Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

I’ve heard the saying “fake till you make it” or the new version by Amy Cuddy “fake it till you become it.” My thinking runs more to “I may not know it now, but I’ll figure it out.” Sometimes that’s just me messing around till I get it right, could be asking someone for help and guidance, or I’m not above saying I don’t know but I’ll find out. Faking it doesn’t even cross my mind. Why fake it when I have the will and the confidence in myself to be able to just do it. 

Growing up the oldest of three sisters, out in the country, with parents that worked long hours breeds resilience and perseverance. Anyway it did in us girls. My sister’s are different from me in there own way, but we have a solid core that is called WILL. Don’t tell us we can’t because for sure we’ll thumb our noses as we do it or give you the finger. Keeping it real here!

Oh the younger years!

Making responsible decisions were an expectation not a fluke. When we made poor choices our parents called us out on it. It’s the same with my son. I love him but I’m also raising him to make sound decisions and to be accountable. I can be harsh or in another light it might be called tough love. High expectations are the norm. If you set the bar low then they will achieve low. When he needs a hand up I’m more than willing to support him, but he is putting as much or more effort than I am. I’m not slacking and neither should he. Of course there is time for fun and I feel he does a good job of being a teenager too. He kills me every single time we play some game on the Xbox. He thinks it’s hilarious and an opportunity for me to improve my game. Obviously I have none. Definitely a win for the kid.

I think my sister is the same with her kids. They are fun and lively, and they are being raised in a household that holds achievement and education to a high standard. My brother-in-law is a testament to that with all his degrees. They all have their own interests and they pursue it. It’s awesome to see!

My middle sister is the entrepreneur with her own photography business. Starting a business is never easy but she has taken advantage of every learning opportunity to advance herself and her business. She was so patient with the process of launching. I certainly wasn’t and it’s not my business! She thought through everything from branding to a website. Super proud of her and what she’s doing. 

It takes some real grit to start a business or to raise kids to be responsible adults. We have taken those experiences of our youth and we have put our own stamp on our lives and the lives of our children. I know my son is already working on his own stamp, figuring things out, and making decisions that will lead him down a path of his own making. It’s exciting to watch and at the same time, as a parent, I want to give advice from my own experiences. Cause you know we’ve all had those rough roads that we want our kids to avoid at all costs. It’s a continuous prayer that I follow Gods plan for my life and wherever it might lead and that my son does the same. 

I’ve been traveling again and I was telling my fellow road dog that there are many times I’m saying God I see all the signs – I know what path I should be going down – yeah that is a path/sign. Wasn’t that you?! I’m sure that was you saying here’s your sign. I’m just trying to do what you’re indicating. Um ok maybe that was me looking for a sign and called it God. Hmm that’s a real possibility. Now I need to pray for discernment, not for what I want to be seeing cause you know you’re going to see it EVERYWHERE! 

Now I’m back to having the perseverance to see through all the crap life is throwing at me to know what’s true and real. That’s where the grit comes in. Road dog says I’m overflowing in grit. Totally got that covered. God filled that cup up real good. As we are sitting at the Pittsburgh airport I bought a book that has a grit assessment. Yeah I couldn’t resist that purchase. I was an easy mark for that bookstore.

That title is probably what inspired this blog. Of course it took a left from where I started…like normal. I’m trying to get in the groove of writing more and I saw a quote yesterday that made me go hmmm.

Stephen King says “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Love Stephen King and all his scary horror books. The Stand is one of my favorites but IT scared me the most! Only book in all my years of reading that I read ONLY during the daylight hours. So with this tangent: Read if you want to write, have the will and the grit to persevere through the easy and the hard times, and don’t look for the easy signs cause they might be wrong – pray hard.

-G.

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Solid rock

Solid rock

Solid rock woman – that’s how the preacher described my grandmother. He passed out stones to my grandfather, mom, and aunt as a reminder to the kind of woman she was…you know a Proverbs 31:10-31 kind of woman. 

This is something I can only aspire to since I’ve already failed once in a marriage. How do you come back from failure? I’m sure I’m not the only one that wonders if you can be successful at another relationship or marriage. 

As a type A personality I want to be successful in all things: relationships involve more than one person. More than hearts and flowers….there is a bunch of stuff that is just hard. When there are two people it’s supposed to be easier to survive what life throws at you, but you’ve got to be working in sync together. 

I read a book a couple of years ago about finding a Boaz not a Bozo. A good read that holds true for when you’re searching for the right man. Ruth was like my Granny – solid rock material. Fortunately for me and my failings it says in Ephesians 5:25, 27 that God’s grace covers what we are not and makes us what we are in Christ. This is good for me because I FAIL ALL THE TIME!!!! As a type A it takes a lot for me to admit that but that’s a step in the right direction…admission.

Later in the evening after the funeral I was sitting at my grandparents table in the seat I always sat in for meals. Laying in front of me was the stone that had been given to my grandfather. I couldn’t help but pick it up. It was so smooth just like a skipping stone would be if I were looking along the creek bed. It fit in my hand perfectly, and I could picture all the ripples my grandmother had made in my life. She had a significant impact from beginning to end.

My hope is that I can create ripples that are  impactful to the lives around me or to those that I come in contact with from day to day. I may never see the fruit bear from my efforts, but I have an opportunity to plant a seed. 

As I read Proverbs 31 and thought about what it took to be a woman of noble character I realized that it takes maturity. Mental maturity not necessarily age. Recognizing your own value and what you bring to the relationship…again it’s two people not one. Being in the word. How can I attain this aspiration if I’m not learning and growing spiritually? Can’t because I would be all about myself. Self is lonely and tiring. Self gets old pretty quick and then you seek something to fill the empty spaces. I don’t want a Bozo to fill those spaces I want a Boaz. Waiting is the tough part because I’m not the most patient person…an understatement lol

I’m talking about relationships but it could easily be that you’re waiting on something else. WAITING bites! Maybe other things need to fall into place or trust needs to build. Whatever it is the waiting is just as valuable an experience. Hunters know this – waiting silently for the right moment is essential and it might take days or even weeks to get the right animal. OK I just compared a relationship to hunting that’s funny stuff right there. “As the lioness stalks her prey”… please use a British or Aussie accent as you read that for the best sound effects! Still laughing!!!

Enough! You get the point and hopefully you’ve been educated and entertained. 

-G.

Blackhat

Blackhat

A few days ago I was watching the movie Blackhat and the villian in this movie thinks he’s pretty clever. I’m sure mostly because he’s a hacker, which means he’s anonymous and his actions are clandestine. I don’t know any hackers, but I do know some people that thought they were so clever they wouldn’t ever be caught in their own web of deceit. Oh the tangeled webs they weave. It’s when they’re wrapped up so tight like Frodo, the hobbit, in Lord of the Rings that it gets really entertaining.

I’m an observer of human nature….love people watching. Put me in an airport, an amusement park or Wal-Mart and I’ll be happy as a clam watching what’s going on around me. I also like watching movies or reading books where there is intrigue and figuring it out well in advance. Take Game of Thrones for example – I had a theory that’s pretty much on the money right away as I started reading the books. George RR Martin is a good story teller, and I like to connect the dots in his story. That’s what I do in life as well. Things that seem like they don’t go together or happen in an unusal way, well it might be they really do connect. I like figuring it out.

Anyone love strategy games? If it’s on an xbox I’ll probably die right away. Just not that coordinated when it comes to gaming systems, but a board game where you can put time and thought into it totally different scenerio. Settler’s of Catan is one of my favorites. I think my nerd rankings have shot up with this blog.

Okay back to Blackhat – the villian is also an opportunist. When you’re down they take the most advantage. Well that’s what he thought before he ended up dead. That happens to us in real life as well. People that are opportunist will look for that moment you are weak, down, not aware of deceit, and they strike. Striking with only themselves in mind. There is no thought to your well being or those around you. How do you protect yourself from that? Because staying vigilant all they time isn’t possible. I don’t really know the answer to that question. I would like to assume positive intent until I know that to be untrue. When I start seeing certain tendencies popping up in the other person, then my connect the dots behavior goes into overdrive. I don’t believe in coincidence. There is a purpose or design for everything. It’s possible that due to my life experiences I just happen to be on the lookout for it.

We all have experiences that can overshadow our lives, but it’s how we react to those situations as they arise that determine whether or not we overcome them. It’s okay to be disappointed, let down and know you’ve been lied to but we have the ability to decide if we are going to be the victim. Or stand up and say where did I have some accountability, where can I take some ownership of what happened, what blinders do I need to rip off so that I can be more successful as I continue in my life.

Life isn’t easy or perfect but we can find joy even in the hardship. It’s all about our perspective. Are you facing the future or trying to linger in the past?

-G.

*Photo credit: https://www.wired.com/2016/04/hacker-lexicon-white-hat-gray-hat-black-hat-hackers/

Purge…Purge…

Purge…Purge…

This isn’t a blog about throwing up or killing folks…I’m sure a few of you went there. It’s about purging people or situations we get ourselves into out of our lives. I’ve purged a few times. It’s sad when you come to that point in a friendship or a relationship, where you know this is what is best and it’s going to hurt doing it. Of course there are those times when purging is quite refreshing and you find the change frees you from a weight you didn’t even know was holding you down. I’ve experienced both types and maybe a few things in between.

Purging personal relationships…ugh those are a beast on your emotions. Sometimes I feel I have a sign that’s inviting narcissistic assholes into my life…they are like a moth to a flame on a positive person. Probably because they are miserable to their soul and want to siphon off your positive energy…purge that vampire! I’ve known women that are the same way…I’ll offend equally here.

Let’s talk friendships. I had a friend that I absolutely loved and we did everything together, but there came a point when her choices conflicted with my values. I’m good with kicking back and having a drink or two but drugs…peace out sister. She didn’t want to give those up so I gave our friendship the boot. I still wonder how’s she doing every now and then, but I don’t regret my decision. Might seem harsh to some but there are things I’m cut and dried about in life. I’m not going to wallow in the same pit because it comes down to an individual making a personal decision to drag themselves out. You have to do it for yourself any way you can but no one can make you do it. I couldn’t make her, and I wasn’t going to remain in the pit because she might need an enabler. I’m all about making my way and standing on my own two feet….if you had the thought she might need help refer to ‘you have to drag yourself out any way you can’. Maybe that’s rehab, God, jail, a program…but it’s a personal decision that nobody can make for an addict. It’s possible you’ve had a different experience this is mine.

“When we throw out the physical clutter we clear our minds. When we throw out the mental clutter we clear our souls.” -Gail Blanke

Alright I was on my soapbox so back to more purging….any hoarders…purge what you don’t use or haven’t used in eons. I’m not talking about the family treasures, but gobs of things that creep in and pile up. Do you have a catch all kitchen table or a chair? What about a whole room that catches all the stuff? I try to recycle like a champ; donate every year at least once but normally multiple times to a local charity…clothing, etc.; compost…I might have a healthy squirrel population because of that habit. I have the circle of life going on in the backyard. I compost, squirrels chow down, and the hawks prey on the squirrels…ummm not a circle but a pyramid, I think, cause I’m not eating the hawk.

Maybe you’re good with the clutter and purging isn’t necessary. Honestly it’s a personal decision to purge physically and  mentally. Just think you could commence with the annual purge in your life!

-G.