Why Not Overestimate What You Can Do?

This afternoon I had every intention of coming home at the end of the day and posting a blog reworking day one of The Purpose Driven Life. Well…crap…life happens and things change…so I don’t get to write that post because there is other stuff going on.

Life…the eternal brevity of life.

We are all here forever in our minds. Our days become months that turn into years that form our lives. We don’t know why we are here in the grand scheme of things and where are we going?? Only time will tell us.

But we are here and we are intelligent and for better or worse we will make it work.

There was a quote that I shared once on people overestimating what they can do in a day, but underestimating what they can do in a life. What can we do? What can we change? How can we live to our potential in the quick succession of our many days?

Is it even important that we change the world to effect change on the world?

I don’t think so.

We can change the entire future of our planet by simply changing how we relate to it. We need to realize our power is not in the halls of government or the corner offices of commerce, but in how we live out each and every one of our days.

Today several things have happened that I think will have an impact on me for a while. First, something as simple as a book club. This book club was not just a small group of girls gathering to read fiction. This book club is at my office. I now work for a Fortune 100 (plus a few) company. We are a STEM company and are trying to stay the leading company in our field. The book we are reading is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

Here’s the thing. Our industry is traditionally dominated by men. They are the great builders, engineers and designers…at least in theory. But our office has something special that I don’t think many of the women (several thousand) understand the value of – we have a female chief operating officer running our campus.

Our big cheese is a woman!

This is abundantly important for us as women!

I am not going to look up the exact statistic now, but the ratio of female to male COOs of companies our size is miniscule! Then considering our industry…I was shocked that there weren’t more women at book club! I don’t think we would have had this book club if it wasn’t for her belief in possibility.

I have heard so many times women complain that they do all the work but never get the reward. The men get to have all the glory, but the women are the one holding it all together. Head down, pencil to paper, getting shit done.

Simple truth is – if your head is always in the muck – it will only ever see more muck.

How many women are so wrapped in their work that they don’t look up and see the opportunity? How many are concentrating so hard on what is that they don’t see the possibility of what could be? I am just getting into the book, but I challenge women to stand up, find their power, show up to the meetings, be heard. Make a difference!

So much happens when we are present, not just in body, but in mind and awareness.

Second thing that happened today…an awareness of self, not self-awareness, but an awareness that if I just keep working, growing, learning, and pushing that I will be where I always thought I would. It may not be the exact place or thing that was in my mind, but it is working out exactly how God made it.

This reminded me that we each on a different path and that there are no shortcuts to ease the pain. The pain is there to make you stronger. The hardships we face are intolerable when they happen, but when we finally taste success the result is sweeter because we can acknowledge the pain of the past.

Finally, TED. Dear sweet, amazing TED. This week is TED active and my inbox has exploded with massive amounts of info-porn. Seriously. My favorite week’s are TED week’s because the ideas and information that come out of them are transformational for each of us individually and all of us globally. So many things that changed as a result of putting these ideas into ACTIONS.

What is an idea if it can’t be put into action?!

A waste of freaking time!!!

I love the philanthropic, socially aware, more political ideological discussions, and today was mind-blowing. I am still watching, because I was late to the party, but it is all on video. I highly suggest you all watch it.

Here’s what ties the day’s events together. When we look up from the day-to-day and we see the possibility of what could be it is up to us to grab it, to hold it, to nurture it into existence. We must breathe the life into the thing that gives us purpose, that gives us life.

If your thing is simply living life as joyfully as possible and showing that joy to everyone you meet then do it. Your smile and easy laughter will change hearts and won’t cost a dime. If you are Bill and Melinda Gates and your thing is creating a planet that sees the best possible future in vaccinations and education improvements for children. Then do that!

We are each blessed with different gifts, scopes, and thought processes. The important thing is that you do it.

Please watch the evenings TED events here. TED2014: The Next Chapter
http://conferences.ted.com/TED2014/

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Kiev : A Little Over a Week Later

Wasn’t it just a little over a week ago that people were dancing in Kiev’s Independence Square ecstatic that they had the ability to change their stars?

