Taking Care of You

Today’s lesson is about taking time and finding your inner you. Sometimes the best place to start is the outside, I feel like while this may imagecome off as being a shallow route to take, that  perhaps defining your surroundings helps you gain confidence as you change the inner things. As you surround yourself with a new environment, you’re going to subconsciously take notice of a happier you.

I remember shortly after a life changing event I went and found my first pair of “triple digit” shoes. Spending more wasn’t the key. It was “treating” myself to something. Allowing myself to enjoy an object that fed my inner fashionista. I still have those shoes, and every time I put them on, I’m reminded of where I was, and how far I’ve come. When I wore them at first, they felt extravagant, almost a bit “too much” for me to have. But as I wore them, I owned myself a little more. Silly coming from a pair of shoes isn’t it? It makes me feel a little “flaky”. Perhaps it is.

But at the time, I wasn’t ready to change everything, I didn’t want to give up what I had known for so long. Those shoes made me realize, even albeit a small bit, that I deserved something better.

My next changes came at home. Finding my style. Not my mom’s style (which is classy in it’s own right) Not my friend’s style. Not even, gasp, Martha Stewart’s style. (sorry Martha, love you!) I found me. What I enjoy. How to reflect my interests through my home. I consider that the place to really express myself. As I found new objects to replace things, I realized several items had been hidden away, that I loved, but didn’t use because they “didn’t fit”. I’ve found these things now to be my inspiration for the environment I live in. I found color again, and so what if it is a bit loud. I can sit in my den beneath what will be a very mod atmosphere, bury myself in a blanket, snuggle up and watch great movies in a great space. I will look at the objects around me as memories and reminders of places that I’ve been, or as goals I’m going to achieve and enjoy my area more.

My wedding. I always think of that line from Steel Magnolias. “My Reception! My Reception! Ferns, dancing, tons of people! Every
pink flower west of the Mississippi.”….
I don’t want pink flowers I’m relatively sure. I’m not engaged to be married, but it’s not like I don’t have the dream of every 12 year old girl. Having been through one, I understand what I would have changed. I know what I want the 2nd time around, I know that it’s still a party, and I’m realistic about not being a Bridezilla. But this I know is true, I want it to be a very special event, with special moments and details and the lack of arguments, and nothing but bliss. I want the type of day that I’ll remember forever. I think that moment is a pretty big stepping off moment, it can be done simply, but well, and can include just about anything you want – not what tradition imposes. I’ve planned them, I’ve thought about it again. I just need to find someone who loves me like that.

Speaking of being loved, enter Ralph. I have a puppy dog that is relatively fabulous. A little over a year ago, I was “mama” to a wonderful Oliver. Unfortunately we found him passed away when he’d runaway and gotten hit by a car. My heart still sinks to think about it. I cannot imagine the loss of a child. Ralph came into my life soon after and I’ve been in love since. He’s bouncy, he’s fun, he takes good road trips. He snuggles when he knows I’m sad. He eats wasabi peas. I can’t complain. I think pets help us hone our parenting skills. Dogs can’t talk, but they do communicate, and understanding that is important. I don’t contend that I”m the best pet owner, but I love my dog, and do what I can to keep him happy.

Finally, my last passion, and the first blog that I had created to start this site….food. I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 80 lbs over the last three years. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to cook. I believe strongly that you invite people to your table, feed them, break bread (literally) and find a type of peace much like making family. I feel like this is a bonding place for people, a place to share new ideas, to find a bit of who you are. Indulge in a good cheesecake. Find happiness in a good salad. Practice restraint, immerse a bit in luxury.

I’m my grandmother’s girl. My mother was a one pot lady. I’ve grown up on them and additionally cooks on TV, magazines, old cookbooks that my mom had around. I remember reading about 1950s table manners and how to fold a napkin when I was a kid. I want to make everyone feel special, thought of, regarded even, as they enter my “zone”. I’d feed the world if I could. I often think I want to open my own cafe. Pipedreams, I’m sure.

But these pipedreams, all of them, have taught me to listen to myself. Indulge a bit in life. Take the plunge. It’s silly to think that clothes and a new lamp or even a fabulous wedding cocktail will do that. But why can’t they? Isn’t not about the “stuff” that they are, it’s about creating a feeling, an environment around you, that allows you to enjoy life a little more. My friend Jeffrey Ross says “the tools for life’s enjoyment”….amen.

Enjoy the day, find something to smile at!

LA of LAA

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