OVERWHELMED AND TAKING A BREAK

I hate having to write this post, I really do. I’ve been so overwhelmed and stressed with everything going on my life lately. Just between work, my relationship, moving, putting together a house, and trying to even think about planning a wedding. I’m incredibly overwhelmed. I feel like I have too much going on in my life, and I need to figure out what to change and focus on. 

Obviously, my relationship is my number one priority. We have been dealing with long distance for way too long now, and making our house a home is a whole lot harder than I ever expected. My job keeps me away for longer than I’d like. I feel like I’m constantly traveling and living out of my suitcase – either in Wisconsin with my fiancé, in California with my family in between trips, or when I’m working and on a trip. It’s really stressful and it has definitely taken a toll on me. Work isn’t easy anymore. I’m stuck in this back and forth between working more and being away from home longer OR being home more but not being paid very much at all. I want to be a great partner, I want to help with our future family, but I also want to be present and involved in our life together. I know that she feels alone at times, and so do I. 

I wish I had more than 24 hours in a day. And I just don’t. I can’t sleep much, I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve done something fun and for myself, and no matter what I’m doing – I feel guilty for not being with my family or doing something else that’s important to me. I’ve become so overwhelmed with everything going on in my life, that I need to go back to focusing on just one thing and slowly pick other things back up when I’m ready and feel like I can handle it again.

It brings me to say, unfortunately.. that I need to take a step back from social media. Especially this blog. I wish I had the time to sit down and write all the time. I wish I could keep this up and also focus on everything else in my life, but I can’t. I don’t know when I’ll be back, I don’t know when I will be able to pick up my writing and work on this blog again. But I will be back, eventually, when the time is right. When I have a handle on my life. It might be three months, it might be six months, it might be in a year. 

I’m sorry to my family and friends that have been reading my blog consistently. I promise that I will pick this up again, when I’m ready. Thank you for always supporting me. 

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TIME FOR A NEW NAME?

I named my blog Stuck on the Kitchen Floor over three years ago now. When I came up with the name, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I was depressed, broken, hurt, and just overall not happy with my life and the person I had become. I wanted to use my blog as a way to express the pain I was feeling, channel my energy into something better, and to grow as an individual. Almost 4 years have passed, and I am proud to say that this blog, amongst other things, have done exactly that. I am in a much different place than I was back then. I have grown, found myself, and finally feeling happy. 

I’ve also fallen in love with blogging. Writing my feelings and experiences out for others to read, to share my photography from my traveling, and just putting out positive energy has given me a purpose I didn’t know I needed. I’d like to use my blog more for personal, positive context and to eventually have a bigger audience. 

In order to work on this next project, this turning point for myself and my blog, I need to make a name change. Stuck on the Kitchen Floor just doesn’t reflect this point in my life anymore. I will always have rough times, but I’m no longer stuck. I’m growing, moving, and traveling. I need a new name. 

Any suggestions? I’d like to create a new blog name (but not a new blog!) that reflects my travel adventures, my photography, and my life with my fiancé in Wisconsin. Help me out! 

SOME EXCITING NEWS!

I know I’ve been slacking when it comes to writing posts regularly. Life has just been so darn crazy lately, and I just realized I haven’t even explained the main reason why! It’s so exciting- are you ready for it? 

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!!

That’s right! My fiancé and I finally agreed on a house and bought it! I’ll admit, I was the one that was super picky, she liked just about every house we saw. It took us a little while, but it really was quite drama free when it came to closing on this house. It’s a beautiful ranch style house on the end of cul-de-sac, and we are in love! Took us 2 months, but the walls are painted, cabinets and doors are repainted, framing is done, and the new floors are put in! I will be the first one to say, my fiancé did all of the hard work. I mean ALL of the hard work. She somehow managed to work at home for 4-6 hours each day, painting, sanding, etc. and then went to work all night! I truly don’t know how she did it, but I am so impressed and appreciative of her. 

