Monday, April 28, 2014

I Choose the Roller-coaster

It's difficult for me to say the words "I'm a champion" out loud. The mental image I get is one of a winner, an athlete, one who has won first place in a contest. I am 30 and the only trophy I have is from Dance and Twirl when I was 7 years old. Everyone got one. All you had to do was show up. 

But this definition is different. I CAN see the champion that I am for others. I've always seen the potential in others, probably [pretty much always] before I see it in myself. I will remove all of the barriers for them. I will lay out a red carpet for them. I will give them tools. I will give support, encouragement and an open door policy. I will do everything but act for them (which I have done in the past to some degree and I since have learned not to) and still, they don't always want it. In fact, 70% of the time they don't want it. They don't see it for themselves or maybe they have their own insecurities to work through or timing isn't right, or...maybe I was wrong.  But I keep on believing for them and the next time something comes up that I think will change their life, I'm right there, back on the roller-coaster as cheerleader, problem-solver, arranger, encourager and advocate. 

With that said, I have a love/hate relationship with the roller-coaster. It's one of those high risk/greater reward type things. I'm not a risk-taker by nature. I play it safe for the most part. The biggest risk I've ever taken is getting into a business where my job is to be an advocate for people in the areas of health and finances - something I love, something I'm good at, but also something that can take me super HIGH when I help someone win in life, but also can [if I let it] take me super LOW when I have vision for someone that they can't see.  It's an AMAZING feeling helping someone win though! And oftentimes, I will forget about all of the little mini struggles that I've had along the way because all that matters is that they are better off now than when we first started. They have better health or much-needed money in their pocket - either way, I have delivered on providing hope and peace. 

I have learned that I can't make anyone do anything, no matter how much I want to and no matter how much better I believe their life will be. 

I have learned that people are messy. They have their own filters. They have areas that, just like me, they aren't transparent in. 

I have learned that the highlight reel I view on various social media outlets doesn't even come close to a person's day-to-day reality.  <--- Therefore, I've learned not to compare my life to others, based on said highlight reel [because that is SUPER easy to slip into!]. One minute I'm fine, then I see this person has bought a house, this person's pregnant again, this person is on vacation AGAIN, this person got a new car, this person has "the life I want" - and suddenly, my life isn't good enough, I haven't accomplished enough, and I'm depressed because my car is old, I rent, I don't travel and I'm childless. I get into "when is it MY turn" mode and the roller coaster goes doooooooooowwwwnnnnnn. And I scream [on the inside]. I exaggerate...sort of. Well I don't do this everyday, if that makes a difference. 

It's hard to be a champion for myself. It's so much easier to believe for someone else.  I've found that over the course of my life I have put myself permanently on the back burner. It's like I made a decision at some point that other people's happiness, potential and value were more important as a focus. It's easier to step up for other people's causes. I can go to work for someone else all day long. I WILL NOT fail them. But, for myself, if I hop on the roller coaster and I fail, that's a lonely drop, and let's face it, I will probably feel sick. And I may not hop back on again.  Any other failure-phobic people out there? I know that no one likes failure, but I will avoid it like the plague, and it usually looks like a really cute lie like, "Everything is fine. Life is comfortable enough. You don't need more money. People are difficult and they can help themselves. Just sit on your couch. You deserve a break. "

So how do I be a champion amidst that? To be honest, there are days that I give in to comfort. Other days, from my couch this is my intentional view. 

My vision board stares at me. I see the words "Debt Freedom" "Finish" "Peace of Mind" "She designed a life she loved" of the people I want quality time with, a debt payoff date that has "2014" at the end of it and it fires me up most days! It makes me realize that I DO HAVE A PURPOSE WORTH DEFENDING! I may not have arrived yet and there may be some bumps along the way to achieving goals, but if I don't get on the ride, it's not going to happen at all. Another year will pass and I will be in the same situation, with the same amount of debt, living in the same place, wishing I had gotten off of the couch. I like the way that she puts it in this clip from Parenthood (the movie). 

Live purposefully! Be a champion for yourself and others. It might be the more difficult ride, but it's the rewarding one and it sure as heck isn't boring. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Battle of Priorities: Yours, Mine, Theirs & Ours

pri·or·i·ty: something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.

So, I'm feeling a bit pensive regarding this subject, evidenced by my random return to blog land after a 9 month hiatus. I'm not really sure what I want to talk about regarding priorities yet, so I assume it will come to me - since I do have quite a few thoughts dancing around.

I found it kind of interesting that my last post was somewhat about priorities and how I had settled in with being okay with the current structure. Just so you know, my Christmas lights are still up (party on the patio every night - woooo!!), my house is still far from perfect, my dishes and laundry are still a nemesis of mine (Carlos is an angel and takes care of these), our Christmas decor is haunting me from a box in the corner of the living room with ornaments calling to me to pack them away, my table is covered in receipts, I may or may not be ready to do my taxes soon...


