Posted in Good Things, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Social Media Weariness

My phone has this new shaming feature. Every morning when I wake up and decide to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, it first lets me know how long I averaged on my phone the day before. I won’t scare you with the details but let’s just say I have no business telling my kids to get off their electronics. And if I am being honest, I am tired of waiting for good news to come of the U.S.’s current political state (Twitter), of looking at people’s lives that make me feel like I am a failure in all aspects of my life (Instagram), and waiting for people to care about what’s happening our country (Facebook). The following brought me some happiness this week. 

Detective Pickachu trailer

I am pretty sure I rolled my eyes when I heard this was being made. But when the trailer premiered this week, it surprised the hell out of me. I love Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith. And all the cute Pokemons! Yes, I am excited for that other animated feature but I loved to be surprised.

Taron Egerton being trained for Robin Hood

I don’t think we really need another Robin Hood film, especially with Ben Mendelsohn as the bad guy. But this video of Taron Egerton as Robin Hood being trained by Lars Andersen has peaked my interest.

Over the Garden Wall series

This animated series can be found on Hulu and came out in 2014. Recently an author I follow on social media recommended it and I decided to give it a shot. Each episode is it’s own little story of brothers Wirt (Elijah Wood) and Greg (Collin Dean) as they try to make it back home after getting lost. It is creepy, sweet, and weird. My husband and I loved it.

Widows

Just saw this yesterday and I was vibrating when I left the theater. It has a heist, a love story, political corruption, and action scenes that will leave you jarred. I told my hubby before I saw it that I imagined it as a female Heat. But I think it might have been even better.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Not Today Anxiety

No Filter

Ever since I started becoming more accepting of myself on the inside (thanks Prozac), I have started to look at my outside differently. I have come to the conclusion that I am tired of trying to keep up with society’s standards of how I look.

Image result for hannah gadsby i identify as tired

In elementary school you wear what brings you comfort with sneakers, t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, and pants. You don’t care if you get grass stains on them, you just want to play. A good comb through of the hair and a brush of the teeth and you’re good to go. As you hit your tweens, glasses and braces accompany the acne. Your friends start to shave their legs and you wonder if you should too. Your mom takes you bra shopping and you are mortified. All you really want is to look like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles.

In junior high your hair isn’t straight/curly/long/short/perfect enough and you use way too much hairspray to try and get it right (it never is). You get contacts to replace the glasses but the braces won’t come off for another 2 years. Your chest grows as much as it’s going to and you realize that in the land of big boobs you aren’t even a contestant in the competition.

High school comes and your hair is finally the way you want it but it doesn’t matter because you just don’t look the “right” way. Your twenties is about experimenting and you start coloring your hair, wearing makeup, and getting piercings. Tanning beds, going to the beach, and laying out gives you a glow that makes your unacceptable pale skin acceptable. At least you can still eat what you want.

You get married in your 30s and a month later become pregnant. Two years later you become pregnant again. You bounce back within a month with both kids and go back to working out but that lower stomach fat is here to stay.

Your 43rd birthday brings shorts that are too tight. All your clothes make you hot. You accept that you aren’t going to be as small as you were in your twenties and that going up a size isn’t the end of the world. Pilates, jogging, biking, weight lifting, and yoga give you strength and health. You see yourself being active to the day you die and that will always be the motivation. Big hats, as much as you don’t want to wear them, are a necessity. You bring bangs back to cover up those forehead lines but decide to join the Grombre movement because your hair color no longer defines you. Green and cruelty free is your motto with skincare and makeup. The less chemicals on your person, the better. Fashion will always be fun but you feel yourself moving closer and closer to Julia Louis Dreyfus’s character in Enough Said as your aesthetic:

Natural hair, casual but stylish, minimal makeup-she is a goddess

You’ve always presented yourself the way you want but now you have confidence in your decisions and that is freeing. And even though magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue are becoming more inclusive, there is still Facebook and Instagram. Social media is the new magazine with the airbrushed model on the unrealistic cover. It’s a standard that is impossible to live up to. You know that. But your brain still insists on telling you that you are less than. And rather than give up scrolling, you start telling yourself that you are good enough and that you don’t need no stinkin’ filters to present who you are to the world.