Didn’t they laugh and sing and enjoy being “Happy”?

Kiev Happy

Isn’t it amazing what has followed? Is amazing the right word?? More like astonishing or unbelievable or terrifying…

I keep wondering about the varying storylines. Who is really pulling the strings?

No…Conspiracy theories help no one.

What I get caught in is the politics of intimidation and watching the most powerful political leaders of the world dance. One is leading, one is following, and then they reverse rolls.

During different points of the week you could see where Russia was gathering up the Ukraine and pulling her around the floor. Then the next day the United States would have the Ukraine bound for the other side of the dance floor. This constant back and forth following one then the other all over the dance floor…all the while the audience of watched.

The audience changed depending on who was leading. When it was Putin you could hear the echoes of the people in Crimea chanting their allegiance to a Russia few of us recognize. When Kerry finally took the lead you could hear the people who believe in the possibility of a free Ukraine.

I’ve been watching this incredible event escalate and diminish. I’m just dumfounded by the insanity.

Ukraine is a country. A democratic nation that could and should be free from the trappings of a parent nation. Ukraine does not need to be a state of Russia…or anyone.

What do you need when building a successful nation?

I think it is the same as what you need to build a successful future for a business. You need to know why you want the changes that you do and you need to stand by them. Write out a vision of what you need and want. Live by that vision. There is also a reason for beliefs in tolerance and understanding and an intrinsic openness and transparency.

Maybe this is more about building a nation that will last in this age, the age of Wikileaks and NSA Surveillance. The people that want to ask you to dance are going to know everything about you already, so you may as well be honest about it.

If Putin had simply acknowledged and validated the changes that occurred in the Ukraine instead of having violently restrained outbursts about the changes that will happen, none of these problems would exist.

For a summary of the days events please visit Human Rights Watch for the storify timeline.  http://www.hrw.org/the-day-in-human-rights

I had and still have high hopes that Ukraine is able to become the country that it wants to be. I hope that the Russian government and more pointedly Vladimir Putin realize that times have changed. I hope that “The Western” nations that are helping Ukraine set up for the future do not trap her in the methods and practices that won’t lead to success.

It’s been a week, I said last week that the fight was just beginning, but this is not the fight I had in mind.

candles

Kiev : Get Happy!

Tonight on Fast Company I watched the video of Ukrainian revolutionaries dancing in their encampments at Independence Square to Pharrell’s Happy. I watched a bunch of people my age and younger celebrate the idealism that so many people hold dear.

We believe the world can be better if you just give us the opportunity to show you what you taught us before life and scarcity got to you.

We know that the world is a good place. We also know that power breeds corruption, so we know we have to be careful if we are given the chance.

No we don’t have all the answers, but we think we can fix what is broken.

Even if we can’t fix it we can replace it with something entirely different.

We want freedom.

I don’t know how closely you have been following the events in Kiev or if you have scrolled past them in an attempt to keep your blinders on, but something amazing and perhaps scary just happened.

The revolutionaries in Kiev won.

The dictator who was in charge was removed from office by the parliament and there is an opportunity for a new, freer society setting up in Ukraine.

To me this is amazing because we get the opportunity to see what they do with it.

However it is also terrifying because they must be careful how they proceed. Do you want to be like Egypt and have three new governments in almost as many years (They resigned today.) or do you want to form a new land of peace and freedom and show others how a revolution is done.

This is the problem with revolutions. Some people do it for the power. It remains to be seen if there are many in this group who are only in it for the power, but wouldn’t it be a testament to the revolution if this remained about freedom and liberty and less about a transfer of power from one party to another?

To highlight the key element in most elections from one side to another is that it’s the same ideals just with a new face, a new label, a new rhetoric, but the same end game. Power.

The end of the video shows that all Kiev wants is to be happy, but will they be?

