Monthly Archives: July 2011

It’s OK to be Me!

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There are many paths to success.  Many people use different methods to be successful.  I’m finding that he best way to be successful is to do it in a way that you are comfortable with.

Now I’m not suggesting that it doesn’t take some stretching and getting out of the comfort zone to grow.  I feel I’ve come along way in that aspect.  I’ll admit that I have a ways to go still, but I’m working on it in my own way.

I have a great mentor.  He’s very motivated and driven and hardworking.  To a fault, in my opinion.  It’s important to find a balance.  He does struggle a little with that.  It’s great to be passionate about something, but not at the expense of other important things.  From this experience, I’m learning that it’s OK to be Me.  I don’t have to do things the exact same way as he does.  Honestly, I don’t want to.  I need more sleep than that.  I couldn’t function of 4 hours a sleep a night!

I’m taking what works for me and trying to implement it into my own success patterns.  There are things that I need to become better at, and I’m aware of that, but at least I know that I don’t have to do it the exact way my mentor does.  Listening in on other mentor and coach programs helps me pick up on other tips that I need.

We should all feel this way!!

I’m grateful for the realization that is OK to be Me!  I can succeed by implementing methods that work for me without becoming a ‘workaholic’.   I still have lots of other things in my life that are important to me.  Finding balance is the key.  While I am grateful to my mentor for the things I’ve learned from him, and I appreciate his driven personality, I know I can succeed in my own way…. and I’m truly grateful for that knowledge!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

 

Family Pics

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Though I hate making rushed decisions, I was grateful that we found a time when the family could get together for a family pic before my daughter moved a few weeks ago.

The weather co-operated pretty good, so we lucked out that way.  In fact, about an hour after our photo shoot ended, it started pouring!  It’s been a crazy summer for weather, so I was grateful that it worked out, since we had outdoor pictures taken.

Have you ever noticed that when you see a picture that you are in, even if it’s a large group of people….. you are the first thing you look at?  Of course, we are all more critical of ourselves than any one else, so I guess it’s only natural to not like what you see at first.  That was the case when we got our pictures back.  I was having a hard time getting past the fact that I didn’t like myself in any of the pictures so I couldn’t focus on the fact that everyone else looked pretty good.  After a couple of days away from the pictures, I was able to come back with a more level head and look at them more realistically.

Pictures can capture memories that our minds seem to forget easily.  Though I haven’t been one who had family pictures taken every year, I think we had them often enough to see us change over the years.  Someday I’ll have a ‘gallery’ with all the family pics in one place we so can giggle and enjoy looking at not only how we all grew up over the years, but how we fit right in with the styles of the time!  Family pictures are precious.

So… now we have some new family pics.  Lots of fun ones too.   This session ended up being just my husband and our kids.  My son’s girlfriend was not able to make the session, which I felt awful about, but sometimes you have to do what you can when you can!

Don't I have good looking children??

 

I’m grateful for my wonderful family….. I’m grateful for every chance we get to make memories together, and this was one of those times!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Princess Dreams

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Today I ran into Ross Dress for Less for a quick minute.  I was walking up and down the isle with the dresses when several young girls caught my attention from the next isle over.  First I heard one of them exclaim: “Oh, this is the dress I want!”  And then more along the same lines like, “I’ll wear that one to my party!”,  or  “I’m so rich… I’ll have this dress!”  

I was taken back to a time in my memory when I was a kid.  That whole age of make believe.  Imagination.  It reminded me of looking through the Sears Catalog as a kid and picking out my dream clothes and my dream boyfriend!  Did you ever do that?  Now those models were hunks and it was quite a nice dream!!  One that any kid would love to have.

Did you ever dress up and pretend you were going to a Ball or some other special place?  It pretty much made you feel like a Princess, didn’t it?  I know my daughter always wished that we would have lived in a big two story house with a grand staircase in the entrance that she could make her decent down when her date came to pick her up on prom night.  A nice Princess entrance.  A split entry home doesn’t have quite the same effect!

Why is that we don’t allow ourselves those Princess dreams as we get older?  Ironically….. one of my favorite websites, Meditations for Women, had an article today addressing this very issue!  It was titled “Turn Back the Clock”

“There is a princess inside every woman.”

When a girl is young, she carries her dreams in her twinkling eyes. She is convinced that there is a princess, a very attractive princess, living inside her.

With time she becomes sober and gets enmeshed in the realities of day to day life. Slowly that little princess becomes a distant memory. Then, one day, even the memory vanishes.

A time comes when she scoffs at the idea that a princess is within her. What? A PRINCESS living inside this straggly, gangly, fat, shabbily dressed, pale frame? Not possible!

That’s where she’s wrong. THAT LITTLE PRINCESS STILL LIVES INSIDE HER.

However, she is buried underneath the pile of worries, pain and misery. She can be freed if you believe and search for her within you.

So, turn back the clock. Remember that little girl who used to look into the mirror and dream wonderful dreams? Become that girl again.

Don’t allow the present to kill the beauty within you. You are STILL that strong, independent, joyful human being you left behind. The little princess within you has just lost her way. Help her come back.

I want her to come back!  I say….. let’s have a grown up Princess party!!  We can all come dressed as our favorite Princess (or Prince, as the case may be…..) and watch the movie Enchanted together!  (I wonder if the rats and birds would clean my house!  ) There’s nothing wrong with a little childlike enthusiasm once and a while!  It’s OK to look in the mirror and dream those dreams!  Reality doesn’t have to be so bullish all the time!

It really is a shame that most of us seem to let go of childhood dreams way too early.  I’m not talking about living in a fantasy world here…. I mean, we just seem to lose faith in ourselves and think that we can’t accomplish some of the things we always wanted to.  Yet, I’ve seen people never give up on a dream.  I’ve seen them pursue it till it came true, even when no one else seem to believe in them.  Those are people with heart and tenacity.

Perhaps there just comes a time in your life when you finally feel you can make some of those dreams come true.  Some things happen along the way and that spark of dream starts to glimmer again.   I have a few things glimmering right now.  I have some dreams that I feel will come true….. And I can be a Princess in those dreams if I choose!

I'm such a bad Mom! This is as close as Mandy ever got to a Princess costume! But isn't she precious!

I’m grateful for being reminded by some very cute young ladies today that it’s OK to have Princess dreams.  I’m grateful for an article from Meditations for Women that confirmed that belief.   I say it’s time to plan that party and you’re all invited!  Which Princess or Prince will you come dressed as?

I am Grateful!  How are you?

BJ Jackson

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I’ve been blessed to know some amazing people in my life.  Really.  I could probably blog about one a day and still have many left over in a years time!  The fact that I keep meeting some pretty amazing people helps!

I met BJ Jackson in 2004.  I had just completed Real Estate school and was interviewing Brokers to see where I wanted to put my license.   I actually had BJ as one of my teachers in Real Estate school for one class.  I remembered her because I was impressed with her skill of memorizing names.  She went around the class room and asked what everyone’s name was and then was able to repeat it.  I can’t remember her exact association right now, but I remember that she had something to associate the name Wanda with.  It seems it was a friend or a relative…. I’ll have to have her remind me!  I’ve always been impressed with people who can remember a whole room full of names in a matter of minutes!  I also enjoyed BJ as a teacher and remember that being one of the favorite classes I took.

BJ had her own Brokerage at the time I finished school.  I had already interviewed with a few other Brokers when I visited with her that day.  There was an immediate connection for me.  This was a big step I was taking.  I had pretty much been a stay at home Mom, with the exception of a short stint of running a Children’s Performing group called Spotlight Sensations.  Other than that….. I was making a step into a world I was very unsure of.

Bj and I hit if off right away and I felt at home in her office.  One of the things I loved, was that it was a small Brokerage, which meant that she would be much more assessable than if it were a large Brokerage.  I was feeling the need for my hand to be held!!   I found out after completing Real Estate School that they don’t teach you how to ‘do’ Real Estate in school….. they only teach the laws and rules!  I needed a mentor who cared!

I had one more interview after my interview with BJ and could not believe the difference I felt.  Besides feeling a lot of pressure from them to join their office…. I just didn’t like the atmosphere.  It didn’t work for me.  It was only a re-assurance that I was right in making the decision to go with BJ’s Brokerage.

BJ was and is an amazing Coach.  She’s a great Teacher and a wonderful Mentor.  I’ve always been impressed when she ‘has the floor’ … no matter what the reason!  She has become a friend to me.  Though I respected her position as my Broker, I always felt that she liked me as a person and a friend.  That made all the difference for me.

Though I haven’t done a lot with Real Estate the last couple of years, I am still great friends with BJ.  I don’t see her as often as I’d like since we don’t see each other in an office situation anymore…. but we are still friends.  She has even joined me in another venture I am pursuing.  Though she is still a Realtor, Coach and Mentor, she tackles many more things too!

I’m grateful for BJ Jackson.  I’m grateful for her concern and her Mentorship to me when I first started in Real Estate.  I always knew she cared about me and my success.  I”m grateful for her friendship, her example and her undying energy!  Thanks for being you, BJ!!  I’m honored to be your friend!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

I Am Now Here

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OK…. I’ll admit it.  The last few days haven’t been as chipper as I’d like them to be.  It’s often very hard to realize your blessings when you are wallowing in frustration or pain.

I had a timely email come to me.  It actually came the other day, but I finally got around to reading it today.  It made me realize that it’s OK to feel a little down once and a while.  It’s almost impossible to be cheerful all the time!  Again…. from one of the many newsletters I get…. this one is from Teresa Romain.  Here’s just one paragraph from her newsletter:

 

Far too often, I’ve used positive thinking to “make things okay” that are not okay.  I’ve used positive thinking as a way of avoiding dealing with things that are uncomfortable, unpleasant, scary, or plain ol’ hard.  I often use “positive thinking” to deny or avoid feeling emotions like sadness, anger, grief, frustration, discouragement, fear.  

 

We (and I include myself) think that positive thinking makes us feel better and maybe it does – for the short term.   But if positive thinking is being used (consciously or subconsciously) to deny reality or avoid feeling or dealing with something we don’t like – it’s really NOT going to make us feel better.  It becomes a “band-aid” instead of a cure. 

Denial is certainly not a good thing.  So…… I’m going to admit right now that things aren’t OK.  Don’t get me wrong….. they could be much worse, but dealing with an illness can get depressing.  It’s been really hard to be motivated to get much done.  Perhaps it’s just an excuse….  since picking up the phone and making a few calls is surely not going to ‘tire’ me out in any way!

Here’s another point Teresa Romain makes…. which I love.  What does this say?  IAMNOWHERE   There are two ways to read that.  Either I AM NOWHERE ….  OR …… I AM NOW HERE.  I choose the later.  Here’s how she applies it to feeling down:

What if, instead of trying to put a “positive” spin on “I AM NOWHERE” – you simply admitted and accepted “I AM NOW HERE”.  No judgment – positive or negative.  And if your NOW HERE is not what you want or it’s not working for you – what if you used your energy to take action (one step at a time) to deal with that and move toward what you do want.  Believe me, that’s a MUCH more productive use of your energy than trying to put a “positive spin” on everything.

Today, I’m admitting that “I am now here” .  Not at all where I want to be, but I can deal with it one step at a time.  “This too shall pass”.  These Shingles will heal and the pain will subside.  I guess I should refer myself back to my own post about ‘Baby Steps’, huh?

I’m grateful for Teresa Romain’s newsletter this week.  It made me realize that I can give myself permission to be a little down.  I can  accept that this is where I am at the moment and that I can make improvements, not only physically, but mentally!  As long as I don’t wallow in the frustration forever!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

 

Lost Horizon

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Have you heard of Shangri-La?  How do you define it?  Free Dictionary.com defines it as follows:  An imaginary remote paradise on earth; utopia.    A distant and secluded hideaway, usually of great beauty and peacefulness.  The term came from James Hilton’s book: Lost Horizon.

Though the book has been made into a movie more than once, the version I’m familiar with is the 1973 version which was a musical of sorts with Burt Bacharach music.  As a teen…. I loved that movie!  Though it was an apparent flop in the box office, I think it still had a following.

Last night I found the whole thing on Youtube!  Can I just tell you how happy I was?  I know…. some of you will think I’m nuts, cause it’s kind of a quirky version of the story, with music and all…. but I love it.  It brought back a ton of memories.

There are a lot of deep messages in the story of Lost Horizon.  The whole idea of finding ‘Shangri-la’ …..  a utopia that I think we all desire.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a place where the was no crime, no war, no sickness, no pollution, no sadness.  All men are treated as equal and enjoy the benefits of working together in peace.   Ah…. I guess that’s a description of what the Millenium will be!

In the meantime, what can we do to have our own ‘Shangri-la’?  Wikipedia suggest that the term is used as a metaphor or figure of speech:  Shangri-La is often used in a similar context to “Garden of Eden“, to represent a paradise hidden from modern man. It is sometimes used as an analogy for a life-long quest or something elusive that is much sought. For a man who spends his life obsessively looking for a cure to a disease, such a cure could be said to be that man’s “Shangri-La”. It also might be used to represent perfection that is sought by man in the form of love, happiness, or Utopian ideals.

In that context, finding our own Shangri-la is extremely personal.  The most important part of the concept, I think, is to be happy and content when we get there….. but being unhappy along the way is not a good thing.  I think many moments in our lives can become ‘Shangri-La’s’.  As I said in my post yesterday…. ‘savor the coffee, not the cup’!

