Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert

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So I have recently been questioning just which one I am.  Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert.  Now if you have known me as an adult you would probably say that I’m an Extrovert.  I am a social butterfly, always ready to talk to strangers, will go out and sit at a bar all by myself for dinner, and over all I just love meeting new and different people.  Now, if you knew me as a child you may say I was an Introvert.  I was pretty shy and quiet.  Although I was a talker, I was a big scaredy cat.  In kindergarten, I would go to the nurse’s office on a regular basis, sick to my stomach, but  I came to realize later it was just nerves.  I was the kid who would go to sleep over a friend’s for the night and once it was time to go to bed, I suddenly fell ill and needed mom to come pick me up.  I know if you didn’t know me then, you would never believe it.  Actually, I’m still this way.  If something bothers me or I’m afraid, I will get sick to my stomach.  I’m still somewhat of a scaredy cat.

So then I got to thinking, maybe I’m both.  Maybe I’m an ambivert.  So thanks to google I found this article on the Huffington Post telling me Yes, It’s Possible To Be Both An Introvert And An Extravert.  So I thought I would check it out.  According to this article it says, “Being an introvert or extravert isn’t just a question of how friendly or social you are. According to the “arousal model,” it’s more a matter of how stimulated you are, particularly in the neuron-dense neocortex of the brain, which acts as the center for higher mental functions such as spatial reasoning, conscious thought, language and sensory perception.”  I started thinking about this.  I do like to be social, however, big crowds like concerts, sports events and loud places do often drain me.  I need a good balance of social and quiet.  I need to recharge from time to time.  So I read a little further to discover the article then describes this “Ambiverts, by definition, are right in between the two when it comes to arousal — either because they go back and forth between being over and under the optimal level of arousal, or because they’re usually in the middle at a comfortable level of arousal — so they’re generally comfortable with a balance of both calmer and more stimulating experiences.”  Which totally makes sense.  Upon googling some more info I found one of those online quizes to tell me exactly which one I am.  The results are in and it says…I’m an introvert.  You can check them out here:  quiz results.

After all this research, I still haven’t quite decided which one is correct, although it is very interesting.  I guess I really don’t have to label myself as anything and I don’t have to fit every characteristic of any of them.  So, which one are you?  If you would like, take try the quiz here: Quiz

Sources/Links:

Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/24/both-introvert-and-extravert-ambivert_n_6177854.html

The Quiet Revolution Personality Test

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scaredy-cat

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

Photo Credit:  Nigel Fubara of Zoo Media

 

Oops Upside Your Head

 

So I heard this throwback this morning on my way to work.  I really love this song.  I was definitely born 10 years too late.  I love 70’s and 80’s R&B.  I always wished I had a big afro and some funky bell bottoms with funky platform shoes.  I love the funk and soul of that era.

I love the Gap Band.  They have countless good songs like Outstanding, Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me), You Dropped A Bomb On Me, and one of my favorites Yearning For Your Love.

This song makes me think of my son when he was acting up.  You know when you are driving along in the car and your kid says something smart?  I used to tell him I was going to give him and “Oops upside the head” and sing this to him.  An “Oops upside the head” is when he is in the passenger’s seat and you every so lovingly just reach over and give him a little smack in the back of the head.  Nothing too rough.  No, it’s not child abuse, it’s just a little reminder.  A good way to say, “Hey!  Who do you think you are?” or “Excuse me?  Who do you think you’re talking to?”  That’s what I like to call it, an “Oops upside your head.” LOL

Well, if nothing else, I gave him a good appreciation of the Gap Band!

 

Cooking and Grandma Vichy

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Francis Gafford aka Grandma Vichy

So today I got a text from a friend of mine saying, “Soooo…no blogs? Lol”  My response was, “No.  Sorry.  You were expecting one?  Do I usually blog every weekend?”  “I think so” she says.  I had to go back through my posts and see the last time I posted something which was Thursday morning I think.  I have been meaning to blog.  I’ve been wanting to, but I have a life too.  I actually left my house this weekend.  I also did some house cleaning and cooking.  I don’t seem to cook as much now that I started writing.  Which saves some money because of the fact that I don’t really know how to cook for two people, more like twenty two! 
The not cooking will surprise some that know me well.  I am always inventing new recipes or trying to copycat ones I have tried at a restaurant.  I’m usually baking up something from scratch or rolling wontons for soup.  Making dough for homemade pizzas or vats of rice and beans for my son and his friends.  I once had a friend of his ask why I always had rice and beans in the fridge when he came over.  “Because it’s cheap and feeds lots of teenage boys,” I told him.  In fact, I’m kind of known around town for making rice and beans.  Besides my son’s friends, many of my friends will request I make my rice and beans for get together’s and I’ve been known to make some of the best rice and beans late night, after the bar closes.  I’m good for having a couple of drinks and inviting the whole bar to my house for the after party.  I’m not sure if it’s the southern blood in my veins, but I just love to feed and cook for people. 
Cooking rice and beans makes me think of my Grandma Vichy (pronounced Veechie).  Francis was her name and she loved my rice and beans or as she sometimes called it “rice and peas”.
Back when my son was just a baby, she came to stay with us for a bit.  She was on oxygen then and had bad emphysema and I believe she had COPD, too.  She couldn’t get too far without taking a break.  I remember watching her go up a set of four stairs one time and she had to take a break after just two.  I know she had been a smoker in her younger days and she loved her whiskey, too.  My favorite was the story my mother told me about how as a little girl, her job was to hide the booze and cigarettes when the Mormons came to the house.  My grandmother was Mormon and would often tell me all about Joseph Smith, which my mother was never happy about because she was raising us Baptist.  I guess she was worried Grandma would successfully convert me but I always thought it was good to learn about all religions, then I could decide why I believed what I chose to believe. Many times when I think about Grandma Vichy, I think about how proud she would be with my cooking skills these days.  Mostly at the fact I have learned how to cook from scratch and waste less.  Grandma Vichy had lived through the Great Depression which explains why she had this need to save everything.  In fact most of it was rolled up in napkins, stuffed into plastic bags and pinned inside her bra!  If she wanted to give you some money she would reach into her bra and pull out treasures unknown!  Just thinking about it makes me laugh now, but it was just normal to me as a kid. 
The one time I will never forget, was the time I was cooking beef stew while Grandma was staying  with us.  It was my first time and I was probably about 20, my son was a baby and was sleeping upstairs.  I remember browning the meat in a cast iron pan and tossing it into a pot.  I was following the recipe directions as I had never made it before and wanted it to be just right.  I went upstairs to check on my son and when I came back down Grandma was in the kitchen.  She had added some water to the cast iron pan and was scraping all the flavor out to add to the soup.  I remember being so annoyed that she had messed with my cooking (I’m still that way in the kitchen) but I couldn’t say anything.  She was my Grandma, I could not disrespect her.  So I walked away, tried to stay calm and take a minute.  She said she was just trying to help and I of course continued to act like there was nothing wrong.  She was grandma, what could I say?  The stew cooked for a while and I checked on my son again.  I can still hear her voice and that strong southern accent when she apologized to me, “I’m sawry Lissa Beth.  I didn’t mean ta mess with yer stew.  I didn’t want it ta go ta waste.”  I remember feeling awful, I didn’t mean for her to feel bad.  She was just trying to help.  I didn’t want her to know I was upset.  It wasn’t until years later that I would wish she was still around to teach me some of her tricks and techniques on cooking.  It wasn’t until now that I really wish I had asked her more questions about the great depression, about all the history she had lived through. 
Growing up, Grandma lived between RI, FL and GA so we often wrote letters back and forth.  From time to time I will go back and read her old letters to me.  Like messages from heaven, I can hear her voice clearly saying, “I luuuuv you, Lissa!” In that southern twang, “and tell mama I luv n miss her too!”  I would be so excited to get that envelope in the mail and often times would open it up to find a single stick of Freedent gum enclosed.  It was one of those quirky things only Grandma did, kind of like the treasures in her bra.  So maybe I make rice and beans because it’s cheap and resourceful like my Grandma taught me.  Maybe I enjoy cooking and feeding people because it’s in my blood and it’s in my southern roots.  But maybe I just make them, because deep down, they make me think of Grandma and the times I used to cook for her.