I applaud and encourage you all to keep the correct goal in mind.

You’ve done the easy part and that is get the power, the hard part starts now…what will you do with that power??

Be happy, Kiev, you’ve earned it.

"What is happiness for you?"

“What is happiness for you?”

Practice: My favorite spot

I am trying some basic writing practice because well…I need it. I have been gone too long and I’ve been far too inconsistent with my writing. I hope the practice will get my groove back and if you have anything you think I might find fun as a prompt please feel free to leave it in the comments.

My Favorite Spot

My favorite spot warms in the sun under a giant oak tree. The massive trunk is my support as I sit among the knobby roots that have grown out of the ground all around the tree. The sunlight filters through a high canopy of leaves dancing like fairies on delicate blades of grass below. Full branches stretch higher and higher coming full circle and skirt to the ground as though they’ve long grown tired of their task they sit in repose on the lawn. I stare out from beneath my perch and hear children laughing in the distance, a dog barking a block a way and the constant echo of traffic not far away.

I try to read, but it does not work.

I try to write but words fail me.

So I sit and I watch the light dancing and find where the children are laughing. There is a class by the look of them twenty students boys and girls about age seven running and jumping and playing in the neighboring park. A park bare of playthings, but a broken obelisk and more knobby oaks, but a park just the same set free from the being broken and spent as a plot of land for consumption. Green space in a vast city is a many splendor thing and often a hard battle was fought to keep it green. I watch them for a moment as the children study the statue and the teacher explains its meaning.

The breeze sends my hair tickling my nose as I turn to ponder the lawn. It stretches a full city block in front of me luscious and green. It is bisected by two stone paths leading to the door of the museum. But…this museum starts out here. There are three steel statues built into the ground and the inconsistency of them has always set my OCD on edge. One is a jagged line another has smooth round edges, I am sure it all means something very deep, but it’s lost on me. I enjoy art for the sake of art and beauty for the sake of beauty. This lawn is a work of beauty.

To my left is a great structure of grey and glass, built out of the love a man had for his wife. It is thoroughly modern and a testament to good architecture it is so serene it makes you wonder of the couples life, was it so serene? I am sitting outside the Menil Collection in midtown Houston basking in the sunlight, patiently awaiting the 11 am opening time. Picking up my pen again I write of dancing sunlight and sunken treasures.

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America – We missed the mark on Remembrance

Remembrance does strange things to people. It makes them intolerant. It makes them violent. It takes a day that is already bad enough and makes it worse.

Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that left America scattered and scared. The 12th anniversary of the deaths of thousands at the hands of 19 individuals whose moral compass had become so extreme that they were willing to die to make us pay for…I don’t know exactly.

I never understood the why’s of 9/11. I won’t share in the conspiracy theory there is tons of that online and in life. The point is that this was a tragedy that has become a religious and racist argument that will never be won.

The Devil has already won if we continue to fight about whose God is right.

We are all humans. We live on a planet we call Earth. We all bleed red. We all eat and drink and procreate. The things that set us apart from the animals are – murder and mind.

We have the ability to cognitively process everything that happens to us and around us. There are theories as to evolution, but we don’t know why we became so evolved. We just are.

So, why do we kill each other for any reason?

Is it humanity’s fatal flaw to be violent in the face of power, passion, or religion?

Is religion a fatal flaw?

We are all people after all and we all want to live long full lives, so it doesn’t make sense to take someone else’s life from them. At least it doesn’t to me. We live on a huge planet. Go live somewhere else if you can’t stand where you are and who you are with.

If you can’t stand someone ELSE’s religion then don’t practice it.

Yesterday there was a plan for a “Million Muslim March” on the Mall in Washington, D.C. It happened but more like a fraction of a percent of Muslims participated in the event. Reasoning being unclear as to why there were not more people. Perhaps they knew the backlash that could have resulted from this or perhaps it was the 2 million bikers that thought to show up and interrupt this event.

