The Holland Lighthouse

When I was growing up my parents had a summer home in Holland, Michigan. Although I must admit, we always called it a cottage. even though  it was definitely bigger than a cottage.

I love Holland, Michigan. The highlight of my year was always going up there for the summer. Our home was on the lake,we had a dock, a boat,paddle boat etc… There was so much to do.

I used to love it at night when we would have the windows open and the only sound we would hear was an occasional motorboat out on the lake. There was something very soothing about that to me. I also loved when the water was kind a rolling to the shore and you just hear it kind of hitting the beach.

My summers in Holland are some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I also loved it when my family would go up to the family cottage in Minocqua, Wisconsin. It was something very magical and safe and comforting about how it was.

Although, I was born and raised in a large city… Chicago, and I live in a large city… Houston… I truly do prefer smaller towns. I think I develop the love of them because of Holland, Michigan.

There’s something very soothing and comforting to me about small towns. I’ve not really lived in one per say since being an adult. I’ve lived in suburbs of large cities primarily. I do think I’d like to retire to a smaller town though.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering why I’m writing this in a  Sunday Soothing blog. The point of this blog is more about finding that comfort zone… You may not be in the situation at the time… Like I live in a big city now, but there is soothing comfort to me in the memories of being in Holland during the summer.

For me nothing represents Holland better than the lighthouse. I’ve always loved that lighthouse, there was just something so magical about it for me. To this day I smile every time I see a picture, think about it or look at the lighthouse statue, I have in my office. 

I purposely put the statue in my office so that when I do get really  stressed I can look at it. One of the things that I’ve really learned with my GAD… General anxiety disorder… Is when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed, I have to go to my comfort zone/happy place.

I have several comfort zone/happy places… And that’s good because sometimes somethings don’t destress me at the time, so I need other things.  Do you have comforting memories that bring you to your comfort zone? I’d love to hear about them.

This past week was a particularly tough week for me I had a lot going on. There are several really stressful situations I’m dealing with right now… So my comfort zone/happy places have been needed a lot this week.

I was trying to think about what I wanted to write in my Sunday soothing blog… I was sitting in the comfortable chair in my office, and I looked at my Holland lighthouse and realized how many times this week I looked at it and smiled. I knew then I needed to have my Soothing  Sunday blog… about the Holland lighthouse! 

Thanks so much to Terry Potter for allowing me to use this awesome picture of the Lighthouse… please check out her amazing photography on Flipboard https://flipboard.com/@TPorter2

As always thanks so much for reading my blog and your support!

Check out Peyton’s website for more comfort zones/happyplaces. https://teamawesomism.com/

 

 

My Soothing Fall into Autumn

After a super stressful month of trying to get Team Awesomism launched… Dealing with all the glitches on the website… I needed to just have a relaxing few days.

My to do list is longer than I care to admit… I put off a lot of stuff helping Peyton get his business going… I have to say though, it was really worth it! I’m so proud of him… He now calls himself… An Autistic Teenpreneur Small Business owner!

Even though technically Autumn started a while back… We just started our “cold weather”  this past week here in Texas. It now actually really feels like fall.

I started decorating for the fall about a month ago, but I wasn’t really so much into it,until this week!  I absolutely love decorating for the different seasons… You can ask my husband about the amount of storage bins we have full of decorations 😂🤣

I’ve always loved decorating for the holidays. When my kids were young it was themed more towards what kids like during the holidays. Now that they’re older I still really decorate, but it’s geared more towards what I like!

My third child came over a couple of weeks ago for dinner, first words out of his mouth when he came in the house were “I love how much you decorate for the fall”.  That made me feel so good.

As I’ve discussed in previous blogs I have GAD, General Anxiety Disorder, and having my house feel “comfy & homey”  is very calming and soothing for me. I take a lot of time when I’m decorating. I decorate differently each year,depending on my mood.

This year when I was decorating, I was more stressed… have a lot going on… So my theme was really a comfortable,cozy fall! I honestly find comfort and relaxation when my house feels super comfy.

Peyton helped me decorate this year, he loves pumpkins… So he likes to put the pumpkins in places. The last couple years we haven’t gotten real pumpkins… But we have several pumpkins that light up, and we put those outside.

Peyton decorates  his room as well as the rooms upstairs that he spends the most time in. He really enjoys it,and I enjoy seeing him be creative!

This year I focused quite a bit on my fireplace, our fireplace is very soothing and comforting for me. We got quite a bit to use out of it last year because it was really cold… I’m hoping to get a lot out of it this year too.

Until it really gets cold enough to use it… Although I have to admit anything below 60 and I’m ready to start it up! I’m lighting candles or two on the fireplace and enjoying it that way. Very soothing!

