Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Am I creative?

How do you know if you’re creative? 

I’d like to think that I am, but when I really examine my “creativity” I think that it is more that I am pretty good with words AND I’m good at knowing a good idea when I see one and being able to adapt it to fit my needs.  But I don’t really think that that is creative – it’s being good at recognition and follow-through.

A big part of my “success” in my work and in life is being at the right place at the right time, combined with recognition and follow-through. 
Guts are needed too – probably more than brains.  What do you think?

P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday $10 gift is going to the Undermain Theatre.  They are very creative!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teachers are Snitches

I can’t wait for school to be out.

It was the same when I was a kid too – wasn’t the last week of school sweet?  Free as a bird – no homework, no structure, eating ice cream, going to camp – just sweet freedom. 
At this point in my life, I’m also excited that school is out so that I don’t have to slow down in the school zones on the way to work each morning.  Plus, summer is a little bit lighter at Community Partners of Dallas too.  Even as I write, I’m wearing turquoise jeans and a brown and white striped top with gold sandals.  I definitely look like summer today!

NOTE:  Our auditor is here today and he made no comment on my bright blue toenails.  Hmmmm…
Yes, summer is great and even though it is hot and I know that I’ll be writing about my frizzy hair and the heat in the next few months, I am still excited for school to be out.  But I know some people who aren’t glad that school is out – the caseworkers of Child Protective Services.

CPS sees a jump in reports of abuse and neglect each year about this time.  Why?  Because teachers are calling in reports. 
Put yourself in the place of a classroom teacher – you have had a child in your class all year who you have been watching and maybe even suspecting that this child may have a problem at home.  Perhaps the little girl had a few strange marks on her arms.  Maybe she wore the same clothes most days.  Maybe she didn’t have a lunch or money to buy it, so you often made sure she ate.  So May rolls around and you know that you are no longer going to be able to watch the little girl for signs.  You worry that she won’t have anything to eat.  And you’re terrified about what she will face at home.  You call in a report to 1-800-252-5400 and pray for the best.

Teachers are our eyes and ears for so many kids in Dallas County.
I want to explain what I wrote earlier.  The caseworkers of Dallas County CPS aren’t sorry that they’ll have more work to do by investigating these reports that are flooding in – they’re sorry that school is out because while kids are in school they are safer.  Those teachers are looking out for the kids.

Summer is fun, but it is scary for some kids in Dallas.
P.S.  I am making my #FundraisingFriday gift to the CPD Back-to-School Drive this week.  For just $10 we can purchase a great backpack and a few supplies or 2 uniform tops for the 2,000 kids we’ll equip for school in August.  Summer will be over soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life Tip 6: Where is God?

If you’ve been reading my blog this week, you know that it’s been a little different than my usual blogging.  Thanks for staying with me.  If you have not been reading along, I posted every day this week on my Tips for Life, better known as my mantras. I keep these on a piece of paper near my makeup area so I look at them each morning.   Let’s review:

  • Life Tip Number 1:  I am safe.
  • Life Tip Number 2:  Out of this experience, only good will come.
  • Life Tip Number 3:  All is well.
  • Life Tip Number 4:  Everything is working out for my highest good.
  • Life Tip Number 5:  The world is conspiring in my favor.
  • Life Tip Number 6:  I trust in God completely.

Tip 6 is the most important and the one to which all the others lead.  No matter how badly my life is spinning out of control, no matter how many fires I’m trying to put out, no matter how many tragedies I witness or hear about – I know that God is in charge of making sure that it will all turn out for the best in the end.
We are not in charge – He is.  And if you give it to Him, you will be released.
Back to our regular (weekly) programming tomorrow!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Life Tip 5: What's the World Got to Do with It?

Life tip number 5 is:

The world is conspiring in my favor.

This one reminds me that I am just a tiny part of the universe, and I need reminding.
I think most of us get bogged down in what we are doing to make our lives work – job, grocery, planning, time for church, a movie, reading a book, making sure our kids get to their activities – it’s all do, do, do and me, me, me.  We watch The Today Show in the morning and know that there is other stuff going on, but since most of the time the rest of the world is not directly affecting us – well, we just don’t think about it much. 

