Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Being happy for others

I had a dream about one of my sorority sisters the other night.  It was a sister that I was relatively close to when we were in the house.  We rode on bike team together, and she was my "older" Diamond sister.  "Older" only because she joined as a freshman, and I joined as a sophomore, because we were in the same grade.  I wish I could say that we were closer... we just never clicked that way.  But she is a good person, and I do still care about her, and so after having a dream about her, I decided that now, 7 years since we've had a real conversation, would be a good time to reach out.  Sure, we've interacted a tiny bit on Facebook, and we're connected on LinkedIn (are you on LinkedIn?  I'm kind of obsessed right now with it), but I haven't asked her how she's doing in 7 years or so.

A throwback pho-to.

The funniest thing happened too.  She told me how she was doing, and when she bragged about how awesome and amazing her life is, talking about having absolutely everything I have been pushing forward to find in life, I only felt jealous for a minute before I was over the moon happy for her that she is at such an outstanding place in her life.

A year ago, I wouldn't have been able to feel that way.  I would have been overcome by that jealousy.  I would have responded politely and then gone about my business for another 7 years or so.  I mean, she's throwing in my face everything that I don't have!  It's like she knows that she has it better than me or something!

...She doesn't have anything better than me.  She has a great job that she loves with room for advancement.  So do I.  Not only that, I'm still in school for my new career, and I have further to grow.  She has a husband she loves, and who thinks the world of her.  Me too.  And between us, mine is much more handsome.  She has an adorable little boy who she thinks is the smartest, cutest little boy in the entire world.  I get a full night's sleep every single night, because I don't have to wake up with a little one.  And when my baby comes, like my husband, it's gonna be cuter than hers, because they are mine.

This little life of mine, however imperfect it is, is a great, beautiful, spectacular Kristen Lehnig life.  And it deserves to be cherished as such.  And her life is a great, beautiful, spectacular life too.  Yes, I want some of the things that she has for myself, but overall, I couldn't trade this life, or my journey for the world.  Instead, I'm just going to keep on with my life, and do the best to celebrate the lives of those around me too.

What can we all celebrate you for today?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nothing of importance

I don't really know what to talk about today, but not because I have nothing to say... more because I have too much to say, and it is all word vomit on top of word vomit.  I feel like if I start talking about one thing, a volcano of something else is going to spew all over it.  Maybe I should try, though.  Yes?  Sure.

1)  Running has been all about embracing the suck lately.  It's been hot, and humid, and I feel tired almost every time I go for a run.  Nothing feels truly good or natural about it, but I'm pressing onward, simply continuing to seek that golden zone that I was in during half marathon training where running felt magical and incredible.  I just keep telling myself that these runs are engaging my mental toughness, and my ability to persevere.


I'm obviously smiling because I'm done.  Not because my 7 mile run on Sunday inspired joy and happiness in my life.

2)  I have had an awesome blog post bopping around in my head for weeks now about how runners are exactly like small children.  I really should write that dang post, it has all of the makings of being funny.  But I'm concerned that I haven't been a funny person (in my writing) lately, and I've forgotten how.

3)  Along those lines, I haven't felt like myself for the last year or so.  I feel like the crisis mode version of myself... all the time.  Just going from one big thing to the next, without taking the time to find joy, or be happy... let alone live a Radiant life.  I feel like a phony.  Like I should be bigger, better, more somehow than what I've been recently.  It makes me sad, because I don't know how to get back to that place.  Life doesn't appear to be slowing down, and I'm not sure that the problems that started to bring me down in the first place are ever going to go away.  It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of action to become that person again, and I'm honestly terrified of the entire prospect.  I do, however, know that the way I am living right now is not good enough, and that I deserve more than this.  My family deserves better from me.

