Now that we are into February and everybody has either given up on their resolutions or they are kicking ass, it’s time to decide what is truly important to you. I’m going to be real with you here, I stopped setting New Year’s resolutions years ago, I think sometime around when the hip “new year, new you” slogan made it rounds. I was entrenched with the need to get my body even thinner and look like I did CrossFit even though I didn’t. I mean, I’d love to have those muscles, but my body has other plans. Instead of setting resolutions, I set goals. I set goals that have nothing to do with the new year. The goals I am currently working towards were revised in October and updated when I received my last promotion for my next career goal. I have my top ten that are stretch goals and then I have my goals that fit into those.More
We always are told to never say never and there are many times that never holds true. But there are a lot of times that never doesn’t actually mean never. This episode talks about one thing that never didn’t mean never.
What does it mean to respect yourself? How do I respect myself? I talk about a few things I am serious about in making sure I show myself some respect.
My husband and I were talking about something recently that hit a trigger of mine. The thing is, I hadn’t realized it was a trigger until after this situation. I can’t even remember what we were talking about, but I remember the feeling I had. It was the feeling that he was saying something in a tone or in a way that made him come off as though he was all-knowing and that my thought or my lack of knowledge on the subject brought out my stupidity. I felt like he was telling me I was stupid and his thought was the only thing that could be right.More
Have you heard the saying “you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”? I’m not sure who first said that or if I have it perfectly accurate word-for-word, but it is all over the personal development community. I shrugged it off for many years thinking that I could beat that saying.
I have great friends, they are just different from me and my desire to succeed and live a life with less drama. They sometimes complain about the little things where I have learned to shrug those off. They have a different outlook on how businesses operate and what it takes to be a great employee. Or they just don’t want to be a great employee. There is nothing against that. It’s just different from me.
I recently realized that yes, I do need more people in my life who are achievers and have similar growth goals and mindset. In my close circle, I am the most ambitious person. I don’t have anyone to speak to and challenge myself with. How do I find these people? I don’t know.
I won’t leave my close friends now. There is no reason to do so. What I need are a couple of people that I can get to know and grow with. I need people who are growth oriented and work towards goals bigger than where they currently are. I need people who aren’t afraid to call me out and that I can call out without pissing them off.
In essence, I want a second close circle. If they were to overlap some, then glorious. If not, then that is okay too. Growth isn’t easy. Having people close while we are challenging ourselves is important. If we don’t have a support system, growth may seem even more difficult. I’m just recognizing this and seeing that I need a growth support system. Now to figure out how to find one…
I’ve talked in multiple other posts about when I quite alcohol and when I quit quitting. Ever since I decided to quit quitting, I’ve allowed myself to imbibe responsibility and in drastically smaller quantities than prior to taking about a year off. But, even with the lower quantities, I have realized something, my body and taste buds are not on the same page. I have a love hate relationship with alcoholic beverages.
I love the flavor of wine and some mixed drinks. I really liked the flavor of select craft brew seltzers. My body does not like the effects of alcohol. In fact, my body hates it. I’m not talking about hangovers or headaches or the typical effects you hear about. I’m talking about the whole body inflammation and increased anxiety that I get. I didn’t realize these were a thing until I all of a sudden had a drastic increase in them.
It took some time to realize that the alcohol is what is making these things worse. One of the worst ide effects is with my endometriosis. All of a sudden, the pain has started coming back and in the oddest time of the month. I couldn’t figure out why my uterus started hating me again. My joint stiffness and pain increased. My resting anxiety level (not a medical term) is drastically higher. My bloated feeling just won’t go away.
The only thing that has really changed is that I brought alcoholic beverages back into my life. This love hate relationship is really annoying because I can’t find gluten free, non-alcoholic beverages in Utah like I’ve heard other parts of the country has. I would love to have all of the delicious drinks I love without the alcohol included.
Does this mean I’m going to completely quit again? Probably not, but I won’t be drinking a glass of wine just because I feel like it. I’ll reserve drinking to special occasions or random date nights out (whenever those return). I will absolutely make myself virgin bloody mary’s because they are absolutely delicious. I will still cook with wine or other alcohols. But, you won’t find me just sipping on an alcoholic beverage because it is Friday and I can. I need to get rid of this inflammation and anxiety. Life was so much better without it.
Dating is such a wonderful thing. We are energized and excited to get to know another person. We are exploring places we might have already been, but with a new person so it feels new. We hold hands. We hug on each other. We kiss often. So much laughing and giggling and love.
Then as the years add up, dating becomes less important. We see each other all of the time and know pretty much everything there is to know. We rarely hold hands or kiss, especially around other people. We just live life each day and don’t focus on the things that kept us as physically close as we used to be. Less giggling, some laughing, a different kind of love.
