Thursday, November 29, 2012

Unhealthy Relationships... Perhaps?

If I had a dollar for every time I have had someone ask me how you know when to leave a relationship (guess they consider me an expert at that, ha) I would likely not be blogging right now because I would be too busy touring the world with a fat pocket. Now, I feel I give really good, useful, sound advice on this subject, which usually helps the person asking... but that is key; the person wondering ASKS me. Before you say what do you mean?... (I knew you would think that) I will share what I mean.

I have had more people ask me how to convince a friend or family member that they are in a bad relationship and need to get out, than people who were in it. I always have two words for them,YOU CAN'T! No matter how many times we tell a friend or loved one how awful or unhealthy their relationship is, they will never leave. In fact, it is often human nature to rebel when someone is "telling" you what you "should" be doing. Right? I mean, how many times have you had someone "tell" you what to do instead of "suggest" and you did the exact opposite? How about the overbearing mother who tries to rule your life, who no matter what you do it's not good enough, but yet nobody is good enough for you when you bring girlfriends or boyfriends home? Or a father who did not realize that you "needed" to have the boyfriend he did not like; and when he said, "no", What did you do?

See? Rebellion is typical, normal and well, in ways, necessary to learn from. If you have someone you know who is in a bad situation and you want to help, the best thing that you can do is to be there when they need you, tell them what YOU would do if you were them (which is in turn what you think they should do) and follow it by saying... "but that's just me". It's much less intrusive and they might actually TAKE your advice rather than reject your demands. Bottom line, let THEM make their own decision, stand your ground, but say things like... "you will know when it's time to leave." You will say this because that is the truth. THIS is what works, if you argue abusive with abusive then you get nothing but negative... and no positive= no results.

Now... for those that come to me who are asking my advice on when or if you should leave? Refer to the paragraph above; I practice what I preach. I will listen to what you have to say, ask a few questions and say what I truly feel. I define abusive relationships as...

1: Anyone who is dealing with arguments that lead to, yelling, screaming, name calling, comments that are debilitating, cruel, or spoken to hurt you. Physical contact that is forceful and/or negative.
2. Anyone who is dealing with bullying, constant ridicule, or being forced into doing something that you are not comfortable doing, or that is against your good will. This can mean anything from making you stop going to church, or out with your friends, to making you get plastic surgery to "look" a certain way.

I define unhealthy relationships as:

1. One to which any of the above applies.
2. If obsessive, jealous, neurotic, angry, needy, unforgiving, uncooperative, refuses to communicate, manipulative, never understands, isn't willing to change, or they won't talk about our problems,  could be used to describe who you are in a relationship with.

There are SO many things that are tell tale signs but these are the obvious whoppers that you need to pay attention to. These relationships are unhealthy, they leave you scarred for life... and the only people that overcome and leave this type are people who have a lot of strength. It takes A LOT to leave, however ALL of them should.

When I was going through my second divorce, I had to take a class that taught people how to be "divorced" parents to their children. (don't talk about each other etc.) I knew a lot of it because of common sense, the fact that I had already dealt with divorce,  and my love for psychology... but the most powerful and useful thing I learned was this, and I quote:

"It has been proven that it is easier to quit heroine than it is to leave an abusive relationship."

When I heard that, it was coming out of the teachers mouth right after I explained the type of relationship I had ended while I was pregnant with my 3rd child. (the one that had led me to this class) She shook my hand, and said, "You are a very strong woman... it has been proven that it is easier to quit heroine than it is to leave an abusive relationship." I was floored! I ended my first marriage at age 22, we had a daughter who was 4, I owned a home and a business, then my second marriage was ended while I was pregnant, I had a 1 year old, a 17 year old getting ready to leave for college and a 9 year old at home, I had two business's and no family around.  I stopped getting upset with people when I knew they were staying in an unhealthy relationship, I understood, that what I had done... twice, was harder than I even gave myself credit for.

I will tell you, that if you want to leave someone and you are scared, that is normal. If you believe you can do it... you can. I will also tell you however that YOU have to be ready to leave more than you want to stay. If you don't, then you need more time; time that if you don't give yourself, will lead you right back into that relationship again and again until you are.

