A Balanced Whirlwind

Each Day

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately.  Between work, volunteering, progressing toward goals, and my social life, I have been pulled in so many different directions that I often can’t tell if up is down or right is left.  Days fly by in the blink of an eye and I wonder when I might catch a moment to take a deep breath and sit back to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Alas, that time has not come yet and as soon as one project is completed, three more get added to the ever-growing to-do list.

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Pressed By Jess

These are the posts that I live for because you know that someone, perhaps many someone’s, are bound to be happy by the end of them.  There is nothing deep to this kind of post, but I love nothing more than to give back to my readers with some recognition and prizes.

So here goes…

Pressed by Jess

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Tragedy And The Ugliness Of The Human Race

Are there ever times in life where you start to lose faith in your fellow-man?  When people’s characters seem so ugly that you wonder how it is we got this far and why we seem to be getting worse and not better?

Today has been one of those days.  But before I get into the details, I need to share a little back story.

A week or so ago, I received a friend request on Facebook from someone I went to junior high with.  Now, my middle school years were my ugly ones.  Quite literally.  I was a geeky girl with frizzy hair, a mouth full of metal, skin that made the Proactiv ladies millions, and glasses that took up half of my face.  Needless to say, I was not popular and don’t look very fondly on those formative years.  So when I got a request from Peter, I didn’t immediately accept it.

I was a little surprised to even get a request from him.  He was one of the popular guys who was actually decent and not a total jerk to everyone.  We went to the same high school though I rarely saw him and I can honestly say, I haven’t thought of him since I graduated.  Since I did have fond memories of him, I went ahead and accepted the request as I figured he was trying to reach out to people from our class in lieu of our ten-year reunion next year.  I checked out his profile, found out he was living a few hours away, and put him back in that we’re-not-friends-but-I-don’t-hate-you imaginary box that is reserved for most folks you only see on Facebook and never interact with in real life.

Sunday I learned Peter had been in a fatal car accident.  He was 27.

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Have You Voted Today?

Today is the day.  It’s Election Day here in the States and I’m hoping that everyone 18 and over will do their part and cast their ballot today.

I know there is usually a lot of confusion around this time of year.  My Facebook feed is full of “Vote Yes” on this and “Vote No” on that.  Everyone seems to have an opinion and I’m not entirely sure that this makes us better or worse as an “informed” society.

But have no fear Wonderlings, this post is not about politics, it is about action.

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Eleven: Honored And Remembered

Today is a day of recognition and gratitude.  The darling Laura of Not So Skinny Genes and dazzling Stephanie of Simply Stephanie Blog have bestowed upon me another blogging award.

I am incredibly honored to receive this from two of my favorite blogging buddies.  Thank you so much, girls!

Fittingly enough on this date, the recipient of the award is to answer eleven questions, award eleven other blogs, and ask eleven new questions.  I love that this award allows the givers to dig a little deeper and learn what they want to learn about their favorite bloggers.  Since I was nominated by two gals in the same day, you all get double the answered questions.  As if you didn’t already know enough about me!

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Finding Inspiration And Choosing A Winner

A few weeks ago, I received one of the nicest emails from my blogging soul mate Stephanie with a completely unexpected request: she asked me to guest post on Simply Stephanie for her Inspiration Week.

I was completely touched that someone would put their blog in my hands and allow me to share more than a comment’s worth of space on their site.  This being my first year blogging, I had never really thought about what it would be like to guest post.  With blogs being so incredibly personal, how could anyone give someone else the reins and write for them?  How do you essentially substitute for a fellow blogger while staying true to both their blog and your style?

I was surprised to learn just how easy it was.  The trick is: be yourself.  With little more than some basic pointers, I set out to complete my first guest post and even got it in days before it was due (college professors from my undergraduate years are dumbfounded).

And today is the day!  Check out my guest blog here and don’t forget to browse through the other Inspiration Week posts by Laura of Not So Skinny Genes, Melissa from the Existential Detective, and Amber from Arbitrary Ambrosia.  It’s been an absolute pleasure to share the blogging stage with these awesome ladies and thank you Stephanie for the honor!

I also have another bit of news for you all.  I have a winner to announce of the Blog-Warming Giveaway, Take 2.

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Granting Wishes, Gaining Perspective

There is something to be gained when helping others.  You are introduced to people you might never meet and experience joy that you never knew was possible.  Despite always referring to my 20’s as the “selfish years,” I find the act of volunteering a great way to keep in touch with the human condition and remind others that there is still hope in a world where children torment their bus monitor.

When I finished grad school a few years ago, I was happy to have my life back.  No more weekends where I have to tell my friends I can’t hang out because I had to banish myself to the library.  It was time to regain my social life, rejoin the race of the non-studious, and have some fun.  And I knew just what I wanted to do: volunteer.

In high school, I was actively involved with Key Club run through the Kiwanis organization.  We did a lot of stuff in the community including library readings and delivering Thanksgiving meals to nursing homes.  It was a blast and it never really felt like I was sacrificing my time.  To find another organization to volunteer my time was not an easy task.  A lot of groups had weekly meetings that I could not attend because of work or were not accepting new volunteers.  Plus, I wasn’t even sure what type of organization I wanted to volunteer for.  There are so many causes out there (animals, diseases, poverty, violence, etc.) that I knew I had to start with who I wanted to help and go from there.

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“Did I Really Earn This Or Did I Just Wear You All Down?”

When Sandra Bullock won her Academy Award for The Blind Side, she gave a speech that was thoughtful, moving, and humble.  She radiated grace and everyone was thrilled that America’s sweetheart had finally won the accolades she deserved.  I am not quite as graceful when it comes to recognition.  My inner self breaks out into a happy dance and shouts, “I won!  I won!  I won!”  So when I received my second award in three weeks, I just about embarrassed myself at work when I squealed with delight.  Thankfully, no one was around to witness it.

The Oscar of the blogging world?

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Small World Of Serendipity

You’re singing the song, aren’t you?

Have any of you ever realized how freakin’ tiny this world is?  And no, not in the Disney ride kind of way where animatronic figures sing in several different languages and embrace their differing ethnicities.  I’m talking about meeting a random person who is somehow connected to your life or someone in it.

There have been so many instances in the last six months that have made me realize that the world is much smaller than I could have possibly realized.

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