Skip to content

Accidental Adrenaline Rush

A few weeks before Christmas, I treated myself to a little personal shopping spree at Marshalls. Since my purse was big and heavy, I decided to leave it in the car, and just bring in my wallet and my phone.

Upon entering the store, I grabbed a shopping cart and placed my wallet and my phone on the seat. (My wallet is too big to fit in my coat pocket… I don’t know why everything I have in this story was too big, but that’s just how it was.)

So I had my wallet and phone on the seat, and I was being hyper alert because I felt like my wallet was very exposed and someone could just snatch it right out of there. I kept the cart close as I turned slightly to look at a sweater on display.

Just then, two big teenage boys walked past me, really quickly. I had a brief flash of worry about them somehow snatching my phone and my wallet while I was turned away.  I glanced at my valuables, but was startled to see neither my wallet or my phone!

I was immediately struck with panic. I looked at the backs of the tall boys walking briskly away and wondered how this would go down. My head buzzed like a swarm of angry insects. My heart seized in my chest. If I’d been wearing pearls, I would have clutched them. I opened my mouth to call out, but my body was flooding with feelings – burning, tingling, fight/flight/freeze feelings.

My body frozen, I turned my eyes down to the cart once again and realized that the plastic flap that had been pushed up to close the leg holes had fallen down. I shakily reached down and lifted the flap, and there behind it was my wallet and my phone.

I breathed a sigh of relief and fought back a wave of nausea. All of this happened within a 30-second period, but I felt like I’d just done some intense cardio. I calmly pulled the sweater off the rack and placed it over my wallet and phone to protect them from further potential robberies during the rest of my night, and continued casually strolling through the store, not wanting anyone to see me looking flustered.

I was so glad I hadn’t yelled “Those boys took my wallet!”

Lesson learned: I’m too delicate to take these kind of risks, so from now on I need to keep my wallet in my bag. Or get a smaller wallet. Or maybe a chain.

Advertisements

Souvenirs You Never Lose

In this new year, i’m going to be reposting some of my earliest blog posts. Some of these are really good, if I may say so myself, and I would like for some of the newer folks to get a chance to read them.

This one is about coming to terms with my imperfections and realizing that I wouldn’t be ME without them!

I hope you enjoy…

Happy New Year!

img_2438

Happy New Year! I hope you got to relax and take time off from work over these past few weeks. Dave and I had a glorious week+ off. We enjoyed time with family and friends and caught up on sleep and even took a few walks in the bitter, bitter cold land in which we live.

Are you the kind of person who sets goals at the beginning of every year? I tend to set (and unset) goals at random throughout the year. Like in July, after I was sick as a dog for a week, I set a goal to meditate every day. Today is the one-hundred and fifty-second day in a row that I have sat in silence at least once a day.  I’ve learned that it’s pretty simple to incorporate something into the day when it only takes 10-20 minutes of your time. Especially when you tack it onto a pre-existing routine, like getting ready for bed.

Some of my vague goals for 2018 are:

  • start writing my autobiography
  • find & enter at least two short story contests
  • improve diet to include more fruits & veg and less processed food
  • sleep at least 7 hrs every night, not just on the weekends
  • exercise, ya lazy bum!
  • there are more goals, but I’ll reveal those as I attain them…

Start writing my autobiography

I’ve already got half my autobiography written on this blog, so it’s just a matter of compiling and editing and I’m off to a great start.Willy Wonka - Ohh you wrote an autobiography  Please, tell me more about yourself

Find & enter at least two short story contests

This should push me outside my comfort zone a bit, and give me a new challenge.

I think we've all had a moment like this...

Improve diet to include more fruits & veg and less processed food

I’m already a pretty healthy eater, though my weakness is snack foods. (As I typed that I realized I forgot to have my after dinner cookie, but it’s too late now. So… guess I’m off to a good start there.)Image result for smoothie meme

I am currently focusing on going totally vegan, which means I just have to cut out the entire block of Cabot cheese I was consuming weekly.  Cut the cheese, Heather!

