On Living in the Moment

I think it’s obvious that the best part of my 2014 had nothing to do with this blog, fitness, food, or work.

Engagement in Gloucester

Engagement in Gloucester

July 4th 2014: Cake

Engagement BBQ: Girls

Engagement BBQ: Me and Tim

Tim and I got engaged smack in the middle of a year we’ve dubbed as our year of weddings. Even though we had 6 weddings in 2012 and 7 weddings in 2013, we had 8 in 2014 (one was in Missouri that only Tim could make it to). So much of last year was spent celebrating eight amazing couples, including some of my best friends in the whole world. It got a bit crazy at times, and I’m still not quite sure how we did it, but I wouldn’t change it. We are lucky to have so many wonderful friends in our lives, and we created so many memories during all the showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings that filled our latter part of the year. I’m only sad that I didn’t have the chance to recap each wedding and wedding related event how I would have liked to on F&F!

2014 Bridal Showers

2014 Bachelorettes

Weddings 2014

Weddings 2014

Aside from all the wedding fun, some of my other favorite parts of last year include:

winter weekend getaway with Perfect Vermont,

Perfect Vermont: Tim and I

my April trip to Chicago with Ashley and Jen,

Chicago Bike Tour2

tons of other gym friend fun,

Gym Friends Hike

Gym Friends at BoMa

Gym Friends at Jen's

Gym Friends Pink Party

Mango Porch Friday

Studio Empower

running my first obstacle 5k,

AHA 5k Heart Challenge 2014

a Memorial Day getaway to Falmouth,

Falmouth + Memorial Day 2014

multiple New Balance Girls Night Outs with blog friends and all the other fun blog stuff I got to do this year,

New Balance Girls Night Out

New Balance Girls Night Out

going to the Boston Magazine health and wellness retreat,

Boston Magazine's Health and Wellness Retreat

having a week off over the 4th of July to spend at home with each other,

Staycation: Kayaking

Staycation 2014: Wingaersheak Beach

becoming an official wellness coordinator at work,

Wellness Coordinator

spending my 29th birthday in Newburyport,

29th Birthday in Newburyport

picking our wedding venue,

Zorvino's

and spending some time in our happy place.

Maine Vacation: Cape Porpoise

That’s what comes to mind first.

The time spent with Tim.

Valentine's Day 2014: Snowy Seaport

Homemade Pretzel Night

Hopster's Brews and Boards

Apple Picking 2014

Tim and Me on a Fall Hike

Somerville Harvest Fest 2014

Five Year Anniversary

The Lion King

Portsmouth NH 2014

Christmas

The time spent with all our friends.

Reuniting with Jess and Eileen

Erins 30th Birthday

Matt's Birthday

Jeff's Birthday

Boston Marathon 2014

Wilmington Friends

Coach of the Year

Harpoon Brewery Tour

Staycation: Geoffs 30th

Staycation: Pool with Slesh

Gather Boston

Halloween 2014

Wes's Baptism

Cate's 30th Bday

Thanksgiving 2014

Shannon's Christmas Party 2014

Wally World Christmas 2014

NYE 2014

And the time spent with family.

Layla's 5th birthday party

Papou's 85th birthday party

Greek Easter 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Gregs 15th Birthday Party

Red Sox

Father's Day 2014

Engagement BBQ: Lexa and Layla

July 4th 2014: Summer Shanty

Dads 60th Birthday

Oaktoberfest 5k Race & Taste

Thanksgiving 2014

New Bedford Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

The things that DON’T come to mind right away when I think about last year?

–The nights worrying about getting everything done

–The time spent feeling anxious about my messy apartment

–My type A to do lists

–All the stress and frustration from work

–Feeling like I *should* post something on F&F every day

You guys get the idea. And yet, I know that I wasted so many nights just worrying, worrying again, and then worrying some more. I get so wrapped up in this idea of perfection, being able to do it all, and being able to do it all RIGHT NOW. It’s crippling sometimes. When you look at someone else’s highlight reel and think they must have their shit so perfectly together and organized, let me tell you, it’s not always the case. So many people ask me how I do it all, and you know what? I don’t. I make sacrifices. I have bad days.

I mess up. 

So many of the pictures from last year capture the feelings we were feeling at the very moment the camera went off. They show us living in the moment. And I want to do more of that for the rest of 2015. I want to stop thinking about the next place I have to be, the next meal I need to prepare, and the next thing I have to do. I don’t want to feel bogged down by too many commitments, emails, and too many people asking me to do things. I want to put my phone down. I want to leave work undone if it’s too stressful at the moment. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and a let a blog post go unwritten.

I want to create more space and just enjoy being present. 

I want to plan our wedding and actually relish in the experience together, not rush it.

But I know I can’t have everything and do everything at the same time. 

I just need to remind myself that when I look back like I enjoy doing around this time each year, it’s not all the time spent worrying I’m going to remember.

Engagement in Gloucester

What I’m going to remember are all the times truly spent living in the moment.

Readers, let’s chat! What are your tips for being present and living in the moment? How do you control endless worrying or always thinking about what’s next on your to do list?

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!