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Building Pandemic Panic Resistance

squirrelSquirrels are jacked, Wish sells sex toys, and I found the perfect shade of lipstick at Sephora Canada for twenty-eight bucks.

If someone told me a month ago that I’d have the time to discover these little things, I would have told you they were mad.

Had I not been respecting this physical-distancing protocol, I never would have equated the relative muscle mass of a squirrel’s front haunches with the thick, muscular neck of a wolf, because I never would have had the time to stare out the window and wonder about something other than the demands of my own day.

I also never would have clicked on the promos from Wish, and discovered that they sell clothing, male chastity devices, as well as plastic parrot solar lights that would be fantastic for our Parrothead soirees – the lights, not the sex toys. The outline of a third book likely wouldn’t have unfolded into anything other than the outline either.

Luckily our household hasn’t been as adversely effected as others. Everyone is still working, everyone is still getting paid. Everyone is going a bit bonkers adjusting to being at home together.

Incidentally, I think that social media is going a bit bonkers right now too. Currently, it’s a five minute distraction at most for me. The same with the news. Once a day is enough to keep me informed, without making me paranoid.

After two weeks of being glued to news updates, being terrified of what I’m being exposed to at work, about a week ago I shut down the newsfeed and the unnecessary obsessing.  Now  my sweetie has fallen ill and I’ve raised my white-flag of surrender.  I will not subject myself to the massive influx of emails and private messages about COVID 19.

As always, I have a new writing project simmering, a pile of books on my desk waiting to be read (the ones I had previously designated as beach-reads for my annual Central American beach holiday), and a needlework project half finished. Perhaps it’s a Gen X thing , but I think I’ll just tuck in and ride this out, taking it day by day.

I have settled nicely into the routine of surrender.

It’s lovely to have time to sip my first and second cups of morning coffee bundled up on the patio in the fresh air. It’s blissful to have the time to  wonder about squirrel anatomy, who the wonderful guitarist is down the street, and to allow the poetic flow of words to dance in my imagination so that I can write it down on paper a little later on. Not being able to go out has been a wonderful retreat.

Next week, a new, temporary shift schedule starts at work to help adjust to the demands of our new reality. I will not be having leisurely, morning coffee save for weekends.

If you’re stuck in a rut of scrolling through social media, watching the news spool over and over, might I suggest staring out the window for a while, and noticing the little things that otherwise go unnoticed.

 

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Self-Esteem in the Middle-Age of Social Media

journalI’m supposed to be doing something else right now. Chances are, you are too. But, here I am, loungewear donned, tucked in by the fireplace with hot lemon water by my side, writing to you.

This morning, after a dreamy 3.5 hours of sleep, I woke up to see my son off to work. I’m fighting a seven month infection that just won’t quit, and share a bed with a man who snores like  freight train. I lack sleep, and therefore, I find it very difficult to muster the motivation to do anything but crave a snooze.

My go-to connection to the outside world other than work, and a vacation where all I did was read and occupy a beach chair, is my social media. I try to follow sites, pages, people and accounts that inspire me to be healthy, happy and productive.

Last night I made a sincere start reading, “The Year of Yes“, by Shonda Rhimes.  I’m likely the only woman on the planet who does not know a lot about Shonda Rhimes. I was surprised to hear that she was a single mom and so successful just as much as I was shocked to learn she was a no-thank-you-RSVPing-introvert.  The reason I don’t know a

lot about Shonda Rhimes is that I’m too busy to watch tv, trying accomplish everything I’ve decided to do.

I put my book aside at 2:00 am and felt that I didn’t do enough in comparison to Ms. Shonda. If this woman could be a successful writer with three children, how come I’m just a successful funeral director with an international athlete for a son, and three post-grad diplomas on the wall (they’re not literally on my wall)? “I’m such a loser”, I thought to myself, and then went upstairs and climbed in bed next to Snorey McSnorerson.

japanesepizza hashtag on Instagram • Photos and Videos

This morning at the crack of 5:45 am (and I am by no stretch of any imagination a morning person), I was scrolling through someone’s Japanese, vegan Instagram feed and all I could think was, “Oh.My.God…that’s just way too much chopping, ” and then I thought, “I’m too lazy to chop?! I’m such loser.”

But I’m not a loser. I just temporarily lose myself in everyone else’s social media story branding (or lie as Shonda would say). When you feel lousy, people who disguise their humanity by editing out their flaws can make you feel like a big, fat, loser.

And today, yes, I am too lazy to chop. I’m too lazy to reduce the ingredients for a sweet Japanese barbecue sauce over low heat while I do crunches and make a duck face at the other end of my selfie stick. But that’s just for today, while I create, and write, and do something that makes me feel beautiful from the inside out.

Tonight, I shall dig back in to, The Year of Yes, catch my second wind, and light up my social calendar. That’s just how I roll, even without homemade, exotic sauce or perfect abs.

 

 

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Authenticity

authenticWorking with a new database, I was prompted to input information about my ‘contact’s so that at pre-determined intervals, the ‘system’ would send out a reminder to little ole’ me to give them a call and chat them up.

Sounds like a great idea considering I’m a bit of a bubblehead, and tend to forget dates and time easily. I do however have a deep abiding intuition about people that has served me well throughout my lifetime.

That means that when I meet a person in a business or in a personal situation, I often am attracted to them or not based on how authentic in their work and being they seem to be.

When I contact them, it’s because they have entered my mind, and I hope that they’re doing well.  It’s authentic, it’s real, and I think people can sense that.

Don’t get me wrong, my radar has been off a few times, and there have been times that I’ve chosen to ignore it…for years…but for the most part, I know another genuine, gentle, on-the-path-to-enlightenment soul when I meet one.

With the loss of small towns and close-knit families, we have lost our accountability to one another. We are not ‘we’ anymore, functioning within the boundaries of our role within the community. Just as with any other circumstance, there are benefits and drawbacks.

For the most part, we are a bunch of I’s, going about our daily business, caught in our worlds managed by databases and duties tied to our own prosperity, reminded by machines to stop and call someone to inquire about how they are, and of course, what they can do for us.

Beyond techno-prompts (which, I have to admit have their place), we have the living hell of group emails and texts. For the purpose of transmitting the who, what, where, when and why of logistical information, group texts and emails are heavenly.

It’s the ‘REPLY ALL’ option that makes me want to launch my iPhone off, into a never-ending journey to the depths of Amish hell.  Inevitably someone goes off track, and begins an entire conversation that has my desk, hip or handbag vibrating like a night at the motel on the edge of town.

For the love of all that’s sacred, pull-eaze just make some time to spend with your ‘REPLY ALL’ buddy and go for a drink and an in-the-flesh-I-can-see-your-facial-expressions-and-hear-the-tone-in-your-voice conversation.

There is nothing like a face to face encounter to make your intuition hum, and awaken your human spirit. Instead we have messages emailed out that are either carefully crafted, or shot from the hip.

I suggest that our true selves have fallen victim to technology. We dust of different persona’s too often that it confuses even ourselves.

The bottom line for me is that my friendships are true. If I email you it’s not because I think it’ll pad my savings account. It may induce belly laughter, tears, or a sense of connection.

That’s not just true of my personal relationships. It’s also true of my business ethic. If I don’t believe you’re a good person, I don’t want to do business with you.

Do you know why? It’s because I know from experience that there are always good people out there, authentic people, who are as qualified as you to do the job, and will treat clients with deep respect and care.

That my dear ones, is what our work is all about. It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, your job is important, and the rest of the world relies on you to be kind, authentic and to work with good intentions.  It’s not just work, it’s life. Life doesn’t know what 9-5 is, because it’s everywhere, all the time.

It’s not someone else’s responsibility to make the world a kinder place to live, it’s ours.

 

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“Find what you love, and do THAT”

Easier said than done darlings...
Easier said than done darlings…

Yes, it’s just one of the more endearing quotes that plaster my social media walls.

Find what you love, and do that.

It sounds blissfully simple doesn’t it my darlings.?

Simply wake up every day, and do what makes your heart pitter-patter a little bit faster, makes your smile that much more toothy, and your entire aura vibrate to a wonderfully tuned and heavenly, “Om”.

Last week I promised myself that I would dedicate one full hour every day to something that makes my life brighter, happier, and more bearable. I promised myself that I would commit to at least one hour of writing novel number two.

