One of three.

To have sisters is a marvellous thing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

However, It can also be a difficult thing. Especially in a society that loves to compare and contrast things/people that are alike. My two sisters and I are close, some may say weirdly close. But I don’t particularly care either way because I love my sisters and our sisterly bond.

I like to think that I’m Olaf.

(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1Ghx8Me)

I remember one time my younger sister came with me to the bank. I ended up getting roped into opening a TFSA despite having no clue as to what that even was at the time (I know now 😉 ). The guy that worked at the bank gave us an appraising look as we sat in an office and asked us in a somewhat accusatory tone “do you guys do everything together?” 
It’s become somewhat of a running joke between us, because is it really that strange to go to the bank with your sister?

People mistake the three of us for triplets all the time. It’s funny to me because my older sister is 3 years older than me and my younger sister is 4 years younger. That’s pretty far apart and while we do look very similar, I think we each have our own unique look.

Something I struggled with for awhile is feeling that I was not succeeding while my two sisters were/are successful. It can be a bit of a drag because people compare you all the time and you never want to be known as the “failure.” My two sisters are beautiful and smart and successful in their fields. But last year I spent a lot of time feeling like a failure in my chosen field and therefore the family failure. It was hard. I still wouldn’t say I’m successful in my chosen field, but I certainly don’t feel like a failure anymore.

I do wonder though, do brothers get compared in the same way? Do siblings of differing genders get compared in the same way? I have my doubts about the amount of comparison that goes on and while I’m sure the other scenarios come with their own set of difficulties I can only express my experience as a woman with two sisters.

I can’t even tell you how many times someone has seen a picture of me and my sisters and immediately began dissecting it to me. She has the best “blank”, and this one must be “blank”, insert various kind adjectives. Sure it might be something nice that they’re saying but it always made me feel uncomfortable. We are people, each different, with our own strengths and weaknesses and I don’t think it’s fair to compare us. Sure we may look similar but trying to guess who the “smart” one is, for example, discredits the others.

I think we’re all smart. My younger sister is amazing with kids and she was always the best student. My older sister’s knowledge is more science-based and knows practically everything about animals. And me? I like to read, I’m naturally curious and I have a weird affinity for Linguistics. Who is to say which one of these types of smarts is “the best”, I think they’re all valid.

Anyways, this was just something on my mind lately. Do you have siblings? Do you feel like you get compared to them?

Have a independent and unique day!

-xo Smosty

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Smile, cheeks …and?

The other day I was participating in a personal development exercise. The coach asked us to list three physical traits we loved about ourselves. Just three.

It was surprisingly hard for me to come up with three. And it made me sad to think there wasn’t even three things I loved about my physical self. Bit of a bummer really.

It got me thinking, how hard I am on myself. How hard we all are on ourselves. 

If the question had been what physical things do you NOT like about yourself. I am certain I could come up with at least ten, EASILY!!

But what does that say about me? That I dwell on the negatives when it comes to my appearance? That I don’t celebrate enough the things that make me, me? That I need to work on loving myself, “flaws” and all?

Wise Beyonce knows best.

(Credit: http://bit.ly/1RmJAih)

I think all of the above apply here, and I plan to do just that. The question is how? How do you change twenty-some years of self-deprecation? (I’m assuming here that as a baby/toddler I wasn’t despairing over my chubby cheeks or my pudgy waistline. One would hope!)

I think one way to combat this issue is practice. That I should practice thinking positive things about myself. But not only things like “hey, you’re really smart!” but things like “Your legs look great in that skirt!” Both the intangible and physical are important here. It might seem a bit ridiculous to do, and I’m certain it will feel weird and awkward but ah well, all in the name of self-improvement. Hell, I might even say it out loud a time or two.

Time to work on some self-love and appreciation, who’s with me?

And let me know, what do you guys do to change those negative, possibly even mean, thoughts in your head about yourself?

Wishing you a positive, self-loving kind of day!

-xo Smosty

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Eyes, elevators and elbows.

“Folks I can assure you that the back of the bus will indeed arrive at your stop at the same time as the front of the bus.” – the bus driver said exasperatedly in a tone that suggested he had said that many times before.

Why do people always crowd both the front of the bus and the back door of the bus? Is it that we are afraid we will miss our stop? Maybe and yet however illogical, I know I do it too.

But in the 5 steps it takes to get from anywhere on the bus to an exit, is this a legitimate fear? Especially when other people are trying to board the bus? It’s part of natural human behaviour and something I find fascinating. You can be sure to see all sorts of human behaviours when travelling on public transit.

Like that one time a woman sat on me. On purpose. But that’s a story for another time…

It’s like there’s an imaginary line that people don’t like to cross on the bus and it begins by the stairs going up to the back of the bus. People will wait as long as possible to not have to go up those steps of doom. Even to the point of defiantly standing their ground as the bus drivers yells to move to the back of the bus, forcing people to shove past the immobile person. They stand like a tree in the middle of the narrow path, likely causing some poor person to be smacked in the head with bags as people wrench their way past. 

Ah, good times. I’ve been both the smacker and the smackee. Neither particularly fun. Once I even lost my footing as the driver slammed on the breaks and I ended up swinging around the pole I was holding onto and elbowed someone right in the head. Not a very graceful moment. Oops. 

Pretty sure this is exactly what I looked like, flinging around the pole, all elbows.

(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1LsJ4v4)

Other situations of well-documented human behaviour that fascinate me are elevator protocols. I was recently in the elevator in my building (which in itself is odd because I live on the second floor and prefer to take the stairs, these elevators are old and sketchy!) The unwritten rule for everyone is that you enter and face the front. Well almost everyone follows it, but on this one particular occasion a man entered the smaller-than-average elevator and then just stood there, by the door, facing me. We were making prolonged uncomfortable eye contact, in close quarters. I waited for him to turn around but he didn’t.

I felt uncomfortable. But why? Is it that I’m uncomfortable with long awkward eye contact (probably) or was it because I was expecting him to do something and he didn’t (possibly both?).

I know there have been psychology experiments done on this very construct of human behaviour and I can’t help but wonder if that was what he was doing? Testing out his own personal psychology experiment on me. Well I sure failed. Or maybe he just is immune to the feeling most people have that it is the “right” thing to do to face the door.  

Aside from the front-facing rule, one of my favorites is the re-distribution rule. If there are 3+ people in an elevator they all try to space out so there is equal room around them. If someone on one of the sides leaves, the person in the middle usually moves over to take their spot. Like magnets repelled by each other. I don’t know why, but I find this immensely amusing. Is it so bad to stand next to someone for a few seconds (hey we aren’t talking about eye contact here! :P).

Anyways, just some of my musings on bus and elevator etiquette. What other ones have you noticed?

Have a magnetic day!

-xo Smosty

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Introvert extraodinaire.

“Introvert: a shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person. Psychology: a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.”

This is the dictionary result that comes up when I type introvert into my macbook dictionary. Why am I looking up the word introvert? Because I am one and I wanted to see what the “official” definition was. This curiosity is my linguist word nerd side coming out.

The definition above states that introverts are self-centered. Maybe, but I think this label could be applied to everyone. We’re all self-centered to some degree, some more than others and I don’t think it is tied to introversion/extroversion. But are introverts, in general, MORE self-centered than extroverts? I do think that introverts tend to be more introspective given the inherent desire for solitude. So does introspection = being self-centered? I’m not so sure because it doesn’t necessarily mean that introverts don’t care about other people at all. I personally feel that I have a well-developed sense of empathy. Sometimes I even feel like it’s too strong, where it begins to cross over into a weakness. But that’s a story for another day.

I love this. So much.

Image credit: (http://www.fastcodesign.com/)

Now a lot of people think that introvert = shy. But I believe there are differences between the two. Shyness, to me, seems to stem more from a place of fear of social contact rather than simply a preference for small intimate groups/solitude. You can be introverted AND shy, but just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you’re automatically shy. It used to drive me crazy when people would tell me I was shy. I didn’t see myself that way at all. In social situations in which I was comfortable, I was definitely not shy! As the years go on, I find myself becoming more and more open, but still when meeting people for the first time I typically choose the dominant role of listener rather than speaker. So it’s possible I could be construed as quiet or “shy.”

But enough about shyness, lets talk more about extroverts. The best way I’ve ever heard the difference between introverts and extroverts described is in this way: introverts gain energy from being alone or in small groups and extroverts derive energy from being around people or in large groups. But just because people may be introverted does not mean they are anti-social! I love being around people and getting together with friends. If I never did it, I think I would go crazy. It’s just that I need a much, much larger proportion of time to myself than an extrovert would. And when I do go out, my preferred environment would be low-key and with smaller groups of people. 

My boyfriend is 100% an extrovert. If we go out and spend time in a large group of friends he leaves feeling invigorated and energized. When I leave the same event I feel drained and exhausted. Happy, because I love my friends, but tired because it seems to require a lot of energy from me. (This lack of energy could also be due in part to my chronic illness). We differ greatly in that sense, but we balance each other out. I used to think he wasn’t good at being alone when we were in a long distance relationship because he seemed to get immediately bored by himself and always tried to stay busy. Now that we live together, I almost force him into experiencing time alone because I myself need it. I go into our room, shut the door and write, read, work, or do whatever, but it’s by myself and it recharges me. He has become much better at being alone and he also challenges me to experience things outside my comfort zone in groups. 

I have always felt that the preferred or more valued social position is that of extroversion. The most frequent comments on my report card in elementary school were things like “Her work is good but she’s so quiet”, “She needs to raise her hand more in class” and “Grades and homework are good but class participation is lacking.” Why should I be made to feel badly about the fact that I am an introvert? Clearly my work was good. We were graded on a 3 point number scale and I always felt as though my introversion lost me points. Why is introversion a bad thing? Should it matter either way?

In other areas of my life I have felt that extroverts were more often praised than the introverts. I understand why, they stand out more, and are a more obvious choice for promotion/recognition etc. But someone quietly working hard and doing a great job also deserves that recognition. Popularity contests don’t typically play in the introverts’ favor, but that’s okay because introverts have their strengths too. I don’t want this post to sound like I am whining and saying that life is so hard because I’m an introvert, because that’s not the case. I love being an introvert and I can’t imagine being any other way. But I think the world needs both types of people and just as Susan Cain believes, I think the world needs to value introverts more. (See her TED talk linked below). 

And finally we have come to what I wanted to say most in this post. Introverts are not better than extroverts and vice versa. Both have their strengths and their weaknesses and both are valuable to society. I just wish that it was recognized that way by everyone. A young girl in school with good grades that spends a lot of time in her head imagining stories and reading alone should not be made to feel as though something is wrong with her because she’s not vying to be the center of attention. She should simply praised for a job well done. Full stop. 

If you want to know more about introverts, I quite enjoyed this TED talk by Susan Cain on the subject. Take a listen here if you like!

I hope you have a quiet or excitable day! (whichever you prefer, or both!)

-xo Smosty

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Limiting beliefs.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on personal development. I’ve always been a fan of self-improvement, but before it was always more of a vague “whenever I have time” type thing.

The funny thing is, is that it wasn’t until I started treating personal development as my job or a non-negotiable, that things actually started changing more obviously for me. These days I make sure I spend a MINIMUM of 30 minutes a night, either listening to inspirational YouTube videos, TED talks or reading personal development books.

Why do I feel this is so important?

Because I feel that by practicing these concepts and hearing them over and over, in various ways, that I actually begin to absorb them and implement them into my life. Then when hard times come around (as they always do in life, at one point or another) I can use the principles that I’ve already cultivated over time to help get through it. It’s easier to plant a seed and have it grow when the soil is healthy, than to try to plant and grow a seed in soil that is poisoned. The soil here is obviously a metaphor for your mindset and emotional well-being. That’s not to say it’s “too late” if you are not in the best head space but it will certainly be harder than if you started from a healthy point and “grew” from there.

It’s no secret that I’ve had my dark days, probably even darker than most people might realize. But that doesn’t have to define me or predict my future. I’ve struggled with many things over the years, emotions being a major one of them. But the more I try to improve myself, the happier I am with myself and the more I accept myself. It’s an infectious and contagious feeling that I just want to share with anyone and everyone right now.

I realize that I might sound like a bit of a rambling idiot here, but I’m happy and feeling great and not at all concerned with those who might want to bring me down. After all, the more I change and improve, the more I want to do even more. 

100% me right now.

(Photo Credit: http://hmapr.com/)

But what is the point of this post? To brag about how happy I am right now? No, of course not. After all, I’m nowhere near perfect!