Also, we’re getting a Ninja so we can make better smoothies, so watch out for us!

Sleep at least 7 hrs every night, not just on the weekends

Going to bed is very hard for me… even though I love sleeping, I always think of one (or five) more things to do before I go to bed. It results in my staying up later than I should, and feeling like death warmed over in the morning. So it’s really time I got this under control.

You will go to sleep or i will put you to sleep - You will go to sleep or i will put you to sleep  Happy Gilmore Nurse

You’re in my world now, Grandma.

Exercise, ya lazy bum!

Confession: I have gained 20 pounds over the last several years. Probably 10 in the last year alone. I don’t weigh myself at home, but the last time I had a physical and I got on the scale, I was like,Lil Jon | WHAT? | image tagged in dave chappelle | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

I have to admit, it made sense. I had noticed that some of my pants which had once been loose were now very snug. The harsh realities of weight gain were finally something I’d have to deal with. I guess having a desk job, loving snacks, and not getting enough sleep (or exercise) has really caught up to me.

On that note – it’s time for me to get to bed!

What are your goals for 2018?

Live your Legend Challenge #7 – What Revolution Will You Lead?

As I sit here, snugly nestled on the couch under a duvet, with a purring cat by my side, Christmas lights twinkling around the room, candles flickering, and a hot cup of tea in one hand… I’m ready to lead the revolution of comfort and coziness.

Life in this modern day can be harsh. We’re constantly being bombarded with noise, with advertising, with calls-to-action, with demands on our time and energy. It’s hard to get away from it, when much of it comes from these little devices we carry with us everywhere.

I’ll advocate that we all take a hint from the Danes, and get hygge with it. Hygge, if you haven’t already heard, is the Danish mindset of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Cozy contentment.

Is it groundbreaking and revolutionary? Maybe not – but it’s certainly different from the usual rat race, and I think it’s good if we all take some time to unplug from the craziness and spend more time with our loved ones, snuggling with our pets, and enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

Live Your Legend Challenge # 6 – What difference do you want to make?

It’s a total cliché statement, and I even have a sticker of it right here on my laptop – Be the change you wish to see in the world. (Sidenote: although this is attributed to Ghandi, it’s really a condensed version of what he said.)

But anyway, it’s still a decent concept to live by.  Like the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Treat all living things the way you want to be treated. Live the way you wish everyone would live, the way you feel is best for the planet and our fellow earthlings. Be an example.

I don’t know how much difference it really makes to just BE your best self. Is it really that inspiring to those around you? Does anyone actually notice?

If it did, wouldn’t everyone I know have become a vegetarian by now, and have discarded all their excess stuff in a full embrace of minimalism? Also, could we have freaking shorter work days? I must be doing something wrong.

I guess the difference I really want to make in people’s lives is to bring more joy into them in some way or another. Either by sharing a story that touches them, or by sharing art that moves them, or by straight up reaching out and being a good friend to someone. I want to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. I want to teach people how to take better care of their health, and the health of the environment. Basically, I want to be your favorite elementary school teacher, Jane Goodall and Rachel Carson all rolled into one.

Live Your Legend Challenge #5 – The Elevator Pitch

Doesn’t everyone love a good story? As a writer, an artist and a budding public speaker, I am constantly thinking of the next story to tell.  I write from the heart and I find that personal stories resonate with others. I enjoy writing for others too, like today’s post on the NFED blog. My best speaking performances happen when I share a story that will touch your heart, make you laugh, and later, have you thinking back and wanting to find out more about the topic.

I have dreams of one day appearing on that round red carpet, doing my very own TED talk. I can see myself standing in front of an audience of school children, as part of an anti-bullying campaign, or as a motivational speaker. Of course this would also be supplemented by colorfully illustrated children’s books, and an autobiography for the older crowd.

