An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Random Thought

3:42 PM |

By special request for Random Thought Wednesday.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Definition of a Friend

She was a friend of mine...

What is a friend?  I'm seriously asking.  What is your definition of a friend?  I would really like to know what it takes to be considered a friend these days because there are so many of you out there that have all these issues regarding your 'friendships' that baffle me.

Maybe it would help to first tell you where this thought came from.  I was riding to work listening to the Steve Harvey Morning show and their Strawberry Letter segment.  The letter was in short about a woman who unknowingly got with a man whom she later found out was her friend's man of 12 years and was unsure of how or if she should tell her.  While I'll address that whole situation in another post, what stood out to me was this: How do you have a friend who has a man of 12 YEARS and you've never met, or even seen a photo of him?

People let me tell you, I have friends everywhere.  We don't talk on a regular basis, but you know what, if they have a man I can tell you I've seen him.  Wether it was a photo on her phone, Facebook or even if we've randomly met in person, I know who their men are.  I may not remember their names off hand but I bet if anyone was to repeat their names I'd recognize it.  Why? Because that's part of the things friends share with one another.

I think the word 'friendship' has lost its face value like the words 'I love you' and 'trust me' and 'truth'.  Some people in your life are 'associates'.  Some are 'acquaintances'.  Very few are 'friends'.  And for good reason.  Being a friend carries a lot more responsibility.  I think it's time for people to start understanding which people in their lives are which.

Now I'm not going to hand out a canned definition on what I think a friend should and should not be.  Each person requires something different. And understand this about friendships.  The bond isn't always everlasting. Part of what makes people friends are shared experiences, thoughts, opinions, interests, etc.  Those things change over time.  Just because you've know someone a long time, and you used to be friends, doesn't mean that they are truly your friend now, through no fault of either of you. I think you have to look at what you value in a friend, the type of friend you are to people, what you expect out of your friends and decide if the people in your life you consider friends fit those criteria. If not, it may be time to place them in another category.

OR it maybe time to let that person go. Period.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Single ≠ Lonely

1:00 PM |

Some tips on beating the single blahs....

Let's be honest, sometimes the single life can start to feel a bit lonely and empty. And with the fall/winter coming, people slowing down, staying in - it can start to feel even lonelier. So when my solo-ness starts to transform itself to loneliness, here are some of the ways I try and beat away the grey clouds.

Go Do Something:
Anything.  It doesn't have to be major, just get out of the house.  Go run/walk.  Let the sun hit your face. Get up and go somewhere and make it special to you.  Even if it's just going to Wally-World. Put on some clothes you feel good in, fix your hair, and go. You don't have to have an agenda, just drive and when you feel like stopping - stop.  If you want to purchase something - do it.  If you want to eat something - eat it. And take your time doing it.  Or you can just plan to do something.  Plan a trip - really plan a trip. The planning alone can take some of the dreary off your day.  Sometimes a day of doing whatever randomly comes to heart and indulging your whims can help shift your mood.

Plan to Stay in:
You can do the opposite of going out and really plan to stay in. You can do a project around the house - paint a wall, fix a cabinet, organize a closet. That may be a chore, but think of how different you will feel once that overhanging, ever looming task is complete.  Or you can do nothing at all and make a day of it.  Put on your fuzzy socks and favorite lounge clothes and plan to do a Godfather movie marathon all day.  Make coffee or tea and get lost in a book.  Make it more about choosing to spend time at home relaxing than being just stuck in the house.  And be happy to tell people you did nothing all day!

Try Something Different/Learn Something:
Sometimes you can occupy your mind with a new activity.  Watch cooking shows and pick something new to try and make for dinner.  Always wanted to learn how to do something? Play an instrument? Learn a new language? Sew? There are tutorials and books for any and everything out there - pick one and do it.  Or if you have a hobby, plan on dedicating a large chunk of your day just indulging yourself in your hobby.

This is something I used to do but I don't do much of these days, but I do hope to start doing again. If you're not a people person, go volunteer at a local animal shelter or your city's humane society.  Find out how to be a mentor.  It's election season - help people get to the polls. Sometimes getting out and helping out can do more for you, the volunteer, than it does for the people you help.

Plan a Play-Date:
Take some time to reconnect with your friends, physically not virtually.  With all the avenues technology gives us these days to keep in touch with people, sometimes it's easy to forget how long it's been since you've actually sat down face to face with that person.  Get off line and plan to hang out with your friends. My friends and I plan dinners or weekend trips or visits around holidays or cultural events (like CIAA, homecoming, Christmas). I know it's not necessarily  quick fix to beat the blues, but by planning it, you not only make sure that people can actually attend, it starts to become something to look forward to - a priority.  And sometimes knowing that people are just as excited to see you as you are to see them can help you not feel so isolated.

Step Away From Social Media:
You may think that if you're feeling lonely it's a good idea to jump on your social media outlet of choice and chat, look at photos and virtually see what your friends are up to.  WRONG!  While social media has been great with allowing people to keep up with one another, and reconnect with friends long gone, it can have a way of making you feel like you aren't doing ish with your life.  I mean after a certain age your timeline and feeds start transitioning from party photos, drama, LOL memes and random musings, to photos of kids, announcements of engagements or deaths, promotion declarations, wedding planning details, and other keeping up with the Joneses swaggery.  If you're people are at a party and you're not you wonder - why didn't I know about this.  If your people are getting engaged you or have gone from 'single' to 'in a relationship' you wonder - how is it THEY can find someone but I'm here alone.  Constantly reading about what other people are doing can start to make you question your life and what you have going on wether you realize it or not.   Close that window.

Go Home:
I know there are times when I look up and MONTHS have gone by with out me visiting my parents or going home for a weekend.  (And I only live 2 hours away from them). But sometimes it helps to just go back home for a few hours, a day, a weekend.  It helps you reconnect with familiar surroundings and can help you feel a bit more grounded. I know that everyone doesn't necessarily have that traditional 'home', so return to the place you come from, or wherever 'home' is for you. If your family is loving and caring, going home can remind you that there are people there who love you (typically) no matter what. If your family is ratchet, it'll help reiterate the fact that you are doing or have done what is best and make you feel so much better about your life decisions.

These are just some of the things I do when the sound of silence starts to get too loud.  And I'll be honest, sometimes it doesn't always work.  It can seem too simple or one size fits all, but in general I think when we start to think too much about what we are doing/haven't done/have to do - that's when the loneliness can start to creep in. Taking time out to enjoy your present can help you center yourself and allow you to acknowledge the good things.

But this is just what I do. What do you do when you start to feel lonely?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moment of Simple

The best part of this entire song....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Football 202 for Women

10:30 AM |

Part play continued...

If you've been following my football posts at all you should be able to know 2 things about me. 1 - I love football and 2 - it is my personal mission to make the women of the world who don't love football less annoying during football season.  It's been a minute since our last lessons, so if you need to review please see the following:

Football 101 for women part 1
Lesson 2 - Defense
Football 101 for women part 3
Football 201 for women - game play

Today I'd like to talk a bit about the defense.  For me, I'm all about the defense.  Not sure why, but I get more excited about a good tackle and 3 and outs than I do about a long pass . LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! (unless it involves my teams -- get it together fellas, smh) But I digress.

Without getting deep into defensive strategy, let's just discuss the general idea behind what the defense does and define some frequently used terms.

The goal of the defense is to prevent the other team from moving down the field and scoring. They can do so by preventing their runners from running past them down the field.  They can keep the receivers from catching the ball.  They can tackle or pressure the quarter back, making him make mistakes or keep him from throwing the ball.  They can try to catch the ball the quarterback tries to throw at his receivers (interception), or they can try and take the ball away from a receiver/runner after they have the ball(force a fumble or turnover).  As long as what they do doesn't cause any penalties (and ideally no injuries), they are going to do whatever they can to keep the other team from scoring.

Here are some of the ways they try to keep the other team from scoring and some common terms you may hear through out the game:

Run Defense
If a team is known for giving the ball to one of their runners and not throwing as much, or if the current position of the offense usually leans more towards a run than a pass, the defense will set themselves up to stop that run play.  The way you can tell they're planning on trying to stop a runner is by looking to see where most of the defensive players are lined up.  If they have a lot of men close to the line of scrimmage, then they are preparing to stop a runner. The more players they have up front, the faster they can get to a runner and the fewer yards the other team will get.

Pass Defense
This is the opposite of a run defense.  If the team believes their opponent is going to throw the ball, they are going to try and stop them by providing coverage in one of two ways: Man-to-Man: for every man on the field the quarterback can throw the ball to, the defense assigns one of their guys to follow him. Zone: assigning a player to a specific area of the field so that if the ball comes anywhere near that area, they are responsible for going after whoever comes in that area.

This is when the defense feels the best option to stop a team from advancing is to get the quarterback.  The defense will send as many guys as they can after the quarterback to stop him from throwing the ball or handing it off to another player.   There are so many ways to do this, but when you see a majority of the defense going straight for the quarterback - that's usually a blitz.

Along with the variety of teams and coaches, comes a variety of defensive plays, line ups, and strategies. All of these specific to the team using them. We could discuss 3-4, 4-3, 4-4, Nickle, and Dime formations, but I'll leave that for extra credit ;) These were just a few of the more general and common terms and concepts you'll hear throughout the game.  As always - happy football watching.