Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Can Do Hard Things

As I look at 2017 in the rear view, I can honestly say I've never been so happy for a year to end. While there were some really good times - buying a new home, a trip to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, my mom coming to live with us through the fall - it was probably the most difficult year of my life.

But...I made it through. I wasn't always sure I would. The grief over losing my dad, the stress of remodeling our new home, and an incredibly stressful job with a horrible commute really tested me - I think even pushed me into a mild depression.

But I have recently started feeling lighter and more like myself. And that nicely coincides with the start of a new year.

I am not going into this new year thinking everything is magically going to be great. In fact, just the opposite. I know this year is also going to be hard. I start a new job on the 8th, and while I'm looking forward to it, it's always stressful starting a new job. I am nearly certain that we are going to lose Emma this year, and that is going to be hard. I'm battling a health issue that has turned into a bit of a medical mystery. And we found out right before Christmas that my mother-in-law's cancer has returned.

But I'm choosing to focus on the good and start the year with a sense of optimism.

I have a new job! That's exciting. It's in a field I enjoy and my commute will be cut in half. DH also has a new job that he's very excited about.

Emma is still here and holding steady - I honestly didn't think she'd make it to the new year when we got her cancer diagnosis. But she continues to chase every squirrel or bunny who dares to enter her yard, and she still climbs the stairs to go to bed every night with gusto. So this itself is a blessing.

My mother-in-law starts a new cancer treatment this month, and we will just pray for the best. DH is planning a trip to see her for their birthdays in April, and I will probably go with him.

I have learned so much from the struggles of the past year - how I married the absolute best partner I could have ever chosen, how kind people can be when you lose someone you love, and how strong I can be when I have to. I have learned that I can do hard things - and it give me the the courage to face whatever 2018 throws my way.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Here Goes Nothing

My gym is hosting an indoor triathlon in January. 10 minute pool swim. 30 minute spin bike ride. 20 minute treadmill run.

And I just signed up. *gulp* Let the training begin!

Sunday, October 22, 2017


I saw this photo today and it struck a nerve with me. 2017 has probably been the hardest year of my life and I've been ready to write off this year entirely. But I've got two and a half months left to turn things around.

The year started off with so much promise. DH and I made an offer on a house and closed in February.

And then my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer.
And my dad had a major stroke and passed away.
And now my dog has cancer.

I've also been spending about two hours a day in the car commuting to a job that I'm not crazy about. And as a result of the stress and the commuting and the grief, I've gained about 20 lbs.

But all is not lost. I started doing Pilates a few weeks ago. I've swam a few times. I've been on my spin bike a few times.  I've been eating better and making sleep a priority. And I'm starting to feel like myself again.

So I'm going to make the last quarter of 2017 the best quarter of the year.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

On Happiness

I've sat down to write so many times but don't want to come off as negative. This year has been HARD.  I just haven't felt much like myself this past year. I will write about it eventually but not today.

So instead I will share this. Today, DH and I played golf. We've probably only played a half dozen times since we moved here. In California we played an average of twice a month, so it's something that I have really missed.

We used to play the same 3 or 4 courses regularly, and we'd throw in a different one every once in a while just to mix things up. We have yet to find one that we both like enough to play regularly. Until today.

Today was everything I've missed about golf. A course with a driving range, a nice putting practice area, and close to home. The fairways were beautiful, the greens very well kept. It was a beautiful day - if a bit hot at 90 degrees. But DH and I both agreed after three holes that this could be our new "regular" course.

I played well and thoroughly enjoyed the day. And I am so happy and grateful. I think I might have found a little bit of my old self out there on that course.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Starting Over

I joined a new gym this month - one that has an outdoor pool. Hurray for outdoor swimming!

I just joined last week and went and swam twice. I plan on going three times this week - probably two swims and one different workout.

I'm gradually easing my way back into things. At this point, I am honestly starting over like a beginner exerciser. Because when you go months without doing a single workout - or maybe just one workout that month -  and those months turn into a year, you really are a beginner.  And I'm fine with that. I'd rather workout three times a week than not at all. There will be no triathlons for me this summer. I just don't think I could get myself race ready.

There are a lot of reasons why I haven't exercised very much over the past year - some very recent. But I'll go into that later.

For now I'm just happy that I want to exercise again. I'm looking forward to seeing progress - because the gains are always great in the beginning.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Change is hard

Dan and I were very fortunate to have both found jobs very quickly after arriving in Philly.  Unfortunately we both had to start those new jobs only a week after finally being able to move into our new home. We never really had a chance to unpack and settle in once we got here.

I really like my job and can see a future with lots of opportunities. But the commute is a bear. It takes about 45 minutes in the morning. Not great but bearable. But the ride home. Ugh! I'm only going 23 miles, but if I got home in an hour I considered it a good day. Lately it's been creeping closer to 90 minutes regularly. And one night when it rained it took two hours.

I haven't been getting home until 6:30 or 7:00, and I leave the house just after 7 am. That is a loooong day!

Needless to say, workouts have just not happened since I started working.

But...I sat down with my boss last week and told her the commute was killing me. And the first words out of her mouth were "Change your hours." Awesome! So I'll be going in and leaving an hour earlier to avoid some traffic. And I'll only have to wake up 20 minutes earlier to do this. I'd been leaving so early in the mornings anyway to beat the traffic, I was arriving at work 30 minutes before my actual start time.

 I'm so happy with this change. I'll finally be able to exercise again! Spin class, here I come!

Maybe I'll even have time to blog again 😀

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hotel Living

I have so much to write about my cross country road trip, but things have been incredibly hectic since we arrived in Philadelphia.

Our second to last day of the trip was a drive from Cleveland to Harrisburg. It wasn't a lot of miles but it was a long drive because of the weather. We were very fortunate to have no rain all the way across the country until this point. But that day we got caught in an incredible storm. It rained nonstop for at least three hours of the drive. At points it was so bad that everyone was driving on the highway about 30 mph with their blinkers on. I was terrified and wanted to pull over, but Dan wanted to push through. Luckily we arrived in Harrisburg safely and the rain stopped that night.

What we didn't know was that while we were driving through that rain, that rain was driving through our rental house. We arrived in Philly the following day and were supposed to meet the landlord to get the keys to the rental house so we could start moving in the next day. When I called him, he said he was at the rental house. He had gone by to make sure everything was good for us to move in. Well, it wasn't. It really, really wasn't.

It turns out that the roof drain got clogged by debris. Water collected on the roof. And when I say water collected, it could have been up to three feet of water because that's how high the ledges are. Anyway, the ceiling in the master bedroom partially caved in. Drywall and wet insulation came down. Water poured into the bedroom, down the hall, and rained down into the living room.

Needless to say, we couldn't move in the next day. We were lucky that we were able to move our belongings in that week since it was already scheduled. All of our furniture is stacked in the spare bedrooms and the kitchen. All of our boxes are in the basement and garage. But because the entire downstairs - aside from the kitchen - is hardwood floors, there was no way we could live there. All of the flooring had to come out.

So after two and a half weeks on the road staying at various VRBOs, hotels, and AirBnBs, we get to Philly only to have to stay in a hotel for another three weeks. We're hoping to be back in our house this weekend.

It could have been much worse. We could have been asleep in our bed when the ceiling came down. But after being without a real home since July 12th, I really miss sleeping in my own bed! Fingers crossed that all goes as planned for the rest of this week.

At least Emma is comfortable here.