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About ramblinwoman

I call a small, Minnesota town home. I'm a lover of life and all the simple things. Currently I spend my time enjoying my 20's and everything it has to offer, the good and the bad. I have a horse that acts much more like a dog. I have an undeniable love for "junque" and repurposing the old into something new and useful. Yes, I'm Norwegian, not full blooded by any means and I can't say I know the lost art of lefse making but I do enjoy Lutefisk...the good stuff....not the jelly you buy at the local grocery store. This is my first attempt at blogging, I'm a rookie and it will certainly show. However, I thoroughly enjoy putting my thoughts into words and spinning a regular, everyday incident into something a little more entertaining. I hope you enjoy the rambling!

Living in the 9..2..4

It’s long overdue that I have my own place and learn the ropes of life without another person as a crutch. Being female and living alone apparently is some taboo idea that only really “weird” people do, especially if you plan on living in a town hall in the country. I’m not sure what is so odd about living in a town hall, seems perfectly “normal” to me. Nonetheless, I’ve endured the strange looks and the “Oh, really?!?!…Why?” People’s concern for my well being is literally never ending but hey, if it entertains someone I will tell them my story a million times over. To date…I’m still alive and well, I will report back if anything changes.

Along with the personal growth that comes from living alone, the experiences are just as great! Things I have never been good at I am now forced to master or they will be left unfinished. Sure, I’ll admit it can get a little intimidating around home but I’m embracing it and exploring the new and uncomfortable.

After almost three months of flying solo it’s occurred to me that 924 sq ft can be a blessing and a curse. Nothing terrible, but a curse of just, well……awkward.

If you occupy an area the size of most apartments there is a lot of convenience involved. Number one being nothing is more than 6 steps away. Unless of course you go directly from the front door to the bathroom then expect at least 15 paces. Regardless, you will never get winded. Not ever.

Referencing the awkward. Imagine having eight windows, two doors, no garage and a driveway the size of a Wal-Mart parking space. Now try to pretend like you aren’t home if someone you’d rather not talk to stops by. Yeaaaaah, not gonna happen! Prime example, taking a relaxing shower after a productive evening at home…too bad the neighbors want to visit. If four knocks doesn’t make you want to give yourself up and come out of hiding, ten thunderous ones will. Conveniently they could hear….BE RIGHT THERE yelled from one end of the house to the other and retreated to the end of the driveway. If they hadn’t brought beer when I emerged I would have been slightly more irritated.

Want to mow your lawn? Go for it! Only problem is you’re the weird chick who lives in the town hall. You’re never home so people want to take a sneak peek when they can. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for the same people to drive by four times. Yet they only waive twice because the other two times were not planned and they don’t want to seem like it was on purpose. I’m from a town of 532 people….I’m on to you. You can’t fool this Norwegian! (shaking fist like the iconic grumpier old men)

It’s been a sufficient amount of time for people to feel comfortable enough to address me when they see me out and about. This is acceptable and I’m glad they haven’t shunned me before allowing me to prove I’m a sane, average person. But what about the odd conversation that emerges before it’s acceptable? You’re in the local hardware store, the guy at the counter seems overly happy to see you. As if he’s been expecting you. You have a friend with you, a male friend. Your male friend leaves with purchased merchandise and then it begins….

Hardware Hank: “I don’t think I’ve seen you in here before, are you new to the area?”

Me: “Yes, yes I am, I bought the old Dora town hall.”

Hardware Hank: “Oh, that’s you! The seller was telling me all about you. How you’re a young, single gal, so ahhh that must not be your husband there, right? Your boyfriend?”

Me: “Nope, nope its not, just a friend.”

Hardware Hank: “Hahaha okay that’s what I thought.”

Cricket: “Chirp, chirp, chirp.”

Me: “Thank you” Exit stage left

Even though at times it can feel like being a newbie in an Amish colony it’s great I’ve had the opportunity to have such a unique home and it’s a wonderful place to be. The good with the bad it’s all very entertaining.

Most entertaining moment to date:

I recently purchased a charming farmhouse table, complete with a bench. A bench that quite possibly was put together by a female like myself. One who doesn’t use power tools but can use the hell out of a hammer. This bench was nailed together…not braced properly and was most likely meant for looks and not actual use. My mom was nice enough to haul the table home for me and she sat on this bench no problem….actually I specifically remember her saying “Oh, nice it doesn’t even tip!” This was clearly a set up. Next day I got busy doing something, I sat down for better concentration. What do you know the bench doubles as a teeter totter! Too bad I live alone and ended up on my backside short of breath. Thanks mom, that was a real knee slapper!

