Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Charity

If the saying goes that "charity begins at home" then perhaps, in the most literal sense, companies and businesses should leave it there! Or at least let their employees do so. 

Not only does this time of year bring on the seasonal color change and pumpkin spice overload, but the dreaded annual giving campaign. Don't know what I'm talking about? Many companies have an annual charity donation drive wherein they request their employees to donate to the charity or organization of their choice. That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? These drives and campaigns are a great reminder for some to give back to their communities and for most, it drives camaraderie and feel-good emotions. Of course, let's not forget that the larger the donations and numbers of participants allow the company at hand to look great to the community for being charitable and having charitable employees. 

Despite the benefits of this organized event, I absolutely hate this campaign! Let me clarify. I hate the nagging emails that (although the drive is supposed to be anonymous) single out those who choose not to give via this drive. I hate the phone calls that speak to specific names asking why they haven't donated yet. Quite frankly, I find it nothing more than bullying. Every year at this time I can count on resentfully and reluctantly giving in and donating via this campaign to avoid or lessen the bullying tactics that comes with it. Yep. I resentfully donate so a company, a team, and the powers that be can look good to the outside world by having a certain percentage of their employees involved in this "charitable" event. The harassment and resentfulness that accompanies my donation takes any joy possible out of something that should be a positive experience.  

Let it be known, that I happily give throughout the year to numerous causes that are close to my heart. I support others in their fundraising endeavors and partake in organized events and fundraising of my own. I do not need nor do I want to give to charity just so a company can look good on some list of "Best Employers" or the Dow Jones. In this instance, the benefit of my donation does not emotionally outweigh the negatives! No one should be guilted into donating, and if a company is to be seen as a charitable organization than perhaps the focus on giving should be throughout the year and not at one focused time all in the name of self-notoriety. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

DC

Looking forward to seeing this, this weekend...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rainy Day

Paris Street; Rainy Day - Gustave Caillebotte

It's officially "wet pant leg season". While I think my 5'4" frame is pretty average, I am obviously short. Or have short legs. Or the pant industry is involved in a world wide conspiracy of making legs too long. It's probably that last one. I'm sure of it.  

It never fails, every rain fall the bottom of my pant legs get wet from dragging along the ground. I try to roll up my jeans or pants in a not-too-obvious cuff, but usually by the time I remember to do so, they're already wet and uncomfortable. I don't care to wear the oh-so-popular rubber boots as a preventative - they're just not my style. I'm pretty sure the solution to rainy days like this are for me to stay put. Yep. Remain dry and warm, with all the comforts of home, curled up on my couch, under a cozy blankie while watching a classic movie. 

Sounds good to me.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

You Gotta Hear This!

I love Audible! I seriously think finding this app, wherein you download and listen to audio-books via your device of choosing, has saved my life! Or, at least some of my sanity!

Listening to books in the car versus the obnoxious radio and commercials helps me feel productive. I don't get bored and end up with the temptation to look at my cell phone while driving and it's like having a "friend" to listen to while dealing with my daily commute!

I have most recently finished the novel "The Good Daughter", Cheryl Strayed's, "The Wild" and am currently listening to "The Zookeeper's Wife". Each book, so far, has made it exciting to get into the car versus dreading sitting in traffic. Now, I can't wait to sit down, buckle up and hear more of each author's stories. I'm not depressed listening to current affairs, and I feel like traffic jams aren't as frustrating as they used to be! I can't wait to download some more books - any recommendations?


Right now, I'm somehow intrigued with and have the story of Nikolai Tesla pending on my wish list...


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Before I Die

I recently went on a segway tour and while it was fun in its' own right, it was our tour guide that prompted me to write this post. Well, him and a huge sign...

As we talked about why we came on the tour (to experience something new and different) I mentioned that I had a habit (and even a blog at one time) of challenging myself to do "scary" activities. As someone with seemingly no balance, trust me, the idea of riding a segway successfully was quite scary!

When I mentioned by past blog, "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", our tour guide Matt asked, "why don't you start your blog again?". Yeah, I thought, why don't I? I miss blogging, but I just don't make/take the time for it these days. I still do the "crazy" adventures though, so what would be so hard about writing them down? I don't know. It wouldn't be hard. It would just take time, effort and commitment of course - all things that I don't seem to have at this point in my life. At least not on a daily basis.

Later in our tour we came upon a snack shop and stopped for a break. It was then that I saw the sign in the photo above. It was a common space chalkboard for passer-byers to write down the things they'd like to achieve before they die. Tasks included various items such as skydiving, impacting lives, and meeting famous people. It was then that I thought, I don't have to do things and write about them on a daily basis versus just enjoy life, achieve what I can when I can, and write about them. Duh. What a simple concept. So yeah, it's basically creating a bucket list and writing about it when I can.

So what is it that I want to do before I die? There are solid, measurable concepts and then some more fleeting. Sure I want to impact lives - but how can I measure that? Below is my "scary" list of things I thought I wanted to tackle in 2011. Most of the items have been marked off, while some are still outstanding, and some - I'm not even sure why I put on the list in the first place! (What was I thinking?). I've highlighted any un-achieved items in yellow, and out of those, bolded the things I'd like to still attempt going forward.


So, here's to new blogging subject matter and achieving the things I'd like to (hopefully and God willing) "Before I Die". Keep scrolling...


2011 - Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
Get rid of old clothes

Use Keurig
Weigh myself
Write letters
Get new glasses
Make dentist appt
Conquer stairs
Get fitted for a bra
Bake cookies, properly
Try tiramisu
Deal with toilet tanks
Learn to handle crickets
Run for the Cheetah
Commit to one event per month
Say no
Complain
Wear long necklace
Eat dessert first
Tell a secret/write to PostSecret
Try new exercise class (Zumba Tone)
Post a photo wearing no make up
Say hi to 100 people
Introduce myself to a neighbor
Jog 5K
Rock/wall climb 
Finish something you thought impossible
Balloon ride
Draw and share
Enter a contest
Ask for a raise
Talk to a stranger
Shave Keesha
Travel alone
Eat alone
Flying lessons - a bit too expensive!
Horseback ride/lessons
Train to work - I moved and don't need to anymore!
Buy the sassy shoes
Try a new recipe
Wear shorts
Wear skirt/dress to work
Sing karaoke
Dance
Call instead of text
Theater/theater tour
Volunteer
Shop Whole Foods
Sears Skydeck
Take advice of a stranger
Go to the beach (in a swimsuit)
Go to bar alone
Motorcycle class - not very practical!
Learn to bartend

Take dance lessons
Stay in a haunted place
Hike a mountain
Attend a Present Moment Workshop - they closed so no change now!
Learn sign language
Car maintenance - let's trade this in for bike maintenance?
Raise $1000.00 for charity
Sell art on consignment
Ride mechanical bull

Ask for help
Throw a party, invite friends - ok, I've kinda done this but...
Swim with a dolphin
Trapeze - umm, just no. I have zero interest in flopping around a net!
Go a day without my phone 
Pole dancing lessons
Go to a psychic/get my fortune told
Parasail

Order the hottest/spiciest thing on the menu
Design my own jewelry
Spend an insane amount of money on one item - pretty sure my wedding counts!
Take a mud bath/spa treatment
Get a make over
Don't watch television for week
Do something imperfectly with comfort
Water park
Watch a scary movie
Find a new job - not sure I can/should due to needed flexibility!



2017 Before I Die
Share a secret and mail to Post Secret 
Hot air balloon ride
Enter a contest
Learn to bartend (take a mixology class)
Learn bicycle maintenance 
Sell art on consignment
Ride a mechanical bull
Throw a party
Get my fortune told
Parasail
Get a make over
Hike Picahco Peak, AZ
Attend Cubs Spring training
Tackle Hustle Up the Hancock (again)
Snowshoe (more)
Hike Starved Rock, IL
Kayak a glacier
Whale watch
Travel: Germany, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Switzerland, Alaska, NY, San Francisco
Complete the Bourbon Trail, KY
Finish the AFI's top 100 movies list
Make a difference

I'm sure this list will continue to grow, it always does! One thing leads to another and before you know it you're hiking a state park in Michigan in snow shoes, in -30* weather! Happy October and cheers to living and doing!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Massage

I had a deep tissue massage after work the other night and it was amaze-balls! I fell asleep through part of it but I'm assuming that part was just as amazing as the rest of it. I have a lot of chronic muscle tension issues that far exceed that results of poor posture or sitting at a desk all day so I'm always "tight" and feel tense. I constantly have to remind myself to relax and the worst part is, I get chronic tension headaches that can last for weeks at a time because of it. Chiropractic care and OTC drugs seem to have done little to impact this as of late, but thank heavens for deep tissue massages and my girl, Elizabeth! I seriously feel 10 years younger when I walk out of the spa. It's amazing. Can't wait til my next appointment!



