Happy anyway

Something happened to me a few months ago that I found surprising, I was given an award for happiest playlist on Spotify. How does one win an award like that you ask? Shut up an Dance with Me on repeat for 60 days straight. That’s how!

But really, Spotify had an event in the office and for fun (or public music shaming purposes) they had a company analyze everyone’s playlists (you had to opt in but it still outed a few unsuspecting beliebers). They shared results of the overall office tendencies,  Drake was by far the most popular artist, more country fans than I expected but nothing to weird unfortunately. I was presented with the “Ray of Sunshine” award which meant I had the happiest music in my playlists.  Now I know some of that sunshine was based on Lo’s kidz bop playlist and the fact that she listens to Cupid Shuffle (or Stupid Shuffle as she calls it) on repeat 20 times a day. But when I actually looked at my song choices and thought about it, I acknowledged that I do surround myself with happy and positive things. I watch my fair share of cats videos, I listen to the “Get Happy” playlist on Spotify, watch mostly comedies, and follow @thebabyanimals on Instagram.

babysloth

Baby sloth. You’re welcome.

Somewhat consciously (my self awareness only goes so far) I realized that if I don’t have that constant positive reinforcement it only takes one shitty news article or a crappy headline to send me into a dark spiral of unhappy and negativity. (To help combat that I have now decided to get all of my news from The Onion. Since all news is fake anyway, right?) I think surrounding myself with positive people/places/things (nouns?)  has helped me deal with the nightmare of Vegas and find a way to be happy anyway.

And now a TED talk.

I think this quote sums it up nicely “We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.”

Thank you for sending this my way Charlotte! 

*its not boring or lecturey but kinda funny and not very long. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wealth and Hell

The name of this blog came to me during an internal bout of word soup. When stressed or overwhelmed I tend to mix up my words in a pretty amazing fashion. This was a simple twist. I was thinking about all of the focus on health and wellness and essentially transposed the first couple of letters (I know, obvious) But then I got to thinking about what that actually meant. There are a lot of things outside of money that can bring us wealth and then there is a lot of hell to go along with it all.

For me travelling with my family and hanging out with animals, wild or otherwise, brings me a wealth of happiness.

Vegas used to bring me a wealth of fun (not money so much…) but earlier this year it became a hell for me.

Annnnd I always wanted to write sooo…Voila! Wealthnhellness.com was born.

Didn’t go to a Prom so this is my make up picture years later. Enjoy!

Prom

 

 

When shit gets REAL

What got real and instigated this change/blog was…Vegas. I love love love Vegas. Good food, gambling, shopping, dancing, what’s there not to love?? I used to go every year for my birthday plus a couple other times during the year. I live in LA, so not a long journey. PRO TIP (not that kind of pro, ew): Never. Ever. Drive. Always Fly. While the drive there is full of excited, intoxicated (admit it) carpool karaoke-ing  winners…The drive back is somewhere between dying from an alcohol fueled-broke-lack of sleep induced fog and a moral hangover full of self-recrimination, horrifying flashbacks and maybe even the lingering memory of a 10 by night, 3 by morning wake up call. All this while reaching top speeds of 15 mph on the only freeway leading out of the desert, that 3-4 hour commute 2 days ago turning into a sweet 6 hour crawl home. Like I said Vegas is awesome.

This was not the kind of Vegas story that lead to this blog. It’s taken a full month and a half for me to even think about telling this story in any form. Here goes…

It started like it usually does, with one of us (any of my best girlfriends) deciding she wants to go to Vegas to celebrate her birthday. It was the weekend of the Route 91 Harvest Festival and 3 of us decided to go for the weekend. If you are a person and have seen any form of media in the last 2 months you’ll know how that weekend ended. Jason Aldean was on stage, M had just posted a pic of him on stage.

mica

We were towards the front on the right side of the stage closest to Mandalay Bay.  While he was singing it sounded like fireworks were going off. We thought he was putting on a really big show but we never saw anything light up the sky. Then the shooting really got underway. Rounds and rounds of bullets that sounded like band snaps or poppers hitting the ground. Some of the crowd realized it was gunfire and people started to shout for everyone to get down. The signer ran off stage and the stage floodlights were turned onto the crowd. We were fish in a barrel with a spotlight pointed directly on us all.

After was seemed like forever, there was a pause in the gunfire. S had refused to stay down and was standing while we were crouched down. During the pause she shouted that we needed to run, close to the same time M yelled that she had been hit “…shot in the ass” to be exact. S was already running, I checked M’s ass for bullet holes or blood. I didn’t see any damage and told her we had to go. (Later we discovered M was hit by flying shrapnel that must have come from someone getting hit very close to us. She had what looked like a snake bite on her butt cheek. )I took off stumbling away from the crowd. I fell, a couple of guys were running close behind me and one shouted to the other to stop before he trampled me. I barely looked back, got up and continued to run. I passed a few fenced off areas, some food/beverage trailers and thought about hiding. Since I didn’t know where the shooter was or how many there were I decided getting as far away as possible was the only option.

The recurring thoughts as I was running were… hold on to your phone, do not die, get home to your kid. Once I got closer to the exit I tried to text my husband, Joe, as I ran. Fortunately there was a signal but even in an emergency auto-correct was still an asshole.

text1 text

Once I got out of the venue I called Joe and continued to move and shout at the people standing around me to run and not stand still. One guy was just standing there with his girlfriend, he looked at me and said “it’s just blanks, it’s not a real gun”. I kept running. I made my way down a street when I saw people filing into the basement of a hotel. (I later discovered it was Hooters) I followed them only to realize it was a tight enclosed space. We would be very easy prey if the shooter was on the move. I looked around and saw a service elevator. I went over to it and got in. A guy and two girls followed me in. The girls started to panic over being in an elevator and got out before the doors closed. The guy was still in there and while I was dealing with the panicky girls he had pressed the 10th floor button.

When the doors opened he shouted for me to follow him, there were a few people in the hallway. I called Joe to as we went down the hallway. One guy followed us into what turned out to be elevator guy’s room. (we called him Denver, because he was from Denver) Denver ran over and closed all the curtains, then proceeded to question and pat down the guy that followed us into the room. I laid on the floor between the two double beds, hung up with Joe and tried to track down S and M (not that kind of S&M. ew.)

Side note: One of my coping mechanisms is humor, many times dark and ill timed.

Once Denver was satisfied the other guy wasn’t a threat, he turned and asked who I was. To which I replied “Obviously, I’m the shooter”. (Both ill timed and fucked up.) He could tell I was lying and despite my immediate demand for a bottle of whiskey he agreed to let me stay in his room and he even helped me direct S and M to his room (again, not that kind of S&M. ew. ew. I am married). Finally they both made it to Hooters (there is a certain poetic justice in seeking shelter in Hooters) and we turned on the news to see what was happening. The news didn’t have anything until about 20-30 mins after we were in the room. We posted that we were safe on Facebook before anyone even had any idea what was happening. There was a lot of misinformation coming from all over the place. We didn’t know if it was a terrorist attack, if there were 1 or 10 shooters, if hotels were going to start blowing up. We watched the news non-stop for hours and sent texts or made calls to immediate family and friends.

I had gotten into Hooters just before 10:30pm and the girls each arrived within 10-15 minutes of that. At around 3:30am we decided it had been long enough and we wanted to get back to our room and get on the first flight out. We thanked Denver and each gave him an awkward hug goodbye. We didn’t exchange contact information, I still don’t know if that is weird or not. It was an intense thing to go through with someone and to end it with a “thanks, bye” seems a little anticlimactic.

We all survived with minor physical injuries but have been dealing with some hard core PTSD that has manifested itself in various ways. It is still hard to believe someone tried to kill us in real life and that it wasn’t a movie or a bad dream. We go to therapy every week and support each other however possible. I think the healing process is underway but it’s rough going.

My injuries included a major case of gross toe. Not sure how it happened, my whole foot was covered in blood. I didn’t realize it until S pointed it out in the room. This is a cleaned up pic a few days later.

Though I have a poor sense of humor, I take what happened and gun control very seriously. You can help support gun control https://www.facebook.com/Everytown/