Focus

Focus

We live the life we want to live. We make the effort to have the things we want to have or we don’t have them. We either complain about everything we don’t have or we are grateful for the things we do have. We all have a mental list of priorities for ourselves that we don’t really talk about but our lives revolve around that list of priorities….

My priorities are to have a healthy mentality instead of a toxic one. So if I have suddenly stopped talking to anyone or slowly stepped away from those that I used to keep in constant contact with it could be because maintaining a connection isn’t one of my priorities any more. It could mean that somehow my connection to you is detrimental to my mental health. It is nothing personal against anyone but my mental health and my life is most important to me and if that is something that is hard to understand then that right there tells me that my decision to walk away was the best decision I could make for myself.

One day it will be understood when you are faced with the same decision. Not until it happens to you will you fully understand why some people do the things they do. Until it happens all you can say is that you do get it but in reality you don’t get it and will not get it until it happens to you. I would rather not hear anything about anything in my life until you have experienced the exact same things in your life.

We are all just winging it, why go around and tell other people how to live when you yourself have no idea what is going on in your own life. Change your focus to you and only you, what is going on inside you and why you feel that way as it pertains to you and go from there, only with you. We are not put on this earth to go around telling others what they do are wrong and they should do it this way because in all actuality we don’t really know what we are doing ourselves.

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It’s All Up To You

It’s All Up To You

Just the other day I was honored to be a part of an art show in my little community. It was such a great experience! I started off painting for fun, because it gave me something to do, some kind of outlet type thing. It gives me something to focus on instead of the things I used to focus on, like what everyone else was doing. I swear that joke about suffering from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is something that I believe is true because I was suffering from it for as long as I can remember! I just needed to always know what everyone else was doing to see if it was something I wanted to do because I just had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up and I definitely did not want to miss anything that I possibly could have been a part of.

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When I began my journey in 2016 I spent the first year still suffering from FOMO and still trying to be involved in everything everyone else was doing and especially getting sucked in the black hell of Facebook. I bet it wasn’t until I actually had the balls to delete my Facebook account that I saw the full problems that I was dealing with inside myself. I shut myself off from the world, most importantly from Facebook. Of course I have an Instagram account, I have 4 actually, mine, my art, my blog and a side business I have and yes I do know that Facebook owns Instagram. I can describe the difference for me when it comes to FB and Instagram and I know everyone else can defend their own reasons for why the keep theirs or not keep theirs, but I am not here to debate or explain myself.

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What I am here for is to try to make you think about yourself. The things I write about, the things I post on my many Instagrams and the things I say when others actually get to see me, I just want you to think about how the things I say pertain to you as an individual. I want you to reflect on yourself and your actions and see if there is some area of improvement. I’ve noticed sometimes the things I say seem very offensive to some and the same thing said to others isn’t offensive at all. I have found that those who usually get offended are only offended because whatever it was that was said rang true for them and some take that as me putting them down and those who don’t get offended by what I said own their flaws and are unscathed because they put forth the work to become mindful and aware of themselves. Those individuals that own their flaws and work hard everyday to pay attention to themselves or do the work to change or what have you are so inspiring to me.

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Sometime in the last 2 years I vanished from everyone I know, I didn’t “vanish” literally, I just stopped making the effort to care so much about what everyone else was doing, I stopped contacting others first, I stopped responding, some I blocked and I finally started worrying only about myself. I took everything that “annoyed” me about other people and I started paying attention to myself and made notes of when I actually acted like those that “annoyed” me and I realized that those things annoyed me because I actually did them sometimes to others. I became mindful of myself instead of being aware of what everyone else was doing. I swear now when I am out in public or even in the presence of someone else I focus on my own behavior and emotions and my own thoughts and I like it. I have been able to change my entire outlook on so many things since I changed my focus on being more aware of myself than anything else around me.

