Friday Gratitude Check

I am grateful for so many things in my life, and I do my best to remind myself of how blessed I am. One of the ways I do this is by thinking about ten things I am grateful for every morning, and think of why I am grateful for each of those things. Of course I don’t always remember to do it, and also sometimes I’ll do less than ten as I’m usually doing this out loud in my car and I often get distracted by music.

The important thing is that I always come back to this and I still make sure I am turning to gratitude during stressful times. This morning I’ll list a few blessings here, and then finish speaking them aloud on my way to work- I encourage anyone who reads to also take a moment to think of something you’re grateful for right now in your life! Life gets hard and it can be easy to forget how good we really have it, when we’re constantly focusing on the negative.

Blessing #1: My boyfriend. I am so blessed to have a life partner who loves me for me, who respects me, and who is always supportive of me. I am lucky to have someone with similar life goals and values, as we can both push each other to reach those goals. I am so thankful for this man every day, and make sure to appreciate him as well. Thank you.

Blessing #2: Therapy. I am so blessed to be able to afford therapy and to have found a good therapist. She has been able to help me work through so much of my childhood traumas to help me understand why I am the way I am, and has helped me to learn to love and understand myself. Thank you.

Blessing #3: My job. I am blessed to have a job in which I can pay my bills, have insurance, vacation time, and still have some fun money left over. I am grateful that I have a good schedule, I don’t work weekends, and I like the people I work with. I don’t dread going to work, and I love getting off early on Fridays! Thank you.

There are so many things in life that we overlook or take for granted, when really we should be focusing on the present blessings we have! I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead, and I hope you find time to look at how blessed you truly are. ✨

Is it what it is

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by life this past week; it has a lot to do with my PMS and lack of sleep, but also just unexpected life stuff. I had a conversation with myself out loud in my car last night trying to get to the root of everything, and I am realizing I still have a lot of guilty feelings and am still very hard on myself.

I have to constantly remind myself that I am allowed to relax and take breaks, and that am a human being who is allowed to have emotions. Life gets stressful, and we don’t have control over much that happens, but I can control how I react and respond to situations. I can also look inward and ask myself questions to try to help myself move forward and understand myself more.

We all have bad days, but that doesn’t mean we have bad lives. Focusing on my blessings and practicing gratitude is what is helping me through these situations, and although it’s a struggle sometimes, I am proud of myself for truly trying to make it a habit to think more positively, no matter the situation. I don’t spiral out of control like I used to, which is progress in and of itself.

I hope everyone else is surviving this week!

Luck

When I was in high school, I would often win concert tickets off the radio. My friends would ask me if I was somehow cheating to get these tickets, but truly I’d just plan my days around when tickets were being given out! I’d set reminders/alarms in my phone, and I’d make sure if I was at home to use my parents home phone along with my cellphone (landlines always go through faster for me, and is how I won most of these tickets).

In the past I won tickets to Kanye, Mikey Cyrus, Kid Cudi, Bryce Vine, and even front row Jingle Bash tickets one year! It’s been a little while since I’ve won any, granted covid has been a thing so shows really haven’t been going on, but this weekend my luck struck again: Russ DM’d me on instagram giving me two tickets to his upcoming show in Chicago!

Now, I honestly couldn’t tell you if I was more excited to get a message from him or the fact that I’ll be getting to see him live, but wow was I jumping around like a little kid jacked up on sugar LOL. The nice thing is that my boyfriend also listens to him and likes his music, so we will get to enjoy the show together!

What is super ironic about this whole thing is that I’ve been on a self-care journey for quite a while now, and I’m learning a lot about manifesting and gratitude. My coworker had actually recommended Russ’ book “It’s All In Your Head” to me a while back and she sent me his digital book via email. Well on Saturday morning my friend was over and was still asleep, so I decided to take that time to read the rest of his book on my phone, and I was completely inspired by it!

