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Why we cry…

“There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain….”
~Cicero

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.”
~Washington Irving

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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Each of us has our own definition and way in which we express “love”, however, despite the diverse ways we express ourselves, I believe it’s fair to say that there are some things which may be considered universal.

Consider for a moment, that your significant other gets some very disturbing news from the doctor (i.e. he or she has a tumor, but it’s operable or they are diagnosed with a terminal illness, etc) , loses their job, or a close family member becomes very ill.  Suddenly, your mate’s life has been turned upside down. Not only is this something completely unforeseen, but it is also uncharted territory, because let’s face it:  Most of us are lucky enough to be spared such tragedies and if not, then we experience them only once in a lifetime – and that’s more than enough. So what would you do?  What is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, and I could be wrong, but I believe that anyone (that is, anyone truly in love) would immediately empathize with their mate and quite literally, feel their pain. I, for one, would naturally offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on because I know that if the shoe was on the other foot, I would certainly need it.

Depression and anxiety would be expected and comfort would be a given, in whatever manner necessary…that includes, personal space (everyone is different) or extra attention to help ease the pain and aid in coping. This doesn’t mean you are expected to solve all their problems or make the pain go away. Everyone has their limitations & it’s important to know your own as well as your mate’s.  Whatever the case, there are things you do and then there are things you just DON’T….

When someone you love is experiencing any form of extreme grief, particularly if it is still relatively fresh and/or ongoing, avoid cliches, i.e There’s nothing to worry about, You’re making too big a deal out of it, etc.  DON’T tell them they have absolutely nothing to be sad about.

DON’T mock them, call them a “cry-baby”, refer to them as “negative” or otherwise.  Having a mate who is suffering from depression is undoubtedly challenging, however, not impossible.  This will only add to their grief and make them question your love for them. After all, it is especially in times of need that we should be able to turn to our spouse or significant other for comfort.  If one’s turmoil is met with animosity and ridicule, how can that be considered “Love”?  Being supportive and providing encouragement to seek treatment is more likely to benefit you  both in the end.

According to Mental Health America, “Nearly 70% of people who suffer from depression completely recover from these symptoms with the right treatment”.  Accept the fact that recovering from depression takes time so be mindful that there will be good days and bad days.

It is common for even the strongest relationships to suffer during such trying times and for partners to start resenting each other.  This is normally the result of lacking a clear understanding of the underlying cause of the depression. For this reason, it is important to educate yourself & be a source of strength and support. Continuous patience, love, and affection are key in overcoming these seemingly insurmountable hurdles.

If you are true interest lies in your mate’s happiness, learn more about depression and make efforts to HELP, not HURT.

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My Review of Snow White and The Huntsman

It has become a sort of weekend tradition for me, my daughter, and my boyfriend to go to Menchie’s (frozen yogurt paradise!) and follow that up with a movie at the cinema. Last night when I updated my FB status to reflect I had just seen Snow White and The Huntsman one of my friends wanted to hear all about it.  This one’s for you, Dee!

Snow White and The Huntsman is a slightly different take on the fairy tale we all grew up with (closer to the original Grim’s Fairy Tale version) but not in a bad way at all.  While Kristen Stewart would not have been my first (or even a top 3) choice for Snow White, her acting has definitely improved since “Speak” and the first three installments of The Twilight Saga.  Charlize Theron is amazing and definitely makes the movie.  I’m still not completely clear on the Wicked Queen’s (“Ravenna”) story & what made her “wicked” and not just plain pitiful based on the flashbacks you see in the movie.  The story is actually quite sad. And what’s up with her brother? I don’t recall ANY version of Snow White that included the Wicked Queen having a brother, but I suppose the character serves his purpose in this film. It’s great to see that in addition to being a super hunk, Chris Hemsworth can also act : )  Overall, I would rate it 7 on a scale of 1-10. In my opinion, it’s worth the $10 =)

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Ya just never know…

I’ve met many seniors at the nursing facility where I’ve been doing my internship over the past few months. Some of them are still very sharp minded, despite their age, while others are “pleasantly confused “. Both types have a host of interesting stories to share. I would love to sit down with every one of them to hear about what things were like when they were young, WW2 and Vietnam, being married to the same person for 50+ years, watching their children grow and have children of their own, etc. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get my work done and spend more than just a few minutes at a time chatting with the residents, although I try. I can’t count how many times I’ve told someone “I’ll come back and see you real soon”, only to have days, even weeks, pass before I’m knocking at their door again, and not for a social call.

Part of me feels very guilty for not keeping my promises. So many of these poor people have no family and very few visitors, if any. I think of a time, many years ago, when I went with my family to visit my grandfather. He was living in an “Adult community” somewhere near Sarasota and when we left, I told him that my best friend and I would go back to visit him sometime soon. I never did take that drive. A year or 2 later, he came to visit and reminded me to go see him.  Some years after that,  he passed away and all I could think of was that promise I didn’t keep.
He was a good man. Always sent my brother and I cards with money for every holiday and birthday when we were growing up…never missed a year. Despite the fact that I didn’t see much of him in the years before he passed, I had plenty memories of his visits from when I was a kid. My heart broke to think that I couldn’t do that one thing for him before he died: give him some company, let him know I loved him and appreciated everything he ever did. Ya just never know….
Recently I was reminded of that experience when one of the residents at the home unexpectedly passed away. She had traveled the world and had a shelf full of photo albums from her many excursions. I told her more than once that I’d stop by to have a look and would love to hear all about her adventures, especially since I’ve only been outside of the US twice. She was still so full of life! Hair and makeup always done, fingernails painted…Her memory had started to go but otherwise she was pretty with it.
The day that she passed, she was having a fit because she was no longer allowed to keep her wheelchair by her bed, for safety reasons. She had fallen more than once in the last few weeks. “I’d rather die than live this way!” she groaned.  And who could blame her?!? You go your whole life without needing any assistance from anyone to being almost completely dependent and having to press a call light to then wait 5-20 mins for someone to come help you get to the bathroom?!?!  Well sure enough, she was true to her word. Later that night, her COPD flared up and she was taken to the hospital where she died.
I heard the news the following day and immediately thought of the stories I would I would never hear.
Now, I’m not saying I’m an awful person because I didn’t go visit as I said I would. People die:  There’s no way around it. I definitely would have felt better though, had I kept my word sooner rather than later, because once they’re gone, they’re GONE.
What I mean to say is that random acts of kindness are good for the soul. Even if you find that a friend or family member is getting under your skin, take the time to say “thank you” or “I love you”, keep your promises as best you can, pick up the phone, do something thoughtful to make them smile.  Then when the time comes to say goodbye, your conscience will be clear and you’ll be able to smile through the tears.
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Hello? Is this thing on?

I know, I know…I haven’t posted in MONTHS!  Lots of updates, so let’s get started : )

First off, I’m finally in a relationship with someone that lives in the same area code as me and thus. doesn’t require hopping on a plane to see each other!  Woo hoo!  Yeah, you laugh but it’s been 7 YEARS since I’ve been able to say that.  Things are going incredibly well and I can truly say, I’ve never been happier!

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Next, I’m in the home stretch of completing my bachelors degree in social work! I’m doing my internship at a skilled nursing facility (SNF) here in Orlando.  Most of the residents are 85 and up.  I’m actually really enjoying working with this population!  I’m learning so much and I find it very fulfilling.  I’ll be happy when I’m finished and I have a steady job and a paycheck =)

Between my boyfriend, my internship, and of course, my family, I’ve had little time for anything else, although I’ve somehow found some new obsessions:  Pinterest. Sugarpill Cosmetics, and Amazon, just to name a few!

I’ve always had a serious infatuation with cosmetics…that’s nothing new.  Over the past few months I discovered a website called makeupbee.com, which features work by amateur and professional makeup artists and everyone in between!  While browsing this site, I came across some bold, exciting looks that I was anxious to try for myself but the colors were beyond anything I had in my collection. Thankfully, most of the artists listed the products used to create their looks and ta-da! I discovered Sugarpill and a new obsession was born!

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I’ve since discovered other lines that I’m dying to try: Drama Queen & Makeup Geek are at the top of my list…great pigments like Sugarpill, so expect more wild looks real soon!

Other than that, life has been pretty lackadaisical but I’m definitely not complaining!  I’ve gained 15 lbs, I’m not exercising, and I’m living hand to mouth, but I’m in love and I’m happy!  I’m bringing happiness to others every day as well, and there’s nothing more rewarding than that : )

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

What, exactly, IS “auld lang syne” you may ask?  Well, auld lang syne refers to experiences and memories, particularly fond ones.  The expression originated in Scotland and has been passed on generation after generation.  My thoughts are that the question refers to when one breaks ties with another with whom they were once close to (i.e. a breakup, a family feud, death of a loved one, etc) and the pain is so great that it makes them wonder if they should purge the memories altogether or perhaps hold on to the good ones.  From experience, I can say that sometimes even GOOD memories can be painful thus it depends on where you are  in the healing process.  My rule of thumb is to store them in a corner of my “memory bank”:  don’t think about it if it hurts, but don’t erase it completely.  There may be a time when you’ll WANT to look back on those times and smile.

