The important job of R&R

Ever feel like you have been on hyper-speed for too long and you just need to slow things down?  You have work, school, then nights out for special events, functions with friends and family and finally, you hit a wall where you realize you haven’t had one real moment to yourself in a while?  I need my moments of rest and relaxation like I need water, food and air.  I can feel myself hitting the tipping point this week.  I believe getting  a little R&R is like investing in yourself.  It is just as important as the financial investment we make into our retirement fund.  If we don’t take the steps necessary to care for ourselves now, then we will have more of a mess later.

When it comes to getting some down time for myself I love the idea of staying in comfortable clothes all day and not leaving my house.  Occasionally a vacation is nice but I honestly feel there is a lot of work involved when it comes to packing and planning a vacation and then returning to more work.  I don’t want more work, I want to sleep in and then sit and enjoy a cup of coffee on my front porch or back deck.  I want to water my plants and pet my dog and cats.  I want cook a really good meal and drink a glass of wine.  I want to watch Ozark on Netflix and then take a bubble bath.  I want to get in bed early and read a good book until I fall asleep.  What is your idea of a day of R&R?

If we do not take time to recharge our batteries then it can lead to weight gain, mental and physical fatigue, mental fog, forgetfulness, mood swings, bad skin, and a weakened immune system.  Taking a full day is not really necessary to keep yourself feeling good, you can schedule an evening walk, or a massage after work.  Finding little moments for yourself throughout your work week is a great way to keep yourself balanced and energized.  I could go in to the importance of investing in yourself in other ways, such as diet and exercise, but really giving yourself some time to slow down is equally important.

As a single mom, in school, and working two jobs, I need my R&R for my sanity.  I don’t get a full day to do exactly what I want to do very often.  So on my lunch breaks from work I will go to the park to eat lunch and read a book, sometimes it is a textbook, but it still puts me in an environment that feels peaceful.  Balancing productivity with enjoyment is really a win-win for me.  So my words of wisdom on this Funday Sunday is to enjoy life, rest and relax….it’s a smart investment.

With love, peace, and a little R&R





Pick Your Battles

There are some lines that can be crossed when it comes to friendships and relationships with your significant other.  Sometimes in our close relationships we may say see someone make a mistake and want to correct them, but should we?  Is it our job to help them see a better way?  I would say yes and no, it completely depends on the situation.  Learning to know how to pick your battles with a person you love can really make or break a relationship.

I have recently been on both ends of this spectrum.  I have pointed out something to a friend that annoyed me and I found rude.  I was seeing happen over and over in our friendship and when I finally decided to say something about it the reaction was a defensive one.  A couple of months later I was told about something that I had said and done that was wrong in a single moment.  In each of these instances I took a long look at the situation and found that there is an art to picking your battles.  The time and place of talking to someone about an issue really is key.  Usually, right in the moment when the offense is made or shortly after is best, but if you feel a lot of emotion in the immediate moment then it is probably better to wait and think about how you want to approach the subject before doing so.

We all have said things we regret and putting negative out in the world or towards those you love cannot be taken back.  I have just recently went through a career change and I had a lot of stress and fear related to making a job change after working at the same job for 15 years.  In the process I  was told a lot of information that seemed like gossip and in turn I vented about my negative first impression on a night out with my SO and some old friends, and new friends.  It was not until about 3 weeks later that I was told my negative words were in really bad taste.  So how does one react to being told you handled a situation badly?  Of course when someone lays this information on you out of the blue you feel hurt and defensive.  I had to ask myself what is the intention here in this moment?  Are you really asking me to take a moment to look at myself and work on something that is an ongoing issue?

So here is the real deal, I was confronted about this after a long day at work and then a  fun night out with friends.  It was late and we both had a few drinks.  He was choosing to have this conversation on the way home and three weeks after the incident had occurred.  The timing was confusing and frustrating for me and basically put a sour note on what had been a really nice night.  In reflection, I realize that most of my defensive reaction came from how the information was being said to me and the timing, not what was being said.  I agree that speaking any negativity is wrong and that  if we do not have anything nice to say, well, we should not say anything at all.  I completely owned my wrong doing and have since come to love my new job and I am building wonderful relationships with those I work with.  My worries about what kind of environment I had transitioned in to were valid, but since then, I have reminded myself that every situation is what we make it and there is never an excuse for negativity.

So after the confrontation on the way home I chose to take a look at how I had approached my friend about her negative moment in comparison to how I had been approached.  The difference is, I gave my friend a chance to correct it on her own and only after hearing her say it multiple times, in separate conversations, did I finally say something; and I chose to say something right in the moment that it occurred.  In comparison, I felt the way I was confronted was extremely bad timing and later I found a bible verse had even been emailed to me about the situation in the same night.  My reaction to finding this email a couple of days later was not good either, but I chose to control my emotions and come from a place of understanding.  I think in that moment I saw a perfect example of a very self-righteous act.  Can we go too far in how we choose to offer advice to another person?  Is there a point where it goes from a kind and gentle correction, to a place of judgment and belittling?  When giving someone advice about a bad situation it should not be about putting someone in their place and making them feel that place is lower than the one we are advising from.  We have to ask ourselves what intention we have and make sure it is coming from a completely loving place.