What have you done for yourself lately?



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Make Good Choices

Last night I begrudgingly attended a fitness class at Orange Theory Fitness. My friend signed me up for it, probably knowing I'd never get the motivation to do so my self. She was right. I've been struggling with some poor health habits as of late and she took charge. I'm thankful for that. The class was fun, surely a challenge, and felt like an accomplishment to complete. It was a great mix of cardio and weights, just what I need. I left feeling refreshed (tired and sore, but somehow refreshed) and feeling like I could tackle the world.

The workout schedule that will work best for me, is probably Tuesday and Thursday nights. That's when I will have a gym buddy to help keep me accountable, and those days generally don't/shouldn't interfere with other on-going scheduled items. Except, for tomorrow. Of course. I'm currently signed up to volunteer (for the first time) with the local Park District, which is something I've been struggling to add to my schedule. Volunteerism that is. And sure enough, I now I find myself conflicted with competing priorities. Gym, or volunteer?

Ok, sure, there are other days that the gym is open. But I can tell you right now, the volunteer spot is getting the boot. I definitely feel guilty about cancelling but I also feel like I need to strike while the iron is hot and get myself on a solid workout schedule. Not sure about you, but motivation is a fleeting commodity in my world. So, that's that. I've just cancelled my volunteer spot in order to go to the gym. 


I'm sure a "normal" person would have kept their commitment, and went to the gym a different day. That seems pretty logical. But the fact is, I know what works for me, and this is it. So I'm putting my health first. In reviewing my calendar of "to-dos" and "want to dos" this brings up an entirely different, but related topic. There's simply not enough time and availability in my calendar to do all the things I want to do. 

As I cancelled this volunteer shift, I searched for a replacement opportunity. There are numerous upcoming events but none that fit my current schedule. At this point, I'll be lucky to volunteer by Christmas. (thinks to self, maybe I can be an elf? Ugh.) Sure, I keep myself busy with planned activities, but there are also a lot of responsibilities that preclude me from doing a lot of things I'd like to. And that, quite frankly, sucks. Yes, "adulting" sucks. Oh well. It's life.

Cheers to a good workout.
Cheers to putting myself first.
Cheers to figuring "it" all out someday! 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beautiful

It's been a few days since my birthday and for the most part, it was extremely enjoyable. There was one shadow and familial overcast to the day, but if I've learned anything in the past two weeks it's that I have nothing to feel guilty over (did I ever?). While camping I got an overwhelming feeling that something was wrong with a family member. I am not sure what I was channeling, but it was strong enough to make me reach out to this person. For my effort I reached out and while their return was cordial, there was seemingly no interest in a conversation, much less any type of outreach for resolution or a future. So I'm once again leaving this situation/person in the past knowing my feelings of needing to distance myself from them is/was/has always been valid. 

Since that "conversation", I've completed a week long family camping trip to Door County and a weekend road trip to St. Louis. Camping, as always, was hard work (setting up, cooking, tearing down) but had it's enjoyable moments like; star gazing, soaking up some sun on the beach, and playing catch, boating and tubing on the lake. St. Louis was much more city-centric; touring the town via feet and riverboat, seeing a game at Busch stadium, petting a Clydesdale at the Anheuser Busch brewery and catching the sunset from the top of the arch. But most of all, each trip gave me some time to reflect on life. 

Today, I'm back to reality. Okay, so I never really left it, but it's Tuesday and I'm back at work and find myself wondering what will I do to make this 41st year of mine more meaningful, different or improved upon from the past? And the fact is, I have no idea and seemingly little motivation/mental energy to make big vows or to set big expectations. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I don't need a second set of new year's resolutions mid-year, but I think birthdays are always a cause for reflection and projections. With that said...

I downloaded Audible in effort to make better use of my time in the car. I am currently listening to David Ross's book, "Teammate: My Life in Baseball" and in the few chapters I've heard so far, I am even more in love with this guy than ever. The gist is that, upon being told he had a bad attitude and was getting a bad reputation while playing for Boston many years ago, he decided to change his life and become a better teammate, and ultimately a better person. During his last year (2016) of playing professional baseball as the Cubs' catcher, he chose to make it the best year, personally and professionally. He chose to appreciate those around him, actually see the cities he visited while on the road, spend as much time with family as possible and take in and appreciate what life had to offer him. In the meantime, he was building relationships that would last long after he retired. And it was that same relationship building skill that kept him in the game long after talent said otherwise. 

