About rfljenksy

Just a little girl in a big world. I've been saying this about myself since I joined the Navy back in 1984. Someone once asked me if I stole this quote from Marilyn Monroe. I was naive enough at the time to think that I could have come up with anything that original and said "No, I made it up." “I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.” ― Marilyn Monroe I am once again in the middle of starting a new career path. I am loving life and just want to share a few of my travel adventures with some of the people I love the most.

Who go better do better


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This random hand painted sign on the bumper of a Nigerian truck made me smile.

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Based on the craziness going on in the world, the 24 hour cycle of bad news that the media pushes out, and just the meanness of the people who have always really been mean, I think that sometimes we forget that expression.

In my world, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunities that I have had and have had the ability to surround myself with amazing people who choose to go better and do better daily.  I have always tried to model myself after them.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a decent person, but not as decent as the people I have chosen to cling on to as my role models.

The last few years have presented some gigantic personal challenges and emotional set backs.  So many that I sort of lost the inner me that has always been able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and truck the hell on.  The last few months in particular gutted me with sadness, frustration, and anger.

The logical side of my brain is always aware that I have been and continue to be blessed.  But the logical side had recessed so far that the emotional heart and brain took over and started incessantly repeating some of the darkest and most insecure thoughts and emotions that had plagued me as a child and teenager and well into part of my adulthood.

The fact that I knew these thoughts and frustrations were all in my head, did not help me overcome the spiral downward I was feeling and the eventual wall I knew I would hit.  That I had hit before.  I knew where that would eventually lead and that made me even more sad.

Logically, none of the bad feelings were real.  Emotionally they were all too real and really all too terrifying.  Like a clamp on my heart.  Because of what was going on in my head and the lack of control I was feeling with my mind and emotions, I started shutting down.  I started feeling that old, old, old angst that I had promised myself years ago I would never allow to enter my heart again.  I started feeling bad about myself and questioning everything and everyone around me.  I started illogically hating myself and who I was and where I knew I was going.

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About 6 weeks ago I woke up and my logical mind for the first time in awhile felt back in control.  It was clear to me that while I felt rational once again I needed to take immediate action to maintain that visible light at the end of a very dark tunnel.  I knew I had to begin the arduous task of reprogramming my mind to focus on all of the amazing things that have happened in my life and all of of the amazing things that were still going on in the world.

I began to limit the amount of far right and far left wind media I would allow myself to watch.  I found some positive social media sites that dedicated themselves to only presenting good news and happy stories.  Facebook pages like “Good news and Happy Stories Only” and Mike Rowe’s “Returning the Favor“.  I youtube’d funny baby, animal and comedian videos as well as any video that profiled the struggles that other people had overcome and how they overcame odds much greater than I had ever faced.  I spent the first few weeks just sitting on my couch bawling my eyes out during each of these very emotional and wonderful stories.

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Another step I took towards recovering myself was to begin working through my social media and deleting the people and the articles that related to the many things that were bringing me down, had been part of the spiral downward of my confidence and happiness.  I had a tech friend go through my Facebook and delete anything that was causing some weird friend requests and terrible and false news stories to land on my newsfeed.  This did cause some people in my life to disappear that I had not intended.  However, I don’t miss the amount of time I wasted on social media looking at how everyone else’s life appeared so amazing while mine was.. bleh.. and slightly depressing.

I have been focusing on cool facts and documentaries related to historical figures.  Paying attention to why those people were so amazing.  Finding inspirational quotes and just attempting to be a better person who might one day inspire others.

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Everyone has a unique tongue print, just like fingerprints.  Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories.  It is impossible to lick your elbow (busted).  If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground it can’t hop.  Casu marzu is a Sardinian cheese that contains live maggots. The maggots can jump up to five inches out of cheese while you’re eating it, so it’s a good idea to shield it with your hand to stop them jumping into your eyes.  The average person spends 6 months of their lifetime waiting on a red light to turn green. A single cloud can weight more than 1 million pounds.  During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.  Coca Cola would be green if coloring wasn’t added to it.  You cannot snore and dream at the same time.  In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand. More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.  Most lipstick contains fish scales.  The first American film to show a toilet being flushed on screen was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  An epidemic of laughing that lasted almost a year broke out in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1962. Several thousand people were affected, across several villages. It forced a school to close. It wasn’t fun, though — other symptoms included crying, fainting, rashes, and pain.  Honey never spoils.  Earth is the only planet not named after a god.  A “jiffy” is the scientific name for 1/100th of a second.

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I started getting back into my art.

I began to put more effort into my Spanish studies by reading some well-known fairytales.  Nice break from stressful adult Spanish learning.  Also, reading these stories guaranteed successful comprehension.

I started walking places more and eating healthier again.  I cut back on coffee and started drinking herbal teas and even did a few cleanses.  Using the model of positive energy balance.  While I had been living in Korea, I had taken some Reiki classes that dealt with energy healing.  I made myself go back to treating myself and focusing on my chakra practice that I had stopped doing.

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I contacted  The Distant Healing Network  and put in a request for positive energy and love to be sent my way.

Finally, the hardest thing for me to do was to reach out to a counselor to express my concerns about myself.  I requested any type of help that could be provided short of going on medication.  I allowed myself to accept that I was going through a depressive period that very well could be related to hormonal changes due to my age.  (Menopause is real and so is depression).

I slowly began to feel consistently better and better able to focus on the good things in my life and the people that build me up rather than make me feel bad about myself. To realize that I deserve more than how some people have treated me in my life and how even I do not always treat myself right.

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I started writing in my “Starting Today” Journal which is a journal of intention and change.  Every day I write one sentence or a page on things I will start doing today.  One of the things that I have started doing is seeking out stories, movies, and people that will motivate me to be a person who go better to do better.  Every day I do this, I really believe I will be better.  Thanks for reading.

Things to read to go better to do better.

Happier.com – Humans of New York, Amy Poehler Smart Girls, Deepak Chopra, Sweet Green, etc.

Prsuit (@Prsuti)

Prsuit is an Instagram account that posts inspirational quotes as well as links to their articles each day. This Instagram account is dedicated to giving knowledge and inspiration to their followers—not to trying to sell them on a product. If you want an account that is all about giving you the tools you need for success, follow this account.

Achieve the Impossible (@achievetheimpossible)

Achieve the Impossible Instagram account focuses purely on motivational quotes to keep you striving for the goal of your business or life. This Instagram feed is filled with feel-good phrases that will fill you with positive energy.

Zig Ziglar (@thezigziglar)

Zig Ziglar’s Instagram account is made to fuel your motivation with quotes that will be sure to brighten up and boost your day. This account is all about feeling positive with exactly what you are doing in life, right now.

Circles Of Inspiration by Anna Pereira Founder of Thewellnessuniverse.com; Lean in circles; 10 People you’ve never heard of who changed the world

x0xo

We can do better

[Intro]
We can do better
Oh yeah, we can do better

[Verse 1]
I know it hurt bad, your mom left your dad
When you were a little girl
You think I’m gonna leave ’cause history repeats
We’ve seen it around the world
Oh, all that we’re told is this will get old
We’ll cheat and we’ll both get hurt
Against all the odds we’ll pray to the gods
That this love works

[Pre-Chorus]
When all we see is bad blood and mistakes
All we hear are sad songs ’bout heartbreaks
And no matter how long it takes
We’re not gonna give up

[Chorus]
We can do better (ha)
Oh, we can do better
And nothing lasts forever (ha)
We can do better

[Verse 2]
Things can get rough, we might drink too much
And say things we shouldn’t say
Forgive and forget ‘fore we go to bed
And we’re gonna be okay
Some people pretend it’s not gonna end
And end up then walk away
But that isn’t me, I’m not gonna leave
I’m here to stay

[Pre-Chorus]
When all we see is bad blood and mistakes
All we hear are sad songs ’bout heartbreaks
And no matter how long it takes
We’re not gonna give up

[Chorus]
We can do better (ha)
Oh, we can do better
And nothing lasts forever (ha)
We can do better

[Bridge]
I’m not worried ’cause the thing is
We can do better
I know you and I are different
We can do better
I don’t wanna overthink it
We can do better
I know you and I are different
We can do better

[Pre-Chorus]
When all we see is bad blood and mistakes
All we hear are sad songs ’bout heartbreaks
And no matter how long it takes
We’re not gonna give up

[Chorus]
We can do better (ha)
We can do better
And nothing lasts forever (ha)
We can do better

[Outro]
We can do better

 

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Reset


Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.  –Clint Eastwood

To be clear, I do not think I am old.  I also do not think I am “getting” old.  Age happens and everyone does it.  This is why I struggle with some of the things people say to me when they hear I have grandkids or when they hear how old I am.  Things like, “WOW!! You have grandkids, you do not look like you could.”  “Hey, you are 50!!! No way!!” “You do not seem to act your age.” “Incredible, I would not have thought you were older than (give any age younger than what I am)”  They say it like it’s a shame that I am so old. Or like I must be depressed about my end years.  I mean.. seriously, these days my age (51 now) is barely middle age.

