08/21/2020

This week I am grateful for/that:

1. We found a place we like, they have agreed to accommodate our requests to replace the carpet in the 2nd bedroom and to paint, and we are submitting the applications today.

2. R. interviewed for his new position and was informed last night that all the approvals have gone through. He should receive the official offer today. There should not be any break in service for him and we shouldn’t have to deal with any COBRA insurance costs or student loan snafus.

3. I finally got my head and heart in the right place so that I can properly prepare for the LSAT and law school.

4. I seem to have lost all my VTO/COVID weight. I fit back into my uniform pants, which I prefer to wear on days I commute.

5. As always, I am grateful for R. Some days he drives me absolutely BATTY with his stubbornness and his attempts to intentionally irritate me. He is also the best partner I could ask for. He is smart, funny, exacting, organized, clean, sweet (when he chooses to be), protective, supportive, fun…he has so many wonderful qualities! I also appreciate that he challenges me and that, while we can both be super stubborn, we don’t hold grudges against each other for firmly believing in our own opinions.

08/15/2020

I have been really busy: work is crazy (especially the commute), trying to find a new place to live, and trying to study for the LSAT. I have been allowing my gratitude practice to just fade away. I decided I’m not ok with that. So, without further ado, here is this week’s Gratitude Check-In

I am grateful for/that:

1. I have a partner who is equally vested in our future, who wants be our life to be as perfect as possible, and who compliments my personality well.

2. I got my bid for September done. I need to be better about working on it though. I don’t want to purchase Wi-Fi on my commute flight to finish it ever again! $15.99 is too much, fortunately I had it in my Misc fund.

3. It is almost time for my kitties to come live with me!!!! Mere weeks now!

4. My Landmark Seminar, An Invented Life: My Life, My Design, and for being back in a conversation that helps me live fully, in every moment, with power, freedom, and full self-expression.

5. For long airport sits this trip so that I can really start taking the time to study for the LSAT.

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

I wanted to be vulnerable for a minute and try to help illustrate what white privilege looks like:

Recently my black flight attendant friends started posting and sharing their stories about how they have to look into all their overnights on a trip to try and determine their level of relative safety in each city. Until they started sharing this practice it never even occurred to me that they would have to look into and prepare for what an individual city’s culture might be, how racist and dangerous it could be for them there.

White privilege means that you inherently benefit from a social, political, and economic system that was set up to make life easier for you. It doesn’t mean, individually, your life IS easy, it doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard for what you have. More often than not white privilege shows up in less obvious ways, like how the thought never even OCCURRED to you that your black co-workers and friends have to look into every city they overnight in just so they can have a general idea of how racist a place will be for them. When something doesn’t OCCUR to you it is because you have had the PRIVILEGE of never having experienced it before. That is part of, at least socially, what white privilege means.

And, before I get comments about recent protests in some cities making things more dangerous for everyone, let me remind you all: This is not a new practice, for as long as black flight attendants have been flying they have had to do this. I had just never been aware of it until recently.

I also want to add: their stories about having to check on overnights resonated with me because, as a woman, I have personally googled cities and checked with the hotel staff at an overnight to make sure the area we are staying in is safe enough for me to go out alone on a walk or to rollerskate, so I have a vague idea of what kinds of extra steps it takes to mentally prepare for flying into a new place. I definitely have not had to do it to the degree my black friends have had to do it.

July 18th, 2020

I am grateful for/that:

1. R. drove up to Austin last night to get me after my San Antonio flight cancelled. If he hadn’t I would have spent the night in an airport (either Dallas or Chicago) because I’m too cheap to get a room for 8 hours and then I would have spent the majority of one of my two off days commuting home. It was all nice to sleep in my own bed and get my errands and chores done today.

2. I got to spend an evening with Kimberly and Jess, we talked COVID, flying, gun control, and while we didn’t always agree, we had productive conversations and a lot of laughs.