Tomorrow is another day and yesterday is in the books. Today I’ll make a mental note of all my glory in the 9..2..4. It’s only going to get better!

 

 

 

People-Eat-People World

In regards to the old adage “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.” I would have to strongly disagree as I’m not sure why the dogs are to blame for this. I see this in the human world much more than I have ever seen it in the canine world. Everyone is out to please themselves whether it results in hurting someone else or not. Lie, cheat, steal, gossip….you name it. It’s been done and it continues to happen every day.

Today I had to send a rather lengthy email to co-workers reminding them how to act like an adult, a professional and a (kind) human being at times of frustration. This group of women range from 16 to mid 60s. So its obvious that cattiness is universal and has no age preference. I know you may be reading this thinking….”HA tell me something I don’t know, damn women and their drama.” But realistically I don’t think this is specific to only the female walk of life. I think its EVERYONE. It seems as though no one is happy anymore, they aren’t happy with themselves, they aren’t happy for others and they aren’t happy with a situation unless they are in control.

After mentioning the word control, maybe that’s all it is. Control- a power trip of sorts…the euphoria of knowing you are the puppeteer.

I’m not making a snide reference to my co-workers but a general observation of the people I interact with and see in the media. If people were overall happy individuals these days; why would reality {DRAMA} TV be so popular? In my opinion it wouldn’t be. Happy people don’t spend hours watching a flittering, colorful boom box and wake up every morning and say “WOW, I’ve really got this life thing figured out!”

Per my typical rambling self I’ve gotten a little off track. I apologize, my point is….

From personal experience I see people degrading others for the pure fun of it. Bringing them down for the purpose of making themselves look better. When in reality, the opposing individual hasn’t done anything the other hasn’t done. The trick is to beat the other person into pointing out the oppositions flaws first. Then and only then they will make themselves look like the prize. I rarely see good work ethic, quiet-yet intelligent minds at work to succeed as a whole.

I strongly believe that if you have never been a team player, part of a group where accountability and organization were key. You will fail miserably at being a decent, respectable person.

I’ve been part of a professional setting for near seven years and thanks to a few awesome mentors have learned the ropes fairly well. Not necessarily by following exact directions or listening to everything I was told but following by example. When someone showed me respect, complimented me on my drive, work ethic, stellar idea, awesome question or overall job well done it inspired me to do the same.

Instead of seeing all these people breaking each other down based on their flaws or shortcomings, I’d like to see people feed off others strengths and knowledge. Why do we not excel to meet others level of genius? Why do we pick people apart by what they’ve done wrong, not teaching them the right answer and then bask in the fact that, “Hey, at least I didn’t make the mistake!”

As I explained in my email earlier today….when you work together it shows, the work you produce is that of a well oiled machine and its something to be proud of. But when there is constant tension it shows in equal stance but in a negative, draining manner. Play off each other strengths, therefore mending everyone’s separate weaknesses. The willingness to succeed individually is based solely on you…but in many cases you don’t succeed without a little help. Give credit where credit is due and when something is unjust—speak up.

I’ve said it to many people and I will say it again. If you want to be a leader do not focus on how much YOU know and don’t hinder others from learning what YOU know. Leadership is a personality trait not a level of knowledge. No matter what your personality or level of knowledge, as long as you continue to refine it, you will go places. However, you will stay exactly where you are if you choose the more…dare I say…cannibalism route. It shouldn’t be a dog-eat-dog world out there or a people-eat-people world for that matter……

<<<This is where you get to assume I’m holding up a peace sign, in bell bottom jeans with free love written across my shirt>>>

It should be a world where we meet each other face to face, realize and be thankful we are all different; utilize the diversity and soak up all the knowledge our little brains can handle.

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As a society we would be unstoppable, yet we are not.

Tickle Me Elmo

This is just a guess but I think most girls enjoy a little pampering every once and awhile. I on the other hand don’t take part in this activity nearly as much as I probably should. Yesterday I decided to try this whole pampering thing out. I called my mom who mentioned she was in dire need of a manicure and asked if we should go together. She agreed and so goes the story of Tickle Me Elmo-oh hell no…..

