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  • Perspective: I Am

    I love people watching. I love hearing people sharing their stories. And I love learning from conversations. Other than the infamous one time, I have never interjected into another conversation. But boy do I learn from them.

    So I was stuck on an elevator that was uncomfortably packed going to the 12th floor. Two women were deep into their conversation despite rubbing elbows with total strangers. The younger of the 2 women kept said “I just don’t know what I want to do. I don’t want to get a job.” She then proceeded to give a laundry list of what she was not. “I am not good at science. I am not good at cooking. I am not good with computers.” It was amazing how many things she was able to rattle off in our 90 second journey to the 12th floor.
     

     
    An hour later I was able to take a much needed lunch break. My fellow coworkers were watching a horrible COPS TV show in the staff lounge, so I took a napkin and started doodling and writing. Writing has become such a creative, positive outlet for me.

    I used the elevator prompt… I am not.

    I am not a fan of black licorice.

    I am not a drawer.

    I am not the reader I want to be.

    I am not traveling this summer like I really wanted.

    I am not the athlete I once was.

    I am not a homeowner.

    That’s when I put down my pen. You see this writing prompt quickly took me to a place of rumination within a mere 20 seconds. I had 23 minutes left of my lunch and I wasn’t going back out to work with a piss poor attitude. So I changed my writing prompt to… I am.

    I am wonderfully made just as God designed me.

    I am living a more intentional and grateful life.

    I am blessed with health.

    I am able to work Part Time for the first time in 17 years as a nurse.

    I am a good mom.

    I am a lover of adventure.

    I am good at praying for my friends and strangers.

    I am a lover of Psych, Jimmy Fallon, and Sports Center.

    I am reading more this year than I have the past 5 years combined. Progress.

    I am learning more about God and myself with the help of this and this.

    I am sarcastic and love a great comedy and belly laughs.

    I am a fan of pedicures.

    I am awesome even though I don’t want to believe that at times. Yes, I am awesome.

    It was time to clock back in at work and take care of patients. If I had stayed the course with the “I am not” prompt, I would have returned with a less than stellar attitude. Instead I chose to change course, adopt a different perspective, and I returned to my shift with a full belly, napkin, and heart.

    What do you do when you start down the wrong course? I would love to know your tips. Take a second and write down 10 things that you are right now. You won’t regret it.

    Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

    If you are new to my site, welcome! I would love for you to follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog at the top of this post and joining me on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.


    21 Comments

    Comments

    Karen

    Good for you. Life is about choices as I see it. And we make plenty in a minute. So, as I see it, we can choose to be happy and learn or…we can take the path of least effort and be negative and lazy. Although, there are times that you have to get through the negative parts to get to the happy ending.

    23 May 2012 at 10:01 am Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Indeed Karen. I always say to my kids, “You are your choices.” And I felt like it was time to take my own advice. It’s way too easy to go down the other path and doesn’t improve anything.

      23 May 2012 at 10:12 am Reply
    Jessica B

    I use to have no problem finding the positive in every situation. It was almost like a game for me. Some where over the last few years I had lost that outlook on life. This year as already been rough and we are only 5 months in. However, I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to go back to finding something positive about every situation I could! I am treating it like a little mini game. I find the more I do this with myself the easier it is to stay positive and find more things that are positive in life. I feel so much better about myself when I can stay this way!

    What a great post thank you! You are awesome.

    23 May 2012 at 10:16 am Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Thanks Jessica. This has been a hard year for me too. I like looking at it like a game. I like games so I might have to adopt that. I find that ruminating on life’s problems becomes such a slippery slope. That’s why I have spent such an enormous amount of time on gratitude this year.
      Hang in there – there are many things to be thankful for. You are awesome too.

      23 May 2012 at 10:33 am Reply
    Peg

    Thanks Jenny and good job turning the ship around. I took 2 minutes and came up with:
    I am….
    1. Generous
    2. Funny
    3. Loving
    4. Reliable
    5. Lovable
    6. Organized
    7. Smart
    8. A fan of chocolate in all forms, daily chai tea lattes and pizza
    9. A good cook
    10. An employee who makes good things happen

    23 May 2012 at 10:28 am Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Love this list Peg. What a terrific list to speak truth into your life when you have a rough day. I’m a lover of pizza, too.
      But I love the last item – an employee who makes good things happen. What a powerful statement.
      Thanks so much for sharing.

      23 May 2012 at 10:36 am Reply
    nirupama

    Wonderful, wonderful…i am going to try this soon :)

    23 May 2012 at 2:02 pm Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Oh you will enjoy this exercise. It’s so easy to take the other path and complain or focus on the negative. BTW- really enjoyed reading your blog this afternoon! {Will comment later tonight because my email was hacked and it’s been frozen most of the day.}

      23 May 2012 at 5:11 pm Reply
    Melissa

    Jenny, you were a miracle the day you were born. Guess what? Nothing’s changed! I AM proud of you!

    23 May 2012 at 3:27 pm Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Thanks Melissa. It’s not strange to say that to others, but is very awkward to talk to myself that way. I think it’s important though for us all to realize that we are not only enough, but amazing, awesome, and miracles too.

      23 May 2012 at 5:20 pm Reply
    Stacey K

    I am sitting here thinking about I am’s but in my head all my am’s are negative. (My Jane is in my head) So I will turn my negatives to positives, here goes.

    I am lucky to be a stay at home mum & be able to drop everything & care for my kids when they are sick.
    I am blessed to have married my soul mate & to have his support when times are tough.
    I am healthy while my kids are unwell.
    I have a fridge & pantry full of food.
    I am looking forward to a chai latte at the school cafe tomorrow after drop off.
    I am planning for a long awaited & desperately needed family holiday.
    I am ok.

    23 May 2012 at 3:55 pm Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      You are more than ok – that I know for sure. But I can relate to how crappy Jane makes me feel. Hang in there! And I hope you enjoy that chai latte tomorrow. Drink it slowly and enjoy every sip.
      And here’s to a festive family holiday! I’m rooting for you Stacey.

      23 May 2012 at 5:23 pm Reply
    Jamie

    Jenny you inspired me to do an “I am: list too. I posted it on my blog and linked it back to you. If you want to check it out. here it is
    http://glitterstampsandpaperohmy.com/?p=569

    23 May 2012 at 4:45 pm Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Jamie – I love it! I’m so glad you did this and it truly is infectious to see gratitude and reflection spread. And I adore the pictures – so unique.

      23 May 2012 at 5:24 pm Reply
    Robyn

    Just curious..did you decide not to travel this summer?

    23 May 2012 at 5:10 pm Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Yes, unfortunately we are having to postpone our trip. I was beyond disappointed as the planning was in full gear and we were actually scheduled to depart this week.
      But we postponed it for good reasons, the biggest was Jeff’s decision to open his own law firm. So he didn’t think we should leave in his first month. :) I’m not giving up on that dream, just delaying it a bit.

      23 May 2012 at 5:28 pm Reply
    Mikki

    Thank you Jenny for the fantastic prompt.
    Here are mine:
    1. I am imaginative.
    2. I am a slow reader, and that’s fine with me because I *AM* reading.
    3. I am a big fan of 500 Days of Summer.
    4. I am a total word nerd.
    5. I am grateful when strangers start up conversations. I love talking to strangers!
    6. I am a good parent.
    7. I am the best singer ever when I am alone in my car.
    8. I am SO glad that I’ve chosen to do Project 365 since 1/1/10. (I still haven’t missed a day!)
    9. I am a lover of writing. Journals, Novels, essays you name it!
    10. I am an optimist.

    23 May 2012 at 7:34 pm Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      Your list makes me smile. I am totally renting 500 Days of Summer. I just googled it and watched the trailer – not sure how I missed that one. I love talking with strangers too – that made me smile. This is so cool Mikki and I love knowing these things about you.

      23 May 2012 at 10:13 pm Reply
    Lee

    Thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading it. It reminded me of an “I am” I had done a couple of years ago but it also inspired me to do it again. This time I included my family. If you would like to read it, it is on my blog: http://www.leebenkers.com/2012/05/family-i-am.html.

    31 May 2012 at 9:22 am Reply
      Jenny
      Jenny

      I loved this Lee and so glad you involved your family and that you are including their lists in your Project Life albums. Awesome.

      1 June 2012 at 9:15 am Reply
    Monica McNeill

    Thanks for the inspiration Jenny :) http://withoutfilters.blogspot.com/2012/06/create-write-capture.html

    12 June 2012 at 6:21 pm Reply

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