My Weekly Goals Project

Hi friends!

Okay, let’s get real for a minute: things are a bit of a mess right now. Whatever side of the political/social wall you are on (see what I did there?), I think we can all agree that the general climate in the United States has been a bit topsy-turvy for the past few months, and doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon. Deep rifts have ruptured in some of the closest of families. The Unfriend button on Facebook has seen more action than all of the Spiderman reboots combined. And my general mentality has been, “Well, we’re all gonna die, so I might as well finish the bottle/eat the whole bag/adopt all the puppies.”

With all of this, I’ve had a bit of a hard time writing lately. At first I was angry and sad, and I wasn’t inspired to put any of my negative feelings or thoughts down on paper (internet?). Then when I started to collect myself and things began to settle a bit, I tried to write a blog about all of the things we still have that make humans happy, but after puppies and Beyoncé I ran out of ideas. Blergh.

So I turned inward, and I began to actively seek out new ways to better myself, educate myself, and basically live life a little more mindfully. My #Today2017 project has been really incredible for that (read up on it here https://pattimurin.blog/2016/12/31/please-make-it-2017-already/), and between that calendar and coffee, waking up each morning is borderline joyous.

When January 1st came around, New Year’s resolutions were on my mind. But since they’re borderline impossible to keep for an entire 365 days (seriously if you’ve kept one, you are literally a superhero), I decided to go about it a different way.

Each Sunday evening, I sit down with my planner (yes, I still use a paper agenda, thank you), and I write a list of Weekly Goals, with a very simple set of guidelines.

It can be as short or as long as I want.
I write this list with the intention and idea that there is absolutely no pressure or punishment if I don’t achieve all of them. There will be no self loathing involved in Weekly Goals.
The list can change weekly, or stay the same.
And at the end of each week, I reflect back on what came up that wasn’t included in my goals, and I make sure that I commend myself for those things as well.

What is a Weekly Goal, you ask? Well for example, this week’s list is:
Exercise 5 times
Publish a blog (check!)
Finish half of a non-fiction book
Finish 2 fiction books (I read A LOT)
Eat well!
Try a new class
Don’t flake on any plans

And that’s that! It’s all about simple health and happiness at the core. Previous and future weeks have and will include Goals such as: volunteer, disconnect for 24 hours from all technology, donate to Goodwill, make chili, etc. Make sense?

The reason that I’ve found it so easy to keep this up, week after week, is because once I decide what I want to do and write it down on the Weekly Goals list, I become responsible for myself. The only person I’m hurting by not doing these things is myself. But on the flipside, the more Goals I complete, the more people I will be helping. If I don’t publish this blog, fine. But if I do? The chance that I could inspire even one other human being makes it worth it. As soon as I physically write down “exercise 5 times,” I become my own guide. I become my own teacher. And I become my own biggest cheerleader.

As I said, if I get to the end of the week and I’ve only worked out two or three times instead of four or five, IT IS OKAY. Things happen, roadblocks come up, and we have to be flexible and forgiving with ourselves. But by writing it down on my Weekly Goals list, the probability that I will complete these things raises exponentially.

Singling out each week, one chunk of the year at a time, has made it much easier to live in the present, and to take life day by day. I find myself worrying less, my anxiety level has dropped from a 9 to about a 3, and every single day I have the ability to feel accomplished, should I so choose. I’m happier, healthier, and my self worth has grown. This is better than any New Years’ resolution I’ve ever made.

So give it a shot if you want! Do exactly what I do, or tweak the concept as much as you would like. Your Weekly Goals, your decision. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work out.

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An Open Letter in Response to an Open Letter

First, read this:

http://www.littlethings.com/dog-owners-are-not-parents/

Now, read this:

Dear Angry Mom of Human Children,

Thank you for sharing your stance on this very, very important issue we are being faced with. In a world where our President could very well be an orange-hued racist pathological liar in just a few months, and where people get gunned down senselessly almost every single day, this is most definitely a worthwhile topic to spend your energy on.

You are angry about LochteGate when you should be angry about Syria.

