Monthly Archives: November 2013

Things I Don’t Have

Happy {almost} Thanksgiving!

What do you call a cranberry that’s upset?

blueberry.

Hahaha. So bad, but yet…you chuckled, I know you did.

Most of you have probably seen the “What I’m thankful for today” thing happening on Facebook. I love this idea- but am terrible at keeping up with something like that. So I figured I would just tell you here, about some of the things I’m thankful for.

Every year around this time- when the first frost hits- and we have that first night where we have to get the extra comforters out and turn the heat up (or on in my house- Mr. Flik thinks that when the house is just a few degree above freezing- it’s “warm”). Anyways, I always have the same thought. “I am so blessed”- which is kind of bittersweet to me, because as quickly as I’m reminded about how lovely it is to walk into a warm house after being in the biting cold wind, or to snuggle into a warm bed at the end of the day, I am reminded of those who are stuck outside.  Without as much as four walls to protect them from the wind and cold- blankets, a bed, or any kind of luxury.

Count your blessings. I think the art of gratefulness comes in two ways. Awareness of what you have, and also of what you don’t have. For me, I find myself being thankful more often than not for what I don’t have than what I do.

I think most would agree with me in saying, when you count your blessings you feel so rich, so lucky, and so secure. But when I count the things I don’t have that I could- I find myself feeling even much more blessed.

I don’t have any major illness, nor does anyone I love.

I don’t have an empty stomach or a cold home.

I don’t have an unreliable car, housing situation, or job.

I have not been a victim of violence or abuse.

I don’t have many big regrets, and while there are obstacles – I have many options of what I can do with my life. I am not doomed to one fate- with little hope or options of things being different.

I may live paycheck to paycheck- but at least I’m living, and there is a paycheck.

This is just a glimpse of the things or situations that so many others are dealing with- that I haven’t had to this year. I don’t write all this down and put it out there to boast about how good my life is- but to reflect on how many people have so much more going on. And while I’m whining about how cold it is as I stand at the gas pump, or run to the driveway to warm up my car- I think of those who have to walk, or take public transportation to work. While I debate working out- or am huffing and puffing on the treadmill- I think of people who would give anything to be able to work out. While I feel sorry for myself some days because I am so overwhelmed by life and making decisions on what to do with my career or future I think of single moms and dads working two jobs just to keep food on the table-whose last thought is pursuing his/her dreams. The people around the world who work in factories and sweat shops to barely get by (if you can even call it that)- while I feel bad because the options are so overwhelming-‘the world is my oyster’-to me is a blessing and a curse.

Overall, I think we forget about being grateful on a deeply sincere level-except in November. We are busy, we are tired, we are working for the next moment. And we forget what stands before us every day- that would change these moments dramatically if things were different. We complain about work instead of being glad we have a job to go to. We stand in our closets full of clothes with “nothing” to wear, we have “nothing” to eat with cabinets full of food. We complain about traffic, with no thought to the person who didn’t make it to work today. We are forgetful, and our perception and focus both become blurred- and sometimes we are just plain selfish. Guilty on all counts. November is a good time to remember this though- it’s the finishing of one year- and reflecting on that, and the start of a new year- full of hope and opportunity.

My new year’s resolution (I know, I know- wrong holiday. Looks like I’m starting early this year) is to worry less, and enjoy more. To slow down and look around. To give more attention to the little “unimportant” things with joy and laughter, and accept the big annoying things with grace and ease.

We are too blessed to sweat the small stuff, and time passes too quickly to be wasteful of it.
Also- more quotes. I told you I was addicted.

 

P.S. has anyone seen or heard that JcPenny’s commercial– the jingle is something like- “Shop, shop, shop, go, go go, drop the dishes and grab the keys!” It really bothers me. Like hello- forget about being grateful or the fact that it’s a holiday weekend- JUST SHOP! Ugh. And my heart goes out to those who have to work and be away from their families over the weekend. And kudo’s to stores like Nordstrom who aren’t open and don’t put up Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving.

So here’s this.

skeptical

But really guys- Happy Thanksgiving!
And if you are going Black Friday Shopping- remember to mind your manners!

P.S.S. It won’t always be this serious around here. The wacky is coming…it’s going to be Lengen…wait for it….
(If you don’t watch ‘How I Met Your Mother” you should probably start)

On being THAT girl

A feminist I am not. A lady I am not (my poor husband). And THAT GIRL I certainly am not.

I think most women will understand what I mean when I say- “that girl”. A broad category for sure- but you know it when you see it. It’s a strange cocktail of attention thirsty, can’t leave his side, idolizing, insecure, or controlling girls. UGH, they are exhausting- and if my deduction skills are working, I’d say they are exhausted as well.

This is not a woman hating post. This is a newsflash.

I think men should be chivalrous. Because it’s nice. Not because I can’t open that door myself, or need you to pull my chair out for me- but because it shows a certain level of respect. It separates men from boys, and friends from lovers. You may wonder how I went from that girl to chivalry- really guys, it’s all tied together-I swear.

You see, I think as a whole in society women have wanted their independence so bad- gotten it (go us!) but then desperately wanted to be treated like a woman still. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. However, I think we have communicated one thing, and wanted another. We say; “I got this”- but then get mad when men don’t say; “Let me” (guilty-like caught red handed guilty). You teach people how they can treat you- and when men treat women independently (as they thought we wanted and as we do most times) we feel they aren’t trying hard enough. Why not just say; “Hey- don’t treat me like a child, but treat me with respect.” Disclaimer: I am not saying this is the root of all relationship problems, or that men do/don’t try hard enough (It could be women too!). These two themes have just come up a lot in my life lately, and I think in a way they relate. In how women have expectations, but then don’t stick to their own standards and get upset when things don’t turn out.

I read a really great article last week by John Picciuto (which you should go read- here) but one point he touched on was about how women need to start voicing their needs and not settling when they aren’t met. Grant it, I won’t call myself any kind of relationship guru. I will say I know what I want in relationships (not just romantically), and I am stubborn enough to not settle. I think the love, intensity, and care I offer into a relationship should be matched by the other person- a cycle of trying to outdo one another in kindness. I also think most people will rise to the occasion. But if women are willing to settle because all men are the same, or they’re told they are too picky, or that only happens in fairy tales (not that those aren’t real problems too)- but ignoring the little desires they have (i.e. romance, chivalry, or even textbook respect), and settling for the scraps- that is exactly what we will get.

I read a quote the other day that said; “A bitter woman says; ‘All men are the same’. A wise woman decides to stop chasing the same type of men”. I’m not sure who this is attributed to- but I want to fist bump with them (also, I really hope it was a woman- because that means at least one of us got it!). But seriously, I think so much would change in so many people’s dating lives if we stopped accepting things we didn’t think were good enough (men & women alike). If anyone hasn’t seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower yet, go see it immediately (theme of the movie: “We accept the love we think we deserve”). So get real with yourself for five minutes and stop staying in dead end relationships. Stop being that girl that is so thirsty to have a relationship she’ll take anything- instead of the best- or working for it for that matter.  YES

We Almost Died Last Weekend

Last weekend I was on a mini road trip with some friends and we almost died. We were on our way home and this big HUGE, crazy, enormous storm blew in- we literally could not see a foot three inches in front of us. Cars were pulling off the road left and right; I was thanking God I wasn’t epileptic with all the hazards flashing everywhere. We finally decided we weren’t really making any progress and my friend who was copilot (God love him) was about to have a panic attack- so I decided to pull off at the first exit we saw. I’m not kidding you when I say I felt like I was on the set of the movie “Twister”- like literally. After the panic of almost being crushed by a light post that fell in the street and started sparking everywhere- our rational thinking set in we decided the only place we’d truly be safe was Target. We somehow managed not to be swallowed up by giant puddles small lakes in the road and got to Target whole. When we walked in there was a warning over the store intercom telling everyone to move away from doors and windows and to not leave the store as there was a Tornado warning in effect (I don’t think Targets even have windows? It’s like casinos- no windows, clocks, and oxygen pumped in). So after strolling around Target for about 45 minutes and buying $30 worth of unnecessary items candy (like any trip to Target) we were on our merry terrified way again. Only to encounter 60+ mile an hour winds and random debris in the road like extension ladders and tires all the way home. Just recounting that story and I’m ready for a glass of wine (pay no attention to the fact that it’s 9 am).

Anyways- I recount all of that to tie in a conversation we were having in the car. I think having our lives flash before our eyes 3 times within the space of a few hours really made us serious. Enough of Screw, Marry, Kill- it’s time to talk about the real stuff! (PS- Ryan Gosling my husband always wins that game).

So anyways- we starting talking about our aspirations in life and how we all work jobs now that we like- but probably aren’t our long-term jobs. And some days we want to go back to school, and other days we curse school (like the days we are paying our student loans). But overall, we really have no clue.

I was telling them how I wake up some days and want to ‘save the world’ so to speak- I can work a job and go back to school and maintain a social life and a marriage, no problem. I feel like I have so much potential, and so many options- but usually just not enough time. Especially not enough time to figure it out. I feel like I need all the answers right now and if I don’t have them I’m doing something wrong. As if the journey is less important than the destination (ugh, such a corny metaphor, I know- but on point none the less). It was really comforting to me to find out I was not the only one.

I have this problem where I stand in this moment, trying to live in the next one. Always planning, thinking ahead, and trying to plot my next move. I forget that sometimes, not knowing is the best part.

Then some days I have no problem just riding the wave and letting the chips fall as they may. However, this is not often. I feel like I have a responsibility to myself, and those around me to have answers- to know what the hell I’m doing. And let me tell you- more often than not, I don’t. I’m just really good at improvising.

In college I would stand up for presentations having skimmed (at best) the chapter/subject/paper I was supposed to be presenting on. Professors would ask questions and quick on my feet, I would find an answer- or make one up.

This is not same. I cannot make up the next moment’s moves- there are always unaccounted for variables, and whilst I love to be in the know, I just can’t control what I don’t see coming.

Just sitting still makes me feel inefficient, or like I’m settling. Don’t get me wrong, you put me in front of the TV during a marathon of ”Snapped” and I will not move- for hours. However, in the grand scheme of things- I look at “coasting” like a waste of time, instead of looking at it as how time works sometimes. I just get nervous that I will rest and “enjoy the journey” for so long that I will become complacent and let things happen to me instead of happening to things. But in all reality sometimes you’re busy and determined and know where you’re going- and other times you just coast. Like my friend Kendall said to me; “Maybe you don’t know where you’re going because you’re not supposed to go anywhere yet.”

Overall, this leads me to wonder how much of our lives we waste worrying about answers we don’t have, or forgetting that we don’t always have to have a plan, sometimes we just need to go with it-and more often than not- we just need to chill out.  I am more Type A than I’d like to admit, and I think that makes me miss things-all the time. Good moments I should be taking a minute to enjoy instead of stressing. Stopping to be proud of the things I’ve achieved along the way, instead of looking at the next task, or worrying about what to achieve next.

Needless to say, our 3.5 hour drive home turned into a 6.5 hour, white knuckled, wind fighting, adventure- which I will not soon forget. I think that’s a lot like life- you set out with one plan in  mind (you know, like getting home alive, in 3.5 hours) and instead all sorts of stuff gets thrown at you (light posts, ladders, tires, etc.). That whole ride we may have not known what was going on or what would happen next, we definitely weren’t in control, and we were a little freaked out. But ultimately we laughed a lot, shared great conversation, and in the end made it to where we wanted to be with a really interesting story.

Which brings me to this wonderful set of quotes
(because other people say stuff better than I do- and it looks pretty) 

No, Not McLovin’ it’s Bloglovin’

So one of my favorite sites that got me into blogging/blog reading & following is Bloglovin.com – I’d liken it to a pinterest for blogs! It centralizes all sorts of blogs; you can sort by genre or you can browse at random. You can follow certain blogs so you get an update every time they post, find similar blogs to ones you already follow, etc. It’s pretty great and very easy to use. 

That being said- follow me on Bloglovin by clicking here: bloglovin

Fancy Meeting You Here

Griffin the helper

Hello Interwebs!!!!

This is my new hobby/adventure. It’s really hard to write an opening post. Just wanted to throw that one out there. Anyways, this is my attempt at understanding, laughing at, talking about, and just straight enjoying all the nonsense that goes on out there in the world. I did just use the word “straight” like that, it’s got more emphasis than saying “just” and I like emphasis.

I’m a talker, a dreamer, and a challenger. I may drop a few swear words now and then (sorry Mom! But sometimes you really just need them, you know, for emphasis) things will get serious, snarky, and silly. But I write for fun, I write because I have these moments of inspiration- I write because sometimes I find myself saying stuff that is just pretty damn funny- and I think people need a good laugh. Honestly, I write because I have a lot to say. I think stories are fabulous and telling them is great fun.

I think what they call what’s going to happen here- “Lifestyle Blogging.” I’ll agree in that it will be about life, and it will have a certain style to it and lastly, it will be bloggy so I guess that all fits.

So I’m blogging now. Or attempting. Or something. I don’t know. If you’re brave, bored, or easily entertained – stick around, it’s about to get weird.