Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beautiful things now.

I'm not quite a week into my "thinking more about happiness" project, and I have to say, things are going well.  Now I'm definitely in my post-workout endorphin influenced high right now, but some positive things are happening in my life and I'm doing my very best to take notes.

  • I sold another Disney trip! (yay can't wait to sell more)
  • A 77 y/o patient at work told me that I was a "very beautiful girl."  (no dementia)
  • I learned THE CROSSOVER at the skating rink!!  (been roller skating since March but a wonderful woman there who's probably the best skater I've ever met coached me for 30 minutes and I got it! what a wonderful gift of her time & energy)
  • I went to work and earned money. (thankful to have a job where I only work 3 days a week)
  • I made a commitment to start drinking more water and getting better sleep. (yep, 64 ounces a day of pure water, and a benedryl at night to help me stay asleep longer)
  • My dad came over tonight to "get [his] Sarah fix." I really enjoyed his humor and the way he loves my child.
  • Talked to my hospitalized mom on Saturday and she's doing better after her back surgery and can actually stand up straight now.
  • Got my tire pressure maintenance system sensors fixed on my Honda Insight and got the air filters changed out too! (no more orange warning lights, and yay I had the money to do it)
  • I've written every single day in The Happiness Project One Sentence journal since I got it!
  • I continue to work out by riding my recumbent bike, even when I don't feel like it, and I'm pushing myself hard.
I'm working on myself.  I'm trying to change the way I look at life, specifically my own life. I'm gonna see the glass half full and be glad I've got clean drinking water at all.  I don't have the money to re-carpet my home, buy a new wardrobe and bedroom furniture, or fix the creaking floors upstairs.  I am still not happy with the shape of my body and how much I weigh.  I'd love to have a job where I could work day shift so that I could spend even more time with my daughter.  But I recognize all the beautiful things that are happening to me right now.

What beautiful things are happening to you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thinking about happiness.

One of the things I used to love to do, pre-Sarah, was leisurely read books.  Mostly nonfiction of course because I tend to be a nerd, but I'll throw in a "just for fun" book once in a while.  My most recent stack of reading includes books to better my life.  Get it back on track.  Stop wasting days, weeks, months, years...not being happy.  While I don't think there's a magic potion that I can drink for pure unadulterated happiness, I do think that by thinking about what it means, and feels like, to be happy might bring more awareness to me for what it is in my life that needs changing.  So I have already finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and have now started on her follow-up book Happier at Home.  I also ordered and just today received in the mail the 5-year, one sentence a day journal to use in conjunction with your own happiness project.

I'm not a stay at home best selling novelist yet, so unlike Gretchen, I don't have the time to take a year of my life and focus completely on a bunch of experimental resolutions that might make me happier.  But I can take notice of my feelings day to day, write down important things that happen, and start living each day with the question, what about this day made me feel happier?

Is the glass half empty or half full?  I have much I could sit and cry about that's currently going on right now in my life.  But you know what?  Today I woke up happy.  I woke up singing and humming and even though every muscle in my body hated to lift itself out of bed, I joyously went to get my daughter and played with her for an hour when we got home.

I believe we each have multiple lives, so I do not ascribe to the "one chance to get it right" theory before plunging up into heaven or down into hell.  I've studied mercifully and enlisted the help of others along this path to spiritual awareness.  If you'd like more information about my beliefs then I'll be glad to tell you if you promise not to judge and hate just because I may not believe what you do.

But belief in soul progression, in multiple lives, does not mean each day here on Earth in this life isn't important.  Sometimes it feels like happiness eludes me always, and sometimes I have a great deal of hope for my future, and Sarah's future.

I'm gonna start taking note of the days as they pass, and I'm going to keep reading and studying books that I feel will help change my attitude and open my eyes to new ways of thinking about what it is I'm here to do.  And the successes I've already had.  One of my quiet promises to myself is to get back into my blog here, so you can expect to hear more from me.  The more people who read and comment, the more energized I'll be on my journey.  Let's talk about what makes us happy, about each days little gifts, about things that make us stop and think, and about how our higher selves, and our higher power, guides us along our path.

