Reflections

Enough is Enough

At what point do we take a step back, re-assess, re-evaluate, and say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?” It is that moment when we realize that in any given situation or relationship we are no longer happy. Yes, HAPPY! Happiness should be our guide, otherwise, what is the point? When we fail to focus on our own happiness, can we really say we are living our life? Or, are we living someone else’s?

“THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIVES IS TO BE HAPPY”

Dalai Lama

Too often we sacrifice our own happiness to please others. For some, it is a fear of being alone; or it is the constant need to be and to feel accepted. Many of us feel pressured to do things or to submit when we know it is at the expense of our own joy. The result is a miserable existence. That is not to say we cannot or should not make sacrifices for those we love. But when those sacrifices lead to our unhappiness, it is time to say ENOUGH!

The older I get, the more I value the concept. Life is short and unpredictable. The recent tragedy involving the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is just one example of how uncertain life is. It is this uncertainty that should remind us to live each day to the fullest. Sometimes the root of our unhappiness is not necessarily other people, but ourselves. I am often guilty of being so focused on goals and outcomes, I forget to just LIVE IN THE MOMENT. I am a constant work in progress. Each day I gain a deeper understanding of the phrase “Carpe Diem.” Seize the day! Three very powerful words. Happiness is a state of mind; it has everything to do with our own mindset, our own reaction to different people, situations and circumstances. We can control our own happiness. Happiness is a state of mind we all crave; it is also something we can all attain.

My wish for you is that you will find it; that you will let go of those around you who make your life miserable; that you will remove yourself from situations that only cause you to put forth negative energy; that you will seek those who bring you comfort, peace, and happiness!

Until next time,

Christine

 

 

 

 

 

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That’s Why I’m Single!

A debacle I’ve had over the past twenty-four hours with a major airline company forced me to show up at the ticket counter at the airport bright and early this morning. I was not getting anywhere with the six different representatives I spoke with over the telephone, and decided the best way to solve the problem was to speak with someone in person. Needless to say, I got the situation resolved in about ten minutes just by dealing with someone face-to-face. But I digress. That is not the purpose of tonight’s blog.

Today, I write about self-respect; the often touted, but fleeting concept. As I stood at the ticket counter this morning I heard three words that made my ears perk up and my body swung in the opposite direction to see who uttered those words and at whom those words were directed. “ARE YOU STUPID?” That was the response to the simple question “should I follow you?” asked by a woman to a man [her travelling companion who I assumed was her husband]. What was most shocking to me, however, far more so than the man’s retort, was the woman’s response. In a soft gentle tone, she uttered “I wasn’t sure since we have separate tickets” and she quickly followed behind him. Both the ticket agent and I looked at each other in disbelief. Those three words “ARE YOU STUPID?” were uttered so loudly everyone in the general vicinity heard them, and I could almost feel the woman’s embarrassment. The redhead at the counter looked me in the eyes and said, “that’s why I’m single!”

In essence, what the redhead was trying to tell me was that she would never put up with someone like that; she would rather be alone than be disrespected! “I told my friends I am going to write a book about fifty dates after fifty, because why bother? Even the ones you think are not that bad turn out to be assholes.” I chuckled, as my mind went back to the couple I observed a few minutes before. Was that normal? Did that woman constantly deal with that type of abuse? Her reaction suggested that was her normal, and I felt sad.

We have often heard the phrase “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Although the exact origin of that quote is uncertain, it touches on a very important concept. We have to hold ourselves in such high esteem that we stand our ground for things that are important to us. One of those things should be respect. We have to respect ourselves enough to command respect from every single person we deal with. It starts with us! We are treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated. I truly hope what I observed this morning was not that woman’s normal; if it is, I hope she will have the courage to change it.

 

Until next time,

Christine

 

Uncharted Territory

It has been a while since I have put pen to paper, or in these modern times, fingers to keyboard! But something has weighed on my heart for a few months now, and it is time to reflect and to share with you, my dear readers, a few lessons I have learned from a most recent and daunting experience.

1) Never Judge a Book By Its Cover:

When we listed our property for rent last year, it rented in a week! We had hired a property management company to handle the process to ease the stress – or so we thought. In a week, we had five different people interested in renting. The lucky winner happened to be the first one to apply. From all accounts, she fitted the description of a perfect renter: her credit score exceeded the requirement, her ten-year rental history was intact, and she had a good solid income. What was most impressive, was this lady was the Director of a Non-Profit Organization. We thought – if she manages and takes care of a company, she should take care of our home, right? WRONG! That decision turned out to be a huge mistake. Things started off great – she paid her rent on time the first few months, and then month after month, the payments were made later and later. Now, don’t get me wrong, the fact that she was paying late was not the biggest problem. Unforeseen things happen, we get that. The problem was the lack of communication, and the complete disregard for the fact that the payments were late. Ultimately, the payments stopped, with absolutely no explanation and no phone call. Half way into a one year lease agreement, the contract was broken. What was most surprising was that this Director decided to move the majority of her things out of the house and terminate the utilities, without a word to this management company. She completely refused to return phone calls, or respond to emails. In essence, she went M.I.A. Not what you would expect from the Director of a company, but not entirely surprising either. Truthfully, I expected candor and decency; enough to pick up the phone and explain the reason she missed payments, or could no longer afford the rent, or had to move somewhere else. Instead, we got a house filled with garbage, and a judgment for past due rent.

2) Friends are the Best Resource

In the midst of all the chaos with this renting experience, our friends were the best resource. Forget about the company that was hired to actually “manage” the property; friends kept us in the loop and were there to offer support and guidance when needed. It was a friend who called to tell me there was a moving truck in front of our house with items of furniture being moved from the house into the truck. It was a friend who showed up at the house to take pictures of said moving truck so we could have evidence this lady was breaking her contract. It was a friend who went to the house at 8:00 a.m. this morning to meet the painter so he could paint the house. It was a friend who left her job in the middle of the afternoon to again meet the painter to find color matches for the work to be done. We hired a company to handle these things, but when that company failed, our friends were there! I cannot thank them enough for that support and assistance during a difficult process.

3) This Too Shall Pass

Life can be tough and challenging! It is not an easy road. We are sometimes tested to determine our strength and our resolve. This experience has taught me patience [I am still learning in case you are wondering]. Ultimately, I know we will overcome and we will move on. We will take the lessons we have learned from this experience to help us with the next challenging one that will come. This too shall pass, that I am sure. But my dear friends, mark my words: I WILL NEVER BE A LANDLORD AGAIN!

Until next time,

Chrissy

 

Battle of the Sexes

“Do you know what you are having?”

“Yes, I am having a boy!”

That has been the beginning of the majority of the conversations I’ve had in the last few months and the responses to my revelation have been nothing short of comical and entertaining. The majority of the responses support a boy, and I’ve learned that people are quite vocal in expressing this preference even if they are complete strangers.  I’ve heard things such as:

“Boys are the best,”

“Boys are so much easier than girls,”

“Be glad you are not having a girl, girls are so complicated.”

And then it begins, a plethora of stories to justify each of those statements. Stories that make it obvious that from the beginning, from the womb, we have a constant battle of the sexes.

What are girls? Chopped liver? Are girls really that complicated? Should I be offended when the person telling me girls are complicated is male? Quite honestly, I echo the sentiment. Girls are complicated! There, I said it. But I don’t believe girls are any more complicated than boys, we are just complex in different ways. This difference stays with us into our adult years and even when we don’t want to be compared, we are!

As a female lawyer, I can speak from personal experience when I say the battle of the sexes is real! We are constantly being measured and judged by our male counterparts. If a female lawyer is strong, assertive and confident, she is a labeled a bitch. And that term is not limited to the courtroom, or the boardroom, or to the legal profession. It is a constant battle women face on a regular basis, no matter the profession and no matter the role.

Boys and men face challenges of their own, as a result of this constant battle and the pre-conceived notions we have of men and women. It is the reason men are criticized for wanting to become nurses; or their decision to become a single parent is generally questioned and doubted. We are all pigeonholed; and constantly being compared!

ComparisonWho ultimately wins the battle?

In case you are wondering, I am extremely happy to be having a boy! But, I would have been equally happy to have a girl!

Until next time,

Christine

Reflections

In just a few short days, I will celebrate another birthday, another milestone.  As the day draws nearer, I cannot help but reflect and contemplate on my life. This journey has been incredible! Filled with some amazing moments of joy, heartbreak, accomplishments, and invaluable lessons learned. They say 30s is the new 20s, or was that just a phrase thirty-year olds coined to feel better about themselves? Either way, I will celebrate!

Birthday Cake

It is funny to think when I was younger I dreamed about being older; being more independent. In fact, I hear it often from younger ones: “I can’t wait to be a teenager,” “I can’t wait to be older,” “I can’t wait to be married,” “I can’t wait to own my car or house.” You get the picture. But, life is a cycle – the older we get the younger we wish we were. We clench to hold on to our youth and some of us live in constant denial that we are no longer as young as we used to be.  But we are as young as we feel, and as young as we act. In fact, we are as young as we want to be!

I am truly thankful to celebrate another anniversary of my birth! With each year, I believe I learn a bit more about myself. I have been truly blessed to have accomplished a lot of what I set out to do, but there is still much more work to do. So many more ways to improve; so many more goals to accomplish. This is only the beginning.

As I get ready to embark on a new chapter of my life, my heart is filled with joy! One day very soon I will be someone’s parent. Wow! Someone will call me “MOM!” As you can imagine, I am filled with joy, excitement, and anticipation. But there are also feelings of anxiety and fear; fear of the unknown. Though I have heard these feelings are quite normal at this stage, it is still somewhat frightening. Motherhood is quickly approaching. But, I am learning to take it in strides. In many ways, I believe I have enough role models to guide me. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I consider great parents! My mother is at the top of that list! I will take the lessons I have learned and build! One day at a time.

As if on cue, as I was driving home this evening Rod Stewart’s Forever Young came on my radio. One of my all time favorite songs! I will leave you with the first verse:

May the good Lord be with you

Down every road you roam

And may sunshine and happiness

Surround you when you’re far from home

And may you grow to be proud

Dignified and true

And do unto others

As you’d have done to you

Be courageous and be brave

And in my heart you’ll always stay

Forever Young, Forever Young

Forever Young, Forever Young

Until Next Time,
Christine