When my friend woke up I was telling her about some of the stuff I read (I’ve attached an excerpt from the book on here as I had shared it to my instagram page), and was just reflecting back on the book throughout the day! It was later in the afternoon when we were back at my house and I saw Russ had posted an instagram story “2 min ago” and he was talking about giving out tickets to fans as he had been all week. I immediately messaged him in hopes that he’d see it, and within a couple more minutes my wish was granted!

I am still honestly in shock that he DM’d me and that my boyfriend and I get to see him live, and I’m so very grateful as I’ve been missing concerts so much lately! It’s next month and it can’t come soon enough! Now I’m inspired to keep looking for more concerts and ticket giveaways!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week ahead! Sending you all love and positivity!

Self Care Sunday

Today felt like a very productive day, which always makes me feel very happy and accomplished. I love having days like this, and I know I only have many more to come if I keep working hard on focusing on the positives in every situation.

Grocery shopping is normally something I complain about, but I knew it was a task I had to complete today. I reminded myself that it is important to look at the situation with gratitude; I am thankful that I can afford to grocery shop for my home, and I am thankful that there are so many different food options to choose from! I felt a lot better getting ready to go to the grocery store than I normally would have, and I truly believe that is because I took that time to acknowledge the fact that grocery shopping is a blessing, and a privilege that I am lucky to have.

Something else that was a blessing today was I randomly got a notification on my phone that my aunt from out of town sent me money on venmo! The memo said: “Gas, groceries, meal out, whatever you want. :)” I was honestly taken aback, but immediately was so grateful and I sent her a message thanking her for this sweet gift. I put it right in our account to go towards groceries, and I’m currently making steaks in the air fryer for us! It’s truly incredible how it seems that when you pay attention to your blessings, that more seem to show up!

I may not have gone to the gym today or cleaned out my closet, but I did other productive things and I am happy for myself! I read some of my book (The Power is Within You- Louise Hay) out on my balcony, I listened to a Phil in the Blanks podcast, and I treated myself to an iced coffee! I keep reading posts and listening to podcasts about focusing on one thing at a time, and truly looking at life day by day instead of stressing about the “end goals,” and it’s truly has changed my perspective. For example, if I have the thought that I should go to the gym, but I truly don’t feel like going, I will at least take a few minutes to stretch or do a small workout with some dumbbells at home.

My past, perfectionist self wouldn’t have even done that because if I’m not going all in it’s not worth it, but that’s not true! If I would have done what I’m doing now each time that I didn’t go, I’d likely be a lot stronger/more toned now than I am! Instead of getting down on myself about that, I’m just making more conscious efforts and decisions moving forward; taking it day by day makes life feel a lot easier.

What did you do for yourself today? If nothing yet, please take some time for yourself! It doesn’t have to be something major, simply washing your face, reading a chapter of a book, or lighting your favorite candle can be an act of self care! You deserve time for yourself; remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup!

Sappy Sunday

Maybe it’s because Valentine’s day just passed, or it’s the season of love, but I have been feeling so happy and in love lately! I am always in love with my boyfriend of course, but I have just been intentionally thinking about it more often and appreciating it more, and I have been doing the same in other aspects of my life. I actually am loving myself more and more each day, and that is something I really never thought I would be able to do.

I have been practicing a lot of gratitude, and I feel it has truly helped me to be more present. I’m noticing more small details around me, and I feel myself becoming more in tune with myself and others. I spent Friday night with my best friend and we had such a great night! We laughed so much, and just had a great time like we have since we were in high school. When we parted ways on Saturday, she told me that I was very inspiring for her during the time we spent together, and that she can tell that I feel “lighter,” which was weird as hell because I was just telling a different friend about feeling that way.

There is something about other people noticing your progress that almost makes it feel more “real” in a way. Not that I don’t trust myself when I notice changes I’ve made, but it is nice to know that the people who love and care about me can tell a positive difference in me. Now, I don’t anticipate never feeling down again, I know emotions are real and ever changing, but I know how to cope better when I am having hard times which is honestly relieving. To know that I do have control over myself and how I react and respond to situations. I know I have the power to rewire my brain to think more positively, and eliminate thoughts of self doubt and insecurities; honestly I have been feeling a lot more confident in myself lately.

