Archive for the 'Life' Category

Aug 30 2017

That Sliver Of Sunlight

Posted by: Stacey at 11:10 am
In: Life,Muffie T.,Optimism
Muffie T. - 7/18/16
Muffie T. – 7/18/16

Watching as the sun began to peek around earlier today from behind the clouds, I felt my “meh” morning start to brighten, and not just literally. There’s something to be said for how sunlight can impact your disposition. Each day the sun battles the clouds – and wins – usually ends up being a better day for a lot of us.

This is something I think animals know well. My sweet Muffie cat, who we lost last October after 17 wonderful years, always managed to find the slivers of sunlight in the house that had filtered in through a window of the glass door. Even if it was just a small circle. Her fur would be shiny, warm, smooth, and soft to the touch when I’d pet her while she was basking in one. Her warmth – and the sunshine itself – gave me such a sense of contentment and peace in a world that often seemed (and still does seem) upside down.

When you’re in a dark place, always seek out those slivers of sunlight. Sometimes they’re not so easy to find, especially in a rainstorm. But eventually, after the storm passes, they’ll appear.

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Feb 21 2017

Be A More Engaging, Persuasive Speaker By Listening First

Posted by: Stacey at 7:32 pm
In: Helpful Tips,Life

Found this great pin on Pinterest this past weekend and wanted to share.

During my time as a political commentator, one thing I have observed often is that there are a lot of people you meet who hear you, but who don’t listen to you.  I have fallen into these patterns, too, on and off – usually without realizing it:  You nod, smile, tilt your head while someone is speaking but you don’t really listen to them.  I think the art of listening is close to being a lost one because most people have the mindset that they know it all already – and that any contrary or different opinion or way of doing things is not worth devoting any significant amount of time to hearing out because your way is “the better way.”

Not only that, but so many of us seem to be so preoccupied with worry about what’s just around the corner that we fail to pay attention to what – and who – we have in front of us and what they’re doing or saying. I would bet almost everyone who reads this post has been around people who they were sure weren’t really paying close attention to was being said in the course of a conversation. So why would we want to treat someone else like that when we know what it feels like to be given the obligatory nod and wink?

Next time someone is talking to you, try to clear your thoughts – definitely put down your cell phone or tablet – and really listen to them, and converse with them in an engaging way … especially if you find them interesting and want to gain their friendship. Or, if for no other reason, to thoroughly understand their position in order to strengthen your counterarguments.

The tips below should give you a good head start.

Learn to communicate better.

Learn to communicate better.

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May 30 2014

Cliché alert: Change starts with YOU

Posted by: Stacey at 12:05 pm
In: Faith,Inspiration,Life

change

Right, I get it – clichés are, you know, so cliché, but I can’t seem to stop myself from using them from time to time, and events in my life over the past few months have solidified the old one about change starting with you.

Think about it. It really well and truly does, and when you firmly – and I do mean grab it and hold tight with both hands – realize that if you want your life to change for the better that it all starts with YOUR actions, YOUR words, understanding that you are in the driver’s seat (with God as your co-pilot, of course!) navigating your course – well, it’s a powerful feeling. You – controlling your own destiny. All it takes is you, putting one foot in front of the order, trying and sometimes succeeding (and sometimes failing) – and disabling the reverse gear permanently.

I live a simple life. Always have. But simple doesn’t have to be routine – and there comes a point when you come to the conclusion that your routine simply isn’t enough for you anymore. I’ve reached that point. YOLO and all that. My perspective on the present and the future has changed dramatically in recent weeks. Really looking forward to grabbing the bull by the horns in the coming weeks and months and exploring avenues I put off traveling on for years for one reason or the other. It starts now.


(Video link)

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Jan 23 2013

The perfect “vacation office” for those who simply *must* work when they shouldn’t be

Posted by: Stacey at 9:28 pm
In: Life,Travel,Writing

On vacations, you’re supposed to COMPLETELY get away and stop thinking about work stuff, but if you simply MUST check in at the office, I highly recommend setting up a little something like this:

Beach Office

Only thing missing is the cabana dude. ; )

Am I right or what?

And this post would not be complete without an obligatory beach sound effects video. Play the video, look at the above picture, and dream. 🙂

Come to think of it, as a writer that would be the ideal scene TO work, vacation or not…

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Mar 02 2012

It Was Inside That I Cried

Posted by: Stacey at 3:26 am
In: Life,Relationships

“Don’t be deceived by what you saw, it was inside that I cried“:

From CeCe Peniston’s 1992 “Finally” album.

