Super Soul Sunday

I can’t have Oprah 5 days a week anymore, so I make do with this every Sunday thing. Super Soul Sunday to be exact. If you haven’t seen it, just to experience one of Oprah’s many “backyards” is reason alone. The woman has some nice property. And she starts the show by talking directly to me, “I wanted to have a place for us to go every Sunday to WAKE UP!”–the theme music starts, and my heart is at ease. Especially when she drinks her own brand of tea and says, “Get your chai on!” Oprah, thank you for being you.

It’s a very “spiritual” kind of show, which not everyone is into. I’ve always been drawn to it, though. It’s the opposite of the news (which I usually end up watching, too). The news is so much minutiae that I am just so not into–ebola, fires, volcanoes, fear-based, sad stuff, political nonsense, etc–usually on repeat. Me watching the news is usually me complaining about the news unless it involves Charlie Rose or Gayle King. I am such a bigger fan of the bigger questions. Give me an episode of Cosmos where people are talking about how many universes there are out in the world, or Oprah questioning “What is our purpose here?”, etc. That kind of stuff is what pulls me in.

I feel much more at home living in a space where the bigger questions are being thought about. I get really off kilter when my life is too filled with things I know in my heart don’t matter. I just watched an episode with a woman who lost all three of her children and her parents in a fire. Wait, am I losing you? Depressing, I know. But she went on this rant about how much things she thought mattered so much didn’t matter at all. “I worried so much about giving my kids only organic food. It didn’t matter. It mattered that they could eat food, that is all. I mean of course it’s good, but it didn’t matter like I thought it did.” Cool, a great excuse for me to eat a Hot Pocket on occasion.

Am I the only one that battles between these two worlds on a regular basis? I have so much anxiety about the details of everything and then in the next breath I say, “But I’m healthy and alive and have a great life, why am I worried about this?” Anytime I get this jolt of–“we only get this one life”, I have almost a panic attack of, “Oh no, is this what I’m supposed to be doing with this life? Could I do it better?” I spend too much time thinking about the future or too much time thinking about the past, and meanwhile–tick/tock/tick/tock.

Am I an old soul? Yeah, you could say that. I was thinking about this stuff at 15 rather than what to wear to school (penny loafers, right? Oh wait, that was cool in the 50s? I’ll wear them anyways). I remember writing long graduation thank yous to my family (who writes thank you letters to their families for graduations? Someone who has read way too much about gratitude!!) & thinking that I really understood what it was to be alive and grateful.

What I didn’t see coming was the reality of what life would look like 15 years later. That you can’t sleep in and only take classes that start after 10am–and we are talking “acting classes,” which are the easiest classes to take ever. You wake up, go to work, sit through a commute, dream about being on a bike ride somewhere, wonder what to fix for dinner, hope you have enough energy to make it through the night without passing out–spending way too much time on Facebook or Instagram just trying to connect somehow because you didn’t have the time or energy to actually talk to anyone in person. Don’t think my life has become a sad robotic one, it’s just one that needs shaking up every now and then–probably like everyone else’s.

My parents have been the greatest winners at life ever, and to have them to watch everyday (not just on Super Soul Sundays) has been an even greater gift. Every time I have a doubt, a fear, a hope, a dream– Dad says before even a thought, “Go for it! You only live once!” Did you even listen to what I said, Dad?!? It could’ve been a really BAD idea! Mom just shows up at every single thing I do ever with the biggest smile on her face, like I’m awesome at everything. They remind me of what matters every time I see or talk to them, but for now–Oprah is the only one around, so her wise words will have to do!

It’s good to have people and even TV shows around that remind you to really LIVE IT UP. This means I’m going to eat a brownie right now.

I found a new house! Congrats to me.

I actually have news to post: I’m moving! Not out of L.A. (the perfect weather has kept me years past my original due date). Just a few miles away! You know, the normal move in L.A. Everyone is always moving all the time. I love the people who stay in the same place for years and years. I find it fascinating in this city where neighborhoods, rent prices, renter needs/wants, etc are always changing.

Here is my renter history in Los Angeles. I love history!! I lived in lovely Glendale, CA for two years. I moved further west near Pico/Robertson for two years. After moving to NYC (where I moved like 5 times in two years), I lived in beautiful Culver City. Next, I moved next door to Palms. Oh, hey, then I moved to Marina del Rey! And then back to Culver City. Now I’m moving to a neighborhood that doesn’t even have a name–it’s actually Los Angeles. WOWZA.

To a family that’s lived in the same house for a decade, this probably seems like a lot of (sometimes) unnecessary moves. And I would say–you’re right! Each time the rent price just keeps going up, but I can’t help myself.

I wasn’t planning on moving anytime soon, though. I moved just 4 months ago! I was forced to move that time, to avoid another terrible 11+ month long lease in an apartment that was sadly falling apart & was going to be torn down one of these days. All I could find was a sort of small, really cute place in Culver City that I refer to as the “Tree House.” Month to month lease, no access to any washer/dryer (the horror!!), and pretty tiny! So the search for a bigger house continued–I was just hoping to find something maybe in February or something.

