Tag Archives: life

So Far in 2018

I can’t believe June has already come and gone! These last six months have been busy, stressful, and exciting, which probably explains why they went by so quickly! Although I’m ready to dive into the second half of the year, I wanted to take a quick look back on what’s happened so far in 2018:

I started a new job: As I briefly mentioned in a previous post, I started a new job at the end of March! It’s in an industry and field (travel and marketing) that I’ve never worked in before, so I’ve had a lot of learning to do. After realizing my last two jobs weren’t exactly the right path for me – even if leaving them wasn’t my idea – I’m glad to be working in a more creative environment in an industry that plays a role in my personal life as well!

I saw new places: Robby and I have traveled to several destinations this year, all within the U.S. In January, we went down to Miami for his sister’s wedding. Since we were on a schedule for most of our time there, I’d like to go back one day and do more exploring! The weekend after, we went up to Bretton Woods Ski Resort in New Hampshire for skiing and snowboarding. I’m still learning how to snowboard, but myself and two of the girls we were with decided to try skiing for the first time. I struggled. My legs were burning. And I couldn’t control my pizzas and my French fries. I think I’m going to try and get back on my board this winter, especially now that I’ve attempted to ski and feel like snowboarding might work out better for me this time around…

In April, we went to North Conway, NH! Robby was there in September for his bachelor party, but I’d never been before and had heard great things about it. Although the weather wasn’t the best, we explored Diana’s Baths, walked through some of the shops in town, and did some shopping at the outlets. We also had breakfast at this adorable café called Stairway Café, which I highly recommend to anyone who visits North Conway! I really want to go back when the weather is nicer, so maybe this summer??

We were supposed to go to Quebec over Memorial Day weekend with our friends, but long story short, we ended up going to Burlington, VT instead! My husband and I first visited last year and thought it was such a cute town. Our favorite place there is a café called Muddy Waters (I love cafes coffee shops – can’t you tell?), so we absolutely stopped there!

Although these visits have only been long weekend trips, it’s been really fun seeing (mostly) new places!

I took up yoga: If you read my post on my first yoga experience, you’ll know that I finally started taking classes back in March! I only say “finally” because for years my mom has suggested I try yoga, but I just never did. This year, I took the plunge! I only go once a week, but I’ve definitely seen progress since that first class and have a better understanding of the poses. I know there’s still a lot to learn and a lot to work on, however I’m excited to see how I improve!

What have you been up to in 2018?

Six Months, Two Job Losses, and All the Time in the World

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post, but a large reason for that is because I started a new job at the end of March! Between my new schedule, being tired at night from that schedule, and learning the ropes of my new role, I haven’t had much brain capacity for anything else.

I’m not here to talk about my new job, though. What I want to share with you are the things I got out of losing two different jobs in a matter of six months. Yes, you heard that correct. Can you say bad luck?

Last June, I was laid-off from a job after only being there for six months. I wasn’t the only one; the company let go a number of their employees, many of whom had worked there for five, ten, even fifteen years. It was a small family of friends and I met a lot of great people. The most stressful part of it for me was the fact that I was getting married in October.

I was fortunate enough to have only been unemployed for six weeks when I found a new job and started working again the first week of August. Guess I should have known it was too good to be true. Four months later, I was told that they were basically getting rid of my role and that come December 31st, I would no longer be employed there. I remember trying my absolute hardest to not a) Start laughing in their face as if they were playing a sick joke on me, and b) Begin hyperventilating at the thought of this happening again only a few months later.

This time, I was unemployed for three months. I know there are people who have gone much longer, and I am so sorry for that because I understand the boredom, the frustration, and the doubt that comes with it. I experienced these emotions and then some.

It’s also hard when you no longer have an income because you’re very limited to what you can do. Some days, the only time I left my apartment was to go to the gym. I watched way more TV than I would have liked, and since my days were uneventful, I wasn’t tired at night and would end up being awake until 3 a.m.

Being laid-off two times in the course of six months is basically unheard of and there were plenty of days when I felt completely worthless. However, the free time allowed me the opportunity to try new things as well as explore areas of my life.

Reasons why I benefited from being laid-off, twice:

  • It gave me a clearer understanding of what I want career-wise. This is something I’ve really struggled with and still struggle with. However, my second time job hunting pushed me to be a little more specific about what sort of job I wanted to land. I prefer a creative environment, something neither of those two previous jobs offered. I was also really interested in learning more about marketing, so I made sure to include that in my search.
  • I (finally) tried yoga. For years my mom has been saying I should do yoga to help with stress. After I sat down and realized yoga’s multiple benefits, along with stress relief, I found a nearby studio and signed up. I was concerned because it obviously wasn’t free, but my husband knew at that point my well-being was my #1 priority, and he also thought it’d be a good thing for me to try. I’m very glad I did because I enjoy every class I go to and I’m excited to keep improving and learning more.
  • I became more aware of my health and diet. I’ve always struggled with finding a healthy balance in exercising and what I eat. I wouldn’t say I’m a terrible eater, but I also never paid attention to what goes into my body. I am, however, terrible at sticking to a regular workout schedule. I’ll keep it up for a couple of months, then fall back to going once or twice a week. Having so much free time allowed me to go to the gym every day, and I was there just about every day. I also looked up new recipes to try while paying more attention to what’s good for your body. I’ve noticed some muscle gain and small differences in certain areas I’ve always wanted to improve. With a new job, I’m really trying to make sure I stick to a regular schedule while staying more mindful of what I eat (but I never pass up an opportunity for pizza!)
  • I gave more thought to this blog. While it was challenging to find something to write about since I wasn’t doing very much, I was able to put my energy blogging. I wasn’t posting all the time, but I was able to think about where I want to go with my blog, I came up with blog post ideas… heck, I’m still figuring it out. But I’m glad I could start understanding blogging a bit more so one day I can turn it into an occasional hobby.
  • I struggled. I know it’s kind of a cliché concept, but I obviously see now that those struggles turned out to be a good thing. They weren’t fun at the time, of course, but they helped give me some sort of guidance figuring out what I want to do in life (besides travel).

Getting laid-off isn’t fun and I hope none of you have to experience it. But if it does happen, whether it’s in one year or ten years, try to take advantage of the free time you’ll have. While you should keep up with your job search, you can only do so much of it before you lose your mind. Use part of each day to look, but do other things as well. Try something new, read, or sign up for a class if you’re financially able.

I’m not saying it won’t be hard because I promise you, I was having a rough time and started to think it’d be months and months before I found something good. But if you can find ways to utilize your time, hopefully unemployment will be a little more bearable and maybe go by a bit quicker.

The Simple Practice of Gratitude

Hi, friends!

Last time we spoke, I mentioned there was a nor’easter happening. Now, we have welcomed Winter Storm Quinn into our neighborhoods! Man, I am so ready for summer.

Anyway, I wanted to talk to you guys today about gratitude. Living in our digital age while following hectic schedules can cause us to forget that sometimes, it’s good to slow down and look around. We need to remember the value in the things we already have or acknowledge what comes into our path on a daily basis.

Practicing gratitude isn’t something we should only do once a year on Thanksgiving. We should be doing it every day, or as often as we can. It’s such a simple act that brings you back down to earth and helps you appreciate life. It can help your overall well-being, allowing you to feel more happiness, relieve you from stress, and help you to be more patient.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am one of the many who can get lost in schedules, stress – just everyday life – and I often forget to realize that there are always things to be grateful for. Heck, I forget to be grateful because I do get so caught up in stress.

To help relieve me from getting lost in my own head, I decided to start a Gratitude Journal. Each night, I reflect on what I was grateful for that day and choose 3 things to write down. The best part is that I don’t need to mention some huge event. I might list something as simple as “Trying out a new recipe.” I personally believe that’s one of the most important pieces to practicing gratitude: you really appreciate the small things in life. You don’t need to buy a new car or get a raise at work to be grateful. I’m not saying those things shouldn’t be celebrated or appreciated because they should! But it’s also good to recognize the small things as well as the big things.

I’ve only started my Gratitude Journal about a week ago, but I wanted to share some of what I’ve written:

  • I am grateful for starting a new book, The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. (Side note: go check her out!)
  • I am grateful that we didn’t lose power during the nor’easter.
  • I am grateful for signing up for yoga and taking my first class!
  • I am grateful for seeing a friend who I hadn’t seen since summer.
  • I am grateful that my husband is on his school break and we’ve been able to spend some more time together.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong to this because you’re doing it for you. Aside from writing, you can also practice gratitude by telling someone in your life that you’re thankful for them. I’m sure it would make them feel good 🙂

Does anyone else practice gratitude? How has it helped you?

My First Experience Taking a Yoga Class

Happy Friday!

I’m one of the many people currently experiencing this wonderful nor’easter. I need to go to Target, but that’s probably going to have to wait until tomorrow or Sunday. So for now, I thought I would share with you my first ever experience taking a yoga class!

The only yoga experience I have is attempting some poses at home. It’s completely different trying it on your own compared to being in a class with an instructor. I wanted to try classes because I knew it would give me guidance on how to do the poses correctly without hurting myself. Plus, being at home can easily distract you.

Last night I went to my first class, which was called Evening Flow. I admit I was a little nervous beforehand because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The class instructor, Victoria, was super nice and helped me get situated. I had to rent one of their mats, and she also showed me the blocks and straps that are sometimes used for assistance with poses.

Once the class got going, my nerves went away. Victoria led everyone in a quick warm up before going into a variety of poses, such as downward dog, tabletop, child’s play, warrior, butterfly, and boat pose. She made sure to show the class how to position themselves, occasionally going over to individuals to help them correct their pose.

For me, it was a little overwhelming because I was trying to focus on my breathing along with making sure I was doing the poses as best as I could. I know it’s going to take take time and practice, but I could tell my body was getting a great workout. I do go to the gym, but yoga was another reminder that I’m not very flexible. One girl in the class was like Gumby, bending in all kinds of directions. As I continue, I’m looking forward to achieving different poses without losing my breath!

After class, Victoria told me I’d done a good job for my first time. That was very encouraging to hear! She said I had good alignment, which I was surprised at because I don’t have the best posture (one of the many reasons why I’m trying yoga). I also took a few minutes to speak with her, asking if she had any suggestions for me on what to work on. Apparently my downward dog pose needs improvement (see, going to a class helps!). She also said it’s important to power through holding the poses, something I definitely struggle with.

I can see why people enjoy yoga. Besides the workout your body is getting, it’s a nice way to take a break from the rest of the world so all you’re focused on is what you’re doing in class. One of my goals is mindfulness, and yoga will be a great help with that.

For anyone who’s never taken a yoga class and is considering it, I encourage you to try! I’m really glad I did, despite my nerves. I’ve already signed up for my next class and I’m excited to continue learning more and improving my flexibility and physical strength.

I’d love to hear about any of your experiences with yoga! Share with me in the comments 🙂 Also, for anyone else getting hit by this nor’easter: stay safe and warm!

A Little Bit of Spontaneity

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m typically not a spontaneous person. I like to have a plan for things before jumping in, especially when it comes to traveling of any sort.

My husband and I spontaneously planned a three-day weekend to Quebec in May with my best friend, Kassy, and her husband, Ian! We were talking about traveling and Ian was going through a list of the top 52 places to visit. Someone had suggested that one day, the four of us take a trip together since we never have before. Kassy had also mentioned that her and Ian wanted to travel somewhere to celebrate Ian receiving his master’s in May.

(I’m honestly not sure how Quebec fell into this thought process)

Before we knew it, Ian was perusing Airbnb to check prices. Within an hour, we had a place booked! We still have plenty of time to figure out what we’d like to do/see while in Quebec, but I’ve never booked a trip on the spot like that. I won’t lie, my anxiety-ridden self was quietly going, “Whoa, what!?” on the inside. However, Robby and I have been wanting to visit Canada (neither of us have before), and now we’ll finally get to explore one of its cities! Plus, we’ll be in good company!

Occasionally sprinkling a little spontaneity into your life if you’re more of a planner is okay. It’s something I definitely want to try more. Kassy even bought me a copy of Breathe magazine, and the first piece is on spontaneity and living in the moment (so fitting!). It explains how breaking away from your usual routine or norm can be exciting, empowering, and give you a new perspective. There’s even a small list of suggestions that allow you to include spontaneity into your daily schedule.

Robby and I have been thinking of trips to take this year, but Canada wasn’t on our radar. Now it is! Even though it wasn’t part of our travel plans, I’m really glad for our spontaneous decision to go with our friends. I can already tell it will be an awesome time!

Does anyone have their own stories of spontaneity? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments 🙂