mental health

Unplugged

I recently took three days and unplugged a bit. I put up the three laptops I use and let them go. Microsoft could go do their updates and it wouldn’t halt my productivity. 

Unless a building was burning down, anything on those computers could wait a few days. I am happy to report no fires arose and I was able to minimize my technical needs.

The good news is I survived. I didn’t have any visible scratches or lost revenue when I unplugged. I delegated a bit and I enjoyed a different view of my surroundings. I engaged with new faces. I opted outside even if the weather was not cooperating. I just enjoyed the limited technology.

I didn’t actually put up my phone which means I was still some what connected but that’s a next step and the first step is always the hardest. I did need my phone for purposes such as maps, tickets, touchless payments and so on but that only confirmed how much society revolves around technology. 

Our eyes need a break now and again. On the flip side of the break I am glad I had my phone to capture memories and photos of the beautiful scenery I was in the midst of.

For this unplugged episode I focused on limiting the distractions on the work front. Minimizing the stress. Putting off til tomorrow. Others may choose to be plugged in 24/7 but that doesn’t mean I need to be on always. I can break away. I have a choice.

I got into a few books during this time as well. I gathered thoughts. I generally learned a few new tidbits. I enjoyed a walk or two. I even got swarmed/serenaded by cicadas. The cicadas I could do without though!

Just out there living my life and telling everyone about it. Cheers to all of you near and far.
Today’s post is a virtual shout out to those who read our blog from the great state of Maryland. I enjoyed my taste of the area while passing through.

adventure

T Time

Tee time can refer to golf. Tea time can refer to a high tea event. Tea time can refer to chats that involve dishing out the “tea” or gossip as my teen would say. However, for purposes of this post I’m referring to the T in tennis.

T time is on Tuesdays. Tuesday t time is a special time for the girls to get together play a little tennis for fun. Maybe hydrate with some adult beverages. Maybe enjoy a sideline picnic of sorts. But surely there are giggles and shenanigans in all directions.

No matter who shows up, Tuesdays are a ton of fun. Memories are always made and for some progress can be seen in mastering or learning the game. For some picking up the racquet for the first time is their big accomplishment. Others work on fine tuning their serve. Some even enjoy keeping score or watching. 

Two courts are normally buzzing with players. Lights go on at some point making the evening last longer. Competition is in the air to an extent. For some it’s competition with themselves, to others it’s a team ego challenge. At the end of the night everyone laughs at the shenanigans. The next date is planned and all normally sleep well after the long day.

Some interesting points:

A few ladies curse up and down the court. 

One curses in Spanish in hopes nobody understands.

Outfits range from sassy tennis flair to hot mess don’t even go to Walmart with that outfit looks.

Some carry fancy tennis bags some carry a cooler.

Sometimes kids tag along, other times not.

All have day jobs making the time a great evening release of energy or stress.

This group has had so much fun the past few weeks they have now joined a pairs entry level circuit. Now the adventures, attitudes, and competition will surely escalate.

Stay tuned for more t time updates!

healthy hacks

Backup Plans

I am a “just in case” kinda gal. Belt and suspenders, as it were (and probably a safety pin or two in my pocket for good measure). (And a carabiner clip). I like to have extras, options, backup plans. Leaving things to chance makes me skittish. I can easily spin out on worst case scenarios. I can think down too many rabbit holes. But I like to be prepared for as much as I can imagine.

Sometimes this comes up in my fitness life. I have been working, slowly but surely, up to #35 dumbbells in different movements. I wrote it in my goal book. Maybe a year ago I still had a hard time picking one #35 up. But I have been working on it, ever so slowly, over the year. When dumbbells come up in workouts, I will usually grab two sets. One I will start with, and then one that is 5 pounds lighter, just in case. Usually, if I have the lighter set, I don’t use them. They just sit there. But if I need them, I can grab them without wasting too much time. They’re my backup plan. My insurance policy.

I carry around too much stuff in my car. I bring my computer places in case I have extra time to work or write. I keep an extra set of workout clothes and shoes in my trunk in case an emergency bro sesh or walk / hike with friends breaks out. I carry emergency protein often. I have camp chairs all the time (and recently, a dear friend did actually need one and I happened to be passing by! Ta Da!)

Some succeed in life by traveling light. They will figure things out whatever happens. I admire that quality…I work on adopting that effortless approach sometimes but mostly I don’t. I usually have a backup plan, even if I never tell anyone about it. Do I waste time and energy overpreparing? Sometimes. Do I get satisfaction out of being ready, come what may? To some degree, yes.

Just a bit of life in my corner of the world.

healthy hacks, inspire

Karma and Kindness

When you are kind many things follow or fall into place. I always choose to fear less and progress forward. When I do so I seem to carry no extra weight or baggage in life.

It’s funny to think about but it’s an important rule to consider. Fear less. Focus on forward. Don’t let life’s dead weight halt your progress.

Kindness matters as well. When you explore a kindness matters motto in life good karma seems to follow. Not really sure how to articulate this other than using a key phases I have heard growing up:

You can fall in a bucket of shit but still come out smelling like roses. Is this really possible? Not physically possible but in life it is entirely possible. One’s life can be shaken to the core and disrupted yet one can still choose happy, kind, and so on. Making that choice is a conscious decision. Sometimes a daily decision.

Nevertheless the choice to be kind normally sets a tone for life. You end up around similar mindset people. You tend to live with good karma/juju. You tend to be open to new environments, people, cultures, opportunities, and so on.

Kindness and karma. Think about how both sit in your life path today. See if you need to change things up a bit to test my theory. See if life throws you sunshine and rainbows or not.

dare to be different

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

I love a theme.

And I love that I have friends that will embrace a theme.

For birthdays, Christmas parties, the CrossFit Open, or just a February Saturday, we choose a theme and run with it. 80s, Superheroes, Country, 70s, Retro Fitness, Fancy Tea Party, College Colors, ‘Merica, Roaring 20s, 80s Prom, themes make it fun, at least for me. They let my imagination run out to play.

When I first started CrossFit, I was a capri and very long flowy 2XL tank top kind of girl. I tried to hide in plain sight. I wouldn’t wear shorts at all. Now I’m all about patterned booty / bicycle shorts, even in the dead of winter. I like some color, I like some spice. They make me smile. My friends at the gym inspired me to just wear them, be comfortable, and have fun. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. If you’re offended, look elsewhere!

Do I get looks when I go to the grocery store wearing my mermaid shorts and open-back tank? Yup. But, what other people think of me is none of my business. This is a huge mindset shift for me.

Same goes for our theme parties. When it was time for roaring 20s night, I tried on so many flapper dresses and none of them felt right. So I dragged out my high school drum major uniform. We did a Cole Porter show way back in 1995 and I wore a pinstriped zoot suit with paisley suspenders. Miraculously it fit, so in a sea of flapper dresses I was the woman in a suit. I held my breath when I walked in to the restaurant, wondering what other people would think when they saw me. Then I walked through the tables and realized it didn’t matter. How did I feel? Honestly, under the nerves I felt kinda sassy, a little fresh, and way more comfortable than in a dress. Now I embrace being different in situations like this.

The other night at a birthday party our theme was retro sports / fitness. We were going out to play a physical and competitive game. Most of us are CrossFit folks, so we all have our share of fitness wear. But retro…hm. Then conversations led to “athletes vs. mathletes” (and I clearly fall into the latter category.) As with many themes, I just like to have fun with them. Thinking of the 70s and bright colors, I picked some rainbow sweatbands, white shorts with rainbow trim, and a retro NASA shirt (for the mathlete) with a rainbow background. Oh yeah, and tube socks. Did I look silly? Yes. Did I fit the theme? Yes. I felt eyes on me in the restaurant but after my initial self-consciousness I didn’t really care. Yes, I realize that some people identify rainbows with the LGBTQIA community. I am an ally and have no fear of being seen or known that way. And again, what other people think of me is their business. I honestly do not care. Let em look! Let em think whatever! Moving on!

It brought back memories…I had a wild streak in high school and college that eventually faded away under piles and pounds of conformity and conservatism. Only in the past handful of years have I started to embrace my individuality again. My personality and identity not just in relation to others…as a mom, as a daughter, as a spouse…instead, really just my personality within myself. Who I am. Me.

I ran around and looked silly. I had fun and embraced my goofy side. I was just in the moment, letting my freak flag fly! Thankfully I have friends who join me in that.

Be who you are! As unconventional and unique as that might be. Be yourself out loud! You never know who is watching and feeling encouraged, emboldened, even a little less alone. Someone in your circle may be buried under the weight of other people’s expectations. Hiding their light. You never know who is inspired by you embracing who you are. Many don’t have that courage or are looking for it.

Let your freak flag fly!