Reminder of Awesomeness

  1. I am overall a very nice, sensitive person
  2. I mostly put others before myself
  3. I love animals and the earth
  4. I’m very empathetic
  5. I eat healthy
  6. I workout regularly
  7. I can make people laugh
  8. I am fun
  9. I am generally not judgmental
  10. I am smart
  11. I am creative and artistic
  12. I enjoy nature
  13. I am good at sharing my emotions
  14. I am good at reading others emotions
  15. I am a good listener
  16. I am loyal
  17. I am compassionate…

I needed that. 🙂

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Optomism in the face of reality

I’ve heard this quote before and always find it to be so telling. People often say “look at the bright side.” Like that somehow makes that situation less bad. I understand that being negative or focusing on the problems in our lives is not a healthy way to live. But there are some situations that barley have a bright side. In fact, they’re so dark what little light you see could be mistaking as a mirage.

BUT, I am trying to lighten up my blog. I had originally set out to make a motivational outlet, not a venting platform. And unfortunately I have falling back into old habits. So from now on I want my posts to be positive and encouraging. Something you read and feel better after doing so. I feel that is an obtainable goal.

My reality is not so bad, just your normal life experiences most anyone faces. But yet my brain can make it out to be the worst thing EVER. And someone once pointed out to me that it may very well be the worst thing ever to ME and that is something to keep in mind. Just because another person’s situation, by definition, is substantially worse than yours does not mean that what you’re going thru is not as bad to you or even worse. Because we cannot fully understand each others life experiences unless we’ve lived them ourselves it is hard to compare. And even then, if you had the exact same situation, each individual will feel it differently. Because EVERYONE is unique from head to toe.

I try to keep that in perspective while I’m dealing with my life experiences. I also try to remember how lucky I am. YES, there are many things I WANT to have and do. Who doesn’t? But I do not necessarily NEED anything. And if I do, I can make it happen. The world is, quite frankly, at my finger tips. It’s quite disappointing that I don’t utilize my situation more effectively. There are so many peeps out there that could and would make much more out of my situation than I am currently doing. And some how, even though I realize this, I still don’t take those next steps. At least not by leaps and bounds. I suppose I do take very miniscule baby steps. The not so noticeable steps that can only be seen after a long span of time. I MUST give myself credit for the strides that I have made. Whether large or small.

So what now you ask? What can I do to begin the next phase? Well, that is where I’m stuck. I am completely filled with fear and negativity so I cannot fathom what could propel me into the next chapter I SO wish to be in. If I am to be completely honest with myself I know that I must face my fears. THAT is how I can break down this wall. THAT and that alone is how I will be able to fight this monster inside of me who controls my courage. Why can’t I try things and succeed or fail like everyone else? Why can’t I fail? It wouldn’t be the end of my existence as I know. Yet it feels like the worst possible thing EVER?

I CAN DO IT! This is a mantra that I need develop. I need to believe in myself. I need to find passion! I need to find my purpose on this earth. Then I will no longer be afraid because I will understand what it is I need to do. Right now I am so lost fear is a natural emotion. Everyone is fearful when they cannot see what is in front of them, when they do not know if they are going to smash into a wall. This may be the biggest challenge I have faced yet. My instincts are to run away. That is what has been holding me back from facing what is going on right now. I’m clouding my mind with dreams of running away from the issue and focusing on NOT being able to do that. Instead I need to focus that energy on what I CAN do right NOW to make this situation better.

I see it. I see the path I should be on. But I still don’t see how I can get there. I’m too afraid of change. Afraid of failure. Afraid of rejection. I feel numb and useless.

But I WILL do it. Because I have to. I will find a way. I will succeed. I will be eternally happy. One way or another. No matter my reality.

The perfect failure

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My search for the perfect job is off to a bad start. First of all I’m not actively looking, more so just thinking about it. Secondly I have no idea what the perfect job for me is. And so there lies the ever troublesome fear that I always succumb to. FEAR stands in my way most every day. And if I had to rate it’s success I would give it an A. See, I’ve come to realize that I could be categorized as a perfectionist. But, like my quest for that perfect job, I’m the type of perfectionist that only talks about the perfect things they want. But never actually tries to obtain them for FEAR of imperfection. Are you following me?

Let’s dig deeper, really tear me apart.

I want to be a free spirit. One might call it a hippie (I do.) I envy those who go with the flow and embrace natures way. They don’t worry about details or outcomes. They live in the moment and fully enjoy the present. At least that is my interpretation. This type of free thinking does not mix well with my need for perfection. How could I let me hair down and enjoy the moment if I’m worried about what is going to happen after the moment? Will it meet my expectations? Will it be perceived by others as a failure?

FAILURE: Now that is the root of my perfectionism. FEAR of FAILURE! I know I am going to fail (by my own standards because I don’t give myself any chance of not failing), the fear is so great, I don’t even try. I lose out on so many life experiences because my FEAR paralyzes me into thinking I cannot do it.

Fortunately I am a functioning FEAR of FAILURE sufferer. What I mean by that is that I realize some individuals suffer far greater than I. I have a full time job, a husband, 3 lovely dogs and a handful of people I can call friends. My appreciation for those things should be more than it is. My negative self image diminishes the idea that I am worthy of any of it. A perfect person deserves to have those things and I am far from perfect.

Let me try to explain how I feel in words.

When someone gives me a compliment, let’s say they told me I am doing a great job at work, I completely freeze up. My face flushes and I get hot and uncomfortable. If I’m already having an emotional day sometimes my eyes well up. And you might think, good, you feel proud. But no, I feel ashamed. I feel unworthy. I feel like I somehow pulled the wool over their eyes and fooled them into thinking I deserved such a compliment. My inner self does not let me forget that I am not good enough. That I am less than everyone else.

My rational side tries hard to fight this ugly monster. Tries it’s hardest to point out the facts and bring me to the other, positive side. But majority of the time that battle is lost. And I might be able to hold myself together for appearances but you better believe that on the inside there are casualties as far as the imagination can reach. Even as I write this post I know how ridiculous it sounds.

I’ve discovered over the years, through many different counselors, that this is only just a bad habit. With practice and self awareness I can retrain my thought process to take a different route. And I do believe that to be true. Because I have made great strides in acknowledging my bad habits and redirecting some of them. But this battle has proven to be harder than I can handle. My struggles are evident to the ones closest to me. They suffer the greatest from my inability to move forward and for that I am very sorry. But I am still optimistic that I will keep improving. That the FEAR of FAILURE perfectionist inside me will lose power and the free spirit that has been trapped inside since childhood will find her voice.

She has to. I need her now more than ever.

Opening new dialog

I have recently been expressing more of my views and concerns on my Facebook page. In the past I didn’t want to push my ideals on anyone else. But through this site, where I don’t really have to worry about because you are all strangers to me, I have learned how to voice my thoughts better. It’s a bit empowering. Although I don’t always get a response. But at least people know what I care about and the life experiences I have faced. No need to go into detail here, that is for another post. But I will say my passion about food has recently shifted. I’m trying to eat as fresh and unprocessed as possible. And when I think about all the crap people eat it makes me worry a great deal about the future.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I’m excited to share with my friends and family the things that make my brain turn. Maybe someday I will link my blog to Facebook. But not any time soon, that just sounds scary. LOL

Good chat. Talk to you later.

Sleep is so finicky

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We’ve all dealt with those days when we just feel so tired. And for no particular reason. You went to bed at the same time. You pretty much eat the same foods regularly. So what causes our bodies to be completely exhausted? Here are a few of my experiences.

  • Dogs. The first obvious sleep disruptor are my dogs. From taking up to much bed space to hogging my pillow my dogs sometimes rule my nights. And now that one of my mutts is 15 years young and often has restless nights my sleep deprivation has increased. It’s almost like having an infant. Except for the fact that I leave my dog home alone all day while I’m at work. Other than that, totally the same.
  • Mind. Okay, let’s get serious. Our minds have a way of never taking a break. It’s like that over ambitious friend you have that is always working, studying and working out. It is hard for us to shut off our minds so that we can get some much needed rest. I’ve experienced full blown anxiety attacks in my sleep. When I wake up I feel like I was facing my worst fears all night and could easily sleep for another 10 hours. You need to recuperate after an emotional ordeal like facing your fears.
  • Food. There are many opinions and eating before bed. Some say it is okay depending on what you eat. Other studies suggest not eating after 7pm (or a few hours before bed time.) I have a tendency to snack while watching TV. Who doesn’t? So I often have a late night snack while watching some guilty pleasures. As soon as the show is over, off to bed I go. I’m pretty sure that last spoonful of almond butter probably wasn’t a good idea at 10pm.
  • Sore muscles. Last night I just couldn’t get comfortable. My arms were already aching from that evenings workout. I tossed and turned and even had limbs go to sleep occasionally (but not in the way I needed them to go to sleep.) There are times when I get a tension headache while sleeping. I wake up with a sore neck and pounding headache. That is always a terrible morning. On those nights I think about people who are bed ridden and the terrible pain they must go through all of the time. Not something I would wish on anyone.
  • Sick. Now this is an obvious one. It’s often hard to sleep when you are not feeling well. Unless of course you are loaded up on over the counter meds and are knocked out. The other night I wasn’t so much sick as suffering from a mild case of sun poisoning. I was not sunburnt but I had spent the better half of the day in the sun. I felt super cold after showering so I bundled up in long sleeve pajamas and a big blanket. Well, the heat from the sun was trying to escape my body so I ended up drenched in sweat. That was a rough night because I kept switching back and forth from cold to hot.

I’m usually a great sleeper. I think that is why I am so affected by sleep deprivation. I can’t go more than one night without adequate sleep. So, in an attempt to minimize these sleep disruptors I have come up with the following solutions.

  • Dogs. Make them sleep on the floor. There, that was easy. Just kidding. I could never do that. I enjoy the snuggles too much. So for this one I am just going to have to sleep through it. 🙂
  • Mind. Keep a journal handy and right before bed write down everything that is swirling around in your head. It can be words, a picture or even a doodle. What ever it takes to pluck those thoughts out of the cycle and stick them into time out. You’ll come back to them tomorrow. Don’t worry, they’ll still be there. With today’s tech world maybe you could even send yourself an email with your smart phone. Or start a blog of late night thoughts…
  • Food. Be present in the evenings. Don’t mindlessly stuff food in your face while staring at the TV for hours. Remember, you are preparing for the next day and all the obstacles you are going to tackle. You need to make sure you are in top condition. Try brushing your teeth when you are done with dinner. This might deter you from grabbing that last minute snack. Or, pick a different activity to do right before bed other than watching TV. Maybe read a book or sit outside with the dogs.
  • Sore muscles. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and after a workout. Always stretch your muscles whenever they feel tight. Ease into it and make sure you don’t over do it. If you are really sore stretching every couple hours and keep your muscles lose and prevent them from cramping up. Other than that there is not much you can do about being sore. Just enjoy the results of an intense workout and know that it’s all worth it in the end.
  • Sick. Again drink plenty of fluids. Don’t over do the medication. And allow yourself ample time to rest. Turn off the TV and the lights and any other distraction and allow your body heal. It can be hard to unplug and a lot of people feel like lounging around watching TV is enough. But to really give your body the energy to focus on getting better you need to eliminate all other activities.

I have practiced these solutions before and find them to be very effective. But it’s like working out, getting to the gym is the biggest challenge. At the end of a long day sometimes anything other than vegetable mode seems like a daunting task. But do yourself a favor and follow through on those good intentions you have. The you of tomorrow will be so thankful.

 

Pink Is Not the (Whole) Problem

I love the color pink. But that did not happen until I was an adult. In grade and high school I thought wearing pink was too girly and therefore threatened my tomboy image. This article is very interesting and explains so much about the color that I had never even thought about.

The Mamafesto

Whoever is doing the PR for the color pink is doing one heck of a job lately... Whoever is doing the PR for the color pink is doing one heck of a job lately…

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My relationship with the color pink is a mixed bag. I’ve never been much of a “girly girl,” instead opting for more muted tones for much of my wardrobe (save for that period of neon during the late ’80s/early ’90s). Lately, however, I’ve come to embrace it somewhat. Blame it on this never-ending winter that has brought cold, dreary, grey days and has essentially forced me to wear some pink to brighten up my spirits. Last winter I even dyed my hair pink and purple!

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I say all this because pink has been in the news lately (this color will *never* get a break). Over at NYMag’s The Cut, Yael Cohen asks, “What’s the Problem With Pink, Anyway?” Cohen takes a look at the backlash to the “pink aisle” – aka the girls’ aisle…

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My feelings have no home

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I want to talk about my feelings. Constantly discuss the ends and outs. But who can I do that with? Therapists, friends, co-workers and family get tired of discussing the same issues over and over again. I wish I had a best friend like in high school where you shared everything. Your thoughts and views and solutions. That one best friend who would never disagree with you. Do you remember those? I had a couple over the years. But as we grow older and have our own opinions it’s hard to find someone you have EVERYTHING in common with. Therefore I am left with these feelings tumbling around in my head.  Causing complete havoc.

Sure I’ve tried a therapist. But I feel even they get bored of covering the same subjects. I get insecure and think of all the awful things they could be thinking about me. Sometimes I wish I had their job. A job where you could talk about other peeps problems and forget your own. That sounds like a genius plan. But getting back to the subject of my feelings. How can a complete stranger understand how deep they are? Even if I’m talking about something as trivial as what socks to wear. If that gives me anxiety than it’s obviously important to me. The therapists must think I’m raging mad. I can only imagine. Others tell me that it’s their job and they would never judge you. But isn’t that just human nature. I judge peeps all the time. It seems I cannot help it. Although I do find myself sticking up for others who are unjustly being judged. Like old peeps. Why has society lost all patience with old peeps? We would not exist without them. Have some respect.

Now to the next option, friends. Let’s just cut straight to it. Most of my friends have way worse problems than me. They suck at life and are constantly over shadowing my problems with their bad decisions. So when I try to discuss my feelings with them they just throw out some sob story that makes me feel bad for worrying about my hair until it made me sick. Who cares about my hair? They can’t pay their mortgage! Friends mean well, and they listen as best they can. But ultimately they are waiting for you to finish so they can discuss their own problems. It’s rare to find a friend who actually cares enough to listen and table their own issues for 15 minutes. If you find one of those I suggest you return the favor once in awhile so not to scare them off with your selfishness. They deserve more respect than that.

On occasion I have related to a co-worker so much that we often discuss our feelings. And while this may seem good in the beginning you quickly realize the black whole you are creating. First of all, you’re letting a co-worker (competitor) know your weaknesses. That should be enough to stop you right there. But it isn’t, because I enjoy talking about my feelings so any outlet usually gets fair play regardless of the consequences (which are immense I must add.) Just think if that co-worker decides your trust is no longer valuable to them and they go around telling others the feelings you have intrusted them with? It would be a complete office disaster. I’ve said some things I am not proud of about some of my co-workers after that third margarita. Nothing terrible or very far from the truth but nonetheless not something I should be saying out loud. And once the boss gets wind of the things you’ve been saying all credibility is lost. No one will trust you, they’ll stop talking when you walk into the break room, you’ll be completely alienated from the cool crowd. Your work life will be ruined. Sure, you’ll still take home a pay check but you will no longer WANT to go to work.

Family as a support system I believe can only go so far. So many of the feelings I wish to discuss are deeply rooted in my past family issues. All ours are. Think about it. How therapeutic or relieving would it be to discuss my daddy issues with my dad? It’s terrible to think about. The confrontation and emotion that would go into it. I’m not looking to have an intervention, I just want to talk about why I don’t have any self esteem (aka Daddy issues). So let’s try a sibling. Sure at first they are supportive and completely focused on what you are saying, because they lived it with you. But that soon changes to annoyance and more concern for the issues they’ve had with you since childhood. So somehow, during your out-poor of feelings, they turn the subject around and start pointing out what you did wrong to begin with. How it’s all your fault anyway. At best, a distant aunt or uncle could work. They know the family dynamic so they can understand where you’re coming from. Yet they are not too emotionally invested because they have their own issues with the family. This territory could be dangerous depending on the relationships in your family so tread lightly.

And where does that leave us? Therapists are ultimately paid to listen, but that’s pretty much it. Friends have worse problems so you’re often left feeling guilty when telling them about yours. If you want to keep somewhat of an enjoyable work environment you better lay off any heavy conversations with co-workers. And family, well that’s where all the issues derived from. So who are you supposed to talk to, confide in? Who really cares about your life and how you are doing more than they care about themselves? That’s a hard question to answer. Some turn to their religion or faith, others keep it all bottled up. I’m not sure what is the right path for me. I’ve never been religious and my empathetic heart finds it hard to share feelings with someone and not get the reaction I would like. I tend to tell myself I am not selfish yet in reality I just want to talk about myself. Use others life stories to help guide me on my path. Ultimately I think timing is everything. I’ve used all of the above as sounding boards, life coaches, venting targets and supporting devices. Maybe the key is to spread it around. Find what works best for you and make the most of it. Yet stay flexible because nothing is forever.

I purposely left out one example; your best friend, spouse or life partner. Sometimes my deep affection and concern for my husband keeps me from sharing all of my feelings because I know he will take them on as his own and feel a terrible responsibility to fix them. Even if it is not at all possible. Sure, the more irrational feelings, the ones he just cannot relate to, are hard for him to comprehend. But that does not mean they do not affect him. Let’s take my low self-esteem as an example. It hurts his heart that I don’t see the beautiful, intelligent, charismatic women that he sees. He just cannot wrap his head around it. His confidence comes from within and is a part of him. So when I share ALL my feelings with him I am ultimately challenging that confidence. Making him question weather he can ever make me completely happy. Which he cannot. But not because of him, because of me. Because I can see the worst in any situation. I can break myself down to a speck of dust on the bottom of a bums shoe. In a breath I can change how I feel and completely ruin a whole day. So needless to say, I don’t want to burden the one person I love more than anything in the world with all my feelings. He deserves much better than that.