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Go Out of Your Way to Watch Out for Others

How many times have we heard to watch out for our fellow humans, but how many times do we actually do it? And no, while watching out to not walk into someone is important, that’s not quite what I mean for this post. Go out of your way to watch out for others in other impactful ways. If you see your neighbor struggling with a bunch of heavy boxes or bags, run up and offer to help or even grab their door for them. If you see something that doesn’t seem right at your neighbor’s house, send them a text and double check it. You won’t bother someone by helping them when they need it nor will it ever be a bad thing to go out of your way to watch out for others. We’re all in this together.

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A Reflection on 2019

2019 was a year that went by too fast and also too slow. Nothing too monumental happened, yet I feel it was a year of growth for myself. I learned a lot about myself and I got pushed to certain limits that helped me to look at myself and what I want out of life and out of people in my life.

My Friends

2019 was a year where I lost some friends and gained some new ones. Some old friends disappeared from my life, partly because I stopped reaching out, and rather than mourn that loss, I’ve accepted that they don’t want to be in my life anymore and that’s ok. It’s important to learn that you can’t constantly reach out to people to nurture a friendship. There has to be some effort back from that other person, and if there’s not, it may be best to just let it go.

I also was able to reconnect with some friends who moved back to Florida, as well as make new ones by going outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. Trust me when I say making the time to meet new people is worth it, and that even if you and someone have grown apart, that doesn’t mean you won’t grow back together in the future.

Health and Wellness

This year saw improvements in health and wellness for myself and for others I care about. It didn’t come without work, but I’m extremely proud of the work put in by myself and by others, and I look forward to continuing to see improvements in 2020. I’ve got my health goals laid out, and have several others who have their own health goals they are working towards. Having this group makes it much easier to accomplish said goals rather than trying to go in alone. Find your group, and join a fitness class, gym, or social group that will get you up and active. Take care of your body and mind, nourishing both, and know when to sit back and get some rest.

Relationships

I can’t say that I fell in love in 2019, but maybe that’s something that will happen in 2020. I learned a bit more what I want from a relationship, while also getting ghosted, and while that may not have been fun, it was a good learning experience. It showed me who that person really was and helped remove someone who wouldn’t have been good for me out of my life.

Personal Goals

I continued working on a novel I’m writing and took the next step towards getting it published by sending it to some beta readers. My editing is by no means completed, but I look forward to continuing work on it and hopefully sending it out for querying in the near future. I also look forward to growing this blog. I love writing these posts and interacting with some of my readers, and I hope you enjoy the content as much as I enjoy writing it.

I always look forward to a new year as a fresh start, and this year is no different. I am so excited to see what 2020 has in store for me, and to thank 2019 for the lessons I was given. Happy New Year everyone!

A Not-So Traditional Christmas

When I was younger, Christmas always held such excitement to me. I loved everything about the season, not just the presents. The first weekend after Thanksgiving was always the time we’d decorate, and we all had assigned roles in decorating the inside and outside of the house. I was usually in charge of handing my dad light clips while he climbed the ladder to the roof of the house while my mom and brother set up other decorations. Soon after that, my mom would start baking a million cookies, my brother and I would start searching for our gifts, and the holidays were officially upon us.

As we age, traditions change, as is inevitable. For me, Christmas got a little smaller. I still go see my dad’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas day it’s usually just me and my mom or the three of us when my brother joins us. My mom and I still bake cookies together because that’s a tradition we enjoy doing. We give them out to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and of course have a stash when my brother comes home for Christmas, even though he’ll say he doesn’t want to eat any. After we open the stockings and gifts, we’ll likely go to Christmas mass, then have some lunch, and go see a movie (this year it looks like it’ll be Little Women). The movie thing is only a few years old, when I was younger Christmas was all about playing with new toys we received. One year my brother and I got an air hockey table, that was a loud Christmas for my parents I’m sure. For some, these may not really seem like a traditional Christmas, while to others, some of these traditions are how they celebrate as well.

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Here’s the thing I’m learning about Christmas as we grow up. What is a “traditional Christmas” to one is completely different to someone else. Traditions can change, sometimes in ways that cause growing pains, other times in ways that make you wonder why you didn’t change them sooner. For some people, Christmas happens a week before the actual day. For others, it happens a week after the actual day. What makes it a traditional Christmas is that everyone is gathering together. Christmas is a time for family and friends to gather together, reflect on the year, look forward to the upcoming year, and most importantly, create memories together.

Whether you celebrate by going to the beach or building a snowman or having a Christmas movie marathon, your Christmas is traditional to you. If your family is not the kind to gather around the piano and sing Christmas carols, that’s ok, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a traditional Christmas, it just means your traditions look a little different. As long as you are with people you love, whether your family by birth or family by choice, that’s the most important part.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I hope no matter how you’re celebrating this year, that you’re surrounded by love and laughter.

Offer to Babysit

Any new parent can get a little overwhelmed, and one of the nicest things someone can do is offer to babysit for a few hours. You don’t have to spend all night there, and the parents don’t even have to leave! This can be a great opportunity for them to enjoy a nice shower or nap or some time together just enjoying the fall weather, while you watch their little one.

Beat the Summer Blues

Summertime is a wonderful time of the year, the kids are out of school, teachers are on break, the sun is shining, and there is always so much to do. The downside is if you work full time, you can feel like your summer is passing you by! The summertime blues are a real thing, but luckily, I’ve got some tips to help you beat the summer blues, even when you work a full time job and don’t have a lot of vacation time.

Let’s face it, seeing everyone living their best life on a tropical island while you’re in the office can be downright depressing. Seeing kids at theme parks while you can barely afford a walk in the park isn’t fun either. But, before you stay down about it the rest of the summer, check out these options for beating the summer blues.

  • Schedule a “me” day. This involves no friends, unless you want to try coordinating with someone you’re close with, and it’s focus is everything you want to do. Take a sick day, we’ll call it mental health day, and go out for a manicure or pedicure, get a massage, sit in the tub for a while, whatever it is you want to do and enjoy to do, make time for it. This is a perfect tip for those working a full week or moms or dads running around doing everything for their kids and not having much time for themselves. Make “me” time and chase those summer blues away.
  • Create a new tradition. Plan ahead and set a weekend, maybe Labor Day weekend, to create a new tradition with your friends or family. It can be a family BBQ or one last pool party to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
  • Get outside. We all need Vitamin D to stay happy and healthy, so make sure you’re getting some of it, even if you work all day. Take a bit of time during lunch to head out or take a walk in the evening or morning before you head in. You’d be amazed what a good walk can do for your mood.
  • Make plans with friends. Yes, I know, I know, you’re super busy with catching up on everything on the weekends, but trust me, those chores can wait. If you can plan a day during the weekend with your friends to head out to a water park or check out a local waterfall, DO IT! Have some outdoor fun, and enjoy the season.
  • Look ahead to fall. If you love fall weather and are just trying to get through the summer, don’t fret, it’s almost there. Plan ahead your fall decorations and maybe start putting together some fun fall activities for you and the family to participate in.
  • Try a stay-cation. I wish we all could afford to jet off to Bermuda for a week in the summer, but if like me, that’s just not financially possible for you right now, then try something a little bit cheaper. A stay-cation is a great way to get away for the night, while not leaving your town or only going an hour or two away. You won’t have to buy a plane ticket, and you can likely get a deal for being a local. If you don’t belong to a reward program with a hotel, now would be the time to start, those points can add up and help you with your stay-cation for next year.
  • Take yourself out for ice cream. It’s a simple thing, but nothing says summer like fresh ice cream. Whether you prefer the rolled kind, the fro yo filled with toppings or a fancy artisanal flavor that you can only get at this little hole-in-the-wall place, go ahead and treat yo self! You deserve it, and even if you’re focused on health goals and keeping up with your beach body, one ice cream cone isn’t going to hurt. Enjoy the summer vibes.
  • Spend a day at the beach. Nothing says summer like the beach, and if you’ve been struggling to get that summer time feeling, go out to the water. The beach is one of my happy places, and there’s nothing better than hearing the sound of the waves. Everything is so much clearer out near the water.

I hope these tips on how to beat the summer blues help, and that you can find some fun activities to help get your spirits up. Don’t forget, a fun activity can be seeing a movie or reading a good book. My suggestions for a good movie are Spiderman: Far From Home and the Art of Racing in the Rain comes out in a few weeks, it has Milo Ventimiglia and dogs, why wouldn’t you go see it? As for a good book, I’ll be putting out a list of my favorite summertime reads that I’ve gone through this summer in a couple of days, keep an eye out for it!

Be Selective in Your Friend Group

It can be tough to find friends, but you need to be selective in your friend group. Find people who lift you up and are willing to put some work in themselves. If they aren’t willing to put in the effort to spend time with you and chat with you, are they really your friends?

Have a Water Bucket Standing By

I know most everyone is planning on lighting some fireworks tonight, so have a water bucket standing by just in case of emergencies. We’ve all been at a party where some firework didn’t work quite as it should, so make sure to stay safe, and be prepared.

Talk It Out

Keep yourself from reaching a mental breakdown point by finding a trusted family member or friend who you can talk to about everything going on. Bottling up your emotions can lead to breakdowns later, it’s easier to talk it out.

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