Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chit Chat

I came across this post on a blog-stalking morning, and I loved every word of it. I try to be this kind of person, and I have tried to teach my kids to be these kind of people. I have tried to teach my kids that you can find something nice to say about anyone, and make them feel noticed and special. It should become second nature to you and something you do without even thinking. I love the way this lady was described and how she treated everyone. I strive to be this kind of person everyday, and you should too..... Enjoy!! Chit-chat. That's what I grew up calling it. You know, when you go somewhere and people are just making small talk with one another? Chit-chat. It sounds like such a simple thing-small talk. It isn't though. Maybe it used to be, but we have grown so cold and hardened that even something as simple as small talk feels like a burden. It really seems like a dying art. I confess that it is something EXTREMELY hard for me to do. Just the thought of carrying on a conversation with someone I don't know is enough to put me in a cold sweat. Seriously. However, when I have done it, it has been very rewarding. Today I saw a lady who had mastered the art of chit chat. She was AMAZING!! She was a checker-outer-person at the grocery store (I never know what those people are called...). EVERY SINGLE PERSON who went through her lane responded and opened up to her friendly chatter! I KID YOU NOT!! You could see some that were reticent at first, but no one stood a chance. She was that good. I actually switched lanes so that I could go through her line. haha! She chatted about her kids, other people's children, an item being purchased, a hat someone was wearing, a woman's hair-do and one guy's choice of cigarettes. She didn't grin foolishly or inappropriately. She wasn't laughing like an idiot. She was just happy and pleasant. On the way home I tried to figure out WHY she was so successful at chatting it up with complete strangers. I think I stumbled on to at least one way to do this successfully. PAY ATTENTION. Whatever conversation she started with someone was always pertinent to them. She noticed a detail and used that as an opener. It's a well known fact that most people are overly eager to discuss themselves. Why not use this? She did. It does a couple of things. The first thing it does is make you aware of someone other than yourself (and can't we ALL use a little bit more of that?!). The second thing it does is crack the other person's shell. They were NOTICED!! What a lovely thing to be! I think these elements are key in unlocking the art of chit--chat. Perhaps there are other ways to converse with strangers successfully. I haven't seen any that I can recall, but I bet they do those two things. Something to think about anyway. Maybe this week we could all try a little chit-chat with someone we don't know. It will not only brighten your day and heart to make that small connection, but it will DEFINITELY bring a small bit of joy to another's heart. Go ahead, try it more than once! Charlotte Mason (who is one of my heroes) said, ""The thought which defiles a man behaves in precisely the same way as that which purifies: the one, as the other, develops, matures, and increases after its kind." BASICALLY it means that whichever thoughts we choose to allow will grow and multiply more like it. So, if we want to be warm and caring individuals, start THINKING warm and caring thoughts. Soon these thoughts will grow and multiply (much like a living organism) and won't have to try so hard. Just imagine how wonderful that would be! A world with more caring and kind people!!! Just lovely.

Friday, February 7, 2014

It Sucks to Be Broke!!

As my heading says.... It sucks to be broke!! Now don't misunderstand me, it's not us that is broke. For once in our lives we are on top of the game and have a little savings and enough money for our bills and things we need. I am so grateful to my husband for working REALLY hard to get us to this point. It has been a really long time coming and he helps keep my spending under control. But.... a lot of people I know are really struggling and still learning how to manage their money. I know personally it is not easy in any way.
It is hard to see your children struggle and learn these lessons the hard way.
It seems that young marrieds these days have an expectation of wanting everything we as parents have worked and struggled for. They want it all now, and don't understand why they can't have it. We worked hard for the things we have. We earned them and deserve them. In my opinion, they don't!! Not yet anyway, one day it will be their turn. Jobs will come and go, money will come and go too. It is a challenge for everyone to go through. Just expressing a few little thoughts... Take it as you will....

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Peter Pan Syndrome

I recently had the opportunity to read a blog posted by a dear family member. The things she talked about really got me thinking.... She talked about the Peter Pan syndrome, and how we really don't want to grow up. Many of the things she touched on really got me thinking and pondering my life. Sometimes I feel this way, it kind of scares me to think about being a real grown up, and having to make all the decisions. But as I ponder this even more, I think what comes to mind is not the fact of growing older, it's the part of being the oldest and the responsible one. I don't mind being the oldest, but I don't necessarily like being in charge. I dread the day when my Father passes away for more than the obvious reasons. It means I become the matriarch of the family. When all your Grandparents are gone, and then your Parents, it means you are the oldest generation. I am not ready for that in any way.... I know this may not all make sense but it is in my head and I wanted to get it down somehow and express how I feel.

Now another thought along similar lines.... In my head I still feel like a young teenager, and still have dreams and desires of things I would like to accomplish but, life has a way of sneaking in and stealing time and before you know it half your life is gone. I will turn 50 this year and that scares the crap out of me. Don't get me wrong, I have had a wonderful life and  95% of the things I have done I would not change.  There are a few things I would have done differently... like complete college, and have a career that would have improved our income throughout the years. But looking back, I think I was right where I needed to be and experienced the things that made me who I am today. I actually like who I am, and am quite pleased with my choices and friends that have helped we become who I am today. Yet secretly in my head, I am still that little girl with big dreams and desires and wanting acceptance from all those around me. 

I am sure that everyone has some these same thoughts rambling around in their heads. I know I am not alone. A couple of quotes I really like are "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
 John Lennon and  "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." E. M. Forster  This is so true...I have had a wonderful life and am looking forward to many more years wether I want to grow up or not. Which I will do eventually, Peter Pan syndrome or not; for now I am going to enjoy every day and live life to its fullest!! I am incredibly blessed with my amazing husband, my incredible children and friends and family who make my life complete. Thanks for listening to my ramblings, and for making me smile everyday!!