and forward.


March, please be good to me

My last entry was a bit big downer. I’m owning it. I’d love to be sunshine and rainbows all the time, but alas. I’m only human, and my humanness sometimes comes with gloom and pettiness and big old blahs.

All that stuff from my last entry, plus stuff I won’t disclose, has worn me OUT. My bones feel heavy and achy (which better not be the flu coming back), and my brain is like “muh?” Emotional, physical, and energetic exhaustion, and it’s only two months into 2018.

So.

D O N E .

…but even when I’m tired, even when I think I’m D O N E, sometimes a little flame, a touch of spunk, rears its little head.

It’s March 1! A new month. A chance to wipe the slate clean {again}. It’s a month of renewal, of change, of new possibilities. Am I brave enough to embrace it? To dream, to hope?

There are things to look forward to. It’s my best friend’s birthday month (yay Rena!). It’s Charlotte’s birthday month. The Spring Equinox. LOVE, SIMON and A WRINKLE IN TIME hit cinemas.

The weather will start warming up (in theory). It’ll be my ten year anniversary of moving to Chicago. Aidan’s spring break comes at the end of the month.

🌷 SPRING!!!!!! 🌷

February and January were challenging, but I’m still here. I’m STILL HERE.

It’s time to make March my bitch.

real talk.

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Look. I try to be positive and upbeat despite… well, you know. Everything, really. The country is a trash fire, I’m scared all the time someone’s going to whip out a gun and shoot us all up (this is probably why I rarely leave the house anymore), I hate the cold, and I’m weary in my bones.

BUT

I try to live in this perpetual attitude of gratitude, because there is a lot to be thankful for. Black Panther is mind blowing. I still love my mini office. I get to drink tea every day. Electric blankets and “My Heat” space heaters are amazing. I have incredible, patient, lovely best friends. My agent is awesome. People make outstanding custom content for The Sims.

Maybe I’m grasping at straws right now. Sometimes I get desperate like that.

The fact is, so far, 2018 has been…not great. These are the main reasons why.

• My sweet, sweet kitty Fi passed away
• I lost my driver’s license. It was a pain to go through the hoops to get a duplicate. In Illinois, you don’t get your license the same day anymore. You get a temp, and they mail the real to you at some point. The post office RETURNED my license instead of delivering it to me. So I get to go through all those hoops again, and hope they don’t return it this time.

The Chicago USPS is awful.

• Depression/anxiety are trying their best to get me, and some most days it’s easier to let them win.
• I’ve already been sick twice, and anxiety makes me feel nauseated almost all day every day anymore.
• I’m not sleeping well due to various factors, such as the aforementioned depression/anxiety, noise, and stress.
• I’m not eating very well, because my appetite has been weird since I’ve been sick. Also, see anxiety/depression.
• My health insurance premium went up. Along with that, I have new copays and other copays that are more expensive.
• My expenses keep going up. Which sucks because…
• I get to go job hunting sometime in the spring.
• The universe decided it would be a really fun time to have a recruiter try to recruit me for the job I’m losing in April. Because I love it being rubbed in my face that I might be stressed out and worried about money in several months time because of weird rules and things I don’t understand. I’m so scared it’s going to be 2006–2007 all over again and I’m freaking out about it.

That’s just some of them. I didn’t even touch the biggest things.

I mean, I get it. I know my problems aren’t super huge. There is a lot worse happening in the world all the time. And the guilt of my frustration and sadness compounds the anxiety and depression…no wonder I can barely eat. Or sleep.

I’m looking at the first two months of 2018 like:

I was so excited to start the year. Now I’m scared of what’s waiting for me.

I’m really praying things get better.

hello 2018.

I align myself with peace and calm, not stress.
I am aligned with the joy and light of my highest self

The last couple of years have been rough on a general, worldly scale. I’m hoping 2018 brings some big, positive changes for good people trying to do good things.

I hope I am a good person and that I keep focus on doing good things.

The year started off with me setting intentions, meditating, and writing. Tonight’s dinner menu is pork loin, green beans, and macaroni and cheese. I plan to spend the day sleeping in, writing, relaxing, hanging with the kid, and enjoying my last day off before having to jump back into the fray of work and life and the bone chilling cold weather, which I will avoid as much as I can. This evening, I have a date with my writer group on Google Hangouts. Excited to chat with everyone!

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t really do resolutions. Rather, I like to set goals. Actually, intentions might be a better word. Things I want to accomplish, changes I’d like to make, but not necessarily within the confines of the 365 days. Some of these goals are recycled, because let’s face it. I am who I am and the same things I’ve been working on all this time are probably the same things I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. But it’s OK. I’m a work in progress, and that’s fine.

Intentions for 2018:
– I want a joyful, energetic body.
– I want a loving, compassionate heart.
– I want a restful, alert mind.
– I want lightness of being.

In 2018, I NEED to:
– DRINK LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month.)
– DRINK MORE WATER
– exercise more
– do more yoga (I say this every year. I haven’t been to a real yoga class in months. That needs to change. I know it won’t any time soon with this COLD ASS WEATHER, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– walk more (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out.)
– write more (I really want to draft the novel that’s been knocking around my head the past 18 months or so, but I’ll take anything the muse wants to give me.)
– make more money (I like to buy things. I like to travel. I like to donate to charities, and I like to give lots of gifts. I need money to do those things. So, I need to make more money.)
– pay off at least one big credit card
– spend less time on social media
– spend more time working toward my goals
– spend more time with my loved ones
– declutter and clean my bedroom
– take more pictures!!

In 2018, I hope to:
– read at least 25 new books (at least 10 by POC)
– do a better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– travel to at least one place, domestic or international
– have financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want, within reason, of course, and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– have more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– eat less fast food
– get in better physical shape
– make new friends and appreciate the friends I already have even more
– have so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– do more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– journal more
– save money
– be more brave with my writing
– write more snail mail letters
– maintain a work-life balance that also sustains my lifestyle
– keep up with my Self Love planner

In My Dreams for 2018:
– a publishing contract
– my creative well running over
– discipline to complement and honor the creative well
– happiness and health for me and my loved ones

Looking Forward To:
– summer
– new books and music discoveries
– writing this novel (or whatever novel comes out of me)
– trying to grow my hair longer
– seeing the A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet
– Jekyll Island in June
– writing retreat in July
– seeing where my writing takes me!

Here’s hoping that 2018 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you to make room for that which does. Sending it to me and all of you.

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year in review: 2017

Was 2017 a good year for you?
On a personal level, I cannot complain. Yes, I had some ups and downs, but that’s normal, right? When I look back through my photos, I feel immense gratitude at the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, and the stuff I got to experience.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
– went ziplining!
– stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
– rode Avatar: Rite of Passage
– watched a solar eclipse
– rode a chairlift
– visited Utah
– flew business class on an intercontinental flight
– attended a gala
– hired a life coach
– attended the Once Upon a Time convention
– had a spa day

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Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a close friend of mine is expecting!

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my sweet Helena.

What countries did you visit?
Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
(with layovers in Iceland and Germany)

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 10, 2017—the day I got all my girlie plumbing removed
February 17, 2017—the day I got an offer of rep from my agent Caitie Flum!
May 25, 2017—the day I brought Charlotte home
September 5, 2017—the day I left Chicago for a month abroad with my BFF Jennifer Niven
September 18, 2017—the day I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and FELL IN LOVE
September 26, 2017—the day I visited the ABBA museum and became a fan
October 1, 2017—the day I few into Iceland and saw rainbows upon rainbows
November 9, 2017—the day I met Jason Segel
December 6, 2017—the day I saw Hamilton

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What was your biggest achievement of the year?
1. signing with a literary agent!!
2. spending almost a month abroad!!

What was your biggest failure?
1. keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.
2. not keeping up with my gratitude journal as regularly as I’d have liked.
3. not eating enough leafy greens.
4. not doing enough yoga or barre.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
got a couple of colds

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, makeup, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017?
– Just Say—Extreme Music
– How Far I’ll Go—Auli’i Cravalho
– This Night Is Ours—The Funshiners
– Issues—Julia Michaels
– The Louvre—Lorde

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What do you wish you’d done more of?

– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends
– spending time with my mommy

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– eating junk food
– procrastinating
– being afraid
– wasting time on twitter

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– The Moana soundtrack

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip abroad
– an agent
– a Fjållråven backpack
– a (mini) home office

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What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a book deal

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43. (bish whet) I slept in, then spent the afternoon getting pampered at The Spa at The Four Seasons. Then I had dinner at a French restaurant that didn’t have great service but the food was amazing! Adam gave me a Tiffany bracelet.

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
*angry face emoji*

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Sometimes you just have to say “yes” and make it work. You never know what amazingness is waiting on the other side of it!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
skinny jeans, cute tops

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting a book deal

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit fatter (thanks, Italy)
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
So much! But that’s for another post!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

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