The Recovering Pessimist

Helping pessimists see the bright side of life without losing their "half empty" roots.

Staying Ready in 2017

Jan
02
The Recovering Pessimist: Staying Ready in 2017 -- While doing my prepping for 2017, finding a theme was pretty easy. I decided to use a simple, but profound phrase that I have been reciting all of 2016. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #optimisticpessimist #recoveringpessimist

Image via Chaitra of ItsPinkPot.com

Happy 2017!!!

To continue my tradition of creating yearly themes, I come to you with my theme for 2017 (click here and here for past years’ posts).

This year’s theme began as a joke between my friends and I because I hate surprises. Over time, this phrase evolved into a personal mantra.

Fast forward to Q3 of 2016. I sat down to write some ideas, and the only one that made the list was the joke that became my mantra:

 

STAY READY

I spent a good part of 2016 worrying about the “what ifs”; the inspirations and opportunities that I missed out on. I was thisclose to potential greatness, but of course, I messed up and missed out on them.

How did I miss out on them?

My mindset wasn’t in the right place. I was so worried about what everyone else was doing that I got in my own way. What I should’ve focused on was myself, my goals, and how I was going to accomplish them.

Lesson learned.

In 2017, my hopes, dreams, wants, and desires are big. I refuse to get in my own way this year. I have too much to do and accomplish. What are you promising not to do this year? I’d love to hear about it.

Happy New Year!

My 2016 Wrap Up

Dec
26

The Recovering Pessimist: My 2016 Wrap Up -- This year has been a huge learning experience. I've made progress with this blog as well as my personal life and wanted to chronicle these moments. Enjoy! | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #optimisticpessimist #recoveringpessimistI love writing end of year wrap-up posts (see here for last year’s). It’s a way for me to chronicle all of my ups (and downs) from the year. It also reminds me of accomplishments I have forgotten. Last year’s wrap up post wasn’t as organized as I would like, so this year, I wanted to split the post into two sections: blog and personal life.

Enjoy!

 

BLOG

Top 10 Blogs of 2016 (As of 12/10/2016)
 Highlights
Lessons Learned
  • Getting wrapped up in everyone else’s success blocks my own potential success. Don’t get sucked into that matrix.
  • Everyone has their own journey, including me.
  • Make use of small nuggets of time. I can get more work done in 30 minutes than I can in 8 hours.

 

PERSONAL

 Highlights
  • I won tickets to 2015 Richmond Jazz Festival. The bestie and I went on Sunday night, so we could experience the greatness that is Morris Day & the Time, Tamia, and The Roots. Yes, all of that in one day/night.
  • Saw Alabama Shakes and Corinne Bailey Rae in concert with the bestie at the Portsmouth Pavilion. Perfect weather for a soul-stirring outdoor concert.
  • Reconnected with old friends via Facebook.
  • Took more selfies of myself.
    • For the record, I didn’t post 90% of the selfies I took in 2016. These selfies were mostly for personal memories and documentation of my wellness journey.
Lessons Learned
  • Be open to the unexpectedness of life. Oftentimes these curveballs aren’t as bad as I think they are.
  • Just because I can’t see it happening, doesn’t mean things aren’t working behind the scenes.
  • It’s okay to miss the past. However, remember why the past is the past.

 

That’s 2016 for me in a nutshell. What were your highs (and lows) of 2016? Do you document them (blog post, journal, video, etc.)? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

How I’m Prepping for 2017

Dec
19

The Recovering Pessimist: How I'm Prepping for 2017 -- I love going through the process of planning for the upcoming year. It allows me to reflect on the current year and make the necessary adjustments. Some of the things mentioned in this year's blog post are similar to last year's with some new things added. Do you plan for the upcoming year? What is your process? | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistI love writing about my preparation process for the upcoming year. Many of the things in this year’s post were mentioned in last year’s post. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

Without further adieu, let’s begin, shall we?

Create theme for 2017

Having a theme really sets the tone for how I approach the upcoming year. Throughout the year I’ve repeated the same phrase over and over as a reminder to myself and friends when life threw us a curve ball.

Then I had a lightbulb moment. I could make this phrase my theme for 2017 (I”ll disclose the theme in a later post). One less thing for me to work on. Yay!

Vision Board

I created my first vision board last year after hearing folks talk about how vision boards helped them with the manifestation of their goals, aspirations, etc. They were spot on. Many of the things I posted on my vision board actually happened.

Questlove/Giphy.com

Questlove/Giphy.com

This year, I want to take things up a notch with my vision board. I want to take a photo of my vision board, print the photo, and put the photo on the inside cover of my Inkwell Press liveWELL planner. That way, I can keep my vision board with me and stay on task. Genius!

