Last week, half of the sisters were out of town, so Lisa and I met one on one. These are rare occasions since we both have commitments that keep us very busy and out of trouble. I was thinking about how pleasant our visit was and then I got sidetracked (surprise, surprise).
I realized as I thought back, that during our visit, I was sending myself very negative messages about guess who? ME. I have a wonderful relationship with my husband, my son, my sister and her husband, my nieces and their families, and my stepdaughter and her family. Sadly, the worst relationship I have seems to be with myself. Continue reading →
I recently reread the 1937 version of Napoleon Hills’ “Think and Grow Rich”. Mr. Hill opens his first chapter with the phrase “Thoughts are Things”. He goes on to say that when we mix our thoughts with purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects, these thoughts have the power to create what we are desirous of. Wow. That’s quite a statement.Continue reading →
I’ve always prided myself on being able to keep up with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to complete tasks. Well, scratch that “always” off the books. It seems that everything I need to do today requires technical knowledge that I struggle with.
Writing our Sidetracked Sisters Blog has always been fun for me. Recently, it seems like the programs we need to understand and use have become more complicated. Every time I make notes about what I need to do and how I need to submit my writing, something has changed. So I try to use my version of “common sense” and I really mess things up. I refuse to give in to failure and yet I dislike feeling like I’m not keeping up.
I enjoy doing voiceovers. So what’s stopping me you ask?? You guessed it. Technology. Every time I think I understand what I need to do, I make things worse. The programs I use are totally different from anything I have used before. Just about the time I think I understand what I’m doing, I don’t. I know I need to spend more time practicing and yet even the practice gets frustrating.
Asking for Help
Then the most humiliating part comes when I seek help from others who have always understood my deficiencies. They tell me that they don’t think things have gotten more complicated or hard to deal with. When this happens, I want to hide under the covers and pout. I even have a “help me” button on my desktop to call in the rescuers. Sometimes that doesn’t even work.
I started a new job recently which I really enjoy. Only one problem exists. You guessed it, a whole new set of programs and technology. I’m slowly learning and I have very nice people in the IT department that are helping it all make sense. I think this process is going to work.
Even watching TV to relax has become a challenge. Our son signed us up for one of the pay-for networks. So now I have to have email addresses and passwords to utilize this gift from our son. I think I’m overthinking things.
Android vs iPhone
What else about technology bothers me you ask? I recently switched from a Samsung phone to an iPhone. I asked myself what could be so difficult about a different phone? First of all, I can’t figure out how to pair my hearing aids with the new phone. My first attempt created the complication of having all of my phone calls come into my hearing aids instead of my phone. While this had some benefits, it did nothing to give me control of the app I had on the phone to control the various features of my hearing aids. I still haven’t figured this one out.
In addition, I also have a different car which allows for phone services wirelessly. I don’t think I have the energy to share with you all of the features of my 2016 vehicle that I have not yet been able to use. That may be a story for another day.
I think my major complaint about technology is that I was sold on it by being told how much time it would save. So far I haven’t experienced these great time savings. When I find myself trying to figure out what my computer has done at 2 am, while my husband has been asleep for hours, I don’t find the time savings very relevant.
Yes, I have heard the acronym “GIGO” (garbage in, garbage out). I say to that, I’d like to place my computer in the garbage instead. OK I know I need to calm down. I’ll quit my rant and see if I can figure out how to go watch something on TV that might help me relax.
In our neighborhood, there is a person who lives at the corner who hangs dog treats on the bushes next to the sidewalk. A small sign tells dog walkers to “Please take one.”
She is putting a little love out into the world.
The other day, I saw a woman in the grocery checkout line who was wearing a dress identical to one that I own. I thought that it looked nice on her. A few minutes later, as I was driving out of the parking lot, I saw the same woman. She was walking to her car with her shopping cart. I rolled down my window and hollered “Hey, I just wanted to tell you how great you look in that dress. I have the same one at home and I love it.” She replied, “Thanks, I got it on sale at Kohls.” I answered back, “Yeah, I even wear it just like you do, with leggings and a jacket”.
Just putting a little love out into the world.
“I love humanity but I hate people.” poet Edna St. Vincent once famously wrote. In the same way, I often really need to make an effort to connect and engage with people. It is so much easier to talk with my family or work on my own shit rather than engage with the people I meet every day.
With that being said, it brings me happiness, even joy when others go out of their way to interact, engage, or reach out to me.
Writing thank-you notes was not taught or encouraged when I was a child (or perhaps I just don’t remember). As a teenager, I hated the little triangular-folded notes that friends passed at school to one another. As a young adult, I knew I wouldn’t keep in touch with friends after I moved.
But I’ve saved and charished EVERY note, letter, and spontaneous correspondence that I’ve ever recieved.I have a collection dating back over 40 years! I store sweet notes from friends in a nightstand drawer. When I was dating my husband-to-be, I printed and saved every email from that first year. I still have every love note from my high school boyfriend. Every letter my ex-husband penned are tied together with a string…in a box…in my closet.
It is time to reconcile this dichotomy in my life. I want to be appreciative, thankful, and supportive. (I should have probably begun this project at the beginning of the Covid shutdown.) But anyway, my sister Michelle suggested that what I was talking about was “happy mail”.
So I conducted a Google search.
I found blogs and You-Tube videos dedicated to sharing appreciation to small business customers. There are also scrapbookers and “junk journalers” who share stuff with each other unexpectedly through the mail. These were BEAUTIFUL and inspiring works of art that people were sharing with each other in an effort to “share the love”.
I found it totally overwhelming!!! Some of these creations must have taken days or weeks to collect and construct.
I don’t consider myself a fluent writer. So I write a sloppy copy before I transfer the words into a notecard. It relieves my writer’s block and prevents me from stressing about making a mistake.
What I am proposing is buying and using store-bought blank notes and writing something thoughtful and direct like this blogger.
I also don’t believe that these notes need to be sent in the mail. They can be surreptitiously stuck under a windshield wiper, taped to a house door, or placed anonymously on a co-worker’s desk.
My mom calls these “Iris letters”. They are the less familiar cousin and the opposite of “onion letters”. (Glinda versus the Wicked Witch of the West.) An Onion letter is what you might send to a business to complain about the mess the plumber left after fixing your toilet or the rude comment the customer service rep made when you returned an item at Wal-Mart. Onion letters help a business correct wrongs. Iris letters acknowledge and appreciate service workers or businesses that go above and beyond.
I should have sent an Iris letter a few years ago to my local Aldi.
After checking out all of my groceries, I realized that I had neither cash nor credit cards in my purse. Upon realizing this, the cashier volunteered to pay my $80+ bill until I returned. She said that she knew I was a regular customer and that I’d be back.
Profusely thanking her, I instead asked her to just put my cart of groceries to the side. I zipped home. Returning a half-hour later, I had cash in hand. Thanking her again, she smiled at my appreciation, and I vowed to myself to write a note to the manager. I intended to appreciate, honor, and celebrate her good deed.
My goal was to share a little love and bring recognition to this kind woman.
Lately, I find that I have absolutely no patience with the people and things around me. I’m sure my family will say that I’m always like that, but I think it’s been getting worse. Yesterday, I found myself slamming my phone down on my desk simply because the screen would go into sleep mode too soon. Today, I feel like I’m just trying to pick a fight with anyone that crosses my path. Even as I sit here writing this, I can hear the person across the table from me crunching on food and it’s making me feel crazy.
While we are all trying to improve ourselves and make the most out of our lives, one thing that we must keep in mind is to be true to yourself. Following what society expects or desires you to be or to look like or to accomplish does nothing for you if you don’t agree with those expectations. All you end up doing is frustrating yourself. Here are 5 things to consider when trying to fit into society’s expectations and also be true to yourself.
Meditation is supposed to be a wonderful way to relax, come to terms with your inner self, help relax your body, help your mind focus, blah, blah, blah.
Well, you know what? I have found meditation to be a huge waste of time. I have tried, really, I have tried!
Come on inner peace…I don’t have all day!
(I know people around me would sa I HAVEN’T really tried,(see here) but that is just not true.)
