…Until Next Year!

Good Monday!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

As this year has come to its close, I have found myself busy busy. Breckenridge is in full swing of its winter season and days begin to bleed together.

I don’t have much to share with you this Monday because of my busy work schedule; HOWEVER, next Monday will be a post you do not want to miss: a recap of 2013, my hopes for 2014, and some photos of how I will be bringing in the new year!

It’s crazy how 2013 is already coming to a close. Many people in the week after Christmas begin to think of their New Year’s Resolutions. As I posted previously, we don’t need a new week or a new month or even a new year to start anew. Every day is a new day to do with what we choose.

Be that as it may, tomorrow we will be saying goodbye to 2013 and saying hello to 2014. Take this chance to start fresh. Make an achievable goal and do your best to live by it for the next year (I have a few myself I will be sharing with you next week). Embrace this new year and give yourself a fresh start.

It’s important to give yourself goals to work toward; it’s how we stay motivated.

Until next year!

Have a wonderful, safe, Happy New Year and be sure to check in next week!

Keep Fighting, Keep Breathing, Live Today, Say Tomorrow

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Happy Holiday Tradition

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Apologies for posting on Tuesday this week; I had a very long weekend at work.

I have always looked forward to Christmas. It’s a time when family members from one side of the country travel to the other in order to spend time together. It’s a time when employers and professors allow their employees and students a break from work and school. It’s a time when people realize how rewarding giving can be. It’s an all around good holiday.

Every year since I can remember, either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, my mom would throw a Christmas party for all of our friends and family. She would prepare a nice big dinner for everyone from appetizers to dessert. As we munched on appetizers, we would help ourselves to some beverages (usually wine or beer; soda when I was younger) and catch up with everyone. We would do our best to chow down all of the main course but there seemed to always be leftovers. After eating, we would all play a game or two; something like Taboo, Trivial Pursuit, Buzzword, or Catchphrase.

Three of my best friends I have known since childhood (Hannah, Andy, and Nicole) and their families were always the main cast but as the years went on, our party grew. My first girlfriend and her family joined the scene when I came back from my first semester in college as did my mom’s boyfriend. During my second year of college, I invited my other friend Greg and his family to join in our holiday festivities. Through my last two years of college, we always expected at least 15 people when it only began with eight of us.

I always tried to catch the girls under the mistletoe, our parents always had a few too many drinks, Andy’s dad would always announce our game like it was on ESPN, I would always wear a Santa’s hat and hand out gifts at the end of the night, and it was always something we all looked forward to.

Tradition must go on and we are having our traditional holiday party tonight, but this year will be a little quieter. As us kids have all grown up, we are all in different places now. We all live in different places now with full-time, grown-up jobs and my friends can hardly get back to their extended Breckenridge family to share a night full of food, laughs, and holiday fun. I’m going to miss everyone who won’t be able to make it this year.

Although it won’t quite be the same, I am still grateful for those who are still coming despite their busy schedule. Just because the crowd will be different and smaller, the motive hasn’t changed: sharing new memories and being together.

I hope all of you are able to spend the holidays with your extended family, and by extended family I mean your friends as well. All of my friends that are always invited to my holiday festivities I consider my brothers and sisters, my aunts and uncles. Christmas is considered a “family” holiday, but make sure to extend that meaning of family a little bit further this year. It’s about spending time with the important people in your life.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to extend and add to your family traditions this year. Next thing you know, after spending the holidays with someone new this year, you won’t be able to believe how you’ve gone so long without celebrating the holidays with them. And next year, you won’t be able to imagine celebrating without them.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Keep Fighting, Keep Breathing, Live Today, Say Tomorrow

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P.S. Hope you have been good this year! Santa flies tonight! Don’t forget the milk, cookies and carrots! He needs energy to go around the world in one night!

The Flip Side of the Coin

Good Monday all!

I’m sure we are all familiar with the the phrase that goes something like, “You don’t understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.”

Another way that I like to think of this idea is, “There are two sides to every coin.”

