Thursday, September 26, 2013
Three nights ago, I heard from a friend that she was reading my blog. In jest she was calling me a Pollyanna and was “sick of all my dreamy stories.” Continuing with her comedy bit, she suggested I switch things up a bit and write about porn. So here it goes...
P.O.R.N. (Positively Optimistically Render Neuroplasticity)
(O.k. my 7-yr-old daughter just walked over and read my screen and started singing “Porn in the U.S.A. I was Porn in the U.S.A….” Look what I will do for my readers.)
P.O.R.N., Neuroplasticity is a science that proves that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains.
I have been living in my happy bubble, but yesterday it popped. It started by listening to gossip. Then digging further into that gossip. Then believing that gossip. Feeling overwhelmed about the gossip. Then suddenly, I was in a dark hole feeling helpless.
Since I let all that crap in, yesterday went like this; I woke up and had a ridiculous fight (about NOTHING) with my husband in which I was signing so fiercely (He is Deaf) that I scratched a huge gauge into my forehead. I then called out an acquaintance on Facebook, for lying and all it did was made me feel bad about myself. I went to grab milk for the dinner I was making for 20 kids, and my debit card strip wouldn’t run through their machine, so I had to go to my car and scrap up change and in turn held up the entire line. I got home late last night and finally had time to eat my dinner, but as I was moving the plate from the kitchen to the table, it dropped!
I know that if I wouldn’t have let-in all that negative talk and I wouldn’t have let it fester inside my head, my day yesterday would have been much different.
We need to choose our thoughts carefully and only take-in what will P.O.R.N. If we don’t, we will continue to have bad days. Pollyannas will annoy us, instead of inspire us and our happy bubble will be harder to blow back up.
On those inevitable bad days, when the migraine sets in, take the advice of Louise L. Hay from her book You Can Heal Your Life and masturbate that pain away, she advises it’s a surefire solution and I believe it falls under P.O.R.N., so it’s a Win. Win.
Monday, September 23, 2013
There were a few weeks before summer when the kids and I were doing almost weekly sleepovers at our friends home just 30 miles from our house. My husband was putting in several hours a week at work and the kids and I would find ourselves having dinner, hanging out and staying over night; a mini getaway for a change of scenery. My name is Sarah. I’m 38-years-old and I still slumber party.
One night my overly exhausted, over worked husband spouted, “Life’s not a vacation, Sarah.” I took a deep breath as I knew my husband really didn’t mind the kids and I getting out of the house. He was getting home after we were all in bed those nights anyway, so there was no neglect to claim. My typically witty self, declared, “Why not?”
It wasn’t two weeks after this exchange that our family was on vacation in beautiful Colorado. My husband and I were looking at properties with our real estate agent and he was painting a lovely picture for us. He told us “Living in Colorado was like being on vacation everyday.” Insert the exchange of winks.
There is something about Colorado that just makes you feel happy. The sun shines over 300 days a year. People tend to be more active; hiking, biking, skiing, rock climbing, running, yoga in the park and the list goes on. Also, people tend to be health conscience; ‘organic’ is the name of the game. There’s also a sense that the entire state is environmentally conscience and you better be too or it’s going to cost you at least .10 a bag.
Our family spends time in Colorado at least once a year. You can’t help but to feel happy there. This time, I came back with a game plan for my future and my husband came back announcing our family will go vegan.
There are places and people that uplift us. It’s our responsibility to surround ourselves with what brings us joy and block out the things that don’t. Explore the world and bring the best parts back home. Meet and engage with new people often. Keep in your life the friendships that encourage you to evolve into an even better individual and wish well the ones who won’t.
“Love the life you live, live the life you love.” –Bob Marley
Thursday, September 19, 2013
When you’re enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple. –Paulo Coelho
Positive energy builds a positive community.
I went to school to become a sign language interpreter. I worked as an interpreter for several years before my husband and I decided we’d serve our family better by my staying home. This shift in my life gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my passions.
