My dear friend sent me this quote the other day and it really struck a chord with me. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly going to try and do more of this. Out with the negative, in with the positive, and never stop dreaming.
There is no better cure for negativity, exhaustion, and bad energy than being in the great outdoors, soaking up rays for a weekend. We hopped on a ferry and camped on Orcas Island this weekend, and I have returned refreshed and re-energized. We spent time with friends, turned off our cell phones, and frolicked on the beach, without a care in the world. Being away in that atmosphere does something for me, at my core, that is so important to me, and I don’t ever want to lose the ability to let go like I do when I’m camping. On Friday evening, while sitting on a rock, listening to my husband and his friend play “baseball” with a log and my pup’s tennis ball, I took in a huge breath of beach air and realized that I had not thought about work all day long. There are days when I struggle to put work out of my mind, good thoughts and bad, and in my quest for balance, I know how unhealthy that is. Being out in nature, my mind is clear with no effort at all.
Today’s BGD, coming back to the grind with a refreshed outlook and feeling refocused.
What does the trick for you?
I love writing this blog. I love pushing myself to be better each day and striving to find the best in each day. Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, I have not been writing as much lately. Call it being lazy, distracted, or having lack of inspiration. It doesn’t matter though, we can call it whatever we want, but really they are just excuses. Last night I laid awake thinking about ideas to share and in my fit of inspiration, drafted this post. I also thought about how great it is to decide that I’m going to make a change, and then make it happen. We have that opportunity each day. It could be some thing small like, I’m going to eat more vegetables today, or it could be something huge like, I’m going to be positive today. I woke up with the thought that today, I’m going to make more of an effort to make time for my passions. I’m sure that I will be here again, saying the same thing down the road, but isn’t this moment great? The moment you decide to make a positive change in your life is a powerful thing.
Today’s BGD, making time for what you love. One has to make an effort for the things that matter most.
My morning routine is something that has improved over the years. I used to get up one hour before I needed to leave, and between showering, putting myself together, letting the dogs out and grabbing breakfast/lunch for the day, I was always rushed and running late. These days, I really enjoy mornings. I wake up about two hours before I need to leave. I have found that waking up earlier allows me a slow morning, full of snuggling my pups and finding time to read for fifteen minutes while sipping my coffee. It’s all about making time for things you care about. My current morning reading is The Happiness Project. I love that in fifteen minutes I can put myself into a positive mindset, learn something, and get inspired to be better.
You don’t know what the day will bring, so why not start it off right? Some days are difficult and seem to get worse by the hour, and in those days, I can always reflect on my morning. Today’s BGD, find the beauty first thing so you have it to hold on to throughout the day.
This chicken scratch you’re looking at is my schedule for tomorrow, well, my schedule up until 1:45 pm. This list goes well on to the back of this page. I already deemed it a day from hell yesterday when I learned how hectic the day would be. I vented to my husband, my sister and a girlfriend about my frustration with this day. “Why all of this in one day?!”, I whined. However, after giving a bit more thought with a clear head and fresh eyes today, I realize that tomorrow is nothing more than another challenging day. Some of the most challenging days come out of nowhere, but I see tomorrow coming from a mile away and have the opportunity to make the day mine. So, I have a plan, and I will be able to prepare tonight by packing a lunch and choosing my outfit, two things that always trip me up. I even added a little coffee and donuts stop to add some fun to our morning. And, one fantastic thing I realized is that I will have so many interactions with people that I enjoy, which is a total bonus. Many days I never leave my office, but tomorrow I will be out and about and it’s going to be 75 in Seattle…in May…that’s crazy talk! When tomorrow is over, I will feel accomplished and relieved, and I will be able to unwind with my wonderful husband. Tomorrow is going to be great.
To quote Tony Hseih, “Without conscious and deliberate effort, inertia always wins”
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Today’s BGD, realizing that you have what it takes to rise to the occasion, and turning a challenging day into a great one.
Image found on Pinterest
I read this great article this morning, called Living With Less, and it is such a fantastic reminder to live simply. We often measure success in material possessions, and that is wrong, plain and simple. To have more is not to live better. Don’t get me wrong, having money to provide a comfortable life is important, but do we really need to take it to the level of excess that we have become so accustomed to? I am guilty of exercising retail therapy to make myself feel better after a rough week. We have a 1600 sq ft home for the two of us and our pets, and I know we would be just fine in a smaller home. I’m not going to do anything dramatic like sell our home, or donate all of our possessions, but I’m going to challenge myself to think more about need vs want.
Lately, I have been complaining about my lack of spring clothes, so perhaps the answer is to shop my closet and re-invent a little. Of course, I will buy a few things, but keeping this article in mind will help put my insatiable appetite to buy, buy, buy in check. Let’s be honest here, it’s not the material things that make us happy, it’s the feeling we get when we buy something new. I do have a few possessions that make me happy, but about 90% of my possessions made me happy the moment I bought them, but that feeling does not return when I look at them now. If you think long and hard about what makes you happy, I’m sure there’s a long list, and that this list has very little to do with “things”. Snuggling my pups after a long day makes me happy. Kissing my nephew on the forehead makes me happy. Being outside makes me happy. Holding hands with my husband makes me happy. Today’s BGD is about living simply. Step one for me is to return the new top I just bought. Baby steps, right?
In the busy lives that we all lead nowadays, sometimes I wonder if we do enough to make ourselves happy, and to really take time for ourselves. With #100happydays, I have been trying really hard to be honest with what I post. What makes me happy from day to day changes, and how often I feel happy in a day definitely varies, so to look at each day and choose something can be tough.
Yesterday it was easy…seeing my pups running free, and knowing that my husband had the day off and the time to take them out on a special little trip to the park, made my heart sing.
Thursday was easy too. I don’t wear a lot jewelry, so when I chose to wear the earrings that my dad bought for me, it made me happy to wear them and think of my dad.
Some days aren’t easy at all though. Some days you’re running from one thing to the next, your mind constantly trying to keep up. And when you finally get to stop, all you want to do is sit on the couch and zone out to give your mind a break. At least, that’s how it is for me. Today’s BGD is about being grateful for the opportunity to make yourself happy. Instead of zoning out, you have the choice to do something that will enrich your day. Monday night, I sent myself to bed early and read with a cup of tea, and it was a ridiculously happy moment for me at the end of a long day. On a fantastic Saturday like today, it may take a little more than that, but that’s okay, because I have the opportunity and the choice to make the most of this day.
I haven’t really been up for writing lately. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that we have lost a furry member of our family, Boo. I felt as though I needed to write about her to help help my heartbreak, so I’d like to share a little about her, the life we had with her, and the pain of losing her.
My college roommates and I found Boo in our parking garage in 2003. She was just a kitten and totally emaciated, starving and scared. We decided to take her in, clean her up, feed her, and then find her a good home. We were lucky enough to know someone who worked at a veterinary clinic, so she helped us get Boo vaccinated. At the time, my roommates called her Diablita (little devil in Spanish) because she was one crazy kitten, always attacking someone’s feet, hands, or ponytail. Although she was abusive and we had all had scratches up and down our arms, we loved having her and never tried to find her a new home. She had found her place in the world, with us. Some of my favorite memories of her, are actually of the ways she drove us crazy. If you were sitting on the couch, watch out, she used to walk along the back of the sofa and swipe at ponytails or the back of your head. And if you were sitting in our wicker chair, careful, she liked to attack from the sides where there were small openings on the chair. My personal favorite was when she would pounce on my feet while I was sleeping. She would get under the covers from the foot of the bed and go nuts on your feet, clawing at your toes. Is Diablita making sense now? For the record I always called her Bebe, Boo Boo, or just Boo.
As time passed, she was still full of spunk, but she became sweeter and more comfortable with us. As the school year came to an end, the lease was up, and it was time for the roommates to part ways. It was agreed that Boo would go with our roommate, Summer. She was moving back in with her mom, and it seemed to be the most stable situation. I was moving in with a friend, but she already had two cats and I didn’t know how Boo would do. Well, on the very last moving day, Summer shared with me that her mom said no to Boo, and I clearly couldn’t give up on her now, not after everything. So, she came with me. Those two cats we lived with really taught her a thing or two. She settled down quite a bit and was nothing but a little love bug. Our next home was with my husband, but the building we chose did not allow pets. The rent was low and the location was good for school and work, so we decided to smuggle Boo into the building and make it work. Lucky for us , Boo was always a healthy cat and we only had to sneak her in and out for check ups. (Fun side note, the cat carrier we bought looked like a duffle bag, so I always just hoped that she wouldn’t meow on my way down the three flights of stairs and raise suspicion.) It worked out just fine, and we were happy there. As a matter of fact, she caught a mouse in that apartment. She was proud and I was eternally grateful. She also introduced us to her love of water and curling up in the bathroom sink there. We could turn the faucet on and she didn’t care, not one bit. She used to snuggle with us on the couch while we watched TV. She used to watch birds from our bedroom window. She would also have these crazy spurts of energy and she would dart from room to room, as fast as she could, which was pretty entertaining in 550 square feet. Although that apartment was small and in a shady neighborhood, it’s where my husband and I began our lives together and where Boo became our first family pet.