Posted in Word Therapy

Social Media Fail

A couple of weeks ago I posted pictures of a hill that I was trying to conquer on a bike ride. I showed an uphill and a downhill shot. I followed it with a poll of which direction did followers think I took. After about an hour nobody had voted. And with that simple post, my anxiety was triggered, I deleted the post, and my “I don’t give a fuck” attitude took the kids to her sister’s:

As a writer I know in order for my book to succeed it can’t just be good. I have to be marketable. In order to be marketable, people need to know who the hell I am. That means accumulating followers. I recently made my Instagram profile public. Since then I have watched the number of my followers go up and down. I’m not the person who is going to follow you just because you followed me. Before the biking post I was doing stories the required three times/day. But when people start skipping the rest of your stories and don’t even vote in your polls, your feelings get hurt. You want to create entertaining content. You have to keep that “this is who I am, for better or worse” attitude. But sometimes those voices in your head become so loud that it is hard to ignore them and this is what your brain looks like:

Facebook is a whole other monster. I don’t accept a lot of friend requests because that has blown up in my face (knowing that you are a Trump supporter makes me just want to delete your friend request or unfollow you if we are already friends and I don’t have the patience to deal with the drama that comes with deleting you). As for Facebook’s security and their hand in the 2016 election, I honestly am not all up in arms. If you believed the fake stories that were being peddled during election season and that was enough for you to vote for dumbass in chief, WELL:

And let’s be honest. Facebook is not for millenials using social media. It’s for generations like mine who use it to post pictures of their kids for the grandparents, stay in touch with friends and family you don’t see in real life, and post cute animal videos to your spouse’s/best friend’s page.

Twitter is the social media platform I go to when I want to feel overwhelmed and stupid. I can barely come up with a succinct 280 character tweet and people are out there doing threads with 10+ tweets. Here’s my thought process when I try to tweet:

“Nobody cares.”

“Somebody’s going to try and argue/troll you and then you’re going to cry.”

“Oh forget it.”

So basically I am in the middle of a temper tantrum about not being popular on social media. I have calmed down a bit since the bike meltdown but right now it is doing more harm than good. Writing lifts me up and gives me confidence. I know I will eventually go back to posting like I used to. But that whole “nobody likes you” feeling is still strong, even if I know it’s irrational.

How do you feel about social media? Are you a dedicated poster? Or do you just like to browse and like?

Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Word Therapy

Birthday Weekend Snaps

As much as I love going to places like New York City and LA, I have learned to appreciate hanging out around home even more. So for my birthday that is what we did:

We started Saturday with a trip to our favorite park:

Could this pic be any more California?

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I know I am biased but this kid is the coolest

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Then we had my birthday cake:

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The only person I would share this with

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Same buddy, same

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And to end the day I got the top of my ear pierced (just in case you were wondering how my mid life crisis was going):

 

On Sunday we headed over to the Fullerton Loop

 

Nature, my favorite

 

My new friend Chloe who saw my dog lovin’ self, flopped on her back, and demanded belly rubs:

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My boys humored my need to take an Instagram worthy pic because it was my birthday damnit:

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Mission Accomplished

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

Happy Mindfulness

Today I turn 43. Not a special birthday. A day where I think about all that has happened since the last April 12th and the changes my family and I have been through. So much changed for the better in this last year. We are back at home, I can say with confidence that I am a writer, and I feel the most settled than I ever have.

Mindfulness is definitely the word I would use to describe this year. I’m learning more why I act the way I do and the actions of others around me. I stop and think more, which has made me a better parent and wife. I take life one day at a time with a lot of letting go and deep breaths. It has brought peace to my soul that wasn’t there before.

It is easier to be grateful these days. I appreciate the outdoors when I walk my dogs, go on Sunday bike rides with my family, and sit in my backyard and write. Listening to music helps me to sit still and relax.

I am taking a hold of aging and attempting to be graceful. I got bangs to cover my forehead wrinkles but I don’t think I can rock a beard like Keala Settle to cover up the jowels. I refuse to subscribe to the thinking that I should dress according to my age and wear what I love, jeans and pop culture t-shirts (with a little bit of preppy thrown in). I haven’t found the perfect Mrs. Roper’s muumuu yet but I will track down that unicorn.

My brain tries to sabotage me weekly. It seems the harder I work to overcome my obstacles, the louder the negative feelings become. But I know that these are only temporary and will pass.

I don’t know if my writing has gotten better. I have become more truthful, which is just as important to me. I have found my process. I have worked my way past the voices that tell me everything I write sucks, and just write what it is I need to say. I know I am going to have to read a piece at least five times and edit the hell out of it before I can feel satisfied with it. I feel freer to write and the judgment I imagine that is forthcoming is not as scary.

I write this blog to process what I am going through. I want others to be able to understand what somebody with anxiety is going through. Or maybe they see themselves in a post. The more people I interact with those that have anxiety, the less alone I feel. Social media (particularly Instagram) has helped with that. And sure, I would love to have followers in the thousands. But it is also exhausting to make yourself relevant in this world. Going viral, using the allotted 25 hashtags, and following someone back because they follow you are all tricks of the trade but once you are in the spotlight the question is for how long?

