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:

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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 ❤

 

🙂

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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 ❤

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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 🙂

 

🙂

beauty sleep

Omg. So I get home at around 5pm-ish, make some dins.. and I’m literally in bed by 6:30p! I tried to finish the Positive Paychology book.. AND FELL ASLEEP. 

Clearly it was an exhausting week. Aside from normal stress, I was active in the event this past Wednesday, and did enjoy my “night out” yesterday.. but I was still in bed by 10:30p! 

Man, sometimes your body legit just yells at you and forces you to rest.. I woke up around 8p, and have been on-and-off since.. I think I’ll have some water and just go back to bed at this point lol! Let’s see what time I wake up in the morning..

Maybe this is a reminder to slow down and listen to my body. Rest is important, not only to function, but also mentally and emotionally right? It’s all connected. Maybe if you’re reading this, it gives you a reason to slow down too, and take a nap 🙂 
🙂

girl-bosses can still get a B+

Ok, I know.. sorry! Missed another day, because once again a late night.. on a school night no less! But I am forcing myself awake tonight because yesterday created today.. and it’s important for me to share.

Last night I went to a Women’s Leadership Group that my company hosts for well, women. And the purpose is fairly obvious – my industry consists of a high percentage of men, not only in regular roles but also management. We do however, have two women who hold high ranks, one being our CEO. But because in this particular industry, the majority is men, white men to be more exact, it is nice to have a company that promotes and supports women and minorities to also be successful.

The one thing I took away from last night, which happily created tonight, was that women aren’t really there for one another although the media likes to share women’s marches and protests. In reality, there are many women who openly speak down upon other women, yet call themselves “feminists”. To be part of a women’s movement, whether you call it feminism or something else, you have to actually support other women. It’s not the – Feminism is only for those who believe what I do – movement! Just like the argument of Christians – you call yourself a Christian, act like one.

And I mean don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of women of whom I don’t agree with, for example, I am not a fan of many of the women in current politics. But can we just talk about how for the first time in history it was a woman who successfully ran a presidential campaign? Why are women not acknowledging this? Is it because of the rumors of fake election processes? Is it because you don’t agree with her views? Well we also had a woman who almost became president! Who let me tell you, I was not a fan of myself, but honestly good job to her! You want to know how many girls now believe they can also be president!? But why are people complaining? Oh right, because you don’t agree with her views!? Geez. Those two examples alone provide hope and opportunity for women of the future. No matter who you like, they both are paving the way for little girls on the political spectrum.

In the more everyday atmosphere, why are women who don’t believe in abortions criticized?! What happened to Pro-Choice?! I don’t know if you know this, but NOT having an abortion is still a CHOICE! Where are all the supporting women there?! Or let’s get ugly here, why do women criticize those who have made a conscious decision that they don’t want children?! “But you don’t know until you have one”, “How can you be fulfilled without children!?” Where’s the support of, “Way to make a decision that works for you! (and not for society)”. Because I’ll tell you the sad truth, there are many women who were NOT fulfilled by having children.. millions of them. Sadly, foster care is just one example of that. So why is the woman who understands this within herself, being criticized.. BY OTHER WOMEN!?

It’s a shame really, and because of this, I always had a hard time keeping relationships with other women, because I guess I just don’t think like the “average” woman. But the past two days reminded me of the good ones out there. This event gave a wonderful outlet to share successes and challenges, progress and downfall. And although not all the women there that night were supportive of the whole, it was still wonderful to connect, and re-connect with the strong, sassy 😉 and supportive business women. To find the few who actually believe and support women causes, and women as a whole, no matter what your beliefs, is a wonderful thing.

Because who else can truly understand a woman’s struggle in the working world? Or any “world” for that matter? Not your boyfriend or hubby thats fo’ sho! Which brings me to tonight.. I was able to get together with a couple ladies in my office who also went to the event last night, and although we have known each other for years now, it was always a “show up, work, go home” sort of work-relationship. And that’s ok of course, we all don’t need to be office bffls, but it was just great to actually take time, catch up, and talk about concerns and goals: career goals, personal goals, etc..

The minute you take the time to listen to others, you can find that in all of us, there is strength and meaning. And as a woman in today’s workforce and society, being strong in some way is a necessity. I hope my women readers out there all have someone, or someones, that you can be strong with and who make you stronger. If you haven’t found some yet, keep looking – for as many half-hearted women supporters there are out in the world, I believe there are still more who actually support women as a whole, and the movement for what it’s meant to be. #girlpower

 

 

 

..let it rain

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Love this! I found this as I wanted to talk about time..for one thing, this perfectly describes the weather today 🙂 but more so, my current idea of ‘time’.

I mean, can we just talk about how we wake up, blink, and it’s all of a sudden 7pm?! Like, what did I even DO today!? Maybe it’s the feeling of being at work for 8 hours that takes away the meaning of a day.. and by ‘meaning’ it’s not to say that the day doesn’t mean anything, it’s just that when it goes by, I almost feel like I missed out on living.

Because for real, as much as I love Fridays when they come, I also love Mondays, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.. Because everyday is important – so how all of a sudden do I feel every day just slipping away? It’s like the days have just gotten faster on me.

So this rain quote I found, one that I now love, sort of presents a good way to look at time. As time goes by, let it go. Because we can’t control it, it will just keep going without us! Let’s remember to see days as moments, not minutes. Even through a stressful workday, find time (how ironic) to make moments – coffee moment, co-worker moment, moment for yourself.

As time keeps moving on without our permission, all we can do is make moments to keep us feeling alive. It’s a great reminder to be present, let it rain, let time go, be grateful for the weather, be grateful for now.

 

🙂

90% is still an A, amiright?!

Gah! I have failed you all again 😦

But also again, it was for wonderful reasons.. I spent time with some of my favorite people, celebrated a birthday (and you know how much I love Birthdays!), and saw Beauty and The Beast with my most favorite people in the whole world. Well, maybe I bribed him, lol – because I paid, knowing I would love the movie more than him. But c’mon, I also chose Batman Lego Movie, and that movie was bomb!

Anyway, I don’t have much insight or news, rather, just sharing that it was definitely a weekend of getting my life back together. I cleaned, did laundry (with still two more loads to go! 😦 ) went grocery shopping, ran some errands.. You know, all the simple things that trick your brain into thinking you have your life in order..! Lol

Stress is still keeping off the track with my heart-break-dancing, but I do have an appointment in a week to get that baby checked. All the small, wonderful moments of the weekend helped ease some thumping though 🙂 I haven’t been this happily tired in a long time 🙂

I hope everyone out there had at least a good moment this weekend, and more so, I hope Monday didn’t take away the goodness ❤

 

🙂

 

“heartbeat! you make me feel so weak!”

Taana Gardner, I feel you girl! Not sure if I mentioned from when I wrote about my stress and anxiety a couple weeks back, but my heart palpitations have come to say hello again. This second time around isn’t as scary, although it does make me feel weak! Because I am a little afraid to run or do anything that exerts energy.

I’ve been meaning to make another doctor’s appointment, but you know, when you for some reason work in an environment that frowns upon time off, and takes no consideration when you do take time off, (in regards to work load) it’s a little difficult to make that a priority or focus. This brings me to one of my favorite quotes:

dalai-lama

My man, The Dalai Lama ❤ I so love this.. and it’s funny because as I wrote those sentences above this quote immediately popped in my brain. Why is this not memorized as a daily mantra?! Because my HEALTH should be my priority.

Ugh. When I have been doing all I can nutrition-wise all the way to drinking up to 50-oz of water a day again, and yet my skin is still dry, brittle, and sunken in.. You’d think I would be more in-tune with the issue at hand. Stress, anxiety, and now these awesome – what I like to call – mini-heartattacks. Why does life need to cost money?

Thankfully, aside from this stress that is pretty much making me sick – wait, you know something?! I was looking at past social media posts recently.. and I kid you not, in the past 5mo I counted being sick about 4 times. FOUR TIMES. That’s almost once a month! Maybe it’s not the weather after all! – I do try and live in the present at all times. Thanks to my 5-minute Journal and noting down what I am grateful for on a daily basis, it does help me to stay present and do my best to take advantage of Today.

Now if I could just find a nice balance of personal priorities and a fulfilling job, I think these palpitations would be gone for good. But why is it of all things that, THAT is the hard part? Why is having a job/career so detrimental to personal life?! When did that happen? Whatever happened to working for a greater good, to make your company proud, to build relationships that last for a lifetime? Now with most people I talk to, it’s not common to have “work-friends” rather just “work-friend” and some times no actual “friends” at all, rather just acquaintances, or just “people I work with”. And many don’t even hang out with these people outside the office or even know anything about their personal lives. We have created an office culture of just showing up to take home pennies with no regard on how this affects us personally (I’m sure certain industries may differ? but my close friends all work in different industries, and it seems to be similar). And by ‘affecting us personally’ I mean working long hours, or running on empty by the time 5pm hits and not putting yourself first.. when the only reason we have jobs is to pay for things.. for ourselves. 

I remember working in environments where managers and employees actually cared about each others well-being. We would get drinks after work on a weekly basis, celebrate birthdays, and baby showers, and weddings! And we hung out on weekends and became actual friends. Because these are the people you see more than your own family amiright!? So it made sense to create relationships.. Or maybe it’s just a New England thing, because I just realized all those work-fam experiences were when I lived in New England. Gah SoCal! 😦 #SoDissapointing

I digress.. sort of.. I just know I’m a little uncomfortable because my heart keeps break-dancing in my chest, which creates fears of being able to make quick movements. And this is created by stress, which is sadly because of my current work environment.

We can do this heart! Got to do some heart-push-ups to keep you strong.. and learn to invest in myself so I stop making you work harder than you need to ❤

 

 

 

continuing on..

So, I’m almost done with this 56-page Positive Psychology book by Hans Henrik Knoop. Lol I want to say I’m a slow reader, but I’m not – this book just makes me have to re-read pages to understand it! I made it to the health section, but what I found even more interesting was a section about hedonic adaptation, which means:

“you get used to good things; they gradually “become the norm” so that you become blind to pleasant and well-functioning things – which seen from the outside could make you seem like an ungrateful wretch.” -HHK

It goes on a little more to talk about, how you may see yourself from the inside during those moments you ask yourself why you are not happier than you are. This was enlightening to me, not because I’ve never heard this before, because I have, but more so, it was wonderful to read that yet another psychologist has to remind us to be grateful for things.  Don’t quote me on this, but I believe it was the Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan that went into more detail about this idea, in regards to: you are happiest when planning something or the anticipation of something. Sort of like planning a trip or shopping.. it’s in the doing that is the highlight versus getting to the destination, or taking objects out of a bag. There have been studies on mental outlook and emotional happiness when comparing these stages, i.e. the doing/planning vs the having. Positive Psychology also mentions this idea, though not as thorough, but the same idea of attaining something versus anticipating it.

I am riding in this boat right now.. I literally just said to a dear friend of mine recently in a conversation, “this is why I can’t have nice things”. Because for me, I am excited about getting something or doing something, but once it comes, I’m like – ok what now? Not only that, my mental state has brought me to a point of going further in the idea that, “something good has happened, now lets prepare for the bad”. I know where these feelings come from, as I wrote earlier in the month, but it still makes me sad. Because if you know me at all, I am probably one of the most grateful people out there. Literally in my 5min journal app (these apps!) every morning it asks me what I’m grateful for.. and the first is always God, second is always “Today”. Seriously, I know that sounds a little lame, but I am that person who reminds people.. there could be the alternative – so be grateful for now, it’s all we have. And maybe my stress has inflicted this, not-as-grateful feeling, or vise versa. Either way, reading another book that discusses this was a lovely reminder.

**Honestly, for those of you reading, if you get a chance, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Gratitude Diaries. One of my absolute, favorite motivational books. 

I can honestly go on forever about gratitude and gratefulness and how they create happiness/positivity, but I’ll leave you with the basic idea of how Positive Psychology simply explained it:

Remember what you have, even after the planning/buying/anticipating is over. And be grateful for the simple things, always find them fascinating, don’t allow yourself to see them as “normal”. Because normalcy is relative when there are still countries and people without “basics” such as clean water.

When you have the mindset of gratefulness, positivity usually follows close behind 🙂

 

🙂