Friday, December 28, 2012

Make a Fool-Proof New Year's Resolution

Raise your hand if you've ever made a super exciting new year's resolution, gotten pumped up about it, told all your friends and family about your new goal....only to end up in March with thoughts of your resolution far in the abyss. Don't be ashamed. We've ALL done it.

Here are some tips on how to create a fool-proof new year's resolution.

# 1: Make your resolution SPECIFIC.
Lose weight. How much weight do you want to lose exactlyBe healthy. How so? Do you want to eat more fruits and veggies? How many times a week do you vow to go to the gym? Save money. How much money do you need to save per week? What exactly is your goal?
Put a number on it. Put a time on it. Specify your goal instead of making a blanket statement.

#2: Make your resolution MEANINGFUL
Just because your best friend's goal is to lay off the sweets in 2013 doesn't mean it's the right resolution for you. Sure, limiting sugar in the new year is a great goal, but are YOU honestly & truly excited about the prospects of missing out on Hershey's, Ben & Jerry's, and your favorite homemade cake? No? Then, don't make that your goal. You won't persevere. Make a resolution that means something to YOU. Don't follow the crowd and do something just because it sounds good.

#3: Make your resolution REALISTIC
Look, I'm all for "reaching for the moon," but there's a difference between reaching for the moon and reaching for another universe. Don't spread your net too wide. You won't catch any fish. Get my drift?

Good luck with your resolutions!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #7

"I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary... it has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. it goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always." - Piscine Molitor Patel (Yann Martel), Life of Pi

Thursday, December 6, 2012

25 Before 25

I turn 24 in February, so I'll have 1 year and 2 months to complete this list! 

1. learn how to crochet
Gotta make sure I look way hotter than this while doing it though.

2. crochet a blanket
3. teach someone how to crochet 
(preferably an unlikely candidate, such as a 6'4" football player or a 7 year old child)
4. go on a hike
5. learn how to swim (don't judge me)
6. complete another 1/2 marathon (under 3 hours this time)
7. taste 5 "new" kinds of food
8. read 25 books
9. travel outside of the country 
10. improve my Spanish
11. make a point to watch the sun rise or set as often as possible
12. go on a spontaneous weekend vacay
13. start pursuing another degree
14. take myself out on a date
15. paint a masterpiece and hang it up in my home
16. help someone have a revelation
17. do something that scares me
I know this sounds weird, but let me explain. In essence, I want to do something that I know makes me uncomfortable because it is in this space that one can truly grow. Too much comfortability breeds complacency and that is not a space that I'd like to be. So...bring on the challenge!
18. make a 3-course meal COMPLETELY from scratch
19. get a really nice camera and become a self-proclaimed photographer
20. donate blood
This one is very important to me. I've tried before but my iron count was too low. So bring on the spinach....and the needles. YIPES!
21. go zip lining
22. volunteer more often
23. ride a horse 
24. submit at least 1 story to Chicken Soup for the Soul 
This should be easy. The real goal here is to have it be published
25. Plan an out-of-this-world super amazing fantastic wonderful 25th birthday celebration!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #5

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. 
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to
swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. 
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, 'When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah'.
The teacher asked, 'What if Jonah went to hell?'
The little girl replied, 'Then you ask him'.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #4: Make Uncomfortable Deciisions

"Some of the worst decisions we make in our lives 
are the most comfortable ones. 
Discomfort creates space for learning and change."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #3: Learning to Fly

"He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying."

- Fiedrich Nietzsche

I guess Mama Bird didn't get the memo.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #2

Today's thought is inspired by The New Normal. I was skeptical about the show, but producers Ryan Murphy and Ali Alder have really put together a delicious sundae of a sitcom. 2 scoops of funny, a drizzle of sentiment, and a dallop of offensive remarks to top it all off. But, I digress. In the latest episode, the show's heroin, Goldie, says...

"I don't regret what I've done...only the things I've never done."

Live and Learn

Monday, October 1, 2012

10 Things that are Awesome!

Life is full of both tangible pleasures and simple experiences, most of which we take for granted or fail to celebrate. This is my list of little things I think are pretty awesome! I hope it'll encourage you to appreciate the awesomeness of life! 

