Society’s Rebel

Here I am in my space.
Going at my own pace.
I don’t have a big, old house.
I don’t have a loving spouse.
I don’t have kids running amuck.
Or schooling that doesn’t suck.
I’m nowhere near gaining a profit.
With my career and empty pockets.
Take a look at the facts and I’m sure you’ll see.
How embarrassing I can be.
Living at home. A part-time gig.
How can one amount to something big?
Build your retirement. Get that 401k.
And make sure not to waste your life away.
Build money now to enjoy down the road.
It’s up to your youth to carry that load.
I’m not the smartest. My head’s in the clouds.
I’d be lying if these thoughts weren’t loud.
But I have dreams and big ambitions.
And I want to give them my every intention.
I don’t have a house.
I don’t have a spouse.
I don’t make a profit.
And I have empty pockets.
But I do have dreams and I do have faith.
That someday it’ll be worth the wait.
A story to tell, and animals to love.
Every gift from God above.
You may think I’m behind. I have no future.
But I’m holding out for the bigger picture.
Don’t mind me. I’m going to be fine.
For it’s only a matter of time.
When dreams come true and I find my place.
But for now I’m going at my own pace.

16 Things About You

I was scrolling through some of my old files the other day and I ended up finding a PowerPoint presentation titled: “16 Things about Me.” I did this PowerPoint in High School, probably junior or senior year. It was just an introductory PowerPoint for my English Class so everyone could get a chance to know each other. It got me thinking. If I was to do this PowerPoint over again for today, what would the differences be? What would remain the same? And what about you? If you had to tell people you just met 16 things about you, what would they be? Would they be your favorite things, or your shortcomings? Would it just be about your job, where you live, the typical form stuff? Or would it involve your likes and dislikes? I dare you think about it. 16 things. 16 of anything about you. What would they be?

My 2011 16 Things About Me PowerPoint points with 2022 Review:
  1. My name means “Victory of the People.”
    • My name is still the same, so this remains true
  2. My favorite birthday present was the green archery bow my brother got me.
    • He gave me a white, 35lbs. recurve bow a couple years later. They’re both displayed on my wall.
  3. I am a band geek who plays the flute
    • I don’t play the flute anymore, but marching band was one of my fondest high school memories.
  4. I listed the Church I went to.
  5. My favorite video game is Legend of Zelda
    • Still is!
  6. I like country music
    • Still do, but I listen to other music now too.
  7. My favorite color is blue
    • Now, it’s more violet and yellow.
  8. I HATE BUGS.
    • Still very much true.
  9. I included photos of my family
  10. I hate computers
    • I used to not understand them, but now we have a mutual relationship.
  11. I love tie-dye
    • Still like it. Though, these days you can’t wear it without some people getting the wrong idea.
  12. I love animals
    • This will never change. I do work at a zoo after all.
  13. My dream car is a 1950s Chevy, bubble hood truck. It’s gotta be blue.
    • Would still love this truck, but its not a major goal. I’d like something electric now.
  14. I like to read
    • Still true. I just don’t usually give myself time to.
  15. I love campfires
    • Still do, just don’t go camping much anymore.
  16. I love the sky.
    • This will always be true. I love the moon. I love sunrises and sunsets. Stars are pretty. Blue skies are refreshing. Storms are awesome. So on and so forth!

So, looking back not a lot of my 16 things have changed. If I redid the list, it would likely look different. Starting off with my job or hobbies maybe. But, what about you? Are there any differences in your likes and dislikes from high school? How have you changed? For the better? Or did you just get older?

Anxiety of the Budding Novel

Another full readthrough
Another chance of possibilities
Could it be good enough?
Or receive all hostilities?

More confident than ever
Word count relatively stable
An ambitious endeavor
This long coming fable

Your heart’s in the words
Hope baits on your breath
The thought riles your nerves
That you might have something yet

The thought of a future
For your beloved creation
Get it off the computer
and into publication

Maybe it’s ready?
Maybe it’s not?
Maybe someone will take it
Without a second thought?

Maybe you shout to the void
And don’t get an answer
Maybe your hope’s destroyed
And questions go unanswered

What if no one likes it?
What if comes all rejection?
What if they want you to admit
You went in the wrong direction?

