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Let’s Talk Gossip

We all gossip, don’t even try to deny that you do, just admit it. You gossip, I gossip, we all gossip! Woo! Now, in some cases gossip is harmless, and in others, it can actually cause issues for all parties involved. In addition, there is good gossip and there is bad gossip. Both can also have repercussions that aren’t necessarily a good thing.

What do I mean by good gossip? Generally, gossip is considered a bad thing, and it has a negative connotation, so how could gossip possibly be a good thing? Well I don’t mean that it’s a good thing, but I mean it is more of a positive thing, such as gossiping about something good. For example, I was once the subject of some gossip in my dorm my freshman year in college. I didn’t even realize I was popular enough to the be the topic of gossip, but it must have been a slow week. I was really close friends with this guy that lived in the dorm, and we also had a class together. Well, we spent a lot of time together going out to dinner, hanging out around campus, you get the idea. While we usually had others with us, we did occasionally just hang out the two of us. It wasn’t anything more than friendship, though I will admit I had a crush on him. Well, you can imagine my surprise when my roommate tackled me one day after class and yelled at me for not telling her. I had no idea what she was talking about, as far as I knew, I hadn’t withheld anything important from her. She then started going on about how cute we were and how I must be so excited, and how could I not have told her I was dating him, and on and on. It was news to me that he and I were dating, but apparently the whole dorm was talking about it. So I dragged my roomie over to his room to find out if he had heard of this and what we were going to do about. I was actually excited, thinking this was a way for us to move forward into something more. Well, while he had no issues with everyone thinking we were dating, he also had no interest in actually dating me. Must be better to just have the appearance than the reality. Oh well. So we got that sorted out, and eventually the gossip died down, but I will say, everyone was very interested in our love lives (or lack thereof) and I had so many girls that I usually just said hi to coming up and talking to me about how great we were together and how we were so cute, etc. It was actually kind of flattering, having all of that attention, and nothing that was said was bad, just that we were dating, so neither of us really cared. He made a great point that it didn’t matter what people thought, we knew what reality was, so why would we change anything. This kind of gossip wasn’t bad. It didn’t hurt any of the parties that were the subject of it, and it didn’t cause any serious damage later on. It was just people reading too much into what they were seeing. Not a big deal.

The other kind of gossip though, that’s where it gets to be a little more tricky and cause more damage. Let’s say for example that you have an old co-worker, and you mentioned something that the old co-worker used to do in front of someone else. While nothing you said was false, it somehow got back to that person and they weren’t very fond of it. Now, we all have done stuff we weren’t proud of, and it sucks, but if it’s reality, then it’s hard to fight it. Well, this co-worker then decides to start gossiping about you and your family, making up lies and spreading them to all of your old co-workers. This is where gossip becomes damaging. First of all, the co-worker spreading the lies is damaging her own reputation, as we all know that what Sally says of Suzie says more about Sally than it does Suzie. What it also does though, is damage the other person’s reputation, when it’s not deserved. Sure, majority won’t believe it because they worked with you, and they know the real you, but others feel the need to believe the lies spread by this other person. Now, that doesn’t make either of you bad people, but it definitely tarnishes reputations. And that’s where gossip gets its ugly side.

When something is said, it can’t be unsaid, but if you do feel the need to say it, it should at least be true. I personally am working on not caring what people say about me, but it’s a hard process to work through. It’s important to remember though, that if people choose to believe lies over the reality and the knowledge they have about you, then it again says more about them than about you. It goes to show that they would rather see the bad in a person than the good that they know is in there. And it can be hard, especially if this person that started spreading the rumors and lies used to be a friend. That can actually be one of the worst things. So the most important thing for you to remember is to keep your chin up through it all. And maybe try to tone down gossiping.Sure, it can be fun to participate, but you never know if what you heard and what you’re spreading is reality. And it’s not so much fun when it’s you that’s the subject of the gossip fodder.

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Why I Dislike Modern Dating

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I am an old fashioned person, especially when it comes to dating. With that being said, I am not really a huge fan of modern dating, and there are a few reasons why.

Online Dating and Dating Apps

Maybe I’m a little out there, but I really really really don’t want our love story to begin with “I swiped right, and the rest is history” (I’ll be honest, I have never downloaded Tinder or been on it, so I have no idea which way is good or bad to swipe). I want more than that, a real connection, not just based on a personal statement and do I have a hot picture up there or not. To me, even meeting someone for the first time should be based on something more than that. If a friend sets you up with someone it’s not because they think he is hot, there’s always more to it. Now, some will argue that dating apps like Tinder do allow you to actually get to know someone, but from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s mostly for hooking up, which is not really a great way to a relationship.
Online dating is a little bit better, except it’s again with the same story of “I liked her profile, and the rest is history.” Now, maybe my expectations are a little too high, maybe I still live in a movie, where there will be some serendipitous moment where I meet the one, and maybe that’ll never happen. I can’t say one way or another, but I can still hope for a little more than meeting someone for the first time online. I know, that’s the way of our world now, but I would much rather meet someone in person. I feel like I can read them a little better if they don’t have a screen to hide behind. I’m a big believer in trusting my gut, and it’s difficult to do that if you don’t meet the person in real life until after you’ve been talking for weeks. You’re not able to get a quick idea of their person until after you’ve made a bit of a decision on them from talking for a few days or weeks first. Instead, I’d rather meet them in person immediately, and go from there. 
The Games

I can’t stand playing games, especially when it comes to dating. For example, the whole playing hard to get, really not my thing. I can’t stand that, and you won’t find me playing that game. If I like you, and you ask me out, then I am going to say yes. It’s that simple, I am not going to play games and act like I’m not interested just to force you to keep asking me out. Now, if I really am not interested, I also am not going to say yes just to spare your feelings. That’s not fair to you, and I certainly don’t want to lead you on. So if I say no, it does mean no. It doesn’t mean keep asking me over and over again, because in reality, that’s just going to get frustrating for the both of us. 
The jealousy game. Oh that one I know well, and I hate it. Here’s the deal, I won’t try to make you jealous, and you try not to make me jealous. That doesn’t make me more interested, it just hurts my feelings if you are constantly talking about some other girl to me. Now, if it’s a friend of yours that’s fine, but we all know there is a difference in mentioning someone, and constantly bringing that person up to make us jealous. With that being said, I won’t do that to you. If I meet with an old friend, then I will tell you so I’m being honest, but I’m not going to hound on it or try to make you jealous, I’m just letting you know. I want the same. There’s got to be a level of trust in a relationship, and I truly feel playing games to make the other person jealous hurts that trust and hurts the relationship.

The “three day rule.” Ok, whoever started that had a bad idea. No one should wait three days to call a girl back after a date. Sure, we wonder when you’ll call, but as the time progresses we, at least me, are over-analyzing and deciding that you aren’t that interested, or if you are, you probably have another woman you’re talking to, and you can’t decide. Either option isn’t good for getting a second date, so don’t do it. Just say what you feel. If you like someone, say I had a great time. If you say “I’ll call you tomorrow.” Actually do that. We won’t think you’re clingy or desperate, it just shows that you will actually do what you say. We appreciate that, in fact, everyone appreciates that.

The Lack of Romantic Gestures

So one thing that just about every woman loves is getting flowers. It doesn’t even have to be that, just a cute, simple gesture like a nice note saying “thinking of you” or an unexpected cup of coffee at work. Even something small like that is such a grand gesture in our minds, and it just makes us so happy that you thought of us. It’s romantic and sweet, and it just doesn’t happen as much anymore. Sure, there are some guys that still follow up with the romantic gestures, but the majority don’t, and I don’t know why. It’s not anything that takes a lot of time, effort, or money, like I said before, it can be something as simple as a sweet handwritten note. It’s very old-fashioned, but I would love to have something like that, and it makes me long for an older time when love letters were commonplace.

Basically, while modern dating is fine in some ways, I’m just an old fashioned person who loves the idea of old fashioned dating. Hopefully that is something I will be able to find 🙂

Confidence is Your Best Attribute

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to just ooze confidence? They just seem so sure of themselves, and no matter who they are or what they look like, people stop and take notice, because of their attitude. They seem to walk with this total confidence and knowledge about themselves and when they walk into the room, you just automatically feel this pull to them, like they are the leader even if they aren’t.

