You Are My Sunshine!

Hello and Happy Thursday!

So yesterday my other half, my sunshine had major neck surgery.  Today, I am thankful that things have gone well and I am dedicating my page to her.

Do you have a person, lobster, other-half, spouse, etc…?  If they are your heart, then you know where I have been for the last few days.  Worry, worry, worry, cannot take away the pain…But I can be there.  I have been both the patient and the caretaker, and I think it is easier to be the patient, at least mentally!

My other half is Jackie.  She is pretty awesome. IMG_E1739_2 We have been together for 15 years and married for almost two.  We do not talk much about ourselves because our lifestyle can make people uncomfortable.  However, in our opinions, love is love.  It does not have a color, gender or name.  It is just love. 

Today is about love.  However, you may see it.  Embrace it, hold on to it tight and always remember what it feels like to both be loved and to love!!  

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I received a handmade craft with this quote on it from Jackie a few Christmas’ ago .  I think this is the best gift I have ever received and is her truth.  I hope you enjoy it!!

Until next time, you are NOT alone!!  –Jenn

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Photo by Jenn Freese

Summer Vacation is a Must

We all need to take time off for our and others’ sanity!  I will be taking time away from my blog to de-stress, refresh and get some sun.  I will be back for Merry Monday and Happy New Week on August 6th.

Please take some time out for yourselves this summer!  You deserve it!!!! 🙂 ❤

Until next time, you are NOT alone!  –Jenn

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Let’s Have Some Fun!!!

As you can tell from my blog, I try not to focus on the negative and big topics constantly.  I mean, who needs that?  Not me.  Today, I have found some riddles to have some fun.  I love this kind of stuff especially because I often find I cannot figure them out.  Well, not at first.  🙂    Have Fun!!   Answers at the bottom.

  1. There is a dead man in the middle of a field, nothing is around him and there are no footprints of any sort.  There is an unopened package next to him.  How did he die? HINT: As he approached the field he knew he was going to die.
  2. I can be crushed to pieces but only if I am given away first, I can be clogged and attacked but that’s usually my own doing. No matter how many problems I have, you wouldn’t dare let me go. What am I?
  3. You can find me in the Earth, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter but not in Venus and Neptune. What am I?
  4. What did the smelly feet and smelly shoes say to each other before going on a long day of walking?
  5. I am short, I come second among a dozen, and every four years I change in a way that none of the other dozen do. What am I?
  6. I have a home and a big space, I have keys but I have no locks, I have lots of letters but I have no mailbox. What am I?
  7. Every day people all over the world come to see me, but they rarely stay for more than a few minutes. I am considered very dirty by most people yet they still wouldn’t want a home without me.  What am I?

Until next time, you are NOT alone!  –Jenn

 

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Answers:

  1.  His parachute didn’t open.
  2. A heart
  3. The letter R
  4. This socks
  5. The month of February
  6. A keyboard
  7. A toilet

 

Lazy-Day Sunday Blog

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I must admit, I have been ignoring my blog content lately.  It is funny how coming up with good ideas for every day can be hard and confusing.

I am returning again to one of my favorites but different episodes.  Kid President.

I am also including a little taste into one of my favorite cartoons “Simon’s Cat.”  I hope you enjoy!

 

Until next time.  You are NOT alone.  –Jenn

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You Can Only Do Better!

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A friend of mine sent me this quote today.  My oh my, how I love Maya!  I had never heard of this one before, and I love it.

Life can creep up on us quickly!  Smooth waters can turn into raging tides in the blink of an eye.  Nature gave us an example of this yesterday in Branson, MO when a seemingly uneventful Duck boat ride on a placid lake, turned into a death show.  God bless all of you!  Sometimes things happen so fast we cannot even catch our breaths.

When things feel out of control we need to breathe, focus and realize what we need to do first.  I usually stress-out, hyperventilate, eat, scream and say the first thought in my head.  Unlike the Life cereal slogan, Do NOT be like Mike, or in this case Jenn. 

Why do we go to anger or not dealing with things?  People go into different modes when confronted with life and all of us are so different Why do we let words fly when we should reason through our thoughts and then speak?  I go to anger because it is safe.  It is familiar.  It protects me in a warped sort of way; even though it truly does not.  Anger for me is a constant something in the forefront; however, it is seldom addressed, and that is why for me it is the first thing to fly!

