Perfect peace…

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Peace is an interesting topic because many people want it, few have it, and most don’t know how to get it or keep it.

Peace has been around since the beginning of time, starting in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve never had a single argument, no one was at war, and even the animals all got along. Peace never crossed their minds because they didn’t know a time where they didn’t have it. For one brief time in history, there was peace.

Perfect peace.

But, then sin entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and mankind has struggled to keep a grasp on peace ever since, starting when Cain murdered his brother Abel, and quite possibly when Adam and Eve had an argument or two over whose fault it was that God had banished them from the Garden of Eden.

One of the earliest words signifying peace was the Hebrew word ‘shalom’. To this day, it’s spoken by many Jewish people around the world, and even by many non-Jewish people. It’s often used interchangeably with ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’, which reminds me of John 14:27 when Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

Shalom.

At the church we regularly attend, after the praise and worship part of each service, it’s customary to shake hands with those around you and speak the blessing, “May the peace of Christ be with you.” To which the reply is, “And also with you.”

I confess it felt weird to do that the first one hundred times or so but I’ve come to appreciate that it’s one of the nicest things we can say to each other. There’s power in speaking peace into someone else’s life, as well as having peace spoken into your own life.

Words aren’t the only way peace is conveyed. For centuries, the dove has been a universal symbol of peace, as has been the olive branch. And, in 1958, a British designer and artist, by the name of Gerald Holtom, designed an actual peace symbol.

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Peace must be important to our well being for there to be so many different ways to communicate it. After all, consider that wars rage, terrorists terrorize, people feud, families divide, and it can be easier to hate than to love. Some people are even at war with themselves, as evidenced by self-harming behaviours and self-hatred.

You don’t have to look very far to find people needing peace.

Peace is elusive but the peace from Christ is perfect. Isaiah 26:3 puts it this way:

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.”

Sounds straightforward, eh? Well, in practice, we’re imperfect people trying to perfectly trust God, and that affects our peace. Oh, we can have moments of peace… and maybe even stretches of peace… but then something happens to cause inner turmoil or external turmoil in our lives, and our peace goes out the window, just like that.

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It’s like riding a bike. It’s easiest to ride on level plain, with no obstacles in sight. But, add some rough terrain, a few obstacles, and a couple of steep hills, and it’s another story entirely. You find yourself having to stand up to pedal or maybe you have to get off your bike and start pushing. Sometimes you need someone to come alongside you… either to help push or simply to encourage you.

Someone to help you bear your load.

“Two people are better than one,
    because they get more done by working together.
If one falls down,
    the other can help him up.
But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls,
    because no one is there to help.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

But, then there are the sweet moments when you find yourself at the top of a hill. The bigger the hill, the better. And you can just soar to the bottom without having to hardly touch the pedals.

It’s in those moments when you can just enjoy the ride, and revel in the joy of the journey.

Ahhhh… perfect peace…

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The Art of BIY

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Lots of people have gotten into DIY… doing it yourself… in recent years. But, what about BIY… believing in yourself? You don’t hear about that nearly as often… if at all.

Believing in yourself is a lifelong process. A delicate balancing act that can change from day to day. Sometimes even moment by moment. But, it’s possible. And important.

After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, even if everyone else believed in you, it would never be enough. It’s something no one else can do for you. You have to do it for yourself.

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Believing in yourself doesn’t mean being unrealistic about what about what you can and can’t do. It doesn’t mean you won’t have doubts or fear. Or that you’ll never fail. Or make mistakes.

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What believing in yourself does mean is focusing on your successes while learning from your drawbacks and shortcomings. Being realistic but hopeful. Surrounding yourself with people you trust to give you honest but loving feedback and encouragement. Having a spirit of optimism.

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It’s so easy to get down on yourself. It can happen to the best of us. But it’s one thing to get down on yourself from time to time, and quite another to stay there.

Believing in yourself is like walking. You may stumble and even fall but the main thing is that you get back up, dust yourself off, and keep walking.

blog 4It’s important to believe in yourself for you but it’s almost as important to believe in yourself for the people who look up to you. Your children, spouse, friends, relatives, siblings, co-workers… the list is endless. More people look up to you than you realize.

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Personally, I want to live as though I have the potential to positively affect everyone I come in contact with because, quite honestly, every single one of us has that potential.

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If anyone learned to believe in themselves because they watched me believe in myself, that would be amazing. If anyone learned the importance of believing in themselves in spite of their failures or mistakes because they saw me believe in myself in spite of my own, that would be equally amazing.

