MIA

So, I took a short break from blogging because I have a new job which in turn makes free time more precious. Also, my WordPress app had some kind of freak out where apparently I was stuck in a continual loop of logging in but never really was logged in, I have zero patience for technological issues so I chose avoidance. Hence, no blogs.

So, I’m posting this bad boy to 1) ensure all bugs are worked out and 2) ensure my followers that I’ve not fallen off the face of the earth.

As for the new job, it’s awesome. I’m happy, have an income again, and love my co-workers. More on all that later. Till I find more time to sit and write, enjoy your autumn. This is my favorite time of year, and I have the pleasure of living in an area rich with changing leaves and brisk boots and sweaters weather. Yay !!

Don’t freak out, don’t freak out, don’t freak out…

I wish I could live off the land somewhere, like in the book “Hatchet” or “My Side of the Mountain”. I wish there were such a place that money is not important, where you make your home, hunt and gather your food, and simply live each day. Okay, I suppose such societies do exist like the bushmen of the Kalahari of the tribes of Papua New Guinea. But I do not see myself and my family assimilating into those societies well.

My point: when your entire existence centers around financial stability, we easily get caught up in where and when we will find our next dollar.

I have been out of work for three months and it started out okay, I had a little cushion of savings. I didn’t really account for many surprise expenses over the summer and as such, I have depleted those savings entirely. Now, I’m freaking out a little. I have been applying for jobs. I looked into doing one of those home demo sales businesses. I even gathered up anything I no longer need and put it into a consignment sale to desperately come up with enough extra cash to buy my son sneakers for school, replace the radiator in my car and even just get a haircut. I frantically watch my bank account, counting every penny to make sure the car payment and car insurance can be paid. Last month, I went into the negative by $70+ because I was short for the insurance payment. When you have bills automatically withdrawn from your account, it’s like you know a bomb is about to be dropped right on you and all you can do is countdown to doomsday. 3 days… 2 days… 1 day…….       BOOM !! You’re broke!

I’ve been trying to refocus my energies into my little projects that have filled my past few months. I did a little more painting(those new paintings were posted on the Artwork page) and I have been making bracelets. See, I got this idea, over a year ago, to make bracelets that promote the idea of maintaining positive thoughts all throughout the day. Sort of like a Power of Positive Thinking WWJD bracelet. I had a few ideas of how to make them, but I was never able to bring my idea to fruition. I all but completely forgot about my idea until recently. I started making these clay “charms”. I was going to just put whatever sounded nice on the charms and just make pretty bracelets. Then I remembered, “Believe” was the central word of my positive thinking mantra. It is one thing to want something better for yourself but the major pitfall behind all failed wants becoming reality is the belief that you can achieve it. You must believe in yourself, you must believe in others, you must give your will to your belief in the power of positive thinking. And that’s when I put all my ideas together; make “Believe” bracelets. A piece of jewelry that you can look at throughout the day to bring you back to your goal of living each day positively. I need the reminder just as much as anybody, I need to believe that my life will get better and I will be okay. Now, my next step is to share my bracelets with others that need that same little boost throughout their day. On the back of each charm, I write the words “Back on our Feet” with two tiny foot prints. This symbolizes that these bracelets and charms, tokens of positivity if you will, are the key to my family’s future of getting back on our feet, getting back into a home of our own. I’m calling them BOOF bracelets. I can see it now… Twitters feeds will read, “I got my #BOOF bracelet!!”

I’ve actually cranked out quite a few charms already, here is a  look at what I’ve made so far:

Neon Colors that will glow in blacklight

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Regular colors

These were the starting out batch so there was a little trial and error with these.

Lesson learned here: Hearts are a pain in the butt20130911_144348

Gold and Silver

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Now to make the bracelet bands. Once I get some finished, I will start posting them into my Etsy store. I will eventually start taking requests for personalized pieces. I will follow up with my Etsy store link and you can check out the BOOF Boutique yourself.

Negativity is a disease for your soul…

I was thinking about how there are entire websites, groups, and organizations dedicated to hate. Much of the hate we hear about is routed in a misguided belief that the hatred is a part of religious beliefs. But even aside from that, there are people that have made it their life mission to debunk, discredit, bring down, or expose someone or something. This made me think, if when I reach my desired level of fame and notoriety, I may be faced with my own haters.

I dream of sharing my beliefs in positive thought and how it can change your life. My goal is to spread a message of self love and peace to the world. I envision myself, standing in a packed theater, speaking to the masses about the power of positive thought (sidebar: my dream Superbowl is doing a TED conference). With these big dreams, I imagine there may be someone, somewhere that, for whatever reason, will not agree with what I do or say. I may very well find myself on the receiving end of bashing sessions. So, I thought to myself about how I would address these issues (doesn’t hurt to be prepared, right?). In mentally developing the little speech I would give, I realized I have a message worth sharing now.

