Has been met.

But I can’t tell you what it is.

And it’s killing me.

I will, but I can’t. Not here, and not now.

Perhaps it will be the first post on my new blog, and I know it’s a ridiculous tease to even mention it here without being able to disclose it. (hint: if you email me, I will tell you! drop me a line…and some of you already know what it is, privately, of course)

I will say this – it does tie in to one of my resolutions for 2010…and maybe that will help you connect the dots. But I am so proud of how far I’ve come and how 2011 is truly shaping up to be utterly amazing in so many ways.

Beyond this ‘unspoken’ resolution I vowed for this year, I’ve accomplished so much, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Hell, I’ve found love! I never even thought that would happen, and I’m embracing it, I promise. It will be difficult to capture all that 2010 has meant to me, but I plan to, in upcoming posts, because I want it seared in my memory forever (and documented here, before I shift into my new blog…or shall we just call it an evolution of TBD?)

So, friends, know that there is major change afoot in my life. It’s scary. It’s brand spanking new. And I’m ready to dive in. Wheee!

 

This quote, for quote Friday, speaks to me for many reasons. I’ve kept it tucked away for awhile, but take a listen, read the lyrics, and I think you’ll also find much to embrace about this song (from the ever-90’s favorite, Des’ree! Thanks T, for pointing this one out awhile back!)

Challenge.

Be Bold.

Embrace.

Not to open the “happy hornet’s nest” as Snark aptly put it in his blog today on in-the-moment vs. big picture happiness (which I concur with!), but I’ve been kicking around a few other thoughts on the subject of happiness as well.

Getting through the bad and enjoying the good. What is that?

Resilience.

Strength.

Happiness.

Yes, I think the ability to get through the tough parts of life makes you enjoy the good *that* much more. It’s something that struck me as Doctor Boy uttered in my ear one morning…”I never thought I could be this happy. When you’re as unhappy as you are at one point in your life, you don’t realize how happy you can ever be.”

Amen.

And you know what else?

Your ability to bounce back from the bad is called resilience.

And your ability to appreciate and embrace the good is that much more heightened and you don’t take it for granted. Ever.

And you realize that some of the moments you now consider bad, or stressful or sad are more bearable because you’re stronger and just power through them a little bit easier.

No, it doesn’t mean that traumatic experiences or life-altering experiences, like death, or poverty, or depression, or divorce mean you are happy. Of course not. But I think those experiences shape you and impact you much more than anything else.

To allow you to be more resilient.

To allow you to appreciate the things in life that you may never have noticed before getting through something extremely trying.

And that, my friends, is why, while I still go back to happiness is a choice (for me), I think almost more importantly, the ability to get through the bad and the good gives you a level of resilience you never had before.

Allowing you to be content (even if things aren’t going your way all the time), happy (even if you’re not happy with everything in your life) and strong (no matter what).

I feel grateful that I *do* have so much happy in my life, but I am almost more grateful that I can actually see all the good, even the tiniest of good, and let the bad slide off my shoulders just a wee bit more.

I’ve mentioned this magazine before – Whole Living – and one of my favorite features, called “10 thoughts on whole living.” I tear every one of them out and put them up on my fridge (and man, is it getting full!). This month’s issue has an awesome list of some of my favorites and I just had to repost them here.

Don’t mistake predictability for peace: some if life’s most important moments are born of chaos.

This one is hard for me, though I absolutely love it, because I am borne of organization, balance, and well, peace, so chaos and a shaken up routine is hard for me to accept. But this couldn’t be more true – when I was feeling like my routine was completely upside down, some of the most important moments of this year, and my life – meeting, falling in love, and taking care of my niece Isabel. Chaos, I need to embrace you more often.

Strength is defined not by what you can resist, but by how much you can expand.

Amen. It’s about going past your boundaries, out of your comfort zone, and learning. I crave learning. Constantly. More so at this stage in my life than ever before. It makes me feel whole, it gives me a strange sense of balance, and it keeps me on my toes.

While prayer may not change a situation, it may change the way you experience it.

This one again rings so true to me, because sometimes, I have questioned why God has tested me in the ways he has. Why did I have to face divorce? Why did I have to struggle financially and to find love? But prayer and faith and reading has helped me accept what has been given to me to handle and get through it. Hasn’t always been happily so, but it has gotten me through, and I’ve felt peace with it. Not raged against it because I hated the situation. You can’t always change it, but you can change your attitude towards it.

Eating a warm meal nourishes the body: preparing it nourishes the soul.

It’s almost winter here. I think this one speaks true to us New Englanders (and Canadians!!). I’m a huuuuge crockpot fan in the winter. There’s just something about a hot meal that’s been slow cooking all day that makes me happy. Bliss.

Try to see your family for who they are, not who they were.

This one screams acceptance, to me. As I’ve blogged about my father before, it’s been hard for me, in the past, to let myself get close to him, for all that has happened in the past. But I accept him for who he is now, and what our relationship is. It’s not a “true” father/daughter relationship, and that’s okay.

Find reasons and ways to give. It’ll make you happier than you expect.

I love giving. Gifts, of myself, my time, my friendship. It’s rewarding. Enough said.
The best escape is to let yourself become absorbed from time to time.

Yes. Like on vacation in Playa del Carmen (just kidding, well, sort of). Letting yourself be engulfed completely, is okay, sometimes. Not to lose yourself, but to really come to terms with something in your life, or with a new love (cue Doctor Boy…not that I’d consider myself absorbed, at least not negatively!), or in a new creative venture. I crave that sometimes.

If you feel hungry, ask yourself what you’re really craving.
Damn you, chocolate. And wine. And baked cheetos. 😉

You’ll gain more by facing up to fear than you ever will by running away.

YES. My first inclination when I am scared is to run. To shy away from the challenge. But the more out-of-my-comfort-zone I get, the more I learn and the more I gain. Couldn’t say it any better than this.
Creativity isn’t making something from scratch, but seeing potential in what already exists.

Don’t throw yourself out and start fresh. What’s the point in that? Take the good, fix the not-so-good and polish up the potential that lies within. I love this one. So so true.

I need a little more chaos in my life, a lot of out-of-my-comfort-zone moments and challenges…it’s what drives me and keeps me sane. I never thought in a million years I’d yearn for that, but I do. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

…and I haven’t accomplished *all* of my resolutions I created for the “year of me?”After reading a recent post from Quarter For Her Thoughts, I figure it was high time to take stock in my resolutions and see what’s left.

The good news?

I’ve accomplished one of the biggest – that I never thought I would – finding love.

But the one goal I really wish I met (and though there is still time, I find it relatively unlikely I’ll have time to accomplish this one, sadly)?

Making my blog ME (buying my domain, getting self-hosted etc). It’s still one of the things that I want to do, and am vowing to go bigger and better in 2011. (and/or write a bloggy book – who’s up for it, ahem?)

~~

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in 2011 and even more near-term, over the winter, especially physically. I think I need a new challenge. I passed Group Kick, I ran a half marathon (check off the ole resolution list there, too!) and now, I’m sort of just getting back into my workout routine, with a mix of running, spinning, weights, and Kick.

But I’m bored with it. I need something new. My body craves a challenge.

I think I know what it is.

But it scares the bejesus out of me.

What is it, you ask?

Swimming.

Yep. I think I need to *finally* learn how to swim.

Why?

To train for a triathlon, but of course (again, ahem, let’s do it!)!

It’s something I have been toying with, and I think I really need to just go for it. Ronda Uncensored has been learning to swim and she’s my inspiration to do it too. I know it’ll be good for me, but it’ll also open a ton of other fitness challenges and goals, too.

So, I think that’s my goal for the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011…whatcha say?

 

 

 

As I drove home this evening after another rewarding (but exhausting!) “baby duty” day with my sister Jen and niece Isabel, it struck me.

