Jealousy: the Green-Eyed Monster

“Would you still feel loved if your lover never felt jealous?”

This one is a hard one.  If I’ve learned anything from teaching and management, it’s that there are always two sides to every story (and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle).  I think that is applicable here.

If I were to have a lover I might be upset if he were to never get jealous, but only if he weren’t showing his love in other ways.  What I mean is that I don’t necessarily feel like being jealous is the only way to prove your love.  Yes, I think jealousy is a natural human emotion; and, yes, I can get jealous.  But not obsessively so.  I think that’s where the line can be drawn.  Let me try to explain.

If someone loves me (and I him), there will be some semblance of jealousy; but, if our relationship is based on a mutual trust and understanding, that jealousy won’t become obsession.  We should be able to feel jealous without feeling the need to act on it, knowing that there is nothing to worry about.  I feel like either one of us should always know that we’re loved by our other actions.  You know, it’s the little things that count.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in a healthy relationship there will be jealousy but it shouldn’t always be externally noticeable.  I’ll know he loves me by the little things he does.

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Irrational Fears

This week’s question caused an epiphany (which I think is the whole point of the Book of Questions)! Because of that, I’ve left this piece as raw as I could so that you all could experience it with me…

“Do you have any irrational fears? If so, have you tried to overcome them?”

Yes, I have irrational fears; who doesn’t?

For starters, I hate clowns. I’m not sure that it’s a fear per sé, it’s more of an annoyance, I think. They just creep me out.

I am terribly afraid of spiders and snakes; this is (mostly) irrational. I know that both have the potential to be deadly; but, I live in Connecticut. I’m more likely to get mauled by a black bear than I am to come across a deadly spider or snake; but, whenever I see one, I freak out! If you know me, you know what I mean. They just seem unnatural to me.

Then, there’s the big one, my biggest irrational fear…enclosed spaces. I don’t know what it is; but, it’s REALLY bad! It’s gotten to the point where I know that I need to see a doctor for my shoulder, but I won’t because I know he’ll send me for an MRI. Nope, not doing it. The first (and only) time is still burned forever in my brain. It’s also so bad that I’m not a fan of flying.  No, I’m not afraid to die. I’ve said this on many occasion: when it’s my time, it’s my time; and, I believe that (well, mostly). I’m just freaked out by the fact that I can’t get out.

Wait a second, maybe that’s what it is! Maybe it’s not claustrophobia at all. Maybe it is the fear of not being able to get out. If you think about it, it all fits. I don’t like MRI’s because I can’t get out (or move), I don’t like to fly because I can’t get out (or move well). And, I don’t like elevators because there is the potential not to be able to get out (should it break down).

OK, now that I’ve narrowed it down; maybe now I’ll be able to figure out how to overcome it.

New Year, New Me 2017

This year, like a few before it, I’m launching my “new year, new me” campaign.  I generally pick one or two things about myself that I’m not completely happy about and work hard to change them.

In the past, I’ve tackled some of my fears and how I react to different situations.  I’m not always successful; like with what I want to tackle this year.  I’ve mentioned this one before with no success.  This year, I’m working on self-preservation.

I’ve always had a really rough time saying no to people.  More often than not, I’d sacrifice my own sanity to make someone else happy.  In my mind, that was the meaning of life.  As I grow older, I’ve realized that I was completely wrong.  My life should be exactly that, MINE!

So, I’m going to stop saying yes to everything that everyone else wants and allow myself a chance to breathe every now and then.  I’m really tired of being tired.  I always seem to run myself too thin.

This year, I promise it will stop.  If nothing else, the situation with my mother has made me see that life is really way too short not to keep yourself as happy as you can.

Happy 2017 y’all!  Here’s to hoping that this one is better than the last.

What’s your OCD?

We all have one; you know that one thing that you ABSOLUTELY have to do (or not do)?  I firmly believe that we all have varying degrees of OCD inside of us.  For my mother, it’s odd numbers; she won’t take anything if it’s odd.  For example, if you have some sort of candy she wants, and she asks you for one, she doesn’t literally mean one.  If you give her one, she’ll ask for another.  With my father, it’s his extreme penchant for being early.  If he has to be in work at 6am (for example) and he is there any less than 20 minutes before, his whole day is ruined.

What about me, you ask?  Well, for me it’s my overwhelming thirst for knowledge.  Where some people find it easy to take everything at face value, that’s not me at all.  You can’t just tell me something and then expect me to just believe you.  I need proof and I won’t rest until I have it.

Does it help me to recognize it?  I like to think so; but, it’s not going to change any time soon because I’m OK with it.

The way I see it, knowing (and understanding) all of our little quirks helps us to be more in tune with who we really are; which, in turn, helps us be who we want to be.  If I can look in the mirror and be happy with the reflection, then I’m good.  Mind you, I’m not a doctor by any means; I’m just a small town college professor with a very strong sense of who I am.

Now, it’s your turn.  What’s your OCD?  Comment below.

