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Five Thangs Friday Life Lately

Five Thangs Friday

Wowwee! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on this corner of the internet, but I’ve been itching to write/create/speak so cheers to me bringing PseudoMidlifeCrisis back! The last year I’ve learned so much and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how therapeutic words can be. SO even if no one reads this, I know I’m healing myself a lil with each post.

Enough of that. I want to start light so here are five things this week that humored/amused me.

#1 This Kid

Real talk – she will probably always and forever be my #1 for any list, even 5 thangs Friday. But let me explain this picture. This here is my daughter, the thief. You see that chocolate on her face? She stole that out of my purse. This was her face when she got caught. Cutest thief ever.

#2 Goghing on a Date Night

Pun TOTALLY intended. My husband and I finally got out of the house after what felt like five million years to go on a date. We had tickets to see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Overall, it was super fun! The music and the animation of the paintings were beautifully done. Of course, the creme de la creme was the abundance of “Gogh” puns scattered throughout.

#3 A Potential New Hobby

School is officially out for the summer so that means I have more time for hobbies, like crafting. A girl I know posted an instagram photo of yarn art and I was immediately enthralled. *cue trip to Michaels* I tried my hand at it the other day, but it didn’t come out to my liking. I’ll be playing around with it more and hopefully, by next Friday, I have results to share.

#4 Good Ole Thrift Shopping

Nothing puts me in a better mood than a good deal! Today, I found I had some spare time so I hit up a Salvation Army. I recently got rid of the majority of my clothes because they didn’t bring me joy (or more likely they didn’t fit as I would have liked) so I have space in my closet that obviously must be filled. I found a few super cute pieces today! Score of the day was deffo the brand new Lululemon windbreaker that I scored for $4.

#5 My New Job!

Last but not least, I found out I secured my dream teaching job this week. Starting in August, I’ll be starting a new cluster program for students with moderate disabilities. It is my dream to start from scratch and to have complete autonomy over the program and I AM FLIPPING JAZZED!

So that rounds out my five thangs for Friday. After writing it all out, I have to say I had a pretty great week. On the downside, I am on my final taper of Lexapro so my brain feels like mush and my face is number, but things could be worse! I’m excited to be back in this space and hopefully you cannot wait for more word vomit from yours truly. XOXO.

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Uncategorized

In My Feelings, a la Drake

I’ve always seen self care as a bougie massage, a fancy workout class or a face mask. I never thought there would be the day where self care was a nap and a shower, but I guess this is part of transforming into a mother. Today, with my husband’s guidance, I took an hour long nap and a hot shower, and I swear I feel like a new woman.

My feelings have been all over the place lately. I have great days, shit days and okay days. Last week, I had a series of shit days that made me question if I would ever see a great or okay day again. It hit me hard. I spent a lot of time crying and wallowing. I felt fat, useless and exhausted. I felt scared and anxious about the future. I feared that I would never be Jeanette again, that I would just be mom.

Thankfully, I have an incredible husband who has been patient as hell through the last six months of pregnancy. He listened to my every cry, reminded me that my body is working it’s ass off to grow this baby, and helped me to get myself out of that slump.

I know that that was probably not my last slump, but it feels good as hell to be out of it. I would describe it as that feeling when you can breathe again after having a stuffed nose for a week. It’s heavenly.

Becoming a mom is not how it looks on TV – a perfectly round tummy, a great self esteem and boundless energy. The truth is that pregnancy is a body that changes constantly. Pregnancy is having to catch your breath after going up a flight of stair. It’s questioning whether or not you have what it takes to be the mom of your dreams. It’s looking in a mirror and missing the “old” you.

While that is depressing AF, pregnancy is also the knowledge that your body has done something absolutely incredible in growing another human being. It’s the feeling of having your hand on your tummy and feeling your baby kick. It’s knowing that you, along with the person you love and value most in this world, have created life together.

This last week I’ve been focusing on taking care of myself, whether that be a hot shower and clean hair or a fun workout class. As frustrating as pregnancy can be, I’m amazed on a daily basis by what our bodies can do. I’m so grateful for a body that is able to move, support me and my baby.

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Life Lately

Life, Lately – Winter Break Edition

One of my goals for 2020 is to write more. I think I hesitate to write because I want it to be “pretty” – if I don’t have a cute photo to use as the headline, whats the point?! I want to get away from that. I feel better when I write (and ramble). Right now, I just want to do all the things that make me feel better.

As a teacher, we get two weeks off every winter which is glorious and something I count down to from the first day of school. Unfortunately, we go back a few days early this year to make up some of the days that we missed while striking. While I didn’t get my full 16 days off, I did get a nice 12 day break.

