Life is a magical journey

Ever wanted something so badly, that when you finally got it, you were scared out of your mind? I recently found out a few weeks ago, that my husband and I were expecting our first miracle. While the due date in March seems off in the distance, I know that it will be here before we know it. In some ways, I feel like I was more prepared for it four years ago when I got married, than I am today. Funny how that works right? All in all, I couldn’t be happier. A life long dream of mine is coming true-and all the thoughts that come with it. Am I going to be a good parent? How will I handle the hard times? Will they know that I will always love them? Can I teach them what they need to know? I’m sure that these are thoughts that pass through any expectant parent’s mind, as well as those who are parents currently.

Life is definitely a journey. My father always says to me that you are a different person today than you were six months ago, and in another six moths, you’ll be a new person again. As time passes, we grow mentally, spiritually, and physically. As I get older I see less and less in black and white and have come to find that there are more grey areas in life. I have found that to be a very interesting phenomenon, because I now find that I have more common ground with some of the people around me than I did when I was younger. I hope to be able to bring my child up in that way. To have the conviction to know the black from the white, but the wisdom to understand that there is a little breathing room. There is so much hate in a world where you can find love everywhere. That is what should be focused on.

I nanny part time for a wonderful little girl, and now her brand new baby sister. Through the years, it become evermore clear why I love her unconditionally. Hugs and cuddles, and the constant questions and wonderment. She definitely keeps me on my toes. Through the trials of a three year old, she has provided me with the confidence to know that I will be able to handle anything my own child throws my way.

So I guess here’s my advice: Keep an open mind, look for the positive, love unconditionally, always ask questions, and walk through the magic of life with grace.

Lace Up

When was the last time you really thought about your sneakers?
 
They often are the most over used piece of athletic equipment we own. Did you know that there really are some guide lines for replacing them?  I am guilty of pushing mine to the limit sometimes but they have a funny way of letting us know its time.  Maybe it’s a blister because your shoes are stretched out or unexpected pains in your hips, feet or knees- odds are it is time to replace your shoes.  300 to 500 miles seems to be the sneaker limit.
 
You of course want to walk or run forever, but your shoes are not built to last forever. While walkers don’t pound the pavement as hard as runners, the 500 mile rule applies to both types of exercisers.
 
You may log your exercise mileage or you can estimate how many miles your walk or run a week- if you average 20 miles a week- you will have pasted the 500 mile mark in about 6 months.  Ideally you just use your sneakers for exercise and not every day walking around.  If that is not the case you are going to have to replace your shoes much faster.  Of course depending on where you exercise, pavement is much harder on your shoes than trails and the heavier we are the more stress is put our shoes. So there are some variables that may make us replace our shoes more frequently.
 
So the next time you lace up, think about how you feel.  Your feet and body will thank you!

LIFE IS: about perspective

I live with a sincere belief that we were all created to live a vibrant life. If you’re a human, however, you’ve probably gone through a period of time where keeping your head above water was difficult. Although some seasons of life are easy, others are whirlwinds of uncertainty where proper perspective is hard to find. These moments are often the times where our emotions go back and forth, and back and forth again. One moment, hope is alive, and the next, it seems to escape faster than the air leaving a popped latex balloon.

 

As a person who is sometimes too hard on themselves, I know the whole emotional roller coaster journey all too well. When life isn’t full of unicorns and rainbows, It’s easy to slip into anxious thoughts and lose sight of positivity. In my own personal experience, I have fallen into cycles of negative thinking and questioned my level of competence. Other times, I've just cried a lot while eating an overwhelming amount of plantain chips. Note: although plantain chips are really tasty, I wouldn’t recommend eating them to cure scattered emotions. Most of the time, emotional eating just leaves me feeling like a busted can of biscuits.

 

No one should feel like a busted can of biscuits.

 

The one thing I would recommend, however, is to fight to maintain the proper perspective. In times where my emotions are scattered, I’ve found so much relief in shaking myself back to the right place mentally. Sometimes that’s done through dancing, scream singing, or just by sitting down to remind myself that everything will be okay. Maybe for you fighting means exercising, writing your thoughts out on paper, or cooking something new. Regardless of what it looks like, find the tool that helps you rise above and choose thankfulness rather than criticism, faith rather than fear, and hope rather than pessimism. Fight to live vibrantly.

LIFE IS: Having a Good Day

hombre hello remix cyberscootyHow many times a day to you hear “Have a good day”? Wishing each other a good day is a great practice and hopefully done with true intent. Typically the response to being wished a good day is: “You too.” I was telling my colleagues that my response is different. My go-to response has generally been: “I usually do.” I like to see the reaction to this. I get a lot of smiles and a few curious looks. My colleagues tell me that this response is selfish and I should be responding by the obligatory “you too”. I don’t see it that way; I want people to know that I enjoy life. My hope is that by my response they think of all the good things in their day and they can also respond “I usually do.” However, I don’t what to be selfish. So now when you tell me to have a good day you will usually hear, “I usually do and hope you do too!”

LIFE IS: The Little Things

sun vector by welikegroovyturtles d35eg2rWe work so hard to get bigger and better things, trying to find that sweet spot of happiness we are sure is out there. We just have to work hard enough/get lucky enough/be pretty enough//be rich enough/be ambitious enough to get it. Once we get that thing/money/spouse/job we wanted, we’ll never want anything again and be happy forever, right?

Well, not exactly. I think we all have that person in our lives that seem like they have those keys to happiness (the perfect job, the perfect family, a lot of money, etc.) but they still seem miserable. I’ve been guilty of rolling my eyes at them. What right do they have to be unhappy when they have it all while I’m thousands of dollars in debt and struggling to pay bills? I’d be so happy if I was them!

But then I catch myself, because that’s just not how it works. There are multiple studies about why many lottery winners are more miserable than before they won the lottery. All the superficial things in the world cannot make us happy. We know this logically, but forget it in our race to find that one thing that will finally make us happy. Happiness is a feeling; that means it’s not something we can buy on Amazon, it’s something we create internally.

I remember that sweet sense of satisfaction and pride I got the day I graduated college. If I’m truly honest with myself, I feel nearly the same sense of happiness and accomplishment when I successfully make a new recipe, or make it through a really dry book. It’s not the size of the accomplishment that counts when it comes to mental well-being. It’s the little bits of happiness that make the day fun.

That’s not to say I don’t believe in ambition. Ambition is the driving force that leads to self-improvement and improvement of society. A little ambition and determination can change the world. I just believe the world could benefit if people spent a little less time trying the reach that peak of happiness that may or may not exist, and look a little more inward to create that happiness.