Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Relax already

I'm not very good at letting go. I tend to live up in my head, churning through thoughts, planning ahead, looking back, but rarely thinking about the exact moment I am in. I think how many minutes, hours, days, weeks, years until....something. I can eat a bag of chips and not realize it or take my vitamins and then forget if I just actually took them. It's not healthy.

I once read that rumination like this can keep you from being happy in your life. So I've been trying not to do it. Easier said than done if your brain has been operating in the same way since birth. Yoga is a great way to develop a more relaxed mindset. I didn't take easily to yoga when I first tried it. I would be thinking, When is this horrible plank going to be over? What am I going to do after class? Hasn't it been an hour yet? I still sometimes count down the seconds of particularly grueling poses, but I have gotten better at trying to climb down out of my head and actually be aware of my body.

My life is full right now. There is just no way around that. There is always something I need to accomplish or remember from the snack Q needs for school, to my next quiz in class, or a work meeting. If I don't rein it in, my mind just runs wild hopscotching from task to task and worry to worry. Lately I have consciously been trying to reel myself back and focus on one thing at a time. Work when I am at the office, family when the kids are awake, classwork after they go to bed. It doesn't always work but being conscious of it can't hurt.

I found myself yesterday with a vacation day to burn and a spa gift card I hadn't spent. I dedicated the day to a little relaxation and went to yoga, a facial, and lunch with T. It was lovely. Of course, I was stressed when I was running late to the facial and when I couldn't remember where I parked the car, but then I wouldn't be me if there wasn't a little anxiety in the mix.

I envy the people who can blissfully sink into relaxation. Even during a massage my mind is whirling, How many minutes do I have left? Why does my left calf hurt? Does she think my arms are fat?

I just can't turn it off. But at least I am developing the ability to dim it a little.


Monday, November 7, 2011

October Favorites

1. Short hair
You know those women who spend forever considering a change in hairstyle? Who think it about for months and research and ponder? I'm not one of those women. I was tired of my hair and had an appointment scheduled. I found a picture in a magazine, and said, "I want a change!" My husband doesn't love it, but I do, and it takes a heck of a lot less time to style.

2. The Packers

Packers season makes the descent into brutal Wisconsin winters a bit more bearable. Coming off the high of a Super Bowl win is a thrill and now the Packers are 8-0. I love it. I tend to fold laundry during Packers games and it makes matching up tiny socks a bit more enjoyable. Go Pack!

3. Gel Manicures

Taking a big turn here, I have found the best solution to chipping fingernail polish ever: gel/shellac/UVB manicures. These are amazing. I complimented someone at work on her manicure, and she informed me it was a gel manicure, which I had never heard of. I immediately researched who offered gel manicures in town and found a place. They paint on a particular type of gel polish and then bake it on under a UVB light. And it doesn't chip at all. That's just awesome. I have always envied fake nails because they look flawless and last a long time, but I never wanted to harm my natural nails. Enter the gel manicure. I'm in love.

My natural nails with a gel manicure after almost three weeks!

4. Door County

Door County is the "thumb" of Wisconsin. It is like a shabby, lesser-known, much cheaper Cape Cod of the Midwest. This is a big summer tourism destination with (very cold) beaches and cute little towns.

It's also gorgeous in the fall with breathtaking colors. I decided kind of last-minute to plan a weekend in Door County. I found a little cottage on the beach, and we drove up for two nights and a very full Saturday. We went for a bike ride and shopped and ate and walked on the beach. The boys had a great time and kept talking about their "little house." Even Ruby the Dachshund made the trip and enjoyed her first time playing in the waves. It was a much-needed and well-spent mini vacation.

In the lookout tower at Peninsula State Park.