Recreating An Ageless Look

“I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post”

I’m sure this will not surprise you, but I love fashion.

I love fashion in the sense that it allows us unlimited possibilities for us to have unlimited self expression. We can get up every morning and think to ourself “What do I want tell the world about myself today” and then we pick out your outfit accordingly. Some days you are fancy and some days you are not so fancy, but each is a new day and each day is a new statement.

And that is what I love about fashion.

So when I saw this outfit that Hailey Bieber was wearing I stopped in my tracks and I knew this is an outfit that I would wear, have worn and will wear again. This outfit is ageless, has a great classic look and she pulls off this out with grace.

Hailey Bieber

This outfit has a vibe.

I knew the moment that I saw this outfit that I wanted to recreate this look from items available on Amazon. I will share a little secret (maybe not so secret) but recreating celebrity style with Amazon fashion is quickly becoming my favor past time. As an Amazon influencer, I spend a lot of time time on Amazon and I immediately knew that we would be able to do this. We would be able to recreate this outfit for a fraction of the price that I imagined her outfit cost. So I did a little digging and I was correct.

We can do this for less.

I was able to identify three of the items that she’s wearing and I’m going to tell you right now the three things I found will not be available on Amazon. What I found was this. She was wearing a Bottega Veneta Coat priced at $7,600. A Bottega Veneta Bag priced at $3,900. And last but not least a pair of Row boots priced at $1,290. Right now her outfit would cost you $12,790.00. I stopped digging at this point.

Time to go to Amazon.

Starting as always from the ground I was started building our outfit with the boots. The boots that Hailey is wearing in this picture are a combat style boot with a zipper up the front (love). I instantly knew which boots I was going to pick.

Say hello to the Dr. Martens Sinclair boot.

This Dr. Martens boot has the same zippered front that the Row boot has. They have a platform sole like her boots and are stinking cute! The Sinclair boot is priced at $169.99 and we are already off to a good start saving money while still looking cute.

Fun fact about me (which you may or may not know) I have a bunch of Dr. Martens. When I say a bunch, I mean I have 16 pairs of Dr. Martens. I’ve been wearing Docs since the 90’s and I love the brand. They are a good quality shoe that passes the test of time. They last for years and you can clearly see they stay in style since I’ve been rocking them 28 years.

But beyond the quality, the platform and my love for Dr. Martens, the Sinclair boots have that vibe that we are looking for. I felt good about our start and moved on to those pants.

Oh those pants!

Why am I saying it like this you ask? Let me just tell you why.

The pants that she’s wearing are baggier in some places and not in others. They are not boyfriend style jeans and they are high wasted.

Yes I got all that from that one picture!

I started looking for jeans that had a Mom Jean feel but I need the leg openings to be wide enough to roll up so we could show off the cute Sinclair Boots. It did take me bit but I finally came across these jeans. These are from Luvamia and they describe them as follows: Classic high waist, stretch, loose, balloon tapered jeans.

I knew I had a winner with I read the balloon part.

That’s what I needed. I need the pleats around the stomach and the looseness around the hips. I also needed that tapered leg to match her look. This pants got good reviews saying that they were flattering on and were made of a soft material (both very good things). They also come in a variety of washes so you could pick any color that you liked and you would still have this great looking outfit.

My next items was easy!

It was easy because I already had this item in my Storefront. That item was a black turtleneck sweater. I have to tell you, I think turtleneck sweaters are such a classic statement piece. Turtleneck sweaters remind me of my Mom and my Mom was a fashion icon. That is why I already had this sweater ready to go.

This sweater is a soft cashmere blend sweater that has a simple style that you could wear with just about anything. You can wear it with jeans like Hailey is doing here or you could wear it with a skirt and leggings or even under a pair of distressed overalls.

The possibilities for this sweater are endless.

With almost 1300 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, I felt really good picking this sweater for our outfit. I gave myself a pat on the back and moved on the jacket.

And here’s where I went rogue.

While I really like Hailey’s outfit,I really don’t like leather jackets. I don’t like the feel, I think they are too heavy and I’m just not a fan of wearing of the thought of wearing a dead animal on my back. Yes I know my Dr. Martens are leather, this is just my personal style and like I said I went rogue.

I decided to pick out a jacket that was more my style and I picked this Mid-Length wool blend coat. This has a large lapel which I think gives it a modern look. It also has large pockets and buttons and again this coat for me has more of my vibe.

I’m more soft and laid back and this coat checked all the boxes for me.

And the fact that this coat had over 6,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, I think I was okay doing this little switcheroo. The reviews were very positive with many of them saying that it was a super nice coat and true to size. The only review that I couldn’t say for certain would be how warm it is. From what I read I think it will depend on what part of the world you are in. If you are like me and live in a warmer climate, you will think this coat will keep you nice and warm. If you live in a cold climate, let’s say the Mid-West, you might want to consider using this more a layering coat. Either way I think it’s cute and 6,000 reviews can’t be wrong can they?

We have her outfit – now we need to accessorize!

I think I showed my age when I it came to the accessories. I say that because when I first took a look at what she had on I was rather shocked that she had a silver belt buckle and gold glasses and earrings. I was raised to not mix my metals. If you had silver on your buckle you had silver earrings. Or the other way around, gold buckles means you are wearing gold earrings.

So I had to stop myself and remind myself that I love to mix patterns, why wouldn’t I mix metals. I mean let’s live outside of the box even further than I already do!

So I picked her accessories exactly like she had them.

I found a leather belt with the silver buckle that had 4.5 stars. I found a very cute pair of gold rimmed glasses that I thought was almost an exact match.

And finally a pair of gold hooped earrings. These earrings are actually Amazon’s best selling hoop earrings with a mere 39,000 reviews I thought we would be safe picking these.

As I was sitting there admiring my work well done, I realized one thing.

I had forgotten her $3,900 handbag.

So back to Amazon I went. With this one I took my time and this one took me the longest to find. But what I found l thought was a great match. This bag is a crossbody bag that can be worn like how she has hers or as the name of the bag says, you can wear it crossbody.

The JW Pei Maze Crossbody is a vegan leather (which I like) and the reviews say that it’s very soft and the vegan leather is a good quality. This bag has a 4.5 star rating and it was exactly what I was looking for.

I think this bag is just a cute as the one she is wearing and I felt it was affordable. It’s priced at $119.99 which is a far cry from $3,900. Yes you can find a cheaper bag but if you want a nice looking back that looks like a really expensive bag you got it right here with one.

So I’m now back to feeling great about myself for a job well done.

I think this Amazon outfit would pass the vibe test and truthfully I think it would be just as cute as Hailey’s. I would wear this any cold day. I feel like this outfit would be a true representation of who I am and I would be telling the world my story for that day.

That story would say “I’m fierce”.

Until next time!

My Fashion Hero

“I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post”

Hands down my one and only fashion hero would be my Mom. My Mom taught me everything I know about clothes and most importantly how to pick outfits that would make me feel good about myself. Style is an extension of who we are and we express who we are every time we get dressed. We need to like what we see when we look back at ourselves.

My Mom is my fashion hero but Bella Hadid is my fashion inspiration.

Bella’s style is something that I absolutely relate to. She has a flare of fashion and an eye for style that I could myself wearing. And this, again solidifies what I always say. “Fashion does not have an age limit”. You can wear whatever you want at any age. I’m 58 and would raid her closet in a heartbeat!

I am however fairly sure I would get in a bit of trouble raiding her closet, so in lieu of getting in trouble, I decided to recreate one of her outfits with similar items that I found on Amazon. From her shoes to her accessories I looked high and I looked low until I found items that matched her style. I felt like a fashion detective hot on a case and I wasn’t giving up.

Bella Hadid’s Earth Tone Outfit

The outfit that I picked to recreate for today’s challenge is this earth tone outfit that she wore recently in Milan for Fashion Week. Let me stop here really quick and say- “She’s so darn cool and I love her style.” Okay I’m back but yes I love her style and this outfit has such a cool girl vibe. But wait, I’m a cool girl and I want to have that vibe so let’s get to shopping.

First the boots.

What I noticed about the boots that she’s wearing is that they have a worn in look. A look that says “I just got done rounding up the cattle” kinda look. I wanted to find a pair of boots that already looked like they had seen a trail ride or two and I didn’t know if I would be able to match what I was looking for. I was so excited when I came across the pair that I knew would work. What I found was the Roper Dusty Riding Boot. If nothing else the name says it all “Dusty”. But the look was exactly what we needed. They are dusty looking (which I really like), they have a squared off toe and the heel is the right height. I personally don’t think that a higher heel would look right with this outfit and this boot has a 1.5″ heel. High enough but not too high. They have a 4 star rating and are 100% leather so they should last the test of time.

We are off to a good start.

The pants were harder to find than I thought they would be and I even looked outside of Amazon. The pair that I finally ended up with and I thought looked like Bella’s were these Vintage Straight Leg Cargo Y2K Pants. They have a low rise fit (check), they are army green (check), they are flared at the bottom (check) and they are cute (check, check). These pants are a cotton blend and lightweight and have a 4 star rating. They are giving off the Y2K vibe and Bella is known for a rather vintage look. Side note – when I think vintage I think the 60’s, when you are younger vintage has a whole different meaning. But vintage is vintage and these were what we needed

The next one was easy.

Bella paired her boots and pants with a cute cropped white tank top. Now if you are sitting there and thinking to yourself “I would never wear a cropped top.” Stop! Stop right there, the only person stopping you from wearing a copped top is you and I personally think anyone can wear a cropped top. I don’t care if you don’t have a perfect stomach (whatever that looks like), it’s your stomach and it beautiful and you need to show it off with this top and this cute outfit. This is a cropped top from Meladyan, it has a rounded neck and has a racerback. With 4.5 stars and lots of great reviews, I hope I gave you the motivation to try something new – like this cute cropped tank.

On to that amazing messenger bag she’s holding.

I knew once I saw her bag that I wasn’t going to find the exact bag on Amazon. The bag that Bella has is a Vintage Graffiti Chanel bag that you can pick up from Sotheby’s from a mere $11,500.00. Yes you heard me right. Yes that bag is gorgeous and yes I found one similar on Amazon.

What I found was a cavas Messenger Bag from Gootium. This has a vintage look and it has a 4.5 star ratings. The reviews that I read said it was a perfect sized bag and the colors were great but in my opinion it needed a little something. It needed to be bedazzled. If you look closely to her bag you can see there are some flowers and pins on the bag so I thought why not do that to ours. All you have to do is get some lapel pins (whatever fits your personality) and make it more personalized to your style. If I would do this I would get a smiley face (because I like to smile), and a cat holding a knife it its mouth (I don’t think I need to explain that one!).

Having fun yet?

Our next challenge aka item to find on Amazon was her sweater. Now she didn’t make it very easy for me to figure out what she was wearing based on the first picture, but that didn’t stop me. Nope it did not. I went looking and I found a picture of her a little later that day. That’s not creepy – right??. I told myself that it was all in the name of fashion! Any Who – The sweater she has around her shoulders in the first picture is a blocked turtleneck with stripes down the sleeves. The turtleneck I found from Amazon also has a combination of block color and stripes. I picked the burgundy one because I love the color combo of green and burgundy. This is a loose fitting sweater with 4.5 star reviews. The reviews said it was soft and well fitting. I say it’s cute and looks great with the outfit that we are building.

But I didn’t stop here.

I still had to find her accessories because accessories are such a big part to any outfit. Accessories add such a fun flare to every outfit and again, just like the messenger bag you can have your accessories say so much about your self expression.

I found some Goody Headbands and a pair of classic thick green sunglasses. Both of these items give this look a cute pop of style. I did however; save the best for last and what I found was a vintage looking gold watch. Yes I matched her outfit all the way down to her gold watch. That watch reminded me so much of a watch that my Mom wore in the 70’s and again this little detail gives me even more respect for Bella’s style choices. She picks what she wears right down the the smallest detail with again, such style. (Yes I’m being a fan-girl at the moment but I can’t help it). The watch that I found from Amazon is a gold Casio with the white squared face. It got 4 star reviews and fits the bill perfect for the retro look and finishing piece to the outfit.

And there you go.

There’s our recreated Bella Hadid earth tone outfit from Amazon. I personally think I did a pretty good job matching the items and more important I had a lot of fun doing it and even more fun sharing everything with you. Sometimes we forget that fashion doesn’t have to be serious and it doesn’t have to have a bunch of rules.

I hope you have fun looking at the items I found and let me know who’s outfit we should recreate next!

Until Next Time……

If You Know Me – You Know!

“I get commission for purchases made through links in the post.”

If you know me you know that I love the clothing brand Free People. The look, the vibe, the ageless feel of their clothing, it just checks all the boxes. Well I mean it checks all the boxes but one and that one box is the price tag. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at my Free People app, found an outfit, decided it would look great on me and then go put it into my cart and bam! The price hits me. The price hits me and I just can’t bring myself to spend that on a sweater, or spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of jeans. I just can’t do it when I know deep down inside, I can find something just as cute for less.

If you know me you also know that I’m an Amazon Influencer. I spend hours on Amazon looking for deals, looking for new cute items and looking for that next item that I have to share. Now I’m shopping on a mission. The mission is to find clothes that looked like Free People, but has a price tag that we could afford.

So I started looking and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. I found sweaters, jackets and pants (oh my)! Best yet, I found really cute things at a fraction of the price. I found jackets on Amazon that looked so much like the Free People brand jacket that they actually used the same FP picture and just put their jacket on it.

So after doing my research and reading the reviews, I have come up with five items that I think are similar enough to the Free People item, have 4 star reviews or better and these are items that this Free People lover would wear.

Without further ado – here’s what I found.

The first item I found was an oversized lightweight puffer jacket. The Free People jacket called the Pippa Packable Puffer. It has a boxy fit and is rather cropped (it won’t go past you bum). This packable puffer runs a cool $198.00 The fit on the Pippa Puffer is oversized.

The Amazon puffer jacket looks just like the Pippa Jacket and is priced at $70.99. Right off the bat we are saving $127.01 and that’s not too shabby! I own the Pippa jacket and truthfully was a little bummed that I didn’t figure this out a long time Ago. So we agree that these jackets look the same and the review agreed. Many people like myself had purchased the Pippa Jacket and now had the Amazon version. They all seemed to agree that they looked similar and the only difference I could see is that while the Pippa jacket is oversized the Amazon one is not. So you will need to size up to get the same boxy feel. The oversizing is the best part of this jacket and in my opinion what gives this jacket such a cool look.

At this point I was having too much fun and went looking for the next find.

I was on Instagram the other day (believe it or not) and I saw an ad for Free People’s Moxie Pull On Barrel Jean. I must say I saw those and thought they had such a cool vibe. They were oversized and cropped with just enough baggy to look hip. Then I looked at the price and suddenly they weren’t so cool. Priced at $148.00 I knew they were out of my price range and over to Amazon I went.

What I found at Amazon was, a pair of jeans that was everything I just described in the barrel jean. The Amazon loose cropped pants were oversized, they were cropped and priced at $44.99. Suddenly the barrel jeans weren’t as cute with a savings of $103.01 the Amazon pants were my new favorite. I thought how cute would these pants be with some Dr. Martens and a chunky cable-knit sweater. Add some hoop earrings and sunglasses and you have yourself a super cute outfit. You could buy that entire outfit for what the pants alone would cost at Free People.

I was on a roll!

Next I found this Unitard Romper on Amazon (this time I went there first). I have been seeing these all over the place and I think they are so cute. You can wear these on their own with some cute sneakers, with an oversized sweatshirt and high tops or with a long cardigan sweater and some knee-high boots. The ideas are limitless. Priced on Amazon for $19.99 I thought this was priced right and I put one in my cart. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to see how much something like this would be on Free People. Would it be more expensive? Would it have better reviews?

Priced at $88.00 The Good Karma Runsie had similar reviews and a similar look. For a savings of $68.01 I headed right back to Amazon and bought that one. If you, like me, think this is cute and want to give it a try, here’s what I read in the reviews (I don’t have mine yet). The reviews said that this was cute and stylish, they loved the fit and it runs a little large. I sized down one size and like I said before, it has so many way to style this.

I’m starting to feel like a fashion detective at this point!

One FP item that always catches my eye is their sweaters. They always look so cute, warm and oversized. I think the oversized look reminds me of just being comfortable, comfortable with my style and comfortable being me. One sweater in particular that has always caught my eye is the Easy Street Tunic. I see this one available at Nordstrom and Macy’s all the time and priced at $128.00 I knew I could find it cheaper on Amazon.

What I found on Amazon is the Batwing Pullover sweater. This one is priced at $29.98 and savings you $98.02. With this savings you can but more than one or two! They have a large variety of colors and again this had good reviews. Now, I am going to tell you the one difference I saw was, while this sweater looks like the Easy Street Tunic, it’s not oversized – it runs true to size. If you don’t want that baggy look and you like it form fitting then order your regular size. But, if you are like me and you like that baggy comfortable look, size up. In fact I would personally size up two sizes. That’s how much I like that look. Other reviews said with was heavier than expected (so it will keep you warm) and it was soft (that’s always good).

By this point I was rather proud of myself and I thought I had found some really good finds, but I wasn’t done. I needed a “wow” moment and I got that with this next and last find.

As I was taking a stroll across the Free People page, I came across a cute pair of 90’s inspired leather pants. We all know everything comes back sooner or later and 90’s pants are very in at the moment. These leather pants had that perfect 90’s vibe and a not so perfect price of $348.00.

You guessed it – off to Amazon I went.

What I found there were these 90’s inspired faux leather pants. Perfect 90’s vibe with a perfect price of $44.99. So you are saving $303.01 and you are saving a cow. Beyond the cow saving you could literally have the same vibe, same look, same outfit for so much less! I know sometimes I’m guilty of looking at cute fashion, seeing the price and just saying to myself “I wish”. Now we can see it and wear it! The reviews were very good on these pants. From good quality, to comfy to 1000% recommend. These pants will look so incredibly cute this Fall and Winter.

You can dress them up with some heeled boots (boots are very in FYI) and a chunky turtleneck sweater. You can wear them running errands with a graphic sweatshirt and Converse sneakers. Just so so many things you could do with these.

So, in total if you bought these Amazon items in lieu of the Free People items, you would have saved yourself $699.06. That is a lot of money.

So at the end of the day, whether you shop the looks that I provided (all products are linked) or find your own “like” products. The whole meaning of this blog is to let you know we don’t have forfeit our style because we can’t afford $348.00 for a pair of leather pants. We need to stop telling ourselves that if it’s not expensive it won’t be cute.

I always say “Style and Fashion have nothing to do with the price tag and have everything to do about how it makes you feel”.

Find you style (at any price) and find your happy.

Until next time!

A Day In My Life/A Story Of Hope

A Day In My Life and A Story Of Hope…

Hope, it’s such a nice word but I have to tell you, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of hope. In fact, it pissed me off for the majority of my life. How many times did I hope things would get better just to have them stay the same. I can’t tell you how many times I hoped someone would come along and make my life better and they never showed up. I had hope that my sister would get better but instead she passed away. I told myself at a very young age not to have too much hope, that with hope came disappointment. I thought this way for decades BUT the best thing I ever did for myself was to learn how to have hope.

But why and I talking about this now you ask.

Well, lately I feel like my light is starting to dim, my hope is fading and I am finding it harder and harder to get in front of millions of people daily and tell them to be positive. To stand there and email and tell them that individuality matters. Smile and say that there is always a bright spot in every dark cloud.

Point blank – It’s hard to sit there and be happy when the world is burning around you.

So yesterday I finally had enough of this and I had to remind myself not to give up hope. I had to give myself a hard reset and look back at my own life. I made myself look back at all the years that I had no hope and remind myself of all the negative things that came without hope. I had to remind myself that without hope we cannot make a better tomorrow. I remember that without hope I never would have had the courage to get sober and without sobriety I wouldn’t have anything that I have today. I couldn’t let my hope slip away from me.

Let’s flash back to yesterday….

Yesterday I had to go to Los Angeles for an event. Now, I live in Temecula and LA is about two hours away and I didn’t want to go by myself. So I asked Brandon (my youngest son) if he would go with me and he said yes (which for him was a huge deal because he doesn’t care for large crowds and he is also sober), But he said yes and I couldn’t have been happier and away we went. Sooooo what’s the big deal you ask? Well, the big deal is if you flash back to 8 years ago, Brandon would not even talk to me. I was up to my ears in addiction and he had his own to deal with. I had no relationship with either of my son and I had no hope that I ever would. Then you fast forward to us yesterday and everything was completely different. We had a great roadtrip. We talked, we laughed and he was an excellent plus one. It was a really good day with Brandon.

