Wrapping Up a Decade

10 years.

They can change a person. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse and sometimes, things just stay the same.

It is like blogging, I really loved writing for a long time, but then some people took what I wrote and twisted it around and it became more of a hassle to put myself out there and be honest about things. Instead I just stopped sharing, as I was tired of being hurt.

I look back to the year 2010 and where I was in my life. You know what? I really don’t remember much. Honestly I can’t think of anything that was life changing for me (marriage, birth, death etc.) in that specific year. I had some employment changes, I moved, had a few relationships start and end and really just lived life each day without really recalling specific events (or at least the date that they occurred).

Honestly, thank goodness for Facebook and Shutterfly memories because I am pretty darn sure that I would not know my own birthday, let alone anyone else’s.

I recall some things that happened to others over the last 10 years:

My brother was married in December 2010

Samantha graduated high school in 2017 & subsequently started at The Ohio State University shortly thereafter

Samantha also turned 21 which was a pretty wonderful celebration with family & friends

My nephew was born in 2013 in England

My best friend lost her grandma

I watched children of friends graduate high school, head off to college and through the power of the internet was able to keep in touch with others in a new way.

Really, the last decade has been a blur. I have made new friends, lost friends and rekindled old friendships. It seems like there is never enough time to spend with friends and everyone has crazy schedules.

Every year we all make resolutions and we all try to make commitments to do better, be a better person, eat healthier, read more, take time for ourselves and at the end of the day, I feel like I don’t accomplish a single one of those things. Do you?

I have been laughing lately at all the wellness equipment being sold on television for the holidays and wonder to myself, if I spent $3,000 on a new bike or mirror, would I use it for a bit and then let it go or would it make me more committed to my health?

I know that I am constantly trying to be a better person, a nicer human, more caring, compassionate and take time to check on all of my friends to make sure they are okay. I feel like a huge failure most of the time and wonder how to be a better person at least towards others.

As the year is coming to a close I wonder if closing up my blog for now is the best option, it just sits there, year after year and I post maybe 3 or 4 times, not really sure I am even enjoying what I am posting. I keep up with the usual social media ~ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I am starting to use LinkedIn a bit more, but really it is like I said above, I don’t get to be “me” and that can become a bit annoying/frustrating as “me” is not always positive and “me ” is not always able to be a ray of sunshine, sometimes I am a b**ch and sometimes I am crabby. A lot of times I am in pain and lets face it, do we really post pictures of our faces with anger on them or with tears streaming down them?

The answer is simply, nope.

What can I say that sums up the last ten years?

The last ten years have simply been chaos, sometimes good chaos, but sometimes a chaos that is so terrible and overwhelming it consumes ones life. I choose to look at the chaos in three ways; did I learn from it, did I grow from it and did it kill me? Usually the answers are clear and since I am still writing today I am going to go with the fact that nothing has killed me.

As the decade comes to a close the last ten years around the sun have taught me to love fiercely and deeply. To let everyone know how I feel about them. To never leave a stone unturned, do my research and if my gut tells me no, then I probably shouldn’t do it. To take care of others and when it is time for me to ask for help, which isn’t often because I am stubborn, others will help me as well.

I have learned who my true friends are and how to have a relationship with my family. It has been strained and challenging, but now I can see things differently and accept where I came from. I can look at others and accept where they are coming from and do my best to meet them in the middle.

In the last ten years I have aged enough to know that things like politics, religion and history are all important and I should do my best to be knowledgeable about them. NPR is my new favorite radio station and I am okay with that.

Sports are still my favorite pastime and moving to Columbus 8 years ago has rekindled by love of hockey.

Romantic encounters are still not my forte. I mean I moved to Columbus to follow love and that didn’t turn out well. I began and ended another long term relationship and in the middle of all that I have had a few passerby’s some of whom made a mark on my life and some I was happy to leave in the past.

As I enter 2020 at the wonderful age of 41, I am choosing to not conform to what society sees as a typical 41 year old. I still live in an apartment, I still struggle financially, I am in no way going to be able to retire in style, I don’t drive a fancy car, I stopped getting my hair colored and my nails done because if you don’t like me for who I am and what I look like, then you aren’t my kind of person. At 41, I am watching my daughter succeed in college making her own choices, I am watching her find and leave behind relationships and I am learning that my love for her will never change. She is by far the most talented and charismatic individual that I know. I am lucky that no matter what anyone else calls me, she calls me mom.

So many times we end a year and call it a dumpster fire or terrible. So many times we look to the next year to hopeful for better things to come. We forget to look back on the past and smile because it happened. We forget the good things and the good times because lets face it, not every day can things be terrible.

I am leaving the last ten years behind and I don’t know what the next ten years will bring. What I do know is I am choosing to find joy, choosing to not see each year defined as its terrible events, but instead look and find the good that has happened in each year and build off of that for the next year to come.

In 2020 I am not making resolutions, instead I am making a commitment to change. Change my way of thinking, change my way of handling relationships, change my outlook on the world and do my best. That is all I can do. My best. It may not be for everyone, but at the end of the day, it is all I can offer.

My best.

Been A While…

*Waving*

Hey there y’all ~ it’s been a hot minute since I blogged. I’m still here. More or less.

Not sure why I always get away from it, but I do, then I manage to rip off a blog post every week for a while, then screech to a halt.

Anyway…

It dawned on me last week I have been going, going and going and I haven’t had the chance to actually do things I like. Things like reading, writing, yoga, cooking and being with friends/family.

Luckily I have had a partner who has kept me out of trouble by exploring parks, trying new restaurants and making sure I take care of myself.

Lately my health has been declining and there are more bad days than good. I’ve been tested for a slew of auto-immune diagnoses and lately my energy level has slumped. It’s been a journey and one I continue to travel.

Some days it’s easier to just stay home in pajama pants than shave, put on makeup and leave. I’ve been told to fake it till I make it and most days I do, but sometimes, not so much.

There are days I get lucky and can move around and on those days I get out and move. When I do, I capture the moment, mostly for fear I will forget how beautiful the sights are around us.

It is amazing what natural beauty is around us and how we can go from not seeing it to admiring it.

Now it has been my mission to look for new parks, places I haven’t been and to enjoy nature.

Over the last few months I have also taken time to meal prep and eat healthier. It hasn’t been easy and I shared a Facebook post talking about my weight reaching a new high. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself.

I have always struggled (with most life things) and most days I can overcome the struggle, no matter what it is. Lately, the struggle has overcome me, consuming my every thought and emotion. This renders me speechless and frozen on some occasions. My anxiety run high and then depression sinks in when the anxiety stops.

The good thing is that I recognize what’s going on.

Change is continual and while I try to change there are days I revert back to old habits and old behaviors.

I’ve been feeling vulnerable lately and open to attack or harm when talking about my life and choices. What I choose to do, who I choose to see and choices I make, I own them. Lately I have felt less than perfect, ashamed of who I am and I hate myself most days. Then there are days I look in the mirror and see progress, those are the days I hold on to. Those are the days I crave.

So, when you don’t see me blog, you don’t see social media posts and you don’t hear from me, it’s okay. I’m out exploring and doing my best to remain healthy and sane.

Until next time…

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.