I’m grateful for the chance I had to watch Lost Horizon on Youtube.  Though it was in 15 different  sections… I still really enjoyed the trip down memory lane.  I enjoyed being reminded of the important things in life…. being content with what you have…. who you are…..  Though there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make your situation better than it currently is, you have to be grateful for the now in order for things to get better.  Here’s to all our quests for our own Shangri-La!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Life is Like Coffee

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Have you heard the story or analogy of comparing life to Coffee?  I’ve attached a link to a great presentation telling the story here.  I think this post will make more sense if you take a minute and watch it.

I think this story is so great because it reminds us that it’s not what kind of house we live in or what kind of car we drive that’s important….it’s how we live our lives.  Material things don’t make us better people…..  how we treat each other speaks volumes about who we are.  The good old phrase ‘Actions speak louder than words’ comes to mind.

I think you’ve all heard stories about millionaires who live a very modest life.  Many of their friends don’t even realize they are wealthy, yet they are content and happy with very little.  In contrast, there are those who have millions but lack happiness.  As the coffee story suggests…. they are more concerned about the ‘cup’ then they are about enjoying the what’s inside the cup.

Don’t get me wrong…. I don’t believe money makes people miserable.  Quit the opposite, in my opinion.  As long as you recognize and acknowledge the blessings in your life and ‘pay it forward’ so to speak…. I believe rich people can be very happy.  Many of them are.  Many of them use that money for wonderful causes…. which is what I would consider paying it forward.   Savoring the coffee.

I’m grateful for reminders to not be so concerned about the ‘container’ of life…. but to be happy with ‘life’!  I’m grateful for people in my life that are examples of that.  My husband being one of them.  Thanks for setting an example.

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Pioneer Day

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Pioneer Day.  A celebration that I have always loved, ever since I was a kid.  It’s a celebration here in Utah of the day the Pioneers finally reached the Salt Lake valley.  July 24, 1847.  Also known as the Days of’ ’47.

Growing up in Bountiful, Utah…. it meant 2 days of celebration.  On the 23rd of July there was a big parade down Main Street at 6pm.  The parade would end in Bountiful City Park where the rest of the festivities would begin.  The park we set up similar to a carnival,  but the rides weren’t as big and fancy as they are now….. though small in comparison they were a whole lot of fun!  There were booths with food and games besides the rides.  The Pace’s Dairy Ann truck would be there selling their famous ice cream out of the back of that freezer truck.  We would spend a little time there on the night of the parade and then I could hardly wait till the next day to head back down and spend most of the day there again!  Of course, the morning would first be spent watching the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake on TV.  This parade was much bigger than the one in Bountiful, though many of the same floats would be in it.  I believe it’s the 4th or 5th largest parade in the nation.  So many great memories.

As a kid, I’m not sure I really appreciated the real meaning of this holiday.  I don’t remember really being taught a lot about my family history as far as the Pioneers go, and yet I learned much later that my Mom’s Mother was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t taken the time to research the history behind that connection.  Apparently it wasn’t passed down to my Mom either, since she doesn’t know any fact either. Strange.

I have read histories and seen movie renditions of the history of the pioneers, so I am familiar with the sacrifices they made to get here.  All Pioneers, in general, made many sacrifices to travel West….. but the Mormon Pioneers endured many hardships in regards to much persecution along the way.  It was persecution that drove them away from the beautiful communities they had built up in the East.  It’s a sad history when you learn about what they went through and what they endured.  It amazes me that people can treat others that way, and yet, our history books are full of unkind behavior toward others, not just the Pioneers.  And still today, much of that behavior remains in some places.   Man’s ego is an interesting thing….. but that’s another topic!

I’m grateful for the sacrifices of those early Pioneers that came and settled the Salt Lake Valley and subsequently, the whole state of Utah and beyond.  They endured many hardships along the trail as well as in the development of this valley.  They are amazing examples of courage and faith.  I’m grateful for all that they did to pave the way for the better life that we now live.  And…. I’m grateful that we take the time to honor them with celebrations that hold so many cherished memories for me.  Though we probably don’t focus enough on their sacrifices during this time…. it does give us cause to stop and reflect and have reason to spend time together as families celebrating our heritage and that of the valley.  And I think that’s the way they would have wanted it.

I am Grateful!  How are you?

 

It’s Not a Race!

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“Slow down, you move too fast!  Got to make the morning last.  Just kicking down the cobble stones.  Looking for fun and Feelin’ Groovy!”   The words to this Paul Simon’s came to my mind the other day.

