B/c I’m Happy…& a little Determined ;)

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I recently shared about my transition into my renovation project, and though I posted about a week ago – in real time it has officially been about three months since I’ve transitioned into my #ProjectHouse (said to the tune of Cash Money Millionaires’ ‘Project Chick’… those of us who came of age in the late 90’s and 2000’s will understand).  Due to the ridiculously random winter that we had this year in Richmond, it has definitely been an experience.  For starters, like many older homes the house lacks proper insulation as well as a central heating system.  Added to that, the radiators that were previously installed in the home (…like back in the early 1900’s…) no longer work, and the temperature over the past few months has been a little on the nippy side.  So what is an adverturesome, budget-conscious, aspiring home renovator to do?  Invest in space saving heaters and large rolls of plastic, that’s what!  My beloved man friend and I spent an afternoon draping sheets of plastic over the doorways of the rooms that I primarily use (as I only occupy the first floor of the home, and only 2 of those rooms at that) to retain the heat emitted by the space saving heaters, as well as over the windows.  Plastic was also draped around the stairs leading to the second floor, to thwart the laws of physics and to support the maintenance of heat on the first floor.  My efforts weren’t entirely attractive…….actually, they’re downright ugly, but they work – especially when paired with a warm sleeping bag, several blankets, and hoodies!  And my successfully overcoming an initial barrier to my ultimate goal was so encouraging to me.  Like really, my physically staying in the house has served to remind me not only of the home’s potential, but also what I can do when I’m determined to see something through.  For that, I have dealt with a little cold 😉  I am so excited to see projects that I start to completion, and during those times when it feels less than convenient to keep pressing forward– I can simply tune up Pharrell’s ‘Happy*’ to bring me back to a positive emotional state.  Because really, when I see all that I have been blessed with and the amazing outcome that is to come, I can’t help but become anything less than Happy.

*I love the go-go version of this by the way.  I can’t help it, it’s the PG County girl in me 😉

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Congratulations: Lessons Learned from my Fake Engagement

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Exactly one week ago today was the nationally recognized day of buffoonery – otherwise known as ‘April Fool’s Day’. The one day of the year where people who might not otherwise be considered funny can get their opportunity to shine. It also, unfortunately, can lead to mishaps – as one woman learned after her arrest for calling in a fake shooting at an area school…smh. Stories like that one bring to mind the ‘When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong’ skits from the Chappelle’s show.

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Wu Tang indeed Dave.  Anywho, one of my close friends and I decided to get in on the April Fool’s Day fun by becoming fake engaged and announcing our engagement on Facebook. He put in most of the manpower to “stage” our engagement as my work schedule was hectic that day, and posted multiple pictures of the two of us on his page, along with falsified pictures of the engagement ring, etc. I popped in as my work schedule permitted to provide colorful commentary and to add to the believability of our hoax. Both of us went into this activity not really believing that anyone would take us seriously, and close friends of ours did call us out on our joke (and he even received a few ‘You can’t be serious?’ comments via private messages). But surprisingly, a number of people congratulated both of us and even left pretty heartfelt messages about the qualities that the other person would be gaining through our union.  Awwwww, you guys….  I also realized the potential seriousness of our situation when I received an out-of-state phone call from my mom who had been notified by a close friend of hers about my “engagement”. Needless to say, we made sure to come clean that night (this time on both Facebook and Instagram), though I have continued to get congratulatory messages even a week later.

As someone who has never been engaged before, this was definitely an eye-opening experience, and one that taught me a few things.

  1. You may have more people in your corner than you realize.

Seriously, I did not expect the number of responses that we received, and how happy some people genuinely seemed to be for me. Even people whom I haven’t spoken to in years expressed congratulations, which definitely helped to spread the warm-fuzzies.

  1. People seem to generally hold positive views about marriage.

It is interesting to me that certain events seem to automatically elicit a positive response from others. For example, my “fiancé” could have easily been the biggest man-hoe* in the world and not at all marriage material, but yet his announcement produced majority congratulatory commentary. I’m guilty of this as well, but wonder if this socially acceptable response should be revisited until further research has determined that it is warranted and well deserved.

  1. Word travels fast

Facebook unapologetically tells your business, and doesn’t care who knows it. Anyone who doesn’t want information about themselves becoming publicly consumed should seriously reconsider utilizing any form of social media, or at least have a thorough understanding of the privacy settings on their account.

At the end of the day, I’m glad that I had this experience as I feel I’ve gotten a preview into what engaged life might look like…..provided I’m not choosing to marry a jerk and that others aren’t shy about letting me in on this fact. But I do agree that congratulations are in order for anyone who has the opportunity to commit their lives to their very best friend. Until that has happened for me, I’ll try to suppress my weird sense of humor and keep my April Fool’s Day jokes on a more conservative level in the future. Ha, who am I kidding – that probably won’t happen, especially when there are people who give you ideas like putting eyeballs on all of the items in your fridge, lol!

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*My friend is an amazing person, and the above statement was solely used for discussion purposes. And actually…he’s single, as am I – holla at us 😉

Start

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What are you waiting on?  Serious question – what are you waiting on before you take action on things that you’ve wished or hoped to do?  I’ve written before about my commitment to give procrastination it’s walking papers, and I have been working really hard to make some serious changes in my life so as not to hinder my own progress.  I have several updates as it relates to this topic and that I will be sharing in future posts – but today I would like to focus on you.  If you’ve never heard these words before, know that you are amazing and the world is waiting for you – your brilliance, your creativity, your feedback, your talent, your gift, your motivation, your contribution, your time, your effort, your love…….YOU!  Don’t leave us all hanging, please, and more importantly, don’t leave yourself hanging by not fully experiencing all that you have to offer.  Let the above graphic serve as a motivational tool for you to carve out time to pursue anything that has been waiting in the wings, and I hope that you have an amazingly productive and fulfilled week as a result 🙂  Happy Sunday!