When my husband was offered a job in Washington, we decided that it was a good opportunity and jumped at the chance. We left the San Fernando Valley in a U-Haul, and Boo sat in her carrier on my lap for the entire 28 hour road trip. She was not impressed, but she was a trooper and she even cooperated enough (sort of) for a family photo. Moving to Washington was quite the adventure, but once the dust settled, it became home, and she loved having all of the room in our new big apartment. We lived in that apartment for a couple years before buying our house. On moving day, we had a big scare. Our friends that helped us move had left, and it was only my husband and our friend, Jackie. I realized that it had been awhile since we had seen Boo, and I guessed that she was hiding, having been frightened by all the commotion. We searched and searched, under furniture, in every room, and then in a real state of panic, my husband even went to look in the crawl space. Fortunately, she had found a safe place in one of our guest rooms, but when we found her, she looked up at us as though we were complete idiots. That was such a terrifying moment because the thought of her out in the world all alone worried me so much. She may have been spunky but an outdoor cat, she was not. We did try to make her an outdoor cat a few times, but each time she would sit as close as possible to the slider and meow incessantly until we let her back inside. She loved being an indoor cat. I think one of her favorite parts of indoor living was curling up under the comforter. I loved walking into our bedroom and seeing the little lump on our bed. She was so funny like that. One time we tried putting a harness on her, and she acted as if we put weights on her back. She would lie there on her belly, waiting for us to take the harness off so she could be free. From what I understand that’s a pretty common reaction for cats. One thing that I don’t hear very often is of cats licking, like dogs. Maybe a little part of Boo thought she was a dog because she used to always lick me, and even though it hurt like hell, I let her do it because it was her way of being sweet. Sometimes when we were in bed, she would lick my forehead, and she often liked to sleep on me in some way, whether it was in my arms or on my head, she liked to be touching me. It would cause such a ruckus once we got the dogs because they loved her, loved sniffing her, loved snuggling her, and most of all, loved terrorizing her. I would have to wrap Boo in my arm and hold her close so the dogs couldn’t bother her too much. Usually, once it was lights out, the dogs settled and Boo could relax and fall asleep in my arms.
I mentioned Boo’s love of water. She was notorious for trying to jump in the shower with us. You’d have to put your foot out as you opened the shower door to keep her out. That was actually one of the things that told me she wasn’t feeling well in her last couple days. She wasn’t trying to get into the shower, and she wasn’t so concerned with the things she normally enjoyed. On the day she passed, I gave her a bath in the tub and she enjoyed it, but it was then that I could see how different she was. I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t well, that she was hurting. I let her linger in the tub and let the faucet drip so she could drink some water, then I trimmed her nails and held her in a towel for a while. Once she dried off a bit, we went to the bedroom, where I tried holding her close and making her comfortable. When she couldn’t even get comfortable with me, I knew we had to take her into urgent care. My husband saw her and agreed, so we headed in right away. I won’t get into the details but the doctor called around midnight to let us know that she had kidney failure and that her prognosis was poor. I was in shock when I spoke to her and thought that I heard her wrong, so I had my husband call her back to find out what was going on, but I was right, it was the worst possible news. At the end of the day, Boo probably wouldn’t make it through the procedures and treatments, and the doctor told us that if it were her kitty, she’d put her down. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make, and although I don’t regret it because Boo isn’t in pain anymore, my heart aches everyday. Each day since she left us, I’ve cried. Each day gets better, but her litter box, food bowl, and blanket remain in their places because I’m not ready to move them. To someone who has not had a pet, this may sound strange. She was truly a part of our family though. I held her in my arms when she was a kitten and needed to be nursed back to health, and then I held her in my arms as the doctor administered the drugs that took her away. She was my baby, she was beautiful, and she was my Boo Boo.
We are so lucky to have supportive friends and family who understand about family pet loss. We have received so much love and heard so many kind words. It will take time, but this will get easier. To anyone who has been through this, my heart goes out to you. The BGD is love. It’s everywhere in loss. Here’s to healing, and to using the sadness to become stronger and more loving.
Today we learned that some friends lost an important member of their family last night, their dog, Hershey. Hershey was there before they had their two beautiful girls, before we had the pleasure of becoming friends, and she has been there to brighten their days and love them unconditionally. She was an amazing dog with the best spirit, and we have very fond memories of camping and hiking with her. Hershey was a Chocolate Lab / Border Collie mix and a huge part of why we wanted a Border Collie when we first began the search for our furry friends, Dodger and Mia. Hershey was smart and energetic, and always wanted to play, even when she should rest. Although this news is sad, we have to remember the beauty in having a pet that is truly a part of the family. We have to appreciate the pets that are with us and let them know that they are loved. Our friends are going to need time to allow this heartbreak to heal, but the one thing that can always get us through is a memory. Today’s BGD is devoted to fond memories. I know that I’m going to give my pups some extra snuggles and lots of love, and maybe tell them a little story about Hershey Doggy, who was our inspiration for finding them.
Not only was my Monday off to a wobbly start, but the sky was grey, and with the time change, I was a little sleepy. However; being determined to find the best in each day has brought me to yesterday’s BGD, a little thing called quality time with those you love and working with your hands. It’s really the best of combinations. I spent my evening with a bestie, making tutus for the St. Paddy’s Day Dash (a tradition that we have upheld for the last 6 years), while my husband (the handiest guy on the planet) tiled the backsplash in the kitchen. We laughed and we enjoyed admiring all of our creations at the end of the evening.
This BGD just goes to show that the start of your day can be a little rocky, but if you hold on the finding the best in your day, you just might hit the jackpot.