Appreciate.

I always make sure that the ones closest to me are appreciated. My boyfriend is the person who does the most for me, and I tell him every day how much I appreciate him and make sure he feels loved. We’ve been together since we were 16, and I’m 26 now. We always make sure we are supporting one another and caring for one another. I am grateful everyday that I have him in my life, and I make him a top priority as this benefits both of us in our life together.

As we grow older, we tend to grow away from people. I see myself growing away from friendships; I am seeing which friendships are healthy and which ones aren’t. I go through a battle in my head where I debate bringing up my observations to friends in fear of offending them, but at the same time, I feel like a bad friend if I am observing a friend display some unhealthy behaviors and I never bring it to their attention.

I also know I am not a doctor or expert on mental health, but there are truly some things that are just obvious. People also love to share their lives on the internet so more people can observe these behaviors. I honestly truly feel that everyone can benefit from therapy, and especially when you have a known mental illness and/or diagnosis. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to work on yourself so you can have a better life for yourself?

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I understand that therapy isn’t something everyone can afford, but there are things we can do on our own that can help make our daily lives better. One of those things is practicing gratitude: focus on what you have and appreciate your blessings! You tend to forget how good you have it when you don’t take the time to acknowledge and appreciate.

Another good way to take care of yourself is to take social media breaks; I saw that Lush Cosmetics recently deleted all social media platforms in lieu of information that came out about how terrible instagram is for young teens’ mental health. The constant comparing yourself to others, seeing how others are “better” or “prettier” is a sure way to feel unsatisfied in your current life.

I am glad that I have been able to go to therapy and learn to practice better habits in my life. I am so blessed to have a wonderful man in my life, supportive friends/family, and my three beautiful kitties! My boyfriend and I are blessed to have good jobs, a spacious townhome, and reliable cars that we enjoy. Of course we all have struggles and tough times that come about, but it’s so important to count your blessings whenever you can.

Observations.

I have always been observant, even as a young child. I moved to an apartment complex with my parents when I was turning 5-years old; I was an only child, so moving to a place where there were a lot of children was great! I had so many instant friends, some became long-term friends, however as time went on, we have all drifted apart. Life goes that way sometimes, but I will always be grateful for knowing these people, as I feel it as definitely has widened my perspectives of others.

As a child, I loved being outside with my friends. For years we would run around knocking on each other’s doors, asking everyone to come outside to play! As I grew older, I’d notice the freedom that my friends were getting that I wasn’t, and it made me very angry with my parents. I mean, most of my neighbors were younger that me, and it seemed like they were allowed to do more than me.

I can’t say this is what started my observing habits, because I feel like I always had been paying attention, but I feel like I honed in more on the parents of my friends and watched how they acted. Although I was upset with my family (for more reasons that what are stated, but that is not the point of this blog post), I realized that I didn’t want parents like my friends had either.

I was witnessing parents who really didn’t even seem to care about their kids; they just wanted them out of their face so they could do whatever they wanted to do. Parents who were purposely causing fights with other parents in the neighborhood, which goes hand-in-hand with the parents who loved the drama more than anything else and would let it consume them. My parents definitely have flaws (I mean who doesn’t, all parents are just winging it), but I can definitely say that for the most part, I was their #1 focus and priority.

I have had a lot of healing to do from my childhood, which unfortunately is common for many. Although, what I find to be more unfortunate is when people do not take the time to learn from their triggers/traumas, and then proceed to procreate and pass on it on to the next generation. If you are unhappy with your mental health and how you react to certain situations, why would you want to bring up a child in that environment to endure those same feelings?

I understand that everyone has different lives, different interests and different priorities. I understand some are lucky to have insurance and/or money for therapy, and others are not. Luckily there are other resources for information such as in the library or on the internet, but people would truly need to want to do this and/or feel the need to do this in order to have success with it. To me, it seems for many people that this is not a priority, which will only hurt future generations.

I personally know that I do not want to pass on anxiety, depression and/or OCD to my child, as that will give them some (possibly crippling) disadvantages in life. No one asks to be born, that is a decision made by two other people’s choices and actions; the least I can do is try to set up my future children for success. I do not have children yet, but we plan to hopefully in about three years.

