Category Archives: Just breathe

Heavenly Reverberations

jasonmraz_yes1-1038x576Mraz on the Mind

We all know what it’s like to listen to a brand new album. The first run through it, you’re a bit unsure. You don’t know most of the words or the melodies—everything tends to blend together and your first impression is basically, well, meh. All you want to do is sing along; all you want to do is revel in the utopian mix of treble and bass, but the newness puts all of that to a melancholy and sometimes depressing halt.

But you continue to listen… and you continue to learn the lyrics, along withe beats. And suddenly all is right with the world again. You find your favorite track, the one that never gets old, and you skip over the one or two that just don’t do it for you. It’s gotten to the point where your passengers would rather listen to Top 40 radio than listen to it again. And that’s when you know you’ve done it justice.

And yes, this may be just a tad dramatic, but we’ve all been there—and it’s not always about listening to new tracks (or being obsessed with Jason Mraz’s new album), but more about our days on this place we call Earth.

Mind over Grind

How many days do we live in the grind, mechanically going through the motions of our lives? We don’t do it intentionally. We actually strive outwardly to be the people who don’t do this. We post cliche quotes on Instagram and pin exotic travel photos to Pinterest. We remind our close friends and family that they just can’t have it all, but amidst that dashing truth, they need to live each day to its fullest. But realistically, what does that actually mean?

The more I think about it, it’s not about leaving work in the middle of the day to go cliff jumping or jet setting to Bora Bora in the middle of the night. It’s about knowing when to hold on and when to let go. It’s about knowing when to listen to your head and when to listen to your heart. And most importantly, it’s about listening to an album on repeat, over and over again, giving it a chance. Because eventually that favorite song will tire, those favorite lyrics will become nothing but a whisper, and that’s when you know you’re ready for something bigger, something better, something different.

~Ambitioussoul

 

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The Pinterest Panic

Ambitioussoul

See, we’ve all been there.

Heavy breathing. Sweaty brow. Erratic eye movements. It may sound like a spicy novel, but no… it’s the Pinterest panic. You know what I’m talking about… you jump on Pinterest to peruse the latest pinning activity, and you instantaneously come across pins that you want to implement in your life—IMMEDIATELY! Recipes. Crafts. Workout routines. Fashion statements. Home improvements… the list goes on, and on and on…

I can’t even begin to tell you the bodily reaction I have when all of these things seem to flurry in front of me. The more I scroll, the more I want to do. And of course I feel like the longer I sit at work, the more time I’m wasting. How many hungry caterpillar cupcakes could I bake in 8 hours? Or how many crunches could I do instead of sitting through a 2-hour meeting? AHHHH it’s just madness.

At first I thought this panic was brought on by me being a full-time working mom, trying to somehow make it up to Maryn by crafting, baking, building… But then I started comparing notes with stay-at-home moms, and the same panic washes over them. Of course they don’t have time to channel the Pinterest madness either—they’re busy chasing around naked tushies and washing magic marker off the walls (or is that Sharpie?!) Even people who are kidless (shout out to my sister,) the insanity you can drive yourself to is enough to make you throw your laptop across the room.

My obsession came to the ultimate tipping point when I was on the verge of creating an Excel spreadsheet to track which pins I had completed and whether or not the recipe, craft, project, __________ (fill in your Pinterest desires here,) was a prideful success, a mediocre victory or an epic fail to never be repeated. Can you say INSANITY?

I came to this conclusion: no matter how much free time you have, children or no children, career or no career, no one would EVER have the time to victor over even HALF of their Pinterest dreams. And to make them look like they do in the pins?! That would take a whole separate lifetime.

So with all of this said, I get the panic. I get the anxiety. It’s normal. But it’s NOT normal to hold yourself to such a ridiculously high standard that ONLY exists in photographs (that are mostly taken in a professional studio might I add!) And no one expects us to be the Rembrandts of frosting cupcakes, so why do we expect that?!

Don’t delete your Pinterest account. Enjoy it. Take one recipe, one home improvement project at a time—and you’ll be just fine. And if you really need a boost, just google “Pinterest Fail…” it’s enough to make you smile.

