Some focus in February
My January was full of challenges- like literal 'I challenge you to...', not a human struggle (I don't know y'all well enough to go into all that). I entered into a ten day healthy life challenge that went exceedingly well aka, I won. And at the start of February my girl Dani challenged me to write every day this month. At least 600 words.
You're probably thinking, what the hell does this have to do with health/wellness/a thirty day reset? Well, it's going to span a month -albeit only 28 days, and when I talk about health, mental health is a big component of that.
Here's a fair warning, me writing everyday for a month could get random or existential af. I won't be posting new entries every time, I'll just have a continual post (this one) that I'll add on to each day.
Warning number two, this may add zero value to your life. It could wind up being entertaining (like the Kardashians) or a total train wreck (also, Kardashians). Luckily it will be short bursts of my stream of consciousness, so join along if you've got some free time between whatever you're binge watching on Netflix.
2 . 1 . I feel like I kinda cheated cause I counted that sorry little intro up there as my day 1 . . . when it was totally only 200 words. #sorrynotsorry
I really think the struggle is going to be getting this wheel rolling. Isn't there some physics law that states that getting something going is the hardest, but keeping it in motion requires way less force or energy? How freaking poetic is that when applied to life? Sheesh. Why is it that the getting going requires so much more effort? Shouldn't that be the easy part? Actually, maybe it is really easy to say you're starting something, and then just flake out a few days into it. Ok I'm going back on all that. Why is it so much easier to start something, but we struggle exponentially to keep it going? HA Physics- IN YOUR FACE. Who's laughing now Mr. Jennings?! Your precious physics is WRONG. Who am I kidding? I cheated my butt off in high school Physics and only remember something about a fulcrum? Is that a physics thing?
Dear god can I get off on a tangent? Ok, maybe these 600 words won't be so hard after all. I think I was trying to make a point up in that last paragraph...but what the hell was it? I got my own metaphorical wheel rolling two weeks ago with getting this body moving hard for 90 minutes every day and get back on track with my nutrition. But now that it's totally moving and I'm constantly looking for when I can squeeze a class into my day. Funny how that works.
Today was one of the story times that I do at the public library. Not my every Tuesday Mother Goose on the Loose program, but this one is more musically inclined, with a touch of chaos. Thank heavens it wasn't a packed session today. It can be challenging to wrangle 20+ tiny humans (and their handlers) after a free play stint. But luckily I can be really loud. #blessed 🤣
It always surprises me the level of shocked storytime moms are when they find out that I don't have kids. "But oh my goodness you're so good with them!" . . . yeah, I'm great with you holding your child for twenty minutes while I sit up here and do nursery rhymes. I could write 6000 words on why someone thinking I'd make a good mother is not the same as me actually being a good mother. So that will have to wait until I've had some wine (it's even too early for me to start drinking) and I have the analytical proof that no one is reading this.
I saw Darkest Hour today as well. TBH I couldn't care less about Winston Churchill but a friend asked my husband and I to go and I really wanted to make sure said friend was still alive so I said what the hell. Y'all, it was good. The actor who played Sirus Black in Harry Potter was Winston and the whole movie I kept thinking how different our lives would be if the man Chamberlin wanted to be Prime Minster had agreed. That dude was all for negotiating with Hitler and letting Mussolini be the mediator. Freaking Mussolini! What would our world look like today? Being surrounded by military -especially the airborne community- I wonder if Normandy would have happened. It kinda blew my mind and I am really grateful I saw a movie I normally would have passed on. I love thinking on the "what if's". Especially the big historical catalysts that shaped the modern world.