What I Love About Fall

Given all the turmoil that is constantly surrounding us lately, I decided that I needed to be positive and force myself to write about something that I love while saying absoultely NOTHING negative.  It’s a lot harder than you think.  But, you know me, I love a good challenge.  So, without further ado, I give you my favorite time of the year…

  1.  The crisp, cool air.   I absolutely love the weather in the fall.  There is just something about the cool breeze that really keeps me going.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,  somewhere between 45-60 degrees is perfect for me!
  2. Apples and squash and pumpkins, oh my!  Yep, I am THAT person- the one who loves everything and anything pumpkin.  Maybe I need a support group.  Ooh, maybe they’ll have pumpkin coffee and cookies at it 🙂
  3. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Every year on Thanksgiving morning, I get up to make sure that I watch the parade.  There is just something about the magic in the air that makes me so happy.  I’m excited now, it’s only 2 weeks away!
  4. Thanksgiving.  I was born on Thanksgiving, so I may have a bit of biased here; but, I really do love this holiday.  It’s so often forgotten because it’s smack dab in the middle of Halloween and Christmas.  It needs a little love!
  5. Orchards.  I love going to the orchards; strangely enough not for the apple picking.  Just for the vibe and the atmosphere.  I love the smell; and, the fresh fruit and veggies!  Then, there is also the apple cider; that, I don’t care what anyone else says, is absolutely better than the one in the grocery store!

Now, my friends, it’s your turn.  Find a topic (any topic) and write at least 250 positive words about it.  Remember, nothing negative!  It’s really not so easy; but, it does make you feel so much better!

To be…Inspirational!

I know that every now and again, we all need a little pick me up; something to remind us that we are not alone out there is this big ol’ world.  Maybe it’s just me, but reading often helps.  Here are some of my absolute go-to’s when I’m feeling down.

  1. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. – Dennis Kimbro
  2. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.  -Will Rogers.
  3. Whenever I hear somebody sigh and say that life is hard, I’m tempted to ask them, “compared to what?” -Syndney Harris
  4. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.  -Lao Tzu
  5. If not us, who?  If not now, when?  -John F. Kennedy
  6. Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. -Lao Tzu
  7. All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.  -Walt Disney
  8. Challenges are what make like interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.  -Joshua Marine
  9. You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take. -Wayne Gretzky
  10. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

So get out there and be great, never give up, because you can do it!

What are some of your favorites? Comment below!

 

Top 5 Distractions

When you’re as busy as I often get, life can be pretty distracting.  I work pretty tirelessly to make sure that I keep things on track; but, even someone as organized as me can get distracted from time to time.  These are my top five distractions!

  1.  The T.V.:  Those who know me know how much I love to watch TV.  There was a point that I was into so many shows that I would actually plan my days around them.  Not any more!  I now watch only a handful of shows at a time.  For the most part, I do not watch anything live; I DVR them for when I have time.  I try to allow myself at least 2 hours a day to watch TV as it helps me unwind.  Of course, there are still days where I want nothing more than to sit on the couch and binge watch HGTV!
  2. Video Games:  I absolutely love video games.  Both the kind on the various gaming systems out there and those available on my phone and iPad.  I’ll admit it, I play a game or two almost every day; but, if I’d let myself, I could play for hours and hours.
  3. My Cell phone:  My name is Stephanie and I am addicted to my iPhone.  There, I said it!  My assistant Ryan is always laughing at me because my phone is almost always making some sort of sound.  More than once he’s mentioned that he’d go nuts having to listen to it all day.  Well, for the most part, it’s work related stuff; but, I do admit I love Twitter and Facebook!  I’m often  poking around to see what others are up to; but know, I rarely comment, like, share, or retweet.  I’m a bit of a stalker that way :).
  4. My Nephew’s/Niece:  There really isn’t much I wouldn’t do for those kids.  Even put off something that I’m supposed to be working on to play trains, school, or Monopoly.  The way I see it, they won’t be kids asking me to play with them forever; I really can’t pass it up!
  5. Cooking:  While I know that eating is a necessary thing to survive, I can VERY easily get lost in my food preparation.  Take yesterday for example, Mom and I cooked for almost 3 hours straight.  While we did make enough food to last a few days, I still could have (and should have) been writing!

I love my work, but I also love my distractions.  It’s really all about balance.  If you’re a planner/organizer like I am, you can accomplish so much in a very small amount of time!  That’s it for this week, y’all!  Comment below: What are your distractions?

 

Cancer is a dirty word

As I sit here, at my desk, contemplating the final week of my mother’s chemotherapy treatments, I’m reminded of the past six months and how much they’ve changed my life.

In January if would have told me that (in only a few months time) my mother would become ill, I probably would have laughed in your face and reminded you that my mother doesn’t get sick.  You see, that’s what I heard for years and years.  My mother always told all of us that she doesn’t get sick.  She’d often laugh and add that it was because she “takes her vitamins.”  I’m not convinced that the gummy vitamins she’d take on a daily basis actually helped that much, but she was and that’s all that matters.

I still remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news.  I was sitting at my desk, just as I am now, writing a blog post.  Only then, the blog post was much more free and happy.

It’s a tough thing hearing that your mother has cancer; especially when it’s my mother. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my mother struggles on a daily basis with death.  I’m still convinced that it’s PTSD, but that’s another story.   I’ve spent the majority of my life watching my mom worry (and often make herself sick) about every little cough, sneeze, or pain that she, my father, or one of my siblings have faced.  Seeing her watch her mother fade quickly with dementia certainly didn’t help the cause.  I knew that, once I heard the diagnosis, it would be me who had to keep her in good spirits through the process.

All in all, I think I did an OK job.  I’ve reminded her as often as I could how much I love her and how important she is to all of us.  I’ve done anything and everything that she has asked me to do; and, even some that she hasn’t.  Along the way, there were some significant bumps in the road and every little set back that could possibly happen has.

As I mentioned at the start, she is in her final week of chemo.  On October 31st she will get another CAT Scan to see where we need to go from here.  As many of you should know, I’m not an overly religious person, but I do believe.  We could use all of the good thoughts and prayers that we can get.  It’s been the roughest six months of my life; I really want my Mom back now, is that too much to ask for?

If I Could Change One Thing…

I was watching TV the other day and I came across one of those talk shows with the “Dr” as the host.  He asked his guest- a girl whom I do not recognize- if she could change one thing about herself, what would it be?  I just about changed the channel when she took a deep breath and said, “honestly, nothing.  I think everything that I am has made me what I am today.”  I, once again, went to change the channel when the “Dr” replied, “That’s rubbish.  No one is 100% happy with themselves.”

This really sat well with me; because, I don’t care who you are, this is true.  While I wouldn’t change any of the mistakes that I’ve made in the past, because they absolutely made me who I am today, I would definitely change my outlook on certain things.

At times, I find myself worrying about stupid things.  Things that I have absolutely no control over.  Like flying.  I hate flying and I’m going to be doing it very soon.  The thought has my stomach in knots.  But, I’m going to do it.  Because if there is one thing that I am it’s determined. Determined to overcome what I have deemed to be my most annoying fear.

Like Gloria Gaynor said, “I will survive!”

Just wish me luck, OK?

Now it’s your turn:  What is the one thing that you’d change about yourself?  Be honest!

The Woes and Wonders of Being a Professor

Here is a piece that I wrote for Epifania:

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a teacher.  I would (much to their dismay) line up my younger siblings and give them homework assignments.  As I grew, I became the family (and friends) tutor.  As long as it wasn’t math related, I seemed to be the person to ask about it.

As I grew, those desires solidified; effectively launching me into the world of education shortly after graduating from college.  I had it all planed; after I graduated, I’d join a newspaper and work on my masters degree.  The newspaper thing didn’t quite work out the way I’d planned; but, I did go to grad school to get my masters and CT state teacher’s certification.  It was from there that the most significant change began.

My certification is actually in grades 7-12; though I never taught those grades professionally.  The pool of applicants in CT seems to far outweigh the number of jobs available; couple that with the fact that I have my masters (and therefore get paid more than one with just a bachelors) there were no bites at all in the proverbial sea.  At one point, I’d sent out an alarming 50 applications and received no response.  Devastated, broke, and months away from having to begin paying back my student loans, I desperately answered an advertisement for a local University looking for “adjuncts” (aka not-full time teachers).

That day was the beginning of my “destiny.”  One class as a professor and I was hooked; no longer did I have any desire to teach younger children.  I loved being at the University so much that I applied for a full-time job shortly after; not only did I get that job, I got a promotion less than a year after that and have been at the University full-time ever since.  It’s really the best of all my worlds wrapped up in one nice package.  I get to teach, run a department, and write all at the same time.  It honestly couldn’t be better.

As I’m sure you know, no teacher ever gets into education for the money.  Honestly, there are times when the money we get is almost laughable.  The amount of hours and brain power exuded on any given day really doesn’t even come close to what we’re paid.  But like I said, that’s not why we’re here.  We’re here because each and every semester there is that one student whom we reach.  The one student who turns to you before walking out the door on the last day and says “Thanks!  I couldn’t have done this without you.”

That’s not to say that there are no negatives in education; because, believe me, there is.  Universities (and most educational facilities) are, by and large, extremely political places; and, I’m by no means a political person.  And, of course, there is always that student or two who gives you the hardest time possible.  Whether it be complaining about a grade or complaining about an assignment, there is always something going on that makes them unhappy.

But, what’s it all about you ask?  Where do the pros outweigh the cons?  What keeps you getting up each day to fight the fight?  By far, it’s the immeasurable amount of pride felt when one of your students walks across the stage in May to receive their hard earned degree.  I get to say I helped them do that.