Currently… March

Reading: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. Recently I’ve had a hard time getting into books and it was getting really frustrating. Even Something Borrowed, a wedding theme book couldn’t keep my interest. Maybe I just needed a new book. I was right! So far, I keep trying to make more time to read this book. It’s an easy read, yet still intriguing!

Writing: Sticky note reminders to myself and emails. Oh, and wedding invitations. Deep and insightful stuff, right??

Watching: This is Us. I’m really sad that I have to wait until September to keep watching. I held myself together until Jack’s monologue about Kate’s future husband. Planning a wedding, being a daddy’s girl, and knowing Jack’s fate combined for tears just streaming down my face.

Planning: The future. The wedding is 142 days away (that seems like a lot, but it’s really only 4.5 months now)! That means the honeymoon is 143 days away! And did I mention that our lease is up in 136 days?? The timing on that wasn’t great, so now we have to decide whether to rent for one more year, or to try and buy a house, (which in the Colorado market, is not so easy). In terms of the wedding, I am working on the invitations! Next up, wedding bands.

Obsessed with:
Beautiful Trauma – (I’ve listened to it for months now, and some days I’ll think, “Okay, now I should probably listen to another artist.” And then I do, and I think, “Ugh I just need to listen to P!nk!”).
My wedding shoes and invitations – They are just so beautiful! I’m obsessed with the dress too, but since it’s not in my possession, it’s a bit more difficult. I would feel vain if I obsessed over the pictures of me in it.

Feeling: Good. This morning when I took the dog out, it was already in the 50s outside and it felt amazing! Let’s not forget that it is Friday!

Thinking about: Ugh. Everything. You know, oddly enough, my book hasn’t published itself yet. Weird, I thought it just needed a little more time. How sad I am that Toys R’ Us is going out of business. Our housing situation. Gardening. Just about anything.

On the hunt for: A simple, white maxi skirt. And 50s style dresses. And more polka dot items to add to my wardrobe. And dresses for all the extra wedding events, like bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc.

In need of: More space, and more organization within the space we live. Ever since we got Peyton, and have been planning a wedding, the walls of our one bedroom apartment have been caving in on us.

Wanting: A long weekend, or to build a fort 🙂 AND of course, a new job!

Working on: Bringing lunches to work so I don’t snack all day long. Cutting back on Starbucks.

That’s all I’ve got for today. As always, thanks for reading!

-M

 

Advertisements

How to Break Your Own Heart

Let’s be honest, we break our own hearts all the time.

Heartbreak doesn’t have to come from a life changing tragedy. Sometimes, it comes from a culmination of life’s little disappointments. Every empty promise, every silent car ride, every bridge burned, we break our own hearts a little bit.

You break your own heart when you stay motionless in your life. If you’re stuck, I know it can be hard to find the motivation or the means to get yourself out, but if you don’t do it, you will look back in a few weeks, months, or even years and wonder how you got to this point and realize, you did it to yourself. You broke your own heart by not moving forward in life.

You break your own heart when you waste your own potential. You know that you can try a little harder, do a little better, and yet you don’t. Maybe you’re scared, maybe you’re indifferent, maybe you’re just comfortable, but you’re breaking your own heart and probably those around you who are rooting for you, and hoping you will get out of your own way.

You break your own heart when you compare yourself to others. We judge our own lives based on what we believe we see in others’ and it can only lead to confusion and disappointment. Just be you. Just live your life and stop worrying about where you are in comparison to everyone else.

You break your own heart when you create mountains out of molehills. Every now and then, take a step back and realize that this problem that seems exhausting and overwhelming and insurmountable, really isn’t that bad. Maybe you need a change in perspective, a helping hand, or just five minutes of shifting your focus. Will it matter in five years? Ten years? Will you look back and laugh at how silly your reaction was? If so, you might be wasting energy and emotion.

You break your own heart by holding things in. You allow your mind to run rampant to the point of creating problems that didn’t exist in the first place.  You bottle things up, convinced that nobody else could ever understand, or would ever care. And then you internalize everything, you drown in your own thoughts, make yourself miserable, and then blow up at an undeserving bystander. When they don’t react the way you hoped for, you dismiss them. And you repeat the same process the next time a problem arises, hurting yourself even more.

You break your own heart by saying things you can’t take back. Words can live on in someone’s heart forever. You may wake up one morning and regret everything you said the night before, but nothing can ever take back what was said.

You break your own heart by not forgiving. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the action, it means moving past it in your own life.

You break your own heart by focusing too much on the past or the future. You will miss out on so many of life’s beautiful moments while you’re too caught up chasing the future or diving into the past. Be content in this moment. Breathe in this moment, and allow yourself to be present. The future becomes the present when you’re too busy to realize it, and the past will drag you down before you know it.

You break your own heart by not accepting reality. If you can’t cope with the problems you’re facing, and you run from emotions that you are too afraid to feel, your heart will break even more once it all catches up to you. And it will all catch up to you eventually.

You break your own heart by doubting people who have never given you a reason to doubt. Trust that some people are actually good. Trust that some people will stick around even when times get tough. Every now and then, when someone proves to be truly worthy, give them the benefit of the doubt. You could save yourself some heartache.

You break your own heart by setting unreasonable expectations for people close to you. Learn who people are and what they are simply incapable of doing. If you allow some wiggle room to your expectations you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. If you don’t let people prove themselves to you, you will break your own heart when they walk away.

You break your own heart by not listening. Do you hear me? Do you hear the root of the issue? Do you understand why I’m telling you this? If you’re confused by someone’s actions, but you haven’t been truly listening to them in the past, it’s going to break your own heart when they eventually stop trying. And you’ll wish that you would have just listened a little more intently.

You break your own heart the second you decide to give up. As soon as you decide to let go of something, it becomes that much easier to do. After that, everything becomes an annoyance, another validation that you made the right decision. And again, some time will pass and you’ll look back and wonder why things fell apart, and even if you don’t remember the exact moment you decided to give up, you’ll remember how everything after that became mundane, irritating, and you won’t have to face the fact that it’s because you made that decision yourself. You broke your own heart.

Dream Interpretations

I believe that dreams are how our bodies experience things we don’t want to in real life, and often it’s our subconscious forcing us to own up to emotions. I also think some dreams are just replications of daily life that get interpreted in strange ways. The dream I had last night was strange enough that I had to look up what some of the elements could mean.

So here is the dream I had last night:

I’m not exactly sure what started this dream, but the first thing I remember is being in a grocery store I have never seen before, with my dog in the cart. I was angry because I couldn’t find my fiance, and I thought he was mad at me. Most people were complimenting the dog, talking about how cute he is, when one lady looked at me and said, “Um if that’s not a service dog, then I’m offended that he’s in here.” And I freaked out on her. (In reality, I really don’t like when people who do not genuinely need service animals, try to pass them off as service pets, or even put on a fake vest. Anyways! Back to the dream!) I walked up to the lady and said, “Oh, you’re offended? Okay, thanks.” And I continued shopping. I went to the checkout stand and the cashier told me she couldn’t check me out because I was an impostor. I became irate.

“I’m an impostor? Is this because of my dog?”

“No, ma’am. I can’t check out impostors.”

“What is your problem, lady? I’m not an impostor!”

Well at this point, the security guard and he came over and told me that if it wasn’t a service animal that I couldn’t have the dog in the store. I tried to calmly explain that I couldn’t find my fiance and couldn’t do anything with the dog, but bring him with me. He wasn’t walking around, or making a mess, he was sitting calmly in the cart; so what was the problem? He told me that I would have to leave.

I was arguing and yelling with the security guard when I saw the woman who was offended at the dog.

“So you called the security guard because you’re offended??” I screamed at her. Then I looked back at the cashier and screamed at her, “And you think I’m an impostor, well that makes me offended! And I’m offended that you don’t like my dog!”

The security guard then escorted me out as I continued yelling. Soon enough, I found Alex and we were driving back from the grocery store with the dog in the car, and we were still mad at each other. While driving, there was a sudden blizzard that caused us to spin out, and I somehow flew out of the window. As I was falling, I decided to start doing flips in the air to help myself land, it was like I was flying at that point, in total control of the fall.

I woke up not knowing when or if I landed, I was still falling/flying when my alarm went off.

Considering this dream was so out of the ordinary, and unrelated to the day that I had yesterday, I went to the dream interpretation site I’ve been reading for years, dreammoods.com. (They didn’t even pay me to mention them, although, I wouldn’t object to that!)

Here’s what DreamMoods had to say about the various elements in last night’s dream.

To push a shopping cart in your dream suggests that you need to search out more options for some aspect of your life.

Hmm… Okay. My first thought about what that could be is my job. On to the next. 

To see a dog in your dream symbolizes intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity. The dream suggests that your strong values and good intentions will enable you to go forward in the world and bring you success. Alternatively, to see a dog in your dream indicates a skill that you may have ignored or forgotten

So I will be able to go forward in my life, while searching for new options? Alternatively, this new job could entail a skill that I have ignored or forgotten. 

To dream that you are in a market represents some emotional or physical need that you are currently lacking in your life. You may be in need of nurturance and some fulfillment.

What do I need to feel fulfilled? Well my job definitely does not fulfill me. Relationship does, family does, friendships do. Job it is. 

To dream that you are going crazy suggests that you have lost sight of your goals.

Hmm. True. 

To dream about a blizzard suggests that you are feeling emotionally cold and frigid. You feel excluded and left out.

Well, maybe, but not because of my job. Feeling excluded and left out? I’m getting married, buying house, own a dog and a cat, and have a great family. The only thing I’m feeling left out on is when I see people who just love their jobs, or have jobs with elements that I am envious of. 

To dream that you fall and are not frightened signifies that you will overcome your adversities with ease.

Yay! I will find a job, and I will quit this job and I will stop having weird dreams! Well, maybe not that last part. 

When it comes to looking up flying, that is a very common dream, so it could represent multiple things, according to DreamMoods, flying can represent control, new perspective, freedom, and escape.

“Flying represents control:
If you are flying with ease and are enjoying the scene and landscape below, then it suggests that you are in charge and on top of a situation. You have risen above something. Flying dreams and the ability to control your flight is representative of your own personal sense of power.

Flying represents freedom:
Your dream flight may be sending you a message that nothing is impossible; you can be anybody and do anything. Your ability to fly signifies hope, possibilities, reality and freedom of expression. It may also reflect your strong will and is a reminder for you not to give up. Nobody can tell you what you cannot do and accomplish. Such dreams can provide great motivation and renewed sense of freedom.

Flying represents escape:
To dream of flying can also function as an escape from the stresses and pressures of your everyday life. Instead of confronting your daily problems, you take flight and try to get away from it all.”

Yes, I have the power to change my job situation. Yes, a new job, especially one in the creative field, would be so incredibly freeing to me, considering how trapped I feel in this job. And yes, thinking about starting a new job, stresses me out and ultimately stops me from trying and reaching my full potential, so I avoid it. 

Of course, you can read into your dreams whatever you want, and maybe it is just some weird interpretation of everything I experienced that day, but I believe that most dreams are trying to tell us something, or at the very least, trying to get us to deal with something we don’t want to. And sometimes, dreams open your eyes to your truer desires.

Thanks for reading!

Query Letter Writing: My Imperfect Process

Here was today’s process for writing a children’s book query letter.

Open Word document.

Minimize Word document for hours.

Re-read articles on how to write a query letter.

Read articles about winter boots for dogs.

Fall down rabbit hole that is the internet and dog products.

Write heading of query letter.

Research publishers.

Research publishers that accept unsolicited submissions.

Get overwhelmed.

Play games on phone.

“Okay, you have to write at least one query letter by the end of today.”

Check Facebook.

Post picture of dog and cat on post about National Pet Day.

Look at all the pictures of animals!

Write two sentence summary of book.

“Alright, now just keep going!”

Play game on phone.

“Maybe I should just get a literary agent. Those cost money. I don’t have money. I should write this query letter. It’s not going to write itself.”

Write about lessons learned from book, missing the right adjective.

“Hmm… What is my book actually about?”

Determine proper adjective.

“Okay, back on track.”

Wonder if summary has enough depth.

Check comments on pet photos.

“I mean, how much could an agent really cost?”

Get to final paragraph of query letter, where you’re supposed to list accomplishments and awards.

“Can plug in flash drive correctly on first try…. Received Super Citizen award thrice in elementary school.”

Facepalm.

Admit that you have no experience, and that you’re just trying to get your first book published because the first one is the hardest, and your book is better than Jimmy Fallon’s, but you can’t hold that against him because you love Jimmy.

YouTube clips from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Go back to Word document.

Use word “thematically.”

Finalize your letter.

Doubt everything you just did and wonder where the past seven hours of your life went.

Send query letter anyways.

Repeat.

 

 

Currently… February

Reading: I started reading Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin because I got it from my local library’s used book sale (such a steal for bibliophiles!) but I cannot get into it. I’ve seen the movie, but in the book the protagonist sleeps with her best friend’s fiance in CHAPTER ONE! It’s quite a way to start off a book, that’s for sure. I’ll keep going, but if after a few more chapters I still can’t get into it, it’s on to the next! I have quite the reading list these days.

Writing: Query letters for Children’s Book #2. Query letters and cover letters are the worst types of writing for me, so it’s taken awhile for me to decide it was time to write them, but there is no chance of it getting published without putting in that work.

Watching: This is Us. I would like for the show to still air during the Olympics. We need to get back to the story! And Divorce on HBO. I keep watching it, but can’t decide how I feel about it yet.

Planning: The wedding that is less than six months away now! Honeymoon is booked (Hawaii) as well as all my vendors!

Obsessed with: I Love Lucy. For awhile now, I’ve watched an episode before work in the morning, but lately I’ve been watching more and more in my free time. I love the fashion, the lifestyle, and the silly humor. It’s my comfort. ❤

Thinking about: The shooting in Florida. I’m frustrated that it happened again. I’m frustrated at the unproductive arguing over the issue. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it, imagine what we could accomplish if we focused on what unites us, rather than divides us. I really think all political views have more in common than we think. I do not think that our citizens need to have any kind of assault weapons or semi-automatics. I do think that as a petite, not physically strong woman, I should be able to carry a handgun for protection. I think background checks need to be universal when buying guns, but I also know that not every person will follow the laws, and there will always be loopholes, etc. I don’t think it is fair, or proper, or kind to balk at someone saying they are sending thoughts and prayers to victims of a tragedy. I also think that our country as a whole needs to focus more on mental health, and de-stigmatizing therapy, disorders, etc. If you go to a doctor for a check up, nobody bats an eye. If you go to a psychologist for a check up, people pry and probe into your business. And how do we prevent the mentally unstable from getting guns? I don’t know. Obviously, these are just my opinions, and I don’t know what I’m to do with them, but the fact that mass shootings are becoming commonplace news in our country is not okay with me.

Wanting: A day off during the week to just do normal things like clean the apartment, run errands, etc. OR a job where I make my own schedule. Part of why I loved college so much was because I made my own schedule and was able to work when I felt most productive. Here is one of my favorite of the many wonderful lines in Wonder Woman that really made me think about the concept more.

