• The Complexities of Life

    My 2020 Wrap Up

    I spent this year in emotional survival mode. We both know that this has been a hella chaotic year. Couldn’t get through a week without some sort of foolery and/or f*ckery taking place. We may not be able to control what’s happening around us, but we damn sure can control our peace of mind.

     

     

    I’m not going to drag this out any more than I have to. Here are my 2020 highlights and lessons learned. Enjoy! 

     

    Highlights

    • Found a landscaper I love!
      • For the 2 years I’ve been in my house, I’ve struggled with finding a landscaper whose fees aligned with the size of my lawn. 
    • Brought landscape lights I really wanted.

     

    • I gained clarity with my blogging goals.
      • I had the time to write, but I didn’t feel creative. I didn’t beat myself over it, I just continued to observe my surroundings, be present in conversations, and reminded myself that I’ll be creative again. 
      • My favorite thing I created this year was the #HomeWithJoy series. It started as an idea to share my home buying journey but blossomed into so many ideas. I look forward to creating more blog posts for this series in 2021.
    • I figured out a wind-down routine during the week that I like.
      • I downloaded a coloring app to help me relax after a stressful day at work. 
      • I go to bed when my body was ready for bed, not when I wanted to go to bed. I don’t know why I struggled when this is so simple to do, lol!

     

    Lesson Learned

    • Do what I can when I can.
      • Yes, I want to get everything done on my to-do list. But there are times when that won’t happen and it’s okay. Allowing myself grace is freeing. 
    • Don’t get swallowed by the cloud.
      • For me, anxiety and depression are a gloomy cloud. It’s so hard to climb out of the sadness and stress once I give in. Instead, I force myself to see something positive in each day. I’m proud of myself for being able to have fewer cloudy days. 
    • See people for who and what they are.
      • If you cut the grass, you can see the snakes. Nobody is worth you disturbing your peace over. 
    • Set boundaries and stand by them even when it hurts. 
      • Part of protecting my peace involved creating boundaries and sticking to them. Did it hurt some feelings? Sure. However, how someone feels about my boundaries is not my burden to carry. I have to do what’s best for me, not anyone else. 
    • Don’t settle
      • What’s the point in settling when I’m going to long for what I really want? If I practice patience, I’ll get what I want in time. 

    What brought you joy this year? What did you learn? 

    See ya in 2021,

    Joy

  • The Recovering Pessimist | Consistency in 2021 | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    The Complexities of Life

    Consistency in 2021

    Happy New Year!

    Can we talk for a bit? I won’t keep you long. Feel free to pull up a chair. Snacks are optional.

    2020 was chaotic as hell. When I just didn’t feel like blogging, journaling, exercising, etc., I didn’t do it. Instead of pushing myself to get things done, I gave myself some much-needed grace. When I was brainstorming my 2021 theme, one word came to mind:

    Consistency 

    I feel good when I’m working on my goals, hobbies, wellness on a regular basis. It gets no simpler than that. To make sure I’m consistent, I created some weekly goals to exercise and journal. I’m also posting new blog posts here every Monday (Wednesdays are for Wisdom Wednesday).

    It feels so good to get back to me!

    Do you have a theme for 2021? If yes, what is it? What inspired your theme?

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • The Complexities of Life

    You Made Your Bed, Now Lay Down

    The Recovering Pessimist | You Made Your Bed, Now Lay Down | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Photo by Joseph Frank on Unsplash

    Folks be out here in the world violating boundaries.

    Being loud AND wrong.

    Flat out refusing to take responsibility for their words and/or actions.

    What tickles me is when they’re told that they’re out of line, they get defensive & oftentimes double down on being loud and wrong.

    You don’t get to disrespect people and feel a way when it’s brought to your attention. You just don’t.

    If you’re given a chance to make this right, set your foolishness aside and make it right. If you fail to do so, and you continue to stand in your foolishness, You don’t get to pitch a fit because someone enforced their boundaries and don’t want to deal with you.

    [tweetshare tweet=”It’s nobody’s responsibility to make you feel better about your choices.” username=”MsWalton”]

     

    When you make your bed, you have to lay in it. You can’t blame those who you violated. Your choices got you here. Get under the covers and get comfortable.

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • The Complexities of Life

    Dating the Representative

    The Recovering Pessimist | Dating the Representative | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

    Dating involves the full spectrum of emotion. You’re meeting someone you don’t really know. You’re intrigued by what you see hear, but also fearful because there’s so much you haven’t seen or heard.

    I refer to this as “Dating the Representative”.

    There’s no guarantee that the person you’re dating is showing their genuine self. There’s nothing wrong with that. We have our guards up. You don’t know what anyone’s intentions are. So, you show the best parts of yourself, including their potential.

    Over time, you hope that the representative will eventually reveal their true selves. Be more vulnerable. Share their hopes, their fears. But, this doesn’t always happen. Some representatives are in it for the long game. They make it to marriage and then…then is when their true selves come out.

    Here’s the thing.

    Enjoy getting to know someone. Have deep conversations. Learn about each other. See things for what they are in the moment, but don’t ignore the signs. Ask questions.

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • The Recovering Pessimist | Back to Center: Update 7 | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #backtocenter
    Back to Center

    Back to Center: Update 7

    2020 has been one hell of a year.

    I’m stressed, my anxiety is a hot mess, and writing this blog post has been a struggle.

    It’s felt like an endless gut punch. Kobe died, COVID-19 hit the streets, and an election year have all weighed on my spirit.

    I’ve struggled with my creativity throughout the year. It comes in waves where I don’t want to do anything & waves where I get a rush of ideas at one time.

    In between the gut punches, there have been some bright spots.

    1. The pandemic sent my job home to telework, something I’ve wanted to do for years.
    2. I got my 2021 Passion Planner in the mail & I look forward to using it to not only keep me organized but also a creative outlet.
    3. I learned to give myself a lot of grace this year.
    4. I made adjustments in my home in anticipation of the upcoming cold weather months.

    I don’t expect 2021 to be the start of everything suddenly better. What I do expect to do remain focused while being gentle with myself. That’s all we can do at this point, right?

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • The Recovering Pessimist | The Aftermath of Being Loud and Wrong | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    The Complexities of Life

    The Aftermath of Being Loud and Wrong

    Growing up, I was told that not every thought, opinion, or idea I have needs to be shared. I still feel that way, especially with social media making it so easy to share. It’s a platform for them to share what they think/feel, especially when they’re loud and wrong.

    I call these folks Megaphone Mary and Mike.

    Megaphone Mary and Mike will go online and share thoughts/opinions that don’t make sense. It defies science, history, and common sense. Take the pandemic for example. Below are a few of the things Megaphone Mary and Mike have posted online about COVID-19:

    • It’s just the flu.
    • Wearing a mask violates my rights.
    • It’s a hoax.

     

     

    While you have every right to share how you feel, others have the same right to comment on what you shared. What tickles me is when folks challenge what’s shared, Megaphone Mary and Mike get reeallll mad.

    [tweetshare tweet=”At this point, I think science and/or common sense is to Megaphone Mary and Mike what sunlight is to vampires.” username=”2n$28p1ijG!jkr6qAqbM5JM&XPcH%QfD:1:0″]

    Folks aren’t always going to agree on social media. Being exposed to varying viewpoints is a benefit of those platforms. But since Megaphone Mary and Mike don’t like being challenged, I have a solution for that:

    • Delete your account

    Folks are losing their jobs based on something that was shared online. If I were Megaphone Mary and Mike, I’d think twice before I hit “Share”. I would say to share it in a group chat, but folks are getting fired from that too so yeah. Get a good pen and a nice journal and write it down.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • The Complexities of Life

    Unpack Your Baggage

    The Recovering Pessimist | Unpack Your Baggage | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistWe all have baggage. The amount of baggage we carry ranges from person to person. The same can be said for how we choose to unpack our baggage. Some of us unpack with therapy, journaling, etc. It’s not easy, but it necessary. And some of us…well, some of us choose to not unpack.

    Why?

     

    Acknowledging that you have baggage is one hurdle. Acknowledging that you need to unpack that baggage is another hurdle. It’s easier to ignore both hurdles and allow the baggage to accumulate. The problem with that is that over time, the baggage will get too heavy for you to carry & you’ll have to unpack your baggage before you’re ready.

