Changing It Up!

ImageThe news is sad.  It reminds me of why I cut cable out in the first place.  But news pops up online too.  Or, if in the off chance you don’t get online, you are still most likely to have personal contacts that inform you of the days events in the country and the world we live in.

What a change it is to be a child in this world today versus thirty some years ago…  While I love technology, advances and the real world – I can’t help but think that my world a couple of decades ago was so much simpler.  What I wouldn’t to do to shield my children from all that is reality today.  But it seems, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a small town or city, ugliness, violence, corruptness – it exists EVERYWHERE!  But I have a choice.  I can continue to show my children the beauty that exists despite all that we loathe about the world we live in.  I can teach my children that they are the masters of their own destiny (to a point). 

After my experience last month, with the passing of a family member that I had such a close connection to… I can no longer just exist in this “human experience.”  I want to live it to my fullest.  I don’t know what that means exactly right now, but I do know there’s too much negative out there and it WILL NOT be a part of MY LIFE.  This declaration comes with many repercussions.  This I know, I feel at this brave moment, I’m ready except what may come, but I know I’m being a wee bit naïve. 

So this blog will take a turn.  My purpose will continue to be life’s adventures, but I’m making a commitment to me & my family to embrace each day.  When I am able, I’ll tell you about my grandmothers passing.  Right now, it’s still too raw.  In time, I’ll tell you about my departure from the city that I know, the family life I know.  Again, right now, it’s too raw and I’m in the thick of it.  In time I’ll tell you what I’ve done to change my life, and why it had to change… Yep, you guessed it, RAW…  What I’d like, what I hope, is to find readers that can relate and share their stories too.  Community helps create faith, inspiration, and self love… what more could we all ask for? 

While I know not everyone is into my music…. I offer up some great lyrics.  If you don’t listen to the song, read the lyrics:

FIND MY WAY

Lord my path has gone astray
I’m just trying to find my way
Wandered here from far away
I’m just trying to find my way

You were never meant to see
All those things inside of me
Now that you have gone away
I’m just trying to find my way

I have made a great mistake
Pray the Lord my soul to take
The ghosts of who I used to be
I can feel them come for me
Looks as though they’re here to stay
I’m just trying to find my way

Please
I never meant to
I never meant for this

I have been to every place
I have been to everywhere
I’m just trying to find my way
Oh dear Lord hear my prayer

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30 Days of New – #9 – …..

Violet_sunset_by_00AngelicDevil00Continuing on the path of 30 Days of New… #9 is the most painful and most enlightening thing I’ve experienced.  Ever the girl with the glass half full, I sought the positive out of that all time low.  Aside from the birth of my two beautiful children, this experience rocked my world… So I’m thinking this is pretty much #9 – #30 and we’ll just move on from there.

If you read my last post almost two weeks ago, I was praying for the chance to be with grandmother here, on this plane, on Earth.  Well blogosphere, I got my wish.  She was here, but she was also gone.  That Friday night will forever remain in my memory.  When I walked in, only a faint light from the hallway shined in the bedroom as I whispered in her ear and her bright blue eyes surprised me as they popped open.  You see, she tried to talk to me when I first arrived that today.  “It seems, awfully, awfully, awfully…”  Those were the last words grandmother ever spoke.  She spoke those words to me.  I wish like crazy she could have completed that sentence.  I’m grateful that just two days earlier I popped in to give her a hug and kiss while she could still communicate.

In a matter of twelve hours, this woman that I adored was alive and well – and then it all changed.  I spent that Friday and Saturday keeping the company of my mother, drinking in all the information the hospice nurses were giving us, and generally in shock.  At 4:08 AM on Sunday March 9th, mother texted.  The time had come and I headed back up to that house that has, “a driveway that reaches the heavens.”  This is what the hospice nurse who pronounced grandmother’s passing said to the men coming from the funeral home,  where to look for mom and dad’s home.  It was a fitting description for the occasion.