Most people go to work for the paycheck. They may be great at what they do, but is it something they’d choose to do over “their dream job”?
If you listed all the things you were passionate about and all of your hobbies, is there one thing on that list you’re getting paid to do? If not, act! You could start working towards a career change today and in the meantime volunteer your free time doing something your enthusiastic about.
Obtain a positive energy flow.
I’m passionate about: Education, Politics, and Energy Work.
My hobbies are: Entertaining, Public speaking, and Travel.
Looking at my list I guess my ideal job for pay would be an International Educational Lobbyist or at least playing one on T.V. I’m going to have to see if such an opportunity exist and is available. Until, I obtain that job, I will continue to volunteer my free time to each of these areas. This is exactly how I’m been able to sustain a positive energy flow in my own life: teaching, advocating for students, acting, public speaking, traveling, working on campaigns, writing, and the list goes on.
Try this! List your passions and your hobbies. If you’re not getting paid to do what’s on your list, then volunteer your time doing something that excites you... until you're raking in the big bucks. The saying isn’t ‘take care of your own’, it’s “It takes a village”. Give back. It’s a WIN WIN!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Twelve years ago, I was a 26 year-old single mom. I was going to school full-time, living back at home and working nights cleaning office buildings. Sounds like an awesome way to spend your 20’s, right? In a five-year period, I had been in eight weddings. I was honored to be a part of each and every one of them. Those were some of the most beautiful days I ever experienced. Truth be told, I also was feeling extremely lonely and couldn’t see my own future.
Early in 2001, a friend of mine invited me to go to France with him. He was taking a two-week class in Lille to finish his Masters and wanted the company. He worked for my mom and had asked her first if he could invite me. I’m pretty sure she doubted it would work out.
How many people in my situation would have thought such a trip was feasible? How many people would have thought their child couldn’t live without them for two weeks? How many people would fill their minds with all the reason they shouldn’t go?
I believe if there is a will, there’s a way. Here’s the thing, I’ve always seen OPPORTUNITY. So I said, “Yes!”
My friend told me that the hotel he had in Lille had two beds and was fully paid for included in his cost of the class. He said I’d have to get a passport, pay for my flight and take my own spending money. I’d also have to plan for my five-year-old son for the two weeks I’d be gone.
My mother graciously offered to take a week off from work to stay home with my son. I then called my father, whom lived 1000 miles away and asked if he could come out and take over for the second week. He agreed!
The money came through like a miracle. I had a huge tax return that hit my bank as soon as I accepted the invitation. That money paid for my passport, flight, spending money and then some!
Everything came together. I would have never imagined at that point of my life having an opportunity like that one. The fact that it came to fruition still excites me. That trip encompasses the most memorable two weeks of my life. It was a break, a breath of fresh air. I grew-up a lot and most importantly saw that the world was bigger than myself.
I believe we all need to get a way from the daily grind that is our lives. Take time for yourself and time with your family. Whether it’s for a weekend, a week, or a month, getting away refreshes and renews you. You gain perspective.
Where will YOU go next?
Monday, September 16, 2013
This is a short blog that I forgot to post on Friday. It’s a reminder for you to take care of yourself and to treat yourself as you would others. Don’t save all your bests just for your guests.
This morning as I was searching for the news on the flooding in Boulder, CO, I stopped on the TODAY Show. They were unwrapping the latest fashions in, toilet paper. Yep! That’s right, toilet paper. The paper came from Japan, and had delicate drawings of flowers and such painted on each ply. I don’t even know what the going price of such an amenity cost. They just implied it was expensive. (I bet you could find it at Marshalls or TJ Maxx soon.)
What really caught my attention was the commentary between Natalie Morales and Al Roker. After they talked about the newest product, Al suggested, “Natalie, gift the rolls to her father-in-law. (Whom was visiting.)” Natalie then replied, “Yes! These would be perfect for guests.”