My introduction–and conclusion–to meditation was a couple of years ago. I went to a meditation workshop with my sister. Inside a church, on a Saturday was the destination for the day (ALL day mind you).. We were to sit in a pew, a hard pew at that. To begin our day, there was a speaker for a short time. Then we were to sit. and. meditate. This consisted of clearing our minds, relaxing, centering (this means controlling and balancing yourself), not talking, sitting quietly, and, well, MEDITATING!!!!
So…I have a hard time meditating. It was a BEAUTIFUL, mild, sunny day in January for that workshop. The fresh snow was pearly white, and it was just a gorgeous winter day.
We were supposed to sit and be quiet for a whole morning, afternoon, AND into the night! I just couldn’t do it. Sometime in the early afternoon I told my sister I had to get outside or I might crack up, or at least have a nervous breakdown. My energy level was at a high, I needed to move and do something, anything, and I felt like I would run a marathon.
Unfortunately, when I try to meditate my brain just won’t shut off. I understand that the goal was to develop my psychological well-being. Its a calming thing to do. Unfortunately, to me, it felt rstless, like I was wasting time. I would rather do just about anything other than just sitting,immobile, trying to clear my mind.
Give me a book, that would work.
Paint a wall, that would work.
Weed a garden, yes, that would work.
I guess I will have to call one of these activities my type of mediation.
When my youngest kid left for college this past fall, we went through some significant homesickness. She has always been my “velcro” kid and loves to be home and a part of things. There were a lot of tears and feelings of “I don’t want to go” happening. As a parent that likes to always see her kids happy – this broke my heart. I didn’t know how to help – so I resorted to the Internet to guide me in what to do. After reading a few posts – I decided on my own methods.
When I was growing up, I always thought relationships had to be 50/50. Give and take needed to be equal or the relationship would not succeed.
In reality, what I discovered was that relationships almost always consist of an unequal number of contributions. If one person is having a great day, they might contribute 80%. If the other person was having a bad day or a troublesome day, their contribution might only be 20% or less. The goal was to have the total equal to 100%. Unfortunately, that didn’t always happen.
Who thinks that Halloween is strictly for kids. I have noticed that a lot of adults sure know how to enjoy themselves. I have had a couple of fun memories that still make me laugh about Halloween!
First of all, you have to know me to know that I have a really weird sense of humor. I love to pull practical jokes. I get totally hysterical when I get a funny result to the point, you know, where you have to bend down on one knee so as not to pee your pants!!!! This, of course, does not make me the most popular person to anybody, including my family.
Picture this – I was at Walmart with my daughter and her youngest son, Nathan. He was 3 years old. He was fascinated with all the scary masks and was totally engrossed to the point he didn’t hear me when I kept calling to him. I put on the scariest mask I could find and kept calling him to look at me. He didn’t pay attention. So, I got down on my knees, got close to him, and said, “Nate!” He finally looked at me and when he noticed me, he let out the most awful, blood-curdling, loud scream and proceeded to run away from me, racing down the aisle to get away from the monster I had become. My daughter, with her baby girl, Jessica, in tow in another aisle, heard this and thought he got killed.
Another time that I still find myself laughing hysterically is when my oldest daughter was two years old. She had on a red snowsuit, with a sign that said, “trick or treat”. Plus she had on a silly witch mask Being she was only two, she was really dazed and confused as to what was going on. It was dark out and I took her to a neighbors house. Put her up on their porch. At this point, a group of other trick or treaters came and kind of pushed her aside. When the lady opened the door Lisa was behind it and was pushed off the porch and fell onto one of the bushes. Trust me, she wasn’t hurt, but when she looked back at me with this dumb, no expression, witch mask I totally lost it. I, of course, was kneeling down on the road so as not, you guessed it, pee my pants, laughing hysterically. The lady at the house thought I was totally nuts, to say the least. As I write this, I still break down with hysterical laughter much to my daughter’s dismay.
As I said, Halloween is just as much for adults as kids. Maybe with jello shots, putting bunny ears on your dog, put on a witch hat, own it, let yourself be a kid, and have fun.