I’ve been to these places before, you know the place where they offer goods to a little Buddha in the corner, cheesy Chinese decorations hung aimlessly on the walls, filled with people who not only speak broken English but have literally stripped the English language beyond repair. Welcome to a nail salon folks! The man who greets me is asking questions I don’t know how to answer…mostly because I have no idea what he’s saying. I try with all my Norwegian might to explain I need a pedicure and that my mother needed a manicure. After some non traditional sign language and halfway head nods he shows us to our chairs.

My mom, hidden behind a tasteful fake plant and me in a oversized, massage pedicure chair are ready for a real treat. I can’t speak for mom but I was just thankful to still have her in view. Granted we are in Detroit Lakes, MN and there is no underground smuggling (that I’m aware of) going on, it still makes a person feel a little uneasy when your surroundings are so foreign. No pun intended.

The smallest of small ladies comes over, pushes a few buttons on my chair, smiles and walks away. I feel like the smile was a little more vindictive than sincere as she wasn’t even half way across the room and this chair comes to life. I sit forward, not very impressed by the protruding, rolling balls behind me….the grumbling and grinding noises coming from this chair are beyond intense. Soon an equally small man appears.

Okay, okay he didn’t just pooof appear, I seen him walk over but for the sake of this story lets add a little enchantment. So…..ahhem where was I?

Poooof! A man dressed in outdated men’s formal wear pulls up a rolling stool. I’m quite certain at this point I haven’t even blinked. I’m still fixated on the fact that I may not enjoy this service I will have to pay my hard earned money for. He asks me what kind of pedicure I want…. I say pedicure. He laughs…I don’t. The same awful woman who started the engine on my chair hands me a list. Thank god they had all of this typed out or I may have agreed to one heck of a pricey pedicure. I point to my preference, he nods then requests I pull up my pant legs. My first thought…..whoa buddy, we just met…easy. Whatever, I listen and do as he says because I’d rather not soak my pant legs at the same time as my feet.

Let’s go back to the chair, at this point I have noticed that there is a timer on this ride. 17 min and counting to be exact. The last 3 minutes have seemed like an eternity. In 3 minutes I have learned that these “massaging balls” can make it all the way to the base of my chair and back up to the top. As these clumsy things make their journey they push me out of the chair in an awkward posture. Where is the off switch? It gets better (worse)….the seat of the chair starts bending in, pushing my legs together and I begin to experience the same level of anxiety as I do when my blood pressure is checked. OKAY….when is it going to stop, that’s a little much, oh boy, alrighhht whew okay back down it goes! As if I couldn’t feel anymore helpless….the chair starts shaking….yep, shaking. I think it was suppose to vibrate which wouldn’t necessarily be ideal either but instead it shakes. I now know where I could stand to lose a little extra weight because everything and I mean EVERYTHING shook. If I didn’t know any better I had sat on the paint mixer at the local hardware store. Good lord…

Alright, back to the guy messing with my feet. First it was the average, soak, clip, file and so on. That I can deal with. Then it came to the bottom of my feet. At that exact moment, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. If this guy was going to make it to the end of his day without getting kicked in the face, it would be a miracle. He starts rubbing a cold gel on my feet….instantly I feel the need to giggle. I cover my face, put my head down and give myself a pep talk. “Don’t laugh Kelsey, don’t do it. Everyone is going to stare at you.” My face got hot, on fire hot and I crack a smile. I rein it back in before it could get out of hand. The last thing I wanted to do was let out a famous Kelsey snort in the middle of a public place.

It seemed as though he was spending too much time on the bottom of my feet and I was starting to lose control. He then stops and says ” I help you, I help you.” I give him the squinty eye look and repeat “Help you?” He says, “YA” and disappears to the back room. I’m nervous, unsure of what to expect when he returns.

Around the corner he comes with a cheese grater…or a paddle that resembled one. “Oh, are we cooking now….I’m not hungry. Something about feet just makes me loose my appetite. No thank you, I’m good.” I mean I can totally understand if they can eat around feet because they do it for a living….not judging. Being the polite person that I am I keep my thoughts to myself and just watch in shock and awe.

Turns out it wasn’t for cheese but my feet. Cute, right? Not so much. I realize I may go without shoes more often then the girl next to me but whoa…way to make a girl feel bad about herself. My imagination runs wild, I had scrambled out of this rollercoaster ride, grabbed my mom and ran all the way back to the car…screaming and leaving my shoes behind.

