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Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, Fresh Start

Hello and Happy New Year!
I don't know about you, but I'm rarely one to make resolutions. What few times I have, they have lasted all but a day or a week or two. And then I feel as if I've failed miserable.  What about you?
Do you make New Year's resolutions?
Somehow a new calender year always seems to bring a fresh new start, with brand new possiblities.
That's what I think of when I look at these chalkboards.
(all are pics we snapped on trips to Paris)
Wipe the slate clean, and viola, a new beginning!
 This year I have decided it's high time I become more assertive.
While I have gotten better over the years, this is not something that comes naturally to me!
Growing up, my parents taught us to never, ever "make waves".
If someone hurts or offends you, turn the other cheek.  Don't speak up.
And never voice your opinion if it differs from someone else.
All of that has cost me dearly. 
 Weather it be situations with friends or loved ones, standing up for myself has been quite the challenge.
Ok, lightening things up a bit, I do have a funny little story to tell you about my parents.
They didn't go out to eat very often, and one day they treated themselves to lunch out. 
They really were looking forward to a nice meal.  Imagine their surprise when at the restaurant, their waitress brought them both over orders of pancakes. 
Problem was, they didn't order pancakes!
Guess what?  They didn't say a word to the waitress.
Didn't say "this isn't what we ordered".
They just ate the pancakes that they didn't want!
Because heaven forbid they speak up and complain!
But they sure complained to everyone who would listen when they got home!
 Don't get me wrong, I have no problem speaking up in restaurants and stores.
If I am overcharged for something, I speak up!
And if my food arrives cold at a restaurant, I send it back.
And no worries, I never eat pancakes that I didn't order!
A few years ago, we stopped at a fish market in a small town in Northern Michigan.
We always stopped there when passing thru for their smoked fish.
Well, it's a very small market and was very crowded this particular time.  There was a large group of foreigners in line ahead of us, and they placed their order in very broken English.
The market owner didn't even attempt to try and understand them, and loudly became very rude and condescending to them. All because he couldn't understand them!
I was shocked that someone could be so mean hearted.
The ironic thing was the owner had a bunch of pictures of Jesus and bible verses on the wall.
Clearly he wasn't showing God's love that day!
No one said anything, and even though I felt so bad for the people, I didn't speak up and call the owner out.
Why didn't we say anything?  Why didn't we just walk out and not purchase anything?
To this day when I think about the situation, I am mad at myself for not saying anything.
I want to vow to myself to not be afraid to take a stand.
Reach out when someone is being mistreated.
And stand up for myself while I am at it.

Many years ago, a relative who is the same age as me stole things from me on a regular basis for many years.
As a young teenager, I told my parents that I wanted to blow the whistle on her once and for all,
and tell her parents.
Well, my parents didn't take a stand for me.  They said they didn't want me to "stir up trouble".
I remember being so incensed by it all. After all, I was not the one causing the problem!
So nothing was ever said.
So starting today, I want to truly turn over a new leaf, along with that page on the brand new calender.
I know that it won't be easy.  Old habits die hard!
Whew!!  I didn't mean to turn this into a little mini therapy session!
But don't we all owe it to ourselves to take a stand?
Not just for ourselves, but for others who may need support?

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


Susie said...

Donna, I truly understand you. I have a sister who is so demanding and bossy and even mean at times...I always bite my tongue...cause she would turn it around on you, I am sure. She write me letters and whines or B*tches about everyone and every thing...I in turn write up beat or funny things to her...I can see it is having a small effect on her at times...she seems more understanding. LOL. I just want to look for the joy. But I don't know what I would do in certain situations. I hope I would know the right side to take, or steps. But I won't be a door mat either. I wish you great success....I have a feeling you could never be a meanie. Bless your heart, xoxo,Susie

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

For me the older I get the more I do say..but in a nice way. I can not believe your parents ate those Pancakes! Goodness. Now that is really not making waves.
Happy New Year! My computer was sick the entire month of Dec so I am catching up on what everyone has been up to.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Donna you will feel so much better when you do stand up for yourself and others. I agree that many of us were taught to not make waves and make everyone happy. Me, I've learned to stand up and not be walked on. So good for you!

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

Happy New Year, Donna, and good for you for wanting to become more assertive! I can totally relate, and if it makes you feel better I probably would have a hard time speaking up for the foreigners at the market as well. I never want to call attention to myself. It is a tricky thing to go through life being humble but not as a doormat for others to step on. Just remember - you are much stronger than you think and we're never alone for the ride - God can help us find strength we don't know we have.
God Bless in 2015 my friend!

Jan Tanis said...

Good for you Donna! I've always been assertive...saying what I mean and meaning what I say. Except.....when my 1st husband left me...I decided that maybe it WAS my assertive behavior that caused him to leave (now I know it wasn't), so I changed into a meek and mild, tongue-biting woman. OUCH!! After 6 months or so, everything was so much worse...I went back to the real me!! You'll thank yourself for doing for becoming assertive and standing up for yourself.

Happy New Year...

ps...please stop by my blog and maybe even follow me there...I'd love it. I've closed the comfort of a safe place and transferred all posts and stuff to Jan's Place! ♥

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Good for you. You cannot let people walk all over you. I'm not saying be mean, but we do have to speak up.
You are such a kind sweet person and we do have to speak up for other people who cannot speak for themselves. I think your resolution is a good one. Mine is I'm getting rid of stuff that I haven't used in 6 months. In other words I'm clearing the decks.
Almost finished taking down my Christmas stuff. Just need a strong your man to lift things for me in the garage.
It's a year year and I feel that it going to be good for all of us.

Have a wonderful weekend - we are freezing here - we actually had frost all over today.

Joyce Mayer said...

Hi Miss Donna,

I'm writing 'cause when Mom read this she fell down. WOW, we are so proud of you. Yes, you can change, you will make a difference in someone's life when you stand up for that person, who has trouble standing up for themselves. And since you have been on that side you will be super duper at helping them. Mom says she is so blessed to have you as her friend.

"You go girl", and this here teddy bear is beary proud of you too! ♥

Heaps of Hugs

Trisha said...

Oh my gosh Donna, I am the same way! But then I stand up for myself and feel bad for being mean. I wish I didn't care what anyone thought of me like some people do, but I am just not like that. Glad to know that I am in good company. Best of luck to you...I know you will be successful and feel so much better in 2015. Happy New Year friend!


Debby said...

Oh, I know how you feel. My problem is my mother. I have tried standing up to her but it never changes. Now that she is older (88) she thinks she is entitled more than ever. I am better about standing up to some people. Hmmm, I argued with the doctor at Urgent Care this week knowing that I was right. Maybe that was because I was sick. But it is something we need to do. Happy New Year.

Rose L said...

Have you seen the show WHAT WOULD YOU DO? I keep thinking that it will inspire people to "step up" and do the right thing. Some of the people who have been "caught" on that show are inspirational! You can watch them online. I do not make resolutions, just "suggestions" for things I would like to do in the new year.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Dear Donna,
Great Post and Good for you!!! It is wonderful how God's timing shows us the direction for ways in our life we want to be better at. I am sure you had it in you all the time to be more assertive but being raised not to do that, gave way to a mind set. We don't have to be mean to take a stand. Caring enough to do the right thing is never mean!!
I think we reach a certain place and age in our lives when we see things clearer.
I have always been assertive but I can understand how circumstances can cause one not to be. What a great learning experience for you and really spiritual growth as well.

You have the biggest heart for others I know and I love that about you.
Your lesson here is so important to remember and I love how you weaved your true stories into the mix.

I am not one to make resolutions either, because too many times they last a short time with me. What I do try and accomplish, is goals in short time frames that hopefully I can meet. The key word is hopefully!! LOL

Wishing you the best of the new year Donna and taking a stand for yourself and others along the way. You have shared a great lesson here in your powerful post.


Ordinary J said...

I was raised the way you were too, so I never complaint in restaurants,I never sent back food. I just stop going back if I have a bad experience in a given restaurant. As for New Year Resolution, I haven't had a chance to make one yet before my first setback of the year hit me.. I was going to make a resolution to be more positive, but I'm glad I haven't had the time to make it yet because I would have failed my resolution miserably in less than one day, based on what I'm feeling now....

Debbie Castillo said...

Very interesting comments about your parents not letting you take a stand. Mine didn't either which is why I suffer horribly whenever I say anything that is deemed as bad. A person could be an axe murderer but if I say something bad about them, I feel horrible guilt.

Musings from Kim K. said...

Good for you, Donna. A new year awaits your bravery!!

Debbie said...

Good for you, Donna! You are such a sweetheart, I don't think you would ever be mean to anyone. Standing up for what's right and decent doesn't take a hard tongue...we can do it with love. Jesus always walked in love...even when He was correcting someone...unless you were one of the money changers, or a pharisee...then He stood for righteousness sake. You are able to use a story to show what would be compassion, instead of cruelty. I am proud to be your friend, Donna.
Love you.

Gaby Bee said...

Best wishes for a super 2015 - with lots of creativity, good health and joy!

Forever Engaged said...

I probably would not have said anything at the market either. We are often taught to "mind our own business." I've been in situations like that and kicked myself after for not doing anything but still can't seem to get beyond that "not my business" frame of mind. I always make resolutions to lose weight and I always eventually fail. This year my resolution is to read more. Plain and simple. I don't have much time for recreational reading anymore so I have resolved to MAKE time! Happy new year and you have a lovely blog.

Tete said...

Well, we are never too old to do something new. Standing up is not always easy, but its always right. My word for the year is Aware. And one of the things is to be aware of what is going on around me and the stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
I am glad you are going to do this. Its freeing.