28 November 2014

AS LONG AS

The sun has set on another Thanksgiving, and we embark into the merriest time of year filled with jingling bells, twinkling lights, hot cocoa, and magic. As I am sitting up late into the night I am reflecting on the year of 2014, which has not been especially kind to me and my family.

And yet, I am finding that I still have so much for which to be thankful. I have Jakob and Tim, who I love so completely that sometimes it takes me by surprise that I can feel such love for other people. 

My mom, sister, and niece who I miss so much in Florida. My Papaw, who is stubborn and sometimes cranky, but I love him dearly. My in-laws are about the most generous, wonderful people in the world so I'm thankful for that as well. 

My fur babies make me feel thankful every day. They are pretty dang good listeners, even if they aren't so great with the dispensing of advice. I do realize, unfortunately, that I cannot keep getting a new fur baby every time I am overwhelmed by the fact that we haven't had a human one. So there is one for Tim. 

I'm thankful for my job, Tim's job, the roof over our heads, and the vehicles that drive us to and fro. We are pretty darn lucky to have this life. It might not be perfect, and there are definitely some struggles, but of this I am certain: as long as we have love and hope then things will be okay. 

25 November 2014

SHRED THE BOXES (the metaphorical ones)

So plant your own gardens and decorate your soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. - Jorge Luis Borges quote
[via]
I have been trying to write this post for quite some time now. It just had to swirl around in my mind for awhile before all the right words would come to the surface. 

It's a post of introspection and about self discovery. 

The last four years or so have been full of me finding out who I really am or rather accepting who I am and letting me be me rather than trying to put myself in a box.

I always thought my whole life that I never fit firmly into any one particular group. I felt that way because it was true. And it was always a struggle for me. Add this feeling of not quite fitting in to my anxiety and introversion, and well...you can picture the mess.

I wasn't quite sporty enough to fit in with all the jocks, not popular enough to be in that group, not quite alternative enough to be with them, a little bit country but not enough to call that group home, and so on and on and on. 

In high school we all know those groups of friends who are comfortable with their inside jokes and assumed plans, but I was a drifter. I went from group to group, and I had friends in them all. No close friends because I drifted too quickly to really get close. A head shrinker would probably say that this was a defense mechanism to make sure I didn't get too close to any one person. They'd be right, probably, but *insert tongue sticking out face*.

This just continues as you get older although it's less obvious. People are drawn together by similar interests; common threads in their lives weave them together. 

As I've gotten older (and wiser!) I've decided that I don't have to be any one thing. I don't have to fit into any one box because I can be in ALL the boxes! I can shred the boxes if I feel like it! 

I can love rain without it meaning I don't like the sun. All of the seasons can be my favorite season. Every color can be my favorite color at different times. I can pick green in the morning and change it to blue then decide it's pink. Because none of us has to fit into a box or be any type of person. We are all free to be ourselves. 

I wish I could go back and tell middle and high school Rhonda that none of that stuff mattered and that I should just be me because in twenty years being quirky and weird will be trendy. And besides none of it matters anyway if you aren't happy with yourself. 

Fall in love with who you are, and be nice to yourself because you deserve it. 

And shred those dang metaphorical boxes. 

23 November 2014

CRUNCH +EY

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It's been one of my favorite kinds of days. 

First, it was raining when I woke up this morning. The loud kind of rain that plinks and plunks on the roof making the best noise. The kind of background music that makes sleeping in even more enjoyable.

The sleeping in! Oh, but I've felt exhausted lately, emotionally and physically. Sleeping for an almost solid twelve hours was magical!

I did barely anything that even vaguely resembled something productive today. I mean I did do the dishes and cook dinner, but other than that it was all pinteresting, reading, watching the Twilight marathon, coming up with writing ideas, and then discarding them just as quickly. 

As I was ferociously pinning today I noticed that I am more and more scared of all the danged chemicals in our stuff! My anxiety started to go into overdrive when I thought about how it's chemicals that we clean with, spread over our food to prevent insects from eating it, in every product we apply to our face, brush our teeth with, and use to treat our injuries. 

I have already made the jump to cruelty free beauty products that are not tested on animals, are natural, and organic. I have resolved to make 2015 the year of the purge of chemicals from our lives. 

I'm becoming crunchy. 

17 November 2014

GUILT ++ EMBRACING IT

I've been having a little bit of a difficult time lately. I don't know if it's because it's the holiday time of year, and I always seem to get a wee bit prickly around now. 

I feel full of this tremendous guilt. Guilt that people don't have warm coats, guilt that there are hungry children, guilt that not everyone has a happy life. I worry about stray animals when it gets cold, and I have a difficult time enjoying a snow day when the mobile meal services get canceled. do they just go hungry?

I've always felt things deeply. I can be downright sensitive on occasion with things slicing me to the very core. As I've gotten older (and wiser) I have tried to get better at taking criticism or ignoring it altogether. (this is sometimes to my detriment as the criticism is constructive and not always optional)

I know in my logical mind that I have no reason to feel this weight. I know that the responsibility to feed the hungry, save every stray, make sure everyone has a warm place to sleep at night, and keep the environment clean cannot completely fall squarely on my shoulders. I know logically that I can do my small part, but I know that others have to do their small part to make a change too. 

Unfortunately, my logical mind is rarely in control of me. This is another unfortunate thing about myself that I am ultimately trying to learn to embrace, just like this over emotional part of me that worries incessantly about every thing in the world. 

These things, along with every other neurotic attribute, are part of what makes me me. And the older I get the more I like the me that I am becoming, so I guess there's nothing left to do except embrace it, and eat cookies. 

06 November 2014

A RANTISH LITTLE POLI-TIC-AL POST

I hate the time of year when it's time to vote. It always turns friends into enemies, and it makes everyone feel like their way is the absolute right way. 

I really don't think there is a "right" way. I think people need to vote for the person that they feel will do the best overall job. I think if there is a particular issue that impacts their life and society in general they can and should vote based solely on that. 

I'm an educator in a low socioeconomic school. I am going to favor people who want to fund public education because I wake up every morning, and I go to work to try to instill hope and inspiration into these kids who are struggling. I go home at night, and I worry about them. I hope that they have enough to eat and are warm as these nights get chilly. I hope that they aren't dealing with traumatic family issues. 

I felt the need to write this because I am really tired of people trying to make anyone else feel bad about their political party affiliation or the way that they voted. I am starting to believe the world would work out better if there were less politics and more people just helping one another. But then...that wouldn't be profitable, now would it?

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