Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lemons into Lemonade - A Contest!

First off, thank you all for your lovely comments to me about the loss in my family. Your positive spirits mean more to me than you know. It's so reassuring to know that people out there that I've never met in real life can care so much. (I've chosen not to address nor delete the negative comment from an anonymous reader, and I'm still allowing anonymous comments from now on hoping that it doesn't happen again.)

So, now that I have a small fortune worth of secret pal stuff bought and paid for (and non-refundable), I wondered what to do with it. I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and have a contest. All you have to do is leave a comment about something that you did to turn a bad situation into a positive one & you're entered. You can talk about something that happened to yourself, or something that you helped another person deal with in their own life. It's the positive karma that I'm looking to read about.

However, there's a catch. I'm tired of hearing about rules, so there are no rules for the contest! If I think that your story is just plain awesome - you're going to get more entries. If you post about it on your blog - more entries. Just let me know! The point is that I'd love to hear your stories about the goodness that surrounds us. You can definitely leave an anonymous comment, but if you want to win, make sure that you leave me contact information too.

I might pick one, two or ten winners. I'm not sure just yet, but since there are no rules, I can make it up as I go. I'm not going to tell you exactly what's in those packages, but let me just say that one of the items rhymes with Naddie Lurbos.

Free yarn! Free needles! Free Gadgets! Oh my.

The contest ends on or about October 12th because I just like that date.


Donna said...

Yeah Amanda, What a positive thing to do. Whenever I have a contest I have so much fun.

We recently lost a very much loved puppy called Chelsea. She was a gentle, loving and courages dog. She taught us about fun, happiness and being silly. When we found out that she couldn't stay with us(she had a mal-formed heart valve) we had to learn about sorrow, pain and a feeling of helplessness. But the most important thing she taught us was that each life is special and lives on in memories and the lifting of spirts you experience when you remember them. We celebrate her life and welcomed another crazy, bouncy, loving puppy into our home and hearts. We think of Chelsea each day and remember how happy we were with every silly thing our Oliver does.

Sarah said...

Can I enter for someone else? Because my awesome friend Kate (accordingtok.blogspot.com) recently spoke out on her blog as a survivor of sexual abuse. I blogged about it too. Now she's working as a psychologist. That's turning something around.

Joan said...

I was in a swap once. I gave my person the exact measurements and when the item arrived, it was way too big for me or even my DH. Sometime later I heard about a family friend who was a largish man who had suffered a tragedy and gifted the item to him. So it did have a happy ending.

Amy said...

Way to go!

Through high school and most of undergrad I sold expensive shoes. I grew to hate the job, but just kept mindlessly at it for year after year. We switched managers, and this one (despite my being the MOST senior employee in the store) cut my hours to nothing and refused my long-overdue raise. If my parents instilled nothing else in me, it was a strong work ethic. Because of that, I never considered leaving jobs before this, not for a second. When I quit, it was so incredibly fulfilling, even though I was stepping into the scary world of not knowing where my money would come from.

This is when I decided that I wanted a job I (*gasp*) liked. I applied to the yarn shop in AA, and let me tell you, it was one of the better decisions I made. I made more money, could take yarn out of my paycheck, and got to work around something I loved.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm really sorry about SP :-(

But, I do have a story. When I was in middle school, I had a really horrible time of it. I went from studying in a small (250 people in 6 grades) loving school, to a much larger, much cooler environment (500 people in each grade, with 3 grades). My first year there, I almost failed reading (this is somewhat hilarious because I read all the time). The last two years in that school were even worse because of two certain bullies who basically made my life miserable.

But all was not lost! (no matter how many times I thought it was) I got to high school, and I found my niche and I made it through and to a great college (ivy league even! which is also funny b/c one bully failed 8th grade, and the other later turned into an orange fake tan drug addict)

I guess the point is, I've learned that I'm much stronger than i used to be. How they treated me (and how that school ignored me and my parents when we tried to get help) is not excusable under any circumstances. And I'll be the first to admit that being called thunder thighs as a 14 year old girl walking down a hallway has left me with some lasting issues. BUT, somehow, I came out realizing that those sorts of people are just compensating for their own problems, and that for the most part, they deserve to be pittied rather than hated. Do I still remember their names? Yes. But the point is, I'm on my way to a spectacular career, have found the man of my dreams, and am happy with who I am today. And Ive realized that I don't have to think about what that jerk who you will always (ALWAYS) run into in life thinks about me. Because chances are, in 10 years, I'll be at a point in my life where I could laugh at them - but won't because I'm better than that. (well, maybe just one giggle...)

Jen said...