Maybe no one will read it
Maybe it’ll flop
But if you don’t submit
It’ll never pop

Instead of what if failure
What about what if success?
You could get a movie trailer
And no one would have guessed

A love for your creation
Is all you really need
Apply all education
And aim only to succeed

Another full readthrough
Let it fill yourself with hope
Of the possibilities you can dive into
On this mountainous slope

Every author has a journey
That only some can stand
Of the challenging tourney
Of getting their novel to their hand

So contact your editors
The queries will begin soon
Don’t worry about competitors
Just enjoy your full read through

Don’t Mind Me

Maybe it’s just me and the way my weird mind thinks, but at work the other day, I was getting my lunch out of the fridge, and my coworker was sitting at the computer right next to the fridge. She was waiting for it to load and she just happened to look over at me. Feeling the need to say something, I just said: “Don’t mind me.” and I kept on with what I was doing. She shrugged and said: “Never do.”

That had me pausing. Sure, her response wasn’t the typical “Oh, you’re fine. No worries. Okay. Etc. etc.” that I’m used too. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever told me “never do” in response to that, but that’s not what I got stuck on. While I sat down to eat my lunch, all I could think about was the three words: “don’t mind me.”

Don’t mind me. That’s a curious phrase, don’t you think? I mean, I use it a lot, but that day I was starting to question if I actually knew what it meant. So, I started doing what I do best: overanalyze a word at a time.

“Don’t.” Well, that’s simple. Don’t means “do not” as in “do not throw your dirty laundry on the floor.” So, the real problem child in this phrase is: “mind.”

Here’s the definition of mind from Oxford Languages (aka: a quick Google search):

noun

  1. the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought. “as the thoughts ran through his mind, he came to a conclusion”
  2. a person’s intellect. “his keen mind”

verb

  1. be distressed, annoyed, or worried by. “I don’t mind the rain”
  2. regard as important; feel concern about. “never mind the opinion polls”

The more I thought about this phrase, the more bugged I was about it. Essentially, you’re telling someone not to think about you. You come into a room and say that to someone, you’re telling them not to acknowledge you, don’t have you on their mind. Depending on how you look at it, it can sound pretty sad and end up setting you up for a whole therapy session. Yet, if you look at the definition from the phrase itself, it’s not anything anyone (me) should overthink.

Here’s the definition from Cambridge Dictionary: “said to tell someone who is the same room as you not to pay any attention to you, because you do not want to interrupt what they are doing.”

That’s it, and that’s exactly what happened between me and my coworker. She was on the computer while I walked up to get my lunch. When she looked at me, I didn’t want her to think I had a another question for her which would mean she would have to stop what she was doing, so I said: “Don’t mind me.” I got my message across that I wasn’t there to bug her. I just wanted my lunch. I like to think her “never do” response was more a “you never bug me,” but it was probably just her being snarky like we get.

“Nikki, this is a random post…Did you really just overthink a simple phrase?”

Yes. These are some of the random thoughts that pounce on me that I can’t shake. It makes me wonder what other phrases out there do we say that we may not know the actually meaning too? So, now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite phrases or maybe you have ones you don’t quite understand? Maybe it’s time to research them? One of the jobs of a writer is to know what we’re putting on the page. If we don’t know what a word or phrase properly means, we shouldn’t be using it. Sometimes, this leads us to doubting even the simplest words/phrases and looking them up just to be sure we’re right. So, what’s a phrase that you use a lot? Are you sure you know what it means?

Tell the Author

When you read a story,
What parts do you remember?
Is it the characters? The plot?
The setting along the way?
Is it the details? The morals?
What makes you want to stay?
In the worlds of an author.
So precious. So unique.
Do you hope for cliches?
Something funny a character will say?
Is it the writing that pulls you in?
Or the thought of an adventure?
When you read a story,
What will be your quencher?
A heroic heroine?
A tale of identity?
A battle against an unknown entity?
Do you thank the author when the tale is through?
Let them know you loved it, won’t you?
The heart of the story,
the characters,
the rhyme,
Especially in debuts,
the author took their time.
They poured their soul,
Tears, blood, and stress
Into a story
That they hope would bless.
Hours of research,
A questionable search history,
All for the sake of quelling our misery.
So when you read a story,
No matter what you remember.
I hope you tell the author
Its something you treasure.