This weekend, two years ago, was the weekend my life turned upside down, when I officially knew my marriage was over. (the days leading into realizing this wasn’t just a fight, but the beginning of the end are a little hazy for me but if you read my blog series under “Some of my favorites” you can get all of the details on how it unfolded)

And on this quote Friday, there’s nothing better to fit what I’m feeling than Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” in large part for these specifically:

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret

I can, without a shadow of a doubt say that I will never look back at my marriage and wish I was still in it. I can, without a shadow of a doubt, know who loves me (and love them back), forgive and never regret. Why? Because at this point in my life, two years later, I firmly believe I am exactly where I’m meant to be. It feels so amazing, every time I reach one of these milestones and realizations that the little things melt away and the big things come to the forefront and I realize this is where I’m meant to be, without a shadow of a doubt.

And these lyrics are dead-on for what I feel – hell yeah, they are dead-on:

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

It can’t get any better than that, can it?

To know you are loved, and to love back.

…and to know you are capable of love again.

To know that there are big dreams ahead, and a lot to be accomplished.

…and to know you’re capable of big things.

To know that above all else, there are no failures in life, just challenges that make you stronger.

“I hope you never look back, but you never forget.”

I’ve been struggling with finding value lately. And it’s hard for me to wrap my head around this because I do feel valued (T, thanks for sparking this one in me, from your recent posts!). By Doctor Boy (like whoa), by my family, and my friends.

So why don’t I value myself?

First – self-image.

As I noted in my post yesterday, I’ve been struggling with chronic “fat days” and literally just tearing myself apart in my brain and honestly, I’m not sure why.

Sure, my workout routine isn’t exactly what I want right now (but I know it will improve).

But I still manage to workout 5-6 times a week (vs. what? 6-7?!). So, huh?

Sure, I indulged (like whoa) in wine country (but since, I have been focusing on eating clean and restricting wine to weekends (which is VERY difficult to do, at least once a week isn’t so bad, normally, right?!).

But I am doing it, and when I have gone out to eat, I’ve chosen good options (but it’s still eating out, which doesn’t give me much control on what they put in it exactly either).

So, perhaps I am being a little unfair with myself, but I do know I don’t feel as good as I normally do, and maybe it’s just a really long cycle of PMS (righhht) and maybe I just need to work a little harder.

But it doesn’t mean  I should be tearing myself apart. I do value me and who I am, curves and all. Why do I have such a horrible habit? It’s definitely something I struggle with but as of today, I am vowing to take the extra step to think before I immediately say something badly about myself. I mean, if I don’t value me, why should others?!

Second, value in terms of the future.

Where do I want to be? What do I want to achieve? How do I want to get there? I can’t help but think 2011 is the year of changes for me (as much as 2010 has been about change, it’s also been a stepping stone year for me, and of course, the year of me). I ponder these things often. But I can’t sit idle, right? I need to act, I need to make it happen. I need to get out of the comfort zone and just go for it.

I feel like I have built a solid foundation for myself in my first full year on my own, post divorce (since technically, I didn’t get divorced until 9/11/09) and I can’t just expect change to come to me, right?

This is my challenge to me: change my attitude about myself and get back to value. I have a lot to offer, I know this, I really do. So now it’s time to convey it.

Who’s with me? What do you challenge yourself to do?

I’ve clearly had some pending milestones on my mind this week that have actually turned into some pretty thoughtful posts (it feels good to be back to blogging regularly after my trip, too!), and all of your feedback this week in particular, has been amazing, so thank you, friends and bloggy friends, it means the world to me, and is one of the many reasons why I absolutely love blogging.

My quote today for Quote Friday, ties into that milestone coming up (two years since separating from my ex) as well as in my journey towards finding someone special to share the life I’ve built for myself.

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”

Yeah, I think my life is successful, I’ll say it. I really do. Despite some persistent money woes and desire for some new challenges (including physically. stay tuned on that, as I have some thuoghts on new fitness challenges for the winter now that the half marathon is over), I’ve come to a place in my life where the effort, persistence and patience (albeit sometimes shaky patience!) has brought me to now…the place where I’m meant to be, firmly planted.

And while it may sound a little premature to say that I’m happy to be sharing the life I’ve built with someone else, I say that as in the 5 or so weeks since I met Doctor Boy, I already feel some pretty strong feelings for him and think this weekend’s “reunion” of sorts will really make clear where this is heading. And I’m really looking forward to it. I’m ready. I’m content, no matter what. And that feels better than I ever imagined.

