Screens

I remember a time when smartphones weren’t a thing.  I remember when the only time I spent staring at a screen was once a week in ‘computer lab.’ When the extent of my virtual conversations were my email inbox that went eternally unchecked. I remember when my mom limited our TV time to one single episode of The Brady Bunch right before bedtime.

Nowadays 7 & 8 year old’s are walking around with personal smartphones and nobody is even questioning it.  I’m horrified at even the amount of time my own son spends looking at a screen every day. Binge watching Netflix is considered an acceptable pastime, and weather we like it or not it’s something that we all do.

How much time do you spend looking at a screen in just one days time?

If I’m being honest with myself, I’m ashamed of how much time I waste scrolling. And I don’t even consider myself addicted to my phone.

Cell phone addiction has been found to be associated with an assortment of bodily and cognitive complications including loneliness, depression, and anxiety. And this is only the beginning of the research that has yet to unfold, as smartphones are still a fairly new phenomenon.

It’s easy to get lost in the scrolling.  Just like it’s easy to get lost in the hours we spend binge watching TV shows. Many of us get home from a long day at work or school and settle in for some ‘digital resting’ as a way to pass the time to unwind. I know that I watch a lot of TV, hence the reason this is on my loooong list of adjustments to be made in my life.

In the same way that continuously scrolling through our social media sites is detrimental to our self-esteem, TV can be a sneaky way to infect our brains with toxic thinking patterns.  I also think that watching so much of it is incredibly destructive to our imagination.  Instead of giving our mind space it needs to  interpret the world, TV literally hijacks our original thoughts to redirect them to whatever agenda is currently being played out.

So now that we agree that the amount of screen time we subject ourselves to may in fact, be a problem, what are we going to do about it?  There are several apps for both iPhone and android that were developed to help us with just that!  The options range from free to not-so-free, which means no one has to be excluded from benefiting by them!  I personally like the Quality Time app for android. It shows me exactly how much time a day I spend on each individual app on my phone, and also shows me how the alarming number of times I have unlocked my phone within one day.

Can you imagine a world with no TV or scrolling time? If these two things weren’t such a prominent pastime in today’s society, how much more productive do you think you would be? Think about if you seized all the hours in a week that you spent staring at a screen, and then applied that time toward achieving your goals.  How much faster do you think they would be achieved? Do you think you might find room to grow creatively? Would you consider honestly evaluating your personal smartphone usage/ TV time?

 

Top 5 Personal Reasons to Practice Yoga

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There’s no doubt that I’m at the bottom level of the ‘knowledge of yoga’ totem pole. I mean I have only ever been to a total of maybe 3 to 5 classes, and like most beginners- I always pick a spot all the way in the back, so that when my body fails to bend the way the instructor tells it to, fewer people will be there to witness my crumpled ass on the floor.

Most of my perspective on yoga comes from an 80’s video tape of my mom’s that I did a couple times in high school.  The instructor sounded like Rafiki from the Lion King, which is apparently very soothing because both times I completed the tape- I ended up asleep on the floor.

Keeping a consistent and steady fitness routine is hard. I need a style that comes with flexibility, costs me little to nothing, and helps me become a present person. Mindful, decisive, and purposeful. There is always so much extra information rolling around in my brain, and it makes me feel unfocused on my priorities and overly anxious.

All signs point to yoga.

Which brings me to the whole point of this post. Read below my 5 personal reasons of practicing yoga, and please if you can add more reasons to my list in the comments, definitely do so! (I’m trying to stay motivated here, help a gal out!)

  • I can practice yoga anywhere & need minimal equipment. This is great for moms who can only focus on themselves when the kids are sleeping, or for someone who isn’t too keen on spending a lot of money on a gym membership or equipment.

  • It’s timeless.  Yoga has been around for many years, and will be around for many more. There’s GOT to be a really great explanation for that.

  • ANYBODY CAN DO IT.  Old, young, tall, short, lots of muscle, lil bit of muscle, boobies, no boobies…you get the idea. There’s a modification for almost every pose so anyone at any level can start somewhere.

  • YOGA PANTS. Need I say more? I think not.

  • I’m hoping it will help me yell at my kids less.  Yoga connects you to your breath, which gives you more endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy mama’s just don’t yell at their kids.  RIGHT?! (That was a legally blonde reference btw.)

All jokes aside, I have been on this search for a deeper mind/body connection for what I feel like has been years and because of the reasons I listed above, I will continue to grow in the practice of yoga -crumpled in shame on the floor or not. After this last year’s events , my life is finally routine enough to dive into something that challenges me.

What are your experiences with yoga practice? Have you ever been in the habit of practice for longer than a month? If so, what kept you motivated to be consistent? Please comment below and share with me!

Also please comment as many reasons as you can think of to practice yoga. Personal, scientifically, educational, whatever!! My initial list is only intended to get the ball rolling on all the awesome reasons to practice yoga that I know are out there.

Carmichael vs Beale

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Let me begin by stating very clearly, that I love being Mr. Beale.  I have loved it for the last 7 years, and I will continue to love it for the rest of my life.

Sometimes though, I catch myself doodling my signature with my maiden name.  I can’t quite put my finger on why.

I signed that name for so long.  Everyone in my hometown knew me by it.  It was who I was for the first 19 years of my life.

Zoey Carmichael was a different person than Zoey Beale.  She was single, she was a workaholic.  She was proud, a little selfish, extremely impulsive, a dreamer, and a ride or die type of best friend.  She had the worst potty mouth.  She played volleyball and softball.  She sang solos in choir concerts.  Her dance moves had once been described as similar to ‘a stripper with ADD’.
Zoey Carmichael was Sami and Sabrina Carmichael’s sister.
Fast forward post marriage and babies.
Zoey Beale is a wife and mother.  By day she changes diapers, packs lunches, kisses boo boos, goes to work, brews a lot of coffee, makes lists ontop of lists..and by night she writes.  She reads her bible, furiously scribbles in her journal, and she worries way too much.  Her hips swing the way they use to when she tries to dance.  Zoey Beale has mom hips.  She still loves her friends dearly, but is no longer able to drop everything on a whim to be there for them like she use to be.
Zoey Beale?
Who??
Is she related to those Carmichael girls?
The thing is, I don’t like one Zoey more than the other.  Instead of viewing these two identities as separate, I prefer to see Zoey Beale as the grown ass woman version of Zoey Carmichael.
I have managed to hang on to a ton of qualities and quirks that Miss Carmichael carried.  Obviously I still have that potty mouth.  I’m still a dreamer, impulsive, and will unfortunately be forever clumsy.  But I am so much smarter now, and I like that I am a little less selfish than I once was (being responsible to keep a couple tiny humans alive will do that to you I suppose.)
I still have a couple of old high school shirts with CARMICHAEL written across the back.  I will cherish those forever, and remember my glory days every time I wear them.  But then, I look at my wedding band and feel that these glory days are just as important, and bring to the surface the same type of pride in my heart.  I am now simultaneously my husband’s wife, AND a Carmichael sister.  Talk about a win-win.

Father’s Day Shoutout 2018

I missed a Father’s Day shoutout because I wanted it done properly.

This day in target was hell.  We scouted out this awesome cart in the hopes that the kids would be amused enough to SIT the entire time.

That was cute.

Brayden was obsessed with all the Pokémon items the store had on display, and made it known.  Nova screamed until we let her out, where she proceeded to run through the aisles growling like the hulk, and climbing on top of all the shelves like a tiny Godzilla.

After 20 minutes of dirty looks from the other customers as well as making little to no progress on our shopping voyage, we decided that you would take the kids outside to the car and I would finish the grocery shopping.

So THEN I made a spectacle of my own.  Ramming into everything under the sun.  Because that cart is ridiculously oversized.  And continuing to get dirty looks from the other customers because they were probably wondering WHY I even had a cart specially designed for kids, without any kids in it??

I’m so grateful that you are who I get to create these memories with.

The level of father you are can be deciphered with a peek at the way our kids light up when you get home from work.  No matter what job you have had throughout the years, it’s typical for you to come home either exhausted, covered in grease/dirt, sunburnt as all get out, or a mixture of all three.  And yet the first thing on your agenda is to have yourself a proper tickle fight with the kids.

I am so lucky to have you as my team mate.  Many days you do more than your fair share of the workload.  Not to mention your patience becomes increasingly impressive every year.  The way you find creative ways to help Brayden learn something new makes my heart warm and fuzzy.  You are involved. You are setting an amazing example.  And you are so damn appreciated.  

Happy belated Father’s Day to the love of my life and my biggest supporter.

P.S. You just came into my office (/closet) and plopped a quesadilla on my desk.  And you are appreciated for that as well, good sir.

I Am

 

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I am.

These two little words will shape your entire world if you let them. Our mind eventually believes what we tell it. Especially when we tell it something repeatedly. That’s why affirmations are such a powerful tool in creating the life you want, and the life you deserve.

When we declare something to be true, (even if it isn’t) the act of holding the vision in our mind’s eye is something that accelerates our feelings of it coming true. And even if the words we declare never become true, it can still be a healthy exercise to feel them.

I read somewhere that the process of planning a vacation stimulates our senses of being on that vacation- almost as much as actually going on said vacation.

Whut.

I am so many things to so many people.

