Peaceful Vacation

I feel relaxed, and not anxious as I prepare to go to the beach with my boys and sister. I don’t forget the snacks or anything we will essentially need. I know how hectic it can be when traveling with my children. I decide to leave my wallet knowing that my concentration will be a little impair. The less I have to worry the better. With an ID, and one card in hand I head to my adventure. 20170527_171234350_iOS

The Restaurant

Excited that my sister agreed to go with me. I wanted to take her to my favorite restaurant in LA, (The Griddle Café). The wait is always long, and it feels longer if hungry. My boys start complaining and asking how much longer, and what feels long starts feeling like an eternity. As I’m standing my son questions my choice for the restaurant and says “Why can’t we just go to McDonald’s, it’s faster you know”. I restrain myself from saying anything negative, because I wanted to have a peaceful and delicious breakfast.

The Dark Room

The restaurant is crowded and the service is fast. If you walk through the back of the restaurant it has a dark room that looks like is set for private gatherings. I’ve always been curious about the rooms, and when I’ve gone with friends they seem as curious. This day was no different, but children can be a little more impulsive, and as curious. As we walk through the hall they question from what’s in dark room, to who’s inside. They peek through the beaded curtains, and I can hear their amused little voices.  When you manage to get to the other side of the walls, the atmosphere is more alive, the music loud, and people are at touching distance from each-other.

Sitting in the Dark Room

My sister’s name gets called, and we walk through crowded restaurant. As if wishful thinking we get seated in the dark room. We all become instantly excited, and as I sit my smile starts fading away. I missed the light in the room, and the loud shatters that surrounded me in my previous visits. It almost felt like someone was going to come through the beaded curtains, and start a private dance. The darkness took away from the view of the perfect cup of coffee, and beautiful plated food.

The Food

I brushed my negative vision, and we ordered the food. There pancakes are huge, and delicious. When the food arrives happiness feels the table and everything looks perfect. Seconds later my sister starts questioning her food, and has an unsatisfied expression. My boys start gagging, and spitting out their food. No one likes what they ordered, I begging to feel disappointed, sad, and confused. What was supposed to be a relaxed breakfast, becomes an uncomfortable experience. The domino effect is what I call it. I asked the waiter for boxes to go, and left with everything we ordered. Lunch and dinner for myself were on hand. On their defense I didn’t read what was inside there hamburger. Sweet onions were the culprits of the perfect outcome. The excitement of being in my favorite restaurant overpowered my judgement, and the focus towards everyone else’s needs.

The Beach

We arrived to Santa Monica beach, and joy filled our souls. My sister and I smile, and enjoyed the rest of the day. It was the best four hours of the day, and the week. Watching my boys playing in the sand took me back in time. They were smaller and less complicated. Now they have different likes, needs, and harder to please, but I love them more than ever.

No Money

As we begin to pack to walk through the peer. I realize that I had lost my card. All the confusion starts creeping in, and at that point I give up. Deciding to make the best out of the outcome, we walk through the mall. We leave the beach and head to the hotel in hopes that the receptionist makes it easy for me, and not decline my stay due to no visible card. The receptionist was really nice, and provably seeing my tired expression decides to be extra kind. Kindness does go a long way, because for a second she gave me hope and filled my heart with gratitude.

The Stay

Finally a bed to rest, and kids smiling again. My boys love hotels, as do I. It’s like momentary fantasy, where we forget about the everyday routine. A place to imagine new beginnings and dream again. I sit on the bed grab my left overs, and start enjoying my pancake called (Golden Ticket) one of my favorite on the menu. The day ends, and we wait for a new day. Waking up refreshed I finish my morning workout, and headed to the room. I decide to make it extra special for the boys. I come through the room  announcing that were going to the swimming pool. It was 8:30 am, but not one single complain. Excited and rushing to get their swim gear, we headed to the pool. Didn’t just watch them swim like they expected. I jumped inside, and I saw my oldest son’s eyes sparkle with excitement, and approval.

At Peace

The drive back home was peaceful. We ate at my boys favorite barbecue place. My sister has never been there, but she loved it. Everyone was more relaxed, and I realized that even though things never go as planned. I’m grateful for every experience, and seeing the people that I love happy is my main priority.

 

 

 

Why do I keep challenging myself

“No” I’m not going, I’m going to wait here until you guys come back. As I see one by one of my friends crossing to he other side of the hill. There was six of us hiking Ho Chi Minh Trail.  Two of my friends coincided with me, and stated that they were scared, and that the cross over was dangerous. secretly I felt relieved, because I didn’t feel alone in my fear. But my masked confidence started disappearing when I saw my only two hopes crossing over the hill. I felt alone and upset that if I didn’t cross I was going to be looked at as a wimp, or even worse weak.

I worked up the courage to cross over as everyone scolded me to do it. The only male we had in our group encouraged me to cross, and that he would guide me, and instruct me the best way to cross without the possibility of me dying. I’m being a little dramatic as I look back and smile at my adventure. As I slowly made every step to reach safety with the help, and encouragement from my new friend. I finally felt safe and accomplished. With excitement , and feeling grateful for the helping hand. I shouted to his wife “hold on to this guy and don’t let him go, his an amazing guy”.

As we kept going to reach the top of the mountain I kept on hoping that it wouldn’t get challenging. My wishes were vanished immediately. I soon realized that the most challenging part was not the beginning, but the finishing of the trail. It’s almost embarrassing to write about this part,DSC_0517 (3) but here I go “what I’m doing here, oh my god I’m going to die, I have two kids this is the most unintelligent move I have made, I’m not going to make it, what if I let go” the immense negative self talk was overpowering my whole body and mind. I froze for a second, and stopped, I needed to pull myself together.

I needed to change my inner dialogue. I steadied myself and focused on envisioning my move to safety. I told myself “I can do this, I can do this” and instantly I felt strong, and brave. The frail physical energy disappeared.

Three of us made it to the end, but three of my friends stayed behind. I watched from the bottom, and hoping that they made it to safety soon. The married couple kept on telling me that I made it. She told me that this hike was a hard hike. I asked her what do you mean? As she googled I saw the levels of some of the hikes from easy, medium, to hard. I was relieved to know that I made it to safety knowing this little part of information at the end. We all made it through, and happy cheers displayed throughout the celebration of our accomplishment.

Call me crazy, but I looking forward to more frightening adventures. I learned the importance of teamwork, friendship, and the power of self talk.

 

How I stay productive and consistent

Early morning routine

Alarm clock? never needed one. I have always been excited to know what the next day will bring. I wake up at 4 am every morning. I don’t contemplate the negative self talk or the what if’s. I write down my day from start to finish. Depending on the day my routine will slightly change.

Morning workout

The best workouts are in the morning for some of us. Starting the day with a type of cardio and variation of weights. Will help boost the good mood endorphins. The pros of morning workouts are that you get an empty gym. People seem friendly, and love to talk. The best conversations and connections have transpired on my morning workouts.

State of Mind

Focusing in the present moment is important. Becoming aware of your movements, touch, smell, and focusing on positive self talk. Imagine a positive day and how you want start and end.

Breakfast and Coffee or Tea

Your choice, but I love them both. Matcha tea has many health benefits and taste delicious. Breakfast is as important and healthy choices are encourage. I love sweets. and love is an understatement. I went from having a big piece of chocolate from the chocolate factory, or a piece of chocolate cake and never the recommended portion. My motto was the bigger the better. This was my breakfast for years. But as I got older I knew my habits had to change due to lack of focus, and energy levels. It can take weeks to develop a habit too a new diet, for some it may take a little longer. If consistent with healthy choices without breaking the rules. Your brain almost craves the healthy foods.

Productive morning productive day

Starting your day right will set the tone of day a head. Every day brings something new and staying aware and focused is important. Not rushing, and taking the time to breath can bring many benefits to the body and mind.

 

 

 

 

Balancing the “NO”

Like the saying goes “just do it, or you only live once” I’m told many times. Either my maturity level has finally caught up, or my priorities have changed. I have become a home body, sleeping early, waking up early for my morning run. Sipping on my morning coffee and enjoying the calmness of my home. I forget that a social life is needed at times.

I have no hesitation saying “No” to any upcoming event’s but feel guilty at times. I don’t miss the hangovers, midnight greasy hamburgers, or sleeping in on Sunday. I’ve realized that I have to balance my social life in so many levels. What use to be easy, is not as easy as I thought. I have realized that saying “No” sometimes comes at a cost. I have lost friends and close family. I will definitely take full responsibility for the outcome of my current abandoned social life. But I will not apologize.

I have realized with time that sometimes it’s good to put myself out there. I live in a very small city where everyone is very much alike. It almost feels like we all talk the same, love the same, and live the same.  Little did I know that the world is a big place and the possibilities are endless.

I started taking small vacations. I’ve met interesting people, and I love when I meet people with different accents, different cultures, and different ways of thinking. I feel like a young girl learning something new. I find big cities interesting, full of life, and a rush of excitement creeps through every part of my body. I become hopeful and alive.

I look forward to my everyday routine, but mostly I can’t wait for my next adventure. Waking up to a different view, and sipping on my morning coffee in another part of the world. Maybe what I was saying “No” was too my old life, and yearning for a new life.

 

 

 

 

Second Chance

I’ve been divorced for two years. It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that I wanted out of my marriage, but I was too afraid to let him go. I will never know if it will ever feel normal to be single, since I was in this relationship for fourteen years. But if I look back, I married for all the wrong reasons. Since I can remember I’ve always been a dreamer, and adventure drives my soul. He was the total opposite of what I was. But at the time it seemed like the right thing to do, and got married.

What I didn’t realize is how many people were invested in my marriage, and the negative impact it would cause to divorce. My family and friends made it clear how angry they were with my decision. I would get random visits to convince me that I was making a huge mistake. I was already feeling scared, and doubt was something that kept lurking throughout my challenging days. All the advice and why I should remain married to my ex-husband only reinforced the conclusion that I was making a mistake. At times I wanted to run back to him so he could make me feel safe again. My little circle loved him so much, because he was a really good man. My mother would cry, and beg me to get back with him. She told me I would regret it someday, and that my children would suffer. My mother voiced her opinion loud, and clear when she told me that I would end up alone, and that I would never find a good man. I love my mother, but I had to speak up, and I clearly remember yelling “if his such a good man and you love him so much, why don’t you marry him”. I can still see her shocked expression in disbelief, and hurt. I just didn’t know how to quiet everyone around me.

I have learned so much and I do understand all the concerns, and advice. Is it easy? the answer will have to be “NO”. I worry about how this affected my two beautiful boys. Their adjusting to my decision, and my children have also voiced loud and clear how unhappy they are with the change. “It’s your fault daddy left”. Will I ever be able to repair their broken hearts? I ask myself this everyday.

My second chance starts since I made the choice to start over regardless of all the obstacles that came, and continue to come my way. I’ve learned how to not take things to personal, and that everything is a learning experience. I see the good even in the worst.  I smile when I write my last paragraph, because I have learned to find my voice. I’m learning to love myself, how to cherish every day. Most important I’m learning how to be a better mom, sister, daughter, friend.