Prior to finding out I was pregnant, I had booked a trip to Sweden and Ukraine. I had to cancel that and was disappointed AF. I live to travel. I thought this break would be terribly boring without a trip. To be honest though, it has been exactly what I needed. A period of time to step back and relax. To sleep. To (unfortunately) get sick. To spend time with my family. To watch too much TV.

As I transition into this new role of motherhood that will be arriving in the next five months, I think about how my life will change. I’m sure that after baby is here, 12 days of peace, quiet and no responsibilities will feel like the best damn vacation in the world. So here I am, reflecting on the last two weeks (in picture form of course).

During break, I took care of myself. I had massage appointments (my body has been feeling rough the last few weeks), acupuncture sessions and a few yoga classes. I took walks outside to enjoy this incredible weather we’ve had the last few weeks. I let my body feel something other than pregnancy.

During break, I rediscovered this incredible food combo. I used to buy cut up fruit with chili powder outside of my college dorm often and this brought me back to that period of time. Thankfully, Trader Joes carries a chili lime seasoning that doesn’t have chemicals!

During break, I bravely ventured to Home Depot to buy a few items for my husband. I did not do so well but ya’ll, I tried! On the bright side, I did discover that Goof Off works wonders on your car when it comes to removing paint!

AND I bought this cute Carhartt hat on sale! Who knew Home Depot was so trendy?!

During break, I popped over to Lush and bought a few things. I got some shower melts which I enjoyed and the therapy massage bars that I had read about on pregnancy forums. Not a huge fan of the shower melts, but the therapy bars are incredible! I’ll be continuing to use them throughout this pregnancy!

During break, hubby and I bought a couch! We had held off on purchasing one for years, and had tried other seating arrangements instead (such as a Japanese tatami mat and 2 recliners). We bought this beauty at Costco and are pleased by our decision to follow the mainstream crowd! Movie nights are much comfier now!

During break, I got sick. Being sick while pregnant equals misery, as you aren’t allowed any of the good medicine. What would typically be a 2 day cold turned into a 5 day death bed visit. I ate my weight in pho and binge watched season one of You (which was insanely good, albeit creepy)! While being sick royally sucks, it’s also a good time to slow down, binge on media and take it easy.

While this break wasn’t what I had thought it would be, it was exactly what I needed. I spent quality time with my husband, watched a bunch of movies, relaxed and took time for myself. (Side note: I also think I felt the baby kick for the first time, which was mind blowing). That is my life, lately.

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Sparking Joy

Dear Me, Love Me

Dear 5 year old Jeanette… It’s okay that you don’t look like everyone else in your classroom. One day, you’ll appreciate the intricacies of who you are and where your family comes from.

Dear 13 year old Jeanette… I know you feel like an outsider again, and maybe you are. It will pass and you will find your place, I promise. Be grateful that your family has given you the opportunity to get a better education than you would have at home. At the end of the day, no one can take your mind and your knowledge. Don’t be scared of the changes, flow with them instead.

Dear 16 year old Jeanette… Take care of yourself. It doesn’t matter what any boy thinks of you. How do you think of yourself? Are you as compassionate with yourself as you are with others? Oh and that scale? It can fuck off. It does not tell you your worth. Your life is worth living – every damn second of it.

Dear 18 year old Jeanette… Yet another season of change. Use this new beginning as a way to explore the world. Meet new people. Learn from the heartbreak. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that are just not for you. Oh, and stop playing that Words with Friends game during biology. You’ll do much better if you pay attention.

Dear 19 year old Jeanette… You’re off on a new adventure in a new country with new people. Please soak up this time of your life. Embrace the difficulties that come with learning a new culture, and use that to bring inspiration into your life at home. And don’t feel bad about eating the scones at Spar – you’ll never taste another like it.

Dear 20 year old Jeanette… You’ve decided to get married. Know that marriage is not easy, but it is worth it. I’m so elated that you’ve found someone who will make you think in new ways, and push you for growth. Love him, but do not forget to continue to love yourself as well.

Dear 21 year old Jeanette… You’re a big girl now, with a big girl job! Oh, how I wish I could hug you and tell you that it will all be okay. The tears and long hours will be worth it in the end. Every day of the next two years will make you a stronger human. Just know that you are making a difference, every damn day.

Dear 24 year old Jeanette… This is your year of saying no to things that do not add to your life. Your time is your time – use it however you please! Be grateful for who you have in your life, and don’t be afraid of letting people go. This year might get rough at some point, but you’ll get through it – you’re strong as shit. Don’t forget that.

Love always,

25 year old Jeanette

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Head + Heart = Hustle Sparking Joy

I’m Where I Need To Be

I just had a flashback to my high school aerobics gym class. Every Friday we would do yoga and meditations (I know, I know – bougie AF). Our teacher would begin each meditation session by having us close our eyes, and saying that we are “exactly where we need to be.”

This has resonated with me a lot this past week. I am exactly where I need to be. I’ve had this overwhelming feeling of discontent over the last few months. I thought I should have been further along by now. I should hold a different job title. I should be more successful. These thoughts ran through my head on the daily.

News flash, Jeanette – you’re 24! You’ve already accomplished a ton. You have your bachelors and your masters. You have a job that DOESN’T stress you out! (How many people can say that!?) You are married to an amazing human who encourages your growth on the daily, and you have a dope family. You have friends that make you think more. You survived two years of hell in the workplace. You’re hustling hard on the side, and that will only continue to grow. You get 12 weeks off a year! You live a beautiful life. YOU ARE IN A GOOD PLACE!

I am exactly where I need to be right now.

I think we, millennials, are a bit arrogant. We’re entitled. We think we deserve more than we have, but why? I’ve worked hard to get where I am now, and I’ll continue to work hard to get to my next place, but for now, I am content with where I am.

We don’t need to constantly check boxes. We need to remember to live and enjoy life. I will never be 24 years and 237 days old again. Tomorrow, I will be a day older. Time is fleeting, and that’s terrifying but also so damn motivating. That motivates me to enjoy each day, to really savor it.

So next time I am feeling like I am not where I need to be, I hope I take a second to remind myself that I actually am. I hope I remind myself about the dope things I’ve seen and done. I hope I continue to see the purpose in my days.

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Sparking Joy

Dear 20 Year Old Me

I wish I could say I was the type of person who woke up every morning, sipped a nice cup of tea and wrote in a journal. I’m not. I try to be, sometimes – but that lasts for a week at most. Last night, I found an old journal of mine, from 2015. Only ten or so pages were written in.

I read this journal last night. Good lord, was I dramatic. Maybe I still am? But beyond it being dramatic, I couldn’t help but want to give 21 year old me a hug. Homegirl thought everything was her fault.

I apologized often in those ten pages. I’m not really sure what I was apologizing for (I wasn’t very good at details, clearly), but I often wrote things like “I am sorry for the way that I am.” I also wrote a lot about what I needed to change about myself.

It broke me to read this. I’m 24 now. I’ve been on this earth an extra 1,460 days and I think I’ve learned a decent amount since then. I’ve learned I don’t need to apologize for who I am. My personality – my humor, my quirks – they’re who I am. I’ve learned that my sensitivity isn’t always a detriment. I’ve learned that it’s not my fault all the time.

Hi 20 year old me!

20 year old me felt ugly. I was not yet comfortable in my skin. I still yearned for what my body had been when I was sick, at times. I put so much of my worth into my appearance, and because I felt so terribly about how I looked, I valued myself at nothing. I recall 20 year old me was still showering in the dark at times, to avoid seeing myself.

While I was saddened to see the state of who I was at that time, it also made me proud of who I’ve become since then. My self esteem, for one, isn’t squashed anymore. I believe in myself, and shit man, that’s all that you need. I recognize my faults, but I also can recognize my strengths. I know my worth.

I wonder, if in five years, 29 year old me will read this blog and cringe. Will I recognize myself anymore? What will have changed? What will remain the same?

My question to you is: what would you tell 20 year old you? As for me, I would tell her to keep her head up and to truly, deeply, love herself.

XO,

J

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Sparking Joy

Don’t Give From Your Cup, Give From Your Saucer

Is your cup half full? Half empty? I want neither. I want a cup that is so full, that it overflows onto the saucer beneath it. With the self-love, respect and energy that overflows, I want to give to others.

I recently heard this quote on a podcast. People always say you can’t give unless you give to yourself first, and I whole heartedly believe that. When I am at my best – excited about life, energized and healthy, I am the best teacher I can be. I am noticeably more excited about the lessons I deliver, and the kids are equally as invested. On days or weeks where something is getting me down, the energy in my classroom mimics that. We don’t get through as much. There are more arguments. Less laughter and less smiles.

The same rings true for the other people in my life. I am a better wife, friend, sister and daughter when my own cup is filled. I have the energy to be all that.

Some would say taking care of yourself first is selfish, but I disagree. How can I care for anyone else if I don’t care for myself first? More importantly, how can I make sure that I am taking care of myself?

I’ve noticed a few things ensure that my personal cup is full. When all of the following are happening, I’m able to spill into my saucer.

I need to be healthy – which means I need to be eating right. I feel my best when my diet consists of lots of vegetables, some meat, some fruit and tons of water. When I move a lot, whether its a lot of walking or consistent gym visits, I have more energy. I need to be sleeping at least 8 hours a night. Which means, I may not have time for late night dinners with friends or conversations past 7pm.

I need to be excited. I need to have things on my radar that invigorate me and thrill me. Personally, that’s usually a trip on the horizon that I can plan for and dream of. It means I’m reading and learning about new things, and having new ideas constantly floating through my head. It means I’m writing about all of it.

I need to be calm. When things are disorganized and chaotic, I am not at my best. My cup lacks. I need to know that my calendar is organized, that my lessons are planned and that my outfits are laid out the night before. I know myself as a person who does not work well under pressure, so I plan for that. Instead of doing a big project all at once, I divide it into manageable chunks.

I need time for myself, as well as for others. I love my husband, my friends and my family. I appreciate the conversations I have with them, and grow from them. One of my favorite parts of the day is the 20 or so minutes before sleep, when my husband and I are in bed chatting. Sometimes about nothing at all, sometimes about something one of us learned. Sometimes we discuss our plans for the future and sometimes we reminisce on what we’ve done so far. When we have these talks, I go to bed with a full heart. Same goes for the discussions I have with others that I love. And while I love conversations, I also need time for myself. In this time, I think. I play music. I read. I energize myself for the conversations I want to have with others.

I need to feel like I am growing, professionally or personally. Preferably both. Right now, I am pursuing my real estate license, which is making me feel like growth is on the horizon, which is helping to fill my cup. Personally, I am searching for hobbies. Hopefully, when the right one comes along, I will feel growth in that department.

When I do all of that, I feel good. I feel energized and ready to give. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, regardless of what that means for you. Don’t look at someone else’s self-care plan and mimic it exactly. Think about how you feel when you do things in your daily life, and the things that bring you joy, calmness and ideas are the things you should incorporate more.

When you do that, when your cup is so full that it overflows, your saucer will be ready for others.

Question: What do you personally do to fill your cup? How do you know when your cup is overflowing?

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Thoughts

When You Don’t Meet Goals

Real talk: it is February 16th. We are more than halfway through with the month and I… have not read a single book. I have also not gone to a single new workout class. I have been far more conscious of my spending and been more mindful, but I feel like a big, fat failure. Earlier in the month, I set four monthly goals for myself to achieve by February 28th. I realized today that I will (probably) not be meeting two of them this month. As a certified type A human, this has been making me feel quite bad.

It’s been on my mind all morning, and I think I’ve finally found a way to come to peace with this. Yes – I won’t be meeting my goals this month, but why? Well, we moved, and that took a ton of time and energy out of me. Like a lot of time and energy. I also started a new part time job, which has taken some time to figure out. It’s not like I didn’t meet the goals because I sat around on my bum all month. I was busy – packing, moving, unpacking, organizing – and so on and so forth.

So today, I’m here to tell you that sometimes it’s okay to not achieve what you originally set out to achieve. Sometimes, life gets in the way. Scratch that. Sometimes, life happens. It doesn’t get in the way – there is no way! So today, I’m freeing myself from the guilt of not achieving goals that I set out for myself. At the end of the day, I am doing what I need to do to be the best version of myself I can be.

I thought about it similarly to how I see workouts. Sometimes, you just can’t go all out. Sometimes you don’t have it in you because you’ve spent your energy elsewhere in life. In those instances, yoga or a walk can be more therapeutic for you than anything else.

It’s about balance, but it’s about long term balance. You can’t live a perfectly balanced life daily, where you give a little of yourself to everything that matters. It’s about how balanced your month, or year is.

This weekend is a three day weekend, and I’m going to use my time how I see fit. Sure, I could binge read books to achieve my monthly goal, and go to a new workout class today and tomorrow, but I have other things I want to do (like find where I packed my undies).

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Sparking Joy

But…Will It Kill You?

Freaking out is my speciality. I freak out about everything: the weather, how much time I need to get to the airport, how many eggs are left in the fridge. My husband, on the other hand, is the coolest cucumber you’ll ever meet, and this has helped me grow. He always says to think about the worst case scenario. Will you die? Will anyone you love die? If the answer is no, then your problem is probably no biggie.

