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 ūüôĄ

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 √ľber excited to use these things to meal prep and holiday bake.

Spent time with friends at the local Fall ūüćĀ 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 ūüéÉ

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.

Immobile

Folks, I have never considered myself a very active person. I’m more of a “if I am running, you better be as well, because something is wrong”.

I rejoined Planet Fitness and have been good about going 3-4 days/week, only eating out when absolutely necessary (Starbucks doesn’t count) and making sure I am walking Pippa more often.

This doesn’t mean I gave up all sugar or did some wild and crazy diet. It just means I have made some lifestyle changes.

When I tipped the scale at 215 about 6 weeks ago I almost lost my mind. I can’t remember the last time I was over 200 pounds. I am assuming the stress and massive travel I have been doing (and eating out) caused a majority of my weight gain.

I finally hit under 200 pounds again this week! I was making progress! Until I hit a brick wall!

A week ago today I fell, it isn’t an exciting story, so I’ll spare those details. Instead I’ll show you what it looked like after 8 hours.

Shockingly it wasn’t broken, but f**k it hurt. The emergency room looked at it and said mmmhmmm, it’s a hematoma and gave me a big ass boot to wear. I was less than thrilled.

Made it through last weekend, but now I am restless and even though my boot is gone, I still have a brace. No running, long walks, stairs and especially no driving because of torn tendons and ligaments under the swelling. That has also meant no gym for me.

I have been trying to eat right, but being immobile has equaled no major activity.

Tomorrow I am forcing myself to at least work on abs and arms at the gym, just so I do not lose the progress I have been making.

I need to drink more water and rally back. I’m just hoping that this week didn’t put my progress too far back.

Help me keep going. Motivate me. Kick my ass in gear. Help keep me accountable. I will do the same for you.

Inching Along

I have been getting Facebook messages asking if I was going to blog again and how I was doing, in which case I thought maybe a post with pictures showing what’s been going on since August 14, 2017.

I took a quick trip to Chicago, came home and spent a short bit of time with these two lovelies after work one night. Then it was off to home with my daughter to get ready to send her off to college

After an extensive shopping spree and two car loads, we got her all settled in and I headed towards home.

I had spent most of my summer alone, as my girl was living life in Tennessee. While she was gone I realized I needed to start making some life choices.

After a “last meal” at my favorite place, Condado Taco, I started delving into the lovely world of meal prep. I was edging on a 4-5 day work trip and needed to make sure I wasn’t tempted to go out to eat.

On August 25, 2017, I hit my highest weight in years of 215 lbs. I was devastated and knew it was time to make changes. Meal prep, joining Planet Fitness and investing in an iWatch were all on the list of things to do.

Enjoyed a night out with some girlfriends and started back on the journey of deciding that I was worth it. That someone, somewhere would find me lovable, attractive and worthy of spending time with.

The following week was HELL at work, getting a grant submitted. I got home from that week and wanted nothing more than to sleep for days!

Spent Labor Day weekend visiting family, enjoying good ice cream from a local spot and baking some treats!

Loving on these four creatures as much as possible.

Had a few dates, been to the gym and have continued to cook, clean and declutter my home.

I have an outside cat (or three) who visit my porch frequently that I am feeding and I am set for a couple weeks of busy work and family/friend activities.

Things have really been uneventful, I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I’ve been pretty and I’ve been in pajamas.

Entering into sports season and that makes me happy, especially since that means post-season baseball, football, college football and hockey. I think basketball starts soon, but I’ll leave that to my mom.

Maybe this post will be my catalyst back into blogging and reviewing. Who knows, as I say that often.

Sending peace & love to you!

My Story Isn’t Over


2 years ago. This was very important to me.  

2 years have passed. It is still important to me today.

I am eternally grateful for those who held my hand that day because it was one I will never forget and one that makes me always think twice before saying anything to anyone about myself. 

I have a habit of opening up, letting people in and getting hurt by those who judge me. I wear my battle scars proudly and I share my life story with everyone who will listen in the hopes of helping them. 

Recently I was invited to a conference to discuss recovery housing.  It blew me away how many people actually want to listen to the story of someone who, 15+ years ago would have benefited from a form of housing that supported mental health or addiction recovery.  It was empowering to be in rooms where, today, people that need help are being helped. Being there and opening up to people, those I consider friends and colleagues, was something I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to do, without being judged, belittled or stigmatized against. 

Sadly, being hurt and judged is something I have become accustomed to experiencing. However, it is my decision how I act upon that hurt and judgement.  You see, while knowledge is power, it also yields a double edge sword that can hurt me and those around me. 

When I have taken the Briggs-Myer personality tests in the past I have been considered a “Consul” or ESFJ.  When I read through what the description is, I tend to agree with a lot of it, but choose to disagree with a lot of it as well. I love people, this is true and social situations both intrigue me and scare me. 

I have borderline personality disorder.  Most think this means I have a split personality – I don’t, that is a different diagnosis.  I have spent hours in countless therapy sessions and gone through an array of DBT Skills classes to get to where I am at 39.  I have also been diagnosed as ADD, which for me came on at a late age. Both of these combined led to a pretty rough past life and one that, in some instances, I am not proud of. 

