Meditation

Just about every blog that I have read that helps with any form of self-improvement says to start small with anything you want to change. For me, this has been developing a meditation habit. Every morning after I brush my teeth I set the timer on my phone for two minutes of meditation. I do my best to focus on my breathing but my mind wanders a lot. I’m going to keep at it until it becomes second nature but right now my brain is a bag of crazy. I do enjoy the momentary peace on the days when my mind calms down though.

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Help others

I have begun to realize that helping others really can help you feel better. Today I did some really small things – I let two people in during rush hour traffic. Now I know it doesn’t seem like much but this helped me feel a small piece of happiness to help someone get to their destination. It occurred to me that where I wanted to go was not more important than anyone else’s destination so it was easier to just be kind.

Loving-kindness

I almost forgot my post for today! I have been realizing that people need more loving-kindness than criticism. When I see something that I don’t like in someone else I’ve gotten into the habit of looking at myself and just seeing what I really don’t like. Then that helps me to remember to be kind to others because whatever I see that I think is wrong with that other person is really just a reflection of how I’m feeling about myself.

My New Daily Habit

I know that I have started this blog over a couple of times already but now I’m ready to make a firm commitment. I WILL write at least something every single day. There is a lot bouncing around in my big head all of the time and I’m ready to get it out. The reality for me is that no matter what lengths I go to avoid people, no matter how quiet I am and no matter how much I keep to myself, I am not invisible.  I used to want to be but now I’m ready to live out loud. Ready or not world here I come!!!

Chivalry isn’t dead…it has just changed forms

I haven’t written in awhile but I think it’s time I got back to it!

This post is in response (sort of) to this original post.

The below excerpt is what I will focus on:

 If by chivalry they are referring to opening of doors or the pampering or the whispering of “sweet nothings” in their ears then I know exactly what killed chivalry. Women killed chivalry. If chivalry is truly dead then it died at the hands of the average modern woman.

Chivalry from Office.com images

Thoughtful insight, but I disagree.  The laws of the universe dictate that nothing can ever truly be created or destroyed; but rather everything just transforms.  Chivalry is no exception.  There are simply just different forms of chivalry now.

One example that I have recently witnessed is much more subtle but way more egregious than simply holding a door or giving compliments.  I have witnessed men literally coming to the rescue of women.   (Not that this only applies to men being chivalrous towards women; this is just all that I have observed. ) Now at first glance this might seem like a good thing right?  It’s definitely no question when there is a threat of physical harm involved.  In that case it’s much appreciated!  But what about when matters of the heart are involved?   This is where the waters get muddy.

Through my own narrow scope of life experiences I have begun noticing that men feel obligated to help women when they are having issues in their own relationships.  A shoulder to cry on or an open ear can mean the world of difference to someone suffering from emotional agony.  This is okay until… BAM!  Feelings have developed!  What used to be platonic has now crossed into forbidden territory.  What used to be friends just chatting has become something more.  We’re talking swamp water if both parties are in a relationship!  Chivalry has its high points but too much chivalry can be a bad thing.

After re-reading this post I think it might sound like I condemn friendships of people in relationships, but that’s not really the case.  I just think that they have to be watched carefully before chivalry’s sneaky new form takes over.

One piece at a time…

So do you remember when back in yesteryear, before your face was always buried in a smartphone, when people used to actually do jigsaw puzzles?  I fondly remember being younger and sitting around with my family putting a puzzle together.  One of my favorite parts was seeing the transformation of those individual pieces with blobs and blurs of color to come together to form a complete picture.  I enjoyed the challenge, but sometimes when I got stuck I “cheated” and looked at the box to see how my particular part of the puzzle was supposed to look.   I didn’t really like doing that, but sometimes I just felt it was “necessary.”

My very amateur photography...

