Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bits about me...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30
2. Diamonds or pearls? I really like both, but I'll go with Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Um... I don't really remember. How about Juno
4. What is your favorite TV show? America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, Grey's Anatomy, Jeopardy, Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Hills, Run's House, Law and Order, Extreme Home Makeover. If there wasn't such thing as TV, I have no idea what I would do with my life.
5. What do you eat for breakfast? Oatmeal, every day.
6. What is your middle name? Elizabeth
7. What food do you dislike? I don't like mushrooms, tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, cheesecake, milk, yogurt, spinach, seafood, and a few more things. I'm a pretty picky eater.
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? I don't really have any CD's, but I love Celine Dion's Christmas album.
9. What kind of car do you drive? Camry
10. Favorite sandwich? Chicken Salad
11. What characteristic do you despise? Smelly
12. Favorite item of clothing? Jeans that I would pay to wear to work, but can't
13. Favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring or Swarovski earrings
14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Egypt and Greece
16. Favorite brand of clothing? Banana Republic
17. Where would you retire? Somewhere warm
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I've had many great birthdays full of fun and surprises
19. Favorite sport to watch? I like basketball and football, occasionally golf.
20. Furthest Place you are sending this? Someone in a foreign land who finds my blog relatively interesting.
21. Who do you least expect to do this test? Anyone who doesn't want to
22. Person you expect to do it first? No one, actually
23. Favorite saying? Good night.
24. When is your birthday? December
25. Are you a morning person or a night person? Neither, I like to wake up around 8 and go to bed around 10.
26. What is your shoe size? 8.5
27. Pets? No, thank you!
28. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? My parents are moving to Chile.
29. What did you want to be when you were younger? Business woman and Mom What are you today? Business woman
31. What is your favorite candy? Jordan Almonds, but any candy really.
32. What is your favorite flower? White roses
33. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? This week? Friday.
33. What is your full name? Secret
34. What are you listening to right now? My neighbor at work talking on the phone
35. What was the last thing you ate? Hamburger
36. Do you wish on stars? Nope
37. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red or Black
38. How is the weather right now? COLD
41. Favorite soft drink? Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Coke - depends on the day
42. Favorite restaurant? Parthenon
43. Hair color? Blonde
44. Siblings? 2
45. Favorite day of the year? Christmas!
46. What was your favorite toy as a child? A doll named Lisa.
47. Summer or Winter? Summer - definitely.
48. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
49. Favorite Scripture? Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."
50. Chocolate or Vanilla? Twist

"The Choice"

For those of you interested in learning more about the study on happiness referenced in my last post, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4086092&page=1

As for "The Choice", it's the title of my new book by Nicholas Sparks. This is my first Nicholas Sparks read and I am enjoying it so far. When I think of Nicholas Sparks I think of sappy love stories like the Notebook. Although I enjoyed the movie, it wasn't my favorite. I decided to read "The Choice" because I heard it was good and because I decided that "don't knock it 'til you try it" phrase only works when you do actually try something and so far - I'm not disappointed.

While I was reading last night, one paragraph really stood out to me. It's on page 111 and says, "It always amazes me that once you cut through the clutter, people are pretty much the same. Especially through adolescence and early adulthood. For the most part, people go through the same experiences and think the same things, but somehow no one ever escapes the belief that his experience in unique in every conceivable way." I think this statement because it reminds me of the title of my blog and also because I agree with it. I know I've mentioned this before, but really, this is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I know that we are different because we have different personalities, we respond to situations differently and communicate differently, but when all that is worn down and stripped away - we are relatively the same. Not to assume anything and let me know if you disagree, but I would dare to say that everyone is striving for success in their lives. Whether or not success looks the same to me and you is irrelevant. We are both working towards something we feel is important. It requires hard work and sacrifice. We all have wants and needs. And just like success, my wants and needs look different from yours but they are still wants and needs. We all have goals. If your goal is to make it to the end of the day or to become the President - they are goals. We all have relationships: good and not so good. What else? What else do we all have that makes us the same and do you agree that once all the 'differences are stripped away', we really are the same?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Live like the Danes

Last night, C and I watched an episode of 60 Minutes that we recorded on Sunday. One of their feature stories was about the happiest countries in the world. The number one happiest country in the world is... Denmark; and it has been for the last 30 years. Where did the United States rank? Somewhere in the 20s. So, what makes Denmark the happiest country in the world? A few things actually.

The experts interviewed said that Denmark is happy because people are content and claim to have very little to complain about. They don't have extremely high expectations, so they don't get disappointed very often. It was also pointed out that there isn't a major disparity between classes. Danes like to believe that they are tolerant towards other people regardless of creed or color according to www.studyindenmark.dk. One man in particular says he is happy because people don't judge his choice of career as a garbage man and because he has plenty of time to spend with his family. The article in ABC News says, "Denmark is what is called a "post consumerist" society. People have nice things, but shopping and consuming is not a top priority...In Denmark, you can see trust in action all around you. Vegetable stands run on the honor system, mothers leave babies unattended in strollers outside cafés, and most bicycles are left unlocked."

Compare that to the United States, and people seem to never be content and the difference between classes creates increased competition. But this sense of competition isn't to see who can be the happiest, it's to see who has the most stuff. Of couse, I am a shopper myself, but within reason. And even if C says shopping isn't a hobby - it is to me. But not much is left up to the honor system these days in America, babies are never left alone and if they are - it can be splashed all over the headlines (ie: Britney Spears). So what do we do to live more like the Danes?

A group of Danish students were asked if they preferred the glitz and glamour of America to life in Denmark. One responded that he would rather live in Denmark than become consumed by the American Dream.

I have always had high expectations of myself and get discouraged when I dwell on trying to do better. But after seeing this story and reading more about it, I am going to make a more conscious effort to be content and happy with where I am right now and what I've accomplished.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Wow, thanks so much everyone for your comments on my last post. In this post, I want to talk about secrets. Every body has them - just how many do we have? Listed under 'favorite links' I have a link to a web-site called Post Secret. I look forward to checking it out every Monday. Basically, people send in home made postcards disclosing some secret and they are posted on this web-site every Sunday. Some of the secrets are dark, some are funny. I have noticed though, a lot of the secrets could potentially really hurt someone. Reading this web-site has really made me think about my own 'secrets'. I don't really have any super mysterious or interesting secrets, but I do have secrets. I'll tell you a secret, but you can't tell anyone, okay? Just kidding. Actually, I'll tell you 3 secrets.

1) I have a list of everyone I've ever kissed in my life and when I was younger, I used to rate them on a scale from 1-10. Of course I started writing 10, then 10+, then 10++, so I figure my rating scale was a bit skewed. Now with C in my life, I don't ever have to worry about that again.

2) I love to watch Jeopardy. I am not extremely intelligent and hardly get any answers right, but I really love to watch it. And I am facinated with how quickly those people know answers to questions I sometimes can't even pronounce.

3) When I was in college, I used to buy a lot of those rubbermaid or ziploc disposable storage containers. You're supposed to wash and reuse then again and again, but when I didn't feel like doing the dishes I threw them away.

So I know, my secrets are lame, but they were secrets until now. I'm sure if I thought long enough, I could come up with some more interesting ones. Certainly not as interesting or controversial as some of the ones on Post Secret. I guess no matter how serious or personal the secret is, it can be a secret as long as we allow it to be.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

To Choose, or Not to Choose

My husband and I often have the discussion about whether or not we choose how we feel. My husband, who I will now refer to as C because 'my husband' takes too long to type, feels that we choose how we feel and more specifically we choose when we are offended by someone or something. This discussion usually comes after I have had my feelings hurt or been offended in some way and I am simply expressing those feelings to C. His response, "you choose to feel that way" offers no comfort. I do agree there are some instances in which I can be a little more sensitive than necessary. However, I do not believe that in all cases and at all times - we choose how we feel.

For example, I don't necessarily think we choose who to fall in love with. We can choose who we are attracted to and choose to associate ourselves with people that we share things in common with or that we enjoy the company of, but how do you choose to feel a certain way about someone or something?

I am certainly not the expert on feelings as some of my friends would say I've been 'emotionally constipated' for years. But I do think how we feel is a response to what we know. I don't know why I am more sensitive than other people sometimes or why I get my feelings hurt. But why would I choose that? Being sad or hurt or angry aren't necessarily feelings that I enjoy. I will admit there are times when I say, "That really hurt my feelings" and C responds with sympathy and compassion that helps to numb the wound. But if it's true, that we really do choose how to feel, then how do I change?