Do something different.

2017 is the year that I go out of my way to do something different as often as I can. Just a quick recap of things that I did in 2016 that I haven’t done before:

  1. Bought a new house.
  2. Bought a new (not used) car.
  3. Paid $2000 in medical costs for my dog (ugh!).
  4. Started my path to acquiring my Bachelor’s degree.

Geez… that’s not a very long list is it? Well, 2017 is going to be different. What is the motto of my blog? Life is about experiences. Yes. It’s time to make this priority, new experiences and new memories to remember.

Seeking inspiration.

So July is coming to an end. I would really love to start posting regularly on here again.  Today I realized, that I just need to stop thinking about it and just DO IT.

Too much planning can cause one to feel overwhelmed.  Structure is needed though in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed from another perspective.  When I feel stressed out I know creating a list helps me organize my thoughts and it helps me create a game plan.

As for this blog though… I can’t treat this like work or chore.  I ENJOY writing and I love using it as an outlet for expressing my thoughts.  (Even more so when I get comments!) …so I need to just dedicate time to writing.  Whether it be straight on here on the computer or in a notepad. …and I NEED to POST.

So… now that I’ve got that off my chest.  What should I write about? Please feel free to comment and share any ideas of what you’d be interested in reading about.

Thanks!

Prayers for Orlando, Florida

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Prayers to all the victims and their families of the Orlando shooting this morning.

The BBC understands the name of the suspect was Omar Mateen, aged 29.

Police called the shooting an act of terrorism, but said they did not know if it was domestic or international.

It is believed that the suspect was not on a terrorism watch list, although he was currently being investigated for an unrelated criminal act.

Relatives have been gathering at local hospitals desperate for news of their loved ones.

http://www.bbc.com/news/36510272

I appreciate that political leaders are refraining from jumping onto their opinions on the media before hearing the facts from investigators, because they definitely have an influence to how we as a nation react to this tragedy. So many people are already jumping to conclusion about how this is a “Gun Issue” or “Terrorist Issue” on Twitter, Facebook, etc.  This is not a time to place the blame on “lack of gun control” or using it as an opportunity to blame religion or any other theory to support personal political views.

I am impressed about how the citizens of Florida and particularly the city of Orlando going out of their way to do what they can to help the victims and their family by going to the local blood banks and donating blood.

What you can do to help Orlando:
Donate Blood
There is a particular need for O Negative, O Positive, and AB blood types. They are asking that people not go to local hospitals but go straight to blood banks

Provide Counseling
They are currently needing counselors to help with the hotline for victims and their families. Those who need counseling can call 1-407-228-1446 also

The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida also are offering counseling/support at 942 N. Mills Avenue.

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Get over your blankpagephobia!

So I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for about 3 minutes now. How many of us blog owners have come across the same feeling of intimidation and fear of that BLANK PAGE and ever-blinking cursor? It’s like it’s screaming at you “ah-ha! You can’t type anything…you are doomed to stare at this blank page.

Our muses are always around… we just sometimes need to quiet that voice inside our head that is distracting us from writing the words down that are just waiting to be expressed. Sometimes it just takes that initial typing even when you’re not sure of what’s going to come out. Why be afraid? It’s not like you can’t erase it if it’s not “good enough”.

I think too often do we let that ‘voice’ talk us out of writing and the next thing we know it’s been months since our last blog entry. Sometimes we just got to put our foot down and choose to get over our blankpagephobia!

Top 10 things to do fall asleep faster.

