2020 Bullet Journal

The long, or not so long-awaited 2020 Bullet Journal Layout!

LOL.

To tell the truth, I'm not nearly where I'd usually like to be in my bullet journal...having the entire front section done along with the first month. However, I've got January done and most of the important things laid out.

So boom!

Accomplished.

I got a beautiful bright orange bujo this year as a nod to my awesome new job VIPKid. I'm going with a grayscale theme inside to complement the outside. I'm also getting back to my early roots using some Zentangles and Tangram sketches.
I'm loving it so far because I can just pick it up and Zentangle when the moment strikes or when I'm waiting at the DMV...which I might be doing right now. Good times!

I'm also not going to track every damn little thing this year. I need to focus on what's important and as it turns out not everything is as important as I think. Just the basics:

Where is my pain at?
How do I feel?
What am I grateful for?
What do I need to do today? this week?
and...when the hell is my period going to start?

There you have it. I'll migrate the rest over when I get the chance but its low priority. Now back to today's To-Do List!

[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/B7JOgsIhYEJ/[/instagram]

Word of the Year 2020 - Renaissance

Hope. Love. Happiness. Peace.

These are the type of things I want to feel in 2020.

Dear Reader, you are probably wondering why I didn't pick these words to be my Word of the Year. Well, it's simple really.

To achieve the above buzz words of emotional goals, I first have to rebuild...recreate...rebirth myself, my habits, and my idea of daily life.

So it's a rebirth, or a renaissance because I'm bourgeoisie.

Word of the Year 2020 - Renaissance

My inspiration for my word of the year came from one of #leohusband and my favorite YouTube Channels, Extra Credits

They had this video out a couple of months ago called A Rebuilding Year. It gave me hope that I could turn my burnout around and take a year to basically FIFO (Figure It the F&#$ Out).


I had so many astonishing but life-altering things happen in such a short time. I got a new diagnosis, a new job, a puppy, and switched from the yoga studio to a gym membership.

My schedule now has an additional day of physical therapy, my mornings start unbelievably early for my job, my puppy is basically a baby that needs to learn everything, and if I'm spending the money, I better get my happy ass to the gym. LOL!

I need to figure out how all this applies to my life and what that looks like now. If you would like to hear more about Word of the Year, check out my awesome podcast with Rebekah Svensson, Chronic Warrior Women.

In fact, Dear Reader, if you are wondering how I am able to make a blog post with all of this and a puppy...I'm at Starbucks and the puppy is taking his post-breakfast nap in his house. Then I'm going to do my normal Friday grocery store run. My Starbucks is right next to two of my favorite grocery stores. Boom. Two birds. One Stone.

If I have extra time, I'm going to get a little reading time in for my peace of mind and my soul. I hate to admit it but I started Daring Greatly by Brene Brown in November and I still haven't finished it. I may even get a little bullet journaling in.

Speaking of bullet journaling, I'm doing something different this year but you will have to wait until next Friday to see.

Which brings me to this Dear Reader, I'd love to post every day, but let's be honest...that ain't gonna happen. LOL! So I'm shooting for Friday's.

Wish me luck this year in my Renaissance while I FIFO! WooHoo!!!

via GIPHY

Puppies and Chronic Pain

Sometimes I am totally blown away by the love my husband has for me. My fiscally conservative husband (putting it mildly) bought me a puppy.

Now before you hit me with the flame comments from hell, for not adopting, we have tried to adopt 3 dogs since Tiger passed and all were failures for one reason or another. My health conditions, plural, led us to believe that we needed to train a puppy from the ground up to be what we need for my pain.

Now two weeks in, #leohusband and I are obviously insane because we got a puppy, but we are so in love.

Well, not insane actually because, after our last three disastrous attempts at dog adoption, tiny puppy energy is much more manageable than big dog energy or anxiety.

Plus, I put my foot down and said, no more big dogs. We loved Tiger and we were lucky that my in-laws raised him to be a wonderful, trained, and obedient dog. However, when Tiger's health started failing and I couldn't do anything physical to help him (pick him up). I was in a terrible bind and felt so helpless when I couldn't care for someone I loved so dearly.

I really wanted a small to medium dog, that didn't shed a lot...again I don't want to flare up my chronic pain with constantly cleaning the house.

#bubbletwinbff found the solution, a Mini Goldendoodle. One Insta search later and I was in love. Luckily, there was a breeder in my city. Sweet!

Yes, they are as cute as you can imagine.


Enter Freddie. Our new addition to the family. A cute fluffy baby shark that knows sit and down sometimes rings the bells on the back door to pee and poop, and our main goal is to get the puppy biting under control before he is 6 months old.

For those of you not familar with the very popular childrens song:

The only downside is my adhesive arachnoiditis has completely flared up with the bending over to pick him up. I've haven't been lower than a 6 on the pain scale for over two weeks now.

I'm learning the hard way of course that I just have to kneel down and let me tell you, kneeling down on the frosty cold and wet grass at 4:00 in the morning is not pleasant. So I usually end up bending over and scooping him up before I have to go upstairs to teach. Even that has flared up my SI Joint, which has also now, in turn, flared up a terrible case of Sciatica.

And crate training...

We hired a professional dog trainer with 15 years of experience and his crate training philosophy in conjunction with potty training makes sense. If #leohusband and I cannot actively watch him, he goes into his house or is on his leash in the house with me.

