Archive for December, 2012

This is the best post I have seen – ever. I think about all these things everyday and have had many long conversations pertaining to this subject. I wanted to post something like this but could not find the right words. How the author has expressed it here is simple, effective and honest. Everyone should read this and then read it again.

Comment: Make the tough calls on mental health care to keep schools safe from shootings

I could not agree with this more. Mental check ups should be done with your annual physical..And until 18 in school. Every school needs a social worker and the kids need a safe place to express and talk privately without judgement.

December day 14- black and white

Amazing

“If you don’t have solid beliefs you cannot build a stable life. Beliefs are like the foundation of a building, and they are the foundation to build your life upon.”

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Thanks for stopping by, hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday!

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I love this….it is so true.

A letter to my 16 year old self

dear16

Dear 16-year-old self:

I want to share some important lessons I have learned with you. If I knew then what I know now, your life would be a lot different. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.

  • Follow your heart. Regardless of popular opinion, of what your parents and family tell you, follow your heart. Even if the kids at school laugh at you, follow your heart and do what you love. Always. Even if you think you can’t – you can, you should and you will.
  • You are naturally beautiful. You are beautiful. In every aspect. On the inside you are sensitive, kind, caring, empathetic, passionate, curious, loving and have a natural way with people. On the outside, you glow from all of the good on the inside. Love your freckles, and protect them with sunscreen, even if you don’t want to. Hold your head up and shoulders back. You have been blessed with an hour-glass figure of perfect proportions – take care it and stop trying so hard to hide it. Get your hair trimmed now and then. Your natural black curls have a hint of amber and will look healthier if you get the split ends trimmed off. You don’t need makeup – your face and complexion are perfect as they are. You are not fat. Stop comparing yourself to what you think is perfect, look in the mirror and do your best to learn to love what you see.
  • Study hard and complete your homework. Focus more on your education and less on your socialization. Opportunities will open for you that you cannot even dream of. You will come to appreciate options so try to set yourself up to have as many choices as possible.
  • Don’t quit what you have started. Especially music. Keep playing and composing. The lyrics will always be there, focus on the score. Work hard to be great at playing the music you love. Your potential has not even scratched the surface. Keep learning and take it seriously. Music will always be your constant, honor it, especially when your life gets tough, and it will.
  • Take Art. Explore all forms. You are creative. You are. Go against what your parents want and what others tell you. It is time to start making decisions for you without guilt. Experiment in all kinds of mediums. Use creativity as an outlet for your feelings and emotions. Get them out of your mind and heart. Your emotions are real and need to be expressed. Don’t stuff them down, deal with everything without delay or you will find they will begin to creep back up showing up in ways you will never understand and slowly suffocate you.
  • Let yourself fall in love. Let someone be in love with you. It is worth the risk.
  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Wear your glasses. I know you don’t like them. Wear them anyway. Then read more books. Then read them again. Your eyesight will be compromised before you turn 40.
  • Trust your instincts. Trust your decisions and own them. Accept you will make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Stop pretending to be strong when you are not. Ask for help. Lose the ego and reach out your hand until you find someone who will reach back and never let you go. It is OK to feel vulnerable. You are not meant to walk through life trying to deal with everything on your own.
  • Stop trying to impress. Stop trying to be noticed. Stop trying; you are trying too hard to be something you are not. Stand up for your beliefs. Figure out what they are and stay true to you. Let people in to see the real you. All of you.
  • Talk to your grandparents; get to know them as the people they are and not just as your grandparents. They unlock the questions of where you come from. They get it. They get you. Let them see you as you are and connect with them as often as possible.
  • Tell the truth. I know it seems so hard and sometimes impossible. You won’t die. Everything will be fine, eventually. Don’t lie anymore – especially to yourself. You have nothing wrong, start living like it.
  • Talk with the ones closest to you about how you really feel – without delay, assumption or expectation. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Learn to communicate without blame or anger.
  • You will disappoint, you will fail and you will hurt others. In turn, they will do all of this to you as well. Work on respecting the fact you are not perfect, and no one else is either. Take some of the pressure off your shoulders and relax.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Walk with your fear instead of running from it. Running away from your problems or shutting down does not equal a solution. You are only delaying the inevitable.
  • You don’t need to drink alcohol to have fun. Stop binge drinking. It will become a problem for you and only then will understand what addiction really is. Don’t use substance abuse as a crutch or a solution to forget the pain that is coming your way.
  • Save your money. Pay yourself a small percentage of your pay check first. Always have enough in the bank – to pay for what you need, not what you want. Always.
  • You are still very young, enjoy your youth. Stop worrying about everything and everyone all the time. It is not your responsibility to be a problem solver. Time will tick and you will age in the appropriate way. One day you will blink – and poof you will be old.
  • Trust the adults in your life. They are not without fault, and you will always have a different perspective than they do. Know in your heart and soul that they want to help you, have your best interest in mind and love you unconditionally.
  • In your darkest days when things look bleak and there is no glimmer of light, do not give up. Do not give up on yourself. Do not give up on your dreams. Do not discount yourself. I know you will feel like that is impossible, I am telling you it is not.
  • Let go of grudges. Forgive unintentional acts.
  • Allow yourself to be free from your own thoughts by recognizing your thoughts do not define you. Never define yourself by the career you have chosen or the job you do.
  • Stop saying no when you want to say yes. Say yes and accept help, accept love and accept that you have limitations. Say no and do not make excuses.
  • Love your family – they love you. You can’t see that now, I know, believe me – they will walk with you in your glory and hold your hand when you are in your personal hell.16yroldme

Live a balanced healthy lifestyle. By the time you are 38 – so many things will have happened for you. Most good, some great and some are absolutely terrifying and horrific. Go to a therapist. There is no shame in talking to a professional about your feelings. Cry in public. Laugh until your face and your body hurt – as much as possible. Don’t dump your frustration, anger and fear on the ones you love. Express your expectations of others and of yourself then re-adjust them. Do not allow yourself to keep regrets. You can’t turn back time and re-do, erase or repeat. Second chances are rare and tomorrow will be too late. Live in the moment, do not fret the past and plan for but do not worry about the future. Today and everyday can be the best day of your life – if you allow it to be. Remind yourself you are loveable, remind yourself to speak softly, remind yourself to take deep breaths and finally remind yourself you are not alone and you are never stuck….you will always be able to grow and move forward.