I wanted to write about limiting beliefs because we all have them. It’s that little voice in your head that tells you, you can’t do something or achieve something. For example, I have always wanted to write a book. Either a young adult novel or a personal development book of my own (or both!). (sidebar: I’m not a fan of the term “self-help” as a genre, but that’s a story for another day). But I always felt this dream was too lofty, there were too many obstacles, it was too hard, that I wasn’t really a “writer” and that I wasn’t good enough. These are all examples of limiting beliefs, and I have many more. But I’m working on trying to change those voices, because why not me? If I work hard enough, want it enough, and just be the most persistent person I can be, even in the face of rejection, eventually I will succeed. I just need to trust in myself and the process.

So how does one do this? Changing limiting beliefs is hard, believe me I know. But I’ve started at an easy point. Just by being more kind to myself. I am incredibly harsh to myself in my own head. I would NEVER say the kinds of things to other people, that I say to myself. Why should I treat myself this way? It’s not going to be very helpful at all. So that’s where I’m starting, and I can already notice a difference. Every time I have doubts about myself or being able to do something I just try to change tracks and instead say to myself that yes I can do this, and why not me? “Why not me?” has become almost a mantra of sorts for me.

Feel free to share some of your own limiting beliefs below. It’s a topic that I find super interesting. How did you overcome them?

Wishing you a limit-less day!

-xo Smosty

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Frisbee fail.

Yesterday the boyfriend and I were feeling a bit bored. We didn’t want to watch tv, watch a movie or go to a mall. We wanted to do something different.

So we went outside. Strange concept, I know. We do after all, spend so much time indoors.

But yes we ventured outside our apartment, not far, but outside into fresh air.

Our apartment complex is made up of four or five apartment towers (not sure exactly how many there are) in a sort-of circle. In the middle of the towers there is a grassy area. There are also flowerbeds, fountains and benches etc. It’s actually quite lovely.

So we went to the grassy area and brought a long a frisbee for some fun. I played in an ultimate league before and it was a lot of fun, (I wasn’t great at it) but it was fun. The boyfriend is pretty much down for any sport, so we tossed the frisbee around a little.

It was fun! Feeling like a kid, running through the grass, jumping and laughing. We were just having a great, care-free evening.

Until security came.

Now this happened to be one of the security guards that I actually like, he’s very friendly. There are a few that are really mean and grumpy. All. The. Time. But he was always cheerful and friendly. He came to break the news that someone had called about us and that it was against the rules to be playing frisbee in the common area. I was shocked.

The other, grumpy security guard.

(Credit: http://www.businessinsider.com)

We weren’t hurting anyone, we were just minding our own business, having a bit of good clean fun. We weren’t even being loud, shouting and what-not. But our fun had come to an end. The security guard was very apologetic and seemed to feel badly, but I’m not even mad at him, he’s just doing his job. 

As we walked dejectedly back to our apartment, I became more and more angry. I also had many questions: Where in the rule book does it say we’re not allowed to play frisbee? Why are there so many rules here? I can’t even remember all the rules our strata imposes on us until we break them (it has happened a few times now). It’s not even obvious things like excess noise. Everything from what objects we put on our balcony to what color our curtains are have rules associated with them. Why are both our apartments and the common areas policed in this way? Are they not meant to be enjoyed? Who had the gall to call and complain about us? Just come tell us to move if we’re bothering you! Don’t send security after us!

Once home in our apartment, I pulled open the rule book, once again, to consult the pages. There is no frisbee-specific rule after all, but a blanket “no games of any kind in any of the common areas”. How annoyingly vague. And sad for any of the children living in these buildings. What kind of world is it when you can’t even throw a frisbee around outside without getting policed. Ugh. Yes, dramatic but also true! There are more important things to be concerned with here. For example, how the elevators sometimes get stuck trying to open on the second floor. (Scary if you’re in the elevator at the time, but don’t worry just jump up and down to “re-align” the doors so they open and you can escape….I usually take the stairs.)

Anyways, I was super proud of us for getting off our butts, going outside and being active. Rules be damned!! Or I guess next time we’ll just have to go to a public park that doesn’t discourage the having of fun.

Hope your day is filled with un-prohibited games!

-xo Smosty

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Invisible illness vs. public transit

Many years ago, I was on a bus, sitting in a seat looking at my phone while ignoring all the other humans around me as one is wont to do on public transit. A person came up to me and said “excuse me can I sit here?”

“Oh my gosh, sorry!” I exclaimed as I hurriedly got up without thinking. But then I looked and her and I thought, why am I saying sorry? Why am I getting up? The person who asked me was a young woman, looking perfectly fit and capable and it made me mad. Why should I give up my seat for you? I was happier sitting down as well. This situation highlights a time in my life when I was feeling quite well and was not as sensitive to the difficulties that others might be facing.

Nowadays, on the occasions when I don’t have my wonderful boyfriend picking me up from work and I am braving public transit I too wish I could ask someone to give me their seat when I need to sit down. Sometimes I am so exhausted, sometimes I don’t feel physically strong and capable and therefore I am much more unstable on a moving object. But mostly when I’m exhausted, it just feels like standing takes far too much energy. I joke to my boyfriend all the time that even just being alive is such hard work. I like to be melodramatic sometimes. 

Credit: http://asksadness.deviantart.com

She’s my kindred spirit, I feel like this a lot of the time.

(Credit: http://asksadness.deviantart.com)

I have a lot of pride though, so I never ask someone to give me their seat. Also, because I LOOK healthy, (pale, but healthy) people will likely not understand and I don’t want to have to explain it to them. I’ve even been there myself! I knew nothing about the girl who asked for my seat, she could have been in pain or sick on the inside too, yet I was mad! These days I feel I have a far greater sense of empathy than I once did and would not react similarly given the same situation but that’s not the point.

Sidenote: I’ve really been working on my health (always) and working on gaining my strength back. Today actually marks the 5th day in a row for me working out! That is a huge accomplishment for me. I am proud of that. 

Anyways, this is just my public service announcement saying that maybe it’s not always just the pregnant ladies, people with kids, people with visible disabilities and elderly folks that need seats (which you really should be giving up for them). And maybe if we all looked up from our cell phones and books every once in awhile and saw someone struggling on the bus, we could offer our seats to them without asking, and the world would be a little kinder and a little brighter. Just a thought.

-xo Smosty

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Lumpy razorgate.

“You know, you really should make sure you shave with a sharp razor” the doctor instructed me. Oh really? Because I assumed that blunt would be best, I thought sarcastically to myself.

As you may know, I have Crohn’s disease, which is not a glamorous disease by any means. If you have it you will have to get used to constantly discussing poop and scopes and various amounts of “taboo” or “embarrassing” subjects. I have had this disease for about 16 years now and even so I still get embarrassed from time to time. I think I embarrass pretty easily actually, particularly so when hospital doctors are oh-so-attractive and you are literally looking your worst. Ah vanity. Priorities.

Anyways, I knew for this particular doctor’s appointment that I would be getting a pap smear and a breast exam. Ladies you know the unpleasant, embarrassing adventure that encompasses these two things. So why am I talking about it? I don’t know, because I feel like it, because perhaps you can relate and also because I’m tired of keeping any health related thoughts or stories hush hush. It’s been long enough! And I don’t think it’s healthy.

The amount of prep that I do before seeing doctors is about on par with the amount of prep that someone might do to get ready for a first date.  So, there I was in my skirt (a wardrobe choice made intentionally) with my toenails polished and my legs and armpits freshly shaved. As a I sat on the paper waiting for the doctor to enter I thought about some things:

  1. How awkward it was to meet this doctor for the first time with no bottoms on, covered by a paper “modesty sheet.”
  2.  This woman was literally about to see pretty much all of me, and I was finding it amusing that I actually tried to look and smell my best. I was freshly showered, deodorized and perfumed. You know, gotta make that good impression.
  3. Thank god this doctor is a woman, trust me when I say that having a man perform your breast exam is very weird. Like I had to actively avoid eye contact at all costs during and after that past breast exam. All I could think was what is he thinking right now? and did I even want to know?

So the doc walks in and introduces herself, shakes my hand and immediately gets me to lie down. It’s all very, “Hi nice to meet you, time for your pap smear!” and I’m thinking like whoa, hold on, lets work up to that! You can’t just go for it.

But she did, and after an uncomfortable few moments it was done. All after answering such delightful questions as “same partner or new partner?” to which I of course responded “same partner” and she replied with “well let’s just test you for everything anyway.” Okay, I mean she’s clearly lacking confidence in the fidelity in my relationship. But sure, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me.

Then she said, “you’re young, do you want to skip the breast exam?” to which I stuttered “uh well, um, no. Because, well you see, I had to have a lump removed from my right breast a few years ago and they said I need to be monitored because it wasn’t a cancerous lump but it’s possible that it could turn that way.” (This is a true story btw, see what I mean about being tired of hiding so-called “shameful” health secrets?) She was like “Okay are you monitoring yourself?” “Yes” I said quietly. She said “okay then we’ll just do it.” It’s very bizarre to feel like you are asking for your doctor to feel you up, but essentially I was. She felt around both sides commenting “Oh yes, you’re definitely a lot more lumpy on your right side.” Great I thought but I said nothing because I was wishing that this would all be over and that the floor would just open up and swallow me and my lumpy breast whole.

She moved over to feeling my armpit, because that’s part of the whole breast exam thing, if you’re not aware. Which is when she commented on my armpit and my choice of razor sharpness. I had a small pink bump where an ingrown hair was stubbornly growing. She said that I should really be using a sharper razor and I grumbled a small “oh, okay.” As if I wasn’t already aware and that I wasn’t just simply prone to ingrown hairs (shout out to my Persian heritage for that one!). I had hit my embarrassment peak by that point and just wanted to leave. I guess I don’t handle any sort of criticism of my body by doctors very well.

(Sidebar: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked by doctors if I was pregnant due to the look of my stomach. Even though more often than not the doctor asking was my Crohn’s disease specialist. I mean my stomach is not even really that large. But every time she asked me, it pissed me off. Seriously? She knows I have scarred intestines and so my stomach kind of sticks out a little, it’s not my fault!) 

I had never considered my armpit to be a possible source of embarrassment that day and so all my prepping and primping was really for naught. But I suppose the valuable lesson here (because of course there has to be one) is that no one is perfect, and I shouldn’t let anyone’s comments embarrass me. Human bodies are weird and strange and who cares! We all have one. A stupid little ingrown hair or a lumpy breast is no big deal!

Wishing you an embarrassment-free day! Please feel free to share an embarrassing story below, after all I was vulnerable and shared one (of many) of mine! No pressure though :).

-xo Smosty

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Close call.

“I got a fever of a hundred and three”. See appropriate reference here.

Kidding aside, I actually did have a fever of 103 last night. The weird thing about it was how fast it all came about, I was out to dinner with my boyfriend and his family (whom I consider part of my family as well). So I decided to splurge and go for a delicious cheeseburger and it was so huge that naturally I was too full to eat the accompanying salad…still working on balance here. I was perfectly fine and enjoying myself. But somewhere between finishing my food and leaving the pub I began shaking uncontrollably. Uh oh. I’ve been through this many times before. I remember getting fevers practically weekly as a kid so I know the feeling well.

So I immediately went into anxiety mode, while trying to remain outwardly calm for those around me. I was imagining yet another hospital stay with a week of torture under the guise of helpfulness. See here for the kinds of lovely things that you can expect at a hospital. My loving boyfriend wanted to immediately drive me to the hospital and I tried to calmly rationalize my way out of that with the following arguments:

  1. I wasn’t in any pain
  2. I had been to the bathroom, therefore an obstruction was unlikely (sorry if that’s TMI but let’s be real #everyonepoops)
  3. The fever wasn’t necessarily Crohn’s related, it could just be a rapid onset of a cold or flu…right?
  4. We shouldn’t overreact, I’d take my temperature to find out just how high the fever actually was first
  5. I just didn’t want to go

So we agreed that we would continue the evening as planned at his parents house and monitor the situation. Re-evaluating as necessary, like all good amateur doctors do. I took my temperature frequently which just kept on rising. I think it got up to 103.9 degrees (104 is apparently entering the danger zone). I monitored my already fast heart-rate, faster = bad. And I just tried to drink as much water as I could manage without vomiting. Fun times. His lovely family all gave me suggestions to help, I had a cool compress on my face, I soaked my feet in cool water and I begrudgingly took off the blanket I had immediately wrapped myself in. Have I mentioned they’re pretty much the best?

Once we got home, the best boyfriend ever, drew me a lukewarm bath, got me some water and even lit a candle to calm me down. I think this is what helped the most. I sat there in warm water, calmly imagining, not awful hospital stays but how I would audition to be on Big Brother Canada. Now, I’m not naive, I know they would never take me what with my health issues. But it would be a dream to get the chance to be on it and plus it’s fun to imagine strategies for how I would play. So I did, and it weirdly enough calmed me down. My temperature was still pretty high though so I took some Tylenol and went to bed. I woke up at 7am to a pounding headache and a lower grade fever, I called in sick to work and basically slept through to 4pm today. I occasionally woke to eat something and drink some fluids. Sleeping for that long was amazing. My head still hurts like crazy though, but I suppose that’s to be expected after having it essentially be internally roasted.

All in all though, I feel a small sense of victory in avoiding the hospital, listening to my body, and giving it the time and sleep it obviously needed. Hopefully things can continue on in this positive manner. The question will be if I allow myself to stay home another day if it is needed. I always feel guilty about calling in sick and I’ve been known to put my job ahead of my health. I know I need to not do that, but it’s difficult sometimes.

Hope all of you are feeling well, have a normal temperature and clear head!

-xo Smosty

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Self-care Sundays.

Because I just love alliteration. And self-care, which is highly underrated.

I think people have a fairly firm grasp on how best to treat your body (even if we don’t always actually do it), healthy foods, exercise, staying hydrated etc. However, I believe that not enough emphasis is placed on taking care of your soul or emotional well-being as an adult. Maybe because it’s not something overtly tangible or measurable. But I would argue that it is just as important if not more-so.

I like to take Sunday as my day to practice self-care, and yes it requires practice. It is something that can be so easily overlooked or skipped so I have to actively check-in and think to myself what have I done this week to make myself happy? or more relaxed? Typically weekdays are hectic what with work and the responsibilities of being an adult, so there isn’t much time that I feel that I can really devote to self-care. So weekends are where it’s at, and it is definitely my favourite time of the week.

Today I drew myself a bath. The kind of pretty bath that you might see in a movie or in a picture. The kind with bubbles, candles, and a book to read (in this case my Kobo). Now I’m not the type of girl who regularly takes baths, its been ages since I’ve had one (don’t worry, I shower daily!). I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had a bath as an adult. But I have Lush products sitting unused so I decided to go for it. I put on a clay face mask, chose some classical music to put on for a relaxing mood (thank YoutTube!) and then I hopped in. Now of course things in reality aren’t ever near as perfect as I imagine them and this was no exception. The water was too hot, I quickly overheated and my face mask was just dripping off of my face because I was so hot. I don’t do well with heat and soon felt sick to my stomach. This was not the blissful bath I had imagined for myself, but I’m just being real with you guys. I hopped out, washed my face mask off with cold water, added cold water to the bath, got myself a glass of water and returned. Much better. And it really was very relaxing! It was also my first time using a Lush bubble bar (late to the party, I know!) because the one I was gifted I was saving it for….. who knows what? 

I used to be this type of person; saving special things for special occasions. I am working on overcoming this feeling of needing to hold onto things for this mythical perfect moment. Because in the past, these perfect special occasions would never come and those special things would sit unused in closets or drawers. I’m actively trying to make a point of making any random day a special occasion just by using that good soap, the special wine, the candles, the gifted bath products or whatever it may be. What good will saving it do? If I died tomorrow I would have a lot of nice things that would just end up in the trash. Slightly morbid, yes, but I think the lesson is a good one. The point of these nice or special things is to get enjoyment out of them. It’s not “wasting” it to use it on myself or on a regular day. I thoroughly enjoyed the penguin bubble bar, it smelled great, it felt great, it made a ton of bubbles and made my skin super soft. I’m glad I used it!

Anyways, I have gotten off-track. Back to self-care. My favourite ways to practice self-care are to read, write, go for short walks and listen to music. These are all easy, simple ways for me to look after my emotional well-being. And so now I’m curious, what are your favourite ways to take care of yourself?

Have a soothing, self-caring day, whatever day it may be for you!

-xo Smosty

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