Stop and Smell the Flowers, and Clear Your Mind

Any parent or caregiver will tell you it’s nearly impossible to make time for yourself. A wise woman once told me self care is a necessity in order to have healthy relationships with your loved ones. She compared it to being on an airplane when the oxygen masks fall from the overhead. You have to adjust that oxygen mask on your own self, before you can help anyone else. (God forbid that happens to any of us.) Otherwise, you and your co-pilot suffer. Easier said than done.

Lately, I found myself spiraling out of control, much like that airplane. I’ve been sleeping less, eating more, and developing unhealthy habits. Dealing with added stress as we try to make sense of the unknowns of the approaching school year, and the unknowns of what is happening with my career. In addition, the pressure of keeping my kids entertained while they push back on teacher mom, who is trying her best to prevent any learning loss. All the while struggling to maintain a tidy home and well kept kids so when the husband comes home, he doesn’t think I’ve been lounging around all day in pajamas. I honestly have no idea what I do all day, but it’s not that. Did I mention elections, social injustice, COVID-19, and fires burning? I feel like I’m in a Billy Joel video: 2020 remix. The pressure is bottling up and I need my mask.

“Self! You need to go for a long walk.” What clarity, what simplicity, what freedom! Why haven’t I done this sooner? I really had no reason other then all the excuses I’ve convinced myself of. “I don’t want to leave the kids home alone, that laundry really should get done, I have that thing to do, my head hurts.

Once I found my path, my road not taken, I discovered so much along the way. I discovered what my neighborhood looks like, I met some friendly faces, I learned the names of 2 dogs that looked familar. I noticed nature at work. I was inspired by some landscaping ideas I’d like to try out in my yard, I thought about what my next blog topics were going to be about, I started to envision how my classroom would look once back to school, I stopped and smelled some flowers before the fall arrives and kills them all. I even stopped to say the Pledge of Allegiance. All of these positive thoughts and brainstorming, I could not do within the home. Too many distractions. “Mom, I want milk, Mom, can you buy me Robuks? Mom, can my friends come over? Ma…Ma….Mommy.” Walking brings me a sigh of relief for even a brief moment. I come back home, and it’s all there waiting for me, like a Stephen King novel, I’m afraid of what I’ll walk into. But I am thankful I had an hour of peace and solace from all that has been weighing on me. I come home, and all is well. The house is still standing and no one noticed I was even gone.

So step away, force yourself, it’s okay. You have permission. You’ll thank yourself later.

P.S. Count how many different types of sunflowers you run into along the way.

Then The Thunder Came

Who can relate?

My girls went next door to swim at the neighbor’s pool. So I pour myself a little drinky drink and float around in our pool since no one wanted to hang out with me. My pool float half deflated, thanks kids. Who knows how many days of summer will be left. I am trying to take advantage of some peace and quiet after a hectic morning. The only thing is, I can’t force myself to relax and just enjoy the moment. My mind is a mile a minute right now. And the mom guilt sets in quick. Self: “You should be doing something productive right now.”

#missthegirls #allaloneisnotgoodforme #momtime #selfcare #trying

Then, about 20 minutes in, the thunder came. Everyone out of the pool.

Curly Cue

If you are like me and you have thick, curly, wavy, frizzy, or out of control hair, you need to get this curl cream. Us Italian girls are blessed but also cursed at the same time with wild hair. Most people pay big money for those curls, but I usually pay big money to straighten mine. We are never happy with what God gave us, are we? At 43, I don’t bother for the straight look anymore. I really have no one to impress. Once in a while, I switch it up but now I usually just go o’naturale. I continue with my Kerotin treatments a couple times a year just to tame the beast. It’s a nice treat. When I’m wearing it down, I highly recommend Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Cream. I have tried a lot of curl and frizz free products but I finally I found my match. Using it over a year now, and it never disappoints.

Apply a good amount to wet hair. I also apply a little conditioner too. The key is just let it air dry. The dryer is my worst enemy and it causes the hair to look dry and frizzy. I think I’ve used my hair dryer a handful of times since we’ve been home. When you step out of the shower, don’t dry your hair with a towel too much. Your hair will dry better almost drenched, a tip my lovely hair stylist taught me. Run fingers through your hair once applied to start defining where you want your curls to sit. Kind of like molding it around.

Pros: Smells nice, light, doesn’t weigh your hair down, seperates your curls and waves giving them definition, very inexpensive. $6.99 at Target.

Cons: I really can’t think of any? They do have it in a Lotion but I am not a fan of it. I think the cream is way better.

Believe it or not, without Strictly Curls I’d look much worse.
Don’t mind my grays, I don’t have a solution for other than my stylist Staci.