I wish I could say I've invested time in building relationships as of late, but I haven't - well at least not at work. And sadly, because that's where I spend most of my time, I often feel isolated. Major environment shifts at work have caused me to withdraw socially, and I most often feel alone - for 40 hours a week, ugh. Thankfully, my birthday was a reminder from many that I am cared about, even if I don't choose to connect with them (co-workers) like I once did. It's been a major adjustment to say the least. 

I do however, work to stay connected with my chosen few, my close circle of friends outside of work who I love and adore. It's just never easy with all of our varied schedules. I guess in reflecting upon these past two paragraphs and what is written here, of course I want to be rich in relationships and appreciate life just like David Ross, and I guess in some ways I am achieving that, but it's hard to feel it when the majority of my time is spent in a semi-toxic environment. Ahh, and there's the revelation and difference between David Ross and me. He loved what he did (and as a result of, who he worked with). I'm sure this thought process will lead to more personal actions for me to take, but just not at this moment...

Unfortunately the situation above aides in low self esteem, among other issues, but I read this quote yesterday and it stuck with me. "Beauty is what you feel about yourself, not about what you see in the mirror". I don't know who said it, but it stuck with me, and not in regards to my appearance, versus being a "beautiful" person on the inside and feeling good about myself. So how do I make myself feel "beautiful" when such a large part of my world is "ugly"? Until I'm ready to take a leap and change the "ugly" all together, here's what I am doing to feel good, and to get back to feeling beautiful...

I'm signed up at the urging of another to get my CCC - my Canine Conditioning Coach certification. I am looking forward to the workshop in September and getting to work, hands-on with some dogs because as of now, I don't get to do that often! Eventually, I may possibly take on more training classes - but that is TBD. I am at a crossroads with training so we'll see where this takes me. Additionally, at the end of this month, I'll be volunteering for the first time with the Park District. Let's hope it goes well as I am missing making a difference in the world! Oddly enough, it's a Canine Carnival - nothing like working with dogs and volunteering to help "kill two birds with one stone". And finally, after much mental debate, I have signed up for a 5K in October. This gives me time to get myself back into better shape for the event, and hopefully allows for some hiking time in between now and then. 

All the things above make me feel valid as a human, they make me feel valid as me. And when I feel the most me, is when I feel beautiful and on top of the world. So here's to continuing on with the things I like and making the 41st a "beautiful" year. Who knew that downloading a book on Audible would lead to all this thinking and typing!




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

30


30 Signs of Emotional Abuse
By Barrie Davenport

Nothing is more damaging to your confidence and self esteem than being in an emotionally abusive relationship...

The most obvious scenario for emotional abuse is in an intimate relationship in which a man is the abuser and the woman is the victim. However, a variety of studies show that men and women abuse each other at equal rates.* In fact, emotional abuse can occur in any relationship — between parent and child, in friendships, and with relatives.
What Is Emotional Abuse?It involves a regular pattern of verbal offense, threatening, bullying, and constant criticismas well as more subtle tactics like intimidationshaming and manipulation. Emotional abuse is used to control and dominate the other person, and quite often it occurs because the abuser has childhood wounds and insecurities they haven't dealt with — perhaps as a result of being abused themselves.
They didn't learn healthy coping mechanisms or how to have positive, healthy relationships. Instead, they feel angry, hurt, fearful and powerless.
Male and female abusers tend to have high rates of personality disorders including borderline personality disorder(BPD), narcissistic personality disorder(NPD), and antisocial personality disorder(ASPD). 
Although emotional abuse doesn't always lead to physical abuse, physical abuse is almost always preceded and accompanied by emotional abuse.*
The victim of the abuse quite often doesn't see the mistreatment as abusive. They develop coping mechanisms of denial and minimizing in order to deal with the stress. But the effects of long-term emotional abuse can cause severe emotional trauma in the victim, including depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder.
1. They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.
2. They regularly demean or disregard your opinions, ideas, suggestions, or needs.
3. They use sarcasm or “teasing” to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself.
4. They accuse you of being “too sensitive” in order to deflect their abusive remarks.
5. They try to control you and treat you like a child.
6. They correct or chastise you for your behavior.
7. You feel like you need permission to make decisions or go out somewhere.
8. They try to control the finances and how you spend money.
9. They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams.
10. They try to make you feel as though they are always right, and you are wrong.
11. They give you disapproving or contemptuous looks or body language.
12. They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings.
13. They accuse or blame you of things you know aren't true.
14. They have an inability to laugh at themselves and can't tolerate others laughing at them.
15. They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect.
16. They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing.
17. The repeatedly cross your boundaries and ignore your requests.
18. They blame you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness.