I understand life will be drastically different once I have a child, but that baby will be my number one priority. My child will grow up knowing that their parents love them, and also knowing that they love each other, as unfortunately many children have divorced parents which is another statistical disadvantage.

My boyfriend and I already talk about our ideal goals for our children when it comes to schooling and we want them to be able to choose any sports/extracurricular activities they want. At this point in our lives we’re paying down our debts so that this is goal easier to achieve once the time comes. I’m also focusing now on getting into healthier habits so that I can pass those on to my future children.

Of course I will make mistakes along the way, again all parents are truly just winging it. Everyone does things differently, but what is important is that the children feel loved and know that they are taken care of. Again, no one asks to be born, that is someone else’s choice/decision. We should all want the best for our children, and we should want the best for ourselves.

Realization

After stepping back and deleting platforms, I am falling out of my addiction to social media. I have felt overall more happy and less anxious, but I’m also now seeing how terrible social media can be for people/mental health. The constant comparison to others, posting to seek validation from people who don’t really care, focusing so much on professional photos and angles to appear in a certain way… where did our priorities go?

Why do we feel the need to share photos of our dinners, our families, our vacations, etc. with random people from high school/college/previous jobs who we wouldn’t even invite out to coffee? Why do we care so much about posting our personal lives on the internet to be on there forever? Is this actually fun, or are their issues that we have within ourselves that need to be addressed?

Technically, if we are truly happy with our life, we would not feel the need to share our accomplishments or fun moments with anyone and everyone who will hear about it. It may be fun to hear from some old friends who are happy for you, but at the same time, what are you truly seeking? And why can’t you find that happiness within yourself and your current life? Those are the questions we should be seeking.

On the flip side, we have also seen the bad sides of social media that hurt our futures. We have seen what happens when people go back and dig up old posts/pictures back to the surface, and sometimes things get taken out of context. Anyone can pull up anything that was posted years ago and get someone “cancelled.” Sometimes words or pictures can be perceived in a different way than what was intended (especially now when everyone thinks the world should tip-toe around them), but that’s the risk you take when you post.

I have this feeling that as the world of cyber-bullying continues to grow, kids are going to start using each other’s parents’ posts as ways to bully each other. Can you imagine having to sit down with your child and talk to them about bullying and they look at you and say “my friend Billy said that he has pictures from your only fans.” LOL, I mean it may seem far fetched due to “age content,” but look how many kids sign up for 13+ facebook at 11, or play video games meant for 17 and older!

If parents aren’t paying attention, or aren’t really tech savvy themselves, children can really do whatever they want! I had friends in middle school on MySpace/Facebook behind their parents’ backs and were able to keep it secret for months, if not years! Now just imagine these kids pulling up each other’s parents’ instagrams/youtube/tiktoks to embarrass each other… are you going to be okay with them looking at your previous posts and videos? Are you thinking about how your kids are going to perceive your posts later on?

What you post on the internet is there to stay forever; filters are easy to remove, content is easy to manipulate, and there are also a lot of smart, evil people who are great at hacking and sharing information that you never thought would be “public.” Just keep in mind what you’re posting, and honestly why you’re posting it! This is not only for yourself, but for your children and their futures.

Rough days

Although my boyfriend and I had a wonderful anniversary on Saturday, I had a rough mental day yesterday and it feels like it’s on today as well. I’m just extra emotional and sensitive- I feel like I’m getting easily overwhelmed by things that haven’t been overwhelming me.

Yesterday we needed to find some clothes for my cousin’s wedding this upcoming weekend, and after going to five different stores and finding absolutely nothing I felt pretty defeated. I know it’s not a huge deal, but I hate having to do things during the week and I also hate when I can’t complete a task so it triggered some anxious feelings. I also had gone all day thinking my period was finally over, but turns out that my body was teasing me (which also likely explains the anxiety/emotions).

In the evening yesterday I went to make Ramen (because I was too distraught to grocery shop, another fail that was eating at me), and I over-cooked the noodles. Again, not a huge deal, but to me it was. I cried. I just felt like literally anything I needed to do, was not able to get done. I felt like I was non-stop failing everything and then failing emotionally for letting these “small things” get to me.