I understand putting out your best amenities for your houseguests. I love putting together goodies, fine soaps, flowers and such for my friends and family when they visit. I want them to feel welcomed, comfortable and loved. I just wonder if we are treating ourselves with such respect. The women in my family are good at this. They know how to pamper themselves and I love using their shower or tub when I visit them. I’m getting better at collecting luxuries for myself and so should you.
Are the comforts of your home, worthy of you? Are your everyday towels, plush? Do you use fancy soap or your husband’s Irish Spring? Is your shower filled with foot scrubs, facial cleaners and does your shampoo cost more than $0.79? I believe your bathroom should be your personal spa. Light some candles and lather up!
P.S. This goes for the men too. There’s nothing more attractive than a good smelling man. ;)
So many times in life we find ourselves conflicted. I’ve been accused of “talking out of both sides of my mouth.” It’s a gift. I can see both sides to every issue. I may lean one-way or another, but I’m able to empathize and relate to others. I can argue both points of view as well. I don’t believe I can necessarily change another person’s core beliefs, but if you’re open to the “impossible” maybe something you hear will get in.
Last night, I had an insignificant conflict. My oldest son and I were home alone. I sat with him and watched football. I have zero interest in sports, but I gave in and let him control the entertainment for the night. We watched the New York Giants play the Denver Broncos. Just to be silly, I posted a Facebook status stating I was conflicted on whom I should be rooting for. Denver, because I lived there for ten years or New York because that’s the state I reside in now. Of course, I choose the Broncos because their colors are orange and blue. If I’m forced to root for one team or another I typically lean towards the colors of my alma mater. Most comments on my status agreed and suggested that I root for Denver. They won! I totally manifested that.
More often, we find ourselves conflicted on more important issues than football. Sometimes we may need guidance on what to do next. Currently, I’m reading the book, E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. Everyone needs to read this book, written by Pam Grout. Pam teaches the reader to seek specific results for ones life. Positive thinking and manifesting can change your life. I have been seeking answers and asking for specific signs for years. I have found great comfort in doing so. You too have the power to ask, seek, and see.
When I was 19 years old, I lived with six other girls in a penthouse in Denver, CO. I was heavily involved in a church and had a huge circle of friends there. There was a new guy at our church who played football for Colorado University in Boulder. Every roommate and friend I had, wanted to date him. For some reason, he sought me out. He called me nightly, sat by me during service, and continuously asked me out on dates. I really wasn’t sure if I was that into him. There was so much hoopla surrounding his "fame". I had NO interest in football and I believe that’s why he may have been attracted to me; I saw him for him, and not for his position on a football team.
I was conflicted though, as I didn’t want to lead him on and keep accepting his invitations to dates, if I didn’t return his affection. So, I asked for a sign. I told God, if I’m suppose to continue to date him that he bring me one yellow rose the next time I saw him. (When you read E-Squared, you’ll learn how to ask for specifics and give time limits.) I did just that and sure enough, didn’t he bring me one perfect yellow rose.
The power we each possess to create our lives and the guidance that is available to us though our high power is real. Tap into it.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I believe you can have it all. Not in the evil-villain way, of “taking over the world”, but whatever it is you want, you can obtain. Tama Kieves, Author of This Time I Dance! Summed it up when she said, “We live in a world that worships limitations.” Think about it; listen for it the next time you're talking to someone. Money and negative thoughts about it, is one of the major limitations we put on ourselves.
“I can’t afford that.”
“That’s to expensive.”
So, I have this habit when I talk to people, in my head when something negative comes out of their mouth, I immediately change those words around in my mind to what they should be saying:
“I’m going to buy this.”
“I can afford it.”
When my kids were younger, I shopped for them at Gymboree. I thought their lines of clothing were adorable. The quality of the material was top notch. They held up through several washes without losing their color or shape and they still looked like new when I handed them down to friends and family.
I had a girlfriend who almost always made a comment about my kid’s clothes when she saw us. I never even noticed what her kids wore. I loved her kids. They were always clean and their clothes matched. I never gave their wardrobe much thought, but she seemed to be bewildered about my children’s wardrobe. She’d make comments like, “Wow! Is that Gymboree?” “Isn’t that store expensive?” “I’ve never been there.” “I shop at Old Navy/Target for the kids, the prices are more reasonable.”
