This morning while I was putting on my makeup a song came on my Jaymay Pandora station that I have never heard before but the lyrics caught my attention:
Two birds on a wire
One tries to fly away
And the other
Watches him close
From that wire
He says he wants to as well
But he is a liar
It’s called Two Birds by Regina Spektor. These lyrics struck me because of the particular situation that Josh and I are in right now.
See what had happened was…
Earlier in the summer I applied for a position at a university in my hometown. I never heard back about it so I assumed it wasn’t meant to be and went on about my life. Until I got a phone call out of the blue from that institution. It was from a Vice President who was hiring for another position and had been forwarded my resume. He asked if I was interested and I said yes! After a really great phone interview, followed by an on campus interview, they told me that they really liked me but they chose someone else. They said email us in 2 weeks and we might have something for you. I figured they were just being nice. That was the day I wrote Not my plan.
And then something miraculous happened. They actually did want me. They actually did have a position for me. A wonderful woman contacted me about a job that she knew I’d be perfect for. And she was right.
My mind was full of worry about Josh’s contract, our lease, moving expenses, burdening my parents while we house hunt, etc. But my heart was overwhelmed with joy and belonging. I just knew. I could just feel it. I can’t really explain it but I knew this was where I needed to be.
And now Josh has gotten the job offer, the one we were hoping for. I am so excited, financially it is much better for us and they were willing to buy out his contract. But Josh loves where we were. He has friends that have become family there. He loves his job the way I love my new one. I feel so selfish and guilty. Not only about dragging Josh away but also about the friends and family we have created in our little town. But as sad as I am to leave that behind, I whole-heartedly, without a doubt believe that this move is meant to be. I am praying that Josh will love his new job just as much as his old one, if not more. I am hoping that with time, he will be just as happy and fulfilled as I am now.
He says he is proud of me and happy for me and I believe that.
He says he is excited to move and start a new life with me, but of that I am not convinced. Right now I am the bird that flew away and he is watching me from the wire. But he will come along eventually.
Mary Kay’s rules are this:
Obviously, family comes before career…But what about when you need to sacrifice your family to advance your career in order to take care of your family? My life doesn’t even make sense right now!
The main reason I chose to go to St. Louis with Josh was because I couldn’t imagine spending 3 months living 900 miles away from each other. In our 10 years together, we had spent a lot of time living apart and I was just so tired of it. I just wanted to be a normal couple that comes home to the same address at night, I mean, is that too much to ask?!
So the irony of our current situation is killing me right now.
I accepted a job offer in a city 100 miles away, which is wonderful. Better title, more responsibility, higher pay…I’d be a fool to say no. I am certain that our future family is better off by me taking this opportunity.
What’s making this so hard is that Josh is under contract at his job. He told his boss on Monday that I accepted a position in our hometown. I am so proud of him because they are trying really hard to keep him. He is a great physical therapist and they don’t want to lose him. I can’t go in to the whole story here because no one has that kind of time but let’s just suffice it to say
There were some kinks thrown our way. We spent a good 3 hours last night going over all the options. And somebody gets screwed in all of them. There was just no ‘good’ option. So we decided that Josh will stay here for a little while.
Not even my sad Agnes eyes could convince him to just pick up and go with me. My selfishness wants him to just love me so much that he says “contracts be damned, I’ll follow you anywhere”.
But that’s my fantasy world interfering with reality. He has a reputation to protect and since I share his last name…I have to protect it too. There are other people involved, so we both know that he can’t just drop everything. Not unless there was an even better opportunity for him, one in which no one would blame him for taking it. And at this point, we aren’t sure of that.
So here we are…in the exact situation we were trying to avoid at this time last year. But I know it’s for the best. As much as I hate to admit it.
Since I was in middle school I always said I would NEVER live in my hometown. As soon as I graduated high school I moved away and I only came back for holidays and summers. This had absolutely nothing to do with my family, I LOVE my family! In fact, I am constantly driving back and forth to spend more time with my family.
It was something to do with me. I guess I just always wanted something that was my own in a weird way. But God is mysterious. I have learned so much about myself since moving away from home. I am a completely different person than the shy, fearful 18 year old that my parents dropped off at college. There are a lot of things I used to say never to but have since realized that I was holding myself back. I love the life Josh and I have created together and I’m sure the sadness will hit me soon enough.
But I am ready to come home. Even though I said I never would. I said I would NEVER want to walk around in a city with all the people I went to high school with. (I really don’t understand my aversion to that but it is what it is.) Regardless, I have accepted an incredible job offer in my hometown.
This is the job ya’ll. This is the one I’ve been waiting for. This is the place I have been prepared to go.
I am totally high on happiness and a little euphoric right now. I haven’t even begun to process all the logistics that will be involved. Especially considering that I start in 2 weeks and Josh is under contract at his job. Details, just details. When you know, you know and I am being called to this position.
I’m sure there will be much angst to follow!
I’ve always been mistaken for being a lot older than I am. One time I was in the grocery store with my mom and the guy at the check out said “So, what college you goin’ to?” and I was like “Um…I’m in the 8th grade!”. Another time, I was 21 at a party and a woman thought I was in my 30′s. And let’s not forget the time that girl thought I was Josh’s mom! So yeah…when I say I’m always mistaken for being older, I mean A LOT older.
And I suddenly noticed the other day that I am no longer being referred to as a “girl”. I showed up for a meeting somewhere the other day and the front desk person referred to me as “the lady from the symphony”.
the lady?? Can I at least get young lady??
But I am determined to be a graceful ager. Which I guess is pretty easy to say right now. But, I mean it’s not like I ever want to go back to “younger days”. Sure, my skin was tighter with less fine lines back then but I also had braces, acne, and mosquito bites for boobs.
There is obviously very little I can do to control the process of aging. I have stopped tanning, I cleaned up my eating, I exercise, and I use sunscreen and mary kay daily. That’s about all I can afford. And if I have learned anything in my very short 27 years, it’s that it’s a waste of time to worry about things you can’t control. And in fact, is quite counter productive to my anti-aging pursuits.
So here’s to embracing ourselves at every stage of life. Because as I was reminded this week by the copious amounts of furniture, jewelry, fur coats, and fine china left behind by a very wealthy local woman, which is all now being auctioned away at her estate sale…you just can’t take it with you.
I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last post! I love blogging and putting my life out there for the roughly 3 people who still follow this thing…But I have been in a state of uncertainty since September and that makes it hard to put together coherent posts.
You know those people who post cryptic facebook statuses that are meant to draw attention and get people to wonder what’s going on in their life? Like “hurting today”, “waiting”, or “long road ahead”. It gives you absolutely no idea what on earth they’re talking about but still makes you curious as hell…you know what I’m talking about (and if you don’t you’re the one that posts them).
Well I, unfortunately, have to be that person today. I can’t share the specifics, but I have a very important meeting this Friday. The outcome of this meeting could cause 1 of 2 reactions below:
So any positive thoughts sent my way are certainly appreciated!
So last week I told ya’ll that I’ve decided to focus more on the things that matter and the things that make me happy. But sometimes this can be hard to decipher, right? Of course there are things that will always be important and will always be enjoyable like my family…Duh.
But where I get confused is this little phrase…I’m sure you’ve heard of it…
I don’t feel like working out…YOLO!
I want to eat an entire bag of chips…YOLO!
I want to call in sick to work…YOLO!
Um …no…there is a difference between doing what makes you happy and doing what feels good.
As absolutely hilarious as this is, I am pretty sure that it is not the purpose of the phrase “YOLO”. The blog I got that image from has a lot more to say about that particular issue, but I’m gonna take it a little different direction.
There are a lot of things that make me feel good: cheese, sunbathing, margaritas, sleeping, pinteresting, spending money, pizza buffets, and other such things.
And it’s so tempting to just give in to all the urges that cross my mind during the day in the name of making myself “happy”.
But these things do not bring me peace and sustaining happiness. Remember this picture I posted a while back?
So this is the formula I’m trying to use when deciding what’s important. As weird as it sounds, things that make me feel good temporarily, but that I will most certainly regret later, are not important. Things that may not feel as good while I’m doing them but make me feel better overall (exercise for example) are important.
It takes a conscious effort to make these changes. Don’t forget, you only live once and I never want to be known as the “worry wart” or the “debbie downer”. I always feel good when I’m with positive people so that’s who I want to be. And it really is so much easier to just choose to be happy. Any time I find myself heading down that road of negativity, I just stop myself. I focus on the things I do have instead of things I don’t have. I focus on the things I do like instead of the things I don’t like. And it has helped so much. My overall mood and outlook have improved. I’m sleeping better and craving food less. The power of positivity may be an overused cliche but there is a reason it has been said so much.
Lately I’ve been reading some books and articles about people who have had near death experiences. This phenomenon has always fascinated me and I wanted to find out more. What I’ve learned is that everyone’s experience is different. But, there is one thing that is always present…people who die and come back to life are never the same again.
They have a completely different sense of what is important in life. And it’s not money, fame, body image, or any of the vapid and materialistic things that this society finds important.
Every problem that I have stems down to the fact that I am constantly comparing myself to others. I know this. I have known this. And if anyone knows how to stop doing this, other than die and come back to life, PLEASE do share with me.
This quote on pinterest yesterday got me really thinking about this problem
It’s so true! And it’s worse than ever with all the social media outlets available to us now. There is a lot of information coming out about the effect that looking at facebook, instagram, and twitter have on our self esteem. Add this to the changing expectations of the twenty-something generation (see this blog shared with me by a friend) and we’ve got a big ol’ package of perpetual confusion and disappointment.
One of the blogs I follow is by a very wise man named Dr. Tim Elmore. He is the founder of a company called Growing Leaders. Today’s post was by a new professional in their office, Ashley, who recently graduated from college. (You can find the full post HERE. Definitely worth a few minutes if you are interested in this kind of thing.) Ashley was a successful college gymnast and writes about her transition from that to the workplace. A comment she makes really stood out to me:
“…the mentors in my life who remind me it took 23 years to reach the top tier of college athletics, and trusting it will take more than 6 months to reach that point in the workforce. A wise friend once told me, “It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint”.
I really needed to hear this! I have got to stop looking around at other people and worry about myself. It’s my own race and it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
In running, I find inspiration in competition. But in life, I find dissatisfaction. While some amount of this is good, it’s what keeps us getting out of bed and being productive rather than downing margaritas all the time. I need balance. It doesn’t matter where someone else is in their own race because it’s theirs. It has nothing to do with me.
The best thing I can do for myself is focus on what’s important: Josh, my family, my spirit, whether or not I am a good person. These things bring me joy and peace.
I will stop wasting my precious days away worrying about money and whether or not I am as successful as I should be. Who cares? As long as I am a good, loving person…all will be fine.
“Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” - A. Sachs
So I’d just like to follow up on my last post with a little story…
Back in fall 2008 I was beginning to plan a wedding. I already knew I wanted it to be on October 10, 2009. Josh and I started dating on October 10 so that was already our anniversary and I wanted to keep it that way. And in 2009 that date was on a Saturday. So he’d known for a while that he better be ready to marry me by then.
So in January 2009 when he still hadn’t proposed, I started getting a little nervous. I mean, we were talking about it and everything, he just hadn’t actually done it. But in the meantime, I was planning a little trip.
Josh loves me soooo much he agreed to drive 8 hours to Norman, Oklahoma to see Jewel at the Riverwind Casino on January 30, 2009. Remember when I hinted to this on our 10 year anniversary? Now you’ll get to hear the full story!
On the way to Oklahoma! Look at us! We’re practically BABIES!
So anyway, I was beside myself about this concert. It was a dream come true for me! And I just thought it would be so cool if Josh had it worked out to propose to me at this concert. I thought, maybe, just maybe, that’s why he had been waiting. Maybe he somehow got in contact with the concert production crew and was going to propose on stage or on the big screen. I just dreamed all the time about how awesome this was going to be. I bought a dress and shoes to wear. I fixed my hair down (which is pretty unheard of for me). I was going all out.
Well, we show up to the Casino and since this was my first time in one, I didn’t get the sweatpants memo. Yeah…I stood out big time in my black cocktail dress and heels. But we continued to the concert hall anyway, and nothing was going to distract me from my big night. I watched the entire concert in anticipation of “the moment”.
But it never came. Josh did not propose to me at that concert. Or even while we were in Oklahoma.
And I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed. It’s kind of embarrassing to tell about now, but I was really hoping Josh was going to pull off some grand scheme. But he didn’t, so we drove the 8 hours back home. And I do not remember why we drove through my hometown to stop at my parent’s house but we did which put us on the road back to our town pretty late that evening.
So I am aggravated. I was tired of the car, we still had an hour and a half to go and I just wanted to be home. What I am trying to tell you is that I was not being all that…um…friendly…to put it nicely.
But, a few minutes outside town, Josh asks if I want to listen to a cd he made. And in my head I’m like UM NO! Like I’ve told ya’ll before, our tastes in music differ somewhat…
But I hold back rude comments and just smile and say sure. The first song comes on and it’s one of my favorites. Then the next song comes on and it’s another one of my favorites. All the songs were my favorites!
But then Josh starts telling me that my car is steering weird. (Sidenote: Even though my car was less than a year old at this point, I HAD taken a bump a little too fast earlier that day so I actually was worried that I messed something up) But like I said before, I just wanted to be home and I did NOT want to be worrying about any pesky steering issues. So I am just like “It’s fine! Quit worrying about it!”
But Josh persisted and ends up pulling over to the side of the road to “check it out”, much to my less than subtle irritation. I am waiting in the car when the song ends and the next track surprised me because it’s Josh’s voice talking to me. He tells me how lucky he is to have me and how glad he is that I decided to offer him a ride home on the side of the road all those years ago.
So I jump out of the car to find him on his knee proposing to me!
It was the absolute PERFECT proposal for us! He had gone through so much thought and effort to put that together. I was so pleasantly surprised and incredibly impressed with him!
And I have never wished that he would have proposed to me at the Jewel concert. What he put together was so much more meaningful and was such a sweet tribute to the way we first met. I would never change it.
So I tell you all this to say that so often in life we try to plan things or we think we know what is best. But if we just let God take care of us, His plans are even greater than anything we could have imagined.
This very comforting analogy came to me after I wrote my last post. I had just received another No and wasn’t feeling too good. But this memory popped in my head and gave me such immense comfort. Because I am not just telling myself it will all work out because it’s the generic statement to make in my situation. I can say that with confidence because I have seen this happen in my life before. I have experienced the miracle and I have faith that something good is in store for me.
So I am a type A. Yeah…I know…SHOCKER! It’s just the way I am. It makes me feel good to be in control and to plan things.
When I was in college and I had to sit through a boring lecture I would just pick a desk in the back and work in my planner. It’s basically the color coded text version of my entire life in one black book. I am very futuristic and love to envision what could be. So it makes sense that I would use this skill on myself right? I would sit and literally plan my life out year by year, month by month.
May 2008-graduate with bachelors
June 2008-begin my masters
Fall 2009-graduate with master’s (ambitious I know, but I did it!)
October 10, 2009-get married
But that’s where my plan ended. Mostly because that was the end of all the decisions I could control.
And here I am, 4 years later in the exact same situation. I haven’t written about this here because I honestly just don’t want to share too much given the nature of the problem. But when I feel out of control I have an intense need to write. I have to put things down on paper, where I can see them. I can control words. If there is nothing else in my life I can control, I can choose what words to write.
I am feeling frustrated in my job. It’s just not fulfilling. So naturally, I want to write a plan for my life. I want to pick a new job and move on. Easy.
But God doesn’t work that way and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t appreciate my Judge Judy attitude either…
Waiting to hear back about a job is excruciating. I have never stared at my phone so much in my life. You would think I was willing it to bend with the time I have spent staring intently at the thing.
But God is working on me, I can feel it…And by “it” I mean pain. This entire year has been so incredibly frustrating for me, and I cannot express my exasperation with all the uncertainty I have faced.
I am reaching my limit of the amount of rejection I can endure and I am getting weary. I am starting to believe that there is something wrong with me. With every single NO I am spun through the stages of grief and left wavering, just a little less resilient than the time before.
It’s difficult to write about this because it’s humiliating. But mostly, I never want anyone to pity me. It’s just easier to hide it. So instead I try to push it all aside, trying to stay in balance somewhere between this guy
and this guy
And I’m leaning heavily toward the bathing in cheese guy…
When I was training for the marathon I always thought about that quote that circulates on pinterest that says something along the lines of “If it hurts, run faster”. When I set out to run 26 miles, I knew that was how far I had to go. I knew it would eventually end. And I knew if I wanted it to end faster then I should run faster. And the only person who controlled whether I ran faster or not was me.
But that doesn’t apply here at all. The truth is, I have no idea when I will find a job that is fulfilling and utilizes all my strengths. I have no idea when God’s plan is going to be clear. And I am not handling that very well, despite the fact that it was my own decision that put me in this situation.
I am usually a source of inspiration for others. Just like when I wrote the post about The Butterfly Struggle, I can usually find the positive. But I am just one PETA commercial away from a complete emotional break down. So I have been searching for inspiration and a glimpse of insight. And I have found these thoughts from others useful as I am looking for a way to keep the faith and survive this time in my life. Because I do know this…just like the marathon the pain will be worth it when it is over.
“Wait on the Lord” is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.”
― J.I. Packer, Knowing God
“If you’re still waiting for it, it means you’re not yet ready for it…whatever “it” is…so stop looking at waiting as a punishment and start looking at it as preparation!”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
“I have to learn that the aim in life is God’s, not mine. God is using me from His great personal standpoint, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him, and never say – Lord, this gives me such heart-ache…. He simply asks me to have implicit faith in Himself and in His goodness.”
― Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
In 1 month I will be out of the country, enjoying a view similar to this and sipping on a delicious daiquiri. Yeah, it can’t come soon enough! Especially since this trip was originally supposed to take place in May! But due to some complications and miscommunication with the travel agent…the trip was postponed to October.
Which is fine, I’m really just glad it’s still taking place because it almost didn’t happen twice! But this waiting is killing me! I just feel like a kid in the Marshmallow Test
I WANT IT NOW! But as soon as it gets here, I know it will go by too fast. Good things always do. But in the mean time I’ll just keep on doing my squats and pushups!
I don’t always like Josh. I mean, I love him every day but I just don’t always want to be in the same room as him. He just does stuff that annoys me sometimes ya know? Like ask me where to find a pair of scissors after we’ve been living together in the same space for over 4 years.
But there is no way on this earth I would ever go anywhere. I come home to him every single day because I am quite positive that he is the only other person on this planet willing to put up with my hormonal mood swings, inordinate number of food aversions, and preoccupation with tidiness, just to name a few of my most charming qualities. We are both imperfect but we realize that and have learned to work around each other’s quirks.
So why in every other area of my life do I expect uncircumstantial perfection? It was actually a counselor I had in college who brought it to my attention one day. I was seeing her for body image issues and she pointed out to me that I tend to view things from an all or nothing point of view. I am either fat or skinny, good or bad, smart or dumb, pretty or ugly, fast or slow, productive or lazy. There is no in between for me.
And I have alluded to this before when I talked about my body image issues here and here. And I think a lot of the feelings of inadequacy I’ve been having this summer originate from this basic flaw in thinking. I will never have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect body, or the perfect personality because these things don’t exist. At least not in the way I believe they should.
So, all there is to do is change the way I believe. Because the longer I go on struggling and worrying, the more of this life I am missing out on. I am literally missing the forest for the trees. How can I be upset with myself after completing a 5 mile run? Because it was done at a 9:30 pace instead of 9:00?? And this thought process is not limited to fitness, no I use it in other areas of my life as well.
But when I step back and look at how ridiculous I am, I feel instantly embarrassed. When I am old, of course I want to look back at my life and feel that I was successful in my pursuits. But not at the expense of my mental well-being. Here’s the kicker: when my mental-well being suffers, so does my performance. And when my performance suffers, so does my mental well-being.
For various reasons this summer, I have worried myself in to an emotionally unstable, nauseous, isolated, sleepless cry baby. Yup…a cry baby. And it’s reminds me of a story:
Years ago, my family and I were at a restaurant for Sunday lunch. All the sudden, through the window, I notice Josh and my brother-in-law walking somewhere together outside the building. I asked the table “Hey, where are they going?!”. No one had noticed them leave together or knew where they were headed. We had just arrived so I couldn’t imagine what they were up to. We all proceeded to throw out our best guess as to where they were going, but no one knew for sure. Finally, someone spoke up and if I had to guess, I bet it was my dad. He said “Hey here’s an idea…why don’t we just wait for them to come back and then they can tell us where they went.”
This is such a metaphor for me. I try too hard to control and plan and manipulate things in my life. I spend all my time guessing what’s going to happen. But here’s the deal: I have never been the one in position to make such decisions. When I step back and ask God to take care of me, and then actually let him do it, I tend to be a much more peaceful and content person.
So today I choose to be content. To know that I will be taken care of. I will treat every aspect of my life as I do my relationship with Josh-It’s never going to be perfect so just be grateful for what you’ve got. I don’t want to be the person who wastes their life away worrying about the minutia of life. There are much more interesting things to concern myself with.
A theme song for all this:
Change Your Mind
by Sister Hazel on the album Fortress
Did you ever think
There might be another way
To just feel better,
Just feel better about today
If you never want to have
To turn and go away
You might feel better,
Might feel better if you stay
I bet you haven’t heard
A word I’ve said
If you’ve had enough
Of all your tryin’
Just give up
The state of mind you’re in…
Chorus If you want to be somebody else,
If you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind…
Have you ever danced in the rain
Or thanked the sun
Just for shining- just for shining
Or the sea?
Oh no- take it all in
The world’s a show
And yeah, you look much better,
Look much better when you glow
what ya say
We both go and seize the day
’cause what’s your hurry
what’s your hurry anyway
So I really hope I don’t get severely judged for this post but I’m gonna go ahead and put it out there and hopefully there are people who can relate. I don’t know how many people know this about me, I work really hard to keep it a secret because it’s not something that I like about myself. But I get bothered easily. Since infancy I have been an irritable person. Josh says I am just too aware of my self and others. I read in a magazine one time about highly sensitive people and I was like “YUP! That’s me!”
Noticeable Highly Sensitive Person Symptoms
Is able to perform deep processing of information.
Is loyal, hardworking and thoughtful.
Is good at doing tasks that need deep concentration and focus.
Is able to accomplish tasks with great accuracy, detail and speed.
Can stay still for a longer time than regular people.
Has a more active right brain.
Is creative by nature.
Can understand human emotions deeper than other people.
Is better at finding errors.
Is good at avoiding errors and mistakes as well.
Does not give his best on being watched.
Performs well in the presence of known people.
Works well when the situation is calm and relaxed; dislikes pressure.
Prefers to feel and experience quietly by himself.
Is a great organizer.
Is caring and compassionate.
Is inclined towards spirituality.
Has a sense of appreciation for nature, art and music.
Notices subtleties like changes in a person’s appearance, changes in some object’s placement.
Gets easily disturbed by noise.
Reads the mind and mood of others.
Is able to notice the slightest unusual smell.
I’m sure my family is blown away by how many things on that list describe me. I can’t help my little self…I’m overly aware and so sometimes it causes me to find a lot of things annoying, for example
People who eat loudly in a movie theater…well people who do anything loudly in a movie theater
People who chomp down on chips
The sound of other people brushing their teeth (I can’t stand it, it gives me goosebumps every time)
Unnecessarily slow drivers
Stopping my day to use the restroom (what a waste of time!)
People who block grocery aisles
People who invade my space in a public place
People who repeatedly press a crosswalk button
People who interrupt
This list makes me seem like such a shallow, hateful person! On the outside I’m like
But on the inside I’m like
It’s bizarre because I am an incredibly empathetic person. I literally feel the feelings of those around me. And I absolutely love helping and donating to others, I mean that’s what my career is focused on. But with all the change and uncertainty in my life this year my patience has been tested. When I feel out of control, my irritability gets worse.
Poor Josh, I hold in my feelings all day long and when I get home sometimes I just can’t hold them in anymore. He has just learned to recognize that I’m dealing with my own stuff and it has nothing to do with him. So my outbursts usually get met with something like this
I just can’t help but wonder how this has been affecting my running. Like I talked about in my last post, Iam just not feeling it lately. I am irritated by the whole process of deciding what workouts to do, making sure my ipod is charged, packing my backpack for the gym after work…BLAH BLAH BLAH.
My personal life is a bit of a mess and so my workouts have been suffering. I’m just lacking the motivation and patience to do what I know I need to do.
I never quit. Ever. It’s something that’s been ingrained in me from childhood. If you said you were gonna do it, you do it. It’s the main reason I decided to start a blog when I ran the marathon. I wanted to make sure I would finish.
So this morning when I set out on a 6 mile run and quit at 5, I was quite perturbed. Unless there is some kind of extenuating circumstance (injury, woke up late, etc.) I never quit a run early. Ever. And this morning I just got sick of it. I had this overwhelming feeling of being a hamster in a wheel and just felt ridiculous. So at around mile 4 I decided to cut it short and ran the last mile as fast as I could. And what happened was weird. I actually enjoyed the last mile. Maybe because I knew I was almost done but I think it’s more than that.
1/2 marathon training is different this time around. I’ve been afraid to say anything because I don’t want to acknowledge and thus, fortify these thoughts but I just don’t love running right now.
