Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Thursday, June 1, 2017

What’s Brought You Joy This Week?

Yesterday someone asked me a very perplexing question, and I’ve spent the last 2 days trying to come up with an honest and acceptable answer. I’m embarrassed that this question stumped me as hard as it did. I don’t think it was the question per say, I think I just wasn’t prepared for it. 

While visiting another office at work my friend/co-worker asked, “What has brought you joy this week?”  

If she had asked me if I was happy, I would have said yes. If she had asked me what my plans were for the day, I would have told her. If she’d asked me my favorite ice cream flavor, I definitely would have had an answer for her. This question however, left me and my mind totally blank. 

What has brought me joy this week?

 ……..............……..*chirp* ………......……*chirp*…………….............. *Ribbit*

Everyone that had kind of been listening didn’t look at me and pretended that they hadn’t just been in a conversation with us. I had no answer. I thought of a lot of things that made me happy, or as I quickly found out , used to make me happy, but I feel like joy is on a higher level. 

I was in panic mode and the longer I stood there the stupider I felt. This is such an easy question, say something! Say anything! Finally I said something about nieces and nephews as we stood there staring at each other. I don’t think she expected that answer either. We had a brief conversation and then someone else from the department walked over with a question for her. 

I kind of felt relieved and walked out.

How did that happen? She had asked a very simple question and that wasn't the problem, I was. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have a good answer let alone no answer for someone. 

The rest of the day I thought about what joy means and what brings me joy. As soon as I got back to my office I could think of plenty of things that make me happy. I realized that I’ve gotten out of touch with some of the things. I realized that when I’m truly happy and doing the things I need to do, I naturally am drawn to some of those things. 

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend and it was a really deep discussion about my fears. I have many of them by the way. A lot of people are addicted to Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat. I’m not addicted to any of those things, but I am a recovering addict of checking the news.

That’s right, I can’t stop hitting the refresh button on the news. I constantly want to know what’s going on, and I want to know before anyone has to break the bad news of what has happened to me.  I will check my favorite news sites easily 40-50 times a day. I check it in the morning, through-out the day, and multiple times at night, and right before I go to bed. I talk a little bit about this in this blog Policing the Happy News.

After talking to my friend she told me that I was seeing all of these non-uplifting stories, and that I needed to replace it with something more uplifting. I’ve worked the last two weeks to either not watch the news, or only check it 3-5 times a day vs 40-50 times a day. 

So, I decided what doesn’t bring me joy, and tried to remove it from my life, while simultaneously filling my life with things that make me happy. It seems like once I finally set my mind to be happy, something devastating happens. There is a house fire that my friend is involved in, or people I know die, or a failed adoption happens for my friends that have been waiting for months for the paperwork to go through. 

So I’ve decided to focus on the things I can control, and try really hard to stop worrying about the rest of it. Life happens. One way I find joy is by writing. Most of the things I’ve written will never make it out of my notebooks, but today while looking for a blank page to fill I found this poem that I wrote last year. I don’t even remember writing it, but I’m glad I did. It kind of sums up a lot of my thoughts right now and I wanted to share it.

Concave, be brave
Tough choice, find voice
Smooth, round
Up, down
Black, white
What’s right?

At times I’m blazing
This world is amazing
The people here in it are good.

But sometimes I question
Our constant direction
And if I shouldn’t or should.

Of course there’s discretion
In every suggestion
And if we will end up alive.

But the moment you loose
All the fear and abuse
Is the moment you start to arrive.

Elysha 5-11-15

So let me repeat the question: 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Free Food and Customer Service

I love food, but I like free food even more! Want to know the secret to getting free food? Having an opinion! Also punch cards. Many companies have surveys on their receipts. I do this all the time at CafĂ© Rio. I’ve saved up so many receipts that I basically get a free dessert every time I go. They also have a pretty great rewards program. They will also sometimes send out surprise deals like free meals, buy one get one free deals, or will give you cash/credits on your birthday. 

Other places like Panda Express will give you an extra side for free if you take a 3 minutes survey.  Some places will give you a free meal if you purchase 7-10 meals. These work well at places like Rumbi. They often will send emails or send coupons in the mail for BOGO meals. Many times they'll give you a punch for the meal you pay for and the meal you get free. Sometimes if you sign up for email lists or text deals you will get cheap or free food. After you get the deal you can remove your name from the list if you don’t want to participate anymore. 

Earlier this week I went to eat at Noodles n Company. I’ve eaten there quite a bit in the last few years. It’s became a favorite place to go eat with friends. I used to eat there once or twice every other month. They send out a lot of BOGO deals, however In the last 6 months they’ve started changing the menu. 
They got rid of most of my favorite items and have started adding new different items. I’ve tried a few of them and really haven’t ended up liking any of them. The salad I tried this week was really disappointing. The last few times I’ve gone I’ve ended up trying new dishes and leaving most of my food on the table because the food is dripping in sauce and really unappetizing. 

I have never written into a company to complain or say I’m unhappy because usually I’m happy with what I order. Because of all of the menu changes and my last few experiences I decided to write into the company. 

They responded to my email within 24 hours. They were great to talk to! They asked me what location I usually eat at and I sent them a picture of the last item I ended up leaving at the table. I told them all of the things I liked about their restaurant and why I’ve started eating at other locations due to all of their changes. 

After a few emails back and forth they ended up sending me a $20 gift card. I thought that was generous of them, and if I use that with a buy one get one free deal that is 4 meals for free. 

I've always enjoyed their pesto noodles and their tomato bisque soup. 

I wrote another post about places that you can get free meals from a few years ago. Click here to check it out - Birthday Parties!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Oh My Soul - Oh How You Worry

One day last week I was feeling a little down. It seemed like everyone around me had huge insurmountable problems, and I couldn’t help them. I wanted to help lift their burdens, and I thought lending a listening ear would help, but instead it got me thinking of all the things I couldn’t do. Usually I try to see the flip side of things, but I couldn’t really see anything positive coming out of these circumstances. 

I decided to go for a walk and stopped in at a store. At the very end of the store I found this mug. I’m usually not a mug person, but this one stood out to me. It was only 75 cents, and I thought it was a great reminder. I didn’t intend to drink out of it. I just wanted to put it in a place that I could see every morning when I woke up. 

I really love it! It’s the first thing I see in the morning. I get my phone and while I try to warm up in my blankets and decide if I really want to get out of bed I read this mug. I looked at the bottom of the mug to see who designed it, and realized that I have a room full of cute sayings designed by the same person. I talk about them in this post. It’s a Sign!

I used to be a very calculated and in control person. I’ve been trying to find a balance between that and being more trusting and spontaneous. I’ve learned that if you try to change, the Lord gives you ample opportunities! The last two weekends have been the beginning of said opportunities. 

Two weeks ago my friend randomly texted me on a Thursday night and asked me if I wanted to go on a 20 hour road trip to another state to see a pageant. The old me would have said, “No way! That’s way too long in a car with people I don’t know. What if they are not responsible or dangerous drivers? What if I get car sick?” The 'What If' game would have continued and I would have talked myself out of it. 

This time however I thought about everything that had been going on in my life. My mother reminded me of how I wanted to go on a vacation and this was a great opportunity. So I decided on a whim the night before to go! This would also be my first real friend road trip. 

There were a few moments before we left where I almost changed my mind and turned around, but I felt like this was meant to be, and later on I found out that was true. It took us 10 hours to get to our destination. 

The next morning we decided to head to the temple. On the way there everyone was singing and I looked out the window and saw that the gas flap on the car was open. The girl in the back said, “Oh no! I forgot to put the gas cap back on when we filled up at the gas station. It’s hopefully on the ground back at the gas station.” Luckily we hadn’t driven too far, so we got off the freeway and turned around and headed back. Usually I would be really upset at something like that, but for some reason I was really calm and felt okay about it. I prayed on the way back that we would find the gas cap cover. We drove back and the gas cap was left on the pump. We put it back on and headed back toward our destination. I was so grateful that we found it!

As we drove I told everyone in the car that this probably happened for a reason. I came up with some crazy reason as to why it happened, but really figured it was just meant to be. 

We got to the temple and found out that they don’t rent clothing. We got moved around while they tried to figure out if they had extra clothes for us to use. I was just fine waiting. I had no reason to be in any hurry. I kept looking around for someone I might know. I felt like everything had happened for a reason, and maybe that was why. After we were waiting inside for a while, I figured maybe it was all in my head. 

We went to the changing room and they brought us out some white temple clothing. While we were standing there this girl came up to me and said, “Elysha?” I turned around and it was this girl that I was in the same ward with 3 years ago! I was so excited! I gave her like 3 hugs. We caught up. I found out that she’d recently moved there about a month ago and didn’t know anyone there.

 It was such a tender mercy! I was so happy to see her. I definitely saw the hand of God in my life. After a while I turned to the girls I’d gone with and said, “I think I know why someone forgot to put the gas cap on the car. I think it was for me. I think we had to turn back and we had to wait to get clothing so that I would be in the same place at the exact same time as my friend!” 

A few days later, 2 days after I got home, I was getting ready for work one morning. I needed to pay my friend for gas for the trip and it was $30. I thought to myself, “I guess I’ll have to go to Walmart after work so I can get some cash out. I only have $20 now, because I paid cash for our dinner while on the trip.” I went to work and someone from the front desk called me and said, “Are you full time? If you are full time you don’t have to pay a deposit on your key. I just noticed this yesterday. Come get your $10.” I was surprised. I paid the deposit on my key almost 3 years ago, and now on a ‘random’ day they call me and give me the exact amount of money I needed. I hadn’t even said a prayer, and $10 isn’t a lot of money, but I appreciated the Lord once again showing me His hand in my life. 

It’s amazing how once you start looking, you’ll see how blessed you truly are! I’m going to add a link to one of my favorite songs right now. Change is hard, but if it’s change for the good, I know the Lord will walk with you and help you make that change. 

I’ve probably shared this song before. It’s called “Oh My Soul.”