Monday, April 29, 2013

'That Girl' strikes again...

We all know who we are, for the most part anyway. As you grow up and grow wiser I think shades of yourself reveal themselves along the way. They might have always been there, but you weren't accustomed to knowing them until you past a certain point in your life, overcame an obstacle, achieved a goal, moved past a hurt, or celebrated a victory. I like to think that God has a big diagram for each person that he holds on tight to so he can keep up with each of us. And as we grow, he fills in each square or bubble of the chart and his plan for us is revealed more and more as the chart fills up and time goes on. It sorta looks like a tree diagram, or maybe a flow chart? But it shows your growth along the way and each winding turn you take develops another part of who you are within God's work. A couple of weeks ago I celebrated another year and shared a bit about myself as 'that girl'... It was funny that I chose to share that particular insight to myself because I don't often dive that deep into the conversations I have in the privacy of my own brain. For one, because if I do, I fear people will write me off as a loon. And two, mental ramblings are really not pc topics of conversations while dropping kids off in carpool lines or out at the soccer fields. But I decided, what the heck!! That's who I am... loon or not! So, like I said, I am that girl who has conversations with herself.  In my mind I talk to myself and carry on a mental debate practically 18 hours out of a 24 hour day. Like, 'Oh come on Abbey, don't be that girl who worries about what people say when you leave the room, its just a self-centered worry!!' Or 'Really Abbey? Your that girl who can't remember her 5 item list of groceries without having the written paper in front of you as you go down the aisles, what are you 82??'
{seriously... I always have like at least 4 lists going at all times}

Sometimes I get antsy when I see myself repeating an old pattern and feeling a certain way about circumstances that I know are ridiculous. But I can't help feeling that way because it's a part of who I am. The insecurity that runs through my mind when I reach out to someone, or the cranky anxious feeling I have when I know we have to be somewhere in 30 minutes and I have like 5 more things to get ready before we can all head out the door. I am learning to embrace these things and turn them into strengths for myself, but I can't say that it's been easy! We are who we are, good or bad. But what I am finding out is that even though we all may change and evolve along the way the core of you remains the same. It's the little bumps you go over as an individual and the hills you climb throughout your life that either turn your core into something fabulous or something less than awesome. And no matter how hard you try, you can't copy someone else's diagram... God's not cool with that!!! Believe me, I've tried... yea, I'm that girl who tries to emulate others too!!! Never in a million years would I have thought I would be able to fully own who I am. Growing up I struggled to identify my feelings (good and bad). And if you told me I'd be able to be so open with my feelings and outwardly own my faults and my successes... forget about it, I would have probably called you a loon!!! That just wasn't this girl growing up. I guess I hadn't gone through enough to see that part of my diagram yet!!
 I am still the girl who would rather stuff her emotions down, not bring up her feelings and go on like everything is peachy keen! But I can't let that girl win, for my peace of mind that just can't happen. I have to open up and be me... no matter if insecurity lingers and anxious anger creeps up!! Today I found myself dreading the day ahead, realizing that yet again I was that girl who agreed to too much and had to be all over town and back again before 3pm. I was mad at myself for not being more prepared, cause yes... I am that girl that procrastinates on everything and waits until the last minute all too often. I was anxious about the things I wasn't getting done.  I moved on with my day and got it all done. It wasn't the most fantastic day but it definitely wasn't the worst day either. It was one more day that showed me that being 'that girl' isn't so bad.
I find comfort in hoping that God's got me all mapped out. I may still have some spots left in my flow chart to fill up, and I look forward to moving through MY life to finish out God's personal diagram for me. I will learn to quell the conversations in my mind and turn them into yet another hurdle to move past. I will breathe deep as anxiety snuggles up and tries to throw a kink in my outlook. It's all I can do, I am 'that girl'. No one else can be her and I can't trade her in for a different model. In fact even if I could, I don't think I would.  I sorta like her flow and how her map reads!!
Yeah... I'll take being that girl again tomorrow, she's my kinda girl!!!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The 'Why' of Working Out

