It Takes A Village

click image for source

click image for source

I am scheduled to return to the office tomorrow. As this realization washed over me yesterday, I became extremely sad. To boost my spirits I took Watson for a long walk, hoping that the adrenaline would keep the sadness from getting any worse.

The walk in itself didn’t accomplish the task. However, on our way home I saw a woman, hands full, who was clearly in conflict as she left her car. I called out to her and asked if she would like some help. She gave me a puzzled look and then accepted. I held a package for her as she retrieved her child from the back seat. She thanked me as she, again with her hands full, made her way to the house across the street.

Not only did this good deed make me feel better, but it reminded me of the African proverb that states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Although I may be returning to the office full-time, I have a wonderful support system of family, friends, and colleagues who can help me navigate the day-to-day struggles of a career mom. I realize that asking for help on this journey isn’t so bad after all and am prepared to face tomorrow head on with an optimistic attitude. (However, I TOTALLY wouldn’t mind if this big storm comes through tonight and the university closes 😉 )

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Rise and Conquer

Weekend, where did you go? Come back!

It seems like every weekend, there’s a lot on the agenda. This weekend was no different – we had game night with our neighbors on Friday, I had a long run and a work event on Saturday and then was back at work on Sunday to get ahead of a deadline. Oof.

Late last week, I reached a point in my half marathon training where I was starting to doubt myself. I started thinking that I wasn’t running enough and wouldn’t be able to perform the way I want to on race day. I’ve had people offer to run with me, but get nervous about asking – especially about running distances I have yet to conquer.

I sucked it up my fears and texted my friend Hilary on Friday night. She’s run five half marathons (including the one I’m running in May) and I know she’d give it to me straight whether or not she thought I was in a good place. We planned on seven miles and I mentally prepared myself to just go out there and do my best. We kept a really good pace and chatted about race prep/fueling as well as other randomness. Running with a buddy certainly made the miles fly by! We finished in a little over an hour and she thinks I’m doing enough training-wise to dominate the half in (gulp) a little over a month. WHEW!

JA-HH post run

Saturday night consisted of a work event for me. With the JA and I working at the same school, we often joke that we have working date nights. I’m off doing my thing, he’s off doing his thing, and, if we’re lucky, we eat dinner together. We stayed out pretty late and had a really lazy morning on Sunday before venturing out to another ‘working date.’ One of his students was the lead in a musical and we stopped by to support him before heading back to the office. I have a big deadline today and wanted to get all my ducks in a row before the craziness of the week interfered. Good thing our fitness center was open – cross training complete!

crosstrain 3-23

What’s your best tip to someone looking to conquer a fear?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Seated Working Workout

For many of us, working means being seated for the majority of our day with eyes in front of a screen. Not exactly the picture of health, is it? (Truth? It’s killing you.)

ComputerUser

Today, I’m determined to move. Even though I have a ton of stuff to do, I devised a quick workout to remind me that being seated doesn’t mean that I have to be sedentary.

I’ve tried it out and all these moves can be done in the comfort of my office without attracting weird looks from co-workers. SCORE!

seated working workout 2

Notes:
Don’t be afraid to use your desk/table/chair as support – especially with the moves requiring you to use both legs. We want those lower abs to be tight!

If you liked this workout, check out others I’ve created on my Workouts page!

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or fitness professional, just a gal who likes to exercise. Consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. If anything hurts (in a bad way), stop. 

But…

You know those times when your work and life are completely balanced and all is right with the world?

Yeah, me neither.

This week, I feel like I’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ in certain aspects of my life, whereas others, not so much.

I’m kicking butt and taking names during workouts, but…I’m giving into my MAJOR chocolate cravings and indulging more than I should.

Snack drawer #2. Yes, I said 2.

Snack drawer #2. Yes, I said 2.

I’m finding time to spend with the JA and Watson, but…it means going to bed later than I’d like.

My social media engagement is at an all-time high, but…my productivity is at an all-time low. (Which is why my goal today is to BE FOCUSED.)

focus

I’m inspired to blog and have a lot of things I’m excited to do/try, but…all these ideas are just floating around right now and nothing concrete is set.

Anyone else struggling with balance this week? Watson is. It’s rough to balance napping, licking, and scratching. Add in tail wagging and being cute – well, that’s just too much.

You guys, I am SO ready for the weekend.

You guys, I am SO ready for the weekend.

Join Me For Tea #5

tea 1-9-14
Today’s brew? Yogi’s Stress Relief blend. Love that it has an inspirational message on the tea tag!

If you were to join me for tea, I would tell you the following:

1. My Feedly is out of control. I would say that I have too many blog posts to read, but we all know that there is no such thing. Going to have to cut down this weekend.

feedly 1-9-14

2. Watson has a vet appointment this afternoon and for the first time in the year that we’ve owned him, I’m nervous. He had some routine blood test down last week and was called back in so that they can draw more. Never a good sign.

W 1-9-14

3. Is it just me or does this week seem unreasonably long? We were spoiled with a snow day let week and a two-hour delay on Tuesday, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Weekend, please!

4. I had a late meeting last night that resulted in an office full of envelopes and me getting home at 10:30p. Not cool when you have to be up and at work at 8a the next morning. Oof.

In case you were wondering what 900 envelopes looks like.

In case you were wondering what 900 envelopes looks like.

5. This list of books you should see before they get turned into movies intrigues me. Might have to up the ante on the reading front and chill a bit on the Netflix watching. We’ll see how that pans out.

6. I’ve decided that I would not be a decent soccer mom at this point. This is based soley on the fact that my orange cutting skills are sub-par (not to mention extremely messy).

pulp it up.

pulp it up.

7. Even though we just bought storage to organize our entry space in the house, somehow by the middle of the week it always ends up looking like this. Anyone else have a space in their home that never seems to stay clean?

shoes

What are three things you’d tell me if we were sitting down to chat?

Stress Relief

As I mentioned earlier this week, life has been hectic. The project I’ve been slaving away at working on launched, but not without a few kinks. Adding those responsibilities to my current ones leaves me feeling like I’m treading water – not exactly moving forward, but not falling behind, either.

I don’t think I had been this stressed out since working at a PR agency. The long hours, the pressure to please, and a looming deadline all produced more than enough frustration, tears, and emotional/physical fatigue. Now that it’s over, I took some time to reflect and came up with the following tips to help handle stress:

stress relief

1. Prioritize. Lists are your friend. You don’t want to miss a deadline or ‘drop the ball’ on something while focusing on another project. Email flags, written lists, and reminders via my smartphone helped keep my cool while staying on track.

2. Procrastinate. After you’ve prioritized what’s most critical, you’ll more than likely have a few minutes to spare. Use it wisely. Rest, relax, and do something you enjoy; it’ll help you be more productive (and happy) in the long run.

3. Praise. Especially if you’re working in a group, make sure that you praise those around you. In stressful times, a ‘good job’ or ‘thanks for working so hard’ can go a long way in boosting morale.

4. Play. The best thing the JA’s done for me these past few weeks is to make me laugh. Not only is laughing a wonderful stress release, but it certainly puts things into perspective. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re entrenched in a project, and playing around helps lift spirits and rejuvenate you – even if for just a few moments.

What’s your best tip for dealing with stress? (It doesn’t have to begin with P – apparently I was in an alliterative mood when I wrote this!)

Stress Management

Oh, hey! Fancy seeing you here.

To be honest, this week kicked my butt. The freshmen arrived for orientation and even though my work hours got longer, I somehow felt there was less time for me to get everything done.

Did I mention we’re also throwing a party this weekend? Including overnight guests? Yeah. Fun times.

When I get stressed, there are a few go-to remedies: work out, eat, drink, get crafty, or burn myself out to the point of exhaustion. A little bit of everything happened this week, making me VERY happy that it’s Friday.

Let’s break it down:

Workouts: Ran twice, planked as shown in the plank challenge, and attended my beloved Barre Fusion class. I’m also including running around campus taking pictures (while in dress clothes). Trust me, it’s challenging to grab photos of events taking place all over campus!

Eats: Not the healthiest week. I took advantage of the free lunch provided by the cafeteria and while it wasn’t exactly BAD, my willpower when it came to cookies and birthday cake wasn’t as strong as I had hoped.

This did not help, either.

This did not help, either.

Drink: Been hydrating with a lot of water, but a cookout and the last Ravens preseason game added a few extra brews to the week.

Crafts: Not exactly ‘crafty’, but the home improvements continue! We did a first coat on our dining room. The color? A deep red (note: the color is much darker when on the wall). Second coat is getting applied tonight – just in time for one of our weekend guests!

DR red paint

Burning Out: I’ve napped after work almost every night this week. I guess it’s a consequence of not using caffeine, and you know what? I’m not sorry. Cat naps are awesome and help me recharge and be more productive.

I have a few posts in the pipeline (ones that I had planned for this week but didn’t get around to writing), so let’s hope next week is a bit more cohesive and a lot less scattered!

How do you respond to stress? Any suggestions to beat the back-to-school blues?