Okay, let me be clear. I don’t love distance running right now. But I am really enjoying working on speed and power. Last summer, I could go all day. I didn’t even get warmed up until about mile 6. I was trying to increase pace but mostly I just wanted to be able to run far. 12, 14, 18 miles…bring it on. But I can barely tolerate a 4 miler this summer. It started immediately after my last half in April. I met my goal and crossed the finish line in 1:56. I was so happy and proud! But after that I guess I just lost my steam.
I really wanted to run another 1/2 and another full before Josh and I start talking about babies. But I just don’t feel happy when I’m running distance anymore. (I’m sure many of you are like “who the heck does?!)
When I was training for the marathon, it was not always fun. It hurt and it was damn hard. It was a completely physical, mental, and emotional challenge. And I was always able to push through even when I didn’t feel like it. But those days seemed much more spread out than they are now. I feel happiest when I am working toward running fast, not long. When I feel like my body is getting stronger from strength training and working hard, not getting weaker from pounding the pavement for hours and hours.
But here’s the deal. Running is as much mental as it is physical. So I don’t want to give up on marathons just because I don’t feel like it right now. But I also don’t want to force something that isn’t there. And another part of me feels like I need turn the focus on my eating habits which seem to have taken a slight turn for the worse.
I hate to quit. But maybe I don’t have to view this as quitting. Maybe this is merely shifting a goal.
Everybody who knows me knows I love quotes and this is one of my new favorites lately.
Great advice! If you know what you want most…
Life is quite different for me right now. When Josh was in school full time and working part time, I was working a full time+ job and we were both trying to stay fit. I mean, we were just so darn busy. Then go ahead and add in all the traveling we did to weddings, showers, conferences, etc. and we were lucky to see each other 2 or 3 nights a week. So if we did just happen to have a free weekend night together…well that was cause for CELEBRATION!
Yeah…things aren’t like that anymore. We go to work and we come home and we’re together. Every night. Every weekend is a free weekend together.
I don’t know exactly what it is that child-less adults do on the weekend but I’m pretty sure it’s not get drunk and watch an entire season of Scrubs on DVD. We’ve got to come up with some hobbies that DON’T include food and beer.
Even though my old lifestyle is gone, the tendencies are still there. I have always viewed food as an activity. As something to look forward to. Work used to keep me so occupied that I didn’t really have time to think about food or even eat it sometimes. But my life has slowed down drastically for the moment. And in all the extra time, I find myself thinking about food…A lot.
This is a problem. Thus far, I have been able to avoid this issue by busying myself. And that is fine. But, simply filling my time does not solve the underlying issue. It merely distracts me.
When I was substitute teaching in St. Louis, I came across a book in one of the classrooms. I do not remember what this book was but I took a photo of the description on the back because it struck me.
It struck me because I am the complete opposite of this. And I would like to change that. I believe that little Ida B is right. There is much more in this life to occupy my mind and time than what I’m going to eat. But I don’t want to mindlessly fill my time. Instead I want to feed a hunger for life. I want to find fulfillment in things other than food. So, just as I have worked to replace negative body image thoughts, I need to retrain myself about the purpose of food. But rewiring a 27 year old thought process is not going to be easy…
“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.”-George Eliot
Josh and I went on a road trip this weekend to see my beautiful cousin get married! And I used to really look forward to road trips with Josh because we would rock out to some music! I would burn cd’s…yeah back before ipods were everywhere…and we would sing along together and it was awesome.
But as time has gone on, my tastes in music have evolved. Now our road trips look more like this:
I’m the happy one in case you were wondering…Now days, the only music we can both agree on is Blue October and Texas country.
I just love all kinds of music. I know I’ve mentioned it before but I have everything from Enya to Eminem to Hank Williams in my ipod and I listen to it all. Just depends on my mood which is heavily affected by music. And it is a major aspect of my running. But it takes a lot of time and effort to keep refreshing the playlists and planning according to what I am doing (intervals, flat/easy, hills).
And lately, I haven’t had the time…err…more like I haven’t had the energy to deal with it. And really, there are just only so many pop songs I can download before they kinda start to sound the same. Which is a problem for me. I look for music that at least sounds kind of artistic or has lyrics that I can get pumped up to.
So I thought it might be time to try something new. I had read on other blogs of people who run to classical or instrumental songs. I figured it was worth a try. So I picked out a few songs that I thought would work for me (like 2 Steps From Hell) and tried it out on a short 3 mile run.
I was expecting this huge epiphany. I was already planning a blog in which I described a spiritual experience of reigniting my love for running and everything just clicked again.
But that’s not actually how it went…
I mean, I didn’t hate it…but I didn’t love it either. I’m thinking it might be something I have to try a few more times and play with the type of songs. I haven’t given up but I’m not sold either.
Then we went to see the movie The Heat that night and I was loving the soundtrack! So I went home and got a bunch of new music. My next run was awesome!
And there it was…The runner’s high. It had been a few months since I’d had one and I was honestly starting to believe that the luster was just gone for me.
But that’s how it works. Just when you think you’re over it, you have an amazing run and you realize that yup…you’re still addicted.
You can see all my running/workout songs on my playlist page but a few of my faves right now are below (warning! some of these songs are explicit)
212, Azealiza Banks
Blkkk Skkkn Head, Kanye West
Big Spender, Theophilus London
“Nothing is more singular about this generation than its addiction to music.”-Allan Bloom
Alright people…don’t act so surprised. You knew it was going to happen eventually. I just can’t help my little self! Now that we have been home for 4 months, I think about St. Louis every day. Of course, when it was happening, I complained about how much I missed Texas but now my mind has morphed my memories of the experience in to a charming extended vacation of sorts.
(Rather than the stress-inducing arctic I portrayed it to be while I was there.)
So here it is…the inevitable “What I miss about St. Louis” list:
1. Forest Park
There were so many places to run in that city! With marked paths specifically for runners! Unheard of here…
It was endless. We went somewhere, did something, or ate something different every single week.
3. No lines
I could walk in to Starbucks, go right up to the counter, order and receive my drink in less than 5 minutes. Because it wasn’t the only freakin one!
4. Smoothie King
I am just addicted to smoothies…it’s a problem because we don’t have much option here. And, pfft…obviously making my own is out of the question…
5. Good drivers
Oh gosh…probably the thing I miss THE most. For a big city, the traffic was actually very tolerable. People knew how to drive and even better, how not to run over someone walking in the crosswalk.
It really is interesting isn’t it? The way our mind works? What is this tendency to idealize and embellish our memories?
Pretty much sums it up…
I just love Chris Powell! He seems like such a sweet caring man and I believe that’s why he is so successful with his clients. I love watching him on Extreme Weight Loss and I’ve been super excited that there’s finally been new episodes in my Tivo every week.
This show is such a motivation to so many people that you can do anything you set your mind to. The body achieves what the mind believes right? That’s always been my motto.
Until it wasn’t.
When I was first started trying to get healthy, it was so hard to say no. That’s why it took me 3 years to lose all the weight. But once I figured out how much better I felt when I made healthy choices it got easier. Then when I looked at before/after pictures, it was really easy to say no to all my trigger foods. Once I hit my goal, I was terrified to gain anything back. I knew exactly how many minutes of cardio it would take to burn off that extra slice of pizza or giant frozen margarita and my answer was (usually) no thank you!
But I have maintained my weight loss for a year now. And here’s how it happens. You skip a workout here, enjoy a night out there…and nothing bad happens. Your nightmares about gaining 20 pounds or losing your stamina in your workouts don’t come true. So the next week you let stuff slide a bit more and so on and so forth.
Lately, all I want is this
and candy. I don’t even like sweets that much! I mean, these cravings are bad…like went to the doctor to have a pregnancy test because I thought something was definitely up. (It was negative by the way)
I’m sure all the stress and feelings of inadequacy (when I was out of work) are the cause of this major set back in my food addiction process. I mean, almost a year ago I was talking about how I was craving a run, not food when a stressful day hit. But somewhere in the midst of quitting my job, moving to my parents’, moving to St. Louis, moving back to my parents’, then moving back home, being out of work, starting a new job, I just got tired. I got tired of making decisions about what to eat and what workouts to do.
Poor Josh, he has been struggling with me because I have been such a bad influence on him. He is so much stronger than me though.
The truth is, in this society, maintaining a healthy body and mind is hard work. And not unlike marriage, there is a honeymoon phase. At first, it’s exciting because your body is new and you’re still getting compliments and buying new clothes. I see it in every weight loss show I watch. People who have lost a lot of weight are unstoppable! But then the compliments go away, the workouts get boring, you get tired of shopping, and the “new” body is just the same body you’ve had for a year now.
Then what do you do? I don’t know for sure.
But here’s what I do know. When I think back to my life 3 years ago and I read diary entries from that time period, I do not like what I see. I was incredibly unhappy and out of control of my life. And changing my lifestyle changed me….physically, mentally, and emotionally. And yes, it sucks to say no to velveeta and dessert. But it sucks a whole lot more to be depressed and unhappy all the time.
So I will keep doing what I know I need to do. I will keep waking up every day with the best intentions. Sometimes I’ll make good choices, and sometimes I won’t. But I just thank God every single day that I get to wake up to an incredible man who loves me no matter what and that we have an amazing supportive family. Because that’s way more important than whether I had that extra slice of pizza or ran than extra mile.
“I don’t want my life to be defined by what is etched on a tombstone. I want it to be defined in what is etched in the lives and hearts of those I’ve touched.” -Steve Maraboli
I made it through the first week of my new job! This was so much better than any other first week I’ve had this year! I am much more in my element in this position. I get to use my organizational skills and my creativity. It’s super laid back and quiet. But it’s only the first week and it’s the slow season so I have a feeling some of that will change. But regardless, I already feel at home.
When I was subbing and waiting tables, I got sick to my stomach on my way to work every single shift. Especially waiting tables…there are so many ways to screw up in that job. I was terrified of dropping a tray, slipping on a lemon in the kitchen, losing cash, mixing up a ticket, ordering the wrong food, delivering the wrong food, pissing off the cooks or the dishwashers, forgetting to bring the ranch/tabasco/A-1 sauce/lemons/bread/whatever the heck they asked for. It was scary!
But this job is very similar to what I was doing at the university. It’s weird because even though I am 15 minutes across town from the school in an entirely different building doing a completely unrelated job, I still find myself reaching for things where they used to be in my old office. Or glancing at the phone every time it rings because I used to have caller ID on my other office phone. I left that job last December but it’s like I was never “not-working”. I’m not sure how I feel about that…
But want to know the absolute BEST part about my week? I arrived at 9 and left at 5 every single day. Say whaaa?!?!
Yep. That’s right people. I don’t even know what to do with myself now that the days of 40+ hours a week are gone.
yup…pretty much sums up my old life
I am perfectly happy with 35 hours a week. It gives me plenty of time to exercise and run my Mary Kay business.
Yay for open windows.
“Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.”-James Baldwin
So summer is really only fun for kids in non year round school and the teachers who teach them. I haven’t had a decent tan since 2008. And I live in Texas so that is a problem. Because compared to 90% of the people surrounding me I look a little cadaverous. Thank goodness for gradual tanning lotion!
I’m just over it. Summer used to be my favorite season. I love spending time in the sun, swimming, fishing, tubing, whatever. And if you live in Texas you better like summer because it basically runs from April to October.
But I have also always loved the fall and it has become my new favorite. Which is unfortunate because it really only lasts about 3 weeks here. But it is a glorious 3 weeks!
I really don’t know why but for some reason this year, I just have no desire to be outside in the sun. I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that ever since becoming involved in Mary Kay I have seen the error of my old ways. I am now trying to protect my skin and keep it looking young.
But it’s more than that. I mean, I can protect my skin with sunscreen and an umbrella. I just miss the fall and I am in the mood for autumn-esque things like chili, peppermint mochas, snuggling under a blanket, not sweating all the time, football sundays, cozy sweats and most of all the return of my 7:45 min mile!!!
Fall please hurry!!
Tomorrow is my first day at my new job. I am super nervous!! I am so tired of being the new person. I mean, seriously…this is my 4th job this year (5th if you count Mary Kay). So my life has been a little crazy and unfortunately, it has had a negative effect on my fitness. There is only so much will power in a day and when you are being emotionally taxed it can be really difficult to make yourself do things like cook a healthy meal instead of eating cereal for dinner or go running for an hour.
Let’s just say I’ve…relaxed…a little on my health goals.
I went from an average 20-30 miles a week to about 4 miles a week. And usually, I would be super sad and probably write a series of posts about how sad it makes me. Probably agonize over how hard it will be to get back to where I was before. But the truth is
The only thing left to do is just start over. I want to run another full marathon. I did it once, I’ll do it again. My time will be much better spent doing something about it rather than whining about it.
So I picked a date. I’ve got a half marathon on November 17th. I’ll work my way back up and then I’ll run another full marathon in the spring. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
So the past few months have been a little rough on me. Leaving my full time position was a life altering decision and consequently, my emotions vary from day to day but they usually fall somewhere between
So…yeah…manic-depressive disorder is no fun for anyone.
As far as the whole job search thing goes, I have been yanking on the handle of a locked door for a while now but I turned around to find an open window.
Hilarious movie references aside…What I’m trying to tell you is that I got a job offer today and I am going to accept it! It is something totally different from what I was doing before… which initially scared me…because (and we’ve been over this) I am terrified of the unknown.
But isn’t that what life is about? When I’m old (and not so wrinkly because I used my mary kay) I am not gonna look back and think “wow, my life was perfectly boring, I’m so glad I played it safe”. No, I want to be interesting. I want to have stories to tell and experiences to cherish. Because it is through the fear and the struggle in which we grow. And if we aren’t growing, then…I guess we’re dying.
Where the heck have I been?! Why can’t I just be content to spend my time as a trophy wife, staying at home cooking healthy meals, working out, blogging, and vacuuming daily? Nope, that’s way too boring for me.
So between Mary Kaying all day and waiting tables at night (meanwhile…tip your servers people!!!! they work hard and $2 an hour is in no way sufficient compensation for the crap they have to put up with), I don’t even have time for my MOST favorite thing, which is Josh, much less blogging. But I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as “I don’t have time”. No, the correct phrase is “I didn’t make time”. We make time for what we care about and we make decisions every day about what’s important and what can wait. And unfortunately, blogging has been pushed down the priority list.
My eyes are on the future. I have dreamed of owning my own business for years. This has been a life goal since I was 15 and now that Josh is finally out of school and working full time as a Physical Therapist, it’s MY turn!! So every decision I make right now is focused on making that dream my reality.
It’s the reason I decided to become a Mary Kay consultant. It is very difficult for me to ask people to help me or to do things for me. And that’s what I have to do if I want to show people the products. It sucks. I get nervous and awkward and my cheeks turn red. But every time I do it, that feeling is less and less. Eventually, it will go away. But I have to keep going, keep trying, keep failing, and keep learning. And that’s also why I decided to wait tables. (I must be psycho right??) I need to learn to fail. I need to learn to ask for help. And I’ve been doing a lot of both lately.
Remember when I talked about how I love movies about people who pursue a goal? Especially that movie She’s the Man? I kind of feel like that’s my life right now. (Minus early morning workouts with Channing Tatum). I wake up every morning with a plan. I have goals for every day which will help me reach my goals for the future. The only difference is, Viola’s goal was short term and mine will take a few years.
Yesterday’s Mary Kay message was just what I needed to hear! Many of you know that I love dragonflies! And I have posted about why before. The story I heard last night is related but provides a little bit different perspective.
I would try to retell it myself but I found the true version on this website
Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.
The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.
The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.
At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.