Last Monday in 2021

Today is the last Monday left in 2021. Can you believe it is almost 2022? It surely has been a long and extremely challenging couple of years. There have been a limited number of improvements and or changes, so I am hesitant to be overly hopeful that 2022 is going to be much different than the past few years. If you think about just the last year alone and think about everything that has happened. Yes, there have been some good moments and we need to be thankful for our life. Not to be negative, but does the good and bad experiences in the past year balance each other?

Of course, the issues with COVID are slightly better, safer, but could still be much better. The positive thing is, there has been a decrease in new cases and fewer deaths. There are still breakthrough cases and even though they are mostly unvaccinated, some fully vaccinated people are still getting COVID. Unfortunately, 815,000 people in the United States lost their life to COVID and more than 4 million worldwide lost their life due to COVID. I am fully aware that there are some that will disagree with me on this, but I do strongly feel that if everyone would get fully vaccinated, we as a world, not individual countries would be in a much better and safer place to be in!

This past weekend was Christmas. After last year when we were all encouraged to stay at home, not participate in large gatherings, and basically survive on house arrest without being officially arrested. Living in fear of a deadly virus was exhausting and insanely frustrating. It was hard on me because not too many people understand what it is like to have a weak immune system, so most cannot comprehend why I do not leave my house often and when I do I wear a mask and sanitize everything! I do hope you were able to enjoy a relaxing, safe, and lovely Christmas with your family!

I do believe December has been one of the most difficult months for me. A lot of this has to do with being laid off from my job and searching for a new job. I was working for a mortgage company when I was laid off and I did know it could happen. The crazy thing is even after this not-so-fun experience, I am looking at other mortgage companies. Most people would probably try finding a job in another industry that is more stable, but I worked with mortgages for many years at two different companies. It is just what I know but I enjoyed what I was doing.

I was already aware that I do not do well with not working because I like to stay busy and have a schedule. A lot of people like not working because they have limitless free time, but free time makes me feel like I am losing my mind. I think the reason is that work occupies my mind and prevents me from thinking too hard about other issues in life. 

We have all heard that old saying “When it rains it pours”, right? This could not be truer! My husband and I were on our way home from Christmas dinner, and we had to stop for gas. After my husband filled up the gas tank, he went to start the truck so we could head home, and that darn truck would not start. I am not mechanically inclined, but my husband is so while I went from calm to panic in less than a second, my husband analyzes the possible reasons. I did not know this at the time, but he slides under the truck and hit the fuel pump, got back in the truck, and it started right up. Apparently, I need to get the truck to the shop for a new fuel pump to be installed. Of course, I have to deal with car troubles a little more than two weeks after getting laid off. 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today! I know this is not one of my typical Motivation Monday posts, but I had so much the has been crowding my mind I had to get some of my thoughts out. Clearing our minds from unnecessary and increased stress is best for Mental Health. I hope you and your family had an amazing holiday and you are ready to tackle the last week of 2021. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

December 21st already

It is already December 21st, the Winter Solstice and Christmas is only a few days away. There are several reasons it does not feel like Christmas to me. One reason might sound silly, but I grew up in the north where it was always a white Christmas. Even though I have been in the south for over twenty years, and it rarely snows, I still miss snow blanketing the ground on Christmas day. In a way it is good it does not snow in the southern state I am in because the smallest amount paralyzes the city and has people bombarding the stores for canned goods and leaving the shelves empty.

Another reason it does not feel like Christmas is that I am unemployed. This is not because of anything I did wrong, but due to my company thinking it was a great idea to lay off nearly 300 people two weeks before the holiday. As I already said in a previous post, there is never a good time to be laid off. I cannot help but think about those that had children and lost their job. Parents want to provide their children with a Merry Christmas and not have to consider returning gifts to be able to have a roof over their heads. They might also be deeply concerned about being able to have food on the table for their family.

In previous years, prior to the pandemic, we spent Christmas eve with my family and Christmas day with my husband’s family. Of course, last year we spent the holiday at home with each other and our cats which may have been a little sad. In the past two years, my mother has relocated and lives approximately 1,100 miles away so we will not be going to her home for Christmas eve. If it were not for safety reasons due to COVID, maybe I would have been able to fly to where she lives, but I am not risking my life to get on an airplane. Please understand this though, I think my mother is happy where she is now and the life, she is building is a good one for her, so I am over the mood happy for her.

Considering I am what some would call an overly emotional person, my heart breaks for the many people dealing with the loss of a loved one, a job, their home, or anything else meaningful to them. There has been far too much tragedy around the world. There is too much needless violence that continues to cause massive amounts of devastation. I do not and never will understand violence or selfishness because it does nothing good for anyone. I guess the way I view things is, it is almost 2022 and we should be evolving, but instead, it seems like many are devolving.

I do understand this post was not very positive, but I am just being open and real with you because I feel that is the only way to be. I have been told that I can be too honest and transparent, but I disagree. However, I would like to know what you think. Do you think anyone can ever be too honest? I had a phone interview yesterday, which I think went well. When the interviewer asked me questions, I told him that I am completely transparent and will always be honest anytime I am asked a question. I have told people before if they do not want to know what I think about something or how I feel, do not ask if you do not want an honest answer.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I do encourage you to leave a comment and I will respond to all comments as quickly as I possibly can. I hope you are doing well and staying safe as you prepare for the upcoming holiday. How are you planning to spend the holiday and are you ready for it to come? Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

~How to handle holiday financial stress~

Slowly we are getting much closer to being able to celebrate and enjoy the holidays, as we did before the pandemic. Thankfully, vaccines and boosters are readily available for everyone over age 5 years old and they are free of charge. Currently, 42.7% of people worldwide have been fully vaccinated. In the United States, where I live 59.6 of the population have been fully vaccinated. I know many that have reservations of the vaccine, but how many people have died from the vaccine compared to those that died due to the virus? Maybe there have been some that died after getting the vaccine, but would they have died regardless of the vaccine?

Last year most of us were not able to celebrate holidays or even visit family because of the COVID fears. Hopefully, you were able to spend the recent holiday, Thanksgiving with your family and be thankful for the day! While we were able to enjoy the day, we have many more days ahead of us, especially if we can keep the virus under control. Of course, no one has answers to if we will face lockdowns again and fear for our lives, but we can at least try remaining hopeful.

There have been various challenges we have faced during the eighteen months of the pandemic. Unfortunately, some lost their jobs, which created financial stresses. Holidays can always come with more financial stress, but with the right amount of thought, logic, and planning, it does not have to. To help you reduce your holiday finance stress, I am going to share a few tips that might help.

Take time to give some thought to gifts. Our family and friends have different desires and wants to consider. Instead of going to the stores or shopping online mindlessly, think about each person individually. Does the person have any hobbies? Does the person enjoy personalized gifts from the heart? Does the person enjoy gifts that have other meanings? Children are typically easy to please and just enjoy a physical item they can open. Children also tend to want the newest toy available but might also enjoy arts and crafts. Therefore, a coloring book, crayons, colorful paper, and markers may keep they entertained and happy for hours!

You may also be able to divide people into different categories. This can help prioritize who you are buying for and the costs of what is purchased. With this shopping will become more about giving something meaningful, instead of just buying random items.

Create a list that you can follow. This is like going grocery shopping, which some of you might not make a list before you go grocery shopping. Do you find having something in your hand to shop with is helpful? So, you do not forget things you need or buy things that are not necessary? Creating a holiday shopping list will prevent you from impulse buying. It can be easy to start shopping for family and find something you want, that is on sale.

Creating a list that does not include yourself and stay concentrated solely on your list can help maintain your financial focus. Once you decide who you want to buy for and have an idea what the person would like, you can check things off along the way, which can provide you satisfaction for staying on task and completing an important task.

Understand your reason for holiday shopping. Once you get started with your holiday shopping, you might start feeling overwhelmed. Thoughts such as what and who you should do for, and feelings of stress being to build up inside. When you feel this start, take a step back from the situation and remember why you are holiday shopping. Also try to connect with the moment and pace yourself. Mindful breathing and meditation might help you to stay calm.

After you connect and check in with your body, ask you’re a few simple questions. Why is this important to you? Who and why are you trying to impress someone? Do you think anyone will be disappointed with your gift or are they expecting something different? Understanding the source of your stress may help you to keep it from getting too out of control.

Obviously, no one wants to disappoint someone else, but most of the time your family is not going to be disappointed. Our family just wants the chance to spend time together and creating new memories. Truthfully, it would only be a shallow type of person that would be disappointed with what we give them. Although we do all know someone that would be that shallow and they might be one of our family members, try to not allow yourself to fall into that mindset. Just remember, holidays are not about what you get or how much you spend, it is about being surrounded by loved ones!

I hope what I have shared will help reduce your stress around the holidays. It is supposed to be a time of joy, not unnecessary additional stress. Life is already difficult enough and we deal with other stresses that we cannot avoid. I do look forward to reading what you thought about what I shared. Stress has been said to be a silent killer and I believe this is true. Nothing good comes from stress, but there is a lot of things to enjoy in this short life!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope your weekend begins great and only brings you more joy. The weekends are so short, so they are best spent doing what makes us happy. Even with that said, whatever you do this weekend, please do so in the safest way possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Thankful today and always

There are 365 days in every year, but only one day that is dedicated for everyone to show how and what they thankful they are. Why does there have to be a day to be thankful? Why can we not try to express how thankful we are the other 364 days during the year? We all have many things we should be thankful for but have come to expect things to stay the way they are and that our loved ones are always going to be there. The sad truth is things never stay the same and people do not live forever.

Some people that have not had to experience loss and have not had to go without people they cherish, or other things needed for survival for too long that it is to imagine being without. The only constants in life are that things are always changing, tragedy is relentless, and hits hard, and tomorrow is not a guarantee. No one knows when their time on this earth will end, which is why I have always believed we should live each day as if it were our last.

Unfortunately, there are too many families that lost someone they cared about and will never get a chance to tell them how much they meant to them. These families missed their opportunity to say their goodbyes to someone they cared deeply for due to a deadly virus or senseless and unnecessary violence, or reckless driving that ended in a tragic accident. I have already mentioned my views on the virus numerous times, so I think everyone knows how I feel and even if you disagree, there are ways to help end COVID. The violence that occurs is nothing new but is something that needs to stop because everyone is a human being with a beating heart.

During the last eighteen months, people around the world have experienced tremendous amounts of hardships and loss that no one could have anticipated. I think that all of this should serve us with a lesson to never take anything or anyone for granted. I know that life gets chaotic and exhausting, but we can all try a little harder and care a little deeper, so no one ever must question how we feel about them. Instead of showing our thanks only once a year, we should practice giving thanks daily.

Take some time to think about these questions for a few minutes, what are you the most thankful for in your life? Is there a person in your life that you cannot fathom being without? Is there anyone in your life that you have not spoken to in a while, but do care for? Besides a person, what else are you thankful for? Most important, remember that life is short and there is not a rewind or pause button.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this post. I hope this post will help you to find ways to be and show how thankful you are daily. I am looking forward to reading your comments and will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes! I hope you and your family have a lovely and safe holiday!

Always, Alyssa

Ways to handle challenging family at the holidays

The holiday season is approaching us at what feels like supersonic speed. The holidays can induce many kinds of feelings for everyone. When I was younger, I loved the holidays because they were filled with joy and visiting with family. As I have gotten older the holidays are not as exciting as they once were. It may have something to do with the way holidays were the past two years or the dread of challenging family and friends. It is only natural to not always agree with our family because everyone has their opinions and that does not always line up with our family.

In this post, I am going to share with you a few ways that may help with the anxiety of family, friends, COVID, travel, and anything else that could be weighing on our minds. Family is important and we do not get to choose our family is but should try to eliminate any potential arguments that might come to the surface. We only have one family, so making the most of it is the best option.

1. Take control of your expectations: Many times, keeping expectations low helps avoid disappointment or resentment. Consider what your expectations are for those you feel the least comfortable with. Start by trying to observe others and not reacting at the moment. If we try changing others instead of accepting them it can create higher levels of defensiveness and reluctance. If at any moment your emotions become overloaded, excuse yourself and walk away for a few minutes for a short break to release those negative emotions. I have always found it to be easier to walk away when tensions become too high, and a conversation goes in a circle without an end in sight.

2. Plan ahead of time: Remember past family holidays and any patterns that occurred. Expect that unhealthy patterns are going to occur again and have a plan in place to avoid or prevent them from controlling and ruining your holiday.

3. Modify your mindset: We can decide to worry about things that could happen, which will cause unnecessary or think ahead of time how to reduce this type of stress. Instead of getting caught up in the negative traits of family, recall and focus on the positive traits, our family members have in them.

4. Defend your truth and integrity: A family holiday get-together can cause people to feel like they are walking on eggshells. There are several ways to navigate the circumstance when we know what our reactions will be and how others will react. A few standards to engage in during stressful exchanges are to state your experience, defend your truths, and calm yourself. It may be helpful to make note of your emotions, reiterate the faces, and appreciate your peace.

5. Discover common ground: The holidays provide joys of family get-togethers and create fond memories to admire. However, holidays can also include disputes with family. Regardless of those difficult family members, it is more important to focus on what matters the most instead of insignificant matters. It can be hard to find common ground, so try being slow to speak and quick to listen. You can gain more from listening than jumping in to say what you are thinking.

6. Avoid situations and people when possible: We all have at least one family member that wants to invade into our business, questions our every decision, and reminds us of the negative things in our life. Often, this is because misery loves company. The three most important things to remember are: you know more than anyone else what is best for you. Hold onto advice offered that is valuable and kindly ignore what is not valuable. Warmly divert the conversation by asking questions about how they are doing. Alter the atmosphere with positive language and awareness of being together.

7. Keep yourself grounded: Although the holidays can be a delightful time spent with family, they can also generate anxiety especially when there is an exasperating family member. When dealing with this type of person, it is crucial to provide yourself with gentle self-care to help keep you grounded. Avoiding hot topics such as politics and religion that can cause disagreements will be important. When topics known to cause a difference of opinion being, changing the subject to a common interest will help deter the disagreement from getting out of hand.

8. Form and maintain boundaries: Understand what topics or behaviors are unacceptable or reasonably out of bounds and state them upfront, so there is no confusion or question. Some people will know ways to bait you into a conversation causing conflict, NEVER take the bait! Immediately put a hard stop to the conversation. Determine how much time you are going to spend with family and politely say your goodbyes when it is time.

9. Always be on the same page as your significant other: Be open and honest about concerns and expectations of holiday gatherings. Discuss openly ways to handle potential conflicts. Preparing ahead of time and remaining a united front will help control the stress. Determine a signal word to let your partner know you are ready to leave or when stress has increased too much and have an exit plan.

10. Know your mind and body: Keep alcohol intake to a low amount because it can create issues with logical decision-making and escalate emotions. When overdone, alcohol can increase stress and fatigue causing more opportunity for an argument to irrupt. Alcohol in moderation normally does not cause too many issues, but it is important to know your limitation. Trust your instincts and pace yourself with conversation as well.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope this information will be useful to you during the upcoming holidays. Not all families are incredibly close and there is friction in some. It is not always easy and not all the tips in this post will be helpful to everyone, so if there are other ideas you have that helped you and you are willing to share, please do. I hope you had a nice and safe weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a nice and safe weekend! You might be enjoying a long weekend because of Memorial Day and now that the numbers of COVID are decreasing it is nice to be out among others, but I do hope you are still remaining safe. The numbers might be decreasing, but for some reason I am still a little skeptical and feel the need to continue wearing a mask when I leave the house. Not everyone has been vaccinated because of reasons I will never understand, but these are the people that are a hazard or at least they are in my opinion.

I have been trying to do a motivational quote every Monday and today is no different. The quote I am sharing today holds a lot of meaning, especially on Memorial Day. Our servicemen and women are willing to give their lives to keep others safe and that is truly honorable. My late grandfather and my husband’s late grandfather were both members of the military and they were both great men which had undeniable respect! I have spared before how much I idolize my late grandfather and miss him to this day! I do hope you will enjoy the quote I am sharing and look forward to reading your comments!

I hope your week starts well and you are ready for the week ahead of us. It is a short week, which always seems much longer, or at least they do to me. No matter what the week ahead holds for us, I know that we can all handle any and everything that might be. As I already stated, the COVID numbers are decreasing, but please continue to stay safe or at least do your best. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Pandemic Holidays

Even though we did just experience a very unusual Christmas holiday due to COVID-19, I hope you were able to enjoy the holiday and remain safe! I have found Christmas different for a while now because growing up in the north, I always had a white Christmas. I have lived in the south for over 20 years now and since then, I have only had one white Christmas. You would think I would have adjusted to this change given it has been SO many years, but it still does not feel like Christmas without the snow covering the ground. In a sense, it is a good thing we do not get snow in the south often because there is not the necessary equipment to handle the snow, which makes basically everything shut down.

This Christmas was abnormal for people for various reasons, but mainly because of the safety issues due to COVID-19. It was recommended from the experts with the CDC to ONLY celebrate with those in your household. This made it so families were not able to have their “normal” Christmas celebrations. We all were forced to miss family members that do not live within our same four walls, which if you think about it is incredibly sad. Even with that said, many others had to get through the holidays either sick with COVID in an empty hospital room alone or after losing someone they care about who had been with them for years around the holidays.

Now that the Christmas of 2020 is in the past, how was your Christmas? I did work on Christmas Eve until 2:00 PM, which was not too bad. My husband works nights and did have to work Christmas Eve as well. The good thing is, we both work from home and even though I work during the day, I was able to spend most of Christmas Eve awake and with my husband! In previous years we spent Christmas Eve with my mother and stepfather, but that was not going to happen this year for other reasons besides COVID.

For the past 16 years, my husband and I would spend Christmas day with his side of the family. I know and understand how hard this Christmas was for my husband because he had spent all holidays for the last 42 years with his family and sadly was not able to see anyone this year. Despite having worked 10 long hours on Christmas Eve, I know without a doubt that my husband would have loved to spend even a few hours with his family, but unfortunately, COVID really put a damper on this as it did for so many others.

I am not trying to be negative, but with the number of cases and deaths that are continuing to escalate in every state and county, this year we needed to make some adjustments for the holidays. I do believe that if everyone followed the sensible and logical advice from the experts, there would be a much better chance the numbers would not increase due to a holiday, as they did after Thanksgiving. In all honesty, I do fear that after Christmas and New Year’s we are going to see a massive increase in both new cases and deaths. We have a few friends that are planning to bring in the New Year in the mountain where we all go snowboarding. This is something we have wanted to do for many years but have not been able to yet and this year we do not think it is safe. Unfortunately, my husband’s birthday is in early January and of course, he wanted to be in the mountains for his birthday.

Regrettably, due to COVID-19, we were not able to do the things we normally do in 2020. We did not get to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary at the beach as we have done for the past 9 years. We were not able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family. We did not see either of our families at Christmas. We have not ever really gone anywhere for New Year’s because of how unsafe it is with the mass amounts of people driving intoxicated. My husband will not be able to do what he loves on his birthday, which is snowboarding. Y’all know how much I have urged masks and social distancing, but for reasons beyond my understanding, people in the United States will not do what they need to. My initial guess is people are listening to the misinformation they are hearing from the government and ignoring what the CDC is saying about this awful and very deadly virus. I cannot even strictly blame the government for this but can blame the sheer ignorance of many American people.

What country or state do you live in? How is your country or state handling this virus? I do know some countries that have been on lockdown and or have rules in place to keep their citizens safe. Even though the number of new cases and deaths is among the highest in the United States, the government has not and does not seem like they are going to do anything with regards to lockdowns OR mask mandates. Many people want to say that requiring masks is taking away their freedom, but I do not think that is the case at all. In fact, I think that either implementing a mask mandate or a lockdown for a few weeks would save many lives but doing nothing is NOT an option anymore! We need leadership in the United States so this virus will stop killing innocent people!

Thank you for stopping by my site today! I appreciate the time you have taken to read and hopefully leave a common with your thoughts. I always value what you have to say and will respond as quickly as I can! I know some of this post ended up being a little of a rant, but there is a lot of heart, and emotions in the mix as well. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

We have made it halfway through the week!

Happy Wednesday y’all! We are more than halfway through this short week, but it almost feels longer. I don’t know if it is just me, but I always think the short weeks feel like a couple weeks combined into one. I guess it is because in the mortgage world we are trying to get everything purchased in fewer days. Even though the past few days have been busy, I am happy that I will be out of work at 2:00 on Thursday and off on Friday!

The holidays this year are mildly stressful, actually they are extremely stressful. I guess my reason for being a little more nervous than others is because my immune system is not good at all. I worry that if I were to stop being terrified and I get COVID-19, my survival is not good. I know what would be best for my health and stress, but I also do not want to disappoint anyone. Do y’all have holiday plans?

With it being our halfway point in the week, I feel we could all use a little inspiration to keep us going. Times are difficult, challenging, and upsetting, but we need to try our best to keep pushing forward. I hope the quote I am sharing today will provide you some inspiration and some additional happiness!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you have a great and safe day! I do look forward to reading your thoughts on the quote I shared and your holiday plans. I promise to respond to all comments as quickly as I possibly can. Whatever you have planned for the upcoming holidays, please be sure to follow the advise of the health professionals. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Holidays will be different this year

2020 has been a year that has been full of increased stress and uncertainty for our safety due to COVID-19. Many people have been deeply troubled by this issue and for good reason. Since the pandemic invaded the United States there have been warnings and advisement from experts, but then there has been a ridiculous amount of misinformation as well. The truth is, politicians and people in general lie, but this is not a political situation and numbers, nor science lies. We can all hear with our ears and see with our own eyes the monumental amounts of deaths each day. This profoundly serious matter should have never become this out of control but should have been addressed in a more logical, and efficient way from the start

We have already made it through one holiday, where family and friends congregate in the home. During the next two weeks, we have two more holidays to find a way to enjoy and remain as safe as possible. Next week is Christmas. This used to be a holiday we all look forward to because we can see the joy in a child’s eyes when they wait for Santa and his reindeer to come! There was always so much joy in the air getting together with family and enjoying the Christmas feast created by mothers and grandmothers.

Christmas of 2020 is OR at least should be a lot different this year. COVID-19 has already taken the lives of 319,000 people in the United States where I live, and this number increases steadily daily. This virus has no boundaries and will effortlessly take the life of anyone it encounters. Of course, there are some that are at higher risk, but unfortunately, COVID-19 has even taken the lives of young and healthy people. Sadly, even those that were always careful, wore a mask when out of their home, disinfected everything, washed their hands numerous times a day, and hardly left the house in the first place, were infected with his virus and did not survive it.

Even though everyone around the world knows about this deadly virus, Christmas and New Year’s is still going to happen. There are ways to be able to enjoy the holidays safely. The ways to enjoy the holidays during a pandemic, some will not be happy with because they want to do as they have done every year before now, which really is not an option this year. If we want to be able to enjoy the holidays next year, we need to make some adjustments to our holiday celebrations. Although I do understand how isolating and stressful the pandemic has been, I am going to list a few ways to enjoy Christmas and New Year with the possibility to enjoy them next year the way we want to and reduce the spread of the virus.

Virtual celebration OR celebrating with those in your household is the safest way to enjoy the holidays this year. When I say your household, this means anyone you share common space with. This can be roommates, family, and people unrelated to you and they live under the same roof as you do. Anyone that does share the common spaces of your four walls should be considered as a different household, even if they are family members, but this will increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.

I am not completely naïve, and I do understand that people are going to do what they want to during the holidays because there are things we are just used to doing, especially this time of year. It will not matter what I say about the risks, but I will do is remind and explain what we should be mindful of during the next few weeks.

**Consider the increase in the cases of COVID-19 in the community you live in and the increase in cases where you would be going to celebrate the holidays. The information on the numbers of cases can be found on the local health department website OR on the CDC’s COVID tracker at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

**Exposure to the virus while traveling can increase drastically. The airports, train stations, bus stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stop areas are all places you might encounter the virus. The exposure to COVID-19 may be in the air and or on surfaces.

**Indoor gatherings create more of a risk to the virus than outdoor gatherings. It is currently winter in many areas in the United States, which means colder temperatures. Bottom line is that most gatherings are going to be indoors, which can spread COVID-19 even more.

**Holiday gatherings, especially those that are indoors, might last longer periods of time and create further risks of spreading COVID-19.

**Anyone that is at the holiday celebration you attend that has NOT consistently followed social distancing (staying 6 feet apart), wearing a mask, hand washing, and other behaviors preventing the spread of the virus cause more risk to those who had been consistently practicing safety precautions.

People that should NOT attend in-person holiday gatherings are as follows:

*Recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and not met the criteria for being safe to be around others

*Currently has symptoms of COVID-19

*Waiting for COVID-19 viral test results

*May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days

**Is at risk for the severe risk of illness due to underlying medical conditions or an older adult

In the event you do go to an indoor holiday gathering, PLEASE be sure to wear a mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds several times a day, avoid getting too close to others, and just do everything you can to keep yourself as safe as possible! I do know that people want to enjoy the holidays, but we must do what is necessary so we can enjoy the holidays in the years to come!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed this post and it will help you during the holidays. I was not able to do my “Motivational Monday” post because I was dealing with a nasty headache that started on Sunday morning and carried over today. I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on this post and promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday!

~Be Inspired, Stay Inspired & Inspire Others~

Happy Wednesday y’all! The good news about today is, we are halfway through the week and so much closer to the weekend! How is your week going so far? I think it is safe to say that every day has been pretty similar to Monday, which is not really a bad thing. I am still VERY ready for the weekend because I am tired of getting up early and dealing with the stresses of work. Even saying that, if overtime is offered this weekend, I will more than likely do it. Crazy, right?

It is easy to just go along with how things are in the world, but where is the inspiration in our world today? Exactly, it is missing. With this said, we must find our inspiration and try to always inspire those we are around. My hope is you are going to find some kind of inspiration in the quote I am sharing with y’all today. For most days, if we think about the great opportunities tomorrow offers us, instead of all the stresses and issues from yesterday, we are going to be much more successful and happy! But, what do you think? I would love to know and promise to respond to your comments as quickly as I can!

Our week is getting closer to the end and I know we all typically look forward to a carefree weekend but do you have any plans? As Christmas is getting closer and I know we all probably have Christmas wish lists we want to fulfill, but please do so in the safest way your possibly can. This is a time that online shopping is ideal because it is safe. Something on all our Christmas wish lists is probably that COVID will go away, but unfortunately, that wish might not happen this year. So what I am begging y’all to do, if you must leave the safety of your home, please do so in the safest way possible which means follow the guidelines we have been told by experts. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and even wear gloves!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have a great and safe day! Remember, I do not constantly remind y’all about being safe because I want to be a nag, I save the nagging for my husband, I am telling y’all this because I do not want anything awful to happen to you. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa