Merry Christmas

Wishing each and every one of you a very peaceful day full of joy and laughter and as many naps and snacks as you need! I hope you all feel blessed beyond measure in the coming year.

xoxo

Jill

merry christmas sign
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Scarcity Mindset: what it is, how to overcome it, and most importantly, how to pronounce it correctly.

I have a little problem, and it shows up in a lot of areas in my life. It affects my finances, my weight, my generosity…it affects more than I ever even knew. I didn’t even know it was a thing until about a year or so ago – but I’m finding that a lot of people also have this problem. I’m ready to deal with it and overcome it. Or at least learn to manage it.

My problem (ha, as if I only have one) is that I have a Scarcity Mindset.

If you don’t know what that is, a scarcity mentality is forever thinking “there’s not enough”. There’s not enough money, there’s not enough food, there’s not enough time…it just feels like there is never enough of anything. If you find yourself saying “I can’t afford that”, or “I’ll wait until payday and then I’ll buy all of these things that I can’t get right now”, or “it must be nice that the neighbors can afford xyz”…then you too probably have that same lack mentality. This mindset can lead to over-spending, over-eating, needless worry, and basically it can just suck the joy out of your life, which is no bueno.

How does feeling scarce lead to the “overages” (over spending, over weight, over working) in life? Here’s an excellent example I heard recently: Let’s say you are having a dinner party with your family and friends – you wake up the day of the party and think “I don’t think I have enough food. I should have gotten more to drink. What if no one brings a dessert? I should probably go get some more just in case.” So you go to the store to get more more more, and when the party finally rolls around and everyone has eaten and is stuffed to the gills, you notice ALL THE LEFTOVER FOOD. There is so much food still uneaten, that you make up plates for everyone to take home because there is just no way you are ever going to eat it all. See? Now you’ve spent more money than you needed to because of your fear that there wouldn’t be enough, when in fact, there was and still is PLENTY.

For me, this mentality really shows itself like this: Cash flow is tight, so I put off buying things, then when payday hits I BUY ALL OF THE THINGS because HURRY I HAVE TO BUY THESE THINGS BEFORE THE MONEY RUNS OUT AGAIN BECAUSE THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH MONEY. And when I say “things” I mean stuff like getting my hair cut, doing a big grocery shop, buying whatever gifts need to be purchased, paying as many bills as I can…so then in just a few days, the money is tight again and the cycle starts all over. It’s exhausting. And with a self-employed husband, sometimes money is genuinely tight (hello winter), but because I’ve never developed habits to s p r e a d  t h e  m o n e y  o u t, it always feels like feast or famine, even when it’s really not.

Also, I feel like there’s not enough time – not enough time to do what I want to do and need to do, so my weekends end up being either SUPER PRODUCTIVE (do all the things because there are only 2 days to get everything done!!!) or I am as lazy as can be because I’m exhausted and just don’t want to do anything. Again, if I could figure out how to spread it all out over the week, I don’t think I would feel quite so frantic about not wasting time (because time is precious) (because there’s not enough of it) (see?).

Does anyone else see the restrict/binge cycle happening here??? I thought it only showed up when I was dieting (which I no longer do) but apparently I’ve also been restricting and bingeing my money and time. :/ Interesting.

In my research (let’s be real, I Googled it) about how to overcome this mindset of “not enough”, I found that the first thing usually suggested is gratitude and appreciation. In all of the articles I read, in all of the videos I’ve watched on this subject, incorporating the practice of gratitude is the number one habit to cultivate in order to combat that scarcity feeling. Appreciating what we have and being grateful can help us see that there is indeed, enough. Whether that means writing down what you are grateful for at the end of the day, or just simply thinking about things you appreciate while you are brushing your teeth, focusing on all of the abundance in your life will help dissipate that feeling of lack over time.

Now, I will admit to you that writing down 3 things I’m grateful for each day sounds like something I will never do. In fact, it makes me want to roll my eyes and never think about it again, so I need to come up with a way to work this into my life in such a way that feels effortless so that it will eventually stick. I’m thinking it needs to be in the middle of the day when my energy is at its peak. Is there an app for that? Maybe I need an app to remind me. I’m still working all of this out right now (obviously) – I don’t have any answers as of yet, so if you do, please share!

