Taming the Inner Critic

My inner critic is harsh. Let’s just be brutally honest here: my inner critic is a true mean-to-the-bone, socially unacceptable bitch.

You know the type: They put you down every chance they get. They blame you for everything wrong that happens. Why did the boyfriend leave? You. Why did you not get that job you applied for? You. Why do you doubt yourself? You are not good enough, she would reply. Yet she would say it with a sailor’s mouth with such vulgar that you don’t want to be in public with her.

There are some days where I can control her, but there are also some days where she knocks me to the floor gasping for air with tears staining my face.

I have always had a harsh inner critic. I used to cave in and believe her that I wasn’t good enough. I just took it. I believed the negative. I drowned in it, yet I also let it be my air that I needed to breathe every day.

Then one day, I decided to live the life I wanted…no matter what.

So my goal was to prove her wrong. For example, I fought her about being a teacher. I am quiet, could be a hermit, and am so very scared to talk to a crowd. I am now in my 14th year as a special education teacher.

My point is that we are our own worst critics. How do we not drown in our own criticism?

Well, I had to reteach myself how to talk to ME. I had to tell my inner bitch that I envied her free way of talking; that I will take that energy and turn it around; that I will prove her wrong for she is just doubt talking. I needed to give life a real try because life could be over in a second.

Life needs to be cherished…not hidden from. Life needs to be lived… not sheltered. We all have our demons, our mistakes, etc. Let those mistakes be a stomping ground on our inner bitches.

Just remember to tame your inner critic instead of banishing them. I still need her spunk and her devilish ways after all. Life is more fun that way. 😉

My Kale Crush

As a writer, I follow a lot of writers on Instagram. They give me inspiration and I admire the dedication they have. It can be hard at times to keep writing and to keep submitting work when rejections seem to always follow. Some days are filled with writing and ideas while other days involve empty thoughts. I have self published before and undoubtedly I will again, but one day I would like someone else to say “YES! I need to publish this!” One day. Until then, I will just keep writing what I love. So thank you to all the writers I follow, you are amazing. Keep it up!

One of the things that really distracts me from writing is food. Yep, that is right. If I am not watching Top Chef, then I am on Pinterest looking at food ideas. I am obsessed with trying out at least one new recipe every week for my family. This week, I found a recipe for a Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry dish. Need I say more? I cannot wait to eat it!!!

But for now….I am cleaning up from our lunch today and making my lunch for tomorrow. I have to plan meals ahead of time. As a mother and a special education teacher, planning is a necessity. I am also trying a keto-ish way of eating so planning is a must. Check out my brand new Instagram page at @FunKetoLiving!

What is for lunch tomorrow? I am so glad you asked! A yummy kale salad!!!! I have a LOVE AFFAIR with kale. That’s right. I said it. I used to only like kale chips. I had tried to eat kale salads, but they were always disgusting. I mean…spit out disgusting.

Then, one day, I was flipping channels and I saw a PBS show about cooking. I thought it looked quite interesting so I decided to watch.

Ok. Ok. Truthfully, I was flipping channels a while ago and saw some totally cute farmer looking guy making yummy food so I had to watch. haha!

The show was called “The Farm” and the cute guy was actually Ian Knauer. I fell in love with the show and started following him on Instagram as well. What an inspiration. I wish I had his knowledge, but most of all I am just happy that I stopped to watch the cute guy on TV, because I saw him make an incredible kale salad, among other delicious things. After that episode, I tried one last time to make a kale salad that was edible. O.M.G. it worked!! It was delicious and I have been hooked every since.

Apparently, I just needed to send my love to kale (i.e. massage it with olive oil, salt and pepper if I want it that day, a little rest, and some yummy toppings, etc.) That’s it! Who knew! I haven’t converted my husband and son yet, but at least my son will eat up kale chips. Baby steps.

So while my best friend is drooling over Jason Momoa, I am drooling over Johnny Iuzzini and Ian Knauer. What can I say? I think being able to cook and bake is incredibly sexy and one day, Jason Momoa might not have his muscles, but I bet Johnny and Ian will still be able to whip up some damn tasty food.

Keep smiling! ❤ Jessica

Confessions

It is now December 29th and no I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. I also didn’t write a novel. I also totally failed on my exercise schedule. Work meetings and holiday activities got in the way. Excuses I know.

The good news is that I did come up with a new children’s book and have started writing it. I did fail on my exercise schedule, but I have also decided that I cannot just do exercise without the healthy eating plan. So my fail has turned into an understanding that I need to take all around better care of myself.

So 2019, I will finish my children’s book and start being a better, healthier me. (And for those of you that want to argue with me about starting in 2019, I am trying to be as healthy as I can be right now; however, I am going to hold myself more accountable in 2019.)

A few of my friends do the Beach Body workouts. I am not doing that; however, I am doing the Body Boss workouts. I have done the pretraining and am starting the true program in January. Wish me luck!!! The pretraining was hard as hell and made me feel like I am sooo out of shape! However, the more I did it, the stronger I felt.

I am also going to attempt the KETO diet so if any of you have advice, I am all ears! With all the cookie, pie, candy, and chip eating during the holidays, I desperately need to get my blood sugar back on track. Thus the KETO diet sounds like it might help. Although, I do have Reactive Hypoglycemia so it might not work. I will have to see what helps me not have any blood sugar issues because when I get hangry..it is more than just me being angry and hungry. It becomes an all over feeling of not being able to focus, feeling weak, headache, nauseous, hot, angry, etc. Once it happens, my whole day is shot. It is hard to get back to feeling normal. I will keep you updated on how KETO is doing. If any of you have Reactive Hypoglycemic and have found a better way of eating healthy where I can also lose weight, please let me know!

I wish all of you a wonderful New Years Eve and a fulfilling 2019. Let’s start the new year off right! I am going to find a First Day Hike, how about you??

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/blog/virginia-state-parks-first-day-hikes-2019

Time to Write a Novel??

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In just a few days, November will be here. To be that means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)!! It is the one month of the year where I, and many many others, try to write 50,000 words in just one month. Some of us are successful; some of us are not and that is ok. This is my sixth year doing NaNoWriMo. I am not going to stress out if I don’t make the word count, because my goal is just to regain my creative juices and write on a schedule.

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Planning is usually my downfall. I want to be a planner so I try and try each year to write what I had planned for NaNoWriMo, but it just doesn’t work out. My characters do as they damn please. So this year, I am not going to plan. I am going to write and let the characters run with it.  We will see. I am hopeful and excited to see what comes of it.

It has been hard to stay on a writing schedule lately. I have been letting my personal life interfere. Dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s has seemed to take over my thoughts and feelings. Perhaps writing can be a form of therapy for me instead of something I put off because I am just not in the mood to write? Maybe NaNoWriMo can help me get out of this funk?

I am looking forward to having a goal to work towards, talking with fellow writers about their imagination, and making time for myself to just write.

Good luck to everyone!!

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Finding My Way Back

Everyone struggles in life. Sometimes it takes us down a dark path, but we must always keep trudging along to find the way out.

Lately, I have been feeling down. I lie. It has actually been over a year now. I have kept my distance from friends, my house is becoming a disaster, and I have to remind myself daily how great I have it even though life isn’t what I dreamed it would be.

I usually keep my true self away from my blog posts, but not anymore. For the past year, I haven’t blogged much nor have I written as much as I would like. This past weekend I decided that enough is enough. I have been walking in mud for months trying to find my way out to happiness, but it is time to find that vine and pull, yank, swing myself immediately to the right path.

Book rejections, my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and my struggle with fertility have been like these tremendous weights on my shoulders all consuming my thoughts. At some point, we have to just break free and take charge. So this is me taking charge.

I am revamping my blog. My next Children’s book has been written; I just need to edit, edit, rewrite, and edit again. The three books I have written and published are all FREE for the next couple days! Summer is great for reading! Just click on FREE!

As for my mother’s Alzheimer’s and my infertility? I just need to admit to myself that it is what it is. I have guilt that I cannot provide my son siblings and I have guilt that I cannot help my mother in all the ways she needs due to time and financial reasons. I also have embarrassment about the infertility and have not spoken much about it. I am done not speaking. It is time to yell about something that people should feel like they can share. The time is now. I just need to do the best I can, appreciate all that I do have, visit my mom as much as I can, and just live.

If you are going through struggles as well, please remember you are not alone. There is a light at the end of that long dark road. I promise. You just need to keep walking or running. But don’t just sit in that darkness and hope you will find the way out. You must make yourself get up and get out. If you don’t have the energy, please tell someone. Tell a friend. Tell a family member. Call a counselor. You are not alone and we can all get through this. ❤️

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10 Ways to Find Motivation

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Last week I went on vacation and my writing slump felt like it was coming to an end. Then I realized that maybe I hadn’t been paying enough attention to myself. Maybe I was neglecting what my body and mind needs. Suddenly, the school year was over and I was on a beach without a care in the world, enjoying the breeze, listening to my son’s laughter, my husband next to me, and inspiration hit. Sometimes we just need to take a breather and life becomes manageable yet again.

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Confessions of a Mom, Teacher, and Writer

This year was supposed to be my YEAR of WRITING, but something happened. Life.

The truth is that I let life overwhelm me for a bit.

So in an attempt to help me put every worry in it’s place and remember what is really important in our short lives…here are my confessions:

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