There are two kinds of “good.”

“If you were to give yourself an extra special treat today, what could you do for yourself that would make you feel good?”

I almost feel like this is two different questions because there are two different ways to look at “feeling good.” The first being what I could do for myself that would be an extra special treat and therefore make me feel good, physically; and, then, what I could do that would make me feel good, mentally. Those are two very different things, with two very different answers.

To make myself feel good physically, I’d get laser hair removal. It’s expensive, so it would be a real treat for me. It sucks that it’s so much money. I hate shaving, with a passion. If you had asked me that same question like 10 years ago, I would have likely said get my hair dyed. Now, that’s more of a necessity than it is a luxury; but, whatever, age is nothing but a number.

To make myself feel good mentally, I’d find the time to volunteer more. I keep saying that I’d love to get out there and do some charity work. At heart, I’m very philanthropic; life keeps getting in my way. You know, that pesky thing called work?

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Do We Really Have Free Will?

“Is it closer to the truth to say that you chose the lifestyle you now have or to say that your parents chose it for you?”

This question is REALLY interesting to me, because I’ve often struggled withe the whole concept of free will.  Being that I was raised Catholic, I’m supposed to believe that God has a plan for me; or, that I am “here” for a reason.

Then, outside of that, we have our parents.  To a certain extent, of course, they’ve chosen my path for me.  For example, I didn’t choose to live in Naugatuck, CT; I was born here.  Would I be some where else if I could have chosen? I don’t know. I’ve often said that I hate the CT weather, so maybe I wouldn’t have chosen it.  The one thing that I can difinitively say that I got from my parents is the importance of family.  Neither one of my parents are particularly close to their families, so at a young age it was instilled in us that family is first.  We’ve stayed close into adulthood and I’m certain that’s not going to change.  So, I’m still here, in CT,  still hating the weather.

In terms of a career path, I chose my own.  If it were their choice, I would have been a doctor (I wish I were, but that’s a whole different story).  My mother always said that she felt that a teacher was the nobelest of professions; so, a little bit of my decision to do so may have been because of her.  But certainly not forced.

As you all know, I’m chronically single.  My decision alone.  Quite a while ago (after a certain someone broke my heart in a million pieces) I made the decision that I didn’t need a man in my life to be happy.  I decided that my career would bring me happiness; so, I threw all of my energy into it.  Now I’m just so far into my own world I’m not sure I’d remember how to share it with anyone else.  In retrospect, I probably made a mistake by shutting myself out like I did; but, it’s OK.  I’m happy overall, and that’s all that matters.

Thinking about free will puts me in an endless abyss:  my parents, God, my subconscious…who knows which has made the biggest impact?  I guess it’s all in what you believe.  And I, am completely unsure.

 

 

Final Destination?

Hello, my name is Stephanie, and I am a chicken! As you may (or may not) already know, I hate horror movies. I once let a boyfriend convince me to see Scream with him and had nightmares for a year. I didn’t even make it all the through when I started watching Final Destination (I had no clue it was a horror movie). So, given that, I totally freaked out when I saw this week’s question:

“If the day before you were to fly home from a vacation in Jamaica a fortune teller warned you that a plane was going to explode, would you alter your travel plans?”

I’m a lover of all things Shakespeare, so the first thing that came to my mind here was “beware the Ides of March” (Sorry Stacy). Then, my mind went to what little I saw of Final Destination. Those two things together make for quite a conundrum. On the one hand, if I believe in what the fortune teller has to say (unlike Julius Caesar did in the play) I would change my plans. But, then, if I believe the story of Final Destination, (which in a nutshell says that you can’t escape death because it will find you) it probably doesn’t matter.

The rational side of me wants to side with Caesar on this one and completely ignore the fortune teller (they’re cuckoo for coco puffs anyway, right?). But, the irrational side of me, the part that believes in destiny, thinks that maybe, just maybe, this person was put here to tell me this because it isn’t my time to die.

I don’t know; now I have a headache. Apparently, there is no right choice. What about you guys, what do you all think?