Love, Me: Your 38-year-old self.

dont-give-up

What do you do all day?

Let me tell you about my average day. I am a stay at home parent. I hum and sing happy songs while dancing and twirling all day long because I have nothing else to do. I am always so well rested and can do whatever I want. When the kids need me I gleefully oblige to all their needs with pleasure, even when I am in the middle of something important. My hair is all done up, my make-up perfect and I always smell so sweet. Everyone should be so lucky to have it as easy as this.  1950-housewife

On a regular basis I hear things similar to the following:

You’re at home? What do you do all day?

It must be nice to relax all day.

How can you be stressed? You can do whatever you want.

Maybe you should get a part-time job, it would get you out of the house. Blank is hiring you should apply.

Must be nice to sleep in everyday.

All she does is go on bike rides and play dates.

She is a stay at home mom, she doesn’t do anything.

I would be so bored at home, it’s not for me but it’s ok for you.

Should one more person make a derogatory comment about stay at home parents or imply how good we have it, I just might snap. Stay at home parents get a bad rap. I have been on both sides and both have pros and cons. Look, are we not all on the same side here? There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing to stay home and work there or work outside the home.

battle over working momsBeing a stay at home parent is one of the toughest but most rewarding jobs there is. It is the equivalent to holding three full-time jobs at the same time in different fields. It has taken me two years to be comfortable even saying that I am a stay at home mom without adding what I use to do or want to do or anything else in the title. I run my business from home which has been rough as I have less time now than I did when I was working outside the home.  Please let me have the benefit of the doubt and trust I am doing the right thing by being at home. Don’t judge me. Don’t assume you know what I do or don’t do on a daily basis. Please don’t tell me I have all day to do what I want. Please stop sending me referrals for jobs and handing out career advice. This is not meant to be seen as a complaint; rather a set of facts and reality.

Let me give you the 411 on what it is really like:

wahm-Multi-taskingI am a stay at home parent. I am at work 24/7 and never get a day off. I have time shower every two to three days. My uniform is old t-shirts and ratty track pants coupled with my hiking or my rubber boots depending in the weather. I have one jacket. When I am sick, I still need to work and bring my A game because my bosses depend on me for everything. I am not afforded sick days. My time is consumed with questions, interruptions, training, educating, correcting, disciplining and crying.  Not to mention the usual tasks i.e. cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, dealing with everything and anything that has to do with the kids, cars or house. I rarely receive any recognition for a job well done – or even a job done. My breaks are limited and overtime is mandatory every day. I need to be flexible and able to switch gears on a dime and I am always on alert. The pay sucks and I will never get a raise. My bosses are brash, full of attitude and have high expectations. But they are also the sweetest, funniest, most loving people in my life.  I have learned so much in the last two years that I would not trade this experience for anything. My girls trust me with everything and in return I have been able to show them all of me. The good and the bad, and they still love me regardless. The pros outweigh the cons for our family for a variety of reasons. We won’t be able to renovate, there will not be a vacation (unless it’s free!!), and I can’t shop for me and treat myself to new shoes or a cute purse.  No more spas or pedicures. I cut down on my hair appointments and no more colored hair. My husband and I go to the movies separately or bring one child because it is too costly for all of us to go at once. No more restaurant dinners, impromptu road trips. This year I spent my birthday money on swimming lessons for the kids. Christmas gifts will be sparse this year, and we still have the same old small fake tree with an eclectic mix of old and older ornaments and I would not have it any other way.

Finally if you can’t at least open your mind to the idea that being at home with kids is a real and a tough job, I would appreciate if you could keep your trap shut and walk away.

Thank you.

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I don’t have a choice…

Yeah you do.

I have heard so many comments and complaints from people lately using the words “I don’t have a choice” that I have chosen to add my two cents.

You may think I am arrogant or even ignorant with my opinion. At one time no so long ago I was also on the “no choice” bandwagon.

There is a huge difference between not having a choice because you think you don’t and really not having a choice.

A child who is orphaned did not choose to be. Being diagnosed with any illness is not a choice.

For example: I did not choose to have mental illness. I did not choose to have a breakdown or when it would happen. There were no options, alternatives or any way around these things. If I had a choice, I would choose not to have mental illness. I would have chosen to continue my life with the interruption of a disease and its symptoms. Contrary to what I have been told, I can’t just wish it away.

I do have a choice in how I deal it. Among other things I can decide to take medication the rest of my life to help manage my disease or I can choose not to and live in a world desperation and incorrect perspective. I chose to write this blog and be upfront about struggles and issues with my own mental health. I could have chosen not to.

Think about it.

We all have choices; they may not be what we think we want or what we think we need but there is always a choice.

Next time you find yourself spitting out those words, think about the people who really don’t have a choice and ponder what choices you do have. Image

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