Hello Blog!

Oh how I’ve missed you! I haven’t written a new blog post in, well, for-ev-er! Life has a way of throwing curve balls just when you think the track couldn’t get any curvier. That’s when you strap in, hold on and find out what you’re really made of.

You also find out who is there and who isn’t when the dust has cleared somewhat. And that’s always surprising isn’t it?

I’m back from vacation. It was wonderful to be away for two weeks and enjoy the sunshine, palm trees and beachy air. We found places in Florida we love and it has confirmed our decision to move. The Florida life is what this girl needs. I think I can handle one more winter here, knowing it will be my last.

Our favorite 2 places were Punta Gorda and Venice. Punta Gorda is a completely different lifestyle as every house has a canal in the back with a boatdock. The canals lead to straight to the Gulf of Mexico. I mean, how amazing is that? Venice has two of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen and the town itself is small and has little shops lining the streets. It reminds me of Uptown Westerville and has a small town feel to it. I could picture being in either location and loving it.

The downside, I ate WAY too much on my two week hiatus and was shocked at the scale when I got back on the first morning. Nothing jump starts motivation than a backward step. I’ve been watching the calories and back to my work out routine (which in all honesty, did not suffer while I was gone. I did yoga, went on bike rides, long walks, but oh dear Lord did the diet go on the back back back burner!) and I’m happy to say I’m only 3 lbs away from where I was before vacation. I know I’ll get there and won’t make that mistake again!

I have my class reunion this weekend too and plugged into my calorie calculator how to lose 20 lbs by this Friday. It kept saying “error” so I yelled at it and put it away. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life!

Oh, and speaking of getting back into the groove of things, I went to my yoga class Saturday and for the first time ever, I “flipped my dog”. After all this time in yoga, I’ve been terrified to even try it. But I did on Saturday, figuring, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I fall? Ok. I fall. Who ever learns something from not falling and failing? But I didn’t fall! I’m sure it wasn’t the prettiest thing and I’m fairly certain I wasn’t doing it completely right, but I flipped and did it. That hand was reaching for the sky baby!

Some day I’ll blog about my hiatus and reach out to others about it, but for now, I’m back! The good, the bad and the ugly surround us all every day. It’s our reaction, and our perception and our ability to move forward in situations that brings us to our knees that defines who we are. And most of the time, when we’re on our knees, we’re there for a good reason. Stay there. Pray about it. Meditate about it. And you’ll be amazed at how you can once again get up and move on with new perspective.

Namaste.

Venice beach

New Year, New Yoga, New Mindset

Today was the first yoga class of the new year. I had decided as one of my New Years goals was to push myself a little harder, try to do the smallest thing a bit better and truly appreciate what my body was doing and is capable of doing during class. It’s still so difficult for me to see how much progress I have made. I know that sounds silly. It’s not me fishing for compliments either. It’s just me being honest about the way my mind works sometimes. I think we all have a tendency sometimes to be overly critical of ourselves and focus on the flaws instead of the progress. So I’m making a conscience effort this year to do this as the part of the year of me! 🙂

By the way, every time I think of that phrase, I think of Seinfeld and the “Summer of George”. It cracks me.

So with today’s yoga practice with my new mat, new yoga pants and my renewed determination, I set out to push a little farther. Hold my pose a little deeper, stretch myself juuuuuuuuust a bit more. And I’m thrilled to say I did just that. Through the entire practice, I was able to push myself and bring my leg all the way through without touching the ground. Vast improvement in my book! And even though my arms still tremble during side plank, I rocked that baby on both sides the whole entire time, even when we flipped over, top leg behind and arm reaching for the sky. I refused to fall or come out of the pose before instructed. Again, major progress in my book. Beautiful wonderful progress.

Yoga is such a personal journey. It’s graceful, delicate, but strong, determined and focused. I think each of us exhibits those features every day. Some days we show one side more than others. Some days we have to. But it’s always there. Finding something that shows all of those characteristics in for splendid hour is a Godsend.

So while the year is still new, resolutions or goals are still fresh in our minds, try to find that something that is yours. Something that can bring focus and clarity and challenge and renewal to your mind, body and spirit. Because no matter what it is you achieve, it’s yours. No one can take that away from you.

Namaste.

white yoga

2 kinds of people in this world

Yea, I stole that from Lindsey Buckingham. So shoot me. Well, don’t. Not yet anyway. You might want to after you read this. And I’ll preface the rest with this. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m trying to understand. Got it??

Something struck me last week and I decided to ponder it, look at it, exam it, and then ponder it some more. Still have no clearer understanding than I did before. So here it goes……Why do certain people seem to just suck the air (ie; joy, happiness, light, love, positivity, good vibes, etc) from everything they touch?

I know several people that rarely (I won’t say never, cuz that’s not fair) have anything good or nice or decent or happy or wonderful or anything to say/post/write about and it’s just flat out draining. It’s almost like they look for something to bitch about instead of looking at the positive side of it. Example: (photo of dinner out at a restaurant) UGH! The waiter brought my plate and it has ASPARAGUS as the side and I HATE asparagus!

REALLY????

Ok, how about being flipping grateful that you could afford to go out to dinner? How about being happy with the company you’re with? How about you eat everything on your plate except the dreaded asparagus? HMMM?????

Of course, that’s just a made up example. The list of complaints are endless. “No one fact checked that article/picture of a puppy/Bill Cosby quote.” “I hate spiders and posting that cute puppy dressed up as a huge spider freaked me right out.” On and on and on and on and ON!

Now, I have been accused of being the opposite. Too “Pollyanna-ish” for most people. I get that. I like to look at the bright side of the equation if I can. I try to look for the positive, find my inner zen. It’s not always possible because sometimes the avalanche of people who try to take me down can be overwhelming at times. But I try. And if laughter and positive attitudes and lifting up instead of tearing down is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. (Please read that last sentence like Arsenio Hall from Coming to America because that’s totally how it sounded in my head)

So why do certain people go through life like that? Do they love the attention the get when people ask what’s wrong when they post nothing but “UGH!” or how crappy their day was? Is it easier for them to be bleak than happy? I don’t mean fake happiness either. I have dear dear friends who suffer true depression. Even in that state, they don’t look for the bad. It might be harder to see the good, but they are actively looking for bad.

I will proudly go around trying to see the positive in a world that sometimes feel like it’s crumbling at my feet. Because life is better laughing than finding the bad. There’s enough bad. The good needs highlighting too. And laughter fixes almost everything. If it doesn’t fix it, it at least can make it tolerable. So I’ll sing my song, and go insane, like I always do. But I’ll be ignoring your whiny, sad, depressing posts. Cuz I’m not like you.

Lindsey buckingham

A night in, before a night out

Today is the calm before the storm. And my plans seem to be a bit flip flopped (how appropriate for me, right?) I don’t really have anything I have to do today, but tomorrow is jam packed from sun up til way past sundown.

And starting tonight, we’re supposed to be getting a lot of snow, 40 mph winds and below zero temperatures, and that’s before the wind chill is factored in. I don’t know about you, but a Friday night with the DVR and a take n bake pizza as the snow rolls in sounds about perfect. Fire in the fireplace, warm fuzzy socks and a blanket and I’m not moving. Well, only to the kitchen and back for cups of coffee or maybe some Chai. Mmmmmm.

But tomorrow is going to be exciting in a few ways. I’m going to throw my hat in the ring to join our neighborhood HOA, so I’m attending the meeting for that. Then straight to yoga from there. I’ll have a few hours off and then I’m heading to an evening event for a cancer fundraiser at a local tennis club! I can’t wait! I love tennis, and I got new pink Nike’s just for the occasion so it matches the rest of my outfit. A girl HAS to look put together at one of these things, right?

All of this will be occurring during the snow storm, horrible roads, and gusting winds and it’s not even close by, so that means driving. S-L-O-W-L-Y

I’ve asked Michael to stay on stand by, in case Ryan needs a ride, or I need pulled out of ditch. He looked at me like, why would you need pulled out of a ditch? I said “Do you even watch the news? Like ever?” and he says “Um, why would I do that when you tell me what’s going on?”. So I said, “What if I told you that a huge asteroid was heading to the Earth and we were all going to be obliterated?” To which Mr. Smart Ass replied, “Well, there’s nothing I could do about that so I would rather not know.” Sigh……men. Anyway, he assured me he would have his phone by his side in case I need saving Saturday night.

I’ll make sure I let you know how it goes, how much tennis was actually played and hopefully I’ll have some pictures too.

pizza

Fallen Off the Wagon….again

I know no one is shocked. I’m not shocked myself even though I wish I could say I was. But, I’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon for my blog. ::insert sad face here::

It’s one of those cases where life literally stopped me in my tracks, sidelined me, when I was doing well. So I’m here to pick myself up, dust myself off and start writing again. Life can sometimes suck the joy out of good intentions and make you not see clearly or be able to focus. So I’m refocusing. ::insert happy face here::

I’ve had a couple of friends lose their parent, more are sick, I had a great night out where waaaaay too much wine was consumed, I’ve been going to yoga, not sleeping well as usual (last night I logged a whopping 4 hours 3 minutes), it’s been brutally cold with even colder air plus snow heading our way, my birthday last week (see previous blog for the horrendous turn of events that was!) and that’s just been within the past 10 days or so. I’m not very happy.

I don’t mean depressed, in a clinical sense, I just mean that sometimes, despite our best intentions and normally sunny outlook, life can sometimes just slap you in the face, punch you in the gut and shake you like a snowglobe until you beg for mercy. That’s kind of how I felt. Not one “major” thing happened specifically to me (if you can overlook my texting mishap), just a series of things that take the air from your lungs and you feel like you need a break. And then, before you can completely take a new breath, the next thing happens. Watching friends mourn their parents is difficult. It brings that overwhelming feeling of mortality to the forefront, no matter how much we all try to ignore it as much as possible. 

My one saving grace was going out and enjoying time over a few (eh hem) glasses of wine, laughing, talking, sharing knowing no matter what was said, we had each others back. There is true POWER in that. Minus any headache that may arise the next morning, it was much needed for each of us and I’m so overwhelmingly thankful for it.

I have friends still going through rough times. I’m too much of a “feeler” and a “fixer” (Did you ever have to take those personality tests? Yea, I know it’s crazy to know I’m an ENFP. Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving) and sometimes in my rush to talk things out, fix it, look at the bright side, I can run over the person I’m trying to help. Good intentions, bad results. So I’m trying to step back. I can’t fix everyone. Not everyone to be fixed. Some are perfectly happy to wallow. Some know the problem but refuse the help or to think for themselves. Easier to go along status quo and hope on a wing and a prayer that everything will work out. You know the ole saying you can lead a horse to water……

So now it’s time to turn the page, literally, and put that behind us and move forward. I’m going to put my best foot forward, help when I can, step back when I should, encourage always. Sounds like a pretty good motto for starting the rest of the year. Now if I can just stick to it. 

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Time to wrap it up, and start over again

2013 is almost over. I couldn’t be happier. As some of you know who faithfully follow this blog, I like starting things on specific important dates. I would never start a diet or new exercise routine on a Thursday. C’mon now, that’s just silly talk! So the start of a new year (even though it does fall on a Wednesday! The HORROR!!!) will be on the right note. As weird as it sounds, I’ve never been one to declare a resolution on New Years Eve. When I have tried to do this waaaaay back in my 20s, I would fail before the first week was over. The goal to eat less, lose a specific amount of weight before the trip to Jekyll, keep the house cleaner, on and on and on. Yea, by January 6th, I’m on the couch with a bag of Cheetos, dust bunnies and dog hair in clumps on the floor and as I wipe my orange stained fingers on my sweatpants to pick up the remote, it occurs to me that I just completed doing the exact opposite of what I wanted to do. Self sabotage at it’s finest.

So this New Year’s Eve, I would like to reflect back on the year, and see what went right, what went wrong and what can I do that make this a better trend. Because let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger.

 

1. I’m so proud that I have had this blog for a year now. It has at times become therapeutic, other times a chore. It has been a source of relief, and it has caused me great anguish. It has grown to have many loyal follows, I get emails from around the world. I never thought that my little blog would be followed or noticed by anyone. I have made a friend from clear around the world, and we will probably never meet. She is a recovering alcoholic, has just published her first book, she reached out to me in hopes of helping me deal with living with an alcoholic. All through a blog. How amazing is that?

2. Speaking of alcoholics, in case it has hasn’t become abundantly clear…..I live with an alcoholic. He is. He always will be. If I have ever sugar coated it, gave the impression that he does not drink, or anything of the sort, I beg forgiveness. Perhaps that’s my own coping mechanism. Perhaps it’s my own denial. Co-dependancy. Enabler. Whatever little buzzword anyone would happily stick on my forehead, that’s fine. I know what I live with, I know what I struggle with, I know what alcoholism can do and will do to a marriage, to trust, to a family, and to any semblance of normalcy. If you also struggle with this, please know you are not alone. Contact me. I’m more than happy to listen, be a shoulder, whatever.

3. People who want to hurt you, will find a way to hurt you, no matter what. I have a crazy, stupid, often times too pollyanna-ish look at life. I try to start every morning with a positive thought, a prayer for my day, and the intent to help others as a way of also helping myself. I also blindly think that I surround myself with people who also want to bring out the best in others. I am so wrong. There are people who want nothing, NOTHING, but to infer the worst. People who want to hurt me for no earthly reason that I can fathom. I have not said, looked at, acted towards or even thought ill will towards these people who seem to want to cause me harm. I don’t get it. Maybe that’s a tough lesson learned though my year of blogging. Even though I have said it many times, this blog is not about YOU. It’s not about anyone you know unless I specifically say so. I will NEVER specifically say so unless I have your permission first. (Well, Ryan is the exception. He’s my child and a minor, plus, since Rob is out of school and out of my house, it’s pretty obvious…lol) All I can ask, I beg, I plead, is if a topic is hitting too close to home, just ASK ME to talk with you. I pretty damned accessible. And I can almost guarantee…..it’s not about YOU!

(Wow, I used a lot of capital letters in that section. Sorry. Hope I made my point though.)   

4. I have been able to reconnect with old friends through this tiny little blog of mine. It’s a great feeling to not only make new friends, but to reacquaint with old. Cheers to you all. 

5. Friendships come, friendships go. Old saying. It’s an old saying because it’s true. I have some friends who I have known for years!! Decades!!!! I could call them at 2am, tell them I need them and they would be by my side in a flash. No questions asked. I have friends who I have known for a short period of time who would do the same. I like to think I am that friend to those who know me. If you don’t know me well enough to call in a time of crisis, let’s fix that this year. Call me. Contact me. Let’s go to lunch and reconnect, or connect for the first real time (not just over the internet). Let’s find out why we have so many people in common. Let’s find out and celebrate the threads that can hold us together instead of constantly looking for the snag that will tear people apart. I would like that. 

6. This is kind of like #5, but different. (The same, but different. Inside joke. Sorry) I am sooooo thankful that I have such a diverse, colorful, extravagant world of friends. I have had some very enlightening conversations in person, on the phone, over facebook, in email with people who have a completely different outlook than I do. They see the world so variated from my view, but most of the time, we can find that common ground. I like to think it makes me grow as a person to truly listen to other perspectives. I think that’s what can bring us together. You might not agree. You might change your mind. But when each side listens instead of thinking of you’re going to say next, it helps promote true learning and growth. Respecting others point of view is a two way street. 

7. I love yoga. Me. Miss Unbendy. Yep. I love it. I can’t do it well. I will never have the body of Giselle. (Michael will never look like Tom Brady, so I’m not worried about it.) But I love all aspects of my yoga class. I love that it makes me feel centered for an hour. That I can push myself a little bit more than I thought I could. Here’s the thing about my yoga. I’ll try to explain so anyone can understand, but I don’t know if I can: A successful yoga class for me is when I hold a pose slightly better than last time. I mean s-l-i-g-h-t-l-y. Sometimes, I will feel this “pop” in my back and I know I just bent a millimeter further than I did last time. Not perceivable to anyone but me. But I know. I love my class, and I’ve said it before, but they never judge me. I’ve been in exercise classes where you get sized up the second you walk through the door. You can see it on their face. Not cool judgemental people!! Not everyone is a perfect Size 6. AND, did you ever think that the obese lady who just walked in the door mustered all her courage to walk through that door in the first place? She’s there because she wants to make a positive change in her life. Whether it’s the gym, the yoga studio, or the walking trial, at least she’s out there trying. 

In light of all of this, I’m making a pledge to blog more, eat less. Go to yoga. Ask for help from my friends when I need it. Be a friend to someone who needs it. I want to cut the negativity out of my life. If you can’t be a friend, how about you just don’t hurt me. 2014 is MY year. 2014 is going to be about what makes me happy. And I’m going to rock the hell out of it!

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Blogging confusion

Just like most aspects of my life, I find my need and want to blog a bit confusing. And like most things, I need to “talk it out” and get feedback, so feel free to give me your feedback. Or don’t and I’ll wallow in my confusion.

I love blogging about what is going on in my life, which most days seems boring, mundane and very “un-blog-worthy”. But I try to find something that would be interesting to other people and give it my spin. I also had an idea while I was on vacation about blogging recipes. Now, after you’re done laughing at my non-cooking skills, my thought was more about organizing specific recipes and have them be in one place. I have many favorites that I use to cook and bake with, some are passed down family recipes, some are from myriad magazines, some are from cookbooks, some are from friends, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to have all of these in one accessible place??? Yes, yes it would. If there is a better suggestion for organizing all of these recipes and then sharing them, let me know that too. Lastly, I also offer my advice (usually solicited, but not always! I mean, hello?? I’m not much for keeping my opinion to myself, unless it’s extended family and the discussion turns to politics. Because that’s just a no-win even though I’m right and they’re wrong!) and wondered if that was the direction my blog should take. Sort of a “Ask Carolyn” type thing, but not.

I think they all have a place in my life, which is why I’m perplexed and confused. Do I do all 3? I can offer up advice when asked (or not), I can fill you in my life as it’s happening, and then, on extremely boring days, I can throw out a few recipes. It can be a hodge-podge blog. But term makes me feel like it’s messy and needs cleaned up, and cleaning is NOT my forte!!!

So what are your thoughts my blog followers? Because if you don’t help with your input, you’ll be stuck with me…..messy and all.