The house looks amazing, and as Chip and Joanna would say- she’s passed the baton to me! Now it’s my turn to find the furniture and other pieces for our new home. I’m still just so in shock every time I see the house- it’s really ours! 

I don’t have many pictures yet, but once I do- I promise you’ll be seeing them up here on the blog. But, if you follow me on Instagram you can see some before & after pictures on there- go check it out! 

WHOOPS! 24 HOURS IN NEW YORK CITY!

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I was working a trip this week, and it somehow fell apart! If you’re not familiar with flight attendant schedules or legalities, let me explain. I can only work for a certain amount of hours per day (for safety reasons), and if a flight gets delayed, or cancelled, or there’s bad weather somewhere, my entire trip can change based on the needs of the company and how long I’ve already been working for the day.

I was supposed to go to Fort Myers, Florida but my plane was over 3 hours delayed in Newark, New Jersey. When I called scheduling to have my trip changed, they gave me 24 hours in Manhattan before I had to go back to work! Hotel and transportation included. DO YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I WAS?! 

The first time I went to NYC, I was definitely hesitant to get out on the streets and explore by myself. But not this time! All I had were ripped jeans, a tank top, and flip flops (I was supposed to be in Florida, remember?) but that didn’t stop me! There I was, typical California girl wandering through Midtown in flip flops. But I didn’t care! 

I got up early, threw my Florida clothes on, and headed out into the concrete jungle. I walked through a part of Central Park, stopping at the zoo along the way. Walked past Rockefeller Center, the NBC studios, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I wish I could have done more, but I only had limited time because I needed to get back to the hotel for a quick nap before I worked that afternoon. 

The funny thing is, I used to be the type of person that HATED change. Okay, I still don’t like change. But this time, it worked out. This change was much better- and I completely enjoyed myself. I can’t wait to go back to New York City, I’m already starting to plan my next trip. I can’t wait to share the pictures I took!

 

TO THE FLYING PUBLIC: WE’RE SORRY

We’re sorry we have no pillows.
We’re sorry we’re out of blankets.
We’re sorry the airplane is too cold.
We’re sorry the airplane is too hot.
We’re sorry the overhead bins are full.
We’re sorry we have no closet space for your oversized bag.
We’re sorry that’s not the seat you wanted.
We’re sorry there’s a restless toddler/overweight/offensive smelling passenger seated next to you.
We’re sorry the plane is full and there are no other seats available.
We’re sorry you didn’t get your upgrade.
We’re sorry that guy makes you uncomfortable because he “looks like a terrorist”.
We’re sorry there’s a thunderstorm and we can’t take off.
We’re sorry we don’t know when it will stop.
We’re sorry you’re crammed into a space so small that if you were an animal PETA would protest.
We’re sorry our plane has no music or video entertainment for your 3 hour flight.
We’re sorry we ran out of your favorite soda.
We’re sorry there are no more sandwiches.
We’re sorry that Budweiser costs $6.
We’re sorry we don’t have diapers for your baby.
We’re sorry we don’t have milk for same baby.
We’re sorry you can’t hang out by the cockpit door waiting to use the bathroom.
We’re sorry you can’t hang out at the back of the airplane.
We’re sorry you have to sit down and fasten your seatbelt.
We’re sorry you have to put your seat up for landing.
We’re sorry we don’t know when we’re going to land.
We’re sorry we don’t know whether your plane to (substitute any city in the world) will be waiting for you when we land.
We’re sorry we’ve been diverted because we ran out of gas waiting to land.
We’re sorry for these and so many other things that we have absolutely no control over but which we are held accountable for EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Please understand. Flight attendants are not the enemy. We share your space. More than anyone, we want to have a nice, pleasant travel experience.

There is a reason behind everything we ask you to do. It may be a FAA directive. It may be security related. It may be a company procedure.

