Have You Felt This Kind of Love?

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So this post is going to be a bit sappy… it’s basically just going to express how much I love my little dog….my fur baby Nutmeg (Yes I called her a fur baby)…and as much as I call her my trusty side kick… she’s definitely been my hero.

My sister and I were talking on our way home from the gym, about how I’ve moved all over (not always the best idea… my impulsive actions and being improperly medicated were always BIG factors) My sister E and I are incredibly close and we were discussing how the distance was really hard on the both of us.

And that’s where Nutmeg was brought up. I made the comment that I had no idea what I would have done without her. She’s been on every adventure and she has literally saved me from myself.

In particular when I lived on my own, and hit lows that made getting out of bed seems like death itself … my little Nutmeg would stay by my side for as long as I was in bed BUT she’d also motivate me to get up so I could take her out for her walks..  getting us both some well needed fresh air and sunshine.

Her unconditional love has to be one of the most beautiful qualities that she’s brought into my life. I cry… sometimes AND I don’t always have a reason to explain why… and Nutmeg never expects one. She curls up with me, offering a few kisses. And just makes me feel like it’s okay; she loves me regardless.

It’s been a huge blessing having Nutmeg. When I bought her in 2010… I had been planning and wanting a dog of my own for over 3 years, I wanted to prove to myself I was ready and capable of having responsibility (a lot had been going on in my life) Nutmeg brought out the best in me even when I didnt see or feel it. Quitting with her wasn’t an option. She was my responsibility and I couldn’t abandon her.

When I moved around I was told it would be easier if I sold her… got rid of her. Apartments that allow dogs are few … and always have hefty fees. BUT getting rid of her WAS/IS NOT an OPTION. I took on the responsibility of being a pet owner and I do not believe in throwing a dog or a pet away because it’s not convenient. That’s not fair. You don’t take their love and then toss them to the side at your leisure. So when I moved… I paid the fees. I found buildings that took me and Nutmeg…or it was a no deal.

I’ve cried over her in respects to feeling like I’ve let her down… Dogs are just so loyal… and aside from my family and a few select friends … when it came/comes to such love I can’t even begin to measure it. She is such a strong heartbeat that keeps mine going. This may seem Malo dramatic … but seriously she is such a huge part of my life and happiness.

Tonight when I got home from the gym around 11pm… Nutmeg ran out from her bed to greet me. Seeing her, seriously always warms my heart. As I’m writing this post we are playing fetch with her teddy bear and mini zebra… playtime with her is at any given time… and when my insomnia is in full force lo and behold she’s up with me.

Lately since the weathers been so nice we have been playing soccer … mind you she’s smaller than the ball BUT she loves running along side it and jumping around it when it stops…. I laugh every time because she just looks so happy and cute.

She lays in the hammock with me… and while I watch movies she is either on my lap or sleeping around my neck and shoulders.

I could babble more about how much I love my dog BUT I’ll cap it for now. Money does not buy happiness… but it did buy me Nutmeg and from day 1 she’s warmed my heart when I thought it’d gone cold. She has taught me so much about love, responsibility and not giving up. She is priceless.

It may all sound silly… but I love my dog that much and then some. When times get tough and I start to drown in emotions… she somehow always manages to make me smile. And I know I will make it. She needs me and I need her. Today’s post in short … was me counting one of my blessings. A huge blessing in and small 4 legged 4lb package. Love.

– Steph

Flaws & All

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Sometimes I have goals and visions that I set out to do… the expectation is simple I will conquer the goal each and every day, every single time. Nothing can get in my way! …. wrong…. life does and as a result I FAIL miserably.

For instance I go to the gym no less than 4 times a week. BUT I was going 6 times a week for the past few months. I’ve definitely been swinging in my lows as of recent weeks… BUT still… the gym was something I had consistency with. THEN we can move onto the topic of eating … heck! When I start on my downward spiral it’s as if my stomach has no end for sweets… healthy-smealthy… it’s honestly such a challange. Emotional eating is a reality. I either eat eat eat OR don’t eat eat eat and I rarely just eat… with no extremes attached especially when im in my lows. Something my doctors and I constantly talk about… so with that said… should I scrap the gym altogether because I’m not meeting the quota and I haven’t been eating the way I know I should be?? Mmmmmmm no.

Failures are ineveitable I’m human; riding my bike daily has become a hit and miss…although I’m still pounding on my boxing bag… but holy cow! It’s hard keeping an unyielding routine… life sometimes gets in the way. Whether with health, travel, weather, appointments, family, and other hiccups that come up.

Falling off the bandwagon happens – we are human. BUT what’s more important than falling off is picking ourselves back up AND not ridiculing ourselves to the point where our negative self talk paralyzes our ability or desire to try again.

“If you’re tired of starting over – stop quitting”… I’ve seen this quote on few occasions and I have mixed feelings about it. “We only fail when we fail to try.” I like this quote better.

Sometimes by circumstance we fall off the bandwagon. Sometimes getting out of bed is a huge triumph all on its own. And getting to the gym can wait a day or two. That’s the reality. Going to work and keeping a smile on your face can be exhausting (story of my life this past week) so when the idea of hitting the gym arises, sometimes it takes everything I have to go BUT sometimes it’s just not enough so I stay home (and does anyone die from me taking a day off??? No). If anyone is going to do collateral damage from that choice, it will be myself – beating myself up.

Life’s plan is never going to be 100% error free.

I used to rip myself apart when I failed to meet any expectations or goals I set for myself… do you think that helped me? No. Just like it doesn’t help you. Have compassion on yourself… don’t be a push over BUT have compassion and recognize you are human. We fall BUT we can pick ourselves up. So leave yourself a bit of cushion room as opposed to sharp spikes.

We are what we do repeatedly. Strive for consistency… that’s what I do everyday, if I falter I DON’T throw everything I’ve worked for out the window!

Back to that quote… “if you’re tired of starting over – stop quitting” SCRAP that mentality! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING JUST BECAUSE YOU FAIL (FALL)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s like saying because you trip on a rock while climbing a mountain you have to go back to the start and begin all over again. Does that even make sense???! NO! Pick yourself up from where you fell and CONTINUE onward.

Build a habit of relentless commitment to try & try again. When you know there is no cap on how many times you can try you allow yourself room to breathe and to be human. You allow yourself the greatest chance to be successful. People who have found success, have found mistakes and errors a hundred times prior BUT the key is they did not let the failures deter them from their objective.

I fail…  but I don’t fail when it comes to trying or putting in effort. Anything worth having is worth working for. Work requires effort. Effort requires time. Time requires dedication. And dedication requires learning. And learning requires failure. Success requires failure.

I may not ride my bike everyday. That does not mean I fail at life. Perhaps it means I need to reevaluate that goal. Rather than every day … maybe I should try for an hr a week and go from there.

Something I get caught up in is running before I can walk. Don’t set unrealistic  expectations that will shake the ground you walk on. Build a foundation that you can challange and grow gradually with. Don’t add so many things to your plate that you set yourself up to fail. Tackle one or two goals at a time…. instead of 20… doesn’t that already sound a little less overwhelming.

Make goals. Achieve goals. Fail at goals but continue in spite of the failures. Live. Learn. Succeed.

That is my objective. And I hope you can find power and resiliency in your ability to be human.

– Steph

Bipolar Who?

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Just offering you a little smile power for this lovely Sunday. Emotionally Action-Packed, that’s exactly what I am, holy cow… am I ever! Especially this week… but that’s coming in a different blog post.

For now, just enjoy the different & awesome perspective this meme brings. It’s basically the equivalence of being a super hero… and that’s not just my manic talking haha.

I don’t mind using the term bipolar … but emotionally action-packed has a certain finesse that makes me feel like I’m ready to unleash my inner tomb raider kick butt action.

Anywho in short it made me laugh and brought a smile to my face, I hope you found the humor in it also getting a good chuckle.

– Steph

Your Scars. Your Strengths

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This has to be one of my all time favourite quotes! Alrighttt … alrighttt… I say that about every quote BUT this is seriously one of my favourites … and the imagery that it’s placed on … my oh my, just beautiful.

Scars don’t have to be physically seen in order to be classified as a scar or to earn merit… that may seem like a pointless fact to state BUT I want to make sure it’s clear and that you remember it.

Scars on the heart & the mind… those are the scars that can often do the most damage. I’m not taking away from the severity of physical scars because all are important to recognize. And the reality is whenever there are physical scars, emotional scars are also. All in all, once we accept these scars as a testament to our resiliency we can find and build new strengths we never imagined.

How many times have you thought “I can’t do this! I can’t take this anymore!” I’ve done that on numerous accounts, yet here I am writing this blog. I am alive, I survived. And there you are, reading this blog, you are alive and you survived.

We are so much stronger than we think. We go thru trials and hardships and yet we survive them even when we feel down and out. The fighter in you, the strength in you it’s unyielding. And all those scars, they remind us that we chose to live.

We live with errors of decisions, consequences, taunts from others, mental illness, physical illness, loss of loved ones, failed ventures… we live. We learn and we become stronger. You and I are so much stronger that we realize.

Our past is nothing to be ashamed of, it happened it’s over and we can learn and move on from it. The scars we bear do not make us less than. They show and manifest our resiliency our triumph over adversity. They open your eyes and heart up to new perspective.

Never be ashamed of your scars. Because they show that you are stronger than whatever it is that tried to hurt you. Even when that battle is with your self (which is often the hardest battle). You are strong, you will crawl if you can’t walk BUT you will rise up and when you do your example will lift others up who may be experiencing such pain as you once had.

You act as a beacon of hope for life itself. And for that reason embrace your scars. Hold your head up high, and know you are strong.

– Steph

All You Need To Do Is Breathe

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Today is a work free day.

And sometimes we need to take days like today. No To Do Lists, No micro managing time, No appointments, No engagements to attend, No people to host, No expectations for being productive, No spending money… etcetera etcetera

Literally a day where all we are obligated to do is breathe. Isn’t that a scary nice thought. These days may be few and far in between BUT I think it’s important that when they occur we embrace them.

I read an article once about people who are literally addicted to “being busy”. Addicted … and what are the symptoms that illustrate such an addiction? Sadness and inadequacy… individuals who thrive off being busy, feel like they are a let down if every minute of every day isn’t filled with a task. “Me Time” is a waste of time. A waste of productivity.

Honestly, I think there are times when I get caught up and take my schedule to an unhealthy place (as mentioned above)… where the feeling is … that if I’m not doing something I’m a let down and lazy. BUT the reality is – I’m not.

I’ve read a lot of books about self- improvement and success and there is always a common recommendedation between all authors… and it’s “Me Time” at least an hour a day dedicated to oneself. Aside from the authors suggesting it, my doctors have also reiterated to me. Self care and that means learning to breathe, learning that things don’t have to be going 100 miles/min to show we are capable of life. Learning that our value is not based on our timetable. That’s how we burn out. How we raise anxiety. And just miss out on life in general. Life can’t be micro-planned & managed ….because life happens.

Obviously everyday can’t be a vacation, but you should give yourself a day every now and then. Just to breathe. For instance my cleaning will be done tomorrow, it could get done today BUT heck to the heazy NO! Today is just a breathe in and breathe out go with the flow day… I’ll schedule it in tomorrow.

I’ve been laying in my hammock writing this post enjoying the warm weather and listening to the water fountain in the lake behind my house. It’s peaceful and beautiful and my only responsibility is to enjoy it without looking at my watch.

Happy Wednesday,
Take In & Let Out a deep breath for me 🙂

– Steph

Here’s a Little Dose of Laughter

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So this post is a bit nonsensical… I honestly just wanted to post it so you could develop 6 second abs from laughing whilst excericing that beautiful smile.

I don’t know why, but I seriously bust a gut every time I  see this picture… it never gets old! That caption … now that’s called perfection!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday, getting in their dose of laughter.