2 . 2 . Friyay has got me all sorts of excited. ALL SORTS. Today I'm going to Raleigh to frequent a brewpub that is worthy of so much more than the 'brewpub' name implies. Brewery Bhavana has come highly recommended from just about all my friends that give a flying you-know-what about cuisine. Side note: my friends are amazing because they are the friends that tell me the best places to eat and drink. I don't have any friends that want to rehash the bachelor or housewives, they literally just want me to eat and drink all the wonderfulness. #blessed 🤣
To be honest, I was a tad nervous that the cuisine would be too bougie for me. With my stint in vegetarianism going on 8 months now, I can't just fall back on a chicken dish or steak. So I have had to expand my culinary horizons a bit. Luckily, Asian cuisine is typically veggie heavy so I had plenty of options. And boy was I pleasantly enticed with all the options. We ordered a bunch of meat free small plates (except Justin got the bone marrow pancakes). The edamame ginger dumplings got an audible reaction from me. Of extreme pleasure #sorrynotsorry.
Oh man, I didn't even mention the beer. You guys. The beer was beautiful. In its naming, its descriptions, its thoughtful, crafted beautiful creation. Can you tell, I was smitten? I had two glasses of Bloom (an 8% dry cardamom tripel) and as hard as it is to believe, I enjoyed it more than the dumplings. When I get my hands on a good beer, watch out. I'm on cloud nine. I guess the same is true about any amazing beverage. Needless to say the entire experience was beautiful.
To round out an awesome afternoon, a Trader Joes stop happened on the way home. Now, if there's something I don't recommend, it's going to TJ's drunk. Yes, I was drunk and no, I wasn't driving. But two tripels and only a couple of dumplings to soak that up . . . you see where I'm going with this. Needless to say, I thought a bag of churros was an excellent choice. And I stand by that decision.
I got home just in time to meet a new friend at the Wine Cellar for a glass of vino. I feel like I should share how I met my new friend, because some of y'all probably don't follow me on Instagram. I got on Bumble. No, not the dating site feature, but Bumble BFF. I'm always open to meeting friends and I feel like I know most everyone that runs in my circle, so I went to the internet! Sadly, most of the people are down in Fayetteville and I really don't want that drive in my life. Luckily I met a fun chick that likes wine and resisting the patriarchy. I didn't want more than a glass because I had an 8:45am hot yoga sesh waiting for me in the morning and there is really nothing worse than being hungover -or worse, still tipsy- in a hot yoga class. So I got home, chugged some electrolytes and tucked my happy ass into bed and under my weighted blanket.
2 . 4 . It may sound funny, but I'm still pretty amazed every time I survive a yoga class. Maybe it is because every class is different every time. Not to mention my body, hydration, flexibility etc is constantly changing. That is one of my favorite things about practicing yoga, you can never master it. The poses can get more complex which is wonderful. If I'm feeling squirrely like I was this morning, Imma go hop up into bird of paradise.
I have received some of the best pearls of wisdom, and had some real revelations during those 90 minutes on my mat. One of my favorites was when our instructor had returned from a teacher training in Mexico, she was talking about how much she missed the peacefulness of the pines. A few people in class chuckled that she while at the beach she missed the sandhills. Her explanation though, has stuck with me; she said that the ocean is like a heartbeat, always constant and never ceasing, while the silence of home and the woods calms her mind. As simple as it sounds, it made perfect sense to me. This effortlessly explained why I too, prefer the mountains and the silence over the constant rhythm of the beach. I love asking people if they prefer the mountains or the beach, because I think it can tell you a lot about someone. Soon after that class, I went up to Asheville for a solo trip and confirmed this theory. I've got a chaotic mind that will slow down for very little -hence my love for sensory deprivation- and standing on top of that ridge, there was no sound. Deafening silence that gave me the biggest smile. That and the mountains have my heart, soothe my soul and clear my mind. Basically I need to live there.
So after a long and roundabout way of saying it, yoga was awesome this morning 🤣
Make no mistake, I was dead tired after those sweaty 90 minutes. But unlike most days, I wasn't dreading the 'getting ready' process like I normally do. This is 100% due to my new hair dryer. Get ready y'all, I'm about to get real basic. I received a recommendation for this hair dryer and thought, theres no way I'm spending that much money on a damn hair dryer. Then wine happened. Every. Freaking. Time. Wine and Prime is real, Don't be mistaken, I love getting random surprise presents two days after I had one too many glasses of Granache. But I clearly need to set up some difficult word problem that I could only solve at noon. Sans wine. Back to the hair dryer. I don't have a clue what makes it special. Hell, it may just be all in my head, but my hair is like butter and I don't have to use a straightener. #magic
As basic as that sounds, it really is the little wins that add up in my day. All green lights, favorite spot in yoga, coffee with a friend, and lots of laughter. I believe it is all too easy to let one crappy thing cramp our whole day. The book I'm reading for my virtual book club is all about experimenting on ourselves with the power of powerful self talk and to cognitively connect our language with feelings in a conscious way. It's really refreshing to go through some personal development that isn't saccharine and all 'you can do it, if you just believe in the power of your dreams'. That doesn't really work with me . . . or, um that isn't in alignment with my truest self 🤣
2 . 5 . Oh the conversations I had today. I'm going to dump it all out right here because I struggle with humans at times. I have some pretty stubborn beliefs, I'd argue that most people do. But damn if I'm going to try to force them on someone else. I should explain first, that I like logic. More as, a logical train of though versus sensational emotional beliefs. I get frustrated when someone can't give me their logic behind a decision or argument. I in no way have to agree with them, but I do need a bit of cognitive awareness on their part if I'm going to carry on with a conversation. I apply this to everything from politics, religion, what superhero is better, and pretty much everything in between. So I get extra sassy when someone questions my logical decisions with their illogical nonsense. Honestly, I feel like a child arguing with a grown up who just keeps saying 'because I said so'. I had two separate people come at me on the topics of my choice to not eat meat, and my choice of being childless. Both of my decisions had z e r o affect on these humans, yet they felt it was in my best interest for them to school me on why my decisions were wrong.
You guys, I just couldn't. This woman- it always seems to be women who are terribly concerned with childless women- asked how old my kids were. Upon telling her that I didn't have children, she was shocked. Literally took her hand to her chest (southerners are so dramatic), and asked why not. The first thing I always think is, why does this concern you strange woman? Then I instantly go straight to 'what if I couldn't physically have children and this was a incredibly painful subject for me'? This (to my knowledge) isn't the truth, but I could imagine how being confronted with such a person and question would make me feel. After that thought leaves my head, I usually say 'I'm terribly selfish and enjoy traveling and free time too much to have a kid at this time in my life'. Their reply is inevitable and you can probably guess what it is, 'oh but it is the single most joyful and fulfilling calling in my entire life and you'll miss out if you don't have one'. Cool bro. Maybe your right. Maybe I'll die alone and regret not having a slew of babies. Or maybe not. Either way, please don't be like this lady (I called her Debbie in my head), please don't ask why people are childless. It's super awkward and 100% makes me like them less.
I'm not even one foot in the produce aisle when this guy starts asking me why my cart is full of veggies. Debbie and her judgy eyes were over by the almond butter, and now I've got Kevin (who know what the hell his real name was) coming at me about my food choices. I (stupidly) told Kevin that I'm a vegetarian (when will I learn) and he couldn't believe anyone would choose to not eat meat or cheese. I informed him that I'm not vegan and I do eat cheese and butter (like I said, should have just smiled and walked away) just not meat. He then goes on what feels like a dissertation on the subject protein. Now Kevin didn't not come off as the sharpest knife in the drawer, but as soon as started speaking, his fate was sealed. Kevin was schooling me on how I need protein from meat -he had on a Nutrishop shirt, which is a local supplement store- and without protein my muscle cells would die. If you could have seen my face. My dietary choices in now way affect Kevin, but like Debbie he just had to make sure I knew that my choice was wrong. Not just wrong, illogical. I stopped eating meat about 8 months ago just cause (here's the post and follow up you're interested) and like most every decision in my life, I come to it with thought and a heaping dose of logic.