While I’m certainly not the first person to share their own story in hopes of educating or motivating others, I know that since my own story has so many facets, I am adaptable to many different situations. I’d like to use my storytelling abilities to help others share their stories too. Not everyone feels confident writing or publicly speaking about their experiences, but with my skills, I could be their voice.

What stories do you enjoy hearing? How can I help you share your story?

Live Your Legend Challenge #4 – What’s One Thing You’re Proud of?

I’m proud of getting myself out of debt and getting my finances under control. When I graduated from UConn in 2008, I had student loan debt, personal loan debt and a hefty credit card debt. In total it was over $60,000.

That might not seem like much – I’ve heard horror stories of people graduating with 6-figure debt – but this was more money than I’d ever owed (also more than I could even earn in a year at that point) and it was seriously upsetting when I realized how long it was going to take to pay it off. If I did nothing but pay the minimum on the credit card, I would be paying it for the rest of my life.

I bought a couple of financial self-help books and got down to work. I tackled the credit card debt first, and once that was out of the way, I focused on the personal loan. It took years to get it all under control. I actually still owe a little on my student loans, but at this point it makes more sense for me to keep my money in my savings account vs. paying off the loan early.

Getting my finances under control was awesome. When I owed more money than I was bringing in, I felt like I was drowning in debt. I felt very insecure – like the slightest unexpected expense was going to push me into poverty forever.

Coming up with a plan and sticking to it was really satisfying, especially as I saw the progress I was making. After a while, my nervousness about my financial stability subsided and I began feeling more confident.

It wasn’t an easy road. To really make progress I had to be very frugal with my money. No eating out, no impulse shopping sprees, no vacations to exotic locations. It was tough, especially when I saw friends on Facebook doing all kinds of stuff seemingly without a care. But it was worth the effort. Now I have a “sunny outlook” in my retirement account, I have an emergency fund, and I have more money in my savings account than I owe on my car or on my remaining student loan. Woo hoo, it feels good!

Dave and I were finally able to take a real vacation last year, which was awesome. We continue to be frugal with our finances. We do not want to have to struggle in the future, so we are working on planning, saving and being wise with our financial decisions. I am not opposed to taking out loans, but I learned the hard way not to just blindly build up a ton of debt and assume it will be easy to pay it off. And I’ve definitely learned to be more careful with credit cards!

 

Live Your Legend Blog Challenge #3 – What Do People Thank You For?

Today’s prompt is: What do people thank you for? Or- What do you love helping people with?

What do people thank me for is kind of a tough one to answer without sounding like I’m tooting my own horn. So I’ll take the second question, Alex.

I love helping people by teaching them how to solve a problem. What I mean by that isn’t that I go around offering unsolicited advice, but more that, I like to show people how to do stuff. For example, in my current job, I often get emails from fellow employees looking for a particular digital file on our intranet. Since we are a global company, our intranet is absolutely insane. It can be really hard to find certain tools or documents on it.

So instead of just writing back and being like “Yeah, it’s in the blah-blah folder” or “Look for it in the such-and-such section”, I will send screenshots and step-by-step instructions for how to find the thing they need.

I guess what it boils down to is that I like to teach people things in a way that I know will be helpful for them.  And people thank me for it.

Live Your Legend Blog Challenge #2 – What Makes You Angry About the World?

Today’s prompt is: What makes me angry about the world?

Our culture of rampant, unchecked consumption is what makes me angry about this world!

It may be mostly an American problem – or a “first world problem”, though there’s certainly trickle-down effects on the rest of the world (anyone want our old electronics?).

If you close your eyes and listen, you’ll hear the buzz of millions of people working hard to earn more money so they can buy more things. It’s what we are taught from our youngest days by commercials on TV, billboards by the road, and our friends at school. You always need something new. A new toy, or a new dress. New is what you want. Not a hand-me-down, not homemade with love. New. From the store.

consumerism

Before long that new thing loses it’s appeal. The colors fade. A piece breaks off. The whole thing stops working as it’s supposed to. That new dress is suddenly so last season. Thanks to planned obsolescence, that little gadget that broke 3 months after you bought it is worth nothing now. Throw it in the trash and buy yourself a new gadget. Shove your old clothes in a donation box and buy yourself something new. That’s how things work in this culture.

