2016 Here I Come!

Did you think because I have a newborn at home I wouldn’t be setting goals for this year? Come on! If anything is motivation to get after life, it is having a kid and setting a good example.  Even if they don’t really get it at this point and just eat poop and sleep (repeat 100 times daily).

Looking back at 2015…holy cow. What a crazy year full of the unexpected. One of my biggest goals for last year was to slow down and simplify my life- which turned out to be a near impossible task with the kind of year we had.  I thought 2015 could be a pretty chill year, but as it turns out buying a fixer upper home, finishing my Masters degree and having a baby are not ingredients for a chill year.  But God sometimes has other plans and let’s be honest, his plans are usually way cooler.  I mean really look at this face, it is proof the big guys knows what he is doing up there. Sigh.

IMG_5004

Aside from slowing down, I kept the majority of my resolutions with some hiccups here and there which makes me feel good.  But I am ready for a new year.  Because I spent the majority of 2015 pregnant and not training for any races or competitions, I am SO READY to hit the pavement and the weights hard this year.  I am counting down the days right now until my post delivery appointment when I get full permission to start running and lifting again.  I CANNOT WAIT!  I was able to work out and run my whole pregnancy thankfully, so here is to hoping I can get back into fighting shape pretty quick. Not to mention, 3 weeks into maternity leave and I am already getting a little stir crazy.  Our basement is almost done being finished which will of course be the “man cave” but I also convinced my husband to let me have a little home gym down there, victory! No excuses when I am at home in the dead of winter with the babe.

FullSizeRender-12

I have some pretty big things to accomplish this year, but at the same time my goals are pretty straight forward and simple.  To summarize: Enjoy being a Mom, Get faster and stronger, Write and read more & Save money.  That is the gist of it.

To see my 2016 goals in more details you can click here or if you want some tips on setting your own goals, check out a post I wrote last year around this time here.  Don’t feel pressured that it is already mid January, take this month to really be intentional about what it is you want to do this year, don’t rush into it.  Reflect on it, write it down and make action plans.  One year from today, you will wish you started.

Stay blessed in the mess! 🙂

Still hoping, still dreaming.

The dreamer in me is feeling a little bummed out this week.  I received the official news recently that once again I did NOT make the registration cut for the Boston Marathon.

For those of you who are confused by this, let me explain.  Despite the fact that I finally reached my goal of running a Boston qualifying marathon time in 2014, it still did not guarantee me a spot in the Boston Marathon.  The time I needed to qualify was a 3:35 and I ran a 3:34:54.  In the past, all who qualified for Boston got in even those like myself who barely made the cut.  However, in the past few years the running community has increased, gotten faster AND the desire to run Boston since the bombing has been huge; so the last two years they were not able to accept everybody who qualified due to the large amount of qualifiers and field size limitations. Therefore, the fastest got priority.  Last year was one of those years and so was this year- go figure right?  My time was good for two years, so despite being heartbroken from not getting in last year, I was hopeful that this year I would have a chance. Not so much.  This means if I want to run in the Boston Marathon, I will need to go back to the drawing board and run another qualifying time. I plan on doing so, I plan on getting faster.

bq2

Receiving the confirmation that I did not get in brought back all kinds of negative feelings and thoughts of not being good enough.  I was not born a natural athlete by any means. No matter if it was on the cross country & track team or soccer field I have always had to work much harder than my peers to barely be at their level.  This has done enormous things for my character growing up and truly taught me the meaning of work ethic and perseverance.  But I would be lying if I told you it didn’t break my spirit sometimes to work so hard and still come up short.

I had two big things I really wanted to cross off my list before Shain and I started on our journey of having a family. Run the Boston Marathon and and go on a solo international hiking trip.  I thought I had it all planned out.  I thought it was going to work.  But it is no news to anybody that life does not always work according to plan.

IMG_4350

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had booked a trip to Peru for this past May but due to everything going on with selling our house, buying a new one and finding out I was pregnant- I had to cancel it.  I was elated to find out we were expecting, don’t get me wrong.  The day I took my pregnancy test I was alone at home and I literally started dancing and jumping around in the hallway like a little kid.  But a part of me was also sad that the person who could book a trip on a whim or could dedicate hours and hours a week to training for a race/marathon/whatever- would not be the same. This little person who I already love so much is going to change everything.

Now, despite not being a mom yet I am not the person who believes that life ends once your family starts. I know life will change drastically.  I will give everything to my family, I have felt ready to be a Mom for a long time now.  I believe in putting my children first, but I will not sacrifice who I am, that would be a shame. How is my little girl to learn what hard work and perseverance look like? She will watch her dad travel all over the country working his butt off in his day job so that he can support us and she will probably tag along on weekends to help him work on his house-rehab projects, just like he did as a kid with his Dad.  She will watch her mom finally run that Boston Marathon that she trained for in the wee early morning hours or evenings when she was sleeping (fingers crossed on the sleeping part).  Maybe when she is old enough she will even travel the world with me on all kinds of adventures. This little girl will feel all the love and support in the world, but also watch her parents go after what they want and hopefully she will then learn to do the same.

Yes, the dreamer in me is a little saddened this week.  But as I am typing this, my baby is kicking away in my belly and I tell you what- that has got to be one of the best feelings ever.  I may not have hiked to the top of a mountain this year or run a fast enough marathon, but God gave me the talent to create a life and that is something I will never take for granted.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

Is a Simple Life Even Possible Anymore?

As some of you know, one of my resolutions this year was to “slow down”.  To live simply,  plan less and enjoy more. Things were going great in the first few months of the year, I got into a good groove of doing morning reflections, writing more, reading more and just trying to stay off the “running around like a chicken with my head cut off” path.  Then life happened…again.  As I look back at the last few years I realize I have been saying the same lines over and over again, “when this month is over it will be better” or “when I get through this project/event/season things will slow down” and guess what? It never slows down.

FullSizeRender-11

When I made the decision to quit part time personal training a few years ago, I was sad but also excited for my newfound free time I would have on evenings and weekends.  But then my work load at AU picked up much more and I also started planning a wedding.

When the wedding planning was coming to an end I was relieved, again, for having my nights and weekends back….and then I had the opportunity to begin grad school.

When grad school was over I wanted to shout from the rooftops because I thought… okay this is really it! I am married, grad school is done, yes my work load is still a lot but I can handle that!  All gravy now! Nothing big was on the horizon so I even booked a solo trip to Peru to do a big hike as a celebration to end the few years of madness and finally be able to breathe and settle into life.

IMG_4127-2

THEN we decided somewhat on a whim to buy a fixer upper house and sell ours.   All while Shain and I had the craziest spring in the history of ever for work, this was also around the time I found out I was pregnant.  All HUGE blessings and wonderful things of course, but all things that yet again sped up our lives and stress a couple notches.

I am not ungrateful for the wonderful opportunities that present themselves in my life all the time, I really am not.  All of them were conscious decisions that I made or my husband and I made and decided to pursue. I am just exhausted.  As all of these wonderful things have happened, my work life balance has gotten worse and worse.  Sure, that might not be too bad when you enjoy what you do.  But I have been having a very hard time lately “shutting it off’.  When working 10-12 hour days and trying to do things on the weekend is still not enough time to cross off everything on your to do list, there is something SERIOUSLY wrong. I don’t care how much you love your job.

I truly feel I put everything into what I do, I am not just saying that to make myself look better or feel better.  I really really put it ALL in.  I will never be that person that when 5pm hits I am out the door and done caring for the day.  Truth be told, I have tried to be that person to make it easier on myself. But I cannot.

I try to be a good boss and mentor to my 27 student ambassadors, I try to be a good support system for my freshman admission staff and making sure things are running smoothly and their needs are met, I try to be a good admission counselor to the new territory of students I get every year (which ironically have become needier and needier in the college admission process over the years) and then I try to be good at everything else.  Helping support my boss in his role, coming up with new ideas/incentives, trying to set a positive attitude for everybody.  I TRY really hard.  But lately, no matter how hard I have tried at all those things, I come home feeling like an exhausted failure.

I barely have time to respond to text messages, phone calls and emails (personal and work) unless I can do them in the early dawn hours or late at night when I am home and not being pulled in a hundred different directions.  My to do list never seems to be caught up anymore…ever. So what do I sacrifice? My time at home? My morning workouts? My weekends?  I believe in following through with my responsibilities, which yes sometimes means sacrificing those things BUT to what extent? I am having trouble knowing when to draw that line and I know I am not alone in this.

I have found myself becoming resentful of others who are not able to fulfill their own duties and then I have to step in.  Or resentful of those who spend their work days browsing Facebook and shopping.  I find myself becoming anxious when somebody just wants to come and chat with me because all I can think about is that to do list and I have a hard time giving my full attention. I don’t like having those thoughts and feelings, they are not right and that is not me.

Is it possible to be a good employee, good wife, good everything and still have balance these days? Good lord I am not even a MOM yet and I am struggling with all my roles! Is a simple life even POSSIBLE if you don’t life in a shack in the mountains or just decide to be a slacker and not care? There has to be a middle ground.

IMG_4161

I know in the field of education especially, it is expected to give give give until you seem to have nothing left.  Because you believe in students and you believe in what you are doing; unfortunately this also makes it easy to become taken advantage of. I am sure that is true of other fields of work as well. Everywhere I look I see understaffed organizations and overworked people.  I personally cannot keep this up, nor do I want to.  I crave a simpler life so badly. I just want time to breathe. To enjoy the little things.  Is it possible to live both a passionate AND simple life? I really want to believe it is.  I truly feel the way we all live our lives today, passionate or not, is not healthy.  We are running ourselves ragged. What is the solution to this?  I am still trying to figure that out.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

My take on being “fit and pregnant”

Having a background in personal training for 7+ years and having worked with pregnant clients (AND having numerous pregnant friends in the past years), I thought I knew exactly how this whole “staying fit and pregnant” thing would go for me.  Of COURSE I would keep the same workout routine!  Of COURSE I would keep the same running mileage!  I mean how hard can working out while being pregnant really be? It will just take a little will power and perseverance, that’s all.  I can totally be like those girls on the Fit Pregnancy, magazines with their super toned arms and legs and little baby bump.

IMG_4031

I could not have been MORE CLUELESS.

Hilarious what you don’t realize until you are physically growing a human.  I have a whole new respect for all the mamas out there who stay active AND for the ones who choose NOT to stay active.  Because I get it now. Growing a baby is hard freaking work. Not only did I not take into account the aches and pains that occur, but the constant (and sometimes totally irrational) fear of “is this okay for my baby?”.  Am I being selfish?

First trimester I kept pretty much the same workout routine.  Most weeks, I would do 3 days of Crossfit and 3 days of running.  The only differences were that I was overly cautious and EVERYTHING was slower, but I could still do most movements without feeling uncomfortable.

Weeks 15-22 have been interesting thus far.  I stopped doing full burpees, crunches, box jumps etc. things of that nature but I have continued crossfitting/lifting and just lowered  the weight depending on how I am feeling that particular day.  I do not follow the “do not lift more than 25 pounds” rule, with permission from my doctor.  But I am lifting considerably less than I would normally and will probably go down in weight even farther as I get bigger. I also ate a hot dog last week and it was delightful.  Please save the speech.

FullSizeRender-8

Running also depends on the day: some days I feel so great (minus the snail pace) and try to go at least 4-6 miles.  Other days, which happened a lot in weeks 19-21, I can barely make it 2 miles without feeling like my bladder is going to explode or feeling an insane amount of pressure in my abdomen as if I am going to give birth right then and there on the neighborhood trail. How’s that for an introduction? Hi neighbors!

In the last two weeks my belly has also popped significantly, which explains all the extra shooting aches and pains and the extra pressure.  So, I ordered a maternity belt and used it this week and it made such a difference!  I don’t think I have ever been so happy to make it 4 miles! As you can tell in the picture below, Wyatt was happy too.  I am hoping this will help me to continue running through my pregnancy, but we will see.  I did some swimming and spinning last week which caused me zero discomfort (except for being in a bathing suit ha!), so I may have to switch to that eventually.  But I have let go of this idea that I just HAVE to be one of those girls who runs until the day she delivers. If I can keep up a varied workout routine, I will be happy.

The inconsistency of how my body feels obviously makes trying to keep a routine kind of impossible, I literally wake up every morning and say “Okay body, what is it going to be today?”.

IMG_4042

Mentally, it has been hard for me to even want to workout when I cannot push myself as hard as I am used to.  I enjoy going all out and pushing past the pain and pushing past my comfort zone.  So quite frankly, I really don’t feel the satisfaction or endorphins I usually feel after workout out anymore which makes it difficult to stay motivated. None the less, I have been trucking along and doing it anyway.  I know it is good for me, helps me keep my ridiculous roller coaster of emotions in check and it is good for my baby. They are different motivating factors for me these days and I am okay with that.

4 1/2 months to go!

Stay blessed in the mess 😉

 

 

Don’t put “courage” in a box

There are two words that have been hot topics as of lately.  Courage and Love.  One would not think such words would be controversial topics. The legalizing of same sex marriage has caused the word ‘love’ to be discussed and defined. Bruce Jenner’s transformation to Caitlyn Jenner has caused the word ‘courage’ to be discussed.   Even though these two topics and events were entirely different, I group them together in my mind because I believe the same about both.  Love is love and courage is courage and it is NOBODY’S right to define or judge either of those. Leave the judgment to God.
caityln-jenner-02-435

One of the reasons I felt so compelled to write about courage specifically is some of the comments and pictures I have seen on social media of people posting pictures of firefighters or marines etc. saying things like “THIS is REAL courage.”

One of the blessings of our country is the freedom to express opinions ideas, etc.  But on the other hand it can be hurtful to read as most of these are not opinions or ideas, they are harsh judgments and mean spirited comments.  I often wish, we could not so easily hide behind a phone or computer and open up more person to person discussion about such topics.  Like minded people “comment” and “like” each other, which does get our world any closer to understanding one another.  It just divides us more.

I have been aware of the Transgender population for sometime now and I will be the first to admit that as it became more prevalent in the media, I was very confused yet intrigued by it. I felt confused that God would put someone in a body that wasn’t meant for them and would cause them so much pain and distress.  But I also know better than to try and understand God and why he does the things he does. But did I tell somebody who was Transgender that what they were going through was wrong or mental? Did I judge them? NO.  My goal has been nothing short of trying to understand it and help my own ignorance before I make any decisions or comments about what I believe.

FullSizeRender-6

Comments like “THIS is REAL courage” make me angry and sad for those making them and for those on the other end of all this. That comment alone is insulting to our whole human population.  Are people who risk their lives for our country courageous?  ABSOLUTELY.  But, we have done a disservice to courage by putting it in box.  People are struggling and doing courageous things EVERYDAY in their normal lives.  You could write a book on all the different ways people exhibit courage.

I see it all the time with the students I work with. There are days when I sit with students and just cry with them.  I cry for what they have gone through and and I cry because I wish that at such a young age they didn’t have to deal with abuse, neglect, bullying, self-hate etc. Yet, these are the strongest and most courageous young people I know.  If anybody walked a mile in their shoes, they would not doubt for a minute their courage.

It takes courage to walk into rehab. To leave a relationship. It takes courage to admit you are wrong, or scared or unsure. To walk into a new school, gym or job.  It takes courage to stand against a society that is so judgmental and harsh, that it causes people to commit suicide.  For some people, it takes an insurmountable amount of courage just to wake up every day and keep breathing.   I applaud every single one of you.  

It is really okay if you do not agree with Caitlyn Jenner or applaud her or the issue she stands for …or any other issue for that matter, that is your right!  But please understand that courage does not fit in a box.  It is as diverse as the beautiful people that inhabit this earth.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

 

 

Confessions of a Crossfitter

NEWSFLASH: I love Crossfit.  A LOT.  I have been consistently going 3-5 days a week for three years.  I still get jitters the night before a workout when it is finally posted. I still am challenged and never bored. I have become stronger and I have become a better runner.  And I finally see the definition in my own arms and abs that I have coveted in other women all these years.

5-6am is one of the best parts of my day, I don’t have to worry about stress, drama or the weight of the world, just the weight of the barbell.  It’s not the easiest to workout so early, but it energizes me for tackling life the rest of the day.  Something about being up before the rest of the world just already makes me feel ahead of the game. It also helps that the community I spend those mornings with are a group of really fun people.

FullSizeRender-5

I could probably write several posts a week about the things I learn in that gym.  I could write about the days that make me feel on top of the world.  The days that humble me (there’s many of those). The days I leave feeling frustrated. But I hesitate often to do so, as there tends to be a bad association with us Crossftters.  Assumptions that it is all we want to talk about, that we think our workout is better than yours, that anybody who doesn’t do CF is just plain dumb or that we all like to make snatch jokes.  I actually hate when I am lumped into those categories. Do I want to boast a little when I hit a huge milestone? Sure.  I think people love to talk about CF so much because it is so empowering, BUT it is not above any other workout. Whatever YOU do to make YOU happy, I support.  Whatever gets YOU out of bed and moving towards your goals is awesome. Doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, running, walking or Zumba, power to you. Crossfit works for me. It gets me excited to be up in the 4am hour and helps me be my best.

I am putting more time into lifting this year than I ever have, because I needed a break from running and long distance races.  But I will admit, CF is not my everything. I don’t keep up with who the top athletes in the sport are. I don’t need all the latest and greatest apparel.  I don’t obsess over the results of my workout in comparison to others.  Truth is, when my workout is done at 6am, it is done. I don’t often think too much more about it.  On to the challenges that the rest of the day holds. Real life challenges.  If I can conquer that workout or put that weight over my head, I can deal better with that hard situation at work, that self-doubt or have confidence to take that leap of faith towards a big goal.  I hope that whatever your workout of choice is, it has the same effect for you…Crossfit or not.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

Feeling Challenged? Keep Going.

Image

Ever feel like you are stuck in a rut? Meeting challenge after challenge with no end in sight? No matter how positive your intention is to start the day, you end the day in frustration. I know how you feel and I am here to tell you that this is a GOOD thing.  It means you are on the edge of glory, close to something incredible. I beg you friends, keep pushing through. Whatever you are working towards, weight-loss, breakthrough, promotion, or that something to come through that you have been praying about…it is coming. The point in which things get hard is when most throw in the towel, but sadly it is often when things are just about to change for the better.

This is a principle I have read about in countless books, even THE book. I have also seen it take place over and over in my life. Looking back, I know there are many times when I gave up too early. What could have been, I will never know.  But I know this lesson now.  I know that after the darkest point in the night, comes a beautiful sunrise.

harvest

A very simple example I can share with you is from a few years ago.  I was about 4 years into my career at Aurora University, but I was feeling frustrated.  I felt I didn’t have enough responsibility or influence to make the changes I wanted and was eager to move up the ladder and be more challenged, but didn’t feel like that would ever happen if I stayed at AU.  I started looking around for other potential job opportunities just to see what was out there and ended up getting an offer to work at another school at a higher position than where I was.  After much debate, I decided to not take the position.  The DAY after I made that decision…I was offered a promotion and a raise at AU.  WHAT? Something I literally did not even think was possible at the time.  It changed everything. Now 3 years later down the road, I am swimming with more responsibility and stress than I can sometimes handle (careful what you wish for right?) but it is yet another season that I am just praying and working my way through. I am not afraid of challenge, I am not afraid of hard work.

BUTTERFLY

When things get hard or uncomfortable, don’t run away or shut down. Most people do, but not you.  You will prevail.  The fact is, life is hard for everybody all of the time. Those who are successful just know how to dig in and weather the storm. This principle applies to both the most complex and simple situations.  Do not think you are an exception to the rule.  You are meant for greatness.

alchemist tested

I am not telling you to stick out every bad situation, relationship etc.  Some things are meant to be left behind.  I am saying that you should not be afraid of challenge or failure as they are life’s greatest teachers. Fall down 7 times, stand up 8.  That 8th time just might be your breakthrough.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

A Master’s Degree in Servant Leadership? Huh?

Last month, I knocked something big off my bucket list. I finished my MASTER’S DEGREE!  Why is this big? Because it took me 2 years longer than I thought it would to finish it and of course it was a lot more work than I ever imagined it would be.  When I first started working at AU and thought about the opportunity for pursuing a further degree; I thought I would take part in the tuition exchange program and go for school counseling at another University (AU does not offer that).  But I kept running into some challenges that made getting into the exchange program a huge pain in the butt.  So, I thought what the heck I will just get my MBA since AU offers that here on campus.

I was a whole year into my MBA when AU rolled out this new graduate program called “Leadership for Service”.  It is a master’s built around the idea of Servant Leadership.  What is Servant Leadership? It is essentially a leadership philosophy and set of practices that is geared towards enriching the lives of individuals, building better organizations and creating a more just and caring world.  It goes so much deeper into what it takes to truly motivate and lead others.  Sounds kinda corny and mushy gushy doesn’t it? My thoughts exactly.  Which DUH is why I loved the sound of it right away and ditched my MBA program (despite being halfway through) and jumped into this one.

I didn’t want just a piece of paper, I wanted something to challenge me and make me a better person, employee, leader and maybe even clarify if I am on the right path in my career.  That is exactly what I got out of this program. My MBA courses were good, but I wasn’t excited about them.  Accounting, Finance, Economics etc. just was not doing it for me.  When I talked to both my Director and VP about switching programs, they both told me not to.  They told me an MBA would serve me better if I want to continue to move up the ladder or be more marketable for other positions.  With all due respect, I did not follow their advice and followed my gut instead.

197d23a2be0a656ed02be8fc466e755e

Call me crazy but titles and moving up the ladder does not mean much to me.  Neither does promotion or money. What is important to me is MEANING.  What is important to me is the question of “Am I making a DIFFERENCE?” and “Am I making this world BETTER?” and that is EXACTLY what this program was about.  We had whole classes on how to be a better listener, how to be an authentic leader and how to be more self-aware and present.  How cool is that?  I cannot even tell you how many “AHA!” moments I had in this program.  Whether it was things I was doing wrong/right as a leader or confirmation on what I am passionate about and where I need to go.

This program also came at a perfect time where I was transitioning into a new leadership role and struggling with it.  It also solidified the fact that I am meant to work with students. I am still trying to figure out in what capacity that is, but I know that is when I feel the most on fire.  When I am helping a student figure out the college application/financial aid process, when I am helping a student figure out what career path is best for them, when I am teaching my Spartan Ambassadors important lessons and helping them be the best they can be.  THAT is when I want to shout from the rooftops because it makes me so happy.  Whether my role is to stay in admission or in a different path that is more student centered, I am not sure yet.  But I know I am moving in the right direction.  All of these things an MBA could not have given me.  The late nights and early mornings of cramming  for tests projects and papers, the precious weekend time spent in class was all so worth it.  I might get a few quizzical looks when people ask me what I completed my degree in, but it’s all good. I came out of this program with more knowledge, self-awareness and confidence than I had before I started and could not have loved my experience more.  That is what education is all about.

Happy Sunday, stay blessed in the mess 🙂

Still Trying to Slow Down

Remember how I told you one of my big resolutions for 2015 was to SLOW DOWN?  A weird goal to have I know, but in order to stay balanced and happy; it was something that I needed to intentionally set out to do.

Well I must confess, this has been hard. Anybody that knows me knows I move a million miles a minute as a natural pace.  It has been a hard habit to break and quite frankly it seems to be everyone’s pace now a days which makes it even harder.  It has been a process of enjoying that free time to write, be in the silence, to read etc. and being fully PRESENT in my daily tasks which is how life is SUPPOSED to be. Not filling up every blank space with something just because. Despite how good this is for me, it still is a struggle.  Before I sit down to read my devotionals and write every morning, I even get really restless and shaky.  It takes me a few minutes to ease into the art of being comfortable in the silence, listening to my mind and listening to God. Because all I want to do is get up and go go GO! It is as almost as if I am learning new depths of myself that I never knew before; and it is forcing me to work through things in a much different way, a healthier way!

photo.PNG-3

In the month of January, I felt really good about what I was doing.  I felt centered and I felt calm. Then February hit, stress at work and a huge pending change set me off a little bit.  I still participated in my morning rituals, but they were a little more rushed in hopes of getting to work early to get ahead, as it is the beginning of a very busy time.  So as a result my day felt rushed and I began to feel off centered again. A passage from Simple Abundance, puts it perfectly…

“If you frequently feel as if you are about to spin off this planet, it’s probably because you are. I know of a woman who will begin to brush her teeth only to leave the bathroom to start making her bed while she is still foaming at the mouth.  And why? Because out of the corner of her eye she saw the rumpled sheets.  Before she could rinse her mouth, she had flung herself into the next task.  Needless to say, a day that starts off this frenzied can only go from bad to worse.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thankfully, I did a little reset this past weekend.  I spent time looking at the month ahead, looking at my tasks and goals, writing out everything on my mind and heart and made the intention to get back on track this March.  You see, I knew I had to do this because these next two months will be a little hectic not just with work….but we are MOVING!

We just bought a beautiful fixer upper home a few miles from our house now.  I will tell the story in a different post of how this came about as it is too good not to share and one more piece of evidence in my life that if you put your wants and dreams out there, God/Universe/whatever you believe in always delivers in the most amazing way.  But in summary, we need to put our current house on the market (which I am very emotional about), start working on our new house, Shain has two rehab homes he is currently working on that he needs to finish up and sell AND did I mention this is the busiest time of year for both of us? Thank goodness I finished my Masters when I did, what timing!

photo-8

So despite the impending insanity the next 60 days will be, I am dedicated to keeping my center. To keep the pace slow.  To not overcommit and take that important time to myself.  After all, once these two months are done I am embarking on a solo trip to Peru! Talk about SERIOUS solo time! Then we have the whole summer to enjoy our new chapter in our new home.  I am excited.

A Different Perspective on “Hate” and “Bullying”

Taylor Swift was on to something with that song of hers… “Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate, I’m just gonna shake shake shake shake shake, shake it off.”  In other words, don’t let the negative energy of others bring you down and keep doing your thing!

tswift

BUT there is another side to this “haters” thing that intrigues me and is often not talked about.  I feel we make others out to be these haters so easily.  You don’t like my outfit? Stop being a hater. You don’t like my lifestyle? Stop being a hater.  But are they really HATING?  Or have we just become WEAK?  Hate and bullying is a very real thing, but I fear we have turned every single disagreement, interpersonal conflict and unlike mind into an act of bullying and hate.  And I am sorry, but that does a disservice to people who have been real victims of those two things.  It does not compare.

Maybe you had somebody confront you recently and tell you something that hurt your feelings.  Maybe they told you that they didn’t appreciate the way you were acting or treating them and you didn’t agree.  Maybe it was somebody at work who told you they didn’t like your idea….do you turn these categories into hating/bullying?  Or do you open an adult conversation with that person and talk about it?  Since when has giving honest feedback and sharing feelings and thoughts that don’t align with others become inappropriate?  This is not hate.  This is not bullying.  This is adulthood.  And  yes, it can be really really hard sometimes. Who actually likes hearing negative things about themselves? NOBODY! But it is part of life and it is part of growth and working with others.

disagreement

Did you know it is now harder to fire people in the work place than it has ever been before? Why?  Because companies can no longer fire somebody for simply being a poor employee or being difficult to work with, it is too tricky.  Somehow a person will find a way to sue and tell the world how poorly THEY were treated and what a terrible place to work it was. Naturally, you will never hear that they didn’t show up for appointments or came in late all the time. They might even pull out a sickness or disability they had and call it discrimination.  WHAT? Makes absolutely ZERO sense to me.  And I have seen it happen in front of my eyes over and over and over again.

I have also noticed a trend in some of the circles I surround myself with that the people who often talk about being hated ON the most…are the biggest haters themselves.  Others that appear positive and encouraging on social media platforms, but then when in person have nothing positive to say about anybody. These people often make me sad and are not people I choose to become close to; because lord knows what they say about  an acquaintance like me if they are  bashing their own best friends. Some of the friends I cherish the most are ones that disagree with me and challenge me on a daily basis (cough, Mama J).  Sometimes we talk through it and still don’t agree and that’s cool.  I love them more for it. Because we can be real with each other.

hater1

Writing this prompted me to of course look inward at myself. I keep a blog called “Blessed in the Mess”.  The purpose of this blog in my mind is to encourage others, share some of my stories, struggles and insights. I never want you to think I am perfect.  I never want you to think that I am not a constant work in progress. Because man am I ever, I have enough baggage to fill a whole plane.  Some days I wake up IN my crabby pants and don’t even want to put my happy pants on. Can I be negative?  Absolutely.  We are ALL guilty of this.  Because we are human.  But I just ask that you to really think about the next time you consider someone a hater or a bully. Are they really?  Or are they telling you something that maybe you need to hear?  Hearing things we don’t agree with or negative feedback is really hard, our first instinct is to throw our guard up and bash that person.   I promise you, I struggle with it too.  I welcome feedback on how I can improve as a wife, friend, manager, coworker etc. and stay strong when I am listening to the sometimes hard words about myself…but I often will go home and beat myself up for weeks.  But I need that, we all need that.  Because guess what?  NONE of us are perfect; but we can certainly use these moments to be the best we can be and GROW.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Agree? Disagree?  Would love to hear.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