What the Hell Am I Doing With My Life?

Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans! I hope many of you are able to enjoy the day! I am fortunate enough to have a long weekend, starting today, and am taking this time to figure out some next steps.

I have been a bit... lost (?) over the last, well, long while. I feel like I've lost consistency in a lot of things that are important to me. I've been dabbling with new interests and old and trying to figure out who I am now, today. Anybody else go through this? I feel like it has just been constant since I turned 30! I imagine it's a normal process for many at this age as well as those that are privileged enough to be able to ponder such things instead of say, wondering where their next meal is coming from or whether or not they will live to see tomorrow. I've had various conversations with friends recently and I think that for many of my peers (meaning those that share similar socioeconomic levels, race, age, and education level) we have come to identify that we are spinning our wheels in self-actualization. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory tells us that we must start with the foundation. We need physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and finally, we can become self-actualized. So many of us are lucky to be able to hang out at the top of the pyramid, which is something I am truly grateful for. But when you are used to being at the top, what motivates you to keep going? I think this is going to be different for everyone. Some people are good at going with the flow. Some people make a plan and achieve it. Some people (like me) make a LOT of plans and some of them work out and some of them don't. I tend to be a control freak so when the latter happens I get pretty bent out of shape. When a person lacks motivation, they then tend to start things but not finish them. Or maybe not even start. And then it can make you start to wonder, what does it all mean? Does it really matter what I choose to do with my time? Who is affected? Does any one care? And that is a pretty lost feeling to have. And to live in that space... not so fun. 

So that's where I've been here and there for the last while. And I recognize now that those feelings likely will not go away and that those feelings are normal and okay. There are no good or bad feelings. All feelings have value. Of course what one then chooses to do with their feelings, that when you could demonstrate bad behaviors. And for me, those bad behaviors look like choosing to watch a lot of TV, or drink a little too much, or eat a bit too much of something that doesn't have a ton of nutritional value (hello 3 lb bag of Sour Patch Kids!). And although I have spent plenty of time beating myself up over it, those behaviors are also just choices. I am not a bad person for having done it, although the negative self-talk might make me think otherwise. 

I've been living in that space and I want to move forward. I will likely have set backs, and that is okay. Behaviors that keep me accountable and motivated are ones I want to cultivate (or in some cases re-cultivate). I like to set goals and have plans. We've established this, yes? So would you like to take a journey with me to bring back some healthy behaviors back into my life (I don't really care if you want to or not. If you read this blog then that's just what's going to happen! Haha)? 

Let's do it! I have 80 days until the only race I've signed up for this year (see, who the hell am I?). 80 days until I will be running a 10k. 80 days until I plan to PR my 10K time. Yep, you heard me right! Go big or go home (seems appropriate to say today. #Merica)! That means I have to run faster than 1:03:30. I know I can do it! I am going to run 1 mile every day just to start my day. I'll end the run with 10 min yoga. That's only a 20-25 min workout first thing in the morning. Besides, my dogs need the exercise too. Then here's my training plan:
Mon: Body Pump
Tues: Speed Intervals
Wed: Body Pump
Thurs: Tempo Run
Friday: 60-75 min yoga
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: Rest

In addition, I am going to get back to goal weight. It's been too long since I've been at goal or even that close. I have 108 days until my Goal anniversary. I need to lose 30 lbs (yeah, fucking ouch). It's going to be close but if I lose 2 lbs a week I could make it. We'll see. It might be too lofty but I am going to give it a try. How am I going to get there?

Tracking! It just works. Period.

The thing about exercise and eating well and being at a size I feel comfortable... all of that, for me, means I create behaviors that make me feel satisfied. That I did something I can be proud of. I am taking care of myself. We have a funny way of looking at healthy behaviors in this country. More people in my life would encourage me to get a cocktail or have a piece of cake after a crappy day than to go for a run or do yoga. But the latter is what makes me actually feel better, especially over the long run. The former are great in the moment but lead me to feel worse later. It's just hard to remember that in the moment. 

Things I want to celebrate because whereas I have lacked consistency in some ways, I have also done a good job of keeping to a lot of healthy practices:
1. Today marks 3 years that not a single animal product has crossed my lips! In October it will be 6 years since I last ate any dairy or meat, aside from fish. During those 3 years I periodically ate seafood as well as had egg whites from time to time. I am really proud of myself and it has shaped so much of my life.
2. I'm still on top of our finances. I feel like lately that has taken a hit with vet and medical bills, but we are still doing well. Just means our "debt free date" might be pushed back a bit. Life happens. 
3. Dude, our garden. I have been so consistent this year. From taming weeds, staying out top of pests, watering, fertilizing, just all of it! I'm so so so in love with our yard. 
4. Staying in touch with family and friends. I have made my relationships a priority. It's easy to forget about the people that love you when you are in a funk. But they are the ones that help you meddle your way through it. Until you can be built back up again to return the favor. I'm hoping to be able to return the favor more. 
5. Zero waste! I have gotten so much more consistent and into a routine and I feel like that has bled over to so many aspects of my life. I care about the plant and the creatures that inhabit it. I want my actions to demonstrate that. 

Happy Independence Day! 


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