The trainer likens it to a baby and a crib or one of those toddlers you see at Disney World on a harness. However, it's hard to listen to Freddie beg to be let out of his house so he is usually on the leash by my side. He has learned to be calm and quiet over the last week in his crate, but it's obvious he would just prefer to be with momma. I cannot wait until he is potty trained so he can join me for my afternoon power nap. Oh yeah, puppy snuggles!

Other than that, Freddie joins me when I cook dinner. He can't seem to get enough of laying on my feet at the stove, the island, and the sink.
I started my emergency medicine in the hopes I can get this pain flare under control before actual Thanksgiving. I am hopefull that with all the awesome things I have learned in the last three years I can do it like the Badass Babe I am.

Just Too Damn Busy

I think the title says it all. I'm not bragging about being busy. I don't want to be busy.

In fact, I totally hate those people who act like it's a badge of honor to be totally swamped. Stop it you pretentious pricks. Insert eye roll here.

I can't seem to catch my breath since starting my new part-time job in the wee hours of the morning, and it's been much worse since the time change. Ugh!

In fact, I can't believe I have the time to update today but I brought my laptop to my doctor's appointment and I finished my feedback for this morning's classes...

So here I am.

No. I haven't died. I've just been busy and when I have a break the last thing I want to do is blog.

Between work, the gym, physical therapy, and trying to get a healthy dinner on the table, most days I nap or I want to binge-watch Netflix and relax.

I actually started writing this post last week, waiting for a doctor's appointment to start and after she came in, I closed my laptop and when I got home, I fell asleep on the couch, until #leohusband got home. Man, talk about being completely drained.

Me and My BFF (My Back Brace) on Vacay
I've also been out of the social loop, on vacation, so I tried to spend a week catching up, with friends, family, and doctor's appointments. Gosh, there's only so much energy to go around y'all.

To further complicate matters...? We've got our favorite festival coming up, the Texas Renaissance Festival. Once again, I'm going for gold to try to win the costume contest. I love that I have something to funnel my creativity into but I always end up waiting until the last minute to get my costume together, even though I started it in August.

Now, and here is the big news. We're getting a puppy, the day after Ren Fest, because I'm apparently a glutton for punishment. It's not good timing but it's never good timing to get a puppy so we might as well jump into the deep end.

Well, that about sums it up. I'm guessing you probably won't hear from me for a while since I'm going to be adding puppy training into my already charlie foxtrot schedule. I'm hoping to be back up and blogging in January 2020!

Wish me luck! Much love to my readers!

Jobs for People with Chronic Pain

I'm back at work! I really can't believe it. I feel like it is one of those pinch me I'm dreaming moments.

Years ago when I made the switch from graphic design to teaching, I knew I made a wonderful life decision. While a lot of parts of teaching are stressful, I found that there are just as many wonderful, heartwarming moments. I love the fact that some of my old students still contact me and keep in touch.

I'm one of those teachers that always viewed my students as my own kids.

So when I had to give up my teaching career because of my adhesive arachnoiditis, it was life-altering, and not in a good way.

I have spent the last 3 years rehabilitating my body and while I've had setbacks, I've also gotten stronger and learned to deal with my condition.

Jobs for People with Chronic Pain

If you haven't heard, I have a podcast now with my PIC #awkwardyethealthy Rebekah Svensson, Chronic Warrior Women. She has been such a positive influence in my life. In fact, she is the reason I have my current job!

Rebekah started teaching with VIPKid back in June. When we were chatting one day after recording our podcast she told me how much she earned with them in July and I was shocked.

I immediately asked, what was the name of that company? Can I teach there?

The answer is yes.

If you have a 4-year degree in any subject and 1 year of experience with kids (church, babysitting, teaching, etc.) you can teach with VIPKid!

I'm so happy I kept my teaching certificate current! I passed the initial assessment and got an interview scheduled, which was a 5 minute demonstration of a short lesson. After passing the demo, the next step is passing a mock class for one of the teaching levels.

With my experience in education, I had no problem passing the Level 2-5 mock classes, with practice, neither will most people!
I'm in my 4th week of teaching and loving it.

I've taught with high pain, with my tens unit on and ice packs with zero problems. If you meet these qualifications I recommend giving VIPKid a shot!

Just let me know and I will send you an invitation link to fill out an application!

Getting Back to Pain Free Days Part 2

Howdy y'all! It's been a beat since I was able to post. I have finally, fingers crossed, come out of my terrible pain flare. My lumbar spine has stabilized and I have enjoyed some low pain days in the past two weeks.

It took a lot of work to get back here and between you and me, I need to stay strong and keep trucking on my path.

I'm sure you are sitting there asking yourself what did I do to get back to low and no pain days...

Well, I will address that question in detail over the next few posts.

In summary, I talked to my awesome physical therapist, got a program to follow (more on this later), made sure I was eating healthy regular meals, getting adequate sleep, didn't bend over at all for any reason, and started a new career.

That sounds like so much in such a short time, and believe me I'm flabbergasted that it's September. How in the hell did that happen? Where the heck did this year go?

It seems like so much of my year has been playing catch up but I really have been able to take care of some long term goals that have been floating around my cabinet of undone accomplishments.

In fact, today I'm working on some of that to-do list, like the never-ending task of transferring files and programs to a new laptop. UGH! So tedious but has to be done.

Recipes