Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Let There Be Love

Hello Darlings!

I'm just a blogging little fool these days...I think it is because I need a lot of self therapy so here we go...

I FINALLY got back on my yoga mat tonight.

It's been 10 long weeks without yoga.

I didn't realize just how very much I missed it until I did my first downward dog and it all came rushing back like a warm hug in that very warm room.

For me yoga is not just exercise for my body. It is also a workout for my soul. I do a lot of working shit out on that mat.

Speaking of my mat---my poor beautiful pink mat has been neglected for so long that it refused to open up...it kept wanting to curl back up.

Dear Beautiful yoga mat:
I will not leave you unattended for so long again...I love you and you are home to me. You have been soaked in sweat and tears and you never fail me. I promise to treat you better and at least open you up to breathe next time I have to take an extended break.
The Girl Who Said She Would Never Love Yoga or Own a Yoga Mat

So earlier today I stepped on a long stainless steel object with a very sharp point today. Picture a very long tack with a rather large (in diameter) spike...

it hurt
a lot

it hurt a lot

alot alot

it went right into the arch of my foot

I'm gonna stop now because right now I know all of you are mentally feeling it...and you are cringing

the reason I mention it is because of stepping on said tack (when I dropped it I KNEW my foot would find it before my eyes did---yup my right foot found it) I was unable to spin tonight so I knew it was the universe telling me to do yoga.

My beloved friend who was supposed to teach messaged me she had the flu so I had no idea who would be leading the flow...

to my delight and utter surprise it was my darling JohnJohn...

thank you universe...this was meant to be...

JohnJohn became an instructor while I was on doctor ordered banishment from yoga so I have been waiting to take his class and the stars aligned...

After hugs and kisses I settled on my mat and child's pose was...ouch...

so I modified...

but class, and I, flowed on and by the time we hit savassanah I was back in my yoga bliss...

As class started JohnJohn asked our intention for the year and also said "what is your word for this year?" and went on to explain that it had taken him a bit to find his word.

Mine popped into my head.

2016 was HEALTH (I started the year wanting to figure out why I felt so crappy...it took until October to know why...)


2017 was SURVIVE

so as soon as JohnJohn said it I knew...




Because I want to approach this year and find so much love...

not just romantic love (but yes that is very important)

but also:

self love

love for others

love for those I struggle to love

love for things I do not love

love for things that make me want to run away

love for things that scare me

love for the sake of just being more loving

Now I KNOW I will not find a love for kale or heights or cockroaches...those are firmly and forever in the "hate" column...

But I might find a love for things that I don't think I enjoy...or things I like but won't commit to...

I think the love for others is easy for me...I am a woman who loves quickly, deeply, fiercely and easily.

But there are some I struggle to love and maybe what I can find for those people is not so much a "love" love but more of a tolerance and mindfulness to be more generous with myself or my feelings toward them.

(sorry...that will NOT extend to the current resident of the White House...he's right there with cockroaches and kale with me...)

I think sometimes we can show love to those we don't necessarily love...by being kinder or more thoughtful or less judgemental.

There are certain people who just push the "drive Anice cray cray" button...those are the ones that I need to find a love for. I don't have to love them per se...just maybe not let myself be affected by their actions.

In Matthew 5:44 the Bible says:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you, and persecute you

I need to work on that...


a lot 

a lot

alot alot...

yup...that's one I have got to put some time into...

That takes work...

and it is super duper hard to love someone who has wronged you...or said nasty things to or about you...

and there are people like that I will never love but maybe, just maybe---I can find a way to dislike them less and I can love them by praying for them to be happy and well (even that person in the White House)

as for kale and cockroaches---I don't think Jesus means that I have to love them...

(I do plan to ask God (a LONG LONG LONG time from now when I get to heaven) why He made cockroaches. I'm sure He has a reasonable explanation and I'd like to hear it...)

Now the one I might have the hardest time with is not romantic love but rather the self love.

Oh I definitely absolutely for sure want a nice man to love and to enjoy wine and movies with and to cook for and to sit on the couch and talk to and to travel with...

I want that so much...

I am sick and tired of being alone and you people are sick and tired of me whining about it...

I don't know how I will find that man---whether he drives a big ass truck or not...but he WILL know I like lilies and that he has to kill bugs for me.  I know he is out there. He's waiting for me like I am waiting for him. We just need to find each other...I need to find him before it warms up and the bugs come out again...

But I'll be damned if next January 2 I am blogging about being alone for another damn year...

Nope...THIS is the year I get to remember what it feels like to have a man tell me I am special and pretty...I went through 24 years of marriage of NOT hearing that very much so I have to reach waaaaaaay back in my memory bank to remember that but I do know that I liked it.

So hey---you---you man that God intends for me: COME FIND ME NOW


So yes, that part of love is a challenge...but self love---that one is a bitch to overcome.

I like myself just fine in many ways.

But I am hypercritical of myself in many ways.

I often see the flaws before the good parts...

and when I get down the flaws are magnified.

I'm the kind of girl who needs to work on taking a compliment.

you see---when you say something nice to me about myself I often find myself saying "thank you BUT" instead of just saying "thank you" and leaving it at that.

Many of us do that.

When someone compliments my appearance I often say "thank you but I wish my hair/dress/legs/makeup/body was not...(insert critical word here)

I need to just say thank you.

Like I do when someone tells me I have cute boots on...

(and maybe to that I need to stop saying how cheap they were...)

I need to accept a compliment and take it in and really ACCEPT THE COMPLIMENT. And by accept I don't just mean say "thank you" but take in what the person said and feel good about it.

I also need to not look in the mirror and see all the wrong or messed up things...and focus on what is good or I feel happy with. And maybe, like the Bible says about loving my enemies, I can find a way to like my flaws even if I don't love them.

I need to also find a way to love myself more by putting myself first sometimes. 

Oh that one is hard for me...so often I say "yes" to things that stress me out or make me rearrange my life or make me give up something I wanted to do for myself because I feel I need to give to others or be there for someone else.

Last year I had no choice but to put myself first. 

I was trying to live.

But sometimes I still did things that weren't necessarily in my own best interest.

And sometimes I don't just love myself enough to say "I can't" 


love myself enough to say "I deserve this" 

I often don't think I deserve to treat or spoil myself (unless it is a Southwells Hamburger and then hell yes I am on board with treating myself).

I think a good example is me and avocados.

(yes, here we go again with avocados...)

I used to not buy avocados.

Because they are expensive.

So I didn't feel like I deserved avocados.

Because they cost almost $2 sometimes.

But I can usually stretch one large $2 avocado into several breakfasts or meals for myself.

One day, not long after I split from the ex, I was in HEB and there were some beautiful avocados.

I got ready to pass them by but then I thought:"I could really go for an avocado tonight"

But I looked at the price and got ready to push the cart by them and then I decided to grab one.

If I could waste stupid money on fast food why wasn't I worth spending $2 on something that was actually GOOD FOR ME.

yes, it was pricey but at least it was $2 well spent 

(as long as I ate the avocado when it was ripe...they are tricky little suckers)

So from then on I decided to buy myself avocados at times other than having a party or guest...I deserved the avocado

(that same logic does not apply to me and Starbucks...I don't get Starbucks...$6 coffee is something I can't enjoy but I can enjoy $12 wine...go figure)

The point of all of this and the avocado is that I need to feel I am worthy of treating myself to things that are good for me or make me feel good...

I don't need to go hog wild but the occasional massage or new purse isn't going to bankrupt or kill me.

I've tried to be better about it...I spent years not paying attention to my hair and then when I almost lost it I realized how dear it is to me. So now I have an incredible hairdresser who makes my hair look amazing and it's worth it to me to pay him to do so.

And I have bought some new clothes (and boots...) because I have lost weight but I also feel just as good about getting into something I already have in my closet because I loved that dress or skirt or top enough to have held onto it.

So I am working on ME...and LOVING me...

and not just loving myself enough to save my life but to actually LIVE my life...


I give lovely freely to so many but the person I am most stingy with is myself.

But like the avocado...and I deserve the avocado...I also deserve my own love.

Love isn't just about romance...love is giving of ourselves to someone...and sometimes that someone needs to be ourself.

I want to spend this year spreading and sharing as much love as I can.

And I want all of you to help me do it.

So as sweet beautiful JohnJohn said: find your word.

My word is love.

Let's spread love nice and thick and spilling out everywhere.

Let there be an abundance of love.

Let there be so much love that there is an excess of it.

And let's all soak up as much of it as we can.

And let's all love ourselves a little more...even if it just means you buy yourself an avocado.

Inspiration Song: "Let There Be Love" by Christina Aguilera (spin teachers take note: I LOVE to spin to this song it is literally maybe my favorite sprint song ever). It's not necessarily about the kind of love I am talking about here but I love the song...

Bye Darlings...what is your word? Find your word! And if it is LOVE let this year be one that LOVE is what you do...let there be love...

Monday, January 1, 2018

From Now On

Happy 2018 Darlings!

Here we are on the first day of a new year...

For me 2017 was absolutely the crappiest year of my life (other than my daughter graduating college and getting our Tommy Tune nominations (high school music awards) and my Dr. Angel discovering cancer in my neck THAT NO ONE ELSE FOUND so I could be saved).

Besides all the stupid horrible cancer stuff I had to face I also lost my sweet beloved kitty Seringa. She had been with me for 14 years and she literally was the sweetest baby on the planet. She never fussed, she loved so cuddle in bed and I loved her so much.  Putting her "to sleep" because she had a cancerous mass in her pelvis (ironic, isn't it?) was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. And it was the day after chemo---so not only was I in emotional pain from the loss of her but I had the physical stuff from the chemo...it was not a good month...

Since I literally spent all of 2017 trying to fight what was trying to kill me (or dealing with the after affects of the treatments they were giving me) I am ready to start 2018 and have a better year.

I used to make the "usual" resolutions:
exercise more
lose weight
clean up my diet
spend more time with family
get work done quicker
be more organized


and when I would set a goal for HOW much weight to lose I always felt like a failure...because it was unrealistic and too much pressure...

As I enter 2018 I am NOT making resolutions...

A friend of mine, PetroGirl, suggested instead of RESOLVING we should be EVOLVING...

To resolve is to firmly set a course of action.

But that's just PLANNING...

Goal Setting...

and goals are good...they are always good...

but often we do the part where we set the goal but we don't set the course of action to achieve that goal.

So it does no good to say "I'm going to lose 10 lbs" if you don't know what you are going to do to achieve that goal.

Or to say "I will exercise more" and you don't join a gym or workout boutique and you don't set a schedule to actually go and workout...

I love that I have to book my bikes at Revolution---it makes me commit to going and it sets a schedule for me.

But to EVOLVE is to develop gradually..from a simple to complex form...

So for that "lose 10 lbs goal"---set your course of action to be one that allows you to develop slowly so you don't feel like its a "diet" but rather an eating plan...

a lot of people are doing the "keto" diet to lose weight and for a lot of people it works GREAT. It's the old "Atkins" diet given a new name. For me Atkins never worked and the severe deprivation of carbs to get you into ketosis just isn't me...but if you do it right (and NEVER cheat because the most minor of cheats will have you gain weight quicker than you drank that glass of wine) and you have your doctor ok it (because going into ketosis can be dangerous for some people) it's a great way to drop some pounds.  Google "keto diet" and you will get a lot of info to learn more...and please know that just because it doesn't work for me that I don't think it is a good plan...it is just not a good plan for ME

But to me that's not an evolution...that's a diet plan...

I do better with an evolution---where I don't suddenly cut out a bunch of stuff and change everything about how I eat.

So I lost 60 lbs last year (some of it gained during chemo)---which hey is another GOOD thing---by just cutting out some stuff but not depriving myself.

I cut out the "bad" carbs---bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar...and I did it slowly...the potatoes, rice and pasta went first...then the bread (I switched to a whole wheat health bread that comes in a smaller size loaf) and finally the sugar (which also means alcohol).

Do I still eat bread? Sometimes if I am at a restaurant with REALLY GOOD bread I MIGHT eat some...but sometimes I would rather cheat with a glass of wine. Otherwise I just have one slice of Dave's bread (green label)for breakfast or 2 slices with my lunchtime sandwich...

I allow myself potatoes or pasta once a month.

I do eat brown rice but in very low amounts and not very often. And usually with sushi or a poke bowl...

My diet EVOLVED into what it is...although to be perfectly honest it all went out the window this holiday season and I gained a few pounds back but sometimes you just have to eat:

prime rib
yorkshire pudding
shortbread cookies

hmmmmm....I see a lot of wine there...

and yes there was a lot of wine...

So if you are looking to drop a few plans MAKE A PLAN....and don't just cut out everything at once or you will feel deprived and can't keep going...whether is is cutting carbs, or eating less meat or red meat, or just cutting sugar take it slowly and just get rid of one thing a week.

For less carbs drop one "bad" carb a week but fill up with good healthy ones (google "low glycemic diet" and you will see which ones are "bad" and "good")

For less meat/red meat cut meat out of one meal a week to start with...or replace something you would normally make with red meat with chicken or turkey....tonight I made turkey chili---and I can't tell that it is not beef. I'm not saving that much in calories because you can get lean beef but I'm looking at the whole picture here and trying to cut back. After a few weeks on my current eating plan I plan to drop at least one meal a week that has meat and go meatless...

And sugar is a devil in a lot of places so start with the easy stuff---stuff you know has sugar in it---and go from there.

I never felt deprived eating this way because if I wanted to eat something I did---because it wouldn't wreck my eating plan if I did cheat. It just set me back.

And if fitness is one of your goals for 2018 don't just run to the nearest gym, workout like crazy for a week straight and then burn yourself out. Start slowly and jump in. Try something new. A lot of workout places offer a trial membership so you can try it and see if it is for you.

Or try Class Pass which gives you the opportunity to try several different places to workout and see what makes you happy.

Sometimes it is the exercise and sometimes it is the place you do it at.

There are a lot of spinning places and yoga places in Houston but for me Revolution is my favorite place because I love the people there so I don't go to the "big name brand mentioned all the time by celebrities" place because I am very happy where I am. Plus I pay less.

I expanded my yoga to include a second studio just because I needed a little flexibility when my schedule got crazy...so I cut back on a few other things so I could add in some other classes.

Explore what your city has to offer and give things a try. I never ever thought I would love yoga but I honestly do. I've tried Pilates a few times and found it hurts my knees and I watch the clock so that's one I don't do but I might revisit it again sometime...

And if gyms aren't your thing find a way to do it at home. Buy some light weights (you can do more than you think with just hand weights and a body bar). Subscribe to an online yoga program or something similar...just move!

No one becomes a marathoner overnight.

It takes training and it's an evolution of training that gets them to the point that they can run that far. You don't just start running and go 26 miles...

take any fitness goal the same way---start out slowly and then follow a plan to add in more until you hit a balance.  No one plan works for everyone...

I have some other areas I want to EVOLVE in...

I want to:
declutter my house
find love
sell some things I no longer need
get rid of some of the things I have in storage
shop less (for groceries and for "things")

So I have made a plan for some but not all...

I'm going to start with what is in my house and take it room by room, cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer, closet by closet.

I won't try to do it all at once...if i do I will be overwhelmed.

I admire people who can just go into a room and reorganize it all at one time without stopping but I have ADD and I know my limits. So one thing at a time.

Once I have the house decluttered (and some things sold that I find I don't need) I will tackle the storage stuff...

which will lead me to shopping less for "things" because I am sure I will find a whole lotta stuff that I didn't realize I had..or don't need more of...

As for the groceries my eating plan will evolve into a meal prep plan so that on Saturday I can look at what my upcoming week is looking like and shop for what I plan to cook/eat and not make so many trips to the store.

As for the find love part---well that is also an evolution and that is one I need to figure out.

Online dating is a big hard "no" for me so I need to find other ways to put myself out socially and maybe I can finally meet someone now that my life isn't revolving around chemo and radiation and feeling horrible afterwards...

Goals are great...and so I have some...I plan to evolve to meet those goals...but I also know that a goal not met is not a failure but instead I need to adjust my planning and course of action.

So this is how I plan to evolve over this next year...join me in as many ways as you find are part of your evolution....be it diet, fitness, cleaning up your life and space or just growing...I will be part of your journey and you are part of mine...

From now on I know I have been given the gift of life...I have a second chance to live...to love...to express myself...to move forward...

From now on I will find ways to look ahead and keep going in that direction...

From now on I will be grateful that I have been given time to do the things I have put off or ignored...

From now on I will be ME...(see yesterday's blog---"this is me")

From now on I will evolve and become a better version of myself than I was the day before...

From now on I will take each day as a gift

From now on I will remember the warrior spirit and strength that got me through cancer and use it to forge through other trials in my life

From now on I will strive to be a light and not just live in the light...

From now on I will share my sparkle with love and not just by spreading glitter...

from now on I will shine from within...

from now on I will remember that love is a gift and I am worthy of that gift

from now on I will remember that the only person I am in competition with is myself....

from now on I will remember that my body is still healing and is not the same body I had 5 years ago so if I don't achieve as many calories burned in a workout, or don't push as hard IT IS OK.

from now on I will remember that deprivation is not necessary but moderation works for me...

from now on I will remember that God isn't done with me yet...He has more to show me and teach me and will continue to refine me...

from now on I will continue to use this blog as a forum for inspiration and change...and love

from now on I will remember that I am just me....and "me" is good enough...

Inspiration Song: "From Now On" from The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Yes I am obsessed with that movie and the music from it. But the words really resonate with me on this song about not being blinded by the light but to remember what matters...

Bye Darlings---what is your evolution going to be in 2018? Evolve, resolve, plan, set goals, reach out for more---but remember that you are YOU and a goal not achieved is not a failure...it just requires an adjustment in your planning...