Make It Count!

I love New Year’s Eve!  All the festive attire, the excitement, the noise, the chaos, the curiosity of what’s to come.  But, I love New Year’s Eve because it allows for a time of reflection, reevaluating, and regrouping.  

I take New Year’s resolutions pretty seriously.  Since about 2001 I have written resolutions on a piece of paper, folded them up, and put them in a little locked up decorative box in my room.  As of 2009, I started writing a reflection on the just finished year, as well as writing my resolutions for the new year.  This happens within the first few days of January, and then I don’t look at those papers until the next year when I write a new reflection and new goals.

 It’s pretty cool to look back at some of the things I’ve written over the years.  Some of the goals I had that seemed so far fetched at the time, seem so simple now.  It’s interesting to see how priorities change over the years.  But that’s good, right?  I’m pretty sure it’s a sign of progression.  

I really enjoy writing the reflection though, because it puts everything in perspective (have you noticed that’s my favorite word?).  I write down big events that happened, and lessons I’ve acquired over the past year.  Some lessons seem to be drilled into my head year after year, but I think there’s a reason for that.  Maybe I haven’t actually grasped the lesson fully just yet.  Maybe that’s why it’s repeated.  But, I have to say, the best part is when I’m writing the reflection, I’ll start writing one lesson I’ve learned, and somehow I end up realizing another one that I was previously blinded to.  

I know what you’re thinking, “This girl is such a dork!” but doing this gets me so excited about a new year full of new lessons.  I’m able to applaud myself a little bit as well, for dealing with situations, emotions, events, that at the time may have seemed next to impossible.  Maybe it’s a “writer thing” but I strongly suggest you start your own tradition for reflections and resolutions.  Resolutions have gained such a bad reputation over the years – that they’re useless and corny – but it’s all how you view them.  

A new year also proves that time is passing, so make sure you make every moment count. Tonight as you ring in 2013, whether you’re sitting with family and friends in front of the TV, or at a huge festive party, make tonight a fun one.  Regain a sense of hope for new things to come.  Regain your enthusiasm that you may have lost this past year.  

This past year has been a tough one for so many people…

To those who lost a loved one or a friend, I wish you comfort in 2013.

To those who lost everything during Hurricane Sandy, or any sort of catastrophic event, I wish you the strength to pick up any broken pieces and rebuild yourself, your home, your life in 2013.

To those who feel a rain cloud has been following them around, I wish you sunshine (and an umbrella!) in 2013.

To everyone, everywhere… I wish good health, good thoughts, and good things.

Happy New Year! God Bless! Make It Count!

Perspective

A few years ago if you asked me to define the word perspective, I would probably do just that.  I’d give you my version of the dictionary definition.  But, today, if I define that word, there’s so much feeling behind it.

There’s now a story within the word.  There’s a person within the story.  There’s a an actual meaning in the definition.  Are all words like that?  Do they mean nothing until an experience defines it?  Probably.  So, the writers of Webster – they just gave us an outline for what words mean.  We, ourselves, have to actually define it.  Much like life.

The perspective I have on life was changed about a year and a half ago.  Maybe a little before that.  When he first got sick I think my perspective started being shaped into my own definition.

My perspective.  What is it?  It’s that life is short, you have to live every day to the fullest.  You have to embrace everything.  Every great thing, every struggle, just absolutely everything.  Life is too short to live with unanswered questions, so ask them.  Life is too short to not make a statement, so make a scene.  Life is too short to not take a chance, so take it – even if it makes you look like a fool.  Life is too short.  Point blank.  

Cliche?  I used to think so too.  But once you see the life of someone slip away in such a small time frame, you realize the truth in it.  

Everyone looks at their watch, or their phone, or something to see the time.  But we don’t really have a grasp on it.

 Life is too short.  We have to understand that our time is not in a minute, in an hour, it’s right this second.  Every breath you take is another blessing.

Life is short.  Unfortunately we don’t understand that concept without an experience that proves it true.  But with that experience, as destructive as it may be, you can change your whole perspective.

With a changed perspective, you can change your life.  If you can change your life, you could influence change.  With that influence, we can make a difference.  We can leave a mark on this crazy world.  Because even though our time here is short, what we leave behind does not have to be.  

