Where the rubber meets the road

Where the rubber meets the road.

“The most important point for something, the moment of truth. An athlete can train all day, but the race is where the rubber meets the road and they’ll know how good they really are.”-UsingEnglish.com

On average, according to all those studies the universities put on, women talk an average of 20,000 words a day…and men roughly 7,000. Before getting into this post I just have to say it: is it possible that us girls say 13,000 more words than guys a day?!?! (I’m kinda shy though…so maybe this is why this number gap is hard for me to fathom.) My basic point of these statistics is to simply point out: we talk an awfully lot.

As I was thinking about where the rubber meets the road kind of moments, I kept thinking about all of the hopes, dreams, ambitions I’ve shared with people. I’m gonna get my master’s degree…I’m gonna write a book…I’m gonna travel hear or there…etc. But it’s not just the big dreams or plans…it’s the little ones too: I’m gonna try a new look, I’m gonna loose weight, I’m gonna help out some good cause, I’m gonna call so-and-so because I haven’t talked to them in forever, I’m gonna fix up the mustang, I’m gonna talk to the cute guy that sits across from me on the subway, I’m gonna start running every morning…IT COULD BE ANYTHING. Anything you think you could, should, or might just want to try doing.

But realistically, how many of us actually get around to doing these things? How many of us just end up talking about doing them instead?

Where the rubber meets the road. The moment of truth.

NEVERUNDERESTIMATE the power of action.

At the end of the day, Words are just words…all 13,000-20,000 of them.

Action is what turns words into reality. 

Actions accomplish goals.

Actions will get you where you want to be.

Actions will make you a better person.

Actions will help you find the right person.

Actions will help you write your book.

Actions will help you get into a new career.

Actions will help you get healthy.

Actions are what dreams are made of.

Actions will make your dreams come true.

Don’t just talk about what you are going to do. Do it.

Let’s not be people with hopes and dreams and well…people who just end up with hopes that never happened or dreams that never came true. Let’s stop talking and get to work. Let’s put some action behind our words. Let’s accomplish things, let’s be someone who did something about their hopes and dreams….and all the little things.

Whatever that thing is that you’ve been talking about doing…just DO IT (stealing from Nike, I know).

 

 

Boy meets girl 

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married and live happily ever–boy and girl get a divorce. 

When I was in high school I knew a couple who were madly in love, Dean and Bobbie. They were that couple that made you believe fairy tale love complete with Princesses and Prince Charmings does exist. Both in their early twenties, Dean and Bobbie were successful, attractive, adventurous, and best friends. Even though every girl I knew secretly wanted to end up with Dean, we all knew he and Bobbie belonged together. They were soulmates. Anyone else would be wrong. 

In 2006 Dean and Bobbie had the most beautiful wedding and started their happily ever after. 

I went to college and only saw them occasionally over Winter and summer breaks. They were still madly in love, still living the fairy tale.

After I graduated I realized I hadn’t seen them in a good long time. What do you do when you haven’t seen someone in a while? You look them up on Facebook. When I pulled up the names I saw one thing: DIVORCED. 

I was STUNNED. They were so in love. They completed each other. There was a time when they couldn’t live without each other. WHAT HAPPENED? 

Love is the most powerful thing in the world. If so many people believe in this, why can’t it seem to last forever? 

Because we starve it. 

A general principle in life on keeping something alive, strong, healthy is that you have to take care of it. You have to feed it. Remember those gigga pet things (sorry about the spelling!)- the electronic pet that died if you forgot to feed it one time? Hah! But in all seriousness how many of us got our gigga pet with the determination and devotion that our pet would live forever? Anyone still have a “living” gigga pet? Case and point. 

I think we think and treat love as if it somehow is self sustaining. For years we never feed it, never give it nutrition and we wake up one day to find its just gone. 

What is the key to staying in love? Feed it. What does love thrive on? ROMANCE. 

Why is love dying? Because romance is dying. Romance doesn’t necessarily mean chocolates and hearts and poems. Romance is finding out how to make your mate feel like a million bucks. Not just once, not just twice…but for the rest of your life. 

You may say, “I suck at romance! I am just not a romantic person, I don’t even know where to start with being romantic!” 

Romance is something you can learn. And if you want love that lasts a lifetime, it’s something you’ve got to learn. 

   Love isn’t how much you say it. It’s how much you prove it true. 

