The Rollercoaster Called Life

I haven’t been on here for a few weeks, mostly because I have been on the rollercoaster called, “Life” and I haven’t been able to get off of it.  One thing after another has happened, bringing me feeling the highest highs and the lowest lows.  Let me explain.  Two weeks ago, I was in Vegas.  It was a last minute trip with friends and it was filled with sunshine and laughs.  Just laying by the pool relaxing, felt golden.  I enjoyed every minute of it, especially since I have been trying to be frugal and simple, Vegas is neither and it was nice to take a break. Before I left, there was some work drama, and I found out some co-workers were talking bad about me.  I suppose that is what happens sometimes when you are the manager, but I always try my best to be fair and caring, so it really hurt my feelings.  I was able to let it go a little bit while being in Vegas, if any place is good at forgetting problems, I’d say Vegas is a good choice. When I got home, driving to pick up my dogs after leaving the airport, I received a phone call that my best friend, who was six months pregnant, had to be induced into labor and the baby didn’t make it.  My heart ached for her and her husband and all the joy I felt in Vegas, came back to all the realities of real life back home.  A few days later, I found out that my parents, who are having their dream home built, found out that their builder is going bankrupt, hasn’t been paying their sub-contractors and now they are sending liens to my parents against their property.  Both their life savings and dream home are at stake and there is nothing that I can do about it.  I am devastated for them.  And just to top it off, both my dogs became allergic to flee bites they received at my parents house, resulting in a high vet bill and having to wear a cone.  I think it is safe to say, life has been a little rough.

I have had a tough time to let it all go and just try to be positive.  The whole week I feel as if I have been in a fog of sad emotions.  I allowed myself to sleep in today, physically exhausted from it all.  I started reading a book, “Primal Blueprint,” by Mark Sisson that not only talks about a healthy way to eat and exercise, but also balance life, the importance of sunshine and nature.  I read for a few hours, getting excited about wanting to make some choices that will lead to a better lifestyle.  I took my dogs out for a hike in the sunshine and when I got home I started to cook a healthy meal.  Just the act of doing something good for myself, made me feel better.   I realized, that life is going to be filled with sad things that I will have no control over, so it is best for me to take care of my physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual health, the best I can, so that I will be able to handle those hard situations.  That is the hard part of being an empathetic person, is that you feel everyone else’s pain as well.  It makes life hard and beautiful at the same time.

If anything, reading this new book and focusing on a different kind of lifestyle is a great distraction.  One that is good for me too, better than wine or letting the sadness take over.  My heart goes out to the people that I love, but the best thing that I can do, is make smart choices and if anything, I have learned a lot in the last week.  I have also, once again, learned to just appreciate the simple things… like cooking dinner in the kitchen.

Change of Routine… Again.

I worked out for three weeks in the morning before work, finding myself each day exhausted by lunch time.  Yesterday, I took a nap in my Jeep in the parking lot at work and decided, I don’t want to work out in the morning anymore.  Here is the thing; yes I enjoyed getting my workout done for the day, but the cons outweighed the good in hitting the gym early for me.  I wasn’t able to workout as hard as I do in the evening, just because I felt like a zombie, not fully awake yet.  I hated getting ready at the mirror in the bathroom, sharing a space next to other women that didn’t speak to each other (felt awkward!).  I didn’t like lugging all my shit there.  I didn’t like feeling hungry and grumpy all morning from being tired and burnt out from exercise.  And, I found myself just going home after work, making food and drinking wine, to sit on the couch for too long before bed.  Yes, I am tired after work, but I like the extra burst of energy a night gym session gives me.  I like getting ready in the morning with all my stuff.  Working out at night gives me something to do rather than just sitting on the couch.  So, I am going to switch up the routine again.  I am still learning myself, still trying to find the balance of what works best for me and like they say in yoga, I am a work in process.  I have to admit sleeping in an extra hour felt like being on vacation this morning!  I naturally wake up at 7am, and maybe I would someday get to 6am being the norm, but at this point in life, why?  I like staying up until 11 at night reading and spending time with my boyfriend I haven’t seen all day.  And I know that I need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night or I feel like a zombie.  I feel like, finding a routine that works best for the most sleep, energy, well being and productivity is my ultimate goal.  Having a nightly routine of shutting off the cell phone, taking a bath, relaxing while reading a book is the best way for me to unwind.  Being able to get ready and look my best in the morning, helps me feel good all day.  It is the little things I am finding that make a big difference in the quality of life.

Where’d the Confidence Go?

Awe, being in your twenties, when you still feel like you can be anything in this world, when you think your fat (but, you’re not) and when you can drink all night and not be hung over for days.  Maybe this isn’t what you recall from your twenties, but for me, it pretty much sums it up.  I had many things I wanted to do and truly believed I had a shot at doing them (fashion designer, novelist, magazine editor, pilot…).  My life revolved around my friends, eating burgers and pizza and drinking lots of alcohol.  It was all about fun and being self absorbed.  Maybe I am exaggerating a little, but I don’t think I am too far off.  It was a fun time, with lots of lessons learned (some took longer to learn than others), but I wouldn’t go back and do it again.  It was also a hard time of not knowing myself and caring too much what others thought of me.  One thing I do miss about the roaring 20’s, is the confidence I had.  I believed in myself.  I invested in myself. I took care of myself.  I got dolled up and went out on the weekends.  Now, I find myself hiking alone in the woods with no makeup- which I love.  But, I feel like there needs to be some balance.  There is still a part of me, that enjoys some self maintenance.  On the quest to be frugal, I have not allowed myself many of the things I used to do for self care. Although I want to continue to make smart choices financially, so I can do more of the things I want, there are some things that I miss that make me feel better about myself and I enjoy.

I didn’t realize how much I missed being a little superficial, until my boyfriend recently booked us a trip to Vegas in a few weeks.  My ripped jeans and flip flops may be fine in the Pacific Northwest, but in Vegas, I know I will want to be a little more “done up”.  And the truth is, I haven’t felt “sexy” for a long time.  It has almost been a strike, of not wanting to have to be any certain way, that is expected of women.  The hair, nails, spray tanning, eye lash extensions, shopping, waxing, dieting, exercising- it all can become not only expensive, but exhausting.  When I told my best friend that I was feeling “granola”, she said, “it is always good to have balance.”  I agree.

I like not wearing make-up and hiking in the woods.  But, I also like feeling my best.  When I am having a good hair day or wearing a new outfit at work, I feel more powerful.    Sadly, I feel treated differently by people, when I look better.  People tend to respond more positively when they find something attractive.  Maybe it is jus the feeling of confidence, that attracts positivity.  On that note, I am on a quest to get back my confidence.  I think I will find it on the thin line between spending time in nature and wearing a cute new pair of heels.  Either way, I am still discovering myself and it is the journey of life, to find what will make us the most happy and feel the most peace.  Trial and error.

Best Life List

As I try to follow the lessons I have learned over the years and apply that wisdom to bettering my life, here is a list of ways I have found that bring out my best life:

  • Treat your body extremely well.  Exercise daily, at least 30 minutes.  Eat healthy foods and in the right portions to my activity level.  Get sleep.  Stay hydrated.
  • Think positive thoughts.  Most of the bad stories and outcomes I have thought in my head have never happened.  People I assumed didn’t like me, ended up being a good friend.  Stop complaining, and try to find a solution instead.  Live in the moment and don’t worry about the past or the future too much, what matters most, is right now.  Practice Gratitude.  Just stay positive!
  • Continue to be a student.  Learn new things.  Just because school is over doesn’t mean it is time to stop learning.  Sign up for a class you are interested in.  Study another language (I have been using Duolingo for Spanish, it is FREE and I love it!).  Commit to growth and what you can do to learn more and make you a better person.
  • Travel whenever possible.  I have had opportunities come up to travel, that I almost turned down, because it wasn’t a “good time” to take a vacation.  I ended up going anyway and had the most awesome experiences.  I say, if the opportunity arises, take it!  Travel as much as possible while you still can.  Travelling is the only thing you pay for that pays you back with experiences.
  • Just be yourself.  Some people will love you.  Some people won’t like you… and that is none of your business.  What is most important, is that you like who you are and are true to your self.  Living a lie is exhausting and a waste of your time.  Be you, do you.
  • Take action.  Quit being lazy, get off the couch and start living life.  It is easy to get in the habit of coming home after work, pouring a glass of wine and sitting with a box of take out on the couch while watching mindless television.  Although, I love a good relax session, I do not want to make a habit out of it!
  • Set some goals and work towards them.  Ask yourself if your actions are taking you closer to your goals or further away.  If you continue to do things that take you further away from your goals, maybe reevaluate your goals.  It is good to look at the big picture, but it is the small actions we do each day that add up to a finished result.  Make a bucket list of all the things you would like to do in your lifetime, pick a couple items and work towards them.
  • Appreciate the ones you love in your life.  You never know when it will be the last time you talk or see each other.  Say I love you and love with a full heart.

I find when I am focusing on these things, I am the most happy.  I feel balance in my life and peace in my mind.  I am finally learning to actually do the things that are good for me and make me the most happy.  It isn’t always about the instant gratification, but accomplishing what is most important.

