November ALREADY, Kindle Unlimited, & Marie Kondo

I cant believe we are already into November! It was just the other day I was writing about Back to Basics – Holy crap, it took me THAT long to actually get started! The year is almost OVER!

Anyway, in my long overdue journey of clearing out the crap I stumbled upon the cutest little woman named Marie. Everyone seems to love her and her videos made it seem so easy. Yes, I knew there would be some mess, I mean, you gotta break it all down to put it back together, right, but I NEVER expected it to be like this!

So I went back and watched the videos again. I HAD to be doing it wrong. Then I realized something; they never tell you how long it took! There was NO TIMELINE! How did I not notice this before?

That made me feel better but also made me feel worse. I wasn’t doing it wrong but this could, possibly, go on indefinitely. And in the meantime, I am losing my mind over the clutter.

I didn’t take before pics because I, honestly, swear to my God, thought I could do this in a night. I didn’t think it would be this hard..

But this is my progress so far (not much):

Started on Monday, November 4th –

I swear I worked on this aaalllll day and night but this was my progress on Tuesday.

It is now Monday, November 11th and I have yet to finish category 1 of this ordeal. I am, officially, scarred for life. Torching the house does NOT seem like a bad idea anymore.

Forget cancelling Kindle Unlimited because I somehow UPGRADED the damn thing! I dont know how and I am not even going to fight it. Instead, I have chosen to embrace it and read on! I have “listened” to more books than any one person should… and I don’t have to deal with said book when I hit THAT category of the Marie thing. #winning

I guess its back to working on learning how to fold the 27 grey t shirts that bring me joy…

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30 Days of Thankful – and why I almost didn’t do it.

Every November since 2012 I’ve done this 30 Days of Thankful thing.  It first started as a fb “challenge” from a friend and it quickly became one of my favorite things to do. One I usually look forward to all year long. 

This year, for some reason, I just didn’t want to do it. 

It’s been a rough year.  

Late last year my job structure changed and I’ve had a tough time adjusting to it and all the “freedom” it’s given me. I use that term loosely because, while I may have acquired the flexibility I cried about for DECADES, I lost the stability and structure I never knew I desperately needed. Yeah, came as a surprise to me too. 

My kids are all grown and doing their best to adjust to this adulting thing but, let’s be real here, they aren’t that great at it yet and they’ve made some really crappy decisions that have cost us lots of money and heart ache. Thank God you guys are super cute and that I have an amazing sense of humor (yes, I just complimented myself) because that’s, pretty much, what’s kept me from not beating all of their butts- you’re welcome. 😬

Sparing you the boring details, one, not quite completely insured car I still owe a substantial amount of money on, was totaled and the other car caught fire. Literally! And, of course, I was grateful everyone was ok and, of course, that’s what’s REALLY important but the damn car went up in flames. Big ones! I mean, come on, seriously??

I also realized I have zero budgeting abilities and my finances are in a state that’s pretty similar to that car that had to be SCOOPED off the expressway. Turns out I have a whole lot of stuff I don’t want or need, including 27 grey t shirts I bought from Facebook ads. Do I think they’re cute? Very. Will I ever wear them? Nope!

Seems like just when things are about to get better, something else falls apart. Like me, for example. 

I’m getting old and I’m not liking it very much. Botox has become my new favorite thing (someone stop me if I come anywhere remotely close to looking like the joker). I’m always tired, my blood pressure is high, I am pretty sure I’m in the beginning stages of menopause and I spend more time talking to my dog than I do anyone else (he’s an excellent listener, btw) because there’s only about a handful of people I don’t often want to punch in the face – and no, my kids are not always a part of that group. As a matter of fact, they are RARELY in that group.  (Mommy still loves ya, though!❤️❤️❤️) 

The passing of my stepfather was the hardest. Not only was he gone and I now had this huge hole in my heart but I had my mom being alone and the possibility of her moving in with me to add to my list of worries! (I still can’t tell you which scares me more ; her being alone or her wanting to live here!!! – love you mom!😊❤️😬)

And yes, I have had alot of really great times in between all of this stuff and I know how blessed I really am (I do know, I promise I do) I just hadn’t been feeling it a lot lately. But yesterday we got to do something really great for one kid and the other two were truly  happy for her and I realized that THAT was what mattered. My kids were (almost)well adjusted- not -a -danger- to -society- about -to -be -adult people that were genuinely HAPPY and there for each other when it mattered the most. 

As she drove away this morning, still glowing from yesterday’s events, and I realized that it was the 3rd of November and that today was my dads, Manuel’s 69th birthday and he was stronger and better than ever and all of those crappy things that happened could have, just possibly, made ME stronger and better, too! So I’m doing it; 3 days behind but that’s ok… sometimes you just have to take a minute (or 3 days or a month or a year or whatever) to make the decision that it’s time. Time to get your shit together and stop worrying about things that are out of your control and just be grateful for every good, hell, any half-way -decent -at -least -I’m -not- dead moment you got! 

Being Stuck….

I saw this picture on Pinterest of a person stuck in a jar. The quote read “I feel like I am stuck in a glass jar. I can see what I want or need to do, yet I cannot reach it.” Holy crap! After months of trying to describe how I am feeling THIS random picture did it for me! This is EXACTLY how I feel; like I’m stuck in this world where my days go on and on and I am trapped in this merry go round I just cant seem to get off on.

There are days the dizziness is just too much. So much that I actually get nauseous. Then there are days the lid is so tight I cant even breathe. On the outside, everything looks fine. Actually, everything IS fine. I have a job I love, I have the set up I had prayed for for years. I have amazing friends, healthy kids, a home I feel blessed to live in. I drive my dream car. And yet, I still feel “off”.

If I were to take a page from my LOA book I would say I am not “in alignment”. So my question now is; how in the hell do I get “aligned” because I’m about to blow this lid off and turn my entire world upside down! Or I’m going to die… at this point, it could go either way.

Friends are like a Rubik’s Cube…

I read somewhere that friends were like a Rubik’s Cube. The quote said something to the effect of; “Sometimes all your squares line up and sometimes they just don’t!”

I loved this analogy as I can completely relate to it; especially when I think of these two amazing women.. 
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There are so many different “squares” that make up our lives: health, children, relationships, work, finances etc. It’s practically impossible to get each of these squares to line up, neatly creating that perfect square of color, not just on one side but on all.

I remember the days of frustration when I just couldn’t solve that cube so one day I peeled all the colored squares off and stuck them back on to make it look as though I had actually conquered that stupid thing.. only to find out that It didn’t really work. The edges eventually started to curl up and peel off on their own. Lesson learned that day- you can’t force it.

And that’s us… we may not spend every single day together, we may go weeks without a single conversation, our edges may even begin to curl up and start to peel off, but when we need one another, we’re there. Somehow our personal rows align and all our colors magically come together- no forcing necessary.

In the end, I don’t suppose we really want ALL our squares to line up all the time, do we? If they did, the game would be over and where’s the Fun in that? 

She’s a Girl!

(original post from 2016)
My daughter took her car to a sleep over for the very first time. A part of me was pretty pleased to have reached this milestone; I didn’t have to get out of my comfy bed to drop her off, and even better, I didn’t have to get up early to pick her up. That was especially helpful since I hadn’t slept much thinking of all the things that could be going on now that she had her car with her and listening out for sirens all night (a trait I clearly inherited from my mother).
What gets me is – my boys did the exact same thing at her age. Why is this time so different?
I’d like to say it’s because she’s my baby and I am having a hard time letting go but I think the real reason, sadly, is that she’s a girl!
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THAT goes against everything I have ever tried to instill in her.. I have told her every chance I got that her gender plays absolutely no part in what she can and cannot do. It would play no part in what I ALLOWED her to do.. I even reminded my boys that the fact that she was a girl had no bearing on how they were to treat her.. was it all bullshit? Did this only apply to UIL related activities but not real life?
A friend of mine and I were having a conversation about an outing after PROM. We were both struggling with letting the girls attend. Her daughter reminded her that her brother had gone the exact same year.. she took me aback when she said; “yes, but she’s A GIRL!”.. I wasn’t taken aback that she said it, I was taken aback that I agreed!
So is everything I have ever told her about being “a girl” all bullshit?