But I admit, not every single thing I write about is full of world-changing opinions or information. So I’ll bite.

As the proud parent (yes, I said PARENT) of two dogs, I wholeheartedly disagree with your blog post. And no, it’s not because I think that my life as a dog mom is just as difficult and trying as your life with a daughter. It’s because what you have done here is instructed me where I am allowed to direct my love, and that does not sit well with me.

I have a lot of love to give. I am a loving person. I love people, I love dogs, I love spiders that aren’t too big or hairy, I love every baby animal that has ever existed, I love getting mail, I love those adorable POP Funko things, I love wearing ball gowns, I love feeling pretty, I love wine, I love very hot showers. Bottom line, I LOVE.

So when someone takes time out of their day to publish an entire diatribe about why my love is wrong and theirs is right, I get mad. I do not love that. I actually take great offense to it.

Love is the most important survival tool we have right now. It is free. It is everywhere, if you are willing to look. You can literally create it yourself. As long as you don’t love war or hurting things or pollution or Justin Bieber, you basically can’t go wrong with love. So perhaps instead of telling me that I am wrong because I love my adorable, loyal, innocent fur babies too much, you should look at dog owners such as myself, smile, shake your head, and think, “Look at all of that love she has to give. As silly as I think she is, thank goodness that love exists in this world right now.” And then hold your daughter a little closer because, as history has proven over and over again, love begets love. Love breeds love.

Also, please don’t define my family for me. If I decide that my family is my husband and our 87 dogs (Colin, I have something to tell you), then that is my decision and my prerogative. If I decide that having human babies is not for me, or worse, if I am unable to have my own human babies, I am allowed to choose dogs instead. You don’t have to agree with me, but please don’t judge me.CYtdZDUWcAA9Q71

I won’t even go into great detail about your bullet point list of why raising a child is different than owning a dog. I can sum it up for you in one sentence: One is a human being, and one is an animal. That’s akin to making a list detailing why Star Wars is not the same as Mean Girls. You literally just wasted your time explaining the difference between people and dogs to an entire Internet full of people who knows the difference between people and dogs. You say that parenting your child takes a lot of work and energy and dedication, so perhaps writing this list was a misuse of your time.

Okay, I’ll go into a little detail. Your list is also full of misinformation and incredibly overarching blanket statements. We fix our dogs because there is a severe national problem with overcrowding in shelters, and the less dogs that are in shelters, the less dogs have to be euthanized for space reasons. So we fix our dogs to do our small part in solving this massive issue. Also, the vast majority of us don’t breed our dogs and sell them “for a mint.” And finally, I was a babysitter for years. So I know for a fact that you can, in fact, drop your child off somewhere and pay to have someone bathe her. I know because I have been paid to bathe many children. It’s called childcare. CotPnuZWIAAfBih

As I write this, one of my two dogs is sitting at my feet, violently shaking because of an air show that is currently happening. The fighter jets petrify him, and he is helpless. He hides, he cowers, he accidentally pees himself. And my love for him grows exponentially by the minute. This is a living being experiencing crippling fear. It is my responsibility as an educated human to take care of him. Just because he is a dog and not a child doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve affection and safety and affection. So yes, I will give up my whole afternoon so I can cover him in a blanket and hold him as close as I possibly can. Because he is my baby, and I love the ever loving shit out of him.

With Love,

Patti, Petey & Milo

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“Bachelor in Paradise” Recap! Heaven or Hell?

We’re back. WE. ARE. BACK.Bachelor-in-Paradise-1500-logo

After a snooze of a season with JoJordan emerging as the final victorious couple (for now), even the opening credits of “Bachelor in Paradise” give us all hope that the good times are here again. It’s a grand gathering of some of our favorite zany characters from previous seasons of the shows, all hoping to find love in a hopeless tropical place! (Special shoutout to Daniel, Lace and Jared, whose intros show that they’re not afraid to make fun of themselves.) And away we go!

We get a quick recap of some our BIPers, including Nick (Most Valuable Runner Up), Lace (the nutty hottie from Ben’s season), The Twins (Emily & Haley, who are apparently being treated as one human being), Evan (fixes penises), Chad (meat eater), and Daniel (Canadian who literally can not pronounce the word “Bachelorette”). Chris Harrison is actually, physically there to greet all of the hopeful, sparkly eyed alumni who are there for the right reasons. Or…are they?

We welcome Amanda (young single mom from Ben’s season, looking fantastic), Nick, Jubilee (military girl) and Evan first. Jubilee has been calling Evan “The Penis Guy” from her couch, so she doubles down on her efforts to learn names and give everyone an honest chance here in Paradise. Then come Vinny (JoJo’s season? How quickly we forget), Carly (Karaoke singer), Grant (JoJo’s season), and Daniel, who is NOT impressed with any of the women who are already there. He actually goes so far as to say that they are like “washed up street dogs.” Earlier in the episode, he likened himself to an eagle who is not willing to settle for a pigeon, so early observations of Daniel tell us that he loves animals. Oh, and also that he’s a disgusting pig that I wouldn’t even eat bacon from. Suck on that, you Mean Canadian.

(Also, adopt, don’t shop.)

Sarah arrives (Sean’s season, sweet as pie), and I am reminded that while she is not the sharpest crayon in the box, her determination to find love makes her incredibly likable. And then, we have The Twins.

HALEY FERGUSON, EMILY FERGUSON, CHRIS HARRISON

(ABC/Rick Rowell) HALEY FERGUSON, EMILY FERGUSON, CHRIS HARRISON

Haley and Emily, Emily and Haley. They insist that they are different, though they go everywhere together, do everything together, speak at the same time, and actually put up with the rule that if a guy gives one of them a rose, the other one automatically gets one too. I mean, for real? Nevertheless, Daniel the Mean Canadian perks up when they arrive, doubtless with visions in his head of Dancing Twin Maids-a-Milking all around his bed. He further solidifies his role as the only Canadian I’ve ever seen who is a real dick by wishing for some “fresh fruit,” as all of the fruit here looks like it was “bruised in transport.” I could say the same about your face, Dan Dan.

Then we have someone named Izzy, who insists she was on Ben’s season even though no one remembers her, Lace, and Jared, who we all remember from last year’s BIP as Ashley I.’s awkward conquest, and who we all pray gets to actually have some fun this year. Jubilee is excited, but so is Emily. So we can assume that Haley is also excited.

And then….CHAD. He arrives, much to Daniel’s excitement and Evan’s dismay. Some people, guys included, have been excited to meet him, hoping he will be entertaining and fun. More on that later. MUCH more. Daniel and Chad instantly couple up and wade into the ocean together while making plans to dominate the resort. Chad lists his priorities in what I like to think is in order: “Me, Daniel, roses, alcohol, girls.” That sounds about right.

And Chris Harrison is back! Wow, he might actually be staying nearby this season. The men will give out the roses at the first rose ceremony, and all of our friends are let loose to find love and get some seriously intricate sunburns. The first couple to delicately emerge are Vinny and Izzy (which is awesome, cause WHO?), Lace and Grant (briefly), and Chad and all the lunch meat from the fridge , which is inexplicably encased in a fridge-shaped basket. But Lace gets drunk after her first sip, and pushes Grant to the side in favor of Chad. And this is where the craziness begins.

Lace. Oh, Lace. She and Chad spend approximately the next 40 minutes drinking, kissing, fighting, name calling, making out, wrestling, acquiring a whole lot of bruises that they won’t remember in the morning, making friends with the blurry spot that hides all possible pornographic shots from the viewing audience, dumping each other’s drinks in the hot tub, and hitting each other. Yes, you heard me correctly. Lace starts to sober up after a bit and comes to her senses enough to realize that a wasted guy calling you a “bitch” isn’t anyone’s idea of Paradise, no matter how many muscles he has. She finally draws the line when he tells her that he’s going to “throw you under a bus, hold you down and dogtie you up and make sure you smell like peppermint.” I believe that is a direct quote. I’ll wait while you stop screaming and pick your jaws up off of the floor.

While this is all going down at the house, Jubilee and Jared are out on a date, as Jubilee got the very first Date Card! Jared was thrilled to go, and they look at their dinner in a room filled with piñatas. It’s all going well until A FREAKING CLOWN SNEAKS THROUGH THE PIÑATAS AND SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF THEM HOLY GOD I WANT TO DIE THIS IS THE WORST DATE IN EXISTENCE HOW DARE YOU ABC. Jarilee is much less horrified at this than I, and they begin to hit the piñatas and laugh a lot. Then the clown mimes sex, and I’m OUT.

JUBILEE SHARPE, JARED HAIBON

(ABC/Rick Rowell) JUBILEE SHARPE, JARED HAIBON, A CREEPY CLOWN

Back at the house, Lace is trying to shut Chad down by walking away from him, not speaking to him, requesting that he leave her alone, and doing everything that is mature and appropriate to do when someone is harassing you. Lace is still drunk, but seems to be more in control than she has all night. Although she does admit that on a scale of 1 to 9, she’s a 9 disappointed. Perhaps she lost the 10 in the hot tub when she was trying to drown Chad “playfully.”

And then, I do believe he commits a cardinal sin and calls her the worst name you could ever call a woman: a c*nt. I refuse to even type the whole thing, it offends me so. Sarah takes this opportunity to tell Chad exactly what she thinks of his behavior, and he responds by saying, and once again I QUOTE, “Fuck that one armed bitch.” I’ll wait while you sweep up the remains of your TV and/or laptop after throwing your rosé glass into them in a rage.

Yeah. Yeah, we are going there. After years of fairly tame rudeness and “most dramatic moment evers,” we have finally gotten to what is truly….The Most Dramatic Episode Yet. But this time, it’s not about heartbreak and romance. It’s about an obviously mentally unstable man who is unable to control himself and his emotions. It’s a horror show. And it’s not over yet.

Daniel and Evan both try to get through to Chad because for some reason they still believe that he maintains any semblance of rationality. Chad swings at Daniel and goes stalking off on the beach, grunting and flexing like the Hulk. Finally Chad passes out by the hot tub, and one little red crab seeks shelter in his hair as he snores like the Chad Bear that he is. There is peace for a few hours.

The next morning, Vinny and Izzy (Vizzy!) are smitten, Lace has regained her senses and is once again flirting with Grant, and Chad has woken up in his bed with no underwear on. And thanks to some of the guys, we know it’s BECAUSE HE POOPED HIS PANTS. Chad. Pooped. His. Pants. And vomited all over himself, but that doesn’t matter because HE POOPED HIS PANTS. Is it funny? Kind of. Is it sad? Incredibly. But what is even more pitiful is how he wakes up and joins the rest of the group as if nothing happened. He doesn’t seem to think that calling Sarah “Arm-y McArmenson” is anything more than a casual joke between friends.

o-POOP-EMOJI-ICE-CREAM-facebook

Poopy pants in Paradise.

Luckily, Chris Harrison does. He gathers our love seekers and gives Chad a chance to explain his actions, but Chad seems completely ignorant. According to CH, “[Chad] told everybody at this hotel last night to suck a dick.” Hearing those words come out of our wonderful host’s mouth is startling, not to mention indicative of how big of a problem there is. CH asks Chad to leave, and Chad is…absolutely shocked. Shocked. He can not believe that he has done enough terrible things to earn him an early flight home. He tries to plead his case, but verbal harassment, attempted physical violence and soiling articles of clothing with excrement are enough crimes to kick his poopy butt out.

And here’s where it gets truly, truly sad. Chad paces around the property shouting phrases like, “I have nothing in my life,” and “This is my life and you’re gonna make me look like a bitch,” and “I can never be the Bachelor now, what else can I do?” And there it is. A desperate, sad, lost man who is searching for a place to call his own in this crazy world. Unfortunately, reality TV is not going to help him find it.

And we are To Be Continued! Next week’s previews still include Chad, so I don’t think the focus is going to be on love until he is actually gone. Rest up, fellow BIPers. We go 2 nights a week from now on, so drink those protein shakes and get in shape for a LOT of drama.