Tag Archives: changes

On starting from the ground up.

Sometimes, when I re-read some of my posts, I sit back and think about where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. And I don’t even mean that in a ‘patting myself on the back’ sort of way. I think back to my roots, in every sense of it, and how going from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs makes you appreciate that much more what you have and what you have built up for yourself.

It’s so easy to take for granted the life you have, once it’s filled to a point where you are content. Where you are still building, but you are stable, have what you need to live, but also to share and give back. To pay it forward. Paying it forward in the form of giving back to those that are still ‘building’ is the ultimate proof point that you can give back…some of that life that’s been built around you.

I think this feeling has been with me lately as I look around at the from-scratch moves I’ve made.

Financially. This was by far one of the biggest feats for me to rebuild. Almost literally from scratch. Going from being a homeowner with two steady middle class incomes to one income, a forced short sale and onslaught of debt and recovery to come was…trying, to say the least. Juggling which credit card to pay down first, to finding a job that would give me the boost in pay that I needed (and deserved!), to patiently building my credit back up. To finally putting a real budget together instead of just doing the head-in-the-sand game and avoiding banking of any kind until each paycheck arrived (resulting in many an overdraft…oy.). To now…finally feeling able to save again, to build that fabled ‘security blanket’ fund that I’ve never had before, to helping those that need it, picking up the tab, buying a gift ‘just because.’ Thankful. Blessed. Never taken for granted.

Starting from the ground up…financially.

Myself. Looking back, and in reading some other recent blogs from those going through the 180 degree  transformation that is divorce, I can firmly say that I started from scratch. From ground zero. A blank slate. The past came rushing to mind this morning as I woke up from one of those haunting dreams where I’m still with my ex-husband (doesn’t even matter what the details of the actual dream were) and it’s as though I stepped back in to my ‘old’ self, the me I’ve done so much to completely rebuild…from the ground up. The relief that spread across me as I rolled over and kissed M on the cheek, trying not to wake him, but just to make sure he was real, this was real, I am here, now, the me I’ve developed…was so powerful. Thankful. Blessed. Never taken for granted.

Starting from the ground up…myself.

The life around me. I am struck by how much I am living my life for me right now. After I re-read my post last weekend, I realized how very fortunate I am to be able to spend an entire weekend centered around things I want to do. For me. Just me. And maybe that’s considered selfish to some, or too self-centric, there was a time where I didn’t do for me, I didn’t see the value, and at the stage of my life that I’m in, I’m taking it and running with it. I am living it, because I can, and I want to. And I won’t apologize for that. Everyone has their priorities in their lives, their goals, their passions. The things that I do on the weekend are mine. Cue this past weekend, for example. To have spent a large majority of it barre n9ne training, certifying and teaching…that’s not something anyone has the time to do or even wants to do. But to be able to follow my passion and to shift it into something I also do for others, for a living? Is incredible. Not everyone gets the opportunity to do this. To have the time to devote to, and maintain, and build up.  Thankful. Blessed. Never taken for granted.

Starting from the ground up…the life around me.

Starting from the ground up….makes you appreciate the highs so much more once you’ve seen the low.

Evolutions (and housewarming mini-recap!).

It struck me this weekend, as I wove my way around our housewarming party (which was absolutely phenomenal, I must say!), that my life is constantly evolving.

Friends from all walks of life. Mine. M’s. From high school. College. Various jobs. Barre N9ne. An evolving set of people that have been with me at all stages of my life. Evolutions.

Enjoying the people around me, and not focusing on the food so much (and of the food I did enjoy, it was healthy choices, which of course, helps that I made the menu!). And ending the night not feeling stuffed to the gills, but *just* right (even with the brownie I chose to eat as I cleaned up!). Evolutions.

Entertaining with M felt like such an evolution for me. We did it together. That might sound weird, but I honestly cannot remember how my ex-husband and I ‘entertained’ together…I just remember being the one handling the details, and he’d basically just ‘show up’ so to speak. This weekend, I felt like a team with M, and it felt so smooth (even when I got stressed trying to find an outfit and also getting the crostini’s ready…M made the executive decision to open a bottle of wine, handing me a glass, with a smile and a kiss. I love this man. He knows me so well and nothing.ever.ruffles.him.ever.). Evolutions.

*Not* overthinking. I can’t stress this enough. I really can’t. I am feeling freer than ever from overthinking every little thing. I am not so worried about some of my usual ‘triggers’ – running (and comparing), my body (not nitpicking so much), my food choices (not feeling guilty if I choose a brownie every once in awhile!).  All I can chalk it up to is just feeling a little more confident and believing in myself more. Believing that my body is capable of change, mind and body, and that I just need to trust that more. Evolutions.

~~

As for the housewarming party itself? It was absolutely perfect.

The night flew by in a blur, but the food came out just as I had hoped (my sis Jess and I made a slew of ‘skinny’ versions of yumtastic recipes like buffalo chicken dip, taco dip, crostinis we made three ways – sundried tomato and pesto, goat cheese and chobani yogurt, and white bean spread, Greek style turkey meatballs and the good ‘ole cocktail meatballs etc).

Our friends came, we ate, drank, enjoyed showing off our home to everyone. This was the first time many (almost all, actually) had seen it, and I was so happy so many were able to come. Everyone mingled, it wasn’t awkward with different friends from different ‘circles’ to speak, everyone chatted and got to know each other. Perfect.

And in the end, when I shut the door to the last party goer, I looked around and it felt like home more than it ever has.

~~

Here are a few pictures (no food pics, fail!)…sorry for the somewhat disjointed post today, but I thought the evolutionary theme went well with a short recap of the party (since there isn’t a heck of a lot to say about a party, from what I already said on Friday anyway!).

Us, pre-party, just after my mini-stress attack. Glad M had given me a glass of wine at this point 😉
The barre n9ne crew - Jess, Tanya (owner and mastermind!), me, Steph - this was fun to take!

 

And, as always, the requisite sister shot 😉

 

Juxtapositions.

**I wrote this on my flight to Denver yesterday…*

I sit here on a plane reflecting. It’s been quite a long time since my last work trip (May trip to Vegas, which was a 36 hour blur! Prior to that, my last trip to California was the first week of April, believe it or not!) and I think back to that time period where I was traveling a lot. Like, every other week for a week, a lot.

In that three-month period, I grew so much. I learned the ins and outs of traveling alone, of being a smart traveler, packer, car renter and navigator in foreign cities and states.  I learned to cope with homesickness, missing M, my routine and generally, just being in my own element. But being thrust out of my comfort zone – like whoa – and being forced to learn my ‘new normal’ was such a rewarding and growth period for me.

Fast forward to now?

Juxtaposition.

Traveling again? I struggled to pack for a 24-hour trip. I used to have packing down to a science. Now, I am sure I have forgotten things, and I clearly have overpacked. Three outfits, three pairs of shoes? Really? I woke up…next to M, however, and in our new place. This felt so much more comforting than waking up alone with that familiar dread feeling of the pending flight (I always get anxious before a flight, no matter how often I travel!). So was the drive to the airport, together this time. (my other flights have always been during the day or at night on days that weren’t always feasible for M to drive me in, so my mom or my brother in law usually would). Of course, when we parted ways – on our anniversary, no less – I cried. But I hugged him tight, told him I loved him and off I went.

Airport. Bang, familiar, yet again.

Yet different. I don’t know how to describe it other than feeling more sure of myself, more confident. I guess it’s because the last time I traveled for work was the week before I started the 60 day challenge and I was definitely feeling pretty low, body-image wise, at that point, and practically jumping out of my skin to get started. So, when I walked into the airport, I felt more self assured.

When I walked through the terminal to see what my food options were, I was less concerned with making sure to stock up for the flight (not so much on bad food, just probably more food than I really needed), and more concerned with finding something protein-filled and relatively low calorie. Scored an egg white sandwich on a wheat english muffin and felt great. Normally I’d eat that and then be looking for something else, feeling unsatisfied or just accustomed to ‘more.’ But nope, I let myself digest a bit and then asked myself if I was really still hungry. And I wasn’t. I was satisfied.

Juxtaposition.

I feel like the fact that I feel better about my body has also boosted my confidence generally. I feel less shy. And I am looking forward to my meetings with colleagues tomorrow (well, today, when this post actually publishes), because I will feel confident in what I am wearing, not feeling stuffed into my chosen outfit or in something more billowly to feign confidence. It’s funny how feeling good about your body directly affects your mood and outward confidence. At least for me.

Juxtaposition.

I have a few more work trips planned in coming months and while I much prefer being home and in my normal comfort zone, I know these trips will keep fostering growth. Growth is something that lends to happiness…something I am reading as we speak in the “Happiness Project,” the book I bought for M a few months ago that I am now reading. (definitely read it folks, it is AWESOME). For me, growth indeed lends to happiness, because when I am growing, I am happy and when I am not, I feel stagnant. Growth ties in with goals and we all know how I love my goals 😉

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately, and I know a lot of that has to do with the fact that my anniversary with M was yesterday, and my divorce-sary is coming up on two years this weekend, and with Fall comes re-evaluation for me.

How do I want to the next few months to unfold?

Where do I want to go from here?

What else do I want to accomplish?

I feel driven, excited and happy at what’s to come. There are a few things cooking and of course, I will share more when I can, but for now, I’m quite enjoying reflecting on the juxtapositions in my life right now.

Incredible what can happen in not only a year, but a few months, and a lot of work (mentally, physically and emotionally), can do, isn’t it?