Lemons

Life doesn’t ever give you lemons. Life gives you what you deserve. Life gives you what you created. It gives you either chaos or happiness. It gives you sadness and uncontrolled behavior. If you don’t have control of yourself within your life, your life will never be happy, it will never be good, it will always be out of control.

You’ll find yourself always upset. You’ll find yourself looking at others with anger. You’ll find yourself demonizing others when in fact it’s your life that has been out of control for so long.

Instead of demonizing others and looking down on others and blaming others for what is going on in your life and how you feel, you need to look in the mirror. You need to make a list and determine what it is that you’ve done in your life to create this chaotic uncontrolled life that you’re living.

What can you do right now to make a change in your life? To make today better. What is one thing that will change what is going on in your life?

Do you need new friends? Do you need to stop doing drugs? Do you need to clean up what’s going on in your life by getting rid of some people, some things, a job? Sometimes we fill our lives with people who we think are our friends. In reality those people are just markers in your life. They just mark a time, a place, a season. They mark when everything was not as cohesive in your life as you would have liked it to be. 

When you have friends in your life who pretend to be friends. Who don’t really want to be there for you, but say they’ll be there for you, that can cause a lot of strife. It can cause a lot of depression. It can cause a lot of anxiety, because when you need someone to be there and you don’t have anybody who will be there it can cause thoughts that you really shouldn’t be thinking.

So think about what it is that’s in your life that’s causing you to have chaos. Write down what’s causing the chaos. Whether it be people, relationships, stuff that you have in your house, a job that makes you feel belittled or it could be a number of other things. Then decide what you can get rid of. Decide what it is that causes the worst chaos, the worst feelings, the feelings that make you feel like you need to make lemonade out of lemons.

Remember when you say, if life gives you lemons make lemonade, you grew those lemons yourself. And by making lemonade you’re going to dissolve some of the things that are in your life.

Life can be happy. Life can be fun, it can be filled with great people who love you, it can be filled with wonderful things that create a sense of calm. So take a moment and figure out what makes you happy. Figure out what makes you sad and get rid of those things.

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What If

What if? There are too many what if’s in life. Imagine if you took those giant leaps forward. Imagine what could have been. 

What if I finished that book. What if I went to law school. What if I moved across the world.

Why do we stop ourselves from those big endeavors? Is it because we follow as opposed to lead? It would make sense, leaders are more successful. Leaders are more outgoing. Leaders speak up when they believe in something. Followers do just that, they follow. They adhere to what society believes is the right way. 

What if the right way was your way. What if we were all individuals in our own right. 

Be brave, be fearless, be you! Take chances, do something you always wanted to do. If you never try, it will always be a “what if”. 

Blaze your path! 

Writing, when writing seems impossible.

I’ve been writing for many years, never to finish a book. My one dream is to finish a book and yet I continue to write, but never finish. Why? I have every excuse in the book. I am busy. My house is dirty. The kids need me to cook dinner. The laundry needs to be done. I have cancer. I am sick. I don’t feel good. I am anxious. Yet my mind tells me to write. To write what I feel, what I see. Write the crazy chaos that is encapsulated in my brain.

There are stories in my mind that continue on and on. I write and write only to set it aside and not continue on that story for months or even years. I started a book this year. It was going fantastic, then July 27th rolled around. Chaos ensued and I didn’t open it back up until 5 days ago, when I realized that July 27th was the day depression, anxiety and chaos entered my life once again. I also realized that writing during these times would be the best times to write. When my mind is spinning is when the stories become real for me. Putting my emotions on paper is what I love, but when my emotions become too much I don’t do it. Why?

I don’t know why, but I do know that I need to get into the groove and stop waiting for peace and harmony to write, because it never happens long enough for me to gather my thoughts. Peace and harmony rarely enter into my life and I need to be ok with that. I need to use the chaos to create a wonderfully, crazy, insane book. Even if no one loves  it or reads it, I know that I put my most wild emotions into the story and I know that one day, at least one person will read it and ask themselves, “What in the world was this woman going through? I need more.”

