Here’s to the man..

Who at around 8yr old told me: “It doesn’t matter that you are a girl, you can do whatever you want as long as you work hard enough.” (this might be super cheese, but I literally tell myself this almost every day.. especially recently)

And at 20 before I made a terrible decision to get married, when my ex asked my father for my hand in marriage, my dad responded: “I don’t know why you’re asking me, if Kara wants to marry you, she will, if she doesn’t, she won’t. She will do whatever she wants.”

And most recently in the past year, while my dad was visiting, we had lunch with a couple friends of his.. who of course asked: “Is she seeing anyone? Married?” My dad Responds: “Why does she need to be married? You don’t need to be married to be happy nowadays.” They then come back with a: “How will she have children?!” (If you know me at all, I pissed myself laughing here) My fathers response? “She doesn’t need to be married to have children, if she wants children she will have them.” The conversation continued with how I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

And here’s to the man who told me once to never date a man like him, because he knew his flaws and wanted better for me. I understood what he was saying here, as I lived through it.. However, I would definitely appreciate someone who is also as open about their flaws, who understands that mistakes do not make us who we are, and that everyday is not perfect.

A man who is definitely not a traditional father – and even through a childhood of slight turmoil and young adulthood of distress, I still learned from this man that I do not need a boyfriend, a spouse, a job, children, money, or any other societal expectation to define me. I define me.

Happiest of Fathers Day to my daddio who is my biggest supporter and definitely helped nurture my independent-bitchy side Lol – And who will always be a reminder that it is I who makes my life, and to make sure I’m happy with all that I put in it, because it is also me, who has to deal with it.

Thanks Dad for making me want to work hard everyday 🙂

 

 

take care of yourself

So I started back at yoga last week! How pumped is everyone about that!?

Lol 🙂 I was going to dive into a 30 day challenge.. and honestly, if I still hold onto that challenge, I’m doing better than when I actually (over)paid to do an actual challenge about 2 years ago. Last time I made it 12 days straight.. then took a day or 5 off.. and ended up only making it through 17 classes in total. So far with this personal challenge, I have gone to 5 classes in the last 7 days, not including today – although I will probably still end up taking 5 classes again this week. So if my math is good, I’m on schedule to make it to about 20 classes this 30 days vs the 17 I did last time. I call that progress!

More importantly, I’m listening to myself. I have a tiny smile in my heart because I am doing what is good for me, and my body. I am actually making time for myself. I actually made plans around my yoga schedule! I think my mindset adjusted a little because so far, in all my classes, (I tried hot-yin too!) all my instructors have ended the final savasana with saying: “Thank yourself for coming to yoga, for taking care of yourself.”

LOVE THAT! Because it’s so true in anything you do – especially physical. I know there are some people who enjoy working out, but let’s be real.. there are definitely some sucky workouts. Sometimes it’s just a bad day, you didn’t drink enough water, your muscles are more tight than usual and you don’t understand why, you are just tired. But any workout should be viewed as a success! Thank yourself for it! Because it’s so true when they say (whoever they are..) “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”

LOVE THAT too! The point is in those savasana words: Thank yourself.. for taking care of yourself.. I don’t know why it took those words for me to understand that workouts and exercise are more than just looking good – because I knew that already – I guess I just never believed it. Because this will be a slow process, but the way I feel after just one week so far, proves that the rest will come. Seeing changes is motivational, but feeling a change, creates longevity, consistency, and continued progress. Because when you feel good about something, you want to keep doing it, amiright!?

