Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are You Looking in the Rearview?

What is the first reaction you have when driving down the road and a cop passes you on the opposite side of the road? Is it look in the rearview mirrow or look straight ahead? I am going to guess that at least 90% of Americans would say "the rearview." It's just a natural instinct to look up and see the cop behind you. Is he still driving the other way? Is he turning around? Does he have his flashing lights on? These are all questions that run through our minds when this happens. And here is the funny part ~ we do all this even if we are not driving in excess of the posted speed limit, or doing anything else wrong for that matter. Even if we are being a good, obedient citizen, the temptation to look is too great and we do it anyway.

Think about this for a moment ~ I want to live my life so that when I pass a cop while driving, I do not have to look in my rearview mirror. In other words, I want to live my life looking straight ahead and not looking back or over my shoulder.

So when the cop passes your car and your head instantly turns to the right to see the rearview, and you see the cop still driving the opposite direction, do you breath a sigh of relief? Yes. But if the cop is turning around and coming towards you, do you panic? Yes. He might not even be coming after you, and you still have a moment of panic. I was driving down the road a few months ago one beautiful morning, and the cop did pass me heading the other direction. You know what I did? I looked straight ahead because I knew I was driving the speed limit (or under) and had nothing to worry about. Then I quickly realized that I could use this analogy for life just the same.

So many of us get hung up on the past, or what has happened to us, or one certain incident that we cannot let go of, and so on. We want to relive the past when it was good, or go back to a certain time that was fun and we were comfortable. But reality says we cannot do that. We must always look ahead and keep moving forward. The days, minutes or seconds do not stop for us. Each second is here for that long and then gone. Each minute is here for that long and then gone. You get the idea. Time does not stop for anyone; it only moves in one direction -> ahead. Looking in the rearview signifies this very well. What do you see in the rearview mirror? What is behind you. What just passed you. What was just in front of you. Life is the same. Once the time has passed, the time is gone. There is no going back to redo something or relive in the moment. Time passes and brings new times so we should appreciate every moment while the time passes, not after the fact. We should live in the moment while it is here because just like everything else, once something is gone, it is gone.

Think for a moment about a wonderful moment in your past. You were happy and loving life at that time, weren't you? You thought things would be like that forever and you never wanted things to change. Next...

Think about a time that wasn't so good for you. Life was rough, times were hard, you wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, or even worse, you wanted to die in that moment because you felt like you couldn't move forward. Now that wasn't as much fun as remembering the good moment, was it?

My point of remembering both moments, good and bad, is the fact that time moved on and we have all had good and bad moments in our lives. Good and bad times. Sometimes they last for a few minutes, other times they last for months or years.

I personally choose to look ahead and not in the past. And I do that with a smile and an open heart because you never know what changes will come ahead. I want to look straight ahead when that police car passes by, because I know that I was doing the right thing (obeying the law and the speed limit) and I have no worries about being in trouble, or the cop catching me for something I did wrong. How are you living your life right now? Are you looking over your shoulder all the time? Are you doing something you know is wrong and that you know you should make right? Or are you right where you want to be? Are you right with God? Are you in a good place that makes you happy? These are all very good questions we all need to ask ourselves. Some words for the minds to chew and think about. If you know you have to look in the rearview of your life and constantly worry about what will happen next, or who will catch you doing something wrong, then it's time for a change. If you can look straight ahead and know you won't be in trouble when that cop passes you, then you are doing what you need to be. God wants us to live our lives fully, healthy, and with a happy heart. He wants us to live the best we can, even when we want to look in that rearview. He wants us to look straight ahead even if we do not want to.

So today is a good day to start. Do what is right, obey what He wants us to do, be a good person, help others, lead a good life, be an example for others. That is all God wants us to do. He wants us simply to follow Him and listen for what we are meant to do in this life. Good luck on your road of life; just remember looking ahead will get you so much further than looking back!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things That Annoy Me...