All of the above is well and good, but my stupid little grammar-police brain cannot get over something else. Yesterday I watched a video about this wherein a 20-something girl had a 20 minute video about this very subject, and I’m sure she had some good info to share, but I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying because she kept pronouncing it “SCAR-city”. Spoiler alert: it’s pronounced “SCARE-city” – it comes from the word SCARCE. At first I thought she just messed up, but she kept saying it like that over and over again – I couldn’t even watch the whole thing because I was so distracted by the way she was saying it! Yes I realize this probably makes me an asshole, but I can’t help it. If you’re going to make an entire video about a certain subject, make sure you know how to pronounce it correctly otherwise you don’t sound credible. (Cranky rant is now over)

So, I genuinely want to know: have any of you overcome this mindset? Or at least learned how to manage it? How did you do it? Do you have a regular gratitude practice and if so, what does it look like in your life (if you don’t mind sharing)?

This was a longer post than usual – thanks for sticking around if you’ve gotten to the end!! You are a warrior!

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My name is Inigo Montoya. This is a scar. Prepare to die. 

 

 

 

 

August/Summer recap

Hello!

You know, I keep thinking that things will slow down and I’ll get back to my snail’s-pace-life pretty soon, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I think this is just my life now. Or maybe it’s just the pace of summer and things will naturally slow down once it gets cold. Whatever happened to those hazy crazy lazy dayz of summer? I don’t feel like I got very many of those lazy days and I’m just a tad bit resentful about it. I’d like to speak to a manager about this, please.

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Life has not been all bad, not at all, it’s just that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of downtime anymore.  I didn’t even read much this summer and my hand-lettering has suffered as well – it just seemed like there wasn’t a lot of time to sit and just BE. I hate it that the two things I love most to do, I just couldn’t seem to make time to do them. I was pretty intentional about spending a few hours in the pool at least once a week – just floating and listening to the birds was restorative and meditative in a way that I couldn’t find anywhere else – if it isn’t raining, I plan on spending my Labor Day floating for a few hours and soaking up that last little bit of summer. 

My Dad is doing well with his chemo – his last chemo appointment is in a week and then we’ll see where we are with that. His cancer is shrinking, so that’s good, but the chemo just wipes him out and he feels really weak most of the time. Hopefully he’ll get to stop the chemo and that will help him feel better.

School has started again around here (tangent: why do we have to start school in August?? It’s still so freakishly hot!! Can we not push it back until after Labor Day?)  – my youngest is a freshman in high school and my middle is a freshman in college. We moved my second baby bird out of the nest to her school an hour away (pro tip: bring a dolly or a platform cart for move-in day – parking will be scarce and it will be hot and you will all be cranky – make things as easy as possible for yourselves!!).

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Final hug before driving away. 

After a rough start with a poorly-matched dorm roommate (she just got a new roommate this week – thankfully), my daughter is getting used to the rhythm of dorm life and college classes. My oldest is working for my husband and living on his own – which he loves – so we are down to one kid at home. The groceries in the house last considerably longer now!! 🙂

One thing I did well in August was to figure out how to stop being so tired all the darn time. I’ve added some supplements and stopped using my snooze button. I try to get up when the first alarm goes off and I don’t hit snooze – turns out, hitting the snooze button makes you more tired than if you just get up when that first alarm rings. As a life-long snoozer, I am amazed at how different my mornings are now! I’m taking a B-Complex supplement, an adrenal supplement, an iron supplement, a 5htp supplement, and just eating better in general. I walk or do yoga when I can and I will say I am noticing a difference. I also in the last couple of days have started using breathe-right strips and wow! I’m sleeping so much better at night. I’m not exactly energetic, but at least I don’t feel so completely exhausted all the time now, which is a nice change.

That’s my wrap up of August and generally the summer. I have an idea for a posting schedule for the fall, but I’m not going to make any promises (been there, broke that).  I think my Autumn Intention is going to be to fit in the things I love to do: blogging, reading, and hand-lettering and if I have to pencil them in to my schedule to make it happen, so be it. I got a nice new planner and it’s just begging to be filled up with fun activities!

So what about you? How was your August? Do you have anything you want to make happen this fall?

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Very Best Self: Weeks 4 and 4.5

Well, we did it. We’ve come to the end of our Very Best Self experiment/challenge – are you a new and improved person like I am?

woman stands on mountain over field under cloudy sky at sunrise
Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!  (^^^Obviously not me.)

Okay, actually last week went really well. I figured out that if I get up and get in the shower first thing, then, while my hair is air drying, I have time to do a 5-20 minute workout. I got up early and worked out 4 days last week!! These are not intense workouts – they are low impact – but they are challenging enough that I felt a little soreness in my muscles and I didn’t get sweaty so I didn’t feel like taking a shower first was a waste of time.  It was a nice feeling to know that I did at least some form of exercise in the morning, and one morning I even had time to fit in a short meditation.

This week however, has been a different story. I have been so tired all week and I’ve had to force myself to wake up at the latest possible minute. My husband and I had a fun night out last Saturday night and stayed up way too late, then I had trouble sleeping Sunday – Tuesday nights and it has been a sleepy struggle to stay awake and be productive during the day ever since. So this week, I’ve gotten up early exactly zero times.

So what did I learn from this experiment? A) I can be a person who gets up early only if I get enough sleep the night before, and B) that it takes me several days to recover from a late night out. This may seem like a no-brainer, but having an early morning habit is the direct result of a solid evening routine, and I’m thinking I may need to work on that part first because I don’t have a great evening routine. I often get to bed later than I’d like so some focused attention on that will help with my goal of becoming an early riser.

How did your experiments go? You guys were making some great progress last time I checked! Did you learn anything about yourselves that surprised you or that will be helpful going forward? Any ideas for another experiment or challenge? I thought this was fun and interesting – I’d like to do it again. 🙂

 

Bonus Post: A good quote

I don’t consider myself to be a cynic, but the notion of a soulmate has always bugged me. I just don’t believe that there is ONE person out there for everyone – I think location, time, and circumstance all contribute to who we fall in love with. So when I read this quote today from Belinda Luscombe, her definition of a soulmate is definitely something I can live with:

We don’t find soulmates, like some fantastic shell on the beach. We become them. And as we do, the other person becomes ours. One of us is the waves and the other is the sand, and together we make the beach, changing the shape and passage of the other and maybe even bringing some amazing conches to the surface alongside the seaweed and knotted fishing wire.

We become the soulmates we need for each other.

One of us is waves and the other is sand, and together we make the beach. I just love that.

You can find Belinda Luscombe’s book here.

beach foam landscape nature
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Very Best Self Experiment – Week 3

Same song, third verse.

I think got up early one, maaaayyyyybe two days last week, but I had some weird allergy thing happening plus the stress of worrying about my car really took a toll on me and I was TIRED. My husband thought I was dead one morning because he couldn’t wake me up – I’m usually a very light sleeper but I was sleeping so hard that he had to physically shake me to get me to come around (don’t worry, I didn’t die, I was just super deep in the middle of a really weird dream).

BUT! I think I have cracked the code. Maybe. Next week I’ll hopefully have something new and awesome to report.

Here’s what I’m learning: just because I say I’m going to do something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I have to arrange and rearrange my environment and routines in such a way that makes it easier to make the thing happen. Also I’m learning that it might take a few weeks to figure out exactly what arrangement works best for me and that is perfectly okay. The Jill of Years Past would have felt like a total failure and given up on this because I didn’t get it right, but Present Jill knows that changing a habit takes time and effort and tweaking the routine and readjusting this or that to make it do-able. I know that if it isn’t working, I probably need to come at it from a different angle and see what needs to change. So that’s what these last 3 weeks have been about – seeing what works, what doesn’t and bobbing and weaving my way through the obstacles. I’m getting there, I think.

How about you? How are things working for you?

I love that you all chimed in when I pouted about doing this alone last time!! It cracked me up that you all piped up with your experiments – I really was only joking, but thanks for being in this with me! 🙂

Updates and stuff

Happy Friday!

My car is getting fixed! For freeeeeee! They finally called yesterday and said “Well we just had a big meeting about your car and here is what we’ve decided – we can pull the valve covers off and if the engine is sludge-y, it won’t be covered under the warranty and you’ll have to pay for us taking off the valve covers before we can go any further. If the engine is clean, we’ll order you a new engine and repair the car, which will all be covered under the warranty”. I told him (with a wee bit of false bravado) “Well then you go ahead and take off those valve covers because you aren’t going to find a sludge-y engine – we have kept up with the oil changes and done everything we were supposed to do.” A couple of hours later, guess what!! Clean engine and a new one ordered! I was really nervous even though I KNEW there was nothing I had done to cause such a catastrophic failure, but sometimes you just don’t know how dealerships are going to play the game. My husband had the phone number of a good lawyer handy juuuuuust in case. My mantras for the last couple of weeks have been “I did nothing to cause this” and “Be anxious for nothing”. I’ve probably said those phrases to myself a hundred times since all of this started because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra $5000 sitting around for a new engine. I’m really just so relieved that it’s going to be repaired and covered under the warranty.  And they gave me a loaner car so I don’t have to drive my husband’s work truck or borrow my son’s car anymore – which is a relief because I do not like not having my own wheels. 

