Go at your own pace

While waiting in line at Starbucks yesterday morning, I overheard a conversation between a teenager and a middle aged woman. I imagine this was a college admissions interview and the woman was an alumna and the young man a high school senior. While the senior was talking about his experience running cross country, I was struck by two things he said and how they apply to so much more than running.

Keep your own pace

He said that in cross country it’s important to find your own pace and keep your own pace.  That when someone passes you it’s very tempting, almost innate, to want to run faster to catch up with him and then pass him, but you have to know your own pace and not use up all of your energy in one burst sprinting to beat the person in front of you. That you need to figure out a pace that you can maintain and just keep it at that.

You don’t have to be first to win

The teen also said that in cross country, you don’t have to be the first to win.  That simply hitting a personal best is an accomplishment in itself.

I think I may have gotten tears in my eyes as I heard this, thinking “wow, this is a great reminder for life.” It can be so easy to compare yourself to friends, coworkers, people from high school or college that you’re not friends with in real life but are friends on Facebook. If they’re getting married, buying a house, having kids, getting promoted, getting a Master’s degree, traveling, buying x, y, or z. And when we see people “passing” us it’s easy to want to sprint to catch up, and to put pressure on ourselves to find a boyfriend or buy a home or whatever. But doing so only expends unnecessary energy. It feels so much better if you’re doing it at your own pace, not sprinting to get to catch up to the person in front of you. And remember that just because you’re not the first doesn’t make crossing the finish line any less significant.

Advertisements

We found a little Christmas

I think we all have two options: you can control your mood or you can let your mood control you. I often fall victim to my moods–like a few weeks ago when I literally was in a grumpy, tired, unmotivated, blah mood until 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

This weekend I had two experiences where I decided what my mood would be instead of letting my feelings take over. It made me feel really powerful and happy (because I obviously chose a positive mood). I hope that by sharing these experiences, you may be inspired to choose your mood the next time you’re in a crappy mood.

After work on Friday I was super motivated to sit down and put the finishing touches on our wedding album before meeting friends for dinner. I walk in the door of our building and head to the elevator when who do I see coming up the stairs? Mike.  “What are you doing?” I ask. “Doing laundry.  I found another bed bug.” My first thoughts: “You’ve got to be kidding me.  Why are you looking for bugs?” I was kind of angry.

I head to our bedroom, asking Mike where he found said bug.  I’m fuming as I lift the mattress to look for others but then decide “I’m not going down this road. I’m going back to my positive and motivated mood and will finish our wedding album.” Two hours later, I sent edits and approvals to our photographer, checking off a big to-do that’s been on my list for months. I was so excited, relieved, and felt accomplished.

Saturday, Mike and I planned to get into the Christmas spirit by going to the mall, going to see the National Christmas Tree, and watching a Christmas movie while making gingerbread men.  We head to the mall to start our Christmas shopping.  Within an hour 30 minutes, I’m overwhelmed and tired and, aside from two small Haagen-Dazs ice-creams, we haven’t bought a single thing.

Instead of the holly-jolly spirit we intended to get from the mall, (I know, what were we thinking??) I feel more like the grinch. I’m ready to call the whole day off and go home. We decided to go into one more store before heading out.  We end up purchasing one gift, so that makes us feel successful but I’m still kind of exhausted.  When we start discussing the logistics of paying for our Christmas gifts like which account we’ll use, I say something to Mike, he doesn’t understand exactly what I’m saying and I snap at him in the middle of J Crew saying something to the effect of “What, am I not speaking English??” He decides to wait outside.

As we walk to the car, Mike says we can just go home if I want to, and that at this point, it probably won’t even be dark when we get there. I consider it as I pull out of the garage figure that by the time we get there and find parking, it probably will be dark.  But I’m so tired and kind of just want to go home.  And then I decide no, I can turn my mood around.  We’re going to see the tree!

We found parking pretty easily and Mike suggested we stop to get hot chocolate for our walk. “My treat,” he says. We stop at Caribou Coffee for a hot chocolate, and then walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House and Treasury making our way to the Ellipse, the site of the National Christmas Tree. As we were walking back to the car Marine One flew overhead and landed on the White House lawn. It was so cool!

We picked up pizzas from a place in our old neighborhood, came home and watched Home Alone while we ate our pizza and drank our favorite wine. What could’ve turned into a really sour day ended up being exactly what we hoped it would be.

Stronger

This video has been playing at my gym recently and I really enjoy it.  It reminds me why I go to the gym and makes me feel empowered.

I hope you’ll be inspired by it…

So fill in the blank and tell me:

I’m stronger than ________. 

My answer: I’m stronger than SAD–Seasonal Affective Disorder.

how to get somewhere

great quote from my yoga class on a few weeks ago:

“sometimes the best way to get somewhere is to let go of trying to get anywhere at all.”

i think i can apply this message to some aspects of my life right now.

what about you?  are there areas of your life where you should just be?

"allow time for transitions"

this nugget of wisdom came from don’t sweat the small stuff in love and is something i’m trying to remember right now.  it’s funny that though i’ve just committed my life to someone, i’m still in a state of transition.  we’re moving next month and have boxes of wedding presents waiting to be used piled in our apartment.  i’m changing my name and every time i sign a credit card receipt with my standard signature i remember that it won’t be that way for long and that i should practice my new one.  we’re going to combine our finances (something we’re very excited about) but that has to wait until my name is changed and even after we get our accounts in order it will take a while for direct deposits to change. we need our own car insurance policy (i’ve been on my dad’s) and will have to register our car in DC. i want these things to be done.  they are all things that could be done in a day (or so you’d think).  but no.  i’m sure all of this won’t be settled until at least august.  so, when i feel overwhelmed with these changes and a never-ending personal to-do list, i remember “allow time for transitions.”

“allow time for transitions”

this nugget of wisdom came from don’t sweat the small stuff in love and is something i’m trying to remember right now.  it’s funny that though i’ve just committed my life to someone, i’m still in a state of transition.  we’re moving next month and have boxes of wedding presents waiting to be used piled in our apartment.  i’m changing my name and every time i sign a credit card receipt with my standard signature i remember that it won’t be that way for long and that i should practice my new one.  we’re going to combine our finances (something we’re very excited about) but that has to wait until my name is changed and even after we get our accounts in order it will take a while for direct deposits to change. we need our own car insurance policy (i’ve been on my dad’s) and will have to register our car in DC. i want these things to be done.  they are all things that could be done in a day (or so you’d think).  but no.  i’m sure all of this won’t be settled until at least august.  so, when i feel overwhelmed with these changes and a never-ending personal to-do list, i remember “allow time for transitions.”