What has the World Done to Us? And, Why Am I Crying About It!

There’s a saying that says, “One Bad Apple, spoils it for the Rest” and the older I’m getting, I’m finding that statement to be even the more sadder by the minute, hour and day.

The World is a Cruel place.

Now I know what you may be thinking, “Okay, whose peed in my cheerios” Well, it’s not about “Who” but “What” – While the world is cruel and evil and sometimes (okay most times) unforgiving. There are still quite a few people in it, that are cool, personable and have a way of turning any blue day into a shiny one, just by their personality alone. I happen to be one of those people…

Recently, I put a couple of things online to sell. I posted these items across the yard sale boards and I tell you, I have never, ever in my life received so many responses. I mean, I couldn’t finish answering one question before I could answer another one. It became SOOO overwhelming, I began telling people that certain items had sold – just to calm down my inbox. It was then that I understood why celebrities have designated people either checking their emails or handling their social media handles. I guess you can say that experience was my 15 min of fame as I surely thought I had become one, OVERNIGHT!!

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I was successful in getting certain things sold but after a couple of failed promised deals gone bad – I decided to go down the list to other people interested. What I noticed is that although I had stated in my post that there would be “NO DELIVERIES” I had quite a few people whom opted that I meet them in a public place, a common area where a lot of people are. I did this for one person but when it came to the other person wanting me to do the same thing, I felt a little disheartened.

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They were interested in an item I had but clearly stated that their circumstances would keep them from meeting me as they don’t do anything or go anywhere, especially to someone’s house without their spouse tagging along. They went on to mention that if they did meet me without their better half, it would have to be at a police station and because their spouse would be unavailable. They asked to be passed over for the items and that I move on to the next person.

In that moment, I felt some type of way, I felt dehumanized – if that makes sense. I suddenly thought – the world is a cruel place indeed; it’s been crippled by so much FEAR.

Thinking about the response from that individual suddenly made me cry. I admit, sometimes I can be a very emotional person, depending on the situation and especially during a good chick flick; pass the tissues because this girl will be crying. I mean, that’s just me.

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Now, I know my actions to that situation doesn’t make a lick of sense to you and if I can be honest, it really didn’t to me either, like “Why was I crying??” I felt sad because of ALL the negativity, scams, killings and so forth in the world, nobody can be trusted!! The first thing I thought was, “I wouldn’t hurt anyone” I remember crying one day because I’d accidently run over a dog, who came bustling out in the road from nowhere it seems.

I believe I cried too because I KNOW what type of person I am, but just because I KNOW, doesn’t mean that someone else does and you can’t be too careful these days, not even a little bit. People that speak nicely on the phone or appear nice, can easily turn out to be a terror in disguise, the only thing they need or seem to look for is an open heart to let them in and the next thing you know, your world, is turned upside-down. “Can’t people just be Good??, I mean, can we just have Good people, who want to do GOOD things and NOT bring hurt or harm to anyone? Can’t we just have GOOD PEOPLE? Are there NOT enough good people in the world??

While I was having an emotional moment of silence to myself. There was a little voice on the inside of me that said, “You Keep Being Good, no matter what, just keep being YOU!” It’s amazing how something so small can change our mindset about life and question who we really are.

I said all of that to say, Yes, while the world seems to be going to HELL in a hand-basket. There’s still some good and good people left in it. There are still organizations, companies and non-profits whom are changing the world – even if just for one person.

You can’t make people see the good in you, especially over the phone or thru a message board…lol, and please don’t try to make them. All you can do is just BE YOU. If you’re good, continue being good and don’t let anyone dull your shine, no matter how NEGATIVE the world may continue to get.

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (NIV)

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Valentines on A Budget – 5 Tips to Save You Money!

Valentines is officially HERE! and while today may be the BIG V-Day, most people may opt to do something small today, with a bigger celebration more than likely starting tomorrow night and on through the weekend, right??

Valentine’s is the next most popular-est holiday, outside of Christmas. As soon as Christmas is over you can almost guarantee the week or two after, stores will begin to fill up with red, pink and white balloons, bears, candies and roses galore…I mean, that’s just how it rolls.

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However, while Valentines is a day that everyone (well not everyone, but you get it) uses to express their undying love and affection for a significant other – it can also be extremely COSTLY! Yes, LOVE really does cost a thing, especially on V-Day.

And that alone can be a little disheartening as everyone may not have the Benjamin’s to splurge on LOVE. Therefore, I’m going to give you 5 tips of how you can keep the cost down on the world’s most LOVE filled day.

Scavenger Hunt

Valentines Day is the perfect day to tell your significant other how much you love them and while words are great – ACTIONS are better. Get some nice paper, preferably construction paper. Fold it in half and cut along the fold line to make hearts, make sure you use different colors – it just makes the activity more fun and expressive.

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Write nice things you love about your sweetie on each one and put them all over your living space (preferably in places you know they always go). You might want to let them know you’re doing this and tell them you’ve placed little love notes throughout the space and send them on a little hunt to find it. Or, it can be a complete surprise. You can do it while they’re sleeping, to up the ante – you can tape little pieces of chocolate on, to make the surprise even sweeter.

Handwritten Letters

I know this is a bit old-fashioned, especially with the boat loads of technology we have today. Taking out time to sit down and actually write a letter shows that you not only care but it’s the sincerest affection to give. You can write a love note to anyone; your kids, your spouse, a good friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or just to let someone know how much you appreciate them. The fact that you took out time to do it, will be the greatest gift of love and adoration shown.

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Plan a Date night in Your Kitchen or Dining Room

Now, I know some people may already sit down to have dinner together, but V-Day is an extra special day that causes for an extra va-voom to your dinner/meal conversation. Use your phone to create a V-Day playlist to serve as your background music. Light a couple of candles or string a couple of lights around your chandelier or alongside your wall (get those creative juices going).

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During your meal, don’t talk about work or any outside disturbances. Use this time to talk about each other. What made you fall in love and etc. And if you’re flying solo, no worries plan a night with the kids (no phones, no talk about work) use that time to tell them something special about themselves and etc. Just keep the talk about LOVE. If you don’t have kids, then invite some friends over and chat it up.

You also don’t have to buy any expensive dinners, cook whatever you got in the fridge or cabinets because this moment isn’t about the food but being amongst those you LOVE.

Movies Anyone? – Favorite V-Day Classics

If you’re an avid follower, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE movies. What better way to settle in on V-Day or whenever you decide to celebrate it than with a good ole love classic and some popcorn. Listed below are a couple of my faves in no particular order…

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  • Valentine’s Day (2010)Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx
  • Serendipity (2001)John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
  • Pretty Woman (1990)Julia Roberts, Richard Gere
  • Love and Basketball (2000) Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps
  • The Notebook (2004)Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling
  • Titanic (1997) Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
  • An Officer & A Gentleman (1982)Richard Gere, Debra Winger
  • 50 First Dates (2004) – Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Spa Day – INSIDE

As a people I honestly don’t think we do enough self-care routines (I’m totally preaching to the choir on this one (AMEN!). So why not create your own spa day inside. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and create a bubble bath for one or two (wink..) You don’t even have to have those high-priced soaps that do all the special things – if you got some body wash that’ll do just fine for creating the bubble effect. Get you a glass of wine (sparkling or other) and just RELAX! And follow-up with a good skin care regimen.

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I know Valentine’s day may not be a big deal to some people’s world and that’s okay as it doesn’t take a holiday to show LOVE. However you choose to spend V-day, just make sure you’re showing yourself some love and/or spending time with the people you do. Time is precious and LOVE, whether a holiday or not is worth giving.

Glazed Cherry Bread
Looking for something delicious and different to whip up for V-Day? You’ll love this cherry bread recipe made with delicious maraschino cherries. To get the full recipe and view the video of how it’s made visit Tastes of Lizzy T.

Challenge: Can you put your phone down for 2 hours – A Day?

I tried it! Did I pass or fail? Well, you gotta keep reading. Hey you, no scrolling to the good stuff. Keep reading…lol..

You know, I was sitting in around one Saturday, looking at my phone. I was scrolling Gmail, Facebook messenger, Whats App, YouTube and texting. ALL at the same time, it’s like I was multi-tasking going back and forward and let’s not even discuss those FB notifications that seem to come in every second, letting you know who posted, said or did something. Answering messages here, sending messages there, reading messages everywhere. It was then that I asked myself. “Can you go 2 hours without picking up your phone?”

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It was a question that I honestly couldn’t answer. You see, for the last month or so – maybe even longer to be very transparent with you. What I’d come to notice about myself is that I had become immune to my phone. Okay, I know what you’re saying “Who isn’t?” But I mean; I had become overly obsessive with the phone, it was like I couldn’t go less than a minute without checking it. Now, don’t get me wrong – I know we all have business (like real businesses) that we have to tend too and I get it. But there are ways in which we can sort of handle all that – in which I’ll get too a little later but back to my experiment.

So, I challenged myself – I said I wouldn’t pick up my phone for a WHOLE 2 HOURS, this was going to be really epic – even for me. It was now 9:55 am and I was determined from 10 am to 12 pm I would NOT pick up my phone. When 10 am rolled around, I turned my phone over and went to fix a little breakfast and wash up some dishes. Okay, so I’m lying I didn’t get up right away….Lol. I stared at it for about 3 min asking myself what the heck was I doing or trying to prove. Then I got up….

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To say I wasn’t tempted would be an understatement because I definitely was as all types of thoughts came rushing to my mind. My sister was ill during the week and the first thing I thought about was, “What if she calls me?” or “OMGosh! I forgot to text her to see how she’s doing!!! Did someone text me back on Whats App? Send an email? Did my doctor call?? – Okay, that was a little extreme, but I was going through PHONE DETOX PEOPLE!!

It was torture for sure and there were many moments where I almost broke my own deal with myself. BUT – I CAME, I CONQUERED & I SUCCEEDED!!!

Yes and I’m proud of myself but do you know what I noticed when I did turn my phone back over? Nobody texted, called, responded or emailed me – so why do I get all discombobulated about my phone, like I need to check it every minute and for what. One day as I was getting on the elevator to go to work, there were two other people that got on at the same time and believe it or not – there was no eye connection, no hello as they both were glued to their phones. It’s amazing the things that come and take precedence over our lives to the point where we become unconscious to the things around us. In life we all need breaks, even from our phones.

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Listed below are two tips, one for business and one for personal that you can do to get off the phone, for a minute or two or two hours….start slow though.

Putting a “PAUSE” on your Business Responses, Maybe?

Now, this won’t work for everyone but some of it might help. If your business depends on you posting every day or every other day to keep it afloat, I would suggest scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Crowdfire. If you got an hour a day, you can schedule anything for the week, you may can’t pay for an assistant so why not allow these tools to do it for you – for free (starting out). I use them all the time. You can also schedule your email to send out automatic replies letting customers know that you’ll get back to them in 24 to 48 hours.

Take it from me, you don’t want to answer a business email quickly….life gets busy and if you answer it quickly, your customers will expect that of you every single time. Give it 24 hours, just make sure you stick to your word as your business reputation is on the line. If you feel you can’t do 24 then go to 48 hours, that way there’s no rush to getting back to someone right away, just in case life is calling, on your side. It’s your business, sure enough and I know you love it but there are tools you can use to still keep your business going, while you’re focusing on other things – such as, taking a painting class, in which I heard was the going thing now..

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Oh and P.S. Did you know you can schedule a text message? I do this all the time when I send out inspirational messages to our singles group at church. All of those messages are constructed and scheduled; I got messages scheduled up until the second week of March…

Taking a Break from Your Device…Just for a Little While

As you can see from the experiment I conducted above with myself. Taking a break from the phone or social media could be great for your mental health. This could be time that we use to focus on other things, such as completing that long to-do list of chores we’ve been putting off or catching up on some much needed rest or a movie (away from your phone). It could be time to get out and go visit a friend or just to get some fresh air and clear your mind.

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Put yourself on a timeout from those things that take too much of your time, space and energy. Only you know what those things are and how much space you’ll need from them. So, I challenge you – can you put your phone down for two hours a day? And No, sleeping doesn’t count! You have to be fully awake. Hence this post, I’ve been doing it for a week. It’s been very challenging but rewarding as well.

Will you join me? Let’s get back to really interacting with what’s in front of us and not on a device. Let me know below what strategies you do to disconnect and/or if you’ll be taking the challenge!