The Boy In The Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

For a review of this book, I’m going to direct you to the website of a book blogger I really like and respect, Jamie, as her post about this book inspired me to read The Boy In The Black Suit in the first place.

The Perpetual Page Turner – Book Talk: Boy In The Black Suit 

The reason I want to post about this book is because I really love this passage:

“But this game here, I-DEE-clare War, is how life really goes down.” Finally done dealing, he picked up his stack and held it in his hand, face down. Then, he flipped the first card. “I flip a card, then you flip a card.” he explained, and waited for me to turn my first card. A six. His was a ten. “Sometimes I win” – he raked the cards off to the side, close to him – “and sometimes I lose.” He flipped another card. An eight. This time I turned a queen and beat him. “And sometimes,” he continued while flipping another one, “I can lose and lose and lose and I don’t know why. But there’s nothing I can do but just keep flipping the cards. Eventually, I’ll win again. As long as you got cards to keep turning, you’re fine. Now, that’s life,” he said, pushing another hand I won over to me.”

I agree, that is life.

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Blog Challenge #5 / Scratch That, No More.

Today’s challenge….ending the blog challenge.

I’m sorry, I’m never one who likes to quit and not finish what I start, but I just can’t do these daily blog posts like I thought I could. I think a large part is that it takes away the purpose of my blog, which is to share what I want, when I want to. Sometimes I like to share, or vent, or journal and I don’t want to feel constricted because I have to do a daily post on a certain topic.

So, no more daily challenges. I hope none of you who read this are too sad about this.

However, with that being said, I do have a personal challenge to take on, and that is how to ignore things around you that you really cannot change. Actually, ignore isn’t the exact right word. Ignoring is part of it, but also dealing with it, and persevering through it, so as not to let it bring you down or make you unhappy with yourself. I can’t go into too much specific detail here, but this is something I am struggling with in an aspect of my every day life.

I’m someone who likes to do the best work possible, and I admit, I have a low tolerance for stupid people and people who do not work hard. Maybe that’s harsh or maybe that’s honest, I’ll let you be the judge, but since I am a very very detail-oriented person, who follows rules and policies to the best of my ability, and does accurate work, it’s not hard to believe that I am that way. Basically, If I was a quote in this aspect of my life, I’d be “If you can’t do it right and/or accurate, don’t do it at all.”

So, how do I overcome this challenge. How do I deal with others who do not feel the way I feel? How do I get through the day calmly and happily? That is what I need to figure out, so that is my next challenge.

Usually, I search for quotes to start to change the way I think.

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I’ve never been good at pretending something does not bother me when it does. I don’t hide things well, which makes me the expressive, emotional person that I am, and I love that about myself. But at times, it’s a blessing and a curse because I have a difficult time just “brushing it off”. So, I really don’t know what I’m going to do every day to help myself get through. I’m thankful for the people in my life that I can vent to and who will always let me open up to them about what’s bothering me, but I also don’t want to “poison the air” with negative, complaining conversations all the time. So, I’m at a standstill.

Guess I might just simply have to follow this advice:

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and listen to this song on repeat:

Dear Journal: It’s Time To Focus On…

…living in the moment.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can relax my brain, stop over thinking and worrying about everything, and just enjoy where I am right now. So, I’ve been quietly observing those around me and doing a bit of reading and research on how I can help myself think and worry less.

What I’ve come up with is that I really need to focus hard on just living in the moment. For example, I need to stop looking at apartments for rent because right now, in this moment of my life, I’m not financially ready to move out on my own. It’s one thing to look at houses and dream about what I’d love to own one day. It’s another thing entirely to be scouring the For Rent ads weekly to see what’s out there. Another example? I constantly wonder about my career path. Am I making the right choice now? Will a library career be fulfilling? Or will I always wonder if the career I choose is the right one? Answer. Stop worrying about my job and second guessing my career choices, and just focus on what I am doing now. My current position is one where I am not always busy. My level of busyness depends on the number of patrons in the library and whether they need assistance (hence why right now I am able to write a blog post…clearly not a busy library). So, sometimes that creates WAY TOO MUCH time for my mind to wander which just stresses me out because I have that time to think about the before mentioned examples, as well as my relationships. But, I need to be in the moment at these times too, and that might mean looking at book websites, orreading the news, pinning on PinTerest, or simply reading. I of course should also focus more energy on the patrons, and work on providing even better service to them.I am hoping focusing on living in the moment will create a higher level of peace in my mind, and maybe I’ll be able to just relax a little bit more.

So, my personal goal is to live more in the moment. I’m going to worry less about how my life will be tomorrow, a year from now, two years from now, and even ten years from now. When it comes time to look for my own house, I’ll look for my own house. When it comes time to find a new job, like when my MLIS is done, I’ll do that. But right now, I’m not going to drive myself crazy thinking about it now. I have a great life right now, and I know I have so much to be thankful for, so it’s time to really focus on enjoying the present more, and worrying about the future less. One can’t predict the future, and nothing in the future is certain anyways, so it’s time to spend less of my mind power worrying about it, or wanting to fast forward through it.

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Confession 2

Confession Time: I’m a person who can often be selfish and I like to get what I want. Yep, That’s a truth about me and I am admitting it. However, it’s not a trait that I am particularly proud of. I have such a wonderful life with a supportive family and amazing friends. I’m educated, and I continue to pursue learning. I have access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing without batting an eye. I have a job, and not only that I have a job in a field/career that I am interested in. While I may have my own personal financial worries and wish to be working more hours and/or a better wage, I am far better off then millions of other individuals around the world. I am smart, with a bright career ahead of me. However, as wonderful as all of these things are, I must say these are things that I take for granted on a regular basis and that I don’t take the time and energy to appreciate every day. I honestly will say that I forget to remember how blessed I am to have the life I have.

So, I found a quote that reflects this, and I want to use it as motivation to change the way I think and what I focus and concentrate on in my life.

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Therefore, I am making an oath to myself and I am pledging 5 things.

1. I promise to be more willing to share what I have with others, whether that be knowledge, companionship, material items, and (insert sigh here) food/dessert.

2. I promise to appreciate what my parents do for me, and not take the opportunities they have provided for me for granted, as I am very fortunate to live the life I live.

3. I promise to think of not only what I can do for myself, but more what I can do for my family and my friends.

4. I promise to give more of my attention to others and to reach out to friends. I will pick up that phone, or send that text message to check in and see what’s new. While my schedule between work and school leaves only specks of free time that correspond with others’ free time, I will use that time to connect with friends and family and strengthen the relationships I cherish.

5. I promise to think more carefully about what I want, to make sure that it really is the best thing for me, as not everything that I want is something I should have (or something I need to have).

I can’t promise that I’ll become less selfish overnight, but I read somewhere that your 20’s are about becoming the person that you want to be for the rest of your adult life. So, if that is in fact true, then I want to make the effort to live each day grateful and thankful for all that I have, instead of being selfish and feeling that I never have enough.

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This could not be more true for me. It’s a battle I fight every day, and relates to how I audit and over think everything. I wish I could just let my mind relax and follow one path or the other, so I am challenging myself to just let things happen and not worry so much.