I’d be scared if 2 million bikers promised to end my march…as it was there was no violence just a bunch of bikers driving through DC. The police blocked them from doing anything else and wouldn’t give them a permit for a march of their own.

Yesterday should have been a day of Peace and Remembrance. We should have pondered those who lost their lives. We should have spent the day reaching out to our loved ones and friends telling them we love them and appreciate them.

A gathering of Muslims for Peace on a day that produced violence by Muslims seems like a way for that community to come full circle. It was meant to be an olive branch in the religious inconsistencies of our national character.

Want religious freedom? Well that doesn’t just mean your religion. Religious freedom is meant to be for everyone.

Want to be able to meet and assemble? That doesn’t mean just for causes you find worthy.

Want to be able to complain about it? Freedom of speech is for everyone.

Those are your first amendment rights. They are for everyone. Anyone on American soil has these freedoms. This is what the Revolutionary War was fought for and what our soldiers continue to believe as they fight for us. There are so many differing views on religion, politics, heredity, and social standing that these have become unimportant in light of someone’s character and interaction with the rest of the world.

What if starting today we lived without prejudice?

What if starting today we lived fully compassionate lives?

What if starting today we began to trust again?

What if starting today we showed respect for everyone?

What if starting today we chose to live as God intended?

To begin with you need to stop grouping a set of strangers together calling all of them bad people who want to kill us all without actually knowing anything about them. A sad state of American society is that we automatically classify people of the Muslim religion as extremists who want to murder us and take over the country.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but this is profoundly untrue. The Muslim religion is not to blame, no more than the Christian religion is to blame for the Holocaust or the Spanish Inquisition. Those things happened because of the thoughts and actions of a small group of people, not because of their religion. Step one someone else’s religion is not your responsibility. Your responsibility is your faith, your path, your choice of religion.

As a Christian I believe that at the end of my life I will be placed before God and judged. He will not judge me on my works; He will judge me on my faith and my obedience in accepting Jesus Christ as my eternal Savior. What part does anything to do with someone else’s religion? Nada.

Another part of my walk as a Christian is more of a universal rule that I live by and would appreciate others to do as well. “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” I know I didn’t quote the scripture or verse, but you know what I mean. This fully encapsulates how to live compassionately. If you see someone who is hungry try to feed him. If you see someone that needs a home, show him where to get the help to get a home.

Living compassionately is not a life in the mission field, it should simply be life.

If you claim to be Christian the rule we are taught is to live a “Christ-like Life.” Who was Christ? Jesus. How did he live? He was self-sacrificing and lived to make the lives of those around him better than his own. We cannot save the world, but we can show each other mercy.

What do you think the world would be like if more Christians lived that way?

I think it would be easier to trust if you knew that the people who claimed to be good, peace-loving, wholesome individuals really were. There is nothing more troubling than believing in others and having them shatter that belief. Perhaps my trust in others is my fatal flaw, because I trust everyone until they’ve given me a reason not to and that is dangerous. Because you can’t actually trust anyone these days until they have proven their worth.

If you can’t trust simply try to respect others. Everyone.

All trust starts with respect. If someone can’t respect other people they can’t be trusted. Of all the definitions of respect I think the one most closely resembling what we view as respect is thoughtfulness or consideration. By being considerate of others we can earn their trust and compassion, which could bring them to a non-judgmental state regardless of your chosen lifestyle or religion…which are none of their business anyway.

I for one like my rights as an American and I would hate to see them further sullied because of some extreme belief in the supremacy of one religion over another.

Every time you act and react is a characteristic of yourself, not your religion, not your hometown, not even your family. We are all on this planet. We won’t all agree. We won’t all get along.

Tolerance isn’t about conformity it’s about life.

Pulled from a Facebook Share

Pulled from a Facebook Share

Time is Finite, Peace is Infinite

There is only one thing finite in your life.

Time

Time is the ruler of all things.

It makes people stress, it makes mountains wither.

It makes me question our motives.

Several years ago we were told that in 2014 the wars would be over and our brave soldiers would be coming home. But war is a money machine. Without a war the need for a standing army 2.2 million people strong dwindles. Enlisted men and women who want to do their service for the nation are furloughed and asked to go back to their civilian life. Educated officers and lifelong members of a special league of people who are willing to take a bullet for you, me, and an idea are, in a sense, let go. They have been downsized because without war they are no longer needed.

We owe our soldiers our sincerest gratitude. Thank you for your service. We know your future is uncertain, but we, who are not in charge, salute you.

It is time that has determined that the war is over, no matter what life will become for the citizens of the countries we occupy we cannot stay forever. They wouldn’t want us to stay forever.

Time is finite.

If we do not teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence. –Colman McCarthy

I teach my children peace. How they may think play fighting is fun, but really they need to not fight. They need to not hit each other in abrupt human responses and behave according to the golden rule.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Admittedly it doesn’t always work, some days it doesn’t work at all, but the ideal is impressed upon them that they are the one determining their future by their response. If your goal is peace, you will undoubtedly have some hardship, but in your reaction there will be at peace.

Knowing that you are in charge of yourself is empowering. Even to a toddler.

I am an American. I am a peaceful person. I live a very quiet life in a suburb of Houston. I work with a team trying to house so many of the veterans that are forgotten after war. The men and women left to their own devises that may or may not have someone to lean on in a crisis. I show my gratitude in service to them.

My time is finite.

My perspective isn’t shared by my whole community and I fear that my work is infinite, but the people willing to help are finite.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. –J.R.R. Tolkien

We decide what to do with our minutes, hours, days, months and lives.

We decide to become power-hungry politicians or peaceful-giving private citizens. Some people give their lives in service to their church, some to the military, and some to their families.

It is my opinion that many people become politicians so that they can live in service to something greater than themselves. They believe in the ideals and the histories of the nation and they feel in their soul that they must be a part of it. Then they are elected to office.

They begin to feel the power of their actions.

They know their time is finite.

They have two, maybe four, years to really make a difference in their communities and then they move on. Some seek reelection, but once they see how much they can change their small community they want to change something larger. Their vision grows; people start to notice what they can and cannot do. They begin to compromise their vision for their lobby. They begin to barter political clout for rich rewards in their home life.

Their vision joined time and became finite.

In our infinite universe the political structure is not built to expand except through more red tape and to constrict through compromise.

A visionary politician becomes the pragmatic scapegoat of politics.

No decision is made by an individual. We can believe what we want, but it is true. No decision made in our political structure is made by a single individual. It hasn’t in a long time. Every leader has people they depend on for counsel and support. Every choice, good or bad, is made by the group.

This week we are commemorating the 1963 March on Washington that helped change the tide of the civil rights movement. We are listening to Martin Luther King, Jr’s recitation and Congressman John Lewis’ passionate words. We are remembering that we once stood up to the scapegoats of Washington with facts and fortitude. We are remembering that we can incite change.

Also this week President Obama is in talks to justify bombing a nation of citizens (both public and private), starting a war, picking a fight just as we are ending our occupation of another country.

Why?

I have read and reread the statements provided to the news, but it doesn’t make sense!

There are few people outside of the political structure that think war is a necessary function. As a planet we have witnessed how peaceful protests and positive disruption have changed more than any fight picking and calls to arms.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. –Jim Rohn

If we are the creators of our futures and the dreamers of our dreams than why do we not hold the political structures in place accountable to us? We should not say,“Oh someday…” we should yell, “Now! Now is the time to change. Now it is time to give peace.”

Time is finite. Peace is infinite.

We are wasting the gifts we have been given in an indeterminable future.

All quotes and this photo were borrowed from the Charter for Compassion's Facebook page.

All quotes and this photo were borrowed from the Charter for Compassion’s Facebook page.

Topics coming soon

Ever have so much going on in your mind you don’t know where to start? Blogging is a fabulous way to get it out of your head and into the world, but so many of the anecdotes I have rolling around in my head need to be elaborated on and there is just not the time at the moment.

Here is a little list of topics that will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Feel free to weigh in on any of them and I will include them in my post!

~ Finding Love…this is such a hard thing to do. No one knows the rules any more. Are there rules? Are “The Rules” from Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider still the end all for practical decision making? Or at least…getting your feet wet. Are you allowed to speak to and get to know more than one man before going out on date? A friend of mine tells a tale that her mother dated three men at once and then agreed to one person’s proposal and then she stopped dating the other two. Can men even tolerate the thought these days? What is it that makes people go from relationship to relationship when really they don’t know anything about each other?

~ Child’s Play…making the most of the time you have with your kids. As a single parent working a daunting job I still want to make memories with my kids. I still want them to feel like I am present even when I am not. I want them to know I love them. I want them to have fun care free childhoods.

~ Turning a Blind Eye…I posted a photo (below) with a quote from John Berger today on Facebook and it certainly needs a longer explanation than I have been able to give in the comments. I believe in helping the poor as long as they are helping themselves. I don’t want a redistribution of wealth, I just think we shouldn’t ignore an epidemic. Sending money to disasters is all well and good, but look around your own town. How could you help there?

~ Computer Security…kind of a research project of mine. Coming soon are all manner of SOPA/ACTA/CISPA related votes and you need to be informed. Not to mention it’s a big election year, so what do you think the candidates believe when it comes to your rights to privacy, piracy, sharing of thoughts and ideas, intellectual property, and more in a world where nothing is done in the real world. The wealth of nations is transferred easily at the touch of a button and a kitten dunking a basketball in Milwaukee is news in Thailand.

As usual I type what I want about topics I find interesting. Things I want to know. Projects that need to be researched questions that need to be answered. Poems that need to be written and words that need to form sentences that form ideas which are made to be shared.

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Brief Observations

I guess I don’t ask enough questions of other people.

I don’t want to know too much about their situations, well because I remember what is was like to want no one to know what was going on with me and my life.

When someone seems – off – I just accept it as their eccentricity and work around their temperament. I make sure they have essentials, but don’t pry because I just don’t want the conflict in my life. I don’t care what you do with you as long as you don’t bring me into your mess.

After a decade of being neck-deep in a mess I put my big girl panties on and jumped ran out of this mess. Although at times I still feel like resolving it consumes all my energies.

I got burned – bad – but I’m recovering, so I’m cool.

Only I’m not.

Just when I think things are normal they revert to “Megan normal.” My problem is that I don’t know how to say no. Not the reason’s in the song “Can’t say no”

I simply have a soft spot for people in the mire.

I think everyone deserves a chance no matter where they come from. I think I have automatic faith in others, but once that is broken I kick myself.

“Why couldn’t I have seen this coming?”

“Why couldn’t I see the signs?”

This isn’t just with my ex-husband. This is with anyone.

To me this is how we should be. We should have faith in the rest of our species to do what they are supposed to do.

Only they don’t. Then we get mad. We shut ourselves down, and we build iron barriers between us and the rest of the world.

As a person who is codependant I have to work extraordinarily hard to maintain boundaries. I regularly forget they exist and I know that I need to consciously reconstruct them all the time. It’s like this constant thing I have to logically think through. I can do this. I can’t say that. I can see this needs to be done. I shouldn’t do this or that.

For most of the human population this is normal behavior, but for me it’s not.

It’s attachment issues. Totally acceptable if the attachment is to solid, stable individuals, but normally it’s to twisted, addicted, drama driven idiots. This includes friends.

I am a born listener and fixer. Try as I might I can’t fix everyone. When I was 17 years old I was driving in a car with my great uncle’s new wife and she just started pouring her heart out to me. I just stared straight ahead and listened. I didn’t know my uncle really well, in fact I hardly knew him at all. I had just met the woman going all stream of conscious on me that day.

When she was done it’s like she woke up. She apologized for telling me all the gory details, but she felt I could help her.

I couldn’t.

Honestly – I had never even been on a real date at age 17. I didn’t know the first thing to say. So I whispered a prayer and gave her a hug. I don’t know where she is now. Her marriage only lasted a short while after that, so maybe that was her answer to her problems.

That was the first time someone had ever done that, but it’s been repeated thousands of times, besides the friends that I grew up with – which in itself had gotten me into trouble. I was a bit of a gossip, until this one time a parent confronted me and I don’t think I have really gossiped again.

It’s one thing to hear a story – it’s entirely different to repeat it. I am still reminded of this when I hear something juicy and want to share, but then I remember how that felt so I don’t.

Can you tell I am trying to figure this whole codependant thing out still? I’m told it’s like alcohol or drug addiction. There is not a defined recovery pattern. There is only the day-to-day.

Each choice I make to spiral or to soar. Each relationship, real or imagined, a step to recovery.

I long for a relationship, a lasting, healthy relationship, but almost two years I still wonder if I will ever be able to let someone in. Well, maybe not let someone in, but let them in and not become everything.

This is a delicate balance that is foreign to me.

My delicate balance – Solid ground vs. a Free Fall

What’s one dumb thing you used to believe in?

This week Danielle LaPorte is asking: What’s one Dumb thing that you used to believe in?

Part three in the Burning Question Series.

I’m not sure if I want to rant or continue with the psycho babble of late.

Perhaps a combination?

To answer the question I think the dumbest thing I ever believed in was emotionally “Fakin’ it til I make it.”

To be honest with myself that is just what I do. I know. I plaster a smile on my face, speak when spoken to, and try to make as few waves as possible. I keep the reality of what I would like to say bottled up because I might hurt someone’s feelings.

This is me? This was the old me? Maybe she is still there, somewhere, hiding until presented with an uncomfortable situation.

I have made concerted direct efforts to change from this docile phantom into a passionate, educated being fully aware of her emotions.

Why?

I realized the illness surrounding me, permeating every relationship and choice I made.

I grew a back bone and learned one simple phrase. “That doesn’t work for me.”

You aren’t telling the other person that their feelings are flat-out wrong, you’re just admitting to them that it doesn’t resonate well within your mind, your spirit, you. You are leaving it up to them to make their own mistakes.

This one small phrase has changed me.

Look around yourself, your friends, your life, the world. What do you see?

Me? I see illness. I see brokenness. I see people putting on a good show because they think that it’s what we need to be a happy, productive society.

But how many of us are really happy?

How many of us are really that productive?

What do you produce that works for not only your selfish purpose but could impact the rest of us?

We don’t all have to have a global impact though…so what are you choosing that is making a difference in the lives of your loved ones?

We have the good choices versus bad choices discussion seemingly every day at our house lately. I believe that people are good. What we make though are the choices to be/do good or to be/do bad. Right now my son struggles with rash behaviors. He will do something impulsively and know immediately that it was a wrong choice. He will say I don’t know why I do it, but we all know.

He’s made a choice.

Consciously or subconsciously I do know…but he chose to dump the carton of milk on his friends lunch tray. He chose to hold scissors up to a kids head and pretend to cut it. He is having to deal with the consequences of his choices.

Looking around at my community I think of BP, Transocean Offshore, and (was it Halliburton?)

BP is a big company here in Houston, so is Transocean, and well…Halliburton is big anywhere. They employ a lot of local folks. They employ a lot of folks I know. They offer incredible benefits. They give great bonus’ and incentives. As far as employers go they are so big because they offer a great package. They offer the things individuals need to create a life for themselves.

Obviously I am getting to the oil spill from 2010.

Somewhere along the way from the time they planted that platform in the Gulf of Mexico until the day it exploded there were individual choices made that impacted the end result. Fix this, don’t fix that. Lowest bidder here, less than satisfactory work done there. Over the course of the lifetime of the platform each of the companies that had a hand in it failed to make the best choices possible.

