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.