Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Path we were meant to take

By: Samantha S. Daviss

I believe we are all on the path we were meant to be on. It may not be the path we envisioned or dreamed of for ourselves; but I feel we are all right where we are intended to be. Whether you believe in fate, God, or who or whatever your belief is; I feel our paths were in place before we even started living and enjoying them.

You may think I am crazy, but that is just my opinion. When I was in college I had the opportunity to study abroad, and I absolutely fell in love with the idea and concept of living abroad for the rest of my life. The professors told us we would have “culture shock” when we arrived on foreign soil, and it may take us a few weeks to get used to a new way of living. But I was just the opposite. I never missed a beat. It was when I returned home to the U.S.; it took me almost six weeks to get out of my mini-state of depression.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love America, through and through. But coming back was just not the way of life I wanted to live. I loved the Italian way of life, their enjoyment for living and family; I feel that Americans are in too much of a hurry. But after being home for many years, graduating college and starting my adult life, I soon realized that this is the path I was meant to be on.

There are days that I sit and daydream about what life would be like in Europe, living a completely different lifestyle than what I have now. But I couldn’t imagine my life any different than it is today. I couldn’t imagine waking up every day without my babies climbing all over me or sleeping in the same bed as the wonderful husband I was blessed to marry.

They always say “Life isn’t greener on the other side of the fence”, and I completely agree with that. My philosophy is be blessed and appreciate what you have been given, the family you have, the friends you have, and the day to day routine you live. Because sometimes that life you “thought” you were meant to live doesn’t always come up roses; there is a reason you weren’t lead down that path.

I know I was meant to return to the states, endure my few bumps and bruises along the way, and live the life I am living. I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I have three great kids, a wonderfully kind and devoted husband, and we are about to move to our dream spot. So who could ask for anything more? Not this gal.

My feeling is to enjoy what you have, and make the best of your adventures or dreams while you are on them for temporary times in your life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I’m Sorry

By: Samantha S. Daviss

Apologizing…it is one of the hardest actions we as humans must do on a daily basis. Only problem is we very rarely do it. Do we all think we are that faultless? Do we not think that our actions and words hurt others on a daily basis? Don’t get me wrong I am not saying the human race is a mean group of being, I am just saying that our actions on a daily basis sometimes require an apology, and saying you’re sorry doesn’t make you a weak person or a vulnerable person.

We all do it. We have lunch with one friend, and run into another; but subconsciously that uninvited friend is hurt. Even though they understand you need time with others, it still hurts, so just a simple “Hey, I’m sorry I didn’t holler at you, it was just a last minute get together”, is all it takes.

Or if you forget to RSVP for a party, you didn’t do it intentionally (at least let’s hope not), so a quick phone call to apologize for being negligent really does go a long way. Most people feel that if they apologize they are feeble or aren’t able to stand their ground. But in my eyes apologizing shows compassion, concern, and respect for others. It shows you aren’t wrapped up in your own life so much so that you aren’t aware you have hurt their feelings or neglected to pay attention to them; it shows you can turn and say “Hey I really messed up, and I’m sorry, it won’t happen again”.

Does that show weakness? No, in fact just the opposite…it shows kindness. And for some reason we all tend to be the least apologetic to those we are closest to: family, best friends, spouses and kids. I’m not sure why that is, maybe because we take each other for granted. Maybe because we know our love for one another is unconditional. I guess. But the fact of the matter is those that are closes to us should be treated with the utmost respect.

If you mess up, just say “I’m sorry!” It’s really not a hard concept. That apology will go for miles. If you speak harshly, or put demands on a loved one, or forget to do something they asked of you…just apologize. Apologizing is the greatest form of flattery. It means you care. It means you love them. It means you recognize their pain and you won’t do it again.

We are trying to instill that in our children. It is more difficult the older they get. It’s like they don’t want to apologize to admit defeat or that they messed up for fear they will get in trouble. But what they don’t understand is that by recognizing the faults, admitting them, and apologizing to us as parents will carry them further and keep them out of trouble longer.