The world is a comma in my day, not a paragraph.
But this mantra reminds me that the world is out there, and not only is it out there, it is actively working on my behalf. 

In high school my friends and I used to play spades a lot and this makes me think of my friend Nicky who as he dealt the cards each time would say “Good cards to me, bad cards to you.”  He said it over and over as he dealt the deck out. 
Of course, we all thought this was hilarious (it was), but the older I get the more I know that words matter.  Thoughts matter, feelings matter and we have to listen to our inner voices.  The world is conspiring and we need to listen.

Tune in tomorrow for the final (and most important) tip!
P.S.  Nicky did win.  A lot.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life Tip 4: Can I Ever F-ing Let Go?

Hey, y’all – sick of me yet?

If you normally read my blog, you may be thinking what is going on with Paige and all the blog posts this week? 

Frankly, I’m thinking that too.

Not sure why I decided to post once a day this week, but thanks for coming along for the ride.  This is post number 4 (this diatribe began on Thursday, May 17) of my mantras for life.  Number 4 is:

Everything is working out for my highest good.

As a Christian, I know this.  I know that God is watching over me and that He will always protect me and never leave me.  I just love the way this mantra is written.  Let’s break it down:

  • Everything – that is every great thing that happens, along with any crap that occurs
  • Is – not this is going to, no might, no maybe, IS
  • Working – toiling, getting paid to do it
  • Out – puts the emphasis not on me, but outside of me
  • For – on my behalf
  • My – me (one of my favorite topics)
  • Highest – the tops, the epitome, the greatest
  • Good – it’s all good, people

The thing I love is that this implies that the world is working without my intervention – and believe me, I like to be in charge.  And damn it, I need a break.  It’s not all under my control – and this means that I can take a break.  I need a break sometimes and I know that you do too. 

Tune in tomorrow for number 5!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life Tip 3: Stupid stuff driving you crazy?

This is the third blog this week (check out May 17 and 18 if you haven’t already) of my “mantras” that I use to get over hurt, stress, and just all those things that life seems to throw at you. 

Just last night, when I picked up my mom to run an errand, she was adamant that a previous passenger who had ridden in my car had leaned out and spit out of the window and that it landed on the door of my car.  Of course when I explained that she is practically the only person who rides with me, thus she must be the culprit; well, let’s just say that it didn’t go over too well with her. 

Aside:  Of course I knew that mom had not spit out the window.  She is a lady.  I thought it was funny – a joke!  Mea Culpa!  I was just at a loss when confronted with the idea that anyone spit at my car – Joanna, perhaps?  Hmmmm…

The tone continued when we got into the store (Paper Affair on Lovers Lane – one of our favorite places to shop).  Mom did NOT like one of the note card sets that I picked out as a gift and throughout the shopping experience called it “the ugly one”, continuing our silly fuss. 

Aside:  Just ask my friends who play bridge with mom and me to tell you about our “exchanges” during the heat of the game – mom and I are both headstrong and both like to win – it’s hilarious.

Enough of this!  Mantra number 3 is:

All is well.

Say this to yourself each morning and it really does give you a sense of peace.  Some days you’ll need it more than others.

Tune in tomorrow for number four!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Life Tip Two

This week I am giving you my mantras to get over hurt and stay positive.  See yesterday's post for the story.  Mantra Number Two:

Out of this experience only good will come.

It is sometimes hard to really believe this one -- what if your loved one is dying?  How can good come out of this?  What if you were fired from your job -- how can good come from that?

It can and it will.  I believe it as sure as I am sitting here typing this post.

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How do you get over hurt?

I really am a positive person and try to see the good in everything.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I am sweet and kind all the time – as they say in Steel Magnolias “If you can’t say anything nice about anyone, come sit next to me.” – but I try to be happy.