I have accepted that when I have highs they are in the sky and when I have lows they are below the ocean bed (Kind of like this post). Prozac has brought me closer to the middle and given me balance. I also think feeling at home has been a factor. Happiness is achievable and I intend to keep running towards it.

Please celebrate my birthday with me by reading about and/or donating to

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/#sm.0006isoco1aj1es6wm62lmqtzuku9

https://www.aclu.org/

https://everytown.org/

Thank you!

Posted in California Livin'

You’re Alright Charlie Brown, Part II

Disneyland announced this week that they are raising their prices again. And as much as my kids and I love the big mouse, one trip a year is about all we can do. But now that we are full fledged OC residents, we get to take even more advantage of our Knotts Berry Farm passes.

Five years ago we made the harder-than-it-should-have-been decision to not renew our Disneyland passes and switched to Knotts. Curls was five and Red was three. Camp Snoopy was their YouTube before they found YouTube. These days the Snoopy Bounce House is gone and Lucy’s Tugboat is now Rapid River Run. Instead of strollers and hand holding, they now run from ride to ride. Their favorites are Jaguar, WaveSwinger, and the Log Ride. The annual passes are still affordable, including both regular and water park (no blackout dates) and parking. We now have two souvenir bottles instead of one. The kids still cheer when we suggest going. On Super Bowl Sunday we drove the 15 minutes from our house to the park off of Beach, hoping for small crowds due to the big game. The crowds were bigger than we expected but the park was celebrating the Peanuts gang:

They had Instagram worthy backdrops:

Meet and greets with Pigpen, Peppermint Patty and Schroeder:

Pure happiness:

I need all of these as gifs:

Smooches 😘:

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Till next time:

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Not Today Anxiety, Wellness, Word Therapy

Reading About Anxiety is Giving Me Anxiety and I Can’t Stop Looking at My Jaw

Last week was the fourth week. What that means is that in addition to managing my anxiety, I also have to deal with emotions that are already on high alert the rest of the month. I feel like a teenager who is having her first bout with PMS. Barbecue chips and dark chocolate better be in the cabinet. Tears flow during the training of the rescue dogs for the Puppy Bowl. A loud sob forces me to take a seat when the Puppy Bowl referee canoodles with Shirley the Sloth, the other referee.

I am on birth control. Not because I am trying to prevent a pregnancy but because I am prone to ovarian cysts. With the birth control pills comes the wave of hormones. The first week comes with heightened sensitivity and nausea. The second week is definitely the best week. I feel lots of joy and am grateful for feelings that I know are fleeting. This is how the medicine works and it can be frustrating. Having the knowledge that I will have one week in the month where I will feel pure happiness can be kind of a bummer (the irony I tell ya). The third week is a mini version of the fourth where I know I am going to be bitchy so analyzing every emotion and movement is key.

The fourth is my anxiety going into overdrive. I can’t make myself sit down and write because I am convinced it’s going to be garbage. I make myself exercise but I don’t get the same joy out of it and the endorphins don’t help as much. Motivation is almost non-existent, procrastination wreaks havoc and prevents me from accomplishing anything. I also whine a lot more and try not to look at the effect age and gravity is having on my face (remember two weeks ago when I didn’t care??).

Times like this I think about successful people and how they got there. Hard work and talent, sure. But confidence and strength are key. Nobody forces me to sit down, eat all of the tortilla chips and salsa, and go down the rabbit hole of Instagram stories. Getting distracted the fourth week is much easier as my defenses are down and I would rather pine for somebody else’s life than propel myself to better mine. I then feel pathetic for doing that and keep the cycle going.

Doing online research about anxiety and the different kinds can feel triggering but I push forward, knowing how important it is. I wish that I could not be as hard on myself but all that energy I normally have has checked out. Even being aware, which normally keeps my chin up, seems to fade into the background.

I know this has been a post of self pity. I try to allow myself that in order to move past it. And even though I am not writing all of the thoughts down, my brain doesn’t shut off (clearly). As the days keep coming a lot of what I am thinking will find it’s way out so I can continue to move forward as a writer and speak my truth, for better or worse.

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This picture was from the fourth week when it was too early for dinner but I was really needing (okay, wanting) an In-N-Out grilled cheese and fries. So Curls, Red, and I had first dinner by splitting one of each. I suspect in the future this is what I will remember and not all those negative feelings that want to rule my world. They will not succeed if only because of these smiling faces.

Posted in social media

You Don’t Want to Follow Me

I am on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I probably am on each of these social mediums at least 5 times/day. I like to post on Facebook and Instagram but Twitter makes me question every word I type. But that’s not the point. The point I want to make is this: You don’t want to follow or friend me on any of these. Unless you support the rights of all people, you like movies and dogs, and you want to read about the struggles of somebody with anxiety and depression.  You’ve been warned.

Take my politics for example. I support LGBTQIA rights, Black Lives Matter, and Planned Parenthood. I live by the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you would have done to you. Gross, right? I mean, are people really kind to one another these days? Do you smile at strangers when you are in public? I do. Lame sauce. I think as a rule if your life is working for you but it wouldn’t necessarily work for me, THAT’S OKAY. If I see somebody being wronged, I try and help. How nosy am I? As such, I share posts from time to time that will put a spotlight on people who are being oppressed. If you don’t want to be offended, make sure to keep it moving.

I also love movies and pop culture in general. I see every movie I can when they are in theaters, I binge watch Netflix shows, and I watch shows that are just trailers. I read movie reviews and make my choices based on some of them. If Entertainment Weekly says I need to read a book or that it is being made into a show or movie, I am most likely going to read it. If I find something to be good, I like to recommend it. Who needs somebody telling you to read or watch something that might be of enjoyment to you? So annoying.

Another thing: I love my kids and like to take pictures of them. They are smart, funny, and open. I brag about them and often. I revel in their love and accomplishments every single day. It really is obnoxious how much I like being around them, considering I wasn’t sure I wanted kids in my early 20s. Even if you’re a parent and can relate, my posts can be downright irritating. Nobody got time for that.

I am a California girl and you will know it if you follow me. Even worse, I live in Southern California, land of Los Angeles, Disneyland, beautiful mountains, beaches, and deserts. My family likes to go to all of them. We might as well be the effing poster family for California travel. Sunny weather and acting like tourists give us life. Ugh, ugh, and more ugh.

I am here for all the animals. I share dogs that need rescuing, missing kitties, goat videos, even birds getting down with their bad selves. I am one of those damaged people that likes animals over people on any day that ends in Y. My idea of heaven is winning the lotto and saving furry critters to my heart content. So if you aren’t down with furry babies, you probably don’t want to recognize my internet presence.

I have saved the worst for last (if you have even gotten this far). I have decided that I am not going to let my mental health problems such as anxiety and depression hold me back any longer. Happiness is within reach and I mean to grab it. The more I talk about it, the more real it feels. But it isn’t always unicorns and rainbows, even with my medication. I have bad days and am honest about it. So if you’re looking for perfection, this sure as hell isn’t it.

So that’s my deal. I’m a sometimes sad tree hugger who loves pop culture, Cali, doggos, and my kiddos. And if that sentence bothers you (which of course it does), you probably don’t want to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Peace.

Posted in Pop Culture

Women Crush Wednesday: Angela Kinsey and Busy Phillips

Angela Kinsey is an actress that played Angela Martin on the American version of The Office. Busy Phillips is an actress that was on Cougartown and Freaks and Geeks. I loved the shows they were on. They are both moms who live in Los Angeles. But these women are my crushes for their Instagram stories. It shows their actual personalities and gives an in depth look into their lives.

Angela is a working actress who is most famous for her role on The Office and is currently on Netflix’s Haters Back Off. I started following her on Instagram last summer after I read about her wedding to actor Josh Snyder. I was delighted to find out that she is the exact opposite of her character Angela. She is sweet, bubbly, and funny. Her stories consist of her flying back and forth from the Vancouver set of her show to her home in LA, spending time with her family, going to her favorite store Target, and hovering over the doughnuts at Craft Services. She even made somebody tearing her Eddie Bauer jacket while she was walking around Vancouver an endearing story that lasted a few weeks. And her best friend is Pam herself, Jenna Fischer. She is just a mom who loves her family and job that happens to be famous. She is relatable.

I discovered Busy on Cougartown. The show was silly but cute. Busy’s character was ditzy and always wore lively outfits. I followed Busy on Instagram because of the show but realized how cool she was when she started doing the stories. Her wardrobe is hipster chic, her nails always make me want to run to the salon, and her hair is always Coachella worthy. She does stories of her working out and sweating so bad I feel the need to workout harder, hanging out with pals Danny McBride and Colin Hanks, and going on a Disney cruise with her family for her parents 50th wedding anniversary. Most recently she was honest about how disheartening it was that her pilot for NBC didn’t get picked up. She is herself in a way that is refreshing for an actress who has been in the business for 20+ years. Add the fact that she is best friends with mega actress Michelle Williams and it doesn’t get much cooler than Busy Phillips.

Angela Kinsey and Busy Phillips are both hard working moms in the entertainment industry. They live their lives on social media so fans can catch a glimpse of their world. Their lack of self consciousness while showing their daily lives is something to look up to. It makes you feel as if they could be your friend.