Friday, January 10, 2014

I Simply Remember My Favorite Things, And Then I Don't Feel So Bad

If I'm being completely honest, it hasn't been a very good week. I'm on the verge of getting ill, and not feeling quite as optimistic as I usually do. This is probably for three reasons:
  1. the weather (I'm still not used to the cold even though I've been back for 3 years.)
  2. the job hunt (I'm submitting and getting myself out there, but haven't heard back yet.)
  3. a complicated situation (This is more about my sister, but I am desperate to help her.)
But I really don't want to be sad in this post; we can save that for another day (read: I'd rather not). Instead, I'm going to use this post as a way to cheer myself up! So, get ready for a bunch of lists of songs and things that help me feel more cheerful and hopeful about the future.

First up, here are some songs that I've been listening to. They seem to help keep my spirits on an even keel, leaning heavily towards the positive! It's an interesting mix of pop songs, songs from movies and worship songs - but it works.
  1. Roar by Katy Perry ("I've got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire.")
  2. Change by Taylor Swift ("These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down.")
  3. Brave by Sara Bareilles ("Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out.")
  4. Cannonball by Lea Michele ("I got this new beginning, and I will fly")
  5. Let it Go from "Frozen"("And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all.")
  6. My Favorite Things from "The Sound of Music("When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad.")
  7. Go the Distance from "Hercules" ("I know every mile will be worth my while.")
  8. Still by Hillsong ("I will soar with you above the storm.")
  9. It Is Well With My Soul by Hillsong Chapel ("By Your grace, it is well.")
  10. Sinking Deep by Hillsong Young and Free ("Your love so deep is washing over me.")
Here are a few other things that are cheering me up as well:
  • my new Keurig (This technically belongs to me & Macky, as it was a wedding present.)
  • my new laptop (I am so grateful to my parents + grandmother for this Christmas present.)
  • reading Cress (I am enjoying flailing to my friends - *coughs* Judith + Jen *coughs*)
  • YouTubers (like Grace and Zoella
  • neon-colored socks (My baby sister and I are obsessed with these.)
  • book mail (Actually, just mail in general. Except when they happen to be bills.)
  • living in New York (Because seriously, there is nothing cooler to me.)
  • my amazing husband (who knows just what to say, and makes me smile with Viber stickers)
  • my family & best friends (who have been so supportive, helpful and loving)
  • my sister, Melissa (who is the best roommate/friend I could have asked for in this season)
And then, of course, there's this blog and all of you! It's so wonderful to be able to interact with so many of you via Twitter (seriously, feel free to tweet with me on there). And it's still such a heart-warming experience to see that so many of you visit the blog and leave wonderful comments too (which I have to learn how to respond to better). Plus, I'm obsessed with this amazing new design that Rachel cooked up for me!

So yes, I simply remember these happy things... and I really don't feel so bad.
Here's to hoping that 2014 goes easy on me in the weeks to come, including a breakthrough or two!

YOUR TURN - How has your first week of 2014 been - good, bad or in between? Feel free to share your stories, your favorite pump-up songs and the things that are making you happy right now in the comments. I would love to hear all about them!

36 comments:

  1. Alexa, you are the most positive person I know. In the last two or so years that I've known you, I don't think I've ever seen you be negative. It's just not your character! And you know what? It's something I adore and admire about you. You always look for the brighter side in every situation. Such an awesome quality.

    As for my first week of 2014.. it's been in between. Nothing too spectacular, but nothing too terrible either. I'm gearing myself up for the big state certification exam I am planning to take early next week + Spring classes begin soon after that (like the next day!). So that's where my mind is currently at. Focus. Focus. Focus.

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    1. Ginger, the first paragraph of your comment made me want to cry! You've reminded me of something that I've always loved about myself, and it made me feel a bit more positive in spite of everything that's going on.

      Good luck with your exam! I know you can do it. You're going to be a BRILLIANT teacher, and those kids in your future class will be so lucky to have you.

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  2. I'm sorry you're having a rough week, Alexa. Sometimes it feels like nothing goes right. I really like you decided to focus on things that make you happy, though. It's not easy, so all the more to you. I hope things get better!! When I'm done I tend to read major comfort, escapist reads (like historical romance).

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Quinn! And for the advice, as I'd almost forgotten how much fun it can be to read things (especially historical romances, which are always fun to read) to escape from a bad day (or in my case, week). I think I might just settle in with one tonight!

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  3. I'm sorry you're having a rough week. :( I hope you feel better soon! Tea, blankets, and naps are a must!

    "It Is Well" is one of my favorite hymns! That version is really pretty too. Hillsong's "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" is one of my all-time favorite worship songs. I love the part that says "You've never failed, and You won't start now."

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    1. Thank you, Terri! Tea (particularly my current favorite, Lady Grey Tea) and cozy blankets are certainly a must in this dreadfully chilly weather.

      I absolutely love Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail) as well! It's such a brilliant worship song, and it often reminds me to trust in the God who knows best. I've heard it a couple of times at Hillsong NYC, and it's beautiful.

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  4. I hate that you're having a rough week but love that you're able to focus on the things you love to help cheer yourself up! That's one of the best ways I've found! And know that if you ever need anything, I'm just a text message away!

    2014 has been pretty beige so far, but I think it'll get colorful soon! Whenever I'm having a bad day/week, I try to focus on things that will take my mind off of things - books, TV shows/movies, chatting with friends. Seems to do the trick!

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    1. Thank you, C! I'll definitely keep that in mind. Having awesome friends like you is one of the things that definitely makes my happy list :)

      I hope it gets colorful! Everyone deserves to have lots of color in their lives, no matter what area it may be in. And thanks for the advice -- I've been book binging, and it has worked out REALLY well so far ;)

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  5. Job hunting is a pain in the patootie. Best of luck to you! I hope next week is better for you!

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    1. Thank you, Dena! I appreciate the well wishes. Here's to hoping the perfect job will open up for me -- and that I'll be hired to fill that opening.

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  6. I think it's great to have things to lift your mood when it's a rough day or a rough day. Because those happen. I am sorry to that 2014 is off to a difficult start.

    I love listening to music when I'm stressed or just down because it changes my emotions so much faster than anything else. I also remind myself of the things I'm thankful for and that genuinely turns my mood around pretty quickly :)

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    1. Your advice, particularly about remembering what I'm thankful for, is so helpful! It actually does make me feel better to consider all the things in my life that are going well or holding strong in the face of all these negative things.

      And music! I adore music. I don't listen to my favorite songs nearly enough. Lately, my new focus has been on listening (over and over) to the songs I want to master singing, which was kind of wearing thin on my musical enjoyment. I think I'll take a break and listen to stuff just for fun!

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  7. I'm sorry 2014 hasn't started off so well for you! :( But you're amazing for being able to focus on the positive, but just in case, I'm sending you virtual hugs and brownies! I hope things start going better for you soon!
    2014 has been sorta weird for me so far, but it can only get better right? :)

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    1. Aww, Daisy, thank you! I'm definitely accepting the virtual hugs and brownies. I miss being able to chat with you <3 Yes, 2014 can only get better from here for the both of us!

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  8. I'm sorry to hear 2014 hasn't been the best for you so far! For me it's been tiring but definitely worthwhile with my little man. He makes my slow reading worth it. :)

    Keurig for the win! LOVE mine. We actually use it for the hot water a lot when we have tea. Much easier than getting the kettle out (even though some days you just need the kettle ...).

    If I can add to the theme of your song list, here's a song that I love listening to (*cough*that I wrote*cough*) when I'm feeling sad. It's one of my favourite songs of mine and always cheers me up -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKR8o-0fDYk

    I hope your 2014 gets better! :)

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    1. I just want you to know that I think your son is super cute! It always warms my heart to see your updates, photo and otherwise, about him. Still so happy for you and the Mr!