Fear of Missing Out

We have come to a place in time where access to information, to friends and family, to work… is available pretty much any where at any time.  We can be on vacation in the middle of a forest, in a small town in New Zealand and still close a deal in real estate (my boyfriend is an agent and I have witnessed it).  It is amazing the access we have and the ability to connect, but at the same time, I feel it has created this desire, to always be “in the know”.  We want to know what is going on with work when we are not there, what our friends are doing when we are not with them and what is going on in the world at this moment.  And we can.  Just google it, log in, tap your watch.. whatever you want to do.  There are 7 different social media and emails addresses I log into consistently every morning and others I check through out the day.  Not only is it not good enough to post something here, but I need to post something there because I have different followers there, than here and it is enough to make your head spin.  Taking just the right picture for the right caption to create the most amount of likes, can create a lot of pressure.  Now a days, who needs additional pressures and stress?  I know I don’t!  It is the fear of missing out, that is making us really miss out on what is important.  When it really comes down to it, who cares? Who care what you ate for lunch?  Or what you did with  your weekend?  Sure you aunt in Arizona might, but she would probably be more happy with a phone call and hear your voice.  The whole social media thing can be a great tool for staying connected, but at what point does it become an obsession?  Instead of creating the best social media post how about creating the best possible you?  My friend wanted to see a picture of my recent micro-bladed eyebrows (an indulgent self care procedure I had done before embarking on my frugal lifestyle) and I honestly didn’t have one picture saved where I wasn’t wearing makeup or didn’t use a filter.  This made me sad.  I don’t want to look back on myself when I am an old lady and see a bunch of perfect filtered pictures.  I want to see me!  So, here I am exposing myself and not allowing myself to be perfect or to know everything that is going on with everyone.  It is time for real life, in the moment, where I am.

The Patterns of Life

Every morning I write in my journal, for at least ten minutes, I jot down anything that comes to mind.  Sometimes I talk about what happened the night before or what is going to happen that day.  I talk about my goals, frustrations and what I would like to change.  After I am done writing, I look back at the previous years, on the same date, to see how far I’ve come or what I continue to work on.  I have found a strange pattern of life, where each year, around the same day, I have the same thoughts, feelings, goals… even sometimes the same thing I had for lunch the previous year!  I am not sure if I am the only one that experiences this, but it has made me realize a few things:

  1. I have struggled with wanting to lose 10 pounds, which turned into 15 and now 20 for the past four years.  The year before that I had gone vegetarian and trained for a half marathon, lost a bunch of weight and felt great!  My goal now is to feel that way again.
  2. I have been trying to get out of debt since I began writing.  I am happy to say, that I am finally living a lifestyle that is supporting that goal.  This is the closest I have been to actually making a temp to pay off my student loans and it feels like there is hope at the end of the tunnel.  Now I laugh at the expected date of payoff:  2034… yea that is not happening.  My goal is at least ten years prior to that!
  3. I have struggled with trying to be social, when really, I enjoy my time alone.  It’s not that I don’t want friends at all or do anything socially, but it is really important for me to have my time alone.  I need some time to re-charge, be alone with my thoughts and relax a little.  As a people pleaser and someone who has always felt they need to be “on”, I am learning that it is OK to spend time alone and not feel bad about it.
  4. I have been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, since I started writing.  Now, I am learning more about the importance of doing.  No one was born with the education and experience as to what they are doing as a career.  They had an idea, they went to school or studied, they practiced and gave it a shot.  It is time to start doing more in life and test the waters!

I think it is important to sometimes look back on history and see what it is teaching us.  I hope for the next years, I will look back and smile, that I finally broke free from some of my repeated thoughts and actions that were preventing me from achieving my goals.

Getting the Groove Back

The mind is a beautiful thing.  There is so much beauty in learning and growing as a person.  It really is what is inside that counts the most.  But, there is something to be said, about they way you feel, when you look your best.  When you are eating healthy, working out and taking care of yourself, there is a confidence that comes with that, that defuses into other parts of life.  I know for myself, when I feel good about the way I look, I seem to do better in other areas of my life.  I am more confident when meeting people, I feel less intimidated to speak in public, I feel I’m treated better by other people, as superficial as that may sound!  But, like myself, many people appreciate beauty and when someone takes care of themselves, there is a certain admiration for that.  The last few days I haven’t felt well, and just BLAH inside.  I’ve been working, coming home, putting on sweats and being lazy in front of the television.  Instead of cooking healthy recipes, I have been ordering take-out or heating up a frozen meal.  My exercise routine has been sporadic, more based on how I feel at the moment.  Compared to my normal healthy lifestyle, I just haven’t felt myself lately.

It is time to get my groove back!  I miss my yoga class!  I miss getting my nails done.  I miss the feel of soreness after a good cardio or weight session.  And I really miss fitting into most of my jeans.  It’s all fun and games until the jeans don’t fit anymore!  Even though I am trying to be frugal, doesn’t mean I need to let myself go!  Even though I think everyone is beautiful and looks aren’t the most important thing about a person, I do think it is important to take care of yourself and your health.  On the quest for good health, looking good is just a bonus.  It is the feeling you get from being healthy, that makes life even better.