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Life Update

It’s been a while since I posted something… I think close to 17 days so two weeks.  I haven’t had much to say and there’s been several shuffling pieces that needed to find a home before I could get back to writing.

Have things been sorted out?  Hardly.  Do I really have much to say today?  No, not really.

Why?

Because there seems to be a grieving process happening; a couple of them actually.  I don’t deal with change very well and after stressing so much to make the money for the house, suddenly, there isn’t much to stress about.  To me, that leaves a bit of void, even though I should be able to relax and calm down from there.  A major change happened though.  No longer are we in a small apartment, now we have about double the space and we aren’t tripping over people, except when it comes to the bathroom.  One bathroom for five, soon to only be three, people can be rough.  So there’s one part.

The other part is the soon-to-be lack of people in the house.  Life changes.  People grow up and change with it.  I think I already said I don’t handle change well.  I’d gotten used to things and now, things are flipped upside down and I’m not very resilient.  I never really have been.  But the lack of people because the kids are moving on and heading off on great adventures… I’m scared but excited for them.  This if why I can’t have biological kids.  I would be the parent that never wants to let go.

So two grieving processes:  One for the void of stressing about moving and one for life changes when it comes to kids.

Simple things in the grand scheme of things, but things that are important to me.

Twelve days… Hopefully sunshine and beaches help shake this feeling.

Then off to planning the next great escape, both personally and professionally.

Listening to:  My off-line Amazon Playlist

Reading:  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Quote of the day:  “Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ― Rumi

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Ponderings

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.  The world can stop spinning now!

That’s a joke from my mom because I would act like the world revolved around me when I was younger and how I felt the entire world should know it’s my birthday and celebrate me.

I have since grown out of that phase but that joke/sentiment still sticks with me years after she said it.  Along with that one time I got sung to by a choir group passing through the Shoney’s and my dad mentioned it was my birthday to the instructor.  Mom and Grandma both got on my case for not saying “Thank you” to them.  I finally mumbled “thank you” to him as we were leaving.  I didn’t NOT say it because I was ungrateful.  I was embarrassed.

But 30…

I wanted to talk about the things I wanted to accomplish but haven’t yet; the things I did accomplish in the last 30 years of being on this earth, especially in the last two years; the loses and the gains of growing into a person your mom can be proud of; or even the things I’m looking forward to in the next decade.  The only thing I’m stuck on though is how much I want to get in the next 14 years.

Fourteen years has significance in a morbid way.  Tomorrow, I’ll turn the same age my mom was when she had me.  She was 44 when she died, so fourteen years.  Like I said, it’s a morbid way to spend my birthday thinking about how, in 14 years, I’ll have seen more years then she did.  Would she be happy with the person I became?  Is my morbidity of trying to accomplish so much in 14 years the reason I feel like I have finite time to accomplish everything I want out of life?

Silver linings though right?  We’ve always got to look for the positive in any situation.  Why don’t I feel like looking at the positive right now?  Why don’t I want to focus on the fact I have a great family?  Why can’t I focus on my accomplishments so far this year?  That would be easy; I just have to look at my goals posts.  There is no easy answer for when does time run out.  Do I really have 14 years?  More?  Less?

Ponderings.  These are just ponderings of the emotions coming from a milestone birthday.  I’m really okay.  Between reading and writing, blogging and recording content for my BookTube Channel, I have plenty to keep me busy, especially since we are also part way through the process of buying a house.

Listening to:  Amazon’s Rise Against station

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “It’s really something for people who are approaching 30 to take a look at what that means to them.  I think turning 30 is a way to re-identify with yourself.” – Neil Patrick Harris

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Twelve years…

Today is my twelve year anniversary in D.C.  Twelve years in one metropolitan area; never thought that would happen.

I wanted to come to D.C. though since I visited on a trip with Mountaineer Challenge Academy when I was 16.  Times have really changed since I got here as a very green, not-so-experienced 17, going on 18 year old Job Corps student.

One thing that’s changed is I’ve gone from not having any goals or direction to being goal-oriented.  I used to simply wonder around without much direction.  I had a great boss that sat me down and told me basically to get it together.  She was awesome and my life has been on an up-ward trajectory since then.

Another thing that’s changed is I found a family with Ray.  I joke about Ray being my 10 year anniversary gift to myself.  She came into my life in a time when things were in transition in a lot of places in both my personal and professional life, just when I needed her the most.

It’s not just Ray though.  It’s everyone that she’s brought into my life over the last almost two years.  She’s also made me want to do more things with my life.  I finished a book, I’m doing this blog, I’m moving past a lot of negative things…mostly because I have a family that makes me “put my money where my mouth is.”  I mean just look at my other posts.

When I did this blog in its several interpretations, there were more negative posts than positive ones.  Now, there may be a handful of negative posts scattered among the positive ones.