Amanda, you are awesome. I love all things that rhyme with Naddi Lurbos. :)

My bad situation that I turned into a postive experience? I had this job a few years ago that was a bit of a departure from the lab job I had previously. I was working as a recruiter, trying to place people in jobs in labs. I really struggled with it as the company was new and I had a hard time telling people with chemistry degrees that we were going to pay them $10/hour just so we could make more money. When I was, um, let go (ok, fired) six months after I started I felt so bad. I had no job, no money to really fall back on and it just plain sucked. But I don't regret taking that job or what happened to me because I think it made me stronger. I tried something new, it didn't work, but I learned a lot about myself from it. And, it made me realize that I belong working in a lab all nerdy style like I am. It made me deal with people a lot better.

So that is my story to share.

Thanks for the contest!

P.S. Be looking for something in your mailbox Weds-Thurs-ish. :)

Mistrmi said...

There you go, kiddo! I hope you're keeping something really nice for yourself, though.

Jennie said...

Good to hear you're turning the situation around and just being awesome!

Donna Lee said...

I am full of a admiration for you. And full of dispair at the treatment you received from the sp'ers. I have never joined a swap because I have read of so many people who have had problems.

I am a social worker and work with folks who have serious mental illness and i am in awe each day of the strength and compassion they show each other. I am involved in our peer specialist program which employs people with mental illness to help others. I am trying to get the program to fly at my institution. It is such a good way to encourage folks who have huge burdens to overcome them and to contribute to others. I am daily reminded of how lucky I am.

LookersMom said...

my story is an old one, but has gotten me to where I'm at now.
years ago, after graduating college, I was working at my first job, was engaged and happily dreaming of a future life. one day, out of the blue, the future hubby called up and told me he wasn't coming home (he was finishing up his degree in another state). boom, end of relationship and dreams.
so, I decided this was the opportunity to reasses what I was doing. I realized I loved doing what I was doing at work, but didn't like the commute. so, I applied to law school, quit work, went to school full time. after law school, I was offered my dream job (in-house at a great company/different state).
after moving, my old high school boyfried found me online, we fell back in love and got married. now, years later, and only one job later, we are still happily married, have 2 beautiful children, a job I love, and am grateful almost everyday that the old boyfriend never came home.

KnittyNancy said...

I'm so sorry about your losses and tough times. I love how you are turning the SP bit into a positive. I feel that, in general, fiber people are wonderful. I have no story to share, but hope that you'll keep a treat for yourself.
Nancy, your Ravelry friend

Carrie Penny said...

I am really sorry about the SP thing... That really is horrible! Once again though, I am very impressed by your zen and out look on it.

I just started working at Starbucks and already knew one of my co workers. His grandmother passed last Saturday, so when I found out, I took him a gift certificate for a resturant that is a chain that he can use while he is taking care of her affairs and the funeral arrangements so he and his girlfriend didn't have to worry while on the road about what and where to eat at least one night.

When my father in law passed a co worker of my hubby's did the same for us and even though my in laws where in town it made life easier while running around getting things together.

Stacie said...

You have a great attitude, Amanda! But as some others have said, keep some of your carefully-chosen goodies for yourself. You deserve a treat!

I spent my teen years in a "blended" family after my parents' nasty divorce. "Blended" is not really the metaphor because my step father was into a more "meat tenderizing" method of making his stepchildren adore him. My teen years were filled with moves from one state to another (because he couldn't decide what he wanted to be when he grew up) and general misery above and beyond what a teenager would typically go through. Coup de grace: I was kicked out of the family when I was 17 because the stepfather found a Christmas card that my siblings and I were going to send our real father, who lived in another state by now. Fast forward a few years, and my mother finally divorced him. Within the year, it was with huge dismay that my siblings and I saw him charm another woman and marry her--despite warnings. And this wonderful woman had three teenage daughters too, so we really felt for them all, being only along for the ride. Fast forward again, and now step dad and "stepmother" are divorced, and my siblings and I realize we went through all that to get a second mother and three really great sisters, all of whom were immediately ditched by the stepfather, who has never been heard from since. But we have continued on for the past 15 years raising our families, staying family with each other, and being grateful to that creep for having brought us all together.



I sorry to hear about your recent struggles and you certainly need to be chastised! life has it's priorities and blogging/knitting is not always at the top of the list!

My story:

From 1998 to September 5, 2001 I worked as a nurse-counselor in a D&A rehab for criminal addicts who were still incarcerated in the penal system. that was not the bad part. the bad part was that i had THE BOSS FROM HELL! yes, they do exist, and this person was nuttier -vindictive-and more toxic than any client on my caseload. By the time i finally quit i diagnosed myself with PTSD from all the abuse. My self esteem had completely erroded. I ahd never out right quit anything in my life before, so this was a very difficult time for me!

