Before you leave, please leave me a comment or six in my guestbook - just click on 'Sign My Guestbook' below - easy as that!
When I found my way to www.scrapgirls.com and into the world of digital scrapping, I also managed to find a wonderful community of people. Everyday a newsletter is sent out with different ideas, lay outs and a muse just for the fun of it. Some of the muses are funny, some sad, but all have a lesson or a meaning behind them. One day I noticed that they were asking for muses from the readers and I thought that I would give it a try. Nothing to lose and if they chose you, you got a gift certificate to spend on some of the wonderful kits they have on the site.
So I wrote down a few of my feelings and sent it in. The next day I received an email from them saying that my muse had been accepted. A shopping I went!! I was hooked. About three months later I sent in another one and that too was accepted. Maybe when I can think of something even slightly entertaining I might try for my third muse and see if it's any good.
So here are the links to view the muses - just click here (title - Just Smile) and go about half way down the page and you'll see my first muse.
Click here (title - Perspective) and go down about half way and you'll see my second muse.
Or ... you can just read them here without the wonderful layouts and tips that you get in the newsletters.
Perspective - It's All in How You Look At It
It's that age old question of is the glass half empty or half full? On a bad day, I would say that it’s half empty, but I'm hoping that the majority of the time it's half full. Our capacity to look at something in two completely different ways is amazing - if we can just take that all important step back and look at it from a different perspective.
Everyday we're given these wonderful opportunities to put our best foot forward, and I'm striving to do this. I would just like to be wearing my favorite shoes when I show off that best foot.
When I came to America, I left a world that I was comfortable in. I had family, friends, a fully furnished home, a successful job and I was living in what is considered by many to be a beautiful country. Life was plodding along nicely for me. Since living in America, I can't count the amount of times people have asked me how I could have left everything behind. I answered without even thinking about it and since the explanation seemed to cover exactly how I felt, I've used the same one ever since. My response? I don't see my move as leaving anything behind; I see it as coming towards my everything. I didn’t hesitate to move to a foreign country half way around the world because my life wouldn’t be complete without the love of my life beside me.
Since my husband is active duty military, we move a lot - ten years in America, seven moves. After our first major move, I started to get a little down about the whole process of making friends and then being uprooted and leaving those friends behind, only to have to turn around and make even more friends. I got rather depressed about the whole thing. Another approach was needed.
I took a step back and looked at it from a different perspective, actually several different ones. Now, I see that not only do I get to meet new friends, I get to keep in touch with friends from previous assignments. I get to travel all over America and get to see this amazingly huge country that I am proud to call my home. I get to move into a new home, which means I get to house hunt (now who doesn’t like to look at other people's houses?). I can sort through my household goods and get rid of stuff that seems to have built up - as long as I can get it past my husband's all inquisitive, pack-rat nose that is! I get to change my home phone number, which effectively gets rid of many unwanted solicitation calls.
I was talking to a friend the other day who was lamenting her upcoming move; a long car drive with children, leaving behind the friends she's made here, having to unpack boxes when they finally find a house - and so I imparted my view on moving. She left my house with a new lease on her move and I hope that made things a little easier on her and her family.
The reason for this particular topic? My husband is TDY for a while (military term for Temporary Duty - meaning he's away from the home - another thing I've learned since coming to America - TLAs) and as much as I miss him dearly ever minute he's gone, I try to see the half-full scenario. While he's away, I get a lot more time to clean the house because when he's home he wants me to be with him, therefore parts of my housework do tend to fall behind. (That's my excuse and I'll stick to it, okay?) Also, while he's away, I can turn off the air conditioning as he likes it rather chilly - so we save on our power bill. I get to sleep in the middle of our bed and have as many blankets on me as I want. I get to spend a lot more time with our children because when their daddy is around he's the main attraction. I also get to email him (I am unable to call him on the phone) and have him email me in return - it's kind of like having love letters all over again.
I'm not saying I'm always the half-full person... especially if I've managed to drink the first half of the glass myself and it's been a day of hard-to-swallow happenings. Sometimes, I want that glass to be half full of something that is a bit stronger than orange juice, but I do try to look at things in a positive way. Others may say I have a mundane life as my family doesn't go out very much. I look at it as having a happy family, a wonderful husband who chooses to stay at home with his family and not go out, which means that we get to spend quality time together. If that's mundane, then bring on the next half-full glass so that I can drink a toast to a wonderfully dull life! After all, it's just perspective and how you look at it!
Customer Muse: Smile Sweetly
"You're throwing everything away that you've worked so hard for."
"I won't be here to pick up the pieces when you crawl back broken-hearted, so don't throw your life away."
When you're faced with a barrage of negative feedback, it tends to gnaw away at your very spirit, and I was being thrown these rather depressing snippets on a daily basis. As much as I like to smile through most things in life, this one was proving to be a little more difficult than your average run-of-the-mill deterrent. Yet, I knew that what I was doing was the best thing for both myself and my son.
So, how do you tell people around you that you know what you're doing even though you've managed to get yourself entwined in one too many bad relationships in the past? You can't really blame them when you know that they feel they are looking out for your best interests, yet their 'caring' remarks cut you to the core. Keep smiling through it all, nod your head at the appropriate times and go home and cry into a pillow!
The reason behind these remarks from well meaning friends and family was that I had met the man of my dreams online and was going to America to be with him. This may not be such a big deal these days, but 10 years ago, it was rather unconventional. The people around me thought I was being irrational and to tell you the truth, I had been that on many previous occasions. But, this just wasn’t one of those occasions.
How do you express to people who can't understand the depth of love you feel for someone even though you haven't met them 'in the flesh?' You can't! and when you try to, they laugh at you and talk behind your back saying that maybe this time she really has lost all sense of reality.
Within months of meeting online, I knew that I had met the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The certainty of it hit me like a sledge hammer, but once I had realized the depth of my feelings, everything else fell into place. I couldn't sleep at night because I was trying to imagine what he was doing on the opposite side of the world... waiting another three hours before I could pick up the phone or go online so that we could chat for a precious 10 minutes before he or I would have to go to work. Thinking about it like that, maybe I was losing my grip on reality.
If I had listened to the naysayers, I would not be where I am today - not only in America, but also in the middle of the best part of my life. I have a loving husband, three wonderful children, a blossoming home business and I have lived all over America, from Great Falls, Montana, to the Mexican border in Texas. I wouldn't swap a single minute of it for all of the grains of sand in the world.
I listened to my heart and my head, a bit of a first for me, even at the ripe old age of... over 30! When I was exchanging vows with my husband, after only knowing him “in the flesh” for 24 days, I never had a doubt that this man was the man for me. We were meant to be together, he 'completes me,' as Tom Cruise put it so eloquently! I took hold of my destiny and it’s led me to the exact place that I'm meant to be. I'm not talking about a certain town or state, I mean where I'm always meant to be - beside my husband, sharing in the good and the bad. I am so pleased to say that I listened to my heart, not what everyone else was saying around me.
So, when people are offering their advice and you don't agree with it, you don't always have to tell them 'you're wrong.' Smile sweetly, listen intently, pull the occasional face to make it look like you're taking each individual syllable in and feasting on it, and then take from it what you need to make you stronger and better. After all, you're the one that has to live through it, not them. And, if you're lucky, you'll have the spouse of your dreams beside you as you travel that road together into the future.