Archive for the ‘Attitude’ Category

One of THOSE Days

I’ve read many blog posts and articles about how making small, positive changes in your life can add up to one BIG positive change.  Well, if that’s true than so is the opposite.  A lot of a little annoyances can add up to one, huge, crappy kind of day.

It all started out this morning.  Upon getting dressed in a new shirt, I felt the tag.  Scratchy.  Ouch.  I knew it had to come out.  This is the one and only shirt in my closet that’s an XS, so I was proud of that tag…although it was probably on the discount rack at Gabriel Brothers because it’s really an L …mistagged in China as an XS.

Putting the kitchen sheers to good use, off came the mistagged proof that I could fit into an XS. 

Scratchy Tag 

In a flurry to get into the office on time so that I could selfishly leave on time, I failed to eat the most essential meal of the day.  By 10:30, I was starved at my desk and ate a brown-bagged lunch…ham sandwich on white. 

Eating at the Office

When lunchtime neared, I had no lunch.  Damn.  So, I begged a snack off my office mate…half a Kandy Kake, which wasn’t worth the 120-calorie punch to my mistagged XS.

Kandy Kake   Kandy Kake with Coffee

My doctor’s office mailed an insurance statement to my office address.  Can we claim a HIPA violation on that smooth move?  Even though I have insurance, gave them my insurance card, and paid the shockingly high $50 co-pay, apparently their completely incorrect records indicate that I don’t have any insurance  and owe more money for the 10 minute, no results appointment that occurred 6 months ago.  Fabulous. 

Bill I Owe!

It was HOT today.  AC clicks on, internet goes out.  AC clicks off, internet comes back on.  AC clicks on again…bye-bye internet.  With the fight for electricity ruining my work flow, I decide to leave the office early and finish out the day on my laptop from home. 

Lucky for me, it’s a short drive home.  Unlucky for me, I’m sitting in a puddle.  The one day in forever that I leave the car window down, we get a mid-afternoon thunderstorm.  Go figure.

Since I was working from home , it made sense to make the husband some dinner.  I could tag-team work and dinner….no problem.  Meanwhile, I get an nasty-gram e-mail from a client telling me that my work is a serious disappointment.  In the 18 years I’ve been doing this job, no client has ever said such a thing.  The gull.  I walk away from my desk, glassy-eyed with fury and think about dinner.  With the Kandy Kake a distant memory, I was  ready to eat…but had to make something first. 

Less than 5 minutes before I had the casserole dish filled with chicken enchiladas ready to hit the oven, the entire neighborhood looses power.  And yes, my oven is electric.  After waiting 2 hours for it to come back on, at 8:30 we end up having take-out pizza, by candlelight.

Pizza by Candlelight 

I guess it’s time to think about inspirational messages that positive blog land tells me to remember…

….tomorrow will be a new day with a new perspective.

….at least I’m not in Afghanistan.

….there is food in the fridge.  Starving children in Africa would be grateful for my cold pizza and unbaked dish of enchiladas.

….be humble, I’m really not an XS and so the tag deserved its demise.

Ever have one of THOSE days? 

Three cheers for a good weekend and the end to THIS day.  Peace out, Friday.

Z: Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

(c) Walt Disney Music Company, 1945

That tune makes me feel so happy!  …like there’s a bluebird on my shoulder…

After reading my own post from yesterday, I decided that it’s time to take some immediate action to rise out of this midlife-induced mental fog that’s been clouding up my days.

I’m attacking this thing from both ends…from the inside out…and…from the outside in.

Let’s start with the outside.  We all need a little physical maintenance once in a while.  Lately, I haven’t recognized the person staring back at me in the mirror.  Her Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah was dull.  So, flipping though a magazine, this ad caught my eye…

Instruction to my hairdresser as I shoved the magazine page into her hand… “make me look like this.”     A few zip, zip, zips..and I have a new doo-dah!  Now, if I could only get her model body, too.  Gotta start somewhere!

On to the insides.  Now that I’m not spending every weekend at my parents’ house, I definitely need to re-connect with some people and talk about subjects unrelated to my mom and my job.  Tonight, I’m headed over to my sister’s house and we’re both going to hit the town for a little Zip-A-Dee-Ay.  Both of us need it!

What are you doing this weekend? 

And with that, my friends, this A-Z Challenge concludes.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

In the old days of England, the Town Crier had the official duty of standing in public and shouting, or “crying” official announcements.  Sometimes he’d ring a hand-bell and shout Hear Ye, Hear Ye to attract more attention.  Hear Ye simply means Listen Up, People… 

Photo Source

When I have something important to say, I don’t ring a bell.  I don’t shout.  And I certainly don’t stand on a street corner with a scroll.  I usually just make my point calmly and hope that people have their ears open and brains tuned-in. 

Note that this calm-talking tactic only works when the husband person you are addressing is looking at you.  If they are peering over your shoulder at the ESPN Sports Report, you do not have his their attention.  In these circumstances, you have my permission to invest in a large hand-bell.  Ring-a-ding-ding-ding.  

Announcing facts like a Town Crier vs. stating opinion are different, yet I know a lot of people who state their opinions as if they are facts.  And, it can boil over into an argument when the other person disagrees or is passionate about the topic. 

I’m not shy about expressing my opinions during conversation, but I don’t go out of my way to argue a point.  I rarely stand on soap boxes.  My father, on the other hand, was born on a soap box. 

Me:  Hi Dad.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Dad:  Hi Kiddo.  Did you see the paper today?

Me:  Well, yaaaaa.  Tomorrow is Black Friday.  Didn’t everyone in America get today’s newspaper?  It’s super-coupon day, don’t ya know

Dad:  Did you read anything except the ads?

Me:  Nope.

Dad:  I wrote an editorial.

Me:  Oh no!  Dad!  You didn’t!  Not again!  It’s Thanksgiving for goodness sake.

Dad:  I didn’t know they were going to publish it today.  It’s a holiday and the editor probably needed to fill space.

Me:  Do I even need to ask what it’s about?

Dad:  You know what it’s about.  And…I even said that….

Me:  Oh Vey!  Dad!  Can’t you keep your opinions to yourself?

Dad:  Nope.

The thing about opinions is that they’re expressed from a person’s personal point-of-view.  Opinions are not right, wrong, true, or false.  They are based on a set of facts, filtered through our intellects, emotions, circumstances, and perspectives.  

Think of everything in the world…going through your personalized filter system…

Regardless of what comes out the other end of our internal filters…we are constantly making decisions about what to express and what to keep to ourselves. 

There are too many times when I wish I could have hit the rewind button and took back something I said, or expressed my opinion differently.  However, there have also been times when I kept quiet but should have had the courage to express my unpopular opinion.  What about you?

Do you find it easy or difficult to express your opinions, especially the unpopular ones?

Picture Your Future Self

Do you know your true inner self?  Do you strive to be the best version of you?

A few months ago when I was searching for the answers to these questions, I found myself frequently looking through years of photos…remembering everything I had done, all the places I had lived, and the various people who had entered and exited my life.  I began to realize that no matter how many times I shed my skin and changed my colors in a day…or a week…or a year…or a lifetime…it was still the same me in those pictures, regardless of the setting.  After a few trips down memory lane, I identified a collection of pictures that showed the essence of me at various points in my life.  Those were the pictures that I kept flipping back to, over and over again. 

So, being all high-techy like, I loaded all of my favorite essence of me pictures onto a digital photo frame.  By looking at this collection pictures as they rotated in the frame, I began to see a vision of my future self.  It was of a happy, healthy, confident, fun-loving, self-driven woman and wife who firmly stands by her convictions.  Sadly, I wasn’t seeing that person when I looked in the mirror.  There was internal confusion.  I needed to “see” my vision to know that it was possible to achieve. 

When a recent opportunity arose to capture a current essence of me photo, I jumped at the chance.


[A shout-out to Dobrick Photography & Design in Indiana, PA.  If you’re a local, Jim is a great photographer.]

If you can’t seem to visualize your future self, take the time to do it.  We spend so much of our time planning our finances, our careers, the lives of our children, and so on, that we often don’t make a plan for our inner self.  But, when you think about it, a self plan is the most important plan that you can make.

To get the process started, find a current picture of yourself that epitomizes happiness.  Make sure that feeling of happiness is showing through in your eyes and is felt in your heart when you look at the picture.  (This is important because so much our ourselves cannot be seen on the outside.)   If you can’t find such a photo, have a picture taken in a scene that shows the essence of you.  For me, it was looking straight ahead, entangled with my husband.  Take as many photos as needed to get the right shot. 

Look at the picture often.  Think about your future self.  Project that person in your daily life.  Know that you are empowered to make any changes that might be needed to be that person, inside and out.  Having a vision and being able to see it in a photo can completely change your outlook and perspective.

What does the picture of your future self look like?

 My future self is_______________________. 

I encourage you to find your own essence of me picture and reflect on it daily.  If you have your own blog and post your picture, send me a link and I will advertise your post!

If you liked this post, you may also like Funny Mirrors.

Something to Smile About

The winner of the Beautiful You book giveaway is Emily, who said she loves her beautiful smile.  Congratulations! 
The winner was selected at random using a Random Number Generator.
As the saying goes…frown and you frown alone, but smile and the whole world smiles with you.

© Ciprian Florin Dumitrescu

In honor of Emily’s winning response, keep a beautiful smile on your face this weekend.  It can light up a room, reduce your stress level, draw people to you, and lift your mood.  It costs nothing, but is worth so much to those who see it.  Plus..a smile can be sooooo infectious.

If there is someone in the room with you right now, smile at them.  How did they react?  Look at yourself in a mirror and smile.  Do you look more attractive?  Smile when you are talking.  Do you sound more positive?  Smile just to smile.  Do you feel younger and happier?

Go ahead…give it a try.  I did, and feel better already!  I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular.  But, as soon as I smiled, I knew I wanted to share a bowl of cherry ice cream with my sweet husband, turn off the TV, and call it a night.  My cold is finally going away and I’m looking forward to the weekend.  Now, that’s something to smile about. 

What are you smiling about today?

Have a great weekend!

Acting Young and Feeling Wild

If age is a matter of feeling and not of years, then this morning I was twelve.  My sweet husband said that we could do anything I wanted for my birthday. 

 Anything, I asked? 

Anything, he said.

It was such a beautiful day.  Whatever we were going to do was 1) going to be outside, 2) make me feel young, and 3) be a little wild.  Well, here in Pittsburgh, outdoors + feeling kid-like + gettin wild = the zoo. 

We liked the big guys…


And I wasn’t the only one at the zoo having a birthday – the crowd sang happy birthday to a 10-year old elephant.  He requested carrot cake. 

And this guy was Joe Cool.

There’s something to be said about being young in mind and spirit.  It’s so good for the soul not to be so serious all the time.  I feel perfectly comfortable acting silly and goofy and doing non-adult activities.  Do you?

What sorts of things keep you young at heart?

Today’s Attitude

Today isn’t just an ordinary day, it is the first day of the rest of our lives.   Oh, that old saying…

Each of us has probably heard those words more than a thousand times …but, when you stop and think about it, why shouldn’t we believe that today is unique and special?  I think it is, and so should you. 

Let’s talk about todays.  Look at the calendar.  There won’t be another day with today’s date ever again.  Next, look at the clock.  You’ll never be able to recapture the second that just passed and call a do-over.  Some of the greatest and worst moments of your life may have passed in a single second.  A smile, a laugh, the draw of your Megabucks Powerball number (okay, if there are any lottery winners out there, my congrats.).  That special moment of your day may be just about to happen, and I don’t want you to miss it! 

Okay, now let’s talk about yesterdays.  When tomorrow comes, what you are doing right now will be in the history book and dubbed “past.”  Old News.  A Memory.  A Time Gone By.  Whatever happened just a minute ago, or yesterday, or even years ago can certainly be having a profound effect on the now, but I’ve never seen a reason to dwell back there.  We can’t change the past and there are no time machines or rewind buttons on life.

It comes down to a little something called attitude.  You know, the way you view things, either positively or negatively.  It also comes down to outlook – whether you look forward to life ahead or are constantly looking back.  Think about your attitude and outlook about today, about what you are doing right now.  Are you enjoying your day, or at least making the most of whatever situation you happen to be in?  If not, try practicing a little positive adjustment.  Your outlook on life is a key element of your BACKBONE.

Do you live in the moment, are you a forward-thinker, or do you dwell in the past?