Interested to see what happens!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I wanna write, right.

I want to write.  Since I was 13 I've wanted to write something.  Later when I was much older and had defined myself a bit more, I wanted to write words that meant something to someone.  I never wanted to be the world's most famous, prolific, or rich author.  I just wanted to think fine thoughts in my head that interested other people and lay them out on paper.  Type them into being.  Press my cheeks and nose to the pages and feel and smell my very own words right there on a published book I could hold in my hands.  (Oh the very idea of designing a book jacket makes me want to squeal!)

Nowadays I suppose anyone can write a book.  I do actually have a manuscript with nearly 55,000 words - sitting on a jump drive.  The reason I was able to write like that at that time is because I was in an altered state of heartache - and while it might be a page turner, it's just too sensitive to put out there for me, right now.  And somehow the end of that story doesn't ring true for me anymore.

But my desire to write is still there.  I want to send messages to the masses because I think I have a lot of things in my head worth saying.  I know quite a bit about this life we try to stumble through.  Isn't that what's important?  Our lives?  I am so in tune with the TRUE and REAL and NONFICTION that I cannot make myself think of a fictitious story to write.  I can't develop a character that I don't know.  I can't presume to know things I've never experienced.  There are some really great writers out there who can dream of things they haven't known and research it all and damn near get it right, so right in fact, they get a book deal and a movie deal and somewhere down the line they get to rub noses and elbows with all the rich and famous.

I don't need all that.  I don't need to tell a grand tale that elicits a deep emotional response or tries to teach someone else a lesson I never learned for myself.  I just want to write.

Looking back, I should have majored in English.  Specifically creative writing.  I had visions of being a Journalism major when I first began my Freshman year.  But my father had doubts about my being able to adequately provide a decent living for myself doing that.  So I tried to do something different, but the passion for writing never left me.  It's made me frustrated.  That's not to say that I don't love what I do and know with all of my heart that my specific path, as strange as it has been, led me straight to where I am right now in this moment.  And I'm in a pretty good place.  I have a beautiful daughter, a home, two cats, and two degrees sitting somewhere in my garage.  I do make a difference in the lives of random people from time to time with what I do for a job.  I get to use my brain to solve problems and my heart to soothe the souls of those folks I run into that are hurting.  My goodness I've learned so much.  My years working with students and now my years working in the emergency room have taught me so much more than I could ever have learned in a classroom.

Yet I have the urge to go back to that place.  The classroom.  Sit in a desk with a pencil and a notebook scribbling furiously to get every tiny bit of information I can gather.  I want to learn how to write.  I want to learn how to find that writer deep down inside of me and let her do her thing.  I'd love to go back to UGA and grab a another degree: a Bachelor of Arts in English.  Reading the course descriptions today made my little heart go pitter patter.  Seriously.

If only my heart could figure out how to earn the ten thousand bucks it'll take to buy that degree.  I've got the desire and the willpower to "hunker down" like a genuine bulldog and do the work.  I'll wear my glasses every day and read all night.  But jeez where am I supposed to get ten grand?

When I first went to college at UGA as a Freshman in 1993 it was a little more than six grand for a whole full time year of classes!  Fortunately I had scholarships and grants and it didn't cost me one red dime.  But I didn't have the wherewithal to be confident enough in myself to really go after what made me tick.  I was too worried about scrounging up a decent living, about making sure I could provide for myself and any children I might have.  Now I'm 38.  Now I know who I am.  I know what I can do if I put my mind to it.  I believe in myself.  I have something to say.