If you pretend not to be something, you can still become that thing.  Does that make sense?  Okay for me, I have anger because I have a leg, back injury and undiagnosed pain that has limited my life experiences for 6 years.  Instead of dealing with these changes and adjusting my lifestyle,  I have let it (my injury) define me.  So, I understand why my knee-jerk reaction is anger.  I am not justifying it, only stating it. 

Do you have a go-to emotion?  One that jumps out at you or others?  Do you have a knee-jerk reaction instead of letting things settle first?  I just started learning about the Languages of Love in therapy.  I do not know much about the languages, but I do know that I do not always react with anger.  I react with love, compassion, gift giving, physical love, etc…  I feel that most of us love on so many levels and that love also includes our self-love.  🙂

I have not yet begun to read my book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, yet but I cannot wait to learn new ways to help love last and succeed.  Love is love and should be worked on in all of our meaningful relationships.  I cannot wait to read about the secret to love, how to communicate and how to help love last.  Because who of us cannot use a good love story??!!  🙂  Oh, that is not what this is, dammit!!

Until next time.  You are NOT alone!  –Jenn

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Photo by Jenn Freese

Drive and Determination For All the Small Things Too!

_Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success._ --Swami Sivananda 1

The drive in the eyes of Philadelphia Phillies Left Fielder, Rhys Hoskins at the Home Run Derby coming in as the very bottom 8 seed was excellent.  That “look” he had in his eyes is one I have seen in my own eyes and the eyes of others.  I think the look was actually terror because he had not had a home run since June 29, 2018. 😉  Love ya Rhys, and great job!!!

Yes, I confess, I watched the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.  Yes, I am a baseball girl.  Go Phillies!  Not only were both of the games entertaining, but they were also nerve-racking, and I was not even participating. 

I noticed so many things about the two nights:  the youth of the players, how much fun they were having, their physical strength and mostly that “look” in all of their eyes.  Determination, Drive, Conviction, Dedication.  They did not appear to look at the game any differently than any other day.

I do understand that most of these men get paid great money to play a game, but it is the “look” that I am talking about.  It is more than the money and fame because I also see it in the eyes of my bowling friends, my parents, a tee-baller or even a famous singer. That drive, determination, fierceness, it is something that once seen cannot be forgotten.

We, humans, get that look in our eyes but why does it waiver?  Why do our eyes sparkle when we get a reward for a task or a promotion and not when we are doing chores and working?   Should that “look” not be there for every aspect of our lives?  My answer is yes, but how to make that happen, in the words of the main man Yoda, “Have the answers I do not!”

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I can offer some suggestions, words, help, and hope but not answers.  One reason I think we forget that fierceness is that we change.  We change physically, emotionally, mentally but we also change because of our experiences as we age.  I know I see things now at 39 much differently than when I was 18.  I have been through things that have made me accept new ideas.  But those ideals should not change my drive, dreams, hopes, giving 100% of myself in everything I do.

Another problem we may encounter is dismissing/devaluing things within our lives.  When others dismiss our feelings, trials, and beliefs or even if we discount our own beliefs, it can change the way we perceive and deal with everything in our lives.  Have you ever had an experience, thought or belief be entirely discounted by another?  Not only does it feel crappy, but it might also change the way you perceive things.  And as I have been hounding since I started my blog, we don’t dismiss/discount, and it is all about how someone perceives things.  🙂

I see all too often we put ourselves wholly into things when we get something tangible out of it.   But why are we not driven when we do the small stuff?  I know they may not be the same, but everything we do should be with 100%.  I fall into this trap all too often, but I am trying to recognize it a DO better.  Remember: there is no trying, do or do not only.

Lastly, we must keep in mind, everything we get to do is a gift.  Breathing, living, having fun.  Every little thing and every day are gifts.  If we put it in this light, maybe we can remember to have that “look” in our eyes for everything we do.   

Watching these hugely talented young men reminded me of perseverance, drive, and inspiration in my own life and seeing that “look” within my own eyes.  It helped me to perceive things in a little different light and hopefully, you can too!

Remember, you are NOT alone!  Until next time.  –Jenn

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How Do You Define “Family”?

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Have you ever met someone you knew would be a long-time friend and possibly family?

I have been blessed to say yes to this more than once.  It is funny how people come and go from our lives.  Our family is usually the stable factor.  But many people have unstable families and look for “family” in another way.

I am an only child, but my family is enormous.  I have always been surrounded by a ton of family and feel blessed that I still am today!  Many people do not have this luxury.  That does NOT mean you do not have a family.  It means you need to redefine your idea of family.