I also think this quote is relevant to some other people in my life, who are going through some struggles in life, with their Faith, and trusting that all that is happening is for a reason. There is no failure in struggling through some challenging times, because ultimately, I firmly believe that you do make it through better, stronger, happier, after overcoming these life challenges. It becomes glorious success.

And man, that feels good.

Happy weekend everyone, I hope you enjoy it (I know I will!)

~

PS – check out my new header, that’s a picture from the hot air balloon over Napa. The sun rising…breathtaking.

Holy shit.

That was the hardest thing I have ever done IN. MY. LIFE.

No joke.

I actually had a really bad run this morning (of course, the one time it truly counts!) and felt myself hitting a wall as early as THREE miles in…so I knew it was going to be a really tough course, mentally and physically. I ran strong, though, through mile 8 or 9, and then got a really bad side cramp – debilitating level. The kind where you can’t breathe, and every time you breathe in, it feels like stabbling pain.

Um, yea.

Did I mention it was close to 75 when we started and 83 when we finished?!

That didn’t help. At all.

But rather than focus on the negative and while I am dissapointed at my finish (2 hrs 50 mins when I was aiming for 2 hrs 40 mins), I crawled, scratched and forced myself to that finish line, even though there were times when I wanted to sit down and cry. My brother in law Scott’s father (aka my “adopted” in-laws!) met me at mile 11 and walked almost a full mile with me and that truly was one of the biggest things that kept me going. I ran most of the last two miles and when I saw that finish line, I just about crumpled.

But I ran through it and crossed that finish line.

Wow. I’m a half-marathoner.

Wow.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your support – in-person, here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You are all amazing. I love you all!

~~

And on another note, please say prayers for my sister Jen. She is back in the hospital today, for a few days, battling an infection from her c-section. My mom wasn’t able to make it to watch us cross (but Mark was, and he took some great pics – see here – and I will post more when I get them!) but I am so very glad she was with her instead. I talked to Jen today, we cried together, and I told her how much I love her and Isabel. Please say a prayer – if you pray – and just keep her in your mind, either way. Thank you.

~~

A few pics from the race…

Pre-race - we look so damn chipper!

Steph and me pre-race - also chipper!

me and Jess post-race - a wee bit tired!

The group post-race - my eyes tell it all!

Happy Quote Friday everyone – today’s post is a little different in that my quote – while still inspirational – is very much focused on my challenge ahead. In less than 16 hours, I will run my very first half-marathon.

Gulp.

My goal is so perfectly stated in today’s quote, borrowed from a post my sister wrote a few months ago:

“Run if you can, walk if you must, crawl if you have to – just don’t stop.”

THAT is exactly my goal for tomorrow’s Wicked Half Marathon – with 950 runners (a record number!), it’s going to be insane…not to mention the temps tomorrow are supposed to hit 86 (Indian Summer – bring. it. on), so it will be a little warmer than I thought, as well. But, right now, at this very moment, I am a ball of nervous energy, excited to tackle it and even more excited to cross that finish line. I know that no matter what, that is going to be one of the best feelings in the world.

Me.

A half-marathoner.

Running 13.1 miles with my sister, my brother in law and one of my close friends  Steph – we’ve come a long way (literally as well!), and I am excited to get ‘er done!! It already feels amazing to have run 12.4 miles, which was a huge mental and physical challenge, last week, but it gave me the confidence I need to run that last .7 miles to the finish. And when I’m done, I hope I can utter these words…mentioned by yet another great friend (who will be coming to celebrate with us in wine country in less than a week!), Meg:

“The woman who starts this race, isn’t the same woman who finishes it.”

*Chills*

Damn straight.

GAME ON!!

~~

As for the rest of my weekend? A kick-ass Wicked Half party at my sister’s house – which will include friends as well as Doctor Boy, and then a wine tasting event (with Doctor Boy as well, whee!) in Boston on Sunday for Boston Wine Week.

Cheers friends!