MY 2020 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

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If I’m 100% honest I have to say that I hate to see 2019 behind me. It’s been one stellar year for me. I have experienced exponential growth and gathered a bounty of blessings over the past year. I’m really one lucky girl.

But 2020 is coming. And it will undoubtedly hold its own special set of gifts for me. I have developed a strong and disciplined thought life. And I’ve become a bit of a pro at mastering my emotions. So, in light of the fact that our reality is created by our thoughts and our emotions, I’m in a great spot to receive endless abundance in the coming year.

HEY!! Maybe I am ready to kick 2019 to the curb! Out with the old. In with the new. Bring it on 2020!

But before my new friend 2020 gets here, I’d like to have a few New Years resolutions in order. A sort of game plan to achieve the things which are most important to me in this 365 day time span.

Choosing Resolutions I Will Actually Keep

I’ve set some pretty damn lofty resolutions in the past. And I’ve learned that doing that sets the stage for failure. The loftier my goals are, the less likely I am to achieve them.

So, this year I am going to set the bar low. Not so low that they require no effort. There’s no real reward in reaching goals like that.

OK. Perhaps I should phrase this a little differently. I am going to set REASONABLE goals for myself. Goals that will take some effort to achieve. Making the attainment of them feel like a real triumph. And yet, nothing too over the top. No jumping through fire hoops, if you know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰

Setting The Stage For Victory

I could easily create a list of things I want to work on in my life that are completely new to me. Things that I haven’t taken even the tiniest steps toward reaching.

But, in the spirit of setting the stage for victory, I am going to avoid things of that nature. And focus on refining things I have already laid some ground work for.

This will definitely make the likelihood of success greater. That’s a win!

I suppose working on ‘brand new’ things, or at least one or two of them, would be in order some years. But not this year. I am on a roll with some pretty big goals and I want to strike while the iron is hot, as they say ๐Ÿ”ฅ

A Few Of My Own Resolutions

I’m going to break my resolutions down by category this year. Creating a general goal for each of the areas in my life which are important to me.

HOME:

I live in an old 20 x 30 home. It was meant to be a temporary spot to rest my head when I moved to Maine. But instead of looking for a nicer place to live, my son and I built a food the truck. And while I’m glad we did. It definitely means I’ve been in this little house way too long! So, it’s time to finish up the few odds and ends that need to be done and move on.

FAMILY:

This goal is probably the easiest one on my list. I have a small and amazing family. We function very well together and I’m happy with our relationships.

If I would change anything about our life it would be the amount of leisure time we spend together. So, more leisure time is high on the list.

SELF:

Taking care of my health is my #1 priority for myself. It has been neglected for too many years at this point. But I have grown so much in this area. And I no longer see self-care as something that one does when they have the time. Instead it is a matter of great importance.

And as I’ve begun to recognize that fact I have cultivated some pretty decent self-care habits in my life. I intend to improve on that in the coming year.

EDUCATION:

I have studied herbalism for a little more than a decade. I feel it is time for me to share the knowledge I’ve gained over this time with others. I have hosted classes before. But teaching my own courses is a new and exciting venture for me.

I am finishing up an herbal course, which I started some time ago, over the winter. And I’m designing several classes to release shortly thereafter.

WORK:

The food truck that I built with my son last spring was mad successful. And we have purchased a piece of land to place it on this next coming season, so that it will have a permanent home. Giving it it’s own home will make it so that we are able to develop the land that it sits on, and offer much more than just a ‘grab and go’ experience to our clientele.

The ideas that I have for this next step in our venture are plentiful. And they are still playing musical chairs in my head. The music hasn’t stopped. So I am not certain where any of them will sit, if you know what I mean.

I’ll solve this dilemma by setting my resolutions in this area on the basics. An awning on the front of the truck to protect people from the elements while ordering (it truly sucked not having this last year ๐Ÿ˜•) is #1 on the list. A finished parking area comes in right behind it. Storage on site is at the top of the list as well. These things combined with extended outdoor seating should cover the ‘get her up and running smoothly’ fundamentals.

And that’s it folks! Basic, achievable goals. Success is a no-brainer for this woman and her resolutions this year!

Are you setting New Year’s resolutions this year? Do you plan to keep them simple? Or reach for the golden ring?

Share your plans in the comments if you will. I’d love to hear them!

I’d also be interested in hearing how you feel about resolutions in general. Do they work for you? Or do they seem to fall by the wayside? And if so, why do you think that is?

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did โค

A CHRISTMAS TREAT FOR RILEY

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There is an Olde English Bulldogge in my life who has 100% stolen the keys to my heart. Because of his presence I am changed forever โค๏ธ

One of the many ways I show my love for him is by staying on top of his diet. I like to be sure that he eats top quality food. So that he stays as healthy as possible.

With Christmas approaching I wanted to make a treat especially for him. He gets quite jealous if anyone is eating without him! And with his own special treats on hand he can be included in ALL of our holiday snack times.

He eats a primarily grain free diet. But I do sometimes put a little flour in his treats. I’ve made his Christmas treats with brown rice flour. It’s a better alternative to white flour, for sure. But you can use any flour you like. Be sure to make certain it is canine friendly, of course. And adjust the amount of chicken broth you add to the recipe accordingly. Each flour has a different consistency and rate of absorbency. So you may need a little more or less.

I included chicken liver and cranberries in this recipe. Chicken liver is one of Riley’s favorite things. And cranberries add the festive touch I was looking for in a holiday treat!

He absolutely loves these tasty little doggie morsels. And because I made an extra batch just for this blog post he’s going to get doubly blessed this year. I’m pretty sure he’s already marked his calendar for the day the next batch will arrive. Christmas Day.

Here’s the recipe for you so you can make a batch for your canine love. Tell him to enjoy every single bite. And The Bohemian Apothecarist wishes him the very best Christmas yet โค๏ธ XO โค๏ธ

CRANBERRY & LIVER CANINE TREATS


1 c. Chicken Livers, cooked & chopped

3/4 c. Chicken Broth

2 Eggs

3 c. Brown Rice Flour

3 tbls. Dried Cranberries


Preheat oven to 350ยฐ

In a small bowl mix the chicken liver, chicken broth, and eggs.

In a medium bowl mix the brown rice flour and dried cranberries.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend well. Form a dough ball. Put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll the dough ball out to a 1/2″ thickness using flour on the surface you are rolling on, the rolling pin, and the dough ball.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. And store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


If you make some of these delicious treats for your favorite canine this Christmas I’d love to hear how they liked them?

Attach a picture of them in the comments enjoying them if you would. It would make my day ๐Ÿ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did โค

HANDMADE HOLIDAY ‘AFTER DINNER MINTS’

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I’ve always had a thing for after dinner mints. Dessert is too much after a meal. BUT a little mint to tease the taste buds is just right!

Mint is known to settle the stomach. As are many herbs. The original idea behind having a bit of candy made with this tasty herb after a meal arose from that tenet.

Sipping on a cup of peppermint tea, after an evening meal, is a pretty common occurrence in my household. It’s just plain good for you. This Apothecarist highly recommends it ๐Ÿ˜‰

However, for Christmas this year I wanted to make the after dinner mint experience a little more special than that. Like peppermint patty special.

Yet, the thought of all of the bad for you ingredients that are usually in a peppermint patty being the grand finale to my holiday feast didn’t sit quite right with me. So I got to work on creating a healthy version of this gas station staple.

And the results of my efforts are pretty damn phenomenal, if I do say so myself! So, I thought that I would share them with all of you. This way we can all enjoy the fruits of my labor!

I made the filling first (obviously, LOL).

I used unsweetened finely shredded coconut …

And a little melted coconut oil, honey, almond milk, and peppermint extract …

I mixed it all together with a fork. It took a little time and effort to blend it well. Honey can be a tough cookie to distribute through dry goods. But half the fun is in the making, as they say. So I took my time and it paid off big in the end.

I didn’t have a mold. And where I live there aren’t many places to shop. Most things have to be ordered online. Not like my hometown where I would just run up to Commerce Boulevard (the name says it all) and grab whatever I needed.

But there’s a whole lot of good to the laid back lifestyle folks live in my new home, so I’m not complaining. And since necessity definitely is the mother of invention, I simply pressed my coconut mixture into a tablespoon and then popped the balls out with my finger.

It worked great. I ended up with gorgeous little balls of coconut yumminess! Perfect. I popped them in the freezer. And set the timer for an hour to firm them up.

This step is paramount as otherwise they will simply fall apart in your chocolate coating and you’ll end up eating your peppermint patties with a spoon!

While you’re waiting for your coconut ‘balls’ to freeze you can get your other ingredients ready to go. Don’t mix them until you’re ready to use them though. They might harden up on you. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

The coating is made with cocoa. I think that probably goes without saying, right? Chocolate = cocoa.

When my timer went off I mixed some coconut oil and honey in with the cocoa.

And then dropped the balls in the final brew one at a time. So simple!

After I dropped them in I just used a spoon to pour coating over the top of them. And then scooped them out with a fork and slid them onto a plate.

I had to move quickly with this step because the coldness of the balls rapidly change the texture of the chocolate coating. And I didn’t want to have to reheat it.

Once I had all of them coated and placed on a plate, I tossed the plate in the freezer for a bit. I know from past experience working with chocolate coating that it only takes about 15 minutes to chill a candy like this. But I think I left them in there an hour or so before I tried them.

They came out absolutely perfect. So damn delicious!

Once I had a taste, I put the remaining balls in an airtight container and tucked them back in the freezer for Christmas. That was the plan. Wasn’t it?!?!

I could have kept them in the fridge as well. But I liked them frozen a lot. A whole lot. So frozen it is!

Here’s the recipe so you can make some for yourself and your family. It will be hard to share but you should. You really should ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you find yourself feeling the generosity of the Christmas spirit, bear in mind that they make a really nice hostess gift for holiday parties/dinners.

Spread the love a little! Just sayin’!


HANDMADE HOLIDAY ‘AFTER DINNER MINTS’ RECIPE


FILLING:

1 c. Coconut, unsweetened, shredded

3 tsp. Coconut Oil, melted

2 tsp. Honey

1 tsp. Almond Milk

1 tsp. Peppermint Extract

COATING:

1/2 c. Coconut Oil, melted

6 tbls. Cocoa Powder, heaping

4 tbls. Honey


TO MAKE FILLING:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well with a fork. Shape into patties or balls and freeze for 1 hour.

TO MAKE COATING:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well with a fork.

Drop coconut patties/balls in coating one at a time and cover well. Do this quickly to prevent coating from getting too hard.

Place mints on a plate and freeze for 15 minutes.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!


If you decide to make this tasty treat this holiday (or any other time ๐Ÿ˜‰), please let me know in the comments how it works out for you!

Or just pop in the comments to share your thoughts about this recipe, about after dinner mints, or even just to say Hi!

I love hearing from all of you. I really do. Without you there is no reason for me to be here โค๏ธ

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did โค

HOW HUMANS CAN GET THE MOST OUT OF THE WINTER SEASON

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Making the effort to ebb and flow with the natural cycles of the seasons is paramount for good health. Our bodies are designed to follow the patterns of Nature. Even the smallest adjustments to honor these patterns just make damn good sense!

Winter is a season which calls for more quiet time, deep inner reflection, and more than the average amount of nurturing. Perhaps even a little pampering every now and again โค๏ธโ„๏ธโค๏ธ

SLOW DOWN AS MUCH AS YOU ARE ABLE

Spend more time ‘snuggled in’ at home. Take a cue from wildlife and rest.

Life is busy much of the time. And sometimes the only way to shut that steady stream of to-do’s off is to get seriously intentional about it.

Take a at least one night a week this winter and plan to do a whole lot of nothing. Sink into a comfy chair with a good book. Gather up your crochet needles and put together some stitches while you watch a movie. Or sit yourself down with family/friends and play a few board games.

Just make sure there is an abundance of both feeling cozy and relaxing going on.

PRACTICE INNER REFLECTION

We all have things that we find difficult to cope with. Often we keep a few little struggles on the front lines of our lives in a subconscious attempt to avoid the bigger stumbling blocks.

Spend some time searching DEEP within your heart. See what you can find that causes you considerable pain when you think of it. Then allow yourself to feel the pain. Give it permission to be there. Recognize that it is justified. And it only makes sense that it took up residence there after the experiences you’ve had. And then …

Let it go. Take it right by the hand and escort it out of your life. March it to the outer edges of your personal experience here on this planet and place it on the other side of the borderline. Take a step back. Blow it a kiss and say goodbye. Then turn around and WALK AWAY.

HAVE SPA DAYS AT HOME

Light a candle. Turn on some music. Close the bathroom door. And pamper yourself.

About once a week, create a soothing atmosphere in the bathroom (and maybe the bedroom too) and just pamper yourself.

Deep condition your hair. Give yourself a facial. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi.

Make it a point to keep your thoughts on the positive side. Use a mantra if it helps. And breathe. Breathe deeply. You are worth each and every moment you are spending in this space. You deserve to be treated well. And sometimes it is damn nice when you are the person doing it.

We too often pay very close attention to how others are treating us while losing sight of how we treat ourselves.

So let’s try a little harder to be kind to ourselves this winter season. We will be better for it in the spring โค๏ธ


If you have something you make a point of doing to make the dark, cold, season of winter, more beneficial (dare I say rewarding?), please share it in the comments.

I’d love to acquire a few new tricks to tuck up my sleeve for the upcoming season ๐Ÿ˜‰

And โ€ฆ connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did โค

PLANT BASED STUFFING FOR THANKSGIVING

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Hey Everyone!

I’ve been working on a plant based stuffing recipe for a few weeks now. I’ve always had the best stuffing recipe ever. Like over-the-top frickin’ fabulous. It is my favorite dish on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

My recipe has sausage in it. And I’ve been trying to be more mindful of eating processed food. So I thought it would be fun to make a whole new recipe. A plant-based recipe. Fit for a Thanksgiving feast. Even though I won’t be making a full holiday dinner this year.

I volunteered to work for the holiday. And quite honestly I don’t cook a big dinner most years anymore anyway. Too much work for this girl. Particularly when I am the only one who really enjoys it in this house.

But I’m pretty sure that a big ‘ol scoop (or two) of crazy tasty stuffing. Topped with a really savory dressing. And a heaping serving of mashed potatoes on a plate will satisfy my desire to indulge, at least a little, in this once a year feast.

So with both, “I need the best damn stuffing ever” and “Let’s keep it plant-based” in mind I came up with the recipe below.

It’s damn tasty. I promise. Give it a try. You’re going to love it.

It will be a permanent addition to my recipe box, for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

PLANT-BASED THANKSGIVING STUFFING RECIPE


1 med onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 bayleaf

salt and pepper

2 1/2 c vegetable broth

8 oz fresh mushrooms

1/2 c pecans, chopped

1/2 c dried apricots

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/8 c dried parsley

8 c dried bread cubes


Toast pecan pieces. And place aside.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, oregano, bayleaf, salt (to taste), and pepper (to taste) in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth until onion and celery are translucent. Remove bay leaf.

Chop mushrooms. Toss them in with the veggies and seasonings and cook until warmed through.

Mix in pecans, apricots, cranberries, and parsley and immediately remove from heat.

Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and toss with all other ingredients.

Grease a large baking pan and pour mixture into it. Bake at 350ยฐ for 20 minutes.

I made my own bread cubes for this recipe. I used a package of bakery fresh buns to make them. I don’t generally eat a lot of white bread. But I had the buns on hand and so I used them up.

In my opinion a whole grain bread would be even better. It would add another dimension to the flavor profile.

But use whatever works for you. The recipe is damn good just the way it is.

Also, if you are oil-free as many plant-based eaters are, you can skip the oil by lining your baking dish with parchment paper before you put the stuffing in it. Or, better yet, use a silicone baking dish ๐Ÿ˜‰

AND …

If you decide to make this tasty dish please be sure to share your experience with me in the comments! I’d love to know how others feel about the recipe. And learn any tips or tricks you might have discovered while making it!

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did โค

18 SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

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Everybody wants to live a better life. It really makes no difference who they are, what they do, or what circumstances they live with every day. They want to alter their lives in a way that meets their deeper needs. They want it to be better than it is.

They want to have stronger, more stable relationships. They want to be respected, appreciated, and admired. And they want to feel that the way they’re spending their time and energy is purposeful.

Attaining these goals can seem impossible. When faced with the task, many people simply shut down intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

They don’t know how to get from where they are to where they want to be. It feels as though they are light years away from their goals. And so they do nothing.

Doing nothing guarantees that nothing changes.

But here’s some really great news for you …

You don’t have to run at these goals full speed. In fact, they are better reached incrementally.

Baby steps will get you to them just fine. So take baby steps. One or two little baby steps at a time.

Following are 18 things you can do right now that will exponentially improve your life.

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR STATE OF MIND

  1. Do not let others tell you what you’re worth. They really have no way of knowing. Their opinions have been formed as an outside observer. It is impossible for them to understand all of the things which have shaped you into the human who stands before them today.
  2. Do not tell others what they’re worth. You really have no way of knowing. You’re opinions have been formed as an outside observer. It is impossible for you to understand all of the things which have shaped them into the human who stands before you today.
  3. Seek knowledge. You’re mind longs to learn. But sometimes it needs a little coaxing. Pick something that interests you. Anything at all. And then learn everything you can about it.
  4. Allow your mind to rest. It is estimated that the average person thinks between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts a day. Give it a break. Sit quietly somewhere, or maybe go for a walk, and shut down all of those random thoughts with a mantra. Try, “I am purposeful”, “I am worthy”, or “I am beautiful”.
  5. Train your mind to be more positive. This can be done pretty simply by practicing the 5×55 rule. Choose a mantra (see above) and write it out 55 times for 5 days. Your mind believes what you tell it. And over time it will start repeating these positive inputs on its own.
  6. Smile. The very act of engaging in this facial expression causes an elevation in mood. You do not have to feel like smiling for it to work. Your brain associates the movement of the muscles you use to smile with ‘good feelings’ and will cause your mood to follow the action.

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL STATE

  1. Stretch every chance you get. If you feel impelled to embark on a formal stretching routine, go for it. But don’t limit it to just that. Take moments throughout the day to stretch. It is sooooooo good for your body. And if you accompany it with a long slow breath in through your nose and out forcefully through your mouth you’ll increase the benefits by leaps and bounds.
  2. Move more than you do right now. No matter what level of activity you have cultivated in your life, increase it. It doesn’t even matter what you do. Just move more each day than you have been in the routine of doing.
  3. Pamper yourself. In whatever way you feel most nurtured, take care of yourself. Read a good book. Take a long walk. Soak in a jacuzzi for a bit. Or sit down in your favorite chair and give yourself a foot massage. Take 2 minutes. Or take an hour. But pamper yourself in some way every day.
  4. Eat like you matter. Choose your food with careful consideration of its nutritional benefits. Prepare it with love. And then create a pleasant atmosphere to consume it in. Use the good china. Light the new candle. And disconnect from media.
  5. Learn to listen to your body. It knows exactly what it needs. AND it is trying to tell you. There is a little bit of a learning curve involved in this skill but it is so worth the extra effort it takes. Your body will tell you what it needs to eat, when it needs to rest, when it is in distress, and more. Learn to hear what it has to say before you make choices that affect it.
  6. Begin to research and develop an understanding of human anatomy and physiology. This can be done at any level. And while most think of it as a skill only for health professionals, it is becoming increasingly important for the average person to have some knowledge in this area.

6 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE STATE OF YOUR SOUL

  1. Choose your higher power. And then cultivate an understanding of that power and also of the people who believe in it. This will broaden your view of faith. Both yours and others. Bonus points if you go so far as to research the belief systems of people who do not share your views.
  2. Write a gratitude list. And then keep it handy for review. Don’t tuck it away never to be seen again. Look at it regularly. Every day if you can.
  3. Engage in spiritual practices. These can be private practices, such as; prayer, meditation, or fasting. Or something more public, like; volunteer work, study groups, or attending spiritual services.
  4. Write a letter to your higher power. Be open and honest in what you say. Don’t hold back from releasing any negative emotions you feel about your relationship. Choose to release any inner turmoil you feel surrounding the contents of this letter. And then dispose of it. Burn it if you can.
  5. Write a letter to your higher power to express the appreciation, love, and gratitude you have for their presence in your life. Don’t hold back. Dig deep enough to include the little things. Then save it. Or send it off in the mail with an address that seems fitting. Don’t include a return address. Just let it go.
  6. Do something for someone without expecting anything in return. This tends to be more rewarding when you do something for someone who doesn’t have the means to reciprocate. Let go of any expectations you may be inclined to place on their reaction to your act. And keep your act of kindness private.

And there it is …

18 simple ways to improve your life.

If you’re anything like I am you’re going to want to get started on each and every one of them right away.

BUT it will serve you much better to pick one or two and work with them for a bit (baby steps, remember). Allow yourself to ease into practicing them. Take great joy in the progress you make as they become part of the very weave of your being. And be kind to yourself as you absorb the lessons they have to teach you.

Then pick one or two more and move on to the privilege of experiencing growth in those areas as well.

NOTE: You don’t have to actually master one to move on to another. The beauty of this is that it is a long term, organic growth process.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about these suggestions in the comments below.

Have you used any of these tools in the past? How has that worked out for you?

Is there one that you’re excited about getting started on? Which one? And why?

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did โค

I’M OK WITH THAT!

I don’t have a picture of the garden table that I spent so many hours sitting at with my beloved Charlotte. It was a beautiful spot. Laden with the kind of artistic charm that only Charlotte could create. So this image will have to do. Credit: Taken from the web. Couldn’t really trace to a singular source ๐Ÿคจ

I used to be a little more concerned with what other people thought of me than I would have liked to admit ๐Ÿ˜‰

But it seems that the times they are a changin’. Like significantly. Really very significantly.

They’ve been changing for a very long time now. I would guesstimate my evolution in this arena started 15 years ago. Just before I turned 40 years old.

While sitting with a very close friend/mentor of mine over a cup of tea in her garden she looked me purposefully in the eyes and said, “Diane, turning 40 is a truly transformational time in a woman’s life. Somehow you ‘come into your own’. You find you no longer care much about what other people think of you or your choices. You like yourself more. And what other people think just isn’t as important as it once was.”

She was spot on with this advice. And I’ve never forgotten it. Actually, I’ve held tight to just about all of the ‘Charlotte wisdom’ I was so fortunate to receive throughout the time of my mentor/mentee relationship with this extremely extraordinary woman.

It is certainly true that one of the phrases that became a central tenet in my life throughout my 40’s was, “I’m OK with that.” Had Charlotte still been part of the weave of my life throughout that time she would have been quite proud!

At 44 years old I lost a job of 17 years as a result of an injustice fueled by two women who proclaimed to be my friends. Faced with a job loss, and the realization that I had welcomed frenemies into my home and treated them like family, I had to choose how I would respond to that unfortunate turn of events. My response was, “I’m OK with that.”

After all, better to uncover a frenemy than not. And that alone is something to hold great appreciation for!

But that loss offered more than just one blessing in disguise. It prompted me to launch my first entrepreneurial venture. I did it on a shoestring budget and still achieved great success!

That business still remains very close to my heart. It afforded me the opportunity to live life on my own terms. It is the very thing that freed me from the ‘daily grind’. The ‘9 to 5’. It made it so that the work that I did every day supported my own dreams and desires. As opposed to supporting the dreams and desires of others.

Later, when I wanted to travel across the country in an attempt to come to terms with the innate feeling that I belonged somewhere besides the little area of our country which I had always known as home, I sold off all my belongings and went gypsy style. I took only some clothes, some toiletries, and my most treasured books. This meant closing the doors to my business which at that point had grown to a lovely brick and mortar shop!

There was only 2 people in my life. Yes. Two is the count. Who supported this decision. But I went ahead and followed my heart regardless of the opinion of others.

Today when I look back on this choice and think of the people who should have stood behind me but didn’t, I say, “I’m OK with that.”

It was the best damn decision I ever made. My life has exponentially improved as a direct result of that entire experience. I am changed forever. And cannot even begin to imagine living life trapped in the hopeless cycle of unmet expectations I existed in up until that point.

After 4 years of living out among the incredibly amazing natural wonders of the redwood forests and the pacific northwest’s lost coast I found myself with a strong desire to ‘hit the road again’.

It meant leaving behind many people, places, and things I had begun to love dearly. I had started to build a life on the west coast. I was gathering things for my home (very domestic diva like), taking classes, creating routines, and just in general settling into the culture of the area.

Credit: The Alleen Company

But my inner intuition knew that it was time for me to leave. I’m not sure how to explain this feeling. It’s similar to the one you get at the end of a dinner party. Bit by bit people start filtering out. Goodbyes are said. You’ve already helped the hostess with much of the clean up. You’ve had a great time. There is part of you that wants to linger. But you know it’s time to go. There are things to do in the morning. And you have to get home and get some rest before you get up and start a new day. So you say your goodbyes and head home with some pretty fond memories tucked in your back pocket.

Well that’s how I felt. Like it was time to say my goodbyes and leave with a pocket packed full of fond memories.

So I sold my big ‘ol truck and bought an economy car to travel back across the country in. I cleared out my townhouse. And I started the long road trip back to the east coast. I felt a slight melancholy over having left. And I felt a bold, new excitement at the idea of forging a new path in a place that was completely unkown to me. All I really knew for sure was I had made the decision to go from one place to another without much of a plan, once again those who couldn’t understand such a decision were unable to just let go of their expectations of my life (which is weird as all hell when you really think about it) and I could very easily say, “I’m OK with that.”

Getting to my new home in northern Maine was much harder than I anticipated. But that’s another story entirely. I made it. Here I am.

Life has been rather eventful since I arrived. And often difficult. Settling into a small town is not as simple (or comical) as it is so often portrayed in movies.

BUT I am glad to be here. And find myself growing fonder of the people and the culture in this beautiful place every day.

It is completely different than that which I’ve experienced before. Sometimes better. Sometimes worse.

I am welcomed by most. Genuinely liked by many. And there are, of course, those who don’t care for me much. I am a ‘person from away’ as the locals say.

AND …

“I’m OK with that!”

I intend to ‘keep on keepin’ on’ as the bohemian populations used to say in the 70’s. And I intend to never lose sight of the fact that there is very little in this world which happens that leaves one with the inability to say, “I’m OK with that.”

As a matter of fact, in the big scheme of things no matter how tragic an event is, it remains a matter of fostering your own good mental health to bring yourself around to the place where you can say, “I’m OK with that.”

BECAUSE …

The alternative sucks. And who wants that?!?!

Not this woman. That’s for sure.

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