Tag Archives: living

How to Better Deal with Criticism

4 Oct

If there is one skill that you have in your arsenal for dealing with people both professionally and personally it should definitely be an ability to handle criticism with grace.

It’s human nature to get irritate, angry, mad, or even furious if someone is critical of you, albeit constructive or otherwise. We naturally think the way we do things is the best way, and when someone tells us we aren’t the best, well…it makes us mad.

The best way to handle criticism is to first calm yourself. By realizing you have become angry, you can better calm yourself down in order to think about the criticism itself – not that someone criticized you. Once you are calm, you should take a moment to understand that no one is perfect, and that this could be an opportunity to improve yourself.

Once you are calm, think about what the criticism was about. Did the other person have a point? Was it something you could actually improve? The likely answer to both of those questions is yes. If this is the case, it will ease both parties if you thank them for their criticism. They could have not said anything and seethed privately and you wouldn’t have had any opportunity to improve. Once you thank them and tell them they had a point, you might choose to elaborate on why you chose to do something the way you did, but be careful to not be defensive. If you think you will sound defensive, then it might be better to not say anything at all. Remember: stay calm and don’t be angry or respond in anger.

Once you have acknowledge the criticism at hand, make improvements. The person dealing out the criticism likely had a reason. But don’t dwell on the criticism…let it go. It’s more than likely that the other person didn’t mean any harm.

What do you do to handle criticism gracefully? I always try to, but often I fail and internalize it – any suggestions? 

It’s [Finally] Over.

25 Apr

On August 16, 2013, my roommate was discovered dead in his room.

With the help of a few friends, I was able to make any attempt to get life back to normal.

And today, 8 months later, I turned in my key to my old landlord, and got the last of my belongings we could find, and I got my deposit back.

I, also, went into the room he died in for the first time since the incident. I never saw the room after he died, and luckily my friends weren’t the ones to find him, but it still took me some courage to go upstairs and go in. Even when I had to gather my bathroom items in the few days after we found him, I sprinted into the bathroom (across from his room) and sprinted out without so much as a glance.

Now, the last image of his room is one that looks lived in, and well taken care of, by the new tenants. And I don’t know what I was feeling, but I had to make an effort not to cry the second I walked in. Of course, I cried after I left the house, but it’s done.

With any amount of luck (I think we can all agree the universe has it out for me), this will never happen to me again, and I can do nothing more than hope that no one has to go through this.

 

Living in the Mountains

31 Jan

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t really experienced real “mountain living”, at least not yet.

The closest I’ve experienced is driving 25 mph up curvy canyon roads, just to get home and possibly be snowed in today. And that whole not sure if driving back into town is worth the money it costs in gas. Granted, if someone asked me right now, or even any night, to come hang out with them I would most likely head that way immediately.

I haven’t actually been snowed in yet, or had anything major happen, but my most recent move has brought about a few minor issues. First, there is the land line. Each time I pick up the phone I have to consciously think about if what I want to say to someone is worth calling them for. I can’t just send off a text. The phone that came with the apartment is a corded phone, to boot, but I might have to fix that sooner rather than later. And no one calls me. Ever. Really, its quite sad.

And then there is the water. It’s well water, and while I haven’t had it run out on me yet, each time I take a shower I worry that the water pressure won’t be enough to properly rinse my hair, so I end up towling my hair before I even finish the rest of my shower. I constantly think about what water-consuming tasks I need to do, and how much water I need for each, so that I don’t simultaneously run water for a load of dishes, put a load of laundry in, and then hop in the shower only to run out of water.

Speaking of dishes, that whole kitchen appliance thing is really kicking my butt. I have no dishwasher, and somehow my single existence seems to create just as many dishes as a family of 4. I’ve been keeping up, but damn! Then, just this morning, I found a whole new issue that I knew about, but when I realized what I was doing it was already too late.

Not only do I not have a dishwasher, but I don’t have a microwave or a toaster either (in my defense, my parents are storing them and I should have them next week). All morning I was looking forward to a nice bowl of Cream of Wheat, so when I got to the kitchen and realized I had to make it on the stove, I was exasperated. I’ve never had to do that before, and of course, I boiled over the milk, which I now have to go clean up. With every bowl of Cream of Wheat, I always make two pieces of toast. Toast. No toaster. That was another hard blow.

But I made my toast. On the stove. Kinda like grilled cheese.

So what would normally have taken a microwave-safe bowl, a plate to put toast on, a knife to put butter on the toast, and a spoon to eat my Cream of Wheat with took a pot, a skillet, two cooking spoons, a spatula, a bowl, a plate, a spoon, and a knife. And the cleaning supplies to clean up my boiled-over milk.

Yes, this entire post was about me whining about having to make Cream of Wheat on the stove.

What generally taken-for-granted items do you regularly go without? What’s the proper way to toast bread without a toaster? What was the last time you can remember not having something you rely on greatly, and how did you deal with it?

The Roommate Chronicles: Dealing with Death

19 Aug

I’m not sure even where to start.

I guess I can start at the beginning.

At the beginning of this month, I got a new roommate. I saw him every day for a little over a week, and then my life started to get even busier than it already is. Parties, friends, work, friends, stuff…you know how it goes.

Then, as it started to kind of slow down a tiny bit, I noticed something was wrong. I hadn’t seen him recently.

The feeling came as a smell first. Then it came as flies. Then, I panicked.

But I have great friends, and being who I am, sometimes I just need someone to talk me down and make me actually accept the logical reasons I’ve pushed to the back of my mind as actuality, and that’s just what they did.

But then, it was all validated. On Friday night, at just about midnight, the police came to my house, and discovered that my new roommate was dead in his room.

He’d been there for 5 days.

It’s kind of surreal to get that news, no matter how sure you are that’s what is wrong. Going into this situation that night, two of my friends made attempts to find him themselves, and I’m so glad they didn’t. I would feel terrible if they had been traumatized like that because of me.

I’m so thankful that door was locked.

When I started this series, I never imaged that I would be writing about this. And I almost don’t know what else to say.

Death isn’t something I’ve ever really had to cope with, and while this situation is a little different – I didn’t know him – I still need to deal with the situation.

One second, I’m over it and I just want to go home and continue with my normal routine. The next second, I’m clinging to the friends I was with that night, wishing that they never had to leave my side.

I’m currently staying at one of their houses, because my house is kind of uninhabitable at the moment, but as the week wears on I’m not sure what the next step is.

They keep telling me I need to move, but I don’t really feel that’s necessary. And I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back to my house, but the one I’m staying at kind of has an expiration date that’s coming quickly, and the other friend I can stay with will be out of town when that happens. I’m in weird limbo, and I don’t like it.

Maybe I’ll have more to say later. Maybe this is all there is.

When Life Actually Gives You What You Want

7 May

They say that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Well, what if life hands you something like…ice cream? What are you supposed to do then?

Usually when I wish for things in my life, they are simply statements that it would be nice if they existed as part of my life, but if they aren’t there, its not a big deal. For the last two weeks, I’ve definitely been getting plenty of lemons. One right after another.

So, to counteract all the lemons, I made a couple of wishes myself. I wish strangers would just randomly have conversations with me and I wish I could fall in love and marry someone I went to high school with.

The first one was because I was jealous of someone’s story about talking to strangers. The second one was because I was thinking about how weird it is when two people never dated in high school, and then get married later on in life.

Well, about 2 days after I said the first wish to a friend, it happened. I blogged about it in my “Close Encounters” blog. I’m still so confused about what happened. The same friend who I wished to said I should be more specific when I wish things.

Then, I said the second wish to a different friend. And a couple days later, a kid I went to school with suddenly talked to be out of the blue. I hadn’t talked to him in probably the 4 years since we had high school together, and he just decided it was time to confess a long-term crush he’s had on me. At this point, I can’t say whether or not anything will come of it or if I actually believe him, but its a little strange that things have happened like they have.

I keep thinking about what my friend said. Maybe I should be more specific. Maybe I should wish for Shia LaBeouf to fall in love with me after coming to Colorado and tubing down the Poudre. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It seems like a huge coincidence that two unrelated events coincidentally happened after I spoke of my desire to have them occur.

Do things ever happen to you like this? What do you do when life is actually handing you what you’re asking for?

Cancer Will NOT Take Over My Life

5 May

Take a look at the image above. Now replace all of the “possible side effects” with cancer.

That about sums up all the things on this planet. A little too much of anything and it can give you cancer. Why? Because all it takes is one wrong mutation in the DNA of a cell, and it will grow and replicate rapidly and out of control.

I’m a smart girl. I don’t do stupid things like smoke, but I’m not about to shut myself away from the world in order to stop something like this. The reason I bring this up is because today in my pharmacology class, we learned that deep fried potatoes of any sort increase the risk of cancer (and its not the fat or grease, its the potatoes). You know what else? So does cooking red meat and poultry above 120 degrees, and the point at which the FDA says you should cook meat is 140 degrees. Oh, eggs cause cancer, too!

I have sympathy for anyone who is unfortunate enough to have cancer. I hope that I never get cancer. But some things I’m just not willing to do.

What are some things that cause cancer that you think are ridiculous? Do you agree with me?