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

Weight Watchers Freestyle – Weeks One & Two

This is a new venture for me. I haven’t even dipped a toe into Weight Watchers for at least 10 years.

Now that I have a nifty smart phone, it makes the calculation way easier than a notebook and calculator.

Here are some facts of the last two weeks:

I can honestly say I haven’t been to the gym. I have not been very active due to the ridiculous cold outside. It’s not an excuse, it’s life and guess what I’m quite okay with being sedentary sometimes.

After a week I have noticed these things:

  • Less acne
  • Stomach not acting up (likely less garbage going in)
  • Better food buying habits
  • Cooking more at home vs eating out
  • Same headache pain, but a little decrease in number of days
  • Additional energy, although it may be out of boredom – not sure

I’ve been cooking more and paying attention to the Freestyle plan. There are over 200 foods that are “free” and if I plan right I am only using points on things like:

  • Cheese
  • Potatoes
  • Bread
  • Sour Cream
  • Sweets

For the first couple of weeks I went over my daily points. 23 points daily and 42 extra/week goes fast – it’s not as simple as you would think.

This + some fruit is a decent breakfast. Keeps me filled up for most of the morning. Something like this is about 5 points because I added cheese and some potatoes. The eggs and veggies were zero points as was the fruit.

For lunch I took some chicken breasts, threw them in the InstantPot earlier in the week, shredded them and made some curry chicken salad (minus the grapes). The 5 points came from some light mayo and the tortilla shell.

For dinner I used a few points for rice and the olive oil to sauté the brussel sprouts/mushrooms/onions. Salmon and veggies are free and that was a pretty well rounded dinner.

Overall, I am happy with Weight Watchers and the commercials that talk about how it is “a way of living” is true. I’m lowering carb and sugar intake, drinking more water and eliminating my bad eating out habits.

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.

Trauma Can Happen Anywhere

trau·maˈtroumə,ˈtrômə/

noun

1. a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

In case you didn’t know the definition of trauma, there it is. 

Maybe you should note the words distressing or disturbing.

Let’s talk about what those two words mean. 

dis·tress·ing

dəˈstresiNG/

adjective

causing anxiety, sorrow or pain; upsetting.

dis·turb·ing

dəˈstərbiNG/

adjective

causing anxiety; worrying.

Those two words alone spell out trauma with their definitions. Anxiety can be traumatic and worrying can be traumatic. 

What’s traumatic for one is not necessarily traumatic for another. Many also call trauma PTSD and relate this to veterans and what they experience in war.  The thing is, PTSD doesn’t only happen to veterans.  

For example a woman who has previously been beat on may be traumatized when watching a television show where a woman gets hit.  Because of this the woman may choose to only watch certain television shows and movies. 

Another example is someone who may have been in a car accident can be traumatized when in a car with someone else or even driving themselves. Due to past trauma never getting in a car again is a possibility. 

These are kinda extreme examples, but hopefully you get the point.

Think about bad things that have happened in your life; storms, car accidents, natural disasters.  

If you have lived in Cleveland the blackout about 12 years ago was traumatic for some (by some I mean me on the 50th floor of Key Tower). 

For some September 11, 2001 is traumatizing and on its anniversary each year people want to hide in fear. 

Can trauma be overcome? Sure, over time and with the right support services. Counseling is one option, cognitive behavioral therapy is another and many prefer group therapy or peer support to get past things that happen in their life that they can’t shake. 

I focus on trauma today because there have been many traumatic things that have occurred in my life.  The odd thing is, the trauma doesn’t always surface immediately.  It can take years, as was the case this week. 

What can you do for someone suffering from trauma?

Listen – sometimes they just want to talk it out. 

Respect – it’s their trauma, not yours.  Don’t make fun of it and don’t put them down for their feelings. 

Ask – ask them what you can do to help, maybe it is just helping them relax. 

Validate – validate their reactions and their feelings. 

The closer someone was to a traumatic event the harder it may be to overcome the traumatic event. Know that you aren’t the problem, but you can help and be a part of the solution. 

Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.

January Essential Oils

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Each month I order from Young Living and pick up a few of my “essential” Essential Oils. This month I ordered Lemon, Thieves, Lavender and Tea Tree oils. These are four of my go-to essential oils or what I like to call Everyday Oils.

Up first, Lavender – Lavender is universally regarded as one of the most powerful and versatile essential oils, and the uses for this plant are almost endless. Lavender essential oil is one of the main Young Living products because it offers a host of benefits and a sweet, floral aroma.

Uses of Lavender
  • Add 8–12 drops to water and spray under beds and in closets for a fresh, pleasing aroma.
  • Apply 2–4 drops to skin to moisturize and enhance skin radiance.
  • Diffuse at night for a calming aroma during sleep.

Next up, Lemon – this is my favorite oil for everyday uses and some very different ways to use this oil.  Lemon’s many applications make it one of the most useful essential oils to have on hand. The fresh, zesty aroma is refreshing and up-lifiting.

Uses of Lemon
  • Use Lemon essential oil as a dietary supplement in your daily routine.
  • Substitute Lemon oil for lemon juice or lemon seasoning to flavor seafood, vegetables, beverages, and desserts.
  • Keep Lemon in a purse, backpack, or car so that it is always in reach when you need it.

The oil that keeps the germs away is Thieves. Many don’t know a lot about Thieves or its’ rich history.  Thieves owes its pleasant, spicy aroma and flavor to a balanced blend of Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Eucalyptus Radiata, Rosemary, and Lemon essential oils. This is a one of a kind blend that can be be a lifesaver to keeping up your immunity.

Uses of Thieves
  • Add to food or beverages or take internally to enjoy the benefits of the powerful natural compounds d-limonene, eugenol, and eucalyptol.
  • Dilute 1 drop of Thieves in 4 drops of carrier oil and add to a capsule.
  • Take once per day to maintain a healthy respiratory system.

Last up is Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia).  This essential oil can be found in a wide variety of skin care and spa products. It possesses powerful properties that are amazing on the skin. Tea Tree oil can moisturize and beautify the appearance of the skin and I personally put it on everyday.

Uses of Tea Tree Oil
  • Moisturize the skin by rubbing 1–3 drops of Tea Tree oil into the palms of your hands and gently massaging over areas of concern.
  • Add Tea Tree oil to your favorite massage oil to elevate your massage experience.
  • Diffuse Tea Tree oil to create an aromatic, healthy and spa-like environment.

If you haven’t used essential oils before, feel free to ask questions, I didn’t know much about them when I first started and I spent a lot of time asking questions to get to the point where I am now.

I still ask a lot of questions and there are days that I have more questions than answers. As the world leader in essential oils, Young Living offers hundreds of essential oils and oil-infused products, each containing the optimal levels of specific, naturally occurring constituents to maximize their benefits. Whether you use the oils for aromatherapy, personal care, or household solutions, every aspect of daily life can benefit from the incorporation of essential oils!

Check out my quick video on the oils that I received in the mail this week: