The Balancing Act: Live & Learn or Forgive & Forget?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of forgiveness.  Raising Christian, the concept of forgiving others is not new to me.  And I like to think that I have been pretty forgiving with the people in my life who have ‘wronged’ me.  But here’s the thing, I may choose to move past the wrong-doing.  We may ‘still be friends’ and all that jazz.  But it’s not that I have /forgotten/.  Forgetting about it and letting it go just seems… too risky and in complete opposition to another life lesson: Live and Learn.

The idea behind ‘live and learn’ is that we will make mistakes; it’s part of life.  However, we are meant to learn from these mistakes to avoid repeating them again. So if you /forget/ about the wrong-doing of someone in your life, are you learning from your mistake?

How do you balance?  Do you need to forget in order to truly forgive them? Just wondering…

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement

Take him out to the ball game.
Take him out to the park.
Buy him some peanuts & cracker jacks.
It’s a birthday present he’ll never give back.

My husband loves baseball.  He spent many years playing it.  He loves watching it whether it’s his son playing or his favorite major league team (The Phillies, naturally).  So when it came time to figure out what to buy him for his birthday this year, it was really a no brainer.  I was going to give him tickets to a Phillies game.  He would love it and it would give us something to do together– something he enjoys.  I even called my brother to make sure that I was purchasing tickets for good seats to a good game.

We just went to the game yesterday and really had a great time– to my surprise and delight.  I’m not much of a baseball fan. Okay, Okay! That’s an understatement.  It’s probably one of my least favorite of today’s popular sports.  But it was -his- birthday present and there is always something different about being at a live event.  The Phillies game against the Braves on July 8th was no exception.  Both teams played well and the game remained close.  The weather was beautiful– and hot.  And of course the food was delicious (Shh, don’t tell my paleo friends how badly I cheated!).  I can’t believe I’m saying this but… I’d really like to go with Dear Hubby again!

And while I may have enjoyed most of the day sitting on my rump in the sun, there is no denying that the game was an active one! Pitchers launched the balls to the plate.  Batters heaved the bat around in powerful swings.  Fielders and runners hustled, each to his own aim.  And, of course, the Phanatic wiggled it… just a little bit.

And that’s the ball game– or the highlights, anyway!

 

 

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The Not-So-Secret Review

Cover of "The Secret"

Cover of The Secret

Someone once recommended that I read a book titled The Secret.  It’s been on my list, but I hadn’t managed to purchase it or borrow it from the library.  As I was sifting through the movies offered by Netflix for instant view, I discovered that there was a movie with the same title and same general message.  Being bored and in between books, I decided to check it out.

The movie is slow and repetitive.  I can’t say it was a particularly pleasurable film to watch.  I didn’t grow attached to any of the experts sharing their opinions and I’m not sure I could relate to many of the examples shared.  In fact, I was so disengaged with the film that I was multitasking and just barely listening at some points.

But despite the above criticism, the movie left me thinking a lot about how I interact with the universe.  See, according toThe Secret, the key to achieving success in life– happiness, health, wealth, love, goals, etc.– is to put positive energy into the world and attract positive things into your life.  Like attracts like.

This is a tough sell for a realist, a skeptic, and especially a pessimist.  Really?! You’re trying to tell me that if I want good things to come into my life– if I want the bad things to stop coming into my life– I have to rearrange my whole pattern of thought and start seeing the world through rose-colored glasses?  I don’t -wear- rose-colored glasses. In fact, you know the cup half-full/half-empty question?  I’m more of a “someone took a sip out of my cup” kind of person.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not your constant downer who never has positive things to say about other people or the world.  In fact, I’m often the cheerleader in the lives of other people.  But when it comes to my own life, I’m a little more a lot more pessimistic.  I’m not really sure why that is, but I acknowledge it as a truth that I live with.

So, how does someone unaccustomed to thinking positively about her own life suddenly embrace this secret of the law of attraction and sound good juju out into the world?  Sure, the movie had some basic suggestions, but I’m skeptical– because my thinking has clearly not changed yet.  But I figure if I shift in perspective can bring me a life full of smiles instead of heartache, it is worth the effort.

So, I’m committing myself to looking for the silver lining.  That doesn’t mean I won’t acknowledge the doom and gloom, but I’ll try not to leave out the bright spots of situations.  I am going to surround myself with positive people with their positive thoughts.  Inspirational quotes and uplifting music will be my assistance when I notice a need for a shift.  And I’m going to try harder to be a positive person rather than merely a supportive person in the lives of other people.  Stay tuned for an update on how this is working out for me.

And please, feel free to share your inspirations and success stories, but kindly refrain from critical comments– on this post at least!

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A Brave Review

I’ve been spending some time with my family.  As a married woman, I don’t get the time with my dad, step mother, and younger sister that I would like.  In fact, I really haven’t spent much time bonding with my younger sister at all.  I’m quite a bit older than she is and haven’t been in the house since she was about four! So, when the family decided to go see Disney Pixar’sBrave, I was more than happy to see a movie with them.