This is easier said than done. For example, this Monday I took a personal day. We get three a year, to use for personal reasons. This was also the first time I had taken a day at my current job. I freaked out. What if they reject it? What if my boss is upset with me? What if my classroom burns and I have to rewrite all the goal books I’ve made?

Today is Thursday – three days post freak out. Guess what? My day was approved. My boss does not hate me. My classroom is still functioning. Nothing happened. I took a personal day, and the world did not end.

I think it’s important to think about worst case scenarios. If you don’t get the job you applied to, you’ll find another one. If the boy you like doesn’t like you back – guess what? There are a ton of fish in the sea. If you don’t like fish, there are also some jellyfish. You’ll survive. I think too many people in our generation overthink what should be a simple decision. People are scared to move out because the place may not be perfect. If it’s not, you signed a one year lease. Life will move on.

In the grand scheme of things, we don’t matter. This is terrifying and relieving all at once. With this in mind, you should feel free to make decisions without mulling over them for a year. Follow your intuition – that sh*t is smart AF. Life is short, as it is. There’s no point wasting time on things that don’t matter in the long run. So, if your decision doesn’t have the ability to kill you, just do it.

What should you take time for, if not making decisions? Smelling the roses!
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Sparking Joy

What Is Self Care?

We all get to that point where we’re tired, overwhelmed and don’t really a give a shite anymore. Sometimes it’s when theres a bunch of deadlines at work, sometimes it’s purely hormonal. So we have a chat with our friend that goes something like this…

Me:”Girl, I am SO tired. S.O.T.I.R.E.D.”

Friend:”Girl, have you been practicing self care?” [Glitter falls from the sky as the word is said]

Me:”Ohmygosh, no – silly me!”

Self care is a buzz word these days. Millennials flipping love self care. But what is it? The definition of self care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Sounds legit but how do we do it? Is there a better way to care care of ourselves?

Am I self-caring yet?!?!

A quick search of self care routines leads you to over 2 billion results. Type self care into Instagram and you’re in a pool of photos of people with face masks on and rosé in hand. People are serious about this ya’ll. I found a reddit thread where people (mostly women, it appears) discuss their “self care routine.” Some women change their sheets every Monday, some women do a face mask once a week. One woman wrote that she wakes up an hour earlier than everyone else in her house to make sure her day runs smoothly. Another woman wrote “shower beers.” Is that a shower made of beer or a beer you drink in the shower? I’ve had my coffee in the shower before and it wasn’t all that relaxing but who am I to judge?

After looking into this topic more, I realize that a good amount of people have drinking listed as a self care technique. This raises a few questions for me. If self care, by definition, is meant to “protect your well-being” should drinking be allowed to fall into that category? When I think self care, I think yoga, skin care, and a lavender scented bath tub. Can drinking, which is a stressful thing for your body, be used to destress mentally? Or does self care just mean doing what you want to do, and what makes you feel happy in the moment?

Self care, and one’s self care routine is personal. What de-stresses me may not de-stress my friends. Here’s some insight into what I do for my own version of self care. I wake up every work morning about an hour earlier than I need to. I need that time to myself, to drink my coffee, to read (optimistically) or to surf the internet (more realistic). I’ve told my friends about my morning routine, and most of them look at me like I’m crazy. “You’d trade sleep for some quiet coffee and Pinterest?!?!” I actually don’t trade sleep. Sleep is very important to me. Ask any of my friends if I text back past 8:30pm. Nope! Why? Because ya girl’s phone is on airplane mode and my face is in a book, getting ready for a 9:30 bedtime.

Kombucha is deffo a form of self care for me

Sometimes I browse the racks of Salvation Army on a Saturday morning. There’s something about finding a great deal or a treasure that makes me feel happier. Books are also a huge source of self care for me (many of which I find at the Salvation Army – two birds one stone amirite?!) It can be a nice dinner with my husband or a just a long walk together. Sometimes, it’s a good cup of coffee and a long chat with a friend. A huge part of self care for me is exploration and trips. I find myself when I go to a place that isn’t home, and there’s a lot of value in that for me.

Sometimes, self care is a bee onesie, your best friend and hot cocoa

My point is, I don’t have a self care “routine” that I do weekly. I go by feel. I do what I need to do to feel good about myself, so that I can feel good about all aspects of my life and use my energy efficiently. For some people, a routine is what they need. Some people need some wine at the end of the day. Some people would say that a clean kitchen at the end of the day is their form of self care. Self care should be centered around your self, not what looks good on Instagram (although maybe, Instagram is a form of self care for you?) What do you do to take care of yourself? What are your thoughts on the concept of self care?