Well, I’ve definitely noticed, and I’ve also noticed what happens when people kind of shuffle in, without an ounce of self-confidence. They tend to blend into the background and instead just are there. They don’t command the attention of the room, sometimes people don’t even notice that they are in there. It can happen if they are alone, or with a group, they just kind of fade into the background and no one really notices them. Then, if they do try to speak up, they usually do not get the same amount of respect that someone who is a little more confident gets.

So it seems, confidence is the best attribute you can have, in all aspects of your life. Be confident in who you are, what you are doing, and that you are a leader. But of course, all of that is much easier said than done. I know, depending on the day I’m super confident in myself, and then other days I have absolutely no self-confidence in my ability to do anything. And I can assure you, it does make a difference. This happens at work, with friends, even just at the store. It’s amazing what can happen when you add a bit of self-confidence to your life. For example, one thing I learned in one of my high school AP classes was that even if you are wrong about something, go ahead and be confident in your wrongness. Now, I don’t think my teacher meant that you should decide you’re right even if you’re wrong and you’re going to argue with people about it and never concede that you are in fact incorrect; instead, what I think she meant was, to have a good reasoning to back it up, and even if you are wrong, to stand confidently. Sure, you may be wrong and someone may point that out, but you don’t have to let that affect your confidence. People are wrong and make mistakes all the time, it’s a fact of life. But if you are saying something, or believing in something, then believe in it. Be confident that you are right, and who knows, you may even change someone’s mind on that topic. Even if you don’t, generally the fact that you are so confident in your ability will impress the other person, even if you’re not 100% correct about what you’re saying. It’s the trick of politicians in a way. They are so confident in themselves, even when they aren’t right about an issue.

A great trick to help you get a quick boost of confidence is by taking the superhero pose. So go ahead, stand with your hands on your hips and stand tall. Believe it or not, this helps you mentally, and I did it before a job interview, and I got the job. Sure, you look silly, I suggest doing it in a bathroom or at the house before your interview, that way no one sees you, but it works. It gives a quick boost of confidence, and it also ties in with body language. A big thing that confident people have is partly their body language. When you are confident, you take up more space, you stand taller, and you spread out more. When you are a bit more timid, you take up less space, and you just squeeze into small spaces. With this, you are taking up more space, and you are making a change, you are actually giving yourself a confidence boost.

I know having confidence in anything is a lot easier said than done. I struggled with confidence in my looks a lot during high school. I felt I wasn’t the prettiest, and because of that, I carried myself that way. I didn’t stand tall, and even though people told me I was pretty, I didn’t really feel like it not compared to (fill in the blank).Well, I colored my hair, got a slight confidence boost, and decided I wanted to enter the acting and pageant world. I wasn’t sure about it, but I was feeling slightly more confident, and wanted to give it a try. Well, it was a little rough at the beginning, especially when I didn’t win the pageant, and when I wasn’t able to get a job. I was told it always came down to me and another girl. The other girl always got the job. It sucked, and it didn’t help my confidence. But then I realized some things. When it comes to acting and modeling, the casting directors usually have an idea of what they are looking for in their heads, before they even see a single girl for the part. Once I realized that, it became much easier to enter a casting and hear them talk about me (too short, not the right hair color, etc.). Well, I also realized with certain things like my height, that I can’t really change that. So I stopped caring. I am average height, I will never be a runway model, and that’s ok. I was created this way, nothing I can do to change it, so I just learned to accept it. Once I realized this, I got more confidence in my acting ability, and in my looks, and soon after, I started getting some jobs. From there, my confidence grew. Now, even if I don’t get the job, I still am confident in my abilities and in my looks. I am me, and that’s perfectly fine, if it’s meant to be, I will get the job.

Finding this confidence wasn’t easy, but it made me so much happier when I did find it. I walk taller, and am more confident in so many aspects of my life. So go pose like a superhero, you never know what you can do with your newfound confidence.

When We Think Positively We Change Our Lives

I am a huge proponent in positive thinking and in positive actions. I believe that when you have positive thoughts and do things that support these positive thoughts, that you will have a positive outcome from it. Well, my mom spent some time in the hospital this weekend, and while we were there we had a doctor come in who had the same mindset. He has been practicing for over 40 years, and is still going strong, and he said the most important thing was having positive thoughts. He’s an oncologist, and that means he has seen the absolute worst of things. So we were talking and he was saying how if you think positive, and you truly believe in something, you will be able to affect your outcome in a positive manner. While I don’t believe that we can actually control our fate, as that is in God’s hands, I do believe that positive thoughts lead to positives in your life. Think of it as the placebo effect. For those who don’t know, the placebo effect is when your mind believes that you are being healed from a placebo (a sugar pill) and your symptoms actually decrease or disappear altogether. It’s very common in psychological and medical studies, and all the research shows just how powerful our minds are.

Here’s five examples where powerful positive thinking actually makes a difference in our lives.
  1. Medicine. As mentioned before, the placebo effect is common in the medical field, and shows us that even with a sugar pill, in some cases, our mind just has to think we are being healed to actually heal itself.
  2. Cancer. According to many doctors and nurses in the oncology field, it really is all about that positive mindset that you are going to beat it. While there are several studies that push for that being true and being false, there is no definitive answer on that yet. You just have to believe that it helps.
  3. Increased life span. According to the Mayo Clinic, having a good positive mindset actually helps you to live longer.
  4. Lower levels of depression. 
  5. A better immune system.
The last three are all cited from the Mayo Clinic website, and are actually still tied to the placebo effect. While they do not know why or how this correlation is there, they do know that it exists. There could be a number of reasons, some being that positive thinkers are more likely to handle disappointments and life obstacles better because of their positive mindsets. Or perhaps because they are more positive about things, they exercise more and lead healthier lifestyles. It’s hard to say when it’s a correlation, and while correlation does not mean causation, a correlation should not be ignored. 
So overall, when life gets you down, try to remain positive. It will get better, just have a little faith, and try to find a positive each day that you can really focus on. Some days it’s easier than others, but think of it as a challenge. I’m trying to do the same thing myself, that way I can focus on my blessings and the positives in my life, rather than dwell on all the negatives. 

Dress to Impress

When I was in college, one of my sorority sisters and I came up with this fashion “rule.” It’s a rule that we made up, for ourselves, but it’s a way we ensure that we look presentable at all points in our lives. After all, you never know who you are going to run into at the store, or out running a quick errand after work. Our point was to always look presentable.

To keep up, we came up with a 2 out of 3 fashion rule. Let me break it down for you: we have three things on our scale, which includes your outfit, hair, and makeup. So out of those three things at all times when you are out in class, or you are going to the store, or meeting a sister for coffee, you have to have 2 out of the 3 things done nicely. So, if you are feeling more loungy and want to wear sweatpants or yoga pants to meet a friend for coffee, you have to have your hair straightened or done nicely (no messy buns!) and you have to have done your makeup for the day. That way you still look like you care a little about your appearance, but you still are able to be comfortable in your yoga pants. Same thing if you have a bad hair day (be honest, we all have them). You would be able to throw your hair up in a ponytail or just leave it not so great, but you would counteract that look by having your makeup done and by wearing a cute outfit. And then finally, if you don’t feel like wearing makeup, at least ensure that your hair looks cute, and so does your outfit. Now, ideally, you would be able to have all 3 items checked off each day, to look your best, but we did want to make sure we allowed for days when you didn’t feel so good, or you were running late for an exam.

We devised this rule after a not so pleasant sorority chapter in which we had to discuss personal attire. Now, generally the thought most people have with sorority girls is along the lines of Legally Blonde as far as blonde, dressed in pink, and cookie cutter. This was definitely not my sorority, we were not cookie cutter, we did not all wear pink, and we all were definitely not blonde. Which was great, we did not fit the sorority mold, but we had a great sisterhood. One of the things we did not have that my sister and I wished we did, was an importance of representing ourselves and our sisterhood well through fashion. My Big and I are also very into fashion and like to look our best because we know how quickly first impressions are made (within 3 seconds of someone seeing you), and we never knew who we were going to see around campus. Plus, looking like a slob in class, not exactly something I wanted my professors to think of me as. But, not everyone in the sorority had the same feelings we did, so we actually had to discuss how to dress while representing the chapter. Seems like that is not something we should have had to do, and it was one of the things I did not love about my sorority. But we did, and the presenters of this pretty much said the same things we had said about ensuring that we look presentable at all times, and we dress well, especially when we had letters on. For everyone outside the sorority, they may only see that one girl with our letters, and we always want to represent our chapter well, and give it a good image.

It may seem harsh to some, or even superficial that we were that concerned with how we look, but it’s all based on psychological facts. Humans are extremely shallow, and judge so much based on how it looks, including people. Now, that’s not necessarily how it should be (hence the age old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover”), but it is how it goes. So unfortunately, you can fight it, or you can go with it. I personally love fashion and clothes, and doing my hair and makeup, so for me, it’s not a difficult task. I have modeled and been in commercials before, and I know if I had not made sure I looked a certain way, I would have never had those opportunities. I also know that I could run into a future employer, or really anyone that I want to impress, and I would be mortified if their opinion of me was that I didn’t care about my appearance at all. That says something about your personality, and many people think that if you don’t care about your appearance, then you probably don’t care about anything else like your job, or your house, etc. It’s not fair, but it’s perception. So while everyone has their own ideas about this, mine is simple. Dress to impress. You never know who God is going to place in your path today, and you never know what opportunities you may be afforded, so you should try to look your best when you get them.

When Women Support Other Women, Incredible Things Happen

The title of my blog is one of my favorite sayings. It goes without saying that we should encourage one another on this journey through life, yet so often we hear or experience the exact opposite. People tear each other down, just to make themselves feel better, but reality is, it doesn’t make anyone better. It just causes pain. And then it starts a cycle. I have had a few toxic friendships where this has happened, and it’s important to me to not be one of those people.

I found myself thinking about the past and people who have put me down in an effort to put themselves up. Now, we all have made snarky comments, it’s a defense mechanism. But when I find myself making snarky comments, it doesn’t make me feel better, and it definitely doesn’t make me a good person. I become the person I don’t want to be. I felt bad, and because of that, I made a comment about someone else to make them feel bad too. That’s not who I want to be, I don’t want to tear someone down just because I feel bad about something they did or said to me. That’s lashing out, and it’s not beneficial to anyone. Me saying those snarky comments is no better than what others had said to me. This led to me start thinking about toxic “friendships” I had in high school, and even in college, and some of them made me feel like absolute crap. In their eyes, and their comments, I wasn’t pretty, or talented, and they were more than happy to tell me that. Not in such an open way of course, which actually makes it worse. We look to our friends for honesty, and also for support, and instead I was getting torn down without even realizing it. One instance I remember was after auditions for a musical. I have always been interested in theatre and acting, and while I’m not the best singer, I can match pitch and blend, which is all that’s needed in high school theatre chorus. The show involved singing, acting, and dancing, and since I wasn’t terrible at two of the three items (like I said, I love to sing, but I’m definitely not the best at it), I figured I had a shot of at least being cast in the chorus and background. Well, they released the cast list during our last period of the day, and because we had an awesome teacher, and were seniors (seniors always get away with more stuff) she let one of the girls go check the list since there were a lot of us that had auditioned in the class. Well she came back and announced to the class that everyone in my group except for me got in the show. Better luck next time. Well, I was disappointed, but I wanted to see what roles everyone got, and lo and behold, when I checked the list myself, I also was in the show. For some reason, it gave this girl pleasure to see me hurting and tell me that I wasn’t good enough to be in the show. I will never understand why she felt the need to do that, it was mortifying and it was bad enough I thought I hadn’t gotten in, but to have the whole class know it too, that was really sad. Needless to say, after high school I didn’t remain friends with that group. While that was only one instance, there were definitely more times that they decided to do little things like that to put me down.

Since then, I have always wondered why women are so mean and horrible to each other. I still don’t understand the point in making someone feel so terrible about themselves. It’s mean, cruel, and the world is cruel enough, we don’t need to turn on each other. It was empowering for me to join a sorority and actually have women support me (and not in a fake way either). Of course there were girls in there that did the same things my old “friends” did, and I just did my best to avoid those girls. But there were true friends in there too, those that are supportive, and will be happy to give you a reality check, but not at your expense. They want what’s best for you, and they are happy to scream in the bleachers as you graduate, listen to you talk endlessly about the audition you went to, and celebrate when you get cast. Those are the women you want in your support system. The women who, even when things aren’t going their way, are still able to be happy for you and your accomplishments. The women who won’t put you down just to make themselves feel better. They know their own strengths, and are confident in them.

It’s so cliche to say that everyone is different, but it’s true. And it’s amazing what we can do when we support one another rather than tear each other down. If you’re an incredibly great singer or artist or writer, that doesn’t take away from another style of creativity that your friend has. There are so many variations of creativity, and no one style is better than another. You can be an extremely talented individual, while still having other aspects that you aren’t as talented in. That doesn’t lessen your talents, it just makes you a human being. I strive for perfection, but I know that I will never sing like Taylor Swift. It’s just not a reality for me. Same thing with art, I will never be able to draw or paint beautiful pieces of artwork, but that doesn’t mean I’m not creative in other ways. Don’t put someone down for a lack of creativity because their creativity is different from yours. Instead, push them up and celebrate the talents they do have.

It can be extremely difficult to remember your worth in a world that is constantly telling you what you’re lacking. We have magazines telling us we are either too fat or too thin, or not attractive enough in some way, and then we have rejection from jobs, and internships, and other career opportunities that we had our hearts set on. Let’s face it, the world is harsh. Surround yourself with a group that doesn’t make life any harder than it needs to be. Finding positive people who will help push you forward is difficult, but it is so worth it. I have a great support system of women who have pushed and succeeded in life, and help push me and others to succeed in life as well. They don’t put others down to make themselves better, they make themselves better by supporting others. They share the talents they have, and they focus on improving themselves by helping improve others.

It’s the Little Things

Today has been a rough day. I had issues with clients, didn’t sleep well the night before, wasn’t able to exercise this morning, the list just goes on and on, and as I’m finally trying to de-stress and prepare for another day (it’s only Wednesday, two more days to go!) I was reflecting on what happened today, and realized there were a few bright spots, and they were completely unexpected, but helped me to feel better during some of the downsides of the day.

After having a flood of clients that had some issue or another (I’m not going to bore you with the details, but it wasn’t a slow email day, we’ll put it that way), I got one that was fine with what I said and included a smiley in the email. Now, to most, that’s not a big deal. But after having a super stress filled day, I really appreciated having that client send me that. Now, they had no idea that I was having a rough day, or wasn’t in the best mood (sleep deprivation, it’s bad), so to them, it wasn’t a big deal. But to me, it made me smile and helped my mood. Sure, it’s a small thing, but it was a happy client, and that meant something to me. It was a nice gesture.

Which then got me thinking, how often do we not do something so simple as smile at someone we pass by, or wave at the neighbor as we drive past them? If we don’t know them, many of us don’t do this. Is it because we think the person may look at us funny? Or may wonder, why are they waving at me? Are we really going to be so wrapped up in our own worlds that we care? A person smiling may be what someone needs after a terrible day. Maybe they have a sick child at home, and they’re grabbing soup for their sick kid, and a smile would help them as they rush through the store. You never know what someone else is going through, and you never know what little thing could make their lives better.

There are some definite things that definitely don’t help though, even if you mean well. I’ve had bad days and had to run to the store after, and someone (usually some guy) would tell me to “stop looking so glum and smile.” Do NOT ever tell me to smile. I am a very cheerful person usually, and someone telling me to smile is not a good way to make me smile. It’s a good way to piss me off even more. So please, you can smile at someone, but don’t tell them what to do. You don’t know what is going on in their lives, I had just recently had a family member diagnosed with cancer when this incident occurred, so I really was having a hard time finding things to smile about. So be considerate, because telling someone to stop looking down, probably isn’t doing much to actually help their mood. If anything, that could make it worse.

So I challenge you: be extra kind to everyone you meet. Wave at the neighbors (even the ones with the obnoxious kid who has hit your car with a baseball), smile and say hello to the cashier at the store (they deal with people all shift long, they could be having a rough day too), and maybe do something small for someone. A little kindness goes a long way, and even if it is something as simple as a smile.

Overall though, I challenge you to stop and find little things to be happy about and grateful for. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our problems, and issues, and it can be easy to forget about the little blessings that are placed in your life. Maybe, it’s a cool breeze after an extremely hot day. Or maybe, it’s the smell of citrus in the air. Or seeing a rainbow after a storm. Sure, those are all little things that we rarely take into account because we are so busy rushing around. But sometimes, those are the little things that can help lift our spirits when life gets tough.

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