I thought a lot about this. The big, long-term beautiful (somewhat vague) end goal is always in sight, but all the others change. I love it! I welcome change, even though I fear it. As ideas & goals shift throughout the year, you create new agendas & updated accordingly. Which is why, now that it’s 2018 & resolutions are all the talk, you shouldn’t feel pressure to make them.
I’ve learned one of the worst things you can do to yourself is lose your own trust. Disappoint yourself. I know any goal I set on Jan 1, 2018 will end up changing, therefore I’ll end up disappointing myself & losing my trust. Which is a big no-no. So, fuck the 2018 goals.
You know the one part that sucks about holiday time that doesn’t exist around Thanksgiving… The torture of trying to find gifts, for everyone. And make cookies, and hang decorations, and go to holiday parties, and try to eat healthy. Adding gifts on top of all that jazz is what can easily make you freak the F out. I have a few ideas….
5 Ways To Finish Out The Holiday Season Stress Free
The Gift Of Being Stress-Free: Ok, think about the people you’re buying gifts for. Thinking of them? If most of those people knew you were stressed out, driving around like a maniac, spending more money than you had, buying their gift from the checkout line in Target because you can’t think of anything else – they wouldn’t want that from you! So don’t feel like you have to do it. Wait until the next day, by them a good book, or gift card, and let the pressure of other gifts go.
Essential Oils: This may or may not be a placebo, the essential oil trend, but I don’t give a fuck. If it works because my mind is telling me to believe it’s working, or the oils are truly relaxing me – I’ll fucking take it. Am I right? I met an essential oil doctor (jk she was selling her oil potions at the grocery store & I stopped to talk to her), and she gave me a combo she said would help me relax. (5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Jasmine, 5 drops Frankincense, 3 drops Ylang Ylang.) She put it in a tiny spray bottle (here) and said to spray it on my pillow at night, on my clothes, mid anxiety attack – whatever. I’ve become obsessed. It’s so easy to do too! Go to Whole Foods, get these essential oils, get a tiny spray bottle, and make your own secret Xanax potion.
Ok. Ok. So when I first mentioned my few weeks of life changing events I said it was a combination of things. One was Jury Duty but the other was a book. Somehow, the stars aligned in a way that helped me read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton during my week of Jury Duty. fyi – There is plenty of opportunity to read while on Jury Duty, it feels like you’re constantly sitting in the small Jury Room waiting for the courtroom to be ready. I was easily able to finish reading Love Warrior… and wow.
I first heard of Glennon Doyle on Chelsea! about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wanting to read her book, but procrastinated. I picked it up, and even read a page or 2 several different times, but always ended up putting it down. At first glance, the book seemed too emotional & strong (if that makes sense) which scared me away from it. Emotionally deep books (and movies) gets my anxiety on it’s tip toes so I tend to avoid them. However, Love Warrior was the only book I packed in my purse for Jury Duty, leaving me no choice but to get through it.
Lucky for me, because this book changed me in a similar way Jury Duty did.
Let me explain. I recently had a truce with my anxiety, where I looked it in the eye with a smile & shifted my mind to start using it as a tool. (Also on Chelsea!), a woman being interviewed asked Chelsea to name 3 qualities she likes about herself, and they couldn’t be physical. I listened, laughed and fell asleep. In the morning, I was driving to work & thought about that same question. 3 qualities I like about myself, and they can’t be physical. One of the answers that kept creeping in my mind was – anxiety. Wtf. I thought anxiety was something I hated. But, I started feeling like Batman’s bestie. Powerful, relieved, and excited. I told myself, anxiety is a superpower. A freaking superpower! Because of anxiety, I’m uber aware of feelings & emotions. They’re loud, and they’re always there for me to hear. And if I can control them a little, they can be a badass superpower. And that’s exactly what I’m going to make them.
Remember when you were little and getting ready for soccer games, a school play, choir/band performance and your teacher or parents would tell you “Just do your best”? Maybe you heard that, maybe you were already the best…
I wish we still had an adult following us around, reminding us to do our best. I recently had a boss that filled a position where he was in way over his head. Drowning in the position because he likely over promised what skills he actually had. I watched him drown. I tried my best to help him but quickly noticed he wasn’t trying his best. He didn’t fulfill the position requirements and instead of digging his heels in and trying to do his best to figure it out, he resisted. He passed everything he could off to anyone that would take it. He gave it to his bosses, people under him, people next to him. He refused to learn. He trusted his seniority would precedent.
Over the weeks, that turned into months, I started wondering why he wouldn’t try. What happened to trying to do your best? Come in to work every day and do the very best YOU can do. If it’s a mess or not everything gets done, at least you tried. I don’t understand people who don’t try to do their best. Why wouldn’t you? With my boss, whatever his issue with the position was, I still think he should’ve tried to do his best at it, every single day until he’s either learned the position requirements or found something else.
If you stop doing your best, how boring? What are you learning? What are you getting better at? In conversations, try to do your best at listening. At workouts, try to be your best athlete. Preparing for the week, try to do your best each Sunday. I mean shiiiii, if you’re not trying at anything anymore you need to get a hobby you enjoy. If you’re an expert at everything, you have the wrong mindset. Find things to work hard at & be passionate about. I hated my job once, and let me tell you – I did my very best at finding something better. At going to work every single day knowing I was trying for something better, so I felt comfortable working hard while I was there.
I never know if I should write how I feel right when I’m feeling it or wait until I get my thoughts together… For example, Jury Duty. I walked out of Jury Duty feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I was fucking rocked, and scared, and anxious. For a week I couldn’t sleep without having nightmares. Surprisingly, my immediate reaction was to hate blogging. The first thought I had was “fuck my blog”. Although it’s my creative outlet, my experience on Jury Duty made me feel like I was wasting precious, valuable time working on my silly blog. I needed to be doing more! A week or so passed and I started thinking I need to write this all down in my blog, change my blog, change people! But then I felt I was too wrapped up in emotion, not thinking clearly. Now, I’m a month past Jury Duty and feel like I’m rational, yet still kind of wish I would’ve written everything down when I was irrational. When people are super expressive with feelings I listen to them, even if they’re wrong, there has to be parts to take away.
A month ago I had to report for Jury Duty. I recently registered to vote and the two results in that decision were (1) Donald Trump as my president (2) Jury Duty summons. Real winning decision making skills right there, Ha!
My first reaction with Jury Duty was, anxiety. Because that’s what I do best. “What if I have a panic attack while I’m there” “There’s no way out of this” “What if I can’t breathe” “What if I can’t talk” “How long will it take” “What if I don’t show up”. Welcome to my brain.
Everyone told me their Jury Duty stories & how they tried to get out of it or why they weren’t chosen or how strong minded they were so no way someone would pick them, or it’s probably a dumb case, so annoying to go to Jury Duty.
I had NO idea how fucking hard it would be for me. I happened to get chosen to be a Jury member. 12 out of 80 something people were chosen. I have a few thoughts on that. If you have an education, compassion, you’re smart, you listen, understanding, morals & ethics – you SHOULD be a chosen member for Jury Duty. When I started hearing what some of the other Jury contenders were saying, I thought holy Jesus I better be chosen. No way they’ll let these fucking stubborn assholes make a judicial decision, right?! And I was right – they chose me. And they should choose me. They should choose you too, if you’re smart and a good listener. It is your duty and it is your responsibility. ESPECIALLY if you’re making decisions about someones future. If you don’t do it, those stubborn assholes will, and that’s not acceptable.
The Case. I’m going to summarize what was a week long journey of my court case the best I can. In reality, the details of the case itself wasn’t the traumatizing part of Jury Duty so I don’t want it to be the highlight of this post. There was a domestic violence dispute where a woman ended up with a cut on her hand and the defendant plead not guilty. This was a felony case because of the claim of the use of a deadly weapon. When it came time to deliberate there were two different charges we could sentence the defendant with, or decide he’s not guilty. The jury decided the harsher of the two, a felony. The second decision was his sentencing. Because he already had a felony on his record and spent time in jail, the Texas law requires a minimum sentence of 25 years. My jury members wanted to really stick it to him so they gave him a 26 year sentence, as kind of a “ha ha”. The defendant stood up, heard his sentence, ran his fingerprints, and went to jail until he likely will pass away.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday ever!!! It’s a holiday where you eat, relax, meet up with friends/family, eat again, and hopefully be grateful. This is the bee knees of holidays people, there’s nothing better. (I also love all the shopping sales that closely follow. Ha!) But it simply wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving without being able to say what you’ve been thankful for…
Wafiq and I have a ritual of saying what we’re thankful for almost daily. When times were a little tougher I think we would say them twice a day… Taking time to challenge each other in a grateful war always makes the mood brighter. And it takes your mind off all that negative shit that’s stuck up in that brain of yours.
This year, I have TONS to be grateful for, so lets get into it!
I would love to say I’m back with Taylor Swift in my ears but I have 1,000 upgrades, login/password confusion, and download issues happening in iTunes right now so no Taylor Swift for me! Might have to take it the old fashion way of buying a tangible CD or pirating. I’ve only been looking forward to this album since she disappeared.
I had a few traumatizing events happen the last few weeks, Jury Duty, work overload, and a book that rocked my socks. The combination of everything changed me. Really changed me in my core, opened my eyes, freaked me out, kept me awake… I’m going to follow up with a few posts on those events in the next week or so because it’s a lot to take on in one post, for me. Especially since I haven’t written a post in awhile, I wanted to say hi first! Immediately after Jury Duty I started thinking – fuck blogging, it’s not important enough. I kind of protested myself, to myself? My eyes were opened WIDE and I really shut the door on blogging, I was completely shifted in my thoughts. I couldn’t come on and write about shoes, or festivals, or being happy – when that’s the opposite of what I gave a shit about. But then, being away made me feel anxious, I love writing. And it doesn’t have to be roses and smiles all the time, because life isn’t roses all the time. And my writing doesn’t have to be perfect or make perfect sense, because no one is perfect. No one knows everything. I also learned that being away from blogging & writing didn’t feel right.
I’ve anxiously been waiting to have a post schedule again. I use my blog as a creativity outlet but realized it’s more than that for me, it’s a way to express what’s in my head and talk to a few people that read. My goal is to eventually talk back and forth (I think some people call that conversation 🙂 ) with readers. I know everything I say or think can be changed with a little extra knowledge and I’m going to do my best to search for it! And always hear the other side on all my thoughts, and I encourage you to do the same.
Needless to say, waaaay out of the holiday spirit this year. I don’t even remember Halloween. Did it happen already? This might not seem like a big deal, but as a blogger I should give a shit. And my whole life I have – I love costumes and dressing up. I’m typically VERY holiday. Celebrations excite me and I’m always down to participate… but this year I haven’t gotten into the swing of things, just haven’t and I probably won’t. I’m relieved, I don’t want to holiday this year. I want 2017 to be the year that I’m not focused on holidays but focused on myself and upcoming plans. I’ve done this once before, when I first moved to Dubai. I skipped holidays, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad. So this year will be somewhat similar, not a total skip, but pretty darn close.
Attention All: We have a new motto in our household. I’m putting the same test on you & your household as well. No more “I can’t wait for…”
I’ve never been someone who’s said “I can’t wait for…” or “I can’t wait when…” very often but I caught myself the other night. I kid you not, Wafiq & I said approx 4 times in a row an “I can’t wait for…” sentence. “I can’t wait for us to get the new computer screen”, “I can’t wait for the new speaker”, “I can’t wait for…”. We sat down on our badass couch in front of our huge ass TV in our treehouse home and started laughing. WTF. We have everything we’ve ever wanted right here in front of us. There were moments we couldn’t wait to have our own space, we couldn’t wait to get through the immigration process (& payments), we couldn’t wait to make money… and here we are with all of those things fully accomplished.