 

My writing fell off the radar in the midst of job changes, sports momming and keeping the lights on. When my writing suffers, the rest of my life suffers.

After all, we are what we think, aren’t we darlings?

When I’m not writing, my imagination swells and puts pressure on the rest of my brain, and I lose my sense of humour, fun and wonder. Instead I get restless, impatient, and fabulously assertive.

I’ve reached that wonderful age where I know what I love, but I’ve got myself in a pay-the-bills rut.

I will share with you my “Love To Do” list, which may inspire a list of your very own.

Be sure to pick one thing to do on a daily basis, and a couple to make sure you do at least once a month.

 

LOVE TO DO

1) Writing or reading anything that contributes to creative thought and unleashing your creative spirit.

2) Drinking red wine in the bath followed by a good girl talk via telephone with your bestie who also misses the days before marriage and kiddos.

3) Lingerie and wild, sweaty, mind-blowing sex with a hot lover. Should you be monogamous, you may need a little tweak from a tall glass of bourbon straight up, no rocks. Oh, that’s just for the change room sweetie. I suggest something much stronger immediately prior to the boudoir. Everyone just looks and feels more sensual when their inhibitions are low sweetie. Don’t be shy, keep pouring…

4) Enjoying the great outdoors. Walking, hiking, running, hell, even sitting on a bench where you can see a patch of dirt. It’s all good.

5) Meditation. When you’re too busy to sit, you may as well quit. Do not do this under the influence of vino or your adult substance of choice, otherwise you may just completely blow your own little mind sweetie.

6) Flirting. Yep, you got it. Just do it. I had believed for a long, long time that I had lost my ability to flirt. It’s true, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Lately I’ve been practicing, and needless to say ladies and gents, there are a few boys out there feeling pretty darn hot. Flirting – it’s a win-win.

7) Taking a day off and having absolutely no set agenda. Nothing, not even plans to get out of bed and put on your sassy little panties. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Just roll out of the sack when you feel rested and go from there.

8) Intellectual conversation that borders on madness. Of course you must socialize in proper society, as this one requires a more sophisticated partner, but I know you have the connections pussy cat. Oh, and something deliciously intoxicating to sip, in order to fuel the madness.

9) Art. View it, feel it, create it. Just DO it. It untangles your perceptions and creates that je ne sais quoi that makes you brilliant and beautiful.

10) Kissing. Lots of it. On the lips. Soft, wet, hard, light, intense, whatever…just kiss and keep kissing like your clothes are crazy glued on and that’s the only way you can connect with your lover.

I hope this inspires a little more ‘you’ time my delicious darlings.

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Recipe For Disaster

English: A layered pound cake, with alternatin...
English: A layered pound cake, with alternating interstitial spaces filled with raspberry jam and lemon curd, finished with buttercream frosting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a self-diagnosed Facebook addict. It’s how I connect with my friends who are busy with, well, life.

It’s how I connect with the local businesses that I support, promote my own business, get wine reviews, and receive updates regarding my spiritual development.

It is also a place where people post delicious looking recipes. Delicious looking. Not delicious.

Last night I baked a batch of miracle applesauce-banana-oat-vegan bars that turned out to look and feel like a delightfully cushy, rubber, yoga mat. I managed to convince my teenager that they were special energy bars which would help provide fuel for the track meet today.

Last month I spent the day making a lemon cake with raspberry curd and lemon butter cream icing. A friend had posted a rather complex recipe that I couldn’t  wait to try.

I bought six precious, sweet Meyer lemons that have a flavour that’s out of this world. What I actually produced was a trifle-looking concoction. After juggling the layers, I picked up the caked, plunked it in a crystal dish and  smoothed it into something that looked edible.

My first foray into the it-looks-good-but-I’ve-never-actually-tried-to-bake-it was a batch of protein powder energy bars. Yah, they were great – for breaking a tooth. I should have stopped there.

My plea to you obsessive recipe-posting-fanatics; try the recipe before you post it. If it turns out, please share it. Be sure to include your tips, tricks and preferences once you’ve perfected the recipe. Had I known the banana-applesauce-vegan bars would have turned out the way they did, I would have tripled the recipe and created a mat I could share with my yoga pals after our next class. A little research in the kitchen goes a long way.