It’s Okay

Often times, many of us fill our personal calendar with far too many commitments. Whether it is an early morning workout class when we know our body needs sleep or a happy hour when we know our body has had more than enough wine. We feel the need to say yes to everything unless we have other plans.

In fact, at least once a week during our daily chats, my mom will recommend that I slow down.

Don’t you think you and Bo need a weekend with no plans?

Don’t you need an evening just to relax?

Do you really need to go to that event?

I often roll my eyes telling my mom that I’m just wired differently and love being around and with people, nurturing relationships and trying new things. Since moving back to New York City, I’ve immersed myself in the blogging and fitness community, a void I felt when living abroad.

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But sometimes, even the most energized people need to take a pause and listen to our minds and bodies. 

Yesterday I found myself stressed and worried about the number of commitments I had on my calendar. After snoozing through my alarm three times, clearly a sign that my body needed sleep, I had the following on my calendar:

Don’t get me wrong; I am thankful to live in NYC and have so many opportunities and have a wonderful and supportive fitness community. But, the thought of rushing from Brooklyn at 5:30pm to head to Central Park and deal with the lines, warm temperatures and craziness of a large event such as the Lole White Yoga Party just wasn’t appealing. The runner happy hour sounded fun and would be a great chance to catch up with a lot of running buddies, but it unfortunately was also starting around 5:30.  While throwing together a quick lunch yesterday, I found myself stressing out while texting with Kristine and Bo. As luck would have it, they both advised me to analyze my commitments.

Do what will make you happiest.

It’s all about attitude. If you won’t be excited at any of the events then don’t do it. It’s worse to be partially present than not present at all.

Since I wasn’t going to leave any one person alone at either event, I wasn’t stressed about bailing at the last minute. My friends going to the yoga event would have each other and the 10,000 other yogis while the runners at happy hour would have plenty of other people with whom to enjoy the cold beers and lovely evening.

I took a few minutes to send emails to a few different people explaining that I was investing in me and doing what I felt my mind and body needed: a workout and a quiet, healthy outdoor dinner with Zoe.

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Even though the pictures from both events look wonderful, this morning I woke up smiling and feeling renewed. There was no sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) or regret.

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It’s okay to say no sometimes. It’s okay to bail when you know it’s the best decision. It’s okay to take time just for yourself and do what you know will make your mind and body happy.

Your turn: Am I the only one who feels this way or do you fight with the need to say yes to everything? What are your tips? 

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This or That

Hey gang! I can’t believe that September 1st has already arrived. Where did Summer go? Due to our move the Summer flew by, coming to a close without a single beach weekend! Luckily I squeezed in a few lazy lake days in Geneva back in June.

lake genevaOh well, it’s a small price to pay for being back in the city we love, in a new apartment and surrounded by friend and family.

As soon as I saw this fun post on Tina’s blog this morning, I knew I wanted to share with you guys. Hope you enjoy it!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

The answer will ALWAYS be vanilla. I love chocolate but in small doses. For example, I love vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough or cookies and creme but have never liked chocolate ice cream or any of those decadent chocolate flavors.

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Innie or Outtie?

Innie.

Hot, Hot Summer or Snowy Winter?

Even though I’m from the South, I love cold weather. Therefore, after missing the past two winters, my answer is snowy winter because I missed the snow when we lived in Geneva. However, I will go ahead and admit that I’ve never lived through a horrific winter so ask me again in May. Based on the Farmer’s Almanac prediction, we’ll have plenty of snow this winter.

Save or Spend?

Bo laughs at me because the things I choose to save on or stress out about are the small things i.e under $100 but then I have no issue making big purchases. Luckily, we balance each other out very well in this area.

Elliptical or Treadmill?

I definitely prefer running outside but I don’t mind the treadmill once in a while especially if I have a few good shows or a movie on the iPad.

Banana or Apple?

I love bananas but come Fall I absolutely love filling the house with different types of apples.

Morning or Night?

I have this weird ability to be an either person. I can stay up late when there is a reason and I can easily wake up ridiculously early.

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Love or Money?

Love. Unfortunately you can have all the money in the world but you won’t be happy if you have no one with whom to share it.

 

Lip Balm or Lipstick?

I can never seem to keep track of either and therefore rarely apply lipstick or lip balm. My mom always says “Ashley you’d look good with just a little bit of color on your lips.” Oops.

Butt or Boobs?

Since I personally have neither, I guess I’d say boobs as I’ve always wished I had a bit more in that area but never in the butt region.

Alone or with others?

90% of the time the answer is with others but once I hit my threshold I want nothing more than to be alone on the couch with a glass of wine and a good book. In fact, that’s what I’m doing tonight.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

Straight or Curly?

Since my hair doesn’t hold a curl for more than an hour or two, the answer is straight.

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Three Squares or Graze All Day?

I’m a born grazer though I’ve improved what I graze on a great deal over the years. These days it’s fruit and nuts whereas it used to be empty snack foods.

Right-handed or left-handed?

Right.

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Beach or Mountains?

I grew up a beach girl but over the past few years have come to love the mountains. My perfect combination is a lake in the mountains.

Mac or PC?

PC

Shy or Outgoing?

I’m outgoing unless I’m totally out of my element; in that case I clam up immediately and second guess everything I say which leads to pure social awkwardness.

Your Turn: Choose one of these questions to answer in the comments! 

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A Weekend Check-In: Investing My Time in The Right Place

The sun in shining through our large bay windows in our bedroom and I’m lazily lying in bed for just a few more moments. Even though there is plenty to keep me busy in this house, I am not ready to get out of bed just yet.

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The past few days have been a blur.  My parents, who chose to celebrate their 38th anniversary with a Brooklyn vacation, have been working non-stop helping us on projects around the house. We’ve changed light fixtures, hung shades, stained wood, pulled weeds, broken down cardboard boxes, explored Brooklyn and enjoyed some delicious food in between at both local Brooklyn favorites and at home.

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Daily life here in Brooklyn is quite different than what they know in Savannah, Georgia but they love getting to know and understand the differences.

Other than a few Snapchat (Healthyhappier) and Instagram  posts, I’ve really been investing time with them while they are in town. In my goal of being fully present, I have been off social media for three days. I had a blog post planned in my mind for both Friday and Saturday, but somewhere between the drilling and laughter, they remained in my mind versus on the screen.

So instead of making excuses for you guys, I’m checking in with pictures from our past few days and the promise that as Summer winds down and our new home gets under control, I’ll be back here for my four to five time a week update. I miss connecting with you all but at the same time, I know that my time has been spent in the right place these few days.

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Dad staining the center island

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Have a great weekend guys and remember, invest your time and attention in the ones you’re with versus always being attached to your screen.

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The Silver Lining

Nothing about moving is easy.

 

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Suddenly life seems messy and chaotic. Everything from making dinner to going for a run takes longer because you have to dig through boxes to find what you’re looking for and then get diverted off course by trying to put just one more thing in its proper place.

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Even though Bo and I have slept seven hours every night for the past week, we are both exhausted and drained. There are different types of drainers including monetary and professional. The constant credit card swiping as we purchase things we didn’t have the foresight to realize we needed, like shades and air conditioners, unnerves us daily as we do our best to stay within our planned monthly budget.  From a professional standpoint, we both are trying to make sure that the move doesn’t get in the way of the work we need to deliver each day, but it’s hard to focus when surrounded by boxes.

While I know that in just a few weeks life will return to “normal” and we will be head over heels in love with our new apartment, I have already found the silver lining in the madness.  (Image source)

This momentary craziness has helped us both realize how far we’ve come on the journey towards a balanced lifestyle. Over the past month, we haven’t missed a single workout. Each morning at 5:15 AM when the alarm goes off, we momentarily entertain the thought of pushing snooze, only to remember the energy that those morning miles will give us the rest of the day.

A few years ago, we would have made excuses and rationalized a July and August meal plan of delivery sushi, Chinese, and pizza served along side a few cold beers or glasses of wine. Each morning we would wake-up feeling the effects of the previous night’s decision, chug water and lace up our shoes, thinking we could out sweat the less than stellar food decisions.  At least one or two times there would be a straight-up binge fest of delivery, alcohol and then an order of Insomnia cookies around 11pm because “we’re moving and deserve a treat.”

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We’ve ordered Seamless one time in a month and eaten out just a handful of other nights, instead spending most of our evenings cooking a healthy meal even if it’s just omelettes or roasted chicken. Last night in between unpacking boxes, we grilled vegetables and turkey burgers, taking a 30-minute break to enjoy the meal together at our dining room table.

So while I still have no desire to move for at least another few years, I appreciate what it has taught me over the past few weeks. We may not be perfect, but our life is definitely far healthier now than it was a few years ago. We’ve made strides together, and the way we have managed stress has improved. When the dust settles in our new place, I’m thankful that our next project won’t be losing the 10 pounds we gained during the move.

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So until then, I’ll just continue to break up the craziness by laughing so hard it hurts when I decided to hop inside a full-size outdoor storage unit at Lowe’s. Because rumor has it, running and laughter is the best medicine!

 

 

 

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