Choosing Happy

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It’s been awhile since my last blog post. In fact, it’s been a whopping 4 months since I’ve shared any details from the life and times of the Franklin-Kelly girls. So much has taken place from little things like going on playdates to gigantic, life-jarring events like me leaving my job. These moments - big and small - only remind me of what I know is true - God loves me! Now, this may be a simple thought or totally profound depending on where you are in your life. For me, knowing that I am lovingly held by the Creator gives a boldness like I’ve never had before and many wish they did.

This boldness allows me to fearlessly follow my spirit. This internal compass seems to redirect my soul energy whenever I veer off course or stray from my life's purpose. If something feels wrong to me, I act. It may take a while to strengthen my courage muscles, but ultimately my strength in God supersedes any fear, anxiety or uneasiness that I have about my present circumstance. As a result, I do something as bold as  leave my job (for very good reasons and I’ll tell you all about it soon) to spend time with my beautiful and amazing girls.

We’ve all heard the saying, "life is too short to ...." I’d like to offer a complimentary piece of wisdom - Misery Has Enough Company, So Choose Happy! That's the new theme I live by and what I'll repeat to myself whenever someone or something tries to steal my joy. In the meantime, I'm living my life on my terms surrounded by the love of God. So, what have I been up to?

Bike Rides in the City
If you don’t own a bike, get one. If you don’t like bike riding, something’s wrong with you. ;) Honestly, going for bike rides with my family has been such an awesome experience. At least twice a week, the girls, parents, dogs and I head to the serenity of Candlestick park along with our snacks and music. Recently, the hubby, girls and I rode our new e-bikes down past the ballpark and Fisherman’s Wharf to Aquatic Park. What fun!

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Going On Endless Trips to Costco and Target
Costco has almost everything and what they don’t have, Target does. The girls and I make CT runs at least once a week. After getting gas (it’s usually $0.30 less than other stations), we spend about an hour traipsing down the aisles at Costco filling up on the day’s free samples, trying on princess dresses and buying things we don’t really need but are cool to have. My advice is to not shop hungry because you may end up going home with a tray of mac and cheese, chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies and the ingredients for margaritas!

A Visit to the California Academy of Sciences
About twice a year San Francisco offers free admission to each of its museums to residents of the city. The last time we visited the Academic of Sciences was about 2 years ago and I think the girls were too young to appreciate the exhibits and they were afraid to touch the sea animals. This time was different. Not only did they enjoy running their tiny fingers across sea stars and anemones, they got to experience the awesomeness of the planetarium which has always been my favorite. A few minutes into the show, I was reminded of the fact that I was born in the ‘70s because the effects of being surrounded by the and 75-foot domed screen caused me a bit of nausea. Closing my eyes for 10 seconds was the perfect cure. I wish that were true for all of life’s ills.

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Trying to Figure Out My Hair
When I have issues with my hair, I usually do what any sane person would – I cut it off. I’m determined this time, however, to give growing my hair more than a few months a chance. I don’t know how many YouTube videos I’ve watched about what products to use and how to get my curls to shine and define. My last attempt at a wash and go was a major fail and when my hair didn’t come out like the girl on the screen I was so tempted to do another big chop. Instead, I sought professional help and had it flat-ironed. I haven’t had straight hair since 1997! I like it, but it also requires work which I’m not sure I’m willing to do. Another chop may be on the horizon. Update: It took less than a week to sweat my tresses back to curly 'fro form! I'm done!

Enjoying Spa Days
A good massage usually reminds me of how much tension and stress I'm holding in my body. This time, because I mentally, spiritually and physically released the biggest stressor in my life, I was able to thoroughly enjoy my Swedish massage with medium pressure and aromatherapy exfoliating body scrub. I rarely treat myself to these rejuvenating experiences, but a recent conversation with my 22-year old niece who unapologetically indulged in a $200 spa treatment has made me see the light. My favorite spa is Changes in Walnut Creek. The atmosphere is calm and inviting, and you can relax in comfortable lounge chairs all day long while sipping white wine. I'm searching for a place like this closer to home and would appreciate any recommendations.   

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Looking for a job
After three months of rest and recovery, I did have to start looking for another job. Getting back to my roots and serving my community is exciting! Until I get an offer, I must admit that I am loving being temporarily “retired” with my parents and having picnics at the park twice a week. Although I’m pretending to be a member of AARP, I do know that I’m not waiting until I’m 65 to start enjoying my life.

Taking this much-needed break from the world has been good for me. I had to be reminded of what’s important and now that I’m in a good place, I remember how much I enjoy being creative. Writing freely without the expectation of perfection brings me joy. Sharing my thoughts, interesting moments and life’s lessons is my gift and my therapy. Stay tuned and enjoy!