Category Archives: learning

Embrace who you are, rather than rail against it.

For as much as I have been working hard at learning to let go, to ‘roll’ with life a little more, and to be content with the here and now and not always go-go-go, do-do-do, goal-goal-goal…I realized something.

I need to embrace who I am, rather than rail against it.

Some of you have noted this to me in your comments, emails, and conversations ‘in real life,’ that there isn’t necessarily anything ‘wrong’ with these particularly type A traits I have, and while I *do* agree (I mean, hey, I do embrace my type A-ness pretty darn well, hehe), I can also see how these tendencies are stealing the joy out of every plan I make, every thing I do, every conversation I have, in some cases.

And that part needs to change. The joy-stealing part. The overplanning to a T of every cookout, gathering, errands, whatever it may be. I end up planning the shit out of it and at the same time, stealing the joy straight out from under it too (yes, errands make me happy…what of it lol).

But what does not need to change? Me. Overall.

My organization. My drive. My motivation. (Some) of my particular habits.

Because these things? They are who I am. And together with M? We mesh so well (usually. except when I deserve the ‘princess glass’ for being too uptight on any given evening!) – he balances me, I balance him. If we were both all type A crazy, we would likely back ourselves into a corner with overplanned-ness. If we were both type roll-with-it, we’d I don’t know…maybe I don’t want to know what that scenario would look like ;-)

The point is – I am working on the areas that I *want* to change and tweak. But at the core of it, this is still always be who I am. And I need to stop apologizing for that (to myself, mostly) and just find ways to ease up on the habits and uptightness that makes me less than a joy to be around.

A little more roll, a little less…change?

This is me, embracing who I am, not railing against it.

Lessons in patience…and pausing.

One of the biggest things I noticed during my LASEK recovery and what felt like the never-ending recovery was how little patience and ability to slow the hell down I really have in me. For as much as I talk about it, for as much as I try to do it, to slow down, to be more patient, to just BE, I felt like I was ramming my head against a brick wall every single day.

(BTW I’m at 20/40, folks!! Should be 20/20 by my next appointment in less than two weeks, if not already. Can I get a big woohoo on that?! 20/40 *feels* like 20/20 right now, since I don’t think I have ever seen crisply even with a prescription, so 20/20 should blow my ever-living mind…side note).

It was a huge shock – why, I am not sure, I kind of knew I was semi-impatient before (LOL) – at just how much I railed against allowing the process, embracing un-routine and just going with the flow. I know that I just generally am not that good at going with the flow and while I am working on that area, I know I will never be one of those people that truly *is* a go with the flow-er (yes, I just made up a word…), and just want to get better at it, than trying for ‘my way or the highway’ all the time.

So, I’ve vowed to take a step back. To pause, think, reset, and let patience settle in, which then, does help me roll with things a little bit more than I have in the past.

An example? My in-laws – who are fantastic, by the way, and just the nicest, most caring, giving people I have ever met – are the type that ‘just stop by’ unannounced. I am completely and utterly unprepared for the ‘drop in’ visit. I like to plan. I like to be prepared. I like to be a good hostess. So when a ‘drop by’ happens, I tend to freak out. Like, a lot. And M doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t consider them ‘company’ as they are his parents, of course, but to me, anyone that comes over is ‘company’ in the sense that I want to be prepared, presentable, and ready for anyone that may stop by.

But it is something I realize I need to roll with more. Because it is their nature. And quite frankly, it is a good quality, and a caring one.

So when this past Monday, they came by, three hours ahead of our planned visit and dinner, I started to freak out. I was about to get frustrated. I was about to run around in a tizzy ‘preparing.’ But instead, I took a step back, I took a breath, and calmed down. Like, seriously, is it really the worst thing in the world that my in-laws, who care for me and me for them, came by early? No. Not in the slightest. So, I used it as a chance to learn to ‘host’ while preparing for dinner. Chatting and multi-tasking. And you know what? It turned out to be a really good visit and dinner and I am glad I didn’t ruin it for myself, for M, or for my in-laws by stewing in frustration inside.

All I can do is try to keep making subtle changes, and choose to react differently. Choose to not react instantly, but to pause first, then think/act/speak.

And along with this goal? This sentiment…don’t try to be perfect, just try to be better than yesterday. Yes, a million times yes. 

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On being content.

This post was really hard to write. I almost didn’t post it. But I think it’s important to process feelings, and also just be real and transparent, so this is me, doing just that. 

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It is no secret that I struggle with letting go, (under) rather than OVER thinking and just being. It’s been my goal to ‘just be’ and live my life that way, yet, lately, I have had the hardest time in a very long time being content. And I am ashamed to even admit that. Especially because that inability to be content? It’s focused squarely on me. Solely.

I feel as though I have slid back into years-since-gone mental mind games. I can’t be 3f1af10609d3dcfb89530984c272f675content with me, because I won’t let myself. And I am so mad at myself for even going there and not being my own best friend.  When I help my friends, clients, my sisters, even, when they are having a bad day, pull themselves out of a mental rat hole, and treat themselves as a friend, not an enemy, yet I can’t seem to do it for myself.

And then I read my beautiful blend Sarena’s post on contentment and I feel utterly humbled. Her words snapped me back into reality with a b*tchslap of perspective I needed more than I thought I did.  I need to harness her words – appreciate the here and now and stop reaching so hard. WHY AM I REACHING?! I have a life I adore, yet I find the one thing that may always be (in a good way) a work in progress and fixate on it to the point of negativity. Why do I feel compelled to always be reaching, changing, doing? Reach, reach, reach.

Why can’t I just BE. Be normal. Be myself. Be free. Without second guessing. Without worrying. Without being in controlallthedamntime.

So, here I write, marking my words, I am done with this. It is not worth it. No more of the mental mind games and the guilt prison, and instead, I will embrace who I am now, not who I wish I was, or what I wish I looked like, or what I want to do more of…the here and now. ME. I worked hard become a me I am proud of, and there is no reason to tear down years of hard work and growth over mind games.

 

Why April was a blur: my #LASEK story.

So, I seriously didn’t intend to go all MIA here for the last six weeks, but remember when I said I was going to get LASIK, in my last post? Well, that didn’t happen. What *did* happen was LASEK, and it literally made the month of April almost entirely a blur (in more ways than one). Here goes, why April was a blur…my LASEK story.

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April 10. LASIK surgery day! (not)

Totally excited. Nervous, but ready. I walk into a shall-not-be-named office for my LASIK surgery. A surgery I was told I was a ‘perfect’ candidate for just a week and a half prior, and instructed to wear my glasses, no contacts allowed, until the day of my surgery (which was a feat in itself, I wanted to hurl them across the room on an hourly basis. Running, teaching classes, and even working was a huge pain wearing them, but I digress). As I am about to pay for the surgery, I am instructed that I am actually getting PRK today, and *NOT* LASIK, because the surgeon decided – today – that I am actually not a candidate for LASIK. The very surgeon that assured me I was less than two weeks prior.

Uh, what? Huge pit in my stomach. Huge feeling of letdown. PRK is the precursor to LASIK and involves a much longer recover, more pain involved, and vision that takes weeks (or longer) to perfect. After discussing with M and the office manager (random – how about we talk to the surgeon?!), we walked out, deciding not to move ahead with the surgery. Mind you, this place was reputable in many of the reviews I read, it was even recommended by my medical insurance. Yet, no, I did not like that last minute change and immediately wanted a second opinion. Like, right now. And conveniently, my sister was also doing LASIK (you know, since we do everything together, as many of you know!), so we called her surgeon and got an appointment within an hour.

I was not looking forward to the two-hour evaluation do-over to see if I was a LASIK candidate, but was ready to just plow through. I’d gone this far, I got time off work, cleared my barre n9ne teaching schedule and just wanted to get it done (can you tell I am stubborn?!). Immediately, I felt comfortable with this office, the assistants, everyone. The process for the evaluation is long, a lot of eye tests, eye dilation, more tests. And the diagnosis? I still was not a candidate for LASIK. Sad face. My corneas were thick enough (usually why you aren’t a candidate, thin corneas) but my corneas are not symmetrical (damn those astigmatisms!) and therefore, made me not a candidate. Instead, I qualified for LASEK, which is basically a hybrid of LASIK (where they cut the cornea into a flap to do the laser surgery) and PRK (where they shave the cornea from the front, not cutting it at all), which is supposed to be a little less painful and shorter recover than PRK (the old approach).

I thought for sure that if I got the same diagnosis, I was going to walk away and just be destined to wearing glasses and contacts forever. But I was surprised when I immediately felt that I wanted to move forward. They assured me that the recovery was not as bad as I had googled (damn Google!!) or as painful, and many patients are seeing pretty well in 7-10 days, and up to 3-4 weeks, typically for really good vision. So I went for it, the next day, in fact.

So, back we went, that Friday, April 11 for surgery. Shortly after arrival and a few more tests (one of which to make sure my eyes weren’t still dilated from the day before, or they couldn’t do the surgery. I would have been so pissed off, lemme tell ya!), I was ready to go. I was given a Valium to keep me calm during the procedure, and my eyes were numbed (in part so they could write on my eyeballs – yes, write on them! to guide the laser appropriately). Having your eyes numbed is the oddest sensation and one I would get used to having done far too often, in coming days and weeks.

