Are You a Victim of Chronically Disappointed Valentine Syndrome?

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Married, coupled or single, we invite disappointment into our lives the moment we award the key to our happiness to another person. Yet, every Valentine’s Day masses of people rely on others to make their day special.

Big mistake, not only on February 14th, but for the rest of the year as well.

Happiness does not present itself on your doorstep in the form of a heart shaped box, nor will it be discovered tucked amongst a dozen red roses. It can’t be gifted and should never be contingent on the actions and/or affections of others.

Holding onto the notion that some day you’ll be swept off your feet by a knight in shining armor is not only naive, it’s about as probable as being abducted by a Bigfoot.

These spectacularly scripted love scenes mostly only exist in Nicholas Spark novels, on the Hallmark channel and cheesy soap operas.

The deceptive seed responsible for unrealistic romantic expectations is planted early on in children’s happily-ever-after fairy tales, then packaged and distributed to polite conforming society by profit driven retailers.

Expecting to bathe in champagne and rose pedals every Valentine’s Day is like expecting the romantic honeymoon phase of a relationship to last forever. It’s unrealistic, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing… It’s just life.

The honeymoon phase of a relationship is similar to that once-in-a-lifetime dream trip spent drifting the majestic waterways of Venice Italy in a gondola or an exotic island vacation spent surrounded by glistening turquoise waters – blissful and exciting, albeit short lived. Excitement that shoots straight up and rings the bell when struck with a mallet, then POOF, it morphs back into something ordinary, leaving many hopeless romantics disenchanted.

The fact is, you can’t pre-plan or schedule moments where emotional fireworks spontaneously explode in bright brilliant hues of scarlet and fuzzy pink confetti rains from the heavens.

Spontaneous moments are just that… unplanned and unexpected. While these blissfully awesome moments often blow the top off of everything wonderful, be mindful that this is a gift and not something that is necessarily owed to us.

It is up to us to proclaim February 14th as our very own special day to celebrate the loves of our lives; our children, family, pets, friends, acquaintances or simply a day to engage in random acts of kindness at home, at work or in the community.

The authentic warm satisfyingly fuzzy feeling you get from giving, far surpasses the random scraps of affection you feel are owed to you by others. Spouse and/or significant other and family included. You can’t rely on other people for your own happiness. Ever.

Valentine’s Day is probably the biggest kill-joy of all preconceived expectations. Everyone seems to have an ideal picture in their mind of how “it’s supposed to be.” The problem is that the scenario is in your mind and other people don’t have the script, and even if they did, it doesn’t mean they’d meet your expectations.

Be proactive – make an effort to become involved in a charity or cause that you’re passionate about. Giving unconditionally awards us control of our own mindset and is undoubtedly the most noble and satisfying course of action.

Understand that the intention is to give and not necessarily receive praise – as many recipients may not acknowledge your graciously efforts, and that’s okay. When you make giving about you, you nullify the unconditional factor. Give because it feels good.

Switch up this day or the rest of your life, grab the heart-shaped key and celebrate Valentine’s Day on your own loving terms.

 

10 Things to Remember about Love and Valentine’s Day

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1. Love is not exclusive to romantic couples. Love can include family, friends, animal companions, passions for humanity and causes in general. Loving is a selfless act that does not require an invite. Valentines Day, on the other hand, is viewed by many as a couples only occasion.

2. Love is a purposeful lifetime commitment; a virtue. Valentines Day is more like the eagerly anticipated celebration you have in kindergarten where you exchange silly character cards and gorge on sugary cupcakes.

3. Love is the silent acts of kindness exchanged by two or more people that’s not necessarily romantic in nature. Valentine’s Day often resembles a high stakes poker game where your hand is top secret and your expectations are not necessarily in sync with reality. In the end you could end up winning big or leaving with even less than you started with. It’s often all or nothing.

4. Love is not synonymous with a couples honey moon phase; the sky’s covered in brilliant fireworks and the pair is blissfully intoxicated by one other. Valentines Day however, is the one day people expect to successfully recreate their once bright colorful combustion of love or have it gifted unto them. Planning or expecting a spontaneous explosion of romance on Valentines Day usually leads to disappointment.

5. Loving blends with our every day lives and becomes an effortless endeavor. For some, Valentines Day can be a prickly sharp thorn, especially if their significant other has expectations that are ridiculously high and/or out of sync with their own.

6. Love can be bittersweet. It has peaks and valleys. Valentine’s Day in all its sweet glory is intended to rival a life-sized gummy bear that’s been dipped in molasses and rolled in pixie stick dust. It can be too much.

7. Love is a beautiful heartfelt emotion that’s free to give and receive. Valentine’s Day is mostly about stuff… even if it’s a fancy dinner; it’s bought and paid for.

8. Love is not boastful nor does it seek public validation on Facebook or Instagram. Valentine’s Day and all it’s materialistic shiny loot are plastered predictably all over social media in an attempt to earn acknowledgement. Insecurity is boastful and needy.

9. Love just happens. Valentine’s Day is a pre-planned event on the calendar that our society is not only conditioned, but pressured into acknowledging.

10. Loving awards one a higher level of satisfaction not found in receiving alone. When you give love it feels warm and fuzzy. Valentines Day on the other hand predictably results in masses of people feeling unloved and lonely, simply because they weren’t pampered within their expectations or are currently lacking the romantic interest of another.

Being part of a couple is not the key to happiness; LOVING within the confines of your present life and social situation are.

The key to happiness belongs to you and you alone.

 

 

Practical Tips for Surviving Flu Season

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Because…  common sense isn’t so common.

Wash your hands frequently, says Captain Obvious. This includes but is not limited to before eating, after using the bathroom, after sneezing, coughing and/or picking blowing your nose. Practice this fun soap, water and friction exercise long enough to sing the Happy Birthday song all the way through. That’s right, sing it with me… HAAAPPPPY BIRTHHHH…. Use extra time for long fingernails and rings. DAAAAAAYY TO YOUUUUUUU!!!!

Use hand sanitizer diligently – especially after contact with frequently fondled handled objects like door handles, railings, elevator buttons, gasoline nozzles, ATM keypads, e-pens used to sign for credit card purchases. Keep a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse, pocket, car, your child’s lunch box and/or backpack.

Keep your hands away from your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth. Sick germs most often sneak into the body through these 3 easy-to-access portals. Most people infect themselves. This is a biggie. Always be mindful of your hands.

Stay out of crowded places – Think about it; hundreds of people walk through commonly traveled places like Starbucks or convenience stores daily – coughing, sneezing and touching. Most public places are flu farms. It’s simple statistics…. The more people you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to contract the flu. Stay home.

•Stay home and keep your children home when they’re sick. Your personal quest for perfect attendance effects everyone. Working 8 hours with bronchitis does not qualify you for super dedicated employee status, it makes you inconsiderate. Keep your germs to yourself.

Stay hydrated – Drink at least 64 oz/day of non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic beverages. The dry dehydrated state that throws your bodies essential electrolytes out of whack, also makes you a more susceptible host to the latest community shared illness. Get your drink on.

Get enough rest – Step away from the computer, log out of Trivia Crack and hit the hay. Go to bed at a decent hour, nap when you can, sit down and take deep relaxing breaths every chance you get. Stress invites illness.

Slow down – Just say no. Don’t over-schedule your life. Cut back on commitments or enlist help. Your kid doesn’t have to attend every single birthday party, Brownie meeting, ballet class or sporting event. If you’re feeling run down, modify their schedule or enlist help. 

Eat right. If you admittedly have a poor dietary practices take a multivitamin daily. Additional supplements such as vitamin c, zinc and echinacea are also thought to help build immunity.

Cut back or quit smokingEvery cigarette counts. Smoking has been proven to lower your bodies resistance to illness. Tobacco smoke has chemicals and particles that irritate airways and lungs making them more susceptible to assault, injury and illness.

Get a Flu Vaccination – Many people have strong opinions regarding the flu vaccine. Fact -The Flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. It is also highly recommended for children, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised or have chronic health conditions like asthma or COPD. If you’re a healthy adult, it’s your prerogative whether or not to receive the vaccine.

Stay well.

Be an advocate and SHARE this message!

Ten Foolproof Resolutions for Dummies and People with no Willpower

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Yes… you can claim a happier and healthier you in 2015!

