Thankful for… The little things.

It’s here- it’s almost Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is just one of my absolute favorite holidays. I love the feelings of gratitude and love that fill the air. I also can’t really complain about the food if we’re being honest. 😉 I’m ready to hit the road here in a couple days and see my family that I haven’t seen in months.

Since Thanksgiving is a few short days away, I thought I would dedicate my blog this week to giving thanks. I feel like we as a society aren’t as thankful as we should be. Instead of always being grateful for what we have, we want more. Today, I taught a lesson to my middle school kids on thankfulness, and some of their answers to my questions were a little shocking. When I asked who had expressed gratitude to someone today, most kids didn’t raise their hand. However, when I asked who amongst the group had started their Christmas list, every single kid had their hand raised. We discussed how important it is to find the joy and thankfulness in every situation we are presented. There is just so much to be thankful for; we can’t let the good parts not be recognized.

So, today’s blog post is centered around being thankful for the little things. Those tiny, minuscule moments or objects that don’t seem like much but are actually huge. For instance, I’m thankful for the invention of YouTube. I just spent the past 2.5 hours (yikes) watching YouTube videos in bed. I laughed, I cried; it was a jolly good time. This small act took a sort of crummy evening and completely turned it around- so much that I almost forgot to post this blog. We all have those little moments that remind us how much we have to be thankful for. Whether you’re thankful for Netflix or for heated blankets, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you express that feeling. Realize that you’re blessed and privileged to have luxuries (like the internet and cellular device that power my YouTube app) and seriously think about it. Ruminate in that feeling. There are so many out there who don’t have what you do, yet you are always wanting more.

To really express my gratitude for the little things in life, I have put together a compilation of some of my favorite things. I am thankful for:

  1. Netflix
  2. Cardigans (Future teacher alert)
  3. One Direction
  4. Pizza
  5. Dr. Pepper
  6. Free online shipping
  7. The Vampire Diaries
  8. Fuzzy blankets
  9. Good movies
  10. Laughter
  11. YouTube videos
  12. YouTube videos of Benedict Cumberbatch/Chris Evans/Chris Pine/Chris Hemsworth (because, I mean… c’mon)
  13. Oversized sweaters
  14. Christmas lights
  15. Middle Schoolers’ wit
  16. Fuzzy socks
  17. New Girl
  18. Candles
  19. Bath and Body Works
  20. My bed
  21. Leggings
  22. Car iPod/iPhone adapters (so I can really get my One Direction blaring)
  23. Remotes
  24. Sharpie Fine Point pens
  25. Ponytail holders
  26. Marvel movies (Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston- need I say more?)
  27. Gilmore Girls (the reboot is ALMOST HERE. AHHHH)
  28. My iPhone
  29. Fanny packs
  30. Dancing in the rain

This list is not at all exhaustive; I could add to it for days. But how often do I actually take a moment to think about all that I have? Not frequently enough, I can tell you that.

But that’s what Thanksgiving is all about: realizing how much we have to truly be thankful for and celebrating that fact. So, what are you thankful for this week? Share it!

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(Source: Tumblr)

Can I Accio My Hogwarts Letter?

*Cue the dramatic Harry Potter intro*

Tonight, I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Naturally, I loved it. The movie just has that J.K. Rowling charm and brilliance that shines on the big screen. Also, the references to Hogwarts in general always get me all sorts of excited.

I was a Harry Potter fanatic growing up. I finished the first 6 books in 2 weeks the summer after my 3rd grade year (then waited impatiently for the release of the final novel), devouring them every spare moment I had. I was 9, and I loved the escape that the wizarding world provided. It was a fun, magical realm that I became obsessed with.

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(Source: Tumblr.com)

Today, I am nearing 21 and have sadly never received my Hogwarts letter. Although Fantastic Beasts informed me that we do in fact have a wizarding school here in the states, Hogwarts will always have my heart. I’ve waited a long time, and I simply refuse to believe that I am a muggle. So, there’s only one possible answer: my letter was sent, but I never received it. I have some theories as to how this happened:

