Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The art of journaling

Today’s NABLOPOMO question is: Do you think social media connects people together? Why or why not?

While I do think social media connects people, I think most of the “connection” is superficial. I guess that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

In other news… Remember the workshop I mentioned when I shared how I’ve been learning to put first things first? Well, today was the big day. This afternoon, after a grueling few weeks of nervousness, I was so excited to host a journaling workshop for a small group of teen girls at a north Georgia girl’s shelter.

It never fails. I get the jitters each time I take on something like this. My nerves consume me until the moment I walk in the room. Then all is well. It’s sort of a crazy emotional roller coaster that probably makes my husband nauseous, but he’s a great coach.

The girls, who’ll be sophomores and juniors in high school this year, were darling. They were so excited to receive brand new journals, and that blessed me beyond measure. I specifically selected journals with words of encouragement on the cover like “do what you love,” “strive for progress not perfection,” “creativity takes courage,” and “life is better when you dance.”

These events seems so small, but I sure hope they make a big difference in the lives of the women and young ladies I touch. They certainly make a big difference in my world. Hopefully, before the year ends I’ll get to host a tea party for them, too. The girls want a pajama tea party where everyone wears onesies and we all get to paint. Sort of like one of those paint by numbers events minus the wine. I think it’s a fun idea. I’ll let you know if we’re able to pull it off later this year.

Until next time…

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Making the connection over dinner

Tell us about someone you met that you always wanted to meet.

Since I can’t think of a person I’ve met that I always wanted to meet, I’ll share a different kind of story, a story along the lines of our theme for this month: connection.

When it comes to cooking, I have a saying, “If I can read  I can cook.” Though I can do it, I’m not exactly fond of it. Partly, because I’m so clunky in the kitchen and the process seems to take forever (especially since I insist on washing spoons after every stir).

Even though no one will ever use the word “chef” in front of my name (at least not with a straight face), I can definitely follow recipes. Every now and then, I can even come up with a decent meal on my own that scores big. But, make no mistake, cooking is truly a labor of love for me. Just sometimes more labor than love.

Breakfast? I have that covered. It’s dinner that always stumps me. Sunday, as we left church, we bounced around ideas for dinner. I’d thawed some boneless, thin sliced chicken breasts a couple of days earlier and needed to cook them. So I half-heartedly put the idea of chicken parmigiana on the table.

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Chicken Parm Prep

I’ve cooked chicken parmigiana once before, but it was years before my husband came along. And with the exception of breakfast, I still get nervous when I cook something new for him. I guess with just over two years in, maybe that’s to be expected. Anyway, I found the recipe I used the last time and decided to go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He loved it!

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Chicken parm on angel hair pasta with a side of asparagus and a glass of white wine.

He doesn’t believe it, but I can always tell when he really enjoys a meal. Likewise, I can also tell when a meal falls flat. But that evening, as we sat to eat together, it was clear that this one was a winner.

Later that evening, as I settled into bed I reflected on dinner. Feelings of accomplishment, pride and joy filled my heart. It was actually kind of weird. I realized how amazing it made me feel to step beyond my comfort zone to attempt to cook something that my husband may enjoy.

Like I said before, cooking is truly a labor of love. I’m not a natural at it by any means. But that one little meal allowed me to connect with him in a different way. To my surprise, the most significant accomplishment I made that day and the one that made me most proud was that simple meal I dared to cook and the rewarding fact that my husband enjoyed it.

 

 

 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Are you nervous in social situations?

Are you nervous in social situations or do you look forward to them, finding it easy to connect with new people?

Social situations can make me a little nervous. Introvert, remember? Sometimes, it depends on what the mix of the crowd will be? Will there be mostly people I know or strangers I must get to know? Either way, for the love of humanity and a quest for personal development, I dive into those settings every chance I get.

It’s true, when you continue to do something that challenges you, you strengthen a muscle of sorts and reap the rewards. Kinda like exercise. Socializing is definitely one of those good-for-you kinda things that you can only reap the rewards by actually doing it.

In social, or even professional, settings the reward happens to be the opportunity to fellowship with other people. I used to think I was supposed to connect with everyone in social settings. That thought alone can be overwhelming. Eventually, I realized that’s just not possible. Whereas I may not connect with everyone, I will connect with some.

So, although I may nurse butterflies at first, I look forward to the people with whom I’ll easily connect and let that carry me through any preliminary jitters that may exist.

Are you nervous in social situations or do you look forward to them?

 

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