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For those of you who are interested, James sent me the designer’s name for the Tattly I talked about yesterday. James asked him on Twitter what his inspiration was behind the 18 rings and he replied, “I’ve never counted them before!…the drawing was originally made as a quick, frantic reminder to myself to focus on what’s important.” Awesome answer.
I get a lot of inspiration from the things I look at everyday, which makes me think that maybe I should pay more attention to what I have around me. Even though I don’t have any, a tattoo is a great opportunity to give yourself a daily message. A constant visual of what you want, aspire to, or dream of achieving should never be out of reach. I’ve mentioned it before, but I keep a little list of wants in my purse at all times. When I need to be reminded of my direction or purpose, I just pull it out and give it a quick scan. How powerful is a dream or idea? Depends on how much you invest in it. I truly believe that our existence here is made up of energy – whether positive or negative, abundant or scarce. Love is energy, hate is energy…everything is energy. Some things and thoughts take it away, others add to it. The trick is to figure out how to get, and keep, positive momentum. That’s why cutting down on things that stress you out or make you sad adds to the overall balance of your spirit. I have certain practices that I do on a daily basis, like turning my cell phone on silent (any kind of sound alert drives me nuts) and setting my alarm earlier than needed so I can lie in bed a few extra minutes. These small things have proven to help in my overall well-being. If something is bothering me, I try to eliminate it. If something makes me happy, I try to do it as often as I can. Running makes me happy, being around people who I enjoy makes me happy, rest makes me happy, so on and so on. The tricky part is avoiding actions that only make me happy temporarily, which eventually leads to regret. Actions that have long-term positive effects are what I ultimately seek. Being kind to others, sharing, helping, accomplishing goals, laughing, smiling, just being…. these are the experiences that make life fulfilling.
Last night while watching the Olympics (which I am totally hooked on despite all the spoilers), I did some research on the idea of opportunity. What is the ratio of opportunity sought out compared to opportunity that just presents itself? And if one is looking for opportunity, what is the average amount of time before giving up if it can’t be found? I found all sorts of answers to these questions, and as you probably suspect it has everything to do with outlook, drive and determination. The likelihood of success is highly in your favor if you are actively searching it out, even if it doesn’t unfold exactly the way you had planned. I think if you put positive energy into something, eventually it is going to come back. Maybe not when or how you expected, but it does nonetheless. I was thinking about this as I was watching Gabby win her gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around. Just a year before she had considered quitting, and was at a low point in her athletic career. What a difference 365 days can make, as she is now #1 in the entire world. I know this is an extreme point/case, but I see it happen more often than not. When someone really, really wants something – and they give it their all – it can’t help but happen. That’s also why they say, “be careful what you wish for.” If your outlook is doom and gloom, your world probably is too. But if you have hope, good intentions, and dreams (with a little sparkle of energy) then that positive energy will turn into something beautiful.
This morning marked the running reunion of Vero and I after her 2 week trip to Europe visiting family & such. She brought me back a special present – a Tour de France keychain that her aunt caught mid-air as the peloton passed through her parent’s neighborhood in Belgium! And I love love love it. She also took some video as the cyclists zipped through town, and it’s amazing how quickly they come and go. It seemed as if they were going 40-50 mph right in front of her face. I hope I get the opportunity to see the race live myself one day too. I can only imagine the powerful force those riders emit. It’s really crazy to think that they are still out there competing in that same exact race… in fact, I watched them this morning as I was getting ready for work.
Speaking of athletes - have you ever seen ESPN’s annual Bodies We Want photographs? Dang, is all I have to say. That’s some serious motivation to keep your rear in gear. I loved looking at their heights & weights…especially the women. It is so interesting that two athletes of similar shape, height & build could have such a weight difference. They are all so beautiful. The other night while watching some Olympic Trials, I heard a female runner say that she never hits the track without her make-up on. I thought that was pretty fun to see a girl breaking stereotypes of elite female athletes. Who says you can’t wear a little lipstick while kicking some ass?
Our bodies want to be moved and used. Every time I do something active, my brain rewards me with lots of feel-good endorphins as if to say thank you. It may not always be easy to find the time and energy to do something physical, but it’s always worth the effort. Sometimes I when I run, I think of the miracle that it is to be able to use my legs in such a way. I am moving myself purely by self-propelled energy. There are so many things going on within my brain and body that I’m not even aware of to be able to do so. I think that’s a pretty amazing thing.
