Oh Hi!

Well hello there! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Things have been busy around these parts and I haven’t had the time or energy to really blog. After most hiatuses, though, I’m trying to tell myself I should get back into blogging. I mean, it is something I enjoy doing after all! So what have I been doing these last three months? Let’s play catch up!

I started a new job. It’s been almost two months since I started and I’m finally at a point where I feel like I’m a contributing member of my team. A lot of time was spent with training, reading, and other on-boarding requirements not only for the company but also my specific department. For those that don’t know, I’m a technical writer which means I write user-facing documentation. You know the stuff you read when you go to the “Help” section on websites and stuff? I’m the one that takes the features that have been developed and try to explain them in layman’s terms to help users. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time spent trying to come up with something as simple as a title. I always thought creative writing was hard, but taking something complex and technical and trying to turn it into something simple and straight-forward? Oof. So as you can imagine, my brain hasn’t been wired for writing more when I get home.

Running has been limited. Things were going pretty decently after my IT band drama of the winter, but then I noticed some slight discomfort in my outer ankle/foot area. I traced it back to my peroneal tendon, but it’s being a real jerk and making it difficult for me to run consistently. When I say it’s being a jerk, I mean that I can generally run with it because it’s only slightly uncomfortable, but then after sitting for a while (and especially the next morning) my first few steps are quite painful. I’ve been foam rolling and using my trigger point ball like a mad woman, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. It needs to get better sooner rather than later, though, because Chicago marathon training needs to start soon – ack!

I’m obsessed with fitness classes. Not too long ago the idea of fitness classes seemed silly to me. I always thought to myself, “why pay X amount when I can just go and do the same stuff at the gym?” Well guess what? I wasn’t actually going to the gym and doing that stuff. I have a weird level of motivation, and if it’s just me going to the gym on my own, I oftentimes skip it. BUT, if I’m paying money for a specific class that has an instructor, I’m much more likely to go. Some of the classes and memberships are really expensive, but if you’re going, enjoying yourself, and seeing results, I think it’s worth every penny. The best part is that most of my friends are very into fitness as well, so we push each other to get to classes and try new ones. Last week I tried barre for the first time and was surprised at how hard it was and how sore my abs were the next day! Not to mention they’ve been really helpful for me to keep my fitness up while dealing with my on and off running drama.

So that’s really what has been going on around these parts; adjusting to my new job, trying to get myself healthy to start marathon training, and keeping my fitness up by going to my tried-and-true fitness classes and also trying some new ones. After this long and cold winter I’m looking forward to the sunshine and warmth of summer, and hope to blog more about summertime fun!

Keep Reaching

This post is a total cheese-fest, so feel free to click away now if you’re not interested. But, if you’re looking for a little cheese to add to your day (not literally, though I’m always in the mood for some literal cheese) you are in the right spot. If not, you’ve been forewarned!

As fall comes to a close, the leaves are making their final decent to the ground, littering yards and sidewalks. Like most towns, mine offers to collect gathered leaves… but only if they’ve been neatly packaged into brown paper bags. While this makes the curbs look nicer, it’s proved interesting on my runs as most houses have them littered onto the sidewalks, making a fun little obstacle course for runners and walkers alike. There are a bunch of different bags; some provided by the town, some from Home Depot, some from Lowe’s, etc. Even though I’ve been running past them for over a month, up until recently I never took the time to read the bag’s text.

While running last week, I was finally paying attention and I read one of the Lowe’s bags. It read, “never stop improving.” At first I didn’t think anything of it – I mean, Lowe’s is a home improvement store so that’s a catchy little slogan that they hope will get you back to their store for more home improvements. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that little phrase is a perfect life mantra. I’m not usually one for catch phrases, mantras, or trendy hash-tags (I’m more of the #imgoingtowriteanentiresentenceasahashtagforfun type), but I really liked this one.

Of course with the end of the year less than a month away, everyone seems to be concerned with how they can wrap up the current year on a high note, and attack 2013 to make it “the best year ever.” I’ve echoed my sentiment on New Year’s Resolutions before (can’t hack it), and I’ve even tried little monthly goals (generally successful). But this “never stop improving” really got me thinking. Why do I have to create a concrete list of things I need to try and do this year? What if there isn’t even anything I want to do? Do I have to be specific? Will I fail if I don’t have it figured out by the end of the year? And most importantly, why do I have so many questions?!

At the end of the day, isn’t our goal in life to be happy? Whether that means signing up for and taking a class you’ve been eyeing for months, landing a new job, running a sub 4-hour marathon, or scoring a pair of Tory Burch flats… it’s all relative. There is so much uncertainty in life, and I just can’t get behind creating a list that I have to work on for twelve months. I have trouble deciding what I want for dinner – how am I going to know in December what next June will hold? Now I’m not saying New Year’s Resolutions aren’t a good idea; for a lot of people they are. For me, though, I’m not looking to work on 2013. I’m looking to work on life. Maybe that seems like a much bigger task – but for me, looking at the big picture is easier than breaking it down.

So what exactly am I saying? Really, I just thought the Lowe’s leaf bag was cool and worth sharing with you. And, if you’d like, you can join me to “never stop improving” your own life. If it means creating New Year’s Resolutions, go for it! If it means not creating them, but still forging ahead to have the best life possible, well then great – I’ll be right beside you. We only have this one life (unless someone knows otherwise, in which case, you can find me loafing it on the couch for this go-around), and we’re a big piece of the puzzle… some may even argue the puzzle. So I’m making a conscious effort to take the driver’s seat, and to never stop improving my life, and myself.

New Year’s Resolutions: yay or nay?
Any big plans or goals for 2013?