Thankfully, I was able to eliminate the stress, pick up the knitting needles, and slowly regain my confidence back. Get serious about knitting, I was able to hea; and re-invent a part of myself as a knitting instructor, first teaching at our local big box store, and later weekly at our local community college. What a joy! in addition to working in the nursing field with a much nicer boss now, i actually get paid very well doing something that brings happiness to others!

That's my story!

Take care and hang in there!

Elaine said...

Amanda - sometimes it's very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is some out there, and clearly you'll be moving there shortly. I'm with all the others who say - you are a winner and therefore deserve a great prize!

I am a cancer patient. I was diagnosed just as my daughter was entering her senior year of high school, and my father-in-law, who lived 200 miles away was dying. My husband would spend the beginning of the week with me and then rush down to his father to be with him.
He died just as I began chemo. It was terrible for all of us, but since it was such a vulnerable time for my daughter, I wanted her life to be as normal as possible.

I went through 3 rounds of surgery, chemo, and radiation and never missed a day of work because I needed to be something more than a cancer patient. Aside from my boss, I didn't tell anyone. I wore a wig and no one at work noticed - the most common comment I got was that my hair looked much better this way. Most of my colleagues are men and they didn't even notice that I had no eye lashes or eye brows.

Well, that was 3 years ago, my daughter got into the college of her dreams and has now started her junior year.

I have always done a lot of volunteer work, but having lived through cancer and having been surprised by the goodness of some (and admittedly disappointed by the indifference of others) I have really made it a point to extend my volunteer efforts. Letting people know that you care and are there to help is sometimes as much of a gift as a large box full of stuff.

We care and think that Ms Anonymous is a jerk.

ps The anniversary of my own father's death is October 12 so that is a very special day for me. He was a wonderful man who died of cancer 6 years ago and I miss him every day.

Anonymous said...

Lemons into lemonade is precisely the right attitude to have.

11 years ago, my sister was diagnosed with a rare form of retinal malignant melanoma and the same week, her daughter gave birth to her first child, Jeremy. He was my sister's first grandchild, my parents' first great grandchild, my niece's first child, my first great nephew, and my daughter's first cousin and likely the nearest thing she would ever have to a sibling. We were all so excited that we felt that there was a future. Jeremy was a healthy huge (10+ pound) full-term baby.

The next day Jeremy died in the hospital. After 2 different autopsies they never found the cause of death. We were all devastated, and frankly I thought my niece would be too afraid to try again.

But 5 months later she was pregnant again and had Evan who is now a fabulous almost 10 year old. We all know that were it not for the tragedy of Jeremy, there would never have been Evan and he is our lemonade. In addition, my sister is doing fine. Her cancer is in remission and it looks like she'll be enjoying Evan for many many more years.

You're doing an amazing job! You're going to school and working hard. Don't let anyone bully you. She is the one with a problem, not you. And notice I don't even try to blog - it's just too much for me.

ps I tried to post this and it didn't seem to post. If I've done it more than once I'm really sorry.

B said...

I'm sorry to hear about the losses in your family. I found your blog via Elaine's Knitting blog. I thought there was a life gets in the way clause somewhere in the rules.
Here's my story:
In the summer of 2002 I was laid off of my well-paying summer job. I couldn't afford school anymore, so I had to drop out. I worked part time waitressing and working at taco bell before finding a crappy factory job in the middle of nowhere. At that job I made friends with a coworker who had also run onto some tough times and ended up moving back in with his parents and found the same crappy job I did. Anyway, I stuck that job out even though I hated it. Then my car got broken into and then it just quit, so I got a ride from my coworker to and from work. Eventually we became really good friends, then we started dating, and now we're married with 2 kids! And to think we met at such low points in our lives and such a crappy job in the middle of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda,

It's Jessica again. I noticed that you pointed out that there should be a way to contact us in case we won, and as a non-blogger, I didn't have anything. So I sent you an e-mail but I just realized that my hotmail account lists the sender as George Washington (I guess when I set it up I just wanted to be anonymous). Sooo, if by chance I do win a prize, my e-mail is dadofra at hotmail dot com.

sigh - good job Jess!

Trish said...

Grr - I had a comment all typed out when our server died - so, I am posting it now...

I had only known my (now) husband for one month before I got pregnant. I was in school and he was working at a dead end job - both of us thought that we were in a big mess. Now we are married and have two wonderful children. Just goes to show that any situation that looks bleak can be turned into something wonderful with the right attitude. Good for you for turning the SP exchange into something positive - what a very cool idea for a contest!!