Not to sound like a martyr, but more often than not, at least when it comes to relationships, I’ve been the one left picking up the pieces of my broken heart.  To my recollection I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve been the heart breaker and not the “breakee”, and that’s not a good feeling either.  The one thing I can say is that I’ve always been honest with myself, and if you can’t do THAT, you’re really screwed.  If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you be honest with ANYONE???  I’m also pretty blunt, which I’ve always seen as a good thing because when it comes to emotions, it’s very easy to start seeing shades of gray instead of plain old black and white.  But as clear as you try to make the boundaries, man’s free will always prevails and you may still find yourself in a very precarious situation.  Yep: Been there, done that.

Some people believe that in order to use the words “I’m sorry” you must first be guilty of doing something wrong.  I strongly disagree.  What YOU may believe to be wrong can, and often does, differ greatly from what the other person believes.  I think we’re all familiar with the “Golden Rule” – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Whether the pain you caused was intentional or not, we must accept that we all make mistakes and there is always an alternative to how a situation could have been handled.

“I’m sorry” may also be overused so be sure that when you say it, you’ve put yourself in the other person’s place and your apology is sincere.  Apologizing but repeating the same action(s) over and over again depreciates the value of those two little words.

I’m just venting here, folks.  This is the philosophy that I subscribe to and my heart has been a little heavy lately due to unintentionally hurting someone.  I’ve done all I can to express the fact that I am sorry and that’s all I can do without doing further damage via actions that could easily be misinterpreted.  And while it’s true that actions speak louder than words, words are also important.

“It has been said time heals all wounds; I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens but it is never gone.” ~Rose Kennedy

Well, I, for one, AM holding on to my auld lang synes.  I sincerely hope that anyone reading this will be too.  Happy New Year, everybody!

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Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas – Oh My!

Ok, so it HAS been a while since I’ve blogged. The holidays kept me busy, not to mention that school had me completely drained – the LAST thing I wanted was to touch a keyboard.  Selfish, I know, so I’m back : ) For those of you who actually follow my blogs, you know Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of them all!  The makeup, the costumes, decorations, the parties, trick-or-treaters, and last but not least, the simple fact that it is the kickoff to the holiday season : ) It was a hectic few months but I made it!  Halloween was awesome, as usual.  I managed to find a decent party and attended with a friend who happens to share my love of costumes & makeup so that alone was a bonus!  Our costumes were a total hit, which made for entertaining conversation.

Me & Tony (party host, -aka- "80s Coke Head" LOL!)

    I also took my daughter to a different neighborhood for trick-or-treating with her friend from school.  It was a great change of scenery: younger families with beautifully decorated homes and candy galore!  Every 11-year-old child’s dream come true!

My daughter dressed as the Greek Goddess, Athena, & her friend getting ready to hit the streets for some candy!

Come November, I made the most dee-licious Thanksgiving dinner, including turkey, stuffing, glazed carrots (something fresh and healthy for a change), broccoli and mushroom casserole (another healthy change to the menu), mashed potatoes, cranberry-orange relish (also new) , and sweet potato casserole.  It was a relatively small gathering: my parents, my daughter, and 2 missionaries from our church, but never underestimate how much food two young men can put away in the span of an hour!
Before I knew it, it was the first week in December and my daughter was having a sleep over the night before her birthday, which would be ANOTHER party. Five tweens crammed into one bedroom, eating pizza and taking part in celebrity gossip ALL NIGHT….ugh!  I tell myself, “It’s only once a year” and somehow that gets me through it but once the last guest leaves and I get to put my jammies on, I’m down for the count!

Twas the night before Christmas

Christmas shrine 1

Soon enough, it’s Christmas Eve…what?!?  Where did the last few weeks go???  Christmas shopping was mostly an online experience, as it has been for the past few years.  It’s so much easier than looking for a parking spot at the mall or any shopping center and standing in seemingly endless lines! God bless the internet!

So here we are, less than a week from the start of a new year and despite all the chaos, I made it, and I did it in style ; )  In another week or so, I’ll be embarking on a part time internship for my undergrad degree in social work.  Because it’s PART TIME, I won’t finish until August but I welcome the more relaxed pace which will allow me to work, that is, if I can get a job!  Times are tough, or haven’t you heard? ; )

I posted my resume online the other day and was selected to attend an exclusive job fair with Aflac.  It’s a good company but I’m afraid it may be all about sales, which I dread, so we’ll see.  Tomorrow is the big day.

All in all, the holidays have been nice but I must admit, I’ve felt an emptiness these last few months. I was seeing a guy in Las Vegas but day by day, this void became stronger. I decided to end it before more time passed and it became even harder for both of us. It was extremely painful for both of us.  He probably hates me for it but I’m hoping that will pass.  Naturally, I’m second guessing my decision but the fact that most of the time my heart was filled with longing instead of pure happiness tells me that I did the right thing…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

And there you have it, folks.  T minus 2 days and counting until we welcome 2012!  Are YOU ready?  I’m sick of complaining, making empty promises to myself, and focusing more on the negative parts of my life than the positive – I say BRING IT ON!

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