I keep my hubby fed with healthy, homemade food daily, our bills are paid, we've got a roof over our head, a car in the driveway, we work together and then get time at home to enjoy each other's company as non-coworkers and I get to focus my efforts leading a team and helping friends and family achieve their health & financial goals. On a good day, we get in a workout on top of it! ; )

So my priorities obviously aren't cleaning, as much as they mean time with the people I love. Hello Quality Time Love Language! The house isn't always a wreck, but I'm okay with it being that way for a while as long as the things I REALLY have identified as being important are covered.

Sometimes my business takes over as a priority and I know that I need to spend more time digging in and that means that I don't get to hangout with friends or that I haven't seen the latest movie(s) or TV shows - and I'm totally okay with that!

Sometimes I've focused so much on getting things done and just hanging with Carlos that I realize that I DESPERATELY need girl time STAT and that takes over as priority until my tank is full.

But what I struggle with sometimes is:

What happens when your priorities don't line up with someone else's? 

They have theirs, you have yours and they don't meet. They have an expectation that you will see their priority as they do and likewise. Sometimes I think "do they seriously not understand that I'm trying to accomplish something?" And they are probably thinking the same thing about me! Because although we may have the same values, we have different priorities.

I think sometimes we have to just be awesome advocates for ourselves. Tell people what your priorities are!  Be okay with saying:

"Honestly, right now that's just not a priority for me. I'm focusing on ____________ and I really can't afford to get off track right now."


"Ya know what, that sounds awesome, but I spend any available evenings with my family, because I don't want them getting my leftover time anymore."


"I would love to go out with you guys, but we are trying to save money and pay down debt and that's just not in the budget this month. Dave Ramsey said 'no'. Maybe next time!"

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to reply to your boss in this fashion if its part of your job description to accomplish a task. This isn't an Office Space approach of apathy towards things you just don't want to do. It's making a list in your mind of those tasks, responsibilities, invitations, etc. and really being honest with yourself as to if they line up with your priorities or if they just add noise at a time when you desire/need to focus energy on a few things rather than 100.  But it takes being intentional to NOT over-commit!!

This would go a long way for those who think they have to say "yes" to everything. Let me release you from that real quick. YOU DON'T!!!! Next time someone asks you to do something (extra work, the millionth social activity this week...) and you don't REALLY want to do it, say "no". I speak from experience as a "yes" girl - believe me, the view is better over here!  Once I defined my priorities, it made saying "no" when I needed to, SUPER easy.  I no longer feel guilty for standing up for what I feel is important for our life and extra time.

I think I've reached the end of my thoughts on this subject for now. What do you think?  Feel free to chime in!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Life, Priorities, Growth, Leadership & Realizing Potential

This is a screenshot of my CURRENT desktop.  Yes, it says October.  Yes, I'm very aware that its currently June.  I'm also aware that my Christmas lights have been up since the Christmas before last.  Don't judge.  So what if there's a party on my patio every night (I tell myself.  Myself responds "heck yes!")

As I hopped on over to my neglected blog today, I found it interesting that the last blog that I wrote was in October as well.  Interestingly enough, that blog was also about the fact that I was feeling scattered and was having a hard time multi-tasking, so its no surprise to me that I fell off of the grid with my blog at least.  The good thing is, I did start using that life planner that I mentioned so know that I didn't stop functioning altogether! If anything I started functioning more and functioning better, just in different capacities.

In my former life as an administrative assistant I used a prioritized task list (A, B, C) in order to begin the practice of automatically knowing what my priorities should be eventually.  It worked!  As I transitioned out of the paper/email/filing/board meeting minute-typing life and into that of a life as a wife with a new job, a home business, a mess a home, a puppy, dishes, Christmas lights, laundry, a kitchen table that serves as a landing place for mail, a coffee table that serves as the place we eat - I realize...I might need to bring that prioritized task list back into play some days more than others.  Maybe I can find a super cute one on Pinterest...and then get distracted, find a recipe, then another inspirational quote that makes me want to exercise and 20 crockpot dinners I can make ahead of time...and...and...and 4 hours pass by in the meantime, I feel brilliant despite the fact that I've accomplished nothing whatsoever, and I forget why I hopped on in the first place.

So, all that to say, the blog has definitely been a C on the priority list for the last several months, because it needed to be!  In October I started to get serious about some personal development areas I was lacking in.  I took the Strengths Based Leadership test and suddenly was aware that I have leadership strengths!  My top 5 are all in the Execution category.  So I started getting serious about developing leadership skills that I don't have, building my AdvoCare business and raising up a team of leaders!  I started getting serious about paying down debt instead of just thinking about it and worrying about it incessantly.  Believe me, I still have my moments, but I don't think they're as all consuming as they used to be.  Because, repeat after me, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail"!  Planning brings peace.  Getting a system in place brings peace.  Above all else, knowing that God knows the desires of my heart and has my back and wants the best for me, brings me PEACE!

I'm running out of daytime hours I can allot to this blog - with actual tasks at hand - yes, my favorites: Dishes and Laundry.  And since I'm actually home today, I have to take advantage of these hours because these tasks DO NOT get done after work on a daily basis unless extremely necessary.  To all you awesome people out there who have mastered the art of doing these things even though you don't want to and you don't necessarily have time to - I SOLUTE YOU!  Please pass on your wonderful, magical powers to me!

So I'll leave with this.  I found this to be pretty awesome.  As I was updating my Google profile, I realized how much life had changed in the past two years and become SO much more than I had imagined it would.  Things I've wanted have come to fruition.  Opportunities I didn't know existed two years ago are breathing new life and new chances for growth into my day-to-day!  Which in turn has allowed me to have a renewed heart for people like myself who don't even know what they're missing out on, who have no idea the incredible potential they have for greatness in their life because of fear, or circumstances they're in the midst of.

I challenge you - whoever you are that's reading this blog right now! What do you want your profile update to look like 2 years from now?  Seriously!!

(Insert Your Name), You're now seen as...

(Insert Your Name), You will be seen as...

Here are a couple things that I suggest you check out to help you on your journey of reaching your potential!

Read:  The Slight Edge and Strengths Based Leadership (get the book and then you can take the test online!)

Watch/Listen to this Message Series:  Change Your World in 52 Days - There are four messages and you can either watch it or listen to the mp3 of it like I did.  Like I said the other day in a facebook update, a gem that I got from this series was this simple, yet awesome revelation about myself.

You were uniquely created to accomplish something only YOU can do! Hence the reason we get so broken-hearted about certain things that other people don't seem to care so much about. Its because YOU are the one that is meant to do something about it! Its on YOUR heart for a reason!

Don't settle for less than you were created to be.  Be open to new opportunities to grow instead of settling for what's comfortable.  Realize what purpose you were meant to carry out.  Let that purpose drive you to do good in this world.

Right now I look at my profile and I like what I see because I challenged myself to be more and do more, but I know that there's SO much more to accomplish and become.  As my vision expands though, this is what I see happening!

You're now seen as... Sarah Rodriguez, Cinematographer, Social Networker, AdvoCare Advisor/Distributor/Coach

You will be seen as... Sarah Rodriguez, World Changer

And I hope the same for you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things On My Mind

Is anyone else having trouble sleeping lately? I feel like there are not enough hours in the day sometimes to think the many things my mind wants to think. Its been spilling over into time I'm supposed to be sleeping and its making me crazy!

I've always been a night owl so its really not that big of a surprise that my mind would still be awake past the time I want it to be. Unfortunately Carlos likes to sleep as soon as his head hits the pillow and is able to do so quite well, unlike myself. He's not too keen on my desire to keep talking to him, unraveling my mind as best I can with the hopes that the more I talk, the less I'll store in the ol' noggin and eventually run out of things to think about - thus allowing for sleepy time.

I've come to the conclusion that I used to be a good multi-tasker and now I'm just good at thinking about far too many things simultaneously without the key benefit of actually completing tasks. Instead, my tasks are strewn about in my brain, some started, some completed and most are in limbo land, hoping desperately that I write them down before I just plain forget.

Is it that I'm a wife now? Is it that I technically have two jobs? Am I just not the organized person I think I am?

I go back once again to the perfectionism = procrastination issue. If it can't be done perfectly right this moment, I just won't do it. If I can't do it right now though, guess what I'm probably going to do? Instead of just biting the bullet and making the decision to charge through despite my procrastination issues, many times I'll start looking for system that will make my life more organized. When I was an administrative assistant this was my favorite item. It was cute (key organizational element), gave me three colors of post-its (love to categorize!) and I wanted to fill it up and use it constantly - and it worked!

My work life is more scattered now, between the office, home and being out and about. I'm not stuck to a desk so... my system can't be either.

Sooooo....what am I going to do about it? Well, thanks to facebook, my eyes were opened to my new favorite organizational system! And I haven't even gotten it yet! Erika (of Illegitimis Non Carborundum) and Kaysie (of Chasers of Kaysers) both shared how awesome this planner was. Erika did a write up on her recent purchase here if you want to take a peek at her personalized planner and all that it has to offer. I checked it out, got mine ordered and I'm pretty excited to see it show up on my porch!

You can look into getting your own here!

Here's a little video they have on the website that gives you a peek into its ├╝ber planner genius.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dream Working, Mondays and Acting Like a Child

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. What a surprise...Monday - why do you have to be so mean all the time?

This morning I didn't wake up on time to get ready for work because I was already at work in my dreams. Has anyone experienced this before?

Although I can't remember the details of what exactly I was doing, I know that facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogger, etc etc etc were involved and I was hard at work multi-tasking, strategizing and networking like a champ. At least, those were the words and feelings leftover in my brain when Carlos startled me awake with the knowledge that not only was I not at work already (to my dismay - I was getting so much done!), I only had just about 20 minutes to get ready before we had to get out the door to ACTUALLY be at work.

Dreams are crazy. I mean, some really are crazy and then others are so crazily realistic that they're hard to jump out of. I felt very productive and accomplished this morning in dreamland, only to get startled awake, be alert for a second and then go back to feeling very very tired. Then I get to work and the reality hits that I haven't been hard at work for hours and that my work day is just starting. And I haven't been the most awesome, alert, multi-tasking, networking genius of my dreams.

Maybe I should try the other side of the bed tomorrow. Carlos seems to have no problem getting up in the morning. In reality, it wouldn't matter if I slept on the right, left, at the foot of the bed or on the floor, or on a stinkin' cloud - any day that starts before 8am is a tough one for me. Nighttime is no biggie, I can do nighttime really well. Once I'm asleep, unless light is streaming brightly through my bedroom curtains - don't talk to me. It'll be bad and I will act like a child.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My My My...How Time Flies

Two whole months - almost.

That's the amount of time that I've taken to get back to my blog.

Not that I was all that dedicated to daily entries before or anything, but still.  Thank you Patty - Miss "Brem Bloggy Blog" (Follow her blog by the way - its awesome) for reminding me today that this is something that I enjoy doing!! I ran into Patty today at the park and she was nice enough to ignore the fact that I looked a mess.  I was (and still am) in my "I'm just taking Chloe for a walk right on the other side of my fence so I don't have to look nice because I'm within a short distance to my house if I see someone I know and need to run back to my house before they see me look a mess" attire/hairstyle/make-up-less-ness.  Yes, I know, that was the worst run-on sentence you have ever read in your life - and it was.  But you know exactly what I mean.

So where have I been? Well, between now and my last entry I've been tackling this thing called life and all that includes and asks of me.  In reality, its not like I'm a stressed out mess, its just the normal kind of busy, the great kind of busy!

Its like this...when I was a single girl, with no prospects in sight and not much of a social life, I wrote in my diary a lot.  When I was a single girl, with no prospects in sight, but I had friends and a social life, I wrote every once in a while.  When I started dating Carlos, I checked in once a month, maybe if that. When I got engaged, it turned into a prayer journal that I only wrote in for that purpose - there wasn't time in the midst of wedding planning to write about my feelings beyond my current circumstances and what I needed God to lead me in regarding those circumstances.  When I got married....well...let me see when the last time I wrote in it was.


March 24, 2010  - Well that answers that question.  I didn't even write in it the 4 months before my wedding day July 11, 2010.  I was busy, but in a very fun way.  I didn't even have a job in those 4 months, just a puppy and wedding planning and apparently that was enough to occupy my time.

But the fact of the matter is, I love to write.  So, with that said, I will be doing a whole lot more of it coming up soon.  Not only will I be keeping up with this blog (I will try) but I will be writing for the companies' blogs (MasterWerks and Daydream) once those websites are up and running. So get ready blog world, I'm coming back!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Midnight in Paris

First off, I'm going to try to completely ignore the fact that I haven't done a blog update on here since May. If I think about it too much I will attempt to write a short blog entry explaining all of the reasons I haven't written (which will not be short no matter how much I try), when in short I can just say "I've been busy".

With that said, for our first anniversary, Carlos and I went to go see "Midnight in Paris". If you haven't seen it, you should. We loved it. I think it perfectly suited Carlos and my taste for nostalgia, France, old music and good movies.

Ever since I watched Midnight in Paris I've wanted to:

A. Go to France

B. Read - Amongst the people I did know of, it made me realize how many famous authors and artists I DON'T know.

C. Redecorate my home - in two ways: french provincial/shabby chic and with nostalgic pieces. I like old things so much better than new things.

D. Learn French - I wanted to take French in high school, but Spanish was more practical. So I'm super glad that I have taken 4 years of Spanish and don't remember much.

Hope everyone has a good weekend! Its been a long couple weeks at the office, and despite the fact that I've completely ignored my home, grocery shopping, etc., I fully intend on vegging out as much as possible. That is when I'm not looking for antiques, french provincial/shabby chic pieces and other bits of nostalgia on craigslist to inspire me for another month when such things might actually be a part of the budget!

Au revoir!

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