Messy in Fabulous Shoes

Messy in Fabulous Shoes

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feeling Right

As I continue my Happiness Project, the next questions to reflect on are: Is there any way in which you don't feel right about your life? Do you wish you could change your job, city, family situation, or other circumstances? Are you living up to your expectations for yourself? Does your life reflect your values?

Now THAT is a BIG series of questions! I wouldn't say there is a way I don't feel right about my life but there are obviously areas for improvement or I wouldn't be starting this journey. You should ask me next week if I wish I could change my job. I do wish I could understand my family (and specifically some members) better. I wish there wasn't the rift that exists between my brother and me. I wish people in my family could be kinder and value one another more, but there is a reason you pick your friends and not your family, right?

I don't know that wish is the right word but I do hope I will still have the opportunity to be a mom. It has always been a dream of mine and one I haven't completely given up on despite my rising age. I do wish I could live a life without secrets... one that means being open and honest in all relationships.

I am not sure what expectations I ever had for myself at age 38 other than being a wife, mother, successful professional, good friend and daughter. Well, 60% isn't bad, is it? Seriously, though, career is (obviously) extremely important to me and I am happy where I am thus far. I do feel that I am good to my family and friends although should probably poll them for their perspective. And I am now positive that the right relationship is more important than being able to say I am married. And I have also learned that having that right relationship is the most important foundation for parenting.

And lastly, does my life reflect my values? Two years ago I would have had to say no. But today, I believe for the most part it does. Having said that, I need to spend some time thinking about my values...

How about you?

And The Oscar Goes To...

Oscar night is one of my favorite nights of the year. The red carpet, the glitz, the glamour, even the awful speeches! And this year I was more excited than normal. So excited that even Stella and Sophie dressed for the occasion.

As I poured my glass of champagne and settled in to watch the red carpet, I suddenly thought what a difference a year makes. Last year, as I poured my glass of champagne one phone call brought my world crashing down around me. A call that informed me that my marriage had indeed been a sham. And learning this, while searching for my missing ex-husband, was a lot to process and almost beyond imaginable. (He was later found unscathed.)

But here I am, a year later, happier and more peaceful than I can ever remember being. So much so that people are commenting to that effect. Last year, I spent the night in denial, in hysterics, in what-ifs... you know the drill. This year, I toasted the night, giggled at my glamour pups and indulged in shrimp cocktail and scallops wrapped in bacon. I went to bed wrapped in love, not in fear as I had last year.

A friend told me you don't realize the depths of the sadness a divorce brings until you are through it. And I now realize how true that is. It is only since I have had closure and been able to move on that I now realize survival mode kept me moving a lot of the time. And now, I am enjoying exploring who I am post-divorce. Second chances do happen. And I am so blessed and thankful to have received mine. (Now I just hope George has a second chance at an Oscar!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Makes You Feel Bad?

So today's Happiness Project question is What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration, or anxiety in your life? I hope this is a tougher list to come up with than the what makes you feel good list!
  • Being stuck in any type of limbo
  • Not being a mom
  • People who are totally self-consumed or just don't "get it"
  • My mental block about exercising
  • Sometimes drinking too much
  • The people I love realizing I'm not as special as they think
  • Stella's chronic illness and not being able to help her
  • Home invasion
  • Family drama
  • Any type of bigotry (It is 2012 for goodness sake - let it go!)
  • Spending what I don't have because it gives me instant gratification
  • Letting the people I love down
  • Self-loathing (I am way too hard on myself and get stuck in my head a fair amount)
  • Not having financial or emotional security
  • Death
  • Lies
  • Nightmares
  • Having to own up to this list!
Now this, too, is an extensive list and makes my chest constrict just writing it. What makes you feel bad?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Makes You Feel Good?

As I mentioned yesterday, I am embarking on my own Happiness Project. Step one is to define what activities you find fun, satisfying or energizing. In other words, what makes you feel good? Here's what activities make me feel good (in no particular order):
  • Being in love
  • Long walks around the neighborhood with the dogs
  • Going to the theater or concerts
  • Shopping (even beyond shoes)
  • Reading
  • Movies
  • Cooking (can you believe it???) - and more specifically, cooking for people who like to eat
  • Baking (same as above)
  • Riding on the back of a Harley
  • Facilitating and helping members problem solve
  • Taking naps
  • Golf (when I'm not stressed out)
  • Staycation and vacation
  • Spending time with my girlfriends and/or their kids
  • Anything with Fun People
  • Theater Club
  • Monthly calls with my Leadership team (Zengo)
  • Sharing a meal and/or going to church with my grandparents
  • Doing something different with my parents (other than the same old stuff...)
  • Blogging
  • Making a house a home
  • Eating a great meal and drinking a great glass of wine (or 2)
  • Making people laugh
Wow! That's a pretty extensive list. I had no idea there were so many things I liked to do.

What makes you feel good?

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Happiness Project

I just finished reading the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. For the last couple of years, I wanted to pick it up every time I saw it in a bookstore but since every book I own is from my Mom (and there are shelves and shelves yet to be read), I hadn't purchased it. Until I finished the book I was reading from DC to CLT and needed something else from CLT to MIA.

The book outlines Gretchen's 12 month happiness project but recognizes that everyone's happiness project will be different. As soon as I started reading it, I was taking notes and I'm now ready to start my own. She claims she was happier after completing hers, so I hope for the same outcome. I also hope my happiness will cause others around me to be happier too.

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to chronicle my project here. And since shoes alone can't make me happy, not every post will include footwear. I'd also like to challenge you to start your own happiness project. You never know where the journey will take you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Letting Go

A year ago, my girlfriend Alexis came to town and helped me let go of a gazillion pairs of shoes I wasn't wearing. (Can anyone forget the Shoe Intervention?) And she inspired me to go through my clothes and purses as well, resulting in a nice little eBay business and donations to the Salvation Army.

Last year I also let go of the name I had carried for 6 years, reclaiming my maiden name. With the help of an incredibly special person, I finally tackled all of the stuff in the basement that belonged to my ex-husband. Just like the TLC show Clean Sweep, we divided into give away, trash and yard sale piles.

And then my Mom had to clean out my Grandfather's house after we let go of my Uncle Johnny too soon last year. She used the Clean Sweep method as well and my basement is full of stuff for a March yard sale. At this point, I'm ready to say everything is $1 (my yard sale partner won't, though) and whatever doesn't go Purple Heart will pick up the next day. That sale will help me let go of some financial stress for sure.

I've also been working on letting go of emotional baggage. I'm trying not to live my life by an imaginary timeline even though I feel that biological clock ticking. I continue to try and let go of judging how other people choose to live their lives... even when their decisions indirectly affect me. And everyday, I try to let go of self-doubt and mistrust. In the past, I was betrayed but that isn't happening right now so I can't live my life waiting for the other shoe to drop (forgive the pun!).

The benefits of letting go? You open your heart, life and closet to new feelings, experiences and shoes. I feel a little more confident each day. I continue to grow my hopes for the future. And as I head to shoe mecca in NYC tomorrow, you never know what new footwear will enter my life.

None of this would be possible without the incredible blessings I have in my life... namely my family and friends. I am grateful everyday for them.

So I must ask, what are you going to let go of starting today? And what gifts will you get as a result?