The entire day, my boyfriend was reminding me that these things weren’t detrimental, and that was still have solutions for the issues. I felt like I apologized to him about 250 times and every time he would tell me that there was nothing to be sorry about. I apologized for being emotional and crazy, and he just said “you aren’t as bad as you think you are.”

That statement there made me start wondering at what point in my life I developed such a strong hatred toward myself and my mental state. I have empathy for all my friends/family who have mental issues, and I would never even think about speaking to them the way I do to myself; I don’t even feel like I need to! Why do I feel the need to be mad at myself? That’s something I want to dig into a bit more, I can’t see my therapist for a couple of months as my insurance lapsed and she’s hella booked out, but in the meantime I can do my own work. I’m worth working on.

Labor Day

I cannot believe it’s already Labor Day… I feel like we already lost out on a whole year (2020) but now I’m like how is it about to be 2022??? In my timeline of life, ideally I would want to be getting pregnant this time next year with my first baby and already be married, but my boyfriend is still not my fiancé yet so we will see how that’s goes LOL.

Honestly I am happy with how life is going, and I want to keep this timeline in mind as motivation to keep me working out and eating healthier. I want to be much more healthy and fit by the time that I get pregnant/have children so that I can teach them how to have healthy habits as they grow up. I also know it may take a while to get pregnant, or I may find out I cannot get pregnant, in which case it will still be better to be healthy incase I have to try IVF.

I don’t want that to come off as negative or worried about the worst case, I truly just look at that as something normal that can happen, along with miscarriages! I think the problem is we weren’t really taught that in health class or in any type of schooling that 1 in 4 women have a miscarriage and a lot also struggle with infertility issues. I feel like since I’m very aware of that and have friends who have gone through all of the above, that is just something I’m (somewhat) mentally prepared for.

Overall there are obviously more reasons to want to get healthy and get stronger, but I am going to try to keep this in mind as the months and years keep flying by. I’m the only person who can make these changes and make healthy habits for myself, and my future self and children deserve it!

Happy Sunday.

Today I woke up and made breakfast for myself and my boyfriend, and we enjoyed a calm morning together. I spent most of the rest of the day crafting, preparing for my first small shop drop on September 10th! Since not too many people I know follow my blog on here, I want to share a little sneak peak of the drop items on here!

I want to do a relatively small drop for my first one, as I have no clue if people will be interested/participating on this one, and I already have 17 items available for purchase! I am excited about everything I’ve made, and I’m feeling a lot more creative and confident about my crafting!

I’ve been feeling a lot better about my decision when it comes to work, and I am excited to start my new job in a couple of weeks! The goal is to get into a new routine with my job, workout out, crafting, and reading. I want to make sure that I am progressing in life and moving toward my goals, I deserve that for myself.

I am excited for the week ahead, as I feel only good things coming up. I hope that is the same for all of you as well!

Sunny Sunday!

It’s such a beautiful day outside, yet I’ve been inside most of the day organizing and cleaning the house. Honestly it feels great, and I still have time to go on a walk as it’s only 2:30pm. I also did some crafting today; I made a couple of canvases for my living room.

I’ve been feeling like getting off of social media again. I got back on Facebook for my small business and I am back to scrolling a lot. Today I logged out so that when I pull up the app I can stop and decide if I am going on there for business or not and just get back off. Twitter is where I spend a lot of time and truly it’s kind of a hellhole, but the astrology people on there are interesting to me LOL! I like reading that stuff even if some people don’t think it’s real, I truly think it just helps with self-reflection and being aware.

I still haven’t made a decision about work, which I guess means I may be staying where I am? To be fair, my current job told me they had to talk to some people and I wouldn’t hear much until next week. Part of me still is hesitant to stay because of the drive and I don’t want to be wasting all of my time, but also the insurance is much more affordable at this job. It’s just stressful to think about, and my boyfriend’s HR won’t get back to him on if we need to be married or need a civil union or whatever. I’m honestly not really focusing on that right now, I’m trying to get the house clean and start preparing for my first crafting “drop!”

