Sick

Every time I miss a few Tuesdays/Thursdays I feel like I have to explain why. I know that’s not the case. I know that either a) you don’t care lol or b) you completely understand my absence and are just happy to see me around on IG or in your comment section. Nevertheless, I brought my excuses with me today.

We’ve been on the road a lot for fun & work, but more than that, I’ve been sick.

Being sick when you’re an adult is complicated. When you’re a kid, your parents called the school, planted you on the couch with the remote, and made sure you had ginger ale/chicken noodle soup/tissues/etc. Yeah you probably had homework and classwork to make up, but the pressure was minimal.

Being a sick adult SUCKS. First of all, there’s no one to take care of you. (Yes, I have a husband and yes, he steers clear of me when I’m sick.) You feel like dog poop, but you have a JOB and a WORK LOAD and DEADLINES. There’s pressure to show up and perform and get your stuff done without excuses.

I powered through most of my cold because we were on a business trip and I pretty much had to. When we got home and it was the tail end, I finally decided, ‘screw it, I’m taking a half day’, and that’s what I did on Tuesday.

But still… it was only a half day. Should I have powered through and just lived with my cold and kept doing my work? Or should I have taken a day off SOONER and rested and nursed myself back to health? Quite honestly, I think society pressures us to go with option one.

(Yes, I tried to think about my coworkers’ health, too, but I’m married to one so that was kind of a null point.)

This ties into self care. We feel pressure to ignore the illness, keep our nose to the grindstone, and work through the pain (or snot or hacking). First of all, ew. But secondly, that’s not healthy! We struggle to admit we need a day to revive our health- sometimes physical and sometimes mental. I think it’s really hurting us.

And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you feel a tickle in your nose and you elect to stay home (or even work from home), but that’s not me. And it’s not the person I’m married to. We show up regardless and not in a good way; we’re never our best in that state.

Just some food for thought today. I’m too busy to get sick, but that never stops the germs. And in the future, I need to take the time to slow down, rest up, and kick the cold to the curb with rest and medicine- not emails and meetings and ignorance.

What do you do? Are you good about recognizing what you need and taking that time for yourself?

How To: Achieve Goals

I inadvertently started a “series” last summer when I wrote a post called How To: Host a Garage Sale. (I’ve also done less formal how-tos on meal planning and “getting” happy.) I’m not an expert on anything, but sometimes I find tips that work pretty well for me & I get the nerve to share them.

With 2019 right around the corner (and my winter goals laid out last week), I feel naturally inspired to make & meet some long term goals. How can I make my life better? How can I make life better for others? What are some changes that I can enact to improve my quality of life and my happiness and the impact I have on the world?

Deep questions.

Let’s take a pretty common goal and use it as an example for most of my tips:

Losing weight/Getting healthy

  1. Break it into smaller goals. Instead of declaring a ban on ALL sugar, start with cutting out pop (or soda for you not-Midwesterners) or refuse dessert. Instead of cutting all carbs, start with avoiding bread, then slowly add in pasta, etc.
  2. Spread out the lifestyle adjustments. I know some people can quit things cold turkey or dive head first into a new habit. I cannot and I fail when I try. I like to implement something for a week or month, then add onto that. Walk a few miles every morning & lift weights for a month. Then add 15 minutes of the elliptical in exchange for that time on the treadmill. Build up your intensity. Essentially ease into the cold water, don’t just cannonball into the pool.
    (Funny enough, I DO just cannonball into pools. I hate easing into it.)
  3. Invest money. If you’re a number cruncher or penny pincher, invest some cash money into your goals. Get the gym membership, sign up for the yoga package, etc. I know there are inexpensive ways to work out or organize your life or read more, but if you HATE getting no return on your investment, force yourself to earn that return.
  4. You don’t have to be an expert. I like to feel 100% confident when I do things. If I’m feeling self conscious, my anxiety creeps in and I abandon ship. I had NO idea how to do a rowing class and I was the slowest/weakest/most out of breath human in the room after my first class. (Still am, lol.) It was terrifying to move out of the introductory class into the main class with all the pros. I don’t like being the last one across the finish line- but you have to start somewhere. I go to the “big kids” class and I am the slowest rower and I don’t die of shame. So that’s a start. (Same with barre now. YIKES.)
  5. Ask others for their support (or doubt). I appreciate support from my husband when I’m trying something new. I feed off of doubt from others. Take what you need from those who love you and don’t be afraid to ask for the tough love if that’s what kicks you in the pants.
  6. Remember why you started. If you’re working out, maybe it’s because you want to feel healthier. If you’re trying to organize, maybe it’s to achieve peace of mind at home. If you’re aiming to write every single day, maybe it’s to finish the novel. Just make sure you’re doing whatever you’re doing for you.
  7. Setbacks are ok and normal. We all fall off the horse or skip the gym or each an entire sheet cake. It’s OK. You’re human and humans sometimes go off the rails. Refer back to #6 and make the decision to keep. going.