But where does the hope come into this you ask?

Hope is what gave me the courage to get sober. It was the hope of rebuilding a relationship with my sons to be exact. I replaced the fear of never having a relationship with my sons to the hope of having one. If I had not allowed myself to hope, yesterday would not have happened, I would not be here and my life would not be what it is today. It was that moment of clarity for just that brief second that allowed my mind to say “what it”. What if the thing I fear most is keeping me from the one thing I want most. It was just that split second where I said to myself “Well, you will never know if you don’t try”. So try I did.

The point of this whole story and the point of telling you about yesterday is that life right now, for me, feels like it’s getting harder to hope. Looking back at the last few years and we have been through a pandemic, we have a war going on, there’s global warming, I live in a Country divided and unleashed gun violence. I am literally scared to pick up my phone in the morning because I don’t know what is next. I’m getting to the point of I just don’t want to hear anymore.

This fear is making it hard to have any hope.

I find myself having flash backs to my childhood where I would hope there wouldn’t be fighting that night only have my parents fight. I wake up hoping that no one got shot overnight only to read about more gun violence and more mothers losing their children. I hope for rain in my drought stricken state and we get a heatwave.

I hope and shit happens.

But it wasn’t until yesterday when I was driving to LA with Brandon did I put two and two together. I realized somewhere driving down the 15 that I was slipping back into my dark spot where I was scared to hope. I instantly broke out in a cold sweet because that was a feeling that I had locked away years ago. It was also somewhere on the 60 that I also realized how important it was to stop doing that. I realized how important it was to have hope and that I couldn’t give up on the one thing that saved me. Hope, the one thing that gave me my life back and gave me my children back. I could not lose my hope again. Period and end of story.

So I decided to keep hoping for the best.

I to remind myself and remember that my strength isn’t based in anger. No, I tried that route and I failed miserably at the “Oh I’m so tough because I’m always angry” bullshit. I’ve had too many years of anger based fear years and I don’t want any more. I told myself that I have found more strength in positivity and hope then I ever did in fear and anger. It was somewhere on the 10 that I switched the narrative in my head around and boy did it feel good. I started to fell like my old/new self. The self where I have the strength to reach out to people around the world and tell them they have a voice. That their imperfections are what makes them perfect. Remind people to stop listening to society and start listening to themselves. I remember that we need to lift each other up during these difficult times and not tear each other down.

I remembered who I wanted to be.

Does this mean that I’m going to go out and hug the first stranger who doesn’t have the same beliefs as me? No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, in a world full of hate, I’m not going to play anymore. You have your beliefs and I’ll have mine. You vote for who you want and I’ll vote for who I want. I will support companies who share my beliefs and boycott those who don’t. But the one thing I will not do is hate the other person. I don’t have time for hate and hate is not doing me any good. I’m no longer going to carry fear and hatred with me because I have hope for humanity.

I mean, if we all give up hope, then we are really fucked.

If you find yourself out there feeling like you are getting weighed down with everything going on, my suggestion would be to just take a moment and breathe. Go outside and let the air hit your face, go for a walk and clear your mind. If you feel hopeless, figure out what you can do to give yourself some hope back. Sometimes we forget that small actions can have large impacts and those small actions will just make you feel better.

So I will continue to hope for the best, I will continue to not use single use plastics, I will continue to be thankful for everything that I have and I will continue to counteract as much negativity with positivity as this small 57 year old, gray haired woman can do.

Until next time…. x

When Is It Time To Let Go?

I was walking around my house this morning just kinda looking around and enjoying the moment and it was in this moment that I realized that I was still holding on to every memory of Liberty that I could. I had her chewed up toys, her food and water station and all of her dog beds (yes she had more than one). I realized in that moment that I was holding on to these things because I wasn’t ready to physically let go of her memories. I also knew at that moment that while I wanted to hold on to these memories, these things weren’t helping me remember her, they were keeping me in a very sad place. BUT was it time to let them go? I stood there for a moment because I didn’t have the answer. I didn’t know what to do and I kept asking myself…

When is it time to let go?

I recently lost my beloved best friend and fur baby Liberty and it knocked me on my ass. Yes, I knew she was old and yes I knew she wouldn’t live forever but I still wasn’t ready for the day that I had to say “goodbye”. I personally don’t think we are ever truly ready to say goodbye to someone we love, but that’s just my opinion.

Me and My Liberty

I was standing there thinking to myself that I should be an expert by this by now. I have lived through the loss of my sister, my dad and my mom. You would think I would have had this answer down pat by now. But clearly I did not because I was still vacuuming around empty dog beds and there was still a bowl of dry dog food what wasn’t going anywhere on it’s own.

As I stood there I thought about how I had rented a storage unit after my Mom passed away to store all of my parents furniture (trust me this was not cheap and I did this for over 5 years). During those 5 years I kept telling myself that I was doing this because my boys would want that furniture for when they had a place of their own. When that didn’t happen I told myself that they would want it when they get a larger place to live and would need more furniture. When that didn’t happen I finally just told myself that I was holding on to everything because I wasn’t ready to physically let go of their items. I mean at least at that point I was being honest with myself.

So month after month I paid the storage fees and month after month I kept everything. It wasn’t until I quit my corporate job did I finally let go of their items. Trust me it wasn’t by choice, it was by necessity. I just couldn’t afford the monthly payment any more. I do I have to tell you, while we were loading up the uHaul it felt right and I knew it was time. It was probably the right time years ago but I told myself it was the right time for me that moment and I took that as a small victory. We loaded up the uHaul and donated everything to Goodwill. You are probably thinking that this is the end of this part of the story and you would be wrong.

My Sister and Me

Now being that I me – I went to Goodwill and sat on the couch and cried every chance I got. I can only imagine what people thought when they walked by but I just didn’t care. What I cared about was I knew that one day I would walk into the store they would be gone so I was going to sit there while I could. We did have a close call one time when a man and woman walked by and started talking about the couches. Now to give you an idea of what I was sitting on, my parents had bought the couches during the height of the Southwest phase. So the couches were salmon, cream and green with a desert theme. I know they were old dated but so what, my parents were dated. Anyway, I was sitting there and the husband mentions the couches and then looks at this wife. I instantly knew that there could be trouble. So I sat there with my eyes closed and kept repeating in my head “please don’t say anything mean, please don’t say anything mean, oh please don’t say anything mean”. Because yes, I would have taken that as a direct insult to my parents and their outdated taste. So I slowly open my eyes and wait for her to open her mouth. I gotta tell you, it was close. She didn’t like the couches (okay I could live with that), but she didn’t mock them either (I was thankful for that). She had have a bit of a smirk on her face but all those years of sobriety and all those years of learning to let my anger go really paid off at the moment and let that smirk go. I knew at that moment that I had to leave the store and get a grip. I knew I had to let the couches go and couldn’t fight people at Goodwill. Those couches were not my parents.