Back to Basics

2019.. another year is behind us.. a brand new one is right before us..

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This year I decided to forgo the usual resolutions I make each and every year.. to skip the annual Jan 1st through Jan 5th diet and only promise myself one thing.. go back to the basics..
What does that mean? I don’t really know for sure.. I think it means that I will look at my cell phone a lot less and stare at my kids faces a lot more; draft a few less emails and send a handwritten card in its place every now and then – yes, with an actual stamp (that is still a thing, right?) Maybe I’ll pass up one weekend of Netflix binging and take a drive to the beach instead.. who knows.. right now, the possibilities are endless…

Open Forum ; a right or a privilege?​

I live in a small town, deep in South Texas – as in, if- you -go -any -further- you- are- now- in -Mexico – deep… it’s a town where people know all of your business, high school football is king, and the city officials are, in most cases, a “friend”.
Before I continue, let me make it clear that whatever statements I make are not directed at one person, in particular, nor is it even, specifically, about my hometown. These statements are in general and really made to ask one (ok,  maybe two) question(s)… “Is Open Forum a Right or a Privilege?”
About a year ago it was determined that town hall meetings in my little neck of the woods would no longer allow for an open forum.  Basically, there is now a virtual complaint box  – one in which they can choose to acknowledge or chose to ignore.. and there is nothing we can do about it.
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Having an attorney in my family, I thought it best to broach the very infuriating topic up with him first BEFORE I take my rant to Facebook.
Me: We have a right to say what we want to say, as long as it is done during the allotted time and follows the rules (don’t be ugly, rude, or disrespectful)
Him: Open Forum is not a right, it’s a privilege.
Me: Having a seat on the city council is not a right, either – it is a PRIVILEGE, that, we, the citizens they are so vehemently trying to shut up, GAVE them.
Him: well, after you gave them that privilege, it is now their right to shut it down.
Me: (silence)
So which is it? I still stand by my opinion that it is, indeed, our right but I really can’t argue with his logic (I hate when people respond to my rants with LOGIC, btw). But that just leads me to my second question – are any of these people that we have given this very generous right to even QUAlIFIED to be making such decisions – ANY decision, for that matter????? I would have to say, from experience, that the majority of them are not. So how did it get this way? Who decided that we would allow our town and our schools to be run by a group of people that can hardly manage their household, let alone make such hugely impacting decision? (For the record, this does not apply to ALL of them – just most of them.)
I don’t know where the suggestion box is for this but I’m thinking someone needs to find it – and fast –
I’d probably check the website first. 🙂

Spring Cleaning

A dear friend recently lost his father. We helped them sort through his stuff, taking what we wanted, throwing away what WE didn’t think was useful or needed. And it got me thinking.. while it may not be useful to us, what if it meant something to him? With so much “stuff” how would we even know?
The thought of someone sorting through my things, tossing out that note my daughter wrote me the first time we had a fight, or the movie ticket from the first date with my husband, literally, brought me to tears! To anyone else, it may look like a piece of scrap paper – but to me, they were priceless!
Yes, yes, they don’t do me much good when I’m dead.. but that’s not the point here.. my point is that I need to get rid of everything that isn’t important so that if the need should arise when people are sifting through MY things, they will at least be able to distinguish between what’s important and what isn’t. With an already hectic life; why add to it by not being able to find what you need, when you need it? Right?
Initially, my plan was to go into every room, every cabinet, every drawer, every closet.. clear out my voicemail, my contacts, my friends list.. rid myself of anything and everything that brings me even the slightest amount of stress or annoyance. Then I came across one of those OM 28 Day Courses, Clear Your Home, Clear Your Life  and for a mere $10 they can TEACH me to do this, step by step, one day at a time…
So I figured I’d give it a try… I spend more than that rebuying batteries because I can’t find the 14 packages I know I already have…
So let’s get started:

