Monday, January 21, 2008

Hope's First Piano Recital!

Hope had her first piano recital yesterday - we're very proud of her! She did a great job. She played two songs - one with her teacher and one by herself. I think she was a little nervous - we didn't talk about it because if she wasn't nervous I didn't want to make her nervous! Kurt and I both had some butterflies going though... Grandpa (or Popper as Jack calls him) came down for the festivities - he enjoyed it as well. I think it brought back a lot of memories for him from when my brother and I did our recitals. It was really fun!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Throw down

I don't know how to keep up with people who expect you to live up to expectations that exist only in their minds. Why is that when a person wants something, they don't tell you they want it, they just expect you to know? And, why is it that that same person who never tells anyone what she wants (so therefore never gets what she wants) is always surprised when people don't give her what she wants? Why is it that she doesn't understand that her state of chronic disappointment is totally self-inflicted? Why can't she just throw down and tell people exactly what she wants? Is it so that she'll always be the victim? I have no answers, just lots of questions...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Feel free to walk away

Last night I was working on a project for my company's holiday party (we're having it this coming weekend due to heavy schedules during the actual holiday time). I'm putting to together a video yearbook of sorts. I have still shots and video footage of each employee - and while you're looking at pics/video of a particular person, you will hear other employees saying nice things about that person. So last night I was going through all the video of each employee saying something nice about a list of their co-workers. I was dreading the project - I was afraid it was going to take forever and I was really not in the mood to start working on it. But, I knew that Saturday night would be here before I knew it and I wanted to avoid the crush of another deadline.

Anyway... After watching all the footage I was blown away at how nice everyone was. What was equally surprising was how good it made me feel; not the stuff that was said about me (although that was very nice too), but the stuff that was said about everyone else. Hearing people say nice things about other people is so uplifting, so encouraging, and, unfortunately, so rare.

So often what we hear when someone talks about another person is a recap of all his/her inequities. I'm just as guilty of it as the next person. I don't take the time to say something positive, but I'll make time to say something negative. I don't want to be known for that. I don't want to be someone that people are afraid to walk away from because they know that the minute they're out of earshot I'll start ripping them to pieces. I've been that person - and I worked hard to change. I don't want to become that person again. I don't want to be known for that.

There's a girl that I work with, her name is Janice. In all the time that I've known her I have never once heard her say something negative about anyone. I've never known anyone else that I can say that about. It's amazing, really. The only things I've heard her say are good things. Uplifting and encouraging things. And she does it with such a genuine spirit that you know it's real. There is nothing artificial about her. Whenever I walk away from Janice, I don't worry about a thing. I walk away with a smile on my face knowing that the next conversation she has with someone will be equally uplifting and will not disparage anyone.

That's what I want to be known for. I want people to walk away from me feeling encouraged and confident. So thank you Janice. You may never read this, but you have had a profound effect on my life and for that I am truly grateful.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A New Year...

A new year - a chance at a new beginning; a new start. But will this year be any different? I started my New Year without making any resolutions. I didn't even think about it, which is kind of strange. I usually make the normal ones: lose weight, excercise, save money, etc. But before I knew it, the date was January 4th and I hadn't made any. So, I guess now it's time to make some; and yet, I feel compelled to rebel against this seemingly pointless tradition. Statistics state that the average length that one will honor a New Year's resolution is 17 days. Statistics also state that it takes approximately 21 days to break a habit. And, since my New Year's resolutions consistently involve the breaking of a bad habit - and I am decidedly average - what's the point?

Maybe my first resolution should be to stop researching everything and pursue a lifestyle that adapts a spirit of optimism rather than realism...

If I had to choose a resolution right now it would be to stop and appreciate the life I've been given. I have a fantastic husband and two beautiful, healthy kids. I live in a nice little house, in a nice little neighborhood. I've got a great job and great friends. My husband and I are both healthy. All of these wonderful things... I seldom take time to thank God for them. I seldom take time to enjoy them. Why do I seldom take the time? Because I don't have time.

"I don't have time."

This phrase is fallacy in the purest sense. It's completely illogical. How can one say "I don't have time?" Of course I have time. I have loads of time - 24 new hours are given to me each and every day. And I use up all 24 of them each and ever day. So, the phrase isn't "I don't have time." The phrase is "I'm not going to spend my time doing_____." I don't spend any time thanking God for the blessings in my life or enjoying all the blessings in my life because I spend it all doing other things.

My boss has often talked about striking the phrase "I don't have time" from the vocabulary of every employee. His reasoning is that the typical excuse for not getting the job done is "I don't have time" when in reality there is plenty of time; but it's taken up with other things. Things that may or may not have anything to do with the job.

What would happen if I imposed this rule on myself? It's not very hard to tell my six year old daughter that I can't play with her because I don't have time. But telling her "I'm not going to spend my time playing with you" is a little harder. Granted, there are things that HAVE to be done. But do they have to be done right now? Will the world really come to a screeching halt if the dishes wait 20 more minutes while I play with my daughter?

Jack laughing at Hope

This video is pretty old, but it's always been one of my favorites...