Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Fort Knox of Secrets

I have to admit that when Sara gave the Thursday Blog Project group her topic, I smiled.  Now you probably are wondering, what topic could possibly make me smile?  Well here it is:

Are you good at keeping secrets? Describe a time you were able to keep a secret, and another time where you were unable to. What were the outcomes in both scenarios?

See, in a former life I was in a profession that required me to keep information confidential.  I was trusted with personal information about those I worked with and dealings of the organizations I worked for.  Being able to keep things confidential was completely necessary and I took this requirement seriously. 

Truth be told, keeping things confidential wasn't hard for me.  See, I've always believed if someone trusts you with information they don't want others to know you should keep it confidential.   Since this is the case if I ever wanted to share something confidential with someone else, because it was relevant to what they were experiencing, I would generalize the story down so much there is no way you would know the specific origin of the information or exactly all the details.  However, the person would still get the higher level message.

I will take a lot of secrets with me to my grave.  There have been many times I've been in situations where I knew something another person didn't, but maybe should have.  It's sucked.  However, if someone has entrusted me with information they don't want me to share it's not my place to do so. Now after saying that I feel the need to add that we are talking things that don't break the law.  If it were something that weren't legal or something like that then that's a whole different story. 

There have been times when I had to talk about a secret I knew about only because the person who told me it pulled me into their situation and it was something I didn't agree with.  I wanted out, but didn't how to disassociate myself from the situation without the risk of alienating someone I cared about.  I felt bad for sharing this information, but I know that there is a line you have to draw when the secret begins to impact your life and well-being.

The hardest "secret" I ever had to keep to myself dealt with an organization I worked for that was planning for a reduction in force.  It just happened that our team learned about the upcoming events approximately a week to two weeks before it was going to take place.  Since we would be closely involved in preparing for it, we all had to sign confidentiality agreements.  These agreements meant that we couldn't speak about it to anyone at work who wasn't involved in getting prepared for it, but also our families and significant others.  Such a thing was extremely difficult for me and weighed on my shoulder, greatly!  Sometime I would cry because I had no other outlet to express the emotions that were festering up inside of me. 

After it was over, and I was no longer obligated to keep things confidential, I shared with my mom and the guy I was dating at the time what happened and how long I knew about it.  Both of them said they could tell I had been very upset about something and where just waiting for when I was ready to talk about it.

I guess the bottom line to all this is that I feel that keeping information confidential is important and reflects on ones character.  I'm not 100% great at this, but my overall track record is such that a good friend of mine once gave me the title of, "The Fort Knox of Secrets." 

Now that I've shared with you my thoughts on keeping secrets, please take a moment to read what my fellow bloggers have to say about this week's topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confession: Part Two

When I wrote yesterday's post titled, "Confession: Part One" I did so with the intention to make a second confession that builds upon yesterday's confession. 

Confession:  I pray for people I'm mad at and some I don't know if I'll ever speak to again.

I don't often talk about my prayer habits, including what I specifically pray for.  Nor do I ask others to share what they pray for. (Prayer is such an individual and private thing.)  However, during a discussion about prayer with my BFF, I mentioned the people I pray for.  Some of names weren't a surprise to my BFF, however some were.  After sharing, she said (paraphrased), "I love that you pray for people you don't like and/or are mad at."

Okay... yeah, I get why she said such a thing.  To some degree it amazes me that I do such a thing.  Then, I take a step back and realize that though I may have vast differences with these people it doesn't mean I don't still care about them.  It doesn't mean I want them to have an awful life. 

So, why am I SO compelled to throw this out into cyberspace?

Ultimately, I believe I'm sharing this because it is my hope is that such a mindset becomes more the norm than the exception.  If I have learned anything over the past years it's that for some reason as a society we focus more on people's faults and shortcomings rather than where they excel and what makes them special (in a good way).

Wouldn't it be great if it was the other way?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confession: Part One

I'm gonna say upfront, my "confession" is not as juicy as you might hope it to be.  The reason I'm telling you this is so you're not let down when you read it.

Confession: I pray

(Again, sorry it's not something more exciting and earth shattering.)

I feel this is important to say before I actually address this week's Thursday Blog Project topic given to us by Denise, Be careful what you wish for, because the story I'm going to share involves something a friend of mine asked me to pray for on their behalf.

It was over a week ago when my friend Kendall and I were texting.  Kendall was heading to Sin City the following day and was concerned about snow delaying the flight he was taking.  Jokingly, yet not so jokingly, I told him that if he'd like I'd add a prayer for his travels to my prayers.  He said he would like that and then asked if I prayed that the snow accumulation at ORD (O'Hare International Airport) wasn't bad on the day he was suppose to leave so his flight would actually take off.  I was happy to oblige this particular request as he is a friend.  So that day, when I was praying, I asked that the snow accumulation the next day at O'Hare wasn't bad and would allow Kendall's flight to depart - just as he had requested.

The next day, I texted Kendall to see if all was good with his flight.  Checking in on a friend like that is not anything out of the ordinary for me.  Often when I know a friend is traveling - whatever the mode of transportation may be - I always like to check in to see how things are going.  However, truth be told after adding his travel plans into my pray list, I now had a bit of a vested interest as well.  The reply I got back was that the flight was going to be delayed by almost a hour.  Kendall seemed annoyed by this fact.  My reply was something to the effect that though I could see how it was annoying the fact remained it was still taking off, and that is what he had asked for.  I told him that is what I had prayed for because that is what he had asked me to pray for - that snow accumulation at ORD wasn't so bad that his flight couldn't take off.

