Sunshine Blogger #4 from Keep It Alive

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.

William James

Good morning! A few days ago, I was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a movie theater by seeing another superhero movie: Aquaman. Again, I loved the visual effects, the action, the laughs, and adventure!

My fourth Sunshine Blogger nomination is from Sadje from Keep It Alive! Thanks Sadje! She has some lovely stories as she weaves three or four tales a day from various word and photo prompts! She is a prolific writer and a popular lady here on the blogosphere.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

Sadje’s interesting questions are as follows:

Which one, do you feel is your best post?

Objectively, I’m going to my stats for this. I don’t visit it too often so this is a surprise to me! My top 5 posts outside of my About page are:

Subjectively, I’ve enjoyed the process of writing each post and taking or finding pictures for each one. I love the stunning flowers I take pictures of. Such beauty is hard to rank. I feel that I can do better with time. 🙂

How do you get inspiration for writing?

Many things inspire me in a multitude of ways! It can be almost anything since I’m fascinated by a lot of topics and easily amused. I love it when I find obscure connections between current events! Photographs, artwork, illustrations, life experiences I want to make sense of, relationships, jokes, food, my educational experiences, books I’ve read, my travels, television shows, movies, quotes, other’s blog posts, random ideas that pop into my head and I want to explore them further by writing about it.

If given a choice would you choose traveling by train or ship?

I enjoy travelling by train! I like to cozy up with a book as I pass by beautiful scenery. I easily get sea-sick by ship and have to take motion sickness pills. I once went crab fishing with my aunt in North Carolina and the rockiness of the boat made me vomit most of the afternoon. However, I’ve always wondered what a cruise ship would feel like! Maybe it’s a smoother experience!

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Angry Birds – The early bird gets the worm… and turns it into a friend.

Generally an early bird! 🙂 I’m far more productive in the morning!

Which would you say is the best part of your life?

I cherish time spent with my relationships in nature. I enjoy travelling and having fun with my family, my roommates, my friends, and my boyfriend. I’ll share more stories about them later!

How was life in childhood for you?

Photo Credit: Realtor.com

I had a very charming and idyllic childhood for the most part. I was raised in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. In the cul-de-sac, my neighbors came from a variety of countries. It takes a village to raise a child. I was raised by teachers of all sorts of subjects, professors, engineers, doctors, bank tellers, business owners, mechanics, hotel housekeepers from a melting pot of religious and ethnic backgrounds. We all looked out for one another and I felt safe. We talked about many subjects underneath the sun when I would stop by to visit or when some of them babysat me.

They also had children my age. Playing with them was a blast! We had water gun fights, roller bladed in the sidewalks, played baseball, basketball, soccer. The girls would have long talks hanging out on the bed of my friend’s dad’s red truck till the moon popped up. We played outside for hours. Sometimes we stop to feed the ducks in the lake nearby. I am very fortunate to have such rich and vivid memories.

My loving parents worked hard to give us wonderful experiences. My siblings and I are close. My parents doted on and cared for us very well, and I’ve always felt loved and happy even though we weren’t rich. It was filled with fun family parties, road trip adventures, a wide range of music, fishing trips, visits to libraries and museums, and a love of nature.

My dad loves to grow several types of fruit trees around the perimeter of our backyard. I would help him take care of the flower and vegetable garden where we grew squash, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, mint. I would harvest the fruit off the trees and we would share our surplus with our friends and other family members. He also taught me lessons in construction, mathematics, and mechanics.

My mom was a stay-at-home homemaker while working as a seamstress on the side. I learned a lot of domestic skills. I basically learned how to sew my own clothes and other neat things. I would have fun cooking gourmet meals and baking wonderful treats with mom in the kitchen.

Are you a coffee person or a tea addict?

I don’t drink coffee at all, but I do love tea! It’s a wonderful stimulant to get me going in the mornings nearly every day. It also relaxes me when I might be going through some stressful moments. I also love to invite friends over for tea and cookies while we catch up with each other’s lives.

Food that you cannot resist?

Oh! I am a foodie! I love a variety of dishes as well as a lot of desserts! I love various types of pasta, seafood, breakfast food, lightly whipped desserts like eclairs or tarts.

What should be the first thing a child be taught?

There’s so much to teach children! However, I think some important lessons a child should learn is to show gratitude, respect, kindness, and be a life long learner. If they throw a tantrum, they should learn that they will not always get what they want by acting rudely.

How are you enjoying blogging?

I love it very much and find it more rewarding than other social media sites I’ve tried. I feel like I can express my thoughts more easily here. I’m thankful to you for being a great community! Right now, it’s fun to write stories for an audience.

What are your ambitions for your blog?

It’s an evolving entity. I would love to collaborate with other bloggers on a project of sorts. Perhaps we can tackle a challenge together and write our accounts. Someday, I might invite bloggers to write on my blog about a particular topic.

I want to incorporate some thorough book/movie reviews of some books/movies that I’ve recently read. I want to write more about my studies in depth and explore more literature which is a passion of mine. I want to be more comfortable expressing opinions about a variety of other subjects. I do a lot of sketch work as well and would love to share that with all of you!

I also hope I can also spread more sunshine and beauty to your lives by sharing inspiring quotes, snapping pictures that leave me in awe, or sharing stories that have touched my heart.