Since I try to hide my crazy as often as possible I just opened my eyes as far as they could go and tensed up. Helllll no this guy is not going to use this thing on me….helllll yes he did! The shaking chair no longer seemed to bother me. Wonder why?

I’m here today to write this blog so clearly I didn’t die. I might have overreacted a tad bit but I’ve made the decision that I will not frequent these kinds of places. One and done is good enough for me. Besides, while sitting there and hearing him say “French be 5 mo dolla”….brought a rush of every stand up comedian act I had ever seen. That alone made it difficult to sit and not bust a gut.

According to my mother my face even turned bright red during this whole ordeal. I was channeling Elmo and all his “don’t tickle me” glory. It just so happens hell no rhymes with Elmo and I’m a poet and didn’t even know it.

***Disclaimer***These people are great at what they do, I was completely satisfied with their service and I in no way want to offend anyone. This is just how my mind works, I would apologize but everyone knows that won’t happen.

 

 

Using for The Purpose of Playing

I just finished up a YouTube video of a man by the name of Benjamin Smythe. He’s a little out there but from what I can tell he’s a life coach, helping others reach goals and be freely happy with themselves. This video in particular is about how to achieve optimum health. Is it possible? What would be considered optimal health? This is why I love this guy….

Instead of the worn out, mundane argument of being physically fit and how to obtain such status, he puts an entirely different spin on it. Benjamin goes on to talk about how….sure you can do “X” activity expecting to get “Y” result but healthy people die all the time. Physically fit and physically unfit people die each and every day without regard to an exercise regime. He explains that how you feel is a majority of how “optimally healthy” you are. Clearly science proves that daily exercise and overall healthy practices give you an upper hand, but an upper hand of the expected. What about the unexpected? So, what is going to get you through the unexpected? The future is entirely unknown, it will never fit your exact expectation and “all behaviors are gambles in terms of the outcome.”

He goes on to talk about exercise vs. playing. The term playing sounds juvenile but not by definition. (To engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose) He states that “There’s a whole f*@$%#! playground here and really cool people to play with.” Ha! Best line ever! How are you playing and using the people in your life? We are all using people consciously or subconsciously because we interact or play with these people for enjoyment. All day, every day. I have a very large circle of people I interact with because I get something from each one that is very different from the next.

Now let’s all assume we are using each other for the right reasons and not the wrong. Let’s assume we all choose relationships and friendships because they benefit us positively. Think of what kind of place that would create, a very genuine and wholesome environment! Because I’m realistic and my rose colored glasses broke years ago I realize this is not the case. However, in my mind reaching this aforementioned optimum health would involve being content with our decisions, behavior and overall way of life.

As a result of our lifestyles we meet many people along our journey; employers, friends, enemies, family and strangers that remain strangers but show their style of “playing” if only for a moment. We learn from this and we guide ourselves and others with this. Playing shouldn’t be left at our playgrounds, streets we rode our bikes on, courts we competed on or even the puddles we ran through.

Playing should be a part of our everyday. After all your the player and its your game. Not everyone will play fair but if you do you’ll be happy with the end result.

24 for 24

After a few weeks of putting myself out there, getting a few strange looks and a few genuine smiles I finally finished and I’m 24 for 24! Some acts may not be all that big or very impressive. However, I can assure you they were done in all my sincerity.

One

I love promoting other people! If you’re good at what you do and you’re passionate about it, I want you to be the next big star. I have so much respect for people doing what makes them happy. I met a woman at my previous job, I could always tell she was a free spirit, doing as she so pleased with little regard to what others think. (High Five) I love this lady, one of the coolest chicks I know. That being said I’ve been asking her to do some artwork for me. She is crazy talented and loves creating. I tell her roughly what I’m looking for…she makes it happen and it always turns out better than I could imagine. My most recent request, I chose to pay out a tad bit more than the price tag….not a lot, but a little. I hope she knows how much I enjoy decorating my home with her pieces.

Two

My family is awesome, every single one of them. They all work very hard and one thing I know nothing about is parenthood. From what it was like for my mom to what my sister and aunt go through….I have no clue. But I do know that everyone needs a break. I wanted to give them a break so I sent an unexpected babysitting certificate that expires on the kid’s 18th birthday.

Three

I’m not a big gambler but when I feel the urge I usually play a scratch off ticket or pick a few numbers for the Powerball. While fueling up I always go in and pay for a 5 cent discount…while paying I gave the clerk a couple extra bucks and a note that said “Its Your Lucky Day” for the next person buying gas to take a free gamble.