4)  We are nesting!  After getting all of our junk moved out of the old place, we totally stalled out on getting everything unpacked and set up over here.  We definitely made progress with that over the weekend; We moved the curio cabinets into the house from the garage, we got the dining room table and chairs repaired and set up, I think Ammon unpacked some other stuff, and then he putzed around in his new "shop" for the rest of the weekend.  Oh!  And he re-wired a lamp, and got our hand me down lawnmower running.  He was in beastmode this weekend.
 
 
To reward all of Ammon's accomplishments, I made homemade pizza, and it was our first meal on our table in its new home.  He remarked on how fancy it was, so I had to break out the candlesticks and take the drama up a notch.  You can see the curios behind him, because we live in a "cozy" little home.  Also, boxes, because when I say we got back into it this weekend, I mean it's still just the tip of the iceberg... still so much to tackle.

5)  While he did everything and more, I did exercisey things, grocery shopped, and cooked/prepped a mountain of food.  And I tried to read some blogs, but at this point, it's pretty much a losing battle to read blogs, I'm so behind.  Oh well.

6)  School starts again tomorrow.  Eeep.  This is my last semester at the local community college before I transfer to a 4 year university in January.  It feels sort of like I just started working on my Accounting degree, but it also feels like I have been working on this forever.  I'm just ready to be a big girl Accountant already.

Well... OINTB is on, and that feels important right now.  So I'm going to leave off.  Have an outstanding day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My rules

For my birthday, my co-workers got me one of the most thoughtful gifts that I have ever received.  They got me a cute display box full of cards with over 200 different sayings on them.  A literal box of positive inspiration.


It sits right on the base of my computer monitor, wowing me with wisdom for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week.


And because I'm "that girl", I constantly find myself taking pictures of different quotes, and sending them to people, or wanting to put them on Instagram, because I feel like it is something that the people around me would also benefit from remembering every now and then.  Yesterday, I walked into work, and decided I was ready for a new quote.  Sometimes they last a day, sometimes a week, but I always seek to keep it relevant to where I am at in my life.  And really, the quote I pulled yesterday... it is all about being who you want to be, and that is awesome.  Do you want to know what it was?

Your Life.

Your Rules.

That's it.  I forget that a lot.  That in my life, I get to set the rules, and determine who is granted what power over me.  Even at work, I choose to work in an environment where I have a certain boss, or certain co-workers.  I choose to live in a Country with certain leaders, and a given set of moral standards.  These are my CHOICES.  They weren't things that "happened" to me, they were things that I decided upon, either through apathy, or through deliberate decision.  And if I don't like things, I also have a choice.  A choice to change the rules, and to find a way around.

It was heavy stuff for a Monday morning, I promise you that.  But it was the heavy stuff that my heart needed to remember.  Sometimes it's easy to get stuck in this idea that I "ended up" somewhere, or "it came out of nowhere".  That isn't entirely the case.  In the end, I put myself into a situation where life can happen, and it does.  That's not a bad thing, it's just a thing.  It's when I quit taking ownership of my choices that things tend to get bad.

So today, the thing is to live with a little bit more intention for my choices.  3% more.  And 3% more the next day.  Until someday, maybe, I'll be aware of how the small choices I make are creating the rules that shape my life.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A new normal

It's been about a week and a half since we moved into our new place.  While there are still boxes everywhere, and we only JUST got the tv set up and we've only had internet for a handful of days, I find that we are settling into a routine.  That we are finding our new sense of normal in this home.

Our new neighborhood has bunnies.  Lots, and lots of bunnies.  This is a pretty normal sight to come home to.

It's a sweet new sense of normal, this routine that we are finding.  I fall a little more in love with it each day.  I get to take Gunner out into the back yard first thing each morning in my bathrobe, with my hair still a mess from sleep.  My morning and evening commute is now only 15 minutes, giving me plenty of time at home for the things and people I love, and less time on the road in traffic.  And while this house isn't really any bigger than the apartment we were in before, it has the garage for Ammon to work play in, and a yard for me to tend.  There's even an apple tree in the back yard, and it is so burdened with baby apples right now... one of the projects at the top of my list is to thin them, so that our harvest this year is full of perfectly sized, perfectly ripe apples.

I'm constantly surprised at how easily my family and I have transitioned from the apartment to this new little home of ours.  We expected Gunner and Beckham to have some anxiety, confusion, and general discomfort about a new place, and they did, to an extent.  But within a day or two, they acted as though this place had always been home, and that living here is the most natural thing in the world.

In short, we are loving life these days, after a period of time where things were feeling dark, and dismal, and lonely.  We are excited to see how our lives are shaped and grow during our time in our quaint little 2 bedroom house on a cul-de-sac.  And I promise, at some point there will be pictures, but you have no idea how bad of an idea that would be right now, with boxes and things everywhere, and only our most essential stuff set out.  We are taking our time in letting this house speak to us.  So far, it just keeps telling us, "welcome home".

Friday, August 8, 2014

Oh what a week...

Let's pretend that this is the 1950's right now, okay?  So when I say, "Oh golly gee, that last week of moving sure was tough!!!"  You can translate that right over into whatever strong language you so choose.


I feel ya, buddy, I really do.

So, in theory, we're all moved in.  Theoretically.  There are boxes everywhere, dog and cat fur is permeating all the things, and I barely have enough clean outfits unpacked to last through the weekend.  But really, I could care less.  The thought of unpacking is so unpleasant right now that I just can't even contemplate it, let alone tackle it.  I need another day or two.  And maybe a few more bottles of wine.

Oh, and a fun thing?  I'm running a half marathon tomorrow.  Yup.  A week after moving.  I am out of my mind.  But really, I am.


I registered for the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half way back in February.  It was meant to be a redemption from last year.  I initially decided to pull out due to financial reasons, but literally 2 days ago decided that I would suck it up and do it.  I have a 14 mile run scheduled for that day anyway, so ot just makes sense to do it on a safe, sanctioned course that I have already paid to run on.  The 2 hour drive each way is kind of going to suck, though, since we didn't reserve a hotel this year...  Again, I am no longer sane.  I must have breathed in something toxic during moving or something.

How is your Friday going?  Big plans for the weekend?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Moving week

It's moving week.  To say that I'm stressed out about this would be the understatement of the century.

This guy isn't stressed, though.  He keeps hearing about how amazing his new back yard is, and he's getting ready to sniff all kinds of new things.

We spent a good chunk of the weekend packing things up.  We don't get keys to the new place until Friday, but we prefer to be prepared.  AKA Ammon knows that I'm not sane and that if we aren't at least moderately prepared for this move, his life will be incredibly miserable for the next 3 weeks or so.  The last time we moved, neither of us were entirely sure our relationship would survive the fallout.  We're married now, so he doesn't get off the hook that easily anymore, but there is no sense in making it any harder than it already will be.  So we packed up most of our kitchen, and almost all of my section of the closet this weekend.  Lordy, lordy love a duck, we have a crap ton of stuff. The kitchen stuff we packed took up six large bins, and the clothes are currently residing in one large suitcase, 3 black 30 gallon trash bags, and part of a large moving box.  If you would have asked me 3 days ago, I would have sworn to you that there was no way on Earth I had that much stuff.  I was incorrect.

What is even more terrifying is that despite all of the progress we seem to have made this weekend, it feels like a drop in the bucket compared to what we still need to get done.  I envision at least 2 moderate anxiety attacks in the next 5 days.  On the bright side, all of this packing and moving burns a ton of calories, so I have even less guilt than normal about my unusually large sized portions.  I am the only woman I know who finishes her meal, and then works on finishing whatever is left of her manfriend's meal too.  Running has reduced me to this, my friends, and it isn't pretty.

Somehow this didn't get shared from our trip last week, but it is such a perfect representation of me at every post long run meal.  We were on our way to a funeral, so I classed it up and tucked a napkin into my cleavage.  And for those of you wondering, my standard order is a double double with grilled onions, fries, and a chocolate shake.  I ate every bite, and those 1700 calories were some of the happiest, most fulfilling I have experienced in years.