You don’t appreciate what you have…..until it’s gone

I didn't begin to appreciate the consistent intensity of Jack Bauer until nearly 3 years after '24' left the air.

I didn’t begin to appreciate the consistent intensity of Jack Bauer until nearly 3 years after ’24’ left the air.

*proceeds to blow dust from this blog*

It has been seven months and exactly one day since I’ve shared on this blog….and true to the title of this post, you really don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone*.  By that I mean this blog had become a cathartic release for me – a place where my creative juices, overactive imagination, and flights of randomness could coexist in harmony and without judgment.  But time demands, career changes, and just plain-ole’ trying to figure out life has led me away from posting on a regular basis.  In the time that I’ve been away, so much has happened (including my turning the big 3-0 *gasp*) and I truly regret not documenting my experiences in real time……at minimum so that I can look back at this point in time in my life in the future and chuckle at the person that I’ve allowed myself to be 😉  At any rate, I have immensely missed regularly writing, and rather than continue the ’24’ marathon that I have currently paused on ‘Netflix’** – I’ve decided to wipe away the cobwebs and begin anew with posting.  So here I am on this day after “Mass Genocide Appreciation Day” (i.e. Columbus Day), seven months wiser and motivated to write again as I continue my pursuit of normalcy within my differentially defined bounds.  Stay tuned!

* This statement continued to ring true as I remembered that, earlier today while filling my gas tank, I threw away a baggie containing yogurts that I packed as snack the day before along with the spoon that I packed with the yogurts.  That spoon will be missed,the yogurts…..not so much.

**I greatly admire that the show captures commercial breaks in their clock countdowns.  Guessing the amount of time that has transpired during commercials has become a fun guessing game for my friends and I while watching the show.

Blessed

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So we’re almost 2 weeks into the new year, and for some, the “new car smell” of 2013 may be starting to fade.  I’m honestly still pretty hyped (….but I’m that way in general about a lot of things), yet I still have been challenged to maintain my normally positive attitude when faced with negativity & opposition.  Grrrrr!!!  So when I came across the idea of starting a gratitude jar, I jumped at it!  A gratitude jar is an idea that has been circulating around the interwebs (largely thanks to Pinterest) that basically involves writing down at least one thing that you’re grateful for everyday on a strip of paper and placing that paper slip in a jar.  At the end of the year, you dump out the jar and revisit all of the things that you were grateful for.  How cool is that?!  This challenge doesn’t have to be limited to the entire year, for some it might be better as a monthly activity.  I like the idea of doing it for the entire year (but reading periodically when I need a reminder) – provided I can find a jar that’s pretty and big enough to hold 365 slips of paper 😉  Let me know if you’re already a gratitude jar veteran and how practicing this exercise has impacted your life.  I’m hoping that the constant reminder of the blessings that are in my life will completely obliterate any negative thing that may try to get my attention.  Also, if you’re feeling the cutey-patooty jar pictured above – visit this Etsy shop.  Have a fabu hump day!

 

Merry Christmas: Love to Love Ya!

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Merry Christmas!!!  I had an entirely different topic that I was prepared to write about today, but now…..I’m not feeling it.  Instead, I’m going to keep it short & sweet 🙂  In celebration of this day to commemorate the birth of Christ, the ultimate exemplar of Love – I just want you to know that you are loved.  I love you, and more importantly, God loves you…..and there’s nothing you can do about it 🙂  Now that’s a gift that requires no gift wrapping.  Enjoy one of my fav songs by ‘The Commodores’ & have a fabu Christmas Day!

Today’s my 20th!

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Nope – not my birthday, that ship has sailed almost a decade ago.  Today marks the 20th post that I’ve made to this blog *launch the confetti canon*!  While this might not seem significant to some, to me this is a momentous occasion because I wasn’t sure how consistent I would be with this newest creative endeavor.  In the past I’ve started some things and haven’t always seen them through.  Some for legit reasons (lack of time or resources), but for others….I simply lost interest.  I might be a little bit of a flake, or, to take a page from Emilie of Puttylike.com, I’m a ‘Multipotentialite’ who naturally moves from one project to another…honestly, depending on the day, it could be a combination of the two, but I digress.  However I choose to psychoanalyze the motives behind my actions (or lack thereof), I’m excited not only about my consistency with this project, but at how much fun I’ve been having doing it.  Seriously, just letting my brain have at it on an almost daily basis has been quite liberating and enjoyable, and I find myself cracking up at the things that come out of my….fingers.  This also signifies that this project might be worth continuing to invest into, and who knows where things could lead.  And I definitely appreciate all of you who’ve taken the time to read my random tales, motivational excerpts, or just daily thoughts, and would love to hear from you!  What do you think, any ideas, suggestions, things you’d like to know or see?  Let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at differentnorm@gmail.com.  I’m def planning on getting some pics and videos up soon – so be on the lookout for the new hotness in the ’13 (…..wow, that sounded wack…I  feel for the high school seniors who are graduating in such an “un-cool” sounding year, makes me appreciate my 2000 graduation a little bit more).  So yeah, much thanks to you, and I hope to be connecting with all of you a bit better in the future.  In honor of this celebratory day, and the fact that I graduated during a non-wack year, here’s one of my fav songs from 2000.  This week must be the week of the boy band for me, but I loved N*Sync & Backstreet Boys back in the day…..I knew the choreography and everything….  Enjoy & have a fabu Hump Day!