Keeping Balance

Hello friends.

A) So far, I have one eligible entry into the Color Vibe race giveaway! ONE. That is just plain nonsense, so I have decided to leave it open until MONDAY, MARCH 25TH. That’s it though. Really this time. And if no one enters, well then, I will just run twice. (NOT REALLY, get commenting!) Please note: In order to enter, you still must comment on the ORIGINAL post, NOT this one.

Congratulations to our first winner, Brianna! Please contact me via e-mail and I can get you your winner’s code for your free registration!

B) My apologies for my lack of posts for the last few days. I just returned, once again, from the Big Apple! This trip, unfortunately, did not run even close to as well as my last venture did. I bumped into just about every issue that I possibly could have bumped into on a business trip, but let me tell you, I am so, so grateful to be back home.

Does anyone remember that Sesame Street song that Ernie sang about how he didn’t want to live on the moon?

Let me remind you…

(Hellllllooo, trip down memory lane!)

That is exactly how I feel about New York City. I like to visit, but I would NOT want to live there. Not even for a minute. “Although I might like it for one afternoon, I don’t want to live on the moon in New York City.” Also, can I tell you how ridiculously terrifying it is to drive a cargo van down the streets of Manhattan? It’s kind of like sailing a canoe in a bathtub.

Anyway, I somehow managed to make it home alive and I am so happy to be here. But now it’s time to touch on the namesake of this post. Keeping balance.

The night that I returned home from the city, I was so unbelievably tired that I couldn’t barely stand up straight. As soon as I walked through the front door, just the sight of a familiar face and my flouncing, bouncing, pouncing dog made me so, so happy I could have cried. Almost immediately, I crashed on an armchair and fell deep into sleep. Somewhere in the middle of the night, I managed to drag myself to bed, but I could barely turn out the light, let alone change into pajamas and actually get ready for bed. I was gone.

And today, I had a day off. A day off that was still spent organizing things, running errands, completing random side jobs that I have continued to pursue and making sure that life was in order. In the midst of that, I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with friends, but it wasn’t all relaxed time… because my weighty schedule was still rearing its ugly head.

Suddenly, something occurred to me; I was losing the work-life balance that I promised myself that I would never lose again. If it hadn’t happened already, it was going fast.

There are so many things in my life that are important to me: spending time with my friends, spending time with my family (heck, even spending time with my dog), making sure that I am always working towards making my life the best it can be, and making time for hobbies and the fun things that I enjoy doing. And yes, on that list, I must include work as well. Having a good job and working hard at it is very important to me. I have always been a pretty motivated person. I enjoy taking on challenges and tackling them, but at times, I take on a few too many challenges at the same time and inevitably end up dropping a ball along the way.

I know what happens when you don’t make time for what’s most important. I spent the better part of seven years doing that. I never really had the time to be me. I took too many course credits (even in high school!), I tried to keep up with too many activities, and I worked far too many hours.

So now, I am left with a critical question– how do I make positive changes to ensure that I never, ever again feel like I’m losing touch with terra firma? I don’t want to be speeding from thing-to-thing like the Road Runner any more. I want to be present and to make the time for what matters most to me, from work to play to friends and family.

And here is my jackpot question for youHow do YOU make sure that you have a healthy, maintainable work-life (or play-life, or family-life, or friend-life) balance? What helps to keep your schedule in check?

I hope you had a great day and I will talk to you all tomorrow. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!

Also, as a random aside: the pedometer clocked its HIGHEST STEP COUNT for me today. A day off. Ironic, no? (In case you didn’t know/ forgot, I am participating in a step-counting competition with my company. The goal is to have the “healthy recommendation  of 10,000 steps each day. That is NOT an easy task on the days that involve lots and lots of desk time!)

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Thanksgiving 2013

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoyed the day yesterday with the people who are most important to you.

Now for a recap of the First Ever 5ksandCoffeeBeans Thanksgiving!

The day started off nice and early as mom and I made our way to my sister’s house which is about 5 hours away. For the first time ever, I was the driver! We listened to the Pandora “Rockin’ Holidays” station for almost the entire trip so I was in my element! After I refused to stop at the first rest stop for a break (which was about fifteen short minutes into the drive), my mother decided that I wasn’t a very nice driver. For some reason, her reaction (refusing to talk to me and instead playing a game that was particularly noisy) cracked me up and I laughed until I cried.

Thanksgiving drive Fortunately, the silent treatment didn’t last for very long. 😉

Someone else also got to come along for the ride!

It’s the holiday pup!! Despite her ridiculously energetic personality, Rudy is actually a very good passenger. The only time she makes a peep is at the toll booths when she feels the need to talk to the cashiers. Maybe she’s asking for directions! (I did make one wrong “turn”/ veer at the very beginning…) Once we arrived at our destination, Rudy was definitely loving the company and attention and engaged just about every member of the family into a rousing round of fetch.

My jobs involved toasting the rolls that I brought and also helping to set the table. After all, who needs a turkey when you have napkin rings!??!

I’m a keeper, no? 😉

My aunt and uncle from Washington DC were also in for the day and it was great to see them! Then it was time for appetizers. My brother-in-law made a spinach-artichoke dip in the style of TGI Fridays and it was delicious. While the plate pictured above looks reasonable enough, in all reality, I actually had about 400 times what you see. Including about 2 cups of that dip!

And what would a 5KCB Thanksgiving be without coffee beans!?!

Not a Thanksgiving at all. I was fading fast throughout the afternoon so a little pick-me-up was definitely in order. Although even after that I still managed to conk out on the couch for a 20 minute nap. It reminded me of the days I’d fall asleep with a cup of coffee in-hand at school!

Now. For the piece de resistance. Are you ready for this?

I don’t think you are…

BAM!

This plate did NOT require a return for seconds. As you’ll notice, it’s about 2% turkey and 98% side dishes. In preparation for the big show, I didn’t eat a ton throughout the day which meant that I was STARVING when dinnertime rolled around. I INHALED all of what you see there PLUS about 40 pounds of pie.

There were three pies featured, a Tollhouse cookie pie, the perennial pumpkin pie (and after all, I was headed to Pennsylvania! 😉 ) and a candy bar pie. Ohmygoodness the candy bar pie. This was my mom’s new addition this year and it was amazing. It was a combination of candy, brownies, and cheesecake in a pretzel crust topped with chocolate ganache. Best part of all, it was zero calories and low-fat! (<— Oh my God the jokes.)

Solely for the intrigue of it, I decided to enter incredibly rough estimates of what I had eaten throughout the day (just the calorie estimations) and when all was said and done, here’s what myfitness”pal” told me:

Now, I make it a point to never mention my actual weight on this blog. But what I will tell you is that this is a solid ten pounds PLUS from where I am right now. Needless to say, every day will NOT be “like today.” 😛

It was a fantastic night full of family, food and fun. I am so grateful to have taken these two days off from work in order to enjoy some time with family and to kick off the holiday season right! And now it’s time for some board games, leftovers and maybe even some shopping. ….Maybe.

Thanks for reading and again, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Good morning from a crazy, makeup-less girl with crazy hair and a crazy dog. I’ll catch y’all tomorrow!