The Things We Take For Granted

Colorado sunsets – here’s hoping I never take them for granted

Ever think about the things you Are lucky enough to have? Not usually. We tend to think about the things we’re working towards, or striving for or saving for. Sometimes, we think about the things we wished we had. But what usually slays me is how I’m not ever thankful for something until I don’t have it anymore.

Take last week for example. Two of my friends and I headed up to the mountains for the weekend. I woke up one morning and my right eye was freaking out. It was trying to stay shut, watered enough to fill a small glass and overall hurt like hell. This has happened a time or two since moving to Colorado since the air is so much drier – I even switched to daily contacts to ease the craziness. Which – would have worked had I ACTUALLY changed them every day. Or didn’t sleep in them. But, half of America sleeps in their contacts, right? So what’s the big deal? (This is solely based on my opinion, not facts of course.)

So I dealt with it like I normally do. Frantically search everywhere for re-wetting drops, put a cool cloth on my eye, the usual. It eventually cleared up and I was ok. It was a little scratchy the next day but not too bad. Until I went home on Sunday. Then the thing was in such pain I just took out my contacts and went to sleep. Monday was a mess. It got red, painful and watery throughout the day til one of my employees begged me to call the eye doctor. I did and was able to get an appointment the next morning.

Now, imagine this. You live a good 40 minutes away from your job, you need to drive home and your eye is freaking out and in pain. What do you do? Pray really hard, put your sunglasses on top of your regular glasses and attempt to drive home. Staying in the slow lane so you have to do the minimal amount of lane changes. While trying to stop your eye from watering and running down your face. With two sets of glasses on, driving directly into the sun glare. Get the picture yet? It stunk. And honestly, I felt so alone. (In hindsight, I should have took an Uber home.)

But, thankfully I was able to get home and practically kissed the pavement while thanking God I got home safely.

The next part of the story involves ice packs, lots of water, sleep, and a trip to the eye doctor to find out I had an eye abrasion. All loads of fun, let me tell you. Then prescriptions, lots of blurriness, trying to read email and work, and healing.

It took a good week before I started to feel better – and thank God, it is completely healed now. And I have a fresh batch of contact lenses waiting to be picked up. So I can change them everyday. (Someone may need to do an accountability check on me in a few weeks do make sure I’m still being “daily” about this. Lol)

The craziest thing about this whole experience? When I went to the eye doctor, squinting and favoring my eye, guess how she made it feel better? She stuck another contact in there. It was the strangest thing. Guess it acted like a band aid cause it immediately felt better.

Thinking of what we take for granted came up last week when my cousin posted about how they have to go through an intense cleaning process in order to eat produce in overseas where they are currently living. We tend to not think about how others live or have to do daily tasks differently, just because they are in a different situation than we are.

I have a deeper respect for people with eye issues or even blindness after this past experience. It was horrible. I work 10+ hours a day and more than eight of those hours are in front of computer screens. Not being able to see correctly out of one eye and try to read was brutal. But I only had to deal with it for one week. I can’t even imagine what people have to deal with going through life without being able to see properly.

So I guess the thought of the week is to be thankful for what you have and be mindful of those who are lacking those things. Whether tangible or intangible, our struggles are definitely our own, but sometimes it helps to view them through the lens of those less fortunate.

If you have a spouse, hug them. If you have children, squeeze them a little tighter. If you have health, thank God for it. And if you’re still sleeping in your contacts, take them out!

“That’s Why You’re Not Married Yet”

Handle your business

We’ve all been in situations where someone says something to us where we kinda tilt our head to the side and think “Did I hear that right?  Did they just really say that?” It usually comes from out of the blue and we rarely see it coming.

I was in a meeting last week with my boss and a coworker, discussing some upcoming purchases we were going to make.  Near the end of the conversation, I mentioned that I was going to request more funds to buy more trucks (I mean, naturally right?) We needed to make sure our inventory was current.  My boss just shook his head as he knows how I like to spend money – so we can make more money of course!  The sales lady looks at me and says “Now, that’s why you’re not married yet!”.  I just looked at her with a bewildered look on my face, trying to figure out where she was coming from.  She backpedals a bit and says “Well, because you like to spend a lot of money.”

