Friendship is a dance… are you dancing alone?

Dear Readers!

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Be you Christmas or Hannukah or any other holiday I am leaving out please make sure you take a moment to call or text (yes I said text) the person you love to tell them so.

I really hate text messages but got a really wonderful one ( you know who you are) so maybe, just maybe I am being a little too hard on text messages. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer face to face over facebook and voice to voice over texts.. but sometimes text messages are an electronic hug and I am really okay with that.

I saw a great quote yesterday about celebrating the occasion of taking down the tree with just as much fervor as you do putting up the tree and I liked it so much that it inspired this post. I know we can’t be 100% happy all the time but it’s definitely worth embracing the good and loving things and throwing out the bad.. as my dear friend Rachel wrote in “Phineas” “Keep the bad out and all good things close” — its worthwhile advice and while its a little early for New Year’s Resolutions here comes a big one from me. I am going to put in equal parts effort in each relationship I have. What does this mean? I am not going to seek people out to be my friend. If you want to be in my life, you have to work at it. I am advanced citizenship. I am busy (so are others) but not too busy for people who make the effort and I find myself tired of those unwilling to do so.

It’s not hard to be a friend, It just takes effort which looks different for each relationship and in return you make effort.. its a dance and its no fun to do it in the corner alone.

So dance with me and take a long hard look at what people need to make the effort with you!

Stop, Take Stock and LOOK at what you have done…

Dear Readers,
Today’s post is dedicated to my good friend Susie Gidseg. A year ago I was prepping for a fabulous photo shoot see this post for those details

and at that point I was just starting out on this journey of exercise to lose weight. She and I started working out every Sunday and it has helped me stay on track for healthier eating and exercising. I hopped on my treadmill ( thank you Leslie ) and walked for a while and then ran for a while. I also started eating healthier and found new energy levels heretofore unseen by me .. ever ( and I am including the 19 hours I took at ACC while working three jobs) so it’s worth noting that the me of a year ago is not the me of today.

It’s heading towards the end of a year so I invite you to stop, and take stock and figure out what you did right and figure out where you can improve and change but really truly, focus on what you did right first.. our tendency as humans is to focus on the negative and one of the things I did right this year is focus on the positive and I plan to continue that trend into 2015.

Some things that JMac, Lady McKermit, The Goldfish, McKenna, Gazellionaire Girl, Poppy O’Shea (so many nicknames) did right include:

1. Glamorous Photo shoot to celebrate new health choices

2. Invest in my future by continuing to audition and work hard at my craft as an actor and discover new avenues in voiceover and modeling jobs.

3. Work lots of extra hours to help us pay down our debt.

4. Spend time with friends in the open air instead of one that requires a wireless connection

5. Active search for what church means to me and how to make that work for me and my family.

6. Join the Fighting Irish Cheerleaders (life long dream realized in 2 minutes) thanks Liz Roark!

7. Keep running even when I don’t want to, even when I am tired, even when I am cold, hot or otherwise unengaged in healthy behavior (thank you Keya!)

8. Keep working to be the best I can every day, somedays that is harder than others to uncover

9. Being a good wife to my husband

10. Working on my speaking in Toastmasters to get to my goal of giving a Ted Talk.

The list could go on but I am more focused on you, (that’s you on the other end of this screen) what did you do right this year? What are you excited about accomplishing next year? Take a beat, really take in that question and then answer it below!

Think about it!

It’s all in how you look at it-

Dear Readers,

Roughly a year ago, I decided to buy a treadmill to take away my excuse to not workout and actually get in shape and be healthier. We already had the healthy eating thing going and were actively working on eliminating debt from our lives.

On Saturday I ran what turned out to be a 3K not a 5K but because my goal was a 5K, even though I saw the cheering fans and signs for beer and water I kept running till I got the 5K done. This sounds really inspiring and it is, but it took someone else saying it to me to get me to see it. Why is it that someone else has to say, “good job” or “Congratulations on that presentation” for us to recognize our worth?

So on Saturday, I walk/ran the 5th 5K I have done in a year. When I consider where I was this time last year, that is nothing short of amazing– a brief recap–

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. -Zig Ziglar

The first one was January 18, 2014 – Vern’s No Frill’s 5K- I walked more than I ran but I did run for a while and hey as the guy writing times down said, “last place is asleep”

Second 5K was “The Biggest Loser 5K” and I ran it and walked it with my good buddy Susie Gidseg- my time for that was a little shorter and I felt exhausted after it was said and done but very accomplished

Third 5K was the color run which I ran walked with Jessica, Adam and their son Pierce which represents just a lot of fun, but for me, I hate being dirty or messy so I was breaking past a comfort zone on this one so it was less about exercise and more about mess but came together to represent both–

The Fourth 5K was “CASA Superhero 5K which was a huge milestone because my husband decided to do that with me for his FIRST 5K ever so I actually walked it with him and we created a Team “Haston Helping Hands” to help raise money for CASA It was very hot and probably the hardest 5K I have been until the 5th one.. which just happened-

The Fifth 5K was the “Trail of Lights Fun Run” which I don’t know how I got the notion it was a 5K but it’s not. It was a 3K which I discovered much to my chagrin as I saw the signs for the finish line when the voice in my ear said, “3K completed” “2 to go” so that was frustrating, it was at night as well which made it very hard to see, I was worried I was going to fall down at any moment and it really became the struggle to find a place to run amid strollers, walkers and gawkers! (it is Trail of Lights after all, some of that I should have expected) but I will know better for next time-

At the end of the day, my takeaways from all these are they each represent a 5K that I have completed, I intend to (deep breath) eventually run a marathon but its still pretty far off but as my life of late (baby steps, baby steps) have been celebrating the small steps that we take as we walk nay run in the journey of life. I need to make sure I stop along the way to appreciate that which I wanted to do and worked towards and not keep looking ahead to “the next thing”… very easy to get discouraged doing that so this is my attempt to avoid negativity and be positive. It’s worth noting that this time last year (I checked my social media log) I wasn’t working out consistently and now I work out 3 times a week most of the time.

I could get down on myself for not being further down the track but I am choosing to focus instead on the fact that tomorrow is Workout Day 89 and I am going to keep at it, because every baby step I complete gets me closer to Mile 26.

Think about it! 5KTrailofLights

Make Thanksgiving perpetual

Dear Readers, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Now that the official holiday of Thanksgiving is over, I think its very easy to forget to thank people in the every day and being grateful for the little things. I have a love/hate relationships with this holiday.

I love that it exists to remind us that we need to be thankful, but I hate that it is necessary for a date on the calendar to tell us that. I am reminded of a quote by

Henry David Thoreau-

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”

Henry David Thoreau

What can you do to make your Thanksgiving perpetual? There are so many things to be grateful for (way to much to fit the thankfulness into one day)

Think about it!