Posts Tagged ‘Google’


Lessons Learned from a Face Plant…


I know many of you are expecting a post about your favorite posts of 2014, but something unusual happened on Wednesday night that I just can’t resist discussing.

First, let me say that we had a wonderful turnout for the Ribbon-Cutting ceremony for Compassion Counseling Center and we couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks to all who helped us launch this new endeavor. Now all we need are lots and lots of counseling appointments for our counselors-in-training so they can graduate on-time.

Unfortunately, I chose to trip over a cement curb in the parking lot and did a huge face plant in the parking lot afterwards and I now know, firsthand, what getting a black eye feels like. Only I could end a fabulous day this way.

Have no fear–I am fine. But, while I was in the ER awaiting the results of my first CAT scan, I had a lot of “free time” on my hands to come up with a few lessons learned. Gosh, I hope I learned some lessons from this stupidity.

1. As a member of the Board of Trustees for the church, I think I’m going to bring up better lighting in our parking lot at the next meeting and….painting the cement parking curbs hazard yellow.

2. Remind me to heed the thought in my head to wear jeans and tennies when cleaning up after a public event. (I was in high heal boots and I have never walked all that elegantly in heels.)

3. I now have something in common with Sylvester Stallone. (I look like the female version of Rocky after a fight.) Could I please get a paycheck like Sylvester Stallone?

4. I chose to protect the crock pot in my arms rather than my face, because it belonged to the Executive Director for Compassion. Remind me that replacing crock pots are cheaper than replacing my face.

5. Thanks to the CAT scan, I now know what it’s like to be inside a dryer. I totally get why they have pretty blossoming tree branches on the ceiling tile.

6. Remind me to bring Tums to my next CAT scan.

7. I know what black top taste likes now. I’m not impressed.

8. Scrapes under your nose hurt more than a gigantic knot on my forehead. Who knew?!?

9. Neosporin helps quell a stinging upper lip. Do they sell Neosporin in “vat-size”?

10. Band-aids should be curved. Can I get a paycheck from Johnson & Johnson for that idea????

11.  Before you get strapped to the oxygen level and blood pressure monitors, grab your cell phone and Kindle so you aren’t absolutely bored senseless while waiting forever for your CAT scan results.

12. Reading glasses should be curved.

13. My bright red reading glasses now match my new version of “eye shadow.” You know me–I like to “match.”

14. Is this God’s way of “knocking some sense into my head”? If so, He and I need to talk.

15. I’ve been praying for humility as I work on creating Compassion. Remind me to be more specific about the way I’d like God to do that next time.

16. I’ve heard, “Pride goeth before the fall.” I just didn’t know God meant that literally.

17. My “goose egg” matched my bright blue dress. See # 13.

18. My swollen chin is not amused by the expression, “taking it on the chin.”

19. I wonder if there’s a vendor for the blossoming tree ceiling tiles. Can you Google that?

20. I’m now really fond of “Jackie O” sunglasses. The bigger and the darker, the better.

21. I definitely have my master’s in Psychology. While in the ER, I was praying they wouldn’t report my injuries to the authorities since I look like Exhibit A in a domestic violence textbook.

22. It’s difficult to wear reading glasses and Jackie O sunglasses at the same time. Jackie O sunglasses should be curved.

23. I may have to reconsider the “Any day I’m not in the hospital is a good day.” mantra I’ve had for the past few years. How about “Any day I’m not in the ER it’s a good day.”????

24. I need to buy more of the tights I wore Wednesday. I bruised my left knee and yet, no run in the tights at all.

25. Do they make tights for faces?

Monday’s Post: WOW time

You Might Also Like: Lessons Learned from Starting a Nonprofit Counseling Center and Lessons Learned from Being a Part-Time Wife


The Tyrant…

Saddam Hussein

Book Club Folks: Do you have Songs in the Key of Solomon yet? If not, click here to order it from If you already have the book, click here for the suggested reading plan for July. I’m already reading it and I think I’m in love with this book!

Warning: You might want to get 2 of your favorite beverages first. 

With age comes wisdom. Or so it is said. Often, I don’t feel as if that is all that evident in my life, but I do think some of my thinking has evolved over the years. Perhaps it is wisdom. Perhaps it is not. But, all I know is that when I let the evolved part of my brain loose, I am happier. Because of that, I am trying to let that part of my brain free on a more regular basis. It isn’t always easy. But, let’s examine one area where I think it has evolved.

Relatively early in my life folks often said that I was an “encourager.”  People have also said they can let their “guard” down with me and thus, when people do, I am so honored to have that privilege. When given that privilege and since I hate to see good people hurting, I do my best to try to find the “silver lining” in each person’s situation. I truly believe we can learn from any circumstance in our lives–good, bad or indifferent. Let’s be honest–sometimes we learn more from the bad stuff than the good.

Two things often result for me when I have such a focus: 1) The fear about the impending doom seems less capable of hurting me; and 2) I suddenly have a wealth of ideas on how to conquer that situation. Learning something new is a very powerful thing for me–it keeps life from being boring and it makes me feel more alive. How about you?

Why would an awful situation suddenly produce “happy thoughts” just because I think can learn from it? I thought differently. When we choose to change our thinking about a negative situation, suddenly new possibilities for solving the issue just “show up.”  Soon after that, the situation is usually resolved one way or another.

Not true? Wrong! Think about when you are ready to buy a new car. Let’s say you decide you want a blue Ford Explorer. Suddenly, wherever you drive, there are blue Ford Explorers everywhere! (Dang it–you hate it when I’m right, hunh?!) In all reality there were just as many blue Ford Explorers on the roads near you as there were yesterday. But, because you are now “attending” to that little desire to buy a blue Ford Explorer, your eye notices a lot of blue SUVs and pays even more attention to those that are Explorers!

If the above is true, then imagine what we can achieve if we merely make a decision to go out and achieve it. Here’s another example of what I mean: If you make the decision that you want to make the world a little kinder place, you start focusing on what you can do with the resources around you that would help the world become a kinder place. One of the easiest ways to do that is to “pay it forward” literally at your local drive-thru. We’ve all seen in the media how 1 person paying for the order of the car behind him started a “chain of kindness” of people paying for everyone else’s order for an entire weekend at a Starbucks! In fact when it rolled around to a Monday morning at one location, the person who originated the “chain of kindness” also received a free order because that person was back in line at the same location that following Monday morning! That means they just created a kinder world for themselves, too!

All because one person changed their thinking and made a decision.

The same is true about other areas of your life. If you decide that you are finally, once and for all, going to lose that weight and keep it off, sooner or later you will find what works for you and take it off. You won’t let temporary failure get in the way–you’ll simply regard it as discovering what did not work for you. And you’ll amaze yourself at how much you really know about successfully taking off weight if you sit down and write it out on a legal pad or computer screen, without even having to consult Google!

If that is true, then so is having a lot of discretionary cash at your disposal after you quit spending your hard-earned cash on cigarettes. So is learning a new language or being a better parent or being a better son or daughter.

Today is my youngest’s 20th birthday. Yes! No more teens at my house! (That’s been a long time comin’ around this humble abode.) The youngest has had obstacles at every turn–bad allergies, two over-achieving older siblings, learning disabilities that aren’t recognized by most special education programs at public schools, bullying and constant teasing at school throughout his academic career, and two perfectionistic parents. But, despite all of that, he is slowly learning how to deal with those overbearing parents of his, has ignored the bullies and teasers, worked around the learning disabilities (and even excelled at three subjects in high school), put up with the two siblings and takes allergy meds for those crazy allergies. He just chose to think differently about things so that he could still find joy in a world that doesn’t understand his unique brain. He could have chosen so many other paths that were much more destructive. But he hasn’t.

Is he perfect? Nope. Do I still wonder how he will turn out? Yep. Could he still decide to go down destructive paths? Yep. But, I bet that even if he struggles and makes some bad decisions this coming year, we’ll still be celebrating his 21st birthday with him next year. Why? Because he’s made the decision to not let the world get the best of him.

Are you going to let yourself be defeated?

Point to Ponder 1: If you could choose one area of your life to “remodel,” what area would that be? Your marriage? The way you treat your friends? Are you a little pudgy in some places? Is it alcohol or nicotine?? Whatever it is, walk somewhere away from everyone else (because this is going to get you labeled a mental patient!) and yell to that area: ” (Insert your biggest nemesis here!), YOU are not going to have ANY power over me anymore!”

Point to Ponder 2: Now that you know who or what “the enemy” is, spend a little time thinking about why this “nasty boy” is ruling your life like a tyrant. When are you the most vulnerable to an attack from this tyrant? At certain times of the day or night? What’s going on inside your head during those times? Because I guarantee you that whatever you are not acknowledging as a thought is what’s causing that tyrant to get the upper hand in your life. Write this all down somewhere so you can read it several times throughout the day. (My suggestion? Tuck it in your wallet or put it in your desk drawer where you keep the office supplies.)

Point to Ponder 3: It’s time to go on offense! You’ve identified the enemy and its tactics. What thoughts can counter those tactics? I realized that’s it’s pretty hard to stuff my face if my hands are busy (and now you know why I blog!). Can you distract yourself ? Replace bad thoughts with good ones? Now, post those on a sheet of paper on your bathroom mirror. If you think of more, add them. Read them each day to remind yourself that YOU are worthy of a positive change in your life and in the lives of others. YOU were put on the planet to make it a better place. And there’s no better place to start than with yourself.

