Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You can't pause the world

I have been thinking a lot about time and how it seems like there is never enough of it, especially lately.  Then after watching Josh's video at World's Stongest Librarian - I realized that time is one of my excuses.
Yes, I owe myself some "me" time to recharge, but often I waste time that I could be using productively.
So I am making lists of things I want to do, need to do and have to do.
Setting boundaries is on that list and I am making great strides, I think, in setting those -especially for people who want my time or my help.  Some things cannot be avoided, like taking my grandmother to the ER because my father was to drunk to take his own mother there. Do I resent him for it? Yeah. Can I change it? Nope. I would have helped her regardless, so I am trying to let go of that. By the same token, should I go the the family thanksgiving, just because it's 'expected"?  I have decided no-why should I when those people, with exception of my dear grandmother are not peopl who keep in contact with me or care about me throught the year and I will not waste another year's holidays trying to hold together the frayed ends of our family.
Sorry this is nor a more uplifting post, but my message is: stop wishing the world would stop and you could get off, because it doesn't happen that way and there are people out there who would be glad to have my problems versus their own. I am learning and evolving and I hate that my poor blog has taken the brunt of it -but until my mom is settled, I just have to realize my plate is full right now. My time will come and then I will let my creative self shine through to warm others on a blustery day and create a community where we can all just be ourselves.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Domain name, revisions and an apology

Ok - first thanks to ALL of you who gave me feedback on a domain name- I ended up withthe top 3:
StefySpeaksOut, velvetsteel and crossroads.  I ran them through some registration sites and since I really wanted a .com, I ended up choosing: Don't go there yet. I am in a state of revision. I have learned so much and I want my new site to be professional, easy to navigate and of course reflect my "message"(see below).  I am working on the theme and layout now. Between that and school and partly my mom's health, I have been a poor blogger lately.
For this I apologize. But I have a vision for my site to come back better and then I shall promise to devote the time it and you, so richly deserve.
Stefyspeaksout is going to be about knowledge. I believe knowledge is power! It enables us in so many ways. School, life experience, books, blogs, it is all fodder for us to be all that we CAN be, the potential of each one of us is unlimited and so TOGETHER we can reach our potential!

So please try to be patient as I work to provide a better venue to share myself and my thoughts in an effort to create a community where we can all enable ourselves to be our best. Or on the days when your best is out of reach, just be...there is always tommorow, and with life, there is hope.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Interruption for t-shirt creation

I Love t-shirts and I like to create, so after Josh's post on the Airport nail bending: I created a t-shirt in his honor. If you want one, follow the link, I put it on Zazzle -you can make anything there!
More on the creation of my soon to be update blog later-I did get a domain name: "StefySpeaksOut" - many thanks to all of you who gave me such awesome feedback. I hope to get my new wordpress theme and get it together soon. So many exciting things -look out I come! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Poll: Best domain name

Ok - I have gotten some feedback and ideas for domain names. Now I ask you to rate them and see what you like best.  They each have a letter, so you don't have to type the wor or phrase out, just put the letter and then rank it please. (1=it sicks, up to #5, which=you love it).  Here goes:
C.www.prisms and shards
                              D.www.Half the battle is
                              E.www.themanyfacesof stephanie
So -those are the ones I will try to chose from, realizing that a ".com" may have to be something else if the name is taken. You don't have to "grade" them all if you don't want to.
I like the first one because I am a little bossy, plus it would give the readers the idea that I will blog on a variety of subjects, which I will, as well as creating catagories for in my header.
The many faces of Stephanie is my husband's - because he says he never knows which Stefy is coming home, depending on if it was a good day or not. (lol)
The linoess one -well I am a Leo and I love that photo where the kitty stares into a mirror and sees a lion - proving there is more inside us than we realize.
Velvet steel is an old saying from years ago -a group of women (myself included) were all going to nursing school tohether and we formed a clique named velvet steel -same basic principle as the lioness: women are perceived as softer, but usually contain a solid steel core. It is what gets us thru life's curveballs.
So, please take a moment to think and give me your opinion and grade. I am eagerly awaiting your responses....... Thank you for taking time to share this experienc and this journey with me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Confessions of a procrasinator