– Ambitioussoul

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Hope is Not a Verb

I catch myself throwing around the word “hope” all the time. “Hope to see you soon!” “Hope all is well!” “I hope so.” But today, after following up on an incredible story about a brand new mom of twin girls who is fighting a rare form of cancer, I realized in its most pure form, “hope” is not a verb.

True Hope

Hope is born when a cancer patient is declared to be in remission. Hope is alive when a family digs itself out of $150K of debt in five years and has completely changed their future. Hope is uncovered when a young girl decides instead of birthday gifts she wants her guests to bring donations for a local animal shelter. Hope is what keeps us going.

So I’m challenging myself, and I’m challenging all of you, instead of hoping, let’s bring some hope to those around us.

~Ambitioussoul

P.s. To follow Jenna’s journey, the mom I talk about above, “like” her support page here: https://www.facebook.com/prayersforjenna

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Spoiler Alert: We are a 1-child Family

Only children

Maryn Rose

I’m pretty sure my husband and I started laying out plans for kids about a month after we started dating. It was one of those, “Yup, we’re definitely it for each other” situations, so why not talk about our offspring honestly and openly? We went over the usual topics: how many (2 of course,) names we like (this was not an easy feat) and our ideals on discipline, character and, well, creating the most well-rounded, most well-taken care of human being of all time. Yea, as you can see, we followed suit with most parents and set our expectations pretty high—not just for our future child, but for ourselves.

3 kids?! Wait, what?!
As our relationship evolved, we continued to talk about it; through our engagement, our honeymoon, our marriage, our vacations… you get the drift. So I guess the look on my husband’s face when I told him I wanted three kids shouldn’t have been such a surprise. Absolute bewilderment cascaded over his face as if he had just experienced a sasquatch sighting. I just couldn’t shake it. I loved having more than just one sibling. With two sisters, it was like we were all a perfect mix of character traits, borrowing from each other’s DNA and also originating from crazy double helixes that were all our own. I thought to myself, “Just wait until we have our first one. He’ll change his mind.”

1 kid?! Wait, what?!
I always thought I was one of those women who was born to be a mother, that once I had a baby of my own my sole purpose in life would be suddenly defined. It didn’t exactly go that way, and now that Maryn is 2 1/2, we’ve made up our minds that she will be… eek, it still seems scary to declare her… an only child. For the longest time my husband and I would look at each other, reading each other’s minds but not wanting to verbalize our thoughts. After all, that would make them real, right?

For the longest time I felt like I was failing myself and my family by thinking this way. After all, THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN! But over the course of the last month or so, I’ve really been able to find peace with it. Whenever someone would have a pregnancy reveal on Facebook, my mind would start swirling. “Their daughter is 2, and they’re having another baby already? Should we be doing that? How do we know if we should be doing that? Yes, we should. Maryn needs a sibling. No we shouldn’t. We’re not ready, or are we? No, we’re not. Or maybe we are…” I’m sure reading that stream of consciousness made you exhausted, as it would me, pretty much every day. So with my husband’s help I’ve decided to rest my mind. His reassuring and agreeable nods as I talk through my thoughts have been just what I’ve needed to experience the calming effects that can only be felt after a life-altering decision has finally been made.

Nothing is ever black and white—this is all about gray matter
The caveat to all of this is, yes, we may change our minds. Some day down the road, we may wake up, look at each other and decide to plunge into the deep depths of newborn parenting status once again. But until that happens, we’re standing our ground. My husband and I also have a strong passion for adoption. My mom was adopted, and to know she was given a life she would have otherwise been deprived of (not to mention it gave me the most amazing grandparents ever,) creates such hope in my heart. I think our openness for that possibility is a huge contributing factor to the peace we feel about all of this. And we are so thankful for that.

Am I sad I won’t have the chance to have a reveal party with pink or blue cake filling or pink or blue balloons flying out of a box? Yes. Am I sad I won’t have another little life kicking around in my belly? Of course. But I’m so happy and hopeful for all the other amazing moments and experiences life will reveal to me in the days and years ahead with our Maryn Rose.

– Ambitioussoul

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(Un)hinged

Ambitioussoul

Hinges: not just hardware.

