You Don’t Need Permission From Anyone (Besides Yourself) To Grieve

Give yourself permission to grieve the loss you feel. You don’t need permission from anyone (besides yourself) to grieve. Do you look for permission to feel sadness? Maybe you don’t even know you’re doing it. I didn’t, until this past Friday.

A few glasses of wine, one frozen pizza, a number of tears, and one Disney themed Kinkade puzzle sesh with the Hubs was my most recent Friday night. It could’ve been an episode on a YouTube channel called #Thisis30 because the conversation was DEEP.

My Mom had called me that morning to tell me she just put Kasey down (our second family pet to pass within the last 6 weeks) and had to talk to someone because she couldn’t tell my siblings yet based off how hard they took Kristy’s sudden passing a few weeks prior.

Now, it could’ve been the wine that helped open the floodgates or it could’ve been all the throwback photos of Kasey my Pops was sending me (or both) that did me in, but nonetheless, the tears poured out while looking for puzzle pieces which resembled the seven dwarves and a Hubs repeatedly reminding me my emotions were valid.

Why didn’t I think what I was feeling was valid? Well, the short answer? Because both of my parents have gone on about how both losses have affected them and my siblings, but not once have asked me how I was handling the news. So…if they haven’t asked me then that must mean I shouldn’t be affected because I live far away and haven’t seen her for a number of years, right?

I beat myself up because I’m sad but don’t feel like it’s justified because if my parents don’t think to ask me how I’m doing then I must be fine and I’m just being dramatic or looking for attention, which is an awful trait to possess and now I’m down the rabbit hole of how awful of a person I am.

It’s exhausting to fight with yourself as hard as I fight with myself, for real.

The real question is why do I need permission from my folks in order to feel justified about grieving my pet? Yes, it’s pretty shitty of them to exclude me from the ‘family grieving’ process but the bottom line is, I don’t need their permission. I give myself permission to give an outward expression to the internal anguish I am feeling.

Did you know that grief is the natural result of love? When we love we open ourselves up to the grief that will come because death is part of life. It’s as natural as a reaction as sneezing when your nose itches or sleeping when you’re tired.

I am sad because Kasey was a part of my life for almost a decade and I loved her, too.

So I won’t feel guilty for being upset. I may not have been around her every day for the last seven years but this isn’t a pissing contest, there aren’t rules to dictate when you may or may not grieve.

Maybe my tears that night were a mixture of grief for my old pet and a lack of with my parents.

There are a number of suggestions on how to celebrate your pet after he/she has passed and one was to plant a tree, scatter some of the ashes in the dirt or place a decorative stepping stone with their name at the base of the tree.

Another suggestion was to share a blog post and some of your favorite photos…

Kasey was an adorable pup who enjoyed carrying your shoe or sock around the house. She didn’t enjoy the hardwood floors and would stick to walking from rug to rug to avoid the hardwood. She slept under my Dad’s coffee table for almost 17 years.

I think what also stings is that I was so close to seeing both dogs again and now I never will. I have a flight in April to come visit and now the house I remember won’t exactly be the same with one German Shepard and one Golden Lab roaming around. I don’t have many familiar people, places, or things, because of all the moving and shuffling so when I do have some sort of comfort with familiarity I tend to hold on to those few and those dogs were my something familiar at home.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear. (1).png

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Come be my friend on Instagram. I launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here

ps: thanks to this article for giving me some lingo.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Happiness?

Kinda feels like I asked you about String Theory, right? It’s a vague question with no real answer because the truth to this question is different for each person reading this sentence. So how do you even begin to answer it?

Typically I’d blow past this question without giving it much thought because this feels like heavy emotion and homie don’t waste time thinking about emotional crap. Except now my bookshelf is filled with true stories of triumph and self-help, growth and empowerment books, so…here we go. What is happiness to you?

“Happiness is many things to many people. It can be lots of small pleasures, a general feeling of contentment or that moment when your heart soars.” The Little Book of Happiness pg.5

Happiness for me feels complicated because even when I go to answer the question, I don’t trust my answer. So I asked my husband, to stall, of course. What is happiness to you? You feel happy when… “I feel happy when…I’m watching a sunset at the beach,” he said.

My natural response to this question is, “I’m happy to have money in the bank to pay the bills and be in a place where I’m not as poor as I once was three, five, ten, and fifteen years ago.” But does making money make me happy? Not really, I could live with way less because I have. Money doesn’t make me happy, it makes me feel secure, which is comforting, but happy? I don’t know.

When I go to fill in my own, “I feel happy when…” the images that pop up in my head do hold emotion and that shit is uncomfortable. For example, I feel happy when…:

  • Reading a good book in a quiet room, snuggled between a puffy white comforter or blanket
  • Playing Rummy with my Hubs on our couch’s ottoman
  • Getting caught in the rain while running with my pups
  • Cooking a good meal for those who appreciate it
  • Any one-on-one time with my Hubs, actually
  • I love new: traveling to a new place, hiking a new trail, or learning something new always makes me happy

Hmm, maybe I’m the ‘lots of small pleasures’ person listed above. And actually, that makes sense, I’m a moment to moment person which is cool to know and acknowledge. This wasn’t too painful of an exercise except for the trying to feel what my happiness is…LOL.

***For the record, please insert 10-15 minutes of quiet time in between each of these paragraphs if you’d like to get the FULL experience of what it was like to write this thing.

Now, take the time to answer the question for yourself. What is happiness to you? You feel happy when____ .

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.

Join my new magic friendship portal (a.k.a email list but that sounds boring) if you’d like to be my virtual penpal. You’re guaranteed good eats, embarrassing truths and a few more takeaways from your friend Ramblin. Sign up here.


Come be my friend on Instagram. I  just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here

Everything Will Be Okay, It Could’ve Been Worse

“Everything will be okay,” and, “It could’ve been worse,” are two of the most deaf-toned responses to someone who has suffered a loss, survived a traumatic experience, or in the midst of a difficult time. What these two phrases do is actually dismiss any of the emotions the person suffering are experiencing.

About three weeks ago my husband was involved in a gnarly accident. A driver decided at the last minute he/she didn’t want to exit and slammed over into my husband’s lane, which fishtailed his truck up an embankment, flipped, and then rolled back down to the freeway exit. The driver who hit him never stopped.

His collarbone is fractured and hasn’t been able to return to work since the accident and won’t be able to for another couple of weeks, at least. It’s been difficult. The Hubs can’t lift his arm up, he’s in pain, he can’t work or do simple things like taking out the trash because it requires two hands to lift the lid and pull.

The air in our apartment is tense at most times because we’re both a little frustrated we don’t know what we didn’t know and we couldn’t know unless we’d experienced it prior. You think you’ve asked all the right questions but if you’re going in blind there’s no real way to know, until you’ve figured it out, which is frustrating and confusing. It’s been one big crash course in health and auto insurance.

It’s frustrating that some faceless no-name driver who caused this pain in our life, won’t be held accountable, because they simply chickened out and left the scene. How does that person even sleep at night? They don’t even know if he survived. Ugh, makes me rage.

Add the holiday season to the mix and currently, in the midst of moving apartments, “you’re going to have a bad time,” as that ski instructor on South Park once noted.

It’s been difficult. I’m grateful I got the phone call I did that night because I understand it could’ve been an entirely different situation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel frustrated and angry, or tired and upset just because it wasn’t a lot worse.

Two things have surprised me throughout this entire experience. One being how defensive I got when random people noticed my husband’s sling and asked what happened. Mind ya business. Two is how people respond after THEY’VE asked the question.

So how is he doing? Well, he’s in a lot of pain. We’re trying to do our best to keep his movements limited. Yeah? He’s SO lucky it wasn’t any worse.

How are you (me) holding up throughout all of this? It’s kinda sucky. He’s frustrated about constantly asking me for help and I’m frustrated about reminding him to ask for help so he doesn’t further injure it. Everything’s going to be okay. 

Was he able to return to work? No, the doctor wouldn’t clear him because he can’t lift his arm above his head. We’re a little stressed about an extra three weeks off. It could’ve been a lot worse, work won’t let him go. 

Over and over again the same thing, he’s so lucky it wasn’t worse, everything is going to be okay, it could’ve been way worse, over and over and over again. For the record, you don’t know if it’s going to be okay or not, nobody has a crystal ball they can look into and see that in fact everything will be okay. So. Hush it.

I’m a little surprised about how frustrated it made me, like why ask the question if you don’t want the truth? How come when we answer with the truth about our pain and discomfort it makes YOU so uncomfortable you fumble for a response? What if you just said nothing and sat in the suck with us for a moment?

I remember the friends who didn’t try to pull out some positive remarks to help “remind me of the bright side,” or try to give me some crap about life’s lessons. It meant more to me when their response was, “This sucks, I’m sorry. What can I do?”  Even if the answer was nothing, the simple acknowledgment of the suckiness made it feel less sucky, because it does suck and that’s okay.

 

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.

Join my new magic friendship portal (a.k.a email list but that sounds boring) if you’d like to be my virtual penpal. You’re guaranteed good eats, embarrassing truths and a few more takeaways from your friend Ramblin. Sign up here. 


Come be my friend on Instagram. I  just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here

Bakeathon 2018 Recipes

Yesterday was the fourth annual Christmas Bakethon hosted at my MIL’s. She and I started this tradition the first Christmas I lived in California and every year we’ve made it a bigger and bigger deal.

In honor of my husband’s Grandpa Roy, we chose only Chevron recipes out of his 1970s field manual (plus a few of our own favorites). After this year’s Bakeathon with a total of 641 flipping cookies later. This is what we’ve got.

1. Pecan Bars
2. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin
3. Magic Bar Cookies
4. Persimmon Cookies
5. Sugar Crisps
6. Crunch Drops
7. Nut Butter Balls
8. Peanut Butter Cookies
9. Date Pinwheel Cookies
10. Brown Butter Cookies
11. Chocolate Crinkle
12. Scotch Shortbread
13. Peanut Butter Kisses
14. Snowball Cookies
15. Muffin Tops because the Seinfeld jokes will never end and the MIL has a muffin top only pans.

Anyways, I’ve gotten a few requests for the recipes so I wanted to share them here.

Crunch Drops – 2c. sifted flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2tsp. salt, 1c shortening, 1c. brown sugar, 1c. granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 1tsp. vanilla, 2c. oatmeal, 2c. rise crispy cereal, 1c. shredded coconut.

Sift flour, salt, and soda together. Cream shortening until fluffy.  – Add sugar gradually, add eggs one at a time, beat well. – Stir in flour and vanilla. Add in other ingredients and mix well. – Bake 12 – 15 minutes, oven 350 degrees. (My father-in-law thinks adding raisins would be good)

Nut Butter Balls – 1c. butter or margarine, 1/2c. granulated sugar or confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1tsp. almond extract (can sub. 2tsp. vanilla), 2c. sifted flour, 1-2c. chopped nuts.

Mix butter with sugar until very light and fluffy. Add salt, extract, flour, nuts, mix well. Refrigerate until easy to handle shape dough into 1-inch balls or 1×2 crescents. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. While cookies are warm, roll in granulated or confectioner sugar, fine cookie crumbs or cinnamon sugar. 

Date Pin-Wheel Cookies – 2c. brown sugar, 1c. shortening, 2 eggs, 4 c. flour, 1tsp.baking soda, 1tsp. nutmeg, 1tsp. cinnamon, 7oz. dates, 1/2c. water, 1c. sugar.

Cream brown sugar and shortening together, add the 2 eggs. – Sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. – boil water, sugar, and dates until it’s pudding consistency. Roll into 2-inch rolls to resemble jelly roll. Put in freezer. SLice frozen and bake at 375-degrees for 15 minutes.

Pecan Bars –  1 yellow cake mix, 1/2c. butter, melted, 1 egg, 1c. chopped pecans.

Measure out 2/3cup of cake mix and save for filling. Combine remainder of cake mix, butter, and egg; mix until crumbly. Press into greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 50 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Spread filling* over this while it is hot. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until it is set. *filling 2/3c. reserved mix, 1/2c. brown sugar, 1-1/2c. dark corn syrup, 1tsp. vanilla, 3 eggs. Combine and beat for 1-2 minutes. 

Persimmon Cookies – 1/2c. margarine, 1/2c. granulated sugar, 1/2c. brown sugar, 1 egg, pulp from one very ripe persimmon, 1c. flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2tsp. salt, 1/2tsp. cinnamon, 1/4tsp. nutmeg, 1-1/2c. oatmeal, 1/2c. nuts.

Cream margarine and sugars together. Add egg and persimmon pulp. Sift flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together and then add gradually to other mixture. Beat until well blended and then add oatmeal and nuts. Drop by teaspoonsful on oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes. 

Sugar Crisps – 1 cake yeast, 1/4c. lukewarm water, 3 1/2c. sifted flour, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2c. butter, 1/2c. shortening, 2 beaten eggs, 1/2c. sour cream, 3tsp. vanilla, 1 1/2 cups sugar.

Sofen yeast in water. sift flour with salt; cut in butter and shortening. Blend in eggs, sour cream, 1 tsp. of vanilla, softened yeast. Mix well. Cover; chill at least 2 hours. Mix sugar and remaining vanilla. Sprinkle board with about 1/2 cup of mixture. Roll out half of the dough to a 16 x 8-inch rectangle, sprinkle with 1tsp. vanilla. Fold one end of dough over the center. Fold opposite and over to make three layers. Turn 1/4 way round and repeat rolling and folding twice, sprinkling board with additional vanilla sugar as needed. Roll out about 1.4 inches thick. Cut into 4×1 strips; twist each strip 2 or 3 times. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Repeat entire process with remaining dough. Bake in moderate oven 375 for 15-20 minutes. 

Magic Cookie Bars – 1/2c. butter or margarine, melted, 1-1/2c. graham cracker crumbs, 1c. chopped nuts, 1c. chocolate pieces, 1-1/3c. flaked coconut, 1 can sweetened condensed milk.

Pour melted butter or margarine onto the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over melted butter. Sprinkle nuts evenly over crumbs. Scatter chocolate pieces over nuts. Sprinkle coconut evenly over chocolate chips. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over coconut. Bake at 350 for 25-minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool for 15 before cutting into squares. 

If you bake any of these, show me your bakes! Take a picutre and tag (@sjrandol) me on Instagram.


Come be my friend on Instagram, I’m on Facebook but I think I play better on IG, lol. I also just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here.  

Someone Like You – The One With Dj

It’s Friday, which means another episode of Someone Like You is ready for download. This week is The One With Dj and we meet a young man who has been to hell and back, back again and got back on the wagon.

I’m glad you’re here, especially those who have stuck with me these last three months and have fared my nervous laughter and questionable audio. I appreciate you all SO much. And for those of you who might be new, my name is Shannon and I’m the voice who narrates this show. Someone Like You is about putting a face to the homeless and answering these three questions: Who are the homeless? How did they become homeless? How do we end homelessness?

For the last few months we have been able to meet a new voice who shares their story of survival ever other Friday, and today is a little bittersweet because my guest today is the last interview I have to share for the year. But don’t worry! I’ll be working on getting more interviews next year so I will be back for season 2. Follow me on Instagram @sjrandol to know the second season two airs.

Dj grew up in Highland Park, spent some time in Hollywood and now lives in a sweet apartment next to Staples Center.

He’s working at Trader Joe’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond, AND has prime physical custody of his 18-month old son. He spends his free time getting his little guy familiar with sports and prepping him for pre-school/daycare.

There are nearly 6,000 homeless youth searching for a safe place to sleep each night in the city of Los Angeles and 4.2 million young people will experience a form of homelessness within the next year.

Meet Dj.


Come be my friend on Instagram, I’m on Facebook but I think I play better on IG, lol. I also just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here.  

Glee, Cyndi Lauper, Tears & Why

I found my Glee soundtrack CDs again and had my own little mini concert this morning that took me down memory lane. Just as I was really getting into Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors something clicked and I started to cry, which is really fucking annoying when you’re trying to win a Grammy for best new Karaoke Artist before work.

This whole ‘learn to be vulnerable’ and ‘feel shit’ is cramping my IDGAF attitude. Why did I start therapy again? For a long while, I was able to control my emotions and only show anger or happiness with the notion it would be a cold day in hell before I’d let anyone see me cry.

Well, it’s winter and I’m crying to True Colors at 8 a.m. and now blogging about it for the 1,000 of you to read about. So this must be Hell.

Instead of ignoring the tears, telling myself to suck it the fack up, and beating myself up for getting emotional… I did what Daring Greatly, Braving The Wilderness, and Girl Wash Your Face asks you to ask yourself: why am I getting emotional. Can you identify the why?

So while I continued to belt out the lyrics, and cry, I tried to string together what was running through my head and how it could be related to my now puffy eyes and running nose. And realized I was thinking about my upcoming trip to Florida and how it was going to be strange to possibly see people that know me, who have a history with me and have seen some of my worst days, and how familiar it would all feel.

And how uncomfortable that familiarity felt.

My thoughts also wandered to a family that welcomed me as their own. We had Wednesday night dinners and a no cell phone rule during dinners. They took me in as one of their own and I started to imagine what it would be like to see them all again.

It made me happy and warm to imagine walking into her home again…cue tears.

I chewed on the uncomfortableness with familiarity and why happy and warm would make me weepy…and came to the conclusion this is one of the parts of me I killed off a long time ago in order to protect myself from getting emotionally hurt. Let’s break it down.

Uncomfortableness with familiarity: it’s no secret I spent a lot of time saying goodbye because of the excessive moving from state to state, deployments, and then regular goodbyes of life regarding friendships, and family relationships. I coped and overcompensated by learning to never get attached to one place, person or thing.

