The importance of friends and a support system

I have spent the last few days in Havre, Montana for work. I was excited to come and see scenery I had never seen before. I brought my camera. I was also extremely anxious because, never having been to Montana before, I didn’t know what to expect. New area, new people… I pulled into my location with my stomach in knots. How was I going to get past my own social awkwardness and do what I came to do?  I took a deep breath, gathered my courage and off I went. I walked in with a smile on my face and introduced myself. Please, oh please, just let me make it through the day without feeling like an idiot.

These people are amazing. They put me at ease. They made me feel at home in minutes. There is a low key, homey feel to the area, and I love that everybody knows everybody. They check up on each other. They help each other out. They bring in doughnuts and pie… just because they feel like it. (Very delicious pie, I might add.)  I can honestly say that I have made friends here. It’s been 2 days, and I have friends in a state that I had never been to before Sunday afternoon. We swapped phone numbers, and I know I will actually call or text them soon. I will check in with them and make sure they’re doing okay. I know they will call me if they need my help. I am their support system. It feels great.

Having friends and a support system is so important. We all need help sometimes. We all need to rely on someone at some point. We need personal cheerleaders standing on the sidelines to boost us up. We need people to look us in the eye and tell us everything is going to be okay, no matter what the situation is.

I have goals… A lot of them. I let people know what my goals are. They need to know. They can’t support me and help me along if they don’t know what’s up.

Last summer I decided that I was going to try to exercise every day, try and eliminate the majority of sugar in my diet, and eat vegetarian for 30 days. This was a big challenge for me. I tend to be lazy when I get home from work. I adore sweets. I also really love bacon and sausage. I told my friends what I was going to do, and they helped me so much. They laughed at me and thought I was insane, (hey, that’s what friends are for!), but they helped me through every single day with my internal struggles. I seriously could not have done it without them. They brought in healthy, meatless snacks… and they encouraged me to get a fitbit. I did, and I love it. I love my friends for helping me reach my goals.

Be that friend who lifts another. Be the friend that can be relied upon. Be the one that says, “I know chocolate comes from the cacao tree, but that doesn’t make it a fruit, no matter how much you think it should”. Be the type of friend that you would want cheering YOU on. 

 

Getting more out of life

I go through life one day at a time, just like you, I’m sure. I wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day. Anymore, it seems that’s all I do. There seems to be little or no time for the things I long to do. My days, evenings, and weekends are full of chores and things I HAVE to do. After awhile, I feel like my routine is so…. routine. I realize that I’m taking so many things for granted. I’m taking EVERYTHING for granted. I would lay awake in bed dreading getting up in the morning to go do the same things… again. I needed a change.

Then, something amazing happened last summer. I had dinner with some of my music friends one evening. I’ve known these lovely ladies since high school, and even though we didn’t see each other all that often, it was always like no time had passed at all. We sat for hours talking about getting a music group together. Mind you, we have lightly touched on it in the past, BUT, this time was different. We wanted it… BADLY. We wanted to be a part of something inventive and creative. We wanted to have fun. We wanted to be a part of something special. We sat and wrote down page after page of ideas. We made plans. We made time commitments. That was the spark that changed something in me. 

We all lead busy lives. We all lead stressful lives. We made time in our busy, stressful lives to meet EVERY WEEK for a few hours. (Okay, I think we’ve missed 4 in the last 9 months, but that is nothing to scoff at!)  We work on exciting music. (And someday soon, we’ll figure out how to put it all together!) We talk about anything and everything… and I do mean ANYTHING. We vent. We cry. We laugh hysterically. We have an amazing friendship. We have a support system. These wonderful women challenge me, and hold me accountable for all the things I say I want to do. Together we have a vast amount of knowledge and connections. They make me want to do more with the gifts I’ve been blessed with, and they know how to help make it happen. My life has changed.

