Super Power Training

Late one night not long ago, my son was engaged with me in an epic battle to avoid going to bed. Every excuse and delay tactic he could throw my way got tossed. Eventually, he settled hard on the old “monsters” routine and we were at a stand off. I was tired and depleted from trying to talk some reason in to a five-year-old. Then, I blurted out an unusual solution. “I have super powers, and I put up a forcefield around our house. No monsters can get in. They can’t even see us.” After a few follow up questions regarding the strength and coverage of this forcefield, my son smiled and finally laid down to go sleep.

Success!

My son felt safe thanks to my “super powers,” and I got to go to bed. The following weeks, however, my son started asking more questions about my powers and what I could and could not do with them. I started to feel guilty about lying to him…

Enter my completely unintentional start to walking the path of mindfulness.

Yes I know, it’s another freaking article about mindfulness! Don’t run away just yet, and yes I will probably bust out the other M-word before this blog is over. I have never been “good” with or consistent at meditating, and the word mindfulness was an interchangeable synonym in my brain’s thesaurus. I was surprised to find out that they are not.

I started my mindfulness journey sitting at my temp-job desk, a cubicle no bigger than an elementary school desk, listening to Audible. I’m late to the audiobook scene. As an English major in undergrad, I maintained my love of good old-fashioned paper and ink books with entitlement. But, when faced with 40 hours a week of mind numbing drudgery to pay the bills, I finally caved and signed up. I had no idea what I was missing.

I have been absorbing so much from self-development books such as Happy is the New Health by David Romanelli, The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner, The Craving Mind by Judson Brewer, Healthy as F*ck by Oonagh Duncan, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Susan Gills Chapman, The Mindful Day by Laurie J. Cameron, and Peace in Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh among others. Mindfulness is a topic touched on in all these wonderful works, and I have had some seriously wonderful success applying mindfulness practices in my own life.

Back to my super powers. I do now believe I have started to develop a real super power, and that is mindfulness. I saw the opportunity to change my lie to my son to something wonderful. After a few weeks of intentionally applying mindfulness practices in my life, my son and I have bonded and connected on a new, deeper level. When we spend time together, I live together with my son in that moment and have observed just how much he loves being around me and doing things together.

I asked my son one morning if he would like to start Super Power Training with be in the morning before leave for work. He was all for it. After a quick YouTube search for Mindfulness Meditations for kids, I was happy to find a whole range of options. For the past two weeks we have spent anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes sitting, breathing, and meditating together. My son has a hard time sitting still, but we make a point to begin and end our time together sitting up straight and taking deep breaths. He has slowly been getting better at it, and so have I!

Making Super Power Training part of the morning routine keeps me accountable to my meditation practice every day, added precious quality time with my son to my day, and sets both our days up for success from the start. I am amazed and grateful for just how big of an impact living mindfully has already had in my life, and I am excited to see just how much things will change.

Instead of getting told about the F-bomb my son dropped on the playground, I get to hear about how he spontaneously gave his teacher a hug for the first time. That is some seriously good shit!

Pregnancy Safe Teas

Tea has been a long time interest in my life. My mother would always drink herbal teas while I was growing up. I didn’t appreciate tea when I was younger, but I have become a tea enthusiast since I started college. My first fiancé was Taiwanese, and I loved going shopping in Asian food stores with him. I tried all the different teas I could find and consider myself an expert at that point. I was completely unaware that most if not all ethnic groups have different and wonderful types of tea they traditionally drink. 

Once I left college, I got a tea of the month subscription through Teavana from my ex-husband for my birthday. My tea-encyclopedia exploded past the basic jasmine, green, white, and oolong teas I found at the Asian food marts. Rooibos teas, fruit infusions, matcha, nutty/savory black teas, and many many more made their way into my life. There is almost an endless variety to be found and tried. 

Prior to finding out I was pregnant, my favorite teas were Zest tea for a caffeine kick and Yogi/Traditional Medicinal teas for a plethora of health benefit specific blends. 

Now that I am pregnant, however, I cannot enjoy these teas. So, I thought I would share a few teas that I have found to be pregnancy safe. The first tea I grabbed when we decided to try to get pregnant was this Raspberry leaf tea.

There was some confusion on my part as to what the health benefits of this tea are for pregnant women. I, like many other women, thought it was a tea to be drank to help induce labor. However, upon doing more research into this tea, I found that it does not induce labor at all. This tea actually helps strengthen the uterus and can help stabilize a woman’s menstrual flow. As such, I bought a big bag of organic Raspberry Leaf Tea right away. This tea is best drank paired with another, more flavorful, tea, but it can be drank by itself. If you are anything like me, though, and like to forget you are steeping tea, I will warn you that this tea can get quite bitter if left to over-steep. 

To replace my sleepy time tea with heavier hitting ingredients, I have opted for my local grocery stores organic brand of lavender/chamomile herbal tea. While searching for this tea, I ran across Celestial’s Tea Well – Gut Health tea. Normally, I drink detox teas and Traditional Medical’s Smooth Move tea to keep things flowing. So, I was excited to find this Gut Health tea as a pregnancy safe option to keeping my gut on track. Instead of herbal laxatives and detoxing agents, Celestial’s Tea Well – Gut Health tea offers prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber all wrapped up in a warm, creamy cinnamon oatmeal flavor that is both comforting and tummy friendly. 

I also grabbed a box of Bigelow Benefits Calm Stomach to pair with my Raspberry leaf tea. Calm Tummy tea is a good precaution for any nausea I might experience. I was very lucky with my son not to get any nausea unless I absentmindedly took my prenatal on an empty stomach. However, I know that every pregnancy is different. So, I figured I was better of safe than sorry. Plus, the tea tastes yummy whether I need it to settle my stomach or not. 

These are just a few teas that I am currently enjoying. As with most things during pregnancy, if you are unsure if it is safe to use, take, eat or drink; check with your doctor. I am not a medical professional and am only speaking from my experience. 

What teas do you enjoy? Are there any other pregnancy safe teas you recommend? 

Another Bun

I am going to have to spill the beans here, because I cannot keep such a monumental life change out of my writing. A week ago, we confirmed that I am pregnant! This will be my second child, my husband’s biological first child, and it’s a whole new ball game this time around. 
The first major difference of this pregnancy this far is the fact that I don’t have health insurance. Last year was the first year of my life I haven’t had health insurance through my employer, and this year will be no different. We signed up for a plan through the Market Place; however, I cannot pay the premium and start coverage until they have confirmation that my state plan has been terminated. So, I am sitting in this uncomfortable limbo waiting for paperwork before I can schedule an appointment with a doctor. It’s not an ideal place to be at the beginning of a pregnancy.
On the plus side, I have been alcohol and nicotine free since prior to becoming pregnant. I started taking a prenatal about a month before conceiving as well and have cut out all other medications, caffeine, and risky foods. It has only been five years since I was last pregnant, but I was surprised to realize how much I had forgotten already. 
No more medicinal teas. No more melatonin to help me sleep. No more eggs medium done or soft (unpasteurized) cheeses. No more energy drinks; even the “healthier” ones. No high intensity (high impact) exercise. No super hot baths (a necessity for surviving Chicago winters). 
It sounds terrible, and initially it is uncomfortable to not be able to reach for something in the medicine cabinet to fix all my problems. However, after a week of grumbles and growing pains, I am surprised with just how well, healthy, and pain free I can live without those things. Herbal teas, staying hydrated, meditation, heating pads, and Reiki seem to be keeping this formerly medicated momma pretty happy. How lovely is that? It makes me wonder how much time, money, and energy I have unnecessarily expended putting chemicals in my body. 
I will say, however, that I have yet to master sleeping well throughout the night without any form of chemical assistance. I have gone from hardcore prescription sleeping medications during college to medicinal tea with passion flower and melatonin supplements to help me fall and stay asleep. I am, somehow, able to fall asleep on my own relatively fast these days with the aid of SleepStories in the Calm app, but I am waking up several times a night and tossing and turning. This could be attributed to hormonal changes, but it is probably largely a transitional hiccup from no longer being on anti-depressants and sleep aids. I am also sure that it would be much worse if I was not exercising regularly. 
Regular exercise during the winter is more challenging this year than normal. Usually, I look in to a gym membership, but that is not a risk I want to take in this pandemic. So, I am left to lean back on my tried and true YouTube fitness channels to keep me on track. Thankfully, owning a home for the first time has given me the advantage of having a whole room to exercise in. Woohoo!
As with my first pregnancy, I anticipate a lot of research into healthy nutrition, exercise, and more, which I look forward to sharing with you along the way. So, stay tuned for lots of pregnancy tips and updates to come!!

