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Make A List: DIY Edition

I made a set of journaling cards a little while ago. I had them posted, then probably took them down. Among them was a "Make A List&quo...

Make A List: DIY Edition

I made a set of journaling cards a little while ago. I had them posted, then probably took them down. Among them was a "Make A List" journaling card for relieving stress. This one:

Well, I also made a blank version so that you can make your own lists!

Weekly Planner Sheets

Today I'm sharing TWO weekly planner sheets. These are both designed to track your weekly activities and mini goals. It's also meant to be colored in. I did this to help reduce anxiety when setting up your week.

Saturday Night

It's nice to know I haven't completely lost my touch. What you're looking at above is my *first* homemade whiskey sour. I've only had 1 other one befit, made by my old coworker, Jessica Carr. Now Jess was very adamant that any proper Whiskey sour should have simple syrup and egg white. Well, my simple syrup didn't turn out. It didn't solidify at all. I still used it. I can't waste that much sugar, after all. But I did use egg whites. I also ground up my own lemon for the lemon juice, didn't buy it at the store. I know you can taste the difference between the real thing and buying stuff from the store.

Yay me.

To catch people up: I used to be a raging alcoholic. Last year, I went through a rehab program. I felt like it brainwashed me into never drinking again. That wasn't what I wanted from the program. I wanted to get my drinking under control or at least, learn the reason I was drinking in the first place. I think I've figured out a good deal. That said, after a few drinks, I have a hard time stopping. So, I don't drink. Period. It's for my safety and the safety of the people around me. Most people think I'm awful drunk. Although, I've always had the most creative thoughts while under the influence. I'm still learning to balance drinking for fun and getting out of hand.

Right now, I've been craving a whiskey sour. I've seen it mentioned in many shows. I knew it wasn't too hard to make, so I bought myself the stuff this week.

Nothing any avoiding to plan, of course. My shaker is broken. The syrup didn't harden. I barely got any lemon juice. But you know what?

It tastes AMAZING.

I haven't drank something this tasty in a long time. Even at the bar. It's been a long time. I think because I made it myself, it tastes even better than I remember. Maybe because it's been 9 years since that first whiskey sour. I won't evaluate it too much. I'll just appreciate the contents of my glass.

In the back of my head, I'll think of Jess. I'll think of the life I had at that time. I'll remember being a bartender and learning how to layer shots. I'll also remember the cheating boyfriend that first started my alcoholism. But there's a silver lining in everything, if you know how to look for it. The silver lining here is that every step I've taken, good or bad, brought me to this exact moment. To be honest, it couldn't be better.

Honesty Upfront

Original date of publication: May 15th, 2015

It's a risky tactic, but it's worth it.

I learned when I was younger how to disable bullies. I had a problem, like I'm sure most people did. I wasn't popular, and I was different. The combination meant everyone made fun of me for something or other. At the time, I felt alone. Isolated from anyone I thought could understand. Then I saw the movie 8 Mile. I couldn't relate to his life, of course. I was raised in a happy home with two parents, and no emotional traumas that weren't easily overcome. No. What I learned from that movie was in the rap battle at the end. That I had the power to disable my bullies by accepting and flaunting those same traits they made fun of me for. They said I was a lesbian, they used to tease me about it. So finally I said, "so what if I am?" Well, I had given them the punchline and they no longer found the joke funny. I glided through the rest of high school untouched.
Now I'm older, and though I still hold that sentiment, I apply it in a different way.

In my relationships, for example, I put it all on the table. What I mean by that is, I introduce my worst qualities and habits first. My first date with someone usually goes like this: "Hi, my name is Ali. When I was 7 years old I stole a handful of penny candies which to this day I still feel guilty for. I also swear like a trucker, and am very awkward in social situations". Needless to say, my first date is usually my last with a person. But I don't mind. It makes my life a little easier. Because I know if the person is still interested, enough for a second date, it won't be a waste of time. There's nothing "down the line" they're going to find out that will change their opinion of me, or be a deal breaker.

You know, everyone says who we're dating today is a different person than we wake up beside tomorrow. Tomorrow you'll see the flaws and imperfections that you didn't see before. The more you get to know a person, the more you're finding out. With me, the only thing you're going to "find out" that will change your opinion of me will probably be for the better.

It's a risky tactic, I know. But it works.

At least for me. There aren't any roadblocks in my relationships that are based on my unveiled personality. Of course, the people I choose to date are hardly ever like that. So, the roadblocks are me finding out their worst qualities and habits. Though, there are some people who have had the same honesty upfront approach with me. And even though those relationships didn't last - those are the ones who are still some of my best friends.

Top 3

Everyone says that keeping a gratitude journal is essential to a happy and healthy life. While I agree in principle, it's hard to actually do. One of the reasons I find it so overwhelming is because most gratitude lists are, just that: Lists. Lists are overwhelming, aren't they? A list just feels like a sort of lined prison cell. It's hard to want to commit to, often feeling like you're going to end up stuck.

So I decided to take it slow. In my planner, when I could maintain it, I wrote 1 thing a day. That wasn't too terrible. In fact, it was easy to find something to be grateful for every day. It was just one thing, after all. Now, I think I can start getting fancy and listing 3 things each day. As such, I wanted to create a little journaling card for that purpose.

But I wanted more, don't I always?

So I made the "list of 3" a versatile one, leaving the space blank to write in whatever you're counting in 3's. I hope this method will be helpful to you, as it was to me!

Top 3, printable journaling cards
Top 3, journaling card
If you're following me on Pinterest, you can find this Pin and post a picture of how you used it. If you're not following me on Pinterest, you're really missing out! Click here to be taken to my Pinterest profile.


(in the interest of full disclosure, this was an email I sent to someone, and I'm choosing to share it for its value, if any, to the reader)

There was a time I felt that what "they" were trying to tell us was all a lie. Especially as it came to psychiatry and medication. I thought that everything happened for a reason, including the breaks and fractures in the way that certain people think. I thought the world just wanted to crush my spirit and steal away any sense of individuality that I had. Back then, I was stronger. I had the essence to fight, the urge to preserve myself and what I stood for.

But the world kept pushing. I grew tired of always fighting. It was everyone against me. Much easier to join the other side. By now, I've been a back seat driver to my own psyche for so long, I can't remember a time I was actually present. I don't know how to fix something like that. It's not possible on my own. As I've aged, I've started to see that there are many things bigger than the self. Many battles that can't be fought alone.

I'd like to say there's hope for me, but I'm afraid I'm already dead on the inside. Nothing left but a shell.

I consider the positive changes that everyone says would help. I'm not closed minded by any means. If anything, I'm closer to desperate for answers and solutions to questions I haven't even asked yet. But I try and I fail. I fail to understand, more than I fail to accomplish. If that makes any sense.

I really didn't mean for this to come out this way, but I don't often control what comes out of my mind in the face of a keyboard. Just like I live on autopilot, I write on autopilot. Only it's a different kind of autopilot. A scary one. One I try to avoid because I can't handle facing my feelings.

Truthfully, I don't try to change anything about my life because I'm afraid to face myself. Any amount of change requires looking in the mirror. Literally and metaphorically. I'm not strong enough. Not because I don't have the strength to fight, but because I don't see the point in trying.

It's been this way for 18 long and painful years, at least.

On the brighter side, it's literally the only thing I've ever known. The only way I've ever felt. As the years go by, I'm naturally learning to see things differently. But I don't think being positive is in my cards.

So, This Is How My Day Went

Entry coming, possibly. Maybe the video is good enough. Sped x2, so you don't see too much nonsense. No audio, because I'm too lazy to even watch the video back to see if we were talking. Better safe than sorry, I say.