Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

How are you? July 24, 2013

Filed under: Blessings,Communication,Family — beatitudesofmylife @ 2:40 pm

We all say these three simple words…. yet, do we actually listen for the answer?

My husband is famous (at least in our family) for coming up with unique responses to this daily query.  Last night, after a long double-header softball game in the humidity of Virginia, he had the cashier at WaWa laughing out loud when he responded “sweaty”, to her innocent “how are you?” question.  He was indeed, terribly sweaty… and hot… and tired… but she just couldn’t contain her laughter when he answered.  It made my night!

It also got me to thinking… have we become so accustomed to responding 3how_are_youwith a standard line or phrase when someone actually asks this question that we don’t take the time to actually consider the question?   Am I really “fine”… or am I simply trying to move along to the next interaction with the next person in my day?

Yesterday was a rough day.  I heard news of a young girl’s tragic death…  was told of a follow-up traffic accident that had *just* happened… then read a very difficult and heartfelt announcement from a dear, sweet, friend.  Yesterday was not the day for me to attempt responding in a truthful way to queries about my welfare… yet, for some reason, I decided to challenge myself to think more before passing “fine” or “good” along to others.

Responding in such a way wouldn’t be honest but it would be easier.   Did I feel compelled to take the easier (read: safer) route or did I want to offer a more truthful response?  Was it necessary to share the negative, sad, things that had happened in the day or was this my opportunity to make the day seem a little less ordinary, a little less rehearsed, and maybe a little more imaginative?

My husband easily comes up with great words to use when someone asks him “how are you?”  Some of my favorites are “swell”… “peachy”… or even “ducky”.  Each time, I’ve seen the other person pause, to take in this new and interesting piece of information.  It’s really rather fascinating to watch.

It’s such a small thing, but I do believe that there are times when people are truly asking about our welfare.  Maybe our eyes look sad… maybe we seem a little weary… or maybe it’s the other person who’s looking for a way to start a conversation.  Have you noticed anything like this in your own day-to-day interactions with co-workers, friends, and family?

I’m not saying that every single person who politely comments “how are you?” needs a lengthy discussion as to the exact nature of your health at any given moment.  I’m simply suggesting that we all pull out a thesaurus and find a few words that are “off the beaten path”, if you will.

Here are a few that I pulled from a cursory Google search on the word “fine”:

That’s a huge list from which to pull, but you get the idea… right?  When we ask someone, “how are you?”, are we truly asking people about their welfare and waiting for an answer, or are we simply throwing words at people so they can go about their day?  What might happen if we each take the time to listen to or to respond with a unique and genuinely thought-filled word?

I don’t believe that every conversation needs such thought-provoking scrutiny, but I wonder what might happen if we each put a little more effort into our every-day interactions with those around us.  Would we make someone’s day and cause them to laugh out loud?

There are definitely worse ways to effect someone with whom we come in contact.  Who knows… they may have really needed that smile.  You just never know.

I wish you all a delightful day!

 

 

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award! July 8, 2013

Filed under: Blessings,Blogs,Communication,Cooking,Life Balance,Wine — beatitudesofmylife @ 3:44 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award!

The award is from a fellow blogger, for my wine blog (fromthebottomofawinebottle.wordpress.com) but I thought it was pretty cool.  I followed all the directions, answered all the questions (there were 22 total) and posted the award on my blog.  Sweet, huh?

Maybe I’m just a little naive, but having someone else out there in the blogging world think that the stuff I write is worth passing along to others really made my day.  I write for me, first and foremost, but it really does make me happy to know that others enjoy what I write.  I’m not changing the world, nor would I want to, but making positive influences to my personal part of the universe is good enough for me.

Besides… there are enough people out there who want to change the world… right?  I just want to add a little flavor here and there.

Cheers!

 

Accentuate the Positive July 5, 2013

Filed under: Communication,Life Balance — beatitudesofmylife @ 12:31 pm

I’m sure you’ve heard the Lenny Mercer song

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene

If this is really the way we should live… accenting the positive… then why is it so darn hard to eliminate that negative voice, looping in my head?

I worked at the winery yesterday for our “Wine and Cheese” event.  The cost of tasting our 10 wines and 10 paired cheeses was $10 per person, not including the wineglass.  I was working the register and selling wines throughout the day, loving all the chaos and happy people who were enjoying our event, until a single woman made my day turn sour.  As I was checking her out through the register when she asked about keeping her wineglass.  When I explained that our wine tasting cost did not include the wine glass, she began to complain rather loudly to her companion.  I apologized a number of times, explaining that we had made the decision to keep our prices low and not include the glass rather than increase our prices to cover the cost of our glass, but she seemed bound and determined to keep complaining until I simply offered the glass to her.  Had she been kinder or more willing to accept my explanation, I may have been willing to acquiesce and give her the glass, but once she said that she and her friend simply would “never come back”, I knew that I had lost any chance of being able to keep her as a customer.  Her tone and countenance was turning angry at this point, so I opted to discount her wine and cheese tasting and send her on her way…. anything to have her leave, still with a discount, but not necessarily the discount she wanted.  To my dismay, this encounter played in an eternal loop in the back of my mind throughout the remainder of the afternoon.

While I continued to re-frame this interaction each time it popped into my head, I was frustrated by the fact that something so relatively trivial could derail my enjoyment of my work.  I saw over 140 people through the course of the day… what made that one woman and her friend so much more important when I thought back over the day?  Why couldn’t I just remember all the delightful people who were so thoroughly engaging and fun?  Why couldn’t I just “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative”?

I struggle with this problem often.  While I am a self-described “Happy Yellow Lab” in personality, it’s the negative people that pull me down.  It’s frustrating, but I do believe that, as long as I recognize and work to overcome this focus, I can do my best to turn the negative situations into something useful and positive.

Intellectually, I know that I couldn’t have made the women happy yesterday.  It bothers me, but I just can’t let it influence how I handle the next people who come to visit the winery.  Each person deserves to receive the best experience I can offer when they visit our winery, no matter who just left the counter.  It may not be realistic to want everyone to have a great time at the winery, but you can be assured that I’ll always do my best to present a positive presence, no matter what’s going on.

Accentuate the Positive… not a bad way to go through life, in my opinion…

 

 

 

 
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