Musings from My Brain

I grew up in a fairly rural area in the hills around a lake, or as others would call it, the boonies. It took 45 minutes to get to town, which made for some quality car conversation time. One time we were driving to town and I asked my dad a really random, off the wall but sort of deep question. I do not recall the question. But, I remember that he looked at me, befuddled, and asked, “Does your mind ever stop thinking?” No. The answer is no, the wheels are constantly in motion, Dad.

I’ve been doing a lot of internal reflection and I’ve had a writer’s block lately. I think the two go hand in hand. I have a million ideas running through my head. I think of an idea and say oh that’ll be a great blog post, then 5 minutes later another idea comes to my head that gets to the top of the list. Instead of choosing a topic and writing a thoughtful post on it (that’s just not in the cards right now), I’m going to briefly share some of thoughts bouncing around in my head. Hopefully this will help me work through this mess in my head.

Holding Ourselves Back– I would say that I have a”let’s do it!” attitude…most of the time. I have a relatively high level of self-efficacy and am not afraid of a challenge. That doesn’t mean I don’t hold myself back though. I think we can be ourselves’ biggest motivators and biggest downers. It’s really easy to tell yourself why you shouldn’t or can’t do something then believe it. I have been overly conscious of this lately and have actively been trying to question that doubtful voice in my head. It makes for some very interesting internal conversations up there…

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I did this 5-mile hike before work and you better believe there was an internal battle about my ability to do this.
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The “boonies” where I grew up.

Taking the Reins of Your Future

I was recently inspired by some individuals in my life that recognized they weren’t content with their career and took the steps to change their path. I currently love my job and don’t plan on changing it anytime soon. However, I can’t expect the future I want to just… happen. I have to take the necessary steps to make it happen, to make my vision come to fruition. I realize that I don’t have control of everything, but I can take the reins and create a future that makes me content and fulfilled. Sure, life will throw me curve balls along the way, but I don’t plan to sit by and let life passively happen to me. These thoughts led me to create a 5-year plan, and I will share it with you soon.

Self-Love vs. Self-Appreciation

I’ve been listening to a lot podcasts about self-love, body image, etc. I think the concept of self-love is amazing and an incredible thing to strive for, but it isn’t easy. Self-love is especially difficult for girls and women that have been sent incessant messages related to changing their bodies since they were in diapers. Currently, self-appreciation sounds much more doable to me. I appreciate what my body can do and am thankful for it on a daily basis.

The Social Media Struggle­

I decided that I need to bump up my social media game by posting on a more regular basis. As someone who consciously tries to limit my social media time, this has proven to be a struggle for me. I find myself thinking about social media frequently, and I can’t say that I enjoy it. At the same time, I realize that it’s important to increase my social media presence if I want to get my voice out there.

Reframing­

My motto about difficult situations is that “you can’t control the situation, but you can control your reaction.” Unfortunately, things are going to happen that aren’t ideal. That doesn’t mean we have a make the situation even worse with a negative reaction. I recently took my dad to a baseball game and the ferry leaving the game was full. We had to walk back to the ferry building and wait 1.5 hours for the next ferry to take us back to our car. Was this ideal? Not at all. Instead of being bummed about it and letting it ruin my day, I reframed my situation. I decided that it meant I got to spend more quality time with my dad and I should soak that time up. Next time you find yourself heading down the Negative Nancy route, I challenge you to reframe the situation and become a Positive Peter, or at least a Content Cathy.

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Go Giants!
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View from the ferry

Embracing the Future While Staying Present

It has been overwhelmingly hot here and I’ve found myself dreaming of cooler weather. I am usually the last person to want summer to end, but I am so ready for some comfy clothes and fall leaves. We still have a lot of fun summer activities ahead of us though, so I am trying to remain present and soak up these final days of summer. I promise I will not start buying holiday decorations yet, but I am still going to fantasize about making soups and cuddling up under a blanket.

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Labor day dinner aka see ya later summer meal! I had sweat dripping down my body as I made these and was begging for a rain cloud to appear over me. 

Did any of my random thoughts resonate with you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. Let’s hope this brain of mine can figure itself out and I can get some focused attention soon.

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3 Life Lessons I Learned from a Rollerblading Accident

I recently took a tumble. This tumble involved me, rollerblades, the pavement and not enough protective gear (according to my 5 year-old nephew). I’ve always had an obsession with rollerblades. As a kid I was convinced that living on hills with bumpy roads that made your jaw jiggle as you rode down them was not a good enough reason to not rollerblade. Instead, I tentatively, slowly weaved myself down the hills then clunked back up the hill to do it all over again. You would think that all of this practice rollerblading on hills would translate into me being a fairly functional rollerblader on flat roads. Well then, you would be wrong.