Day 1:

Today was an INTRODUCTION DAY – and, it appears, this course is slightly more involved than I thought. It’s far more than taking a drawer or a cabinet a day. There is journaling involved and questions to contemplate. Aside from a few general questions I am supposed to journal about I was instructed to buy a brand new one. And it is only to be used for this purpose. I don’t know what it is about me and new journals but there is nothing I love more than buying a new one. So I will get on that right away…
Obviously, I can’t give you the details of the course but I can tell you that it appears to be WAY more than I thought. Aside from cleaning out your physical space, I will be tasked to clear out my emotional space, too. Shit – I better get bigger bags.

Day 2:

Sucked… I learned nothing.. other than the fact I cannot close my eyes and breathe. (ok, maybe I did learn SOMETHING – but it’s not what I had in mind).

Looks like learning to meditate might not be in the cards for me…

Hopefully, Day 3 will be somewhat better – because right now I WANT A REFUND!

Day 3:

Slightly better – at least I have an actual task – even if it’s just to ask myself a few questions which I ended up addressing right away ..

Little example here:

  • Is there something in your purse or wallet that doesn’t need to be there? I’m sure there is – let me clean it out. 
  • Is there something in the back seat or trunk of your car that’s been there longer than a week (that doesn’t need to be there)? Yup. along with dry cleaning I’ve been carrying around with me for weeks 
  • Is there something in your closet that you haven’t worn in over a year? Tons, Poshmark, here I come! 
  • Is your sock drawer a jumble of pair-less orphans? Yup.
  • Do you have stuff in the fridge or freezer that is over six months old? Probably
  • Is there something on the refrigerator door that is expired? About 8 bottles of mustard…
  • Are you feeling pissed-off at a family member, partner, or roommate for not doing their part to keep things clean and tidy? That’s a post of its own… 
  • Is there something you’re doing right now that can wait? Probably this – I have a car to clean out and clothes to take to the cleaners.
  • Are you feeling any twinges (even a hint) of overwhelm or anxiety as you scroll down this list? YES – ANXIETY IS IN FULL FORCE
  • Are your buttons getting pressed by these questions? Saving this for the journal entry. 

Day 4 & 5:

Pretty much the same thing – talking about feelings and stuff.

Not gonna lie; this course has kinda sucked so far.

Day 6:

Look around your office or home and move ONE THING that is out of place back to where it belongs.. we are FINALLY getting somewhere.

Day 7:

Put something in its PLACE.

“Place” — as in to. . .

  • Lay grocery bags in the trunk of your car in such a way that they don’t fall over and smash the eggs.
  • Take a few extra seconds to put the food in the refrigerator so you can see and find everything later.
  • Space the dishes in the dishwasher so that they wash and dry evenly.
  • Match shoes with mates.
  • Sort the mail into piles as soon it comes in the door: letters, bills, magazines, catalogs, recycling.
  • Park the car so that it’s easy to get in and out of and less likely to be rammed into by a bigger car.
  • Prominently display a gorgeous bouquet of flowers where you can see them every time you walk by.
  • Move the chairs back under the table when not in use

Day 8:

Meditation lesson about “enough” – how about enough of this bullshit! Get me cleaning! 

Day 9:

Sweep: sweep one part of your house or office – well enough to make a real visual difference. Now this I can work with. 

Day 10:

Take sixty seconds and clean something, anything….. ready, set go!  

Day 11:

Sort. Take all the crap from one room and pile it on a table. Separate into 4 piles: Stay, Go, Throw, Don’t Know.

Take one room; every day.. till you’re done. So I guess I’ll see you in a few months.

