Caution: Overthinking Can Lead to Extreme Indecisiveness

Usually I am eager to sit down with my laptop and formulate all of my thoughts that I have been organizing in my brain into one cohesive story. However, this month, I noticeably was filled with more dread than excitement. Why? I love writing. I am beyond thrilled to be writing again after avoiding it for many years (that is a whole other story that I will save for a different day…)

This piece you are reading was not what I was originally going to submit for this month’s post. The truth is, I procrastinated (actually, avoided) working on anything until the night before my deadline. I came up with a very generic post citing 5 tips on how to handle stress, which I also still submitted, but the whole thing just felt off – as in, fake and lacking…

I did not want to submit anything just for the sake of submitting something. I want my pieces to be raw and vulnerable, and reach readers in a relatable way. So I decided that I needed to sit down and focus on writing the piece that I truly was meant to write this month.

As I sat in my office with the door closed and I asked myself “What are you running from right now?” – It hit me.  There have been some pretty big decisions the universe seems to keep reminding me lately I need to make.

I have been on such a roll in 2017, building on so much momentum, and so many awesome things have been happening in my favor. However, there have been some areas of my life that I have purposely been avoiding because I am sidestepping making some serious decisions.

I am a Libra. I like to feel balanced. I loathe making decisions. Which is ironic because I am also very “Type A”, so I love to be the one calling the shots. How does that even make sense?

There are times when I am just so indecisive that I frustrate myself. Then I start to beat myself up over trying to figure out what I want, and I get flashbacks to a scene in the movie The Notebook when Noah is yelling at Allie “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!”

The thing is I don’t KNOW what I want. I mean, I do know, in terms of big picture. But I want a million things, and I am still trying to figure it all out.

My main problem is that I over think things to death, which leads to my extreme indecisiveness.

The only thing I can keep reminding myself is to take one day at a time. Rome was not built in a day, and not all decisions must be made and finalized this very second. Decision making is a part of life, and although it often times gets a bad rep for being “the bad guy”, it really is the unsung hero.

Yes, decision-making can make you uncomfortable and kick you out of your beloved comfort zone.

Yes, decision-making can force you to face some seemingly scary things head on.

Just remember, decision-making really has your best interest at heart if you are being true and authentic with yourself.

Transition is usually never a smooth ride, and there are almost always bumps in the road.

Maybe I still am not ready to face those big scary decisions I have been avoiding, but writing down these thoughts is a start.

I am saying out loud to myself (and writing it here for anyone else who might need a reminder): One day, when you are living your wildest dreams in real life, you will thank yourself for being brave enough to make those tough decisions that you so badly wanted to run and hide from. 

Antonella is a gypsy soul with a passion for traveling, experiencing other cultures, and trying new things. Her “happy places” include airports, libraries, and Japanese restaurants. She enjoys reading, creative writing, music, kickboxing, risky/high-speed activities, and food! Her favorite things in life are crafting a good story and making people laugh. While she is still on a journey to figure out her exact life purpose, she is on a mission to be what she’s destined to be!

Energy

Made it to my orange and gray hiding spot. The sun is hitting me perfect. The warmth around me is comforting. Fall is starting to slowly move her way in. People will crave her colors and sprinkles of leaves like those on their favorite soft ice cream.

I remember when. I remember when my mind was more at ease. The worries were what was I going to wear on a Friday night skating and what friends were going to show up? Funny, I think I always wore the same things. Today, earlier, was so rough. Internally felt physically ill. I went about my business, mom duties, school shopping, carrying myself lookin sane but insides were on the scariest roller coaster ride I had ever been on. Amazing how we function, keep going on. I can’t pin what has the balance in me off, and I’m gonna reflect..focus..try and find it, but what’s my choice except holding on. I hold on and breathe. I hold on and calm myself. I seek peace because I am worth it.

It’s almost two months, eight weeks exact since I had the heart attack. It makes you reflect. At first I stopped. All the world of mine shut down. Time tics and tocs and you start going back to the same routine, and fast all over again. Ya get caught in the same waves of the days.

Where, what brings you comfort? Mine lately has been music. I’ve been inhaling a station on Pandora *Coffee House Covers Radio*. 
My daughter complained yesterday morning as we drove, “Mom, this is making me sleepy!” 
My immediate thought, Ummmmm – its holding me sane.

I started my morning today like I do. Happy day! This morning as I was plugging away with my coffee in my favorite Will & Grace mug, applying for jobs, which I have been doing consistently since March, my to do list in my mind clicks, clicks, clicks with the rest of things I have to get done today. My oldest daughter just walked by, my thoughts.. please do not empty the coffee pot! Sighhh.. she did.

Music and my mind, it keeps me grounded, takes me to stable. Gives me that keep thriving energy. What’s your song? Find it. Turn it up!

Amber – 311

Brainstorm, take me away from the norm’
I’ve got to tell you something
This phenomenon, I had to put it in a song
And it goes like
Whoa, amber is the color of your energy
Whoa, shades of gold display naturally
You want to know what brings me here
You glide through my head, blind to fear
And I know I
Whoa, amber is the color of your energy
Whoa, shades of gold display naturally
Whoa, amber is the color of your energy
Whoa, shades of gold display naturally
You live too far away
Your voice rings like a bell anyway
Don’t give up your independence
Unless it feels alright
Nothing good comes easily
Sometimes you’ve got to fight
Whoa, amber is the color of your energy
Whoa, shades of gold display naturally
Lost a thousand ships in my heart so easy
Still it’s fine from afar
And you know that
Whoa
Brainstorm
Take me away from the norm’
Whoa
I’ve got to tell you something

 

 

 

 

Amy Scott
Amy is on the great adventure of 40 and all that has come with it this year. From Atlantic City, NJ and raised in PA.
She is venturing on life being unpredictable! She is one to find the positive.
Fan of Alice in Wonderland, Will & Grace but first a mother. Writer. Photographer.
One who is fierce, passionate and guilty of being a lover.

When you can’t get out of your own head, get into the kitchen.

Two cups of flour.

That’s where it starts. If you want to double the recipe to fill a whole sheet pan so you can make more, then start with four. I didn’t do the math when I first wrote it down, but I always double it.

The recipe for Blondies is my sister’s. It’s perfect for bake sales for school or large gatherings when you need something sweet that won’t melt in the heat and travels easily. Imagine brownies, but vanilla. They remind me of chocolate chip cookie bars. They remind me of comfort. They remind me of my family.

That’s my favorite part about recipes and baking. When you open up your recipe book, every page has a story. The Dirt recipe that I had to promise never to make for my friend’s husband. The one for homemade dill pickles that takes me right back to my childhood, eating entire jars in one sitting. Some pages are clean and others bear the spots and splotches of batches gone wild.

Recipes are connective tissue in my past, present, and future. It’s not a chore to pull my book of favorites out and spend some time creating something that brings joy not only to myself but to the recipients of the treat. Each one reminds me of the person who shared it, the story behind it.

The sharing of recipes continues the cycle. When someone asks for a recipe I’m glad to hand it over. I’m not stingy. I consider it a compliment, and look forward to hearing about their experience. I have no secrets, except for the ones that don’t require a pattern, like my Dad’s spaghetti sauce. The next time you enjoy something, ask for the recipe and watch their eyes light up.

I find baking cathartic. It’s more than just pleasing someone with food, making money for a cause, or simply eating something delicious. I find that in the act of creating something for someone else, I find peace and strength. I don’t want anything in return. (I get to lick the beaters.) In the giving, I find grace.

We all get stuck in cycles of negativity. Doing something for someone else takes you out of that cycle; even if it’s just for a moment or a day, it’s still a moment of respite. One that we deserve and don’t allow ourselves to experience nearly enough. Pure happiness can be found in moments like this, in service to others with chocolate.

Karen Padden
Karen, Queen of the Paddens and first of her name. Teacher, Baker, Petter of Cats, Multiple Sneezer and Crocheter of Wubbies. Believes in kindness, always.

“The Best Mirror is an Old Friend”

“The Best Mirror is an Old Friend”

As I sat with my friend P for a quick impromptu dinner the other night we chatted about her mom who has dementia. The sad thing she said is that most of her mom’s friends whom she talked to every day are gone. I sat back and sighed and thought about this for a moment and quickly said. “I hope I’m the first to go out of our group. I couldn’t bear to say good bye to any of you.” I have been friends with my crew for 50 years. Most are from grammar school and a few from high school and even one I met on her wedding day over 30 days as I was a date of one of her groomsmen. One is a friend since in vitro. Her mom and my mom were friends growing up and were both pregnant with us the same time.

These are the people who will remind you who you really are. They know your soul, your true being. They know you even after life has knocked you down, twisted you up, or sent you half way around the country. They know you. They remember who you wanted to be, who you tried to be and who you ended up to be. And they love you no matter what.

Some of us over the years took a break from the friendship. Some of us never left.  Again 50 years of friendship. We endured boyfriend mistakes, husband mistakes, pregnancies, siblings dying, parents dying, spouses dying, illness, multiple marriages and the list goes on and on.

Right after high school we started Girls Club. We were insistent to stay in touch. So once a month back then we would make sure we got together to catch up. When we were young it was all about the drinking and having a great time. Maybe meet at a restaurant, or who am I kidding, usually a bar. Then one by one we got engaged and married. Standing up to weddings or going to one was the norm for a few years in our 20s. Our girls club then took on a new persona. It was a monthly outing at someone’s new place. We ate more than we drank. Babies started coming and our conversations and club took on a whole new meaning. Baby showers were abundant. Some of us even were godparents to each other’s kids. Years went on and we did outings with our children because we wanted them to all be close. Everyone is Auntie so and so. No formalities. More like family. Once a year we would venture out to Santa’s Village and dress all of our kids in the same shirt so it was easy to find them. Not sure who enjoyed the amusement park more. Us or them. Some started moving to other parts of the area and a few to other states. That didn’t matter to us, we knew once a month we were going to see each other no matter what. As kids grew older Girls Club once again took on a new meaning. It was a night out and a night away from responsibility. This time it was wine instead of shots. And of course always food!! (Most of us are Italian so food was never lacking) Marriages started to crumble or needed work. Some of us were climbing the corporate ladder and needed a little push. Kids had issues going on and we all tried to help. We even had a club game called Asshole of the month. You had to nominate your husband or boyfriend for that honor and then we all voted who it should be that month. Life started taking different turns for some of us. But through everything we stuck together.