Yeah.. yeah… yeah… my joints sometimes hurt, I am sometimes shocked when I think about my oldest child being 27 and my youngest being 25, and sometimes I forget that I am not the exact same age as everyone I am standing around.  However, I am not really old. Or at least I do not feel it.  I’m sure I felt the same way about the older generation when I was part of the newer generation.

My dad put it best about 20 years ago when we were sitting in a local dive.  He said to me, “Sami, you see that guy that just walked in here?  How old do you think he is?”  I looked over and nodded and said, “Well, he’s at least 21.”  Dad said, “Yeah, yeah, but how old do you think he is?”  I looked at him and the scraggly group he was with and said, “Well, he looks to be about 24-26 years old.”  Dad said, “Exactly… and that’s how old I think I am in my head!!! Then I walk by a mirror and I am absolutely shocked.  I can only think to myself, who is that old bastard staring back at me!!”

Well, I am now the age my father was then.  Even though I got it at the time, I really get it now.  I don’t give age a whole lot of thought usually.  But every once in awhile it sort of just hits me.  Lines around my face, grey hair coming in, the above mentioned joints giving out on me when I least expect it, and the amount of time I spend thinking BAAACCCCKKKKK on the follies of my youth.

About a year and a half ago, my younger sister was talking to me and indicated she was going to let her hair go natural and that I might want to join her.  I had been dying my hair since I was about 18.. just for the heck of it.  I no longer had any idea of what the actual color of my hair was but knew that over the past few years, I was starting to see some grey roots. I thought to myself, why not.  I was actually tired of dying my hair.  Further, living overseas it is often hard to find a quality product to use and it can get very expensive to go into a salon and pay someone every few weeks to dye your hair.

I’ve never been a patient person so I did the most natural thing for someone like myself and just bleached my hair white.  I really, really, really thought that it would grow out completely grey.  That is exactly what did not happen.  So for an entire year I looked..uh.. fresh.. recognizable.. kind of cool… and it WAS pretty cool for about 2 months.

Apparently I was not as old/grey as I thought I was and that unless I did something drastic, I would be bleaching my hair every 2-3 weeks for the rest of my life.  My hair was really being destroyed and the chemicals were actually doing more damage than any normal dye.  UGH.. what to do?  Well, not wanting to deal with the grow out and realizing that my hair was completely destroyed at this point anyways, I did the most natural thing for someone like myself… I had a friend shave me bald to reset this entire mad process and for the first time in over 30 years, I saw the true and natural color of my hair.

I’m not going to lie.  For the first 20 minutes it was shocking to see myself in the mirror.  After that, it was liberating.  I LOVED it.  Not always how I looked but how I felt.  I had several women say to me, “Wow.  You look amazing!!”  “At least you have a nicely shaped head.” “I could never do that, I sort of hide behind my hair.” “You will have to start wearing some bold makeup now.. or at least makeup, otherwise you will look like a boy.” Yeah, sometimes women can be harder on women then men.. but I understood the sentiment.

Well, it grew on me.  The look and yes, even my hair. It was a complete reset with my mentality, my awareness of self, and how much I had used my hair as an impetus for how I felt about myself.  Though I didn’t feel old, I guess I was sort of trying to hold back the years from the top down to the bottom.  The reset really worked.  I had not planned on a reset.  Didn’t even know I was doing it when I was doing it.  But I did it and I felt it.

Now, nearly a year later, my hair has actually grown back.  I was slightly concerned at times.  As liberating as it was, it was also a bit intimidating.  At this time, I mostly do not feel any different than I did before the bleach and the cut.  I sometimes miss having no hair.  I have not dyed my hair again and LOVE the look and feel and, to be quite honest, the cost and time saving experience of just being au natural.

I still do not feel like I am that old, despite my half century on the planet, but I accept that I am closer to a century than to zero.  I also feel the words my dad said to me nearly 20 years ago in a more profound kind of way.  Who is that ol’ lady staring back at me … and how in the hell did she become so… amazing… !!!

OK.. OK… sometimes I do end that thought with the word “old”.

I hope you enjoyed the read and the memories…

“It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.”  ― Jules Renard

“Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It’s beautiful.”   ― Lynsay Sands

Peace out – age gracefully – live long and prosper! – lil ‘ol me and Spock

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Other places to view aging gracefully

The first silver strands, As birthdays go, Beauty of aging, accepting, seniors in the garden, never too old, change, transiliencechange the conversation, Let your wrinkles be your roadmap, fifty and vanity, self loathing to self love, Connected, graceful aging, change, blessings, come dance with me, reinventing ourselves

 

Sky, Land, and Water


I have a limited ability to express my love of sky, land, and water.  Empty of most man made items.  Or in other cases being very limited in what we place in it or on it. It’s like closing your eyes and taking a deep breath of fresh air.

We live in a world of complicated chaos and seem to barely notice or appreciate the loudness, or quietness of nature.  Calms the mind if you can slow down enough to catch it!

Sam

Don’t be a dick about it…doctrines


I’m going to start out talking a little bit about who I am and how I am before I go into how I decided on the title of this particular blog.

“When there are too many assholes around,
I feel like its my duty to be a dick.”
― Hazar Emiral

It’s been a frustrating and exciting 8 years in this job and I can hardly believe how much time has passed and how quickly it has passed.  I am currently preparing to leave my current location and move on to the next.  At the same time, I have to study Spanish, write evaluations and a variety of other reports, think about what training I need, pack out my current house, meet and greet new people, think about the new requirements I will be facing in my new position … AND… continue staying up to pace on my current work. This adds additional pressure on maintaining my positive attitude and not breaking down or getting angry about things that are out of my control.

This is my third country and I love it and will miss it when I leave.  I pretty much say that about every place I have ever been.  This country though is super special to me (I probably say that about every country as well).  The people in particular are super special to me (yes, I say that as well).

I think the country and its people like me as well.  One of the things I really like about it is the people who live and work here very easily express their anger, their joy, their frustrations and their absolute happiness and faith.  I love that because that is really how I am as well.  Not everyone loves that about me and not everyone “gets” that about me.  I do not hide much of what I am feeling and people pretty much know exactly how I feel as I am feeling it.

I am admittedly not a clear speaker.  I talk in circles and “use too many words”.  I can easily be led off topic (but do not believe for a second I have forgotten the original theme of the conversation).  I’m often wrongly accused of being mad, frustrated, unhappy and way too abrupt…. but really I’m just trying to talk.  The irony is, the people who do not feel that I am all of those negative things really see me as super happy, flakey, funny, light-hearted, and spontaneous person.  I have been working on trying to meld the two versions of me into one package but seriously, when I lose it it is usually only after trying to be all of the positive forms of myself to obtain a positive result from a variety of people and no one is hearing me and the ones that do hear me do not understand how much effort it is taking to be so nice for so long.

Dalton: All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice. – Roadhouse

Yes, I am sarcastic and some take that as being snide.  Yes, I am abrupt and some take that as being rude.  Yes, I am often too honest and some take that as being offensive.  I swear I am really trying to tone that down as this personality type does not play out well in my current job.  I’d like to think I’m not a dick.. but even I feel bad after I chastise myself and I have been doing that to me for over 50 years. I can only imagine how it might make someone else… who has not spent as much time with me as I have… feel bad when I try to make my instructions or advice heard and understood.

So as the pressure has been building and I have become increasingly frustrated about all that is currently on my plate, I have had to remind myself nearly every day to just chill.. (did I mention I am also doing a construction project on my house in the U.S. while being overseas.. so..yeah.. )

So there I was.  Just minding my own business.  Trying to get through the one thing that would lead to the next thing.  Story of my life.  Story of every person’s life I suppose.  Sometimes trying to slow down and other times trying to just step it up a notch.  But just trying to chill.. just chill.. and I look on the floor of my bedroom and see a worn out, folded over, dirty, typed document.IMG_0919

To be clear, this is not mine.  I live alone.  Where did it come from?  Timely yes… but who knew that i was needing this message right now.. in my home.. seriously the universe must be keying into my breakdown.  So basically because I probably have been being a bit of a dick lately and I am guessing this is a world wide phenom these days.. I thought I would share with the world what the universe shared with me.  It’s good stuff.. it really is… so here goes.

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Pretty good right?  Still not sure where it came from.  But obviously great advice.   I am who I am (Sam I am) and have grown to be how I am from my many emotional stances.  I am not always the nicest in my expressions but I want to always be nice in my intent.

I could do nice, but it’s just not as much fun. Being nice isn’t my biggest goal in life. I’m trying to be honest about who I am, and that’s not always nice. I’m not always the world’s cheerleader.  Sharon Stone

The only difference between me and others is that they think they can change something with cute little poems, nice cards or embracing trees and being nice to little lapdogs. Henry Rollins

It’s no good being nice and young and naive. There’s no good in that at all. You’ve got to do it all yourself, and you’ve gotta learn quick. And you can’t look for sympathy either. John Lydon

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Philo

It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even – or rather, especially – when we’d prefer not to be. Josh Radnor

Be kind, don’t judge, and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place. The point is to teach this to the next generation. Jasmine Guinness