Exciting Weekend!

We are all simply just human beings, merely trying to survive this crazy life with some sanity. Often, we tend to be completely oblivious to how short our lives are because sometimes life feels painfully long and overwhelmingly complicated. We can be blind to understand how to accomplish our dreams as they can seem impossible for us to reach. We all have an exciting combination of small, large, and every type of dream in between, which all have remarkable meaning to us.

To some people, I know one of my “dreams” seem small and not a big deal. However, it was a dream to be in the same room with an author that I admire. This stems from my strong desire to write and have the ability to write a novel someday. On Friday evening my husband and I drove 3 hours north of where we live for a James Patterson event! This was not a meet and greet event, but it was still beyond exciting for me.

When we first walked into the event location, we received James Patterson’s newest book which was released on Monday. The book is his autobiography, and it was signed by Mr. Patterson. There were also two more of his new books available and they were also signed. My husband knows how much I love James Patterson’s books and he asked if I had read either of the books yet. Of course, I have one of them on Kindle already😊! The kind lady selling the books said she would still be there after the event, and I had time to think about it.

I wanted to get as close as we could to the stage area where James Patterson would be, so we sat about 7 rows back. The first few rows were reserved, but I still have no idea who they were reserved for. After a few minutes, my husband said he was going to go purchase the books that were available for me, so we would not have to worry they would be sold after the event. While I waited for him to return, I know I was looking around with a huge smile on my face😊 and probably looked like a crazy person! I commented to the older lady sitting behind us that I felt like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for Santa.

Of course, I already had an enormous amount of admiration for James Patterson, but what made him even better was the way he came out to the stage area. The man has a wonderful sense of humor and is extremely humble. He talked a little about his life, answered several questions from the chairman doing the interview, and then answered questions that were submitted from the audience. I never in a million years thought the last question he answered would be my question. It was so surreal and interesting to listen to him talk. His response to my question was simply put and what I thought it was going to be.

I have had BIG dreams to have a career in writing since I was a child. I understand that I am no longer a child and have to maintain a job to pay the bills, but after reading James Patterson’s autobiography, I learned with hard work, determination, and a strong will, anything is possible. Back when he had a normal 9-5 job, he would write for a few hours before work and a few more hours after work. I always thought I had a strange style with writing because I have to hand write everything before typing it. Putting my thoughts into words on paper makes me feel more connected with what I am writing and to my surprise, that is how James Patterson feels as well😊!

I think reading the autobiography made me understand James Patterson more as a writer and it shows that he is a normal person. I read that he enjoys playing golf and know he lives in the north, so all I want to ask him now is, “Did you ever play golf with James Bucky O’Brien?”. The two men did not live too far from one another and anyone that lives up north and is serious about gold “should” know James Bucky O’Brien (this is my late grandfather)! For those of you who are not sure, my grandfather was a golf pro his entire life!

The drive was a total of six hours, but I think it was worth every minute. I enjoyed hearing my favorite author talk and crack jokes. Since I learned about James Patterson and his series “The Women’s Murder Club”, I have loved every book I read and could not wait for the next one. I know that this type of event was not something my husband was interested in, but he came with me because he knows how happy it made me. This is something that can make a marriage great, when there is a give and take. Doing something you are not interested in because your significant other is. I know I have done this for him many times before and I am thankful he was there with me for this exciting event!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope you are having a great weekend and enjoyed what I have shared today. This is the last day of our weekend, so we need to appreciate the time that is left. I am just now starting to feel normal again. I think the several hours of driving and lack of sleep due to excitement made things worst with my pain, but it was all worth it! I would love to read your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. I hope the last few hours of the weekend are spent well. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Memories

Memories can be an amazing part of our life. Some memories we want to hold onto forever and cherish because they were incredibly special. Throughout our lives, we get many new memories good and bad which we do not have control over. Of course, the good memories are the ones that can always make us smile😊. We never want to forget the best of memories we have had because they were during special times. Do you have any great memories you enjoy remembering?

Have you ever wondered why we keep bad memories stored in our minds or why we cannot forget them? We all can admit that our bad memories were awful and were caused by terrible times in our life that we wish never happened. The bad memories are the ones that are haunting and feel like a nightmare we cannot wake from.

The brain stores highly emotional memories longer than other, such as happy or neutral memories. The negative memories remain in our mind longer because they coincide with highly stressful situations. There are many reasons one may want to forget certain memories; some may be embarrassing and humiliating. Other negative memories are agonizingly painful and or traumatizing. Many things can trigger distressing memories and can send us into a tailspin of negative thoughts.

If there are painful memories you feel you need to forget, remember that it takes time for any memories to fade away and you must try to not become discouraged. The following are ways to decrease a memory’s emotional burden and helps them to be less invasive.

~First, even though we want to forget a memory we need to identify and understand the bad memory. Recall the sights, sounds, smells, and feeling that came over you during the specific time.

~Second, rather than trying to ignore the unwanted feelings the memory instilled on you, allow yourself to feel them. It might be hard to allow the feelings in because the memory was harsh, but it is part of the healing process.

~Another step is try to determine what triggers your memory. You can take note of the things that trigger your painful memory and be prepared when it happens again. Knowing your triggers can help you to find healthy alternatives to cope and not run away from them because they will continue to return until they are addressed.

Think about some of the best memories you have stored in your mind. Never let those memories go because we all need them to help us through the tragic times in life. Sometimes it seems like there are more bad memories than good because we have not processed and found a way to cope with our bad memories. Think about it, are you able to think of more good or bad memories when asked? I definitely have many good memories but can admit it is the bad memories that weigh heavily on my mind.

Our childhoods are what shape us into the adults we become and unfortunately, not everyone has the picture-perfect childhood. We often can remember things we wish we could not remember and avoid talking about them because they were bad times in life. We cannot erase our past, but we can find ways to cope with the pain and use the memories as a learning experience.

Thank you for visiting my site today. Even though I know this topic can be painful, I hope you found what I have discussed helpful. I look forward to reading your comments and will respond to all of them as quickly as I can. I hope you have been able to enjoy your weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Two Days of Head Pain

For many years now, one of the most consistent parts of my life has been the pain issues. Living with pain 24/7 is not easy but most pain I can deal with. I suppose I have learned how to continue living my life, despite the pain because I have realized it was not going anywhere. Over the years, there have been several frustrating things I have encountered when I would say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” There are no ways to join the pain, so acceptance is the next best thing to do.

Regardless of how I have learned to live with pain, there is one type I am unable to tolerate. Everyone handles pain differently, but for me, head pain is the most unbearable. Unfortunately, headaches are something I have endured long before I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. One of my first memories of having a headache was as a child. A little girl in kindergarten getting off the school busy with so much head pain I was on the couch all night unable to move.

The painful truth about headaches is, they seem impossible to get used to. All I can do is lay down in a dark and quiet room with an ice pack on my head waiting for the pain to lessen. Every headache I get is a miserable experience that I would not wish on anyone, even my worst enemy.

Since Friday evening, I have been battling with a sinus/migraine. A normal sinus headache or migraine are bad enough on their own, but to gang up on me was just evil. Nothing was helping to ease my pain. I tried an ice pack on my head, but it continued to get too warm. I took Excedrin, Advil, and Sudafed, but it refused to ease up. This double hit of head pain caused me to feel nauseous and dizzy. After staying on the couch with my cats trying their best to make me feel better all day yesterday, I am finally somewhat better today. As I write this post, I am still dealing with the head pain, but I can tolerate it much better now.

Several years ago, when I was getting these nasty migraine/sinus headaches on a regular, I tried going off the Gilenya that I take for Multiple Sclerosis. I had known that sinus issues were a side effect of Gilenya and thought if I went off the source, the sinus headaches would stop. Of course, my doctor advised against this, but I was so sick and tired of the sinus pain, I was willing to do anything to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, going off the Gilenya for a short amount of time caused the MS to get worse and I ended up with additional lesions.

I made the decision years ago that I would rather endure the head pain rather than allow the MS to get worst. Gilenya has been a saving grace because it has slowed the progression of the MS and that means more to me than not having head pain. Yes, I do get sinus and or migraines weekly, but at least my MS is not progressing and putting me in a wheelchair. NO, being in a wheelchair is not the worst thing that could happen, but it is something that I have been terrified of since being diagnosed with MS when I was 19 years old.  I will continue to fight the MS with everything I have and if that means dealing with the head pain, so be it!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a great and safe weekend. I am sure y’all have heard that COVID numbers are increasing again, so I hope you are either already vaccinated or plan to do so soon! I would love to read your comments on what I have shared today and promise to 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!

Always, Alyssa

Life is complicated

There have been many challenges we have faced during the past few years. All of this takes a lot of courage, perseverance, dedication, determination, and a great amount of internal strength. I completely understand how this can feel overwhelming and we might want to throw our hands up and give up on what we need and want. Sometimes it might feel like the battle within is too demanding, but if we do everything we possibly can and continue fighting we will eventually win the war.

For all of us that are living with a chronic and incurable illness, the obstacles may seem like they are endless and maybe they are. However, if we do not keep pushing through with all we can, we will never know what we are capable of. I have always believed that behind every door we close, something better is waiting around the next corner. We will not be able to know our full potential if we do not at least try.

All the small or large issues we deal with in life provide us with an opportunity and a learning experience. It might never seem like it at the time, but surviving these issues makes us the strong people we are today. It is crucial to view the struggles we face in life as a building block to the incredibly strong people we were meant to be instead of as an inconvenience.

If you take a few minutes to think about your life, would you be who you are today if it were not for what you have been through? Honestly, I do not know who I would be if I did not have the experiences I did have. Of course, not all our experiences have been pleasant and sometimes we do not want to remember them because they may have been awful. The hardest things we have gone through gave us the most valuable lessons.

You do not have to answer this question but at least think about these questions. What were a few of the most hellacious, painful, and complicated things you have gone through in life, and what did you learn from those experiences? I am not going to go into detail about one of my experiences that was like this, but I will tell you this ordeal taught me to be strong and to never allow anyone to mistreat me. For the most part, we can decide who we allow in our life.

It is extremely important to understand that trust is something that is earned and not given immediately. It is not easy, but we should try to at least give others the benefit of the doubt, but without putting too much trust into that person. The hard part about this is, we are all human and sometimes people will do something to betray our trust. Once trust is lost, it is not easy to get back because it takes a lot of work and healing from whatever hurt the betrayal caused. There is not a timeline to when we “should” heal from times when another’s deception because we are all different and heal in various ways.

It is a little ironic that I started a post about headaches and have been dealing with one ever since. I am hoping for the headache I have had for several days will get better soon, so I can finish the post to share with y’all. I think the information that I have so far will be beneficial to anyone that experiences headaches more than just occasionally. Considering I have been dealing with headaches most of my life, I would have thought I would be used to them by now, but unfortunately, I am not. Even though I deal with pain 24/7 the pain does not stop me from doing what I want in life, but a headache will stop me completely. I guess no one has or could get used to them though.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I am sorry that I have been a little absent lately, but hopefully that will change soon, and this headache will go away. I am looking forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I possibly can. Even though I know the COVID cases as decreased greatly, I hope you are all continuing to stay as safe as you can. Please remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Flooded with Memories

~June 12, 1999~

Sometimes it seems like time flies by us, while other times it feels as though it is standing still. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I did not enjoy my high school years and some reasons I will not go into. June 12th makes 22 years since I graduated high school and even though I did not go directly to college, I never looked back. I graduated high school at 17 years old because of where my birthday falls in the school year. The choices that I made when I finished high school probably were not the best, but I was young and could not wait to get as far away from the small town I grew up in as possible.

The funny thing is, I was always a dreamer and had thoughts of what I wanted my life to be like after those miserable four years in high school. Of course, there were many dreams I had that might not have come to fruition, but I have always thought that everything in life happens for a reason even if we do not know what those reasons are right away.

One thing I never dreamed of after I got out of high school was to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis only two years later. To be honest, I did not know much about this disease all those years ago and only knew one other person that had it, which is my father’s wife. It took me many years to realize that having MS was nothing to be ashamed of and I did not have to hide it from anyone. I do think that this disease has made me a stronger person and of course, I promised my late grandfather that I would never allow it to control me. I also promised that I would never let MS win the fight because I would win the war my body was having within itself.

A dream I had 22 years ago was to be a Broadcast Journalist, which as you know did not happen for me and I do not have any regrets. The reason I do not have regrets about not being in Broadcast Journalism I know I would be able to deal with lies from politicians and would probably get myself in trouble calling them out on their deceitful ways. It does not matter if a politician is a Republican or a Democrat because the truth seems to be a little challenging for all of them to provide. Plus, I also strongly believe that people deserve honesty, especially with issues that impact our lives.

Once I had given up on my Journalism dreams, I thought being a Pediatric Nurse would be an amazing career. Unfortunately, not too long after I decided nursing would be a great option, I had an awful relapse and was worried that it would be a little too challenging to be a nurse if I had mobility struggles. I was a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for a few years on a Pediatric unit and I learned fast that mobility issues would be far less challenging for me than the emotional impact this had on me. There were a few patients I will always remember, but one little girl that even to this day sends chills down my spine. She was a sweet six-old little girl that had been brutally raped by her uncle. Due to the legal issues, her mother was not allowed to be with her in the room, which was for good reason. Part of the job for the nurses and CNAs was to help the little girl with her bath, but she would not allow anyone but me to help her. I would also sit with her and read her the book of her choice. There were a few other children that weighed heavily on my mind and would put me in tears at the end of the day. This emotional struggle caused me to have a lot of stress, which created issues with the MS.

I am an overly emotional and strong-willed person. I am the type that will fight hard for what I believe in and defend anyone unable to defend themselves. I have never and never will allow anyone to change my mind on something I am passionate about, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the issue. I think it is safe to say I would have made one hell of an attorney if I had wanted to be in school that long and have that amount of student loan debt.

Again, as I have already said I do believe strongly that everything in life happens for a reason. We may never know what the reasons are for the things that happen in our life but should try believing there are reasons for everything. The best and most we can all do is be happy in life and be thankful for what life has provided us, no matter what.

It does not matter what I have gone through in life because I know I am who I am from all of it. I have a quiet and happy life with my husband and three cats. Y’all may remember that in early February we lost our cat we had for almost 16 years, which was a painful loss for both me and my husband. There are still times today that I think of Chloe and what could have been done differently. I might be an emotional person, but logically I know nothing could have changed that day she took her last breath on my lap. The only good thing about this was she did not have to suffer, and she was able to pass away peacefully in her home.

First, I want to thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I wrote today. For some reason, it had taken me several days to think of what I wanted to write about, which might be because I had a lot of ideas on my mind. Plus, it was a long week for me, and I was feeling very fatigued. Second, I hope you are having a great and safe weekend. Our weekends should be spent doing what makes us happy and helps us to relax to recuperate from the week we just had. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I 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

Random Emotions Building

~My Random Emotions Coming Together~

Two weeks ago, today our lives were tragically changed when we lost our sweet little girl Chloe. It has not been easy adjusting to life without Chloe because she was a huge part of our family. We had that sweet baby girl for more than 15 years and now the house feels a little empty without her. It does provide some solace knowing that we gave her a wonderful and loving home, but the void in our hearts is deep. Although Chloe is not with us physically, this sweet cat will live on forever in our hearts. Not only are my husband and I feel the loss, but our younger cat misses Chloe as well. Thankfully, Sundance, our younger cat still has a personality that makes us smile.

A few things happened today, that made a mark. My grandmother, on my mother’s side of the family, passed away. Unfortunately, she and I did not have your typical grandmother/granddaughter relationship. The two of us were strong-willed and never backed down, even with each other. I am not sure if I would say we had a lot in common because I do believe we were vastly different, but she was still my grandmother. I will say I remember her as a child and do have a few good memories. I do wish there had been a way we could have made a mend before her passing, but we did not have any ill words with each other. Honestly, it might have been because we did not speak much. I hope her last days were peaceful and she was comfortable when she took her last breath.

Another interesting thing that happened today is, my father and I had a nice talk. I called him to tell him about my grandmother’s passing. They had not spoken in more than 30 years, but I guess I had to talk openly about it. One thing that my father said to me today meant more than I could ever explain was how proud my grandfather had always been of me. He told me that I could make my grandfather smile even if he was having a bad day and that means the world to me. I have told y’all before how much my grandfather meant to me and how much I admired him. Knowing that my grandfather was proud of me will stay with me and help me through challenging times.

During my conversation with my father, I mentioned to him that I was considering entering a writing contest. Of course, I always question my writing abilities, but he told me that he thought I should because he always enjoyed reading what I write about. He assured me that I shared something in common with my grandfather and that was how the way our writing showed deep emotions and our strong personality. It makes me feel good knowing that I have some of my grandfather’s devotion and strength because he was an amazing man that I will always hold close to my heart. Something that has always amazed me is, how one small thing another person says can have an enormous impact on another person life and typically in a good way!

I am taking into consideration everything my father told me when I talked about the writing contest, but now I need to decide what I will write about. I know it is important to take chances, but I also need to learn too not be so hard on myself. Over the past three years, I have had the chance to get to know all of you and it has been a great opportunity. With that said, have any of you entered any writing contests and if so, how did you decide what you would write about? I value your opinions and advice, so I look forward to reading your thoughts!

I am sure y’all have noticed that I have been a little absent from blogging. This week has been strange. Not only have I been dealing with the loss of Chloe, but I have felt very sluggish and had a lack of energy. There have been many times I wanted to sit down and write about something but could not get through it. I guess it might have something to do with the weather changes because it has not only been cold, but we have had an insane amount of rain. The colder weather always have a negative effect on how I feel, but then so does the rain. I guess the combination has been a double threat!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have enjoyed reading what I wrote about today. I also 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

Tragic loss of Chloe

RIP Chloe Jean Bowman 07/07/2005-02/07/2021

Loss creates a profound sense of grief, sadness, heartache, emptiness, and so much more that it may feel unbearable at times. This intense combination of emotions can make everyday tasks quite challenging. There is no way to prepare yourself for loss, because no matter how much time you have with someone it is never enough. This statement holds painfully true with our pets. The connection we feel with our pet or pets is much like one feels towards their child. This fur baby was our child, our life, and our family.

Last week I told y’all about our sweet and precious cat, Chloe, who had two doctor’s appointments related to increased lethargy and rapid weight loss. We were told three years ago she was in the early-stage of kidney failure. Given she was on a doctor recommended kidney diet since that time, we did not understand the reason for her recent decline. After a physical exam, CT Scan, and bloodwork, we were told last Friday, February 5th, that she probably would not survive the weekend. Of course, we brought her home right away, made her as comfortable as we possibly could, and stayed with her every minute. Unfortunately, on Sunday, February 7th at 12:25, our beloved Chloe took her last breath.

We had Chloe since she was just a baby. Since the day we brought her home, she filled out hearts with nothing but love and joy. Chloe was always a petite cat, but she had a huge heart and personality. It is so easy to remember many funny memories of her silly adventures. If I were to share all those memories with you, I would be writing for days if not weeks, but I am going to share a few memories with you.

I can remember like it was yesterday the first day Chloe came into our life. She was the best and sweetest birthday present I ever received. My husband and I picked her out at the local PetSmart, where she stole our hearts. From the second she laid her head on my husband’s shoulder, she had him wrapped around her little paw. We had loaded her up in the truck, in the box, PetSmart provided and drove her to her new home. The minute she jumped out of the box and made the cutest little meow and she made that little apartment her new home! She would run around that small apartment like a bat out of hell and enjoyed every minute of it. We used to play with the red-light toy with her and she would try chasing it up the wall. It was hilarious to watch. That little girl would jump as high as the peephole in our front door to try catching the red dot, but never quite caught it.

My husband used to ball up a piece of paper and throw it for Chloe. She would then fetch the piece of paper and bring it back to him to throw for her again. I had never in my life seen a cat play fetch so well, but the two of them loved the game. Chloe played fetch better than any dog I have ever seen in my life. My husband trained her to do this and it was something great to witness.

I remember we had a fake tree in our apartment, which Chloe would climb when she was a baby; she did this several times as she got older. Considering she was an Indoor-only cat, she never got to experience climbing a real tree. It was a good thing she did not go outside and climb trees because once she was in that fake tree, she waited for one of us to get her down. I can picture Chloe outside climbing a real tree and crying for help and needing the fire department to come with a ladder to get her down.

There was a time we had gone to Old Navy shopping, so we had those huge bags when we got home. Somehow, I still do not know how Chloe got her little body attached to one and went flying through the apartment with the bag flying behind her. This created her fear of plastic bags for the rest of her life. Even though she was terrified of plastic bags, it was hysterical.

Considering I do live with Multiple Sclerosis, this does come with a massive amount of pain. Chloe knew where I hurt and would lay on that part of my body. If I had one of my headaches, Chloe would lay on my head until it eased up. When my legs were in out-of-control pain and tingling, Chloe would make it a point to lay on my legs to help these issues. I still find it amazing how on point Chloe’s instincts were and her strong desire to help me feel better, she truly was an amazing cat.

The numerous memories we have about Chloe are not easing our hurt and how much we miss her. I cannot get the image of her taking her last breath on my lap out of my mind. My thoughts go into a black hole with thinking could I have done something to help her more. Was it my fault she died because I told her it was okay to go and she did not have to keep fighting? If we had taken her to the doctor sooner, would she still be with us? Was her death, something we did or did not do?

Last picture of Chloe on my lap wrapped in a blanket

Not everyone can understand just how devastating the loss of a pet is because they have never had the deep and eternal connection with a pet. Unfortunately, those that have not experienced this kind of love may diss the feelings of someone that has. The truth is the loss of a pet for some people can be just as upsetting and traumatic as the loss of a human family member. When we lose a family member we can take time off from work because there is a leave of absence in place, but there is not the same for a pet. This does not make sense to me because our pets are our family. Getting over the loss is not easy, but so many cannot understand this. This picture is the last picture taken of Chloe.

Just as much as our pets rely on us to take care of them, we rely on our pets as well. Pets love us unconditionally and without stipulations. Our pets know all our deepest and darkest secrets because we trust them and confide in them. When we lose this confidant, it can feel like losing a part of our heart and soul, which can make us feel lonely and almost empty inside.

Considering the loss of Chloe has been so painful, I looked up how to get through this and keep some of my sanity. From what I have read, there are 7 stages of grief when we lose a pet. The stages are shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, reflection, loneliness and adjusting to living without that pet, and acceptance and hope.

I can say that the first stage was on Sunday. Seeing that little girl take her last breath did cause me to be in complete and total shock. I could not believe she was gone and did not know how to go on without her. There was no denying what had happened because I watched it take place. Our sweet, loving, and amazing little girl stopped breathing and there was nothing I could do to help her anymore. I think I am hoovering within pain, guilt, anger, depression, and loneliness right now. I am blaming myself for her death and cannot help thinking there must have been something I could have done.

One part that has been so difficult is, there are no answers. The doctor told us her kidney function was stable and not failing. However, neither of the doctors Chloe saw could say why her health deteriorated so fast. The best guesses the doctors can say is that Chloe had cancer and it took her life before diagnosed. The week before she passed away, she was chasing our other cat, Sundance around the house. The two of them had so much love for one another and he does not understand where she went. Sundance is grieving just the same as my husband and I are.

Writing has always helped me heal when something dealing with difficult emotions, but I have not been able to because it has been too difficult. I do not think I have cried and had this hard of a time coping since my Poppy passed. There are times when I think I am doing better, but the smallest of things trigger my heartache, and I am in tears again. If I can stay busy at work it takes my mind away from what we have lost, but the minute I have time to think all I can think about is Chloe. How do you move on from a loss this tragic? How do you stay positive and happy when you heart just cannot heal? How do you tell everyone that asks that you are okay when you are anything but okay?

We had another cat before Sundance, Lexi who died from cancer. I loved that sweet little girl as well, but do not remember it being this hard. Lexi was cremated and we had Chloe cremated as well, but when the emergency vet called to tell us her remains were ready to be picked up, I cannot go pick her up. The only think I want right now is for Chloe to be back with us and alive, but I know this cannot happen.

Chloe was not just a cat or another pet, she was more like our daughter and this loss has been very difficult for us to deal with. I have been away from blogging to try healing from this, but felt it was time to tell y’all about Chloe. We will never stop missing or loving Chloe, but someday we will heal from this. Sundance has never been an only cat and I know he is lonely, and there will come a day we get him a friend, but right now is too soon.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this long and emotional post. I did start on this a few days ago, but could not keep it together. I hope you had a good week and you are continuing to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes.

Always, Alyssa

What makes you unique?

10 things that make us unique!

On multiple different occasions I have said the area I live in is overcrowded and everywhere I go has too much congestion. If I view things in a much broader picture, there are close to 69,000 people in the city I live in, but close to 8 million in the entire world. Of course, I think more than 50 people is a large crowd, so there other number are just ludacris.

Even though I prefer to not be around massive groups, especially right now with COVID-19 in the forefront of my mind, I do find the uniqueness of each interesting. Could you imagine what life would be like if we were all the same? I think things would be very boring and monotonous.

Each person is comprised of personality, experiences endured in life, knowledge we have gained, and emotions felt. Every individual has their viewpoints of the world and outlooks, mainly powered by their life experiences. All of our qualities that make each of us unique and fascinating can be sharpened and enhanced on, allowing for growth as we continue our lives adventures.

The following ten characteristic are what make us our own unique and captivating self. We should always hold our heads held high and be proud of our uniqueness and the amazing people we have become today.

1. Our Personality-

Each of our personalities is something that begins to be shape starting from the time we are born and has continued to the present day. All of our positive and negative experiences, each achievement and defeat, every occurrence of strength and weakness, all the knowledge and wisdom we have gained are what is guiding how we can progress through our life.

The level of knowledge, experiences, and comprehension one individual has are what makes them who they are and no other will be the same as that person. Just as no one will respond the same to life experiences, no one will make the same choices in life as another would.

2. Our Attitudes-

Our attitude determines how we view life and those we are surrounded by. Both positive and negative attitudes can be very contagious, which means the way we are feeling has the potential to influence how other feel. The truth is those with a positive attitude will tend to steer away from others that have a negative attitude. Our attitude is something that is created from our emotional outlooks. Unless we make proactive changes for something better and more favorable for a happier present and future, our attitude will not change for the better.

3. Our Experiences-

There is no doubt that our past and future experiences play a vital role with shaping the unique individuals we are. All of our experiences in life help dictate the way we interact with others. Many times people that have had negative experiences might become uneasy and even defensive when in situations that are similar to times before when they had been hurt. Of course, some negative experiences offer the wisdom needed to make better decisions in the future which could lead to a successful search for a brighter and positive future.

4. Our Habits-

Habits are our routine behaviors that are repeated regularly and often occur subconsciously. Our habits will notify and regulate the aspects each unique person will develop. Bad habits could be biting you nails, drinking too much alcohol, overeating, or smoking. Good habits may include eating a healthy diet, maintaining an exercise regimen, practicing gratitude, and managing money sensibly. When we start forming habits such as meditation, exercising, or trying new things they can help to improve our mental health and well-being.

5. Our Creativity-

There are many different forms of creativity, which makes it very interesting. Creativity can extend to a wide range of arts that can lead the creative part of the brain anywhere from drawing and painting to cooking to dancing and singing to playing an instrument. Every person has their own specific and unique talents and creative gifts that have been inspired by their vision of beauty.

6. Our Perspective-

There is no other person that has lived in our shoes every minute of every day at any time. No other person has had the same experiences we have during life and never will. No one else has the same knowledge as another person. Each individuals perspectives are simply uniquely only their own. It is always crucial to stay open to others thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. This doesn’t mean we must accept these as right or wrong, but continue to evolve on our unique perception of the world.

7. Our Tastes-

We can always discover common ground with others on quality or beauty, but our tastes are unique with our personality. Each person’s taste can impact the choices they make throughout their life. These choices may be in the foods they eat or the people they form relationships with. An excellent way for a person to broaden their horizons, learn new things, and continue evolving is to consider different tastes, in all forms around the world. By keeping an open mind and having the willingness to include the tastes of others, it can initiate some extraordinary new things in life.

8. Our Goals-

Each individual’s goals will typically regulate how their time, energy, and efforts are spent. Our short, medium, and long-term goals supply us with both direction and motivation to keep us on the right path. No matter what an individual’s goals they are working towards are, anyone can get more out of their life and grown further as a person!

9. Our Hobbies-

A common icebreaker when we meet someone for the first time is, “What do you like doing?” Granted, our hobbies do not define who we are as a person, but the things we enjoy doing and spend the most time on can enlighten others to the kind of person we are. This all says something about us as unique human beings, the values we hold, and how we find happiness and meaning in life.

10. Our Passions-

Passions are what stir the deepest emotions in an individual to act on something bigger than themselves, despite their mental and emotional state of mind. Being aware of our passions can assist us in finding an undeviating, clear path that is directed by our values and unique perceptions of the world. Each individual has something unique and valuable that they offer the world.

During or lifetime we are going to encounter others from all walks of life. Some of the people we meet will be the polar opposite of who we are and others we will be able to find similarities and common ground with. However, no matter what we discover our similarities to be, there will never be another as unique as all of us are!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you found this information interesting and you enjoyed reading this. I hope you are having a great weekend and you are feeling well and of course, staying safe! I look forward to reading any thoughts you have 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, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Why create a vision board?

Vision-Board-Poster-300x223I feel confident saying you have all heard about vision boards before, but what do they mean to you? Have you made a vision board before and if so what did you include on yours? If you have had a vision board in the past or you currently have one, did you find it to be beneficial, why or why not?

Honestly, I have heard about vision boards before, but I was not 100% clear on the purpose or what should be included in it. Of course, I am always intrigued about ways to add as many positive outlooks and or tools to life as I possibly can. With all that the world as a whole is going through at the moment, I think now is a time we all need as much positivity as we can get.rsz_vision-board-example

There are numerous reasons for having a vision board. As I list the questions I was curious about, though please note they are not in any particular order. What is the purpose? What should be included on a vision board? What is needed to create one? Do they really help? Are there any benefits and if so what are they?

There are several reasons to have a vision board and yet there aren’t any rules. Your vision board is a corporeal portrayal of a goal or goals you are focused on accomplishing. It is meant to be your dedicated exhibit of what you want in life. Your vision board can bring your ambitions, desires, dreams, objective, and intentions into your existence and cd8d1c_8bed59f4db02485fa79996edbf45b08c_mv2reality.

The sky is the limit to what you can include on your vision board. Your vision board can be your goals for career, relationship, home, travel, personal growth, education, spirituality, social life, education and anything else revolving around your goals. Your vision board can include things you want to view every day and motivates you. Any quotes, pictures, sayings, and places you desire going to, people that inspire you, reminders of events, and anything that encourages you.

You should give yourself time to create your vision board, it should be fun utilizing your creativity and NEVER stressful. I have discovered a few ideas to help start a vision board that might be helpful which include:dd51b203ce6b932b0643081b965a53ec

  • Working on ways to heal from hardships
  • Explore your passions and talents
  • Learn more about who you are
  • Envision what you want from life
  • Spend time with those you admire
  • And literally anything else that comes to mind, just don’t limit yourself

To create your vision board you dream-board-ideas-01-1only need a few simple items including:

  • Posterboard, corkboard, or canvas
  • Several old magazines
  • Pictures printed from an online source
  • Scissors, tape, pins and or glue stick
  • Markers, paint and or sticker
  • Most important anything you know you will want to see daily. This is where those inspirational quotes, sayings, and people will come into play

The benefits you may get from a vision board are endless and could be different for each person. I will share a few and then you can decide how it benefits you.

using-vision-boards-to-transform-your-business-in-2015-3-638

  • Brings clarity to your dreams
  • Initiates your ambitions
  • Allows for your creativity to shine through
  • Enables you to be more motivated
  • Makes you more productive
  • Grants you with better focus
  • Promotes your opportunities for success
  • Releases your inner potential
  • Encourages you to be positive and motivation 1happy
  • Gives you additional motivation
  • Amplifies your self-confidence
  • Poses as a mental rehearsal
  • Relaxes you
  • Enhances your self-image
  • Expands your desires

DDhIbVOUAAAute4Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you found this information helpful and something fun to try, if you haven’t already done so. I do look forward to reading your thoughts on this and if you have any other reasons why a vision board can be beneficial to our lives.

Of course, I already know there is not much we can do outside our homes, but I do hope you are enjoying your weekend so far. I only hope your weekend is relaxing and enjoyable. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

Eliminate bad habits and gain good habits

replace-bad-habits-with-good-habits-400px-4We all have good and bad habits that are perpetual and emerge from our unconscious minds. It is almost as though we have some kind of control over them. However, logically do we have any control over our habits?

How would you explain what is meant regarding bad habits? Bad habits are a negative behavior in regards to our behavioral patterns. Most commonly procrastinating, spending too 7040000947_dmuch money, nail-biting, spending excessive amounts of time watching TV or on the computer are bad habits.

Have you ever wondered what caused our bad habits? According to the author, James Clear, who wrote “Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results. Atomic Habits”, stress and boredom could be the key contributors to our bad habits. It is also possible that our boredom and stress are only on the surface and the causes of our bad habits are from much deeper issues. What we may have experienced might be bad-habits-2challenging and painful to think about, but if we are truly committed to making changes; we need to face the issues head-on. To overcome our bad habits, we will need to acknowledge them first.

No matter what good or bad habits we currently have, there is a reason they are in our lives. We might never know why these habits are in our lives, but they do have a purpose and even a benefit. Most of the time, our bad habits are how we handle stress.

It isn’t easy to comprehend how our bad habits can be beneficial in our lives. However,26ad67a072eb39fd803a5ecf73a8fbf1 we need to try understanding how instead of straightforwardly eliminating them, we should attempt replacing them with good habits that provide us with comparable benefits.

Do you know any good ways to break bad habits? Personally, I have several habits that aren’t just bad, they are awful habits. Through some research, I have discovered some ways to break the bad habit cycle we deal with.

Before I dive too deep into ways to break the bad habits, I am going to explain how our habits are driven by a 3-part loop sequence, that was initiated from Mayo Oshin,

  1. Trigger is the stimulus that starts the habit
  2. Routine is doing the habit and behavior itself
  3. Reward of the benefit is associated with the behavior

ooda-loop-simpleNow we can finally dive deep into Mayo Oshin’s coherent strategies that will help us utilize psychology when recognizing our triggers for our bad habits, quit procrastinating and begin easily getting things done.

Oshin’s three strategies to break bad habits include:

  1. Use the words “I don’t” as opposed to “I can’t”, which can assist with making better choices. In two different research studies, participants that use the words “I don’t” were able to meet their goals and had positive impacts on their well-being more than those that used “I can’t”.
  2. Practice becoming aware of the triggers. The more aware we are of our triggers that lead us to lean on our bad habits, the higher the chances we have on interfering with the existence of the loop leading us towards bad habits.

msc-mindfulnessAn addiction expert, Judson Brewer, performed a study with smokers trying to quit smoking. Brewer believes that practicing mindfulness frequently can help end the bad habits. In his study, Brewer found 36% of individuals that practiced mindfulness were successful with quitting, as opposed to the 15% that did not use mindfulness and were not successful with quitting smoking.

An intriguing practice exercise you can try is the following steps! The next time you are tempted with your bad habit, take a step back, answer the following questions and log your answer if you want something 5-minute-craving-busters-2824747_FINAL-5bd0bfe046e0fb0051c82ed7to reflect on

  • Where were you when the cravings occurred?
  • What time of day does this happen?
  • What was your emotional state of mind?
  • Who were you with?
  • What happened before your cravings?

You can keep your answers in a journal, so you can refer back to them at a later time and maybe notice a trend. This is a way to practice mindfulness and also assist you in taking more control of your actions. By tracking the issues you will be that much more aware of your 1933.1549052609behavior and offer ideas to stop!

  1. Use an “if-then” plan to replace the bad habits with good habits. It isn’t enough to only have a goal to break bad habits. To perpetually continue with a good habit, we need an intentional plan.

To create an “if-then” plan we need to do the following steps.

  1. Recognize a situation that commonly triggers our bad habits
  2. Identify a distinct reaction to the trigger. Typically, this would be a good habit to 5a1ef657150000a73c85a7aareplace and prevent falling right into the temptation
  3. Combine steps 1 &2 into an “if-then” format. Utilizing an “if-then” plan creates an easier reaction for our cravings and replaces them with a good habit because of the made ready automatic response. Over time, we will be able to see how effective it can be to assist in breaking away from bad habits.

I hope you found this information beneficial in your life. There is no pressure at all, buScreen-Shot-2019-01-08-at-9.10.06-AM-300x168t what habits of yours do you think are bad habits? I will share mine with y’all. One is definitely I always think I am fat and that I need to lose weight, but my husband always tells me I am crazy and don’t need to lose weight. I will say telling someone that thinks they are fat crazy might not be the best way to approach the topic, but men often don’t think before they speak. Another habit of mine that could be viewed as bad is that I apologize for everything, even when I didn’t really do anything wrong. I don’t know why, I just immediately say “I’m sorry.” One more habit, that can be viewed as good and bad 101961is, I am way too overly emotional about everything!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have a great day and you are ending the week feeling the best you possibly can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