19. They call you names, give you unpleasant labels, or make cutting remarks under their breath.
20. They are emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time.
21. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want.
22. They don't show you empathy or compassion.
23. They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking personal responsibility.
24. They disengage or use neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you.
25. They don't seem to notice or care about your feelings.
26. They view you as an extension of themselves rather than as an individual.
27. They withhold sex as a way to manipulate and control.
28. They share personal information about you with others.
29. They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted.
30. They make subtle threats or negative remarks with the intent to frighten or control you.
The first step for those being emotionally abused is recognizing it's happening. If you recognize any of the signs of emotional abuse in your relationship, you need to be honest with yourself so you can regain power over your own life, stop the abuse, and begin to heal. For those who've been minimizing, denying, and hiding the abuse, this can be a painful and frightening first step.
The stress of emotional abuse will eventually catch up with you in the form of illness, emotional trauma, depression, or anxiety. You simply can't allow it to continue, even if it means ending the relationship. A licensed counselor who is trained in abusive relationships can help you navigate the pain and fears of leaving the relationship and work with you to rebuild your self-esteem.
Can an emotional abuser change? It is possible if the abuser deeply desires to change and recognizes his or her abusive patterns and the damage caused by them. However, the learned behaviors and feelings of entitlement and privilege are very difficult to change. The abusers tend to enjoy the power they feel from emotional abuse, and as a result, a very low percentage of abusers can turn themselves around.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Adventure

I've been told by many that I inspire them. That they wish they could be me. That they live vicariously through me. That they want to be me when they grow up.  This is mostly based on my sense of adventure and the activities that I enjoy. Lately though, with life changes, the W.I.L.D. has changed. 

Life gets in the way, ya know? Relationships change, time gets allotted to other activities and quite frankly, I don't have the same energy (mental or physical) to take on the level of craziness that I once did. Yes Virginia, adulting is hard. 

I've noticed my decline in individual activities but take mental note to still do enough "me" things to make me, me. But I was proverbially slapped in the face after having recently posted a comment about an upcoming individual adventure on social media. Someone came up to me in person and commented along the lines of, "There's my girl!". Meaning, that the old adventurous me has been absent far too long. Well, let's take a look at this, shall we?

Perhaps it's true, that these days I have new group adventures that don't inspire or appeal to the masses, but they are adventures none the less. Come on, ever seen how adventurous life can be trying to get an unwilling participant to take medicine they don't want to take? What about figuring out how not to break a leg or twist an ankle while jumping on trampolines with fearless children who are doing somersaults and back-flips, that's definitely an adventure. Taking on any craft activity with children that includes paint, dye, glue or frosting is surely an underrated activity bordering on insanity.

But, because these adventures are far more common in the average household than say, snorkeling with manatees, I can see why some might think I have a "lessened" quality of adventure these days. And they would be wrong. Every day is a new adventure (yes, insert lame optimism here) if you allow it to be one. Most people get in a lull of dreading the activities that you "have to" do versus seeing the day as an opportunity of things you "get" to do. Perhaps because I'm new to the family life, I haven't yet become bitter or learned to take time with them for granted. Whether we're involved in big, exciting activities, or just going for a car ride, I enjoy it for the adventure it is, big or small.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Strong

I'm currently managing a lot of new relationships in my life and while not all of these relationships are ideal, the fact is, they simply have to occur. The effort of learning how to balance emotions, stick to facts, live in the moment and maintain boundaries can be stressful even on the most perfect of days. And we all know, most days aren't perfect. 

My life these days is pretty complex, perhaps even complicated some days and usually way more stressful than I'd like. People wonder why my life is "so hard", and ask me, "Shouldn't it be easier?".  After all, I've had a rough past at times so don't I deserve a break? 

My response is, I'm given this life because I can handle it. A simple statement, that at times seems passive, but is truth. I know that other people could simply not handle the life I have or what I've been given. That is not to say that I am better than anyone, or that  I have a bad or rough life. It's actually a pretty wonderful life. But lessor people would have thrown in the towel long ago. 


In looking at how I've gotten to where I am today emotionally, I see how years of dealing with crappy people helped build patience, tolerance and perseverance. It helped show me how not to treat others. It showed me all the things I would never want to have happen to, or inflict on someone else. I felt the pain of broken relationships with friends, lovers and even family and endured it. Dare I correct myself to say that I survived it, because while it has taken years of work and mental re-programming, I feel like I can finally say I'm on the opposite side of it (the pain) now. 

Having finally put an end to older, broken relationships I had to wonder - have I traded one set of "broken" for a new one? The fact is, the new relationships I'm working on are indeed hard work and can drive me to tears some days. But, the hard work pays off in many unseen and unadvertised ways. I actually get something out of these new relationships, and that makes me happy. And when I realized that, I immediately stopped questioning myself on the issue. 

I recognize that the relationships of my past, volunteering in an educational program for children, teaching dog obedience lessons to humans of all types of mentalities and ages for over ten years in a classroom setting, and learning the psychology that comes with dog training itself, has prepared me for the life I have today. It is because of these life experiences that I can confidently say, you couldn't handle my life. You weren't meant for my life because you simply haven't walked the path I have in order to get here. I was given this life because I am strong enough to handle it. 

I used to think the tough things in life were some form of universal punishment and would ask "Why me?". But when you can learn to see past the pain of the moment, and know that in some odd way, whatever you're going through now will prepare you to handle some other situation later, you learn that everything in life is a blessing - good or bad. These lessons, no matter how easy, long, or horrible they are to get through, eventually blend together to teach you the skills you need in order to lead strongly, the life you were meant to lead. 




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stuff


Things I've done, am doing, am contemplating or am looking forward to...

I should have a Fit Bit Charge 2 arriving to my doorstep today, compliments of a work-health benefit. Now, only if I can figure out how to use it properly and sync it with some other tracking programs I'm currently working out in I'll be all set.


Sushi dinner tonight with my Muffin-friend.

I just signed up for Stitch Fix, we'll see how that goes! I feel that I was able to give them some general "fit" ideas, and hoping they can add some new, fun pieces to my wardrobe (Me a Day Moment, by the way)

Currently, 53 days til my big trip with the hubs. I have two new bathing suits in route. Bathing suits - eek. But I really don't give a crap about my body's imperfections at this point. It is what it is. I will instead focus on the parts I do like, and focus on the activities being done in said bathing suit, versus self conscience bullshit.

Still can't say I'm used to my new glasses. The frames are big, bright and bold. And since there are no nose-pads, they're constantly smeared. And don't even get me started on getting used to using the different levels of focus in them. Ugh. It's been two weeks and I am still not use to them - is it time to throw in the towel and get something different?  

Struggling with some healthy eating choices as of the past few days, but back on track (so far) today. I will celebrate the successes of working out and eating well, versus berating myself about the crap I can't change anyway.

Despite partaking in it, I must admit I'm pretty sick of social media these days. It's the same old crap from the same people. Politics, share this if you love Jesus, I bet this dog/vet/grandma/kid can't get a single "like" posts, etc. I've been transitioning some of my on-line time to crossword puzzles instead. At least that's not a total brain waste.

I am grateful for the warm and sunny weather as of late, and am not looking forward to the colder, yet realistic for this time of year, weekend. 

I recently refinished a boring, brown, wood, framed mirror. I updated it with a blue chalk paint, topped with a white coat. When randomly sanded, I ended up with a reclaimed wood style-look that actually matches our bathroom. Yay!




Still contemplating volunteering, just not sure where yet. Thinking the local Park District may be the ticket, but I was initially discouraged by their seemingly lack of organization upon my application submission. I just don't like feeling "purpose-less" where the greater good of the world is concerned. Volunteering with the zoo gave me that and I miss it. Why can't there be zoos in the suburbs? : )

I'm going home and cleaning out my closet, which may literally leave me naked. I am following suit of an inspirational co-worker and getting rid of the things that don't "Spark Joy". I can't wait to get rid of a certain sweatshirt I bought years ago that never even fit, yet has been taunting me that "one day" it might...ugh, be gone damn you!  I may have to post before and after photos of my closet (thank goodness I signed up for Stitch Fix!)


