Sunday Morning Gratitude

There is no denying it.  I live a blessed life.  Somehow though, I find ways to forget this fact and sit on the pity pot from time to time.  To combat this poopy perspective, I am reinstating…

SUUNNDAAAY MORNING GRATITUUUDE!

Did you all read that in an omnipresent, echoey voice?  That’s how it was intended.

 

Anyways.  Here we go.

  • Sunshine!  Goodness gracious I’m glad Spring is back!  As I get older, time simultaneously seems to move faster, but seasons seem further away.  It truly makes no sense at all… Also, I tend to look glorious in the beaming light.
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what an angel.
    • My little fur-maniacs.  These ladies would carry me out of bed if they had the strength.  Instead, they pull at the covers, lick my face, bark at me, and paw at my pillow until I get up to take them out.  Although this can be quite an annoying way to begin a day; it makes me get up and outside.  I immediately feel better with some fresh air and getting to see their happy tails wagging on our walk.
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they mean business.
  • Healthy eating.  I’ve been much more mindful about my eating in the past few months and it has made an enormous difference in how I feel.  This is an obvious connection I know, but still it is easy for me to forget how good it feels to feel good.
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putting the ‘rock’ back in rocket.
  • My hubs.  I didn’t expect marriage to feel any different, especially since we’d been together for 8 years. But man, its wonderful.  I often sit back and think how did I get so lucky?  Me? Cranky, stinky, odd me? The support, love, and laughter this guy brings into each day is amazing.
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i stalk him like paparazzi.
  • Sandal weather.  Yes this goes along with sunshine, but I am so happy to bust out my Birks! I have already begun crafting perfectly styled outfits with them. Example below.
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watch out Vogue.

That’s all for this week.  I am grateful of SO much more, but one can only spend so much time on a computer during a lovely Sunday.  Plus a shower is now waaaay overdue.

Courtney

 

to be honest.

Now this isn’t one of those TBH then you say something super rude, but somehow justify it in the name of honesty.

There are a lot of things I can be honest about that would just make it clear that I have a lot of “hyper douche” thoughts from time to time.  Just because its honest, doesn’t mean it needs to be said.

Well that’s a tangent.  No surprise to anyone I’m sure. TBH I’m not the most to-the-point writer of all time.

I often use this blog for personal reflection.  It is an avenue for me to allow my thoughts to freely wander outside of my skull, when I want to overanalyze them instead.  Some topics can swirl around my brain, meandering through the lobes and grooves indefinitely.

Lately that topic has been grad school.  I have assumed I would go to grad school for a long time.  It became a constant when I thought about my future.  I think that becoming a nurse practitioner would be incredible.  I love the scope of practice, the direct patient relationship, the opportunity for outreach, and the new challenges that would come with each day.

However, I am beginning to feel like I burned myself out last year.  I worked full-time in a relatively new position, completed my online BSN bridge program (subsequently graduating with my 2nd Bachelor’s degree), planned a wedding, and got married.  It was a lot.  Granted, it was a lot of beautiful, wonderful things, but still, it was a LOT.  I didn’t pause, but instead chugged on forward into a graduate statistics course needed to apply to the graduate nursing program of my choice.

As the sun comes out and Spring envelopes us, I just want to pause.  I crave peace, creativity, and free afternoons.  When I drive past parks and scroll through baby-filled Instagram posts, I long for a family of my own.  I have had the same note on my to do list for TWO MONTHS: Pick up wedding photo USB.

I haven’t stopped to get and enjoy my own freaking wedding photos.  I want to make them into a simple, but beautiful photo book that we can page through.  I want to complete our thank you notes! Yes! They exist!  We have filled out about 20/100.  They’ll only be like 6 months late….

So currently my graduate school application is complete for all but one piece.  The personal statement declaring why I want to go to grad school (plus many other relevant points that I won’t summarize here).  But honestly, right now I don’t know if I do want that.

I have to mention that writing this is terrifying.  I am so supported and encouraged by my loved ones.  Letters of recommendation are done for Heaven’s sake! I don’t want to let people down.  I don’t want to let myself down.

But I also don’t want to push myself to the point of exhausted frustration, and that’s what I’m really worried about.

So what do I do?  Maybe complete the application, allow myself to rest after and decide then.

I may not get in.

I may feel rested after a summer off of school and feel totally ready to embark on a new Edventure (new word, adventure in education!).

I may be going through fear of change.

I may by hyper-distracted by my lovely ovaries and this need to have and hold a little babe is distracting me from my other goals.

I may be a lot of things.

I am definitely confused.  So what to do.

For now, I’m going to go to the bathroom.  I’m writing this at a coffeeshop and I don’t want to leave my computer and stuff at the table, so I’ve REALLY been postponing a needed visit to the ladies #myeyeballsareswimming .

After that, I’m just not sure.  But I do know that I feel better after getting bit of my overthinking out.  Thanks guys.

I hope you are all able to go out and enjoy whichever beautiful day it is when you’re reading this.

