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Queen of Your Own Life

Shift | Back to Me Month

by Cindy Ratzlaff

Sometimes I let my mind wander and think about how great my life would be if I could travel to Tuscany and live there for awhile. I picture myself shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, picking up a loaf of fresh bread, hopping on my bicycle and riding down a country road to my lovely home, where I make a beautiful meal and sit outside overlooking the mountains and valleys chatting the night away with people I love.

Yesterday I stopped for a moment and laughed out loud because here’s what I did that day.  I went to the farmers market and picked out all the fixings for a beautiful fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella salad, sat outside on my desk and ate a lovely meal with friends, looking out at my backyard, which is really very pretty.  OK, so there was no bike ride and the bread wasn’t thick crusted Italian bread, BUT if I can just shift my focus slightly, what’s so different about my reality and my fantasy.

Part of the Tuscan fantasy is about vacation mind set and that relaxed feeling you can get into when you don’t have assignments and deadlines. But people who live in Tuscany go to jobs every day and they seem to still like living there. So here’s my plan. I’m going to shift my focus, see the beauty in the life I do live and relish those moments that are carefree and joyful…more often.

Maybe somewhere in Tuscany, a woman is saying to herself “I wish I lived in Pennsylvania.”

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3 Responses to “Shift | Back to Me Month”

  1. Carrie C. says:

    Love this post! I do the same thing – “Wish I lived in London, I could go sit and write in a cafe, drink hot tea, and hear interesting accents, then go out for Indian food.”

    Then when I stop and think about what I did today, I did exactly that, only in Redmond.. went to a Tully’s cafe, wrote and blogged a bit; heard East Indian accents and some Russian all around me; going out for Indian food tonight. In rainy Seattle instead of rainy London.

    I should be happy with the life I’m living and creating in the place I chose to make my life; not daydream constantly about being elsewhere.. doing the same things I do here..

  2. Marianna E says:

    Oh, ladies…I so get what you’re saying. 10 years ago I was leaving a15 yr. relationship and all I fantasized about was living in a treehouse overlooking a river in the countryside. I was bemoaning the fact I had to leave my brand new home in the woods and move to a yucky apartment in a sketchy neighborhood. Some days it was like living in episodes of “COPS”, SWAT teams and all!!! I was 3000 miles away from family, had very few friends and could not afford to move back out west. I was really depressed,sad and scared to be alone. I lived there two years without doing much decorating, not even a picture on the walls. (I had just started a professional organizer/re-designer business!)

    One day I was sitting on my 4th floor balcony apartment and realized all I could see in front of me was trees and beyond them was a stream along a wooded bike path. My 2 dogs and I were watching the squirrels being busy in the trees. It hit me that I DID live in a treehouse! It was a nice little place with all the amenities, no bugs I couldn’t contend with, quiet (when the neighbors were behaving) and right downtown! Amazing! That day I got busy cleaning and decorating. For 28 hours I was on a roll. Didn’t stop until I was done unpacking, hammering, etc. My dogs were going a little nutty around me wondering what the heck I was doing. When it was all done, I took a shower, went and got a manicure, hung out at the bookstore, found some inspirational books, picked up some healthy groceries and went home to my treehouse, cooked me a meal and ate it outside on the balcony with my ‘boys’ laying peacefully at my feet. Funny thing. My balcony became my “dining, reading and meditation room”. For 5 years, the dogs and I spent most at home time out there, rain, snow, steamy hot …all the seasons transformed before my eyes each year. It was probably the most healing time of my life.

    I also got to know who I was and what I was made of. I had to deal with all kinds of nonsense around me…apartment living in the ‘hood’ transformed me from a kind of prissy princess-girl into a true Queen of my own life. I learned to be less judgmental of myself and others, which I didn’t know how much I was until then. I became a mediator and began working in a communty mediation center. It’s been an amazing experience. Of all things, our biggest peace-making challenge is in the very neighborhood I used to live in! I know these people (my people) and what their challenges are so I am able to do something to help out now. Our latest project is drumming peace circles for children. It’s awesome!

    Thanks for sharing your stories and being here so I can share mine.

  3. cindy says:

    Marianna, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story. I am so moved and so grateful. You are incredible.

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