Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Your Goals Should Be Aligned with One Another

"The four tires of your car have to be properly aligned; otherwise the left tires will be pointed in a different direction from the right tires and the car work. Goals are just like that. They all must be pointed in the same direction. If your goals conflict with one another, your life may not work."
From: 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, by David Niven, Ph. D

Whew. This is a hard one. Goals? Have a bajilion. And getting them to align? huh! Good luck!
My life goals are so broad. I guess I need to start there. Break them down to manageable goals that will lead me to the main goal.
BIG GOAL: Buy a house
small goals to get there: do everything I can to help Greg get through school and get a good job, save save save save, be a frugal shopper, save save save save.

I think all of those align pretty well - and will eventually lead to the BIG GOAL.

Lots and lots of work to do with this.

I hope everyone is enjoying the spring so far!

Much love,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You Don't Have to Win Every Time

O.K. so this everyday thing of writing my blog is not working so well. I am going to try to get back on the wagon here...

The third topic for my quest for happiness is:
"You Don't Have to Win Every Time" from the book 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, by David Niven, Ph.D.
"Ultra competitive people, who always need to win, end up enjoying things less. If they lose they are very disappointed, and if they win it's what they expected would happen anyway".

This one I think is easier to notice in other people than in myself. I often criticize people for
being a 'psycho' or 'a little too into it' if they are extremely competitive. I work with one such person, and he sometimes drives me crazy. For those of you who work with me, you know who I am talking about! :0)
The truth is, I am the same way - when I really care about what I am competing in and its not always sporting events either.
During high school, I was used to getting As in everything. I graduated Suma Cum Laud with a 3.98 GPA. I really liked school and was good at it. Well, I was definitely handed a curve ball in college! I started to get Bs and Cs and developed severe anxiety because of it. I went into college wanting to be a pediatrician. I chose biology as my major and soon found that about 80% of all bio majors wanted to go to med, dental or pharmacy school. I changed my focus to
pharmacy and then started to take notice of all the other pre-pharm students in my classes - and immediately created this competitive air around us. This hurt me me far more than it helped. I had a hard time finding people to study with when I needed help. I started really
struggling with school, my anxiety got worse, which made it hard for me to focus on school - a vicious cycle. It was after my junior year that I realized that I didn't have to be the best all the time. Getting an occasional B or C wasn't going to kill me - but by that point my GPA was too far gone to bring it up to a satisfactory level for Pharmacy school, or really any professional or graduate school in the health career field. Its something that I regret almost every day. I now know that if I wouldn't have felt the need to WIN every time I probably would have been more relaxed, learned more and been a much happier (and smarter) student in general. Its a tough lesson to learn, especially in a country like ours that puts so much emphasis on being the best
all the time. Well, I would like to change that to be YOUR best all the time. Be the BEST
person you can be - and win or loose (or good grade or average) you will know that you did your best!

Now for a picture of something that makes me very happy! These are my grandma's buns. Yep, I have a slight obsession with these. She makes them homemade and I have never had any bun that could even come close the deliciousness of these buns! I LOVE THEM. Sorry if it causes you to salivate a bit :0)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Use A Strategy For Happiness

Hello All,

Continuing on the journey to happiness:

From 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, by David Niven, Ph. D

Simple Secret Number Two: Use A Strategy For Happiness

We assume that happy and unhappy people are born that way. But both kinds of people do things that create and reinforce their moods. Happy people let themselves be happy. Unhappy people continue doing things that upset them.

This one is a problem of mine. There are so so so may good things in my life. I have a wonderful family, and loving husband great friends - and instead of focusing on those things, the good things I dwell on arguments, hurtful words spoken or stressful situations. They just keep replaying in my mind, and consume my thoughts and I fester. Fester and Rot Rot Rot Rot (can you name what movie that is from?)

For example: Recently it seems that the department I work in has become a baby factory. I seriously felt at one time that everyone I have a connection with in the office was expecting a baby. I truly am so happy for all of them. But, instead of letting that happiness shine through, I focused on the fact that I am not having a baby. I would not totally oppose the idea, actaully Greg and I have talked quite a bit about it. Alas, the time is just not right for Greg and I and we know that - but its just hard for me when I am constantly reminded of this at the place I spend the majority of my day. But in all seriousness, I really am thrilled for those I work with. A baby is such a blessing and a miracle.
Its sad that I have become a person who immediately jumps to the negative, instead of looking for the good. All of these negative things are just moments in a lifetime where the good far out weighs the bad. Here I am continuing in my personal growth to happiness, and it feels good! I hope all of you can apply this secret in your lives.

I am going to once again leave you with a picture of something that makes me happy. I hope you enjoy it :0)

Puppies have to be one of the cutest things on earth - and this one is particularily close to my heart. Love

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy 2010

Happy 2010 Everyone!
I don't mean this just as a greeting and a warm wish to you all for this new year - but as a challenge. 2009 was a particularly hard year for me as you all are probably aware, but we don't need to get into the details. One of the effects of that cumbersome and what seemed like the longest year of the world is that I find it harder and harder to find the joy in things. My motto in life is "Choose Joy". I fell in love with this saying on a mission trip I took like oh, i don't know...13 years ago? I have it as the wake up screen on my phone, I have it written on the inside of my journal and most of my personal belongings. So now, how sad is it that I haven't even been following my own life's motto? Time for a change! - and what a better time to do it that than the start of a new year?
I received a book a couple months back for my birthday called 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, by David Niven, Ph.D. I decided I should probably read it and put what the scientists have learned to good use. Its once again time to CHOOSE JOY!
Each day I am going to post one of the one-hundred topics in the book and discuss how I can apply it to my life. I urge you, the readers, to do the same - find how you can apply the secret of the day to your life.
Here we go!
Number One: Your Life Has Purpose and Meaning.
You are not here just to fill space or to be a background character in someone else's movie. Consider this: nothing would be the same if you did not exist. Every place you have ever been and everyone you have ever spoken to would be different without you. We are all connected, and we are all affected by the decisions and even the existence of those around us.

This is a hard topic to apply to life in a concrete sense. But what I do know is that without me my family dynamic would be much different, Greg would probably never have learned to love hunting and fishing quite as much, and my friends at work would be 5 lbs. lighter (;0) Who really knows what else, except for maybe my guardian angel. This topic reminds me of the movie "Its a Wonderful Life". If we could all see what a different world it would be without us in it we would probably appreciate what we have and ourselves for that matter, so much more.
Since I probably won't have one of those movie moments, I will take this 'secret' for its word.

There, I am one step closer to becoming a much happier person and I hope you are too.

I am going to leave you with a picture of one thing that really makes me happy

I hope you all enjoyed the large amount of buffalo plaid flannel in this picture. :0)
'Till next time,


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oh, Mocha....I love you!

On my recent trip to Grand Marais, I was able to stop by my most favorite coffee shop: The Java Moose.
I love this place. They take their time to make each guest the most delicious coffee drink/concoction, and I really appreciate that. Its a far cry from the crazy busy Caribous and Starbucks I am used to in the sky ways of Minneapolis, let me tell you.
I really went for it at the Java Moose and ordered my most favorite coffee drink; the Mocha. As an adolescent and teenager I would get them every year on our family vacation. I had not a care in the world that the whipped cream on top was pretty much my daily allowance of calories, or that I would have to run and /or bike for miles and miles to burn them off. I had no clue, nor did I care. All I cared about was that it was delicious - and it was, every single time. So I ordered one, whipped cream and all. And let me tell you it was heaven. Yum-0, in the purest sense of the word (or phrase).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello, My Name Is: Margaret

I feel that I should re-introduce myself because I haven't updated my blog in such a LONG time. There are quite few updates - so, let me waste no time.
After applying for 36 jobs and hitting dead end after dead end Greg decided to go back to school. He is now a student at the University of St. Thomas in the School of Engineering - going for his Master of Science in Technology Management. Yay! I am so proud of him.
The pros vs. cons list was a little lopsided when we sat down to talk about him going back to school it was an obvious 'yes' decision - he just had to get in to the program. Maybe its just me, but I always thought that getting into grad school was kind of tough and filled with lots of stress and anxiety. The night of my birthday was spent helping Greg perfect his personal statement. The two days later he took his application with the personal statement to the admissions office at St. Thomas - and as soon as he handed the paperwork to the admissions counselor, she asked him "o.k.! do you want to sign up for classes?" Greg was taken aback by that - and so was I. Crazy right!?! Greg was like "wait, so you mean I am in?" She said, "Yep, the paperwork is just a formality". WHAT!?!? That is CRAZY! I can't even tell you how overjoyed I was when Greg called me to tell me the good news. I haven't prayed for something that hard in LONG LONG time. It always feels so good when your prayers are answered.
Next: The adjustment of living with a student again. It has been 4 years since Greg or myself were students - so getting back into the swing of things. The biggest change is that I usually go to bed alone. Greg is kind of a night owl, and likes to just work until he is tired. To be honest, I have no idea how late that is. I am long gone to dreamland by that time.
BUT, just because Greg is a student doesn't mean that we don't have fun anymore. Late in october we were able to take a mini - VERY mini- vacation to Grand Marais. It was loverly. That's right, I said loverly. I love that quaint little town. The drive into it is so beautiful, and I could feel the stress just leave my neck and shoulders...seriously. It has special powers over me. I just love it. I love the harbor and the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. Calming, relaxing and COLD. My favorite part about the entire trip was our dinner at my favorite Grand Marais restaurant, The Angry Trout. It is just this tiny little place that serves some of the best food I have ever eaten. The coolest thing about it is that its all local and/or organic. All the meat and dairy products served or used in the cooking is free range and or organically grown. They get most of their produce from local farmers in the summer time. And they get all of their fish from the neighboring fisherman/smokehouse. Also, after you devour your delicious meal - if there is any left and you want to take it with you, it will either be wrapped in paper, or given to you in a reusable container (that is to be returned at a later date). I love it. I love the whole idea of the restaurant. Even the tables and chairs were made by local craftsmen. So cool.

Other than that, here is a super quick rundown of stuff that has happened since I last posted in July.
My baby sister started her Freshman year at Minot State
I turned 26 years old
Greg applied to and was accepted into St. Thomas
We went to the cabin - kind of a lot
We went to the State Fair (2x)
We went to the VERY last Twins game at the home (and had to watch them lose to the Yankees, boo!)
We went to Grand Marais
Found out that Meredith (my older sister) is FOR SURELY coming home from Korea for Christmas!
My parents' sweet black lab, Tubby, turned 2 on Halloween.

In a nutshell that is it. I hope you all had a fun-filled Halloween - and continue to enjoy the fall. Hopefully by next post is sooner than 3 months from now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whoa Baby! Its been a while....

So it has been a few days (or months) since I have blogged about anything. Some things have changed, but most things have stayed the same. To bring you all up to speed, I am going to samich the not-so-good things between some of the best things that have happend these past 'few' days.
~ Summer finally arrived, even though it is still a bit chilly every couple of days - it is here, and I am lovin' it (thanks McDonalds for the catch phrase)
~ Greg and I were able to spend 10 days, that's right, 10 DAYS at the cabin - and it was wonderful. I loved waking up, making my coffee and taking that and my book to the dock (along with my husband) and sitting there. SOaking in the rays, caffeine-ating and reading all about the wonderful wold of wizardry and witchcraft at Hogwarts was awesome!
~ Sadly, Greg is still unemployed. He looks everyday. He applies to at least 3 new places a week... and still nothing. He also is looking at going back to school - but for what? is the real question.
~ Whilst at the cabin, a few of our good friends joined us for the last weekend we were up there. We all ran the Race for the Cure in Baxter, MN - as the team: Ga Ga for Ta Tas. It was fabulous. My first 5K ever was pretty good. I am not going to say what my time was - but just that I was glad to finish and that my team raised $500! Woot! Woot!
~ My dad bought Greg a boat. Yup. We don't own a home - so why not own a boat?!? Good questions. Actually, its kind of a cool boat, and I am excited for when it is all finished. Its a 1954 Wagemaker. An old wooden boat that needs a bit of TLC. Well, what better time to work on re-finishing a boat then when one is unemployed. *Thanks dad for keeping my husband busy!
~ Most recently, my baby sister, Michaeala, turned 19. Ugh, that makes me feel really old. She came to stay with me last weekend for a girls night out Saturday. Kendra, Vanja, Rudy and I went to Salut to celebrate her big birthday. It was so fun, and the food was delish!

So, not much happened and yet we have been so busy - ALL THE TIME. I am sad that the summer is already more that half over. I am trying my hardest to really enjoy the every moment of the summer. There are so many reasons why summer in Minnesota is wonderful, but it goes so fast I hardly ever get to experience them all. I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer - and enjoying it to it's full potential! :0)