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These days I find myself busy doing things for me and not documenting them because I am busy enjoying myself and realizing the only thing I am missing out on is my own happiness because I thought someone else had the key to it in their pocket. I actually have my own key! It’s scary to take a look in the mirror at yourself and all your flaws but once you do, there is NO looking back. I am flawed like a mother fucker and I have never been happier in my entire life as I am right now. In the last 5 days I have put myself in the spot light more so than I have ever been (I failed speech class in high school due to not being able to lift my face up from my notes and make eye contact with the class) and two days ago I stood in my little booth of art and watched hundreds of supporters stop and talk to me and tell me my art was beautiful when I had really only shared it in pictures on Instagram. I took that step outside of fear and did what I wanted to do and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was absolutely terrifying!! 

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I wish so many others had the strength to look at themselves and see that they are not perfect nor do they need to be and they don’t need to have a lot of material possessions or a lot of money and they especially do not need to boast about their accomplishments in order to be happy and be accepted. I wish so many could understand how freeing it is to be private and be the only one that knows what’s going on upstairs. Too many just walk around talking and talking and not really saying much. Too many give advice to others that they won’t even take themselves, unsolicited advice at that. Too many focused on what everyone else is doing instead of what they should be doing. It’s quite sad to me but I get it, I absolutely get it, because I too used to do it. I know we are all on our own journey and we all won’t come to these conclusions at the same time and because of this I cannot judge those who just think I am conceited, mean, or whatever negative thing I have been called in the last couple years. 

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I left that art show Wednesday night a different person, I left with even more awareness of what I want and don’t want in my life and even more so I left with the strength to actually do something about it. Our lives can really change in one year, they really can. But life will only change if we get rid of all that holds us back, regardless of how much they may mean to us or how long we have known them. Our journey is our own and unfortunately some of us will have to leave behind the people and things that are keeping us from growing into all that we wish to become, regardless of our history with them. Some of us are lucky enough to have friends and family that recognize growth and change and want to grow and change with us and some of us have friends and family that just don’t want to grow and will do anything in their power to discourage us from becoming all that we should be. We all have both in our lives but it is up to us to figure out just how bad we want to grow in order to let the things go that hold us back. 

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Again, as always, I am not a professional by all means except a professional listener and encourager, but I can see behind your mask so please don’t try to hide from me or I may have to walk away from you until you decide to take the mask off. I love you all and want nothing more than peace and love in this world as it is what will save us all. Let’s start by loving ourselves and  our own flaws, because we are worthy of our own love first and foremost. Rock my beauties! If you like what I write let me know, share it, comment on it. If you don’t, also let me know, share it any way but I am happy to keep doing my own thing with or without anyone else’s approval. Peace and Love! 

Til We Meet Again

Til We Meet Again

Best present ever
Christmas 2008

She had a face only a mother could love, not when she was a puppy of course because EVERYONE loved her as a puppy but it didn’t take long for her to fill out into an 85 pound brick wall, which is why there are not many pictures of her small.  I was constantly receiving comments about what a fat ball of ugly she was but she was absolutely beautiful to me. She wasn’t just any ole dog, she had a smooshy face, a personality that was unremarkable and she was also the last gift my brother had given me before he took his life.

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Early 2009

My brother showed up for Christmas the year his Jo Jo had her puppies 2008, with a male and a female left he told me this beautiful face was mine to keep if I wanted her. Of Course I wanted her! Look at that gorgeous face, how could anyone NOT want her! 

I had ZERO experience in the English Bulldog department and while she was small she was such a joy! Let me tell you English Bulldogs do not stay small for long. She was 80 pounds by the time she was 9 months old and she was not fat by all means! I followed my directions for caring for her and was extremely protective of her and those who were privileged in getting to watch her for me were carefully chosen. I took her every where with me and she loved it! She loved meeting new people and she loved when company would come over as she knew they were only there to see her. I say she was a joy and I do mean she was, even if she ripped the bottom of my couch apart, ate every houseplant I had  that she was able to reach and also showed me what a “bulldog” was bred to do by instinct the day she met my horse, all done before she was a year old.