Curly Girl Experiment – I’m one month in. If you don’t know what the Curly Girl Method is, it’s a technique of enhancing your natural curls by using sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free hair products. It’s a process, y’all. I mean you have be committed to it because it takes a bit o’ time and a lot of trial and error, but if you can reach curl nirvana, it will be worth it. Now, there are some people out there who are almost militant about livin’ that CGM lifestyle (CGM = Curly Girl Method) and there are those of us who are rebels because we do what we want! I mean I guess so far I’m following it pretty closely but because I have fine, thin, wavy hair there are some things I have to do differently than the original method, and I’m completely fine with that. Just like in health, there is no one-size-fits-all and you have to do what works for you (and your hair). Here are pics of Day 1 vs. Today (One month in):

 

Honorable mention goes to these two days which were somewhere in the last couple of weeks:

Yes, I take pictures of my hair when it is behaving nicely because it is such a rarity and I want to document it for posterity. You can see how much my curls have perked up already. This is a really fun experiment and I think that once I get a little more length, I’ll really love wearing my hair curly all the time.

Well, I’ve rambled on about those two topics that are probably of no interest to anyone except myself longer than I intended. My plans for this weekend are to just relax, get caught up on my handlettering course that I am 3 weeks behind in, and maybe declutter some areas that are driving me bonkers. What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever they are – I hope they are enjoyable!

 

Very Best Self Experiment

Hey hey hey!

The last time we were all gathered here, I had the bright idea that I would try and do the things that my Very Best Self would do and several of you said you would be on board to try to be Your Very Best Selves also, so I decided we should do this as an experiment because the word “challenge” feels to restrictive and overbearing and I just don’t need that kind of negative vibe in my life right now. Experiment feels nicer, don’t you think?  Here’s the idea behind this: if you were the best version of yourself, what is something that you would do? Would your Very Best Self (VBS) do yoga in the mornings? Would your VBS organize your kitchen? Learn a fun new skill? Do some volunteer work? Take a fun class? What is the thing you are pretty sure would enhance your life but you just haven’t had the oomph to actually do it? <—- That’s the thing you are going to work on for the next month.

The idea is to think of an area of your life that you would really like to improve, or an activity that would make your life better, or maybe something you’ve been procrastinating on and you really need to just get it done (because Your Very Best Self would totally have already done it). It can be one thing or a few things, but I think it should be something you can measure in some way. And it has to be realistic – we’re just doing this for the month of July so don’t say “My very best self is going to lose 40 pounds” or “learn astrophysics” or “marry Bradley Cooper” or something like that. Not saying you can’t do those things eventually, but for the sake of this experiment, keep it in your wheelhouse for now, okay?

Here are the rules (read: very loose guidelines) for this:

  1. The first rule is really the only RULE and it is non-negotiable and totally binding: You absolutely canNOT beat yourself up or shame yourself over your performance during this process. This is an experiment – there is no pass/fail, no all or nothing, no win or lose…we are collecting information to see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s just for fun and curiosity.
  2. What can you do set yourself up for success? How can you make your thing work? Will you need supplies for this? Do you need to do some research first? If so, that’s totally fine – take a day or two and make your plan.
  3. If at first you don’t succeed…then change your mind and do something else. If you get 5 days into this and you realize that you actually hate the thing you’ve chosen to work on, guess what? You can change your mind and begin fresh with something else. You are running your experiment, you get to decide how you’ll proceed or if you need to change directions.
  4. I’ll do a weekly post so that we have a place to check in on our progress. Try to stay engaged on these posts so we can all be there to support each other and bounce ideas off of one another!
  5. I can’t think of a fifth one.

If you want to join in on this SUPERFUNGOODTIME! then post the thing your Very Best Self would do in the comments. Since today is the first of the month already, let’s officially start tomorrow July 2 and go through July 31st. Sound good? Then let’s do this thing!

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Bad hair, unfunny, and unevolved – just what you want in a blogger.

Thanks so much for you comments on my last post. I know that exercise and taking care of yourself are BIG ways to ward off stress and/or deal with stress, and I try to do those things, although honestly I have not been exercising very much at all lately. And why do I forget that writing everything out is probably one of my biggest stress relievers? I felt so much better after writing that post the other day. If I were MY VERY BEST SELF I would get up early in the morning and do a little workout, a little meditation, and probably a little bit of journaling (or even blogging), however, I’m still evolving into that person; the person I am now sleeps til the very last minute, says she’ll go for a walk after work (but then doesn’t do it for a variety of reasons excuses), hasn’t meditated in months, and typically goes weeks between blog posts. What can I say? I yam who I yam. Maybe I should do a challenge for a month and actually do the things my very best self up there would do and see what happens?? Hmm…I kind of like the idea of doing that. Anyone want to do it with me? We could do it for the month of July – you can choose whatever behaviors you want to work on and we can reconvene here weekly and report on how it’s going. What say you? Anyone interested?

