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reSLience… a.k.a. resilience

it's what lies within that really matters

Monthly Archives: February 2008

Ok… honestly… when you take this – and who are you fooling – you know you are going to click through and take this – how well do you think your results match who you are in RL as well as SL?

We spend a lot of time lamenting boredom in SL. I read about it on blogs all the time. We shop constantly for the perfect something or other to wear, to go with remodeling, to fit a new build. We look for new clubs, new places to explore. Most who I have met in SL are very passionate, yet rugged individual types. I can’t wait to see the results other find as they take this.

Are you a Talent, a Lifer, or a Mandarin?

Here’s mine:

I’m a Talent!

You’re a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You’re determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You’re not afraid of a fight, and you’re not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you’re already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you’re not willing to settle for an ordinary life.

Talent: 64%
Lifer: 23%
Mandarin: 54%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.


I have often been accused of being too positive, too cheery, and too pollyanna-ish. Not surprisingly, I do a hair flip and skip away when facing such criticism (insert laugh here). Seriously, I do an internal check and try to figure out what makes me decide to be happy when the reaction should be anything but.

In RL, I have one of those faces that smiles automatically. I smile when I’m sad and crying even. I even find myself laughing when I cry sometimes – yes, for those of you wondering, you can now OFFICIALLY declare me NUTS. However, since I have had children, though, I have come to realize this is a genetic trait – smiling and being nuts. My oldest son is often in trouble for smiling when he is getting redirected for torturing his younger siblings.

I did a search for cranky, bad mood, negative thinking, and anything else I could think of on Google. I read a few blogs. I tried to get in the skin of someone who chooses this outlook or at least can communicate it well on the web. I dispute my husband’s bad moods enough that I simply cannot go there to get into character 🙂 but I have to say I think we make a good yin-yang and he tempers my pollyanna-ish views.

What I found was a whole host of individuals and organizations trying to move out and away from negative thinking. People don’t write about staying in bad moods, they publish how to overcome them. I suppose this speaks to the huge industry that is self-help and wellness. It is the ultimate in-search-of-a-happy-ending Hollywood factor that childrens books and movies end with.

Happines is associated most heavily with the left (i.e. logical) side of the brain, while anger is associated with the right (emotional, non-logical) side of the brain. From a Society for Neuroscience article on Bliss and the Brain:

“Furthermore, studies suggest that certain people’s ability to see life through rose-colored glasses links to a heightened left-sided brain function. A scrutiny of brain activity indicates that individuals with natural positive dispositions have trumped up activity in the left prefrontal cortex compared with their more negative counterparts. “

In other words, happy people are better able to think logically.
-Creating Passionate Users blog, 4/17/2006

I would like to challenge you, if you are taking the time to read this, to consider the above passage I found in another’s blog (Creating Passionate Users), and take the additional effort to follow the link and read up. Being happy makes you HEALTHY. Heck, with my whole family – all 6 of us – battling asthma, the flu, pink eye, you name it I think we are due for a little happiness or maybe a BIG happiness. For those of us in SL who choose to enjoy our pixelated freedoms, why not choose happiness there as well? SL is built around the text communication that takes place between individuals and groups. We talk talk talk talk talk. But when, does one, as a person and as an avitar decide to walk the talk? Easy to say, much, much, much harder to do.

Is a happy ending possible? Can someone REALLY wear rose-colored glasses and survive in the big bad RL and SL worlds? I say yes. If you took the time to read the link I included – I hope you read far enough down the screen to realize that happy people feel bad too, happy people experience sadness and unfortunate experiences, but happy people choose to look at those experiences and process those feelings in a different way.

Ironically, I’m coming full circle here. I ask you to look at the name of my blog (not the typo name, smartass) and think about what it means to be resilient. I have to say… another way to be pollyanna-ish… is to be resilient. It is super hard. It makes you crazy. It is not the way the rest of the world would like you to think. But hey, I never was much for trying to do what the rest of the world wanted me to do anyway.

This post idea found me the other day. I held off on blogging for a long time because I was never sure I’d have anything to say. Now that I have joined the blogosphere, I realize there are so many post opportunities I have to harness them because there are not enough hours in the day to post what has come across my path. Ultimately though, I tend to roll posts around in my head for hours or sometimes days before I know it will come out right. Sometimes you just know when the time is right.