The Starting Line

This year has been extremely transformative. I have not had or not taken the time to write anything, as I have been busy with life. I completed two semesters of graduate school, my father came to live with us, we got married, bought a house, I quit my job and quickly found a new one, and all this in the midst of the chaos of the pandemic and political and social turmoil of 2020. And yet, if feel like I am standing at the starting line of a new life.

I had no idea that the trip we took to Florida at the very beginning of March would be the last bit of geographical freedom we would enjoy for a long time. I felt like there was a big shift going on inside of and around me, but I had no clue how much change was headed our way. Now, as I enjoy the last few days being home before I start my new part time position, I feel as though even more change is to come. I assume that the world will be very different in a few months, but the changes I anticipate seem to be at a much more personal level.

For about a month now, I have been practicing yoga in the morning and meditating at some point throughout the day. Some days I even took a little time to journal. The more I do these things, the more I feel centered, balanced, and the days feel less heavy. My back pain is slowly reducing and my chiropractor says it is healing. I have also taken the first steps to dipping my toes into the world of Reiki.

Although I am a bit of a critical observer, nothing but positive results have followed my pursuit of demi-spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation. So why not? My mother-in-law is a Shamanic Reiki healer, and I have had three sessions (distance sessions) so far. I also had one session with a different healer right after returning from Florida in early March. Each session has been different, profound, and beneficial.

I have set out to educate myself about Reiki, chakras, and spiritual self-healing. I randomly selected some books from amazon and ordered a bunch. So far, the book introducing the history and basics of Reiki has been most attractive. However, I have read farther in the chakra book, and find it all to be quite fascinating. I am stating to connect the dots in some of the terminology used in my yoga practices and what they really mean. I am also starting to learn that all good advice in life seems to be the same, only said in different ways and through different approaches. My current favorite is “relax, nothing is in control.”

Clarity in Shadows

I create my own dragons to slay out of small shadows I see in far away corners.

A moment of clarity, so late in this day. Keeps my eyes open, to ponder a new way.

I don’t know why clarity as to come this late, but I suppose it comes when it comes. Better late than never; they say. I have these precious moments, fleeting seconds when I realize that all my turmoil, mental anguish, emotional torture, everything; it’s all just me. I have spent countless hours scanning over my life trying to figure out how to situate things just right to make everything okay. I keep searching for that last puzzle piece to pull into place to make the picture complete. I search in vain in relationships, lifestyle changes, diet, nutrition, school, work, and other people. I berate myself for not being more healthy, for not being a better mother, daughter, and friend, for not being more open with my partner, and for not being where I should be in life; which is where again?

I know that I am capable of overcoming obstacles. I know that I can make better choices to eventually line up a future that I currently would find more acceptable. But what about now? I’m only in to month three of living in my new home with my partner, and son and I am scrambling to figure out where to live next. Nothing is wrong with where we live. It’s a nice home in a great location. It’s a bit of a financial burden for a full time-mother, part-time grad student, and part-time therapist/teacher. But there is nothing wrong with right now. Why can’t I just be happy in this moment?

This questions leads me down the rabbit hole. What is wrong with me? What can I do to make things better? Exercise, eat better, find a better job, buy a car, find better ways to spend time with my son and my partner. Maybe a picture or some home decor would make it feel more pleasant… Sure, none of those things would hurt, but I am still here, locked in this hellish nightmare of a mind. I am ultimately alone with my thoughts of self defeating contradictions. I should be more creative, but art supplies are expensive. I should spend more time with my son doing fun things, but I am about to start classes and will have even less time. We should make a date night, but it’s all but a miracle to get things lined up to just get to meetings. I should take a few minutes to meditate, but I’m already in bed and am physically tired. Every idea I come up with I immediately shoot down, and I hate it.

I hate how self-defeating I have become. I hate how closed off and completely torn up inside I feel. I have all these emotions and concerns and don’t voice any of them, because I have either labeled them not important enough to talk about or to much of a big deal that I don’t want to bother or upset anyone else with it. I’m not even giving myself a chance. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and I feel like I’m starting to live the same life over again. I do not want that life. I do not want that hell. I want out of my mind, right now.

I pray. I write. I read. I search for the thing that is going to give me what I need to live the way I want, and all I can reasonably conclude at this hour is that I am keeping myself down. Why?! Why for fucks-sake do I do this? Do I really hate myself that much? Do I really think so little of myself and my needs that I have to extinguish them the moment they crop up? Only I don’t really extinguish the flame, they all just simmer below the surface waiting for me to lose my sanity. Why do I put myself in this small, miserable, torturous little box? I think it’s because it is the only way I have learned how to survive.

I make it sound so dramatic, or perhaps that is just my inner bitch chiming in to diminish it. I have been in survival mode for so long, that even if there wasn’t a fight to be having, I was fighting none the less. I don’t know how to handle just being. I don’t know how to live a life based in today’s void of threat. I create my own dragons to slay out of small shadows I see in far away corners. All I know how to do is fight and hope that once the next monster is slain, the dust will settle to a happily every after. As illogical as I can see this for as I sit here describing it, I don’t know how to shake it. I don’t know how to relearn to live in a life of peace and possibility. I don’t know how to change.

 

A Loud Mind

Late night; In a fight. Thoughts holding tight; Don’t feel quite right.

This post will probably not be too cohesive. I can’t sleep and my mind is racing. On to of that, my stomach is under siege by something. So, here I sit with Morgan Freeman on in the background narrating some documentary on death, rituals and God.

Anxiety flourishes over New Year’s resolutions I haven’t started in time. It’s absurd, that I should even think there is a “time” in which to make changes. Yes, there is global momentum around this time of year, but change is always possible. Each day is a new opportunity. Exercise, eating healthy, meditation, mindfulness, and self care. They are always on my list, but never high enough to prioritize as I wish I did lying awake at night. I have been exercising more, and I do, in general, eat a mostly health diet. (Although, I certainly over indulge my Achilles heel; The Great Frozen Overlord; ice cream.)

I had some success with mindfulness and meditation yesterday. I set an intention for the day, via mantra, that I took a few minutes to visualize before crawling out of bed. The day seemed lighter, and my heart was happier. Today, I forgot and returned to the trudge of daily living. It is so hard to take the time, though it’s only a few minutes. Why is that? Perhaps it’s the same reason I’m lying awake right now. My mind chatters too much to focus. Contemplation swirls in mesmerizing patterns, and I lose time and desire to commit any more to quieting the madness. Still, I know I fare much better when I make the time. I need to take the action until it becomes second nature; habituated.

How do I slow this mind enough to turn off my autopilot? Writing is certainly one way I am able to at least slow the flow in my head. Thus, why I am writing right now. Exercise is another tool of the like, as I am focused on my body and usually the clock. Haha.

Meditation seems all but impossible right now. I like to think I am too busy and just have too much going on to slow down. But as I sit here reflecting on it, I am starting to realize that although I am very busy being a mom, student, therapist, partner, and soon teacher, a lot of the chatter is purely of my own making. I can’t count how many goals I set for myself each day, only to pick them off one by one to either completely dispose of or replace with a “better” one. It’s almost infuriating.

I should focus on this. No, maybe just focus on that. I’ve tried focusing on X and Y and Z before and it went nowhere. Focus efforts to A, B and C. But maybe refocus; again and again.  It’s exhausting and meanwhile I’m flying through my day, not present in the current moment, thinking about moments that haven’t or may never happen. Future tripping, someone once described it as. Mindfulness and meditation, I know, can help this. But I guess I just don’t know how to get started. I guess carving out a time and making a quiet space would be a good place to start. I am torn, as always, as to purchasing the Calm app to help guide mediation. I know it works well for me, but I always wind up not using it. I don’t prioritize it, and that needs to change.

All the while I am worried I am not a good enough mother or a good enough partner. I am job searching, getting ready to start grad school, anxious about purchasing a vehicle, wondering how I’ll pay rent in the next few months if I commit all my saving into a car. Pros and Cons, this or that, up or down or inside out? Who knows? Not I.

What’s the point?

Sometimes I feel as though the only way I am able to get things out of my head are to speak them to no one in particular. I spend so much time analyzing, dissecting, and discounting different feelings, that most get tossed away or shoved in a bottle labeled “To Be Dealt with Later.” In any given week, I can go through days of depression, anxiety, gratitude, irritation, annoyance, exhaustion, and just plain uncertainty. Each emotion, among a variety of others, are valid in their own way while also completely insignificant. It always changes. I always change, my feelings change, and life changes. Everything passes; so why hold on to and obsess over one state or another? At least this is my overarching attitude toward any discontent and life’s many dissatisfactions.

I know that not dealing with emotions can be dangerous, and it is a “skill” I am particularly good at. However, I am not sure how to go about retraining myself. Before I open my mouth I am analyzing every word. Am I being to selfish? Am I being too selfless? Is this a legitimate concern or am I overreacting? Am I projecting? Is it really that important? Most of the time I am thinking default to “this too shall pass,” or “I am going to not focus on this and try to focus on being of service to others.” The selfless serving nature of my default is mostly helpful, except in those cases where the feelings keep cropping up. I can only push my feelings aside so many times until I start getting quiet, bitter, and resentful.

What do I do then? I consider letting them out. I should talk about what’s bothering me. But again my inner voice chimes in; “your problems aren’t that bad,” or “you’ve already brought this up and wasted enough time, effort, and energy on it.” Still, I’m grappling with deep seeded emotions on a daily basis. What, then do I do? Inevitably I am forced here, writing my thoughts out for a faceless audience to whom I feel less threatened and judged by than any real person in my life.

So here goes. Lately, I have been feeling all the discomfort and violation I have accrued from all the relationships with men in my past: prompted from watching documentaries, to crappy rom-com shows, to real life objectification. Most recently, being brought back to the one traumatic moment with my partner, opened the bottle on all my other baggage in that category of my life. And there is a lot of it.

Uncomfortably objectified by my un-medicated bipolar, alcoholic father; I sought approval and validation from a very sick individual, in multiple ways, while building this wonderful emotion barrier I have today. The very first boy I ever kissed in any real sense of hormonal awkwardness, was a summer thing. We saw one movie and met for one lunch and that was it. He went on to proclaim that we had had sex, and that I was slut to the entire high school I had just started attending. I was shocked and angry, but as it wasn’t true and he was very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I let it go. I was pressured into my first “relationship” as a tech intern in high school. The hyper sexual narcissist played to my naïve insecurities, pushing me to do things I was very clear I had no interest in doing. Finally, I put my foot down and told him to back off. This lead to a hostile work environment and me quitting that job and my interest in IT for good. I was raped of my virginity at 16 by a self-sworn good guy. He was only a monster in a mask. After that, I dove into the arms of a 21 year old, metrosexual man-child. He was also hypersexual in every sense of the word and loved to comment on my weight and brand/style of clothing. I didn’t care too much at the time as I had started drinking and he could buy me all the booze I wanted. By the time that was over, I left him for suspecting he was cheating. I’m sure he was, but had no hard proof. I learned to leave before I got too hurt.

Throughout high school I hung out with a group of guys I called my brothers. I never saw them as anything more than that; though each of them, at different times expressed their interest in me as more than a friend. One of them I would be engaged to. One of them I would marry and divorce. The one I was engaged to brought me into a world of drugs and alcohol on an entirely new level. I loved keeping pace with him. I loved getting lost, doing crazy shit, and not thinking about my problems. His lifestyle made that easy, but I was also trying to go to school and start a life for myself. So, eventually, I gave him an ultimatum to either quit the drugs, or I was gone. He quit the hard drugs, and I all but browbeat him into proposing to me. Still I wasn’t happy. I was drinking more than ever and blamed him for all the problems he had gotten me into. After graduating college by the skin of my teeth, I broke it off with him. I wasted no time trying to building a life with my now ex-husband, starting with earing my title as barfly when we were dating. I would get drunk and call my ex-fiancé. On a handful of occasions he picked me up and I would go out drinking and/or drugging with him. Once he had tried to make a move on me as I was passing out, and I asked him to take me home. Then next time was much worse in scale of the fight with my ex-husband. I drank more, drugged more, and woke up out of a blackout sore and without underwear on. I was too ashamed of my drunken behavior and my bad decisions. I never said anything about it. I had, after all, put myself in this situation. But I’ve come to learn that still doesn’t make it okay.

My ex-husband cheated on me. He pressured me into having sex before I was ready after our son was born, and complained to me for not paying enough attention to him. He blamed my inattention for his cheating and constantly asked who I was out screwing if he couldn’t get ahold of me immediately.

Stepping back a moment, my first job after my tech-intern position was at BestBuy, where my asshole of a boss hit on me relentlessly. Eventually I quit. After college I worked at Omega as a second job, where my 60 something Greek manager asked if he could kiss me. The other managers, all related, shrugged it off as him being an old man. So I quit. After being a stay at home mom for two years, I went to work as a hostess/bartender at Carlucci’s. I knew I was going to get drunk idiots flirting with me. I didn’t know two of four managers would be pursuing me like a dog with a bone. One particular bus “boy” liked to kid around that my son was his. He’d ask “How’s my boy doing?” in between invites to hang out, or lunch, or just go out back. His eyes devoured any decency. He was a salivating hyena.

So, no, I have not had a lot of positive experiences with male friends, with male colleges, or with men I placed my trust in. That’s why my most recent trauma from my current relationship was so bitter for me. It was just a drunken mistake. I am not blowing in out of proportion, and how could I given my track record, but it was the fact I and once again, thought I had found something different, something real that was once again shattered in that moment. I’ve recovered from that, but it’s there in the ever growing gallery of unpleasant life experiences with men.

It’s not surprising anymore. I try not to think about these things, because they just steal my peace and serenity. Yet try as I may, I can never really get rid of the trauma. It sickens me to the core, and yet it’s so fucking common-place. Oh well.

See, I feel like I have wasted my time an energy just saying all that. What’s the point anyways?

Worthless

I don’t even know where to begin. Everything has changed, and no, that is not an exaggeration. I have a new home, a new career, and am starting grad school in about a month. I no longer have a car, a mother, nor sufficient income. I am the old person at work. I am the single mother who barely sees her son. I am the partner left wanting. I am  a ball of stress, anxiety, and loneliness bound up tightly in a straight jacket with a bad buckle. I am scared. I am trying my best to make a life that I hope I won’t regret. I am nothing I used to be and everything I always hide.

New beginnings are enticing and exciting at first, however treading the path unknown is quite frankly terrifying. Less so when you have something to hold on to. Something steady to keep you anchored and sure footed. Without it, I feel like I could be swallowed into oblivion by a single wrong step. All the while I’m wondering, what have I done wrong already. Where have I faltered.  Have I been so neglectful in my tireless effort to forge a better life that I should no longer be a preference? Are my actions something so egregious that I am someone to be placed aside for more satisfying company?

I thought love persevered; strengthened through time and overcoming countless trials. I am yet again reminded I must know nothing of love. Perhaps this is all my fault. I am not so big headed to think I am infallible. I make mistakes as I am human. I am a human who feels old, worthless, and unimportant to the one most important to me. Though I am sure this is probably not entirely accurate in reality, it is how I feel, and it fucking sucks. It really fucking sucks.

Whenever I’m Disturbed…

I am in uncharted territory again. I feel excited at the possibility of returning to school and pursuing a degree in something that will enable me to affect positive change in our world. Yet, I am completely irritated, and I don’t really know why. I can only surmise that changing my routine, focus, and the way I think to be more productive and driven has left me intolerant to old habits and ways of thinking. It seems counter intuitive. The more self understanding and focus I have, I would assume would instill further compassion and understanding of others. Instead, all I see are unhealthy thought patterns, time sinks, and bad habits that need to be quashed.

When I first wrote this blog, and WordPress.com’s lovely block editor ruined everything by deleting two thirds of it, I spent a bit of time venting about my mother’s entitled, childish behavior. I am not, however, going to retype all that as it is a huge waste of time and energy. That is who she is an I can’t expect anything different. She is stuck in her ways, and the chance of that changing or her doing any real personal development is slim. It is still extremely frusterating, but I will try not to linger on it too long.

Why am I so irritated? I guess I just want better lives for everyone I love, but know I can’t force-feed anything to anyone. This will be problematic as a social worker, and I will have to figure out a way to deal with the frustration. It’s almost infuriating once you start applying yourself and learning how easy it is to turn your life in a different direction. Perhaps this is just my experience. It may completely inapplicable in other regions of the world, but for most in people in the USA, a little focus, drive, and no BS attitude with yourself and things get clear real quick.

This is not to say anyone can be an astronaut or fairy princess. If you really want to be rich, there is a way. If you want to be healthier, there is a way. If you want to have a better relationship with yourself or another person, there is a way. It just takes an open mind to change and a willingness to apply yourself and sacrifice what you have to for the things you really want. This does not require sitting, doing nothing, doing the same things over and over, or living in self pity and denial. It takes action, breaking old useless habits, self restraint and self discipline. It only sounds hard. It is not any harder than being miserable with your life. The more you change, the easier changing other things becomes. Life is always changing. Either change with it or face the notion you have, in essence, accepted you life for what it is whether you realize it or not.

Here in lies my frustration. After lifting a blindfold off my eyes, I’m stuck looking around at everyone else with blindfolds on, wishing desperately I could rip them off. It’s something only that person can do for themselves. I have to accept this. So, instead of getting annoyed at other people, I am going to go back to focusing on improving my own life and eventually find a way in which to help others in a different way.

Ego be gone!

 

 

Out of Sync, but Happy

Most days I am just trying to pass time at work to get through the day to crawl into bed. It’s a sad state of life that many people share. It is not a routine I plan to continue until I retire. I do plan to obtain my Masters Degree in Social Work to get headed down a more engaging career path. Today, however, I feel like I want to tackle every tiny problem or project I can think of.

This happens periodically when things start falling in place, in terms of my plans and responsibilities. It’s like a snowball effect. One thing gets done or goes right and then another and before I know it my fingers are tying to keep up with my brain as I type and I’m focused on things thirty steps ahead. This happens in stark contrast to my exhausted body. It’s very strange. On one hand, I could totally crawl into be and fall asleep immediately. On the other hand, I could just as easily clean the entire bathroom like I wish I could be doing right now. I am very out of sync.

So many things have been going right lately. We are finally getting settled in to my mother’s place. My partner and I (but mostly him) have been getting things sorted and put away slowly but surely. We have new furniture (which he also put together by himself), and a the mattress platform has worked miracles for getting a better night’s sleep. I have a plan for saving for college for my son after listening to a webinar hosted by the bank who handles my 401K. I gave myself a hair cut, not for the first time, but with better than expected results and new techniques. I officially have no use for a hair stylist ever again. I have started bringing my lunches to work and have backup breakfast items here for days I’m running late. I have killed my ice cream addiction. That’s not that I still don’t enjoy it, but I don’t HAVE to have it every single night. I’ve grown tired of my kombucha lust, again, and am drinking water at night instead of plowing through 3-4 cans of seltzer. All this means more money in the bank; more money to save and invest in the future. How exciting is that?

I can’t remember the last time I felt like I had control of my finances or financial future. Honestly, I don’t think I ever have. I have always been so stressed about money. Barely scraping by; buried under debt. I paid my own way through college, scrapped together a little bit for a wedding, bought a cheap condo with $1000 down, worked multiple jobs at multiple times just to get by, and became super-ultra-mega coupon lady to get groceries as cheap as possible when I had the time as a stay-at-home mom. Now, the condo is sold, my divorce lawyer is paid, and my bankruptcy lawyer is paid. Once the bankruptcy is over with, I will buy a used car at some point and spend the next year-and-a-half to two years saving, working, going to school, and getting ready to launch life the right way. Getting a second  chance with so many lessons learned is amazing, and sober no less! I am so very grateful for all of this.

I know I will hit bumps in the road. I am not invincible, nor am I doing this on my own. I have more help and support in my life now than I could have ever asked for. What I am driving at, is that the future looks bright. I am optimistic, happy, and hopeful. I don’t know what I did to deserve this chance to get it right. It was far from easy getting here, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like life isn’t too heavy to carry. I have a footing and believe in myself, my higher power and the support of others to keep moving forward toward an even better future.