My thought is that the dialogue will go something like this:

I cannot understand why anyone would want to go against a message of love and peace but you can’t please everyone all of the time. Not everyone can have the same love and positive feelings within themselves that I possess. But I do seriously question how and why one would dedicate themselves to such cynical pursuits as blatant hatred especially being in direct opposition of something positive like love, peace, equality, humanitarianism… Perhaps some hate others being happy around them when they themselves cannot be happy. Some people can seem so normal on the outside but they are filled with darkness, anger, and hatred. I don’t expect to change those people, I feel bad for those people. I’ve come across a few of those people in my life already, some are just lost in their own unhappiness, others are innately bad people. Either way, my message is only meant for those who want it, I do not force myself, my opinions, and my beliefs on others. I will continue to be positive in my message to provide balance to naysayers.

I cannot see how being so negative can make anyone feel happy, though I am sure that some people believe that living in their hatred is their happiness(such as in the case of religiously linked hatred). I can only hope that they will one day learn the error of their ways. Where there is hatred in your heart, happiness cannot also live. If any part of your soul contains anger, spite, resentment, scorn, disgust, etc, even for someone that may have wronged you, you are not allowing yourself to live and love wholly. Only when we release all those negative feelings, can we become fully happy.

Now, I am only human and even I experience fleeting moments of frustration and I can say, “oh I hate…” but there is a difference between expressing disgust and living in negativity. I won’t even tell you that you have to forgive someone that has hurt you, all you have to do its choose not to carry the pain they caused you in your heart. I speak from personal experience, I have been hurt by people I loved and trusted dearly (I’ll sum it up quickly. Boyfriend, best friend, I was pregnant, they were fooling around right under my nose). I carried hatred towards them, in my heart, for years. One day, I finally let it go. I think it would be nice to completely turn all negative feelings to love but let’s be honest, I cannot love such deceitful and immoral people. So, what do I do? I looked at what I learned from the situation, what I gained (my son), and I am happy they worked together to remove two really awful people from my life. I love that I don’t have those bad people in my life now. That’s where I find the love. And can I just add that I hate the phrase, “Forgive and Forget”. Why should I forgive if forgiveness was never requested? Sure, I could say I forgive their actions but in reality, I don’t so why lie to myself. If they came to me and asked for forgiveness I would consider reassessing my feelings. And as for forgetting, I will never forget something that caused me such pain. Again, why should I? Those events shaped who I am today because I remember the effects they had on me.  I much prefer the mantra of “Accept and Adapt”. I’ve accepted the events that have occurred in my life, I accept that they are necessary steps in my own character evolution. I adapted to these situations. I’ve adapted to be stronger and wiser.  I am now much more discerning about who I choose to let in my life and as a result, I have wonderful people in my life.

So, I guess to wrap this all up, I leave you with the message of , “Love yourself too much to let hatred live in your soul”.

Fight effectively…

My boyfriend and I got into an intense battle last night. It happens, couples fight. We’ve been together for 10 and a half years, we can fight about anything, and we are good at it.

Years ago, we would fight to extremes. I’m talking punches being thrown on both ends.

(Let me stop there for a minute and state that I do not support, condone, encourage, or justify the use of physical violence in any altercation. No matter the parties involved, people should not hit one another regardless of gender, size, strength, or provocation.)

We have both done and said things we shouldn’t have. We learned our lesson about a lot of things but one issue we seem to have trouble with is effective communication during an argument.

I have been so fortunate to have taken several classes that focus on communication skills. A wealth of valuable information was provided in those courses and, as a result, I learned how to communicate through a disagreement. Sometimes I sense that boyfriend becomes frustrated with my advanced verbal skills, often labeling it as “talking down”to him. I don’t try to be condescending in the way I speak, I just become incredibly analytical and exercise better reasoning skills once things get heated.

That being said, it may not always be ready to be the level headed individual in a fight, but you can always walk away knowing you said all the right things. This is what I consider “fighting effectively”.

-Always stay on topic in an argument, refrain from rehashing anything that occurred even 24 hours ago. If you had an opportunity to air a grievance prior to the current argument, yet chose not to do so, you forfeit all rights to bring it up in a new disagreement.

-If you must mention faults in the other, throw them a bone and mention a fault of your own. It keeps the playing field level and wards of defensiveness a bit.

-In conjunction with the aforementioned tip: try mentioning something you enjoy about the other person, or something that makes you happy. The reminder of good times should boost both your spirits. Even if it comes out in an angry tone, you can be happy with yourself that you made an effort to say it.

– Keep the fights personal. Do not fight in front of friends, family, and most importantly, children. Do not vent to friends, family, or children. When you fill people in on what’s going wrong, you better be prepared to balance it out with what goes good as well, unless you want people to form misguided opinions. But really, it’s no one’s business what happens in a personal relationship between you and one other person.

-Choose your words carefully. Make a conscious effort to start every sentence with “I”, “me”, “my” or some other way of speaking only of yourself. I can speak from experience that this method can seem almost as though it backfires if you get some response that suggests you are selfish or only thinking of yourself. My response is always, “of course I’m only speaking about myself, I cannot speak for you. I don’t know what you think or feel. It is your part to tell me how you feel.” This had usually proven to be disarming and makes rebuttal nearly impossible.

– Most importantly, always be willing to apologize. I know the feeling of absolute refusal to just let it die, even when my boyfriend makes his best efforts to smooth things over. When your feelings are hurt, that’s not an easy feeling to just let go. But I have made a habit of always saying sorry right after he says sorry, that way he knows that I accept responsibility for being 50% of the fight.

I struggle with many things still, old habits die hard. I can say with the utmost confidence that I exercise all of what I preach and when I do, I really don’t feel devastated when a big fight happens. I always knew I did the best I could to keep the situation under control. If my efforts are unsuccessful, if we still end up really getting into it, if I still end up with hurt feelings, I know I did my best to remain mature through the fight. I accept our fights as a very healthy part of our relationship. Fights happen when you have intense feelings involved. You love hard, you fight hard.

And I can’t say that or fights were always so effectively communicated. We threw our share of punches, but we grew up and learned how to handle our issues with some decorum. Maybe, someday, I will divulge just how bad the fights have been. That way anyone can see that even the worst fights between two people can evolve to be less hurtful and more cathartic.

Today was great for us. The fight is barely a memory. We are back to just loving each other. We had a lovely evening with our kids, eating dinner and watching a movie. As he is sleeping next to me, snoring, I am so happy to have him here. I will put my phone down now(ironically my excessive phone usage was the cause of last night’s blowout) and wrap my arms around him. I love him. ❤

As a follow up…

My last blog post sounds a bit like I’m complaining about my ability to become lost in my own thoughts. Well, it is a pain when it takes my mind to a dark place. However, I have been learning to hone that skill to become better at meditating.

See, I thought meditation meant you had to completely clear your mind oaf all thought and find solitude to reach mental clarity. Okay, my brain never shuts up, ever. I can have multiple trains of thought running in all directions on dozens of tracks. Seriously, it’s like India at rush hour up there. Even as I write that sentence, my mind went off on to how much I love chicken tikka masala. I swear I don’t have ADD, just a very active brain.

So, for me, getting to sleep at night is a battle that often ends with me watching TV until the wee morning hours, then just passing out only to wake up a few hours later to turn off the TV(sleep mode is immensely helpful there). Lately, I have been choosing to take the time, when the kids are asleep and I have peace and quiet, to lay in bed and think. That thinking is specially geared toward my meditative thoughts. I spend a great deal of that time visualizing my life when I have achieved my desired level of success. I have chanted over and over in my head, “I am happy, healthy, and wealthy”. I even spend that time communicating with higher powers(aka praying, if you will). It would be nice to say I ask for world peace and the end of hunger, but I don’t. I ask for help with getting my life on track. I can be no good to the world as a whole until I am good for myself. “Charity begins at home”so you must be right in yourself before you can focus energies outward.

I suppose this is why I call it meditation and not praying. Each and every soul is on their own journey. Each life it meant to be a lesson learned for the person living it. My journey and lesson is not the same as anyone else so I must make the most of my time here. I must gain the knowledge necessary for my soul’s purpose. To know what your personal journey consists of, you must know yourself. Meditation is an inward process, whereas praying is outward. Pray for others, mediate on yourself.

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For a little help with meditation, I found that iHeartRADIO has tons of stations with relaxing sounds and music. This is, by far, the best way to hear a babbling brook without having to invest in one of those nature sounds CDs, or by actually sitting next to a babbling brook.

Why do I think so hard when I’m driving…?