Four

No one should ever have to go without. For those that need it and utilize it the food pantry is a god send. I donated $24 to the local food pantry.

Five

My brother is a former Marine. I was lucky enough to see his entire armed forces career. The support from family and friends is crucial and without it I can’t imagine how being a world away would feel. I originally thought I’d send an anonymous care package or letter. Thanks to the internet, I found a site where you “adopt” a soldier. Its your job to support them, visit with them and send them and their units care packages and letters. Needless to say I have now adopted a soldier….

Six

My dog is very important to me and he is head over heels (paws) in love with…well, tennis balls. He also likes to do a trick or two for my amusement and him a treat. The local no-kill animal shelter is full of animals and I wondered what they might be in love with. So I guessed based on my experience. I donated a bag of tennis balls, dog treats, an assortment of cat toys, cat treats and since these animals don’t fend for themselves….I also picked up a bouquet of flowers and some bananas for the shelter staff. While there I had the pleasure of playing with the most adorable dog, I never got his/her name but they seemed just as pleased to see me.

Seven

For a short time I worked at a clinic. They have a little area to entertain the kids that stop in. Not that anything was lacking but I thought they might want something new. I dropped off a few coloring books and washable markers.

Eight

I was about to enjoy lunch at my favorite restaurant in town. I noticed the cutest little lady scooting by with a walker. I knew there was no handicap devices on the doors so I went out after her, held the door and she was extremely grateful. Her response, ” OH my, thank you! You know, I only have four toes on each foot, they make my balance horrible, oh boy do I miss those toes!” She giggled, as did I. She went on her merry way. “Merry” will stick with me. So adorable.

Nine

While shopping at Wal-Mart I had to park a fair distance away. It was a hot day and I was thankful there were shopping carts to get my big bag of dog food out to my car. I returned my cart ALL the way back to the store. Passing two cart corrals, the woman near me gave me the strangest look. That’s okay, I hope she was taking notes.

Ten

I interact with many people on a daily basis. I have a lunch routine down pat and most of the ladies I see repeatedly. There is one girl who obviously puts a lot of time into her appearance. Always very well put together and has the cutest clothes. I’m horrible at giving and taking compliments, only because I think its awkward. Something I really need to improve on. Well, why not start now? Next time I seen this woman I gave her a very sincere compliment, turns out she was feeling a little “not put together” that day…my guess is that put a little pep in her step.

Eleven

The past few days have been hard on my community. Many unexpected deaths of people others looked up to, parents of classmates and dear friends to many around me. I truly value all my relationships and I know what loss of a loved one feels like. After a phone call from my dad keeping me updated, it made me sad. I went to work with a heavy heart. So, I sent my mom flowers just because she’s an awesome person, telling her I loved her.

Twelve

With my new house I have a new found longing for a washer and dryer. I have been without one for oh…roughly 48 days and counting. My family lets me use theirs which I greatly appreciate. Since they are so accommodating I haven’t had to use any of my quarters at the local laundry mat. Until now…I went to a local laundry mat and filled up a few machines with quarters and now they sit, just waiting to be used!

Thirteen

Cancer effects everyone. Almost every person knows or has family who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. In fact, I lost my Grandmother to it a few years ago. A lot of effort is put into raising money for the fight against cancer. Relay for Life is a huge event in our area and most every community in the summer time. Relay for Life will be taking place this weekend so I decided to donate $24 towards the cause in the name of my friends and family members.

Fourteen

My neighbors are absolutely amazing. The couple across the road recently stopped by with a couple cold beverages to tell me they had a place I could keep my horse. If you know me, you know this is FANTASTIC news. I’ve been missing my equine and its just not the same without him around. I showed my appreciation by taking them out to eat and a couple more cold beverages.

Fifteen

I may not find as much time as I would like for reading but I believe the paperback/hardcover world should continue. There is nothing like being able to turn a page. Today I donated a couple books to the local library, a great start to a Friday!

Sixteen

A year ago my dad broke his back in a work related accident. Its been a rough road with many ups and downs. Ups and downs that include losing his previous job and gaining a new one. With so many uncertainties I am extremely grateful for his new job and the employer that gave him the opportunity. He happens to work with a group of great people so I bought them lunch.

Seventeen

I’ve been at my new job for a year now and I have to admit I have some pretty great co-workers. The other day was frustrating as our computers went down for a better half of the day. Feeling helpless and a bit restless I decided we needed something to break up the day. Dairy Queen treats for everyone!

Eighteen

Remember that feeling of being a kid and wanting that certain something while taking a cart ride down an aisle? I often revert back to that behavior myself, only difference is I’m pushing my own cart. As I stopped by the dollar store to pick up a couple items I couldn’t help myself but leave a few dollars at the register for the next kid that just HAD to have that certain something.

Nineteen

While at my local gas station for a much needed cup of coffee. I noticed an older gentleman. By the way he talked an obvious regular. He had his own coffee mug with him, I told the clerk I’d cover his too.

Twenty

This time of year in lakes country it’s a normal occurrence to see a turtle on the road. I’ll be honest I’m leary of reptiles but when I see the tiny turtles, my heart drops a little bit thinking someone is going to run over them. After leaving a friend’s lake cabin I seen one a mile or so down the road. I stopped turned around and walked out to retrieve the little guy. I literally scared the piss out of him/her. I picked it up and bam it peed everywhere. I’ll take that as a thank you…ha!

Twenty-One

I hurt someone who I believe invested a lot of time into me. Someone who was sincere and didn’t deserve how I treated them. Not that it makes it better or that they even forgave me. But instead of continually ignoring it, brushing it off….I apologized.

Twenty-Two

We all get frustrated, let down, irritated by others and tend to have a bad attitude. In my new found circle of acquaintances there is woman who would literally give you the shirt off her back if you needed it, but will look you straight in the eye and tell you when something just isn’t right. Even after she was having an obvious frustrating evening she still wanted to repay me for helping her night go a little smoother. After the usual back and forth and her not budging from her kind gesture, when I left the parking lot I left a note on her vehicle “Remember, life is awesome and so are you…smile!”

Twenty-Three

I lost my uncle a few years ago to a farming accident. Time has passed, everyone carrys on with daily life. Matt was a wonderful man who loved his family and farming. I think no matter what it might be our family would benefit from taking time to do something in his name. Coming soon look for a stretch of highway with an adopt a highway sign….”Family of Matt Olson.”

Twenty-Four

Kindness isn’t an act done only onto others, it should be practiced with oneself as often as possible. I’ve said it before but this time around seems a little different. I’ve decided to take off my party hat, it’s torn and weathered from all the nights on the town. It was slightly starting to slip off anyway as that little piece of string broke months ago! My next 24+ years will be time well spent on people and memories that serve me positively.

I’d say the most obvious thing I’ve learned is an act of kindness shouldn’t be a one time project. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneity of the random acts, especially when they catch people off guard. The BirthdayProject was created for that exact reason. Designed to shake people out of their daily routine, to prove there’s still good in this big world and remind them to reach out.

As a personal goal I’m happy to have accomplished all I set out to do, however it won’t be the end. I fully intend on reminding people more often to wake up out of their daily grind and mix it up….have fun, interact and to give/take something from each day you haven’t before.

 

 

 

On The Grow

This year I have traveled far out of my comfort zone. It feels good to expand and experience new avenues. I’ve always pushed myself in my career but never felt the need to push myself in my personal life. I’ve always been content with the same old, same old. My only guess as to why I suffer from a very basic lifestyle is due to my Small Town, USA upbringing.

I’ve always had the ability to appreciate the small things in life. I make it a point to remind people of the positive rather than the negative. My glass is usually half full unless I’m thirsty, then something is missing. Thirsty for new opportunity, experience, interaction, commitments, inspiration and joy. Only then is it that I become slightly withdrawn, using a moment to collect my thoughts, visualize the path and continue on.

It’s been inspiring how much help I’ve received from complete strangers during my house purchase. Scott and Jodi who sold me the house made the opportunity to buy my home possible. They helped in me in more ways than any “seller” should and for that I will be forever grateful. Since I’ve moved in my neighbors have never been shy to offer a helping hand or their wealth of knowledge. They know the dog and I are by ourselves on the lone range and they want to make me feel comfortable. A gesture I greatly appreciate. Terry and Sharon who own The Pickle Factory, where I find part-time employment, have literally taken me under their wing and shown me the way of Vergas/Dent living. Because of them I’ve been able to meet all the locals, interact and introduce myself. Once again, strangers helping me without needing anything in return. Being new to an area isn’t easy but when the community is made up of great people its a joy to take part and make a commitment.

