Toot your horn…

In response to the Daily Prompt, Toot Your Horn“, Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

My favorite thing about me is that I am not afraid to do things by myself. This started at a very young age. I was an only child for the first three years of my life and, even though my parents played and read to me, there were no kids on my blocks. Until I went to pre-school at almost five years old, I was only around other kids if my family when to a public place, such as the park or the shopping mall, or if we went to visit my cousins (three are older than me). I did many things as a child on my own, such as build with clay and play-dough, coloring, play with my dog, invent stories about my stuffed animals, and listen to my record player.Me and my childhood dog

As I got older, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I only had a few friends and none of them on my block. Luckily, they were walking distance when I was considered old enough to do so with permission. When I was at home I either played toys or games with my brother, read books, or watched television. Sometimes we would go to the park to play basketball or we would throw the baseball around in the yard. When kids did move in across the alley from us, they were boys my brother’s age.

I started playing tennis at age 8 and I got to be around other kids when I went to group lessons, but they lived in other areas and often knew people in the group already. Even though I was fairly outgoing around my family, I was pretty shy and nervous around people I didn’t know. Although I have mostly gotten over the nervousness, I am still shy as an adult despite working in a people-centered industry. I did get to know a few people through tennis but I would call us practice partners rather than friends.

Driving… one of my favorite activities

As an adult I have done many things on my own, including go to concerts, movies, shopping, out to eat, visited museums, travelled to other places to visit friends and family via bus, and lived by myself. Some of this took place in my pre-Boyfriend days but I have no problem doing these things when he is at work or tied up with other tasks. I often take my hour-long lunch break at work by myself so I can walk, run errands, make phone calls, or just be because I am otherwise in an office with 7 other people and in frequent interactions with customers by phone or in person. I have heard comments from people over the years who are shocked that I am not only ok doing these tasks alone but that I sometimes choose to do them by myself. This allows me to decide what I want to eat, if I want to listen to music, do I want to change course and go somewhere different that I originally planned for, and to just relax without having to choose my words wisely or having to agree with something (food, an opinion, etc.) in order to appease the other person. Sometimes we all just need a little time to ourselves in order to get back to business/life in a productive manner.

I am not opposed to socializing with others but, if you have ready any of my posts, you can understand how socializing can get complicated for me – I am as different from others as I can be alike, and my opinions do not always line up with those around me. Plus,  I need time to recharge after my people time, a somewhat introverted tendency that I have  started to attend to more than in the past. I like to think that I am independent, which allows me to grow and learn and discover before taking in the world around according to other people.


Taking time to relax…

Do you ever have free time and try to find ten things you need to do with that time? I felt like that today, and opted to take it easy.

We took our cat to this morning, which was not fun for her or for us, and I got permission to leave work early to be with the cat while Boyfriend worked this evening. She’s a sensitive cat and has had bad reactions to vaccines and medicine before so we decided to err on the side of caution. The free time came into play because I was home two hours earlier than normal. While Boo was napping, I decided to nap as well after looking at some blogs and responding to a comment or two on mine. The nap was much needed but I was resistant at first because I could have been doing other things. While the cat continued to nap and I checked on her a few times, I went back to my computer and found a few really great TED talks to watch. I took notes so I can refer back to what I watched and possibly share them with others. One of the videos was posted at  Motivation Monday – Psychology of Self-Motivation (Scott Geller). This led me to watch a few more TED Talks, which were informative and inspiring. Rather than feeling like I didn’t get enough done, like I do some evenings, I feel a bit refreshed.

The other TED Talks I watched were:

How to find your passion and inner awesomenes | Eugene Hennie | TEDxMMU

How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu

Wanting Something Different: Charley Johnson at TEDxMalibu

Greg Louganis | Finding My Voice in the Silence of Meditation | TEDxMalibu

They all have overlapping themes but each video offered something different. I find things like this interesting while working in a helping field that can be rewarding yet draining, and find that re-evaluating life and your choices is necessary. It also helps to hear that others feel what you feel and have experienced what you have.

Hope these videos offer you knowledge and inspiration as well.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt on 01/19/15:  “Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?”

As I mentioned in a previous post, “Tennis Player”, I enjoy warm sunny days, playing tennis with Boyfriend. Sunday (01/18/15) was the first opportunity we have had in quite awhile to play, and I enjoyed every minute. The sun was shining, the wind was nonexistent, and the temperature was 68 and beautiful. Boyfriend and I smiled and ran each other around the court pretty well! The courts where we play are well-kept, have good traction, are blue and white (which I prefer to green and burnt red) and are situated near a serene landscape. We are happy to live near multiple courts, which enables us to play tennis rather than spend our tennis time searching or waiting for a court Playing tennis gives us both a good workout, with both long points and quick bursts of energy (aerobic and anaerobic, cardio and high intensity movement). This combination allows for a fun and pleasant experience for Boyfriend and me. 

I feel fortunate to live in Central Texas most of the time, especially in winter. Even though we had several weeks of cold and rain, we didn’t get snow and, while it was dreary and mostly unpleasant for the past few weeks, it was warmer than in would have been in the Midwest. Even with warmer winter temperatures, we have not had a day that was fitting for us to play tennis in almost two months. The ability to enjoy an activity together, sweat a little and feel my muscles work was something I had been looking forward to all week as I watched the weather forecast. I feel glad that we seized the moment, as the weather has returned to cold, windy, cloudy and rainy the past few days. On the bright side, it’s not snow, though it could turn into ice.

I find being in the sun refreshing and rejuvenating while walking, sitting outside, especially when I take a few minutes away from work. I used to spend a lot of time driving with my previous job, more than I do now, and the office I worked from had several large, third floor windows that allowed for sun and natural light. I could sometimes duck over to a Starbucks to sit outside while typing case notes to both work and relax a little. Now, if I can, I take a lap or two around the office building to escape from my windowless office, sometimes with music on my phone for a bit of oomph.

Sometimes I drive, with good music and the windows open can be rejuvenating. I recently had the chance to drive back and forth from San Antonio for training on the toll road. Rather music, a good stretch of the ride was taken in silence as I delighted in little traffic on the 80-mile-an-hour toll road, alone. Unlike some, I normally enjoy driving and have often taken to the road as a refuge and a little time to collect my thoughts or decompress after a stressful day.

In this stressful world, you have to find ways to rest, relax and rejuvenate!

© blogdaysofchrell 2015