OKay, so its technically Tuesday, but the blog was down for two days and then I was away from the computer all day yesterday. So MiHM is being posted on Tuesday. I’m such a rebel. Or something.
In the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with people who really lift me up. I’ve found myself surrounding myself with positive people… and its really given me a boost I didn’t know I needed!
I have always known the idea that your friends are an extension of who you are. You tend to be friends with people who have similar thoughts, morals, beliefs, goals, etc. And I love all of my friends. I see them all as professionals in their fields, and they often (unknowingly) challenge me to do better in my own field(s).
All that being said, life gets crazy. People ask me how I’ve been these days and I respond with, “Busy!” Sometimes when I say that and end up wondering what I’ve really been doing to be so busy. I think it mostly comes down to the fact that I don’t have a definite set schedule. My life is pretty random and I rely on my calendar heavily. No two weeks look the same. No two DAYS look the same! So I’m left feeling very scattered and spread thin.
Lately, though, my calendar has included time with friends. The Road Widows meet up. The Color Run. A scavenger hunt. All included sitting down around a table to eat at some point giving me much needed time to just talk with friends. Catch up on what we are all doing. We laughed together and discussed things that might be bothering each other. Every time, I left feeling much more centered and focused.
We often may feel we can’t rely on others. We feel like if we want to be successful we can only rely on ourselves. “It’s all up to me to get it done RIGHT.” And in some ways, that might be right. But you can’t forget how your personal needs can affect your professional goals. Personally, you need positive people to give yourself that boost and put you back in that right mindset to truly succeed.
Yesterday, I knocked something off my non-existent, but still kinda exists, bucket list: I did a 5K.
Let’s be honest here. I am not a person who exercises regularly. Oh I think about it. I have high ambitions to do it. But it just doesn’t happen. My exercise consists of bartending atleast two nights a week for 8 hours at a time w/o a break to sit down in that time. I justify to myself that its plenty of exercise each week, but let’s face it… I’m just making excuses.
That being said, over about the last two years, I’ve had this want to do a 5K “some day.” I put it on my bucket list. Someday. A 5K. Let’s do this.
I heard of the Color Run via Facebook and Twitter, as friends around the country participated. And I went, “Hmmm… That looks like fun.” I was out of town when the Color Run came to Nashville in March, and I was bummed. Then I heard it was coming BACK in October.
I wanted to participate. Was I crazy? Should I? My husband encouraged me to do it, so I signed up. We said we’d train. It gave us both an excuse to go and hit the walking trails. Yeah! We’d do it!
Yeahhhhh… didn’t happen. Life’s been crazy. Next thing I knew I was one week out and I hadn’t hit a trail at all. I hadn’t done a darn thing. And suddenly I had regrets. I had fear. How on EARTH would I do a 5K with no training!?
Then it really hit me it was Sunday morning, after I would be working Saturday night and not get home until after 4 am. So not only would I go into it with no training, I’d do it on MAYBE 3 hours of sleep. If I was lucky. What on EARTH was I THINKING!?!
Friday, I went and picked up my team’s packets. Numbers, t-shirts, etc. This was happening. No turning back now. Oh my GOD what was I doing!?
I got home Saturday night at 4 AM. I was in bed around 5:30 after I had supper and grabbed a shower. My alarm went off at 8 AM. Oh holy hell. 2.5 hours of sleep. I dragged myself out of bed. I put on my Color Run socks, t-shirt, a pair of shorts, temporary tattoo on my cheek, etc. I choked down a bread and jelly sandwich. Grabbed my stuff and headed to meet my team. My good sense was left in bed, but at least I was in good spirits.
I met up with the team and we were all going, “What are we doing!?” As over half the team had worked the night before and were literally running on less than 3 hours of sleep.
I think I was still in a fog until we got to LP Field. The air was electric, and it hit me… I was about to do a 5K. I sent my Mom a text message from the Start line and her text back just helped boost my confidence. As did the fact that I was part of a team of dear friends who had me laughing and forgetting the fact it was a 5K. We were just strolling through downtown together… and getting covered in color as we went. Which, you know, happens every day.
Around half-way, my legs finally went, “Dude, really?” I told them to shut up. And they did.
We all giggled as little kids hit the last little bit and were OVER it. Kids crying. Others complaining, not wanting to be in their strollers but also not walking to walk. A little part of me went, “I totally get it kids.” But another part of me went, “I’m almost through this! I did it! Oh my word, I did it!!”
Not only did I finish, I found myself jumping and dancing around with everyone else. This truly was the happiest 5K in the planet!!
I did it. I knocked doing a 5K off my bucket list.
And then put it right back on. I wanna do it again!
Even though it took forever to get all the color off afterwards. Even though I had color in places that made me wonder how it got there. Even if I had to get my husband to scrub my back off because I couldn’t reach it all. Even if I had a pounding headache for the rest of the day from lack of sleep and (probably) a touch of dehydration.
I loved it. I am SO proud of myself for stepping wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of my comfort zone and doing it. And even more for wanting to do it again.
One of my favorite blogs, Interpret As You May, made a really awesome post this past week entitled “What Changed You?” I immediately wanted to write down and take her challenge of answering “So. Do you have any moments that changed you? Please share! I’d love to know ♥” but instead thought I’d let it stew and make it my Five on Friday this week. So. Here goes a lot…
1. The day my brother got married. I debated this day or the day my brother left for technical school in Houston, but ultimately his getting married made a bigger impact. Because even when he was in school, he came home every weekend. Getting married meant no more coming home on the weekend. No more being awakened by his jumping on my bed (or lord knows what other creative way he would come up with to get me up.) No more taking his CDs without asking. No more… lots of little bitty things that you don’t realize you rely on until they’re no longer happening. I admit it. I cried when they drove away in his pick-up after the wedding. My friends told me I was being silly. But for me, it was a new chapter starting in his life, as one was closing in mine. Oh trust me, the tears didn’t last forever, and we all found a new rhythm and navigated through life’s changes just fine… but it was definitely a turning point for me.
2. Going to college. It was huge reality check for me that I didn’t know it all. And there was a whole lot of things I still had to figure out. I seriously wish that everyone in this world could at least spend one year in college. For me, I learned more about life and the world through every-day things during college than I did in any book in the classroom. Graduating was an accomplishment that I look back on almost every day when I hit a moment of, “I just can’t do this…” I look up at the diploma on the wall above my computer screen and suddenly all this resolve comes back to me. I can do anything, dammit. And nothing is going to stop me.
3. The day my heart got broken. What many people don’t know is that my husband is the only guy I ever dated. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t have my heart broken. The day he broke up with me is one we don’t talk about much. Its a pretty moot point now that we’re happily married (almost seven years!). However, looking back, I think it was a positive thing to have happened. Why? Because it gave me confidence within our relationship I didn’t realize had been lacking prior to it. It put me back in my place as an independent woman. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… and I was definitely a stronger woman after that happened. We stayed friends after we split up, and I told him he was “going to have to work for it” if we were ever to get back together. Clearly he did, and we did, and here we are today. But looking back, as crazy as it sounds, I couldn’t be more thankful for those months we split up, because in the end it made me and US so much stronger.
4. Getting married & moving to Nashville. This one is a no-brainer. Not only was I moving 800+ miles away from everyone and everything I knew and had known my whole life… but I was moving to be with a man who wasn’t even going to be home half the time! Talk about having to grow your wings really fast! I had to learn how to make friends. I had to learn how to have a fall-back plan for just about everything, because there was no longer a safety net right THERE. Through the people I’ve met, through the jobs I’ve done, and through the organizations I’ve become a part of… I’m far more extroverted, open, confident (and perhaps cynical – lol) than I ever would have been had I not moved two states east.
5. Filing bankruptcy. This day was the ultimate day of both admitting my mistakes, but also taking back control of a part of my life I’d lost all control over. The day you go in and face a judge and accept your mistakes financially is a humbling day. But its also an empowering day. I walked out of that office lighter and freer than I had felt in years. Talk about a hard lesson learned… but also, talk about embracing the fact you’re an adult!
So… your turn. What moments have changed YOU?
I don’t talk politics much. It’s a deeply personal subject for most people, but within that very few are fully versed on political topics. I’ll readily admit, I don’t know all the details of every political move made. I only know three things for sure:
1 – I don’t consider myself Republican nor Democrat. I vote based on the individual and their stance, not based on their political party.
2 – I consider myself a conservative. But I’m probably one of the most liberal conservatives you’ll find in that I acknowledge others have different beliefs/wants/needs than I do, and I respect that. I only ask others respect my feelings in return.
3 – I think a multiparty system is crucial. You may be staunchly one party or the other, but you gotta admit you need a check-and-balance brought from the other side.
All that being said, I’ve always felt very thankful to live in a democratic country. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” (Abraham Lincoln) However, as the American public has asked for more laws on one topic or another be made, I’ve slowly felt like our democratic society has started to fade a little. And that fact has scared me.
And I sit here today a solid mix of scared and angry, as our lawmakers refuse to find a compromise on budgets, health care, and who knows what all else (because lets face it, every law passed these days has half a dozen non-associated things attached), leaving our country at a standstill in so many ways. I’m scared of the repercussions of this — things we may not find out about for days, months or even years down the road. I am angry that the country has become so divided. I sometimes wonder if this is how people felt in the time of the civil war, as friends and family sit on opposite sides of the issues. One person is screaming the Republicans are evil. The next screaming the President has become a dictator. And while we bicker amongst each other over what “they” are doing, those in office are treating this whole shutdown like its some sort of game to win. Treating one another like parents with a child throwing a tantrum.
Meanwhile its the American public — the ones who put our politicians into place and who are the ones that our politicians are supposed to be working FOR — that suffers. Families are left wondering how they are going to put food on the table, as government employees are put on furlough. (Meanwhile, Congress still gets paid.) Others who have saved and dreamed of a vacation to a national park or monument find those dreams and that money go to waste as they are told, “No.” by federal security people. (Except for those who give a proverbial middle finger to barricades. These guys are my heros.) Even worse, those kicked out of their homes because they sit on federal land. Still others, who are in clinical trials are left without medicine. Don’t even get me started on our military not getting to celebrate mass nor having death benefits during the shut down.
The only “positive” spin I could possibly put on this is that at least now we realize how much we rely on our government. And that realization is more than a little bit scary. But perhaps its time we rely on our government less and more on each other. The Bloggess wrote an amazing blog on this point last week. Perhaps we’ve come to expect too much of “those guys & gals in office” who often seem to be more worried about how they look to fellow politicians and less about how they look to “the people.” They forget its “the people” who gave them their jobs. It’s “the people” being used as a pawn in this game. It’s “the people” who are suffering.
I wish this could be like in the movies, and some one up in office would sit down and read the news and then the constitution and suddenly be inspired to swoop in and fix everything. But this isn’t Hollywood. I’m not Sandra Bullock and you’re not George Clooney. (Unless you really are, and if you are — hey thanks for reading!) This is America, and there are no special effects nor a script to read.
So what do we do? We help each other. And we think long and hard about who we put in office next. We pray for this shutdown to end soon.
I’ve read more news articles and editorials for and against both sides than I can fully digest. At the end of them all, I can only surmise what I already felt: they’re all wrong. (And I don’t want to hear either side defended in comments, because dammit in the end they are supposed to be leaders… and leaders bring people together not rip them apart.)
I don’t want to hear neither President Obama nor House Speaker John Boehner point fingers any more. I’m tired of hearing, “I’ll negotiate, but only if…” from both sides. I want to scream/cry/beg them all to grow up and work together. Stop being like a bunch of eight-year-olds bickering over who gets the ball first in a big game of HORSE. Because that ball is the lives of Americans, and we’re all getting scared and angry as a whole.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Photo Share is my personal replacement for Weekly Winners, since that link exchange is no longer happening. It’s just my own challenge to take great photos through the
week month, as it gives me a venue to share some of them on this blog. Consider it my own little P.S. on the week month before.