Small Battles Win the War

I struggle with consistency.  I've got eat healthy, lose weight, stop spending money frivolously, use my time wisely.  So, I like to think that one day I'll figure out how to get a handle on things.  Until then, I'm going to celebrate the small battles.

1.  I switched out my side of french fries for a side of steamed vegetables.  I died a little inside as the order came out of my mouth for the waitress.  I've never done this before.
2.  I forced myself to put away the clothes, even though I was tired.  No more of this leaving the newly-laundered clothes on the chair for the next five days.  (unthinkable of OCD me, right?!?!)
3.  I really didn't want to go exercise.  Like...really, really didn't want to go.  But, I went anyways and had a great workout.
4.  I saved money and didn't order something at a restaurant when I knew I had food at home.
5.  I was on the hunt for jewelry and only ordered one piece instead of the the three pieces that I really wanted to get.

Boom!  That is all.

Lessons from My Father

I smiled inside as I looked to him from my corner on the couch.  He can be quiet and reserved, but if I get him talking, he can definitely warm up.  I love it when that happens. That's when he and I are at our closest, when we're talking about money, politics, family and travels.  Which normally means it's just us two in the room, because we can talk about this stuff till we're blue in the face and everyone else is bored out of their mind.  It's what we do.  

So, tonight was no different. And it certainly was refreshing. There's incredibly few people that I can broach all these subjects with and not have multiple disagreements with or feel like I must be careful of what I say so as not to offend them.  I'm so blessed to have a father that I look up to and can trust his wisdom.  So, we chatted.  And in the course of all this chatting and sharing thoughts, I was reminded of some important lessons, all thanks to my dad.  

-Be sensitive to others' needs, and bless others when you can. You'll never know when you'll be in a difficult situation.
Our family went through a really difficult time, years ago when my dad lost his job; probably one of the hardest times he and my mom have had to deal with.  But he shared how they discovered who some of their closest friends were because they extended a helping hand when our family was really struggling, and how he is now very sensitive to others who may be in a similar situation and now tries to be the one extending the helping hand. And while it seems obvious to help others, I'll admit I've never really thought of helping others at that level.  Sure, it's easy to help out when there's a food drive or when the donation basket is going around at church and you see tens, or hundreds, of people rallying to the cause.  But, it's certainly a little more difficult to actually act on your good intentions when no one else may be doing so.

-Family is everything.  Always be consistently working and developing those relationships.
Both my parents have lived in a different country from their families for the majority of their lives. So, the dynamics are certainly a little different than what most would consider a typical family.  But, while distance may create obstacles that aren't easy to get around, make an effort to keep those relationships strong and alive.

-Everything always works out.  While timing in life can often seem inconvenient, when you look back you'll see it was always for a reason.
Now that he can look back and see the big picture, he laughed at some of the choices he and my mom made. Some shouldn't have been made, some couldn't have been made at a more perfect time.  While Jason and I may find frustration in situations we may encounter in the future or consider difficult and untimely, he told me to just trust in God. 

-Have everything in order for when it's your time to go.  It makes it easier on everyone.
Perhaps a bit morbid for some, but I'm all about planning and appreciate the fact that he has the decency to save me the trouble.  I, in no way, look forward to the day that my parents go, but I don't want to have to fight with the logistics of everything when that time comes. 

I never thought that two hours alone with my dad could produce so many life lessons...but it did.  And I'm grateful.  They may seem obvious, but you can never be reminded too often when it comes to the important issues. So, thanks Dad...for the lessons, the time spent, and the love shared, each time we get to have one of our talks. 

Orange Power?

I slept in that morning, dreading what was to come.  I delayed going downstairs to face the others.  I was embarrased.  I tried adjusting items on the dresser, carefully folding my clothes, planning my outfit for the next day, doing anything I could to avoid the inevitable.  I will admit I willingly bought the shirt..but when the moment of truth came, I really kind of regretted it.  I thought maybe if I took the first step...if I tried to be the bigger person, maybe it would soften his heart for my team.  And I don't know if I was successful at all, but it did soften my heart...for OSU.

Seeing it in writing is even more embarrassing.  But the truth must be told.  And it really isn't as awful as it could be. But it's difficult.  When you've grown up only rooting for one team and rooting against all others that stand in its's hard to have a perspective where you root for two different teams, who also happen to be close rivals.  But, my husband is a staunch OSU supporter...and I love I tried to be open-minded.

  It was an absolutely beautiful day, at the stadium.  I was drawn to the cardinal red and white crowd...and for a second I was comfortable with where I was, because they were my colleagues, classmates, and friends.  They wanted the same thing I wanted.  But I was quickly woken up from my dream by my husband's oh-so sweet comment about how these people were easy to dislike because their colors reminded him of a much closer rival OSU has ( I bit my tongue).  Oh, right. OU fans weren't all drawn together to party and trash-talk before heading into the Fiesta Bowl game.  It was Stanford I was looking at, and I was wearing a bright orange OSU t-shirt.

Once the game started, you could feel the stadium fill with tension and excitement.  The fans were pumped up.  Stanford started out strong, while OSU struggled in their first possessions.  But both teams got warmed up and the game got good.  And right when Stanford had a sliver of control of the game, they handed the opportunity to OSU to seal the deal.  It was fun to watch the camaraderie and all the chants. Some of which I don't really understand and some of which I was forced to take part in by my neighboring OSU lady friend who was determined to convert me. Overall, it was a great game, and my heart warmed to the idea of cheering for the Pokes and throwing some pistols up. Maybe one day it will come totally naturally.

But let me be clear, while I definitely have found a spot in my heart to support Oklahoma State, it was yet another realization that fans from any school are all the same.  OSU fans can be just as bad as they claim OU fans to be and vice versa.  (I could go on and on about my frustrations with this, but that doesn't really help the case). Regardless, everyone's the same.  I don't claim to be the picture of a perfect OU fan.  But, I do wish I could draw up a cease-and-desist agreement between the two schools. We're all from Oklahoma and we both have stellar athletic programs.  Can't we all just be family and be supportive when each team does well and lose gracefully when one team loses to the other at Bedlam? At least it would make my dilemma a heck of a lot easier. Trying to keep the peace between a house divided.  ;) But until then, I am trying to expand my horizons, shift my paradigms, and embrace another football team.  Orange Power? Boomer Sooner!