Mid Year Self Check-In

Mid Year Self Check-In

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Today i’m taking a break from scraping the bottom of the barrel of my emotional flaws to do a mid year self check in. On Wednesday it is July 1st – over halfway through the year already. Wednesday also marks the ever so celebratory Canada Day – a day to mark when our beautiful country became … well … a country.

Canada only became a country in 1867. When you look at the timeline of the entire history of the world/(wo)mankind/non-binarykind, Canada’s timeline is incredibly recent, especially when compared to most European and African countries. We are still relatively new. We have come very far in our short time span and are known for diverse and talented people, majestic landscapes and a myriad of progressive ideas – working towards a more inclusive and equal society for all (heck we changed our national anthem for the sake of it), the legalization of cannabis, as well as a bang-up job of managing the coronavirus pandemic in comparison to our Southern neighbors.

Also inventing basketball. You’re welcome.

But we still have a lot to learn, in terms of our education and ability to handle and address such issues as those related to poverty, including our rampantly rising homelessness population, especially in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Also issues related to race – we tout ourselves for being progressive in our commitment to equality – yet still have Indigenous reserves in Canada without access to clean drinking water. Does that spell out equality to you? To me it doesn’t. Or even the fact we celebrate the beginnings of when our country was first marked a country according to colonization, despite the fact that Indigenous peoples of Canada were here for thousands of years prior to our official confederation written down in the history books.

By bringing these aspects up, it’s not meant to take a jab at an otherwise celebratory day, but to make you stop and think about how far we’ve come and where we’ve got to go. That’s the theme of today’s post for myself amidst my self-check in, as well: What have I accomplished so far, and what I wish to accomplish over the remaining half of this year.

I have a “My Vision” page in my day planner. When January 2020 first rolled around, I spent one bored day at work, scribbling down what I wanted to make time for, and what I wanted to work on/eliminate. On the corresponding page I wrote down a list of goals for myself for this year. I also wrote down dreams, both short term and long term, for myself. Today i’m going to share them with you.

Take note, I wrote a lot of these pre-COVID, so many I haven’t done simply due to the fact that I have been stuck in my house since March. So there yee be.

My Vision for the Year – Making Time for
  • Self Care
  • Exercise
  • Time with Friends
  • Meditation
  • New Experiences
My Vision for the Year – Working On/Eliminating
  • Overthinking
  • Negative Self-Talk
  • Insecurities
  • Stress
  • Word Vomit
My Vision for the Year – Goals
  • Learn to play piano – I have learned one and a half songs (lol – half? Yes half)
  • Learn to play the cello – hoping to take a socially distanced workshop in the fall for 18+
  • Speak my opinion more – working on it – ya girl hates conflict remember?
  • Recognize and train myself not to stress – I think I am getting better at this – mindfulness has been wonderful in doing so
  • Take a cooking class – not yet
  • Throw mom an awesome 60th birthday – yes! A surprise one – went off without a hitch!
  • Celebrate Corey & Danielle’s wedding (go a few days before) – will be attending in a few short weeks
  • Practice mindfulness at least once a week – yes, actually now I try to practice every day if I can
  • Go whale-watching – will be doing so when I got to the wedding listed above
  • Go to Whistler – not yet
  • Learn to Dance – …. not yet – I continue to dance like one of those inflatable flailing men they often place out front of car dealerships
  • Learn about Essential Oils (and buy more!) – not yet
  • Go to the sunflower and tulip festival – canceled this year – maybe next year
  • Lose 5 to 10 pounds – working on it!
  • Eat vegan more – Definitely – I have significantly cut down my red meat and chicken consumption – I eat a lot more tofu and I like it
  • Visit more vegan restaurants – not yet
  • Take a painting or pottery class – not yet
  • JOB CHANGE (PUT IN ALL CAPS) – NOT YET BUT ACTIVELY WORKING ON IT
  • Read 10 books (maybe more??) – I have read 5 so far, working on a 6th and listening to 2 audio books
  • Buy new furniture – I’ve bought all new deck furniture – makes my heart happy
  • Think before I speak more – not yet – work in progress
  • Cook yummy meals – yesssss
  • Take better care of my skin – yes! Up until March when everything shut down, I was going for monthly facials. I also no longer skimp on skincare products or go back and forth about spending the money. If I want it, and it’s rated well, I consider it an investment for my face down the road.
  • Love better, love deeper – I think I sort of have – the pandemic has held me back from doing so but has definitely made me realize the importance of doing so
  • Make margaritas – no but I have my mum’s lime margarita recipe and it is KILLER. Might have to make a batch for Canada Day, despite trying to be healthy. I wonder if margaritas are on Weight Watchers LOL
  • Not kill a plant! – I have killed some … but have also managed to KEEP SOME ALIVE
  • Get photos of friends developed – not yet
  • Travel – Washington, D.C., Grand Canyon, Yellowstone. International? Argentina, Croatia, Austria/Switzerland – nope – grounded
  • Go bowling – not yet
  • Say ‘sorry’ less – 100% have curved this – my sorries are sacred, you don’t get one unless I really truly mean it
  • Go to the Rugby 7’s – not this year
  • Pet and hold a piglet – apparently piglets don’t like to be held – my family makes fun of me for this goal but piglets are CUTE AS SHIT AND NOBODY CAN TELL ME OTHERWISE
  • Complete more puzzles! – SO MANY PUZZLES IN QUARANTINE
Short-Term & Long-Term Dreams
  • Spend New Year’s Eve in Scotland – Hogmanay
  • Go to Mardi Gras
  • Spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland
  • Go on a meditation retreat
  • Learn a new language
  • Swim once a week
  • Be well-read
  • Buy a vacation home (not sure where yet)
  • Be financially stable to never work another desk job again
  • Become a meditation teacher
  • Teach people how to meditate
  • Run meditation retreats
  • Live in another country
  • Run a successful blog (I defined success as 10k followers by the time I was 30)
  • Get married
  • Have kids
  • Hold a baby sloth
  • To speak at my own TEDxTalk
  • Go on an African safari for my 30th birthday
  • Be able to do the splits
  • Be able to do crow pose
  • Consistently continue going to therapy

Thank you for reading as always. If you liked what you read, give my post a like, hit the Follow button on the top right-hand corner of this post, and turn on post-notifications, so you never miss an LE blog post! Don’t forget to join my monthly email list by signing up below, for updates, bonus content, and recommendations from yours truly!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Trauma Is Not One Size Fits All

Trauma is not one size fits all.


I never granted myself permission to feel valid within the trauma I experienced because it didn’t feel right to express or share I had experienced trauma when others have experienced more severe trauma. As I am realizing and learning, trauma is not one size fits all and just because it may be something I live with to a lesser degree than others, does not make it any less VALID.


Read My Troubles with Trauma now.

My Troubles with Trauma

My Troubles with Trauma

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Despite this post talking about trauma, it does not go into great, graphic detail – it is more a reflection upon the trauma which I have experienced.

In my previous post, I touched upon my concerns and issues related to abandonment – primarily how abandonment has manifested itself in my past romantic relationships and how moving forward, I will actively work towards communicating to my partner that this is something I struggle with and continue to work through. I suggest that my concerns with abandonment have primarily stemmed from my father, and his inconsistent presence throughout my childhood.

I actually recommend you go back and read my previous post first, before you read this post, as it provides greater insight and context into this situation.

Today’s post is an extension of the previous one – how despite clear abandonment issues, I struggle to accept and to grant myself the peace of mind that what I experienced was a form of trauma. I also struggle with feelings of validity in several different areas of my life – I struggle to feel valid in the very fact that my dad was absent. I struggle to feel valid in using the term absent to describe my father. I struggle to feel valid with how his absence and it’s aftermath still affects me today as an adult. I especially struggle with feeling valid as to whether I have permission to refer to the aftermath I am experiencing as trauma.

One of the biggest inner challenges or turmoils I have struggled with and dealt with concerning this situation, is if my experience with this could be classified as trauma – and if it is considered trauma, is that trauma actually valid? Writing this post, my head is telling me my experience is not worth sharing because it is not trauma – but how can it not be when what occurred in my childhood is now manifesting itself in adulthood? When what took place when I was younger, is now having residual effects on my relationships, creating a lack in my ability to feel safe and secure when I am with someone I care about?

The struggles concerning my situation when I was younger, play out in a narrative that goes something like this: Sure, my dad was absent, but he was around, sporadically throughout my childhood, whereas some people’s parents are absent, period. There’s no floating in and out of their children’s lives as mine did – they’re just not there. My mind tells me I could have had it worse, that my experience is somehow less valid or not valid at all because at least he was involved in my life, in some way, shape, form or capacity.

So … that’s got to be better than the alternative which is not at all – right?

Re-reading those lines, and another more rational, more kind and gentle part of my mind appears and says no, honey – it’s not better. Looking back now, I feel certain it would have been better if he was either always there, or he was never there. I feel stuck in this weird limbo where at least I had him for parts of my life, but am I truly allowed to refer to him as an absent parent if he was around for some of it? This is what I grapple with, too – not only the validity of his absence, but the validity in referring to him as absent.

I made this analogy in my previous post as well, but I compare it in my mind to a fishing rod in the water with bait attached. The bait is my dad and I am the fish. It’s like when he was around it was exciting, it was amplifying a pretend normalcy despite the fact I had not seen him in months, despite the fact it was anything but normal. I know most people at this point would say what even is normal these days? but you get my point here. It was for me, a little fish, being lured by bait.

Which is why I wonder if my life would have been better off, had I never seen or experienced the bait to begin with?

All that being said, if we look at the facts and how life panned out, how could I not refer to my father as absent? I didn’t see him for the last 6 years of his life. Even before that, visits and phone calls from him were like a Russian Roulette style of parenting – maybe the gun won’t go off and i’ll get to see him, maybe the gun will go off and I won’t see him for another 4 months.

After he died (and even in the last few years leading up to his death), I think I carried a lot of guilt about not making an effort to see him. I had his phone number – why didn’t I call him? Why didn’t I set up a get-together? He only lived 45 minutes away. I was fortunate to have my brother with me on the day we found out he died because that same guilt came back and washed over me tenfold.

My mom was always supportive of my brother and I not having any reason to feel guilty of this exact thing and would repeatedly remind us of this. He was the parent, we were the children – if he wanted to see us, he should make the effort. I think that in and of itself was trauma too – knowing your parent lives so close, but them never making the effort to see you. You begin to question your worth, and what you could have done differently.

At the same time, I don’t think I would have wanted to see him or have gotten together with him. I am currently working on another post addressing his alcoholism (which brought with it even more trauma), but within the last 6 years of his life, his state/condition/however you want to refer to it, got really sick, to the point I ended up changing my phone number as a result of it. Bear with me on that post, it is coming. I know I mentioned it in my last post, My Mother: 10 Lessons at 60, but it’s a doozy, and I need to make sure I write it and capture it right, considering it involves both my mother and father’s side of the family.

Reflecting on the whole situation, I recognize that trauma is not one size fits all. Trauma looks different for everybody. Some will experience trauma to a greater, more severe degree, than others. In the same breath, just because my trauma may not be perceived as severe as others, who have endured much worse, that does not make my trauma any less valid.

I now recognize that in an attempt to take up less space with the trauma I experienced, I did not allow myself the space to heal, which probably would have made me a lot healthier and a lot happier. I said previously as well, it was not until I went to therapy that I made the connection that trouble within my romantic relationships may have occurred due to past abandonment concerns, and therefore the trauma experienced from that, is what has manifested itself in my relationships. Bottom line, I am working on granting myself permission to recognize my own trauma, by being more openly communicative with myself about my needs, as well as communicating to my future partner(s) about those needs, too.

Thank you for reading as always. If you liked what you read, give my post a like, hit the Follow button on the top right-hand corner of this post, and turn on post-notifications, so you never miss an LE blog post! Don’t forget to join my monthly email list by signing up below, for updates, bonus content, and recommendations from yours truly!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Little Surprises

Yesterday I threw a little socially distanced 60th surprise party for my momma🥳

Mom watches my Insta Stories so I couldn’t share it with you. I know you can hide your Story from certain people but I was too paranoid she would somehow see so I didn’t share😂

With the help of my brother and my mum’s partner to coordinate keeping it a secret (and my brother helping me pick dessert flavors 😄), she got to celebrate with 3 of her best friends.🤫

I didn’t take any photos except for the food but it was all a hit!! A big thank you especially to @thegrazecompany for your amazing charcuterie box and @cakesnsweets_ for the delicious lemon and taro cupcakes, and earl grey macarons😍

The world is my oyster

A really simple Friday affirmation that’s been said to me before, which I needed to hear today.

I’m going to be transparent with you all – I got into the meditation teacher training program which I had applied for a few weeks back. Now I’m not so sure I’m ready to commit to it. Primarily because of choosing what dreams of mine to allocate my money to first. I have a dream to visit Africa when I turn 30, but I also have a dream to become a meditation teacher. Africa came before I dreamed of teaching meditation, so I should go with that right?

I’m at a crossroads. I should start saving for Africa pretty much now, if I intend to save up enough to feel comfortable going by 2022. But now is actually a really great time to learn to meditate while working from home. I don’t want to say it’s a hard decision because it’s really not – I’m making a decision about which dream I want to pursue more – which is hella amazing. Some people don’t even have that. Some people (as I am learning lately) don’t even have the privilege to consider travel or consider advancement or personal growth in the first place. So I acknowledge the privilege I hold, and I respect it. I am at an interesting point in my life – one where I am not tied down to any one location or job. I’m also not tied down by a boyfriend or husband and don’t have any kids. I can essentially do what I want and go where I want.

I think I’ve spent so long not acknowledging my dreams that now that I’m in this head-space where I know what my dreams are, and I’ve breathed life into them, I want to do everything now … and if I don’t then that dream will be forgotten about again.

But dreams take time, and that is also something which I am working to recognize. Perhaps pursuing the longer term dream will be bring me more satisfaction because I worked that much harder for it.

One Awkward Human – Site Sillies

In case you need a good “been there, done that before” relatable case of being an awkward human to know you are not alone, take comfort in my laughable blunders, which I chronicle in my One Awkward Human segment. These are daily mishaps, trials, and goober encounters I find myself in while being just a little bit awkward and a little bit human.

Considered naming my site

stickythoughts.com

Reconsidered after thinking people potentially type it in as

stinkythoughts.com

June 9 Grounded Gratitude


The closer I get to July, the more excited I get about my road trip to Tofino for my friend’s wedding. I look forward to going a bit earlier, sightseeing, eating local food, driving through and exploring the forest, the trees, the beaches, the towns.


My shady plants (hostas and vinca vines) are loving the shady parts of my deck and seem to be flourishing. My pansies, begonias and lobellias are another story – they are kaputz! I think I was too late in providing them sun. Alas, this season is meant to be exploratory in my horticultural skills so I shan’t feel bad.

I should first off acknowledge that it is purely coincidence I have a darker background for today’s Grounded Gratitude, and I talk about following more black creators on Instagram. I did not intentionally choose to match these aspects up.

I have a lot to learn, I am sure I will misunderstand concepts and ideas and make mistakes – I apologize in advance, but these are exactly that – mistakes. They are not intentional. In an effort to be more conscious, more open and more informed about matters which I, because of my skin color, am not affected by, I have followed a number of accounts created and driven by people of color. I think it’s a good place to start so that I can learn in a quiet, observant manner.

June 7 Grounded Gratitude

Despite, not posting Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 etc. with my Grounded Gratitude practice any longer, I still have to include some form of a date, otherwise the links will be funny – so now we have June 7th Grounded Gratitude!

I was thinking today of how I haven’t been to the fair in so long – oftentimes the one here in Vancouver has a lot of the same things year after year which is why I haven’t been in so long. Now that it’s not taking place due to covid, I reflect on the sights, sounds and smells of the good old summer fair.

I was also thinking of how many dishes there are that my mum used to make when I was little, that really bring me back to a place a remembrance when I eat them now. Kind of nice to reflect.

It’s been my first week of scheduled content and I am really happy that I took this step. As I mentioned on a few days ago, I received my report off my iPhone last weekend of how many hours I had spent on my phone – I spent 7 HOURS on my phone on average, every day last week – not okay.⁠ A computer and a phone are how I continue to grow, create content and create an abundance of what I am working towards in my life but I don’t think that should mean they should be attached at my hip – distance is healthy, too!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Grateful Times Are a Changing

Grateful Times Are a Changing

Hi friends – as you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t posted in a few days – there’s a reason for that.

Prior to attending Gem Conference over last weekend, , I had thoughts as to the direction of this account, which I had rolling around in my head. After attending the conference, I decided that the direction I wanted to go in was for the best!

On June 1st, I began reducing the number of Instagram posts I created on my account from 2 to 1. I’ve felt proud that i’ve never sacrificed quality for the sake of quantity, but now I feel like this will enable my content to go the distance far greater than keeping up with posting twice a day.⁠

On June 1st, I began no longer posting Grounded Gratitude posts, rather, now they’re every other day (or basically whenever the heck I felt like it). I think the time has come, especially within British Columbia, where I live, where social distancing is gradually lifting, the commitment I once made to post every day that which I am grateful for, is no longer applicable. We are gradually coming out of quarantine, and I think my content should reflect that shift, too.

Finally, I have attempted (or actively am attempting) to schedule content for the entire month of June. My weekly stats were delivered to my phone, tracking app usage – this past week, I spent approximately 7 hours a day on my phone. Kind of ironic considering how much I promote mindful living and existing in the present moment, to have such a high daily rate. While I had prior to this occasionally scheduled content, most of the time (and because I had the time in quarantine), I would post however I was feeling on that day. But it eats up my time, when I could be using that time, keeping productive with other tasks.

So that’s that. I’ll still be around, but taking more time for myself as well as taking more time for quality over quantity.

May Grounded Gratitude Day 30

My friends – today has been an informative day!🌟

Day 1 of Gem Conference wrapped up a little bit ago – I am SO pleased I made the decision to purchase a ticket last minute. The wealth of information and knowledge of the speakers has been incredible. I got involved, joined in the chat feature, interacted with folks, made some new connections here on Instagram based off those interactions – overall I’m really happy and grateful that I put myself out there and joined in on the fun and learning! 😊

I’m also grateful for (and something which I seem to notice when out for my daily walk) how curious I get about nature. Leaving my phone at home especially allows for me to interact and engage with nature by getting curious.💭

I ask myself questions, I get curious about certain things I see: “How come leaves can grow different patterns? At what rate does a baby Canadian goose grow? Why is there a certain smell when it rains? Why do we find that so relaxing and refreshing?”🌿

It’s healthy to get curious and it’s healthy to interact and get out into nature – I encourage you to do both of these things as restrictions continue to lift! 😁

Have a lovely Saturday evening.🌟