I think I liked Facebook more when I first got it as a sophomore in high school.
From what I remember of it, I scrolled through funny status updates and pictures of my friends. Now, every time I log in to Facebook, it's BAM - someone is engaged... BAM - someone is having a baby....BAM - someone got married. BAM - someone got an awesome new job. BAM, BAM, BAM. Frankly, it's exhausting.
I think that scrolling through all of these "BAM-moments" makes us question where we all are in our lives. My grandma jokes about something she calls "Facebook envy", which she explains as the feeling you get when comparing yourself to the awesome lives portrayed on social media. It's hard not to, although "comparison is the thief of joy." It's hard to wonder why we're not getting the crazy job or having babies or getting married or winning the amazing trip, etc, etc, etc.
What people don't see on Facebook, though, is real life. People, including me, post the good things (duh). Who wants to see the misery I felt during that awful hike or the blueberries I splatted all over the floor while making my Instagram-worthy smoothie. Instead, I post the beautiful view from atop the mountain and the perfectly filtered photo of my healthy smoothie with hashtags like #cleaneating and #beachbod. Facebook (and Instagram and Twitter, etc), for that matter, are glorified versions of all of our lives. I'm not downplaying the excitement of the BAM-moments; instead, I'm reminding us that the BAM-moments are all we see these days because they're the most glamorous.
So, tread lightly, social media world, and keep reminding yourself that your life is pretty awesome.
Well one of my resolutions on January 1 was that I would write, write, write. It's been literally months and I haven't written. But - here I am!
I seemed to have blinked and all of a sudden it was approaching mid-July. The last day of school came and went and summer school was under way before I knew it. I've been teaching two Pre-Algebra classes at a fancy summer school and it's been going well - I'm out by early afternoon! I hang, have dinner, watch The Walking Dead (my new obsession...I know I'm several years late), go to sleep, and do it all again!
It's safe to say I've learned some new things this summer:
1. "Kids Will Be Kids." Wow, I officially sound ancient. I'm learning that no matter where you are, regardless of the socioeconomic situation, the background, the culture, kids will all be kids. They're quirky, smart, forgetful, sweet, hard workers, selective listeners, and mine are all middle-schoolers so they're all going through puberty (lucky them, right?) It's easy for us as adults (I guess I'm an adult) to get frustrated with kids for well, being kids. I'm learning to just chill and remember kids will be kids.
2. Teachers DEFINITELY need the summers off. Even though I'm teaching two summer classes, I'll still have August off and it's still a different environment than during the school year. It's so important for a teacher's mental health to have a little break every once in a while. We need to re-charge and get ready for the following school year! There's nothing like the sweet sense of freedom at 12:30 that day in late June walking out of the front doors.
3. "The Only Constant in Life Is Change". Things change, whether we like it or not. Maybe it's professional, personal, or just little silly things here and there. For me, I thought I would be moving out within weeks. We had a lease signed and due to an awfully stinky cigarette stench, we're waiting until another place opens up. One of my best friends is moving to Baltimore only a year after one of my other best friends moved to Vermont. My sister's heading off to college at the end of the summer. Things change and it's up to us to handle that change!
I'm sure we all (teachers or not) are looking forward to the rest of the nice, hot summer. Hoping everyone enjoyed the 4th of July and has some beach time planned!
This morning, I listened to a very smart and humorous man speak at church. He invited us all to think for a few minutes to complete the following lists. Try it:
- Name ten Academy Award winners.
- Name six of the most recent World Series champions
- Name five Pulitzer Prize recipients.
- Name ten of the richest people on the planet.
(If you can even get halfway through any of the lists, I'm impressed.)
Then, he asked us to think about completing the next few lists:
- Name three teachers who have inspired you.
- Name two heroes from your life.
- Name four people who have cared about you during a hard time.
The second set was significantly easier, right? And these are the people who don't have the crazy, through the roof credentials. Instead, these are the people who care about you.
In a world where it seems as though everyone is trying to be the richest or smartest or coolest or have the best stuff, that's not the stuff that actually matters. What matters, at least to me, is the personal connections I have with people.
