Life’s Interruption

I have interrupted this (normally super positive)blog to bring you life’s interruption… a little dark cloud that creeps in when you are least expecting it. I promise to return to light hearted travel and journey blogs right after this…

I think I’ve been trying to avoid this topic but in the midst of quite a few close friends (and family)experiencing a loss, I thought it would be appropriate timing.

There really isn’t a good time to talk about it… and if you are someone who has never lost a close relative, or friend, someday this may make sense..

Suddenly in the middle of a perfectly great day, we get interrupted.

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not as simple as a customer service call… No, sometimes it’s an important call that sends our whole world into a frenzy. Sometimes it’s just the flashback…of the call, the day or the feeling we had…

I’ll warn you now that if you wanted a light hearted blog this isn’t the one, it gets kind of emotional but very real. So carry on at your own risk.

The call is, never the one you want. It’s never the right time, or the right day or the right weather.

It’s never the right response.

You never get to forget it either.

Every moment during which this call takes place you are actually living in slow motion, but yet you wish it would’ve been over faster. It’s, not the IRS.. (sorry I joke when I’m nervous)no it’s the “something has happened” call…

I’ll tell you, I’ve had a lot of experience with death, and yet it still comes back like acid reflux every time I hear of anyone’s loved one passing… I have been in the trenches of mourning and I have known the loss that few (my age) have known. It’s not a club you want to be in..

My phone call came at approximately 6:25am on a tuesday morning. July 11th 2014. A flash bulb memory…

It’s like how you remember exactly where you were the day you found out about 9/11. What’s weird is at the time of 9/11 I didn’t know what the World Trade Center was, or what was happening. When I got the phone call my dad had suddenly passed away in his sleep, after seeing him less than a week prior, I knew what it meant.

So what happened after the call? I couldn’t breath, or eat or speak. I didn’t cry right away…

In slow motion, I managed to go through the entire week feeling like I got sucker punched… Then for months I relived my sorrow over and over, and while that was happening, so was life… like normal every day things, which was so inconvenient!!

How exactly did I not see this coming? No one did, and for most people death doesn’t work into our plans…

We don’t think about death unless it’s effecting us at that moment. We protect ourselves from this fear and this sadness by avoiding it.

I was fortunate to have my band aid torn off in some ways.

My dad was definitely not the “bed ridden kind”, nor would he be a good candidate for any kind of “treatment” except “special treatment”. He really got out in the best way he could have, really.

My dad lived. He sure did fear death though, as I think we all do. The uncertainty of it makes the concept very scary. That is why many people have faith in god, others in reincarnation but whatever you believe, know that you will some day get a “call”. Maybe not a sudden and severe one, but one that will stay with you. It changes you, and the way you think of things…

It’s not that I want to dwell on death, in fact I try not to be morbid most of the time. I can’t help but know, with such certainty, that life is short. If we have good years in our life than we have lived.

Loss isn’t always the same. However, I’ve found that personally, there have been two distinct experiences that are universal:

1. Sudden and unexpected. Which consists of losing someone as a result of a car accident, an overdose, a health related incident that couldn’t be rectified, a miscarriage, SIDs, military related, gang related… and a million other sudden traumatic losses…

2. Slow, steady decline. Slow is a relative term. The usual example is someone suffering from an illness who is going through treatment, or a grandparent experiencing age related failure.

Each type of loss is equally as traumatic and devastating, I’ve experienced both. Each type comes with their own distinct feelings, as did the relationship with that person. When I lost my dad, I thought of friends I had who had also lost theirs. I instantly felt like now I could relate. Now I knew what they meant when they said things. I never knew the feelings could be so different.

We all feel loss one day, and we can never truly know the feeling until it happens… but we should know how to be there for someone during this horrible time. Whatever you say, don’t say “let me know if there is anything I can do”. Make it a point to schedule a coffee date or just say “sorry for your loss”, it’s worse to make empty promises.

When we lose someone we evaluate ourselves.

Just like we evaluate all the company around us, and yet we don’t do this in our day to day. We struggle to make it to the end of the week or just to make enough to get our needs met and yet we forget how important people are. The kindest words, the greatest stories are told to our loved ones at the wake of death. That must change!

Could we be better at telling the stories we love of each other today, instead?

In life we get schedules and routines. We make things important and other things “not so important”. We go so fast, yet so slow, but do we see each other? Do we look past the “good morning” or the “how was your weekend?” Do we care enough? It’s hard to take care of yourself during times of loss, and it’s easy to hide in plain sight.

The months that follow…

After the loss, we drift away from the person who has experienced it, knowing we said something, or sent some flowers. We forget that they don’t continue their lives the same way they were before. We assume they say everything is fine and move on, selfishly or consciously but with little consideration of if that is actually true…

The person who has lost their loved one, does not snap back into reality (at least I didn’t). No, they wake up everyday to remember they can’t call their dad or their mom, or their friend and tell them about their day. They won’t see them at their regular holidays. They remember good times, they remember bad times but they know they are lonely. Some people (like myself) don’t like a lot of attention with sad connotations. I’d much rather be happy, don’t we all feel that way!

There is a feeling that no one understands the feelings, or has experienced this specific scenario. The reality is, grief is universally individual. You feel your feelings alone, no hallmark card, or edible arrangement can fix or soften the experience. It’s about being seen. If we can see each other’s needs, care enough to make their day a little easier, it helps. Every little thing helps in a small way, to dig you out of your dark sad space.

Empathy.

See the persons feelings and know that you might not understand, but it’s not your time to. You might know their lossed loved one or you might not. What a grieving friend, coworker, loved one needs, is just to be seen, heard, and held. There is nothing to be said. The less you say the better. You just need to be there.

Something changes after you experience a great loss…

They aren’t the same whole person they started with. In fact, some feel the loss of their loved one forever, and while some say it eases with time, that isn’t true for everyone. That’s okay! The reality is, the way they see the world is now forever changed. It’s not that they will never be “themselves” again, but they might not want what they thought they wanted before.

I’ll give you a personal example. I used to work both a 9-5 and a side job which ranged from 10-20 extra hours sometimes even another 40 additional hours. After my dad passed, I had 2 jobs, a mother who had just been through a psychotic break and was being re-medicated, a serious boyfriend (thank god for him) and we had just made an offer on a house (luckily they turned us down). That was my level of normalcy. Going on full time overdrive, running from one job to the next, not spending time on myself or what I wanted out of life.

When we are young, we think we have forever to live. After my dad’s death and several young classmates sudden deaths, I woke up.