So, since I once again missed the Wednesday blog posting schedule day and am posting on Thursday, I’m going to try something different this week.  I’m going to post something short every day, starting today.  I hope that it will be helpful to you.
A few years ago I went through a really tough time.  I felt like everything that I thought was true was false.  People who I trusted were suddenly against me.  I cried a lot.  I lost 10 pounds from the stress (of course, that was fine and yes, I have put it all back on.).

It was hell.
Ultimately, it all turned out for the best, but while it was going on, it was hell.

I got through it and I want you to know how.
I reached out to friends and family members who helped me.  You know who you are.  You are still in my prayers.  Thank you.

The other thing I did was look to some (for lack of a better word) “mantras” for life.  They have really helped me and I still look at them every day.  They are posted on a sticky note near my makeup area. 
Here’s the first:

I am safe.
Tune in tomorrow for number two.

P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift this week is for Campus Crusade for Christ.  One of our old employees and her husband are doing this work and I support them monthly anyway, and since I had to borrow money from my mom yesterday, they are this week’s donation!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What would THEY say?

Well, I missed my normal blog posting schedule yesterday – not sure why, exactly, but just did – so I’m writing on Thursday instead.

Does this matter?
Why do I write the blog on Wednesday, you might ask?
Well, when I decided to write this blog I did a little research (and really, I do mean a little) and something I read said that Wednesday was the best day to post a blog.
Now, do I know why this is?  No.  Do I know who said this?  No. 
I will give it to the ever-present, ubiquitous “THEY” who say lots of things that we end up believing.
THEY said that Wednesday was the best day to post a blog.  Funnily enough, I have had several people (two, I think) of the multitude (of tens) who read this blog each week tell me that they never even see my posts until Saturday.  Saturday is the day that I re-post the blog that I write on Wednesdays (except for today, of course – today the Wednesday blog will be posted on Thursday – confused yet, ‘cause I kinda am).  And I decided to re-post on Saturdays all by myself – THEY had nothing to do with it.
The more that computers and the World Wide Web can provide us with what THEY say at the touch of a Google search, the more we may believe it.  Is that smart?
Access to information is amazing, but I want to always think for myself.  Maybe I need to Google that – THEY may know something I don’t.
My #FundraisingFriday $10 gift is going to the Wikimedia Foundation.  I hope that THEY approve.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Prodigal Son

I spoke in the pulpit this past Sunday.  Now before you go thinking I’m making a move to a new field, it was as a spokesperson for the committee I’m on at Highland Park United Methodist Church.  The committee is called the Violence Intervention and Prevention Committee, also known as VIP.
Anyway, VIP is doing a drive to collect diapers and snacks for our kids at Community Partners of Dallas for the next few weeks, so I got to do the pulpit announcement in the sanctuary.  At all three services.  So I enjoyed the service – several times.
Now speaking from the pulpit is another blog altogether – yes, you do notice who is asleep and who is picking their nose – but that is not what this post is about. 
The scripture verse for the day was from Luke 15: 11-24 – the Prodigal Son story.  I imagine that most of us know the story:  Boy asks dad for his inheritance, gets it, spends it all on riotous living, returns home broke, and dad takes him back.  Just like God does for all of our sins, the father in the story forgives his son.  My favorite line is when the son is filled with shame and walking to home his father sees him:
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
The father tells everyone to prepare a big party and kill “the fatted calf” (aka Al Biernat’s prime NY cut meat – yum) and says:
…let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”
Of course Mark Craig did a great sermon on grace from this – I’m sure you can listen to it by visiting – and I promise that I was not day dreaming during your sermon, Mark – but it did get me thinking about how much most parents love their kids.  They can forgive anything, sacrifice their own happiness, toil all day to make a living, etc. – all for their kids.
But of course, there are parents who don’t do this for their kids.  They do the opposite.  Why do some kids get dads like the one the Prodigal Son has and some get the opposite?
I don’t know the answer, but I do pray that the kids who don’t have those dads find someone else to emulate or the cycle will continue.  We live what we learned.