Love and Loss

Lea Michele

So, if you’re a pop culture junkie like I am, you’ve obviously heard about the tragic death of Glee star, Cory Monteith…and you’ve probably watched the speech that his girlfriend, Lea Michele, gave at the Teen Choice Awards on August 11th.

Now, I may come off as a person who has a heart made of stone, but in all honesty, I’m very emotional, and nothing gets me more emotional than the passing of a loved one. So, when I first heard that Cory had passed, I immediately thought of Lea, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what she was going through. And, when I watched the speech that she gave at the Teen Choice Awards, I admittedly started tearing up.

As someone who is currently in a relationship, Lea’s loss made me think, what would I do if I lost him? How would I go on? Unfortunately, my thought process regarding this topic isn’t new. My uncle lost his wife about three years ago in a tragic car accident, and it took such a toll on him that my family members began to wonder if he was contemplating suicide.

So, what do you do to help yourself move on after the love of your life, your best friend, has passed away?

Below are 10 suggestions:

1)      Before you move on, fulfill any request that your significant other said before passing away.  If there was no time as with a sudden death for a final request, explore ideas to gift or honor your late partner. This will give you a peace of mind, and will ensure that you will not have any mental obstacles in your new life.

2)      Know that it will take time before you can begin to feel a sense of normal again. It will not just disappear, and it will not heal itself. Be patient with yourself as you work through the process of grief. Grief is a journey that lasts as long as it takes to reconcile all issues pertaining to death, your loved one, yourself, your relationship (good/bad) to bring peace and understanding.

3)      Understand that there are stages you will go through and they are not linear. You will experience denial, anger, resentment, yearning, suffering, sadness, and eventually an acceptance. However, you may not do them in this order and you may, much like a roller coaster ride, go over these stages repeatedly over the course of your grief journey with regard to the same loss.

4)      Do not pay attention to those who try to tell you that you are not grieving properly. Instead, thank s/he for their concern allow them to know everyone grieves differently. Grief is as individual as you are, as your partner was, and as your relationship was. Specifically, you will likely deal with some who thinks you are healing “too fast” and those who think you have become “stuck in your grief”. If you have concerns about either, talk to a grief counselor or therapist, s/he has training and experience to help you navigate through your grief as well as help you build self esteem.

5)      Realize that you have choices. There is a time when you need to cry and go through the suffering to get to the other side. There will come a time when you are ready to actively participate in grief work to bring healing to have a new life.

6)      Do not worry that you will forget your significant other.

7)      Ask yourself what it was that you have always wanted to do but something you never had time to do because of family obligationsNow is the time to do it! Be anything you want to be. Become an artist, a pilot, or a scuba diver. Take a ride in a hot air balloon. Most of all, strive to be happy and fulfilled. Your dreams can become a reality and help fill the void in your life. You will meet new people and realize that life can be satisfying and exciting even if you are alone.

8)      Be patient because this change may not come quickly or easily

9)      Adopt a pet. If you don’t have the energy to give a great amount of attention to a pet, consider a cat. They make great companions. They are clean and do not have to be walked. They give you love and affection. They give you someone to care for and care about. They will greet you when you come home, and lie on your lap while you watch TV. If you are not a cat person get a dog, or whatever pet makes you happiest. Understand that the pet will not replace your love, nor is it meant to, but animals can make you smile.

10)   Volunteer. When you are ready or have energy, volunteer your time to a cause or something that you feel strongly about. Helping others can have a wonderful effect on ourselves. Join the library and read. Most libraries have library buses that bring books to your neighborhood. Or you can rent a DVD, or watch movies on the TV. Write letters, or become a phone companion, a group that is backed by the Police Community Service. They make daily calls to shut-ins, to make sure that they are safe. Talk to them to keep them company and they will be keeping you company as well.

If you have recently lost a significant other, I hope that these tips have been helpful, and may you find peace.

Granny Smith- over and out

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Happy Birthday?

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I tried something new this past week..going to work on my birthday. I’ve been pretty fortunate with the fact that my birthday is in August, so I’ve never had to go to school on my special day. And, if I worked, I’ve always had the option of taking off. However, I recently started a new, grown-up position, and I only have so many PTO days before the year ends! So, I decided to go to work..yippie skippy..

But, the fact that I did recently celebrate a birthday really made me wonder, why do some people absolutely despise their birthday, and want no mention of it what so ever, and others, like myself, feel that their birthday is the one day of the year where they need to receive 100,000 compliments, too many presents to know what to do with, love and affection from their closest family and friends, or even strangers (I don’t know how other people roll), and their name screamed from the rooftops?..Too much? But you get what I’m saying, right?

So, what is it with these different feelings? Do we develop these feelings about our birthdays because of how our parents or guardians taught us to treat them?  Or, is it an age thing? I’m assuming that when I get older, I won’t want my birthday publicized nearly as often as I do now…but I can’t help the fact that when I was growing up, birthdays were a BIG DEAL!

So, usually, when a birthday comes up in the office, I don’t say, “happy birthday” unless the person brings in a treat, or sends out an email saying, “hey everyone, it’s my birthday”…which is what I did this year…of course. I guess I’m still in that “I just started working here, I want everyone to like me” phase, so I try not to get too obnoxious about other people’s birthdays. But, I can’t help it! I want them to feel as important as my friends and family make me feel on my birthday.

This year, I brought in a cheesecake, and my parents delivered balloons that I obnoxiously displayed on the top shelf in my cubicle, so that everyone walking past could see them towering over my work space. And, you can bet I left those balloons there for an extra day so that people who “forgot” my birthday could be reminded the following day (it’s ok, I accept late wishes).  And when I took those balloons home, you can bet I left at a time of day when I knew everyone would be crowding towards the elevators. It’s not that I’m completely in love with myself or crave attention, I’m actually more of an introvert, but it’s just the celebration part that gets to me. I mean, I love a good party!

What are your thoughts on birthdays? How do you approach the “issue” of a birthday with someone that you don’t really know, or a friend or family member that HATES their birthday?

I’d love to hear from you!

Granny Smith-over and out

 

How to be Happy!

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Because I’m a loud, rambunctious, in-your-face type of gal, I’m attracted to others that are very similar..so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say that I’m a huge fan of Jenny McCarthy! Seriously, how could you not be? She’s smart, funny, and is simply gorgeous.

Since I’m such a big fan of hers, I read her blog on Chicago Splash’s website daily! I always have a takeaway when I read one of Jenny’s posts, but one of her most recent posts REALLY struck a chord with me. It was all about how to be happy. I know, I know, you’ve already heard this before, and there are plenty of articles and “I think I know everything” speakers who will tell you that they know what the key to happiness is, and that you should listen to them. But, this article wasn’t like that at all! It was so refreshing!

Intrigued? Good, I thought you might be.

So, what did Jenny say was the secret to happiness after all?

Answer: By making peace with the present moment.

I can only guess that some of you are just as confused as I was when I read this the first time. So, what does “making peace with the present moment” really mean and how can you do it?

It’s all about the practice of “being present.” You can practice being present by becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions as they happen. This will help you see that your mind is often stuck in the future or running back to the past to find an issue to worry about. When you become the watcher of your thoughts, you are still in the present moment. You are watching the stories in your head instead of getting lost in them or believing them. The more you become the observer and not the creator of your thoughts, the more you find yourself in the present moment. And guess what? Peace and happiness live in the present moment.

That’s the secret. Become the observer of your thoughts. Watch them play out. Don’t live them out.

So, stay present and be happy!

Granny Smith- over and out

Live life without regret

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So, if you read my previous post, you know that I’m a bit of a worry wart..ok, so I’m a HUGE worry wart, and letting go is something that I’ve been working on a lot lately.

Since entering the workforce, one of my biggest worries is that I’m wasting my time doing something that I don’t really like, thus, at the end of my life, I’ll look back and think, “why didn’t I just take a chance and do what I really wanted to do?” 

When I was in college, I took a stress management course, which was more like a “how to live your life” course, and it honestly changed my life. I used to be a super perfectionist, and now, I’m a bit of an imperfectionist. I still try my best at everything (don’t get me wrong), but I try not to give as many fucks as I used to. 

One lecture that my professor had during that course has forever changed my life, and I think about it on a daily basis, and unfortunately, it’s why I worry most days. 

My professor gave a lecture entitled, “The top 5 regrets of the dying.” Ever since my professor gave that lecture, I constantly think to myself, “why am I doing this?” and, “is this something I’m going to regret doing/not doing when I’m on my deathbed?”

The top 5 regrets of the dying are:

1.  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

So, with that being said, it’s been my personal goal to start living the way I want to, and to make sure that I don’t worry so much about pleasing other people and giving up what I really want to do because “society doesn’t think it’s a good idea.”

But, I want to know, what are your biggest regrets? What are you going to do to make sure that you live your life the way YOU want to?

Granny Smith- over and out

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!

SIMON

 

If you haven’t heard, it was reported this past week that former American Idol judge, Simon Cowell, impregnated his (ex) best friend’s wife, Lauren Silverman.

After hearing this story, I immediately thought, “My next blog post will be all about cheaters!”

Now, thankfully, I’ve never been cheated on (at least..I think), so I can’t tell you first hand the pain and devastation that it causes someone who has been..I can only imagine. I remember when I got back together with my current boyfriend, I was constantly worried that he was actually just getting back together with me to be nice, and was probably cheating on me behind my back (I’m a bit of a worry wart… in case you couldn’t tell).

During this time in my life, it made me wonder, how can you spot the signs of a cheater? I know of many people who have been cheated on that say, “I had no idea,” or “the signs were there, I just wasn’t paying attention.” So, I consulted some other blogs and articles and found some of the top ways that you can tell if your significant other is cheating on you. For anyone who is curious, check these out:

1. You catch your partner in little lies, unaccounted for gaps in time, inordinate amount of attention on appearance or ogling others.

2. Your partner is in TOTAL control of their phone- locks it, showers with it, sleeps with it, etc.

3. Their stories keep changing about who their texts are from.

4. Your partner becomes viciously defensive during conversations involving accusations.

5. They either becomes totally disinterested in affection..or, they become overly affectionate.

6. Your partner starts recommending that you dress and act differently.

7. They go from not working out to hitting the gym extra hard, and have suddenly become obsessed with their appearance.

8. Your partner has a sudden, frequent, change in their routine.

In general, if you’re worried that your partner is cheating, the best advice that I can give you is to ask. Keep those lines of communication open!

Granny Smith-over and out