In my situation I already knew I had done a bad thing by speaking negative.  A part of me became defensive in the moment and wanted to explain to him how he had done the very same, but deflection is not the right way to respond to correction.  I think in a completely clear moment of conversation, and not on a late night after drinking, I would have reacted completely different.  The point can be completely lost if you choose a bad time and place to make the point.  Choosing our battles and how to approach them with others is an important part of communication.  We are all human and we are all guilty of gossip, negative words about others or a situation, venting our frustrations about how life isn’t fair in different ways.  We all need to remember that when we do this it says more about us than those we speak of.  I probably did make an ass out of myself that night, I am sure the intent three weeks later was to help me see the err of my ways.  I just think choosing the time and place to have a discussion and how you approach the discussion is just as important as which battles you choose.  It can help you avoid needless hurt and misunderstandings.  Correcting someone and letting them know they have been an ass is pointless if you do it in a manner that makes you come off like an ass yourself.

To practicing more positive, love, and acceptance (and not being an ass),



Sometimes we come across a person in our lives and we see potential for greatness in them.  In my case this individual is much younger than me, but we still connected and a friendship grew.  This girl is young, pretty, smart and had a bit of chip on her shoulder about life; but as I learned about her background I fully understood and even came to love that ever presiding chip on her shoulder.  We would talk about life and the people we had to deal with at work and come to laugh about it later.  I felt that even though there was a big age difference, she was mature beyond her years.  I felt, because of her hardships in life, she had been one of those young people who overcame it and was better and stronger than the average person her age.  As time went by I realized my first impression of her was a little off and I had missed some key issues within her personality that would come to affect me and our friendship later.

When we are attracted to a person, either in a romantic relationship or in a friendship, usually we are attracted to a couple of things in their personality.  The first set of qualities are those that remind us of ourselves.  The second set of qualities are those we may admire about the individual and want more for ourselves.  However, this attraction can become twisted, because often what we want to see in others is really more of a reflection of ourselves and not always who the other person really is, and this is called projection.  I realized I had painted this nice picture of a young woman who was like a younger version of myself, with a bit more edginess from her troubled past.  I thought she had something that I value in others when I see it….grit.  Now, I have come to realize the tough girl image I first encountered is just a facade and she is really one of the most sensitive people I have ever met.  This is where things get complicated for me.

I do not do well with overly sensitive people and it is even worse when people do not realize they are being overly sensitive.  I am very focused, honest and straight forward about my thoughts and feelings.  I do not water things down to make it easier for people to swallow.  When I catch inconsistency within a person I can only stay quiet for so long before I finally just tell it like it is.  In a working environment I am very methodical and focused.  As I have gotten older I realize that I may come off very matter-of-fact when in my “work mode” but most people understand I am there to get a job done and don’t take it personal.  Individuals who really take the time to know me also know I never set out to hurt anyone and usually once the job is complete and the work day is over I am back to my fun-loving self.  That is why this particular friendship baffles me.

In all my 40 years on this planet I have never had a person tell me I am hateful, bitchy, or mean.  I have never had someone point out a laundry list of times I have hurt their feelings.  So when this particular friend explained her feelings about me I admit I was a bit taken back.  Of course my first reaction was to explain some of the situations and why I may have reacted the way I did, but defensive and apologetic came off more like I was agreeing with her assessment of who I am, and I did not agree with her.  I had to process her viewpoint fully and realized that not only had I projected some things on her in the beginning, but maybe she was also projecting on me.  However, my projection was one of more positive and hers was very negative.

I know I am not a negative person and I know that I do not say or do things to intentionally cause another person to feel bad, that is not my heart.  My entire education and goals in life is to help others be the best they can be.  I have real conversations that only a super sensitive person looking to be the victim would twist into something ugly or hateful.  If I feel like I am walking on eggshells around an individual with every conversation or meeting, then I really don’t want to be around them anymore.  Furthermore why would someone want to continue to be friends with a person who they feel is hateful and bitchy to them?  It made no sense to me why she would continue to reach out and want to get together, but at the same time continue to twist everything I say into something negative.  The simplest question-answer text conversations could turn into comments from her being dismissive, rude, and….well….hateful and bitchy…and that is when I realized it.  Okay, how she feels about me is really saying more about her than it does about me.  I chose to project things on to her that were positive and strong qualities because that was my first impression of her, and even though I was very spot on in some aspects, I see now that she is still very immature and sensitive in other ways.

Sometimes, we have to love people from a distance and create boundaries for our own sake.  I cannot afford to have such negativity in my life right now and even though I do care for her, I do not think I can continue to be around her on a regular basis.  Pay attention to how other people will label you because it can teach you about who they really are.  People have a choice in their words and how they choose to perceive the world around them.  Are you consistently choosing the worst?  Do you find yourself judging others harshly?  When a person addresses a problem in the relationship do you make excuses, get defensive and retaliate with a laundry list of things they have done in return?  Do not let yourself get sucked in to the negativity, do not be the person who always chooses the negative and remember…

I am not what you think I am.  YOU are what you think I am.

The world around us is a reflection of who we are.  If you don’t like the world you are in then the real change starts with you.

With peace, love and honesty,