As of late, I have found it interesting how ignorant people tend to be, myself included. We always seem to know exactly what someone is going through when making a decision.

For example: By the time I was 16 years old, I already had 5 years of restaurant experience. You see, my dad managed restaurants for the majority of my younger years. He would work 14 hours a day and hardly have a day off. Whenever I would visit him, the way I spent time with him was to go to work with him all day. Instead of staying out of the way, I would work; I would bus tables all day and the waitstaff would tip me for my services. I was quite the worker at 11 years old.

So when I turned 16, I started to apply for jobs in the restaurant business in Breckenridge. I had my restaurant experience behind me and was confident I would be able to land a job easily. My first job interview was with Bubba Gump’s. With my application and resumé in hand, I landed an interview with the hiring manager.

I had experience bussing tables. I have tremendous work ethic. I am motivated to work. And yes, I told the hiring manager all of this and she told me to check back with her in a couple days.

Despite my resumé and solid interview, they did not hire me.

Until recently, I had only experienced the applying side of the employment coin. Since being a manager at Eric’s, I have had many applicants drop by, fill out an application, and hand me their resumé. Although I do not hire people, I still have a good idea of if someone would fit working at Eric’s or not. I have encountered multiple applicants that have solid work experience and tell me they are willing to work all the time, but something inside me says, “They won’t fit working here.”

It’s eye-opening when you find yourself on the other side of a situation. Perhaps some of those applicants would have been great employees but from their first impression, I didn’t see them fitting into the business I work for. Although I seemed motivated and knew the restaurant business, Bubba Gump’s did not see me fitting into how they run their business.

Another example: The ending of relationships. Someone assumes the role of the heart-breaker and the other becomes the heart-broken. If you have not experienced both, you will never know how difficult it is for the other side.

In the four relationships I have been in throughout my life, in the end I have been the heart-broken. I know this hurtful side all too well and I’m always baffled how easy it seems to be to end a relationship with someone.

But just because I have not been on the other side of the relationship coin does not mean it does not exist. It does not mean there isn’t pain in being the person to end the relationship. It does not mean it was easy for someone to end a relationship. In some situations, there could be just as much emotional pain for both parties, just in different ways.

I have not yet experienced it, so I just don’t know; however, I can’t assume how the other side feels without having experienced it. Until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you fail to understand what they are going through.

I can only imagine what it’s like to break someone’s heart. I can only imagine how hard it must be and how painful it must be to be that person. The fact is, I simply don’t know and until I find myself in those shoes, I can’t claim to know or understand that side.

Just remember, there are two sides to every coin and although you may think you know what the other side looks and feels like, you never really know its true nature until you find yourself over there.

Until next Monday!

Keep Fighting, Keep Breathing, Live Today, Say Tomorrow

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My Life According to…

Good Monday all!

Since I have picked up my blog and actually kept up with it this time, all my posts have weighed in on the heavy side. So, I thought today’s post would be a little bit more fun.

A few years ago, my college roommate introduced me to a ‘Note’ on Facebook  titled “My Life According to…” where Facebookers would answer questions only using names of songs from a musical artist of their choosing. When they were finished, they would tag their friends in the note to do the same.

When I first heard about this, I had just dived head first into Yellowcard, so of course I used their discography.

I would like to do this exercise again and share it with you all, but this time using my most recent favorite artist:

Pick your artist.
Paramore

Are you male or female?
Franklin

Describe yourself.
For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic

How do you feel?
Here We Go Again

Describe where you currently live.
All I Wanted

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
Where the Lines Overlap

Your favorite form of transportation.
Fast In My Car

Your best friend is:
The Only Exception

You and your best friends are:
Misguided Ghosts

What’s the weather like?
Looking Up

Favorite time of day.
When It Rains

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?
Conspiracy

What is life to you?
Born For This

Your last relationship.
Misery Business

Your fear.
My Heart

How I would like to die.
Careful

My soul’s present condition.
We Are Broken

My motto:
Ain’t It Fun

My favorite question to answer (that ends up being spot on, too) was “Describe yourself.” Nowadays, it seems being realistic can be misconstrued as pessimism. For the most part, I like to think I’m pretty grounded in reality; however, I try to lean toward a positive spin on reality. Hence, “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic.”

A few of those answers took me a bit to figure out (“How do you feel?”, “If your life was a TV show…”, “My motto”). There a few choices to choose from on all of those answers but I feel the ones I ended up choosing fit my current state of being the best.

Other than that, all the other answers seem to explain themselves pretty well. I very much enjoy all of the songs I chose and I encourage you all to look up and listen to a few if you would like.

So there you have it! My life according to Paramore!

Until next Monday!

Keep Fighting, Keep Breathing, Live Today, Say Tomorrow

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Snap Your Rubber Bands

Good Monday all! Hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving with family and friends!

A couple weeks ago while setting up for SCY, Phil showed a video on YouTube featuring two Australians passing time by wrapping hundreds of rubber bands around the belly of a watermelon to see just how many rubber bands it took to make a watermelon explode.

Phil showed us leaders this video to introduce our first activity of the night with the high school students: exploding miniature watermelons with rubber bands.

It never really occurred to me this was possible but when I saw the video and thought about it, each rubber band squeezes the watermelon until it can’t take the pressure anymore and pops like a balloon.

A cool experiment that (aside from that night at SCY) I must try myself one day.

But then, I imagined myself as the watermelon just going through life with my hard, smooth shell and soft, mushy inside while the world around me continues to wrap rubber bands around my body testing my breaking point.

Interesting analogy isn’t it?

At that moment in my life, I started to rack my brain with all of the things that stress me out. And, of course, as fifty rubber bands don’t do much to a giant watermelon, two or three things in your life are easy to manage.

But, then you add another fifty rubber bands…and another fifty…and another fifty…and another fifty, and pretty soon you start to see the indentation in that hard, smooth shell and realize it’s only a matter of time before a single rubber band causes an explosion.

So, I thought of my first fifty rubber bands: rent and bills (phone, cable/internet, student loans, credit card). Of course they cause stress but nothing I can’t handle.

My next fifty: my job (scheduling and my responsibilities). Although I love my job, it does become stressful to make sure I take care of all my responsibilities Eric trusts me with each week. Because I do love my job, this stress is also relatively easy to handle.

Next fifty: my health (taking all my pills, doing all my treatments, refilling prescriptions, etc.). The stress begins to build but I have had CF my whole life and although it can be stressful at times, I can keep it under control.

Next fifty: my social life (lack of friends in Breckenridge). When life gets tough, it’s nice to have people to go to. Unfortunately, everyone I go to lives 80 miles away. I can keep in contact via phone calls and text messages but when in need of a friend, it would be nice to have someone to actually talk to.

I’ve crept up to what I would think to be around 200 rubber bands. According to the few internet answers I found, it takes about 500 rubber bands to explode a watermelon.

With that in mind, I add on almost losing my health insurance just weeks before I had to go into the hospital. After my hospital stay, it became figuring out my work schedule so I can still work but keep my ever-so-important health insurance (100 rubber bands).

Not only was I dealing with my practical issues, but was also dealing with some deep emotional issues having to do with my relationships with some of the people around me (100 rubber bands).

If my calculations are correct, a couple weeks ago I approached about 400 rubber bands. Another few small things or one more big something to stress over, I might have exploded.

We all have our share of rubber bands pressuring us and pushing us closer to our breaking point, but the key is not to let them stack up on each other. One, ten, even fifty rubber bands don’t do much to a big watermelon, but they begin to stack on each other and before you realize it, you become a few rubber bands away from explosion.

I realized those rubber bands wrapped around me had just about broke me. Before I let them get the better of me, however, I managed to snap a few of them for some breathing room by solving my work schedule and coming to terms with my emotional distress. In the words of Paramore: “Some things I’ll never know and I had to let them go.”

Be wary of your rubber bands. We might have our breaking points, but don’t forget those rubber bands can snap as well.

Until next Monday!

Keep Fighting, Keep Breathing, Live Today, Say Tomorrow 

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