perspective

Walls Up

What causes us to put our walls up?

Do we intentionally put our walls up?

If a wall is erected can it be taken down?

Can a wall go up and down similar to the unpredictability of the weather?

I do believe the answer is yes on all accounts. For me I make choices on my walls while others may inadvertently pull up a wall or walls without noticing. It may put them in a corner in a way. It could be a separation of friends. A separation of business collaboration. A divide in a family. So many examples around.

For the purposes of this writing I will reflect on bending and flexing. We all have the ability to bend and flex here and there to make compromises. Does this always work out well? No.

Why? People are messy and life isn’t fair. This toxic combination usually ends up in a recipe for disaster. Walls go up. Feeling get hurt. Reputations can be tarnished.

The complications of life. Of commingling people, personalities, emotions, and who can forget fear.

If you ever want to delve into this subject deeper you can take the enneagram test. Examine your results. Compare to a colleague, a close friend and maybe even a spouse. You may learn how to avoid walls/barriers and work more harmoniously in whatever environment you are in.

This is a food-for-thought post to ponder on a Friday before the weekend.

working women

Road Trip Woes

This month has been a whirlwind of sorts. Had to travel for work. Had to travel as a coach. Had to travel for personal events. This translated into lots of miles in the car and days away from routine and comfort.

Adding mileage to the car was the easy part of the trip. The challenge was having to find a way to get my exercise miles in for my fitness goals. I had to make friends or enemies with the hotel gyms over and over again. I had to make do with the options I had.

First trip leg was monsoon-like weather conditions. Heavy rains cause accidents and delayed arrivals. Leg two was just long and boring. Nothing exciting to report except arriving where the weather was much warmer. Hoping for a good night’s sleep in hotel #1.

Life on the road whether for business or pleasure always makes routines challenging. From getting to the gym, eating healthy and sleeping well you have to be persistent and self-disciplined. Nobody makes the time and effort but you. Trust me when I say this.

Hotel 1 had a gym that was a few buildings away as it was a shared campus setting with a couple of hotel brands. This was not the end of the world but it made me less likely to work out because of the distance I had to go. Excuse #1 on the trip.

Next challenge was group meals. Those who want to dine out, get dessert and and and. I’m going to have to put in some serious work when I return to make up for my travel diet. Meal prep, healthy snacks and access to my fridge and kitchen make a big difference. This is definitely a crappy element of travel.

Before I’m on to leg 2, I must admit I’m a fitness freak. A freak of sorts passionate about all things that equate to a healthy lifestyle. This trip was further confirmation for me personally. I was active, but my intensity level was diminished. My constantly varied fitness regimen was more limited to walking. Walk slow in a group or walk slow carrying a load. Either way my Apple Watch wasn’t dinging up the active points as easily.

Let’s add in stress. Environmental stress. Travel stress. Poop stress which is defined as the inability to consistently regulate one’s bowel movements compliments of poor eating choices when on the road. I would say this makes travel just blah, which is an irony I found in the form of a sign of bathroom stall at one of my business meetingsā€¦..wait for it:

Was somebody trying to tell me something? It’s interesting that I was writing this post mid-trip and boom this was front and center in the restroom. I guess that’s why I’m opting to share this wisdom with you. I mean who doesn’t like a good poop story anyway? 

And then the fire alarm at the hotel at 3 am sort of added a wrinkle into the trip. It’s hard to fall back to sleep after the extremely loud alarm is piercing your ears for many minutes. It could have been a real fire and a lot worse but the sound of crying kids above and below you in a hotel at that hour is not fun from the backlash of the alarm. Again it could have been much worse but it was still aggravating.

On the road again and guess what? Rain! It’s raining again. Not just a sprinkle, the monsoon-like raining that is a pain to drive in. Extra stationary time in the car, how fun?

Another hotel in the books. A little work. A little less play. On to another stretch of roadway that is pretty desolate. Miles and miles of nothing. Driving this stretch of road is similar to watching paint dry. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

A brief pit stop to see my puppy and relieve my dog sitter then back on the road again. Wasn’t I just on this stretch of road? Why yes I was. Same route, different destination. Add in a new playlist to spice up the road trip. Karaoke party of one here I come!

And who would have guessed? More rain. A lot more rain making road travel that much more of a pain in the rear. Back in the saddle I go for a few weeks until my next trip which is by plane in a few short weeks. Time to get back on my routine. My fitness and eating healthy routine. No excuses!

Thanks for being a passenger on my road trip to what seemed like nowhere. But I did go somewhere. And I have lots of memories some which I shared and some which I didn’t. I guess that’s the beauty of being a storyteller. I choose what I tell and don’t tell.

adventure, family

It’s Just 4 Inches

It’s a Saturday and the day is planned. The weather man calls for snow the night before. They could be wrong, right? I’ll have my duck boots ready just in case. They are normally just for fashion but I guess they have a purpose.

It’s a chilly 31 degrees at my house and the flurries start early. The day’s activities are cancelled, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s just time to have some fun in the snow.

First attraction is the snow itself. Living in the south we see snow once a year if we are lucky. For us this is the first snow in two years. The smartphones start rolling. Instagram pictures across town now become my weather channel.

We snuck out for a quick coffee and puppicino (basically whipped cream in a cup). I have a Jeep so we were okay to drive in the dusting that had appeared at this point.

Now it’s time to see how the puppy likes the snow. She isn’t sure at first but quickly adapts. At one point I think she put her paw prints in every inch of my yard. Round and round she goes. And her cute coat is full of mini snowballs all tangled in her fur. Funniest thing ever. Yes we had to use a blow dryer to get them out.

Then it was a snowy photo shoot with the teen. It was silly but fun at the same time.
It didn’t seem terribly cold while outside either. I can definitely say that this was my first snow day photo shoot but any time spent with my girl is fun and if this is what she wanted to do, I was all for it.

Coming in and taking off the boots, jacket, scarf and hat had me remembering my childhood days of playing in much deeper snow and the excitement of coming in for a hot cocoa with extra marshmallows.

Today we will bake cookies, knock out some laundry, watch movies and do a bunch of nothing. Some days it’s good to do a bunch of nothing. I’m also about to eat some nice chicken soup after playing in the snow. And it definitely hit the spot.

As I see online some of my friends enjoying the snow their way. I see one taking advantage of the hot tub they have. Another jumping on a trampoline. Another just enjoying a coffee and a fire. Somebody even looked super cute on the roadside in a ditch. They were safe but definitely looked cute in their workout outfit. Another had a makeshift sled made out of pool lounger. It did work. However my friends chose to spend the day, I am just glad they all had fun. Some unexpected fun.

I normally don’t get excited about 4 inches. Somehow, the cold and fluffy 4 inches of snow was refreshing. I guess it’s all about perspective. 4 inches can really be a lot of fun.

Funny when I wrote this my niece told me meh, 4 inches was nothing compared to her 18 inches in Vermont the same day. I can safely say I never want to live anywhere it snows that much.

If you had a snow day this year I hope it was a good one just like mine. If you have an abundance of snow days, I just hope you like snow. On a side note I enjoyed the dusting of snow but I really enjoy the sunshine, the beach and the warmer climates all that much more. And that’s why I will spend next week in the sunshine state (Florida).

perspective

Soaking Up the Rays

It seems like it’s been raining for days and days. The days turn into weeks. The yard is muddy. There are puddles in the distance from every window.

Rain, rain go away. Come back another day. The childhood song plays in my head over and over again. The dog doesn’t want to go outside to play. The sky is grey. The wind is howling. The days seem long.

Is it napping season? Well, it seems like nap time comes with the rain days. Can the weather really impact your day? I think so. And when it rains over and over again the rut seems to get bigger.

Finally the sun peeks through the clouds. A small glimmer of hope. The grass starts to dry. The wind dies down. The dog gets to play in the yard. Stress level is down. Energy is abundant. I sit on the back porch to soak up the rays of sunshine.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Another childhood song full of memories pops into my head. The squirrels are running through the trees, rattling the branches. The puppy is attempting to chase endlessly. The birds are chirping away.

How today that song has so much meaning. My dad is ill. He is in the hospital. As I soak up the rays sunbathing I find the song soothing. I reflect on the memories of the good times. I feel the warmth of the sun. I feel the companionship of my dog as she lay along side me.

It’s not a spring day. Rather it’s a winter day in which I was able to feel the warmth during stressful times or worry. The weather indeed impacted my day, my mood, my environment. I’m soaking it all in.

Porch sitting. Sun bathing. Relaxing and reflecting. 1 hour today. No technology. Just a break from the ordinary. It wasn’t planned. It was whimsical. It became magical.

The sunshine made my day. The heat gave me reminders. The calmness that came with it all was heavenly. Sometimes we just need to slow our roll and enjoy life’s little gifts.

As my dear friend would say:

Looks like you enjoyed a sweet slice of life today. Or maybe it would be you found the magic in the mundane today. No wait, I think it’s the effervescence in everyday that came to light.

Enjoy today. Take a deep breath. You never know when it will be your last.