balance

Life being Lifey

Life is being extra lifey these days. War, weather, mental stresses, financial hardships, on and on and on. It’s everywhere. My work life, my personal life, family friends colleagues acquaintances are all full of it. People are messy in their best times. Now, their messiness is more like a shambles that spills out and spreads all over.

Assume people will get sick, have issues and set backs and not be able to execute. Assume extra tasks, jobs, and responsibilities are coming as a result of the balls that others will drop. It’s just how things are right now. How can I thrive, survive, persist, stay sane in light of these times?

Here’s how I am hanging on for this bumpy ride:

Eat well. There are certain things I don’t farm out to anyone. Nutrition is number one. I own every step of that process from planning it to shopping for it to cooking it to packing it up. I don’t like being off plan and I don’t always make great decisions when it’s left to the last minute, whatever I can get my hands on. I know that eating well makes me feel better and do better. End of story.

Exercise first thing in the morning. The only possible exception is Sundays. Exercise helps me manage stress and gives me a sense of accomplishment and strength right off the bat. Extra boost if I see my friends and get the social sweat aspect of life first thing as well, but this isn’t always possible. Movement always is!

Stay ahead on things, knowing curveballs are coming. Busy season is about to kick up. When I have an idle moment, I try to think about what task I can push one step (or more steps) forward. Throw the laundry in. Clean something. Stock the pantry with two instead of one. Hopefully, when deadlines come or something is needed, I am ready instead of behind the eight ball trying to juggle and patch things together. Being ahead on what I can eases my stress.

Sundays. Sundays are my reset and ready-for-the-week day. I try to protect this if at all possible. It is often the only day I start with an extended coffee time at home. I write. I pull out clothes for the week. I make lists. I try really hard not to drive anywhere further away than 10-15 minutes unless it is a soul-serving adventure. Looking ahead on the calendar, keeping Sundays “sacred” will get harder and harder as fall’s busy-ness kicks in. Even as I write this, my Saturday and Sunday has flipped for this weekend. But I still try to keep one day with fewer commitments. Go-go-go all the time wears me out.

Notice nature. Get out and immerse myself in nature as often as possible, even for a few minutes a day. Flower farming has been amazing for this. I have a couple of hours a week in our field, just cutting flowers, watching bees and butterflies, soaking up the fresh air. I keep our flowers with me at work and home so I see them many times a day. They always make me take a small mental pause and smile.

What could I add? I need to write more often. I need to stretch. I need to meditate. These fall too low on the to-do list right now and I know each of them would help. This paragraph is a challenge to myself!

These last few weeks have been a lot, at times bordering on “too much, I can’t handle it, get me out of here.” There have been times I’ve considered drinking alcohol, which I don’t do. I’ve considered massive carb-and-cheese-laden meals of things I don’t typically eat. These things float through my mind, I notice them, then remind myself what works for me.

“Self care” has been a buzzword over the last couple of years. It comes with these challenging times. Life being lifey just beats many of us down and we need to take care of ourselves. I am a firm believer that you can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning you have to keep yourself cared for before you can care for others. Self care looks different for everyone. For some, it means doing whatever you want, regardless of the craving and what it costs. For me, self care does not mean self indulgence. Sometimes it means reminding myself what my goals are and what makes me feel healthy. A cocktail isn’t self care for me. Or a piece of chocolate cake. Might feel good for a moment, but then I’m left dealing with the fallout from my own impulsiveness.

In the end, I can only try to control my own decisions, my time, and my attention. I have to redirect myself when the decisions others make upset me. Boundaries are ok to set and adhere to. I only have to explain myself to those select few people who warrant it. But for most people, “no” can absolutely be a complete sentence.

author moments

Cranky Pants 2.0

Today I did something funny. I spun the dial on my app to revisit my blog posting from 1 year ago. What was my mindset? What was I writing about? Was I even writing?

I was indeed writing about being cranky and the post was titled Cranky Pants hence the title of today’s post. Now here is my update for today. I am not cranky at all. I am feeling purposeful, strategic and I glow.

Today I had a great day. It started out with my sweat sisters doing what we love. Working out in the early hours of the day pushing our body and mind to the limits. I had some play time with my pups which always takes any stress away. I met some great people at an event I hosted and I was able to make and impact today in my work. The work that I classify as my purposeful work. The work that simply provides joy for helping others. In a nut shell, I’m floating in my own little happy cloud celebrating the day.

Now I got a little curious to see what was on my mind in 2019, pre-pandemic. Well I was writing again. This time I was writing about my new-to-me black beach bike. I still love the bike but it has a flat tire so I don’t ride it as I should and I have a newer road bike that seems to get more mileage than the beach bike. I guess this is a reminder to book a beach trip so I can pack up my bike and take for a spin in some beach town. What a fun reminder.

Ah the beauty of blogging over time. I have check in points to see if I have grown in some way or maybe I’ve been stuck in a rut or maybe I was just at a loss for words and not writing. Now that I circled back to 2018 just to see what I was up to. I was writing about dreaming. Creating a vision. Working your plan. I can safely say I live that model day in day out. Just this week I spent time planning. Preparing for big steps of progress. I use a white board to post ideas and revisit them. It’s an ongoing process. What a great reminder it is for me to spin the dial on my blog posts from time to time.

Where am I going?

Where have I been?

What have I learned?

What am I in the process of learning?

Who’s been along for the ride?

Who’s jumped ship when the waves got rocky?

When will I stop writing about stuff?

When will I publish my next big book?

So many questions.

Life is unfolding and the future is a mystery. This blog is a placeholder. A keepsake for people to read over time. For now I’m living in the moment. I’m choosing the virtual writing platform of this blog as we seem to be in the digital world right now thanks to Corona. 

This isn’t really a fancy post it’s merely a look back for me. A reflection I can openly share as I have published pieces over the years that share a sliver of me. Make no mistake when I say a sliver. My life is full of many twists, turns, and tangled webs. Some who know me well don’t even fully grasp what makes me tick or a ticking time bomb of sorts. For that reason alone you have a sliver. A glimpse. A snapshot of what’s hot or what’s not.

Until next time. Enjoy my twisted sliver of today and yesterday. I guess you will just have to visit this blog often to seen when I spin the time dial again. 

celebrations, fitness and nutrition

Today Was That Day

Today I didn’t want to get up and workout. I looked at the planned workout for the day and it was a Debbie Downer. Just didn’t want to rip off the covers off to rise and grind on this day.


Enter the accountability system. The group check in text at the wee hours of the morning to see who is going to workout today. You see if there are enough of you in the group missing one won’t matter on most days. Unless it’s a summer day and one is on vacation. One is at a work meeting. One is on a scheduled day of rest and so on. If you are the one left you need to pull your shit together and get moving. Big sigh for me. It was my unlucky day.

It was me who was needed this day. I so didn’t want the accountability buddy job. I wanted to hit snooze 10 more times and have a big breakfast when I finally got up. Fate said otherwise. Off I went.

I was pissy on the way to the gym. Then I saw some familiar faces and I forgot I didn’t want to be there. It was pretty simple. Then the workout started and I was like blah, blah, blah. I don’t want to do that I’m not good at it. Boy did I whine a lot.

I did the motions. It wasn’t half as bad as thought. I pushed through and hit a big personal best. I was shocked. After having such a trying time with myself in the morning I had to pinch myself. I did it. I did it again. And again. I laughed but also beamed with pride.

Some days you don’t want to do things but you do them anyway. Life is tough. Many push through tough times. I don’t know what I was really pushing through that morning when I was half asleep but I pushed to my personal best without even flinching. Now the bar is set a bit higher.
Thank goodness for accountability partners. If I wasn’t held accountable I would have just hit snooze.

healthy hacks

Healthy Hack: Travel Edition

The 2 Chicks have been on the road a lot this summer. So much joy, so much adventure, the occasional stress.

I’ve shared my favorite tips for experiencing local flavors and activities. Here’s another quick tip for life on the go that has saved me stress this summer.

And so, without further ado, here’s my fab tip:

Have a separate set of toiletries. And not just travel sizes.

Extra skin care, hair stuff, deodorant, makeup, brush, toothbrush, sunscreen…All. Of. It.

I actually discovered this hack during last school year. With all the stress and shuffling of schedules, I often went straight from the gym to work. My gym bag grew from just having a very basic set of skin care to the full assembly over time. All summer long, I’ve either taken my gym bag (with toiletries and my gym clothes / shoes packed), or grabbed the toiletries to put in a larger packed bag.

There’s nothing really magical about it, I guess. Still, it has saved me so much time in remembering all the odds and ends I need on every excursion and adventure this summer. If you don’t have any spares to start with, be on the lookout for coupons and deals. (Some might happen shortly when college students head back to school.) I also stockpile stuff from Clinique free gift offers.

Once you’ve got your set, you’re good to go!

Hope this helps at least some of you with that inevitable travel stress (or the pain of forgetting your toothbrush!)

fitness and nutrition, friendship

Six Miles of Smiles

I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do it this year. The Peachtree Road Race. An Atlanta tradition on the Fourth of July. It would be my seventh in a row. I do like streaks but I still wasn’t sure.

It would be different, of course, just like most of life these days. They spread the event over two days. Much smaller crowds. Vaccination checks or virus screenings. I did it last year solo (virtual) and it was not so fun. But I had a friend ask me to join her so I jumped in. I chose July 3 since I figured it would be different anyways, and it worked better with my travel schedule.

The day-before number pickup event was a disappointment. The usual convention hall of shoe and running pouch vendors, waffle samples, music, and ebullience was just a handful of folks with official merch and the public transportation folks to ease race day travels. I left feeling sort of glum.

Waking on race morning is always hard. It often follows a night of broken sleep, anticipating the event and challenge to come. I made it to parking and on to the train. It was so much easier to park and ride, but I did miss the usual crowd of runners we participate with. I made it to the start line and saw my friend, a ray of light! I took my traditional start line pics and we were off and running.

I hadn’t trained in running much so I had no expectations for my performance. The energy was totally different in the race with dramatically fewer people on the course. But it didn’t take long for me to start feeling lifted. The people on the side of the course seemed especially excited. I made eye contact with many of them and smiled. It was more personal this time around.

And then I smiled for the next six miles. My friend was often ahead of me but we still connected a few times. It was surprisingly cool out. With fewer runners there was far less of the usual bobbing and weaving around the different paces. Smooth sailing throughout, really.

It actually felt a little emotional to be there, running and smiling after the grueling mental marathon of Covid-19. I nearly cried at times, but I still never stopped smiling. I thanked the police, the volunteers, the people who came out to hand us water, even all the trash collectors who line their trucks up across the cross streets to keep the runners from being plowed down by anyone who would wish harm on the runners of the World’s Largest 10K.

I watched the miles and milestones tick by. My legs ached. I thought to myself, I am creating the future. I am putting my steps in and my votes in for hope. For health. For persistence. For triumph.

I crossed the line just under 4 minutes faster of my time two years ago. I felt so great for having done it. The one Coke I allow myself each year tasted as sweet as it ever has. It is wonderful to be out challenging myself and participating again. May the miles we still have to go be as joyful.