Life – Why The Road Curves

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.   – 1st Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

This bible verse has saved my sanity! When I first read it many years ago, I recall making the statement “If God doesn’t give us more than we can bear – he must think the world of me.”

I use to be an excessive worrier. I worried to the point of losing sleep. I worried so much I developed irritable bowel syndrome. I’m sure you’re aware, the things we worry about never seem to happen and the things that happen unexpectedly are things we probably wouldn’t have worried about in the first place.

The next time you’re out driving in your car think about this, “Why do the roads curve?” “Why can’t roads all be straight?” In every city the streets go up and down or around corners. Those curved roads are a great metaphor for life.

My six year marriage was tumultuous. In the midst of my marriage crisis when I was down and really beating up on myself I remember asking, “Why didn’t I see this coming?” My mentor said, “Because you would not have been able to handle it before now.” She said, “That’s why the road curves. It provides us with the opportunity to take in a little at a time. As we move forward, covering more ground, a little more is revealed to us.”

(Looking at this picture, we don’t know what’s beyond the curve)

That’s how Life works. It’s a process! It gives us what we can handle in small doses, even when we think we’re able to handle more. It’s called the Grace of God. He will not give you more than He thinks you can handle at any one time. Each time we face a challenge, obstacle or difficulty, we learn what we CAN and CANNOT do. No matter what we do, it’s the best we can do under the given circumstances with the information we have at the time. When it’s time to do something different, we will.

Wherever you find yourself is exactly where you need to be.

Deepak Chopra, who at times is a little too deep even for me, said in © The Book of Secrets,
“Whatever relationships you have attracted into your life at any given time, are the relationships you need to be in at that time. When you’re ready to do a new thing, in a new way, you will do it, with new people.”

I read more and more about people who are waiting for their soul mates and loves of their lives, frantically hunting and searching. Realize today that there are people waiting for who you are becoming right now. Chances are you’re not ready to meet them today but have faith because you will, but only when it’s time. Until then, honor your process. Think of how fabulous you’ll be when the time does come.

The road curves for a reason. It’s a process and now when life throws me a curve I smile and say, “If God thinks I can handle it. Who am I to second guess Him?”

The New Fall TV Season

There are certainly some new shows on television, as well as some returning favorites that I’m indulging in. Let’s talk comedy first. The New Normal by Glee Producer, Ali Adler tops my new comedy list. The casting is great and veteran actress Ellen Barkin makes the show. Her off-colored remarks add so much to this show. I read that 9 more episodes have been ordered. Yay!

NBC’s Revolution reportedly has already been picked up for another season. Thank goodness because it’s a great show. After NBC failed miserably with The Event starring Blair Underwood, they’ve certainly redeemed themselves with Revolution. The show follows a group of survivors 15 years after the power went out all over the globe.

ABC’s 666 Park Avenue might not make it. I love supernatural dramas and there’s enough intrigue on this show to keep it on. It was announced recently that Whoopi Goldberg will be joining the cast. The show opened to low ratings but if you’re a fan of the supernatural I say give it a chance.

ABC definitely has a hit with Last Resort, starring Andre Braugher. At first I thought it was a series for men. The premise: A renegade crew of a nuclear submarine led by Braugher go AWOL after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. I’m loving this show.

I watched the pilot on CBS for Made in Jersey and while there was something a little appealing about the lead character, Martina Garretti played by actress Janet Montgomery, my prediction is this show will not make it. Can a small-town Jersey girl succeed in her high-powered law career in the big city? I can’t quite put my finger on why this show doesn’t work. It just doesn’t.

Another NBC show that I watched twice was Guys With Kids. This is the new comedy from comedian/talk show host Jimmy Fallon. It was just okay for me. I giggled a few times but I didn’t watch a third time.

I’m looking forward to Nashville which premieres on ABC October 10th. I think it will be a great show to watch with lots of juicy drama. I love Connie Britton. Her time last season on American Horror Story was great. For me this show is like Carrie Underwood vs. Faith Hill or Taylor Swift verses Reba McIntyre. At least that’s what the rumor mill is alluding to. I’m sure there’s no truth to the rumors but it has people excited nonetheless.

I’m sure there are many more good shows that I’m missing but I have my personal favorites such as Scandal, Revenge, Criminal Minds, American Horror Story, Grey’s Anatomy, Person of Interest, 2 Broke Girls, and Mike & Molly. There’s only so much time in one week.

What are some of your favorites?

Living in a Tech World

Technology has changed our lives in many ways.  It’s changed how we conduct day to day business. How we shop. How we keep in touch with family and friends.  Land line telephones are almost primitive. We have GPS systems to find the local farmer’s market and our favorite DSW store.  We’re paying AT&T, Verizon and Team Mobile for minutes we never use because our conversations are being conducted through a series of text messages.  If we forget to TiVo or DVR that’s okay because we can tune in online and catch the missed episodes of our favorite television programs.  We no longer have to return to the doctor’s office for our CBC test results, we can obtain them online.  Google maps will not only give you a satellite view of your neighborhood, it will give you the exact street view of your home with your car parked in the driveway. (That’s real scary)

We’ve reconnected with former coworkers and classmates on Facebook and I will never understand why Twitter became so popular. What I’m doing every second of the day is none of your business.

When breaking news happens we don’t tune in to our local affiliate news station, we go to TMZ or YouTube. WebMD has become our second opinion when our HMO doctor prescribes some unknown medication.  (You have to check those side effects) For many people (mostly the uninsured), it’s become their personal MD when symptoms have lingered for days and the home remedies aren’t working.  Do you ever notice that every symptom you read about is the one you have?  “Oh my God, is it cancer?” 

Technology & Unemployment

When’s the last time you wrote a personal check?  When’s the last time you ordered personal checks?  I was at the market the other day and this elderly woman held up the line because she was writing a check for groceries.  I thought to myself as I stood impatiently, “People are still writing checks!”   Chase and Bank of America now allow you to deposit your checks without a deposit slip. You just slip it in the slot and it gives you a print out on the receipt of the check.  Check ordering companies are feeling this crunch in their bottom line.  We use to receive bank statements in the mail monthly.  Now, we get an email or text message, “Your statement in account ending 0000 is available for online viewing.”  With the introduction of debit we were screwed. We could no longer write that personal check at the grocery store three days before payday. Man, those were the good ole days. A personal check in many stores today is run just like a debit card. You will get embarrassed if the funds aren’t there.  (Don’t act like I’m the only one!)

If it wasn’t for junk mail Postal Workers wouldn’t have a job.  My local Post Office has removed all of the stamp machines in the lobby and replaced them with a machine that takes ATM debit to mail letters and parcels.  The situation has become so tenuous that the Post office is in discussion about cutting our mail delivery down by two days per week. Let’s face it folks – we’ve gone paperless with the companies we do business with.  With all this new technology at our fingertips why do we still have so much paper clutter in our homes and offices?  I don’t get it!  My home office needs a visit from Neecee Nash and the Clean House Crew!  Foolishness and mayhem with the paper clutter.  It’s gotten so bad for me that I only check my mail box twice per week.  Ninety-percent of what I pull out is junk mail.

Businesses like Hollywood & Mr. Video have shut down because of companies like Net-Flix.  Net-Flix is being replaced by those dollar movie vending machines found in most major grocery stores.  Major recording artist must have savvy business managers because I don’t understand how they’re making money. Why buy a CD when you can go on ITunes, preview the CD and choose only those songs you like?  That’s what technology has done for record sales.  Music Artists have to tour to make any money.

Big Brother is watching!  “Do you have your rewards card,” the cashier asks. They offer you small discounts in exchange for the ability to record your every shopping habit.  Yes people, big brother is tracking us.

Technology was created initially to make life easier, more convenient – but in actuality what it’s done and IS doing is turning us into recluse humans.  We’ve become slaves to the technology.  We may forget to grab the sack lunch we’ve prepared the night before to take to work, but heaven forbid leaving home without our cell phones.  How many times have you been late for work because you turned around to get your cell phone or IPad?

WHAT ONCE STARTED OUT AS CONVENIENCE HAS CREATED MORE STRESS IN OUR LIVES!  We use to wait on Fed-Ex to overnight our business documents. We get them the same day with PDF and an email address.  At work we’re performing the duties of three people, all because of technology.  We use to schedule business meetings and have at least a few weeks to prepare.  Now we have video conferences and Skype.  Video conference meeting for all department heads today at 1 p.m.  This is the agenda. Please come prepared and be prompt. 

There’s a war on obesity in this country. Blame it on technology.  When’s the last time you went outside and got some fresh air?  We sit at a computer terminal for 8+ hours per day and then come home and check emails, Facebook, Twitter and the latest hot gossip.  (How U Doin?)  Add in another hour for TMZ and YouTube videos and it’s time to go to bed.   We may have good intentions to simply log on and check emails and log out, but then our home pages have a breaking story that ends up keeping us at the computer screen reading well past bedtime.  It dawns on you, “OMG! I haven’t eaten yet,” but now it’s 8:30 p.m. which is rally too late to be eating. That’s the reason for your extra pounds.  Blame it on Technology.  Even if you have the luxury of Blackberry, IPhone or IPad, you’re still laying in your bed staring at a computer screen.  It’s more stress than you realize.

I made a conscious decision last year to get off the rollercoaster in doses.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  I consciously vowed to:

  • Call my friends and talk as opposed to texting or emailing.  Periodically, I show up and surprise a few of my friends.
  • Unplug the Wii and the X-Box
  • Turn off the television and pick up a book.
  • Enjoy a morning cup of coffee sitting on my patio with the birds chirping instead of sitting at the computer.
  • Take a lesiurely walk in the park
  • Be more present in my own life.

Some technology is great but with everything that is good there is always a flip side.  What about you? What is technology doing to you and how do you find the balance?

Something to think about today! Holla if you hear me!

Why Your Dating Profile Isn’t Getting Results

I’ve tried the online dating thing. I’m happy to say, I don’t miss it! While I’ll admit I’ve met some nice guys online, many profiles I viewed I simply sat back and laughed, right before I hit the delete key on my keyboard.

After awhile it became a job in itself. I remember telling my girlfriend, “I can’t get with the bullshit being tossed around on these on-line dating sites?” Let me share some of my experiences with you and then let’s compare notes.

OUTDATED PICTURES – With technology of this millennium there is no excuse not to have a current picture on your profile. While I was online I posted current pictures of myself with the date plastered right on the bottom right hand corner of the picture. Each month I would post new pictures with new dates. I also posted several shots, i.e. a head shot, a full length shot where I was dressed for work and a casual shot in denim jeans. These full length shots of course were of me standing up.

I would be off line for awhile only to go back on and see the same men with the same pictures they were using about five years ago. Some of the photos have the audacity to have the date on them 2004, 2005, 2006 with a caption that reads, “I still look the same.” Are you kidding me? Use a webcam, a camera phone or a bonified camera, connect it to your USB and upload a damn picture. It’s not rocket science! Word of caution: Keep your shirt and pants on and stop posting those pictures of that pretty car sitting on 22’s. If you have to do that to attract a woman, you probably lack substance.  You know who you are!

I HAVE A HARD TIME TALKING ABOUT MYSELF! – The purpose of a dating profile is akin to a resume for employment. The idea is to get the employer to contact you for an interview. What’s the saying? “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” When you say, “I have a hard time talking about myself,” what comes to my mind is RUN FOREST RUN! If you can’t express the basics about yourself, a relationship has zero chance. Who are you? What do you like? Do you have any goals? What are you looking for in a relationship? Do you want something stable or do you just desire to have sex? Then say so!

THE LAUNDRY LIST – You give yourself away when your profile consists of a list of demands. No overweight women, no women with nose rings, short hair, bleached hair, crazy hair, tattoos, menopausal…! Must have her own home, car, job and I don’t pay for dates, we split the cost, etc. etc. etc. What this says is that you’ve misjudged and been taken for a ride so you’ve put up these laundry lists hoping to escape the drama this time around. Again, my reaction is: RUN FOREST RUN! We’re all damaged in some way. You’ll mess around and miss out on Miss Right with all those demands.  Stop making every woman pay for the mistakes of one woman who by the way – you chose.

NO DRAMA – I truly get a kick out of the profile that reads: “I’m not into drama so if you’re bringing drama, pass up this profile.” This is usually the person that brings the drama. Again, you know who you are. Refer to the laundry list above.

MONEY TALKS AND BULLSHIT WALKS – Many dating sites offer services for free. If you choose the free route I believe you’re limited to the amount of contact you can have. If you’re serious about finding a connection take your debit card and key it in, pay the ten bucks or whatever it is to allow yourself full access. You say you want a relationship but you don’t want to come off the ten bucks for a membership. That’s real smart.

BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF – If you’re truly serious about finding an honest, loving relationship, do you boo! Be your 100% authentic self.  You can only fake it for so long. You will be found out.

How has your on-line dating experience been? (Those of you who have tried it) Inquiring minds definitely want to know.  I have several friends who have found the loves of their lives online. I will admit it’s a good way to meet people but it also has its flaws.  Please share.

COMING SOON – You’ve connected – Now What?
I have a few juicy stories to tell. Don’t miss it.

Boundaries – Check Yourself

As I grow, I find myself requiring more space. My emotional well-being has become very important to me. At home, at work, as a consumer, taxpayer, mother, mate and a friend. I’m learning that just as I have CHOICES, those choices require certain guidelines, that is, in order to remain sane, as well as remain true to who I am as a person. Those guidelines have become my boundaries in life. In other words, where I will or will not allow another person to take me. It’s another CHOICE you can make in life.

In terms of relationships I must coin the favorite Dr. Phil phrase, “We teach people how to treat us”.

We have to be more up front and let people in on how we’re feeling. We especially need to start being more honest with ourselves about what behavior we will accept from others whose lives we share. If we don’t, we’re robbing ourselves and the person or persons we interact with on a daily basis.

We spend a great deal of time and energy discussing and worrying about everyone’s business except our own. Our family, our close friends. What they are doing, and what they are not doing, and the biggest of all…what they SHOULD be doing. The coworker and her personal problems…AGAIN! The company’s lack of enthusiasm about money or procedure. Your girlfriend’s “not good enough for my girl” man. Your brother’s new wife. The neighbor’s new car. Workplace favoritism. Come on people, we all have issues.

We fail to realize that people are who they are, good or bad. All of us are at different stages and experiences. We need to honor that and let go of the control issues.

Most of our stress is self-induced because we’ve failed to set boundaries. If your friend or family member is continuing to borrow money from you and not paying it back, you really must consider not repeating that mistake again. Don’t get mad and talk about it to everyone, except them. Let them know, “I’m sorry, but I can no longer loan money to you”. Learn the lesson and move on. If you’re in a dead-end relationship, stop and ask yourself what kind of boundaries did you set for your own happiness and self worth? Boundaries are really about self worth. Typically, the more you allow someone to mistreat you, the lower your self-esteem. Women and men alike have a hard time accepting this, but it’s a core truth.

If your relationship has split and gone back more than twice, boundaries is something you might want to look at. We are constantly (especially in new relationships) teaching our mates how to treat us. We really do have a say in our romantic/personal lives. Wake up! It’s a new day. We’re not setting enough boundaries. We tip toe around the truth for various reasons, mainly out of fear. Fear of not being accepted, not being liked, and not being loved.

“If I said what I was really feeling, that person might not like me”.

So we create illusions instead. We can’t keep the illusion up for long because it turns into frustration. The next thing you know…we’ve burst. We turn into “Sybil” or “Dr. Jekyl” and our mate says we’re crazy. Sounds like a boundary issue to me, what do you think? It’s not entirely their fault…you allowed the behavior to continue.

No one can do anything to you except that which you allow them to do.

If you continue to allow people to violate your space; your boundaries, you’re robbing one person…..you! You don’t have to be rude or hostile to have boundaries. You set them, practice them consciously, and not allow people to cross them. Let go of the fear! Stop saying yes, when you want to say “hell no”!

Maya Angelou said, “When you fail to place boundaries in your life, people inject themselves into places of your life where you don’t want them, and where they have no business being”.

Are you allowing people to “inject” themselves into your life where you don’t want them?

If so, I humbly suggest that you examine the boundaries in your life.

Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama:

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them $1 million each as severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings –

(Unemployment fixed)

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered-

(Auto Industry fixed)

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage –

(Housing Crisis fixed)

It can’t get any easier than that!

If more money is needed, have all members of Congress and their constituents pay their taxes…

SIGNED, THE PEOPLE

(You might chuckle at this, but when you think about it closely, it could work.)

Independent Woman – Blessing or Curse?

On my birthday a few years back, my boyfriend handed me a beautifully wrapped gift box.  Inside was a gorgeous diamond necklace but underneath the jewelry box was a CD called, “Year of the Gentleman.”  I was familiar with Ne-Yo but had not heard the song “Miss Independent”   When we got in the car from the restaurant he switched the mode to CD and there it was playing in all it’s glory.  On the freeway ride home I sat there intently listening.  He was smiling and singing along when I asked, “How long have you had this CD?”   He told me his best friend had played the song for him one night while they were working and told him, “That’s the kind of woman I want man.”  He reached over, grabbed my hand and with his million dollar smile said, “That’s the kind of woman I have.” At that moment I cried.  He said that he had played the song over and over because it represents exactly who I am as a woman.

So, I wanted to open for discussion the topic of being an independent woman.  Is it a blessing or is it a curse?  Over the years it’s been both for me.

I realize that we all need to feel needed; some more than others.  Men are taught from an early age to be protectors and providers. Some missed the lesson.  Little girls play with dolls and dream of marriage and the house with the white picked fence, two kids and a dog. Some women missed the lesson as well.

Should I be penalized from a loving relationship because I chose to carve out a comfortable life for myself? Should I date someone with less education or less stuff than I’ve acquired?  I have. It usually starts out great but after awhile it fizzled because the man was intimidated.  Some have gone as far as to say to me, “What do you need me for?”   Ouch !!  At one point I tried to tone it down then realized I was not being my authentic self.

I have talked to so many men and women about this independent issue.

A man wants a woman who is attractive, intelligent, and independent – to a point. They want a woman who is capable of cooking, cleaning and doing the “wifely” stuff even if the duties are shared.  They don’t mind that she earns a decent living. In some cases it’s a turn on. In other words, they want someone who is capable of taking care of herself, but not so capable that there is no need for him to be in her life.  How true it this?

I believe the basic rule is the same for men and women: People want to be with someone who is capable of meeting their needs, whatever those needs may be. They also want to be with someone for whom they bring some value to.

Ladies, if you believe you’re independent what EXACTLY does that mean to you?   What I’ve found is many women see independence differently.

Men, what are your feelings about an independent woman?

There is so much more for me to share on this topic but I wanted to save it for the discussion.

CAN WE DISCUSS IT?

Lessons From Trees

~~~ Lessons From Trees ~~~

It’s important to have roots.

In today’s complex world, it pays to branch out.

If you really believe in something, don’t be afraid to
go out on a limb.

Be flexible so you don’t break when a harsh wind blows.

Sometimes you have to shed your old bark in order to grow.

If you want to maintain accurate records, keep a log.

It’s okay to be a late bloomer.

Avoid people who would like to cut you down.

As you approach the autumn of your life, you will show
your true colors.

You could be Brilliant!

In other words “bloom where you are planted and make
the best of what you’ve got.”

-Author Unknown-