What I Learned- Summer 2018

Here are a few things I’ve been learning lately:

  1. God cares about the small things. By small things, I mean my cat, who was lost for over 20 hours outside and for whom I prayed for about 20 hours straight. She’s home, safe, and healthy. I am sure God heard those prayers, as trivial as it may seem.
  2. Speaking of cats– it was Iris doing the “mystery wees” I blamed Sammy, my boy cat, for the mystery pees throughout the house. Only to have Iris, girl kitty, hop up on my bed (while I was in it), happily wee, then cuddle with me until I realized. Hm. Mystery solved. Sorry, Sammy!
  3. Good body mechanics are vital! Full time massage therapy is no joke! I’ve learned rather quickly that I CAN’T be too lazy to hold my body correctly, or I’ll pay for it dearly in the coming days.
  4. It’s good to have connections. So my sister’s friend’s boyfriend works for an HVAC company and as a result I got a pretty sweet deal on an air conditioner! My Grey Cottage is about 98 years old this year and never had central air– until now! It’s going in to the off season, by the way– now is the time to give your HVAC people a call for discounted work!
  5. Show Up. This one meant a lot, and seemed to be a theme from about mid-July through August. I kept showing up, and my schedule filled with clients. I kept showing up, and went deeper with friends. I kept showing up, and have new opportunities coming up as a result. Sometimes, it’s not anything big– just keep showing up!

Unrequited

LandscapesEastHawaii-5
Meredith Bradley Photography

How to know if they love you

You already know.

What to do about this.

One, they do not owe you anything. Two, you do not owe them anything. Three, the one you owe is you. Just like you already know if your love is returned or not, you know the thing(s) to do. Do them.
Be good to yourself. Be good to the other. Move forward, life and love will come.

Life Self-Employed

Sorry for the accidental hiatus last Friday! Last week was my first full week of DOING MY OWN THING and the days sort of got away from me. First, I took a four day vacation (something I never do) to see friends, then I watched my adorable baby niece, and then… I just worked. In my first week full-time massaging, I did 12 massages. Which felt like a pretty good confirmation that– It’s all going to be alright.

But– I am doing pretty badly about the whole schedule thing. I thrive on schedules. So I have been going to bed at a decent hour and waking up… never. Why is waking up so hard? How do people bounce out of bed with hours to spare? The constant rain recently hasn’t helped, either. It all feels like time to nap for me!

I’m not sure actually how to get out of this. I’m working and doing those sorts of things, but things like… say, cleaning my house, or mowing my yard… well, it’s getting left behind in only the way it can with me sleeping on my couch.

I think one of my solutions is coffee. (I mean, what? HOw could that be a solution?) Hear me out. I normally didn’t drink coffee at home on my days off before. A day here or there without coffee, well it hurt, but I could manage. But I AM up early every morning for kitty breakfast and I think I need to just start throwing coffee down my throat at that point– no going back to sleep for me!

But more than anything, what I’ve been reminding myself today is to give myself grace. No name-calling. No chastising. No hating on myself because I was extra tired or didn’t get the yard mowed before it rained (again). Things will come. Schedules and routines will be built again. Yes, I need to put in effort towards that. But when I have a day when it all seems like a failure– that’s okay! I just needed that time off.

Back to getting things done– how do you self-employeds do it? How do you wake yourself up? What is your motivation? What names don’t you call yourself?

“How are you feeling about it?”

I’m leaving my office job, I’ve talked about it here before. Next week is my very last week. For the first time in nearly 5 years (just 2 weeks shy!), I won’t be employed there anymore. I was telling my friend this yesterday, and after a bit of chatting, he asked “how are you feeling about it?” And I told him, quite honestly “well, really good– until I just told you about it!”

All of a sudden, the anxiety came crashing in. I’m a creature of habit and comfort. I like knowing, I like schedules, I like routine. I like being good at a thing.

And stepping into the unknown is scary. So scary. Especially as I don’t have all the pieces in place yet. So my anxiety is growing– I’m having trouble sleeping, my heart keeps racing, and I’m falling into the familiar thought patterns I call “rehearsing.” This is my brain’s way of trying to cope– I go over things. I go over schedules, I go over plans, I go over all the things I need to do, I go over how I’m going to do them, I go over all the near-misses. Over and over. Anxiety growing. Pre-medication, this is how my brain operated about 90% of the time. It’s exhausting.

Stepping away from this job is the right thing. It’s the right time. I’m ready to spend my time and effort on my own dreams. I’m ready to create my own life. But it’s so scary.

I know things will work out. I know change takes time. I know things will fall into place. It’s just trusting that it’ll all fall at the right times, which are often just a little bit further away than I’d like. So this week (and probably next), I’m doing everything I can to keep calm– deep breathing, lots of rest, lots of distractions, lots of journaling, and even CBD oil.

Wish me luck and happy thoughts in the upcoming weeks! Change is hard, ya’ll!

Tired

I am in a strange place in life. I’ve found myself here frequently, but this one is a little longer. It’s the in-between-time. I am transitioning, making changes in my life, one foot in each space (actually, it’s feeling a bit more like Twister right now, left foot on blue, right hand on yellow). I am twisting and contorting my body and my life to make space for new things, while still doing the old things.

As a result, I am tired. So, heavy, bone-tired. Part of my new, massage therapy, is making me physically tired (and sore). Part of my old, the office, is making me mentally tired. More of my new, foster training, is making me emotionally tired. And throw this all in the blender with a pinch (just a pinch?!) of the current state of America and the World, and it blends up nicely into Exhaustion Smoothie. Which I do not recommend.

I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, and for the change and growth, I’m so excited. But I’m living my old life and my new life and that’s a lot of life to live all at once. I am looking forward to the time I’m fully into the new, but it’s scary, leaving the old.

It’s, like I said, a strange place.

I’m not a fan of bragging about how busy I am. I honestly hate the word “hustle” and all its connotations. But it’s what I’m doing, mostly– that “survivor shuffle” to get from point A to point B, slow and steady, inching forward.

But this weekend I got to visit my parents, hold my niece, and stare at some trees for a while. It was a brief respite, book-ended by a few hours on the highway. It was much needed as I go from one jam-packed week to another.

If you’re feeling similarly, for whatever reasons, go look at a tree. Or hold a baby. I’d recommend both. Together, if possible.

Why I’m giving up online dating

In case you haven’t noticed around here, I’m turning 30 in half a week. And– I’m single.

30 used to scare me for so many reasons, but the main one is that I thought I’d have my shit together by now. And I always, always thought I’d be married with kids by now. After a LOT of introspection, I know why I’m still single. And I’ve honestly embraced it for a long time. It’s not actually all that bad!

But still, I figured I should do something about it. It really is one thing in my life I’d like to change, so I decided to make that change happen. I’ve tried them all– OKCupid, Tinder, Bumble, Match, something about coffee and bagels… I’ve had varied success with all of them, success in this sense meaning I got a few dates out of each.

I’ve met great people, had interesting dates, been stood up, and bailed out on dates I just wasn’t sure about.

The thing is– online dating feels like shopping for a pair of shoes. Too tall, don’t like those buckles, where would I wear those? I can swipe and swipe, all in the comfort of my sweatpants on my couch. It lets me feel like I’m putting effort into making a change– all without actually making an effort. It’s my placebo. Or, like… a really calorie-heavy salad that I tell myself “is still healthy.” It’s not. At least, not for me. Not right now.

So I’m saying goodbye to online dating, at least for a while. I’ve honestly always hoped I’d meet a guy In Real Life. Is that even still a thing? Maybe if I push myself outside my comfort zone a little, or at least switch up my routines a bit more. Anyways, this is a new thing I’m going to try– not doing something because I should. Living life on my own terms.

That’s what growing up and getting older is all about, after all– right?

 

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Thirty for Thirty: Part 3

Okay, here’s the last 10 on my list!

 21.  Go camping This is a goal for personal growth, because confession: I hate camping. I haven’t done it since middle school. So I want to try, at least one night. Someone send bug spray and an air mattress!

 22.  Do a cross stitch And we’re back to the art theme! Also a trying something new theme. I have a hoop, I have thread, I have a needle. I just want to do one, ya know?

23.  Eat at an Iron Chef’s restaurant This I’ve done once before, at an amazing Argentine place in Chicago (Rural Society, now closed). I don’t even know how to find these, anyone have a suggestion?

 24.  Find a volunteer project I’m volunteering to help with a local track meet this spring. I’d like to find some more things like this to do, maybe with local kids.

 25.  Go to a state I’ve never been to And we’ve returned to travel– maybe I can do a combo platter with this and the mountains and/or ocean. I’ve got a few places that meet the requirements

26.  Put up a Little Free Library I always think these are so cool! My plan is either in the neighborhood I live in or the one I work in. I’d rather do the neighborhood I work in, because it’s a little more low-income and resource-poor, but I’m afraid once I left, it wouldn’t be maintained. The one in my home neighborhood, I could at least keep an eye on. Stay tuned.

27.  Eat 30 pieces of cake and document them! This is a recent discovery– I. LOVE. CAKE. It’s my new go-to as a comfort food. So I’ll be eating 30 pieces of cake (NOT in one sitting) and taking pictures. Again, stay tuned. And probably follow my instagram, that’s likely where they’ll be posted.

 28.  Ride for a Reason This is a charity bike ride I was challenged to do; my sister and her hubby did it last year. Plus, exercise. I hear it’s good for you.

29.  Find a set of sheets I love This is a tricky one. I’m particular, because I LOVE prints on sheets, especially floral prints. Which seem to be either very hard to find or very expensive. I don’t mind expensive, but at some of these prices, shouldn’t they wash themselves?!

30.  Try on every hat I see (within reason). The goal of this is to find out once and for all– am I a hat person? This may also be documented on instagram. Within reason.

 

So there you have it– the 30 things I’d like to do from May 28, 2018-May 27, 2019. It should be a fun year full of pushing myself and trying new (or retrying old) things! I’ll keep things updated as I go along. I know you’re dying to know.