The sun's out and it's beautiful - so it felt like a perfect day for a round of Mandy's Happy Thoughts. What's making you happy today?
It's been said that I can be a bit of a gusher. No, let's not get too excited -- not a fruit snack with delicious fruit liquid in the center type of gusher -- the normal, ramble on and on about things that I love type of gusher. And I'm not going to lie, I don't hate that about myself. :) The last few days I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I am such a lucky girl. I've got a great family, great friends, a great job, great puppies... and as I fell asleep last night, it hit me that I truly do have the greatest husband. I know that everyone usually will say the same thing about their husbands, and that's fine. Everyone's is the greatest for them, and that's perfectly lovely. But mine is perfectly perfect for me. Meeting people online can be a total crapshoot. I had a few random dates here and there that didn't end up as anything but hilarious stories (ask me someday about gas, grass, and ass, or "Patrick!")... but this one felt different from the very beginning. I knew before I even laid eyes on this cute boy David that it was different. We had such great conversations, and I felt really at ease when we talked. I wasn't nervous to meet him in person -- I was beyond excited. And as soon as I did, I knew that this was more than a one-date situation. I felt it in my heart right away. He left for two weeks on a trip the day after we met, and we talked every single night for hours, despite the time difference. My future father in law must have despised me for awhile for hogging his travel buddy! :) As soon as he got back, it was on. From that point forward, he was a constant in my life. Taking me out, making me laugh, caring for me and about me.
See? I'm gushing. But look at that face! (HA! Those are all classic David faces. It's what I see multiple times a day...)
I just feel like I need to give this sweet guy a lot of credit for being who he is in my life. I can grumble, I can whine, but when it all boils down to it, it's his arm and hand that I reach out for at the end of the night as I'm falling asleep. It's his e-mail address that I write to as soon as I get to work, just to say good morning. It's his voice I want to hear when I am sad, or just need some reassurance. He matches my goofiness 1:1, constantly. He makes me laugh so hard I cry sometimes. He takes care of me when I'm not feeling well, and doesn't ever let me apologize or feel badly about who I am. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have him as my husband, as my partner in this crazy game of life. As we start to shift our family focus towards more grown-up and serious matters, the fear of the journey and unknown is so quickly squashed, because I know that he is by my side. Every silly face, every glass of chocolate milk he drinks (even though I gripe about all of my milk being gone...), every time he protects my shoes from Mira - I count myself luckier to have him as my own.
In the immortal words of Phoebe on friends: "Think my
boyfriend husband is ever so dreamy?" Yes, yes, I do. And because you need more photos to look at of gushing Mandy and her hubby, and just her hilarious hubby, here you go. I present to you what I call "Why I Adore David John Marcellis."
I love you, my sweet Sea! If could spend the rest of our lives just holding your hand, I would be bursting to the seams with happiness.
I am a creature of habit. Being comfortable is probably my number one favorite thing. Ok, I'm obviously exaggerating, but I could care less. This is my blog, and I pay for the right to be as dramatic as possible, OK???!?!?!?!? Ok. I'm calm.
Anyways, as I was saying before I was rudely judged... I love being comfortable. Comfy clothes, comfy shoes, a comfy bed, a comfy chair - you name it, I love it. Comfort foods? Don't even get me started unless you feel like you'd love to read my 87 page thesis all about macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. In which case, I will contact any interested parties when it comes time to defend said thesis before the Comfort Foods Panel of America.*
I live a comfortable life. And after my bestie who is currently living in Ohio came out to visit last week, I am delighted to say that I will continue my love affair with comfort. There is something to be said for just knowing your way around and through things, without question. I picked her up at the airport, and we launched right into our old habits and a conversation like no time had passed. I said to her "I feel like I just picked you up after you got back from a trip -- not like I picked you up at the airport after you flew in to visit us." And it was so true. Our relationship has always been like that -- the "pick right up where we left off" sort of friendship. It's been so comfortable from the very beginning. I pride myself with the knowledge of knowing that my awesome life is filled to the brim with friends and relationships like this.