I had never considered what exactly my dad did for my life, since I was (an adult) out of the house. He kepted a careful balance of handling shit, without anyone knowing. We didn’t know what he did behind the scenes (what bills, responsibilities etc.). He had a small business, a commercial building and he loved working, he handled everything. He was the one that instilled a deep sense of pride and work ethic in me. Now it was up to me to fill in the gaps, my mom couldn’t do it, the baton has been passed.

My dad missed dance recitals, piano recitals, Greek school graduation and a bunch of other things I don’t remember. He never packed my lunch or helped me with my homework. I never minded, or felt bad about it, because I knew he was there (supportive, but not present). Maybe that was how I made my peace in the end, but I am digressing .

The point is the man worked a lot.

He obviously was successful in doing so, but yet he missed out (or maybe he didn’t think he did), on life’s precious moments. He was there for milestones, the guy wasn’t a total workaholic, but he did miss some things.

After he passed. I quit my second job, (I still went in from time to time) I stopped doing overtime and I realized all the money I was trying to make, didn’t make me happy!

This moment was so important. I was working because I thought I was supposed to work hard, save money, buy a house and that would make me a successful adult. I clearly learned after dismantling his life in the court of probate that life is more important than work.

Yes money was important, and I didn’t quit my day job. It was an extreme change for me. For my whole college experience, I worked every Saturday, and Sunday. I missed Mother’s Days, I missed Father’s Days I missed these little moments and didn’t think anything of it because I had to work.

In the end we wish we had more time, not money.

We wish we could have spent more time with those people we have lost. We regain a feeling that life is short, and so precious, and can be so easily interrupted.

Death changes life, but it doesn’t stop life from happening, it changes our views of it for a time. We are sad, we are lonely, we feel more easily aggravated, we may be angry, but we wake up in the morning, and we choose to get up and move forward.

Sometimes we are affected but it takes an extreme loss to fundamentally shift the way we think. This is what happened for me. I started to look at life as finite. That isn’t negative, it’s true!

It’s hard. Every single day you miss the person you lost. Every day you think of something that reminds you of them. What we don’t remember to do daily is to check in with someone who has just faced, what we have faced. We assure ourselves that because they have a spouse or someone else that we don’t need to say anything or do anything else…

We forget that they are in the midst of the battle that is grief. Once we have gone through a true loss, we are either afraid forever to face it again, stuck in a state of grief where we seek out others who are also experiencing grief or we simply avoid it all together. We protect our delicate selves in which ever way we know how.

I must remind you though that the person who feels the loss may just need a shoulder. I am writing this blog to remind you that life has interruptions. It’s not always happy, and it’s not always sad. It’s not about how much you work. It’s not about the money or the stuff or the status you have. It’s not about the kids all the time. It’s not about your bosses needs. It’s about love. Life is about how much you love. Let your neighbor, your friend, your partner, your relatives know that you love them. Tell them a story, don’t wait to make the phone call.

Don’t avoid love. Wrap yourself in it. Surround yourself with it and give it. Make love your only priority. Love is forever.

Maya Angelou once said, “people may forget what you did but they will never forget what you made them feel”. I always felt that during my grief, there were certain people that stood out, that listened, and that made me feel seen. There were others that didn’t. It’s okay, not everyone understands, but if you know the feeling, don’t let someone feel lonely. They might need you. You might need them. Even if it’s not convenient.

Life is hard for everyone, but particularly hard when you lose someone who is intricately woven into who you are. You lose yourself for a while, and when you find yourself again. You are changed, you see the world differently, maybe better, maybe worse but you are never the person you were before.

Share this with someone who needs to know you love them. Share it because you want them to know they aren’t alone. Share your thoughts and feelings and don’t be afraid to ask how someone is doing. They might need it. You might need to stop in the middle of life and interrupt yourself to see someone else’s point of view. Interruptions happen, sometimes they are life changing and sometimes they aren’t but know that when you least expect life can throw you a curve ball.

Be kind. Extend a caring heart and don’t forget that life is short! Do yourself a favor and don’t hold a grudge, don’t be mean and listen a little more.

We are only human, and we do the best we can. Thanks for listening and please share with someone who might need it.

(Pictured is the wise, chicken scratch of my late grandmother. She may have been the smartest, most loving woman I have known.)

Let me know what you think, if you can relate (I’m sorry for your loss) and if not that’s okay (just be kind)! I hope someone took something away from my story. I’ll be honest it was a hard one to tell. I look back now, still sad and longing for more time with my dad but so grateful for the time we had. So many people touch our lives and make an impression, as we do theirs and so let’s be better humans and love a little more! Until next time…

(I promise for a happy blog next)

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Cali-forni- yahhh part II (Adventures in San Diego)

San Diego

Goals: Art, Tacos & Sea Lions

Picking up from Laguna, we drove right into San Diego. At night it wasn’t much to see, a city with lights, but no wow factors.

It wasn’t “late” but the time was 10:30-11pm which to our east-coast-bodies thought was more like 1-2am. We arrived at our next Air BnB, a bit confused since we were in an area that seemed to be an industrial park…

(Side note: we also had a really hard time finding our first Air BnB in Venice but it was only because we were tired and it was sort of a sneaky gate entrance.)

So we knew this BNB has specific directions from the confirmation email. You had to go into a gated parking garage (with a code) walk to a specific wall, to a lock box (another code), get the key, exit the parking garage, drive down another street to enter the parking garage then find the specific condo # parking spot. At that point we were cranky.

We eventually figured it out… and proceeded to our least exciting Air BnB condo. It was just vanilla. Nothing grand or special; it was clean thoug

We then proceed to pass out (dead) from our long exciting, fun filled day, with the next day’s plan ready to be implemented.

Lesson 1 of San Diego-Leave a trail of bread crumbs when you leave the condo…

First one up gets the coffee, so that was me. I spotted a Starbucks on our way in the night before. I took the key and carefully snuck out because being the good girlfriend that I am I decided I’d surprise Joe wth breakfast and coffee… I proceeded to Starbucks were the gentleman named my cup “Rabbit” because Robyn didn’t register for some reason (haha). If this wasn’t a sign that I’d gone down the rabbit hole I don’t know what was.

So I left, walked around a different path, thinking I was checking out the area. Wrong! So I went back in, swiping the key fob, only to get to the elevator and….no dice. The key fob didn’t work. We were on the 4th floor. So naturally I took the stairs, coffee and breakfast in tow. Once I arrived at the top, I was yet again locked out. Joe was definetly still sleeping, so I couldn’t very well wake him.A gentleman came out to the stairs probably on the same mission I was (caffeine), and had no access to the top floor because he didn’t live there (weird). So smart girl that I am, I returned back to the scene of the crime (the garage from the night before). Upon arriving I get into the nearest elevator (because why would it matt which elevator you take up) key fob still isn’t working. The custodian nicely swiped me in. Finally!

