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? 😉

“Work” should not be split 50/50 in relationships

IMG_20160501_202148In our society we have been conditioned to look at things we are required to do (but don’t necessarily want to) as “work”. It’s true. Has the cat box been cleaned out? Do I want to clean it out? Eh… it needs to be. Are the dishes in the dishwasher? Do I want to rinse them and put them in the dishwasher? Eh… they need to be. Let’s face it, we have TONS of these scenarios going on in our lives but my question is… when it comes to “work” why as a society do we feel we are obligated to split the “work” 50/50?

See… in my strange-way-of-thinking mind, when I hear people say this my thought process is… let’s say a couple has 10 things that needs to be done in the household or in their relationships (with each other or not) when they expect one person to do half of the “work” how is it determined who does what half? Wouldn’t there always be one person waiting to see what the other person is going to do before pulling their own weight? What if both individuals are doing the same thing and suddenly those 10 things are just sitting there… idle?

I’m just saying… if we’re going to talk percentages… what is wrong with one person doing 70% of the “work” and the other person does the other 30% but also invests their time/funds/attention to other things that could benefit their relationship/life experience, e.g. plan vacation, weekend outing, restaurant/movie date night, etc. I think most relationships are strained when the individuals involved are just focusing on the “work” and they forget about fun/leisure the very thing that brought them together in the first place (time, attention, fun).

What if we stopped looking at relationships as a 50/50 type scenario and just focus on doing 150% of quality time/effort together? Just a thought.

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?

Train Yourself to Wake Up Early

So lately I’ve been seriously considering waking up earlier in the morning.  Normally I stay in bed until about 7:30am and rush to make it out of the house by 8:00am and get to work to beat the traffic.  I’m usually able to make it to work 20 minutes early but at the expense of that early stress.

Sometimes I take the time to buy breakfast which usually consists of a breakfast taco and large coffee and costs me $4.  Other times I go without breakfast and wait until lunch to have my first meal of the day and ultimately killing my metabolism in the process.

I’ve been wanting to lead a more active lifestyle but am usually too tired to do anything by the end of the day and wearing myself out during the pm road traffic.

The daily grind of waking up, rushing to work, then going home, eat dinner, then go to sleep gets pretty old by Wednesday morning – I know waking up earlier will grant me time to spend doing something I enjoy. Ultimately though waking up means gaining more personal time.

I know it won’t happen overnight but ultimately my goal is to be OK with getting up at 5am, every day.  I know the key thing is to do something that I enjoy first thing to motivate me to leave my warm bed.

How much time of our weekends are taken up by laundry or general house cleaning?  A lot of time can be saved by cleaning up little by little during the week which can be achieved 5-10 minutes every morning.

So just to recap… the advantages of training yourself to wake up early in the morning…

  • More time to do what you like/love
  • Eat breakfast
  • Exercise
  • Save money
  • Save time

Discount Tire to the Rescue!

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My tire pressure light came on in my dashboard driving to work today.  I pulled into the parking lot at my job and checked out my tires and sure enough I had somehow managed to run over a nail.  My boss told me to go to Discount Tire because if the tire isn’t flat chances are it’s in a spot that can be repaired.  So that’s how I spent the first part of my morning.  Three things about today’s experience:

  1. It took an hour to do.
    This is because there were 4 other customers in front of me yet they were still able to take care of me within the hour.
  2. Workers were friendly and efficient.
    In the hour as was sipping coffee and watching everyone not a single employee was just standing around…everyone was working on something. It took them a few minutes to take care of the people in front of me before I even got to the counter but they made sure to greet me and assured me that they would be right with me soon.
  3. IT WAS FREE!
    I really thought I was going to have to come out of pocket for the repair but it didn’t cost me a dime!  They did try to offer me a warranty for all of my tires considering they were all relatively new but I decided to opt out of the warranty.  If I do end up having tire problems again within the next 6 months, I may have to consider it though.

Overall it was a fantastic experience – I made it a point to not stress and just get it done so I’m really glad it all worked out. 🙂