My One Year Blogiversary

Today marks one year since I launched my blog.  I’m not really an interesting or creative writer, but I’ve still enjoyed sharing my thoughts with those interested enough to read them.  Today, I went back and read my first blog post where I laid out the goals for what I wanted to accomplish.  I am continuing to meet those goals by sharing my positive thoughts and writing about experiences of things that make me happy.  I hope that at some point over the past year, I’ve helped someone to “look on the bright side.”

Over the course of this year, I’ve written something like 65 blog posts, which I’m pretty proud of.  I’ve written about products I like, faith, and books I’ve read.  I don’t blog about all the books I read, because I’m not that great at writing reviews.  But over the past year, I did blog about four different self-help/memoir style books.

a fave shirt of mine

I wrote a lot about travel, which is one of my favorite things in the world.  Over the past year, I was fortunate enough to visit and write about Jamaica, Biloxi, Montreal, Hot Springs, Walt Disney World, and even my hometown of New Orleans.

I wrote about music, movies, and plays that I loved and had the pleasure of experiencing this past year, including Disney movies, Broadway plays, and awesome concerts.  I am fortunate to have been able to enjoy so many of these things that bring me joy.

I’ve written about food, family life, and positive thinking.  I’ve reflected on quotes or sayings.  I’ve shared my thoughts on many different topics.

I hope you have enjoyed following along in my journey of positivity.  I wonder what will happen in year two?  It is already starting off very different since we’ve been social distancing for over a month now.  The adventures and fun this year may look different.  But I shall continue to find the joy in whatever God sends my way!

For the love of sleep

So, it has been awhile since my last blog post.  School is back in session, and I have been staying busy.  That means my free time is usually devoted to my favorite pastime – sleep!

I have always slept a lot.  Unlike many, I prioritize sleep over many other things.  That may not always be the best thing, but it is what I do.  I never pulled all-nighters to get homework done in high school or college.  I don’t stay up late watching Netflix. My whole life, I’ve been someone who goes to bed early.

I’m also a napper.  My five year old daughter has outgrown the nap, but you will often find me snoozing away a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Sometimes I think about all of the other things I could accomplish if I just stayed up a little later or skipped that nap.  I know that it is healthy to get a good night’s sleep, but does my love of sleep cross over into the unhealthy range?  

I remember back in college in my developmental psychology class, my textbook had a quiz in it to estimate your life span.  You start at a certain number depending on if you are male or female and then as you answer each question, you add or subtract years to your life.  Do you smoke? Do you exercise regularly? Does diabetes run in your family? On and on. When I got to the question about sleep, I actually had to subtract years from my life because I said that I slept 9-10 hours a day.

My husband likes to blame it on my thyroid, but I feel like my thyroid condition is well-managed.  I take medicine every day and my ranges stay where they should. I just really like to sleep!

Oh well, if sleeping is my one vice, it could be worse!

The Gift of Life

In 2013, I hemorrhaged due to a uterine rupture the day that I gave birth to my daughter.  Over the course of the next couple days, I received 20-something units of blood transfused into my body, while I lay unconscious and on a respirator.  That means the entire supply of blood in my body was replaced a couple of times.

Prior to this incident, I had never donated blood.  In high school at blood drives, I was too young or too small.  I allowed my fear of the needle or the pain to keep me from donating blood.  As I got older, I started having blood work done more often, and no longer feared the needle stick in my arm.  Yet, I still did not donate, fearing that surely a donation would be much more uncomfortable.

After my recovery from my traumatic birth experience, I vowed that I would donate blood every year around my daughter’s birthday in honor of my own life being saved by donated blood.  As the years passed, I tried to go a little more often, usually managing to go about twice a year.  

At the start of 2019, one of my resolutions was to give blood as often as possible.  Since you must wait 8 weeks between whole blood donations, I set the goal to give blood approximately every 9 weeks.  I wrote the dates down on my calendar and do my best to stick to them.

My traditional post-donation selfie from today.

Sometimes I give platelets, which is a bigger ordeal for me.  It usually takes me a couple of hours and the machine beeps at me constantly that my draw pressure is too low.  But they are always asking for platelets, so I try to help out every now and then.

I am a bit ashamed that I avoided donating blood for several years, but I am determined to continue doing it as long as I am healthy and able.  My blood is a precious gift that I can provide. The gift of life. I am grateful that I was saved by modern medicine and the gift of many different people’s blood.  

If you haven’t donated blood in awhile (or ever), maybe take some time out to look up your local blood donor center soon.  Also, make sure that you are registered as an organ donor. You’ve got no reason to hold onto those organs after you are gone, and just think of all the lives you can save!  My dad had a liver transplant just 8-9 months ago and is doing great! Give the gift of life!

Introduction

“Looking on the bright side” is one of the mantras I use to approach this thing we call life.  I consider myself a positive thinker and truly believe that it helps to make each and every day more enjoyable.  I am a licensed professional counselor who works in a school setting. One of the basic tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy is that our thoughts control our feelings which then control our actions.  Thoughts have power, so let’s make them positive ones!

Journaling and reflection are powerful therapeutic tools.  I am often hesitant to put my thoughts to paper, but would like to work both on my writing skills and spend more time intentionally reflecting on all of the wonderful things in life, both big and small.  I am also challenging myself to put some of my thoughts out there in the public eye. I am choosing to blog, rather than journal. Allowing others to read my writing has always been something that I have been hesitant to do.  I hope that by sharing some of my positive thoughts, they can trickle out and maybe, just maybe, encourage someone else to think positively.

I plan to blog about my everyday life and the things that I enjoy-travel, food, books, parenting, and more.  This blog will not have a specific focus, but rather be a reflection of all the enjoyable things in life. I recognize that compared to some, my life is pretty comfortable and happy.  There are definitely situations that make it harder for people to “look on the bright side,” such as sickness, depression, and personal tragedies. I never want to come across as someone who claims to have all the answers or for my readers to think that I am saying that a positive outlook is an easy solution to every problem.  This blog can only reflect my experiences and my outlook, as that is what I know. So join me, as I think happy thoughts!