One thing I’ve noticed more is how a lot of people can’t stand silence. When there’s an awkward pause in a conversation they are quick to jump in and try to fix it. Sometimes silence can be more useful than words and can convey a deeper message. There’s no reason to talk just because you want to fill in the silence. Sometimes we just have to respect silence instead of trying to always fight it.
So I was checking some of the usual social media sites last night and I kept seeing hundreds of references to Sherman. Both good and bad but mostly bad. Let me be honest, I like football but I’m not a super fan. I think that my lack of cable or ownership of a working television is probably the cause for that. However, I soon became curious about what was going on in football-land. Apparently Sherman had a heated interview and it gained him a LOT of attention. I’m willing to bet that prior to this interview he was someone most people never heard of–let alone cared about. He makes less than half a million per year. Enough said. I took a few minutes to do a quick Google search on Mr. Sherman. Turns out he’s a halfway decent cornerback. He was also a track and field player that included being named an All-American after winning a state title. Additionally, he graduated second in his class from high school and with honors with a degree in Communications from Stanford. Not an easy feat for a student athlete. He’s driven. He’s articulate. He got himself out of a four game suspension in 2012. Now, he’s also known for being mouthy. He’s taunted other players and even told Skip Bayless he was better at life than him. However, after this one less than 30-second interview, people are suddenly disturbed by his behavior. This really isn’t anything new. He believes in his game and in his abilities and he isn’t afraid to say so. How many humble football players are out there? Being in a competitive sport requires you to be passionate to believe that your abilities are superior to that of your opponent. Period. Yes, he might be a little cocky but he’s been that way since he got drafted two years ago. We’ll find out February 2nd just how good him and his team really are. Let the man live.
There are few things that I find more irritating and annoying than the lack of chivalry around me. No, I’m not going to go on a rant about how I’m entitled to be catered to for the sheer reason that I’m a female. I don’t expect that although being catered to would be nice. What I think would be something as small as offering to lend a hand when I’m moving substantial items instead of selectively ignoring me. While I’m perfectly capable of doing this, offering to help–or better yet, actually helping out says more about character than words ever will. I know that the women’s liberation movement has cast a shadow on some of the old practices but hey, I’m actually rather old fashioned in that regard. In the past two years I can probably count the times I’ve had a door opened for me on two hands or less. That’s common courtesy to me but I guess that’s not the case to others. But all that being said, I can’t neglect the fact that I think that chivalry is a two way street. It’s never ok to ignore a nice gesture without a “thank you.” People will continue to practice behaviors that they feel appreciated for. If there’s no gratitude, the likelihood of the behaviors continuing is small. Small gestures of kindness go a long way and tend to come back to you in some form. Chivalry is a great thing–when it is appreciated and I fear we’ve lost that ability. Kudos to the guys that practice it despite negative reactions. Y’all are truly an endangered species.
So I saw this picture and it immediately grabbed my attention. I thought about how many times I had gone out of my way for people who may have been “wrong.” I know of many people who have regretted things they did for people who ended up betraying them in the end. While I firmly believe that there are a lot of people out there who should never ever be trusted, walking about super paranoid and guarded may not be the best plan of action either. Many times we are taught from childhood to put others before ourselves and to share and not be selfish. However, we aren’t taught that discernment and caution should sometimes accompany unselfishness and sharing. Doing the right things for the wrong people can make you miss out on all the right people around you. And honestly, you might actually end up regretting it.
One thing that I’m working on this year is becoming more organized. I function in a state of organized chaos. I say chaos because looking in from the outside, one would never guess that the mess is organized. As someone who enjoys being busy, I am often involved in numerous small projects at once. Being in school adds another additional level of responsibilities as my classes are getting harder and it takes more time to actually complete assignments. While I’m perfectly content “B”-ing my way through the program, I want to start to apply myself more. BUT lately I’ve been doing better at managing time. It’s always nice to know that I’m being somewhat productive and working my way towards some goals that I have. There’s a lot that needs to happen this year according to my five year plan. One of the things that I like when I’m working with clients is when they have a plan as to what they want to do. I also like hanging out with people who know what they want out of life. Someone once said that we are the average of the top five people we spend the most time with. One of the things that I’m studying is how we are influenced by other people. All that being said, it’s good to hang out with organized and ambitious people because characteristics like that tend to rub off. Definitely the plan for this year. Carpe diem!
So according to the wonderful and reliable source called Google, the average cost of an engagement ring today is about 5k. I think somewhere in the big scheme of things, many women have come to the conclusion that somehow the size of the diamond equals the amount of love or commitment to the relationship. The ring serves as “proof” that you’re actually engaged and plus you get a chance to show it off to your single friends and enjoy their jealous “you’re so lucky” looks. In addition to a ring, I know of people who have been proposed to with watches. Definitely a more practical option because it serves the purpose of telling time, however the romantic factor may be lacking. Honestly thinking about it, engagement rings are more for the romantic factor. How practical is it to drop the price of a decent used car on something that perches happily on your finger? However, the very impractical side of me really doesn’t care because like most people, I genuinely appreciate a nice gift, practical or not.
I’m not going to lie, I see engagement rings that look like this and inwardly I cringe. And while I’m not going to say that I have fully escaped the grasp of materialism, I will say that this ring is a complete joke. Honestly, if I got proposed to with this ring I would give it right back to the giver. This ring defeats the purpose of a engagement ring. Nowadays, the current fad is for both people to contribute equally to the cost of the ring. While I’m not advocating picking something so extravagant that you spend years on the payments, I am saying that it should be a decent size. It’s an “all or nothing” concept. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it and don’t try to fix it up with something that looks like the above picture. It’s an insult. The whole “thought that counts” thing applies to not buying anything or just saving up. There’s no middle ground.
I had a super productive day and was able to accomplish some tasks that were directly related to some professional goals of mine. I had the opportunity to catch up with and bounce some ideas off a good friend. However, the icing on the cake came from a random acknowledgement from an individual that I know. No, I don’t have a case of “he’s never met me before but in my head we’re married with two kids” syndrome. This isn’t an example of being ignored and then being acknowledged for no apparent reason. I really don’t care for that. It’s interesting how an action, behavior or comment from a specific individual can affect your day in a positive way. This person has no idea that their actions made my day. It made me think of all the times that we can unconsciously ignore people around us. How we can interact with people for years but not take the time to learn their names They exist, but they’re invisible to us. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say that that some small thoughtful action someone did for them was just what they needed at a stressful time. I’m challenging myself to acknowledge someone this week who is typically ignored by others. A “thank you,” a nod of acknowledgement, or a smile. You never know what personal demons someone is struggling with. Who knows? An acknowledgement might make their day. It definitely made mine.
Learning or knowing someone’s love language has been something that I’ve always encouraged my clients to do for themselves and their partner. Especially when both say that “communication problems” are the reason why they’re in counseling. “Communication problems” are usually just the symptom of a bigger issue going on on the relationship. I usually encourage my couples to take the test and then discuss the results with each other. Then I’ll encourage them to start to learn their partner’s love language and let that show in their actions. I took the test myself and discovered that my love language is Physical Touch. I talked about it a little in the “Meaningless Affection” blog post. I’m the kind of person who likes things that are tangible. I enjoy activities that use one of my five senses. I’m not as excited by abstract things. Ironically, my second love language is quality time. I’m pretty particular how I spend my time. Mostly because I know that I can’t get back time that I’ve lost. I’m a big fan of self awareness because the first step in change is knowing that you actually need to. Discovering your love language can be really helpful as you navigate through your friendships and relationships.
It’s interesting how the start of a new year can have you re-evaluating your life. As I’ve seen the hundreds of posts people have done about doing something different, I’m struck with the realization that planning and implementing are two different things. One thing that I’ve had a chance to do this week is touch base with some of my homies. These are all people who have ambition and plans for the future. Whenever I talk to them we always end up trading ideas and discussing life goals. Conversations like this are motivating to me. I’m realizing that while I need consistency, I also need to have access to people I can brainstorm with. But I also have to make some decisions regarding who I spend my time with and what I do with my time. I heard a story this week about a man who created a watch with a countdown to when you will be expected to die. The whole premise is that people will be more motivated if they know their time is limited. I know that in order to be successful I have to make hard decisions and prioritize. I’m not chasing happiness because I know that it’s fleeting. But I do want to make a difference and be useful. I’ve been blessed to have opportunities that others have never had and I feel that it’s my responsibility to make the best of them. No, success doesn’t come easy but then again, most things that are worthwhile don’t. And my goal this year is to simply be consistent and grow my professional career. Because I just wanna be, I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful…