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Thoughts Sep. 26th, 2007 @ 10:28 pm
All week the concept of wealth and stewardship has been weighing on my mind for a variety of reasons.

Being freshly graduated and employed, I understandably am not completely financially comfortable. I am not struggling really but do not have a rainy day fund or adequate savings in the event of an emergency. However, am I making wise decisions with what I do have? Or do I need to re-evaluate and improve my habits? Gut reaction says there is room for improvement.

Switching gears slightly, there is a homeless couple I keep seeing, or rather taking notice of lately. They are an older couple who seem to be living more less nomadic-ly through the community and returning to the park across the street frequently. From what I can gather this is not a new development but something that has been going on for sometime. Now, being aware of their situation, I am forced to wrestle with my reaction to it. I am compelled to help them, but how. While, I have plenty of space that I am not using, I am a single, young woman living alone. Knowing little about them, I am not sure it is a good idea to simply invite them in. Also, I am renting from my aunt and uncle and do not know how they would feel about me welcoming strangers in what is ultimately still theirs. I wonder though if I am just making excuses not to have to take a step of faith, rationalizing things like love and compassion that aren't meant to be rationalized? When I ask myself the overly slogan-ized but still equally valid and appropriate question of What Would Jesus Do; I can't help but think He would welcome them with open arms and doors, providing for their physical and spiritual needs.

I suppose I could invite them in for a hot home cooked meal every once and awhile. Especially since I learned how to cook from my mother, meaning I make extra of everything. That would probably be the best thing. I could always give them money, but I don't like doing that because you never know what it will be spent on. Obviously this is on my mind for reason, but I don't know why...

On another note, I am bored with the daily, weekly, monthly routines that I find myself in. I am sick of the structured, planned natured of my existence. Being governed by responsibility and societal norms. I miss the spontaneity, flexibility and carefree nature of my collegiate lifestyle. In fact, today I could barely even think of something random/stupid to do to break the cycle. That creative, risk-taking, irresponsible, fun-loving side of me seems to slowly be slipping away and I don't like that feeling. If this is what it means to grow-up, to let go of that part of my youth and allow it to be replaced by responsibility and routine, then I don't want to be an adult.

I need to shake things up. I need an all-nighter for no reason, a random road trip, a surprise visit, a crazy adventure, just something to break the routine. I am afraid that one day I will wake up and realize that I have become what I never wanted to be- old, boring, and conformed.

I want to dream. I want to believe in the power and possibility of my dreams.

Sep. 11th, 2007 @ 07:51 pm
Guidelines:
1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich, or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not.
2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in your own post.
5. When others respond with a desultory comment, you will ask them five questions.

Expectations Aug. 2nd, 2007 @ 09:08 pm
Expectations - everybody has them for themselves and for others. Sometimes they are the same, other times they are different. Sometimes they are ridiculous, other times they are completely normal. Sometimes they are set in stone, other times they are flexible. No matter that the expectation, they can't be met unless you know what they are.

On a personal level, that means defining your expectations of yourself through introspection or through realization as a result of interaction with others. Knowing what you expect of yourself can help you prioritize tasks and time in your own life. For instance, I expect myself to be in good physical condition, so I place an emphasis on going to the gym and spend extra on groceries so that I eat healthy. Knowing what you expect of yourself can also help you handle various situations or at least provide introspection later. For instance, I expect myself to be independent, so I have a tendency to overreact when something arises that I need help with. I don’t like to admit that I may need help or may not be able to handle things on my own.

In relationship to others, they can’t meet expectations they don’t know you have. I have seen this so many times in my life and the lives of others. (Dear reader, please know that I don’t expect you to have this mastered, as while I am typing this I definitely do not.) No matter what the relationship, the other person needs to know what the expectations are if they are to meet them. For instance, my aunt and uncle (also, my landlords) were visiting yesterday and today and so I cleaned in preparation. I, however, cleaned to my standards, which admittedly are no where near as clean as theirs. For those of you who knew me in college, yes they are higher than they were then. My adult guest clean is probably at about my parent’s everyday clean. Which I would define as typical family clean; clean but lived in. Things are put away, dishes washed but maybe in the drying rack, vacuum has been run recently but there may not be tracks in the carpet, the floors are swept and mopped where necessary. My aunt and uncle’s standards, however, are more along the lines of model home clean. Where there is nothing out on the counters, the floors can be eaten off of; vacuum lines remain on the carpet, and all that. I was not aware of this standard, regardless of how realistic it may or may not be, and, therefore, had no chance of meeting it by myself or with help.

I guess the point of this whole long thing is to remind myself and whoever reads it to be aware of your expectations or yourself and others and be sure to voice your expectations of others with them. Only after doing this can you evaluate whether those expectations are realistic or not. And if they are not, then you can discuss ways to mediate the situation, so we can have healthy relationships with one another and ourselves.

Compliments and Criticism. Aug. 2nd, 2007 @ 06:28 pm
Why is it so much easier to offer criticism than give a compliment?

I am not one that needs a lot of compliments to feel okay about myself, however, when all you hear is criticism a compliment would be nice. Even if it is in the middle of criticism. Like instead of saying, you need to keep the house cleaner; why not something like this: the kitchen looks good, but the vaccuming could use a bit more time. Or the house looks good but you forgot to take out the trash. Or the yard looks great, but the house needs some work. Or i like what you've done in this room, but ...

Or at work, this plan looks much better than the last time, but there are still a few minor things that can be improved.

At work, the only feedback I've gotten that wasn't something that needed work, I overheard. It was all really good stuff, basically that my supervisor and co-workers are impressed with my work. But, it would be nice to hear it from them instead of overhearing them.

I guess what I've learned from this, is that I need to start giving out compliments more often because it really does help. It's easier to take the criticism when you can at least remember something that you did well or right.

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Other entries
» Triathlon
So today after going to the gym, I decided that I want to run a triathlon. Well, I guess I should rewind a little - for some reason I have had a desire to do one for awhile now, but the timing was never right. In high school, I was lazy and never researched it. In college, I didn't have time to train or let alone work out (well I probably did have time, I just chose to spend it doing other things). Now, I have time. I already belong to a gym and run and bike regularly. The gym has a pool, and for a little more a month that would be covered. There are a lot of triathlons this summer in the area, way more than i thought. Last but not least, I need a goal, something to work towards at the gym or I won't be motivated to go. My original goal of getting back in shape is already almost achieved. In two weeks, I should be lifting and running at about the rate I was in high school. So a triathlon it is.

I have tentatively chosen to compete in the September 30th one at Cape Henlopen State Park, it is a 500 M swim, 15 mi bike, and 3.1 mi run. I should have plenty of time to training barring injury. So yeah, that's the plan. All encouragement is welcomed, as well as, any training advice.
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