No willpower required.

Honest.

Follow these ten extremely easy steps –

1. Laugh. Find the funny in life’s toughest moments. Inappropriate humor is better than no humor, and it almost always trumps stress and aggravation. You can rant, internalize, suppress, cry or choose to giggle it off.

2. Eliminate as many chemicals from your diet as possible. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it in your mouth. Try to consume food that comes from the Earth and isn’t created in Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. Eliminate soda and/or anything with so many preservatives it remains exactly the same after one month.

3. Walk and move your body more. You don’t have to commit to Crossfit or join Richard Simmons big girl harem, just move more than you did yesterday. Park your car a little further from the store or take the stairs.

4. Drink more water. It’s the only pure form of hydration. If a drink contains artificial sweeteners or caffeine, it’s likely causing more harm than good. My approach to a happy medium is drinking my coffee with REAL sugar, then drinking more plain water throughout the day. Baby steps are positive steps in the right direction.

5. Radiate positivity. Deliberately squelch all thoughts of jealousy, envy, anger, injustice – as they are catalysts to toxic energy that will inevitably cause stress, leading to illness and overall unhappiness. Fight bad thoughts off with a pointy stick or pirate sword.

6. Breathe deeply. Take deliberate cleansing breaths every single day. This activity has been proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, you may feel better simply by cooling your jets.

7. Read. Anything. It’s brain candy. An engaged brain is a healthy brain.

8. Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the biggest thief of JOY and the largest hurdle in reaching personal fulfillment. Know that someone will always one up you, and that’s okay. Focus on your own awesomeness.

9. Love unconditionally. Don’t be judgy. Everyone messes up sooner or later and everyone deserves a second chance. Offer support instead of judgement – it feels better.

10. Never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep or a 10 minute nap. Things are almost always more manageable when you’re freshly rested.

Potential Resolutions for my Facebook Friends… Because I Love You, Man

 

*Limit the selfies. If you look exactly the same as your last selfie (yesterday) with the exception of hair #eleventy-six-hundred being moved 2cm to the left, please restrain yourself. You’re the only one who enjoys seeing your new-selfie-of-the-day, so why not just text it to yourself or use it as your personal screen saver or wallpaper. Don’t drag the rest of us into your quest to find your missing self esteem. If you need Facebook LIKES to feel good about yourself, it’s plain and simple… you’re fucked. And, I’m sorry that I had to be the one to tell you.

*Stop posting horrible shit that gives people like me nightmares. This includes but is not limited to photos of torture, animal cruelty, sensationalized fatalities, and accidents. I don’t want to see footage of people getting eaten by Amazon spiders or bursting into flames. This stuff cannot be unseen. Cut that shit out or I will pull the lever to my trap door and drop your sorry ass into the Land of Un-freaking-friended. So, THINK before you press share. Is this REALLY something you want to share with the class or is it possible that you’re just a fucked up deviant psycho who’s in a class (that should be a padded room) all by yourself?

*Post more dog and cat photos. Pets are considerably more like-able than their human counterparts. Pets don’t suck – at least not on purpose. If they suck, it’s 100% likely that it’s their humans fault anyway. Pet photos make me extremely HAPPY.

*Ditto for baby photos. I require frequent baby fixes. Mini-humans make me sqeeeeeeal with DELIGHT. Babies are perfect humans because they act predominantly on instincts and don’t know how to be selfish assholes yet. Babies are the most genuinely authentic beings on the planet. Babies rock.

I’m going to close with the above four potential resolutions, because I believe in quality over quantity. Plus, the first one is bound to result in an entirely new charter of Gina haters.

It’s all good though, because somebody has to say the important things that need to be said.

Happy New Year!!!

I look forward to hoards of photos of your baby kittens who aren’t tortured, dead or on fire and don’t contain twenty-hundred selfies of you posing in the mirror where you forgot to crop the tacky phone out of the photo.

Cheers!

Xoxo

Not a Creature was Stirring: Holiday Chronicles of ThatGoddamnedCat

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Twas an early Sunday morning, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

The holiday decorations had been tossed aside-in-a-tizzy
In hopes that caffeine would step-up, and make me get busy

The teenagers were unconscious, asleep in their beds
While visions of Xbox polluted their heads

With the pooch at my feet, I guzzled my Java
A feeble attempt, to deal with-the-days drama

When out in the hallway, arose an overexcited pup
So, I sprang from my chair, to see what was up

When what to my wondering eyes, did appear
But a motionless rodent – in asystole – I fear

My infamous cat, was so lively and quick
I knew in a moment, it was that-serial-killing prick

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Out leaped ThatGoddamnedCat, in a quick graceful bound

He was pure feline badass, from whisker to toe
With a rap sheet so long, it could be tied in a bow

His ears they were pointed, like the tips of a star
His vision acute, so he could stalk from afar

His instincts were primal, his senses were keen
His pounce when airborne, was… stealthy and clean

He mewed not a word, as he glared at his prize
Pride and contentment, gleamed in his eyes

Then he sprang to his feet, and bounded away
Like a satiated feline, who’d gifted us prey

But I knew he was thinking, as he leapt out of sight
Happy Christmas lowly humans…

 

I’m done for the night!

 

Read more stories from The Chronicles of ThatGoddamnedCat!

Meet Max aka ThatGoddamnedCat

Bobbing for Bunnies in the River Styx

Meet LuckyBastard my Chipmunk Friend

Here Birdie Birdie

Twas the First Day of School

 

Alternate kick-ass uses for the creeper Elf on a Shelf

 

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*Replace his limbs with juicy hotdogs and gift him to your hungry dog or pet cheetah

 

*Wind him around a cardboard roll to use as emergency toilet paper

 

*Roll him in Cheese Whiz and strategically place in rat trap to guarantee… “not a creature is stirring.”

 

*Install creepy light-up eyeballs that activate when your naughty kid gets out of bed at night – *submit this to America’s Funniest Videos for a chance to win $10,000 to cover your childs future therapy bill

 

*Wrap him around a plunger and unclog the toilet of festive holiday leavings

 

*Fill with sand and carefully position at the end of your driveway as a speed bump for cocky teenagers and unwelcome solicitors. *spikes optional*

 

*Fill his head with bacon grease and explode it in the microwave for a science fair project, totally winning the science fair

 

*Replace his hands with tongs to help remove the extra-parts-that-don’t-belong-there-in-the-first-place out of the holiday turkeys caboose

 

*Fill his legs with catnip and film the best YouTube video EVER- starring your cat

 

*Lube him up and use as a holiday-themed tampon for heavy flow days

 

*Fill him with fire ants and gift to your favorite coworker, relative, ex-boyfriend or boss

 

*Use as canine pleasure companion for when your dog gets humpy

 

*Give him a stylish steel wool afro and use his sorry noggin to scrub the green stuff out of the fridge

 

*Put your hand up his butt like a puppet – to keep it from freezing when brushing the snow off your car

 

*Soak him in lighter fluid to use as festive fireplace kindling and/or roast his vodka-soaked nuts on an open fire

 

*Make him into an ugly sweater for your litter box scooper

 

*Replace his insides with elastic and use to sling-shot frozen monkey poop at people who hold up the line at the DMV

 

*Use him to put out small fires, like the next time your kids blow up the toaster oven

 

*Use his extra long legs as ties to hold your kids barf bag around his neck during flu season

 

*Replace his stuffing with pennies and use them to pay for your next Taco Bell order

 

*Use as an absorbent mop head to soak up toxic spills… like the explosive aftermath almost always created when well-meaning relatives sneak your dog table scraps

 

*Replace his head with a clove of garlic and fasten him to the front of your straight jacket to keep vampires and crazy relatives away. Eat his head in an emergency

 

*Use to clean up the bloody mess when your 15 year old with ADD gets her period

 

*Place a bulb syringe in his hat and use him to suck the sticky boogers out of your uncooperative toddlers nose

 

*Fasten to your car bumper to cushion the blow for poorly located deer and pedestrians, thereby sparring Rudolph’s life and potentially saving Christmas

 

*Use as an incontinence liner for grandma, so when she gets run over in the annual reindeer stampede… she won’t lose her sh*t

 

Read more Extreme Mom holiday stories here.