Hello 2015! Time to Relax!

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Happy New Year, friends! We’re already a week into 2015 and it’s already zooming by. 

Our New Year’s celebration was pretty low key but very nice. As my Christmas gift, my boss treated us to a very nice and fancy dinner out on New Year’s Eve. We enjoyed delicious wine and seafood and had fun dressing up. At midnight we said cheers to the Near Year and made some resolutions. 

As I shared on Monday one of my New Years resolutions is to relax more. That may sound funny to you. How hard is it to relax? Do you really need to make a resolution to lounge around and sleep more? If you know anything about me, you know I’m a big worrier and suffer from anxiety. My constant state of worry often makes me lose out on moments of joy. Instead of basking in the moment and taking it all in, my mind is thinking about everything that could go wrong or trying to create a perfect plan so that everything falls into place how we want it.

No matter how many times I learn that I’m not in control of how the world turns, I can’t stop trying to take control or worry about the outcome.

That’s why I decided that my word of 2015 is going to be RELAX. 

2015 is a year of growth and change for Ryan and I. Ryan will be finishing up law school and will be graduating in May. He will be leaving his current job while studying for the bar. We will be moving to a new house in a new area. And then he will be starting his career at his new job in September. This is the time we’ve been waiting for and I want to experience it with joy, not anxiety. 

So in addition to lessening stress and finding the calm in those big moments of change I am also going to start incorporating peaceful and positive changes in my daily life. Like, practicing meditation, yoga, and sleeping more. As well as making priorities and sticking to them while also making sure I have time for myself and my needs. I want to feel centered and relaxed yet intent.  If that means blogging only once or twice a week, so be it! 

Through these changes I am committed to staying relaxing and adopting a “come what will” or “whatever will be” attitude. We are going to be fine, no matter what. Let’s make the ride an adventure, and an enjoyable one, while we are still on it!

What are you hoping to achieve in the New Year?

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Think Positive Monday: Less Holiday Stress

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(Think Positive Monday: sharing tips and keeping me in line to live a happier and more positive life)

I love this part of the year. I love the happiness, the warmth and coziness, the memories, the traditions and the way most people seems to soften a bit. I even like the holiday rush. But this time of year can also be extremely stressful. There are high expectations, budget constrictions, conflicts between family members, and sometimes it feels like there is no time to relax.

I aim to keep Christmas a happy time for myself and those around me. We try to limit meltdowns and over committing. To keep us as relaxed as possible from Dec 1 – January 2 I try to follow these two tips:

Two tips for lessening stress during this busy holiday season:

1. Set Your Priorities and Stick To Them

Early on in the season have a conversation with your partner, or yourself, discussing what your top priorities are in the Holiday Season.

Look at your calendar and decide what will work with the amount of free time, money, and sanity you have. Don’t overbook yourself. Decide what traditions or family events are mandatory and then add on what you know will make you the happiest. I scheduled a few parties with friends and mandatory family events and then made sure I still had time to do my own favorite Christmas activities like baking cookies, wrapping gifts, watching Christmas movies, reading, and lots of quality family time. You can’t do it all.

2. Remember You Have No Control Over Other People’s Behaviors

It’s always hard being around people that you simply don’t agree with or get along with. But when I’m trying to enjoy my favorite time of year, being around negative or toxic people is even harder. I try to remember that I can’t change those people, they are who they are. The only thing I can control is my own behavior. I use these opportunities to treat others the best way I know how. Be responsible for your actions and don’t worry about others.

How do you make it through the holidays without stressing?

 

Think Positive Monday: When All You Feel Is Negative

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Two weeks ago was a rough week for me. No matter what I did I couldn’t get myself out of a negative mood. I lost myself in a fit of ugly crying almost every day. It seemed like whenever I tried to lift myself up I would end up feeling worse. Nothing seemed to be going my way. And then we turned back the clocks and the sun setting at 4:30 p.m. only made everything worse. I just couldn’t get myself out of the dumps.

During that week I was catching up with a friend. I was venting and ranting about everything in my life. It wasn’t until I paused and stepped outside of the conversation to realize how everything I had said was 100% negative.

I said to my friend, “I’m sorry all I’ve talked about is negative stuff.”

And she replied, “Don’t be sorry! That’s what is going on right now!”

And it’s true. Sometimes life is simply negative.

I think sometimes we’re afraid to admit that life is hard or that we are failing. Especially us women. We are afraid that we will sound weak or like we are not happy with our life. When that’s not usually the case. Sometimes we just hit bumps in the road or we are just having a bad day. But things will always get better. You simply have to push forward and find the good. No matter how annoying, silly, and impractical that sounds in the moment.

I’m so grateful for this weekly series because if forces me to continue to be positive, even when I just want to have a pity party and complain about every little thing. Last week I couldn’t help but feel a bit hypocritical, writing my sunshiny post when meanwhile I could barely pull myself out of bed. But it helped. It’s a reminder that you have to try.

It’s like working out. You don’t really love going but you do it to improve your health. You have to practice the positivity exercises even when you don’t feel like it. Give yourself an hour or day to be upset and then try to move forward with practicing positivity. 

We all know the saying, “misery loves company” don’t let your thoughts duplicate to the point that they are the only thoughts habitating your mind.