Prince’s Ea’s Video about Labels

So a friend of mine, Wendy of Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake, posted this video on Facebook last night.  I am already a fan of Prince Ea, but I was yet to see this video.

Prince Ea is a rapper/spoken word type artist.  I love his videos because they are very thought provoking and inspiring.  He started the  “Make ‘SMART’ Cool” movement and you can find more info on him here or you can just watch the video below and decide for yourself.

I really enjoyed this video.  I hope you do as well.  Feel free to comment below or share with others.  Thanks for checking this out!

 

 

Turning a Negative into a Positive

I am trying so hard to keep a positive attitude in the New Year.  I was doing great the first couple of weeks.  It seems like as soon as I stopped waking up early to have my moments of gratitude and mornings full of thanks, things started to change.  I am trying so hard to not be negative, but I will tell, you it’s difficult to get out of this funk.  It’s like once you start, how do you get back?  I need a clean slate.  A fresh start again.  

Work has been good, but now the receptionist is going out for at least a month.  We have a temp to cover, but basically she is late, like hours late, every morning, and that’s if she shows up.  So who has to cover the phones?  Me.  Well, I share the duty with two of my co workers.  I usually cover the phones at lunch break as well.  It’s not that I can’t do it.  I just get in my “it’s not fair” mode.  Ugh.  Pity party!  I need to get over myself and snap out of this mood!  I need to give thanks that I have a job.  I need to realize my life is pretty damn good!  I hate being a Debby Downer.  

This past weekend I watched the movie Human: Volume 1.  If I stop and think about some of the people that I saw in this movie, I can shut myself up.  It is a documentary of sorts that I was turned on to by Tunisia Joyln.  (check out her blog here)  It is basically a series of interviews with all different people from all around the world answering all different questions.  

This morning, as I sit here, trying to check myself before I wreck myself, one woman stands out in my mind.  She says the most important thing she does is look at bottles.  She looks at bottles all day, sometimes for 12 hours a day.  She then goes on to say that she is exhausted.  Who am I to complain?  I have my own apartment, heat, running water, a car to drive, I sit at a computer all day.  I am not walking or standing all day.  I am not in the cold or snow, or even in the heat of a factory or field.  No, I have it pretty good.  Who am I to sit here and complain that I have to pick up the phone?  There is another man who talks about lifting tires and how heavy they are.  How his back aches from laboring all day.  I don’t have to life much at all.  Maybe a finger?  

The more I think about this movie, these people, I am humbled.  I realize how good my life really is.  I can sit here and find plenty of things to complain about, or I can sit here and realize how blessed I really am.  I have a beautiful, loving family, (one man talks about losing his brothers and sisters because of health, not having food), I have plenty of food and water.  I have my health.  I have NOTHING to complain about.  NOTHING!  

So that being said, I think I have reminded myself how much I really have.  How I really need to appreciate everything.  You can find the positive and the negative in every situation.  I encourage people to watch this movie.  There are 3 volumes and I have only seen the first so far.  It is a good reminder of the things that really matter in life.  To be thankful for what we have.  To remind us how to turn a negative into a positive.  

 

Photo Credit:  I do not own the rights to this photo it was found on the internet

It’s ok to Cry

We all have those days.  Those days we feel like we have failed.  Those days we want to sit in a corner and hide.  Or crawl back into bed, pull the covers over our heads and shut out the rest of the world.  Why is it we are so hard on ourselves, yet so kind to others.  Why do we not give ourselves more credit?  If only we could look at ourselves through other people’s eyes.  If only we would treat ourselves, the way we treat others.

Encouraging ourselves.  Telling ourselves, “hey!  It’s ok.  You can’t do everything in one day.  You don’t have to be perfect.  You are human!  You are not a machine.  You are not a droid or a clone.  You make mistakes.”  In fact, that is how you learn better!  If we could take the time each day, to find one thing we love about ourselves.  Be proud of what we have accomplished.  

I feel like lately I have had lots of conversations with people who are feeling down.  Having moments they want to cry.  Moments they don’t want to get out of bed or just moments of struggle.  Guess, what?  What if I told you we ALL have these moments?  Yes, even I do!

For those people who know me, who have known me throughout the years either in person or through social media, what if I told you a secret.  What if I told you that I have had these moments.

Yes, I may post statuses on facebook about how my teenager is driving me mad.  How my car was broken down.  How I didn’t want to work in insurance anymore.  But that’s not all.  There are things that I have not shared.  Moments that maybe no one even knows about.  Today, I need to share these moments.  

As a single mom, yes I have complained from time to time about not having money.  I may have felt bad for myself.  But what if I told you there were nights I cried?  Times that I felt sad and lonely.  Times that I cried in bed alone and had pity parties.  Nights I wondered why was I alone.  Nights I felt unworthy of pretty much anything and everything.  I didn’t tell anyone.  I was supposed to be a strong, independent, single woman.  I felt I couldn’t show anyone this side.  I couldn’t show anyone my vulnerability.  I would fight to hide that and get up and put a smile on my face.  I would walk around confident in public because that is what a strong, independent single mother does.

Over the past few months I have really been working through some things.  Dealing with the fact that I am sensitive.  Thinking about the fact that I try to be tough.  That is, until I realized who I was fighting.  It was me!  I was fighting myself!  I wasn’t fighting anyone else but me.  I finally realized that it’s ok to be vulnerable.  It’s ok to feel!  It’s ok to ask for help, to accept help, to feel emotions.  It’s ok to be me.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not strong and independent.  I have proven that for years.  But sometimes being strong means asking for and accepting help.  Sometimes being strong is being vulnerable.  Having the strength to ask for help.  The strength to accept help and the strength to cry, but then get up, wipe your tears and keep going.  

I am not writing this for pity, but for encouragement.  To remind all these strong independent, single women out there to know it’s ok to be vulnerable.  It’s ok to ask for help.  And it’s ok to cry.

 

This is a song by India Arie that always encourages and remind me that I can do anything when I believe in myself.  If you are having a rough day, go ahead and take a listen.

 

 

Knowing Your Worth

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What is speaking the truth?  Speaking my truth?  Speaking your truth? It’s all different.  What is true to me may not be true to you.  But what matters is that we are true to ourselves.  To our true, authentic selves. 
I was out the other night, for drinks and really wanted to go dancing.  Once I got out though, I started to get this anxiety.  I saw different people, some I’m not fond of, and realized that I immediately started hearing voices in my head.  Their voices.  I was imagining what these people were thinking of me.  Whether I was right or wrong, I was imagining them all judging me.  I started looking around the room, I started feeling small, like I wanted to hide away.  Crawl into a corner.  Me!  I always seem so calm and confident.  I am the one who will go to a bar or restaurant alone to enjoy a meal.  I don’t care what people think.  WRONG!  I realized I was sitting here thinking all these people were judging me in some way.  Feeling uncomfortable.  Feeling Insecure.  I started feeling like I wanted to run and hide. Then I talked to myself.  I stopped for a minute and said, “Elissa!  What the hell do you care???? Really?  What if they do think those things??”  I looked around the room again, observing.  Changing my thought patterns.  I started asking myself these questions, who are these people?  How much do they matter to you?  What do their opinions matter? Are these people you want to base your self worth on?  All of a sudden I felt empowered,  for many reasons.  First, I just didn’t care.  If these people were actually thinking these things of me, the ones I had made up in my head, who cares?  They obviously don’t know me.  Who were they to judge me? Then I took it a little further and thought, why am I even here? Yes, I came to meet my niece for a bit.  Yes, I wanted to hear some good music (old school 80’s and 90’s r&b) but really, are these the people, in this room, that I want to base my worth on?  Is this what I want to be doing a week, a month, a year from now?  NO! 
I looked at my just finished drink.  I looked at my tab.  I looked at my surroundings and my situation and thought HELL NO!  This is NOT where I want to be.  This is not how I want to invest my time, my money, my thoughts, my feelings and my energy.  It was like a wake up call.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were people in the room that I like.  People that are very nice, that were just out with a group of friends.  Overall, I do enjoy to go out and dance.  I love going out with my girlfriends and shaking it on the dance floor.  But, in the grand scheme of things, I want so much more out of life!  I could be spending my time and money so much better.  I could be home in bed all cuddled up with…my journal. Lol  Honestly, this is where I would rather be.  In fact, that’s what I came home and did.  Here is a glimpse of what I wrote:

Sometimes we need reminders of where we don’t want to be.  Where we came from.  To let people think what they want to.  Stop caring WTF people think!  Today is my day to say I’m done!  Done with small minds and simple living.  Done with not knowing my worth.  With placing my worth in someone else’s hands.  Done with focusing on a number.  A scale.  Who the F cares??  These people are not important in the grand scheme of things.  Not worth energy or thoughts.  I have so much more to worry about.  To focus on.  Put my energy into.  I can’t be bothered with pettiness.  I want so much more in life.  I need to focus on what I want and need in my life.  I have been so blessed already.  

I realized that I want to do something with my life.  I don’t want to live the day to day, ho hum, everyday 9-5 life.  I want to live!  I need to make a plan to get out!  I need to do something meaningful in this life. Put my time, money and energy into what I love.  Into writing, into people, into making a difference.   I need to stop focusing on losing weight.  Stop focusing on my weight at all and focus on DOING something!  Who cares what I weigh? Move more.  Eat Healthy.  Do things you love!  Dance, Sing, Write, LIVE!!  Let go of the made up critical voices in our heads telling us we aren’t worthy.
I only share this because I KNOW I am not alone.  I know there are plenty of people, (I’m guessing everyone of you has had this experience) with the voices in your head feeding you negative thoughts.  STOP!  Take back your power!  Know your worth!  Start putting your time and energy into you and what you love.  Don’t worry about anyone else.  Just be true to you.  

PHOTO CREDIT:  I do not own the rights to this photo it was found on the internet

Just Like Music

So I recently posted a Blogger’s award and nominated 10 bloggers who I follow and enjoy.  I also asked them several questions about music and decided I wanted to answer them myself.  So here are my answers to the questions I asked.

  1.  What music/musician do you find most influential in your life and why?  

I would have to say India Arie.  I think because her music has always seemed to coincide with my life at that moment.  She was there through dating, break up, to build my confidence, to help me dream, to give me hope, peace, love and beauty.  I love her positivity and I feel like she is true to herself, not trying to please everyone.  I also have to say Tracy Chapman is another fave from back in the day.  I love music that makes you feel and speaks a message

  1.  Do you have a favorite song and why?

I think I have many favorites, it’s hard to pick one.  There are many that describe different times in my life.  Over all, I would say Beautiful Surprise because it is my song for my son.  

  1.  If you could meet one artist (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

I would say India Arie mostly because she is one of my faves. I mean, we’ve been through so much together, even if she didn’t know. lol  (side note confession, I once went to a Tracy Chapman concert and wanted to meet her so bad that when she waved and drove off on the tour bus I cried.  I was embarrassed but I was also just crushed I couldn’t meet her)I did, however, have the opportunity to meet Floetry.  And even get a pic with them. That was cool!  

  1.  What current song would describe your life today?

This has become one of my favorite new songs.  Here – Alessia Cara  I can totally relate to being over it all.

“…I just came to kick it, but really I would rather be

at home all by myself not in this room 

With people who don’t even care about my well-being…”

  1.  What is a song you would consider timeless?

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going on?” Unfortunately I feel like this song still applies to the world today.  I constantly question what’s going on this world.   

  1.  Do you have a favorite workout song?  Or a song that motivates you in some way?

Purify Me by India Arie.  It doesn’t seem like a workout song so much, but something about that song just makes me feel good!  Strength, Courage and Wisdom  by India Arie also reminds me “it’s been inside of me, all along…”

Well, those are my answers for today.  Of course, music is always changing and growing just like we do.  I really love music and the effects it can have on our attitudes, moods and life in general.  Feel free to answer some of these questions in the comments below or just name a favorite song or musician.  Thanks for reading!

 

Blogger Award

This week Honeyblife nominated me for the Blogger Award – I was honored and excited!  I really enjoy Honeyblife’s blog, she posts on healthy living.  Anything from recipes to advice.  Check her out here Honeyblife!

The rules of this tag-type article that I am doing today:
-Tag the blogger that nominated you
-Answer the questions you were given
-Nominate 10 bloggers
-Name questions for your nominees to answer
-Inform the bloggers you chose that you nominated them!

I would like to nominate the following bloggers because they are some of my favorites:

Answers to the Questions I was asked:

What does a ‘healthy lifestyle’ mean to you?
To me a healthy lifestyle means balance  Balancing work and play  Not going to extremes.  Also eating healthy, non-processed foods, exercising but not to extremes and really enjoying life
What does your ‘healthy lifestyle’ consist of? 
I’m still working at my healthy lifestyle  I am trying to find balance between work, home, exercise, fun, writing/blogging, and being social  I really need to organize my home more but I am trying to workout more so I have let some things go.  I also have been writing more and notice I am not cooking as much as I used to.
What are your current eating habits?
Well, since the new year I am trying to be better at eating “real” foods.  Less processed foods, less simple carbs, etc.  I try to buy organic when possible.  I find that BJ’s has some affordable products.  Also learning which foods you should really buy organic and which ones don’t need to be
What do you wish to achieve or learn more about being healthy?
I would really like to let go of all my issues and thoughts around weight and obsessing over the scale and food  I want to just focus on being healthy, feeling good in my own skin, being a healthy weight and feeling good about myself
Why do/don’t you want to be ‘healthy’? and what is are the constraints of being ‘healthy’?
I think being healthy is physical, mental and spiritual.  I need to be aware of what I am feeding not only my physical body but my mind and spirit as well.  It can be music, negative thoughts, trash tv, they can all affect a healthy person  I think being grateful on a daily basis, prayer and meditation are all a part of being healthy as well  Also, exercising can be good for mental health
Last cheeky question: What do you like or don’t like about my blog and what would you like to see more of, or improvement on? 
I really enjoy your blog.  I like how you have a combination of all different aspects of health.  I just started following so I’m not sure what else I would like to see, but I really enjoy it.

 

Given the recent passing of David Bowie and Glenn Frey (from the Eagles) I want to focus on music.  Also just because I love music.  I wasn’t a huge fan of either, not that I didn’t like them, I think my taste just differs a bit.  Anyways, here are my questions:

1.  What music/musician do you find most influential in your life and why? 
2.  Do you have a favorite song and why?
3.  If you could meet one artist (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
4.  What current song would describe your life today?
5  What is a song you would consider timeless?
6  Do you have a favorite workout song?  Or a song that motivates you in some way?

I may have to blog about these myself!  Thank you again for the nomination and I look forward to seeing everyone’s post!