Writing Prompt: Dream Interpretation

I don’t know a lot about dreams. You know the kind where you lay your head down to sleep and your mind creates all these fantasies or nightmares. It could be something as cool as battling a witch or as terrifying as being chased by a murderer. I’ve heard it said that dreams are just your mind processing what you’ve been up to throughout the day. I believe it. Lately, I’ve been dreaming about work and how I don’t want to miss my alarm, be late, or prove myself uncapable. If not that, then I’m dreaming about hippos.

I often wonder if dreams can be more than the brain processing information. I mean, these days we’re surrounded by stories where the main character gets a vision in dream form, a warning from the future, or an event they need tend to the moment they way up. It could be prompted by an ancient artifact, the Force, or the magic in their genetics. Whatever the reason, it makes dreams seem really powerful and important than they are in today’s world. I, for one, don’t think there’s a special message behind me showing up to work in my pajamas.

But it didn’t use to be this way, right? Ancient Egyptians thought dreams were important and used them to plan battle strategies and direct their state. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought they were future predictions or the dead coming back to visit. Then there’s the story of Joseph and his multicolored coat. A Biblical story in which the musical Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat sprouted.

Joseph is a guy who ends up having it pretty rough despite how nicely things were going for him. He’s favored over his brothers by his father–hence where he gets the multicolored coat–and not only that, but he ends up having these dreams that prophecy him standing greater than his brothers. Dreams where his brothers are groveling at his feet. None of this sat well with his brothers, so they end up selling Joseph as a slave. A slave! Then they tell their father that Joseph died. That’s some serious family issues right there. As a slave, Joseph does pretty well. He makes the most of his circumstances and ends up gaining favor from the guy who owns him. Things are great–despite being a slave. Unfortunately, Joseph caught more than just the favor of his master. He also caught the eye of his master’s wife. She wanted him to share her bed, but Joseph kept refusing. He knew the consequences and knew it wouldn’t be worth it. This didn’t sit well with the lady master, so she framed Joseph. Told her husband that Joseph came after her with extravagant passes and refused to take no for an answer. As you can guess, Joseph’s master got mad and poor Joseph ended up in jail.

His story doesn’t end there, though. In jail, Joseph meets some people who are having strange dreams and he gains a knack for interpreting said dreams. Years go by and suddenly the pharaoh of Egypt is having strange dreams. One of the guys Joseph interpreted for was released back into pharaoh’s services and he mentions Joseph to pharaoh. Desperate for answer, pharaoh sends for Joseph. When Joseph interprets his dreams as prophesizing seven years of bountiful harvest followed by seven years of famine, pharaoh places Joseph in charge of storing excess food those seven bountiful years, and distributing it during the seven years of famine. Joseph went from a slave to a prisoner to Egypt’s salvation.

Remember Joseph’s brothers? The ones who sold him. They end up coming to Egypt seeking food during those years of famine. They don’t recognize Joseph, at first, and they end up groveling at Joseph’s feet for help to feed their families. Sound familiar? Before even becoming a slave, Joseph had dreams of standing greater than his brothers and here in the middle of a famine, his dream comes true right before his eyes. How cool is that?

Regardless if you believe the story of Joseph to be real, ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans once thought that dreams meant something important. They allowed dreams to direct their lives and took heed of them. Granted, back then, they didn’t have all the science and technology we do now. Science and technology tell us that dreams are nothing, but the brain processing information. They’re not supernatural prophecies of the future or visits from beyond the grave. In all honesty, I feel the magic in dreams has been sucked right out of them. No. You shouldn’t stake your life on dreams of hippos in your backyard or surviving a zombie apocalypse, but what if you humored your imagination and thought about the possible prophecies in them? I know I have a lot of dreams I can’t write off as the mind processing information, but I can write them down as potential novel ideas, stories to write and hopefully publish.

