Tag Archives: positive attitude

Half Birthday (or Reflecting On The Past 6 Months)

After having a bit of a negative day earlier this week (and to be honest, a negative week), I decided to spend yesterday trying to think more positively. Stress isn’t a good thing for me mentally or physically and I needed to get myself out of that funk. And when I woke up yesterday deciding to be in a better mindset, I also realized that it was my half birthday!

I know that most people don’t celebrate half birthdays, but my dad and I do. I’m not sure how the tradition started, but it’s been a thing as long as I can remember. There aren’t any cards or gifts for half birthdays (or if there are they are more of a joke than anything), but it’s more about a time marker to me. Days and months can go by so quickly that this is a nice way to pause and do some reflection. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday to feel better about things.

6 months ago, things were terribly different but they still were different. I had just started running again for the first time in a long time and was making great progress. Running was more of a novelty to me still 6 months ago and I wasn’t as focused on my progress the way I am now. I was focused on speed and getting PRs with distances more than anything. Now, I’ve realized that I need to focus on my endurance more. I won’t be getting a ton of PRs in my workouts, but I will be making huge progress. Being able to run for more than 10 minutes at once is huge and is making me just as happy as my last 5K PR.

6 months ago, I had been making progress with my recovery but I think the changes I’ve made in the past 6 months are much more significant than the ones I made the 6 months prior. I’m still doing a lot of the same stuff, but I’m going more in-depth with them. I’ve been able to recognize some of my triggers and stop and episode from happening before it does. I’m not perfect, but progress has been made. And thinking back at those 6 months gives me so much hope for what the 6 months leading up to my birthday will bring.

In the past 6 months, I haven’t had a ton of auditions and I haven’t booked an acting job but I’ve still had awesome things happen. My short film is getting into festivals and we are talking about making a sequel to the movie. We are getting a lot of positive attention for it and that is all I could ask from a film that was just a really fun project to do with friends. We did take the shoot seriously, but when you are making a short film you aren’t doing it to make money or become a star. It’s a passion project and we are all just so grateful that people are enjoying it. And I’m hoping that we will continue to get into more festivals and we can share this film with as many people as possible.

And I know that some people may think that since 6 months ago I didn’t know about the tumors that things were better off then. But I actually see it differently. Yes, it was nice not to know about the tumors but it is so much better that I do know about them. I’m lucky that I didn’t have any issues with them, but that might not have been for forever. I have read a lot of stories of people being hospitalized because they had a small tumor rupture. And with the large tumor I have, it would be bad if it ruptured. I’m glad that I know about them. I’m able to make the changes in my life that I need to and I will have them removed before there is anything that makes it too risky to have the tumors. I don’t want to say this is a wake up call for my health because I was already working on my health. But this gave me a new sense of urgency and a new mission with my health.

But what I think has been the best thing in the past 6 months for me is that I’m having more fun. Something happened after this past birthday where I wasn’t feeling as self-conscious as I have in the past. I don’t worry too much about what other people think about me or my life. I don’t care that some people think that I’m wasting money on tickets for the Pantages or my pass for Disneyland because those are things that make me happy. They don’t have to make anyone happy but me. And because I’m not worrying about what other people think as much, I can enjoy my life the way I want to. I’m living my life more and loving what I’m doing more. And that’s just awesome.

It’s nice to have a post like this where I’m looking at the good when I had a post yesterday when things weren’t so good. I’m so glad I had my half birthday yesterday to make me take a minute and reflect on positive things so that I could realize that things aren’t as bad as my brain might be trying to tell me that it is. And now I know that I’ve had an awesome past 6 months I can focus on working on making the next 6 just as good if not better!

Learning Lessons (or What Being Sick Taught Me)

I’m finally feeling almost 90% better now. This past week seemed to drag on as I felt off, but I’m glad that I almost feel like myself again. I’m questioning if the residual uncomfortableness is related to my liver, but I won’t find that out until I meet with the surgeon in a week and a half. And I think that going to Disneyland was good for my mental health and that helped me to feel better.

I’m still being very careful with what I’m eating and trying to take things easier than I normally do. I don’t want to do anything that will make me feel horrible again and being cautious makes me feel a bit in control in a situation that feels very out of control to me right now.

Now that I’m almost over whatever stomach thing I had, I’ve been reflecting a bit on what good things came out of this. Obviously, discovering that there may be a cyst on my liver is something good to learn about. If I didn’t have the stomach pain, I wouldn’t have known until it was worse and it may have been a more urgent situation. And I’m starting to wonder if my stomach pain was my body telling me to get checked out. I know when my mom found out she had cancer, it was because of a suspicious bruise that wouldn’t go away. The bruise had nothing to do with cancer, but it was what got her to the doctor and to do all the medical testing. Maybe my body was doing the same thing.

I’ve been on a pretty restricted diet since last Wednesday. At first, it was just clear liquids (chicken broth and jello) and has moved to soft foods. I’m starting to eat more normally now, but I’m still keeping things a bit restricted. This doesn’t feel like a weight loss diet, but that’s what it is. I’m eating mainly fruits and some vegetables with very little meat. This is not the most restrictive diet I’ve been on, but it’s up there.

But because of these restrictions I’ve been rediscovering foods that I love or that I forgot could be just fine for a meal. I’ve rediscovered cream of wheat (although the exact packets I loved before don’t seem to be in stores anymore). I make it with water and have a banana with it and it’s a pretty filling breakfast or lunch. I’ve had cheese and crackers for dinner one night when I was feeling a bit full and knew I still needed to eat something. And I’ve been looking at making the sautéed vegetables again that I used to have a lot when I was on the cleanse I did last year.

All of those foods are things that I could have had before, but I either forgot I enjoyed them or was so focused on other things that I wanted to eat that they just didn’t come to mind. These are all good and healthy things for me to eat and I need to work on keeping them in regular rotation. While I’m still a believer that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, there is a difference in how you feel when your calories are from a variety of foods versus a binge of one food.

I’ve also learned how to be gentle with myself. It’s not easy to take things easy, especially when you know you have so much you need to get done. I don’t want to be lazy and sit on the couch all day because that reminds me of myself when I wasn’t working hard at bettering myself. But sometimes, you need to have those days on the couch doing nothing. It was important for me to do that so I could get better and if I had pushed myself I know I wouldn’t be feeling as good as I do now.

And finally, I’ve learned to accept the out of control feeling again that I really hate. Right now because my liver isn’t healthy, I can’t take any painkillers. I hate the idea that I might be in pain and can’t take something to make it better. But I have to deal with that now and it’s been a good thing for me. I may have been taking too many painkillers for what I really need (I usually took 3-4 a week so it wasn’t close to what the maximum I could take would be). I’ve had to tolerate a bunch of needles lately. In the last month I’ve had 3 blood draws, 3 shots, and 1 IV for an MRI. And I’ve got at least one more IV coming up next week. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, and I can’t do anything to change it. So I have to learn how to accept something I can’t fix and make it the best situation I can.

While I wish I could have learned all these things without getting sick, at least knowing something good came out of it makes me feel a bit better about the situation. I know that I may need this positive thinking to continue as I do more tests on my liver and find out what a surgeon thinks needs to happen. Maybe I will learn more lessons from this whole liver situation to make it even seem more worthwhile that I had to go through something that isn’t that great. I know how easy it can be for me to get sucked into feeling sorry for myself (I had that happen when I got sick last week) and I am refocusing my energy on learning what I can from the circumstances I’m in.

An Evening At Urgent Care (or Why Being Polite Is Always Best)

Yesterday, I had to go to urgent care. Since Friday, I’ve had a sore throat and my ear was hurting. I tried to just wait it out, but since I’ll be seeing my mom and grandparents this weekend, I wanted to get checked out (none of them can afford to get sick right now).

First of all, I’ll let you all know that I’m fine. It’s a virus that caused a little sore on my throat. I just have to wait it out (like I thought). But at least I know now that I won’t get anyone sick this weekend.

I tried to schedule an appointment with my doctor first, but there were no times that wouldn’t cause me to miss work. And since it’s only my second week, I didn’t want to have to ask for time off.

So I took the chance with urgent care. You never know how long it will take, so I went in prepared to be there for several hours and had my Kindle with me.

When I checked it, I had a smile on my face and was polite to the receptionist. I know that she has to deal with sick and annoyed people all day and I figured by being nice I would at least make a little part of her day easier. I did the same thing with the second check in receptionist (who takes the payment for the appointment).

They told me that it might be an hour or so and I was fine with that. I said thank you and went to take a seat in the waiting area.

But before I could get my Kindle out and open, my name was called to go back! I was shocked that they were ready to see me so quickly!

The nurse that I met with was also very nice and friendly. She was happy that I was prepared for my appointment with all my vital information that they need (allergies, prescriptions, general stats). And she also thought it was very nice of me to let her know that my blood pressure has to be taken on the lower portion of my arm (I’m not sure why, but when it’s on my upper arm I either have very high or very low blood pressure).

I was brought back to the room and the nurse let me know that she was going to make sure that I was the next patient that the doctor would see. And no joke, a minute later the doctor walked in!

After the quick exam where the doctor determined that this was a virus and that I didn’t need a prescription, she sent me on my way. My mom had guessed that this was exactly what was wrong with me, so I was happy to have a quick diagnosis (and not needing to wait for a prescription).

As I headed to the parking garage to get my car, I realized that I only arrived there 30 minutes before! I was in and out so quickly!

I know that it wasn’t because urgent care was empty (there were lots of people in line to check in and waiting in the waiting area). And I probably wasn’t the most urgent person for them to see. The only idea that I have is because I was polite and pleasant to deal with. So everyone I encountered at the hospital wanted to help me out and make sure that I didn’t have to be there that long.

I’m happy to be polite around other people. I know how bad it feels when a customer is angry and rude to you (I’ve dealt with that at plenty of jobs). And when you are rude, things only seem to take longer. So I try to go in with a positive mindset and keep calm.

If everyone could work on being a bit more positive and polite when dealing with people, the world would seriously be such a better place.

Having an Attitude of Gratitude (or What I’m Thankful For)

On Facebook and twitter this month, people are posting one thing every day that they are grateful or thankful for. As much as I would love to put something online every day for 30 days, it’s already the 8th and I’ve never remembered to do it until after the day was over.

So instead, here’s a bunch of things that I’m grateful/thankful for in one lump post.

I’m grateful to have such an amazing family. We have 4 generations on my mom’s side and I’ll get to see almost everyone at Thanksgiving this year (this picture is from last year).

I’m grateful for having such amazing friends who love me no matter what size I am. And they are all so supportive of me in all of my endeavors.

I’m thankful that I’m able to do these things.

I’m thankful that my meals don’t look like this anymore.

I’m super thankful that I can find shoes that don’t hurt my body (these are from Easy Spirit).

I’m thankful that I’ve been able to share a passion project of mine with the world.

I’m so grateful that I have amazing agents who literally have stuck with me thick and thin and get me fun auditions and jobs (this was a PSA I did last year).

And I’m unbelievably grateful and thankful that I live somewhere so beautiful and can enjoy moments in life like this.

What are you thankful and grateful for?