Turning 24 is no milestone by any means but like anyone else I do enjoy a good celebration. This year I was in search of a slightly different celebration. With all the gratitude and respect I have for the previous mention individuals, it got me thinking. Have I done selfless acts? Have I done something without an expectation of getting something back? Sure I could answer yes but it took me a while to recall a specific instance. Given my pitiful answer to such an important question I decided I was going to change my answer. A pay it forward is due and its my turn!

Like clockwork, a woman who I follow on Facebook shared a blog highlighting 45 random acts of kindness. Just the inspiration I needed!

I’d heard about the BirthdayProject in passing from newspapers articles and blogs but never gave it much attention. In a hurry I started reading and reading and reading about all these individuals who chose to celebrate their birthdays with random acts of kindness. I gathered some ideas, made a list, gave myself a few weeks to complete my 24 acts and set off into this slightly uncomfortable venture. Currently I’m on act 7 and have 14 days to complete the other 17. I will report back once all my acts are complete. By then I will have grown another year older and my heart a few sizes bigger….stay tuned, I’m on the grow.

Flutter

Today I spent a few minutes with my niece on her swingset entertaining the feeling of being a kid again. The pre-formed, hard plastic swing seat was a little snug on my 23 year old behind but I made it work. Thankfully I wasn’t breaking any weight restrictions….that I’m aware of.

I started the grade school leg pump, back and forth, back and forth. Higher and higher the swing went. At the top of each swing, right before I dropped again I felt a very familiar flutter.

The flutter of free falling. Something I’ve missed and realized I don’t feel often enough. That heart racing, thrill from no control, sweep you off your feet feeling. The real feeling of being alive. A swing probably doesn’t get everyone else’s fire going but for some reason it lit mine. It’s little instances like this that make my heart smile.

The rush of being on the back of a horse, the thrill of speeding down the highway and the breath taking sights mother nature delivers. That person who can walk in a room and make your heart skip a beat. I crave these moments of rushed emotion. I think that’s why we are all here. To feel, to experience and to enjoy. Otherwise, what’s the point?

We all have different excitement. That one thing that serves it’s purpose to flip our stomach and leave us feeling a little lighter on the feet.

What is yours? Have you pursued it lately? I think its important we never loose our ability to be over taken by an emotion and it’s wise to seek more emotion out of life.

Go find whatever it is that makes you flutter.

 

De-Sensed via Facebook

Our generation is exposed to so much at a rapid speed. Some may see this in a positive light, I do not. Unfortunately because of it, I think we will be the most damaged generation thus far.

Sure, you could call us privileged or even lucky in regards to our resources. I have the utmost respect for our abundance of knowledge, however it seems as though at one point we began backsliding. I couldn’t give you a specific time frame of this reversed behavior but I’m certain its taken place.

Every means of communication we have is at our fingertips and designed to enhance our interaction with each other. Portrayed as the ability to never miss a single second of what the person either next to us or hundreds of miles away is doing, thinking, and feeling. However, I believe its doing the exact opposite. We no longer value human to human interaction. We feel lonely without text messages, Facebook messages, fresh newsfeeds and new Instagram photos. Yet, we no longer feel lonely without a physical being by our side. A person can spend hours on their phone and in most cases it has become their best friend. Take the time notice the group of people at the restaurant, the girls at the bar taking selfies, and the rare occasion you do have a visitor….how much time is spent looking at the screen versus another face?

We are all so tightly connected in our day to day lives that nothing is a surprise, nothing is new and nothing is taken at face value. If it’s online….it’s old news. In fact, try something out just for old time sake. Do not post your latest news to social media. Wait to tell your circle of friends personally. Perhaps by a phone call or even face to face. How pleased you will be when you don’t hear, “Yeah, I seen that on Facebook!” That exclamation point doesn’t have the same meaning when ending that oh so familiar quote.

I admit I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook and truly get nothing out of it. It’s a way to pass the time in which I should be passing elsewhere. Clearly I’m guilty of social media use as I’m certain you are reading this from a link on Facebook. But believe me, if I had the opportunity to put my words elsewhere. They would be there, ink to newsprint or better yet on a piece of paper, preferably written with a pencil that had to be sharpened.

I feel that we have all been desensitized. Words, actions, and emotions no longer have the ability to truly affect us. We are now controlled by likes, shares and digital comments. Most of our humor is generated via social media and the latest applications. Is it too much to ask to hear a joke be told. I think every funny thing I’ve heard in the last year is off of a used up ecard.

