Jet Lag and Playing Small

Hello and happy Wednesday! I’m still recovering from jet lag over here. I just returned from my surprise work trip to Sydney, Australia on Sunday, and though it’s 5:15am here on the U.S. West Coast, my brain and body want me to believe it’s actually 10pm. I am quickly running out of coffee. Send provisions.

But my trip was AMAZING. Most of it was work, but I stayed an extra day so I could do some touristy things. I would have felt shattered if I didn’t travel to the other side of the planet and not see at least ONE koala.

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Also, the hotel I stayed at had hands-down the most awesome hotel gym ever. It was actually a REAL gym/health club that hotel guests could use for free. I forgot how nice it was to have a gym in the same building!

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I am SO NOT COMFORTABLE with public gym pics

Okay, time for some real talk, y’all. The past few years have been tough. I started this blog seven (!!) years ago with the intention of defining myself as a “fitness” person. I thought that if I blogged about my workouts and diet I would magically become all fit and healthy and find a voice and tribe and be a prominent leader in the blogosphere. I absolutely love and enjoy reading blogs, and writing for my own is super fun for me. But I get hung up on the wrong things. I constantly get swept up in the comparison trap, trying to mimic the bloggers I admire when I’ve never been one to fit in any sort of mold. I immediately jump to “oh, I should monetize my blog and try to make money, or it’s not worth my time,” instead of enjoying the process as a hobby for what it is. And worst of all, I get stuck in Impostor Syndrome, feeling that I have nothing of value to share, and “what do I think I know” and “who do I think I am” and all the other crazy negative self talk that comes with trying to lay the guard down and put yourself out there.

The truth is, I think about blogging every. single. day. In my head, I narrate events in my life for a future post. But that post is rarely written. And often, I half-write a draft and it just sits there until it’s no longer relevant and I end up deleting it. I just don’t make the time. And quite honestly, I’m scared to, as well. I’m scared to be real about my struggles and faults and Real Life stuff. Because I don’t like only showing the glossy good days and upsides; it’s not real, and you deserve real. You deserve to read something relatable and authentic, because there’s enough of the “everything is amazing and look how awesome I am” content out there. And the biggest of all, I’m tired of hiding parts of myself. I’m tired of separating and isolating the “personal me” with the “public me” with the “professional me”. While there is a line between what’s personal and what’s intimate, and there is a time and a place for disclosure and sharing, I am tired of being so cautious about how I present myself here, in my own freakin’ space on the internet that I pay for. I shouldn’t be afraid to be honest with who I am and what I’m up to. I’m tired of playing small.

I want to blog more. Whether I actually get down to making the time for it or not is yet to be witnessed. But I wanted to throw it out there, see what the Universe has in mind for this little corner of the internets. Odds are pretty good that I’ll keep writing half-draft posts every month or so that never see the light of day. Or maybe my blog will take a new direction, with whatever inspiration comes my way. Whatever the case, if you made it reading down this far, thank you for hanging in there with me while I sorted out my thoughts.

That was a lot. Here, I will share an amusing meme with you that I had posted to Instagram last week:

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Now go make it a great day!

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Awesomely Average

For some reason, I’ve been fearful of writing lately. After some refection, I think I understand why. The fear comes from perfectionism. Not that I’ll fail, but that I won’t be perfect. Exceptional. That I’ll end up in the dreaded average. Who wants to be average? I either want to be amazingly inspiring, or so horrendously ill equipped that my cautionary story of How I Attempted Exceptional and Failed Spectacularly is a source of future amusement. Does it really need to be one or the other? I used to say, “epic good, or epic fail!” in jest, but now it’s become more of a life motto than an amusing meme. What is up with my avoidance of Average? So far all it’s doing is preventing me from living life and doing what I enjoy.

There’s nothing wrong with average. It’s comfortably in the middle. It’s unassuming. It’s where the power can lie in wait, recharging for the next surge. Average gets stuff done. It’s still progress. Average sets the standard. As David Letterman said, C’s still get degrees.

Our culture wants to reward the overachievers, the “greatests,” because they’re an inspiring story. And it’s super fun to be the winner on top of their game. Everybody loves a winner, and the prizes are fabled to  be great, even if the prize is “Congratulations! More work!” But the average is also rewarded – with lack of resistance. You just move forward to the next step. If I’m an average parent, my kids still grow up right. If I’m an average employee, I am likely to keep my job. If I’m an average powerlifter, I can still move and lift heavy-ish things. Average can still keep me moving forward without all of the effort and stress Exceptional requires.

Of course I don’t want to get stuck in a rut. But average isn’t a rut if it’s just a place I’m hanging out in for a while as I catch my breath and my bearings. Nor is it complacent; eventually I’ll get bored of Average and want a challenge. And then Exceptional will take the stage, and we do the dance again.

Average. Moving things progressively forward since the first caveman looked at his cave painting and said, “Meh, good enough.”

Blogging Fears [Thinking Out Loud #1]

Can I confess something? Lately I’ve been more and more afraid about blogging. Which is stupid, I know, but I want to have my blog express my desire to unabashedly put myself out there all “here I am” in a blaze of sass and style. But what I feel like I actually put out there pales in comparison to what I really want to do. For a lot if reasons, fear being one of them.

See, I’m trying to do a lifestyle blog. And in my head I am living my own version of healthy. But when I look back on my days, I can’t imagine anyone would believe me. I’m living this weird hybrid of paleo/”healthy” SAD/whatever the hell I want, and I just feel weird about it. On one hand, who cares. This is how I live, this is what I do. On the other hand, what message am I sending? What is my goal in all this? To show you can eat fried shrimp and still feel like a normal human? How it’s hard to work and tend kiddos and travel and eat right/exercise but you do what you can because that’s what you have to do? I could try harder. But on a deep level, I don’t wanna. I’m doing good with where I’m at, a good balance between hanging in there and not feeling stressed about being too far one way or the other.

I guess there’s a little comparison trap in there, too. I follow folks that have green on their plate every meal, awesome “OOTD” posts (outfit of the day for all of your social media misfits; don’t feel bad, that one took me a few weeks to decipher), contribute to all the fun link-ups and still have engaging, original content. And the Tweeting. Who has time to Tweet?!? That’s not me. I barely have the time for the “oh crap, I should post now,” throw it in the iPhone app with some blurry pictures and hope it reads coherently. Because that’s me.

I guess in my head I want this blog to be one thing, but in reality it’s something completely different. It’s just an extension of me. It’s my lifestyle, it’s what’s in my head, it’s a reflection of my life and how I choose to live it.

I don’t use a photo editor. 90% of my posts are written on my phone while standing on the commuter train because there are no more empty seats. I don’t post “healthy” food, and I don’t take enough pictures to properly document festive occasions such as birthdays and baby updates. I wish I could, but at the end of the day that’s not what I make time for. Instead, I sit and chat with Hulk for an hour in the evening before dinner, catching up on our day and some alone time to decompress. I sit with Squish watching “Cars” for the seventh time that day or help him race his trains across the kitchen floor. I don’t photoshop, I don’t scour the internet for interesting articles to share. I live my life, and when I can I blog about it.

At first pass, I feel “blog guilt” about it. I should be doing more, but at the end of the day I just choose to spend my time doing other things (like catching up on sleep). So in a sense, this blog is totally 100% authentically me, in a “here it is, take it or leave it,” way. Because that is who I am, and really, at the end of the day, that is what I want to be on this blog.

Thank you to Amanda at Running with Spoons for the Thinking Out Loud Thursday link-up opportunity!

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