Diana: What is that?
Steve Trevor: That is a watch.
Diana: What does it do?
Steve Trevor: It tells the time. It tells you when to sleep, to eat…
Diana: That tiny thing tells you what to do?

When I stop to think about it, it feels completely unnatural for someone else to tell me how and when to work, sleep, eat, etc. I understand the need to be in an office during certain hours, especially in certain industries, but I need more flexibility in my life in that regard.

Needing: To sleep in. I’m hoping that tomorrow morning I can sleep in until my body decides it’s time to wake up. Not until the animals decide they are hungry, or my mind decides to wake up even though my body still wants to sleep. I’ve been sleeping fairly well at night lately, but come morning, my eyes still yearn to stay closed. I want to wake up feeling refreshed for once!

On the hunt for: My garter, cake servers, and possibly champagne flutes. Etsy is wonderful, and completely overwhelming!

Dreading: Getting a cavity filled next month. Do I have to? 😦

Looking forward to: Spring! My favorite season (tied with Fall) is on it’s way! Going outside during the early morning in spring might be one of the best feelings ever. It smells like dew and grass, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, but the air is just crisp enough that you need a light jacket, the sky is clear — I smile just thinking about those mornings! 🙂

I’ve noticed that writing is a lot like working out, it takes a lot of motivation to get you to do it, but once you do, you never regret it, and it might just make you do it even more! Thanks for reading!

Call for Proofeaders!

Good morning!

I need some grammar nazis to volunteer to proofread my second children’s book so that I can send it to publishers. I’ve had a few takers on Facebook and sent them the manuscript, but getting back to me has been a bit of a problem, and since they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, for free, I can’t complain! I’m thankful for any help I can get.

If anyone would be interested in proofreading my children’s book manuscript, please let me know and we will work out the details!

 

Thanks so much!

-M

Student Loan Woes

Confessions of a 20-something

I need to take a minute to talk about student loans.

Since senior year of college, they have been a dark cloud looming over me. I have about $95,000 worth of debt for getting my degree. I take full responsibility for this. I signed up for college, knowing that I couldn’t afford to pay for it. I decided to go to a four-year, state university. I signed up for loans, knowing that I would have to pay them back after graduation. I chose a degree that is severely devalued in today’s world. (That’s a blog post for another day). I know that I put myself in this situation.

However, I recently realized that because my payments are so low, due to my income based repayment plan (IBR) that Obama put into place, I am only paying off the interest on my loans. Mind you, interest is still accruing every, single…

View original post 778 more words

Currently… January

ReadingThe Rules of Love and Grammar by Mary Simses. The title caught my eye, but in an effort to save money, I actually went to my local library instead of bookstore! I forgot how great libraries are. My reading list increased after visiting, but at least I know I can get those books for free! I have only read chapter one as of today, but so far so good!

Watching: This is Us is back!! Alex and I are watching Band of Brothers, and I think when I finish re-watching Drop Dead Diva, I will rewatch Sex and the City as well.

Planning: My wedding, which is in…. 214 days! Which is 30 weeks! Which is 7 months and two days! We just booked our Hawaiian honeymoon, bridesmaid dress shopping is this weekend, and cake tasting is the next two Saturdays of this month!

Writing: *crickets* because I suck. 😦

Obsessed with: Getting our new puppy and my cat to get along! Alex and I found a one year old Golden Retriever rescue. So many things had to go right for us to adopt this guy, and everything did. It was meant to be! Here is his before and after adoption photo. It was seriously less than two hours after adoption and his demeanor changed so much! Welcome home, Peyton! (Yes, like Peyton Manning!)

img_2599

Thinking about: Taking a break from the internet. I have taken social media breaks before, and they can be quite refreshing. But I am thinking about taking an internet break, (other than emails). My friend and I were talking about just how reliant we really are on the internet. Don’t know how to change a tire? Google it. Want to know what illness you’re suffering from? Google it. What’s that recipe for that chicken you like? Google it! What did our grandparents think of their stomachache while lying in bed at night? How did they ever figure out how to make food delicious without Pinterest?? We’re just really spoiled with the internet and I’m thinking about taking a break. After I look up dog training articles of course! 🙂

Feeling: Slightly overwhelmed, and hungry.

Craving: Guacamole 🙂

Needing: My animals to be friends!

Wanting: A new job. I’ve been bored here for months now and have not even used that time to be creative. I have no flexibility, but do have money to keep a roof over my head, and get a new pet.

Well, thanks for reading everyone! Feel free to let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

-M

Wave of Doubt

Do you ever ask yourself, “What’s the point?”

I pose this question to artists in generally, and writers specifically.

We’re constantly reminded how hard it is to “make it” and redefining what it even means to “make it” and lately, it has exhausted me.

I’ve been uninspired, unproductive, and unsure.

And my writing has been even worse.

I can come up with plenty of excuses as to why I feel all those things. “It’s the holidays.” “I’m planning a wedding.” “It’s just the industry I’m in.” “It’s Jimmy Fallon/Isla Fisher/Chelsea Clinton’s fault.” (What do those three have in common that could possibly relate to my writing – children’s books and the fame that got them published.)  But these words won’t write themselves, and I have no one else to blame for that.

Even when I say that to myself and admit that I have no good reason to stop writing, then that voice is in my head that asks, “But what’s the point? You’ve been ‘a blogger’ for 5 years now and what’s come of it? When is enough enough?” It’s like taking a test like the MCAT or LSAT. After so many attempts, you might want to reevaluate. Is that how it works for creatives too?

Even after I’ve changed what my notion of “making it” means to a writer, and to me, I wonder, what’s the point? Why write this blog? Why do you think your words are more important than anyone else’s? What do I have to say that’s more interesting than the next struggling writer with an English degree? Or the next struggling writer without an English degree? Is the person who gets paid to write better off than me? Why can’t I just be happy with where I am in this very moment? Why can’t I just be content with the loyal group of readers that I have? What if Emily Dickinson concerned herself with getting published?

So my fellow creatives, and my dear readers, I can’t be alone in these thoughts, right? How do you get over your own fear and doubts and just keep going? 

 

A Few of my Favorite Things…

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens….

Well, not quite. But I do love the holidays, and have quite a few favorite things when it comes to Christmas. As I’ve gotten older, and now that I’m engaged and have two families to share the holidays with, Christmas has gotten complicated, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of logistics and money. Whenever I need a little Christmas spirit, I go to the mall, it’s decorated beautifully, it’s bustling with people, and it smells like cinnamon. As odd as it may seem, it’s a reminder to me to slow down and enjoy the season that only comes around once a year. If I can’t go to the mall, I light my Pine scented candle and wrap presents, or watch a Christmas movie, and I think back on all my great holiday memories I’ve had over the years. So while someday I might do a list of my favorite things in general, today I’m giving you a list of my favorite Christmas things!

Food: Homemade fudge! On the actual day, cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and stuffing with dinner.

Song: The Christmas Song (Chesnuts Roasting) by Nat King Cole, or Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra. A less traditional favorite is It Must’ve Been Old Santa by Harry Connick, Jr.

Movie: Home Alone

Tradition: Every Christmas Eve my dad reads Twas the Night Before Christmas to my sisters and I. We all pile onto the couch and listen as he adds his own personal touches to the story, “While visions of Starbucks danced in their heads…” (who wants a sugarplum anyways??) It’s been a tradition since we were kids and for the few minutes that he is reading the story, we’re not fighting, or stressed, or thinking about presents, we’re just a family, listening to a story. Below is one of the oldest pictures I can find and the latest picture of this tradition.

BeFunky Collage

These are just my favorite things to remind me enjoy this season and stop and smell the pine needles every now and then. Maybe you need a little reminder too.