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#948 live by the golden rule

26 Sep

I think something that has been instilled in me since the days of elementary school is “the Golden Rule.” I heard it from my mom, my priest, my friends, and my teachers. The Rule itself hung on a banner in my elementary school. For those of you who don’t know, or perhaps forgot, the Golden Rule is to treat others how you want  to be treated.

I try to live by this rule. But, I don’t always. Sometimes I am a little meaner to someone than I should be: a colleague, a friend, a family member, a customer service rep, or even one of my students. After the fact I always feel bad….although sometimes it may take longer than it should.

So today is a new day and the beginning of a new week. Today marks a really conscious effort to live by this rule. I am going to try to treat others as if they were my family and/or my friends. I can foresee trouble areas, especially in traffic!  But I think this is really important. Not only am I going to really step up trying to live this way, I am also going to remind my students about it. Sometimes, they get caught up in “mess” (as they would say) or make fun of other students and they don’t think about what is going on.

Football is about to start (third week of missing the Steelers game, boo) and I have the options of Dallas or Tennessee. I’ll probably stick with Tennesse (go 57, Maggies fiance). Until tomorrow….
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.”

~Jesse Jackson

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#912 be appreciative

21 Sep

appreciation (noun): gratitude, thankful recognition

10 Things I appreciate (in no particular order):

1. being able to read books and magazines at Borders, with never having to actually buy something.

2. thunderstorms and the subsequent smell of rain (especially in Vegas when it’s so far and few between)

3. the love and support of my friends and family

4. a good book

5. pens that write nicely/sharpies

6. the excitement that comes with football season (STEELERS)

7. the fact that all my hard work and dedication have paid off

8. good manners

9. the sheer joy that little kids have in life and their surroundings

10. you, for reading my blog! 🙂

What do you appreciate? It’s good to think back and count our blessings. The quote I found below is really true; think about it! Until tomorrow…

“We have no right to ask when a sorrow comes, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way.”

-Anonymous

#915 pray for the prosperity of others

6 Sep

Updating this blog everyday is a lot harder than I planned. I’ve been coming home from school around 4 or so: I eat dinner and do work until I start falling asleep on my couch at 7:30. Yikes! The first week exhaustion hit me hard friends. Anyway, after a long weekend thanks to Labor Day, I am back in blogging action!

Prayer looks different for everyone: what it is, when it happens, and why it happens. When I was little, I always prayed this prayer before I went to bed “As I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And in the morn, if I don’t wake,  I pray the Lord my soul to take.” As I got older, if I prayed it was usually in church- before mass began and after Communion. Usually I thanked God and asked him to keep my loved ones safe.

Since moving to Vegas, my prayers have taken different thoughts. I still pray in Church- and when I remember, I usually try to pray before I fall asleep. Now I pray for my friends and family in Pittsburgh, my friends as they travel (a lot of my friends I made in Vegas are quite the travelers), my friends who have moved out of Vegas (Megan, Erin, Becca), my kids (my school kids: both past and present. During summer, I pray especially hard for them that they are kept safe and out of trouble), and my friends here in Las Vegas. I thank God for blessing me and I ask him to help guide all those who are lost, lonely, sad, angry, hungry. I’ve also begun to pray before meals (when I remember). My ex-boyfriend Jose started this ritual with me: before every meal we ate together, we would pray- no matter if it was at my house or out to eat. During this prayer we would ask God to bless our food, thanked him for letting us be together, and asked him to keep watch over our friends and family, as well as those in need.

It’s important to pray for ourselves, BUT even more important to pray for others. This past weekend was a very exciting weekend for two of my friends…and I am going to keep them in my prayers, especially this week, and I ask maybe that you reading this can too!

1. My good friend Maggie got engaged this weekend!!! We have been friends for about 8 years:we met at Dairy Queen and worked together for about 2 summers. Maggie is one of the sincerest person I know- she truly is both beautiful in and out! We have had a lot of good memories together (drinking in hope’s basement, SLF, trips to RMU, beauty pagents, DQ horror stories) and I could not be happier for her and her fiance Patrick! They will be getting married in March, so they need prayers as they plan the wedding! Also, prayers for Patrick as he plays for the Tennesse Titans (ex-Steeler, just got picked up by the Titans on Sunday) this season: that he is kept safe and successful. Maggie also keeps a blog: read all about her engagement/see pictures here!!!http://maggierosekutschbach.blogspot.com/2010/09/day-ive-always-dreamed-of.html

2. My friend Becca and her husband Matt celebrated the baptism of their son John Sterling Alleman (what a strong name!!!) this past Sunday. Becca and I met through TFA- she also taught Special Education (middle school) and was in our Sped 08 Cohort. She too, like Maggie, is amazingly sincere & sweet. She invited some of her close TFA friends to the baptism at their church, followed by a lunch at her house. During the ceremony, it was really awesome to see how much LOVE Becca and Matt have for their baby boy.  I am grateful that I was invited to partake in John’s special day. 🙂 Please pray for John and his parents as they continue to grow in God’s love, healthily (is that a word?!) and happily! Becca and Matt blog as well: check it out! http://allemanantics.blogspot.com/ 

Whether you are religious or not, sometimes its nice to throw a prayer the way of someone who needs it. There are a lot of people out there who would be grateful to know that someone is thinking of , and praying for them. Until tomorrow…

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

-Ghandi

#920 smile often

3 Aug

I like being smiled at and I like to smile at people. Today I had many errands and things of that nature to do, so this was a great deed for the day.

 I smiled at the nurse and the technican when I had to get my gallbladder ultrasound this morning. I smiled and made conversation with the worker at Brooklyn Bagels Deli where I grabbed breakfast after the doctor ( this was a DELICIOUS place. ) We talked about the iced coffees- he recommended the mocha because it tasted like chocolate milk, which was no bueno for me because I dislike chocolate. So I ended up with regular coffee.

After that I went to the bank and smiled at my teller and was extra friendly to her. Then Jiffy Lube. It was here that I continued reading The Diary of Anne Frank which I bought last night. As  I pulled it out, the older gentleman next to me looked at it, then looked at me. I read a few pages before setting it down. That’s when he made conversation with me: he asked me if I had seen the movie (no, but he said it was good) and I asked him if he had read the book (no, but again he reiterated that he really enjoyed the movie).  We then began talking about teaching, college, technology, and his children. He informed me that he had no interest in technology and that when he went to college, tution was only 500 bucks a year (at Rochester!) and they only used paper and pencils: rarely anyone had typewriters. We then talked about his grandson who has dyslexia and is about to enter high school and his granddaughter who would rather socialize than learn (how many kids do I have like that!). It was a good conversation for about 10 minutes before my car was ready. The old man wished me well. A great conversation that made my day, and hopefully his, all from a smile.

Next my day took me to Target where I had to get cleaning supplies. I also picked up a cute little dress. 🙂 My cashier and I had a nice conversation about hairstyles and the heat. Friendly smiles exchanged both ways. So friends, family, and fellow readers…throw a smile the way of a stranger, a friend, an enemy. It’ll make you feel better and them! It may even lead to an interesting conversation…

I also think it’s more important to smile when you’re alone…that may sound weird but this is what I mean. I smiled five seconds ago when a little boy and his family just got a new oven donated to them (I’m watching Oprah). I smiled when my friend Kelly sent me a text with pics of us that are online from the Open Bar we went to last Friday- check them out:

I smiled when one of my best friends from home texted me about a sleepover/cookout at her house when I’m in Pittsburgh next week. I’m smiling as I think about my happy hour date with Shay (her treat for watching the dogs while her and Mat were out of town last week). And finally, I’m smiling because I’m alive and I have great friends and family. Until tomorrow…

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day”

-from P.S. I love you

#930 show good manners

31 Jul

I like to think that I have good manners. However, I know there are times when I slip…for instance when I drive sometimes my manners go out the window. The author states that respect, tact, diplomacy, and hospitality are all combined into having good manners.

These are the good manners suggested in the book:

  • don’t interrupt
  • greet elderly people and women first
  • don’t shout
  • return greetings and goodbyes
  • keep your elbows off the table
  • chew with your mouth closed

Interesting, because when I think of good manners those aren’t the ones that come into my mind. Instead, here’s my list:

  • saying “please” , “thank you”, and “you’re welcome” : I use the word “please” when ordering food or when asking for something. I say “thank you” when a door is held open for me, someone blesses me after sneezing, and when given something. “You’re welcome” flows out of my mouth when someone tells me thank you. Or, when people don’t say thank you. For instance, if I hold the door open for someone and they don’t thank me, I still say “you’re welcome”. A shocked look, followed by a stuttered “thank you” usually occurs next. When I’m in the classroom, I don’t give my kids anything unless they say “please” first. I wait until they say “thank you” and if they don’t say it, I give them the look and they know.

  • saying “bless you” when someone sneezes: when I hear a sneeze, regardless of where and who it comes from, the phrase is automatically uttered out of my mouth. This happens a lot and I have had various people comment on it (in a complimentary form). It actually really bothers me if I sneeze and no one says “bless you”.
  • holding the door open for people/opening the door for someone and letting them go through: this takes maybe an extra 2 seconds out of your life.
  • asking people how they are: it doesn’t matter where I am but anytime I come into contact with someone (waiter/waitress, hostess, cashier, etc) I always ask how they are. It doesn’t matter whether they ask me first, or if they don’t ask me at all. The point of doing this is to make someone else feel cared about, I find that when I ask someone how they are, they smile and respond kindly.
  • saying hello/ smiling to neighbors/strangers as you pass them: a smile brightens anyones day. 🙂 
  • and chewing with your mouth closed: it’s only cute to chew with your mouth open if you’re a little baby and even that only lasts for a few minutes. 
  • cutting back on the cussing: I am working on this. Especially when I drive. I know that I can do this, because it’s easy for me to watch my language when I’m teaching- and I can often be found telling my kids “language!”. Really, it’s not elegant or appropriate to drop the f bomb in everyday conversation.

If you are a parent, model and teach good manners so that your children pick up on them. In fact, just modeling and continually having good manners will eventually cause people of all ages to pick up on them. Until tomorrow… 

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

-Audrey Hepburn

Updates! (Real post tomorrow)

19 Jul

Well! It has been quite sometime since my last post- I was quite busy moving and my apt. wasnt cable/internet ready so I had to call Cox to get the cable man to come out…Which he did today. Now I just need hook up the cables and modem and I am good to go. Thank you to everyone who helped me move and organize things- especially Kevin who loaded the entire U-Haul himself and Shay who helped organize my things pre and post move, as well as building my living room furniture!

Even though I wasn’t blogging during those few days, I was still able to do two deeds. Here’s what they were:

  • #917 Let someone go in front of you-whatever line you’re in: On my first real day of grocery shopping (Friday) I went to this wonderful place known as Food 4 Less. I picked up my necessary items (fruit, veggies, sandwich stuff, frozen chicken fingers and fries) and began the search for a check-out aisle. I found an empty one, and as I approached, so did another lady. Her cart was FULL–like stacked, almost overflowing with groceries. She gestured for me to go, but I told her to go instead. Her grand total was over $100 (mine was under $50 which was pleasently shocking!), so it was worth the extra five minutes I had to wait so that she could get out quickly with her young son. As they left, she thanked me again.
  • #505 Help a neighbor move: This also happened on Friday. As I was walking around my new apartment complex, I saw a lady with a dolly full of groceries. She was attempting to lug the dolly up the stairs herself and was struggling. I asked her if she needed help and she said yes.  I grabbed the bottom of the dolly and together we lifted it up the stairs. She thanked me and introduced herself- Monique. So now I at least know one person in my complex! This is easy, especially if you live in an apartment complex because EVERYONE knows how annoying it is lugging groceries from your car inside- either to the elevator or up the stairs ick. There have been so many times when I wish someone was there to help me!

Updates in regards to recent deeds:

  • Volunteer: The volunteer coordinator at Shade Tree called me back and informed me that when the next training session occurs she will let me know so I can attend and get the process started! The fun thing about this is that one of my best friends Shay is going to volunteer too!
  • Loving Your Body: Follow up visit with Dr. Mason occurs this Wednesday morning. Hopefully the results of all my testing ends in something minor (i.e., not getting enough iron) as opposed to something major (stomach ulcer or tapeworm-thanks for planting that seed Rachel and Lauren).  Be proactive about your health!!! (not reactive like me!)

Tomorrow will be a real post with a real deed again! Until then, I leave you with what is perhaps my favorite quote of all time….

“Moral courage is a more rare commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

-Robert F. Kennedy

#901 do something kind for a stranger

14 Jul

The author suggests holding the door open for someone or letting a car go in traffic. Personally, I feel that holding the door open for someone is simply good manners. Letting a car go in traffic, that I agree is kind. Especially when its busy.

However I did two kind acts. Actually, I dont even know if what I did classifies as kind or just simply being friendly and a nice person. Either way, it made me more aware of my actions. My first kind act involved talking to one of the janitors who works in  my apartment complex. We were going up in the elevator together and I learned that they work 8-5 everyday. WOW. Long day, especially in this heat. As I got off the elevator, I wished him a good rest of his work shift (he only had like 4 more hours to go).

Act two had happened earlier in the day. If you know me, you know I love Panera. So I went today and sent some emails/paid bills, etc. I sat at my usual 4 person table with everything spread out.  As the lunch rush hit, another computer user came up and asked if he could sit with me and use the computer plug too. I told him yes, that it wasn’t a problem. He however was not very friendly, and when I asked him for a number (in random preparation for tomorrow’s deed), he gave me a dirty look, said “what? I don’t know like 50? I’m in the middle of something.” I thanked him, secretly thinking douchebag (not so kind of me). He left a few minutes later…maybe I scared him? I left not soon after, to which my table was quickly sat at by some other people.

I think what’s important here is to make a more conscious effort to be nicer to people. A friendly wave, smile, or “hello” is always nice. Hold the door for someone or open it for them. I also think this doesn’t necessarily have to be a stranger….how about doing something kind for someone who had a falling out with or someone who just don’t like (for a reason or not a reason)!

Updates:

  • Still waiting to hear from Shade Tree…I called today and left a voicemail for the volunteer coordinator. If I don’t hear back by the end of the week, I am going to call one of my other choices: Boys and Girls Club or After School All Stars
  • In regards to post about loving your body, I ended up going to a real physician yesterday. He was pretty concerned about my weight loss (as was I when I discovered I weigh 10 pounds less than December, which is not only unhealthy but unintentional as well) and that I had gastritis in December. He sent for my medical records when I went to the ER in December and I went in this morning for blood work and pee test. I go back next Weds for my follow-up visit. My lovely nurse friends Rachel and Lauren scared me by saying that maybe I had a tape worm, but I really don’t think so…and I really hope not!
  • Since I will be moving Thursday, I may or may not have time to blog but in advance I thank my friends who are coming to help me move and/or helping me set up!

Until tomorrow…

“To show great love for God and our neighbor we need not do great things.”

-Mother Teresa