Pour Some Water on Me

For any of you that are on Facebook you will know that your feed this past week has been filled with friends and family who are raising awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The focus: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It is a great way to use social media for a good cause. However (yes there is a but), my hope is that all the individuals that are doing the ice bucket challenge actually donate money. The awareness campaign is that by having ice + cold water poured over you that you are outing yourself from paying $100. Individuals that get nominated have 24 hours to do the challenge or donate $100.

Awareness is great, supporting ALS financially takes it to an entirely different level. What if we took the time to raise awareness, and put our money and/or our support next?

I love the fun and humor of making a video and putting oneself out there online, I only hope it does good. Think of all the other initiatives and programs that could benefit from such challenges. Of course we’d all be broke, and it would get old, right? How do we keep the freshness on continuing the momentum via social media where we have access to so many people, yet do it in a way that promotes true awareness? For example, the ALS website has been shared in most of the videos that I have seen, and there has been a plethora of high-profile athletes, CEOs, and past presidents that have joined into the mix, but have we really learned more about ALS? Do you know what it stands for? Do you know how your money can help?

Be careful, I might go Laura Bush on you and decide that I do not want to mess up my hair and just donate the $100. However, it is hot here in Oregon, and a little cold does the body good.

What do you think?

Distinct and sassy

I am not a follower. I was not always that way. As a kid I was a follower. Quiet, introverted, and not as bold about who I was or who I wanted to be in the world. Over time that changed. It was never about trying to be someone else, but more about being present for who I am, using my voice, and being direct about what I wanted. It did not come easily to me. Our world does not always reward someone for standing out, often we are rewarded for following the lead, marching in a single file, and following the rules.

That does not mean that I do not follow principle or what is right. I still find it important for following certain paths. Take driving for example. If I decide that I get to obey my own laws, then others could be hurt, killed, or I could be hurt or killed. There are many, many things in life that following the rules make our life work together cohesively. Yet, there are many things in our world that following others mean that we are not thinking for ourselves, we are just following the leader.

Recently I blogged about the book: “Unthink” by Erik Wahl, and found this quote was a great reminder of how easy it is for us to do “what everyone else is doing.” This quote that Wahl shares is from Alan Ashley-Pitt:

“The man who follows the crowd, will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before…You have two choices in life: you can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.” page 197

How often do you just go with the status quo, and how often do you make choices that mean you step out of your normal day-to-day and think differently? The harder road is to veer off course, to the bumpy road, the road less traveled, and find your niche. You can pave your own way to be bold, beautiful, and of course if I were involved a little bit sassy. I mean why not?

Not asking for help

I will tell you now. I have a horrible time asking for help. Chris can back me up on this – I rarely ask for help. Part of it has to do with how I grew up, where I had to balance life, school, homework, being an awkward teen, taking care of my mom and all the household items that connected to that (paying the bills, groceries, cleaning, etc.). Due to all of those crazy tasks added to my plate from the age of twelve, I am used to juggling many balls, sometimes balls of fire. I am used to it, and it means that even to this day I have a hard time saying: “Can you help me?”

I recently found this article called: “Why Are We So Afraid of Asking for Help?” on the Daily Worth website. The funny part is that the article talks about not asking for help in the context of being a woman. Sure, that does not help my strange childhood upbringing. Yes, I am also a hardcore woman, and I want to be able to do anything. You know the line from: Annie Get Your Gun: “Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” That was always the mantra in my life. As the youngest of three, I wanted to make sure I could keep up, so if my sister and brother could play a board game, I would try to figure out how to play it so I can be included, and then I would concentrate, watch, and figure out how to beat everyone. To my disadvantage, eventually they did not want to play with me because I would kick their butt.

In any case, needing help. I never really learned how to ask for help. Generally, as a kid when I would ask for help, it would not come through, so I would just figure it out on my own and not expect anything from anyone. Sad, but true. I still have a hard time. The thought: ‘you could ask for help to do this’ rarely crosses my mind. Except for with Chris. Somehow he has me whooped, and I usually have no problem asking him for help. Maybe he wishes I was not so addicted to his help, but I think he should feel enamored. I have wholeheartedly given him my heart, and my ability to ask for help.

I am learning to ask for help, but the road is slow. Be patient with me.

eunoia

I am a lover of words. I never was able to take Latin in high school or college, but somehow throughout the years I became addicted to words and their meaning. I always remember the saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It is not true. Words hurt. They infiltrate our minds sometimes, and never leave us. We go over and over them in our thoughts when they hurt. We never forget the first time someone tells us they love us, or the last time.

Recently, I came across a new word:

eunoia (n). beautiful thinking, a well mind

I love the word. Somehow a word rolls off your tongue, or makes you think what does that word mean? eunoia is Greek, and is the shortest English word that contains all vowels. I think of all the people in my life that inspire me with their eunoia. Maybe it is a bit harder to put into a sentence, nevertheless, I like the word. Who in your life has eunoia?

Ah words. Somehow on most days, I make up my own words. I cannot tell you how often I have woken up in the middle of the night and not so gracefully and illegibly written down my own words. When I wake up in the morning, I would try to make out the newest word that oozed out of my half coherent brain. When I am not sleeping, and my mind is going a mile a minute I still make up my own words. They always make sense to me. Somehow over the years, they now mostly make sense to Chris. When I asked him for an example, he said: “That is so hard, because you do it all the time. It is hard to remember them all. I mean, you say it and I repeat the word to you, and you say, ‘Go !&@%&!$’.” Usually he is laughing so hard he does not hear me.

Ah, maybe I do not alway have eunoia. I can dream.

Summertime happiness

Summer. While in some ways it is still in full force — warm weather and sunny days — it is also on its way out. My company has half day Fridays during the summer and we only have 3 left for this year. Somehow that makes me want to slow down the clock and enjoy every moment of every half day Friday. Once Labor Day hits, we return to a full five-day work week, and it just makes life different. Those extra daytime hours you get back during the summer makes things that much brighter, shinier, and it feels like a longer weekend.

Our summer has been mellow and yet full of change and growth. In my opinion, it’s just how it should be. We have completed a ton of projects around our house and yard, strategized for which upcoming projects have a higher priority or what we should shell out some green in order to proactively fix or repair certain things. We have sat in the sun, done our fair share of grilling, eating seasonal berries and tomatoes, exploring artisan fairs and farmers markets, oh I could go on.

Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are long, the sun is out, it is warm, if not just downright HOT. Freckles begin to populate on my arms, face, and back. There is just a healthy glow that surrounds everyone, not to mention the happiness that exudes almost everyone (especially in Oregon where sunshine is in shortage for nine months out of the year). During the winter I burrow inside and read a book. In the summer I bask in the sun while I read and take cat naps between chapters. What is not to love about that? As with any season of the year, summer is a time of transformation, and I appreciate all the precious moments I have had this summer with Chris, at work, with family (even if it is via text or Facetime). Life is good. I have no complaints.

What do you love about summer?