Getting things done

Organization!

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If there is anything I’ve ever wanted to excel at in life, it’s organization. I often fall short but that’s okay because it means there’s going to be more organizing in my future. The theme for this week is organizing for multiple trips while also deep cleaning the house. I’m not sure this is such a good idea because I’ll probably arrive at Friday, which is the go date for trip one, feeling overwhelmed that I still have things to prepare.

I’ve also been obsessed with “what to pack” videos on YouTube despite the fact I’ve been packing for years on my own. It’s just that I’m curious how other people do it so I’ve (wasted?) spent many hours on this (for entertainment purposes only). Whenever you watch videos on YouTube, they also kindly offer up other videos you might be interested in and so my second favorite genre has been Amazon travel purchase videos. This has been very dangerous! There were so many things I didn’t know I needed to have for my travels.

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Healthy Life

Kicking my sugar habit (part 2)

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Motivation for my nutrition journey

This is part two of my story on quitting sugar. Part one is here.

Greece was still two months away when I started talking to a mom who was on her own journey to lose weight. She was also doing it for health reasons and immediately I was intrigued. I don’t usually go in for programs where you pay money for shakes or other products to help you lose weight. I’ve never tried weight watchers, although I know many who successfully use it but to me it sounded like too much work to count points, etc. I was also at a point where my psoriasis was completely out of control and since I had used diet to get it under control before, I thought that would be the best way to go about it. It’s a very limited and rigid diet, however, so it was tough to get started.

Back to my friend and her program. Another friend had turned her onto Arbonne after successfully using it to help her lose weight and heal after a prolonged health issue. I talked with her at length and decided to give it a go. Arbonne has a 30 Days to Healthy Living starter kit. The products are vegan friendly (and thus compatible with my psoriasis diet) and have a host of good health benefits one of which was it proved promising for quitting my sugar habit. In mid May, I took a leap of faith and ordered the starter kit, eager to get going. I also purchased a Nutribullet to prepare the shakes which require frozen veggies and fruit along with the protein mix, probiotic powder and fiber supplement.

Continue reading “Kicking my sugar habit (part 2)”

parenting

God sent me a rainbow

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Before I continue you my story about my journey to quit sugar, I have to tell you about yesterday. It was a busy day where I had a multitude of errands to complete before driving my twelve year old to his first overnight camp experience. I hit the ground running with a car appointment that led to some unexpected expenses. I need it in good shape before I hit the road next week so I’m happy to have brought it in. From there I briefly checked in with my sleeping child and bounced to my next appointment to have my hair cut and colored so I would be ready for the next few busy weeks. Once home, I decided to let my still sleeping child rest on because I figured camp might leave him with some sleepless nights ahead.

By one, when he wasn’t awake yet, I peeked in to gently poke him awake (sleeping bears and all). This can often lead to him waking in a bad mood which it most certainly did. Why didn’t I wake him?! This was his last morning to play Fortnite (mommas don’t let your babies grow up to play Fortnite) and talk to friends before going internet and electroncs free for the next five days. I knew I was in for a tough couple of hours ahead. I let him play for a bit while I packed the car but I told him we had to leave by two so we could grab lunch on the way there. The only way I could get him out of the house was to turn off the internet and that never makes him happy.

Continue reading “God sent me a rainbow”

Healthy Life

Kicking sugar (part 1)

1A6E17FC-6EDC-4A93-8B78-882D34811C67.jpegIt’s been three and a half years since I gave up alcohol completely. I had a lot of stops and starts before that but the conditions had to be right before I could admit that I had no control over how many more drinks I would put in my body after I put the first one in. It’s been one of the very best decisions I have made for my life. Life didn’t get better right away but many days at a time later, I have a wonderful life today even with all its ups and downs.

Early in sobriety I was told it was okay to substitute sugar for alcohol. If you crave a drink, have a sweet instead. You don’t even have to give me a reason to treat myself to sugar because I have been a lifelong fan. Twizzlers, sweet tarts, gummy bears, sour patch kids, tootsie rolls, swedish fish, ice cream (mint chocolate chip, please), and the list can go on and on. I have no problem with chocolate, though. I always had a stash of candy in my night stand and if it got low, off to the drugstore I would go.

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Musings

The Junk Room

 

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Did you think I’d actually post a picture of the junk room?

I refuse to keep a junk drawer. When we re-did our kitchen last summer, it was the first thing to go and I’m pretty vigilant about making sure those extra random things do not end up in the silverware drawer. But a junk room I do have. Do you have one? A room where all the miscellaneous stuff we collect over the years and no longer use or need ends up? And also the stuff you use infrequently?

I came face to face with mine today and it wasn’t pretty. When I first became jobless a few months ago, I dove headlong into decluttering and then got stalled when it got to other people’s stuff (mainly my husband’s). I am not good with throwing out other people’s stuff because I don’t want to be blamed if something crucial goes missing. I also have not found a good way to motivate them to do their own decluttering. All ideas are welcome!

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Life

Summer is almost here!

Life accelerated on me in the past couple of months. How is tomorrow June 1st with only one week of school left?! There have been concerts, field trips, a book sale/mini-concert, grandparents day, a special mass and countless out of school activities. As I write, my son is at Taekwondo, working on his hours toward membership on their coveted leadership team. When he’s done we’ll pop home for a quick change before heading to the end-of-the-year sports banquet. How do people do this with multiple kids? I am in awe of them!

Did I mention we’re also in the final run-up to having braces installed? We had both an orthodontist and dentist appointment in this very short week. I don’t even pretend my time is my own anymore. But while we’re running around, I CAN carve out time while I’m waiting. Usually I will read or watch YouTube videos but I could spend some of that time writing (and I’m not talking to-do lists). I need to put my writing time back on the schedule and I’ll start today.

Other than operating as chief transportation officer of our household , I have been doing a few different things. I’m still unemployed so I’m looking for a job and I joined a job club that is basically a support system for and by the unemployed. It’s been interesting to say the least. I have no clue what I’m going to do next professionally but I’m hoping to figure that out over the next few months.

Being that I am unemployed and hope to spend some quality time with my twelve year old this summer, we have a few trips planned starting with a visit to our home in Florida after school ends next week. This is what’s keeping me going right now. For two weeks there will be absolutely no orthodontist appointments, Taekwondo classes, lacrosse games or homework to be done. Hello pool, shuffleboard, reading and relaxing.

In early July we’re going to visit Williamsburg, VA and this will be the first time just he and I will be on such a long road trip (about 8 hours one way). My husband bid on it at a charity auction but cannot join us because we have a vacation in Delaware the following week. This is going to take a bit of organization due to all that we need to bring to Delaware but I’m sure it will be worth it (and fun). I’m trying to compile a list of podcasts or audiobooks we can listen to on the drive.

Our annual beach vacation in Delaware is always something to look forward to and we’ll meet my husband there along with a couple we always vacation with. That is a laid back week where sitting beachside with a book is the top priority.

But the very best getaway is saved for last because that is when I go to Greece with my longtime friend to a yoga retreat on one of the islands. And THAT is what’s keeping me motivated. To prepare, I’ve embarked on a health/nutrition/fitness program, but I’ll save that for next time.

What are your plans for the summer? I hope you make some time for a little (or a lot) of R&R.

Writing

Taking Action

You may have noticed I haven’t been writing. You may not even miss me but I miss you. Who is you? An anonymous reader? Me? The me who was writing for me. Does that make sense? When you want to write but you don’t and then day after day goes by and the more you don’t write, the less you write. I’ve picked up books on writing. I’ve done some exercises. But mostly I just haven’t been writing. Something finally sparked inside and said, “you have to write!”.

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Most recently I picked up a small book I read (75% if you go by the bookmark tucked into the latter part of the book) during a writing course from a couple of years ago called The Memoir Project by a local writer, Marion Roach Smith. I had time between lacrosse games over the weekend so I thought I’d pick up where I left off but then since it’s been so long since I’d picked it up, I decided to start over. One of the very first things she recommends against is to do the writing exercises! She wants you to dive right in.

