Cheating, sort of.

I cheated today. I loved it!! And yes, I’m admitting it out loud.

And I did it with permission!!

Ok, ok. Not cheating on my husband. Cheating on my hairdresser.

My hair needed some serious TLC and my hairdresser has been unavailable due to very understandable circumstances. Unfortunately, my hair didn’t seem to care about this and continued to grow. My roots kept getting darker and darker with no consideration to her situation at all! How rude!!!

So with her blessing, I went to another stylist in the salon I go to. I got a cut and color. I got a blow out so my curls are straight. (No, I can’t keep my fingers away from hair now and I’m pretty sure I’ve run a comb through it 5 times since I’ve been back home.) And my hair looks fabulous!

But as much as I love how my hair looks and am so happy to have a competent back up, I’ll never leave my girl. We have been together for so long. When I’m with her, it’s more of a “catch up on each others lives while she plays with my hair” session than just going to get my hair done. She is a friend and confidant, who just happens to work miracles with my hair.

I love my hair today. It was fun and refreshing to go to someone who does it slightly different, achieving great results, and was great to pass the time with. Exciting and slightly guilt inducing.

But no worries, I’ll be staying with my regular girl. We’ll just need to book extra time when she comes back cuz we’ll have even more to catch up on. And I can leave without feeling guilty or the walk of shame to my car.

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Winter’s Death Grip

It has it out for me. I know it sounds self-centered and maybe a bit more than a little unrealistic, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. And waking up this morning seemed to confirm it.

Winter hates me.

It’s a pretty obvious fact that I hate winter, so it’s no surprise that it hates me back. It has been going on too long. It’s been too cold. It’s been snowing way too much. I woke up this morning to more snow on the ground, more in the forecast along with bitter cold temperatures. Another big storm is in the near future.

As I sat hovering over yet another cup of coffee this morning, under my fuzzy warm blanket, it dawned on me how much this winter has had an effect on me. I am going through some frightening hard times right now. I have withdrawn. Retreated. Hiding under my blanket for more reasons than just warmth.

It makes me sad, to my very core, that I feel like the sunny positive me has taken a hiatus. The cold hurts my bones. My body reminds me that my hypothyroidism does not help my lifelong aversion to any temperature below 50. The constant grey skies seem endless.

I’ve been trying to do things that will help me. I’ve resumed my purging on the basement. I find countless photo albums (seriously, there must be at least 30 of them!) with pictures of people gone from my life. Some for the good, some not so much. I miss the not-so-much people sometimes.

I’ve been doing yoga at home. Sun Salutations (which seems ironic since there is no sun) and stretches. Wishing I could do the splits like everyone else in class. I’ve never been able to do the splits. Not even when I was way younger and much more flexible. But I’m going to keep trying. An inch at a time, right?

I’ve been praying for a few friends of mine who are going through terrible struggles of their own. I had a friend once who swore we could never go through difficulties at the same time so we could always help each other. If only it could be forced that way.

I haven’t been able to focus. To organize. To write. I haven’t been posting to Facebook (to some people’s delight I’m sure!) because I don’t want to break my own rule of whining, complaining, negativity, and just general blah-ness can be so tiring to read post after post. When you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all, right?

In the meantime, I’ll be the basement crying over a photo album, or in Down Dog or working on my split (probably crying over that too!) waiting for this weather to release its hold on me. Hoping against hope that damages can be repaired. Relationships can be mended. Healing, forgiveness and grace can be given.

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Reality Vice

I went out last night with some friends I’ve had for-ev-er. It was so much fun to go out, have some drinks and relax with people who know you so well, just by looking at you or hearing you talk. We played trivia (and lost badly by the way. But I was able to answer a question correctly about The Walking Dead so that was something. And I swear the guys who won every single time HAD to be cheating.They just had to be, but whatever.) 

As we were laughing and talking and talking and laughing, the subject of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules came up. My reality TV vice. I can’t help it. I know it’s not “reality” and I know that I could be spending my time in much better ways. But I love it. I also confessed that I love Stassi. I know, I know, everyone who watched VR hates Stassi. But she is exactly what she appears. Love her or hate her, she made that show impossible to turn off. 

We discussed Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and how it appears this is Lisa’s season to be ganged up on and hated and thrown to the wolves. Everyone talking about her behind her back. Complaining. Hating. Friendships torn apart by a perceived slight. Oh yea. It’s on. This upcoming trip to Cabo is going to be a doozy!

But one of our friends doesn’t watch it (I KNOW! How that BE??) but she sat there listening to us go on and on and laugh and dish about these two shows that we all watch and love, and it made me think about how great it is that she could just sit and listen and laugh at us as we were laughing at the show. She didn’t excuse herself to go the restroom. She didn’t act bored or upset that she wasn’t really included in the conversation. And we didn’t discuss it long, just enough to catch up on what we liked, what we didn’t and oh yea, for me to profess my love for Stassi. 

After we had our drinks, and laughs and realized there was no way in hell we were ever ever ever going to win the trivia game, we called it a night. Hugs all around and promises of doing it again soon. But next time, we’re going somewhere we can win in trivia.

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To list or not to list, that is the question

We live in such a wonderful, rapidly changing time that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with what is going on. We have apps on our phones and iPads, programs on our computers, and instead of watches we carry motivation tools that tell time, our calorie count, our steps and water intake. 

A lot of these apps are amazing and life changing. (I LOVE my Fitbit Flex and I no longer have to do math to calculate a tip thanks to my tip app! Yea!!!) Thanks to do these devices I can play a game, check the weather and connect with friends and make reservations for a night out with friends. I’m alerted to breaking news from breaking local or national news to a friends having her baby. All within seconds. It’s truly amazing. 

But along my app happy way, with different tools coming out seemingly daily, I still find myself reaching for a pencil and paper. I have varying tools that would allow me to tap exactly what I would write. Evernote is amazing and I like how I can organize myself. If you don’t have it, you should try it. It’s also perfect for that jotting down an idea while on the go and pencil and paper aren’t around. 

And yet, when I’m home and I need to write down an address, I reach for a pad of paper. When I’m going to the grocery store, I still write out an actual paper list. There are apps just for going to the grocery store. I find it so much easier and efficient to just write it down. When I’m in my car, if I need to remember an address or idea, I reach for my pink hearts Post-It notes that I keep, along with a pen and a pencil to write it down. That would be a perfect use of Evernote and my phone 99% of the time is plugged in next to me when I’m driving.

I think of all the things I do with my phone and realize that my 40 something self isn’t doing even half of what my youngest is doing in his phone. His phone, which he rarely uses as a phone, but more of a handheld computer. But I notice he also uses paper to leave a note, make a list or figure out his math homework. (Ugh, let’s not talk about math homework. Seriously. Whoever created Common Core math should be shot. I think it’s from the devil. But that’s a subject for a different day) Whenever I see a note written out by him, usually begging me to let him sleep in on the weekend, it impresses me, just a little, that he wrote it out and didn’t text me. And yes, we have been known to text each other while in the same house. Not the same room, at least not yet, but the same house. So much nicer than yelling for him to come down for dinner over the blaring of his music. Or should I say “music”?

I’m glad to know for at least right now, making a list and checking it off hasn’t gone by the wayside. And looking at that completed list is much more satisfying than swiping my finger across my phone or iPad. Let’s hope it sticks around, at least a little while longer. 

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Things I’ve learned in yoga

I was laying in our final Savasana this morning, thinking about what my Yogi was saying. She was talking about fear, because our theme this year is fearlessness. But not just being fearless, but embracing the fear and finding out what is on the other side it. She often encourages us to let go, sink further, breathe deeper, really listening to your body and what it is allowing you to do.

I spend at least half the time in our class with my eyes closed. I probably look like an idiot, but I don’t care. I like blocking out what I’m seeing and focusing on what she is guiding me to do. I feel like I can stretch into a pose stronger when I’m not seeing my reflection across from me. Closing my eyes I can be the strong yoga student, the graceful arms, the proper technique.

As we were laying in Savasana I was also overwhelmed with emotions. I was happy that I was able to do a few more poses, go that much farther, take it one more step beyond what I had done before. (There were actually a couple of things I did today that I have been unable to do til now. Woo Hoo!!) I was trying to let go of the stressors in my life in my attempt to get that mojo back. Tears welled in my eyes as we lay there, focusing on my heart rate, my breathing, thankful for everything I was able to do today.

It truly can be overwhelming laying there. Most people would think that just laying on the floor after yoga class would just be, well, lying there. But I think that unless you truly release yourself during that simple act of lying there, you can’t understand the power. The connection of your mind and body and spirit. And my wonderful Yogi once told me that when tears flow in that position, to let them flow. Your body is purging toxins. Letting go. There is something very freeing in that. When you’re surrounded by people who support you (which I am in my class because the girls there not only rock, but have also become such good friends!)

So as she came around and laid her hands on each of us, straightening my head, pushing my shoulders down, lengthening my legs, the tears overcame me. It was a very surreal feeling but one I embraced.

I’ve learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I’ve learned that I can and should embrace where I am right now. I’ve learned that we don’t always see the baby steps we take, but when we look back, we see the journey has taken us further than we ever thought we could go. And I’ve learned that letting go is sometimes the best thing to do, because sometimes you’re holding on to tightly.

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Getting my mojo back

Have you ever just woke up one morning and realized that you felt as if you not only ran 3 marathons but that most of the scenery you ran past was nothing but a blur? Feeling wiped out and not sure what has happened? I mean, you know what has happened but it’s all a bit fuzzy and unclear. Maybe this is what it feels like to wake up from a week long bender.

I woke up this morning and my dog, who was very extremely ill and almost didn’t make it, is feeling better and waging his tails and his eyes are clearer. I woke up this morning and Ryan was talking to me about going to work tomorrow and could I please wash his work shirt. I woke up this morning and had not one ache or pain. I woke up this morning.

I am that perpetually positive girl. The Pollyanna. The glass half full. The breathe in positive and exhale negative. The surround yourself with positive happy influences so positive happy ripples will affect everyone, one smile at a time. The sunshiny, flip flop wearing look at the bright side of life kinda girl.

In the past 2 weeks, I think someone was trying to steal my sunshine and I am getting my mojo back. Today. Right now. No horrible neighbors spying on me will get me down. No realizing that as hard as I try I can’t stop Ryan from growing up is going to get me down. I will make myself see the positive hopefulness of the present moment.

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I think it is very easy to fall into a trap set by the force trying to steal your peace and calm and then be swallowed up by it and not even try to get out. If that happens, I am not living the life I was meant to live and am capable of living. And I can’t allow that trap to catch me. It’s too easy to wallow in self pity and despair and thinking of “No one, NO ONE has it as bad as I do right now. What I am going through is the worse thing ever and I would rather close my eyes and not try to make it better for myself.” And guess what happens? I don’t make it better for myself. And if I don’t do it for me, who is?

There just seems to be blow after blow after blow after blow. But I get back up.

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Japanese proverb saying when you fall down seven times, get back up eight. (At least that’s what I was told that says. I don’t speak or read Japanese. That could say “When pigs fly” for all I know. I have to take their word for it)

I truly believe that there is a dark force that hates it when people are happy and that force will try to crush the spirit of that person. Knock after knock after knock. You have to be stronger in your beliefs than it is. You have to fight every day to push the negative force out of your head and be able to live a positive life. And just when you turn your back for a split second, it gives the chance for a seed to be dropped. Or more than one seed. Sometimes, it’s a flipping acre of seeds, all trying to crush you. And it’s sooooo easy to let it. Pull the covers up. Turn on the TV. Eat that container of ice cream or drink that drink you know you shouldn’t. And that dark force loves that and laughs. Can you picture it? It’s laughing at you. At me. 

So I’m going to squash it and not allow it to keep dropping seeds around me. And if a seed or two or 50 are dropped, I’m going to handle it. Because even though my Pollyanna attitude can’t keep the seeds from being dropped, the way I look at them can change everything. And I can do that for me. 

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Intuition or something bigger?

Have you ever had a relationship with someone who moves in and then out of your life for no specific reason, but then reconnect years later and it almost seems as if there is a force pulling you together?

Similar circumstances, similar life occurrences, similar children, similar in most ways. Parallel lives without realizing it until that one moment of reaching out. 

And what if that reason for reaching out was a feeling so strong that it couldn’t be ignored? Have you felt that? Have you acted on that? Have you felt so strongly to do something that if you didn’t do it you physically felt let down? 

That happened to me yesterday with someone who used to be a dear friend, a strong relationship, and as it appears, a forever bond. She felt compelled to reach to out to me, and did. And our conversation was one of revelation and wonder. One of amazement and disbelief. We were on the phone for at least an hour, these friends who haven’t spoken in over 2 decades. And we didn’t want to hang up because there was so much left to be said. So many questions to still be answered. Dreams to be talked through and analyzed.

After we were done with our phone call, I had a sudden flash of the message this week in church. The phone call and the message, quite literally, went hand in hand. It was actually a little freaky when I realized how much they were connected. Anyone can poo-poo it away all they want. This goes beyond. And I’m amazed with wonder.

I think we all get these feelings or thoughts of reaching out to someone; someone you lost touch with, someone you’re upset with, someone you’re judging, someone that things aren’t just quite “right” with. What is stopping you from reaching out? Fear? Control? Anxiety? Not caring about the other persons feeling? Contempt?

What if that was all wiped away and you could start fresh? What if a true genuine outreach could change the trajectory of someone else’s life? Wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?

I’m so thankful that this person did listen to her inner voice, because I think she had something very powerful to share with me, after all this time. I don’t think it’s coincidence. I think that it was meant to be. And that is very hard to ignore.

So the next time you feel that pull, that person who pops into your mind, please don’t ignore it. act on it. Do it. Use it. The feeling doesn’t come often so listen to it. You have nothing to lose.

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