Shoot Smiles

Yesterday I went to the gym after a long day of work.  I didn’t feel like going, but someone once told me that those are the days one should REALLY go.  I started out walking on the track, then I decided to go for a mile run.  As I was running, one of the regulars told me not to stop and that I had another mile in me.  I smiled at him, since I had my headphones on and kept on running.  Afterwards I did some core work and the regular came up to me.  “I knew you had it in you.  The way you were running.  Keep it up sweetheart,” he said.  I smiled and said “Thank you!  You helped with the motivation!”.  It was true.  His kind words and smile gave me an extra push to keep going.  It feels good when someone believes in you.  On top of that, I was having one of those days where I felt the world was against me.  Having a stranger be nice, for no reason, was refreshing.  I was reminded the power of a smile and kind words.  Being nice to another person, can really change their whole day, and probably yours too.  #shootsmilesnotpeople

Boundaries

My childhood, like many others, wasn’t perfect.  I grew up struggling along with my parents, watching my dad overcome alcoholism and my mom working hard as a waitress.  My insecurities started as early as 5 years old, when I started to have thoughts of wanting to run away.  I wasn’t happy.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know exactly what yet.  My dad would say mean things when he was drunk, push my mom around and us kids were whipped by the belt a few times.  Fear was placed inside of me at a young age, along with the idea, that I wasn’t loved.  It is hard to believe my sweet dad today was that horrible monster that I grew up with, but it is a perfect example of what alcoholism can do to a family.  Luckily, my dad has been sober for almost 30 years and is a completely different person.  I have forgiven him, but there are things that have followed me from my childhood, that most people do not know about me.  Most people think I am a happy, confident, “perfect life” kind of person.  The truth is I struggle with insecurities that are deep rooted and I have to deal with on a daily basis.  Many days I feel like no one likes me.  I have heard this before with other people that dealt with verbal and physical abuse as a child and I am sure that we are not alone.  Although it has been hard for me to see the brighter side of life, I have made it my mission, every day of my life, to at least try and be the best I can.  Some days are harder than others.  I was bullied at school, which didn’t stop as an adult, since I have also been bullied at work.  Adult bullies are real.  My life experiences have taught me to be tough, but at the same time I am sensitive and my feelings get hurt.  I recently learned a new idea of “boundaries”.  At first I thought this only meant the boundaries I create between my work and home life.  Not checking email on the weekends or stressing about tasks at work.  But, it is more than that.  Boundaries can be not allowing myself to stress about negativity in my life or trashing my body by over eating or drinking too much.  Boundaries can mean being polite and firm.  Saying “no” when I would rather relax at home.  Boundaries allow me to be who I am without any regrets.

I know that I will always have to work on my peace and happiness, but I am hoping this new idea of boundaries can help me along the way.

Go Go Girl

The last few days were filled with food, friends, laughter and family.  Between birthday parties and Mother’s Day it felt like it was Go, Go, Go.  It was nice to take a break from the normal schedule of life and just enjoy the moment.  I met a few new people and developed some new friendships.  Meeting new people can sometimes give me anxiety (I’m a total introvert, trying my best to make it in a extroverted world!) but, I found the conversations to be positive and friendly.  I have to remind myself, that I always end up doing OK in social settings and really no one knows how intimidated I am of everyone!  I feel like I have gotten better over the years, but there is still something inside of me that struggles with the thought of being social.  After spending many weekends, hiking outside in the woods with my dogs, my friends are calling me out and telling me I need to come be social again!  But, I do find when I don’t have my alone time, especially if I wasn’t able to be active, I feel a little depleted after the weekend. A conclusion I keep coming to, is that I need balance in my life.  I can’t hide away in my home/cave all season… it is spring and hibernation season is over!  It is good to get out and meet new people and see friends.  It is also good to make time for the things I love, such as hiking.  Making time for both is key!  Having balance in all four aspects of life:  physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual, gives me the most sense of peace.  I have to work out and eat healthy, or I feel like crap.  I have to read and study Spanish or try something new or I feel like I am “losing it”.  I need time with friends and family, or I start to feel lonely.  And spiritually… I am still working on that.