You see, the plus side to my personality type and my mental health diagnosis is that I am aware. I know what my strengths are and I know what my shortcomings are.  Sometimes I can stop myself before doing/saying something and sometimes I can’t.  So, while I believe sharing is caring – sometimes it isn’t.

When I say my story isn’t over, it’s because I am not going to continue to be ashamed of myself and my life.  I chose to live it freely and do the best I can for everyone involved.  Will I keep making mistakes, sure.  Sometimes I will hurt myself and others in the process, but I won’t use my mental health diagnostic code as an excuse or my scapegoat. 

Like me, love me and walk with me or walk away.

My story isn’t over.

Dear Future Partners

Dear Future Partners,

I am writing this tonight in the hopes that those who choose to Google me before we date have a clear sense of what I am looking for.

The list isn’t long and I don’t have a lot of requirement or rules when I make a plan to meet someone, but there are some standards that I am looking for.

#1 РMy moral compass states that it is inappropriate to date anyone knowing that they are married.  This means if you are not divorced, dating me is likely not going to happen.  I am not going to be the other woman.

#2 – Don’t do drugs or be an alcoholic. ¬†The occasional beverage is fine, I am not going to short you for that, but if you require copious amounts of alcohol or drugs to get through each day – I will pass. ¬†I believe in recovery, but I am not the one to date if you are in active addiction.

#3 – Do unto others as you would want done to you. ¬†Meaning if you want your partner to treat you well and you want to be treated with respect and kindness, then do that for your partner. ¬†Be honest and forthright. ¬†Don’t hide things.

#4 – Don’t lie, cheat or steal from me or others. ¬†I lived that life once and I don’t want to live it again. ¬†People recover from bad past behaviors, but I can’t tolerate someone being actively deceitful.

#5 РIt is okay to have flaws and not be perfect, but own it.  Be who you are and say how you feel. Nobody is perfect. Nobody.

Dr Seuss

With all of that being said, here are some things that some may consider wrong with me.

#1 – I am insecure. This is by far my biggest flaw. Deep down I know I am smart, pretty, funny and kind, but at the end of the day, I seek out the reassurance and respect of those I surround my self with.

#2 РWhen I am in a new relationship, I want to spend as much time with a person as I can.  It is new, exciting, fun and I want to get to know everything about you.  Now this may be because I do not want to get hurt down the road and would rather get it over with quickly (like ripping off a bandaid), however I just want to be able to experience all that is a new person in my life.

#3 – Florence Nightingale is my inspiration. She was a kind and loving woman who wanted to take care of everyone around her. She put her mark on the nursing profession and made sure that those around her were taken care of. I desire to be like her in caring for others and making sure their needs are always met before mine.

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#4 – I use¬†social media and I use emojis. I don’t apologize for this. However, I am fluent in the English language, but sometimes I like acting like I am 12.

#5 – I am a hopeless romantic. I love picnics, walks, baking and cooking for my partner and overall making sure that they feel loved and cared for by doing the simple things. You don’t have to do big and elaborate things to make me happy and I promise I am all about doing small and sweet things to make you happy.

At the end of the day I am pretty simple. I don’t need a lot to be happy. ¬†Here are my things that I need/want in life.

  1. Roof over my head + bonus points if it has a big kitchen.
  2. Children Рyoung or old, I want children in my life.  They can be grown or they can be small, but I want to be able to care for children.
  3. Pets.  I love my dog and cats (in fact the dog is snoring next to me as I type this and there are two cats on either side of me).
  4. Sports – I love sports. We can disagree on teams, but don’t turn off football or hockey when I am watching it.
  5. Family and friends. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them, so don’t think I am going to abandon them for you. I want you to integrate into life and be a part of theirs too.
  6. Physical compatibility – this is important. I am not saying we need to be skinny or body builders, I am saying that we need to be able to match up physically. This also fuels into romance and intimacy. Without these a relationship is doomed.
  7. Career – I want a career that I love and I hope that my partner has one too. However the career pays the bills and shouldn’t come before the other person.
  8. ¬†Communication – this is important and maybe shouldn’t be last, but being able to communicate and know how best to do so is important.

Well my future partners, I am not sure if you are up to the task, or if all of this seems daunting to you. However maybe, just maybe if everyone was open and honest when it came to dating and who they were looking to date, we wouldn’t have this crazy life that pushes us to be who we are not.

Until next time friends I wish you the best in all that you do and ask that you please keep me in line and let me know when I am maybe stepping out of the boundaries or normal and into abnormal.

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Mirrors

When I look in the mirror what do I see?

I don’t see pretty.

I don’t see¬†sexy.

I see ugly and unattractive.

Recently I had a long conversation with a friend. ¬†He was kind and informed me that I was attractive, that I have a nice smile and pretty eyes. While that was nice and sweet, it was what he didn’t say that really got to me.

I used to think I was all that and a bag of chips. As I am nearing 39, I realize that is not the case. I don’t have what society, or even my doctor calls a healthy body (as I sit here at McDonald’s and write this between appointments), my skin still breaks out like I am in my teens, I am pretty sure I find a new ache or kink each day when I wake up, my hair isn’t long and beautiful (it is short and the gray hair has been popping through something fierce), once in a blue moon I can get my nails to grow and if I am not wearing makeup I feel naked.

It is amazing what happens when I take before and after pictures.

This first picture was heading into the salon. ¬†I was in desperate need of an update. I mean realistically I don’t think that any guy would have walked up to me and started a conversation looking like this. ¬†No makeup, hair a wreck and eyebrows totally array. ¬†The second picture, was later that night – I had my hair cut, colored (all one color) put some makeup on and made sure my eyebrows were shaped.

 Please tell me you see the difference and agree with me?

Maybe I have perfected the art of the selfie? ¬†Maybe I can just get away with taking pictures from the neck up that make me look goooooood! Regardless, I am not in the minority of women out there. As I sit at this McDonald’s and drink my Diet Coke, I listen to other women (of various ethnicities) talk about make up, hair and nails. They are swapping recipes or looking up fad diets on their phones (yes, we are still at McDonald’s and talking about dieting).

In this whole process of dating and trying to make sure that I feel better and look better in order to attract “the right one” I find myself slipping back into the mentality of who the hell cares if I ever meet someone, being alone is just fine and once in a blue moon I start to think that I am not worth it and not deserving of love.

When I look in the mirror I see someone that has failed herself and her family miserably. Someone who hasn’t ever owned a house, held down a job for more than 2 years at a time and runs far from problems instead of trying to fix them.

Does this sound like a person who deserves to love another and be loved by another?

Not in my opinion.

Moving back to what happens when I look in the mirror – I am sad. I see what used to be a vibrant and outgoing person. Now, you could classify me as an extroverted introvert and if you aren’t sure what the hell that means – this article explains it better than I ever could. People say I have a lot of friends and I have people that love me and will help me, but someone said the other day I must feel like a used car and I laughed (I mean I was laughing so hard I was crying) when they explained what they meant. The problem is, once I realized what they meant, I went from laughing to tears. They were right, I feel like I get passed up/around by people. This is why when I look in the mirror, I see damaged and used goods and nobody wants that long term.

There is a song by Gnash that is called “I Love You I Hate You” and these lyrics about sum up how I feel most days:

I hate you I love you
I hate that I love you
Don’t want to, but I can’t put
Nobody else above you
I hate you I love you
I hate that I want you
You want her, you need her
And I’ll never be her

Mirrors are not my friend and unless I am putting makeup on or doing my hair, I try not to look in them. My confidence is better when I am not looking in the mirror and I just do what I do, not giving two shits about what anyone thinks about me.

Does this sometimes get me in trouble?  Yep.

Do I really care?  Nope.

I am me. Love me. Leave me. I will always be me.

I encourage anyone who has the same self-esteem problems or doesn’t like looking in the mirror to spend some time loving you. It can be a bath, hot shower, face mask, manicure, pedicure, time alone, a massage or just reading a book with a nice candle. Start loving you.

Don’t worry about what others think about you.

Easier said than done, but worth a try – am I right?

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S’ip by S’Well

This my friends is the water bottle of all water bottles. ¬†The S’Well Water Bottle has to be the best thing that I have ever spent more than $10 in my entire adult life.

Do you want to know why it is so awesome?

Let’s start with water. ¬†I am not a fan of ice cold water. I have become accustomed to putting water in a glass, letting it sit out for a bit and then drinking it because then it is room temperature and I can more or less chug it. ¬†This is likely because I am not one to “remember” to drink H2O all the time and when I need it, I usually need it.

I put cold tap water into my S’Well Water Bottle around 8:00 am – I remembered to drink out of my water bottle around 10:00 am and I was expecting lukewarm water, the way that I usually drink it.

Nope.

It was still cold.  I mean it was tap water cold, but it was still COLD.

That is example #1.

Now for example #2.

Hot tea. ¬†I am a lover of tea, hot or cold. When I travel I like to make tea in the morning and drink it throughout the entire day, since I don’t add anything to it and like it hot and cold – this can be black tea or green tea, it really doesn’t matter much.

I had to travel this past week and I wasn’t a fan of the hotels coffee, so I would make black tea each morning, put it into my S’Well bottle and head to the office. ¬†The first day I was expecting my tea to be drinkable by the time I got to the office, but I left it in my car, forgot about it and when I returned to my car a few hours later I opened it up and expected to chug it, like any reasonable person would, but to my amazement (proof by my burnt mouth) it was just as HOT¬†as it was when I poured it at 8:30 am.

This was life changing. I can now pour myself a drink and know that it will be the same temperature for hours later.

S’Well says a drink will remain cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours and I can say for certain that this is true. On top of the bottle being stylish, fitting into my cup holder in my car and super easy to clean, I am pretty much in love with this water bottle.

I am thinking about getting the larger bottle next, so I can keep one hot and one cold.

If you get one, or already have one, let me know what you think!