I was en route to eat my yogurt parfait in peace.. I get to the door, insert the key…. yes this was the right room number 407. Insert the key. Nope, said key did not work.

This is the same building I walked into with Joe and used this same key less than 12 hours ago! Now it’s time to wake the bear. What exactly was going on!? I was half-way through my large cold brew and so I know I was fully functional. Did someone send me to the twilight zone!??

I call joe. “I’m at the door can you open it…”

Joe- “ummmm no you aren’t”.

“I was in the parking garage, I took the elevator, I walked down the hallway, I’m at 407, the number is on the door”.

Joe- “uhhh you definetly are not.”

“Ok let’s try this again”….

Down the elevator.

Into the garage.

Around the corner.

Into the courtyard, in through the door I went out originally this morning. The pool was on my left…

Up the elevator. Nope it’s not working again… to the stairs.

Someone is coming out, I go in. Calling Joe-

“okay I’m here, 407, open the door”Joe, “Nope you aren’t, do you want me to come get you”….

“No! I will figure this out…”I finally found our actual room after the 4th or 5th attempt. In doing so I learned the buildings were identical; same numbers and amount of floors, but you each one was actually separate from the rest. That was the reason my key card would only work on one elevator. Extremely stupid.

So we proceed to exit the Air BnB with a scathing review of the insanity we faced both during the light of Day and at night, the rubik’s cube hotel was now behind us. First stop on our Journey through San Diego was La Jolla.

La Jolla

Not to be confused with La-Jol-a. Pronounced La-hoy-ya. (Thanks mom!)

So we arrived early (about 9:30am), we started our walk from children’s pool which was originally created for kids to swim in a protected space, then later became the hot hang out for the Seals.

As you can see the seals were quite happy. There were even babies!!!

We walked from here all the way down to Jim’s Sea Cave!

We walked down the steps to a cool little ocean cave.

From there we continued exploring all the way to Jim’s.

Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave was on the itinerary because it was originally created during the prohibition era. Yes the boardwalk empire on the east coast had some rivals!

145 Steps of man made cave was no small feet back in the day!

So that was pretty cool, a little history a little exercise and a lot of steps!

We definetly worked up an appetite and were ready to tear up some Tacos!

So we opted to walk around a bit and see the shops around La Jolla en route to The Taco Stand.

We have now officially checked off Seals and Art (a little art) from the list….

About the tacos..

Were they the best tacos ever? Maybe! The place was cool, cafeteria style but man were those some good tacos! Also the guacamole was top notch!

We were now off to Balboa Park, but not before stocking up on snacks, water, and miscellaneous items we needed for Joshua Tree- Yosemite. So we stopped to pick that list of stuff up and were on our way!

We had wanted to see a bit more of the gas lamp district and in fact had initially booked our AirBnB right in the center of it, but sadly they cancelled on us last minute…

Balboa Park

As we entered there was a building size pipe organ and a small concert being performed.

The architecture was clearly Spanish and Greco Roman romanticism; I mean look at the detail! So beautiful!

Joe wanted to check out the fine arts museum and I saw Frida hanging on the wall… for those of you you don’t know who Frida is…. she’s a hero. She paved the way for a specific form of art that was self expressive, political and just down right baller. Check out the Frida Kahlo exhibit if it ever comes through your city.

So I went to see Frida.

Second lesson of San Diego– just ask.

We enter the building, pay for our tickets, go through the exhibit listed Frida…

Not. One. Portrait.

So I asked, and as it turns out the tuesday prior they sent the exhibit back to Paris.

Sad, but there was other art so we moved on. The building was incredible and we officially checked art off the “San Diego goal bucket list”.

Next stop Botanical Garden!!

I was on a mission though, Pinterest made me obsessed with these colorful steps. I swear Pinterest is always to blame.

My mission was find the colorful steps in the Spanish Village, which was pretty complicated to find based on the map…but we made it!!

This was kind of a marketplace of goods and art and it was everything I hoped for!!

It basically had hand painted steps. The candy land of America. It was amazing! Simple but effective design.

So we had seen art, the botanicals and the Spanish steps, but that wasn’t all… then we hoped to check out some local breweries since the city is known for their craft brew game. We also had 2 more beaches and at least one coffee shop to check out before heading to our next destination.

We decided coffee first, then we needed to get to the Torrey Pines / Black’s beach at sunset to get the full effect and we were running short on both energy and time.

Landing at the amazing Cafe Bassam we enjoyed European style coffee and flair.

We opted for coffee instead of beer, and we were off, back toward the Coast to finish the day with some amazing views.

We arrived at Torrey pines which on a clear day overlooks Orange County, and all the way down to Tijuana.

This is where some people (not me) paraglide off the high cliffs all the way down to La Jolla proper. It’s pretty spectacular except for those of us who are afraid of heights.

Here you can see a small group of specs near the water, and yes those are people.

We were at least a thousand feet up. Or a million in my scared mind.

On that terrifying cliff there were some pretty spectacular views, although not the most amazing sunset. Still, we closed the day with this grand San Diego cliff and just like that, we had made the most of a beautiful day in San Diego.

6:00 pm we left for our next adventure to the retro- fabulous dessert sanctuary of Palm Springs. There are 9 days total of this glorious Californiadventure and 7 to go…

19,708 Steps

30 flights of stairs

Seals. Tacos and Art.

✌🏻until next time San Diego.

We learned lessons and we had fun, but we didn’t get to check out a brewery or see the Gas Lamp district, so we’ll have to go back someday! The rest of the journey is coming soon! Like, share, comment and follow for more adventures, inspirations and sentiments. Let me know what you think! I love to hear from you!

Next… up Palm Springs!

Ciao!


Cali-forn-yahhhh! Part I

So we recently went on a 9 day journey throughout the southern region of California. To give you an idea of how long this 9 days took to plan, let’s just say we booked the flights in November just before Thanksgiving, then the Air BNB’s after that and didn’t finally finish booking the lodging until the end of December… Mostly we were looking for good deals, but we were also trying to gauge our ability to actually do as much as I had planned for us to do…

We ended up with 7 (ok 10) destinations, 12 pages of itinerary, and a lot of amazing sites to see ahead of us.

I’ll admit, I’ve been reluctant to dive into the experience because (selfishly) I was so overwhelmed with joy while we were there, that I was afraid by sharing it I would lose a piece… but maybe instead this will inspire some new grand tour! I hope so!

So the plan was… to take a rod trip… a fun, carefully planned adventure which I assure you was an eye opener (brilliant and terrifying).

In the process of deciding where we wanted to go we considered Hawaii (flight took too long), Bali (we have a friend there who could tour guide us on a budget, but again the flight problem), Iceland (too cold in February), and finally… it dawned on me… I’ve (I mean we) always wanted to go to California!!

