What I Know For Sure

1. My favorite six words: “How are you? Are you OK?”
2. Ninety-nine percent of people and businesses never follow through, leaving behind a trail of thoughtlessness, emptiness, and broken promises.
3. Patience has never been my strong suit, until now.
4. A loving demeanor and a heart of gratitude open doors.
5. Kindness and politeness still matter.
6. We sure could use more empathy in our troubled world.
7. No means there is something better waiting.
8. Love yourself and never settle.
9. Let go of what you cannot control and trust that the Universe will take care of you.
10. I know what and whom I can live without.
11. I know who my real friends are.
12. Nothing is forever.
13. Change is guaranteed.
14. Social media is cool, but real life is where the magic happens. A like is never a substitute for substance. Get offline and live.
15. Call or visit. No text, message, or email compares to a voice, a smile, a hug.
16. Working out is an awesome stress reliever, much better than booze and food.
17. I cannot wait until it is warm again. I am cold all of the time.
18. The only person I can count on is myself.
19. I am tougher, more confident, more resilient, and more assertive than I have ever been. Don’t f— with me.
20. I am independent, intelligent, fierce, persistent, and strong. I am Elizabeth Smith, here me roar.
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My beef with social media, aka the power and the pain of the written word, emoticons, and the thumbs-up symbol

Anyone know who William Faulkner was? If so, this blog post is for you. He was my favorite writer in high school and I wanted so much to be able to master stream of consciousness writing.

First, I must call bullshit on that saying, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me (exact words may vary). While I understand that I can choose to ignore words, I am human after all, and a (budding) writer, and words, especially the written word, stick with me. Words are powerful. That’s why we read and write, yes? I remember what I see and read, because I am very visual. I was one of those kids who read by dim light late into the night, until my mom would come in and tell me I was going to go blind if I kept doing it. (I did end up having to wear glasses starting at age 12). If I were to rewrite this saying, it would say, Sticks and stones may break my bones. Those will heal. However, words break my heart and my heart doesn’t forget.

Which leads me to social media. Yes, I know the beauty of it: connecting and reconnecting with people, businesses, interests, etc. That’s it in a nutshell for me. That being said, most of the communication via social media is by writing, whether it be status updates, comments on a status, tweets, emoticons, etc., and since social media is public, we tend to put out an image of ourselves that isn’t accurate. We often write (aka say) things to each other that we probably would not if we were standing face to face or talking on the phone, because there is this shield of distance implied in a virtual conversation or interaction.

This bugs the hell out of me. I’m so damn open that I just lay my life and feelings out there like a freaking store display, but I rarely have a reciprocal experience. Yet, I continue to put myself out there being Miss Nice, Miss Survivor, Miss Wine, Miss Travel anyway. Then I get to be judged by and compared to a jury of my peers (aka “friends”) with a thumbs-up, not a thumbs-up (What, don’t you like what I wrote?), a retweet (or not), a favorite (or not), and a slew of replies and/or comments that range from relevant, empathetic, sympathetic, kind, cool, to totally irrelevant, rude, mean, WTF, etc. Seriously, don’t the spiritual and inspirational people of today tell us that we should only focus on ourselves, not compete with each other, and not compare ourselves with each other? But there we are out there passing some sort of judgment every, single day by our words, thumbs-up, emoticons, and even silence and inaction.

This is what I’ve been struggling with for a while now. I miss interacting with people in real life and on the phone, where often a facial expression or a voice inflection will prevent a misunderstanding that is often missed in the written, virtual world. Sometimes I just want to say, Pick up the damn phone and call me! I want to connect with a human heart through the spoken word. I want to hear words and feel meaning and emotion while looking at someone’s face and into their eyes.

Words matter. Choose carefully. There are no do-overs.

Love,
Beth

A girl, her work dog, and her salon: tonight’s affirmations

Winery View

Today I spent a work break taking in the beauty that is Napa Valley along with one of our winery dogs. I am blessed to live and work in such a beautiful locale.

Tonight was also salon night, which meant more down time. Instead of spending time on my iPhone, I spent more time thinking and enjoying real human interaction with my two stylists.

Often I keep going nonstop to keep from thinking and feeling, but today I took time out of my day twice to reflect on what’s good and what isn’t in my personal life. Time away from technology can be very powerful. I came to the conclusion that I need to make some decisions: what to keep, what to let go.

I’m not good at letting go. I typically forge ahead in life, for better or for worse, often wiping back tears of anger and sadness in the process, but not letting go because I don’t want to be a quitter. I try to give everyone and everything the benefit of the doubt. This has to change. When I say to myself, “I can’t take this anymore,” I need to listen and take action.

I did make one decision: to keep growing out my hair. I know, women and our hair. I also saved money because the stylist that cuts my hair doesn’t charge for trimming bangs, taking off weight, or shaping. (Don’t worry, I still tipped her as if I had paid her.)

The good news is that because I’m single, I can make decisions for myself without having to consider a spouse or significant other. The bad news is that I’m single and would love to have someone with whom to share my innermost thoughts and feelings.

This has nothing at all to do with the past. My heart is not happy tonight. I hate to go to bed with a heavy heart, so perhaps if I write down some affirmations, some of the weight will be lifted and I can move ahead.

These first affirmations come from The Daily Love emails I receive. I kept these because they rang true.

I am committed to growing my standards.
I am worth Love.
I am honest about how I feel without needing to justify it.
I am worthy of being with someone I can trust.
I am provided for as I set healthy boundaries.
Life supports all my decision to love myself.

These next affirmations are my own.

I am worthy.
I am enough.
I am strong.
I will not settle.
I am not second best, second choice, second anything.
I will not be put on the back burner.
I will be treated with kindness and respect.
I will always do my best and give my all.
I will not put all of my eggs in one basket.
I always have a choice in any situation, no matter who or what is to blame.
I will surround myself with people who value, encourage, and support me.
I will treat others as I would like to be treated.
My time is important.
My heart is not a toy.
Someone, someday, will think I am quite a catch.

What affirmations would you add to my list? What are your strategies for letting go?

Love,
Beth

Here’s What I Know Tonight

Cheers to me!

Cheers to me!

1. I love me. Me first, then the world benefits. Always.

2. I will not be second anything.

3. I matter.

4. I am worthy of love and respect.

5. I will not be denied.

6. I can only depend on myself.

7. I do not need anyone or anything.

8. I am stronger than the world may think I am.

9. I am sensitive and that’s OK.

10. I always have a choice.