Tag Archives: Finding Happiness

Life’s Too Short

Life’s too short…

to waste time on negative people,

to forget how it feels to dance in your underwear and knee-high rainbow socks,

to not say that cheesy joke you know you’re thinking,

to postpone your dreams.

Life’s too short…

for terrible food,

for fake people,

for fake orgasms,

for fake love.

Life’s too short…

to say “no” to opportunities,

to not ask for what you want,

to pretend to be someone else,

to judge others for their opinions, beliefs, lifestyles, choices.

Life’s too short…

to be unhappy.

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Stripping Down

Being human is complicated.  It’s difficult and messy.  Along with our animalistic urges and instincts, we are programmed to feel and make decisions and take responsibility.  Things have always been hard for humans, mostly because we make things harder  for ourselves.  If we really followed our instincts on everything, how many mistakes would we make?

With all of the important stresses we have to take on, we also have a society that puts insane pressures on us…pressure to look a certain way, make a certain amount of money, live a certain lifestyle.  And what happens to the people who don’t fit into that box?  What happens to the musician who doesn’t want to work an ordinary job that he hates, and he doesn’t want to be like everyone else, screwing over others to get what he wants?  What happens to the girl who wants to live off the grid away from the busy lifestyle, away from the “prison” of technology and typical possessions?  What happens to me, the goofy, chubby girl who would rather write books than make friends or sit in a rainstorm rather than lying on a beach getting a tan?  What happens to the people who don’t want to be millionaires or reality TV stars, the people who don’t care who made their shoes or clothes or if their hair is real or fake?

How did everything become so plastic?  Nails are fake, tans are fake, boobs are fake, people are fake.

Sometimes it’s good to strip down to the nudity and vulnerability of who we really are.  Just human.  This may lead to really seeing who others are.  I lost a friend recently who I thought was my very best friend.  It was a very hard loss, but it was a necessary one.  Part of my journey is about separating from the negative and embracing the positive in life.  It’s about realizing I can’t fix everyone; I can’t solve all the problems in someone else’s world, and I most certainly cannot rescue them.  I tend to gravitate toward broken people.  I know how it feels to be broken and to need someone strong in my life.  But it’s not my job to fix everything for everyone.  And fake, drama-filled people tend to gravitate toward me.

My friend was so easy to love.  She was funny and charming.  She could bat her huge green eyes and make everything better, or so it seemed.  I felt I could talk to her about anything until I started to hear the stories back, only twisted.  It turned out that she didn’t really care about me but about what I could do for her.  Our relationship became about me helping her with money and transportation, about guilt where there should be no guilt.  She was a manipulator, and I could see it so clearly all of the sudden.  And it wasn’t just with me, it was with everyone.  I would hear her on the phone playing the system to get a hand out when she didn’t have a job.  And here I was working multiple jobs and helping her buy groceries.  The more books I sold, the more I owed her…until I couldn’t anymore, not financially, not emotionally.  When this happened, she blew up.  She tried to guilt me into changing my mind.  When that didn’t work, she cried and blamed it on other people.  When that didn’t work, she tried to take it all back, full of excuses for her behavior.  But I was done.  I couldn’t do it anymore.  After I deleted her from my life, she still continued to reach out.  Finally, she stopped.

I do miss the fun and the comfort and closeness I felt, even though it was an illusion.  I just needed to strip away the negativity and start focusing on the positive things in my life, the things I really need to get through the storms.  I don’t feel any guilt from my decision to break off that relationship.

I’m not entirely sure why this was on my mind tonight, but maybe someone out there reading this will take something from it.  It’s okay to let go of things if it means you get to be a better version of you.  It’s okay to try to better yourself without stepping on others.  And it’s okay to make decisions that are right for you, no matter what others think about you.

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It’s Just a Bathtub

It’s just a bathtub.  It’s just a bathtub.  It’s just a bathtub!  These are the words I keep repeating in my head as I soak in my enormous Jacuzzi tub.  This is my last night in my current house.

I’ve never been one to put much value on material things.  It’s only stuff, replaceable.  You can’t take it with you, right?  I’ve lived in this house for seven years, and in those seven years, I have cried, bled, laughed, danced.  There are so many memories all over the emotional spectrum attached to this house.  But it’s only a house.

This weekend I have started moving into my new house.  There are many positives to think about.  This new house has more bedrooms and a bigger yard that is fenced in.  This new house is a blank slate of empty walls eager to be filled with new memories, pictures and finger paintings of rainbows and ninja turtles.  This new house is all mine.

But, of course, there are many things I will miss.  My kitchen, for one.  We remodeled this house a couple of years ago, and I got to create my dream kitchen.  Now, I’m downgrading to a much smaller one.  My walk-in closet is another.  A wall of shelves holding a mixture of shoes, old typewriters and many many books.  And finally, my tub.  I have spent many nights soaking in this tub thinking about my novel or the crap that happened that day.  I’ve spent hours sobbing the pain away in this tub.  Tonight was my last bath in this tub.  And that’s okay. I’ll move on, and I’ll laugh at how attached I was to a bathtub.  But the idea of leaving my home to start making a home somewhere else is a little sad.

I’m sad about the circumstances surrounding my move.  I’m sad that one part of my life is truly and officially ending while the thought of starting a new life terrifies me.  I know I’ll be okay.  I know I’ll find the courage to walk through this new territory, and I’ll be proud of myself on the other side of it.  But tonight, I need to be a little sad.  It’s not always easy closing the door to something that is so familiar and comfortable.

It’s All In A Day’s Work

I love my job.  I love everything it stands for, and I love that every day I get to help people.  Fingers crossed, this will turn into something more permanent, and I will be able to continue working with this organization.  However, writing is my passion.  Ideally, I would love to have a stable job as a writer.

My book sales are great, and every penny from that helps.  But it’s not exactly consistent.  So, I’ve been looking into some freelance writing jobs for extra income.  My pride has been my downfall on this task.  I know I’m a great writer, and I know I can be a success story.  But all the logistics behind finding a freelance writing job are insane!

1)  You HAVE to have a portfolio!

There is no getting around this one.  How have I made it this long without having a portfolio?  I suppose I just never needed one until now.  This is a good thing, though.  It’s forcing me to tread into new territory and go back over all my work, really discovering which pieces are the best.

2)  You should definitely update your resume periodically.

I made a resume years ago, but the types of jobs I’ve worked, they didn’t ask for one.  Then I forgot about it and hid it under a pile of dusty papers that should probably have been filed 5 years ago.  So, now here I am completely redoing a resume just so I can apply for these jobs!

3)  I am not the greatest writer in the world.

For some, this concept is a given.  But a creative person has a bit of self-absorption.  This is a must seeing as no one would ever continue to create art after all of the negative critiques.  You have to believe you are great in order to keep going.  But the other side of this is (for me at least) I am usually in this bubble of my own words, and I don’t recognize other’s talents.  Then when the blinders are removed, and I began actually noticing who I will be competing against, I become instantly intimidated.  This causes me to want to tear up everything I’ve written and start again.  I know, I’m dramatic.

So, today my day will consist of piecing together a portfolio and updating a very old resume.  Yes, this girl is a party animal! 🙂

Tribute

This past week has been a difficult one.  Promoting my book has taken over my life a bit, which is exactly what needs to happen.  The downside is I have been using that as an excuse not to workout much.  My eating has been great, and that has completely saved me!