Day 12:

Still working on the last lesson – this one is gonna take a while..

Delete. “Email… I ignore much of it, not because it isn’t important, but because my first commitment is to life — to nature, to health, to relationships, to joy.   Most email can wait, but life has an expiration date.”­- I saw this quote and I LOVED it.. it just may be my new favorite..  back to the lesson…

Sort all of the email, put them in folders, set rules, schedule email time. The end… If only it were that easy.. 

Day 13:

Accept. More meditation. What part of “I can’t close my eyes” do you not understand?

Day 14:

Like Nike: Just do it. Do it imperfectly and keep doing it. Till it’s perfect. No matter how long it takes. Do it like your soul depends on it. And if you don’t know what “It” is; do anything and everything until it finds you. I love this so so much! 

Day 15:

Learn to say “no” – gracefully… as if I don’t try to do that every single day.. when did I become such a pushover???? 

Day 16:

Make a mistake and don’t fix it. – yeah, daily occurrence for me.. and just when I thought this couldn’t get any more stupid.

Day 17:

Allow the mystery. Accept not knowing – I accepted this a long time ago.. I seriously want a refund. 

Day 18:

Shift happens. Sometime today when you feel any kind of nudgy feeling of frustration or even despair, take a step back. Pause. Breathe.

Give the situation some space to play itself out. Allow your feelings (of anxiety, worry, despair, sadness) to arise. Allow the discomfort to sit with you, like a compassionate friend, until something shifts.

Then wait and watch what happens.

Isn’t this what I was supposed to AVOID… (sigh) I hate this. 

Day 19:

Do Nothing and see what it feels like…. it feels like I’m being jipped, that’s what it feels like. 

Day 20:

Lean in and embrace your pain. The only thing causing me pain is all the crap I have around my house I THOUGHT I was going to learn to manage. This sucks.

Day 21:

Be still – more freaking meditation.

Day 22:

Opt Out – ok, this I MIGHT be able to do. They provided a few examples on how to accomplish this. And because i’m so pissed off at how crappy this class is; i’m going to share them all here:

  • Decline graciously with “Thanks for asking, I’m sorry it’s not going to work for me this time.”
  • Put a message on your voicemail letting callers know that it may take a few days to return their call. Who in the hell still leaves vmail? Send me a text!
  • Put an auto-responder message on your email service saying that you will not be replying to any emails for a while. If their email is important, ask them to resend it after a certain date. You are obviously not in sales but might work for personal email. 
  • Unsubscribe to email lists that no longer serve and support you. This one I should def do – I get so much crap I no longer know what’s valid and what’s not. 
  • Unsubscribe to a magazine that you never read. Uh no, I read them all – yes, in paper format. 

Day 23:

Rest – seriously?

Take one minute and just sink into deep relaxation. Here’s how:

  • Find a comfy place to sit.
  • Wrap yourself in yummy “blankey.” (It’s good to have one handy, even at the office. I have super-soft oversized shawl that I love to drape around me that goes with me everywhere.)
  • Put your feet up if you can. Wiggle into your seat and feel yourself settling into the most perfect support.
  • Once settled, close your eyes.
  • Take a nice easy breath in, and a slow emptying breath out.
  • Breathe in the words “I choose ease”; breathe out “I release.”
  • Stay in as long as you can.
  • Notice how it feels afterward. It feels like I’ve been duped, that’s how it feels. 

Day 24:

Let it all go – um, can you be a little bit more specific?

Day 25:

Bless My Home – ok, I kinda like this one.. 

House Blessing

By Stephanie Bennett Vogt

Dear home,

Thank you for being.

Thank you for being a sanctuary for all who have lived here before, reside here now, and will make their home here afterward.

Thank you for being a place of laughter, discovery, and spacious magic.

Thank you for holding a space for us to heal quickly when we are out of balance.

Thank you for holding a space for us to breathe again when we shut down and feel afraid.

Thank you for holding a space for us to rest, renew, and remember who we truly are.