As you know, I have a long daily work commute. I fill my commute with music, and enjoy the DJs banter. One day in particular, the RL DJs were discussing how people treat each other and what we are teaching our children. They came to the conclusion that if Mister Rogers was still around – departing his love and kindness over the airwaves – that perhaps our future world would have a better chance. The RL DJ talked about how she had called the PBS station and asked specifically about why the show was no longer on. The station representative explained that the show had not been on for several years because Mister Rogers had officially retired prior to his death. This then led to a discussion on people dying shortly after they retire from a career they are passionate about… but I digress that is another blog post altogether 🙂

Anyway, I took some time once I got to work to pull up the YouTube clip they had played the audio from on the air. They had suggested that listeners watch it periodically throughout the workday when they are having a tough time with their bosses or colleagues. Not bad advice LOL! I watched it. I thought about the things my kids like to watch. I thought about the things PBS airs now. I thought about the timeless themes about life and friendship and caring that Mister Rogers brought to the world so plainly in his cardigan sweater and tennis shoes. The messages are still there in other things we watch and fill our heads with. We just have to dig deeper for them.

Spongebob still teaches friendship and tolerance with his undying love for Patrick Star, his best friend, and his continued attempts to love his neighbor, Squigward. Elmo teaches us to laugh and ask questions when we don’t understand. Even Ben10 teaches us to find the right tool to do the job when conquering evil and be persistant in the persuit of doing the right thing on behalf of our friends.

All these messages impact us. However, it is how we internalize the messages and act on others behalf that speaks to the type of people we are. Those are basic principles no matter if you are in RL or SL. I know the median age range in SL is 25-45. With that in mind, I would bet that most know who Mister Rogers is. Mister Rogers wasn’t just an American PBS phenominon. The principles that he taught most certainly are not just American. Either way… I hope you take the time to watch this clip. Laugh at his goofy style. Shake your head at his simpleness and naivity. But… for just a minute… open your ears and listen… and take another moment to reflect. See if any of what has to say rings true.

I have to catch myself every day and redirect my thoughts and redirect my actions, if need be. I try my best to be a good friend and to work toward making life a little better for those around me. I am so thankful for those who do the same in my life as well.

Thank you Mister Rogers 🙂 /me digs in my 12,000+ crazed inventory to find my rose colored glasses and slips them on. The world looks much better with them on. /me hands them out so others can enjoy the view with me.

What’s in it for me? On a Friday afternoon, this crazy SLife is sounding like a nice place to be. Quick – someone carry me away!

Too old to be wild and free still
Too young to be over the hill
Should I try to grow up
But who knows where to start
So I just …
Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico
Do my best to waste another day
Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico
Let the warm air melt these blues away

-Kenny Chesney

The best part about Mexico (Puerto Penasco a.k.a. Rocky Point) is you forget what time it is, you enjoy the warm sand, the good food, the cheap beer, and you just laugh and relax. The rest of the world melts away. Even if it is only for a few days, you get away. Even our little ones enjoy the escape from the craziness of RL when we go. No shoes needed. Bathing suits and flip flops are always in fashion. Meals are more like snacks because everyone simply spends their day snacking. Sand invades everything. Your soul breathes and your skin soaks up the warm sun and salty air.

I haven’t found a SIM yet on SL that totally replicates what we have found in Mexico just yet. Perhaps there is an idea in the making there… tidepools for catching little hermit crabs, spear fishing, crazy banana boat rides, margaritas so big you could swim in them, and just places to relax and enjoy. Oh yeah… and Thrify ice cream 🙂 Cheap, mmmmm ice cream.

Happy Friday afternoon!

I had the privledge of attending a final event at Sporks last weekend. Sporks became the clubhouse of sorts to those of us who needed a home after OneWorld closed. Borday and Blissie made it a warm, fun, crazy place that allowed everything from ballroom dancing, coffee drinking, pole dancing, pillow fighting, spanking, and most importantly picture-taking. Borday was always gracious enough to let Blissie put out the high prim spread of delectable treats and anyone could throw down a tip jar if you felt so inclined to shimmy the pole in your skivvies. Borday’s sexy voice would accompany his great mix of music and anyone and everyone was always welcome.

I felt kind of sad last weekend as we laid on the couches and listened to Semisonic’s “Closing Time.” It was bittersweet. None of us need a home base any more like we did in the newbie days. We all have our own land or places we crawl into to spend the night. (I think EVEN Spanker Ehric now has a home other than Help Island :)- go figure!) But all of us still need that sense of community and belonging. Blissie did that with the Spank Pack and Borday did that with Sporks.

