay down.

I know that others are struggling with the curve-balls that life keeps pitching. The waves can be overwhelming and lonely. It may feel like no one understands and you just can’t seem to catch a break. Keep walking, because the wind will shift again. You will laugh and be happy. And when the inevitable hiccup happens, you’ll know you have the strength to survive it.

DAUGHTERS

I’m watching Family Feud. It’s an old episode from the 1970’s featuring Richard Dawson. The category is about what we teach our daughters to prepare them for life. I am dumbfounded at the top four answers. Survey said… Cooking, sewing, cleaning and catching a man. Yes, folks, you read that correctly. CATCHING A MAN!!!

Memories of childhood come flooding back. Is it any wonder so many from my generation are still struggling in this world? It wasn’t that long ago that we were telling our young women that their worth was severely limited. I believe that taking care of family and the home are both commendable and admirable. I take immense pride in those things myself, but they are not the only things that are important in life.

I want every girl taught self-esteem and self-reliance. I want young ladies to learn not only manners, but how to be successfully assertive in a challenging world. I want them to know that they can stand on their own two feet. Relying on someone else is not their only option in life. You can be faithful to God and still be independent. Ladies, we are not servants, we’re partners. Loving yourself enough to go after your dreams is not selfish, it’s the most amazing thing you will ever do!

CHANGES

The last week has been a whirlwind! After months of feeling stuck, suddenly things are moving at full speed. It’s both exciting and scary. It’s also made me reflect on the plethora of changes that I’ve experienced over the years.

Life changes can be daunting, to say the least. However, leaving one’s comfort zone and heading into the unknown can also be incredibly liberating! I understand being frozen by fear, but if you take the chance, you just may surprise yourself. You may discover a whole new world. A world in which you thrive!

I’m realizing that conquering the big things are making the small things seem even smaller. I want to encourage everyone who is afraid of taking that step into the great unknown…don’t let fear stop you from achieving your goal. You can do it, and let me tell you, what a difference a day makes!