Changes

There are moments in life where things shift. Things change. I’m 40 and everyday things are changing around me. I am one who struggles with change. I like contentment and status quo.

This month/week/year things have changed. A lot.

I have felt a shift in my life.

It’s been a shift with health, family, friends, work and relationships. When things change, my attitude adjusts, I become anxious and sometimes just do my best to survive.

Spending time at the gym has been high on my priority list, but some days I fail to go. Cooking healthy has hit a rough patch because of work and travel, so the progress I was making has halted. Spending time with my reading and writing has, poof, vanished. I just don’t have the time. I love how everyone says if you need the time you will find the time, but damnit I need more hours.

Work eats up 90% of my life between driving, actual work, phone calls and the barrage of work I don’t get done during regular work hours, so I’m working late and the weekend to get my stuff done. I’m fortunate that I’m working, goodness knows there are days I don’t think I’m worthy of this job and that I don’t know what I’m doing. Then there are days that I love what I do and feel good about it.

I’ve become lax on cleaning and organizing, figuring that there are worse things than a few dishes in the sink, dust and animal hair. It was a project to just put up the tree and about once a month I get a bug up my ass and deep clean. Otherwise I kinda say f**k it. It’s not like I’ve been entertaining much lately, so that’s helpful.

Family has been challenging. I feel alienated from them most of the time. My dad is in Florida, isolated from all of us, recovering from surgery and still making sure his cancer is gone. My mom has her own life and while she has a cell phone, sometimes talking to her is like pulling teeth, and then trying to share my life with her is exasperating. I don’t know how to change these two situations, but the change in our relationship has been exhausting. Fortunately, my nephew wears me out when I’m over and the short bit of time we spend together is always entertaining.

Sam in college has been a blessing and a curse. It’s a change to have her home after a year. I got used to just doing my thing, but I love the help I get with Pippa and the cats and knowing that someone is here when I am gone. Plus it is nice that when we can we have a meal or watch TV together.

Recently, I got back into the dating game (sometimes it is a game) and have learned about terms like ghosting, cat fishing and catch and release. I think this has been one of the biggest changes in my life. Getting to know another person, share my time with another and do what I could to just be myself. All the meanwhile hoping the person I’m spending time with is truly who they say they are and learning to trust and just enjoy the experience.

Now, I am not complaining, of that I am sure. Things are just changing. I have always been one who shies away from change. It can be difficult and it most certainly makes my anxiety peak, but change also can be wonderful and breathtaking.

When things change in life many don’t accept the changes, they push them away and try to keep things status quo. I’ve learned over the years I love, I mean really love status quo. Status quo means that it works, it’s not complicated and it makes me happy. What happens when status quo isn’t anymore? Life goes on. Life just goes on.

The shifts keep happening, they always will. I like to think that the most recent set of shifts is good and not overthink or over analyze it. Changing each day, growing as shifts happen.

Tomorrow is a new day, let’s see what it brings.

In A World Where You Can Be Anything, Be…

**This is not the original post, because awesome WordPress crashed when I was saving and making changes to the first version, so you get version 2.0**

Now, for those that actually follow along on my blog and my life (all five of you) you will see I haven’t blogged since July. Mainly because I just felt left out. See, there’s a word that fits today’s post, “left out” (well it’s actually a phrase, but whatever) in this big world of blogging I felt left out. I was hoping when I moved here years ago I would become part of the blog and social media scene in Columbus, but it never happened.

When I blogged in Cleveland I was surrounded by bloggers and social media friends I was so excited to be with (some of which still blog today) like Why CLE?, Smitten in Cleveland or Always Alicia and it was a community that I was a part of and I felt included. Moving to Columbus I just never felt part of the community and so my blogging became few and far between.

This last week or so I got the itch to write again, but couldn’t put my finger on a topic I was really passionate about or that struck my fancy.

Then it hit me at 6:00 am and I started writing.

Lately in life I find myself wondering. Wondering about the world we live in.

We all know the quote, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” and it’s typically followed by a cute picture.

Thanks to the holiday season crashing down upon us, you see the quote more and more with this image, featuring the beloved Grinch.

I laughed out loud the first time I saw this.

Mainly because I truly can relate to the Grinch. Not loving the holidays (I know, I know) and being stuck in my own head plus, I do love my dog. Yet, if you have ever seen the movie, the Grinch has a heart, oh me too, and when the Grinch finally gives in he loves and he cares and the world becomes right. /the end

When seeing the quote floating around Facebook this week I began to think. In a world where you can be anything you can be kind, caring, loving, compassionate, peaceful, honest and so many positive things. Yet, we can also choose to be indignant, distrustful, self-centered, alone, angry or any slew of negativity.

It’s a choice.

In this life I am a mom, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I have not always succeed at these, but I have tried. At one point in my life I would have told you in a world where I can be anything I would choose to be distant, bitter and indignant. Those are not really positive, but it’s true. I never thought in this world I would be in love with my career (yes, it’s not a job for me anymore), be happy with life (well most of it) or just be here. I hated my life. So many times I said f**k it and wanted nothing to do with it. My life was a disaster and I wanted to burn it all down.

Then things changed. Small things, but things changed. I got a little bit of myself back, some motivation, help from others (which was hard to ask for) and slowly, like cold molasses, things changed.

I’ve talked in my blog about my history, the battles I’ve overcome and many daily challenges. The key is to not let them define me, but mold me. It’s not been easy, but in a world where I can be anything, I’m shooting for resilient.

The main quote “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” is one that each day I try to accomplish a little more. People at work kid that I need to be kinder and gentler, I can come off as abrasive and condescending, so I’ve been working on it. Progress not perfection folks. Being kind is my thing, in my own way. Taking care of others, helping when I can, being there when someone is in need, those are all my ways of showing kindness. Funny thing is when kindness is shown to me, I freeze. I reject it. I run as far away as possible. How dare you be kind to me. Nope. Not having it.

As each day passes, accepting others kindness, striving for my own ability to be kinder and watching the kindness of others makes for a much healthier life.

This week I encourage everyone to find a word, or phrase, to finish the sentence “In a world where you can be anything, be…” and share it.

Put it on my Facebook page or tweet it to me on Twitter.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

So Many Pictures!

People ask me all the time why I take so many pictures! I’m not sure I have a simple answer, but I caught myself this weekend taking pictures of the animals and wondering, why do I snap so many photos when I see them everyday.

These guys make me smile and fostering a few of them makes my heart full ❤️

Then I realized I take pictures of more than just animals during the day.

I am a fan of my selfie – it reminds me of where I was and how far I have come, even with no makeup and messy hair I find a way to snap an image of myself and be proud of it, own it.

Heck, the other day I was so proud of the fact I found a planner I loved and was using it I snapped a bunch of photos.

I seem to go through life so quickly I can forget about all the good that has happened to me and in my life.

Simple reminders, like an amazing 40th birthday in Michigan with friends, time with my nephew, my talented daughter and family or simple things like a beautiful sunrise or a shot of the city.

You see, I take photos to remember how fortunate I am. I take them so I remember how grateful I am for everyone in my life, no matter how little or how much I see them.

I take photos to make sure I never forget. When I do forget those images are there to remind me.

So, snap away, know that pictures are worth a million words and I love seeing your pictures!

When Did Life Change?

I’m not sure when my life changed so much.

Life used to be about chasing after a child and managing shared parenting. It was difficult at times. There were ups and downs for sure. I made it through some great times and some really bad times. My life always has revolved around me helping others and taking care of others. It was always hard when I needed to ask for help and I had to ask for a lot over the years.

Now life is about me, usually.

I spend a lot of time working, not having to chase a child around, but I now have one dog and 2 cats…most of the time. I have recently become part of a foster group and usually have an extra dog and cat hanging around.

I have found that I am a homebody. Like part of me wants to go out and do things and then part of me just says “nah” and I stay in.

Take for example today. I gave an open invitation to friends to stop by for dinner and when they couldn’t make it, instead of looking for something else to do, I yanked my bra off, put on pajama pants and made myself dinner. Put on some HGTV and played Candy Crush. I skipped working and really just ignored the world.

Now, was my choice “healthy”? Probably not. Should I have gone to the gym, visited a friend, worked or done something more productive? Probably.

So now I am looking at one more quick walk with the dog and being in bed by 9:00 pm.

I wonder when my life changed. When I stopped worrying about dating and being a social extrovert to accepting single and becoming introverted.

At some point I stopped giving a shit what people thought of me, my looks and my attitude. I dyed my hair, pierced my nose and stopped worrying about being fashionable and instead chose to worry about being with those who want to spend time with me and caring for animals.

Life has changed a lot in 40 years that’s for sure and each day I look forward to another challenge.

This is 40 and 40 is for me.

Aprons & Easels – Hilliard, OH

In my almost 6 years in Columbus I have neglected to do much that is crafty. I have also failed miserably when it comes to getting out and doing things alone.

I met April through a local Facebook page when I was looking for someone to watch Pippa. It was one of those things that I had never thought about needed to do and she was willing to keep Pippa in her home and not cage her, that to me was amazing.

A couple of years ago April opened Aprons & Easels in Hilliard and it took off. I had neglected to visit because, let me reiterate, I do not like doing things alone. So no matter how pretty or awesome a painting was or fun a class looked, going alone wasn’t my MO ~ even with wine involved 🤷🏻‍♀️

Aprons & Easels is a very welcoming environment that displays a ton of great programs for both the beginner and advanced artist.  As I am not really a beginner, but I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, I was intrigued when April had a succulents class – I like plants!