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Consequences

I started this post Feb 10th and never got around to "finishing" it, but I was obviously fired up about the headlines that day...

What's wrong with people today? The latest news updates are that of a kid who got thrown to the ground in school for allegedly bumping into another student, suffering multiple facial fractures and having to be put into a medically induced coma followed by a man who decided to kill and allegedly rape a jogger because he was "upset" and having issues at home. Since I don't know all the details of these cases or if the alleged attackers are truly guilty - I'll just make this a hypothetical blog post.

So, hypothetically, a man has a bad day and kills someone because he's upset. My first reaction is - who the eff thinks of and has the balls to do that? How is it logical to go from, "I had a bad day" so now "let me go kill someone"? People like this need a good ass whoopin' (and then some) to say the least.
What is wired so wrong in these people's heads that they can't cope with basic life and it's issues, like so many of us do, and they have to resort to such violence? 

Of course, this one story of violence is a mere fraction of the wrong doings that go on across the country and throughout the world. Sadly, it's stuff like this that gets fed into the media mainstream, and even noted in this blog. Negative, nasty behavior seems to dominate the world, but why? Is it the shock value? Like, how everyone can't stop staring at a bad train wreck or car accident? Perhaps. Do people act poorly knowing it will garner this type of attention hence making them, "famous"? I don't know. Perhaps there's chemical imbalances or mental issues that make people do what they do (psychopaths, murderers, etc), but I'm going to go one step beyond the shock factor and ask, where are the "consequences" of people's behaviors in this day and age? 

When I was raised, there were consequences for every action that I did, good or bad. And the consequences were severe enough that if I choose to do something stupid, the punishment would insure a new found respect for authority and that I did not repeat the process of stupidity and poor judgement again. So where are the consequences in today's world? 


In my opinion, people don't "parent" today and want to be their child's best friend. Kids today threaten to call the cops on their parents for "abusive" behaviors (which is really called consequences). Kids are not taught that life isn't fair or how to deal with it, versus getting a participation award for just showing up. This sets people up to fail later in life when they haven't learned to cope with any type of hardships. In some cases, perhaps there's a true mental or chemical issue at hand that would drive negative behaviors but when I see bratty kids slapping people, pushing people, and not being corrected - I'm still going to stick with the idea that lack of consequences can lead to stupid and irresponsible behaviors later. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sensationalism

sen·sa·tion·al·ism
senˈsāSHənlˌizəm/
noun
  1. 1.
    (especially in journalism) the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement.
    "media sensationalism"

A post of not so random things that I feel sensationalism and social media has made far worse than its reality...

Politics: I have no problem with difference of opinions and those who state their concerns in a fair and intelligent manner but find it deplorable that not everyone can fight a clean debate. With that said, I grow increasingly annoyed by what the news, social media, and individual contributors present to the masses where politics are concerned. It seems that only Anti-Trump opinions matter, and that if you are not of the same mindset you are considered a number of things, including racist, unintelligent, and sexist. 

I find that most, not all, Anti-Trumps have turned their opinions into opportunities to outright bully others and spread hate. One example (and I have many) of this is witnessing a friend who is now afraid to speak their mind or share photos after being sent explicit hate mail when posting photos (on social media) of themselves attending the inauguration. I find it hypocritical that a side, any side, fighting for human (and more directly women's rights) is literally pushing others who disagree with them into a closet of fear where opinions that differ cannot be voiced. 

It is also highly disappointing to witness those who have not bothered to educate themselves base their opinions (and social media posts) on botched videos and fact-less news. I've witnessed certain people grandstanding in a movement that they know nothing about. I suppose for some, this is an effort to feel included and to be a part of "something". I disagree however, and believe that politics should never be a place of conformity, versus making an educated choice. Kudos to those of you who have done your homework and can speak in facts about your opinions and beliefs. 

A Dog's Purpose movie. Yep. A movie. Based on a spliced together video of alleged animal abuse, PETA is calling for a boycott of this movie. I have watched the video myself, and once again, shrug my shoulders at the sensationalism PETA and social media has created while not representing all the facts. I have been a pet owner for most of my life, I am going on my 10th year as a force free, positive reinforcement, professional certified dog trainer, and have volunteered with the Anti-Cruelty Society as well as an accredited zoo dealing directly with animals and education programs to the public so yes, I do have animal rights in mind as I am typing this. While I don't agree with what the video portrayed (a dog being "pushed" into water), I do not think it was abuse. If the video was accurate and real, at best I would say that the actions taken in it were a very, very poor lapse in trainer judgement and handling. Perhaps I am jaded, as I have seen abuse first hand. I have seen animals scarred and burned. I have seen animals matted with 10 pounds of excess, filthy fur who can hardly walk because of neglect. I have seen animals starved and beaten. So perhaps, I have a different opinion of what abuse actually is? But based on it, I still support and plan to see the movie. I believe that the American Humane Society, having been on set of the movie, backs and regulates their claims that "No animal was harmed in the making of this film" and wish others would think and investigate on their own before jumping on the boycott bandwagon. 

Update: A new video and article has come out stating that the previously released abuse video was faked. While I don't doubt the original video was spliced to appear far worse than it was, I still stand by my opinion that the trainer used poor judgement at times, but feel "vindicated" that there was no farther "abuse" as suggested in the original video.

Budweiser Commercial. During the Superbowl, Budweiser aired their commercial called, "Born The Hard Way". It is a story of young, German immigrant, Adolphus Busch coming to America and making good on the American dream. This has been interpreted as a direct attack on Trump's anti-immigration laws and finds many supporters calling for the boycott of Budweiser via hashtags all over social media. Perhaps I'm naive, but it's a commercial people! Think about the time frame it took to put it together will you? I highly doubt that it was created as a direct response to Trump's election or laws. I'm asking people to get out of their internet bubble and realize that not everything on TV or the internet has to be about politics. Stop sensationalizing the most basic data and making it something to be hated or banned (like clothing lines from Trump family members and coffee chains)  

And if I'm wrong? Then either drink the beer or don't, but then I'll ask that if you've used a hashtag followed by anything related to "boycott Budweiser", please take it a step farther and boycott every other item in existence that was created by an immigrant (and good luck with that one).  


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happiness Hodge Podge

<=== I found this today and thought it was very poignant. It's a great reminder for me that the "Leave It To Beaver" crap I watched growing up is not the family "norm" and should never be a goal in life. Enjoy life, live in the moment and move along...

...I am heading to Florida this weekend with the hubs as the trip is part of my birthday present to him! Can't wait to continue to celebrate...especially in warmer weather.

...In addition to Florida, I get the opportunity to travel for work at the end of the month. San Antonio bound for 4 days. Of course, work trips are just that, work, but I'll make the most of it by getting up early to enjoy any good weather that I can! Traveling also puts a strain on my workout and eating habits, but I will stick to my word of the year and...

...CONQUER. Yep, that's my word and mantra for the year. I found it to be a strong word, and most fitting in regards to tackling different obstacles ahead of me. Dropping emotional baggage, creating a better me emotionally and mentally, and getting back into running condition for an upcoming race. I want to conquer it all. So much so, that I even ordered a necklace from My Intent with my word on it. Can't wait for it to arrive.

...I've continued with my workout routine and meal plans so far this year and the smart choices are paying off. Mentally and physically. Additionally, I've logged over 30 gym miles for Run the Year 2017. Not too shabby for a girl with a sprained ankle.

...I finished (reading) a book! And yes that is an accomplishment for me! I finally completed Michael J Fox's, Always Looking Up. I liked most of it, but there were definitely some dry parts that aided in the slow read and lack of progression for me. I am not sure what to start next, though. I have a few books downloaded on my Kindle, and was thinking about tackling a Carrie Fisher novel. None the less, it feels good to have a book under my belt for the year already, as there once was a time I could read 1-2 books a week! 

So yeah...that's my year and day in a nutshell so far. I'm still taking back a "Me a Day" moment every day, despite not blogging about it. Today's me time will be spent either checking out a movie, or getting a pedicure...let's see which one wins! Of course, a nap sounds just as good. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pain

Soo... I woke up with a sore throat and hoped against the odds that it was irritated from snoring, or sleeping with my mouth open. By noon, I knew this was not a little irritation versus a cold coming on. Of course, I left any preventative measures like vitamin C and zinc at home, so I couldn't even get a head start on staving off the impending infection. 

The icing on the cake today however, was that I ended my day with this...which I get to wear 4-6 weeks for a painfully annoying (or annoyingly painful?) sprained ankle. Happy 2017!



Me A Day Moment: I actually listened to my body and made a doctor's appointment to check out what was going on with my ankle. Yay!