Chapter 47: My Tips On Survival

A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated my 47th birthday. It’s been a rocky road… There have been a lot of good times and plenty that have just downright sucked. I started this list of thoughts and I just kept going. Before I knew it, I had to narrow it down to 47 and a bonus.

I thought I would share them with you…

1. Compliments are nice to receive, but they are also wonderful to give! Here’s a tip I have been trying get through to people… Complimenting someone else will in no way diminish any of your potential. Try it!!!

2. The right people will become more than friends, they will become your family.

3. Letting go of people who hurt you doesn’t mean you don’t love them anymore. You can love people, but set boundaries. You do not have to endure emotional abuse or blackmail, or physical abuse, just because you love someone.

4. Setting boundaries does not make you a bad person!

5. Standing up for yourself, and others, even if you stand alone, does not make you a bad person!

6. Sometimes it is just not worth the effort to try to explain things. Let people assume whatever they want and continue to live your life as you see fit.

7. The way you choose to live your life is none of anyone’s business.

8. No matter what you do, how kind and generous you are, some people will never like you. They just aren’t capable of seeing the good in others and it is not your fault.

9. I have written it before, but I will again, let them talk!!!!! Someone, somewhere, is always going to talk shit about you or someone you care about. Let them. You don’t have to listen.

10. Value your honest friends. You may not like what they have to say, but if it is the truth, swallow that pill, and thank them. You will end up thanking them one day anyway, whether you actually tell them or not.

11. The end of a friendship doesn’t mean you have to destroy that person’s character to others. Move on. Cherish the good times. Live your life. Let them live theirs. Don’t be a miserable little troll and trash them behind their back. At one time, they were special to you. Remember that. (OR you were pretending the entire time and using them. In that case, you SUCK! And still leave them alone!)

12. Distance doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes, it is just distance. Sometimes, it is a painful necessity to preserve your sanity.

13. You can love someone with all your heart and not be a part of their lives. It may hurt, but again, it is sometimes very necessary for self preservation.

14. If you don’t lie, you won’t have to struggle to remember what you have said. Simple, right?

15. Never put anything in writing you don’t want used against you, because at some point, even if you think you trust the person completely, they will probably use it against you. This even applies to memes. Seriously. I have seen it done. In a legal setting. Crazy! I know!

16. Stop worrying about what people say behind your back. Worry more about the people who are listening to that shit, and report back to you under the guise of friendship, rather than defending you or shutting that shit down when it was happening.

17. Blood may be thicker than water, but it’s not a guarantee of loyalty or love.

18. If you want something done a certain way, do it yourself! Don’t stand over someone’s shoulder nitpicking!

19. No one owes you anything! Get off your ass and work for what you want in life.

20. Do not give expecting anything in return. If you are keeping tally of charity, gifts, or favors you will not get far in life.

21. You cannot discard people when you are done with them and expect them to welcome you back into their lives at your convenience.

22. There is a big difference in pride in your accomplishments and bragging. However, some people will always see your happiness for accomplishing something you’re proud of as bragging.

23. No matter how nice you are there will always be some spiteful and bitter little person cursing your name out of jealousy. Let them. They don’t matter. At all.

24. Be open to new experiences. It may look boring at first, but you may just find something you feel you won’t enjoy to be one of the best memories of your life.

25. Men and women can have platonic friendships. It is totally possible. Not everyone is dying to screw someone of the opposite sex. They might not even see their “gender” when they think of them. They may just see a friend. So, calm the hell down and let people be friends.

26. If two people are happy in their relationship, let them be happy! Don’t be a home wrecker! Please note that home wreckers are not always outsiders trying to get your partner to cheat. Sometimes, they are people who are masquerading as “concerned” friends or family members. Yeah… They sabotage relationships, too.

27. It is absolutely okay to be depressed, tired, not yourself, withdrawn, or feel however you’re feeling at any particular moment.

28. You don’t owe anyone any kind of explanation for anything you choose to do. None. If you want to give an explanation out of courtesy, that’s cool. However, you have no obligation for any reason to give someone some detailed explanation for your decisions.

29. Learn to be aware of your surroundings. The world is a dangerous place.

30. It is perfectly okay to say no. You are not obligated to agree to anything you don’t want to do and don’t let anyone or anything make you feel guilty for opting out.

31. You are not obligated by any invisible bond to continue to stress yourself just to make someone else happy.

32. Being a responsible pet owner is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life.

33. The love of a dog is unconditional. Do not take it for granted.

34. Help people, but watch out for those who will take advantage of your generosity. When you have nothing to give, take a look around. You will find yourself with very little company.

35. Beauty is skin deep, but evil penetrates the soul.

36. People will try to bring you down. It’s not you. They hate themselves and by trying to destroy others, they get some sense of satisfaction. Let them live in their delusional little world and keep doing your thing!

37. No matter how pleasing the mask someone presents to the world, eventually the people that matter the most will see what is hidden behind the mask.

38. Love does not guarantee loyalty.

39. Age is not a limitation. For anything. At all.

40. You can do it. Whatever “it” is… I promise. You can. It will probably be hard, and take time and a lot of effort, but you can do it!

41. Therapy helps. It doesn’t make you a pariah. It makes you a person who decided to deal with life in a strategic and healthy way. (It saved my life.)

42. You have nothing to be ashamed of if you have a mental illness diagnosis and if someone uses it against you, in any manner, THEY SUCK! (And probably recognize they have mental issues of their own, but are too cowardly to seek help. If you don’t like that, I don’t care.) It also does not automatically make you a danger to society and anyone who assumes this SUCKS!

43. No one is nice 100 percent of the time. Every single person on this planet has done or said plenty of things they regret. If they set themselves up to look like saints, don’t open their closet doors. You will be shocked by what they are trying to hide. If you decide to open that closet, move aside… You will probably get hurt by the shit that flies out!

44. It’s okay to like sex and express your sexuality. You have nothing to be ashamed of… Be sexy! Be you!

45. It’s okay to wear whatever you feel good wearing. If someone is critical of your clothing choices, THEY SUCK! And they are probably insecure and a little jealous because they don’t feel as confident as you.

46. Let shit go… Holding onto grudges and animosity will make YOU miserable.

47. Don’t forget your sunscreen. Start wearing it early. I don’t care if you’re 17-years-old and think you don’t need to worry about skincare. Wear sunscreen!

BONUS: Learn some sort of self defense. I don’t care what you choose to do, but learn to protect yourself. Everyone in this world today needs to know how to defend their lives and those of the ones they love.

If you made it this far, I want to thank you for reading. I have been blessed with 47 years of life. Have they all been full of sunshine and cupcakes? Hell no! However, there have been some amazing times and I am so grateful to still be here. I hope I have many years ahead of me, because there is so much left I want to do…. So many adventures to be had!

Until next time, hug your loved ones, cuddle your fur babies, read some good books, take care of your skin, and get out there and enjoy life!

Peace, love, and butterflies!

Friday Faves Volume III: The Original PeachSkin Sheets

How do I sleep at night?

Quite well! 😉💗

All thanks to my The Original PeachSkin Sheets! BEST purchase ever!

💗🍑💗

I will freely admit… I am a sheet snob and I am not ashamed! I have spent a fortune on sheets in the past only to be sadly disappointed with the quality.

That is not the case with The Original PeachSkin Sheets! They are INCREDIBLE! First, they are affordable! Even if you don’t take advantage of one of their amazing sales, these sets are priced just right! However, it is the quality… They are THE softest sheets I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping on.

We have a memory foam mattress. It has been a chore to find sheets that stay on properly. Thanks to the 18” deep pockets, and the elastic that goes all the way around the fitted sheet, problem solved! They are soft right out of the package, too. You don’t have to wash them over and over to get the “broken in” feeling. They are also hypoallergenic and anti-microbial! They are stain resistant, fast drying, and do not shrink!

They are perfect for both hot and cold sleepers. I tend to get hot when I am sleeping, but the hubby freezes. With PeachSkin Sheets, we are both sleeping comfortably!

I chose my first set in Cotton Candy Pink, of course, but I intend to order more!

I highly recommend them! A good night’s sleep is an important part of self care, so why not invest in amazing sheets?

Happy sleeping!

☮️ ❤️ 🦋

Friday Faves Volume II (My Shiny Teeth & Me!)

I have a bit of an obsession with keeping my teeth white. It’s an important part of my self care.

To be completely honest, my two front teeth are veneers and keeping the rest of my teeth as white is a chore. I also experience some sensitivity and it can be a nightmare. Traditional teeth whitening kits are just not the thing for me due to this. They can often be irritating. Who wants to suffer for the time it takes the product to work during the treatment duration?

Thanks to the White Birch Teeth Whitening Kit, I have found a new way to keep my teeth stain-free and sparkling without the mess of traditional charcoal powders or the pain of traditional whitening kits! Isn’t that awesome? And there is no black charcoal mess! This is the world’s first white charcoal whitening toothpaste. It was developed by a family of dentists with over 50 years of clinical experience.

The white charcoal absorbs and removes tough stains. Their signature toothpaste and gel serum work in combination to brighten your smile up to six times in as little as two weeks!!! No strips. No trays. No sensitivity. No mess. And it’s affordable! It’s also safe for use with crowns and veneers!

Just wet your toothbrush, apply the toothpaste, then add a thin strip of the serum over the toothpaste. Brush your teeth with this combination twice a day for two minutes each time and in 14 days… Voila! You can start singing about your shiny teeth! (It’s a reference to the character Chip Skylark from the cartoon The Fairly Odd Parents.)

I am really pleased with this kit. On a scale of one to five, I would definitely give this 5 stars! I love it!

After completing the kit with the serum, I have continued to use their toothpaste for maintenance and my teeth look and feel wonderful. I highly recommend White Birch products and am so grateful I was given the opportunity to try them. They have officially become a permanent part of my self care and a firm favorite!

A Short Trip To Mystic Falls (Covington, Georgia)

Growing up, I was absolutely terrified of vampires. I had watched Salem’s Lot and I was convinced an evil vampire would somehow get into my room one night and drain me dry. I spent many a night with the covers pulled tightly to my chin, gripping my small cross pendant, and praying quietly until I finally drifted off to sleep.

My fear of vampires didn’t last. Somewhere along the way, and I can’t remember exactly when it happened, the fear turned to fascination. I began to watch everything I could pertaining to vampires. Well, anything supernatural really. I read, too. Oh, the books I read. It was during this period I discovered some of my favorite authors and my favorite characters.

When I was in high school, I discovered a teen fiction series that would change my life. I fell in love with the characters and read the original trilogy until it was almost in tatters. It still holds a place of high honor on my bookshelf today, complete with my high school bubble handwriting, boldly stating they are my property inside each cover.

That trilogy is The Vampires Diaries by L.J. Smith. It was published almost 30 years ago. Long before Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev brought the characters Damon Salvatore, Stefan Salvatore, and Elena Gilbert to life on screen.

With that being written, the first part of our recent vacation was literally a dream come true for me. I doubted I would ever make it to Covington, Georgia to see the little town where they had filmed the series, but my husband surprised me! After talking about it for so long, he told me to book the room for our Vampire Vacation.

I was thrilled!!!!!!

The road trip down was fun. We were in high spirits because of the excitement of going on vacation. My husband, who was not a fan of the show before the trip, but has become a devoted fan since, was even looking forward to touring the town known as Mystic Falls on television. (In the books, the setting is a town in Virginia called Fell’s Church.) We drove and talked. He asked questions about the shows and books and I was happy to fill him in on all things Vampire Diaries.

When we arrived, we immediately took a little drive through Mystic Falls (Covington, Georgia). Even though I am going to be 47-years-old this summer, I must admit, upon seeing the iconic clock tower, made famous by the show, my eyes did tear up a bit.

Things got a little tricky when we went to our hotel, but nothing can be perfect. Right? Though our hotel was listed as pet friendly on BringFido.com, they most certainly were not. It’s all cool. I have to give it to the customer service representatives at BringFido. They found us a much nicer hotel for a comparable price. Sometimes things work out even when it is a little inconvenient at first.

After a little rest, we decided it was time to tour the town in full. We were hoping to book a guided tour, but those are booked so far in advance, something I didn’t know, but should have, and they were completely sold out the entire time we were there. However, we did okay on our own.

We got a map and drove around to see all of the houses used in filming. We were really surprised how close they were to each other. Watching the show, they make it seem as if these people live quite a distance from one another. In reality, three of the key houses used in filming are within walking distance, with two of them being directly next door to the other. They are also not far from the square and the famed Mystic Grill, the hang out of any human and supernatural creature in Mystic Falls.

Yes, the Mystic Grill is an actual restaurant. However, it does not look the same inside. What you see on the show is actually a set built in a warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia.

There are so many little things in Covington, Georgia for fans of The Vampire Diaries. Not just seeing Elena’s house, the clock tower, or the Mystic Grill. There is also a storefront with both Elena’s name and her father’s name, marking it as their physicians’ office. There are stones with the names of actors who have filmed in Covington. And these include more than just the cast of The Vampire Diaries.

Unfortunately, due to COVID, the Visitor’s Center was not open at that time. It was a disappointment, because there is a lot of memorabilia on display, but I was not at all let down by what we were able to see in both the Vampire Stalker Museum and Alley Shop at the Mystic Grill. They have costumes and props on display and that was really cool!

I wish we’d had more time, but since visiting my husband, David, has taken to watching the show. He is now insisting we go back as soon as possible and stay longer! There is no way I am going to argue with him. We are currently looking at dates for a return trip and this time we will book well enough in advance so we may take a guided tour!

Stay tuned! I will be telling you more about the second leg of our Vampire Vacation. We went to New Orleans!!! Can you think of a better place when it comes to spooky and supernatural things? I don’t think so!

Until then… Peace, love, and butterflies!

☮️ ❤️ 🦋