I remember my funny third grade teacher who came up with an awesome way of teaching us about the Mayflower. I couldn't tell you the type of expensive car Jimmy's mom picked him up in. I remember when my high school writing teacher sat with me for hours (literally hours) to help me write my college essay, not the fancy prom dress that pretty girl was wearing. I remember all of the games my parents cheered me on, not who got the MVP Ball at the end of each game. I remember the people who've helped me and inspired me.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I'm a little bit weird. My students make fun of me for having OCD and my boyfriend thinks I tend to be impulsive. What can I say? I like things a specific way.
Recently, I made up a new rule for myself. It's very creatively called "The Five Minute Rule", which is actually not creative at all and completely explains itself solely within the name. When I feel like I really want something, whether it be to buy something I probably don't need on Groupon or to snag a handful of M&Ms, I wait five minutes.
If I still want it after those five minutes, then fine. Most times though, I've either forgotten about the Groupon good or the chocolate handful.
It seems as though we live in a world that is so "go-go-go". Everything is right at our fingertips. If we want to know the weather, we don't have to go outside; we just need to click on the weather app. If we have a question, Siri will answer it in a matter of seconds. We know everything our friends did today by scrolling through our Facebook and Instagram feed and people can get a date with a swipe of a finger on Tinder. Everything is immediate.
Has this instant gratification seeped into our lives into more ways than we realize, though? I might take it lightly that it's so easy to click "Buy" on my Groupon app, but what's this doing to me? I need to remind myself to stop and think about the things I'm doing and whether or not it's actually important or not.
In our super fast, super instantaneous world, slow down, even if it's only for five minutes.
It's barely 7:30pm on a Wednesday and I may or may not be turning into a zombie tonight. I'm that tired.
Last night, Ryan and I decided it would be a good idea to go on a date: dinner and a movie. It was wonderful. What wasn't so wonderful was the fact that I completely ignored my usual 9:30pm bedtime routine. Instead, I stayed out until after 11. Needless to say, keeping my eyes open was my workout for the day.
But, remember when this was normal? When we would go out and stay up until God knows when...on a school night! (Gasp.) Remember good ole' Thursdays at college? Remember how it was fine if you couldn't fall asleep on Sunday night because you didn't have class on Monday until 10am. If anything, we could take a midday nap if we needed to.
As much as it sounds like I'm missing that lifestyle right now, I have to say I would much prefer the one I have now. Sure, it would be nice to sleep in until it was at least light outside or to be able to stay up to at least be able to catch the end of the Academy Awards. But, I have to admit - I'd rather be where I am now, working.
Becoming a "working person" seemed to have happened so quickly. We went from college kids, living in our little college bubble, to adults. What? Weird, huh?
We've all heard about monthly subscription boxes: pay somewhere between $5-$50 per month and you get a present each month.
For about a year, I've been receiving PopSugar boxes each month and I LOVE IT.
Once a month, I get this little box of joy on my front step:
Open it up, perfectly wrapped as if it's your birthday:
And unpack the contents!!! When you sign up, you take a quick quiz that will help to match your personality to the gifts you receive! You'll put in the types of things like:
- The kind of jewelry you prefer
- Favorite scents
- Favorite colors
- Shoe size
This way, they get a good sense of what will make you happy in the box!
In the February box I just received, here's what I got for ONLY $39.95:
- Heart Cutting Board with Knife
- Silver Arrow Necklace
- Nail Polish
- Rocky Road Chocolate Bar
- Rose Bubble Bath Mix
Again, all for only $39.95!! If you're interested, click here! You should DEFINITELY order yours now! Enjoy!
We start off this episode right where we ended last week - with Kelsey hysterically crying on the ground amidst her "panic attack". After she "needs Chris to make her feel better", she returns to the girls and practically laughs it off. But did any of them go to check on her during her moment of weakness? No, instead, they sat on the couches and let the medical professionals handle it. I can't really blame them; I'm not sure if I would get in the middle of one of Kelsey's "episodes".
Side note: Any time Kelsey does an interview, she manages to sneak in a creepy, conniving smile, or something like that.
Side side note: I can't help but feel a little badly about saying mean things about Kelsey because of "her story". However, I also can't help but feel that a widow's reaction would be a little different than "Tune in Mondays at 8, to watch the love story unfold," as she proclaims. A little bizarre if you ask me.
