Small Mercies

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

–Anais Nin

Lately I find myself in the kitchen around 7:30 or 8 at night, foraging for something sweet. I’ll eat maple granola from the Pyrex dish we keep on the counter, chocolate chips from the bag I attempt to hide at the back of the cupboard, a caramel from my Valentine’s box, or the worst (but my favorite): a big marshmallow dipped in peanut butter.

I didn’t used to eat like this. In fact, about a year ago I had just finished a 21-day cleanse where I removed gluten, dairy, sugar, eggs, alcohol, and caffeine from my diet. The me from a year ago would be horrified by the me today eating marshmallows, chocolate chips, and caramels.

But here’s the truth of it: a lot has changed since last year. I found out I was pregnant. We decided to get married. We planned a wedding. We tore out nearly everything in our home and slowly put it all back together. I gave birth to our baby. I learned how to swaddle, breastfeed, cloth diaper, soothe, bathe, and care for a whole new tiny being. I’m still learning. Each and every day I’m learning.

Photo by Mara LeBlanc

Photo by Mara LeBlanc

A lot has changed.

In my first week home with Max, I grew to despise the late afternoon. I quickly learned that the evening hours brought screams and howls from my tiny baby, and a knot would form in my stomach each day as I watched the sun set. At that time, all I knew was frustration, confusion, exhaustion, and my own deep ache of postpartum sadness.

It turns out that my howling baby was simply hungry. I wasn’t producing enough milk to keep his little belly full. I worked with a lactation consultant to boost my supply, and after weeks of a regimented, ‘round the clock schedule of nursing, my little swaddled baby finally began to fall asleep in my arms after his meals.

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During those tough weeks my husband made me a big batch of cookies with oatmeal, flax, and brewers yeast. They were touted as a magic bullet for nursing moms, but honestly, I was just grateful for the soft comfort of butter and sugar. When the first batch was gone, he made another.

So began my bout with a ravenous sweet tooth.

And yet, I’m not worried about this like I would have been a year ago. I know this phase will pass. As the months bring warmer weather and longer days, I will soothe myself with walks along the riverfront. The spring breezes and summer bug sounds will gently lull me back to center. Soon enough, my tongue will crave sliced watermelon and cold green grapes. Finding my way up the steep learning curve of new motherhood during the brutally cold winter months left me craving ease and sweetness. In this season, I’ve indulged in the small mercies of a treat.

Indeed, a lot has changed.

And so, as the quote above describes, I am growing. But I am growing partially, unevenly, and not absolutely. I am harboring some unsustainable habits, but I am also learning to give myself grace during my periods of uncertainty and change.

As we endure these trailing weeks of winter, I encourage us all to extend ourselves some grace. For the perceived shortcomings, for the things we don’t yet know, for the moments we can’t muster strength. I wish us grace and peace through it all.

(I thank Kelsey from Happyolks for introducing me to this quote in her latest post. It was a perfectly timed salve to my heart.)

Hi, Husband

One of my dearest friends has a way of addressing people in the most ordinary of ways, but she somehow makes you feel entirely special and loved. When I call her, she often answers with a sweeping, “Hi, my beautiful friend!” Doesn’t take much to wonder why we’ve been friends for so long.

She and I were having dinner together at her house one evening a couple of years ago, and her husband came home from the gym. They had just recently been married, the first of our close-knit group of friends. Before he reached the dining room she called out, “Hello, husband!” in a lilting sing-song voice.  It was a simple greeting, but I remember being struck for the first time at what an intimate title “husband” or “wife” could be. She made a commonplace term sound completely endearing, a title reserved for the one precious person you chose to spend your days with. I loved it, and have been excited ever since to be able to use that same greeting.

I got married two weeks ago.

It was a lovely day, slightly overcast and breezy in the morning giving way to sun in the afternoon. My maid of honor (the wonder friend mentioned above) scooped me up in the morning for our day of relaxing and preparation. My Dad made us turkey sandwiches for lunch, my sister did our make-up, our musicians practiced in the backyard all afternoon. As the day wore on, it started to sink in what was coming and what I was about to do. My belly started doing flips, my hands started to get shaky, and I could feel tears quelling up at every mention of the evenings ceremony. It wasn’t fear, it wasn’t second thoughts, it wasn’t anything except realizing the weight of what I was about to commit to. It felt huge and simple all at the same time. It was opening up to a lifetime of greeting my sweet man home by saying, “Hi, husband.”

