My Heart Breaks for My City

My heart is still so heavy after the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday.  I never thought that something like this would happen where I live.  I never thought that it could happen in a city I love so much and am proud to call my home.  But it did.  It happened. 

Marathon Monday 2013

The day started out so perfectly.  The day was gorgeous.  Seriously, perfect running weather.  Tim and I were so excited to have the day off and spend it down in Cleveland Circle like we do every year, cheering on the runners and enjoying golf balls (our Marathon Monday drink of choice) at Cityside Bar.  This year Slesh was able to get the day off.  We were also going to get to meet up with Ashley and Bret for lunch, as well as see a few other friends throughout the day.

Marathon Monday 2013

I just remember feeling so happy.  The Boston Marathon is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  It’s a special day in Boston, a holiday, where the entire city lights up with festivities and people celebrating the accomplishments of the twenty thousand some odd people who poured their hearts and souls into training for THE marathon to run in.  I am not a marathoner, and I am certainly not even claiming to be a runner.  However, this day leaves me feeling so inspired year after year.  The physical and mental feat of the runners is unbelievable.  I cry tears of happiness throughout the day.  A lot of them.  And the feeling of being on the sidelines, cheering and yelling and high-fiving people who I don’t even know, leaves me with such a high.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be out there running and living it.  It’s amazing.

Runners

The last thing I remember happening before I learned the news of the explosion was spotting two girls from my hometown running by.  I yelled out “Ashley!” and didn’t think she heard me, but then Katie noticed and yelled to me.  These aren’t girls I keep in touch with regularly, but just seeing people I knew was so awesome.  I was yelling and just felt so proud.  SO proud.

After that we decided to head back into Cityside since we were getting cold.  As we were waiting in line to get back into the bar, we saw swarms of police cars drive by.  Too many cars to be normal.  Then Slesh received a phone call from her best friend from home who had literally walked away from Copley seconds before the first explosion happened.  She said she knew something bad had happened and was hoping we were near a TV to tell her what was going on.  I knew by looking at Slesh as she was having this conversation that something wasn’t right, and then my dad called.  He was pretty frantic, since he knew we took the day off to be on the sidelines, and he was just saying “are you ok” over and over.  The next few minutes are a huge blur.  I reassured my dad I was fine, texted my brother because I knew he was in Fenway, and then we went inside to watch the news.

Then I got pissed at Cityside management, who continued to blast their Marathon Monday music.  OVER the news reports of the bombs.  People were complaining and one guy started yelling about how could they be so inconsiderate.  It took them well over 15 minutes to actually turn the music off and let everyone in the bar watch the news.  I have spent many days and nights at Cityside, a staple when I lived in Brighton, but Monday may have just marked my last.  It was utterly rude and disrespectful, and as I keep reading reports of restaurants opening their doors to let people in regardless of whether they can pay or not, I find myself getting angrier and angrier at Cityside management for acting the way they did.

Anyways, again the rest of the afternoon is just a big blur and so surreal.  We started walking because we wanted to avoid the T.  We sat with a few friends in Moogy’s for a bit, waiting for the streets to clear.  So many friends and family members were reaching out to make sure I was okay.  Even readers, some of you whom I have never even met in real life, were tweeting and reaching out because you had read my Monday morning post saying I was off to cheer on the marathon runners.  I appreciated each one of those messages.

We finally made it home (thank you for driving us, Bridget), and I found myself just wandering around my apartment, trying to busy myself.  But I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  Instead I found myself glued to my Twitter and Facebook feeds.  I was checking in on people who I knew were participating in Marathon Monday.  Some of them were bloggers that I have never met, but I’ve just been following their journies.  I kept clicking on different news articles, and I even stumbled upon a picture of my ex-boyfriend’s sister crying hysterically on the front page of the NY post.  In a time like this, the past doesn’t matter, and I reached out to my ex saying I saw the picture and was glad she was okay.  To be honest, I can’t shake that image from my mind.

Then I decided I couldn’t handle reading all the recaps anymore and instead switched gears to the silver lining.  As I clicked through pictures of all the people willing to help in any way they possible could, I burst into tears.  The stories of people who continued running straight to the hospitals to give blood.  The first responders who dealt with the scene and carried people to safety.  The outpouring of love, support, and concern for Boston.  The amazing tight-knit blogger community that I somehow found my way into and couldn’t imagine my life without, all coming together from this one act of terror.  It’s amazing.

Mr Rogers Quote

So, yes I am still so angry toward whoever did this.  And yes, I’m so sad for all the runners who didn’t get to finish their race and may never get to run in Boston again.  I’m disappointed that my beloved Marathon Monday will never be the same.  And I’m absolutely heartbroken for those people who lost their lives, were seriously injured, or had loved ones affected by this heinous tragedy.  I’m praying for them.

But I’m also choosing to look at the good.  At the love all around.

let faith

And I know in my heart that Boston, and the Boston Marathon, will be back next year.  And even stronger than ever.

On Finding Balance

Usually when it comes to thinking of new blog content, I list out different topics I want to write about in any given week.  This “list” includes an ongoing section of recipes that I want to make sure I don’t forget about.  Same with workouts.  Sometimes the list includes things I want to make sure I mention by a certain date, and I always have ideas floating around for future posts that don’t necessarily have any kind of “timeline” on them.

However, I’ve noticed that one topic I added to my list… at the beginning of the year… to write about at the beginning of the year… is still on the list.  And I keep asking myself, WHY haven’t I written about what my goals are for 2013 yet?

C.S. Lewis Goals Quote

I am notorious for being a New Year’s sucker.  Over-committing to a ridiculous amounts of goals.  Making an enormous bucket list that starts out as something fun, but turns into self-ridicule for never crossing out everything on it.  I mean, look at my 2012 New Year’s goals post… it’s full of goals galore!  And that was great… for 2012.  At that point in my life, I was in SUCH a career/life rut that I needed to set those goals for myself to feel motivated at changing my situation.  And I accomplished a lot, don’t get me wrong.  A whole lot.  I’m proud of myself for doing everything I did, and I know that starting the year with intention had a lot to do with my successes.

So why haven’t I felt as motivated to set goals for 2013? 

While I do have things I want to do this year (grow the wellness program at work, finalize my plans for the Wellcoaches certification, run another 5k, get out of my comfort zone, focus on one thing at a time, grow my name and this blog), I honestly just feel tired.  And while I can certainly still have all these intentions in the back of my mind, I think feeling this way is pretty telling about what my real focus should be this year.

find balance

If you are someone like me, the only speed you know is “go.”  I’m always running from one job to the other, only to come home and tackle all the things on my to do lists (yes, lists) that “have to get done.”  My “me time” is cleaning or blogging.  I never just stop.  And if I do, I can’t stop for more than a few minutes without getting up to organize something that “should” get organized.  If I take a vacation day just because, I run a billion errands instead of just sit around the house with a cup of coffee and a good book.  Now that I think about it, I can’t even tell you the last time I read a good book!

Am I on this never-ending hunt for the perfect balance between everything I do?  I love everything I do, but I’m always looking for new ways to keep up with both jobs while maintaining a healthy diet, getting the right amount of exercise, having enough downtime to spend with friends/family, and so on.  Maybe if I just stop worrying about trying to do everything so perfectly all the time, balance might come a little more naturally.  Maybe I’ll get more sleep and feel less overwhelmed.  I mean, here I am trying to motivate all of you day in and day out to live a healthy lifestyle, but how healthy can I really be when I feel stressed so often? 

you can do anything but not everything

It’s obvious that slowing down is the answer to my issues.  Maybe then I’ll find stability, which I think is the answer to finding real balance.  Doing things perfectly and productively 100% of the time is unattainable and unreasonable.  It leaves me feeling like I can barely keep my head above water, and it’s just not healthy.  I don’t HAVE to get through every email every day, or fold every bit of laundry the second it comes out of the dryer.  That’s not what is going to matter down the line.  What will matter in five years are all the little things.  Whether that be a little extra sleep, an extra glass of wine, an extra hug, or maybe just that hour spent laughing over nothing. 

war with yourself

Slowing down doesn’t come easily to me, but someone recently suggested comparing this to exercising.  As you all know, I’m very self-driven in ensuring I get to the gym and exercise enough.  I know that to keep my body looking how it does and at its healthiest, I need to put in the work and concentration and time.  But the same goes for mental health too.  In order to keep my MIND at its healthiest, I need to put in the same work and concentration and time.  Most of my goals for this round of Best Body Bootcamp have revolved around this.  I’m learning to delegate.  I’m learning to say no.  But I have a long way to go.  And that’s why this year, in 2013, I have resolved to take a step (or a few) back and commit to simply finding balance.

Does anyone else struggle with finding balance in their lives?  I would love to hear your stories.  Please share any advice or tips you have in the comments!

Holidays Aren’t Always Happy

Hi friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones and felt the warmth of the season in some way this week.

I took a little break from blogging this week to not only spend time with friends and family, but also to have a little time for myself.

In the absence of blogging, I’ve done a lot of blog reading.  And by nature of the holiday week, a lot of the posts I’ve read have been holiday recap posts.  Lots of “this is what I ate,” “these are the amazing people I spent the day with,” and “these are all the awesome gifts I got.”  Truthfully, they all started to look the same after a while.  I started wondering to myself, “Do any of these people have stressful holidays?  Are all these families perfect, with no drama whatsoever?”  It kind of annoys me, because although I have had many awesome holidays over the years, I have also had my share of some crappy ones too.  Like really bad.

I understand that not many want to share private family, relationship, or friendship issues via this public space on the world-wide web, and neither do I.  However, I do want to use this opportunity to say that if you unfortunately were going through a tough time this season, I feel for you and hope that whatever you are going through can fade and get easier by the next.

I can’t help but think to all the families of the Sandy Hook victims whose lives were ripped apart just a few weeks ago.  I think it’s pretty safe to say they probably don’t care to read about all the presents us bloggers got this year and how *perfect* that peppermint bark turned out.  Think about some of the unimaginable grief some people are going through.  Maybe it’s a divorce.  Losing someone to cancer or suicide.  A house robbery or car accident.  Maybe you live in a home where someone is suffering from alcoholism, mental illness, a drug problem, or something that prevents you from having a “normal” holiday “like everybody else.”  I think you would agree that if you were going through any of these situations, it might be hard to feel cheerful and joyous on Christmas Day.

I had no intention of writing everything I just did when I sat down to blog today.  I didn’t write to be a Debbie Downer or drag you guys down; however I do think it is extremely important to remind ourselves of those who don’t have it as easy as we might.

Be Kind

Sometimes you just never know what someone might be going through.

That being said, I am extremely thankful for one of the best Christmas Days I’ve had in years.  And it was one of the best not because of some of the really thoughtful gifts people gave me, but because the day just went smoothly and I didn’t feel anxious.  I think I will still recap all my holiday events over the next few days like everyone else, because I do want to remember them this year, but I am glad I wrote this post before doing so.