It’s not just stuff either. It’s everything. We want more food, more entertainment, more adventure, more more more! Instead of taking stock of what we have and enjoying it, society tells us we can never have enough and must constantly be wanting more.

Not only is the attitude of consumerism hurting us on a social and emotional level, but the environmental impact is devastating.  I’m too lazy to get into the statistics now, but just think about it. Greenhouse gasses. Animal waste. Trash. Oh so much TRASH.

Here’s a couple of articles if you’re looking to learn more. Of course you could also just google things, like I do.

Consumerism is killing the planet (and our souls)

Is what we’re recycling actually getting recycled?

What to do with all the poo? 

So yes, all that makes me angry, though my anger is often overcome by lethargy. I’m an ideas person, but when it comes to driving those ideas toward implementation – especially ideas that require buy-in by the majority of the world’s population, I don’t even know where to begin. Well, I begin with myself…

I’d say the biggest way to fight against our consumerist society is to not be a part of it as much as possible. I’ve written about my love affair with minimalism. I think the main thing that excites me about it is that there are so many other people out there who are doing the same thing! It’s always good to know you’re not the only person passionate about something.

The second big thing I’d advocate for is switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Meat production is one of the most detrimental industries to the environment. Not only do those animals product a crap-ton of waste, but consider how much land, water and energy is used to produce their food. Plus, call me woo-woo, but I strongly believe that one day our society will look back in horror at the idea that we once ate other living creatures.

With all that being said, don’t get me wrong. I am not living in a shanty in the woods, growing my own food and fashioning clothes from plant fibers. I have a full-time job, to which I am expected to dress professionally and not in hemp-fiber dresses. I have a car that I continue to make car payments on (and it runs on gasoline, yes). I have to control myself on Amazon. I occasionally indulge in a nice, thick, chocolate shake, even though in the back of my mind I’m like those cows are pooping us to extinction! and I’m sorry mommy cow that we are only using you for your milk.

So there you have it. I am passionate about the environment, and about people, and I loathe rampant, unchecked consumption of our world’s resources. We’ve got to find a better way!

Photo credits:

BuzzFeed

Winston Tseng

Live Your Legend Blog Challenge #1 – Tell Your Story

Hello friends,

I’ve found myself another blog challenge to follow! This one is from Live Your Legend.

When I began this blog back in 2013 (whuut), I simply wanted to share my experience as a person living with EEC. I hoped that by sharing my story, I could help others affected by this condition. Talking about what I’ve gone through is a way of saying “I know how you feel – this happened to me too”, or “Guys, it’s going to be okay, eventually!”

After a while, I exhausted my EEC stories. Or at least I told all I wanted to tell for the time being. So I moved on to talking about other things in life; of traveling and artistic pursuits and my work with Toastmasters. All the while, I really wanted to talk about my experience growing up in an obscure religion and how I got myself out of that.

Finally, in these past few months, I shared my losing my religion stories. Again, I share these stories in the hopes that someone out there who needs them will read them. I’m not the only person in the world who was in a religion I didn’t like! I want you, dear reader, to know that if you feel sick to your stomach every Sunday morning, you CAN choose to walk away from it, and it will be okay (eventually).

Perhaps the next topic I will really delve into is the constant struggle of worthiness. Of insecurity. I’m struggling with it right now, as I begin yet another blog challenge to try and make my blog into a masterpiece. I can feel the wiggliness in my tummy as I write, thinking about who might read this and judge me negatively.

No matter how many times people tell you your writing is good, or your artwork is good, or YOU yourself are good, there always seems to be that voice inside that pulls you back and says, they’re just being polite, and you’re really not that good. 

Well, on that note… I’ll be back tomorrow for day #2 of the challenge!

%d bloggers like this: