My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 84 My best characteristic

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 84
271. What would you consider your best characteristic?

I have never really been good at talking about my own good qualities.  Questions like this make me slightly uncomfortable.  I’m not one that is able to boast about myself, which can often be a downfall, at least in corporate America.  I do horrible in interviews when asks questions about what I consider to be my best qualities.  I also have a hard time at the end of the year when we have to complete a self review of ourselves.  This is the time we are supposed to write about all the great things we we’ve accomplished and why we deserve a good ranking (raise).  I envy people (like my husband) who can easily talk about their best qualities.  It shows a sense of confidence that I’ve just never possessed.

With that being said, if I really had to say what I thought my best characteristic was, it would have to be reliability.

The definition of reliability is “the quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well”.  When it comes to work, one of my strongest characteristics is reliability.  I am one of those people that feels guilty when I have to call in sick to work (even when I am really sick).  I am also one of those workers that will work from home through a sick day because I know there are things that I promised to get completed.  I take pride in my work performance, so when I do something, I make sure that it is done consistently well.  Part of the stress I’ve been having the last few weeks about this upcoming surgery is that I will be out of work for 6-8 weeks.  Due to my need to be a reliable worker, I’ve been working 12 hour days and weekends to try and get my work caught up to a point that I feel comfortable leaving (even though I already plan on bringing work home to do during my recover time).  I’ve promised myself that I will take the time I need to heal, but if I’m just stuck in bed or on the couch for weeks on end, I might as well be productive while doing it.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 83 It never gets old…

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 83
233. You never get sick of…

 

Things I never get sick of….   in no particular order:

1.) The Big Bang Theory reruns.  I have seen every episode more times than I can count.  It’s still the first thing I look for when I turn on the TV to watch.  Every season.. and all but about 2 episodes I can watch over and over.  I never get sick of them.

2.) I have a few movies that I can watch hundreds of times without getting sick of them.  I’ve mentioned them all before, but they are The Goodbye Girl, When Harry Meet Sally, You’ve Got Mail and Brigette Jones’ Diary.

3.) Road trips!  I never get sick of road trips.  Whether it’s just a day time road trip (our favorites are Carmel and some of the Casino’s that are within driving distance) or a weekend road trip (we like Tahoe or most areas in Southern California).

4.) Treating myself to something off our normal food plan.  Late last year we moved to a low carb / lazy keto way of eating.  This means very little carbs (so none of my favorite comfort foods).  So when I do get a chance to indulge a little, the feeling of comfort I get from certain foods never gets old.

5.) QVC.  I’ve been a big QVC shopper for many years.  Although I have cut back a lot on my shopping in general, I’ve really held back on my QVC shopping over the last year or so, but I still never get sick of the fun of watching something on TV, ordering it and then getting it in the mail.  So many things that I like in that whole process.  TV, shopping and getting something in the mail.

6.) Lazy Sundays (or Saturdays).  I never get sick of those rare days when you get to just wake up at leisure and hang out in bed drinking coffee and watching movies.  I don’t know if it’s because we don’t have that opportunity often (maybe I wouldn’t appreciate it as much if we were able to do it every weekend), but I will never get tired of days like these.  Lazy days are my favorite.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge day 82 Secret to personal happiness

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 82
190. What is your personal secret of happiness

What is my personal secret to happiness?  That’s easy… medication.  🙂
Just kidding… although let’s be honest, for someone that suffers from extreme anxiety, panic disorder and OCD, there are sometimes when medication is what it takes to be able to feel happiness.  Although I would prefer to not have to use any form of medication (I hate pills), there are just sometimes when it is necessary.

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On a day to day basis, my personal secret for happiness is to keep things in my life organized.  Even when things at home or work seem overwhelming, I tend to be a much happier (and more relaxed) person if I have a clear, organized list of what needs to be done.

I notice at work that if I let things go for to long without taking time to stop and reevaluate and reprioritize, I start feeling defeated and slightly depressed.  When I get to this point, I need to stop myself and take a few hours to go through all of the pending work that needs to be completed and put things in order by priority and take care of any looming issues that have been lost in the pile of papers on my desk.  I not only feel happier when I do this, but much more in control and productive.

On the home front, I am a much happier person when I have my planner (which I use for daily/weekly/monthly tasks and obligations).  I am constantly updating it and noting new things that I want to complete.  It helps free up my mind when I have everything written in one location.  I feel that is the only time that I can release it from my brain and move on to other things. I also find that my memory is just getting worse and worse as I get older so sometimes if I don’t write it down, I simply forget to do it.

I truly believe the reason that organization brings me happiness is that I so often feel out of control.  For me, having my life planned and organized is the only way I feel like I have control of what is going on around me.  Anxiety tends to yield its ugly head when I feel out of control, which of course, diminishes my degree of happiness.

I have to admit that part of the happiness comes from checking things off of all of these lists when I have accomplished them.  There is something so gratifying in knowing that you actually completed something you set out to do.
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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 81 Having courage to speak your mind

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 81
308. If you had the courage to speak your mind you would say…..

I remember a time when I would want desperately to speak out when I had an opinion or idea but I was just to terrified, so I would sit in silence and keep my thoughts to myself.  I would say I have improved a great deal from those days.  I still normally keep my opinions to myself, whether it be at work or when talking to friends/family, but there are certain topics that I now feel strongly enough to break out of my comfort zone and speak up about.

I often get told at work that I don’t speak up or provide feedback enough.  Little do they know that my 25 year old self would be flabbergasted at the person I am now and the amount of speaking I do.  So, although to some I may not seem outgoing enough, little do they know the amount of progress I’ve made.  When I am confronted with the need to be more vocal, I usually reply that I may not be that person that speaks out about everything, but when I do speak, it’s going to mean something and be important.  If I feel it’s worth speaking up about, it’s probably worth someone listening.

If I had the courage to speak my mind, I would probably  speak up more about my overall worth as a person.  I often feel that I am taking for granted. I don’t usually speak up about it because I think that I partially bring it on myself.  By being that person that always needs to be in control and do things myself (because I feel like if I want something done right, I need to take care of it personally), it’s kind of hard to then turn around and say that I feel like I am being taking advantage of or taken for granted.  But we are talking about what I would say if I had the courage, so I guess this would be a good starting point for me.  I think that at work there is an expectation that I will always work above and beyond, even if it requires giving up my weekends and working 12+ hour days.  People take for granted that due to my work ethics I will get unrealistic demands taken care of.  Again, I am partially to blame for this because I am often the “yes” gal.  On a personal level, people often take for granted that I will always be the one to keep in touch and make the effort in most relationships.  Often times if I don’t make the initial contact, it could be months and months before certain people would reach out to me.  I don’t say anything (lake of courage?) because often times I feel it’s just not worth the confrontation.

“Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end
of the day saying… I will try again tomorrow”
-Mary Anne Radmacher

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 80 Worst Advice Ever!

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 80
261. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

The worst advice I’ve ever received?  That’s an easy one.  I’ve been advised by more than one person to be grateful that I was never able to have children.  It’s sometimes baffling to me to think that people would actually advice someone that was never able to have children that instead of being sad about it, they should embrace it and be grateful.

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The interesting thing is that the people that have said this to me are all parents.  I know deep down it is probably said during a difficult parenting day because there are very few parents in this world that would actually say they wished they never had children.  I’m sure it’s said out of frustration or tiredness, but it is still crazy to me that anyone would think this is good advice to give an infertile person.

Being in a minority of childless people, it is tough sometimes when people say things that are clearly inappropriate.  How do you even respond to that?  Do you smile and say, “yes, that’s great advice.  I’m so thankful I don’t have one of those!”.  Or do you call them on it and question if they realize what they are actually saying?  Do they seriously think I should be grateful that I never was able to become a mother?  Do they wish that for themselves?  Highly doubtful.