Red and I took a road trip to Virginia to promote the book, and I must say, I am a huge fan of road trips when no kids are accompanying us.  😉  We sang our hearts out to Adele and learned more than we wanted to about each other while playing “20 questions”, “Would you rather” and “Marry, sex, kill”.

roadtrip

Another event that has made this week extremely difficult is the loss of my dad.  Without going into the complicated details of everything, I will simply say we were not on the greatest of terms.  But still, the loss of a parent is confusing and emotional.  To explain how his death impacts my health, I will start by saying this:  my dad was an alcoholic and extremely overweight.  He smoked like a freight train on top of all of that.  Since he’s lived in Texas, I haven’t seen him in years and updates of him were through my grandmother who I am very close with.  Sunday night, she called to let me know that my dad was extremely sick and refusing to go to the hospital.  Monday his condition had worsened.  I finally got ahold of my stepmother that night, and she reassured me that if he was still sick by morning, she would call an ambulance.

Tuesday morning, my oldest brother informed me that our dad was being rushed to the hospital because he was yellow.  That’s when I knew it was his liver.  His liver and kidneys had completely shut down.  Still, I was optimistic that he could pull through (denial, I know).  At around 9 Wednesday morning, I called my grandmother.  His blood pressure had dropped, but he still had a heart beat.  By 9:30, my grandmother was calling me in hysterics because he was gone.  That’s how fast it happened!

I’m sure there had been so much damage over the years because of his alcohol abuse, but the end happened suddenly.  He was 53 years old.  And his five children, all relatively young (ages from 18-36) are left without a dad.

I don’t want to be 53 and dying.  I’m not an alcoholic, but I’m not the epitome of health either.  I am overweight, and I am an emotional eater.  I’ve smoked for years, even after I’ve watched family members die of lung cancer.  But they were all in their old age when they died.  My dad was barely in his 50’s.  I do not want to leave my children on this earth wondering why the hell I did those things to myself.  Why I chose food over them.

This tragic event has sent my motivation for health even higher than it has been.  I know that any of us at any moment could die, but I don’t want it to be because I’m overweight and didn’t take care of myself.

Bye, Dad.  You’ll be missed by many.

dad 2 dad

 

Life After Divorce

I’ve been getting lots of emails from people asking what life after divorce is like.  From my point, I can’t answer this yet.  I can tell you what I’ve seen from other divorced friends, but I’m not living a life after divorce.

I have a friend who, after her divorce, met and married an incredible man.  He adopted her daughter, and let’s face it, has been more of a father to the little girl than the bio dad ever was.  My friend is happy and successful, and if her divorce had never happened, she would have never ended up with the man she’s with now.

I also have friends that have divorced, and everything fell apart.  They are so broken that even after years of being single, they are still trying to put the pieces together.

Divorce is hard, and it’s different for every one.

I went to dinner with some friends of mine, a couple and their two children.  I didn’t feel like the fifth wheel because they are awesome at making me feel included.  But then the check came, and the waiter asked if we were all together on one check.  Before I knew it, the words, “I’m by myself” flew out of my mouth.  All of the sudden, I realized that this is my life now…picking up my own checks and hanging out with other couples as “the single friend”.  People giving me that “poor-girl-she’s-going-through-a-rough-spell” look and set-ups with guys that have no other commonality with me except they are single.

Why is it that the moment you are single, your friends think pushing you into another relationship will mend things?  The truth is, I’m not looking for someone to glue me back together.  I’m doing that job quite nicely myself.  And I’m not having a rough spell, in my mind.  Yes, some hard things are happening, but most nights, I go to bed with a smile on face because I know that finally I can go for my dreams and finally I can be me.

So, I have thought about what life after divorce will look like, what it will make me look like.  And I think it will make me look stronger, not a victim.  Every day, I am finding myself again, and that is so exciting!  Will there be another man in my life?  Who knows?  But I’m not waiting around for one.  Will I ever get married again?  Maybe, but I’m not planning a wedding anytime soon.  Besides, I will probably go into the next relationship with eyes WIDE open!

But, like we all have to do, I am taking it one day at a time. 🙂

It’s Therapeutic

My typical routine on a stressful day would be keeping myself busy with work, the kids and the housework.  Then at the end of the day when everything is quiet and no one can see me, I would snack until my stomach hurts.  Of course this contributed to my weight gain, but I would convince myself that if no one saw me, it never happened.  I would somehow block it out of my memory and continue a lie about how much I eat. 

One day, after having a conversation with a friend about why I couldn’t drop the pounds, she suggested I keep a food journal.  During the day, everything was fine.  I really wasn’t overeating.  Then came night time, and my usual routine was carried out.  I began making notes of everything I was snacking on and reading the calories on the label.  I was in shock!  Who knew that I could each this much? 

Now, I keep a daily food journal and watch my calories.  I also have changed the times of day that I eat.  I rarely eat anything after 8 p.m.  I used to never eat breakfast, but now I am beginning to get used to eating a yogurt and banana every morning.  These are just little changes, but they seem to be helping me in more ways than just weight loss. 

1)  I am sleeping better

2) After nearly a lifetime of stomach troubles that have resulted in many admissions to the hospital, my stomach seems to be calmer than normal

3) I have more energy, which helps me eliminate most of my caffeine intake

4) I just feel better

The past couple of nights, however, I have had trouble sleeping.  It’s probably from stress because I have the wonderful skill of worrying about every little thing that happens (especially those things out of my control).  But when the exhaustion is coupled with the stress of my separation and the stress of my job and the stress of being a mother to 4 children, one with special needs, I find myself wanting to comfort myself with food.

Hi, I’m Abbey, and I’m a food addict!

But instead of cramming Doritos and candy down my throat, I did some extra running.  If anything, the soreness of my body kept me from walking to the fridge for a late night snack! 

Another switch I have made…I am IN LOVE with hazelnut coffee creamer!!!  I have tried the sugar free version, but let’s just face it, I love sugar, too.  So, every morning I would drink a pot of coffee by myself with a lot of hazelnut creamer.  Then my good British friend informed me that I have to start drinking tea.  I’m a pretty picky eater/drinker, but I thought, what the hell?  I’ll give it a try.  Now, I rarely have coffee.  I’m a tea drinker, sweetening it with a bit of honey.  My favorite teas are:  Bigelow Green Tea, Earl Grey, and Bigelow Constant Comment black tea.  I drink these teas all day, mostly in place of snacking. 

So, as usual, I am still just taking it one day at a time, making little changes at a time, and loving every minute of my journey to becoming healthy both physically and mentally!  Good luck on your journey! 🙂

Still Going At It

This past week, my focus has mainly been on getting my kids back into the swing of school and working out.  Usually, the busier life gets, the more excuses I come up with to blow off exercise.  Not this week!  This girl has rocked my 5k training AND my yoga AND my muscle toning.

It feels almost like the day isn’t done until I have put in some exercising.  And as a result, I have dropped 9 pounds in two weeks!  I normally dread the scary scale, but not this time.  I am pretty proud of myself and more motivated than ever!

So, just a little advice from this chunky monkey…keep going!  Don’t give up, and you will start seeing results!

A funny story about running.  When I run, I blast Snoop Dog.  I’m not a big Snoop Dog fan, but I’ve noticed that it’s easier to run with his music playing in my ears.  As the music plays, everything and everyone disappears.  At the track where I run sometimes, there is a little house on the other side of the fence.  There are probably 10 people who reside in this very VERY small house.  One person in particular is this man about 70.  I was running my little heart out, and getting bored, I started to dance a little while I ran.  He happened to be sitting on his porch smoking.  When I finally noticed him, he was pressing his face against the fence, watching me and waving for me to come over to him.  I ran over, and with a giant grin on his face, he asked, “Are you married?”

I forced out a laugh and replied, “It’s complicated.”

His reply nearly floored me.  He asked, “When it’s not so complicated, will you marry me?”  I nearly choked from laughing.  I shook my head and continued my run.  Now, every time I run there, this little old man winds up sitting on his porch watching.