  1. It got lost in the mail. We all know that sending mail overseas takes a long time, so this thought is completely logical. My guess is that it was sent by messenger owl (because HP is amazing and would do that) and got caught in the wind, never to be found. Or, if it did make it here, the letter got lost in the bustle of the postal office and never emerged.
  2. It did get delivered- to someone else. I moved around a lot as a  kid- a lot. I lived in 4 different towns before coming to college and lived in many different houses in these towns. Wouldn’t it make sense that the letter simply went to the wrong address? There’s probably some snot nosed kid at Hogwarts right now instead of me.
  3. My siblings hid it. I love my siblings, but they did not always make it easy on me. Once, my siblings locked me out of the school building to fend for myself. I was 2. So, I wouldn’t put it past them. (Plus, what if they never got a letter? Can’t let me have all the fun.)
  4. My name was spelled wrong on the address. I haven’t ever understood it, but people cannot spell my name. It’s really not that difficult; it spells how it sounds. This could’ve caused all sorts of confusion when trying to deliver my letter.
  5. My parents didn’t give it to me. I’m not saying that they would deliberately hide it, but they certainly could have believed it to be junk mail and tossed it right away. Or, worse, opened it and became scared. I can hear them now: “How could she fend for myself? Is this a joke? She doesn’t even own a passport!”

I have refused to give up hope. I, much like Harry, believe that Hogwarts is my true home.

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(Source: Giphy.com)

So, uh, if you could just resend that owl and flood my living room with letters? That would be awesome. Accio!

10 Best Movie Quotes

Okay, I’ll admit it- I’m a movie fanatic. I eat, sleep, and breath movies during my breaks from school (and often on the weekends). I have a small collection of my own that I re-watch often and love to quote.

So, to celebrate the weekend and my infinite love for the cinema, here are 10 of the best movie quotes to date:

  1. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” -Dirty Dancing

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As my roommates and I watched Dirty Dancing this afternoon, I was reminded of just how much I love it and this quote.

2. A Cinderella Story

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I mean come on; ICONIC, RIGHT???

3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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“Bueller?.. Bueller?.. Bueller?” – Clear Eyes eyedrops guy

3. Kung Fu Panda 2

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Po is my spirit animal.

4. Bridesmaids

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Again: spirit person.

5. Mean Girls

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The movie of the 2000s that sparked a generation of pink Wednesdays.

6. High School Musical

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“MY HEAD’S IN THE GAME, BUT MY HEART’S IN THE SONG.” – Me in my living room on a Saturday night.

7. The Notebook

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The scene that puts every movie watcher squarely into the feels still today.

8. Pitch Perfect

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On repeat every weekend.

9. Sleepover

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I watched this every Saturday night for 2+ years. Still golden.

10. The Proposal

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“To the wall, to the wall…”

Bottom line: I love movies and movies are life.

(Pictures taken from: Pinterest and Giphy)

“Everything I am, you taught me to be.”

My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges, and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her. – Jodi Picoult

Growing up, I was constantly told that I looked just like my mom. Strangers would approach me in public and ask me if I was related to Kristene Phillips. Relatives pulled out pictures often to compare me to my mom at certain ages. And, to be honest, we do look freakishly alike in many aspects. We both had long, dark hair and the same eyes. Comments always flooded in on how much my mom and I were alike, and I never fully understood how much of a compliment this was until I aged some.

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My mom is one of the most amazing people I know. She has stuck by me through everything: she was my biggest fan at the state spelling bee 2 years in a row, missing out on her birthday celebration to turn the attention to me. Mom was my own personal nurse following my ACL/Meniscus tear and did everything to make me feel comfortable. She cried at my graduation and hugged me tighter than anyone in the entire gym. She attended every single volleyball and basketball game possible, giving up her few hours of alone time. No matter what the occasion, my mom was present.

If I had to pick one word to describe my mom, it would be selfless. A child never realizes what a parent has to sacrifice in their own life to give their children the best possible one until they’re grown. My mother is truly the most selfless person I know; she constantly gives of herself and puts me and my siblings in front of her wants. Mom sacrificed relaxation nights in order to go to my events. She sacrificed having a state-of-the-art home with fabulous interior decorating to be sure we always had all of our wants. Before money was spent on her, she was always sure we got what we needed (and often what we wanted). She gave her time, and let me tell you, we took a lot of it. But, she did this without complaining, because she wanted us all to be happy and healthy.

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Mom, everything I am you, taught me to be. You taught me to be brave in the face of adversity. You taught me to love everyone around me, despite their differences in looks, opinions, or capabilities. You taught me to be humble at all times. You taught me that it’s okay to cry while watching TV (Oprah must have really touched your life). You taught me that getting into PJ’s at 6:30 on a Friday night is not only acceptable, but also encouraged. You taught me to trust and believe in people.You taught me to follow my dreams and never give up when things got hard. You taught me the power of hard work. I owe who I am today to you.

When I hear how alike my mom and I are today, I am overtaken by pride and joy. I couldn’t aspire to be a better person/teacher/future mom. Mom, you are my biggest supporter and rock. I hope to one day be half the mom you have been to me; thank you. Thank you for your listening ear and advice. Thank you for texting me to be sure I make it safely to my destination because you know I’ll forget to text you. Thank you for letting me make mistakes but still loving me afterwards. To put it simply, you are the best. I love you more than words can say. ❤

5 Reasons Snow is the Absolute Worst

“I’m so excited for the big snowstorm coming in!”

Someone said this to me today, and I threw up in my mouth a little.

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Snow is the worst, and I hate it. Plain and simple. Living in Nebraska means that I have to deal with it for a good chunk of the year, and that makes me pretty sad. The first snow is when most people are excited and giddy; they love that exciting feeling of curling up with a piping hot mug of coffee and watching some Netflix while hovering under blankets.

I do not feel the same way. Snow is terrible. It’s cold, wet, and (normally) blowing across the road or smacking me in the face as I walk to class. The people around me who love the snow are effectively shunned during the winter because I cannot stand their comments about how “beautiful” it is. To further illustrate my point, I’ve put together 5 reasons to prove that snow is the worst:

  1. Driving gets more difficult. For those that already struggle to drive, it gets even worse. Last winter, I was rear ended by someone who “just couldn’t stop” at the stop sign due to the ice. C’mon people. It’s icy. Act like you’ve driven before. But, to be fair, driving gets more difficult even for those that are not idiots. Snow and the inevitable ice that comes with it causes my car to slip and slide all over the place. My “No Traction” light is constantly lit, even if I’m driving under 10 mph.
  2. Speaking of cars- You have to constantly scrape your windows. And, if you’re like me, this means waking up a lot sooner than normal. I’m the type of person who loves sleep more than most things in life; forcing me out of my bed earlier than normal will result in crabbiness. The worst part is you have to scrape your windows multiple times in one day if it snows for too long. For example, I scraped my windows 4 times today- 4 times. That is ridiculous. Since snow is, you know, wet, it will inevitably freeze over on your windshield, causing you more work. I’m not about that life.
  3. Snow= Ice= Falling. I may not be a math genius, but this equation is pretty simple. Falling becomes a pastime of mine during the winter. I am constantly slipping and dropping to the ground, getting my jeans wet and bruising my body and ego. Chadron (the town I currently live in) and CSC seem to not believe in de-icing or plowing the roads; this leads to some treacherous falls down stairs and sidewalks.
  4. It is freezing. Snow means cold and (most times) wind. I hate the cold. I hate shivering, and I seem to do this no matter how many layers I have piled on. Once cold, I tend to remain cold for a very long time.
  5. People become weirdly idealistic. It’s like clockwork: the second snow starts to fall (or threatens to), people start to get all sorts of sentimental and disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a solid romcom and some tears. Just leave the stupid snow out of it. If I hear one more person remark on how they’re going to “take engagement pictures in the snow” or “go make snow angels with their best friend/boyfriend/etc.” I will slap them. No, you won’t do that. Do you know why? Because the oppressive blanket of white fluff is evil. It is not fun; you’ll take one step outside and immediately freeze. If you get as far as actually laying down in snow, you’re beyond repair, and I hope you get frostbite. Add in the people who are “just so excited to cuddle up” with their significant other and “drink hot cocoa” and I might actually get ill myself.

As the evil that is snow begins to fall today, I want to remind everyone of one thing: your life isn’t a Hallmark movie- the snow is real and very cold. Until warmer weather returns, I’ll be watching this video of another brave soul (who is basically my spirit person) say exactly what’s on the mind of those of us who hate snow.

Snow haters, unite!

Sanity in November

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when everything seems to be crumbling and falling. Included in this would be: grades, social life, bank account, GPA, hours of sleep, sanity levels, etc. Honestly, this list could go on and on and on. The last push of the semester is without a doubt the craziest, most hectic time for many students. It’s now that final projects and papers become a reality instead of words on a syllabus. It’s now that professors spring extra projects on you that could tank your grade. It’s now that work becomes more taxing and holiday get togethers begin happening.

