2013 in a Nutshell

Listen, I’m all for change. In fact, I LOVE change. It might even be an addiction of mine. But this year, I’ve had quite enough change, thank you very much.
It all started with a little (BIG) move to Colorado. This also came with living off of just my income. Then Cory got his first sales job (that he absolutely hated). In the spring I launched a little freelance business, which caused quite the (unexpected) commotion. Okay. Then Cory got a better sales job (that he really likes). And then I decided to leave the job that we had moved to Colorado for, because I accepted another one. And then that other one didn’t turn out to be all that it was cracked up to be, so I left that job too. Back to one income.
Thankfully, this crazy year of change has a good ending. I literally stumbled into a job that I love. A job that I had been hoping for since college. A job that I had almost forgotten about/given up on because of one thing or another.
Oh, and then we moved again (to another apartment). 
Whew. So that was 2013 for me. 
I wish my accountant good luck.

As for me, I feel like I can finally breathe. And I’m ready for 2014. In which we plan to make very few life changes. 

Can I get an Amen?

The Perfect Life

Ever feel like you will “be happy” once you attain a certain goal? Whether that be getting married, losing weight, making more money, whatever. I believe that many of us think this way. For me, it was always, “When we move out of Kansas” or “when Cory gets weekends off and we can spend more time together”.

Oh, the elusive “perfect life.”

Those two things have both happened over the last year and while they have both been extremely fulfilling, our life is still not “perfect.” Don’t get me wrong, I truly love my life, I’ve just begun to let go of the illusion of perfection.

What I’ve been realizing is that no one has a perfect life. Sure, it may look flawless on the outside, but underneath the surface there is stuff that we can’t see.

This year has been full of highs and lows for us. It’s been rewarding, scary, amazing and confusing. For me, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and asking myself questions like, “What am I here for?” and “What I am meant to do with this life that I’ve been given?”

I’ve learned that sometimes the best laid plans don’t always fulfill you like you thought they would. And that life is not meant to be planned out meticulously, but it is to be appreciated, savored and lived. There is a lesson in each situation and it’s our job to figure out what that is, while keeping ourselves open to unknown opportunities to come.

So the conclusion I’ve come to? Life is messy and it is beautiful. Most importantly, life is what we make it. We can choose to be joyful and thankful, whether we are in a palace or a prison. Our happiness in life is truly up to each one of us. And life is perfectly imperfect, just the way it is.

MIA

How can four weeks just fly by, but also feel like a lifetime? Although I mentioned my self-imposed blogging break on A Life with Luster’s Facebook Page, and although I needed it, I still feel panicky about being gone for so long. So much has transpired….

First of all, we made our third trip of the year back to Kansas. It was really wonderful to see so many of our loved ones. It was also a bit hectic, trying to stuff everything into 2.5 days.

It was so hectic, in fact, that I got sick. : ( But on the positive side, right around the same time I learned that The Social Avenue had secured it’s first client contract! : )

Fast forward four days and Cory & I are in Washington for Labor Day Weekend. I totally fell in love with the lush, green coast. It was hard not to when we woke up to this view each morning. I would take my coffee outside and read – the weather was perfect (mid-60’s to 70’s) and the air was fresh with that salt water smell. Ahhh…more on that later.

In between all of that, I’ve been to Pure Barre about 12 times, finally caught up on laundry & got our place back in shape, spent some quality time with our friends and our pups, got into a groove at work and with managing my first client. Now I’m looking forward to life slowing down for the remainder of the year.

For once, we have no out of state travel plans on the horizon (minus a trip home to Kansas for Thanksgiving). We are, however, expecting not one, but TWO guests this fall and potentially moving places. Other than that, it looks to be a quiet little fall for us.

Have a great week! 

Choosing Positivity

Over the past, I don’t know, five years or so I’ve really put work into trying to be a more positive person. You see, I tend to get real negative, real quick if I don’t watch myself. 
*Side Note: I believe this is mostly due to the male role models I had growing up, which is why I believe it is SO IMPORTANT to practice and preach positivity around and to children. End Side Note*
Knowing that is my natural tendency, I try to remind myself to find the positive in each situation and person I encounter. I’m always searching for “the lesson” behind the things that happen in my life.
Even though I’ve made a habit of this, some days it just comes easier than others. For instance, Fridays. Those are usually the days where it is easy to live life light-hearted and laugh off issues. Tuesdays, for example, not so much. On days that are a little harder, I allow myself to be easily offended and absorbed by my massive problems (you know, the ones that by Friday are no more than a little pebble on the beach of life).
So what would happen if I constantly CHOSE to be positive. 
Work issue? A lesson for the future!  
Rude comment from a family member? Haha – that sounds like your problem, not mine!
Running late for cycle? Making a grand entrance!
Yes, these are little things, but when we take them to a negative place we tend to blow them up and then they may even consume our whole day. So why not chose to make life a little easier on ourselves and attempt to stay positive, at all costs?
PS – I’m writing this on a Friday, so check in with me to see how it’s going on Tuesday. : )
Happy Weekend!

Being in the Moment

Sometimes it breaks my heart to think about all of the moments in life that I have let slip through my fingers. All of those precious, special moments that I could have been taking in, living and enjoying with the people that I love. The moments when I could have chosen to see the positive and ignore whatever drama of the moment that life had placed upon me. 
But of course, there is nothing I can do about those lost moments. Instead I can only make a promise to myself that I will try my hardest to live in each moment for the rest of my life. Which is what I’ve done, time & time again.

Living in the moment is so peaceful and so fulfilling, but it is rarely easy. What’s easier (at least for me) is to let my mind get carried away. But it’s always worth it to recommit myself to the promise of living in the moment, because that’s really the only place we have any business being. 

And everywhere I turn lately, I’m getting the same message: Stop working and reworking all of the plans you have for the future in your head. Be present in the moment and don’t miss the things that are happening right now. The moments in front of you are provide all of the things that you need to get you to the future you.

Now, I don’t propose to throw the planning out of the window, but do we really need to plan every detail of our path? I mean, can we? Let’s face it, life happens when we are making plans. Life sometimes takes us places we never imagined we would go…if only we will let it.