2022 UNunrecommendations

WordPress reminded me today that it’s been exactly one year since I started Sunny Daze🌞. What a journey! I love having this space to say what’s on my mind and I really, really love being surrounded (metaphysically) by fellow writers, poets, creators. WordPress is a good place to be.. me. I’m accepted for who I am and what I say, even if it’s a little crazy, or opinionated, or just plain ridiculous. I’m so thankful for this space. So thank you! πŸ’•πŸ₯³

That being said, I took the time to scroll through my blog today and WOW, how things have changed. There have been little changes, big changes, and some serious internal changes. I think these changes needed to happen. I like me more today than I did a year ago.

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw my first ever blog post was entitled “2021 unrecommendations.” While there was some good advice scattered in there, I can’t help but think that blog was the perfect summarization of what was going on with me internally. I didn’t think I knew a whole heck of a lot, and anything I did know, I figured I learned in a negative way. Thus, those were my unrecommendations… my attempt to stop you from making the same “mistakes” that I made.

Mistakes are funny like that though – a kind of necessary evil. I regret changing my medication around, but I will never regret all that I learned about my mental state and my mental fortitude. I probably didn’t need to drink a gallon of water a day.. but man, did my kidneys perform at top notch for like a week straight. 🀣.

All of that is to say, I’m in a different place now. I trust my head and heart. I trust my intuition. I trust myself to have decent advice. So, without further ado, please see my 2022 UNunrecomendations (also known as “recommendations”).

First (and this is important), I have seen a lot of people posting about not claiming 2022 as your year.. or to “tread lightly”. People are requesting a sneak preview to 2022, before they full blown commit. Undoubtedly, the last year, or two, have been hard, challenging, and isolating; and in some cases, lonely and heartbreaking. I don’t want to understate that, because it’s the truth for 99.9% of us.

I, also, fully want to acknowledge that the majority of these people, sharing the “tread lightly” sentiment, are joking. At least, I think they are. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ but I cannot imagine a worse way to go into 2022 (hear me out!).

I’m not recommending that everyone disregard all CDC guidelines, county mandates, and go out there (into society) willy-nilly, like there isn’t a pandemic going on. But I think at this point, we all know our comfort level. We know when we don’t feel well, when we need to be more protective and preventative, and when we need to take care of ourselves… even if it’s for others.

So, my advice? Live with your whole heart. Work hard when you are at work, but remember to balance that with some serious play time. Throw yourself into your hobbies and find out what you are good at (and even bad at), and get better. Nourish your body with good food. Enjoy good meals, without guilt, and in good company. Prioritize your health, but don’t compromise your happiness. Stay active. If you are able to be around friends and family, be with them… wholly. Enjoy the conversations, absorb the lessons, memorize the stories. Be present. Take it day by day, because honestly, that’s all we are promised.

Instead of treading lightly into 2022, I recommend busting in, full force, and ready to live. Here’s the thing, the time is going to pass regardless. This is not to be read as a “screw all of society and be selfish” directive, but really.. a reality check of sorts. The. Time. Will. Pass. Regardless.

Secondly, I advise that you use judgment. You’ll notice I didn’t say to use good judgment or bad judgment – just judgment. Sometimes, I think you need to make the bad choice. Use your brain, make a decision, and stand by it. You can always use different (potentially, better) judgment to get yourself out of jam. Trust that old noggin of yours, you’ve made it this far, so you must be doing something mostly right. Use judgment, because those are the lessons you’ll remember and they are the experiences that stick with you. If you do something dumb, fix it and move on. Your judgment will only get better over time. Allow yourself to grow.. through all the good choices and the sometimes bad choices.

Thirdly, invest in yourself. The only person that you are truly always going to be surrounded by is yourself, so you might as well be someone that you like. Habits are hard to break, but it’s even harder to be in a state of mind or be a type of person that you cannot stand. . I’m here to tell you, it’s much easier to be around someone you like than someone you dislike.. especially if it’s your own mind that you dislike.

What does that look like? For me, it’s consciously choosing to program and reprogram (and reprogram again) my thoughts. I’m tired of being negative. I’m tired of expecting the worst and assuming the worst. My mind isn’t always a fun place to be, but I’m determined to change that in 2022. I am unfollowing social media accounts and people that bring me down or bring out the worst in me. I’m cutting out toxic friendships and relationships. I am working on controlling my initial thought pattern, from something negative to something positive (or at least less critical and harmful). I am cultivating the friendships that bring out the best of me. I am spending time figuring out what I like to do, whether it be running (seems unlikely 🀣), reading murder mysteries, climbing back on the horse (literally), cooking, or taking the time to snuggle my pups. I’m investing in myself, after all… I am my own biggest investment.

Fourthly, take time to rest. Some would probably tell you that I have resting DOWN… and really don’t need to work on “improving this skill”. It’s true, I do love bed. But I mean a different kind of rest, one I’m not so good at. I’m working on taking time to rest my mind. I am giving myself a break, from my to do lists and my work stress. I’m taking a break from the planning for the future and goal making. I’m resting my brain. Sometimes, you just don’t need to be racing from one thought to the next. I’m trying to learn to enjoy the quiet… but I’ll admit that it’s the work in progress. Quiet mind, quiet heart, less anxiety… at least, I’m assuming.

So.. that’s it, at least for now. These are my UNunrecommendations. Run into 2022 heart and head wide open, expectations high, but also curbed and realistic. Invest in yourself and your mental well-being. And rest, do a lot of authentic resting.

At least, that’s what I am doing. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ. We will see how it goes. I have to admit, I made chicken tamales today.. and that always makes me feel like I really have my life together. 🀣 Maybe we should talk about this again tomorrow.

Happy 2022, sweet friends. Thanks for being here. And remember.. there are always sunny daze ahead 🌞


Published by SunnyDazeAhead

Well... it's happening, due to high demand, and my monstrous ego, I've decided to blog. Simply put, I can't imagine who wouldN'T want to read my crazy antics and get to know the inner-workings of my semi-stable brain. Maybe, you'll laugh (hopefully, WITH me). Maybe you'll cry or maybe you'll get bored. It's really up to you what you take from this, all I can promise is brutal honesty, a heavy dose of sarcasm, some cuss words (I am who I am, sorry dad), and a little insanity. My mom has also recommended I share some of my recipes.. so maybe that too. The face behind the blog is... hard to put into words and words are "kinda" my thing. I am loud, I am outspoken, I am silly, I am sarcastic. I am wildly defensive of my loved ones. I have an anxious mind and I spend a LOT of time trying to keep my brain from spiraling into worst case scenarios. I work hard to keep my mind a happy, optimistic place, which I have come to realize is not my mind's natural habitat. I spend almost all my time with my three dogs: Lucy, Brantley, and Zeppelyn, who I am convinced are the greatest beings on the planet. I probably love my parents TOO much, but I am blessed to share a very close friendship with both and it is REALLY important to me that I never take that for granted. I love a boy, I have loved the same boy for years now, and I moved for him and honestly; home is where he is. Fine, his name is Matt and he is most definitely TAKEN, so back off ladies. I am a KC Native; a Jayhawk by choice, and an Omaha- Transplant. I spent my entire life telling everyone I was going to be a doctor, only to turn out to be an attorney in the scheme of things (I am proud of that, it is just not where I saw my life going). I am often convinced that I should have been born in a small town (John Cougar Mellencamp- Style) and any part of my heart not occupied by the dogs and Matt, is occupied by the late, but no less great Star, my horse/partner/best friend of 15 years. That's right, I am a former "Horse Hottie" and it is one of my favorite things about myself. Otherwise, I try to be a kind, generous, and a good person. Sometimes, I think I am misunderstood, and other times, I am understood a little too well. My face will tell you anything that I SOMEHOW manage to filter my mouth from saying. Oh, and I think I need all baby animals: zoo animals, farm animals, ALL the animals. That should pretty much wrap it up -- I'm Ashley; Enneagram: Whatever. In truth, I don't know what my mission is here. I don't foresee myself saving lives, talking people off the ledge, or providing sage, creative or original life advice. I am not a parent, so parenting-advice shall not be offered. I avoid controversial topics like the plague, I don't have the urge to lead you to the Lord (but he is pretty cool if you are open to the idea), and I have no idea on how to teach, craft, DIY, counsel, or even really advise. But I can repeat what I have learned, I can tell stories, and (sometimes) I can make people laugh. Writing makes me happy. I hope my writing makes you happy. So buckle up, strap in, glue your helmet to your damn head, empty your bladder and do whatever it is that you have to do to prepare for a ride.. a wild ride. A star-studded, bronc bucking, rodeo type of ride... my very favorite type. πŸ’ƒπŸΌ Sunny daze ahead friends, probably. ❀️

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