Compassion Bulldog

All the Feels

Does anybody else get all the feels from television shows, movies and books?

Sometimes I think that makes me crazy.  I mean, we are supposed to experience life and get all the feels from the experience right?!

But then again, maybe that means that the television show/movie/book is simply written/done very well and that is why we get all the feels?  That doesn’t make me crazy right?  Tell me other people do this too.  No really, please tell me.  😉

What are some of your favorites?

My favorite television shows lately have been Gifted; Younger; The Good Place, and Kevin Probably Saves the World.
I seem to love all books really.  Some good ones I read recently are Shadow’s Edge and Exhume.
As for movies, the animated ones really get me…lol!  Moana is my favorite.  I also really love Inside Out, Cars 3, and my absolute favorite is Liar Liar.  That one makes me laugh every time and I quote it constantly.

*Photo credit: https://sayingimages.com/panda-meme/

The bulldog comes out…

There are many times that my ‘bulldog’ side comes out and sometimes stronger than others…but there is nothing that makes my bulldog side more angry than people that put my children in harms way.  Mama bear kicks in and this bulldog will bite!

Today while waiting in the line of traffic to drop my children off at school I saw three cars decide that general traffic laws don’t apply to them.  Instead of waiting in traffic like everybody else, they decided to pull out of the line and drive the wrong way in the oncoming traffic lane to go around the line of cars waiting to turn into the school parking lot.  Let me pause a moment for that to sink in…they drove the WRONG way in the oncoming traffic lane to go AROUND everybody else.

My first thought to these people is (in the words of Jim Carey’s character in Liar Liar), “Quit breaking the law a##hole!”

My second thought is, if you don’t like waiting in school traffic and feel the need to go around it, here is a brilliant idea for you…use a different street!!

My third, and most important thought for these people is to think about what you are doing.  Really take a moment and think how your actions could impact those around you.  Do you realize that all of the cars that you passed have children in them waiting to be dropped off at school?  Do you realize that any cars that you may meet (head one because you are going the WRONG way!) are parents/grandparents/neighbors/etc. of those children?  Do you realize that there are children that cross that street to hurry to get to school and may not see you coming the wrong way?!?

Is the extra few minutes of your time worth their safety????  No really, is it?!?  Here’s a clue….NO IT IS NOT!!!  How dare you value your time over somebody else’s safety.  That is not something that I will tolerate and it shouldn’t be something that the other parents/grandparents/friends/neighbors/etc. of our school family tolerate.

So, please remember….
* Think before you act…how might it impact others?
* Think of others before yourself.
* Slow down!
* Obey the laws.

Compassion Bulldog…out! 😉
Until next time… <3
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Adulthood

I recently heard the following line in a show:

“Adulthood is where dreams go to die!”

Wow.  That statement really hit me hard and made me think.
I mean, we all have had our days that adulting is hard, right?
Any of these sound or look familiar???  Hello…Mondays right?!

But to go as far as to say that adulthood is where dreams go to die?!

What did this really mean?  Is it true?  Are we all doomed?!

Let’s dive deeper…
As children, we are encouraged to use our imaginations, read, play and dream.
As adults we are encouraged to go to work, make money and pay bills.
I have to say, I am finding it hard to disagree with the statement at this point.

Well, I will tell you with certainty that for those that truly believe that adulthood is where dreams go to die, it is.  Those are the ones that will succumb to being stuck going to a job they don’t love (and maybe even hate) to pay the bills and make a living.  But is that really a ‘living’ at all…or simply an existence?

Luckily, there is hope.  You see, it is all about perception and there is another way to look at this.  Adulthood doesn’t have to be where our dreams go to die.  Where is there a rule that says as we get older we have to stop using our imaginations?  Stop reading?  Stop playing?  Stop dreaming?

Well, there isn’t one.  We place that perceived barrier on ourselves.
So let’s all do ourselves a favor and get out of our own way!  It is time to connect to your inner child.  Imagine, read, play, dream…believe!

Don’t let adulthood be where your dreams go to die…let it be where they come alive! <3
The power is all yours.

Goals

I want to write a book!

Author

There I ‘said it out-loud’ here on my blog for all to see.  :-O
I have fallen more and more in love with reading and the power of words and my heart is yearning to some day become an author and a speaker.  I already speak on occasion and I absolutely love it and I write every once in a blue moon either by blogging or in a journal.  I love the way I feel when I write and my works tend to get good responses.

So…what should I write about?  What kind of book do you want to read?  What topic do you want to hear about?  What questions do you want answered?  What do you want said, but not want to be the one to say it?!  I would love to hear from all of you.

Thanks in advance and remember to continue to spread love and kindness.

Until next time…

Unseen Battles

We each have things in life that make our hearts smile and shine bright.  For me that involves a number of things including family, photography, travel, reading, creating art, writing and making a difference in the lives of others.

We also each have moments where our hearts don’t shine as bright.  For everyone this is different and for some it can last single fleeting moments and for others may last hours, days, weeks, etc.

I suffer from bouts of anxiety and depression, as I am fairly certain all humans do in some capacity.  I suffer to a degree that I am on medication to help with the severity of the episodes.  Again, I know I am not alone in that experience, however it is not commonly accepted to be open about that.  I also know that there are many that suffer in silence and do not seek treatment in fear of being judged or those that have attempted to talk with their doctor about it and not been taken seriously.  I am lucky to have a doctor that listened to me, took my concerns to heart, talked me through everything and connected me with the proper professional for analysis and treatment.

Now many may have stopped reading already and thought that this does not apply to them or it is just another story about mental health.  For those that are still with me, thank you.  Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you and thank you for being open to learning more to either help yourself or help somebody you love.
My hope is that by sharing my experience of what it feels like during my episodes that you or someone you love may find value in it or maybe even benefit from it.

The anxiety sometimes creeps up on me.  I may feel a twinge of doubt or nervousness but it will disappear as quickly as it came.  Then another twinge followed by another and another until my heart is racing, my chest feels tight and heavy and my stomach feels like it is in my throat.  During this time my head feels like a pinball machine with non-defined ‘thoughts’ bouncing around in my brain.  Focus is near impossible and motivation has gone out the door and around the block.  I feel worried and nervous for no apparent reason and as if I am crawling out of my own skin.  I know the feelings are irrational, unwarranted and definitely unwanted; but in the midst of it I am seemingly powerless to change it.

 

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A visual from nature to help explain anxiety and the way it feels as if you are crawling out of your own skin.

Other times all of those feelings will simply pounce on me out of the blue; usually when I am winding down for the night or as soon as I wake in the morning.  No matter if it is a sneak attack or an all-at-once blow, it is a terrible feeling and something very difficult to control.

 

The other episodes I deal with are those of depression, which often like to jump in on the fun alongside anxiety.  While many believe that depression involves feeling sad or blue, I choose to explain it more as a feeling of emptiness.  During times of the deepest depression I truly feel….nothing; empty; invisible.  We all have moments (especially women) where we feel inferior or doubt our abilities or worth.  Take those moments and multiply them by one hundred and then extend them out for awhile; that is close to what depression feels like for me.  When these bouts hit me, my inner hermit appears.  I want to crawl into a cave and hide, never to come out.  I often find that during these episodes I feel extremely tired; which I personally think is my body’s way of coping.  If I sleep, I can’t ‘feel’ the emptiness and the loneliness.

So why am I sharing this with you?  Because I am one of the lucky ones.  Lucky to be in tune with myself; my body, my heart, my mind, my spirit.  Lucky to recognize when something isn’t quite right.  Lucky to have a trusted doctor, friends and family that support me through these discoveries.  Lucky to know that I am not alone in this battle, even when it feels like I am.  Lucky to be proud of who I am and not let this define me.

Others are not as lucky.  Others are suffering in silence and fear.  Others are unarmed and unaware of the battle they are up against.  Others have stood up to fight and hit obstacles only to surrender and give up hope for any relief.

I share this with you today to let you know that you are not alone; you do not need to fight unarmed or surrender; you are worth it; you are loved; and the world needs you.  Do not sit silently and suffer.  Reach out to those you love and trust.  If you hit an obstacle, do not give up.  Find a way around that obstacle; go over, under, around or through.

And if you do not know what it is like to live these battles, please understand that there are many around you that do.  Be kind and understanding to others always; as everybody you meet has their own battles and their own story.

Until next time…♥♥

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day through a different lens

Monday is Memorial Day, which, for many, is associated with a day off work, food, family and fun. I, too, enjoy kicking off the summer with a good Memorial Day celebration; however, Memorial Day is more than that… a lot more.