Ok, I admit it - I procrasinate. Whether it's the dishes, laundry, now schoolwork, the "it" task does not seem to matter. For years I told myself that I work better under pressure, so that was just my particular M.O. -
What a bunch of balony! Going back to school online has taught me that this trait is NOT to my benefit. Last Friday, I took my mom for a procedure at the hospital and while I handwrote my paper, I still had to type it, include citations, etc. and reply to 2 other students' posts, by midnight!
3 guesses as to when I hit send (and the first 2 don't count)...yup-just minutes before midnight.
I am learning though and hopefully I will turn this confession into a congrats when I turn in assignments early.  One day at a time and all that. Sounds good anyway.
Do you procrasinate? With what and do you know why? I know I am not alone out here in last minute land!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mired in indecision

Ok-I need some help (no comments from those who know me well enough to be smart A**es and tell me you already knew that)! Josh from WSL has inspired me to switch me newbie blog from Blogger to Wordpress. I feel my site needs this upgrade.  The HELP ME part stems from an overabundance of choices: domain name, theme design, too many topics for one single niche...
So - I am asking for help from any who read this post. This decision was reinforced by a comment Heather made on Josh's birthday post, which made me feel like A FOR REAL BLOGGER: She said"I love Stephanie Smith and her blog..." I am humbled by this praise.
I chose my blog title because I am at a crossroads in my life. Working with my father has put me at a point where I dread going to work and now although I am going back to school, a solution is not in the immediate future. As I have learned from blogs like WSL and positively present, any movement or choice will make me feel more in control  and therefore happier. Half the battle is believing was a call to action for myself -to believe that despite past mistakes, I CAN have the future I once dreamt of.
I started writing articles for E-How, then decided blogging would be fun, but I did not really have a niche- like most of you, there are many faces I wear, so how to decide.....Nursing is my passion, but I love to read, ride my Harley, do fundraisers, give people info on pets, since I am a devoted dog owner...I mean, the list is long.
I am thinking of trying to create a site that has catagoties; like: nursing, pets, books, bikers, etc.
That way there is alittle bit of all of me and it will be less random than what I have been doing.
My questions are:1) domain name? At E how I used the nom de plume of Stefyspeak - it's a throwback to catch phrases, words or gestures that my family dubs uniquely "Stefy" - so maybe Mom calls me Nurse Stephie, but it's not all nursing so... I like "half the battle is believing", but it is a little long.  See what I mean? Decisions...decisions!
2.) Template sites versus puchasing a specially designed one -keep in mind HTML is a foreign language I don't speak...YET!
3.) Can I tranfer the posts on this to Word press?
       I am not looking to make big bucks on my blog, I want a community. Josh at World's Strongest Librarian has created that and every time I go there I feel engaged and heard, which inspires me to participate.
The problem with theses changes is that I can't decide- so I call out to you, my friends, my readers - for YOUR thoughts.......I need you, together we can make this a place to come and be ourselves - the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny!
I can't wait to hear what you have to say! Yes- that is me - a story for another time...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Smell it…Fear it:

 Our sense of smell is an automatic memory trigger, more so than almost any other sense.

“People recall smells with a 65% accuracy after a year, while the visual recall of photos sinks to about 50% after only three months.”(Sense of

“Our odor memories frequently have strong emotional qualities and are associated with the good or bad experiences in which they occurred. Olfaction is handled by the same part of the brain (the limbic system) that handles memories and emotions…Very often we cannot put a name to these odors yet they have a strong emotive association even if they cannot be specifically identified.” (

The Smell

It is actually not the antiseptic smell that bothers me (I am a nurse after all…), but rather my sense of a combination that is a bizarre mix of: “bubblegum-ish” flavor in the air from the nitrous, as well as certain unidentifiable dental aromas. Ok, so hard to define. It has improved though…at least now the waiting area doesn’t make me nauseous.

I have an excellent dentist that is very caring and sympathetic to my phobia as well as my extremely sensitive teeth. Nonetheless, once I sit in that chair, my heart pounds, my palms get cold and sweaty and I dread the sound of the drill.

The Fear

My phobia has an origin – well, several in fact. Combine a multitude of uncaring military dentists, with one in particular, who slapped me because I wouldn’t sit still for the second shot to my gums. Yes it was many moons ago and yes my dad almost got kicked out of the Air Force for that one! Nobody hits his little girl. So, here I am at age 37 and yet that smell gets me every time! It has improved, but I was in the chair just 2 days ago for 2 crowns and I was shaking like a leaf!

What smells trigger a fear for you? And if you are wondering why I picked smells that evoke fear, rather than warm fuzzies…well, because : 1) I want you to have to think and the good stuff is always easier to come up with and 2) I really am curious. So please share – maybe we can help each other work through some of them!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Upside Of Idleness:By Josh Hanagarne, World’s Strongest Librarian

Meet Josh Hanagarne, author of a very awesome blog: . I am officially hooked. He has proven to be a person with tremendous willpower, a super "give it your all" attitude, as well as a sense of humor that I truly appreciate! 
He put the call out for guest post topics a while ago and I gave him the topic of being idle. I had just finished a post on it, but knowing how hardworking Josh is, I was curious to see where he would go with a topic that is rather foreign to what I know of him and I was not disappointed.
Read on, I promise you will love this post and you might even learn a thing or two. Thanks Josh! You rock! 
Here is his guest post:
The Upside Of Idleness:By Josh Hanagarne, World’s Strongest Librarian

Stephanie asked me if it is possible for me to be idle. This might sound like an odd question. After all, is anyone truly incapable of lying down on the couch all day? Is there anyone who doesn’t occasionally get sucked into the Internet for longer than they had planned?

There’s a reason she asked me this question, however. Most people who know me have the perception that I’m a very hard worker. I write a successful blog and I write something every day. I guest post on other blogs nearly as often as I write my own.
I work 40-50 hours a week as a librarian and I have a 19-month old maniac running around my house like a little tornado. I also do serious weight training for about 90 minutes every day.

So—this can give the impression that 1) I’m very ambitious; 2) I can’t be idle; 3) I’m a workaholic; 4) I’m the ultimate multi-tasker.

Unfortunately, none of those things are true. I work as hard as I do because I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I stop moving. You see, I have a very extreme case of Tourette’s Syndrome. Without going into it too much, I will just explain that Tourette’s makes people do two sorts of things:

1. It makes them move and twitch involuntarily
2. They make noises involuntarily

In my extreme case, the movements are often hitting myself, scratching at my eyes, grinding my teeth, tossing my head around, etc. Good stuff.
My vocalizations are usually screams, grunts, hoots, hollers, yowls, barks…I never know.
The only thing that helps is to distract myself.

Sharks, Distractions, And The Top Of The Food Chain

Do you know what happens to a shark if it stops swimming? They can’t breathe. It’s an interesting joke: this terrifying animal at the top of the food chain couldn’t sit still if it wanted to. They never get to take a break, so they spend all their time hunting, killing, and being efficient.

That’s me, except that instead of roaming the oceans and biting surfers, I work. By work, I don’t mean my job, necessarily. There’s that, but there’s also playing with my son, spending time with my wife, writing the blog, weight training, playing the guitar.
In order for these things to distract me effectively, I have to commit to them 100% or my tics overtake me.

This means that when I play, I play. Same for work, strength training, writing, reading, laughing, loving, and living. I can’t stop moving or I’ll hurt myself. But this doesn’t mean I can’t be idle. It just means that when I waste time, I have to waste it like it’s never been wasted before.

Everything I do requires extreme focus, including being idle.

Stephanie, does this answer your question anywhere in there? At times there is nothing I’d like more than to just sit still and slobber while I stare at the wall. But it’s not going to happen.

But the efforts I am forced to expend have made me very good at several things. That’s fun. It’s a good tradeoff. I’m no workaholic and I’m certainly not frightening or powerful like a shark. But in my own endeavors, I usually do wind up at the top of the food chain.

