Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twenty Lessons from 2011

1.  It really is a “Small World” after all and investing in relationships with people from different places really does enrich your life. So go ahead and use those tools available these days to stay in touch.

2.  Swallow your pride and admit it when you are wrong. Usually those around you have already figure out your mistake anyway.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Sometimes it is just best to laugh at yourself.  We humans can be pretty funny creatures sometimes. 

4. Thanks to the Housewives of “Whatever City”  I have realized  that my life is pretty tame and boring and I like it that way.

5.  Laughter really is good medicine.

6.  Give more grace to people. You have not walked in other people’s shoes and there is probably a whole bunch you don’t understand about their choices, behaviors and decisions.

7.  Be very careful in intersections, because not everyone follows the rules of the road or in life. You never know when or where danger lies so be alert. 

8.  Listen and hear people better! This fall I had someone who I had not seen in awhile  surprise me by revisiting a small simple detail from a conversation we had had a couple months earlier. That act really made me feel like what I said mattered and is a gift I would love to pass on to others.

9.  Throwing a frozen banana, a half of cup of frozen berries and a bit of honey into a food processor really does make a great dessert. This is really yummy!

10.  No matter how things have turned out in the past don't be afraid to be vulnerable and take risk.  It is better to be in the game then to always wonder what if.

11. At times, it might be wiser to keep emails and messages in draft form for a day or so before hitting the send button. Things might be better communicated after a day or so of reflection.

12.  Slow down and smell the roses some. Better yet, pull out the camera and take photographs of them. There is so much beauty in our world and we miss so much of it with all our rushing around.

13.  Live within (or better yet below) your means. It really does give you more freedom.

14.  Life does not have a rewind button, email/Facebook message can not be unsent, harsh words can not be unsaid, etc.  All we can do; is do our best, learn from our mistakes and trust that God has a plan.

15.  That putting brown sugar out in a small dishes really does keep flies away. (Thanks Melody for that little tip).

16.  True loyalty is displayed when people show honor to someone who is no longer in a position to do anything for them. 

17. When you decide to go against the grain and do things differently be prepare to explain why. Those explanations demonstrate the true intelligence behind your decisions.

18.  When someone does something nice for you (even if you can do it for yourself) let your guard down, enjoy it and remember to say thank you.   

19.  Sometimes it really is fun to have your past visit it you.

20.  Real history happens as we live life out day to day and continues on in the memories of those around us. So from the bottom of my heart thanks to each and everyone of you for being part of my history this year. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

   In one of my earliest post I mentioned that I have Dyslexia. Seriously, that was one of the first times that I had admitted it publicly. As a child, no one really talked about it, which is partly due to the fact that my Mom wanted to believe there was nothing wrong. If I were honest she still won’t talk about it and is shocked that I would be willing to admit such a thing. This, I find a bit funny due to the fact that if you have receive more than an email or two from me you aware of the fact that something is not quite right. Whether it was talked about it or not, I knew I wasn’t keeping up with my classmates and with three of my six siblings testing in the gifted range there was no keeping up at home either. With that said, I don’t remember anyone treating me as if I were stupid, but I do remember feeling trapped. Trapped in knowing that how I spelled and read limited me in how I communicated. I think at an early age I knew that based on what I did produce my intelligence was constantly being measured more by my weaknesses then my strengths. Honestly, this is a reality I know still exist today and I am aware of the fact that I have been passed over on opportunities due to my written communications. Even with the use of a few editors it is a constant struggle for me to find the courage to share, because with each Tweet, Facebook, blog post .... I know there are at least one or two people out there who are judging the grammar and spelling rather then the content of what I have said. 

    About five years ago, I was blessed to have a young lady entered my world and classroom that truly helped me bridge the gap of understanding about Dyslexia. Although this child’s intelligence measured in the gifted range for many reasons she struggles with reading and language. After exploring several different avenues to help their child her parents took her to a neurologist and it was through that visit that it was discovered she too had Dyslexia. Following her diagnose her Mom and I read a book that had been suggested to me through a friend entitle The Gifted of Dyslexia. Before this time, all I had heard about Dyslexia was that it involved seeing words backwards, which I learned was not the case. Honestly, that was a relief to me, because I did not think that I read words backwards. Anyway, as I made my way through this book it felt like a mirror was being help up in front of my face and parts brought tears to my eyes. Finally, there was something that explained how my mind works, why language is such a struggle and how some of my other strengths and weaknesses fit into the picture. For instance, for years I have taken kidding from family and friends about my huge issue with klutziness, which has been very well deserved. Only to read that is also a sign of dyslexia. It is not often that a book comes along that changes how you see yourself.
     Then this summer HBO did a documentary entitled  Journey Into Dyslexia. During the documentary different people with Dyslexia were interviewed (artist, CEO, Nobel Prize Winner.... and thriving students). From those interviews I think the best line came from Erin Brockovich, "I would not be who I am if I did not have Dyslexia." This very true and simple statement really helps put things into perspective and reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses.  Psalm 139:14  “I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  I found it interesting that nowhere in this verse does it say I would praise you if I did not have Dyslexia or had been made perfect.  Now, I would never say that having Dyslexia has been a cakewalk, but it is part of what makes me fearfully and wonderfully made.