Culture of A Workplace

It’s been a while since I have blogged. The last few months have been rough. It would seem when one thing happens there is a snowball effect.

In the last 6 weeks, we had a family “emergency”. One which required my husband and I to make a critical decision.

After downsizing last year into a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house we have now taken in my 2 nieces and nephew ages 15, 13 and 11. They are currently living in my front room, “family room”.  We aren’t sure where this is going or how long this will be our situation, but for the time being we are dealing with it.

Throughout the last month I have really learned what it is to be a Real Estate agent at Keller Williams. I have never worked for a company that does so much for their people. I have never had so many people reach out to help me in a time of distress. In fact there is a stark contrast between my last place of employment and Keller Williams.

The culture at Keller Williams is unbelievable. They are there to help the community, their agents and families. They never stop giving. The last few months have changed my vision on what mankind is truly able to give.

I have had a rough year mentally and emotionally, I have considered suicide in the worst moments, but the kindness from those I have surrounded myself with has created a place within me that is filled with gratitude and hope.

My husband and I have been married 27 years and we have had some rough moments in the last month, but it is not within me to let the stress kill the love that we have created. We will persevere with the support from those who have come into our lives, we will make it through. We have always felt alone, never had a real support circle of people who were there to help. This new career adventure I chose last year was the best career decision I have made and although it is slow to get started, it is perhaps exactly where I needed to be at this time in my life.

Mike also changed jobs last year and that too was the best decision he could have made. We have been lucky enough to have John Schutt create new plans to add onto our home if we need to in order to accommodate the kids. And John Baker for being there for Mike when he needs a friend.

I want to thank the Culture Committee at Keller Williams Southland for their help. I truly am forever grateful to all of you for thinking about my family during this time. Also Heartland Partners in Caring, I cannot express the gratitude that I felt when I received the HPIC hug to help with the kids. There are a lot of people in my office that stepped up to help with items the kids needed. The kids came to us with nothing and now they have clothes, beds, shoes, backpacks, school supplies and so much more.  There are many people I want to name in this blog and say thank you too. Linda, Scott, Patrick, Barbara, Angie, Elzeen, Tammy, Beth, Wendi, Lonnie, Amber, Alex, Chris, Ryan, Stephanie, Kris, Bill, Debbie, John Baker, John Schutt, and I am positive I have forgot a few names. I am so thankful for all you have done for us. I can’t say it enough, the support we have felt is overwhelming, in a good way, and we will always be appreciative of every single one of you.

The road is long and it is winding, but we will continue to follow it until the next fork in the road.

I have to admit I forgot one of the most important people that has been there for me during the last couple of years. How I forgot her I can’t explain, perhaps because I think of her as a family member. Or because she is always there at the drop of a dime and those are the ones that when giving appreciation are occasionally forgotten and not because I don’t appreciate everything she has done, but because like a precious family heirloom, you forget how precious it is until something happens to it. Jenn I can’t express how lucky I am to have you in my life. I thank you for everything you have done, for being there when I am sad, depressed, happy, and stressed. Truly you are one of my most loved friends. I’m sorry I forgot you in my original blog.

Realtor vs. Social Worker

I am a realtor who in the past did social work. I recently helped my best friend purchase a home. She will be moving cross country. The positive, she will be close to me. The negative, the move and selling her home.

Moving is no fun. No one likes to move. Packing all that crap you have gathered during the years. No one wants to pack all that crap. So what do you do with the crap? Do you donate it?  Do you keep it? Do you give it to your kids? Anxiety about all your crap keeping you up at night! What the hell! Should we rent a truck? Should we have movers? Should we get a POD? What the hell is a POD and how big is a POD? I think of a POD and I think of some alien movie and PODS are what baby aliens are born from.

Also, when you sell the house you are moving from and the buyers agent wants to come over with the buyers every day to see their new house! Why? They’re going to own the mother f******* thing in 30 days! I personally think a KEEP OUT unless you are an appraiser or inspector, sign should be hung on the front door as soon as you sign the contract. Just say, NO! No you can’t show your mother in law your new bedroom. Or bring the kids over to play in the new yard. Why? Because we are not cleared to close! It isn’t your home yet!

If you have ever sold a home you know the chaos that is involved. There are papers to be signed. There are inspections, appraisals, showings, open houses, repairs, contingencies, escrow, insurance and a multitude of other things that need to be completed.

I am a realtor in Missouri. Let me say that we seem to have a really good grasp on keeping things on the up and up and making sure our clients are well taken care of. We do not leave it up to the seller to make the showing appointments. We don’t harass the seller once our buyer has an accepted agreement.  Making sure the seller and the buyer are happy with the end result is the most important part of the process.

So when my friend asked me to help her find a home out here in Missouri I was so excited! Not only was I going to be able to show her the hospitality of the Midwest, she was going to be closer to me. In this process I referred her to a realtor in California to sell her home. I had assumed that we all worked the same way. We all wanted the best for our clients. Well, let me just say, it is cut throat in California, realtors playing buyers against each other, buying agents calling the sellers to harass them until they feel so crazy they just give in. Buying agents have no reason to call the seller of the home, that’s what the listing agent is for! The seller pays the listing agent for a reason. All of this makes me happy to be an agent in Missouri. So far I haven’t run in to any of this type of nonsense.

I feel sad for my friend. She is living in hell right now. The buying agent has no respect of others time, space or emotions. It’s a total mess, but I can say that it will end. She will be here in Missouri and I will be certain that the buying process here is much less stressful and they won’t have to worry about anyone harassing them on the phone or making them feel guilty. This is how I treat all of my clients. Giving my best to them means that they will remember the great treatment they get and if they need help in the future with real estate they won’t hesitate to call me.

Buying and selling a home is emotional. People are attached to their home, a place where you raised your babies and made memories with your extended family. This is why real estate agents should have empathy yet be able to differentiate what is necessary to get the job done.

For all you overbearing, rude, mean, unthoughtful Realtors out there, remember these are people not transactions. They feel, they need and they appreciate. Give what is good for them and you’ll get it in return.

As you can see, I am a combination of Realtor/Social Worker. I want the process to be smooth and not overly stressful for my clients. I feel, I see and I know what they need.

Moving sucks, but the end result will be worth it.  Breathe in slowly and out slowly and feel the anxiety leave your body, oh and remember crap is just crap, let it go ūüôā

 

It’s My Birthday

It’s my birthday.¬† A day which I have decided isn’t as important to me as it is to others around me. I appreciate the well wishes and smiles. I like the idea of comradery and wine drinking. But what is a birthday really about?

It’s the day your mom births you. A day where she endured the most physical pain she will ever endure, followed by the most emotional happiness she will ever feel. It’s the day when people gather round a little baby, happy for the new mom and dad’s upcoming adventure.

Every day after your birth, your mom and dad teach you right from wrong, they love you though the skinned knee’s, take care of you when you are sick. You mom buys you new pajamas when you have your appendix out, then your gallbladder, then your uterus. She is there for you when you get married and have your own babies.

On this day, I miss that woman, the one who called me at 10:26 AM every year to wish me happy birthday. The woman who kissed me every time I left the house even as an adult.

Really this is her day, because without her I wouldn’t be who I am today. Happy Birth Day Mom! I miss you!

On your birthday remember to wish your mom a Happy Birth Day and thank her!

 

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Friends

Friends. We all have them. Some are funny. Some are serious. Some think they know it all. Some think they know nothing.

Have you ever kept in your feelings when you talk with your friends? You try to avoid any type of confrontation with friends?¬† I personally don’t like confrontation. I also don’t want to lose friends. Is it¬†necessary for me to keep it inside to avoid making a friend mad? Do you ever feel like you’re the friend on the outside of the circle?

I’ve never had a lot of friends. As a child growing up I had 3 or 4 close friends. And as an adult, of those 3 or 4 friends, I’m still close¬†friends with 2 of those people.¬† When I was younger, kids didn’t want to be my friend because of my name. Kids are great for making fun of their peers for whatever reason they choose. My name is Gay, so you can imagine the things kids were saying in the late 70’s early 80’s. In high school I went by my middle name Lynn and life was a bit easier. After high school I went back to Gay Lynn and now I go by Gay once again. I was bullied my entire childhood, because of my name.

As an adult, I still hold those feelings that people are not honest and like to talk behind others backs, but while standing in front of that person they act as if they are their best buddy. It’s hard for me to speak my mind to my friends in regard to differences. Now don’t get me wrong I will speak my mind to my employer or my server at a restaurant, but for some reason I don’t want to make my friends angry with me. So I hold it in. I pull away. I stay quiet. I don’t mention when my feelings are hurt by something they have said or done. I have learned to ignore my own feelings.

Today I woke up feeling sad about my friendships.¬†I looked in the mirror and thought, “You’re better than that. You deserve to have friends who treat you equal.¬† Who make you part of the crowd, instead of making you feel like an outcast.”

What is a friend? Someone who calls you when your down. Someone who checks on you when your suicidal. Someone who brings you groceries when you are in the middle of cancer treatment. A friend makes you meals when your so sick from chemo¬†you can’t get off the couch. Someone who laughs with you till you pee your pants. A friend is someone who knows what you like and what you dislike. A friend¬†knows what type of wine you like.¬†A friend pulls you up. A friend doesn’t make fun of you for being a pig parent or a vegetarian. A friend remembers your birthday. A friend listens.

As my life goes on I am realizing that great friends are hard to come by. I miss some of my friends from California. I miss talking with them, drinking wine with them and laughing with them.

Remember¬†in order to have great friends you need to be a great friend. This is something I’m always working on. Being a great friend does mean being honest with your friends, which I suppose means telling them your feelings instead of holding back.

If you feel like an outcast in your circle of friends, perhaps they are not the right friends. When you find good friends, keep them close. Friends come and friends go and you learn something from each and every friendship. Learn from those lessons. Tell your friends you love them, keep them close and be a great friend.

Self-Love

Have you ever wondered what will make you at peace and happy? Have you tried to do anything and everything to create happiness in your life? Me too.

Finding happiness is more about being true to yourself, as opposed to finding what makes you happy. If you are like me you have changed your goals, your motives, your dreams and your career to try and find happiness and calm. I’ve discovered this is not the best way to find happiness.

In my quest for happiness I have found anxiety, sadness, depression, confusion and so many other feelings that I can’t list them all. In all of these feelings there was one common theme that I found and that is, “the harder I looked, the more deceived I became.”

I was deceived as to who I am. WHO AM I?! Yes, I was deceived as to what I thought made me happy. I thought helping people made me happy. I thought adopting animals made me happy. I thought raising kids made me happy. So many things that I thought made me happy, a clean house, clean laundry, mowed yard, you name it I thought, “oh if I do that I’ll be happy.”

NO. Those things make me who I am, compassionate, kind, loving, tidy and anxious. Yes, if those things that make me me don’t get accomplished then I am anxious. So I fight to get them done and in the process become stressed.

Those are just regular things in life. They are not¬†the things that¬†make me happy. Life long happy is what I am talking about. I have been searching for who I am. I haven’t found her yet. I have found some things that I now believe help a person become one with themselves. Become happy. Become calm.

First, never work at a job that makes you sad, depressed, angry, or anxious. It isn’t worth your happiness to stay someplace you are not treated fairly, you are talked down upon, a place where you feel, “if only they would listen, then I could make a difference.” If you go home every night and cry, vent, and¬†drink a bottle of wine then it isn’t worth it.¬†Your mental and physical health should not be put on the line for a job. Yes, I am saying quit that job! If it takes a toll, say bye Felicia. There are other jobs out there and you deserve to feel¬†appreciated¬†in your job.

Second, if people tell you that you are good at something, believe them. Do what you are good at. It’s hard for me to believe I am good at anything, but I love to write and talk to people. I would love to be a motivational speaker. If someone gives you a chance to be who you want to be then try it, do it and be proud that people think you are good at it!

Third, always dig deep. By this I mean, look deep inside of you and determine what has built you up. What in your life has made you strong? What in your life has made you laugh? What makes you wake up everyday? Don’t forget to look at and see what has torn you down. That also helped you become you, but don’t let it tear you down again. Every time you are torn down by something, when you build yourself back up you are stronger than the last time. But never let the same thing tear you down twice!

And finally, be true to your feelings. Those feelings of sadness mean something. You don’t feel sad for no reason. You are sad because something isn’t right. You are laughing and happy because something is right. It seems easy right? I know, it isn’t easy, but there are some things you can do to be true to you. You have morals, you have feelings and you are you. Be you, don’t let society drive you in a direction you don’t necessarily want to go. Be the gardenia in all of the roses. Be the one and only you, the man or woman you have grown to be. Feel it, live it, and love you!

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Empathy

Many days I say that I don’t like people. People don’t care, people are self centered, people are rude, yet I find myself being overly empathic. What is empathy? It is basically the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is when you see someone crying and you yourself begin to cry. You are not crying for yourself, you are crying for that person. As much as I like to say people drive me crazy, I can’t help but feel empathy when they are in pain, hurt, sad, depressed and even happy.

Empathy has driven my career choices. I have done social work with people who are mentally ill, people who have disabilities, and people who have dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness. I worked as a disability analyst for Social Security Disability. This job was difficult, because when you work on a case where a woman has breast cancer, but you have to deny her because she “should” be better within the 12 month time frame, it’s heartbreaking. Writing that denial letter was probably one of the hardest things I had to do in this job. This job drained me, just as the job where I worked with people with mental illness and people with disabilities drove me to depression and suicidal thoughts.

I feel as if these jobs drained me because I am overly empathetic or an empath as people call it and I want to help everyone. I want to see them do well. I don’t want to see them suffer. Even though I myself suffered during these positions, due to my hyper stimulation of these feelings.

‚ÄúEmpaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they‚Äôre there for you, world-class nurturers.‚ÄĚ  Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life

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When I am in a calm, quiet, situation this is my ideal place. I also feel overtly negative when antagonistic situations are happening. I have become suicidal due to a job I recently had, because of the negative “vibes” in the work place. I loved working with my consumers, I hated the way management thought of our consumers and treated their employees. They didn’t want to help our consumers with disabilities, consumers with very low income, they only saw the bottom line. As a non profit agency this was very difficult for me. I had to go out on disability. I believe that my overly sensitive self couldn’t handle how others were being treated. I couldn’t watch it anymore. It caused anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations.

I have always been the person who people come to when they are having difficult times. I have always been an active listener. I feel the mood. I can tell immediately when someone is down, sad or hurt. I always say my heart hurts for them and I really mean it. I enjoy being the person who people trust enough to share their hurt and pain, happiness and secrets. It can however become very stressful and overwhelming to me, because I don’t want my friends to hurt and I feel their hurt. I cry for them at night.

I try to not care so much, I always say, “I just don’t care anymore.” but I am the one who cries when a squirrel is dead on the road. I brake for anything when driving, my son laughs at me, but it is true. I don’t want to see humans or animals hurt in anyway. And no, I do not eat meat. I am the one who feels and see’s from the other perspective. It is not always good. People tell me not to be so sensitive, as if I can stop being sensitive. It isn’t possible. It’s the same when people tell me to stop being so anxious, just do what makes you anxious and you’ll get over it. It just doesn’t work that way. This is how I am wired.

I have intuition that seems to be spot on 99% of the time. It is a little scary. I have been right with nearly every one of my kids boyfriends or girlfriends. My kids can’t lie to me. I can feel the tension when my husband has had a bad day. I know when I need to call someone or text someone because they may be feeling down.

I don’t watch the news. I recently deleted and unfollowed all the news channels on Facebook. It makes me overly sad. It hurts me to know that there is nothing I can do to help our communities become safer, happier communities.  If I don’t watch it, I don’t feel it, right? No not true. I still feel the hurt and pain of those in our communities who are hungry, who have lost a loved one to the violence in our streets. But not watching the news does decrease the anxiety that comes with those feelings.

I see with others eyes. If this is difficult to understand for some of you, then you aren’t an empath. You don’t feel from the other perspective. I sometimes think if people did feel from others perspective, then there may not be so much violence and hate in our world.

Being overly empathetic means I need space to rejuvenate myself. I need quiet to calm my mind. I need to be alone to revitalize myself. It’s hard for people to understand. My mind becomes tired. It is always feeling, always thinking and it needs a break. I become fatigued.

Being overly empathetic can also be great personal attribute. I feel intensely. I genuinely care. I love to laugh and feel good. Calm is wonderful.

Please remember if I seem distant, it’s because I need to rejuvenate. I need to clear my mind and find balance in my life.

 

Whining For Wine

The grocery store, the freeway, Ikea, and the likes of any of these places cause anxiety. I can be feeling fairly well before I head to the grocery store, but then I get in my car and there are immediate issues with people driving. Seriously there shouldn’t even be a speed limit, because no one follows this law. I just need to get to the grocery store to get a bottle of wine and I can’t even do this without people making me anxious and angry.

In the grocery store I’m already feeling heightened anxiety and I’m angry from the drivers on the road and in the parking lot! I know exactly where I need to go, but it’s 1:00 PM and every senior citizen in the county is doing their grocery shopping. As I zig-zag though the crowd of seniors a grocery store employee pulls in front of me with a hand cart full of eggs! Why? I just need to get to the wine and then the cheese and then the crackers. I personally believe that all three of these items should be on the same aisle and perhaps include grapes.

Finally I arrive in the wine section. It’s a pretty¬†big section¬†at my grocery store. I appreciate Hyvee for having such a wide array of choices for me to choose from. They know how to stock their wine section. From Moscato to Merlot, they have it all plus some. I usually go for a nice semi sweet wine, perhaps Riesling or Pinot Grigio, but some days I just go for what ever is 14% or higher alcohol. Depends on my level of anxiety, I just need to lower my inhibitions at this point.

I head over to the cheese, because everyone knows you need to have something to eat with your wine and you don’t want a huge meal, so cheese it is! Again with the seniors pushing their cart slowly, stopping to chat with their neighbor who they just saw¬†an hour¬†ago and had coffee with this¬†morning.¬† Finally¬†I get to the cheese aisle and yes¬†there he is, the hand cart guy with the eggs. Why do they have to stock in the middle of the day? They are open 24 hours a day! I just need cheese!¬†I feel tears welling in my eyes, I’m overwhelmed and just grab the cheese without looking and go.

I decide I am not going to brave the cracker aisle, I just can’t handle it at this point. I still have to pay.¬† I make it up front, I give the woman checker my wine and cheese to ring up and she asks if I want plastic, “No thank you I would like paper please.” So she puts my wine and cheese in a paper wine bag. So I look like a wino on the corner with a bottle in a bag walking out of the store.

Finally on my way home. I just can’t wait to get home. I feel like I should never leave the house. I hit every red light. And then it happens, lightning, rain, hail. As much as I want to open that bottle of wine right now, I don’t have a cork screw! No really I wouldn’t do that, but if I was stuck on the road due to inclement weather it may be necessary. A panic attack is starting to show it’s nasty self and I have to pull over.¬† I try box breathing, I roll the windows down in the crazy down pouring rain and I finally have to take an Ativan. After about 15 minutes the panic attack has calmed I feel well enough to drive home.

This trip was pointless! I had to take the Ativan, which you can’t take with wine, so now I can’t drink my wine! The life in which anxiety and panic rule. I think the answer to this is a wine delivery service in my geographic area.

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