Boy, do I miss blogging! The idea for a blog of things that annoy me hit me yesterday while shopping. So here goes... my list of things that annoy me (and I know some of you can relate to some of these):

1. The squeaky shopping cart (and also what triggered this blog). Yes, the cart that squeaks and weebles and wobbles all throughout the store. I was the lucky recipient of THAT cart yesterday. The one that nobody ever wants to get because you are the center of attention. And not by choice, but chance. Of all the carts to choose from, I chose the one who was the loudest of all. It felt like I was in a parade with all the stares I received from people thinking to themselves 'Yep, glad that isn't me this shopping trip!'

2. You are leaving the grocery with stuff in the cart that cannot be bagged and get stopped at the front door because they "need to check your receipt." Ok, I understand that not everyone is totally honest and people try to get stuff for free these days. But I am not one of those people, and I hate the fact that I have to prove I have paid for my items. This happened to me twice in the past 4 days! And I never get stopped when I am on leisure time; it's always when I am in a hurry!

3. People. Yes, I just said that people annoy me. Do people annoy you? I'm guessing that they do. Now, not everyone annoys me. But I am set in my ways so I tend to get annoyed with people easily. I also know no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. But sometimes there is a limit to what you can tolerate. So now for a list of the kinds of people that annoy me:

Conceited people - God created us all equally so why do some people think they are high and mighty and that their poop doesn't stink? We all know someone like this, or maybe you fit into this category. People who are conceited and arrogant are no better than others; they may think they are but that's just to boost their ego that much more. There are definitely people who have made alot of themselves or make more money then others, and that's great and all, congrats to them; but it does not mean they are actually better then others.

Lazy people - this is one of my pet peeves. I am very active and constantly doing something, whether it's at work, home, or for recreation. I don't see how people can sit around and do nothing for hours or days on end. It's nice to have a lazy day every now and then, but God didn't create us to be like that 24/7.

Slacker people - oh yes, we all know someone like this. Unfortunately we have to deal with them whether we like it or not. You know how these people are - they float and do the bare minimum that is required. They let others take charge and sit back and don't do their fair share. They are the type to sit back and watch instead of jumping up to help and taking initiative. I could go on and on about this one, but enough said!

Not dumb, but not overly intelligent-people (did I word that nicely without sounding conceited??) - You ever heard the saying "so-and-so has the brains that God gave us a goose." That's what I think about when I think about these kinds of people. There are those out there who are nice and good people, but sometimes they just don't make the best decisions. They may do things they know are wrong, but don't worry about the consequences until it's time to pay up. You get the idea here!

Mean people - some people are just plain mean. They do things to hurt others, they aren't honest, and they make fun of others. Remember the bully on the school playground? That person was mean then, and probably still is. It's sad but people are mean for no reason often times.

Overtalkative people - you know the kind. You see them calling your phone and then you check your watch to see how much time you have to talk. Because once you pick up the phone, you won't get a word in for 30 minutes. And even then, it might be 2 words. Some people just talk too much and don't know when it's time to shut up.

Braggy people - which can also be overtalkers. Yep, their son or daughter did this, that and even more crap that you don't give a care about. Oh, and you must know the latest and greatest on what the person's latest accomplishments are! It's all about ME, ME ME ~ know someone like this? Someone needs to invent an on/off switch for overtalking braggers because then you could shush them at your convenience. Now that's a thought for an invention...

Gossipy people - no explanation needed here. Gossip brings nothing but trouble to all those who are involved in it.

Dramatic people - come on now. Once you hit the age of 18, drama should cease to exist. Drama is brought on by gossip so they go hand in hand. There are some people just born drama queens (or drama kings), and they love every moment of it. They want to be center of attention and make a massive deal out of the smallest issues. I despise drama and steer clear of it, and if people were smart, they would too.

Really happy morning people - and don't take offense if you are one of "those morning people." I am not a morning person, and I doubt I will ever become one. I like my sleep, I like sleeping in even though it almost never happens, and I don't want to be bothered first thing in the morning about anything. No joking, no serious talks, no complaining or any of the sort first thing in the morning! NO! I cannot handle it. And I'm not one that must have my coffee because well, I am not a coffee drinker. It usually takes me a couple hours after waking up to really be awake and happy. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But anyone that knows me knows not to bother me with nonsense first thing in the morning. Or they might not like the response they get!

That's just a start on people that annoy me! Now back to the list...

4. How about when you turn on the radio station and catch the very tail end of your favorite song? Darn radio stations should be in tune with my schedule of when I start my ignition! LOL

5. When I am in a deep sleep and get woke up by something or someone (usually my youngest one). And then there is initial jump of being woke up and then the head rush when you realize where you are and what just happened. And then the fact it's impossible to get back into that good sleep. Sigh...

6. That I can NEVER seem to be to bed before midnight. Oh, I can try my best, but it never happens. It's as if the clock beside my bed has a magical power that refuses to let my head hit the pillow before 12:00 AM. Some nights it's generous and maybe I am down by 11:30 PM but there is still something that must keep me awake. Maybe the new day wants to greet me personally or something. I just don't know what it is, but I have come to the conclusion that bedtime before midnight just doesn't happen for me. Maybe one of these days I will get back in the habit of getting to bed at a decent hour!

7. Voicemail. Yes, voicemail gets on my nerves. I'm such a texter these days that I don't talk on the phone much. Unless it's a lengthy or important conversation, I'd rather text anyday! Let me clarify something ~ I don't mind voicemail if I do not know the phone number. That is fine; that way I can check to see if I even want to return the call or not. It's when I receive a voicemail from someone that knows I will call them right back. You know the old "Hey, I was just calling to talk. Give me a call back as soon as you can." Why take the time to leave that on a recorded message? I think most of the time people don't even check voicemail before returning a call anyway. I don't the majority of the time. So that is my thoughts on VM!

8. How about when you are driving in a parking lot and some idiot cuts across the parking lot the wrong direction that the aisles run? OMG that gets on my nerves! And normally these people are not checking aisles as they cross them. They believe they have the right of way and you must abide to them since they are the parking lot masters! Or people who drive the wrong way in an up or down lane. I am in the habit of looking both ways before I back out just in case. And I couldn't count the number of times it has happened. The driver is going the wrong direction in an up or down aisle, and you have to wait on their not-so-smart self to pass your vehicle, then you hope and pray they go the correct direction down the next aisle they pick. It happens way too often and can cause an accident over someone's stupidity. I just think some people need a bumper sticker that labels them as "Stupid Driver Aboard."

9. This could fall under the people annoyance category. But how about when you say something to another person and they don't respond? Nothing, nada, zilch! You sit there wondering if they even heard you, and if they did, why don't they take two seconds of their time to respond? It's like having a one-sided conversation. I have been around people where I will say something of great importance or of little value, and they don't answer. Not only is it just plain rude, but it makes the "talker" feel like what they said doesn't matter and is not worth discussing. I will at least acknowledge someone if they speak to me, even if I am not in a chatty mood.

10. When my checkbook balance is off, even just a penny. Yes, I am anal in that sense :)

11. Anyone else ever use Redbox? I do but not all that often. I barely have time to do all the necessary things on a daily basis so my movie watching time is very limited. But when I use a Redbox, I want the thing to work! There have been a few occasions where it doesn't. Or they don't have the movie I really, really wanted to see. BOO! That is what online Redbox is for and I learned that a few months ago

12. How about the fact there are not more than 24 hours in a day? I think we could all agree to this one. But even if there were more hours in a day, we would still find time to fill those hours and then complain that there still wasn't enough time. I have written it over and over, there are only 24 hours in a day and we must make the most of them. On a good day (that I go straight to work and straight home), I am still gone almost half of the day. Throw in a few hours to feed the kids, bathtime, homework, playing with them, and all the extra activities you do every week, that leaves little time for sleep. I am happy if I get a full 7 hours sleep per night!

13. What about when we are working on something and can't get it to work properly (this could be alot of things), and then someone else walks over to take a look at it, what usually happens? It works the second they walk over there. Yep, always works that way! It could be a computer problem, a jar that won't open, really anything. But as soon as another person's eyes are on the problem, it is not longer an issue. Murphy's Law, I guess! This has happened to me alot at work; something is wrong on my screen or the computer is acting up. As soon as I call a co-worker over to look at it, it works perfect! GRRR.....

14. For those who have kids, you will understand this one! Kids love to play toys so they drag out this and that and before you know it, the whole room looks like a tornado went through and dropped down baby dolls, blocks, barbie, etc. But that is not the worst part. That comes when it's time to clean up their mess. "But I'm tired" or "help me" or "these are too heavy" or "but I really want to go to bed" or "Sissy played with these too so she has to help me" excuses ~ that is what really gets on my nerves! They can play and play to their little hearts desire, but come time to clean up the mess, they never want to. And they always think since you are the parent, that comes in the job description that you must help them. The rule in our house is that they can get one collection of items out to play, but when they are ready to move on to the next thing, those must be picked up first. At least that's the way it's supposed to happen. Our floor has been covered in Littlest Pet Shops, Barbies, kitchen items, and whatever other random miscellaneous crap junk they find to drag out. When it gets to the point I can't see my floor, there is a big problem and Mommy isn't happy! My kids are pretty good about picking up, but they must be reminded and re-reminded at times. And yes, I usually end up helping because I am just a sucker. Not to mention it's late and I want to go to bed, so I do help them sometimes. But there are also times I don't too so it all balances out!

15. My best friend and I just talked about this one a few minutes ago -> How about when your jeans or pants don't fit as good as they used to? You know, you pull those pants out of the closet and try to button/zip them up only to find out they have shrunk since you last wore them? It's not you, NO. It's the pants, blame it ALL on the pants! How dare the shrinking fairy put a spell on them when you hung them in the closet. In all fairness, that may be true. Sometimes we wash clothes in hot water or dry them a little too much, and they do shrink. At least that's the excuse I like to use :). Or it could be the alternative, and we have put on just a bit more body mass than we used to have. I'm not as thin as a stick, but I can't complain. But even I have some pants I would love to be able to wear again. Something about turning 30, metabolism slows down, not enough hours in the day... But I do have to workout at least 3-4 days a week or I go nuts. I must say I am a fan of Zumba and would love to do it 7 days a week if I could! I even have my daughter loving Zumba too!

16. Crowded places and I do not agree. I hate to go somewhere I know is going to be crowded. All of those people in a confined space, yucky, germy, you can't breath without smelling someone else's weird scent. Crowds didn't used to bug me that much, but they do now. If I don't have a clear path to walk somewhere, I don't want to be there!

17. What about the times you are trying to watch one of your favorite shows (or a movie) and someone keeps interrupting you (normally kids yelling), and it makes it impossible to see and hear the show? I am not a big TV viewer anyway and rarely watch movies (see #11 above), so this doesn't pertain to me often. However, there are a couple of shows that I love to watch, and when I actually get time to watch them once every 3 months if I am lucky, I want to be able to see and hear them. That's normally about the time the friend you haven't talked to in awhile calls, or someone will stop by to say "HI." Or your kids will not allow you to watch the TV. Ever notice how that works? During their shows, they are in tune with the TV, and we parents do not exist. We can say the same thing 5 times and they will still not hear it! Oh, but when it's time for Mommy to watch the TV, they can't be quiet enough, or they need this/that right now, or they decide they want to have a long talk at the moment. It's always something, happens every time a show of mine comes on! But they also know that if I don't get my 15 minutes of TV time per week of something I really want to see, they will be in trouble. Therefore, I have signed all rights to my TV over to them until they are grown. Cartoons are destined to be on my screen for a very, very long time!

18. When the power goes out. Yes, when the electricity flickers off even for just a second. Want to know why? Because it makes every single clock in the house blink 12:00 when it comes back on. That means resetting every.single.clock back to the correct time. I guess I only have 4 clocks to reset which include the oven and the microwave so that isn't bad, but still a pain in the side when you have to do it. And when the power flickers more than once in a day and you have to reset the clocks you just reset, don't even get me started on that one! LOL

19. My current annoyance: the fact that summer is almost over :(. It has been a great summer with my kids, but it flew too quick. My kids are growing too fast. Time moves too rapidly, but it always does. I absolutely love summer because of the warm sunshine and beautiful days. I refuse to say goodbye to summer because that soon means hello winter. And I must say winter is the most annoying season of them all! Maybe I should just move to Florida where the weather is warm all year around. Thinking, thinking, nah! I think I'll stay here in great ole Indiana and complain about the cold snowy days in a few months. At least I have a 4x4 truck to get around this winter :)

20. Twenty just seems like a good number to wrap up my annoying list. Hmmm... well, I love to blog. Just don't get enough time to write. But I haven't had a comment in a long time! And that is ok, but it is nice to get a comment now and then on my fabulous writing ability. Ha! Just kidding. But I do love to get comments so keep that in mind, blog readers :).

I hope you enjoyed my list of annoying things. I am sure there are many more, but that is what came to mind while writing. Enjoy your day and remember to do something nice for a loved one today :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello School Year

I must say summer really flew this year. I know we all say that every year, but it did! Normally by this time of year, I am beyond ready for my kids to go back to school. Well, guess what? Not this year! I feel like the summer slipped out from under my feet and just flew away. So how did summer fly by so fast?

I sure would like to know the answer to that question! The length of any given day is 24 hours, no matter what season the day falls. But it seems like the entire summer was over in 24 hours. Maybe I can say that now that our fair is over. Oh yes, the fair. Our family usually loves the fair every year. But this year was a little different. Why? Maybe I shouldn't say that it was different, I guess it's the fact that my daughter can now do any 4-H project that she desires. But some projects take much more time than others. Like... the dog. Don't get me wrong; I love the dog, and I love the fact my daughter loves her dog and that dog is her ultimate favorite project. BUT when you add on the goats, the sheep, the horses, (and don't forget the guinea pig), it makes for a very busy summer. With an average of 3 nights of practice a week, most often 4 nights a week between Monday and Thursday with all the different animals, it made me a very tired mommy and two tired little girls! On a positive note though, my daughter did very well with all of her projects and with all of her animals she showed so that made me the tired, but very proud mommy! On a second positive note, it's all over! No more practices with animals until next year... Well, except for the State Fair practices this week... Grrrrr!!!! *Grin!*

With the ending of summer break comes the beginning of the school year. The kids are always excited, nervous, scared, glad, happy and sad all rolled into one! Glad to see their friends again, sad that summer has come to an end yet again. This will also be a year of big change for me ~ instead of one child in school, it will double and make it two kids in school. ='( ='(. Yes, it saddens me just a little. I have always said I would be so glad when they both went to school, but I am recanting those words at the moment. I know it's all part of kids growing up, but it's still hard when the "baby" goes to kindergarten. No, she is not a baby, but yet she is still "the baby." The youngest is always the baby no matter how old they are! Can I get an amen?!?! At least for now, she is still the baby!

Let's do the math here. Since my youngest is in kindergarten, add on five years and that makes the oldest in 5th grade. Here at our school, 5th grade rules the school. So she is excited about being the top dog this year! Let's just see if she can have yet another year of straight A's and get her name engraved on the plaque hanging in the school hall again :). I am just grateful for the fact they will be in the same school one year together and big sis can guide little sis and show her the ropes of the big, scary school.

As another summer comes to a close, we will soon welcome fall and all that comes along with that. Our kids will turn another year older, and so will we. It's just another reminder that we get older each and every day. We may not feel it (and we might some days) but it's the truth of reality. I am that happy our family had a wonderful summer even though it may have been stressful at times. I am glad my girls were able to have fun and soak up some summer sun. Once school gets back in session, I will eventually find the gratefulness in school days again. At least the routine will be back. Oh, but with routine comes the homework. And since I will have double duty this year, I will say a prayer that we can accomplish homework successfully and in a timely manner this year. That is to be determined, I suppose...

Good luck to all the kids out there who have gone back to school and those who soon will. Before I know it, I will be writing the fall and winter blahs blogs again! LOL. I know my kids will be fine in school this year, but I will probably shed a tear or two after the school bus leaves. I think that's just a Mommy thing, but it's ok because I know God will take care of them while they are not in my care! Have a blessed day, adios for now :)