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.

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!

Blog Anniversary

About a year ago I started this little blog. In the last 90 days or so I have lacked in posting absolutely anything to my blog.

You may ask why I have shied away from blogging and my response would be simply, I have so much to say, but yet nothing to say.

When I lived in Cleveland (seems like eons ago) I hung out with a group of people who blogged. We met up once a month and blogged about our experiences and I looked to these individuals for support and inspiration.

Now I am here in Columbus and don’t see much of a blogging community here, so I am on my own when it comes to thinking of ideas and getting out and trying new things.

So for the last year I tried to make sure I blogged and shared recipes, lifestyle hacks and other general things like reviews and places to visit.

Have I been successful? I don’t think I have been unsuccessful, but not sure what I have done is classified as success.

This has been a year of good, bad, happy and sad.

  • My best friend in Chicago gave birth to a beautiful boy.
  • My daughter graduated high school and started her freshman year at The Ohio State University.
  • We lost my brothers cat.
  • My brother bought a new house.
  • My car was repossessed for a short moment.
  • Made many visits to Chicago and on one visit we saw Hamilton.
  • My daughter went to a lot of concerts and I saw Luke Bryan and QOTSA.
  • Friends visited Ohio a few times.
  • Took a trip to Oglebay for a night to see Christmas lights with friends.
  • Continued to be employed.
  • Animals are doing well.
  • Spent quality time with my nephew and family.
  • Saw a lot of hockey games, a baseball and football game or two.
  • Took my mom to her first basketball game.
  • Traveled to Pittsburgh and saw hockey and an old friend.
  • Took a work trip to Minneapolis and saw a long time friend.
  • Drank good wine with out of town friends.
  • Busted my foot royally.
  • Painted, threw axes and went to the pumpkin festival with fantastic friends.
  • Saw the Chinese Lanterns
  • Hosted Thanksgiving
  • Rode on Thomas the Train
  • Participated in the Rally for Recovery
  • Spoke at a few conferences
  • Saw School of Rock & Waitress
  • Cooked and baked a lot

When I look at that list I feel like there are way more good than bad things on it.

Overall 2017 wasn’t all that bad and I am hoping 2018 is pretty awesome and makes way for bigger and better things.

There are so many memories and pictures of what has happened these last 365 days and no way I could capture them all on one blog post.

This doesn’t show my awesome animals, many of my friends or rest of my family. They have all been a big part of 2017 and for that I am grateful.

Here’s to 365 more days of adventure…

Sunday Funday

Sometimes I ask myself what I actually did in a day, especially on the weekends. Today I decided to document most of my day in pictures so I could feel a teeny bit accomplished when I reflected back on my day.

This is me, rolled out of bed, threw a headband on, fed the cats, dog and walked the dog.

Took some time and folded 8,000 pieces of laundry 🙄

The Bain of my existence is cat boxes. I completely and absolutely hate cleaning these things every week.

These are a must each day, I need my vitamins!

Must drink water. Lots of water.

Dishes are a bitch and I absolutely hate doing them.

Laundry, wash it, dry it, fold it and eventually put it away. It’s a vicious and neverending cycle.

Unpacked my Pampered Chef order and am über excited to use these things to meal prep and holiday bake.

Spent time with friends at the local Fall 🍁 Festival and enjoyed the sights and sounds in 80 degree weather. Even picked up a little sun!

Came home and planted my succulents and baked a couple of pumpkin pies 🎃

When I look back and think about my days and if I have actually accomplished things, I need to remind myself that a lot of the little things add up to big things and that’s how I feel like I actually get things done.

Sharing in your 30’s

Today I was messaging a friend back and forth about random stuff. Some point in the messaging I shared that I saved money at Target and spent under $100. That alone friends is a HUGE accomplishment, but then she sent me her receipt from Michael’s and I instantly felt better.

My point in sharing this is I started to wonder did our mom’s ever call each other and say “Hey Sally, I saved a lot at KMart today!” or when our dad’s got home they said “Look honey, I couponed at Gold Circle and saved us $50, but got all this cool stuff!”

Was there ever really a store our parents went into and intended on going on for toothpaste or paper towels and walked out with $100 of random crap, kinda like I do at Target?

Is it because we have cell phones now and can message, tweet, snap, Facebook or Instagram every single thing that happens as soon as it happens?

I find that now that I can communicate in real time with certain people and I share a lot more now that maybe I ever did when I had to wait to get home and then pick up the phone and call.

Let’s take for example the other day when I wasn’t feeling good. I was able to tell two friends and get their advice in a matter of minutes. Before technology I would have spent an hour on the phone with each one and accomplished nothing else.

I’m not able to be in Chicago this weekend and since I can’t see my beautiful daughter or gorgeous nephew start to crawl and pull himself up, I’m luckily able to see this all via video and sort of feel like I wasn’t missing out too much.

I’m on the brink of 40 and I have a few good friends I talk to daily. The nice things about these friends is I can talk to them about pretty much anything. From bodily functions, pets, recipes, weight, pains, love, relationships, family and just about anything in between. We can send pictures, videos and get advice at the drop of a needle.

I am not sure why in my 30’s sharing has become easier than when I was in my teens or 20’s, now you could ask me about anything and I would share and share away.

Not sure what is ahead in my 40’s, but I hope to never lose my ability to share and talk with my girlfriends like I do now.

Coming up in the next few days I am going to talk about what the phrases “basic bitch” and “high maintenance” mean, these phrases have been popping up around lately and have me befuddled.

Monday Musings

Well, another weekend has come and gone and I am pretty sure I accomplished nothing.  Zip, zero, zilch – nada.

When I reflect back on it, I guess I had a good weekend with a hectic social life, that allowed me to spend time with family and friends.

Then I wonder why did I spend time with everyone instead of taking time for me?

Then the anxiety edges in, the headache, the nausea and shit I have just made myself sick, all because I am a people pleaser who can’t ever say no to anyone.

You see, I don’t think like most people. My mind races constantly, I worry all day long and I am always wondering what people think about what Insay, wear or do.

I could have stayed home alone, but instead I went to see the Cincinnati Thunder play on Friday, which was a sad game, but the company was amazing! I saw extended family I don’t see often and got caught up in a spectacular lightening storm on my way home.

Saturday gave way to an old friend bringing their girlfriend to Columbus for her first NHL game and dinner.  The game was amazing and being around friends was great. I think however that I managed to be kinda rude and pulled away from the guy I went with. You see, as awesome, exciting and great the first coupleof weeks were, I managed to shut it down as fast as it started. 

Here is how I feel at the moment…

  • I am too picky and too stubborn – I don’t think that I can deal with anyone else in my life. 
  • I can’t be mean to people (most of the time).
  • I don’t like rejection and I don’t like to reject anyone. 
  • I like affection and love – on my terms.
  • I don’t like messes.
  • I need to feel safe.
  • There are times I am lovey dovey and there are times I am not. It all depends on how I am feeling.
  • Part of my personality is being very organized and very structured.
  • I like calendars, plans and routine. 

I became very overwhelmed after the first couple weeks he and I dated and it has pushed me to shut down.

It was super exciting, new, pleasurable and wonderful. Then it became too much. 

I was trying to work through it all, but still…

I have always been in a relationship that makes the other person happy, the old Jody would say “vacation with you and your family = awesome” or “you love me, great let’s move in together“. 

This Jody knows she can more or less do it on her own and do it well, so anyone I let in is a added bonus. 

  • It will take a special person to love me the way I am. 
  • It will take a special person for me to love and not feel like they are a “project” for me. 
  • I am a head case.
  • I wonder if dating is all that it is cracked up to be?

After a family/friend fun weekend that concluded with a birthday party for an adorable three-year old and being surrounded by people, I closed my eyes and wondered what else is out there?

Deep inside, maybe I am a loner. I blend in with everyone around me, choose to be social and then I am sad, but content when everyone is gone. I love a small group of people that include family and a few good friends, to get inside that circle, you have to be pretty awesome and patient.

It is Monday night, I am in need of sleep and work just keeps piling on. I am no good to anyone right now, not even myself or my daughter. I am snippy, bitchy and downright cranky.

This quote from Horacio Jones says it best:

“I like being alone. I have control over my own shit. Therefore, in order to win me over, your presence has to feel better than my solitude. You’re not competing with another person, you are competing with my comfort zones.”

Peace and well wishes friends.

10 Things Everyone Should Do

When I was a kid things were easy.  I got up, went to school, did homework, ate dinner, played, went to bed ~ repeat. 

Now that I am edging on 39 I spend a lot of time reflecting on things I wish I knew prior to the last 20 years occurring. 

1.  Use moisturizer and sunscreen – your skin won’t look like you are 18 forever.  You also can’t turn back time and fix spending too much time in the elements. 

2.  Learn about retirement plans and start planning ahead.  Social Security isn’t guaranteed and cashing out 401K’s when you leave jobs is not the answer. Save money.

3. Pay attention to your credit.  Past due medical bills can affect your credit.  Check your report, be vigilant in keeping your score in a respectable place.  

4.  Do your research.  On everything.  Don’t just buy it because it is pretty or your friends bought it.  Check it out and double check it.  Try before you buy if you can. 

5.  Trust your gut. It doesn’t lie.  Wether it is parenting, relationships or your career.  Trust it. Don’t second guess yourself and don’t always listen to others when they are chirping in your ear. 

6. Get a pet.  I don’t know how to explain it, but having your own pet changes your life.

7.  Take all the pictures you want.  Document it, enjoy the moments and reflect back on them later. 

8. Make new friends, but keep the old.  Friends are important, but as we get older, our interest change, kids and significant others happen.  We meet new people and that’s okay.  As long as we treat each other with love and respect, new friends are a-okay. 

9. Listen more.  Talk more.  Make your opionions heard.  Don’t muffle your voice.  If you don’t want to speak loudly, write, if you don’t want to publish what you write, keep a journal. 

Last on my list….

10.  Pick up the phone and call your family.  I was so happy that at 18 I was free, but I need to remember that I wouldn’t have made it to 18, let alone 38 without the help of family. 

There you have it, 10 things that in the last 20 years I didn’t learn on the Internet or in a class at school.