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About 9 months old

She was a tank! A vicious killer and a blubbering slobbery ball of energy, in short bursts of course as Bulldogs are not strenuous exercisers! She could sprint faster than most dogs but only for less than ten seconds and if anyone happened to be in the way when she was running they more often than not had a knee taken out or had to jump out of her way. I watched her pull parts of a car off once to reach a rock chuck she had been hunting for days. She was the MOST bull headed dog I’ve ever seen and she did what she wanted when she wanted.

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Around 5 years

I won’t lie I am not much of a dog person, I’m more of a cat person.  But there was something about her that I absolutely adored! Her face, her snoring, her grunting like a pig when she was out digging in the dirt, the mud baths, the wading in the water, the way she loved her boys (my three children), the way she got embarrassed when people talked about her, the way she would pout when she didn’t get her way and most of all her smile! She was always so happy, no matter what was going on. 

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7 years old

Something I didn’t know about owning an English Bulldog was that their “adult” life is very short. Their life span is actually relatively short but the parts in between puppy and senior for these guys is apparently only a couple years out of their 8 year life expectancy. Yes I said 8 years, that is the life expectancy of an English Bulldog, of course it varies as some live longer, some not as long.

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Around 5 years

If I could have had my way my girl would have lived forever but unfortunately no one does in the physical form and sadly I had to make that dreadful decision in the wee morning hours of September 21, 2018 as her health went from being a senior dog who managed to get around fairly well to being a dog ready to go to the next life in a matter of hours. It was definitely something I wasn’t completely prepared for that’s for sure even though I had spent the last two years preparing myself for that day as I knew it would come. 

I don’t want to get into too many details with her health as she was actually a fairly healthy bulldog. I had read they are extremely expensive to own as they have a lot of health issues due to overbreeding. My Jessie was fairly healthy her whole life, no major catastrophes in her life, she did develop a couple lumps on her body in her early life but I had them removed and only one was biopsied as malignant years ago and they never grew back. She developed the cataracts a few years ago and that is common in all senior dogs and she was able to get around just as good as before she had them. She was stiff and sore on cold mornings as most seniors are, dogs or people! It happens to all of us at some point!

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Jessie Jo on her birthday! 11/1/2017 Her 9th Birthday

She spent the last year of her life being spoiled more than normal, she went from hardly any people food to sharing my dinner nightly, steak mostly. Regular trips to the vet were essential this last year and other than her having TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) and Cataracts she was healthy! Earlier this year I added CBD oil to her diet to help her with her stiffness and TMJ and it actually worked so well she started running again and she was even able to bark at dogs walking by! This video was only taken in July 2018, about two months into the CBD oil regimen. I was certain I would get another birthday out of her, certain I would see her tenth birthday. 

I made it to her tenth birthday but she did not, as much as I wanted her to she was ready to go home. She was the absolute coolest dog and I miss her immensely and to imagine her with her mama Jo Jo, her brother Cecil and my brother Guy all together again I cannot help but smile knowing she is back with her family and I feel the love from my brother and all of his dogs with him and am very grateful she got to spend her physical life with me.  

I have so many pictures of her through the years that I cannot post them all in my blog like I normally do so I will make a little gallery of Bulldog pics for you to enjoy if you’ve stayed thus far. Grab a tissue though. 

Jessie Jo Fifer 11/1/2008-9/21/2018

Boating!
Exploring Spring 2017
Not Impressed
Jessie and her mama Jo Jo
February 2015 Jessie, Jo Jo and Freckles and my Step Dad Ronnie. (All gone now 😥)
I am sure I was eating
6/21/14 Jessie and Brenton
Sleepy puppers
April 2016
Young Jessie
Watching a big snake
Snuggles when I didn’t feel good
Car ride in 2017
Waiting for a treat camping
Jessie on the right, Jo Jo on the left, My oldest in the middle 2016
Car rides!
Such a bed hog! 2016
She always knew when I was down
Ready for bed. Early 2018
At the vet! She loved her vet! March 2018
Enjoying the sunshine May 2017
2017
9/21/2018-If the kindest souls were rewarded with the longest lives dogs would outlive us all.