Ah, Family, such a broad definition.  I have shortened Merriam Webster’s definition of family to include: 

  1. the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also: any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family.
  2. a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head
  3. a group of persons of common ancestry: clan
  4. a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation
  5. a group of things related by common characteristics

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The only place in this definition regarding biology/genes are parents and children.  As you can see family is a hugely broad definition.  It can even define inanimate objects.  Therefore, you can also broaden your definition of Family.

My idea of a family is Family by Choice, any and all members that help to function and better each other.  Friends, Sisters, Church Members, Club Friends, Sports People, etc… The bottom line is Family by Blood is the one we are born into, Family by Choice is the family we choose for ourselves.  It is about who is around you when things are crazy.  The people that can stand you for multiple hours.  The ones that just love your company.

As you get older, you begin to see things more wisely.  It is kind of weird, but it is true.   Seeing things differently has helped me to define my family as something completely different.   I have realized my family = the people that know me best.  What I like to eat. My favorite color. They can read my moods, see me in the morning before my coffee, AAAH, and let me cry on their shoulders.  They are my cousins, parents, college friends, sports friends, and people that live in other states.  A family is not just blood sometimes it is so much more.

My hope for you is that you have family; however, you may define it.  I also hope that by seeing me try to redefine and branch out my beliefs that you may be able to do the same, if you so choose. 

Sometimes seeing things from a different point of view can really change your life.  I know this new definition of “family” has brought so many wonderful new members into my life.  I wish this for you!!

Remember…you are NOT alone!  Until next time.  –Jenn

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My Vote: Kid President for President of Inspiration!

“If you can’t think of anything nice to say you’re not thinking hard enough!” 

–Kid President

Have you ever had a day where something fresh and fun is needed for a pick-up?  I was looking for one this morning for writing inspiration, and I came back across Kid President.  I forgot how much this little man impacted my mood.

This Kid, Robby, is just too funny.  He is funny, smart and has the right idea all around!   I can honestly say Robby inspires me and makes me giggle like a child. 🙂  I wanted to find out more about this Kid President, so I went on KidPresident.com and did some research.

Robby’s family launched a summer camp for kids who want to change the world.  The student’s main wish was to leave the world better than they found it.  After seeing the ideas of these young people, the family decided to put a spin on things and hear adult topics from the viewpoint of a kid or Kid President.

Kid President, was started by Robby’s family, specifically his brother-in-law Brad Montague, in Tennessee as a way to give kids a voice.  The family is responsible for the website and content.  The Montague family has been working for years to create things to help shape the way kids see the world and the way the world sees kids.

I hope that Kid President gives you a smile, giggle and a fresh new way of looking at things!  And I sincerely believe you will learn something from him.   Thanks Kid President!!!

Until next time, you are NOT alone!  –Jenn

Loving Yourself Is Not Selfish

Self-love does not require you to ignore your faults, but rather to refuse to use them as an excuse to dislike yourself.  –Dominee 

 

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You cannot love someone else if you do not first love yourself.  Is this true? 

I guess you technically can love others but can you give them your complete 100%?  My answer…No.  If you do not know how to love yourself, or maybe you have just forgotten, it is not easy to give your full love or person to others. Humans have so many distractions in their lives, worrying about self-love should not be one of those distractions. 

Self-love should be a given like breathing air or going to the bathroom.  Second nature to all of us! But all too often I see people forgetting to take care of themselves.  At the end of the day, if you do not love yourself, it is hard to walk through life at anything other than a superficial level.

Can you learn or relearn to love yourself?  Of course, you can, but you need to do the work for yourself and about yourself.  Sounds selfish right?  It is not! 

I have been reading many self-help books lately to get a better understanding of how to help myself.  One of my favorites is Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.  Kamal has been speaking to famous people throughout the world about his “secret’ to loving himself, and that secret is repetition. 

Repetition?  Repeating the phrase “I love myself” in all of your free thinking time.  It is just that easy.  The brain can learn most anything we give it.  Therefore, we need to arm ourselves with positivity and love.  Kamal said when he first started repeating “I love myself” he did not believe the words but continued speaking them.  Eventually, he grew to like himself, so he continued to repeat the words, be kind to himself and embrace his self until one day, he loved himself.  No magic pill, no therapy, just words, practice and an immersion in positivity and a new mind-frame.

See, even if you forgot how to love yourself, you can relearn and practice just like anything else. 

 I am not writing to say you should be wholly self-centered and unempathetic.  But you do need to take the time to do your own work. You deserve it!  So many people think it is selfish to buy something, go on a vacation or even go to Therapy.  It is not selfish to do things for yourself.  Just as it is not selfish to like or even love yourself.  If you repeat and retrain your brain you can think positively and lovingly just as easily as negatively.  It is truly about what you believe, feel and perceive. 

There is a wonderful and unnerving meditation to try in Kamal’s book about self-love that I have included.  

  1. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  2. Stand in front of a mirror, nose a few inches away.  Relax.  Breathe.
  3. Look into your eyes.  Focus on one, don’t panic it’s only you.  Breathe slowly until you develop a rhythm.
  4. Looking into one eye say “I love myself.”  Whether you believe it or not isn’t important.  What is important is you saying it to yourself, looking into your eyes with no escape from the truth.
  5. Repeat “I love myself” gently pausing to watch your eyes.
  6. After 5 minutes, smile.  You have just communicated the truth to yourself in a way your mind cannot escape.

If anyone ever looked in your eyes, knowing you loved them, this is what they saw.  Give yourself the same gift. 

Self-love, whether the first time or relearning, is so important to humans.  To fully live and love we must like and love ourselves.  It is a daily struggle, but we must be kind.  We owe it to ourselves, after all, we would be loving and supportive to others.  So why not to ourselves also?

Remember…you are NOT alone.  Until next time — Jenn 

 

What Do You Mean I’m a Narcissist?

A life without loveis like a year without summer.

If I say the word narcissist, what comes to your mind?  A specifically egotistical rapper, a football jock, a Plastic Surgeon, or your unseemingly wonderful but sharped tongue Aunt?

Any and all of these people can be narcissists.  A significant problem with them is they do not always know they are acting in this manner.  They can seem so reasonable, quiet and unobtrusive on the outside but could something be lurking deep within?

Narcissism is defined as self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.  Or extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.  dictionary.com

Defining narcissism is the easy part, spotting the characteristics of a narcissist can be very tricky.  Many of them are hidden gems that seem so normal until something makes them snap.  Others are very easily spotted.

Spotting Narcissists:

  1. Likable, at first glance.  Charming/charismatic
  2. Some are loud, but many are quiet/shy.
  3. Often are in leadership roles
  4. Manage to make conversations about themselves
  5. Guilty of name-dropping
  6. Storytelling of tragedies and failures always have an air of entitlement and victimization
  7. They like nice things use them to display high status
  8. Appearance is everything (not just physical, what people think about what can be seen)
  9. Strongly adverse to criticism
  10. Excuses are their best friend!
  11. Everything is personal
  12. Most times do not know they are narcissistic and if they do will not admit it
  13. You flatter the narcissist just to keep the peace
  14. Believe they have high self-esteem and no deep-seated insecurities, in theory usually have low self-esteem
  15. Put others on a pedestal, and are then highly critical of them
  16. Manipulative
  17. Change the facts to suit their needs
  18. Can empathize contrary to popular belief.  However, they can turn their empathy off if will impact them in some way.

As you can see from the eighteen above signs, narcissists are everywhere and so plainly hidden.  I find that I have tendencies that I need to work on and watch.  But we learn what we live and live what we learn.  I am just trying to admit and deal with it! 🙂

Vulnerable narcissists (VN) are the hardest to spot.  They are masked as normal, helpless, sensitive and caring people.  They are our friends, Aunts, Mothers, Cousins, etc…  The VN cares for us and loves us but has not been given all the “goods” to make them whole and completely functioning humans.

Many of them have been abused physically, emotionally, even sexually.  And many of them just have issues like everyone else.  Bad childhoods, broken homes, fighting parents, poverty…Something I have found in my personal mental health journey is that there is a stigma about getting help, especially with our older population.

It is sad that there is a stigma for getting the help of any kind in 2018.  But it is still out there.  We need to be open and understanding about these things, not judgemental and disengaged.  Narcissists most time do not know they are that way and most certainly will not admit they are one.

I am just starting to scratch the surface of Narcissism within my own journey.  As I learn new things, read new books and do more therapy I will expand on this topic.  For today, I wanted to scratch the surface of what Narcissism is and how better to spot the hidden signs within your lives.

Until next time.  You are NOT alone.  –Jenn

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