I don’t know about you, and there is no judgement here, personally I don’t worry about Covid-19 much at all. I wash my hands, use hand sanitizer, don’t touch my face, and limit my contact with others as much as I can. But let’s be honest, whether you are Pro-Quarantine, Pro-Mask, Neutral, believe it’s too much, and want it all normal again – what’s the right thing? I am not talking about the mask debate, glove debate, or anything else. I am just saying, what is now polite?

I deal with customers, and at the beginning of March, my work facility became a “hand shake free zone”. I get it. Honestly, there’s times when I have had to shake someone’s hand and it was all i could do not to gag in their face for some reason or another. I am also from the south, and I never want to make anyone feel bad and use manners. NOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS! Do I shake hands? Do I not? Do we just not do that anymore? If someone has a mask, should I put one on? How far away do you stand? I don’t know how to review documents from six feet. I also don’t want to disrespect someone with an actual nervousness by getting to close.

Here in Orange County, where I live the, Mayor enacted a mask order starting tomorrow. So I at least know that I have to wear a mask in the stores. So we are on an equal playing field. But what do we do past that? Shake hands? No?

I want to make sure that everyone I encounter is comfortable. At my job, or anywhere else. If wearing a mask is required, I am a rule follower that way. I hate masks – personally, they freak me out. I feel like I can’t breathe. I take it off a second, then I can breathe. Good to go for ten or so minutes. When I do that, I try to breathe in my shirt.

And can people please stop mask shaming!?!? It’s ridiculous. Let me address a few people here.

1. ANTI-MASKERS– I am an anti-masker. But I will not be a mask shamer. That’s those who choose to make their voices heard through social media by memes, secret photos of people, or completely negative comments about folks wearing masks. (And this is coming from a mask hater). STOP IT. JUST STOP IT. You don’t know what that person has went through, to start off with. If they are more comfortable wearing a mask, how in the world does it affect you? It doesn’t. It isn’t your face. Why are we so obsessed with being mean to other people? Maybe they believe the 180,000 articles and news stories that state that masks help prevent the disease – and really feel like they are protecting you – not just them. And if you think of people walking around – protecting you – it makes me admire those masked folks. And let’s be honest, you could be wearing shorts to short, with orange crocs – and they aren’t making fun of you… I kid. I kid. (sorta)

I can do these masks no problem – I wish SnapChat could make them work in real life!

2. PRO-MASKERS – I get it, this disease is scary. But because you wear a mask – doesn’t make you a better person than someone who doesn’t. Again, the passive aggressive memes, photos, etc. needs to stop. Because just like I said above, you don’t know why someone might not be wearing one. Maybe it’s a medical issue. Maybe they are claustrophobic. Maybe they believe the 180,000 articles that state that masks do nothing for the Corona Virus – and they need to get back to normal in their life, and a mask doesn’t feel normal. For me, an anti-masker – I literally feel like I can’t breathe. And I will be okay for 10-15 minutes. Then randomly – I can’t breathe well. Next up – almost a panic attack. That being said, Now that it is instated that I am required to wear one in public – I will. I will also not be going out as often, because it makes me uncomfortable. When they lift the mask order – I am sure there will be a lot of people who still wear masks. I will be one who chooses not to, if I don’t have to.

3. EVERYONE – I think our nation has been through it this year. 2020 is one for the books for sure. But what I say is such divide. Politics. On race. Gender. Sexuality. And now, masks? Can’t we all just get along. And of all the things to fight over – well, let’s just not fight.

So, what do you think? What’s the best way to be polite, respectful, and still warm and friendly. And how do you do it with acquaintances? Like a parent of one of my kids friends? I don’t really know them, but I don’t want to be rude.

This is hard. So what do you do? And what are you – anti mask or pro?

I know, we learned this as little kids. But I am not talking about your standard – “Don’t lie.” I am talking about tell your truth. Yours. The dialogue that runs in your head. What is that truth?

For the past 10 years, I think I have suffered with some type of identity crisis. No seriously, I think I did. Around January – February of this year. Everything seemed jumbled, and then it slowly began to come into focus. I am a big fan of self – help, meditation, prayer, the bible, journaling, all of it. And I used all of these tools for years, but it wasn’t until the past couple of months – that I surrendered.

