I Give Up! Or Not.

Being a transplant to South Louisiana, I’ve always had a difficult time with Lent. Where I grew up, there weren’t many Catholics. In fact, I can’t think of one person I knew that was Catholic until I moved here. I never understood Lent. I simply thought it was a time to repent after the debauchery of Mardi Gras.

In the years I’ve lived here, I’ve come to more fully understand the Catholic faith. I even started taking Catholic classes. I think “classes” is a bit of an exaggeration, I think I attended ONE class, until I found out that whole process ended in a public baptism and that did not appeal to me at all. So, that was that.

I have embraced parts of the Catholic faith. I love the quiet reflection, being alone with your thoughts to offer up prayers or meditations. It’s how I’ve started my days for the last few years. It’s a little bit of peace and quiet before the chaos of work, home, and life in general.

But, back to Lent, I’ve tried to give up something every year for Lent. I’ve tried beer, carbs, red meat, you name it. I’ve never made it until the end. This is probably because I’ve never really took it as seriously as I should. I think I’ve done it because I thought it was a good idea.

I’m going to try something new this year. I’m going to give back something rather than give up something. I’ve never been good at self-deprival anyway. As soon as I tell myself that I can’t have something, my mind instantly fixates on that one thing until I become borderline OCD.

I’ve already been trying to give back in small ways by doing “small things”. I’m just going to be like Emeril and “kick it up a notch”. I’m going to keep doing the small things I’m doing, throwing a few cans into the local Food Bank basket every week, and trying to encourage my students to do small things. But, I’m going to brainstorm new things to do.

I read an article yesterday (see below) that confirmed what I’ve already been thinking. In these times of recession and unemployment, it is really a time to give back rather than give up. So many have had to give up that those of us that do have should give back.

So, my goal for the next 39 days is to give back, not give up.

After all, doesn’t a benevolent Queen keep in mind the needs of others? (Oh yeah, I rolled my eyes at myself on that one.)

For now, I’m off to figure out what to do with the rest of my day. I love vacations!

Peace!

Queen Out

For those of you interested in learning more about Lent, or haven’t figured out what you want to give up or give back. Here are some resources I’ve found….

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.encouraged.to.give.rather.than.give.up.this.lent/25313.htm

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1BtbnM/learnthis.ca/2010/02/100-ways-to-serve-others/

A Lenten Reflection
Give up complaining——focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism——become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments——think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry——trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement——be full of hope.
Give up bitterness——turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred——return good for evil.
Give up negativism——be positive.
Give up anger——be more patient.
Give up pettiness——become mature.
Give up gloom——enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy——pray for trust.
Give up gossiping——control your tongue.
Give up sin——turn to virtue.
Give up giving up——hang in there!
http://www.lca.org.au/resources/webmanager/quoteslent1.pdf

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

“Sometimes you have to go through the dirtiest and the ugliest things to appreciate the good things in life.”

I heard this quote last night from one of my friends while having a few beers, and it immediately it made me stop, cock my head to one side, and contemplate.

What a profound statement.  It seems alcohol makes us great philosophers sometimes.

I’ve heard this quote in various forms, but never with the “dirtiest” and “ugliest”.  It made me think of all the “dirty” and “ugly” things I’ve been through, and how I see life these days.

How do I see life these days?

I try to find the good in every day. Sometimes it’s difficult, but after a moment of reflection, I stop and think “it could be worse”. And immediately, I can find something good.

It’s all those things that have made me who I am. It’s the good, the good friends, my family, my job, that make me happy. It’s the bad and the ugly, the loss of family, of friends, that makes me stronger, but also makes me appreciate the days I have, the people I have.

Maybe it’s like a grittier version of the “Facts of Life”. You take the good, you take, the bad, and there you’ve got the facts of life.”  Or something like that. I wasn’t a fan of that show.  Apparently.

And maybe that’s Queen Alisha’s Guideline to Life #2. Life is the total package, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Live through the bad, survive to appreciate the good.

For now, the Queen is off to celebrate the last day of Mardi Gras.

Definitely, the good.

Peace!

Queen Out!

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

About six months ago, I finally committed to losing the weight that had slowly snuck up on me as I hit my thirties.  I went out and bought the fancy scale, the one that tells you how much water you’re retaining, how much body fat you have, and exactly how much body fat you have.

Two months ago, four months after I bought it, it broke. I tried new batteries, I tried re-setting it, everything.  Needing some kind of measurement to keep myself motivated, I went out and bought the old-fashioned kind with the dial. I’d had one of those for years before I finally had to just throw it out because it was getting all rusty and gross.

I brought it home, unwrapped it, and got ready to step on it the next day.  So, the next morning, I get up as is my routine, and weigh.

Now I have a new scale and a new problem.

Either my eyes aren’t like they used to be ten years ago, or those little spaces between the numbers have gotten smaller. I can’t exactly see how much I actually weigh. I can kind of guesstimate between two and three pounds, but exactly not quite.

I instantly begin complaining. Now I have to go back and buy yet another scale. Because I NEED to know to the pound what I weigh.

This went on for about a month. I’d get up in the morning, and I’d gripe. Sometimes because I couldn’t tell, sometimes because I’d been bad the last few days and gained a pound or two, or three.

Then, a few weeks ago, while I was griping and standing on the scale,  I realized this scale gave me something my other scale couldn’t. A daily reminder of how far I’ve come. I can see how much I used to weigh and I can see all the little pounds I’ve worked so hard to lose.

I may not always be able to tell exactly how many pounds I’ve lost, but I CAN see how far the scale has moved.

And then I realized something else. That scale is a lot like life should be. We should be able to look back and see how far we’ve come. Sometimes I know that I get frustrated. I can’t always get to where I want to go as fast as I want to get there,  just as my weight loss is going, but the important thing is that I’m working on it.

And that I celebrate the small milestones in between. Even if they are a little blurry sometimes. 🙂

And that, my friends, is Guideline Number One. Always appreciate how far you’ve come, even if you can’t always see EXACTLY where you are.

For now, I’m off to get ready for another hectic day of work and home.  Here’s to life and lessons learned!

Peace!

Queen out!

🙂

Queen Alisha’s Guide to Life

Hear ye! Hear ye! After many months of bouncing from one subject to another, I have decided to focus my writing on one topic. What’s that topic?

Queen Alisha’s Guide to Life.

Even the title of my blog is changing to reflect this change.  I’m becoming the Prince of blogging. Well, maybe not that extreme, but my blog will now be titled, “Queen Alisha’s Guide to Life….The blog formerly known as Groovy Kind of Life.”

I’ll still write about some of the same old things like music (I can’t ignore something that’s such a big part of who I am), South Louisiana, and the random topic that strikes my fancy. But, my main focus will be on my New Year’s Resolution to treat myself and have other’s treat me like a Queen.

A Queen.

Not a doormat.

Not a diva.

Not a bitch.

What is a Queen? I found this definition of a Queen on a website this morning and I thought it pretty much fits the definition of what I am trying to achieve.

The Queen

The Queen is the part of us that attempts to establish lawful order and moral virtue by focusing on relationships and by nurturing, encouraging, and protecting the individuality and authority of others. Our Queen addresses social problems and issues with warm, loving, merciful, and forgiving feelings toward otherness. The primary characteristics of the Queen are (1) benevolent feeling, or caring, and (2) shared authority.                          http://www.souljourney.net/archetypestudies/queen.html

Basically, it’s the mature version of Tart, the alter ego I clung to during my misspent youth.  Not quite so selfish, not quite so reckless.

I’m a little older and a little wiser.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s still a lot of Tart left in me. I still love good drinks, nights out on the town, and throwing caution to the wind every now and then. That part of me will always be there. But eventually, we all have to grow up and become who we are meant to be.

Besides, Tart still wants to travel and have a house that befits her new Queen status. Tart can’t have that if she’s throwing her money away on drinks and nights out on the town.

Priorities.

And a good Queen knows how to prioritize.

So, for the most part, my blogs will be about my year of living like a Queen.  And what the hell, if I have a good time with it, I’ll continue after the year is over.

It IS my blog. And I AM the Queen, after all.

For now, I’m off to cook some dinner and feed my royal subjects and get ready for the first Mardi Gras parade in our town.

Maybe I can find a tiara before the parade……..

Hmmmmmm……..

Here’s to living the Queen life, and Carnival time in South Louisiana.

Peace!

I’m out!

A Review

Just thought I’d share a recent review of my blog. I thought it was pretty accurate! 🙂

Peace!

I’m out for now. New blogs coming soon!

Hello Alisha,

Thanks for joining the discussion we hope our review will give an idea of how your readers may perceive you.

The first impression we have of your blog is a positive feeling. I suppose that the green and the blue create this atmosphere. It immediately gives us a welcoming sensation and the reader may expect it to be the blog of a young author. And it’s not totally wrong.

Your posts have a personal touch, and while reading it we discover a personal journal that likes to reminiscence and tell anecdotes. It seems to be a way for you to express sensations and desires you want to live again.

You blog is nor about communicating facts, neither about conveying a message. It’s a way for you to be you, or the Groovy you and get the kid in you back out.Your blog is spontaneous and refreshing but not without wisdom. It is a quest, a journey. We see that you love communicating and storytelling is a part of it. Reading the post “good advice” can tell us more about it. We also discover a person that loves to see people communicate and have a constructive approach to life. The fact that you don’t get many comments probably doesn’t really bother you. You’re not looking for discussions; there are other ways to communicate. On the other hand, you appreciate when your readers share their experiences and stories.

As most other Idealists, you enjoy sharing above all and that is why you write about blogs you enjoy reading or put widgets of causes you believe in. And like most other Idealist you do not have your personal domain name, because you want to be free. Having your own domain name is often perceived by Idealists as creating a cage; a virtual place that forces responsibility on the writer’s shoulders.

Yes indeed, most readers will probably perceive you as an idealist.
The Idealist

Focused on making their world a better place, the Idealists are constantly looking for the truth and its meaning.Driven by what they perceive as the greater good, they tend to have a strong value-system and find principles to be of great importance.

The Idealist Zilhouette

If I may just give one little suggestion: add an “about page”. People like to know more about the author and I think, a few lines will motivate them more to read your blog; if that is what you desire.Thanks in advance for sharing feedback with us.

Zack