So, I went balls to the wall this weekend trying to snatch up whatever job I could find. I need a little cash and the kids miss daycare(despite how hard I tried to make summer fun). I would enjoy getting out of the house again as well, I get stir crazy from being home too much. This afternoon, I got a call from one of the places to which I applied. It’s a receptionist position at a waxing services place (I don’t really know how to describe it since its not a spa, or a store, or a clinic, nor facility). Anyway, I used to be a client at this place and I really enjoyed the experience so I figured why not try working there. Immediately after I  accepted the interview, I started to think, and think, and think some more…

I had all three kids in the car, we were driving for maybe a half an hour or more. I was silent, both hands gripped firmly on the steering wheel, staring blankly at the road ahead. My son asks,”are you okay, mom?” My response was a quiet,”yea”accompanied by a slight nod to ease his concern. I didn’t want to talk. I was in one of those deep thought moments, during which my mind raced with concerns and doubts yet I felt total comfort in that silent abyss of my mind. I was thinking about being a little anxious at the thought of just taking any job, I do have a Bachelor’s degree after all. I thought that, if you feel passionate about something, you’ll love spending everyday doing it as a job.I wondered about other people that seemed to be successful, driving nice cars or living in nice homes, are they happy with what they do, do they have this own business, are they passionate about what they do? I thought long and hard during that drive. While I do enjoy a good waxing and I personally question any female that doesn’t get a good bikini wax, it’s not my passion in life. So, the question becomes, will I be as miserable working at a waxing center as I was at my last job?

All that contemplation is exhausting. It’s amazing how the mind can run through so many thoughts and in the matter of one car ride, completely mess with your entire psyche. Quiet moments and an active imagination can be downright scary.

I know what I really want to do in life, it’s just so darn tough to figure out how to get there. I guess the current path I am taking is the way to go. Obtain each progressing level of degrees in psychology so that ultimately I can be a bona fide authority on counseling and giving advice. This is just such a long process. Seven years ago I started this journey, and while my focus has become more refined and determined, I feel like the progress is slower than ever. I thought to myself in that silent, thought heavy, car ride that I could have chosen a different major, one that would have easily taken me right to a career. I could have made sooo many other choices, but I did not. I chose a career field that basically demands, at minimum,a master’s degree to make the kind of money that justifies the expense of college. While I still crawl my way through this educational process, I have friends that went on to become an RN working for a major pharmaceutical company, a biology technician with an ivy league university, and a corporate communication guru with the US Navy. Then there’s me, where my greatest prospect right now is checking clients in and out of their monthly hair removal appointment. Is this my new low?

I spent a great deal of that car ride trying to remind myself that every successful individual became that way at their own pace; through hard work and determination. There are few overnight celebrities that we may look at in admiration. If I want success, respect, and the realization of my dreams, I must keep on pushing forward, no matter how long the road ahead. Every time I catch myself looking at my life and thinking,”where did I go wrong?”I immediately shift gears. I think to myself that, when I achieve success, and I discuss my life prior to success, I will tell the story of how I took a job at a waxing center to make ends meet, and reaped the benefits of discount waxes !!
I can sell out on myself for a neatly coiffed bikini zone…   right?

Samantha has a point…

Acknowledging a low point…

I try to face my circumstances with dignity and a positive outlook. I try to suppress any anxiety, fear, or disappointment. But let’s be honest, I’m human, I have moments of weakness. My goal in life is to be positive, 100% of the time. But I still falter, I still allow negative thoughts to creep in and sabotage my positivity. Now is one of those moments. It is a fleeting moment, one which will pass by morning I’m sure. I figured I would vent my insecurity because that in itself will help me cope and get past the doubt.

I’m freaking out a little. I’m broke, I did some back to school shopping for my son and it kinda wiped me out. I’m worried about money, not having enough and wondering how I can quickly get more.While I am grateful for everything I have, I am finding that having only enough money in my account to cover my bills, makes me feel anxious. I completely forgot about the fact that I would need to go to the store soon to buy diapers for my infant daughter.
15 diapers is what I have left right now. Dear God, please keep this girl’s pooping under control.

I have been trying to sell off things I don’t need through online yard sales. I pray that something will come through with that so that I can have a little cash on hand, but it’s not looking great. I didn’t think we could deplete savings so quickly. I need a back up plan asap. I get scared.

I can’t allow this to pull me down. I will make it, we will make it. We have everything we need, our wants will just have to wait.

Well, it’s kinda hard to quantify disposable diapers as a want. I remind myself, anything that mankind lived without at one time is considered a want. The next step is going to be trying to make some make shift cloth diapers.

So, 15 is what I’m working with, that should get us through another couple days.. hopefully. Survivalist mode kicks in now. Let’s do this!!

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What do we do when life give us stressful situations…  maintain a sense of humor.