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Since my body and running don’t get along, I recently got the spark to try rollerblading again. I love being able to just put on shoes and go for a run, but my hips and knees don’t get the same rush my brain does. According to a physical therapist I saw, it’s because my wide hips were made for giving birth not for running. Personally, I would like to think my hips are made for much more than giving birth, but that’s neither here nor there. Needless to say, I didn’t go back to see him again. In my logical mind, rollerblading was a great substitution for running. You know what I didn’t take into account? Falling on rollerblades hurts way more than falling while running.

A couple weeks ago, when the weather finally dipped below 100 degrees, I decided it was an ideal time to strap on the blades and hit the pavement (literally what I did).  With the help from Kevin, I made it out of my front door and decided it was best to walk down the grass instead of the slightly downhill driveway, safety first. The last words I heard Kevin say were, “call me if you need me to pick you up” and I laughed at him because why in the world would I need to be rescued?!

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Back when I aspired to be bad ass rollerblader

Then this happened… I was cruising down the bike lane praying no cars were at the four way stop, because I realized I had 0% confidence in my ability to stop. Phew, no cars, let’s try to slow down. “Ah you’re leaning back and are going to eat it, just roll through.” I seemed to be getting into a rhythm and my glutes were starting to burn. I felt like a semi-legit rollerblader. I was approaching the park, so I looked up to see the view. BIG MISTAKE. I should have kept looking down to see the crack that was clearly waiting to destroy me. Boom. Just like that my knee banged the ground, then my chin, my head and apparently every appendage on my body hit the pavement in some way. Of course, there was a car full of people nearby to witness my YouTube worthy tumble, but none of them had their phones out ready to record and make me go viral. For about 30 seconds I considered rollerblading home, then I had to suck up my pride and call Kevin to come rescue me.

In the two weeks since my rollerblading disaster, I realized that I learned the following life lessons from this debacle:

It’s OK to Fail

As I stood there laughing at myself for falling and trying to push down the frustration, I seriously considered rollerblading back home. Why? Because I didn’t want to admit that I failed. Looking back on it, rollerblading home would have been incredibly ridiculous. The reality is that I tried rollerblading and it didn’t work out. Do I need to try it again and “not give up”? Not if I don’t want to. Honestly, I’m planning on selling the rollerblades. I’ll stick to walking and biking. I tried it and failed, that’s OK.

I don’t feel like we are taught to fail or even how to handle failure. Rather, we are taught to not give up and are rewarded for succeeding, but not always for taking a chance on something. It took me a whole year to get the courage to start this blog, because I was worried it would fail. Finally, I realized that it didn’t matter if it failed, but it did matter if I passed the opportunity to do something I enjoy in fear of failing. Imagine how many opportunities we let slip by in life because we fear that we won’t succeed. Instead of trying so hard to avoid failure, let’s shift the focus to improving how we react to failure. Life is an experiment, let’s learn from it.

You can’t force healing (physical or emotional)

As I sit here typing this post, two weeks post-eating-pavement, I am still experiencing pain. My chin still has a knot on it and is sensitive to touch. I can deal with that though, I don’t need a chin to be active. However, I do need my hips to function and it seems like I pulled something in my hip when I fell. Awesome.

I was convinced that I’d be able to return to my normal workout classes a week after the fall. Where’d I get this time frame from? Oh, I just made it up. One week sounded like a decent amount of time to heal. Well guess what? Two weeks have gone by and I still haven’t returned to my normal workout schedule. It’s incredibly frustrating, but I’ve realized that we cannot force physical or emotional healing. We must give ourselves time to heal and respect that we can’t rush this process. In the grand scheme of things, these 2 weeks that I have been out of commission are such a small amount of time in my life. ”It’s not a big deal, be patient. It’s not a big deal, be patient. It’s not a big deal, be patient.” This phrase is currently on repeat in my head, so I stay sane.

Sometimes you need to rely on others for help

Guess what makes life easier? Leaning on your support system and asking for help when you need it. Guess what isn’t always easy? Asking for help. It’s OK to need and request support. We don’t have to do this crazy thing called life alone. Knowing when you need help and actually requesting it can be difficult. We can’t expect other people to read our minds and know what we need. We need to communicate. As I was lying on the ground in our living room icing my knee and my chin, feeling all sorts of frustrated, I had a 30-minute conversation with myself about making dinner. I had something delicious planned and didn’t want to lie on the ground for the rest of the night, but making dinner at that moment sounded miserable. Finally, I asked for help. Of course, Kevin didn’t actually expect me to make dinner. But in my head I was letting us both down until I came to terms with the fact that making dinner just wasn’t on the table, so I asked for help and the world didn’t come crashing down. Life lessons man, they even happen when you’re lying on the ground cursing the rollerblading gods. Speaking of which, do you need some rollerblades? I think I know where you can get some used ones (with no bad luck attached) for a good deal 🙂

Musings from the Grocery Store

I did not post a weekly grub recipe this week, because, to be honest, our meal plan was pretty lame. Sometimes that happens and it’s totally OK. Last week I realized our freezer was overflowing with all the food I have been saving and we were sent home with a ton of delicious leftovers from family shindigs. Instead of buying a bunch of new food and likely freezing some of it, I challenged myself to cook mainly from our freezer and leftovers this week. This meant that we didn’t really have a plan and I was going to just cook our meals on a whim.

So are you interested to hear how it’s going? Well, last night I found a container of chicken pot pie filling hiding in the black hole freezer and got excited to make a chicken a semi-fresh chicken pot pie. I took it out and placed it on the counter to kick start the thawing process. I went on a walk and got rained on with pollen (hello lovely springtime allergies), which meant I passed out on the couch around 9 pm. I had so many intentions to write this post, read a chapter in my book, stretch, brush my teeth and wash my face. Instead, the pollen gods took over and I did not accomplish any of those things (Kevin thought my breath smelled really fresh this morning). Needless to say, that also meant the chicken pot pie filling sat out on the counter all night. Epic fail. I put in the fridge then questioned my judgement about an hour later and threw it out. As easy as going to the Farmer’s Market and grabbing a quick bite sounded tonight, I am not giving up and will be eating a delicious bacon, onion and spinach omelet soon.

I have a story for you. So the other day I was in the grocery store perusing the cracker options, and had the following conversation with another shopper:

Woman whose personal space I was probably invading as I reached for a box of crackers- “You look really fit. How do you do it?”

Me- “Thanks! I move.”

Woman, with an unsatisfied look on her face- “Don’t tell me you are one of those moms that say they have great arms from lifting their babies.”

Me- “No, I am not a mom, thank you. I just move a lot. I walked here, for example. I bike and swim. I lift weights frequently. I just like exercising.”

Now bored with me woman- “Well I just don’t like exercising at all.

And she walked away as I thought to myself, “Crap! I should have told her about my blog!”

I’m not going to lie, I knew my reply would irk her which is partially why I said it. I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that people don’t want you to tell them something simple. They want the latest secret or some complicated story. What people don’t realize is that everyone is different. Something that works for me, may not work for you. We are completely unique people with individual needs. However, I love talking about tips and strategies to live a healthier and more balanced life. I also realize that people enjoy learning about how other people try to maintain their health and wellness, so let me indulge you in a few strategies that work well for me. Something might spark your interest or maybe you’ll think I’m nuts. Either way, just remember we all have our own personalities and needs, so do what works and feels good for you.

  • Resist the urge to plop on the couch after work. I know, I know…it’s the best feeling in the world. There are so many days that I come home wiped out from a crazy ass day and the couch looks so inviting. I’ve learned though (through lots of trial and error) that it just makes it worst. Once I’m there, it takes a lot of convincing to get me up and active again. However, if I move right after work, then I get a new found sense of energy (unless there’s a boatload of pollen in the air). Sometimes I may only walk for 10 minutes, but it’s exactly what I need to rejuvenate myself.
  • Make ½ your plate fruits and veggies. I plan on writing a post about this little tidbit at some point, so consider this a sneak preview. I try to put fruits and veggies on my plate before anything else, so there is plenty of space to fill up. More often than not, I also eat my veggies first. Kevin usually stares at me in disbelief as I munch on something green while he devours everything but the veggies first. I like to do this, because it means that I won’t be too full for veggies after the other food.

  • Shift your mindset. It can be really easy to go along with the negative thoughts that go through our head through the day, be it work-rage, a traffic filled commute, or you just feel blah. You might think, “I feel so tired and crappy, I can’t work out.” Instead, try thinking “I feel so tired a crappy, but I bet exercising would help me feel better.” Our mindset has a ton of power to influence our behaviors, but we also have the power to change it.