A little glimpse of of an update…

Hope all my internet family and friends are doing well and enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving and are getting in the holiday spirit!  It has been a while since I’ve checked in over here, and I’m hereby vowing to change that as of now!  The truth is, life gets hectic, and there are times when I think of coming here to write, but then I think my words are a little boring, or I don’t have too much inspiration to come up with anything of too much substance.  But honestly?  The best part about having a blog has always been about the connections I’ve made with others, sharing our lives and experiences and all of us being true and genuine and authentic together.  So.  I’m going to make more of an effort to be present here.  Because it feels good!

And now for the biggest of news happening over here, I’ll share with you the little announcement we made over Thanksgiving…

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So excited to publicly share that we’ll be adding another little turkey to our family come next May!  We’re beyond thrilled and can’t wait to welcome our little M&M (a mini version of Matt and I- M&M, get it?!) in the spring!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

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“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.”- Ernest Hemingway

Write one true sentence.

Paris is always a good idea.

…Or so I’ve heard.

Lately, while I have been away from this blog of mine and struggling with a little bit of writer’s block, I have been spending my time devouring everything to do with Paris.

My fascination with Paris started several years ago.  Paris, more than just a geographical location and the capital of France, always seems greater than that, doesn’t it?  Paris is seductive, and whimsical.  Paris, a destination I’ve envisioned in day dreams while spending an afternoon in a coffee shop, is where I’ve wondered, hoped, wished, that one day, I may find the perfect time and circumstance to travel to.

This coming May is that time, and I am so over the moon excited.

There’s the kind of excitement where you just can’t contain yourself, right?  You tell anyone that will listen that you’re so excited! about this thing.  You talk to your best friend about it, you call your mom, you tell the random person in line at CVS about your excitement; you are so excited about this thing that this thing is all you are talking about all of the time to all of the people!

And then there’s another type of excitement, or at least this is my version and experience currently.  I’m truly ecstatic about this one week adventure that I’m taking at the end of May with my Aunt this coming spring, but I’m keeping it all bottled up.  The excitement is there (it’s so very there!), it’s inside me and I’m so thrilled and I’m thinking and dreaming and reading and pinning my evening’s away, but I’ve been keeping it to myself.  I’m almost so excited, that I’m nervous if I let the cap off of my bottled up excitement, I’ll never be able to contain myself!

Have you ever experienced this version of excitement?

So.  I’m going to Paris.  Oh my goodness!  The Universe has given me this amazing opportunity to spend a week away in this wonderful destination that has been but a mere passing thought of “what if?” for years.  And I’ve been drowning myself in all things Paris ever since we made our reservations.

The Paris Wife was a wonderful novel which I got totally sucked into.  From there, I’ve formed a somewhat alarming obsession with Ernest Hemingway, whose literary works I can’t seem to get enough of.  I recently read A Moveable Feast which I enjoyed quite a bit, and from there I spend my evenings googling the life of Ernest Hemingway, his “spots” in Paris, where he ate and drank and spent his time writing.

Then, of course there’s the first Sex and the City movie from a while back, which I’ve always been in love with, as evidenced by the summer several years back when I became enthralled with French rap music.

There’s Julia child who I’ve always been captured by, her book My Life in France, in a box waiting to be unpacked sitting on my bookshelf.

I have a long list of books and movies that I’m dying to binge on.  I want to soak up Paris even before I go to Paris!

I’m so, so excited.  My version of excited.

Paris is always a good idea.  That’s one of the truest sentences I’ve heard lately.  Thank you, Mr. Hemingway.

Tell me, have you traveled to Paris, or another part of France?  Do you have any movie, book, or travel suggestions to help feed my bottled up excitement?

2015 Non Resolutions

Well, the whirlwind of the holidays have come and gone, and here we are in the first full week of 2015. Happy New Year!

Is it freezing where you are?  I don’t just mean 32 degrees freezing, how about -7 degrees bitter cold? Yikes. I started off January with the intention to run every day this month.  I did this from the first through the fourth, but come this week, temperatures have been crazy cold, so the outdoor running has been… not to much.  I could go to the gym and run on the treadmill, but I’d lose my sanity pretty quick doing that; I hate treadmill running for much more than three miles at a time.  It is supposed to “warm up” this weekend (actually get to 32 degrees) so I plan to get back outside for some more brisk runs.

Speaking of intentions and goals and reflecting on the year ahead, have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?  I don’t know about you, but I often find that with resolutions comes a lot of pressure.  Don’t get me wrong, I think setting goals and putting intentions out there is a good thing, but “New Year’s Resolutions” to me, has always felt sort of corny and forced.  You look back on the past year, and you make this big, grand list of things that you plan to do better at in the upcoming year.  You resolve to “lose weight” or “begin eating healthy.”  It’s a lot of pressure I think, and frankly I’m all about going easy on ourselves and taking the pressure off as we start a new year.

So, the Non-Resolution.  For the past seven years now, I have made a list at the beginning of each year of things that I resolve not to do.  I find this a bit easier and for me it makes a little more sense.  Instead of focusing on all of the things that you want to do, or change, or be better at this year, I encourage you to join me in making a small list of non-resolutions– things you would like to stop or avoid, or do less of in 2015.

In 2015 I resolve not to:

  • Say yes when I really mean no, or maybe.  This one has been on my list more than once, and it’s something I struggle with on the regular.  By saying yes to something that I’m lukewarm about, just to satisfy someone else, what I’m essentially doing is saying no- that what I want doesn’t really matter, or isn’t too important.  I’m going to try to be better at this.
  • I resolve not to be so hard on myself.  I need to really remember to treat myself like I would a dear friend.  Make my self talk a little kinder, not be s0 judgey about myself the same way I wouldn’t judge a good friend for their choices.
  • Interrupt as much.  I hate when people interrupt; it’s a huge pet peeve of mine.  But you know that saying, the one where you dislike traits in others that you can recognize in yourself.  Yeah.  I know I interrupt too.  My husband and I sometimes argue about interrupting- I give him a hard time for interrupting but then I do it right back to him.  I really want to work on this.
  • I resolve to not worry so much.  Every single year this makes my list.  I’d say that I’ve gotten better at this one, but worry is kind of built into my genes, and I just sort of carry it with me wherever I go.  I try not to dwell on things too much, really do try to focus on living in the moment, not worrying about the “what-ifs” of life.  I know this is something I need to keep working on.  I’ll never be perfect at it and I think to some degree, a little worry is a good thing.  One quote I really love by Michael J. Fox says, “If you get caught up in the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen, you’ve wasted your time. And if you are caught up in the worst case scenario and it does happen, you’ve lived it twice.” Michael, you nailed it.
  • Text while I’m driving.  Yeah, seriously.
  • Go a week without running.  Running makes me happy.  I love running.  I do all sorts of other exercise, but running you can do anywhere, mostly any time.  I may not be able to run every single day of January, but I can at least run once a week the whole year through, because it makes me feel good, and it’s fun to run.
  • Lastly, in 2015, I resolve to not not live authentically. I will try my best to be true to myself and to be self aware.  I will focus on living in the moment, being genuine, and being kind to myself and others.

What do you resolve not to do in 2015?

Holidaze

Well it wasn’t my intention to start a new blog and go almost a month between posts. Between work, traveling, visiting family, getting ready for the holidays, getting ready to move, and a hundred and ten other things lately, writing hasn’t really happened.  I guess you could say while trying to balance my crazy life lately, this space has been put on the back burner.

But here’s the thing about balance that’s so cool.  You can get a little off track, you can lose your way a bit, but your body inevitably craves some sort of center, a kind of baseline balance that we want to get back to, and naturally steer towards.  Sometimes it’s easier to get back to our balance, back in a good groove, and sometimes it’s really freaking hard.  Like when it’s Thanksgiving and then it’s all of a sudden December and it’s the hectic holiday season and oh, you just happen to be buying a home amongst all this busy-ness, and then Christmas is coming and at the same time there’s work parties, and cocktail parties with friends, and there’s baby showers, and packing (lots of packing, and procrastination!), and there’s trips to NYC, trips to Pennsylvania, family pets dying, babies being born, new haircuts!, Zumba classes with one of your favorite co-workers, shopping, more packing, less running, more takeout, less healthy choices, and then you realize: holy hell, I need a moment to just breathe. 

And that right there is where I’m at right now.  I have a pretty full plate at the moment, most of it all really good things, some of it just regular stuff, and thankfully nothing really unfortunate to fill the plate, but none the less, this plate is piling over!  I have so much going on right now that some days I honestly don’t remember what I went into a room for, what my workout was the day before, if I fed my cat, or took out the trash, or where I put the Christmas present that I got for my mom two weeks ago.

When life hands you a ton of shit at once like this, even if the shit is good shit, it’s important to remember to breathe.  So simple yet sometimes I feel like with a big whirlwind, days go by and it can be easy to just keep going and not really taking time to be present in the moment.  For me, there’s a few things I’m doing to try to maintain some sort of balance during this busy time…

  • I’m going easy on myself.  I’m being kind to myself.  I’m doing what I can, when I can.  Instead of putting pressure on myself to PACK! ALL! THE! BOXES! right this second, I’m doing a few boxes at a time.  And instead of being hard on myself for missing a workout, I’m focusing on really making the workouts and runs that I can get in be effective and on point.
  • I’m trying to get enough rest.  This one’s hard, because for me, after a long, hectic day of crazy-ness, what I really like to do is veg out in front of the TV, catch up on Mob Wives, pin recipes on Pinterest, and watch YouTube videos on how to master a handstand.  I could do all of this until 1am, every night, but I’d be a nasty grouch and not productive because of it.  Also, when I don’t get enough rest, it ends up getting everything else out of whack.  I crave unhealthy foods and drinks, I’m apt to want to do more lazy things, I end up being harder on myself because I’m sleepy, and I’m a cranky and all around don’t feel good.  So, I’m trying to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night.
  • I’m enjoying small pleasures and indulgences.  This is a regular one for me, as I really do try to practice moderation on a regular basis, but especially at this time of year, with opportunities to eat yummy treats, drink seasonal cocktails, go on mini weekend excursions, maybe do a little shopping for ourselves while shopping for others, I’m trying to enjoy it all.  The key here for me is that I’m trying to practice it all with a solid sense of moderation.  I’m really trying to ask myself, “is it worth it?” before I go in for seconds, or before I splurge on a 300 calorie drink, or decide to go for an eight mile run in the cold when I’d rather sleep in- I ask myself if what I want is worth it, and if the answer is at least more than 50/50 tipping towards yes, then I usually do it.  And I’m trying (trying real hard) not to have any regrets.  If I decide it’s worth it, then I’m really truly trying to be okay with my choice, and not complaining that I wish I slept in longer instead of running, or that I feel guilty that I ate the third cookie at a friends house.  If it’s worth it, it’s worth it, and I want to enjoy it.
  • Lastly, I’m just going with it.  There’s lots of planning that’s happening right now in my life between the holidays and visiting family and traveling and holiday parties and planning to move into a new home, but at the end of the day, I just need a break from plans, so I’m mostly just going with the flow. What’s that really mean?  I like balance, I do.  And I strive for it, but at the end of the day, life isn’t about lists of how to achieve the perfect balance, or planning out how to feel more centered. What really matters is enjoying the moment, going with what feels right, being kind to ourselves and one another, and taking good care of ourselves.  I think that right there is what really makes us feel balance in the long run.

What about you?  How are you staying balanced during this hectic season?

Oh, it’s not Friday?

It’s almost Friday!

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Has anyone else found this week to be particularly draggy?  In my head I’ve been thinking it was one day ahead all week, even waking up this morning pumped for Friday and the weekend, and quickly realizing I was a little off base.

Good news is that the stress from last week has subsided a bit!  That’s actually really good news, and suffice it to say that it’s not so bad to replace last week’s stress of “what ifs” in relation to home buying and inspections with this week’s stresses of “where in the holy hell are we going to find room for all these boxes that we have to pack?!”

So yeah, progress has been made on that front, and it’s exciting progress and seemingly good progress, but progress that I’m still nervous to really shout from the rooftops and fully celebrate just yet until the deal is fully closed, if you know what I’m saying.  So, as my mom says, “film at 11” on that.

(Does anyone else use that phrase?  We always say it and I guess I have just assumed that people know what it means, but maybe it’s just a thing with my family?  You say: “so you’re going to take your first Zumba class tonight?,” and I say, “yeah, we’ll see how that goes, film at 11.”  It just kind of means, you know, “fill you in later.”  Like the 11 o’clock news, you follow me?  Anyone?)

So there’s that.  I guess I don’t have too much more to write tonight but I wanted to say thank you to all of you who are reading and have commented and emailed me as I’ve gotten back into the swing of things with writing on a blog again.  I kind of forgot how much I missed the practice of blogging and writing, and I’ve been really enjoying it.  Writing, thinking of ideas of what to post about, catching up with old friends and discovering new blogs.

For now, thank you- and here’s to a good evening and a happy Friday!

What’s been one of the happiest moments you’ve had this week?

 

The stress, it’s real.

You know what?  I’m stressed.

There, I admitted it.  That’s the first step?

I’ve dealt with stress in the past; don’t we all?  Generally, I’m a good stress handle-er.  At my core, I’m an optimistic person, and for the most part, stress usually doesn’t get the best of me.  Sure, there are days when I’ve got more on my plate than others and I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I typically do a pretty good job of keeping my shit together.

And no, I’m not totally and completely wigging out over here, but my metaphoric plate is heaping over right about now.  And guess what? It’s not filled with just clean, healthy stuff either.

Red wine.  Red wine has been a good comfort lately.  Not to escape the stress exactly, but a nice glass after a tough day, sitting on the couch in my favorite jammies and warm socks, drinking a glass of Pinot, well, things feel a little bit better right then.

Some yummy recipes that I have been trying out lately have been keeping my plate full too, but that’s not really what I’m getting at. The stress that I have that’s weighing my plate down is manifesting in a few different ways lately, and some of them are new to me.

Emotionally- I’m having trouble quieting my mind.  Usually I’m a pretty outgoing person who loves to spend time with others and laugh and socialize, but I’ve been feeling the need to retreat a little bit.  I’m definitely more irritable and edgy, and my husband? Let’s just say the combo of us has been a bit … tumultuous this past week.

Physically- Hello headaches!  And goodbye a restful night’s sleep.  With my mind going a million miles a minute, resting and relaxing has been tough, and sleep has been hard to come by.

Mentally- Worrying, I’m doing my fair share of it.  Though I’m able to keep a good perspective and my optimism usually wins out, I’m human and I’m still nervous by nature, and a lot of it is about things I have no control over.  The worst. 

So where’s all this stemming from?  My husband and I are smack down in the middle of buying our first home together, and damn if that’s not a good way to test a relationship.

Truth be told, we’re doing pretty okay.  Of course this whole process is just inherently stressful based on what it is- finally picking a place to make your own, hoping beyond hope that you’re making the right decision.  Throwing all of your money towards that decision and hoping that the sellers will pick us, choose us, love us (cue Merideth Grey’s famous plea to Derek).

It’s a lot of stress over here, and I’m trying to find balance.

Trying to continue to eat healthy.  Exercising often.  I took a wonderful ten mile run yesterday and so enjoyed every bit of the brisk autumn New England weather we’re having.  Talking with family and friends- our parents and close friends who have been through this process have been awesome and so valuable to us these past few weeks.  Having fun.  My husband and I are still trying to make time for the things we enjoy.  Watching a comedy special on Netflix.  Grabbing a couple beers or dressing up as Forrest Gump and Jenny for Halloween.  Cooking together.  Being silly.

Because the thing is?  Life goes on.  Stress happens.  It’s real, and it’s not awesome, but it’s life.  And we can either find ways to cope with it the best we can, asking for help when we need it, or what?  The opposite?  Let the stress totally consume us and tear us down?

It’s all about the balance- finding a way to balance a full plate without toppling it over and making a total mess of everything.  It’s not easy, but it’s life.  And we’ll get through it.

How do you handle a stressful time?  Best go-to stress reliever?

Some helpful resources for managing stress: