To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before

I have my 25 year class reunion this year. In preparation for this fun event, I have been talking to many of my high school friends. During the conversations I’ve noticed many of my friends have memories of their interactions with classmates – very detailed memories.

What is wrong with me that I don’t have these memories? Was I that unfeeling? Did I just not have any friends? Did I party a little too much between then and now? (Probably)

Don’t get me wrong I have memories of impactful events (First kiss, falling in love, educational successes, violin teachers, confirmation classes, meeting my husband, learning to drive, smoking, drinking, that one day I was in detention, etc…) I just don’t remember interactions with female friends. I do remember traits about my friends that I absolutely loved. If I could go back to high school as the perfect girl it would be a mash up of these traits.

I would be funny, kind, smart, pretty, witty, strong, wise, caring, social, sporty, graceful, encouraging, daring, sexy, artistic, musical, organized, patient, driven, spiritual and loving. I can document by name the women who I remember with these traits, but I won’t and you know why.

As I prepare to go relive those days this summer, I hope that my fellow female classmates look back and remember me fondly. If not, I’m calling you out. If you are at the reunion this summer, find me and give me a chance to make it right.

Abundance – Friend or Foe?

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha

Everywhere I go these days I notice abundance of noisy chatter. On television, in the workplace, at home and definitely online. It seems like millions of sources of information vying for attention all the time. Almost every day though, One (or more if I am fortunate) message gets through that seems genuine. Im not talking about the regular interaction with people you know and love – my friends and family are amazing at “filling my cup” and I hope I am the same for them. I’m talking about the vast amount of messages on social media, television, direct mail and the like.

The quote above has great meaning for me. My daughter says that smiley faces are “kind of like her signature because she really connects with them.” I feel that way about that sigh of relief or unclenching of the teeth I hear when I have helped someone find peace – even if its only briefly.

I know many people see the quotes I post and think “Cheesy McCheeseball is at it again” or “I have heard that a thousand times” but I know that for some it makes the difference between a long hopeless day and an added skip in their step. It could be exactly what they need to post to their own page or blog or the words they needed to share with a friend or loved one.

There is an abundance of sour people who care little for others and just want to shout above the crowd to get noticed. My challenge for myself and for you is to add worth to your interactions on social media, add value to your blog in the form of helping others.

Abundance can be a very, very good thing (please be listening lottery elfs) or a challenge (the abundance of dirty laundry in this house comes to mind here) either way – cutting through the excess blather can be the best thing we do as entrepreneurs, small business owners, bloggers or copy writers. Connecting genuinely taps into another abundant commodity – love. (not the kissy kissy stuff – ewe)

Didn’t We Just Do This Last Year?

So I went and checked my “New Years” post from last year (http://keepthefaithdaily.com/new-new-shiny-and-new) and it feels like I may be a hamster on a wheel here. I didn’t set the same goals this year and the bitterness is decidedly less evident but ultimately I am still trying in different ways to be a productive person and help others…and the clock (or cute doggie watch) keeps ticking. So here is what I am going to do….trash it all.

I’m tossing my resolution to be nice, ditching the theory that somehow I can become a better person and create happier energy everywhere I go in one year. Lost is the image of myself as Glenda the good witch spreading comfort and joy to those around me.

The trick is this, I have been working toward this goal and succeeding little by little for years. I am betting outside of weight loss and independent wealth, you have done the same thing. Anyone who has made a conscious effort to be “better” probably is and its not a limited time engagement – its every day, all the time.

This year I am working toward certifications and notable ways to get better at what I do but I was doing that last year and I will be doing it next year. You dont have to put a target on the wall or a label on this year to achieve…although I do recommend a good vision board and motivational essential oils;-)

Give Peace a Chance

Today was the day, the United States woke with an answer to the question: “Who will be our leader for the next four years?” and the answer is Barack Obama. Prior to today, I have been able to avoid most of the negative campaigns, Facebook rants and water cooler discussions. I was shocked to see the sheer hatred spewed on social media and actually had to unfriend one or two who posted some inexcusable comments. I have been praying (after a hot minute of plotting their misfortune followed by a good long meditation session) for the people who were so saddened by the choice this nation has made and our leaders who are the perpetual targets of their hate.

This opened up an opportunity for thankfulness. I am thankful that I have such wonderful friends that todays activity was shocking to me. Thankful that I have a support system (husband and family) to “vent” my own frustrations. Thankful that I have a system of wellness to handle stress (big love for Bergamot today). Thankful to be part of a community eager for wellness options, actively sharing healthy choices and natural coping mechanisms.

I give thanks for you, for reading this blog and commenting. For sharing your knowledge and enlightening me. Thank you for liking my Facebook page and for following me on twitter. Your support means the world to me and I pray that I will be able to make a difference for you.

Be mine….

Today is Valentines Day and I have been treated very well by my husband and family. I get much of my self worth from my family and the relationships I have with my husband, kids, patents and sister. Unfortunately that is not always the case, as women we get much of our self worth from other women liking us. I am very particular about the opinions I see as valuable and the list is very short.

I saw this today in my daughter. She was invited to a birthday party and told me she doesn’t want to go. Just “no thank you, mommy” so of course I had to push the issue and ask why. Her response: “that girl is kind of mean and I don’t like the stuff she likes.”

WORDS TO LIVE BY!!!!

Girls create cliques as early as 3rd grade (little meanies), women create them in schools, in neighborhoods, and in churches. We have cliques that have formal names like governing board, vestry, junior league and PTA. I had a friend mention that she stopped trying to keep up with all the mean women with whom she associated. When she did this, she realized her phone wasn’t ringing off the wall. She became concerned that maybe she was the nasty in the scenario and that other women didn’t like her.

Not so! My friend is well-spoken, educated, attractive and a stay-at home mom who home schools. (count ’em- five threats in one) She can be intimidating (in a good way). They just didn’t want to make an effort to be around someone who doesn’t always agree with them or follow the crowd. As she lamented, I thought:

Clique-y women LOVE to hear your problems, LOVE to see you down, LOVE to tell others when you are wrong or make a mistake.

People like us (if you are reading this, I’m talking to you) LOVE having friends who challenge us, LOVE to encourage each other, LOVE to disagree (in an amenable fashion), pray for each other and just really care. We can be honest in a palatable way (an art form). We know that if we haven’t spoken in 6 weeks but tonight are suddenly free for a GNO, it’s on. (like donkey kong)

The funniest thing about the conversation with my friend was the end. She said in reference to the women in the groups she used to frequent, and I quote, “Ugh. What’s stupid is I don’t even LIKE most of these people!”

My point, exactly!

Girl on Girl Energy Smackdown

Everyone talks about how women are so nasty and we (women) are our own worst enemy. This is so true everywhere: at work, at school, at church, on sports fields, in the gym, on the road and even in the PTA (gasp). This negative energy surrounding women is also perpetuated by negative speak such as “darn woman driver” and “he throws like a girl.” (guilty)

All this really came to a head for me this weekend when a friend’s daughters were selected at an audition for a modeling/talent gig. Another mom’s first response to this terrific news about my friends GORGEOUS daughters was, “Wow, how much is that gonna cost ya?”

Honestly, does it hurt that much to say “way to go!,” or “good job,”??? Is there a concern that beauty is subject to the law of diminishing returns? If her daughters are recognized for being beautiful will your daughter be any less beautiful?

I know that the clustering of women into cliques happens everywhere and as if by natural course there is a constant influx of shiny new members and outcasting of those seen as less desirable by the group, but is this pack mentality necessary individually? This perpetuation of cattiness and negativity is completely avoidable!!

I am challenging myself (and you) to work on my (your) attitude. I will surround myself with amazing people and work on being a source of positive energy for myself and others.

As a first step in my goal, today I started a bonus program called “3 days to finding your energy” (at www.kimstandre.com)

I’ll keep you posted.

Home for the Holidays

I am happy to report that we are staying home for the holidays. I am busy cleaning, carting kids, wrapping presents, shopping for presents and food and generally freaking out about making everything perfect in 6 days.

With the 12 days of Christmas fast approaching, here is my list of 12.

On the first day of christmas, my true love gave to me…
A last-minute gift exchange at work (idiots)
2 Aching feet
3 Whining kids
4 teachers gifts (aren’t my children gift enough?)
5 Days of cramps (Nothing says Christmas like a mean case of PMS)
6 Mommy can I’s (no, no, no, no, no)
7 Holiday movies (oh goody!)
8 stinky dog feet (worse with the windows closed)
9 dozen cookies (please help me stop eating them)
10 gift for wrapping (just ten more)
11 loads of laundry (reproduce itself in my laundry room – dirty, dirty laundry)
12 drivers parking (with fingers in the air just for me)

It’s Not Me, It’s You

Honestly, I have had quite the weekend. I have managed to offend or upset every person with whom I have had contact. Ok, that’s a little dramatic. I have managed to offend or upset almost every person with whom I have had contact who matters. (don’t be offended if you were not offended)

SO, rather than wallow in the sins of the past, I will share the “love”.

I do not understand how it can be so upsetting for me insinuate to my mother that she is a liar. I merely stated that when it comes to what she says and what others say, I’m going with the others. (Uhm….well…ya see, it was like this…)

Deliberately driving slower when the DB behind me honks his horn THE SECOND the light turns green is a kindness to others. Seriously, he could hurt someone. I am actively saving lives when I text at red lights, thus it takes me a little longer to look up and put the phone down. (SAVING LIVES, PEOPLE!!!!)

I am being helpful when I make a mental to-do list. The fact that I expect my husband and children to inherently know this list is irrelevant (osmosis and ESP are real). They have known me long enough to know what I want. It’s not rude to snap my fingers and sigh impatiently at them either!! I am helping them be better people!

I expect that through my actions this weekend many others will work harder to be better. They must have gone on to work and school today refreshed, recharged with positive energy and ready to share that energy with others.

Truly, it’s not me it’s you, right?!?!?!