Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hello, old friend...

Happy New Year! 

It's been a while since I've written, and oh, this makes my heart so happy. 

After I contacted Aubrey to give my blog a facelift, a sad reality slapped me right in the face. I started my first year of teaching and was finishing up my last semester in grad school. Basically, I was in over my head. So, unfortunately, I put this little blog on the back burner while I focused on something that I paid thousands for and something that was paying me thousands.

But now that I have settled myself into a nice routine with a work/life balance, I'm excited to be back where I find myself the most happy. Writing.

In the spirit of the new year, I decided to write down my resolutions for the world to see. Sure, it may be cliché [because why wait until a new year, new week, new month to start], but there is something so refreshing about January 1st. You get to leave behind the bad, focus on the good, change what you didn't like, and nourish what means the most. For me, it looks a little something like this...

1. Be more open. I'm a writer at heart. I love buying cards for birthdays and holidays, I love sending letters, and I'm definitely the girl who will leave you notes just to make you smile. But ask me to pour my heart out using my voice, and I'll choke up and stutter over my words. This year, I want to speak more, share my feelings more, and not let anything wait until tomorrow just because I'm too nervous to say it today. Life is too short.

2. Give more Grace. I assume the worst 95% of the time. [That's probably not an accurate statistic- don't sue me.] But for real, in most situations, I assume the worst. I'm skeptical of a person's genuineness when I first meet them, I question my ability to be a great teacher, I worry that I could be a better girlfriend/friend/daughter/sister. On the flip side, I can get frustrated easily if something doesn't go as planned or if, God forbid, my boyfriend/mom/friend didn't read my mind. This year, I want to give more grace. To myself, to my loved ones, and to complete strangers.

3. Don't be afraid to say no, but follow through when I say yes. I am, hands-down, the worst person at making plans. Which is pretty ironic since I'm a planner by nature. My virgo-heart loves a good to-do list, yearly planner, and having my future events planned out. But if someone asks me what I'm doing on February 3rd? I prefer to let them know on February 3rd. I don't know why I'm like this! And to make matters worse, I always say yes to plans, and then, 9/10 times, I want to cancel on the day of. So this year, I don't want to be afraid to say no. And if I say yes, I need to follow through. I always, always have a great time doing whatever it is I'm doing, but because I'm a homebody, it's hard to get me out.

4. Focus on my hobbies. I was talking with John recently about his love of surfing. It dawned on me that I haven't been good about maintaining my hobbies quite like he does with surfing. If the waves are good, I've yet to find something that he'll choose to do rather than heading to the beach. When we were talking about it, I told him how I LOVED to dance growing up, but it just stopped being a hobby once I was in college. Of course, if I could, I'd still do it. [Outside of my living room while I'm cleaning. Ha!] Writing is a close second for me, though. [Oh, how I hate that I had to take a break from this blog.] So this year, I'm focusing on my hobbies. I'm excited for the opportunity to share my heart with all of you and to dive in, head first. Along with that, photography has always been a little hobby that I loved. When I was young, I was sitting at a picnic table outside of the carwash that my dad owned. A customer asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said, "an artist!" I remember him telling me that artists don't make much money. How sad that an adult felt it was ok [or even necessary] to say that to a child! It's even more sad that, after 20 years have gone by, I still remember that man's statement. All of that to say, you should never stop doing what you love. And although I had to last year for good reasons, I'm not going to let it happen again this year. 

5. Continue making health a priority. About two and a half years ago, I joined a group fitness gym in Atlanta [BLAST, if anyone reading lives there] that created a total body workout for you in one hour. They made going to the gym fun for me, and at that time, completely turned my life around. I wasn't in a very good place physically and emotionally, but at the gym, I was surrounded by nothing but support and motivation. Also, right after joining that gym, I cut most processed foods out of my diet. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't eat clean 100% of the time, but I make it a conscious habit to choose foods with 5 ingredients [that I can pronounce] or less. Once I moved back to Jacksonville, I tried Orange Theory, but quickly realized it wasn't for me. Instead, I joined Bailey's Gym and just re-created the workouts I learned at BLAST. Just recently, I started joining John and his friend, Matt, at the gym on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday is typically their arm day and Sunday is their leg day, so it's nice to get that extra bit in each week [they don't mess around!]. As we were leaving yesterday, Matt asked us what our goal was in the gym this year. I came up with two: to do 5 pull-ups without assistance and run an 11-minute mile. Here's to crossing those two things off my list within the next 362 days.

So there you have it. I'm excited to be back & share this little journey with you all.

If you're reading this, thank you. I'm giving you a big ole virtual hug!

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