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Goal Getter: December

I’m mixing things up a bit this month and setting the bar high! December is the final month of 2021 and that leaves exactly 31 days to finish up this year and I plan to finish STRONG! I am excited about planning this month’s goals and I’m excited about closing out this final month of 2021 with a BANG! The momentum and excitement for this month is all leading up to the amazing year I will have in 2022! I’m ready for that new chapter, but before I start planning the new year I need to wrap up this year with my December Goal Getter plan of action. Are you with me? Hell yeah!

First things first! Download my Goal Getter Workbook to create your own plan of action for the month!

December is a time where we usually get wrapped up {no pun intended} in the hustle bustle of the holidays and forego all goals, agendas and anything that we had set our sights on. I believe that it should be the opposite. This should should be when we are amped up the most to achieve those goals we set 11 months prior, because when we reach them we can have that feeling of accomplishment and the satisfaction that comes with seeing a goal to completion. I really don’t know a much better feeling than the feeling of setting a goal and reaching it! It’s a feeling of self satisfaction and contentment. It’s pride, confidence, hope, and accomplishment that comes together making you see yourself as the ultimate bad ass you are. What better way to end this year than to end it with that?

If you chose to download the workbook, AWESOME! That workbook will be handy to use throughout the year. If not, well you’re on your own. {just kidding, you can make your own template and follow along} December is the perfect time to go back to those big goals you made 11 months ago and see what you’ve got left to mark off that list. Some may be old news if you haven’t looked in a while. Others may be completed. Some may need some scaling adjustments. Some may need to be completely erased as irrelevant. Regardless if you have 1, 5, or 10 goals you want to accomplish it’s possible to start here and go after them!

My Personal Plan of Action:

At the beginning of the year, I will be honest and say I was in ‘survival mode’. Goals weren’t my “thing” and I was more of a yay it worked out or , damn it it didn’t! I didn’t really put much intention or thought into how my actions could give me more yay moments and less of the damn it moments. I was on ‘auto-pilot’ just hoping for the best. Guess what? That wasn’t working for me. It hadn’t worked for me in the past 37 years and it wasn’t going to start working for me anytime soon. So I made a change. In June, I decided to become more intentional with my day to day actions and began setting small, attainable goals that I could reach. Slowly I began to challenge myself to reach greater heights and chase my dreams. Thankfully, over the last 6 months my life has nearly done a 180• from where I was starting out the year. The person I can thank for that? Myself. Ultimately, you are the only person in control of your actions, attitude and aspirations. {Having positive influences and people supporting you is definitely a bonus!}

In July, I made my goals for the remainder of the year. 6 months after those around me. {Fashionably late, per usual} You can actually look at that first goal getter challenge I set out on here: Wellness Challenge: July 21 Days to Positivity I never thought that this one month would change everything I did from that day forward. It did. It changed my life. The goals I started with are still relevant to how I now live day to day. My threefold would probably tell you how boring it is to ride with me in a car since I’ve traded in my music most days for motivational You Tube compilations and TedX Talks! Something I would’ve thought laughable in years past. Or how I meditate and force them to meditate with me sometimes. Even how I fully believe in the power of visualization and manifesting your best life. Yep, I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten pretty encompassed in all the ways to get my goal getter get up and go…well going.

My list in July was extensive. Four handwritten pages of goals kind of extensive with all the things I hoped to accomplish the remainder of the year. My success set up to become a happier and better me. I broke them up into these categories:

  • Attitude
  • Creativity
  • Career
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Personal/Self-Care

Out of four pages of goals here is the list that I have yet to accomplish:

  • Attitude – 5/5 Goals Achieved
  • Creativity – 5/6 Goals Achieved
    1. Monetize my blog/social media
  • Career – 11/12 Goals Achieved
    1. Get rewarded financially for performance
  • Family – 6/8 Goals Achieved
    1. Quality time spent with my threefold
    2. Schedule a family night event twice per month
  • Romantic – 3/6 Goals Achieved
    1. Spend quality time with ‘E’
    2. Overthinking/Assuming
    3. Holding Grudges
  • Health -3/4 Goals Achieved
    1. Quit Smoking
  • Financial – 1/4 Goals Achieved
    1. Budget
    2. Save
    3. Donate
  • Personal/Self Care- 9/10 Goals Achieved
    1. Free myself from my past guilt and move forward into the future.

If my math is right this shows I had 55 goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. So far I’ve accomplished 40 of those. Not too shabby for a girl who didn’t even have a plan last January! However, this leaves me with 15 that I want to see through to completion by 12/31/21. I’m exhausted already! No. I’m not, I’m pumped! I’m a goal getter! I’ve got this! So now it’s time for the plan. Time to break these goals down into chunks of doable and actionable pieces that will see me to the finish line!

I can mark the one off my list for creativity. Today I launched my first download for the Goal Getter Workbook! This is my first real money driven effort for my blog! Profitable or not, it’s an achievement and an amazing way to kick off my month! The next is not totally in my hands, but I’m looking forward to a raise in the coming weeks at work for all the bad-assery I’ve displayed this year! So that will be something I can check off my list this month too! As for the Family goals – I have a couple things in the works planned for my threefold and I to have some QT as soon as we get over this Corona Virus infestation that has kept us cooped up in quarantineville for the past week. I also think I can knock out my romantic goal of some quality time with ‘E’ that isn’t just Covid cuddleupits while cat napping watching crime documentaries, although that has been a highlight of quarantine! The deeper of those 3 goals are resentments, grudges, overthinking and assumptions. This is something that will take constant effort and mindfulness on my part. My anxiety tends to lean towards catastrophizing even the smallest disagreements and distorts them into these out of proportion reactions. I have come a long way with this but I know that improvements can be made and I will definitely work to stay mindful of rational and irrational thoughts. The dreaded ‘quit smoking’ this isn’t something I have wanted to do. That’s just plain honest. It’s my vice. My coping mechanism. My reward. My appetite suppressant. My stress reliever. BUT as much as it’s been my crutch for the past 15 years {yes 15 years} it’s time to pack it up. I went three days without a cigarette while sick with the ‘rona. The longest time I’ve not smoked in 10 years. Sure, I could’ve said ‘haste la vista’ then but I wasn’t mentally prepared to say my farewells. My mind wasn’t in it. I’m there now. That first cigarette after 3 days tasted like burnt coffee creamer, stale crackers and old mints. I’m over it. If I can thank Covid for anything it will be that it may have ruined my love for the taste of a menthol cigarette forever. I haven’t openly put out there that I’m a smoker, but now that it’s here in black and white I can’t deny it. If I can end this year as a non-smoker then I will be so proud of myself. I’ve tried before and failed, but I haven’t had a blog post to hold me to it. Here’s to that! Financial goals are tricky for me, especially this month with Christmas being my holiday. I love getting the gifts for my threefold and watching their faces as they light up with excitement. This year has been a struggle financially in general due to all of the unforeseen medical expenses and bills, divorce, new home, lost time at work and general life maintenance. I am resourceful if nothing else, and stubborn so I have those two things on my side. It’s best to finish strong. I’ll put my $5.00/day that I would purchase my cigarettes with into an account for some rainy day savings to start. I’ll make a budget and formulate a doable plan to stick to. For donations, we will find a way to give to those less fortunate by way of volunteering time at a local charity. That final one in personal/self-care is tricky. I am working on manifesting my desired result in finally settling a peaceful resolution and tie up the loose ends of my past. I am also working through my feelings in therapy and finding ways I can let go of my resentment and hurt from my past, along with my personal guilt. I will continue to do both. In addition I will work on not giving my energy, positive or negative, to my past. I will allow whatever feelings and thoughts to surface and rise but not allow it to dwell in my headspace or overpower my reactions. I will acknowledge and dismiss. No lingering. That’s tough, but it will be awesome to see how much more positivity can grow when it isn’t being stomped out by the negative weight of the past. And that’s a wrap! That’s it, folks! That’s my plan of action for December! I hope you have downloaded My Goal Getter Workbook and choose to end your year with as much hope and positivity as you started it with! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Covid Chronicles: Day 2 11/28/2021

It’s day 2 of quarantine and I am already over it! I have been restless and I wanted something to do that would occupy my mind. I stayed up far too late last night looking at craft projects to busy my threefold with and making Amazon wish lists that I will never purchase. Does anyone else do that? Stave off the shopping bug by creating wish lists of things you would buy if you have a few thousand to blow and no real responsibility? I digress. Today I woke up at 10 again after getting about 7 hours of sleep. {I told you I stayed up too late}. I probably had a hard time sleeping due to the amount of sleep I have had the past few days. I didn’t feel too terrible upon waking. Minor aches and body fatigue, slight headache, and a stopped up nose. Some coughing and sinus pressure but nothing that I couldn’t manage. I’m not going to challenge my new friend Corona, I know she is waiting to inflict her damage on my body. My chest isn’t feeling like it will explode with each breath so that has to be an improvement. Like I always say, this is all subject to change without notice. I’m definitely more edgy and irritable today. I’m not really in a mood for lots of talking, noise, interaction, or banter. I’m pretty funky and so with that I am trying to keep to myself a bit more. Headphones, calming techniques, and walking away so I don’t unnecessarily pop off on anyone for no apparent reason. It seems to contagious, the irritation, I got into a little tiff with ‘E’ about my threefold being loud {and arguing incessantly}. I think we both need manage our expectations about the behavior displayed under our current circumstances. I’ll get over it and everything will be good in a matter of hours. Everyone gets a little more edgy when they are sick and the headache blows so I know the noise level can intensify that constant pounding. I have to manage my own expectations of how we will all react and behave under these circumstances, myself, ‘E’ and my threefold.

I had a goal of showering today. That’s a good goal to have. I don’t want to smell like the back of a Chuck E. Cheese in summer mixed with McDonald’s onions even if I am unable to smell it myself. I think my family will appreciate that I do love them enough to pull myself up and wash off the layer of covid film that is undoubtedly covering my body. This was therapeutic as the hot water not only soothed the aching muscles but also helped to clear some of the sinus gunk that has been accumulating in my nasal passages. Something about a hot shower makes me feel almost better.

I did fold that load of laundry that stared at me through the night. Clean towels, hooray! I switched around the laundry and made an effort to pick up the mess on my bedside table where my snot tissues, coke cans, water bottles, mail, and other items have accumulated since setting up shop in bed the past few days. We got ornaments hung on the tree and began crafting our garland and attempted the tree topper. I found a cute project for string Christmas trees and making your own ornaments. I don’t have glue though. Trying to come up with a way to make an alternative adhesive out of things I do have at home. Suggestions? I have silicone! Ha! At least we are attempting to be productive with our time! The finger knot garland is adorable and all three of my threefold got on board and learned how to do this simple and mindless craft. I think it will be a cute addition to our holiday decorations and something they were able to make that can be on display. I really want to do the string trees, damn glue. I’ll figure something out, I’m resourceful like that!

Today I took it a little easier than yesterday and my body is thanking me. {the house however can tell that I took the day off} I took a long nap snuggled up on ‘E’ as he watched fetch {#2’s name for football} on t.v. and just took it easy. I painted a bit and worked on some projects I had started but not seen to completion. I put some attention on my social media pages for ‘My Threefold’ and did a little digital artwork. I did things that busied my mind without having to be moving around a whole lot.

Unfortunately, #2 started feeling really bad today. Her at home covid test came back positive and she is unfortunately starting to feel the onslaught of symptoms. #1, #3 and BK {bonus kid} are still in the clear so far. I am praying that this doesn’t take out the whole household. I’m not sure how I will manage taking care of my threefold, ‘E’ and myself with Corona on board. She has stayed pretty positive. Not being too whiny and not really complaining. She took a note from my book and attempted to stay a little active when her body would allow by shooting a few hoops, listening to music, and making videos of her cats. I hate she is sick, but she has always been super tough and never really allowed being sick to stop her from doing whatever she wants. Maybe it’s an ADHD thing, but she isn’t much for still, rest, or relaxation.

Tonight, #1 cooked dinner, pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, Mac & cheese, rolls and broccoli. It was delish! We sat at the table and had our normal ‘Roses & Thorns’ dinner conversation. {we all say at least one positive about our day, and share a negative if we have one}. The thorns were the obvious quarantine, covid and restless energy. The roses were decorations and learning to finger knit! {mom win!} Overall I would call today pretty successful and despite the funk energy and moods we were able to spend some quality time together. For me, that’s what I wanted out of quarantine. For us to take advantage of the unique opportunity to spend time all together. After all, how often is every person home at the same time for days on end?

Another day of quarantine is almost in the books. Only 12 days to go! We will just keep moving forward and hope that tomorrow is better than today. We will keep staying positive and trying to have an attitude of gratitude knowing that we are at home, together, safe, warm, fed and have cozy beds to recover in. Today there isn’t much more we could ask for! Stay positive! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Covid Chronicles: Day 1 11/27/21

I’m going to call today Day 1. Today is the 1st full day of quarantine after receiving my positive test result. My hope is by writing a brief synopsis of each day I can track my symptoms and hopefully see the improvements that are soon to be coming my way. It also may help someone else who isn’t sure what to expect. In addition, the goal is to stay positive and find a way to make quarantine less hellish and keep everyone safe and recovering at home {without going completely insane, stir crazy, or inciting violence}.

Today I woke up and felt ok. I wasn’t 100%, but I had that thought of “this isn’t that bad, this isn’t worse than a bad cold or a mild flu.” Wrong. I realized I had slept 12 hours and it was 10a.m., but the house was still quiet meaning my threefold was also taking advantage of a day to sleep in. My new friend Corona however quickly showed me what she was willing to do to make me feel her wrath {how dare I doubt her}. Groceries were received and bringing a week’s worth of groceries into the kitchen was difficult at best. I’m not going to lie, I was ready for a nap immediately after but I pushed through. I allowed the kids to help by actually putting everything where it goes. I managed to take the trash out from the kitchen and bedroom and switch around some laundry. After that I had to sit down. My body was screaming at me to stop. My chest was tight, my muscles ached, and I was light headed. I complied and listened. I forced down some food and made myself drink a bottle of water. Taste is in tact, but it lacks luster and vitality; as the flavors are less distinct. I can’t tell about smell though because I’m stuffed up, but it was nice to not be able to smell the rancid gas ‘E’ emitted as he slept away his symptoms today. By 2:00 p.m. I felt like I’d worked all day. The clothes from the dryer staring at me to fold them. I was almost as restless as #3 and I just wanted to do something, anything, besides lay useless. However my body did not give me the permission needed to actually get up and go. My head was foggy. It’s easiest described as hang over brain like you’ve stayed up far too late, drank too much, and now your body and brain are trying to play catch up.

This evening ‘E’ finally gave in and took an at home covid test, the result as expected was positive. I harnessed enough energy to sweep the floors after my afternoon nap while watching t.v. and relaxing. ‘E’ managed to get the tree put up and the girls worked on fluffing and preparing the ornaments with hooks. I even managed to fold that load of laundry that had been staring me earlier in the day. After those things I was back to feeling like my life force was completely drained. I managed to sit at the table for family dinner. I cleared the table. Started another load of laundry and then I was done. This last load may have to stare at me until morning as I feel like my lungs are on fire after all of that this evening.

Thankfully #1 and #3 are acting fine, #2 however said her throat and chest were hurting. I am grateful they all pulled together and did some cleaning today. I couldn’t stand it being dirty, having to look at it all day and not having the ability or energy to actually clean it up. They even managed not to fight as they divided up the tasks that needed to be done! I watched #3 do some painting, watched some “flea market flip” episodes to trigger my restless creativity and did a lot of snuggling with ‘E’ and our kitties. #2 made dinner for us, yay spaghetti! I definitely am thankful my threefold are old enough to somewhat fend for theirselves, help out, and attempt to entertain themselves.

With antibiotics for my compounding ear infection, steroids, a crap ton of Advil dual action {this stuff is amazing} and cough medicine on board along with all my other regular medications I’m staving off as many of the symptoms as possible. The fatigue, headache, shortness of breath and body aches are the worst today. My newest symptom is the shortness of breath from minor activity. Most improved symptom is the sinus congestion. I never thought I’d be ecstatic about performing mundane tasks, but I figured it’s better to move some and give my body a little push than to completely force myself to be on bed rest. I guess time will tell if my way is at all beneficial to recovery or if I’m just wearing my body out needlessly. As long as I drink fluids, take breaks, listen to my body when it says ‘enough!’ then I don’t think it’s hurting me to stay somewhat active.

Overall day 1 was harder than expected but I remained in good spirits and as positive as I could. I think I only got irritated when there was arguing or unnecessary yelling. Overall I’m trying to remember that my threefold are trying to be good too. It’s important I not hold them to unrealistic expectations after all they are kids stuck in a house with their sisters for the next several days. Arguments will be hard to avoid and they will get louder than I want them to. If that’s the worst thing that happens then we will be in good shape!

Today’s Accomplishments:

  • Clean (a little by me, more so my threefold)
  • Laundry(ish)
  • Rest & relax
  • Write
  • Answer emails
  • Groceries
  • Submissions and proposals
  • Christmas tree up (not decorated yet)
  • Family dinner
  • Quality time (at a distance)

Not too shabby for a quarantined family trying to fight off covid and make it to Day 2 of this little journey. It’s just a piece of the story, not the beginning, definitely not the end but an excerpt that we will one day look back at and say ‘you know we faced some unique challenges in 2021, but we over came them all because we are badass!’ That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Send positive healing vibes our way! If you have any creative ideas to help keep my threefold entertained over the coming days I would appreciate any advice! Can’t be too intricate as we can’t go to the store to get supplies {and I’m attempting to not spend resources too quickly since I am not working for the next couple of weeks.} Prece’ ☮️❤️😊~M

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Blessed by the Mess:

Last year I spent my first Thanksgiving without my threefold. I was so upset and felt empty. I tried keeping myself busy, I tried sleeping as much as I could and begged for ‘E’ {who I was dating} to stay with me, even though I knew he needed to go to pick up his own kiddo to spend turkey day with her. That afternoon was the worst time. I didn’t do anything {except wallow in my own feeling} and due to COVID-19 there were no family gatherings to distract me or give me some semblance of Thanksgiving. Thankfully {no pun intended} I had convinced ‘E’ that we, his midget included, should all go have dinner since his extended family all lived out of state and we both had to work the following day, and the VID had pretty much put a damper on life in general. We did. We laughed, had cheese sticks, brownies with ice cream, chicken tenders and fries and spent our first holiday together at an Applebee’s of all places. Then not wanting to go home to an empty bed we went to Walgreens and made fools of ourselves. It was memorable, and I’m so grateful that they made me feel better about my first holiday without my threefold. The following weekend all four kids {defcon four} ‘E’ and I had our first family outing all together where everyone seemed to get along and I was excited that maybe this could be something good. My threefold commented on ‘how happy I looked’ with ‘E’. A comment that still resonates with me when they say it today. I was happy. I am even happier now.

Last November, I was still on a 50/50 parenting schedule with my ex, navigating a rollercoaster divorce, and easily manipulated by my ex and the situation. I was freshly ‘single’ and trying my hand with someone new and putting my best face forward. I was still fairly new at work, but had recently really found my stride and my benefit to the team. I was parenting, but I wasn’t always present even while in the same room and definitely not near as accessible. I was in therapy beginning to work on resolving my past, but still was using old coping mechanisms that were unhealthy to get me through the hard days. I had panic attacks often and had grown accustomed to numbing out my emotions so I wouldn’t have to feel them. My anxiety was at an 8/10 most days and hadn’t gotten better even with the prescription medication, coping mechanisms and therapy. It wasn’t pretty, but I was still trying to make it appear nice and neat all put together and dressed our lives up for conversations and pictures.

Reality hit hard when, the Monday after Thanksgiving of 2020, #2 of my threefold was admitted to an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital for self harm and suicidal ideation for the first time. {this hospitalization marked the first of five we’ve had over the past 12 months} She was only 12. I didn’t understand. The Earth fell out from under my feet and I went into free fall. ‘E’ didn’t know me ‘like that’ and I tried with everything in me to get him to ‘take the out’ and just ‘walk away. no harm. no foul. no hard feelings’ I gave him every reason to leave. I told him we were too complicated, broken, difficult and too much over and over again. He refused even though I didn’t know why he would choose to stay with us through all of that. He did. He didn’t just stand by, he stepped up in ways I never thought possible and became the person who has helped carry us through this year, all of us. He got a lot of push back, misplaced anger, a lot of hard time, and had to be the ‘perky positivity peddler’ probably even when he didn’t want to be because we didn’t know how to love him the way that he was loving us. We didn’t get it then. I can’t even describe the gratitude and love my threefold and I have for him after this year now that we recognize that he chose us even when we gave him every reason to leave. He stayed. He loved us through the healing and loved us as we learned to love ourselves. He has earned his place in our hearts.

While #2 was still hospitalized I moved into our new home. The day we moved I can vividly recall the meeting with the case worker for abuse allegations against my ex. I covered for my ex that day along with my other two children as we stated ‘he isn’t abusive, that was in the past’. I will always regret allowing myself to be manipulated and intimidated enough to do that and for my other two girls who went against their sister to protect their dad, only following my example. This wouldn’t be the first or the last time I allowed the manipulation and intimidation my ex served us dictate my life decisions or the decisions that I made for my threefold. That week I was moving into my home my ex begged me to meet him and I was terrified to go. I went anyway because he said ‘it’s important’. I gained a large piece of myself and my strength back that night as he read the apology he had written apologizing for all that he had ever done to the girls and I. I stared at him and he stared back with tears in his eyes and told him ‘no, there was too much damage done to turn back now.’ The 15 years prior flashing in front of my eyes as I tried to rationalize my decision. I also had the previous few months of my life with ‘E’ and the hope of what the future could look like with him vs. how I felt that the future would look like with my ex running through my head. I am so thankful that even in the turmoil that I thought through it with rationality {I don’t usually display rational thought when stressed} and chose neither my ex or ‘E’. I chose my threefold and what I wanted for myself and for them. I continued my relationship with ‘E’. However, that day I knew it would always be my threefold before everyone and everything else, regardless what I wanted. It was the first decision that changed the trajectory of our lives.

This Thanksgiving looks so different from that Thanksgiving dinner at Applebee’s, that first ‘family’ outing with Defcon 4, ‘E’ and I, and the two weeks afterwards with #2’s hospitalization. I won’t be sharing the holidays this year. I don’t have to have conversations with my ex about anything other than an update on #3 every now and again. There are no more cover ups and a lot less fear. The manipulation is still attempted but I am quicker to recognize the behavior. Instead, this Thanksgiving we are celebrating all the things we have to be grateful for, together as a blended family. We mark the one year anniversary of moving into this house that we’ve made a home. Multiple college acceptance letters for #1 and good grades, plus lots of self improvement. The recovery of #2 being nearly 6 months free of self harm and successfully discharging from treatment 6 weeks ago. Martial arts, good grades, making friends and behavior improvement with #3. Drama club, honor roll and help with coping with anxiety for BK {bonus kid}. Everyone being back in school {in person NOT virtual}, adjusting and doing well. The many blessings we’ve had along the way from ‘go fund me’, to meals, & help with medical bills. That I have an amazing job where I could work and care for my threefold. I am grateful that I was promoted and received two raises this year and so did ‘E’ with a 3rd coming soon for him! The ability to gather with our family this year. And so much more! There are a lot of things that we do differently these days than we did before, but they are all in an effort of making us better.

I am so proud of us all. I am proud because even as we collectively faced the hardest year we have had to face thus far, both individually and as a family, we have come out on the other side closer, better, stronger and more positive than we ever were before. As I reflect on where we are now, I can’t help but think how different things were last year in comparison. How different I am. How different we all are. I don’t think that I ever could’ve imagined how tumultuous, life-changing, or the difficulties the last year brought to our family. I didn’t see any of it coming as I sat at that Applebee’s a year ago missing my threefold. As much hardship and heartbreak as we endured this year, I still can recognize how much good was inspired from the hard times we’ve experienced. We overcame every obstacle and challenge that came our way and persevered. We will continue to overcome our hurdles, together. We are still working through many things and rebuilding what was broken and finding the pieces from the broken parts of our past, but I am amazed at all the positive actions and steps that were taken despite the challenges we’ve faced. The good we have today definitely outweighs the bad we were up against last year. We found ourselves, we found each other, we grew closer, we learned lessons and found a way towards healing. We love bigger and appreciate more. We look for the message in every mess. I wouldn’t ask for the hardship and the struggle, but I am thankful that we have found the silver linings and found ways for us to grow and heal despite it all. We have been blessed beyond measure and those blessings continue to show up in our lives. Today I will recognize our strength and determination to keep fighting for our future. We have truly been blessed by our mess. Today I challenge you to have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful! Love big! Show gratitude! There is always something to be grateful no matter the circumstances.

Happy Thanksgiving! ☮️❤️😊~M

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#100HAPPYDAYS Challenge

My last post was about finding a way to reconnect with my inner joy and center myself. I have worked for well over a year to “find what makes ME happy.” I’ve been on a journey to find myself. I have been allowing too many outside factors in my head and it was affecting my energy in a very negative way. I have a big issue with overthinking everything and allowing my anxiety to totally run my life and stress has fueled my motivation. I needed a reset ASAP or I was going to end up burning out, drained, and depressed. I was determined to see my way back to my happy place and find my way through what has been {in my humble opinion} the most difficult year in my life amongst a hard decade. Nearly two years ago, I had found myself a miserable, empty, emotionally wounded, and self-deprecating person who had lost all confidence, security, and had become merely a shell of a person. I was 35 years old and having a crisis of identity, purpose, and had become miserable with myself and with my life.

I remember clearly New Years Eve 2019, I decided it was time for change. I needed BIG change. I had to find something else. I wasn’t going to make a 15lb weight loss goal or promise to cook more I needed something so much more. It took me months of journaling and searching in the bottom of a bottle far too often for what my problem was. I didn’t know where to start, so I wrote, and wrote some more. I had entries that were sober and some that were not, but regardless they all had one theme. “I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I do know it’s the only way.” My first major discovery was that NO ONE was responsible for making me happy. I was. I wasn’t happy and it was up to me to fix it though I had no clue what that looked like or where to begin.

I changed jobs as I knew I was unhappy where I was. I remember how I sat in the parking lot daily at my job and had anxiety to walk through the doors. I was late everyday not because I wasn’t there on time but because I had to mentally prepare myself for going to a job I hated with people that I figured hated me too. I got a chance email with a recruitment for a National company that was local and I wondered what it was. I hadn’t heard of it before but I did some research and took the phone interview. It was like talking to a friend. I met with the manager later that week and after two hours I had a job offer. I thought about it for days. A pay cut. Was it worth it? I decided to make my first leap of faith. II figured I could be paid more and be miserable or I could get paid less and maybe do something that would make me feel more at peace. I am so glad I took that jump. I never knew how satisfied I could be with a job other than maybe a drink in hand on a beach doing exactly this, writing. {Still a goal and I WILL achieve it.}

I took that leap and then slowly saw some pieces I hadn’t seen in years. Yep I was going to find myself. My happy. Life threw the curveballs and I started contemplating what I wanted in my life and where I was headed. Who I wanted in my life and whether I could be happy if this was what changed. I came to the conclusion that Summer of 2020, in May, that I wasn’t just unhappy at work that home was the most important piece of what was making me unhappy. After fact checking, soul searching, fighting endlessly as I began to start standing up for myself and my threefold again. I decided the fight needed to be done. I should’ve left years before, but my own insecurities and fears, coupled with life circumstances and my distorted sense of self and my marriage along with who I had married and my beliefs had kept me in a loveless, disconnected, toxic, and abusive marriage for too many years too long. My threefold were my only successes in that marriage and their unhappiness and own discontent were becoming clearer with each day. I left. With nothing. I walked away looking for myself and my happiness was not ever going to be found in the confines of the prison I had been willingly residing within.

