Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Smile Makes All the Difference

We all have experienced the power of kindness before. Whether through a small gesture or warm meal, a token of kindness can brighten anyone's day. As I was walking to the metro today and going about my business, I made a point to smile at the UPS man and others along my travels. And in return, some smiled back. The metro man even greeted me, with a hi how are you. There's something about replying back with "great" that gets everyone smiling. In just that brief moment of exchange, I'd like to think that each of our days were brightened just a bit...and all it took was a smile.

Make it a point today to show kindness to those in your path.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Back to Health

Dear Readers,
I'd been sick for the past week with the flu. The type of flu you had when you were in elementary school, that you wished you didn't, and actually wanted to go to school instead. It was so bad, that I even had to steady myself by holding onto a garbage can at the Metro station subway. (Cue really bad memory). On a good note, I had a wonderful boy who played excellent nurse to me when I got sick while visiting him. (Thank you honey!) But enough of that. I'm well on my way back to health, give or take a cough.

So I plan on posting soon and getting this bloggy back to its healthy state!

Sincerely your Healthy Blogger,


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cute Factor

So the only reason my family is into Valentine's Day is because it happens to be my Oma's birthday. 
Here's a cute little something that came to me in the mail. The "Someone Special Sugar Cookie Mix" complete w/ heart shaped cookie cutter.  This gets a 10 on the cute fact
or, just look at the little ribbon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Truth

Not to be too serious or anything, but I think it's about time that I addressed some of my previous posts more directly.  For the past 24 years I've grown up with a father who is an alcoholic.  Because of this I've put a large amount of time and energy into working through what this means to me and truly making healthy decisions for my life and the future.  (It was a vow I made to myself a long, long time ago). Alcoholism is a serious disease and addiction that effects not only the alcoholic, but also the other members of the family.  What I'm getting at is that lots of the previous posts on here are about dealing with an alcoholic father.  

Recently, I had a conversation with my dad that caused me to revisit a wound that has been healing for some time.  The good news is that..

Today was a much better day, and I'm grateful!  I don't do well as a drama queen, but I also don't do well when people act like one. But in all honesty each time I have to deal with the bouts of an alcoholic father, I go through a little bit more of the grieving process.  I take it in, have to find a way to deal with it, and then accept, and recenter.  It's been work, but not work I regret having to do.  In the end we all have our unique stories and things we have to deal with. This just happens to be mine.  And I also know the strength that has come from this. Thankfully I have a very patient boyfriend and wonderful family that are awesome.  But I also am very diligent about maintaining and making my own healthy way of life - doing things I like, working out, cooking healthy, sleep, positive relationships.  This is part of it - making my own way.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that when I am centered I feel great, and I really do appreciate and treasure that feeling and enjoy life that much more.  It was interesting to experience these past two days again and the fear that came over me when I got sad.  Growing up, I never felt room for my feelings to be expressed because him and his addiction were always the things in need of real attention.  I know I didn't really open up this can of worms until 3-4 years ago at the end of college. When I was reminded of the characteristics shared by adult children of alcoholics it made more sense.  Although I know that some of these are my innate personality traits (like being responsible, I enjoy it) - I know they are also things that came out of dysfunctional family roles. 
- An overdeveloped sense of responsibility (me wanting to take care of my mom and sister, do well in school, planner, etc.)
-People pleaser to protect ourselves so as not to upset the environment or cause more trouble
-Anxious - always scanning the environment for potential problems and fear of not being able to control a situation (me not knowing what it would be like when I would come home)

What I make of this is that it can help bring a sense of awareness to things.  It doesn't so much pigeon hole, but more-so helps to bring a heightened awareness to strengths overdone. And with that awareness I am able to balance better, and say okay, I'm in a healthy, safe place now that I don't have to react in these ways.  In addition, it helps those who I am close to help understand things and gain more perspective. While I think it's good to gain understanding, I also don't like to dwell on the "effects" of the alcoholic family, but rather focus on the empowerment in choices and decisions I can make for myself. 

The blessing in all of this is that it is in the past and I am moving forward! I've made some great decisions so far and want to continue on this path! And my promise to myself and those I love is to always remember the blessings in my life, communicate, and keep growing and striving in health and happiness.  This being said, goodnight all, it's time to recover some lost sleep!:)
*ps - it really does feel good being honest and writing this here. 

