Choosing Happiness in the Midst of Life’s Messiness

ChoosingHappiness-Shannon-KaiserHi Friends! I’m excited to be a Happiness Crusader and joining over 100 women in spreading the message of #ChoosingHappiness to women around the world. In today’s post, I share how I chose happiness in the midst of life’s messiness by answering a few questions from my inspiring friend best-selling Publisher Linda Joy. Today is the official release of her new book Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness featuring the soul-inspiring stories of 27 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation. Choosing Happiness also includes Reflection Questions after each story which will empower you to integrate the vital lessons of each woman’s journey into your own life.

For a limited time you can get over 40 transformational gifts with your copy of Choosing Happiness. Grab your copy today> http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you realized that your happiness was an internal choice that could be made despite your outside circumstances?

About 12 years ago I got to spend some time with an old friend of mine I hadn’t seen much since college.  I noticed she was, for a lack of a better word, happy.  Content.  This sense of peace flowed from her.  I was mesmerized and knew it was exactly the feeling I wanted to feel.

12 years later and I’m still not there but when I got upset with my 3 year old daughter one day and she came over to me, patted my arm and said, “It’s ok, momma.  It’s ok.”  I realized she was right.  Stressing about the day to day minutiae was unnecessary.  All I want for my daughter is for her to be happy in life.  It is my job to demonstrate for her.  It is my job to work hard and find my happiness.

Q: How do you remind yourself that happiness is always within and catch your footing in those whirlwind moments of life that can throw us off balance?

I take a breath and hug my daughter.  Nothing is so important it trumps stepping back and connecting with the people we love.  By connecting with loved ones, I’m reminded of what is truly important.

Q: What is your personal definition of happiness today?

Contentment.

Q. Share three things that bring you happiness.

Laughter!

My daughter’s giggle.

(((hugs)))

Bonus answer:  Horrible jokes especially if they are puns.  I find them punny!

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Thanks to my friend, Publisher Linda Joy, for these inspiring questions! I invite you to share how you choosing happiness moment in the comments below.
Be sure to check out Linda’s new book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness and grab your copy today at http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book to receive the bonus gift bundle worth thousands!

Grateful to Vote!

Day 4 of the Gratitude chain I’m doing on Facebook.  I decided to share here today.  I am grateful for the right to vote. June 4, 1920 was when the key vote happened. Interesting to see the way the vote went down. The Ayes included 36 (82%) Republicans and 20 (54%) Democrats. The Nays comprised 8 (18%) Republicans and 17 (46%) Democrats. I enjoyed looking over several of the photos from the suffrage movement. I want to celebrate by blowing a horn like Rose Sanderson in this photo from a suffragists demonstration in February 1913. I am concerned about the woman behind her who looks like she has pantyhose over her whole head. My mind is racing with all sorts of explainations and one includes the Doctor. 1280px-Rose-Sanderson-Votes-for-Women

I see there was something to be said about the starvation method of protesting.

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It is hard to read the cartoon.   TITLE: The steadfast suffragette: there was method in her starvation

CAPTIONS: “Come now, lass! Eat a bit, eat a bit!”

“Oh, I say! Eat a bit, eat a bit, lass!”

“What? Not yet? Oh, come, lass! Eat a bit.”

“My word, lass! But this not eating is ‘orrible, you know!”

“One good pull, girls, and I’ll be with you.”

“Oh, I say, you know! That’s no way to act, you know! See what I’ve got for you!”

Basically the cartoon is saying suffragettes starved to be able to escape.

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This one cracks me up “Take the beam out of your own eye!”  I’m going to start using that one.  The next time someone cuts me off in traffic I’ll yell, “Take the beam out of your own eye!”  It will be better than the occasional naughty word which slips out into my daughter’s ears.

unnamedEvery year my daughter goes with me to vote.  This year she said she had to potty as soon as we entered the building.  Afterwards, she declared to the entire room “I went potty!”  Everyone congratulates my daughter on something which happened behind closed doors.  Which made me think it was a lot like voting.  Everyone declares they have voted behind a curtain and are congratulated even though no one really wants to know what happened in the voting booth.

 

Putting Action Behind the Ribbon – Teal Ovarian Cancer Version

Let’s be honest here for one second.  We all know Cancer Sucks!!  Am I right?  Of course, I am.  It’s a curse.  People like to spend their time pimping out the ribbons and the colors for us to “raise awareness.”  Is there a person in the U.S. above the age of 14 who does not know cancer exists?   If so, I want to live in their idyllic world.  I’m not against the ribbons and the colors.  If you have lost someone or watched someone suffer, it feels good to do something in honor of their memory or their struggle.  I get it and have the ribbon paraphernalia to prove it.  I’ve lost close family members and watched others suffer from cancer; my grandma, several aunts, uncle and my sister to name a few.  I’m not some cold-hearted wench against people trying to make a difference.  I was extremely close with my Great Aunt Katherine when she went to the hospital for her cancer when I was 12.  I remember vividly every single time I walked in and out of her hospital room as she slipped further and further away from us and writhed with pain.  It was my first cancer experience.  It was painful to watch.  Cancer Sucks.ovarian-cancer-ribbon-magnet

The problem I have is with it stopping at ribbons and colors.  That is not enough.  Raising money for some organization which may or may not be giving the money towards finding a cure is great if it makes you feel like you are doing something.  I’m not knocking those actions.  I am calling for people to do more.  If we really want to do something about ovarian cancer, we have to step it up.  I’ve made a list of suggestions:

First Step: Early Detection

Get regular (as in yearly) exams with your gynecologist.  The American College of Obstretrics and Gynocology guidelines suggest women over 30 who have had 3 consecutive negative (as in clear) PAPs only need one every 3 years, however, regular bimanual pelvic exams and clinical breast exams can detect serious issues.  If it has been more than a year since your last exam, call today and make an appointment.  Now is fine.  I’ll be here when you get back.  In fact, make the appointment, tweet/instagram/Facebook about it challenging ALL the women in your life to do the same.  The next best thing beyond prevention is early detection.

10390550_794585033905184_1453109993065814459_n Second Step: Prevention

I realize we can never be sure what does or doesn’t prevent cancer.  Sometimes it is genetics and there is not much we can do about genetics.  The only aspect of genetics we can deal with is to test for the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation.  A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits the harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.  We have heard about the cases where some women after discovering they have the gene had their breast removed and/or a hysterectomy.  This is a drastic decision and one I’m positive they didn’t come to lightly.   With my family history, I have considered the test which is expensive for me but have not yet gone down that road.  While I still weigh this heavy decision, I do feel there are habits we can adopt which will help with prevention.  The catch-22 with this topic is we can’t prove you prevented cancer just because you don’t get cancer.  You might have been a person who wouldn’t  have gotten it anyway but I like to err on the side of caution.  I would rather not get cancer and will do what I can now.

Heath and Eating Habits

I recommend yogurt if you can for the good bacteria it introduces but other fermented foods such as Kombuchi is wonderful for your health.  Fruit and garlic are good for your bodies Ph balance and bacteria health.

Kegels.  Your body will weaken as you age.  Happy Happy Joy Joy.  Doing kegels lessens your chances of urinary accidents and improves your sex life.

Having an active sex life helps lower your chances.  If you are not in a relationship or otherwise active, there are other ways to reach the same result.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with any part of your private area, discuss it with your doctor.  You will never regret over worrying but you will regret if it  turns out to be something and your chances would have improved with a quicker diagnosis.

Feminine Care

Women, we need to refocus our attentions on our feminine care.  The vulva (outside part of the vagina usually called the vagina but the vagina is the inside tube part of your organ)  may be washed with no-frills soap and thoroughly rinsed with hot water.  The vagina should never be washed with soap.  It needs to maintain a certain Ph level to promote healthy bateria and deter unhealthy bacteria.  It goes without saying don’t be douche.  Seriously they are never a good thing.  It totally screws with your Ph level.  HealthyHooHoo has a line of feminine freshness products free of harsh chemicals, fragrances and parabens.

Please consider getting a menstrual cup and/or using cloth panty liners.   My pads are Pink Lemonade.  Another great place for pads and The DivaCup is Lunapads.  Many friends recommend the Luna Cup or a menstrual cup like the SckoonCup.  The Word of Nerd has a fantastic post on Cloth Pads.

If you do use tampons, change them frequently.  If you use pads, only use them as long as you have to and change them frequently.  I must tell you to read this article at Naturally Savvy by Andrea Donsky before choosing this option.  She explains the toxin issue so much better than I ever could.

