Tag Archives: time

FEF: volume II

Awhile back, I waxed poetic blogged about it being ‘finally effing Friday’ (hello longer than LONG week and chock to the brim with activity!) and today? It feels warranted to celebrate FEF yet again.

Because it’s been another doozy. Mostly in a good way. Just one of those weeks where I felt like M and I were ships passing in the night (we had one meal together this week, and tonight won’t even have that!). And not even so much because I fell back on my motto to simplify either, just a week where M had lots of meetings after work and I had several evening plans as well. But in the choas of this week comes a few very fabulous things I am loving. So, celebrate, shall we?

I am loving sister dinners.

As part of my quest to make more room in my life for what matters most, sister dinners was a top priority. These nights are so special and NEEDED for the three of us, to really connect as sisters, without our men, or families, or anyone, around, just us. Being silly. Sharing in a glass of wine (something my sister Jen rarely gets a chance to do!). Laughing. Venting. Catching up.

And sometimes a special guest joins us to make it that much more perfect. This Wednesday was sister dinner WITH that special guest…my niece Isabel. She is at SUCH a fun age, and she melted me into a million pieces with her running full speed in for a hug, her kiss on the lips and how she says ‘hi auntie’ in the cutest little voice I have ever heard. She’s also a fan of the selfie and we took many of those to capture the night. My most favorite collage of all time below 🙂

Sister dinners…worth the busy week to cram in and do right.

I am loving my expanding role in barre n9ne.

Another reason my week was so busy – but in a valued, good way (just so happened that everything got planned for the same week, M’s busy week and mine, the perfect storm for ships passing in the night!), was a long-awaited meeting of the b9 minds (LOL. That would be me, Jess and Tanya) to discuss even more ways to make barre n9ne better, bigger, and stronger. My sister and I are officially taking on more of a marketing/PR/social media role at the studio to help make this happen and I couldn’t be more excited.

Melding my passion with what I’m good at (PR/social media)? Perfection.

And, helping even more with the 60 day challenge, refining it further, helping clients be successful? A dream.

Bringing in new events, features, and classes and teaching even more? Words cannot describe.

And, I am loving looking back at the past four (!) years since I began my journey anew. 

You see, Tara at Relative Evolutions asked me to write a guest post for her on my evolution, from then, until now (she’s had quite the journey herself, and I am so proud of her, and happy to see where she is now!!). And it’s taken me weeks and weeks of ruminating on just how I wanted to capture it, and the inspiration to put it all together. Here is the finished piece, and I am so proud of it, and my journey. I don’t write on the topic nearly as much, but it just makes my heart happy, proud, and filled with gratitude about my life now.

So, while I am celebrating FEF fervently today, I am feeling grateful (albeit relieved the week is nearing an end). And I am feeling so fortunate to be surrounded by those I care about. Because this weekend? It’s Friendsgiving, folks. Third annual, and it’s going to be the best one yet 😉 Hope you have a fabulous weekend, shaking off a long week, and enjoying a much deserved weekend! Cheers!

Learning to ‘sit down.’

Today’s ‘Girlfriends in God’ passage was particularly powerful for me. I continually struggle with balancing do-it-all-let’s-go-go-go, with taking a step back and realizing that sometimes less is most definitely more.

In  my commitments. To family, friends, and last but not least, myself.

In my fitness. Sticking closer to the ‘work smarter, not harder’ mantra.

In my eating. Continuing on the log as a tool, not as a hard and fast rule. In ‘setting it and forgetting it’ (rather than letting it consume my thoughts)

In my faith. In strengthening my relationship with God. In faith in myself. In faith in my life path.

When you cram all of that together, all of those goals, all of those…things, it takes up a lot of space in my brain, in my habits, in my day.

When do I ‘sit down?’

When do I let the process happen.

Rather than poke and prod it to death?

THIS:

We all struggle with balance and the inevitable battle with stress that struggle creates. When we refuse to balance the sometimes overwhelming demands of work, home, family, friends, and personal growth, stress will be the natural result. What we really need is a holy balance only God can bring. The story of Mary and Martha, two very different women, offers valuable truths about balance that we can apply to our lives today.