Point to Ponder 4: Tyrants don’t give up easily and they WILL identify one of your weak spots or an area you still haven’t acknowledged. So, make “Plan B.” When that tyrant gets the upper hand again, what are you going to do to keep that tyrant from “winning the war”? Plan B should be about your “emergency thoughts and actions” that will take back that area from that tyrant. It may mean re-thinking one part of your original plan and adjusting it to meet the new challenge from an old foe. But, whatever it is, this time Plan B will thwart your enemy! Just because you lose one “battle” doesn’t mean you have to lose the war.

Go forth and conquer! 🙂

Monday’s Post: Two people knew the Word of the Week. Are you number 3???

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Why I’m Not a Blogger Blogger…

post it

Because of the recent new interest in my blog, I’m getting some questions from folks about how to access it and whether or not it’s okay to share my stuff with others, etc. A mentor of mine told me she has trouble finding my blog site because MIP is not a part of some massive blog site such as Blogger. Why?:

  1. I decided to create my own site at the recommendation of the DSL who suggested I take ownership of my writing. To take ownership means that I need “creative control” of how things are structured or said in my blog. I can’t completely do that when subjecting it to a format controlled by a mega-blog site.
  2. Another reason to do this is to keep any future ads (should I ever get this lucky!) from becoming annoying to my readers. I also want to guard my readers’ privacy and by having control of my site, I have the ability to do that (at least more than I would otherwise.).


So, how do you find me, since I’m not on such a site?

  1. I have a Facebook professional page, known as Maryann In Progress, which regularly updates “Likers” as to when a new post is up on this site.  If a reader is only “Friends” with me on my personal Facebook page, I may or may not reference new posts there, simply because a direct reference is against Facebook policy.
  2. Can’t remember the name of this site or my professional page? No worries! Just go to my personal page on Facebook and look on the left side of my page. There you will see (in the About section) that I’m a Writer/Blogger at Maryann In Progress.  And yes, clicking on it will take you to the professional page!
  3. You “follow” instead of “liking” on Twitter? Yep—I’m there, too. It’s listed under “MaryAnn R. Arnold.”
  4. Don’t do either of these? I am working on getting my posts to other social media sites, but this is a learning process for me, so bear with me. Right now my project is to learn Tumblr and by the end of today, I will have 3 posts on Tumblr. I probably will limit my posts there to the “Best of MIP”—fair warning! Some of these sites don’t support blogs very well (such as Pinterest) right now, so it may be a while before you see many of my posts on these sites.
  5. Prefer not to be involved with any social media site? Go directly to this web site and subscribe to the email list on the right side of the posts. New posts will get sent to your favorite email account directly.  This is how my husband knows about my latest posts and he even accesses it on his smartphone. I do not send you any junk mail through this service. In fact I seldom look at who is and is not on my email list on purpose! Thankfully, the DSL has constructed a way for this to happen that makes it really easy for me to ignore!
  6. Don’t want emails clogging your inbox? Just throw this search term in Google: “MaryAnn Arnold blog” Yep, that’s right. Google is finally figuring out that I write a blog. If you go to any of the first few links from this search, you’ll see the web address of my blog. And yes, this has been a goal of mine. So getting to it by searching on Google actually makes me happy, happy. (Duck Dynasty would be so proud.) Is it completely easy to get there from the search term? No, not yet. Still working on this and a lot of that is beyond my control!


Is it okay to ‘share” my posts on Facebook or Twitter or wherever? Absolutely. Fire away! Go for it. Again, this makes me happy, happy.  All I ask is that you remind folks “All rights reserved” by moi when you post. I do hope that what I write is something that resonates with others or is entertaining or helpful for others. So, please do share, like, and tweet whenever you want.

Who sees comments?  Comments are visible for all those who read the post where you commented.  Comments may start a dialogue with other readers, which would be awesome, particularly if it leads to even more “self-improvement” in the world.

Want only me to see what you write on the site? Go to the “Contact Me” tab at the top of the web site post page and fill out the “form” that is there. Then your comment, question, etc. goes directly to me (via email) and only me!  If I ever become successful enough for that to change (aka I need someone to help me answer emails) I will be sure to alert you first.

Clear as mud, right? Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m only 6 months into this blog. Pretty sure Rome wasn’t entirely built in 6 months, either and I don’t speak Latin or Italian.

Monday’s Post: What do you think balneology means?

You might also like: MaryAnn’s Hospital Survey, This I Just Can’t Resist, and How I Cope with a Heart That’s a Ticking Time Bomb