Little Changes Make Big Improvements

In the struggle to get what I want out of life, I have recently decided to try this crazy idea of making changes. With the mindset a little goes a long way, I have been slowly changing my eating habits, phone addiction, and writing more. Realizing that my life isn’t going to change unless I actually change it (crazy concept, huh?), I really want to make an effort. As I stated in my last post, I finally have new goals and dreams to chase and I intend to reach them.

I have been making better choices when it comes to what I eat. Instead of stopping and grabbing a burger and fries or some fried chicken on the way home, I am cooking. I used to tell myself that I didn’t have the time. Well, oddly enough, if I plan out what I am going to make and prep it in the morning before I leave for work, I DO have time. Go figure? So, now it’s been about three weeks, and my “fat” jeans are feeling less tight, and I have more energy. Also, adding an extra 15 minutes a day to the pup walk time helps to make my clothes fit more comfortably.

Another small change I have started to make is to put my phone DOWN. I will be the first to tell you that I am a full fledged iPhone addict. I reach for it every two-four minutes. I went to a concert a couple weeks ago and found myself on my phone more than I was paying attention to the concert. I was too focused on getting the perfect picture or a great video to post on Instagram. I knew then that it was time to put it down. So, at work I keep my phone in a drawer, and allow myself 3-4 glances a day. If I am going out to eat with a friend, I leave it home or in the car, and when I am at home I try to keep it out of arms reach. What I have noticed is, I have more time. I am not getting sucked into Facebook, games, Twitter discussions, ect. I am playing with my dog more. Instead of sitting on the couch with my phone in my hand, throwing her ball, I am actually on the ground with her playing tug of war.

Also, I have been writing more. I know it may not seem like it since this is my first post in three weeks, however, I bought a journal, and have been writing little things, a paragraph here, a poem there, a lyric here. It has been helping me to rejuvenate my creative juices and getting my mind back to where it needs to be, on writing.

More changes are on the horizon. Little by little, I will reach my goals. Brick by brick I will build the life that I want to live.

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It’s Been A Year

A year ago today, almost to the hour, I looked out my front door and saw trees swaying as if the Big Bad Wolf was huffing and puffing towards them. The power had been out for three hours so far, and my pup was unsettled. In town for a wedding, my parents had gone upstairs to try and get some sleep. The wind was strong but the rain was weak. The clouds seem to spit out just a drizzle, and as I looked at the laughable puddle in front of my house, I decided to lay on the couch. 

I awoke by sitting straight up gasping for air. I ran to the front door and looked out the window. There was water already sitting on my second step, and rising. I ran out the back door and onto my deck, flashlight in hand. I shined the light on the cars in the driveway and saw my 5 month old new Jeep Compass, with about 6 inches to spare before the water invaded it. My parents new Equinox had about 4 inches to go before it was a loss. 

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I ran upstairs and woke my parents and we proceeded to do everything they tell you not to in this situation. I put all my important papers in my purse, and manged to stuff a towel and blanket in there. I grabbed my pup, her portable water bowl, a bottle of water, and her food and we left. 

As I followed my parents to higher ground, the water was rising. I drove passed my neighbors homes and saw their cars getting filled with the bay water. I then saw some of my neighbors homes being filled with that same water.  

We drove around the corner and two blocks up, and we parked our cars. In my rear view mirror, even in the dark, I could see people walking up through the now waist deep water with pets in hand, and whatever they grabbed over their heads. There were people trying to save their cars and driving to where my parents and I had parked. 

Minutes later, my dad came to my window and told me that there was a group going up to the shopping center about three miles away. They agreed on that place because  there were no trees or power lines. So, we drove up there (like I said, we did everything we were told not to do. We were scared.)

I didn’t sleep the entire night. It was freezing and having walked knee deep to my car I couldn’t warm up. I’d doze off and then wake up having to put my car on so I could turn the heat on. My poor pup was uneasy, walking back and forth. She too did not sleep a wink that night. We had no idea if I had a home anymore or if so, what condition was it in.

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The next morning when the sun came out, we had one more high tide to deal with. So we waited for it, still in the parking lot. I could see the helicopters flying on rescue missions, and the radio was reporting total devastation. 

It was then that I realized, I had survived a natural disaster of epic proportions. I was victim. 

When my brother, who lives three towns over, finally found us, it was noon. We decided that my father, my brother, and myself would go back to my house to see the damage. My mother would stay with her pup and mine. We parked as close to my street as we could, which was about a block away, and walked through thigh high waters through my neighbors yard to my back yard. Walking up to my home, I was praying that it was spared. Once I opened my back door I saw that it was, and I broke down. The water line on the side of my house was about 4 feet. My house stands about 5 feet. 

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The 12 days without power, total loss of my furnace, and everything in my shed was a small price to pay for having a standing home, as many in my town were not spared. 

The emotional scar that Superstorm Sandy has left on my heart, is one I don’t talk about much, instead I try to focus on how lucky I was and to just be thankful.

 

CAR DANCING

I dance in my car and sing very loud on my commutes to and from home. I don’t care if anyone see me, because recently, I have looked around at my fellow commuters and they look miserable. They are either on the phone yelling or their facial expressions are stone cold. Enjoy the time alone people!

I say, if you are taking a ride, why not make that ride awesome? 

My new favorite car jam is David Nail’s Whatever She’s Got. It makes for a great sing a long and a great beat! 

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Staying Positive

I just want to commend anyone who has and keeps a positive outlook on life. That takes a lot of practice and talent. In my constant quest to be a better me, I have been trying not sweat the small stuff, but lately these lemons are making disgusting undrinkable lemonade.

You see, the small stuff piles up one on top of the other and it’s hard not to get crushed under neath it.  How do you positive people do it and make it look so easy? Is it pills? Can you share?

I have been taking baby steps and thought using my alone time, when I am calm and free of people to stress me out, would be a good time to practice. Hopefully I can focus on the positive and it will spill into all the other aspects of my life. 

I tried reading ‘The Secret’ and I couldn’t get through it. I was annoyed at it’s repetativeness.

So, I listen to Joel Osteen’s podcasts on my way to work, and on the way home I blast my tunes, sing and dance in the inevitable parkway traffic. In combination with my effort to shed my spare tire, I have taken up the mellowing practice of Yoga.

These efforts are to better myself but occasionally, like today, I get derailed by a bad driver cutting me off, someone singing in the cubicle next to me (out of tune and ALL day), or someone that has a total disregard for my work and what it entails.

It’s these derailments that I wish I could take a deep breath and move on. However, I do not think I am far enough in this journey of positive thinking to do this. Instead, I will go home and drink a LARGE glass of wine.