I like to think that dreams have more meaning than people give them credit for. Maybe some people still get prophesizing dreams and some people still have the knack for interpreting them? Like I said: I don’t know much about dreams, but I am a Dreamer and it’s fun to dream these things.

Constellation of Scars

What if scars were stars?
Lined them up, and what would you see?
A constellation of mars
Or something more becoming?

Every mark is a memory
Every mark tells a story
Overcome your history
And find yourself new glory

Line up the scars
See the picture they hold
If you make them as stars
And the new message they’ve told

Maybe the might of Draco
Or the kindness of Ursa
Hold justice like Virgo
Or bravery like Auriga

Whatever mark is made there on your skin
Give a chance for a new story to begin
Paint a picture, give it a tale.
Perhaps, its Orion defeating a whale?

Or perhaps just cover with beauty aglow
Stars shine well enough alone
Whatever the story and it’s objective
I hope you find new perspective

Scars can be stars if you give them the chance
And a new look on life, they can enhance
So instead of just marring and reminders of trials
Help them to shine and bring the world smiles


Writing Prompt: The Dream Job

As a kid, what job did you dream you would have as an adult? What job do you have now?

Have you ever paused and looked back at your journey through life? You start out as a kid, playing imagination games, grow to a teenager with attitude, and suddenly you’re adulting. You get your first job, second, maybe advance through school, and all that led you to where you are now. So, how different is it from when you were kid? Are you where you hoped you’d be at?

I always wanted to work with animals ever since I was little. When other people hear that, they think you’re going to be a veterinarian because that’s always the first career people think of when you say you’re going to work with animals. So as a kid, I thought: “Yeah! I’m gonna be a veterinarian! I’m going to take care of all animals and make them feel better! I’ll be the greatest veterinarian in the world! There won’t be anything I can’t heal!”

What can I say? I had big ambitions.

Yet, as often as I thought I’d be the greatest veterinarian in the world, I didn’t actually pursue being a veterinarian. Yes. In high school I was in the animal science program. In sophomore English, I had to write this poem about where’d I’d be in ten years and I figured I’d be cleaning kennels at a vet hospital while in pursuit of a doctrine of veterinary medicine. I even went into the pre-vet program at my college. But, my heart just wasn’t into learning the medicine and the chemistry. I preferred letting my mind soar with the stories I was writing. Doodling the scenes from these stories on my notes. Spending my free time creating instead of studying molecular structures and memorizing what causes what. The “dream job” was always to become a veterinarian, but the more I pursued it, the more I didn’t want it.

It wasn’t until the semester I was supposed to graduate with my animal science degree that I decided I didn’t want to go to vet school. Family and friends would ask me: “So, what’s the next step? What do you have to do to get into vet school?” They were very supportive and wanted what’s best, but I didn’t have the heart to tell them I didn’t want to go. Vet school is expensive. The students have to balance studying and providing for themselves. It’s hard to do on your own, not to mention it’s taxing on your mental health. A lot of people crash and burn as veterinarians. I already had a lot of anxiety and stress getting through my bachelor’s degree, I didn’t want to put myself through anything I didn’t feel I could handle. Especially since my heart wasn’t in it.

So, now what? I closed the door on the dream of becoming “the greatest veterinarian in the world.” What’s next? Well, I still have my writings. I still have my novel and that’s the new dream. I want to become a published author, but that’s not all. I still love working with animals.

Most of all the jobs I’ve ever had involved working with animals. I’ve worked at a children’s farm, a dairy farm, an animal shelter. I’ve got a wide range of experience working with animals. When I left college, the new goal was the zoo. I want to work with exotics. Work with cheetahs. My first semester at college, I would go to the zoo on the weekends (I didn’t have any friends at that point to hang out with). I’d hang around the cheetah exhibit, add what cash I had to their cheetah conservation box, and wonder what it would be like to work with exotics. When I wanted to be a vet, I wanted to help heal exotic animals other than just cats, dogs, and farm animals, but no animal likes the vet. Not even exotics, and I want to be liked by whatever species I work with.

