Yesterday morning I had coffee with my darling friend Heather. She and I get together periodically to talk about shoes and baking and traveling adventures and boys, all things dear to our heart, the last one causing more angst than joy.
And we find ourselves being on the same page with most things, almost to the point where it is wonderfully ridiculous. Yesterday, we camped out on the topic of simplifying. Getting rid of the excess that ends up hindering our lives instead of helping.
And this got me thinking. What are the things that I really need in my life?
My iPhone? Maybe, but I don't need to check it every five minutes.
My Kitchen Aid mixer? Definitely.
TV? Nope. I really don't need it.
Hulu Subscription? Weeeeeellllll...I guess not. Darn it.
And the list goes on.
I loved the idea of taking things out of my life that I have held onto by obligation or trendiness. I think part of my funked-out week had to do with being overwhelmed with too much, or being absorbed with too much. Granted, some things you have no control over, but other things? Heck, yes. They can be kicked to the curb.
Thus: The Simple Life Experiment.
I am dedicating the summer of 2013 to simplicity.
I am sure it will come in a variety of forms, from cooking and baking healthy, clean foods to gardening, reading, traveling and maybe finally getting rid of the Kardashians...maybe. And not spending half of my paycheck every time I go to Target. I look forward to purging, cleaning, down-sizing and streamlining so I have more room to be creative. Or perhaps just so I can take a really great nap. Yoga also sounds like a wonderful new addiction.
Ideally, I would have some chickens and horse to round out my experiment, but suburbia is not conducive to farm animals. But I will blog about it and I will show you pictures of recipes and my scraped knees from falling off of my bicycle.
I promise to not become pretentious and condemn you if you eat Velveeta. I promise to still shave my armpits and to eat pizza and cookie dough every once in a while. And I promise I will not, under any circumstances, wear clothing made of hemp.
But, I have got to do this for me. It's just time.
And I am starting today: I am disconnecting my work email from my phone. A small step for most, but a ginormous step for the FC.
You may have noticed that I inadvertently took a week off from blogging. I thought about all the words I could write and all the stories I could share with you but the only thing I came up with was "I've got nothing."
Sometimes that happens. Sometimes that happens because I am fully entrenched into a routine that consists of sleeping, working and driving. As much as I would like to make that entertaining, sometimes it just isn't. Surprisingly, sometimes I don't fall into a fountain or compete with a pregnant woman on the treadmill.
Sometimes that happens because I have computer meltdowns or loss of connectivity or I am halfway around the world where I am having trouble finding running water let alone free wi-fi.
Sometimes that happens because I need a break. Hey, we all need vacations and I am a HUGE fan of taking them.
But this time, this time it happened because I was empty. I was running on fumes and the thought of even typing that out made me tired. I was in a deep funk, a funk consisting of stress, fatigue and a touch of depression. In other words, the trifecta of anti-blog material.
Sometimes, this is where life drops you off, even if only for a week.
So, I did what I do best: I spent my free time eating. And when I felt guilty from eating, I ate some more to stuff down my guilt. And if I wanted to escape the sense of guilt from eating 39 miniature Twix bars, I would watch TV. Hour after hour of mindless "entertainment" would pass and do you know what I felt afterword? Worse. I felt worse.
And all the while, as I tried to fill the time and the void with overly-processed garbage, I did my best to stifle the still, small voice inside, saying:
Sarah. I can quench your thirst. I can give you a new song.
And I was like: "Nope. I've got this. I know what I am doing. My parched soul and I are doing just fine."
This went on for a full week.
Just ask me. I can fill you up.
"I am full. Full of nougat."
Stop fighting me. I long to comfort you.
"Hulu does a great job of comforting me. And so do stretchy pants."
I want to give you an abundant life, not one of left-overs.
"I love left-overs. Just throw me some scraps."
And then finally, finally, something clicked. The voice of self-pity was drowned out by my need for something more. Something that this world was not offering: life. I needed the restoration of a hope-filled life not the continuation of a man-made rut.
And with that realization, the cycle stopped.
I love when He brings us around to see this. Because it boils down to this: do you trust Me enough to provide you with what you need?
So, the computer issues rage on. I am now using a laptop circa 1847, which screams volumes as to how bad my work desk top had become. But I am nothing if not a fighter so I will persevere in this technological meltdown.
In other news...I am busy. As in if I could multi-task while I sleep, that would be beneficial right now. So because of the busyness, the antiquated web portals and my general lack of news, I leave you this video.
