Thursday, January 21, 2016

Minor Alterations

We are in the midst of doing some alterations to the kitchen. As I've expressed before I can not handle being out of my schedule or things being out of place. I do not do well in an unorganized environment. So, even though I'm supposed to be studying for my next insurance broker exam - I can't sit and study because my mind is listing off all of the other things that need to be done. I can't even settle myself in this environment. I decided I need to try to sort through some of it before I can be productive.

Now, most often when I seek out to do something like this I actually end up doing something totally different...that doesn't actually help meet my goal. Like the time I was supposed to be tidying up before we went away for the weekend because I had a dog sitter coming and ultimately ended up rearranging the silverware drawer. Much like that, instead of sorting through the items we took out of the kitchen cupboards we cut out (long story) and placed in my dining room and actually need to permanently relocate - I find myself in the laundry room. I try to tell myself that if I could go through the shelves and cupboards there, I might be able to create some additional space for the homeless items in my dining room. Even though I know I'm taking on a bigger project than I really have time for and will probably create a larger mess than I started with...I drag a chair into the laundry room and I begin in the top of the cupboards.

Everything is going nicely. I had actually re-organized these cupboards following a hurricane not long ago that left us without power for 8 days. I accomplished a lot of organizing that week.  Thankfully, this helped my project today. I took down one of the baskets and peaked to see if there was anything I could clean out of it. I set it down and reached back my eyes moved upward they came into contact with the beady eyes of a very petrified mouse.

I actually screamed. I think if the mouse could make any signifigant level of noise, it would have screamed, too. I think we definitely scared each other. I'm not normally scared of mice. I spent an entire weekend underneath my mini home this Fall cleaning it out, putting up new insulation and new skirting...which never bothered me a bit. However, I guess I was expecting a possible visit then and today...I was not. 

I panicked and slammed the cupboard door...but really, I couldn't keep him in there. So, I'm thinking. We can't exactly cohabitate. But if I catch him and let him go outside he may have a hard time finding a new home and freeze to death. I then realize that I don't know even where he is at this point. The cupboard is pretty big and he could have gone anywhere. Becca, who I bellowed to for help, has found a box for us to try to catch him in. But, I can't make myself open the door. If I open the door and he scambles away there is a 90% chance one of the cats will get him.

Her: Open the door and we'll get him in this box.
Me: I can't.
Her: *reaches for the cupboard door*
Me: NO!!
Her: We need to.
Me: But I can't.
Her: Why?
Me: Because if he gets away the cats will get him.
Her: So?
Me: So, I've already formed a special bond with him, I can't watch them tortute and kill him.
Her: You, my friend...have never formed a special bond with anything.
Me: I've formed one with this mouse.
Her: I'm pretty sure the cats would bat around, torture and kill any of us in this house and you'd just carry on reading a book.
Me: Not true...
Her: Right, you'd probably save Piper.
Me: I would.

Becca luckily got the box over the mouse and and slid a piece of cardboard over the opening so we could carry him. She passed the box off to me and I went to the door...and...just stood there.

Her: What?
Me: Where is he going to go?
Her: Outside.
Me: Yes, but where will he live?
Her: Outside.
Me: But he'll freeze.
Her: Just give it to me.
Me: Put him in the garbage box - he'll love it in there. He can be warm and have lots of food.
Her: Yes...and nibble holes in the bags and make a mess...Excellent idea. 

She set him free in the woods. I'm pretending that he's happy in a burrow of some sort. He's probably made a home in the shed. I hope.

After my mouse friend is taken care of, I buckle down and got what I could done. Since the kitchen business isn't entirely complete, there are some things that just do not have a place and I need to try to deal with the mounds of cook books, baking tools and accessories piled on my table for now.

Thankfully, there is a bit more order and I feel I can successfully function. Which means I may even be able to meet some goals this week as well. Step 1 was to cut out unnecessary calories wasted on things like drinks, condiments, etc. Step 2 is going to be to find a time slot to incorporate some exercise. That's always the difficult part for me. No excuses, though. If I have to get up again at 5:30am in order to squeeze it in, I will. I'll also be happy while I'm doing it, dammit!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fasten Your Seatbelts...

Well, winter has arrived! I truly try not to complain during the winter because I am not a fan of the heat. But my winter is not off to a great start. I have been stuck twice and we've technically only had one significant snowfall. Most of the issues involved are due to my car being really low to the ground and the fact that I need winter tires...badly. I could get into all of the circumstances surrounding this topic, but I will just sum it up to #Adulting.

The other part of getting back on track with healthy living, I am trying to return to the four basics that were so effective for me last Winter: water, exercise, sleep and healthy eating. Baby steps, right? I, of course, decided as usual my first step is to cut back on ridiculous waste of calories. Which means I need to reduce or eliminate things such as Pepsi, condiments and...dun, dun,

That's right. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts...I am coming off the coffee (again)!! You'd think I would only want to do this once. But, it keeps coming to this.

I love coffee. I could drink 2-4 cups/day. While I would like to cut back on caffeine, the problem does not lie in the coffee itself as much as how I like to dress up my coffee. I have a real problem with flavoured creamers. So, my first order of business was to unfortunately cut back on coffee. From here on, coffee is for Saturday and Sundays only.

To say I've been cranky this week would be quite an understatement. But what I most definitely do not understand is how chaos knows you are coming off coffee. Why? How? cutting back coffee is not bad enough...but why does shit have to go awry when you are already going through the emotions?

Have you ever come off caffeine? It's not pretty. First of all, the headaches...For me, it's a terrible struggle to come alive in the mornings. It's like you're taking a drowsy medication 24/7. This is also not a good combination when you're at a new job and trying to learn 1 million things at once.  Then, in're a crank ass.

We all know that chaos tends to follow me. But, things have been good. The Fall was really busy, but I haven't had any major fiasco in a little while. I am almost getting used to the norm. However, I should have guessed chaos would find me after starting off on my caffeine-less adventure. It's as if a radar has gone off somewhere to let chaos know....You can come out now, she's caffeine-free!!

The first day I was stuck was definitely the most interesting. My day started off fabulous. I had a productive morning at work and after lunch I received word that I obtained my Class 1 Insurance Broker License. I was off doing some errands for work when I received word of a family emergency. I checked in with my family and had some time to spare before we would receive an update, so I set off to finish my errands so I could be back to the office or at least home in time to hear from them.

I'm traveling along and decide I need to turn around. I try to turn and realize that it doesn't look good...the road clearly hasn't been tended, as it's not typically used this time of year. I try to completely turn in the main road but I don't quite make single tire fetches up on the edge of the road I'm trying to avoid. I try everything, but I'm not moving at all. I peak down the road, but I know if I go down, I will probably not get up. However, I'm not getting anywhere this way either. Either way I'm it's worth taking the risk.

Except it's not. Now I'm stuck at the bottom of the unclear road as well as off the beaten path from where someone might see me.  You can only imagine how my head felt by this point. Caffeine-Free Me Day 1 is not going very well...I have a headache, I'm groggy, I'm grouchy...and I'm stuck.

I bang my head on the steering wheel - this is my go to move. I have no idea why I think this is going to help me. But, in the moment it seems to. So, here I am - head to the steering wheel...the conversation (with myself, mind you) went a little something like this:
wth am I going to do?
WTH am I going to do?
Choose joy, Brittany...
I am so screwed.
Just running a quick errand, no need to bring your phone...
Now I'm just stuck on this road. just need to walk to the nearest house.
And call who?...Who is going to do...what?
I will just need to get a ride home.
I just need to go home.
I can figure out the car.
This is the best I have.
It could be worse.
Ok...let's go...
Choose joy!

I lift my head up to find some man running out of the woods with a dog close behind. The best part of this story is that in my state (not sure which state that is...the I'm in a pickle state or the I'm coffee free state) I could have swore he was yelling..."Boris...Boris...!!" At the time, I had no idea what this meant.  I in fact realize later, the poor dogs name is Forest. Boris, Forest...either way I was so happy to see that dog and his owner. He could be buck ass naked and shouting absolutely anything, I was just so happy to see someone who might be able to lend a hand...and lend a hand he did.

It took 45 minutes and 3 attempts...
Attempt A: Towed the car with a ratchet strap (only thing either of us had on hand) - Unsuccessful.
Attempt B: Left to find rope, towed the car with rope, got truck stuck - Unsuccessful.
Attempt C: Left to get his tractor, brought several loads of sand from the beach to cover the road until we could drive out - Ding, Ding, Ding - we have a winner!!

Of all the men hanging out in all the woods, I'm awfully glad he was hanging out in those woods. He was actually doing something, hence the reason he had a tractor handy...not just creepily hanging out in the woods. It did suck and there was a moment of WTH, but I was pretty damn lucky he was there. 

Now, today for the second time I got stuck. However, it was far less stressful. I was stuck at the end of my own driveway. Thankfully, with a little help I was able to get out and just decided to reverse back into my spot and call a co-worker to come get me. Clearly, driving was not a good idea today. 

I'm now looking at snow tires and will be pimping out my services to help purchase said tires. CHOOSE JOY,'s not always easy - but it's doable.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Leading the Pack

I'm sure most of you realize this by now, but it's 2016. My 2016 sure had an interesting beginning. I provide local dog sitting services. I got up this morning and went to do my rounds. I arrived at a clients home who happen to have a surveillance system, which they can check from their phone. I was playing ball with one of their pooches and when she went in for her landing, her paw caught my pants and took them down with her. So, 2016 started off with me...ass to the wind - literally. Awesome. I hope this is no indication of how the remainder of the year will go.

Some people put a lot of thought into reflecting on the previous year and preparing for the new year. Some feel that setting resolutions is foolishness. I am indifferent. I think if you need that "reset" for yourself - go ahead - set goals, think about how you want to change/improve or things you would like to experience. If you personally feel it's hogwash and you shouldn't feel the need to change or things are just great the way that they are...that's cool, too. Some years I didn't give it a thought. I don't feel that not participating left me without accomplishments. In more recent years, I have paid more attention to how things went and how I want them to go. Mainly because I'm a goal setter by nature. I've come to realize I need goals to keep me in line. I even set goals at get this done by 10am, that done by 3:30pm. It's just the way I function. I agree with the can't go back and make a brand new start, but you can start and make a brand new ending. To me, that's what the new year is about. How do I feel about where I'm heading? Do I need to make any changes before I get to my ending? If life is to end do I feel about that?

It is not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. So naturally, 2015 had highs and lows. That's life. It definitely provided some unexpected turns. Ya know, I don't even know if I could call them turns - I pretty much jumped the track. But, I did good.

I wanted to give 100% to my classes, but didn't get to return to school.
I wanted to lose 50lbs and lost 30.
I finished 2 big projects for the house.
I had certain tasks for work, and I ultimately selected a different career.
I did slow down but still need to work on aspects of that one because I really just like staying home now.
I surprised myself on several occasions.

Not too shabby.

I'm definitely not the same person I was when this year started. In 2014, I felt I was living a life that wasn't realistic. I was experiencing life at several WTFs per hour. Instead of continuing to deplete myself, make poor choices and conceal my plethora of emotions - I faced the chaos. I still have some things to tend to...but overall I squeezed a lot into my year. I made some big changes and took charge of my life. I want more of that in 2016.

I said 30 was going to be The Year of Brittany, and I was going to do what I needed to do for me. Technically, I'm still 30..and I have until August to finish this shit up. However, I can't be disappointed at all with what I have accomplished since last January. Over 2015, I realized...

- A bad day is just a bad day - not a bad life.
- Who you were doesn't matter - just who you are.
- No matter what happens at the end of the day, every morning the sun still comes up.
- Wearing lipstick gives you confidence. 
- Honor the body you've been given and take care of it.
- Stop reading books you don't like - there is no point to this. There are so many books out there you will like and will never get to...don't waste time on ones you don't like. Needing to finish is a stupid rule. 
- Produce feelings, it's okay.
- You will always find an excuse to not exercise after work - so do it before.
- Laugh at yourself.
- Stop worrying. The bad things you worry over are not the bad things that actually end up happening. You will never be prepared, so just stop worrying.
- Be money wise.
- Find a hobby.
- If you don't want to go, don't go. It's okay to go out...but it's okay to stay home, too.
- Take risks, bet on yourself.
- Dancing can fix any mood. So can singing. Sing when you're sad, sing when you're happy.
- Make people work for your affection, you deserve to be swooned.
- Don't give up...good things are out there, pretty great things can happen if you give it a chance.
- Caring for yourself is not self-indulgent.
- Life is tough, darling...but so are you.

Going into 2016 my goals are pretty similar - get back on track with blogging, get back on track with living a healthier life style for my body and mind and complete my little projects, of course. In addition, I want to continue to do more for me and the people important to me...stop giving so much of myself to things that do not serve a purpose or are not appreciated. I want to read more books, take more photos and focus on work. My 2016 motto is going to be...choose joy! I think the last major change that needs to be made is to filter out the negatives. Things are good for me, right now and I need to feel that...I need to choose joy.

I feel good about 2016, I feel good about these goals - they're with purpose, they're tangible. I am looking forward to completing The Year of Brittany. Whether you decide to think about the new year or decide to let it be - I hope you find much happiness in 2016.