In fact, (my geeky side is showing) on my “5 year plan” (that is actually more of a loose set of hopes for the next 5 years) California is on there! It seems like a logical destination as well, since we wouldn’t need to worry about international barriers.

The good news is I checked off this glorious item from my bucket list. The bad news is, now I want to go back and see everything else!

Considering the length (depth) of the trip I chose to break it down into several blogs. Ready!

Day one….

Los Angeles

Oh yes the city of Angels: traffic, surfing, legal marijuana (which was clear by the clouds), and of course Hollywood. How can you possibly not be excited to brush past some super famous star on your way to get a gluten-free-soy-organic-bone-broth-frappe?

All jokes aside, I hardly pay attention to movie stars, I don’t watch reality shows, and unless it’s Mila Kunis, Ryan Reynolds or like 3 other people I could recognize, I wouldn’t be that excited. So Hollywood, we avoided. Venice beach however, was a totally different vibe.

The beach, was gigantic! It’s like a football field of sand. I guess the East Coast beaches have less girth… it was awesome!

The urban art game was amazing (on fleek)!

Only downside:

I was shocked at the homeless population; but despite their circumstances everyone seemed content, which was another surprise. I didn’t see many people that looked unhappy. It’s hard to pin down but going to a city like New York, people aren’t that outwardly easy to read. It seemed that there was a lot more transparency on the west coast.

So we walked Ocean Ave from our Air BNB to the downtown area of Venice, up the boardwalk and down to Bulletproof which was where my coffee game changed forever.

Clearly I had to bring this recipe to my kitchen because it was literally the best tasting, most energizing coffee I’ve had but without the crash! I should be getting paid for this endorsement, but it’s just true!

There we had brunch and it was still only 9:30 am, thanks to East Coast time for making me a West Coast morning person!

This was a yucca (gluten free potato-like thing) toast with avocado, smoked salmon and some other glorious magic! It was a whole new level of avocado toast.

So we fueled up and headed down route 1, starting out on our epic 9 day journey all around the southern part of California.

But first!

Santa Monica Pier

We would have ridden bikes down to it but it was a bit further than we wanted so we drove about 15 minutes north to check it out!

As we were walking in, a Buddhist monk offered Joe a bracelet saying something that sounded like “Pizza” and we realized he was saying “peace”. He was asking for a donation to help build a temple, so naturally joe offered him $5. But he pointed in his wallet to the $20 and said “noooo peeeaaassa”.

So we gave him a $10 and got two bracelets , wrote our names in his little book and now we can add “getting shaken down by a Buddhist monk for temple money” to our list of random life experiences we never expected!

The place was cute for kids! I think if I were a teenager I’d want my boyfriend to take me here for a date!

There were many people playing instruments and singing and even some jazz flute which made my day!

It was a cool place, but off we went to our next destination(s).

Rodondo Beach

On the list of beaches I wanted to see this one was pretty high, mainly because it’s somewhere in the middle of busy LA life and laid back OC life…

It was a bit overcast but no problem for us since we didn’t plan to actually lay on the beach…

This was the Narragansett of the LA beaches in my opinion. Quaint but upscale and definetly beautiful!

So peaceful and again the beaches were huge in depth!

We then drove down Route 1 through some rough neighborhoods, and some oil rigs, (the Bridgeport of route 1), industrial and not too pretty.

Then we got to the pretty parts:

As we drove down this historic highway 1, I couldn’t help but think how cool it must have been in the 1960s driving a muscle car or a convertible down this route.

It really is the most beautiful after we got out of the city, and refinery area.

I couldn’t believe it was only 2:00pm… we had jammed so much in such a small amount of time but we didn’t feel rushed or tired it was just incredible!

I had an itinerary for each place we went, the LA one was pretty short, since we really only wanted to sleep, see some beaches, eat some tacos and set out our way… but the way down to San Diego had a lot of stops.

Beaches mostly, but the last stop was in Orange County at Laguna beach. Again, not for the reality stars, just for the beaches. I must say, I definitely understand what the hype is about. It’s amazingly beautiful!

We walked the majority of the walk on this walkway which I’m sure was donated by someone or in memory of someone but I didn’t catch the plaque.

So, there were a few different beaches here, the first was Goff’s Island beach.

The next was Treasure Island, where there were sea caves that glow purple and possibly hidden treasure.

As we continued down this path, my ultimate goal beach was Victoria beach and 1000 Steps beach, which were on opposite ends of each other.

Victoria beach was my main interest. The castle-like structure has a conflicting history. Some say it was for pirates, others say it was a light house. What is known for sure, is that the most recent owner was Bette Mitler. It is definetly a staircase, and it is definitely beautiful!

Some history is unknown by me but maybe someone can fill in the blanks. I know at high tide these (foundation looking) pools fill up with water and become warm tide pools!

What is inside? A rusty old spiral staircase. Spoiler!

What a beautiful place though! It really has this enchanting element, doesn’t it?

We got here just in time to realize we only paid for 2 hours of parking and we definetly were going to miss that window… so we scrambled back to the car.

At this point it was about 4:30 almost 5:00 and the sun was going down fast… 1000 Steps beach will be for my next Southern California tour.

We met up with some friends at a rooftop bar in town, called Sky Loft. It was a little swanky but mostly laid back, and the view was amazing!

We had some cocktails and dinner then headed for our final destination…

20,572 steps later….and a couple hundred drivable miles.

San Diego.

Stay tuned to hear about the next step in this 9 day adventure. Fun, fancy free, creative and on a budget!

If you like my blog please leave feedback or share with a friend. Or follow on Instagram! Thanks for reading!

For more information on the details of this trip shoot me an email or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to give you more info!


Mind Over Your Matters

Have you been paying attention to yourself lately? It’s a funny thing that we constantly put people in our lives ahead of ourselves and wonder why we get headaches, sickness etc. Women are especially guilty of this kind of selfless behavior because of our (maybe natural) inclination toward care-taking. We need to cut ourselves off! If we can’t take care of ourselves, do we expect others to? (We shouldn’t.)

In our world today we face trauma daily; in the news, in our community, maybe at work, definetly on social media, and yet do we know how that affects us? If we have become desensitized to some of the usual broadcasts than what does that mean for our well being? It is a learned condition to be at a heightened awareness during times of danger. Our fight or flight response is both adrenaline with cortisol and ladies it not only makes us fat, but it makes us tired and generally unwell. We need less trauma, and less drama!

So what do you do to lower your stress if you have so much stress!? How can you enjoy the life you have now and not in the rear view…You have to get your mind over your matters.

