Me is the Most Important

It’s a “can’t sleep,” “can’t turn my mind off” kind of night. 


Maybe it’s because IU was so close to giving OSU a run for their money. (I’m not even a college football fan).

Maybe it’s because Kris and Wilfred won’t stop snoring. (This is more accurate).

Or maybe, it’s because I haven’t really been taking time for myself to check out and re center myself. 

This job has me going at 100 mph + full time grad school + basically unpaid part time staffer for a nonprofit I volunteer for in town. All of which I enjoy and/love to some degree. 
But I just need a breather. 

Then I saw a friend’s tweet that went something like:

Blah blah blah, I hate when someone says they have 100 things on their list. We ALL have 100 things on our list.

Boom. (Side note: she was not talking directly to me). Thanks Amber!

All of my stress is warranted, but I need to understand that until I do something about it then it will continue to stay that way. (Kind of like my blog posts: The Way It Is). Even if I prioritize better (by the way, I have a 5pg paper due Sunday, which I haven’t started), I’m still going to be stressed.

I realized that if I feel this way now, come the change in season and into winter, then I’m a goner. So I’ve attempted to take care of myself first by signing Kris and I up for Farrell’s 10-week Bodyshaping program (beginning at the end of September). Shoot me. 

Neither of us are super pumped about this. But we needed something drastic. 

On top of that I’ve been signing up for yoga classes and then canceling last minute. 

This is doing me no good. 

Setting time aside for ME is so extremely important, but I just don’t follow through. 

Maybe my next blog post will be about that follow through. But until then, I’ll just talk about how I need to do it. And how my health (and sanity) rely on it. Ha!

So here’s to timeblocking (tomorrow), prioritizing MYSELF, and putting my mental health above everything else. Because at the end of the day, if my mind isn’t right, nothing I do will be right. 

….

So this is a good weekend to schedule some massages, pedicures, and shopping then? Ok, I’ll tell Kris y’all said it was good. 
Take time for yourself peeps. Your heart, your soul, and your mind are the most important things you have. 
Cheers,

Laine

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Wilfred

Here we are, Laine.

You’re a homeowner. You have a good job. You live in a great town. You have an amazing partner in crime. You’re living the good life.

But something had been missing.

I had a hole in my heart for quite some time dealing with the loss of Lucy. Call me dramatic, but she was a big part of my life as I’m sure you read in I’m Left in Good Hands and A Happy Life is the Best Life.

However, my heart began to mend and Kris and I started the conversation about getting another dog.

Don’t get me wrong, Kris wasn’t pumped at first, but because he knows how happy a dog would make me and how a dog would bring complete joy to our home, he was supportive in my decision to adopt.

I looked at rescue websites for months, and even had family and friends sending me photos of dogs up for adoption. I just never could pull the trigger.

I was scared.

But finally, out of the blue, I applied to be an adopter through the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition (FWPBC).

So many people were against me getting a pit bull (again). People would ask me ‘why’ or say ‘are you sure?’

For the record, I have been making decisions (bad and good) on my own for quite some time. I think I can manage.

The application went through and I had some conversations with the great people at FWPBC regarding what I was looking for: I couldn’t have another Lucy. I needed someone who was easy. Someone who was chill. And that is exactly who I got.

Enter Wilfred.

Wilfred

This 6 year old, blue pit is everything I had hoped for and imagined. Kris and I brought him home and he has been an absolute blessing to us both. (Don’t let Kris fool ya, Wilfred is his guy).

To be able to adopt a special needs dog and be the person who is going to change his life forever, that is why I rescue. I rescue dogs who need someone special to take care of them. Someone who won’t judge them or leave them. I have a purpose for rescuing– I want to make a change in a dog’s life. Little do they know that they change my life too.

I get emotional thinking about how no one wanted this guy and how people just passed over him. Until I realize that all of those didn’t work out so that we can be in this very moment.

Wilfred lays next to us at night in his own bed. He gives me a kiss goodnight and thanks me for bringing him home. I tell him and Kris I love them.

And that is living the good life.