When I walked in I was blown away by all the cool things that are available to do at Aprons & Easels – pallet paintings, glass painting, succulents, mom & me, couples and of course your traditional painting on canvas.

Everyone there was most helpful and welcoming.  There was a little table set up with some snacks and beverages which was nice and there were samples of all kinds of previous work to show what classes can be offered.

This is a great location for a girls night out, mom and me event, fundraiser or company get together.  They have all kinds of options, you just have to call and ask!

Currently there is a Groupon available or if you want to look at upcoming classes you can look and register –> HERE!

Weight Watchers Freestyle – Weeks One & Two

This is a new venture for me. I haven’t even dipped a toe into Weight Watchers for at least 10 years.

Now that I have a nifty smart phone, it makes the calculation way easier than a notebook and calculator.

Here are some facts of the last two weeks:

I can honestly say I haven’t been to the gym. I have not been very active due to the ridiculous cold outside. It’s not an excuse, it’s life and guess what I’m quite okay with being sedentary sometimes.

After a week I have noticed these things:

  • Less acne
  • Stomach not acting up (likely less garbage going in)
  • Better food buying habits
  • Cooking more at home vs eating out
  • Same headache pain, but a little decrease in number of days
  • Additional energy, although it may be out of boredom – not sure

I’ve been cooking more and paying attention to the Freestyle plan. There are over 200 foods that are “free” and if I plan right I am only using points on things like:

  • Cheese
  • Potatoes
  • Bread
  • Sour Cream
  • Sweets

For the first couple of weeks I went over my daily points. 23 points daily and 42 extra/week goes fast – it’s not as simple as you would think.

This + some fruit is a decent breakfast. Keeps me filled up for most of the morning. Something like this is about 5 points because I added cheese and some potatoes. The eggs and veggies were zero points as was the fruit.

For lunch I took some chicken breasts, threw them in the InstantPot earlier in the week, shredded them and made some curry chicken salad (minus the grapes). The 5 points came from some light mayo and the tortilla shell.

For dinner I used a few points for rice and the olive oil to sauté the brussel sprouts/mushrooms/onions. Salmon and veggies are free and that was a pretty well rounded dinner.

Overall, I am happy with Weight Watchers and the commercials that talk about how it is “a way of living” is true. I’m lowering carb and sugar intake, drinking more water and eliminating my bad eating out habits.

Five Truths of Life

I wrote down the title of this blog post in January 2017.  I never completed the actual blog post, that is my procrastination setting in.  It has taken me over 365 days to get to the point of actually writing this post.  My original intent was to talk about things that I learned over the last year, you know, the hard knocks.  Instead I just took some time today to jot down some things that I have realized over the last year that maybe when someone else reads them, they will hit home.

Truths of Life 

Nobody will love you until you love yourself.
I don’t always love myself.  By loving myself I mean I don’t care about me.  I don’t look in the mirror and know that I am enough.  Then I get frustrated when I go on a date and it fails or when I am rejected by anyone.  Then I realize until I exude the self-confidence and love I have for myself, nobody will see that and relationships will continue to fail.

Believe in yourself even when nobody else does
This is important to know and believe.  One that I have hard time believing each day.  I wake up and sometimes ask myself if I can really do it.  I criticize my looks, intelligence and everything in between.  Days I can tell myself that I believe in me and all of me I realize that I can conquer the world.

Take care of you
I don’t take care of myself, because I am busy taking care of those around me.  When I find time to paint my nails, put a face mask on, take a long bath or spend a little longer getting ready, I can take on the world.  Once I am taking care of me, I am a better person for those around me.

Learn to be alone
This is probably one of the hardest things for me to accept.  I love people and I love being with people, so when I am alone, I kinda am not sure what to do.  Normal people do things like read, watch movies, cook, clean or maintain their home when they are alone.  Me, I start to isolate even more.  I just curl up in pajamas and Netflix and chill all on my own.  It takes everything in my power to eat or even walk the dog.  My advice to you, learn to be alone and don’t let it get you down.

Travel and travel more
Most of the time I don’t travel very far, mainly here in Ohio.  Second place you will usually find me is in Illinois visiting a cute baby and one of my best friends.  I used to travel for work and have had a chance to see some great places.  One thing as I am edging on 40 that I have learned to do is when I have the chance to travel, I go.  Take people up on the offer, go and have fun.

At the end of the day, you do you.  Do what is right for you and for your life, but keep in mind you don’t want to finish life with regret.  Make friends.  Make more friends.  Do things with those friends.  Try new things, don’t be afraid to take a class, join a gym or get your friends together for potluck and have some fun.  Paint something, craft away, learn yoga.  Try new foods and get out of your norm and just be awesome!

Peace Always,

Jody