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Oct 29 2010

A note of gratitude to my online friends

Posted by: Stacey at 1:08 am
In: Life

kittensThe Internet is a wonderful thing. Yes, it can be addicting – & destructive for some, but used right, it’s a wonderful tool for the communication of info, & for making friends that you otherwise likely would have never gotten to know w/out the Goracle’s “invention.” 😉 Can’t tell you all the wonderful ppl I have become friends w/ as a result of my 10 or so years of being online. My best friend is a gal who I got to know, in concert with other gals, as a result of a *soap opera forum.* We all went to some soap events in the early 2000s, had a blast, & the rest is history. She lives in Florida, but we are still very close.

We enrich our lives by not only befriending others but also from being befriended by those who share similar interests, values, etc. – whether the friend is an online friend or offline friend. Not only that, but it’s a big bonus when you have friends who make you want to be a better person, who bring out the best in you, & who make you think. It’s also a special treat when they let you know in some small way that you’ve made a positive impact in their life. What a *great* feeling that is!

Besides, there are few other places you could go where people are actually ok with the fact that you love to ramble on and on at length about this or that topic – and who don’t get bored before you’re done. 😉

Sure, sometimes it’s revealed online in one way or another that people you know online are not who they have made themselves out to be, but for the most part my experiences have been positive, and I suspect that is true for most people. As you do offline, you take chances online when you become friends with someone. The downside to the I’net is that people can (and will) paint exaggerated, even false, images of who they want you to think they are, but the longer you’ve been online the easier it is to spot fraudsters a mile away.

If there was a way to embrace all of my online friends at the same time, I would – but there’s not, so this is my way of doing so … and saying thanks. May the good times and lively, spirited conversations roll!

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Oct 08 2010

To all my fellow geeks: Don’t let your old insecurities trip you up

Posted by: Stacey at 11:10 pm
In: Life

If you’re like me, during your childhood, teenage and college years, you were not the most popular person in school. Not even close. You never got to hang around with the so-called “A-list” crowd because they thought they were “too good” for you. You were socially awkward, not particularly attractive, had zero fashion sense, and had the grace of a bunny rabbit on an acid trip. Your seating preference in the classroom was in the very back where you could hide from not just the teachers but students, too, and on the bus to and from school it wasn’t uncommon for you to be the laughing stock of the moment with an unforgiving group of “A-listers.”

Yes, my fellow geeks, I know you understand. Because you remember. I remember.

Those painful days were like perpetual hell for many of us – seemed like they would never end. But they did, because after college comes real life where even “the beautiful people” have trouble surviving if they don’t have the necessary skills to make a name for themselves in this world. After college, life becomes more about what you know and who you know rather than how you look. That’s where we geeks had & have the distinct advantage over the “cool kids.” 😀

But just for good measure – and because we didn’t want to have to relive memories of the past everytime we looked in a mirror – some/many of us started taking better care of our appearance. Some started doing so during college, some started after. The goal was to be the “total package”: Brains and looks. Or, at the very least, have a respectable appearance to go alongside your inner geek. For me, my goal was to stop being a fashion nightmare, which I think (hope!) worked. 🙂 From there, life took us in different directions, with some of us finding both professional and personal happiness, while others were still “in search” of themselves and what they ultimately wanted to do in life. Personally speaking, it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I felt I had any degree of “got it together” going on. I obtained a job I liked where people respected me and valued my input, I eventually bought my first house, and I finally started to put my novice writing skills to work by starting a political blog in 2003, which grew quickly into my “baby.” Your confidence typically gets stronger as your grow and mature, almost to the point that you forget about what you went through as a geek in high school and college.

But every once in a blue moon, something happens, something is said or done, that causes those memories to flood back and briefly turn you back into that insecure, gawky, trip-over-your-own-feet teenager again. And if you’re not careful, it won’t just “briefly” take you back to that point but you will dwell on it to the point that it’s hard to get out of the funk. I sorta kinda had something like this happen to me a couple of weeks ago. Was having the kind of morning where I felt like everything I said or did was wrong. Also was dealing with a colleague who I felt had a bit of a superiority complex, which didn’t help matters. In my mind, I was once again that insignificant teenager whose opinion her classmates didn’t care about, whose every attempt at a step forward was a misstep with a trip landing. I could have spent the whole day dwelling on bad memories, but I didn’t want to. This marvelous daily devotional at the Heart to Heart with Holley website helped get me back on track. That and an imaginary kick to my backside!