Maybe that’s the push I need to get me in front of my computer today. To open my blog pages and start writing. I decided I needed to give the desk a good clean since the only person using the computer as of late is my twelve-year-old who is usually eating snacks and putting fingerprints on the screen. It’s time to wrest control of the computer from him! Then, in cleaning the keyboard, I accidentally flipped the monitor orientation sideways (Ctrl/Alt and the arrow keys will fix that in case you ever need to know).

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Life

Dear Evan Hansen and my triggers

I knew the musical Dear Evan Hansen was based around the suicide of a teenager and despite having that experience in my life, I didn’t give much thought to how it would make me feel. My brother’s suicide was deep in my past, 32 years ago, a whole lifetime away or so it seemed from where I was. Yet it was a fresh wound on Saturday evening as I sat in the darkened theater on West 45th Street catching tears in a well-used tissue.

Before I go further, I must let you know I absolutely adored the show. The cast, the music, the writing. Phenomenal. I will definitely see it again when it tours in my community and I’ve already downloaded the music on my phone. It’s kind of folksy and very Broadway at the same time. Live theater opens something in my heart and I know I would not want to live without it.

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Life

Ingredients for Spring

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Annual Spring trip to NYC

I’m so happy to see the sun today and feel Spring in the air. It was a bit of a surprise last week when we woke to a thin ground cover of snow (actually not so unusual for the Northeastern town we live in). But eek, my husband and I were about to head to New York City for the weekend to see a couple of shows and I wondered if I had to rethink my clothing choices which heavily favored lighter fabrics (I’m one step from putting away the winter coats). I decided to stick with my spring coat and added a scarf and sweater for layering which worked out just fine. We had a fantastic time, but as is the case with these kind of trips, it went by all too fast.

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Life

Lazing about

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Hello, dear blog! Sorry it has been a while but I cannot say I’ve been too busy. I’m not sure exactly what I have been doing these past few weeks but I certainly got away from writing and blogging. I was trying to keep a schedule of posting on Tuesday and Thursday because I could do that at a minimum, right? After we returned from vacation, however, I was out of my groove and kind of went off the rails as far as a routine goes. I’m not going to lie. I spent a lot of time laying around and reading. It may be just what I needed at that particular time. But all the while, what’s swirling around in my brain is: what am I going to do next?

I’m not ready for a full on job search right now as I decided to take the summer off so I could be home with my twelve-year-old, Liam. He has not had a single summer where he could be a carefree kid. Sleeping in, going to the pool, riding his bike in the neighborhood. We don’t have many of these times left so we’re going to embrace this summer as a (mostly) camp-free zone. For the past several years it has been a jigsaw puzzle of camp planning. Lacrosse, baseball, basketball, extreme (they do obstacle courses – very army-like) and just about every other activity under the sun to keep him busy from the last day of school until labor day weekend. I’m sure he’s enjoyed much of it but at the end of last summer, he was starting to show the strains of camp fatigue.

I’ve got a few more months until summer though, so how will I keep myself busy in the meantime? Lately, I’ve been scouring youtube for content that sparks an interest for me. I love style blogs and vlogs but I’ve found only a handful of women who do it successfully for my age group (over 50). I can no longer dress like a teenager, twenty or even thirtysomething (nor do I want to) and I see plenty of content for that demographic. Nor do I aspire to dress in high-end designer clothing. I do think a person can look great no matter their budget or stage of life though, so I’ve been tinkering with starting my own vlog on the topic. I know virtually nothing about being a youtube-er so I think I’ll do some research on it and see what I would need to get started.

I’ve also been rekindling my love of old movies. When I was in my teens, my mom and I would watch old films on A&E and TMC and I grew to love them so much. It’s great our library system has such a robust collection of old movies and I’ve been going through their DVD shelves in search of some new treasures. Last week I pulled out Mrs. Miniver (a movie about WWII that took me by surprise as it started out innocently enough with the main characters spending money they didn’t have) and The Big Sleep  (starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall). I love to google the actors and read about them on Wikipedia. Did you know Bogart was 45 when he married 20-year-old Bacall?! Clicking on all the links can take up an afternoon in itself! Well, I’m about to go back to the 1930s with Grand Hotel.

MC