I didn’t land a zoo job as fast I thought I would. It’s a very competitive field and, though they prefer you to have a degree, what they value most is experience. If you want a job with exotics, you need experience with exotics. So when I didn’t land those first couple positions I applied for, I started volunteering. I had a part time job at the library at the time, so the days I wasn’t at the library, I was volunteering at the zoo with the animal team that cared for–you guessed it: cheetahs. It was a really cool experience! I got to see a cheetah immobilization! Basically, it was time for the cheetah’s check up. They darted her so they could clean her teeth and do a full check over to make sure she was okay. The animal team even got her pawprint on canvas for me AND I GOT TO PET HER! I GOT TO PET A CHEETAH! The more time I spent at the zoo, the more I wanted to stop being a volunteer and actually work there. I was easily putting in a hundred hours a month. The team I served noticed my dedication and appreciated my hard work. They actually recommended me to a different animal team who’s intern fell off the face of the Earth. During my interview, they told me the position was mine if I wanted it. I started as a volunteer in March and in June of the same year, I got my first position at the zoo. It was a seasonal intern position, but I was super excited.

I spent the summer working with chimpanzees, hippos, and a couple other species. It was an amazing experience! I was supposed to go back the next summer as the seasonal keeper on the animal team I volunteered for, but COVID-19 hit. The position was axed and the zoo closed its doors to protect the animals from contracting COVID. I was crushed. My chance to work with cheetahs was gone.

With the zoo not hiring, I had to look elsewhere for a job. I still wanted to be in animal care, but I still didn’t want to work at a vet. That’s how I ended up in an animal shelter. It was great to start. I loved making a difference there and I got paid to walk and train dogs. Yet, over the course of my year and a couple months there, too many things were changing. We turned more into a cleaning crew than an animal care team and the tension/drama around the workplace was too much. I didn’t like being there. I remember crying on my way to work, and wishing many times that I was back at the zoo. Yes. I love cats and dogs, but to me, there’s greater adventure working with exotics. There are more ways that I could grow and learn working with exotics over working with domesticated cats and dogs.

I tried to leave the animal shelter before I actually did. I got a couple job offers at veterinary practices and even one at a equine reproduction farm, but the fit just didn’t feel right. Then I found out the seasonal positions at the zoo were coming back. Each animal care team hires an intern and a seasonal keeper for the summer. There are several animal care teams. I know I applied for at least six of those seasonal positions. I even went to the zoo with several copies of my resume, cover letter, and references to pass out to the keepers giving their chats. The team with the cheetahs didn’t remember me and wouldn’t take my resume, but the keeper said she’d pass my name along. The team with the lions took my resume and the keeper mentioned I looked familiar. Then, I found the team I previously worked for at their chimp chat. We caught up and I learned all the crazy things they had to go through during COVID. I didn’t offer my resume because I didn’t want to seem too forward to them, but I did comment: “If you see my resume in the pile, I hope you give me a good thought.” I went on my way, enjoyed the rest of the zoo, and waited. I loved being back there even if it was just to visit.

I quit the animal shelter about two weeks later. I couldn’t stand being there anymore. I hadn’t heard anything from the zoo except for rejections from the cheetah’s animal care team and the lion’s animal care team. So, I gave up hope in getting one of the jobs there and I broke down and started considering more veterinary practices. I left the animal shelter in March, but by the middle of April, I had two job offers that stressed me out. The first was for a full-time veterinary tech position at a practice that had multiple locations. They let me shadow for half a day and they had no issues with the fact that I hadn’t worked at a vet clinic before. They were willing to teach me anything and everything. It came with benefits, the pay was better than the animal shelter, I would be a fool not to take it. Yet, the second position I was offered was the seasonal zookeeper position on the same animal care team I worked for before. The pay was a little less. There was no benefits, but I would be back at zoo. I guess talking to them at the chimp chat that day helped them think of me.

Yet, I had to choose. It wracked up my anxiety. I didn’t want to pick the wrong job. One was safe: better pay, benefits, full-time with no end date. I could get back into that childhood dream of veterinary medicine. But, the other was the new dream: the adventure with exotics. It was a temporary position, but it came with the slight chance of getting hired permanently. The decision tore me apart. I knew most of my family likely wanted me to pick the veterinary position so I could actually have a stable income to move out, but another family member told me that I shouldn’t pick something just because it’s safe. My heart needs to be in it too.

May 4th, 2022 I started a seasonal position at the zoo, and I loved every second of it. Even the weed-eating on the chimp exhibit. It felt good to be back, to see the animals I cared for two years prior. Since I got hired as a seasonal instead of an intern this year, there’s more that I can do. I can feed the animals. I can do a whole routine by myself. I can give chats about our animals. The team is even full of awesome people that push me to do better and get over fears. I didn’t regret choosing the zoo over the vet clinic. And June 1st, the zoo offered me a permeant part-time position that would allow me to jump back and forth between my current animal care team and the animal care team with the cheetahs! My position doesn’t have an end date and there’s a chance I get to work with those beautiful, spotted felines.

I’m not going to be the “greatest veterinarian in the world.” I’m not at the place I said I’d be in my sophomore year poem. I’m a zookeeper who has every intention of getting her books published. I’m living a new dream and I’m excited to see where it takes me. Life is incredible in how it flows. With its twists and turns, and highs and lows, you don’t know where it will take you. You think you have it all figured out when you’re a kid. You’re going to be this when you grow up. Yet, as you grow and learn, and the options in life, that childhood dream may not seem as appetizing as something else you’ve discovered, and that’s okay. The goal in life isn’t to be successful or saying you’d do something you said you’d do as a child. The goal in life should be a dream that your heart is invested in.

Excuse My Rant

Nowadays, there are so many things that people can go on a tangent about. Be it politics and the state of the government, family drama, work drama, morals, religion, ethics, climate change, right, wrong, and the gray area, or some other topic that forms rifts between friends. Everyone has a subject that will cause them to stand up on their soapbox and spill their opinions to the world. And, if you disagree with them, prepare for an argument. Well, this is me getting up on my soapbox, going on my tangent, ranting, whatever you want to call it. Frankly, it’s been bothering me all summer and like I’ve said before: writing helps me get things off my chest so that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’d like to apologize in advance if I offend anyone, but I must say my peace.

I HATE MOSQUITOS!

I swear the little buggers are the bane of my existence. I am one of those people who is primary target of those little bloodsuckers. I’m sure most people have a friend like that. They go outside for a minute and they end up covered in bug bites. Well, that’s me! I can’t tell you how many times I go into the backyard and I have to be on guard to keep mosquitos from biting me. I actually killed three tonight and five the other night that dared land on my skin. I’m too paranoid to go into my backyard anymore because of the mosquitos. They target my legs and their bites itch like my skin is on fire. It’s miserable.

It’s said mosquitos target Type O blood over the others. They’re more attracted to darker clothing. They follow trails of carbon dioxide and heat signatures–so your own breathing and being gives you away. You body odor can attract mosquitos. Depending on the bacteria and compounds on your skin you can smell extra good to the little buggers. One study showed that they’re more attracted to people who drink alcohol, and pregnant women.

While I do wear darker clothing in my downtime, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t know my blood type, and I’m certainly not pregnant. So I must have the right flavoring on my skin to attract the little vampires. Guess that lines up with what some people tell me: “You’re just too sweet.” Well, I’ll mercilessly kill a mosquito if it gets too close to me–animal lover or not.

I’ve tried taking action against the assault of the buggers. Unfortunately, bug spray only goes so far. I heard creeping red thyme keeps them away, but my green thumb is more of a shade of brown. I purchased a bat house in hopes some would move in, because bats can eat 1000s of mosquitos in a week. I’ve thought about trying to attract those little blue dragonflies I like so much because they eat mosquitos, but that would involve a constant pool of water and mosquitos breed in water. I definitely don’t want to aid the enemy’s numbers. My family heard that lavender repels mosquitos, so there are now serval lavender plants on our back deck. They’ve been helping in making the deck a safe zone, but that still leaves the rest of the yard.