So... that is my Dr. Phil, advice tonight. I offer this advice not with knowledge I gained from obtaining a degree in psychology, I am not a licensed counselor of ANY kind... the knowledge or wisdom if you will allow me to call it that, that I am sharing is from living through it myself. It may not work for you exactly like it did for me, we are all different. However I will tell you that yes... it's hard, yes, you will be on an emotional roller coaster, and you will second guess your second guessing; that's all normal. It does get easier, if it was the right decision.

Wishing all of you healthy happy relationships. ALL of the above can apply to friendships as well.

This is my daughter Baleigh a couple of years ago in a kissing booth! HAHA

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am Glad That I Grew Balls

So I have a cool story to share tonight... it's one of those what I call, "Shelley happenings". I had to make a run to the post office to mail out some signed copies of my book today. When I got there, I was the only customer there. I began going through the motions of asking the postal worker the quickest most economical way to send them, blah blah... and after she weighed the book, and the bubble mailers I had to mail them in she told me how to send them. I proceeded to the "I'm not finished yet" counter to fill out my labels because someone else walked in by this point and was ready and waiting. As I was filling out my labels, an older gentleman walked in... probably around 50 or so. He fluttered in, in a boisterous way chumming it up with the postal lady who he had a nickname for, (I cannot remember what it was now, but it was funny.) He carried an armful of boxes probably 9 or more, all of the same size. These two things told me that a.> He was a "regular" and perhaps a neighbor of hers given their conversation, and b.> he probably sold something and I was curious what it was.

I continued to fill out my labels slowly, so I could listen in ... (okay, so I could eavesdrop) on the conversation. What? Don't judge! I just wanted to know what he sold! Anyway.... so he was talking away sharing all kinds of stuff with his "friend" the postal lady and I was politely eavesdropping. (Knowledge is power!) I learned that he had just gotten back from being out west visiting, and how when they got back last night they had 200 orders to fill! AHA! He DID sell something. 200 orders? Holy cow I HAD to know now! I waited for a moment of silence and said "Hey, what do you sell?" (Might I add that there were 2 people in front of me and 3 people behind me by now.) We had a conversation and he told me he sold toys... collectibles, not old ones but new ones like star wars figures and Monster High stuff, on Amazon. We continued to chat it up, and I found out he was planning to pay off his house with this business venture to which I gave him kudos and that his wife was a teacher who had to box up and label all of these incoming orders before school that morning.

As I approached the clerk window beside where he was being helped he noticed my "all the same size" packages. He quickly said, "what do YOU sell?" To which I replied, "I am an author, and this is my first shipment of signed copies going out." (First time I actually said that out loud... it was a cool moment.) He happily said with a smile, "I want your book!" I said, "Sure!" and gave him a card. He shared that he knew two people that were writers, one who was family and had her self-published books in Neiman Marcus now; (my ears went BOING!) He also said he was interested in finding out how to publish his poetry, which I thought was cool and shared that is how I started writing. I said I would help him learn what to do.

He asked what kind of book I wrote, so I shared that it was a motivational/inspirational book about overcoming adversity and that it was my true story; he smiled. He introduced himself as he stuck out his hand for me to shake and as I shook it I introduced myself too. We were both done mailing our packages at this point and even though I was paying NO attention to everyone waiting, I know they all witnessed something cool. An old kind of friendliness that people today have forgotten... it almost no longer exists. There is a cool factor that can resonate from having the guts to talk to a stranger; I do it all of the time. I think I have my Dad to thank for that, because I remember as a child picking up hitch hiker's! Thanks to the media and movies that give people bad ideas, we have lost that, and it's kind of sad.

I am happy I grew balls, or maybe it's just that the old Shelley has returned. The bottled up girl I became after being moved away from my hometown, at a very vulnerable age, has finally overcome what made me quiet and shy once upon a time. I can certainly say that shy does not exist for me anymore and I am happy to say that I try to meet a stranger almost everywhere I go. (Like the lady I met in Target at the checkout last week when I complimented how beautiful her sweater was, and yes... she gave me a compliment in return. Funny how that happens!

Goodnight my peeps! 
I must get some sleep so that I can continue changing the world one blog post, one book, and one stranger at a time!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why Wait 'Till I am Dead?

My mind is on a weird trip this evening... a thought just hit me as I was unloading laundry out of the dryer, so instead of folding it (it's now waiting patiently in the basket) I decided to boot my computer back up and tap out this blog to clear my head of these random thoughts, (I am often curious where this stuff comes from) and share them with you! (Feeling lucky?)

I remember several years ago, I did a Goggle search  in hopes of finding a place to submit my quotes that had been popping into my brain and out onto paper for as long as I could remember. Long before I knew of Steve Jobs, Tony Robbins, Shad Helmstetter, Zig Zigglar, and Jim Rohn (just to name a few) I suppose I needed a motivational boost and since nobody else was around I "lifted" myself by writing my own quotes. (what a weirdo!) I always thought that it would be some sort of poetic justice to see my name beside a quote I wrote on a website or in a book where people would go to be inspired, and have their spirits lifted.

What I found was that nothing I found would allow you to submit a quote unless you were famous, or dead and famous and I remember that crawling under my skin like a needle searching for blood at the doctor's office. Who made the rule that you had to be famous in order to be inspiring, or funny, or sarcastic? How in the world are you supposed to GET famous if nobody will give you the opportunity to BE inspiring to others. I mean, sheesh... I have read and heard MANY things from people who were not "famous" or dead, that helped me in some way. Ba-Humbug! I said to myself at that moment... "I will show THEM!" I will find my OWN way... and just like everything else in life... I did; I wrote a book, and I end each chapter with a quote that I wrote.

Tonight, I had this random thought (which probably wasn't so random seeing how I am currently reading a book on financial planning) and it kind of reminded me of the moment when I realized that a lot of people who are dead are more famous now than when they were alive (and so are their quotes.) Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson... these men were brilliant and struggled with so many things... they were ripped to shreds by their peers and NOW that they are gone they are recognized for how spectacular they are, I certainly hope the felt the love before it all ended.

So... here was my thought, why wait until we are dead? People wait to give their children an inheritance when they pass, never allowing themselves the joy of seeing the fruits of their labor at work in the lives of heir loved ones. How do they know that they will need it more then than now? Wouldn't it make more sense to give it to them when they are younger, perhaps when they start a family so that they can invest it wisely and make it grow into a fortune for their own kids one day? I mean seriously, compounded interest is a VERY powerful thing!!

Now, I know that many people never make a fortune or have some huge inheritance to pass onto their kids, in fact, sadly enough many people these days die more broke than they were when they started working; (we really need to change that.) I know I do not want my kids to go through what I have gone through, I am going to be sure they have money smarts, so that when I am gone they will not need an inheritance... to survive. I will allow them to have theirs when the begin their families, so that they can create a better, more responsible life than I ever had. While some people are out buying yet another toy to make little "Johnny" or "Sally" happy; one that likely won't be played with or taken care of for more than a few weeks, I will be sure that I shop wisely, on things that they can not only enjoy, but things that will secure their financial future.

 As I have gotten older, instead of feeling inferior when I cannot afford something, I feel wise and it makes me happy to know that as a single mom, I experience many struggles, and those struggles teach me so much. Many times in life I did not have the money to get the newest toy that everyone wanted for Christmas; I typically left the television off during the holidays because of that. It was silly to feel inferior, it was silly to feel like I wasn't good enough, that I had "failed" my kids by not being able to afford what their friends had. What I realize now, is that I am teaching my kids the value of a dollar, I am teaching them that there is disappointment in life, and that you DON'T always get what you want... because guess what? You don't! I am instilling principals that were not even intentional, and because of that they will be able to cope in life with the things that happen unplanned.

I am fulfilled and proud, as I watch my oldest daughter Cierra, (20) who is across the country in Colorado, supporting herself completely without a roommate, working two jobs to pay her own way through school after giving up a full 4 year scholarship to fulfill her dreams of becoming a graphic artist. She amazes me at her resilience and when I look at her and how awesome she has become, I say to myself... "she is always going to know the value of a dollar because she saw YOU trying to make those dollars stretch SO many times."

Whew.. okay I feel better now and can fold this cold laundry... perhaps after another toss! HA! #storyofmylife

Goodnight everyone... let' not wait 'till we are dead to share our wealth, or our wealth of knowledge, and let's not wait until others are dead before we tell them how awesome they are.

Inspire someone EVERY day!

If you like what you read, feel free to follow me on my new Facebook Fan page for more!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Day Message

Today as I prepare a Thanksgiving day feast, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have food to prepare, the kitchen to cook it in and am thankful for the family and friends that I will spend it with; not everyone has those things making me more fortunate. My friends and family bring so much to my life, ups and downs are healthy, occasional drama is normal, that is all part of it. Toxic relationships are the ones that you must rid yourself of and I am thankful I learned that lesson.

It has been quite a month... a bit challenging and a bit stressful. I have had many things on my mind, many eventful moments and thoughts of the upcoming holiday season. Sometimes when that happens, I allow the overload of emotions to take over and my mind struggles to escape. Today, I plan to escape... if only for a day I will allow myself to "run away" from stressful thoughts and overloaded mind so I can enjoy a nice dinner with my family and friends. I will envelope myself in this holiday season, one that is not meant to be commercial, but meant as a time for us to be thankful to have what we have even if it is less than someone else, to experience the love of our family and friends even if it is a small family and only one friend, to spend quality time with those closest to us and use it as a reminder that we are lucky, we are fortunate, we have much to be thankful for.

Today, and everyday we should think of these things as we struggle to get through the stresses of life; it's hard and it is much easier said than done, however it would make every day brighter, perhaps easier and a lot more meaningful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

My Day with some Fifth Graders...

Last year, I had the honor of speaking to my first set of elementary kids when one of my teacher friends asked me to come speak to her kids during the "Great American Teach-In" She teaches fifth grade at a school in a low income area where the population is predominately African American and Hispanic. I was very excited to have this opportunity, because I feel so deeply that these are the kids who need inspiration the most... being someone who wants to make a difference in this world, I figured minds that were swallowed up by negative circumstances would be a great place to start.

I remember going into the school; here I was this "pretty white girl" (which one girl whispered to her friend not realizing I heard her) dressed up in a dress and heels, driving over an hour to get there and taking time out of my busy day to come speak to them, because many of them did not have parents that would. I remember planning my "speech" trying to consider how to present my career as a makeup artist and stylist and make it interesting for the boys in the class.

I introduced myself, and started my presentation. I began by asking three questions... "Who likes makeup and pretty hairstyles?"(girl hands raised) "Who likes pretty girls?" (girl hands went down boy hands went up) and "Who likes scary movies?" (I got a nice mixture of both) I then said, "okay then I think I have something for everyone! I proceeded in talking about my career and showing them my carefully constructed power point presentation that I did to stay on track. It went well but I wanted to open up wide on this bunch as I sat there reading their young impressionable faces.

I began to talk about self esteem, that it had a lot to do with why I do what I do for a living and went off on an inspirational tangent. I left the class after showing them how to create and open wound with lash glue, black eyeliner and red lip gloss and I felt amazing... Like I had reached a few of them with my words. I was still writing and tweaking my book at this time and the overall experience was so good that I decided that THIS was who I wanted to speak to... THIS was the audience where I could make the biggest difference.

A few weeks later, I received an abundance of heartfelt thank you notes from this class. Each child took the time to not only make me a random thank you but each of them put heart into their cards. I cried like a blubbery little baby as I read each and every one.

This year, my daughter Baleigh is in fifth grade... and I spoke at her school yesterday. Although a much different audience, the experience was more of the same. She asked me to talk about my book and how I am an "author" because I presume that she wanted to show me off to her classmates... which I thought was cute. I went in knowing that my entire speech would be on self-esteem, bullying, goal setting and dream crushers. I wanted to impress upon these little minds that regardless of what anyone says to you... if you have a dream, a goal that you want to reach it is possible if you believe in yourself and never take your mind off of what you want.

As I was talking about my book, I shared some of my life with them, I spoke of how I was bullied, how people were not very nice to me, how some of the people closest to me, some being family said I could not accomplish my dreams and goals that I had set out to accomplish. I then told them that I did it anyway with MANY obstacles along the way. I did this to gain their trust so that they would let their guards down. I then asked who had been bullied before; more than half the class raised their hand. I asked who felt like they could not reach goals that they hoped for; almost all of them raised their hands.

I went around the room and asked what goals they had and was so inspired by their answers. Major league baseball players ruled the room, one girl wanted to be a brain surgeon, and another wanted to be a marine biologist AFTER his major league soccer career was over. I then came to one little guy, a heavy set young man with a cute smile. When I asked him what his goal was I almost cried... in front of the entire class he said that he hoped to find a cure for pet allergies so that he could have another dog and shared that he had to get rid of his black lab because he was allergic to his dander. I told him that was an AWESOME goal and I loved the heart that went into it. A big smile came over his sad little face.

I talked some more about words... how they can help someone or hurt someone, and how they should always be careful with theirs. Just before ending my presentation by showing them the portfolio of my work on my website, I asked them to get a pen so they could write something down on the paper I had given them. I read them a quote I wrote straight from my book and asked them to write it down word for word:

"One person's words can change your life, your direction, and your belief in yourself"

I then said, Okay... now after that in REALLY BIG LETTERS write this...

"The only thing that matters is what I BELIEVE I can accomplish"

I left them with that thought and told them to put that sheet of paper somewhere they would see it every day. The cute little guy that missed his dog put it in the front of his agenda and smiled really big as he did.

I left this class feeling amazing... I felt like I had made a difference in more than one of them, and that makes everything I went through worth it!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Making Time For What Matters

I am the world's worst.. or best depending on how you look at it at filling my plate so full that I have a hard time devouring it all. I have said for years that if I could clone myself I would be much more efficient and capable to do all of the things I want, intend and hope to do in half the time. I have been the "yes" girl for so long being the giving heart that I am, that I find it very difficult most of the time to be the "I don't think I can" girl even when I need to. I have sacrificed time with my family and my significant other to do things I probably should have said no to; maybe you can relate?

One of my goals this year has been to focus on what's important, not only to me but to my family and that has meant saying no more than I wanted to. I have had to STOP and think before committing to something so that I could think about what I would have to sacrifice in order to do it. I am very easily distracted, and find that distraction is my worst enemy making getting things done even more challenging at times. It's a constant battle of brain and heart. If I need to sit down and pay bills, I sometimes have to say no to sitting down to watch television with my kids or with Corey, on the flip-side, I sometimes have to say no to checking emails or writing my blog in order to spend time with them even though I feel like I am letting down my audience who look forward to reading my posts.

Balance is hard, especially when you have A.D.D and want to do everything for everyone all of the time, it's my curse... or perhaps my blessing. The bottom line is that you HAVE to make time for what matters, and you HAVE to prioritize your to-do lists. The people who are affected by your "no's" will understand if they love an care for you. I challenge you today to say no when you want to say yes, in order to leave room on your plate for you. Have a wonderfully productive day!

 Thank a Veteran today!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Now That You Have Cast Your Stones.. I Mean Votes!

It's been a long month... oh wait, that's right, it's only November 6th! Pardon my sarcasm but it's been quite a long process... this presidential thing. Facebook has been a dumping ground for biased opinions, hate posts, misleading information and frankly I am over it, and glad that it is coming to a close tonight.... or at least the election is coming to a close I am sure the comments will spew for months to come. Despite all of the negativity, I have managed to stay positive because I do not allow myself to get all wrapped up in the hooplah! I am tired of people trying to persuade me one way or the other by shoving things down my throat full force; I am an American who is entitled to my opinion and so are you... isn't that one of the things we love about this country? Yep... thought so.

The sad truth is that many people (notice I did not say all people) who feel so strongly about this election are not informed... or at least not fully informed, they watch biased television stations, listen to biased radio shows and refuse to listen to anything "the other side" has to say unless it's in a debate. People have cast stones, placed judgement upon and grossly disrespected our current President, and I have expressed through other blog posts that I am ashamed of this behavior. Not to mention that it does not take a mastermind to figure out that in order to cast an educated vote you need to hear both sides in an unbiased setting. I am not talking about a debate... that is hardly an atmosphere to get to know the "person", we are electing, that is only getting to know the "debater" we will elect, and both traits matter. We need a fighter who will fight for our rights, but we also need  a person who cares about everyone... who has everyone's interest in mind and who can understand and empathize the needs of EVERY American, not just one group or another. The person has to be open minded enough to make decisions that are fair to ALL citizens, despite what they themselves may morally believe. It's like being a juror... you have to make your decisions based on the facts even if it goes against what your religion or morals tell you. Because of that, it is NOT an easy job, in fact; it's the hardest title to hold.

I had an idea, an experiment of sorts. I did it mainly because I was curious what would happen, who would "like"  and who would comment on unbiased, non-prompted  interview comments conducted by the editor of an unbiased magazine that has been around for 90 years... Readers Digest. So... Last week, I began posting excerpts from an interview with President Obama on my Facebook Page. I did not disclose who made the comments, and I did not say where they came from. I simply said that they were "something I read once" that inspired or touched me in some way, and that was not a lie.

What I found was this... many of the Obama hater's who have done nothing but post derogatory comments and links on their pages over the past several months and weeks actually liked and commented on the posts in a positive way. Some of the people are classmates, some are family, and some are merely acquaintances, but regardless of who they are, I love and accept everyone for  where they stand even if I don't agree with them.  It was really interesting to see who actually liked what Obama was saying... I did not post anything political, just things that had more to do with the heart of the person, and to me... that matters just as much as the political side if not more. It made me wonder if all opinions were kept anonymous, if all debates were not party specific, if people would vote the same way. We are raised prejudice... or not, we are raised to root for one sports team or another and we are raised in political parties that carry into our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Does our opinion really reflect who WE are and how WE feel or is it how we have been influenced or perhaps in some cases even brainwashed?

The other thing that has crossed my mind during this process is that the very people who seemed to be frantic about this election claim to be people of faith. I am a person of faith.. and because of that, I truly believe with all of my heart that the best man will win, God's got this... so who am I to judge who the best man is? Do I have an opinion? Of course I do, and I have my reason's for believing that Obama should get another 4 years, just as I am sure you have your reason's for why he should or should not. I respect your opinion, so respect mine, that's all I ask.

I will now share the things I posted on my Face Book page (what I actually posted will be highlighted within the excerpts below in a different color) I hope that you will continue to read...  they also interviewed Mitt Romney, and I will share his comments as well, which I did not share during my experiment since the experiment was geared more towards Obama hater's.

The moral of this blog post is this... we are all in this together, despite our differences and once you truly accept that maybe you will come to realize that just because you feel someone is not the best candidate to run our country does not mean you should strip them of their genuine persona and good intentions. Casting stones is the same thing as bullying, and I can tell you that if Obama were your child, you would not be so quick to agree with the people who were calling him names. I encourage you to read more, learn more and try to forget how you were raised as you vote in the next election. Read unbiased interviews, watch unbiased shows and listen to radio shows who hear things from both sides in something other than a debate.

And just for the record in case someone decides to call me out, my honesty speaks now... No, I did not vote in this election, mainly because I forgot to register in my new county but another part of me had full faith the best man would win.

Excerpts taken from the interview between 
the editor of Reader's Digest, President Obama, and Mitt Romney

RD: I have read that your mother told you "If nothing else, I've given you an interesting life." What kind of life do you want to give to your daughters?
Obama: Well, they have already had an interesting life, the people I know who are happiest in addition to having wonderful families, are also people making a contribution. Each of us finds or own way to make a contribution. I will probably warn them away form politics, (laughs) but whatever path they choose, I hope that they will be thinking about what it's doing for other people. Because, I've told them this before, "I firmly believe that at the end of your life, when you look back, there are going to be two things you remember. It's gonna be the love you had for friends and family and the moments that love expressed itself. And then there are the moments that you helped somebody out. I think that's what shapes your life and gives it meaning." 
(17 people liked the quote, more than half of them openly bash President Obama on a regular basis.)

RD: Can you sum up in one word the kind of life you have given your sons?
Mitt Romney: Opportunity

RD: You write a book, about your first term as president What's the title?
President Obama: Wow! It always takes me a long time to think of [book] titles. It's just like thinking of our daughters' names names. I remember we were in the hospital for the first 48 hours trying to figure out, all right, what are we gonna call this one? I think the theme of my first term would be persistence... Somehow I think the title would speak to just sticking with it.

RD: If you had to write a book about your campaign experience what would the title be?
Mitt Romney: The title of this campaign... The Longest Journey

Now in my Facebook post, I asked this question:
If you were in trouble, and your world was falling apart around you and you found these two book titles on a table which one would you pick up to read?
A. Persistence
B. The Longest Journey
15 people gave an opinion and 9 of them said Persistence. And yep.. you guessed it, more than half bash Obama.

RD: What's the most memorable day you've ever had in church. excluding weddings and baptisms and things of that nature?
President Obama: When I was working with a bunch of Catholic churches on the South Side [of Chicago]. I hadn't been raised going to church regularly. But here I was working with these churches, and I thought,I need to start going to church a little more. I remember the first time that I went to a very small storefront church in Chicago. It was an African American church, a Baptist church. " I remember the first time I ever went to a small storefront church, it was a baptist church. There probably weren't more than a hundred people in the congregation and maybe ten people in the choir. But the joy an energy that they projected in that church---and everybody was singing. I remember starting to cry during this service just because you could see these were mostly folks who were working-class, never had a lot of money, didn't have a lot of material possessions. Many of them were middle-aged or older and probably had experienced prejudice in their lives or certainly hardship. To see how their faith and God's grace could lift them out of their daily circumstances was really moving to me. I think those early visits started my own faith journey." (14 people liked the quote, more than half of do not support Obama)

RD: What's the most memorable day you've ever had in church. excluding weddings and baptisms and communions?
Mitt Romney: Being asked to become the pastor of a congregation. That is a responsibility that is given to individual members [in the Mormon faith], as opposed to a full-time paid clergy, as in other churches. And I was asked by one of my church's leaders to take responsibility for becoming the pastor of a congregation, and that experience opened my eyes to the challenges and hopes of many different people of many different backgrounds. 

Another quote I posted that was not in the interview was this:
President Obama: "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." (6 people liked the post, not sure where two of them stand but the rest do not support Obama)

Unfortunately my weekend got busy and I did not get to post this last one... however as I am blogging and I have learned that Obama has won the election... I will share it now.

RD: You've said you are very even-keeled. But everyone gets down from time to time. Do you have a strategy you use or a trick to get back up? Do you have a theme song, Mr. President? (everyone laughs)
President Obama: I will tell you that my kids will always yank me out of stuff. So we are pretty religious about family dinner at 6:30. And the great thing about living above the store is no matter how busy I am, I can walk takes a minute. I can sit down, spend an hour with my girls, and come back down and work. But it pulls me out of whatever my personal struggles or challenges are, and it's one of the great things about being a parent. You're always reminded, Oh, this is not about you. It's about these kids, their lives, and how you make them better. 
And then I am a big believer in exercise. If I'm sort of in a funk, going out and just breaking a sweat, doing something. We have a gym upstairs, and in addition to the usual equipment and the weights, there is a little punching bag there.... (everyone laughs)

RD: Every leader, executive, every person wakes up some days and just has a bad day.Just can't be happy or get pumped up. Do you have a trick or a strategy that you use to get your energy up? Do you have a theme song?
Mitt Romney: If I have a bad hair day, I just think, Well, it will be an OK hair day tomorrow. Just put your head down and go. Life is a bit of a roller coaster, which is, you get on and there's no stopping along the way. There are some days when you feel like this is pretty tough, and there are the days that are exhilarating, but you just keep on going.

If you are still reading... thank you. You may have learned something by continuing on and sticking it out, but regardless you know where I stand and how I see things. We are supposed to love unconditionally, with an open heart, and I will continue to spread this message as long as I live.  It was a long blog tonight, but a passionate one. My "friend" numbers may go down on this post... but I will also learn who my friends really are.