Planner

Planner

I really fell in love with planners and the art of making them my own a couple years ago. I have ALWAYS loved planners, writing things in notebooks, and making lists. I am one of those crazy people who will write something on my shopping list (at the store) just so I can cross it off. These past four years I have kind of lost my passions and hobbies. I was miserable (still am sometimes), gained weight during the commute (pre-commuting I would work out at the gym twice a day…), and was just not a happy person. It was hard having to put on a happy face, working a job where it was kind of required, when I was feeling so lost inside. Last April, I transferred to a community 1.3 miles away from my house. With years of commuting, I lost HOURS a day and lost all motivation to read, write, and plan. This past week I met a friend at the library and we PLANNED. It was great! It was amazing! It was stress-relieving. I am starting small again, but I am starting. It makes me happy! I have also read three books. I really can not tell you how long it has been since I read a book (maybe four years)! I really feel these little steps are helping me add some joy back into my life. It is a start.

2 down…

…3 to go. I love Christmas. I really do. I love the twinkling lights and the music. But putting up Christmas trees is a pain. I feel it is important for every neighborhood to have a Christmas tree. My residents deserve to see those twinkling lights in every room. They deserve to feel the magic of the season. So, this year I will smile while snapping together trees, while fluffing the branches, and while wrapping the lights.

I will be happy to do this for my oldies. This may be their last holiday season. They deserve the happiness.

Hapiness Day 11: My sister makes me happy.

She is such a hard-working, dedicated, loving mother of 3 crazy, but super adorable children. When I was a commuter I had such huge amounts of guilt from being too tired to see family on days off. Huge amounts to the point that I would cry for hours on my days off because I felt horrible. That is truly no life to live. Working in Kent has been a blessing. I was able to surprise the kids at Ashlee’s volleyball game after work and spend the day with them today. I feel at peace when I am with my family.

How do you counteract those feelings of guilt? What are your go to coping mechanisms? Comment below. I would like to hear them!

Black Friday

Did you go Black Friday shopping? Every year I make one stop: Fred Meyer. I buy 5 pairs of boots and socks and call it good. My yearly boot shopping tradition makes me happy. My local store doesn’t always have my size. I think I only purchased one pair of boots this year that was my size. I will have to drive to the other Fred Meyer stores this next week on a hunt. When I commuted to work I would leave 2 hours earlier on my search.

Shoes make me happy. As my mom would say, “You need another pair of shoes like you need another hole in your head.”

Happy Thanksgiving

I hate holidays. Next year I have a feeling I will like them so much more.

I need to be thankful though. I am thankful for my family, for my job, for the LeGrande family, for the Hart family, for the Crutchfield family, for Cara, for my job, for my oldies, for my health, for my intelligence (on most days). I am just grateful.

I wanted to create a new habit of journaling/blogging everyday. So this is today’s attempt. I am shooting for 21 days of digital journaling before I start handwritten journaling.

P.S. Please enjoy Maple for a second day in a row. He got dressed up for the holiday. Hmm… might need to start making bunny outfits. Can you say Santa Bunny???

Happiness Day 8- Just Being Real

I hate holidays. I miss having big family get togethers and having my parents around for holidays. Chicago is just too far away and so expensive to fly to. Today has been a rough day. I found myself crying ALL day… from watching feel good things. I feel mom and dad sick today. I miss them…. So, today it is hard to feel happy.

But, I still feel so blessed. Today I am happy that I cuddled with Maple. Maple is our dwarf bunny at work. He stays inside and brings so much joy to our seniors and their families. He is just so stinking cute that you can’t help but feel happy seeing him.

On days when you find it hard to be happy, what do you do? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Happiness Day 7- Just Get To It

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I did not sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and was just restless all night long. I have all of these little holiday projects at work that are really stressing me out. I met up with one of my previous volunteers from the assisted living facility where I worked for most of my working career. It was such a good dinner and so much fun catching up. There was laughter, there was tears… you know, the usual. It got me thinking today about that stress last night. I have been so lucky to always have people in my corner to do these crazy projects with. These projects are supposed to be fun and I need to let go of the stress and just enjoy the season and the fun these surprises will create. I know they will get done so I am just going to be happy, smile, and get to it.

And if you are curious about these projects: we are making a 2’ by 4’ gingerbread scene and two 6 feet tall Nutcrackers….

Happiness Day 6

Saturday I went painting with Aisha. It is a supportive living home for a couple men with developmental disabilities. On Halloween one of these men was looking forward to trick-or-treaters. Last year he stayed up all night long and was so disappointed that no one came. I was lucky enough this year, as a 33 year old adult, dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood, to go trick-or-treating. I was in tears seeing the joy on his face as he excitedly hobbled down the stairs to give me a piece of candy. I fell in love with him and would willing spend my day off making his house more of a home. This man looks forward to two things every year: Halloween and visiting his parent’s grave on Thanksgiving. It broke my heart that I have so much to be excited for and this is all he has. I told Aisha I wanted him to be excited for more and I would do what I could. I made him card kits to send cards to his friends and am planning on buying him little presents for Christmas. I wish I could do more. But will be content with craft kits and home make-overs.

What’s Stopping You?

Today while leading activities, the above quote was mentioned. I loved it… and told my oldies I needed to write it down so I remembered it. They always laugh when I write things down, only because they get it.

After reading that quote, one of my residents asked if I said hi to strangers. I couldn’t say yes. I find myself staring at my feet when I am in public and avoiding eye contact with the strangers that could be my friends. It reminded me of a little experience yesterday. After lunch in Bellevue, we were leaving the parking garage as a lady was crossing the street. She was smiling. Not just smiling, but grinning. She wasn’t wearing headphones, she wasn’t on a phone, she was just smiling. I said, “Man! She is happy to be alive. Why can’t I be that happy?” I discussed this with my residents. What stops us from smiling ALL THE TIME? We made a list. A rather long list of reasons why. I then erased it wrote the question on the bored again and asked one more time what stops us from smiling all the time. Before anyone could remake the list, one of my little old ladies called out, “Nothing!”.

How true is that? Nothing is stopping me from smiling all the time and saying hi to my future friends/strangers. Tonight on my way home I drove with a BIG smile on my face. I wasn’t listening to music, I wasn’t talking on the phone… I was just smiling. I looked to the left at a stop light to see a lady pointing at me and I waved. Mr. Rogers was right. At that moment, my red light stranger was a friend.

Happiness Day 5

I have never considered myself an artistic person. Creative, yes. Artistic, no. When I transferred to Aegis of Kent, we restarted doing weekly art lessons with my memory care seniors. It was a stretch and at first hard. After commuting for 4 years I kind of lost touch with hobbies and things I liked to do. It has been hard to get in touch with that again. I told myself I wanted to learn to be artistic, or at the very least to enjoy it. I am lucky to work for a company that is dedicated to bringing life enriching experiences to our seniors. Friday I went to a regional training where we experienced art. White chalk/pencils, watercolor pencils, and canvas rolls. It is so encouraging to receive training and support. I can not wait to bring these mediums to my seniors, AND to experiment more with them myself.