On the Path of Your Goals

Hello again, I know it has been awhile.  I have described this summer as being a tornado of events and I was reminded that we are only half way into it.  It is hard to complain about having too much fun, but the late nights, good food (see picture above) and excessive cocktails that accompany the events of summer, have a way of creeping up on you.   As my calendar becomes more and more colorful with appointments and reminders, I am reminded the importance of balance.  It is hard to say, “no” to invites that involve boat rides and yard games, which will soon be yearned for in rainy weather.  But, it is also important to take care of yourself and stay on the path of your goals.   The importance of self control must become a priority.

I visited my parents at their property and retirement home, which they are having built. Both of them were working out in the field, building a dog house and clearing out weeds. The sun was shining hot and they were covered in dirt and sweat.  My mom was excited to show me what they had been working on the last few months and finally it was all coming together.  Their goals were manifesting, because of all the hard work they were putting into them.  It was a good reminder to me, of what we can achieve when we put our heart, soul and mind to it.  If your not all in, it is going to take a lot longer to reach your goals, if you do at all.  I started to think of my own goals of becoming debt free, being in my best health and having more adventures.  What I was currently doing, as fun as it was, wan’t helping me reach those.  If anything I was going in the opposite direction.

I know that when I come back to my blog, I am ready for a fresh start.  When I start using my fitness trackers, write my goals out and organize my surroundings I am on the right path.  Like being on a hike with a scenic loop that detours and connects back to the trail, here I am.  My goals are still here, waiting for me and luckily I didn’t wander too far off. My budget envelopes are ready for cash, my yoga studio is still down the street, and I am free to create whatever my heart desires.

It is good to be back my friend.  Here I am ready to take care of you. -Note to self.

 

The Rollercoaster Called Life

I haven’t been on here for a few weeks, mostly because I have been on the rollercoaster called, “Life” and I haven’t been able to get off of it.  One thing after another has happened, bringing me feeling the highest highs and the lowest lows.  Let me explain.  Two weeks ago, I was in Vegas.  It was a last minute trip with friends and it was filled with sunshine and laughs.  Just laying by the pool relaxing, felt golden.  I enjoyed every minute of it, especially since I have been trying to be frugal and simple, Vegas is neither and it was nice to take a break. Before I left, there was some work drama, and I found out some co-workers were talking bad about me.  I suppose that is what happens sometimes when you are the manager, but I always try my best to be fair and caring, so it really hurt my feelings.  I was able to let it go a little bit while being in Vegas, if any place is good at forgetting problems, I’d say Vegas is a good choice. When I got home, driving to pick up my dogs after leaving the airport, I received a phone call that my best friend, who was six months pregnant, had to be induced into labor and the baby didn’t make it.  My heart ached for her and her husband and all the joy I felt in Vegas, came back to all the realities of real life back home.  A few days later, I found out that my parents, who are having their dream home built, found out that their builder is going bankrupt, hasn’t been paying their sub-contractors and now they are sending liens to my parents against their property.  Both their life savings and dream home are at stake and there is nothing that I can do about it.  I am devastated for them.  And just to top it off, both my dogs became allergic to flee bites they received at my parents house, resulting in a high vet bill and having to wear a cone.  I think it is safe to say, life has been a little rough.

I have had a tough time to let it all go and just try to be positive.  The whole week I feel as if I have been in a fog of sad emotions.  I allowed myself to sleep in today, physically exhausted from it all.  I started reading a book, “Primal Blueprint,” by Mark Sisson that not only talks about a healthy way to eat and exercise, but also balance life, the importance of sunshine and nature.  I read for a few hours, getting excited about wanting to make some choices that will lead to a better lifestyle.  I took my dogs out for a hike in the sunshine and when I got home I started to cook a healthy meal.  Just the act of doing something good for myself, made me feel better.   I realized, that life is going to be filled with sad things that I will have no control over, so it is best for me to take care of my physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual health, the best I can, so that I will be able to handle those hard situations.  That is the hard part of being an empathetic person, is that you feel everyone else’s pain as well.  It makes life hard and beautiful at the same time.

If anything, reading this new book and focusing on a different kind of lifestyle is a great distraction.  One that is good for me too, better than wine or letting the sadness take over.  My heart goes out to the people that I love, but the best thing that I can do, is make smart choices and if anything, I have learned a lot in the last week.  I have also, once again, learned to just appreciate the simple things… like cooking dinner in the kitchen.

Change of Routine… Again.

I worked out for three weeks in the morning before work, finding myself each day exhausted by lunch time.  Yesterday, I took a nap in my Jeep in the parking lot at work and decided, I don’t want to work out in the morning anymore.  Here is the thing; yes I enjoyed getting my workout done for the day, but the cons outweighed the good in hitting the gym early for me.  I wasn’t able to workout as hard as I do in the evening, just because I felt like a zombie, not fully awake yet.  I hated getting ready at the mirror in the bathroom, sharing a space next to other women that didn’t speak to each other (felt awkward!).  I didn’t like lugging all my shit there.  I didn’t like feeling hungry and grumpy all morning from being tired and burnt out from exercise.  And, I found myself just going home after work, making food and drinking wine, to sit on the couch for too long before bed.  Yes, I am tired after work, but I like the extra burst of energy a night gym session gives me.  I like getting ready in the morning with all my stuff.  Working out at night gives me something to do rather than just sitting on the couch.  So, I am going to switch up the routine again.  I am still learning myself, still trying to find the balance of what works best for me and like they say in yoga, I am a work in process.  I have to admit sleeping in an extra hour felt like being on vacation this morning!  I naturally wake up at 7am, and maybe I would someday get to 6am being the norm, but at this point in life, why?  I like staying up until 11 at night reading and spending time with my boyfriend I haven’t seen all day.  And I know that I need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night or I feel like a zombie.  I feel like, finding a routine that works best for the most sleep, energy, well being and productivity is my ultimate goal.  Having a nightly routine of shutting off the cell phone, taking a bath, relaxing while reading a book is the best way for me to unwind.  Being able to get ready and look my best in the morning, helps me feel good all day.  It is the little things I am finding that make a big difference in the quality of life.

Where’d the Confidence Go?

Awe, being in your twenties, when you still feel like you can be anything in this world, when you think your fat (but, you’re not) and when you can drink all night and not be hung over for days.  Maybe this isn’t what you recall from your twenties, but for me, it pretty much sums it up.  I had many things I wanted to do and truly believed I had a shot at doing them (fashion designer, novelist, magazine editor, pilot…).  My life revolved around my friends, eating burgers and pizza and drinking lots of alcohol.  It was all about fun and being self absorbed.  Maybe I am exaggerating a little, but I don’t think I am too far off.  It was a fun time, with lots of lessons learned (some took longer to learn than others), but I wouldn’t go back and do it again.  It was also a hard time of not knowing myself and caring too much what others thought of me.  One thing I do miss about the roaring 20’s, is the confidence I had.  I believed in myself.  I invested in myself. I took care of myself.  I got dolled up and went out on the weekends.  Now, I find myself hiking alone in the woods with no makeup- which I love.  But, I feel like there needs to be some balance.  There is still a part of me, that enjoys some self maintenance.  On the quest to be frugal, I have not allowed myself many of the things I used to do for self care. Although I want to continue to make smart choices financially, so I can do more of the things I want, there are some things that I miss that make me feel better about myself and I enjoy.

I didn’t realize how much I missed being a little superficial, until my boyfriend recently booked us a trip to Vegas in a few weeks.  My ripped jeans and flip flops may be fine in the Pacific Northwest, but in Vegas, I know I will want to be a little more “done up”.  And the truth is, I haven’t felt “sexy” for a long time.  It has almost been a strike, of not wanting to have to be any certain way, that is expected of women.  The hair, nails, spray tanning, eye lash extensions, shopping, waxing, dieting, exercising- it all can become not only expensive, but exhausting.  When I told my best friend that I was feeling “granola”, she said, “it is always good to have balance.”  I agree.

I like not wearing make-up and hiking in the woods.  But, I also like feeling my best.  When I am having a good hair day or wearing a new outfit at work, I feel more powerful.    Sadly, I feel treated differently by people, when I look better.  People tend to respond more positively when they find something attractive.  Maybe it is jus the feeling of confidence, that attracts positivity.  On that note, I am on a quest to get back my confidence.  I think I will find it on the thin line between spending time in nature and wearing a cute new pair of heels.  Either way, I am still discovering myself and it is the journey of life, to find what will make us the most happy and feel the most peace.  Trial and error.