It would have been so easy to wallow in self-pity – and believe me, I can throw one heck of a Pity Party when I want to 😉 – but I didn’t. I read that devo, kicked myself, looked outside to see the clouds and some rare (for this week, anyway) sunshine, and thought, “It’s going to be ok. God loves me. I have a family who loves me just the way I am, and friends who care. I’ve come a long way, and made great strides in my life.”

I may still be a geek at heart (and there is NOTHING wrong with that – believe me, I totally embrace my Geekhood 😀 ) but I do not want back in my life the feelings of inadequacy that go along with that time in my life. None of us do. Such feelings can be self-destructive if you let them. So when you find yourself in a similar situation where you’re having a bad time and you start thinking of yourself as a nobody, just remember that a whole lot of people know differently. Also, think about how far you’ve come from the days when you thought the torment from classmates would never end. You’re an adult. You have a career. You have a life. So many people love you and care about you and respect you. God loves you. Don’t let a minor setback like a flashback to “the geek days” be the catalyst for a crappy day. Hold your head high and brush off the temporary setback like it’s an insignificant piece of lint on your shirt.

Better now. 🙂


Video link

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Sep 30 2010

Happiness really is …

Posted by: Stacey at 8:53 pm
In: Life

Unlike my previous “happiness is” post, in which I was being quite sarcastic, this one is for real. 🙂 In no particular order, happiness to me is:

… sipping on a cool glass of lemonade while sitting on your porch on a breezy summer night.
… watching the sun break through the clouds.
… finding that perfect shell on the beach on a crisp fall morning while getting sand in between your toes.
… watching the leaves change in the fall, especially when some of the best fall foliage is in your neighborhood.
… hearing your mother call you “sweet pea” or “pumpkin.”
… remembering when grandma taught me how to cross stitch.
… Fridays.
… knowing God loves you.
… learning a new tidbit about history for the first time.
… the couch. The ceiling fan on low. A comfy blanket.
… cold fried chicken.
… the love and care of family and friends.
… dancing in the kitchen where no one can see you.
… singing in the shower where no one can hear you.
… good hair days.
… Icees & smoothies of all flavors.
… evening strolls.
… butterflies in your tummy at the thought of trying something new, exciting, challenging.

I could go on and on. 🙂

Feel free to add to the list!

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Aug 12 2010

My “sinful” little cosmetics kit

Posted by: Stacey at 12:13 am
In: Life,Looks

Earlier today, as a free gift w/ purchase, I got myself a fancy, dancy make-up kit from Ulta that had some nice “summer colors” in it. As you can see from the pic, it came with a cute little bag and the colors are nice and ‘warm’ for this time of the year.

Cosmetic kit

A kit for girly girls who love playing in make-up.

Anyway, so I open it up this evening and the names of the various cosmetics cracked me up. Among other things, here were some of the contents:

— A cheek blush named “Cheek Exposed”

— An eyeshadow quad named “Good Girl”

— A redder than red lipstick named “Moroccan Red” (which is most definitely NOT my color)

— Nailpolish named “Jaded”

Needless to say, I felt quite sinfully exotic after checking out the contents! LOL. Just one thing, though: A “Good Girl” would never, ever have her “Cheek Exposed” to the world … 😉

Video Link

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Jun 30 2010

Redemption

Posted by: Stacey at 10:55 pm
In: Life

Almost four years ago, something horrible happened.

Today, I had the chance to redeem myself. A little. In a nutshell, I helped rescue a kitty from a semi-busy street. The kitty was probably no more than 3 months old, and starving. The poor thing was so scared and so thin. I held it and I could feel the little bones. My heart just broke. Fortunately, a car stopped and a woman with two kids got out and asked what was going on and when she saw the baby kitty, one of the first things she said was (paraphrasing): “we’ll take it home. I’ve got some cat food at the house.” I sure hope that cute little bag of bones was well fed today and is sleeping comfortably tonight and gets the care it needs. Poor thing had a little scratch on its mouth – a woman who lives across the street from the building I found the cat at (the cat was in front of the building on the edge of the street, then briefly IN the street … at one point under my car when my coaxing didn’t work as planned!) says she thinks it was the kitty’s momma who popped it in the mouth.

All I can picture in my mind right now is a tiny little “meow” coming from its itty bitty mouth and how the lil thing shrinked back from me when it thought I was getting too close/loud (I was clapping my hands and talking excitedly to try and get it to get back from the street). My cat was a frightened stray, too, when she came to me and my family but we took care of her, and still do to this day – 10 years later. And she takes care of us, too.

Stay warm, dry, and safe, little kitty. And God bless ya.

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