Thank you for teaching us what it means to be truly unconditional and present.

And so it is.

And so it shall be.”

Day 26:

Release – release what? Why are you teaching me how to sit? You need to teach me how long I need to keep the crap I have in my drawers and what to do with what I need to keep… that’s what you need to be teaching me – I already know how to sit!

Day 27:

Prioritize – ok, this one is kinda deep. Basically, you are given a list of the top things people on their death bed regret..

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.  yeah, totes agree… 
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. I wish I didn’t HAVE to. 
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. this hasnt really been an issue – I need more practice on keeping my mouth SHUT instead.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Oh, but I do! Have you ever heard of facebook?
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.. kinda vague, don’t ya think. 

But here is where the good part comes in (finally). Sit down for 60 seconds and, without thinking about logistics make a list of things you want to do, see, hear and/or feel before you go… Ready, Set, Go!

Day 28:

“Today marks the end of this 28-day program. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a dip in these rich waters of your Spacious Self.” – uh, how about NO. This was one of the dumbest things I ever did and I totally want my money back. STAR RATING:1

But OK, I get it – declutter everything. Not just the kitchen drawers or your closet or that hall storage that could probably serve as an emergency shelter IF you could actually step into it… That part makes sense.. the rest, not so much. Or who knows, maybe it was JUST ME who didn’t get it… either way, I will continue to do each and every one of these things (sorta – in my own way .. and no, I will not write about it.

Faith Anchors the Soul

Meredith Grey once said, “Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is, appreciating small victories and Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human”  Yes, Meredith Grey is a real person and I will not accept otherwise…

 

While I agree with her completely, I also believe that there is really only one thing a person needs in order to survive that struggle.. faith.

Faith is defined as a ” firm belief even in the absence of proof “. I define it as trust and assurance that I will live to see another day. Faith is what keeps me going.

I would never describe myself as a religious person but I am a strong believer in HIS existence. I have always struggled with a lot of what we are expected to believe and the guidelines that have been placed upon us. And yes, while I am a proponent of the “everything- happens- for -a- reason logic” I do not believe that the reason is always a good one or part of some “Master Plan, on the contrary, I believe that sometimes the reason is that you are stupid and just make bad choices.. really, really bad choices.

So where exactly does faith  come in? Well, it actually never left me. For even in my darkest times and even when I have made the stupidest of stupid choices; I have kept the faith that things will be ok. They may not always work out the way I want them to or hoped they would, but I know that in the end – I will have survived it all.

 

So every single day I give thanks for the familiar things I know and I give thanks  for the things I may never know. I continue to give thanks for the people in my life, the memories we’ve made and the ones we have yet to make.

We live in trying times. Our world seems to be filled with devastation and crisis and opinions, so…. many….. opinions, and we continue to be tested on a daily basis. Yet every morning I get up, say a prayer for myself and my family and go about my day – with nothing but the hope of, not only surviving it, but getting to do it all over again tomorrow and faith that HE will help me do just that.

 

 

BioTe Day 5 – what the hell happened?

I don’t know if it was in my head or what the deal was but, I swear, Friday and Sat I was on fire. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I was bouncing off the walls with it!

Sunday took a dramatic turn… I slept so much I feel like a zombie.., it was almost as though I had done too much and was now paying for it. I cant seem to snap out of it. Even as I sit here at work, I cant seem to focus. Tired - (Archives)

Granted, I am only on Day 5 and everything I have read says it takes several weeks to feel the full effects. All I know is that right now, I feel like crap.

Not gonna give up though, actually, I cant – refer to CON #3 here…

Technically, I’m “stuck” with it.. So what else is there to do but wait it out?  I cant give up on it yet. I wont.

At least I get to hit the gym today.

Who am I kidding?  I never wanted to before, why would I want to now? BUT, the last thing I want to do is look like Chewbacca so I HAVE to go, even if I don’t want to. It’s for my health and I HAVE to give it SOME priority at some point. RIGHT?