I surround myself with warmth, and light, and comfort, every chance that I can get. For me, my friendships are like warm and cozy blankets. Even just knowing that they are there if you need them can be enough to calm. It's much easier to weather a storm when you are in familiar territory, or at least in uncharted territory with someone who you can completely be yourself with.
Isn't it the best to just sit in silence with someone who you know you can sit in silence with? I love that. I love the comfort of knowing that someone is there who I love and trust, and I don't have to reach out -- but I can, without feeling judged or like I am bothering someone.
Everyone in life should have a handful of those people in their lives. And everyone should be in someone else's handful as well. You can't take if you aren't willing to give -- and that includes giving yourself to someone as one of their "comfort creatures", a word that I OWN. (Every time you use it, I get a dollar). Someone who will keep it real for them, and remind them that even if they are flying around in the atmosphere, you are here -- keeping them grounded.
I heard this song last night, and I love it. I mean, it's Jason Mraz -- already one step in the right direction. But the lyrics are great, and I encourage you to listen to it. It's called You Can Rely on Me. I hope that you have someone, or many someone's, in your life that you automatically think of when you hear this. When I heard this, I thought to myself how wonderful it would be if I was the person who popped into someone's mind when they heard the song. And then I was flooded with the names, and faces, and feelings about all of the people who are that to me.
Who are your comfort creatures??
I leave you with this gem... I call it "Go Ahead. Make Yourself Comfortable (Don't Mind Me)". Enjoy. :)
*It should be noted that I don't think this exists. YET.
Windows of time. Our lives are completely comprised of these. For example, this summer, I had a window of time where I thought to myself "Mandy, I sure love that lake/sunshine hair you have going.... Maybe stop brushing your hair for the whole summer." What resulted, is this (prepare yourselves for this visual treat):
I know what you are thinking -- and no, I was not arrested. This is not my mug shot. It's also not a picture of Nick Nolte, Gary Busey, Phil Spektor, or anything else other than a breathtaking photo of me, in all of my non-hair brushing glory. Needless to say, my friends -- after this picture was taken (by myself, because I sometimes have no shame), that window slammed shut. Donezo. Hello Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and a lots of expletives shouted alone in the bathroom.
Why do I frighten you with this photo, you may be asking? To prove a point. My point is that our lives are likes quilts -- lots of little squares, stitched together to make the big picture. Windows of time. Some call them phases, or era, or trends... But I like to think of them as windows of time. Why windows? Because they are transparent, and allow us to reflect on what's passing.
Side note: I keep looking myself in the face in that picture while I am typing, and I can't stop giggling at it. It's so Mad Scientist chic. Maybe that, like culottes, will come into style? (Side note: Don't even get me started on culottes. I know that I did it this time, but don't ever bring it up again. I don't support it. Harumph.)
Back to my point... During these windows of time in our lives, we can experience and see a ridiculous amount of stuff. No matter how small the window, no matter how thinly it's left open, life can slip in an abundance of things -- pain, happiness, elation, sorrow, complacency... You name it, it can get in. But that's the beauty of life. It's kind of like Mary Poppins' magic bag -- it holds so much more than you think you can handle. Just like us. You never know what has slipped into the window of time of the person standing next to you, or your coworker, or the person at the coffee shop. Sometimes our windows of time are open really wide, and for a long time, but we don't catch much other than the normal day to day. No drama, nothing. Which can be so, so refreshing. It's always nice to open up the windows after a time of being shut in and let the sun and air wash all of the cobwebs away. It's those windows of time that we take the most for granted. When something difficult slips in the window, we often find ourselves longing for the carefree days of just airing out our souls.
Sometimes the windows of time that we have are ones that we need to act on quickly. We know the window won't be open for very much longer, and we have a goal in mind. These can be the most disappointing when they close. I know that sometimes I feel take it super personally - I feel as if the window slams shut on me before I have time to act. But more often than not, I know that I've just been sitting there, watching the sunshine and the breeze come in through it, while it has gradually closed. But it's when it starts to close that I am seized with fear and have to act FAST! Basically, I'm lazy. :P
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sitting by the window as much as the next
puppy dog person ... Well, maybe not as much as these two...
I find that the older that I get, and the more mindful I am about my world and my life, I'm noticing these windows of time. Not just the ones filled with urgency or an expiration date, but the day to day ones as well. I can feel when something is drawing to a natural close, or become acutely aware of something ramping up to start anew. I don't always have it spot on, but as with anything, the ebb and flow of life has multiple paces and feelings. So I guess the point of all of this is to remind you all to really listen to what your life is telling you. Listen for the windows to open -- sometimes they slam open with the wind, and other times they just quietly slide. But if you really pay attention, and really try, you can sense the change in the air. It's what you choose to do with that window of time that is the most important. It may be time for a period of reflection and observation, or it may be time to act, and to act quickly. It's totally up to you (usually! :P)
For right now, I'll sit here and reflect on the literal window that I have the chance to gaze out of every day, at the sunshine and the flowers growing outside. And I'll wait for the next time I hear or feel that window latch give a little bit, and dream and wonder about what may slip in while it's open.
There's a song by one of my favorite artists, Ben Folds, called "The Luckiest." It's a pretty popular song by now, and was even used in the movie About Time recently, which delighted me. I've loved it since the album came out, and it's always been one that has left me misty-eyed (so does pretty much anything this past year, it seems, but still....) If you want to here it, click here and be dazzled! (bring tissues). Anyhoo -- I bring this up because I got off track a little bit with blogging, and with keeping up with my healthier living. I've slacked on exercise, I've loosened by reins on controlling my eating, I've had a lighter attitude about the whole thing. This isn't necessarily resulting in bad things for me on the scale or in life (in fact, I'm down 2 pounds this week!), but I'm noticing myself feeling like I can, and should, do better.
Some people may think that is me shaming myself. And I disagree. I'm not holding myself to any crazy standards, and listening to the world tell me that I should be a certain way, and beating myself up to be there. I am merely thinking to myself that I know that I, Mandy Marcellis, can do better than what I've been doing. I'm challenging myself to get back there, to where I know that I can be, and I'm feeling like it's not at all as hard as it used to be. When I am on track, I'm feeling good about myself, and confident. I'm holding my head higher, making better decisions, and appreciating the things and people around me so much more than I would normally have. So that, my friends, is how I know that I'm on a track that I should be! So I'm cracking down on myself (in a nice way, don't worry!) and lighting a fire under my own rump. Which is hard to do when you have a big rump and are afraid of fire. Just sayin'. :P
ANYWAYS (geesh, Mandy, stay on track in the BLOG TOO!), the reason that I bring up this song, is that I, truly, am the luckiest person in the world. We all are, really, when you think about it. I have the most supportive and loving husband, amazing friends, the most fun and caring family, a wonderful home, a good car to drive, technology that drives me forward, an awesome job that I love full of caring people, clothes on my back, and food in my tummy (sometimes too much, but that just even further proves my point.)
I am so blessed. So blessed. And it is for all of these blessings that I choose to focus on myself, which sounds so odd, but you get the point. I've found that a happy Mandy is a more observant and thankful Mandy. And in order to be a happy Mandy, I've got to be a focused Mandy! (bam! Insert air kicks and punches here. Like multiple, embarrassing air kicks and punches.)
So what do you do in order to be a Happy _______ ? I'm curious, and am looking to be inspired by you. Because sometimes we need a boost or a helping hand from other people, like this guy, and that's totally fine. And also totally not against stealing your ideas.
If you're a chubby wiener dog, inspiration and happiness come with the rays of sun. And you look insanely cute while doing it, that's for damn sure. But also, if you ARE a chubby wiener dog, you're going to be famous as soon as the world realizes that you are a chubby wiener dog that can read blogs. Watch out -- hide your powers!
