Isn’t Life Beautiful?

Isn’t life beautiful?  After all, you only get one!  I highly recommend watching this amazing video: http://www.wimp.com/survivorsay/

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How incredibly moving was that?!  I am lost for words.  It was just so inspiring.  Sometimes I feel like “time is running out” and I have to get my education moving and my career on the go etc., and women have more of a “biological clock” then men do, so what about trying to have children?  That is a lot to take on over the next decade, and sometimes I feel like I am sort of “behind schedule”.  But then I stop and think, behind what schedule?  Who made these schedules about the so called order of things….education, marriage, buy a house, have kids?  And who says I need to be doing any of these things even at all?  I have to stop and remind myself that this phenomenon of social pressure is what is making me feel like I am “running out of time”, and that I am “behind schedule”, that I should be developing in this quite normal of a pattern, which isn’t for everyone.  I am 24 years old and I have been married for going on 4 years this August, with no kids.  But that doesn’t mean I  don’t want children of my own someday!  It’s just that right now, in this very moment, what is important to both the Artist and myself is reaching our education and career goals, and enjoying each other to the maximum.

This can sometimes be a great source of stress for me, but after watching this video, it completely diminishes.  And I think this source of stress itself is going to completely vanish, because Alice makes such a good point: everything in life is beautiful.

It really is, isn’t it?  If we don’t stop and smell the roses, where is the enjoyment in life?  Finding passion, being interested in new things, and as one of the ladies in this video said, “putting as much into your head as possible, because no one can take that away from you”.  I really like this statement.  Because you may not have a lot of material things, or money in the bank, but if you have passion within, you will always have that inside, and you can experience it whenever you want.  This video was so inspiring, to empower myself, to inspire myself, and to see the beauty in life every day.  She talks about her love for music, and how Beethoven is a miracle, and how intensely she feels the music, is very similar to what I was trying to write about during my experience at the St. Louis Symphony: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/a-passionate-life-filled-with-love/

There is another video that I love, and highly recommend viewing: http://twentytwowords.com/sweet-old-lady-smiles-and-waves-at-passing-kids-every-day-they-finally-show-her-what-it-means-to-them/

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Amazing, eh?

What I love about this video, and how far a simple, friendly gesture goes to making life that much more beautiful.  One of my best friends in the world is a 70-something year old lady whom I carpool with to go volunteering at a domestic violence agency, and she is so full of love and life, it is contagious.  She is so sweet and kind and generous, that she always makes my day a little brighter. She has been travelling for the last few months, and I am finding myself craving her company!  What does that say about something as simple as being kind to others?

I always say that the Artist and I are contagious to one another.  He does something really nice for me, like make a nice dinner even though he is exhausted, and then I am really excited to return the favour and find my wheels spinning thinking of what I will do for him.  Then I grind him fresh coffee beans the next morning and bring him his hot coffee, and he is so happy and grateful that he starts thinking of the next thing he will do for me.  But the same goes for something as simple as a hug, or kind words.  The same cycle exists especially for kind words!

We are only the experts on our own lives, we have no idea what exactly another person’s life is like.  Especially strangers.  So if someone isn’t as friendly at the drive-thru window as you would like, instead, give them a smile, maybe a compliment, maybe wish them a nice evening or great weekend, maybe ask them how their day is, or thank them for their service.  Because we don’t know exactly what is going on in their life, maybe it is just one of those days, maybe they are grieving the loss of a loved one, maybe they got some bad news, but wouldn’t some kindness brighten all of those things?  And maybe that was the thing that just made their day, and they go home feeling a little better about whatever it is that is going on in their life.  Personally, if that happened to me and I was the one who had their day brightened (like this one bus driver who out a smile on everyone’s face, and made an effort to say hello to every passenger!), I would be grateful for that stranger’s kindness 🙂

Clearly, I am a big believer in the power of optimism and kindness 😉

These videos were so inspiring and uplifting, I watch them over and over, and get teary every time.  These women are just so beautiful, and convey such a powerful message:  ultimately, despite struggles and stresses, in the end, we are alive.  And if we aren’t alive, well, then what is it that we have?

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Hair Styling- Winging It.

I like to do my own hair, and i am good at just winging it.  However, my hair has no hold.  No amount of product, special device, heat, or professional stylist skills can make any curl hold for a long period of time.  Up-dos last a good amount time, but by the end of my fancy event, they are loose and falling out.  Curls are just flat before I even get there.  So at home, for curls, I use these spongy things on a wire that I put my hair in….think of “grandma curlers”- that is what I use.  I put my hair in them while I am getting ready as a first step.  I give a good dose of hair spray, blast heat with my hair dryer, and then another coat of hairspray.  Then I do make up, get dressed, and do whatever else.  Right before it is time to go, I take them out, fluff with my fingers, and maybe pin a piece or two away from my face, loads more hairspray, and out the door.  By now, the lovely tight, bouncy curls hanging longer and losing the bounce.  I get there, and I now have waves and volume.  But, at least, some wave and volume will last.  So basically if I want my hair to be styled “wavy” I need to to tight curls and in no time they will turn into waves- ha.

Here are the curls I did that quickly morphed into waves:

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I did this on my entire head, and get this:

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By the end of the night:

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Silly faces.

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As for up-dos, they stay up, but become loose and dishevelled, but hold a bit better.  Here are some samples of the finished products at their prime:

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Back view.

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Same as above, side view.

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Wedding.

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Fancy event.  

I did the one immediately above by places my hair in 3 ponytails spread apart.  Braided and secured each.  Pulled on braids to make them loose.  Rolled them up, and squished them up with bobby-pins.  Perhaps because I have never coloured my hair and don’t plan to, nor do I blow dry or straighten on a daily daily basis, my hair is super silky.  If I braid my hair and let it go, it instantly flops back to normal.  It is too “slippery” I guess.  In fact, I don’t even own a hair straightener!  I hate blow drying, I just air dry.  Every day.  On that note, I have also never had a piercing, not even my ears.  Never.  I have never, not do I plan to get a tattoo either.  Weird, I know, but I like not having to pay loads of money for hair colour, keeping it up, spending time styling or blow drying, etc.  And… I don’t even go to a salon or barber to get my hair cut- my Artist cuts my hair!  He does good layers and has a good eye for it.  He cuts his own hair too.  I was a little nervous at first, because he just “eye balls it”.  But he does a great job 🙂

Then I thought of making a knitted head band for a friend who is having a baby girl.

What happens when I try to follow directions:

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Recycling haha.

What happens when I wing it:

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However, this flower is not attached in a good way, it flops all over the place so I don’t think I will gift it.  Perhaps I will try again.  And then I thought of making myself one that is actually functional and not just for style!  To keep my ears warm in winter 🙂  I think it is safe to say I will be winging that too.