Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Be my 2016 Valentine, Mr Bathtub Lover?

"It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it."    -Somerset Maugham 

It's almost Valentines Day - love is in the air and florists and Hallmark are simultaneously climaxing with profits!  That's what Love day is all about isn't it? The right flowers...chocolates (although I prefer caramel and nachos)....and the perfect card that expresses your deepest desire for us?  NO WAY....it's all CLICHE (but we kinda still want those things too)!  Blogs are about truth..so here's mine. 

Truth: What's NOT cliche on Valentines day is someone who loves you for YOU, a love that's not wrapped with a pretty bow...instead it's a real, raw, true best friends love.  People who are willing to show all their vulnerabilities and be present in a relationship.  Real communication with no pretenses or games, truthful and loyal, supportive, attentive and has your back. Someone who you laugh with, is your shoulder to cry on...and takes your breath away with a simple statement of how special you are to them. Someone who knows your deepest fears, biggest dreams, and makes you a better person every day.  Someone who makes you FEEL adored, respected, secure and like you are your very best self in their presence.  

Have you found that?  If not...or even if you think so, you might need to ask yourself another question.

I had a conversation about relationships 2 years ago with someone I dated, he said something to me that was an "Ah Ha" moment;

"You said 'take care of me'....I've never had anyone do that for me." 

2 years later I was asked, "Who is taking care of you?"

WHA-BAM!! It literally stopped me that this theme recurred in a new way. To think someone has never had that?? Then to question, Do I have that? 

Often times those of us who put others feelings first, rescue, or accept bad behaviors do so because we want to take care of & help people. We think we are strong enough to take care of ourselves. And maybe we are, but In doing so, we don't win any medals. 

It's not weak to be taken care of if it's reciprocated, it's double the strength. 

But being "taken care of" should be a minimum shouldn't it? Everyone deserves someone who wants to protect your heart, your dreams, your fears, your future, your trust. Someone who knows your vulnerabilities and would never play into them or add to them.  Someone who views you as family.

Isn't that what we all want?  To be taken care of emotionally, physically, and spiritually?

I've told my mom and some close friends (so keep this between us), that I base my long-term relationship quotient on this question;

Ask Yourself;  "If I got in an accident and was paralyzed, who would I want to bathe me and take care of me? Who is your Bathtub Lover?"  

Weird, I know...but this is how my twisted mind works, and it can happen to anyone of us at any time.  I would take care of the person I love, and it's important WHO my partner would be to me - is he the type who will;

1)Sulk with me, slowly bathe me and listen and agree with my sadness? (probably making me more depressed...*sigh....big gulps of Whiskey...*sigh again...repeat.)

2)Talk me to death in that tub about his problems as I desperately try to suffocate myself on a rubber ducky.
3)Do a half ass job of cleaning my armpits leaving me always smelling a little bit like onions because he's sick of it all and wants (maybe even acts on) being with someone else? (oh come on, you know dirty sweat smells like onions.)

OR (And the winner!)

4)Will he do a crazy stupid dance and make me laugh hysterically until I slip under water and he has to save me from drowning while we laugh until his gut hurts (Mine can't, I'm paralyzed remember?)  

I want the laughter!!  That's my non-negotiable.  Then, if he's smart, loyal and kind... it's all about the guy who's willing to take care of me and see the positive side of life and love.  The person who makes you FEEL adored and protected.  After all, that's who I'd be to him if the situation were reversed.

...Oh Bathtub Lover, Will You Be My Valentine?

My mom cut out this quote for me when I was a teenager, and I have shared it many times with other teenagers..but really, it's a good reminder for any age; 

"The one who's worth your tears, won't make you cry." 

I don't remember who wrote it, but I do know this ...if he (or she) is Taking Care of You, Valentines Day isn't about the flowers or the perfect card, it's really should just be another day to laugh, spend time together and share a huge fat plate of nachos.

-Tiffany Times

Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Things to do for Yourself in 2016

Several friends recently asked me why I haven't written in so long…I guess I had a block.

For almost 3 years.

But it's a NEW year soon, and I've told close friends in the past few months that I finally felt like I started "waking up"….and maybe writing again is good.  It's time to come out of this cocoon I've been hibernating in - how about you?

It's been chaotic and messy at times…

Deepak Chopra said, "All great changes are preceded by chaos."  We equate chaos with being bad because it's uncomfortable and sometimes painful.  Yet if we don't go THROUGH the experience of the storm of chaos as difficult as it can be...would we ever appreciate the peace of the rainbow and know the value of serenity? Don't try to go around it or take shortcuts…just learn to dance in the rain.

Many people are writing "What I learned in 2015" posts…this is my;

TOP 10 things I learned being in a funk until the end of 2015. 
 It's raw and not always pretty…but I hope you find inspiration in my truth from the past 3 years and do these 10 things for yourself in 2016.