Memorial Day is the time for Americans to reconnect with their history and core values by honoring those who gave their lives for the ideals we cherish. A day set aside for remembrance of those who have served or are currently serving and those who have died in our nation’s service.

For the history buffs out there (definitely not me… I looked it up!), Memorial Day was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers on that day in 1868, except in the south, which at first refused to acknowledge Memorial Day and honored their dead on separate days until after WWI.

It would be expected for me to suggest to you all that you enjoy a healthy Memorial Day by making healthier food choices when grilling out, limiting your alcohol intake and engaging in activities that will get your heart rate up and keep you moving. And I do encourage you to do all of those things. However, I invite you all to make this Memorial Day “healthy” by also focusing on a different area of your wellbeing: your spirit.

On Monday, May 30, I encourage you to enjoy your day off work, spend time with family and friends, get outside, have some fun (hopefully the weather will cooperate) and celebrate Memorial Day in your own way. In addition, I ask that each of us take some time, even a couple of moments, to stop and think about why this day is observed and send out a special thank you to those that lost their lives serving our country, as well as those that have and are currently out there fighting for our freedom now. Play the National Anthem, attend a Memorial Day ceremony/observance and fly your American flag proudly. Whatever way works best for you, help carry on the tradition and the significance of Memorial Day and honor those that it was created for.

Until next time… never forget the sacrifices of others and honor them in your heart.

Memorial Day2

This roller coaster life…

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Photo credit: www.enchantinglyelegant.com

Days like yesterday remind me just what a roller coaster life can be.
We have all heard it before…all about life’s highs and lows, ups and downs, ebbs and flows.  We have all experienced it in different capacities.

Yesterday that roller coaster ride just seemed a bit more apparent to me.  Even the anticipation of the day was a roller coaster this week.  Part of me was excited and looking forward to yesterday and the other part was sad for it to come.   My great aunt Norma had passed away and yesterday was the day we gathered together as family and friends to remember her, mourn her, celebrate her and grieve her.

My day started with my youngest son crying from his bedroom down the hall.  I jumped out of bed and went to see what was wrong.  He was fine, just the dramatics of a threenager’s world when he wants to get up and nobody else is awake.  We headed downstairs, I turned on some cartoons for him and then headed back upstairs to shower and get ready for the day.

I had a coffee date scheduled with a friend that inspires me, ignites my passion and motivation, challenges me to grow and be better all while still finding a way to feed my ego a bit.  She is a keeper folks!  I always look forward to our time together and yesterday was no different.  I got there and ordered my coffee and we sat and started to chat.  Soon, I realized that our chat was taking a different turn than our previous ones.  She challenged me more than she had before and at first, I will admit, my heart began to hurt.  I felt unsure and uncomfortable and I grew quiet.  See, I am one that needs to process things and I had many things to process as we spoke.  One of the things I love most about this friend is that she is open and honest and that is something that I greatly respect and admire.  She was honest with me yesterday, even if some of it was hard for her to say or hard for me to hear.  We had a great conversation, but that was cut short as I needed to head over to my great aunt’s funeral.  So just in that time I felt the high of the anticipation of our coffee date, the high when I arrived and had coffee and great company, the low of the discomfort and fear from our conversation and the low of the anticipation of heading to my great aunt’s funeral.  Roller coaster.

I arrived at the funeral and walked in with my brother who arrived at the same time.  We entered the mortuary and the hugs and hellos with family members ensued.  It was so good to see them as we don’t get to see each other often enough, yet it was not pleasant seeing them under these circumstances (highs and lows).  The service began and we listened as the pastor spoke of Norma.  Then my uncle got up to speak and that is when the tears began to well up in my eyes.  After my uncle, my dad went up to speak.  The tears then flowed freely.  I was already grieving the loss of aunt Norma as she was a “rare bird” and a beautiful soul, but seeing my family hurt made it even more difficult and caused my heart that much more pain.  I listened as several family members spoke about Norma and how she loved to eat her Jimmy Dean sausage sandwiches for breakfast and she highly enjoyed a daily highball.  I learned that she loved to garden, loved her flowers and that she had a great love for animals.  While others were looking to spot the first robins of the spring, she was looking for the wrens…she didn’t follow the crowd and was her own no-nonsense loving individual spirit.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  The service ended with laughs mixed with the tears and we made our way to the cemetery where Norma would join her husband Paul after all these years.

After the funeral some family decided to meet up at a nearby casino and have a drink to toast Norma (and Paul and Grandma and Grandpa and Suzie…and all we have lost within our family).  I joined them and we stood together and shared more stories and toasted our loved ones.  I think we were there an hour before we even played any of the machines…lol!  I played a few slot machines, didn’t win and then headed out to continue on with the next thing on my schedule for the day.  I greatly value that time I was able to spend with my family and honor Norma the way that felt right for us.  It was a high moment on the roller coaster ride of the day.

I then headed out to switch cars so I could pick up the kiddos.  As I did that, I jumped on a conference call with my friend that I had coffee with earlier in the day and a mutual friend of ours.  I think I only spoke a total of maybe 20 words through the entire conversation, but I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and listened and processed intently.  It is so wonderful to have people in your life that you consider not only friends, but also can help be a sounding board and give you insight and feedback on different aspects of your life.  The more I listened, the more my wheels began to turn in my mind and the more excited I became.  Our call ended, I picked up the boys from school and then headed over to my mother-in-law’s to pick up the younger two munchkins.

Our oldest and youngest ended up spending the night with my mother-in-law and we picked up my son’s friend for a sleepover, so we traded two of ours for another one…lol!  My night was rounded off by watching the kids play and have fun and then watching the new show Fuller House on Netflix with my husband and daughter.  Glad to end the day on a high point…but what a roller coaster of a day.  As exhausted as I was at the end of the day, I am glad that I just threw my hands up and enjoyed the ride instead of screaming at every bump and descent.

Remember that life will take us up and down and all around.  Throw up your hands and enjoy the ride!

 

New Year’s Challenge…

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Photo Credit: http://scrappingwonders.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/will-you-take-the-challenge.jpg

I challenge us all to make a new year resolution to be kind to our fellow beings.  In other words, take the time out of your life to focus on those around you.

I fully believe that we need to care for ourselves before we can care for others.  The airplane lesson is true…put your own oxygen mask on before you help others put theirs on.  However, sometimes we can also get a little too wrapped up in our own drama and we need to take a moment to pause and remember that there are so many around us that we can really make a difference for.

I am talking about your neighbors, your coworkers, your family, your friends, your frenemies, your pets, nature (including animals, plants and all of mother earth).

Please take a moment to let those around you know how much they mean to you and take that extra step to do something to brighten their day.  If you are shoveling your drive…take the extra steps and walk next door to help shovel your neighbor’s drive as well.  Mail a note of gratitude to a friend or family member…just because you think they know how much you care about them doesn’t always mean that they do.  So tell them.

Visit your grandparents and listen to their stories…they will love the quality time with you and you will be rewarded with wonderful knowledge and memories that you will treasure forever.

Spend some quality time with your grandkids.  Play a board game and let yourself be a kid again.  Bridge the generation gaps and remind our young future what it means to be caring and respectful…they need that reminder!  And then enjoy giving them back to their parents, because let’s be honest…they are exhausting!  🙂

Plant a seed, nurture it and watch it grow.  Indoor plant, outdoor garden, whatever you find joy in…but allow yourself to witness the wonder of creating something from a small seed to something beautiful or tasty.  And while you are at it, reflect on the fact that this concept can be applied to many more areas of life…allow yourself to make those connections…plant those seeds of thought and watch them grow.

Invite a family member that you only see at the normal family gatherings over for dinner or a game night.  They will be so appreciative and doing something outside the norm will take your relationship to another level.

Remind your friends that they are on your mind.  Life is busy, there is no doubt about it, but we need to let our friends know that even though we don’t see them as often as we may want to…they are still on our minds and they mean the world to us.  A simple email, fb post, instant message, text, whatever you can think of!  Just reach out to them in some way and when possible try to get together for a quick visit as well!

Listen.  That’s it.  When somebody, anybody, speaks to you.  Stop, look and listen.  Stop what you are doing.  Look at them. And listen to what they are saying.  Really listen.  Don’t think about what you are going to say next.  Don’t let yourself trail off in the crazy to-do list running through your head.  Give them your un-divided attention, listen to what they say, and reply honestly.  Take interest in what they are telling you.  Are they taking a trip soon?  Ask questions about it and really listen to the answers.  Care about what they say.

There are so many things we can do to really care about others.  It is time that we get into doing them more.  Let’s all resolve to do a little bit more of this in 2016 and watch what a better place the world will become.

Until next time y’all!
Love, health and happiness.

 

That thing you have been avoiding…do it!

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The majority of people have something they are avoiding or are procrastinating doing.  I am no exception.  I promised to use this blog to help others learn from my life experiences…so here we go.

I am not proud to admit this to you all because by trade I am a wellness professional and make a living helping guide people on how to best take care of themselves and live a full, healthy and happy life.  But I am human and I too have things that I don’t do as well as I should, even when I know better.  My main avoidance for many years (we are talking 10-15 years) has been the dentist.  That’s right…I have not been to the dentist in over a decade.

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The truth is that I have very high anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist, which made it very easy for me to completely avoid it!  Once it was my responsibility to schedule appointments, I just didn’t schedule them.  I started off with just procrastinating and putting it off.  Then I started using excuses to rationalize why I hadn’t gone yet…I moved away for college, then it was I don’t have dental insurance, then it was I am pregnant (not a good excuse, by the way), then it was I am pregnant again, and again and again and again (yep 5 pregnancies), and then it was that we moved to a new part of town and I didn’t have a dentist in that area.  When in reality I just really, really, really, really, really, really didn’t want to go!

I am happy to say, however, that I finally made an appointment with a local dentist and had my first appointment yesterday! The hygienist and the dentist were both amazing and made me feel very comfortable.  They talked me through everything without scolding me or making me feel bad (or worse than I already was making myself feel) for not seeing a dentist all these years.  They completely changed my perception of going to the dentist and eased my anxiety that surrounded it.  For all you locals…check out Paragon Dental in Papillion.  Dr. Carter is awesome!  And best of all…no cavities or major dental work needed for me!  Woohoo!  One old cavity needs to be refilled (boo) and I need to have at least one wisdom tooth pulled (double boo), but nothing else!  I was convinced I was going to need to have crowns or root canals or other terrifying things done because I had waited so long.

We all have that one (or maybe more) thing(s) that we would just rather not do.  When we put it off and avoid it, it gets bigger and bigger in our minds until we feel guilt and stress every time we think about it.  Soon we start to feel shame for putting it off for so long and that just adds to the guilt and stress and eventually it gets to a point where you feel as if you can’t do it now because you have put it off for too long.

I am here to tell you that it is ok to feel anxious, nervous, stressed, etc. about these things.  But you need to own those feelings and still move forward and confront the task at hand.  And it is never too late to start now.  The thing that helped me most was that I was upfront and honest about it, both with myself and with others.  When I called to make the appointment, I let the person I was speaking with know that I was in search of a new dentist because I hadn’t been in a very long time due to anxiety and fear.  She assured me that I was coming to the right place then because they don’t judge and are happy to help me any way they can.  I let the dentist and the hygienist know as soon as I met them that I was very nervous and they walked me through everything step by step with no judgment.  Not that they wouldn’t have been that way anyway, but I am sure that it helped for them to know that right away so they could take extra care of what they were saying and how they were saying it to keep my nerves at ease.  Life always works out better when we openly communicate with each other.  Others can’t read our minds so we shouldn’t expect them to.  It is difficult for anybody to live up to our expectations if we don’t tell them what we are expecting of them.  So be honest with yourself and be honest with others and face that thing you have been avoiding.  You can do it!

Until next time,
Be kind to yourself and others!

Strive to be a better person…

72745-Try+to+be+a+better+person+eachWe can all do better…period.  There is always room for improvement.

I would encourage us all to be better people.  How you ask?  Here are a few examples for you:

– Pick up after yourself.
Don’t litter.  If you make a mess, clean it up.
Make things look better or at the very least the same as how you found it.

– Be kind to animals.
Big and small, all creatures deserve kindness.
Don’t pound on the glass, cage or enclosure that any animal is in.  It is rude and has no purpose.

– Take turns.
Let other people in when waiting in traffic.

– Be kind.
Say please and thank you.
Treat others as you want to be treated.
Practice empathy and compassion.

The world would be a much better and more beautiful place if we all worked a little harder to do these simple things every day.

Just saying…. 🙂