 

A really great book I found a while back is 1,000 Ways To Be Romantic. Literally exactly what it sounds like. Another great read on learning romance is The Five Love Languages. everyone is different, including what ways make us feel loved. 

Just remember the key to romance is the other person. Find out what makes them feel special and what makes them feel loved. 

Happily ever afters still exist. They are hard work, but the best things in life rarely come easy! 

Cheers and best wishes to your happily ever after! 😊❤️ 
  

You are just too nice

Have people ever told you, “You know what your problem is, you are just too nice!” ?
Is there really such a thing as being too nice?

No. 

Before you start writing your rebuttal please continue reading.

I am not talking about being fake and nice…that’s called CHEESE. It’s awful!! Cheesy people are the worst! No I’m talking about nice people that are just genuinely nice. Those people you bump into or meet that leave you smiling and thinking, Gosh! That person was super awesome! I believe striving to be overflowing with kindness changes and impacts the world around you in huge ways. I believe there is enormous power in nicest….and that you are influencing and bettering a lot of lives with your kindness….and as an added bonus nice people tend to be happy people.

But…still…can one be too nice? No…but there is such a thing as allowing yourself to be taken advantage of

People call it “being too nice” but I call it the fear of confrontation and not believing or knowing your worth. 

The fear of confrontation can be a huge problem. The good news is you aren’t one of those people that pick and search for fights and cause a lot of grief to not only others but themselves as well–the bad news is you often feel unappreciated, used, like people don’t listen to or value your work or opinions, and you might just have very low self esteem. The fear of confrontation can take over your life and lead you to down a destructive path. It breaks up friendships, relationships, and opportunity. And in the long run it turns genuinely nice people in to bitter and very mean people.

How do you break the fear of confrontation?

Know your worth. You are valuable! Do you believe that? Really believe it?You have to believe that about yourself. And because you are valuable you have to learn to stand up for yourself…because you owe that to yourself. No one should be taken advantage of…but more importantly no one should allow themselves to be taken advantage of. 

Confrontation is part of life…it will happen at work, in your home, with strangers or with friends and family ….confrontation is everywhere. I hate it…it’s uncomfortable but it’s just gonna happen. If something bothers you say something…be nice (you should be good at that! 🙂 ) but say something. More often than not you will discover people don’t realize they are hurting you or know you are feeling unappreciated. And when you say something? It will clear the air, open a door, sometimes close a door, and most importantly you will be glad you said something. 

I hope this post helps someone out there! I am one of those people who wants to run and hide at the first sign of confrontation…it scares me to death! But I had to realize in the end my lack of being able to stand up or speak up about things was really, really hurting me. The more I faced confrontational situations the easier and less scary it became and the better I felt inside. I was still nice and kind but I felt stronger and more valued! 

Stand up, speak up, be nice and know your worth! 

Have a great saturday! 😊 

Change 

Change. 

It’s a word that makes me excited and strikes fear into my heart all at the same time. 

There’s lots of different types of change. I like to categorize them into four general groups.

The GOOD- This is the kind of change that all, any human welcomes eagerly. This change in life’s story involves something awesome happening that you’ve only dreamed of happening. And you embrace it, with all your heart. For example: You just won the lottery! 

The BAD- this change isn’t actually bad…it’s a great thing. Its change that is saving you from something bad–your saving grace. This second group of change is tough but it’s necessary. This type of change usually involves our willpower. We don’t eagerly accept it.  We fight through it because if we realize if we don’t change we are headed for disaster. Example: losing weight, getting out of a bad relationship, overcoming an addiction.

The UGLY- This type of change refers to situations in which we have no control over. It is thrust upon us without our choice.This change is usually very unexpected and often unpleasant (at first). Example: losing a job, getting bit by a super spider and becoming Spider-Man.

And then there’s that last category of change–the one the bulk of this post is about.

The CHOICE. This category of change is  when in life you find yourself facing a path which leads two, five, or seventeen different ways. Each one of them means change, you just have to decide which path to take. You know you can’t just stand there and not ever choose. These are the changes that you are in control of but often leave you with questions and the dreaded task of making a decision and sticking to it. This type of change involves taking a risk or a chance. And sometimes you don’t know how it will turn out. Haha! Can you guess which category of change I am facing right now!? 😉 

As I was thinking about change and making a decision, this thought hit me. 

What really makes a good life? 

You do. 

It’s not money or a perfect job or a house on the beach…you make your life good. It’s up to you. Even though I’d love all those things….I can still be happy without them. There’s nothing more dangerous than waiting for something to happen to live and fully enjoy life. You’ve got to choose happiness where you’re at, you’ve got to choose to make the most of your life now. If you live each day to its fullest–smiling, thankful, laughing, building good relationships, loving people, helping people, exploring, etc., no matter where life takes you…rich or poor, moving here or there…you will have a good life. There are so many things we have no control over in life, but what we do have control over is our attitudes and actions. 

What’s the point of all of this? 

Change happens. Sometimes it’s good sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes you have a say in the matter and sometimes you don’t. But no matter what change brings your way…you can always be in charge of how you face it or reacte to it.

Stay positive! Do good! Make people know they matter! Try your best! Be the best possible version of yourself! Enjoy the little things! If you’re doing that…no matter what path you take, what change you embrace…it will be okay!

JUST ASK

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in life so far as a twenty something year old (and still learning) is the power the following phrase has: JUST ASK 

How many times do we analyze, ponder, worry our brains out for hours…days…months…even years because of situations that have happened in our lives? A friend turning suddenly distant, never getting the promotion, that relationship we want to happen never happening…

We rack our brains trying to handle these situations…figure them out–but we never dare ask. 

We end up wondering around for far too long in a gray space of uncertainty and often insecurity. And if it goes on for too long we get bitter.

But what if we just had asked? 

Just asking can be scary–It is absolutely scary because the answer will leave you no longer hovering in the gray area. The answer is black and white…it has the potential to fulfill your dreams or take them away. Out of fear we often tell ourselves we like the gray area because at least there’s hope there. We tell ourselves things will sort themselves out!

Let me tell you from experience the gray area of unasked questions is an exhausting area to be. It steals your energy, joy and confidence. It robs you of your own potential and growth in life. The gray area is a thief of dreams, and we don’t even realize it. The gray area is a life of what ifs. 

Just asking opens doors, windows, those dusty old closets and let’s the fresh air of certainty in. 

Just asking also closes doors, sometimes with a painful slam that leaves us reeling for days. But after that door closes and we pick ourselves up, something amazing happens: We start to search for a new door or we finally see the door right next to the one that is locked for eternity, wide open with sunlight streaming through it. 

Just asking will lead you to new friendships, amazing adventures and to where you are supposed to be in life. It will lead you to moving on to something better for you or will show you how to unlock that door you so badly want to open. 

Kiss the gray area of uncertainty and what ifs goodbye and JUST ASK. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday! 😀

The Hold, a poem

The Hold, a poem

I gave you my heart

Each piece and every part.

I believed for love you had to fight

Give it your all–hold on

Each day and every night.

Happy days came and happy days went

Love is best when it is spent.

Storms came and the storms were strong

I held on for so long.

Lightning split the sky

The wind howled

The waves swelled

The thunder growled.

I held on each day and every night

Because you were worth the fight.

With the rising tide

I felt my fingers weaken

And I started to slide;

I held on tighter-

Strengthened my grip

But I continued to slip.

I looked back, I was headed for a dark sea

I could not hold on

When the only one holding on

was me.

-AK

I am someone who believes love doesn’t quit, is worth fighting for–giving your everything for. But sometimes do we give that love someone who doesn’t love us the same way?  Do we give it to someone who would quit on us?  Do we give it to someone who doesn’t fight for us? Who would let us go? Sometimes, as sad as it is, as much as it goes against our loving someone through the thick and thin, we have to let this person go. You are worth more than that! There is going to be someone out there that will love you fiercely not just kind of love you. But you won’t ever find them if you don’t let go of the wrong person.I don’t know about you but I want someone who fights for me…who is crazy in love with me….who would never let me go no matter what. That’s the kind of love that lasts a life time.

Short, sweet and to the point

A really short, sweet, and to the point thought on relationships:


You should be with someone you ADMIRE…for who they are and how they treat the people around them-from their family and friends, to the random people they bump into on the side of the road, their waitress, the person they sit next to in the metro, or the homeless person on a bench. How you treat the people you cross paths with everyday in your life says a lot about you. Remember-you will never have a perfect person…but you want a good one.


I hope everyone’s Monday is going great, or at least the coffee is great and pulling you through ;). Speaking of coffee, I am hoping, crossing my fingers, to have a Coffee House Insider blog post tomorrow. I love coffee & tea places, and I can’t get enough of finding extra special ones in the different areas I have traveled. The one I hope to write about tomorrow delivered one of the best cups of tea I have ever had…just thinking about it I want more! Anyway, if things go as planned and technology doesn’t fail on me (my phone/camera has been acting up lately…if there are clouds there isn’t a drop of signal…and randomly it will completely freeze, buzz, then give up and die. If you read my post about my lap top breaking down, yeah…me and technology…the struggle is real) you will hear about a great coffee house that if you are ever in the area, you’ve got to check out.

If our own parents aren’t divorced we at least know a friend, co-worker, boyfriend or girlfriend, or spouse whose parents are divorced or they themselves have been divorced. And the people who are still together, still married didn’t seem happily married. When I was a little kid this terrified me. It terrified me that people who once loved each other so much could no longer want to be together; it terrified me that love could be fallen out of. Now, I’m in my twenties and it still scares me.

One of my responsibilities at work is the sacred duty of keeping charge of the Master Calendar. I have a wall dedicated to this enormous calendar. The calendar contains the current month and the following two months after it. Part of my ob is making sure every appointment is kept and information is announced and advertised at the appropriate time in advance. Every single day, several times a day I check the calendar. I am constantly updating it with new and vital information–date changes, new events, etc. I have notes written at my desk, reminders on my computer for especially important dates I need to remember. My job depends on not missing a date. I pour my heart and energy into keeping up with this calendar because I want to be great at my job, be promoted, reach my dreams and because, frankly I don’t want to lose it.

What if we treated our relationships like our jobs (I know some of you hate your job, so maybe this isn’t a good analogy for you, but think about something you LOVE…football, writing, working out, traveling; I know I don’t love my job all the time!). What if we poured our energy and time into our relationships because we knew if we didn’t…we’d lose them. There is a saying which says something about how you spend your time defines what you love. If we love the people in our lives, why do we so often forget about them? Why do we so often forget what their favorite song is, what story they told us last week, when their birthday is, what the little things are that make them smile, or what things they dream of doing.

We take the people in our lives for granted. Thinking about work–if I dressed sloppy day in and day out, forgot dates, showed up late for things or didn’t show up at all, had a sour attitude all the time, didn’t pay attention or was on my phone 24/7…I would get fired. Why do we do the same things to the people in our lives and expect to have a thriving relationship??? If we just let ourselves go….forget important things over and over again…be a grump all the time…never show incentive or not show up for things, or don’t listen our relationships grow weaker and weaker and before we know it they’re gone.

Love is about ACTION. “I love you” isn’t just a phrase you mumble as you walk out the door. Love needs to be felt…and how love can be felt is by being shown. If you want a great love story, one of those people who never fall out of love…it’s going to be hard work.

Thinking about my work calendar and how I write every important thing down, I thought this could work for relationships. I’m a forgetful person and I know it. What if we wrote down, had a special calendar or book dedicated to our significant other. We had all the special dates marked, notes about the things they mentioned they like, places they dream of going, songs that give them goose bumps, etc. and we constantly checked and updated this calender. We made it a point to not miss a day; we made it a point to make that person feel special; we made it a point to make them know they are important. What if we were DEDICATED to showing that person we loved them everyday? I think a lot of things would change.

For anything to last a long time (houses, plants, furniture, cars, etc.) you have to take care of it, you have to give it “love”. If things aren’t taken care of they rust away, shrivel up really quickly. It’s the same with our relationships. You have to try. You have to give effort. You have to give your time. You aren’t always going to get it right. You are going to mess up, but what you will get right is making that person in your life know they are loved.

I know divorce happens for many different reasons, unrelated to this. But, I also think that just maybe love wouldn’t be fallen out of so easily if we took it more seriously.

It counts

Sometimes there are things we simply cannot fix or change.

I’m thinking of those moments when a friend, co-worker,  family member, acquaintance is hurting. The sparkle in their eyes has been replaced with tears, they don’t smile anymore…it’s like part of them has been stolen, which is partially true. And gosh, you just want to make them smile again, take away the pain and give them sunny skies.

There is a group of personality types out there I’d like to call the “fixers” and “helpers”. Fixers and helpers are driven to, as the name suggests, fix things…if we could, we would make the world have sunshine every single day.Fixers love to see people happy and make people happy; when someone isn’t happy or is hurting, fixers instantly want to fix it, they feel driven to help. Most, if not all of us, have a certain amount of this fixer/helper personality in us…it makes you human to care about another human.

But sometimes there are  things you cannot fix. Sometimes the hurt is so deep, too deep. Or the hurt and pain is something you cannot relate to at all… and you feel powerless. You want to help, but you can’t; you want to take the pain away, but you can’t. The person feels so far, so out of reach, and you don’t know what to do or say.

Today while I was at work printing paper after paper, this thought struck me: You may not be able to “fix” or take away someone’s pain…but you can be there. And just being there COUNTS. Just giving someone a hug COUNTS. Telling someone “Let me know what I can do to help” COUNTS. Even if you don’t see it, your presence counts to someone that is hurting.

People handle grief and disappointment differently…but we all appreciate when our friends and family are simply THERE for us–ready to talk to, ready to give a hug, ready to just sit in the same room with us.

Sometimes you may not feel like you are helping someone at all, you may feel like giving up…DON’T. You ARE making a difference…even if you don’t see it right now. BE AVAILABLE, GIVE PEOPLE HUGS (where words cannot go, touch often can!), AND DON’T GIVE UP…..IT COUNTS.

What kind of hugger are you?

What Kind of Hugger are you?

This past weekend I was caught up in thinking about hugs and huggers. It started off because I had one of those blue days where I was just sad and I felt like I was in desperate need of a hug, which then led me to think even more about the many hugs I’ve experienced and given along the way. And then I ended up coming up with the following categorization of huggers.  Where do you fall in the list?

Sider slider – We have all experienced or even delivered this kind of hug. Sider sliders are slick. You reach out to hug them and somehow you end up getting a squeeze around the shoulders, from a side angle. The side sliders keep it safe. They don’t want to be rude, but they also don’t feel comfortable with full blown hugs.

awkward side hug

The Pros- The Pros are confident huggers. They know just how much to squeeze and exactly how long to hug. They usually keep it casual with a small tap on the back that seems like the “this hug is ending” signal. The Pros can read people like a book-they know who to hug and who not to hug.

 Hugaphobic – This category describes an individual who would spray raid on someone, anyone who attempted to hug them. If you have even attempted to hug an individual in this category, you probably remember that dreaded feeling that you were on the verge of death the moment you wrapped your arms around the person, but it was too late to pull back. You were committed. And once you survived the encounter, you will never make the mistake again.

no hugging

The Free Hugger- The individuals in this category of hugging probably own a “free hugs” t-shirt. No not really ;). These people walk around fearlessly giving hugs. In fact, don’t expect or even try to leave the presence of a free hugger without getting a hug. They will come find you. “I will find you….and I will hug you.”

photo credit: coolspoters.com

photo credit: coolspoters.com

Anaconda Hugger- Anaconda Huggers believe in squeezing love into people. Once you are in the grip of an anaconda hugger, take a deep breath- it may be the last breath you get to take for the next few minutes. Anaconda Huggers are usually people with huge hearts…and strong arms.

Oh Wait! You are just an Acquaintance Hugger- Huggers in this group aren’t much for hugging people they don’t know very well, but they will do it. If you have ever been on the other end of a hug delivered by a person in this category you probably remember reaching out for a firm hug (because you’ve watched them saying good byes to their friends and they give them firm, back slapping hugs)  and then felt them just slip away and the hug is over before it even began. You walk away literally feel like you’ve just been hugged by a mannequin that thought you smelled bad (and thinking I thought we were friends!).

Awkward hugger- Individuals in this group feel lost. They don’t know when to give a hug, when not to give a hug. They don’t know how long to “embrace” so it is either too long or too short. They don’t know whether to give a side hug or a full hug…and usually it ends up being a weird combination of the two. And the poor awkward huggers can’t recognize a hugaphobic when they see one….it can get ugly.

hug


 

Out of all of these categories of huggers I am a little bit of an awkward hugger and the Oh Wait! You are just an Acquaintance Hugger. Hugging friends and family is something that just comes naturally but,…I don’t know you… I don’t know you very well…I just don’t know what to do! To hug or not to hug?

We should all try to hug more. Hugs make us feel safe, they make us feel happy, they make us feel loved. If  you aren’t comfortable hugging everyone, that’s OK! Hug the people close to you…hug them more often. We all need hugs (even those of us who don’t really like getting them!)…we all need to know we are cared about. The Huffington Post has an interesting article on the health benefits of hugging called, “7 Reasons Why We Should Be Given More Hugs”. find it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/health-benefits-of-huggin_n_5008616.html