In twelve years, I have had a lot of changes in my life, from crappy boyfriends and roommates, to great friends and some awesome memories, to just being able to be who I am, boring as it may be.

One more thing of note, I’ve really gotta say “Thank you” to those people who have been there through just about everything because without you guys, I really wouldn’t have made it through the past twelve years.

Happy Wednesday and Flag Day folks.

Listening to:  People talking

Reading:  The Lost by Vicki Pettersson and Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Quote of the Day:  “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ― Zig Ziglar

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St. Patrick’s Day

Happy Friday folks.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  For me, today is a weird day.  Normally, I would be looking forward to going out and getting smashed with friends or maybe even just drinking alone.  Having weight-loss surgery destroyed that since I’ve had to come up with other ways to celebrate things without food or alcohol.  I could still drink if I really wanted to and I just might get something to drink at home tonight.  It wouldn’t help with my attitude though.

It’s my only day in the office this week.  While it’s not that important, I read an e-mail that has me thinking about the point of what I do.  Thinking about that has me in a mindset that nothing really matters so why do anything?  It’s definitely not where I need my brain to be right now so I’m trying to get past it with music, research, and writing.

History Lesson

Like I said, today is St. Patrick’s Day.  History.com said this about today:  “St. Patrick’s Day occurs annually on March 17 in observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. What began as a religious feast day in the 17th century has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.”

There are also several myths another article debunks.  St. Patrick’s color was actually blue, not green.  The color went to green because that was the color the Irish rallied around for their independence in the 18th century.

St. Patrick’s Day was actually a Roman Catholic holiday.  March 17th is believed to be the Day St. Patrick died, sometime in the latter half of the 5th century A.D.  Because of his work for the Christian church, the day is a holy and religious day in the Catholic Church, but more recently also became a day to celebrate Ireland as a nation too.  Another fun religious fact I didn’t know was that the shamrock was used by St. Patrick to teach the Holy Trinity.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held during the American Revolutionary War by the Irish soldiers who wanted to remember their heritage.  Speaking of America, corned beef wasn’t traditionally used as the dish for St. Patrick’s Day; ham was.  Because many Irish immigrants were poor, they used what they could to celebrate their patron saint’s day.

For more information, Google has a link to St. Patrick’s Day related things through their Doodle today.

Cat

Listening to:  ILYAIMY on Amazon.  They’re a local band.  I listen to them every so often because I like their music and it’s a good distraction.

Reading:  Visions of Silver by Anne BishopEtched in Bone came out this month and I wanted to catch up on the other books before I started that one.  Great story line to get lost in.  That seems to be the theme right now, getting lost in things.  I’m trying to remember why I needed to get lost.  Sorry, rambling.

Quote of the Day:  “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

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Goals Update

Yay February 1st!

These are the 1001 day goals I completed in January:

  • Run a 5K Race. I did this one virtually.
  • Make a Super Epic Rainbow Cake
  • Complete 30 miles in 30 days

Before I get started on February goals, I want to go over what I did in January.

  • Miles reached: 6
  • Weight lost:
  • Books read: 4
  • Blog Posts: 12 (way more than the 5 I’d originally wanted to do!)
  • Added $200 to savings
  • Finished editing The Universal Remote
  • Submitted The Universal Remote to the potential publisher (waiting on response).

Whew! That’s a lot in a month.

So what’s February’s goals?

  • Add 85+ more miles
  • Lose at least 15 more lbs
  • 12 blog posts
  • Finish reading 4 more books
  • Complete or start three more goals
  • Add $200 to savings
  • Sign up for a virtual 10k
  • Sign up for Maryland King Crab
  • Go to a Drag Show
  • Finish and frame my cross-stitch project.

Here’s to another awesome month!

Listening to:  The King’s Traitor by Jeff Wheeler

Reading: The King’s Traitor by Jeff Wheeler and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling.

Quote of the Day: “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”― Jack Canfield

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Stonewalling

Today has been a very stonewall sort of day.  I started writing this as a positive piece geared towards what the little voice in my head has been telling me lately (Question #65 of the 95 questions).  For those who don’t know what a stonewall sort of day is like, allow me to elaborate.

Stonewall days are days where you spend most of the day building a wall, to protect yourself, to deny something that is true, to separate yourself from others in a way that isn’t always healthy but is sometimes necessary.  Part of today was necessary for me; I tend to bend over backwards to help people all the while complaining about it. It doesn’t help anyone in the end but the wall is nice because I can tell people to go away.  The other night I got told I have a very “my way or the highway” mentality.  That’s true; hurts like a bitch but it’s true.  That reinforces the deny something that is true piece.  Tonight though…

Tonight was sad because the wall is between two people who should care about what the other one has to say.  Tonight, I didn’t.  Tonight, I just shut down and didn’t want to talk about it with the one person I should be talking to about this.  Tonight, I can’t say I’m a failure because that’s what tonight made me feel like:  A grade B failure who had to sit through a speech about finances from a guy who had good things to say but I just couldn’t look past the way he was sending out his message.  I couldn’t look past how much it was geared towards a certain group of people.

