Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Find joy in all you do!

This one is tough but such a rewarding experience if incorporated into one's life. That's not to say I succeed every day... I do drive in Charlotte after all.  (Those outside the city, Charlotteans are notoriously offensive drivers - ex. they speed up to block you when you signal a lane change. It is fierce!)  Outside of driving the perilous streets of the Queen City, I realized I was tired of all the emotional energy I was wasting on all these little, every day things.  
  • I have to stop and get gas!  I hate that.
  • Work drama - no example needed - you either live it or watch(ed) The Office.
  • I committed to Junior League (insert own favorite non-profit that also makes you crazy) but I don't have time.
  • Stupid gym - why can't I have my own chef, trainer, yoga instructor and spiritual guide like Jennifer Aniston to keep me in shape.  If it were my job, I'd be happy to work out.
  • Mia wants to play ball... again.  (This one really gets me as it includes struggling with providing joy to someone/thing? else).
You get the point. Now, I am a happy person - pretty sure my friends and family wouldn't accuse me of otherwise. But the light grumblings in my head about the everyday things started getting on my nerves.  As a person who lives alone, when you get on your own nerves - you need to address it ;-)  So I decided to try to change that attitude. As my favorite quote by Abraham Lincoln says, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."  Darn right!

Choosing to see the good things (I can afford gas, I have a great job at a great company, I am part of something helping others, etc.) in the mundane details of my life, helps me feel more joyful and happy. My heart is genuinely lighter these days by focusing on all my wonderful blessings and finding joy in what I do. I am pretty sure that translates into better quality too: work production, mama to my pup, friend, family member, etcetera.  While This Jane knows it is easy to get sidetracked (I did today), we just have to keep making up our minds to be happy and we will find joy in all we do.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Forget Exes

Honestly, I was so surprised to learn over the past few years that a whole lot of people have someone that got away.  50 years later, 5 years later, and all that lies in between.  It seems we all are drawn (at times) to what might have been...  #katyperry (is that how it's done or is @katyperry?) even has an AWESOME hit song out now about it - "The One That Got Away".  Oh the number of songs about lost loves...

I really don't think people want "the one that got away" back (because most all of us don't!), but I think people long for what seems simpler.  Whether it is easier to keep an old love than find a new one or the challenges of dating life truly are simpler than married life (my unmarried supposition but that seems a glaringly obvious statement ;-).

Even on the heels of a great blind date (granted that was 1 1/2 hours of getting to know someone but as I have said, God blessed me a Gamecock and hope springs eternal), seeing my "last love" across the parking lot laughing with his new wife - stings.  It does and I hate that!  Because leaving was the absolute right thing for me and clearly for him but I guess we all wonder about someone?  What is it about that intellectual understanding differing so from our emotional position?  I can clearly articulate that relationships's demise and do not have a friend that disagrees. It is so crystal clear, it makes me laugh at the 20 minutes devoted to typing these thoughts.  Should I even post??  Thinking yes because I also KNOW a la #ladygaga or @ladygaga (imagine I'll learn tagging soon), that I'm on the edge of glory.

Anyway - tonight, #thisjanesays... Forget Exes.  They are exes for a reason and would have stuck the first time if they were supposed to work.  And although it has been awhile since feeling that love at first sight or maybe at first few dates in - I recall the feeling well and it being clearly accompanied by very real confirmation/clarity on the wrong prior loves (or wrong for long term - I don't want to disqualify love ever... like many friendships, we have loves for certain times in our lives and they are much fun!).
Reminders From God

My fervent hope is that anyone reading thinks "Sometimes I do wonder... NAY, NO WAY because that would have been a whole other set of challenges;" and that this is an entertaining blog ending with a thought of thanksgiving for all our blessings.  I know that is where I land and wish that for everyone I know too!  To share a text from my favorite app, Reminders from God, "Wonders are unfolding beyond your dreams and hopes.  To everything say, 'All is well.'" That is one thing of which I am sure :-)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Go on a blind date (if you're single),

Because you just never know - movie upon movie has been produced, book after book has been written, it's the tale as old as time.  (Anyone else singing the rest of that line from Beauty and the Beast?)  There wouldn't be so much media dedicated and money spent & made on the theme of finding love if it doesn't really happen.  I'm always so thankful for my Gamecock roots because I was raised as a Hope Springs Eternal person (every fall - maybe this is the year...!)

The dating service industry in the U.S. is projected to be worth $2.1 BILLION (with a BA) in 2012, that's according to a VERY recent google search.  People are looking for it and wanting to connect.  In today's society, we are all so "plugged in" that we are losing human contact and the amazing gift of companionship.

It is ironic (don't cha think?) that technology creates a chasm within relationships (video games, t.v., headphones, laptops, apps, etc) while so many people now rely on websites and online tools to "meet" someone to share their life.  The last time I hung out with my niece, we searched high and low to find real cards to play a card game (spite malice, a family fav) versus just using the iPad app.  Once we finally got the cards dealt, my sister walked by and said, "Oh, you're playing with real cards.  Takes so much longer, doesn't it!"  No truer words spoken!  It took me forever to whip up on my 10 year old niece but funny response from my sis in the context of this diatribe (definition 3 in Websters = satirical criticism.  I looked it up to make sure I was using it correctly... I am still not sure).

So what does all that have to do with going on a blind date?  I am sure that part of God's plan for us is to be part of a community, a family, a team.  Of course, families come in a variety of ways such as my dear friends that take me in as their own in Charlotte, but ultimately that is what I believe.  So I go on blind dates - because you just never know.  One can find a new friend or love, have a great time but no spark or walk away with some really great stories!  (Boy, do I have a TON of those) At some point I will share the really funny ones - such as the guy driving the Silver Bullet.  How do I know that was the name of his car?  It was airbrushed on the hood with a howling wolf.  Will save the rest for another day as it does get better! :-)  And for now, just delighting in tonight's great blind date!

p.s. Married friends - of which I have a LOT - plan a fun, random date you haven't done in awhile or a blind activity for your mate and see what you can learn new about each other too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carpe Diem!

My friends and family have told me that they think I am brave, courageous, hopeful.  But I have my moments where I am certainly afraid or intimidated of change.  My baby's blanket was so very soft and warm and yellow - what could be more comforting?  Satin lining and of course, no idea of the material - just snuggly soft.  I loved my blanket and remember thinking that pretty late in childhood.  I didn't want to sleep one night without that blanket in my arms and hand but, in all honesty, I don't know when I gave it up.  I just know myself and the way I was raised - and that one night, I just tried - and didn't look back.

Buying my www site :-)
For several years I have talked about writing a book with my girlfriends (and family).  I was mid-30's (now late... boo!) and still dating...  not at all the norm in the south.  I'm proud of my roots but that's the truth.  Still single and dating so know that fact well.  But oh the stories my friends delight in - so we all decided I needed to write a book.  And while that book is still theoretical, with the encouragement and overwhelming support of a couple of girlfriends (old and new) - I recently decided to start writing and see where it may lead.  Even secured my own www site (Thisjanesays.com) - now that makes a girl feel proud!

In all honesty, I didn't want to write the book (or blog) because what if my stories were only funny with my friends...?  What if my life isn't that interesting to anyone else...?  Putting a pen to paper (or keys to word/wall) would mean something.  If my stories aren't funny, it may be that I suck at dating!  Can't have that - my family would have been right for years (I love you 'rents but committed to being honest here and I think you worry every day that I am getting in my own way... ME TOO).  But life is too short to live in fear, so why not seize the day, TODAY!

I am my biggest critic so actually posting regularly will be a miracle!  I write, re-write, edit, revise and compose another draft then proof.  :-)  Type A and proud of it!  Another big challenge will be how much to share and going for it.  I have always been an open book - literally heart on sleeve.  But without being too sentimental (okay now that's just silly and likely to happen often), I'm only perfect by God's love and grace so if I have a tupo (hee hee) here, that's OKAY!  So I'm going to (try to) write each day - which will perfectly fill my Lenten void (due to vow) of no t.v. - and see where we are in a couple of months.  And maybe discern some things too along the way.

So this Jane says... Carpe Diem.  We all have times in our lives where we run out of steam, think we can't dream or make a change, attain an old goal, or even set a new one.  Our "ways" are too set for change.  Or are they?  All my life I was told "you won't know unless you try."  So if one of my dreams is to write - I can't believe I have a dream that I am acting on! - then there is no time like the present.