Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Food for Thought . . .

I heard this quote spoken by someone who was injured in last year's Boston Marathon bombing.  She not only recovered from her injury, but went on to finish this year's Boston Marathon! 

One of many inspiring stories!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

All Consumed and Overwhelmed

As I approach the end of my first year in the city I have become somewhat reflective of not only my first year as "city girl," but also where I was last year at this time.  I'd say I wasn't sure why this was the case, but since I know myself rather well I know exactly why - that's just how I am.

Recently, as I was walking back to my place after getting off the train, I began to think of the first time I took this particular path to the place I have called home for almost 12 months now.  It was around this time last April and I was consumed in my own little moving world.  My days were spent working and trying to find leads on places to look at while my evenings consisted of viewing places and then going home to purge crap from my existing home, and packing up what I kept.  Also, I was training for my next race that would take place only 6 days before I anticipating moving.  I had been on this merry-go-round for two months by this point and was feeling discouraged that I would ever find "the one."  However, come hell or high water, come the beginning of June I would be moving.

The first thing I noticed on this first walk was when I got off the train was that there was some sort of construction right by the stop, but at the time I didn't know what it was going to be.  (Not long after I moved that would be revealed to me that this "construction zone" was the future home of a Marino's grocery.  This made me giddy! At that time, I had only heard of Marino's grocery stores, but all that I had heard was positive.)

As I walked the residential streets of this neighborhood I felt the ease of the residential surroundings.  I was familiar with the area, which is what attracted and repelled me to living there.   Part of me saw moving to the city as a whole new adventure, a change that I wanted to make in an epic way. So, as you might imagine moving to this familiar and "safe" part of the city seemed counter productive.  However, on the other hand, I knew the comfort of the familiar would make such a large leap that much easier.

When I walked up to the front of the building I now reside in, I knew that would one day be where I lived.  Like a lot of good things in my life, I didn't want to admit it at the time, but I knew it was the case.  Until this day, I remember the first time I walked into my unit and how the leasing agent kept repeating to me, "Two guys live here so we will be sure to clean it up before you move in."  Like many other places I had looked at, I had to look beyond the surface and aimed to find the potential for the space. (Just like when you are first getting to know someone.)  The showing was quick, but long enough for me to note the pros and cons of the place.

Finally, at the end of April I finally decided to pull the trigger and claim this place as mine - at least for 365 days.  At that point I thought the hardest part was over.... man was I wrong!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Miss Self-Absorbed

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Denise asked us to answer the question: Can a person be too nice?

I struggled with this post up until the very last minute of writing it for multiple reasons.  If you take the actual question "as is" then it's as simple as saying "yes" or "no".  However, it's not that simple of a question. Once you take a position I feel you have to then take a position on why you feel a particular way.  Because I am who I am, while I was contemplating my approach to the topic I asked a few of my friends the question.  As I suspected, I got a vast array of answers.

All this got me thinking about a lunch and learn I went to in February about Altruism and Taking Care of Ones Self.  It was conducted by Rabbi Anthony Manning and focused on what the Torah says about this topic.

When I learned about this seminar I signed up IMMEDIATELY as I struggle with this, a lot, since I've been criticized in the past about being too self-absorbed.  Though this hasn't come up in sometime, it still haunts me.  I still fear that I'm not caring enough about those around me and that I should be doing way more.  Rather than worrying if I'm too nice, I worry I'm not being nice enough.

I'm thankful I had the chance to attend such a presentation.  It put my mind at ease some and answered a lot of questions I had.  It also made me wonder if I was being too nice by worrying about if I was being nice enough.  I also have my BFF to ground me when it comes to getting consumed by balancing altruism and taking care of myself.  For instances, my BFF thinks I'm too nice sometimes, and will tell me when I'm being too nice.  She doesn't want to see me take a hit for something I shouldn't.  Furthermore, I think sometimes she thinks I spend too much time and energy being too nice to others and not as nice as I should be to myself... but that's just my speculation.