A balanced life is focused on right things. <-hello epiphany!! 

AND THIS:

Choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling and a willful determination. Every day, God wants relationship building time with us, which means that time at His feet, in His presence must be our highest priority…It is amazing to me how I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving God with the leftover scraps of time and then have the audacity to complain that my life is void of power and purpose. Distractions come from every side. Some of those distractions are good and wonderful things, but they are all still wrong things if they keep us from stopping to spend time with God. We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we run errands, plan meals, deal with children, clean house, and do laundry – but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.

Investing my time. My time is an investment. Just as is all of our time. It is valuable and it deserve to be made a priority. Not squandered away. Not OVER-planned down to a point of stress and losing sight of that importance. (This Lindsay also makes some great points on prioritizing and simplifying – I am constantly learning from you, girl!!)

I’ve been letting my ‘smarter, not harder’ mantra get the best of me…because I’ve been reversing it. Harder, NOT smarter. For example, when I read Lindsay’s post ‘dear overexercising’ – wow, that hit home. While I think for the most part I strike a good balance with my workouts and my teaching, the lines are blurring a little. I put too much pressure on myself to cram it all in. And instead of smarter, it’s just harder. And it’s not productive.

The same goes with the other areas in my life I mentioned above. I need to prioritize. Not try to do it all because I know I can, or because I am *that* productive. Honoring the investment. Honoring the time. And instead making quality investments with my time. Back to balancing too little with too much and hitting the balance of ‘just right’ in all aspects of my life.

I’m learning to sit down. (Again) going back to basics. And I already feel more balanced and ‘free’ just thinking about it. Take a step back, look at your time ‘investments’ and when you think of them that way, they mean so much more, don’t they? 

 

On the Importance of time and priorities.

I read Girlfriends in God every morning (thanks to Lindsay for recommending it!!) and there were two recent passages that really struck home for me. (even if you are not a ‘religious’ type, these devotionals are so good and so right-on almost every single day. Worth a read, I promise!) They both have to do with time and this is a post I have been wanting to write for a couple of weeks, but alas, needed the time to put some thought into it, ironic, isn’t it? (I started this post on my last flight home – plenty of time!)

This passage is what really resonated with me, when it comes to time, priorities, and what’s really important:

We have either forgotten or failed to realize the truth that our minutes, hours and days are precious commodities — gifts from God that can be unwrapped only once…A busy life is not necessarily a productive life.

The author goes on to say that we should choose one day to plan the week (vs. me – who tries to plan, overplan, and plan some more – almost to my detriment, being overplanned and overthinking every plan I have made, throwing me into an OATTing tizzy. A tiring combination).

She also says ‘simplify and eliminate’ – this is something I have learned and keep trying to do more of this. It’s about prioritizing and more importantly, keeping some of that time FREE, not booked to the minute. M always jokes that I plan every minute of our time together. And he’s right. I tend to do that and then it’s just not as fun when I feel like we’re rushing around and not actually enjoying WHAT we planned to do. The picnic we had recently was a perfect example of a plan that was not planned. Something we did with no ‘end time’ in sight. Just for as long as we wanted. We laid in the grass, my head on his chest and just watched the clouds drift through the blue skies.

And finally, THIS is what truly says it all:

If we don’t set priorities — others will. Time thieves will steal our time as we allow them to impose their plans and standards on us. It is so easy to lose focus and scramble priorities.

As I just finished up what feels like a whirlwind 6 weeks of traveling (3 work trips in those 6 weeks!), kick-starting barre n9ne teaching, and a really hectic couple of months of work, I am taking a minute to hit the reset button. Summer is ALWAYS notoriously busy. And, with all fun things, for the most part. Lots of parties, cookouts, Maine, (maybe) the Cape, and more (fun) travel. But with a busy summer can also come that blur of where-did-summer-go and ‘did I even enjoy it as much as I possibly could?‘ feeling. Because, having a busy life, while GOOD, can also have a way of stealing joy out of those times. Just by nature of time, and lack thereof.  (at least for me)

And the final kicker that I NEED to really think about time and priorities? When it took THREE WEEKS to plan a sister dinner, and one that almost got canceled last night at the last minute (where we then realized that if we didn’t keep to our original plan, it was at least another two weeks until we could book our dinner again…for sisters that all live within 20-30 miles of each other? That is simply wrong.). And that sister dinner we had last night? One of the best nights we’ve had together, just us, in a very long time. A dinner we now vow to do on the first Tuesday of every month (hold us to it, ok?!).

So, this is me. Stopping. Thinking. Prioritizing. And keeping time open. Because sometimes, the best things happen when they are unplanned. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the BEST things happen when they aren’t planned.

Best. Friday Morning. Ever.

Alarm clock goes off at 5:08 am (because 5:05 feels *much* earlier).

*groan. yawn. give M a kiss* (and surprised he gets up with me instead of sleeping in another hour!)

On the road by 5:20 to get to 6 am barre n9ne method class (the best way to start a Friday, I am convinced…not to mention the longest.week.ever. Felt like 49 days long or something).

*trying to psych myself up for a 3 miler post-barre with Steph, even though it’s chilly and I’m tireeddddd*

*fabulous* class 6-7 am.

Debate outdoor 3 mile loop with Steph. Know I’m tight on time, and she is too. And feeling slightly wussy in 35 degree temps when we’ve had temps in 50-70 degree range the last week. Quick change of plans: quick run at my sister Jess’s house (5 mins away, you’ll see why I’m going there anyway in a sec…).

7:21 am. Bang out 2.5 miles…wanted 3, but didn’t have time. And a shame, too, because it was actually one of those ‘can run all day’ feelings, surprisingly (even though I thought to myself, how much I didn’t *really* feel like running and if it started to feel like ‘junk miles’ I’d stop. Go figure! No junk! Whee!).

7:45 am. *Fly* through a quick shower at my sister’s with 5 minutes to spare, because I had a very important coffee date and I didn’t want to be late! So what did my lovely sister do? She packed up our obsessed favorite oatmeal into a tupperware so I could eat it as I drove (seriously, that was genius, and it was SO GOOD, even as I carefully drove and ate!).

8:09 am. I went on my merry way, grabbed two coffees on the way and made it to my other sister Jen’s by 8:32 (so I was late by 2 mins…).

Why all the rush-rush this morning? Why, to spend a cherished hour with my sister Jen and my beautiful niece Isabel, of course! (this worked out perfectly as I had a dentist appointment at 9:30 down the street, because yes, I still go to the same dentist since I was 4 years old. I do not care that it is now more than 30 miles away!).

And it was worth every minute of coordination and rush-rush to get there because Isabel was in an absolutely fabulous mood and we had the MOST fun at our auntie/sister coffee/playdate!!

A photo recap says it all:

I think she can see herself at this point, in the camera and starts waving to herself. *cuteness*
And finally, we're both in the picture, and semi-smiling. Success!

Besides that highlight of the morning, Isabel is learning to say my name!!! She says ‘hi jo!’ if Jen says it first, and oh my Gosh, that is the cutest thing EVER to hear out of your niece’s mouth. Best. Ever!

After hugs, kisses (‘blowing kisses’ and kisses on the lips too!), and far too much fun crammed into about 50 minutes, I left my sister Jen’s house with a huge grin on my face, and waved as they waved goodbye at me from the window. My heart felt explosive with joy and love…this was by far one of my favorite memories with my niece and sister in awhile, and sometimes, it’s those unexpected moments that mean so much. It truly has been the best. Friday morning. Ever. (even with the dentist, I love getting my teeth cleaned!)

**This weekend has felt like a long time coming…lots on tap, including a sushi lunch date with some fabulous women (Jess, Meaghan and Samantha!!), a visit to my grandparents (corned beef and cabbage? YES PLEASE! No, seriously, I LOVE corned beef and cabbage and I’m not even Irish!) and much-needed catch-up time with M. Cheers friends, make it a goodie!**

NOTE: if you cannot comment on my post, I understand from WordPress that you must create a WordPress login in order to comment. It’s ass-backward if you ask me, commenting should be OPEN, but I digress. If it’s not working for you and you want to comment, that’s the only thing I’ve heard that works. Sorry, friends! :/