Now, I could have taken her comments as judgment and felt insecure or questioned myself on how I spent our money. Instead, I saw what was going on. I was open to quality and nice things for my kids. (Even on a one-income family budget.) I looked for opportunities for the things I want. I stopped into Gymboree every time I was at the mall. I’d go straight to the back of the store and grab all the best bargains on the sales rack. I’d even stock-up if it was a great deal and shop a size bigger than my kids were even into yet. I’d be paying the same price as I would at the other stores.
She on the other hand, never even thought to STEP INTO the store! In her mind she was limited. She “couldn’t afford it”.
Stop limiting yourself. You too, CAN HAVE IT ALL. You just have to walk through the door and see the opportunities. We live in a world of ABUNDANCE. Maybe it’s not adorable, quality clothing you desire. Maybe you want an Audi TT? Stop in the dealership and check them out. You never know, maybe it’ll be the day they’re giving one away.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I love the song that Bill Callahan of SMOG sings, called Dress Sexy at My Funeral. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI-9fGEgAcY
It speaks to me on so many different levels. For one, it’s hot. These have to be some of the greatest lyrics of all time.
A disc jockey friend of mine first introduced me to the song, when I was in college. I could only see the sexiness of the song at that time. I’m a sucker for a baritone.
Today, as a married woman of 10-years, I can hear the raw love in the lyrics. The couple in the song obviously has a sense of humor, shared a few inside jokes, and apparently had a pretty adventurous sex life.
The husband chooses the timing of his funeral to let everyone “in”, on why the marriage was such a great one. His voice is unemotional and a matter of fact. I love it! With a little bit of tongue and cheek, after he praises his wife for their successful marriage, he gifts her with his approval to carry on. The song is brilliant.
Marriage is evolving like everything else. I always love to see long-time married couples interviewed. You know, the ones that have been married for 50-60+ years. When they are asked, “What’s the secret?” they all seem to give the same answers: “laugh, don’t go to bed angry, hold hands… But, the best part of those interviews is the twinkle in each of their eyes, that certain something that neither of them is going to share; it’s their SECRET.
I believe you too; can create your marriage, just as you wish it to be. We can save ourselves from unhappiness and/or divorce. Look at Carrie and Mr. Big in the movie Sex In The City 2, it works for them to spend one night a week apart. I know they’re just characters, but I think it proves marriages are evolving and society is recognizing it. People have often made comments to me about my marriage, guess what:
My husband works. I stay home.
We travel together. We travel alone.
I sweep. He mops. I cook. He cleans.
We dance, as if no one else is in the room.
We spend money on activities that make us happy.
We hold hands.
We’ve gone to bed angry.
And yes, we too have our own SECRETS of SUCCESS.
With the absence of abuse: I believe your marriage can be anything you want it to be. Don’t wait till your divorce to create the life you want to have. There’s something to “growing old together."
Monday, September 9, 2013
We’ve all been there, had those thoughts, Dang, that was my idea! I wish I could do that! Whatever that new product, app or idea was, it probably was “yours”, but the difference was, you didn’t ACT! So instead of dwelling on what you missed out on, first congratulate that person because in order to be truly happy you need to learn to celebrate others. Second, move on, start to act on every creative idea you have.
Nine years ago, I was adjusting to my first year of marriage; I was home with a new baby, living in a small/new town and in a small apartment to boot. My husband was living his dream and training for the Lake Placid, Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run). He competed in that Ironman in July of ’04. He finished in the top half of over 2000 tri-athletes. Maybe this doesn’t sound amazing in itself, but if you knew that my husband had never run more than 3 miles in his life and didn’t even know how to swim, and trained for it in one year, it’s simply amazing.
SEE IT. BELIEVE IT. ACT IT.
