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How I loved in 2011…

With every year that goes by I learn how to love in a different way. The people that have come and gone and those that I will meet in the New Year allow me to explore my capacity to love others in more ways than one.

To be continued…

Save the best for last….

I never really noticed this before, but as I was sharing dessert with a newly acquainted friend a few weeks ago, I noticed that we both stopped eating it at the very last bite of our triple berry pie. We both insisted on the other to indulge in the last piece, but it just sat there waiting for the waitress to take it away. At the time, I didn’t see the significance of this but the more I thought about it the more I realized that this wasn’t the first time that I witnessed the last bite go to waste. It wasn’t as if I desperately wanted it, but it just sat there waiting for someone to enjoy it. I’m sure my friend felt the same way. So, why is it that when we are offered the last piece, we usually turn it away?

I knew I was having a deep-sentimental-blog moment, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I mean after all, it was just dessert. As I shared my thoughts with a friend, ironically sharing dessert, he made an interesting point – perhaps we approach the last piece of dessert the way we approach life. No matter how big or small, our automatic response is to refuse it. We have been so culturally accustomed to being applauded for “giving” that we find ourselves giving too much to the point that the enjoyment is lost for everyone. If it isn’t you, then it should be someone else that takes advantage of what is in front of them. Who cares what other people think – it is you that has to live the consequences. You can take the risk now and dwell on any regret later. It is the “now” that we should be living. Later should not be an option.

Maybe that was my epiphany that rainy night. I need to start living in the now, and stop letting opportunities in front of me pass me by. I should really enjoy every last piece, or better yet I shouldn’t take a no for an answer and encourage the other person to enjoy it all the way through. I mean, someone has to succeed through a promotion, take the gamble on true love, and see every life opportunity through the very end. Why not let it be you? This is what distinguishes ordinary from extraordinary. So go on, take the last bite because if you don’t… from now on, I will.

Control.

For the first time in my life, I feel I’m in control. This epiphany of mine could be naivete from my mid-twenties, or it really is a turning point in my young adulthood. Either way, I like it.

I’ve spent my entire life going through the motions – church, family, school, friends, and work. I’ve accepted ultimatums and embraced obligations. And, very rarely did I ever make decisions based on what I wanted or felt that I needed. People use to call it selflessness. I call it being out of control. Up until now, I’ve been surrounded by people that I couldn’t get away from. From high school to college, then from graduate school to internships, I had no control over who I was going to spend my time with or what I’d be doing. The only thing I knew for certain was that I needed to please others, and so the vicious cycle began…

Effortlessly, I would spend my days following the footsteps of others and never asking questions. I developed the mentality of a true military brat – “It is what it is.” But here I am today feeling in control. I can finally say that the time that I invest in now are the things that I know will soon be rewarded by the satisfaction of my own choice. So the truth of the matter is, this foreign feeling of control is not only invigorating but extremely addicting.

Control is the theme of my life right now. I pick and choose what I do, when I do it, and the way I want to do it. I’m sure this feeling doesn’t last forever. Nothing ever does, but until then this is my life, and I plan to do exactly what life intended me to do – live.

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Give it time…

Mending a broken heart? Give it time. Mourning the lost of a love one? Give it time. Just got laid off? Give it time.

Time is the cure-all remedy for life. Time is reliable; it is unchanging, and when you think life is spinning out of control it is the one thing that you can count on to anchor you back to reality. Even when you want time to speed up or slow down, time is constant. It is kind of like your voice of reason – it knows what is best for you. Whether it be resolute, unwavering trust or just something constant in your life when everything else around you seems to be changing. Time is, without fail something that will keep you grounded and after a few days, weeks, months, or years you become wiser, healthier, and more appreciative of life challenges.

So recently, I’ve been complaining to the people around me that there just isn’t enough time in one day. In 24-hours, I want to dedicate 12 hours to sleep, 2 hours to commute, 10 hours to work, 5 hours to personal time, 3 hours to social time, and 4 hours to my family, including Baxter (my puppy). That is 36 hours – I am 12 hours short of accomplishing what I would call an “Ideal Yuri Day.” So, what is my compromise? 7 hours of sleep, 2 hours in commute, 10 hours of work, 3 hours of personal time, barely no social time, and 2 hours left for the family. Of course this a rough estimate, but you get the point…

After a few days of pondering my issue with time, I’ve come to a few conclusions. First, time is not the enemy. It is a constant 24-hours that forces you to move on with your life, get the rest that you need, and prioritize according to what is important. Second, time will never change. So, you shouldn’t expect time to accommodate to you. You should accommodate to it. Again, it reminds you that certain aspects of life is worth the wait and requires the extra attention, whether it be your sleep, your family, or your friends. The third conclusion I will credit to a good friend of mine (CP), if you find yourself too busy for your friends and your family, then you are simply too busy. The final point is pretty self explanatory; you can take it literally, or you can replace the “friends and family” with something that has suffered from neglect. Finally, time is a gift. It is a gift that can be given to a friend that needs time to grieve, to grow, and to prosper in his/her endeavors. It is the gift you can give yourself to enjoy the little things in life – spa treatments, retail therapy, or even just sleep. So, the next time you complain that 24-hours just isn’t long enough… think about all the things you’ve already accomplished and all the things that you can accomplish in the next 24-hours. At least, I know I will.

Road Rage.

Everyday on my commute to and from work, I am reminded of how irrational and selfish people can be when it comes to achieving their own goal and/or objective. Every morning it is the same thing. People honk, flip the bird, and cut people off. Never once have I been able to drive on I-5 without seeing some driver do something idiotic or just plain rude. I’ve justified some of their behavior, but recently I’ve started to run out of reasons for people to be mean. After all, aren’t we all trying to achieve the same thing? We just want to get from Point A to Point B without having an accident. As simple as that is, people just don’t seem to get it.

People are so caught up doing their own thing that they don’t realize that in order to get to where they want to go it is imperative that they let others get to their destination as well. Everyday I drive to work drinking my tall, non-fat, white chocolate mocha, no whip while listening to my Adele CD. And, everyday my goal is the same. I want to merge without someone honking, cruise without someone tailgating, and let the car next to me merge into my lane. As selfless as that may seem, I wasn’t always like this. In fact, it wasn’t until this year that I finally came to the realization that my commute just seems much more pleasant when I am acknowledged for my effort to make the commute much more enjoyable for everyone. It isn’t like I get to work any later. Like I said before, we all have a common goal. We all want to get to places and the truth of the matter is, we will all get there. So, there is no need to be impatient. With time and diligence we will all get to our final destination; it is a matter of how enjoyable you let the ride be. Who cares if someone wants to merge in front of you? Let em. It doesn’t change the fact that you know where you are going. So, the next time you want to road rage – just remember in the broad scheme of things – it doesn’t matter. Your commute is similar to life – you’ll find yourself in traffic at times, but if you stay focused and calm, you’ll eventually end up to you want to be.