Space Cadet!

Well, this week did not go according to plan. It certainly had its ups and downs but one thing’s for sure, I need a break! For the first time in over a year, my brain was so overloaded that I completely forgot to write a blog post for Friday, hence this Saturday update. In fairness, it wasn’t entirely due to my own failure to plan. Sometimes things happen, things that you could not possibly foresee or prepare for. Today’s post is a recap of all the madness that ensued since my last post and a reminder to everyone else feeling a little flustered that it’s okay to cut yourself some slack.

The first situational curveball was the emotional kind. A friend of mine had a date and, being a little inexperienced in the dating game, she’d been sending me regular updates leading up to the evening. She was clearly nervous and skeptical but willing to investigate a potential romance with a first date. However, 45 minutes after they were scheduled to meet she texted to inform me that the guy still hadn’t arrived. 

A word of advice gentlemen, barring serious physical injury, don’t EVER leave a girl waiting for you in a crowded restaurant for longer than a half hour. We’re all human and sometimes tardiness is unavoidable but 45 minutes is unacceptable. Needless to say, I dropped my plans for the evening and hopped in my car to meet her after hearing this. We enjoyed sampling the local flavors at Aftermath Cidery and Winery and spent the entire night chatting about all sorts of things. 

The next day I arrived to work a little bleary eyed but happy that I was able to help turn my friends’ night around. After the usual morning meetings a couple of my coworkers popped their heads into my office with news that they’d soon be moving to other companies, leaving me, the associate, as one of the most senior people in the department. Of course, life happens and situations change. I’m immensely happy for both of them but can’t help feeling woefully underqualified for my newfound responsibilities. 

I know I’m not the only person to be thrown into a scenario like this and in another two years I’ll probably be looking back on this day fondly as the huge learning opportunity that it was. Over the coming months I will grow in skill, knowledge and confidence because I have to. It’s not the first time I’ve found myself standing on the edge of major life changes, utterly terrified. Each and every one of those instances shaped me into the person I needed to be. When duty calls, you figure it out.

 Despite appreciating the eventual silver lining of my soon to be understaffed office, my brain was in overdrive by the time I left for the day. However, the excitement was far from over. Instead of heading for home I plugged an address into Google Maps that my realtor had sent me that afternoon. After weeks of price checking, house tours and a couple of lost bidding wars, my realtor was excited about this one. Google Maps failed me at several points during the drive over so I was tired and frazzled by the time I pulled into the driveway. But I slapped on my game face as my realtor walked me through the house and soon found myself beaming with excitement of my own. It was everything she’d promised and more and I even had a chance to chat briefly with the sellers during my visit. I’m thrilled to say that after a long and tedious search I think we have finally found a winner. Although becoming a homeowner is terrifying in its own right, it was a much needed upturn to an otherwise stress filled day. 

It’s these moments, when you find yourself petrified on the brink of life altering change that things get interesting. There are but two choices; step up and become the person you need to be or don’t. Playing it safe might seem like a good short term solution but always be wary of regret which comes from passing up the chances you should have taken. 

What chances are you taking today? How are you becoming the person you need to be? Share in the comments.


POTD: Flannel Friday

The seasons are changing and soon the days will be far too long and hot to cozy up in your favorite flannel so be sure to enjoy it while the chill wind still breathes whispers of winter. To everyone nearing the end of a tedious work week, have a fantastic Friday! Don’t be afraid to crack open a bottle of your favorite beer to celebrate.

POTD: Me Time

These days, I spend most of my time wishing that I had places to be and people to see but sometimes you just need a totally guilt free night in. If you’re like me, you might have trouble fitting these into your ever evolving schedule but there’s something immensely satisfying about marking a weekend evening on your calendar to do nothing but enjoy your own company. Do something that is 100 percent for you. No compromises. It’s your night.

In my case, ever since I received a set of the Lord of the Rings extended editions for Christmas I’ve been itching for an opportunity to crack them open. I always ended up finding something more pressing that needed doing so rather than allow myself to be sidetracked yet again, I blocked off my Friday night for a solo, dine-in, LOTR extravaganza. I stopped by the Burgerhaus to pick up dinner for one, a masterpiece of lettuce, avocado, tomato, chipotle Monterey cheese, chipotle mayo all complete with fried jalapenos and served on a pretzel bun. 

Once back home I settled in for the only thing on my To Do list; watching my all time favorite movie while devouring my new favorite burger. Best Friday ever! It was incredibly revitalizing to set aside a chunk of time to dedicate entirely to myself. The seemingly endless stream of worries, decisions, compromises and time management that haunt the day-to-day was finally silenced for a few hours on a Friday night, alone in my apartment. 

When you choose to do a little emotional and mental maintenance and actually schedule it into your week, it becomes a worthwhile pursuit and you stop seeing as time that you could be doing something more productive. In a busy world it’s easy to feel like there’s always something more important you should be doing. Cut yourself a break. The chores and paperwork will still be there tomorrow. Grab a beer and your favorite takeout and cozy up for some refreshing ‘me time.’

When the Sun Goes to Bed

I sat down in front of my computer to write today’s post and, not for the first time, my eyelids began to droop before I’d even finished typing the title of today’s piece. I had every intention of sharing the fantastic lessons learned from chapter three of Atomic Habits or my recent and stunning success with Legendary Crab Rounds that made me the star of the Superbowl potluck. Those and many more are still in the works and will be showing up here very shortly. However, tonight I simply want to enjoy a few dazzling sunsets from Kino Bay, Mexico to Moab, Utah to Michigan City, Indiana and more. This collection is one of my favorites, compiled over years of good, old fashioned, outdoor adventure with my family, the people I love the very most. 

POTD: Elf Song

Today’s post is all about the photo. With the Sun twinkling through the dark, slender trees at the North Chagrin Reservation, I could picture a troop of wood elves rounding the bend in the path on their way to the Grey Havens. If I stopped and strained my ears, I could almost hear an enchanting melody floating on the breeze as the elves bid Middle Earth farewell.

POTD: Family Time

Making new friends is an amazing experience and by far one of the best things you can possibly do when moving to a new place. However, there are times in life when you just have to go be with your people, the ones that really know you. These are the people that never had to earn your love but make a point to anyway. These are the ones that belt out Meatloaf songs with you when you crank the volume in your car, the three back seat drivers that you can’t help but love despite their perpetually confounding directional advice. 

These are the people that had already imagined your dream wedding and catalogued a few fitting baby names before you were even dating. You didn’t have to tell them what you wanted. They already knew. They’re the ones that always have been and always will be with you through every significant and insignificant chapter of your life. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded just how much we love those people. 

POTD: A Blank Canvas

Technically, this is not a totally blank canvas. It is Day 1 of my first ever Paint By Numbers. After waiting three months to receive my canvas and paints in the mail, flattening it, and constructing a makeshift easel and novice art studio, I can’t wait to start painting! Maybe someday I’ll graduate to more specialized brushes and a real easel (not the large flat face of a deconstructed cardboard box) and I won’t be sitting cross legged on my living room floor with a sheet to catch any paint mishaps. But for now, I’m just excited to start. 

POTD: Get Some Shut-eye

Do you ever feel like you’re running at half capacity, like you keep needing to wind up the mechanism that holds your eyelids open? No matter what you try, that itch that pulls them shut just won’t go away, so persistent you momentarily wonder if you’re experiencing some rare Autumn hay fever. 

Running out of steam is one thing that nearly every person on the planet has in common. At some point, we’ve all been there. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and close the computer screen. Turn off the phone and tuck it away for another day. Find some peace and quiet away from glowing notifications and electronic chimes. Too often, that pale screen is the last thing we see before bed and the first light to pierce our consciousness in the morning. Love yourself enough to let today be different. Close the screen before closing your eyes. 

POTD: Smooth Sailing

“Let the ocean worry about being blue.” – Alabama Shakes

Anyone who has ever been tasked with making sound adult decisions knows that life isn’t always smooth sailing. There will always be ups and downs, even on the good days. Some things are just out of your hands. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to control the weather. But rain or shine, there are always bright moments to look forward to everyday. So let go of that pent up stress from little unavoidable daily mishaps and make today a good day. 

POTD: Just a Bend in the Road

Sometimes it’s so much easier to tally up the things going wrong than it is to enjoy the things going right. All those little snags throughout the day always seem to add up; a frustrating project at work, a pile of chores to do when you get home, an unpleasant phone call that you’ve been putting off for a week. What starts as a bright happy morning can very quickly turn sour with the slightest push. Some days there is no work dilemma or dreaded phone call. You just know that things didn’t go quite the way they were supposed to and that it was your fault. 

But in the end, a bad day is just a bend in the road. There’s bound to be a few of them as life rarely progresses in a linear fashion. If you’re like me, you can get stuck agonizing over all those little disappointments and wasted time. This is entirely counter productive and an exercise in frustration. Make sure to cut yourself some slack on those days. Even a detour is forward progress so relax and take a minute to appreciate the good things.

What’s going right in your life?