Valium is amazing, let me tell you. It calmed me in the most subtle way. They equated it to feeling as though you just had a couple glasses of wine – to which I joked…but that doesn’t affect me THAT much (wow, spoken like a true wino, much?!), and it really did keep me calm. When they called me in, it went pretty quickly. I was given a stuffed animal to hold onto in case I felt the urge to squeeze my eyes shut (which I never did), and then it began. They clamped my eyes open, which I thought would feel weird or hurt, but it really wasn’t too bad, and I just felt a lot of water and liquid going into my eyes, I could see them ‘wiping’ away my cornea, and then the laser came down – and the only creepy part was that I could smell the laser, it smelled like my eyeballs were burning. Eww – and then they switched to the other eye. I was done in less than 10 minutes, walked out, and was told to shut my eyes for four hours to let them rest. I was given a slew of eye drops for inflammation and antibiotics and tylenol with codeine for pain.

I peeked before shutting my eyes for the next four hours and I could see! it was the WEIRDEST thing. I could see, but it was very foggy, almost like I was walking through a fog, literally. Little did I know, I would get very used to that feeling…

While the surgery itself was not as bad as I thought, and I actually NEVER felt any pain almost entirely over the last 3.5 weeks, what has been the most frustrating has been how slowly my eyes have healed. And this is largely in part due to my inability to just slow the hell down. Take the rest. Shut my eyes. Allow them to heal (this is for another post entirely, this post is already getting so long!). But it’s been a lot of fits and starts. Good days of sight and not so good, very frustrating, teary days of struggling to see. Weeks of not driving (thank goodness I work from home!), which was so hard for me, relying on others, feeling trapped. I am finally at a stage where I can *mostly* see. My eyes are very dry, and this is the biggest inhibitor to my vision right now. The dryness is causing a lot of blurred letters when I read or work, but my vision overall is quite good (if that makes sense!).

So, I joke with friends, family and clients at the studio wondering where the heck I went, that April was a blur – literally – and I am finally ready to SEE and use these (expensive!!) new eyes to experience details I’ve never been able to see for the last 24 years. While this has been one of the most trying experiences of my life, mentally and physically, in hindsight, looking back, I would have still done it, despite the struggles and slowness of the healing process. I am proud of myself for a) going through with it and b) GETTING through it, even when I just wanted to cry.

I think what was most eye-opening – seriously, no pun intended ha! – was how much I struggled with loss of routine, lack of control and change. It is something I plan to explore in some future posts and is just something I realize more than ever I need to work on, like, really really work on.

Until then, I shall embrace my (almost) perfect vision and am glad to say  SEE YA LATER April, that was quite the month. :)

February 21, 2009 – 5 years later.

I just happened to look at the date and realized that today is five years since I started blogging (how fitting, on my 500th blog on this blog, my ‘newer’ blog over the past five years).

Five years since I began a journey that I had no idea where it would take me, literally, but also here, in this little space of mine.

I had no idea how many people I would connect with, how many of those people I now consider very good ‘blends,’ – from attending their wedding in Mexico, to a summer weekend ‘upta camp,’ to visits in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Costa Mesa, Vegas, and even right here in Boston.

I had no idea what I would discover about myself as a result of blogging, in sharing my story of divorce, discovery, renewal, and love, found, yet again.

I had no idea of the connections I would make as a result of my passion for fitness, the barre (n9ne!) running, my relationship with food and my body, and being a fitness instructor.  Again, literally, and also in processing my feelings, thoughts, emotions and milestones.

Five years. 

I continue to go back to that feeling of realizing what a difference time really makes. And what a difference your life can look like as time spans on, especially as you take that life and shape it into a life you are proud of, and a life that feels fulfilled, happy and full of joy, love, and that (sometimes elusive) feeling of balance and peace.

Looking back? My first blog post on my old blog:

There, I said it. I’m 29 and I’m getting divorced. Never thought I’d be saying it or living it, to be honest. I decided to start a blog as I go through this journey because though it has only been about three months since this all started, I’ve gone through some massive changes and I thought a blog would be a great way to share my experience with those going through it, but also because there really aren’t any blogs out there that talk about divorce and moving on in your life with a very positive vibe. I see plenty that are all about looking back and wishing life had never changed, or being bitter about being abandoned by their former spouse. And, to be honest, I thought I’d fall into that camp as well, but I haven’t. I’ve really taken this time to figure out what I want in my life and have learned so much already, I can’t imagine where life will take me!

Whoa. So weird to read those words and picture exactly where I was sitting when I wrote them.

And the last post on that blog, in part:

I’m proud of her ,and who she’s become. And while I am letting her go in favor of the me I am now, she has shaped me into who I am today. I’m damn proud. I don’t care if this post sounds a bit indulgent…I know it probably does, but after getting through the difficulties of divorce and all of the baggage that comes with it (poor finances, loss of a house, lack of confidence, sadness and loss), I’m not her anymore.

I’m me…renewed.

And I thank you all for joining me in my journey and allowing me to share in yours. Cheers, friends.

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

And that, my friends, is exactly the sentiment I stand behind day in and day out, be proud of your past, the ups and downs, the strife, the learning, and then let go of it and move on.

Live the life you were meant to lead.