I’ll say it again: I’m not an expert. I’m a professional amateur at procrastinating and making excuses, though. I fail over and over; it’s human. These are just some tips that work (85% of the time) for me.

What to you do to achieve your goals? Are you a cold turkey kind of person? What tips have worked for you in the past?

Coffee Talk on a Cold Rainy Morning

Good morning 😊 It’s a little dreary and damp this morning but our drinks will keep us warm. I’m linking up with Kristen & Gretch today to share what’s new. Grab some coffee- let’s chat!

At the start of 2018 I was sick for nearly two weeks. Being sick is so frustrating. After having my throat swabbed and blood tested, I was told it was just a common virus and they couldn’t prescribe any drugs. Infuriating. “Take Tylonel and cough drops for a few days,” they said. More like overdose on Nyquil and pray to the healing goddesses for my lung capacity to come back 😑 Whatever. I’m grateful it’s gone now. After I finished complaining I’d ask how you’re feeling. If you said anything less than “Great!” I’d probably slide away from you. No offense.

Things have been stressful lately 😟 Not my story to tell, but we’ve just had a troubling few weeks. As far as schedules go, January was a slow month for K and I, but things are about to pick up for the next 3 or 4 months (at least). It’s a challenge to juggle professional and personal strife. If we were having coffee I’d ask how life in general is going for you. I hope you’ve have a happy 2018 so far.

On a brighter note, I asked forced two of my best friends to buy concert tickets with me to see Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett this summer!! (Thanks for the heads up, Laura!) I AM SO EXCITED. We’re seeing them in Columbus so we can pre-game at Kayla’s, uber to the stadium, and uber right back! Easy, cheap, and safe! Have you seen any of these artists live?? I saw Kenny last year and OD the year before that, but I’m SO EXCITED to see them again! Any (summer) concerts in your future??

Speaking of music, I really like Taylor Swift’s album Reputation. It feels good to just turn it up and jam. No shame, friends.

Guys… I’m the weirdo who’s GLAD for some snow before spring turns the whole country icky. (I hate spring… allergies and thunderstorms (which give my dog fits) and mud and the smell of dirt. BLEH.) Are you suffering from the winter blues? I wouldn’t judge you if you said you were ready for spring.

Before we start reaching for our coats and scarves I’d remember to tell you a funny little story. While two of my best friends live hours away, my other bff and her husband and two kids live a short walk away. We moved to her neighborhood in the fall and pinpointed that her house was on a hill a few streets away. Last night we turned off all our lights and she flickered hers off and on and then I did the same. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed at the nearby hillside lighting up and going dark. Totally silly and juvenile, but I love that I have framily so close.

Sigh… my coffee is growing cold. Is yours?

Last but certainly not least, Alexandra and Rachel have been driving the Gratitude Train over at Year of Gratitude since the start of 2018. Every Friday they have a guest contributor and tomorrow it’s me! Pop over there and get a rare Friday dose of me if you want to 😉

What's New With You

Wear the D@mn Shorts

This is a tale of self-confidence…

Last weekend we’d planned to spend some time with friends lakeside. The Friday before the trip I started brainstorming outfit ideas. I was thinking my cute swimsuit paired with my cut off high-waisted shorts.

‘But your thighs are so flabby and chunky. That’ll look terrible- all that cellulite and the scars. You should pick a different pair of shorts,’ I thought to myself.

Let’s pause my story and insert that I try very, very hard to encourage others to treat themselves kindly. It makes me mad when my mom nitpicks about herself or when my 10 year old cousin complains about her “fat” or when my friends are getting down on themselves.

“You aren’t fat, you have fat. Everyone does. It’s why you’re alive.”

“Don’t you dare talk badly about your arms/leg/tummy! That’s how you lift groceries or get from A to B or nourish your body!”

“You look great today! And who’s so important that you’d take their opinion over mine?!” 😉

Those are a few of my go-tos when it comes to encouragement.

But for whatever reason, that Friday afternoon I was hating my husky, pale, chicken-pox-scarred thighs. I’d like to say it was a fleeting thought, this discouraging self-talk, but it browbeat me into 30 minutes of outfit changes.

It’s funny… The internet is notorious for highlighting people’s “perfect lives.” That said, some of the most body-positive, encouraging, beautiful-inside-and-out people push their perfectly imperfect & totally embracing messages via social media (looking at you Lindsay, Aubrey, Chelsea, Dana, Christina). And I’m am 100% on board with that.

And yet I fall victim to my “zitty face” or “flabby tummy” or “chunky thighs.”

I’m usually extremely comfortable in my skin. My body is relatively healthy. I was given working limbs and organs. I am able to care for myself and others. Overall, I got very lucky with the skin I’m in. But we all have moments of weakness.

Fortunately, our moments of weakness happen at different times. When I’m feeling poorly, someone else is sending out positive vibes meant for me. So when you’re feeling badly, just know that someone is sending out those positive vibes for you, too. (Might I suggest any and all of those ladies up there! ☝️ )

I don’t think anyone is always positive and encouraging, but someone somewhere is always sending out some good vibes. So go seek it- it’s 100% meant for you. Someone loves you. They love your wide hips or your small shoulders or your pointed ears. Whatever features make you cringe in the mirror, I guarantee someone thinks nothing of it and loves you completely. And you should, too.

What I’m trying to say is: wear the damn cutoff shorts, my friends. ☀️

Mash-Up Monday

Today I have a smorgasbord of thoughts so I’m simply titling this post “Mash-Up Monday.”

(First things first, I had to look up the origin of “smorgasbord” because it’s such a funny word. Turns out it’s a Scandinavian word that means a buffet-style meal with a variety of hot and cold foods. And it looks like this: Smörgåsbord)

Moving on…

Last Wednesday night I went to see Zootopia with my mom at the local theater. (Our theater is small & it only has two screens, but tickets cost $3.50 on hump day and we got popcorn, two drinks, and candy for $7. Hells yes.) Listen, I know that this movie has excellent reviews (98% on rotten tomatoes) and no one has said anything bad about it but… …I loved it! It was cute, it was funny, it made a wonderful point about acceptance and following your dreams, and the main character was a female who DIDN’T fall in love at the end or “succeed” by winning the guy. Our future children will undoubtedly love cartoons as much as I do, but I hope Judy Hopps is one of their role models ❤︎

Hold on, I need to keep talking about Zootopia.
This movie comes at just the right time. Like most Disney movies, the film sets out to teach a few lessons but these lessons are SO timely: We mustn’t fear others simply based on their labels. Ruling with fear is not the answer. If we revert back to our past prejudices then we are bound to fail and fall. While we all have our limitations, we have the ability to try to do anything we set our minds to. Some people are happy to be carrot farmers out in the country and some people are happy fighting crime in the big city. It’s important to forgive.

I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. -Judy Hopps

Seriously, though. Go see the movie. And show your kids, grandkids, cousins, and nieces & nephews.

Alright. I feel like I can move on now.

Last week I was miserable thanks to my sensitive sinuses. K tried to convince me that I was sick, but my body didn’t ache and I didn’t have a fever and he wasn’t showing any symptoms (K can catch a cold over the phone- his immune system is sub-par). By Thursday things were on the mend and I was so thankful. I felt the tickle in my throat on Sunday and I had my sinuses in tip-top shape by Friday night. I don’t know if that’s an admirable time frame or not, but here’s what I did to combat my sniffles- just in case you need a remedy:

sinus_allergy_remedy
med | meds | rub | vitamins | tea | humidifier

I also drank lots of water, took hot showers, and got plenty of sleep. A long time ago a friend of mine told me that she never sniffs all that gunk back into her sinues/nose- she always blows her nose, even if she’s constantly do it. I think that makes a huge difference. Also, my nose started to get raw and peel so I put antibiotic cream (Neosporin) on it each night. LIFESAVER, guys. (And yes, we really do have a frog humidifier because we adult awesomely.)

Speaking of sniffles… (warning: this is going to get gross-ish) … I looked up the significance of clear mucus verses discolored mucus on the internet. I found this chart from The Cleveland Clinic and it proved to be quite helpful with my self-diagnosis:

cleveland_clinic_mucus_chart
(source)

For the most part, my nose juices were clear, but every time they were a little off-color I thought to myself, ‘Heck yes, white blood cells! You fight that infection!’ I’m a weirdo.

. . .

I don’t like to announce our trips on the internet before they happen, but right now I’m currently on my way home from a NASCAR race in Bristol, TN. I left town on Saturday. K left town on Wednesday to attend the world drumline championships in Dayton, Ohio and he got home yesterday. So I haven’t see my guy in 5 days (and I haven’t seen my dogs in two days!). I can’t wait to be home!

I told you today was going to be random 🙂 I definitely delivered.

Have you seen Zootopia?? What did you think?

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