Monthly Archives: May 2013

a smile is stronger

There are so many little things in life that can make you smile…the right words from a friend, a call from a family member, a baby’s laughter, a hug from someone you love, your favorite movie, a great song…the list goes on and on. These happenings seem insignificant, however, when I take the time to notice what makes me smile, I realize without these moments my life would feel incomplete. When I was in the airport, a man was walking through security and had a wrapper in his hand. He looked for a trash can and found one, across the security lanes. He chucked that wrapper with sly confidence, secretly hoping he could make it in the trash can. When he did he looked around smiling, probably feeling a sense of accomplishment. That moment made me smile, and even laugh a bit. Such a small instance, yet creating significant happiness within me. And without happiness, within me and those around me, life wouldn’t seem worth living.

That is why God must have made smiling so much easier than crying. I notice the little things can make me smile, but it takes something larger to make me cry. God wanted us to smile more than cry…because it makes our life worthwhile. A smile is always stronger.

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Gatsby and I

I have been looking forward to the moment I could watch my favorite book unfold on the big screen. The Great Gatsby. And wow, it lived up to my expectations. Reflecting on Jay Gatsby’s life after watching the film proved to be interesting, and this is because the perspective we see life through are very different.

Gatsby spent his entire life knowing, and dreaming, of what his life would become, a perfect image drowning in a hopeful soul. It was as if his life’s vision was as fragile as your grandmother’s china set, tucked away and never used so it cannot be damaged. However, it was the most beautiful object your eyes had ever seen.

For me, my way of going about my life is quite unlike that. I used to feel anxious when people would ask me how I wanted my wedding to be, how many children I wanted, what my husband would look like, where I would live…but after watching The Great Gatsby I am thankful that I am happy with the unknown. At least I will not end up like Gatsby, with all hope lost and a heart so indulged in a mysterious love that it may never heal. I have accepted that certain things may not turn out how I would expect, and I am extremely happy enjoying the ride.

Of course, we all have vague ideas of items we know we must achieve within our lifetime…and we should chase those with our whole heart! However, do not be discouraged if life decides to turn left when you have your right turn signal on. Embrace it, go for greatness.

It is simple, Gatsby will never know what could have happened if he freed his heart and invited someone, who had been searching for the same things he had been his whole life, into it.

feeling guilty

I traveled to my hometown, a small town in Wisconsin, from my new home in Florida, for a short visit before the fun craziness of my summer ensues. My friends, one who I have connected with since birth, and two others I have become close to over the years, and I, walked out to the lighthouse at dusk to bask in the scenic view.

I have no problem being 100% honest with people, and that makes conversations with my friends very easy. We all sat, staring back at the city where we spent 18 years of our lives, yet all that was visible was a scatter of orange bulbs against a pitch black sky. As I mentioned, it is easy to ask whatever is on your mind with all of the people I surround myself with….my friend kindly interjected into the silence, “Do you want to raise a family here?”

It was agreed upon by my friends, and I, that we understood why our families decided to raise us here. The town has almost no crime, a nice school system, friendly people, and it is easy to be comfortable. My friends seemed to like the idea of raising a family in the town they grew up. I started to feel guilty, I didn’t say too much. Why do I have the desire to raise a family somewhere different? Why didn’t I feel the strong pull to bring up my children in the ways I was brought up? I don’t know why it is, but I have no interest in raising my family in this town. Is it my longing for change? My adaptability to new environments? My thinking that my husband will have grown up in a town, or know of a place, which he finds perfect for a family? Or could it be my immaturity? The fire of travel, adventure, and new experiences still burning inside me. Thinking ahead, I don’t think this fire will ever be extinguished. I cannot feel guilty for living to take risks, or pursuing bold journeys and goals. This results in my happiness, and if I am lucky, the happiness of those in need, and those I love. You are not wrong for not wanting to settle in the place you have called home for so many years, and those who stay are not wrong.

It is simply my wish to define the unknown before committing to the repeated. 

Motivate

Oftentimes I find myself sitting with my accounting book open wondering WHY? Why am I even attempting to memorize the EPS ratio, master liquidity analysis, or complete a cash disbursement budget?

Then I remember my motivation, and it helps me press on. My motivation is the smiles of the poor children from the villages in Guatemala.  Before I share a story with you, I would like to share what I’ve learned about motivation. I aspire to start a non-profit organization to help education and businesses prosper in countries with developing areas. In order to be motivated you need to match your efforts to your most treasured goals. I study accounting so I can be the best fit for a founder of a non-profit. I exercise so I can inspire others to better their bodies. I love, so others will love. Why do you do what you do? If what you’re doing does not match your passion, you must change it. Don’t waste your life away. 

Motivation: When I was in Guatemala helping at an organization, El Buen Samaritino, that provides education to children from impoverished, broken homes, I found my motivation. The children there were taught in a converted laundry room (a picture is above). They were hungry, and sometimes there was no water. Yet, every single day they smile. Smile so big it would sometimes make me tear up. Although their homes were probably a few rooms, their parents (if they even had two parents) were working at whatever job could be found or struggling with addictions, their clothes were from the nearest clothes drive, their teeth were already rotted, their stomach’s growled… I could go on and on…however, they STILL SMILE. THEY ARE HAPPY. They love God, they love anyone who shows them love. It is marvelous. I am motivated to make life better for these children. And the founder of El Buen Samaritino, Magda, is my role model. Magda understands the importance of love, and being there for all who are in need, even when she is in need. This woman has had cancer twice, lives in a room connected to the organization, and despite having no income she finds a way to feed all the school children. She is a gift from God. Although it is respectable when the more fortunate help the less fortunate, it is even more admirable when those who need help those who need. The definition of Magda. That is truly selfless. It is motivating to share the beautiful world with others, like Magda, who see my vision of leaving the world better than when I entered it. A challenging task.

Whatever motivates you, work toward it… without any doubt, no matter what the world thinks. 

Now back to financial analysis and balancing budgets…