“Closing time – you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here… Closing time – time for you to go back to the places you will be from… ”

Saying goodbye to Sporks reminded me of a Sunday afternoon a few months ago RL but seemingly years ago SL when we all said goodbye to One World. The fairwell impromtu rooftop dance was captured by many of us in pictures and shared in our picks in our profiles for weeks to come. It was the end of an era in some ways.

One World brought us together. It was the birthplace of outfit challenges and DJ fanclubs. It was the place we could go afk and feel the fear of being pushed in the water. It was the place we could pillow fight and laugh so hard we almost pee our pants (speaking personally of course LOL). One World allowed for us to meet others from all over the globe and learn to say hello in other languages. We practiced with our new lag-enducing toys like sparkles and fireworks. We parachuted from Borday’s machine and Hot Rocks.

“So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits – I hope you have found a friend.”

I’ll miss Sporks like I miss Sunday afternoons at OneWorld. But I know with these doors closing, others will open. Most importantly I know I’ll have my friends to share those new open doors. We have all grown so much and I’m so thankful for each of you and what you have brought to my life – through SL – and into RL. A final toast to Sporks, and a cheers to all the new adventures in store.

“Closing time – every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end… ” – Semisonic

P.S. For those of you who loved “Friends” – you might enjoy this video version of “Closing Time.”

At the risk of frightening those that know me, I have to quote another country song. 🙂 Hold on people – I won’t sing it for you – I’ll just share a small piece of it..

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

– Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers; written by Pat Alger/Larry B.Bastian/Garth Brooks

I find myself a lot of times praying for things, asking for things, and outcomes that I hope will happen, that I want to happen, that I think is for the best. It is sometimes a huge paradigm shift to step back and realize that when prayers aren’t answered it is because something better is headed our way.

SL has taught me alot about myself and a lot about realizing sometimes things happen because something else is coming along. SL is not different from RL in any way when it comes to emotional capacity and introspection. Afterall, we are all the spiritual driving forces behind our pixelated avitars. It helps so much to remember we can simply turn something over, resolve within ourselves that a situation or problem is bigger than we personally know how to handle, and allow for it to be solved in time, with assistance from whatever higher power you choose to believe in. Without fail, it never disappoints.

I’ve been given much food for thought in SL in terms of relationships. Friends lists, group memberships, and the locations I frequent all build a sense of identity in SL. When is it right to remove yourself, when is it right to just wait, when is it right to fight for them and hang in there? I know I am a pleaser by nature. I try to make sure any and all in my life are happy – and I know that sometimes making everyone happy makes no one happy, including myself. I am also someone who likes to solve problems. There must be some way to make it work, some way, some how. With both of those viewpoints – happiness and solutions, it has been reaffirming to remind myself that sometimes I am capable of neither and I need to just turn it over and let it be resolved in a different way – a way perhaps I haven’t even thought of yet.

So what the heck does this all have to do with unanswered prayers and that ridiculous country song quote I began with? If I feel lonely in SL, despite the abundance of events, avitars and constant opportunity, perhaps it is time to sit back and realize my immediate unhappiness is an unanswered prayer. It is a time to learn more about myself. Do I take a break and resolve to not log in to SL for a while? Maybe. Maybe that is where the answers will find me. Do I resolve to explore new places and meet new people and look for new opportunity until the answer comes along? Perhaps. Do I remove people and groups from my profile and cut ties? Perhaps that is the answer too. But maybe, just maybe, I sit and wait.

Ok you survey crazed blogger friends. I have found another. I feel a little lazy posting this but what the heck… maybe I have a chocolate hangover 🙂

You Are an Orange

You have a zest for life, especially for anything colorful, wild, or dramatic.
You have a unique take on the world, and you’re not afraid to be a little funky.

You are a bit reserved toward people who don’t know you well.
You have a thick skin, which can protect you from anything that goes wrong in your life.

Once someone does get to know you, they totally get and appreciate you.
Your friends see you as a bright person with a refreshing take on life.

And hey – we grow citris in this sunny state 🙂 In fact, it is one of the 5 c’s we learn about in 4th grade when we learn about Arizona. Guess I was destined to be an orange. Mmmmmmmm anyone for Swensen’s Swiss Orange Chip Ice Cream (chocolate, chocolate chip with orange in it)? Yes, sadly, I’m back to thinking about chocolate.