Almost every Tuesday night, like clockwork, I can predict that I will mentally try to talk myself out of getting up the next day to teach my 5:30am cycle class. It doesn't matter that I have taught this class for over 2 years now, or that I love the people that join me every week! No matter how good I feel when I am done teaching each week I still mentally want to call in for a sub every week!!! People ask me "why do you teach that early?" or "how can you possibly workout at that time of the morning?" I would love to say a simple 'because it's easy' or 'I love early mornings', or even 'what... doesn't everyone love waking up before the sun rises to exercise??" 
But I would totally be lying!
The truth is... it isn't easy! And to quote myself and other instructors... "if it were easy, everyone would do it!!!" But that's not the point! The point is, what keeps me going week after week, month after month? WHY do I workout??? 
The answer comes from within and is different for everyone. It's finding your own personal answer to that 'why workout' question that is vital in longevity in health, wellness and exercise. Your answer may be one thing one day and a total different answer the next! As long as you answer honestly and it motivates you to get yourself moving... that's all that matters!!!
Here are some of my why's...
Because I am a huge cranky monster if I don't exercise regularly.
When I teach my classes and see other people motivated or encouraged I know I have made a difference.
Exercise feeds my soul and enhances my overall stability.
I get mental clarity and a mental time out while I am working out.
I workout so that along the way I can feel comfortable and less gulity ordering that cheeseburger or a yummy sonic drink.
Exercise builds my confidence but also challenges my weaknesses.
I have met some of the best girl friends at the gym.
When I workout regularly I don't see food as an obstacle or an evil, I see it as my fuel, a positive force in my life and I chose it wisely.
My list of 'why's' is and should be different than yours. Why I workout, eat healthy or exercise regularly can't and shouldn't be why you or anyone else chooses to do these things. If you struggle with motivation or finding your 'why' to working out try some self reflection before you hit the gym again. Write down what motivates you and refer back to it often. Share your successes and struggles with those close to you... although they shouldn't be your crutch or your total 'why' you exercise, a support system of like-minded friends in fitness is a must!!! 
Exercise is a choice you make daily. Sometimes it's an easy one. Sometimes it's the hardest step you will take all day. 
Do it for yourself and you will never regret it!!!

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting Fancy and In Another Life

Hey, hey, psssst... Heeeeeeey!!!! 
Look who got a fancy new look!!!!!! Me.... I did!!! Whooooop!!!! 
I took the plunge and decided to hire a 'for reals' blog designer, creator, mastermind, computer smart person to make my blog look, well... 
For REALS!!! 
Ahhhhh!!! I love it... so much so that I am giggling as I type!!!! This month marks my 2nd Anniversary of blogging. Starting this little 'link' to me has opened up a side of myself I never really knew was there! I am overjoyed with what typing this blog week after week for 2 years has done for my mindset, my confidence, and my complete being! I wish I could post every day. Maybe one day I will have the time to devote to more writing, but for now I love my weekly check 'ins'. I cherish the time this blog gives me to share with others and the time it allots for me to give back to myself with introspection and reflection!! 
I digress... {still giggling cause I love the new fancy look}
Today I had a couple weird recurring thoughts about what I would be like in another life. Not that I don't completely love my current life and all that I am blessed to be, have and do. But there are just things I come across that get me thinking.... yeah I shoulda been that!! Or, I could totally do that! Or, why didn't I do that like 15 years ago..??!?! Do you ever do that? I do....
For example... lately I have been on a planting streak! And by streak, I mean a total hot mess of planting goodness is happening in our backyard and front porch as I type!! Seeds I planted are sprouting, plants I forgot I planted last season are coming back, and don't even get me started on succulents!!! I. Am. Addicted!
As I planted like my millionth pot today, I thought... I could totally be a gardener or botanist, or start a garden and grow all sorts of nourishing goodies for my team every day!!!

Then... As I was wandering the isles of my all time fav grocery store {my other addiction, Aldi}, I filled my basket with all sorts of grocery scores and then proceeded to check out. Nothing out of the ordinary. I pull the cart over to my unloading spot {yes, I have a 'spot'} and started to bag all my items. At that moment a calmness came over me, as it often does as I bag my groceries! Does anyone else find neatly packing and sacking your goods just right a minor moment of peace? Well I do!!! 
I thought, I could so be a professional grocery bagger! I rock at organizing my bags! I pack them with such efficiency that I could like win a grocery bagging competition! Hello.... is this normal?? Are there even such things a grocery bagging competitions? If not, there needs to be. And if so... I would be a gold medalist!

So there you have it... a random glimpse into my brain on a mundane Monday! In another life maybe I was a old lady who had the best yard on the block and kept her neighbors stocked with tomatoes and thyme!? In my next life maybe I will win a blue ribbon for grocery shopping and bagging excellence?! It could happen...
But until then, I will gladly take another day in the life I currently have. 
I am perfectly placed and beautifully blessed!!!
Happy 2nd Year of Blogging...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Today I Ran...

I laced up my shoes and set out to start my pace. It had been awhile but I needed to feel the space. That space of time between me and the last few days, so today I ran. It was like any other run, I turned up the volume in my earphones and off I went. I wasn't amongst thousands, it was just me and my breath. Time was lent and the sun gave way for a glorious day, just me and the sidewalk, my own little journey.
I didn't have to keep up, match pace or look before I stepped. I just ran, not to any special place or lengthy destination. I lost my stride and had to walk. Frustrated, I gave into my mind stopping more than not. But I started again and gave it my all until the end. Today I ran, not knowing what was ahead and forgetting what was behind. I let the wind do the pushing and felt my mind begin to ease. Even when my steps began to stutter and slow, I still knew I was better than when I started.
Today I ran. Not for time or a medal, I ran for me. As so many of us do, we run for ourselves and the peace it brings. But today many people ran and it wasn't peace that was given. They were faced with more than a finish line, less than a medal and too many steps to count. Today they ran. But today was a different run for them, little did they know. I am sure their strides will be forever affected, never stepping the same. I know for me, I won't run again without their memories running along side me, their pace in my heart and on my mind. 
Today I ran and so did they... but forever will our steps come together in memory. 
Today I ran... and I get to run again. Some won't be so lucky and many won't get that choice. So from this day forward I will run for them, may my stride show my prayer and my strength give way to peace. 

