Tag Archives: growth

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.

2011: a retrospective (part II)

Here is part II of my 2011: a retrospective series. I think that the first half of 2011 could be characterized as intensely focused on career-building and relationship-building (with M, my beautiful niece Isabel), while the second half of 2011 could be characterized as physical- and emotional-building with career and relationships shifting more towards ‘refinement’ (for lack of a better word!).

So, here you have it – 2011: a retrospective (part II):


July was an exciting time for me for a few reasons: I decided to run my second half-marathon ‘officially’ and was deep in training for it (as the half-marathon was in August) with M by my side, and at the same time, the barre n9ne challenge was also going strong, as I reached my first milestone at the tail-end of June: 8.25″ lost since starting the challenge 30 days prior. Also? M and I decided to officially move in together and found our fantastic apartment after looking at just a few (and now, as I sit here, I am amazed at just how much I LOVE it here and how much it feels like home)

July also featured several ‘lakations’ upta camp in Maine, with M, my sisters and niece and some friends. Truly one of the best months of the year. Insanely good weather, some fantastic long runs (including a sunrise run with my friend Steph that was stunning, and several awesome ones with M…even if we did get lost on one of them, and also saw a turtle!), and some beach days thrown in for good measure.

And…and…and? The barre n9ne 60 day challenge officially ended and in total, I lost 14.25′ and regained my self esteem, body image and confidence in myself…I felt WORTH it again. I OWNED the changes and still do, to this day, as I continue seeing progress and change.


August. Pivotal again for a couple of reasons. First, running my second half marathon…and feeling like I failed. This was a case of my rushing to run a race that I knew would be a difficult course due to hills (oh holy hills…) and humidity. Looking back now, I truly wished I waited and ran the Green Strides Half in October instead, but hindsight is 20/20, right?I declared that I am a runner but not a racer. And honestly, I still feel this way, for the most part, even though I am debating on running another half marathon this year. Something is pulling me…and for once, it is not overthinking or doing something because I have to…it’s because I want to.

August also featured…moving in with M!!! It was bittersweet, my last night alone in my apartment, but now? I can’t imagine *not* living with M. And then this happened. Still one of my favorite moments of the summer, and perhaps even the year. *swoon*

My Nonno also passed away in August…and I didn’t know how I felt about it. I sort of forget sometimes that he has, just given the lack of relationship we really had. I still wish my Nonna was still here, more than anything. She’d truly have loved M. And knowing she would…warms my heart.

One thing I did struggle with, beginning in earnest in August, would rear up several times in the coming months…comparing myself to others, running frustrations and a pretty lengthy bout of overthinking…


My niece turned 1 in September! And marveling at how much she has grown in a year, and how much personality she has, and even, how with every time I see her, she remembers me more, she comes to me, and she trusts me…I just smile thinking about her. I love her more than I ever thought I could…more with each day. **kisses beautiful Isabel!**

…and I went to wine country…and with M by my side, it was even more amazing than the prior two years (even though I really missed having my sis and Scott there!). We ran amid vineyards, we drank a lot of wine and brought home even more wine (a shitton, in fact.). My mecca. Firmly believe!

I also kicked off another series, on learning to live together. And really worked through some initial kinks as M and I adjusted to living together.


October featured a freak snow storm that knocked out power in my complex for 4 days…and for weeks in other areas of the state. I exited October not a happy camper 😉

I hit my overthinking breaking point in October…to the point that I simply snapped out of it. And to this day, I feel freer of that overthinking feeling than I ever have. I don’t overthink running, work, relationship (with M, my sisters, friends etc), nothing. It just works. I might think, but don’t overthink. And that is huge for me! My freedom from overthinking could be evidenced by the day I just ran…almost an entire half marathon without even planning on it. A very proud moment for me 🙂

(I also took my last work trip of 2011 in October…hallelujah!)


I started taking my blog in a bit of a new direction in November (and am still planning to adjust it even more in 2012…all in the name of refinement!), starting a new series on stories that define me…and writing less about my relationship with M, as I feel as though we are at a point where much of that adjusting and learning to each other has become more straight and narrow, and I don’t feel as compelled to divulge as much. I also started the 6-month running challenge and so far, it is one of the best things I’ve done for myself, aside from the barre n9ne challenge, as I feel like I am completely transforming my running, already, and can’t imagine where I’ll be come May 2012! Sky’s the limit?


Funny, even though we are still in December, I don’t feel like much has happened. But it has. I’ve continued my run-challenge and learning so much with each week’s runs. Barre n9ne continues to kick ass and I have successfully stayed on my ‘lifestyle change’ for more than 7 months and the results are showing…to ME, most importantly. I feel good, fit, happy, strong. And cannot wait to continue this journey in 2012, in every sense of the word. So much more to come…trust me 🙂


So there you have it…my 2011 retrospective. Going through these posts was so interesting to me. The first half of the year truly featured work challenges and relationship learnings and challenges, while the second half really did shift towards personal and physical challenges. So interesting.

Did you have any sort of ‘seachange’ moments in 2011? Where things in your life just shifted focus or direction somewhat dramatically? Do share!

I wish you all a wonderful New Year’s Eve, whatever you may be doing. I am so excited for NYE, even more than I was last year. It’s going to be epic, of course, and I personally cannot wait to put on some sparkles and ring in the new year in style.

Happy New Year, friends, and back atcha in 2012!!