Apologizing to the one closest to you is the most important—your spouse. When we argue or disagree with our spouse or partner, we tend to be our most stubborn. You don’t want to bow down and admit defeat, and defeat is an apology. Guess what…you aren’t always right. Believe it or not you are flawed too. Their poor actions or reactions could stem from something you did earlier or even a long time ago, or it could be an ongoing issue you aren’t willing to fess up to.

Learn to listen and apologize to your loved one. Before apologizing there are a few things to keep in mind when disagreeing with your better half.
1)      Try not to yell! Yelling really gets you nowhere. Talk…don’t yell.
2)      Hear their side of the story. Even though you may completely disagree or not understand why they did what they did…hear them out. In the end, it may make more sense to you.
3)      Be open-minded. Don’t always think your way is the right way, because it is NOT!
4)      At the end of the day…you love each other. No matter how badly you disagree, this is the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with, raise a family with and build a life with. Don’t hate them so much in that moment in time that you can see past that.
5)      Forgive and forget. To keep moving forward, you have to forgive…and don’t hold grudges, you must forget.

And at the end of the day you must apologize, because it is a two way street. On some level you were both wrong, so fess up and apologize.

Apologies are a beautiful thing. They are the sincerest form of flattery through showing respect.

The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology. –Red Auerbach

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

So Far from “Back to the Future”

By: Samantha S. Daviss

I happened to run across “Back to the Future” the other day with my kiddos. It was a yucky, rainy day outside so it was the perfect indoor movie day. And having seen this movie as a kid I couldn’t imagine living to see the year 2015, it seemed so far off to me. I thought for some reason I would be an elder lady creeping up on like 100 years old. But instead I am just this “old” lady creeping up on 40!

But it made me laugh and wonder all in the same instant of just how far off we are from that programmed date in the time-traveling Dolorian of October 21, 2015. Can you believe it is just a few short eight months away?

And I have yet to see any flying space boards, or flying Dolorians with sky-high road ways, or miniature pizzas that you throw in the microwave and it expands to a normal pizza size. It’s amazing what our imaginations have us achieving or thinking is “the possible”, when in reality it is of no importance or interest to us, once that time has come and gone. Even though in this day and age we have achieved more than we could have thought possible back in 1985.

There are things not in the movie, that the producers probably couldn’t have even conceived 30 years ago. Like hand-held computers in our phones. Or the fact that tangible music would be a thing of the past (i.e. Walkmans, Discmans, or cassette tapes). Now it’s all downloaded or in “The Cloud” whatever that is (I still don’t understand “the cloud”).

But if you think about it, we really have come a long way in some ways, but taken so many steps back in others. For example, a step back, is the divorce rate is increasing due to social media and travelling for a living, the social skills of our youth are disappearing thanks to social media, phones, and every other gadget available to them.

With the negatives come the positives, thanks to social media we are able to keep in touch with friends and family members around the world; business and pleasure travel have become easier and more financial available; and our discoveries with the environment are making life easier and more environmentally friendly.

So you see change is good, we just have to accept it and move on. We may not always like it, but we just have to go with the flow. Life is way more hectic and complicated than it was in the 80s; things are moving at a faster pace and everyone seems to be pulled in 90 different directions, so sometimes our devices are handy at keeping us connected, but sometimes they interfere with the life we are living in the here and now.

Think back to 1985…forget about all the technological advances you thought would come about thanks to “Back to the Future”, but think about yourself. Whether you were just a kid, a teenager, or starting your young family out…when you would lay outside under the clouds and think about your life and who you wanted to be, did you achieve it 30 years later? Or at least come close to it? Or did your life take a completely different route than you would have ever expected?

I look back and see a little bit of my dreams that came true from 1985, but my life also took some pretty great twists and turns. I got to live abroad for a while, I went to a university that I never would have imagine attending (but it fit me like a glove), I married my childhood golfing buddy, and I have three wonderful boys (says the gal who never wanted children). So you see life has its own plan for you, and sometimes it’s fun to sit down and look back at just how blessed you are to have lived that life and the hills and valleys you encountered along the way.

The year 1985 was a long time ago, but if you think about it, it has gone by in a blink. I can only imagine what October 21, 2045 will bring to us all.