But it’s not by design. Just self-defense.
Josh Hanagarne
                    Get Stronger, Get Smarter, Live Better…Every Day
About the Author: Josh Hanagarne is the twitchy giant behind World’s Strongest Librarian, a blog about living with Tourette’s Syndrome, book recommendations, buying pants when you’re 6’8”, old-time strongman training, and much more. Please subscribe to Josh’s RSS Updates to stay in touch.
Josh-yes you did answer my question...beautifully. I tend to be an all or nothing type of person, so I can relate, however, you have inspired me by taking what you cannot change and turning it into various tools to be used to better your life. You are also too modest by far! :) Thanks for sharing!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Home is...

I am an avid reader of the magazine called "Real Simple" and this month's feature question was:"What does home mean to you?"
There were an amazing array of answers from "the sound of a husband's key in the lock at the end of the day" to "total acceptance".

These answers led me to think about it for myself and here is a list of things that mean home to me:  
1.  Acceptance
2. Leaving the world at all its stressors at the door
3. Finding refuge in the arms of the man who knows ALL of me...and loves me anyway
4. My favorite ratty sleepshirt5. Sleeping in

6. A place to be myself; happy or sad, mad or glad
7. My sweet 16 year old Jack Russell, snuggled up to nap with Mommy
8. A cold Mountain Dew presented to me in bed
9. Dancing with my love, -creating moment when all is right with my world.
10. The smell that is my mom's perfume, there is no smell like it and no matter where I am, that smell reminds me of home.
Well, those are some of mine...

What things mean home to you? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We all need a hug

I happened upon a website today: and the passage below hit me in the heart, so I am sharing it with you:
"Hugging is good medicine. It transfers energy, and gives the person hugged an emotional boost. You need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance, and twelve for growth. A hug makes you feel good. The skin is the largest organ we have and it needs a great deal of care. A hug can cover a lot of skin and gives the message that you care. It is also a form of communication. It can say things you don't have words for. The nicest thing about a hug is that you usually can't give one without getting one." (Author Unknown )

There have actually been studies done that prove that hugs make you grow. Seriously, Duke University did a study showing that premature babies who were hugged instead of left in the incubators had a consistenly higher growth rate that those who were missing that physical contact. Of course, most parents know this already, but sadly it seems that as we grow into adulthood, some people seem to "outgrow" their hugging tendency.  Some people are more "touchy-feely" than others, but we can all use a hug!
Who have you hugged today? :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Perception breeds Tolerance guest post

OMG ! I did it! My VERY FIRST own GUEST post was posted on Worlds Strongest Librarian. Check it out. I am so excited...Gotta "do a little dance, .....get down tonight..."Can you hear the music now? Ok -maybe its just my euphoria setting in.
If you can't get to the post via the link after my title, here it is again:
Can't wait for your comments! Whoo-hooo! I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!!!!! Ok Ok-no more lyrics, promise! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The lens you view the world through

There is a Zen saying that goes like this: "To her lover a beautiful woman is a delight/ To a monk she is a distraction/ To a mosquito, she is a good meal." The point being: how we see things or people depends on the lens through which we view them. That lens or filter, is made up of our perceptions, our past experiences, our travels and our education. Both education (not just school, but life's teachings) and travel broaden a person's perspectives. The broader your perceptions, the better tolerance you have, which in turn leads to acceptance and resilience.
Every one's reality is different because it is filtered through the lens of our life experiences.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Let's do...NOTHING!

Idle hands....why is being idle such a BAD thing? I read a quote the other day that said something to the effect that there was nothing more satisfying than getting all you wanted accomplished done by the days' end. Well...perhaps you might feel accomplished after such a day, but personally I can have a very satisfying day doing nothing. OMG -yes- I said it: NOTHING!
Ok-perhaps I am being a bit melodramatic, but idleness does have a place in our lives. Why do you think so many creative ideas come to people at night or in the wee hours? Maybe it's because your brain has had some some to relax and noe it is ready to shoot out some ideas that were buried behind everything we try to fit into a day.
The biggest oppostision to idleness is guilt. STOP FEELING GUILTY. It's ok to let go and just BE- look at the clouds, doodle, eat chocolate, read a book, take a nap. You deserve it. I am not advocationg abandoning your resposibilities, but the sky isn't going to fall because you failed to mop the floor this weekend!
For more on this subject, check out a magazine called "The Idler" by Tom Hodgkinson. He has essentially made a career out of telling people how to be idle.
I am interested in your thoughts: are you for or against the "idler"mindset?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Accept yourself !

Notice that the title said "accept yourself ", not "love yourself". Though both are important and some might say synonymous, I beg to disagree. Acceptance of oneself requires confidence and healthy self esteem, both of which are sorely lacking in many people.
It seems that often people put others down to gain a quick reprieve from the feelings of ineptness or inferiority or jealousy. They take pleasure in attacking other people for their looks, finances, abilities...the reasons are endless.
That is the bad side. Now, here is the good: accept myself you say...hmmm - you make it sound so simple. Not by a long shot! There will always be things you are unhappy with about yourself, but they need not define you! That is what is so great! In accepting yourself, you will also become more compassionate and accepting of others.
Let's start with an exercise. Look in the mirror. No not at all the wrinkles or pimples or any of that. Focus on your eyes - look into your eyes. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so where else to find yourself than there?
Now, while looking into your eyes, practice telling yourself that you are beautiful. Think about it -remember a happy moment, so that the smile that curves your lips reaches up into your eyes. THAT feeling- right there-is the beginning of acceptance.
My mom gave me a beautiful card for my birthday and she gave me a compliment that brought tears to my eyes: "Your eyes light up the world. When you look me in the eyes and tell me something, I FEEL the conviction and the love & I never question how you feel for me.". Wow!
I have had periods of intense self loathing for mistakes, but I cannot regret the bad, for as trite as it may sound, without that I might never have appreciated my inner strength, my capacity for survival and my ability to adapt to the curves life has thrown my way.
Thus began my acceptance of myself. Start by appreciating the little things about yourself: the way you style your hair, the confidence in your stride, the ability to recall the waitress's name at a familiar get the idea. ACCEPT YOURSELF!
START TODAY! I CHALLENGE YOU: look in that mirror and see the beauty of YOU!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Awesome blog post

Just had to come back and add this link from Problogger's post about blogging not being dead. I loved it.
So here it least I hope so -this is my first attempt at a link..let's see how it goes. :)

Nature versus nurture

I was reading the latest Problogger posts (I love his blog, there is so much useful info there, no matter your experience level) and he was discussing creative thinking techniques and this thought just popped into my head: nature vs nurture?
It is an age old question and if you have ever taken a psychology course, then you have probably had some lively discussions about it.
Why did it come to me now? Well, who knows how my brain comes up with stuff (lol), however, in part, I know it has been on my mind because my husband has been caring for a friend's 2 dogs and it breaks both our hearts the callous way he treats them. They stay outside and he only feeds them once a day, no play's just sad. At any rate, that led to a talk about pets being what the owner makes them. No dog is inherently bad, it is how they are, or have been, treated that determines their behavior.
This is also true of people.
So I am firmly in the nurture camp. I believe we are all a product of our environment. Now, before you get up in arms, I DO NOT believe that a bad environment or childhood is an EXCUSE for bad behavior. That is too often the defense for criminal activity or abusive treatment. Just because someone was abused as a child or was poor, etc. does not mean that they are pre-destined to repeat such actions. My husband is a perfect example of this. He was adopted to people who, in today's age of screening, would NEVER have been allowed to adopt a child. They were physically and emotionally abusive to him until he left home to join the army.
After that childhood and 3 tours in 'Nam, he could well have turned out to be abusive, violent and generally a product of his environment. HE CHOSE not to be that person. He was determined NOT to be like his abusers. He is a caring compassionate man who would not raise a hand in anger to me, no matter the provocation.
I had a good childhood and yet made a poor choice (some would say a choice predicated by my upbringing/environment) that led me to jail. That experience did make me harder, a little less compassionate, a lot less trusting, but not a criminal. I paid my dues and have never had trouble with the law since. MY choice - learn from my mistake - it does NOT define who I am.
I am going back to school, building this blog and trying to get my nursing license endorsed here in Alabama. Hence my choice of the picture on today's blog - building for the future.
So, I ask, nature or nurture? Where do you fall on that spectrum and why? I eagerly await any and all viewpoints.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Family: Try harder or sever ties?

This post is for feedback - I am tired of struggling - so many things unsaid between me and my father. He is not the man I used to know. Who is this callous man, uncaring of the emotional damage he inflicts, especially on the one person he vowed to never abandon? Being alive doesn't mean he is THERE. Speaking words, does not qualify as TALKING. Why can't he SEE?
Have I tried to talk to him? Of course. Lately - no. Why bother, when he has made it abundantly clear that he will not change, nor compromise, not even when he is breaking my heart, so I will not give him more power by admitting my hurt out loud.
Day by day I am forced to go to work like everything is ok. I know it is not, but I don't think he does. Can't he see the big elephant in the room that we just keep pretending does not exist? I cannot live like this.
Thank God for my husband- he is the one constant - the one I can depend on no matter what.
Mom & I are getting back on track -it's been a long road- but we are learning to trust one another again. I don't see that hope with my father. So sad, I was always Daddy's little girl...
My question is: when is enough enough? How do you sever ties with your blood? Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Positive thoughts for hump day!

Since it's Wednesday, I thought I would share some positive quotes I saw recently. I subscribe to several online newsletters/site, like & They provide great motivation and provoke new thought processes.
One article had this reference from Elise Robinson:
"Things may happen around you and things may happen to you, but the only thing that matters is what happens in you. In the midst of chaos, you have to brace yourself, build your faith, feed your mind with positive materials, and seek opportunities you've never considered before. You should be getting stronger, smarter, and strategizing to launch a new life, blindsiding everyone with your success..."
That is so true- in fact I hardly watch the news anymore- who needs all that negativity? It can be hard enough for some people to muster the positive energy to face going to a job they don't like or dealing with family members who are making poor decisions that affect them, much less hearing about bad news around the world!
So today I am actually going to leave this short post....really, a short one! :)
My final thought for today may sound trite, but it is oh so true: "Tough times don't last, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!" (Robert Schuller)
Today's question - how tough are you?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Society's labels:friend or foe?

This post is a little long, but PLEASE bear with me on this one. We live in a time when people are quickly judged and labeled. Everyone does it -even if subconsciously. I am guilty myself of making snap judgements, sometimes even based solely on appearance - which is rather ironic, since as a woman who rides a Harley & has tattoos, I have been on the receiving end of those "labels" myself. It seems we can't help ourselves.
The worst label to me though, is that of felon. As I mentioned in my very first posts, I made a poor judgment call. I will not attempt to justify it, nor excuse it and while I feel the punishment did not fit the crime, I did take responsibility for my actions and I paid my "debt to society". I had never been in ANY trouble with the law prior to this incident, so you can well imagine the thought of going to prison was terrifying. I survived it and came out the other side, a survivor, changed forever, all rough edges and low self esteem. I was now a FELON. Always and from that point forward, the label of felon would shadow my every move.
To those of you who have been fortunate enough to avoid this experience, LISTEN CLOSELY:
BEING A FELON DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CRIMINAL! I will not argue the semantics of that statement because my meaning is about what the LABEL of felon does to a person.
I do not lie, steal or cheat. I am a faithful and loving wife, an excellent caregiver and I have a 4.0 GPA. Yet if I were to go to a job interview, my application would most likely be passed over because I was honest and checked the box that asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony.
Cynical, you say? Realistic, is my response. I have been there - I have experienced the shame of explaining my personal humiliation time and time again in an effort to get someone to "take a chance", to look beyond the label and SEE ME.
Right now, I am not working at my life's passion, nursing. Contrary to what you might think, I actually retained my nursing license in Texas. The hospital administrator represented me in front of the board for free because he believed in me and consequently there was no disciplinary action taken with regard to my ability to practice. The RN program did ask me to withdraw, since they were unsure if I could take the state boards.
I moved to Alabama after I got out because my mother had gotten cancer and she and my father had divorced- all while I was locked up. It wasn't a good year for me, considering before those events, I had gotten divorced myself and we filed for bankruptcy.
At any rate, I got a job with the company my parents worked, intending only to stay until my license was endorsed in Alabama. I was on probation for 2 and a half years and somehow, the days turned into months, into years and then I was too scared to try for my license.
Afraid of rejection, not wanting to relive it all over again with explanations and submissions of court records. I had never thought myself a coward after all I had survived and yet there it was: this looming question. I can admit now that part of me is scared to try because if they deny it, then I will feel the last of my once bright, shiny dreams crumble to dust. It will be the final nail in the proverbial coffin.
Now I know this post has been maudlin and not very uplifting- but THERE WAS A PURPOSE:
I am facing my fear and though it is ever present, I have submitted my application for license endorsement. I gritted my teeth through an essay explaining what happened and how I have redeemed myself, I have gotten copies of my court records and I have asked for & received personal recommendations. We shall see.
I share this intimate background and fear with you, my readers, to show 2 basic truths:
1. Courage is not being without fear, it is being afraid and doing it anyway.. AND
2. LABELS are NOT PEOPLE- ALL FELONS are not monsters or society's dregs. We are people who have made mistakes. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE ARE PEOPLE!
I beseech you today...LOOK BEYOND THE will be amazed at what you may find.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Timeout for romance

I did not mean to go several days without a post, but occasionally I have to have that special time with my husband. It renews my heart and spirit. He is a romantic at heart, frequently writing me notes and letters "just because" that never fail to make my heart swell with love. These love notes are something I advocate for all couples. Even if it's a quick note by the coffeepot wishing your honey a great day, you will be amazed at what those few words can do.
Frisco (my husband...more on the name origin later) truly has the soul of a poet and he is the rock I cling to when the world is spinning so fast, you wish you had a pause button. He is one of the few people I have ever known who is a constant. Few will ever have the opportunity to know him well, but those of us that do are amazed at the integrity and honor he displays daily. When I tell him these things,he is modest and shrugs it off- I wish he could stand outside himself and see what I see, what his friends see... At our wedding, I overheard his best man say to someone of Frisco:" he is the kind of guy that does the right thing, even when no one is looking." What a statement to have made about you - that to me was a priceless gift.
Now, don't get me wrong, though I extol his virtues here because they are true, by no means is he perfect and thank God for that! Who could live with THAT?! :) Aside from that, if we never had differences, we wouldn't appreciate the things we do have in common and how we balance each other out.
I am a very Type A personality, straightforward, blunt, and honest. Frisco has taught me finesse- not manipulation, FINESSE.
The simple art of taking the extra time to be polite, caring or even patient. Let me give you an example: I needed to call and ask my friend if she could come over to groom our dog and we would pay her for it. Instead of me calling her & pretty much blurting out exactly that with no preamble, I have learned it is much nicer, not to mention more civilized, to take a few moments to engage in some polite chit chat, then ease into an inquiry of my friends' schedule, ending with asking the question I wanted.
See the difference? Finesse. We laugh about it now, but it has served me well, especially in sales and customer service. Sometimes forward is good, but most people will appreciate the finesse approach infinitely more.
Which type are you? Do you use finesse? I am eager to receive your thoughts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

And I was tested

I find it rather amusing that I posted Friday on the subject of letting others' attitudes affect one's mood and lo and behold if by Sunday it wasn't happening to me. :) Which simply reinforces my statement that how we choose to react is a daily battle.
I am proud to say that I was able to keep myself removed from FEELING the drama of mom and our mutual friend. Well, perhaps not a mutual friend now...anyway, that story is really neither here nor there. I am unclear as to why I was able to let it "slide off" yesterday when other times I become emotionally invested...perhaps I had simply listed to the same thing enough that it was no longer "new" enough to warrant a resurgence of emotion.
I ask my readers this: other than prayer, do YOU have a formula for being able to listen to some one's woes or drama without being drawn in?
Some people pretend to care, so I suppose that is their method, but why listen if you are only going to the in turn complain about it to someone else? That is not friendship, it's simply narcissism- that type enjoys the "attention" of being needed, but is unable to feel any true emotion, thereby ensuring no lasting friendships will ever be made.
For a true friendship to flourish, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable- we must trust.
Yes, it does backfire. I recently have been hurt by opening myself up, only to realize the person I thought was equally open was only picking bits & pieces to share and was not as invested in our friendship as I had thought. It hurt. I am healing. Time moves on. I will learn to trust again, perhaps more wisely the next time- but I WILL TRY - for once you close yourself off, you deny yourself all aspects of the human experience- just as the spectrum includes pain, so also does it offer joy, hope and love.

Friday, July 17, 2009

TGIF - It's all about YOU!

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I love that quote! To some it may seem trite, but it really is true. When you believe in yourself and feel good about who you are, crtitisism and insults are dramatically less likely to make you feel bad. You will see that the poison is coming from the outside and not from within.

How many of you have felt this way? It's not just your general self esteem is a daily battle... will I let this person affect me and my entire day, thusly also affecting how I in turn treat others? Or am I stong enough to let it slide off and be the person I am meant to be?

It's a tough question and there is no right or wrong answer, because if it was easy everyone could do it! :) A little humor to go with my last thoughts this Friday.

Once upon a time...

Once I had big dreams, bright as stars. I would be a nurse. it seemed so natural, since mom had been sick off and on most of my life.

I studied hard and received my LVN in 1996, with a perfect 4.0. Yes, I will brag, for I was full to bursting with my accomplishment and I had earned it! Put myself through college, between scholarships and a grant, as well as a part time gig as a nurses' assistant.
I did not intend on stopping there, no, not I! I dreamt of a BSN , then a Master's, perhaps even a Phd! I was on the fast track. Nursing was my soul, it defined me and I did it well. I say that not to boast, but rather from the feedback of my patients, their families and the staff I worked with. So life is great, right?
It least until I made a stupid mistake -one that ironically had NOTHING AT ALL to do with nursing and EVERYthing to do with being raised in a culture where nudity is not frowned upon and one is taught to celebrate their body & their sexuality.
To make a long story fairly short, a 16 year old friend of my then stepson came to our house and accidentally saw my boobs. I was in my pool, in our backyard and I was home alone when I first went out there topless with only a towel.
Now here comes the controversy....some reading this will be like "so what, big deal" and others will be horrified and outraged. I have heard it all before-believe me. Regardless of your stance, I ask not for forgiveness nor even for understanding. I have been forgiven by the only ONE with the power to do so.
Religion aside, for someone who thought of herself as worldly...imagine my shock when the teenager's mom pressed charges with the D.A. -it had actually not even occurred to me that I had committed an illegal act! (Keep my previous post and upbringing in mind)
I learned then that I was about to lose all I had worked for, not to mention that the dreams I was cultivating for the future were soon to be ripped to shreds.
More to come soon. This blog is not so much about my experiences with the justice system, as background for future posts. More on this later.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just DO IT!

Just do it seemed the appropos title to my first post on this- my very first blog adventure.
I have been researching blogging and websites ad -nauseum for what seems like months, although in reality, was more likely weeks, when I finally decided to just get off my butt and create one!
As I have learned, everyone has a hard time deciding what to write about, but I feel pushed to share some experiences that deal with believing in yourself.
This shall surely inspire feedback, for are we not all trying to better ourselves, looking for ways to cope, reasons for why our lives have turned out the way they have?
My next post will focus on sharing some insight on how one mistake cost me a career I considered my whole world...indeed the very essence of who I am. It was a harsh lesson and not one easily shared, however, if you can relate to that post, then we will have formed the connection this blog was created for.