Being a longtime Disney fan, I wasn’t the least bit put off about joining my family for some wholesome, animated fun.  Since seeing the movie, though, I have been left with the following thoughts:

1.  The animation in Disney movies have come a really long way.  They are becoming more and more lifelike, and it’s beyond amazing.  As much as I respect the artistic talent and the advancement, I have to admit, there are times when I miss the old animated Disney movies– like The Lion King and Aladdin.  I’m sure that’s more about familiarity and comfort than anything else, though.

2.  Disney has been working really hard to embrace the diversity that makes up our beautiful world by including characters who are no longer the cookie-cutter curvy, culture-less females. Brave takes place in Scotland and shares bits of their culture with us, even if it does focus on the stereotypical kilts and games.

3.  The plotline of this story is a little predictable and weak.  The humor isn’t nearly as good as that found in Tangled.  It’s certainly not my favorite Disney story.

3. But story aside, the main character may be among my favorites: Merida is a spirited, red-headed Scottish lass who rejects the idea of being betrothed to a prince, unlike many of the earlier Disney Princesses.  There are lots of conjectures out there about what the intentions were when this character was created, and I’m sure some of these hypotheses are far more fascinating than my own observations.  But this much I acknowledged: Merida cares little for fitting into the mold that her mother tries so desperately to shape her into.  Not only does she use weapons and fail to behave as a princess “should,” she has no intention of marrying someone prescribed for her. Instead, she opts for true love– in whatever form that may come whenever that time arrives.  This is probably the part that I like the most.  Not only is she true to herself and insisting on her right to make her own choice about her marriage, but she is also showing that there is more to being a woman than marrying.  Young girls need more characters like this to show them that there is so much more to life than waiting for prince charming to arrive– even one of your own choosing.

And I think it’s that last point that has left me thinking about Brave since I saw the movie a few days ago.  I’ve spent much of my life trying to be who I’m “supposed to be.” I do what I’m “supposed to do,” and I try to behave in a way I’m “supposed to behave.” I like to think that I’ve made some choices about who I want to be in life, but I’ve never really rocked the boat too much.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Do I -want- to rock the boat?  Would I be more “me” if I was more radical about my right to decide my own course in life? Furthermore, I have spent most of my life playing at Aurora or Snow White, waiting for my prince to come. But life has so much more to offer.

I’m not diminishing the importance of love.  I find it incredibly important to have that one person in your life that sees you for who you are– flaws and all– and chooses to love you anyway, that person who is your friend, partner, lover, confidant, teacher, and rock.  But if you are measuring your life by this love, you are neglecting a very important piece– YOU.  The life you share may be a very important factor in measuring your success. But it’s only a piece of who YOU are.  When you look at yourself outside of the equation of your relationship, who are you? What are you passionate about? What have you accomplished?

I’m not 100% sure I have the answers to some of these questions, which is likely why Merida has been bouncing around in my brain. That fiery redhead may very well serve as a catalyst for my own self-discovery and my mission to start checking off items on my Pint List.

 

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Just sayin’

In this impersonal text,

I’m just sayin’…

I ate ur plump, juicy plums.

They were good &

I ate them all up, but

They left a sour pit in my stomach.

U offered them 2 me;

I bet u knew they were bad.

I should b furious, but

They were the best I’d ever had.

Ever feel foolish? I do. Too often for my liking, actually.  I pride myself in being a pretty intelligent, educated, determined woman who accomplishes things in life.  And while I may be cautious in a lot of things in life, I still have this romantic, idealistic dreamer inside of me that teases my reason into submission from time to time.  And while running with those dreams and clinging on to hope can be some of the best moments of my life, full of enthusiasm and driven by passion, there comes a time when the rationale side regains control and I’m forced to face logic and reason.  I hate that part and it often leaves a bad taste in mouth– the taste of fruitless dreams and bitter memories.

But it’s better not to regret those foolish, spirited moments, right? Life is too short to be hung up on regret.  So I’ll brush my teeth of the aftertaste and seek out something new– chocolate sounds good about now.

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My Pint List

Bucket lists are all the rage, likely in part because of the movie by the same name.  I’ve decided that I’m too young to have a bucket list, so I have a pint list instead– things I’d like to do before I die and preferably before I hit the midlife crisis when all new items get added.

So what makes the list?

Food/Drinks to Try:

  1. Authentic paella
  2. Skinny Girl Alcohol
  3. Homemade Gelato
  4. Plum Wine
  5. Sashimi
  6. Kale
  7. Collard Greens

Places to Visit:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Italy (Rome, Venice)
  3. Puerto Rico
  4. Atlantis
  5. Atlantic City, NJ
  6. Gettysburg, PA
  7. Oklahoma City, OK
  8. Universal Studios in FL
  9. Hollywood
  10. Niagra Falls

Things to Do:

  1. Get my PhD
  2. Go camping
  3. Water ski/wake board
  4. Zipline
  5. Ballroom dancing lessons
  6. Wine tasting
  7. Publish an article
  8. Write a book
  9. Insanity workout
  10. Get trained in Hip Hop Hustle
  11. Learn Italian
  12. Learn Spanish
  13. Learn American Sign Language
  14. Learn how basic coding (codeacademy.com)
  15. Own a personal library with floor to ceiling books & rolling ladders
  16. Read Les Miserables
  17. Start my own online business
  18. Go skinny dipping
  19. Go to a Flyers game
  20. Buy a house
  21. Buy a new car
  22. Complete Turbo Fire
  23. Take transformation pictures
  24. Be a part of a flash mob
  25. Swim with dolphins
  26. Go surfing
  27. Get a food tattoo
  28. Get another piercing
  29. Participate in Earthday “Unplug”
  30. Participate in One Day Without Shoes
  31. Go to Warped Tour
  32. See Sublime in concert
  33. See Disturbed in concert
  34. Go to a spa for a massage
  35. Learn to Scuba
  36. Ride in a hotair balloon
  37. Have a baby

I had this really list going on once. It was a very well-rounded, full list.  Unfortunately, I can’t find it at the moment and I can’t seem to recall most of what was on that last.  In an effort to spark some inspiration or recollection of what belongs on this list, I started googling (yea, it’s a verb now) bucket lists and found a site dedicated to such lists: Bucketlists.org. I need another log in and password like I need another hole in my head so I didn’t sign up. But what I like about that site is the way you can add your own items and then check them off.  You can see your progress as you reach your goals, and I find that pretty cool.  Perhaps it’s my appreciating for lists and crossing things off; it makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

What’s on your list? What am I missing?

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

I’ve always wanted to participate in a community of blogging where I was prompted to take part in a discussion much larger than the feeble one going on within my mind.  I’ve watched people share blogs connecting them back to the blogs of other people or topics introduced as a writing challenge and I always wondered how I got involved.  Ya know what? I still don’t really understand it.  I must be a blogging noob.

When I stumbled across the Daily Post and the concept of “post a day,” I thought I had found it. I’m still not sure I did.  The tips are great and it’s certainly a great place to look for inspiration, but I’m not sure it’s precisely the community and sharing of ideas I was hoping for.  Or maybe, since I haven’t really used it yet, I have no idea what I’m talking about and I’m simply rambling away without having any support behind my words. Yes, I do that from time to time. You do, too. Don’t kid yourself.

But today, I have decided to participate in the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on “Create.”  Granted, I’m still confused about how it works. And I really have no idea how a weekly photo challenge is supposed to translate into daily posts, but musing aside, I was struck by something more.  It’s a photo contest.  I’m not the greatest writer ever born in the 80’s.  I’m not even the greatest writer born in the 80’s with a blog site hosted on WordPress.  Bummer.  But it’s true.  Despite that fact, writing has always been something that I have been interested in and that I have pursued on some level.  Hence, I blog.  The words just kind of spill out over the keyboard and end up here for you to read (or ignore, as you see fit).  But the bigger truth is that I am not a photographer.  Sure, I purchased a big fancy digital SLR camera with the intention of becoming an amateur photographer.  But the closest I have come is admiring the skills of others and doing some hopeless point-and-shoot.  Someday, perhaps I’ll push myself to do more.  But in the meantime, I’m sitting here wondering how my hope to participate in the “Post a Day” blog challenge is being thwarted by the concept of a Weekly Photo Challenge.

More importantly, I’m perplexed by the theme.  The challenge asks me to create something and frame it in a photograph.  The technical challenge of capturing a decent shot aside, I am boggled by the challenge to photograph that which I create at all.  I suppose I could photograph a craft project I’ve completed.  Or I could share a picture of one of the new Paleo recipes I have tried.  They are amazing, after all, and the bigger surprise is that I’ve been able to cook them! (Hey! Don’t hate; we can’t all be good at everything.)  But when I decided to blog, it was about individual expression of thought, which I find to be at the very heart of the creative process.  So if blogging is my creative outlet of choice, which it has been recently, how on earth am I to complete a challenge where I asked to photograph my end product?

I think what I’m ranting on about is that it’s very hard to capture creativity on film, except for those lucky ones who are creative in their photography itself.  When the average person snaps a picture, it captures but a shell of the creativity in the subject.  And to take it further, one can create so many wonderful things that would seem strange if they were photographed.  Songs cannot be photographed, though I suppose one could argue that the musical composition could be.  Poems would likely seem an odd subject for a picture.  But surely, a photograph of a blog would be among the strangest, would it not? Afterall, who takes a picture of their computer screen and submits that into a weekly photo challenge?

Me, that’s who.

There it is. My beautiful WordPress blog for this week’s photo challenge.  You must be amazed at my skills with the camera and the ever-so fantastic photo editing skills employed to this little beauty right here.  Okay, so it’s a quick snapshot of a blog where I do nothing but rant about my own perspective, but hey. It’s mine. And I created it. Thus, it suits the theme quite nicely if I do say so myself.

What? You wanted tricks? I don’t have many…

Is that better? No?  How about this:

Still not doing it for ya? Well, ya know what? That’s really all I’ve got.

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