As time goes on, there is less conversation. Things we never cared about before start to becoming extremely annoying. We get on each others’ nerves easier. The love is there, but life has changed and so has the relationship since we fell in love.
But why? Why do we lose the dating? Why does everything become so serious? Why do we forget about the little things that used to bring us closer together?
I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for any of this. What I do know is, that no matter how good or even great our relationships may be, the loss of dating and these little things make a big difference in our daily lives. I also think that right now, today, the day this is posted, we are living in such a different time in life that is challenging all of us. Some of us are spending literally all day every day with our spouse. We might only have a wall, separate ends of the house, or different levels of our house between us. We are always around each other. While, yes, we agreed to a life together, we may need time away from one another.
I think Eddie and I are definitely at this point. We spend too much time together and things that never used to bother one of us, are definitely bothersome. We are finding new ways to be apart while being together. I’m going to the grocery store by myself more often. I’m sending him to his cousin’s and best friend’s. We are finding new ways to get out that won’t put us in a position of encountering someone who may be ill. We are working to get into the mountains more without being at popular destinations. I’m pushing for us to find our own hobbies and goals more than I ever have.
While going out on dates right now is not as easy as it once was, there are things we can try to do to change up our seemingly monotonous days. I saw a TikTok where a couple wrote up a list of things to shop for that reminds or describes the other person. Those became gifts for each other. It looked fun and like a great way to date while working around social distancing.
Let’s get creative and find new ways to date after many years in our relationships. We’ve got to bring back those feelings we had early on and laugh and giggle and kiss again.
Life is a lot different today compared to just a couple of months ago. If there is anybody who can say that it isn’t, please tell them to share their story with me. I mean, how can it not be? Everyone went through the toilet paper rush and the lack of meat in stores and the boomerang advice of ‘wear the mask’, ‘no, don’t wear the mask’, ‘okay, yes wear the mask’. Others also went through trauma of one sort or another. Some are still in that trauma. For those who have or are still there, my prayers are with you. I don’t know how to help any other way right now.
We all used to have a life that we were living, sometimes without a concern of tomorrow. I used to travel for work frequently. I would go to friends homes or have double-date nights out or just go shopping. We have many expos and events that have been canceled this year. Absolutely every plan we had for this year has been canceled or rescheduled to next year. I haven’t traveled outside of Utah since early March. There have been zero double-date nights.
Life is different.
My husband now also works from home 100 percent of the time. His company is unwilling to open an office while cases are so high. They have no date in sight of when they will return to the office. We went from sharing an office to selling a guest bed so we could have our own offices. We have lunch together pretty much every day.
Life is different.
Is that a good thing or no?
In my life, my response is yes and no. No because I don’t get to travel and so many fucking people are dying or getting sick with last side effects that nobody knows how to cure, or if there is even a cure. Yes because we were forced to slow down and our society has been upended, hopefully paving the way for some better years.
Through all of the trauma and pain and change, we have a unique opportunity. We get to rebuild a new life. We get to design how we live our life as we come out of this pandemic. Do we know when exactly that will be? No. We don’t need to. We get this time to slow down and really take stock of what is important to us. Did you want to go back to school but couldn’t find the time? Did you want to start a garden? Yes, you did because all of you new gardeners took all of the supplies I normally buy. Did you want to pick up a new hobby or side gig? Did you want a new pet but didn’t have time to dedicate to training? Yeah, a lot of you have cleared out shelters. Thank you and be good to those pets.
For me, I don’t know how I will rebuild my life. What I do know is that I want to be more intentional on my health, my personal growth, my relationship, and my hobbies. I want to make more time for the house projects and the family (this includes friends) that are close enough to see. We need to be with them more often. I want to grow this website and our overlanding site as well.
I am going to build my life coming out of this pandemic intentionally.
How are you going to build your future? What are you changing? What are you keeping?
I’ve seen so many quotes that say things like “family is everything” or “blood is thicker than water.” These are all over social media and people use them in everyday conversation. The underlying theme is that, no matter what, family sticks together.
I wish life was as simple as that. For some families, it is. For mine, it is not. If I were to stick with my family no matter what, I would not be where I am today. I would be living a much different life supporting people who only take from others or supporting everything the drug addicts do. If family was the only thing that mattered in life, my life would be miserable and depressing.
The thing about family is you can’t choose who your blood family is, but you can choose who you consider family. Blood may literally be thicker than water, but familial blood does not have to rule your life. Your life is yours to live.
I choose to associate and keep close quite a bit of my family. I used to force relationships with more of my family but got tired of being the only one who put effort into those relationships. Keeping family close means different things for all of them. It depends on the relationship. It depends on their efforts as well as mine. Relationships are a two-way street.