11 men lost their lives, thousands of men became unemployed from the resulting spill and restrictions placed on offshore drilling.

The ecosystem of the Gulf is still recovering. Millions of barrels, perhaps billions of barrels of oil were projected into this body of water that I love. All from ill-fated choices.

What of our planet?

What choices are the leaders of this world making that have a lasting impact?

Are these good or bad? Do they do things of their own determination or are they just a puppet system for a secret society?

There is supposed to be a flow of information from the masses up to the leadership. We are told from a young age that our leaders are acting in our best interests, but as we age many of us don’t believe this is the case. What will the consequence of this be?

As a society we are fakin’ it and trying to look like we are makin’ it.

This is not a good choice.

This is a bad choice.

 We need to embrace ourselves, our lives, and our choices. We need to know what turns us on. We need passion. We need to know what we want in the world, not what we want out of it.

 We need to believe that our choices will have an impact.

We need to take the steps necessary to right wrongs. To make the world better for all.

To listen. To evolve. To choose.

Happiness, faith, peace, love, unity, confidence, passion.

Pulled from somewhere off Facebook last week.

Home? Sure! Pick a Starbucks…any Starbucks.

Lately I have been writing to you from a comfy bench seated at my local Starbucks.

I should work here I have been here so much.

Honestly though, life has a way of just not working the way I plan it to, and I am now in a holding pattern. I am living more of a creative existence, but even creatives need a paycheck. That will happen. I have faith that it will happen. It has to because that’s just the way things have to work, even if that means temping for peanuts.

Hey! Did you know that Starbucks has a bar scene?

Really?!

You didn’t know? Well, neither did I until lately.

Maybe it is just my neighborhood Starbucks that does because a high seated stool is just where many guys like to sit around here.

Right now I am staring at three guys who look like they are regulars. I say regulars like you would bar regulars. The kind that every bartender recognizes and calls by name. These guys are calling each barista by their given name and perusing the public looking for bait.

They check out each girl and drink their luscious blend of bold or blonde.

Heck – even the coffee is sounding sexy!

These guys are not.

Did I mention that?

They seem more like the three guys at a sports bar discussing (with intensity) their most recent conquest. (Not that I can hear what they are saying.)

Two look dressed for work at one of the local refineries and the other is in basketball shorts and hi-top converse shoes.

Guys – if you are wearing Cons…keep the pants on…unless of course you are on your way to work out or just left the gym.

This guy didn’t look like he’d been in one in a while…I keep my original statement…wear jeans.

With this I would like to tell you a bit about my holding pattern.

Many parts of life that have been left up in the air are sorting out.

Custody situation – Done. Mark it off my list for 2012.

Divorce situation – Done. Mark it off my list.

Place to live? – Have one…but not where you would think…at least not where I planned. Once again my mission to move home blew up in my face. I am still stinging from the embers.

It’s funny really how this continues to happen…but I keep trying to do it.

Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

So does this make me insane? Constantly trying to move back home. I have moved…a lot…I have moved across the country even and NEVER have I encountered the level of hardship that moving back home presents. Seriously.

Two years ago I quit my job and moved into the unknown. I started out headed to Connecticut, ended up in upstate New York and everything worked….it could have worked better but either way it worked. It was an amazing adventure.

Right now…all I am trying to do is move three hours west and NADA.

I feel like I should just stop. Network, work, freelance for hire, and make day trips for meetings, but apparently I am supposed to be here for a reason unbeknownst to me.

When God presents me with his resolution I will be sure to share it with you.

So, until I figure out what this next step is that I am taking I will be coming to you live from my local Starbucks, possibly becoming a regular and perusing the local clientage.

Okay – maybe not.

I leave you today with a music assignment. Listen, hear the words, and think of home. Where is home for you? Is it a place or a thing or maybe even a person?

I will think on this. I think I am trying to replace a person because I was home when I was with my husband…now that is insanity…until tomorrow…