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What better way to inspire others than to lead by example?

blog 7If you can’t imagine being someone who believes in themself, consider this…

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So, just do it… start believing in you! You’re worth it!!blog 6

No mistake about it…

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Mistakes.

I don’t know about you but I make them all too regularly, and often while consciously trying not to.

The dictionary defines a mistake as “an error or fault resulting from defective judgement, deficient knowledge, or carelessness”.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

I’ve made more than my fair share.  And far too many this past week alone.  Quite honestly, it gets a bit discouraging.

I’ve never once started my day thinking wow, I hope I only make a dozen mistakes today.  In fact, I usually don’t start the day thinking about any of the mistakes I’ll probably make.  I tend to assume the best of myself… at least while the day’s still young.  Until reality hits.

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So, what kind of mistakes am I talking about?  Well, things like I’ll realize I’m driving over the speed limit (either because I’m daydreaming or distracted) or I”ll inadvertently call somebody by the wrong name (it doesn’t help if they both start with a “G” and have 4 letters…) or I’ll miss an important detail at work (which is full of important details) or I’ll let things get to me that turn out to be much ado about nothing.  You know what I’m talking about.

I tend to be far too hard on myself about making mistakes when the fact is I’m going to make mistakes whether I like it or not.  I’m human and I can’t change that.  Of course, I’d like to make as few mistakes as possible but I’m learning they can be a catalyst for growth and for change.

I tend to learn a lot more from what I do wrong than what I do right.

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Mistakes can also be encouraging, oddly enough.  When I realize I’m making the same mistakes far less often than I used to, it makes me feel like I’m at least moving in the right direction.  But, before I can even potentially be encouraged, I have to stop and put my mistakes in perspective, not just automatically beat myself up about them.

I find it interesting that, in the film industry, they don’t call multiple takes mistakes.  They call them, take one, take two, take three… take forty four.  Basically, however many takes that it takes is what they take.

I like that.

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It’s not that I want to minimize my mistakes.  But, putting a more positive spin on them will hopefully help me keep a balanced perspective.

You may be thinking that I’m mistaken about this whole thing.  You could be right.  But, if so, no worries… I’ll just take two.  Or take three. Basically, however many takes that it takes to get it right.

Make no mistake about it…

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20 questions…

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When I was growing up, I loved playing 20 questions.  After being recently nominated for the Liebster Award by francesgabriel75.wordpress.com (thank you!) – and seeing the questions that go along with it – I decided to expand the list to 20 questions, for old times sake.  I’ve always loved Q&A (as long as it’s not a test), and I’ve often thought it would be cool to be interviewed for that very reason.  So… game on…

  1. What are your reasons for writing a blog?  Self-expression is the short answer.  I’m not artistic or creative so words are what I have.
  2. What is the best thing (for you) about writing a blog?  The people that I’ve met who either stumbled on my blog or I stumbled onto theirs.
  3. What is your best quality?  Compassion.  I have the ability to put myself in other people’s shoes.
  4. What is the quality you want God to work on the most?  Oh goodness… it’s hard to narrow it down to one.  Patience is always on the list.  I think most of us could use more patience.  The main thing I pray for though is that God will make me better – whatever that is and however He sees fit for it to happen.
  5. What is your favourite place in the world and why?  My favorite place in the world is Paris, France – even though I’ve never been there.  It has history, architecture, romance, cuisine, fashion, the Eiffel Tower, and a temperate climate.  What’s not to love?
  6. How would you spend an ideal day?  For me, it’s more about who you spend it with than what you do.  Anything can be an ideal day if it’s with the right person/people.
  7. What’s the most encouraging thing you’ve ever been told?  That I’m the strongest person they know.
  8. What do you do to relax?  Take a walk, read, blog, watch TV/movies, spend time with friends/family, play word games.
  9. If you were able to meet one person (alive or dead, real or fictional) who would it be and what would you ask them?  I would like to meet Billy Graham.  I would ask him what lessons he’s learned and what, if anything, he would do differently if he had it to do over.
  10. What’s the first question you would like to ask God when you meet Him?  I’m pretty sure any questions I have will cease to matter the moment I first meet Him face to face.
  11. What makes you smile?  dogs; humour (particularly situational humour); kindness; the people I love.
  12. What makes you sad?  unkindness; tragedies; hatred; insensitivity.
  13. What motivates you?  a desire to live life to the fullest; a determination to persevere/overcome; my faith in God.
  14. How would you describe your personality?  I’m an introvert with extrovert qualities.  I can be funny and outgoing but I can also be shy and quiet.  Depends on the circumstances.  I’m loyal, caring, kind, giving, logical, smart, quirky, beat to my own drum, hard worker, peacemaker, unique, capable.  
  15. What do you least enjoy doing in life?  Dealing with conflict, doing things alone, and being late are the first 3 that came to mind.
  16. What is your favorite song?  My favorite song routinely changes but, for the past few months, I would have to say, “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.  It has an amazing message of hope and redemption.  Lifts me up every time I hear it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDAGCow3dsg.  I also pretty much love any song of Toby Mac’s.  “Steal my Show” is a fav right now – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA_HoEC9ixc.
  17. What is your favorite quote and why?  My favorite quote routinely changes too but I think this one is epic… “If you found a man at the top of a mountain, he did not fall there”.  I know firsthand how true that is.  Love it!
  18. What is your favourite Bible verse and why?  The verse that speaks to me the most lately is “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” – Psalm 91:1.  It encourages me.
  19. What are some of your favourite things?  The people I love, books, good food, sushi (I’m hooked!), sunshine/heat/warmth, walking, cars, hockey, roller coasters, facts/trivia, words, humour, Snoopy, travel.
  20. What has life taught you?  I’ve learned that I can’t change the past so I shouldn’t live there.  Learn from the bad, embrace the good, be the change I want to see in the world, be an overcomer, persevere no matter what, love relentlessly, hope always, live life to the fullest, age is only a number, attitude is everything, life is hard but God is good.

