2020 could easily go down as the year we would never recommend or the year everything fell apart by May or the year we just want to go away. It certainly hasn’t given us a lot to look forward to because every time we speak about anything with excitement these days, we follow it up with a, “We’ll see…” I don’t know about you, but that kind of thinking leaves me down in the dumps for way too long and this girl was never meant to be kept down like that. I’m more of a “make my husband cringe every time I say ‘so I have this idea’” kind of busy body. Needless to say, quarantine was hard for me. But somewhere along the way I started trying a few new things that I absolutely loved because, why not? And because I would rather some good come out of this bad situation.
So, here are some new things that have recently come into my life that I love:
1. Needle Felting
Ever need something to quiet your mind? My friend Allison Swanner introduced me to something I knew absolutely nothing about. You basically take a piece of felt, spread some wool on it and stab it with a needle over and over again to form the shape you are trying to create. You need a foam pad to put the felt on and you can go to town. If you look up 2-D needle felt designs on Pinterest, you can get some inspiration. That’s where I found the bee I decided to create and this was the very first thing I attempted. It’s really fun for a Girls’ Night because it is so easy to talk and laugh and drink some wine while you do it. Allison also let me know this is something her seven-year-old daughter does all the time and once I got a starter kit for my daughter, I truly wondered where this had been for my whole quarantine life!
Let’s just say 40 is around the corner for me and no matter how often I work out or how regimented I try to be about food, I am pretty sure I will always have some areas of cellulite that I just don’t love. But I started putting collagen powder in my coffee every morning and I can say I have seen a difference. It’s not a miracle worker, but I can’t taste it at all in my coffee so it really doesn’t feel like I’m doing much at all. And that feels like a huge win! I ordered it from Amazon, but I’m sure there are other places you can find it as well.
Need to get out and break the monotony? My son and I sure did, so one day we decided to try a ropes course. Ijams has mask requirements and gloves for when you are close to other people which is when they are putting you in your harness, but then you get to step into the great outdoors. When we went there seemed to be a lot of people going up at the same time, but once we learned the procedures of connecting to the different paths we could go down, we never saw anyone else! I got to have an amazing bonding time with my son while being outside trying something new. Finding something that just he and I can do together is sometimes a challenge, but this was the perfect adventure. I felt completely safe up in the trees and he eventually did too. He asks daily when we can go back and do this again.
I try to eat a little healthier than I used to (“try” being the key word there), but man, my sweet tooth rules over everything else more often than I care to admit. But the brownie Kodiak Cakes are actually packed with protein and they taste like brownies. And instead of whipping up a whole pan and proceeding to eat half of it in one night (after licking the bowl), this satisfies my craving in the right way. And yes, I do scoop some vanilla ice cream into the bowl on occasion too and it is heaven. Did I mention that they donate a part of every purchase to foundations that protect grizzly bear habitats around the country? While you’re at it, go ahead and try some of the Flapjack ones too. Yum!
I recently bought my first pair of NoBull Shoes. I truthfully bought them because they were bright and colorful and they looked fun. But in finding them, I read a little more about the company that sells them. NOBULL is a footwear, apparel and accessory brand for people who train hard and don’t believe in excuses. Every time I see that little logo reminder on my shoes, I’m reminded to keep going, and there is no better year for that than 2020. I could make every excuse right now to not show up and exercise. I’m a small business owner trying to stay afloat with two school aged kids who need me more than ever. But I show up for me so I can show up for them. And being a person who doesn’t make excuses may always be a journey I’m on, but isn’t the effort worth it anyway?
No, this is nothing mind blowing or new, but flossing is hard you guys. Or at least it is for me. It’s not something I have ever really committed to for more than a few days. But I recently read an article about how avoiding gum disease can help against the fight you may face if you are diagnosed with Covid-19. I’ll admit that I may never be good at flossing when it’s one more thing I have to do, but I keep these picks at my home office desk and in my car so that I have them handy when there is time during the day. It’s better than nothing, right? Here’s the article if you would like to read it.
At night, when my kids are all tucked in bed and I know that they are all safe and sound, I put away my phone. I turn on some mindless television (Schitt’s Creek anyone?) and work a puzzle instead of scrolling Facebook or Instagram because those places are just full of hate at the moment, which is the last thing I need on my mind right before I go to sleep. It is so freeing! Trying to just be is helping my anxiety levels in many ways! I’ve never done so many puzzles in my life, but I enjoy it so much right now.
If you’re like me, you have found that there is a lot to be mad or sad or angry about right now. There is so much that I hate right now. I hate all the things that have been cancelled. I hate that there’s no good option for what to do for our kids right now. I hate that I have no idea how I actually feel about most of this because information is so convoluted and distorted. I hate the noise and the fighting and the bitterness and all the pain.