Feeling this way, making progress that I never thought I’d see, just makes me want to help my friends and loved ones feel this way. Having my best friend tell me that I was “inspiring” truly warmed my heart and nearly brought tears to my eyes; I only want my friends to love themselves and be happy. I honestly want that for everyone, because I feel that would benefit all mankind.

Overwhelmed with Emotions.

My last post was a week ago, a day after my mother’s stroke. I am blessed to say that my mother is home now and living a normal life. She is still having some minor mobility issues with her left hand/fingers, but overall she is recovering well! I feel so grateful every day that I still have my mother here, and honestly, things have already changed a lot for her since the stroke. My mother has smoked cigarettes for decades now, and she has not had one since her stroke. She will keep an unlit cigarette by her at home and will sometimes do the motion like she is smoking it, but she still hasn’t actually smoked one. She also has only had one beer- this is the woman who has been drinking beer and hard liquor every night since I was seven years old! She hasn’t had any feelings of withdrawal, and she is doing an amazing job.

Over this week I have had a bunch of emotions come up; I found myself crying randomly at home or driving to/from work. Every time that I found myself crying, I realized that there weren’t sad tears… they were tears of joy. I was feeling so overwhelmingly grateful to the universe that my mother is okay and still gets to live a normal life. I also felt a huge sense of accomplishment for myself, because I am no longer on anxiety medication and I handled this situation better than I ever expected to. My boyfriend said to me: “I am so proud of you. I feel like if this would have happened two years ago, you would have folded up like a lawn chair” (LOL), and he is right!

In the past, I would be thinking so far into the future about “what if she has another stroke and she isn’t so lucky that time?” or “what if she stops taking her medications and starts drinking/smoking again?” To be fair, these thoughts have obviously crossed my mind, but I am able to redirect them and remind myself that we can only take life day by day. The other day when I found myself asking those hypotheticals, I said to myself: “Today my mom is alive. She has not had a cigarette, and she hasn’t had any hard alcohol; today is a good day.” I am finding it easier and easier to rewire my bad thoughts into thoughts of gratitude or positivity, and realizing that made me break down in tears (more than once).

For a long time, I truly thought I would never be able to get off of my medication. I thought I would have to rely on them forever and I would never be able to truly handle my emotions or traumas on my own. And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being on medications for life, especially if they are working to keep you alive and well. I just always have had this goal of being able to come off of my medications and truly see if I can handle things “on my own.” For this event to occur while I have been off my medication for seven months, and for me to be able to handle it well without shutting down, feeling guilty, or continuously looping terrible future scenarios over and over again in my head, I am impressed with myself.

I always find myself choking up when I tell my boyfriend that I never thought I could handle anything like this without medication or without having panic attacks. I am insanely proud of myself for continuing therapy, reading self-help books, and listening to some eye-opening self-reflection podcasts. I honestly feel like the hard truths and hard questions are what has helped me be able to make progress in my brain. I feel like I’ve just reached this goal that I once thought was unachievable, and I just want everyone else to be able to do the same thing. I want people to cry tears of joy because they can see and feel their own progress. I want people to see life in a new, more positive light. I want everyone to do the hard work for yourself, because you are always worth it! We all truly deserve to be the best versions of ourselves, and we deserve to be proud of ourselves. I hope everyone has a great week ahead. ♡

Back to Normal

I get to go back to work tomorrow, which is earlier than expected, because my PCR Covid test from Saturday came back negative! I had a positive rapid test and a negative PCR in the same day (well, honestly the same minute)! Although I am bummed that I just cancelled seeing my family for a false positive, I can only move forward and make plans to see them another time.

I am hopeful that this pandemic is coming close to an end; seeing endemic being talked about seems promising! Not to mention seeing the UK lift all vaccine/mask mandates after reaching their peak with Omicron, I can only pray we’re next. Maybe finally after nearly two years we can all get back to our normal lives. It’s been so sad to hear about the people who have committed suicide and overdosed during this pandemic, especially knowing someone who did.

