I only needed one week

So I’m back from a week off work sandwiched in between weekends away from home. Well, let me tell you, I learned something about myself and about life these past 9 days.

My vacation at home (or staycation as the cool kids call it) was one of the most relaxing times I’ve had. Usually, wherever I’ve worked, I would bank all my vacation time to be able to go back to Trinidad for a few weeks. I never just took days off. I always needed all my days to be able to have a long enough trip to travel to Trinidad. With this job, I have quite a bit of time off, so with my decision not to go to Trinidad this year, I am up to my eyeballs in time off eligibility. As Kidlet’s school vacation was winding down, I took a week off to spend with him. In the meantime, I planned a weekend away to go camping with my friend and her boys to start off the week and Boyfriend and I planned a child-free weekend after Kidlet went to his dad’s.

First of all, it was weird spending vacation time in town. It felt indulgent. Most people (and I used to be one of them) squeeze out all their time off to hop on a plane and travel or at least to go away for a week; I just stayed at my house to noodle around! Ha! What a luxury! I had planned a few things for us to do: amusement park, aquarium, a day trip that included a bike ride, possible play dates. In the end, Kidlet and I just spent a lot of time at home together, just being together. We watched movies, ate out, did 6 loads of laundry at the laundromat, went back-to-school shopping, got him a fancy haircut and went to the park. It wasn’t anything particularly postcard-worthy, but just being with him, being his mum and spending time together uninterrupted was amazing. Spending this alone time with him really made me see what a remarkable young man he is becoming and how funny he is! My pride runneth over. ❤

After that week being a full-time mother, I got Kidlet ready to go off to his dad’s and then got myself ready to take on my role as a full-time girlfriend for the weekend (a process that involves a lot of prep, let me tell you! Ha!).

Boyfriend and I are cut from the same cloth. We get along extremely well and what I realize is that a lot of our happiness comes from our ability to just take things with stride. We too had lofty plans of doing things on the weekend and sightseeing and dinners out. In the end, we ended up spending one day at the mall, taking funny pics in a photo booth, and buying groceries and cooking at home. Again, it was this alone time that really hit home that we are building on something and I how happy I really am.

You know, when I took my current job, part of the appeal was the vacation allowance and the flexibility it would provide to go to Trinidad for weeks at a time. Little did I know, all I needed was one week to have a really good vacation.

This week has taught me:

  • despite being an early morning person my whole life, I quickly learnt how to sleep in until at least 9 am…I kinda like it!
  • while I am a city girl at heart, I thoroughly enjoyed camping
  • my life was becoming way too stressful and that the things that I spent time and energy worrying about on a day to day basis, are really just NOT that big a deal in reality, for example, cooking 😛
  • my job is not my life and I am blessed to have a job that I can go hard at 5 days a week, but can also walk away from for a week without looking back
  • as much as I value and feel protective of my independence, having someone in my life who respects me enough to let me be myself, but also who wants me to know that he has my back is a wonderful discovery
  • you really don’t need a lot of money to really enjoy the things that make you happy (but I already knew that!)

So I have a few days of vacation left (Still? WHAT?!) and I am looking forward to spending it wisely. Doing what? Who knows!

Have a great week!

Vikera (no longer a woman of leisure)

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What weekends are made for…

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Good morning, my lovelies!

So I had a spectacular weekend! Full of mini events, nothing super big, but pretty awesome things.

  1. I was in bed in pajamas with a bowl of cereal and Netflix by 7 pm on Friday. Now, one may view this as the height of laziness, but I choose to look at it as my right to enjoy my first child-free night whichever way I choose. Sure, I could have cooked something, but that’s the point of being an adult – the choice to make silly decisions is not always one you can make, but sometimes, just sometimes, you can just go for it! If you’re wondering what kind of cereal it was, it was leftover adult cereal and a healthy serving of sugary kids cereal. Now that I can enjoy cereal without intestinal trauma, life is good! I watched three movies (a triple feature?), one of which annoyed me. It was a great romance until the last five minutes of the movie: the couple shared a healthy chug each of a rat poison and wine cocktail and then promptly died, so yeah. Meh.
  2. Saturday morning, I had a VERY exciting meeting at the bank where I was told that things are not as grim as I thought. Being off work for six months and having car payments put a strain on things BUT my lovely financial advisor pointed me to the light at the end of the tunnel far off in the distance. I hinted that the light we saw may be on shining from my very own condo..but we’ll see if I kick my shoe/nail polish addiction long enough to actually reach said light.
  3. Spent a couple hours at the beach with New Boyfriend and children. It was weird being without my kidlet. It turns out that for me, being a parent is nothing something I can switch back and forth from. While I was giddy on Friday night with cereal in bed, when I’m around kids, even if they’re not my own, I’m very Mumsy complete with tissues, water, chapstick and snacks at the ready from my humongous handbag. 😛
  4. Saturday night: no cereal, no Netflix. Passed out almost immediately. I blame the ocean air and not the old age.
  5. Sunday morning, I woke up with a lot of energy. I was up at 6 and braided my hair. Even though I took hours to do it, I knew I wouldn’t leave it as is, but would fuss with it more when I had time. It’s my hobby, that’s how I roll. I ran a few errands, took out the garbage and then I made sweet potato and chickpea enchiladas from scratch for my girls, who came over for lunch. We had a gossipfest, made very terrible jokes, talked about boys, tried on clothes, ate chocolate and braided our hair. Yes, I know we’re in our thirties, we’re mothers, we have careers BUT we also love each other and enjoy spending time with each other and hey, that’s what girls do! When I spend time with them, I am reminded that I grew up with five brothers and here, life has given me four sisters. Aren’t I blessed? ❤
  6. Sunday afternoon, went for a massage. Turns out I’m a ball of knots. The gigantic masseuse, whose handspan pretty much covered my whole back and who could probably break me with little effort, declared that my muscles were ALL tight. In my mind, I was thinking, “Well, don’t tell me that…get on it!” All in all, pretty relaxing 45 minutes.
  7. After the massage, I ended up at the mall. I walked around for a couple hours and had a decaf soy frappuccino – first time for me. Not bad. Managed to only buy a pair of socks and a pair of earrings. That made me happy.
  8. I came home and fussed with my hair AGAIN. I put in extensions, which look kinda cute. I haven’t worn it like this before, so I’m excited.
  9. Now, I’m sitting here waiting for New Boyfriend to come over for a visit. I’m tired, and all the dishes from lunch are in the sink and I don’t know what I’m wearing to work tomorrow OR what’s for lunch, since I ate the leftovers that I was supposed to have taken to work. Sigh.

Even though it wasn’t super productive with laundry and a clean kitchen and a fridge full of groceries, all in all, I think this weekend was a success: a little bit of fun, romance, laughter, beauty, shopping, good food, movies, cereal, good sleep, the beach and relaxation.

I hope this week at work is as successful for me and for you too whatever happens! 🙂

Have fun!

Love,
Vikera

Soothing sunsets

Good morning!

I went to watch the sun set a few weeks ago and only just got around to posting pics. Betsy’s at it again!

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I'm not sharing unless you ask nicely.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I’m not sharing unless you ask nicely.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I'm not sharing unless you ask nicely :P

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I’m not sharing unless you ask nicely.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I'm not sharing unless you ask nicely :P

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I’m not sharing unless you ask nicely.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I'm not sharing unless you ask nicely :P

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I’m not sharing unless you ask nicely.

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I'm not sharing unless you ask nicely :P

Photo taken by Vikera Hunte. I’m not sharing unless you ask nicely.

I was looking at these pics again and I think I’m finally getting the hang of relaxation. That evening was very simple. We threw some simple food in a bag, grabbed a blanket and went right after work – maybe it was the person I was with or the time of year or the kind of day I had at work or the warmer temperature or a combination of any of these things, but that evening stands out in my recent memory as one of peace. It was either the wind blowing off of the water that soothed me or the slow, hypnotizing descent of the sun as it headed toward the horizon, but looking at these pics makes me feel to take a deep exhale.

On another note, I think I’m going to post again this week. I have something on my mind BUT it’s supposed to be mid/high teens degrees C (sixty-ish degrees F) this week and I would much rather be outside frolicking 😛 Seriously, though, I have to share this thing and get it off my chest, so standby.

Have a good next few days. Stay out of trouble or get into trouble: whichever makes you happier. ❤

V

Ways to feel better about yourself – Part II

If you read Part I and you’re STILL not feeling better, continue reading this list. There might be something in here for you.

5. Take yourself out on a date. Treat yourself to the things you love. You’re alone yes, but there is nothing wrong with that. Remember all the times you were smothered by people and talking crowds, and you only wanted to be alone with yourself. 

(The word ‘date’ in this line almost made me abandon this whole post. I’m so very bitter about my lack of one lately! lol) I am the Queen of doing things alone. While I am extroverted and do feel energized around people, I quite enjoy doing things alone. I went to New York for a week alone. I volunteered for a weekend alone. I go to the movies alone. I go to dinners alone. I go for walks alone. I enjoy my own company and that’s not just because I talk to myself a lot and I am hilarious…because I am. It’s about creating your own happiness. It’s about doing the things that you want to do and not being constrained by needing a companion. No one, but no one likes your taste in movies? Go alone! Who cares? You’ll be sitting in the dark anyway and NO ONE likes to talk during the movies, right? Enjoy yourself! Do what you like! Do what you love! Be happy!

6. Write yourself a love note. Tell yourself your favorite things about you, and tell yourself all the things you want to become. Tell yourself you’ll love you forever.

I’ve thought about doing this before, but haven’t. I have a pretty good list going in my head though!

See the good things in yourself. Have you ever thought, “I”m a really patient person” or you’ve heard enough good things to start believing it yourself? Just like when someone brings you down, you tend to believe it, use the same tactic to boost yourself up. At the end of your day, when you have a minute, think about the awesome things you did that day even if it was just making someone smile.

7. Take pictures of yourself. Selfies are magnificent! Take 500! Take them everywhere! Find the good lighting! Pick your favorite one and realize what a wonderful work of art you are.

If you get ready and dressed to do errands on a Saturday and you look in the mirror at yourself on the way out the door and you think, “Hot d@mn, I look super cute today,” take a selfie! Keep it as a reminder at how effortlessly beautiful you are! Just think, models are models because someone decides he/she is beautiful enough for it. Why not make that decision for yourself about yourself?

8. Acknowledge your accomplishments, all of them. Got out of bed? It’s hard sometimes and it’s been hard before, so honestly great job. Drink lots of water, and at the end of the day congratulate yourself for staying hydrated. Let yourself know when you are proud, and soak up the feeling of “well done”.”

Celebrate your achievements. If you do something that was hard for you to do, think about what a good job you did. Measure your accomplishments by your own standards. Some of the things I have felt good about in the past:

  • staying in bed and not getting up to do chores because because I worked hard all week and I deserve to relax
  • every time I stop eating after I’m full and not continue because there’s still food on the plate
  • when I put myself and my needs first
  • every time Kidlet says “Thank you” without prompting
  • not getting another pair of shoes I don’t need
  • each and every time I’ve written a blog post and hit “Publish”

The point of these things is to prove that you are more amazing than you think and you deserve to be happy! As long as you remember this, every day will be a good day!

 


Thank you to aavocadobaby and Voluptuous Vixens for this list and the inspiration! You have helped me and others remember that self-love is important. Happiness starts inside, radiates out and then comes back to us!

Have a super fantastic day!

 

Ways to feel better about yourself – Part I

It probably wouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I follow a page on Facebook called “Voluptuous Vixens”. This page often brings positive messages about self-image and self-love. One of its recent posts was about how to take care of yourself. I heart that post so much. Not because I just like what it says, which I do, but because I have done a few of these myself and they do feel good and make me feel good about myself.

I want to share the message with you….with my own interjections, of course…..

1. Sleep without underwear every once and a while, it’s good for you. Maybe even try sleeping naked.

While I’ve tried this before, I don’t do it that often. When I do decide to do it, usually in the summer, I lay there in my natural-born state and think, “What if there’s a fire and I can’t find any clothes to put on to get out of the house!?” Then, I think about the firemen and I’m fine. 🙂 My compromise – I ALWAYS keep a t-shirt at the foot of the bed, you know, just in case. Sleeping in the nude is relaxing, for sure, as it allows your body to fully be free for a few hours. Ahhhhh…..I find when I can feel the cool fibres of my sheets, it’s soothing.

2. Take long baths with tea, ice cream, or whatever you please. Throw in bubbles if that’s your style.

I’m not a ‘bath’ kind of person, but every now and then, I can run a bath and sit in there, but the whole time I’m in there, I worry, “Is this how I”m supposed to fit in here? I’m only 5’2″. How does a normal-sized person fit in here? Wouldn’t my knees get cold? How can my whole body fit in here?” That goes on for a couple minutes, but then I can usually relax: just sit, close my eyes and listen to my breathing. Once, I even fell asleep in the tub. Magical. With soft music playing or loud music so that I can sing along? It’s all good.

If you are in Trinidad and don’t have a bathtub, try relaxing in the ocean or at a swimming pool. Same idea.

[As you can tell, it’s not easy for me to relax, but I try to do it and when I do succeed, it does help!]

3. Look at yourself like you look at your best friend. Find the freckles you love, what your eyes look best with, what hairstyle compliments your smile.

I spend a lot of time looking at myself – not in a ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’ kind of way, but just to know myself: the moles on my shoulders or the freckles on my nose or other things that I’ve noticed. I find when you really know yourself and look at yourself, it’s really easy to see what’s loveable, cute and unique about yourself. Once you know what there is to love, you won’t have to wait for someone else to point it out because you’ll already know.

4. When you look at your naked body in the mirror, only think good things. Say compliments to yourself aloud. Watch yourself smile, and encourage yourself.

It doesn’t have to be when you’re naked. When you leave the house, try to feel good about yourself before you leave. Take a moment to really look at the person in the mirror. Is that shade of red making your skin glow? Is your hair WORKING IT today? Do your legs look fab? Are you wearing awesome shoes? Is your haircut on point? When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, anything can happen…..

Have a super great day!