  1. Turn off ALL electronic devices.
    Whether it’s your phone, iPad, TV, etc… turn it off or at least put it out of reach. Try not to use any of these devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. No checking your email, text messages, etc… it’s time for bed.
  2. Take a melatonin.
    Sometimes we need that extra nudge to fall asleep. I think over-the-counter “sleeping aids” are known to have addictive attributes so when I need it I prefer to take natural melatonin.
  3. Read a book.
    It never fails, when I read a book while in bed it only takes a few chapters before drowsiness takes over especially if I’ve already done at least 2 other things on this list.
  4. Listen to natural sounds track.
    There is an APP that I like to use called Sleep Pillow because it allows me to choose certain sounds (crackling fire and rain is my favorite combination) and I can choose to have it loop and set a timer so it will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time.
  5. Take a shower.
    If I don’t do anything else this is the one thing I do every night. Showers have a way of regulating your body temperature and I sincerely believe showering before bed really helps one relax. At the very least I recommend you wash your face, it makes a difference.
  6. Make the room cool temperature.
    I get cold very easily so this one isn’t as critical for me however my husband cannot fall asleep at all if the room temperature is not cool.
  7. Take the time to stretch.
    When you find yourself tossing and turning sometimes getting out of bed and stretching your arms and legs help.
  8. Drink water.
    I don’t mean drink a whole bottle of water or anything because that will definitely wake you up in the middle of night because you’d have to use the bathroom. Sometimes half a glass is enough to satisfy your thirst. While you’re at it though, you should probably relieve yourself in the restroom if you haven’t already.
  9. Put on loose clothing.
    Some people like to sleep naked. I can’t do that as I get too sweaty when I don’t have clothes on (weird I know). Jeans, longsleeves, socks (unless it’s really cold for some reason) will not do, put on some loose clothing to ensure a successful wind down to dream land.
  10. Make the bed.
    When all else fails get up, make the bed then crawl in. I know it sounds crazy at a glance but seriously, if nothing else has worked, why not? 😉

April Showers bring May Flowers (and goals)

So we are approaching that half way mark in the year and I’ve suddenly realized that I haven’t made much progress on my personal goals this year. I’ve taken one step to changing that by setting up our white board in the living room so that the hubby and I can hold each other accountable for our goals by having them in plain sight.

May will be my official beginning of “Clean Slate” and one of those goals will be to have a total of 200 posts here on Citadel of Thoughts.  I don’t know how much I have so far so I will need to look that up after I post this.  I know it’s not May yet, but we’re pretty darn close so I might as well gain some momentum here.  If I don’t start now when?

I also need to pick up reading again…I have so many books on my To Read pile… I really need to start tackling that goal as well.  I’ve got four on my night stand as I type this next to me.

On a different note I feel an annoying pimple on my left ear – that is such a weird place to break out.  If I’m being honest with myself, my eating habits have to improve as well.

Ah yes 2016 is almost halfway over but that’s OK it’s not too late for self-improvement. Let’s do this.

2. Pay attention to the news.

I finished this book called “101 Ways to Rock Your World” by Dayna Steele yesterday.  I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to anyone wanting to change things up in life and be productive overall.  What caught my attention initially was actually her first tip: 1. Wake up early.  

Since I’ve made it a point to do exactly this recently it immediately caught my attention which ultimately made me decide to purchase it one afternoon while visiting Half Price Books Store (I had a 40% off coupon to use after all.) – Waking up early not only gives you more time in the day but it also helps kick start it. I admit, it absolutely SUCKS at first but once your body gets used to it, you’ll thank yourself for making the change.

The one tip that I do not agree with though is actually her second one: 2. Pay attention to the news.  Perhaps my mindset should be changed around this but for now here is what I think… there is just so many negative things in the news nowadays.  I do not think it would be very productive to start the day off listening, reading, or watching all the negativity portrayed on the news. I mean, just because you don’t pay attention to it doesn’t mean it’s not happening of course, but my question is… when is something ever shown on the news that directly affects me? The weather maybe? (Even that’s not 100% accurate!) How often do we hear people talk about what they heard on the news…yet do we ever hear them talk about how they are personally going to try and resolve the problem?  What’s the use of “being aware” if we have no interest in the actual solution to the problems?

What is your take on this? Do you think it’s important for people to pay attention to the news on the daily basis?