Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moving Forward

Happy Thursday, everyone! I'm happy to report that the storms passed us by, but unfortunately left destruction for our neighbors in Oklahoma City. Living in tornado alley is no fun this time of year. Saying lots of prayers lately for the victims of mother nature- in Oklahoma City and Joplin.

It's always hard to know how to react in hard times. Part of me wants to make a sharp left on I-44 when I see the Joplin sign and just go, see how I can help. This weekend, I plan to donate something to one of the many "Neighbors in Need" campaigns going on around Tulsa. I'm so glad we can pull together as a community and offer support to those who need it. It's small, but it's something.

In the meantime, life goes on as normal. Isn't that strange? Deadlines at work still have to be met; bridal showers take place. Everything continues.

And with stress on top of worry, sometimes you just need a little laughter in your day. Or in our case... choreography.

Here's a video that hopefully makes you laugh. Or at least makes you so annoyed with my bossiness (remember: oldest of four, here) that you'll briefly forget your troubles.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Braving The Storm

As I sit and type this, a storm is raging outside. A massive, scary, big storm... full of rain and hail and lightning and thunder and the worst of all... tornados.

Already tonight, 7 people have been killed in Oklahoma... homes and businesses flattened. And though every life matters, 7 is a small number compared to the 122 that are reported dead in Joplin, with another 1500 missing.

Every year around this time, we start preparing our "safe places." We know this is what life in the midwest means; April showers bring May twisters.

It still is nerve-wracking and unsettling. When your TV screen is washed in red and pink (the worst colors when it comes to weather)- it's hard to think about the blue skies that will return in the blink of an eye, making you think you imagined the scariness, the destruction.

But that's what you hold onto. The blue skies. They always come back. Even when the worst storms are raging around you, there is always something to hold onto.

We forget about those "safe places" we prepared long ago, when things were calm and peaceful. We forget about the safe places that are always open to us- whether we prepared them or not.

I sit and write this out because it's a good reminder to myself- and to anyone else going through a storm, brought on by mother nature or otherwise.

The safe places are always there. The blue skies will always come back.

And boy, those blue skies after a storm just can't be beat.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guilt, Guilt, Go Away

Happy Sunday, everyone! I worked 6 days this week- so I'm just soaking today, my one free day, up! Cleaning house, making Target runs, and of course... blogging. :)

Some days I feel like there is SO much on my plate- it almost makes my "off" days a little overwhelming. Days I'm not working 12 hours... I feel like I should be attending a meeting for a freelance project. Or out with my friends. Or working out. Or calling friends to catch up. Just anything to take advantage of those few precious hours of "freedom."

But no matter what- whether I'm working intense hours or laying on the couch after a long day- I feel guilty. Like having a full-time job is not enough of an excuse for the areas of life I'm not handling as well as I could.

I am definitely in a "work" season of life. For a long time I think I downplayed the importance of this season. Because, really, work- in a typical sense- falls pretty low on the priority spectrum of life. Family, friends, faith- it all comes first.

So I find myself apologizing when I cancel on people, or when I forget to make that long-distance phone call, or when I can't make the trip. When I'd rather lay on the couch then go out, or when I choose to spend time with one person over another.

But this season for me is so much more than work, in a typical sense. I'm becoming a smart business woman. I'm learning every day how to better manage my finances. I'm growing into leadership roles. I'm paving a career path. And, along the way, I'm making some lifelong friendships and learning some pretty important life lessons.

It's not marriage. It's not a new baby. But it's important life work. So I'm focusing on feeling less guilty... and embracing this season that I'm in.

All this to say- I have the best, most supportive friends and family. Most of the time the guilt I feel is self-imposed. Imagine that! :)

And when I make myself feel guilty, it adds to my stress level. Guilt and stress are like matches and gasoline, I tell ya.

My greatest prayer and goal this week is that I give myself a break. To not feel guilty when I "fail" in a few areas, to enjoy my downtime.

