A Not-Quite Things I Love Thursday

This week, guys.

This friggin’ week.

If you’re a modern human with access to a computer, TV, or cell phone, chances are you know just what an awful week this has been.

It is so, so very hard to be swamped down by all of the horrible news. Staying immune from the bad news, from the graphic photos, from the witch hunts and suffering is easier said than done. It’s one thing to close out of the tab, to ignore the comments, to take a break from facebook and turn off the TV, but it’s another thing entirely to not be haunted by the thoughts of the victims and their families.

Humans are meant to be empathetic and to understand one another’s suffering. Our empathy  is perhaps the one factor that makes us all the same. Perhaps it’s the defining mark of a human being? I can’t say for certain. All I know is that thinking of the widespread suffering this week is making it very hard to keep my chin up – especially as I’m going into work.

I work at what’s called “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Yet, in the face of all of this suffering and hurt, it’s hard to focus on my job when I know there’s so much more going on in the world outside. Thinking about all of this last night, I realized that we can’t afford to get sucked into negativity and despair, especially not when we’re making magic – making people happy.

I realized that my efforts at work directly contribute to making people happy during this terrible week, and we need a little bit more of that. I’m going to work as hard as I can, not just for pay or to make rent, but to make people happy during their stay here in Orlando. We all need a little bit more of that. I may not be able to do much.

So the one thing this week that I love above all others is this: That we are all human, and our capacity for kindness, warmth, tenderness is greater than our capacity for violence and hatred. People around the country, in Boston and Texas, and around the world are coming together and rising above, persevering in the face of tragedy through love and empathy.
As I posted on facebook and twitter earlier this week, There are more kind, loving, generous, and good-natured people in the world than there are little-minded mean spirits. This sustains me.

It’s something I love.

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Things I Love Thursday: Dividing by Thirds

As of Tuesday, my College Program Experience is 1/3 of the way over! Two months, 60 days, however you want to put it….and to think, a month from now, it’ll be halfway over! Where is the time going?
Accompanying that realization is a lot of introspection and a bad bout of homesickness and loneliness and just a little bit of beating myself up. If I were to be accused of being a little too hard on myself in terms of holding myself to my own expectations, well…it wouldn’t be a false accusation. My line of reasoning is I’ve been here for two months and there’s still so much left for me to learn, do, and experience – and I feel like I’m not learning, doing, or experiencing enough! Upon reflection, just moving out and across the country would be a great start so far as learning experiences go…but it’s still not enough for me. (Perhaps I’m just being overambitious?)

Ahh, well. I am digressing and it sounds a little bit like Pointless Whining, which I said I wouldn’t do on this blog. Without any further digression, here’s what I’ve been digging in the past week!

Well-done, creepy atmospheric horror films (it seems the Brits have us beat in that department too!) ♥ Facetiming with my parents ♥ Homemade banana bread ♥ My new crockpot. Is it appropriate to love an appliance as much as I love this one? I made this on Monday night and it turned out delicious ♥ My coworkers, who are hilarious and make me laugh deliriously ♥ Vikings! I could go on and on about how much I love this show, which I marathonned through on Sunday and Monday. (I want a pet Athelstan of my own! Where do I get one?) ♥ Naming the vehicles I drive at work ♥ The universe aligning *just so* – more serendipity in my life, please! ♥ Bread Kittens for Apple devices. OH MY GOODNESS THIS GAME IS SO CUTE ♥ Speaking of, discussing ridiculous historical cat names. (“Get off the furniture, Hroswitha of Gandersheim!”) ♥

That’s all for this week (it has been a bit of a rough one). Until next time!

Feel A Little Better: 5 Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes

  1. Drink Up!
    You may not realize it, but chances are you are dehydrated – especially if you regularly consume coffee or caffeinated sodas. When I was younger I had frequent problems with dehydrating, and suffered symptoms such as dizziness, elevated heartbeat, and heart palpitations – all alleviated by drinking water and the occasional diluted sports drink! Even now I tend to forget to drink water and am amazed at how much better I feel immediately after having some. It’s like I can feel every cell in my body expanding with hydration and breathing a little sigh of relief. If you don’t like plain water (or you’re in an area where the tap water is gross….thanks Orlando!) try making some infused waters
  2. Tune out the external noise.
    Margaret Thatcher died today. Several of the more politically-minded people I follow on tumblr had a lot to say about it. While browsing my mood got worse and worse – until I finally had to close the tab and switch my focus to something more positive. I myself don’t bear any strong feelings about Thatcher one way or another, but the influence of other peoples’ emotions is hard to ignore. Turn off the news, close the blog page, ignore the youtube comments. You’ll feel better.
  3. Listen to something bombastic.
    Music is an instant mood-lifter. What helps even more is listening to something (say, for instance, outrageously bombastic opera) and belting along whether you know the lyrics or not. Bonus points for gesturing along – just try not to do so while you’re driving.
  4. Reach Out
    It takes less than a minute to compose a text message or make a phone call. Think about a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while, and let them know that they’re awesome – chances are, they think you’re pretty awesome too and even if it may take thme a little while to respond, they’ll be happy to talk to you. Everyone’s happy, and everyone wins!
  5. Try to ignore your ‘Wants’
    I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but it seems like a constant running thought process in the back of my head is things that I want – at any time of day I’ll be daydreaming about a cute dress, a bottle of pastel nail polish I saw at the drug store, a book that I want to read, the camera that I want to document my College Program with, the study abroad program I’ve been dreaming about for three years…but what goes hand-in-hand with that is a mild stress about the money necessary to acquire all these things! I tense up thinking about that money without even realizing it. The List of Wants varies from person to person, but I’m positive we all have one – while it’s almost impossible to stop a track of thought once you start thinking about it, it is possible to put it in neutral. Take a breath. Look around you – what’s there? Be present and thankful for what you have now – a sense of gratitude for the present derails your train of thought from ‘wants’ to ‘haves’ – and feeling grateful for what you have, even if it’s just awareness and the ability to breathe, reduces some self-imposed stress.

Feeling better yet?

Things I Love Thursday: Sugar Rush

Happy Thursday, everyone! With Easter on Sunday and spring break winding down, things are slowly returning to a state of normalcy here in Orlando (well, as normal as anything can get at the Happiest Place on Earth). I’m currently on a mission to detox from all of the chocolate and sweets that have accumulated around my flat. Lesson learned: Enjoy in moderation.

Here’s what I’ve been digging in the past week….

♥ Easter egg hunts at work ♥ Dargaard’s Thy Fleeing Time. (I will make no attempts to hide the fact that I am a Goth Chick on the inside, past the pastel-loving candy-scented cupcakey exterior!) ♥ Dresses with pockets. ♥ Splurging and buying myself nail polish (in shades ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Hard-Core Party.’ Not a fan of partying, but how could I resist a Cinderella polish?) ♥ Wearing bows ♥ Drinking Guinness at a (pseudo) proper Irish pub, complete with folk music! ♥ This 9 year old has it figured out. This video fills me with joy ♥ Finding a perfect gift for someone without even trying. Sometimes things just fall into place! ♥ Pushing Daisies, which I just started watching after my good friend Sherlock sent me the entire series. Can we just talk about what a cutie Lee Pace is? ♥ Finding great books at the Disney Learning Center lending library. I didn’t expect them to have The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and yet it’s now sitting on my dresser, waiting for me! ♥ Floral Doc Marten boots ♥

And, finally, these two quotes, which struck a chord with me this week:

Seek learning even if you were to die tomorrow” – atttributed to Buddhist master Sakya Pandita

She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going…but she was on her way. And on her way she enjoyed food that wasn’t fast, friendships that held, hearts glowing, hearts breaking, smiles that caught tears, paths trudged and alleys skipped. And on her way she no longer looked for the answers, but held close the two things she knew for sure. One, if a day carried strength in the morning, peace in the evening, and a little joy in between, it was a good one…and two, you can live completely without complete understanding.” – Jodi Hill

Until next week!