We won’t know how this pandemic truly affected people until much later; I know we have the numbers on the CDC website in regards to Covid itself, but I’m referring to the mental health issues and suffering that people endured during the shut downs. Children locked up in abusive homes, suicidal people alone with their thoughts, addicts who are bored but have nothing to do so they fall back into what they know; I feel there were much bigger effects on the human species than we know at this time.

At this point, all we can do is be grateful that we’re still here. We are pushing through, and hopefully there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Until we reach the light, it is important that we take the time each day to count our blessings and make our own happiness. We need to be our own lights during the dark times.

Bummed, but Looking at the Bright side.

Today my boyfriend and I were supposed to go to Iowa to visit my family and celebrate our Christmas together; we do a white elephant exchange every year and order Happy Joe’s Pizza and it’s always a great time! Well, this morning I went for my weekly covid test and it was unfortunately positive. I called up my Mom, who let me know that my Dad woke up with a rash (which is apparently a symptom of Omicron) and they weren’t going to Iowa either.

Needless to say I was pretty shook and upset this morning, but as I’ve been practicing, I started to look at the situation with gratitude. I am grateful that I took that test this morning, because if it wasn’t a requirement for work I wouldn’t have taken it as I am completely asymptomatic. In which case I would have unknowingly exposed my family to the virus. I’m also grateful that I feel well and that my boyfriend feels well and his at-home test was negative.

I’m also looking at this as an opportunity to do what I want/need to around the house. Today we hung up curtains that I’ve been meaning to hang for a while now. I plan to read and write more during this time at home; I want to take time to focus on self love/care.

I am proud of myself for not allowing myself to let this whole situation completely upset me. In the past, I’d be so irritable and upset for hours, if not days, over something I literally have no control over. It’s so important to count your blessings and appreciate what you have. It helps make life a lot more bearable.

Rainy Monday

Today is supposed to be my productive day, and it did not start out how I planned. I had a few things on my to-do list, and this morning I was starting my day at UPS to ship off one of the orders I got over the weekend. It was raining when I left the house, and by the time I got to UPS (which was only six minutes away) it was down-pouring!

I got soaked getting out of my car and when I got in to find out shipping prices I was in shock! $45 to package and ship a couple of mugs to Miami! The girl at the counter was even shocked by the fee and said that Florida rates are high right now. Luckily the girl who ordered from me was understanding and paid for the shipping, but I was shook! Now I had to tell the other two people who made orders how much their shipping costs are and I’m waiting on their responses.

I got very lucky over the weekend and one of my cricut creations was recognized by the Official Cricut Instagram account and they shared my post to their 1.4 million followers and tagged me! I gained some followers on my crafting instagram, my etsy shop got favorited a couple of times, and I had three people place orders with me! So even though this shipping thing is annoying, I’m so grateful that this happened, and am happy to be learning the best ways to ship as a small business!

Now that they shared my work, I have been more confident and motivated and I now want to make/post at least one project weekly! I have been following more pages and hashtags to get inspiration, and I want to start making some fall items! I know it’s still summer for now, but kids are going back to school and fall is right around the corner! I’m also thinking about having a Halloween party again this year and going all out with crafting/decor!

I am going to start planning out projects and times to do certain things as I find it easier to stick to a schedule. My boyfriend and I are also making a list of updates we want to do on the house over the next couple years so we can plan for those. We are still without AC right now but it should be fixed this week- I really hope it’s soon because it’s going to be in the 90s for the next three days!

Overall I’ve had a lot of stress coming up, but also a lot of excitement! I am trying hard to focus on the positive things and be grateful, rather than let the stress bring me down. We will always have stress and not-so-great things that happen to us, but as long as we remember to practice gratitude and be aware of what we have, I feel that can only benefit us in the end.

I’m attaching the photo from instagram that was shared! If you have instagram, go ahead and check out some out the items I’ve made (@jenamadeitems)!