Anyways, here is a picture from this morning.  I don’t know if you can see any results, but I can definitely feel the results!  Good luck on your journey and take it one day at a time! 🙂

9 pounds down 80814

It’s All Relative

I used to despise running, well, anything active actually.  Then I got involved in track in high school.  I felt so great about myself!  I loved the soreness my legs felt during and after running; I loved the feeling of sweat forming droplets on my skin.  I was in my element.  Then life hit me, and I let all of that go.  I was overeating and stressed.  I was avoiding any exercise at all costs.  I always had the best excuses.  Young mother, working, college, who has time to workout?  For years I have witnessed myself gaining weight and becoming so out of shape that even a short flight of stairs would make me breathless.

I have my power back!  I decided that being unhealthy was far more painful than waking up an hour early and working out.  I decided that indulging on an entire pint of ice cream was more painful than going for a jog.  I can look at myself in the mirror again, not because I am anywhere near my goal, but because I am not giving up.  I can be proud of that!

Today, I finished my first week of the “Couch to 5K” training, and I am over the moon at how I rocked it.  I even threw in some extra days!  I have also added some squats, some crunches and leg lifts to my workout.  On top of that, I am doing thirty minutes to an hour of yoga every morning before my day officially starts.

My eating has changed in the fact that I am not over-indulging.  Yes, I still indulge in the occasional treat, but more than that, I am watching my portions.  I think a lot of being healthy is self-control.  I try not to complicate it too much.  I watch my calories and drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.  That is easy for me because I love water more than any other drinks!  I will never drop my caloric intake to an unhealthy number because, frankly, I love food.  But then again, I think we all should! 🙂

I may be new at this, but in my opinion people complicate it too much, and that is not something I’m interested in.  So, I am taking it one day at a time and loving every moment!

Extra Extra Read All About It

As I have mentioned briefly before, I am a writer and now a published author.  Unlike many, I was never confused about what I was going to be when I grew up.  It was simple, I was going to be a writer.

THE STORY OF HOW MY BOOK CAME TO BE:

My son has always been a bit different.  He was very verbal, but he had trouble with being socially awkward.  He never had any interest in others, and he was always particular about his routine, even to the point of having panic attacks if any change whatsoever occurred.  I just thought he was quirky.  I had never heard of Asperger’s Syndrome until a lady at a playground asked me if he had it.  I was offended.  “Of course he doesn’t have that! (Whatever that is)”

Not long after, I took him to his four-year check up.  His doctor, who I came to find was a 30 year autism specialist, asked me if I knew what Asperger’s Syndrome was.  I almost growled at him.  Why does this term keep creeping up?  He explained that it was a neurological disorder that was basically high-functioning autism, and he wanted to test my son for it.  We made the appointment for two weeks later.  I, as a very curious mother, decided to google everything I could that had anything to do with Asperger’s.  And guess what?  I cried every day for two weeks.

After he was officially diagnosed, and I had come to terms with the fact that I needed to get educated as well as my son, we went on a search to find children’s literature about Asperger’s.  I wanted my son to understand why he is the way he is, and I wanted him to be able to explain it to others and not be ashamed of it.  So, we searched and searched…and searched.  We came across one book and so not to say anything negative about this book, I won’t mention the title.  I will only say that it wasn’t for us.

My mom, knowing how much I love to write, told me I should write my own children’s book about it!  And I did!  The rest is all a bunch of miracles and perfect timings, but to make the story short, it is now published!

So, just to show you guys my very proud work of art, here it is:  the first book of the Aspie Hero series, Counting Jacob.

aspieherocover

It is available on Amazon, and I hope you enjoy it!  🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Jacob-Abbey-Perry/dp/193655478X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407036594&sr=8-1&keywords=Counting+Jacob

http://aspiehero.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aspiehero