I'm guessing that he went back in our text thread to see if that was actually the case because it took him awhile to reply.  When he did, the response was something to the effect that I was correct. 

Now that I have shared this story you're probably wondering what the heck it has to do with "Be careful what you wish for."

If there is one thing I have learned about praying is that you need to be specific as to what you are asking for.  If you're not specific it might in fact get answered in a way you weren't expecting.  Granted, as a rule of thumb, prayers don't always get answered the way we want them to; however, I feel if you aren't specific about what you would like to see happen chances are that should they be answered it will be in a way that is far different than what you are actually wanting.  Thus, you need to be careful for what you wish for.... because you might just get it.

Now that I've talk about my thoughts on why you should be careful what you wish for, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about this week's topic!

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

It sounds crazy, but it doesn't feel crazy

For last week's Thursday Blog Project topic, I asked  the group to write about the phrase "YOLO".

The term "YOLO" (an acroynm for You Only Live Once) is similar to the phrases "Carpe Diem" (translated means: seize the day) or Memento Mori (translated means: remember you must die). 

I heard the term "YOLO" used a few months ago when I was looking at cars.  My 16-year-old car had just broken down and I was at the point where I didn't want to put another dime into repairing the vehicle.  As I pondered what I was going to do - buy a new car? If so, what kind of car? Etc. - someone I know said I should just go for the car I woudn't normally buy.  Then ended the comment with "YOLO!"  I hadn't heard the phrase so I needed them to elaborate, which they did.

Recently, life has thrust me into yet another interesting set of circumstances that requires me to figure out how to proceed going forward.  Upon these things happening my first instinct was to do what I normally do - play by the rule book I have been playing by all my life.  However, then I questioned why I was doing that given that other factors in my life allow me to take a very different path.  Allow me to read from a different set of rules. 

At first I thought this was just a knee-jerk reaction to everything that was taking place and that there was no way in hell throwing away the old "rules" was the best way to go.  I mean, come on!  This is me we're talking about.  When I think back I can't name many, if any, times I've strayed vastly from the road most taken... which is why I thought looking further into the road least taken was a good idea.  As it happens, the "universe" has actually set me up quite nicely for taking this path instead of the one I usually take.

I've tried to find reasons to not go this route, but I can't.  Truth be told, even though it sounds crazy to do, it doesn't feel crazy at all.  Truth be told, I'm starting to wonder why I wouldn't want to do something a bit different for once. 

I know I'm being vague, again.  I understand that is frustrating.  I also know that being specific right now is not an option until I sort things out for myself.  Then all will be revealed (should I head down this unfamiliar road). 

Until then, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about "YOLO"!

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Saturday, March 1, 2014


For last week's Thursday Blog Project, Sara asked us to: Share with us various photos from your life and give us brief descriptions of why they are so valuable to you. It can be personal photos, or otherwise (like professional/artist photos, etc.)

I don't normally participate in "Throw-back Thurday" (#TBT) on Facebook, however I  made an exception this past week.  Mainly it was inspired by this topic, and the fact that today is my dad's birthday.

Recently, I came across pictures from my Bat Mitzvah.   There are pictures in this album of people who are long gone.  Rather than be sad, it made me happy to see the faces of the many loved ones who aren't with us anymore - and this made me smile.  One of those face was my day, Bernie... Or as I called him - "Irving".

I know every years on this date I write a sappy post about my dad, but I hope this year's post is not just sappy, but also makes you smile as much as looking at these pictures make me.

The funny thing about these pictures is that even though I've seen them many times, they look different to me each time I see them.  Or, I see something I didn't before.  Like this one with my dad feeding me cake.  Never noticed the great expression on his face or his hand placed on my neck - like he was supporting me in some way.  I think you can see the trust between us. 

In this one I notice how laid back my dad was... at least he looks laid back to me.  Also, I can see how much we loved each other.  Also, when I saw this picture I noticed the red in my dad's tie for the first time.  If I had to guess, I'm thinking my mom was the one responsible for that fashion choice as it just happens to go with the red bow in my dress.  If I were to post a picture of my mom from that day you'd see she was wearing a red dress.  Coincidence?  I think not!  Actually, it's probably not a coincidence that the candles for the candle lighting ceremony were red as well.   All this leads me to believe the color theme for my bat mitzvah was red... What do you think?

Whether or not it is, at the end of the day I prefer to concentrate on the fact that you can see in this picture how much my dad and I loved each other.

I'm not sure what my dad said that was so funny it warranted the expression I have on my face in this picture.  My dad was a funny person.  I also loved the way he thought and his reasoned for something was just plain silly sometimes.  I guess that is where I get my (sometimes) goofball reasoning as well. 

The pictures I posted today are just a small taste of the ones I've been happily looking at lately.  The best part is that I finally decided to scan them in so I can share them with those that are still around.

Thank you to Sara for giving me even more of a reason to start the scanning process - and a reason to share them on my blog.  I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my dad's birthday.

Now that I've shared some photos with you, please take a moment to see what photos my fellow bloggers chose to share:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)