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Roller Coaster Ride*

     The roller coaster came through town again, beginning last night, it set up camp nearby.  If only for a split second it seemed safe and secure, and I was willing to sit down and take a seat. But before I could realize it, the cart was climbing the tracks towards a steady, steep decent.  It shook as it climbed and debris flew through the air. I held onto the handrail the best I could and secured my seat belt, there was no way I was going to let it jerk me around.
     I fought back the roller coaster's swerves and curves by remaining calm.  By the end of the ride, I once again had managed to step out unharmed or so I thought.  But, it was only this morning when I awoke that I recognized the bruises that I had accrued.  They were the same bumps and bruises that the roller coaster had given in the past. I rubbed my hand over the bruises, blue in color, and tried to smooth their edges.  It didn't help.  They would be there as reminders for the next few hours, reminders of the ride I had somehow been taken on again last night. 

     After I got up and went to sit down at the table with my breakfast, the bruises pressed against the seat and a small woo of pain welled up inside of me. A small cry made its way out. And then another. Soon a collection of tears had filled my cheeks. Once the pain had subsided, I mulled over the roller coaster again and this time made a vow to myself that I wouldn't take another ride. There were plenty of other ways to have fun, ones that didn't include getting hurt.  These bruises weren't coming back. 

(* a metaphor for a real life event)

Letting Go: The Weight of Words

I talked to Him today, but this time voiced what I had been through over the past 2 years. Told him what I had to process and think about.  It felt good, and he listened.  By the time I hung up the phone though I felt teardrops trapped somewhere between my heart and my eyes.  At first I avoided letting them out. Folding laundry and staying busy was no strength to what needed to let go.  A call from the boy helped a few tears leak out of my eyes.  And then I realized, this was just part of it. A few more tears streamed down my face, the very tears that had collected the words that I didn't share for so long and now had. It was the door opening and the door closing, and the tears had their place too.  And now,...I feel good. And proud of my heart.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Art of the Process: Maximizing Resources

As I get further in my graduate degree, I'm learning more about myself and what type of work I enjoying doing the most. While I admit launching a project may be exciting and standing at the front lines of the battle offers its thrill, my greatest interest lies in the process. Everyday it appears more and more clearly to me that development may actually be the biggest need an organization or business has. While innovative ideas and expansion are sexier at first glance, these ideas can only be made reality through well defined infrastructures. And if time is invested into the process at the start, the idea can yield even greater impact, money, etc. My brain seems most interested in finding ways to take these set amounts of resources and maximizing their impact. Perhaps that's my unique way of looking at leadership- helping individuals to take their intellectual and emotional capital and finding ways to help maximize their impact.
But that's my own little take on things.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Another Part of My Heart

This is for my sister.

Dearest Sister,
Remember when your heart was full of adventure
When you saw the nest but felt your wings?
Your mind full of wonder and  yearning
to learn and see new things?
Now you must rest
Rest your mind
And let your heart be at ease
Just let yourself remember the way
and gather your dreams
Dreams of adventure and relying on God
His hand is on your shoulder
And be my girl, let yourself be at peace
It surrounds you all the time
And know you are loved
And have a home
Wherever you are, we are with you all the time.

I love you,
Your Sister

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Putting it On the Line

It might be 60 degrees in DC, but the heat is on and going up.  With it being Super Tuesday and all the queens of dirty brought out their shiny fake diamond pins, and flaunted their latest hero. Is it hero worshiping or just a bad episode of What Not to Wear? Let's face it, people go to great lengths to make sure they are heard and seen.  Obama makes music too, and you should check out his latest montage music video starring well tons of stars.  I didn't even know Scarlet Johanssen sang. Apparently talent happens when its presidential election time. People put it all on the line.

Speaking of the line, I'm putting myself on the line, for a job. There's a cleaned up cover letter and heavy weighted paper, the type that can see a special stamp through the paper, sitting on my desk. The job has the word leadership in it, as well as development, and student, and oh assistant + director. It's right up my alley. I know I have the background and soon to be education, but most of all the passion to really jump start this program.  I know I can put my best foot forward and drop the envelope in the mail, and well then ask God to help guide me through these next few months of decisions.  I'm actually starting to get more excited when I send my one pager around, and less anxious. There are a plenty of opportunities for me in Knoxville, its just a matter of time now.  I'm coming my little Westie! (That's the dog that has most recently caught our interest.)