I feel like this post just possibly took a turn for the worse, and so I think it's time to part ways.  But before we do, I want to know:  Can you out-eat anyone in your life?  Any awesome moving tips and tricks you can share?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The serenity and wisdom

There is something I have been struggling with lately.

Okay, there are a lot of things I have been struggling with.  Blogging consistently, enjoying every workout, planning and executing our home move, even my new challenges at work.  They aren't the struggle that has felt the most real lately.

The struggle that has felt the most real lately is in knowing when my body is "good enough".  I have struggled with my weight since adolescence.  Even in the last 7 years, when I have successfully maintained a "healthy" weight, I have had periods where maintaining that healthy weight has been a massive struggle.  I feel blessed that running (even when I hate it and want it to go away) has eliminated that struggle for me, at least in the short term.  I can eat all of the things, pretty much whenever I want to, and it's not a thing.  I have kept my weight in a 3 pound range for the last 6 months, and that feels pretty cool to me.  HOWEVER.


I have a hard time letting myself be okay with the way that I look.  I wake up in the morning, and I look at my tummy, and I frown that it's a little bit floppy.  I judge the way my legs get all cottage cheesy when I'm doing yoga (the worst time to be critical of your body is when you're in downward facing dog.  Trust me.).  I instantly forget that this magnificent body, which is propelling me through MARATHON TRAINING, is in fact magnificent, just as it is.  I want to change it.  Because it should be easy to get crazy skinny and lose tons of weight when you're running 20+ miles/week, right?  Uhm, no.  Not so much.  And to tell the truth, I really have no desire to lose any weight.  I'm a comfortable 142 pounds at 5'7".  I wear smalls and mediums, and I am healthy.  But when confronted with my naked self in a mirror, or my scantily clad self while working out, all rational thought flits away like scraps of paper on the breeze.

Does it really matter if I have girl abs?  Nah, not so much.  In my everyday career and lifestyle, I'm not walking around in sports bras and lycra pants like I'm Jillian Michaels.  And does it really matter if my legs look a little funky during yoga?  I am the only person who sees them that way, and the cellulite actually goes a long way in hiding the stretch marks on my inner thighs, probably the thing I dislike most about my body.  So maybe my body is doing me a couple of favors there.

Body acceptance is my biggest struggle in this lifetime.  It is something that I think that I have down pat, and then it rises up again, like some kind of crazy hydra that just won't quit.  I won't give up fighting it though, not ever.  My body does incredible things, but it will never be perfect.  Even if I did achieve that ideal of "perfection" I hold in my head, there will always be some new thing about my body that I am picking at, and trying to improve upon. 

I'm not saying that I want to be okay with mediocrity, or that I am justifying some type of backslide.  I think that sometimes people see acceptance of reality as an admission of mediocrity.  It isn't that.  It's more of that serenity prayer type of thing.  There are things that I can change about myself, and there are things that I can not.  Or maybe that I can, but I simply love donuts too much to go there.  And it's about realizing that it's alright to pick and choose when I push full steam ahead, and when I take a step back and let myself accept that what I am doing, and who I am is good enough, strong enough, worthy enough.  I can fall short plenty without having to create additional ways that I fall short in the way I look to myself in the mirror.  Those self-induced stresses have too much impact on the rest of my life to let them fester and grow.

So I'm choosing to seek the wisdom and the serenity to accept the things that I can not change about my body.  I'm choosing to accept that my stomach is always going to be a little more round and feminine.  I'm choosing to accept that my legs will always look better in yoga pants over booty shorts.  I'm choosing to accept that my weight is just perfect for my frame, and that it isn't worth it to me right now to give up things I enjoy and appreciate in order to change that weight that is already perfect.  

These are my choices today, universe.  Hear me as I declare them, over and over again.  You have given me a body that is exquisite in its design, and I am honored you entrusted it to my care.  I can only hope that I am doing it a service by choosing to honor it exactly as it was created.