Monday, January 04, 2016

My Words for 2016

A friend of mine gave me this idea a couple of years ago. We choose either one or more words to define our goals for the year. We started doing this when she moved back to Houston from Savannah and this is our third year doing it. It's become a tradition now!

A clean desk after a good house cleaning the day after Christmas, part of clearing the clutter!

This year I've decided not to set any wordy goals at all. I'm only going to use the three words that will be my guide for all things. These three words can act separately, but they can also overlap. I'll define them for the purposes of this blog post only.

Healthy-  This means both physical health as well as mental health. I want to work on clearing the baggage I still carry from childhood and along the way.

Clarity- Clarity of mind and well as soul. This also relates to clearing my life of clutter and goes hand in hand with my mental health.

Liberty- I choose freedom from all things that bring me down, whether they are food, clutter, organized religion, fear, people or the negative voices in my own head.

The older I am getting the less tolerant I'm becoming of people and things that I don't appreciate. I'm still learning to say no and telling people that certain behaviors, like coming to my house unannounced, are not okay. It's my right to say no and I will. Here is to a happy and prosperous 2016!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Beauty Product Review of the Year

I tried two new dry shampoos towards the end of 2015 and the winner is still Batiste. I tried Pantene's Original Fresh and Salon Grafix "Invisible" formula.


The Pantene spray left my hair just as oily. It was like I had just sprayed product and mixed it with the oil in my hair to create a thicker more oily film on my hair. Not good! I know I have especially oily hair, so in order to give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe Pantene is good if you just have semi-oil or non-oily hair.

Salon Grafix was just a step up from Pantene but still not great. Nothing over the counter has worked as well as Batiste so far.

Of course in the more expensive salon category I still chose Bumble and Bumble. The only negative point I can give them is that they come tinted with color and it does come off on your pillow. So use at your own risk or cover your pillows with a towel.

If you're looking for a way to freshen up your hair, and you don't have time to wash it, I still recommend Batiste Dry Shampoo.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

End of Year Recap

Before I Die wall in Midtown Houston.

This is the year that I have blogged the least out of any year since I started this blog 11 years ago.

Here is recap of how many blog posts I have written every year. 2004 doesn't count because that's the year I started the blog and I started it at the end of the year.

Blog Archive
·    ►  2015 (16)
·    ►  2014 (35)
·    ►  2013 (39)
·    ►  2012 (29)
·    ►  2011 (42)
·    ►  2010 (47)
·    ►  2009 (60)
·    ►  2008 (207)
·    ►  2007 (150)
·    ►  2006 (176)
·    ►  2005 (142)
·    ►  2004 (13)

I wonder what was happening in 2008 that I was able to blog 207 times!  2006 was also a busy blogging year. I will do better in 2016. I’m going to set a goal to blog at least 52 times, or once a week on average.

I have several creative ideas for 2016, as usual. Part of me doesn’t want to set any goals for 2016. I hate disappointing myself, but I know I can’t do that. I have to set goals whether I reach them or I don’t, just like I have monthly revenue goals at work. I need some direction on where I’m going in life.

One big goal that is going to be made simple is to do what I need to do to live longer. Simple. If eating chips is not what I should be doing to live longer then maybe I shouldn’t eat too many chips. If I should start exercising regularly so I can live longer then maybe I should exercise more.

My other main goals are going to be about me and finding my center and getting back to the financial place where I need to be. Once I’m financially sound I can fix things around my house that need fixing. I can afford to eat clean, which is something I want to do. I want to do what I did in 2014 when I lost around 10 pounds from just eating clean and not drinking.

I also need to think about my word or words for 2016. What word will describe what I want to achieve this next year? That will be my topic for my next blog.

Finally but most important. What do I want to accomplish before I die? (See photo at the top) It will be here pretty soon, whether I die form a tragedy, an accident or bad genes and bad health, it's out there! And we don't know when it can happen. I saw on Facebook that a friend from high school was very sick. Her daughter posted about it and it seemed that it was serious. Like she was almost dying. She pulled through and when I finally got to email with her to see what had happened she told me that she went in for knee surgery and the next day she passed out from too much anesthesia and didn't wake up for six days! Just like that! Thank God she did wake up and she can talk about it. We do not know when our moment may arrive.

So that's the other thing I want to really think about in 2016. I want to make a bucket list for the last half of my life. I want to live like I'm leaving soon and I want to get the most out of appreciating art, literature, writing and making my own art and literature. I want to help my kids become successful teenagers. What do you want to do before you die?

Monday, October 26, 2015

We Are All Like Stairs, One Step After Another

The thought of my children’s fetal cells living on in my body is pretty amazing. The article I read today from NPR says that some cells may act as little sentinels looking out for breast cancer cells and killing them.

Normal Cells from WikiCommons

I’m comforted by that thought. Also by the idea that their cells stayed in my body long after they were born and traveled to my heart and other vital organs. But it’s the idea of them being in my heart that especially makes me feel like there’s even  more reason why we love our children so much. A part of them is technically inside our hearts until we die. How poetic!

The other theory is equally amazing. We very likely have the cells of all of our siblings who shared our mother’s body with us. Since I’m my mother’s sixth child that means that I possibly have the cells of my 4 older sisters and my brother, who I never met because he was born premature and died shortly after birth. He was born right before me so he left the most recent fetal cells when I was growing in my mother’s womb. And if the theory is correct, then I am the only sibling who carries his cells because I was the only sister born after him. Amazing!

Another thought that warms my heart is that my sisters and I all carry cells from our beloved eldest sister who passed away in 1995. The thought that I carry part of her inside of me is so remarkable. I love thinking that part of her is really here with me.

In reality we each carry part of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother inside of us too. It reminds me of a line in The Joy Luck Club from the character An-Mei when she said that when we are born a girl to our mother we are “like stairs, one step after another, going up, going down, but always going the same way.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Being My True Self

This week I received my new copy of O Magazine in the mail. I love that magazine. Every month when I receive it I turn to the back and I read Oprah's "What I Know for Sure" piece first. The main themes in this month center around Thanksgiving, being yourself and belief.

October issue of O Magazine, published by Hearst Magazines.

I'm really interested in the "being your true self" subject and also about belief. I've been searching for a way to still believe without having an organized religion. I still want for my children to believe and I don't want to make excuses for my beliefs.

Just recently I had a bad experience with social media and I learned a very important lesson. I learned who I should and shouldn't allow into my circle of friends. It made me really sad for a few days and it almost made me lose my trust in humanity. I say "almost" because in the end I made the conscious decision to not let it change me.

For the most part I'm a very trusting person. I'm an open book both on social media and on my blog. I may even over share sometimes. I also think the best of people before I think the worst. I don't want to change that about me. I am not going to let another person's unkind actions change who I am and how I think about the world. Because if I do that then they will have won and I refuse to lose.

I love who I am with all my imperfect and flawed parts. Sure I get mad, I'm mean sometimes and I make mistakes. I'm human! But I love that I'm an open book and that I trust too much. I don't want to be a negative and paranoid person. That kind of person is not a happy person and they block the good energy in life.

Which reminds me, for the past 20 days I've been participating in the #100daysofhappiness project. Every day I post an image to Instagram and I write about what made me happy that day. At first I worried about repeating myself and I tried to keep my posts original. Then I thought, "Who cares?" If my kids make me happy 50 of the 100 days then I will say that, I don't care. I will post what made me the most happy that day, whatever it is and however many times that one thing or person makes me happy. That's the whole point of the exercise anyway.

Speaking of happy, I'm in Week 4 now of my new job and I am very happy to be back. I have a truly awesome team and management who really backs us up. I have a good feeling about this.