Prompt 1 – My favorite way to spend the day is…

This is a good one.

I just got back from spending seven days in Mexico with a bunch of amazing women.  We spent time at the beach, at the pool, in sessions together, and lots of time laughing.  That was a beautiful experience… however my favorite way to the spend the day is still relaxing somewhere that feels like home.

Here is how my perfect day would go:

  1. I’d wake up without an alarm clock, but still around 7am because mornings are my favorite.
  2. I’m also clearly not working on my favorite day, which should be obvious… but I’ll call it out here just in case.
  3. I’d put on some comfortable clothes, throw on some warm slippers and beach wave my hair (because I like when it has a little volume… even when I’m relaxing).
  4. I’d let the dogs in who are so sweet and lazy in the morning.
  5. I’d have a coffee and an apple cider donut in my kitchen with the morning sunlight streaming in from outside… wrapped in a blanket and fending off Mya’s advances towards me and my donut.
  6. I’d spend some time watching whatever I wanted in the morning on the TV (because most likely Jason and/or Vincent are still sleeping) and checking my phone far too much.
  7. I’d put on some workout clothes and take the dogs for a walk… because on my favorite day it is super pleasant outside.
  8. I’d probably have some kind of avocado chicken sandwich/wrap for lunch with some fruit and then some chocolate(s).  If this favorite day is not totally grounded in reality… then I’d really like tiramisu as my dessert… but it would have to be straight from Italy.
  9. I’d definitely do something crafty (make a necklace, paint something, read a book)… probably while enjoying a glass of wine.
  10. I’d also have some kind of epic series on my laptop to listen to while crafting (LOTR, Hobbit, Harry Potter, Alien, Underworld, Resident Evil, etc, etc).  — Jason will be in his happy place playing his video game on the main tv.
  11. I’d probably take a nap while crafting – on accident or on purpose.  With all the windows open and a beautiful breeze blowing through (and Jason would kill any fly that threatened my slumber).
  12. I’d invite friends and family over to do crafty relaxy things with me.
  13. I’d light the best smelling candle, probably from Bed Bath and Beyond.
  14. Jason and I would enjoy a nice dinner which he makes on the grill because he is the grill master and the smell of a charcoal grill is divine.
  15. All my Pottery Barn candles would have turned around by dinner time and they will be flickering with the most delightful fake flames.
  16. Then we would sit around the fire at night and listen to music and relax.  I’d be wrapped up in my most cozy blanket and when I was tired would have the short commute of walking to my bedroom.
  17. My friends and family have all gone home or crashed on the couch before I go to bed… or I kick them out when I’m tired because it’s MY favorite day… which has an early bedtime too.
  18. On my favorite day I’ve also been taking the best pictures all day long and posting them on all the social media because I love to share.

 

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Tis the season!

Wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next. What an interesting process. I remember many years where I couldn’t wait for the fresh start that a new year would bring. Funny how optimistic I always am at this time of year considering I live in Wisconsin and the new year just means 4 more months of cold weather. 

This year however I am just truly thankful and blessed to have experienced all the days in this year so far. I’ve experienced so much growth in so many areas. 

This year marked 5 years of togetherness with my husband and 2 years of marriage. It has seriously flown by.  I’m so thankful for us and hope we continue to share many more trips around the sun together. 

I attended a life and business coaching group for 9 months out of the year that totally changed my perspective on many areas of my life. It’s helped me declutter, repriorotize, rediscover and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. 

I enjoyed my 2nd full year of consulting on my own. It’s been such a rewarding experience and opportunity to work on different projects with different people. Definitely a different kind of education. I’ve really started to appreciate and acknowledge what I can add to a team and project. Being my own cheerleader has been such a blessing. 

My step-son turned 14 and watching him grow and discover himself is something I’m thankful to be a part of every day. He’s such a blessing and gives me perspective and many learning experiences. 

We spent the year focusing on our finances and now find ourselves debt free (except for our home). This is such a freeing accomplishment and it takes so much pressure of our career choices and really allows us to enjoy our 9-5’s more since we don’t feel trapped by them. 

I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in August. An inner ear disorder that causes ear ringing, vertigo and nausea. By cutting out caffeine and sodium I’ve managed to control the symptoms (and my anxiety around the sparadic nature of the episodes). So, yay. 

I traveled to Napa (CA), Orlando (FL), Mexico, Lake Placid (NY), Door County (WI), Rockville (MD) and of course Cleveland and Cincinnati for work. I enjoyed every trip and was lucky enough to spend time with great people and make wonderful memories at each location. Not to mention some good food too. 

We took down a wall (thanks HGTV for the words “open concept”, repainted most of the main level, filled a dumpster of crap to declutter the house, and put in new vinyl wood planks instead of the old carpet. 

I started and cancelled a wine club. I started and cancelled a fitness subscription. I gave up giving up Nutella. 

And so many other wonderful things… with wonderful people. 

With only two weeks left in this year, I have nothing but gratitude and love for 2016 and can only imagine what 2017 will bring… and I look forward to finding out. 

Positivity Takes Practice

I discovered years ago that your attitude and outlook on life greatly depends on what you spend your energy on.  This might seem like a totally obvious statement, and I would agree, but would argue that it is something that is so obvious… it’s easy to overlook.

I discovered that how I spent my spare time greatly influenced my mood.  I mean even the silly things like the conversations I chose to have, the images I chose to look at via Pinterest/Instagram/Google searches, the books I read, the movies I watched, and most importantly how I talked to myself as well.

If I spent my energy telling myself stories about how retched the world was, how evil my friends were, how the universe conspired against me… OF COURSE I then walked around with my tin foil hat and gun set to stun.  Any action that happened around me was seen through this Darth Vader type lens I was wearing.  You were either with me, or against me.  How DRAINING it was.  I spent more time conspiring than inspiring, which just equals a big fat waste of time.

So, I started spending my time with people who I aspired to be like, the kind of people that sent out that vibe of ease and acceptance of the world.  I started doing hobbies that tapped into my creativity and made me feel good about myself. I started assuming the best, and stopped the bullshit stories.  Okay, well… maybe I’m a good story teller, so I still circle a bit in fantastical fucked up stories… but in general catch myself and stop it before it can seriously alter my mood for the day.

This choice of how / who / when / what to spend my energy on… has been a game changer for me.  As I get older, I only find better ways to spend my energy.  It’s like, the more efficient I get at being positive, the more energy I have available to me to do cool shit!!  It’s a very rewarding system.  However, it is still a act that takes practice. Daily conscious practice to be positive.  CHOSE to spend my time in a way that best puts me in the path of my dreams and aspirations.  Because, I’m really hoping to continue to grow, change, and be more awesome every day/week/year of my life… and I can’t imagine doing that if I’m leaking negative energy all over the place.

So, cheers to positivity.  May it be a happy practice that everyone can incorporate into their daily lives.  I personally find that laughter, good souls, wine, cheese, and chocolate can be gateways into positivity… in case you are struggling to find it.

My Aunt, myself and my Grandmother.  A couple people who know how to radiate positivity and love.

My Aunt, myself and my Grandmother. A couple people who know how to radiate positivity and love.

Don’t worry, no one else knows what the f*ck they are doing either. 

One of the best tidbits of advice I got was given to me by my cousin Carmen 15 years ago while I was first navigating the corporate world and figuring out which jobs I was “qualified” for.

She told me that no one knows exactly how to do a job they are applying for. Also, how boring would that be. I promise that the other people in this world that are doing the thing you want to do, didn’t know how to do it when they started. 

The people who end up with their next ‘big gig’ have faith in themselves and their abilities that they will figure it out.

This little tidbit has gotten me through so many new adventures in my life that seemed scary at first. I just focus on what I want, the resources I have, and ALWAYS keep my communication skills and personal development as top priorities. The exact “how’s” just come with time. 

So – grasshopper – go for the promotion, better job, dream vacation, first date, sell the house, start the new hobby or whatever it is that you have been yearning to do… but have convinced yourself you can’t. 

Because… why not you? Why not now?

And just remember, no one else knows what the fuck they are doing either. 

What’s your dream…

Job/Location/Spice of Life?

A coworker asked a group of us recently what our dream job would be.  I found that since I spend so much time concentrating on how to get ahead at my current job and how to make money, etc… that I forget what it’s like to dream about a career.  I went from someone who had time to dream, to someone who dreamed about having time.  Without taking the time to dream, you can’t stretch your dreaming wings.  You forget what it’s like to think and think and think about something until you’ve lost time and space to an idea that will likely never come to fruition. Thinking about something so wonderful and close to your heart that the thought of it never coming true is actually more scary than the thought of never trying it at all.

Sure, sometimes I feel breathless from what I’m working on.  Sometimes I feel exhillerated.  Mostly I think it’s lack of oxygen from hyperventilating, overworking, underdreaming and mostly just because I am anxious.  I’d like to feel breathless because I didn’t know what was coming next, because my dreams were so big and so awesome and because small steps towards that dream were coming true. 

The crux of it all is that in order for any of those dreams or breathless things to happen, you need to start dreaming and plotting again.  So, I dream of living on a beach somewhere that classifies winter as soemthing slightly uncomfortable, not horrendously uncomfortable and below freezing.  I dream of crafting, writing, sea shell collecting, evenings with my (future) husband, fine cheeses, fine chocolates, sand blasted siding on a house, fireplaces, big (i mean huge) wall paintings, that big round thing in kitchens that you hang your pots and pans from int he kitchen, a old bath tub (you know with the claw feet), lots of white (walls, ceiling, natural light), giant bookshelves (GIANT), wood floors, puppies, and nieces, family, step family and other company galore!

So think about your dreams, in detail, write them out.  It’s very satisfying in a day-dreaming sort of way.