Why I’m excited for Christmas this year

Honestly, I’m pretty hum-bug when it comes to the holidays. Not because I don’t enjoy the festivities or the family gatherings, but because the logistics of it all. I feel as if each year I have to plan out the entire holiday season month’s in advance, and even then, I’m stressed the entire season. It literally feels like it begins at Halloween, trying to find the right costumes, buy all the candy, and decorate the house. Then it’s hubby’s birthday, Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s. It’s become a science after years of practice of how each event will go and is planned, however, even the comfort from these year of practice isn’t what has lifted my spirits for this year.104068278-gettyimages-528107199

This year, I’m excited for the season more than I think I have ever been, and the only thing I can attribute it to is how excited my daughter will be this year. Each years she becomes more aware of her surroundings and excited over gifts and travel. Every year she seems to enjoy the holidays more and more, so this year, I cannot wait to see her reaction to all her gifts and family visits. I can’t wait to see how she reacts to all the food and decorations the season brings. But most of all, I can’t wait to see that ecstatic smile as she takes in all Christmas morning has in store for her this year!

SNHU Graduate!

I did it! I finally finished my Bachelor degree!

Right after high school, I went back to school and got my Associate’s Degree of Science in General Studies. I figured since I had no idea what I wanted to do with my working life, I could at least knock out all of the prerequisites I would one day have to take in order to complete a degree at a later time. My local community college provided all of the courses I needed at a fractional cost of a traditional university, so I felt assured in my decision to obtain my two-year degree with the hopes of maybe finding what I wanted to do with my career along the way.

While that didn’t happen right away, I did find an organization that allowed me to experience many different areas of a business, providing me with insight to the possibilities of where I could succeed within the company. After a few years and several life changes such as buying my first home and getting married, my wonderful husband decided he wanted to go back to school. Well, regardless of my apprehension to start school back up again, he signed me up to speak to a recruiter who a few days later enrolled me at Southern New Hampshire University. I can honestly say I am so happy with my choice of school and my entire online college experience. We’ll see how long it takes for them to send me my diploma!snhu

A lot of hard work and determination, and sheer manipulation of the scarce free-time I had later, I made my way through my final sixty credits with a 3.97 GPA. (Two stupid -A’s!) It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in the midst of life and work, but now that I am just waiting on my diploma to arrive in the mail, I feel satisfied with my accomplishment.

But now what to do with all of my free time?

Let me just say, laundry has never been done so quickly!

Remembering You

I see your face in every moon, shining down on me.

I see your smile in every sunrise and your beautiful heart in every sunset.

You fill my days with memories, none that will are new.

But now I see you everywhere. 

A constant reminder of you.

Happy birthday, KAK! I miss you everyday.

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program

Maybe this is old news, but I just found this program through my local dentist office. Businesses such as dentist offices and various others that register with the program will buyback your excess Halloween candy at a set price per pound, but what they do with it following the buyback is what really caught my attention. This program will then create care packages with toothbrushes included for troops overseas.

If you are looking to get rid of the candy from your house to keep your kids from rotting their teeth out or from you gaining excess weight (my case because everyone knows I can’t stay away from chocolate), then take a look at the Halloween Buy Back Program!candybuyback

Warm-hearted vs. Soft-hearted

While at work, a few of my coworkers and I were asked to find words that best described ourselves. Two of these words caught my attention as they could surely be argued as synonymous with one another, but I feel as if there is a very large distinction between the two: warm-hearted and soft-hearted.

Warm-hearted to me means kind, friendly, and empathetic. It means caring about people and treating them with respect when they show the same kindness. It would involve genuinely feeling for someone, not in unison with someone, but in reaction to another’s feelings.

Soft-hearted to me means overly nice, emotionally involved, and overly sympathetic. Instead of understanding and seeking to support people, soft-hearted people would experience the pain with them and become weaker for it. 

Being soft-hearted to me means you allow another to burden you with their pain or weakness. Your friend is going through a bad break-up, your heart breaks, too. You watch a sad commercial or movie and are in tears.

If you were warm-hearted, you’d build that friend back up again, be strong for them, and help them through the rough time. If you saw a sad commercial for ASPCA, you’d go out and adopt a pet, or donate your time and/or money to the cause. You wouldn’t allow it to affect you negatively, but use it as a driver for something positive.

Soft-hearted, while still needed in some situations in the world, I’m sure, is not where I would categorize myself. Warm-hearted is much more like it.

Block negativity, allow success

As I sit in traffic, already late for work, two stories I once heard play through my mind. Now, it’s not often that I find myself in these situations, but every once in a while, when I have a bout of bad luck or things just aren’t going my way. These stories put a smile on my face and make me rethink my attitude.

The first is a religious based story in that it is a man talking to God, and regardless of your belief, we can all agree that there is something bigger to this life than just living. Take it for the moral of the story, please, and not a sermon. Below is just an excerpt; find the full story here.

   Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD: Sure.

   Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today? I woke up late.

GOD: Yes

   Me: My car took forever to start.

GOD: Okay.

   Me (loudly): Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see….. the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

   Me (humbled): Oh.

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road.

   Me (ashamed): …………

This story alone is powerful in that sometimes things happen to you so something does or doesn’t. Your car may not have started, but you met your future husband at the repair shop. You may have lost your job, but it just opened you up to pursue your real passion. Whether you believe in luck or fate, sometimes things happen or don’t that can just have a snowball effect in you life. Take it all in, enjoy each moment, even the less desirable ones, because one day, maybe even the next move, could lead to something better.

The next “story” is actually an article I read as part of one of my professional memberships with IAAP. I can’t find the link, but when I do, I will be sure to share. 

The article posted a question about what kind of person you are. Are you the kind who let’s one negative event such as waking up late seep into your attitude and taint your entire day? Or, are you the kind of person who can brush off these one-off events and move on to the next moment in life without letting it manipulate the rest of your day?

The article goes on to say that those who can single these negative moments out and keep them from effecting their attitude as the day goes on, someone who can “roll with the punches”, is more successful in their lives and just happier in their day-to-day. For that reason alone, I try to remember this article and refuse to allow myself to sink into the negativity of a single event. As Taylor Swift says, “Shake it off!”

So as another minute ticks by on the clock, I try to keep these ideas in mind. For some reason, I wasn’t meant to be at work at my normal time, and I refuse to beat myself up over it for the rest of the day.  I’ll take the bad with the good and only focus on one moment in the hourglass of my life at a time. 

Life isn’t for you to control.

I had an epiphany while in the shower this morning, contemplating life as the warm water beat against my back. For as long as I can remember, I have always tried to have a plan that would map out my every move to get me where I wanted to be. Whether it was in my education, my career, even my personal life, I have always tried to control everything.

Then yesterday, I tuned into a TED Talk with Muniba Mazari, and she shared her story of an arranged marriage she entered because her father had told her to do so. She goes on to say that at some point in the marriage, she and her husband suffer a car accident, and while he came out unscathed, it was unclear if Muniba would ever walk again. She tells the audience that she came to terms with the news, but when the doctor told her she would never be a mother or paint again, she refused to listen. She asked her family to bring paint to her hospital bed and did exactly what they said she wouldn’t have been able to do. Years later, after leaving the hospital, she adopted a little boy and became a mother, doing exactly what they said she wouldn’t be able to do.

 Muniba says, “Don’t die before your death.” And while her message of doing the things you want rather than being complacent in your life is clear and I hear it, I also feel as if there is an even greater message behind her story. Something that spoke to only me perhaps, but during my shower, it hit me.

Muniba experienced a car crash she surely wasn’t planning on, but she had planned on children and painting. Nothing in my life as far as obstacles could ever compare to Muniba, but I have had moments where what I had planned was upset by an undesirable event, and because of that event, I abandoned the path to my goal. One little upset, and I gave up because I wasn’t in complete control.

And here’s where my epiphany comes in. While I stood in my shower, steam filling up the bathroom, I realized, life isn’t for you to control. Life is full of unexpected, sometimes tragic events, and never will anyone be able to fully avoid all of life’s curveballs, nor should anyone try. Life is meant to be lived through it all. You dodge those curveballs, and keep moving. It doesn’t have to be down the path you had imagined. It doesn’t have to be part of the same route at all. If you have in your mind your ultimate goals, big or small, daily or yearly, how you get there doesn’t matter. It only matters that you do. 

Life isn’t for you to control, but you can control your reaction to life.

Chasing the sun

I’ve chased the sun from one end of the world to the next.

I’ve skipped time over the varying parts of the world.

Does it make me well versed?

Does it mean I am younger?

I’ve chased the sun on the horizon for so long.

I’ve chased the insatiable need for a new day everyday.

I’ve forgotten the millions of stars which light the night.

I’ve forgotten the possibility of uncertainty in darkness.

I’ve chased the sun for so many years, I’ve forgotten the serenity of twilight.

Call me Mommy pt. 7

The sweetest sound in the world to the thirsty eyes and ears of a parent is a child excitedly calling their name with the biggest smile their little cheeks can hold.

Five days without seeing my girl. Four nights without bedtime kisses. It’s a barren state of being when your reason for existing isn’t readily at your side. 

I’m being dramatic, but hey, I’m a fiction writer. 

It feels like so long since I have seen my baby girl, hardly a baby now at almost three years old, but the moment we walk through the door to pick her up from her grandparents, that smile, that hug, those kisses, make the world tilt right side up again.

“Mommy!” She yells. “Dahey!”

We need to work on pronouncing our D’s, but it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.

I would do anything for that little smile, and those hugs are enough to melt you through. I finally feel whole again, and now, it’s beack to the old routine! Plus or minus a few sleepless nights as punishment for being gone so long.