1. The Book of Awesome, by Neil Pasricha, is awesome, of course. It's the inspiration for this post. Whenever I need a quick pick-me-up or burst of optimism, this book does the trick. Go get it!

2.  Getting away with minor traffic violations.  It's 7:00 am and you have to be at work by 7:20, but it takes you 30 minutes to get there. You get to that one stoplight. There's virtually no traffic here, and yet the light takes FOR-EVER to change. It's red. It's been red for 37 long seconds now (Come ON, light!) So, you look to your right, and to your left, and you decide to just go for it! You quietly celebrate your victory over the never-changing light. But it doesn't   end   here. You enter the freeway and make your way over to the 2nd to left lane - yeah, the one NEXT to the HOV lane. You sadly glance over to your left. Cars are zooming past as you're stuck inching up bumper to bumper with Old Man Slow in front of you with no way to get around him. In a moment of desperation, you flee! 
Into the HOV lane as a solo! FREEDOM!  At this point, you might be hoping that you're briefcase in the passenger's seat looks like a miniature person (it may make more sense to hope that no one sees you, which is only complicated by the fact that you're going about 20 mph over the speed limit). YIPES!  When you finally exit the freeway un-harmed and un-ticketed, you feel like you've conquered the world. Let out a sigh of relief because you have. Awesome

3. Sneezing.  There's nothing like a good ol' hearty sneeze....especially when you've been waiting on it forever. You get that annoying tingling feeling in your nose. All of a sudden, you cock your neck back, eyes shut automatically, and you let out a loud, romper-rousing HAAAA----CHoooooo! Then you sigh because you've just released the stuff that's been waging World War Snot in your nostrils for the past 15 minutes. I don't know what it is but sneezing brings about some magical euphoric feeling. A natural high, if you will. Awesome.

4. Awesome Pizza Toppings. After a while, you just get tired of the same old cheese, pepperoni, sausage deal. I mean, you have to. I feel so sorry for children. They get pigeon-holed into the same mundane toppings. Yeah, its cool when you're younger...oblivious to the world of chicken pesto, margherita, wild mushroom, bbq chicken, hawaiin style, eggplant,, the list goes on. I'm not a super fan of pizza. But when I do have it, I like it with a twist. 

5. Finding enough seats for you AND all of your friends at the bar (or anywhere) I mean seriously, it just puts a damper on the evening...3 friends, 2 seats. Awkwardly deciding who gets to sit. The one "selfless" friend who offers to stand but is secretly DYING to sit down. But when you walk in and there are actually 3 seats....Sweet Glory! 

6. Adrenaline. Of all the hormones our bodies produce, adrenaline has GOT to be THEE most awesome. Adrenal glands are your best friend. ALWAYS there when you need them, and pretty low maintenance. For the most part, they just chill out and relax. Like a well-trained guard dog- not really doing much until, of course, they are needed. Your doorbell rings at 3 am (and its not a planned booty call), someone pushes you in a crowded room, a sharp dart penetrates your femur.... Adrenal glands spring into action! Heart starts to race, breathing becomes rapid, blood sugar levels increase, pupils dilate, you have the energy of a 2-year old on Skittles! You feel no pain. It's fight-or-flight! Adrenaline can help you overcome the first few moments of a car accident, give a speech in front of hundreds of people, conquer your first kiss, or nail that final exam.  The best part  is that you don't have to work for it. It's an automatic response. Awesome.

7. Being Nude. Disclaimer: I'm not talking about frolicking about in public spaces au naturale. (However, if that's what floats your boat, then float on!). I mean just letting loose in the comfort of your home. For me, its freedom to enjoy your body and celebrate how awesome it is!  I'd probably never leave the confines of my own personal space without clothing, because I, like most people, have been socialized to shun the mere thought. But let's face it, wearing clothes is exclusively a human characteristic. Sure, clothing has functional properties- warmth, comfort, and such- but other than that, it's all socially constructed. The shame, sexuality, and taboo-ness of nudity has infiltrated our minds thus leaving us confined in textile. So, I respect the nudists for their appreciation of freedom and refusal to conform like the rest of us. Awesome

This is my happy dance

8. Extended Weekends. You dread Sunday nights because you know what the morning will bring- the beginning of yet another work week EXCEPT when you have an extended weekend. As a teacher, I thoroughly enjoy a break from the Sunday night to Monday morning distress.  Sometimes you need a mini-break. Not a vacation, just an extra day. So, I say, BRING ON all of the commercialized holidays...yeah, the ones used as an excuse for BBQs, pool parties, shopping, and most importantly- time away from work!  Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, President's Day....Bring em on! When I notice a 3-day weekend coming up on my calendar, I do a little happy dance. Don't judge. It's awesome!

9. Laughter. From the minor chuckle to the full-out knee-slapping, tear-jerking, stomach numbing outbursts- laughing feels damn good! The don't call it the best medicine for nothing. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins. A good hearty laugh can reduce stress, relieve pain, and make others feel self-conscious. According to a trusted source (Wikepedia) laughing 100 times is equal to 15 minutes of bike-riding! Who needs to exercise when you've got laughter? Awesome.

10. Strawberries. I saved the BEST for last.  If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE strawberries. It is my firm belief that God MADE strawberries so that I could enjoy my time in this world. I've literally eaten 2 pounds of strawberries in one sitting. In addition to their undeniable deliciousness, strawberries come with some AWESOME benefits. I'll name a few: 

  • Nutrition: a whole bunch of vitamins and healthy crap!
  • Lowers cholesterol: duh, its an antioxidant
  • Studies show that eating strawberries make you a super fantastic person (source: me)

What do YOU think is Awesome?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #1

The successful person has the habit of doing the 
things failures don't like to do. 
They don't like doing them either necessarily. 
But their disliking is subordinated 
to the strength of their purpose.  "

- EM Gray

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest!

This is an ongoing post of quotes from the most honest, uncensored, unapologetic individuals I've ever met.......My students. Enjoy!  Oh, and try your best not to fall out of your chair. (Student names have been changed to protect their identity.)

So today our school had a visit from some representatives from Walmart. They came to read to the students and do activities. The representative that came to my class was (how do I say this???) not the best reader. In the midst of reading, he stopped and asked one of the students, "how tall you is?" the following comments came in rapid succession:
MT: no, you're supposed to say... "How tall ARE YOU!??"
MJ: are you in school?
Chad: NO, he works at WALMART, duh!
MJ: You should go to college!
Me: speechless, dumbfounded, and BEAMING with pride!

"The man that killed Martin Luther King can kiss my ass" - one of my 2nd grade students last year

Today I scolded a student for running down the stairs.
MJ: But, Ms. Wilson, Chad was runnin too!
Me: If Chad jumped off a bridge, would you do it?
MJ: Yeah, to save him!

Me : Oh look, we match today!
Kayla: Yeah, we both have on khakis and a yellow shirt. But its not exactly the same.
Me: What's the difference?
Kayla: Well, in your shirt you have boobs. I don't have those. Not yet

I gave my kids a survey to get to know them better. This is from  Mikey's paper:
What is something that makes you sad?: Getting woopens
What is something that makes you happy?: NOT getting woopens

Sam: I think that one thing we can do to help our planet is recycle. I love to recycle. I think it is good for the earth.
Chad: Is that why you wear the same shirt every day?

Mikey: Ms. Wilson, do you have kids?
Me: No
Mikey: (frowns) well, do you have a husband?
Me: No
Mikey: (eyes widen) What are you waiting for? Time's a tickin'!

Chad to another student: Oh my gosh you can't spell! Your paper look like a chik-fil-a billboard!

Today when I was sitting in a public library, a mother scolded one of her children. Her older son (maybe about 7 years old) says: "Momma, you can't do that in here. It's a library! Plus, you can't be embarassin us in front of white people!"

Today at recess, a group of girls made up a dance to the song "Do It" and decided to perform it for everyone. Jordan: "HOLD UP! Ya'll can't...ya'll cant.....sing THAT song... ya'll NEED to sang something from CHURCH! Sang bout JeeZUS!!"
5 minutes the girls are performing to "Bands'll make her dance," he says "mmm.. hmmm...DROP IT LIKE ITS HOT!"

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