Category Archives: life

I can’t relax.

I know, I know, it’s not really a newsflash or anything.

But today, during a much needed massage (I rarely get them and when I do, I instantly wonder why I don’t more often!), I realized I cannot relax. I tense my shoulders, I close my eyes but they aren’t really that relaxed, sleepy shut, they are shut but still somewhat tense, and while I eventually relax, it’s usually near the end of the massage that I really feel like I’ve ‘succumbed’ to the massage and my body feels limp and serene.

I use that as an example, a very real one, at that, and my seeming inability to loosen up (literally and figuratively!) and let go. It is *that* ingrained in me, to be go, go, go, that really relaxing, without something on my mind, a list, a reminder to do something, clutter I want to clear off the table etc. It’s always something.

I do it with my workouts. (that is changing though, as I’ve written about here most recently and a top priority for me to revamp my mindset and stick with my ‘smarter, not harder!’ mindset and actually believe it when I do it, not do it and then harp on it for hours after, silly self guilt!).

I do it with M. Yep, I do. And I hate it. Sometimes I just want to let go more around him, let him take the lead, release more. In every way (ahem). To melt into his hugs always, and not for just a moment. Whenever I catch myself rushing through THAT, I literally want to slap myself. Who does that?

I do it with work. This has gotten better, but it still happens. I have this PR agency mentality (everything must be done…YESTERDAY. every deadline, everything, faster, faster, do it, do it) that I still haven’t shaken after three years *not* working at an agency, and I catch myself rushing through editing something, or writing something, or replying to an email. I need to relax in this way too. Take more time to think about a response. No knee jerk reaction. No let’s see how fast I can get this done and impress my boss…but at what cost? Quality? Stress? Self-imposed deadlines are my nemesis.

I need to relax. I need to keep this high on my list for 2014, the year of intention. It just must be done. Who doesn’t relax during a massage?! I mean, come on!! ūüėČ

363fa4362f345a1973ce9deb7efcb613Boy, was that an a-ha moment today, that unfurled a slew of other ways I don’t ‘relax’ in my life. and it’s food for thought for me as we head into the first official work week of the year. Game face on…

Living with intention.

My last post touched on this a bit, on authenticity and being our own people, but this is truly my goal for 2014, 1000%.

Intention. Purposeful living. Honesty. Reality.

Doing what I say I am going to do, not *just* saying it and striving for it, but doing it. That means more slowing down, more simplicity, more back-to-basics.

It means *not* striving for perfection but excellence and actually standing behind those words and actions. Walking the walk. Easing up on myself more, letting go, relaxing the rules sometimes – more often than a once-in-awhile. Less rigidity, more fluidity. ¬†<–this is TOUGH for me.

It means being honest. Even when honesty is the hardest route, but the right one. ¬†I struggle with being upfront. It is far easier to just let stuff fester, to ‘let it roll’ when that’s the last thing I should be doing (in some instances…when in others, my (in)ability to ‘let it roll’ steals my own joy).

Living with intention also means being nicer. Yep, being nicer. Sometimes, I am not so nice. I get bitchy. I get nitpicky. I get – wait for it – naggy. And those are ugly traits. I don’t want to be that way. But I get that way when I hold stuff in, when I get too uptight and when I try to be everything to everyone. And I refuse to do that anymore. It’s just not worth it. To me, AND to those around me. It cheats everyone in my life, to be honest.

While last year I determined 2013 to be the year to ‘just be’ – and I think I lived up to that in a pretty good sense, there is still work to be done in the first category I mentioned – being still and believing in myself. And I think intention has a lot to do with that, being purposeful in the changes I want to make – in my thinking, in my actions and in my words.

So…that’s where I am heading, mentally, into 2014. I plan to post more on this as the new year comes about, but as this topic is actually more the one I thought about just as I drifted to sleep the other night (and I finally remembered it!!), I wanted to chronicle it before it drifted off yet again.e51b150511a762284bbc067745f37440

It feels empowering to live with intention…it ties together everything I stand behind and want to embody: authenticity, balance, and a less-is-more mentality. Because when you do one thing well, it is 100x better than doing 10 things just ‘meh.’¬†

 

On authenticity and being real.

I’ve been mulling over a post for a few days (ever have a spark of an idea as you are drifting off to sleep, only to forget the gist of it in the morning and wish you had written it down. Yeah, that.) on authenticity and being real. I think one of the biggest misnomers of social media is how fake and unauthentic it can be, and that can bleed over into ‘real life.’ In a way, I am sick of seeing the bandwagoners, those that hop onto a trend or ‘thing’ in fitness or in eating, or in whatever the thing-du-jour is on instagram or snapchat or Facebook, and suddenly, it’s all you see or hear about for weeks on end. Until the next ‘thing’ hits.

I never want to be one of those people (and pray that nobody is reading this and thinking that I *am* one of those!).

I never want to do something just because someone else does. Or follow a trend, or ‘diet’ or do something that is completely the opposite of *me* as possible.

I am a runner, but I am not a racer. If I suddenly dove into races, that wouldn’t be *me*.

I have my ‘happy number’ of calories I shoot for day to day, but if I suddenly ‘went paleo,’ that wouldn’t be *me*.

I love to help inspire others with my own journey, in life, love (divorce and after!) and fitness (b94lyf!), and offer my words of advice based on my experience, not based on what so-and-so told me or what I read, even. But on my own experience solely. ¬†If I didn’t base my advice based on my experiences solely, that wouldn’t be *me* either.

And sometimes, I see so many bandwagoners that regurgitate trends, that talk the talk (but don’t want the walk), and are just carbon copies of whatever trend is out there, that I shake my head and get frustrated.

I guess that’s partially why I stepped away from my blog and some aspects of social media for awhile, and why I tend to pop in to Twitter, or this blog, or a handful of other blogs I read now (vs the many many I used to read) for the sake of taking a step back and getting back to basics. Looking for the real. Keeping my own authenticity and not getting caught up in whatever was buzzing at that moment.

I speak to these areas above – running, fitness, eating, life/love, as these are the areas that I am most passionate about, and alternatively, that I am most sensitive to being as authentic and real about as possible. ¬†And when I see stuff that isn’t real or authentic, I get irritated.

And I don’t even know what the point of my post here is, except to just get it out, my quiet frustrations, and my own re-upped commitment to being real, not sugarcoating and being real…perfectly imperf

74a469f67cbc03ced97d6b19b132fa4b

ect. Why does it just seem that it is so hard for others to do sometimes? ¬†(note: this isn’t aimed at any specific instance of late, just my general observation overall, and winding back to why I stepped back for awhile).

As the year starts winding to a close, I say, let’s do it, let’s put it all out there, the good, the bad, the ugly, the imperfect, and own it. Because life’s too short to fake a life that isn’t real. What’s the point in that, when we are only robbing ourselves?

On compromise and allowing for imperfection

In my quest to continue my journey to letting go and giving way to better balance, I have started to notice some signs that I may just be coming around.

By way of compromise.

I am the queen of anti-compromise. I am all for *other* people compromising, but when it comes to compromise myself, I fully admit I am kinda bad at it. (my sister Jess is likely nodding her head right now…stop nodding so hard, I know, I know!)

Some of these signs of compromise are smaller, some of them are bigger, but they are all signs that maybe, just maybe I am capable of compromise and letting go of the need for perfection and my ‘particular (aka type A like whoa…) ways.

For example…

My numbers fixation. I used to stress about how many workouts I did – my ‘me’ workouts compared to those I teach. Now? I have gotten into a good cadence of balancing those ‘me’ workouts with how many classes I teach in a week. If I teach more, I pare back, if I teach less or equivelant to my ‘norm,’ I go by feel. If I feel good, I’ll try and hit that fourth run of the week, if I am tired, ¬†I may not. Or maybe I’ll – gasp – cut a run short. Something I NEVER would have done a year ago. I’d think about that number too much. Now I have not a clue how far I run usually, unless I know the route already (and I never usually look at the mileage on the treadmill, but go by length of time, if anything). To me, this is ¬†huge progress. Smarter, not harder, ‘phase two’ – my evolving workouts just work for me, I have never felt better, I feel fit, I feel worked, but I don’t feel exhausted, *too* sore (in a bad way, just a good hurts-so-good way) or running on fumes. I feel like I’ve hit the balance I need, and the ‘happy place’ in my mind too. It’s not a constant battle anymore. Compromise does a body good.

Another way? I have eased up – somewhat – on my neat freak attitude. Just a little (‘cmon, this takes time, people, this is a deep seated one!). I actually – gasp – LEFT a dish in the sink overnight soaking and didn’t feel the urge to wash it. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about it, because I was too engrossed in watching ‘Sideways’ with M (though that movie is somewhat depressing, all of the wine humor and scenery gets me every time), with a cup of tea, curled up on the couch. *That* is much more important than a dirty dish, no?¬†Compromise makes for a less stressy mind, and home.

I’ve also tried to slow down – continually – in my quest to enjoy more each day, and stop stealing my own joy, rushing through the mundane or day to day moments, and tried to enjoy every day, not just weekends, not just when I am with M, or my sisters, or my friends. This one also takes work and concerted effort, but I think the more I focus on it, the more aware and in tune with the ‘in-between’ moments as Jeff Goins would say, I will be. Compromise – choosing battles and calming down – has made me happier day to day.

So, I guess you could say I am feeling pretty peaceful right now, I am allowing for compromise, and imperfection, and simply, just changing my way of thinking just a little, and it’s going a long way.

1-Busyness-570x570

On reminiscing, milestones, and gratitude.

As we head into Thanksgiving, I love reading friends’ blogs, Facebook, and instagram posts about giving thanks, and gratitude and pending excitement over the kick off to the holiday season, but I tend not to write posts during this time of year about what I am thankful for…partially in line with a post Lindsay wrote once, about being thankful daily, not just once a year (so true!).

But as I looked through some past posts I  had written about the holidays, I realized something. Thanksgiving has been a hugely symbolic part of my journey, starting five years ago, to today.

Five years ago was my first Thanksgiving alone. It was a very raw and emotional time as my separation was just weeks prior, and as hard as it was, having my sister Jen by my side that day made all the difference in the world, and was probably one of the most selfless things she could have done for me that day, and to this day, those memories sit in my heart warmly and is a time I will never forget.

Four years ago was my first Thanksgiving (and set of holidays) that I truly and 100% looked forward to. I adored being able to take these holidays as MINE and to go whereever I wanted, spend time with family that cared about me, and not have to split my time with an in-law side that, well, didn’t like me. They lived two states away, which meant entirely splitting up holidays every other year, and not being able to see my family on Thanksgiving or Christmas, every year. So, to have a blank slate and be able to spend the holidays my way felt like a rare treat.

Three years ago, I was welcomed into M’s family, for the first time. I spent Thanksgiving evening with his family, meeting many of them for the first time. And it was then that I realized my relationship with M was special. If only I know where we’d be three years later…

Two years ago, we spent Thanksgiving together, with my family and M’s family, for the first time. We were living together, and it was our first year to celebrate the holidays in our own place, starting new traditions, and sharing in every moment together.

This year? Wow. We own our first house together. We are married (! I still love saying that, and calling him my husband, and can’t believe it’s only been 5 months!). And we will host our families together, for the very first time. I plan to soak in every minute, amid the chaos and hustle and bustle of hosting a big crowd for Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t be more thankful or more happy at where my life – our lives – are now. As our story continues.

Cheers, and to those that celebrate, happy Thanksgiving!