Done Waiting

It was 2 weeks ago that I posted about how I need to step up my game. In writing and in life.

So, did I do anything? Am I all talk and no walk?

Yes, I did and no, I’m not.

Wait…you get that, right?

I started with a movie. I took myself to the movies. I went to a matinee to see Hangover 2. There were about ten other people in the theater, so I got to stretch out and get comfortable. (I’d like to add that matinee is prime time because if you heard a whole theater laughing, you may have missed half of the jokes as they were layered in one after another.) While I usually bring my own snacks in my oversized purse….ssshhhh!…this time I bought myself a snack and drink there. Hey, if no one else is gonna splurge on me, why don’t I do it? I spent two hours in worry-free bliss, relaxing and laughing.

A few days later, I treated myself to some new summer clothes. Nothing extravagant, but a few bright colored things from Old Navy perked me up a bit.

This week, I took my kids to the local zoo. Not a big city zoo, but a local one where we can still walk around and enjoy the day outside. The kids had a great time and I was at ease allowing them to run around and watching them ooh and aah at every little creature.

Tuesday. Tuesday was a big day. I took my son to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My quest to spend more time in the city has begun. A bit nervous on the drive in, we made it there with no problem. I only freaked out mildly when I found out I couldn’t park in the usual parking lot in front of the building.

WHERE DO I GO?!!

Street parking…ugh. We found a spot, and the bonus? I didn’t have to pay for parking. Score one for me.

And even though the residual effects of the stress tainted my stomach for the next two hours, I managed to suck it up and make the most of the day with my son. We strolled. We admired. We wondered. He received several compliments on his hat; he has a fedora he loves to wear. There’s something elating about seeing your child beam at random compliments. We even marveled at our favorite room…The Armor Room.

All in all, I think I’m on the right track. The past two weeks gave me a boost and I feel like some life has been breathed back into…well…my life. I’m definitely going to take myself to the movies more often. And finding things to do outside with the kids will be a priority, as well. There are a bunch of playgrounds nearby. Maybe that will be next week’s fun.

What are YOU doing to live a little more? Let me know!

A Battle of Words: Me vs. Me

In this corner, we have Me, a thirty-three year old wife and mother, weighing in at too inexperienced and half past a young age.

In the other corner, we have Me, a thirty-three year old woman, weighing in at one smart mouth with an itchy writing hand. 

This fight has been going on for near a year now.  The two separate Me’s can’t seem to agree.  The first one feels like a woman struggling to get out of her old skin and slough off the dead skin that’s only been constricting her creativity and imagination.  The second feels like the new skin is already broken through, glowing and smooth.  I am in some in-between stage trying to get somewhere, but without a proper map.

Here’s my current fight with myself.  Where did my vocabulary go?  I am reading books and blogs remembering all these  descriptive and extraordinary ten dollar words that I loved learning as a kid in school.  I know what they mean.  I know how to use them…so why am I not using them?  I may not need to inundate my blog and articles with impressive words, but writing gives me every reason to use them to create pieces that make you want to read more. 

I guess when they say “if you don’t use it, you lose it” that goes for your vocabulary, too.  Spending your day with a three year old limits your expressions.  My ten year old is more appreciative because he will ask if I use a word he doesn’t know.  Then my husband comes home and conversations like “What’s for dinner?” and “What time is the game on?” ensue.  Watching the Phillies doesn’t exactly induce statements like “The altitudinous trajectory of that home run was impressive, indeed.” 

Apparently, I’ve let myself forget those beautiful words I used to know so well.  I miss words like “undulate” and “pejorative”.  Part of my reason for getting back into writing was because I enjoy it and this is part of why I do.  The English language is full of colorful words that not only tell a story when put together properly, but they also help the author paint the appropriate picture if chosen advertently. 

The wife and mother Me is feeling like she’s been scolded by the coach for not making enough uppercuts.

The independent woman Me feels like she didn’t keep her hands up enough to protect from the head shots. 

This round gave me a good shot to the gut to get me to pay attention.  Even if you haven’t been in the ring for a long time, you still need to stay in shape.   You never know when you might be called out to compete again.

The Need for a #DailyGiggle

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that every day I post a #DailyGiggle.  Most days it is either a silly photo or video from various sites.  The only requirement I have for choosing one is that it has to make me laugh out loud.  Whether hysterical laughter, or just a little chuckle, it has to initiate a reaction from me.  And for videos, I try to keep it under five minutes in the interest of people at work who might be checking it out.  I pick a new item every day and usually put in some time searching.  If I’m lucky, something that I recall that has made me laugh in the past pops into my head and I just go find it.

Who is reading these tweets?  Let’s do the math.  I have less than 300 followers  and I’m pretty sure that about 100 of them are bots, businesses or people that don’t even read my tweets.  Still, that leaves about 100 or so that might read them.  Even if only half of those people see the #DailyGiggle, that could be 50 people that I have made laugh.  To me, that is an extremely successful day. 

Why do I post these tweets?  I’ve come to find that if you make it a point to get some laughter each day, you can make a difference in the way stress affects you.  Being happy doesn’t just come naturally.  You have to help it, nurture it and encourage it to be able to keep it.  It may seem like hard work, but you’ll find that when it comes to making yourself happy, it doesn’t feel like work. 

Still not convinced?  Let me list a few of the health benefits of laughter for you:

  • Relieves physical tension
  • Decreases stress hormones
  • Increases immune cells & infection fighting antibodies
  • Improves blood vessel function & increases blood flow
  • Decreases pain
  • Eases anxiety
  • Increases energy

The list goes on and on.  A good laugh may give you temporary benefit, but when you are laughing regularly you could see some real long term advantages.  The improved blood vessel function and better blood flow can protect you from heart attack.  Relieving anxiety can help you avoid stress related illnesses such as anxiety attacks and stomach ulcers.  Taking care of your body can be difficult for people on the go.  We don’t always eat right and exercise.  However, it’s still important to do what you can to keep your health in check.  Better health means less trips to the doctor.  That means less doctor bills to pay and one less stress to worry about. 

I’ve been on quite a journey in this past year and the most important lesson I’m learning is that happiness is easy to come by when you are looking for it.  And with this lesson, I hope the spread around the joy a little.  I feel like if I can be this happy, more people should feel this way, too.  So, if you’re on Twitter, look for me and my #DailyGiggle hashtag.  For those of you that follow me already, I hope you enjoy the giggles.  And for those of you that retweet them, thanks for spreading around a few laughs!

Whether you are or aren’t on Twitter, please, do what you can to get some laughs every single  day.  The more you laugh, the more you’ll see what a difference it can make. 😀

What Have I Done?

It’s happened.  I have finally succumbed to the peer pressure and set up a Facebook page.  What have I done?  I am already regretting my decision.  I am a Twitter addict, tried and true.  I like the anonymity and the brevity of it all.  I actually receive useful writing information on Twitter.  There’s something to be said for that.  I’ve learned quite a bit about writers, rules and tricks of the trade.  That was my goal from the beginning. 

But now…now I’m looking at a page of gobbledy gooked comments all over the place.  There’s no organization.  There’s random updates of which I have no idea what they are.  I like order!  I would look at one person’s page and find they know someone else I might know so I keep going from page to page saying “I know this one!” and “Hey, I havent seen her in forever!”  What have I done?  I don’t want to open this door.  I don’t want to invite a flood of people I haven’t talked to in ages to chit chat about stuff I don’t care about.

Am I selfish?  Am I conceited?  Maybe I’ve turned into a hermit?  I’m not sure, but I feel like I’ve opened Pandora’s box with this stupid page and I just want to shut it.  I want to fill it full of concrete and lock it up tight and drop it to the bottom of the nearest river.  Is it too late to turn back?  I am really trying to convince myself that this was a good idea, but I can’t do it.  There is one person that I haven’t talked to in ages that I have been dying to talk to.  Maybe I can just send her my email address and then shut it all down.  I’ll shut it down and pretend like it never happened.  That sounds good, right?  No one will ever know? 

Right?

RIGHT?!?!

Crap…how did I get 24 friends already?