3. I had a really nice 3 day. Good crew, lots of laughs. This last trip almost felt like life Pre-COVID-19.

4. My bid turned out well. 81 hours and all layer 1. My trips are commutable, except the go-home day of the 3 day, but I will either drop it, drop the last 2 legs, or trade it for something better. So happy for a good schedule!

5. My upcoming Landmark seminar: An Invented Life. I can’t wait to discover new distinctions and have new breakthroughs.

July 10th, 2020

For the first time in two and a half months I missed my gratefulness journaling. I thought about doing it several times, I even thought about what I was grateful for, but when I hadn’t done it by Sunday I just let it go. I learned something this week, that with my work schedule, it’s unrealistic to do things on extremely long, busy work days. It is ok to put my weekly activities off until the following day when I have more time for them. The point was to do an activity weekly and make it a habit, not stress myself out because my Friday, or Tuesday, or whatever day I was flying the whole day then had a short overnight and didn’t want to cut into sleeping hours by journaling (or watching TED talks) for an hour before going to bed.

July 4th, 2020 (We were driving all day yesterday and I didn’t get the post done)

I am grateful for/that:

1. I got to talk with my dad this week. He is 5 weeks cigarette-free! I really think he has kicked the habit this time .

2. We get to spend the weekend up at Les and Kathy’s, trying out our new fishing gear.

3. It appears R.’s job has been settled and we know we’ll be in San Antonio at least one more year. We are now looking at renting a house closer to the airport.

4. I am very easy-going and adaptable, which makes flying with less easy-going, less adaptable flight attendants more tolerable…for both of us.

5. I became a pen pal to the elderly. I hope they write back! I have six pen pals right now, I may add a few more.

My friend, Martha Beekman, posted a clip of this debate and I had never seen it before. If you’re like me, trying to educate yourself and become a better ally, it is a definite must watch. There are some powerful conversations going on in here and, if you find yourself getting anxious, upset, angry, shutting down, feeling like what they are saying is not important because it doesn’t impact you, really look at those feelings, examine why you feel them, you might learn a little bit about yourself as well. We are all excellent at seeing life through our own lens, see if you can try someone else’s on for a little while and really get what they are saying. I am a firm believer that America isn’t going to be great until it is great for all of us. Black Lives Matter.

Earlier this week my friend, Kayla, shared with me a weekly tradition she has been doing this year. She calls it “TED Talk Tuesday”. She blocks 30 minutes of time, on Tuesdays, to listen to TED Talks about something she knows nothing about. I decided I was going to join her, so here are the links to the three TED Talks I listened to today.

Obviously, your YouTube, podcasts, social media, etc is all curated through algorithms so that you see a lot of stuff that totally interests you. The goal is to find something you know nothing about and watch/listen to that TED Talk. I scrolled through until I found one about how to have a better conversation. I feel like I struggle with conversations in general so I thought, let’s start with something that can help make me a better person. I then scrolled through the suggestions after watching that video and found a related topic, how to speak so that people want to listen. And I then I really mixed it up with: How to Spot a Liar.

I learned a lot, and I can’t wait to put some of my new-found knowledge into action.

I challenge all of you to participate in TED Talk Tuesday. Go outside the box of your personal interests and expand your ways of thinking and being. Together, we can change the world!


Links:

10 Ways to Have a Better conversation:

How to Speak so that People Want to Listen:

How to Spot a Liar:

June 26th, 2020

I am grateful for/that:

1. I am a good cook. I think so many people are putting their health at risk to go to restaurants because they are bored of the food they eat. R. and I have restaurant quality food every night. Tonight we had fish tacos with a spicy lime/cilantro/garlic sauce and cheese tots. Last night we had my version of crunch-wrap supremes, with the cuban black beans I made earlier in the week, chicken (for R.), and guacamole. R. makes the best guacamole. The night before that we had salmon with caprese salad and pesto pasta.

2. R. so easily changed his plans for the weekend. He wanted to go up to his parents so he could work on his car and and we could fish, but I was so tired after working, driving home, shopping, etc. so I just wanted to stay home and relax. Plus, I work Monday so I need to food prep and pack for my next trip. He acquiesced and we are spending a quiet weekend at home.

3. I pulled over and took a nap on my drive from DFW to SAT. I think that if I hadn’t pulled over I would have been involved in that massive accident and I would have been too tired to have reacted easily.

4. Good literature. I know I have said that before, but I am pretty much always grateful for good literature. I just finished Dandelion Wine and I’m currently reading Anna Karenina. I did not think I would enjoy it so much.

5. I know this is going to sound lame but I am grateful for apartment hunting apps. They make searching for our new home so much easier, especially if it ends up being in another state.

June 20th, 2020 (posted on the 21st)

Did my regular Friday paper journaling, but now that I’m working again it has become more complicated to get it translated into my digital blog.  Also, I am consistently journaling ten things I’m grateful for, but I’m only going to post five here.

I am grateful for/that:

1.  R.  He is my rock in the chaos.  He keeps me centered and helps me feel both supported emotionally and physically protected.  He is my sanity in an insane world.

2. I still have a job.  And I was able to get to work with no problems today.

3. I have been managing my money well and have made it back to regular paychecks without having to tap my Emergency Fund. I am very proud of my fiscal integrity.

4. That R. takes the threat of COVID-19 as seriously I do. We protect each other by being as safe as possible. (I do feel guilty about putting him at risk because of my job).

5. My ankle is healed up enough that I can wear my heels at work now.

June 12th, 2020

(Delayed posting again.  I did write out my gratefulness post in my paper journal, but I just didn’t feel like it was appropriate to post on social media.  I’m only posting it here and now to keep a record of it.  I do think I will continue with the gratefulness social media posts this upcoming Friday though.)

I am grateful:

1. For reconnecting with Thomas (Ogar).  It was wonderful to catch up, nerd out, and talk about life and the reality of the world.

2. For my conversation with Grant (Adams).  It involved Landmark, being “on the court”, and how possibility needs to be ongoingly created.  I love my conversations with him, I feel very empowered by them.

3. For my company giving me positive space to commute to work in SLC.  I work for a fantastic company that is doing it’s best to take care of it’s employees during this pandemic.  Bonus related gratefulness: on July 7th my commute flight possibilities will increase from one flight per day to four flights per day.

4.  I was able to see Jess (Williams) and Sarah (Graham) in ORD for a few minutes.  I walked them to their gate while I was waiting for my flight home.  It’s so nice to see friends.

5. For R. (as always).  I am grateful he’s a hard worker, that he’s emotionally stable, that he can make me laugh when I’m upset, and that he can handle my mood swings.

June 6th, 2020 (delayed posting to stay committed to, and respectful of, the social media Blackout for Black Lives Matter Movement)

Today I am grateful for/that:

1. I went back to work after nearly 7 weeks, off.  I am happy I still have a job to go back to and that I still love it.  (Bonus gratefulness: people are starting to fly again!)

2.  My company stayed true to what they said and they forgave my commuting occurrence.  My reliability is still perfect.

3. President Obama.  I am so appreciative of him giving an address to the nation, showing leadership, helping with steps to a greater solution. 

4.  The teachings of the Dalai Lama.  Reading and reflecting on his words helps me feel a little more at ease.  Concentrating on impermanence and compassion has really helped my mental state this week.

5.  R. I know he is always on the grateful list, but I am always grateful for him.  He is so brave and also vehemently believes in justice and equality.  I am glad we always align on the important issues, it is nice to not have arguments about politics and religion. 

I have been trying to find words, trying to find some way to express how broken my heart is.  I’m grieving for my black friends because I hear you.  I hear your outrage. I hear your grief. I hear your fear, not just for your own life, but for the lives of all black people.  I see the injustice, the double standards, the casual hate speech directed towards you. As I have aged, I have hoped to see a little more improvement in the state of my country, OUR country. Instead it has only become more apparent to me how completely inequitable the system is. How biased and discriminatory. How utterly unethical. And, I understand it has always been this way. But I honestly thought we were improving as a society. I now definitively know I was wrong, nothing has improved, it’s just as insidious as it has ever been. I guess all that is to say, I’m with you. I will not watch this all happen and be silent. I’m standing with you. I am yelling with you. I will fight injustice with you. You are my brothers and sisters, I am your ally, and this is our home. I want you to be as safe and as free as I am. And I love you.

Hi all ❤️

As many of you may know, I am on an ever-evolving journey of self-discovery. I do my best every day to spend time with myself: exploring who I am, why I think the way I do, why I react to others the way I do, how I interact with other humans and our planet, etc. One of the tools I’ve recently discovered that has aided me in my journey is the enneagram. This is podcast (link below) gives a brief overview of the 9 enneagram types: what they bring to the world that is super special, how they experience love, and what they fear most.

I have found the enneagram extraordinarily useful as a tool for understanding myself because it really deals with one’s deepest fears and explains a lot in regards to how one experiences love. Fear and love are powerful forces, and they heavily influence our actions as humans. Understanding more about how others experience love and feel fear can create more compassion for one another as individuals, and humanity as a whole. In addition, understanding your own fears and how you personally experience love, can also create compassion for yourself, which is something I definitely struggle with, and is a state of being I am constantly trying to achieve.

Anyway, I hope you give the podcast a listen. If you have questions about the enneagram, I LOVE talking about it and exploring it with others! Full disclosure: I haven’t read the two books mentioned in the podcast (I’ll be ordering them this week though). I have read a couple of other enneagram books and have a different workbook that I have found helpful, but I’m still a total noob when it comes to the enneagram. I honestly love talking self-discovery so reach out if you find this stuff interesting, let’s chat about our types 😊

PS, I’m a type 3

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vdW5sb2NraW5nLXVz&ep=14&episode=ODY4ZTg0Y2UtNzQzMi0xMWVhLWI1N2ItNTNkYTg0M2M5NWI2

May 30th, 2020

I had a really hard time finding a grateful heart and mind with all that is going on with the George Floyd murder, but I made a commitment to do weekly gratefulness journaling, so here goes:

I am grateful that/for:

1. I have a diverse group of friends. I feel like that makes it easier to see life through their eyes, their experience. I don’t need to be convinced of the inequity and injustice they deal with daily, I can see it very well and my heart weeps.

2. Having a friend like Leigh Anne that I can talk about literature (and life) with.

3. Brené Brown and her podcasts on How to Apologize. It motivated me to reach out and apologize to Maureen that I may have hurt her feelings when I didn’t go to our parent’s house because she was there.

4. Discovering the enneagram. It’s helping me gain insight into other’s motivations.

5. R. For his continual commitment to our relationship, for his sincere apologies (even if they take a while), for his hard work and his logical, forward-thinking mind.

May 23rd, 2020 (I’m a day late)

I am grateful for:

1. Good coffee

2. I finally got my stimulus check…well kind of. It went to my mom’s house and my dad has put it in the mail to come to me. I should physically have it next week.

3. My bid came out perfectly. I was awarded one commutable trip out of Chicago and the rest of the month I am free to pick up out of other bases.

4. I got a hair appointment for next Tuesday. No more quarantine roots!

5. The Radio West book club.

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vaGFwcGluZXNzbGFi&ep=14&episode=OTAzYWNkNDYtMzk1Ni0xMWVhLWJmY2MtMWJmMjE1MWI0MGM1

By now you have probably realized that I really like this podcast by The Happiness Lab. I think this is the third episode I have posted a link to in my blog and I have also shared several other episodes with a myriad of friends since I have discovered it. I certainly hope you take a few moments to check it out on your own time. Today want to talk just a little bit about my own faults and how this particular episode impacted me. You see, I’m a natural griper.

In any given conversation I am undeniably guilty of griping.  And I honestly thought it was a healthy way of expressing general annoyances, thus releasing them and be plagued by them no more. Until this day I have never considered the impact of my seemingly innocent gripes on those around me. Like filling a pool of water in your hands and then letting it filter slowly through your fingers, I pooled my gripes and then slowly trickled their negativity onto my friends.

I have a fair bit of social anxiety and I often struggle with meeting new people.  Given this personality quirk, I appear to have chosen a less than ideal career: I’m a flight attendant.  As a flight attendant, obviously, I meet hundreds of new people each day.  In addition to the passengers I take care of, I also meet with and have to create new connections with a different crew each time I fly.  For people like me that can be challenging.

In the flight attendant world there is a running joke about “that kind of flight attendant”, the one that no one likes to fly with because they are always complaining and bringing everyone around them down. After listening to this episode of The Happiness Lab, I have realized I’m “that flight attendant”.

In an effort to create a common bond and, let’s face it, attempt to be people-pleasing, witty, and humorous, I will usually meet my new crew and immediately gripe to them about something, more often than not it’s my commute. My reasoning has been that it helps create common ground and often makes them laugh cynically at the absurd lifestyle many crew members lead.

When flight crew talk about commuting it generally means something different than the common vernacular. For my company, Chicago is a “commuter base”. This means a large portion of the flight crew that are based there don’t actually live in the Chicago area. Some crew members drive several hours from places like Milwaukee, Peoria, and Moline to work their trips. And some folks (myself included) actually fly in from states a great deal farther away; sometimes leaving eight to ten hours before their trip starts, just to get to work on time. This means that on any given crew there is at least one other commuter. It also means that griping about commuting is common place, relatable, and can quickly unify crew members. Listening to this podcast was a wake-up call for me. It introduced me to the possibility that I am actually creating a negative work environment by griping, and that my griping directly impacts the happiness levels of my entire crew.

Now that I’m aware of, and I have so unceremoniously made you all aware of, my griping issue, let’s discuss gratitude. You might be thinking, “how are gratitude and griping related?” Well, this podcast episode discusses exactly how. There is actual, scientific evidence that shows you can transform your gripes into gratitude, and when you do you can increase your inherent happiness.

Think back over the last week to the situations and interactions in your life that have left you feeling lack luster, upset, annoyed, or even angry. In essence, locate your gripes. Now, see if you can discover one detail, one facet of that gripe that you can be grateful for. If you’re unsure how this works, let me help illustrate it: One of my main gripes this week has been my boyfriend and the way I have perceived he’s interacting with me. I have been griping that he has been anywhere from snappy to downright rude while talking to me. When I really looked at the gripe I was able to find gratitude in the fact that, despite the challenges that occur when two people, who are used to a lot of alone time, have to coexist in an already small space that now must also serve as a makeshift work-from-home office, we have been able to navigate disagreements and arguments without saying cruel, harmful, and potentially damaging things to one another. Talk about finding a silver lining to a week’s worth of bickering!

I know we hear all the time about how actively embracing and practicing gratitude can help you to create a more positive outlook and bring more happiness into your daily life. It’s kind of one of those exhausted tropes: Blah blah blah, practice gratitude… Blah blah blah, gratitude journaling…. Blah blah blah, gratitude helps you become a happier human being… But this episode of The Happiness Lab definitively links the practice of gratitude with feeling happier and more content in life. And right now, couldn’t the world could use a little bit more happiness? Because goodness knows, if we dwell too long on this coronavirus pandemic, we will all collapse into despair.  So, I’ve decided to try it. I’m taking the advice of the experts and I’m actually going to try gratitude journaling. I have committed to a journaling session every Friday to help recap my week and focus in on what has really mattered to me in the previous few days. I will attempt to find at least five things that truly create a feeling of gratitude for me. And, I invite you all to do it with me. I am going to post my weekly gratitude journal here (it will be posted in a separate thread so I can keep an ongoing chronicle of my gratitude), I truly hope you all check in and share a little bit about what brings you joy as well. Let’s create a happiness buffer to help mentally protect us from the madness of this pandemic and, if you can transfer a gripe into gratitude, all the more better.