On top of feeling good, another thing the instructors say a lot is: “Listen to your body, not your mind.” Because your mind will sometimes tell you, you can’t, but your body can.. and more so, listening to your body will tell you how far you can actually go. For you mental people, another side of this is, sometimes your brain thinks you can but then you injure yourself or push too far. It’s a balance – your mind is logic, but your body will never lie to you. And so that is why I’m sitting in a cafe typing this afternoon/evening. My body didn’t feel that great today for some reason. Maybe it was the recent, drastic, change in the weather? I’ll be in bed early tonight for sure. But in taking care of myself tonight, here’s to feeling better tomorrow to tackle my Tuesday double! I take a 60min Bikram-inspired class (it only adjusts two postures, and removes a second set for the rest) and then 60min hot-yin! It’s a great Tuesday night combo, I feel so amazing after! Tired, but amazing 🙂 It’s like my push for the week, on a Tuesday no less, but then the rest of the week feels easy!

So here’s to listening to yourself and taking care of yourself. Health (and by Health I also include mental-health) is a constant struggle for most of the United States, and I truly hope those of you reading this has something, or finds something, that makes you feel good. Whether it’s yoga, running, volleyball, whatever, just take care of yourselves. Do something good for you, and your body. Find your balance. Our time here is short as it is, might as well try and add one more day to it. And more so, feel good about everyday and find more meaning.

#namaste

 

 

my biggest flaw

I, for some reason, had an urge to share today, and as I learned from my blog challenge, I will listen!

In regards to the title of this piece, ask anyone who may know me even a little bit, and I have an inkling they will all say my biggest “problem” or “flaw” is I care too much. Many times it’s about things that, “don’t matter” or “shouldn’t matter”. Or more so, about people who “don’t deserve” it.

Good thing I don’t listen to anyone – maybe that’s another “flaw” lol.

I went to church for the first time in a long time, at my own will even.. << this is a rare occurrence. I was born and raised a Catholic – I still have those services memorized and engrained in my brain.. with the OLD language I might add – none of this “new” Catholic church language for me! lol (totally aging myself here). And let’s be clear, I have nothing against Catholics at all, but structure and methodology only speak to me in yoga. In religion, the only consistent “rules” you should find, are: to Love one another, and Worship he/she who takes care of you. (I say he/she because for many it is the Universe and Mother Earth who takes care of you, and that’s ok – because honestly, the lines of creationism and evolution are very much able to be seen as intertwined, so I never really understood how people could separate the two if you believe in anything bigger, outside of yourself.)

Anywhooo – I am in the process of trying a few congregations to see what feels best for my needs. Until this point, I haven’t been able to find anything ‘inviting’ per-say, since I moved away from Orange County. Not sure where this urge came from, but I gladly accepted it. This particular service that I went to over the weekend, (and I’m sure God knew) was legit, EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Everything from trusting the Lord, to reverting back to old ways because it’s “comfortable” versus taking yourself out of comfort for something larger.

It was relevant in so many ways about how as humans we are all flawed and don’t naturally love or forgive – we feel hate, revenge, bitterness.. And there was a moment where the pastor said something like, “And that’s why I’m not Jesus”, and some one out there let out an “Amen!” which created some laughter because then the pastor stated, “You didn’t have to say it THAT loud”, lol. I mention this because I am hard on myself, and this was a wonderful reminder that yes, I am not God, I am not Jesus, I am NOT perfect. But being imperfect doesn’t mean you can’t at least try to be better.

I have prayed many-a-time to “not feel”. Yet after this weekend I wonder, why is feeling a flaw?! Most sermons consist of learning to forgive, and to love, and to not judge – because we, as humans, naturally do the opposite when we are hurt, embarrassed, or feel threatened. I realized, maybe I’m a better person than I think I am – I am loyal even to those who are not loyal to me, I make time when someone asks something of me, even if they have not given the same in return. And again, if you look deeper here, yes, this leads me to over-give myself without taking..

But c’mon let’s be real here – is the act of taking really something we see of value? That we are proud of? I would hope not, but I understand the concern of [my people] because there “should” be balance – but seriously, those who tell me I give too much.. each and every one of those people were not there for me at one time or another when I needed them. So what does that say about them? If I listened to the people I care about, I shouldn’t give to them either! Because even the closest, most chosen-family of [my people], are still not there for me when I need them sometimes. Because again, we are human, we are not perfect. And trust me, I still wish I didn’t care as much about anything than I do – but I’ll tell you right now, the people I make myself available for, or give to, feel better than when I’m not available, and I definitely feel good knowing I have helped in some way. So it’s a win-win. To always worry about oneself leads us into those moments where we have to look ourselves in the mirror again. Pain and bitterness, as crazy as it sounds, is easy. To be angry and bitter takes no effort – but to love.. if you’ve loved anything, or anyone, you know this is a daily choice – daily, constant, effort. And this is why people tell me I’m crazy to care because I do exert a lot of energy, never mind time to those I care most about.

In the end, moral of the story of the service this past weekend was making sure you are listening for the whispers of God (listen to what the Universe is telling you!) – this I have a hard time with. The pastor continued with, if you don’t listen to the whispers, God may have to sort-of slap you in the face with the message. Blessing in disguise, if you will (or karma, amiright?!) So this made me see myself, where I am, what I do, and if I was “comfortable”. If I was doing things out of comfort because I am in a stressful moment of my life. Was I reverting back to “old” ways? Was I doing things that weren’t really making me better, but just fulfilling an empty space for now? I stopped caring for a little bit, I did things, and planned things in my brain that brought me back to another time. A time of pain. I tried to expose this “better” side of me – which was a complete lie. But I did book an amazing trip out of it, lol (which now I question if it was the right choice?) This past weekend made me care again. Not gonna lie, I didn’t really like it, lol. But if it is my calling to care, then by all means, I will care. Maybe that’s my life’s tragedy: The girl who cared to much. What were those lyrics by The Band Perry?

“Here lies the girl whose only crutch,
Was loving one man just a little too much”

Now don’t be vain, this song isn’t about you.. Lol – but more so meaning there’s my crutch. I give, and I give. I love, and I love. I give to a lot of people who don’t give back. People I love, people I call family. People who think they give enough to me.. but they don’t. This will always be an imbalance in my life. And if I can accept that of others of whom I know are not perfect, then I truly hope if one of you are reading this, that you understand, I will keep caring, and I will keep giving. And I, too am not perfect. And maybe the rest of you readers are like – damn girl, get some new people in your life! Lol! Trust me, I thought that many times – and honestly, I have made some adjustments along the way.

But for those who may have thought that, if you look around you, none of your people are perfect too. But they are your people. For whatever reason they have stuck by your side through good, bad, ugly, and even nasty. And thats why, even if your circle is small, theres always one other person who picks up pieces when another person drops them. We have these people because there is not one person who can fill every crevice of your heart and life. We have friends, we have family, we have children, and parents.. and even pets. And I am blessed to be the pick-er-upper for my people.

Now, if I could just find the right path for my life, that would be awesome..

 

🙂

so long, farewell, it’s time to say goodniiigghhtt!

It’s more of a “see you later”,  but I just feel like this is a great ending to a wonderful beginning! It’s strange isn’t it? When we set a time on something, there comes more meaning, even if it’s something as simple as a work-week. Friday is all more meaningful because on Monday, you have to wait 4 more days for it!

Such a weird feeling.. It was a good day today though.. I didn’t allow myself to over-stress. With my job, there seems to always be a bit of stress, so I was happy I didn’t allow it to take over me today. I let myself think for a while about what I would post about, on this last day of challenge.. Nothing really came to me – maybe from running out of ideas? Or maybe my brain is a little foggy having to think of something to write about the past 31 days..

Either way, I did feel that it was a sort-of ending, and the beginning of something wonderful. Now, with not having the “obligation” per say, to have to post, It’s like my brain is pumped to put ideas and emotions in my head to express on this white page.

