thankful

Things are strange in my heart right now.

I miss Farley. I miss distance running. I’m 99% sure I’m pulling out of the marathon I’ve been training for since July. I’m stressed out about my coaching business and having a hard time developing fees for things I typically volunteer. My heart isn’t sure how it feels about that. I give, often to a fault, and I’m having a hard time figuring out how to put a price on what I have been giving away.

Things are just strange.

And for that reason, it is even more important for me to follow through with my thankful project (www.krissieisthankful.com). It officially starts tomorrow, but I’ve been posting for the last little while to get ready.

November is a special month for me. I’ll turn 35 on Saturday. I have had a hard time with my age in the past, but not this year. I’m totally enamored with my thirties. I have grown into my skin in my thirties. And I’m really excited to see where I go in the second half of them.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I think it is a great time for me to get emotionally centered for Christmas. It is easy to get overwhelmed in all the perceived obligations of Christmas. I love Thanksgiving because it just fills my heart.

Thanksgiving reminds me that I need to take the time to fill my heart every day. That I need to keep my eyes open to what is beautiful. That I need to take the time to look for things that create happiness.

When I take the time to be thankful, it is harder for me to be bitter or feel entitled. When I take the time to be thankful, I am more content and appreciative of what I have. When I take the time to be thankful, I am just a better person.

So I’m committing to be thankful every day in November. I will take a picture and post it on my other blog. It’ll be sent to facebook and twitter as well.

Will you play along?

Goodbye, buddy.

Thursday was a very hard day.

For 12 years, my Farley Cat met me at the door when I came home. Every time. Without fail.

That isn’t happening anymore.

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He was a very good friend to me. The best non-human friend I have ever had. The first thing that was ever fully dependent on me.

I love this guy. And I don’t know when I’ll stop saying, “Hi buddy?” when I open the back door.

Or when I’ll stop listening for his reply.

You were a very, very good friend.

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I have to show up. – thoughts on Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly

I’m not exactly sure who convinced me to buy Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. I don’t remember who sent me the link to her TED talk last year that made me fall in love with her. I do believe so much in what she stands for. I love the conversational way she writes. I love how she puts all of her ugly right out there and acknowleges how difficult that is.

I must admit that I struggled with the book in the beginning, though. It is all about being vulnerable, letting go of shame, and living the life that you profess to be leading. Please correct me if I’m wrong (and you know me well), but I think I’m pretty good at being vulnerable. Emotionally. I look at the work I did on the old blog (I’m sorry that it is gone), and I see how I really found who I am by putting myself – and everything I was going through – out there. I have an amazing family and group of friends who are interested and invested in me. I think one of my strengths is accepting myself and others right where we are. I feel like I truly pay attention to my life. I show people my scars and my struggles. I understand that I only get stronger by bringing my weakness to the attention to those that I can trust and receive feedback from.

But somewhere in the middle of the book, it hit me. I should be reading this book from a professional perspective. I should be looking at my growing coaching business through the lens of vulnerability.

And then? It got really really uncomfortable for me.

So uncomfortable, in fact, that I just wasted about 10 minutes doing various tasks before writing the rest of this post. I spent some time “serpentining” – I procrastinated being vulnerable. I sent a few texts. I checked a few safe things off my to-do list. I’m dodging. Right now. In this moment.

I’m dragging my feet. Seriously. I have my coaching website 75% done, but I’m reluctant to finish the other 25%. And the really sad thing is that I have the other 25% hand-written out, I just need to plug it in. But I’m not finishing it. Because then I’ll have nothing to prevent me from officially opening shop. I’ll have nothing to keep me from putting it out there. I’ll have nothing to put off taking the dive to see if this crazy idea will work. I’ll have nothing between myself and potential failure.

Did you see what I did there? I stayed vague. I didn’t give you a link. I’m not even being vulnerable enough to send you to the mostly-completed website. I am still reluctant (as Brene says) to “pour out art and work without the promise of acceptance or
appreciation.”

I am staying moderately engaged. That’s it. I’m protecting myself. I’m flying just under the radar. I’m afraid. I want this so bad. And I’m afraid to take the final steps that I can control because then I may watch it sink. I want so bad for this to soar (I’d be happy with a hover), but I don’t want to take that chance because I don’t want to watch it sink.

Brene talks a lot about “enough.” And that is something I have struggled with personally, and I’m seeing lots of that struggle professionally as well right now. I’m questioning everything. Do I have enough training? Do I have enough time? Do I do enough for my current clients? Do I know enough to really guide others through change?

I am enough. In this space, in this moment, I have everything I need to do everything I want to do. I have all the potential. Right now. But the only way I’ll have opportunities to fulfill this potential is to be vulnerable. I don’t know everything. I don’t have a control on everything. I will have to ask for help. And I’ll have to take it.