I'm pretty sure by the 9th minute of the show, Ashley I (KardLASHian) has cried about three times.
Moving on, the girls relocate to the exciting town of Deadwood. I'm wondering if...
a) The producers are on a MAJOR budget this season. (Where are all of the extravagant dates?!)
b) They're trying to REALLY get the girls to get a feel for how Chris lives, and extravagant just wouldn't be the way.
The first one-on-one date is with Becca, which I was really happy about. Becca rocks because:
1. We haven't gotten to see much of her yet because the majority of the show is focused on Ashley crying and Kelsey being crazy.
2. She's super low key.
3. She makes Chris do that crazy high-pitched laugh.
4. They didn't kiss yet -- until this date, that is! She obviously is super respectful of herself. #TeamBecca
Meanwhile back at the not-so-glamorous hotel, the girls try to question Kelsey on her motives while trying to call her out on her craziness. She puts on a "woe is me" act and then proceeds to say she was "blessed with eloquence" during her interview. I don't buy her act for one second.
A little bit later on, we learn that Kelsey and Ashley will be going on the dreaded two-on-one, while the rest join Chris for a singing adventure with Big & Rich.
During this lovely group date, we learn that:
1) Jade is still shy, but rocks it when she gets to sing on stage
2) Chris should have went to a Bachelor Ettiquette School (maybe by Sean Lowe) because kissing a girl IN FRONT of other girls is not okay. (Cough, Britt, cough)
3) Carly is still awesome. I think everyone fell more in love with her as she sang to him.
4 I want to be friends with Kaitlyn, especially when she rapped.
At the end of the group date, all hell breaks lose when Chris whisks Britt away for a secret date at a Big & Rich concert, where he gives Britt a rose on stage in front of hundreds of people. You can only imagine the stares she gets from the other girls after returning an hour later from their secret date. (Again, Sean Lowe should give Chris some pointers...)
And finally, the two-on-one BEGINS! All night, we are looking forward to seeing it unfold. Both, Ashley and Kelsey, thinks the other is clearly going home because, obviously, they are nothing alike.
It doesn't take long for Ashley to tell Chris how everyone hates Kelsey. When Chris then tells Kelsey what Ashley said to him, Kelsey whips out her best 'angry mom' face:
Long story short, Chris sends both of the girls home because they just weren't right for him. Ashley cries more. This time, it's louder and more booger-filled. When the other girls see Ashley's suitcase leave first, they're in disbelief. When they then see Kelsey's bag leave, they pop a bottle of champaign. Well done, girls. The thing I'm still wondering is how both girls got back from the Badlands, where their date was. Chris leaves on the helicopter, so I can only imagine the girls hike back for miles and miles, attacking each other every step.
Looking forward to next week, apparently Britt freaks out. AND, it's a two week event. I already prepared my boyfriend that he will have to watch it with me because we will be away for the weekend. Sorry, Ryan!
Thanks for reading, Bachelor Nation! Until we meet again...
People are inherently busy. We have jobs or children or responsibilities. The days become weeks and the weeks become months. Before we know it, life happened and we're still going in full speed.
And that's okay. I would rather be busy than bored. But, I think there are three things we can all try to do every single day to make our days feel a little more fulfilled.
Laugh: Someone once said, "Laughing is, and always will be, the best form of therapy". I couldn't agree more. Life is too important to take too seriously, so spend at least some time laughing each and every day.
Sweat: If anyone knows how hard it might be to get your booty up off from the couch after a long day, it's me. In my case, my middle school students seriously wear me out. Everyone has something different that tends to exhaust them - whether it's deadlines or children or meetings or whatever. I've found that getting myself to work out and sweat at least a little bit during the day makes me feel better. It makes me feel refreshed and healthy. I know it's hard, but try it!
Think: Things can get so mundane. Sometimes people don't even remember driving home from work because they are on auto plane. Almost every minute of each day is so similar that they sometimes mush together. But, stop and think...about anything. About how grateful you are to have a supportive family. About how you want to adopt a dog one day from the shelter. About future plans. About how your past has made you who you are. I don't think it matters what you think about. But, think.
Don't let 'life' get in the way of you loving it. Sure, monotony is bound to happen once in a while, but kick it to the curb. Laugh. Sweat. Think.
Have a good week, all!
Last week, I went to Liquid Church for the first time to try something a little new. I was instantly impressed by the modern approach to church and it felt good being there, listening to the sermon. So, this week, I went back.
Today, the Pastor and author of the book called "You Married The Wrong Person" spoke. The title was engaging, to say the least. Being an unmarried person, I can only imagine the reaction some married people could have had from this.
A few of the takeaways I learned today:
- NO one is flawless. The person you are dating or married to has flaws. They might be messy or have anxiety problems or be clumsy or whatever. Regardless, they are not perfect. They cannot spend every waking moment making YOUR life perfect because, eventually, they will have moments of weakness. It's important to not have a "me" centered marriage or relationship because you're focusing on achieving the unattainable.
- A successful marriage means being selfless. Maybe a couple has similar interests when they are young and getting married. But, they won't always have endless weekend hours devoted to biking through the woods or taking classes together. Eventually, life gets in the way and it's important for one another to be supportive of the other, and to be selfless.
- Prince Charming vs. the Victoria's Secret Model. The new general stereotype of marriage is that women want to marry Prince Charming (because that's what they deserve, right?) and men want to be with a woman who will please him at all hours of the day (because that's what he deserves, right?) Wrong. Neither exist. The recent trend of marriage is that the expectations of one's partner has skyrocketed to unrealistic heights. While, at the same time, the concept of marriage has plummeted and divorce is more common now than ever. How can expectations for a partner be so high when the value of marriage is lowering? Accept the person you are with for who they are.
Overall, it gave me a refreshing new idea for how to view marriage. I've been lucky to have grown up seeing my parents, still very much in love. I can only hope that one day I can share the same love for my husband!
If you're interested in purchasing the book, click here for Amazon!
If you'd like to join me next time at Liquid, let me know!! :)
Happy Sunday, Everyone! Thanks for stopping by.
Last Tuesday, my boyfriend and I decided to see American Sniper. The only knowledge I had about it was the 30-second preview I saw on TV a few days prior where Chris Kyle is on the phone with his pregnant wife when she tells him "it's a boy". Instantly, I wanted to see it, and the fact that Bradley Cooper starred in it was a plus.
(Note : If you haven't seen the movie and don't want me to spoil anything, skip reading the bold part.)
As I mentioned, all I knew about the movie was the short clip from the preview. I didn't read the book, I didn't do any research, and I hadn't talked to anyone about the movie. Therefore, I didn't know he died in the end, just as his life was looking up.
The credits started rolling as the completely packed theater sat silently, watching. I took one breath in and one breath out and continued doing this until it was time to get up and leave. A dull roar of chatter began as people conversed about the movie, but I stayed silent. I stayed silent until I got about seven feet down the aisle from where we were sitting, until I started quietly sniffling and hiding my cry. I was embarrassed - why was no one else crying? As we got closer and closer to his car, my dainty cry turned into more of a hysterical hyperventilation session. (My boyfriend told me that if this was our first date he would think I was a little wacko...)
I sat in his passenger seat as he held my hand and told me it was going to be okay, as any good boyfriend should. Still, I couldn't help it. I kept thinking about the movie and I kept crying. I cried because I felt so bad for Chris Kyle and his family.
Then, I started thinking. Sure, this movie was all about the "deadliest sniper", Chris, and the story of his life after returning from war. But what about the other hundreds and thousands of men and women who risk their lives? This movie was just about one, wonderful man, who had such an outstanding impact. What if the movie was from the perspective of the guy who just proposed to his girlfriend and then got his face blown up? Or from the perspective of Chris's brother, who was terrified to go to war? Whoever's perspective, whoever the movie was about, I would have been heartbroken to see the overwhelming struggle these people go through on a daily basis to serve our country.
So, thank you, to the men and women who help to fight and protect this country. You may not be featured in an award-winning movie, but you all deserve awards. You all do something I couldn't imagine enduring, not even for one second. You all have family and friends and loved ones at home and are living a life I will never be able to understand. You are all heroes.
Thank you for your courage and honor.
Thank you for your bravery and strength.
Thank you for your leadership and fearlessness, even when you may be absolutely terrified.
Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do every day.