      As for the Keurig, yes, I'M IN LOVE. I use it for EVERYTHING at the moment - coffee, hot chocolate, tea. It's probably my favorite gift from 2013!

      Your song is lovely! I think your voice has an amazing quality to it. I have to agree - there's something very comforting about this song. Thank you for sharing it with me <3

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  9. Sorry things are a bit rough, but that's great you are trying to focus on the positive. Always a good thing to do! I LOVE "Let it Go" from Frozen. I really want to see that movie again. :-)

    I'm also really loving "Love Me Again" by John Newman. It's an upbeat song; makes me want to dance.

    -Lauren

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    1. Yes! I listen to that song a lot these days, mostly because I love the message I get from parts of it. The movie was super cute too! I watched it with my sister, and we were both sobbing messes right at the start.

      I just had to look up the song you shared with me. It really is dance-y! There's just something about it that makes me want to get up and shake it. Thanks for the song suggestion! :)

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  10. Aww, Alexa, those three things do kind of suck! But this is such a cute post to make you feel better! Roar and Brave are really great songs, as is Let It Go! Though I've heard all three of those far too many times :D Neon-colored socks! YES ^_^

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I love that you commented on the neon-colored socks. Seriously, I'm OBSESSED with them! They make me so happy whenever I look down at my feet and see a bright pop of color.

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  11. I'm so sad to hear that you've been having a rough time lately. I'm glad you found things that make your day a bit brighter though. I love all the songs you included. I listen to them too when I'm having a rough day. Mail is pretty great too though it usually is bills, or flyers. It makes when I get actual mail all the more better though. And yay for Grace and Zoella. Watching light hearted and funny videos are a great way to get my spirits up and Grace does an especially great job at that. And though I haven't been to New York ever (planning on changing that as soon as I can), I totally agree with you. It's so cool! :)

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    1. Thanks, Annie! And yes, getting actual mail - from family, friends or publishers - usually makes my day. I just love seeing handwritten notes or getting new books I'm excited for!

      YAY, a fellow Grace fan! My sister just introduced me to Grace's videos (on her old channel, though I follow her new one) and she is HILARIOUS. I laugh whenever I watch one of her posts, so that's awesome.

      I hope you get a chance to come to New York! It's an amazing place, a center for creativity and it's a great place to visit.

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  12. I am sorry to hear that your 2014 started out badly, but I so admire your optimism! The weather has been horrible this week (-39 degrees Celsius in Canada) so that has been miserable, and I finally read Allegiant this week so that didn't help my mood at all.

    I also watch youtube videos when I am in a bad mood (the Shaytards always cheer me up!) and I also enjoy watching my guilty pleasure tv shows like New Girl and the Bachelor!

    I hope you feel better soon! x

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    1. Thank you, Kristin! Sorry to hear about that awful weather where you are. I'm already freezing in NYC, and our temperatures are nowhere near that low! Hope you're staying warm and cozy with something hot to drink at hand.

      Also, Allegiant would probably make anyone's good mood take a bit of a nosedive. While I could appreciate it, it wasn't what I expected. Oh well. You can't always get what you want, right?

      Ooh, I'd never heard of the Shaytards before. It's interesting that they're a whole family! I'll have to give it a watch. And I LOVE New Girl! That show always makes me laugh. 2 Broke Girls, too!

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  13. I'm so sorry that 2014 is starting off in the best way! *sends hugs* But things will get better!

    You're music list is just made of awesome. Because Frozen and Taylor Swift and Katy Perry! And I honestly read my favorite books or watch some cute movie or a TV show I love to make myself feel better!

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    1. Thanks, Kailia! It makes me so happy that we share musical tastes ;) And yes, all those suggestions to help myself feel better sound FANTASTIC. I'm currently in the middle of book binging and it is the GREATEST.

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  14. :( I'm sorry 2014 isn't as happy as it should be!! I hope everything works out though! You know I'm always around if you need to talk anything out.

    I'm so glad you have your little list of happy-making things. I have one too, which is really, really important for sad days.

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    1. Thank you, Gaby! (I really need to figure out when we are meeting for brunch and such soon because I MISS YOUR FACE.) Having this little list, which changes with time and new things, is definitely a nice thing! It's a fail-safe way to find something to make me smile and feel better :)

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  15. Alexa, I hope that everything works out for the best for you! This was a really great post to read about! I'm a fan of watching Youtubers, listening to music, watching tv or a movie, or reading when I'm not feeling my best too, and I've been sick this past week, so that's been unfortunate. However, Bout of Books is something that really has been fun for me to take part in, even though I've been sick for it. I'm also doing the Incarnate ReadAThon, and I've been looking forward to that since December, and I'm so happy to finally be getting into the series.
    Let It Go is definitely one of my favorite scenes and songs from Frozen, and although I haven't heard many others of your songs, I've heard that one, Roar, and Change. Thank you for sharing this!

    Violet :)

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    1. Thank you, Violet! I appreciate that you loved this post. I'm sorry to hear that you're sick -- I hope you get better real quick.

      Bout of Books is always such a fun event! I should have signed up for this round, but I guess I'm going to have to wait until the next one in May. And I'm so happy that you're joining me + Bonnie for the Incarnate Read-a-Thon! The series is FANTASTIC and more people deserve to know about.

      Happy listening, as well! I hope you enjoy the other tracks I've included on my playlist.

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    2. Thank you for the music suggestions- those are always appreciated. I know you've mentioned how important music is to you, and I can definitely relate. Bout of Books was a lot of fun, it would be fun tod o the May one as well! I'm so glad for the opprotunity to read the Incarnate series, I'm reading through and loving it so far! It's been a lot of fun, and I always enjoy reading along with others. And thank you for the well wishes :)

      Violet

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  16. I'm sorry the week has not been the best! =( But you're so positive to be looking on the bright side and making a list that helps you feel cheerful! I definitely turn to music too when I'm feeling down.

    I ADORE let it go, as you know. =) I love Hillsong! I actually haven't listened to them recently but those snippets of the lyrics remind me how much I love them! yay for neon colored socks and a new laptop! I don't think I own a single pair of white socks... maybe one. Fun socks are the best!

    Hope things start looking up! =)

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    1. Thanks, Wendy! Yes, I've found that music is something that helps ease my worry/sadness/anger at any time. Worship music is particularly effective for that, and I really love the stuff that Hillsong comes up with!

      P.S. Fun, colorful, patterned socks are TOTALLY the best.

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  17. I've had a horrible day today so reading this post was actually just what I needed. Not to learn that your week hasn't been so good (I REALLY hope it gets better for you!), but because of the songs you shared which are bound to cheer me up. Going to listen to them now ;)
    Also, you inspired me to think about the good things in my life. Thanks for this post <3

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your bad day (Boo :( I hope it gets better for you too!), but I'm happy that my "feel good" songs are helpful (I hope). Thinking about the good things in my life, even if they're tiny things, is just a nice way to remind myself that there's still stuff to celebrate and be glad about.

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  18. I'm sorry you had a rough week. :( I really hope things are better now! I can totally relate, though, my past week hasn't been very fun either, and the next will be tough as well. In fact, I'm reading your post at the perfect time. I'm currently listening to the songs you listed (some are favorites of mine as well - Change, Let It Go, Brave) and I think I should make a list of things that are GOOD. Your positivity is inspiring, because I often feel myself only focusing on the negative, and that never helps. What I find helps for me is allow myself to listen to one song that makes me sad (often this is Demons by Imagine Dragons) and then get it over with by listening to all kinds of happy songs (often these include One Direction and Taylor Swift, or very loud songs like Fall Out Boy). It really works for me. Here's to better things and better weeks! <3

    ps. Your Cress updates were fabulous. And the book was fabulous. And Marissa Meyer is fabulous.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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