I have family I would give a chance to have a relationship once they turn 18 and can make decisions for themselves. I have family that will never have a chance to come back into my life. That sounds harsh, but it is my reality. I choose not to support those who keep taking more and more from me or those who abuse drugs and emotionally abuse those who take care of him.
That brings me to my father. I don’t even like calling him that. It feels dirty. It feels wrong. I could use sperm donor, I think that is from a movie, but I can’t think which one. But I’ll call him dumbass because that is what he is. Dumbass has been a drug addict most of my life. It has escalated year after year. More and more drugs. From meth to opioids, he is or has been on all of them. Well, dumbass broke his ankle, got home from the hospital and then overdosed on what he had in stock. If my grandmother had not called my sister worried because he wouldn’t answer the phone, he would have been there on his own and may have possibly died. How do I feel about that? He died to me many years ago. There is no feeling left there except for disgust and annoyance. Today I am more frustrated that he keeps manipulating my grandmother to pay for things that allow him to be home and continue using drugs. Dumbass text me two days late for my birthday and included the typical poor me message. First, he got my phone number from my grandmother’s phone without my permission and has sent harassing messages a few times since. Second, this is the first birthday in over 10 years that he even bothered to try to get a hold of me. Selfish. He is extremely selfish.
Recently, one of my friend’s lost her dad due to health complications. I was more devastated about his death that I would have been for dumbass’. Her dad was a good dad. He was loving and funny and a guy I enjoyed being around. I can’t imagine not hearing his jokes and voice ever again. He was more to me than I ever thought. It sucks that death brought those feelings. I already miss him and it’s been years since I saw him.
Family is not just comprised of those who you share blood with. Family doesn’t have to be people you see or talk to frequently. In my opinion, family is a connection that can’t be explained. My family is comprised of more than just my blood relatives and I will do anything for that family.
My parents got divorced when I was 12. Every year after that, my mother moved us to a new home or moved our trailer to a new location. We were always moving. Gone were the days of any consistency with life. Stability? Yeah that didn’t exist either.
I moved out when I was 17 and moved frequently for a few years after that. I think the longest I was in one place was when I lived in Ohio for 22 months. Once I moved out on my own, I also changed doctors and hairstylists frequently. Nothing was really consistent in my life, except for a couple of friends.
I lived with Eddie at his mom’s house for 18 months and then we moved to Utah. I stayed with some friends at the time for a few months (Eddie was traveling 100 percent of the time for work), then we got an apartment. Then we bought a house. We moved into this house in March of 2014.
The most consistent and stable things in my life have been two friendships, my almost nine year relationship with Eddie, raising Chloe for seven years, living in our home for six years, and my hairstylist, dentist, and chiropractor of six years.
I realized the other day that my life is finally changing to what I always dreamed it would be and that is probably because I am finally consistent with a few things in my life. For me, my life always felt like it was in turmoil, nothing was ever just good.
Our home is still in renovation mode and we still have things we need to pay off, but that is okay. This is our little piece of heaven and stability that I’ve always craved. We have a built a life of stability that I almost thought I would never have. I built a desire to have more than what I grew up with and I have it.
I don’t think I would have been able to truly care for my health or my emotions, or even quit drinking if I didn’t have this stability and consistency in my life. I wouldn’t be here today.
A lot of people don’t think twice about how long they’ve lived somewhere or how long they have been going to the same dentist or hairstylist, but I do. I mean, until this dentist, I NEVER got cleanings because I wasn’t raised doing it. My hairstylist met me when I was more particular and a pain in the ass than ever and embraced keeping me as a client. When I realized how long I’ve been with her, I got emotional. Yeah, yeah, it could have been the period hormones, but I truly appreciate the consistency I’ve had with her. She is dear to me and we’ve been through some life together. Unless we moved states, which isn’t happening anytime soon, I don’t think I could leave her.
Being able to look back and see where I’ve come from to where I am today is kind of overwhelming. Holy crap, I just teared up. I can look back at all of the instability and inconsistency in my life and feel so much gratitude for where I am today.
If you are in the throws of instability and inconsistency, I want you to know that you can have both stability and consistency in your life. It doesn’t happen easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. If you are here reading this, you are showing yourself that you want more. The key to getting that more is taking life one step at a time. Start buying laying the first brick of your new foundation.
What is your picture of stability and consistency? Is it a consistent place to live, a consistent relationship, or even a consistent job? Lay one brick at a time. Find a place that gives you almost everything you look for in a home. For me, it was a yard, close to stores, space for guests, space for an office, and a garage. Lay one brick buy finding that place within your budget. You might have to get something that needs work, but that’s okay too.
You can get the consistency and stability you want in your life. One brick at a time. That’s how I have both in my life.