Thrive!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11

I’m not the “Bible Thumping” type but this Sunday I missed church…been working a lot and had a lot-in general-going on and my body physically needed to recuperate…I was going on two hours of sleep. So point being I missed what I have lately found to be a weekly solace ritual that I need physically, emotionally, and mentally this week being no different. But I missed it. Someone close to me also does this on Sundays and was talking to me about what his church was preaching about today. Then I get a message that has his church’s sermon on podcast! Really?!? Church on TV and podcast now? Got to love society today, so convenient! LOL…so I checked out today’s sermon. The pastor covered a lot but the root of the sermon was about vision and following your true vision. The obvious aspect of life to pertain this to is career, but it goes deeper than that. In 40 minutes Pastor Norm covered SO much! And I loved every minute of it b/c I swear he was talking to me and about my situation right now. It is funny how things happen in life. It was ok that I missed a day at my church b/c I needed to hear what this man had to say!

One of the things I wanted to share with ya’ll that Pastor Norm said was about how we look at things. We all know that my eyesight sucks but it’s not about what you see with your eyes that always matters. It is deeper then that. With all that goes on in life it is easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of our lives and fail to see beyond that. We, more often then not, will focus on the negative parts of our life then we do the positive ones. I’ve been talking to some of my friends about what is going on in my life right now and I’ve said that same line to each of them. This is the happiest time of my life but yet there are some things going on right now for me that are making this a bad part of my life too. While I am not running from these issues or ignoring them, I chose to focus more on the positive aspects of my life and be GRATEFUL for those blessings in my life. Life happens, to all of us….what separates us from the rest is how we deal with life. How we chose to deal with what cards we are dealt. Do you go and hide when you see a dark cloud on your horizon or do you embrace the fact that not every day is sunny and clear? I am one of those people who, literally, loves the rain. Storms excite me! What most people thrive from sun, I get when there is a wicked storm going on! Don’t get me wrong I’m not all doom and gloom, I love the sun. But there is something exciting about a storm that I love and embrace and welcome. Now I’m not saying it’s a metaphor to life and that I love drama….quite the opposite! But what I am saying is that I don’t focus on the negative and let it run my life. I accept it and with the help of loved ones I deal with it. We are always so quick to feel like our life is falling apart…we go Chicken Little on ourselves…”the sky is falling!” But really…it’s not the end of our world….it’s a rough patch…it happens…deal with it, find the positive in it, and move on. Life is too short to dwell on all that.

Back to vision…something that I wish I had better of…in regards to eyes that is. But the vision that was being discussed was actually about our life vision. I thought, graduating from college, I had this all figured out. But the fact of the matter is, that after a few years of being out of college I was not only going with the wrong vision I didn’t know what my vision was. Life then threw me a curve ball and I was somewhat forced to stop and evaluate my life. Where I was, where I was going, where I was meant to go….I know and believe that we all have a purpose in life…we weren’t just put here to kill time. So what was I still here for? If I wasn’t supposed to be here and I filled my purpose…well I wouldn’t be here writing to you now. But the fact is I’m still here. So I had about 9 months to figure this all out. What did I come up with you may ask?

Well I started this blog and I told you I was a 27 year old (which isn’t old until your classmates weren’t even alive for the big ’89 earthquake in SF!) who was/is going back to school. So…here I am working two jobs (and still supplementing partially with unemployment…no one ever thinks they are going to need that, myself included, until they do…), going to school three days a week, and trying to still live and enjoy life with those she loves. I am not just going to school for fun or to kill time I finally realized during my time off and looking for work that part of the reason I wasn’t finding anything was b/c I was looking in the wrong places. I didn’t want to go back into the industry I was in. It was fun and exciting but I didn’t have quality of life, none of the managers there did! And it wasn’t what I was meant to do with my life. I know in my heart that I am here to help and to teach…and I finally realized that I was put here to teach. No, my ultimate goal is not to become the head of the Education Department for the US…it is to teach! More specifically I’d like to teach high school students. The feeling I had after finally coming to this realization was amazing! Really, it doesn’t sounds profound or amazing but the feeling I got when I had my “aha” moment was almost blissful! I just knew it. It’s like when someone asks you how you know that person is the one….you almost can’t specifically explain it, you just know…its just right! High school is such a crucial point in life…really it’s a make it or break it point for kids…why wouldn’t you want to be there to help one…yep even if its just one its worth it!

