Saturday, January 19, 2013

On What It Is I Want to Do

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The other day, Gary asked me a simple but very loaded question that kind of opened the floodgates in my thinking machine once I actually started processing his inquiry.

What do you want to do?

He was asking, of course, about what I'm doing w/ the whole nurse job hunt adventure I'm sort of still on. His main concern is how I keep flip-flopping; in my defense, I stopped the back and forth w/ what direction I'm going once I got the email from my most recent job interview that panned out to nothing. I wasn't fed up, stuff just got in the way - Daniel's first birthday, entertaining family, the holidays and everything that entails, hanging out with friends and family still - we JUST got back to normal from all of that, which I'm sure is not unusual. It's just, during that time, my gears shifted.

Gary understands me. He supports my wild ideas and crazy schemes. This is not normal, people. The fact that he is willing to work these crazy hours, sacrificing time at home with this amazing little boy we call our son, so that I can stay home to raise him... and then continue to remind me to write or blog since after a long day of chasing our Tazmanian Devil incarnate, I'm exhausted and just plumb forgot. He's a catch, people! So I get it when, at the end of the day, he still wonders what the fuck it is his wife is thinking. 

I have the tendency to be very defensive, turning into a very ugly person that I am not proud of. This left-field question sent my mind reeling because let's face it, I know exactly what I want to do. Unfortunately for my creativity, I am a very left-brained thinker/doer. Growing up, I crossed my T's and dotted my I's in accordance to what I thought my parents would approve of, and this was totally on me. They never did anything to make me this way. I'm not a rebellious person by any means, so to think of doing something with my life that my parents will not approve of still makes me shake with anxiety. Did I mention that I'll be 28 in a week?

I'm one of those people who come to that dividing line of doing what makes others happy vs. doing what makes me happy, seemingly very often. One very good example where I chose me over them comes to mind; I left my ex-husband. It took a lot of time, self-discovery, and self-allowance to forgive myself for that one. Sometimes, it really does seem like choosing to make others happy over myself is the safest, easiest route to take, doesn't it? But not so.

Had I not chosen to do right by me, I would not be here. Gary would not be mine. Daniel, my son, would not be mine. All of that is inconceivable to me, even the difficulty that is currently our station in life. One thing I've learned is life is a series of ups and downs, even if I don't do what makes me happy, I will still end up sad. So in the end, I will choose me. I will always choose me... since really, I'm all I have.

So I think we all know which road I'm taking now. I'm employing myself, every night from between the times of 9 pm and 2 am Monday through Friday and during the day on weekends, I put on my Jo March "scribbling suit" and write. Sometimes the words flow, other times I struggle. It's really no different than any other endeavor in life and Gary said how now, he can't say I'm not doing anything. Ha! Seriously. I need sleep!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

We ventured out to a beautiful park yesterday (the same one we had his birthday at in November).





Monday, January 7, 2013

Becoming Me, The Writer

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In a person's life, they may find that they are faced with an event or a period of time that causes something(s) about themselves to change. They start to shift into a person they never thought they would be - a person they were meant to be, rather. Self discovery is what some may call it; one would be so fortunate to go through this, but I suppose that it could be both a blessing and a curse. It's all about timing and probably a bit of luck. Which side of the coin will it be?

I am whole-heartedly convinced that I am going through this right now. I've had both life changing events and periods of time: entering motherhood, moving far away from my family, meaningful and mature commitment, unemployment, and financial hardship are just a few things that I've had the pleasure of handling all at once in the last few years. Each and every one of those aspects are completely different but at the same time so intensely intertwined that it's no wonder I'm changing into this person. I was destined, AM destined, to be this person.

A writer.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Secrets in the Pantry for Healthy Skin

Last month, I decided that enough was enough. I no longer wanted to deal with the mom-acne I've been suffering since April. "Breast is best" be damned, the hormones that my body is still surging with are reeking havoc on my skin and I am not a happy camper. I think anyone would be upset by the state of epidermal duress that I am enduring but you see, I have been dealing with acne since I was a teen. It cleared up a few years ago after I tried treatment after treatment, finally enjoying beautiful glowing skin during pregnancy and shortly thereafter... very shortly, anyway.

I take my "'breast is best' be damned" statement back, because I actually wouldn't trade being able to nourish my son naturally (psst... and for FREE!) for anything, not even clear skin.


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My best friend introduced me to the benefits of using natural and essential oils in skin cleansing (The Oil Cleansing Method, or OCM for short) but like most people, I was immediately skeptical. Oil, to cleanse my skin? Please. I ended up spending a total of 8 months and hundreds of dollars on different ways to heal my skin, some that made my acne worse and none that made it better. Then a couple months ago, I started having an interest in natural ways of caring for my skin with things I already have at home: greek yogurt, olive oil, baking soda, et cetera, things that many people already have in their kitchen arsenals for consumption or cooking. What did I have to lose with giving OCM a try? Could it be the olive leaf that I've been looking for?

I started on my journey by researching a few websites (this one being my favorite resource!) for a few days, experimenting with cleansing simply with olive oil for the first few nights, then finally digging in and purchasing Castor and Jojoba Oil, as well as some Tea Tree essential oil. I'm a 3 weeks in, give or take, in what OCM junkies refer to as the transition/purging stage. To be able to say that my skin looks healthier as it is healing is incredible.

Other natural skin care techniques I've started to include are Greek yogurt masks and baking soda scrubs. I began using plain Greek yogurt as a mask back in October and I definitely love the way it makes my skin feel. I stopped using it after a while but have started using it again. After starting OCM, I learned about the benefits of baking soda and coconut oil as a face scrub. I exfoliated with just baking soda last week and I loved the results but I found that my skin was a tad irritated and raw when I was done. I decided to try a different tactic and instead of making a paste with water, I mixed the baking soda with liquified coconut oil (with hot water, not the microwave, so to not denature the oil). Let me tell you, this made a world of difference! My skin felt SO smooth, even my eyelids and upper lip! I found this website that gives a bunch of different natural scrub recipes, baking soda and coconut facial scrub being one of them. I've been hooked on using coconut oil for skin care since we started Daniel on cloth diapers but now I'm all about using it on me, too!

So what's next? I'm not sure. Even if it doesn't completely clear my skin up, it's doing a whole lot better than anything I've spent a lot of money on has thus far. I spent about $30 up front for the different oils I didn't have, bottles that will last me for a while. I am still hopeful though, not just about OCM but about natural skin care in general. Keep your figures crossed for me!

Friday, January 4, 2013

On Me-Time in the Grocery Store

As I was driving home with Daniel from the Japanese market today for some much-needed items that have long since disappeared from our fridge, I decided that I would go to the regular grocery store for the rest of our kitchen staples when Gary got home from work and could watch our boy while I quickly shopped by myself. Daniel fell asleep on the way home and I really did not want to deal with him having a meltdown when I tried to put him back in the car seat to leave to go home, even if our super market is only a few blocks away.

Besides, I did the same thing last week and it. Was. NICE. Walking around the market alone, not feeling the need to verbalize every little thing on my mind to a child who doesn't comprehend what I'm saying anyway, being able to use the front of the cart because it's not being occupied... those sorts of things. The first time I ever dared go to the grocery store by myself, I couldn't believe I even considered this sort of thing having my me-time; back when I was single, I really disliked it. Oh, how the times have changed.

Back to our drive home today, while I sat in silence because Daniel had fallen asleep, I thought "Now, if only it were socially acceptable to have a glass of wine with me while I shopped." That would really just complete my me-time right there. I'm not talking about having a place to sit and sip/taste some wine like Whole Foods does, I'm talking legitimately having a glass of wine in my hand (or, even a special wine glass "cup" holder attached to the shopping cart...). I don't think grocery stores have any idea how great of an idea this is: picture it. Mom's everywhere, congregating in grocery stores without their kids or partners, shopping the aisles and drinking wine - a glass an hour is my limit, but can you imagine a mom who might have had to much to drink? She may feel the need to walk it off, say, and end up spending much more money than she anticipated. It's a win/win! Moms get their me-time while getting a necessary chore done and stores potentially sell much, much more than they would have!

However, I feel like this would open up a whole other can of worms like driving (even slightly) under the influence of alcohol, operating a shopping cart definitely under the influence of alcohol, and possible bar brawls in aisle 5. So.

But a girl can dream, and this mama will just continue to do so, of situations that are completely impossible and really only nice in my imagination. I have a very vivid imagination...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013

Happy New Year, friends! 

I have so many exciting things in store for myself this year, one of which includes keeping this blog much more updated. But for now, I leave you all as I finish up the holiday season with my family with this quick update.

Have a safe and pleasant new year!