Surrender, you say? That seems dramatic. Yes. It is dramatic. And here is how. You see above how I said I love the bible? Well, since I was a little kid – I was brought up in church. I knew these verses – I just never thought to actually apply them. Yeah, I know – I am a quick learner.

“ ‘Do not steal. “ ‘Do not lie. “ ‘Do not deceive one another. ” – Leviticus 19:11. An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. Proverbs 14:5 And well, that’s just a couple.

Now you might be sitting there and saying, “Well, Kristie – I am glad you have gotten your pathological lying in check, but I don’t have that issue. ” Well first of all Karen, that’s not what I am talking about. But second of all – I think we all struggle with this a little more than we think.

I have a therapist. And she is great. Why do I need a therapist? WE ALL NEED A THERAPIST! Now, maybe you have one. Maybe you have a girlfriend, sister, someone else – who steps in as a therapist. Me, personally – I like having the outside perspective. I have girlfriends I can talk to – but guess what? They love me. If I’m mad – they are mad. We are a team. So, I need someone who will say – “Kristie, you are wrong and you are being crazy.” Jan loves doing that.

So. Here is my big lie. And maybe yours, too. It’s only two words – and I used it like a badge of honor. You ready? —– “I’m fine.” ——- That’s it. I always acted like everything was fine. And to be honest, the last ten years of my life – not really fine. There’s been a lot of good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s been a lot of bad. And it’s only been in the past 6 months or so – that I have gotten comfortable with saying what my truth’s are.

I have had some medical bills. I have struggled in silence with those. Well, mostly silence. And finally I had enough. I made a decision. That decision was going to require me to be vulnerable, and tell the truth. I decided to implement Dave Ramsey’s plan to pay off all my bills, rather than just staying afloat, and making everyone else thing everything was perfect. That meant, telling those in my tribe. My friends, my kids, and to be honest, some people I work with. Why did I have to tell them? Because they were going to see a change. I am on a budget – a strict budget – so extracurricular stuff is gone for awhile. I am not being rude, I am not being distant. I am just being broke. But I am choosing broke for now, so I can be great later. That’s my truth. My truth isn’t that everything is fine. Because it isn’t. My truth is that it will be. So guess what I did. I told my friends. My family. My co-workers (that I am close with, anyway). I told them that I was going to start selling stuff that I/we didn’t use. I was going to throw every penny at my bills, and get them paid off ASAP. And guess what?

Every single person was nothing but supportive. Even my kids. Even Jacoby. No one thought any less of me. No one acted like I was some irresponsible 40 something screw-up. And to be honest? Most everyone either then told me about their financial struggles, either present or past. Gave me great ideas, and also said – ‘I’m proud of you. I know it’s scary. You can do it.’ They are right. I can.

Next, and here is a big one – I think especially for women. Let your loved ones know what you need. Just let them know. Jan said to me, ‘One day – You are going to have to actually say what you need. People aren’t mind readers. It isn’t being selfish. It isn’t being weak. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that you aren’t okay with something. Because if they react negatively? Either they can’t do what you ask – so you change your expectation, or you accept it and progress. You shouldn’t suffer and worry in limbo. So, at least then – you can determine where you place that relationship.’

Well, Jan. What if they don’t say what you want them to? What if you want them to love you? Need you? What if you want to be the apple of their eye? You want them to see you as strong? The go-to friend? The best daughter? An amazing girlfriend? The best employee ever? Telling someone what you need – THAT’S WEAK! I said this, not quite so eloquently, to her. She folded her legs up underneath her and shook her head. “I didn’t say it was easy. I said you needed to do it. But if you wanna suffer, hey – go ahead. But this piece of advice isn’t going to change. People aren’t mind readers – as much as we might want them to be.”

So, months later. I did it. (Listen, don’t judge me. I didn’t say I was obedient. Or a quick study.) But I did it. I started talking to those I trust and have relationships with. I told them about my trust issues. I told them about my fears. I told them when I felt ignored. Or not wanted. I told them when I just wanted to be alone. Once I started telling, it got a little easier. And guess what happened? Some of the folks – not all, but some. Started telling me back. And guess what? We are closer than ever. Some, have just listened to what I said. Some, have listened and told me that they couldn’t do what I needed. But guess what. Every scenario was a win. Everyone. Because one, relationships grew. And I was told how to love them better. And even in the situation where I was told that they couldn’t do what I needed? It wasn’t mean. It was just – they couldn’t. I can’t be mad at that, and I now have realistic expectations.

