All Around CBUS

Earlier this week I posted about a recent trip to CLE and some quick and fun activities. I thought it would be worth sharing some of the early winter fun I’ve had down in Columbus as well.

First stop OSU Men’s Hockey I truly love hockey, you will see that later down my post, and there isn’t a moment that I’m not following it. If you can head down to the Schottenstein Center and catch a cheap game, do it. First of all they are having a winning season and second of all it’s fun!

Next stop, Color Me Mine in Dublin, where any age can laugh, be creative and have fun all while making something you can either use or display proudly. I have pieces I have made that have been used for over 10+ years. We live this place and all it offers.

Well, I told you I liked hockey, what’s a post about Columbus without posting about the Columbus Blue Jackets? I am just a girl who fell in love with this sport because of my best friends dad and haven’t stopped. John Tortorella has been good for us and if you catch a game on a good night Nationwide Arena rocks.

Fun was had by all at Columbus Axe Throwing! It was my second visit and my friends first. We lost, but had a great time. It’s a fun 90 minutes and I truly can’t wait to go back and pick a different axe throwing name. Apparently “Axehole” is fitting for me 🤷🏻‍♀️

I crossed the visiting of Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium off my list this winter as well as the Franklin Park Conservatory Lights. I truly made memories this holiday season and recommend these places to anyone who wants to enjoy some whimsical moments.

I have many more memories to share about Columbus and the city I have grown to love. Cleveland will always be home, but Columbus has been coming in a close second (don’t forget my love of Chicago).

Coming soon are some of the shops and stops that I have had the pleasure of enjoying the last few months, but you may find a few posts in between, like how I’m finding a love for yoga and I’ve been cooking like there’s no tomorrow lately.

Until next time…

Let’s Talk CLE

If you follow my blog at all, you will know that I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. Born and raised in a suburb south of Cleveland, I called Cleveland home for 30+ years.

Whenever anyone says they are visiting Cleveland I rattle off a list of amazing places they can visit and places they can eat.

One of my favorites is the Metroparks, no matter the time of year, they are amazing.

I had the chance to bring two people with me to Cleveland recently on a visit to see family for the holidays. We only had a few hours to be tourists before family obligations, but Sam and I made the best of it.

Quick stops at:

Great Lakes Brewery for some wine, beer, mustard and BBQ sauce – I’m not sure how I feel about the wine, but the rest are delicious.

West Side Market Cafe for breakfast never disappoints anyone and you can day drink if you like!

West Side Market for delicious items for our holiday dinner.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream – didn’t stay, but we took some home!

And last, but not least, the Cleveland sign!

I can’t tell you how much I love this city and even though I work here a few days a week I don’t get to enjoy all it has to offer.

Be prepared for more tourist stops while I am in Cleveland the next few weeks, as I plan on bringing company up periodically to enjoy the sights and sounds of my hometown.

Until next time.

Working at Home: Not Glamorous

Most people think because I work at home my life is put together and organized.

That is so far from the truth.

If you take a peek at what a day in the life of me is you will realize that it’s not glamorous.

I usually wake up around 7:45 am, start the coffee, feed the cats and walk the dog.

Depending on the schedule, I may or may not make it to the shower before sitting down and having my first conference call chugging my first cup of coffee.

Sometimes afterwards I am running a college student to school or work at this point.

Usually then I’m catching up with our team and answering emails and yes, still in pajamas.

Most of the time I don’t have a lot of face to face meetings when I’m working from home and if I’m lucky, I slow down enough to hop in the shower over lunch and change out of one set of pajamas and throw on yoga pants to get me through the afternoon.

Somewhere in there I sometimes throw a load of laundry in and run the vacuum. Depending if it’s a solo dinner or a family one, I’ll prep dinner too.

My afternoon is putting out fires, working on project plans and making sure I get some stuff done before 5 pm hits. A lot of days my day ends astound 5 pm, a lot of days….it doesn’t.

Needless to say once work is “over” I’m still at home. It makes it hard to leave even though I usually need to hit up the gym.

There are days that I go an entire day not seeing a single person (other than my daughter) and sometimes I wonder if that is a good or bad thing.

It’s interesting when you see nothing but the four walls that surround you from 8 am – 11 pm and not much changes along the way.

Life at home isn’t glamorous at all. I don’t get as much done when it comes to being a Suzi’s Homemaker, I’m not at yoga during my lunch hour and I am pretty sure I can’t guarantee a hot meal that may or may not be more than ramen or macaroni and cheese.

Let’s also consider this week coming up – I haven’t known what day it is for a couple of weeks thanks to the crazy holidays. Because of that I have been off my game at work, off my personal schedule and for sure off my fitness and health schedule.

Tomorrow starts a new week and I, for one, am grateful. I have a new journal, better outlook and lots of books to read. My life moving forward is all about personal growth. While I spend countless hours working and am very dedicated to my job, I also recognize that I am slacking in taking care of myself.

I am pretty lucky that for Christmas I got a few things that keep my desk at home feeling cozy and warm when needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my desk at work and enjoy spending time there, but the introverted side of me likes the pajama, and lets get real no bra, side of working at home.

As I crawl into this week I am grateful for the mix of being able to work at home and away.

Until next time may you find peace in all you do.

The Year of Me

Here we go, another year has passed me by and another year is starting. In the past I have written about the year passed and the new year, but this year I kind of want to just talk about me. Selfish, right?

I have learned that I need to be selfish sometimes. Do what works for me, what makes me happy and take care of my needs. For example, I started to go to the gym again and have learned that I really like yoga. I mean who says that they like yoga? It’s hard and it’s challenging but guess what, if I don’t go a couple times a week I am so crabby.

As much as I am pretty good about eating right, I have stopped the whole diet merry-go-round. Instead I eat what tastes good, but do it in moderation and it will all be okay and taste good at the end.

I had some rough times, but we all do. I lost some good people and there were some sad times, but I know it is all about how we come out of the hard times and shine into the good times that matter. It was a weird year in so many ways, Sam was away at school and over the summer, then she came back, and so I went from being an empty nester to having a college student back at home. It has been a challenge, but so much fun.

Animals are amazing, I have really enjoyed fostering for DASH this year. We have had copious amounts of dogs and cats and our animals have adjusted fairly well. We lost sweet Logan, but we gained Hildie.

I took some time to collect pictures from this year that meant the most to me. Funny how Facebook shows you all the good that happened, because who posts the crappy stuff, but when I really think about it, 2018 wasn’t all that bad.

Here are some of the highlights of 2018:

  • I turned 40, that was a biggie. I was so grateful for my friends who came out and celebrated with me.
  • Saw a number of theatre productions with Olivia, Samantha and friends.
  • One word – hockey – I love it and I saw a lot of it.
  • Friends – so much time with friends, I cherish them all so much.
  • Checked a few things off my bucket list, meeting a CBJ player, going to Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, catching an OSU hockey game, volunteer with Easter Seals and taking Samantha on a real vacation to Myrtle Beach.
  • There were some pitfalls, like falling twice in a day and essentially damaging both ankles for a few weeks.
  • Went to my first Bar Mitzvah & celebrated Hanukkah with friends
  • Caught a last minute Cleveland Indians game
  • Enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day and Easter with family
  • Had a promotion with work to Director of Special Projects with Thrive Peer Support & spent a lot of time talking about recovery at some conferences.
  • Visited Cedar Point for Halloweekends and actually rode some rides
  • Took James to his first CAVS game & Paw Patrol
  • Made a few adult trips to COSI and a couple crafty nights out with the girls
  • Went to Chicago, saw the cutest little boy and hung with Rachel and Eddie
  • Ate some amazing food along the way and made some amazing food too

The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when. – Simon Sinek

Friendship is really what has gotten me through 2018. If it wasn’t for friends, I am not sure I would be where I am at right now. For the times I wasn’t sure if I could pay bills, asking for help when the car died, taking care of medical bills because I just didn’t have health insurance yet and when I was struggling with my dad being so far away battling cancer. My friends have been there. Good, bad and indifferent, they are there. The small group I call my friends hasn’t changed much in the last 10-ish years, there have been some additions and a few subtractions, but overall they are my rock. We celebrate together, we vent together and we laugh together.

Now onto the goals of 2019…this is not usually my strong suit. I am not a fan of setting goals, I mean I am a project manager so I spend a lot of time creating goals and achieving them for work, I am not what you would say am good about setting personal goals and sticking to them.

*** Drumroll Please ***

  • Find a new class at the gym each month and go to it
  • Set some short term achievable objectives for my health
  • Schedule a mammogram and physical (now that I have health insurance)
  • Check a few more things off my bucket list
  • Travel somewhere I have never been
  • Read 6 books
  • Check in on a friend every day
  • Do better at checking in and helping my mom
  • Stop being so critical of everyone and worry more about my side of the street
  • Blog a little more
  • Cook a little more
  • Take a cooking class
  • Go camping
  • Light a candle, use the smelly lotion and buy the expensive perfume once in a while
  • Eat all the good foods
  • Treat everyone I come in contact with a little kinder and a little gentler

It isn’t much, in fact it isn’t anything really tangible. However it works and they are all things I can actually accomplish if I put my mind to it.

Whatever you may come across, I hope that you succeed. If you need some encouragement to get done what you need to get done, ask. If you just want to sit and be still, do it. There is no right or wrong way to go about your life and now that I am 40, I am truly a firm believer in that.

May you have all the blessings in 2019 and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

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!