LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all


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Emotional Hoarders Unite

My name is Lisa and I am an Emotional Hoarder.  Not to be confused with a “can’t throw away soup cans, have spiders crawling on my toilet, used kleenex collection” kind of hoarder. I’m more of a “saver of things that have some sort of emotional value” kind of hoarder. Actually I’m about 100 points away from being any kind of self proclaimed hoarder… the “H” word is a hard word to accept. Maybe denial is the first sign? Bear with me if I turn to anger next…

I tend to give things “feelings”.

I fought back tears when I sold my first car because I was certain that Henry Honda thought that I was abandoning him and I made myself believe that he (yes, “he” as in my car”) thought that he wasn’t good enough for me. Even after a few months (and right now as I’m typing this) I wonder how Henry is doing… if his new owners are kind to him and taking good enough care of him. I can’t bring myself to wonder if he’s actually in one of those auto graveyards…

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been this way. I didn’t really realize that this was an issue until my husband pointed out that I was giving my car feelings. Uh, didn’t everybody do that?! Hearing that this kind of behaviour was not normal was news to me!

I feel guilty about throwing something out that somebody has given me. Even if I don’t like it or if I never use it.

I have a chest that my Dad gave to me when I was probably ten years old that it full of cards, letters, poems, etc. given to me from people. Words that touched me. Even though I rarely go back and read them, and even though the top of the chest is completely busted, I will never get rid of the chest itself or the sentimental words within the chest. I will also probably never get the top of the chest repaired because I fear that the repair man will break it even more. That’s totally logical, right?

Within that chest there are letters from my deceased Grandma, she used to be my pen pal, and when she died I read all the letters and cards that I had kept from her over the years. If that’s not comfort, than I don’t know what is! Also within that chest is a letter from my cousin, Nicole. Nicole is about 15 years older than me and although she lived in an entirely different part of the country from me and we hardly ever saw her, I still idolized her and looked up to her growing up. I thought that she was THE coolest! Nicole went missing in Syria on March 31st, 2007 and although her Mom and Brother have done absolutely everything possible to try and find out what happened to her, sadly, it’s still an unsolved mystery. I have a letter from her from when I was about 12 where she had traced her hand for me… again, that was so comforting to me.

I have every single nice card or letter from my parents. I have every single card that we received from our engagement and our weddings. I have every single card that was ever given to me that was out of the ordinary… such as the card I received out of the blue with a gift card to Magnolia Bakery “just because” or the card I received my “Lovely” necklace with that was also “just because”. I have kept all the flower “cards” that I have received from John, especially the “just because” ones.  And if the card is homemade, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll keep that too.

For every single email account I’ve ever had, I’ve ALWAYS struggled to delete any non-junk related email. It’s pathetic really. I am pretty sure that I still have emails from when I was in grade 8. Don’t judge.

When we moved to Chicago, as I’ve mentioned before, we started brand new – selling most of our belongings in Canada. I had no problems getting rid of our furniture and such, but getting rid of things that have sentimental value to me is nearly impossible for me to do. Our friends in Calgary are keeping boxes of John’s and my childhood memories which the very thought of having to get rid of brings a lump to my throat. John had a dinosaur hat that was given to him that probably didn’t cost any more than ten dollars, but because it had sentimental value it made the cut and was brought to Chicago. Sadly, throughout the moving process it got crushed and ruined, and it was so tough for me to throw away. RIP Dino Hat

I’m also a hoarder of things that I can consider to be special and/or fancy. Case in point, I never actually wear my Lululemon clothing to work out in because I want to “save” them and make them last longer. I have clothes in my closet that I hardly ever wear because I want to “save” them for something special. I always save gift cards too because I know that once I use it, it’s gone. I will go to the store that the gift card is for and pay for the item out of pocket because I want to save my gift card. John forces me to use them, which I’m begrudgingly grateful he does. He also forces me to spend the full amount on the gift card because he knows that if there is money leftover, I will “save” it.

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I save fancy bath products that I receive to the point of where I hardly ever use them because I am “saving” them. Until recently I saved my first pair of boots that I had ever bought, but I finally managed to bring myself to get rid of them when they started to make me bleed… but even then I made excuses for them and tried to convince John that I would just wear thicker socks with them. I have saved a leather coat from my Grandma that hangs in our front closet that I have never actually worn before, I’m not even sure if it actually fits me to tell you the truth, but I will likely save that forever too. The jewellery box that my parents gave to me when I was probably 14 or so it completely busted from moving over ten times, but I can’t bring myself to replace it even though the top rests on top and the side doors don’t easily open or close.

Even as a child, I would always save my Halloween candy. I would eat my least favourite ones first and then hide everything else under my bed. I would allow myself one or two of my favourite chocolate bars, but my natural instinct was to save them. I would save my Halloween candy to the point of still having about 80% of it the following Halloween and I’d have to throw my last year’s stash of favourite chocolate bars away.

I’m a booze hoarder too. I HATE cracking open an expensive bottle of booze because I am saving it for sometime special. In fact, John and I have been saving a fancy bottle of Pinot Noir since we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Whenever John asked me if I wanted to crack it open, I would always tell him no, that I wanted to save it for sometime special. It’s been sitting there collecting dust for about five years and although we have shared SO many special times in our life, I still wouldn’t want to crack the bottle of wine. I didn’t even have a pathetic excuse as to why none of those moments where special enough to crack, all I knew was that I wanted to save it. For what? I had never really thought about what the perfect occasion would be that would make me WANT to actually open it… so we continued to save it.

BUT WE FINALLY CRACKED THE SPECIAL BOTTLE OF WINE!!

Last week was another loooooong week at work for John. Since August he keeps telling me that “this is the busiest time of the year”. Whenever I ask him when the “busiest time of the year” will finally be over, he doesn’t really have a concrete answer. Since August his hours have been getting longer and longer, and his stress levels have been getting higher and higher. He loves his job, don’t get me wrong, but having him come home around 9:00pm is starting to get really old. I don’t even bother starting to cook dinner until around 8:30pm most nights. This past week was probably the longest week he’s worked all week, and he had to go into work for Saturday and Sunday as well. Knowing that he had to work all weekend on top of an already really long week, we decided on Friday night that a glass of wine was most definitely necessary (to be clear, by glass of wine I really mean bottle… but glass sounds nicer.)

It was just a typical Friday night, nothing special or anything. We were wearing our cozy winter clothes, which include sweat pants, hoodies and for me a magic bag wrapped around my neck because I have I am always freezing if I’m not in a sauna. When John was selecting a bottle of wine, he first grabbed the Pinot Noir that we’ve been saving for the past five years. For some reason at the time, I didn’t fight it. So sweatpants, hoodies, magic bags and all, we popped open that fancy bottle, put our feet up and savoured each and every sip.

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What I learned from doing that, is that there was never going to be the “right moment”. There was never going to be a moment that I had deemed special enough to crack that bottle of wine. I would always find an excuse as to why we should save it for another five years. Instead of waiting for the perfect moment, I learned that just an ordinary Friday night was in fact the perfect moment! It helped me remember to live in the moment, to stop romanticizing about future moments, to stop pretending as if there would be an actual moment where I decided that “it was time…”

I learned that although I will likely always save all my letters and cards that I receive, and that I will still have a hard time giving or throwing things away that are sentimental to me, life is too gosh darn short to save the fancy wine. To not wear the expensive gym wear to the actual gym. To use the fancy soap on yourself. To eat your favourite chocolate bars first before digging deeper into the others.

Lovely, life’s too short to plan for special moments! Just pop open the fancy wine and enjoy it because tomorrow promises nothing. And for goodness sakes, you can always go and buy another bottle of wine to save for another five years!

Enjoy Life,

L

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10 Things To Stop Complaining About Tis This Season

christmas bull dog

Complaining has become a national pastime. It’s been a gradual process, a creep of grumbling and carping that started out kind of wry, then, over time, became full-on obnoxious. We even complain about good things now, because it’s supposed to be cute or coy—implying that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We call our kids “a-holes,” go on and on about our high rents and mortgage payments in our comfortable neighborhoods, bemoan about the weather … IT CANNOT ALWAYS BE EITHER TOO HOT OR COLD!

Seriously, people?

Do we need some outright hardship to remind us of how great we have it?

starving kid

Nothing induces as much groaning and whining as the holidays, which have all the ingredients for the perfect self-pity pie: family, money, subtext and weather delays.

Enough is enough! If you have something to complain about this holiday season that isn’t a grave illness diagnosis, bankruptcy or a surprise serial-killer spouse, then shut up and sit down.

Here’s the list of the top 10 least bitch-worthy holiday gripes:

1. Houseguests

Yes, it’s taxing to have extra bodies crowding your couch, talking at you when you just want to watch TV after a long day, and generally changing the air quality in your home. But how lovely to have people who want to come and stay with you. And a home.

annoying houseguest

2. Family (even if they’re #1, above)

They anger you, they frustrate you, they infuriate you. With a single raised eyebrow or shift in intonation, they cause you to revert to a cranky 7-year-old. But they’re yours, and you’re theirs, and—give or take one (or two of them)—you will miss them when they’re gone. So be grateful you even have a family whether they are near or far.

3. Eating too much

If it’s really a problem, don’t do it.

stuffing face

Just! Stop! Eating!

Simple, right?

But if you’re going to eat—a lot or a little—savor it and start fresh tomorrow. But above all, do not complain because you have too much food. That’s just disgusting. And if you DO have too much food… give some of it away to people who would truly appreciate it.

4. Spending too much

See above. Just don’t do it. You are not actually contractually obligated to spend more than you have on other people. Anyone who expects that from you sucks.

santa collapse

We put that pressure on ourselves. It’s a choice.

Let’s be real… do you even remember any of the Christmas gifts you received three years ago at the TOP OF YOUR MIND? Didn’t think so. But I bet you do remember when Jimmy accidentally lit the Christmas tree on fire three years ago!? Point made.

5. Work parties

You have a job. Shut up.

unemployment

6. Vegetarians/Vegans/Gluten-freegans/Pesca-what’s-a-tarians

Hey! How nice! You have friends!

Friends who have beliefs and care about their bodies!

And who want to come over and eat at your house and spend time with you!

Must be tough…

santa vegan

7. People spoiling your children

But seriously now…people love your children, and children love to be loved and spoiled once in a while. This is definitely not the worst problem anyone has ever had. Some people show their love through expensive Christmas gifts… so thank them, appreciate them and be grateful that there are people out there who like your booger fingered kids.

8. If you’re too old to write to Santa, then don’t even dare writing a “wish list”

But for real… isn’t this the most obnoxious thing about Christmas? Handing somebody a list of items that you want them to buy you?! Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear ALL of your excuses… but none of them are valid. Nope, not even that one… NONE OF THEM! They all suck. And so does your wish list. Go buy everything yourself.

Don’t know what to get your friend or family member? How is that possible… you don’t speak to them and you don’t know their likes and dislikes?! Maybe instead of exchanging wish lists you should actually start by having a conversation once in a while.

If you are REALLY stuck get them a damn gift card – and to all you people who bitch and complain about receiving free money, then why don’t you just give that “awful, thoughtless gift” to the next homeless person you see on the street. At least somebody will appreciate it.

Pissed off that you spend way more money on somebody than they spent on you?  Looks like you need to revisit #4 again

 

holiday to do list

9. Weather

It’s either too hot, too cold. Too windy, too glumy. Too rainy, too sunny. Too much hail. Too much drought.

Complaining about the weather is a full time job… and what exactly do you think complaining could possibly do to change it!?

Especially at Christmas… there aren’t songs about a non-white Christmas! So shut up, suit up and grab your shovel. Or if you live in a land where there isn’t any snow at Christmas time and can roam the streets in your bathing suit… you best be shutting up extra hard.

weather

10. Travel

You have people to go see and the disposable income to buy a plane/train/stagecoach ticket. The crowds are terrible, people behave in direct opposition to the principles of the holiday spirit, and the inner Scrooge residing in your deepest core is stretching and yawning, awake again after a 51-week nap. But that’s what you signed up for when you planned this trip and chose to go somewhere else at the busiest time of year. You’re going because, for better or worse, you want to be with people you care about, who care about you, at a time when our hearts are cracked open just a teeny bit more than usual. You’re traveling to share love—just like all the other millions of nasty-faced assheads standing in the security line behind you. So when your patience is threadbare and you’re stranded on the tarmac at O’Hare with only one granola bar to split among a family of four, try to remember that we’re all in it together…one big happy holiday human stew.

busy airport

Enjoy Life,
L

Adapted from here


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Does Size Really Matter?!

The age old question that never seems to die… The answer to this question gets debated back and forth with such controversy… And yes, my lovely, you guessed it… today I am going there!!!! I am going to talk about it, give you my opinion, maybe even paint you a pretty picture, so hold on tight because HERE WE GO!!!

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My answer to this age old question only has two letters… and you guessed them ‘n’ and ‘o’!

Now is probably about the time to get your head out of the gutter, you sick perv, because you think you know what I am talking about, however you are oh so wrong. I know that you think that I’m talking about “that” and some of you were already excited to read what I was about to write, some of you were completely disgusted with me and have probably already stopped reading altogether by now, and then there were those who would never admit to wanting to read this, but secretly were pretty curious…

So if I’m not referring to “that” what the hell am I rambling about? Well I am going share with you my  journey of accepting myself the way that I am no matter what pant size I am. If you are so disappointed with this new topic, I understand if you quit reading, but I encourage you to come along for the ride, my lovely, the more the merrier! Stay tuned for tales from my double chin 🙂

Now, I’m not entirely sure at which point my mind was swallowed by society’s perception of what the perfect beach body was and how I so badly needed to obtain it to be a better person, but somewhere along the lines, it did. I think it was somewhere in my late teens or early twenties though. Throughout high school, I was always very athletic and active and never gave one thought as to what jean size I was because I truly did not care. That was such a wonderful feeling and I’m working on having that feeling back again.

I was never exactly a super scrawny rawny, nor was I obese, however I still was never happy with my body no matter what weight I was. I have always had a healthy lifestyle, I eat relatively healthy and also regularly go to the gym, however it didn’t seem to matter what I did or didn’t do, nothing was ever good enough. I would look at old pictures of myself and think to myself “man, I had a killer body back then… I wish that I appreciated it more back then, I would love to look like that again” and there were probably times that I said this to myself were I still looked the same… but when I looked in the mirror, the body I was looking at was not the body that I saw in old photos.

There was always something… too soft in one place, not enough muscle definition in another, etc… and I would focus only on that, I wouldn’t see the good parts. I used to frustrate my husband when we would take a picture together and force him to take another picture with me because I thought my face looked too fat in the first one. No matter what I ate or how hard I exercised, I was always able to find something to pick apart…

My poor husband has had to listen to me complain about how I look like a stuffed sausage in my jeans, how my body looked like a white whale in my bathing suit, etc, etc… and the poor guy endlessly told me how beautiful I was to him, but I wasn’t able to see myself through his eyes. (Much to his credit, he has never given up trying to make me see myself the same way that he sees me. And for that, I love him dearly.)

I’ve struggled for years with my weight, obsessing over it, shaming myself for it, and I have FINALLY come to realize that this bootylicious body of mine is the only one that I am ever going to get. I am 5’8″ and have been anywhere from a size 2 up to a size 10, and the size of my pants no longer controls me. I have somehow learnt to let go and to stop putting so much energy and attention on my own body image issues.

I’ve learnt that the size of my pants does not define me as a person. I’ve learnt that people aren’t going to talk about my body at my funeral, they are going to talk about what kind of person I was. I’ve learnt that I would hate for my own child to ever have negative thoughts about her body, and I that I need to ensure that she hears her Mom talk about how much she loves her body. I’ve learnt that my husband, family and closest friends do not give a single crap what size I am and that neither should I. I’ve learnt that people at the beach aren’t going to point and laugh at me, that they themselves likely have the same insecurities that I do. I’ve learnt that some years I will be a size 6 and some years I will be a size 10 and that is a-okay. I’ve learnt to accept myself the way that I am whether I ever obtain a “perfect” beach body or not. I’ve learnt that I would never in a million years talk to any other person the way that I talk to myself and that I need to start being nicer to myself.

I’ve learnt that I am a happier person when I allow myself to occasionally indulge and eat the white pasta with cream sauce, or to have a whole dessert all to myself. I am a happier person when stop I focusing on a caloric intake and outtake and just enjoy myself.
I’ve learnt not to let some symbols on a pair of pants define who I am as a person. I have learnt to fully accept myself and to own my bootlicious self no matter how licious my booty is that year…

I’ve learnt that my thighs will always be each others best friends, that they have such a strong bond that there is nothing that I can do to separate them. They keep each other company. They tell each other secrets. They cuddle and snuggle each other when comfort is needed. I’ve learnt that it’s okay if I’m never able to grate cheese off my stomach. It’s okay if my arms wave back at you a little bit when you wave to me… they are friendly and for that, I love them.

I’m more than the number says on the scale. I no longer allow that number to reflect who I am. I value so much more in this life than jeans that might be a little bit too snug. And that, my lovely, is why size does not matter.

Enjoy Life,
L


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Life’s A Beach – A Guest Post from Sass and Balderdash

Hold on to your hats, lovelies, because today Katie from Sass & Balderdash is contributing a guest post! Though there are many ways to describe the hilarity of Katie, she is best described as a sasshole extraordinaire. If you are offended by the term sasshole, it is probably best to stop reading now. For all you lovelies with a sense of humour, stay tuned and enjoy this special treat!

 

Life’s A Beach

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Going to the beach can be a lot of fun, but like the DMV, the grocery store, and any other public place you have to share with other human beings, you should always prepare for the worst. Expect one or more of these unfortunate circumstances to befall you on your next beach excursion:

  1.  Someone will steal your spot.Okay, so technically you were still 50 feet away, and you hadn’t actually put your towel down yet (the universal method of communicating spot-saving at the beach), but you saw it, and you were on your way over there! Right until some thoughtless parents snatched the prime beach real estate you’d mentally reserved just so their toddlers could build a sandcastle. I mean, really?

 

  1. Some chick will be channeling Baywatch (and risking a wardrobe malfunction).
    It’s nearly impossible to resist the temptation of running along the beach (because who doesn’t love the feeling of sand between their toes?). Unfortunately, when you mix strapless tops and string bikini bottoms with centripetal force, it’s only a matter of time before something pops out of place.

 

  1. Some jerk will hit you in the face with a beach ball.You’ll be quietly soaking up some sun with your nose in a book, when along comes Sabrina the teenage bitch, determined to prove to everyone how talented she is by inadvertently spiking a threateningly-inflated beach ball in your direction. The real victim here is your pride, because for the rest of your beach day you’ll be known only as, “The Person Who Got Hit In The Face With A Beach Ball.”

 

  1. Someone will piss you off with his or her aerosol sunscreen.Sun protection at the beach is a must, but let’s not pretend that aerosol sunscreen, though convenient, isn’t the worst thing ever. It smells like cleaning products and old perfume, and if there’s any wind whatsoever, the person spraying it a few feet away from you will be giving you an unwanted shower that will cause spots all over your sunglasses—the most grievous beach offense there is.

 

  1. Someone’s pet care will not meet your standards.What an adorable pooch! Oh look, they’re playing Frisbee! I love seeing people play with their dog.

Did they not bring a bowl of water for the dog? Wait a second… ARE THEY NOT GOING TO PICK UP THAT POOP?

 

  1. Someone’s parenting will not meet your standards .Awww, baby’s first beach day! Look at that adorable little munchkin!

Why aren’t the parents reapplying sunscreen? Where’s that baby’s beach hat? Not even a bonnet? DID THEY JUST LET HIM PUT SAND IN HIS MOUTH, AGAIN?

 

  1. You’ll remember just how awful sand is.Go the beach, you thought. It’ll be so fun, you thought. It was all so promising until you went to pack up all your shit and remembered that sand is a pox that infects all your personal effects. It’s in your towels, your hair, your folding chair, your cooler—ev-ry-where. Now you’re seriously considering throwing all your beach stuff away, finding a new body to occupy, and walking home because you’d rather get flip-flop blisters than think of cleaning sand out of your car. (Any chore that involves a Shop-Vac is worth flip-flop blisters.)

 

  1. You’ll see someone you know that you didn’t want to see in a swimsuit (or who you didn’t want to see you in a swimsuit).Whether it’s a former co-worker, an ex, a creepy family member you avoid, your regular barista, a person you argued with at Target two weeks ago, or your babysitter, you’re almost guaranteed to run into someone you never wanted to see in a beachy capacity.

 

  1. You’ll make a cameo appearance in someone else’s photo (likely making an unflattering face).Everyone’s taking pictures because it’s summer at the beach, and you know the second you let your guard down and make a squinty sun face, someone nearby will be taking a picture in which you’ll be part of the backdrop. No one wants to be immortalized in someone else’s photo album making an ugly face, but that’s just what happens at the beach.
  2. You’ll underestimate the sun.SPF 70? That’s perfect! I’ll reapply every 30 minutes and be just fine!

 

At home six hours later

Slather me an aloe and run me an ice bath. Mention any red crustaceans, and it’ll be the last thing you’ll ever do.