You're thinking, so say it already, right?  I'm a Virgo.  I must get it right.  I must do it perfectly.  I want it to be something I can be eternally proud of.  So, what is it?  That's why I think school would help.  I'd have to write so much that it would eventually find its way to the surface.  And maybe I'd have a few knowledgeable folks to help me along the way.  Professors who know the ins and outs of getting published for real. 

First I gotta find ten grand.  I really don't want a loan.  Too many college kids get trapped into taking loans and having the easy life in college and then BAM it's time to pay it back and they're underemployed or unemployed or the payments are just too high.

I'd love to think of an ingenious way to finally earn for myself something I've always wanted.

To write.  Right.  And have people read my stuff.  All because they care.  Maybe because I made them care.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I (heart) Disney World.

The Disney vacation we took was just fabulous!  I've been going pretty much non-stop since we arrived back home though so it's taken awhile to assimilate all my thoughts about the trip.  I couldn't have been more blessed though I must say.  My father's friend, who retired from Disney, passed us into the parks each day for free.  That's right...a park hopper pass each day for free for each of us.  And my cousin Aaron's friend who works at Disney, who I hope is now my friend too, made one phone call and got the balance due for my stay at The Caribbean Beach Resort reduced by half!  So we went to Disney World for 3 days for $337 excluding food and souvenirs.

I booked the resort on my own.  Then told Dad I was going.  Then found out he'd ride along and see his friend, who wanted to get us in for free.  Then on the drive down my cousin's friend and I are texting and she asks for my resort confirmation number and gets me half off my resort stay.  I was so stunned.  A blessing from the universe just fell right into my lap.  I've been working non-stop for the last 6 months or so.  My work schedule doesn't allow for even 2 days off in a row - but I planned the time off and booked the trip and everything fell right into place.

Disney World has always been one of my favorite places to go.  Washington, DC is another one of my favorite spots.  In DC I love to learn and take photos of nearly everything I see.  But at Disney I just love to BE.  I literally didn't think about the Emergency Room where I work at all when I was in the parks at Disney.  How can you when you're surrounded by so much beauty and happiness?  Their attention to detail on such a large scale is perhaps the best in the world.  I've read that every single night at Disney the park grounds are steam cleaned.  You won't find cast members from Tomorrowland wandering around Adventureland.  Everything is consistent and well planned to the tiniest detail.  The customer service is simply outstanding.  However, you could easily drop five grand when you go.  One of the things I've learned is that the key to having a great Disney vacation lies in the planning.  I admit, I'm not a very good planner, but Disney is a different story.  I booked a Brunch with the Storybook Princesses at Epcot during our trip.  In 2008 when we went, I booked a character breakfast in the Magic Kingdom.  These are pricey but the food is generally excellent and you will most definitely not regret a penny.  The look on Sarah's face when she met the characters and the princesses was priceless! 

I plan to become a regular at Disney World...and not because I think I'll get a crazy good stroke of financial luck each time I book a resort stay.  I want to start going regularly because I have many happy memories from there when I was a child and there's still so much to do that I've not begun to even crack the surface yet!  Plus I always have a great time.  I definitely want to go on a Disney Cruise, which turns out to be way more affordable than I thought, and I want to visit the Disney resort Aulani in Hawaii.  I haven't even seen Hollywood Studios yet.  I think my Disney bucket list will grow rapidly!  I'm also about to become an authorized Disney Vacation Planner too, because I think it's awesome to live vicariously through others, and get ideas from others' when they stay and go there.  Plus I have always been very good at finding deals and spending vacation money wisely.  So, if you'd like to plan a trip, hit me up.  I'll be taking the Disney College of Knowledge course soon and I'll know even more!  If you want to hit me up and let me plan your trip I'll be most excited!  Who wants to be first?  Also, it's totally FREE for you.  That's the best part.  It's win-win for both of us!  :)  And it's such a contrast from my work in the ER that I'm really excited about it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Could someone make a Disney Tarot?

I can't sleep so I might as well write.  We have 10 days until we are on our way down to Walt Disney World in Florida.  I cannot wait.  I might actually be more excited than the 7 year old.  We took her down there 4 years ago with her Nene and that was amazingly fun...even though Hal literally lost his job the day we got back.  Thankfully we recovered from that, although it was a crazy ride to do so.  You never know what fate has in store for you just around the corner. What seems so comfortable and smooth today could blow up tomorrow.  Count your blessings I guess.

Because I have had so many unhappy surprises in my life this go around, as most of us have I'm sure, I tend to like to know what's coming.  This is why I trust a psychic as one of my go-to girls in this lifetime, even though I didn't find her until 3 years ago.  And it's also why I'm spending a lot of time learning the Tarot.  Most call it a tool for divination.  I call it a spiritual quest.  I'm searching for the meaning of life...especially my own.  Whether or not the Tarot can accurately predict my future or not, it gives me plenty to think about.  These cards contain just about every human emotion, experience, predicament, and life situation you can think of.  If you haven't considered all of the elements of the human existence yet, pick up a Tarot deck and book and go to it.  I even joined a class called the Summer Tarot Immersion taught right here in Athens.  It's my way of saying to the Universe, I'm going to figure out my life dang it.  I'm going to "make something out of myself."  I might not be rich, or 100% happy, or have 2.5 children and a fenced in backyard suitable for a $500 dog...but I will find out what makes me tick and I will find out what my purpose is and how it's evolving.  I will discover where to put my talents to good use and I'll find my holes and plug them.  Intention is half the battle and I intend to make the most of this life.

Disney is a good start!  :)

Sarah now has one play under her belt, so to speak, but nonetheless I made a dining reservation with the Princesses at Epcot for a breakfast.  When I told her about it and asked her if she was excited to be eating with the Princesses she calmly smirked, "mommy they are just tall girls in a costume!"  My baby is growing up way too fast. Glad we went 4 years ago when everything was overwhelming yet believable.  I still remember her shrieking when Tinker Bell "flew" out of the castle on a zip line.  So sweet, but there will be more sweet memories made this time around too.  I love that child, and I love that God has blessed us with jobs so we can take her places once in a while and make some of her dreams comes true.

Friday, June 8, 2012

I was waiting.

I realize it's been a while.  After the first month of not writing I started thinking I'd need something quite profound to kick start my writing again, but of course I didn't find that.  I was in a superior funk and I'm just now feeling my creative juices rummaging around in there.  I have been writing though, just to clear that up.  In the middle of the funk, about 2 or 3 months in, I realized that writing - with a pen and a piece of paper - has always served me well when I can't think of anything else to bring me up for air.  So I grabbed my red Italian leather embossed journal that I began writing in - wait for it - in 2003 for goodness sakes...and I began to write.  Let it all out.  Writing with honesty, writing in detail about how much my life sucked at those particular moments seemed to each take tiny metric proverbial tons off my chest.  This is not to say life is perfect now, because it isn't.  Will it ever be though?  And is that what keeps some of us down?  Am I missing the goodness that's already in my life by being depressed and feeling forsaken because of what I don't feel and see here?  Call it the American Dream, call it the Soap Opera wish, call it vying for perfection.  What it is seems to be more of a crisis depressive funk trigger.

I'm coming out of it, and one of the things that is helping me is the Spiritual Journey I'm on.  In all of my life I've never felt such a desire to connect with my Higher Power.  Most of you call that God - and again it doesn't matter to me.  The more I look the more I find meaning in everything around me: every life, every death, every wrong turn, every lost love, every raindrop and starry sky.  Misery can sometimes be a good thing.  If it weren't for days, weeks, or months of misery, then we couldn't know happiness to be what it ultimately is.  Relief.  Protection.  Belief.  Faith.  Meaning.  Intention.  Truth.

Stick with me if you want.  I'm trying new things.  I'm gonna be putting myself out there a lot in the next few weeks and months.

I realize this wasn't profound.  But it might be one day.