Tag Archives: lifestyle

Expiration Dates

A few months ago I noticed one of those little yellow squeeze bottles in the door of my fridge. You know, the ones shaped like lemons and filled with 100% REAL Lemon Juice. Not only could I not remember using it recently, I didn’t even remember buying it!

Upon further inspection, I noticed an expiration date printed on the side. WHOA! Let’s just say I’ve aged a little bit since that lemon juice expired in my refrigerator! YIKES!

lemon juice

I quickly tossed the little squeeze bottle into the trash, shaking my head at myself. I never knew those things even HAD an expiration date. Which got me thinking…well, don’t we all?

Food is an easy one to remember (ok, maybe not for me…), but what about all those other things that expire before we use them? Things like coupons (I don’t know why I save all those fast food ones I get in my mailbox every month! I have NEVER used them before, but maybe one day….maybe??), gift certificates (those make me so mad at myself if I forget to use those!), prescriptions, running shoes (ok let’s be honest…I have never had that problem but I know people who do), and so much more.

What I quickly realized, though, is WE also have an expiration date – people, pets, jobs…But rather than stress out over what our expiration date might be, we should concentrate on what we will do BEFORE that date.

Maybe you’re like me and have a “bucket list” of things you want to see or do one day. But I’m not talking about a bucket list here…I’m talking about personal stuff. Spending time with friends and family…rekindling a strained relationship…losing weight or slowing down or getting healthy.

My bucket list is long and varied. But my list of “things to do before my expiration date” is fairly simple. Love and be loved. Leave this world a little better than I found it.  And quite honestly I have to work on both of those every single day. What about you?

Unfortunately, we aren’t like a bottle of lemon juice – we have no idea what our expiration date may be or what our “shelf life” will be. So don’t you think it’s time to get started on those things that make each day more satisfying?

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Professional Development

Nobody Likes A Bully!

The past few weeks have been overwhelmingly emotional for me, for a variety of reasons… my first Mother’s Day without my mom, an elective surgery for my dad, the pressure to increase my professional workload while building a new small business, my innumerable volunteer responsibilities, and a ridiculous encounter with a “friend” that caused me pain and self doubt. And those are only a few…

But what that last experience did for me, though, was remind me of how much I dislike bullies. After the confrontation, I went through many hours of uncontrollable sobbing and fewer hours of sleep. I woke up, looked in the mirror, and didn’t like what I saw. I had bloodshot and puffy eyes, a red nose, huge dark circles and a harsh realization that I was the only person in that “relationship” who was upset. I’m certain the other person didn’t lose sleep or become physically sick from the episode. So why did I?

It whappy for youas right then and there that I declared “No More.” No more will I succumb to bullies. No more will I let negative people bring me down to their level, ruin my day (or week), or upset me.

By now you’re probably thinking, “yeah, right…you? YOU were bullied?” You betcha…and it wasn’t pretty. Even worse, when I reflected back on the situation, I realized just how many times it’s happened to me just this year!

But here’s the best part…when it happened again the next week (not with the same “friend” – I’m not a masochist!), this time I responded differently. I smiled. Sweetly. (With my lips closed.) I nodded. And then I looked away. I didn’t even reply. And then I moved on.

I wish I could say that’s been my new response every time someone has bullied me or insulted me or even said something stupid or mean recently. It’s not. But I’m definitely getting better at it. One day at a time. I still intend to speak up and defend myself (or those I love) when appropriate (you can’t expect me to never say anything at all, right?), but I will NOT let those people affect my emotions and my personal well-being.

After all, you can’t control how people will treat you. But you can control how you will respond to those people and those negative situations.  Harsh words still hurt. But now I look at them differently. I will not lose sleep over a bully. I will not cry because of a bully. I will not consider myself unworthy because of a bully.

Because I know there are more important things to lose sleep over…like watching a sunrise, directing a friend’s wedding, going to a football game, or even catching an early morning flight. Yeah, I’ll keep losing sleep for those things…

3 Comments

Filed under Professional Development

More Valuable Than A Bird

I’m a worrier. There…I said it.

I worry about stupid things like the weather or what outfit I’ll wear to a specific event. I worry if I packed everything I need for a trip. I worry about getting to meetings on time and even how often I post a blog. I worry if something I said or did hurt someone’s feelings.

But to be completely honest, I worry about big things too…paying the bills, the health of my family and friends, and whether I’m making good decisions.

Yep, I’m a worrier. And when my stress levels get high (ok, higher than normal) from all my worrying, do you know what happens? I get sick. My body tries to warn me to stop worrying and I always ignore it. I get tight muscles in my shoulders and neck. I get an upset stomach. I get a blackhead or an ulcer. All of these physical ailments keep me from eating or sleeping well, so then I get even more ailments and that causes even more stress.

It’s a vicious cycle that worrying. And it gets you nowhere. NOWHERE! I know deep down I should replace all my worries with prayers. And I do pray about all of these things (the “stupid” ones AND the “big” ones). But I still worry.

This morning I saw a social media post from a friend I respect deeply, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. She cited Luke 12:24-27, which included “Do not worry about your life…consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than the birds.”

WOW!worry_18940381269_o

Sometimes I forget my value – not just to God but to everyone. You might be surprised to read that. I’m often told how “perfect” my life looks, and that people live vicariously through my travels or activities (and even my closet). But the truth is, I’m just like everyone else. I work hard and worry even more.

But this morning I was reminded how much more valuable I am than the birds. That means I have to use the talents God gave me that He doesn’t give the birds…like words to write or speak…hands to volunteer…friends to support. These are my talents, skills and offerings. So today I will use these gifts more and worry less.

You, too, are more valuable than the birds. Use your gifts more and worry less.

2 Comments

Filed under Professional Development

It’s NEVER too late!

Ever wish you had started something earlier? (I’m not talking about the laundry! We ALL do that when we’re lugging a heavy basket back to the bedroom after midnight…) I mean earlier in life?  Maybe a college education, your family, a new career, collecting something of value, joining a church or civic group?

I think at one time or another we all wish we had started something earlier. But I’ve learned (the hard way) there’s a reason we didn’t. It wasn’t our time. At that time. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t your time NOW. Today. Or perhaps even tomorrow.

You see friends, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to finish what you shappily-ever-after_25407172270_otarted, to start something new, or even to start over. You just have to make the decision to do it. That’s where I am right now. If only I’d started (or actually finished) my book sooner..if I had left the corporate world sooner…if I had joined Rotary sooner…you never know. And you weren’t meant to. Everything happens for a reason. Listen to me…EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

I’ve been tested with that statement more times than you can even imagine, but I hold it as one of my truths in life. Don’t fail this test my friends…remember it’s never too late.

Whether it’s something small and simple or huge and bodacious, start now. Want some help? Share it with me and I will be your cheerleader, accountability partner and honest friend. (I’ll even let you ask me if I’ve finished my book yet……sigh……)

Leave a comment

Filed under Professional Development

New Year…Better Me!

So many people posting New Year…New Me! (Those are probably the same people who still make – and don’t keep – New Year’s Resolutions!) I have decided it is a new year, time for a BETTER me!

I don’t want a new me. (I kinda like the one I’ve gotten to know for the past 46 years…) But I do want to always be a better me. So this coming year, I’ve decided to work on improvements in my personal and professional life. Working harder AND smarter. Being better than yesterday.

I hope you’re sitting down when you read this, because I have big news. BIG news!  This weekend, I did something most of you will find VERY surprising… I joined a gym! Planet Fitness in fact, that just opened right here in Hendersonville a few weeks ago. I’ve already been for the first time, just to get acquainted and try a few things. (No need rushing into anything and overdo it, right??)

But my goal is to go back. Soon. It’s just one of many ways I plan to be a “better” me rather than a “new” me in 2017. I also want to join a new professional organization, write my first book, blog more, meet more of my online friends (you know who you are) in person, spend quality time with family and friends, finish my new website, and continue to serve humanity through the world’s greatest service organization, Rotary International.

But let’s be clear…these aren’t resolutions that I am going to abandon come mid-February. These are plans of action. If you still make resolutions, I hope yours can be kept. If you set goals, I hope you are realistic but willing to stretch. If you make plans, I hope you outline the steps you must take to finish them.

I’m counting on you all to hold me accountable (“How’s that book coming along, Tiffany?”) and also to help me grow and be better. Stay in touch  – let me know your plans (or goals or resolutions) if you want me to be one of your accountability partners. I’ll add you to my follow-up list.

We can’t do this alone, but together…wow we’re gonna be better than ever!

1 Comment

Filed under Professional Development