Well that was it. I was inspired to stretch my own limitations. I had no idea where to start until, while on vacation in Boulder, CO, my mom introduced me to the book; You Can Heal Your Life by: Louise L. Hay. Louise talks about listing affirmations for oneself. So, I did just that:
I live in a beautiful timber-frame home.
I drive a fully loaded SUV.
I’m on stage.
I’m on TV
And the list went on…
Not a week went by and I received an email from a local interpreting agency; forwarding on a request from a director seeking Deaf women or sign language interpreters to audition for the lead of Sarah Norman in her production of Children of a Lesser God. I had goose bumps as I immediately sent the director an email asking for the details of the audition. Maybe this doesn’t sound amazing in itself, but if you knew I had never acted before and that I just showed up and auditioned, then you might start to be amazed.
One Deaf woman auditioned that day and two of us interpreters. “The other interpreter got the part. I’m sorry. She has acting experience.” were the words I heard come out of the director’s mouth. Those words, I didn’t take in, I didn’t accept them. For some reason, over the following two weeks, I thought that part was still mine. I envisioned myself on that stage, working with those actors and I saw my friends and family in the audience. Then the second call came in. The director called to tell me that the woman she chose wasn’t working out and asked if I would accept the part? “Absolutely!”
Over the next few months, I worked harder than I ever did before. Not only, could I not let myself down (Heck, I asked for this!), I couldn’t let the director, producer, cast or crew down. So even though I felt I was in a dream and a nightmare all at the same time. I carried on and gave it my all! Nine show nights and I never got sick of those standing ovations. What a rush! All the reviews that came out praised the work we were all doing. I have no acting experience and I’m doing this.
We wrapped the show in December that year and it wasn’t till April of the following year, things got even more surreal. I asked my husband if he would check the paper at work and let me know if my friend (the male lead) in Children, got nominated for a Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Award. He so deserved to be, as he didn’t even know any sign language going into this part and was breathtaking in his portrayal of James Leeds. I was so happy for him that the anticipation for his nomination was all I could think about the days leading up to the announcement. When my husband finally called me that day, I screamed as he read off the nominations: “Best Director: Children of a Lesser God! Best Production: Children of a Lesser God!! Best Actor: Children of a Lesser God!!! BEST ACTRESS.: Children. Of. A. Lesser. God!!!! You, Sarah!” Amazing.
Anything you want to do, you can do. If I can do it, so can you.
SEE IT. BELIEVE IT. ACT IT.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Hello to all Readers of Blogs and Bloggers alike! My sister "planted a seed" that I start to blog and then a day later my best friend of 33 years, told me I should post my answers from an interview I just partook in. That's it; THE POWER OF SUGGESTION! Here I am to share my life with you. I hope you will find that "if I can do it, you can too." I have everything I ever wanted in life and what hasn't arrived yet, is on it's way. To start us off and to follow the advice of my BFF, here's the answers to that interview I just had. (I'll post the article when it goes to print.)
IF YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER...AND SO I HAVE.
IF YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER...AND SO I HAVE.
Why did you decide to homeschool your children?
The thought of homeschooling was an option I have always kept in my back pocket. My aunt homeschooled my cousins, so I had a sense what it was all about. I knew I’d be willing to homeschool if I felt my children would benefit from it.
As an adult with three children, (two children at the time were in public school), I spent a lot of time in the schools, in different capacities. My friends, teachers and children I knew seemed to often complain about school. I was surrounded by negativity with regard to schools today. I kept hearing that “moral is down”. No one seemed happy and I often wondered, What does my kid's day look like?
I was given the book The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone’s Business written by: Dennis Littky. The LaFayette Central School District, in which my kids were attending, was starting a Big Picture Program. As I read the book, I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. The Big Picture model for schools is exactly the education I dreamt my children to have. Their three core principals are: Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor. The model also has students interning in real world environments and volunteering their time in the community. Traditional schools today still look a lot like what they did when our grandparents were in school. I know my kids are evolved, society has evolved, I can’t understand why schools haven’t. The Big Picture was my answer! My oldest son enrolled as soon as he entered 9th grade.
Since The Big Picture Program wasn’t available for my two younger kids. I pulled them out of the traditional school and decided to homeschool them. There are so many similarities between homeschooling and the Big Picture model. The only option, I could see, to give my younger kids the learning environment I believe they deserve, was to homeschool them, so I have.
What kind of training, if any, do you have?
I have no formal or professional training besides being a "fly on the wall" in many schools. I have earned two associates degrees. I have found that if you take the time to engage with children, you find out their interests and almost always, given the right tools they can learn on their own. I'm also a life long learner so I want to instill the same in my children.
What kind of support system do you have?
I have a very supportive husband! I find support on homeschool websites and Facebook pages. I have a few supportive friends and family members, but most people avoid talking about the fact I homeschool. I also have a lot of teacher friends and school administrator friends that work in several districts around the U.S. All of these people have been the MOST supportive of my venture. They are advocates for good teaching and learning…whether at a public school or in the home.
What kind of obstacles have you faced, either from other parents, the district/community in which you live or your own limitations?
I feel like I may have lost some friendships within my district. People tend to shy away from me. Making a decision about your children is never easy. Deciding to go against the norm is a huge undertaking. I’ve leaned to not take things personally as everyone has their own struggles to concur.
How do you deal with testing regulations as a homeschooler? Are there any?
Yes, you do have to test your kids in NYS. I give my children daily assessments for comprehension. I test them quarterly and yearly, as well. Mostly, I test to see how I'm doing and also to appease people that seem overly concerned about my children's academic achievements. I don't believe in testing to the extreme that our state has mandated. If people are so concerned about testing, then why are they sending their kids to some of these schools? Have they seen the scores?
Do you feel your child misses out on anything by not being part of the public school system? What do you feel they gain through homeschooling?
No, I really don't see that they are missing out. Learning should be fun and engaging and that's what homeschooling offers to my kids: Relationships, Rigor and Relevance. No fluff or chaos.
What does your school day usually look like? How does it compare to that of a child attending public school?
Our school day is relaxed. There’s a lot of love, special attention and laughter. We do LOTS of project-based learning, field trips and volunteering. If you ask school kids what their favorite parts of school are they will typically tell you about the one special project they did that year or a trip they went on or play time. Well, everyday while homeschooling, my kids are doing projects, going on trips, out-and-about in the community or outside playing and breathing fresh air (Whenever their mood strikes).
The biggest difference is that the curriculum at home is individualized for each of my kids. At a brick and mortar school every child learns the same boxed material and on a schedule chosen by a third party.
What do you wish people understood about homeschooling?
Most homeschooling families I have met are educationally minded and forward thinking. A lot of them were professional teachers themselves, till they had their own kids. My husband and I are a very social, normal American family. We are raising our kids in “society” and not sheltering them from it. My husband and I believe we can have whatever we want and not just what we’ve been told we can have. So for example, just because I live in a school district it doesn’t mean I have to settle for the educational environment that said district provides.
Is there a particular curriculum you follow?
I used K12.org for the first two years. However, I’m more confident now and a bit more seasoned. I have found more economical ways that match my children’s taste of curriculums. Now I use an eclectic curriculum. I ask a lot of questions of my professional teacher friends and they’ve helped me choose some really fantastic stuff.
What are some of the arguments against homeschooling?
I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m doing what I feel is best for my family. Isn’t it Steve Jobs who said, “build your life”, well I am. If I can teach my kids not to conform, then I’ll feel I’ve blown any arguments of homeschooling out of the water.
What advice do you have for a parent considering homeschooling?
Go with your GUT! If you believe you can, then you will. It’s a lot easier than all the books in the world will tell you it is.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I plan to keep my son (4th grade) and, my daughter (2nd grade) home until a better option comes along. The LaFayette Big Picture Program starts in 9th grade in my district, so my plan now is to send them there. I’m not against public education; I just think it needs to step-up to the 21st Century. I’m blessed in LaFayette that our district is making huge strides in that direction.