Listen, I still struggle. The act of being vulnerable and admitting you have a heart and feelings – well for me – that sucks. I’d much rather be viewed as the “tough, I don’t care, I’ll fight you then spit in your grave” type person, than the one who is tender hearted and cries by herself at night. I’d much rather be seen as tough, than the girl who is afraid that she will never be loved the way she loves. I’d much rather be seen as distant and cold, than for anyone to know – just how much I would give for those I love, and how I am scared to death that no one will ever love me back that way – and maybe, I don’t deserve it. I’d rather be seen as a bully, than the tenderhearted woman that I actually am.

Because once you see that side of me? The soft side? I feel like you can ruin me. I feel like you can hurt me like no one else can. And when someone has been hurt? Well, like my momma says, ” A burnt child, dreads the fire.” So, I guess – I have been afraid of the fire. Not anymore.

Well, that I lie. I am scared of it. But what scares me more? Missing some amazing opportunities, to self preserve.

So guys. There it is. Tell the freaking truth.

Wish me Luck.

Love fully. Live fully. Sat nam.

We have been deep for way too long on this blog, so lets lighten it up today! Often times, in here, and my everyday life, I get some pretty killer compliments. One being – my hair. Let’s start there.

First of all – my hair stylist is the best hair stylist in the whole entire world. So, as far as my fantastic hair goes, she gets all the glory. She is a true visionary, and when you are searching for a stylist – make sure that you aren’t going for price as much as skill. I say this, because she can tell me what will look horrible, and what will look great. She tells me what can be done, and what can’t be done. She gives me realistic expectations. That’s so important.

You wanna hear a misnomer that hear I everyday!? “I love your hair! I wish I could do that! There is no way I could do that!” Yes there is. I promise. You can. Now, you might be scared to do it. You might be afraid of what it looks like. You might use your hair as a security blanket. All those are good reasons not to do it. But – I can’t? Yeah, that’s not a reason. In my opinion, you only live once. And I read somewhere, that people on their deathbeds only regret the things that they never tried. Not the things they tried and failed. So, dye your hair pink. Cut it off. Grow it out. Do you.

Now let’s talk about clothes. And here is the best piece of advice that I can give you where it comes to fashion. Pinterest. Now, I have public pinterest boards and private pinterest boards. My true fashion ones, are private. And here is my methodology. I will type in some of my fashion Icons. Here are some of mine – Pink, Marilyn Monroe, all of Michael Costello’s work, Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly, Michelle Obama, and Blake Lively. I look at images of them. Then, I pin them. And here is why – I will take an outfit that I see of theirs, and do my own version. With things in my closet already. You can get so much inspiration from looking at the way these folks dress, and add your own spin. I mean, c’mon. They have stylists dressing them all the time. That they pay a lot of money for. I get color ideas, pattern mixes, that I wouldn’t have thought of.

Lastly, and the most important to me. Confidence. You wanna look good? Then feel good. I rarely leave the house if I don’t feel good about my appearance. I want you to think about the day that you looked the most beautiful or the most handsome. Where you felt the best about yourself. Now pick five more. What was the commonality? Here is a commonality of mine.

In everyone, I had my hair great – my makeup fantastic, and heels. So, I can’t wear heels everyday – I work in a bodyshop. But, every chance I get, I throw on a cute pair of stilettos – you better believe I do it. Also, I ain’t rich. But I budget for my hair and makeup. It’s much more important to me to have my hair and makeup – than it is to go out to eat. Notice, none of those things had to do with my weight, because that fluctuates. But when my hair, makeup, and heels are on – I feel like I can take on the world.

So, what are the things that make you feel the most confident? Can you mimic those often? If you can’t , what could you do so you can? Like, we all know that confidence comes from within, of course. But let’s not lie, we all feel better when we look better.

Let’s own our everyday runway’s stronger than Lady Gaga. Below are some of my faves from the past 6 years.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Oooooh… controversial, right? Yas! I’m feeling a little sassy today!

Seriously though. My ‘real’ job – is literally a Customer Experience Manager. My job, is to make sure that your experience, at my shop, is amazing. We have that crap down, too. I mean, I am super good at my job. I am great at it even. Our scores show it. Customer Service is my pride and joy.

Now, you might be saying, “KRISTIE! The customer is always right!” Well, now you are wrong, too. Lol! Let me give you an example. I am at WAWA this morning. I am standing in the checkout line, and there are two people in front of me. Both people are on the phone. The young lady that was the clerk, was awkwardly trying to catch the first person’s eye. I know she was trying to ask them if they wanted a bag or not. She was also trying to be polite, and not interrupt their conversation. So, customer #1, talking his head off on his phone, never acknowledges the clerk. He is staring down at the credit card machine.

Once his total shows up, card inserted, tap tap tap, he grabs his stuff and walks out. Not even one nod of acknowledgment to the clerk. Customer 2 repeats the same process – almost exactly – and walks out the door. It’s my turn in line.

In that moment, I became painfully aware of my bluetooth earbud sitting in my ear. I quickly pause my audiobook, and pull the earbud out. “Good Mornin’!” I say.

The young lady says back to me, “Well, good morning! Thank you for getting off the phone, but you didn’t have to, no one else does. ” I replied in a panic almost! “I wasn’t on the phone, I was just listening to an audiobook!” She obviously didn’t care if I was on the phone or not – but for some reason I felt ashamed for the way the two customers in front of me behaved. She was such a sweet and lovely young girl working this morning. And those two people, missed an opportunity to engage with another human and to make her feel valued. They missed out.

That got me thinking. We live in a society of instant gratification. Self entitlement. The “I’M GONNA CALL MY LAWYER!” – Mindset. Remember in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, how Veruca Salt was a spoiled little brat. We, as customers, often do the same. I am including myself in this mix, so don’t get it twisted. We have amazon – get it quick. Cell phones with games or social media so we never have to be ‘bored’. Liposuction, Credit cards, Uber Eats, On Demand, Fast Food, Sudden service, WiFi, video games, grocery delivery, and the general lack of having to ‘wait’ for anything . And it seems, the more convenient things have become – that we have become much more impatient and much more entitled. You would think we would be more grateful, but it doesn’t seem so.

You want to know one of the reasons that my team and I are so successful in the customer service genre? In an industry that it is almost impossible to make people happy? I will give you one big tip. I DO NOT CHANGE MY CUSTOMER SERVICE MINDSET FOR ANYONE! So, my CSR’s are instructed to wait. And by wait, I mean this. We are in control of this situation, we are the professionals, so we are going to show you how it’s done. If a customer comes in- on the phone, and instructs me to go ahead and go over the forms while they are on the phone – I don’t. I reply, “These forms are way too important, and I want you to be able to focus on your call – as soon as you are finished with the call, you let me know – and we will get you taken care of. Take your time. ” And guess what, I mean it. I’m not being a smart alleck. These forms are important, and your phone call is also. There are humans on both sides of you. I will give you the time and space you need to complete your call. And then we will get you taken care of! I want to make sure that you are set up with a great level of expectation, and that we are clear!

In the 10+ years, I have never had one customer buck up when I refuse to do business while they are on the phone. I have seen a few look shocked, but that’s it. I want my customers to feel like they are connected to us and that we care. Because we actually do.

Now – let me explain to you a few things that happen at our shop. If you have never worked in the body shop industry – auto repair industry – you might not know. Consider this a public service announcement:

  • Machines make vehicles, humans repair them. We strive to be perfect, and get it as spot on as we can. Please, have some grace. We are human and it takes time.
  • Paint match. Listen, bumpers are different colors than sheet metal. That’s just the way it is. Paint adheres differently. Look at your car before your drop it off. If it doesn’t match then, it won’t match after. If it does now, it will then.
  • You, as the customer – deserve updates throughout the repair process. You should receive them from your insurance adjuster and the shop. An adjuster’s information is only as good as what the shop gives them – so if you have questions, call the shop.
  • Body shops want to repair your vehicle. If an insurance company says something IS NOT related, we have zero control of that. We get paid to repair, remember that. Screaming and cursing at us will literally get you no where. We can’t do anything without their approval. I can also guarantee you, that if you curse and yell in my shop – I won’t be able to advocate for you for anything, because I am going to have to usher you elsewhere as to not offend my other guests.
  • Body shops, especially shops like mine that do insurance work, are so regulated it is crazy. We are audited by everyone. So, we aren’t a crooked industry trying to make a quick buck off you. Just like all lawyers aren’t jerks. All accountants are not dull. Don’t make assumptions.
  • If you tell someone in a shop that you are going to contact your attorney because an insurance company is saying that something isn’t related. Please do. We want you to. So does the insurance company. We are well versed in this, and we aren’t kidding.

If you have any questions about the body shop industry – shoot me a comment or email me in the about me section. I’ll answer asap.

So, here is my challenge to you. Let’s try to be good customers. When we check out, tell your boyfriend to hold on the phone for a second, and talk to our clerk. Let’s show up a few minutes early to our appointments. If we go to pick up some shoes, and they don’t have our size, ask the salesperson if they can help find them – rather than huffing away or sulking. If you have to wait for a table at a restaurant, play a game of ABC with your kids and chat with your spouse. And at your next meal with your family – have everyone put their phone on airplane mode. Let’s be good customers to everyone we interact with.

I’m a realist. Sometimes, you are gonna get someone who sucks. An employee or business that is just subpar. Don’t get mad – don’t freak out – don’t yell. Just move on up the chain. Also, If you want some more Customer Service tips – Let me know. But, I can’t divulge all my secrets.

I gotta stay number 1.

Xoxo

The Best CSS squad on the Planet! (L to R) Eric, Rebecca, and Tariq!)

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat nam.

I look tough here, right? I mean – A welding, helmet – that’s intimidating.

Well, well, well.  The time has come for me to make a proclamation.  Internet Gangsters- our society has no need for you. 

Thanks.  End of Blog.

Kidding, obviously. I am gonna write more about it.  Let me start at the beginning.  Being a writer is hard.  Actually, putting your craft out in a public forum is hard.  So if you don’t do that – read and learn.  Because everyone, in some form or fashion, does something – that others could make fun of. But not everyone, does something in the public eye. Especially, the very public eye on the internet. Every time I put up a blog post, I run the risk of being ridiculed.  Anytime, a  You Tuber posts a video, they are putting their craft out there.  An artist showing their work.  A singer posting a video or sound cloud of them singing, everyone becomes a Simon Cowell. Now, do we know that we are putting ourselves out there to be reidiculed? Of course. But we do it anyway. Why? Because we are sharing.

And that, my friends, is courageous.  Any time someone is vulnerable, they leave themselves open for ridicule. And choosing to be vulnerable anyway, well, that’s freaking awesome to me.

And what I WILL NOT DO – is ever, never, ever – make fun of someone being courageous.  Why would you?  Aren’t we all humans doing this life thing, together? 

Here is what I do with  opinions that are different than mine- I keep scrolling.  If I see a video that I don’t like?  I keep scrolling.  And let me get this really clear – I am not talking about people who have a different opinion, profess it eloquently, without just being mean.  I am talking about the people who literally just say things to be mean. 

If you read this blog, which I guess you do since you are here, I have it set to where I have to approve comments.  I do that, because years ago, I didn’t.  Someone left a comment, and although they were being super sweet, they used language that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I mean, if you curse you curse – I ain’t judging. I just don’t want it typed out on my page. My momma and kids read this blog. 

I digress.  Well, on the blog post about being a widow, I got a lot of great feedback.  I receeived so many sweet comments! People sent me emails of encouragement. They left super amazing comments and asked for advice on Facebook.   And I also got the internet gangster comment.  This obviously, was deleted by me.  But now, I wish I hadn’t.

It said this.  “Widowed young with kids, huh?  I wonder if that is really true.  You are probably just another pretty face hired by corporate America where someone else is writing this bulls*** to make money.  And if it’s true – and least you had f-ing kids and f-ing family.  Some people don’t have anybody.”

Hmmmmm.  Insert blind rage right here.  FYI – they were “anonymous”.  Chicken.

Anyway.  I cried for a minute.  It hurt my feelings.  I thought, how in the world, when I am trying to help people, can people be so ugly?  I mean, obviously, what I write is true.  Google me, jackhole.  It’s not rocket science.   And then it hit me.  So this part, is for that person.

Dear Internet Gangster,

Thank you, anonymous.  First, I appreciate the fact that you called me pretty.  A really talented photographer took the photos you see.  I am so grateful for his skill and showing what I wanted the world to see!  Second, thank you for being so mean.  If I have people that don’t like what I am doing, that means I am spreading my message outside my regular folks, and my comfort zone.  That is a sign that I am succeeding – and I am so grateful for that.  Third, although we all say, you can’t please everyone – I think a lot of us still want to.  So this was a big lesson for me also.  And I realize now, I can’t please you. And that’s okay.  Fourth, a couple years ago, that comment would have made me quit writing.  Now, I just used it for material.  And yes, internet gangster – I have called you names in this post.  Why?  Because, well – I am still human.   You are still a bully.  And it was rude.  And, I thought calling you names would make me feel better.  It really didn’t.

That being said.  You are hurt, and I see it.  So now, I am going to do the thing that is for real the hardest for me.  I am going to pray for you – and the other Internet Gangsters out there, who are struggling like you are.  You are obviously lashing out in anger, in a forum of being anonymous – because maybe,  you don’t have people to talk to.  And if lashing out at me makes you feel better?  Bring it.  I can take it.  I mean, read my blog. I’ve been through worse.  A lot worse.  I am also a lot stronger and a whole lot braver than you gave me credit for.  So, good luck homie.  And keep your anonymous comments coming.

Love Fully. Live Fully.  Shine on.

Sat nam,

Kristie

So there we have it.  Donezo.  Now, if you are part of this cruelty culture that we apparently are cultivating on the internet,  think about if you would actually say it in front of the person.  You might would.

Think about this. If you wouldn’t want them to say it about your work, you, or your family – think again before you comment.  Then ask yourself, why do you feel compelled to comment?  To belittle another  human? To make yourself feel better?  What is the reason?  If it isn’t for personal growth of that other person, then don’t.  I am all up for positive critiquing.   Even a well-spoken opinion.  But if you are doing it, just to make yourself feel good an/or belittle another human – Well, grow up.

Some of us, want to bring others happiness. Be part of that culture.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

I mean, honestly. Boulders and clubs might . But sticks and stones? Nah.

Tonight while surfing the web, I got a great idea for a blog.  One that has affected me my whole life.  And something that I haven’t conquered – but is a work in progress.  You know the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break by bones but words will never hurt me?”  Well, that’s a big fat lie. First, I am gonna self admit – I have done a whole lot more damage with my words than ever with my fists.  I have had my fair share of run ins with sticks and stones… from falling down hills, playing sports, you name it.  But, I can honestly say – that not one single stick or stone has broken a bone. Ever.  Maybe made a bruise, but nothing that I can even really remember.  I am just sure in the course of my life so far – it has had to happen.  

Words on the other hand, can break your heart.  Words are something that can only be forgiven – no guarantee forgotten.  You know, looking back on old photos and videos – I can remember a lot of conversations – funny little things that I had previously forgotten.  But I remember those words.  Now, in the age of social media – it seems so much more prevalent. People will trash talk their spouses. Make fun of other people. Critique someone’s clothes, makeup, or even a birth mark.  People can say anything they want to someone, because they don’t have to look them in the eye.  My term for them, are internet gangsters. Here is a rule of thumb — if I wouldn’t say it if they are sitting in front of me – I will never type it.  And that goes in all areas  —  I’ve been hurt enough by words – I am sure we all have — so I don’t ever want to do that to anyone else.  

This week- THIS FREAKING WEEK – I was upset, and I said something I didn’t mean. I wasn’t even mad at the person I was talking to, I was just all up in my own feels. When they told me that they were hurt – It broke my heart. My mouth did it again. I couldn’t do anything but apologize. And this person, is super gracious, said that they understood, and accepted my apology. Now, I need to work a hundred times harder – to show that person that I meant it.  

I have even made the mistake my kids.  When you say, “You are grounded until you are 100!” — well, we know that’s not gonna happen.  I mean, I don’t normally say 100 . I do though, make more dramatic statements of punishment, than what would actually fit the crime. So then, when I calm down, I have to explain that I was angry, that was dramatic, and here is the actual punishment. I have had to do this more than once.  You get what I am sayin’, I’m sure. 

