Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Personal New Year's Resolution: To Be Me.


For my entire adult life I have made resolutions and never kept them. A few of those years I even opted out of making them so I wouldn't have anything to break. Before I go into this year's resolution, I need to provide a brief background. 

I'm 34 years old. I'm in a solid relationship and have a decent job. I'm healthy and happy. But this may throw you off because I said I was happy. I also have depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem.

Depression. I was diagnosed when  I was in college. A "chemical imbalance" as they like to say. I've seen my fair share of pyschiatrists, psychologists, and dabbled in the medication department. I discontinued all of it because I literally couldn't afford it and taught myself to manage independently. While doing so I ended a previous engagement (beneficial to both of us in the long run), made some horrible decisions, and bounced from state to state searching for happiness. I still battle depression but thanks to my outlets of running & yoga, and the supportive people in my life I know how to navigate through it. I may burst into tears for no apparent reason and I may be unable to get off the couch for days hiding from the world, but I'm fighting it and winning.

Anxiety. My anxiety comes off as being shy. When I meet new people or am even around family and old friends I constantly beat myself up. "Nobody wants to be around me because I don't have anything interesting to say" or "I've put on a few pounds so I don't deserve to go out for drinks" are just a few phrases that circle my never-ending thought process. It's EXHAUSTING.

Self-esteem. I think everyone battles self-esteem issues at some point in their life. It's basically a given when you're in middle and high school and we assume as adults it won't effect us anymore. Maybe it's true for some, but for me it has been a struggle. I've battled disordered eating because of it. At just 12 years old I would only allow myself 6 baby carrots for an entire day and then a very small dinner when my family sat down to eat in the evening so nobody would catch on to what I was doing. Other times I would go on a binge after depriving myself of calories for so long. I am no longer at these extremes, but I am still a work in progress. Self-worth is very important in caring for yourself, and I want to get better at it. 

With that background, I can move onto my resolution. One I know I can keep and HAVE to keep: Take Care of Myself. In every single way possible. What exactly does this mean?

This means I will truly honor my feelings. I will say no (very hard for me to do) to situations, people, and events that are not beneficial to my soul and well-being. I will not exhaust myself, within reason, to make everyone around me happy. In 2016 I felt left out with certain 'friends' and dwelled on it for so long that it physically hurt. I will always be there for anyone who needs me, but I also have concluded that not everyone is meant to be your friend and that's completely ok. I don't ever hate anyone and friends do come and go, and sometimes come back again better than before. I've learned it's not about how many friends you have, but the quality of the relationship. I'm ready to embrace all current humans in my life, ones who may have disappeared and will come back again, and those I have yet to meet. And if I say "no" to something or leave an event early it's nothing personal. I'm just taking care of myself and still love you all the same. :) 

This resolution also means I will learn to be extremely mindful. I love the word 'mindfulness' and it resonates with me everytime I see or hear it. I will try to be mindful with whatever I'm doing. One example of this means putting my phone down more often (it won't be 100%, I'm only human!) while I'm eating or having conversation with people without distraction. Social media has been a powerful influence in my life. I've been inspired, met great people, and made connections I may not have made without it, but I can honestly say I need to be more present and put the tiny device down more often. Mindfulness will allow me to determine more easily when I'm tired, when I need to cry, or go for a run. I will be more aware when I am full while eating, or need a nap, a bubble bath, time alone, and in general what my needs are throughout the day. I will journal more often and remind myself of the amazing qualities I was given. I will learn to respect myself. 

I want to focus on laughing a lot more. Exploring and opening my heart and mind to new opportunities. Take advantage of all the things life presents to me, the great and the ugly. I truly believe if I do these things I will genuinely become happier than I already am. I want to be the best friend, co-worker, daughter, niece, grand-daughter, cousin, aunt, sister, dog mama and especially future wife that I can possibly be. By keeping up with this resolution I also hope to experience freedom from my personal struggles so I can live an amazing life. I deserve that. Don't we all?

My final day of 2016 has been incredible and exactly what I needed. I started my morning attending yoga and winning a full month of unlimited yoga at my studio. I had brunch with Brad and we laughed a lot during our conversation. We cleaned our little apartment and bathed the dogs to start the new year fresh. I'll end the year spending time with my family. It has been perfect and exactly what I needed THIS day. I plan to do more of this in 2017. One day I may need extra sleep, and the next I may want to spend all night out socializing. Whatever and whoever each day presents I will be all there. Mindful and present. But most importantly I will be ME. Raw, kind, supportive, open, forgiving, accepting, free, and unapologetically ME. 

I wish everyone who made it to the end of this (and even those who did not!) an extremely Happy Year 2017. May it be healthy, magical, and everything you dream it to be! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Christmas Story Run Race Recap

So many great things to say about this race as always. This was our second year running and basically our Christmas kick-off celebration! But for real, you need to just go to Cleveland and experience it for yourself!

Packet pick-up is nice and easy at the Rennaissance Hotel downtown. If you don't stay at the hotel there is a HUGE parking lot across the street with easy access to it.l and many hotels in the area within a few miles of the race. This year the actor who played Randy was signing autographs inside the hotel.


After grabbing our packets we went to the "A Christmas Story" house (free one time admission with race entry!) where we actually witnessed a sweet proposal inside by the Christmas tree! The house is interactive so you're allowed to touch things (even the leg lamp!) which makes for great photos.




There's also a neat museum across the street of items from the movie and we always spend some time inside their gift shop to get a yearly souvenir. This year we got a leg lamp ornament, haha!


The race had a 9am start which meant it was a little warmer and we got to sleep a little longer. Here are a few pre-race photos. So many people have asked where we got our shirts. We just found them on Etsy!



The race is mostly flat so beginner and family friendly. There is a bridge you cross twice that brings some elevation. Every mile marker has a quote from the movie which is great and gets you reminiscing a bit.


The race gives you a choice at registration to run the 5K or 10K. The 5K finishes at the Christmas Story House and they bus you back downtown. The 10K runs past the house and loops back to the starting area. We always run the 10K and there's a great view of the city as you run back over the bridge during mile 5.



At the finish you are presented with a "major award" and Ovaltine!



The medal this year! 

This was last years themed medal so I'm pumped to earn another one next holiday season!


Any other fun holiday races to run in the country? I'd love to hear about them!