It seems every night lately, I watch the news and a little part of me dies inside.
Our world is struggling. People are dying, rioting, and children are crying. The gangs are taking over the streets, families are flailing, and legends have taken their own lives.
My heart has been breaking, and my mind whirling. Where is my place? How can I help?
I firmly believe we must be the change we want to see in the world, and I’ve been trying. But how do we change things like compassion and kindness? How do we take the hurt away and help others smile?
And then I saw this movement. Some bloggers were getting together to spread compassion. #1000Speak. 1000 voices coming together to make the world a little brighter, if only for a day. I was blown away. Here was a whole group of people like me, people who just wanted to spread a little goodness in a weary world.
So I signed up. I committed to blog about compassion on February 20, 2015. Now I’m spreading the word. We still need more people to reach our goal of 1000 voices. And if we hit over 1000, all the better.
I’m humbly asking you to join with me. Let’s be the change we hope to see in this world. Let’s spread compassion. It might just be for a day, but that one day could start a lovely ripple effect. And wouldn’t that be something to see?
I sat down to write an awesome post this morning about…something.
I can’t remember. Because I turned on the Discovery Channel for my usual marathon of true crime shows and instead it was some drug wars marathon. Which would have still been fine to have in the background, except they were showing how the cartels use little doggies to carry their drugs by hiding them INSIDE THE DOGGIES.
Yup, I gagged, too. And then I held my own sweet doggy and sniffled a little. Okay, a lot. And whatever I was going to share with you completely went out the window.
So instead, I’ll share a few older posts with you because I’m all sorts of nostalgic now.
Even though the giveaway mentioned is long over, I still love the heart of this post. I loved opening up to my readers and showing them a bit of me, and in turn learning a bit of them. If you’re new, or didn’t comment last time, please share with me what you hope your legacy will be.
One of my first guest posts, this message is still something I turn to time and again. My friend Dawnie tells us how taking care of ourselves is the most important, and even shares some of her best tips.
I do hope you’ll take the time to check out these past posts and show them some love. I think, in a way, they all show a piece of what this blog is, and what I hope it always will be.
I’m not entirely sure how the first week of November is already behind us, but here we are. This week was packed with all the usual kinds of stuff, with an added bit of family stress. I’ve also been participating in #NaBloPoMo, so it’s been a flurry of activity around here.
This week I decided to forego swapping with a partner, and instead share with y’all ten random tidbits about me. Maybe even things that haven’t been shared in the Ask Away Friday posts.
1. I argue with my TV. Usually it’s when I’m feeling my worst and I’m grumpy with it, but honestly, I can be found lobbing snarky comments at TV shows, commercials, and news programs fairly often.
2. I love lists. To-do lists or shopping lists, it doesn’t matter. They soothe me in a way I can’t really explain. I write and re-write them often. I have a running household to-do list on a white board in our kitchen/dining room area. I have a notebook where I keep a personal to-do list and a list of working blog post ideas. I have a separate notebook full of lists for the wedding. I love making playlists of music for myself and my friends. I love lists.
3. I’m a lightweight. I used to be able to drink any of my guy friends under the table in college. Now? One glass of wine and I’m a giggly mess. Most of that is due to the fact I rarely drink anymore. With all the medicine I take, it’s not wise to mix a lot of alcohol. And honestly, there’s not a lot of joy in going out to get trashed anymore. Gah, I sound old, right?
4. I have made it to the ripe old age of 32 without ever having smoked pot. If you knew me in high school, this would shock you. I dated a pothead, all my friends smoked it…I just was too chicken. I still drank like a fish and smoked cigarettes, but just couldn’t bring myself to try pot. And now that it’s legal in my great state, I still don’t see it in my future, not even when some have said it could help with my pain. Guess I’m still a chicken…
5. I’m terrified of heights. Bridges, Ferris wheels, skyscrapers…NOPE. I once had a panic attack while in stuck in traffic in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge. For as long as I can remember, they’ve scared me. The funny thing? I love roller coasters. Bizarre, I know.
6. I don’t like rats, mice, ferrets, frogs, snakes, lizards, or anything else close to them. I know some people consider them pets, but I just can’t. They creep me out and make my skin crawl.
7. I have nieces and nephews I’ve never met. I don’t know their names or how old they are. Because I have siblings with whom I’m not close, I’m not a part of their children’s lives. There is a part of me that regrets this, but I know it’s really for the best. Sometimes even family is toxic, and we must distance ourselves.
8. I am forever starting things and not finishing them. I have dozens of crafts in varying states of completion, ideas for this blog that have only been outlined, and I can’t tell you how many times I get excited about a new thing only to put it down for whatever reason. Maybe my resolution for 2015 should be to complete some of these things…
9. I don’t like pumpkin anything. Or avocado. I’ll only eat bananas if they’re baked, like in banana bread. The only squash I like is zucchini. All these fall foods everyone is loving right now, and I’m like NOPE. I’m also not a huge fan of chowders. Weird, I know.
10. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, have been since I was little. I’ve loved them when they were great, when they were terrible, and every season in between. I’m not, however, a fan of Romo. I think he’s overrated. And I’ve had about enough of Jerry Jones. I think Michael Irvin is probably my favorite all-time player, though I have a soft spot for DeMarcus Ware. I was pissed Dallas didn’t do more to hold on to him after last season.
And there you have it. Did you already know some of these things about me? Did any thing surprise or shock you?
If you’d like to swap ten questions with me for a round of Ask Away Friday, check out their Facebook group or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What a glorious day! Fall is here in full swing. There is a windy, rainy storm outside my windows, I’m bundled under my throw blanket, and I’m sipping hot apple cider while I type this. Life, it’s all about these little moments of great happiness.
Another reason it’s a great day, it’s Friday! And that means it’s time for a round of #AskAwayFriday!
If you’re a new reader, AAF is where I swap ten questions with a fellow blogger, and we all get to know each other a little better. This week I had the lovely pleasure of swapping with Bernadyn from B is 4…
Bernadyn, or B (as she likes to be called) is a married mom of two adorable little munchkins. She reminds me a bit of myself, as she has many passions- writing, photography, cooking, baking, crafting… She has her finger in a lot of different pies, and unlike me, she seems to pull it all off effortlessly. I’m gonna have to get her to share her secret with me. And all this while chasing around her kiddos! Be sure to hop on over to her site today to see what I asked her, and how she answered. And poke around a bit, her recipes and pictures are phenomenal!
1. What movies and books do you look forward to reading and watching in the next couple months?
Oh goodness! I really need to get back to reading. Maybe these stormy fall days will inspire me to update my reading list and make a sizable dent in it. Do you have any suggestions for me? As for movies- I’d kinda like to see Big Hero Six, the previews are cute. My fiance and I are also going to have a movie night on Halloween. We’ll be watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Young Frankenstein, two of our all time favorites 🙂
2. I’ve gotten better with it but for me, balancing my time is the hardest challenge to maintain my blog regularly. What is the biggest challenge you may have with blogging?
Mine is also time. I can’t just sit down and crank out a post in minutes, it usually takes me at least a few hours. Then editing, promoting, etc… There just aren’t enough hours in the day!
3. What is your favorite activity to do with your son?
I love movie nights. It sounds so silly, but they’re wonderful. He’ll pick out a movie and we’ll all curl up in our jammies with snacks and blankets and watch together. He’s getting too old for a lot of things, but he still loves movie nights. And so they are my favorite.
4. I love your “Just One…But So Much More” post! I like how you share your character and who you are. What would you say is your best quality? What would you say others think is your best quality?
Thank you so very much! I’m so blessed that post has gotten so much attention, as I wrote it for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. My best quality? I would have to say I value my intelligence. Growing up it wasn’t cool to be the smart girl, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace it. I’m not a genius, but I can hold my own at Scrabble, and that’s no small feat 😉 My fiance says my passion, and my ability to put that passion into the things I believe in. (Aw! Thanks honey!)
5. What is your favorite fall activity?
Being cozy! LOL I love being able to bundle up and listen to the storm rage outside. I love the smell of rain. I love hot tea and watching a movie, or reading a book. I love everything about this time of year, all those cozy feelings.
6. Where is a local place (restaurant, store, event, museum, etc.) that you have never been to but would like to visit?
Restaurant: The Old Spaghetti Factory
Store: There are a few new thrift stores that have popped up that I would love to putter through.
Event: About 30 mins away is an Octoberfest every fall. We’ve missed each it each year so far, but I have hopes we’ll be able to go next year.
Museum: I actually haven’t been to any of the local museums since moving here five years ago, so I should probably get on it!
7. What is something on your bucket list that you’d like to accomplish in the next five years?
Well this might be a cop-out, but my bucket list says To Marry The Man Of My Dreams, and we’ll be taking those vows next August. It’s a big deal, for both of us. I’ll take it further by saying I hope to be able to actually walk down the aisle to my groom. When I was first diagnosed, they told me I wouldn’t be able to. I can still walk today, and hope to keep that up, at least through the wedding.
8. Do you keep your phone, computer, tablets or any other electronic devices by you at all times? Does it ever get turned off?
My iPhone is nearly always by my side. Both because I’m addicted to it, and in case of emergencies. The laptop stays nearby during the days, but my phone is the main thing. It stays on my bedside stand at night, but does get put on silent. It rarely, if ever, gets turned completely off.
9. Who is someone who had a big influence on you while you were growing up and why? What’s the most memorable thing about that person?
My grandmother, my mom’s mother. She had such a big heart. My mother and her didn’t get along, but from age 10 to 15, I got to spend nearly every weekend visiting her. Grandma was disabled, diabetes had taken both feet and she was wheelchair bound. She also battled depression, but she didn’t let any of that stop her from making wonderful memories with me. She died from complications of diabetes when I was 15, and I am still heartbroken for her loss. She taught me so many things, but the most memorable was how to be okay with my own company.
10. If you had a magic lamp to make three wishes with but they could not be wishes to directly benefit you, what wishes would you make and for who? (They could be for the same person or for three different people.)
Ooh! Well I’d love to wish for a nice windfall to ease the financial strains on my fiance, but I suppose that would still benefit me, so I’ll play by the rules. :p I’d wish for a windfall for Tracie and her family, to ease their struggles so that they can enjoy life a little bit more. I’d wish for a way to ease the pain of those I love, all my spoonie framily who are battling each and every day. I’d wish for the perfect care home for my future father in law. To date, we’ve only been able to find temporary solutions. I’d like to be able to give him a permanent home that meets all of this medical needs, while still giving him some independence and providing a happy environment.
Whoa! Bernadyn sure had some deep-thinker questions for me! Thank you B for such a great swap 🙂 Y’all be sure to head over to her site to see her answers and check out all of her awesomeness. Happy weekend everybody!
Yet another prompt from the SITS Girls, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Yesterday we were jarred awake at 2:30 am by a very loud boom and the deafening silence that said our power was out. Though we were able to go back to sleep, the power was still not back when it was time for Scotty to get ready for work, so he got to shower in the dark. The power finally came back to life right before 11:00 am, right around the time I was starting to panic about the food in my freezer and refrigerator.
Anyway, I told you all that to tell you this: You don’t realize how much you rely on things and/or take them for granted until they aren’t there anymore. So here are some things I’m trying not to take for granted today:
*Electricity. The microwave and toaster and TV and my laptop and the router which allows me to have WiFi for my phone. These modern conveniences are vital in my life, and I find I go just a little bit crazier without access to them.
*Scotty. That man loves me when I’m crazy, when I’m sick and whiny, or when I’m panicky and hysterical over silly things. He calms me down, listens to me rant, and provides chocolate when all else fails. He is my rock, my safe harbor, and I would be truly lost without him.
*Fall. I’m so happy fall has decided to come to my little neck of the woods. Gone are the 90 degree days, and here are days of drizzly rain and cool winds. Now is the time for hot tea and apple cider, oatmeal for breakfast, and soups in the crockpot. This is my time.
*Framily. Otherwise known as friends who are more like family. Nolan and Court. Tracie and her family. Teala. Natalie. Cindy-Lou. Fallah. Kerry. Cathy. Cathi. Rene. Rob. Shevaun and her family. Joules. Dawnie. Kristen and Seth. Amanda and John. These people lift me up and inspire me daily.
*My Doctors. And their staff. A medical community that genuinely cares about me. They call to check on how I’m feeling, and answer my litany of questions without any frustration. They help me to live the best life with chronic illness, and that’s no easy feat.
*Blogger Gals. The ladies from Ask Away Friday who have become friends, mentors, and bringers of inspiration. Bloggers I’ve known/followed for a while now who continue to make me want to be a better writer. Please check out the Blogroll in the sidebar to send these lovely peeps some smiles.
*Jojo. The light of my life. My legacy. His text messages keep him here with me, even while he’s miles away plowing his way through middle school. The fact that he wants to play Fantasy Football with Scotty and I. All the little ways he tells me he loves me, and loves Scotty. His smile which will warm my heart always.
*Toddy. Our adorable little doggy who loves me to pieces. His tail wags, snuggles, and kisses never cease to make me grin. When he senses I’m not feeling well and cuddles at my feet, like he’s guarding me from the yucky RA monsters. The way he snuffles and barks in his sleep as he dreams of…whatever doggies dream. The little dance he does when we ask if he wants to go for a ride in the car. The sheer JOY on his face when we take him for rides. He is a light in every single day.
*Music. Our extensive music library. The ability to stream music via my phone. That I can sit here and sing along as the words flow. New artists, old favorites, it all blends together to soothe me and encourage me. I close my eyes and let the melodies and lyrics carry me away to a place where the pain can’t quite reach me.
*Beautiful Photos. Instagram, Tamara’s blog, Facebook. The faces looking back at me from the frames on my wall. They keep loved ones near, show me places I can only dream about visiting, allow me to live vicariously through my friends, and show me glimpses of your lives. They capture memories and inspire me to remember the good, each and every day.
There is a brief little storm moving through our area and I could not be happier. The high temperatures have dipped back into the seventies and there is an intoxicating smell of freshness pouring in through my windows.
I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs from the nineties, Blind Melon’s No Rain.
And so while you do the bee girl dance, here are some other tidbits for this drizzly day.
*I’ve been working behind the scenes to make my blog a bit more professional. I’m now copyrighted (woot!) and have a legal/disclosure page, just in case.
*I’m also working on starting a new Saturday series for the blog where I feature guest posts. Interested? Email me at becominneurotic (at) gmail (dot) com.
*I’ve been approached to contribute to a health website. As I can share more information, I will, but suffice it to say I’m extremely flattered and very excited.
*It was recently discovered that Scotty (my fiance) and I have never been bowling together in our near five years together. This will hopefully be rectified for our birthdays next week. I may have to granny-ball it, but I’m totally looking forward to it!
*Our new upstairs neighbor is turning out to be very nice. He actually came down to apologize for making noise while putting together a shelf and working on his vacuum cleaner. It’s a bit of a novel feeling, having neighbors that aren’t complete asses. Also? My dog didn’t growl at him, which is a pretty good sign.
*I get to see my favorite lady tonight. I’m looking forward to her great hugs, some wonderful chatting and visiting, and to a fresh look. It never fails, a trip to Cathy’s leaves me with my heart full and feeling more human.
*While I’ll have posts up next week, I will technically be out. I’m having a medical procedure on Monday and will be taking the rest of the week to recover and rest up in order to be ready for my son’s arrival that weekend. Hopefully by next Friday we’ll also know whether or not insurance will cover the Remicade infusions my rheumatologist wants to start me on. Fingers crossed!
One of my goals for 2014 is to make some big changes to my blog.
I want to be able to make my site more user-friendly, branch out with my writing, and be more consistent in my writing. In order to achieve these goals, I’ve been working mostly behind the scenes. In looking for ways to branch out, I’ve turned to bloggers I love and admire to see what they’re doing. I’ll be trying some new posts based on ideas from them.
My gal Andrea has been doing recaps over at her place, and I’m loving the idea. What better way to support other bloggers than to share posts that we’ve been loving?
So here’s what I’ve been reading while I haven’t been writing:
All of these women inspire me on a daily basis. Their writing spurs me to write more, write better, and to try new things. The other thing I loved about each of these posts is that they showed the author’s voice to a tee. I heard each of their personalities as I read their words.