Monday, May 20, 2013

A Departure to Dream

Friends, the day has come. Yes, it is Monday, but it is also the Monday in which I have hit 100 posts on my blog (some have not actually been published for you to read but they are there). While I never intended to actually write for as long as I did, or as frequently as I did, I am proud and glad for my accomplishment and learned many things along the way. Some posts I enjoy more than others, some posts I want to delete, some posts I am inspired from and wonder at God's ability to speak through me, aaaand some posts all I read is sleep deprivation. I am glad for everything that has been written and that I have something to look back on for forever, but now I must look forward to other dreams and goals that I have.

For about the last year I have posted every Monday (or the early hours of Tuesday if we are getting technical here), to ensure that I would keep regularly writing and then of course start writing books and follow that dream. But here's the thing.. in the last three years of having my blog I have not finished a book; I have worked towards one and put some things together, yes, but I have not completed one. And so, today I tell you that I am taking a temporary step away from my Monday night postings and probably just posting in general. It's not you, it's me. Sometimes you have to evaluate your life and if you haven't gotten to where you wanted to be yet, then you have to change something. It doesn't matter if you are in a pattern and used to writing a certain night each week, if you aren't seeing the results you dream of then you must make a change to what you are doing to achieve them.

And so even though I leave from Sunshiney Days it doesn't mean that I have stopped writing or failed at my Monday night posting goal, it means that I am pushing myself to become more determined to achieve a big goal. To reach this big goal I guess you could say that I am sacrificing or putting aside a few stepping stone goals as I have become too dependent on them. Instead of putting effort towards writing a book, I use what energy I have left on a Monday night to put together a posting. I became too comfortable with only Monday night postings and that isn't good. I have bigger dreams than that!

Friends, for this next little while where I won't be regularly posting I encourage you to also look within your heart at your goals and dreams. Are you accomplishing or working towards your goals? Your dreams? What's holding you back? Don't be afraid to lower your focus in one area of 'stepping stone' goals if it means jumping up to work towards your 'main stage' goals. Hopefully that makes sense. I know you all have incredible talent and I encourage you not to be afraid of that talent and what God has intended for your life, even if it means doing a few things out of your comfort zone.

As always, I am super thankful for you all of you who take the time to read my blog and I am excited to one day post about where you can get my newly published book. It's going to be an exciting time and I look towards it. Thank you friends, feel free to come back to Sunshiney Days if you are having a bad day and need to re-read a post, any time. Love to you all!

Lastly, I leave you with this... one of my first blog posts that continues to be on my mind in my day to day life:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Advertising Blame

Ahh Mondays, you just never know what kind of day you might get. Will it be a slow and mellow day? Perchance a day that you get a promotion? Perhaps a day where you get not seven but EIGHT M&Ms out of the candy machine? Or maybe it's a day where your building's electrical supply almost gets taken out by a forklift. You just never know.

Today, I had one of the above happened to me. And I observed the people around me after what I shall call 'the incident' occurred. There were basically two reactions to the incident. Let me give you two over dramatic reaction scenarious to help give a better picture:

You got EIGHT m&ms!!

ok just kidding... here they really are:

1) The No-Name Brand
"Where is everybody?" said person one.
"Oh, somebody accidentally snagged the powerline and they are outside helping to fix it and ensure we don't get electrocuted." said person two.
"Crazy, ok I will talk to them later," said person one.

2) Blame Advertisement
"Where is everybody?" said one person.
"Oh, (name of person) hit the powerline. What a goof, he totally wasn't paying attention to what he was doing." said person two.
"Pff, this totally doesn't surprise me, he would do that." said person one.

Do you see what's happening there? When the person in charge of supplying information responded calmly with a 'No-Name Brand' story as to what happened, focusing on the solution to the incident, others responded in the same pattern. When the person answering decided to focus on the unfortunate event and putting the blame onto somebody directly, others also responded in the same pattern building on that blame.

I think sadly sometimes we forget how much power we have over our conversations by the words and attitudes that we choose to utilize. Every one of us carries the power to build up or tear down, to encourage or to destroy and to speak pleasantly or rudely. I know I can be better in conversations, I will be the first to confess that I forget the power of conversation and the power that I have to keep the talk on a positive note, looking towards solutions, as opposed to focusing on the incidents of everyday life. We obviously can't control what anyone else around us will say or do but we can control ourselves. (And if you can't, then keep trying and you will get there.) This week I encourage you to honestly think before you speak, which seems like standard advice but let's take it to the adult level. Ask yourself if you are putting blame on someone when there is no need, are you focusing on the solution or the incident/problem or are the words that you are speaking ones that will encourage or discourage?

If someone over heard your conversation about them would they smile and feel good about themselves or would they feel like crying and want to avoid you?

I strive to be better and don't always succeed, but I shall persist until my brain is so focused on optimism that positivity will be the only thing within me to come tumbling out.

Praying for positive and uplifting conversations for you all this week!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Fruit Crisp Community

I made a fruit crisp tonight for the first time ever. And while that may surprise some people I think it's important to note that while I don't believe I have ever fully made one before I have spent many a time perfecting my ability to eat fruit crisp... most importantly, apple crisp.

So anyways, I don't have some super big reason for telling you that other than I had a really good night. One of those nights where you just feel good about doing mellow things but yet having a fantastic time. I came home from work just knowing that tonight was a good night to have "our first dinner out on the patio of 2013". And so we did. I cooked and baked up a storm and was super excited for fresh air and lemon/mint water while eating all the food. We invited an elderly friend of ours that we live with (we live in her basement), and she came and had dinner with us too. That feels awesome. Andrew invited her to come eat with us and she mentioned that she was heating up some food but decided to come and join us anyways. It was such a blessing to have her with us and not eating by herself. I went downstairs to grab the apple and peach fruit crisp and by the time I came back to the patio another elderly lady had shown up! A few minutes later my cousin showed up and we made sure that we got all the new guests some fruit crisp as well. (Sidenote: The fruit crisp was an absolute hit, yessssssssssss). Such a relaxed feeling that people can just show up and start eating.

Community. Yes, that's what it was tonight, that's what I am talking about. Phew, glad it finally came to me. Even though I am tired now and ready to go to bed I guess I was just reminded tonight about why community and being with people that just accept you is so important. If you think that community doesn't apply to you because nobdy ever invites you over... ponder this, what kind of community can YOU invite people into? It doesn't have to be about food, although that's always a fun thing to gather around, but look for opportunities to bring together the young and the old to simply talk and share life with, it's an incredible sight and experience.

Those are my thoughts for tonight. While it gets tricky to slow life down every now and then it is important to let yourself be part of a community more often than not. Slow your schedule, delay some errands and just be with people or invite people over to talk about life. The good, the bad, the frustrating, and the dreams; summer is coming and that means outdoor patio parties and people. Don't miss out on your chance to be a part of a community of people, whether self made or joining in, it's going to be a good year.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Road Kill Focus

Hello my party friends!

Have you ever realized that sometimes you catch yourself staring at the problems in life instead of the entertainment?

For instance, the other day as Andrew and I were driving down the road I was rambling on about the dead squirrel coming up on the road. We got closer to the dead squirrel that had unfortunately been obliterated by cars and I was quite concerned that Andrew would hit a piece of it. (P.s. Gross) So anyways we pass by the dead squirrel without any real problems... phew! ... but then Andrew just looks over at me and he's got this shocked look on his face and asks how in the world I missed seeing that guy. I didn't see any guy. I had no idea what he was talking about.

I quickly spun around in my seat to look out the back window and realized that for some reason this guy was walking down the sidewalk with these jumbo metal stilt things attached to his legs making him about 10 feet tall... or maybe 8. Anyways, it was a crazy sight and I had almost completely missed seeing it! All because I was so focused on a dead squirrel. My life wouldn't have been drastically changed obviously but I think it's interesting to note that sometimes we can get so focused on things that bring us down that we lose sight of things that have laughter and life!

Life is crazy, this is not the first time I have said this or realized this. There will always be things that will want your attention, such as finances, relationships, illnesses, responsibilities, big decisions, etc., but I think it's important to not be so focused on these things that we lose sight of the everyday joy that life has. Some people are able to have a wider focus on life and they know that hitting a dead squirrel with their car won't really cause any damage, but waving at a unique individual on stilts... you don't want to miss opportunities like that, for however they look in your own life.

I go to sleep now. I just wanted to touch base on this topic. :)

Be joyful and find joy this week friends.
P.s. it's easier to do when you're not focused on dead squirrels.
ok bye!! Have a great week!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hey, you're cool.

Monday monday monday!!

FRIENDS!! I am alive and well this week... I just baked some coffee cake muffins (my husband thinks they are delicious), I'm doing some laundry, I have some tea, it was amazingly sunny today, the house is tidy, I like my earrings ahhh fantastic. Excited to be dreaming again this week and chasing goals and I'm feeeelinggg gooood, as Michael Buble would say. I hope you are feeling the same after whatever your day held! It's good to feel good. Let's write!

I would like to talk to you today about a real life true story that happened:
One day in the nearby past I was sitting down with my husband working on thank you cards from our wedding (better late than never and that's all I will say on that as my guilt expands a little more each day that they haven't been finished yet... the guilt! the guilt!) and we were going down the list, each of us focused on writing out our cards for friends and family. After a while I asked Andrew if he was remembering to actually say thank you and mention the exact gift that the guest had given us (it dawned on me that men don't typically write thank you cards after showers or parties or weddings, etc.). So anyways, Andrew just kind of looks up at me from the card he was writing with this super cute blank look and says, "No... I was just kinda... writing about what I thought of them." Which I think is so adorable and funny and made me laugh. Andrew thinks highly of everybody so he was just loving the opportunity to handout cards that tell all our guests how awesome he thinks they are. And I bet they are going to love getting those cards!

So anyways, I was just thinking on that today and it occurred to me how fun it would be if people took time out of their day to just sit and write 'you're awesome' notes to people. Not for any particular reason, not to say thank you for a gift or service, but just to spotlight a friend, family member or stranger. Just a quick card (or email, etc.) to say "hey I think you are awesome because of these reasons (but you would actually give reasons)". For extra fun you could even leave your name off of the card. Mysteries keep the mind young. (Probably.)
Now I think of this because one of the things I know in life is this:

People like to be complimented and told that they are cool.

Whether people actually receive the compliment or deflect it is a totally different story, but this much I also know: written comments are harder for people to interrupt or deny. A written comment such as 'you rock' can put a bounce in someones step, but a written paragraph detailing on how and why 'you rock' puts a smile on people's hearts. Apparently I know a lot of things today, because I also know this: a good portion of the time the person taking the time to write out compliments or spotlight somebody else, also ends up feeling more excited and happy about THEIR day.

Dare to care my friends. Dare to care.
I guess on this great day, ahh yes, earth day, I just wanted to highlight the idea and practice of complimenting one another again. Not on the dress or shoes they are wearing (although that's totally splendid don't get me wrong), but one upping our compliments to the actual character and heart of the person themself. Instead of being intimidated or challenged by another person, note what stands out to you about them and don't be afraid to compliment someone on a character trait that you are still working towards.

In closing, people like to be appreciated, especially when they least expect it... so to all those that read my blog every week, I think you are super cool. I may not know every single one of you but I feel confident in saying that you all have completely unique personalities and character traits that everyone can learn something from. You are unique and special and I hope that when you start off each new day you are refreshed in that you get another day of just being you! Have a fantastic week my friends!

Monday, April 15, 2013

I would rather be sleeping too.

I will just come out and say it... I'm annoyed with my dream today.

That's probably bad to say, but I feel it in my eyelids.

Fact is, what I would like to be doing right now is sleeping. It doesn't matter what time it is really, I just wish I was sleeping, not typing, not trying to pluck a topic from my fading brain, and not pushing myself to somehow encourage somebody within my Monday post. I shouldn't have admitted that maybe... sometimes it doesn't come naturally because all you see are your complaints and situations swirling in front of you. I think the worst part for me right now is that it is totally ME making myself stay up and write something for today. My own sliver of motivation!

I guess you could say that I'm annoyed with the part of me that just won't give up already! I mean come on Sherylynn... you haven't finished your poetry book, your other book, or even compiled all your blog posts into a book, yet you still dream of being a writer? But yet, I know that one late night emotion should not hide all my day time motivation, and so I continue typing. My late night bipolar self fights with ... herself.

Ahhh It's a confusing time.

I believe I am not the only one though, I guess that's where I am going with this. As my trustworthy facebook news feed has updated me, today starts a week of crunch time in the university world. Essays, studying, finals, presentations, all that fun. If you haven't gotten to that point yet where it's late at night and your assignment is no where near being done and you feel so overwhelmed and you would cry but you just don't have the energy and all you want to do is not fail and just sleeeeeeep... then I am glad I got to you first. If you are at that stage, that's ok too. I can work with that.

I don't have so many great words of wisdom that will miraculously help you finish every single one of your papers/presentations/studying, etc., but I do have a God that encourages, protects, sustains, inspires and loves all the students. Also, I used to succesfully(well more or less) run on about 4-5 hours of sleep for four months straight, but at some point on my late studying sessions I just wanted to hear that somebody else understood the pressure and panic that I felt at that moment.

So now... whether you are taking a break or just down right delaying your next batch of intense study, have it in your hearts that I am praying for you tonight to flourish in whatever assignment you are working on, that though my pressures may have been different and my current dreams are probably different than yours, I understand your desire to grasp that last little bit of motivation to finish off your assignment, as well as the semester.

I just want you to know that you can do it. Don't doubt it, question it or deny it. You can do it and I am proud of you for making it this far. Don't forget how great and talented you are!

Love to all my student friends these next few weeks.
(Non-student friends, throw aside jealousy, I have love for you too!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Am I Being Crazy?

Sometimes, you just have to ask yourself that question.

For starters, I am not meaning to shine a 'bad spotlight' on women these last few weeks but largely this question has been swirling in my mind from the fact that sometimes, girls are just crazy. Why? Because we have about 120 different main emotions, complete with 194,490 sub-emotions, and approximately 3,438 thoughts connected to every one of those emotions that has the ability to automatically respond to someone in about 478,289 different ways.

Don't quote those as true facts.

But I'm probably pretty close.

These 'crazy' thoughts stem from this book I've been reading lately called 'Brain on Fire' by Susannah Cahalan (if you want to look it up) which follows Susannah's path on being diagnosed in the last few years with this extremely rare autoimmune disease that actually made her brain, and ultimatley herself, go crazy!
Obviously I don't believe myself to have this disease, but Susannah brings up some interesting thoughts when she evaluates herself to see if she is possibly relapsing back into the paranoia that initially started her whole sickness. She takes the time to quickly analyze her thoughts, reactions and actions to ensure she is on the right path for peaceful emotions.

Self-evaluation, this is great. When you find yourself in a situation where a person is looking at you incredulously, this is a splendid time to ask yourself, "Am I being crazy? Am I completely over reacting to this? Should I go for a walk and calm down? Am I being absolutely paranoid for no reason?" These are good thoughts to have. Whether you are single, dating, married, etc. and you are a woman, you will always come across situations where friendships, relationships, coworkers, etc. will make you upset to some degree. What to do at this point?! Self-evaluation. Take a quick second to pinpoint what it is that makes you the most upset and what other emotions are flowing out of that. I encourage you to steer away from the evaluation of who is right or wrong, but reflect within yourself and see how you can control your reaction.

Being a married lady now I try and stay on top of this and be aware that sometimes I will just act and react absolutely crazy (not that I try so hard to be normal the rest of the time..). I just don't even know what to do with myself sometimes though, let alone explain to my husband why I'm completely over reacting to something. Ahhh life. Women. Men must love us and want to run from us all at the same time sometimes. My husband is remarkable though and understands that sometimes the sorting of emotions is a process before I can figure out what it is that bothers me so; sometimes I just need a nap, sometimes it's looking back at something somebody else may have said to me, other times it's some pizza, sometimes just give me a hug and make me stop talking! He's fantastic. We will always be learning.

So to wrap up here, my thoughts this week are thoughts of encouragement for women to be aware that A) we have a lot of emotions and B) this isn't a bad thing we just have to be aware and use these emotions wisely. I really think that asking yourself in the middle of a dispute or a breakdown "Am I being crazy?" will help give you a new perspective on how your 'argument' may appear to the other person at that moment and ultimately, bring you back to a stable emotional level. Also, I think we would be easier for our brothers, dads, boyfriends, guy friends, and husbands to understand us just that little bit better. I promise you we will still remain a great mystery to them.

Ladies... be beautiful and fantastic this week, embracing those emotions but not letting them run wild to cause unneccessary emotional mudslides of your personality. Much love, much love.