I was driving home the other day and it occurred to me that I have a problem.  For some reason, I think I need to be the lead car when driving down the road most of the time.  Not that I speed too much…. note the too much…… but I do like to keep moving and I have a tendency to pass cars when I don’t think they are going fast enough.  Oh, don’t get me wrong…. there are plenty of other drivers out there who go much faster than I…. I just can’t stand to be behind a slow poke.

It suddenly hit me as I was coming down 12600 So. that there was no reason that I needed to rush home.  I wasn’t trying to beat a deadline, I didn’t have an appointment to make, so what was all the rush about?  I slowed down and decided to stay in the right lane behind whoever was in front of me and just take it easy getting to the intersection where I would be making a right hand turn.  Then I started thinking….. what other things do I do that I’m just speeding through?

LIfe is not a Race.  We need to slow down and savor the moment, just as we should slow down and savor our food.  Food tastes better when you do that, and it’s much better for your digestive system.  Have you heard the expression, “Stop and smell the Roses”?  Roses are beautiful, but how much more could we enjoy them if we would take the time to inhale their fragrance.

What do we drive by or walk by everyday that we just aren’t paying attention to?  How much are we missing out on because we are in a hurry?  I fear way too much.  It’s time to “slow down, you move too fast”  If we plan our day as best as we can, allowing time for us to get where we need to be with out rushing, we may just notice things around us better.  But you do have to be looking!

I’m grateful for the little reminder that life is not a race!  I don’t have to be at the front of the line.  Try paying attention to what’s going on around you instead of being annoyed your not up front.  Perhaps someone is trying to get your attention.  Interestingly enough, I was emailed a story that goes with this idea very well.  I’m posting it here at the end of the blog…. so thanks for slowing down long enough to keep reading!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

THE BRICK 




A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down 
when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door!



He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver 
then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against 

a parked car shouting, ‘What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?’ The young boy was apologetic. ‘Please, mister…please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,’ He pleaded. ‘I threw the brick because no one else would stop…’ With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. ‘It’s my brother,’ he said, ‘he rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.’ 


Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, ‘Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.’ 


Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay ‘Thank you and may God bless you,’ the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. 


It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar.. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: ‘Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!’ God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not. 

My Friend Lyn Wright

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I have some cool talented friends!!   Today, I’m grateful for my friend Lyn.

I meet Lyn about 4 years ago.  Her husband Joe, was asked to come join the softball team my hubby plays on for the Senior Games in St. George.  I believe our team manager had watched him play with another team he was there with and asked him if he’d like to come play with Second Wind during the Senior Games the following year. They live in Arizona, so the only time he usually plays with us is in St. George.   Lyn is Joe’s wife.  We hit if off really well that first year.  We didn’t see each other again till the following year at that games.  That next year we really bonded, and each year since we have become better friends.

This woman is a hoot and a half with talent oozing out her ears!  She’s always making me laugh, and yet we can have serious heart to heart talks.  We are actually Facebook friends now, so we can keep up with each other all year long.

This weekend, we made the trip to Pocatello Idaho to participate in the Idaho Senior Games.  It’s not a very well attended event…. but the guys love to play ball enough, that they will look for any excuse to do it!  They invited Joe and Lyn to travel all the way from Arizona to play with us and they came!!  Lyn’s Mom lives in the Logan area, so they are killing two birds with one stone by stopping and visiting her Mom while they are up.

Back to the talents of this woman……  holy cow!  She is so creative.  Her brain was going 90 miles an hour today while we were visiting, because she was getting new ideas of how to put her creative handwork to use in other ways.  She is a fabulous painter.  She does a form of tole painting called ‘One Stroke’, and she’s good at it.  Look at this darling purse she painted and brought to me!!  So cute!  She’s actually started her own business called Persnickety Things, and she does very well when she sets up her booth.  No one can resist her stuff!

Lyn's One Stroke flowers on the back of the purse

One of her new things that she’s been doing since last October is making fabulous fabric flowers.  They are so cute and unique.  And she brought several for me.  Now I like to bling up, but sometimes I wonder if I’m overdoing it for someone ‘my age’.  Lyn doesn’t care about any of that.  If she likes it….. she wears it and she wears it  proudly and well!  So I got brave and put one of her cute flowers in my hair when we went to dinner tonight and loved it!  I can also use them as a corsage or on a hat…. any place we can clip them too.

I’m so grateful for my friend Lyn.  I’m grateful that she’s spunky and fun and compassionate!  She makes me realize that I really shouldn’t care what other people think.  If I like it….. it’s OK.  She has become a dear friend to me.  I’m so glad we are finding excuses to see each other more than once a year!

Here's the front of the purse..... see the crystals? So cute!

Thanks for being who you are Lyn, and for making my life so much more fun!

I am Grateful!  How are you?