Cotton underwear is best.  Your privates need air.  Let your vulva breathe.  At the very least, consider going commando at night to give your privates time to air out.

imagesThird Step: Now we talk Awareness

Before you give, know the organization.   I like Charity Navigator.  You can see exactly how an organization divides up its money, how much is spent on programs, fundraising and paying their head honcho.  I know some people can get hung up on a CEO getting paid $300,000 but if the organization brings in over $300 million it is really a drop in the bucket and I am more concerned about where the bulk of the money is going.  Information is power.  What is important to one person is less important to another.  Know your organization and give where you feel most comfortable.

The ribbon color for ovarian cancer is teal.  Wear it proudly if you feel called but please when asked share more.  Talk about early detection and prevention.  Do not partake in buying teal items from businesses where no money is going to a legit organization or even worse businesses such as conventional tampon and pads makers whose products they are unwilling to share what is in them and are unwilling to prove they are not toxic or harmful to vaginas across the country.

Full Disclosure:  I have not been asked by any of the companies, blogs or links I have provided to write this article. In fact, there are many more products you can find and I hope you do search for the right and SAFEST products for you.   I receive no kick back from this article.  I am simply an average Jane who feels passionate about this topic.  I don’t have a medical degree.  I’m not a scientist.  I search for information and share it.  I suggest you do your own research.  Let this be a jumping off point to learning more about being proactive in your health.

Non-Edibile Treats For The Emotional Eater

My therapist gave me a little assignment last week.  Make a list of non-edible treats for when I’m feeling the urge to munch.  It feels like all the world revolves around food and when you are an emotional eater even more mindless eating happens.  I know some people think it can simply be a case of willpower but my body is broken.  It constantly thinks it is hungry even right after I eat.  My mind knows I’m not hungry but my body is screaming for more food.  But I can only deal with one thing at a time and this week it is my emotional eating.  When I get emotional I reach for food as an knee jerk reaction.  I’ve made a list of possible solutions.  My basic parameters were it needed to be something I could do for free or cheap and preferably at home.  There are some exceptions but for the most part I kept to these guidelines.

A foot soak and pedicure at home

Make a glass of water infused with lemon, lime or frozen fruit

A manicure at home

A cup of tea and a good book

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A cup of tea in my grandma’s china.

A little yoga at home

Study essential oils and find some aromatherapy to use perhaps in the forms of oil, lotion or candle

Work on a sewing project

Long bath with bath salts and candles

Get out of the house and check some thrift stores for treasures

Watch a movie

Create a new workout playlist for my phone

Go for a run

Take my daughter to a playground

Get on Pinterest

Sit on my back porch(change of scenery from my office) and look at some old magazines

Search Etsy and Amazon making reward lists and occasionally allow myself to buy something

Turn on some favorite music and dance around

My awesome trainer made a great suggestion.  Get a mason jar and every time I am feeling hungry or struggling I can instead think of something positive, encouraging or inspiring to write and drop in the jar.  Every now and then I can read them or just keep writing them.

After making my list I thought about a plan this week.  Every day at 3, which happens to be one of my worst times of day for mindless eating, I will make myself a cup of tea and read a book for an hour.  It may seem weird but I think a nice self-soothing act every afternoon will be a perfect thing for me.

I would love more suggestions!  Do you have non-food related ways to treat yourself?

Starting a Rebellion in 2014

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Recently I was reading Women Food and God by Geneen Roth and one paragraph really struck a cord with me.

“There is a whole universe to discover between “I’m feeling empty” and turning to food to make it go away.  The problem of weight is predictable.  We know what to do when we have that problem.  Beat ourselves up.  Make ourselves wrong.  Eat fewer donuts.  But staying with the emptiness – entering it, welcoming it, using it to get to know ourselves better, being able to distinguish the stories we tell ourselves about it from the actual feeling itself – that’s radical.” – Geneen Roth

Staying where I am.  Staying with the status quo.  This is where I’m failing.  I wear status quo like an old comfy pair of pajamas.  It is full of holes, stretched out of shape, tattered but familiar, soft and warm.

Some people scoff at New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve always loved them.  I love the hope and possibility I fill with every year.  Like most people I usually falter on them soon after but they get me a little further down the road towards my vision of who I am meant to be.  After thinking on the status quo I’ve been living, I realized the only word I can use as a guide for 2014 is Rebellion.

“I am already living, but something is telling me with unchallengeable authority: you are not living properly. The numinous authority of form enjoys the prerogative of being able to tell me ‘You must’.
It is the authority of a different life in this life. This authority touches on a subtle insufficiency within me that is older and freer than sin; it is my innermost not-yet. In my most conscious moment, I am affected by the absolute objection to my status quo: my change is the one thing that is necessary. If you do indeed subsequently change your life, what you are doing is no different from what you desire with your whole will as soon as you feel how a vertical tension that is valid for you unhinges your life.”
― Peter Sloterdijk, Du mußt dein Leben ändern

I need to rebel.  I must shatter my wall of protection, burn my cozy pajamas of status quo and bravely walk the unknown.  To cower from possibility only dipping my toes in occasionally to keep the little spark of hope alive in my heart, is not going to cut it anymore.  I’m still working out exactly where and how I see myself rebelling this year.  I guess you can say I’m starting my rebellion by rebelling against the idea that I have to list all my goals at the beginning of the year.  I will highlight once a month something I’ve done to rebel against my status quo.

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My guiding word for 2014 is Rebellion!

My goals(a growing list):

– To PR in a 5K, 10K and 1/2 marathon

– Return to following The Artist Way by Julia Cameron.  Writing 3 morning pages and taking myself on artist dates.  I’m starting this week by taking myself to a movie.  I used to love watching movies but stopped going years ago.

– Be better about showing my daughter instead of telling her.  She has an amazing stubborn wild spirit.  It is my goal to guide that spirit and not crush it. (Feel free to recommend any books in this direction. I mostly follow the Attachment Parenting style but love learning and getting more ideas.)

– Learn to be better about the business side of blogging.  I enjoy writing and tend to ignore the backside of blogging like business needs, systems, etc.  This old dog is going to learn new tricks.

“I hate a Roman named Status Quo!” he said to me. “Stuff your eyes with wonder,” he said, “live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,” he said, “shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

There you have it.  Want to join my rebellion against status quo?  Leave a comment about something in your life you are going to rebel against this year.  Or don’t you little rebel you.

I added links to the Amazon site for each book I mentioned in case you were interested in checking them out.  Full disclosure:  I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you buy it I might get kickback.  I’m just saving you the effort of googling them.

 

Perfect Birthday Party at Hunter Cattle Company

I thought long and hard before I decided on a location for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  I wanted to be able to invite all of our friends, even the ones whose kids were not my daughter’s age.  I wanted it to be family-oriented.  My husband’s co-worker group is made entirely of non-Americans and they all tend to do everything as a family.  It had to be something my daughter would enjoy.  She loves animals!  I researched the Savannah area and picked what I thought would be the perfect location – Hunter Cattle Company.  It was a place for all ages of kids, plenty for the whole family to do and full of animals.

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Activities included a petting area, egg gathering, games and a wagon ride into a pasture to feed pigs.

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I made my daughter a scrap and ribbon skirt to go with her cowboy boots and John Deere t-shirt “Peace, Love and Tractors.”  A highlight of the wagon ride was getting to pet baby pigs.  The little guy I was holding was not a fan of my daughter and the feeling was mutual.  She carried a kitten around for 1/2 an hour as I was setting up, walked the chicken coop saying “Hi!” to every single chicken, walked a goat around on a leash and even kissed a goat as you can see above but she wanted nothing to do with holding a baby piglet.  I, on the other hand, could have held that baby all day long.

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 The only glitches in the day had to do with the cake.  I got this amazing cake from Just Freshly Baked in Pooler, GA.  I picked it up and brought it home.  My husband went to transfer it from my car to his because I feared the cake and my toddler were not a good match in the same seat.  He tripped and dropped the cake.  Yes, my beautiful and awesome cake was a hot mess!  In an effort to save the cake and our marriage, he picked it up and ran right back to the bakery.  Not only did they fix it, but I think it looked even better.  I loved her cake.  I can not recommend Just Freshly Baked enough.  They won my heart and business in one day.

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Then we forgot a lighter for the candles.  Never fear!  You can always find a light on a farm.  Best way to light candles ever.

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I was lucky one of my friends is a talented Savannah area photographer, Minibird Photography.  She captured these shots and many more.  I like to follow her work via her webpage with its great blog posts of various sessions and on Facebook, Minibird Photography.

Everyone at the party had a blast including my lucky and happy 2 year old.  I would highly recommend Hunter Cattle Company for your next party.  They also  have a store selling fresh, organic, hormone free meat and other great local products, or you can find them at most local Farmer’s Markets.  Consider Just Freshly Baked in Pooler for your cake needs.  Just Freshly Baked has amazing cookies, cupcakes and donuts.  For energy while I was setting up my party, I had grabbed a bacon and maple donut when I picked up the cake.  It was awesome!  If you live in the greater Savannah area or if you plan to visit Savannah, consider booking a photography session with Minibird Photography.  She does amazing work.  We are already signed up with her to do our Christmas session on the beach next month.

I love parties!  This farm themed party was a blast!  What has been your favorite theme for a party?  Do you have a horror story of something going wrong at your party?

Full Disclosure:  I was not paid or asked to share my opinion about this event.  In fact, most people were paid by me for their services.  I felt the whole experience needed to be shouted from the rooftop for its awesomeness.  You are welcome.

Let Others Have the Glory

A really long time ago, 1998 to be exact, a package arrived at my door.  I was in my early 20’s living in the suburbs of the ghetto working 3 jobs to pay the bills for my occasionally roach infested shack.  I opened the package without even looking at the address and was surprised to find a book and a card addressed to Dina and Larry.  Oops!  I quickly looked on the outside envelope and there was no return address.  The only clue as to who sent it was the greeting on the inside cover of the book, From Auntie Sweet and Uncle Huey.  This was before Google so I knew with no return address or a last name there was no way I could get the package to the rightful owners.  I was left with this book.  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff.  Rather appropriate book, don’t ya think.  I released my guilt and settled down to read my new book.  I loved it.  There were so many great little tips and ideas.  I’ve been meaning to reread it for years so when an opportunity with Barb Roberts & Universal Women and Start Living Your Best Life based on Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff popped up, I couldn’t resist.


I’m a tad behind but I’m not going to sweat it and I’m jumping in on Chapter 9 – Let Others Have the Glory.

I admit when I contemplate letting others have the glory I don’t feel I’m too lacking.  However, as I read the chapter I realize I have a huge problem.  I’m an interrupter.  (This is covered in Chapter 6 but I feel it is important enough to cover again in Chapter 9.)  Not to other people’s conversation but the conversation I’m actually having.  I don’t mean to do it.  It is just my mind is going a million miles a minute and I know if I think it and don’t say it I will forget it.  AHA!  You see I’m sweating about what piddly little thought popped into my head and I’m not listening fully to the other person.

I truly feel part of this is my desire to connect with other people.  I want so badly to be liked and to feel a connection with other people I spend my time trying to find the connection instead of allowing the connection to happen naturally.  I turn people off.  I’m, also, afraid of silence.  If it is silent, will the other person think I’m boring!  Eeek!  Not boring!

I might not shove a gold medalist off the top of the podium and try to steal his glory but I do shove my friends and acquaintances of my social couch with my inconsiderate behavior.  This week I am going to make a very concentrated effort to sit in the silence.  I’m going to ask other people about themselves and I’m going to let them be the star.  No trying to connect with my own “I did the same thing!” or “I remember when I tried…”  I am going to be the audience to my friends and family.

This is going to be very hard for me.  As much as I don’t want to admit my ego needs to be petted, it does.  It jumps up and down screaming “Look at me!”  I am not powerless.  I will take this as an opportunity not to feel like I’m sacrificing my ego but as I am giving the gift of ego glory to another person.

You can go ahead and tell my ego it is a good thing to do.  I won’t let it go to it’s head.  How do you find ways to let other people have the glory?

I would like to thank Auntie Sweet and Uncle Huey who sent this gem to their niece and nephew, Dina and Larry.  I wish I could have returned the book to the rightful owners.  I do feel it didn’t go to waste.  It helped me when I needed it most in 1998 and it is helping again in 2013.    

Auntie Sweet included Proverbs 3:56 in the front cover: 

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.  

Perhaps the Lord direct Auntie Sweet’s gift to me on purpose.  

Time to Get Organized!