Starting with this blog I’m going to be doing a soothing Sunday blog every Sunday about different things that help me relax. I know I had talked about doing this several months ago… But I got so backed up with helping Peyton with Team Awesomism.

Thanks for hanging in there with me! Thank you for reading this blog and I always love feedback! Please check out Peyton‘s website at https://teamawesomism.com/

Why my GAD is my Monday Motivation

I still remember the day that I was diagnosed with GAD… (General Anxiety Disorder) I was going through a really rough time in my life… An ugly divorce, a very contentious custody battle, and so much more.

I was slipping into a really deep depression…  I knew I needed to get out of it,not only for myself, but most of all for my children. My children lived with me,and I was the primary caregiver, as well as provider.

I went to see my physician, and the first words out of her mouth were you have GAD. I really wasn’t very familiar with it at the time… But she knew it as soon as I described how I was feeling, and what I was going through.

The funny thing about it was…. as soon as she told me my diagnosis… I immediately  started to feel better. Part of the reason for that was… Someone actually listened and believed me!

I hadn’t shared with too many people how depressed I was. But a couple of them that I had shared it with told me “you’ll be fine… You’re just going through a rough patch, don’t dwell on it.”

I kept thinking to myself… I’m not dwelling on it by choice, I can’t seem to get past it. I would pace at night from Anxiety, and then be tired all day, which would cause even more anxiety.

I was in a vicious cycle and I didn’t know how to get out of it! My depression and my anxiety got worse and worse.

My doctor prescribed Lexapro… I felt better right away… Not because it really did that big of a difference… But because I knew I was on the road to getting better.

I also knew, that I wasn’t going to stay on the Lexapro. I wanted to be able to deal with my GAD through lifestyle changes.

I found a counselor… Who specialized in GAD, I told her I don’t want to stay on meds, I want to do this by lifestyle change. She was absolutely wonderful… And she helped me through this horrible time, and taught me so much.

When Peyton talk to me about and a few ideas he had for https://teamawesomism.com/…I absolutely loved the idea. For several reasons, but most of all because we were going to be creating a virtual community that actually listens and cares!

This really personally hit home for me a couple months ago… I was speaking with someone who was “mentoring me“… When I brought it up with him that I had GAD… he proceeded to inform me that it was “all in my head”.

While I don’t disagree with him on the surface …that it really is in my head… 😂😂… I found it to be very disrespectful. He told me people look for excuses for not doing things. At first I thought about going through my entire history, and thr fact that I was actually diagnosed with it, but then realized he didn’t care.

At first, I felt like I did years ago… And then I decided I actually feel sorry for him… And I hope no one close to him is dealing with serious stress and anxiety… I also became more motivated to be a voice for GAD .

Dismissing people‘s fears and anxieties, stresses and hurts is easy… Helping people with them is fulfilling. I’ve chosen to be there for others.

I decided to use his negative energy and turn it around…..My GAD is my Monday motivation!

Lavender, Anxiety and Me!!

As I discussed in a previous blog, I have GAD… General anxiety disorder. There are days that my anxiety gets the best of me. While  I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety for the most part, there are days it overwhelms me.

One of my favorite go to items that I use when I am extremely anxious, stressed or just in a serious need of a break… Is… LAVENDER! 💜  Oh my I absolutely love lavender! 💜

I love it in the essential oil‘s, bath salts, bubble bath, lavender spray actually anything lavender makes me happy! Williams and Sonoma used to have this amazing lavender laundry detergent, I couldn’t get enough of it! I was so sad when they got rid of it. It was the best thing to use on my PJs, my sheets and pillow cases.

I found a few that I really like but not as much as that! So if you know of any, I’d love to hear some suggestions! Rather than dwelling on the negative’s, let’s talk about some lavender products that I really love! 💜

I’ve fallen in love with rollers lately, and I found one that I absolutely love! There are many good ones on the market… But this one  is definitely my favorite. It’s made by open heart apothecary.  You can actually buy them through Patti and Ricky. Here is the link to their website. They have other awesome rollers, but I absolutely love the lavender. https://www.pattiandricky.com/

They also have a really wonderful spray that you can use either in the air or I use it on my pillow before I go to sleep at night, so does Peyton. It’s called calm… It has lavender and other essential oil’s. I especially love using this until I find that perfect lavender laundry soap!

My new lavender obsession I actually came upon, because my wonderful  husband gave me these as a gift! They are an amazingly awesome epsom bath salt. They are made by San Francisco salt company! You can use them in the bath, in the shower or even as a foot soak! https://www.sfsalt.com/m-home

No matter where you use them, especially the tub or as a foot soak, I would definitely leave the water for a while because the smell is heavenly 💜… it will give you such a relaxing  lavender smell throughout whatever room you’ve used it in! It’s so calming.

We have some fantastic  lavender farms here in Texas! In fact Peyton and I plan to go to a seminar in the fall at one of the lavender farms in Hill Country, to learn more about lavender. I tried to grow it several times… Had very little success.

Peyton and I put some in his garden, but we really didn’t get much out of it. We were both pretty sad. We decided we want to learn more about growing  it,before we try again.

Mark, Peyton and I went to a lavender farm a couple of years ago, I bought the most amazing lavender jelly. I’d love to learn how to grow it so I can make more products with it!

I’m always looking for new lavender products to try, recipes that use lavender, as well as suggestions of how to use lavender! So if you have a product you’d like me to try, or suggestions or even recipes I’d love to hear from you!

As always thanks for reading my blog, I’d love to hear from you and lavender on! 💜

 

Groundhog Day

We are so honored to have a guest blogger this week! Her name is Erika Joyce-Shultz! Erika has a younger brother with Special Needs. We love her writing and think you will too! I’m adding the link to her website  at the end. Please check out her other blogs! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by 💙

 

QUIT! That’s it. I cannot do it anymore. I’m sick and tied of being sick and tired.

I’m sure if it isn’t one of those particular phrases, there are others that fall in the same family that are thought or vocalized every day, heck, every hour, by someone.

We wake up each morning, and before we even have the chance to be grateful that we woke up to see another day above ground, we are immediately bombarded by the “to do” list of the day. If it’s not the “to do” list, it’s a recap of what didn’t get done the day before. If it’s not regret of responsibilities put off, it’s just the overall feeling of being “done” or just plain old worn out.

And we haven’t even put one foot on the floor.

I use to have those days more often than not, for a combination of the reasons above and then some. The moment that alarm goes off, an indistinguishable sound escaped my throat, that at best can be described as, “uuuggghh”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed. I have a smart, funny, healthy, and well adjusted tween, a home with heat and air, hot water, food, a reliable vehicle, and even a little pain in the butt Shih Tzu that some would say is cute. (Okay, he IS cute).

It’s like Groundhog Day from hell, and unfortunately there’s no Bill Murray to provide any comic relief. So where is this feeling of waking to a seemingly painful and unsatisfying reality come from?

Lack. Of. Purpose.

You finally get up out of the bed, ( phew…I know that was a challenge), and make your way to start your morning routine. Make your coffee, go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror while thinking to yourself, “okay, here we go again”, and continue on until you’re headed out the door to your 9 to 5. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have as great of a beat as Dolly portrayed when she sang it.

Maybe, you’re even a stay at home mom. I use to envy you, until two of my best friends became stay at home moms, and I realized that their groundhog days may look different than mine, but the feeling was just the same. BLAH.

One day as I was going through a few TPS reports, (Office Space, anyone??), I realized that I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired, that I needed to make some changes. No, I don’t mean change jobs and no, I didn’t win the lottery…although I’m still working on that one.

The changes had to start with me. Perception is reality right? Well my perception of things really sucked because my reality was pretty lackluster, to put it lightly. I began to realize I needed to feel like what I got up every day to do mattered. I began to look for my purpose.

Now, this is a process and it’s a journey. I’ve been on it now for about a year and while I’m not yet where I would like to be, I’m sure the heck not where I was. I’m going to be honest. The process of finding out who you are, what you’re gifted at, and how to use it is hard and sometimes dirty and painful.

You have to be willing to look at yourself and ask how you are contributing to your own misery. Whether it’s bitterness or anger you’re holding on to for past hurts, maybe its lack of inspiration, maybe you are not taking the best care of your health, or maybe…you’ve just been lazy.

Whatever the reason or reasons, you have to face them, accept them and then take action to change them.

Everyone has been given talents and gifts. Honestly, a lot of people overlook their talent or gift because it comes so easily and naturally to them. Here’s some potential hints that you’ve been given:

“Wow, you are such a great speaker”

“You have a way with words”

“I wish I could sit down and doodle like you, that looks great”

Or maybe people come to you for your advice, or look to you for crafty inspiration. The point is, your gifts are there, you just have to uncover them and use them.

You may be in a job that you really don’t care for, but guess what? You are there for a reason. Remember, perception is reality, so if your reality isn’t great, maybe you need to change your perspective. All the while, finding a way to utilize the talents and gifts you’ve been given.

That may mean making time for yourself after work to draw, write, read, build something, join a like minded group, etc…

Get up, stretch and dare the day to keep up with you. It’s time to move forward and find your purpose sweetheart.

Groundhog Day is over.

please check out her website at.

http://mzimperfect.com/