Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Determining Your Reality

When I was much younger I married another much younger guy who I'd been dating throughout high school. Unsurprisingly, we stayed married for about as long as Jessica Simpson and Nic Lachey. What is surprising though, is regardless of all the things that were wrong with our marriage, and all the things that led me to file for divorce when I was barely old enough to legally drink--one of the most fundamental parts of my life, my belief system, came from him.

He and I used to go for long drives and talk about everything and nothing at all. One of the things he'd always say is, "Your focus determines your reality".

A decade later, and I still stand by those words.

Your focus really does determine your reality.

If you focus only on the negative things in life, you'll never see the positive results. If you only focus on what you can't do, you'll never discover what you can do. If you only focus on the unhappiness you feel, you'll never notice the things that bring you happiness.

My husband deploys for months at a time, and if I allowed myself to focus on that I'd sit around sad and depressed all the time. Instead, I focus my mind on other things. I lock my thoughts on the future, on the classes I'm taking, the jewelry I'm designing for my 'day job', on ideas for new short stories and novels (not to mention the actual writing and editing of these), and I pay special attention to the joy I get from the Munchkin.

I'm not claiming to never have bouts of depression and melancholy. That would be a lie. I'm just saying I don't let myself stay there.

When I find myself feeling particularly down, frustrated, or angry, I take a few deep breaths and focus on something else. Something positive.

Even if that something positive is that I managed to do another day of yoga, or my back hasn't gone out. Sometimes you just have to grab onto whatever little thing you can. Each day it gets easier to focus on the good and not the bad.

It also helps to have someone to bitch to about all the little annoyances in your life. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, once you've bitched, let it go. Move on and focus on those positive notes.

I want my reality to be bright and positive. Filled with love, and books, and amazing jewelry and crafts I've designed and created.

What will your reality hold?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Growing Up

I realized the other day, that I've grown up.

I say grown up, because I don't feel like I've gotten older, even though this post is actually about just that.

The passage of time.

Based on technology.

Namely, the cell phone.

When I graduated from high school, cell phones were still relatively new, and most people still carried pagers, because those little boxes of uselessness were horribly cool. It definitely wasn't common place to see teenagers walking around with phones, texting their friends, or downloading music. They also weren't as tiny, or complex as they are now (the cell phones, not the kids--though that would be a whole different blog post).

I was nineteen before I had my first cellphone. It was through Verizon, and it was the size of my hand, black, and the bottom mouth piece flipped up to cover the keys-- actual keys that had shape and texture. Touch screens were obviously very, very far away still.

I remember going to the kiosk in the mall with my then best friend. We both signed up for a plan (without an ounce of credit to our name--nor was their a required down payment). I'm pretty sure the plan included about a billion minutes for some tiny amount that she and I could afford at our barely over minimum wage jobs.

Like I said, phones weren't that complex, and I'm equally sure texting hadn't sunk its teeth into the world yet. I know I didn't have it.

I also know, I didn't keep my phone for more than a year. I realized I didn't use it, and I had a land line, therefore, I didn't need it.

Ah, so much has changed.

Now, twelve years later, I wouldn't know what to do without my cell phone. I've had about three dozen different kinds ranging from brick-like basic models to the IPhone and my newer Android. I've also been with just about every provider there has been. Though, I've been with AT&T through all its names and changes, the longest.

Seven years.

Thinking about all the changes in the technology, and the fact I never use my home phone, nor do I actually use my cell phone minutes (hello, texting), reminds me how many years have past since my first phone.

Yes, I've grown up, but I'm still not getting old, and apparently neither are cell phones.

What was your first mobile phone like? I'd love to hear.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Strength Even in the Darkness

I recently came across this article , and I'm not ashamed to say it was one of the hardest things for me to read. Pediatric brain tumors hit close to home for me. When the Niece was a toddler, doctors found a tumor hiding out in her Pituitary Gland. It took several years and several doctors before her mother found a doctor who was willing and able to remove it. Some told her it was inoperable, but with a lot of perseverance, the surgery was performed.  

The Niece is eighteen now, and she graduated from High School last June.

When I read articles like this, I am thankful for each and every moment she's been given. She was just a little girl, but she was strong. Much like the little girl in the above article. That little girl faced her future, not focused on the sadness, but on helping others find a cure.

I'm not sure I'd be strong enough to do the same if I were face with the situation.

If you're looking for a cause to support, or just have a few extra dollars before tax time you'd like to rid yourself of, look into local pediatric cancer research centers. Children should get to lead a long, full life. Maybe with time, and enough funding, the children facing grim predictions because of cancer, will get that chance.

Here are a couple of places to start your search.

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation:

Children's Cancer Research Fund:

Rest in Peace, little one.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Return of My UPS Delivery Guy

I order a lot of things from Amazon. There are certain times of the year (Christmas, birthdays, and whenever I've come up with a new project--writing or otherwise) that it's not unusual for a new package to come several times a week.

Wow, that just makes me sound like a crazy shopaholic, which I'm really not. I swear.

Anyway, I've been spoiled since we moved to the desert, and I've got a nice understanding with the UPS delivery guy. He always rings my doorbell and places my package in my hands, or if it's heavy brings it into the house and places it out of the way. If I'm not home, he'll leave the package at the backdoor of my house so it's not visible from the road.

Recently, however, this stopped happening.

My UPS guy had disappeared, and in his place were a handful of unexceptional delivery guys who'd drop the package on the doorstep (and if they even bothered to ring the bell, ran away like the hounds of Hell were on their heels). Sometimes, the packages weren't even making it all the way to the door, but would be left half way down the walkway, as if by stepping closer than one hundred feet they would be guaranteed an early demise. I'm really not that scary. At least not usually, and rarely to the UPS guys.

This change was undeniably annoying to me.

Plus, I was a little concerned for my friendly guy in brown. Each time there was a new guy, I wondered if maybe my guy in brown had retired. It wasn't like he was a young guy. I'd venture to guess he is anywhere between 60-70 years old. Though, I admit I'm horrible with correctly telling age.

It made me sad to think about.

When you live in the middle of nothing, and you're not exactly the social butterfly, seeing the same delivery person is like seeing an old friend.

Don't knock familiarity.

Especially with the sanctity of Amazon packages. They're like the Holy Grail, Excalibur, and the lost city of Atlantis all wrapped up in a wonderful brown box. ( I really love Amazon. Do you think there's a twelve step program for that?)

Then the other day, I was pleasantly surprised when the doorbell rang, and there he was. Huge Amazon box in hand. It turns out he was on vacation, and the other guys being only temporary, were uncomfortable getting too close because around here they've been getting attacked. (By dogs, not just the lonely ladies who normally attack them because of those brown shorts--and the Amazon packages they carry.)

Aside from the disgust with people purposely setting their dogs loose to attack the UPS and USPS workers (Where is the world heading, I ask). All is once again right with my little slice of the world.

What are your experiences with UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

On Welcome to the Year 2012

It's the first day of 2012, and it's going to be a crazy, awesome, insane, year.

I woke up this morning and wondered where the last year had gone. I went to sleep in 2011 and woke up in 2012 (yes, I act like I'm far older than I really am and go to bed way before midnight).

The last year seemed to have just flown by. I remember the years that seemed to drag, the 365 days that felt twice as long. 2011 wasn't one of those years. So many things happened last year, and you can read about it here. 

Although, today is really no different than yesterday was, the first day of a new year is always filled with optimism. The first of January signifies new beginnings, a chance to fulfill goals (both insane and realistic), and a belief that the errors and misjudgments, the hurts and let downs from the previous year can be wiped clean.

I don't believe in creating New Year's Resolutions. Instead, I create goals.

For instance, in 2012 I've got a few goals.

1. 90 day yoga challenge (I began this first thing this morning).
2. Start running (have I mentioned how much I hate running, so this my fall under insane goals)
3. Edit and publish the short story I wrote in 2011
4. Edit and publish my YA novel.
5. Write and publish the six new short stories currently floating around in my head.

Sure, it's not a huge list, but it's mine, and it will get me through the next year.

What are your goals or resolutions? I'd love to hear.

Happy New Year.