I’ve been really proud of myself for how I’ve been managing all of this stress while also no longer being on anxiety medication! It’s been over 6 weeks now, and I am honestly feeling really good! I feel my emotions again, but I also feel like I am 100% gaining more control over them. I’ve been focusing more on gratitude which is helping me to get through the negative situations. It is a lot of practice and it’s hard, but creating healthy habits is important, and I want to do this for myself.

I also am going to be more mindful about how I eat and how active I am, as I want to be healthy. I want to starting trying to have children within the next couple years, and I want to make sure that I am active and get into healthy habits so that I can continue them postpartum, and teach them to my children as well. What I choose to do today affects my future self, and I need to be mindful of that

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Indecisive

I have been going back and forth trying to make a decision about what to do with my job situation. I currently have a job that I like, but I have not been getting my full 40 hours for several weeks now, and it is starting to become stressful. I recently had my manager from my last job reach out and asked if I wanted to work in the billing department for her, and offered $1 more an hour, steady 40 hours a week, no weekends, and give me my vacation time back immediately as if I never left- the issue is the insurance is more expensive as they are a smaller company. So although I would “make more money,” it would be going to my insurance. The one good thing is it is a little closer to home than my current job. I am trying to see if I can get on my boyfriend’s insurance without being married, as we do have a joint account and are both on our current mortgage. If I can do that, that may sway me into going to that job.

On the other hand, I work for a company that wants to keep their employees, and I told them about my offer and how much I would want to get paid to stay and transition into being in their billing team; I had to keep in mind that it is quite a bit further of a drive to work. However, they can let me work from home two days a week once I am fully trained, and I would also have steady hours and not work weekends. I know a lot of people don’t care about the drive, but I just keep thinking about having an hour commute to work and then back, but also how it’ll be even longer in the winter.

In the midst of all of this stress, I came up with a craft drop schedule for my small shop! I will post it with this blog, that way if anyone wants to follow along on my Instagram or Facebook page! I am really excited to take this leap and give myself deadlines; it is important to set goals if you want to reach them! I can think about stuff I want to do as much as I want, but until I put in the work, all those thoughts will ever be are just thoughts. I keep reminding myself that you cannot rely on motivation as it is temporary, you have to rely on yourself, which requires discipline. I set up a crafting schedule so that I am constantly working on projects and being creative; I work well with routine and schedules, so as long as I put it on the schedule it will get done. Also, posting publicly about it also gives that added incentive to get it done and do a good job, as I can just hope someone is waiting to see what I’ve made!

I am open to any thoughts/advice anyone has, and appreciate any who are here reading this! I hope you all have a great week.

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)!

Feeling blessed.

I had such a wonderful birthday weekend with great people! From drinking in a sunflower field, to finishing my tattoo, back to drinking (but on an island in the lake), it was full of adventure and laughter. If this is any indicator of how 26 will be for me, I am excited!

One shitty part of the weekend is that our AC went out on Thursday, so it’s been a tad warm in the house. I will say we got lucky with the timing because it has been in the mid-to-high 70s this weekend, rather than the 90 degree heat we had a couple weeks ago, so with that we are blessed. And if you remember from when the furnace went out, my boyfriend’s cousin owns an HVAC company so he will be coming out to take a look at it this week.

I’ve been working hard redirecting my negative thoughts to remembering things that I’m grateful for, and I can already tell the difference in how I am responding to situations that usually send me into an irritable anxious state. I’m trying to practice this often so that it becomes a habit, because healthy habits are essential for progress and growth.

I explained to my therapist how I’ve been practicing gratitude and she was very proud of me, especially being off of my medication for nearly a month now. I’ve been taking the vitamin supplements she recommended which I’m sure are also helping, and I’ve been more active as well (but right now with the air being out I have tried not to be as I hate having to try to cool down in the hot house).

I have a good feeling about 26- I feel like I am finally going to get good control of my emotions and live a healthier lifestyle. I want to grow stronger both mentally and physically, and I want to be at peace in my mind and with everyone around me. I want to actively practice more kindness towards myself and others. And as this photo says, I want to swing my worries away; I feel I am heading in the right direction.