We could get an exterminator out to treat the yard, but frankly, I don’t think it’ll help. Mosquitos like water and there’s plenty of water around my house all because of a neighbor who insists on watering his lawn everyday, all day. Water soaks our yards, rolls down the front of the driveway, and builds up in crevices around the houses. It’s the perfect breeding ground for insufferable mosquitos. We’ve kindly asked the neighbor to stop watering so much, but we’ve yet to see a decrease in the amount of water wasted.

I know there are probably some benefits to having mosquitos. They’re food for bats and other animals, they help pollinate, and probably do other good stuff too. I’d probably appreciate them more if they didn’t try to eat me alive whenever I leave the house! I would wish them to go extinct if they weren’t crucial pollinators for some plant species. So instead, I’ll just wish they’d stop biting me so much! I’d love to go to Africa someday on a safari or to visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund, but I’d probably contract all the diseases down there with how much I get bit.

I dislike a lot of parasites, leeches, and bugs, but mosquitos…I hate ’em.

Thank you for enduring my rant. I hope you found it amusing or educational. If I have offended you in anyway, I apologize. I needed to write my peace and frankly, I feel better. You’re welcome to share your opinions on the little vampires–I mean: mosquitos. Share them here in the comments of this post or in the comments of my Twitter and Facebook pages. Feel free to even share a mosquito story or recommend another idea to help me try and keep the little buggers at bay. I’ll try anything.

Which Side of the Bed?

We all know that saying: “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” It means you woke up in some sort of bad mood. The radio station I listen to actually talked about this the other day. They quoted some article, saying that out of the 365 days in a year, we wake up grumpy for 300 of those days. 300! That’s a lot of days to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

So why is that? Why do most of our morning start off with us being in a sour mood? It could be that we didn’t get enough sleep. Our bodies are deprived and that effects your mindset. Maybe you got enough sleep, but you work a physically taxing job? You wake up sore with your body popping and cracking and wish you can just rolling back over and sleep the day away. Maybe it has nothing to do with your physical state? If you’re mentally exhausted, emotionally exhausted, so on and so forth that can effect your attitude in the morning too. Maybe you have a job you have to get ready for that you don’t like? You’re in a sour mood because you have to go back to work.

Whatever the reason you get up on the wrong side of the bed, I want to challenge you to go to battle with your bad mood. Choose to fight for a better mood to help set your day off right. Some people go to religion to help with that. They take a moment to spend time with their creator. Others think about the day ahead and form a plan to tackle it. Some go right back to bed to wake up on the right side later. Or maybe you roll over a kiss your significant other?

As for me, I work a physically taxing job so I’m one of those who pop and crack and have to stretch when I get up in the morning. Some days it’s a real battle to get out of bed. I’m one of those who doesn’t like to talk much in the morning. It usually takes my drive to work, listening to the radio, to get me going. Yet, even on those days where my body wants to stay in bed, I just want to grumble that I’m too tired to go to work today, I try to focus on getting up on the right side of the bed. I think about my plans for the day: what I might be doing at my job or what I have planned for my weekend and I try to focus on the bright sides. I love my job and all the things I get to do there. I enjoy my weekends because I get to sleep in, and work on my writings (like this here blog post), and I can play my games and catch up on shows. There’s a lot of bright sides when I slow down and take the time to find them.

A lot of times, people focus on what they HAVE to do. “Oh, I have to get that blog post done.” “I have to cut the grass.” “I have to go to work.” “I have to do that thing and another,” like it’s long list of chores and they want you to pity them for not having any free time. But what if, instead of “HAVE TO,” we focus more on “I GET to.” “Oh, I get to write a blog post to promote my writings that over 50 people subscribed to.” “I get to cut the grass because I own this house with a big yard for my dogs/kids.” “I get to go to work, make a difference, and get paid to support my family/dreams.” “I get to do this thing and the other because it’s a privilege.” I believe there’s always a silver lining if you look for it and if you can’t find it, then maybe its time for a change?

Let’s try to change the statistic together. Instead of waking up on the wrong side of the bed 300 days of the year, let’s wake up on the wrong side less than that. Let’s choose to take a stand in the morning and start the day off in a good mood. Fight to see the bright side despite all the negativity. Being in a good mood and interacting with others can help others reach that good mood status too. Time to change up the morning routine and get up on the right side of the bed.