50 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

I know that being happy can sometimes feel quite temporary and the little joys can easily get lost when you’ve had a bad day at work or been sat in traffic for two hours, so it’s great to remind ourselves of those little quirks that make us happy every now and again.

Without further ado, here are fifty of the things that make me happy (in no particular order).

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XOXO –

April

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The Fight Goes On …

The Way We’re Told It Goes:
Meet The One…

1. Fall In BUTTERFLY Love
2. Have all the Feelings
3. Date
4. Move Into Together: AKA YOU’VE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE! You’re done! Congrats, Cinderella! All that’s left now is: Happily Ever After!!!!!

The Way It Has Worked For Me:
Meet A Special One…

1. Fall in Butterfly Love
2. Have all the feelings
3. Date
4. Move In Together  – AKA Cross the STARTING LINE.

5. You’ve begun. Shit gets real.  Grocery shopping and children and assembling furniture and navigating each other’s families and demons and other confusing, terrifying things keep happening.

6. Slowly understand that relationships are not what you thought it would be and your signicant other is not who you thought he’d be and additionally you are not who you thought you’d be.

7. Notice there are no more butterflies. Panic like bloody hell. Understand with mounting dread that LIFE has killed the butterflies and this must mean you have “fallen out of love.”

8. Look into separation.

9. Start to learn how horribly difficult it will be to separate for you and everyone you love and also – HOLY CRAP IT COSTS A LOT. Try to locate a path of less resistance. Search for some solution that is less emotionally and physically and mentally and financially expensive. It’s often not LOVE that makes us stay – but the expense of leaving. AND THAT’S OKAY.

10. Ask for help. Suggest meeting with experts, talk to wise people, read good books. Mostly, Be still and listen for The Next Right Thing in the quiet.Wait. Keep waiting. Make no decisions except what to do EXACTLY RIGHT NOW. Sit with the pain. Sit with the struggle. Sit with the uncertainty. Resist the relentless urge to deflect the pain, run from the pain, numb the pain with food- booze -work –future tripping- unkindness- false certainty -busyness or any other Wisdom Killer.  Just Be Still and Wait.

11. SLOWLY embrace the truth that a million warriors have discovered before you  – You have not FALLEN OUT OF LOVE. You have fallen out of infatuation AND INTO LOVE.  Like it or NOT- THIS IS IT, SISTER. This is Love. It ain’t the Disney version- it’s the REAL version. The Disney version is easy and shiny and struggle free and happily ever after but the Real Version is about allowing struggle to morph you into a bigger, more spiritual being. Real love is about METAMORPHOSIS, and metamorphosis IS FIFTY SHADES OF PAIN – just ask the butterfly.

12. Start over every freaking morning.

13. Go to sleep every night feeling exhausted and blessed as hell.

Much Love,

April

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WISE TALK

I’ve been told, ‘Don’t burn your bridges you many have to cross later.’ I say ‘I don’t mind swimming if the bridges were messed up to begin with!’Light The Way

That is a statement of fear and insecurity of your actions, fear of both future events and the need to rely on others in the future, particularly others in powerful positions.  Those in powerful positions are more often that not weak.  I say, the weak always crumble in the presence of the strong of head and heart.  I say, walk with fire at your heels and only the wooden bridges will burn.  The stone will stand.  If I am not afraid to blaze my path with fire, the fire of strength, the oaks and mountains will be left standing, the weeds and shrubs ashed.  Strength is painful, and the weak run from it or try to put it to death, such that the strong woman soon knows her friends, for only they are left standing when she has passed.  And her friends will also be fiery of heart, for like attracts like, and therefore the path they burn together will only be stronger.

In the past and into the present, I have often felt like a flame in a weed patch, and all have tried to put me out.  At more tender ages, my core was nearly cooled so that I might have joined the weed patch, but it was not to be.  Now I feel the flame rising up within me, still tender and fearful of water but growing stronger daily, weekly, monthly.  I hope one day to become the forest fire that levels dying forests and resets the clock to allow for fertile regrowth, that jumps mighty streams and rivers, that knows few boundaries, that rushes madly forward, unchecked, and dies in the process.

I know that if I am to survive and thrive that I will have to look deep inside myself and know who I am, what I stand for, and where I am going.  And so I write, channeling the truth that was pouring out of me.  This gem, as I see it in hindsight, is one of my first clear expressions of that.  Give me the strength.

XOXO,
April

WE’RE (I’M) BUYING A HOUSE

WE’RE (I’M) BUYING A HOUSE.

We’re buying a house.  Well, to be more accurate, I’m buying a house.

I knew where I wanted to purchase. I knew how much I wanted to spend.  I knew the “must haves” in any potential Casa de #SuperHeroMomHouse.  However, that isn’t enough detail for me.  I printed maps of the area, highlighted my “preferred zones,” overlaid school districts and their respective scores, and finished that up with additional maps of crime rates and average home prices.  Finally, I created a report card for each house so I could create a quantifiable score of each home. I had the research. I had a process. I had a plan. I was ready to go.

Then I started to look at houses.  The report card was busted after the first property. It scored a 9 out of 10.  It was a perfect candidate for my first home…but it wasn’t my forever home.  There was no quantifiable, scientific, rationale.  I could just tell it wasn’t it.  So could my kids.  By the third house, my whole procedure was out the door.  There was simply no standardized procedure for buying a house.

I will cut to the chase here. Ok, I have a contract on a house.  It is outside of my preferred zone, above the initial budget, and at best scores a 7 on my report card. It is, however, perfect. There is no way for me to explain why. There is no rational reason for it to be perfect.  It has things that were never on my initial must have list and is missing things that were “required.” With all of that, I knew it would be my home when I stepped into the backyard.

The home buying process reminded me that sometimes the best-made plans are cast asunder simply by the nature of things. Regardless of the plan, the established process, or the procedural strategy, we all need to react to what actually happens—to the real environment. I was not planning to buy a home that weekend.  In fact, I was suppose to be moving to Florida. That is not what ended up occurring.  I reacted. I adapted. I bought a house.

You may not be buying a house but the lesson is the same. When plans go awry, the most important thing to do is recognize what is happening, analyze your realistic options, and refocus your energy on the reality of the situation at hand.

There is still a lot of work to do in the home buying process.  I will inevitably develop checklists and procedures for each step, and this will inevitably drive my kiddo’s crazy and keep me sane.  It is a delicate balancing act but it’s all part of life through the eyes of an operations professional.

Best Regards,

April McManus
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A Beautiful Mess

Those disastrous mornings where you sleep through the alarm, the kids are arguing within minutes of opening their eyes, you don’t have enough bread left for lunches and you miss your mouth entirely and pour coffee all over your new top moments before you need to be out the door…..

Yep those!

I’ve had a few of those mornings these past few weeks, more than I can count actually.

But I have finally come to the realization that sometimes, the only thing to do is shrug your shoulders, laugh at yourself and say “F**K It!

When you are standing in a looooong queue at Dick’s along with dozens of other families trying to take advantage only one day only discount on equipment for their kids in grade school and you suddenly realize that you have precisely 7 minutes to get one of your other children onto the basketball court a whole block away AND you’ve left your phone on the counter of another store…. yep you guessed it, you’ve just got to say “F**k It!”

When life gets so frickin crazy and you feel that everyone needs or wants something from you and your To Do List is longer than the hairs on your legs that haven’t been waxed since no idea… then you really REALLY need to sit down, just breathe and say “F**k It!”.

Will someone die because your kids are 10 minutes late to school?

Will the sky turn black if the family eats cheese toasties for dinner for the 2nd night in a row because you forgot to defrost anything again?

Will the universe spontaneously combust because you don’t get around to emailing this person, calling that person or replying to some comments on your blog for just another day?

Perspective People.

It’s simple when you really think about it, you’ve just got to put it all into perspective.

In case you are wondering, I’m no expert on this matter. In fact I only just came to this realization myself yesterday morning as I was busy stressing out about life. 

There is too much pressure in the world as there is without placing unnecessary and often unrealistic expectations upon yourself too.

I don’t mean to sound demeaning to anyone else who feels differently to this, but when did any of us become so damn important that the world will end if we don’t do something that we THINK we should?

Seriously,  I don’t give a rats ass if you send your daughter to school with a tin of tuna, a can opener and a fork. Would you care if mine took a box of cruskets and a jar of Vegemite?

I don’t give two hoots if you forget to call me back because you chose to watch a Real Housewives Marathon instead, and I imagine you wouldn’t really care if I chose to nick off and participate in a belly flop comp with the kids and replied to your emails tomorrow instead of today.

Life is short and time is far too precious to spend it rushing around all the time, trying to do everything, worrying about things that haven’t been done or self imposed deadlines.

Sometimes we just need to stop, chill out for a while, quit with the stressing and just say “FUCK It!”

Try it ….. it actually feels pretty darn liberating!

Did that even make sense?
Do you have any idea what I am rambling on about?
How often do you just stop and say “Fuck It!”?