These last few weeks get me every year. I feel pretty good for awhile and am content with my grades, and then BAM. Reality delivers a quick kick in the gut. I wake up to the 10 assignments that are due in the next week and are all worth upwards of 350 points. Naturally, my stress level begins to rise and anxiety creeps in.

This is the time of year when I tend to freak out a little extra and (some have told me) lose my mind. I am so caught up in trying to make everything happen just the way it should that I lose sight of the actual goals I have. I stop taking care of my health (both physical and mental) and believe that school is the end-all, be-all of my existence. I essentially become a zombie for a few weeks and return to life mid-December.

But you know what I’ve decided? I’ve decided this isn’t going to happen this year.

Today, I woke up beyond stressed. I went to class and was reminded of the numerous final papers and projects that would need to be done in the last 3.5 weeks of classes. I spent 4 hours in the library without getting much accomplished, even though I had a paper due at 11:55 pm tonight that I just couldn’t seem to write. On top of this, I still needed to go to work and find a time to work out through the mess. I could feel it happening; the stress and anxiety began to knock on the door and I let it creak open for just a moment.

Then I slammed it shut.

I am tired of being tired from not getting enough sleep. I’m tired of feeling anxiety over things that I tried my hardest on. I’m sick of spending a whole month that is meant to be full of love and giving feeling joyless and stressed.

So, to save my mental health, I decided that I was going to give myself a break today. After work, I came home and had supper. I then went to the PAC and worked out. Following that, I came home, lit a candle, and read a magazine and a for-fun book. I blocked all thoughts of school from my mind. I used my one late slip for my paper and decided that everything could wait until tomorrow. For once, I put myself first.

And you know what? It feels great. I’m not saying that I never take a day off or am lazy; trust me, I do. Telling you any different would be a lie. However, when the crunch time comes, I’m typically the one in the library for 8 hours, skipping meals constantly. That’s just not right. Tonight, I decided that was going to change. I’m going to get enough sleep tonight and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle tomorrow. I wasn’t scrambling to finish a paper that deserved more time to be written. I wasn’t anxiously skimming over the numerous prompts that I had shoved at my face this morning during classes. I took a moment to just unwind and take a break.

Relaxation and mental health days are crucial, and I don’t allot myself enough of them. I feel the need to constantly be on the go because that’s what my crazy schedule calls for. I’m sure you feel that way, too. But, you shouldn’t. Take a deep breath. Decide to do what’s best for you today; not for your boyfriend or boss or professor or best friend. Do what you need to do to stay in a positive mindset. This time of year is meant for happiness and love; don’t let stress and worry cloud your mind.

Welcome to Holland… Or my family.

One of my ENG 299 assignments this week is to find my “favorite” (in quotes because no way; I have too many) poem and send it to my instructor.

The first thought that popped into my mind when I heard of this was (in the words of my friend) nope. Not going to happen. Do you know how many poems are beautiful, moving, etc.? Basically all of them. That’s what poetry does; it evokes a feeling in readers that is hard to ignore.

The second thought that came to mind was a piece of writing called “Welcome to Holland.” Though it isn’t necessarily a poem, this piece has hung in my mother’s classroom for as long as I can remember and is certainly a favorite of mine. It has traveled through numerous towns and classrooms throughout the years, but the message is simply beautiful and incredibly meaningful to me. So, that being said, I wanted to share it with you:


Welcome to Holland

Emily Perl Kingsley

“I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.”


I know that to some of you this piece of writing means nothing. It’s just words on a page that describes a life you don’t know or understand. That’s okay.

However, to me, this is perfect. My younger brother, Kellan, has Down syndrome, a fact my family didn’t know until after Kellan was born. It was a shock; my parents were reeling from this and had to deal with the fact that Kellan was born very sick. He didn’t have an esophagus, and, quite frankly, the future wasn’t looking very bright. My parents felt confused, scared, and alone.

Flash forward to today and you wouldn’t know. Kellan is a healthy 17-year-old who loves basketball, movies, and Pepsi. He has had over 20 surgeries in his lifetime (and probably isn’t done yet), but he has this zest and love for living and kindness that makes me a proud big sister. He is amazing, even if he isn’t considered “normal” by some people.

This piece of writing has always been close to my heart. I think it rings true for a lot of people; you expect one thing and then life throws you a curveball. But, you don’t give up. You adapt and learn and grow. You continue to love and cherish the beautiful obstacles life gives you. Life doesn’t get worse when your plans are changed; it’s just different. And I wouldn’t change it to anything else.

A Snapshot of 2016

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt asked a simple (yet loaded) question: What was it like to be you in 2016?

To answer this question fully is difficult. 2016 Regan lived a year full of ups and downs; I had some amazing days and some days that weren’t so great. I laughed a lot and cried some. I stressed over school and spent hours in the library. I also binge watched a lot of Netflix and ate ice cream. This year was hard but wonderful. It was a rollercoaster; I loved it.

This year definitely had some low points. I have felt defeated, frustrated, and lonely at times. What 20 year old wouldn’t? Since high school, I have become  a more heart-on-the-sleeve type of gal, causing me some pain. I lost some close friendships this past year and heard comments made about me that weren’t always pleasant. I had days where I looked in the mirror and immediately looked away, not liking what I saw. I had times of crying and despair that I wouldn’t wish on anyone; but, through it all, there were more high points than low ones.

The high points of the rollercoaster were amazing. 2016 started with a move for me. I left the dorms at CSC and moved into 320 Lake Street. Today, I can honestly say that this move was the best thing I could’ve ever done. I gained another amazing friend and grew stronger relationships with those I already knew. Living in my own house made Chadron feel more like home to me; I had new responsibilities that made me become accountable. I finished my spring semester on the President’s List with a 4.0 and felt accomplished. Leaving my friends was, quite frankly, heartbreaking for me; I became a more loving person this past year.

I spent my summer at home working for NCTA. At first, I dreaded this placement. However, by the end of the summer, I wasn’t ready to leave. The people at NCTA never ceased to make me feel welcome and loved. I spent Kellan’s 17th birthday with him and cried when he blew out his candles. I laughed along with my coworkers and watched the olympics during work. I bawled like a baby for the first 1.5 hours on the road back to school in August. Spending the summer at home with Kellan and family close to Curtis was the right decision for me, and I’m so happy I had the opportunity to do so.

This year, I became a better person. I found myself more in Christ’s word and dove headfirst into the scriptures. He has caused a change in my heart that is hard to describe but amazing to feel. God showed me that I deserve to love myself because He loves me and thinks I’m beautiful- why should I think anything else? I began to trust in Him fully during this past year; in fact, I just recently turned in an application to serve on a missions team in Costa Rica this coming spring. God has worked in my life in ways that are absolutely unimaginable, and for this, I am forever grateful.

This year, I became a better friend and listener. I truly began to love everyone around me instead of just a select few. I learned that it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes and the word “no” isn’t always bad. I’ve discovered that my career path is indeed right for me. I watched One Direction go on a hiatus and felt my heart break. I was hurt by some and loved fiercely by others. I struggled financially as a college student but always seemed to have money for an ice cream or Subway date with friends.

2016: an amazing, complicated, messy, beautiful year. It was filled with friends, family, fun, stress, love, worry, and a lot of laughter. It was full of ups and downs, but they were all worth it because they led me to be the person I am today. As I finish 2016, I pray that this year ends with me feeling fulfilled. If nothing else, this year showed me that I am blessed to have the people around me that I do. I am loved; what more could a self-professed bleeding heart want in life?

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Kindness- Pass It On

Happy World Kindness Day, everyone!

Today is a favorite day of mine; I absolutely love when people are kind for no reason. Just a simple smile or wave instantly brightens my mood. Being kind doesn’t take a lot of extra work, and it won’t kill you. Showing the world kindness is a person’s duty in life. Not everyone will be smart or athletic, but we can all choose to be kind to those around us.

To celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of amazing acts of kindness that we could all do to make our world better:

  • Pick up one piece of trash a day.
  • Hold the door open for someone you don’t know.
  • Smile at everyone you pass.
  • Wave at people out on the road.
  • Write a letter of gratitude to a friend- tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Send flowers to someone who needs a pick-me-up.
  • Send a funny meme to your mom (I don’t know about you, but my mom really likes them).
  • Give someone a sincere compliment as you pass them.
  • Send out a heartfelt text- the person who receives it will love you.
  • Ask your friend if you can help them in any way, especially if they have been feeling overwhelmed. Though they may not accept your offer, just the act of asking will mean something to them.
  • Start collecting your pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House! It’s an amazing program that my family has definitely utilized services from; check it out.
  • Put a surprise note on someone’s car.
  • Say “thank you” to someone who made a difference in your life.
  • Lend your help (and objects) to those in need.
  • Surprise your roommates with breakfast.
  • Take care of yourself- watch a funny movie, take a long bath, read a good book. Do whatever you need to to be kind to your own body and mental health.
  • Listen to a child talk about their goals, no matter how silly they may seem to you.
  • Volunteer in your community; get involved!
  • Give someone the benefit of of the doubt and the time of day.
  • Put together an Operation Christmas Child box to be sent to a third world country.
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile just to check in on their life.
  • Email an old teacher and tell them how they impacted your life. Trust me, if anyone does this for me in the future, I will cry like an infant.
  • Pay for someone else’s meal or drink.
  • Let a car merge in front of you without getting angry.
  • Listen to hear instead of to respond; put your phone down.
  • Take a look through your closet and donate old clothes you no longer wear (I know you have some).
  • Write someone a real letter (not a text, Tweet, or Facebook post) and mail it out to them.
  • Give someone you love a bear hug just because.
  • Empathize; we all fight battles that may not be apparent to others. Stop judging.
  • Call your grandparents. They love you.
  • Be positive in your workplace.
  • Spread positivity in every situation.

I’m a true believer that you get what you give; give love and kindness to others and you will reap the rewards of your actions. Sometimes the best part of being kind is the internal feeling. I love making my friends feel special and loved; I need nothing more than to know that they feel my love to make me happy. So throw that kindness around like confetti. Brighten someone’s day with your words and actions. Love everyone; let’s make World Kindness Day happen every day.

Best,

Regan

(If you’re still looking for more ideas, I suggest you check out this Buzzfeed article and blog post. I was able to pull some ideas and thoughts for great new projects from them. Enjoy!)

Ignite Your Fire

Sometimes, it’s downright hard to keep the fire warm.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve started out feeling really great about an idea I have only to get halfway through and hate it. I get stuck in the monotony of the story or blog post or activity and quit. Yes, you read that right: I can be a quitter at times. I become tired of not seeing the result that I want or don’t see a great end in sight. My response? Chalk it up as an “L” and keep trucking along.

But this isn’t always the right answer. As a future educator, I understand that I can’t just always stop when things aren’t going my way. That’s when you need to fight harder to achieve your goals and your pursuits. Does this always mean sticking on the exact same path you were following earlier? No, not at all. In fact, it probably means you’d better find a different way to get where you want to go. Not liking the story you’re writing? Pick a different prompt and restart; don’t quit altogether, just find a new spark to keep the flame lit.

I’ve decided that we cannot quit. It’s as simple as that. Admitting failure only makes you feel like a failure, and I’ve felt that way far too many times in my life. I’ve admitted failure in my many workout and healthy eating pursuits. I’ve admitted failure on numerous writing adventures, chalking them up as “not good enough” to be seen by others. I’ve admitted failure in my personal life. Sometimes the fire beneath my passions gets blown out, and I’m left scrambling to pick up the wreckage.

However, I’m calling a do-over (and I can do this because it’s my life, darn it). Recently I hit a pretty low point in my life. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing or where I was supposed to go. I felt tired, bogged down, sick, and just plain sad. After a lot of prayer, I’ve pulled myself back up and have decided to revamp Regan (catchy, right? I’m going to trademark it).

Operation Revamp Regan technically doesn’t start until Monday, but I’m putting in some behind the scenes work now. Here’s the deal: I’m tired of not having fire in my life. I think my flame has been out for quite some time, but I’m just now starting to feel the cold and shivers as a result. I need to light the flame again; I need to be working towards something and really trying to better myself. I only have one earthly life to live, and I plan on living it to the fullest. I want to work towards being closer with God. I want to work towards the body I’ve always wanted but have always said “next time” to. I want to work on my body of work (journals, this blog, papers, etc.) because it’s important to me and my ideas matter. I want my flame to burn brightly.

Now it’s time to take the first step. Join me?

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