Today is my birthday and it is one of the best ones I can remember.
There are many reasons why:
I am away from home.
I am near the ocean.
I am eating delicious vegan meals in warm and well decorated cafes.
Pumpkin Curry Bisque
Loved the decor of this vegan cafe!
And I tried something new.
I threw axes this afternoon! After watching Christine Baranski throw them on an episode of “The Good Fight”, I had to try it. I mentioned it a couple of times months ago but never thought much about it. Whey Hubby said he had a surprise for my birthday and it’s something I want to try, I racked my brain but came up with nothing.
I eventually guessed about a week ago and by that time, he already made the reservations. When we pulled up today, I was excited. Even if I didn’t hit the board, I knew it wouldn’t matter. The point was to ring in 39 not only with workouts, reading, eating and water but to usher it in with a Kristina who wouldn’t be too scared to wield an axe or anything else I never pictured for myself.
By the way, I not only ended up hitting the board but a couple of times, I hit the bullseye.
Happy Birthday to me.
Halfway through bloglikecrazy!
Hubby and I decided to get out of town for a couple of days to celebrate my birthday on Saturday. I know it’s practically winter but we have chosen on more than one occasion to spend it at a beach. What makes this one even more special is that I didn’t have to lift a finger to plan a thing– no booking a room or deciding what to do on the actual day. This is a milestone for us because I am usually the planner and even though I have been known to complain about it, the truth is I could rest easy with the control that it gave me.
But none of that this time around and the activity tomorrow was something I mentioned in passing months ago. But more about that on tomorrow’s post.
Tonight I am enjoying dinner and the view.
Today was long. I showed up to an appointment a day early across town after work which I have never done. I had nothing left in me to cook. I am sore. Against my better judgement, I watched a YouTube video entitled “Spartan Race Tips for Beginners: Will You Die?”
The content actually was helpful but my anxiety was present and accounted for the entire time. I know what I committed to. The doubts and fears are natural. There will be days like today where I don’t want to complete the second workout and curling up on the couch with soup and watching “Love Jones” for the 3,000th time is my idea of active. (No worries. I got it all done). Those feelings may not let go until I cross the finish line.
So I am going to treat this like the first time I hit “Publish” on a post, walked to the start line at a 10k and into a college classroom after I transferred to a Shenandoah University as a 21-year old freshman.
There was everything and nothing to fear all at the same time.
Today was my first day of strength training class. My plan is to go 3-4 times a week in preparation for my first Sprint race. Even though I am not a complete novice to weight training, I never have regularly done it.
Before class, I had a serious case of nerves. I knew everything would be fine but I told Hubby I felt like a little kid on the first day of school. I jokingly asked him to drop me off at class and wave at me from the window.
When I arrived, a group of three was preparing for class. Everyone was obviously already familiar with one another but they were all welcoming. My nerves bubbled up again as they seemed ready to jump into the workout but the instructor had already assured me I would get some personal attention.
Her patience was real and as soon as I felt it, I calmed down and my focus narrowed to concentrating on learning the movements. I completed the class and afterwards we spent time with the foam roller which was a new experience for me. Painful but I definitely see the necessity.
I am hoping every teacher is as lovely as this one but if not, I am still willing to show up. My curiosity is driving the bus these days. It wants me to see if I turn into the kind of woman who loves weightlifting and will be able to scale walls, swing from bar to bar and hang a finisher’s medal around my neck.
I debated whether I would take the challenge this year. It would be my third year participating in bloglikecrazy (created by See Jane Write founder Javacia Harris Bowser) but beyond talking about 75hard, an upcoming birthday and time spent with family, I didn’t feel like I had 30 days in me this year.
And then I took a walk.
I slept in and decided to go to a local park for my first workout of the day. It was much cooler than previous mornings but I was grateful for the ample sunshine. I noticed the parking lot was full for a Friday morning. I saw a group of well dressed people gathered on a landing overlooking the lake. A few of them smiled at me.
By the time I walked another lap, I saw the group surrounding a slender woman with a beautiful afro in a silky emerald dress and a white fur shawl draped around her shoulders holding hands with a man, presumably her groom.
As I continued to walk around the park, I walked with more intensity, buoyed by the sight of an unanticipated wedding.
I realized blogging (for me) has always been a place to share not just the musings and thoughts about writing, plant-based living and mindset but a record of the beautiful, the random and the unexpected.
It’s here! I’m done!
These past 30 days have unveiled so much! I am certain I want to post twice a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays. My Tuesday posts will be health related–be it physical, spiritual, plant-based, mental or financial health. My Thursday posts will be writing related. I would like to devote that day to my work, featuring other writers and storytellers and general career and reading updates.
About halfway through this bloglikecrazy challenge, I felt the topics and the flow came easier than last year. I didn’t struggle the same way. There were only a couple of days where I felt like I had nothing to share but when I focused, the frustration disappeared.
If you ever feel like the writing process is stale, I encourage you to challenge yourself to bloglikecrazy or develop a plan of your own.
As for me, I can’t wait for next November!
Day 29. I was supposed to use this month to figure out how I want to move forward with the blog and website in general. There is no doubt there will be a forward.
I know I no longer want to feature new vegan recipes every week–just from time to time. I recently decided to sell my E-book (What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows) on Etsy only. I also know I want to regularly feature other writers and storytellers. This past month has shown me I can write my way to clarity.
I am looking forward to what incorporating the body positive yoga class will do for the direction, too. If I hadn’t taken this challenge, I may not have found my way to taking this class. Tomorrow is Day 30 but it feels right to recognize what blogging like crazy has done for me today.
At the James River Writer’s Conference in 2016, The Library of Virginia honored Nikki Giovanni. During her interview, she said something that has stuck with me. I don’t remember her exact words but the sentiment was if we were to take a team to explore a new planet, a writer should be aboard the ship to document everything, to tell the story.
She said it so matter-of-fact and passionately. Without a doubt, there needs to be a creative soul to give voice to the uncharted. It made me think of how important writers are, how important the art of storytelling will always be.
It is how we convey who we are, on Earth and maybe someday floating into space.
I don’t have much in me today. I am not sure if it’s because I am 26 days in and it feels a little like I have senioritis.
But there are 4 days left after today so something will be written each day until I have accomplished my goal. So here it goes:
In my post about being whole, I wrote about wanting to start a yoga or Pilates class in the new year. I was talking to a co-worker (and devoted Yogi) about self-care and all of a sudden, I couldn’t come up with a reason to wait. She told me about a studio close by. I found a class on the their site that embraces women of all shapes, sizes and levels. My first class starts Sunday. I haven’t been this excited in so long. When I read the description, it clicked and even if it doesn’t live up to my expectation, I will know I took steps.
I didn’t wait for my healing to begin.
I went to the movies today to see Creed II. As I enjoy movies about underdogs with exercise montages, I loved it. It made me think about how many punches can be taken before any one of us throws in the towel.
As I have mentioned before, Hubby and I are dealing with a serious health issue and therefore, we have been extra careful of anything that remotely resembles a cough or sneeze, etc. He came down with something Wednesday night so we were sidelined from travel. He is feeling much better now and for the most part, I am used to illness changing our plans.
But there is a part of me (I have shared with him already) that feels like a punching bag. Part of me is angry at lupus. Part of me is angry at immune systems and fallible body parts.
What I am really saying is I am angry about not being in control.
But none of us really are. We can only do the best with what we know and have and the rest is up to God.
So I will own those feelings now and acknowledge that even when I feel like a punching bag, more often than not I am the one throwing punches at the problems that spring up in my life.