Hinge moments. I’ve always called them epiphanies, but “hinge moments” sounds like the next best marketing campaign. So I’ll go with that.

In Jon Acuff’s book Quitter, he talks about hinge moments. Those moments that while you’re in them seem as inconsequential as the color of my nail polish but when you stop to reflect,  you realize that one measly moment changed your paradigm and your path from there on out. You know those moments—when  the universe is pushing you in what seems like a natural, formidable direction, but every molecule of your being is resisting, and you’re not sure why. The resistance typically starts as a dull but nagging feeling deep inside your mind, but once the spark is ignited by this seemingly innocuous person, event or experience, you’re given all the evidence (or faith) you need to change direction. These moments can cause angst. They can cause agita (one of the only medical terms I know how to use in context.) But for me, hinge moments have come in two forms: a famous sportscaster and a drab apartment.

Here’s to you, Mr. Costas
It was my sophomore year of college. As the campus radio station’s News Director, I was flown to New York City to interview Bob Costas and a couple other broadcasting dignitaries at a prestigious media luncheon. When I finally got my marantz to cooperate and my heart beat to slow down, I made my way through the crowd to interview Mr. Costas (and yes, I was that formal with him. Come on, besides the multi-colored rings, this guy is the next best symbolism for the Olympics).

After I was done asking the formal and mundane questions and we posed for a photo together, he turned to me and said, “Have you ever thought about going to Syracuse University’s Newhouse School?” Ughhh noooo… the dreaded question. I had been dealing with this inquisition since I began looking at colleges my junior year of high school. I had been adamantly against going to SU since I could spell the world “college.” Sure I loved the Carrier Dome and Otto the Orange (lamest mascot ever,) but being from Syracuse, I was just… over it. I of course didn’t explain this deep disdain to him, but simply smiled and told him being from Syracuse was enough to keep me away. Being a Newhouse alum himself, he shrugged, urged me to apply and was on his way.

Before this encounter, it had NEVER crossed my mind to apply at SU. I didn’t want to move near home. I didn’t want to go to a school where I’d be just a number in an auditorium of about 3,000 students, trying to figure out what the difference between two beetle exoskeletons was (and yes, once I got there, I had to do that. And I was a broadcasting major. Go figure.)

It seemed easier to stay put. I had great friends, a great social life and loved my classes. But something made me submit the application paperwork. Something pushed me to see it through. Many months and an academic scholarship later, there I was… at SU… loving life and thanking Bob Costas for his priceless nudge.

The irony of it all: I didn’t end up being a broadcaster. I didn’t even end up in the industry. But being at SU got me on the right track to understand what I loved (writing) and what I hated (always having to look good while carrying around a 50-pound camera and tripod in snowbanks up to my eyeballs).I thought about switching my major to Public Relations and Marketing, but that meant I’d have to invest more time and money into an undergrad education. No thank you. So I stuck it out, hoping (and knowing deep down) that the practical knowledge I had gained at my 2 1/2-year internship would propel me through my career.

So why do I have Bob Costas to thank? Welp, he led me to Syracuse University, which led me to my internship. My internship turned into my first full-time job once I graduated. It was that job that introduced me to my husband. I thankfully got to reintroduce myself to Mr. Costas several years later with my husband at my side, and I explained to him how he had truly changed my life, all with a simple question.

Little did he know that simple question made me question my entire life. My entire path. The path that led me to where I am and who I am on this very day. And little does he know today, I’m labeling him as “Hinge #1.”

It Takes a Village

I was pretty much packed and ready to go. The big move was only 10 days away. I had rehabbed some end tables, saved money for furniture and already paid first and last month’s rent for our new apartment (notice I said “our”) in the village. But one night, something woke me up as abruptly as my 12-year-old sister yanking at my eye lids. Something made me sit straight up in bed and whisper to myself, “I can’t do this.”

It was the “our.” I was moving into an apartment with my boyfriend. The boyfriend who I had been with for 4 1/2 years but still didn’t trust. The boyfriend who I clung to all through college and justified our unhealthy relationship as a “growing experience.” WHAT?!

