Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beautiful you

   One morning while getting ready for work, I realized how much I was picking myself apart while standing in front of the mirror. I started with one physical trait and it snowballed from there. I remembering muttering something like, "Oh, well.." and walked out the door on my way to the office.
   The more I thought about the things I had said to myself that morning, the more I realized I was too busy looking for the flaws to see the characteristics that make me, me. I wondered if I was alone in this "pick on myself" kind of morning, so I posed the following challenge to my Facebook friends.
  "Think about your physical appearance. Tell me what one thing you like the best and one thing you like the least."
   As I began reading the responses, I was not what people stated was the thing they liked the best about their physical appearance. When I thought about each person who posted, the trait they liked the best about themselves is what I noticed the most about them! It was definitely their "defining" physical trait in my eyes.
   I then looked at what they liked the least. The one thing they liked the least was something I didn't even notice about them. Several posted their weight or mid-section was what they liked the least. When I closed my eyes and thought about that person, I immediately thought of their best trait.
   The next morning, I had a conversation with my co-workers about my post. I told them the thing I liked the most about my physical appearance was my eyes and the least was the gap between my front two teeth. Their response? What gap?!
   I thought about the responses I had read and what my co-workers told me throughout the day. How could they have not noticed the gap? When I look in the mirror and smile, it looks enormous to me. Why didn't they notice it? For the exact reason I didn't notice the least liked physical traits my friends posted about themselves...we only tend to see physical flaws within our selves and beauty within others.
   We are only as beautiful as we feel and if our own worst enemy is in the mirror, we will never win the "self-confidence" battle. If we look in the mirror and criticize everything we see, how can we walk confidently into the world with our head held high? If you struggle with finding anything you like about yourself, you are not alone! We are looking in the mirror all wrong! We are looking in the mirror, fixing our eyes on the "flaws" instead of fixing our eyes on what makes us beautiful to the rest of the world. Ladies, it's time to begin looking in the mirror with a new attitude!

   Here's my BEAUTIFUL YOU seven day challenge! 
   1. Stand in front of the mirror and smile each morning.
   2. Take a marker and write on the mirror what catches your eye the most. It has to be positive!
   3. Each day, write something new on the mirror.
   4. Each day, send ONE friend a text or email something you think is beautiful about them.
   5. At the end of seven days, combine all the things you've written down about yourself and see
       how the positive has changed your view of the negative!

   Beauty stems from within and if we can look at ourselves with a fresh set of eyes, we will see ourselves the way others see us!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Confessions of an insomniac

   I have never been one of the "lucky ones" who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. My husband's head hits the pillow and it's goodnight, adios, see 'ya in the morning!
   As soon as I close my eyes at night, my mind begins spinning like a washing machine! Some of the most random thoughts flow through my mind, all of which have nothing to do with sleeping! Here's just a small sampling of what runs through my mind when I am trying to sleep: "Did I lock the doors? Is the dryer running? What's that noise? Did I set my alarm? Who is going to win the Super Bowl? What am I going to fix for supper tomorrow?" Trust me, the list goes on and on and on.
   I've implemented a trick that works at times, but usually only when I'm very exhausted. I start with 100 and count backwards. I don't ever start counting at 1 because there's no end and that really messes with my OCD!
   I've tried breathing techniques, listening to white noise and everything else short of taking medication, which I have no plans of doing. I've read some pretty scary stories about people who take prescription sleep medication.
   When I realize I'm not going to go to sleep for a while, I will go into the den and turn on the television. Once I start watching it, I'm up for quite a while. Have you ever watched infomercials at one in the morning? You can buy just about anything in the world and most of the time, if you call "now" they will throw in shipping and an extra set of whatever you are buying.
   Commercials are entertaining in the wee hours of the morning as well. Some of the embarrass me and I'm sitting in the room all by myself! I want to know who invents some of this ridiculous stuff they sell! Someone...somewhere is making a lot of money off of gullible insomniacs across America!
  I see plenty of people post status updates in the middle of the night about not being able to sleep. Hum, perhaps we should all form a support group.
   So, my inquiring mind wants to know, are you a "head hit the pillow sleep all night" person or an "I will never get to sleep watch infomercials" kind of person?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Me and Mrs. C

    Throughout our lives, we meet people who leave lasting impressions on us. Today was the day I met a woman I will never forget.
   Shirl Campbell (better known in our area as Mrs. C) writes a column for our newspaper. Her column is a mixture of humor, patting people on the back and telling it like it is. I read her column each week and laugh, cry and have even shouted amen a time or two! She is real, honest and most of all, sincere.
   Mrs. C greeted me with a huge smile and hug when entered her home. As I sat in her living room, I looked at a wall filled with pictures of her family. There wasn't room on that wall for another photo. Some of the frames had pictures slipped between the frame and outside of the glass as a way of getting more photos on the wall. As she told me who each person was in the photos, she beamed. I grinned pretty big when she pointed out the photos of Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and autographed poster of Toby Keith. Another wall held a photo of her parents, one of her and her husband who passed away years ago and President Barack Obama. Again, she beamed with pride as she described the photos.
  We spent time talking about what it was like living in a time of segregation for an article I am working on for our newspaper. We talked about race, the state of our world today, family, her bar-b-que, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., her unwavering faith in God and even a little George Strait. Let's just say she is a big fan!
   I immediately felt a bond to Mrs. C. I felt like I had known her my entire life. Her home was very warm and welcoming. She made me laugh and she made me tear up a time or two. Mrs. C has seen a lot in her 68 years on this earth. Her 25 year-old granddaughter passed away this past Christmas Day after a lengthy battle with cancer. Listening to her talk about this life gone way too soon, my heart felt heavy. In true Mrs. C fashion, she said, "The doctors told us she should have died years ago, but I always told them she would die when God was ready to call her home. Everything happens in His time." Some people would find it easy to be bitter about the situation. A 25 year-old mother of four passing away from a dreadful disease, but Mrs. C praised God for the 25 years she was able to spend with her granddaughter. Her perspective was humbling.
   As I drove the 30 miles home, I thought about what an impact this one woman has. She's crossed so many paths in her life and her footprints are upon the heart of not only her large family, but friends and people in the community. Her sweet spirit reminded me of my grandmother and I wondered if that is what made me feel so connected to her.
   When I began thinking about what I would write in my journal tonight, I decided on a simple entry inspired by Mrs. C consisting of 3 questions I hope to answer in future journal entires.

   1.What impact are you leaving on others?
   2. What are you doing to make the world a better place?
   3. How will others remember you when you are gone?

   My wish is for everyone to meet a person like Mrs. C at least one time in their lives. Friendship knows no color and for that, I'm truly thankful.