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 โค๏ธ

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.

Columbus Adventures

I’ve lived in Columbus for about 6 years now. In the last few months I have had a chance to do a few fun Columbus activities.

First up, the Circleville Pumpkin Show with two of my girlfriends. It was a fun filled day of pumpkins, gourds and lots of food. So many pumpkins of every shape, size and color. How they even get all those pumpkins in one place is beyond me.

The pumpkin doughnuts were delicious, the vendors were great and although parking was a pain in the ass, we went on a great day.

A lot to see, eat and look at. Consider visiting – this happens every year and while it has a fair feel, this is put on by a community who takes great pride in their pumpkin community and heritage.

Next up this year was a trip to Columbus Axe Throwing with the girls. This was a super cool experience. I was amazed I wasn’t afraid of throwing an axe and even hit the wall a few times. The girls and I loved it and spent a lot of time laughing and trying to compete in mini games.

We were paired up with another group and competed for trophies. The instructor was great and showed us how to throw properly, where to throw and gave us tips each time on doing better.

I heard that they have leagues and other fun activities. It is definitely looking like another trip back is in our future.

As I go about my days I hope to continue to find new and awesome things to do in my new city. My friends are awesome and I am super excited to keep finding new hidden gems across Columbus to do.

Oh Hey 2018!

I blinked and 2017 was gone. In the blink of an eye 365 days were just gone. Looking back, each day had its own adventure. Each week had its ups and downs. Each month came with its share of financial challenges.

Along with the ick, there were triumphs.

Friends came. Friends left.

Promises were made. Promises were broken.

Everyone aged a little, grew some grey hairs, lost a few hairs and some of lost weight and some of us gained some.

Family time was precious. Even though I may not have realized it when it happened, looking back on those moments after they happened made me realize how much I cherished each moment. Many people set resolutions or goals for the new year. I’m over here just making sure I make it to meetings on time, pay my bills, support my college-aged daughter and be there for family and friends when they need me. I don’t have time for a fancy planner/pretty journals, personal trainer or cooking lessons. I barely have time to plan and shop for meals that include healthy items. Cereal is my dinner of choice most nights and pretty sure I haven’t had a balanced meal in a long time.

Here is what I do know about what 2018 holds:

  • Another year of doing my best to help others.
  • Paying it forward as often as I can.
  • Random acts of caring and kindness
  • Reaching out to those in need.
  • Making sure my door is always open.

I don’t know what the new year holds for my career, medical challenges or family. I am unsure about many things.

2017 went by too quickly. I am quick to forget how much I accomplished and the cool things I have done.

I welcome 2018 with open arms. I will be able to weather the storm, no matter what it throws my way.

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 ๐Ÿ™„

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 รผber excited to use these things to meal prep and holiday bake.

Spent time with friends at the local Fall ๐Ÿ 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 ๐ŸŽƒ

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.