Sep 122011
 

Good Morning, friends!  I have quite a treat for you today while I’m in Gettysburg– a guest post from one of my favorite people I’ve met through the interwebs, Mindy!  Mindy is a great girl with wonderful insight and such inspirational posts found at her blog, Just a One Girl Revolution. Here, she is discussing the lessons she learned through the end of a friendship – something I think we all face at one point or another.  I hope you enjoy this helpful post and take a visit to Mindy’s blog for more goodness!

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A few months back, my best friend ended our friendship in a less than gracious email.  I was completely devastated; she was my BFF!

In the weeks and months that passed, and we didn’t talk, it slowly became real and I had to accept it.  Initially, it was easy to point fingers and place the blame, even taking some of it on myself.  In retrospect, though, I don’t think it was really anyone’s fault, but rather that we grew apart and because we are very different people than we were when our friendship began.  Now that I’ve had time to process what happened and move on to the next phase of my life, I realize that there are some wonderful life lessons to come out of what happened.

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I may have lost my best friend, but that didn’t leave me without any friends.  When I looked around at the people that surrounded me, the people I felt most inclined to call, those that heard me vent and let me cry on their shoulder, I realized something wonderful.  I have so many dear friends, both my real life friends and my blends (blog friends, of course!).  I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life; I don’t want to let the end of one friendship affect all the rest.  In all honesty, I think it’s made my other friendships stronger!  The time I was previously spending with my BFF, I could focus on my other dear friends!

Moping isn’t going to change anything.  But, take time to be upset.  When I got the email, I found a quiet room at work, called my mom, and cried.  Okay, okay, I sobbed.  I was so hurt.  That night, I came home and uncorked open a bottle of wine.  Perhaps not the healthiest response, but cathartic nonetheless!  Mourning is a naturally response to any loss, so own those feelings!  It’s completely okay to be sad, just don’t be sad forever.

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Learn from it.  Sure, I think that it was a naturally progression of where life had brought each of us, but I also realize that there things we both did which were contributing factors.  I could only focus on “she did this, she could have done this differently”, but instead, I asked those questions about myself.  What did (or didn’t) I do that I could have changed?  Taking a chance for self-reflection provides the opportunity to see how I can be a better friend to others.

Ultimately, I had to remember that I am so much more than that one friendship.  I have hobbies and passions, my family and other friends, and a life outside of that one relationship.  I realized that it had truly been a long time coming and I am content with where life has brought me as a result.

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Ironically, the end of a friendship looks similarly like the end of a romantic relationship; yet, that seems fitting.  Whether a best friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s a change to not have that person in your life anymore.  Take time to mourn, to be sad, but remember that life will get better and one day, it will all seem okay.

 

 

 

 

Notes from Heather:

Looking for more Break-Up advice? Check out my Advice for the Broken Hearted Part 1!
On a lighter note: did you see we found a kitten? His name may or may not be Clinton ;)

Sorting for Control

 Posted by at 1:28 pm  More Than Series
Aug 142011
 

It was a Saturday morning and I found myself rolling out of bed just before 7:00 AM.  I brewed some tea and brought my favorite mug into the living room.  I turned on TCM as I stepped down into my craft room.  This just in: my craft room is a glorified storage room.  It is full of gift wrapping supplies, craft materials, and just-started projects.

I knew what was ahead of me, and part of me wanted to run from the project I saw in my near future.  Lately I’ve been thinking of my 28th Year Goals, and specifically my desire to finish 28 projects, as I’ve yet to complete even one. 

I’ve also had a strong desire to share items that I don’t have a specific use for but another person might.  Even more so, to put to use what does have a purpose. I listened to an old Gretchen Rubin podcast discussing the “Spend Out” principle.  I have been thinking a lot about what I “save” for special occasions and how I need to allow myself to make every day a special occasion, allowing the usage of these “special” items I’ve saved.  It’s the idea of the ‘61 Cheval Blanc in Sideways

I brought out a few boxes of materials and got to sorting.  A few minutes later, I returned to the craft room to grab two more boxes.  A couple of hours later, my living room had made it’s transformation into hottmessland, and development was a continued motion throughout the morning. 

Mr. Smith goes to Washington rolling in the background, and piles being built around me, I was getting this mess under control.  My 28-projects-to-complete goal was under control as well, as I was keeping a list as I came across various projects I wanted to finish.  I compartmentalized every item I uncovered.  I was in control of where to put each piece.  Did I want to keep it? Would I use it?  Would someone else use it better?

A pile for my friend Molly, and a pile for my memory box.  A grouping of items to donate, things to bring into the kitchen, to my office, and to the shop.  A box of note cards, of post its, of stickers, and beads. Sorting my greeting cards by occasion and re-spooling all of the ribbon, securing it with a straight pin to avoid future entanglement. 

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My local friends think of me as someone who likes a plan and thrives on organization.  This explains why, when Molly walked into my apartment that Saturday evening, her first words were – “Ummm…Heather?  Are you okay?”

It was then that I recognized my behavior as something I’d seen before.

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Am I the only one that has to physically participate in a sort of massive organization when feeling like life is out of my own control? 

When a situation isn’t going the way I would prefer it, when I can’t produce the answers someone is looking for, when I don’t have the power to control someone else’s actions in a situation – I lose my mind.  I cope by finding control where I can.  In this case, it was my craft room and the list of projects I wanted to complete.

Is this a healthy way to deal?  Perhaps.  Is it the “healthiest” way I should be reacting- or rather, how better could I handle myself when find myself in these situations?

The first step may be realizing that I don’t need to be, nor can I be, in control of every situation.  I shouldn’t want to be in control, either.  This all stems from some sort of insecurity I am facing; needing to please others, not trusting other people and their abilities, or a fear of getting hurt or upset may the culprits. 

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I need to remember that I am not the only person in the world, and that I am not the most important person in the room. 
I need to remember that things don’t need to go my way, and that I am able to handle any situation with gentleness and kindness. 
I need to remember not to worry about what is coming my way, because worrying doesn’t produce anything positive.
I need to remember to relax and allow myself to be present, to enjoy the moment, and not feel like I need to being doing something at every single moment, of every single day.

Kick the Habit

 Posted by at 11:59 am  More Than Series
Jul 262011
 

In the past few months, I seem to have taken up a new habit. 
I wish I was here to confess that I’ve started stamp collecting, or bird watching, or eating saltines over my kitchen sink.
But that’s not the case.  

My name is Heather, and I seem to have been bitten by the bug. The cursing bug.   

I don’t mean the occasional F-bomb-droppage, or only swearing when frustrated, in pain, or surprised.  And I don’t mean swearing during curse-laden-sing-a-long songs, or at the television during sporting events. 
What I do mean is throwing in many ‘flavorful’, yet not at all creative, words in my daily speech to an excess.  It crept up through the start of summer and has become a bit ridiculous as of late.

As in, my boyfriend may or may not have recently pointed it out, reminding me that when we first started spending time together, he was surprised by how much I cursed, and that since then, it’s only become more prevalent in my speech.  I started thinking about this, the growth of the swear-word-usage in my vocabulary, and I tried to trace back on memory road when and where it all started.

After a few minutes of sorting through situations past, I realized that I started my path towards cursing fiend out of insecurity.  I was extraordinarily nervous about fitting in with a specific group of people I had just met, and thought I needed to appear “cooler” and perhaps even “more tough.”  Apparently I had not only forgotten everything I have learned about how much I love myself in the past few years, but also regressed MAJORLY and was back in middle school.  Oops.

Once I admitted this out loud to Nicholas, I realized how ridiculous I had been, as this group of people I was so desperate to impress: they don’t typically curse themselves.  Who was I trying to fit in with?  What was I trying to prove?  And how did I manage to let the sprinkling of unnecessary swearing throughout conversation turn into a bit of, well, a cursing problem.

I analyzed the situation a bit more, tossing and turning the information in my head, [after all, I am nothing if not thorough in analyzing] and realized that I don’t particularly like cursing, especially if the whole reason I began speaking this way so often was born out of insecurity.  And so I decided I needed to kick the habit. 

And then, just in time, the girls at Freely Be contacted me about, well, Kick the Habit.

 

 From Freely Be:

Before you can change the world, you need to change your own. To share freedom, one must be free themselves. In an effort to bring that freedom, we are launching a fun FREEDOM rally- Kick the Habit.
 
Is there something in your life that is simply not the best for you? Addicted to smoking? Spending too much on cocktails? Taking cabs when you could be walking? Can’t stop the urge to shop?
 
Then it is time to kick the habit!


 
From August 1-31 we want to hear your stories and challenge you for the month to improve YOU!
 
So get ready to send us your emails, videos, tweets, etc. on how you Kicked the Habit and are encouraging others to do so as well. We’ll also be opening up the Freely Forums so you can discuss your kicked habit with others who might share the same one.


 
You take on the challenge – help others, help yourself.  Sign up for the rally by (clicking here) and join the discussion at (Freely Forums). We can’t wait to find out how you’re becoming free from your bad habit!

 

 

Is there a habit you’d like to kick from your life? Why not join the Kick the Habit movement for the month of August.  We can keep each other accountable and all that jazz.  What do you want to kick?