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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Month of Thanks

At the beginning of this month, a friend tweeted a statement of gratitude and challenged herself to post a new statement of thanks for the entire month of November. I thought it was a great idea and decided to follow along. As I wrap up November and prepare for a month more geared towards celebration than reflection, here is a recap of my #monthofthanks.

Grateful for...

...modern conveniences that allow me the luxury of pursuing dreams instead of necessities.
...girlfriends who support and challenge you while refusing to let you be less than your best. #community
...coaches that simultaneously empathize and understand your fears and pain while pushing you beyond them. #grateful @LIFTfitnessATX @SicStyleBaller @NykiNyk @melisaloo @Careykep career opportunities that expand my skill set and bring me another day closer to living my dream. 
...a best friend that refuses to let anything, including our divorce and long distance, ruin our friendship. #loved
...a program that encourages women to dream big, set goals, and conquer the world. #signatureseries
...road trips full of quiet time to reflect on life, the past, the future, and anything that comes to mind.
...little presents from friends that remind me I am thought of and loved. #lovelanguageofgiving
...the process of packing and moving as it reminds me how rich and full my life really is. #livinthegoodlife
...never having been truly hungry and living with an overabundance of food. Taking some to @cafbtx today. 
...modern technology allowing for greater flow of information and better organization. #nerd
...a clear diagnosis of a simple and easily remedied illness after hours of tests and pain. #healthyfamily amazing new house that already feels like home. #home
...a beautiful walk in wonderful weather with no noise. #simplepleasures
...having met @HullCove and getting started on a grand adventure. #bigdreams
...mountain rain dryer sheets that make my clothes smell awesome. #sofreshandsocleanclean entire month without a scale and refusing to define myself by a number. #freedom opportunities to conquer my dreams and the amazing support from my friends and community. #completelyinawe
...a cat who, while bitchy, was there through all the bad times. #petpeople
...the healing properties of Irish coffee. #goodforthesoul
...another day full of opportunities. 
...footie pajamas and weather cold enough to justify them. #nevertoooldforfootiepajamas
...a roomie with the patience to handle my crazy days. #partnersincrime
...a referral from a friend that opens doors for new job possibilities. #bigdreams
...delicious Thanksgiving food that will not wreck my body. #paleofeast #bacon
...a best friend who will go shopping with you at midnight on Black Friday and try on silly clothes.  #TMNT #crazy
...a night on the couch with some bubbly, dark chocolate, great friend, and good movies. #RandR
...the holiday season and my ability to choose to skip the cynicism and enjoy it all. #holidayspirit
...@nextleveldr and @nextleveldave in helping me get stronger, stay mobile, and prevent injury. #hurtssogood entire month's worth of thanks coming nowhere close to a complete list. #toomanytocount

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward

Eternally grateful

Monday, November 28, 2011

Priority Check

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. So many amazing things are happening in my life and I am so busy going and doing that I've had little time to reflect. In the past month I have moved into a lovely little house with a good friend, found a wonderful partner to start a business, and started a kick ass internship at my gym. Meanwhile, I am still working full time at my day job, going to CrossFit at least 3x a week, and trying to sleep enough to stay sane. My life is so very full of amazing people and opportunities right now. If you could describe happiness in dollars, Warren Buffett has nothing on me.

With all the excitment and activity, I'm reminded of a lesson I've learned over and over again. You cannot maintain 100% involvement with 100% perfection and keep 100% energy AND do everything you want to do. I'm a big believer in having it all and I work towards that every day. But happiness comes from assessing your life, prioritizing, focusing on your priorities, and letting go of control and worry for everything else. That seems like such an easy concept, but while it is simple, it is incredibly difficult. Every day you make choices on how to spend your time and money. The choices you make and the method you use to make those choices reflect a lot about what is truly important to you. I seek to live a life of active choices that are focused on specific goals.

For instance, I know that I want to get out of the cubicle cycle and start earning money from my passions. I know that being in substantial personal debt will make that difficult. So every time I am invited out to dinner, or pass an amazing outfit that I would love to wear, or am offered an "easy button" that comes with a hefty price tag, I try to take a step back and put whatever it is that is right in front of me into perspective with my dream of financial freedom. I also know that I want to get stronger and faster and train to a level where I am competitive in weightlifting. That may seem like a goal that stays at the gym, but that goal is in my mind every time I decide what to eat, how much to sleep at night, and whether or not I add an extra workout or watch TV. It also comes back up when deciding how to spend my money. Will I buy new boots or a month of personal training? How much real value will I get out of eating <insert food that will wreck my body>? Is it worth it to go to X event when I know I could use that time to rest and recover at home and get some much needed alone time?

"First rule of Economics 101: our desires are insatiable. Second rule: we can stomach only three Big Macs at a time." - Douglas Horton

My inner economist is always judging my decisions on the opportunity cost. There are days, especially recently, where I wish I could quiet that voice and make a truly spontaneous choice. Then I think about all of the amazing opportunities I have right now that would be completely out of reach if I did not have that little voice reminding me of my bigger dreams. In the end, for all the stress it causes, I am thankful for my ability to analyze and process information. I am also thankful for the amount of support I've had over the past few weeks. Now that I am through the more hectic phase of this transition, it is time to revisit my goals, refocus my energy, and double check my priorities. Then it's back to work.