And now we’re acting like we need more?!?
Even when we barely had our own room to sleep in, we rarely said out loud how much we couldn’t wait to have our own place. I think we both knew if we started to focus on the things we didn’t have, we could end up in a dark, miserable tunnel of misery. So we rarely talked negatively.
It’s interesting once you start having “things” you start focusing on more things, for some reason. I think accidentally. I laughed out loud when I heard myself. We both did. And we said, no more! It’s freaking ridiculous what we’re doing. And instead, we focused on watching the season premiere of Survivor.
Holy shit! Almost literally. I was scared to go to the bathroom the morning after I ate those fucking sunflower seed shells. I know that’s all you’re wondering, how was my poo poo. Well, ladies and gentleman I’m relieved to report everything flowed normally… so far.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about you didn’t see my Insta Story. I’ve been trying new cookbooks & have recently been using the Naturally Nourished recipes. I went for a casserole recipe the other night & noticed one of the ingredients was “shelled sunflower seeds”. To me, this meant in-shell. I was in Trader Joe’s googling “Shelled Sunflower Seeds” with results showing sunflower seeds, IN SHELLS. Confirming my thoughts that the recipe had to mean sunflower seeds, in their shell.
Does baking a shell of any seed make sense? No it doesn’t. But neither did putting bulbs of garlic in green juice to cure my shingles, but it worked. My mind told me no. My gut told me yes. To pursue & discover this new secret vegan ingredient, sunflower seed shells.
I blended about 1/4 Cup of sunflower seeds, in their shells. I did have a moment of hesitation after noticing the sunflower seed shells weren’t grinding down very well. After persistence, I sprinkled the crumbs onto my casserole and baked.
Sunflower seed shells are a softer shell, okay? I ate them as a child. I know. So I thought, maybe baking them would create a soft, crunchy crust. Clearly wrong.
THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA. And likely unsafe. Therefore, don’t do it. Shelled means unshelled. I don’t understand it still, and probably never will, but what the hell, learned something new. In my defense, in another recipe from the book it asked for “Pistachios, out of their shell” which is why I assumed if that’s what they meant w/sunflower seeds they would’ve said it the same way?
Finally the day has come, we moved into a different space. Remember when I moved into this tiny apartment and I was so happy? I believed that was literally all I needed in life, a perfect shelter. I’m still on the small living environment kick, too much space gives me anxiety. I know most people hate moving but I’ve decided I love it, I’ve moved a lot and lived out of a suitcase more years in my life than I’ve had a closet. Not really.
Getting rid of shit is my jam. It gives me the same excited butterflies you’re supposed to get when you see your significant other. Moving forces you to really purge shit out. All those things that Wafiq was making us hold on to because “we have space” are officially at Goodwill. And all the stupid clothes, cheap gimmicks and nonsense you can find on THIS list are gone! Moving is a breeze because all our “things” (besides the bed, sofa, and TV) fit in a few boxes 🙂 Awww my favorite feeling.
One of the many reasons we’re so excited about our new place is that the view is open to trees, no more walking path! What do you guys see when you look outside your window? We started feeling a little like we were living in a hamster cage because our windows opened to a walking path that people loved to bring their dogs to, so we happy peeps right now.
As you may have heard, there’s a hurricane that recently f*cked up parts of Texas. In Austin, we lost power for 20 hours & had wind + rain but nothing much larger than our regular storms. Please remember, when you’re thinking of Houston and all the damage it’s done, there are several smaller communities that have been damaged as well & also need help + resources. The less popular babies need attention too 🙂 I have to say, it’s refreshing to run through my Facebook feed and see all my Texas friends coming together to love & support one another. No more wrestling over topics that don’t serve a purpose or creating fights & arguments because we’re bored. There was awhile there I didn’t even check FB. So, proud of Texas right now and proud to be a part of the state.
And mother earth must be freaking PISSED off right now, brewing storms all over the place. EEEk. I pray everyone stays safe & cuddled with their people. Love love love.