Thank you to Catey at Olive Juice for the nomination. You can check out her wonderful work : here or copy/paste the address yourself: https://olijuice.com/2019/05/10/sunshine-blogger-award-nomination/

Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site
  3. Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  5. Notify the nominees about their nominations by commenting on one of their blog posts.

Questions from Catey:

  1. Why did you start blogging?

I jumped into blogging as a creative outlet. The process has become somewhat cathartic. I am a strong believer that everyone has a story and somebody needs to hear what you have to say.

2. If you could live in any period in history, when would it be and why?

It would probably be the Renaissance. A world of discovery and artistic expression. Also, a period of time where fuller figured girls were revered and I dig that 😛

3. What are three words that best describe you?

Funny, Kind, Determined

4. What’s a movie that you could practically quote, from start to finish?

Step Brothers. Also, Bridesmaids. 🙂

5. What are you currently reading?

I am in the middle of semesters. Very soon- more leadership development materials and empirical research pertaining to the development of soft skills for the ol’ dissertation. Give me a few days.

6. Where did you work for your first job?

Pizza Hut. I was employed there for five entire days in 1999.

7. What is one thing you learned in childhood that totally changed your life?

It does not take a biological tie to create a family.

8. If sleep wasn’t necessary, what would you do with the extra time?

I love sleep so much. Napping is one of my favorite things to do. I guess I would catch up on housework, write more, worry less. Eh, sounds good.

9. What’s the farthest from home you’ve ever been?

Manhattan maybe. I have not fact checked that, but it stands out as the most reasonable response.

10. What is your favorite jellybean flavor?

I would rather not have to eat them. I played Beanboozled with my kids once. That was a mistake. lol

11. What are you most grateful for today?

I am able and encouraged to pursue the things that I love. I could not ask for more.

Questions for my nominees:

  1. What inspires your writing?
  2. If you were able, what would you tell yourself five years ago (2014) to better prepare you for today?
  3. What is your favorite animal? Why?
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years (2024)?
  5. What is your favorite sweet treat?
  6. Where do you dream of travelling?
  7. How would you descibe yourself in ten words or less?
  8. What is your favorite quote?
  9. What is your favorite book/story?
  10. What are you currently learning?
  11. What are you most grateful for today? ( I liked this one in my post so I am borrowing inspiration)

Happy Kotter’s Sunshine Blogger Nominees:

  1. Emmalee: https://ladeebugslife.wordpress.com
  2. Ugena Whitlock PhD: https://justkeepswimming.life
  3. Igor Namus: http://inscribed.blog/
  4. Catherine: https://shatter-the-silence.mn.co
  5. Tuttysan: http://www.biteslove.com/
  6. Beth: https://carolbethanderson.com/blog/
  7. Lacey: http://allnightwriting.com
  8. Mimi: https://www.mimiprentice.com
  9. Christina: https://christinamdietrich.wordpress.com/
  10. Meditative Owl: https://meditativeowl.wordpress.com
  11. Isabella: https://www.writtenbybella.com

Thank you for the nomination and I hope to learn more from my nominees! I encourage you to check out their works and get involved. “By lifting eachother up, we lift ourselves up”.

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

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As the Spring 2019 semester draws to a close, the life of a doctoral student in her mid thirties with two children, multiple pets, and a strong desire to stay sane, has become a tad hectic. It is all welcome as each responsibility and hurdle leads to an opportunity to grow and to help others.

Coming up in the next few weeks I am looking forward to sharing reviews of some blogs and bloggers that I get to interact with. The new Ipsy Glam Bag should be in soon and I have lots to share on personal growth, mental health and such.

Keep reading. Keep sharing. Keep asking questions. 🙂

Take Care of Yourself!

❤ Eve

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

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How many times have you decided to get healthy starting Monday? Are you going to write the next great novel “someday”? Perhaps you are a student and “hoping” to pass all of your classes?

All of these dreams are the beginning of a goal, but without more detail they are harder to accomplish. As people, we tend to have a lot of really great ideas. Someday kills them. Hoping to get lucky with no responsibility eradicates our own ability to celebrate without a gnawing suspicion that we may not be so lucky next time.

When you want to set a goal, make sure it is “SMART”!

S= Specific

M=Measurable

A= Achievable

R=Relevant

T=Time-bound

Let’s stick with getting healthy and do some practice.

“I want to get healthy, but I will start on Monday.”

Does this statement answer all of the SMART statements above? Is it specific? No. What is healthy. There is no way to assume that you are over/underweight. It could be that you want to change your diet to feel better/alleviate some ailment. Healthy is too broad of a term to ensure that this goal is Specific.

“I want to lose 20 pounds.”

Better. This one is specific as it provides a precise measurement. Just saying “I want to lose weight” leaves us nothing to measure. This statement has knocked off the first two criteria for setting a SMART goal (Specific/Measurable)

“I (still) want to lose 20 pounds”

Great! Is this achievable for you specifically? This may be an easy answer for you or you may need to seek the advice of a medical professional (which is most definitely not me). Make sure you are setting a goal that is relevant to you. Make sure you and your body will be happier once you start to see these results. You could always alter the amount. “I want to lose/gain 5 pounds”, “I want to have more energy and not feel so bogged down because of my diet”. You can also measure subjectively. If you feel lethargic a lot, you could maintain a journal on your journey to track any changes/improvements. You are not tied to the statements I make. Make them your own. If your goal is attainable, move along. Is this goal relevant to you? Keep tweaking until you come up with something that fits your needs/desires. (Achievable/Relevant)

Now, let us give it some Time.

“I want to lose 20 pounds in six months”

Look at that! You have created a deadline. Now your goal is Time-Bound. You have taken away the dreaded ambiguity of someday and given yourself a block of time to achieve a goal. (Time-Bound)

Time to review the entire thing and make sure we have checked off each of the criteria.

S= 20 pounds

M= You have your starting weight and a measurable goal (20 pounds)

A= You have made sure that this is something that you can do and that it is an achievable goal with your overall health in mind.

R= Looking at whether the goal fits you personally. Relevance has passed.

T= You have given yourself 6 months to reach your goal.

Now that you have created an overall goal, you can start creating mini-goals.

“I want to lose about one pound a week. I will lose 4 pounds in one month.”

Your smart goal has led you to a place where you can seek out the information that you need to make it happen. These are your actionable steps. Each of these should also be SMART.

  • I will exercise for one hour 3 times a week.
  • I will increase my daily water intake to 64 ounces per day.
  • I will decrease my saturated fat/carbohydrate intake by 20%.
  • I will increase the amount of fresh foods in my diet by including two vegetables/ fruits to each of my meals.

Again, you are in no way bound to my example including weight loss. Write a book! Achieve a Grade Point Averge (GPA) you can be proud of on purpose! Clean your house! Take up running! Do whatever you want! Just make sure you are SMART!

I tried to find an origin for the SMART acronym. Here’s a little tidbit I found…

Origin of SMART Goals Acronym (click the link)

Want to read more? Start here:

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

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As my father’s 60th birthday approaches, I can’t help but think about celebration and grief.

I would love to call my Dad on the phone and remind him that he’s another year older and that his hairline has disappeared. I would probably call him the ol’ Onceler and we’d talk about our days and the grandkids and all things good and bad. He would reminisce on a full life and we would laugh. He’d probably answer “Yello…..” and he’d inevitably throw in a “quitcherbitchin” when I started to rant about any nonsensical thing.

Celebration

Maybe a surprise party; balloons, cake, and presents. We would discuss my dissertation and all of the studying he did in college when I was a kid. He would share all of the wit and the troubles. He would also remind me that he made more money than I probably ever will,

-because he did not finish college,

-life was not fair,

-and I should not stand for that type of treatment.

This was his gentle, and obvious way, of ribbing me into a competition to push beyond the limits he envisioned that I had set for myself. I also would never do the types of manual, dangerous work he did, so there is that too.

He would tell the very best “dad jokes” and about how my driving always scared him. “She always said the lines on the road were a suggestion…..” Or, he’d do that weird egg crack trick on top of my head, because no matter how successful or old, making your child’s stomach turn is somehow hilarious. And when he did, I would gently remind him of how when I was little I removed the fish from their meticoulsly pristine home, dried them off, and put them back! *That’s one of those stories you tell your parents later in life because you’d get in major trouble when you were six*

No matter how exciting or mundane, I would love to see these pop up again.

Time to go fishing
Always fall back on what you know of sports ❤ (I totally passed stats and I’ve taken more)
🙂
My graduation moved to Spring
December 2020 ❤ I’m going to walk the stage this time

Grief

This isn’t the first time, and I hope it is not the last time I have written about grief. You are welcome to see Like A Stone for more about losing my father. There is no going back to whatever I pictured an ideal existence to be before. This is my new normal.

There is nothing exceptional to any part of the story other than it is my own. Maybe there is someone that needs to know that a new normal is possible. Maybe someone needs to know that coupling grief and depression is not crippling, but it is ok if sometimes it needs to be. For 24 years, he knew what life was like without me, but I did not learn how to exist without him for 31. This is year 4, and I am ok.

I was so damn angry when it happened. Then I was relieved. Today it is fine. I cannot tell you what comes next. Through death I learned that nothing I care about and intend to protect can be bought. Time is a far more valuable currency.

I learned that letting go is an option. There is nothing I need to inject where the universe is perfectly qualified. The integrity that I so fearfully wanted to protect was not going to be sustained through any venegful or foolish acts. I learned that people can be gentle and loving and people can be selfish and hurtful, and when the strings are pulled tight the spirit that they feed will not hide for long. I learned that no one gets to define my intentions but me and I learned to live with the words that convey misunderstanding. I learned to accept the apology that I was never given. And I learned to forgive myself for being human; weaknesses and all.

I learned that the example that I set will only be positive if I let go of fear. I appreciate all of the times when my heart was hurting and I was simply told, “you don’t have to put up with that”. So, I changed my response instead of controlling the situation. I learned that I am too small to carry the weight of everything. I learned to appreciate travelling places where I am reminded that I am small.

Have you ever watched animations of the universe? They tend to start at Earth and pull back through systems and galaxies until we are all but unrecognizable, but an integral piece. Makes me cry, every-dang-time.

Next….

I have spent time educating children and adults about safety. Here may be just the spot to interject some of that transferrable advice. If you, or someone that you care about, is struggling with addiction, depression, or other mental/physical health concerns, take time to identify the people in your life that you can go to for help. Whether directly affected or an observer, it is ok to reach out for help. You are not a burden.

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

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As you continue to read, imagine we are talking. I will be me and you be you. It is perfectly fine as you digest what you have taken in and begin to give it meaning that you change roles. Maybe you are me, maybe you are still you thinking about a time that you have talked to a me in your life. Maybe this makes no sense to you and you are still reading because dammit, you are intrigued.

“How about that weather?” 

-“Weather” never ceases to exist, and at some point in the past, whether it be recent or not, you and I both have experienced it before. What about the jet stream? Or climate change? What about clear skies and starry nights?

“Whew, long day huh?”

-Each and every day is a measurement of time, which is finite. This day is the same in length as other days. Are you tired? Overworked? Underwhelmed? It’s not a long day. Maybe you need a hug, or a nap.

Well, it IS Monday!”

– Yes, every week. Monday continuously happens. I believe Garfield also hated Mondays. Whatever stuggle is being tied to “Monday” is likely unconnected. Commiting a robery? Well, it’s Monday! Thursday and you would’ve been in a real pickle. Stub your toe? Wreck your car? No, you did not succumb to an interruption of situational awareness. It’s Monday!

“The rain! The heat! The wind! The ultraviolet rays! It’s cold! I’m melting! Are my elbows sweating?”

I simply cannot. No, I can. Because like some social psychopath I have studied the ways of the people in an attempt to appear normal when I’m approached with small talk. If you’re at all familiar with my background and think I should have a better, more professional, and possibly concise way of describing that feeling, I do not.

I crave connection. Meaningful connection. A long conversation about the weather, or current projects, or about what joys and troubles the time reminds us of, I can do that. Too often, “How are you?” is uttered in such a rush that it becomes something to say instead of an invitation to empathy. I feel the same way about “I’m sorry.” You can read about that too: I Stopped Saying I’m Sorry

I like “Hello’s”. If the purpose of sharing a phrase is to acknowledge another person, that does just the trick. If you ask me (or someone like me) a follow up question, then a stream of thoughts, feelings, memories, and connections start that I am unable to stop. A little obsessive? Maybe. I would love to share with you a funny anecdote or a great article I read. I could be tired, and maybe in that moment what I need is for someone to simply let me know that whatever struggle is present will pass. There could be no negative, it could be a really great day and what I would love to share is hope. I can have a really great conversation about any number of things.

The interaction is so mechanical. Let’s talk about research and your interests. Ten or one thousand small, meaningless interactions make me tired. Repeated stimulation with no resolve, makes me tired. So that I can avoid being a bother, I shut off.

In my limited time, I have learned a few ways to combat the way small talk makes me feel.

  • Make eye contact. Acknowledge that someone exists. If you’re shy (and I mean that in a way that someone is shy and experiences a real fear when interacting with people) maybe try it once. Let it happen and see how it works. 
  •  If you’re going to engage in small talk, see it through. Don’t say something for the sake of making noise.
  •  (THIS ONE IS ME!) If silence makes you uncomfortable, practice. I’ve worried myself countless times wondering if the silence wasn’t filled would somebody spot that I am a person that lives with depression or anxiety or due dates or I haven’t folded the laundry that I washed 3 whole days ago. I engage in public speaking more than I would have told you I was willing to 10 years ago. It has taken a long time to learn how to just hush instead of using fillers like “like” and “ummmmmm”. Pause is ok.
  • You love small talk. Don’t get irritated when you say something and the recipient wants to engage. Otherwise, pause.
  • I am inspired by people that make other people feel important. The key ingredient is time. Giving someone your time is a gift that cannot be replaced.

How do you feel about small talk? Any additional tips or thoughts?

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

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