So what legacy are you going to leave behind?  It’s all based on your perspective. As a new year approaches, make sure your perspective is one worth keeping.

We Survived!

Congratulations! You did it!  You survived the end of the world! So glad to be here! (I’m hoping at least some of you understood the direct reference to Elf there, if not – go watch the movie!)

Seriously though, despite Kevin Youkilis becoming a Yankee, the world has not ended.  Well, not physically anyway.  

I read somewhere that we’ve already experienced the end of the world, because people have become so greedy, and violent, and lost all compassion for other people.  That makes complete sense to me.  After all the tragedies the past few years, it makes sense to believe that the world has ended.  Yes, Earth may still be turning, but are we progressing?

Progression.  Not in political, economical, or technological aspects; but rather in terms of society.  Think about it, when was the last time you did something nice for someone, just because?  When was the last time you had a stranger help you?  Are you finding that these questions are difficult to answer?  Most probably would.  Not because they don’t want to help, but because life happens.  We get caught up in ourselves, our dreams, our goals, our own progression.  What we fail to keep in mind is that the progression of the people around us directly influence our own progression.  So we lose that compassion, that thoughtfulness, and the world does sort of end.

So in actuality, if yesterday was supposed to be the end of the world, I kind of hope that it was.  The end of greed, the end of violence, the end of selfish ways.  Maybe we had to experience horrific tragedies that seem like the end of the world, to understand that we need to all reevaluate ourselves.  Therefore, let’s make yesterday the end of that world.

Well played Mayans, I see what you did there.

Laugh Out Loud

One thing I pride myself for, is being able to find either a lesson or a laugh (or both), in every life situation.  Though in the moment of the situation, I may not see it, I’m able to pull back and see things in perspective.

I’ve been through my fair share of obstacles, and I can truthfully say, I’m most thankful for those obstacles because they’ve molded me into the person I am, and ultimately always wanted to be.  It may sound cliche but it’s the truth.

Anyone who knows me knows that one thing I enjoy more than writing, dancing, and watching the Yankees (and drooling over Derek Jeter) is laughing.  I know what you’re thinking, “Everyone loves to laugh!”  While this is true, it’s become a bit deeper for me.  See, me laughing is not only to emote that I found something comical, it’s a way for me to keep my sanity (or what’s left of it).  

In all seriousness, I am fully convinced that sometimes God turns to me for humor.  And I’m honored, really I am, because I know my reactions to situations are pretty entertaining (I’ve seen some of them – courtesy of my friends recording me).  But, I know the bigger reason God lets crazy, abstract things happen to me – is because he knows I can handle it.  He knows that instead of crying with certain situations, like most would, that I’ll manage to pull away and laugh …loudly.

Anyone who knows me will also tell you that when a series of, “Are you joking?” moments pile on top of me, I will turn around and say “Might as well laugh” (which will someday be the title of my autobiography – so keep an eye out!).  And it’s true, because really what else are you supposed to do? Cry?  No one wants to be, to see, or to deal with an emotional wreck.  Besides, what is crying doing (aside from ruining your eye make up and giving you a headache)?  The answer is nothing productive.  

So me, I choose laughter – because not only does it leave me headache free, it also burns calories, but it keeps my soul merry.  My entire view on a situation will instantly change, all from a chuckle.  Laughter somehow ignites the determination in me to prove to the universe that yes, you could poke fun at me, but I’ll still rise to any occasion.

So, what are you waiting for?  Look life in the eye and laugh already!  If no one complains that you’re laughing too loudly, then you’re doing something wrong.  Laugh!  I can’t hear you!!!!!

Youkilis No Longer Wears Sox…

Well, it’s official, the world is ending folks.  This apocalypse we all thought was nothing more than a good story line for a sitcom, is coming true.  Why? Because Kevin Youkilis is now a Yankee.

Youkilis agreed to a one year $12 million contract with the Bronx Bombers.  I’m disgusted. As an absolute diehard Yankees fan, it really sickens me to think of the Bleacher Creatures chanting out his name.  Youk-i-lis.  Ugh, it doesn’t sit well.

When Johnny Damon became a Yankee, I was also perturbed.  However, the level of hate that Yankees’ fans have for Kevin Youkilis is on a whole other level.  I mean, let’s be honest, we all disliked Damon, but we hate Youkilis.  Now we’re supposed to root for him? How? I can’t do it.

Plus, Youkilis has a history for getting injured.  So, what exactly is he doing for the team?  I’m confused.  Why can’t we put a new, young, up and coming player at third?  They have to start somewhere.  This could be their chance, but instead we are giving it to a former enemy.  

What I want to know is how on Earth is Youkilis going to put on a Yankee uniform?  How can you wear pinstripes after years of wearing the rivaled team’s uniform? We all know that secretly he probably hoped bad things on a player to cost the Yankees a game.  Now he wants to be a teammate?  How can he look at himself in the mirror?  I just can’t stomach this.

It’s also sad to me when crazy deals like this happen, because it just proves that this is a business.  The fact that money really talks bothers me.  I feel like there should be some team loyalty.  I’m sure some players (hint – Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada) have a sense of team loyalty, but it’s a rare thing to see today.  

Youkilis has managed to take off his Red Sox, get rid of his White Sox, and now… I guess he’s okay with being barefoot if he can wear pinstripes? 

May the force be with you as we now all prepare for the end of the world.  

Bottle It Up

I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet.  How horrible is that?  Later on today, at a decent hour, I plan on shopping until I’m on the verge of dropping.  May the force be with me.

Every year it’s more difficult to come up with gift ideas for people.  And when people ask me what I want, I’ve been saying for the past five years, “Derek Jeter and world peace.”  Clearly, that’s a little difficult to obtain.  I can dream though, can’t I?

I think I’ve finally figured out why Christmas shopping is becoming so difficult though.  It’s not because you’re not creative anymore.  It’s not because you got them the best gift the year before.  It’s because what people really need, and should be given as a gift, simply cannot be purchased.  

I wish we could find a way to bottle emotion, because those bottles would be the best Christmas gifts.  And, how much easier would coming up with ideas be?  If someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas I could say “Patience,” I mean, I would also say Derek Jeter and world peace too, but at least patience could be reasonable.  

I wish I could bottle up wisdom and give it to people who have yet to see what other people see.  I wish I could bottle up optimism for the negative people who refuse to see a glass half full.  I wish I could bottle up hope for everyone struggling.  I wish I could bottle up strength for those who fear to face the world.  I wish I could bottle up health for those who are afraid this Christmas and holiday season may be their last.  I wish I could bottle up perspective, and give a little to everyone in my life.  Those are the kinds of gifts we need to be giving, and receiving.  Those are the kinds of gifts we need.  

Maybe we can give those gifts without having to worry about bottling them up though.  Could that be possible?  That’s my grown up Christmas list, because I think anything is worth a try.

Fate Freaks Me Out

While driving to work with my iPod on shuffle, OneRepublic’s “Say (All I Need)” song came on.  One of my absolute favorites.  I’ve rocked out in my car to this song before many times, nonchalantly belting out the chorus and choreographing a dance in my head.  Really, it’s no big deal.  But every time I hear this song, there’s one line that leads to some deep thinking, even twenty songs later.  That one line, “Do you know what your fate is?  Are you trying to shake it?” It makes me stop and think about life every single time.  It’s probably because the whole fate theory is constantly astonishing me, amazing me, and thoroughly confusing me.

So, what is fate?  Is our life all mapped out already?  Do we have any say really?  Or, is our life destined to be a certain way despite what we do?  Do we know what our fate is?  It just freaks me out.  Take it a step further, do people cross our paths for a reason?  Is that all just a part of fate too?  How does a person decipher when to act and when to let fate act?

If we have some say with our destiny, can we change our fate, for better or worse?  Can we shake it?  Was my fate to hear that song in the car and blog about it?  Is that pushing it?  I’ll never really know.  Neither will you, so I don’t feel as cheated.

I do believe that things happen for a reason and that fate does exist.  I think things fall into place, as they are supposed to.  Sometimes though, I wonder if fate is anything more than a crutch of hope that someone made up to help accept a stumble in their life.  Even still, it’s a nice thing to believe in, and it puts things in a bright perspective.

Whenever I hear the word fate, I’m automatically sucked into my never ending thoughts, overanalyzed theories, and nonstop questions.  So, hearing Ryan Tedder’s angelic voice sing the word, is no different.