– Steph

1 + 1 = infinity

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Ohhh grumpy cat, how I love you. Hopefully the math I’m about to talk about doesn’t make you cry….

.5 + .5 = 1
1 + 1 = infinity

The math is simple, the results are life changing.

When it comes to a relationship I do not want to have someone complete me, I do not want to be someone’s better half, I do not want to be made whole because someone is in my life. I want synergy.

I want the sum to be greater than the separate entities. I want to be complete all on my own and I want my partner to be complete all on his own,  that way when we come together we have a sum greater than 1. We have infinite potential.

I do not want a relationship that is dependent. I want interdependence, and interdependence is only achievable if we have independence…. let me explain

Interdependence is when we have our  independence  (we are our own person)  BUT we realize that interactions with others makes life more meaningful and enriching. (This particular concept is from: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ** I highly recommend reading it**)

How can we truly gain a fulfilling relationship when we depend on the another person to fill us up? With synergy we are complete and we recognize our differences AND that’s what makes it beautiful.

Differences should not be a cause for fighting rather they should propel your relationship forward. When you value  the differences within your relationship you compensate for weaknesses.

I am not in a relationship currently , however I was in one & there was absolutely no synergy, I’ve recently had opportunities to enter into new relationships… but I knew for a fact there would again be no synergy. Instead there would be neediness and dependency on me to make that individual feel happy or to make them feel complete. BEEN there DONE  that!

Synergy is not unachievable, however it does require communication and more effort/ sincere patience on both parties AND I have no interest in settling for less than that. BEEN there DONE that!

I would recommend you do an inventory of yourself and where you stand independently. Look at the relationship you are in or the one you desire to enter into eventually. Do you have the independence to choose interdependence?  Do you have the interdependence to choose synergy? Do you need to communicate so both you and your partner can have the same goals?

If so that’s great keep working at it and building on it. If not don’t fret, with some work and self love you can start developing independence and synergy. Day by day. Everyday is a fresh start to a better you. A better “us”

Remember 1+1 = infinity.

– Steph

Live a Life of Learning

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I absolutely adore this quote! Knowledge is POWER muahahaha… just kidding no evil laugh. But on a real note, attaining knowledge is a wonderful gift each of us is entitled to (that’s right, every single one of us) Learning new things or relearning and bettering ourselves based on things we already know …. doesn’t that just excite the living day lights out of you???!!

I’ve always had a passion for learning. Call me a nerd, but I can’t pass up researching something I don’t know when it’s brought to my attention … for instance a friend of mine injured his hand/wrist. Beyond saying “that’s too bad” I asked what exactly his injury consisted of… hairline fracture, ligaments and two of his 2 carpals… I didn’t know where the carpals where located – so I Googled it and I can now tell you where they are…. although I don’t recall their exact names…. (I think I’d like to refresh and restudy the human anatomy…I once knew the medical terms but without application I forgot them)

In all honestly I l used to read the dictionary when I was in elementary/Jr. High … true story. I have a love of words and the proper application of them (although I am by no means perfect – but I try) I have a dictionary app on my phone and when I’m waiting … I’ll randomly read definitions (I don’t play games on my phone like my sisters do unless they are word/factual games … or brain power apps like “elevate” I highly recommend it… anywho that’s just my nerdy preference)

Trying to apply your knowledge is what makes you wise. Merely knowing is not enough. Sharing … that’s a form of application. Literally “doing it” is a form of application. And how great is the feeling when you do both learn and apply. Even if you fail! Failing is the perfect opportunity to learn even more!… like one of my previous posts “I never lose, I either win or I learn.

We are never too old to learn, self doubt and procrastination are our only enemy. I was inspired to write this post because I finally bit the bullet and committed to some formal learning I’ve been wanting to pursue…. drum roll please….. I registered to take a certification course for interior design! I’ve always had a passion and I’ve done my own readings on this topic, but I’m taking it to the next level. Ecstatic is an understatement for how I feel right now.

Additionally, I purchased a HUMUNGO package for learning Spanish. I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile… but I  was seemingly bit by the procrastination bug... no worries I squashed it (just like you can do) And now I am getting ready to refresh and apply what I know and embrace the imformation that I don’t. I always told myself I’d be fluent spekaing by the age of 25…. I’ve got 1 year and around 4 months left SO I better get crackin’.

What we can learn in this lifetime is infinite if we put the effort in. Learning to write in beautiful artistic fonts is achievable for people with chicken scratch writing (like myself) with patience and practice. A new talent can be developed by learning and practice and a willingness to fail BUT try again.

Don’t miss out on the beauty of learning, one step that’s all it takes to begin on an incredible adventure. Fuel your brain, fuel your passions, and you’ll fuel your soul.

– Steph

Itsy Bitsy Spider

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This picture made me laugh pretty good. And what’s even crazier is a young man apparently did burn down his house (unintentionally) trying to kill a spider. No joke… even though the above meme is a joke… ohhh the irony.

Ahywho, I don’t know what it is this summer but I feel like everywhere I turn there are webs and monstrous spiders lurking …. okay most of them are as big as a dime BUT still they look lethal.

I am by NO MEANS a bug person, my least favorite critters happen to be spiders and death in it’s flying form… a.k.a moths… oh boy…they make my heart stop for a brief moment. Moths are actually worse than spiders in my books… the way they just fly into people’s faces …. ahhh just the thought give me the willies!

This year I feel like there is an abundance of these mini armies… and I fear for my life … okay maybe not that much but I could definitely live without them.

Here’s to hoping that  where ever you are, spiders and moths are not… I’d hate to hear of another house being burnt down.

– Steph

Something Small & Something Simple

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How many times have you heard the phrase “it’s the small and simple things that matter most”?

I’ve heard it numerous times, and when it comes down to it- it’s true.

Yesterday, when I arrived at work one of the girls had sweets for everyone with individualized compliments attached. When I received her kind and simple gesture – it was incredibly heart warming.

Something literally so small, had a huge impact on how I felt. And that my dear friends is the power of “small and simple.”

Whenever I receive something tangible or intangible, it’s the genuine thought behind the gift that matters most NOT the fiscal value. Part of my mother’s birthday gift this year was a poem I wrote. As I was writing this particular poem I cried like a baby, I was swept away with emotions of love that words do not adequately express. When my mother read her poem, I witnessed tears fill up her eyes as her heart was filled with love – and that moment was priceless. (And of course I cried some more)

When it comes to relationships regarding friends/family or your significant other, I completely believe it’s the small things that matter most. The simple gestures that indicate you care, that you pay attention, or that their happiness means something to you. These simple gestures are the glue to keeping that love and relationship alive.

Now, moving quickly onto the topic of health. Small and simple things = success. The building blocks to sustain a healthy (and ideally happy) life are achieved by simple things. My doctor is always kind enough to reiterate them to me –  adequate sleep, eating consistently (and ideally healthy foods),  exercise, taking appropriate medication as prescribed, positive affirmations of self love and worth and getting outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. These are simple things (and perhaps obvious) that have a SIGNIFICANT impact on your day to day life.

Take a moment and just think of what you could do for someone else. It could be as simple as giving someone a smile, a hug, a delicious McFlurry  (I adore McFlurrys) or maybe 5 mins of your undivided attention so you can hear how they are doing. Maybe it’s watching a football game even though you don’t like football, or buying a single rose…. there are infinite small and simple gestures that we can do for those around us… heck even if they are strangers. I guarantee that you will not only touch their hearts, but yours as well. It’s a win-win on the journey to happily ever after.

Here’s a quick analogy because I like using anaologies….when your building a brick house it doesnt automatically appear like BOOM – I snapper my fingers it’s all done. You build the house brick by brick … one small & simple brick added onto another until you have sturdy, safe and beautiful house.

Placing one brick on the ground can’t build a house. Just like giving only one thoughtful gesture per decade can’t build or sustain beautiful meaningful relationship. Allow love to fill your heart and start strengthening your relationships one small and simple gesture at a time.

– Steph