Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dangling with Hope

"Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 'How did I get through all of that?'"

I was thinking about hope on the way back to my house last night. It is one of those complicated feelings because it combines all the desires for things to work out with all the despair of nothing going right. I think most people are stuck in that middle place for a majority of their lives.  I know it is difficult for me to put my full faith into something that I am only guessing to be true.

I guess I am thinking about it because it's a state of being that I have started to incorporate more often into my thoughts. Instead of worrying about every detail of my life, I just have to hope that things will work out in the end. My problem with this idea is that living only on hope leads to somewhat mediocre results. I hope that everything that I am doing leads to a final result I am satisfied with but I have my hands in so many different pots that its hard to determine which endeavor I am more driven by. It is this battle that defines the boundaries of hope and I have to determine the middle ground.

We hope not only for ourselves but also for all the people around us who we care about and I think I tend to give a little bit too much of my emotional energy to that hope. I should be worried about myself and being satisfied with my own life rather than obessing over if my friends and family are going to take that next step. In the end, their lives are going to work out how they are suppose to and I need to be making sure that my life does the same. I guess it's better to pray that my family and friends are satisfied with their lives then to constantly hope. Maybe prayer is hope. We are giving God our hopes and allowing him to decide how the cards should fall.

Hope was combined with Faith and Love to create this trifecta of emotions. In order for us to live a more satisfying life, we can never lose hope, must always have faith and must feel love from those around us. I can't decide if that's too complicated or too simple. I guess it seems too simple for our complicated lives.

My goal is to focus my hope. Figure out exactly what I want to do and make it my top priority, then focus on my family and friends. That's what hope is truly about...desiring something and finding the means to achieve it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Weekend

What an amazing weekend it has been! For the past few weeks I have started to discover how relaxing it is being at my own house slowly marking things off my To Do list while also being lazy. It's an odd sense of peace that I don't think I have ever experienced.

Finding enjoyment out of the little things is definitely something that I have tried to work on this summer. I can tell what kind of day I am going to have at work just by the attitude that I have when I get into the car and by the attitude that my girls have when they greet me. It's very funny to me how early children start to pick up on underlying emotions. This experience has truly made me discover that if I get up every morning and decide to have a good attitude, my day will probably go smoother than when I get up hating my job. Seems like a pretty good goal for the next year of my life...find a way to be in control of my attitude on a daily basis and strive to make each day as good as the last.

I have also been in worker bee mode this weekend. Maybe it's the realizing that I have four short weeks left before I will be back in Athens or maybe it's realizing that I have been lazy for a few too many days, but I have been baking, sewing, reading and relaxing the last 72 hours. I want to be able to do this stuff all the time. I think I am trying to soak in as much enjoyment as possible before heading back to school because I know that when classes start back that life becomes more routine.

I have found hobbies which might make me sound like a 90 year old women but who cares! I enjoy knitting and working on puzzles. There is such satisfaction in both of these activities. I finally finished one of the puzzles I have been working on for possibly the last five years and miracuously all the pieces were still intact after being moved multiple times.

The biggest part of this weekend has been me realizing that great satisfaction comes from spending time with people I care about. Like everyone says, we only have this one life to do the things we want to do. We don't have a do over and life doesn't have a sequel. Life isn't always about trying to be the smartest person in the room and while doing so avoiding social interaction. Life is and always will be social. It's a necessity to the survival of human beings. I am not saying that this realization has completely changed my social attitude but it has definitely given me perspective. I am still going to be my quiet, observant self but what do I have to lose by making myself be social. In the long run, putting myself out there will probably do more good to my self esteem than harm.

All of these realizations come from a weekend in which I spent Friday night at home, Saturday night at the baseball game and Sunday night at the fairgrounds enjoying a fireworks display from "behind the scenes". Now I get to spend the day with my family and getting myself ready to get back to work tomorrow, but isn't that what lifes suppose to be...full days of work followed by days of relaxing. I have come to think so.

Happy 4th of July!! A time for food, fun and a little bit of reflection =)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Technology and Children

I just blew up my own blog by posting so much but this topic is something that I have been thinking about the last few days. I know that I am probably going to sound so old by ranting about this topic but it really makes me think what life will be like for my kids.

I am nanny this summer for an 8 and 10 year old girl. Not the most glamourous job I will admit, but it does give me the ability to look back at my childhood and see how much life has changed in just a mere 10 years. I am scared what my kids will do on a daily basis. Call me old fashioned but I swear that there are going to be strict rules in my house about what technology my kids are going to be able to have around. I want my kids to be outside playing. I want them to be creative and spend time working on art projects. I want them to play with action figures and dolls. I want them to go to camps and I want them to be friends with all the kids in the neighborhood. Birmingham, Alabama was definitely not my favorite place to live in my childhood but I will give it credit for the fact that I remember my summer days being full of stuff other than technology. It makes me wonder how other people my age are going to treat their children as well. Are we going to feel the need to keep up with technology or will we take a step back and remember what we did in our childhood and hope that our children have as much fun?

Why I bring this subject up is because as a nanny I have started to despise television! I don't want to see another episode of Disney and Nick's most recent show. I have been trying to get my girls to do other things and some days they will agree to leave the television off. I have come to realize that television is not the evil any more. They can sit around all day and play on their dad's iPad or plug themselves into their iPods never even realizing that the television is off or that their nanny is asking them what they want for lunch. There have actual been times when they have said no to play outside with their friends because they are more absorbed in the game in front of them.

I want to be a working mother but I have come to realize that means that I will have to spend a good amount of time away from my children. I am going to make sure that my nanny has all the resources that she needs to make sure that my children do other things besides becoming nombie like figures in front of an electronic device. Call me an irrational future parent but remember those days when your parents told you to do something else besides sit in front of the television. Think about all the fun we had trying to find something else to do and none of the technology that exist today was at our disposel.

College Bucket List

My absolute favorite task this summer has been thinking of all the things that I want to do in Athens before I leave in two years. I am hoping that this list will help me update my blog more in the next few months complete with pictures and stories of my wonderful adventures.

  1. Eat at the following restaurants
    • 5 & 10
    • Amici
    • Black Forest Bakery
    • Casa Mia
    • Clocked
    • DePalma's
    • East West Bistro
    • Ike & Jane
    • La Dolce Vita
    • Mama's Boy
    • Speakeasy
    • The Grit
  2. Go to the Georgia Theatre
  3. Get a DG family picture by the downtown frog
  4. Get 21st B'day shirt from Athens Bottling Co
  5. Find the Creamery
  6. Go to the farmer's market
  7. Find the Iron Horse
  8. Frolic in the fountain on North Campus
  9. Ring the Chapel Bell
  10. Go to Georgia Florida
  11. Go to Jimmy Buffett
  12. See the UGA Acappella groups in concert
  13. Get a picture with our mascots
  14. Stand on the football field
  15. Get a picture by the "tree that owns itself"
  16. Be in Athens for Athfest
  17. Go to a baseball game
  18. Go to a basketball game
  19. Go to a gymnastics meet
  20. Go to a few away football games
  21. Ride a bike through Athens
  22. Go to the Botanical Gardens
  23. Go downtown on each night of the week
  24. Spend time in the Chapel
  25. Experience Twilight Weekend
  26. Go to Sips and Strokes to paint
  27. Get a hot dog from the hot dog guy near North Campus
  28. Walk throught the Arch- meaning that my time at UGA is done and hopefully I have had the time of my life!!
I feel like this list is a good start to the next two years of my life. I have to remember to take pictures so that I will be able to recollect my adventures on this blog! Please let me know if I have forgotten something. I want these next two years to be full of life changing moments :)

Movies Summer 2011!

I thought I would follow up my books with movies that I would like to try to watch before I head back to Athens in August. Enjoy :)

1. Gone with the Wind: I have already watched it once this summer (my first time!) but I want to watch it again to absorb all the details of the film.
2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding: probably one of my favorite movies. It came up in conversation when I went to Athens a few weekends ago and ever since I have wanted to watch it.
3. Harry Potter: I want to watch the film for any of the books that I get through this summer. I feel like it's part of the experience. Just have to find a time when I can sit for a few hours straight and catch up haha!
4. Easy A: I was told by a friend that this movie was one of the best she had seen. I just need to track down a copy of it. Hopefully Redbox will be on my side!
5. The Help: I know this movie hasn't come out yet, but it is definitely one that I will spend the money on to see in theaters. I say that a lot of the time though and then it doesn't happen because it's too expensive. I want this movie to be good because the book was so great!
6. Something Borrowed: This movie is not currently available but is coming out in August on DVD. I wanted to see this movie at the beginning of the summer and never got around to it. Maybe I will be able to end my summer with it.
7. Cars 2: I have heard that it is not as good as the first one but I don't really care. Cars is one of my favorite Pixar movies. I hope that the girls I am nannying are up to seeing this with me.
8. Up: A Pixar movie that I have yet to see. I have heard that it is really good, so I feel like I need to experience it.

It's very hard for me to sit and watch a movie without fidgeting and wanting to do something else, so everyong make me watch these please :)

Summer Reading 2011!

I am stealing this idea from my wonderful friend, but I think it's great to share with other people books that I am enjoying while on a break from school reading. Enjoy :)

Heart of the Matter by: Emily Giffin
I absolutely love Emily Giffin's books. Each book has gotten better and she has a way of making the ordinary chick novels have an extraordinary ending. I guess you could say I was expecting a lot out of this novel and it didn't quite meet my expectations. I didn't know how I wanted it to end because it is difficult to choose between two characters that you have come to know. I guess in the end I realized that the title of the book is very true. Love is more than just a feeling.

The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery
I think I picked up this book two summers ago and never got around to reading it until now. I don't know why I picked it up to begin with but it was definitely something that I needed to read this summer. It's about a pig that basically takes hold of everyone's heart in a small northern town. Sy describes how this pig lives such an easy life and it just gave me prespective on what is important in life.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
See the previous post. One of the best books that I have ever read. It is still resonating with me even a month after I have finished it. I just keep thinking about the ending and what it meant for so many people.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
It might not have been the best choice to follow The Help but I don't actually know if any book could follow The Help and capture my heart more. This book's ending also threw me for a loop but I am starting to discover that not understanding the ending of the book on the day you finish is not necessarily a bad thing. These are the books that you continue to think about and only truly understand after you have thought about it for awhile. This book is all about the power of women and how a herd of southern women can change the course of one girl's life. It makes me want to become even more southern and have the power to be whoever I am meant to be. It shows how a child's struggle can be changed by the power of unconditional love.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
After much convincing from my little sister and others, I have decided it was probably time for me to tackle this ever so popular series of my childhood. I started about two weeks ago and I am already halfway through the third book. I guess that is saying something about the books addicting nature. I haven't decided if I am going to split the series and maybe read part over Christmas break or next summer or just trudge through them this summer so that I can say that I have partaken in the phenomena of my childhood.

I am hoping HP won't take me the rest of the summer, so I can update this post later in the summer with more amazing books that I have been able to complete.