My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 91 What makes me, me?

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 91
309. What makes you, you?

If you were to ask my husband or many of my friends and family, they would say that the prime thing that makes me, me is my obsessive compulsive need for control.  I do not do well with things that I am unable to control.  It can be a positive and a negative all at the same time.  The intense need to be in control of every aspect of my life is one of the reasons that I am almost always in a state of anxiety.  As everyone is aware, it is impossible to control every aspect of your environment.  There are just some things that are out of your control.  And that my friend is what causes me extreme anxiety.  Whether it is something major like health issues to something small like “will I be able to find a parking space in a crowded parking garage and make my appointment on time”.  These are things that I try my hardest to control, but of course, I can’t.
The good side of being overly controlling is that I am an expert on planning and organizing anything and everything that is happening in our life.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 90 Anger

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 90
3. How do you deal with anger?

Anger is a difficult emotion for me.  When I get angry, I don’t handle it in a healthy way.  I tend to just bottle it up inside and become withdrawn and quiet.  I rarely release my anger and sometimes can hold onto something that has caused me to be angry for days, weeks or even months.  I often wonder if this could be the cause of a lot of my health issues.  Both physical and mental.  I have ulcerative colitis and IBS.  This has a tendency to be triggered when I am upset or overly stressed.  I also have high blood pressure which I know is also caused by bottled up emotions that I never let out.  It is a standing joke in our house that my husband who definitely releases his anger has perfect blood pressure.  He claims that if I learned to if I learned to let out some of my pent up aggressions that I probably would have normal blood pressure as well.  I’m not sure if his theory is all that accurate, but I guess it would be worth a try.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 89 Rejected

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 89
290. Describe a time when you felt rejected

Rejection is one of the toughest things I have had to learn to deal with in my life.  I think everyone at one point or another has that feeling of being rejected.  It happens a lot when we are children and gets even worse in our teenage years.  Things like trying out for teams or groups and not being “accepted”, or sometimes rejection can even come from our own friends.  Maybe it’s more common with teenage girls, I don’t know, but oh my goodness… girls can be just down right mean.  I have specific memories of when a group of friends would get mad at just one person.  Then they would all bond together and make sure that they would leave that one person out of everything.  I was the one on the receiving end of that on several occasions and I can tell you, it surely does not feel good to be rejected by your friends.

Rejection overall is a difficult thing to learn to deal with.  I did have one specific rejection that has stuck with me for many years and still brings twinges of pain and embarrassment whenever I think about it.  Rejection can cause so many different emotions.  It can make you sad, cause you to feel depressed, hurt your feelings and also cause you embarrassment.  Embarrassment is almost one of the worst parts.  It can be embarrassing (maybe humiliating is a better word) to put yourself out there to someone and have them reject you.  That is what happened to me.  I was very much in love with someone who I was pretty much willing to change my whole life for.  I opened my heart and gave my soul to this person.  Sadly, they didn’t want me.  At least not in the same way that I wanted them.  Just because someone turns you down nicely does not mean that you are not being rejected.  I felt rejected, humiliated and devastated to my very core.  It’s because of this person that I have and will always have a wall up when it comes to my heart.  I love my husband to pieces, but there will always be that part of me that will hide behind that wall and never be able to break though to give my 100% true self.  Sometimes rejection can be life changing.  This surely was for me.  For me, it’s hard enough to show love in general.  Maybe that has to do with the tough situations I had in my childhood or maybe it’s just part of who I am, but I am not one of those people that gives my heart easily and freely.  It takes work for me (even before this rejection).  So when this person rejected me and didn’t want me, it was a firm reminder of why I hold back so much on opening myself completely to any other human being.  I have not yet found that the benefits outweigh the pain and let’s face it, that’s just down right sad.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 88 Most Important Thing

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 88
114. Isn’t this moment the most important thing?

Sometimes it takes difficult things to happen in life to make us remember how important it is to appreciate the everyday moments that we often take for granted.

I am down to just 3 days until the big surgery date.  On Monday I will be going in for my complete hysterectomy, bilateral salpingectomy and bilateral oophorectomy.  I have so many fears running through me right now.  So many “what-ifs”.  When I am afraid and am experiencing pretty intense anxiety, I will normally be stuck in my own head and become withdrawn and often times a little snippy towards others.  Yet, at the same time I want the love and support of everyone around me.  Even when I’m not always being the nicest.  I know it seems unfair and I agree with that.  So I am currently trying to practice the idea that THIS moment is important… and then the next moment is important… and all moments of life are important.  Maybe this will pull me out of feeling so focused on my self pity and remember that others around me are trying to live their important life moments and my negativity is probably making it hard for them.

Each moment is important.  I don’t know how we go about continually reminder ourselves of this, but of all things, this is clearly something worth trying for.

This is me… trying to live my best moments even through the face of fear.
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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 87 Seasons

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 87
282. When do you know when each season is “here”?

In northern California, we do not really have changing of the seasons.  The only way I really know when we’ve reached a new season is when it says so on the calendar.  Of course we have our rainy season and “cold” season (California cold), we don’t have those beautiful changing of seasons like they do back east.  I would love to visit someplace during the fall season when I can see the leaves of the trees changing into those beautiful colors.

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Even though we don’t get a real changing of the season here, I still have my favorites.  Spring and Fall are the seasons I look forward to the most.  My favorite weather is blue skies with a nip in the air.  We get that here both in spring and fall.

I guess the way I know when certain seasons are here would be by the events and holidays that surround each season.  I really feel “winter” when the Christmas holidays hit.  We don’t get snow and I would say that we have more sunny Christmas days then rainy ones, but just knowing that it’s Christmas makes it feel like winter.
It feels like spring when the winter rain starts to ease up a little and Easter comes around.  It’s not always clear and sunny on Easter.  Several times we had to do our Easter egg hunts inside the house, but for the most part, the weather is starting to clear up and we are getting my favorite blue skies with a little chill in the air.
Summer in the our area of California is very mild.  We live just miles from the bay, so we almost always have that nice bay breeze, even on the “hotter” days.  During the summer months we may hit the 90’s just a handful of times.  For the most part, we are on average in the mid to upper 70’s.  I would say I know it’s summer when we have to open windows to get some cool air in the house.  Since we live in a place that does not often get super hot, most homes do not have air conditioning.  I guess you could say the breeze from the bay is our air conditioning.  The only days we struggle are the days when the breeze completely stops.
Fall is a little harder to distinguish.  It often feels like we don’t really have a fall.  It’s almost like we go straight from summer to winter.  I guess the way I know it’s fall is when I start seeing all of the pumpkin items start to come out.  You know… pumpkin EVERYTHING!  From food to decorations.

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Currently we are having an excessively LONG rainy season here in the bay area.  It feels like it’s been raining for months and months.  I am so looking forward to when I can pull up the 10 day weather forecast and not see any rain!!  I have a feeling that because my surgery is set for this Monday and I will be pretty much house/bed ridden for 4-6 weeks, I’m sure the weather will now transform into beautiful blue skies.  Isn’t that the way it always works?  Maybe I’ll have to have Don move a chair out on the small little porch we have and I can hobble my way outside and just sit outside and get some fresh air… that’s if the weather changes of course.  Right now, the forecast for surgery day is rain!  Surprise Surprise.  🙁

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 86 Being an expert

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 86
254. What would you like to be an expert in?

I sure wish I were an expert in finances.  Specifically investing so I can make the most money for my retirement.  I know nothing about my retirement fund or where the money is going.  To be honest, it said to pick certain percentages to be allocated to certain investment areas and I just picked at random until I reached 100%.  I have no idea if I’m in low risk, high risk or even what the difference is.  I have a feeling if I actually knew something about what I was doing, I could be making more money.  As retirement age grows closer and closer, it seems that I really should be putting more attention into this.  Even if I cannot become an “expert” at this point, I should at least now not just where my money is going, but where I should be investing it.

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I’ve always wished I could play the piano.  To be an expert at it would be even better.  I love the sound of someone playing the piano.  Some of my favorite concerts were Billy Joel and Elton John.. both fabulous piano players of course.  It is so amazing to watch fingers smoothly move over the keys producing magical music.  I tried once to learn.  When I was in my early 20’s, I took a beginning piano class at the local junior college.  This was back when I was incredibly shy, so after the first class, in which we had to play a few notes by ourselves in front of the class, I quickly dropped out.  I was way to intimidated for that.  So, my extent of becoming a piano expert lasted about 2 hours.

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Lastly, I would love to be an expert in mindfulness behavior.  To have the ability to calm my anxiety and control my internal struggles would be amazing.  I truly envy people that can get into a real meditative state of mind.  I can’t.  I’ve tried.

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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 85 Assumptions

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 85
216. What assumptions would a stranger make about your based on the books you read or have read?

If a stranger were to make assumptions about me just by knowing what books I read or have read they would probably assume I am both an incurable romantic that requires a lot of self-help.  🙂

Although I don’t have as much time to read as I would like, when I do read, it is 90% of the time going to be some type of romance novel.  When it’s not romance, I’m going to head towards some type of  self-help type book.

As far as the romance, those are the books I like to read when I just want to escape.  Reading is similar to music for me in that it takes me into a different space where I can pretend and imagine things that draw me away from many of the stresses of real life.  For the most part, you can pretty much figure out the ending of any romance novel after the first chapter, but I still enjoy them.  And if you are going to read, you might as well read something that is going to transport you away from the craziness of life.  I pretty much enjoy all romance books from all eras, but I tend to stick to more modern day romance.

When it comes to self-help, I like to read these just for the knowledge and the hope that it might help me with whatever personal issue I am focusing on at that moment.  I’ve read books about learning to be a better conversationalist, having better self esteem, mindfulness meditation books and powers of positive thinking books just to name a few.

I think another assumption a stranger would probably have about me due to the books I read (and this assumption would be true) is that I am “old school”.  I do have my tablet that I read from on occasion, but nothing beats the feel and the smell of a new book.  I will take a paper copy of a book over an electronic one every time.

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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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