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!