“Where you love somebody a whole lot, and you know that person loves you, that’s the most beautiful place in the whole world.”

– Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Place in the World by Ann Cameron

Truthfully, nothing tremendous has changed in our day-to-day since becoming husband and wife. We also didn’t enter into this marriage riding a frothy wave of lust and romance. Our kitchen is torn up and awaiting renovation, our garden is overgrown with weeds, I’m 6 1/2 months pregnant, and we both went back to work the Monday after the wedding.

Love is a reminder to bring your bike lock key to the farmer's market.

Love is a reminder to bring your bike lock key to the farmer’s market.

But we’ve been through enough together to know that what sustains us are kind words, generous gestures, and the conscious choice to be loving to each other. Everyday. We’ve also been through enough together to know that this whole relationship thing takes work, and there will be days when we won’t feel like being loving. We have done that work to get to where we are today, and I can only imagine what that work will look like in the years to come. But for now, for today, for this season in my life; the most beautiful place in the world happens to have a torn up kitchen and an overgrown garden.

Hi, Husband.

I love you.

Arrival

We have arrived. Summer has finally unfolded itself into being the ripe, bright, generous season that I know and love. The morning light is soft and enveloping at 5am, and the cool breeze that seeps in through open windows shivers my bare shoulders in bed at night. And the sunsets: oh please, soak up those sunsets.

Summer solstice is coming up, just as I have finally stopped looking over my shoulder for a snow storm (sadly, I truly mean that). Our peonies are blooming, I harvested my first round of spinach, my daily wake-up routine is serenaded by birds, and Saturday mornings are all about the farmer’s market. Oh, yes – we have arrived.

With summer comes the anticipated shift in gears; the urge to move faster, do more, lap up all the goodness with wild abandon. However, as it just so happens, this whole growing-a-baby experience has been forcing me to slow down. Chill out. Relax a little. It’s a tough thing for me, and I’ve only recently started to settle into my new speed. I told my doctor at my last check-up that running has been making my hips and back ache, but I was worried that “just walking” wouldn’t get my heart rate up and provide an adequate work-out. She smiled that tiny, curt smile she does so well and told me, “Getting your heart rate up  isn’t the goal right now. Movement, fresh air, and getting your blood moving is what you’re going for. Walking is perfect for that.” There was a small part of me that wanted to kick her in the shin for saying that, but I just nodded instead. Alright, conversation over.

“Embrace the thing that is asking you to change.”

Mississippi

I was introduced to this saying by a yoga teacher of mine, and I’ve been repeating it to myself on my evening walks. Surprisingly, a subtle and curious thing has begun to happen. My walks have started to feel like a reprieve; life renewing and soul satisfying. They are a place to think and a time to dream. I’ve also started to take note of the way the wind feels against my neck, the glistening sound of the leaves against each other, the shifts in temperature the closer I get to the river… all the things you can only notice when you slow down. I am letting this ripe, bright, generous summer carry me forward when I go for my walks. Summer has arrived, and I am arriving with it. Who would have guessed?

Tell me: what change have you been embracing lately? How has summer swept you off your feet?

The Best Laid Plans

” Once we’ve thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost; but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.”

-Leo Tolstoy

My initial interpretation of this quote was “once we’re thrown off our habitual paths…” I took it to mean something much more visceral, like an outside force coming in and giving us a hearty shove off of our old rusty rails. Somehow, this interpretation made more sense to me and gave me a stronger comfort because it does, after all, promise the beginning of something new and good.

Happiness

Turns out, sometimes we really are the ones who throw off our own habitual paths: we take on a new job, we let go of a stagnant friendship, we start a meditation practice, we get off Facebook, we move across the country for love, and sometimes we just clean out our closets or go and get a haircut. We make changes in our lives to feel open and new and raw and fresh and alive. Along with the change comes inevitable vulnerability and maybe a bit of fear, but it all feels damn good and it’s all entirely necessary.

Well, it also turns out that sometimes we get knocked right off our habitual paths and we have no say in the matter: we get laid off, our loved ones die unexpectedly, we become allergic to foods, our dream grant gets funded, we meet our partner while waiting in line for a taco. At the core of it, these changes will also likely make us feel open and new and raw and fresh and alive, but the vulnerability usually hits us first and the fear is probably what we feel the strongest.

In both instances, the new and the good eventually makes it’s way to us.