Here’s why:

I don’t understand religion.  Sure, I know people who go to church every Sunday, awesome people who have made my life better by being in it.  Sure, I know people who could be called humanitarians because they are atheists who just want to treat others the way people should be treated.  Me, I believe in in a Universal higher power that is both wondrous and scary but is by no means one single denomination or just for one specific religion.

I’ve been to church before and I went for all the wrong reasons.  I wanted friends, I wanted to be liked, I wanted to get away from my parent’s house every Sunday.  Since I left home though, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to church and I can give you the reason for every single one of them, including tonight.

The moment someone starts talking I normally try to listen.  I’m not very good at it but I try.  The moment in the message they are trying to get across they mention “God” or “God’s will” or “The power of Jesus Christ”, I shut down.  I collapse into myself and I’ll find something else to do.  I’ll let them keep talking but at that moment, I am lost and I know my eyes are glazed over.  Add this to it being a financial class where I’m genuinely trying to learn how to do better financially and I basically just zoned out on the first day.  Most people can probably get past the religious part of the message.  I can’t.  I feel like I got preached at and that triggers some very nasty thoughts and memories in my life, things I’m fine talking about to my therapist but not to the important people in my life.

We came home and I started typing.  I said I didn’t want to talk about.  I do want to talk about though and that’s the worst part.  I’m in the mindset right now though that no matter what I say, it all goes back to the whole “Why can’t you just overlook stuff?” conversation that I’ve been having lately.  The comments on people’s posts about current events, my opinions on things that may not affect me directly…

Just want to break things so I stonewall because that’s safer than getting told that my opinions and my feelings may not matter.  I’m not up for that right now.

Listening to:  the heater that just kicked off.

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Something

Quote of the Day:  “Complaining not only ruins everybody else’s day, it ruins the complainer’s day, too. The more we complain, the more unhappy we get.” ― Dennis Prager

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Goals Part 2

I talked about fear on Monday and how fear can keep us from going after what we want most.  Part of the 1001 days project, for me at least, is being about to move past those fears and do things I normally wouldn’t.  Today, I wanted to talk about goals and possible challenges just about anyone can do.

Goals for January:

I have a short list of things I want to get done this month because that helps knock off some of my 101 things.

  • Walk/Run at least 85 miles (I’ll update next week on where I stand with this)
  • Lose at least 15 lbs
  • 5 blog posts
  • Finish reading 4 books
  • Complete or start three goals
  • Register all postcards received
  • Add $200 to savings
  • Finish editing The Universal Remote
  • Make Super Epic Rainbow Cake

All of these are doable with some effort and little creativity.

Challenges:

So one really cool way to get out there and do things are challenges.  They’re called challenges because they are different from what gets done day to day.  This year, I’m working on Run the Edge’s 2,017 in 2017 (I may crack 1,000 at the rate I’m going).  It’s difficult but interesting to me anyways.  Walk to Mordor is another one.  It follows Frodo and Sam’s journey from Hobbiton to Mount Doom and back to Bag End (you can go to Grey Heavens, where Frodo goes at the end of the series).

365 day challenges can be interesting as well.  There are 365 day photo challenges, which is exactly that:  One photo every day for 365 days.  PopSugar has a list for their 365 day Happiness Challenge, where you do 365 that make you happy.  Tico and Tina have a list of 15 365 days challenges along with an article on why you should start a 365 project now.

Mini-Challenges:

I’ll call these 30 day challenges.  When I Googled “30 day challenges”, I can up with a lot of fitness based challenges.  These aren’t bad but there are much better to do.  I’m doing the 30 miles in 30 days challenge and no alcohol this month and the unsent letter challenge in April.  Forbes had a list of unique 30 day challenges.  I liked Embracing Simple’s list though.  Things like giving up social media for a month, keep a gratitude journal, donate one thing every day, and getting outside are simple but useful things to do.  Anyone can do anything for 30 days right?

My 365 Challenge:

This blog actually started as a 365 day project where I would post a new post every day with the task of that day, thought of the day, question of the day, a story I was working on, new challenge, etc.  It got a little overwhelming, I lost interest and then I’d stop posting or post infrequently enough that I felt I had to start over.  To me, this is part of why the bullet journal is important to me.  It reminds me to post, even if I don’t feel like I have much to say.

And I’m always open to suggestions on what to write about.

Listening to:  Sarah McLachlan’s Mirrorball CD.  I hadn’t heard it in years but it got me through my angst phase.

Reading:  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Quote of the Day:   “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”― Dalai Lama

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