Obviously I'm never going back to Fresh Market and I'll be ordering all my food from the internet to be delivered- probably after too much wine 😉
2 . 6 . T A C O T U E S D A Y I S B A C K and I'm excited.
Let me tell you about my crew. I am one of those types of people that really really likes to have friends that are men and women. I am also one of those types of people that can't stand when the women segregate in the kitchen and the men somewhere else. And they only talk about work or sports or something else that would stereotypically exclude women. I know I'm making some heavy gender biases. Which is never my intent, but if I'm being frank, I am a military spouse (please don't call me an army wife or #armywifelife me), and a lot of military spouses have some kids, don't have traditional 9-5 jobs -because their partners peace out frequently for 5-13 months at a time. Oh, also, for your safety, please don't tell me that 'we knew what we were getting into when me married service members.' #kthanks
See, down a rabbit hole I went. Back to my friends and Taco Tuesday. This is a sacred night. We rotate houses, share in the food responsibilities, and have possibly, the most ridiculous conversations. Why, you ask do I find Taco Tuesday sacred? Well, because despite the odds, we all can have one inclusive conversation. Well, many conversations. But it's not all middle school dance where the guys are in one corner talking shop and the women are talking about make up and manicures. We dive into politics, conspiracy paranoia, getting to second base with avocados for the guac, and just our lives in general. It became a favorite night. We had a strong streak going for about a year. But lives got busy and our beloved Taco Tuesday fell by the wayside. No shade, it's just life. I realize this is going to sound dramatic af, but there was a void every Tuesday night that no other Latin American cuisine could fill. Long story, still kinda long, we missed our simple yet delicious meal and the companions that came along with it. We've also got a new addition to Taco Tuesday, Benny. She's the cutest little nugget of sass. She's a human child btw. I know I could equally talk about a puppy this way, so I figured I'd clarify. She smashed avocado into her mouth (and all over her person) and bounced gleefully as we played What Do You Meme. This is a well deserved aside. Y'all. This game is life. I'm a Cards Against Humanity fan, but this is just better. Cause it has a photo/meme. And the cards you can play are d-i-r-t-y. I have a pretty ridiculous sense of humor and am not one to blush at colorful language or inappropriate intimate acts. (could I have been anymore politically correct with that last sentence?) Anyway, if you get bored with Cards Against Humanity, this is the game for you. You probably want to know your audience with this game though. Fair warning.
So we had a wonderful Tuesday, with guac, pork tacos (a veggie and black bean medley for me) and the best damn homemade sangria I've ever consumed. I'd share our conversation topics, but I'd be breaking the NDA we all sign in blood upon entering the house of our host. If you've got a crew and you like your own themed weekly dinner night, go for it. I will say, it only works if your people are amazing and there are no filters on the conversations.
2 . 7 . How much coffee is too much coffee? I'm asking for a friend? I spread myself thin today and was pretty exhausted come bath time. Not that I was physically exerting myself too much until my sweaty yoga sesh in the evening. I'm talking about the type of exhausted you get from personing all day. I know this isn't a real word, but it is a real thing. Everyone love throwing around 'introvert' and 'extravert' labels around and it kinda has become a pet peeve. Sadly, you're my captive audience (I guess you could easily x out of the browser box, but I'll pretend you're rapt).
I don't care if you don't currently know the different, but now you'll know the difference. If you don't like people or crowds, that doesn't make you an introvert. If you're a social butterfly and love being the center of attention, that doesn't make you an extrovert. It literally has nothing to do with intro/extroversion. It all depends of where you recharge or get your energy. I read a great book called Quiet. It talks about the power of introverts. There is also this informative article from Psychology Today that I enjoyed too. Basically I just want all the knowledge. I am an ambivert (say whaaaaa). I desperately needed some silence yesterday after chatting and coffees. I have found one exception, when I have truly engaging, one on one conversation with someone that engages my mind, I get recharged. I crave those type of relationships. They are rare and beautiful things in my life and I cherish the hell out of the people that can provide me with that escape of the mundane. Throw my in a crowded room or bar with lots of chatter and small talk and I would swear it was one of Dante's level of inferno. I need meaningful conversation or to be alone with my thoughts to recharge. So then wouldn't I be an introvert? My work requires me to be social or appear as though I enjoy the company of a lot of people- which I do, just not all of them, all at one time. Now those of you that know Christin the Librarian would think "silly Christin, librarians are clear introverts", but I work with babies and their moms and story time is a very gregarious job. I am expressive, animated, and quite the' people person' when I'm 'on'. This isn't to say that I'm being fake, it is just something I can turn on and off. Christin the Network Marketer requires even more socialization. Luckily, I still manage to do things in my own special way and never have to jeopardize my introvert-ness. I've been told this is what makes me good at what I do. My own way. Obviously far from perfect, but it keeps me sane and loving what I do, so could I really ask for more?
Annnyway, today I was spread thin with social activities and one that restored me. So after yoga, I blended up a shake for dinner and dumped a pound of epsom salt into the tub and watched an episode of Sherlock. Do any of you watch Sherlock? It was suggested and I have devoured it. I love Benedict Cumberbatch's character. He reminds me of Hugh Laurie's character on 'House'. A total know it all, an unmitigated, unapologetic ass. Right up my alley. And it makes me think, something I think we all need to do a bit more of these days. I have also been told that absolutely have to watch 'This is Us' and that I absolutely should not watch 'This Is Us'. Considering the recommendation sources, I'm going to pass on this feelings soaked show and stick with the highly functioning sociopath who solves mysteries.
2 . 8 . I had this whole post planned out like a champ. Then, after typing it in great length, I realized how freaking confusing it was. But why was it confusing, Christin? Well, I tried to take you down my rabbit hole stream of consciousness when it came to what I recently experienced upon hearing Natasha Bedingfield's Pocketful of Sunshine song. After re-reading it, I laughed at loud at my absolutely ridiculous brain and deleted it. You're welcome.
So now I'm at a loss, looking around my office trying to think about something to expound on for 600 words. Ah ha! What does my gaze happen to land upon? My most recent vision shadow board. Yahtzee. Y'all ever done a vision board before? This was my second vision board and we had a fun little party so we could get together, make them and drink some wine. Some people come into vision board parties with a strategy. Most people have a general direction in which they want to take their board. I am neither some people, or most people. I grabbed the magazines that I subscribe to: Wine Enthusiast and Conde Nast. Luckily my friends have a wider selection of publications that I could peruse and cut up. I don't get stupid excited about Chip and Joanna Gaines like the majority of the free world does, but I do like their Magnolia magazine. Great images and useful stuff. It actually led me to purchase another domain (anyone else have domain purchasing as a hobby? I just love snatching up domains.)
Any whoozle, the image you see on the right is what I ended up with. I was really pleased with it actually. What's that? You want me to walk you thought it? Gosh, I'd be delighted. 🤣 It should come as no surprise to anyone that has spent more than 15 minutes with me that I enjoy a really well crafted beverage. Wine, beer, tea, mixed drink, kombucha, all of it. So two of the images on my board are wine related. I love the picture in the top right, it is what I can only picture as a fabulous woman opening a bottle of champagne with a magnificent knife #boss . The glasses beneath are all (supposedly) Super Tuscans- which leads into my hopes to travel to Italy this year. I've been a huge snot about going to Italy because it just seems so tired. Everyone goes to the Vatican, and to see the Sistine Chapel, they go on a gondola ride with the dude in a striped shirt in Venice, they eat basic spaghetti in Rome and throw a coin in the Trevi fountain, blah blah blah. I know I'm getting some serious shade right now, cause I can think of about a dozen friends who have done that and they absolutely adored it. Which is why it was their dream vacation, not mine. I don't care about Italian religion or art, I care about wine and cheese. I want to go to the hills of Abruzzo and eat and drink it. all. My poor husband has been trying to take me for years (it was suppose to be our honeymoon six years ago but I nixed it and we went diving in Aruba instead #sorrynotsorry). So Italy is on my vision board (twice) and hopefully it can happen this year. The gorgeous building and French road you see on the bottom right isn't cause I want to travel back to France (wouldn't turn a trip down though...), but I want to finally learn to speak that damn language. Moving right along clockwise, I would very so much like a jet for travel- recreational and work related and above it, I found a motto that speaks to my very core: work hard, earn money, eat carbs. The Blended Health is one of my more recent domain purchases (that has nothing on the other end of it yet, like so many of the others), and it exemplifies my lifestyle: a blend of healthy smarter choices without the sacrifice of life's joys . . . like carbs or wine. So if you've been thinking about (or are just now thinking about) making a vision board, go for it! It is a great way to put your intentions out there are you can make it pretty enough to put in your office for daily inspiration. Here are a few tips on creating a vision board (and some of the science behind them) to get you started. And never underestimate the power of a good Pinterest search 😉 .
2 . 10 . A note on Superheroes
Here's a fun fact: I'm a nerd. But I've never been a nerd in the traditional sense (video games, cosplay, dungeons and dragons, comics). I always thought I was way too cool for that ish. Oh the lies we tell ourselves. I assumed I was nerdy in the excessive reading, quirky love of knowledge, grew up to be a librarian, kind of nerd. I would fan girl over authors, not comic con.
Enter the Big Bang Theory. This show was my gateway drug into the world of superheroes (I keep trying to type superheros and the damn red squiggle appears). I stand by my statement that BBT is probably the most realistic sitcom on tv. Science nerds being nerdy af and living their lives. Shows like Friends, could not be more unrealistic. Hello -how are these six super attractive people sitting at a coffee shop in the middle of the day chilling? Exactly, unrealistic. And I secretly feel like the smartest person in the universe when I actually understand what the hell they are talking about on BBT.
I was introduced to comics and superheroes through watching this show and while I still have no desire to watch Star Trek/Star Wars, I was enthralled by all the different kinds of characters that exist in the different universes of DC and Marvel. To say it was a rabbit hole (maybe I should say black hole to keep with the science theme of BBT), is an understatement. I started with The Avengers -good bang for my buck with a bunch of characters in one movie. I was hooked. I started watching the origin stories of each character and then sequels and then branching out into other characters. Some don't interest me at all (Hawk Eye), some I believe are overrated (Captain America), some I find oddly attracted to (the Hulk), and some I just don't understand why they are superheroes (Batman). On of my favorite things to discuss with other nerds is the mythology base of certain characters. Greek vs Roman vs Norse vs totally made up. I eat that ish up.
I watched Thor Ragnarock last week and was shocked when I saw Benedict Cumberbatch in it. Who the hell was he? I had no idea he even had a role in that world. That took me to Doctor Strange which then led me to Sherlock (I'm heavily addicted to Sherlock at the moment- he reminds me of House). I'm slowly combing my way through all the people in Marvel, and have just dipped my toe in the world of DC. Full Disclosure: Batman and Superman allude me. Why do people care about Batman? His superpower is that he is rich. Uh, what? I'm down for some occasional vigilante justice, but like, whats the big deal with Batman? I'm starting to warm up to Superman. I've always been like, duh he'd beat Batman, he's a freaking alien. But he's a softie and the scene where he climbed the bathtub with Amy Adams- yeah, he won me over. And he saves lives and stuff.
Needless to say, five years ago I would have never imagined I would have cared one iota about comic book heroes. But here I am, getting into theoretical debates about characters 🤷🏼♀️ I'll chalk it up to growth and just leave it there. If you ever want to get into it about superheroes, I'm down.