I found out in early February that I’ll be having a baby in October. I found out a couple of weeks ago that the baby is a boy. I found out this weekend that he likes to wiggle and dance just as I’m ready to fall asleep.

Let’s just say that finding out this big news shoved me hard off my habitual path.

This isn’t what I had planned for myself. Nope, not at all. I wanted to be a carefree bride, go on a honeymoon somewhere peaceful, run a few more marathons, start teaching yoga classes, fix up our house, turn 30…

But those were all my own plans, and it seems as though those plans didn’t align with what was ultimately meant for me. It looks like I’ll be a bride with quite a bit on her mind (we’re getting married at the end of June), a honeymoon is being replaced with home fix-ups (at least that part will happen!), my due date lands exactly on the day of the next marathon I had hoped to run, and I’m still a couple of years shy of 30.

I’ve been struggling to not feel overwhelmed by all of this. I’ve been working hard to remind myself daily that the only thing that’s consistent in life is that it changes. That’s what makes it rich, right? But as much as I would like to be brave and strong as I face my new path, there are times when I get so scared or so mad or so disappointed that I just crumple into an inconsolable mess of sobbing. It’s not pretty, and I’m not entirely proud of it, but it’s the truth.

I spent the evening with a friend of mine who recently gave birth to a lovely baby girl. I watched my friend nurse, soothe, maneuver, bathe, and console her daughter and I thought to myself, I just don’t think I can do all of that. And it’s becoming clear to me that my habitual path has been full of thoughts just like this; ugly thoughts that leave me without much courage, strength, or belief in myself.

So maybe I needed to get shoved off that path. Maybe I needed to get placed directly into a role that I would have fearfully talked my way out of if left to my own devices. I’m getting the sense that life seems to have more confidence in me and my capabilities than I have in myself, and is offering me an opportunity to shine in a new light.

I’ve been holding onto this news for all these months for a number of reasons. Partly because I needed to let it sink in before sharing it with the wider world, and partly because I am still a bit embarrassed about getting pregnant “out-of-order” in the traditional sense.

Another reason I’ve been hesitant to share is because I know how badly some women and their partners want babies. I am sensitive to the fact that it can be an immensely painful process for couples who struggle to conceive, and that it can be crushing and heartbreaking to miscarry. I realize these things, and I hesitated to share the entirety of my feelings towards this news because I didn’t want this post to seem insensitive to the women who are in the throes of conception challenges. To all the ladies who read this and are aching for babies: please know that I love you and that it’s my hope that in sharing my truth, we can see each other’s side of the track a bit better.

We are all trying to get to our very best paths in life, and we all get knocked off our course in different ways.

We are all in this together.

So, whether your path is fresh or habitual, whether you have thrown off your path or you yourself have been thrown, let’s all start opening up to see the new and the good.

I’m trying. Everyday. Join me?

When has life thrown you a curve ball? How did you respond? How did things turn out?

What We’re Made Of

When I was 5 or 6 years old, I went to a pre-school that was housed in a big Catholic church. Our play area was in the sanctuary, which was obviously no longer used for services. A huge stained glass window at the far end of the room lent the space a muted, calming glow. I remember the cool touch of the stone walls, the dusty smell of the couches we all gathered on for story time, and the blue tables with silver aluminum trim where we made our craft projects. We had a dress-up station, stilts to toddle around on, the Lego sets I never had at home, and even little cots to take our naps on. Looking back, it was a pretty amazing pre-school. I have a surprisingly large number of distinct memories from that place, considering how young I was.

While I was there, I went through a phase with the monkey bars. For whatever reason, one day I decided that I needed to be able to cross them. I was determined to swing my way from one side to the other, and I wasn’t going to let kickball games, boisterous boys, or two handfuls of red and swollen blisters stop me.

I don’t recall how long it took me to finally reach my goal, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t even remember how I felt when I finally did it. But I do remember the attempts. I remember the stubbornness I felt towards getting all the way across, the unrelenting drive to keep on going, and the unwillingness to stop trying. As a child, I was extremely shy and sensitive, so this behavior was slightly out of character.

Out on a morning run last week, I had about 3/4 of a mile left and I was feeling tired and ready to give myself a break. I haven’t been out running at all this winter, so my stamina is in a very sad state. As I ease back in, I’ve been allowing time for little walking breaks, my pace is much slower than is has been in the past, and I’m generally just trotting along versus actually running. At the point when I wanted to stop and I knew I had about 3/4 of a mile until I was home, I approached a red light that clicked over to green. I realized I had the choice to go ahead and walk, but something inside my head said, “Nope. Getting through this helps you remember what you’re made of.”

