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.
I have some exciting news! Or at least I consider it exciting… I’m heading back to Dubai! This time, I’m not moving there & simply going for a visit – like a normal person.
Last time I was in Dubai, I remember literally telling Wafiq “I’m never ever. Never. Ever. Coming back to this fucking place.” Harsh, I know. And I told everyone that! I hated the thought of ever going back. Being able to say that out loud & having made it through the experience – felt amazing. I felt stuck when I was in Dubai, by my own stubbornness, for so long that when I finally got out of it, I felt like I made it! And there was no going back. Literally.
The experience was way harder on me than I expected & by the time I had my plane ticket in hand to come back to the States, I was extremely excited for America! But, two years later I can say I’m actually excited to go back. Mostly because so much has changed since then. Personally & professionally. Also, I’m not moving there so I know I’m not stuck, merely a tourist. And shiiiii, I lived there for almost 2 years! There are parts & memories I miss.
This is the only “Holiday Gift Guide” I had time to make this year! My goal for next year is to be more specific & give some super badass ideas for everyone you’re shopping for. To take the weight off your shoulders & have a stress free season. Holiday Gift Guides are my jam & I find them to be incredibly helpful. Hopefully this list will at least send you in the right direction…
Your Friends Businesses:
You know what’s freaking crazy, not supporting your friends small businesses or hobby’s. If you have a friend or know of someone that’s bravely trying to create their own business & fulfill a passion, you should be the one in line to support them! I feel like I’m always hearing the critique of what people are trying to do rather than the encouragement & support. SO, what a wonderful time to show support to these businesses by ordering gifts through them. Think of people you know that are trying to start a product, sell a product or service and figure out who you can gift that to. That way, you’re giving an awesome gift to the receiver and another gift to the person you’re purchasing from. If you don’t have any friends doing this, check out Etsy. Tons of businesses & hobby’s on that website are small (& you can consider those people friends). Love this idea!
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.
Thank you to everyone for your feedback on the Jury Duty post! I can’t describe the relief it was to feel other people understand where I was coming from… The experience made me think I was alone on an island called Understanding – so thank you thank you thank you! And like I said, I’m not done with this, so stay tuned. My wheels are spinning! Please continue to let me know if you have similar stories, ideas, thoughts – I love hearing them!
Today, I’m getting off the serious train & into something I consider a little more enjoyable. I become overwhelmed & disengage quickly when someone is in a constant heavy subject. Even for me, that gets exhausting. I need to full circle of conversation. I also try to enjoy my life & freedoms as much as possible because I know they are not granted to everyone.
Let’s talk Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Fuck that shit! (Yeah right, I spent the entire weekend scrolling the internet in efforts to procrastinate all other tasks. Procrastination does not end in college.)
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!