1-BE AUTHENTIC: There's a deep desire within all of us to be authentic.  If you don't have a plan for your own life, you'll only become a part of someone else's.  That's not to say life goes as planned…or that joining your life with someone else isn't of value.  It's about being true to who we are and being with someone who supports becoming your best self!  Be Bold!  Radiate who you are!  I have always had a deep desire to be heard, to inspire change & growth and continue to learn. What brings me joy is also helping other people tell their stories and become their best selves so they can be authentically heard and make positive change as well.  The older I've gotten the more I realize how important truth and transparency are in that process.  So what if you're quirky or weird, or put too much importance on kissing at midnight this New Years eve?  It's ok!  I'm super weird, and I love kissing always...Someone will laugh at and adore those very things about you.

2-IT'S OK TO HIBERNATE: Life isn't always easy, and sometimes we are thrown off our purpose because of broken hearts, broken bodies, lost spirits, grief, or the inability to believe in yourself.  That takes some time to heal and realign.  Usually, great friends, prayer and family can help us circumvent this time in life.  But other times, we need to hibernate to renew ourselves and find strength within. I agree with it - IF you're cocooning to work on yourself and be better.  Sometimes shutting down to the world makes other angry, worried, and distant.  Assure them it's temporary.  If you need professional help, get it…don't wait.  If you just need time to assess who you want to become, use it wisely. Study, practice, and create the best version of yourself.  Then create a plan to re-emerge and jolt yourself back into a better existence!

3-WE BECOME WHAT WE DECIDE: We are a collection of our decisions. So decide to be good, moral, and do things that keep your conscience clean.  It's easy to be bad, be good instead.  It's easy to lie…don't do it.  There's never been a more truer statement than, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything"-Mark Twain.
It's easy to cheat…monogamy is hard.  Anyone can cheat, it takes self-discipline not to.  The opportunity will always be there, you have to choose to remove yourself, and respect someone else and yourself enough to decide and commit to be faithful.  Cheating and lying give people baggage for life, be kinder than that to someone you love(d).

4-PRAY, MEDITATE AND BE GRATEFUL: These three things change lives and focus you towards your goals, purpose and passion.  I think you will find clarity and happiness within one or all.

5-TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: It's easy to start a sentence with "You".  "You did this", "You made me feel", "You always", "You never". Try instead starting it with "I" and take ownership for what you want or need. No one makes us feel a certain way if we don't allow it.  Repeat after me; "I am responsible for my own happiness." It's difficult to work on this principle in life….but removing the word "YOU" from arguments or blame assigning will allow you to refocus on accountability for what's happening in your life.  This takes practice….find out what's behind how YOU'RE feeling and why you respond or react how you do.  It will change your life.

6-SAY SORRY AND I LOVE YOU: Do you owe someone an apology?  I am the first to admit I messed up a few times in 2015, and I said I'm sorry.  Not all apologies are accepted. Forgiveness is a personal journey.  I stayed with someone who cheated on me once and a therapist said to me;
"Get over it...you chose to stay, you chose to forgive, so get over it…or move on."  Harsh, but she was right. If you need to forgive someone, know that you cannot love and hold a grudge simultaneously. It only leads to resentment and anxiety as you grasp for control in the situation.  It's a vicious cycle that's not worth it.  Choose to truly forgive instead, it will free you to feel love.  Speaking of love…tell those you love them often, life is short, cancer is a bitch, and death isn't always predictable.  Don't be left with regrets on either of these.

7-ANIMALS SAVE LIVES:  So does music, volunteering, and nachos.  Try having all in life.

8-IT'S OK TO BE SINGLE: This one wasn't easy for me, but I've learned to be alone without being lonely. Aloneness, is brimming with opportunity I've heard before…and it's true.
While the holidays bring lots of engagements photos on Facebook you may be wondering if you should commit yourself to the loony bin because people keep questioning why you're unmarried. Yet you've seen friends marry & divorce and lots in-between complain about their marriage or cheat on their spouse while posting loving photos on social media. You know you won't settle for that.
I'm finally not afraid of not finding someone, and you shouldn't be either....if it's meant to be, it will be.
Being single, is ok too.

9-EXES RUIN RELATIONSHIPS: Whether you're holding onto and defending a relationship with an old flame for love, comfort, sex, or because of children, know that they can ruin love for you.
It's not worth it, it's self-sabotaging.
My advice; act like exes before you ruin a new potential love. The caveat here is that some significant others ARE ok with it - but if they aren't, listen, it will ruin your relationship with them.
Resolve it so you can move forward.

10-LOVE AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: Here's the 2016 Fluff!!!  I would add - also invest in the success of others.  Help uplift, motivate and support those around you.  Share your talents to help others share theirs.  Exhaust your gifts…you were given them to be used up.

Cheers to 2016!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Guardian Penguin

Oct 16th...the anniversary of my dad, "Fuzzy" "The Big O'",  passing away.  I was 21 years old and a senior in college.

When you lose someone who is so much a part of you it never hurts less, eventually, your memories just shift to happier ones.  Anniversary's, holidays, birthdays and special moments are always a little empty.

