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Last night I had a really good time with girlfriends. First, right after work, I went and had a drink or two with some coworkers at a great little place in Homewood that shall remain unnamed to keep the masses away. It’s a little bit of a drive from where I’m used to hanging out, but it was worth it. After that, a few of them came back to my place and Vero joined us around 7 or so. She made some delicious & healthy food – asian crackers with a peanut butter/Greek yogurt dip and some vegetarian spring rolls with butternut squash and cucumber. It was a perfect night with friends just talking about life with a glass of wine in our hands.
This morning is off to a slow start, as I have nothing on my agenda for the day. I’m still in bed as a matter of a fact! I would like to get a run in at some point in this cool fall weather. It couldn’t be a more perfect day outside.
It’s Friday! Thanks goodness. I am looking forward to the perfect fall weather this weekend – tomorrow the high is supposed to be 69 degrees! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I really want to go outside at some point and just camp out in a park on a blanket and read or take a nap. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Yay for fall.
Last night I went to see a local play called That Championship Season that a friend of mine named Kevin stars in at Birmingham Festival Theatre. I really enjoyed it, even though it was very masculine in tone & topic. It felt very “Mad Men” like. Kevin always does a really good job, but the rest of the cast was also great as well. I always find myself asking, how do actors remember so many lines? I just can’t even fathom trying to remember 5 lines, much less 2 hours worth. I guess that’s why they practice so much. Anyway if you get a chance to see this production, you should.
Do you know what tomorrow is? The first day of October! I can’t believe I am so behind on picking out a Halloween costume for this year. I still have four full weeks to make it happen, but I at least need to decide on what I will be. Katy Perry again? A ficus tree? A Katy Perry ficus tree? I have no clue. Suggestions are welcome.
Today I’d like to grab lunch from the Greek Food Festival downtown, then tonight I am having a glass of wine or two with my dear friend Vero. As for the rest of the weekend… I am wide open! See, I am learning to be a little unstructured.
It’s amazing what a week, or even a day, will bring. I had zero idea that I was even in the running for winning Birmingham Magazine’s Best Local Blog in the annual Best of Birmingham issue, but lo and behold… I got it. Click here to see the winners from every category. I actually found out b/c someone congratulated me on my Facebook wall. When I discovered that it was true, I ran up and down the halls at work saying, “I won! I won!”. :) There are numerous great blogs here in Birmingham, so it is an amazing honor and one that I’m extremely proud of.
When I started this blog in March of 2010, my only purpose was to post every day until I lost 45 pounds. Beyond that, I had no further plans for continuing it. However once I lost the weight, I discovered that I really really love writing in my blog. It’s something that I didn’t want to give up… so I didn’t. And here I am a year and a half later, almost 550 posts in and still going strong. I am so grateful that I discovered “my voice”. I’m also proud to say that I’ve maintained my weight loss with ease b/c of the accountability my blog gives me.
Since I’ve become a blogger myself, I have started to read more and more blogs by other people. You’d think it would happen the other way around, but it didn’t. I think sharing a common love with someone helps you to understand better what they are trying to communicate. I think about what they were doing when they decided to write their post, how long it took them, were they happy or sad, did they proof it first… all kinds of things. I can also see the great courage it takes to put something really personal out there for the world to see. It’s hard to be more vulnerable than posting something revealing on the internet. I’ve done it time and time again… sometimes wondering if I should have shared. But I am always glad that I did. I hope others feel the same way.
I have really missed writing in my blog for the past few days. While I still did my daily post, the last three were very short due to time & exhaustion. It’s nice to be sitting in front of a computer again thinking about what I want to say. The windows are open this morning and the cool air is pouring in. In fact, it is almost a little chilly. I love it.
This past weekend was more than I could have ever asked for. I had some anxiety leading up to it about a few things, but once it got going I never looked back. I met so many new friends from in town and out-of-town, and my normal schedule was totally thrown out of the window. It was like time didn’t exist. Well, time didn’t exist until the no sleep pattern started to catch up with me on Saturday. I really enjoyed running the Sidetalk panels, even if I do miss a lot of the movies that are playing at the festival during the day. I get to hear some interesting conversations about independent film that I would otherwise never be privy to. All and all, it was a great weekend. And while I didn’t take too many photos myself, I know that I was in a bunch taken by the festival photographer. Those will be posted in the next few weeks so I’ll be sure to upload them here as well.
Can you believe that Thursday is the first day of September?? I can’t… but I am so grateful. I feel like there are happy times waiting for the rest of 2011, and the coming of fall is just the beginning of that. I can’t wait to wear a comfy sweater or to put on some high boots!
Sidewalk weekend is officially in full swing! Most of the out-of-town filmmakers arrived yesterday just in time for the first two parties, which lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. An electric chemistry happens when you put a lot of creative spirits together at an event like this. It’s not news that making a film can be an all-consuming project, so being able to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor at film festivals such as this one is a huge reward for a job well done. A lot of the filmmakers here in town are highly accomplished and have big futures ahead of them. It’s really cool to be a part of that for one weekend a year.
It was a smart call to take off of work today. I still got up at my usual time (thanks body clock) but I plan to take it easy for the better part of the day. I will probably squeeze a run in sometime after lunch, as well as a nap. :) Tonight is the opening night film, which I believe is pretty close to selling out at the Alabama Theatre. There is a “red carpet” party before the movie, followed by a post party at the B&A Warehouse. Sounds like another late night…
This is the beginning of Sidewalk Film Festival week, which is so special & important to me that it’s almost bigger than the holidays. This is the 13th year of the festival, but I’ve only been attending for the past 8. In fact one of the first things I did when I moved back from Atlanta in 2004 was go to the very first Sidewalk Salon, their monthly meeting/presentation held at Rojo. I instantly made friends that I’ve kept to this very day, and I fell in love with independent film. It’s really amazing that we have such a nationally recognized festival here in Birmingham. Every year I try to be involved as much as I can, whether through managing the Sidetalk panels or having a movie in the festival myself like I did in 2006 with Piece of Cake.
Today also kicks off my reviews for Birmingham Restaurant Week. Be on the lookout for a post on all things delicious at Ted’s Restaurant around lunchtime today.
I kept having the strangest dream last night, that someone was in my room near the landing of the staircase. I even woke up once and screamed. It was a man and he was green. How spooky is that? I am pretty sure it’s because of the scary movie I watched with my friend Rebecca, Insidious, a few nights ago. It was pretty cheesy for the most part, but we still screamed like little girls several times during the extra creepy parts. I really don’t think that my carriage house is haunted, it’s just my imagination going crazy. Famous last words…
Peace – Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
I am on the journey of a lifetime right now, one to find peace… and I’m hot on its trail. I wonder how many people ever actually find peace, or even know to look for it? I think it’s fair to say that it’s missing in most people’s lives. I know it is missing from mine, and I’m not sure I’ve ever really had it. Peace is full acceptance of yourself, and of everything around you… no matter the circumstances.
I’ve been learning a lot about choices from my therapist & her book. Everything that we do every second of the day is our choice. How we feel at any given moment is our choice. No one else can hurt us unless we give them permission to do so. No one is making you eat that extra cookie or run that extra mile, you are choosing to do so. She told me next time I participated in an unhealthy behavior, that I should stop for a moment beforehand and say to myself – this is my choice. If I want to keep doing it, then it is my decision. But acknowledging, just for a second, that you are always 100% in control might change your mind before you start.
I’m starting to realize that life isn’t all about doing the next big thing or one-upping myself all the time. I used to think my self-worth was defined by my resume and the big plans I always had to come. Have I really enjoyed the time I’ve spent doing these “big” things though? Unfortunately, I can’t answer yes to that question right now. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my accomplishments and firmly believe that they are all a part of the process of discovering me. Some people go their whole lives without ever pausing for a moment to ask – Is this really what I want to be doing? Am I really happy? What is missing? I finally know what is missing from my own life – peace. Until I can be content with just being myself, nothing else is ever going to fill that void. And like I told my therapist yesterday, I feel 100% confident that I’m going to get to that place. She responded back to me that it was already starting.
I’ve spent a great deal of my life worrying, looking forward to and trying to calculate the future. In high school, and ever since, I’ve relied somewhat on tarot cards and astrology to predict events yet to come. I read Susan Miller’s monthly forecasts religiously the 1st of every month. There was/is some comfort in anticipating anything hurtful before it has a chance to happen. I know this form of anxiety relief is very specific to my brand of OCD, but I know plenty of others who indulge in different forms of unrealistic/unhealthy comfort as well. Some people use religion, some use food, others use alcohol or drugs. Whatever it takes to get you through the day while keeping the demons at bay.
The truth is that you can’t predict the future. (*Shocker*) Some of these tools that I’ve used may or may not have any real basis in the real world, but the point is that the future is the future for a reason… it’s supposed to be a ball of clay waiting to be molded into whatever set of events inspire it. You can assume that Z will happen because of X and Y, but it will always be an assumption. Until it actually happens, it’s a figment of anyone’s imagination. That’s always been scary as hell to me, but on the other hand, there is comfort in the fact that no one is special enough to be privy to that information. And what fun would life be if we could predict everything anyway?
The last time I saw my therapist we talked a lot about what brings me comfort. After much discussion we discovered that the extra weight I carried for so long was a form of comfort, and that my marriage was also a tremendous form of comfort. In fact, they were almost like blankets covering my wounds from childhood as to not allow them to heal. Now that both of those blankets have been exposed, I can now work on healing those things that I’ve covered up for so long. I need to work on finding new forms of comfort that don’t involve another person or unhealthy habits that hurt my body. I have a few ideas of what these could be, but I’m not quite ready to share just yet. You don’t have to answer this here, but what do you use for comfort in your own life when anxiety rears its ugly head? Does it depend on another person, or is it something that you can do on your own? You always hear about the importance of teaching a baby how to self-soothe, but sounds like it may be even more so for adults.
I’ve unexpectedly ended up with a free day today! My original plans were to go tubing with friends for a birthday celebration, but after waking up this morning I decided that having some “me” time seemed much more appealing than baking in the sun. I am going to meet up with that same group later on for a drink or two, so I will still get some quality time with the b’day girl then.
I’ve gotten two hilly six-mile running sessions in over the past few days, and my knee seems to be doing good. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… the Arc Machine really keeps my body conditioned for the times that I can’t run due to my injury from earlier this year. It was like I didn’t miss a beat.
I am feeling the need to do something active again today, but I don’t think it would be wise to run for a 3rd day in a row. I would like to be outside, so my options are to go for a bike ride or a hike. Or maybe I will just chill out today and watch the Tour de France and Harry Potter movies. I also see a trip to Home Depot/Lowe”s in my near future for some carriage house dreaming. Sunday, funday!
Speaking of the Tour de France, there have been so many crashes this year. I literally just watched as two riders were hit by a team car with tremendous speed, with one of them (Johnny Hoogerland) going airborne into a barbed wire fence. Click here to watch the crash. They are both surprisingly OK, and back on their bikes to finish Stage 9. These guys truly are machines.
Tomorrow I start training for the Augusta Half Ironman in late September. More on that in the morning! It’s time once again to get back in the pool… my least favorite of the three sports, which just means I need to spend the most time on it. Blah!!!