The truth, my friends, is that I’ve had a whirlwind of a winter. Life has presented me with challenges I didn’t (and still don’t fully) feel prepared for. I’ve been launched into planning and preparing for things that I anticipated happening years from now. I think that we all go through periods in life where we challenge ourselves, and then periods when we are challenged by life. I’m currently in a period of being challenged by life, and it seems that somewhere between January and last week, I forgot what I am made of.

I ran (okay, I trotted)  that 3/4 of a mile home chanting to myself, “Remember what you’re made of. Remember what you’re made of. Remember what you’re made of.

Running Shoes

I made it home without a break, and I texted my Mom: “I did my whole morning run without stopping to walk!! Hooooray!!!”

She replied with: “YEAH, YOU! I know this has been a challenge. Reminds me of your monkey bar tenacity!”

I felt utterly victorious, and my commitment to finishing completely renewed my sense of inner strength.

It was remarkable.

I may not be completely unflappable in the midst of life’s surprises, but I’ve certainly still got the grit of a 5-year old girl who is determined to reach the other side of the monkey bars. I’m learning that, during the extra wild stretches of life, it helps to give ourselves a little self-imposed nudge into something challenging – if only to remember what we’re made of.

What are you made of? Passion? Drive? Unwavering loyalty? What helps you remember that you’ve got these things in you?

Love and Light to Boston

My body has allowed me to cross the finish line of a marathon twice so far in my life. The moment you accomplish the feat of running 26.2 miles, your whole entire self gets swept up in a rush of joy, relief, gratitude, and elation. I have yet to feel anything like it.

My heart is broken for those who had that experience tarnished by yesterday’s tragedy at The Boston Marathon.

My heart continues to break for those who were affected by the two explosions; runners and spectators alike.

To train for a marathon requires fortitude, discipline, sacrifice, and ample amounts of tenacity. To run a marathon requires those same strengths, but concentrated to withstand the mental and physical challenges of such a strenuous undertaking.

I have no doubt that the city of Boston and the community of runners who cherish this race will draw up their reserves of fortitude, discipline, sacrifice, and tenacity in the months to come. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire band of individuals who are working to heal the injured, comfort the shaken, and those who are working to seek answers and justice for this deeply sad moment in our collective history.

sunrays

May we all know the strength and fortitude within ourselves to withstand life’s challenges with grace and dignity.

Lighten the Load

Life around these parts has been feeling a little heavy lately. Not awful. Not sad. Not even terribly stressful. Just heavy.

Lots of decisions. Lots of planning. Lots of thinking. Too much thinking.

I attended a funeral last week that got me thinking about the many merits of being joyful. The woman who passed away was an absolute gem in every sense of the word. She laughed hard, loved her grand-babies even harder, shared kind words freely, and being in her company made you feel better about everything.

Following that funeral, I was going to write a post about the renewed sense of value I see in wholeheartedly living out our roles as sister, brother, wife, best friend, co-worker…

But you know what?

That felt too heavy for right now.

Spring is trying so. very. hard. to make its way to Minnesota. But, it’s still icy and snowy and I’m tired of calling 43 degrees a victory. That fact combined with everything else that’s been shaking around these days has got me throwing my hands up in defeat and saying, “Okay, life. Let’s just eat some frozen yogurt and gummy candy and have a good laugh. Sound okay with you?”

Let’s lighten the load, shall we?

This post is a smattering of joyful tidbits I’ve collected on my camera over the years. There is no coherent reason why I’ve chosen any of these except that they make me laugh or smile to look at them. I don’t know why the photos seem to get smaller the further down you scroll. Sigh. Oh, well.

Sometimes life doesn’t make any sense. This is my salute to the nonsense.

Cheers!

My love preparing the Christmas tree lights.

My love preparing the Christmas tree lights. I know the photo is blurry. I don’t care.

A rocking chair in a dry creek bed in Colorado.

A rocking chair in a dry creek bed in Colorado.

Tulips. I'm still waiting for these, too.

Tulips. I’m still waiting for these this year.

That's me driving a ginormous moving van.

That’s me driving a ginormous moving van.

A gummy worm in the peanut bulk bin.

A gummy worm in the peanut bulk bin. Weird.