First things first: look at your day and ask yourself how much time do you spend checking in with yourself? I do it at least 3-4 times a day. I need to. For the time being, I work with a population of people who have emergency after emergency. Maybe they are getting evicted, maybe they lost their job, but whatever the case, by the time they come to see me they are in a desperate situation. It’s not easy to manage other people when you haven’t checked in with yourself. You have to, like they say on a plane, secure your oxygen mask before assisting others.

Which brings me to my second extremely important concept. Breathing. When is the last time you took a full deep breath? It seems silly but when we are stressed we take shorter, lighter breaths and this doesn’t allow your body to flourish. Here are reasons to inhale properly… and trust me when I tell you that you will feel better. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to take a deep breath. If I find myself getting aggressive or irritated I try to check my breathing because it really can realign you. Also the more oxygen the less wrinkles… it’s science.

If someone asks you what brings you joy? Could you answer them?

Take a few minutes and jot down things you like to do… now, make time for them! I say it over and over to everyone I talk to, that you need to have you time! You need to be happy, for your sanity, and for the sake of your loved ones. I’ll give you an example. I went through about 2 and a half years of very dark, very unhappy times. My father died, he left a mess of an estate, my mother was dependant on me, I was balancing my feelings like an iceberg.

It was clear that things needed to change and I knew they would. Sometimes we face trials, and sometimes we create them because we are too wound up. We get ourselves involved and react quickly because we haven’t checked in about why this triggers us? Or maybe we know and yet we are falling into the same negative pattern. Stop this habit.

I know for me, I needed to separate myself from the problems I was facing. I knew when I removed myself, mentally, and didn’t own those issues, I could tackle them more effectively. It’s a neat trick about taking your mind over your matters and realizing that you are not your problems. You are a beautiful human doing what errands life has given you. Some have more to shovel than others.

Build meaningful relationships. If a relationship you have isn’t serving you, why keep nurturing it? I’m not suggesting you tell your friend that, since she’s been busy, we no longer have a friendship. The reality is people are doing the best they can. If you are finding that someone is too needy, or the relationship is strained because they always have to be right, or just generally exhausting, just stop. I see so many wonderful women in my life giving into feeling bad because they can’t do everything in their romantic relationship. Yet, they never question the other party!? I think ladies, if you need a break from feeling exhausted in your friendships, or in your romantic relationship…You don’t need to say it outloud.

You simply need to stop, think about your needs and say, okay I’m going to change something.

Ladies we are all (or at least most of us) guilty of staying in a relationship with someone too long, or letting one surface that we aren’t really sure about. This is selfish, and in a way it’s destructive. We shouldn’t be staying in romantic relationships simply because we are that age, or we want it to work, or it’s gotten better. No! These situations lead down a road of greater unhappiness later.

My example is being in a relationship with someone who checked off all the boxes in my superficial needs list (minus the good looking box)… he bought me presents, he was thoughtful (when he screwed up) and he strung me along. This isn’t love, people. He was not only the wrong partner but he wasn’t even a very good friend. He was jealous, mean, and why did I tolerate that? I was used to it. I didn’t know my worth and I let it go on for too long because it had already gone on for too long. In hindsight I lost a lot of opportunities to grow during that time…. but it was a valuable lesson!

When it finally ended it was like a breath of fresh air, and a relief. Sure I was sad, only because I was used to this person being on call, or checking in or whatever. It was super unhealthy and I know now where I went wrong. I didn’t listen to people who cared about me.

So what’s the point of this story? Don’t date jerks (easier said than done)? More like if you know in the back of your mind it’s not right, you’re right. If your actual friends agree with what you probably already know, then get out! Your life matters, you should be happy, you shouldn’t feel weighed down by the relationships you have, romantic or otherwise. They should be easy.

Not only should you be making meaningful connections in love but also in general. Find people who have good souls, and keep them. I learned this lesson, many times. Sometimes we try to categorize our circle as if we need a reason to be with the people we surround ourselves with. No! We aren’t “the plastics” (‘Mean Girls’ reference) we don’t need to be friends with people because we perceive them as better than we are! We need to be friends with them because they add value to our lives. If they don’t add something… ask yourself why you like them, if they are simply an acquaintance that’s okay! Not everyone needs to be your friend. You can just be friendly!

I find this overarching theme in my life being that I really, genuinely, like a lot of people, and therefore I want to be around them and yet I know I have 3-5 people I could call in the event of an emergency. Being a friend and having friends involves some give and take.

You find out during great times and during terrible times how the people in your life fit. I know now what qualities in people I value and what qualities I’d rather not get involved with. I suppose you learn this as you get older in general. I feel for my poor stupid 12 year old self… (man was she a push over). To a degree you live and you learn. Never compromise on supportive shoes, or friends… because both will be a pain after a while..

I was recommended a podcast by my cousin who is not only one of the healthiest people, but also extremely intelligent and trendy (highest praise)! I’m sharing it because I gave it a try and I was pleasantly surprised. I found out that some of the concepts I’ve been mentioning in the blog are mainstream and relevant (or maybe it just reinforces my general outlook). His show touches upon things such as finding your tribe, getting clear on your purpose, your needs and healthy habits. Life amplified with Dan Mason is the podcast. I found it to be honest, and in line with alot of what I talk about here. Check it out!

Bottom Line(my mom’s favorite line) :

Self care is key. Get yourself to the nearest mirror and ask yourself how you are doing then get your mind over your matters! You have the power to change your mind and your life!

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Find inspiration and then make your own!

Thanks for checking out the latest blog and stay tuned for what’s coming up!!


How to Break Your Stress Cycle… (and other adulting hazards).

When did you decide this was it? Did you wake up today and decide this is exactly what you meant to do? Well from 7:00am-5:30pm, Monday through Friday I do not. Then, after my day is over, I return to what I meant to do with my time. I know what you’re thinking: You’re Batman?! Sadly, no. I’ve managed to micromanage myself into a clear cycle… one which must be broken!

Here we go!

I go home, and proceed with the rituals established when I started a 9-5… (exercise, make dinner…you see where this is going). If you have kids you already know the struggle. Butthis is not a parental story, this is self imposed insanity! Arguably worse because there is no small child to blame for why I am so burnt out. (Sound familiar, friends?) I digress.

On the weekends I have the luxury of relaxing right?

Absolutely not.

I’m cleaning. I’m prepping. Yes, I’m having a little (carefully scheduled) fun. But all the while thinking: “I need to do something productive so I’m not ‘stressed out’ this week.”

Yes some might say this is anxiety in full form; stressing about feeling stressed. I happen to think it’s a condition that being in the modern workforce instills in us. It’s the fear…

What is the fear?

You’re afraid to be late.