I talk to a few friends every day before work at like 6:30 am. We have group texts that can go on for hours. We support each other’s children at birthday parties, graduation parties and wedding parties. We’ve seen plays, dance recitals and football games for each other’s children. We are Facebook friends with our friend’s children. We are the lending ear if they have a problem that they want an opinion on before telling their mom. That’s how close we are after 50 years.

So how come some people have these kinds of lasting friendships and others don’t? So many people tell us you are all so lucky to have that. To me it’s just natural. Couldn’t survive any other way. I have met people at work who don’t see any old friends that they grew up with. Sounds sad to me. Some of us go to Florida once a year on a girl’s trip. We have been doing this for a long time. It is a week with just us. No husbands, boyfriends, kids or dogs.  We even meet women in the pool who ask us about our friendship. So are we the norm or the exception? We are never our age in Florida. We are still the same girls who flipped through Cosmo magazines and hung in someone’s basement while trying beer or cigarettes for the first time. Our jaws hurt when we leave from laughing all week. Sometimes we cry and stay up late to discuss serious matters while eating ice cream.

My parents have friends from earlier years in their lives and so do my aunts and uncles. So is it genetic in a crazy kind of way?  My daughter is 26 and her best friend is the same girl from when she was 5. Will she be lucky enough to keep the 50 year streak going? I believe so.

But back to the quote. The best mirror is an old friend. Just sit and think about it. It is so true.

 

 

 

Donna Reboletti
Donna is an administrative assistant at a local school district. Worked many years as a customer service manager and sales rep in the publishing distribution field. Non profit is her passion, but it doesn’t pay the bills, so Donna is an avid volunteer in her community. A mother of two adult children and a Schnoodle named Vinnie all who still reside in the nest. A divorced woman over 50 who has been on at least 50 first dates in the last few years but still has not given up hope. Donna grew up in Chicago and had a great childhood in her neighborhood. She currently lives in the outlying burbs. She swears she has the best Italian/Polish family and has a fabulous support system of childhood friends. Her “Girls Club” keeps her sane and tries to help her not sweat the small stuff. Looking forward to becoming Golden Girls when the time is right. Her life has been a roller coaster of love and loss but she always keeps that ticket handy for the next ride. A big shout out to her 8th grade English teacher Mr. Purton who always said she had it in her. Donna tries to leave a little sparkle wherever she goes.

I had a crisis of identity and it can happen to you too!

I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing an amazing career, with many high highs and nearly as many low lows. It was much later that I realized I had allowed my identity to be directly tied to my successes at work. I co-founded my first business at 24 years old and it was one of the most exciting and terrifying times of my life. Our company experienced TREMENDOUS growth and within 2 years of beginning it was just grossing just over $5 million dollars a year in sales.

My confidence was high, I really thought I understood who I was and what I was offering as a person and a business. I worked, and worked and worked some more…iterating, evolving and changing. The machine had become my baby, but it was more than that…it became WHO I was.

For years I had incredible successes over successes, so I did not even realize that I had identified who I was with what I did. Then there came a point that I began to struggle meeting those continued successes. Everyday seems like a battle and a grind to get things accomplished, I was overwhelmed and stretched way too thin. Then we took another blow as the economy came crashing down. It was a scramble to revamp our business model, all the while seeing the sales slow and margins shrink.

I tried to bolster my resolve, I’ll work harder, innovate more, I can do this! When I made this commitment something strange began to happen; the more I tried to hold on, to get a grip, to make it work…the more that I lost control. This was a business with 170 team members and I was not adequately engaging them or allowing them to grow. The reality unfolded that I was stifling my business, my staff and in turn stifling myself.

Ultimately, I was pushed out of the business and it crushed me personally. In the months that followed I felt battered, defeated and exceptionally lost. It took me years of contemplative assessment to understand that when my accomplishments became fewer and farther between (and ultimately stalled), I equated that to my self-worth and I began to spiral. I had allowed myself to become a reflection of my work, and who was I without my work?

Upon this realization, I experienced a shift in my perception that lead me to learn to never identify yourself with your actions. You are not what you do. No matter what you do or where you live, these criteria DO NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE. When we choose to live by this false identity and draw our security from it, we are always in need, always dissatisfied, and really only focused on our needs simply because nothing is ever enough. We are left with an insatiable desire to search for fullness and completeness, but never finding it. We are continuously trying to fix, change, or re-arrange ourselves or our personal environment. This puts us in a position of lack and need, which pushes us to try and hold on tighter to control of our lives.

This can be said for so many facets of our lives; careers, relationships, physically and financially. Life eludes us, people fail us, and ultimately we are miserable.

This is a choice, the opportunity lies within each of us.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual activist providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – guiding you to use practical techniques to reactivate understanding and spiritual connection, so that you can begin masterfully building the life of your desires.