The 15th of December!

t5259_1__39425.1312922123.380.500

This is the day that I had originally planned to have all my Christmas shopping done.  I have to hang my head in shame.  It’s not completely finished yet.   However, I am close, and I’ve got what’s been bought so far wrapped.  So, it’s not a complete disaster, yet.  How are you doing with your preparation?

This time of year can be so stressful, please take some time out and just enjoy your life.  Think about what you are grateful for, and what the season is really about.  Love.  Not what you can buy for someone, just the very fact that you love them.  Let’s try to cut the materialism out, and just celebrate each other.  My gifts are not going to be expensive this year.  I’m giving what’s practical and needed instead.  My house is full of “stuff”, and we don’t need any more.

What’s your plan for the holidays?  Have you gotten most of it done yet, or are you like me, dragging your feet and feeling overwhelmed?  Let me know how you cope with the “stress of the season” in the comments below.

750f5bc87974779b021fad62423aefc3--christmas-sayings-family-christmas

 

Advertisements

The Perfect Life?

IMG_3511

Are you waiting for your life to be perfect?  How about those 15 or so pounds you want to lose?  Are you waiting to lose them before you do something that you really want to do?  Or maybe you’re waiting until you save up the money to “fix up your house” before you have company over?

Thinking like this will do a couple of things.  First of all, it will prevent you from enjoying yourself and trying new things.  No one else will notice those extra pounds, and besides, if someone does, you probably don’t want to have anything to do with that person anyway.  Secondly, most people won’t judge you on your house.  If you’ve ever noticed, other people are in the process of saving up for some new things, also.

find-joy-in-the-journey-quote-1

Joy should be found in the experience of living life.  It doesn’t come from everything being perfect.  Some of the best meals can be served along with walls that need to be painted and floors that need refurnishing.  Those “things” don’t really matter.  How you treat others is what matters.  While I understand that what we see on social media gives most of us the impression that everyone else lives a “perfect” life, remember that most of those pictures are posed in a certain way so that we only see the “best”, and not the rest.  People accentuate the positive and hide the negative.

I’ve talked before about how I find joy in the little things.  The sunrises, sunsets, flowers, cold crisp air of fall.  Nature brings me joy nearly every day.  A positive outlook helps me find my joy.  Look for the good in life and it suddenly appears.  Even the worst day has something good in it, even if it’s a good cup of coffee.  Look for the joy, and it will be there.  I promise!

0246b0d125e52ec1fcc48f5a9f210b8a

How the book Black Beauty made me who I am today

Black-Beauty-book-cover

When I was young, one of my favorite books was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.  It wasn’t until I got it out of the library and read it to my children, that I realized that through some kind of osmosis I had made the entire novel a part of myself.  If someone had asked me why I felt the way I did regarding animals, I could not have answered.  But after I read this book to my children, I understood.  I got all my compassion and empathy from this one book.  It’s funny how a book can mold you into who you become.  Black Beauty, and to a lesser extent, all the A.A. Milne books did that to me.  Here are some quotes for you.

black-beauty-quote

Black-Beauty-Quotes-005

It was after I read this book to my children that I fulfilled my childhood dream and became a vegetarian.  And, after that, I fulfilled my adult dream and became a vegan.  Some books just stay with you always and forever.

Confidence

88427-Confidence

If there is something that I don’t have, it’s confidence.  Whether my lack of this attribute comes from never measuring up when I was a child, or from just simply never thinking I was all that, if there is one thing that I, and many other people lack, it’s confidence.

There are many times that a lack of confidence is simply ridiculous.  From feeling that I can’t figure out a new recipe to being unsure of how to get somewhere that I’ve been before, it doesn’t take much to shake my confidence in myself.  While I realize that one of the reasons for a lack of confidence is the simple fact that we tend to remember when someone else said something negative to us as opposed to remembering the positive things (yes, this is an actual thing, and it just goes to show you how ingrained negativity can be), it can still be a hard thing to overcome.

df12f790163687ca82751dc370d9baaf--positive-self-talk-positive-thoughts

Before you let yourself get stymied by your lack of confidence, try to think of a few things.  Have you done whatever it is before, and if so, how did it go?  Did you live through it?  Good, if you’re here then you obviously did.  What could go wrong, and if that does go wrong what can you do to fix it?  Lots of times if you look at the possible negatives, you realize that there are solutions, and/or that the negative is a silly possibility that probably won’t happen.  Before GPS, I used to get lost almost every time I went somewhere new.  Even though I was nervous to go anywhere outside of my comfort zone, I realized that I could always stop and ask someone for directions!  And the best thing was that no one made fun of me, and everyone was always helpful.  See, my problem had a solution that worked every time.  I still deal with nerves every time I drive somewhere new, but it’s under control (thanks to GPS), but mostly because I make myself remember all the times the outcome was positive.

f6fee48ffbf219741cdbf057b3ec07cd--self-confidence-quotes-body-confidence

Once again, the solution to a negative is a positive.  Confidence is the same way.  Make yourself think of a situation where you were not confident but pushed through anyway, and you survived.  Confidence is a muscle that you have to use.  At the very least, learn the words to the song “I Have Confidence” from the musical “The Sound of Music”.  I use the refrain all the time myself.  Of course I don’t go around singing it out loud (not all the time, anyway), but repeating the words to yourself can do wonders.  So, go out and believe in yourself!

 

 

Am I Aryan?

hate-maya angelou

Just like the original Nazi’s, most of the people who call themselves “aryan” don’t look it.  Like Hitler, they are not what an “aryan” is “supposed” to look like.  How do I know?  The dictionary says of Nordic (mostly Scandinavian) descent.  So, does that mean that I, who am mostly Swedish (I’m a “mutt”, since I am also German, English and most likely everything in between).  Now, as far as looks go I’m the poster child for the “aryan race” – blond hair (not dyed); blue-eyed, and excessively fair-skinned.

Now, I’m sure your next question would be, do I think I’m “superior”, since I’ve got the physical aspects of being so – according to some people?  NO!  Let me say this, there is no superior race!  There is only the human race.  Get that through your heads.

As far as my German heritage is concerned, the tiny village my grandfather was born in no longer exists.  My grandfather came to New York sometime in the early 1930’s, while two of his older brothers went to Canada, leaving three other brothers and his younger sister along with his mother and father in their village.  When the Nazis discovered that someone in the village was hiding Jews, all the men and boys were lined up and shot and the women and girls were sent to Auschwitz.  The village was then destroyed.  I don’t even know the name of it, and my great aunt, who did survive, always wore long sleeves to cover her numbers.  I only saw them a few times, and that was definitely by mistake, as she was embarrassed by them.  I wish I could have talked to her about what had happened to her and my great-grandmother, but she hardly ever talked.  She was a sweet woman, and I loved her, but I never really knew her.

How can people find pride in claiming to be the Alt-right, KKK, or “Aryan”, I’ll never understand.  We had a war (World War II) over this and they lost.  So, are these people, by extension, losers? I know what I think, but what do you think?  How can anyone claim superiority over someone else?  Let me know how you feel about this in the comments below.  Do you agree that we are all one, and there is only the human race?

hate-cannot-drive-out-hate-martin-luther-king-quotes-sayings-pictures