balance

Life being Lifey

Life is being extra lifey these days. War, weather, mental stresses, financial hardships, on and on and on. It’s everywhere. My work life, my personal life, family friends colleagues acquaintances are all full of it. People are messy in their best times. Now, their messiness is more like a shambles that spills out and spreads all over.

Assume people will get sick, have issues and set backs and not be able to execute. Assume extra tasks, jobs, and responsibilities are coming as a result of the balls that others will drop. It’s just how things are right now. How can I thrive, survive, persist, stay sane in light of these times?

Here’s how I am hanging on for this bumpy ride:

Eat well. There are certain things I don’t farm out to anyone. Nutrition is number one. I own every step of that process from planning it to shopping for it to cooking it to packing it up. I don’t like being off plan and I don’t always make great decisions when it’s left to the last minute, whatever I can get my hands on. I know that eating well makes me feel better and do better. End of story.

Exercise first thing in the morning. The only possible exception is Sundays. Exercise helps me manage stress and gives me a sense of accomplishment and strength right off the bat. Extra boost if I see my friends and get the social sweat aspect of life first thing as well, but this isn’t always possible. Movement always is!

Stay ahead on things, knowing curveballs are coming. Busy season is about to kick up. When I have an idle moment, I try to think about what task I can push one step (or more steps) forward. Throw the laundry in. Clean something. Stock the pantry with two instead of one. Hopefully, when deadlines come or something is needed, I am ready instead of behind the eight ball trying to juggle and patch things together. Being ahead on what I can eases my stress.

Sundays. Sundays are my reset and ready-for-the-week day. I try to protect this if at all possible. It is often the only day I start with an extended coffee time at home. I write. I pull out clothes for the week. I make lists. I try really hard not to drive anywhere further away than 10-15 minutes unless it is a soul-serving adventure. Looking ahead on the calendar, keeping Sundays “sacred” will get harder and harder as fall’s busy-ness kicks in. Even as I write this, my Saturday and Sunday has flipped for this weekend. But I still try to keep one day with fewer commitments. Go-go-go all the time wears me out.

Notice nature. Get out and immerse myself in nature as often as possible, even for a few minutes a day. Flower farming has been amazing for this. I have a couple of hours a week in our field, just cutting flowers, watching bees and butterflies, soaking up the fresh air. I keep our flowers with me at work and home so I see them many times a day. They always make me take a small mental pause and smile.

What could I add? I need to write more often. I need to stretch. I need to meditate. These fall too low on the to-do list right now and I know each of them would help. This paragraph is a challenge to myself!

These last few weeks have been a lot, at times bordering on “too much, I can’t handle it, get me out of here.” There have been times I’ve considered drinking alcohol, which I don’t do. I’ve considered massive carb-and-cheese-laden meals of things I don’t typically eat. These things float through my mind, I notice them, then remind myself what works for me.

“Self care” has been a buzzword over the last couple of years. It comes with these challenging times. Life being lifey just beats many of us down and we need to take care of ourselves. I am a firm believer that you can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning you have to keep yourself cared for before you can care for others. Self care looks different for everyone. For some, it means doing whatever you want, regardless of the craving and what it costs. For me, self care does not mean self indulgence. Sometimes it means reminding myself what my goals are and what makes me feel healthy. A cocktail isn’t self care for me. Or a piece of chocolate cake. Might feel good for a moment, but then I’m left dealing with the fallout from my own impulsiveness.

In the end, I can only try to control my own decisions, my time, and my attention. I have to redirect myself when the decisions others make upset me. Boundaries are ok to set and adhere to. I only have to explain myself to those select few people who warrant it. But for most people, “no” can absolutely be a complete sentence.

health

Self Care Time

I have written about self care many times. Each time it’s a different spin on the value of self care. Today is no different.

I made time for a spontaneous spa day. Finding a place with an appointment that fit my schedule was gonna be tricky. Then I found a partner in crime to share the day with which meant I needed two time slots. The level of hard to schedule increased immediately.

I got lucky. I found an opening. It was further than I wanted to drive but the car ride would end up being part of the experience with my adventure buddy.

A little lunch/snack. A little exercise. A lot of pampering. The massage was a bit odd as far as the methodology but the end result was amazing and my body said thank you 1,000 times. Oh how have missed a good massage throughout this pandemic.

I then opted to splurge for a facial. I had been in the sun a lot and felt the hydration piece of the facial was again something by body would appreciate. And it did. Another big win for my body. Totally different experience but rewarding.

Now the spa attendee said I’ll throw in a complimentary brow treatment since you are here. Great news but then she noted it was threading. I asked if it hurt? She said well a little bit, I don’t know your pain threshold. OUCH!

That settles it. Threading hurts for sure. It’s a different annoyance than the waxing but definitely a shocker on pain at least in my opinion. It was quick though. The hurt came and went before I could fully grasp the insanity. I lived to tell about it. I also think you should give it a try just to feel the experience if you haven’t already.

My partner in crime opted for some lash tints. Dark blue black or black. Is there even a difference? I really can tell the difference in the person but she said she loves the natural coloring vs mascara each day.

An expensive day of treating myself but it’s definitely and investment in me and why self care is important. Your version may not be as extreme as mine and that’s okay. The point of the post is to remember you. You matter and if nobody sees that you might have to show yourself. 

fitness and nutrition, health

Road to 5-0 and beyond

The road to fifty isn’t always so nifty. When you approach the big 5-0, many shifts take place. Your body. Your mind. Sometimes your zip code. Maybe even your friend circle.

Maybe it’s mood swings that hit today. Maybe it’s body changes next week. Maybe it’s aches and pains ongoing. Maybe it’s stress in life. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it hits all at once.

Maybe you become forgetful. Maybe you just seem over emotional on days. Maybe you are bloated. Maybe you move slower. Just maybe you are getting old. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to aging.

There really isn’t a guide book for a mid life crisis. There isn’t an age point either. There isn’t a how to manual for menopause or grumpy man syndrome. There isn’t a road map to feeling old. For me I just want to age gracefully and keep up with what I still want to do each day.

It seems many in their fifties are starting to see signs of aging. Maybe the fast food is catching up with one pal while melanoma is rearing its ugly head with another. This is the time to do the breast checks. The annual physicals. The colonoscopy. The dirty list nobody really wants to pay attention to.

The next ten years will be the shoulder surgeries. The knee replacements. The second laundry list nobody wants to contend with. Getting old. Make sure you are treating your body like the temple it is. You only have one. Pay attention to any warning signs that rear their ugly heads.

I take each day as it comes. I try to live life to the fullest. I try to seek out adventures. I like to stimulate my mind. I like to tire myself out with fitness at some point in the day so I can sleep well at night.

I try to tune out negative people in my life. I have no room to waste mental energy on negatives. It will never help me make it through my road to 50-60-70 and beyond. 

dare to be different

Thursday

Today is Thursday. I made it to Thursday. My week has been a shit storm of this, that, the other and then some. It’s like the shit was smeared across my bathroom mirror, the car window, the computer screen, the kitchen table, you name it.

I guess you get the picture I have painted. Now I’m not thirsty or I would be taking advantage of it being Thirsty Thursday. Instead I’m opting for some time in my thinking chair. Feet kicked up. Faithful dog by my side while I listen to traffic pass by in the nearby street.

I think about those cars rushing to their next destination. Hustle, bustle, and hustle some more. It’s the grind we live. For me I’m pausing in the space between activities, work and life to catch my breath. A deep breath. It’s been a hell of a week and it’s just Thursday!

This is where the self talk comes in. One day left. Another 8-10 hours of petty bullshit. I got it. I already went through the thick and gooey shit. The end of the week should be a breeze. Get after it. Make Friday your day. Slay and put all that shit in the shitter where it belongs.

This weekend I will focus on recharging. Resetting my mind. Re-engaging with my social circle. Relaxing in a new environment. I will even make it a point to eat or drink something new to step out of my comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like it. It matters that I push my limits while recharging. It’s part of the process of reawakening oneself.

Have you ever had a day, a week or any amount of time that life just seemed to get sucked out of you? Everyone needing your time, your attention, your emotional energy causing you to be tired and ready to just shut down. That about sums up my last couple days. 

I made it to today. This fine hour where I could be doing a lot of other stuff but I chose me. I chose correctly. If I don’t take care of me, I will never have what it takes to support those around me who need me. The ones that I lead when they question their path. The ones who need a gentle nudge. Even the ones who need a firm push.

I matter just like you matter. Look in the mirror each day and smile. Reflect on why you matter. Embrace it. You make the world better. One step at a time.

For my Friday wish, I wish for whomever reading this to be content with who they are today. Not who they were in the past and not who they will be in the future. Just who they are today. The me of today matters the most. Live life to the fullest.

celebrations

Let’s Talk Music 2021

On January 25, 2020, I wrote a random blog post on music. This was not long after I laid out my 2020 goals which included an anthem or song for the year. Some choose words each year, for me I chose music last year. I’m pretty sure it was the first time I ever acknowledged music in this way but it was a symbol in the crazy world of 2020.

So here we are in January 2021. I reviewed my most played songs of 2020 and there were a few consistent as I spent many hours driving in solitude. Of course my anthem was the #1 played song but it had me thinking about what my anthem would be for 2021.

Not much thought after that until today. Boom a text was received and it all changed in a moment. A moment like this, as Kelly Clarkson would belt out.

Some lyrics that fuel me:

I am healthy,

I am wealthy

I am not going to take your shit

I am protected, well respected

I’m a queen, I’m a dream

I do what I wanna do

I’m who I wanna be

‘Cause I’m me

I’m fly as bees

I drive

I’m independent

Everything on me

I’m a queen

Not every word applies but the ones above ring true to my strength, my confidence, my gait, and so on. I am me. No carbon copies. A queen in my own world. Which all seems appropriate since my song of 2020 was Queens Don’t by Rae Lynn.

A queen’s gonna rule just the way she was made…
Queens don’t hate, queens don’t fight….
Every jewel on my crown, you better believe I earned..

Thank you ladies for putting out some amazing lyrics to keep me focused on 2020 and 2021. I just add. No need to confuse me my confidence with arrogance. I work for what I deserve. I work hard. I play just as hard. I treat others the way I would want to be treated.
This year’s song is a symbol of my attitude as I attack 2021 with vim and vigor.  ‘Cause I’m me and this is my style.

Hope you find your theme song for the year if it strikes your fancy like it did mine. I am truly lucky to have many in my life who see me as having the shining light of a queen. The commanding personality of a leader. The attitude of an independent thinker and so much more.

Off to live my best queen life. Today, tomorrow and the next day. 

face blowing a kiss