You’re afraid you’ll get fired.

You’re afraid you aren’t meeting the goals.

You are afraid that you might derail your diet or whatever limits you’ve placed on yourself.

You’re afraid of drama in the office, or just nervously watching your back because fake-friend-Terry (not a real person) is going to snap at any moment.

Afraid of your boss.

Afraid of offending someone.

Afraid of growing old.

Afraid of being a disappointment or failing your team.

Just plain old strung out and scared for Monday…. All throughout your weekend… as you fly from errand to errand, carefully making sure to stay within your budget, while you grocery shop with the rest of the working class crowd.

Then FOMO (“fear of missing out”: for the real adults) kicks in, and you realize you spent so much time being afraid you only really have 1 day or maybe mearly hours of your weekend left. Those precious hours of recharging or just being “yourself” are quickly evaporating. Now that you’re really triggered, you’re scrambling to make the most of what is now the end of your Sunday. You realize that you still have to return to your daily “grind”…and the fun sizzles right out…

So why are we hard wired with the fear?

In a book I recently read called Tribes it addresses the fear as a manifestation of a “sheepwalking life”. Basically, if you deviate from your self imposed or office imposed “norms” then you get the fear. The fear is not defined in the book but I thought it was valuable to mention.Throughout this book I find it outlandish and yet romanticized to consider changing up the “status quo”, and forge a not-so-cookie-cutter path. However I don’t know when I’ll have time… (But if you are ready to change or or perhaps already have, the book is compelling and worth a look! Back to my point…)

Insert sadness…

Then sadness and reality is the next stage: It’s Sunday. That Friday-feeling has completely turned into your meal prepping Sunday blues…

How do you make a mark on the world with 2 days off (if your job is insignificant) and when 79% of the total 2 days is spent stressing out about the week ahead?

Regret, here it comes people…

It is during this point that you decide to sulk. You have to return to real life and yet you feel that you hardly got started. Suddenly the high school math homework nightmares seem like they really could have been the answer. You should have gone to school for something “better”… and the Monday-dread wouldn’t be this bad. Bargaining with yourself is also a stage of grief… (just saying).

So the cycle continues…

How do you break the cycle of adulting stress? I have a couple of simple solutions to get your needs met and live a little!

1. Make a list of happy wants and needs.

Yes I want to clean out my closet. I do not need to do that to function on Monday. Make your list work for you!

Use categories:

  • Things you want to see this weekend: A movie? An art exhibit? A new park in town? Yes the world exists outside of Facebook, you need to get there!
  • Things you want to do for peace of mind: (see above cleaning of the closet.) There is a lot to be said for good living space vibes and fung shui.
  • Goals are always good. They make us feel like we must pay attention to them. If you need to set goals to see a movie, do it!

2. Make time for yourself ALONE, no social media allowed.

  • The latest Facebook rant can wait for 45 minutes. You need time for you.
  • Find a quiet space and just hang out with your fur baby, or read, or be still. Meditation is an idea but something tells me you aren’t there yet.
  • Gather your thoughts. Focus your attention on what your body is telling you. Maybe you need a pedicure, and it’s clear…
  • Give yourself the break you need, don’t harp on the things that aren’t getting done. You don’t NEED to do everything.

3. Try something new.

  • I promise: It’s hard but it’s rewarding. Try a new route to the grocery store. Try a new recipe. Try to step outside your comfort zone and feel uncomfortable. I assure you it’s a step in the right direction. You need this!
  • Change the routine in a way that allows you to get your needs met and gives you new perspective. Maybe you just needed to do your grocery shopping online for once, from the luxury of your couch. So what if it costs $10 for delivery! You deserve a break!

4. Do something you care about, if you don’t know what that is… take the first step.

  • Maybe you always wanted to learn a language. Try it!
  • Maybe you like to paint or draw or some art inspired thing. Do it!
  • Maybe you really want to give back to your local community.
  • Maybe you just want to spend time looking for ideas for a new project.

Burnout is born when we give up our time for things we don’t care about.

We must actively pay attention to what our thoughts and our body and our lives are telling us. I know personally, I’ve been known to overdo it. I have to check myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed and bring it back to home base.

Perspective is how you look at things, but self reflection is how you choose your path. You can conquer the things you think are looming and have a life! You can look at it as a positive or a negative but you still have to show up on Monday…

Remember! You decide how to spend the time you have. Once you find yourself in the cycle, I hope you dance (I mean stop it from spiraling)! If you need an intervention phone a friend, make a plan, but don’t sit idle and suffer through a weekend of the same stressors. You need to recharge and you don’t need to be everything to everyone!

Now get out there and be free to own your freedom!


Trading Flowers for Adventure

Seeing how it’s Valentine’s Day and the social networks will be flooded with a million women’s flowers from significant others or chocolates or date nights… etc, I would like to admit, I too am guilty. I’m guilty of posting the obligatory picture of flowers, cards etc. adding to the multitudes of flower pics hashtags and all.

This year for Valentine’s Day I’m not getting flowers, and it’s not because he doesn’t love me, but it’s because I took the wheel and decided that this year was going to be different!

This year instead of flowers, wine and unnecessary (but still cute gifts) I planned a 10 day adventure in Southern California…

February in Connecticut was just cold enough to give you cabin fever and we did get a few good warm beach-y days here, but it’s better than a beach! Now, obviously not everyone wants to see the world, and not everyone wants to spend Valentine’s Day in the hottest, lowest altitude point of the world…(bad jokes are coming) I definetly don’t feel like the lowest person in the world.. haha… (get it?)

Anyway it’s beautiful and exciting and dangerous! It’s a lot better than a box of chocolates and flowers. It’s memories.

I believe that gifts are nice, but when you give someone adventure, they remember those moments for a lifetime. I will not remember the flowers (although they are always beautiful), I won’t remember th chocolates (sad) or the wine (double sad), but I will always remember my Valentine’s Day in Death Valley.

Not only is this place a natural phenomenon but movies like Star Wars were shot here. Some of the great western classics were shot here. The most incredible story was of a woman, who happened to have a flat tire, here in the Death Valley junction. She found an old opera house (which is next to a haunted but cool looking town) and decided to stay and buy the place. She was a successful ballerina in New York City and in the 40s (or around there since the details were loose), she came into the bar at the restsraunt we ate at last night. She would come in regularly and an artist decided to honor her with this painting.

As it happened she then became world renowned for her opera house in the desert which would draw people and critics from all around the world. And to think… a person with a flat tire would do all that…

So let’s just hold off on the flowers and start believing in our hearts that we don’t NEED flowers and instead we need to be ourselves, let free into the world to see and do everything we want! I still want flowers to decorate my home, I still like chocolate and I still will probably hashtag something Valentine’s Day-y but, the point is, don’t settle for anything less than adventure!

