Sunday, January 25, 2015

My 30 days of "Real" Journey

This blog begins with my "30 days of real" journey. #30daysofreal ~ One month of sharing our realness, messiness, quirks and funny flaws; a journey to become more authentic, real, vulnerable and beautifully imperfect. I started this on or around 9-16-2013....

 Day 1) I cannot leave my house in a mess in the mornings. I have to at least have it clean on the surface .... Stuff may be thrown in drawers & closets unorganized, but it "looks" clean. If I'm running late, it's usually because I can't seem to get out the door for 'straightening things up." #30daysofreal

 Day 2) I rarely have food in my house. I work long hours in a grocery store and when I get off, I'm just too tired to go grocery shopping, and I sure as heck don't want to go on my day off. I can get away with this somewhat immature behavior living next to my mom (who is a great cook), and because I'm almost always on some sort of diet. I do keep coffee, creamer, a few Lean Cuisines (the basics, on a good week) but I still don't feel 100% grown up.  #30daysofreal

Day 3) I don't iron anything. Ever. I didn't own one for years. I finally bought one a couple of years ago but have never used it..or maybe once. I dry clothes for a few minutes, then hang to dry. And I buy clothes that I can do this with, then throw on a lab coat and go. Not a fashionista ... Never really was, certainly not now. But... I wash clothes constantly. Like almost daily. If I've got more than a small pile ...drives me nuts too. So I'm always washing, drying for a minute and hanging. #30daysofreal

Day 4) I am totally addicted to coffee, like I can't start a day without it. It's like a drug and I'm willing to go to any lengths to get it. It makes me a functioning productive member of society. And I drink a lot of it. #30daysofreal

Day 5) I think I'm ADD. I've never been diagnosed, but I get distracted so doggone easily it's ridiculous. Once I tried to tell my advisor in college and she said I needed to just quit going out so much and stay home and study. LOL. Anyway, I do think I am. I've diagnosed myself. Oh well ... Let me go do whatever I started to do before I got on Fb. #30daysofreal

 Day 6) I love wrapping presents. It's just therapeutic to me to make something pretty. The tissue, the paper, the bow must all coordinate with the gift ... I prefer wrapping boxes over gift bags, just because...I kind of have this obsession with pretty paper. Not very "green" I know ... #30daysofreal

 Day 7) I posted on day 1 that I could not leave my house in a mess in the mornings. Today I left with bed unmade, bathroom in disarray, laundry hanging in the hall and dirty dishes in the sink. Yes, this is real life...but hey, I got to work on time and a coworker brought me a pumpkin spice latte .... Life is good. #30daysofreal

Day 8) I am a grateful recovering shopaholic. It made me happy and filled a void that I didn't realize was there. My idea of a pick-me-up was to go to Phipps to Paper Affair or Mackenzie Childs...I love fine paper, linens and anything monogrammed or black and white checked.  One day, I wasn't able to shop anymore ...I was physically sick and financially broke. I didn't work for about 2 years. Through the grace of God and prayer and determination, I slowly regained my health/strength back. I started printing stationery, note cards, calling cards and making gifts. It took my mind off of the physical pain and allowed me to focus on other people, while doing something that I enjoyed. Seven years later, I'm blessed to be working again and I'm thankful for (almost) every wind in the road. I no longer shop like it's my I actually get really anxious if I ever have to make a big purchase of any kind. I still do some printing on the side of "real job" and I do consider "Black Friday" an actual holiday. Besides that, I'm definitely not a shop-a-holic anymore. #thankful #30daysofreal

Day 9) I tend to be in a better mood in the mornings than at the end of a 12 hour work day. Lol, as if that's not obvious. #30daysofreal

 Day 10) I love it when the Dawgs win but I rarely actually watch the game. I keep up with the score as it's going on and I'm cheering them on in spirit When I was in school I totally went for the social aspect of it then went out afterward. Will always love UGA, downtown Athens & the Dawgs (football makes me nervous and I don't really understand the game anyway) #dawgs #uga #30daysofreal

 My day 11 of 30 Days of Real disappeared... but I posted how I disliked talking on the phone.... don't know how/why it disappeared. I didn't say anything about Obama in that one.... #30daysofreal

 Day 12) Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to be silent. When it's the hardest, is when it's usually the wisest.  #30daysofreal

Day 13) (trying to keep it real but not too "heavy").... .
Things I've learned along the way: 1) Sometimes people are not who they appear to be...they disappoint, have agendas, are not honest, they hurt people. 2) Heartache hurts worse than physical pain. 3) Spirituality on some level is essential for a meaningful relationship/friendship. 4) Greed is the number one root of all other sins (in my opinion) 5) Day to day living isn't nearly as hard of letting go of a dream. 6) I'll never have it all figured out, so I might as well: 1) Do the next right thing, and let the chips fall where they may. 2) Count my blessings 3) Spread the love when I can, or at least try even when I don't feel like it. 4) Don't expect too much from people 5) Keep looking up #30daysofreal

Day 14) I posted how thankful I am for my "real friends".... called them by name and stated why.... I'll leave this out of the blog (to protect the innocent) ;) #30daysofreal

Day 15) I used to think the whole full moon craziness was a myth, until I worked in retail. #30daysofreal

Day 16) I can't stand a coward. Seriously.
On a happy note, tomorrow is Friday! ~ Applause~Applause~Applause #30daysofreal.

Day17) I do believe in my "older" age I am becoming a morning person. Miracles never cease. and if I start running 5k's you can bet ill post it on Fb too! #feelinggood #inspired #thankful

 Day 18) I am perfectly content being a homebody sometimes. Working out of town 3 or 4 days a week with long hours and long commutes make me really really love quiet time at home. It's like a retreat to sleep in, drink coffee and watch HGTV, the I.D. Channel or a good movie. #thankGodforsaturdays

 Day 19) Christmas is absolutely my most favorite time of the year. I try not to put up the decorations too early but around Nov 1st, I figure I can get away with it. I love the lights, the trees, decorating practically every room. It's just a feel good, almost magical time of year. And the fact that people are offended by 'Merry Christmas' just makes me smh. Dec 25th is set aside as Jesus's Birthday. If that bothers folks, then don't celebrate it. But as for me and my house, we will decorate and célèbrate and serve The Lord. #30daysofreal

 Day 20) I am very stubborn. Not sure, but I think I get it honest. Lol. If I believe in something (like something important) I generally won't back down regardless of what everybody else thinks. I have to watch myself or that stubbornness will turn into rebellion. Fortunately I don't get very rebellious these days. Ha ha. I'm also a little too skeptical of people. But I'll save that one for another day. #30daysofreal

Day 21) I have had a job since I was barely 15 years old (and had to have a work permit).I don't remember having to ...I wanted to. I did this so that I could put gas in my car and pay for insurance and buy things. I didn't mind it ... It was all I knew. I had jobs all through HS and college, ranging from pharmacy tech (before they were called techs), selling shoes, selling jewelry, wrapping presents, folder/greeter/sales person at the GAP. I've been a nurse's aide (not so glamorous, but very rewarding), a "substitute" cake decorator at Valentines Day when the "real" cake decorator was sick (wore hairnet and all), I babysat, served food at parties/events ... and I'm sure I'm leaving something out ... but a lot of these jobs I didn't feel very qualified for... I suited up, showed up and tried and God honored my efforts. I've worked as a pharmacist for 15 years (give or take a couple) and some days I still feel out of sorts. Lol. But I suit up, show up and give it my best. That's because I have a mortgage, bills to pay and I like nice things...oh and I do honestly like helping people too. #30daysofreal

 Day 22) I was off today and I was lazy. It's been a sweatpants, hoodie and a blanket on the couch kind of day....Totally useless. Lol. I'll make up for it tomorrow when the alarm goes off at 4am. #30daysofreal.

Day 23) I really don't like to offend anyone. I prefer peace, love and harmony..really... but there are some things that just don't add up. Sometimes what may look alright on paper isn't effective in real life. Seems to me that each party is busy blaming the other and there's so much discord between one another that we forget, we're really all on the same team. Also when there's arguing among one another, it takes our focus off the goal and we miss a lot of what's in the fine print. Perhaps this is what was intended.... Just maybe? We've all heard that a house divided cannot stand. As a pharmacist, I bill insurance companies now, several hundred times a day. What our welfare system pays for and doesn't pay for is shocking already. I agree that the system isn't working as it is, but ....I'm pretty sure where we're headed isn't any better. I feel like I can have a voice because when the time comes and certain medical "necessities" aren't covered, I will be the one getting yelled at, not the president, not the politicians. All I'm saying is I hope people will read the fine print. If I am ever forced to "sell out" I hope and pray that it won't be at the expense of my freedom.

 Day 24) I cannot keep a plant alive to save my life. Every one I've ever had has died. I'm embarrassed to say this because some of my fb friends have given me plants over the years... Those easy ones that don't require much maintenance. I guess I don't water them enough. I forget. My lucky bamboo is even brown. Good thing I don't really believe in luck.  #30daysofreal

 Day 25) sore throat, stuffy head, runny nose, achey, coughing & generally yucky feeling #30daysofreal.

 Day 26: I am usually a pretty good judge of character...maybe because I watch a lot of the ID Channel, Snapped & Dateline, or maybe because I have to deal with drug seekers on a regular basis, or maybe I just over-think and over-analyze things/people. Regardless, my gut instinct is usually right...not always, but usually. #notsodumbblonde#30daysofreal

Day 27: I really don't like surprises...good or bad. Not surprise parties, surprise guests, surprise eggs, surprise breakups, nada. I prefer to not caught off guard. Lol. Yes, I realize I sound like a bit of a control freak, and it's not that so much as I don't feel comfortable with the unknown and I don't like being the last to know something ...good or bad. I guess I'm a play-it-safe party pooper, and I'm okay with that. Lol. Let me see what my options are then ill decide, but please don't surprise me. #30daysofreal

Day 28: I loved growing up in a small town. I loved the freedom and security of being able to go and do without worrying about strangers or crime. Everyone knew each other and if we didn't know someone, we could find out about them with one phone call. Then as I got older this "security" seemed slightly claustrophobic and a little too much.... I was ready to spread my wings and see what all was out there. I moved to Athens then Atlanta and loved it every minute of it, vowing to never move back to that small town. Then, life happens, things change and God intervenes...and low and behold, I'm back where I started ... in that small town...where neighbors are like family and friendships run deep. Funny how things come full circle. I've always said that most of the time people eventually return to their roots, in one way or another. Today I'm thankful for my roots and the "village" that raised me.

Day 29: When I don't feel well, I get quiet. When I'm tired, I don't like to talk to people. When I'm hungry I get grouchy. When I get upset I want something to comfort me (usually food). When I'm excited I dance (when no one is around). When I'm happy I get silly and when I'm inspired, I decorate. When I'm afraid I pray, when I'm startled I scream, when I'm nervous I make unnecessary chatter, when I'm angry I speak very fluently. When I'm not supposed to laugh, things seem funnier and when people can't drive it really ticks me off. I need my downtime every once in a while to regroup and get myself together again, as I feel unravelled quite a bit. But, at the end of the day, it feels good just to "feel." #30daysofreal

Day 30)   So, it's day 30 of my #30daysofreal. I wanted to end with some poignant quote or revelation, but I'll just stick to the plan and keep it real. I woke up 30 min later than I'd planned thanks to the snooze button, which meant hair was washed but in pony tail. Left my driveway and headed toward Hawkinsville and realized that my gas light said I could go 4 miles. I decided to take a chance and go 14 ...miles on empty. I figured if I turned around I'd be late so I just turned the radio off and prayed the whole way. Made it to the gas station in H'ville and praised God for bailing me out of yet, another one. Got to work and customer was complaining and not being nice (along with the usual craziness). I wanted to snap back at customer but I didn't. (I really want to keep my job) Later, after giving him his flu shot and talking to him, he apologized for his behavior and said that he'd had a rough year... as he was recovering from that flesh eating bacterial infection. I decided he had every reason to be grumpy and that I should show him love instead of snapping back. When he left he smiled and said, "God Bless you." At that point, my day turned around. I was no longer self conscious that I looked bad with damp ponytail hair. I felt like I'd seen God manifest himself twice already before 10 am. It occurred to me that a lot of times people just want to be heard, for someone to care. I can get so wrapped up into own stuff sometimes that I miss opportunities to make someone's day a little brighter. And really, isn't that what life's all about? #30daysofreal

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Glory Days - in memory of Brackston

Today has been one of the saddest days I've had in a long time. Finding out that a dear, dear friend is gone makes me wish I could just turn back time and recount those days in Athens, GA . I don't remember exactly when I "met" Brackston. I feel like I've just always known him.... I think we actually met in the Science library, between classes. Neither of us needed very much prodding to become distracted from studying ...the next thing I knew we were laughing too loud for the library and had to "take it outside."  We were instant friends.  I loved how "real" he always was. I know he had tons of friends... To know him, was to love him. I just feel honored to have been one of them.  Brackston lived in the moment back then. I loved that about him. A 1:00 am phone call of, "Whatcha doin?" never seemed the least bit strange.  I was studying, he knew he could distract me, it was a "win:win."  After graduation and many ups and downs of life, we lost that closeness that we shared back in the day. But if we ever ran into eachother, we'd hug, and without saying it, I knew I had a friend for life...not because I'm that special but because that's how loyal he was to his friends. I had the privilege of hanging out with him one Saturday night a month or so ago. It was the first time in probably 15 years that we've hung out.... I wish it had lasted longer but I thank God that I had the opportunity. I hugged him, we said our goodbyes and I really wanted us to plan to get together again soon. All day today I've asked myself, should I have seen the signs?  Although my heart has hurt all day, it hurts even more for those closer to him than I was.  I hope and pray that they can find peace in the days to come. I can't help but think that one day, when we all get to heaven, he'll be there saying, "what took y'all so long?" and then there will be no crying....we can sit around laugh and talk about the old times ... the  glory days.

Friday, January 17, 2014

'Twas the season

Well, the holidays were fun. I love love love Christmas...the season, the meaning, the thankfulness...the hope and magic of all things good.... the lights, the colors and the smell of candles, baked goodies and coffee. It just doesn't get much better ....

It started with Thanksgiving at  the Jessups in Kennesaw...the one time of the year when we all get together,  to eat, play, laugh and follow up with Black Friday shopping. A great time was had by all! 

This was Ansley's first year going Black Friday shopping.  I think she's going to be joining us from here on! 

Since I love to decorate, I did my house first, then "helped" mom and Cori with theirs. After the third home, I was a little tired, but it was wouldn't trade it for anything! 

This year, the whole season was just much too busy....between flu shots and more pharmacy hours than I would have liked, it made for a hectic time, but when Christmas Day arrived, I did manage to stop, reflect, give thanks and celebrate the birth of our king. 

First stop, Lee and Laura's in Bolingbroke. 

...and a rare pic of the sistas... neither of us like our pictures these days, but the camera does add 10 pounds doesn't it? Or 40? ;)  

Next stop, breakfast Christmas morning at the Abneys ... 

Shayne cooked breakfast and they gave mom and dad their gift, pictures of the children ... 

Later that day, I even squeezed in a nap! 

Christmas evening was spent at mom and dads. I told mom that night that it was the best Christmas I'd had in years. 

Mom read the Christmas story from the Bible. 

All in all, I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we have much to be thankful for. The love and family, friends and the promise of eternal life... What more could we ask for?

Merry Merry Christmas! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Feelings aren't Facts

A dear friend used to tell me this and I would say to myself, but... they ARE to me... Right now they are ?!?  I never fully got it. I thought she just didn't understand. Truth is... She did understand. She had been where I was and had a big enough heart to share her story with me. Some things sunk in immediately and other things I filed away in the back of my mind. She's been gone several years now but I find myself remembering the little things she would say to me at just the right time. She knew I was strong willed and never really disagreed with me. She let me figure things out on my own, in my own time. And I'm still figuring things out. Lol. The whole feelings aren't facts idea had me thinking though. Being a sensitive, emotional person, my feelings were all I knew. I trusted people and was co-dependent in a lot of ways and had an idealized view of what life should be like. I was often disappointed in myself and others when the present circumstances didn't match up with what I had envisioned.

My friend helped me gain a new perspective on life- past, present and future. The little cliches that I loved and were annoyed by, have now become my own personal mantras.  The way I feel today is just that ... a feeling, not necessarily a fact.  And sometimes I just have to let the sick be sick. This too, shall pass. Things that are out of my control, are just that...out of my control. Live and let day at a time. Whatever the problem, she introduced me to the tools I needed. 

Now, when I feel a certain way, if its...negative, I choose to get out of my own "head" and do something for someone else. It's amazing how helping another person can make you forget about your own struggles. And I am able to recognize when I need to remove myself from things/people. I no longer feel compelled to make everyone around me happy. That's freeing, in itself. I've let relationships go in which I was being taken advantage of ...and life is much more peaceful.  I've accepted that sometimes things don't turn out as planned, but I have to trust God, not myself, and definitely not my feelings. I say the serenity prayer frequently, in traffic, at work, home or wherever. I have come in contact with a few "angels" in my life, or as she used to say, "God with skin."  

Today I'm thankful for the little miracles and the big ones and for all the people along the way who helped me have that "lightbulb moment."  Lord knows, the lightbulb goes on and off sometimes but I know where the source of my strength comes from and that doesn't change. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Xoxo, 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Falling for Fall

Fall is finally in the air and I love it! I also like to change up the decor a little with the seasons. 
The older I get, I choose comfort... This is  a prop your feet up kind of room (these are slip covers) ;)
The candle & rose hips are from Dutchman' favorite shop on St. Simons.  

This is my table... The napkins were a gift from my BBFL, Claudia. (Coleman's Gifts in Eastman). I love a touch of Country French. 

Claudia also gave me the Lion and the Lamb, one of my favorite pieces that I keep out year-round. 

My dining room is rarely used and my plans are to make it more comfortable and less formal. It's one of the few rooms that I haven't changed since acquiring my Grandmother's house. Those are the original curtains that she had made, I'm guessing 30 plus years ago. Eventually I plan to pull up the carpet and paint, but I kind of want to keep the drapes ..., just because. 
Lazy fall days with the candles burning are the best- says Lucy Belle. 

My wreath by Marlas Williamson at Southern Acents.  It makes me smile. And notice the plaque down by the door... It says Believe in Miracles. I keep that at the door because I am one. 

Surf's up

When my niece was ready to transition from the pastel pink little girl bedroom to her own grown up style bedroom, my sister and I went straight to the  PB Teen catalog.  Ansley chose the bedding, "Tropical Garden."  She loves St. Simons and the beach so it suits her personality and style.  I think it turned out pretty cute. Here's a couple of pics of the final product.  She loved it.