There are so many dysfunctionalities when you live the life of a childless person.  So many stereotypes you have to conquer and so many stupid comments you have to learn to not take to heart.  I wish I could say it gets easier over time, but it really doesn’t.  You learn better ways of dealing with it, but it’s definitely not any easier.
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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 79 Places I want to visit

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 79
42. Five places you would like to visit are:

It would be impossible for me to pick just five places I want to visit.  I have a list of hundreds of places, so narrowing it down to 5 would be difficult.  Although I have traveled and have had the opportunity to visit so many wonderful places, there are still many areas just in the U.S. alone that I want to go.  I won’t even mention the international places that are on my list to visit because that would up that list by a few hundred more.

As part of my surgery recovery “kit” I have purchased several books (I know, I’m old school.. I still love the feel and smell of good old fashion books verse Ebooks).  One of the books that I bought to go through while I’m stuck in bed is this “USAs Best Trips: 51 Amazing Road Trips”.  I have this desire to travel the United States.  By car would be amazing since I do have a fondness for road trips.  I could find over 100 places I want to visit just from this book alone.
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From the California Coast to Key West, I am looking forward to getting out and seeing all of the amazing places this country has to offer.  Give me any national monument, national park or site with any historic significance and I am a happy girl.

I am very much looking forward to the days when Don and I are both retired so that we can do some of these incredible road trips (I have a ways to go before I retire, so I’m hoping we can do at least a handful of them before that time).

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 78 Making yourself happy

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 78
169. What is the last thing you did just to make yourself happy?

The last time I did something to make myself happier just happened today.

I decided that I would take a few hours off of work tomorrow to just come home and decompress and spend some quiet time by myself.  I’ve been experiencing an excess amount of anxiety the last few days.  I’ve had to talk myself out of numerous panic attacks just within the last 24 hours.  One of which was at 2:00am this morning.  I know my anxiety is about at it’s max capacity when I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m not able to go back to sleep because I feel so anxious and panicky.  This morning was one of those times.  I woke up unexpectedly and before I could will myself back to sleep, my mind started racing about work and life.  It’s always seems to be that  my fears are overexaggerated tenfold in the stillness of the night.  So, I decided that it’s important during this time of trying to get through these health issues that I take some “me” time. I made the decision to go into work this morning and explained to my boss that I would like to take a much needed half vacation day tomorrow.  At first I thought of all the different errands I could do during this time, but then stopped myself and had to remember that I was taking this as mental health time.  So the plan is to just come home, change into PJs (yes, even if it’s only 1:00pm in the afternoon) and either put a favorite show on TV or just recline in the chair and put some music on and shut my eyes for a few hours until Don gets home.  However small, I think this little act of kindness to myself will bring me some of the comfort I am desperately seeking right now.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 77 Accomplishments

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 77
95. One thing I want to accomplish TODAY is….

One thing I want to accomplish today is to feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.  ANYTHING!  Just one thing!

From the moment we found out my surgery date on April 1st, I’ve been running around both work and home like a chicken with my head cut off.  I am trying to do the impossible and that is to have everything fully organized in all areas of my life prior to the surgery.  To be transparent, I am a control freak.  Which means I have a very difficult time letting others handle things I feel I should be doing.  Although I am learning to slowly let go of things at home and let Don take on some of the responsibility (which he is more than capable of doing, if I would just let him), I have a much harder time with this at work. Everyday I go into work with a full list of “to-do” items.  Although I am making some progress on getting a back-up trained for when I am out, I am making very little (or more accurately… none) progress on getting anything done that I want to accomplish before I leave.  This is causing unnecessary anxiety that I just don’t need right now.

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So if I were to say just ONE thing that I want to accomplish TODAY alone, it would be to mark just one item off of my work to-do list.  I still have a few hours to try and accomplish this.. wish me luck!

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 76 A perfect Spring Day Continued

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 76
171. Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day… continued

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I am going to do something a little different today.  Instead of getting a new topic for the day, I’m going to continue yesterdays topic.  I think I am just so excited that it finally feels like spring around here and the rain has let up for a while.  Today we were out and about for another perfect “spring” day so I thought I would just add on to yesterdays topic.

One of the things that Don and I enjoy doing once spring actually hits and the weather starts to clear up is get out on our bicycles.  We do a charity bike ride every year to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.  The past few years this ride has been held in the beautiful Napa winery area.  The past rides we have participated in were 25 mile rides.  This year, they have changed the venue and it will now be in Sonoma (still a beautiful location) and they upped the mileage from 25 to 30.  This is going to be a challenge for me since I am not going to be able to do many training rides due to the upcoming surgery.  Surgery is April 1st and per doctors orders, no bicycle riding for me for at least 6-8 weeks.  The charity ride is scheduled for June 30th, so that is going to leave me just a few weeks to work my endurance back up to be able to do a full 30 miles.  Especially having just recovered from this rather aggressive surgery, I am not sure how feasible this is going to be.  But I’m willing to give it a shot.  So, you can imagine how excited we were to get out today on this beautiful pre-spring day to get in a little riding.

Now, before I go any further, I do have to clarify that Don enjoys bike riding much more than I do.  I don’t necessarily dislike it, but I definitely do it more because it is something he enjoys and wants me to do with him.  Some people are just better equipped for certain physical activity.  He is a super bicyclist when it comes to endurance and enjoyment (he isn’t going to be riding the century ride (100 miles) are anything like that, but he is way better than I am).  Me… If we rode for 10-15 miles and that was it, I would be fine with that.  I am not one that feels like I need to push to the 30 or 50 miles rides.  I do the 30 mile for him, because that’s what we do when we love someone.  It’s the same as when he gave Zumba a try for me (which was hysterical because the boy has zero rhythm).

Today was a perfect bike riding day.  The sun was out, but it was not super hot.  The weather was a beautiful 70 degrees.  Due to all of the rains recently, all of the hills and meadows were so colorful.  I wanted so badly to stop and take pictures every 50 feet.. but I didn’t want to hold up the group so I didn’t.  I will be forever sad that I didn’t stop to get a picture of a goat sitting up on a tracker looking like he was driving it.  I could kick myself because what are the odds of seeing that again anytime soon?

Overall it was a good day.  I had a tough time with the ride though.  It was hard on my legs and now that we are home, I am so sore.  But Don is happy and that is what matters.  🙂

 

 

 

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 75 A perfect spring day

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 75
171. Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day

Although we are still a few days before it is officially spring, I am going to have to say that today was probably what I would describe as a perfect spring day for me.

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Being a spoiled California gal, I am used to some pretty typical weather conditions.  That would be blue skies and mild temperatures.  Although we do get a few really cold days (really cold in California terms) and a handful of really hot days, the majority of our days are average temperatures.  70 degrees is a pretty standard temperature around here.  It seems that this year we have had a large influx of wet weather.  This is good in some degree since California has been going through a drought for several years, but at the same time, there have been whole weeks that have just been rainy and overcast.  It has been a while since we have seen a full day of sun.

Today was that day and it was amazing.  I was very grateful to get out and absorbing some of that vitamin D.  Although, I did end up coming home with my arms completely burnt.  It’s been so long since the sun has been out that I completely forgot to put some sunblock in my purse.  I have extremely fair skin so it does not take much for me to burn.

My perfect spring day consisted of spending the day at the little league park watching my adorable Grandson playing T-Ball.  T-Ball in itself is just so fun to watch because the kids are all so little and are not yet old enough to be fully into the game.  So you get to watch the majority of them picking grass in the outfield or talking to each other while they stand on bases.  It is probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time.

 

The sun was out and shining, but yet it was not overly hot, which is perfect (I’m not a fan of the heat).  My favorite season is spring because I love when there is sunshine with a nice cool breeze.

I also love how the hills are so green and pretty this time of the year.  It won’t be long before these same hills are fully brown.  Another reason to enjoy ever second of spring while I can.