We don’t just make stuff up. We don’t spend 8 weeks at the flight academy learning how to pour a Coke. There are many things that flight attendants are watching for constantly on every flight FOR YOUR SAFETY. It’s not because we’re bored or so controlling that we just enjoy telling people what to do. I, for one, would like to have one flight where I didn’t have to repeatedly tell people to put their seats up for landing. Seriously. Can’t you just do what we ask sometimes? Without the glares, eye rolling and disdain? For the record, putting your seat up for landing may not seem that important to your personal safety. However, it is very important for the person sitting BEHIND YOU. If you have ever tried to get out of a row where someone has their seat back you know it can be a challenge. Try grabbing your ankles (emergency brace position) or getting out of that row quickly with smoke in the cabin.

Understand a little better now?

Many of the things we ask passengers to comply with are FAA directives. Like carry-on bag stowage and exit row requirements. When we can serve drinks (in the air) and when we can’t (after the aircraft door is closed or on an active taxi-way). We are only allowed to move about the cabin during taxi out for safety related duties. We can’t get you blankets, or hang coats, or get you drinks. It’s not because we don’t want to. It’s because we are held personally responsible if we fail to comply with FAA directives. Meaning that the FAA can fine us personally up to $10,000 if we fail to comply or enforce an FAA Directive.

Like no bags at the bulkhead. No children in the exit row. No one moving around the cabin during taxi. Perhaps now you know why flight attendants get a little testy when people move about the cabin when they’re not supposed to. It’s not the company that gets in trouble for that. It’s us.

Personally, I wish the airlines would show worst case scenario safety videos. Like what happens if you walk through the cabin during turbulence. There could be a guy who has just fallen and smacked his face on the metal armrest and now has a bloody, gushing broken nose. Or an elderly lady who now has a broken arm because someone walking to the bathroom fell on her.

Maybe a passenger with a broken neck because somebody opened an overhead bin during turbulence and a suitcase fell out and onto the person sitting beneath it. These things can easily happen in a fast moving, unstable air environment.

Please just trust that we are looking out for your best interest and stop fighting with us about everything we ask you to do. It is exhausting.

Finally, please, please direct your hostility and frustrations in the direction where they will be most effective: The customer service department. They are the ones equipped to handle your complaint and implement procedures for CHANGE.

Think about it. Complaining to the flight crew about all your negative travel experiences is about the same as complaining to the office janitor because your computer isn’t working. It may make you feel better to vent about it, but it really won’t fix anything. More than anybody we are already aware of the lack of amenities, food, service and comfort on the aircraft. Please share your concerns with the people in the cubicles at corporate who need that information to make better decisions for the flying public.

It’s frustrating that so many people are in denial about what the travel industry is about now. The glory days of pillows, blankets, magazines and a hot meal for everyone are long gone. Our job is to get you from point A to point B safely and at the cheapest possible cost to you and the company. So be prepared. If you are hungry, get a sandwich before you get on the plane.

If it’s a 3 hour flight, anticipate that you may get hungry and bring some snacks. If you are cold natured, bring a wrap. Think for yourself and think ahead. Otherwise, don’t complain when you have to pay $3 for a cookie and are left with a crusty blanket to keep you warm.

We hear often that the service just isn’t what is used to be. Well, the SERVICE we provide now isn’t what it used to be. When I was hired, my job was to serve drinks, meals, ensure that safety requirements were met and tend to in-flight medical issues.

Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist. 9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVERY DAY a flight attendant reports to work he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a person al responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone’s intentions.

It is difficult to be vigilant and gregarious at the same time. Especially when most of us are working 14 hour days after layovers that only allow 5-6 hours of sleep. Not because we were out partying and having a grand time on the layover, but because the delays that you experience as a passenger also affect us as a crew, so that what was a 10 hour layover is now 8 hours which doesn’t leave a lot of time to recover from what has become an increasingly stressful occupation.

Despite everything, I still enjoy being a flight attendant.

I am writing this letter because I do still care about my profession and about the public perception of flight attendants. In the increasingly challenging travel world it is becoming more imperative than ever for people to just be decent to each other. I can go through an entire day without one person saying anything remotely civil. I will stand at the aircraft door and say hello to everyone who enters and maybe 50% will even look at me and even less will say hello back.

