Finding the good in everything

When things are rough, it’s hard to find the good in a situation.  The past six months haven’t been the easiest:  our office staff found out the day after Labor Day that we were no longer going to be with the company we had been employed with after December 28th.  Another company was going to take over our office.

This left a lot of uncertainty.  At the time one of my co workers was poised to move into the sales manager position and I was moving into sales.  We didn’t know if we would have jobs after December 29th and started prepping for the worst, making sure our resumes were up to date and started scouring the classifieds for possible job leads.  We later had to re apply for our jobs or for possibly promotions.  And even after we interviewed, it took weeks for us to find out what our future held.  We all were blessed to keep our jobs, myself and another gal got promotions, and we were able to hire another person on.

But something so amazing came out of our months of uncertainty.  Before all this happened, our office was not cohesive, there was tension in the office.  As we went through this phase of life together, we became closer and learned to work through issues and help each other out.

We are still working on things as we are transitioning to the new company.  It was a rough couple weeks for me as I try on my new hat and try to figure out what I need to be doing and how.  I’ve been crabby, sometimes REALLY crabby.  Today, as I was having a better day, one of my Account Executives recognized that time is important and told me that she’s allowing more time for me to work on things for her.  It may seem like a tiny thing as you read this but to me it’s huge.  It means that we are continuing to grow with each other, learn from each other and are continuing to stick things out:  through thick or thin.

Count your blessings, remember what is really important and be thankful for what you have in your life.

Starting anew

While most people were spending New Year’s Eve with family and friends, I opted to stay at home.  It’s been a weird week and then when I got home from work, my cat was sick and thought it was better to cuddle with her and make sure she was ok.  When your fur baby is over 18, you never know…

I had time to think while watching a marathon of “Wings”.  I had read a blog by Ashley Castle, a world-class traveler and Arbonne consultant, earlier in the day and it got me thinking:  What are my goals and dreams?  What do I need to change to reach them?

I actually met Ashley this summer.  She was working on the Mutual of Omaha Aha! Tour.  When I came in for my interview, she spotted my Arbonne necklace and made a connection.  Once an Arbonne sister, always an Arbonne sister.  Since then I’ve followed her on Facebook and via her blog.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty jealous of her lifestyle as she is always traveling somewhere, it seems.  But she is by no means a trust fund baby, she has worked hard to make it all happen and she is a travel writer so makes a living by the sights she sees.  The point is that that was her dream and two years ago it HAPPENED.  Now, someone didn’t just give it to her…again, she worked for it, it was a GOAL.

She makes goals in four or five areas of her life every year.  She WRITES them down.  I’ve had my Arbonne consultants ask why they should write their monthly goals down.  Here is the reason:  you are 70% more likely to reach a goal if it is written down.  If you don’t write it down, the likelihood of reaching that goal drops to 7%.  (Thanks, Ashley!).  In reading that, it made me think this:  “If I don’t write a goal down, I really have no intention of doing it.  I have no DESIRE to reach that goal.  It’s just a “if I do it, then it’s cool.” kind of goal.

I will be following Ashley’s method of creating goals in my life from professional to different aspects of my personal life.  I also will be focusing on the positive.  This includes cleaning out the negative friends, acquaintances, books and so much more from my life.  I will be limiting some relationships because they are “poisonous” which may mean cleaning out my Facebook friends…the horror!  I will be downsizing because we all have too many “things” in our lives.  Things do NOT equal happiness.  I will cross one or two items off of my bucket list.  I will run more races, will take the time to FEEL better about myself which will translate into looking better, if that can happen.  Haha!  Just kidding.  I will take time for ME.  We don’t do that either.  Taking time for yourself isn’t a bad thing, being selfish with “me” time is a GOOD thing.  If we don’t take time for ourselves, we are no good for anyone.  As a social butterfly, this will be a hard one for me.  I hate missing out on things!  I will try new things because if you don’t try it, you don’t know if you like it!

This is a start to my new year.  This will be a new year, a new me and a great new time in my life.  This is the year I turn 40 and I won’t go into it kicking and screaming.  I will welcome it because it means greater things are ahead.

I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and that you have an amazing start to 2015.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and also follow my friend Ashley there!

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As we age…

I just had another birthday.  Somedays I’m astonished at the fact that I’m nearly 40.  I don’t feel forty, luckily don’t look like it either so maybe that’s why I’m surprised.

I was having a conversation with my person, Shawna, last night.  We were talking about how it is nearly Christmas and how the month just flew by.  I asked “remember when you were a kid and Christmas seemed to take so long?”  She nodded in agreement.  I said “Why is it that now things go by so quickly?  Why as we age does time just fly?”

I don’t know what the answer is.  Maybe it’s because we have adopted hectic lifestyles, fill each minute of the day with SOMETHING.  And if we aren’t doing something, there is guilt because we could be doing something (in my case it’s usually housework).

We weren’t made to move and run constantly though.  We were made to have rest days, to have down time.  The unfortunate part is that as technology becomes more and more available to us at all times of the day, we never take a real rest.  We don’t take the time to stop and smell the roses, to take a walk, to take a leisurely drive to look at Christmas lights.  It’s all about squishing as much as we can into each and every day…but how much of it really matters?

I’ve been convicted recently to not have conversations via text.  I know that text, and email, is easy and quick but when something happens in my life, I don’t want to text my friends, I want to talk to them.  Even a phone call is good but face to face is a lost art.  I have a handful of friends that I see and get to tell my news to, the rest find out another way, I guess.

When I die (and each day I’m getting closer, reality says) I don’t want people to say “she was a busy person”, I want them to say “she spent time with us, took time with us” and I hope that conversations are remembered, not a rushed text.  I hope that the laughter and good times are remembered.

Take time.  Take time to have coffee, make a phone call.  Because in the end no one will remember the email you sent in a hurry or the text you sent to see what big thing happened in your life, the people who you took time for will remember you.

Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month

Yesterday I got an email from Tracy, the editor of the Grand Junction Free Press, a weekly publication that I write for.  Her email simply informed me that November is Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month.  I LOVE that she keeps in tune with what’s going on in the world and sends me little tips like this!

Well, I had no idea that it was Gluten Free Diet Awareness Month so…get ready, people!  I will be on my soapbox all month, as if I ever get off of it.  My next thought was “where do I start?”  There is so much to share about living gluten free, about the foods and how they taste and the textures, about what is available and what isn’t and what gluten free truly means. 

I think the top three things I would tell people about eating gluten free are the following:

1.  Gluten Free doesn’t always mean healthy.  Just because something is labeled “gluten Free” doesn’t mean that it’s good for you or fat free or doesn’t have preservatives.  Those gluten free muffins stay “fresh” because of preservatives, not because they don’t have gluten.  So don’t go out and buy a bunch of muffins, cookies, etc because they say gluten free.

2.  Starting out isn’t always the easiest.  All of a sudden you are buying products, expensive products, that you don’t know how they taste.  You have six different brands of spaghetti and you have no idea if the rice pasta tastes better than the corn pasta.  I will be honest with you, the first time I went shopping I left with a box of mac and cheese and went home and cried.  It was overwhelming.  So the first time you go, take a gluten free friend if you have one, it will make things so much easier.  And, I found that eating meat, veggies and potatoes is the easiest route to go:  healthy, natural eating.

3.  It will get easier.  Everyday, every step you take, things will get better.  If you can, find a support group to help you through the transition and walk with you in this lifestyle. 

So, tell your friends that you’re gluten free, tell them the reasons and educate them.  Not just this month but always!

One is the loneliest number…or is it?

Hello, my name is Angela, I’m nearing 40 and I’m single.  (Hello Angela!)  Yes, I have a cat but only one so I don’t think that I can be considered a cat lady yet.  I think I actually have to be 40 to be a cat lady so I’m not far away.  I may be alone but I’m not lonely…I don’t think.

Lately I’ve had a lot of friends who want to help me find a date.  This could be suggestions on guys they know, a dating site that they heard worked, or actually setting up blind dates.  Anyone who is single (whether by choice or by chance) will get where I’m coming from on this:  dating is not the easiest.  Most of my friends are married and, I think, sometimes forget the agony of the first date, of the awkwardness that ensues.  Maybe I underestimate them and they really do remember, or they forget on purpose because it was painful.  (Insert laugh here, please)  Or my friends want to live vicariously through me.  Or because they haven’t ever known me to have a significant other they want to see what it would really look like, which could be pretty scary.

Anyway, I have reasons for not dating at this point and here they are:

1.  The dating websites don’t work.  Yes, I know EHarmony.com says that 50% of people that meet on their website get married (50% of those also get divorced) but many websites don’t work.  I’ve been on them and chatted with guys but as soon as I suggest coffee so we can actually meet, they disappear.  Maybe I’m forward and that scares them?  I dunno but I’ve given up on dating websites, at least for the time being.

2.  Dating is painful.  There is the first date, which could be as much fun as an ice pick under your toenail.  First, it’s the awkwardness of where to meet (guys, plan the first date, don’t ask the girl where she wants to go.  Ask for suggestions, if there are allergies but then run with it), then what to talk about (which I’m bound to offend someone with my honesty) and then how to end the evening.  After that it’s “will he call me?”  And I know that, if you are into the guy, it can get easier but the first month or so is just painful.  It would rock if we could skip the painful stuff and just move to the “I’ve known you forever” stage.  Not in this world, not yet.

3.  I can do what I want, when I want.  Yup, I’m independent and like to not ask for permission to do things.  Right now if I want to grab dinner with friends after work, I can just go.  No “do we have plans tonight?” or “were you making something for dinner?”  Nope, I just up and go!  That easy.

4.  Celiac Disease.  Yes, this plays a part in dating.  What if I date someone who just doesn’t get the importance of me living a gluten free lifestyle?  What if they don’t care that I can’t have eggrolls (yes, I’m still stuck on that) or that this is a lifelong thing that I have to live with?

I know that there are positives to being in a relationship, don’t get me wrong.  And I also know that my friends mean the best and are honest in their intents…I’m not just there.  Or maybe I’m there but the guy isn’t…I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.