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Confession: I never fell in love with my husband

And no, we aren’t getting a divorce.

falling in love

Turns out falling in love is more dangerous than I thought.

 

You see that picture up there? That picture is a part of history for me. It was the day my then boyfriend and I decided to enter an exclusive relationship. December 7, 2006.  I was barely an adult at the age of 18 and he was a typical college boy at 21. And in those last eight years a lot has happened. We’ve traveled. We’ve grown. We explored. We learned. We’ve fought. We gained trust. We nearly broke up. We made each other cry. We reconciled and vowed to be each other’s support system. But in all the years I’ve spent with  the man I’ve grown with, I’ve never fallen in love with him.

It’s not because I wasn’t fond of him and it’s not because I thought he wasn’t worthy. It’s because falling in love never seemed that appealing to me. Throughout my college years and early twenties I’ve seen what falling in love has done to even the strongest of my friends. They’ve gotten into things they shouldn’t have. Some forgot who they were. Some let the connection with their friends and family fizzle. Some of them plateaued, got comfortable and never grew. And some have fallen so hard in love that they lost their voice. I look back at it now, and can’t really say I can blame those friends who found themselves in a trap and fell in love.

After all,  there are so many catchy quotes about falling in love.

“Love can make you do some crazy things.”

“Crazy, stupid, love.”

or my favorite from Sex & The City: “She was a smart girl till she fell in love”

The list goes on and on.

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Motivational Monday: Get Productive

motivational mondayMy job is deadline oriented. If work doesn’t get done on time, I don’t get paid. But that doesn’t always stop me from procrastinating when it comes to research and getting stuff done. Sometimes there can be an assignment sitting on my desk for one month but I don’t start working on it until a few days before it’s due. And of course that only stresses me out. It was becoming a big problem. I decided it was time to make a change.

I thrive on little accomplishments. Those little accomplishments motivate me to get the other big things done. So I decided it made sense to make a to do list. Every Sunday night, I sat down at my desk and wrote down the top five to six things I wanted to accomplish the next day. And then every Monday, I would wake up feeling charged and ready to tackle my well planned to-do list… until Rachael Ray came on. Of course, I told myself I’d get back to work once Rachael Ray was over and I did for a few minutes until I hear the ping of my email and decide I have to check my inbox right away. I return to work and then I realize Pinterest is calling my name, read more emails and than get an urgent text message I must respond to at that moment. By the time I finally dedicate my day to getting an assignment done, I realize it’s 2:00 pm and nothing got accomplished.

That happened daily for weeks until I found the Selfcontrol app.  Just as the title suggests, this app is all about helping you practice self-control and focus on the things you need to do. And the instructions are simple! All you need to do is input all the websites you visit that distract you when you should be working and set a timer for how long you want to stay away from them. During that time period, the app blocks your access to the website until the time you set is up. I first started by blocking the biggest time suckers like Pinterest, Twitter and my favorite shoe sites for 15 minutes during my workday. As silly as it sounds, I was amazed at how much I was able to get done  in such a a short amount of time. I’m not gonna lie though. I did have a few indiscretions in which I attempted to visit my trusty Pinterest only to get blocked by the Selfcontrol app. Slowly, but surely I was able to increase the amount of time I blocked certain websites on the Selfcontrol app without feeling withdrawal.

Selfcontrol is an app for Apple products. If you don’t Apple products you can still test your ability to focus by simply setting your own timer for 15 minutes. Refrain from using those time suckers for the set amount of time and begin getting things on your to-do list done. It works just as well!

What things do you do to keep yourself productive?

TERRIfic Quip: There are seven days in the week. Someday isn’t one of them.

The One Question You Must Ask to Save Your Marriage

marriage, go to bed mad

Image courtesy of photo stock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are certain questions most women ask their potential mates before marriage. They usually inquire about past relationship history, career choices, habits and family life. However, there is one question most people don’t ask, but probably should. This one question could make or break a marriage. You might laugh when I tell you the topic of this important question, but it’s important you heed my warnings. Ready for it….  It has to do with sheet thread count. No, I’m not joking.

I learned the hard way that there are two kinds of people in this world: sheet snobs and sheet neanderthals. I have no shame in calling my self the former. As a matter of fact, at a very young age, I learned that beautiful pink and frilly barbie sheets were no match for plush and smooth sheets with an impressive thread count of 650. Barbie sheets were nice, but there was no way I was gonna pass up the opportunity to sleep in a bed of lotion that reminded me of my mother’s touch. Yes, this probably made me a weird child, but I was a child with standards. That’s what happens when you are taught the importance of thread count at an early age.

Some people weren’t so fortunate. My husband grew up in a loving household where jersey cotton sheets where acceptable and anything less than 500 count sheets were suitable as long as it covered your bed. Hell, he barely knew about thread count until I asked him about it. As much as I love him, I sometimes wonder how this self-proclaimed sheet snob made a big mistake when she married a loving but very naive sheet neanderthal. How could I have not seen the issues this would cause sooner?

You don’t realize that it’s a problem until you come home from a day of work only to find out that the unthinkable happens. Your plush sheets have been stripped from the bed and replaced with something inexcusable.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life.” Well this woman was not a happy wife when she came home from a night of teaching Zumba to find sheets that felt like sandpaper on the bed. That’s right, my husband had committed the ultimate marital bedtime sin. He decided to make the bed up using sheets with a thread count that felt like 250. And I’m being nice by giving the sheets the extra ’50”. To sheet neanderthals 250 sheets would be just fine, but to a sheet snob like myself, those sheets felt like hell. Did he think I wouldn’t notice? Even comedian Aziz Ansari, understands the importance of silky high thread count sheets. Check it out:

Imagine climbing into bed and finding crumbs from your lunch all over it. That’s exactly how low thread count sheets feel – completely crappy. And crappy sheets mean crappy sleep, if you can manage to sleep at all. I was certainly not a happy wife that night. I stared at the ceiling for must the night trying to get comfortable on that sad excuse for sheets, wondering how I even managed to let them make it into our home. As I laid awake that night, I realized why studies show time and time again that women sleep better alone. Disagreements over sheets had to have something to do with it!

Meanwhile,  my husband had the best sleep he’s had in a while… so he tells me. According to him, his low count sheets are better because they keep you warmer at night and they are very comforting. I love my husband but he must be delusional.  I don’t know how he was able to get over the pilling. The whole time he was telling me why his sheets are better and that we should never go back to my 600 count sheets, I was contemplating ways I can get rid of them so I can sleep better that night.

Of course, I never followed through with any of my plans and ended up uncomfortable again for another night, tossing and turning trying to fall  asleep in that bed of sandpaper. Sleep certainly wasn’t the easiest thing to come by. At one point, I actually laid out on the living room couch to watch TV for a while. When I returned to the bedroom I was barely able to close my eyes since I spent so much time scratching my skin.

And again, when morning came I was tired, cranky and even more upset about the change of sheets. That lack of sleep caused me to be irritable, cranky and pick unnecessary fights with my husband for days. How could you blame me? I was not a happy wife! I couldn’t be when I was unable to sleep soundly. It was because of this shift in sleepwear that our marriage was no longer as happy as it once was.   That lack of sleep caused by irreconcilable sheet differences led to less cuddling, threats to sleep separately and bad attitudes throughout the day.There were several days that my well meaning but misguided husband was forced to watch chick flicks on TV instead of his beloved sports games out of my revenge from making me deal with unsatisfactory sheets.

We were truly living in marriage hell. I would never wish it upon anyone. After about the third night of my low thread count sheet misery, I couldn’t help but think this could have all been avoided. Had I not pulled the sheets over my marriage and asked what my husband’s preference in sheets were, we wouldn’t be facing these problems that led to many restless nights and even more quarrels. 

Luckily, my sleepless nights quickly ended when I did a quick sheet swap when my husband was working late. Oddly, enough I haven’t heard him complain about it yet… We’ll see how long that lasts.

Until then, I highly suggest all engaged ladies, newlyweds and even those dating have the important discussion about sheet requirements early in the relationships. Doing so could save you from a world of headaches and sleepless nights.

What sheet thread count do you prefer? Do you and your spouse see eye to eye when it comes to sleeping arrangements.

TERRIfic Quip: Go in with both eyes open.

 

No, it’s not possible to live a drama-free life

drama, argumentAvoiding drama is impossible. I don’t usually like to say things are impossible. But it is true.  It’s really not possible to live a drama-free life. However, you definitely couldn’t tell me that when I was in school.In fact, for a while I proclaimed Mary J. Blige’s song, “No More Drama” to be the soundtrack to my life.

I was THAT girl growing up. No, I wasn’t the girl that was always stiring up trouble and getting into fights. I was the self-proclaimed girl that was always so proud to announce I didn’t have drama in my life. Or I always made it known that I avoided those girls that created drama. Unlike, most teenage girls, I held headstrong to the belief that those who always had drama in their lives brought that on themselves.  Certain personalities just drew certain types of issues and attention, right? There’s a reason why some men always find themselves dealing with baby mama drama and it makes sense that some women are struggling with lying frenemies. It’s because they attract the bad company they keep. Or obviously they are horrible about making sound decisions.

How hard is it to weigh the consequences and pros and cons of some situations? Why do so many people have difficulty thinking logically; especially since some things are just common sense? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that perhaps lying to your parents about your college education, but still taking the “tuition” money they give you isn’t a good idea. And having the same IQ as Albert Einstein isn’t necessary when determining whether or not you should continue to con your best friend into paying your part of the hotel room for a vacation that was your idea even though you knew you couldn’t afford it. Some things are just no brainers. Or so I thought… Continue reading

Motivational Monday: Ides of March

If you’ve studied Shakespeare in high school and actually paid attention, you’ve dreaded the last few days. That’s because in many Shakespeare plays, such as  Julius Caesar, the words “beware the ides of March” were repeated throughout the play. We later found out that the ides of March, also know as March 15th, was the day that Caesar was killed. Since then people have associated March 15th and the days surrounding it with doom and misfortune. If you are one of those people who believed in the doom surrounded around the day known as “ides of March” or any Monday at that, I’m here to tell you there’s not need to worry. That’s because the horrible misfortune of Monday, is really just a figment of our imagination.

“How is it only a figment of my imagination when every Monday morning I wake up feeling like crap?” I know that’s the thought running through most your heads right now. The answer is, you willed it to happen. I’m willing to bet, you go to bed every Sunday night dreading Monday because Monday will be such a drag. And because you went to bed believing that Monday will be a drag, it was indeed a drag.

Monday will be whatever you decide it will be. It’s time you this Monday will be one to remember. 

TERRIfic Words: A few positive words is enough to turn your whole day around.

 

 

Motivational Monday: The truth about daylight savings time

motivational monday

Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

There’s only a few more hours left at work and you feel like you never woke up. The coffee just isn’t doing it and surge of urgent emails just keep flooding your mailbox. I get it. This Monday is a drag. And the Monday after daylight savings time always seems to be the worst. Like everyone else across the country, I always find myself asking “Is it really necessary for the clocks to move forward every year?” And I have a feeling I will continue asking myself that for the rest of the week until I seem to catch up on sleep.

Seriously, is it me or does the constant changing of the clocks seem to be much more of a nuisance than it is a benefit?  Sure the days are longer, but it only brings us an hour closer to work, an hour closer to paying those bills and an hour closer to death. And who wants to be that much closer to a strenuous day of work and late fees when you couldn’t even manage to get a good night of sleep?

It’s pretty difficult to see the benefit in that. That is, until  I realized turning the clocks forward does bring me closer to all things I look forward to. That one hour I lost means I’m that much closer to seeing my friends this Saturday and even closer to pay day on Friday. Not monition, I’m an hour closer to catching up on that hour of sleep I lost last night. (Lord, knows I need it after getting up for work at 4:00 am.) Once I realized that small tidbit, my day certainly got a bit brighter!

So instead of thinking of this Monday as the worst one all year because of the loss of hours and the proximity to unwanted chores, it’s about time we think of it as bringing us that much closer to the things we look forward to. (Not to mention we’re now further way from the things we want to leave behind.) Allow the sunshine to give way to hope while the fears and disappointments fade into the dark this daylight savings. Do that, and you’ll always stay on the sunny side of life!

 TERRIfic Quip: Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

I Was Born with a Rare Birth Defect

I know I’m a day late, but after much contemplation I decided that I need to address the inception of

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

the new holiday, World Birth Defects Day. As someone born with a rare birth defect effecting 1 in every 200,000 children born, this day holds very close to my heart.   To those who don’t know me well or even those who do know me well, this may come as a surprise to you. At the fear of being treated differently, being probed with questions, it’s not something I tend to share with others. In fact outside of my family members, I can probably count the amount of people who know I was born with a birth defect and what it is on one hand. As a matter of fact, there are some members of my family who don’t know what my rare medical condition is. (You can stop holding your breathe. I’m not going to share what it is in this post either.) And it’s not because I’m ashamed of my condition. I’m just a very private person.

Though it’s a big part of what makes me who I am, I just never thought that my medical history was anyone’s business. So I kept that part of my life private. Besides, there never seems to be a good time to explain to someone that I will have multiple surgeries for the rest of my life, normal functions for everyone else is work for me and that I’m prone to infections due to a rare birth defect that they’ve probably never heard of and won’t understand. That part of my life has always been a complete mystery to others. It’s one of the perks of living with an invisible disease/birth defect. Besides, I was raised by wonderful parents that wanted to me live as normal a life as possible, so I never felt different, sick or disabled. However, not sharing and looking “normal” meant I faced a lot of backlash each time I walked into the disabled stall in the ladies’ bathroom or the times I needed to park in a handicap parking spot when I was pain. And though, I was justified in taking advantage of those things made available for people like me with birth defects, they piercing stares and judgmental comments always made me feel a bit guilty.

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Top survival tips for getting through any Zumba Class

Zumba FitnessI know this post is a bit left wing for a blog about mental happiness and success. But since being physically fit is helpful in claiming happiness, I figured a post about one of my latest fitness passions, Zumba, would be relevant. Unless, you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about what many call one of the most fun fitness crazes to hit the US since early 2000’s known as Zumba. And if you are a woman, you’ve probably been asked to take a class by at least one of your friends. I’m constantly inviting friends, relatives, entrepreneurs and colleagues to come join in on the Zumba fun. Continue reading

The best way to stay positive in a crappy year

Oh Happy DayI’m not going to lie. Despite declaring that 2014 was going to be the most amazing year ever, it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, it was a pretty crappy year for my family. Normally, I’m one of the biggest proponents of claiming the good fortune you seek. However, last year reality proved that it’s not always possible. While my family and I tried to stay positive and claim the amazing year we felt we deserved, it turned out to be the complete opposite. I’d go as far as saying it was probably one of the worst years I’ve experienced in a long time.

All year, I’ve dealt with or witnessed people close to me dealing with job loss, miscarriages, business failure, death, car accidents, rejection and severe illness. And these weren’t just one time situations. It kept happening throughout the entire year…. There was barely any time in between each incident for recovery. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. These downward spirals were continuously thrown at me. So can you blame me for saying that 2014 was absolutely horrible?

Yes, I know the fact that I managed to wake each morning with a roof over my head was enough to make 2014 a fortunate year. I know a few people who weren’t that lucky. But a person can only take so much. It’s only a matter of time until you get depressed and begin to give up all hope .However, being the stubborn person I am, I wasn’t going to let that happen. I tried everything possible to lift my spirits and stay positive during the trying year.

happy balloons

Of course, I consulted my trusty list of fun and quirky ways to be happier, played with some play-doh, took lots of showers, worked out and even spent some time with family. While engaging in those activities helped lift my spirits, the feeling never lasted as long as I had hoped. In fact, the positivity quickly waned as soon as another unfortunate incident presented itself.

Only one thing seemed to work in terms of staying positive and it was the most unlikely thing I would imagine. The negativity and depression of other people. But not just any people – my family and friends. How many times have you heard that in order to remain positive you should try to distance yourself from negative people? “You are the company you keep,” they say. For the most part, I’ve found that to be true. After all, another person’s negative attitude can certainly be contagious – not to mention extremely draining to deal with.

But it’s not always easy to distance yourself from negativity when it’s from the people you love the most. Rather than distancing yourself from them, you find yourself drawing near and wanting to wallow with them. Generally, hugging, sympathizing and sharing tears with one another seemed to be good therapy. However, much to my surprise the tears always seem to dry out enough to see the pain and suffering of that special person. And once you see that broken spirit, you want nothing more than to restore the smile and faith in your friend despite the pain you feel.

At that moment, you make it your mission to cheer up your depressed friend by any means possible. If you are anything like me,  it means a random tickle fight or breaking out into a dance off. The tears dry up, the personal issues are disguised,  the fake smile appears and you muster the strength to laugh even though you a plagued by weakness and sorrow. And then something unimaginable happens. You’ve gone from trying to cheer up a dear friend to genuinely cheering up yourself. Throughout my treacherous 2014, it never failed. Time and time again when I was faced with hardship and misery it always seemed to disappear once I encountered a friend who was just as down as I who was in desperate need of cheering up. Why?

As Mark Twain once said, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up.” After all, those good feelings you try to transpose onto someone else are surely contagious. No matter how much you’d rather be selfish, wallow in your self pity and turn your back on the world when experiencing hard times, the desire to be needed and lend a helping hand somehow turns out to be greater. So I say, put away the play-doh, turn off the romantic comedy and cease all tickle fights with yourself. If you are truly seeking away to lift your spirits during a rotten year, find a downtrodden soul needing spirits lifted just as much as you do. You both will surely reap the benefits.

What have you found to be the best method for cheering up? Have you “accidentally” cheered yourself up when trying to make someone else happy?

TERRIfic Quip: Life is too short to be miserable. If you can’t laugh at yourself, call me and I’ll laugh at you!

The Bright Side of Disappointment – Yes, It Does Exist!

 

disappointed girl

Disappointment: It casts a shadow over your strongest desires but sheds light on the goals hidden within your wildest dreams.

No matter how often we experience it, disappointment is always difficult to deal with. I should know – as I write this I’m currently dealing with disappointment. Despite my best efforts, I did not make the Trenton Freedom Dance Team this season. To say I was crushed is an understatement. Upon getting that rejection email, I felt depressed, defeated, ugly and as though I was a major loser. The crazy thing is I felt the disappointment coming, but that didn’t lessen the blow of the hurt I felt once it arrived. It didn’t help that most of my friends made the team. So not only did I not achieve my dream, I was now also the outcast of my friends. Atleast, that’s what I thought…

Like most wives, I decided to wallow in my sorrows and real in the disappointment in the arms of my husband. I’m ashamed to say that wasn’t my first choice though. I had preferred to go for a jog, head to the gym or climb a pole, but the time of night did not allow for that. However, that time spent in my husband’s arms turned out to be the best thing I could do when dealing with a case of disappointment. He tickled me, we watched TV and had fun eating snacks in bed and then we finally discussed the inevitable… my disappointment. He encouraged me look on the bright side. “What bright side,” I thought. I just got told I wasn’t good enough to reappear on the team. While there where no tears, I surely thought there would be as I mourned the death of a dream. It wasn’t until my husband pointed out that my rejection from the dance team wasn’t the death of a dream, but the end of a dream realized and the beginning of a new one becoming reality. Of course, I thought he was crazy.  Continue reading