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Free to be me…

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Like most people, I struggle with self-esteem from time to time.  Sometimes even extended periods of time.  But, I’ve been trying to establish a proper perspective because low or no self-esteem is our enemy.

It’s healthy to have good self-esteem.

But, recognize this… accepting yourself is not the same as having a big ego.  Not even close.

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I think the best self-esteem is instilled in us from birth by our parents but that doesn’t always happen.  After all, most of us were raised by parents who had their own struggles with self-esteem… among other things…

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So, what happens when we grow up thinking we’re not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, talented enough, anything enough?  It’s like trying to live life with this huge weight dragging us down.  A weight we attached to ourselves.

I know what it’s like because I’ve lived it.

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Oh, it’s true that others can chip away at our self-esteem but they can only be as successful as we let them be.

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I like me.

Well, at least, I think I do.

That’s not to say there aren’t things about myself I wish were different.  I struggle with anxiety, I think too much, I lack a creativity chip, I’m not really good at any one thing, I’m not skilled at doing things with my hands, I can be too reserved, I’ve made way more than my share of mistakes in life.

I could tell you more but you get my drift.

So, I work on the things I can work on.  When I start feeling anxious, I pray.  I work to make sure that my thinking is more positive than negative.  The things I can’t change – like past mistakes – I’ve forgiven myself for.  The hardest thing I have ever done.

I’m transparent about my mistakes, weaknesses, and struggles so that others can hopefully avoid or overcome the same pain I’ve either experienced or self-inflicted.  And, some of the things I can’t change – like my talents – I don’t need to change.  No talent, gift, or ability is better than any another.  They’re only different, not better.

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All I can be is me.  I’m better at being me than anyone else.  So, I should celebrate being me.  Things like… I know a little about a lot, I’m good with words, I’m good with numbers, I like to bake, I like hockey, I like current events, I like cars, I’m reasonably smart, I have a good sense of humour, I care about people, I have a soft heart, I’m a deep thinker, I’m a hard worker, I don’t give up.

If God didn’t intend for me to be me, He would have created me to be someone else.

So, if someone doesn’t like me for me, it’s their problem, not mine.  Everyone isn’t going to like me, and that’s ok (even if it doesn’t always feel very good…).

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The greatest gift we can give others is to love and accept them just the way they are.  That doesn’t mean we will like everyone.  I don’t even think that’s a realistic expectation.  What it does mean is that we will recognize and embrace others’ individuality, and the things that make them different from us.

We’re not all the same and we’re not all meant to be.

So, be you.

Everyone else is already taken.

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Hear, hear…

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Several years ago, I had a hearing test done after noticing I needed to have things repeated a lot, and that I also wasn’t hearing much of what was being said on television.  It turned out that I had below normal hearing for lower tones.  Usually when someone’s hearing starts to go, it’s with women and children’s voices first but I was just the opposite.  Since I was working for four men at the time, it explained why I wasn’t hearing a whole lot.

My immediate response was that I wanted a hearing aid.  Fix the problem with modern science.  It seemed like the obvious solution.  But, to my surprise, the audiologist advised against it, saying a hearing aid was a double edged sword.  It was true it would help me hear men’s voices better but it would also magnify all the other sounds I could already hear without difficulty.  Since I’m sensitive to background noise at the best of times, it was enough rationale to give me pause.

I could never understand why my grandmother had the sometimes maddening habit of turning off her hearing aid, but now I knew.  And she was as deaf as a post.  I was only half that deaf.

I asked the audiologist what other options I had to improve my hearing, and her answer was that I needed to improve my listening.

Huh?!

That sounded like work.

Well, it was work.  I had to start paying attention way more than before just to hear the same things, and especially so if I wasn’t facing the other person so I could partially read their lips.  The more people and/or background noise, the harder it is for me to hear what one person is saying, so I’ve had to learn to listen better in those situations too.  But, as hard as it is in person, hearing and listening effectively on a cellphone are by far the most difficult.  At least with the television, I can use closed captioning.

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I wish I could say it’s gotten easier to listen better over time but it’s still hard work.  Hard enough that I had my hearing test repeated a couple years later in the hopes I had gotten deaf enough for a hearing aid.

I hadn’t.

I’m still not.

But, in some ways, I’m glad I have to work harder at listening because, if I didn’t find hearing to be such a challenge, I’d probably talk way more than I do now.  And, heaven only knows I still talk more than enough.

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The truth is…

  • When we talk, we’re only repeating what we already know.  But, if we listen, we’re apt to learn something new.
  • No one’s ears ever got them into trouble.
  • Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand but with the intent to reply.
  • The quieter we become, the more we can hear.
  • The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.

If we want to be listened to, we really should put in more time listening.  The nicest thing we can do for others is to make them feel understood.  It’s what we hope for ourselves.

We’re always saying we want to be heard.  But virtually no one says they want to hear.  And, if we do say we want to hear, how many times do we actually follow through?  Speaking for myself, not nearly enough.

So, people…

Listen up!

Even I heard that…

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It’s a matter of determination…

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Have you ever stopped to consider how determined you are?

I’m a fairly determined person… although there may be a fine line between determined and stubborn.  That being said, I think it’s fair to say that determined implies a goal while stubborn implies inflexibility.  So, the line might not be so fine after all.

But I digress…

Determination is the topic that interests me at the moment because of circumstances in my life that I’m determined to change.  I’ve actually changed a lot about my circumstances over the past year but one key area has yet to be satisfactorily resolved.  But I’m determined to see it through to the end.

What exactly is determination?

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Hmmm, fortunately the word ‘goal’ was thrown in there, otherwise it was starting to sound a bit like ‘stubborn’ to me…

That definition is good but this perspective on determination is actually key.

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I confess that I find it way easier to stare at a challenge than to look past it.  After all, it’s right in my face.  But I know from experience that if you stare at a challenge long enough, your determination will disintegrate into discouragement.  And it’s a steep climb back up.  So, as hard as it can be sometimes, I’d much rather discipline myself to see past my challenges than to go down that slippery slope.

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Another enemy of determination is time.  If challenges aren’t conquered relatively quickly, it’s easy to start seeing them as obstacles.  I don’t think it’s any coincidence that obstacle and obstinate are so close in the dictionary.  To me, an obstacle sounds more permanent and, well… more obstinate… than a challenge so I’d prefer to just keep that word out of my vocabulary and mindset entirely.  I’ll stick with a good, old fashioned challenge, thank you very much.

But, with all this talk of what determination is, it’s equally important to talk about what determination isn’t.

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Some people are known for their ruthless determination.  I want to be known for my right determination.  Determination that inspires, motivates, and encourages others.  Determination that perseveres.  Determination that’s focused on doing something worthwhile with my life.  I want my determination to be a virtue, not a vice.

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So, consider this…

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I’m reasonably certain that I’m not destined for success but I can confidently say that I’m determined to succeed.  To be honest, I would much rather work for my success than fall into it just because I was destined.  So I guess I’m determined not to be destined.  Maybe I am a bit stubborn after all…

Speaking of stubborn, these images prove that some will go to great lengths to overcome a seemingly impossible challenge while others will hang on when most would have let go long ago.  Great examples of determination.

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So, that being said, this is my final determination…

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Hi, my name is Joy…

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Over the past 10 months, I’ve lost count of the number of new people I’ve met, both personally and professionally.  At times, it’s been daunting.  I always hope to make a good impression but I’m never really sure.

To keep things in perspective, I remind myself that it’s one thing to want to make a good impression but another thing entirely to strive to present myself in the best possible light, but authentically.  The former is good but the latter is better.

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As Dr. Seuss so articulately put it,

“Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is youer than you.” 

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Every single person on the face of the earth is unique, me included.  That doesn’t mean I’m perfect.  Not even close.  But, God created me uniquely for a reason, and it would be an insult to Him to try to be someone or something that I’m not.  I want to be…

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I think the main reason we resist being ourselves is a fear of rejection but I would rather be rejected for being me than for being an impersonation.  On the flip side, I would much rather be accepted for being me than for being someone else.

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So…

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Some of you know me but most of you don’t.  I thought I’d properly introduce myself by telling you a baker’s dozen random things that make me uniquely me.  Even those of you who do know me will probably learn something new.

Here goes…

  • I’m 100% Canadian.  I was born on the east coast and currently live on the west coast.  I’ve lived in 3 provinces and 1 territory, and I’ve driven from coast to coast (all 10 provinces, which equates to roughly 7300 km or 4500 miles), although mercifully not all at once.  Ironically, I am not a fan of either cold or snow – 2 things quite indigenous to Canada.
  • I’ve been the only female born into my family in over 51 years… with no end in sight.
  • I love sports.  I particularly love watching junior and NHL hockey (boys/men’s), PGA/Master’s golf (men’s), NASCAR, Formula One, Monaco Grand Prix, and Wimbledon tennis, to name just a few.  I also love watching TSN’s SportsCentre, especially when Jay and Dan are the co-hosts.
  • Beef is my favorite food group (with sincere apologies to any vegetarians but little remorse and likely no repentance…).
  • Professionally, I tend to come across as self-assured but, personally, I can be a little shy sometimes.
  • I’m typically not a games person but I love playing Scrabble (and I’m actually pretty good at it).
  • I dislike reading instruction manuals of any kind, and will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid doing so.
  • I have fibromyalgia that is controlled by medication, exercise, and diet.  I’m far too stubborn to let it run my life any more than it absolutely has to.
  • I love reading true crime (except about serial killers) and also watching true crime shows like Dateline or 48 Hours Mystery but nearly every other remotely scary thing, either real or imagined, gives me nightmares.
  • I’m largely supposed to avoid sugar but my dessert of choice is New York style cheesecake (and the richer, the better).  It tastes even better when you can only have it once in a blue moon (which, by my calculations, should be any day now).
  • I’ve had migraines for 24 years.  Next year, I’m planning to celebrate my first migraine free year in 25 years.  I believe in miracles.
  • My first concussion happened when I was 8 and drove my brother’s bike (complete with banana seat and high handlebars) as hard as I could into the side of a brick Christian reformed church.  I feel obliged to point out that I did not do that on purpose.
  • I once got MSG poisoning at a Chinese buffet, fainted on the cutlery table, and cracked a couple of ribs.  Needless to say, I’ve been studiously avoiding MSG ever since (not an easy feat given that it’s in everything these days…).

There you have it.  13 facts unique to me.  So allow me to formally introduce myself.

Hi, my name is Joy…

I am noordinaryjoy61.

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False advertising…

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In advertising, it seems there’s a lot of leeway these days to promote your product as being one thing when, in reality, it’s something totally different.  Usually not what you expected and definitely not what you wanted.

The same can be said of people.

I’ve known people who have been quick to say that they’re humble.  That’s a double edged sword because, if you have to tell people blog 2that you’re humble, you’re most likely not.  Humble people are just humble.  They’re not pointing it out to anyone.  That would defeat the whole purpose.  It usually isn’t long before you notice that the people claiming to be humble are actually very prideful in their words and actions.

False advertising.

It can apply to anything.  People who say they’re patient but have a hair trigger temper.  People who say they’re dependable but rarely show up on time or sometimes don’t show up at all.  People blog 3who say they’re nice but who say or do unkind things.  People who say they’re honest but cheat on their taxes or pocket the extra change when the waitress makes a mistake.

You get my drift…

What you see is clearly not what they would have you to believe.  They want you to believe their ‘billing’ over the ‘product’.

False advertising.

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It can be all too easy to think that just because we claim something is true about ourselves, people will automatically believe it.  That our words will speak louder than actions.  But, there’s a reason the saying is “actions speak louder than words”, and not vice versa.  It’s reality.

I had a job interview yesterday, and I was asked to give three words that best described myself.  I thought very carefully before answering because the last thing I wanted was to say something  that my words and actions wouldn’t back up relatively consistently.  I prefer to under sell and over deliver.  That means being brutally honest with myself about who I am and who I am not.

In the dictionary, it says, “Don’t pay any attention to what John says. He’s just trying to sell you a bill of goods.”  I never want to be that person.

I once heard the question, “What would my life say if I said nothing at all?”.   I want my life to speak for itself, and to speak positive things.  I don’t want to be my own advertiser.  I just want to deliver and let others decide what the headings should be.

One of the words I used to describe myself in the interview was ‘professional’.  It felt good when the interviewer nodded her head in agreement and said, “that’s obvious”.  Both a relief and a challenge to keep following through.

True advertising.  It doesn’t have to be an oxymoron…

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My good name…


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We have no control over the name we were given at birth but we have every control over what we will do with it.  The following story perfectly illustrates the truth of that statement.  I read it years ago and have never forgotten it.  It’s the true story of two brothers that was published in the Chicago Tribune in July of 2002.

“One son was named Loser, the other Winner.  One became a cop and eventually was promoted to detective–shield number 2762.  The other fell into the life of a small-time crook, racking up at least 31 arrests before being sent away for a two-year stretch in state prison–inmate number 00R2807.

But for the brothers Lane, it wasn’t a case of their unique names sealing their fates.

“I went a totally separate route right from the start,” said Loser Lane, 41, a detective working in the 40th Precinct in the South Bronx of New York City.  Loser, a star student and athlete, went on scholarship to an elite prep school–Pomfret in Connecticut–and to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Then he joined the police force because “my mom really wanted me to do this.”

Winner Lane’s life has gone the other way. Now 44, Winner got out of jail in June after spending two years in Southport prison outside Elmira, N.Y., for breaking into a car. He sometimes lives in Camp LaGuardia, a homeless shelter in upstate New York, shuttling back and forth between the camp and the city, trying to get his life on track.

Why did he commit so many crimes?  “It’s just some situations I got in,” Winner said. “It wasn’t really for the need.” He declined to talk further about his trouble with the law.  The brothers rarely see each other now. Winner will call Loser when he’s short on money, but they’re no longer close.  “I’m a cop,” said Loser, who is known as Lou on the job. “And I have a way with me where I don’t tolerate a lot.”

It wasn’t always that way.

The Lane boys ran in the same circles growing up in Harlem’s Wagner Projects. Their names never aroused even curiosity, much less ridicule, from the kids in the neighborhood.  “When you’re young you don’t know that it’s a bad name, and by the time you hit grade school, everybody knows you. It was a regular thing,” Loser said.

The story of how Loser got his name is simple. On the day he was born, their father, Robert, asked his daughter Dinelda what to name the new baby.  “My dad comes home and asks my oldest sister what to name me, and she said, Well, we’ve got a Winner, why don’t we have a Loser?’ And there you go. That was it.”

In any case, by adolescence the lives of Winner and Loser started down routes as divergent as their names.

Around the time Loser entered prep school on a scholarship, Winner began his descent into the criminal justice system.  He was first arrested at age 19, in September 1977, on a charge of recklessly causing physical injury. His first conviction came five years later, a burglary case on Long Island. A steady stream of arrests followed: domestic violence, car burglaries, trespassing, resisting arrest and at least nine arrests for jumping subway turnstiles.  In April 1999, he was arrested for breaking into a car–weeks after serving 135 days for another auto burglary. This time when he pleaded out, the judge gave Winner 1 1/2 to 3 years.

After graduating from college, where he played football and wrestled, Loser joined the New York Police Department in January 1984.”

A wise man once said…

good name 2

I was fortunate that I wasn’t given a name that I had to live down.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve done my name justice.  When people hear my name, what’s their first reaction?  Positive or negative?

That answer is solely up to me.

Think of names such as Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Kim Kardashian, Lance Armstrong, or Angelina Jolie.  Some have always had a good name… others not so much.  Some changed a bad name to a better name by virtue of a lot of hard work.  Yet others started with a good name but lost it along the way, perhaps not realizing its importance.

I hope my name is a good name because it is a reflection of the person I’m endeavouring to be.  I don’t mean my accomplishments… because accomplishments are not always a true reflection of a quality person.  I want the things I do to be a reflection of the kind of person I am, and not have them define me.

Motive matters.

I only have one life to live, and one name to live it with.

Here’s hoping it’s a good one…

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