Naturally spending money without thought can be a huge issue in a marriage, not to mention business.  What she didn’t see was my laid out plans with the ROIs attached – she just assumed I was going to just throw money around. In this case, I know this woman and I am pretty sure where that comment was derived from, but it sure stayed with me.

The good news is that I can take those comments for what they’re worth at this point in my singleness, but it never makes it okay for someone to say them.  I’m pretty sure she would not like it if I responded with “Oh that’s why you’ve been cheated on before”.  (You feel me people?)  Most of our associates have the best of intentions (for the most part) but I don’t think we often take into account or realize how we are making people feel.

I was often corrected as a young woman to not use people as my “punching bag” because I would deflect my own feelings of being unwanted onto others in efforts to make myself feel good.  This was beneficial to no one – I had to be made aware of my own misgivings as well as the way I make people feel.

It was a good lesson for me as I sometimes throw around random comments.  Am I saying things just to be funny or are they coming from a deeper source of hurt or flat-out meanness?

As far as why we single people are single, there can be a lot of reasons.  And not because we’re unattractive, unemployed or generally annoying.  To be frank, there are plenty of the above who enjoy the state of matrimony.  And to that point, there’s plenty of married people who spend a lot of money on forklifts.  Right?  Now don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of crazy people who are not married.  And for good reasons.  But be careful about giving the half-crazy single people a bad rap – we’re actually pretty awesome people.

Now, if you are one of those single people who have been the lucky recipient of some of these comments, hang in there.  You’re not the first and you won’t be the last.  When they do come along, do this for me.  Excuse yourself, go find the closest bathroom, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are a badass who is rocking this life for all its worth.  Go out of that room with your head held high and know how awesome you are.  You won’t have to tell anyone, they’ll see it.

Rock on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

H2O and Motivation

I’ve been back to the gym training with the one and only BP, trying to get my stress and blood pressure under control. Along with lifting – because as much as I complain about it, I freaking love it.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working on me increasing my water intake. I’ve gone from about 60 ounces a day to an average of 120. Pretty dang impressive, right? Sure. But now I need a personal restroom! Anyway, good news here is that it has drastically reduced my blood pressure without having to take meds. Win! (Unless you start to think about how dehydrated I must have been for the past year. But…moving on.)

So tonight I show up to the gym for my bi-weekly session and was, of course, filling up my water bottle since I now need to drink a few thousand tons a day. Or so it seems 😂 Anyway, the fountain is right next to the door leading into the group class room. Zumba music was starting to waft out of the room and I noticed a lady standing there looking with a slightly unsure look on her face. “Are you going into this class?” she asked. “Nope, but I always wanted to try it” I returned. “Me too” she says with this almost longing look on her face. I just looked at her and smiled. “You’re this close – why don’t you just walk in?” She didn’t even hesitate and strode in the door. I walked up the steps grinning – I just love when people give us a push in the right direction.

After I was done getting beat up by BP, I was standing at the top of the stairs making plans for my next torture/secretly awesome session, and I noticed that same lady come walking up the stairs. She was red and sweaty and looking for her husband who was lifting. “Hey – how was that class?” I asked. She smiled wide – “Oh my gosh I loved it! I’m so glad you said something – I really enjoyed it.”

Cool, huh? The best part about this was how confidently she walked in there and how she looked afterwards. Like she accomplished something. Even if it was little – it was a huge step. (And here am I – still not brave enough to go in there. Haha)

So, if you have the chance to nudge someone in the right direction, do it. And if you are the one being nudged, take the opportunity to do that thing that sort of scares you. Or really scares you. You never know what will happen. Like dancing in a Zumba class (shudder)

Was It Worth It?


This past week was the one year anniversary of me leaving everything and everyone I know to go on the adventure of moving across the country and living in a brand new state. A lot of people have asked me over the last few months if I regretted it. If I wished I just stayed home. Or, on the other end, how I was enjoying my best life. How did I not just gaze in wonder at the beauty around me.

And the truth is – almost all of those thoughts and/or feelings have run the gambit of my emotions over the past months. Some more than others. The one that hasn’t? Regret. And for that I’m supremely thankful.

Was it uncomfortable? Better believe it. Was it awkward? Damn straight. You try and make new friends when you’re 36 and completely out of your element and tell me how easy it is. “Putting yourself out there” is a term I now understand. Completely. But then again, I’ve met some pretty amazing people and I’m working on building those friendships. It can be done.

Work was it’s own story. There were highs and a whole lot of lows. I haven’t felt like such a rookie since I was 18 and looking for work. Things were just so different. Not bad, just different. I’m good at what I do so there were a lot of assumptions that I understood how this particular company worked. Talk about awkward. I was screwing things up and didn’t realize it. And I didn’t understand how much more mental strength I needed to lead a bigger team – how much more time it would take. On the flip side? It was so worth it. I have a great group of people who work hard and try their best. They rise to the occasion when I ask them to. They let me know in little ways how they appreciate things. It’s pretty rewarding.

Then there were people who didn’t understand me and didn’t try to. There were people stabbing me in the back. And I didn’t exactly know how to handle that. But I figured it out. And the truth eventually came out. It always does.

But again – I don’t regret a single thing from this past year. You want to know why? I wouldn’t trade the growth and the experience I gained for the easiest job in the world. I am so looking forward to working this job in 2019 simply because I learned so much and I understand more of how things work here. So take that 2018! All the stress and long hours and awkwardness were worth something.

My personal life was almost the same way. A lot of highs and a lot of lows. There were some Saturdays I never even left the house. Or left the bed for that matter. So many people had told me how brave I was in moving by myself and starting a new life on my own. I just said thanks and moved on. I was so busy doing all those things I never even processed the whole experience. I went out and explored and saw all the sites I could. Until about two months ago. Then the enormity of my situation hit me. I was a mess. Depressed. Stressed out. Home sick. Friend sick. Lost relationships sick. Hated this state. Hated the weather. Hated my job. Hated everything. It was rough and sure as hell wasn’t easy trying to navigate that alone. But, guess what? I found strength and help in unexpected places. And the expected ones – I just needed to reach out for help. Took me a bit but I finally figured it out.

The growth I experienced both personally and professionally over the past year was difficult. But necessary. I do not have a single regret about leaving or starting this life. (Although I miss everyone like hell and it stinks missing out on things. That’s just reality.) Every experience, good or bad, helped shape me more into the person God wants me to be. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.

And there were awesome things. Like people coming to visit and exploring this gorgeous state. Like going home for hockey games. And family vacations. And holidays. Sporting events. Concerts. Hikes. Meeting new people. I went to Europe! It was a fantastic year.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that 2018 sucked for a lot of people I know and love. For me, it had its sucky points, but the good outweighed the bad by a long shot. Learn to see when you’re experiencing stress and depression and reach out to someone. It’s a hell of a thing to go at alone. And it will effect your health. Don’t ask me how I know.

If you have a chance to do something that could be life-changing but scares the heck out of you – do it. If it seems like it was a bad idea – hang on for a bit and leave the emotions aside. If it really is bad – turn around. There’s no shame. You won’t have to wonder anymore. But if it is good – really good – then you gambled and won out on your best life. There will be no regrets.

And then you can stand on top of the mountain of all that junk and say “I did it. I’m on top!”

Just trying to go on vacation…

Ever try to leave and go on vacation and there is so much to do beforehand that you don’t even have time to be excited? From getting your house together, to packing, to finishing up a thousand little projects at work before leaving – there is little time to be excited; let alone do research for where you’re going. But the best part? When you’re finally out of the hotel, off the shuttle bus, through security and on your plane – what a feeling of relief. And you have nothing but time to be excited and get ready for your trip.

Even if your plane needs to be de- iced first. Or the jetway is frozen to the door. Life is good!

Rising Above the Rotten Vegetables

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Do you guys remember that meme that was flying around Facebook a few months ago?  The one with the picture of the bag of spring mix and the guys saying he just buys it every two weeks just to throw it away when it gets all nasty?  We all laughed at it – and why?  Because most of us do the same dang thing.

A lot of what we do with food is based on the best of intentions. “I’m definitely going to pack my lunch every day this week” or “Food prep Sunday!!!” But if you’re like me, this is something that happens….occasionally.  I’m doing better with the food prep, but not every week.

I’ve been working with a personal trainer for the past few months and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only am I getting stronger, I have weekly accountability on food.  And let’s be honest people – there’s not much food I don’t like!  So, when she tells me I can eat all the vegetables I want, you’d think it would be a good thing, right?  It would if I actually LIKED the little buggers.  I mean, I like them sure.  But to eat a lot of them?  It’s just not something I actually enjoy.  Unless there’s a vat of butter and salt to go along with them.

But let’s get back on point.  Food shopping.  I don’t go to the store regularly so when I do, it’s like I never saw fresh food before.  I stock up on berries, bananas, nectarines, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, and of course, spring mix.  I cart out of the produce section with about $30 in fresh produce, never once remembering that it will be impossible for a single person to consume all of this within a few days.  So the inevitable happens.  Two weeks later I am emptying my fridge of slimy lettuce, shriveled tomatoes, spoiled milk and untold amounts of expired everything else.

Some people seem to not understand how this is possible – how do you not eat things you buy?  It’s pretty simple, really.  My schedule changes by the week, things come up, and sometimes I’m either too tired or too lazy to make lunches.  Or sometimes I simply do not want to eat vegetables.  Simple as that.

So what do you do?  Empty your fridge and pantry slowly but surely and then eat out every meal?  Restrict your food budget to a certain amount each week so you won’t overbuy?  Buy online so you won’t be tempted with impulse buys?  Make full meals and freeze half of them? Guess what?  I tried every single one of those options.  Every one.  Some work, some don’t.  Sometimes I’m totally on point and sometimes I waste an incredible amount of time and money.

If you’re single, or cooking for two, or you’re the only one eating healthy in your home, I’m sure you get me.  It’s a challenge.  Especially if you don’t like leftovers. Or your schedule changed at the last minute and you now have dinner plans you weren’t expecting.  Or you get stuck in a three hour meeting and you’ll take whatever the heck they’ll feed you.

So, like other things in my life, I’m trying yet something else to see if it will work.  I was wasting time scrolling through Facebook the other day and I found a deal for Hello Fresh.  I was able to use some deal and get three meals for $26.  I figured it wouldn’t kill me to try, so I did.  My first box o’stuff arrived on Friday.  They included three meal kits and each were individual packages.

The picture at the top of this post showcases the pieces they sent for Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas. They sent everything fresh and ready to prepare.  There are recipe cards included that show each step and how to prepare everything.  I cooked vegetables and pineapples, made fresh pico de gallo, and put the quesadillas together.  They were really good – I had one for dinner last night and one for dinner tonight.  They included just enough for two people so it creates two meals for me with no waste and nothing to rot and throw out in a week or two.

I also have two more meals to make so they’ll be part of my meal prep tonight.  Not a bad deal, right?

If you want to try it yourself, here’s a link.

https://www.hellofresh.com?c=T8UU8H&utm_source=raf-share&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=clipboard

So raise a toast to all y’all trying to figure out how to not lose yourself in slowly dying produce – I’m with you!  If you have any other ideas to help me figure this out, I’m all ears.  I can even try something again that didn’t work so well before.  Just make it easy.  I’m getting home from work anytime from 7:30 to 8:30 so the last thing I want to do is something elaborate.

Here’s to eating fresh!

Keep it real,

Kim