Ok!  I made all my resolutions and now it is time to figure out how to make them happen.  Last year I read Gretchen Rubin’s, The Happiness Project.  It was awesome.  Seriously I felt inspired by her quest for finding happiness.  I suggest reading it.  She does break it down into bite sized levels in order to make changes.  Which is why last year I had started the 10 in 10 but then the whole move thing happened.  Why not start again with 11 in 11?  I’m so original – I know.  Whatever!  The world is really old.  You can’t always be original but that isn’t bad.  If something works, it works.  Problem was I had difficulty coming up with 11 items for January.  With that many  I don’t want to be too over ambitious but I don’t want to go too easy on myself either.

1.  Get out of the house once a week doing something social.  It can be a date or church social type thing or meet up with potential new friends.  I really need new friends now that all mine have kids and hate me.  Ok.  They don’t hate me but avoid me or settle for torturing me via fb.  At this rate I will be the crazy dog lady people point at and post pictures of on people of Wally World or awkward pictures.

2.  Workout 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.  I was up at 4:30 am to walk across the street to the gym.  As I tweeted “Good news – I can walk to the gym.  Bad news – I have to walk home from the gym.”  The community gym sucks!  The machines are cheap but trust me my HOA fees aren’t!  Hubby is to get us that Y membership this week so I can add some classes to my workout.

3.  Write daily.  No necessarily blog but journaling and working on my book.  It can’t get done if I don’t work on it.

4.  Organize my paperwork.  One point that is important is it is easy to say “I would do that but there are dishes to do” then I look at the dishes and think “That looks like a ton of work.  Maybe I will work on clearing off the DVR.”  Three episodes of NCIS later, no writing happened, the DVR has taped three other programs and the dishes are still glaring at me – wait that is the hubby.  I will be sharing the route I take to rid myself of tons of paper.

5.  Get my iphone set up with all my contacts, apps and itunes.  Since no one actually calls me anyway I need to make the phone work for me in other ways.  It has to be useful for the price I’m paying.

6.  Finish setting up my house.   I’ve unpacked most of the rooms but I need to get it all organized to work the way I want.  The only room pretty much done right now is the kitchen.

7.  Go to bed earlier.  I need to get to bed before 10 pm.  Preferably before 9.  Since I get up at 4:30 I need to make sure I am getting my sleep.  Research shows that sleep is important.  How nice.  The other night I kept dreaming the same dream where my hubby told me he was kissing his ex-girlfriend and if I didn’t shape up as a wife he was going to leave me.  I woke up pretty pissed. He woke up in the mood for romance.  Not a recipe for success.  He got a good laugh.  I mumbled for a few hours.

8.  I will find a new hair dresser.  The gray is showing up.  I need to find someone quick.  I hate this task.  People always look at me crazy when I tell them I want red hair but I can’t see red hair.  I just like the color of brown that red is on me.  I have to trust them to not let me walk out of there looking like bozo.

9.  I will make an appointment with my new RE.  It is time to get back on the wagon.  I’m worried about continued failure but I’m attempting to be as positive as freakin’ possible.  Bitter, party of one.

10.  We will be attending our first meeting with the adoption place.  I’m worried about failure and money.  Let’s face it – the process is expensive!!!  And invasive.  I understand the invasiveness but not the expense.  Especially when depending on what/who you want the price is VERY varied.  Shouldn’t the main point be for finding every child a home?  Not making money.  That is just me.  Bitter here.

11.  Fake it until I make it!  Pretend to be happy when I’m dying inside.  Pretend to have energy when I want to curl up in the corner of my closet and wait for the end.  Pretend until I find a way to be.

Topic Tuesday – Friends

I am starting month two of Just Junebug my version of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.   Last month the focus was on energy.  I have to say that I did workout all but 4 days of the entire month.  I failed miserably at going to bed early on most evenings and the gratitude journal.  I might have made three entries in the gratitude journal.  Between my blog, my journal and my note taking from finishing The Happiness Project I just couldn’t keep up with one more notebook.   Do I have more energy?  I’m not sure I’m ready to answer that.  I do know that there were several times when I didn’t want to do something and I said to myself “Would a person with energy do that?  You are a person of energy so just do it.”  It did work most of the time.
In the book Rubin has different focuses with different goals each month.  I’m kind of following that but just mixing up the order and adapting it to my life which is exactly what she recommends.  So this month the focus is on friends.  Let’s face it nothing can rid you of friends faster than going through eight years of infertility.   Sure I can mostly blame myself because I’m the one not comfortable with any situation that may cause me to answer the questions “Do you have any kids?” “Why not?”  “Why not just adopt?” “What’s your glitch?”  It got to where my options were reduced to having a public emotional breakdown, committing 1st degree murder or retreating to my cave.   Studies say that the people who live the longest have good close friendships.  The people I’ve seen live the longest were the meanest and apparently vinegar ages well but I’ve not been paid to run a study so what do I know.
Since I’ve grown used to avoiding my friends and family what can I do to focus on my friends?  The rules I adapted from Rubin are:
1. Remember birthdays.  My mother was great at this.  She always remembered everyone’s birthday with a card.  I suck at remembering anyone’s birthday.  Remember I’m the lady who can’t remember her own wedding anniversary.  I send out my x-mas cards somewhere between Feb. and June.  When it comes to mailing things I am awful.  However, I can send emails and make phone calls.  So I’m going to look into an electronic way to be reminded.  My friends on fb have been lucky because of the reminder but I have tons of friends not on there.
2.  Along the same lines I need to update my email contacts and my addresses.  I’ll send out an email with my new address, asking for their b-day and basically any updated information.
3.  I’m going to contact my friends from last year’s mission trip.  We keep talking about it so I’m going to call and set it up.  I’ve, also, set it up to meet a friend at the hot yoga place downtown tomorrow.
4.  No gossiping and listen more – talk less.
5.  Make 3 new friends.  Since school is starting back up this will be the perfect month to try to make new friends.  In addition, I found out that a chick I can’t stand is in two of my classes.  I am going to try really hard to find  a way to be nice to her.
That is what I have.  How do you stay connected with your friends?  Do you have any other suggestions?  How important are friendships in your life?  I have to admit that my friendships with other IF bloggers has been a godsend.  I love all of you so much and I’m not sure I would have the little sanity I have left if it wasn’t for ya’all.
Note from yesterday:
Thanks for all your advice.  Yesterday I had a breakdown and talked with hubby about everything.  He acknowledged my fear.  He is just afraid that something will go wrong me.  I will deal with this soon.
Eavesdropping on Myself:
We follow the Ramsey debt-free plan and therefore we follow the envelope system.  I have a wallet with envelopes for all the categories groceries, restaurant, entertainment and one called blow money for any extra stuff that might come up.  We were in line at the drug store buying something for my headache.
Me: “What category should I get this out of groceries or blow?”
Hubby:  “I don’t know.”
Me: “I think I will do blow today.”
Then I realized that the four people standing around me might not know what we are talking about and might think I actually need to do blow.

Throwing it out there Thursday – Update

I recently started a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It is great!!  I’ll talk more about it tomorrow but I just checked out her blog and wanted to share herpost about symbols of your life.  She, also, declared it Word-of-Mouth day so I’m spreading the word about her blog.

Love this!  My symbols are:

Sunflowers – I’m a Kansas girl and they instantly remind me of home and the farm.  Symbolize my roots.  They, also, symbolize foolish passion.  When is passion not a good thing?
Rabbit – Everyone in my family has an animal or collectible thing.  Mine are rabbits and unicorns.
Drama/Comedy faces – for my acting and directing
Duck – As a reminder that I need to duck when sh*t is being thrown at me.
Old fashion feather ink pen – For my love of writing and classic literature.
Suitcase – Two reasons 1. My love of traveling 2.  Bundling up my baggage and telling it to hit the road.
Bamboo – It bends easily but is harder to break.  I need to bend to life easier.
Phoenix – Because life is about constantly picking myself back up and starting over again.  I can continue to find a better me.

I’m working on catching up on my blog but I started watching my cousin’s kid so I’m spending today between the library and the pool.  After we get up from watching cartoons.  :-)

Bonus Eavesdropping:
Took kid(age 9) to University with me then Pan.era for Hot Cocoa and cookies then library for some books.
Me: “Don’t tell your mom that I spoiled you today.”
Kid: “Don’t you worry!  I won’t!  She might not let me do it again.”

Hee! Hee!  Of course, his mom and I did so many crazy things growing up that she seriously won’t care.  Besides you get what you pay for and she ain’t paying me.  Honestly how lucky am I that he wants to hang on the patio reading with me for awhile before we go to the pool?