A Little Compassion Goes a Long Way

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My dad asked me an interesting question the other day, "If you see two men fighting on the street, one beating up another, which one do you have compassion for?" I obviously answered too quickly that duh, I'd have compassion for the one being beat up. And he corrected me by telling me that no, I should have compassion for both.
I'm sure my dad didn't just make that up, as wise as he may be. In fact it's most likely that it came from some Buddhist teaching somewhere. But whoever said it first, it did get me thinking. 
Do I show compassion to all people, no matter what? I wish I could say yes. That at all points of the day I show compassion to all types of people. But that would be a big huge lie and I try to stay pretty honest around these parts. 
I work in a doctors office, a chiropractor more specifically, in a more affluent part of the city. We have some very...let's call them high maintence patients. I'm a receptionist and on the daily I get calls from people literally demanding to see the doctor. I would never demand that anyone see me if I waited till the absolute last minute to call into make an appointment somewhere. If I dare tell them that the doctor is booked for the time they need to get in, the precede to tell me how much they need to see him and how their problems are so much worse than anyone else. If they don't see the doctor they just might not make it
I'm not joking (okay, I'm joking a little), but it gets dramatic in our office. 
And sometimes I find myself making judgements, although I try really, really hard not to. Because it really isn't my place to. How do I know these patients aren't in the absolute worst pain of their lives? 
The truth is, I don't. 
Having compassion isn't the easiest thing. Not all the time, and not towards every person. Sometimes people make your life difficult. They may mess up your day, or annoy you or be rude in some form or another. But no one really knows what anyone else is going through. Sometimes I may only see a patient for under five minutes and think I have my mind made up about the type of person they are. But maybe that person just lost their job, or had to deal with people being rude to them wherever they just came from. 
I think a little bit of compassion comes from the ability to change our perspective. When I'm in pain, the last thing I want is for someone to tell me I can't get in to see the one person who might be able to help me. I think that for the most part, people don't try to act in a way that seems demanding, or condescending. Maybe no one's ever told them that's the way they were coming off to other people and it's all they've ever known. 
It's important to be compassionate for both the person getting beaten up and the person doing the beating...well, maybe not literally but you get the picture. 
Next time someone makes your day a little more difficult, try to put yourself in their shoes and show them a some compassion.  

Things to Let Go of for a Happier Today

Monday, May 23, 2016

1. Apprehension to saying yes to new things. Try something new today, even if all that means is ordering something different at the Starbucks drive thru on your way to work this morning. 

2. The clothes you've been hiding away in your closet in case you "might wear them one day". I am so guilty of this. I buy way too many clothes and when I do any type of clean out I usually convince myself that I'll need most of the stuff for such and such occasion. If you haven't worn a clothing item in the past two months, toss it in a bag and donate it. 

3. Friends who aren't really friends. Really think about this one. We all go through experiences in life that change us. We grow and we learn and we're all just trying to be happy. Now think about those times when you've felt really, truly happy, and think about the friends around you. If any of them seemed envious, or negative or just wanted to bring down your happy then maybe they're not the people you need in your life. I can count my closest friends on one hand, and that's okay with me. 

4. Debt you may have started accumulating. Duh, I know this one is much easier said then done. If we could all just eliminate debt then we'd all be much happier I'm sure. But even if you can't erase your debt in a day, or a week, or a month, make a savings plan. Work towards a goal of paying off some of it because chances are you could have more later. I see you, student loans. 

5. Negativity towards things you don't understand. It's human nature to be afraid of the unknown. But especially in today's society we need to focus on positivity rather than negativity. If someone is making a life choice that is different then our own, then so be it. Just because we don't understand something doesn't make it wrong. And we so need to focus on that. 

6. Making technology a priority over meaningful relationships. Are you one of those people who texts during dinner? Lay's in bed at night next to your significant other and browses the internet instead of talking? Check's your emails while you're walking outside? If you answered yes to any of these, then stop. We are all guilty of this. But by spending all of our time focused on the next best thing on social media were missing out on so much around us that could be making us happier. Spend an hour, or a day a week and turn off the technology. Just see what it can do for you.

What other things should we let go of for a happier today?

Five on Friday

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Friday, all! Today I'm linking up for a Five on Friday post with A.Liz Adventures. I hope you'll link up too!

One// Yesterday we got the opportunity to attend The Ellen Show! Our guest was Johnny Depp and  the episode will be airing today. It's one of the last that they'll be filming for the season and it was so fun to be there. Of course I had to pick up this cute Ellen coffee cup, and a I couldn't help myself I had to buy a pair of Ellen briefs for Daniel! 

Two// My parents bought me a massage for my graduation present so tomorrow I'll be spending the day at the spa with my mom and sister, I love girls day's with them!

Three// One of my favorite bikini stores, Frankie's Bikini's is doing an extra 40% off all of their sale swimsuits until Sunday! They have some of the cutest stuff and I'm trying to stock up for the summer. 

Four// I started "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson yesterday and after the first few pages I am so intrigued. His writing is really descriptive and the story is so scary but it's so interesting. 

Five// I came across this quote by Roald Dahl on Pinterest and loved it. A little motivation to get you moving towards your dreams!

TGIF friends!

If You Could Change It All, Would You?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Last night I had the weirdest dream ever. It took place sometime in the future, but it wasn't as I knew it. My entire life was different, but I was blatantly aware of the fact that it didn't feel right. It wasn't what I knew, or who I knew. The people I recognized in my dream were few and in between. My sister was there and that was about the only face I can remember seeing clearly. 

In my dream I was married (happily, I think?) but to a stranger. I had kids I didn't know, and because I was consciously my current self, I was confused and apprehensive about just enjoying the dream. 

Does this all sound strange? Probably. But don't judge. 

Anyway, in the dream I found myself trying to get back to what I knew. To get back to Daniel and to figure out what happened to the life I was expecting for myself. To understand what changed and to keep it from happening.

And when I woke up and realized this was all some silly dream, it got me wondering. It made me think about life, and change, and regret, and about how when I'm at that point in my life will I look back and wish anything was different? 

Do I ever wish that now?

The answer is yes, and no. Of course there are things that I would do differently, that's life. But the things that I've done have taught me things. I've learned and I've grown from them. I'm still learning every day.

Could I have lived without having to spend the first three years of marriage separated from my husband? absolutely. 

But it made us so much stronger. 

Could I have chosen to travel like so many of my friends instead of finishing college? sure. 

But what would that have given me besides memories?

I don't want to wake up ten years from now and see someone I don't recognize. Or to feel that the choices I've made weren't entirely mine throughout my life. Right now, fully awake, I see a future filled with family, with laughter, and with my best friend by my side. And that's where I'm headed. 

Whenever I'm unsure of the choices I'm making, I have to believe that they're leading me to that. Life's too short to focus on the things you could have done differently, or how things might have changed. If things don't turn out exactly as planned, embrace it. This is your life, right now, and it's time to make the most of it. 

A Perfect Wife I Am Not

Monday, May 16, 2016

I am not a perfect wife. I know what you’re thinking, how could that be?! But alas, it is true. There is a lot I have to work on in the wife department, and probably always will be. But it’s not for lack of trying. I always imagined myself as the TV wife. The one who had dinner prepped and ready to go, the one who always kept her house pristinely decorated and clean, and the one who always looked perfect and kept herself together. You know the kind, straight out of a 50’s magazine. But we do not live in the 50’s. And it’s much more likely that I’ve spent the day binging on Netflix than cleaning the house, or ordering take-out instead of cooking dinner. There’s a huge difference between me and these 50’s housewives. I work, and I just finished a college degree, which up until last week was taking a significant portion of my day away. My apartment will never be perfectly clean longer than the hour or so it takes before we mess it up again, because oh yeah, we live here.

I’m not a perfect wife. But I love my husband, and I love being married and I try to reflect that in everything I do. If I order pizza instead of cooking, I make sure to order his favorite toppings on at least one half. If I don’t get around to doing the laundry I still try and make sure that his work shirt or pants doesn’t get mixed up in the rest of the mess of clothes we have on the floor.

It’s the little things that make marriage so significant today. It’s less about one person losing themselves in another, and more about working together as a team. I will never be the wife from 50’s television, although sometimes I find similarities in a few I Love Lucy Episodes. But I’ll never stop showing my love, and support. And if my house is never clean and food is never made, I still think we’ll find happiness in our little imperfections.

23 Things That Make Me Happy

Friday, May 13, 2016

I like to do posts like this every once in awhile just as a reminder to myself of all of the things I have to be thankful for. Sometimes its easier to go through your day focused on all of the things that aren't going your way, or things that are upsetting you but if you stop for just a second and remind yourself of a couple things making you happy, it can have a huge impact on your perspective. So, here we have some things that are making me happy today.

1. Stitch and his Mike Wazowski toy. Who knew those two would be friends? 

2. No more alarm clocks, well for now anyway. Eventually I may have a real job that requires me to show up before 2:00 but for right now, I'm soaking up the extra sleep time. 

3. Laundry fresh out of the dryer. I hate doing laundry, period. But getting to pull it out of the dryer right when it dings makes it a little more worth it. 

4. Buy plane tickets. To anywhere really, but buying them to go somewhere fun makes it all the better. I finally got my passport which means I can finally book my tickets to Mexico. Cancun, I'm coming for you. 

5. Messy Box. I have pictures all over my apartment that will probably get lost in the abyss if I don't do something with them. I received my first messy box subscription yesterday, and I can't wait to get a little creative. 

6. The library and all it's wonder. I have free time lately which means I have time for books again. Books that I actually truly want to read, just because. The library is about to become my best friend.

7. New blog designs. I am constantly changing out my blog design, still trying to find the one that really fits me. It hasn't been easy, but this is probably due to the fact that there are just so many good ones out there, and I'm indecisive. I sent in a request to one of my favorite bloggers/designers this morning, and I can't wait to get moving on a fresh new look!

8. The fact that ABC family switches between Disney marathons and Harry Potter marathons on the weekends, that my happy place. 

9. Basically all the Disney movies, ever. 

10. And the fact that Harry Potter World opened up a couple of weeks ago here in LA. 

11. Pretty flowers which I got a lot of over this past weekend because of graduation. My apartment is filled with pretty little reminders of the day. 

12. The fact that in LA, I'm never far from the different seasons. I could go north to San Fran or Napa for Fall, Big Bear for Winter, and San Diego for Summer year round. 

13. Coming home to Daniel every day. I'm still not used to this and he's been back since November. It's the best feeling having someone to come home to after work each night. 

14. Passing all my classes. For some reason, our grades weren't due until after our graduation ceremony. Which means I totally could have failed something but still participated in the whole ordeal. That was stressful! Grades came out yesterday though, and I'm all good. 

15. The West Wing. I just finished season two of Grace and Frankie which means it's time for another binge-worthy series. I'm giving The West Wing a try because I've heard it's a good one. 

16. Bubble baths over showers any day.

17. Hazelnut and French Vanilla coffee creamer. There's something about the taste of either of these in my coffee that make my mornings just a little bit sweeter. 

18. Carnivals. A tiny one just came to town for the weekend and were rounding up some friends to go. I love carnivals, and funnel cake, and silly games with tickets, and oh yeah, funnel cake. 

19. Blankets from Home Good's, or really everything else from Home Good's too. 

20. Dessert before dinner. And after dinner. Really dessert any time. 

21. Maxi dresses and rompers for every Summer occasion.

22. Peaches, and cherries, and watermelon and all the other Summer fruits that are coming back into season right now. 

23. Friday's and reading about things that make other people happy.

So share yours! Happy weekend, all. 

Be Unstoppable

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Unstoppable. That is my universities magic word. As an all girls school, we all took pride in the fact that we were soaring miles above the expectations that some people had for us. This couldn't have been clearer than at graduation when one student gave a speech on stage that was so honest, so empowering and overall so unstoppable that we were all cheering by the end. 

Lately I've been reading Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes, if you haven't read this yet RUN to the library and get it, you NEED this book. She dedicates an entire chapter to the fact that, as women, we tend to be more shy about our accomplishments. Rather than embrace the fact that were out here doing big, important things, women tend to be more quiet about the fact that they're making a difference. 

She calls bullshit on that. 

And so do I. 

As women, I think it's more important than ever for us to shout our accomplishments to the world. Be proud of yourself as a professional, a mother, a student, or anything else you may be. Because what you're doing is important. 

I graduated on Monday with 200 other unstoppable women. Women who will go on to do great things. And as someone who is confident in what I'm doing, I can be happy for them, even proud of them. 

We need to celebrate each other. And we need to celebrate ourselves. Whether you have it all figured out or not, you need to remind yourself that what you're doing is important, and at this time it's right for you. 

Don't be humble, don't be shy, be unstoppable. 

Class of 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

After what has felt like the longest part of my life thus far, I am finally a graduate of Mount St. Mary's University. 

Yesterday flew by in a blur of caps and gowns, photos and flowers. There was laughter and there were tears (mostly from mom) and everyone was overjoyed with the overall accomplishments of all the grads. 

As the first generation female to graduate with a bachelors degree from my family, I have gained such respect for anyone who puts in the time and effort that it takes to continue their education. 

I'm positive that my education will never fully be finished, and I'm betting I only make it to the end of summer before I start looking for my next program.

School is all that I've known for as long as I can remember. 

But there's so much left to do, and I can't wait to see where this life takes me next. 

Five Ways My Goals Changed After I Got Married

Friday, May 06, 2016

When I decided to get married at twenty, it seemed like everyone I knew was worried about my decision. It was clear that what Daniel and I were doing was going against the norm, and everyone wanted to know, why? It wasn't uncommon for people to share their concerns with me, as if it were any of their business, that I wouldn't be able to reach any of my own goals now that I was choosing to connect myself with someone else forever. As if suddenly, I would lose sight of myself in my marriage, that I would ultimately become so wrapped up in my life as a new wife that I couldn't possibly do any of the things I talked about wanting to do. 

But the thing people didn't understand was that my dreams didn't disappear when I got married, they were simply adjusted. They changed to fit my new lifestyle and to the person I wanted to become. They didn't simply go away, they just evolved, and I'm here to tell you how.

My focus turned from how I could better myself to how we could be better together. The choices I was making became more about what would be right for the two of us then, and for our future. School remained a priority, hello graduation on Monday! Because I knew that in the long run the hard work I was putting in would be beneficial for our family later. 

I still wanted to see the world. But now my searches that usually went something like, "best places to travel alone in your twenty's" changed to, "must see locations for couples". I still want to adventure, and now I'll always have a partner to do it with. 

A career became just slightly less important. As I mentioned above, that did not mean that my education took a backseat to anything. It just meant that when I looked ahead I usually pictured things like our family and our home, and although I plan to work and want to do something I love, my career will never come before my family. And that's exactly the way I want it to be. 

Saving money finally became a pressing issue for me. It's easy to justify going out for drinks twice a week when it's just you and your friends. But when you have someone else working towards a similar goal, like paying rent, suddenly the thought of staying in with some movies and dinner at home is a lot more appealing. 

I've worked twice as hard to maintain friendships with people I truly care about. In any relationship it's not uncommon to get caught up in the newness of it and lose sight of the other relationships in your life. When you get married it's no different, I mean you (hopefully) married your best friend, so why wouldn't you want to spend all your time with them? But one goal I really put effort into was keeping the relationships I had before Daniel. Everyone needs a little girl time now and then! And even though we're at a point in our lives where everybody is doing their own things, I never lost sight of the people that meant the most to me. 

Getting married at any age doesn't mean that you lose sight of who you are as an individual. If anything, I've grown more confident in my goals because I've got someone by my side supporting me through them all. 

Embrace the Change, Enjoy the Journey

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

And just like that, as quickly as it started, my college career is coming to an end. Tomorrow I'm headed into my last final before graduating on Monday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous.

For the past eighteen years, school is what I've known. I've spent hours scheduling classes, writing papers, studying for exams, and working towards a goal, a goal that I will have completed by the beginning of next week. 

I've enjoyed my experience in college although it hasn't been your typical one. I've attended four different schools in three different states, but that's the life of an army wife. I've put so much work into getting where I am now, and I couldn't be more proud of myself. 

But change is scary. And everyone keeps asking the same question, "what's next?" As if all of a sudden the end of one part of my life means that I'll have everything else figured out. But the truth is, I don't. Not even for a little bit, not even for a second. I'm still figuring it out, and I don't want the stress of trying to make all the plans for the future to get in the way of enjoying this moment right now. 