Planning Blog Content Ahead of Time

This year, I finally decided to create an editorial calendar using Google Sheets. I have a place to keep track of all the blog posts (and their permalinks) I’ve written for the year broken down by month. Planning blog posts that are part of a series (e.g., Back to Center, Wisdom Wednesday, etc.) is way easier for me. If you don’t already have some sort of content calendar in place, get one and save yourself the stress.

Write Goals Down

Each year, I have major goals that I want to accomplish. Last year, I used MindMeister to create a visual for all of my goals. It was really pretty to look at, but it wasn’t effective. I also made goal cards for my major goals, which worked initially. However, I stopped looking at them regularly, so that ended up not being too effective.

The whole point of making goals is to accomplish them right?

Exactly!

This year, I decided to keep track of my goals using my 2017 Inkwell Press liveWELL planner. This weekly planner has a lot of areas throughout the planner to keep track of my goals on a yearly and monthly basis. And since I look at my planner several times a day, housing my goals in the planner would be a win-win situation for me.

That’s my planning process for 2017. Tell me, do you plan for the upcoming year? If so, what’s your process? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Pinterest Accounts for Bloggers

Dec
12

The Recovering Pessimist: My Favorite Pinterest Accounts for Bloggers -- I often turn to Pinterest to answer many of my blogging-related questions. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers because people need to know how dope these accounts (and the people behind them) are. Also, I want to save you from a lot of frustration and headaches. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #blogging #bloggers #pinterestI’m a HUGE fan of Pinterest as a blogger. Many of my blogging-related questions were answered via Pinterest. That website is a hub of awesomeness. listed below on my

Anyway, I wanted to share my favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers. All of these accounts are included on my Blogging Tips Pinterest board.

Ali Ebright (Gimme Some Oven)

I was researching how to name the images I created and used in my blog posts on Pinterest. In the search results, was Ali’s pin entitled “The One Thing You Must Do To Every Image Uploaded To Your Blog“. Talk about being a lifesaver. Not only does her Pinterest page make me hungry, but the Pinterest board for her blog Gimme Some Oven has plenty of blogging-related gems on it. Definitely worth checking out.

byRegina

My admiration for Regina is no secret (I’ve mentioned her here, here, and here). I’ve been a fan of hers for years and she’s never steered me wrong. Her Pinterest page is a treasure chest of awesomeness. My favorite boards of hers are Blog Tips Galore, Blog Tips, and For the Infopreneurs.

Olyvia

I learned about Olyvia when I ran across her “91+ Blog Posts To Make You A Better Blogger + Business Owner” blog post on Pinterest. My favorite boards on Olyvia’s Pinterest page are Olyvia.co, Blog + Website Tips, and E-book Creation.

Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa’s pins appeared on my Pinterest timeline after doing research on blogging tips. Her Pinterest page is a big resource for me, along with other bloggers and entrepreneurs. My favorite boards on Melyssa’s page include MelyssaGriffin.comBlogging + Bloggers, and Entrepreneur + Business.

I hope you find these Pinterest accounts just as useful as I do. Do you have any favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers? Feel free to share them in the comments or contact me on social media. I’d love to hear about them.

Until next time,

MsWalton

I’m Thankful For It All

Nov
28

The Recovering Pessimist: I'm Thankful For It All -- This has been one hell of a year (good, bad, ugly, etc.). I'm thankful for everything I've experienced (and continue to experience) this year. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistThis has been one hell of  a year.

There were more ups than downs.

The lessons I learned were painful.

I’m thankful for it all.

My spirit was tested.

My heart ached.

I let people go to let others in.

I’m thankful for it all.

I cried when I couldn’t handle anymore.

Laughed to keep my nerves at bay.

Screamed through the frustration.

I’m thankful for it all.

Each day was a new opportunity.

Tried to be not so hard on myself.

I made the best of it.

I’m thankful for it all.

 

3 Thoughts While Watching #90DayFiance

Nov
21

The Recovering Pessimist: A Few Thoughts While Watching #90DayFiance -- While watching #90DayFiance I wondered if those who seek love abroad do so thinking that they won't have the issues that they have while dating in the States. The same issues come with love, regardless of where you are. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

 

One of my guilty pleasures is watching “90 Day Fiance” on TLC“. It’s a show about men and women in the U.S. who go through the process of obtaining a K-1 Visa, which gives them 90 days to marry their boyfriends/girlfriends who live overseas. Some of the couples are genuine, while others are marrying for reasons other than love. Which reminds of this quote:

Love is a beautiful delusion, regardless of where you live in the world. Click To Tweet

The participants on “90 Day Fiance” have the same issues as those of us who are stateside. These issues are the inspiration for this blog post. I want to discuss some of the issues that stuck out to me below. Enjoy!

Respect their culture

If you’re in a relationship with someone from another cultural background, take the initiative to learn about their culture. If you want to get to know him/her, learning their culture is a part of that. The internet is full of information. Use it and prosper.

A lie is a lie is a LIE

If you catch him/her in a lie, question it. Don’t twist their words to make yourself feel better. Don’t make excuses for them. And while you may want to know the truth, know this:

Once someone lies to you, everything they tell you will feel like a lie, including the truth itself. Click To Tweet

If you find yourself wondering if what they’re telling you is the truth, what’s the point in continuing the relationship?

If everyone else can see it, perhaps you need to see it too

This might be hard to believe, but everyone isn’t posted up in the corner rooting for you to fail. There are people who not only care about you, but they also want the best for you. Sometimes, what they want for you may not be what you want to hear. Past experiences have taught me to listen when these people speak.

 

And they say you can’t learn anything from reality television…

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

 

 

Back to Center: Update 6

Nov
14

The Recovering Pessimist: Back to Center Update 6 -- With this update I wanted to focus on how journaling has become part of my self-care routine. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistI’m getting better with the timing of these Back to Center updates pats self on back. I’ve made mention of self-care (click here and here for earlier blog posts) in the past, but I wanted to devote this update to journaling.

I’ve always had a journal/diary of some sort. During my teenage years, I wrote to document the highs and lows of my life. I was never consistent in my journaling.  However, now that I’m older, I’ve learned that journaling is a key part of my self-care routine.

Bridget Jones/Giphy.com

Bridget Jones/Giphy.com

For example, I have times where I have too much going on in my head. I could be worried about something and that worry manifests into anxiety. Once anxiety has made its way in, a chain reaction occurs. I can’t concentrate and restful sleep goes M.I.A. I hate feeling that way, especially when I don’t have control over the situation that’s causing the anxiety.

So one day, I had the bright idea to dust off the journal I’ve been sporadically writing in and conducted a brain dump. Soon as the pen hit the paper and the syllables became words, the anxiety that had my stomach riddled with knots dissipated. I didn’t want the anxiety to come back to cripple me again. Writing in regularly would have to become my new normal. But again, consistency in my journaling wasn’t important to me.

This is where Google comes in for the win.

So, about two weeks ago, I got an email from Google telling me that the Google Calendar app I was using on my phone was out of date and that an update was available via Google Play. I updated the app and boy was I impressed.

The updated version of the app allowed me to set goals for various reasons, specifically “Me Time”. I went ahead and set a goal to practice journaling once a week for 15 minutes in the evening. In return, the app finds the requested time within my calendar to schedule the goal. For me, making journaling a goal AND having it scheduled in my calendar is a mind trick. If I have it scheduled in my calendar, I have to do it.

So far, adding journaling to my calendar is working. It feels good to keep the anxiety and stress away. Tell me, do you journal? Is journaling part of your self-care plan?

Get Your Sh!t Together!

Oct
24

Over the weekend, I realized that we have entered the last quarter of 2016.

Blackish/giphy.com

Blackish/giphy.com

The panic is real over here.

A tiny part of me is excited because 2016 has truly been on some bullshit for a multitude of reasons. However, the majority of me isn’t ready for 2016 to come to an end. I still have a lot of things I need to do in the remaining days of the year.

*insert loud sigh here*

On my whiteboard is a list of all the things I have to get done by December 31, 2016. Many of these things are simple, like get my oil changed in my vehicle. Others are a bit more complex, such as writing Wisdom Wednesday posts for the 1st quarter of 2017. Each time I look at it, I get anxious.

I don’t have enough time.

When am I going to find time to do this?!

What if I don’t finish this in time?!

To be completely transparent, I could have finished a good chunk of these whiteboard items two months ago. But laziness got the best of me and now here we are, stressed out. After kicking myself for my horrible time management skills, I realized that I have to get my sh!t together.

How?

For me, making better use of my time + avoiding distractions go hand in hand.

Making Better Use of My Time

I’ve spent an entire day “working” on tasks and by the end of the day, I have nothing to show for it. It’s ridiculous. I can’t afford to do this at this point, so I’m using my ClearFocus app to knock out those tasks in a lot less time. The less time I spend on each task, the more tasks I can get done. Win!

Avoiding Distractions

I like to work on my sofa, which is across from the TV. I may put the TV on a show that isn’t interesting, but before I know it, I’m binge watching. hangs head in shame  So, I grab my wireless headphones, turn on Spotify, and get to work. That usually does the job.


Yes, 2017 is thisclose. You still have time. Breathe in, exhale, and get your sh!t together! You got… Click To Tweet

Until next time,

MsWalton

(Please) Take Care of Yourself

Oct
10

The Recovering Pessimist: (Please) Take Care of Yourself -- You have to put yourself first. Don't allow others to drain you of your energy. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimis

Life is chaotic.

The last couple of months have been challenging to say the least. Stress had my physical and mental health in shambles. By the time I got to do for myself, I didn’t have the time nor energy to devote to my well-being.

Not good.

I’m writing this post to not only remind myself but to also remind you that we have to take care of ourselves. Our mental, physical, and spiritual health depend on it. We gotta make sure our needs are taken care of before we take care of others.

You can't be there for everyone if you don't take care of yourself first. Click To Tweet

Be good to yourself.

Until next time,

MsWalton

 

My Must-Have WordPress Plugins

Oct
03
The Recovering Pessimist: My Must-Have WordPress Plugins -- Plugins are like spices. There's a lot of work that goes into curating the perfect combination of plugins that work together to make your blog run smoothly. Add a plugin that doesn't fit and chaos ensues. I may be able to help you avoid the chaos. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

Image by CreativeConvex.com

When I began blogging on WordPress.com, I had no idea what I’m doing. I knew I just had to get started and I’d figure out the rest later. Over time, I realized that I needed to have more control over how this blog functions both on the front and back ends.

About two years ago, I moved to self-hosting for this website and that’s where I learned how complex plugins are. Plugins are like spices. The right plugins can make your blog run smoothly. But if you add a plugin to the mix that doesn’t play well with the others, all hell will break loose.

 

 

Half Baked/giphy.com

Half Baked/giphy.com

Running a self-hosted blog has its moments of utter frustration. Because I don’t want you to go through the same headaches I’ve gone through, I wanted to share a few of my must-have WordPress plugins. I hope this helps.


Broken Link Checker

I never realized how important this plugin was until the first time I used it. I can’t remember how long Broken Link Checker took to find the broken links BUT I do know that I had about 300 or so broken links to fix.

If you thought that was bad, it gets worse. It took me about 18 hours over a span of two days to fix the broken links. Some of the links were truly bad and needed new links attached. Others weren’t truly broken & needed to be rechecked to confirm & remove them from the broken link list.

When I tell you I don’t EVER IN LIFE want to go through that again, I mean it! Take it from me and download this plugin and save yourself now before it gets too deep.

Disqus Comment System

I like leaving comments. What I don’t like are complex commenting systems. I’ve tested several comment systems before settling on Disqus Comment System. It is very user-friendly, both for me and the commenters, which is very important. The occasional spam comment does slip into my comment queue, though. Just wanted to make you aware of that.

Better Click to Tweet

I love Twitter. So much so that I incorporate Twitter into my blog posts. Better Click to Tweet allows me to create a tweet within a blog post that readers can click on the tweet to post it to their Twitter timeline. Brilliant! The key is to make sure that the tweet you choose to  incorporate in your blog post is catchy. That way, people will retweet, like, etc.

Editorial Calendar

Using an editorial calendar has been a struggle for me. I would write blog posts one at a time, which never really provided me with a break. Downloading Editorial Calendar makes planning blog posts way easier. I can see all posted and scheduled blog posts along with scheduled blog posts that are in draft status. In addition, the plugin provides a  list of unscheduled drafts that you can either leave on the screen or hide them.

You can hover over the blog posts in the calendar and see options to edit, quick edit, delete, and/or view. This saves you time from having to find the individual post itself. Also, you can drag and drop posts throughout the calendar to your liking. How awesome is that?

Revive Old Post

Last year, I was trying to figure out a way to automatically share my blog posts on Twitter. It took a wee bit of research but I ran across Revive Old Post. I use the free option and it’s packed with features. You choose how many posts to share at a time & the minimum time between shares. You can choose the minimum and maximum ages of posts to be eligible for sharing. There’s also an option to exclude  and/or include specific categories to share from.


That’s all I’ve got for now. If you have any questions and/or comments about these plugins, let me know in the comments. I love sharing what I know and getting feedback from you.

You can't help anyone by hoarding information. Share it! Click To Tweet

Until next time,

MsWalton

%d bloggers like this: