Goodbye, Miss Sunshine…

I recently took a hiatus from posting on social media to rest and reflect upon recent events that have taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.  It all stems from social media, and connections I have made there, and connections in my personal life.  While I have been blessed with some wonderful and amazing people through my activity online, I have been exposed to a dark side.  A side that has depressed and disappointed me… Offline has been an abyss of dissatisfaction for a long time.

I have cried. I have lost sleep. My whole routine has been off. Everything has been negatively affected. It’s not healthy. It’s not acceptable. It’s NOT going to continue in this manner.

I know you’re probably thinking I shouldn’t take things so seriously.  I do try, but you see…  I have a heart.  I genuinely care about people.  A close friend recently advised me to not get so emotionally invested with people. Especially online. You know what?  I am going to take this inspiring woman’s advice.

Here’s why…

I am not perfect.  No one is.  I make mistakes.  I actually have a life.  With responsibilities, and you know, stuff that has to be done. I can’t be to everyone exactly what they want me to be. I am human. I am just one woman. I need time to focus on my personal life and my health. I want to enjoy things and avoid stress and drama.

Then there are the “friends” you talk to regularly that are unable to comment publicly on your posts. Nope. Done. If you can’t support me publicly, then don’t expect the same from me. I support people like I am getting paid to do it, and don’t mind it all. I get enjoyment from seeing other people do well and complimenting them. I like to uplift people. It’s part of who I am. I wasn’t raised with a lot of encouragement and kindness, so I try to spread it around like it’s confetti. Right now, it feels like it’s been fertilizer. You picking up what I’m putting down?

I don’t like being used either. People who know me in real life know I am a direct person and have shut down many conversations by asking the hard questions or pointing out the obvious truth everyone else avoids for the sake of not ruffling feathers. I will speak up. I will say what no else does. I am not rude, but I am not intimidated by truth. So, if you suddenly pop up out of nowhere, after having known me for years, get me to do something for you, then immediately show you had ulterior motives, I have my scissors ready. I have family I haven’t spoken to in years. I am not going to cater to someone who takes advantage of my kindness under the guise of “friendship”.
That is the cold, hard truth.

I also do not and will not play games. I am too old to try to keep up with being popular. I had my fair share of that back in the 90’s. I just am not going to conform to fit in. I am who I am, and I am okay with that. I am not part of the “you can’t sit with us crowd.” I have reservations at a better restaurant. I am fine eating alone. I never liked high school cafeteria food anyway.

I am not saying I don’t appreciate the genuine people out there. I most certainly do. The ones who make an effort to support me. To speak up and stand by me. To check on me. To chat with me. The ones who accept me for the eccentric person I am. Who are okay with my flaws. Don’t mind my direct and honest way of dealing with things. The ones who recognize that no matter what, my intentions are good and I am led by my heart. I know who each and everyone of you are. I am touched and thankful for the messages of support. I am extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have sent me beautiful gifts and cards. Thank you! So very much! I love you. YOU ARE APPRECIATED! Peace, love, and butterflies to y’all. ☮️❤️🦋

As for what happens now, well, buckle up… It’s about to get real. Say goodbye to Miss Sunshine. There’s some stormy weather on the horizon.

Speed Bumps

Coming into 2019, I had every intention of writing consistently. I was going to publish a blog post at least once a week, but life happens. I encountered what I call life’s speed bumps…

I have been dealing with some personal issues in my life. An injury I am finally having treated. The painful ending of some relationships. A depressive episode.

To me, these things and everything that came with them, are all just speed bumps. I call them that, because they may slow me down, but I will keep going. They are NOT road blocks. They can’t stop me. Nothing can. I control what happens in my life and the speed at which it occurs. I have to maintain focus and stay on track. If I fuel myself with positivity and stop to stretch my legs from time to time… I think this journey will be the beautiful one I had planned all along.

Stay with me readers. I will be sharing much more with you. I have tried some wonderful new products I would love to tell you about. I will be going to some events I want to share with you. I am going to be travelling and I want you all along for each trip!

Keep smiling. Hug your loved ones. Peace, love, and butterflies!

Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Lately, I have been witness to so much unnecessary meanness through bullying.  There have been children who have been treated with incredible cruelty by others, people online treated with disrespect by others hiding behind screens…  I could go on and on.  We all know it’s out there.  I mean, it’s been going on forever.  Right?  We’re not naïve.  Unless you have your head in the sand, you have seen or heard of it and it only seems to be getting worse.

Why are we treating others so terribly?  Is it the need to fit in with other people?  Is it unhappiness within?  Or is it just that some people are wired to be cruel to others?

I am not a saint.  Please, don’t get me wrong!  I have been mean.  There are times when I have been downright nasty.  I regret those actions, but I was able to mature and develop into a different type of person.  One who believes in the power of kindness and spreading positivity…

Why did I change how I behaved? I knew what it was like to be treated with malice.  I felt the heartache and seemingly unending tears when someone would say something so incredibly cutting to me that it was as if they had sliced off a piece of me.  I have been overweight, and reminded, not so kindly, that I was.  I have been mocked for loving all the “girly” things I do:  makeup, haircare, shopping, etc.  I have been made fun of for wearing too much makeup.  I have had nasty rumors spread about me.  Complete untruths which made it back to me through multiple people.  I have even had so-called “friends” attempt to try to engage in gossip about ME with family members.  So, I know it’s painful.  Therefore, my mistreatment of others had to end.

How did I change?  I became more spiritual and started thinking more positively.  I made a vow to myself to always find something nice to say to people.  No, I am not Mary Poppins.  (And yes, I think someone recently referred to me as an “empty headed Mary Poppins knock-off”…)  I am not running around complimenting random strangers, but if I notice something nice about someone, I make it a point of telling them.  It isn’t hurting me or even taking any real effort to say, “Your nails or pretty.”  Or something of the like…

I would like to see more people TRY to spread some kindness.  You never know when a little bit of kindness is going to make a world of difference to someone.  It could make their day.  I could make the difference in their life.  You just never know.

Isn’t this all just really common sense?  Treat others well.  Think before you speak and act.  Common sense.

I want to leave you with this.  It is something I wrote when I was struggling and I was faced with a lot of negativity from those who were supposed to support me…

“I have worked too hard for this very tenuous grasp on happiness…  Darkness waits at every turn to encompass my light.  I cannot…  I will not…  Be drawn into that slumber.  The one which threatens to destroy my destiny of greatness.  My candles are flaming.  I replace each one as it burns out.  Do not be the breath of negativity trying to extinguish my fire.”

Thank you for reading.  Spread kindness.  Stay positive.

 

Heart Disease Awareness

Last night, I was granted the amazing opportunity to be interviewed by Traci S. Campbell for her podcast.  I was able to tell my story of surviving heart disease for the “Beauty is ALL Heart” initiative she began three years ago due to her role as a caregiver to a relative with heart challenges.  I was honored and humbled to be able to participate in this interview…

February 3, 2018 marked my four year anniversary of surviving a heart attack.  I am truly blessed to be able to still be here to see the beauty each new day brings.  If I learned one thing, it is not to take one single moment for granted.  Take note of all the little things and be happy for each and every moment you get to spend on this Earth.

In 2014, the morning after the Superbowl, I was not feeling well.  Leading up to this day, I had been experiencing some fatigue and angina, but I was only 38-years-old.  I didn’t take it seriously.  I thought I was overly stressed and suffering from indigestion.  I was WRONG!

I was on the phone with my sister, and I had some neck and jaw pain.  It began radiating down my left arm.  I remember telling her I would just lie down until I felt better, but she insisted I call someone.  I called my husband.  It never occurred to me to call 911.  We rushed to the nearest hospital, which didn’t have a cardiac unit, but they were able to stabilize me.  We live in a rural area, so I had to be transported to another hospital via ambulance for further care…  And let me tell you!  That’s NOT fun.  I gotta give it to paramedics.  If you can work in an ambulance, you’re talented, because riding in one is no joke!

But I digress…

I made it to the larger hospital, where I was taken to surgery as soon as possible.  See, I was having a serious heart attack.   When I say serious, I mean, my proximal LAD was blocked.  Ninety-eight percent blocked.  The proximal LAD is what is known as the “Widowmaker,”  I was dying, people.  I didn’t have a clue anything was leading up to this!

Now, why didn’t I have a clue?  I had heart disease in my family.  I should have known to get the check ups I needed.  I smoked.  I should have known I needed to quit.  I didn’t fuel my body properly.  I should have put that cheeseburger down.  Am I right?  Yeah, I am…  BUT we don’t always think about those things when we are younger.  We think, “That won’t happen to me!”

BUT IT CAN!!!  It did!  It happened to me.  I was a football Mom.  I stayed at home at the time to be with my son.  I helped my husband run his business.  I didn’t take my health seriously…

Now, after my heart attack, I fell into a deep depression, which I have since learned can be common.  THEN, to make things even worse, just a few short months later, I lost a very close relative who had struggled with heart challenges all her life.  I fell into darkness for a time.  I didn’t think I would find my way back to into the light, but I did!

It didn’t happen over night.  It has been a struggle.  I have had to learn new ways of fueling my body.  I have had to exercise on a regular basis, and have sustained a few injuries from exercising.  I have gone to therapy to help with my mental health issues.  Now, I am taking pride in my appearance and showing the world my love for beauty!

I am learning to enjoy life and doing my best to be positive each and every day.  THERE is beauty in each day!  I am blessed to be here to see it.  I will cherish each moment that I have been given and hope to spread as much love and kindness as possible!

So, I urge you…  Take care of yourselves.  Educate yourselves about heart disease.  Go for check ups regularly.  Fuel your body properly and get some exercise!  Life is beautiful and you want to be able to experience that beauty!