So I ask you…what is your vision? Are you living it, working towards it, preparing for it…?

Because if you aren’t working on it then what are you wasting your time doing? We are not promised tomorrow, yesterday is done, so live life in the NOW! Life is too short and we only get one chance…make the most of it. I’m far from perfect but if I die tomorrow I can at least die knowing I tried and was working in the direction I was meant to go.

I’m attaching the link if you want to listen…it doesn’t matter what denomination you are, if any. They are quality words worth listening to.

Have a Happy and Blessed Tuesday!

PS: Sorry I missed last week ya’ll!

http://eastcoastbelievers.org/322272.ihtml

Swimming in the Ocean…

So many times I’ve said that I feel like I’m barely “keeping my head above water.” Metaphorically speaking in the sense that I’m on the verge of “drowning.” However, today, I realized that I was looking at it from the wrong perspective. It’s not that I am metaphorically drowning but that there are times when life feels like I’m swimming in a pool or a calm lake. But other times it feels as if I’m swimming in the ocean. Why the swimming metaphor instead of the drowning one? Simple! Drowning infers that I have, or am in the process of, giving up. Well giving up just isn’t my style. So I realized that it’s not that I’m drowning its just that sometimes there is so much going on, so much on my mind, that I feel like I’m swimming in the ocean.

So for those of you that have not that the opportunity or pleasure or swimming in an ocean let me help paint this picture for you. Swimming in a pool is the easiest form of swimming. You are in a controlled environment-no need to worry about Mother Nature, or the temp of the water, or the current, etc. You are in probably about 80 degree water, no animals, no current, no weather elements to factor in….So even if you are Michael Phelps, sorry but you aren’t considered an expert swimmer in my book until you have done some swimming, and survived it, in the ocean-especially the Bay Area waters! Yikes, even I’m not that daring! Here is why. Swimming in the ocean you have the elements of weather to contend with, the current (which can make you swim your hardest and get no where), you have ocean life, etc. It takes a lot of energy and a strong person, physically and mentally, to be an ocean swimmer.

Today I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean swimming and just realized it. I thought I was in a pool but when I came up for air I realized that I was in the middle of the ocean swimming. Why is that? Well I have two jobs-I went from no job for a year to two now. I am going to school three times a week and somewhere in there I am trying to have a social like and some time to myself to rest/relax. But today, this week, as much as I’d like to think I am Super Woman, I know I’m not. I know that she is just a character I can be for Halloween and a comic book character. She is fiction and this is real life. I am not 21 anymore where I was able to work three jobs and go to school full time. There is a lot more going on in my life then there was when I was 21. I am not the same person physically or mentally that I was at 21.

While this is not my giving up speech, it is my coming to face reality speech. Drowning isn’t an option for me, what is an option is trying to figure out how to keep swimming without “killing”: myself. We all have our limits, and knowing our limits is what is important. Knowing what we are capable of doing and doing it successfully is important. It is not about quantity but quality sometimes. I drove my life into the ground by not keeping up my quality of life b/c I was trying to do too much. I am not going to get caught up in that again. So while I may not spend every minute of my free time with my friends, it’s not b/c I don’t love you, it’s b/c I love myself and I know when I need some R & R time. We all do…. learning to say “no” sometimes is a good thing. I know that I can’t be going to school and working and have the same social life I did when I was unemployed.

Caring for you first is what is important-it’s not selfish. It’s like someone once told me, it’s like the emergency procedure instructions they give you on a plane. You set up your oxygen mask first before you help anyone else, including your child. What good are you if you are unconscious!

So today was a combination of my body physically telling me to slow down/back off a little and my mind needing some R & R. It was a warning sign that I chose to pay attention to, knowing now that if I hadn’t paid attention to it, later on down the road it may back fire on me.

So I choose to see these times as me swimming in the ocean and fighting the current. Not b/c that’s not the direction I should be going in., but b/c life and no one is perfection. We need to work hard to play hard and to reap the rewards we want in life. But in the process we also need to know our limits and know when we need a little break. Trying to drive on an empty tank won’t get you far.