Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: routine

Piqued

As you know, I launched 30 Days of Dresses this week. Woo! Thanks for all of your comments ūüôā

I loved this Complete Guide To Structuring Your Ideal Work Day, especially the idea of brushing your teeth at 2:30pm. While I’m continuously trying to find the right daily and weekly routines that support my energy levels and introversion, this seemed like a great guide for any office worker bees.

Abby Kerr, who ran the INFJ business class I loved (it’s coming back!), has a real knack for linking to amazing posts. Follow her on Twitter.

Abby shared Allie’s post on the care and feeding of new moms. A few of my friends are new(ish) mom and I admit, I had no idea how to help them. And because I love offering help, supporting people¬†and receiving help myself when I’m down in the shit-time of any life change, I felt completely useless as friends to these women. This post will be my reference material now.

Back to introvert’s dreams, here’s a list of things only people who love spending time alone will understand (I think my sister gets credit for texting me this). This is seriously alone-time indulgences and I could spend a month just going through a challenge checking items off this list.

I am¬†loving the National Geographic Your Shot Blog. Animals, nature, culture and gorgeous pics? I’m in.

To follow that up, living off the grid / what people miss about living in the wilderness. This pretty much sums up my broken heart after Alaska.

And finally, Pink Ronnie has reevaluated her blogging / storytelling, shuttered her Pink Ronnie blog and launched The Shoemakers Daughter (tho today the link isn’t working ūüė¶ ) I love her style, story-telling and photography. I would love to take a class with her in person and am book-marking her Life Captured online courses.

That’s it for this weekend. Enjoy xo

See all Piqued posts.

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The Value Of Mornings

Since returning from Alaska / back-to-school time, I’ve been getting up early with H. His alarm goes off at 5:40am and by 6am I’m downstairs in the kitchen feeding Carter his cup of food.

I’ve switched up my morning routine because of the heat. Usually I wake, write morning pages, feed the dog, run with him, eat/shower/dress and leave for work. But that means I could be out for a run as late as 8am and it’s just too damn hot for that right now.

Exercise is a priority, both for Carter (an exercised dog is a tired, won’t-chew-your-shoes dog) and me. That runner’s high keeps me going all day, unties stiff muscles and generally makes me a happier person. But running in the heat is bad for both of us.

So this is our routine for now: wake, feed dog / drink water, go for a run, write, get ready.

Unfortunately, most days writing gets lost, but I’m working on that.

I had this thought since getting back into the work groove – why do I feel obligated to do the work of my job outside job hours, when I never allow myself to do my personal work during job hours?

Hhmmm.

I have so much flexibility in my time and energy that it can become overwhelming – too many options, not enough parameters. But I heard Heidi’s voice in my head saying that this conundrum probably had something to do with value – valuing my time, creativity and personal work.

I’ve been actively putting my personal work at the forefront of my free time and not allowing my salaried job to spill outside of office hours. More so, I’m accepting that this is exactly what happens, and that I need to make conscious choices about what is important to me and what I want to get done with my time.

So, I’m running with the dog before the heat flares up. I’m blogging this before breakfast. I’m tying up email loose-ends and signing off for the night. I’m jotting down a poem instead of checking social media. I’m going for a run without music or a podcast.

My mornings are mine – and it’s important I use them for me. It sets a habit for the rest of the day and it refills my well. Valuing my time, and what I want to do with it, is a new practice for me – even though it’s something I’ve written about before – it seems like one of those lessons I’m meant to learn over and over again.

And it seems that right now, mornings are an opportunity for my daily practice.

 

Dreamed Into Existence

I admit, I’m having trouble figuring out what to do with myself after the epic trip that was Alaska.

I feel dumbfounded that it happened and that it’s already over. Even though our days felt perfectly planned – I never felt rushed or anxious on the trip – it’s a blur in my memory. Which port did we stop in first? What was the name of our guide for the hike? Where were we when we spotted whales? Which days did we cruise the open sea?

I have a friend named Steve who gets that there’s a lot more to me under the surface of my witty and organized approach to life… he commented on Sunday’s post:

Good to have you back and feeling your feelings and sharing all those seemingly mundane details (chili, reading, roller-hockey and photos) that somehow add up to a satisfying life. Maybe not Alaska, but if you lived in Alaska everyday maybe Alaska wouldn’t be Alaska, either haha. Still great journeys are to be cherished, whether external or internal, and Alaska for you sounds like it was both. Congratulations and welcome back and I’m glad you have your freshly-grown nostalgia to keep you sad and craving. Where would we be without our cravings?

And isn’t he right?

I wrote that post because it is the mundane details that make my life. And it is the details that throw us off when we’re traveling, when we encounter a new place. Like how people in Alaska leave their windshield wipers propped up during a winter day so they don’t freeze onto the window. Or how an older man on the boat told his wife he was ordering “tape-ahs” instead of “tah-pahs”. Or how, even though there was a ridiculous amount of food at the buffet, I was dying for fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and some scrambled egg whites.

This trip was something I dreamed into existence – that I could marry into a family where in-laws would invite me not only on crazy family trips, but to the one place on earth I wanted to visit before I died. To a place where, for no specific reason that I can recall, I’ve been interested obsessed with for 5+ years. Serendipity.

It was a trip 2 years in the making and in a snap of a finger two-weeks time, it’s over.

Maybe Alaska wouldn’t be Alaska if I lived there (though I am romantically consumed by my experience enough to challenge that), I can agree with Steve on this point “Still great journeys are to be cherished, whether external or internal, and Alaska for you sounds like it was both”.

And that’s all I can say right now about how large this whole experience feels – both an external and internal journey – still too much for exact words, as large and vast as the state of Alaska.

Sad To Be Home, For Once

Usually my “back home” posts are ones I look forward to – full of relief and routine. My last post was written ~12 days ago, and if you’ve been following along, you know ALASKA happened.

And Alaska is something that resonated in me so deeply, I am not sure how to tell you about it yet – though I did keep a travel journal which is half-way done, so I do have some notes on it all…

But that’s not what I want to write about this morning.

Like every August, our trip ended with us coming home to a dog full of fleas. Flea season gets us every time, usually August/September, when the weather heats up and Carter Cash spends a lot of time outside. Luckily, we have our new vinyl floors downstairs and my sister cleaned our apartment while we traveled, so I wasn’t freaking the shit out after noticing fleas all over Carter’s butt right after the taxi cab dropped us off.

In less than 20min of being home, Carter and I went into the tub for a full-on-offensive-attack bath.

Then we biked him to the grocery store to restock our fridge. Henry suggested I make chili for dinner, so as he unpacked the groceries, I chopped veggies and browned turkey meat. We ate on the couch while watching a National Geographic show about Alaska (I know, I’m obsessed).

Later on we unpacked suitcases, vacuumed the dog’s crate, washed dishes and took hot showers. We were asleep by 10pm.

I woke up this morning at 7am, with the blazing SoCal sun beating through the sliding door.

Our dirty vacation clothes were packed already sorted into whites / darks / colors (because we’re crazy like that) so I was able to run a few loads of laundry this morning as I cooked breakfast. I did a hiit workout and ran the dog 2m. I drank water, hung up jackets, put away travel sized toiletries, and folded laundry. I tried to not feel overwhelmed by the piles of stuff left from the frenzied day before we left or panic about having to go back to work tomorrow.

I’m reading Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr and sinking into his descriptions of being a new father in a new city – his detailed descriptions of Rome echoing the fleeting grasp I have on Alaska. “As it always is with leaving home, it is the details that displace us. The windows have no screens. Sires, passing in the street, are a note lower. So is the dial tone on our red plastic telephone…”

Usually the details of home settle me back in – my travel is work or family related – and I crave my own boundaries and comforts. But this time I am sad. Our trip was packed, full of amazing happenings and really great family time, but it went so fast – I can’t believe it’s already over.

H went to play roller-hockey and when he returns, he’ll be transferring and backing-up the almost 1000 photos and videos we shot during the 11 days away. I hope spending some time with those captures helps this feeling of loss, and that writing about it in my travel journal and here for you keeps the deep satisfaction of my experience right where I can hold it.

Early Mornings With Carter

As it happens with a Sun sign changes, just last week I found my energy came back. I shifted my morning routine. Instead of getting up late, writing morning pages, and then exercising Carter, I got up earlier and exercised him first. This somehow created more space for me to do what I wanted and get to work slightly earlier somehow. The added bonus is getting outside before the heat gets to be too much.

And I just love me some early morning light on this pup.

Sundays Are For (Week 24)

 

 

 

Sleeping in 3 hours past weekday wake-ups, but still up before 9AM. A trip to the dog park for Carter Cash while I sit in the car talking to my mom. Brunch at our favorite local joint, where we sit at the counter for the first time. The vat of whipped butter is a surprise and the bustle of the workers is impressive. For $21 we both get french toast, sausage or bacon, two eggs and coffee. Perfection. A quick walk around the farmer’s market and we head home.

Afterwards, I feel cranky. Even though I’ve had ¬†a mug of coffee, I am tired. The past two weeks had been all sorts of odd energy. We planned to ride down to the beach, but instead, I lay down on the couch and fall asleep for two hours.

H does work, straightens up and takes a shower. My nap is blissful and¬†exactly what I needed. Once I’m up again, I have energy to go out.

We ride down to the ocean to find it’s a lot foggier than we expected, almost cold. We find a free bike rack, lock them up, pick up some wine at the store, and head out onto the beach. It’s so relaxing, refreshing,¬†rejuvenating. Hands down best way to bring me back to myself. And it reminded me of this Sunday back in September – Sundays Are For (Week 8)

On our way home, we stopped at the grocery store for a few items (I’ve gotten really back at doing larger grocery runs), showered, and ate frozen pizza. Then I video chatted with a friend in NYC – she used to be my boss before she relocated. She’s awesome & I miss her. It was so smart of us to video chat, her with wine and me with my pizza. WHY didn’t we do this sooner?!

And now it’s the quiet hour, where I eat some strawberries and H studies for a grad school final, and Carter lays on the couch, watching us. Our apartment is a mess and other things are up in the air, but right now, life is awesome.

Happy Sunday to you too xo

 

 

 

Busy Travel Year

2012 was a busy travel year.

Boston. Long Island. Nashville. Maui & Kauai for our honeymoon. Sequoia. San Diego. Las Vegas. San Fran. Newport Beach.

And I returned home again and again and again.

I can see the ebb and flow of the year, my energy and moods. For 2013 I hope to find a rhythm and lean on my own rituals and routine.

Where did you venture into the world this year? xo

For the Soul…

Yesterday was tough, in the way that this time of the month can be for me. I don’t know why, but the 20th / 21st of the month has become Breakdown City. Hormones? The moon? Sunday was no exception.

My horoscope mentioned that I would need a lot of down time built into this season. Some days, I remember, and make sure to read, nap or sip hot tea. Other days, it goes out the window with the rest of my sanity. While my new approach to swap “excitement” in for “anxiety” is helping, it doesn’t completely alleviate the drama in my head.

I am still panicked that there’s too much to do for the wedding and not enough time or that the choices I’m making will somehow be “dumb” when the special day arrives. It’s enough to drive anyone insane. Luckily, I have perspective because I totally see how people become Bridezillas.

Today’s relaxation came along by accident. As the wedding planning creates that vortex of “what I should be doing?” this morning I found myself rebelliously choosing to do whatever I wanted from the start.

I’ve been drinking too much again. 5 nights in a row of alcoholic beverages makes for one cranky Monday morning. So, after writing my MPs, I laid back down and promptly feel asleep for another 45min. When I woke up, I felt much better.

Then, as per usual, I walked the dog, enjoying the neighborhood. I swear these walks are keeping me sane. I knew I had (2) meetings to go to and planned to ride my bike. As the hours of the morning ticked away, I worried there wouldn’t be enough time. Should I drive instead? (See,¬†should !)

“Fuck it” I thought. “If I’m late, I’m late” and grabbed my bike and went.

20min and 3miles later, I was covered in a spritzing of sweat, locking my bike. Even though I was 5 min late, I still beat the person I was meeting. After the first meeting, I had about a 1/2 hour to kill before my second meeting, and decided to detour down to the ocean to have a look. Then, I decided to take my shoes off and walk to the water. And I took some pictures all the way.

It was lovely. Like, effing amazing for my soul. I swear, the moment my toes hit the sand, I instantly felt better. I’m so glad I went.