Category Archives: Grateful

Swimsuit Triggers and Focusing on Joy

Here we are: summertime, swimsuit time, and it’s hard to let go of judgmental thoughts of my body.

I remember the first time being worried about wearing a swimsuit. I was at a youth activity (maybe I was 14?) at a pool about an hour away from home. For some reason I didn’t have a suit, so my mom gave me money to rent one. Yikes a rental suit.

It was a one piece with huge cut outs on the sides and I felt super self conscious wearing it.

I’ve always been very physically active so I’m guessing I looked fine. I don’t have the wherewithal to make that judgment looking back and that’s ok. I did struggle with acne -seems like I did forever (obviously that’s not a fact) so I had judgements about my face.

Every summer I try to find a swimsuit I can feel comfortable and try not to judge my body. I play in the pool with my grandkids, I play in the ocean, I play in the lake, I play in the sprinklers. I love the water-I wear lots of sunscreen because the rosacea on my face doesn’t like the sun but I love the water.

The last couple of years I’ve purchased two piece suits to practice nonjudgment about my body; plus it’s easier to find separates that fit my top and bottom better.

Here’s another summer where I am triggered to judge my body as not good enough and I’m trying to be mindful of those old crazy thoughts (that are not facts) and in the moment to just enjoy the water. Just enjoy the water.

Here I am off Grand Cayman trying to hold a stingray

Here I am in Jamaica riding a horse in the ocean.

Here I am in Tulum Mexico in the prettiest water ever.

Yes I think it’s more important to enjoy.

Therapist Difficulties

Hey friends

On Friday I found out that a recent client had committed suicide. This is a complicated emotional experience for me because he was a difficult client.

He didn’t want help, he liked his suicide thoughts-he romanticized them. He also had some narcissistic personality traits and tried to make everything a debate. Most times he wouldn’t do DBT (a therapeutic intervention for people with Borderline Personality Disorder and works very well with suicide and self harm thoughts), and he stooped taking his medication several times.

He left treatment with me when I told him he needed to have boundaries with a friend he often talked about suicide and self harm (glorifying and romanticizing) -they had both been in the hospital twice very recently at this time and I felt the risk was too high for me to be his therapist as he continued this friendship.

He wouldn’t accept my limits and left. He also was somewhat nasty to me as he left-I told him I wished him well and enjoyed getting to know him-he retorted “I wish I could say the same”-he was very mentally ill. And often destroyed relationships as a way to control how others felt about him.

I’m angry at him for not accepting help. I’m sad for his family-his sister found him. I’m sad sometimes that I work in this wonderful and terrible field.

Yesterday I (we) painted our bathroom-the second to last room in our project of re painting the inside of our house after living here for 13 years.

I did not once think of my work. I was on a ladder, I was sitting on the floor, I was going up and down my stairs and completely focused on the task at hand. I’ve never been so thankful to be distracted by hard work. What a blessing not to think about work.

Hard work is a blessing.

Pretty Perspective

I remember growing up compliments on my outward appearance were rare.

I heard the skin on my legs and arms looked smooth. I heard my hands/fingers were long and shapely.

I had acne, I struggled with styling my hair, my teeth were stained because my mom used a certain antibiotic while pregnant with me, and I fell on the ice and knocked a tooth out. I did not ever think I was pretty but I thought I was important to my Heavenly Father.

Then as an adult (with four children) I ran into a couple from my youth. I worked part time at Mervyns while attending university. They stood agape at me when I said hello, “you are pretty” they said but their tone sounded incredulous like what the hell happened to you?? I didn’t know whether to say thank you or be offended.

I thought it was odd because I had not changed as a person. I had matured, still had acne (I have rosacea now which is very similar) I did fix my two front teeth-one that broke when I was 17 and the other chipped several times by my rambunctious children. I experienced several challenges and overcame and I think more confident in myself.

I realized then that other people’s view of me is not important and interestingly enough changes all the time. My view of myself is what is important and it should not be based on my appearance because it also changes every year. My appearance is a ever changing landscape. I am grateful to have the chance to live and experience; I am less grateful for chronic pain but it sure is nice when I don’t notice it.

I am grateful to be a daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, friend, co worker, therapist, hard worker, fun loving, funny (sometimes only I think this 😂) caring, loving, kind, thoughtful, determined, and creative person. None of this has anything to do with my appearance. Thank goodness for that.

I’m the same person in all these pictures no matter my appearance.

Time with my boys

Hey friends, I’ve just had the best weekend.

Friday night some of my grandkids came over and played with the nerf guns I juts snagged at Costco. Those little foam balls were everywhere and I loved it!

Yesterday I joined my two adult boys in a shooting expedition! My oldest son brought his WWII rifle-a Mosin Nagant built in 1938.

My second son brought his .22 and his 12 gauge shotgun.

I brought my 9mm Glock.

My boys are so smart and safe. They drive up the canyon, scoped out an area next to the mountain, made sure no other people were around us, they brought water bottles to shoot and a shovel just in case the gun fire started sparks. When someone got ready to shoot, we each ask – are you guys ready? Meaning-do you have your ear protection on-are you in the right area back from the shooter-is it safe-and then after shooting-can I check my shots?

I am so proud of them as men, they are both good, responsible, and thoughtful men. I got to shoot both of their guns which I felt honored to do so-that they trust me enough to do this and enjoy in their fun.

We did have fun! We had several targets we blew up, we shot the heck out of many filled water bottles, several used racquetballs and tennis balls now have holes in them, we expended lots of different ammo and shared each other’s guns. What fun, what memories, what joy to spend time with my boys.

Hot Legs

I remember listening to Rod Stewart’s song Hot Legs at a youth activity at our local reservoir when I was maybe 15. I thought I did not have legs like that and never would have legs like that.

At 15 I judged my legs. I felt ashamed of my feet too-at size 10 feet I thought there was something wrong with me.

Now that I’m a little more aware of my judgements-I remember being involved in athletics-volleyball, softball, and riding my bicycle to work (3 miles? Each direction) every day in the summer. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anything wrong with my legs. One summer I got an in park homerun at a softball tournament. My legs can run.

Now that I’m older, I realize my legs are still hot legs. I helped my daughter move last week-up and down stairs maybe a hundred times -filling a 26 foot Uhaul and unloading the same Uhaul. My knees work really well.

Hot Legs apply to anyone with legs. I’m so thankful I have legs that work.

No Makeup No Problem

There’s this idea that our appearance is the determination of our worth. Or our amount of followers determine our worth. Or our net worth/finances determine our personal worth.

You get where I’m going right?

Our worth as individuals is not dictated by appearance, weight, hair, social standing, financial status, or number of followers.

We are worthy because we are human beings-deserving of love and connection each of us no matter our appearance, age, weight, money, or status.

Let’s start valuing and loving ourselves (this includes our bodies-no matter our appearance or ability)

My 2020 mantra-YOU ARE ENOUGH

(No makeup-no problem)

I AM ENOUGH

Hello friends!

It took me a month or so to be brave to make this post.

At first I thought-maybe I should try to lose weight and then I caught myself. No not that. That is not right. I am enough.

Then this morning (when the stars aligned so to speak) I thought: my eyes are puffy. I have this red spot on my neck. Nooo not that again. I am enough.

It was also difficult to take a picture and be happy with one. I am enough.

I am enough, without makeup, with hair loss, in my body that is brave experiencing autoimmune disease, in my changing body, in my age. I am 56…..

I AM ENOUGH (even with all the pictures I did not like)

Perfection Lies

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday -our weekend is almost over 😳

I thought today, since it’s still January that I would focus on a subject I think often on. Perfection-what a lie.

We have been told throughout our lives that it’s possible to be perfect, each January many people talk about their New Years resolutions and how this year will be different and they will really do it right.

I actually don’t believe in being perfect. I don’t even hold much to New Years resolutions.

The idea of perfection is such a lie-none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes -often in one day! Thinking we have to be perfect can overwhelm us and lead to feeling shame about our imperfections or compare ourselves to others we “think” are perfect.

Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s enjoying the moment we are in and often remembering when we make mistakes to try and learn from what happened.

Failure is a good way to learn and gets a bad rep. I think failure is more important than perfection. Failure helps us learn what works, what we are good at, and what we need more practice in life. We all fail in life, we make mistakes, and hopefully we learn.

I’ve learned to be more gentle with myself and remember I don’t need to be perfect. I try to be kind to myself and others and I think the rest works out.

None of us are perfect. Let us NOT strive to be perfect.

Dark Shadows

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

I took a break from work for a few days and took a much needed road trip but now I’m back!

Before my days off, (exactly four days before) I was pulled over by one of our finest police officers due to a confusion about my speed in a school zone. Confusion because I was sure I had not been speeding and he said “I clocked you at 26” and laughed 😂😂

I didn’t really think it was THAT funny- my life has been difficult lately (although I didn’t think I was particularly mournful that morning) so without a word I gave him my registration and license while waiting for the bad news 😳😥

He came back to my car reassuring me…? “Now Ms (F) this is just a warning, you don’t have to do anything” (a warning? I’m confused) and he continued “you don’t need to do anything, just be careful and try to have a better day” he said very kindly.

I’m still confused and a little shell shocked- what happened that he just gave me a warning? I actually have never got a warning before- I usually deserve the speeding tickets I’ve got (6 years ago was the last time) but I didn’t cry or anything?

But I’m grateful that someone somewhere knew I needed a break or a warning or just a kind word. Thank you kind police officer.

Just to make sure I’m not looking overly haggard or pitiful, I bought some under eye concealer cause sometimes you just need to look like EVERYTHING IS FINE 😊

Enclosed are two different pictures of me with “Bye Bye Undereye” concealer from IT Cosmetics.

Grateful Streak Continues…..

Hello Friends!

If you’re new to reading my blog, I’ve dedicated my last three or so weeks to shopping my closet instead of new wardrobe items to focus on gratitude before Christmas.

Today I’m sharing several things: First I had a somewhat lengthy and irritating debate with a client yesterday (he might not be willing or open to change) which can be normal in my field….yet….I have all these resources, education, training, and support which could help my client and it is super frustrating if someone is in front of this wonderful buffet and not willing to eat. GRRR that ticks me off, especially when I care about a client.  So yesterday after the lengthy, complicated, and challenging debate, I thought to myself….I wouldn’t be the therapist I am today without my challenging teenagers from the past. Boy we had our challenges and honestly there really is not a name a client can call me that I think (pbsttt, I’ve heard worse!) Which is actually really helpful as a therapist. I’ve had experiences with my own children that at times mimic what my clients or their parents struggle and it’s helped me a great deal.

So I called my daughter last night and said thank you for doing what you did as a teenager and being the smart a$$ she still is, she said “Your welcome” LOL, we had a good laugh but all seriousness, all these experiences I’ve had…some terrible, some painful, some difficult, some so daunting…have all benefitted me personally and as a therapist. For that I am truly thankful.

I’m also thankful that yesterday hubs and I purchased him a new car (it’s actually used, but you know what I mean). I’ve never seen him so happy (his old car has 250,000 miles, so many things don’t work anymore). I’m so thankful that together, we can get him a car to make him happy and make his work life and commute more enjoyable and dependable. How blessed am I???

Now for my regularly scheduled fashion gratitude post:

I’ve had most of these items some time: my black long sleeve shirt from Costco, beaded jacket and layered necklace from Chicos, gray jeans from Express, and leopard boots and faux fur coat from Target. I never thought about pairing the typical way I wear this jacket along with the leopard, but the leopard just makes everything pop in a new way! The different textures between faux fur, embroidered/embellished jacket, and layered necklaces is so luxe. Seriously I’ve had this jacket and layered necklace for at least five years, I’m guessing. How fun is it to wear anew??

CLOSET SHOPPING IS DEFINITELY PAYING OFF RIGHT???!