Take some time this week to bask in the sunshine (literally and figuratively!).... You deserve it. :)
A few weeks ago, I read a blog, as I am known to do... This blog was awesome, and can be read here if you are interested. It's a blog written by a mom, about how her daughter bore the brunt of her negative attitude and feelings. It's not completely related to my journey that I am on, but I found myself with a big takeaway from it... Three simple words, that I have now adopted as my mantra: It's a simple mantra. One that doesn't have to be unpacked and over-analyzed. Only. Love. Today.
But love who, you may ask?
Everyone. Your friends, your family, your coworkers, other drivers, people at the grocery store, people you talk to on the phone...
And a very special person that is often-times overlooked, especially if you are a grown adult living your life as most of us are -- busy.
That special person is YOU. We bend over backwards to love others (well, most of us do!)... But sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, step back, and show ourselves that we care. As I gain steam and keep rolling along into this mission to better myself that I have made, I'm realizing that it really is true what they say (whoever "they" are) -- it's really hard to fully love someone unless you really love yourself.
Like the case of the mom in the blog I borrowed my mantra from, my negativity always had the potential to seep into other parts of my life, and onto other people in my life. I found myself feeling badly about myself, and wanting to come home after a day at work and just sleep the evening away. This gave up my time to spend with friends, or with David, and then everyone got shorted (because who wouldn't want to spend time with ME???). I found myself always saying no to activities that David wanted to do, like bike riding and going for walks, because I hated the way that my body felt while doing it. And I found that it was so much easier and made me so much happier to give in to the stuff that I wanted to throw into my body.
It's only been a few weeks, Mandy -- get off your high horse, you are probably saying (hey, we're all thinking it... even me...). But I'm not at all meaning to sound like that. I haven't gone vegan and totally organic and taken up hot yoga and balanced my chakras... I'm not anywhere close. But I am starting to notice the effects of eating healthier, being proud of what I put into my body, and feeling like I'm in control. And we all know that I love to be in control. I'm trying to be more mindful of my body, and I'm starting to notice the tiny effects that my attitude can bring.
This last week was my first week doing Weight Watchers again, and I'm insanely happy. Not only did the scale report that I lost 4.4 pounds, but my confidence has really boosted. I have set small goals for myself, and have learned to be kinder and more loving to myself if I slip up, because it happens. It's only been a WEEK, geesh... :P But like I said above, I am feeling confident, and am finding pride in making healthier decisions for myself. I have cooked meals almost the entire week, and found new recipes that I really love and am going to keep repeating. This is new for me, people. I am NOT the cook in our house. But I feel like I am starting to take charge of that, and it's actually really fun! I know -- what have you done with Mandy? Trust me, I'm as floored as you may be. The second you hear me say that about doing laundry or dishes, though, please seriously call the government, because I HAVE been body snatched.
4.4 pounds lost, a 4 1/2 mile bike ride last week, and just a more positive outlook that I've had for the last week and a half or so -- these things have all contributed and made my mantra of "only love today" so much easier. I keep it as my phone background so I see it constantly - only love today. Only love today. And the other fun part is that you can emphasize each word, and it gives it a different meaning. I'm a nerd like that.
ONLY love today -- Cut the rest of the crap. That's it. Limit yourself to focus on the love.
Only LOVE today -- Remember, not "like", or "tolerate", or "avoid and it seems like I'm loving.". LOVE. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Only love TODAY -- We both know that the mantra won't change. It will be the same tomorrow as well. But if you are struggling, just take it one day at a time and focus on loving yourself and others. Because the secret is, it will come again tomorrow. And you can bite off just as much as you can chew today!
So join me in embracing this mantra. I'd like to hear how it works for you if you choose to adopt it for a bit and see what changes it has made. :)
Thanks for coming along with me on this journey. I would get lonely without you, and sometimes I will need someone else to drive. But I promise you there will be snacks, and the kind of music that you say to yourself "ok, I have to admit it... I DO love this song."
Only love today, friends. <3