I’m grateful, where I’ve been bitter for so many years.  Grandmother stepped up in my life in a huge way.  When I couldn’t turn to parents or friends, she was there.  And she was there well into my thirties.  How lucky am I?  In her passing, I feel as if I’ve found my true calling, and it’s so far from the petty money making business I’ve been in post college.  I’m so excited to turn my back on that life and open a new chapter in my life.  When I get there, this new chapter, I know grandmother will be smiling down upon me.  I know she will be proud of me.  I know she’ll have realized that without her, I might lack the motivation and drive to take on this new challenge, that will ultimately be a gift to me and my family.

If that experience weren’t enough to fill my 30 Days of New, as I experienced so many firsts in the epiphanypassing of gran… I’m rounding out the 30 with a random, slap you in the face – be patient, kind of experience.  The hubby and I like our beer, and there is a store a hop-skip-and-a-jump from home that carries our specialty beers.  I went there tonight and was happy to see my favorite employee of the establishment there.  The first time she ever scanned my hefty beer purchase, she stopped, looked me so seriously in the eye and said, “You look just like Rebecca from Pretty Little Liars.”  It made me laugh…  I started watching that show on Netflix because of this girl.  Ever since that first meeting, we exchange witty banter, talk about the show and just generally exchange a hefty smile.  It’s not often you get to hit it off with a perfect stranger.  So tonight, when I randomly found out she’s waiting on a pancreas transplant, and it will occur in the city I’m moving to… Well, I just had to smile.  Gran showed me this.  She made sure I knew.  I am confident my new friend will be in the city I’m moving to, undergoing a major life changing surgery…. And I will be there for her.

There have been many situations that have shown me to not judge people, don’t get angry or even rude and hasty with strangers.  Who knows what their day was like today.  What are they looking forward to tomorrow?  If I take anything positive away from the past two weeks, it will be to make a concerted effort to be more compassionate and calm.  It’s so easy to get caught up in life.  It’s not an easy one, I don’t care who you are… it’s never easy all the time.  And we are all just the same, going along, wanting to love what we do and who we’re with.  We all face obstacles in our paths…

This brings me to my next personal challenge… 30 Days of Kindness.  I still have a heavy heart, but I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to tomorrow.  “And I ain’t got no worries, cuz I ain’t in no hurry at all…” kindness-random

Quote

# 2, 3 & 4…

A conglomeration of a few firsts during my 30 days of firsts

#2… I’ve made coconut curry two weeks in a row.  For some of you, this may seem rather redundant, cooking the same meal two weeks in a row.  For me, nope.  I have my go-to recipes that I make 2-3 times per month.  But those are no-fail recipes, meals I’ve been making since my teens and I know they are crowd family pleasers of finger-licking tasty goodness.  Last week, I wasn’t so pleased, mainly because I failed to trim my chicken and it disgusted me when I ate it.  Granted I had the best of the best I could have purchased from Sprouts, but the fatty parts on the boneless thighs just turned me off.  So this week, I did a variation of the sauce and trimmed my meat.  While the finished product both weeks were great, I still was turned off by trimming meat before-hand.  What a conundrum.  While I feel blessed to provide my family with a vastly different meal from the “norm”, I still can’t get over the meat issue.  GROSSERS…

#3… I made my oldest child (ten next week) do a 30 minute time out in the corner.  PSSST… HE DID IT!  Originally I had said 1 hour, but I bargained… He could trade 30 minutes for chores.  Wouldn’t you know it, that little booger that was back talking me chose chores, and you guessed it… I gave him a long lack-luster list.  More to come on this…

#4… I talked back to my mother.  Not in a hateful way, no, I’m just not going to go down to a nasty level.  I talked back in a way that I think just may have spoken to her.  You see, not every parent-child relationship is all bliss.  That’s a hard thing for me to say, and a hard thing to swallow.  I see friends, acquaintances, and strangers interact with their folks, and it always makes me wonder why I don’t have that.  Not to say I’m not close to my parents, I am.  I love both my parents to the depths of this broken soul.  But I’d be lying if I said my relationship with my mother is like any others I’ve observed.  It’s just not.  The funny thing is, the older I get, the more I understand her.  Yet, when I was younger I was so forgiving.  Now, not so much.  We can choose to divulge ourselves in the past, in the wrong-doings forced upon us, or we can learn and move on.  I am moving on (not without her, just have to live my life).  I’ve tried, tried, tried to stick with my mom in this quick sand recipe of hurt, loss and what might have been.  I’m old enough now to know better, yet still young enough to know, I won’t repeat that cycle.  I won’t repeat it for my husband, my children… but most of all, for ME.  So today, she sent me a metaphor via text… “There’s a chink in my Armour, but I’ll soldier on.”  My response, “You should go see the welder or the blacksmith.”  No response… Metaphor delivered, received & digested?  I wish I knew.

One of my mom's songs.

One of my mom’s songs.

My apologies that 2, 3 & 4 aren’t more eventful, but I plan to share more about these topics as I can (ummmm, curry, probably not so much though)!  Number 5 should be a bit more interesting… Can I do 100 miles in March?  It all depends on the wind, family schedule, oh yeah – and the biggest thing… MOTIVATION.

Head Congestion

ImageIt’s been a long time since I’ve blogged…multiple reasons have kept me from sharing thoughts, recipes and the like – none of which I’ll bore you with.  In this world of online media and social sites, so much information exists at our fingertips.  What a change from 20 years ago!  

20 years ago, I was 15.  Obsessed with boys, body image and finding out who I was to become.  I grew up in New Mexico.  It’s funny to me now, because the smaller towns we lived in, I loved.  The moment we moved to a city, I was devastated.  By the time I was 15, I had met all kinds of creeps I never encountered as a kid in the smaller towns.  It weighed me down and I always missed those close bonds I had with the kids I grew up with on my block.  I fit in with most groups, but never chose to immerse myself in any of those friendships, rather I was quite nomadic with my activities and people I hung around.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve not changed much.  My boy obsession is over, unless you count my sexy husband and sweet “baby” boy (he’s nine).  Body image issues? Yes, they’re there.  And I’m still trying to find out who I am going to become.  It keeps me up at night knowing I’ve only done accomplished a handful of goals that my 15 year old self had.  

There is no pity party here though.  It’s November, the month of gratitude, which also happens to be my birth month.  I say the month of November is gratitude month, as my news feed is like Noah’s Ark with everyone’s grateful thoughts of the day filling the Earth my mind like the 40 days of rain.  It’s overflowing and I love it!  I wish every day was like this.  To read such thoughts of positive wonderfulness!   It’s quite shiny and clean.  None of the normal negative Nancy bullshit I usually see.  Yes there’s a scrooge or two in there.  One guy posted:  “I’m not impressed by your kid’s pumpkin carving.”  Well fuck you asshole!  Don’t look at it then.  I found it rather annoying, since this person is the father of two…nasty divorce, does not have custody of his kids.  But then Noah’s Ark came crashing through my head, swaying back and forth in the flood of wonderfulness, I thought to myself…I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.  Perhaps this person’s shitty comment was out of hurt.  I mean, if I couldn’t carve pumpkins with my kids, I might be a little bitter too.  

You may be wondering what the title of my post has to do with all this jibber jabber I’m feeding you.  Head Congestion.  No, I don’t have a head cold and hopped up on dayquil (I much prefer the fall beer brew I’ve been sipping).  Rather, my head is congested with thoughts, wonderment, chaos, concern, love – you name it…it’s probably in my head.  All this head congestion has really taken it’s toll on my ability to write.  I start questioning my validity as a writer, a wife, a mom, a fitness enthusiast, a chef, a professional, my ability to have more children, get back to school… Yeah there’s some wacky stuff up in my brain.  Perhaps I need to rename this post right now, Insane in the Membrane.  

Well whatever it is I’m experiencing right now, I am most confident that there are a ton of others out there feeling the way I do.  I’m lost, how about you?  I will find my way.  Until I do, I’m going to keep doing what I do best, being me…A mother, a wife, a soulful bright person.  

Happy November folks!  

#20 Aim For 85%

Aim For eighty-five percent – You don’t have to make 100% healthy choices all the time. It’s what you do most of the time — day in, day out — that counts. The healthier you get, the easier and more automatic healthy choices will become.

AND

Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.

We all have habits.  Good habits, bad habits, mediocre habits…they are all part of our day-to-day routine.  I am definitely guilty of making unhealthy choices and then beating myself up about them, and so the yucky cycle continues.  It wasn’t until I read this at 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy, that I kind of breathed a sigh of relief!  Ever since our sweet Miss K was born, I’ve experienced some really grandiose ups and some depressing lows.

I think people (and when I say people – I mean women really, as that is who I can relate to), have these crazy high expectations of themselves to do it all and do it all so very well.  I’ve never been a clean freak, but in the past 6 months I’ve morphed into a mini clean freak.  I find myself on a mission to declutter and dehair the house a few times a week, only to find more clutter and hair the next day!  It’s a never-ending task and it bothers me that I can’t keep it all neat and tidy for more than a 24 hour period.  Hubby works outside of the house, I am lucky to work from home…but my work days at home feels like a hard-core mosh pit, pushing and shoving until I am just mentally beat.  On most week days, I don’t get to shower until well after noon, and once hubby gets home – it’s a mad dash to the office to finish my work day.  I look back at my day and feel utterly unproductive.  But I don’t have too much time to let that thought linger, soon I’m on to planning the evening meal; which I’m lucky if it makes it to the table before 8pm!  Dinner time is the time that I make sure homework is done and we quiz wee man on his spelling words and times tables (I have multi-tasking down for sure)!  Then it’s dishes, kisses good night and oh – wait for it….ahhhhhhh, fall into the couch.  On nights when I have something to say and have the energy to put together cohesive thoughts – I blog.

Don’t take the paragraph above as a complaint, it is far from it.  I love my life, for the most part I have great days.  What I don’t care for is feeling as if I could have done more, or could have done something better or spent time on something more productive than watching the entire series of The United States of Tara ( I love Netflix and Hulu, but holy heck, I can get my zone out on with the plethora of shows at my fingertips).  But then I read that I should aim for 85 percent.  Well that I CAN do.  Day in and day out, I am getting better at managing my time in an attempt to get back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is anyway).

The one area I am falling short of my 85 percent goal is 30 minutes for me to get out and run at least 5 times a week.  I always have an excuse, mine or my hubby’s work schedule, the weather (nasty spring winds – no one wants to get pound in the face by 2 tons of desert sand), I woke up late, my knee hurts…blah blah blah!  I think at the root of it, I’m scared to begin running again.  It takes dedication, stamina and conditioning – all of which I had in the past, now I must start from square one.  I know that I am fully capable of getting back to where I was, but it will take some hard work to get there.  I hate starting over.  Maybe I should instead welcome the clean running slate.  I’m not sure how I’m going to work my 30 minutes in, but I am definitely going to start making an honest attempt!  Perhaps I can get some tips from @run5kaday!

Next time…Keep Your Body Clean, Inside and Out – Toxins, poisons and other gunk have no place in the temple. Avoid artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, fragrances, petrochemicals and other toxic ingredients whenever possible.

From Robin Sharma – Do work that scares you (if you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much).  <———- Running?

Gratitude list for today:

Thankful for my wonderful accepting hubby & flexibility to work from home 99 percent of the time.

Good night!

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!

“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living” – .Anais Nin

TODAY:

101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy #19 – FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT: Don’t yet see yourself as a super-healthy person?  Experiment with doing a little of what you’d do if you were already supremely healthy and fit.  As often as you can, act as if your commitment were unwavering.  From Robin Sharma’s 62 Ways to get Unstuck –  Release the energy vampires from your life. They are destroying your performance.  I want to address –  FUN SUCKERS.

Originally for this post I was going to discuss my goal to not let people’s comments and judgement’s about my life bother me.  My attempt at letting things roll off my back, dust off my shoulders and soldier on. BUT – two things have happened in the last 72 hours…  One – a person I never met passed away.  Even though I never met Chi Cheng, he touched my life.  I LOVE MUSIC.  I ❤ the Deftones and I freaking love to learn about interesting intellectual people.  Chi Cheng was nothing short of this…  Then today, working away, I opened up a new window on my PC to Google something and I read about the explosions in Boston.  WOW…  Who knows what happened, who set this destruction in motion – who cares, WTF?????  I’m a runner (I’ve been on a long break, but I’m a runner dammit)!  I am so curious to know what coward shmuck plotted such a disgusting attack.

My husband showed me an awesome post from Patton Oswalt…  Well said sir.  Aside from my family, I love music and running events.  Both take talent and guts.  I have gotten through a run sans music, but I’m an endurance runner and when there is nothing left, I have my songs to push me to finish my running endeavors.

I’m usually quite a wordy person, and at this point, my words aren’t very nice (enter the GOLDEN RULE)!  I’m having the hardest time wrapping my brain around how someone and/or people could commit such a horrible crime and to involve innocent people… it’s such a shame.  Should we as a community just anticipate that any given moment our lives will be changed forever for no good reason?

I understand, and believe that life is a gift, but why do such absurd and unbelievable events have to impact humanity?  Really, at the end of the day – no matter your beliefs, your religion, your political affiliation – what matters to any of us the most?  I can only answer this question for me…my family matters.  Me being with them, raising my children, the ability to share a laugh and a meal with my husband…an unexpected visit from my brother and understanding my parents just a little more…those are the moments that matter to me.  To imagine having those experiences ripped away because of someone else hatred-fill vengeance makes me sick.  Shit like this keeps me up at night.  Why in the world did I bring innocent kids into such a hate-filled world???

When I can calm down about Boston, the loss of a great musician and seeker of knowledge… I (just like you) can put it all into perspective.  “Release the energy vampires from your life.  They are destroying your performance.”  

This is my life, you have yours.  It is ours to do what we will.  I guess it all boils down to the fact that we only have today and we will do what we can within our means to make it meaningful.  So whether that means we are teachers, seekers or revolutionaries – we all have a purpose and we need to wake each day remembering that fact.  I don’t know what I will do with tomorrow, but I guess I can say for today I will enjoy and be thankful for what I have.  I have a roof over my head, food to make a fantastic meal, but most of all – I have my family, I live for them.  My faith in humanity is wavering, but I will FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT… I will address the FUN SUCKERS next time, for now – I am going to go sooth my crying baby.  Good night!

 

#17 – REAP the REWARDS!

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

Gustave Flaubert

Number 17 of my 101 days of blogging (inspiration from 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy) –  REAP THE REWARDS – Look and feel better, sure. But also think better, smell better, give better, love better, live better, be better.  I’m also following Robin Sharma’s 62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013 –  Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete (this doesn’t mean you need to eat a ton of carbs – just look to consume unprocessed foods, please take a look at the GUTSY GIRL APPROACH – in fact, here is the GUTSY GIRL’S BIBLE).
recipeAs I said in my last post – please send me your unhealthy recipes for a healthy make-over.  I absolutely love to dissect recipes and then put them back together again, just a tad bit healthier, perhaps even a bit more yummy.  I love a good challenge – so PLEASE!  Send me your candidate for a recipe makeover.

On to #17…What do you do to live healthier and how does it affect you in a positive way?  Do you eat well, work out, pray or reflect on your blessings?  Do your healthy choices for you body and mind make you stronger?  Just a little bit stronger… did you just hear that Sara Evans song in your head, too?!

A friend told me a few years back that he was making a true attempt to ‘walk in the light‘.  I thought it was odd that he even made that the real light
comment, as this friend I always looked up to as someone with high morals and high self standards.  He never did quite explain to me how he may not be following the most righteous path, but when I reflect on that conversation with my friend, it has made me realize that EVERYONE encounters struggles of the body, heart and mind.

As we age, hopefully we take our experiences – good, bad and indifferent and build upon them.  Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and press forward on a stronger foundation with which to conquer our goals, fears – the fucked up society that we exist in.  I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even if it’s negative…there is a purpose.  Even when it’s difficult, I try to identify the positive thing about a negative experience…I’ll tell you what, I’ve had some really dark experiences.  Experiences that I’ve dwelled on, that blocked me from moving forward.  It wasn’t until I met my most wonderful husband, that I was able to actually see a situation for what it is and embrace it.  Even when it was ugly.

As strange as it seems, I’m happy to have experienced all the negative things.  I may have not been able to see it at the time, but eventually I learned something invaluable, and ultimately I REAP THE REWARDS of the lessons learned.

Next time from 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy 101ways_018 – Drink water, eat good food, move, rest, relax, connect. Don’t sweat the more complex stuff until you’ve got a grip on the basics. From 62 Ways to Get Unstuck in 2013 from Robin Sharma –  Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise). <——– I have plenty to say on this!

I hope you all have a rewarding day!