    There’s a better way.

    You don’t have to unpack everything all at once. Unpack a little at a time. Work at a pace that manageable for you so you won’t get overwhelmed. Reflect on your progress. Repeat. There are going to be some tough times during the journey. Be gentle with yourself.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

     

  • The Complexities of Life

    Determined in 2020

    My 2020 goals require that I keep the fire lit under my behind. Otherwise, all it takes is one good time to slack for everything to fall apart (and stay that way). When I started brainstorming my 2020 mantra, it was a no-brainer:

    Determined

    For me to be determined with my goals, I need to work on them daily without getting overwhelmed. How do I prevent overwhelm? By creating habits.

    [tweetshareinline tweet=”Habits are the adjustment to my mindset that I need in order to be successful.” username=”irzY3n0P88iH(Ehn#F@pCiV3bViiRWon:1:1″]

    And the habits aren’t anything out of the ordinary. One of my habits is reading something (e.g., physical book, e-book, article, etc) each day. I made sure to not add a specific duration of time to my habit because that would overwhelm me.

    Work on it day by day.

    Little by little.

    We got this.

    Until next time,

    Joy

     

     

  • The Complexities of Life

    My 2019 Wrap Up

    The Recovering Pessimist | My 2019 Wrap Up | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

    I started 2019 with a full list of goals to accomplish. As the year progressed, my priorities shifted from my list of goals to a focus on being productive with focusing on self-care. I’m proud of the things I accomplished. I’m also grateful for the lessons I learned in the midst of some hellacious storms. Below are the highlights and lessons learned in 2019:

    2019 Highlights 

    Got a raise

    Amazed and shocked. That’s all I can say.

    Got comfy at home

    Throughout the year, I made improvements at home to make things more comfortable. I brought a combination washer/dryer, which is fabulous! I replaced a noisy bathroom exhaust fan with a much quieter model. The hideous storage shed in the backyard got demolished. I also finished an outdoor storage space with drywall.

    Discovered couponing accounts on Instagram

    I love a great deal and I’ll wait months for something I want to go on sale before I buy it. Couponing accounts on Instagram have saved me so much money. Just remember to turn your notifications on:)

    I saw Hamilton!

    Ya’ll, when news broke that Hamilton was coming to Richmond, I was excited. The show is amazing!  If it comes to your area and you’re able to see it, go! You won’t regret it.

    2019 Lesson Learned

    Set boundaries…and stick to them

    Boundaries were a key part of my self-care this year. I had to finally acknowledge that I could no longer ignore the toxic people in my life. The hardest part of this process was separating the person from who they were in my life. I continue to struggle with that at times, but I remind myself why these boundaries exist, and I continue to follow through. By sticking to the boundaries I set, my stress/anxiety levels are manageable.

    This year was a great year. I’m grateful for all that I’ve done and learned. I’m happy to go into 2020 in a much better headspace. I hope 2020 will be a kickass year for you!

    Until next time,

    Joy

  • The Recovering Pessimist | Rerouting... | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #therecoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    The Complexities of Life

    Rerouting…

    GPS can take you through the full spectrum of emotion.

    When you make your turns on time, things are great. You’re singing along to your playlist. You’re on time to your destination.

    Somewhere along the way, you missed a turn. And we all know what happens when you miss a GPS turn.

    Rerouting…

     

     

    Cue the panic. Getting rerouted sucks for many reasons, the main one being that you don’t know what’s next. You turn down the stereo’s volume so that you can make sure that you hear each direction that GPS won’t repeat. Your nerves…well, they are shot to hell.

    You make it to your destination and you let out a sigh of relief. After gathering yourself, you realize that you now have an alternative way to make it to your destination. In life, we get rerouted all the time. We panic when things don’t go as planned because we don’t know what to expect. That makes sense.

    [tweetshare tweet=”Imagine what could happen if we approached the reroutes in our lives in a positive manner? ” username=”irzY3n0P88iH(Ehn#F@pCiV3bViiRWon:1:1″]

    Embrace the unexpected. You never know where it will lead you.

    Until next time,

    Joy

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