Slowing Down

Slowing Down | The Urban Pig

Lately, I have been proving myself wrong in many ways, mostly in the sense of my personality differing from what I have always described it as. I have always been a planner, and I still am in some ways, like with long-term goals. But this year seems to be a time of quick decision making, such as moving back from Denver, moving into a rental home (photos from around the house), starting my own business, and more. It’s been a lot of excitement, but at the same time it has left me in a state of mind where I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I haven’t had the much needed time to digest each decision and really take in what is happening. It’s been kind of a scary thing for me! Luckily, everything is working out fine so far; my mind just needs to take some time to catch up with what my body is doing. I know how important it is to enjoy the journey of life events such as these and I really want to have that appreciation for the present time in which I am living.

After coming to this realization, I have definitely been able to clear some of the doubts in my mind. Those doubts like, “should I really follow through with this business thing?” (only because our income was a bit less than we wanted it to be to save for a house, then I realized it was definitely worth it), or “maybe we should just buy a house rather than build…” (again, I realized it will be worth it!). These doubts tend to creep up when I am exhausted and stressed like I had been the last few weeks. Once I had a tiny bit of time to sit and think and discuss them with Connor, we realized anything worth doing is not going to come easy, or quickly for that matter. So I decided not only is it time to slow down and give myself the opportunity to fight my fears rather than trying to suppress them, it is also time to slow down and see how far we have come and be okay with the fact that some things just take time! I am working hard mentally to change that timeline in my head that says I need to start building a house this year and have a fantastic business at the same time. Of course it is dreamy to think about, but really not practical in reality. All we can do is work toward those goals and in time, they will be achieved.

Slowing Down | The Urban Pig

Slowing Down | The Urban Pig

In the meantime, there is always so much to be thankful for, we just need to soak it in and count our blessings, even the small ones. There will be a time to stress about the happenings in life, and it is easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone around you. But remember to take a deep breath every once in a while, focus on yourself and do the best you can.

Too Sore To Type

Too Sore To Type | The Urban Pig

I would be embarrassed if anyone saw my method of walking up the stairs this evening — it was sort of a straight-legged crawl so I didn’t have to move or bend any muscle in my body. It hurts so good! But bad. Really, really bad.

Connor and I took our first class of boxing/kickboxing last night. I had been looking for a way to relieve some stress, and boxing is something that has sounded like fun to me for a while, I just never took the initiative to actually try it. I think the winter has gotten me a little stir-crazy sitting around the house every night, so we finally looked into some classes and picked a place that is super convenient (right next to Con’s work) and had good reviews. Title Boxing Club — the trainers are actual fighters so you get someone who pushes you hard and knows what they are doing.

I was really nervous at first because the classes are open to all ages, all skill levels; so as a beginner, I thought it would be intimidating. But it wasn’t. In fact, I thought it was less intimidating than if I was in a class with people all the same skill as me. There was a man in possibly his 70’s, there was a little boy maybe 10, there was a girl who weighed 100 pounds and a girl who weighed 200 pounds. It didn’t matter. Everyone was there to try something new, or to develop their skills, to have fun, or to get serious. Everyone did their own thing, but everyone felt the pain from the workout!

I got super dizzy in the first 10 minutes of nonstop movement and after 10 minutes I thought I was going to puke! I tried to push myself to keep up but it just wasn’t happening. I took a few minutes for a break than jumped back in. Once we got to the boxing and kickboxing, I did a lot better than the warm-up exercises. We were pushed right into things, but it makes you catch on quick and learn fast. The trainer pushed hard but was fun and kept you motivated to keep going.

So, yes, after the first 10 minutes of class my body felt like it was going to disintegrate, and after the hour long class I couldn’t move. So you can only imagine how today feels, and how tomorrow may only be worse!

After just one class though, I can tell how much my body needed this. Sitting at a desk all day and then coming home to sit on the couch and watch tv has done nothing good for me. It feels so good now to move and be active. After class last night, I was actually tired enough to go straight to bed. And this morning, I felt awake and ready to go. I was energized all day; still running on the excitement of yesterday’s class. I can’t wait to go back, but I know I need to stretch my body out before it breaks.

Here’s the thing I realized when looking back at the different sports and activities I have participated in: ballet and dance was great. It allowed me to stretch and wake up my body slowly. It taught me composure and grace. It kept me from getting too stressed throughout the day, because it relaxed me. It was like my preventative care for stress and aggression. But sometimes, we forget to do the preventative maintenance our body needs, and then we realize we are a bundle of stress and anger, and we need some kind of release. Ballet and dance didn’t give me that release. I needed to work it out. Which is when that punching bag really seemed effective last night. The same way that throwing elbows in soccer as a defensive player did for me when I was little. Those aggressive actions get out the aggression, and boxing seems like a disciplined way to do that. It is the cure for stress and anger once you find that you already have it.

I’m super excited to be starting this journey for both my mental and physical health, for fun and for learning, for something both healthy and productive.

I’m Back! With Changes…

Photo via The Urban Pig

A while back, I took a “stress test” to learn how different events effect you. I discovered that having more than one large life event in a year can really add up to a lot of stress…duh. But what I didn’t realize was that even if these life events are really awesome, good things, it can STILL create some negative emotions. For example, looking back at the considerable amount of things which have happened this year:

  • I graduated from college
  • Moved back to Spokane
  • Traveled to Europe with my mom
  • Mourned the death of a good friend and my great grandma, one week apart
  • Moved to Colorado
  • Connor got a new job, and I started my career in design
  • Connor and I bought a house (we should be moving in just a few weeks!)

I sort of feel like this was enough “life events” to last over several years! Even though so much of these changes were good, it can still be overwhelming. All of the planning (like my travels), or lack of planning (like moving to Colorado) is tiring! I feel like Connor and I won’t really be back to a “normal” schedule for at least a few months. It’s like we are running a hundred miles an hour, but never actually getting anywhere. Okay, we are getting somewhere, but it’s been a ride trying to keep up! You may have noticed my absence in blogging for the last week, even after my computer got fixed. All of this has led me to looking at making some adjustments in life, trying to make things easier on ourselves, especially in a time that our lives continue to change and adjust to these new situations (buying a house, moving, getting settled in our jobs, etc).

So, for now, I am cutting down on blogging. It can be tough to write three times a week, especially when my time is crunched that I don’t have time to do much besides work, eat and sleep, not to mention write about it, too. However, I am really excited to make this change. I just know things will be better. I will feel better and write better if I have more time to focus and gather inspiration between posts. It should be beneficial. In fact, just thinking about the extra time gets my brain going!

Anyway, it’s sort of interesting how too much of a good thing can actually cause havoc. Don’t get me wrong; I am so fortunate, blessed, and thrilled about the changes which have happened in my life this year, but I am definitely learning (or trying to learn) how to manage a new schedule and priorities, while still making time for activities I enjoy. I think it is important to experiment with how adjustments to different parts of life can help, or sometime hinder, your well-being. I definitely don’t have the answers yet, but I would encourage anyone to try themselves.

Thanks again for coming back even after I have been gone for longer than I should have been :) Looking forward to less frequent, but hopefully better quality, posts!

Newlywed Edition: From Surviving to Thriving

Newlywed Edition: From Surviving to Thriving | The Urban Pig

Even though I enjoyed school, it was intense and I never realized how much it weighed me down. I woke up in the morning and spent the full day in classes, Connor would pick me up after work at 5 or 6, we would go home to make dinner, clean up, then the rest of the evening I would work on homework then go straight to bed. Some weekends we had free time to spend together, and we tried to enjoy the occasional evening tv show before bed, but there wasn’t a whole lot more. We were simply surviving. Working hard to make it through. Things weren’t bad. We still enjoyed each other’s company, we still sometimes cooked dinner together, we still loved each other. We just didn’t always go above and beyond.

After graduating from college, I found that Connor and my relationship took a huge turn for the better. Not that things weren’t good in the first place, (because they definitely were!) but things changed. The weight of the world and all the stress that had accumulated over four years of school, it all was gone instantly. I felt so incredibly happy, and those emotions totally rubbed off onto our relationship. I enjoyed free time throughout the day for both myself and for Connor. We started going on adventures and we had time to watch movies at home and go on dates. The stress from school no longer carried into my home life, and you could tell.

So, this all may raise the questions: What if you are still stressed from work/school? What if you don’t have time to go on dates or spend time together? How can I manage to make my relationship better? Well, I can’t answer this for everyone, but what I am learning is this — make time. Make time for yourself, your friends, your family, your spouse. There is always going to be work to do, no matter how much you get done in a day. FYI, I am not saying to quit your jobs or school or slack and not get anything done. I AM saying to find time by cutting out unnecessary things, less internet surfing, or maybe the house can wait to be cleaned for a few days. For me, I realized that instead of working on homework until the very minute before bed, I should have stopped an hour or two early, at least some nights. No matter how many hours I worked, I still had a lot to do at the end of the semester, but I always managed to finish everything on time. Whatever it may be, in the end, the last thing you should sacrifice is your relationship.

Since moving to Colorado and starting new jobs, etc, we are still trying to incorporate these lessons into our lives. It is a process you have to work at. It is really easy to split off into our own Facebook and phone worlds, but we have been continuously planning activities to do as well. They don’t have to cost money, and there doesn’t need to be a reason to have a special date night. Sometimes we do simple things like going on a hike, and sometimes we spend a little money to go out for dinner, or go rock climbing, or something new and fun. We are making time for each other, and we will continue to do this even as our lives get busy. No relationship is perfect. So far, my favorite thing about being newlyweds has been going through things together, learning these lessons and growing from them, consistently working to strengthen what we already have, even by the smallest and simplest things. To thrive.

Since Last Sunday

relax and retreat via the urban pig

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself – to get a little “you” time. A little somethin’-somethin’ can often go a long way. This week has been full of special things to get me refreshed and rejuvenated, just in time for midterms. The week started with a much needed hair-care appointment. Fresh dyed locks and a clean cut to get rid of the dead ends. I went to a friend of a friend here in town and she put some magic into my hair. It has never felt so soft and sleek – I need to know her secrets! But it’s amazing how something so small can make all the difference.

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