Courtney

my migraine routine

My first migraine was 8 years ago.  I laid in bed, kept my room dark, and tried to ignore the sense that my head would soon explode.

They’ve become more frequent over the past couple of years; a fact I attribute to residual pain from falling down the stairs (twice).  Funny thing – when you fall down the stairs (twice), it messes you up.

So heres a little bit of what I do to get through and move past my migraines.

[heads up (pun intended): if you have a migraine or any malady that is ongoing, talk to your freakin’ PCP**  Keep them in the loop, be in tune with your body, get treatment if needed [mic drop].

** PCP = primary care provider – not to be confused with PCP / phenylcyclidine, the hallucinogen.  It should be noted that having a serious healthcare conversation with an inanimate street drug will not lead to proper medical care.

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Anyways, back to the migraine talk.

DURING THE MIGRAINE

 

I usually experience symptoms before a migraine that tell me I need to start looking out for myself.  Earlier in the day I may have a low grade headache and I start to feel like I kinked my neck and my back gets achy.  As the migraine nears, I’ll get nauseous and sensitive to light.

These cues tell me to slow down and move into self care mode.  If work / school / previous engagements can be rearranged, I’ll do it.

  • Hydration: I know that I’ll get a headache if I’m dehydrated, so if I’m a bit achy, I’ll push myself to drink more water.  If that doesn’t fix it, I know its good for me anyways!
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I made a super straw for my 42 oz hydroflask!
  • Showertime: if I’m about to go into hibernation mode, I want to be clean.  Sometimes the brightness of the bathroom and heat of a shower make my head throb worse, but I do it anyways.  I want to feel clean and put together when I’m channeling my inner hermit (who am I kidding, I don’t have to reach that far to channel hermit-like behavior)
  • Cavewoman: after I shower, I’ll get into my favorite PJs and cozy up in my bedroom.  I close all the blinds and turn off the lights making it as dark as possible.
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sleeping angel
  • Medicine (duh): at this time I usually take a prescription for migraines (if you’re interested in what it is, talk to your doctor!), though sometimes I take it pre-shower.  It takes about 30 minutes to kick in then I’ll get groggy.
  • Put the Zzzzz’s in Zen: since my eyes get sensitive, reading / watching / browsing on my phone are all out.  Personally, I find rote prayer really soothing.  Repeating simple prayers relaxes my mind and puts me in a meditative mood.  I will hold a set of rosary beads (with the least pointy Crucifix – important if you fall asleep then end up laying on it) and pray.  Within fifteen to twenty minutes, I’m asleep.
    • Obvs many of us have different beliefs, so if you’re reading this for tips, find what works for you.  Mentally repeating a favorite song, poem, or memory can also help take your mind off of your migraine and help you begin to relax.

 

Aaahhhfter the migraine

  • Sleeeeep:  I let myself sleep in.  It should be noted that sleeping past 6am feels like a luxury (thanks Nalabear) so I’ll usually wake up naturally between 6:30 and 7am.
  • Be the sloth:  I take it slow the next morning.  I don’t want to rush back into routine and try to make up anything I missed immediately because that is a solid way to ensure I’ll slip right into another migraine.  So I move tenderly and proceed with caution.

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  • Breakfast: Because I get nauseous before and during my migraines, I keep it simple.  I’ll make myself a nutrient dense protein shake that I can slip slowly throughout the morning.  I drink one that stocked full of antioxidants and B vitamins to help boost my body back to normal.
  • My first love:  I sip coffee, usually black.  I love coffee normally, but the caffeine is soothing post-headache and helps wake me up from my medicine induced 10 hour slumber.

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  • Gem gems: these little ginger candies look like tiny powdery poops, I won’t lie.  But they’re wonderful!  If my stomach is still sensitive, i’ll carry these with me and use a couple during the day.

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  • Screw makeup: I makedown myself.  My face is puffy after a migraine, my eyes are sensitive and red; and the last thing I want to do is try to do precision eye liner.  A tinted moisturizer is fine, then I can relax and not worry about my mascara smearing and making look more tired than I really am.
  • Taking the load off: because my headaches are so tied to neck and back pain, I avoid carrying things on my shoulders.  I’ll pack light or hold my bags in my hands and slightly bend my elbows (reducing the burden on my neck and shoulders).
  • 20-20:  I learned this rule during a photography course in undergrad.  Every 20 minutes of screen time, divert your eyes and allow them to refocus on something 20 feet away.  This gets me away from screens for a minute and reduces the strain my eyes are taking in a day.

There it is!  My little go-to migraine routine.  I hope it helps.  If you have any great tricks for making these b*tches more bearable – holla at yo girl!  We migrainers need to help each other out.

Courtney

Sunday Morning Gratitude

God bless Sundays.  They are so beautiful.

Here is a little list of joy I’m experiencing.  I hope you all are filled with love and contentment too.

  1.  waking up to puppy kisses (and digging and jumping and attempts at reaching my brain via my nose with her crazy long puppy tongue 😆
  2. the 52 lists project by Moorea Seal.  a lovely friend got this for me and it is rocking my list-loving world
  3. snowfall.  does anything else feel more peaceful?  well.  maybe not if you run a snowplow business or you are in active labor and need to high tail it to the hospital or you have a white cat who likes to escape.
  4. delicious frittata!  the word frittata #1 sounds silly (tata, hello), but #2 also kind of sounds fancy as hell.  and I made one! and it was delicious!
  5. tech-savvy boyfriend. we are now connected with an apple music family plan and it is awesome!  I can listen to this song on repeat now, thank goodness                         
  6. games.  not the high school “I dont play games” relationship tag line (spoiler alert, anyone that says that is lying, we are all super crazy) (also, while on this topic..kind of… whenever someone says “I don’t like drama, if you are about drama, stay away” you KNOW that person is more dramatic than the Phantom of the Opera, and that is DRAMA!)  (also, if a girl says something like “I just dont get along with other girls, I’m just usually one of the boys” just know that she crazy.  having girlfriends is one of the best things about being a girl, it is pure joy.  it is like someone saying “I just don’t like laughing until my stomach hurts, I prefer to be constantly stern”  would you relate to that person?  if so, LEAVE THIS BLOG RIGHT NOW! WHO DOESN’T LOVE LAUGHING UNTIL THEIR STOMACH HURTS?!?!).                                                                     …..Ahem.  ….anyways.  games are great.  we had a double date game brunch yesterday (so many stereotypes being played into i know, but you know it was straight up wonderful).  we played FunEmployed – the BEST!  you know when you play Cards Againsts Humanity so many times it just isn’t that funny anymore?  this is the perfect next game.  it is silly and up to each person to tell the story of what their cards mean, so it is everchanging in a way that CAH isn’t.
  7. travel plans.  making travel plans, or even just thinking of making travel plans is soooo fun.  there are endless dreams to be pursued and adventures to explore.  just thinking about it makes my heart a little fluttery
  8. Autocorrect.  oh man. this can give me a real giggle.  imagine if we just didn’t correct autocorrect.  madness.
  9. school.  now imma be real real rightaboutnow.  I just about have CONSTANT access to further education.  I can think of 10-20 different ways I can access education or learn something new.  BUT do you think I am always so psyched to do so? nope.  instead, I am looking at all of the new things I can use the internet for (mewgaroo hoodie oggling for example).  but when I sit back and think about it, what a huge gift and a blessing is it that not only I can choose to pursue education, but I am supported by system after system in my life (employer tuition reimbursement, access to financial aid, present faculty members, encouraging friends and family, a society that supports this idea).  those are pretty big deals.  now I know that the big thing now is to be like “I stand with Malala.”  and I do.  but i think i need to also SIT with Malala.  I need to sit, study, and take advantage of what has been (undeservedly) given to me.  I need to use my gifts to help others and make the world a better place.  so I’m going to #standwithmalala #sitwithmalala and #studywithmalala BOOM. gimme dat highlighter, i am ready!
  10. coffee.  because we all know this stuff is not getting done without it.

Focus.

Bleehchc.

So for anyone who enjoys reading this, I apologize for my absence from the internet.  I love writing and I have found this blog a joyful sanctuary to explore my mind and my thoughts.

However, a few months ago that changed.

I know the internet can be a wonderful place where people can bond over rare, shared experiences.  We can connect, research, learn, and explore.  The vastness of information and ability at our fingertips is a huge gift, but this is a gift that comes with responsibility.

We must remember that we are all still humans here.  We are fragile, faulty, vulnerable humans.  When we write things, it is another person reading it.  Another person with feelings and a life with unknown struggles.

I have been trolled by someone who knows a family member of mine.  This person found my facebook/twitter/blog/everything and has attempted to contact me and has sent me hurtful messages (about issues that I am not involved in).

So I did what I thought best and I avoided it.  That is a strategy that I learned a long time ago.

  • Is it scary? Avoid it!
  • Is it uncomfortable?  Avoid it!
  • Is it out of my control? Avoid it!

Now, while this at times, was an ohhkay survival mechanism.  It is most certainly not a healthy approach at life.  It is not a good reason for me to avoid doing something I love and that brings me happiness.  Because a lot of times when I am avoiding those scary uncomfortable things, I am, in turn, avoiding joy.  And that’s only cheating myself.

So, I’m going to do something differently.  I’m not going to avoid this, I am going to just keep the focus on me.  This blog is for me and I am going to keep it that way.

My friends, as we continue journeying through 2016, let’s be joyful.  Let’s focus on what matters – being kind and loving to those around us.  The only way I can do that is by keeping the focus on me.  What is my attitude like, what is my behavior like?  I cannot control others, I can just control how I react to them.

Today, I choose to participate in the things I love doing.  I choose to focus on me, and to be kind and loving to those around me.

Courtney