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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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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

Why You Should Celebrate Yourself This Boss’s Day!

Boss's Day

Forget your boss. It’s about time you celebrate yourself. Happy National Boss’s Day!

It’s October 16th – also known as National Boss’s Day. Depending on who you ask it may actually be the most awkward made-up holiday of the year. (Yes, even more awkward than Valentine’s Day) It’s hard to tell whether you should get a gift for your boss or not no matter how amazing he or she may be. If you do get a gift, it’s a fine line between looking like a suck up and not appearing to suck up enough. And of course, if you believe you have the worst boss in the world you’re wondering why you should even celebrate  them at all… unless you think you’ll face repercussions for ignoring the holiday. The last thing you want is to not get approved for your time off because of your refusal to slap on a party hat and invest in some Happy boss’s day chocolate cake. So what’s a confused employee to do?

I say rather than celebrate your boss, take a moment to celebrate yourself. After all, I’m pretty sure that outside of the office you are indeed in control of several aspects of your life. Think about it, if you are the head of the household you are most likely the boss of your kitchen. If you are a college student, you are in control of events in your extracurricular activities. And if you are the younger sibling, you may even be the boss of birthday and Christmas traditions. And if you are not in control of anything, you have the ability to change that.

Whether your role in the household is minuscule or the contempt of your real boss is extremely strong, you hold the power in your hands to make a change because you are the boss of your life. Whether or not you realize it, the job you hold, the awards you won, the skill you’ve honed and the care you show others should not be credited to your boss. You are the one who made that happen. As the boss of your life, you were the one who found the motivation to apply for and land your current position. You were the one who learned how to channel Facebook for a good cause by wishing your friend a happy birthday. It was your will power that allowed you to educate yourself and build up your hobbies. It’s about time you celebrate that. Even if you received help from friends, family or mentors, you acted as your own boss when you decided to move forward. That should not be taken for granted.

Boss or not, you are responsible for getting to where you are today. So forget your traditional boss and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.  (And maybe get your work boss a card) As a  self-employed journalist and freelance writer, who has been “boss -less” for the last four years, I know I’m certainly celebrating myself.

 

How are the boss of your of your life? In what ways have you chosen to honor yourself this boss’s day? 

TERRIfic Quip: You are the boss of your own destiny.

Yes. It’s ok to be lazy!!

In a world that’s obsessed with being busy and productive, I’d like to reintroduce you to the world of lazy. If you are anything like me or my husband who are recovering workaholics, you probably don’t even remember what it means to be lazy. When I say lazy, I’m talking about those days in which nothing but sitting on the same spot on the couch for hours while you watch the Fresh Prince of Bel Air marathon seems right even if you have a list of things that need to get done. Have you forgotten how good it feels to do that? I can’t blame you. After all, we live in a society where you’ve been brainwashed to believe that being lazy is a punishable offense. (Cue the flash back to your mother yelling at you for opting to watch Saturday morning cartoons in a room scattered with the best matchbox cars or Barbie shoes.)

However, despite what mom and society says, I’m here to tell you that being lazy can be a good thing. It’s time you embrace it! In fact, several studies have found that allowing ourselves to be lazy can improve creativity, motivation, restore our attention and make us happier. Think about it. Aren’t you usually extremely cranky, tired and unmotivated after going a full week with nonstop work and no break? I know I certainly am!

Ok, so now we can all agree that being lazy is good for you! You’re probably thinking”But Terri, Just because being lazy is good for you doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to do.” Trust me, I know. Sometimes it really does seem next to impossible to not do anything when you are staring at a never ending to-do list, an inbox of 1,000 plus emails, and several text reminders of bills that need to be paid. When dealing with all of that, squeezing “lazy” into your busy schedule can end up feeling like torturous work that only be punished for. Rest assured, being lazy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, all it takes is listening to the natural cues around you to fit “do nothing” into your schedule and feel that overwhelming bliss. *Sound the halellujah chorus* Below are five examples being lazy can feel natural and make you happier without the fear of repercussion.

 

1. Time with significant other

Everybody loves spending time with their significant other. What’s not to love about lazy times spent cuddling on the couch while eating some fresh popped popcorn together? Sure you might feel guilty about not being productive while the pile of dishes in the sink continues to get higher, but it can actually be doing you some good. The time you spent lounging with your love can help strengthen the bonds of your relationship making you less stressed. The lessened stress makes it easier for you to accomplish those oh-so important tasks more seamlessly. So don’t think about the time spent with your love interest as a waste of time. Instead, consider it another way to streamline your workload.

2. When you are stressed

Did I mention I am a workaholic? When I’m not getting any writing done, choreographing something for my Zumba or Sexy Flexy class, I need to go on a deep cleaning frenzy. Of course, all that constant moving and thinking only succeeds stressing me out to unhealthy levels. Of course, it turns out that its actually the best time for me to stop and indulge in a bit of laziness for a while.

When you find yourself overwhelmed about bill management, cleaning, work, and more, it’s best you take an hour or two to do nothing. Sure you may not be getting anything done, but it will give you the opportunity to calm your self and attack whatever it is you are working on with clear head. Besides, working yourself up so much that it stresses you a lot isn’t healthy. Taking that break will do wonders for your blood pressure.

3. When productivity stops

So we’ve already covered that being lazy is often related to being unproductive. However, doing work doesn’t mean you are being productive either. Mindlessly doing task after task, can be doing more harm than good if you are doing things half way that will only cause more work in the future. Or what about those times when you have a mind block and you find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper because your mind won’t come up with something witty to write on it? During these times, you are probably better of being lazy and taking a nap. The temporary laziness will allow you to get back to work refreshed and recharged.

4. At completion

Seems like a no brainer, but it really is hard for some people to be lazy when their job is complete. I am totally guilty of this. How can you blame me? Society, seems to reward those who always have something going, a new project to work on, or cause to promote. If I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to reap the invisible benefits from society. .. However, stopping will allow you to reap the benefits of sanctity while you reflect on what you accomplished. After all, isn’t that the point of your to-do list? To finally revel in the satisfaction as you cross the last item off your list? What’s the point of the list if you’re just going to make a new one right away without a breather in between? You finished it. Relax!

5. When you forget the little things

I never forgave myself the day I missed baby birds being fed in the next outside my window. I missed it because I convinced myself that finishing up the one last post would help me out the next day. But all it managed to do was make me upset that I missed something so small yet beautiful. Instead of experiencing regret for missing life’s treasures, vow to take a few minutes to remember the blessings. Stop writing the essay for 10 minutes so you can watch the sunset or postpone calling the insurance adjuster so you can look in the mirror to admirer your beauty and good health. That short break of laziness, just might give you the inspiration and motivation you need to get through the day strong.

 

What is your favorite time to be lazy?

TERRIfic Quip: Relax into happiness.