That job I mentioned…it didn’t just lead me to a happier work life. It is where I met the man who would literally turn my world upside down and inside out and totally stir up the life in me I hadn’t forgotten was an option. That job gave me my unicorn the PPP {perky positivity peddler}. My ‘E’, the love of my life. As I said before no one can make you happy except yourself. That’s still true. No one can fix you, except you. I was broken, anxiety ridden, scared, codependent and still overwhelmingly radiating toxic negativity. ‘E’ for whatever reason {my ass in those jeans} decided to see past the shattered me and began “showing” me that not all men are the same. I was waiting for him to be another reason I didn’t trust men. A narcissist taking easy prey. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and all the red flags to start flying. I couldn’t figure it out. {seriously dude what’s your damage everyone has some.} I couldn’t find it. He had a daughter who adored him and who he treated like his most prized possession. A good relationship with his ex wife and he coparent Ed. He had a job, he didn’t excessively spend money, he didn’t have drug addiction, a record, domestic violence, CPS cases or anything. He worked hard. He had an amazing attitude and his energy was contagious for me. He was charismatic and funny. Sexy {that ass though!} He was kind and loving, affectionate and communicative. This all scared me to death. In my experience too good to be true was exactly that, untrue. It was moving on too fast. I fell in love and he made me feel like I was the only woman in the universe. He has shown me with actions and words that he isn’t running though I’ve given him nearly every reason and so many opportunities to leave. Yet still he is here, loving me. He helped me see things differently and helped me find motivation to continue to heal. I am so grateful for ‘E’.

I felt as if I was getting better but every time that life smacked me in the face with an issue I would slide back into old habits. I have had the rollercoaster I never wanted to ride this year. Ups and downs, twists and turns, and I’ve been thrown from a loop more times that I could count. From divorce, to hospitalization of two {my middle daughter of my threefold}, through diagnoses and therapy, and more stress and struggle than I’ve ever endured. I honestly got whiplash from everything. Throughout this year I’ve still worked on myself and tried to find the pieces of the broken identity that were lost and stolen from me over the years.

I’ve done pretty amazing. {in my opinion} I’ve had my days {honestly though that’s totally normal} but they were more like moments where I strayed from my positivity push. I’ve allowed those moments to come and I acknowledged what was happening then hit that reset button. My mindset has been very present and I’ve been living my life with gratitude. I’ve always been grateful, but I’ve never acknowledged all I have to be grateful for. Honestly, even in the hardest of times I found the things that were good. I knew even if I didn’t want to acknowledge them at the moment and I wanted to sit on my own pity potty that there was more good than bad. For the first time in my life I saw that those two things coincided, good and bad. This was just life, and perspective would be key.

This month I wanted to be more mindful of my good and not relinquish so much energy to the bad. My gratitude mindset started by beginning a “Gratitude Journal”. Everyday since 11-01 {two weeks since my last blog post} I’ve sat down nightly and written in this journal {which is just a cute composition book I picked up from Target} and used my own format. It’s simple actually.

  • Each entry is dated
  • I begin each entry with “Today I am Grateful For:” and list what I am most thankful for that day.
  • Then I have “My Highlights For Today” and list the best parts of my day.
  • A small notation on if I met my goals for that day.
  • Something I am looking forward to about tomorrow.
  • How can I improve?
  • Then I finish out with “My Goals For Tomorrow” that has a list of things I want to accomplish or be the next day.

It’s easy peasy and very straightforward. Each day is about a page worth of writing. Nothing too elaborate. Then yesterday while I was on my first private outing with ‘E’ that we’ve been able to have in months I came across a little book. It caught my eye with its bright yellow cover and cute font. The title said “Can You Be Happy For 100 Days?” I picked it up intrigued. At $2.99 at a bargain store I decided what could it hurt? I read the intro. Then I changed the title to “Choose to be Happy for 100 days?” and today will be day #1 on the #100HappyDays Challenge.

It’s fairly simple, pick one thing. It can be from the book or your own imagination, that makes you happy and do it. Everyone and anyone can find one thing that they enjoy and that brings them happiness each day to do. Then you simply document it by taking a picture and maybe giving a short description. That’s as easy as it gets, but I’m sure it’ll be harder than it sounds. The goal is to find things that can make you happier and be more mindful of the everyday opportunities to be happy that we miss. It’s worth a shot. So now I challenge everyone to join me in that quest. Let’s see if we can bring more happiness to ourselves and others. Take advantage of those daily opportunities and simply appreciate them. Here we go! Follow my #100dayshappy challenge on my Facebook page http://facebook.com/mythreefold and share your journey with me too! Here’s to our happily ever after! ☮️❤️😊~M