Tuesday, March 07, 2017


In my effort to "not" do some things, I realized that I have to keep in mind what I do want in life and make sure I'm staying focused.  I realized I was losing focus when I found myself becoming jealous of someone that received something that I had purposefully turned down months earlier.  It's not what I wanted, and yet, I still got jealous?  I have a long ways to go in life.

Especially when it comes to my job, I have to remember that I made a choice back in graduate school to not be my job.  I had some really great professors, but I also saw how many of them seemed to have no life beyond the profession.  Some of them had wise life lessons to share, but some of them seemed so focused on the job that it made it hard for us as students, as if we were expected to be just like them.  I want to be the best I can be at my job, I still intellectually really like my field, and I love the kids and families I get to work with.  However, that will never be what defines me.  I'm glad that people that don't know me from work assume I do something completely different for a living.  The services I provide to others at work are a blessing, but that is not the extent of the service I want to provide to the world.  I have much to learn from others in other realms of life, and I want to experience more than my "job" ambition can allow.  I say "no" to focus on my ultimate goals, but I have to remind myself of that.

Just to revisit my "goals" for this year of intentionality (in case you didn't read my comeback blog post), here they are, in addition to some others that I had, but didn't originally post.

1. Read at least 3 books that I already own/have but have never read.  What kind of person owns books they've never read?  Me.
2. Co-write some songs.  Everything I've written in the last few years has been solo.  I'm grateful that I've built up a body of work, but I want to learn how to write with different voices.  Who wants to join me?!
3. Try or do something new every day.
4. Listen to and if possible, begin audio recording people's stories.  All kinds.
5. Have lunch/tea with someone fun at least once a month.
6.  Give something to someone(s) at least once a week.  Tangible items, time, service, money, whatever.
7.  Pray for others more than myself.
8.  Be a consultant for 4 Norwex parties this year.  I sell Norwex?  Technically yes.  I do love and use the products and would be happy to tell you about them.  I don't know how to sell anything or to promote a business, really.
9.  Plan out my continuing education for work and learn about things beyond my current/past experiences.

I'm not doing too bad with most of these things.  I'm on my way at least!  The lenten season is helping my prayer life intentionality and I got to hear a short snippet of a new person's story the other night, though I didn't get to record it.  We happened to go to the Brick and heard a band the other night that happened to be really inspiring.  A girl by the name of Kalyn leads a band called Wheelchair Sports Camp.  It was just her, her drummer (who was stellar), and a trumpet player (with various pedals).  They rocked.  She rapped.  I bought one of her albums.  I talked with her briefly afterwards and asked her how she got started.  She said she had been rapping since she was a kid with a friend of hers, and then after a while she broke out on her own with what is now her current band.  They collaborate with a bunch of other people and had a more "major" tour in 2012.  She remembered just a few hours out of Kansas City that she left her computer with her programmed beats back in Denver, so she had to just roll with it live.  They were really good.  Just to warn you, her music is not kid friendly and may not be your cup of tea, but her raps are both whimsical and self-aware, innocent and explicit.  I want to find out more about her story.

On a completely unrelated note, I scored some solid black LuLaRoe leggings this month.  Seriously, I did!  I'm also now more regularly flossing my teeth.  That may gross some of you out, but my childhood dentist didn't emphasize flossing and I never got in the habit of it as a kid.  Dental/gum health, y'all.  I've also been really blessed and surprised by the encouragement and generosity of some not-so-well known people at my church recently who've spoken encouraging words to me and donated to Compassion's Water of Life program after hearing me share some information with kids at church.  Pretty awesome.  Don't take water and being able to drink out of the faucet for granted, y'all.  World Water Day is March 22nd. #awareness

#saynotosayyes  #goals

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trying to "not"...

I've had a couple of discussions with co-workers lately about why the word "not" is one of the "core vocabulary" words on some of the speech generating device programs we utilize.  I was given an answer today about the research that indicates that "not" is a word that is among the most frequently used in the English language.  I think it's hard to teach kids with low-level communication skills what "not" means (as opposed to "no," for instance), but I will say that I as an adult need to get better about some "not"s.

I am doing better about "not" being on my phone first thing in the mornings and once I get in bed.  Ever since I pledged that on my blog a few weeks ago, I've almost always stuck with it, and I think it's made me sleep more soundly, and helped me get the dishes done in the morning :)

I need to "not" try to take on the agenda for the day/week without praying about it first.  I became really overwhelmed today with work and things I need to get done, and I essentially had to "not" do anything else until I took some deep breaths and prayed, for those that I felt led to pray for and for myself.  I carry burdens that I don't have to bear but I tend to only really say things to God once I'm worn and not when I start my day.  That needs to change.

I am "not" good at saying "no" to things.  Part of my personality type is that I tend to feel an intense sense of personal responsibility for things and often think no one else can handle things, so I say "yes" when I shouldn't.  I am self aware about this and am better in a lot of ways than I used to be, but similar to the above scenario, I need to "not" take on what I could let go or not see as my responsibility alone.

I did "not" blog for the last couple of weeks, number one because I didn't have a lot to say, but also because I didn't want my blogging "goal" to dictate my life.  I didn't want to say "yes" to something for the sake of saying yes or allowing "obligation" to drive my actions.

As I write this, I feel the need to "not" write much more, so I will cut this off.  What things do you "not" need to do?  Feel free to go ahead and "not" do them :)

Do, however, love people well, write/play music, hang out with friends/family, read books, watch movies, and be present in your life.  I'll do my best to do the same.  Also, embrace this because it's kind of awesome, though I always preferred Jon over Joey.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Groundhog Day

Bill Murray.  This guy.  Groundhog Day is on repeat on AMC since it's well, Groundhog Day.  I like this movie and am glad that I'm watching it on the day of the actual event.  We may not get to live every day over and over again to get it "right" or make it "better," but we can become better every day as individuals and as a community as we learn (assuming we want to do such a thing).  I have to remind myself that it's not about perfection - just about learning and doing the best with what I've learned.  If someone payed me a thousand dollars for a piano lesson though, I'd have to admit, I'd too kick out whatever kiddo I was teaching at the time and teach Bill Murray instead :)  I'd teach him to bend his fingers properly, though (that whole perfection thing).  

I decided today that I'm going to write a few notes to some people in my life that I think have good work/life boundaries and balance.  I've noticed some people that seem to do well about not engaging in the drama that often ensues in life, and I need to be better about letting those people know that I recognize that and appreciate that in them.  Even though today was relatively small in the drama department, I felt the little things made me want to go home and go to bed rather than press on (I pressed on by the way).  My attitude wasn't always the best.  I needed to check myself before I wrecked myself.  I'm hoping showing appreciation and gratitude towards people will help.

On a plus side, yesterday at work, I got to be The Flash.  I decided that I couldn't smile in my superhero selfie, hence the weird look on my face.  I got to fight storm troopers, some sort of sand man from a Lego video game, and other villains with "Captain America" (not pictured for privacy reasons).  Some days you're a superhero, and other days you need to get over your bad attitude and just be grateful instead of trying to save everything.

The friend I got to meet with this week and I now have a short-term plan in place for international missions at our church.  I'll keep you posted as to what happens!  Until then, feel free to check out Compassion (the organization I'm involved with) and Zoe (what she's involved with).  We hope to help kids out of poverty into a new trajectory of life starting with teaching the children in our own community.

One thing that will not put anyone on the right path of learning and living are culottes.  They're available at Target.  Fashion has taken a downhill trend.  Culottes and shirts that tie in the front did NOT need to resurface.  I also saw a southwestern pancho in a store yesterday.  Not ever okay.

In closing, make a dance video, y'all.  Come on!  I'm obviously not an inspiration to your dancing skills, but I'll leave you with a Groundhog Day quote, "Today is tomorrow.  It happened.  You're here."  Live like you're here.  And dance.