What can you learn from younger generations on how to be a helping hand?

AndyQuote_GiveItAway

Sitting in the Subway drive-thru I looked up to see a woman standing near the road with a sign asking for food. When I see people in need it is torture for me not to give money or offer to help in some way but in our society often times it is a lie. There are people who don’t need the money at all who pretend as if they do. There are people who use the money to buy drugs or alcohol. But what about the ones who really need it? I want to help them.

As I am sitting there pondering a young woman walks up to the homeless woman. I don’t know her words but can tell she is offering to buy the woman lunch. The woman puts down her cardboard sign and her bag of belongings and walks inside. My heart was filled.

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What Breaks Your Heart May Also Lead You Home.

WhatBreaksYourHeart

Someone asked me recently what breaks your heart? The saying may not be new to many but when asked it is difficult to pinpoint a response. Seeing people homeless breaks my heart. Seeing people struggle breaks my heart. Seeing family owned businesses close after years and years in a community breaks my heart. Hearing people’s stories of trial breaks my heart. Watching others struggle at work, at home, in school, with purpose breaks my heart. How could one ever answer this question with a simple response?

Then it came to me. Seeing hurting people breaks my heart. Whether they are hurting from job loss, or loss of family, loss of a business, loss of a home or loss of purpose. When I open my eyes and ears to the stories of others experiencing loss it breaks my heart. I want to help them. Rather it is by providing a shoulder to cry on or a meal for their family or an ear to listen I want to be there.

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How To Help Others In Light of Pain And Struggle

LIPS

Where does the light meet the darkness? As I look out my window I see the rainbow of colors that meet the darkness. It is not one straight line in the sand. It does not appear to stop abruptly, it melds one into the other. The hazy clouds of darkness blend into the blue and orange hues below.

This is often how loss and love meet. This is often how pain and pleasure meet. This is often how sadness and joy meet. This is often how doubt and faith meet.

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The Stories You Hear While Getting Your Oil Changed

ChangeYourOil

Everyone gets their oil changed but how many of us put our phones down while sitting in the waiting area of the dealership? This is me sitting there staring around at my surroundings and checking out what others are doing. Maybe this all started in college when one of my professors tasked us with doing just this to observe others. Who knows maybe I am just odd.

It never fails there is always one other odd person sitting there doing the same thing and you know what at some point you even begin to talk to each other. Children for those of you, who are unsure of this word it is when you look someone in the eye, open your mouth and words come out instead of texts from your fingers. Kidding around aside we all fall into this trap in this day and age.

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Mood Swings. 11 Things to try when they strike.

Image by Mike Carbonaro, flickr

If you want to meet someone who can go from screaming mad to normal in five minutes well then you have come to the right place. When my Inside Out emotions take over look out people! That movie is great by the way if you haven’t seen it check it out. So does this all sound familiar? Yes you say well we all have them, the evil mood swings.

When we are angry, frustrated, tired, sick or just plain down in the dumps everything we wish to accomplish just vanishes away. This is why it is very important to take time out. There are many ways to do this but for a few ideas I hope you will check out my Napkin Thoughts post.

But what about those times when it is not just a break we need; it is more of a disappearing act.  We still have to get up and do our jobs. We still have to take care of sick kids even when we want to be taken care of. We close our eyes and pretend the mood swings we are currently experiencing will go away or at least those annoying us will.

We all see those pictures of crabby women in robes with their coffee cup in hand and know exactly what everyone is in for. By the way why are they always crabby women? Don’t pretend we don’t ever encounter moody men. They are out there hiding in their football games and bathroom breaks. Yep I said it bathrooms are a hiding spot for men just like women resort to blankets and darkness.

So in times like these what should we do? Well many people would say get up and look in the mirror and tell yourself it is going to be a good day. Many would say smile until the smile becomes real. We tell ourselves we will not complain or grumble or hide. But of course we do. We are in fact human.

So here are my two cents on what I do or at least attempt to do.

  1. Pray about it. Yes I know this is kind of like looking in the mirror and saying it is going to be a good day or smiling when you can’t, but believe me asking for strength from God turns out a lot better than relying on your own will power.
  2. Do only what is necessary.
  3. Stay away from interaction with people if you can.
  4. Give yourself some grace and know that it will pass.
  5. Be honest and just tell others.
  6. Only work on the mundane tasks and keep ear buds in so others know it is not the time to talk to you.
  7. Do not make any big decisions.
  8. Definitely do not be the one to speak up on a topic in a meeting.
  9. Do not go hang out with a group or friends or family members.
  10. Do not use this time to have a conflicting conversation with your significant other or child.
  11. Do not post on Facebook, Twitter, send texts or call anyone.

And last by not least remember all these things when you see someone up against the evil mood swing bandit.

What do you do when the evil mood swing bandit takes over? Tell me so I can add to my list of how to avoid putting family members in a mood because I am in a mood list.

Share your answer below or on social media.

Be Vulnerable

Brene_Brown

Recently I sat in my room thinking about the purpose and style of my blog. Turning to my husband I asked what I should focus on when I have so many different ideas. He said my mind can have many thoughts and many ideas but often they are random in nature.  All I heard when he said “random” was not clearly thought out and not organized. He of course didn’t mean anything other than I have lots of good ideas to write about so why only try and pick one.  Then I went back to my notebook and looked at one thing I had written on what to focus my blog on. The very first sentence I wrote was “To show my vulnerability”.

Then many pages later and a great video by Brené Brown The Power of Vulnerability this post all came together. Admitting I had no clue where to go would mean I would have to be vulnerable to others. Not having a planned out purpose or even solid name for my blog was because I tend to be a random thinker these days. Ideas just come and go but they don’t seem to stick together.

In the video Brené talks about being vulnerable often means expressing empathy. We cannot truly express empathy if we are not vulnerable to others and admit our own faults.  Then she talks about blame. We often blame others or even ourselves rather than being vulnerable and just human. She notes blaming is just a discharge of anger. Which if you ask me sometimes does help us feel better but if we don’t address the real issue it will just come up again and again. Blaming others and not being empathetic is much easier than allowing people to see us for who we are or what we have been through.

So a few thoughts I revisited in my original chicken scratch notes:

To know that you don’t know

To let someone else know you

To give the keys away

To admit you don’t know what you are doing

Well here I am admitting. Exposed to the entire world. But it is alright and I am sure there are many others who feel the same.

If I had not been reminded enough then while working the very next day I was reminded again. Let me take you on a journey:

Computer not working, shut it down, turn back on, forget password over and over and over. The memory was just gone like when you suddenly forget how to spell the word the. I blame myself for not writing it down. I blame my computer for not working. I felt stupid and lost. Then came panic of what others will think. I would have to admit I could not get on my computer because I never thought to write the password down somewhere other than on a document within my computer. I would be missing emails and projects and to do items.

Then reminder number two. I finally remembered the password, got on and then no internet connection. In comes blame, stupid storm causing me issues with internet. Stupid cable company that provides internet service. A brick wall went up. You would have thought I was the only in the world this has ever happened to and admitting it would mean admitting defeat or fault or failure. Although in this situation there were no other parties involved in my debacle, I could not be vulnerable to the fact that these things happen, it will pass and maybe there was reason I was supposed to take a time out.

So why do I say just be vulnerable? Brené says being vulnerable means we are wholehearted. If we are wholehearted then we can connect with people. We live in a world of fear of judgement. Fear of being as she says, “Never ____ enough”, you fill in the word.  If we are vulnerable we will stop worrying so much about what others think because we will know they too have areas of vulnerability. People will trust us because they have seen a glimpse of our wholeheartedness.

How often are you vulnerable with others?