 

Cheers,

Laine & Wilfred

WilfredLaine

PS. Thank you Debra, Suzanne, and the rest of the FWPBC family for everything you did for Wilfred and me. We are forever grateful.

What Is Happiness?

My parents came to visit me recently for the first time since I moved to Bloomington. I was obviously super stoked to have visitors and show them around my new home.

It’s been a little difficult of a transition these last couple months, but life knocks you down sometimes and you gotta put your big girl pants on and deal with it. (Read these for more info: It Ain’t All Rainbows and Butterflies; I’m Left In Good Hands; A Happy Life is the Best Life; The Way It Is; The Good.)

Anyway, my mom and I were getting ready to go out for dinner, while Kris, my dad, and my nephew were in the living room (literally 10 steps away). She looked at me and whispered,

“Are you happy?”

I was a little thrown off by her question. I laughed actually. Of course I was. Right?

So I answered, “Yeah, I guess.”

She didn’t say much more. And I’m not sure why exactly she felt the need to ask. Maybe because she knew I’d been having a hard transition, or that I had a lot shit happen over the last eight months.

(For clarification, Kris and I are and have been wonderful. He’s been my rock, my voice of reason, my “get your ass off the couch and do something about it” support).

I thought about her question more, and a couple awkward seconds later I rebuttal-ed with:

“I’m not happy, but I’m not unhappy.”

Haha. That’s seriously what I said.

She didn’t really know how to respond. I tried explaining what I meant, but as most things go when I try explaining… It was a little unclear.

So I left it as is, and we went to dinner.

A week later, I attended my Yoga Nidra class at Vibe Yoga (you should go), and we were discussing how we felt after the session. I was up first.

For those that have experienced this before, you know it’s an extremely deep experience. For those who haven’t experienced this before, here’s how I explained my experience to my teacher and the class:

“It’s feeling every emotion all at once, while also not feeling them. You’re not happy, but you’re not sad. I can’t wrap my head around that completely. How’s that even possible? To not be either…”

What I was saying, didn’t really make sense (as you can tell), but it’s how I felt inside. And my teacher proceeded to explain that in life we persevere things to be either this or that, black or white. But with yoga, we can just BE. 

At that moment, I knew that’s what I meant when I told my mom I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t unhappy either.

Telling someone I wasn’t necessarily happy, but also not unhappy at the same time was weird. But that’s what it was.

I think, as my yoga teacher said, in society we think we must be this or that. Happy or unhappy. But can’t I be somewhere in the middle? Can’t I just BE?

It’s not a negative thing to just BE.

And that’s what I want to share.

I just am. I’m living. I’m enjoying some days. I’m bored others. I get the chance to live a life others don’t. I miss my friends. I’m thankful. I’m tired. I’m madly in love. All of it, at once.

Some days, all of that is closer to being unhappy. Other days, it’s closer to being happy.

What does happiness mean to you?

Mom, thanks for asking me if I was happy, because I had never really thought about what happiness meant to me until now.

Happiness means something different to me every day, but at it’s core it means being with Kris and being a part of something bigger than myself. At the end of the day, that’s all I want and need in this world.

So what is happiness?

You decide.

 

Cheers,

Laine

A Happy Life Is The Best Life

Over the last four weeks I’ve dealt with more death in such a short amount of time than I ever thought possible.

I had to put my baby girl, Lucy, down which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. She was my saving grace. (Read: I’m Left In Good Hands).

Four days later, a former player of mine died in a car accident. She was 17 and the starting PG for one of the best basketball teams in the state of Indiana.

Eleven days after her death, one of my oldest friends lost his two year battle to Leukemia. He and I had more history than anyone could ever understand. He would have been 27 on Christmas.

Life’s short, apparently. And we never actually realize it until shit like this happens. We say it all the time, but none of us can really grasp the concept of how short it really is.

So I have to pose the question… Are we truly living to our utmost fullest? If you were told how and when you were going to die, would you live differently?

I can tell you right now, I am not living my life to its utmost fullest. And yes, if I were told how and when, I think I would live differently. But sometimes that’s just not how life goes.

My former player didn’t know she was going to die that day on her way to school. And even though my friend had Leukemia, I’m sure he didn’t know the exact day he would leave this world.

It’s unfortunate we have to experience death in some fashion to try and understand the meaning of life. And even then life goes on and we forget. Until the next death.

But how selfish is that?! Someone has to die or become sick in order for your life to be put in perspective. I bet you, the father of my former player would rather have his daughter back than for us to have a different outlook on life.

Now, I’m not saying I have the answers nor that I even understand the questions I’m asking. But at what point do people stop dying around us? People who have barely lived. How are we supposed to understand that? Or are we?

I talk this big talk about:

What’s meant to be will be.

But let’s be real. When it comes to death, that mantra goes out the window. How is it that a 26 year old newlywed finds out he has Leukemia weeks after his wedding then dies two years later? That’s NOT meant to be.

You’re supposed to be a kid, make stupid decisions, learn from them, grow up a little, make some more stupid decisions, have fun somewhere in there, and continue to grow old. Then it’s your time to go.

But these three weren’t given that chance. Their lives were taken sooner than any of us could have even fathomed. And now we get to sit here and live with it. Live with the reality that a father lost his daughter, a wife lost her husband, and I lost my best friend.

Like I said, I don’t understand it. I don’t think anyone does. But the least we can do is to not forget how this makes us feel, and remember that life is short. Not just today or next week, but truly remember and make choices every day that make us happy. Because in the end, happiness is all we want. Whether we go now or 50 years from now, a happy life, short or long, is the best life lived. And I want to make sure I have that life because I know for certain these three did.

Tell someone you love them today. Hug them. And thank them for how happy they make you.

Life is short, but we can make it a short happy life.

Thinking of you always Lucy, Peytin, and Chris. And I’ll see you shortly.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

I’m Left In Good Hands

For a week I went to work, came home, and got in bed — for five days straight. Now, I lay in bed all weekend, with no shower, and sleeping for hours on hours.

I think that’s what they call sadness. Depression. Emptiness.

That’s how I feel.

All of those things wrapped in to one, and then some.

Kris and I came home for the first time after having to put Lucy down, and I broke. I dropped all my things in the hallway and lost my sense of balance. My sense of purpose. And hysterically cried. Over and over again. It was  like a bad dream.

I had never known loss like this before. My person was gone. The one that brought me out of complete darkness and into utter joy. She saved me. Literally. Read the post: The Pitbull That Saved My Life.

It seems dramatic, I know, but never in my life have I cared more about another living thing than I did Lucy.  She taught me how to love unconditionally. She showed me that it was okay to open up and to put my faith in to the universe — that everything would work out the way it was supposed to.

Which turns out to be quite a funny story…

Here’s a quick timeline:

Mid October 2013 Kris and I began dating (round one).

End of December 2013 Kris and I ended our relationship.

Mid December 2014 I adopted Lucy.

End of December 2014 Kris and I rekindled an old flame. (More like I got my shit together.)

Mid February 2015 Kris and I were officially a couple.

As you know, I’m sure, Kris and I started our relationship with a 6hr drive between us. And continued that relationship with that drive for over a year.

The funny part about all of this is that, until now, until sitting here and reflecting on Lucy’s life and our time together, I always associated her with bringing me out of that darkness, which is true. But, she also brought me much more.

You see, if I didn’t have Lucy in my life while Kris and I began dating again, I don’t think he and I would have stayed together. (Another me problem.) Imagine, my crazy ass dating a guy 6hrs away with no sense of responsibility… Right?!? I’m laughing too.

I mean in all seriousness, that’s what happened in round one. I was this crazy, let’s go out and party, unhappy girl in round one.

The difference this time was that I had Lucy. I had something to teach me unconditional love. I had something to ease me in to the feeling of being in love with another, and letting myself be loved.

We don’t ever realize it until they’re gone, but animals can have an amazing impact on us. And to be honest, I never in my wildest dreams knew this would be this hard or that she would be this impactful on my life.

I know time heals and eventually I’ll be able to focus solely on the good and not the sadness of her being gone. But I do take comfort in knowing that she has left me in good hands. She showed Kris the same unconditional love and he will forever love me the way she did.

For that, I will never forget her and there will always be a place in my heart for my girl.

lucy

If you are thinking about adopting an animal please consider these places for your adoption. I promise you, these animals will bring you more than you could have ever hoped for. And if there are other reputable animal rescues you know of please share them in the comments below.

Allen County SPCA

Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition

Tribe Dog Training and Rescue

 

Cheers,

Laine & Lucy

LucyatAllenCountySPCA

It Ain’t All Rainbows and Butterflies

The move happened. I left the hometown and set off for an adventure to try out this life with the man of my dreams.

In my last post, Bring It On Bloomington, Indiana, I wrote how I’m following my heart. And how I’m processing this extreme happiness and sadness all at the same time.

Which is weird and hard as hell.

Everyone is saying how much fun we’re going to have and how this city is amazing, which is all very true. I don’t doubt any of that one bit.

Now, I’ve literally only been here one night. So yes, this could be a little premature. But I did not truly understand how homesick I would be until last night.

I couldn’t fall asleep (naturally), so of course, you know, I have to keep Kris up with me. Because if I can’t sleep, he can’t sleep. Sucker.

My stomach was just aching and aching. Originally, I thought it was just acid reflex, because I’m getting old. So I’m thinking I’m going to get sick. Nope. I lay there wondering why the hell do I feel sick, I mean I had a damn salad for dinner. Which would be my luck, being sick after eating a salad. People wonder why I stick to ice cream.

giphy-1

And of course, by this time Kris is just snoring louder than you can imagine. Poor guy.

So I head to the bathroom. Maybe if I make myself get sick, I’ll feel better. Because that’s how it works when I’m hungover, so why not?

All of a sudden I think about calling my mom and instantly start balling. I mean I sat on the floor in the bathroom for nearly 15 minutes crying before I woke the snoring monster. God love him.

giphy-2

Because he’s the most awesome human ever, he comes in, sits on the floor with me and just holds me.

This was weird. (Not the him being awesome part).

I knew I was homesick, but it’s still weird that I’m crying like this, yet I’m so excited to be here with him. The emotions!!!!

Then I remembered a conversation I’d been having with my good friend Emmy, who too, moved away (like across the world) to be with her man. She’s the only one who told me how this was really going to be; how sad I was going to be.

It’s weird, because no one tells you the reality of how things are or might be. I think in some ways they try, but no one tells you you’re going to be sitting on the floor in the middle of the night crying because you’re 26 years old and miss your mommy.

Maybe it’s because we don’t really know how it’s going to go. It could all be rainbows and butterflies, but nine times out of 10, it’s not.

Life is never what we expect. It never happens the way we think it will. And it definitely will never all be rainbows and butterflies.

But, as my peeps at Shine Text reminded me yesterday:

Life is beautifully uncertain.

For every 15 minute ugly face cry sesh, there will be 100 more amazing moments.

It ain’t all rainbows and butterflies, but there will sure as hell be a pot of gold at the end.

 

Cheers,

Laine

Bring It On Bloomington, Indiana

bloomington_in_kirkwood

I’ve literally sat here and attempted to write this blog post for over 1 hour. I’m not kidding. My stomach aches trying to do it. I type a couple sentences, then backspace. I type a line or two, then backspace. There’s no great way to get this all out, to put it in to words.

So bear with me.

More than once here on Cheers, Laine, I have told everyone how I believe in fate, and I believe in following your heart. It sounds all fine and dandy until you actually do it.

I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years. He’s the best. You first met him (Kris) in my post, Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have To Listen to Her. Then you read my sappy post, I Can Live Without You, where I basically tell him I can, but don’t want to.

And during this whole time, we’ve loved from a distance, knowing well that one of us would eventually make the move.

And that day has come.

I know what you’re thinking, miss “Go Fort Wayne,” “I’m never leaving,” is a hypocrite. How can she promote a city and be as involved as she is, then just up and leave?

I thought that too, at first. How can I leave a place where I’ve put my heart and soul in to it? How can I leave this place where all my family and friends are? How can I leave this place that made me who I am? Believe me, all the doubt and questions and thinking has gone through my head over and over and over again.

Then I remember I love him more than all of that.

I believe in following your heart. I believe in giving it a shot because it may change your life. And shit, if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out (mom, save me a spot on the couch). But at least I’m trying. At least I’m saying I gave it a go, and really put myself out there.

Now, do I think I owe anyone any type of explanation? No. Maybe I’m writing this to make myself feel better. I don’t know. I just know that leaving my hometown, leaving this place I’ve worked so hard to make a name for myself in, is what I want to do.

I chatted with a friend today about moving, telling her I’m leaving everything I know and everything I’ve worked for behind. And you know what she told me?

“But you are going to a new awesome place with an awesome person and you definitely worked for those things too.”

She is so right. (Thanks, Lauren).

As sad as I am to leave my home, I am so excited. I keep telling people it’s this extreme sadness and extreme happiness all at once. Those are not easy emotions to process at the same time.

I am about to leave a city I love for a man I love more. And that is how I want to live my life, by choosing love.

There will always be another Fort Wayne out there for me to jump in and make an impact. But I won’t always have this opportunity to go and follow my heart.

So, what the hell?!? Kris and I have never lived in the same city before while dating. Why not live in the same city, live in the same apartment, and while we’re at it, let’s work together.

Bring it on Bloomington, Indiana.

Bring it on Cook Pharmica.

Laine is headed your way! (Kris, brace yourself).

But Fort Wayne, never forget… You will always have my heart.

 

Cheers,

Laine

Take Back Control

Over the past eight months I’ve struggled with this whole idea of not having control over my own life: people making choices for me. But I also preach this mantra:

What’s meant to be will be.

I honestly do believe that. I even have it tattooed on my foot (in Portuguese) and touched on it in one of my posts over a year ago: 3 Ideas That Will Change The Way You View Life.

But am I being hypocritical by saying “what’s meant to be will be” and also being a little pissed because I feel like I have no control over my life?

A friend of mine and I were chatting about this idea of me not having control over my life. He disagreed and said I do have control. I disagreed with him and said I don’t. (I swear we actually had a productive conversation).

His logic was once something happens to me, I have a choice on how I react to it. No one is making me do anything or choosing something for me.

Shit happens to each of us every single day. How we react to it is our choice.

So no, I’m not exactly being hypocritical.

But let’s look back at those two sentences.

Shit happens to each of us every single day. How we react to it is our choice.

The first sentence: shit happens to each of us every single day, refers to this whole mantra of “what’s meant to be will be.” We can’t control certain things. People die. People lose their jobs. Etc. Those things are out of our control and they are what they are.

The second sentence: how we react to it is our choice, refers to us having control of what we do afterwards. When someone dies, how do we honor them and move on? When you lose your job, how do you handle yourself afterwards? Etc.

Once we accept the things we cannot change (what’s meant to be) and use them to our benefit, we take back that control we so desire. Basically, it’s all in our head– or, it’s all in my head. It’s both. It’s both acceptance and control.

I’ve had control since the get-go, but got lost in the first part– the mantra I’ve held on to for over four years. I forgot that in the end everything happens for a reason. No, we don’t understand it at first; we may never understand it. And it could take quite awhile to actually accept it. But accepting it will change your life. Accepting what we can’t control, then taking back control in our reaction is how we gain true power.

It’s definitely not easy. I’m still working on accepting multiple things in my life. But I have faith that they’ll all work themselves out in the end.

Besides, we’re much happier people when we look at the bright side than when we play the victim. Which one will you choose?

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

The Debt Ball and Chain

I originally got on here to type up a post about something totally different. I just so happened to glance over at my “Drafts” section where an unpublished post sat, titled:

I’m Broke and I Love It.

I chuckled to say the least when I read that title. 1. Because that’s funny. I mean do you actually like being broke? 2. Because there was nothing in the contents of the post, just the title. So that’s a little ironic. And 3. I’ve just started getting serious about money, and semi freaking out.

So I wouldn’t say, “I love it,” hence me changing the title.