Let me tell you something, the word “whatever”, “nothing”, ‘I’m fine”….  I used to say it all the time. I know its a joke that when a woman says, “Nothing is wrong..” – that means something is.  Honestly, isn’t it sometimes so much easier to say those responses?  Like, it’s easier to say that you don’t care – than to explain all the reasons that you do. And why? Because if you don’t want to be vulnerable and show how you really feel.  And I know I feel that way sometimes.  That being said, if something is wrong. Say it. Don’t scream it. Maybe you know you are being moody – preface it with that. Because let me tell you -everyone has been moody. Everyone. Wouldn’t you rather someone tell you what’s wrong ? I know I do. Then you aren’t guessing. Worrying. Do everyone and yourself a favor.

Here’s my challenge to you. Watch your words. Tell your truth.

Be kind to each other.  Life is too short. 

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

Well, I guess I feel like owe you an explanation for last night’s video.  It was surrender and defeat.  That’s it.  That sums it up.   Today, though – is a new day.  And who knows?  I might be crying on Facebook later.  But hopefully, I won’t. 

You wanna know what is different this morning compared to last night?  Well, I can tell you what is the same.  My kid is still trying me. Well, in his defense he is still asleep – but you get what I am saying.  My bills are still ever present.  Health issues – exact same.  The difference is my mindset, for now.  That being said – that can change, too.  But hopefully, today – I kill it. 

I got a lot of direct messages last night, and some comments that you all can see.  And my whole goal in that video was just to let one person know they aren’t alone.  Because, tbh, scrolling facebook – I felt like the biggest loser on the planet.  Especially the day after Easter.  I saw the beautiful families in beautiful matching clothes.  Having beautiful family dinners.  And don’t get my lying – I even saw my own family having a beautiful dinner in Tennessee – but I can’t afford to travel home every holiday and I live a million miles away – and I chose that.   It made me happy but also jealous.  And yes – I don’t care what anyone says – you can have both emotions.  My therapist said so.  LOL!
And then, I looked at my own page.  And guess what I saw.  A beautiful family.  Having a beautiful family brunch.  And based upon my scrolling – we looked absolutely perfect and picturesque.  On the outside, it looks like we are happy, and killing it.  And we are happy.  And we are killing it.  But, here’s the freaking truth.  We struggle.    I struggle as a mom.  I question if I am a good one.  I have guilt when I just want to sit alone.  That guilt comes from me working. But I have to work, to keep a roof over their head…  I could go on and on with that alone.
I struggle financially.  I am a one income household and I got three kids.  To anyone with kids – nuff said, right?  At times, I wonder if I will ever be financially sound.  If I will ever not have that worry of money.  Today, with the sun out and shining down – I know that this is just a moment – and it will get better. 

I struggle with myself worth.  I struggle with admitting what my dreams are.  I struggle with the fear of people making fun of me, if I tell them what my dreams are.  And for those people who say, “I don’t care what anyone thinks” – LIAR!  LOL!  We are biologically designed to care what other think.  But I want to write and speak.  I want to let people understand how valued they are.  I want to help.  I want to change the world.

I also want to be healthy.  I want to travel.  I want to be married one day – madly in love with my guy.  I want romance.  I want to make it a full day without crying.  Or worrying.  Or questioning myself. 

I say all this to just say.  I feel you.  It isn’t easy.  So here is what this woman lies about. 
My lies: I’m fine.  Everything is great.  And sometimes, that is just false.  Not always – but sometimes.  Sometimes, I just want to cry and say “Today is freaking crap – My kid is being a jerk – I feel alone and overwhelmed – I’m sick of being sick… etc.”  But I don’t say it.  But now, I am gonna start.  Because guess what ?  My tribe, my closest, my people – all said – “You can tell me anything.  I understand.  I’m here.  What do you need.”  Also they said, “I feel that way too sometimes.  It’s a season.  We will get through this.  You are doing amazing.”  It helps.  Telling people helps.  Telling you helped.  Writing this helped.  (And just so you know, I didn’t fake cry in that pic.  That’s real tears, that I sent to my friend, because they were leaving.  Those were real tears. LOL!)

It’s okay to be vulnerable and have fears.  You know what makes it even better? It’s when you are brave enough to admit it to yourself, and your loved ones.  Because then, you start to see a shift. 
So, thanks guys – for everything last night and today.  Who knows.   Maybe this is the start of something amazing. 