Step out of the situation and give yourself a minute or to and practice a positivity exercise. Things aren’t going to get magically better, but I bet over time you will begin to learn to deal with the negative occurences in your life in a much healthier way. 

Fear of the Unknown

Anxiety of The Unknown
Do you remember that annoying kid in school that was always raising their hand and knew all the answers? That was me.

I never wanted to be caught off guard, surprised, not know the answers, or not know what was going to happen next. I always did my research. I always discovered the answers. I always had a plan.

Otherwise I was a mess. The more that remained unknown the more I worried. I’d become overridden with anxiety and not enjoy life. 

I’m still this way. Even though the word “adventure” is in my blog title, a word that to many evokes spontaneous and hazardous activity, the unknown paralyzes me with anxiety. I like my adventures to be very well thought out.

Before I go on trip I do hardcore research on restaurants, sites, and hotels. When I go to the doctor I need them to calmly tell me each and every step of the procedure they are about to do. Dates are planned with a specific agenda. Lists, spreadsheets, calendars, and maps are all friends of mine. 

I’m not stupid. I know that life laughs in your face when you try to make plans. I’ve faced enough obstacles in my 31 years to know that life cannot be planned and the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.

Yet, I still find myself yearning to plan for the future. I want to do my best to ensure I’m as prepared as I can be. I want to know all the answers to all the things.

The small things: What will we have for dinner? What will I wear tomorrow? Where should we go on a weekend trip?

And the big things: Where will we be living in 5 years? Where will Ryan be working? When will we have a family? When will we have a house? How long will I be at this job? 

In just one year Ryan graduates from law school. It will be a great celebration after four years of hard work. He is currently on summer break. For months I’ve been looking forward to this summer so that we’d have more time together and the stress of school wouldn’t be weighing heavy on him (and me). We’d be a normal couple, waking up and going to work and coming home to have dinner together (even if it is at 8 p.m.) and full weekends free! 

Yet, here we are, getting paralyzed by the unknown.

This whole week my heart has been beating too fast for me to catch my breath. I have no idea where we will be in one year. Most likely we will be moving. I have moved 8 times since I graduated from college. The idea of moving out of our current house makes me want to vomit.

This past week I’ve been creating multiple budgets and looking up homes. I have no idea what state we will even be living in. We could be moving in six months. All dependent on where Ryan can secure a good job. I know that we are in this together and that is part of the fun, the adventure. But it doesn’t change the fact that this part of our future is out of our control.

Will he find a job? Will he find a job he’ll be happy in? Will I have to leave my job? Will I find another job? Will we find housing as nice as our current home? Will I have to say goodbye to my family? Will I have to leave this town, this countryside that I’ve grown to love? No matter how many houses or jobs or neighborhoods I look at, there is no way of knowing what will be.

 There is no way to plan for this. For once in my life, I do not know all the answers and it terrifies me. 

xoxo Katie

My battle with the hair salon

I’m getting my hair done today!

For most  women this is a joyful day. A time to look forward to where one can relax and unwind. For most people going to the salon feels like this:

this is the best

And then there is me.

I think I’m the only person in the world that can’t stand going to the hair salon. As soon as I walk up to the receptionist, my anxiety creeps in and I turn into this:

anxiety

I look at the sterile rows of salon chairs and feel like I’m making a slow long walk to my death at an electric chair. I want to be excited, I’m coming here to be beautified! If only I could sit in the chair, read a book, and get done what I’m paying to get done.

Simply put, I hate small talk.

no small talk

Don’t get me wrong – I love my stylist. She’s very sweet. She remembers tid bits about my life and we usually catch up on what is new in each other’s lives. She also does an awesome job with my color!!!

However, this “catch up” usually lasts all of 5 minutes. I then feel like I’m scraping the edges of a steel barrow for something to talk about. Even while they are blow drying your hair, stylists seem to feel the need to shout questions at you. I have no desire to scream back to her about the weather or my shoes or what is on TV tonight.  It’s already so loud with all the blow dryers, extroverted chit chat, and bad music. Why is silence at a salon so unheard of? I just want to curl up in a ball!

shh!

I’m been itching for a change in my hairstyle lately. I’m thinking of going a little shorter – something like this:

hair 2 However, I know that as soon as I sit down in that chair I’m going to clam up and say, “just a little trim please!” Because the other times I’ve tried to say what I want, it usually turns into something the opposite of what I want. And, No, I do not want to buy $40 product! No matter what you say, it WILL make my hair greasy!

no no no

The only calm time at the salon is when my color is setting for about 20 minutes or the 2 blissful minutes of the scalp massage. Ah, quiet peaceful joy.

I also say I can just go home with my hair wet as it usually takes around twenty minutes to dry my long hair. That twenty minutes usually ends up feeling like an hour. I usually close my eyes so it looks like I’m asleep and I can avoid shout talking over the blow dryer. I just can’t wait to get the hell outta there!

getmeout

After paying the too large fee, I push open the doors with a big smile and take  first non shallow breath I’ve had for over two hours. Time to go home and watch the Halloween special of Pretty Little Liars with a glass of wine while smelling how lovely my beautiful fresh hair looks!!!!! (I know, huge nerd alert).

excited

Anyone else have salon anxiety? It can’t be just me, right?!

xoxo katie