My Mom and Dad

So as I stood there looking at Liberty’s toys and beds I knew it was time to let her things go. I knew that the only thing that those items were doing was keeping me locked in the pain of loosing her. I knew this and yet I still don’t want to let them go. But I did. I packed up her beds and donated them to an animal rescue. I threw away her chewed up toys and bowls. I packed everything else up and put away for a new dog one day and I let them go. I let the physical items go.

I personally don’t think that there is a right time on when it’s time to let go. I think each person needs to determine what works best for them and go with that. My only suggestion from the bottom of my heart is this. If you are holding onto physical items from someone you have lost and those items bring you joy, hold on to them and hold them close to your heart. If you are holding onto items and it’s making you sad or bringing you pain, it might be time to let go. Hurting ourselves because we miss someone we love doesn’t bring them back. My mom always use to say “Dying is easy, being left behind is tough”. Damn she was right I this one.

I know in my heart that Liberty will always be in my heart and that’s where she continue to live. I don’t need those physical daily reminders to remember her because I will never forget her.

Until next time.

It’s Like Digging A Hole In Sand

Have you ever gone to the beach and thought to yourself…”Hmmmmm this is a great place to dig a hole?” and you start to dig. At first it seems like a regular ole hole but then things start to change and you quickly realize that it’s not going to be as easy as you first thought it would be. Your new beach hole starts to collapse in on itself. Slowly but surely the top of sand trickles down into your new sand hole. One scoop out, sand pours back in. Another scoop out, more sand in. It’s at that point that you realize that what you thought would be so easy turns out to be much harder than you thought.

That’s what life feels like to me sometimes….like digging a hole in sand.

Why is that? Why do I feel like I can’t get ahead no matter how hard I try? Now, I’m not talking about money, no I’m talking about time. I’m talking about time as a whole and I’m talking about time as in no matter what I am doing I think I should be doing something else.

Let me fill you in a little better on what I’m trying to say here.

brown sands near body of water
Photo by Flo Dahm on Pexels.com

Recently I made a major (and I mean major) change in my life. I decided to quit my corporate job and become a full time social media influencer. Sounds great, right? That’s what I thought and in my head I thought this would the most “stress free” move of my life. In my head I visualized waking up in the mornings to a leisurely cup of coffee, wondering around the house while I decided what TikTok I would make, maybe work on some editing and write a blog of two. In my head I saw myself done at 5:00 to enjoy an evening of relaxation why I ponder my next day. In my head I saw myself successfully digging that hole in the sand.

What my day really looks like is nothing like what I thought it would look like. I’m up by 6:30 and I don’t stop working until I go to bed. Now please do not think for a moment that I am complaining about this because I’m not. I absolutely love my job, love my life and love my decision to quit. What I’m struggling with is the fact that no matter how much I do, I have more to do. What I thought was going to be easy is in fact very hard and the schedule I had given myself was unrealistic. What I am struggling with is time because I never seem to have enough of it. But wait, that’s not all, that would be way too easy. I also struggle with the feeling that no matter what I’m doing, I should be doing something else.

I’m not sure if you have ever felt this way, but I always feel like I should be doing something else. If I’m taking a break and relaxing for a moment, I tell myself I should be working. If I’m working I tell myself I should be relaxing. If I’m out thrifting for my Poshmark, I tell myself that I should be working on my YouTube. If I’m working on my YouTube I think it’s taking too long and should be writing a blog. No matter what I’m doing I feel like I should be doing something else. This way of thinking keeps me constantly digging in the sand because I’m never going to get to the bottom of that hole.

Now here’s where it gets interesting because I’m not sure if you noticed or not but I literally just wrote out the problem. It’s right here in black and white, everything that I feel. Now it’s up to me to come up with a solution. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life telling myself I should have spent it doing something else.

yellow and white alarm clock
Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

I’ve thought about putting myself on a schedule before but I never followed through with it (at least I’m being truthful….right?) I would tell myself that as a creative person and creative people need to go with the flow. Schedules will do nothing but hinder my creativity and therefore schedules are not for me. We both know this is a load of crap and a schedule will help. I know it will help because I gave myself one. In the short time that I have been on a schedule, I have already seen an improvement. Now when I do a task, let’s say…..write my blog. I know this what I’m supposed to be doing and I don’t think about anything else. Yes, I have more to do but that is scheduled for once this is done. With this scheduleI I’ve been able to write more and stress less. As much as I hate to admit it, this free spirit has given herself a schedule.

Another super important part of this puzzle me is my inner voice. My inner voice is a mean little shrew who likes to make me feel bad no matter what I do and I know it. I know that sounds kinda mean, but I can be very mean to myself. My inner voice is the one who tells me that I should be doing something else no matter what I am doing. My inner voice is the one who tells me that I should work until I go to bed and my inner voice is the one who tells me that a schedule won’t work for me. So yes, I have to keep that inner voice under control and I do that by listening to it.

Now I know you are sitting there thinking to yourself “Why would you listen to what it is saying when it’s not being nice?” and the answer is “I’m listening to what it is saying so I can make sure to stop it once it gets mean.” If I don’t listen to what I’m telling myself it will just fill my head with silent negative thoughts and that is what I don’t want. I want my inner voice to tell me things I can do, positive things, anything but mean negative thoughts. Now if I catch my inner voice telling me that what I’m doing is wrong and I should be doing something else, I will stop and remind myself that I’m on a schedule and this is my scheduled time. With this system my inner shrew voice has no argument. I mean what’s it going to say? There is no arguing with the plain and simple fact that I’m on a schedule.

So if you find yourself digging your own hole in sand, just stop for a moment and ask yourself “why?”. Why are you doing this to yourself? And the more important question is what can you do to change this. What is your inner shrew voice telling you and can you make it stop. There is a solution to every problem and sometimes it’s as easy as telling your head shrew to “pipe down and shut up”. See if you need to give yourself more structure or in some cases less. I’m a big fan of journals and lists. Your writing doesn’t have to be fancy, it just needs to get out of your head and onto the paper. Once it’s there it’s easy for you to see your next step. No matter what changes you need to makes, just make sure you do it. You are important and your happiness is important.

Until next time….

Menopause Is My New Superhero Power

Let’s set the scene….

I’m casually minding my own business while thrifting at my local Goodwill, when suddenly I feel something different. Something is starting to happen inside that I haven’t felt before. It’s a slow burn from deep inside and it spreads slowing but surely. From my core, to my chest, to my arms and my legs. This slow burn makes my skin tingle. I stand there completely frozen with heat asking myself “What in the hell is this all about?” I stand there, telling myself not to move because I’m pretty sure if I do I’m going to burst into flames. And as suddenly as it appeared, the heat starts to subside. Suddenly I can feel the air on my hands, I can move my legs and just like that “poof” I’m back to a normal human temperature.

I had just had my first hot flash.

With the heat gone, I start to do a mental check of all systems. I move my hands, I check and make sure that my legs are still working and thankfully everything seems to be check out as operational. My next thought was “Did anyone see that?” I mean it had to of been crazy to watch some small gray haired lady just achieve supernova temperature in just a few seconds….right?

Slowly I start scanning the room, looking to make eye contact with someone to see if they have a look of awe of concern on their face. The first person I see…nothing. They didn’t even seem to notice me. Second person, pretty much the same reaction as the first person. So I turn around and scan those individuals behind me. Anything? Nope, no one seemed to have noticed my single most amazing body transformation to date. Not one person in that store took notice to the fact that not only did my body temperature reach a temperature reserved for blowing glass, but not one personal took note that I had just officially entered into menopause.

Needless to say I was rather disappointed. I was expecting nothing less than a round of applause, some high-fives and pats on the back. Rounds of “Good job Lonni – you made it!”. But no – I got nothing, not even a weird look or head nod. UGH the reality sat in, this new adventure as going to be a solo journey. Just like puberty, menopause is a silent stalker that only hangs out with and fucks with the you. Oh joy. So I head home determined to do my research and find out everything I can about my new silent, heat seeking partner. I was going to outsmart menopause by learning everything I could about it.

Tap, tap, tap….Google search. Hmmmmm that’s not very concrete info. Let me try again. Tap, tap, tap…Google search. Damn, that isn’t really what I was hoping to find.

What did I find you ask? Well, this is pretty much what I learned about menopause. I’m screwed and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. What is found is there is no easy way to go through menopause. There is no magical pill to take or a magical tea to drink to make the symptoms go away. I wrap my head out this fact but there has to be more than one symptom right? It can’t just be hot flashes, what other delights am I in for? I had to find out and here’s what I found.

Irregular Periods: I had a hysterectomy years ago so this hasn’t been a problem nor will it be a problem for me now. On to the next one.

Hot Flashes: Bingo! I defiantly have this one so let’s dive deeper into this one. Dear Google: How long will these suckers last? Here’s where it get’s really fun. There is no answer to this one. Everything I read said it can last for days, months or years. The answer is “There is no answer”. It’s up to my body to figure out how long these will last. Oh joy again.

Insomnia: Hmmmmm I’m usually a good sleeper but have been having some restless nights. I checked that up to stress and having too much on my mind. Maybe it was more than that. Maybe it was new superhero power telling me that sleep in overrated and feeling rested isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I’ll have to keep an eye on this one because like I said. I’m a good sleeper and I would like to keep it that way.

Mood Swings: Well that explains why I started crying when I drove past the bake sale for girl athletes. I was so proud of those young ladies and charging through life in a direction that is usually only geared towards men. I know now why I sobbed all the way to my appointment. Makes sense why I cry at commercials and every other TikTok. I’m not a cryer and this one is very foreign to me. I’m starting to think that the hot flashes aren’t looking too bad.

Loss Of Libido: I’ve been single longer than I can remember and for me it’s just another Monday. That’s all I’m going to say that.

I will confidently say that Google diagnosed me correctly and I’m enjoying the fruits of menopause. BUT can I do anything to help with all of these finding. Can I change something in my life to change the fact that I am now a sweaty, crying, sleep deprived 57 year old? The answer to that is, kinda. When I say kinda, I found some suggestions but no cures. You cannot cure menopause you endure menopause. What I found was this:

Quit Smoking: Did that years ago, so I’m off to a good start.

Get Enough Sleep: Wait, did you just tell me I was going to have insomnia? This one is a wash.

Get More Exercise: I like this one and will start this one.

Reduce Caffeine: No. You already took away my libido you are not touching the one thing that brings me joy. You are not taking away my caffeine. Next…

Eat A Plant Based Diet: I already do that so I’m good here.

Seek Support: It said that many women struggle with menopause and the idea of getting older.

Wait a hot minute (no pun intended). Are you telling that as a society that we are so youth based that women have to join a support group because the idea of aging is that horrible? What a sad statement and one that I refuse to get behind. This brings up another question “Are there support groups for men who are getting older?” Answer, I couldn’t find one and this is sad for two reasons. One, society puts more pressure on women to fight aging than they do on men. Two, society makes men feel bad if they talk about their emotions. There’s a lot of things that can change for the better around this subject!

So I Googled and gathered all this information and I had to personally figure out how I was going to deal with my menopause. Side Note: I don’t understand the “pause” part of that word, they really need to call it menostop. What I decided to do was to embrace my changes not fight it. I will exercise more and carry tissues for my sudden outburst of tears. What I’m not going to do is fight it or deny it. Nope, I’m going to make this my new superhero power.

To understand my power we need to flash back to the next time I was out in public and I got a hot flash. I stood there on fire with every emotion I had on high alert and trying to get out all at once. As I stood there I thought to myself “I really hope someone doesn’t fuck with me at this moment because I feel like I could rip someones head off”. And that’s when it hit me. I could use that thought, this feeling, that power, that heat for good not evil. I wasn’t going to snap on some unexacting person. No, I was going to make this my super hero power and help those in need.

I kid you not – when I’m out and about and have a hot flash I scan my surroundings looking for someone who might need help. Is there a little old lady who is being picked on? It there a lost child who needs to find their parents? A kitten who needs to be rescued from a tree? I literally feel unstoppable at those moments and if someone needs my help I’m there to give it. I might be crying and sweaty but I’m there to help. During these moments I don’t feel old and I don’t feel weak. I feel powerful.

Age is a gift that we need to learn to embrace – not fight.

My thought is this. We have two ways to look at menopause and the changes that we are going through. We can be upset and fight the fact that we are aging (age is a gift by the way) and we can be miserable every day because we are not turning back time. Or we can embrace what we are going through and give ourselves some extra kindness and compassion. We can cry when we want, we can yell when we want, we sweat and we burst into flames and we can be okay with each and every one of those things.

I choose to be okay with this. I choose to embrace my changing body and choose to make this my superhero power because not everyone gets to live long enough to endure this. We are one of the lucky ones who get to experience this. So the next time you have a hot flash I hope you go looking for that kitten and use your newfound power for good, not evil.

Until next time.

Tattoo Appointments Here I Come!

I guess I didn’t get the message when society told me that I was too old for tattoos. Or maybe I did get the message and I just chose to ignore them. Either way, I have six appointments coming up in the next few months and with that many appointments I need to make sure I’m ready for each and every appointment.

Now I’ve been getting tattooed for decades and over this time I have come up with a routine that I do to get ready for my appointments. To me, getting a tattoo is an experience and I do this routine to make sure that I have the best experience possible.

So here are my tips and tricks for each and every tattoo.

Always Excited For A Tattoo

The first one is easy for me, I don’t drink or party the night before my appointment. I’ve been sober now for over 6 years so like I said, this one is easy for me. Trust me, before I got sober I had more than a few appointments feeling like shit. In all truthfulness, it’s important to not go out and get blasted the night before for a reason. If you are hungover you won’t sit as well for your artist. If you move your artist will have a harder time giving you a good tattoo and more importantly you just won’t enjoy the experience as much. Like I said, for me my tattoos are an experience and I want each and every experience to be a good one.