Im excited! Lol, it’s a weird excitement, because I am also a little bummed this whole challenge is over. It took a lot of work on my end, and a lot of effort. It took determination that I haven’t had in a long time. I learned a lot about myself. I honestly feel like I ran a writing marathon. And I’m proud of myself for that. My little pat-on-the-back moment 🙂

So, here’s to new and exciting days ahead! To new ideas, and full expressions of these ideas. Here’s to allowing more time for editing, and elaborations. It’s been a fun March, and I am again thankful for all of you who read along the way, and continue to read. And if this is your first day reading, thankfully there are archives, lol, and I hope to bring you wonderful things to read going forward 🙂

cheers!

 

what’s meant to be will be? right?

How do you ever know what you are supposed to do? Not necessarily the “meaning of life” per say, but just in general when you hit some sort of crossroads or obstacle in the road?

This past month, during all these challenges: Lent, Blogging, Kindness/Fitness – I have been putting myself back together so to speak, in that I finally began focusing on my health again. Stress really holds me down from a lot, and seriously takes a toll on my health in general. Stress takes a toll on everything in general! Whether it’s getting sick with a cold, heart palpitations, or eating issues, something holds me back from life.

The past two weeks in particular, I made a mental change to not allow myself to sink into anxiety, and try and get a workout in, even a small one. I was almost mad at the stress, I was done. I had enough! I wanted to be the happy person I am, and I wanted my pants to fit 😦

Today is one of my better feeling days, probably one of the best recently, and it made me wonder about what my next steps are. Do I ride through the storm of what I call work? See if there is light at the end of the tunnel? Work on a way to maybe stay with the company just doing something else? Do I even want to work at this company anymore? This industry? Have all these been additional signs to tell me something? Or are these just tests to prove stamina? Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m definitely not ahead enough to know yet.

How does one know? Or do we even know. Are there even “signs”? Is it just the courage to try something new? To just “feel” like it will all work out? I’m not getting any instinctual feelings lately, thats for sure. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m so overly stressed that I’m numb, or I just have no clue what to do right now. I also pray – I’m terrible at it though, I will admit. I just never know what to ask, and I never realize things until it’s too late. Or more than instinct, prayer, choice.. do I just allow God and/or the universe to guide me where I’m meant to be? And even so.. how do I know?! I just mentioned, I’m terrible looking for or deciphering signs! GAH!

Well, I do know one thing: I feel a change in the air. I am at a crossroads trying to decide which path is best for tomorrow. And whether the change is from me, God, or the universe, I guess we can only wait and see.

 

🙂

3..2..1

Eek!

I can’t believe March is just about over! It’s so strange when you are doing something that requires you to keep track of days.. It has felt so long, yet so short all at the same time. And isn’t that the kicker here? Like I posted a few days, weeks? back – time is something we created. So this experience with keeping track of my days for a tangible reason really makes me see the past month a little bit differently.

It’s really that sentence: so long, yet so short at the same time. Because that is the beauty of time. Because it is something we created the metrics for.. days can really be as long or as short as we see them. I’m seriously having a surreal moment right now.

One thing is for sure, I’ll be a little pumped to be able to have time to work on more developed posts, like the couple I have left in drafts that I abandoned months, even years ago. Not that this last month was a wash.. I just didn’t have the amount of time to express some thoughts or ideas as expansively as I’d want to – Sort of like my Women’s Event post. There is so much more in me and so many more examples to share in regards to, women’s movements, feminism, and the fact that on average, women actually don’t like each other. So much to write down and edit to make it resonate my emotions.

But again.. it’s been a learning month for sure, and these last few posts will not be goodbyes of course, but a happy closing of one door and a hopeful opening of another.

#toNewBeginnings 🙂

 

 

another challenge!?

I don’t remember if I had mentioned, but this last week of blogging (daily) I committed myself to a “Kindness Challenge” that one of my fitness friends is hosting. Ultimately the ‘kindness’ portion is more for yourself and treating yourself kindly – because let’s be real, I’m sure many of you reading this probably say awful things to yourself now and again.

But you can get extra points (into a raffle) if you post a random act of kindness to others. I enjoy pretty much all her challenges, but this one is just so fun! Because not only am I being held accountable for what I’m putting in my body, i.e. food and water, but also doing a workout, and keeping kindness on the forefront of your brain.

It’s just a nice little twist to the normal: drink your water, eat your veggies, and do some push-ups! Having an element of positivity keeps me involved, and created a personal motivation to not only being kind to others, but remembering to be kind to myself.

I think that’s where most people miss out. We are naturally inclined to help and be there, and take care of the one’s we love, yet when it comes to self – eh, I’ll just go binge-drink wine and eat mac-n-cheese all day. Not only that, it’s also personal testimony. Ever heard that saying:

brene_love

Or furthermore, “Would you say those things to your best friend? Daughter? Son?” Why don’t we say enough wonderful things to ourselves? We should love US. How is it we live where we give and love, and give and love, but yet we don’t give or love to the ones person who needs it in order to continue giving? Maybe that’s why relationships struggle, or we burn ourselves out. Because it’s one thing to receive from others, but in giving to yourself is a whole different feeling.

This little challenge was a wonderfully fun reminder of how important we are, and how important it is to be kind to ourselves, and take care of ourselves. I hope you all get to add a little kindness challenge to your lives as well ❤

 

🙂

the countdown begins

How ironic that the 31st is a Friday.. this challenge is also helping me get through the week!

2 things here:

  1. I finally finished the Positive Psychology book. The last few pages spoke about the workplace and how managing in a more “positive” mindset creates progress and success. It went into a reminder that as humans we all have different strengths, and to function properly in the workplace, one must manage according to those strengths. The book ended with a recap and another reminder that in life, this theory of Positive Psychology doesn’t mean you can’t be sad. It doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. It also doesn’t meant that just because you are thinking positive all wonderful things will come. It’s an ongoing study of how we think and see things. And in that study it shows much better outcomes on a positive mindset (even during times of tragedy or sadness) versus a negative one. Also in that as humans, we are prone to default to the negative, which creates a sort of “reason” or excuse to things, rather than ownership and understanding. Overall, I liked it, and am a believer. Interestingly enough though, having the workplace be a subject towards the end of the book, brings me to my next point.
  2. Work is creating health changing stress. I finally got my check up for my wildly break-dancing heart and found once again, it is all stress induced. My Dr. literally said to me, “No I’m serious, Drs orders on going to Yoga. You need it.” My only thought was, can I get that in writing!? I would love to be able to leave on time – without feeling like the weight of my job isn’t about to crush me – just to be able to make it to a class with a tiny bit of motivation left. It was sort of comforting to know that at least this isn’t like a cholesterol issue or something a little more scary that may have been created. I am still waiting on blood work also, so we will see what that tells us.

So here’s to the first day of my last week in this blog challenge. With Monday under my belt, nothing can stop me now! Except maybe terrible blood results, lol 😐

Time to go decompress and try to meditate to slow this sporadic thumping in my chest.

 

is it really pictures that are worth 1000 words?

Now don’t get me wrong here, I understand the idiom of “A picture is worth a thousand words”. But today, I’m seeing this as more of a life vs picture comparison.

I’ve said this time and again when I am posting on IG or some other social media site, that the photos I am taking, no matter how well they come out, do not give justice to what I am actually seeing with my own eyes. And I know a whole bunch of you out there are like: “Duh, a camera will never be able to express your eyeballs”. But sadly, there are millions and millions of people out there that use photos to express their lives, and do believe these photos provide adequate explanation. And I mean, yah, I love me some good photos to have memories, but I have been careful recently (in the past year or so, hasn’t been too long) in what I am posting, picture-wise, to show a moment or express a feeling of what I am looking at. Or maybe I hear you saying, “You need a better camera, lol”. But I have friends who own “real” cameras, nice ones at that, who still tell me cameras don’t see what your eyeballs do. All a good camera can do is manipulate what your eyeballs see.

It really made an impact when I went to Palm Springs for Christmas this past year. It was a wonderfully adventurous solo-trip, and the first time I had ever been. It was winter, of course, but being from New England I was overly prepared. And I mean, it was only in the 30s-40s on average. For someone who has lived through negative temps and having no power for days, this was not bad at all. I would have taken a winter like that any day! It was a little rainy which made it feel colder, but it was also sunny more than it was rainy, so it was nice. Anyway, as mentioned, I had never been to Palm Springs, so of course I was ready to take a million photos, which I did 🙂

But so many times did I take a photo and it was not what I was seeing! I deleted more than I probably took, because the snow-capped mountains were nothing of what I had seen before, and my camera was not seeing what I was seeing. California has such a wild mix of landscapes, (within a 2-3hr drive no less!) which seriously makes you forget you are in CA sometimes. And I have seen mountains before, beautiful ones in New Hampshire, especially in the fall ❤ But rocky mountains of sort, with snow on them? Nope. And honestly, I have seen these mountains before too, but from afar and never with this amount of snow on them. And boy was it beautiful. It felt like what I imagined CO would be like.

Here is one of my favorite photos from that trip, the pictures were literally taken about 2 hours apart.. Oh California.. #fromDeserttoOcean ❤

IMG_3364

 

Point is, that was the first time it really hit me – and annoyed me – that all these photos I take (and sometimes share) are just.. eh. Compared to what my eyes see, there is no comparison, and I began to disclaimer my photos. Because, like I mentioned previously, I didn’t want people thinking this was a representation to what I was living.. what I was living was soooooo much better. I also found a new appreciation to putting down my phone and enjoying where I was. Being present. Because this camera will never see what I see.. and I think that’s another point.

This popped in my brain because earlier this morning, I went to brunch, and then spent some time at the beach. It is such a gorgeous day out today, I am trying to find reasons to be outside! When I got to the beach, it was flooded with surfers! More than I have ever seen at this small local beach, so it was a little exciting. The waves looked good, which I assume was the reason for all these men on surfboards (I didn’t see any women). And so, out of habit, I wanted to snap all theses peeps floating, surfing, and waiting for more waves. But when I snapped my little video, you couldn’t see any surfers! But I see them! With my eyeballs! Ugh. Once again I was disappointed in technology. I still posted my snap, but again, with a disclaimer..

I can’t imagine I am the only one who feels this way, but for those who just think I’m crazy, maybe this will have you think differently about what you see, and what your camera sees. I hope this is a little reminder to be present, and enjoy moments – to actually be in the moment, just you, whoever else is there, and with whatever is around you.

 

🙂

one down, one more to go!

I can’t believe there are only 6 more days left in March! Never mind my concern of time going to fast as mentioned in a previous post, but I just can’t believe I have made it this far and only missed 4 days of posting. On top of that, I didn’t miss a day because of being lazy or taken over by stress and anxiety, it was because I was actually out and about with literally no time to actually blog.

And I’m sure there are the whispers of “you have the app and can blog anywhere and any time!” Did you not read how I feel about apps!? lol – I don’t care how mobile they are, they will not get in the way of me interacting with real, actual people!

Secondly, I’m just about half way to Easter! Which means Lent is half-way over! Crazy! Sort of, lol, because as of yesterday, I have definitely started craving some bread items.. or maybe just pizza.. hehe. Still I can’t believe it took me this long to finally get that itch.. Just goes to show you I guess, how capable we can be with the proper mindset. But man, I will be pumped to have pizza when this is over lol.

Overall, Lent aside (because I mean, I do that every year) I am pretty proud of myself for being determined enough and focused to come home, as stressed as I have been, and still be able to put some thoughts on the screen. It has also made me a little happier too, not that these days of writing have created masterpieces by any means, but just so happy that I proved I CAN make time to blog when I have real issues or ideas that I want to share. The best feeling is when you make yourself proud, or prove yourself wrong 🙂

Thanks again to my readers! Lets see what these last 6 days will bring 🙂

 

🙂