I’ve heard it time and time again. “Stop taking things so personally” they say. And I hear
them, but I don’t know how. I admit it, at times, I take things personally. We all do. If you don’t believe me, just go into any office and you’ll hear people venting to others about
something someone said or did to them.
I think that statement is a bit of a cop out.
If I have a problem, then it is indeed something that is affecting me personally. Because it is affecting me. When I’m told to not take it personally, it is dismissive and it puts the blame on me. I overreact or I am concentrating on the negative, etc.
I also take things personally because I invest a whole lot into everything I do. I am completely invested in my family, my work and my relationships. I remember hearing a friend say once that people accused her of having high expectations. She replied that she had them because she set the bar high for herself and when you do that you expect people to come up to your level. There is a lot of truth in that. When you put your heart into a project at work and someone completely dismisses it, rudely at that, it is hard not to take it personally.
However, while it might be okay to take things personally and recognize “hey, I put a lot into that project and that hostile individual just crapped all over it without any regard for my feelings,” the hard part is not acting on that. People are going to be rude, workplaces are going to be hostile and bosses are going to ignore that fact. That’s life. What I need to learn is to go into a situation and not let it show that I’m taking it personally.
When people attack you, remember this: it shows what they are made of, not you. When people are constantly rude to you, it’s their problem, not yours. You be the change you wish to see in the world. Walk away or smile or do anything except return the rudeness. It might be impossible to learn how to not take it personally. But you can learn to handle
any situation with aplomb and be professional and rise above it.
And after doing this a few times, the rudeness will probably stop.
Because if it is personal and that person finds that they aren’t affecting you,
they’ll find someone else’s day to
When you are in the process of moving, you can
become overwhelmed quite easily. Moving to a new home in a new neighborhood can be stressful. You may have to find new schools for your kids, new doctors, and new veterinarians if you have pets. Then there is the process of meeting the neighbors! It’s helpful if you can find ways to take the stress out of the actual process of moving.
Once you hire a great moving company, you can check that stressful item off of your list. But for some, finding a reputable moving company can be daunting. How do you know where to begin? It’s helpful to know what to look for in a moving company and where you
can go for help.
It’s important to get quotes from more than one moving company so you can compare pricing. MovingRelocation.com is an excellent choice for getting quotes from several area moving companies based on your needs. You simply visit the site, answer a few questions and MovingRelocation.com will match you up with experienced, pre-screened moving companies in your area that are licensed and insured. Your first step when planning your move should be to contact MovingRelocation.com for a free quote. That will alleviate the
time and frustration of having to make several calls yourself.
Ask a Realtor
If you are working with a realtor, chances are she may be able to recommend a great moving company. Ask her for recommendations. If you are not working with a realtor, you probably know at least one you can ask. If not, call a local real estate agency and ask for
recommendations. When you are in the process of getting quotes, make sure you are
clear with your mover about your needs and your budget. Carefully review the clauses regarding damages and what the moving company will do if something is damaged inadvertently during the move. Review the quotes to compare the services provided by each of the moving companies. Some may include packing your belongings and some may only move your packed belongings and furniture.
What to do Next
Once the movers begin contacting you, ask them questions before you sign any paperwork. Find out how long they have been in business and you can even ask for references. Quality moving companies will not balk at having to provide great references (if they have them!).
Check out the mover’s website and social media pages like Facebook or Twitter. See what other people might be saying about the company.
Set up appointments for the movers to come out to your house. Do not take a quote
per cubic feet or some other arbitrary quote. Make sure the moving company sees what
they are dealing with in person. If they are not willing to come out to your home, move down your list to the next mover.
Ask whether they will provide boxes for your move. Some companies may provide boxes for you otherwise you have to go out and procure them on your own.
Do your homework and spend ample time researching moving companies before you sign on the dotted line. Finding reputable moving companies can take time but it is worth it in the end.
Moving to a new home can be very stressful. Planning the move, packing your belongings and finding new schools for the kids can be exhausting. And moving to a new home, especially one in another state, can be additionally taxing if you are moving with your dog. Fortunately, with a little advanced planning, moving with your dog (or dogs if you have more than one) doesn’t have to be too daunting if you do a little advanced planning.