*Disclaimer – this was written almost a month ago.  I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not.  But, today – I thought someone could benefit from it.*
I hope this helps someone today.
Too much to get into all the details – but today – I felt unappreciated.  It’s one of those things where it was weighing on my mind and heart.  Where you feel your heart, like are actually aware of the organ in your chest.  Swallowing seemed difficult.  And I felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders and wanted to cry.  
And then,  it hit me.  I am doing what I can.  And I don’t need the outside approval of others to confirm that for myself.  So many people are focused on being  perfect, rich, smartest, best, number one, etc – and I felt like, here I am – trying to make my tribe (and all those related to it) feel  loved and valued.  While trying to productive, perfect, make money, have the best numbers, look pretty, and be noticed and successful. And I don’t feel like anyone cares or appreciates it.  And yes – I just admitted – I care about all the things that I said others focus on.  I am not judging.  I am just saying, I also try to add value and love to those I interact with first.
It hit me.  Stop focusing on feeling bad.  Focus on the fact that you are alive and happy.  Realize that not everyone is always going to behave the way you want them to.  And just because they don’t – doesn’t mean that they don’t care.  It just means – that they might be going through their own stuff.  They might not feel like they need to acknowledge it.  And honestly, why do I expect acknowledgement?  Shouldn’t I be doing it – because I mean it, I love them, and I want the best for them – with no level of expectation back? 
Absolutely.  Sometimes, things can get so overwhelming for me – I feel like I can’t breathe.  I have worn my emotions on my sleeve for years – but one day, I started choking them down.  And just because I choke them down – doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.  They just aren’t seen as visibly to everyone.    So, to everyone who tells me how strong I am – thank you.  But the only real strength I have, is being able to hide my feelings from most people.  
Here is real talk.  I am not that strong.  I am actually pretty weak.  I have basic needs.  I need to be loved.   Valued.  And appreciated.  I get lonely.  I get sad.  I get scared.  I get overwhelmed.  And all of that can happen in under thirty seconds!  Where I feel weaker – is the fact that I struggle with admitting that I am human.  There is a total of about 3 people on this planet who know that part of me.  I am grateful for them – because without them – I’d probably lose my mind.   I don’t admit it often.  But today, I thought – let it rip.  Someone needs to know it’s okay to be human, too.   But while we are being human – let’s extend some grace to our loved ones and let them be human, also. 

Because let’s be honest – our feelings aren’t facts.

Xoxo.

Kristie

It’s two days after Christmas.  The ruckus has died down.  The kids are all content – and getting along.  It’s remotely quiet in my house.  I am sitting in my bed, watching netflix and youtube, and yes – simultaneously (I’m good like that).  But I kept saying to myself, do something productive.  Don’t waste your day.  You need to blog.  So, here we meet again.

Now, when you are completely being lazy – it’s hard to think of a topic.  And I just looked around – and realized there is my topic.  This weekend is my topic.  I went to Publix today, to pick up a few things.  One of those items were chia seeds.  It took me forever to find them – but when I did – I felt like I ran a marathon – and won it!  Why?  Because I found them without asking anyone.  So there is one little personal win.

For those of you who know me, I love yoga.  Pitaiyo.  Mediation.  I burn incense.  Yes, I have a touch of hippie, granola kid deep down in my heart.  I have a tattoo of the “om” symbol.  I like to stay at peace and relax.  And throughout my practice, I am able to do that about 80% of the time now.  Yesterday, I went to World Market.  And I found the most amazing scarf.  It’s a huge, huge scarf- almost like a blanket – that hangs to my ankles – and it has the “om” symbol on it.  And….. wait for it….. It was on CLEARANCE!  It was like it was meant for me.  So, I roll into Publix, with space leggings, a blank long tank top, and a huge “om” scarf blanket thing draped around me.  Did I look silly? Maybe.  Did I feel fabulous? Definitely….

I have been practicing the winged eyeliner for awhile now.  Today – I nailed it.  Quickly.  Finally.  Like in the amount of time it takes me to put on normal eyeliner.  I can be taught.

I say all this to say – this might seem like a little boring blogpost today.  But, It’s a little list of somewhat unimportant wins, but wins – nonetheless.  Take heart in  your little successes every single day.  It might just be the success of sitting down and watching a show on Netflix.  Or completing a blog.  Or having the confidence to wear something that might not be fashionable – because it makes you feel amazing.

So, before the new year begins… Try to find some downtime, and take a minute to love your individuality.  And just be kind.

Xoxo