Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gratitude & Happiness

If you find gratitude in your everyday life, you're going to find happiness. Something as small as being grateful for clean sheets, or the scent of your favorite candle burning can bring just a little bit of happiness to your day. I've been working very hard these past few months to educate myself on being grateful and finding my happiness. 

I decided I wanted to get another tattoo which would definitely make my happy. Why not combine the act of getting a tattoo with what I've been working so hard on these past few months? While the experience itself did not make me happy (ha!), the end result did. (There may have been a point where I thought I was going to pass out. Your wrist is very sensitive in case you wondering.) 

Check it out. 

New tattoo. 

Both of my tattoos.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

This Thing Called Life

I'm listening to August Alsina's new album This Thing Called Life, so I felt it fitting for this blog. 

Since I can remember, I've always been someone who takes everything very personal. Some of that may be because I'm a Cancer, but mostly, it's just because of who I am. I remember when I worked my first Christmas in retail, I think I came home every night crying. The public can be brutal! Even now, I'd say that's the main reason I extremely dislike answering phones at work. People call in yelling and I become extremely guarded and my attitude fires back.

Recently, there was an attorney who called our office and I was not available to take the call. It was late in the afternoon and I decided I'd call back in the morning. It would give me more time and I'd be refreshed. The message this attorney left did not in anyway convey an urgency that I call back that day. Later that evening, my boss and I got an email from this attorney. First sentence said, "I called this afternoon and left a message with the receptionist asking for Rachel to return my call. I understand that Rachel is very busy but it is unfortunate that she was unable to return my call." She discussed the case in her email and then the last sentence said, "Thank you for your time to respond. If you would rather, I am happy to discuss this matter with Rachel, if she has time." I lost my shit. I was so pissed off. I took offense to it. I took it as someone criticizing my work and/or trying to get me in trouble with my boss by telling him I didn't return the call. Of course, my boss didn't even pick-up on what sent me into a tailspin. 

A few weeks later, I had Christmas dinner with my boss and his wife. I read this email to her, and she said, Rachel, that is not about you. That is about that attorney. The attorney's ego perhaps because you didn't call back right away. Maybe this attorney was having a bad day. Whatever the case may be, it is not about you. I'd like to believe she's right. 

I also discussed with her other things that go on at work and how it upsets me. She just kept saying, it's not about you. It's about them and how miserable they are. What struck me most about that is that I don't like myself at work. I become this person who I don't recognize. I get agitated and my blood pressure rises. Whenever our receptionist comes over to my desk, I get extremely tense because she's either invading my personal space, or I just know the conversation in general is going to annoy me. I'm not pleasant. That's about me. Not her. That's me taking my misery out on her. 

Shifting gears.  I just finished reading The Secret and then The Traveler's Gift. Before I jumped into Happy at Home, I thought I'll read Khloe Kardashian's book, Strong Looks Better Naked that I got for Christmas. It'll give me a break from the "self-help" (I really dislike that definition, but not sure what else to call them) books.  Much to my surprise, Khloe's book fit right into those others I had been reading. She talked about exercising and how that became her therapy during her divorce with Lamar. She discussed food and even included some recipes. I could relate to the food portion because she discussed how bad dairy really is for you. I'm on a non-dairy "diet." Well, accept for the occasional bite of queso from Cebolla's or pizza. She had excerpts from her trainer and nutritionist. The nutritionist even touched on how bad dairy is and that any athlete serious about their career is not eating dairy. She discussed getting out of bed everyday and having a purpose. Get up and show up everyday basically. Here's an excerpt from her book that fits exactly in to what I was talking about before. 
"Another form of compassion is to stop taking everything so personally. You never really know what's going on inside other people. When they behave badly, you need to understand that it probably has very little to do with you. They're dealing with their own shit and clearly not handling it well, and you shouldn't personalize it. It's not about you; it's about them. If you accept that, you'll be less reactive. And when you're less reactive you make room in your heart for compassion. Remember, be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
I swear these books and my therapist are in cahoots. That word compassion is what I last discussed with my therapist. (Thank God I see her Thursday. It's been way too long.)

Not only do I need to have compassion for others, I need to have compassion for myself. I didn't realize until recently, that I am pretty hard on myself. Not in the sense that I beat myself up for the way I look. I beat myself up about the way I think and feel. I really struggle with the difference between whether the way I think makes me a wackadoodle, or if others feel and think the way I do. Surely, not everyone wants to trip the girl running through the office.

I went shopping over the weekend with my mom, nieces, and nephew. My nephew wanted to go to Build-A-Bear, so we went in there and he picked out two animals. Standing in line, I could hear the girl stuffing the animals tell the little kids to rub the heart they picked out on their forehead, nose, heart, rub it in between their hands, and give it a kiss before sticking it in their animal. I looked at my niece and said, "there's no way in hell I could ever make my voice sound like that, or be that nice." I told her I'd be like "pick the damn heart and stick it in the animal." Obviously, I wouldn't say that to a little kid, but I just know my strengths and that's not one of them.

Again, are my thoughts and feelings normal? I don't know because all I know are my thoughts and feelings. Guess that's why I'm in therapy.

This Thing Called Life...