Today I ran...

Always - Abbey

Monday, April 8, 2013

37 years of being 'that girl'

As the day of my birthday approaches, not much has changed through the years. I still get giddy knowing that a special day is ahead but I also feel a little twinge in my heart knowing that another year has passed. I am still that girl that worries about little things but tends to leap into big things without a thought. I feel younger at heart now than I did when I was 27. I hope and dream and want to create more for myself than ever before, but I'm still that girl that doubts. I can drum up a thousand things in my head and whip it all out on my blog but when it comes to spilling it face to face sometimes I freeze. I'm that girl that never feels good enough but deep down knows I have something special that's sometimes misunderstood, even by myself most of the time. I have crazy dreams and inexplainable wishes. I am that girl that will try anything once and loves the unexpected. And, Boy, let me tell you... if there was a casting call for 37 year old 'Fly Girl' dancers, I'd be first in line... just saying!!!
I am hard on myself and even harder on those that love me. I am that girl that has high expectations but low self esteem at times and that doesn't mix well with half of the time. I love with everything I have and fall quick. Whether it's a love for my family or loving to work hard at something, I give it my all. Since I can remember I have always been that girl that takes care of everyone before myself and loves seeing others smile because of her kindness. I have learned in the past 37 years that this type of care taking quality isn't always a good thing, especially when you look up and see that you haven't cared for yourself in a long time. I'm the girl that just now learned to be selfish and feel ok with it. I only recently learned how to be happy alone and feel content. I used to think a full calendar and tons of friends meant you had meaning in your life. But now I am that girl that craves time at home, searching for silence and peace from within myself. I learned the hard way that not all those that surround you should be called friends, no matter how hard you try to fit into that friendship mold.
It's easy to say if I'd only known then what I know now... but lately I don't feel as though that holds true for me. What I know now has shaped me into the women I am today, and I like her. There where times growing up that I don't think I liked myself very much and even if I could have the ability to know it all, I doubt that would have impacted me enough to change my self perception along the way. Now... if I could go back and be Jennifer Gardner in 13 going on 30, I'd be all over that!!! I would totally be the girl to rock out to Pat Benatar and lead a Michael Jackson dance routine at a fancy adult party!!!! Playing a role like that or being able to go back in time, either way, I know I would end up where I am today, loving who I do with all of my heart, giving until it hurts and eventually learning to trust whole heartedly that God made me perfectly! Even if I am 'that girl" I will take it any day of the week and twice on Sunday!! Because I know there isn't another girl like me out there! Here's to the next 37 years... May every minute be taken as a blessing, every second soaked up in love, wrung out with joy and a splash of laughter!

Always - Abbey

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Remember the Good

On days that the hours creep by and the minutes seem to hang, I remind myself to remember the days that flew by so fast that I couldn't remember where time went.
On days when my feet never stop moving and my legs are tired from laps around the house, I picture the moments my feet stood still and my legs were frozen in calm meditative stature enjoying the peace lapping at my boots.
When the days are filled with arguments and errands, temper tantrums and laundry, impatience and a sink full of dishes, I look back at when I didn't have to beg them to play, coax them to run around in harmony, or beg them to help me put away folded clothes. I glance forward and know that everything given, even dirty dishes and vacuuming, is a blessing.
When the weeks run together and we barely spend an hour as a family, I try to pray for patience and endurance to keep us moving together toward the next break where our days will loose time and our clocks will move along in relaxing seconds. A time when we get to spend every waking hour together as four rather than running around as four separate singles or in pairs and triples. 
Time spent together is never wasted and can't come often enough. Even though the hectic days out number the days spent exploring at a leisurely pace, I find reassurance in remembering. Recalling the good is like a mental break for me, a reminder that there is always something to look forward to. Remembering the good is how I get through the bad and push past the hard. When our boys tell me to quit taking pictures and ask me why they have to pose 10 hundreds times, I will show them this and hopefully they will see the love we have for each other. My constant prayer is for them to know how much they are loved. I yearn for them to know how looking back and remembering the good is what will pull them through the difficult times in their lives, and what will ultimately give them peace. 
Remember the Good in all that you do and all that you say, boys. 
Let it be your touchstone along the way....

Always - Abbey