Relationships aren’t the same with this change in perceived emotions. I’ve read numerous articles on relationships, what the future has in store and what to expect in these warped times. And warped is exactly the term I mean to use. I remember hearing stories about that “one couple” or that “one marriage” that was completely whacked. I’d say its been too long since I’ve heard of a good love story. That’s disturbing.

I’m well aware I was born in the entirely wrong decade. I’m also aware people may think I’m beating a dead horse with my constant rag on today’s society. But I’m still in the pursuit of my own happiness and sometimes that involves a good venting session.

Personally my greatest desire in life is that surprise visit, overdue conversation and life’s many non-digital amenities.

Desensitize

1. To render insensitive or less sensitive.

2. Immunology To make (an individual) nonreactive or insensitive to an antigen.

3.To make emotionally insensitive or unresponsive, as by long exposure or repeated shocks

Mid-Year Resolution

One thing I notice on a daily basis is our society’s lack of respect. While patronizing a local business there was a line and a slight wait time, nothing I couldn’t handle. This is always a busy place and at noon its prime time to be there. I put in my order, sat back and people watched. By observation and eavesdropping I notice a group of high school girls in their tight knit circle. One girl was radiating obvious disgust and making comments at an obscene volume. Not only was her tone obnoxious but her tapping foot made her a sight to be seen. Almost all tables were taken, the staff was running their tails off and she still had the nerve to act as though she was the only customer, with no regard to the fact it was BUSY. Everyone was waiting, everyone had somewhere to be, and it was very clear the employees were doing their best to keep up.

All I could imagine and hope for was had her parents been there, they wouldn’t skip a beat and smack her in the back of the head. Although I wonder if she was raised by a similar foot tapping mother. Upbringing and values are so different from when I was growing up and that was what, 10-15 short years ago?!? My age might insinuate I don’t have much life experience but I know respect is an absolute must if you want to go anywhere in life. People in general have shifted to a self centered mentality. Obviously this has been a personality flaw since the beginning of time but I think its become acceptable, the new norm if you will.

Thank you, yes ma’am/sir, holding doors for a complete stranger and random acts of kindness are few and far between. While serving and bartending in my spare time I absolutely love hearing, “thank you ma’am.” Heck, you can even get by with a crummy tip if you’re polite! With every walk of life there is a diverse understanding of what is socially acceptable and what isn’t. However, I think good manners are universal.

I should say that not everyone has lost their ability to be courteous. We hear about that rare and inspirational moment where a stranger buys the next person’s dinner, drive-thru order or morning coffee. These occurrences are inspirational and paying it forward is a real thing. We could learn from the selfless people of this world.

June is approaching, New Year’s resolutions have since expired and we are all back to our old ways. So, what about a mid-year resolution? Mine would be to practice more gracious acts and show people there are still a few of us left.

What is your mid-year resolution?

Reminding Myself

This blog is via a Facebook post I wrote January 6, 2014. Over the past few days I’ve been reminded how horrible humans can be. Regardless, I have faith in those around me and feel sympathy for those that are lost. It’s been difficult to not use all the awful words in the english language to describe how I feel but when it all comes down to it, this too shall pass. In moments of hate and anger towards other’s actions I need to remind myself that those people are less fortunate. Less fortunate in the sense that they have had to stoop to a level of destruction to appease themselves. I am not destructive nor am I about to sit and let something negative consume me.

This is a reminder to myself….

“I’ve been thinking a lot about people lately. There is not one person in my life I wish I had never met or had the chance to get to know. Everyone is here for a reason, we cross paths at the exact time we are suppose to. I feel that if we meet the “ugly” people its because we were suppose to learn a lesson. We meet the “beautiful” people to make our circle bigger and grow on each others beliefs, goals, morals and spirit of life. I will never judge someone based solely on another’s opinion until I have had my own experiences with them. We all see each other differently, so we all judge differently. I wish the best for those that have come in and ventured out of my life as I have learned so much based on their actions alone. I believe I am a better person because of it and I think that’s the best we can do. Meeting people and getting to know someone is one of life’s free amenities….enjoy it and embrace it. To those that I still have in my life on a daily basis or even if its been too long, thank you for all the wonderful things you have taught me. Another one of those “I am blessed, moments.” I hope everyone has a great week and indulge in the everyday, little things. They are what matter most….”