Wear Something Comfortable

Next, and this goes along with what I just mentioned. I get a good night sleep. I do this because I’m going to be using a lot of energy. Now I know I’m not going to be moving during my appointment, but it’s going to hurt and when you are in pain your body works to protect itself from that pain. While we know we are getting a cool tattoo, our body doesn’t care and it does what I does best. It burns energy to lessen the paint. Getting a good night sleep helps your body deal with the pain and again helps you have a good tattoo experience.

Make sure you take a shower before your appointment. Remember, you are going to very close to your artist and your artist isn’t going to be pleased if you are stinky. Trust me the last person we want uncomfortable is the person with the tattoo machine. Also, make sure you don’t wear heavy cologne or perfume. You will be in close contact with your artist and while you might like the smell, they may not and you don’t want them uncomfortable.

Please also remember to dress comfortably. You never know what position your artist will put you in and it will make it unpleasant if you are wearing tight uncomfortable clothes. Again, and I know I sound like a broken record, but you just want this to be a good experience and you want to make sure you are doing what you can for your artist also. If you can’t move the way they ask you to, it’s just going to make if harder for everyone.

Don’t Forget Your Water

Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t eat too much or too heavy but something healthy. I always suggest oatmeal or scrambled eggs. This goes back to your body burning energy and you will need the fuel to make sure you don’t get dizzy or light headed.

I suggest bringing water. I always bring a big jug of water and sip on it during my appointment. I just feel better having water and I like to keep myself hydrated. Now that I’m writing this down, I really do go into each appointment in full “Mom Mode”!

Bring Snacks

Speaking of Mom Mode – I always bring snacks. Now get this, I don’t bring snacks just for myself, I bring them for my artist and the whole shop. You just never know who is going to need a snack and there I am ready with my bag of goodies to give someone a protein bar. I always bring the same thing that is typically some protein bars, maybe a tangerine or two, pretzels with peanut butter and some licorice. You just never know if your appointment is going longer than you expected and you never know if you need extra fuel. I always want to keep my artist fed and if someone else in shop needs an emergency snack I’m there to give them a snack.

Brian Dell @ Dedicated Tattoo

A couple of more items to bring if you want is music. If you have an artist that doesn’t talk much, or if music helps your relax, then bring your beats and just listen to music. Bring a pillow to help out with those uncomfortable positions and bring a blanket. I haven’t brought a blanket to any of my appointments yet but I’m planning on bringing one to my next appointment at the end of this month. I have a long session coming up with Austin Maples and while I love him dearly, he’s doing an American Traditional tattoo that is packed full of black. What I trying to say is “It’s going to hurt”. I know I’m going to be cold and I’m bring my blanket. I will let you know if it helps.

Last but not least, I always tip my artist. I do this because I love them dearly, but also because I appreciate the hard work that they just put in to give me a beautiful tattoo. I get asked a lot about tipping and how much should you give. I usually tip anywhere between 20% to 25%. Both of my artists have agreed this is a standard amount and they both also said that if someone tips less they appreciate anything. If you can’t afford the 20% I say at least give them what you can.

So those are my tips and tricks for my tattoo appointments. If you are new to getting tattooed, remember, to breathe and to enjoy the experience. You only get your first tattoo once and trust you will have more appointments after this one. If you already have tattoo experience, I hope I was able to give you some new ideas for things to try for your next appointment. My next appointment is at the end of this month and I’ll be bring you along with me. I’ll be getting my right hand tattooed for Liberty in July and that one is the appointment that I’m really looking forward to.

Until Next Time…..

Dealing With Loss – In Real Time

I’ve written about this subject before and I have done numerous TikTok’s and YouTube’s regarding this subject BUT what makes this one different is I’m going to talking about dealing with loss and the pain that comes along with it in “real time”.

What I’m trying to say is this – I’m going to talk to you about the pain of loss while I am actively feeling the pain of loss.

Let me tell you what’s going on….

If you have been following me on any of my social media platforms, you will know that I have a constant four legged companion named Liberty. My sweet girl is a 13 year old pitbull that I have had since she was 5 weeks old. She has seen me through good times and through bad times. She has seen me sober and she loved me when I was an addict. She was the definition of unconditional love.

I lost my Liberty two days ago.

Me And My Liberty

I hurt. Plain and simple I hurt and I feel like I also lost a piece of me on that day. Liberty’s passing was quick, I mean real quick. She woke up fine and I had to say “Goodbye” to her that evening. I knew Liberty was older and that she was on borrowed time, but that doesn’t make the pain of my loss any less. So I cried, and I cried and then I cried some more. I have cried every day but today was a little different. Today I asked myself this question “Lonni, what are you going to do with this pain?” I have to tell you, that was a good question and it needed to be answered. I mean, I could sit here and cry some more or I could start my healing journey and try to help someone else along the way. I knew the answer and I knew what I wanted to do so I chose to start my healing journey. I chose to try help someone else by sharing how I was going to start healing myself. I think Liberty would approve of this and here’s what I’m doing.

I’m giving myself time.

We have a tendency to put so much pressure on ourselves when I comes to time and healing. For some reason we feel that we have to issue deadlines for everything in our lives, including grief. I decided today that I was going to allow my as much time as I need. If it’s quick great, if this takes awhile great. I’m taking that pressure off and just letting the healing process begin.

I will be extra compassionate to myself.

I say this because I find myself loosing patience with myself. Tasks that should be quick are taking longer and I’m getting frustrated. If something does not happen the way I want I snap. I see this happening and I’m having to tell myself to just take things slow. I am purposely watching out my triggers, anything that will make me snap. I try to open a program on the computer and get irritated that it’s taking so long. I worked on my Blog today and hung up on customer support. I watched an YouTube instead and didn’t have the patience to finish it. I see all of this and I’m aware of what’s happening so I’m giving myself a break. When I get frustrated, I don’t get upset at myself, I say something kind to myself and move on. When I start to feel frustrated I remind myself that I’m hurting and that I might be blowing things out of proportion. I’m just kinder to myself because I hurt.

I will keep a close eye on my anger.

This one is real threat. I was raised to be a fighter and I thought anger was my super power. I was like this until just a couple of years ago. I was like this until I got sober. Once I got sober I let go of the anger but the anger didn’t let go of me. It is always buried deep waiting for me to either use it or waiting for me to let down my guard and it comes out. So, I have to be careful because I don’t want to give it the power it’s looking for. When I go to the store and someone cuts me off, I don’t chase them down to confront them. When someone looks at me wrong I don’t turn and look for a fight. When someone is rude to me online I won’t respond, I will just delete the comment. So like I said, I am being extra diligent with my anger. I’m keeping a very close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t take over. Because trust me, no one wants angry Lonni chasing them down at the grocery store. I repeat – No One!

I will remind myself to let people help.

When I hurt I shut the storm shutters. This comes from years of being hurt and receding into the happy spot I made for myself in my mind. In that spot no one can hurt me and I can keep myself shielded from the outside world. While this is a great defense mechanism in some instances, in this instance is does me harm. It shuts me away from the people who love me and want to help me, not hurt me. So I have to remind myself, that no matter how much I want to shut my feelings down and shutter myself away, I can’t. I can’t do this because this is when I need the people I love the most. My boys are just as hurt as I am and if I don’t let them help me, I won’t be able to help them. As much as it hurts, I cannot hide from this pain.

I will no make any major changes.

This is a tough one for me because part of my coping mechanism is change. When I hurt I want to change something to take that hurt away. My poor closet came under attack first. I purged my closet the first day, only to realize what I was doing and I put everything back. Next I thought about changing my hair, even though I absolutely love my hair. Again, I was looking to change my situation because I wanted to change the pain. I have to understand and remind myself that changing something like my hair or closet isn’t going to change my pain. It might mask it for a few hours or days, but it isn’t taking anything away. If anything it will make me pissed at myself once I get out of my fog. So stop yourself from doing thing different (at least for a couple of days).

I’m monitoring the voices in my head.

I have a real problem with negative self talk. It lead me to addiction and even today they can quickly turn ugly. I have already caught myself saying “you should have” “you could have” “what if”. I mean come on Lonni. Not one of those things would have changed the outcome and the only thing you are doing is hurting yourself. You are not making the pain less and you are not bringing Liberty back. So I listen very carefully to what I am saying to myself and I keep the negative self talk out of my head. This all goes back to being compassionate. Everything I start a negative thought, I tell myself a positive one instead.

So these are the active steps that I’m currently doing to help me through this difficult time. I hope these help you during your difficult time. If doesn’t just have to be about the loss of someone you love. It can be about anything. Here’s the thing that gets me. We often feel like we have to explain the journey that lead us to a painful moment. Bullshit. The story of the how we got there is irrelevant, what is relevant is how you are feeling at this very moment. What matters is that you hurt and you need to start your own journey of healing. Period.

I truly hope my words will help you in some way. I know I feel better now that I have this written and I know Liberty is proud of me for doing this. I love that dog and will love that dog until the day I pass. I will get through this – one step at a time.

Until next time – love you!

Making Changes to Make Me Happy

Have you ever woken up and say to yourself “I’m just not happy?”. Well, I did that not so long ago and I knew at that moment that I had to make some changes and changes I did! What changes did I make you ask? Well, I quit my job yesterday Yes, I am no longer employed at a corporate job and I have to tell you it feels amazing. Let me say that louder….AMAZING!

I figured out long ago that I no longer got joy out of my job and that turned into resentment and that turned into me being weighed down with negative energy. I had figured out what was making me unhappy but the problem was, that unhappy job was paying my bills and more. That unhappy job had been my career for decades and the simple fact was….I was a 57 year old miserable woman making a great living. So there I was, stuck in a career and sacrificing my happiness. Yesterday I decided to picked my happiness.

But let me stop here and back up a little because we need to look back at the first couple of months of 2022 to see how I got to the outcome of me changing my life direction in the most major fashion.

Rewind to New Year’s Day. 2022 started off just like any other year. I stayed up long enough to tell Brandon “Happy New Year” (Robert doesn’t make it past 9:00). Got up the next morning, worked on my social media, watched some Netflix and then made black eyed peas (there’s my Southern side showing) and cornbread. That’s when the changes started and they haven’t stopped yet. I burnt my peas and the cornbread that I have made for years just didn’t turn out like it usually did. I sat there and wondered what happened. What did I do different? Was it me? Was it the peas” I didn’t do anything different but the outcome was different nonetheless. Funny how that happens and I should have known then and there that this year was going to be about changes.

Shortly after the pea and cornbread debacle, a close friend of our family was tragically taken from us in a car accident. He was a driver for the wine tour company that we all worked with years ago. He was the type of person who you could call and say “Darryl, I need….” and he would stop you right there and say “What can I do.” We all know someone like that and he was our person. His death hit me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Yes, I was sad but more than that, it shook me to the point where I started taking a harder look at my own life. I remember sitting in the parking lot near my home and just thinking about him. He would pick me up in that exact parking lot in the tour bus and we would talk for hours. I always looked forward to our time together because I spent more time talking to him then doing anything else. As I sat there thinking about our conversations and how we would laugh at just about everything. I thought about how quickly he was taken. He no longer gets any more “do overs” or “next times” his time was up but mine wasn’t. I still had a chance to change. I could change the things that were making me so horribly unhappy and make things right.

Now you would think this is all I would need to start making those changes, but it wasn’t. I was still too scared to make any major move. I knew I wanted to but wasn’t ready to make that kind of change. I told myself that my day would come and I would quit soon or later but things had to happen first. I had to have a certain amount of money in bank. I had to have a certain amount of followers on social media. I had to be farther along across my social media platform. The list just kept going. Until Tracy died.

Tracy was a co-worker that I had worked with years before. To be completely honest we weren’t that close but we knew each other from working together. She was the type of person that always seemed happy no matter what. She was one of them. Tracy always had a dream to move to Belize and retire, and she had in fact lived her dream and moved a year ago. Last month Tracy had a heart attack and died. She lost her do-overs and next times just a quickly as Darryl lost his. This time, this time I decided to stop living in fear of my own do-overs and next times and do something now. This time I decided to give myself that freedom to do what I needed to do to be happy.

Now I’m not the type of person who decides to do something then think about it forever. Nope, I’m the type of person who says she’s going to do something and it’s done. But this, decision effected more than just me. It directly effected both of my children because both of my boys worked with me. Yes, they could have stayed and worked after I was gone but neither of them were any happier than I was. So the meeting was called and the decisions were made. We were going to all change careers and we would all go into social media. Some things we will do together (our Podcast We’re In Trouble Now) and some individually. But the really cool things was that we were all going to jump into our new lives together. We had all decided to give ourselves that freedom. There you go – the plan was made and in motion. We were going quit by my birthday (my birthday is in August). I wanted to give my company time to find a replacement and transfer over the account I had and make everything smooth and everyone happy, everyone but me that is. I have to tell you, once you get the feel of “I’m going to do what makes me happy” it’s hard to put it on hold. Meaning my 4 month notice turned into 3 months, which turned into 2 months, which ended up being 7 days. 7 long days of waiting for my do-over.

Today was the glorious 1st day of the rest of my life. By no means will the coming days, months or years be easy. I will have to work harder than before. I have to budget every dollar I have saved and I will have to think steps ahead to make sure I make the correct choices. But those choices are mine and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me. I’m excited to see what amazing things can happen since giving myself the freedom to follow my heart.

My message to you: If you are currently in an unhappy place, I hope I have given you the same motivation to make changes that Darryl and Tracy gave me. I’m not saying to quit your job, but I am saying don’t be scared of change and give yourself the freedom to make the changes necessary. You are important and you deserve happiness just like the next person.

Until next time….

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