I will try to serve someone a meal who can’t be bothered to take their headsets off long enough for me to ask them what they want. Most of the time the only conversation a passenger has with me is when they are complaining.

Is it any wonder why flight attendants have shut down a bit? After suffering the disdain of hundreds of passengers a day it’s difficult sometimes to even smile, much less interact. We are human. We appreciate the same respect and courtesy that passengers do.

The next time you fly, try treating the flight attendants the way you would like to be treated. You may be surprised how friendly your flight crew is when they are treated like people.

Author Unknown

LOSING THE WEIGHT, GAINING THE STRENGTH

I’ve never been the type of person to really worry about my weight. I won’t lie, I’ve been fortunate to have been born with a fast metabolism and relatively petite body shape. (Thank goodness for my parents!) I eat like I’m 6 years old, I’m talking chicken strips, french fries, pizza, and lots of bread. A LOT of bread. When I was a teenager, I could eat whatever I wanted, worked out for the track team, and never gained a pound.  But as you get older, your body starts to change and I’m really starting to notice that change. Have I gained weight over the past 7 years since graduating high school? Yes, but who hasn’t?! If you were to look at me now, you wouldn’t notice the extra pudginess I have on my tummy, or the way my thighs are starting to touch when I’m standing up, or even how my cheeks have gotten bigger over the years. But I notice. I’ve noticed and my self confidence has definitely started to dwindle because of it. Now let me state for the record: I do not care about the number on the scale. i really don’t. I just want to be able to fit into my jeans, without having to unbutton them when I sit down. I want to not be winded when I run up a couple flights of stairs, I want to feel confident in a bikini. 

I know how to lose the extra weight, and gain the muscle. I was an athlete. My dad was a professional athlete, and he taught me how to train. How to take care of my body from the inside out. I know my way through the gym, I can create the meal plans, I know how to do it. But it’s just so darn hard to stick to it! I figured if I talk about how I’m feeling, what I plan on doing, and my struggles/successes, maybe this blog and you readers can help me stick to it! I would like to lose some of the weight, and I know it’s almost all from what I eat. 

It’s hard eating healthy when I’m constantly gone from home. But here’s my plan. Before I go on trips, I will start making myself sandwiches. Now I know what you’re thinking: I just said I eat a lot of bread, and now I’m suggesting sandwiches?! But hear me out: when I don’t pack food for work, I end up eating out whenever I can find food that I like. This includes pizza, chicken strips, burgers, french fries, etc. If I were to stop eating this type of food as often (I could never completely stop with the burgers) and started eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham and cheese, turkey and cheese sandwiches I would start to notice a difference. If I packed almonds, raisins, craisins, fresh fruit, carrots, granola bars instead of Cheese It’s and chips, I would notice a difference. Just these small changes alone, will help me not only drop a couple pounds, but start to break the habit of always eating unhealthy. 

Now the sweaty part. Working out. It’s best (for me, personally) to work out when I’m on trips. All hotels have some type of fitness center which could include free weights, cardio equipment, pools, saunas, even free yoga classes. If I spend 30 minutes a night in the gym on my layovers, I will start to see a change in my body. I don’t have to start running three miles every day (I hate running long distances- but if that works for you, more power to you!), I could start off walking at an incline. This will not only help my cardio, but it’s a great way to clear my mind from a long day. I’ve already started this 30 day Squat challenge where you try to squat 100 times each day. Sounds easy enough, and it is for the most part. But sometimes you’re just so busy running around, you don’t even have alone time to squat. I find myself jumping up and squatting during commercial breaks, when I’m waiting for the water to warm up before my shower, and before I get dressed in the morning. I’ve even had to get some squats in pubic restrooms because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t make it to 100 that day. The first couple days were HARD. By day 3 my legs were hurting so bad. But by day 6 I started to notice it wasn’t so bad. Now I don’t do all 100 squats at once, although you could, I try to space it out throughout my day so it doesn’t get too repetitive. 

I’m hoping that in the next few weeks I can really start to see some changes in my body, maybe not looking at it but at least feeling a difference. Wish me luck!