This moment that is a culmination of everything I've done to get to this place, this moment that is far too important to miss out on because I'm stressed out about what's to come. 

So in a year from now, what will I be doing? I can honestly tell you that right this second, I have no idea. And that's okay. If I think these past five years have flown by, I can only imagine how quickly this next week of celebration will go before it's over, and I don't want to miss a second of it.

Whatever change you're going through in life, embrace it. 

Twenty-Four Hours in Las Vegas

Monday, May 02, 2016

For some reason whenever I have way too much to do we always end up planning a weekend away right in the middle of it all. Some people would crumble under the stress of it all, but I try to take it in stride and enjoy the good times before I'm back to the reality of whatever stressful situation I'm in. This was one of those weekends. Daniel's birthday was on Thursday and about a month ago we agreed to plan a trip with his grandparents to Vegas for the weekend. We're about 4 and a half hours outside of Vegas, which isn't too terrible as far as road trips go. The hardest part was that we couldn't leave until after I got off of work on Friday at 6:30, and we had to be back first thing this morning because I've got finals starting tomorrow. Some people might see that as poor planning, I saw it as an excuse to fit in as much fun as possible into our 24 hours in Vegas before we headed back home to the next three days of finals, and that's exactly what I got. 

We arrived in Vegas Friday night around 11:45 and headed to our hotel. Daniel's grandparents frequent Vegas pretty often so they get comped rooms, this weekend they were able to get us a room at the beautiful Cosmopolitan.

The bathtub was huge and the bed was basically just a giant pillow. It was perfect. 

Our view from our room's balcony. 

We were tired from the long trip but we refused to let the night get away from us. We started with a little gambling and ended up having sushi with his grandparents at 1:30 in the morning. Seriously, one of the best parts about Vegas is that you can get any kind of food you want at any time of day.

We finally got to bed around 3:30 that night, but our bodies did not want to cooperate and we only slept till about 6:45. No worries though, it seemed like 80% of the hotel hadn't even gotten to bed yet by the time we were waking up, so there was still plenty to do.

This is the first time I've ever been to Vegas that it was raining and cold. It was only in the 60's so there weren't too many people out and about. The good thing is you can almost go from hotel to hotel without having to spend too much time outside, and that's what we did. 

We headed to the Aria around 11:00 to meet Daniel's grandparents for some breakfast. They're honesty the best people to be in Vegas with because they like to restaurant hop. They go from place to place and get a couple small plates and a drink at each one so they don't miss out on trying new things. 

The first place we went was Julian Serrano's. They're known for their Spanish Tapa's so we ordered a couple to share, and had some white wine sangria. It was all so good!

It was the perfect amount of food to start the morning off. After that we wandered the hotel a little longer and played a few more slots. 

Daniel rubbed Buddha's belly for luck, but we still didn't win any jackpots. 

We headed to yet another restaurant called Javier's which was delicious. I ordered Ahi Ceviche and we shared chips and guac, however we ate so fast that I failed at taking any pictures. After that it was about 3:00 and I was so tired. I headed back to the hotel, took another bubble bath because I couldn't help myself, and took a nice two hour nap so I would be all refreshed for dinner. 

Afterwards, we got ready and walked around the miracle mile where I finally found my graduation dress. It's from BCBG, it was on sale, and I'm in love. I can't wait to show you what it looks like!

After an hour or so of shopping it was time for, you guessed it, more food. We headed to the Cromwell hotel and met Daniel's grandparents for dinner at Giada's. If you're a fan of cooking shows at all then you'll know who she is, I had high expectations for her restaurant and it didn't disappoint. 

We had so much to celebrate this weekend with Daniel's birthday, graduation being a week away and it was recently Daniel's grandparents anniversary. So of course we needed dessert. 

Sunday morning we got up at 6:00 to beat the traffic back into LA. We left around 7:00 and got back home around 12:00 so overall it was the perfect timing. 

I ended my weekend with some final prep for the week, and some much needed kitten cuddles. I was definitely tired, but overall I don't think we could have asked for a better weekend. 

Have you been to Las Vegas? What's your favorite thing to do? 

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