It disturbs me. It makes me laugh. It reminds me of a few blind dates I have been on. And I am left wondering how they other guy didn't laugh all the time.
Not that this has even a smidgen of an impact on your day, but I have been having computer problems like it is 1994. My hard drive at worked totally crashed. The back-up laptop won't allow me to check my corporate email. The back-up hard drive won't accept my login. So the only alternative has been to use my iPhone, which worked until the battery ran out and I had to sit in my car in the parking lot to charge it.
FIRST. WORLD. PROBLEMS, people.
With that said, I appear to be up and limping running today. In the grand scheme of things, a crashed computer is not even a blip on the radar. But sometimes, when your work and often your support system is completely connected to technology, being without it almost seems as though I have lost a family member, like a second cousin or something.
Speaking of cousins, I miss mine. It has been YEARS since I have seen any of them. Truly, years. My trips to Alamosa have consumed free weekends when I could have spent them in Oklahoma, otherwise known as "God's Country." Thankfully, the aforementioned technology keeps us in touch, making them all seem a little bit closer than they really are.
However, just in case there is any confusion or perhaps you have not felt particularly included lately, dear cousins, let me set the record straight: YOU ARE INVITED TO COME HERE. I will promise you good food and excellent company. And you are free to wear only stretchy pants during your visit. Consider this your evite forever.
Now, onto the weather.
Even though it is supposed to start snowing again tonight (WHAT THE HECK, GLOBAL WARMING?!), this past weekend was absolutely divine! Not only did I freckle like a three-day old banana, I also got a farmer sunburn that will look particularly lovely in a tank top. Apparently there is a reason why the Irish live on an island where it rains all the time. Our skin just can't handle direct sunlight. We're like vampires, only with much cooler accents and normal.
And lastly, I am addicted to mangoes on Greek yogurt. I sprinkle a little cinnamon, a handful of walnuts and natural sweetener on mine and then I inhale it. It is so delicious. I encourage you to try it sometime. If you do not have access to fresh mangoes, any fruit will do. It's like summer in a bowl.
And now, I must try to find my email so I can connect to our server so I can re-route my mainframe to the millennium falcon. Wish me luck.
Yesterday, after work, I went to the gym. I hadn't been in a veeeeeery long time. I have been semi-regular in my workouts at home on the elliptical machine. I have been extremely regular with my trips to the refrigerator. But the gym? Not so much.
Let me begin by saying that the gym still smells like stanky, stinky, funky, sweaty butt. No lie. As much as they spray it down and turn the fans on full-blast, you just can't cover up 24 consecutive hours of active human stench.
Other things have not changed either.
The girls in their teeny, tiny spandex capris, with their back tattoos and their sports bras, are still prancing on the treadmills.
The guys in their sweaty tank tops and their gym shorts are still flexing in the mirrors and walking around like someone pumped them full of helium.
And then there are the masses. Those who somehow crawled out of bed or out of the cars to try their best at doing something other than walking and sitting. These are the people who wear a holey t-shirt from 1997 and do not care what pants they have on just as long as they aren't jeans. Khakis? Maybe. Jeans? No. Too much friction. They sweat and pant and count down the minutes until their cardiac routines are over. They are not there for looks, for socializing, for caring what anyone else thinks. They are there for their health, whether physical or mental, and because today was the day they actually packed their running shoes in their car.
I applaud these people. I love their dedication, their humanity, their humility. I love that they come and put in their time and leave without looking at themselves in the mirror. These are gym warriors, not gym barbies.
I am a pseudo gym warrior wanting to be a gym barbie who somehow spends more time stressing over the gym than actually going to the gym. Or in other words, I am a gym avoider who fears failure but desperately wants to fit in without having to make the commitment.
Or in other words, I am a hot mess.
But yesterday, I came back, in all of my spandex glory.
As I was on the treadmill, busting out the routine I mentioned in yesterdays' post, I noticed out of my periphery a girl on the treadmill next to me. All I could tell was that she was shorter than me and very fit. So, out of my insane competitive nature and my severe lack of common sense, I upped my incline and my speed, all in an attempt to show the world that a non-petite woman could out-run, out-walk, out-sweat a fit one.
And then I looked at her, for real this time, and noticed one tiny detail: she appeared to be 15 months pregnant.
Well done, Warrior Princess. You just out-treadmilled a pregnant lady who could probably give birth the next time she sneezes.
The upside to this is that I got in a killer workout. The downside is that I am having trouble walking today. I would consider that a great first visit back to the gym.