Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It's been a strange few weeks for me, but completely amazing at the same time. Whether chalked up to coincidence, fate or the will of God, the last few weeks have been pointing me in one consistent direction- I am entitled to nothing. There is nothing about me that deserves anything in particular in life.

This isn't coming from a personal crisis of self-loathing, a tanking of my self-esteem or false humility. Although it's a reversal of what modern culture is telling us ("you deserve a break today", "because you're worth it", "your way right away", ad nauseum), who we are and what we do cannot instantly make the universe owe us anything, whether possessions, experiences, opportunities, power, recognition, our own way, an extra cookie or even a close parking spot to the grocery store. And just because THEY got one doesn't mean I deserve one too.

And it's been amazing. I had no idea that the process of losing entitlement could be so personally freeing. Entitlement is merely a set of lies (yes, lies) we believe about ourselves & our future. For me, this shift is an attitude change that is happening slowly, but it's like dropping a ton of bricks one by one. Talk about simplification! This is probably the biggest attitude shift toward simple I've had since I started blogging.

Instead of banking on the future being perfect because, well um, I AM perfect, I can recognize that life happens. The rain falls on the good, the bad & the ugly. That doesn't mean I can't try to put up an umbrella, but I'm not in control and that's perfectly ok. For years, my focus has primarily been on the future through worrying, trying to plan, & trying to control situations. I've missed out on a lot of what's happening right now though. I've missed out on a lot of joy and peace too!

One of the first steps toward losing entitlement was majorly upping my attitude of gratitude. Not to go all happy-crazy or Pollyanna, but focusing on gratitude not only decreases overall negative attitudes, but it brings our attitude back to a realistic place of who we are & how much other people do for us.

It's very amusing, but I am enjoying being surprised by good things that happen.
  • Fun new friends
  • Excellent conversations with old friends
  • Learning ultimate tennis
  • Taking a new class through Parks & Rec
  • My kickboxing ladies who keep on coming back for more torture
  • A great Saturday lunch
  • An amazing backup of friends and family
  • Pita Chips

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I'll be honest, life in August was less than a picnic both personally & professionally. The details are typical of a mid-twentysomething, and a friend once told me that the drama of a twentysomething is only interesting to other twentysomethings thus I'll spare the nitty-gritty.

My typical response to life's issues is to internalize & worry. Productive, huh?

This week, my Monday night discussion group was covering JOY. I realized worry & joy don't share space well, one has to win. So far in my life, worry typically wins. Further in the discussion the comment came up, "If we truly have the right perspective on life, all those other problems & details won't matter & worrying is obsolete."

My feathers got ruffled. My grandma is going through a bunch of health issues, & I'm suddenly supposed to want the "right perspective" in which her problems don't matter? How can someone make such a cold, unfeeling statement as that? Worrying is how I show I care!

Wait, what? "Worrying is how I show I care."

Kristen, you know that's 100% hokum. Besides, how could that ever possibly help the situation? Worrying isn't caring, it's just worrying.

Today while reading I ran across the word "compassion." Maybe that would be a decent replacement for worry in some situations. For other situations, I need to remind myself, "This is not my problem. Let it go & forget it." So for the next few weeks, I can hopefully trade in a few handfuls of headache medicine for joy & compassion instead. We'll see how it goes. Is it really possible to make worry obsolete?

And for the unrelated pic of the day- Quandary Peak from my hiking trip a few weeks ago. My dad & I hiked Quandary & Elbert. Quite the trip & lots of fun!