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How to Be a Collector of the Most Amazing Things, Without Being Considered a Hoarder

How to Be a Collector of the Most Amazing Things, Without Being Considered a Hoarder

Most of us have had some sort of collection we held dear at some point in our lives…

For example, when I was in 4th grade, I had a rock collection…

Having a collection is great. We get excited about finding new treasures to add to it and we like showing them off. But what if I told you there is something way more exciting to collect than what you are currently collecting. What if I told you this “something” is timeless, priceless, and you will cherish it forever. Would you ditch your current collection?

Personally, it might be difficult for me to let go of my rocks…

But if you are willing, all you have to do to obtain this collection is put your devices down, make more time in your day, and put out just the slightest bit of effort. If you do all three of these things, you can begin collecting….drum roll please…

MOMENTS and MEMORIES!

I’m sure you all are currently living in your own moments and creating beautiful memories as we speak. But I believe we are taking less time to do these things, and more time getting busy and making excuses. It’s so easy to skip the little things and get stuck in a rut of a rushed routine filled with chaos. It can almost feel like your living each day over and over again ….

Or that your running around in circles with no end in sight….

So, STOP! Just STOP! Take a deep breath, and ask yourself what you want out of your day.

Do you want to be on time no matter what? Have the cleanest house? Finish that entire series in less than 24 hours? Or do you want to make lasting memories that you can’t stop reminiscing and smiling about. Because isn’t smiling your favorite?

Do you want to take time to be in the moment and really feel something incredible? If you chose the first option, that’s ok. But just know that if you’re always on time that’s great, but you may miss something more important by focusing on that perfect punctuality. Know that your house will once again get dirty, and you’ll just have to keep cleaning it over, and over, and over again…

Also know that when you’ve completed that series in one day, you’ll feel disappointed and yearning for more. So be late every once in a while, let the dishes stay in the sink for a little longer, and watch your show like a normal person once a week you god damn coach potato…

Because life is short my friends, and you don’t want to be sitting alone one day wondering where all your time went and wishing for it back.

And it’s so simple! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the best moments or memories ever. Kelly Clarkson is the only one who can have a “moment like this…”

And please don’t confuse collecting memories or being in the moment with having to spend a bunch of money going places or buying stuff. Don’t think that you have to spend countless hours trying to be creative with your time, trying to impress those you want to make memories with, or over thinking this concept…

This should be easy, enjoyable, and exciting!

Side note, this blog is brought to you by the letter E…

Let’s start out with some simple ways to “collect” more memories and really “be” in the moment.

I am a firm believer in celebrating the little things. You learned how to burp your ABC’s? High Five! You got an A on your weekly spelling test? LET’S FRAME IT! Your cat turned 3? LET’S PARTY MITTENS! You came up with a great idea at your sales meeting? HAPPY DANCE!

You see what I’m getting at here? Taking the time to recognize small victories and turning them into a big deal can be amazing! It’s also an easy way to create fun memories! Celebrating these small victories may even lead to fun traditions which…you guessed it…can make even more lasting memories!

(Insert aww moment here)

Another way to make sure you are really getting the most out of life is holding these moments and memories priority over stuff. It’s simple, memories/moments>things. A few of my friends opt to have a family vacation rather than a room full of Christmas gifts, and I think it is amazing! I plan to try this with my own kids, and I’m sure they will hold dear the memory of the time spent having fun with family, versus the 5,000 Shopkins and Legos that I’ll end up stepping on and punishing them for later…

Listen, the hot new toys last a hot second! But the memories of a family vacation or trip will last a life time.

And again, it doesn’t need to be over the top…so hold your horses Sparky…

It’s pretty simple, being present is far more precious than giving presents. I’m sure my daughter would love if I gave her the LOL doll she begged for at the store, but do you know what she will love more? When it’s 9:30 at night and she says “Mom, can you please lay with me?” and I say without hesitation, “Yes.” As I said before, in life there will be gifts and times that we will be busy, but it’s about creating a balance and being conscious of where we are really spending our time.

Balancing time can be easier said than done, this I know. So how do we make the room? Just the other day, I watched a Ted Talk by Emily Esfahani titled, “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy.”And within this talk, she discussed the idea of time being elastic, and that it can stretch to accommodate what we allow. This goes back to that whole priority thing, right? A lot of the times when we think we are just too tired to do something, we probably aren’t…

If you were in school and needed an A on your test to pass a class, I’m sure you would stay up all night and study right? Try to implement this same mentality with your time spent with family and friends. That’s time being elastic my friends! STRETCH.IT.OUT. Which brings me to my next point, check out Ted Talks! They are usually no more than 10-15 minutes each and they are insanley eye opening! Have a moment to yourself and want your mind blown? Then check them out!

I’m not saying look at it like a job either, but push yourself just a litttttttle bit and you’ll be surprised how much you can do. Trust me, I pushed out two humans…

A little bit of effort goes a long way! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes…

For example, sometimes after a long day I just feel like laying like a slob on the couch  with my dirty grey sweat pants a glass ora box of wine and the t.v. But then my husband suggests sitting outside by the fire and listening to music. At first, I don’t want to move from my vegetated Cheeto crusted state. But when I opt to give it a try, 99% of the time I am so glad I did…

The bottom line here is to try to prioritize moments and memories over stuff, cut out the meaningless distractions and BE in the moment! I am no expert at this, I’ve just learned through many a life experience that it can be too easy to miss out on all these amazing things by being too focused on what doesn’t matter. Challenge yourself today by making the time, getting your routine out of it’s comfort zone, and you may just create an amazing memory or add a few amazing moments to your collection Ariel…

You don’t have to chuck your rock, stamp, comic book, or wine collection (especially not your wine collection), just make ROOM for collecting what will really gives your life meaning …precious memories and unforgettable moments.

Don’t wait a lifetime, start now!

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

What’s the worst that could happen when a fat guy puts on a little coat?

Most of us have heard of the many rules to live by; “Stop and smell the roses”, “You only live once”, “Don’t eat yellow snow”,etc etc. But I’ve found through my own life experience that asking yourself “What’s the worst that could happen” has been one of the most useful of them all. Obviously there are limitations to this depending on your lifestyle, but really let those words sink in…

What is the worst that could happen?

If it ends in …”jail time” or “death” then maybe skip that goal…

Really think about using this phrase in your everyday life.

Want a promotion? Hurdle out of your cubicle and just ASK. What’s the worst that could happen? Your boss says no? Then work harder, prove yourself and try again! I know this is easier said than done, but most of the time, isn’t the fear we have growing inside us made up scenarios of what could go wrong? The point of asking yourself “What’s the worst that could happen?” is not to go to imagination station and scare yourself out of your dreams and goals! It’s to allow you to see that realistically, the outcome isn’t going to be the end of the world! So cut out all the make believe Barney…

All that negative make believe is destroying our chance at happiness.

Trust me, I’ve been there. Imagination is an amazing tool, but when you use it to be your own worst enemy, it can be dangerous.

I mean, does anyone remember the movie “It”?

 But don’t think because you are feeling fearful you are in a bad place, because more often than not, fear can be a positive thing! This fear you have when thinking about your goal means you are about to cannon ball out of your comfort zone, it also means that you are planning to act on something that is important to you! So make fear your friend 🙂

Just make sure that you aren’t letting the fear control your life …

Use the fear in addition to your burning passion to keep on trucking! But at the same time, keep in mind that there is a possibility that it may not go 100% your way and leave room to learn. If you get the dreaded “No”, find out why! When you find out why, come at the situation with a new approach and you may be surprised. The more you use this method, the more you are going to WOW yourself with what you are capable of.

But how will you know what you are capable of if you don’t try?

I’m sure we have all heard the quote from Lucille Ball, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” Reading a quote such as this and living by it are completely different things. In my opinion, regret is a harder pill to swallow than a moment of disappointment. You could have a negative outcome nine times out of ten, but would’t you feel better knowing you put yourself out there?

This is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp. For example, it takes a ton of courage to ask someone out on a date. If that person says no, it is one of the shittiest feelings on the planet (trust me, I’ve been there). Immediately following that rejection, it’s damn near impossible to feel good about putting yourself out there again. The first thing that comes to mind is “What is wrong with me?” As much as you prepare yourself for the possibility of disappointment, it can still feel like a punch in the face…

Let yourself feel and cry it out, eat your feelings, bitch to your friend, order a martini (even if you think they are gross but know their strength will just do the trick). Know that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be, bad timing, or that you are better off. The more you sulk in the feeling, the less likely you are to put yourself out there again. Please NEVER let anyone take away your courage.

No matter how bad it hurts, know that you’re BADASS for having the guts to try!!

Speaking of badass, I recently watched a Ted Talk by Tim Ferriss titled, “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals” and it was INSANELY eye opening. If you’re never going to check out the talk, just peep this quote by Seneca the Younger, “We suffer more often in imagination than we do in reality.” HO-LY SHIT! How spot on! This is a bad habit of mine that I am working on. Often times when I have a free moment to myself; the shower, in the car, basically any time I am kid free, I tend to imagine negative scenarios of specific life circumstances. Listen, I preach thinking positively and everyday I make a conscious effort to do so, but I’m human, these negative thoughts happen…

For example, instead of taking that precious free time to imagine winning a free trip to Disney by sharing that Facebook post, this is what plays in my head instead…

This is what was explained by Tim Ferriss as “The Premeditation of Evils”, and this philosophy is as old as your mom…err… I mean …this is some seriously ancient stuff. All this premeditation, negative imagination, and playing out worst case scenarios, is preventing us from taking action for a more fulfilling and Happy life. You may be saying to yourself right about now, “Jess, you’re really contradicting yourself” and I would see your point. I am preaching to tell yourself what’s the worst that could happen, and I am praising Tim Ferriss for saying that playing out these worst case scenarios can be harmful. But, before you think I’m losing it, continue to the next paragraph….

Saying to yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen” and constantly living in fear of worst case scenarios are two drastically different ways of life. Playing out a worst case scenario can actually ease your anxiety of taking action. Going back to Tim’s Ted Talk (Holy alliteration Batman!) he explained in detail a pretty amazing plan of action for those who are of the chronic worrier population. This plan is called, “Fear Setting” and in a nutshell, you write down your worst case scenario, how you could prevent it, and a repair plan just in case it does occur. For further explanation, check out Tim’s Ted Talk…

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”

I’l leave you with that thought provoking quote by Jerzey Gregorek. When we think about the worst case scenario we can either get scared and shy away or we can look at it as a challenge. I have been living by “What’s the worst that could happen?” for quite some time now, but after educating myself through others experiences I am looking at it in a whole new light. Not only am I going to diminish the fear by saying “What’s the worst that could happen?”, but now I am going to take an extra step. I’m going to make the difficult decisions, bite the bullet, and know that my hard choice will leave me with a more beneficial outcome than the easy way out.

So I encourage you to make good choices, think of the worst possible scenarios from those choices, not to be too terrified by them, and go ahead and snap necks and cash checks!

And know that your worst case scenario couldn’t be much worse than this…

 

Did you learn something? Were you entertained? Was it better than scrolling through Facebook on the John? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then please Subscribe 🙂

 

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number Baby!

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number Baby!

You’re being a bit too literal Kevin Heart…

To be more specific, it is NEVER too late to do what you have always wanted to do…

Let me tell you a fantastic story that might make you change your tune about it “being too late.”

My Aunt Carol has been taking my cousin Michael to Taekwondo lessons for many years. She always sat on the sidelines cheering him on and loving every minute of it. But throughout those years, she began to develop an interest in the sport beyond her sons. Could I do this? She wondered. Am I too old? Well she answered her own questions by just doing it

(This is my Aunt Carol holding a certificate for receiving her brown belt!)

Aunt Carol put her age aside and is quite literally kicking ass! So what is stopping you from your dream? Are you in the wrong career? Does it suck the life out of you and make you just live for the weekend? Are you actually Peter Gibbons from Office Space?

Well let me just say it again…it’s never too late!

I have another fun story for you about someone you can actually relate to. My friend Kelly is an amazing person who was really good at her job and actually enjoyed it. But it came to a point where she was not fulfilled in her career. She decided to take a huge risk, leave this awesome job, and totally switch careers! Her words are better than mine when explaining her situation…

Something in me woke up when I turned 30 and told me it was time to grow a set and go for it. Science always scared the shit out of me, so I put a dream of mine in my deep subconscious and went for the easy way out. No regrets though, I’ve had fun and made some of my most solid friendships and relationships out of it. But I’m terrified and excited to announce I’ve been accepted to Holy Family’s accelerated nursing program, starting in January. I’ll have a BSN in my hand in March 2019 and I have never been more excited. And petrified. I can’t wait to save people, to learn and this program just seemed to be the perfect fit.”

Congrats Kelly! I support you and your dreams!

My point of telling you these stories are because they are relatable. I could tell you a million and one stories about famous actors or athletes that never gave up, but could you personally relate to Michael Jordan or Oprah? It’s amazing what they have done, but I’m not trying to be the best in the world at anything….

I personally feel as though some of the reasons we aren’t living our dreams is because we think we should have arrived at them by a certain time.

But why do we feel this way? A great example is that most of us feel like when we graduate high school, we have to go to college, get a degree in 4 years,obtain a career, and we’re set. Sounds easy right? NOT!

(I took the alternate path and didn’t graduate until I was 27)

We are all supposed to know at the age of 17 or 18 what we want to do for the rest of our lives? Some do, and that is freaking amazing! I have a ton of friends who always have known what they wanted to do and have successful careers and I am so proud of them. But at the same time, I felt slightly envious. I’ve always known I was creative, loved to write, and make people laugh, but never really felt like I had pinpointed a career, nor did I feel like I had any kind of path to follow.

But maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t have a specific path, so I could create my own. I mean, my path was full of potholes, red lights, and waiting for ducks to cross, but hey it was a path. And maybe if I had forced myself to follow a specific path because I felt like I had to, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I remember when I went back to school I had posted something on Facebook about getting an A on a test, I was super proud of myself. Later that day, I saw someone I had graduated high school with post something along the lines of “Why are you guys still bragging about grades, we all graduated college years ago!” At first, this made me feel small, silly for posting my grade, and slightly ashamed for being back in school so late. But why? Why do we have to all graduate at the same time? Get jobs at the same time? Accomplish our biggest goals at the same time?

Isn’t it kind of fabulous to learn through this thing called life, so when we do shoot for the moon we actually get there? And WE are the ones that discover that it is made of cheese? And not those who made fun of us who are still sitting around their boring jobs watching us discover that the moon is made of cheese? 

When you think about the time we are living in right now, we have so many opportunities at our fingertips. We can teach ourselves things from watching YouTube videos, we can educate ourselves through Ted Talks, we have access to all kinds of fascinating information. So what are you waiting for?

Stop making excuses, you’re as young as feel, you can do it put your back into it 😉

 

 

Don’t Call It a Comeback! You’ve been here for years.

 

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur

Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur

As children, most of us couldn’t wait to grow up. All we wanted to do was be tall enough to ride the ride or old enough to drive a car. Or, if you were me, you were counting down the days until your 21st birthday…

But, it seemed that with each milestone reached, the more serious life became and we slowly enjoyed less of what made being a child so wonderful…being carefree.

Carefree or gay…either way…either way is fine…

When we got our license, we worried about what people would think of the car we drove…

When we graduated high school we immediately had to make a career choice. What would people think of the path we chose?

What an incredible rush we were in to get to these points in our lives, and what a shame that some of those milestones lost their luster due to our worry about what others thought of us. But don’t worry! I have some good news! There are still plenty of milestones to reach, and plenty more chances not to give a rat’s ass what people think!

Ask yourself this…what revs your engine? What makes you feel on top of the world? What is something you have always enjoyed no matter what? Don’t lose that! It could be as simple as playing the harmonica, being part of a team, or dancing….

When life sucks, it’s because we lost what revs our engine, tickles our pickle, or lights our fire. We get too busy and we care too much. So do yourself a favor, make the time to do the weird thing that makes you happy, and care less about the reaction from others to your weird.

Take the time, even when it feels like you can’t spare a moment. You will be glad you did. More often than not, I have to put out the effort to make the time, and 100% of the time I’m glad I did.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re bored, you tend to do something boring like watch TV? It’s easy to plop on the couch and click passed 100 commercials to finally land on a winner like “Real Housewives of Who Gives a Shit.” Instead of wasting time this way, put out that effort to do something you love! Were you a football player in high school and miss the game? Throw a god damn football!

Miss the old days when you used to sing baritone for the Tone Rangers? Well get your ass off the couch and tank tank tank with the best of them!

It’s ultimately up to you to get your groove back Stella! And I just know you can do it 🙂

Another reason for this…as if you needed another…is to be an example to others, especially your kids. Personally, I try to do more rather than talk more. For the longest time, I felt like I was drilling into my daughter what she was capable of. To take the bull by the horns and to stop her self doubt. But, then I thought to myself, am I relaying this message to her through my actions? Or am I just telling her all of these things and expecting her to believe them. 

Since that “aha” moment, I try my hardest to walk the walk with my freak flag flying high. She may be embarrassed of me when she’s older. But, my hope is that she sees my weird as confident, and that she takes notice of me enjoying life.

I bet you thought “Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur” was just a silly quote from Step Brothers I used…

Well, think again…

(That is me as a Dinosaur with my two awesome kids!)

And don’t just apply this to what you have already done. Think big! What have you always wanted to do but never had the guts to try? What have you talked yourself out of doing for fear of others reaction? I already know you’re getting excited just thinking about it…

Don’t let fear stop you. Just do it. It doesn’t have to be monumental, start small. And remember when I said earlier that I wanted to show my daughter through action instead of words? Well, I’m going to do that here also! I have a list of goals I want to accomplish. Some are big and some are small, but I am going to put it all out there for you. When I said we were on this journey together I meant it…

Throughout the month I am going to display for you an example of walking the walk instead of just talking the talk…or blogging the blog…So be on the look out for my first video of the journey to my goal! Here’s a hint… I mentioned this right above Elaine’s awesome dance moves!

And remember my friends, when it feels like you’re always stuck in second gear..when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year. Always know, I’ll be there for you…

Keep checking in for encouragement for your journey, to be a spectator for mine, or to meet me in the middle to start your own happy.