Other interesting conversations that have spurred from this question focused on whether someone who is too nice is being truly authentic or genuine and if people who are too nice are perceived as less intelligent than those that are not.  I'm thankful Denise gave us this topic because it's given me something thought provoking to explore with those I keep company with on a regular basis and whose thoughts I greatly value.

Now that I've shared my thoughts on the matter, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say on the matter:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Friday, April 11, 2014

You think you know me, but do you really?

This week for the Thursday Blog Project I asked the group to write about: Write about something no one would ever guess about you.

The topic was inspired by a dinner I attended last weekend and a few other interactions I've had over the past weeks/months.  It all started when I signed up for a program for Young Jewish Professionals that meets once a week over the course of 8 weeks.

The first week, I showed up to the first meeting only knowing one person.  To say I was uncomfortable is an understatement.  Despite this fact, I put on a smile and pushed myself (as I always do) to socialize with the others while the shy kid inside of me wanted to immediately turn around and go home.  Sigh... Have I ever mentioned how much I hate large groups like this and in a bar nonetheless?
After our group meeting we went to a bar where the other four/five groups where. 

If not, I do. So much so that I grabbed a glass of ice water and found my friend.  My poor friend.  I spent the remainder of the evening glued to her.  She encouraged me to talk to my fellow group members, but I had nothing to say.  The same thing pretty much happened during week two.  By week three I was warming up to everyone, but was throw a curve ball.  We had a mass trivia night at a bar so we weren't going to be meeting in our smaller groups first.  CRAP MONKEY!  However, I was getting more comfortable and was more social without feeling as awkward.

By the fourth week I could tell I was staring to make friends.  When we went to the bar I was definitely more comfortable and wasn't relying on my friend to keep me "safe."  However, it was week five that really brought it all together.  I attribute the game "Cards Against Humanity" for this.  To really play this game you have to truly take down any type of filter you have and just be yourself.  So I was.

I mention all this because a lot of people think I'm outgoing and have no problem with social situations and/or lack self confidence.   In reality, it's a matter of being shy and having to push myself past those feelings.  Sometimes that isn't a problem; other times it's a HUGE obstacle.  

Thankfully, more often than not it's not a problem - and I thankful for my ability to overcome my shyness, however I think it's important to remember that I am this way so I never let it catch me off guard.  Most of all, I think it's important for others to know so they can truly know me.

Now that I've talked about something people wouldn't guess about me, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say on the topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Friday, April 4, 2014

You're Damned If You Do and You're Damned If You Don't

In mid-January I decided to give up caffeine, so I did - cold turkey.  It wasn't an easy process, but I did it nonetheless.  (A big thank you to Denise for listening to my vents about it during the first 3 or so days of my "detox.")

Two months later, not drinking caffeine isn't my problem.  However, as a result of my decision to not drink caffeine finding something other than water to drink when I'm eating out is now a problem.  See, in addition to not consuming caffeine, I also don't want to consume drinks with sugar in them such as regular Sprite, 7-Up, Sierra Mist or even good ol' fashion lemonade. An easy fix to this would
be to get the diet version of said drink, however I have yet to find a restaurant or fast food place that actually offers the diet version of these drinks.

(You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.)

Each and every time I encounter this "problem" I eventually laugh at myself.  This isn't the worst problem I'm dealing with at the moment and it's not the worst problem in world, but it's definitely a first world problem (this week's Thursday Blog Project topic thanks to Melissa).

I mean really... First, this is a decision I made freely.  No one twisted my arm or pointed a gun at me and told me I couldn't drink caffeine anymore.  If were such an issue I could easily consuming caffeine again.  More importantly, this "problem" is so small in the big scheme of things.  In some countries people suffer from malnutrition and dehydration... and I'm upset about the fact that my only real option for something to drink while I'm out about is water?! Yeah, "first world" for sure!

At the end of the day, I end up sticking with water when I'm out and about... and as time goes by I'm sure my reaction to this minor inconvenience will temper.

Now that I have talked about one of my "first world problems," please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)