Since I already revealed the ending in my Bob Costas story, you all know I moved on and found the love of my life. But instead of moving to the village, instead of going through the motions of this relationship, I decided to end it. I decided to chalk up our 4 1/2 years together as a learning experience, being young and being dumb. No, it wasn’t easy. No, I didn’t feel good about it at the time. But I learned sometimes the hard things and the right things are the same. And I was destined for something else, and more importantly, someone else. Hinge moment #2.

Find Your Hinge
If you’re older than 5 years old, you’ve had a hinge moment. You’ve probably had many. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint them, but they’re there. They exist to be discovered, explored and appreciated.

Hinge away!

~Ambitioussoul

SAHM Avenue intersects at Working Professional Boulevard

How do you women do it?!

How do you women do it?!

A Familiar Intersection
Unbeknownst to my husband, thoughts of becoming a stay-at-home mom, also popularly known in the blogging world as a ‘SAHM,’ (thank you to the world of over-used acronyms,) had been swirling around in this perpetually revved up brain of mine. Full time? Part time? I wasn’t sure. But it was something that I just
couldn’t shake.

I think much of this was due to the guilt I feel each morning when I drop Maryn off. Does she cry? No. Does she whine? Double no. Does she seem phased at all when I leave? I don’t even think I need to answer that… So why is it that I feel this natural pull to be home with her all of a sudden? Well, maybe it’s just that– the fact that she is perfectly fine with not being enveloped in my presence and love all day every day.

When I expressed my thoughts to my husband, I could sense the shock he was feeling even before I finished my sentence. After all, I was the definition of a career woman—always wanting to excel, progress and be defined in some sense by who I am when I’m in my office and sitting in front of my computer screen. I knew he wasn’t super sold on the idea, so I just let it breathe for a little bit.

He Speaks in Mysterious Ways
A few days later during my ritualistic Facebook perusing, I came across an article where a woman explained why she regretted leaving her career to be home with her kids. In her interview, she graciously pointed out that although she loved the time she was able to spend with her children, the eventual reentry into her career several years later was not only super challenging but quite dreadful. After losing her ability to cultivate professional relationships and networking opportunities that were at one time bountiful to say the least, she found herself dizzying over the thought of having to start from scratch. In her words, her world had “narrowed” before her very eyes.

Call it divine intervention, call it terrific coincidence, call it whatever you will. But I believe and KNOW seeing this article was no accident. Amidst the sea of inconsequential news feed shenanigans, that one post jumped out at me and urged me to click on it like nothing ever has before (except for maybe an oh-so innocuous J. Crew summer sale e-blast).

Gridlocked is no way to be
After marinating myself in the article and all it stood for, a sudden peace came over me. Yes, it’s difficult to tackle the inevitable sick days when there isn’t any sick time to be had, or the lazy days when all you want to do is immortalize the day by staying in your PJs and eating breakfast for dinner, but it made me think about all the things I’d say goodbye to. I like that I have an office where it’s just me and my music, writing the day away for clients. I like that I can run errands during lunchtime, without my daughter trying to snatch grapes from the produce bin. I like that my email signature defines me by company and title, mentioning nothing about my life as a mom and everything that comes with it. It’s almost like another identity… yet miraculously, it’s still me. 

Now, for you SAHMs out there, I give you more credit than you could ever imagine. The patience, grace and love you display each and every day is astounding, and I commend you deeply for it. You turned down SAHM Avenue and never even looked back in your rear view mirror, and that’s pretty incredible. But for me, the next left at Working Professional Boulevard, that’s my turn.

-Ambitioussoul

Oh, and here’s the article I reference in this post!

The 10-Day Hustle

That’s right, everyone. Christmas is 10 days away. 10 days. That means tomorrow it will only be single-digits away. Are you ready? (And yes, I can hear your echoing, angry “nos” all the way in Upstate New York.) So if your shopping still isn’t done, you’re still trying to decide between ham and turkey on Christmas Eve and you haven’t even decided on the holiday schedule (because we ALL need one,) this post may overwhelm you at first. But just know I want to help you compartmentalize, so you can focus on one thing at a time and enjoy doing it!

As for me, when I tell people my tree is up and decorated, my home is peppered with homemade crafts and DIY Christmas apparel to make it feel more warm, cozy and well “Christmasy,” my dining room table is set and my gifts are wrapped, I get the total evil eye, coupled with a chastising tone. And I totally get why, because that was me in 2011. But this year, I decided things were going to be different. This year, I was going to be proactive.

I know it’s a bit late to talk about the ins and outs of being “proactive” with Christmas and all its glory right around the corner, but hopefully these tips will allow you to use the next 10 months or so to mentally prepare yourself to start strategizing for Christmas 2013. It may seem ridiculous that I even suggest such a thing, but we all know it’s true! I’m not going to over-stimulate everyone and talk about every facet of holiday planning, but I’ve picked a couple that I know can be daunting. Here we go…

Setting the table for your Christmas celebration
We all know PInterest can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, there are a million and one cute ideas on how to set your table for the wonderful dinner you will serve, but how do you choose which motif to go with? Centerpieces, tablecloths, napkins, runners…. ahhhh! But if you take this step-by-step approach, you can actually decide what you’d like your table to look like before you even get to the store. How do you ask?

1) Find old treasures. Dig through the bins of Christmas decorations you may not be using, and try to picture how they could be used in your centerpiece. Whether a wintry wreath or some pretty bulbs, you’re sure to come up with some ideas. Once you have a clear picture of what you already own and don’t need to buy, this will help you decide on a concrete and reasonable budget (both operative words here.)

2) Define a table setting budget. Yes, I said it, a budget. Now that you’ve taken an inventory of what you have and know what you’ll use, this will be easy. Speaking of budget, Dave Ramsey has an awesome Christmas budget sheet available on his website. Again, I know it’s only 10 days before Christmas, but this may help you stay financially organized. As we all know, when days start to get crazy, money just flies out of our bank accounts.

3) Choose a color scheme. This may be a little difficult to do without standing in Target’s Christmas aisle for 45 minutes, but at least limit yourself based on the materials you already have. For example, I knew I needed a silver, gold or green tablecloth and napkins to match the bulbs I was going to use. It was much easier to find those items in one of the three colors than heading to the store without a clue. When that happens, I always end up frustrated, overwhelmed and, well, sweaty.

Guide to Christmas planning

Ready, set, Christmas!

For my table setting that you see here, the only things I bought new were the tablecloth and the linen napkins. I had everything else (little did I know!) Total cost: $25. Budgeted: $30

The Perfect Gift… Wrapping!
This year I vowed to myself I would not buy one ounce of wrapping paper or any other packaging paraphernalia. I was going to use what I already had. <GASP> But once again, after taking an inventory of everything from bows and ribbons to bags and tags, I didn’t need to buy a thing!

Guide to Christmas planning

A flower topper

Not only did I not buy any wrapping paper, but I used scraps I never thought I would have a use for (unless I was giving someone a pet millipede,) to make my own homemade bows and gift toppers. And I must say, my gifts this year look soooo amazing!

So how do you make said bows? Well, since I’m trying to whole “less is more” thing, I’ll give you the steps to make the flower topper above, since that seems to be a favorite. You’ll need:

– Scrap wrapping paper (length and width will determine the circumference of the flower)
– Scissors
-Stapler
-Curling ribbon or twine

1) First, take your scrap paper and fold it accordion-style, first away from you, then towards you. It doesn’t matter if the printed side is face up or face down.

2) Once you have your makeshift fan, staple it in the middle.

3) Using your scissors, cut either a pointed or a curved design on each end.

4) Fan the paper out, connecting the two sides with either a piece of tape or another staple.

5) Complete with a bow or ribbon of your choice in the middle to give it some extra flair.

And ta-da! Happy bow making!

So, with all of this said, remember, baby steps. Take one thing at a time. And hopefully I’ve inspired you to get your table set and your gifts wrapped… today!

-Ambitioussoul

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Macy’s or Memories: A Christmas Tree Conundrum

Christmas Tree Decorating

Christmas Tree Conundrum Turned Compromise

Well, it’s that time of year in our household where the Rubbermaid bins of ornaments are lugged from the basement to the living room, only to be critically analyzed and categorized by yours truly. I start to sort the ornaments based on color, carefully making my selections on a strictly aesthetically pleasing basis and begin methodically planning my decorating technique for the upcoming Christmas season.

All of this careful strategizing is quickly turned upside down when my husband enters the room and starts to pull out the folk art ornaments his mom made for a small-town western Pennsylvania craft show in 1988 and the myriad of Pittsburgh Steelers ornaments he’s collected, immortalizing all 30 football seasons since he’s been born. And yes, I said 30.

I roll my eyes, quietly scolding myself for thinking this year would somehow be different than all the rest. I try to sneak some of the ornaments back into the bin, he pulls them back out. This charade goes on for several minutes before I start to lose it, knowing the tired conversation we have every single Christmas is on the horizon.

Every year we have the same debate: I want a themed tree, one that could be a serious contender in a Martha Stewart magazine contest. He wants a tree representing a lifetime full of memories as children, husband and wife and now as parents. As I listen to his droning, I glance out the window and fall into the often unescapable zone of holiday nostalgia. As I watch the snow fall gracefully on the ground, I inhale, remembering what Christmas used to smell like, what it used to feel like, what it used to be like.

I quickly snap out of it. No, he can’t do this to me. Not again. Not this year. I WILL GET THE TREE OF MY DREAMS. I know, so many of you are thinking, “Compromise?” We’ll get there…

My Dream Tree

Forget sugar plum fairies. You see, I DREAM about the perfect tree. And my dream tree looks something like you’d see in the 34th Street Macy’s display window. I want the lights to subtly glisten, illuminating each ornament that has been delicately placed. I want the beads seeming as if they have been haphazardly wrapped, but in truth perfectly draped by no accident at all, each rope equidistant from one another. I want the ornaments to match impeccably. Whether the color scheme be silver and gold, or red and green, or plum and hunter, each and every ornament should compliment the colors of the one that surrounds it. I want a tree I can sit in front of each night, admiring its artistic integrity.

His Dream Tree

In one word: shmorgishborg. Like the annual pot luck dinner at church. He believes every single ornament he’s ever held in his palms, belongs on the tree. Forget aesthetics. Forget dreams (well, mine at least.) None of this matters to him. He wants to take each ornament out of the box and talk about where it came from, who gave it to him and why it belongs on the tree. Can you say MADNESS?

The Compromise

I suppose you can find honor and value in what my husband believes a tree should stand for. And this was the first year I actually took the time to think about this. I decided I agreed with and respected what he had to say.But that still didn’t solve how we were going to both get the tree we’ve always wanted. After some quick deliberation, we came to the only feasible decision: we must have two trees.

One, Two, Tree

So yes, we will be adopting the two-tree approach this year. That way if I want to reflect on Christmases past, I can visit the tree in the family room. If I want to imagine I’m in Manhattan window shopping, I can saunter into the living room. It seems like the perfect set up. I just need to be careful not to meddle with his tree. We both deserve to have our Christmas tree dreams come true.

-Ambitioussoul

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Routine Rumble

Cleaning Calendars are cool!

Cleaning Calendars are cool!

I have a confession to make: I’m a routine fiend. Yes, all those years I’ve labeled myself as being “spontaneous” were a total lie. And I think deep down i knew that. But I never realized how much I depend on being enveloped in my usual day-to-day schedule. And when I’m not, it’s not a pretty sight.

I sort of knew all of this once I had Maryn, but I think I just suppressed it. I thought for sure after having her I’d want to be a stay-at-home mom, soaking up being by her side at every whim. I would daydream about getting her on the bus each and every morning and welcoming her home each afternoon with a different homemade snack and craft project to tackle, all while of course having my cleaning, shopping and cooking done by 5 p.m. I WANTED to want to stay home, but I quickly found out it just wasn’t me. By week 4 I was ready for re-entry. I wanted my desk, I wanted my computer, I wanted my co-workers.

For some of you, I know you’re wondering what kind of delusional world I’m living in, why anyone would want to be confined by any sort of regiment. What about the feeling of liberation? It’s kind of an oxy moron, but having a routine MAKES me feel liberated… uhh…

This all became blatantly obvious when Maryn got sick a few weeks ago. My husband and I had to juggle our work schedules, take turns bringing her to the doctor (she was there three times in one week,) finding babysitting arrangements when we really, really couldn’t miss work and staying up with her all night when her fever would get unbearable (for all of us!)

Everything was totally thrown off, sending me into a complete tailspin. I felt like I’d never gain control again. I kept thinking, “This is NOT what I planned to do today. I should be… doing the laundry, running, working, etc. etc.” I know it sounds like I’m being ridiculously overdramatic, but it’s exactly how I felt.

This is probably what’s led me to have a cleaning calendar (thank you, Pinterest!) I’m not sure if I was excited to see a plethora of cleaning calendars posted because I wanted to steal someone’s format or because I was relieved to see I wasn’t the ONLY crazy person out there that needed one.  But it keeps me on track. 2-3 tasks a night, and I’m golden. And yes, for some of you this is a total eye roller. For those of you who are as equally excited as I was, I’ve posted the one I use in case you’d like to use it as a guide.

Let me be clear: I’m not one of those people who eats the same thing depending on the day of the week (i.e. Monday is chicken night, Tuesday is pasta night, ya da ya da ya da.) And no, I’m not making that up to make myself feel better– I know people who do that. But in order to keep myself half sane, I do have to plan my post-work strategy accordingly. And being someone who revels in a neat, clean and clutter-free house, a cleaning calendar is a must.

For all of you out there who think I’m insane, good for you! I wish I could just roll with it. But for those of you who have been nodding your heads all the way through this post, you’re not alone. Fellow routiners, let’s keep on routining!

-Ambitioussoul

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Turn. Smile. Shift. Repeat.

Image

Get a grip.

Not only is the title of this post a Phantom Planet song I used to play on repeat in my 1992 Geo Prizm (yup, that’s right) when I was a senior in high school, but it’s also the way I wished some things worked. The song’s lyrics refer to the daily hum drum we find ourselves falling into all too often. One morning you wake up and you realize you’ve been driving to the same job, hanging out with the same people, going to the same local establishments without even realizing it. Now that’s depressing.

But what about the things you WISH you could repeat? To either live them all over again for the pure happiness, excitement or surprise you felt, or to live them completely differently. In its most innocuous sense, I had one of these moments today. Let me set the stage for you…

I rushed home during lunch time to grab a can of soup. I didn’t want to spend money on lunch, so I figured soup from my own pantry was the best bet. I raced back to work, prepped my soup and brought it back to my desk. I picked up my phone (yup, the one I’ve had for only two weeks,) and I proceeded to drop it right into my delicious bowl of Chicken Noodle goodness.

My life with my phone as my closest companion for the past two weeks flashed before my eyes, as everything else moved in slow motion. I immediately rescued my phone and manically began to pat it dry and blowing on it (not exactly sure what I was trying to accomplish there.) It was one of those moments where all you can think is, “This is really not happening right now…” Of course my own voice echoed in my head, replaying the conversation I had with the wireless provider rep as she offered insurance on my phone. “Oh, no thank you. I’m all set.” AHHHHH!

It was one of those moments where you immediately start to get really hot, knowing your cheeks resemble those of someone who’s been out in the blazing sun for three hours without water. My throat closed up, and I couldn’t think clearly. Random thoughts raced through my head, knowing my husband was going to be less than pleased, people were going to try to get ahold of me and get my oh-so-annoying voicemail, spin, spin, spin…

But then I tried putting things into perspective, as I often times do. How could I be fretting over a stupid, replaceable phone, when thousands of people only a few hours away from me, are homeless today in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? Many have been separated from their family members, many have lost their lives, many have lost everything.

Why is it so difficult to naturally think like that? Why is the first reaction to anything a bit “havoc-like” to fly off the handle and feel as though the world is about to end? There are so many things that happen to us each and every day that in the grand scheme of things are so incredibly inconsequential.

And as for those moments we wish we could relive over and over again so we’d never have to let go of the naturally-charged high they gave us, sometimes the memories are all we need.

-Ambitioussoul

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