Happy Fifth of July! My holiday was especially wonderful since I got to meet my newest niece Lucy Bug in Columbus, GA. She was cool as a cucumber, just chillin’ in her hospital gown taking her new world all in. When she did cry (like…twice) it sounded like a little teapot. I stayed the night with Christy on Tuesday evening so she could get a little rest before heading back home the next day. I don’t know how you mommas do it with no sleep, I was completely wiped. Don’t let anyone fool you – being a mother could be one of the hardest jobs on the planet. But by the look on Christy’s face every time she got to hold her little bug, it is also one of the most rewarding. When she got back home yesterday, Anna Banana was super excited to welcome them. When Christy said that Lucy might be hungry, Anna quickly offered the baby some of her staple chicken nuggets. She is going to be a great big sister.
Last night we celebrated my sister Rachel’s birthday, since it falls on the Fourth of July. We had Prosecco, yummy BBQ and fresh birthday berry tarts. After dinner we headed to our little hidden spot to watch the city of Birmingham’s annual fireworks display. I crashed and burned soon after super early, and I got a solid night’s sleep before heading back to work today. Doesn’t it seem like a Monday, for those of you who are back in the office? It’s a neat feeling since the weekend is just around the corner.
Speaking of this weekend, I am really excited to be going on a mini trip with James, Dan & Lauren to Chattanooga to play and explore. If you have any area suggestions, please let me know! We’ve already gotten several restaurant recommendations, and now we just need to find some fun things to do. I’ve been to the city several times, as it’s one of my favorite quick vacation destinations from Birmingham.
What do you do when you have a negative emotion or thought…. caused from fear, anxiety, frustration or insecurity? This is always an interesting life obstacle, and one that needs everyone’s attention from time to time. For me, exercise and rest really help with combating the little annoying demons that make us second guess ourselves (and others) time to time. Also, being proactive and making goals keeps me focused on the positive. All life is energy, and the thoughts and vibes we put out there make a big difference in how things unfold for us. I am always very impressed with myself in the ability to bounce back from the occasional negative thought, so it brings me comfort to know that if I am ever doubtful that I will return to my full confident nature within a reasonable amount of time. I am grateful to have a sunny disposition, and I will fight to keep it!
Yesterday was a doozy…such a busy day with weird things happening all over the place. I can’t believe my beloved Instagram was sold, but I guess it was only a matter of time. Good for them!! Maybe Facebook won’t screw it up too bad. Here’s hoping at least.
I’m sure that I’m not unique in that when I get really focused on something, or worried, that it can become a little all-consuming. I sometimes forget that talking about it with someone else can make it all better. Or that maybe putting it into perspective a little bit can make a world of difference. Yesterday morning I was so caught up in my own head that I was getting myself all wound up over nothing. My friend and coworker Jon Jon came in and gently eased me into a conversation and got me talking about the million things going on inside of my brain. He made me laugh, told me about his own similar thoughts and struggles and I immediately felt at ease. So much so that I skipped on the way to eat lunch with him.
I’ve talked before about my energy levels – they are through the roof. Which can be a great thing, and occasionally a challenge. That’s why exercise is so good for me and caffeine is so bad. Exercise brings me back down to a normal state of being, and there is nothing like a good run to instantly make me feel better. I wish I had applied myself when I was younger towards being some sort of athlete because I would have probably made a great one. I have endless amounts of enthusiasm and optimism, but the counter to that can be anxiety and stress. That’s why I think meditation would be so good for me… if I could only stand to do it.
Last night I had a few drinks with my “landlords” Rachel & Brian. They are both super accomplished, yet very much down to earth. If I look closely enough, I can see traits in all of my friends that I very much admire and wish to attain for myself. It’s like playing tennis – you always play with someone who is better than you, because that’s how you improve. I hope I offer my friends something just as significant in return. Sometimes I wonder how others see me…as our view of ourselves can sometimes be inaccurate. While I make it a point to try to care less in general about how other people feel about me as long as I am being true to myself, it is still interesting to think about.
I have zero idea where my blog readers come from…it spikes randomly from time to time, and it definitely has the past day or two. There isn’t anything new out there that I’m aware of, but I am very grateful for the visits! Thanks for stopping by, and you are welcome back whenever the fancy strikes you.