But no matter what does and doesn’t get done, I am enough. My work is enough. I don’t know what will become of this. It may fizzle out. It may be a hobby. It may become my career. But whatever happens? It will be enough. I will be enough.

I just have to show up.

That’s what it all boils down to. Showing up is enough. Showing up is brave and important. I can’t control what happens after I show up, but I can pull the curtain aside and walk onto that stage.

So here’s my commitment. On my birthday – my 35th birthday – I will officially open shop. I’ll start promoting myself. I’ll show up.

Novemer 3rd. Eleven days.

The countdown is on.

(after I get the nerve to push the “publish” button…)
(I have checked my email, highlighted several things in my planner, and heated up my lunch since finishing this.)
(okay. here i go. really. seriously.)

calling an audible

I’m calling an audible.

That’s what you call it when you switch a play during a game, right? I’m not a sports person at all, but I used to be in the room when my husband and brothers played a decent amount of Madden.

Anyway, I’m changing the game. In the middle of it.

I am loving Cassie’s By the Numbers Challenge. I’m doing so well focusing on getting enough water and fruits and vegetables. It has helped me think about miles and fitness minutes even when my foot has been cranky. It is doing a good job keeping me focused. In some areas. And in others? Not so much.

So I’ve decided to switch up one category. Not because I can’t do it, but because it I think – for me – it is doing more harm than good. And I know what I need to focus on to be successful. So I’m making a change.

I’m replacing the No-Added Sugar goal with a daily Food Journal goal.

First, I’m having trouble with the no-added sugar goal. Not because I can’t do it, but because of my attitude on days I’m NOT going for no-added sugar. For example, I have pumpkin greek yogurt for breakfast. It has added sugar in it. So then I have half a donut right before lunch, just because I can’t have one the next day because it is a no-added sugar day. And then? The cheesecake taunts me. Just because I know I can’t have it the next day. I could totally make the no-added sugar goal at this point, but I feel like I undo the work on days where I can have sugar.

I’m not amending this goal because I can’t do it. I just recognize that it isn’t a good fit for me. Added sugar is something that I don’t really struggle with UNTIL I’m trying not to have it. And then? It is all I can think about. I can’t have it tomorrow, but I can have it today. So I need ALL OF IT! It just isn’t working for me.

Also, I know what I need to do to be healthy. I need to journal my food. I need to log onto MyFitnessPal every day and put my food in. Just the act of knowing that I will log it keeps me more focused. I’m much less likely to eat half a donut if I have to write it down instead of being more likely to eat it on a non-sugar restricted day.

Does that make sense?

So I’m pulling an audible. I’m switching gears in the middle. I’m counting the 5 sugar-free days I’ve done so far, but I’m going to do the remaining 20 days to finish the category as food journal days instead of sugar-free days. Not because it is easier (at this point, it really really isn’t), but because I need it more.

How are you guys doing?

the human tunnel at the Iron Horse Half Marathon

I’m 100% aware that what I’m about to say is probably going to come across as conceited.

But I choose to look at it as honesty.

Sunday I went to cheer at the Iron Horse Half Marathon. I was honestly very, very bummed. I was supposed to run this race. I had organized so much for this race. Meeting details. Volunteer water station. Tshirt orders, pickup, delivery. So much. And I wasn’t able to run because of my bum foot.

As soon as the runners started coming at me and the Big Hand, though?

Everything changed.

These are my people. And they are leaving their hearts out there on the streets of Midway.

We cheered at the halfway point. So many familiar faces. So many smiles. We moved to the finish line and I cheered my heart out. When the crowd at the finish started to dwindle, my friends and I moved in and created a human tunnel. We cheered in every single runner (and a few safety patrol volunteers and the sweeper).

And as I stood there, with my arms up high as the first person in a human tunnel to the finish line, I was overwhelmed.

I was surrounded by something that I built.

Shirts I had designed.

People who knew each other because of a group I started.

This is MINE.

I have a hard time giving myself credit sometimes (er, all of the time). But I know that some people would not have crossed that finish line – or even started the race – if I didn’t give them the nudge to go out there and do it. (The “nudge” has been called “voodoo” in certain circles.) I felt like a mama bird watching her babies fly.

I am so incredibly proud of that day. (And I’ll link to the race recap on the LRL blog when I get it posted.) I don’t even have words, even several days out. I found my list of dreams for this
group a few weeks ago, and it looked nothing like this. I wanted to have a group run and a social event per month. And we’re gathering 3-4 times a week.

The relationships I have through this group are sincerely like family. This group is so much more than running. It is heart and sweat and tears. We don’t leave anyone behind. We cram bananas in each other’s mouths when necessary. We give encouragement. We dish out tough love and set each other straight. We are a family.

There are so many more pictures I could share (and that will be in the eventual LRL post), but this one gives you a general idea. This is one snippet, friends. One moment within a million moments.

I don’t know what your tribe is, but I pray that you find it. And if it isn’t out there? Build it.

That’s what I did.

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scattered thoughts

My brain is going a mile a minute and I’m feeling very disheveled. But I know talking about it makes me feel better, so that’s what I’m going to do.

First of all, I’m behind. I have 3 posts (half-marathonr recap and runner profile for the LRL website and half-marathon thoughts for here) just waiting to be published as soon as I get pictures inserted. All written up nicely. Proofread. Even have notes about which pictures to insert where. The problem? Out internet was down last night. And I haven’t quite figured out how to insert pictures within text on the wordpress app on my phone – they all just show up at the end. So the posts will just have to wait. (It was back on when I left for work this morning!)

I also didn’t realize how much I work out my stress on the roads. I haven’t been able to run in a week (thanks peroneal tendonitis!). I’ve worked up a crazy sweat on the arc trainer, lifted weights, chilled with yoga, and taken a few walks. But it isn’t the same. I’m a runner. I’ve never realized that more than the last 11 days. Add to the stress of not running, I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be able to finish the marathon in 23 days (!!!!!). The half and full marathons start at different places, so starting the full and downgrading to the half won’t be possible. I’m trying not to panic. The good news? After 11 days, my foot is 80% better. I’m just hoping that I’ll be okay with whichever decision I make leading up to the race.

Things are moving right along with my coaching business. I have several clients that I’m learning the ropes with. I’m working on getting the website ready to officially open in December. I have a list of things I need to do that is a mile long (like all the legal stuff). For the most part, though, I’m having a ball. But I also need to hammer down how to balance the free run group and what coaching services will come with a fee. Because, let’s get real here, if this is going to be my career, there has to be income from the group. I spend a lot of time there. But I don’t know how I feel asking my friends for money. That’s a struggle too.

I’m doing pretty well with getting in the habit of being thankful again. Maybe not exactly daily yet, but I’m keeping my eyes open and taking the pictures. That’s a start. I’ll be in the habit by November.

So don’t be alarmed if there is a onslaught of posts (and tons and tons of pictures) coming soon.

You know who else is coming soon? The Niece is coming to spend the weekend with us! YAY!

Happy weekend, friends!

Steal Like an Artist – Book Review

I really enjoyed Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist. Nathan bought this little book and devoured it. He told me that my little women’s entrepreneur group would like it. I thought it was something I should read since Nathan doesn’t really recommend a lot to me.

I enjoyed it a lot. It was a quick read, but full of insight.

It really reiterated a lot of what I had gleaned from Fire Starter Sessions and Quitter. Don’t wait until I have it all figured out to get started. Don’t quit my day job. But I liked the art slant of this book. I don’t consider what I’m doing an art (do I?), but it was nice to think about it that way.

I loved the idea of surrounding myself with quality ideas and quality people. I need to find people that I want to be like. And then try to be like them. The areas where I fall short? That’s where my art is. That’s where I have the space to create my own niche. I love that idea. Find something I love. Try to do it myself. Exaggerate the places where I am different. I thought that idea was a brilliant way to think about being an apprentice of sorts without worrying about being too close to something another person already is.

I also think that this book opened my eyes to why I’m struggling with feeling like I’m really doing any work. Kleon talks about the importance of doing something with my hands. Although technology provides convenience and connections, it rarely provides anything tangible. And I think that is why I feel like my dream is kinda stalled even though I’m consistently growing and expanding. I have nothing to touch. My communication with my clients is through email or text. I follow my client’s behaviors through excel spreadsheets or online programs. I’m getting paid through paypal. I have met with a few clients face to face, but we were previously friends so it didn’t feel like work. (Or maybe that’s it. It just doesn’t feel like work. Hmmm.) I don’t have anything to show for my work. I think I’m going to go back to making training plans in writing instead of excel. Or at minimum, start printing them out when I’m done. Just so I have something to make it real. He suggested using electronic means to edit and distribute, but not to create. And that spoke to me.

Kleon wrote a lot about creating and maintaining relationships with like-minded people, and he suggested the internet as a resource for this. I love that he encouraged me to share my work with others, to ignore enemies and bullies, to channel my frustrations into my work. He encouraged me to be self-reliant for my validation (I REALLY struggle with that) and to reduce the noise in my life so I’ll have the energy to spend on my art.

My take-aways from this short and very visually pleasing book:

  • I’m going to keep carrying my little random thoughts notebook. I have quit using it a lot because I just jot down little notes in my planner. I need to get back to doing more creating by hand, so I’m going to start utilizing this book again.
  • Routines are important. I need one. I tend to just do coaching tasks whenever I can squeeze them in. I think, as things pick up, that I need a more steady routine.
  • I need to be better at setting boundaries and asking for help. The more I clutter my time, the less I have for my art. There is always just enough time to get done what I need to get done, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing well with my time management.

Final thoughts: Very cute book. Easy read. Thought-provoking. Recommended.