He/ she needs to give you wings to fly and I’m sure the flowers will serve as a reminder that you can totally start your own world renowned opera house in the desert. Support the ones you love and be true to yourself. This year I’m doing all the things with the people I love, and maybe we’ll see some dessert flowers on our journey.


We love basic vanilla!

So here’s a quick run down of the last few years of color trends. We don’t even realize, but from decor, to what we are wearing there are color schemes, on trend. I’m almost certain if you are a regular manicure lover you acknowledged these subtle changes. Yes cherry chutney will never die, no, that’s not all!

First it was teal, I’m sorry sea foam green and coral, together. Circa 2012-2015 or so…
We look back and think that was a little much… like Lily Pulitzer could pull it off, but not my kitchen.

Then suddenly the 80s! What the hell are kids today trying to do! The only good thing the 80’s brought us was Madonna and leggings (I still do like warm up socks), but the point is, the bleached mom jeans, neon colors and disco lifestyle was a little hectic. I’m glad it didn’t make a full come back.

Then… “mid-century” the 70s, I mean it’s okay. I’m not a big fan of orange and green, but the plants I will accept.

However! My dad, bought a lamp, and this lamp is one of those overhanging lamps that has a marble floor mount. It is quintessential “mid century” but it’s what the hipsters call authentic. Let me tell you, it’s back people!

Those frugal baby boomers did it, their style from their 20s-30s is officially back, and they managed to keep it under plastic so it’s in mint condition!! Just kidding but that lamp lives on, and I’m surprised in some ways but it was a pretty easy transition style. Simple white overhang, gold frame and marble base. I digress, it’s a cool lamp.

Somewhere in the middle of trying to decide which decade we like better, 50 shades of Grey… out with the beige in with the grey… all the Grey! Grey walls grey handbags, grey lifestyle people! This is not a drill!

Well at least now or at least as of lately the Scandanavians are influencing our lives, with the semi-new trend of Hygge . Pair that with the wellness mantra we totally need in the U.S, high blood pressure / heart conditions on the rise, and boom!

Minimalism. Tiny houses. Total confusion! Total simplicity!

White. The color that truly isn’t a color. That was 2017s favorite! I’ll admit it was a confusing time in America, but it’s tried and true like vanilla, it goes with everything and it’s easy to change later!

Blame the millenials for getting everything they wanted, if you want. Blame post- mondernism if you’re into that, but whatever you do, do not think this will leave quickly. White, beige, grey.

We love neutral because #hygge !

Finally, a lifestyle to fix all the greed, boring, but light and airy. Clean, but lacks substance.

Do minimalists still shop at Costco for toilet paper, and where would they store it?

All very real questions, related to our favorite basic vanilla colors.

Now for the dramatics, yes it’s official the 2016 color and all the way through 2017 was Blue, not just any blue, but a deep ocean blue. Blue and white, the contrast we love! Some say it’ll be back like the China pots we all of a sudden loved again from the late 80s/90s.

So everyone likes to guess what’s next and I’m sorry but I really want the shabby chic, farmhouse to stay a little longer!

Clothing is different the 90s has returned and I don’t know about you guys but I really didn’t like velvet the first time around, but now… I’m not sure. I do a little.

New-old- nostalgia-like concepts have been a feature of style, art, music, design, decor. It is often that we recycle these trends in an effort be reinforce the feelings of the past, like a Christmas tree ornament. We love that warm hygge feeling.

Frankly I’m excited for the new colors on the chopping block, purple, possibly a forever romance color, it’s warm, inviting and rich. Obviously it’s going to pair easily with grey and white. So what else? Green!

Sage to be exactly, maybe designers felt they needed to clear the negativity, but whatever! We love it!

We also seem to love teal again but a bluer teal than before, a more romanticand moody version.

Let the color -design wheel keep on turning!

My friends, just remember, neutrals will never die, but don’t be boring! You can dazzle yourself with just a pop of color!

Be sure to check out the latest trends by following my Instagram account. I’m always on the look out for new color, fun designs, and local flavor!

So get out there and paint! Or change your shoes! Anything but straight minimalism, white on white is over rated, and no one likes a vanilla person (without rainbow sprinkles)!


The Law of “Fake it til you Make it”

I started this blog about 2 years ago, with the intentions of doing some kind of event planning, which I quickly decided wasn’t the right fit, how did I come to this conclusion? Well, a couple of reasons, but mainly because I realized the reward was not as exhilarating as the hype. I guess I expected work to be something like this, “Robyn, even from childhood would do (insert thing I was really passionate about), and it was clear then that she would also be an (insert passion again).”

After hiring a terrific career coach, I truly expected someone to tell me “What I was MEANT to do” and I learned, there is no perfect answer. In some ways I was disappointed to discover that, but as it turns out, one skill does not define you! Mark Langford my career coach, also a former CEO, hiring manager, near death experience-er, (and bonus points for Harvard business school,) has a book, that really is a terrific read, called Thank God It’s Wednesday!

So I set off on a journey to find my passion, and here’s what happend….

The truth is, doing pretty flower arrangements, setting tables, planning a meal or making a town wide event really felt good because, I am, by nature, a people pleaser. So as such, I should have already known that I would be disappointed in the responses of those who I had aimed to please.

I realized that despite my greatest intentions I couldn’t make a living on my “party planning passion” and it wouldn’t be the right fit for me (my passion is clearly not singular). I guess the reason I decided this was both, negative self talk but also MAYBE this wasn’t my passion after all? So how do you know?

Strike 1.

I still plan on killing it at thanksgiving,  and yes I still enjoy all that goes along with the process of planning an event…

Now, “Taco Tuesday “, is still over the top. Yes that is a mahi mahi taco, with fresh chopped salsa and creme fraiche . So what? Those things may seem frivolous but they make me happy. I like to feel like what I do, and work for is exactly as good as it looks. It feels good to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sometimes, other times it tastes better when someone else makes it, it really depends on the mood.

That’s why having your taco and eating it too is so important. Who else can appreciate the taco like you can? The world is your taco! Make it with all the toppings…

(Enough life lessons and Taco joys)

Getting back to the long winded explanation of the creative process… I moved on to interior designer, that’s my ‘passion’ I know it! I have a good eye, I know what other people want (people pleaser), and I can do it! Then I found out, Pinterest and HGTV really give false expectations on a few things.

Reasons not to believe anything Pinterest or HGTV tells you:(a short list)

  1. Popcorn ceiling isn’t just spray,scrape repaint. It’s messy disgusting and it never comes off clean!! Who invented popcorn ceiling? The devil, that’s who!
  2. Ripping out carpet does not always turn up beautiful (just needs some wax) flooring, sometimes it’s subfloor shit and you need to buy new flooring… lesson learned.
  3. Not everything can be solved with coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and other life hacks, sometimes you need an electrician,so you don’t blow the power out of your whole 2nd floor while cooking the thanksgiving meal..(some other time I’ll explain)
  4. No one ever looks human during demolition and the final “touches” of fairy dust and pillow fluff is actually sleeping, because you’re dead.

NO ONE is casually invested in flipping a house, and been able to get through it without complications, and nor have they had the luxury of tying up $600,000 in capital, in the process. Just saying… I still love designing spaces but I know one thing, it’s not my “thing”.

Another strike.

I can’t help but feel like the process has made things very interesting. I know my strengths, and my weaknesses. Many lessons are learned through the process of finding ones passion, I’d advise someone to enjoy that process. I know I have. Though I don’t know that I’m the person to explain HOW to find ones, passion, I will tell you it’s not always singular. I would argue that because we are such complex individuals, there is no way to assign only one passion out ourselves, nor should we.

So now what? Focus on what’s next, nor what is forever…

Am I living my passion? Mostly

Am I getting everything I want out of life? YES.

In order to find your happiness, or your “passion” or whatever it is you are looking for, you have to start by putting yourself out there, trying new things, and faking it until you make it! 

Also, know that the process, is just as important as the outcome!

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Opened Heart + Opened Mind= Creativity & New Perspective

As we have begun our new year in 2018, so begins a new way of looking at ourselves. I am looking for new ideas and new opportunities every day. If I want something I’m passionate about, I roll up my sleeves and give it my all. What I’ve been noticing lately is that when we stay focused on our goals, we get results (duh right?). For me though, it seems like I’m always doing 100 things and hoping one is “the” thing… but not everyone fits into a box.

So what I’ve decided is that I’m going to do all 100 things I like to do, and who knows maybe they are all “the” thing I’ve been putting on a pedestal… or maybe I’ll just have fun doing a bunch of random projects and finding satisfaction in knowing I did them.

So what I’m trying now, is focusing on decluttering and recharging. For me personally I go through phases. Sometimes I’m in a funk and I just want to browse Pinterest, and chill. Other times I’m plotting my next project or gearing up for a big plan. For some people, running marathons is the same idea. They think about what they want, they visualize their shoes hitting the pavement (they also train) and slowly (actually rather quickly), the day comes where they show up to the race. They obviously kill it because that’s how life works. You just have to get yourself ready, and let yourself win! The worst thing you can do is be complacent and go through the motions of life… you must focus on what you want but also what comes knocking at your door.

I recently read a book called E-squared by Pam Grout which was a compelling set of experiments geared to focusing your energy. I don’t know if I’m 100% into the universe energy work, but I’m opened to the concepts. One of the experiments is about noticing what is around you. Example: I’m going to focus on white cars… for 2 days. Suddenly for the next two days I’m amazed by the fact that white cars are by far the most prevelent on the roads, yes it’s science. Or is it perception? The world will never know for sure, but it’s good for your spirit, knowing you have a say in what is going on around you. Some say it’s magnetism or the power of positivity. I say, whatever, it’s a good way to stay focused and open yourself up to what you want.

How is it that what we focus on, comes to fruition? Well because we get after it! So the focus of this week is decluttering and creating! I find that when you remove unwanted (insert person, place or thing) you have room to get back to a blank canvas. When we allow ourselves the freedom to do what we want, we are opened and when we are opened we can grow!

So lace up your pajamas and recharge or run in your running gear or just go out with a friend and change the normal routine a little. Open your mind. Get your creative juices flowing and make this new year the one you want. You owe yourself that! If you’ve resolved to do something and haven’t, start fresh on Monday and keep starting over!

Bob Ross says, “there are no mistakes only happy accidents” because like art, you have opportunities to change, move, and shift. The perspective is up to you!

Happy recharging! Post and let me know what y’all are doing or any ideas you want to share!

Til next time!


New Years Resolutions for Beginners…

A new year brings with it a whole new plan, a new car smell if you will…

But-

Whenever I think of new car smell I get slightly nauseous… It’s something I remember from childhood, not from my parents because they never drove new cars, but from a trip to the beach in the back seat of a friends car. I think the feeling still sits right… a little nauseous but most new things feel that way I guess.

Many people consider themselves to be a “type” or a “category of person”. Not me. I’m more of a little of this and a little of that but maybe I glance at the recipe to make sure it all turns out decent. More of the type A mixed with the wanderers spirit. So what does that equal in car?

Does adventure+ control freak= Jeep person? No, I think I’m more of a purist and the wrangle seems too sporty for me… Well here it is, a complete re-evaluation of everything I thought I knew about myself because of a major life decision, that really isn’t that big a deal. Did that seem as anxious as I intended? It’s like every choice we make, big or small seems to close in on the person we are or are trying to be, but what if it’s just a car?

Here was my sentiment on the process. I’m not making the kind of money that requires status, nor do I have any based on letters following my last name. I don’t need a spaceship of technological features, but I don’t want a tin can. Why don’t they make Honda’s like they used to? I love Honda, or at least I did until mine started having trouble.

I’m not surprised that the car manufacturers are mimicking the American income brackets and social classes by making economy cars look like total shit, and expensive cars unattainable.

I digress.

It’s a big pain in the ass to decide what you want for the next 5 + Years, because that new car smell (if you like it), eventually goes away.

A car is not a home or an asset, but more of a liability, and a leaky piggy bank. I wish they made cars like the old days, like they made everything. Fixable and wholesome. Or at the very least, made well enough to WANT to fix and brag about. Cars have had a tough history, I mean it’s still relatively new and now we have 100% electronic cars!

Ultimately, this is a new purchase, a big change, and much like a new year, brings with it a set of rules.

I will not eat in the car.

I will get a car wash once a week.

Etc.

until you don’t do any of that…

So what’s the point in stressing about a new year or a big change if you end up doing what you’ve always done?

This year make the choice to stick to whatever it is you resolve to do. Be reasonable! You aren’t going to lose 100 lbs in a week! You are NOT going to make a major change, right away. The good news is, small incremental changes lead to big ones!

So if you are buying a new car or if you are just trying to stick to a budget. Be fair but be firm!

Make a choice to change something small, and start making it part of your daily routine, that way when you re-evaluate yourself in 50 weeks trying to decide if you are more of a “free spirit” or a “tight ass”, you will have a better understanding that you don’t NEED definition. You NEED to know what YOU NEED/ WANT, and that starts every day, not just the first 3 weeks of January!!

Good luck, and remember you can do anything, as long as you commit to doing it!