321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life: Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Good morning everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed Thanksgiving break! Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for 321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life which is really befitting because I love to celebrate various occasions! So this past week was busy, and I feel that’s an understatement. Homework is giving me a lot of curve balls, and I’m now getting caught up with my drafts and tags on WordPress!

I sent Thanksgiving cards to loved ones that live all over the nation. Yes, I like email and other social media to keep in touch, but I still enjoy giving hand written cards every once in a while! It’s hard to get us all together for anything because we’re so far apart. I’m thinking one day I’ll go on a major road trip and visit all of them to catch up. There’s so much distance between us, yet it doesn’t change how I feel about them.

My roommates made a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast before I headed into work for early Black Friday sales. I had some turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and washed it down with some cranberry cocktail. The food made me sleepy so I took a three hour nap before my shift.  When I woke up, I got dressed, packed my Kindle reader for any potential breaks (wishful thinking… breaks might be elusive), and was ready to go!

The day before, I had the opportunity to decorate my smock which I am so grateful for! I relish any chance to be creative especially during a chaotic retail holiday. Each department was color coded, and my supervisor gave us a bunch of creative materials. I went to town with the hot glue gun! (Did I mention that my hot glue gun and I are great pals?) When my boss first handed my uniform, my vest looked like a medical smock that I might wear to a gynecologist’s appointment. 

I had to change that immediately! I added a candy cane heart, penguins, sleigh on a shiny hill, wreaths, trees, gems, smiley face emojis, red bows, Mardi Gras beads. Decided not to take my sewing machine out and give it some shape because I need lots of freedom of my arms and waist. Yes, my boss seemed to skip the Thanksgiving decorations and jumped straight to Christmas, but oh well! I work with what I got. 

Here is my battle armor for Black Friday! My roommates told me I belonged on top of a Christmas tree because I sparkled so much. I was tempted to put on a football helmet because I heard last year a customer gave a worker a black eye during Black Friday, but I figured I’m a fast dodger! Brutal indeed, but all that Jujitsu training pays off. 🙂

I arrived at my workplace an hour early and gave my parents and siblings a call. They had a wonderful dinner and were playing a dancing video game. My dad created the Thanksgiving meal this year, and he told me he really enjoyed the process of cooking for the family.  Earlier I sent my siblings a Tokyo Treat Box for Thanksgiving which has a bunch of goody snacks from Japan. They enjoyed it! We said our farewells. They wished me luck, gave me some emotional support, and hung up.

Click. My one phone call is up. I clock in, and head into the battle arena. 

It’s like walking into the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm, but you don’t trust it. 

Understandably, I heard that some of my coworkers called in sick which according to my boss may be cause for termination. Others are anxiously manning their saran-wrapped stations. Customers are keeping an eye on their goods surrounding the station like vultures.

My smock is an eye catcher, and I receive a lot of compliments from coworkers and customers alike. Man, I feel like I’m walking the red carpet! I waved at my coworkers who smiled back and honestly looked relieved when they saw me. It looked like a brief moment of respite from the constant surveillance of their merchandise.

I push through the bustling crowd and finally reached up to the front end where there was caution tape closing off the checkout lanes. I enter the ringer. Several handsome (very handsome 😀 ) police officers were patrolling the area staying very alert. The HR director (aka the referee) greeted me and gave me a pat on the shoulder. Never saw him before, but he wanted to compliment me on my smock! 

We chatted a bit about technical incubators while the managers were priming up all the cashiers giving us their best pep talk. The store director paced the floors. One of our supervisors brought a huge speaker to play a motivational musical playlist. Then they played IT… one of the latest songs from one of my favorite musicals, The Greatest Showman!

All of this is rather intensifying the situation! Some of my newer coworkers are getting more nervous while I’m just getting primed up. I look at my watch and once the minute hand hits 6:00, I hear a full range of party horns signaling the go ahead for the masses of crowds to check out. 

I take a deep breath, and a big guy is headed towards me with a set of towering boxes of toys and electronics that seem to cascade down onto the conveyor belt. I silently talk to myself, “I can do this. I have an incredible team backing me up. You don’t have to go through life alone.”

I call for help from one of the burly, muscular cart pushers to help me lift all of these boxes (some of them were bigger than me!) throughout the night. A flood of customers came through my line with a variety of questions and complaints. I feel like they were dying of hunger the way the manic crowds were frantically fighting over goods. Grateful and puzzled for the kind, patient, and pleasant customers who stopped by! I would have thought they would stick to the online option. 🙂

Piles of merchandise were strewn throughout the store. We stayed on top of it by collected them before they got trampled on by the stampede. I filtered out the noise and focused on the task at hand. Some people may be of the opinion that a mosh pit is one way to celebrate life. Not me, but some people may find it thrilling.

Pinterest

Sometimes, I think people get energized by spending Black Friday celebrating with the enormous crowds! A celebration of spending their hard hard earned savings to buy things to enhance their life or the lives of their loved ones. It may be an illusion of enhancement or a reality for others. They may enjoy walking around the store checking out the sales with their families.

I didn’t get anything that night. No time to, but I did have an eye on the 200 piece art set with an easel/stand and DIY Spa Kit. (Already thinking of methods for self-care after this onslaught 😉 ) Our supervisors provided us with a warm dinner in the break room.  I crashed on my bed the moment I got home. New memories swirling around in my mind.

Ah,
my sweet bed 
How I adore thee
Falling into the oblivion
of sleep that comes easily!

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