Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who defines our happiness?

Happiness is something that everyone wants and desires to have.  Happiness is different for everyone.  I have heard time and time again from my single friends "When I get into a relationship or get married then I will be happy."  Many of these single friends who have made this comment once they get into a relationship or get married still feel unhappy.  The real question should be does being single make us unhappy or is it not knowing who we are?  Who defines our happiness?  For those of you who struggle in being single and finding happiness in your life I have some words of wisdom today!

Being single is not anything to be ashamed about in our age! We live in a time when most relationships break up and there is no guarantee that even the best ones will last.  In the meantime, there is much to enjoy in life, and singleness has a great many benefits that those couples you envy would give an arm or a leg for!!  I'm not saying avoid relationships and stay single.  Today I want to talk about different ways to find joy in your single life.

1st: Take charge of your reality and give up all that envy! 
I'll admit that sometimes I get a little envious when I get the wedding or baby announcement in the mail!!! I say stop worrying about everyone else around you getting into relationships, getting married, or having babies believing that you need those things as well.  All those happy couples in movies and television shows are the fabrications of Hollywood writers.  Real couples have messy lives; they fight, leave the bathroom dirty, have financial struggles, and fight over the remote control.  Give up your unrealistic fantasies of your soul mate and how most people around you are just regular folk--good people, but not magical heroes who fix each other’s lives.

2nd: Be better
Focus on becoming the best person you can be.  Take classes, workout, grow a garden, do volunteer work, go to therapy, do whatever your heart desires.  Remember that everything you do should be for you! High self-confidence will attract more friends and maybe in the long run even a little romance.  One of the most amazing feelings ever is looking yourself in the mirror every morning and being proud of the person that you are becoming.  As I strive to be better I learn to love myself more and more.  Concentrate on yourself and figure out what you like and don't like.  Make plans with friends that you haven't seen in a while.  Take a nice hot bath, read a book, walk the dog, or watch your favorite TV show.  Take time for yourself and don't sweat finding someone.  Finding love will be easier as you get to know yourself and love yourself. 

3rd:  Indulge yourself
Go out and get your nails done, have a spa day, or get a massage.  Just because you don't have someone to impress or please doesn’t mean you stop leasing yourself.  Remember you are a strong, independent person who deserves the best.  So give it to yourself and don't feel guilty.  I can't tell you how many of my married friends can no longer afford doing some of the things that I enjoy doing like getting my hair and nails done.  We might as well enjoy it while we can right? 

4th: Play the field
Go out and have fun.  Go out to clubs with your friends.  Dance and flirt with others if you like.  Don't be afraid to give or take phone numbers, just realize that nothing may come of it.  I was laughing with a friend the other day about how many times I have refused to give my phone number out.  I kick myself now.  Take a risk who knows the guy at the grocery store throwing you those corny lines might actually be a really nice guy... (But seriously who asks for a girl’s number in the grocery store?).  Let people set you up, or try online dating.  Make yourself available to have fun and meet people!

5th:  Take up a new hobby
Learn guitar, join tap class, grow a garden, write a novel, and cook some gourmet meals!  Do whatever you have ever wanted to do, and do it now.  Trying something new can lead to new skills, friendships, and a higher self-esteem. 

6th:  Positive affirmations are important
Look in the mirror and say things that you like about yourself.  Repeat phrases to yourself such as "I'm strong and beautiful." and tell your reflection that you love you.  You need to know that you cannot expect others to make you happy.  You are the only person who can make you happy in the end.

7th: Be an optimist
I've always been a half glass full kind of person. Being optimistic helps you whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed.  One of the things that I do every day is keep a gratitude diary and every night think of five things I am grateful for.  I love finding the silver lining in everything throughout my day, and savoring the little pleasures.  I love this quote that says "happiness is not just a package that we can open up and consume.  True happiness comes by recognize the elements of happiness and enjoying them as they last."

Happiness is a life time goal and desire.  Happiness is not a destination but a journey.  Enjoy the journey!! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kids thoughts on Love

This article made me smile I thought I would share.  Happy Reading!!

By Pete Pearson and Ellyn Bader 

Philosophers and poets have struggled with the concept of love for years. Well, here’s another take. Someone did a small survey on examples of love and asked some of the best philosophers around-kids. Even if you’ve seen these quotes before, they’re worth reading again.

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t
think it’s gross.” Mark – age 6
“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Rebecca- age 8
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is
different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Billy – age 4
“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” Karl – age 5
“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”
Chrissy – age 6
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” Terri – age 4
“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”
Danny – age 7
“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”
Emily – age 8
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” Bobby – age 7
“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” Nikka – age 6
“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.” Noelle – age 7
“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” Tommy -
age 6
“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.” Cindy – age 8
“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me before I go to sleep at night.” Clare – age 6
“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”
Elaine-age 5
“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.” Chris – age 7
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” Mary Ann – age 4
“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” Lauren – age 4
“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and
little stars come out of you.” Karen – age 7
“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”
Jessica – age 8

Sometimes we over complicate love.  I love how kids remind us to simplify our life and to love unconditionally. 

Love Crystal

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Diease to Please"

"Crystal, Your so perfect!" UGG! I can't tell you how many times I have heard these words come out of people's mouths. Sometimes I sit in awe wondering where one would pick up such messages from me? Me perfect? The thought makes me laugh, and even though I know that being "perfect" is an unrealistic expectation I feel the need to try to reach it. The pressure to be perfect...I really don't know where it started, but everyday I'm trying to let go of the need to be perfect. So, today I will blog my thoughts and feelings about the "disease to please".

Many people in this world are in constant pursuit of perfection, and at times, that pursuit can evolve into a pressure that can feel overwhelming. For the person who feels that pressure, it can appear as a gnawing and constant pressure to measure up to a particular standard imposed on you by yourself, others, or what he or she perceives other to be pressuring them to be or become, and hopefully avoid a sense of failure rise to some level of accepted or ideal accomplishment. Interestingly enough, so many people live their lives day by day managing this pressure, and among these people many are drowning within the pressure to various points of psychological breakdown/distress.

I am no stranger to pressures to be perfect. As a woman, I completely understand the pressures to look beautiful. When I was a student, I always put pressure on myself to do well academically, and acknowledge good grades with a sense of accomplishment and a "pat on the back" for a job well done. As a daughter, I have put pressure on myself to be a perfect daughter who rarely make mistakes, and live life perfectly. When I was younger, my parents would always tell my brother and sister "why can't you be more like Crystal." As a result, I put pressure on myself to be the perfect combination of both brains and beauty, eventually coming to the conclusion in my mid-twenties that the pressure to be perfect was literally gnawing at my ability to reasonably enjoy my life to the fullest. On many days, I had an agenda to make strides towards some goal/combination of goals, and if I did not accomplish them, I would feel as if that day was a "less than perfect" day, and I went to bed feeling incomplete. Managing this pressure for perfection increasingly became a burden, and I began to realize that although this pressure may have helped me accomplish a lot within 25 years, there was a better way to live life and accomplish everything without attempting to measure up to a self- imposed standard of perfection.

Over the past 5 years I have tried to overcome my need to please, but at times I find myself slipping back into trying to be perfect in order to please those around me. Lately, I have found myself doubting myself and feeling so inadequate, because of not meeting others unrealistic expectations. I'm still waiting for the cure-all solution to relieve myself from the pressure of perfection, but I'm realizing that to unlearn this kind of pressure can be a longer process than I thought. Who knew I couldn't perfect, imperfection! Time to let go and start making myself happy!