I hated spring when I lived in Minnesota.
In Minnesota, spring causes the mountains of snow from winter to turn a dirty brown and slowly disappear only to reveal dead, brown grass and mounds of careless trash. The trees are barren. The winter can’t quite decide if it’s gone forever and has a maddening habit of reappearing right when most of the snow has melted and the population has convinced itself the warm weather is here to stay. It was always my least favorite season.
But here in Alaska, spring is beautiful. Not because it’s necessarily “prettier”, but because spring means the 6-7 month winter that froze Interior Alaska in time and caused everyone to retreat inside their homes for months on end due to severe temperatures/unending darkness/terrible air quality/etc….is over.
Sunshine and 30-45 degrees has greeted me the last 10 days. The air doesn’t hurt my face or sting my nostrils, and the news hasn’t been warning me about nasty pollutants burrowing their way into my lungs. It’s been overwhelmingly wonderful. I get a bit emotional just thinking about it right now.
Here’s a glimpse into some of my excitement about the weather via Snapchat…
Warm weather does wonders for my soul. I could make a gratitude list with about 100 things on it this morning. The next three months in Alaska are going to be superb if the weather continues to cooperate.
Unfortunately since Michael’s return from the National Training Center in February and the announcement of our early Permanent Change of Station we haven’t been able to travel much and it doesn’t appear we will be able to do much until we leave. A giant cross-country (literally crossing Canada) move will require lots of savings, plus we want to be ready to go on all sorts of adventures when we get to the Pacific Northwest.
Hoping to share some day hikes and small adventures with you soon, but in the mean time I’ll try and keep up with Food & Fitness Fridays. I read this “ideal healthy day” article that has given me some inspiration on how to drop these last few stubborn pounds gained from Crossfit that are refusing to disappear…
Basically this post is a giant sorry-for-my-absence-here-are-some-pretty-pictures. I’ll be back at it soon. The warm weather gets me outside and the outdoors gives me inspiration for writing. No more weekends spent binge watching Netflix…
“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
It’s not quite fitness or food related but it still has to do with my image so I’m reaching a bit this morning. Bear with me.
This week has been a week of confidence boosters in all the best ways, but especially in my career. I received a well-earned promotion at work that I feel has blossomed into all aspects of my life.
I was reminded by my boss and by my self while tackling my new work load that I can handle this. I am driven. I am passionate. I am intelligent. I am confident in who I am. I got this.
Call me vain. Ask me if my head will fit through the door. It’s fine.
I remember the me from college who had nothing in common with any of the girls in my major and struggled to feel as if I would “fit” in this field. I remember feeling uncertain if I’d ever find success in marketing/advertising/PR because I didn’t network enough or suck up to people or fit the “mold”. I remember trying too hard to be friends with people who lived in a different, entitled world. I remember their faces when they discovered I was engaged. I remember being one of three people who stood on the one side of the classroom because we were the sole students interested in doing communications in government or the non-profit sector, while everyone else boldly claimed they wanted to do lifestyle PR or become publicists or event plan for corporations.
I remember that unsure girl lacking confidence, and I much prefer the me I am now. Confident or vain, if someone feels they’re synonymous, I’ll take both.
You should too.
Rock it. Flaunt it. Own it. Don’t let the uncertainty that once weighed you down, or the question of whether you fit in deter you from chasing your dreams.
My husband and I (Still married and killing it in my career. Shout out to everyone who gave me those pitiful, judging looks.) decided to celebrate the promotion, our soon-to-be new duty station, and the warm weather with a night on the town.
I have never felt more confident in who I am or the direction I want to keep heading from here. Hint: That direction is UP.
Today I’ll leave you with two pieces of wisdom since they’re both so relevant:
“I don’t fit into any stereotypes. And I like myself that way.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“So you’re a little weird? Work it! A little different? OWN it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!”
― Mandy Hale
Finally knowing where life is taking us the next couple years, but still stuck in our current location in a sort of limbo has left me with a lot of soul searching lately.
Mainly I’ve been asking myself this question over and over:
What do I want out of this one precious, and fleeting life?
We have been discussing locations near Ft. Lewis, what we want out of our next home, where I could work, where we could visit on the weekends, the hikes we could have, the cities we could explore, the people we see…
It’s so exhilarating and tangible now that the location has been verified a few times over by the Army. But I’m left pondering all these options. We got exactly what we wanted, and now there’s so many lifestyles and career moves I could pursue once we move. The options seem limitless. And anxiety inducing.
Have I mentioned I’m a pro at stressing myself out? Just under 4 months out, and the stress has begun…
But I have to remember it is STILL four months away. There are still four more months that need to be lived in the present. Here. In Alaska.
So what is keeping me calm/laughing/in the moment this week? Here are few ideas for myself (and others) struggling to shake impending anxiety:
1. This video of Australians trying American food. It not only reaffirms my love for Straya and all its inhabitants (definitely on our bucket list to visit), but it’s hilarious. Michael and I spent a good portion of one of our evenings this week watching all of Buzz Feed’s “So and so tries this other country’s food” and laughing.
2. This quote
“Human beings are works in progress who mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are now is as transient, as fleeting, and as temporary as all the people you have ever been. The one constant in our life is change.”
– Harvard’s Dan Gilbert at TED Talk 2014
3. This article from the Washington Post on practicing mindfulness. Such an important daily routine I hope to start incorporating into my own life.
4. This guy and our every weekend skiing/boarding trips. Skiing is quite literally the only winter activity I enjoy, and I’m getting fairly good.
In other words, I effortlessly ski squares and now attempt black diamonds without crying.
5. Running a 10K in 57:00 even this week after not having tried a 10K since last September. It was a nice reminder of why every muscle and curve I’ve gained since moving to Alaska is beautiful and useful and OKAY. It is also one activity I have to be entirely present for. I’m aware of my breath, my muscles, my form, my time, etc.
6. Writing down my thoughts and fears. Whether on this blog or in personal writing. I’m reminded that when I let it spill out from my fingers unto paper or a screen, I can process the anxiety and Let. It. Go.
They’re all pretty simple things, but doing any of the above keeps me present and aware; reminders I should be constantly living for this moment since none of my future moments are guaranteed.