Happy and warm: something inside of me enjoyed the idea that I’d be around people who knew me and have known me for a while. It’s been such a long time since I’ve been around familiar faces and places. Florida and this home are nostalgic.

Conclusion: Never getting attached to a place, person or thing made it easier to leave (because undoubtfully I’d be leaving again so why get dependant on a relationship or home that I know won’t last?) with the least amount of emotional turmoil. It let me feel independent from those emotions. Does that make sense?

I got weepy because I let myself feel it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The One With Ms. Lon – Someone Like You

It’s Friday, which means another episode of Someone Like You is ready for download. This week is The One With Ms. Lon and we meet Covenant House California’s Alumni Coordinator and RA, Lon Usher.

She’s originally from Kentucky, ran away from home when she was 16 years old and has been working with Covenant House California for thirty years. We discuss what she’s learned throughout her years working with homeless youth, the stories that have affected her the most and what she believes will help end youth homelessness.

If you’re new here, this podcast is about putting a face (or voice) to youth homelessness in the hopes it’ll be harder to ignore and together we can be the solution.

Every other Friday a new episode will air with a new voice sharing their story of surviving life on the streets AND how they got back on their feet. This show is all about answering these three questions: who are the homeless, how did they become homeless, and how do we begin to end homelessness? (except this one because we’re speaking to the fabulous Ms. Lon!)

There is nearly 6,000 homeless youth searching for a safe place to sleep each night in Los Angeles, and nearly 4.2 million young people will experience a form of homelessness within the next year and I’m willing to bet these kids are a lot like you and me. The solution starts with us and I truly believe we’re better together.

PS: If you haven’t subscribed, rated or reviewed the podcast please do so now! Thanks, friends! I’ll see you back on the radio in two weeks for another voice to meet.

What Is Emotionally Immature?

What is emotionally immature? Grown-ups are assumed to be more mature than their kids. So is it plausible children can come into the world and within a few years are more emotionally mature than their parents?

Here’s an assessment formulated after years of research. How many of these potentially describe your parent?

  1. My parent often overreacted to relatively minor things.
  2. My parent didn’t express much empathy or emotional awareness.
  3. When it came to emotional closeness and feelings, my parent seemed uncomfortable and didn’t go there.
  4. My parent was often irritated by individual differences or different points of view.
  5. When I was growing up, my parent used me as a confident but wasn’t a confidant for me.
  6. My parent often said and did things without thinking about people’s feelings.
  7. I didn’t get much attention or sympathy from my parent, except maybe when I was really sick.
  8. My parent was inconsistent–sometimes wise, sometimes unreasonable.
  9. If I became upset, my parent either said something superficial and unhelpful or got angry and sarcastic.
  10. Conversations mostly centered on my parent’s interests.
  11. The even polite disagreement could make my parent very defensive.
  12. It was deflating to tell my parent about my successes because it didn’t seem to matter.
  13. Facts and logic were no match for my parent’s opinions.
  14. My parent wasn’t self-reflective and rarely looked at his or her role in a problem.
  15. My parent tended to be a black-and-white thinker, and unreceptive to new ideas.

How many describe one or both parents?

I read that emotional neglect in childhood leads to a painful emotional loneliness and is as real as any physical deprivation. If emotional neglect is detrimental, how come nobody speaks about emotions as a necessity?

My cousin sent me a meme the other day and it read: [in Baby Boomer voice] Kids today are too soft. In MY day we were emotionally abused by our parents and we repressed our trauma so deeply we incorporated that abuse into a toxic system of values that prize a mythological ‘toughness’ at the expense of actually dealing with our pain.

Does this at all resonate with you? if so, maybe think about reading the book I’ve been reading. I cried so hard when I read the first 50 pages, for the first time in a long time I felt like someone understood. I’m going to try and write more about it but for now, it’s too painful. Sharing the questionnaire from the book just in case it helps someone else. 

I think it’s possible children come into this world more emotionally mature than their parents. I know a few.


Cultivate it.

Come be my friend on Instagram, I’m on Facebook but I think I play better on IG, lol. I also just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here.  

 

The One With Luke (Not Skywalker) – Someone Like You

Hello friends! By the time you’re reading this, I will be just waking up from the annual Sleep Out fundraiser I participate in each year that benefits homeless youth programs at Covenant House California. If you’d like to support my Sleep Out campaign for homeless youth, you can donate here. There’s still time! <3

Every other Friday a new episode will air with a new voice sharing their story of surviving life on the streets AND how they got back on their feet. This show is all about answering these three questions: who are the homeless, how did they become homeless, and how do we begin to end homelessness?

This week on Someone Like You we meet Luke. A great dude who was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana, with a small stint in Missouri. He was a part of the Jump Rope Club and was a running back on his high school’s football team.

Luke was a pleasure to talk to, I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I had joking back and forth with him. There was so much laughter, he’s a good dude. That being said, he’s walked a lot of life and I want you to hear his story. After building a relationship with someone in the music industry he hopped on a plane to L.A. to chase his dreams.

It went south moments after he landed in the entertainment capital of the world.

The interview format is a little more casual this episode, trying to figure out what format is more pleasurable for those listening. So let me know how you like this episode layout versus the previous four episodes.

There is nearly 6,000 homeless youth searching for a safe place to sleep each night in Los Angeles, and nearly 4.2 million young people will experience a form of homelessness within the next year and I’m willing to bet these kids are a lot like you and me. The solution starts with us and I truly believe we’re better together.

Welcome to the fifth episode of Someone Like You. I’m glad you’re here. 

PS: If you haven’t subscribed, rated or reviewed the podcast please do so now! Thanks, friends! I’ll see you back on the radio in two weeks for another voice to meet.


play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging.

Girl, Routine Can Make Me Neurotic If I’m Not Careful

I’m not kidding girl, routine can make me neurotic if I’m not careful and I’ll tell you why in a minute. But first, can I get a high five for realizing this about myself? It’s like a huge exhale. Who knew it was so important to be curious, especially when it comes to yourself.

Over the last few weeks, I have been participating in Rachel Hollis’ #Last90Days challenge which is all about taking ownership in your own life and because the last 90 days of the year can be the most challenging, with holidays and extra family functions, it’s a great reminder that you get to choose what happens inside your own life.

The success in owning your last 90 days is completing Hollis’ 5 To Thrive each day.

  1. Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use the time for yourself.
  2. Workout for at least thirty minutes.
  3. Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  4. Give up one food category you know you shouldn’t be eating.
  5. Write down ten things you’re grateful for every single day.

Simple or overwhelming, depends on the person. Know what I’m saying? This is where I begin to explain the title of this blog and first, I must note Hollis makes a point to stress these five are to motivate you not strangle you i.e. you’re not going to be on your A-game every day, so when you do slip up, don’t waste anytime crying over spilt milk.

A few months ago I wouldn’t have been able to HEAR the reminder because I don’t accept anything less than perfection when attacking a challenge or professional goal.

Case and point. For two years I had a strict exercise routine which included a morning mile and a half run every morning, legs every Tuesday, ClassPass once a week, swimming (during the summer) in the afternoons (my ‘fun’ exercise for the summer but not a replacement for cardio), arms and abs every other day and sometimes I’d double up.

I didn’t believe in rest days or legs that didn’t hurt for three days after Tuesday. If I skipped a run or just didn’t feel like doing the sit-ups, I’d feel like a failure and spin into an awful negative self-talk about how awful I was for not being able to complete one simple task, how could I be so lazy?

The over-exercising led to other issues. I ate whatever I wanted because I was exercising so much it didn’t matter. So when the wheels to my train eventually flew off, it took an additional year to figure out where I went so wrong.

BALANCE. I lacked balance. I’m an intense person, mediocre isn’t in my vocabulary. So I go balls to the wall with everything and have a hard time accepting I’m human, who can’t do all. the. things.

Let me say it again for those who might be sitting in the back row. If I’m human, you sure as shit are, too. BALANCE. BALANCE. BALANCE. BALANCE! There’s no reason to choke yourself, writing this because I need the reminder for myself!

And that is what I’ve brought to my Last 90 Days challenge. My Five To Thrive is tailored to what I need, not what I should be doing.

For example, I don’t get up an hour earlier than normal because my normal is already an hour early so I can run my pups. Instead of giving up a food group I’ve given up my fourth meal because it’s a bad habit I’ve been ready to give up. My thirty-minute exercise doesn’t have to be balls to the wall (like, can’t walk for three days) in order to ‘count.’ If I take the dogs for a walk for thirty minutes–that’s good, it’s about getting out and moving.

The best gift I’ve given myself these last 90 days is grace. I’ve missed a few gratitude journals and I give myself rest days from exercise. The world is still turning, and I’m not beating myself up about it.

“We tend to forget that baby steps still move us forward.”


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