The Importance of Finding Joy and Gratitude

Hi, friends!

Something I have struggled with lately is finding joy in the majority of daily activities. With classes over for the summer, I am mostly just working. A huge issue, at least for me, is not being able to find joy in every day things. I compare my life and daily routine to others I follow on social media and it truly is a thief of joy. I often catch myself thinking along the lines of “I wish I had her body type”, “I’m so jealous of her life”, and “their life looks perfect. I wish I had everything they do.”

I saw a video recently where someone said that just because they didn’t have what they wanted, or things that their friends have that they want, it doesn’t mean that they are never going to have those things in life. That was an eye-opener for me. Everything I want out of life, I am working towards. Everything I have now is exactly what I need. When I compare myself to others, especially in terms of material objects, I’m not appreciating and respecting all that I have in this moment. It is such an ungrateful mindset to be in and it is a part of my attitude that I am actively seeking to change. I want to be appreciative of everything I have at every stage of life, even when I don’t feel like I have a lot.

One of my best friends recently reminded me to make the most of my day when I was complaining about everything. My morning, my environment, having to go to my job on a day when I wanted to stay in bed. It hit me upside my head! In a pandemic, I should be happy to have a job that pays me well and provides a good space to work in. That falls into what I call my “Ungrateful Category.” I don’t acknowledge all of the blessings I have and that’s sad!

So that leaves the question, “how can I find joy and gratitude throughout my day?” The answer is simple. To find them in my day, I look for it. When I am annoyed that I have to drive an hour to work, I try to reword it to myself. “Instead of being irritated that I have to drive somewhere, I am going to direct my energy toward being grateful that I have a car and the ability to drive.”

It all needs to start with redirecting that energy to something that is positive. It isn’t easy in any way, especially after being so negative for a long time. It just takes one step to start going in the right direction, it all begins with being intentional. Why do you (and I) want to start actively finding joy in life? What is the purpose behind taking this step? Identifying those answers will be a great aid in this change.

All that being said, it’s important to remember that in any type of lifestyle change, change isn’t linear and it’s normal to fall back. I don’t believe in toxic positivity and trying to shoot rainbows and sparkles everywhere. Bad days happen- that’s a part of life. But in the bad days, we can still stay grateful for what we have. The point of finding joy and gratitude is to keep them present in your mind even when you’re having a bad day.

Here are some things to be grateful for in your life:

I am surrounded by beauty in the world

I have the power to create change

I am receiving blessings and will continue to be blessed

I have the ability to make the best out of my day

I am smart and have so much knowledge

I have and give love

I hope these examples can help you on hard days when it’s hard to find joy and gratitude. It’s always there, I promise!

Here’s to trying to find more joy!

xx

Featured image by Brian Garcia on Unsplash

The BEST Items For a Cozy Bedroom (You NEED These!)

Hi, friends!

I hope you are all doing okay and enjoying the nicer weather we have been getting! I know it has been such a relief here from the cold and ice!

Something I have been working on at home lately is turning more of my spaces into cozy ones. My bedroom is still a work in progress but I’ve gotten my bathroom turned into a cute little space that I like! This is my list of all the best things to turn your room into a cozy space where you enjoy spending your time!

Candles!

Candles are my favorite addition to any room because they are super cute and one candle has the power to fill an entire room with a great scent! My favorites are from Bath and Body Works, and they have sales pretty consistently so the candles get priced to $16! They are big 3-wick candles and $16 each is a steal!

Get a Plant!

A plant is going to cozy up your room instantly! Depending on the lighting of your boudoir, I highly recommend a plant that doesn’t require a lot of light. My favorite plant for a bedroom is a lucky bamboo pot. It doesn’t need a lot of light (6-10 feet away from a window!) and just needs to be watered pretty often. That’s it! If you are scared to keep a plant alive, feel free to get a few fake ones and put them in cute pots! Hobby Lobby has cute pots on sale for 40% off and they have coupons on their website. TJ Maxx and Home Goods also have affordable fake plants!

Incense

Another great way to add fragrance and cleanse your room is by lighting incense! You can find a big selection online, on Etsy small businesses, and at local crystal shops! I love cleansing my space before I go to sleep and when I need clarity!

Here’s an Etsy shop that has affordable incense in bulk!

Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are a cheaper way to add a little color and texture to your space with minimal effort. My favorite places to find cheap pillows are Five Below (they are mostly $5!) and At Home. Ross and TJ Maxx are also great places to look and while they are a little bit more expensive, their pillows are stylish too!

Soft Blankets

The power a soft blanket has on a bed is amazing. I have a soft white blanket that I drape across the edge of my bed and it brings up the style by ten points instantly! Pro tip: a white blanket makes a great backdrop for pictures and flatlays! I picked mine up at Ross for under $15! They have a ton of different blanket sizes and textures to choose from and they are all in a good price range.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Whether you believe in the power of essential oils or not, they are one of my favorite things to put in a bedroom. I love diffusing lavender oil before I go to bed and it sets the vibe and mood for sleep.

Cute Signs and Decor

My room changed once I started decorating with pieces that I actually liked! I have been able to curate my spaces based on my taste and how I feel. My style tends to change every two or three years, and I like to donate items when I want to get new things! I also recommend trying to sell unwanted items on Facebook Marketplace. It’s an easy way to get extra cash and you can opt to only sell with porch pick up or shipping for no contact with strangers during the pandemic!

I like to check local small businesses for decor and wall prints, but if I can’t find anything that I like from there, then I go to TJ Maxx or Target! The Bullseye Stop area at Target is always bringing new seasonal styles for tech gear, decor, and kitchen items, and everything is typically under $5!

When you find super cool finds, tag me on Instagram! I love seeing what you guys buy and decorate your home with! My IG is @mimiolson08!

Happy shopping, friends!

Featured image by Veronika Jorjobert on Unsplash

Day In the Life: College Student

Hi, friends!

I hope are staying safe and warm! If you are in a part of the country that is getting snow right now, I feel you! We started using our wood stove this past week because the heater went out, so that was fun!
I know this trend has been around for a while but I wanted to do my take on a Day In the Life! My days are kind of jumbled right now because our university is doing online classes right now due to the weather being so icky, but we’re going with it anyway!

Wake Up

I tend to get up anywhere from 7:30-8:30 depending on the morning. Like most people, I grab my phone to turn off my alarm and then I stay on my phone for roughly half an hour before getting out of bed to get ready for the morning. A really cool tip I found out (I’m late to the party!) is setting my phone to the “Bed Time” mode on my clock. It sets me up to go to bed and turns my phone on Do Not Disturb and sets my regular alarm (7:30) automatically. If you have an iPhone, you’ve got to try this!

Get Those Teeth Brushed

I don’t know about you but the first things I do in the morning are brush my teeth and use the bathroom! My favorite toothbrush ever is the slim GLEEM power bush. I really feel like this helps clean my teeth better than with a manual toothbrush and it’s super easy to replace the brush heads and batteries when they run out and need to be changed! After my breath is all fresh and clean, I wash my face and moisturize! My current skincare routine I’m using is from Curology (*not sponsored) because I am desperately trying to get my skin to clear up! I’m using the trial sizes right now and my fingers are crossed that it works! If you have used Curology, let me know in the comments! Lastly, I quickly throw on some brows and eyeliner, and I’m good to go!

Brekkie

I’m a huge breakfast person and one of my favorite things about waking up is making a yummy breakfast! My simple and fast breakfast is scrambled eggs, toast, and a yogurt or fruit. It takes less than 15 minutes and it fills me up until lunch! Iced coffee comes next and all I do is pop a K-cup in my Keurig and add ice, Torani vanilla syrup, and a little bit of half and half for creamer. I eat my breakfast in bed (we don’t have a kitchen table lolz) and scroll through Insta stories while I’m nomming. Nothing too interesting!

Time To Work

By this point in my day, it’s around 8:45 AM and I set up with my laptop and notebooks. I’m trying to use my desk more but I’ve gotten into the bad habit of always working in bed and I tend to stay here all day. If you have tips on how to stay productive and get out of bed, please let me know! I have been having migraines and headaches more frequently so it’s easier to stay in bed and then take a quick break when I need to. Once I’m set up in bed, the first thing I do is check my emails. With the weather like it is, I’ve been on top of my emails way more than I have been in the past so I’m always looking to see if there are new updates with our campus.

I start my classes at 9 and then take care of homework in between classes. My afternoon isn’t as busy because my class ends at 2 so I tend to take a quick nap and then work on more projects and check my deadlines to make sure that I’m all set.

Evening

I like having my evenings free so I can watch Netflix or just relax. A few hours before bed, I like to set the mood in my room to be able to get some sleep. I light candles or incense and turn off bright lights. During the evenings I also like to study and get ready for any tests or quizzes I know are coming up. Making a list of things I will need to get done the next day is something I have started to do that helps keep me organized.
After all that, I do my nighttime skin care routine and take a shower. Then I do it all the next day!

What does your daily routine look like? Let me know in the comments!

Goals for 2021

Hi, babes!

A new year always brings hopes for new beginnings and making resolutions. I don’t see making resolutions as a tacky thing because I feel like people are always wanting to grow and try to better themselves, and a new year is great motivation for healthy goals! Mine are centered around self care and learning how to love myself more than I ever have. A few of my posts this year have already been about self care and some fun little tips on how to improve, so I will have those linked in this post too!

Drinking More Water

I know right? How original! I don’t drink enough water daily and it definitely shows in my skin and overall how I feel. I get the majority of my water intake through coffee and even though I would like for it to count, I don’t think it does, haha. I have a few cute reusable water bottles to wash and then I’m carrying water with me everywhere I go!

Getting More Sleep

I do not get enough sleep! The majority of Americans don’t either, especially with the state of our country. I know I am worried about current events and it works its way into my sleeping schedule. Burning candles, diffusing oils, and wearing a sleep mask are things that help me sleep better at night! Make sure to blow out candles before you go to bed! For more tips on how to get a better night sleep, check out my latest post here!

Protecting My Peace

What does this mean? To me it means that I am protecting myself from things that are going to take away from my energy. This could be putting a barrier in a relationship for things that drain my energy or turning off the news when I begin to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to step back from the news when it takes over your emotions! If my family starts to stress me out or I begin to feel irritated, that’s a sign for me to distance myself and regroup my emotions so I don’t do/say something I don’t mean and that I will regret. Part of protecting my peace is also letting things go when I can. I like to consider the 48 Hour Rule when it comes to being angry. I take 48 hours to try to let things go and if I am still upset after that time has passed, I calmly approach the situation and have a conversation about my emotions.

Nourishing My Body

I don’t eat as well as I should. There, I said it. My goal is to eat better to fuel my body so that I feel my very best. I tend to not eat as much as I should depending on my mood. If I feel fat, I won’t eat as often as I need to. It’s not a healthy habit and I am trying to break it. My body is beautiful at any size and it deserves to be nourished.

What are some of your goals for 2021? Comment down below!

Until next time,

A Brutally Honest Review of 2020

Hello, friends!

I know we still have a few weeks left to 2020 and I am so grateful to hopefully have a year that is better than the one we had this year. We have all been hit in some way or another by the hardships that 2020 pitched at us, and somehow we made it to where we are now. On the brink of a new year, there’s the hope that things start in a merrier fashion than how our 2020 started. I wanted to write this for a few reasons. Firstly, I wanted to be able to look back and see how far I made it, even though I currently don’t feel as though I’ve made it far at all. Secondly, I hope this is able to prompt you to review your own 2020 experience and see how far you have come!

A preface for this post: this is my story and me talking about my year. Mental health has been an immense part of my year, so if this isn’t for you, please go check out my previous post!

Let’s get into it!

January: holy moly. It was exciting to start a new year! I had just reconnected in a relationship and had high hopes for things working out. I turned in my notice at my job so I could go to school and work as a CNA. My parents were getting more serious about moving, and my stress and anxiety were starting to team up on me.

February: February was a really good month for me. While I was still worried with the potential of having to move (spoiler alert: I moved), I was making friends in my healthcare classes and was offered two jobs once I left the class. I was scared, but I took the jump.

March: this is where things turned. My anxiety started to creep up and I lacked confidence in my new job. I loved the people I looked after but the environment wasn’t my favorite. On top of that, I had started looking for places with my former partner and that added more stress at home.

April: work was starting to be more of an anxiety producer than I could handle and I turned in my resignation. My partner and I were hitting rocks and I was looking for places on my own. Call it divine intervention or the universe’s plan to begin implementing something better, but I ended up moving. At the end of April, my partner and I closed the chapter on our relationship and I was getting ready to pack up and move.

May: this was the worst month. My parents closed on our old home (my favorite home) and we stayed in two extended stay hotels while they figured out the deal on our new house. It wasn’t an easy process but we moved in during the middle of May. I almost moved back to my hometown after a successful job interview but once again, the universe said no. That one was most definitely a blessing. My depression was the worst it has ever been, much to the chagrin of 15 year old me who thought life was over in high school. I cried more than I had in years, I clung to whoever would talk to me, and I hated life.

June: I tried coming to terms with my new living situation but I was still struggling. I wasn’t happy, my mental health was at an all time low, and I felt completely lost. I put in countless job applications and after a solid month of not finding anything, I made the decision to go back to school. I tried college in 2018 and hated it, so I was hesitant and scared to start again.

July: the application process for my new university went fast, everything fell into place, and I was accepted into my dream school. During this month, I started seeing patterns in certain areas in life and tried to protect my peace and energy. That attempt failed and I continuously struggled with my mental health. Most of the moving boxes had finally been unpacked from my room and I tried my best to make a new safe space for myself.

August: this month was a fresh start. I fell in love with being in college and was so excited to feel like I might belong somewhere. This was where I first started to determine which cups poured into me and which ones didn’t. My anxiety was still a monkey on my back and depression trailed behind as always.

September & October: both of these months were blended together. I learned a lot about myself and I truly sought out peace. My therapist was a saving grace and helped me work through big potholes. COVID took the biggest emotional toll on me these months. I was tired of not going anywhere and seeing everyone else around me going out. I was jealous but I also valued my health and tried to find ways to be happy and productive at home, as most of us have done since beginning quarantine.

November: a month focused on recognition, thankfulness, and forgiveness. November kind of sucked. I started feeling at home in my new city but still felt out of place. I felt alone and I started depending on myself more as my own best friend.

December: so far this month has been okay. I passed my finals and made amazing grades in my classes. I never thought I would be able to do that. Now I am trying to focus on renewal and making sure I protect my peace and energy first. If it doesn’t bring me joy, I don’t do it. If they don’t pour into me, I don’t pour myself into them. I’ve spent so much of my life taking care of others first and making sure my energy was focused on them. Now my energy is going to me.

With all of the death, depression, hardships, and emotional struggles we have faced in 2020, somehow we made it past all of it. You and I are here today to tell our stories, help others, and learn more lessons about ourselves. Because of 2020, we have seen the best and worst sides of people. I have never seen more selfish displays than I have in my entire life. I learned patience, resilience, and I am still trying to learn how to love myself. It’s a hard journey. Trying to get in a good spot with mental health is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but I have to do it for myself, and you have to do it for yourself. If someone doesn’t pour into you as much as you do them, reevaluate your situation. If you are unhappy with how things are going in your life, what are you doing to try to improve them? You are so much stronger than you realize!

As Moira Rose would say, “Don’t let the bastards get you down!”

Encore nous portons!

Featured image by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

5 Free Phone Wallpapers Just In Time for Christmas!

Hi, friends!

Christmas is right around the corner and if you are anything like me, that means it is time to set a new and super festive wallpaper for your home screen! 2020 has been a rough year so I think it is perfectly acceptable to get into the Christmas spirit a bit early!

These 5 wallpapers are completely free to take and use for your personal wallpaper!

Neon Christmas

This wallpaper is a simple design but with some pink neon dazzle!

Ho Ho Ho

Here’s a simple pine needle design with a touch of neon flair!

Happy Holidays

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Enjoy the season with a simple glitter design!

Merry Christmas and Mittens

Have yourself a cozy little Christmas with this cozy neon background!

Merry and Bright and Peppermints

Add a little touch of sweetness to your home screen with this merry and bright design!

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season this year! 2020 has definitely thrown all of us for a loop and I hope that 2021 brings us more joy and times with family. Please don’t forget to mask up and try your best to socially distance while you do your holiday shopping this year!

Lots of love and hugs,

The BEST Spooky Movies For All Year

Happy November, friends!

October is hands down one of my favorite months and there’s nothing more fun than curling up with a blanket and watching fun fall movies! I originally started this in October and thought I had published it a few days before Halloween but life got the better of me and I forgot to schedule this! But, all of these movies are great for watching at any point during the year!

First up is a classic in my house and I watch it all year, but especially in October during spooky season! Beetlejuice is by far my favorite Tim Burton movie and I am obsessed with it! The cast makes this an iconic film and the dinner party scene is everything!

Keeping with the Burton theme, Edward Scissorhands is in my top 5 Burton films! Once again, Wynona Rider is cast and her character is a stark contrast to Lydia from Beetlejuice. She trades her jet black hair for long blonde locks and pink clothing. And you can never go wrong with Johnny Depp!

Another iconic film director who produces spooky themed movies is Guillermo del Toro. Crimson Peak (2015) is by far one of my favorite films to watch at any point during the year but it hits home in the fall! It’s Victorian style and ghastly setting are two of my favorite themes of this movie and it also has a star cast! Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Jessica Chastain are only three of the big names in Crimson Peak, and they seamlessly portray characters who intrigue with secrets and mystery.

If you have coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, then IT probably isn’t for you! There are two film versions- one from 1990 and one from 2017- and I actually love both! The original version from 1990 stars Tim Curry and is certainly a classic! I remember being absolutely terrified when I first saw it in my childhood so when the second adaptation was released in 2017, I knew it would knock my socks off! Bill Skarsgard is the new Pennywise the clown and he did an incredible job filling Tim Curry’s shoes. He brought a fresh approach to the infamous clown and in my opinion, he was scarier than Tim Curry!

For a long haul film big, get cozy and watch the Harry Potter series! If you don’t have them on DVD or want to rent them, they are currently FREE on Peacock during the month of October so there’s still time to watch them all before the end of the month! I only started watching Harry Potter and got the books a few years ago, and I am obsessed!

For a quick psychological thriller, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village is a great movie that also scared the crap out of me as a kid! It is one of my favorite movies and I love watching it and feeling like it’s the first time I’m seeing it! It’s such a mind twist!

“Good evening, Clarice”…I didn’t say it but you probably already know what movie I’m talking about! Silence of the Lambs is one of the most famous films that is referenced and quoted! Anthony Hopkins did such an incredible job portraying Hannibal Lecter and he brought goosebumps to arms everywhere with his sinister role in the movie. It’s spooky, slightly gory, and brings a new meaning to stranger danger!

My final go to spooky movie in October is An Americal Werewolf in London! Maybe it’s because they play CCR in it or because it has werewolves, but I truly love this movie! Remember: stay off the moor!

That’s my lineup for spooky movies! If you watch any of these films, let me know in the comments or tag me in your movie posts on social media: @mimiolson08!

Happy movie binging!

Featured image by Georgia Vagim on Unsplash

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Happy Life

Hey y’all!

It’s no secret that I have been in and out in the past few months and a lot of that is because I have been searching. I have felt so lost since I started college way back in August and it only got worse after I left school in October. I’ve had four jobs since college, no idea where I’m going, and lots of flipping and flopping around. Finally, I’ve started having a step to what I have been searching for.

I’m finally in a work environment that I love and where the people love you back, and let me tell you, for me personally, that means so much. If you think about it, you will probably spend more time at work interacting with co-workers than you do at home during the week. That’s a lot of time to be around people and I hope you enjoy their company. Having friends at work is amazing and having ones that support you and make your day better by just being there is the best.

My dream for years has been to join a school where I can eventually work in conservation to help sea turtles and rehabilitate them. I talked with a school for a few months and after talking with my awesome advisor more, I made the jump and applied- and was accepted! Another step to chasing my dream.

I talk a lot about fitness, eating good foods, and trying to be overall healthier to my body and mind. Losing weight is something I would love to be able to do in the blink of an eye but I cannot do that. However, after consistently going to the gym and making better decisions, I have finally started to lose some weight and I feel so much healthier! Something I love to help me keep track of my day is Lifesum (yes, we have been through this before, I know!).

Lifesum is a free app that helps count your calories, keep track of drinking water, find yummy recipes, and so much more. I would love to be a Super Human and be able to drink only water, but I love a good Diet Coke every now and then, too! Lifesum helps me keep track of all of that! A feature that I love is the barcode scanner! When you eat something, all you have to do is scan the barcode on the packaging and it will probably have it in the system already so all you have to do is add it to your daily food log! It’s easy and quick!

I feel so much healthier than I used to and staying with a routine has been one of the best things I have done. My tip: use all the resources you can, drink lots of water, and find a workout buddy to keep you (and them!) accountable. I work out with my lovely boyfriend Caleb at least 3 times a week and we are stronger for it!

Your body holds deep wisdom. Trust in it. Learn from it. Nourish it. Watch your life transform and be healthy.” – Bella Bleue

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*This post is not sponsored by Lifesum or their affiliates. I just love the app!
*Feature cover photo Oliver Cole on Unsplash

A Pledge To Healthy Living

Pledge To

Hi, friends!

The year is almost to an end and we have made it through another 365 days. How crazy is that? There were many days this year where I was ready for a new year and now that it is on the horizon, I find myself reflecting on so many things that have happened in my life this year. I dropped out of college, I entered a new relationship, and I started a new job that I truly love- and those are just a few changes that happened in the latter part of this year!

One of the things that people often promise to with a new year is a change in lifestyle. There are promises to eat less fast food, eat organic, join a gym, and starting new diets, and I confess that I have been one of those people who declared such pledges but after a month of “trying” failed. This year (like most years, haha!) is going to be different. I sit for hours looking at smoothie bowls on Pinterest, cute vegan meals on Instagram, and other healthy things that I would love to try but seldom do, so I decided that 2019 is going to be the year that I try those lovely smoothie bowls! Will I be surprised if by February I end up slipping and eat a toaster strudel for breakfast instead of something more wholesome? No, in fact I will meet my expectations, but that’s okay. I’m excited to try new things and eat better.

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One of the things that I help to hold me accountable to what I eat is an app called Lifesum. It is a free and super easy to use app where you can keep track of your calories, water drinking, and exercise during the day. There are also different lifestyle plans to try out that come with cool recipes and tips. I am on the paid plan to get more access to the app, recipes, and lifestyle plans, and it is really affordable to be on this plan.

This is not an ad for Lifesum and it isn’t sponsored either- I just love having something other than a food diary to keep me on track and I want to share it with y’all!

I hope you all have a happy and safe new year! Here’s to 2019!

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Absences & Mind Sets

Hi, friends!

I hope you are all having a great week and a fabulous summer. Here in Oklahoma we are experiencing another season of uncomfortable heat and it is less than fun to be sure. I’ve been pretty absent here and on my social medias lately. Taking breaks from blogging is never fun and I am the worst at taking them. I always think I stay away for too long and when I do end up coming back to blog, it won’t be worth it. Welcome to the highs and lows of Mimi. So in every aspect, I let myself down when I set goals for the month because I get sidetracked or things happen and my focus goes away.

With college starting up really soon, I know I am not going to be here as much as I used to be or as much as I would like to be. And you know what? That’s okay. It isn’t going to be the end of the world and the universe won’t explode if I don’t have a consistent blogging schedule. I would rather get a degree and work in my passion.

As for mind sets (Because we all could use a super positive mindset where we only build ourselves up!), I am working on mine. I don’t like being confused and right now, I feel majorly confused about everything that is going on in my life. The balance has been knocked out of alignment and that really freaks me out. With major life changes happening, I know that it is normal to feel this way and to want things to be centered again. Going with the flow is not one of my strong suits and I need to work on trusting that everything is going to work out.

One of my favorite songs is “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

It is relaxing and is my go-to song for when I am about to have an anxiety or panic attack. All I have to do is plug in the music and let it flow into my soul.

So in all of the changes going on in my life and through all the confusion, I’m trying to remember that it is going to be okay. Going with the flow is good. My wish for you is that you can go with the flow, too. Let’s all relax and “Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun.”

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