My very amateur photography…

I was thinking about this the other day when I realized that this a pretty good analogy for my life in general.  All of my experiences are tiny pieces of my life’s puzzle.  I put more and more of the pieces together every day.  Although I sometimes wish I could “cheat” and look at the box, I have know way of knowing how my life will look until  after I have already put the puzzle together.  For me this is a hard pill to swallow because I often find myself thinking about how I think the outcome of things should be before I have even tried to look at all of the pieces.  So now, I’m making it a conscious effort to stop and put together my life’s puzzle one piece at a time!

Why 8thgradeself?

So what’s up with the name of the blog?  I probably should have started with this post but I actually just got the courage to finally let this out.  Well, in 7th grade I wrote some nasty things about some people that in my opinion hadn’t been very nice to me.  That was pre-Facebook and Twitter, so I actually wrote those things in my yearbook.  I had never intended for those things to be seen by anyone else – it was kind of my personal venting.  Anyway, as you can probably guess, I accidentally left my yearbook in the classroom one day and it eventually ended up in the hands of one of the people that I had written about.  Needless to say, that person was pretty upset.  Fast forward to the next year, 8th grade.  There was a conversation going on between a couple of friends, and though I can’t remember the specifics of the conversation, I remember it was something that I was passionate about.  After remaining quiet for the duration of the conversation, I spoke up and said my opinion but it was as if I hadn’t said a word.  My comment went completely unnoticed, though I know they heard me because they did pause.  As it turned out, the two people in that particular conversation were friends with the person that was upset about what had happened last year, so they were still holding that against me.  My adult self would have realized that this was a result of something that that I had done; however my 8thgradeself made a decision that day to never speak up again.  So since then, I have been systematically shutting myself down before I express my opinions because I think that they will ultimately go unnoticed.

This is why this blog is so important to me.  Even if no one is listening, it is important for me to explain to my 8thgradeself that personal expression is okay.  My hope is that someone else might read my story and think about what they are holding back.  Let it out!! Self-expression is not only okay, but quite necessary.   Even if you are the only soul that cares, sing, dance, talk ANYWAY!!  Your perception of other people’s opinions aren’t all that important and may not even be accurate.  I probably could have smoothed things over once and for all right then and there (because I eventually ended up being close with those two anyway) but because of how I perceived the situation, I chose to shut down.  Going forward I will keep reminding my 8thgradeself that it’s okay for me to do this.  How about you?  Is there anything that you have to tell younger you?

Hello world…AGAIN!

Back when I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it.  I thought that I just wanted to share so that I could feel better; now I realize it’s not just about me.  I want to share so that I can help people become the best versions of themselves.  I want everyone to reach their ABSOLUTE potential.  What better way to help people get there than by sharing my own continuing journey?  So I’ve decided I’m going to be open and honest.  This is going to be hard for me, but I love a challenge.  I’m on a mission! Will you join me?

No worries!

My kid wakes up happy every single day.  I mean he never ever wakes up in a sour mood.  I imagine it’s because he has no real reason to.  He has no worries!  I love that about him!  I know, I know, he’s a baby so he’s not supposed to have worries, but it’s really an awesome thing to see.  I’ve been thinking about how I can aspire to be more like my baby – and wake up with no worries.  I tend to wake up and automatically start organizing my day – trying to think of everything that has to be done, thinking about work before I even get there – really a whole slew of things.  But I’m going to start taking a page out of my baby’s book.  Why worry?  All of those things have to get done anyway, so I may as well wake up with a big gummy smile!  (Okay maybe my smile will have a few more teeth, but the concept is the same.)Image

Hello world!

Yes, I will be using the generic “this is my first time blogging” spiel…if there is one.  Anyways, I just wanted to start a blog to reconcile a few things with…you guessed it..my 8th grade self.  I’ve been toying with this idea for quite some time now, but I said a prayer today and got my answer so…here I am!  (Ha! My 8th grade self would not believe that I’m actually doing this!)  I don’t know what I expect to happen with this blog.  This is one of the few times in my life that I’m just simply doing so if you are reading this then great, let me know what you think!  If not, then I guess you don’t have to worry about it:)