And to watch plenty of Housewives. :) (Quick poll: New Jersey, New York or Orange County?)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sisters & Brothers

Howdy, ya'll! Hope everyone is having a great week. My sister was less than pleased that I posted that "frat house shenanigan" video the other day... so of course I'd like to post another video. And this time, she and my brother are singing. :) Joy! Turn up the speakers!

There's a (small) period of time I can go without seeing my family before I start to get antsy. I was just watching a few videos on my newly updated Vimeo account (which you can find here) and it makes my heart ache. Even though you won't find one single serious video in the bunch- they all make me miss my family. I've said it once and I'll say it again... my sister and my brothers are 3 extensions of me. And don't even get me started on mom & dad.

I'll be home in a few weeks to watch my youngest brother graduate high school. He's the only one of the crew I can remember in vivid detail as an infant. Changing diapers, carrying him, making him play pillow house, watching him grow up. I don't remember life without Ali, and with Timmy it's just a bit foggy around the edges- but Mikey, I remember it all. So watching him graduate... it makes me proud and nostalgic and old, all at once.

Ah, well. I'll ponder that fact over the course of the next two weeks leading up to his graduation.

So, without further ado, here is a... duet?... of sorts, brought to you by Alison Leigh & Timothy William.

I think we might be able to take this act on the road.

Hero Music Video from Lindsay O'Donnell on Vimeo.

And here's one more of my youngest brother, the one with... *ahem*... real talent. :)

Mikey Playing The Drums from Lindsay O'Donnell on Vimeo.

Monday, May 16, 2011

3 on a Monday

Hello and happy Monday! Can Mondays be happy? I tell ya... this Monday tried to make me unhappy. It tried to stress me out and make me want to eat lots of sweets and at the very least, make me very very cranky.

But I persevered! I said no, I will not let Monday give me the blues. And so it didn't. The power of positive thinking, people. Believe it.

Today, on this Monday-that-actually-went-ok, I would like to share with you 3 thoughts. The first, this:

1) I have a Bible verse of the week. It's a classic, but I would like to write it down right here so I can refer back to it all week long, when Tuesday tries to stress me out or Thursday or Saturday when I'm working. (Yeah... boo.)

So, here we go:
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

I'm especially loving the idea of being patient, kind and having self-control. Self-control... especially in the snacking/aka I-love-M&M's department. (Yes, I realize I'm being especially literal with that one.)

2) Vimeo! After an 8 month hiatus, I have started posing a slew of back-logged videos. Go watch 'em! Laugh with me! Or let me laugh alone. Either way... they make me laugh. Here's a teaser:

3) I go to San Diego in less than 3 months! Woo hoo!

So, there's my top 3 on a Monday. Anyone else like to share their top 3? Come on... even if you caught the Monday crankies... it will make you feel better.

Here's to a happy Tuesday, too!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Musings

Happy Sunday, folks! Sunday is always a hard day to be in a different city... er, different state... than my family. I love the idea of going to church with my parents, lazing around the house, having an evening cook-out. Even though I know they aren't having these idyllic family Sundays... (at least every Sunday)... it's still hard being away on this particular day of the week.

Ah, well. I had a pretty perfect weekend! A baby shower on Saturday, drinks with a friend and a movie with another friend. Listen to me: go see Bridesmaids. You will laugh, a lot.

And today was pretty great, too. Laundry, a nice run along the river. A little flirtation with a frisbee golfer. Note to self: learn how to throw a frisbee to impress the cute boys.

So all in all, a great weekend! I desperately need these rejuvination weekends, especially after a grueling week at work. And increasingly, the weeks are becoming more and more grueling. I anticipate they will continue along this path until... the holidays? As in Thanksgiving? Christmas? Yikes.

There are some fun things in the works right now! Some big things are happening with my freelance projects- hopefully I can share soon. I was also just asked to produce a big happening here in town later this summer. Fun!

I think summer as a whole is going to be good to me this year. Last summer was the slow slide towards the "crash of 2010". I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year- but I know so many good things are going to happen this summer.

And the best part? I will get to celebrate "one year"- since Toby's death, since so many things changed initially for the worse and ultimately for the better- in the beautiful city of San Diego with my mom & sister in August.

Life is good! Summer is good. Lake trips, lots of Cherry Berry, lots of idyllic family Sundays. And hopefully a few more cute frisbee golfers, too. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday and Freedom

It's Friday, Friday, Friday....

I've only heard that song once- on Glee- and it's stuck in my head today! Partly because it's Friday, and partly because I feel like singing because this week is over. The work week, at least. What a week it was. It started normally, with the typical mill of meetings, meetings and more meetings. And on Tuesday, one meeting changed the whole week for me.

I was sent with a small crew out to Littlefield, Texas (outside of Lubbock) to shoot video of a prison. Yes, a prison. My company will auction the prison this summer, so we went out to interview people in Littlefield and take a first hand look at the jail ourselves.

What an incredibly eye-opening experience! We saw firsthand how prisoners live in a medium security jail. The prison itself was vacant and has been since 2008. It was a bit frightening to say the least; town ghost stories and lore about the place didn't help, either!

But the best part of all was seeing how this small community of Littlefield embraces this prison. They see it as a vital part of the community's survival. Such a juxtaposition- a community that embraces and loves a prison. I imagine some of that positivity, some of that love and need must wear off on the prisoners, making some of them feel loved and wanted for possibly the first time in their life.

I love trips like these- where I get so wrapped up in a story, in a community, that it sticks with me for days. And even though sacrifices were made (an out-of-town friend was supposed to come visit this week; plans changed because of this trip) and I was so dissapointed... there's something refreshing about hopping on a plane and jetting off to another state. There's something reaffirming about life to walk in a prisoner's shoes for a day. And my job feels so worth it when I get to interview the city mayor about her small town which she loves so dearly.

So tonight I'm drinking a glass of wine to a job I love... freedom... and my own small, tight-knit community of loved ones.

Oh, and did I mention the restless inmate I stumbled across? :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mine, All Mine

Uh oh... two consecutive blog posts in a row! I guess my "blogging bug" is back.

I'm sitting on my front patio, enjoying a perfect Oklahoma evening. I've decided there are few things better in life than sitting on the patio of your very own home.

Mine, all mine.

In fact I'm starting to appreciate these "mine all mine" moments more and more every day. I look at my house, my job, my friends and family and think... yeah, life is good. Of course I take no credit for it- it's all an absolute blessing from God- but it's nice to look at what a little faith and a lot of hard work will get you in life.

I've also done a lot of thinking lately about "choosing" my attitude. About choosing to be positive, to be happy, to be energetic. Choosing to let go of negativity and hurt. Sometimes it becomes comfortable to cloak ourselves in a certain emotion- especially when it becomes "the norm" for a period of time. For me, that emotion was hurt.

Work is hard; the hurt comes back. Life throws a curve ball; the hurt is never far away. It's like a little monster lurking in the corner, waiting to suck you back in when you're feeling low.

The best part of this whole blog post is that I am not hurt anymore. I'd like to think I've truly come full circle. I held onto the hurt for a long time because it was easier to feel that way than to think that- gasp- I may have actually moved on and healed and found myself happier than ever in the process.

That doesn't mean there aren't days when things sneak back up on me- little moments that give my stomach a jolt or my heart a twinge.

But now that a new emotion is the norm- happy- it's all a little bit easier to deal with. My default isn't to cry anymore, or hurt. It's to move on and appreciate all the good, the blessings, the happy.

And who couldn't be happy sitting on a patio on a gorgeous summer evening, looking up at her very own home?

Mine, all mine.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Celebrating My Mom!

Happy Sunday, everyone! And more importantly- Happy Mother's Day!

I am one lucky girl. I am one of the rare 27 year olds who has a great relationship with her mom. In fact- I'd easily call my mom one of my best friends. She's the first person I call when I need a good cry or to share good news; she's my biggest fan and supporter (and I am certainly hers!) and she has taught me what it means to be a strong, independent woman. She has instilled in me the importance of love and family and hard work. Yes, today I am proud, honored and glad to wish my mom a very Happy Mother's Day!

I always feel like I come up short on days like Mother's Day. Because, really, what you give someone, tell someone, who has brought so much to your life? Who gave you life? And it's especially hard when you don't live in the same city.

So, mom, the best I can do today is give you my words. I love you SO much!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Right to Write

A few weeks ago, an anonymous reader made a comment on one of my posts that hurt my feelings. And ever since, I've had severe writer's block.

I find myself second guessing every tweet, Facebook post, blog post. I have things I want to say, but they just get stuck. I start thinking about what everyone is going to think when they read it, what the comments will be. It's driving me nuts.

I guess it's hard because sometimes I feel guilty. When I started this blog, I thought it was going to be fun and light-hearted. Focus on travel and party planning and my crazy cat and my relationship. My goofy family.

And honestly, that hasn't been the case for Lindsay's Lounge at all in the past year. The best laid plans and all that, huh? Instead, this blog has become a place for me to write about my true feelings, to lay my heart and my hurt out there.

I wake up every day and go for a run. I put one foot in front of another and run forward. I go to work, where I attend meetings and guide people and produce a live broadcast. I think and brainstorm and create. I spend evenings and weekends with my friends and family, where I give as much as I get. I pour time and energy into people- into their heartaches and joys. Into their marriages, their children. Into their dreams and hopes and worries.

And so then comes this blog that's all mine. A place for me to stop running and thinking and listening and smiling. Where it's ok for me to say what I want to say.

And part of what I want to say is how blessed I am, how extremely, incredibly, stupidly blessed I am. Never for a second will I say otherwise.

The other part of what I want to say isn't always light-hearted and happy. That's part of growing up, right? That's part of paying bills and working hard in my career and learning how to deal with heartbreak and death.

This blog is an ongoing novel of my life. These past few chapters may not have been everyone's cup of tea. A little too "real", a little too raw.

That's ok. As my sister said the other night, I have a "right to write." (There you go, Ali!) :)

And I'll keep writing because there will be chapters ahead all about new love and adventure, I'm just sure of it.

So if that's your style, keep reading! Life is constantly changing, and I'm embracing that more every day.

But no matter what, I will say what I want, when I want it, right here in this space.

Goodbye, writer's block.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Living In The Present

It's been raining here all day- a perfect Sunday, in my opinion! I've made the most of it with a run, laundry, Starbucks... and now a glass of wine & The Real Housewives of NYC. Yes, a perfect Sunday indeed!

I can't believe I only posted a handful of times in April. What a busy month! Here we are, May 1st- with one-third of 2011 behind us! It makes me think of all of those New Year's resolutions I made. I'm making progress on a lot of them, and some of them are falling away in importance- but the most important thing is moving forward. I'm embracing the motto "live in the present" right now. It's so easy to get caught up in the past, or worry about the future. So I'm challenging myself to live in the present. And there's no better season than the careless, long, warm and lazy days of summer to live in the present. :)

This week was a whirlwind that started with coffee Monday morning with my dad in Plano and ended Friday night with drinks with friends on my patio in Tulsa. I wrapped up auction broadcasts (for the month of April)... caught up with an old friend over dinner... went running with my best friend... joined millions of others in watching every second of coverage of the Royal Wedding. I slammed my finger in a door (and had my beloved fish ring cut off my finger!) and was chased by two Husky dogs along the river. Whew. What a week.

I also had a "ladies lunch" with two of my favorites at Southern Hills Country Club. Seriously, how inviting does the pool look?! I don't even like golf... but I would play on this course. If they would let me. Which they wouldn't, seeing as how I can hardly hit a golf ball.

I'll stick to my ladies lunch. :)

Next weekend- a "life friend" comes to visit, a friend who also went to college with me. We're having a "college reunion night" with our old OU gang. I can't wait to see everyone, and just spend time laughing with people who knew me when I was 18.

Here's to a new week and living in the present! (And maybe posting a few more times in May than I did in April!)
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