I am a Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend.

I am a writer, dreamer, dancer and pretend cook.

I am happy, healthy, harmonious, joyful, and loving.

I am clumsy, shy, and simultaneously impulsive and cautious.

I am more than these words that I have used to define myself.

I am…whatever I choose to be.

You GO Glenn Coco!

meandbAs women, we all play so many roles. Juggling appointments, housework, school work, work work, finances, social events….all of it ONTOP of daily to do’s.

We all know that friendships change after we start having families of our own, we can’t always be there for each other like we use to be, or like we wish we could.

Sometimes I worry about my mom friends. Simply because I know, that we are all struggling in our own silent ways. Just trying to get from one day to the next, keeping everyone alive and thriving, and I guess I worry that some of us may be falling through the cracks.

With this being said, to ALL my sistas!!! To the mamas, and the non-mamas, to the ones I have managed to keep in touch with, and the ones whom I have only ever interacted with on social media, the friends who I use to talk to DAILY, but currently am lucky to meet up with once every couple years.

I am always rooting for you.

I love seeing your accomplishments! I love seeing your children growing into tiny yous. I love seeing you graduating from school and getting great jobs. I love seeing you practice your talents, and achieving goals.

I often find myself scrolling through my feeds and thinking, DAMN GIRL. YASSS HONEY. YOU GO GLEN COCO… I am blessed to have the friendships and support from all the people I have met throughout the years. And thankful that social media allows me to cheer you all on from afar.

While I would have loved to shoot you each individual texts telling each of you how amazing you are & how much I miss you, I am currently up to my elbows in dirty diapers and laundry- so I hope this broad message reaches you, and gives you some kind of virtual high five, because y’all deserve it. WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS.

Why I Write

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I write. Writing papers for my english classes was literally always a breeze for me. I have written for as long as I can remember. Songs about my adolescent heartbreak (just call me, Taylor Swift), poems about abuse, deep thoughts on how to make this world a brighter place, prayers to bring order to my chaotic life, and about a trillion other trivial things. Up until these last couple of months, I wrote purely for myself. Now, I write to you!…and you, and you.

Growing up, most of us get a ‘diary’ at some point or another. My grandma bought me one for every occasion, holiday, and sometimes, for no reason at all. With so many pretty designs on the covers, who can resist buying 3 more before you even fill one half-way up! I was the coolest girl on my country block when I received my journal with the voice recognition passcode lock when I was 10. I had it for all of two days before I realized that it wasn’t all that high tech. My youngest sister had been able to hack into it by overhearing my password, and apparently her voice sounded so much like mine, (or it was just so cheaply made) that she was able to read my diary.

I have always been drawn to the office supply section of all department stores. Pens, paper, binders, folders, organizers, planners, trapper-keepers, and journals galore! I could hang out in that section for literally hours. Something about untouched, brand new, beautiful stationary just gets me goin’.

I began to regularly write in my journals at the age of 12. I started each entry with ‘dear diary,’ and then went on to apologize to it that it had been 3 whole days since I last wrote to it (I was just a busy gal). My entries evolved from childish, green, undeveloped thoughts, to deep philosophical ones. The older I got, the more life I experienced, the more pain I went through, the deeper my writing became.

By the time I was 17, I had more than 10 full journals filled out. For reasons I won’t go into detail about, that year I felt compelled to burn every single one in a bonfire we were having in our backyard. One by one I tossed them into the fire, and as the corners started to peel back and melt, with my poking stick I quickly pulled page by page into the flames, catching glances of the paragraphs I had written as I went. It was like catching fleeting glimpses into very detailed moments of the past 5 years of my life, and then poof, I only had my memories to hold onto.

After that, it became my ritual to burn my journals after I filled them out. It became my sort of therapy. It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I began to hold onto my memories again. Knowing I had a life growing inside of me, I felt if there was ever a time to start really holding onto every memory, it was then.

When I am able to get my thoughts out of my brain and onto something tangible, I feel connected to myself. I am able to get out of my own way, and focus. I feel less lonely. I feel I have more direction in my decisions. My journals have heard many secrets. Some secrets that not even the closest people to me have heard. Writing gets my creative juices flowing. It allows me to organize my thoughts, and compartmentalize my feelings. My journal is my safe place. My journal was my only voice for a long time.

What I want everyone to know is, we all have a voice. We all deserve to feel connected to ourselves. We are all important. And it is important to find out how we will use our voices. I, for one, still have high hopes to make the world a brighter place. To reach out to those who feel alone in whatever they are going through. To offer them a piece of hope, and a sense of direction. To empower, encourage, motivate, and inspire others to find their voice, and their purpose. To know that they are not alone in whatever they are going through. To start a movement.