Peonies outside the co-op. Last year. I'm still waiting.
Peonies by the co-op. I’m still waiting for these, too.

Shirley has her own pen. I think that's awesome.

Shirley has her own pen. I think that’s awesome.

This is Barbara! She introduces me to all things outdoorsy.

This is Barbara! She introduces me to all things outdoorsy.

A dinosaur in with the graham crackers.

A dinosaur in with the graham crackers.

A lovie note on my bike before I left to run a race in 106 degree heat.

A lovie note on my bike before I left to run a race in 106 degree heat.

The most perfect strawberry. Ever.

The most perfect strawberry. Ever.

Dancing in the Idaho farmland at the wedding of two dear friends.
Dancing in the Idaho farmland at the wedding of two dear friends.

That's my sister. She's going to be so mad at me for posting this...

That’s my sister. She’s going to be so mad at me for posting this…

My amazing yoga studio.

My amazing yoga studio.

A scooter I wanted to steal parked by the farmer's market.

A scooter I wanted to steal parked by the farmer’s market.

What’s making you smile or laugh these days? Please share with the rest of us!

Sabbath

I recently had a Sunday that was as close as they come to perfect.

No alarm clock. Coupon clipping with my lovie man. Brunch with my bestie girl. Lake walk with a sorely-missed-co-worker-turned-trusted-friend. Homemade dinner with Mom and Dad.

I went home after my jam-packed day feeling nourished, loved, rested, and so happy.

It was like I went on a mini-vacation for the day, returning renewed and refilled. You know… how you’re supposed to feel after a weekend.

During our afternoon walk, my friend revealed that many of her recent prayers have been asking for strength, fortitude, or were simply a plea to, “just help me get through this!” Her solution? A commitment to observing the Sabbath on Sundays. She was a few weeks in, and said that she was really enjoying it.

Sabbath: A time of rest.

“When we live without listening to the timing of things, when we live and work in twenty-four-hour shifts without rest – we are on war time, mobilized for battle. Yes, we are strong and capable people, we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms, seasons and hormonal cycles and sunsets and moonrises and great movements of seas and stars. We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms.”

-Wayne Muller, Sabbath; Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives

 

Whether or not you align yourself with any particular religion: you are human, which means you need rest. We all do. It’s one of the very basic needs that unites us all. And the notion of intentionally setting aside one day each week for rest struck something deep in me.

I asked my Dad about it while we were making our turkey meatballs, saying how lovely I thought it would be to truly set aside one day each week to relax. He said that in other parts of the world where the Sabbath is held on a more cultural level and more engrained in how the society functions, the Sabbath day is simply used to get together with family, worship, play games, and enjoy meals.

Eat, talk, play, be loved? All day? Umm… Where’s the sign-up sheet?!

We all cultivate, through our choices, the type of lifestyle that we want for ourselves. We make time for the things that we value. We prioritize X over Y, and life spins its yarn accordingly.

Pete and I are pretty different people, but we share one huge thing: we are very good at making ourselves busy. It’s the lifestyle we’ve created. We’ve made commitments to our community, to learning new things, to taking on new challenges, to maintaining our health. These things take up time, and they require continual maintenance. I can’t really imagine letting any of it go, but I’ve also got some big changes headed my way, so naturally I’ve been digging deep to figure out what I need to do in order to make room for the new adventures. I’m also thinking about what shifts I will need to make to my current way of living and, sadly, what I need to let go of.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am an introvert. I treasure space, quiet, and peace. I also value uninterrupted time with the people I love, taking care of my health and wellbeing, and contributing my skills in ways that feel authentic. In looking ahead to the what’s coming my way, I realize that theses are the things I value most of all, and these are the aspects of my life that I can’t imagine willingly sacrificing.

In letting go of some things, I’m beginning to see the value in adding a day of rest to the schedule. It might just be the perfect time to start giving a little more time to the people and things that fill me up and enable me to give back that much more. It might be time for a little more intentional rest and retreat, if only to come back into the world more ready and willing to take on whatever is in store.

What are your thoughts about a weekly Sabbath? Does our culture support it? Is it unrealistic to think it’s possible in today’s world?

The Liebster Award

Something I never anticipated when starting this blog was how exciting it would be to connect with people from all across the country. It’s like a little present each time I open my inbox to find a new message from someone I’ve met through this space.

This weekend I found an email from the lovely Amber over at The Usual Bliss. She was nominated by another blogger for The Liebster Blog Award. This award is given to new, or up-and-coming, bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers, in the same category, to help spread the word & support one another. How cool is that?! What’s even cooler? Amber passed the award onto me!

liebsteraward

liebster-award-quote

What this award requires me to do is post 11 random facts about myself, and then nominate another group of up-and-coming blogs for you to check out.

My pleasure!

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. Since I hit my late 20’s, my hair and fingernails have started growing at an alarming rate. I recently got bangs, and am wondering if that was a tremendous mistake because they are only the right length for about 2 days. Manicures? Not worth the money for this girl.
  2. I have an undying love for putting twigs and tree branches in glass vases as decoration. I think I owe that credit to my Aunt Lisa. She has lived in various homes over the years, and she always creates warm and elegant spaces – often with found objects from nature.
  3. My purse is never without a bar of dark chocolate. My favorite brand is Theo, a company I fell head-over-heels for after touring their factory in Seattle a couple of years ago.
  4. I get downright giddy about ripping off and eating the nubby end of a french baguette. Lucky for me: there are two on each loaf!
  5. I love to take naps.
  6. I get cold very easily, so I don’t particularly enjoy being wet from head to toe. Swimming, getting out of the shower, running through the sprinkler… all of these things are met with various levels of trepidation.
  7. Every month or two, I get a huge craving for a hamburger or a roast beef sandwich. I take this as my body’s signal that I need a bit more protein or iron, and I indulge accordingly.
  8. I’ll take any excuse I can to wear red lipstick.
  9. I am almost a certified yoga instructor. I may never actually teach any yoga classes.
  10. I really enjoy wearing stripes.
  11. I have a weakness for gas station coffee, topped off with a smidge of the fake creamer. Please don’t judge me.

Those of us who read blogs know this much about ourselves: we’re a curious bunch. It’s a treat and an honor to be allowed into the lives of others through these spaces. Amber’s interview was really fun, and provided a delightful way to feel like I got to know her better. Hopefully these little snippets about me helped you feel the same.

A huge thank you to Amber for giving me a little shout-out. Be sure to check out her blog – you’ll fall in love with her honesty, silliness, fun photos, and so much more (warning: you may also want to take up permanent residence in the guest bedroom of her amazing mountain home!).

Onto my suggestions for some wonderful blogs!

Raw Milk Marathon: Jane is a seriously talented writer. The post about her in-laws? Knocked my socks off. But what I love most about Jane and her blog is the courage she brings in confronting the topics that are easy to shy-away from: having (or not having) babies, insecurities, faith, debt… she does it all. With grace and eloquence. Wowza.

Miles and Laurel: Rebecca is one wildly motivated lady. She runs marathons, volunteers all around town, takes on loads of craft projects, has a sweet dog, and is getting married to her longtime honey this fall. Rebecca’s adventures are incredibly fun to read about, and her eternal optimism often feels like a dose of bright sunshine.

Train. Compete. Finish. Repeat.: Kate is a runner who writes about her journey of getting back in the game of training for races. As a runner myself, I know how much of what we learn out on the streets/trails during training applies directly to life. Kate has just started her blog and I can’t wait to keep reading.

Tell me: What do you look for in a blog? Honesty? Great photos? Recipes? We all read for different reasons – what’s yours?!

Introversion

Perhaps it’s the weather. Or maybe the moon cycle. Possibly hormones. I don’t really know.

Moon Rise

I’m feeling introverted these days, and showing up to write anything that will be shared has felt quite daunting.

The truth is: I am an introvert. I need quiet, calm, and space in order to feel balanced and fueled up. Crowds of people, loud places, busy schedules, meetings, expectations… all these things drain me. When I feel myself getting drained, I sneak away and retreat for an evening, or sometimes for a whole weekend if I can be so indulgent.

Turns out, my introversion translates over to my writing life as well. Right now I’m feeling shy, at a loss for words, and a little stubborn about sharing the personal stuff. Maybe I’m a little vulnerable from the slow moving winter months, or maybe I’m just being selfish. Stubborn and selfish are two qualities I don’t ever hope to retain for any long periods of time, so I’m hoping for a swift pass of this phase.

In the meantime, will you be patient with me?

I’m going on vacation next week, and I hope the warmth and time away from routine will get me back into gear.

We’ll talk soon, I promise.

How do you gather your energy? What is your favorite way to recharge when you’re feeling rundown?