I tend to hibernate a bit this week every year.  I'll smile all day in public then at some point, I take a shot of Peach Schnapps  -AHHH - "JUST... PEACHY!" I say, (his common response to everything including that shot) and chalk it up to one more year I miss him.

On this day more than others, I wonder, "Would he be proud of the woman I've become?"
I ponder questions like; Would he think I look like him?  Are all those little "29" symbols I see signs from him?  Does he like who I date?  Would he think I'm funny?  Do I have more penguins than he did?  Would he realize how much we're alike?  Would we go to baseball games together?  Did Hamms Beer ever taste much better?

All these years later, I now know that I couldn't have saved my father...although I wish I had.  And many of you couldn't save someone you love either.  I can't help but think, maybe they save us?

William Wallace once said, "Every man dies.  Not every man really lives."

In death, we learn how to live.  I've said that to many of you.  We start living when we embrace what's real; Family, Friends, Purpose and God.  "Living" to me means never letting someone you care about go untold.  Exhausting your gifts, giving back and sharing a little laughter and kindness with everyone you meet.  Leave people a little happier than when you met them...that's a good way to live.

Fuzzy - he never took himself too seriously, he gave everyone a nickname and his gift was making anyone laugh.   But I can't hear his laugh in my head anymore....and that's why this year is especially hard.   What I can hear him saying is, "Pumpkin, you can't get to home without hitting all the bases." And I know he's right.  I hear, "There's scotch and cookies in the hallway" from his hospital bed, and I laugh, and I'm grateful he was my dad.

To all fathers out there, you don't have to be a perfect dad, mine wasn't.  Make them laugh and let them know you're proud.  Be present and simply say, "I love you"...because sometimes just that is more than enough for us to hold onto always.

Today, I'm incredibly thankful for friends and family like you who are a part of my story in this life.
We are all so blessed.  In our short time on this earth we must love, learn and to be kind to one another.  Let go of anger, resentment, greed, and selfish behaviors. There's no moment worth being less than nice to another living being or to yourself.

I'll leave you with this, which was on the back of my dad's funeral card that I keep, and pretty much sums him up...


God Then Made Man,
The Italian for Music and Art,
The French for Fine Food,
The German for Intelligence,
The Swedes their Beauty,
The Jew for Religion.
And On and On Until
He looked at What 
He had Created and Said,
This is All Very Fine but 
No One is Having Any Fun.
"I Guess I'll Have To Make Me An IRISHMAN."

Slainte Dad...my Guardian Penguin. I miss you.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Opportunity Cost"

Have you ever had a moment where you hear time passing by you? Tick Tock...what are you waiting for in life before you start fulling living?  Or loving? Dreaming? Or Becoming?

Many of you will relate to this post, others will be further aggravated.

Admission: I am chronologically challenged when it comes to time.  In all areas of my life.

I've even had personality tests confirm, "It's just part of my "I" personality type to be late."  Many who know me, say I run on "Tiffany Time".  I've heard it all before, "being late is rude", "you've just wasted 15 minutes of my life", "Don't make me wait!", "should I expect you to be behind?", "we're not going to wait for you", "Do I need to tell you 15 minutes earlier than everyone else?".  The list goes on...

So, needless to say, I've made many people upset with me.  I'm not trying to be selfish or inconsiderate, although some may say I am.  I often wonder if I'm genetically predisposed to a time deficiency problem.  My father was always 2 hours late, my brother is 1 hour late, my other brother sometimes doesn't make it at all, and I'm consistently 15-30mins behind. My internal clock is whack, or maybe I'm just artsy...even growing up with a mom who is always on time, I am late.
I've gotten better, but I'll apologize; "I'm sorry if you've ever waited on me."

We all wait, don't we?  Whether you're waiting for someone, or your food, a promotion, a child, the one you love, a big day, or for a cure. The wait is a place of anticipation and potential frustration. Tick Tock...

Whether you try to make something happen faster, or start something earlier...for me, no matter what I do,  I'm always behind - I'm just never ready!

I'm behind because...I'm never ready?!  Oh crap...I think that's the story of my life. 

I've often been the person who's just not ready for things. For a life change or for love. I've mistakenly EMBRACED the wait. I've heard it said that successful people "make quick decisions, and are slow to change those decisions." I end up debating myself, what if I don't wait and miss what it is I'm waiting for? Flip side, what if I do wait too long and miss out on all the opportunities that could have been wonderfully waiting for me? So WISHY WASHY! It's my worst quality - indecisiveness - I'm not afraid of commitment, just WHAT to commit to.

Whatever side you've been on, you can relate to the angst of the wait. Debating if it's worth your time? Effort? Love? Pain? Money? Your Frustration?  Is the end result going to be worth the limbo of time that proceeds it?

Wanna hear something funny? If you've read this far, I'll take it you do.  I started writing this post a year ago and couldn't decide whether to post it until I read an article by Martha Beck in July's "O" Magazine. In it, Beck attacks this exact issue and calls the indecisive person fearful of "opportunity cost". Economists use this term, which means, you are afraid of all the OTHER good things you could miss if you make a decision. Giving up those other options is the opportunity cost of any decision.  If you can't bear the thought of losing an opportunity by making a clear choice, you too my friend, are afraid of opportunity cost and eventually...you might just miss out.

She says, "Great strategists trust both intellect and instinct, they gather information until they feel they can make a good decision." 

Great Martha, but my problem is that I never feel like I have enough information and I'm not that much of a risk-taker to just leap based on a gut feeling. I can't seem to find that balance you stress between heart and mind.

I'm FEARFUL of making the wrong decision at times which paralyzes me and I make no decision at all. I find myself afraid TO wait...and equally afraid NOT to wait.  If I don't wait there is a part of me that feels like I give up on my faith, hope and dreams.  Then the time I've already spent will mean nothing and simply become wasted time. Like that song from Avenue Q, "There's a fine fine line between love, and a waste of your time." I think that can apply to many things.

I needed this article, and I think you can benefit too.

Here are the steps Martha Beck suggests to help you get unstuck:

First she says, "Know that the body truth goes ahead of the mind lie", told to Martha by a yogi.  It means all we really need to do is learn to trust our minds, but LISTEN to the truth our body persists in telling us. We can FEEL a decision, she insists. Here's how...

1-Vividly remember a time you said yes and later regretted it later. How did you feel?
2-Think of a time you said no, and wished later you said yes.  How did you feel?
3-Recall a time you said no and were relieved you made that choice.  What did you feel?
4-Remember a time you said yes, and things fell into place.  Physically again, how did you feel?

Using those steps and practicing them will help. I've found that learning to trust your "gut instinct" is an art form. Whether through prayer, meditation or simply being in-tune, it can be hard to "Hear" that body truth at times so instead, try to FEEL it.

Beck says, "If you're miserable, make a choice. If you're still miserable, you can choose again."

I like that Martha.  It's freeing.

Will you and I be perfect at making choices now? No. Fear is hard to let go of.  But let's practice these principles.  And practice...makes permanent.

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Living 101

I walk to the refridgerator and drink from the carton, sit down on the couch, press a button to turn on Access Hollywood and as the antennae goes in and out creating a partial picture I stare mindlessly...petting my needy cat, Blue. DON'T WAKE ME UP....I'm sleepwaking.

SleepWAKING? After all my blogs on conscious living and propelling myself into moments of Nowness?? THE SHAME! I'm guilty....and yes, I made that word up.

Tiff-tionary meaning of "SleepWAKING": Being awake, yet walking around without mindfully living.

I blame it on the fact I haven't had consistent sleep in nearly a year and a half (due again to my needy "I'm going to start meowing at 3am" ass of a cat). Each day I start to feel a bit more like maybe I AM actually sleeping and my days could be the hallucinations. Suddenly I remember my uncle is narcoleptic and wonder if I am? I realize, one of the things I was voted in high school was "always sleeps in class", and I wonder if my genetic clock is a giant snooze button? I learn today my boyfriend has mono ...and wonder if I gave it to HIM?

Everyone is quick to offer solutions, including, get rid of the cat, to which I reply;
"I'll get rid of you" - Or- "Your mom should get rid of you", that's always a classy response too.

What I've realized lately is a few things:
1)New mothers are superheroes: they never sleep and yet they don't actually get rid of their children.
2)You have to keep waking up and living even when you don't want to get out of bed.
3) Life isn't a journey...it's a test.

I'm a good test taker you say? Me too, I rarely had to study to get A's, but sleepwaking, that's definitely getting an "F" in Living 101!

I thought about all this today because my friend's mother passed away...a punch in the gut from life and I cried for his loss. Two days ago I posted, "death, teaches us how to live", and today I was tested to think about what my own words really meant again.

I'm reminded, we don't know how much time we're given on this earth. We don't know how much time we have with our loved ones. Life is a constant test of character, strength, mindfulness, trust, faith, humor and resilience. No wonder we don't make it out alive. But if we live it right..we get life ever after.

The goal, however, is to ace the test and live out loud while we can. Leave an exclamation point behind our name, be a good student to what life has to teach us, and be good to one another.

My dad said to me once, "You can't get to home, without hitting all the bases."

So no matter how tired, beat up, sad, stressed, unmotivated or apathetic you feel -WAKE UP each day and run the bases. Don't be impatient, live in the Now. Each day embrace and accomplish something, even if that something is simply telling someone how much they mean to you because you never know when we will finish this test and graduate to Home Base.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Greatness Within

If we're honest we'll admit we're all vulnerable with insecurities, have moments of self-doubt, and feelings of worry about not living out our purpose in life. It's who we decide to become in the face of those fears that proves our character. To quote one of my favorite poems, "Our Greatest Fear";

"Your playing small does not serve the world...As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson

This is a performance poem I wrote and shared at the "Inside Out" Gala poetry jam here in Milwaukee supporting Normal in Schools, a non-profit which focuses on self-esteem and body issues for youth.

It's raw and it's from the heart. I share it with the hope that it empowers someone to live in their Light.

"Greatness Within"

How many no's can one person take

Before they feel their path forsake?
A body that lies and deceives what’s within
Oh God why can’t you make me thin?

“I’m not ready!”, I cry out loud
Why am I scared instead of proud?
Dreams drip through my hourglass fingers
Time stands still, self-doubt lingers

“I’m not ready!” I cry…to face the world
Dying inside, in a ball I’m curled.
Insecurities claw at my lifeless self worth
my dreams made of sand re-absorbed by the earth.

“Silence..”, yelled Death, “Don’t bury yourself crying”
“You could be living out loud instead of silently dying.”

“I’m fat, I’m no good, I’m a no-name”, I protest.
“Look at me Death – I’m pathetic, at best.”

“You’re my child”, said Death, “You’ll do as I say”

I got down on my knees and started to pray,
“Dear God, What’s my purpose? I’m so lost and unsure..
I’ve disrespected my body, your will is a blur.”

I have talent, but no voice, a message with no receiver,
Please God, I ask you, make me a believer.
In your plan, in your wisdom, each day I grow older
carry me on Hope, don’t give me the cold shoulder.

I WILL stop beating myself up with negativity and doubt…
“I AM READY!” with resilience, I stand and shout.
We all have a voice, and beauty comes in all sizes
Be healthy, not hurtful, look at your neighbor, she realizes

“You have Greatness Within!” I yell at a girl in the crowd…
So do you all, just believe…you have a purpose. Now Get Loud!

“I have Greatness Within Me”, You’re all silent, come on?!

“I have Greatness Within Me”, Shout it out, play along…

Over there – a young girl – oh a mom – a man!
I have Greatness Within me, we All have a plan
You see when our fingers are unlocked they’re like slivers
Join together, Lock em’ tight..you might just get shivers.

Be the change, Live out Loud, Tell Death, “Get a Life!”
Ironic? I think not. Let’s end this defeatist strife.
Fear will always lurk in that darkness out of sight
but the Shadow says;
“Don’t be scared, I remain in your footsteps so YOU can stand in the light.”

(Shadow) “Go Ahead, don’t hold back, dream as big as you choose”
I was once a girl from a town of 600 who was poor and bruised.

It doesn’t matter where you start
your roots make you strong
I knew I had Greatness Within me, now its time to sing YOUR song.

Persistence beats Resistance, a crown doesn’t make a queen.
It’s embracing your purpose and giving back, that’s ‘Livin’ the Dream’.

So Shout it out, With all you’ve got, Claim your Destiny!
(All) “I have Greatness What?”
That’s right you do…

(Shadow) And I have Greatness

(Me) Within me.

By: Tiffany Ogle

Friday, April 29, 2011

"29, is Just Peachy"

I've blogged many times before about my dad, Fuzzy. He passed away when I was in my senior year of college. Today, April 29th would have been his "29th" birthday.

Over the years, I've toasted to, cried over, laughed at and cherished memories of the "Big O'" (another of his many nicknames).

Those who knew my dad will tell you endless stories gathered over years of sharing Hamm's Beers, Memorial Day, St. Patricks Day, and good ol' days in Waverly and Hopkins. My father was hilarious, everyone loved him, he was the last to leave a good party and the party wasn't good until he arrived, he gave nicknames to everyone he knew, toasted often, invented the "Kittock Protector", and was a true entertainer and lover of people (and Penguins!). Everything was always "Just Peachy" with my dad.

Today, I just wanted to send out a tribute to everyone who has lost someone they care about. There is nothing easy about death. There is nothing anyone can ever say to you when you lose someone, because each situation is different and no one truly "understands". However, love is universal...and we all know what that feels like. And even though losing someone doesn't ever get easier...death, teaches us how to live.

Happy Birthday Dad -God Bless and "Slainte!" (Cheers)

Please leave a note who you'd like to Cheers to today.

In Memory of our recent family losses: Harold James Jr. Ogle, Addie Bezdicek, Stan Kittock, Helen Campbell.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hey there, what's your sign?

ADMISSION: I'm one of those horoscope nerds. I actually own a book called "The only Astrology book you'll ever need"..and it's glorious. Embarrassing, but true.

The other day on the show Molly and I chatted about holding onto old grudges and how it's not good for you to do it. In fact, if you let go of things, not only does it make you more likable, but it also frees you emotionally. Great...but that's totally not me.

I'm someone who is obsessed with fairness. Even when I was little my mom said it was a constant moral dilemma of mine upsetting me to the core when something wasn't fair for someone. Maybe this stemmed from growing up with all guys and always having to fight for my share. Example: when we would make pizza or mac-n-cheese, I would make it, divide it then they could choose which portion. That was FAIR...if you divide it up AND pick, that's not fair because the boys were notorious for taking more food leaving me hungry!

So- back to my point....as a Scorpio one of the personality traits that is apparently so endearing about my scornful self, is that if someone "crosses" me, I either punish them repeatedly or I let THEM go instead of letting the issue go. So the horoscope goes...

Truthfully, I am a bit like that, and I'm kind of proud of it. I absolutely am a forgiving person as well, but I never forget. There is a big difference. I've prided myself on weeding out the people in life who aren't good friends. The men or women who aren't there to support or build you as a person, I don't think are worth spending your time with. If someone I care about hurts me, I'm someone who takes it extremely personal and is very affected by it...but I will generally not give them the same opportunity twice. I do however note if it was intentional, we've all accidentally hurt someone without knowing it, no one is perfect.

Well, up this alley, today we talked about toxic friends...women mainly because our guest Polly Drew gave us this not so surprising statistic:

84% of women say they've suffered palpable emotion wounding at the hands of other women.

I'm actually not surprised are you? I mean we all went through school as teens and whether you're popular or not, kids aren't always kind. As we get older, the problem is that some people don't grow out of those habits of harmful toxic friend behavior.

Personally, I'm really proud of the fact that I don't have many women like that in my life, if any. Mainly by choice and consciously keeping those people at a distance, or making sure I don't share anything personal with them.

So it begs the question: Why are women so bad to other women?

I personally have a HUGE moral issue with this and it sincerely angers me!! Ladies, we could rule the world if we didn't keep each other down! There's no need in life to back stab, undermine, be negatively jealous or envious, cheat with another women's man, or talk behind someones back. Those are NOT the kind of women I have in my life, and I am honestly extremely thankful for that. Every situation is different, and I'm not as judgemental as I might sound...I'm definitely not perfect. But I am very aware of toxic people.

Maybe I learned it from my mom...she's a supportive kind woman who is very giving. She's never been competitive with women or gossipy.

And I have to say I LOVE the women in my life, and I don't think competition is bad - I think it helps us all try to perform better. It's when it becomes dark that it's scary.

My girlfriends and I support each others events, talk through weight problems, encourage each other to work hard and idea share, listen about relationships and have cried through death, broken hearts and hardships. I can sincerely say, I've never been negatively jealous of the very successful women in my life, just extremely happy for them and motivated by their accomplishments.

What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment!

I say, take it from a Scorpio - making someone "pay for their mistakes" by not forgetting and keeping them in your life isn't half as fun as simply letting them go and re-surrounding yourself with people you never have to use that spiteful scorpion tail on in the first place.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tipping the Scales

Life is about balance, wouldn't you agree? We balance our work, play, passions and vices.
We all try to make it look like we have it all figured out, but we don't. None of us do....often times it's prayer and luck that keep your scale from tipping too far to one side and becoming unbalanced.
I like my life scale to be a balance of perfect calculation, possibility and complete uncertainty.
Ah...uncertainty...it keeps life interesting.

Easter Rebirth: Please Pass the Placenta

Try Saying that 10 times fast! Here is an old blog from 2008 I thought would be good to repost on Easter 2011.

Today is Easter and it got me thinking about my spirituality. My friend told me that not too long ago to...."Let go, and Let God".

Many of us have heard it before. As for me, at different points in my life I've either rolled my eyes, or teared up at the notion. I admit I have cursed God and accepted Christ as my savior over many trials in my life. We all falter at times in our behavior and choices. To sin is human. Yet at moments when I thought I didn't believe I always "apologized" to God that I didn't believe. Which told me, I was just angry.

I am a deeply spiritual person - however, fairly privately. My relationship with God is highly emotional and I often tear up in church. That means you won't catch me wearing a WWJD bracelet, waving my arms in the air in service or preaching the word to strangers unless invited into that conversation. However, I admire many who do and really
mean it. I've seen many people who simply wear their religion around them like armour only to be some of the most unChristlike people I know. The real believers, regardless of how vocal they are, I give my utmost respect to.

So what about Rebirth? It's an interesting topic....I'm sure our mothers are glad it's only an expression. Today, however, I believe I felt an awakening, if not a "rebirth" of sorts myself. I was in church and, a seat opened. (At the Basilica it was standing room only even in the basement) ....we all wanted it and the gentleman next to me gave it to me instead of taking it himself. He insisted...I sat. How kind!

Later, an elderly woman came in the room. I saw her from afar and offered her my seat. Pay it forward right... Then I had one of those moments. What if we all NOTICED those around us in need? Or even just offered what we had to the person next to us like that gentleman did for me? I wasn't needy.. Just random acts of kindness for our neighbors.

Most people were staring straight forward careful not to notice the lady who was hunched and standing. BE CAREFUL---" don't make eye contact! If I look, I have to do something about it, and I Got Here on Time, so I deserve this seat! " OR perhaps it wasn't even a thought TO look, they were too involved in hearing the word of God to notice.....ironic.

Now, make it clear, I AM NO Mother Theresa...there were tons of people who would've given up their seat, if only they had NOTICED her. Maybe I only noticed because the gentleman was so kind to me? Thank you Mister, you made me conscious.

So I had a moment where I realized (as I blogged about before) that we walk around on auto-pilot. Today I noticed, it even exists in church!

This Easter, now that we've repented our sins, it's time to take a look at ourselves and figure out what we need to work on moving forward. I have a lot to work on personally, one of which is committing today to Rebirth myself into
conscious living every day.