In other news I’m having a flirtatious relationship with the Curly Girl Method. I just started like…I don’t know…three days ago, maybe? And what I have discovered is that my hair is in terrible shape – it is dry dry dry!! Years of high-heat blow drying and flat-ironing has left my tresses arid and frizzy. I need a serious deep conditioning treatment. Do I have any Curly Girls reading me right now? If so, leave me your best tips for starting out – I’ve already seen some improvement but I could use a little more guidance. My hair is 2b low-porosity fine thin wavy hair, in case that information is useful to you.

And on a completely different note, I think I’ve lost my funny. I’ve noticed over the last few weeks, when I say something that I think is funny, it just falls flat (like my hair). This morning a radio show asked the question “what do you do to embarrass your kids?” (in a fun lighthearted way) so I called in and said that I have teenagers and all I have to do is exist in order to embarrass them. What I expected was “Haha! Teenagers, man! They’re tough!” etc, but instead I got “Awww, that’s so sad. I’m sorry you feel that way. That’s terrible.” Uhhh, what? That was not the way I expected that exchange to go. And they didn’t even use my clip at all! I realized later that the 2 DJs are both in their early 30s – one doesn’t even have kids and the other has a 5 year old, so neither of them has encountered the joy of raising teenagers, but still…  And it’s not just with the DJs, I’ve had conversations with coworkers and family members and either everyone is just over me and I never was funny, or I have just lost my ability to deliver a funny line. I guess I’ll go back to laughing at my own jokes…on the inside…silently…to myself.

Work is calling so I better get to it. Let me know if anyone wants to do a Better Yo’Self Challenge, and also please let me know if you are a Curly Girl or a modified Curly Girl or if you are a Rebel Curly Girl (who completely does her own curly hair method).

Have a great day, friends!

🙂

 

 

Stress eating my way to a nervous breakdown

Wow, that title is a little dramatic, isn’t it? I’m not anywhere near a nervous breakdown, but I have been stress-eating like a lunatic lately, so that statement isn’t completely false.

From the middle of March until now it seems like it has been one thing after another around here – my daughter’s graduation, a last-minute Senior Tea I helped throw together, my other daughter’s cheer commitments (and mine, say hello to the new Cheer Booster Club treasurer!), then a couple of weeks ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, the doctors think his cancer (lymphoma) is very treatable and his prognosis is good, but for those 2 weeks things were pretty dicey. I really and truly thought my dad would not live to see the end of this month.

Things with work have been dicey too. At the end of last year, some big changes were made to my company and it went from feeling like a close-knit friends & family community to a cut-throat BUSINESS. Several very good employees were let go and just this morning they let one of our best go. She had been with the company for years (maybe 20?) and she was a wealth of information – she knew the processes and ins and outs of almost everything in my department. She was my go-to when I didn’t know how to do something – actually she was the go-to for a lot of people – she was super dependable and could be counted on to get things done. And instead of utilizing her brains and talent in another position, they restructured her right out of a job. I am so sad and mad and frustrated. It just makes no sense to me.

And she’s not the only bright star they let go. Which leads me to think that if they are willing to let these really good employees leave, what’s stopping them from letting me go? Do I jump ship now or do I wait until they decide I’m not valuable anymore and let them offer me a severence? I really don’t know.

So, guess how I’ve been dealing with all of this? ICE CREAM. As much ice cream as I can get! I’ve had ice cream nearly every day for the last 3 weeks, and not just a small lady-like dainty scoop of ice cream, nuh-uh! I’m talking six inch high soft serve twist cones from the local walk-up. I’m talking those Snickers ice cream bars (and if you think I stop after having one of those, you would be wrong). Ice cream in big bowls at home drizzled with Hershey’s syrup. And you wanna know how I feel after all that ice cream?

Awful.

It didn’t help one iota. Okay maybe while I was eating, it felt good, but after the last crunch of the cone, my worries were still there, nagging me to think about them some more.

It hasn’t been totally terrible – I did steal away for a day with my BFF for a trip to a museum, but guess what we did after? ICE CREAM.

Ice cream hasn’t been the only player, but it’s been the main character in my play of overindulgence. I feel like I want to pull back and get into a regular routine of eating well again, but dammit it’s so hard to resist something that is so quick and efficient at easing my stress, even it only lasts a few moments. I’m ready for life to settle down again but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

What do you do for stress? And if you say “I work out and eat lettuce” I will glare at you through my screen. Tell me the real deal – how do you REALLY deal with stress?