10 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

It’s been a long week. From working more shifts at the restaurant than normal to publishing three different articles on three different sites to writing two chapters of my book to starting this blog series, I admit I’ve spread myself a little thin this week.

This dawned on me when I saw my husband wasn’t very happy with me when I showed up to the volunteer event we were doing to pack holiday packages to families in need, a little late. I also went into “do it” mode, which meant I focused on the task at hand to just get the job done.

He reminded me part of “giving back” is being in the moment and enjoying it, not just getting the job done.

I love that about him. He balances me. He grounds me.

I know this blog series is about giving back and I did attempt to today by going to One Voice LA and spending two hours packing holiday dinner boxes for families in need but I failed too. I did the action but lost the spirit. I was exhausted and it showed.

Sigh. I said I would always be honest in my blog writing so here it is. The truth.

I think right now I should go give my husband a kiss and give back to him. He shows me the holiday spirit everyday and I am so fortunate for that. And I hope the work I did tonight packing those boxes will help make other’s holidays a little brighter.

But I am human.

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” -William James, philospher (1842-1910)

 

10 days till Christmas!!

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

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11 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

I wait tables, as many of you know, and as a server, I make tips (let’s hope the Department of Justice keeps it that way #tiptheft) and lately, guests have been rather generous during the holidays.

Don’t get me wrong. I work for my tips. I make sure to give every diner the restaurant experience that I would want and I always do it with respect and a smile, even if those aren’t reciprocated. I believe in value for value and feel I deserve the high tips I get.

On that note, today I decided to share some of those generous holiday tips I’ve received with a fellow tipped employee.

I received a massage today that was one of the best I’ve ever gotten. She literally made my shoulder pain go away. It’s a small strip mall foot massage place that doesn’t look as great as it actually is and to be honest, I’m not sure if my masseuse speaks english, but her hands work magic.

Value for value.

I decided to give back today by sharing some of the holiday tip money I’ve earned in my tipped position to another in theirs, one who perhaps doesn’t have the type of sales a popular restaurant server does.

11 Days till Christmas!!

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

12 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

As many of my readers know, I like to do a series around Christmas time in the spirit of helping others. This year, I thought I’d countdown the twelve days before Christmas by finding ways to give back.

From disastrous forces of nature to massive revelations of a sexual assault epidemic, this year has been a turbulent one for many, many people. And it’s reached everyone, from those on their thrones of power to the average citizen trying to make their way in the world. Overall, it’s been a rough year.

And while I am not shielded from pain and have known some myself this year, I also know I am more fortunate than many others. A day doesn’t go by without news of  atrocities in foreign countries happening to young girls or government figures trying to take away people’s freedoms by force. Sadly, there is an abundance of fights that need to be fought. An abundance of help needed.

And anyone can.

From a simple smile to someone having a rough day to donating millions to a relief fund, giving back can be done at any station in life.

For clarity though, I should tell you how I define “giving back.” I use it as an action noun. It is the act of one choosing to use their time, efforts and skills to help those in need as a way to reciprocate to the universe one’s gratitude for “this thing called life” (to quote Prince, may he RIP.)

For the first day of this countdown, the universe gave me an opportunity before I even got out of bed. After waking, I checked my phone like I normally do and saw a text from a friend who is going through a deep spiritual awakening and making major change in her life. She asked for some advice and guidance on writing a blog.

I absolutely want to help. Other writers have helped me along the way and I am thrilled to be able to give back as they did for me. I texted her some answers to her questions and agreed to read and critique her work and you know what? I’m looking forward to it!

I hope you come along for the ride with me over the next twelve days. Till tomorrow…

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

 

 

Open Communication

Communication has been on my mind lately and specifically, people’s fear of it…

By definition communication means to impart/exchange/share information, knowledge, news, feelings and ideas.

Sounds awesome, right?

Well, I’ve always found it to be. And while it may not be all butterflies and roses when it’s about an unpleasant topic or a disagreeable situation, that is when communication is perhaps most important and needed.

And yet, that is precisely when communication tends to fail.

From my experience, many people tend to fear communication and I’ve always wondered why. Now, I admit I’m one who likes to be straight-forward and I’m quick to put things right on the table, and I understand people don’t have to be just like me and communicate about whatever’s on their mind but, I wonder what is so scary about exchanging thoughts and discussing things? If it’s that passions will fly off the handle, leading to arguments, then simply have a moderator! I don’t know about you, but I see lack of communication all around.

As I was reading over politics, an answer stared me in the face. Anyone who follows the American government knows that they could all use a course on how to communicate. From sliding things into bills under the rug to shutting down discourse at the drop of a hat, politicians are well-versed in ways to get around communicating. And as I was thinking about all this, it hit me.

Communication is feared when truth is not on one’s side.

Think about it. If you believe in what you say and do, communicating will be no problem. Truth is on your side and acts as your guide. But if truth is not on your side, say you’re trying to hide or control something, communication is precisely what you would fear and try to stop from happening or at the very least, tailor it to keep a closed communication system in place.

Politicians love to make deals behind close doors even though those deals, in theory, should be done on the citizen’s behalf. Rather than talk about an issue, most try to send out bullet points so they can control the conversation. And God help any group who tries to make their voice heard outside of the two main parties. They will be shut down so quickly, they won’t even have time to blink. (Did you see what happened when the Libertarians and Green party wanted to participate in the debates?? Disgusting…)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

I agree with you, Shaw, and I’d like to add the second biggest problem is the fear of it.

Quitting Diet Coke 3.8

The struggle is real.

When quitting something, I notice there are a bunch of firsts involved. First day without, first time eating El Pollo Loco without it, first long car ride with no DK and recently, going to see a movie in the theater without a two-liter cup in the holder beside me.

It was not easy.

I wanted a Diet Coke so bad yesterday when I was watching “Coco” with my nephews (great flick btw!) that I literally talked myself down from the ledge upwards of a dozen times. Even after the movie, the urge hadn’t left me and I thought about how great a tall cold one would be with my nephew’s birthday cake.

Yeeeeeaaaah, that’s when I realized I was extremely close to the edge. Birthday cake? Really, Christina?

But I didn’t touch a sip.

I realize now some days will be harder than others and one’s will power has to be kept on reserve to be called upon at a moment’s notice. It’s this will, this desire, this determination to make a change in my life, that keeps me from simply giving in and having a Diet Coke party of one, me, a bag of ice, a restaurant-style water-glass and a twelve pack.

Will it get easier as time goes on? It did the first time. I hope it will this one. But I know that I never want to go through this again. When I quit smoking cigarettes over a decade ago, I thought I had fought the quitting battle of my life but damn, this is a close second.

And thank you again, for the continued support from all my readers, family and friends.

The struggle is real.

Day 58 and counting…

#quittingdietcoke

Quitting Diet Coke 3.7

This past weekend, I had a Dr. Pepper. Last week I had a Squirt. I think since I’ve quit Diet Coke, I may have had an additional Squirt and a Root Beer and perhaps another soda here or there I’m forgetting. This has been over the course of the past seven weeks, since I’ve had my last sip of Diet Coke.

The reason I bring this up is because this weekend, when I was drinking the aforementioned Dr. Pepper, my husband mentioned that he thought I shouldn’t have it since I was quitting Diet Coke and that I wasn’t as completely void of it as I’d been saying.

Hmmm….

He made me pause alright. And think. Was there any validity to what he was saying? I wondered.

See, for me, I’ve never had a problem with soda per se. My addiction exclusively lies in Diet Coke. It is that drink specifically that I not only crave but enjoy every minute of each sip. Once I have a Dr. Pepper, I’m good for months. I have no desire to have another and another and then another.

I thought about this, though. Do I want to be completely soda free?

I don’t think its that important to me to be. Since I could maybe have a handful of sodas during a whole year, that would never even last me a weekend if it was Diet Coke.

So, no, honey, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with having a random soda every now then. It just can’t be Diet Coke. I’ve proven to myself I’m not capable of limiting it. Sprite, though? Eh, maybe on an airplane but for my everyday thirst needs, I’ll stick to sparkling water with lemon.

54 days and counting….

#quittingdietcoke

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I am thankful for each and every one of you. And I appreciate you reading and following along with me here on Life As I Know It.

If you are a rerun junkie like me, I’ve included a link to a list I put together of my favorite Thanksgiving Day-themed TV show episodes. Number three is probably my absolute favorite :)

Thanksgiving Day TV show episodes. 

Be safe and enjoy!

 

(photo is via Pexels.com)