Perhaps it's true, that the answers are in silence and observation. When we sit back and become silent and observe in full consciousness, we are aware of those around us and God's Will in our lives.

So, I'm going to Let Go, and Let God. Because, it seems to me that sometimes when I'm concentrating so hard on having my voice heard, I miss the moments to make a real statement.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miss Packaged

At the airport the other day I recognized that fast food menus are now required to have the calorie and fat count of what you’re eating. YIKES - I didn't want to know that! I like my gluttonous double cheeseburger meal and fries now and then, who wants to know all the crap that you’re about to plug your arteries with?

So I thought about it... I guess it did make me think twice and I was finally able to make an educated decision. Note, I said "educated", not "intelligent". I still ate it. At least you know up front that eating it is unhealthy – you get to make the choice. That made me wonder? What if people had to Package themselves?

OH what fun! Think about it -wouldn’t it be easier if you could walk up to someone, turn them on their side and read…"Contains 23lbs of fat, SoDiumb can’t hold a conversation, bad baggage, not heart healthy”?!

SO MUCH EASIER…right? Finding out the old fashioned way is kind of bull – you can fall head over heels for someone only to find out you (or they) loved the “Packaging”, but not necessarily the Contents. Kind of like cereal toys..looked really cool on the outside but once you got to play with what was really on the inside, it was a disappointment.

The problem is we’re probably too biased to package ourselves correctly. Maybe you want to believe you’re the nicest, sun-shiniest person you’ll ever meet --when really you’re controlling and overly combative. You mislabeled yourself so we had no clue when we put you under a little heat you’d combust. The label should have read, “keep cool at all times”.

I admit I'm probably, "Miss Packaged" - I strongly believe I'm a gourmet Italian flat bread when really I'm just a Totinos party pizza. Mis-Packaged! It might not be on purpose, or perhaps we’re just worried no one will try us if they know we’re just a party pizza (even though they are the BEST).

This happens in relationships ALL the time. Therefore, I highly suggest, whether you’re married or not, to
try this exercise…create your label accurately and show your loved one. Forget the pretty packaging, the advertising for yourself, marketing your best qualities..let’s instead go for Customer Satisfaction and get straight to the point. Try Including a recipe on back so we know exactly how you are at your best…if we follow those directions both partners can be be “well prepared”.

So in case you’re wondering, here’s MY Label:

Tiffany Ogle
Serving Size: Probably more than you can handle

Total Fat: 35%
Sugar: Super Sweet
Tasty Ingredients: Filled with love, concentrated career, all natural, partially hydrogoFlirt, organic sense of humor, starch double standards, white flour, soy independent, Rye – t all the time, un-evaporated guy friends, whole grain romantic, unmodified morals.

Allergens: Caution, if you’re sensitive know that this product contains some nuts.

Now go forth and don’t be afraid of labeling yourself!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Evolution of Self

Today we talked about Reinventing yourself on The Blend as well as the 'Midlife Woman' - who's supposedly no longer in crisis, just in a period of reinvention.

We had 3 very different approaches to reinvention from 3 very deep and self-aware authors. The first one Barbara Singer, talked about how she was forced into reinvention after a series of tragedies per say and thus wrote a do-it-yourself guide to "Eat, Pray, Love". Carole Barrowman - believes, she's constantly evolving and learning, so reinvention has never been an issue because she's never been stagnant. She surrounds herself as a teacher with inspiring people who are seeking to reinvent themselves through literature at Alverno. And Bob Pothier, after losing a job when his company was acquired spent a month in an Ashram learning about reinvention while his family supported the idea of his journey at home. From that, he created The Hapacus Project.

Here are the videos from today:
Part 1, Part 2.

Three stories, three impressive people. However, you don't have to be impressive to reinvent. Me personally, I've refocused many times in my life, however, "reinvention" has not occurred. These moments in life, have made me evolve...

-Growing up in a small town, single parent family with low income, I learned early not to rely on "things" to define who I am.
-My father passing away in College...watching a parent die or loved one die, changes you forever.
-Winning Miss Minnesota and competing at Miss America - after that year's experiences as well as speaking about children's safety and telling my story, my life had changed tremendously. I felt like the world and my friends had stayed the same.
-Leaving a corporate job I hated to speak for a non-profit and pursue my love of acting and speaking. If that had not happened, in no way would I be where I am today, but at the time, I had no clue where my rent would come from.
-Moving to Wisconsin. Leaving family and friends I've learned living somewhere new forces you to decide what's important to you and in life. You have to work hard to get involved in events/non-profits/communities - it's not the same as it was when you were young and you'd just meet people at bars or at work the same way. People have their own lives and own friends/families, and honestly, a girl alone at a bar just looks like you have issues!

With those experiences, and many more -I tend to side with Carole Barrowman. I've had a lot of experiences in my life, and they have always made me refocus, but I've always felt I've been in a constant state of
"INVENTION". I haven't been married, and I do not have kids, therefore, partly for me, I've never been in a place where I felt I was living my life for other people and not allowed to do something for myself. I believe strongly in giving to causes and people in need, but my life up until this point, been lived in search of creating who I am, so a constant flux of INVENTION, is where I live.

Correct me if I"m wrong, but most people I know who have the signature "midlife crisis", or reinvention - tend to have kids and have been or are married. It seems like people change so much through their 20's which is the typical time to get married, often times they weren't finished finding out who they are as an individual before becoming "one" with someone else? I'm a big advocate of women living alone before they get married for at least a year as well as waiting for marriage. Clearly those are not the ONLY reasons for reinvention, often times it's weight loss, personal illness, tragedy, or general unhappiness.. ...

Whatever the reason, I think living in a constant state of INVENTION whether you are single or married, with or without kids is important for all of us.

To do that, our guests suggested asking yourself these questions:
-what do I love?
-If I could do anything, what would it be?
-Who do I want to be around?
-Start a "NEW ME" diary and fill it with goals, heros, and positives about who you want to become.
-Choose goals that fill intrinsic needs (those based on psychological needs NOT external ones such as finances or social status)

On top of that I recommend you decide a few things for yourself:
-What doesn't FEEL like work to you? Find a way to make THAT your job.
1)Write down your talents (organizing, speaking, inspiring, accounting, art,, customer service)
2)Write down who you love working with (age/environment etc)
3)Write down how you desire to give back (make a company more profitable, help others feel better about themselves, build homes for needy, make people laugh, feed the hungry, educate our youth)

Now... find a way to connect all those things.
-Persistence beats resistance always - don't give up!

passion meets purpose, their lies your vocation - NOW CONTINUE INVENTING! Be Creative - and have fun - there is no reason you cannot be the person and do the things you always dreamed of!

My favorite book for inspiration: "Chasing Daylight" -Erwin McManus


Friday, October 15, 2010

This Cardboard Tastes Like Pizza?!

Today on the show, I declared "Pizza Day" for everyone in Wisconsin...although I'm fairly sure it'll just be for us. However, once a month we have set a schedule for someone to bring in Pizza (or this winter we're doing soups/chili) to take advantage of the Pizza Oven we have from Boelter and we all eat lunch here together.

We've had everything from fancy Egg Breakfast Pizza, to the most amazing Taco Pizza I've ever tasted, to half homemade half pre-made concoctions.

Well today is my pizza day...and I brought in my version of homemade pizza - Frozen Pizzas from Digorno! YUM - I've been so excited for pizza day today I've eaten Pizza 3 other times this week. Sad, but true.

So, with no further adieu, here's how it went...

Pizza 1: Crispy Sicilian Flabread, extremely crispy..as in black ...Oops.
Pizza 2: Thick Spinach and Mushroom - so thick, the bottom was soft..oops.
Pizza 3: Ultra Thin Crispy Margarita - SO thin, there was no humanly possible way to see there was CARDBOARD UNDER IT?? Yes, I almost burned down TMJ4 because I cooked the pizza WITH the cardboard under it...OOPS!
Pizza 4: in the cooker...stuffed crust Supreme...WISH ME LUCK.....

The poor Morning Blend Staff is still starving...Oops.... that's why you never trust a blonde on pizza day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stop and smell the water

Can you believe it's already Fall??? When I first moved here, I fell head over heels in love....with Lake Michigan....so I decided to take a moment to enjoy my favorite part of Milwaukee on one of our last 80 degree days and take some pictures. I sat at the lake and enjoyed the serenity of the water and meditated -my soul is always renewed when I'm near water and the vastness of the Lake is completely calming to me. I realized, I didn't spend NEARLY enough time there this summer and wondered, "how had I let all those days pass by without seeing the lake more often?"

When I treked back up to the road, I was amazed at how many locals jogging by or passing through, stopped to take pictures of this beauty.
It amazed me that no matter if you've lived here all your life, are semi-new to the area, or even just visiting, how the Lake can literally take your breath away. How often do we get so busy, we simply forget it's there?

How can we allow something we love so much go unnoticed?

I reflected on how important it is in all areas of our life, to
simplypay attention to what's important to us.

As summer comes to an end, I've thought about what makes this community so great. ..the Festivals are amazing, the Lake is my love, but what makes Wisconsin such a wonderful place, is the people. It's all of you who stop and say hi, give me your critiques, or just wave and with a thumbs up and say "I love your show"...who make Milwaukee great for me.

I moved here not knowing a single person. At the end of the day, what I've learned is that life isn't about what job you have, where you live, or what car you drive...it's about the people in your life. Family, friends, significant others, and the random someone you learn from just by taking the time to chat with someone new. I've learned now more than ever, how valuable a simple letter, phone call, or making time to together for coffee or a shot of vodka is with the people you care about...I know we're all guilty of sometimes saying.. maybe next time.

So today I ask...what is important in your life that you have gone all summer without "noticing"?

Life is short...don't forget to stop and smell the water.

Enjoy the Pictures...it was a gorgeous day at the Lake -I was sitting in the far left concrete stoop in the picture of the lake!