When we first started getting together every week, I felt a bit guilty. I left my hubby and my doggies at home, and went to our meeting. I felt bad about getting home a little later than I probably should on a “school night”. I mentioned this to my other half, and I was surprised by his reply. He told me that he had seen a change in me. He said he could see that I seemed to be happier. I’ve been in a better mood.  I’m enjoying being me. He doesn’t mind that I go. In fact, he insists that I go. That is incredible.

I have a lot of hobbies. I love photography. I love music. I love being craftsy. I love writing. I feel like I have accomplished more in the last 9 months, than I have in the last 20 years. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. I truly feel that I am getting more out of life. 

My challenge for you, is simple. Put yourself out there and do all those wonderful things you’ve been meaning to do. Start with one simple thing. Make time for yourself. Learn something new. This is such an amazing time to be alive. Knowledge is at our fingertips. Even the littlest of things can change your attitude. It can change your whole perspective. It will make you feel alive.

Shadow dancer

GO AND GET MORE OUT OF LIFE.

The learning curve

I have never been an overly computer savvy person. I have known this for a VERY long time. I know enough to “fake it ’til I make it”, but sometimes even that is a struggle. Fortunately for me, I know people who do this for a living, so if I bribe these people with enough baked goods, they will give me some sound advice. (Kindly insert angels singing, and rays of sunlight shining down on me!)

As I attempt to set up my menus, links, and extras, I am feeling several emotions running through me. First and foremost, I feel excited. I am giddy with anticipation of what the future holds. I have so much to share with all of you! Following very closely behind excitement is sheer frustration, and the very real urge to cry. Why did I think this blog thing was a good idea, when all I want to do is throw my computer out into my back yard right now. As I have revisited the same screens repeatedly for the 20+ time, I figure I should write down what I have done, so I know how to get back to that spot. I know as I become more familiar with everything, it will become easier. It just needs to happen much faster.

What I am really hoping will come out of this particular challenge is more patience, knowledge, and appreciation. I have a fair bit of patience, but evidently I need more. It is extremely obvious that I could use the knowledge. Practice, practice right? Eventually, that practice will turn into my appreciation for figuring it out.  I WILL figure it out. I am determined and stubborn.

Think about those words for just a moment…  Stubbornness. Determination. Patience. Knowledge. Appreciation.  Any time we decide to change things in our minds, hearts, and lives, it’s hard. Stubbornness creeps in and tries to take over. Habits don’t want to be broken. They sure won’t be broken overnight. Our determination to make changes within ourselves will help us gain the patience we need to succeed. As the days and weeks pass, we learn how to cope with our struggles. We learn how to meet our goals and have more success. And then, my friends, comes the appreciation… for the hard work, and the learning curve.

It is my hope that together, we can make some changes (even if they’re little ones), and make our lives a bit better. Get your determination ready!

~And so it begins~

I have toyed with the idea of a blog for many years. To be honest, it seems that I start one, and then I lose interest after some time. Embarrassingly enough, it doesn’t seem to take all that long. Evidently, my attention span for my previous blogs is about 2 minutes. It disappoints me so much. I love to write. I always have. I love to discuss topics that I am passionate about, doesn’t everyone? And then, as I was chatting with my dear friends a few weeks ago, it became so apparent as to why my other attempts have failed. I like to do so many things. That in itself is not a bad thing. However, the list of things that I am truly PASSIONATE about, is not nearly as long.  Did you see the light turn on above my head? I consider myself to be a reasonably smart woman, so why this took me so long to figure out is beyond me.

My intention is to share my knowledge with those who want a different perspective. I realize that the subjects that fascinate me might not be as interesting to others, but, maybe I can at least get you to visualize a different way of doing things that could be beneficial. I try to be honest. I try to be insightful.  I try to have good grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I have realized though, that I sometimes will compromise just a bit to make sure that my personality and opinion shines through. It will manifest itself at some point!

Let’s go on a journey together and make a difference! That difference for me is my own sanity. Let us begin!20160926_070847-1