All of Me

This week’s question is one that I often think about: Do you think people see you as you really are? If not, how might you better show your true self?

The problem with this is that I don’t know. You see, quite a while ago, I made a conscious effort to cut the B.S. out of my life. I tend to be a you get what you see type of gal. I vowed always to say what I mean (and I mean what I say). I never make a promise that I don’t intend to keep. I think about others before thinking about myself. In my humble opinion, I’m a nice person. I work hard, and I always try my best; but, do people see that?

Well, I’d like to think so; but, one can never really be sure. To answer the question, though: I hope so. I hope folks take me at face value and realize that, while I may not always tell you what you want to hear, I WILL tell you what you need to hear.

How can I show my true self? Well, but doing exactly that. Being who I am (nothing more, nothing less) every day. No matter what.

You can’t really argue with that.

 

Decisions, Decisions…

Hey, Everyone! Sorry, I missed last week; I was just so crazy busy I didn’t even have time to think. Between buying a house, working, and helping out with my mom, it’s been nuts. But, on the plus side, we’ve finally got some magnificent news regarding my mom; so, I’m feeling especially buoyant this week!

This week’s question is regarding choice! “If you were sentenced to solitary confinement for one year with only one of the following, which would you pick: a pet, 25 books, 25 songs, or a pen with ample paper? If you choose the books or songs, which would you include?”

After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that I would most definitely take the pen and paper. Here’s why:

1. Solitary confinement with a pet could get messy; think about it, I’d have to train him or her to go in the toilet, and that could be tough.  Besides, while the company would be great, he/she can’t talk back, so it’d be a pretty one-sided conversation.

2. While 25 books would be great, it’s probably not enough to last me a whole year. With the way I read (especially with nothing else to do), I’d be done with them in a month or two. Then what would I do?

3. 25 songs over and over again? I love music, really I do! But I just don’t think I could listen to the same 25 songs over and over again for a year. That is what I like to call “overplayed!”

So all’s that’s left is the paper and pen… I’ve always said that I would love to write the next great American novel, I guess that would be my chance! Besides, I love journaling and writing poetry, and my blog. So I could do all of it!

Now it’s your turn, leave a comment, what would you pick and why?

To Life…

Do you more often feel that life is too short or too long?

I think the answer to a question like this relies largely on the age and experience of the person. As a kid, it’s likely that I would have said that life is too long. When you’re young, it’s hard to imagine yourself as old, or destructible, or (God forbid) mortal; we can only yearn for the days when we’re not “too young” to do anything we want to do. Then, of course, we do grow up, and we start to wish that we could go back.

For me, though, things are a little more different. In my eyes, age has always been nothing but a number. I’ll admit it, when I was younger, I never thought much about death (or dying). But recently, the word has become front and center in my life. It’s something that I think about now, almost constantly. Had I been asked this question a year ago I’m not sure what I would have said. Now, I’m fairly sure (given my mother’s situation) everyone knows what I’m going to say. Life is TOO SHORT! How can I answer any other way? Any amount of time that I get with my mother will never be enough.

One more lesson.

“What one additional skill that you could have learned as a child would be very valuable to you now?”

When I read it, I had to laugh; I automatically thought of an article I read once called something like “I Learned Everything I Needed to Know in Kindergarten.” To a certain extent, that is true; treat people how you would want to be treated, don’t lie, share, and make sure you can read and count. Is there really anything else? Theoretically, one CAN survive knowing only these things. But, if you delve a bit deeper, is there something else?

In my humble opinion, YES; and, it’s loyalty. I know that little kids are “loyal” to their parents; but, I’m talking about the kind of loyalty that we (as humans) develop as we age. I’m talking about the kind of dedication that it takes to be a real friend. I’m the type of person who would do almost anything for those I love; and, I can’t help but think that if I had this dedication as a child, I wouldn’t have done some of the awful things I did to both my parents and some of my friends.

Honestly, and hopefully without sounding preachy, I think loyalty is a lesson that EVERYONE needs to learn now and again. It seems that this particular trait is becoming a bit extinct.

What do you all think?

The Definition of Success

The question this week is very intriguing to me.

“Would you rather be extremely successful in an unconventional way that few people can relate to or in a conventional way that people identify with more easily?”

You see, in my opinion, it really depends on how you define success. I define success based on happiness not on how much money I have in my pocket. My mother has always warned me that the love of money is the root of all evil. I’m pretty confident, though, that it’s the watching of all of the cop dramas (that I enjoy so much) that have helped solidify that fact; they’ve also shown me that both New York City and Hawaii can be terrifying places- but that’s a whole different story.

When it comes to success, I’d like to think that I’m pretty lucky. I’m (for the most part) a happy person with a very positive outlook on life; and, I love my jobs, all of them! But the questions remains if my success is unconventional or not. I’d like to think that it’s both conventional and unconventional at the same time, and that’s only because it depends on how you look at it.

No one gets into teaching for the money. We do it because we’re passionate about what we do. Even though many can relate to being a teacher and the sacrifices we have to make every day, the fact that we (meaning collectively) deliberately get into a career in which we’ll never get rich from makes it most unconventional.

Regarding my other career, writing, I think it’s safe to say that no one WANTS to be a starving artist; but, just as it is in teaching, we all know that it’s unlikely that we will ever “hit it big.”

A Technologicaly Free Trip?

I recently bought a new calendar. It’s one full of questions from the “Book of Questions.” You know those books that have the profound questions that you’re supposed to think about, then answer (honestly) so that you can learn more about yourself? Well, you all should know by now that I’m all about self-awareness; so, I picked it up thinking that it could work for my blog! Each week, unless I find something else that I need to (or want to) talk about, I’ll post a question, then answer it to my best ability. You all can then comment with your responses.

“If you were thinking about going on a trip in which you would have no internet or email connection for two weeks, would the prospect of being off the grid like this bring you pleasure or anxiety?”

Had I been asked this question a few weeks ago, I think I might have said that the prospect of being so disconnected would make me nervous. Now, after the inauguration of President Trump, I have to say that the idea of no internet or email seems appealing to me.

As many probably already know, I am Twitter and Facebook obsessed. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve come down with a case of FOMO (fear of missing out). But, if I’m honest (as I promised I would be), lately, this nation’s hatred and disapproval of one another is beginning to bother me; and, a vacation from all of that just might be exactly what we all need. I’m not going to go into detail here because I’ve promised myself that my blog will always be politics free. I want nothing more than to foster an environment where people can feel free to voice their opinion without fear of retribution or shame. Given that, all I have to say is we’re not going to change anything divided; we have to stand together.

My Five Favorite Songs

Last weeks favorite movie post was so popular I decided to continue the trend with my five favorite songs.  This was DIFFICULT to say the least; those who know me will know why…I LOVE music.  All kinds.  Picking just five was one tough feat.

  1. The Righteous Brothers- 1965. Unchained Melody.  This is, by far, my absolute favorite song in the whole world.  I think it keeps me thinking that maybe there is someone out there longing for me.
  2. Kool and the Gang- 1984.  Cherish.  Another lovey dovey one, I know.  But it reminds me that we have to cherish each and every moment that we all have together.
  3. J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers- 1964.  Last Kiss.  I prefer, though, the remake; released in 2000 by Pearl Jam.  Last Kiss (remake).  My mom used to sing this to me when I was a little kid.  It’s just one of those songs you don’t forget.  I remember the first time I heard Pearl Jam’s version on the radio; I started singing along.  Baffled, I stoped and asked my mom, “how do I know this?”
  4. Billy Joel- 1977.  Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song).  I’ve often credited Billy Joel as my “favorite” artist.  This song is just one of his that I could listen to over and over again.
  5. The Bangles- 1988.  Eternal Flame.  This song is really just wonderfull!  I think everyone has an eternal flame.

Now, it’s your turn…what’s your favorite song?