Enlist a Moving Company
If you think that just moving yourself and your family will be enough stress, find a moving company that will take care of moving your pets for you. Instead of contacting a variety
of moving companies, check out MovingRelocation.com to get free quotes on movers and to discuss the best way to move your pets. Moving companies are experienced when it
comes to moving pets and they will make sure your pet is comfortable and well
taken care of the entire trip. They will make sure your pet is fed properly and kept in a comfortable, controlled environment. Call MovingRelocation to get a quote on movers and ask about moving your dog.
If you are moving a long distance and you are taking Fido with you by car, start planning early. Use an online distance calculator to determine how much time you are actually going to be spending on the road. Then calculate taking frequent breaks so your dog can stretch his legs and find that patch of grass with his name on it. Most rest stops have areas
where your pet can do all that.
What to Pack
Bring lots of water especially if it is hot. You will want to make sure that you have plenty of water for your dog so pack a cooler with plenty of it. Keep feeding times the same (don’t
forget the dog bowl) as it makes traveling easier on your pet. Keep a photo or two of your dog in your purse just in case your dog manages to escape. Place a tag on his collar and make sure it has your mobile phone number on it and not your old home landline number.
Use a Pet Carrier
Instead of letting your dog roam free in the car, purchase a pet carrier so your dog will be confined but still be able to see the family and surroundings. Make sure the carrier has an area for your dog’s food and water bowls.
Some dogs do not travel well by car and if yours is one of them, talk to your vet about possible medication for the trip. Never let your dog roam around a moving van or the back of a truck. This could be hazardous to your pet.
If you are flying, contact the airline well in advance of your trip to discuss arrangements for your pet. Some airlines have restrictions on dogs flying in the cargo hold so it is best to find this out in advance. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current and that you have the necessary documentation with you when you travel.
We are all looking for ways to save money these days. Extreme couponing, trying to find the best deals on everything from health insurance to salon services and an obsession with DIY projects has become really popular. And
there are ways to save money on services you normally wouldn’t consider either –
such as if you are moving!
Moving is one of the top stressors, right up there with divorce and losing a job. There is so much to think about: packing, cleaning, weeding out stuff, moving pets and house plants, taking care of the kids and finding the right moving company! While some of these things are inevitable, finding a moving company doesn’t have to be a source of stress.
Sure, you could grab the phone book or do an online search and call several different moving companies but that takes time and can add to your stress. Fortunately, you can contact MovingRelocation to do the work for you. With MovingRelocation, you just visit the website, enter your information and then you can review quotes from movers in your area. Your information is confidential and you can save a lot of money and time so contact them to find the best moving companies.
Besides saving money on moving companies, you can save money on your move by getting your own boxes and packing supplies. Instead of purchasing expensive bubble wrap, enlist friends and family to save newspaper and wrap up your belongings yourself. You can usually find free boxes on Craigslist or by visiting your local grocery or liquor store. The beauty of wrapping your own stuff is that you know what’s inside each and every box. Just make sure you mark it accordingly!
While you are packing, think about getting rid of items that you no longer use. Why pay to move clothing that is a size too small or kitschy items that you received as gifts but never liked anyway? Now is the time to have a yard sale or donate your belongings to Goodwill. Remember, the tax write off too!
After your moving company has your belongings packed up, clean your house instead of employing a cleaning service. Since the house is empty, you will have a much easier time. Clean rooms like baths and the kitchen in advance so you don’t have to spend time there. The cabinets will be empty because you’ll have everything packed up already!
Plan in advance if you are traveling to another state. Map out your travel route and check rates on motels along the way so you can find the best rate. You can also use an online distance calculator to estimate the time you will spend on the road. Make sure you budget for fuel along the way and using the distance calculator will help you figure out how much fuel you will need to purchase. Pack snacks and drinks to take with you on the road. This will save you money and also save your sanity if you are traveling with kids. Use dry ice packs to keep items cold so you don’t have to worry about coolers tipping over and spilling. Carry plenty of water and a water dish if you are traveling with your pet.
So now you know what to do to save money on your next move. And be sure to contact MovingRelocation to inquire about moving companies and obtain free quotes.
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg may have envisioned an innocuous platform for keeping friends in touch with other friends. He may have predicted good-natured ribbing and commenting on hilarious photos. Maybe he imagined unrequited love between two people becoming a solid relationship. But he couldn’t have fathomed some of the ugliness that appears almost daily in any given newsfeed.
Facebook has become a platform for political agendas
which lead to overwhelming arguments, offensive missives, and overuse of the
“block”and “unfriend” feature. It has become a place where people feel comfortable insulting another’s beliefs whether religious, political or sexual. It’s become a place where people feel righteous stating “this is my page, I’ll say what I want” with no regard for other people’s beliefs or lifestyles and whether they are offending a friend’s choice. It’s become a place of bitterness, self-righteousness, offensiveness and entitlement.
There have always been arguments and disagreements regarding the big two – politics and religion. Inasmuch that it was considered tasteless to discuss either in a large
group setting. Still is as a matter of fact. However, isn’t Facebook a large group setting?
Has anyone ever stopped to consider this before posting an insult or
belittling another person?
Facebook was designed to keep people connected, feed others alerts on your goings on, create a page for your art or your goods, and generally be a happy place to visit. But I’m thinking not so much anymore. Yes, you can block offensive people and filter the good from the bad or the “with whom I agree” from the ones that you don’t. But I need to put some effort into that and I’m not sure it’s worth it. It’s become a troubling place that I need to take a break from quite often.
The comments I’ve read on a number of social media sites flabbergasts me. The insensitivity and cruel nature of comments when it comes to a person’s photo or a story is just astounding. It is hard for me to believe that people in this world can be so brutal, so vicious. Yet it’s all there in black and white. People’s true colors are surfacing in ways that they might be able to hide in a face-to-face conversation.
I wouldn’t venture out into a dark alley in a bad neighborhood intentionally. Yet some days, when I log in to Facebook, it seems that I am doing just that. Going out into a littered, dirty pathway, anxious as to what I will encounter and fearful I will involve myself in something unwholesome.
I still like to keep touch with old friends and former colleagues on Facebook. I like the silly banter, inspirational posts and motivating stories I can count on some friends to post. But these days I visit Facebook with my armor intact and my mouse hovering over the hide feature as I know I’ll use it before too long.
And I wonder when it all changed.
I received the call last night that Uncle Joey
died. He was actually my great uncle. Growing up, Joey and Kathy lived on Fisk Street which was next to 42nd Street…Lawrenceville was one of those neighborhood enigmas where a strategically placed street often showed up throwing off the numerical alignment. Uncle Joey was a happy guy; always smiling, always a kind word to
say. Christmas night at Gram’s would become a bit brighter when Joey would enter the tiny house on 42nd. How on earth we fit dozens of people into that little dwelling never ceases to amaze me.
He had two sons, my cousins, Kenny and Moe. Although I haven’t seen them in years, they were always a lot like their dad: funny, happy, content. Uncle Joey was devoted to his beloved wife Kathy. I remember him always looking after her to make sure she was okay. He looked after us that way too. Uncle Joe’s “job”was to grill the boyfriends about their spending habits: did they make enough money; would they show him their checkbook
balance? He joked but wanted to be sure we were taken care of. When I
brought my fiancé to Pittsburgh for the first time, Uncle Joey looked at him and
whispered to me “Suse, normally I’d ask to see his wallet. But he’s too big.”
At a time when many people look inward wondering what’s the next big thing, the next payoff, the next "what's in it for me," Uncle Joey looked outward to make sure the people he loved – his family– were okay. He made a difference to us. My mom will never forget all those years ago when Uncle Joey returned from the war with a special gift for her…a red and white dress that he bought for her overseas. During the depression, having a new dress was a treasure for a little girl; but having a favored uncle think of you while fighting in a war must have been a such a source of pride. That's the two of them in the above photo at a family picnic. That's how Joey always looked: happy, peaceful, content.
After Kathy’s death, more than three years ago, Uncle Joey would visit the cemetery…every single day. Seven days a week, he would rise, visit the cemetery with a group of widowers and then have breakfast. Uncle Joey wanted to start his day off with his precious wife, long after her death.
I don’t remember Joey ever asking for anything in return. But he received it;
because he will live on in our memories as a faithful, loyal and devoted man,
one whose family was a source of pride and determination. A man who had everything he wanted, everything he needed: a life of joy, simplicity, values and
faith. I doubt he realized how much his small gestures meant to us and honestly, I doubt he would care. Because Joey didn't do things for accolades, he lived the way he lived because it was the right thing to do. He lived the way he lived because he was true to himself.
The world needs more men like my Uncle Joey. May he rest for eternity the way he lived…in
This is part one in a series.
Last night, my daughters and I went out for dinner. This is extraordinary for us. Usually, on
Saturday nights, we scrounge in the fridge or get takeout and watch our weekly
After attending Saturday evening mass, we drove to a Lone Star Steakhouse because we weren’t settling for our standard takeout of Chik Fil A, Chinese, sushi or any of the usual suspects. Sitting in the lobby waiting for our table, I’d say about a third of the waiting customers were not only not engaging with one another, they were totally disengaged from one another. Why? Because they were fixed on what was happening on their individual phones or iPads. As we waited, two of the four family members seated to our right in the lobby were completely immersed in their respective devices…to the sad fact that they never once looked up or spoke to their mom/wife and grandmother/MIL. The couple across – he was phoneless, she spent the entire time exploring her phone…it’s Saturday night, that’s the best you could do?
I began thinking this: don’t families have enough that keep them separated from one another? Longer and longer work hours, high unemployment, empty wallets or numerous kid activities can cause families to go in many different directions. At a family dinner, on a Saturday evening, wouldn’t the best use of your time be to talk to one another? I’m not talking about a Walton Family dinner (although that’s not a bad idea) but how about looking up at one another every few minutes? Or talking about your respective days?
Letting your kids know you are interested in them and that you care? Letting your partner know as well?
Lone Star isn’t cheap – do you really want to spend over a hundred bucks and your only memory be of your high score in Temple Run? Are your friends on Facebook really
more important than the ones who are right in front of you? Is what passes for news these days really more important than engaging with loved ones and discussing issues that are real to you?
I’m guilty too – I missed a lot of key plays during football games because I was trying to make auto-correct be my friend when I updated my FB status. I missed key points of the Presidential debates because I was in an online argument with a total stranger about politics. I almost got hit by a car coming out of my nail salon simultaneously reading emails and walking across a super-busy parking lot.
But I didn’t miss what turned out to be the best night my girls and I had in a long time. Because I put my phone away after realizing what was going on around me. I wanted to create a memory and watch it occur through my own eyes, not through a screen.
To be continued…
In a little less than two weeks, I will be attending One Billion Rising at the Richmond Coliseum. This event was created to bring global awareness to violence toward women
and to create a forum where we say enough. One in three women are victims of
violence. There are three women living in my house – you do the math.
My daughter Emily is joining me in the Rising. She wants to support this worthy cause and end violence all together. My daughter has been through some very tough times both physically and emotionally. At age 14, she has overcome a learning disorder, learned to cope admirably well with Type 1 diabetes and left school in the 7th grade to learn to
cope with social and emotional issues stemming from both.
Now homeschooled, Emily has risen above what some would call disabilities to thrive, both with grades and with friendships. Being that she was on the receiving end of much
psychological violence throughout her young life, I find it understandable that
she wants to support women who are going through the same thing.
I was blessed to be asked to help make videos of women who are joining us for the One Billion Rising event. Some of these women also experienced violence first hand. Some were raped, others physically and emotionally abused. While I was editing these videos from the bravest of the brave, Emily asked if she could participate and make a video as well. She felt camaraderie with these women and wants to support them.
That’s what this rising is all about to me – people showing support to women who were once on the receiving end of violence and stating that we won’t tolerate another woman being on the receiving end in the future. We want to show unconditional love to our sisters and let them know we are here for them. We want our legislators to realize that our future votes are going to be impacted by their stand on violence. We want the entertainment industry to know that we are no longer going to support any type of “entertainment”that portrays violence towards women any more, whether it be in movies, TV, music or comedy. We
are going to back this up with our wallets.
The fact that someone so young will be participating in the Rising means that this message will be carried on long into the future…so people better listen! We are Rising on February 14th because we’ve had enough. Women need to be safe. Violence, in all forms, needs to end. Let peace begin.
Sacred spaces! Just the term brings such a sense of peace when I hear it, do you agree?
I have been pondering areas to place a sacred space in my home since the beginning of the year. This space would be a place to meditate, pray, read and create. It would be a place to create in my transformational journal, a place to contemplate new blogs and ideas, a place solely for me.
I was having trouble finding a spot for my sacred space. It couldn’t be downstairs
– too many dogs and kids running about.
Our downstairs is where we live, it’s not conducive to quiet meditation…and that’s how it should be!
But upstairs, I had two spaces – either in my bedroom or in my office. One blog that I read said have your sacred space as the thing you first see upon awakening. I have a corner of my bedroom readily available and I could implement a sacred space there. Or, I already had a bit of space in my office – all it needed was a few finishing touches. I couldn't see it when I awake; however, it's the quietest spot in the house.
So the office was the spot I chose. The problem is what to do with my computer/printer, etc. I don’t want to look at or think about work while I am meditating, right? Well, it’s simple. Close the lid on the laptop and cover it up. Or block it off with a screen. So now, from my sacred space, I see the things I love: pictures of my kids, their art work from days gone by, a view of trees and sky and my books.
In my sacred space I placed lucky bamboo to have something living. Incense, a plaque from my daughter, my journal, flowers, pictures and poems I love, and more books surround my space. A comfortable chair and a sheepskin rug complete the space. Here is where I can go to just be, where I can open up to the universe and clear my mind of nonsense.
Do you have a sacred space in your home that you can visit when your soul calls out? If not,
what’s stopping you?
Sunday morning at mass, our deacon addressed the terrible tragedy which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning. He said there is no answer to the age-old question “why” but when we are trying to find an answer, we must confront evil with good.
I suppose we will never be able to make sense of this tragedy; but if each of us (or even some of us) could consciously attempt to be better citizens as a tribute to the lost lives, maybe a little spark of light could result.
As a parent, I have to be honest; If I were directly involved, I probably would not want to hear about anything good coming from a tragic situation like the one in Newtown, at least not in the very beginning. I would not want the tragedy to have occurred period. I would want my child back where she belongs - at home, with me, safe and warm and awaiting Santa. All of those family members must feel the same.
But trying to find good when bad things happen is a coping mechanism I suppose. And
honestly, for those of us on the outside, those of us who were not directly affected by this awful situation, what is the alternative? Making the situation worse? Adding more negative energy to the universe than what is already out there by becoming angry, bitter and hopeless?
Finding ways to confront evil with good sounds like a really good solution. But then I
thought about it and realized I don’t particularly know how. I mean, evil doesn’t really walk up and introduce itself to me. Sometimes evil is a conception as well - a person who seems “evil” to me, could perhaps be a wonderful person to someone else. Situations that seem
evil to me might be entertaining for another. I suppose we have to find ways to
discern what evil actually looks like in our own lives and define it that way.
Some of the ways to confront evil for me would be to refuse to find humor in jokes that condone violence. I can refuse to see movies that contain gun violence - any movie where someone is running around with an AK47 assault rifle in a city is now on my “shall not view” list. I can shut off offensive music that demoralizes women or men.
And most importantly, I can rise on February 14thwith my OneBillionRising RVA community to demonstrate my commitment to ending violence. Let’s face it, the gunman’s mother was a victim of domestic violence as she was shot and murdered by her own son.
While I will probably never have an answer to my “why”questions, at least not on this earth, I can at the very least demonstrate that I do not and never will turn my back when violence occurs. I shall no longer sit back watching violence on television while people are experiencing it in reality. I shall add my voice to the magnitudes who are saying “enough”. I will embrace change and become a light. And on February 14th, I will rise.