Long story short I’ve come to the realization that being broke sucks. Having debt sucks. Having to live like a monk so that you can pay off those debts also sucks.

So what the eff am I going to do about it?

We all have debt. Especially us young stupid folk that decided to go to college to get an education so that one day we could have this dream job with this dream house with this dream life where money was not an issue.

WTFface

Right… Let’s be real. Money blows. And whoever invented it, blows.

But enough of my unproductive rant…

There are 100 different ways we could all tackle our debt. Live like a monk and pay it off sooner. Say screw it, and pay the minimum for the rest of your life and be in debt forever. Or be strategic about this damn thing and try to have your cake and eat it too.

And to be quite honest, I struggle with this daily.

But thanks to my friend Natalie (and Dave Ramsey), I’ve been inspired to really take this shitty thing called debt, grab it by the horns, and fight it.

I recently went on vacation with Kris and this was my first attempt at truly sticking to a budget. To put this in perspective, I’ve never followed a budget in my life. I’m not kidding. Because mommy and daddy would always be there for me if I ever really needed money. So why would I have needed to follow one?

Bullshit.

I’m a grown ass adult and don’t need to rely on my parents to take care of me. At some point, I needed to take responsibility and make better choices. And so I did.

I’ll write more about my frickin awesome vacation in a later post, but for now, all you need to know is that I went over my budget. Yep. Shocking. BUT, I was less than $75 over. To some, that may not seem like an accomplishment, but for someone who’s never stuck to a budget in their life, this is a huge win! I’d also like to say that I can’t take full credit for this. If Kris would not have been with me on this vacation, I’m sure I wouldn’t have stuck with it, or have even thought about it.

The important thing to know here is that whatever age you are, you can still get out of debt. You just need a realistic plan. But most importantly, you need a support system.

If it wasn’t for my friend introducing Dave Ramsey’s Smart Dollar class to me, I would have never began thinking about my money. If it wasn’t for other friends who are also taking this class and going through similar debt situations, then it would easily be something I could forget about. And if it wasn’t for Kris who supports me wholeheartedly (and who’s been pushing for this budget thing since we started dating) then I wouldn’t be able to implement what I’ve been learning.

Support systems are so important in our lives. They bring positive energy to everything we do. And when it comes to debt, a support system who believes in you and can keep you on track for a better future, is worth more than any amount of money.

Now, I’m not suggesting I know it all (or anything for that matter) about money and debt. However, I would say that you don’t have to be broke. With a little time and mindset change, you could be on your way to financial freedom! For real, though.

Stop pulling this poor me (like I was), get your shit together, and do something about it.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

 

 

 

Forward is Forward

A little over a month ago I got a personal trainer. She was great. We worked out 3x a week and I was eating decently healthy. I slept better, I woke up sooner feeling more refreshed, and I had so much more energy.

Personal training ended, and it was time to decide to buy-in for more or try it out on my own. I decided I was going to give it a whirl on my own (and also save money).

We all know what happened next…

Eating

I couldn’t help it.

And because of my lack of self-control in the eating department, we then ran in to this…

Lounging

Yep. Eating all the unhealthy food in sight and lying around doing nothing.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve been eating like crap and not exercising. (Sorry if you read this, Sabrina.)

But isn’t that how it normally goes?

One tries to make a change. Does it for a little bit. Then it fades away.

Or is this just me?

I’m 100% certain this will happen another 8,372x to me over the course of the next year or so. But I’ve made a promise to myself to keep trying.

Your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward.

I am always looking for ways to be a better me. And eating healthy and exercising are by far two of the most influential things I can do to be a better me.

So, in the end, it’s okay to take a bunch of steps forward and a couple of steps back. We are human. As long as you’re always trying to take steps forward. Even if it’s slow. Even if it means you’re going to take one for the team and eat some cookie dough ice cream. Tomorrow we’ll do better. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself).

Rome was not built-in a day people.

And yes, Laine, now it’s time to go home and throw away the two quarts of ice cream, and the box of Cheez-Its, and the potato chips, and the frozen pizza.

Baby steps… Baby steps…

 

Cheers, Laine