Tag Archives: happiness

Stealing my own joy.

Lately, I’ve struggled with the little things. The nitpicks. The stuff I can’t control. The stuff I wish I could control. The things that are simply out of my control.  And the stuff that I just need to find a way to separate myself from emotionally.

Do you ever find yourself in that boat? Letting things affect you and your mood that are either simply out of your control or, more bluntly, none of your business, in a sense, yet they still nag and nag and nag at you until poof,  joy is stolen. By you.

I’ve realized I’ve stolen my own joy lately for no other reason than letting the little things get to me.

In my ongoing journey of living ‘perfectly imperfect’ – this is one area that I just must fix. It seems to rear its ugly head when life is just chugging along, all good. Life is good, work is good, b9 is good, runs/workouts are good…it’s alllll good. And it’s like I subconsciously semi self-sabotage myself to find something to bother me. But why? What’s the sense in that?

Maybe it goes back to that feeling I’ve always had, deep down. That guilt over reaching a triumphant point in my life, a life that I built from scratch less than 5 years ago, getting through divorce, and all the financial, emotional, and yes, even physical struggles that come with it, to finding the true love of my life less than two years after my divorce, and marrying him two years later. The guilt over being happy when there are so many around me that are not, that are struggling to find their path, their love of their lives, their ‘calling’ if you will.

I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I’ve earned this. I’ve worked for this. And yes, I deserve it too. I need to shed the guilt. And also shed the habit of finding things to be unhappy about. Finding them. Why? What is the sense in that? Honestly. Sometimes I shake my head at myself and want to slap myself.

I’ve been digging deeper, reading a lot of scripture, daily devotionals (especially the one I cherish from this beautiful soul!) and vent sessions with my sisters and with M. About my incessant need to let things bug me that honestly really should not. And it’s really helping. Sometimes I just need to process the root cause of things…the why behind the joy stealing.

And in writing this all out, it’s giving me the accountability I need to cut the shit. Get over the little stuff.  And when I saw this on instagram, it all came together. No more joy stealing. Leave it alone. Instead, focus on what makes me smile. And my friends, that is what I shall do.

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The journey…six years later.

**I’ve been ruminating on this post for a few days. Stops and starts. It may not flow, but it’s what’s in my brain, stream of conscious**
Six years ago, I got married. October 21, 2007.
Yet it feels *so* much longer than six years.
My life then to my life now? Is simply unrecognizable. While dates that used to bear significance to ‘that’ life used to hit me more, with time, they become duller and duller and now, just a memory of a lifetime that has passed.
But what doesn’t become dull is rejoicing in where I am today, vs. where I was then. In embracing my journey. In realizing that every step I took, every decision I made, was made with intent, and was made with empowerment and choice.
I shaped this life. Me. Nobody else. I went for what I wanted, I changed and evolved and became the me I am today for nobody else but myself.
And that is something I will cherish and embrace forever.
And it is something that is always within me, this drive for more, bigger, better. Truthfully, this drive sometimes causes me angst, unrest, and restlessness. The want for more, always and my ongoing journey towards simplifying, doing more by doing less, and being content with being perfectly imperfect.
And I circle back to my beginnings, which I define as the day I started my journey alone, independently, for the first time in my life, back in 2008, just about this time of year…which is probably why I am thinking so much about my beginnings lately. Late October has felt like the ‘bewitching’ time of year for me (and truthfully, no pun intended), conjuring up the juxtaposition between then and now and it humbles me. It brings me back to that drive, that motivation and that want for the best, always. In everything I do, every step I take, every barre n9ne class I teach, every press release I write, every action I take in all walks of life, from my marriage, to my job, to my passion (b9, of course!).
Which brings me to this…some more beautiful and striking words from Jeff Goins, a writer that strikes what I am thinking just right…in the below, and generally, in any of the blogs and articles I’ve read from him lately (see my post on the Slow Down Challenge here).
THIS.
When we embrace the journey and don’t just live for the destination, we discover a deeper life.
And this. Take a read of these…and I am pretty sure one, if not all of these, will resonate. To the next six years, beyond and further. To the journey.

10 lessons we learn from journeys

Journeys are important — both physical ones as well as figurative ones. They help remind us that we are not done yet, that life itself is a trip that we can make the most of or completely miss the point.So here are 10 brief lessons I learned from my trip. Maybe they’ll help you on whatever journey you’re taking:
  1. No journey is perfect. Take one, anyway. You will grow regardless.
  2. The destination is never quite what we expect. But without one, we wander aimlessly. So having a final arrival point is important if for no other reason than it gets you started.
  3. Only when we let go of what we think we deserve can we really enjoy what we have.
  4. Inspiration is everywhere. You just need eyes to see it. Yes, even in cornfields.
  5. The hard part isn’t getting from point A to B. It’s paying attention to what’s around you before you miss it.
  6. A journey is less meaningful when traveled alone. We need community to make the most of all experiences, even if that means finding it along the way.
  7. Art helps us process. A good book or great record not only helps pass the time; it gives language to an experience you might otherwise not be able to describe.
  8. Gratitude makes any experience better. It’s easy to want to be home or some place else but we have no control over that. Turns out all we can control is our attitude. So why not be thankful?
  9. The best journeys have a purpose. But expect to be surprised and even see that purpose change.
  10. If you accomplish nothing, see nothing, even feel nothing, take heart. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve changed. And this is reason enough to continue traveling.

A needed #staycation

Since last Friday, October 4, M and I have been on #staycation2013 (my very first! I have never taken a week off from work and not gone anywhere!), and it couldn’t have come at a more needed or perfect time.

I was forgetting things at work. I wasn’t as sharp. I wasn’t as upbeat. I wasn’t as ‘on it’ as usual.

We were both tired, weary, mentally and physically.

With the recent passing of our beautiful Nala, we just needed a retreat. A simple one, away from the day to day, but at the same time, closeby, cultivating our connection with Nala’s sister, Kayla, with each other, and with ourselves. Just having time to think. And to not think. Time to do the things we have pushed off, the errands, the closet organizing, the dry cleaning. All the little things that just get pushed to the side. Time to also do nothing. To NOT plan. To go planless. 

I asked M to make sure I did not overplan. I started to. I really did. I had something set for every day of our staycation. But as soon as that day hit, I suddenly didn’t care what we did or when, just that we were together and that we kept it simple.

We slept in. Almost every day.

We worked out, sure, but when we wanted to. Not just to get it in or to fit it in between other things. And those workouts felt amazing. We ran 9 for our #10forNala in preparation, and it felt awesome. To feel rested, ready, and in fresh, crisp, beautiful air.

We drank wine. A lot. We made dinners that usually take more time on weeknights. We went apple picking. I baked seriously the most amazing apple pie ever (not to pat myself on the back or anything…), we watched movies, we read our books, we relaxed.

We celebrated our 34th birthdays together too, as we are three days apart, in Boston, overnight in the city, at our favorite restaurant and just soaked it all in.

And today, on the last day of our staycation (M has tomorrow off too though, stinker!), we both feel rested, relaxed, rejuviated and ready for the week ahead. Ready to dig deep and face the latest season of our lives, together. Closer than ever.

…and also ready – so ready – to run #10forNala. As of now, we plan to run it Tuesday. We thank everyone that has run, walked, yoga’d, done anything in their own way to pay tribute to our beautiful Nala.

If you ever have a chance to staycation…please do. It has been an incredible, invaluable week that I feel so fortunate to have taken, at a time when we both needed it most.

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On taking a chance…three years later.

Three years ago today, I walked into a restaurant, anxiously awaiting my date to arrive. It was my self-proclaimed ‘last ditch effort’ at match.com, after almost two years of on and off online dating, I was ready to throw in the towel and do some soul searching. But there was this guy that caught my eye, as if every single word of his profile was written AT me, and I couldn’t resist, I had to take one more chance.

He walked through those doors and I had nervous anticipation. What if he wasn’t who he said he was. What if he wasn’t what I expected him to be. What if…it was another letdown. But as soon as he got closer, all of that melted away. Because he already *seemed* to be who I thought he *might* be. And when he greeted me, I looked into his eyes and I saw…him. And it felt right, and familiar, in a way, and my anxieties quickly dissapeared. As soon as he guided me to our table, placing his hand gently on my lower back, I melted. The small touch of chivalry…just spoke to me.

And from that day forward, three years in the making, here we sit. That was the beginning of my first (and last ‘first!’) date with M, the man I was meant to meet and  marry. It blows me away every time I think about the last three years. Of where we have been together. Of what we have experienced. Of the love that we have cultivated. Of the best friendship that we have built. Of the life we brought together. Of us. Of the home that we now live in…and? The marriage that has united us, forever.

Three years ago, there was no way I would have ever guessed that, fast forwarding to today, my life would be what it is today. Five years ago, I would not have believed, or perhaps trusted, that my life then, broken, alone, heart shattered, would transform into the life that it is now.

It honestly makes me speechless. It gives me chills. And a wave of thankfulness, blessedness and happiness washes over me.

Three years with the man that has made me believe in true and utter love, to the soul love…the love that you see with the catch of an eye, the turn of a smile, the comfort of a hug and the passion of a kiss.

Love that – had I not gone through what I did, had M not gone through what he did – that would never have happened. Love that came together because of what we both went through. And again, that brings us both to the realization, yet again, that we were brought together because we were meant to. Because we trusted, had faith and took a chance.

Truly.
Truly.

Where our story continues…M’s perspective.

M decided to write his own blog on our marriage, and with his permission, I am sharing it here for you all. Reading through this brought tears to my eyes…and though I am not one to put much behind a palm reader, but it is pretty incredible, isn’t it? I continue to feel so blessed, incredibly loved, and connected to M, as we begin our walk through marriage, it is the most settling, happy feeling I have ever encountered. Life has led me – and us – here, to this very place, and I couldn’t be happier. ❤

Enjoy.

~~

You know, I’ve never doubted for a second that life is above all things unpredictable.  You live, you die….everything including happiness is optional.  If you told me three years ago that I’d be happily re-married to the absolute love of my life, I would have told you you were looney tunes.  I had given up. I figured “one strike, and you’re out!” I remember going to a palm reader at a haunted house the October after my separation from my ex and the person told me I’d be remarried within 5 years. I should have saved her business card for a rainy day. Anyways…and then, it happened. I went from down and out, single, battered and bruised…to back on top (TWSS) feeling like I’m on top of the world.

She’s truly the love of my life.  We’re the best of friends and companions, the best of lovers, we love so much of the same things, and our families love the both of us. Outside of marrying the absolute best woman in the whole wide world, I’ve also inherited the best brother and sister-in-law combo that a guy could ask for. As this would be both our second marriages, we opted for a small, intimate engagement with close friends in wine country. Close friends, wine, marriage… kinda like peanut butter, jelly, and bread, right????

The scene plays over and over in my head.  She was so beautiful in her wedding dress as she is always beautiful no matter what. So what if it was 110 degree at the top of an arid, grassy hill.  The view was amazing! And as our close friends watched we recited our vows. Now, I’ve always been a procrastinator and my motto always has been “why do calmly today what you can rush through like an absolute maniac tomorrow” but I actually had worked on these vows for quite some time.  In fact, what I recited was version 7. It seemed fitting. I knew it was right because reading them to myself actually evoked a deep emotional response, something that for me is very difficult to do.

Our good friend, Jim, was our JP and he married us. When it was my turn I started to recite my vows and had to pause a few  times to make sure I could go on. I looked at the page, I read, but, honestly, I didn’t look at the page for a lot of it, because a lot of it came from deep within my heart.

I told her that when I said “I love you” I was making her a promise. I promised to love her forever. I promised to keep her safe. I promised to respect her. I promised to stand with her when the world seemed against her. I promised to support her in every way. I promised that her life would be mine and vice versa. I promised to hold her tight, to make her laugh, to hold her hand…I promised I would be her’s if she’d be mine (taken from Mumford and Sons)…I promised I would support her through anything she wanted to do with her Barre9 carreer, and, yes, her LuluLemon habit. But ultimately I told her that I felt like I was the luckiest man in the world….because she loved me back. And I truly still feel that way. I always will

And, then, that was it. We kissed. Everyone clapped. We all smiled. It was a special day. A day I won’t soon forget. One time, about a year ago, she planned this elaborate surprise party for me. I give her credit, it was awesome. I walked into our old apartment…SURPRISE!!!!! Everyone was there….everyone important to me. Friends from every circle intermingling, talking, laughing, mixing together….it was, what I truly believe, what heaven would be like. But, I was wrong….heaven wouldn’t be that. Heaven would be all those people, our families…..in wine country, on that hill…laughing, talking, just being together. Not a worry in the world, just love, innocence, safety, and total utter satisfaction.

I hope I get there….. someday.

<3 his face here.