But the perfect little house came along today. Rent is really really expensive out here. I don’t want to tell you how much. But it’s SO expensive. And to find a tiny little piece of property that is actually all yours & not shared with anyone else is like the biggest miracle. I was expecting to settle for a duplex–which is OK–several of them end up being way better than actual houses, but you would’ve laughed at the places I end up looking at. You see, half the time they don’t tell you it’s a duplex. You learn through asking too many questions that you are in fact sharing a yard with that guy that lives on the other side of the house. Oh, and actually he parks in the driveway, so good luck finding parking. And he handles the cable, so he will just show you the bill. Ugh, so many places actually try to HIDE the fact that you will be living in a tiny back house with no real access to any yard or land or LAUNDRY.

It is miserable and hilarious looking at places to rent here, but I found one I just love. It’s a small lot– there is something historical about why it’s so small…something having to do with being army or post-war housing (lots of googling I have to do, I LOVE history!). But it’s all by itself–no one is wandering around in the back claiming they also live there. It’s got an awesome deck (no yard, but who needs grass? There’s a drought!), and most important=a washer dryer! Like my very own! Well, my very own that I’m renting! It screamed, “Kristy, rent me! You can afford it! Come on, you know you can!” I’m not so sure about that voice, but sometimes you just have to go with it.

SO, I’m on my way to NYC Friday & moving I guess in 2 weeks? I had no idea this morning that I would be saying that tonight. But like I said just 2 sentences ago–sometimes you just have to go with it. Did I mention there is central air/heat? I haven’t had this since my very first L.A. place in Glendale. It’s like I’ve come full circle.

Oh here is a random confession. When I moved into my first apartment in Glendale with my best friend Chuck, we were on quite a budget. There was a terribly ugly table downstairs in our apartment’s laundry building. One night we came home late & decided we would just take the table up to our place (no one ever used it!). But we were consumed with guilt and fear–worried the landlords would walk into our place and see it. So we broke it down, one piece at a time & slowly threw it in the trash–like we were serial killers. I am not proud ladies and gentleman. I have come a long way.

I’m moving. It’s exhausting just saying it. But also exciting. Mostly the part about washing my own clothes in my own little house! Yes, I dream big.

Marathon Playlist Request

Please, please, please–send me your songs for my marathon playlist. I ask before every marathon, and I promise you I put all of them on my ipod. Some make me cringe, some make me laugh, some end up to be too depressing to listen to all the way through–and some actually motivate me to keep running!

I have enough dance remixes to last a lifetime, but other than that I’m open to your suggestions. I’m a huge fan of great motivational (even cheesy) lyrics. If you are a runner, what do you listen to? If you’re not a runner, what do you blast in the car? Or at home?

Here are some of the following songs that have gotten me through many a run:

Dixie Chicks= Ready to Run and Not Ready to Make Nice. The former is pretty obvious. It’s a good early on song–very literal. Ok, world, I’m ready to run! The second was from that album that came out after America hated them. Anyway, they are ANGRY in this song, and it builds to this amazing crescendo with strings and everything “I’m not ready to make nice” people!!–it helps me run the fastest mile ever!

Eminem= Til I Collapse–this one I listened to at least 20 times at the end of one of my marathons. It has marching sounds which helps with my pace and also talks about “not be(ing) a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse. That’s often my state of mind around mile 25.

J-Lo= Let’s Get Loud. My best friend Chuck suggested this one to me last year, and I love every time it pops up on my ipod. It forces me to speed up and do it with a smile on my face. It also reminds me of when we actually liked to dance to J-Lo.

Alanis= Thank You. This is one of the cheesy ones. It’s basically a long list of Thank Yous–but has this amazing part in the middle: “The moment I let go of it was the moment I got more than I could handle. The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down.” I’m all like “Let go of this run, Kristy. Jump off!” It makes much more sense in my head. It makes me feel like I’m watching Super Soul Sunday or something.

Shakey Graves=Dearly Departed. I just discovered this guy, and I love this song. “You and I both know that the house is haunted. And you and I both know that the ghost is me.” I know this is a symbolic song, but our neighbors said that our house is haunted (and the abandoned lot next to us), so I hear this guy singing & I’m like “that’s me! My house IS haunted!”

Sara Bareilles=Her Whole Newest Album–The Blessed Unrest. It’s rare I actually love an entire album, and even rarer that several songs from a singer-songwriter type are actually good to run to. You’ve heard Brave, but if that gets too old–I Choose You, Little Black Dress, Chasing the Sun. All good!

Ben Folds=Landed. To prove to you how nerdy I am, I actually listen to a University A Cappella version of this song. “The daily dramas she made from nothing/So nothing ever made them right/She liked to push me and talk me back down
Until I believed I was the crazy one,and in a way I guess I was…” Although he’s talking about a girl, this sounds like every guy I ever dated! Kidding, kidding. Still a fun story to listen to & a great tune.

Pink=Just Like A Pill. Yes, I’m stuck in the early 2000s. They just made some stellar running tunes during this era. This song is either about morphine addiction or dating a crazy dude, but the real awesome part comes when she starts singing “Run just as fast as I can, to the middle of nowhere”–as you can see, I like any song that includes the word run (regardless of context).

Beyonce= Love on Top. I of course listen to LOTS of Beyonce. I’ve had running playlists consisting only of Beyonce. But I like the happiness and simplicity of this song. Finally, Jay-Z, you put her love on top! Let’s celebrate and run some more!

FUN.=Carry On. I had the FUN. album on my running playlist for awhile, it’s so great to run to. The song that I loved for the longest is Carry On, specifically this part: “My head is on fire but my legs are fine. After all they are mine.” This always gives me a boost, cause I’m like “Hey my legs are fine. After all they are mine.” Carry on, girl!

That’s a sampling. I’ve been running for 15 years now, almost always with music–and I listen to anything. I listen to slow depressing tunes, Motown, outlaw country, dance, pop, hip-hop…I love the way running mixes with the music. It calms me down, or it excites me–it inspires, makes me laugh, & at its best–makes me sing out loud, play the air drums/guitar, and raise my hand up in the air. Yes, I raise my hand up to the air, as if “Praise Jesus, thank you for this!! AMEN!!” I mean, you can’t listen to Stevie Wonder’s Greatest Hits Part II while running & NOT react to that awesomeness!

SO, please, add your comments here–or post them on my Facebook. I’m of course looking for any songs that mention how great NYC is, since that’s where I’m running. Thank you!

I Wear the Wrong Outfit Everywhere

I really admire people that have such a clear sense of style. Or those people that know exactly what to wear in any given situation. I have to google “What to wear to a Beyonce concert” or “What to wear to a cocktail party” (just kidding, no one invites me to cocktail parties!!!) just to get in the ballpark of what I could wear to not look TOTALLY like I don’t belong.

One of my style icons, for example, is Taylor Swift. Really, anyone under the age of 25 should not be a style icon for me. Hey guys, do I look like Taylor Swift in this? Oh wait–I’m not 5’11” and rail thin? Details people! Also, I never actually dress like her–I just like to think, “Is this conservative enough–like Taylor Swift? I don’t wanna be Miley Cyrus.”

For years, my staple diet of work clothes consisted of jeans and t-shirts/sweaters/tanks. Then I discovered that dresses were actually much easier in many ways. They are just one piece!!! It cuts down on my getting ready time by at least 2 minutes. Also, people somehow think by wearing a dress that you put some thought into looking nice. “Oh, you are dressed up today.” And–when your jeans are feeling too skinny, put on the stretchy dress! It always fits!

I don’t go out to many fancy places, so I take any opportunity I can to dress up way more than anyone else in the room. An example: an invitation to a Hollywood Bar on a Saturday night for a birthday party. I didn’t research the bar, so I was thinking it was going to be RED CARPET fancy. I mean, it’s in Hollywood! I forgo the flannel shirt and jeans look for a black ruffly HUGE short dress (so many layers of ruffles) that I bought in the Macy’s teen section for a New Year’s party 5 years ago. In my mind, Taylor Swift loves this $20 dress! I pair it with a pair of black and white argyle tights that are a statement piece just on their own. Do I tone it down with sensible shoes? No, I wear my highest, pointiest black shoes. Now, in my head–I KNOW this is not the appropriate outfit. I know no one will be in a dress, much less one that looks like a 15yr old would wear to prom. But in my heart, I just love the way it looks. (I think in my heart, I have the style of Dolly Parton).

I show up at the bar, and everyone is in jeans and flannels, as predicted. I always feel a combination of things at this point: disappointment (Why don’t people dress up anymore!?!?), embarrassment (Why am I wearing this!?!?), and pride (I am so awesome right now!!!) That night, I clearly remember someone commented on how much they loved my outfit, and I went home beaming about it.

I was once forced to go to a Phish concert, and I googled “what to wear at a Phish concert.” Horror of horrors, people were just wearing jeans and t-shirts. I had to be more PHISH than that! Upon further research, I saw some tie dye (yikes), lots of flowy things, and lots of jewelry made out of ropes and wood and beads. I have nothing in my closet for this. I went out and bought a tie dye dress, only to realize that while–yes, it’s tie dye–the whole shape of the dress was very conservative and Taylor Swiftish. This would not work. Instead, I pulled out a Waylon Jennings purposely ripped up shirt (I got it for free at a country show) & tried my best for some sort of rocker look. I put my entire collection of jewelry on. I wore a denim jacket. I show up to the concert, and people put ZERO effort into their look. Guys, look at all my jewelry?? My shirt is ripped?!?! Again, I felt out of place. More disappointed in everyone else than myself.

Everything in Los Angeles is casual. This is super beneficial when you wanna go out and walk the dog. Wear your pajamas! Or going to Starbucks. Yoga pants are great! But Taylor Swift dresses up to go to the gym—google it, you’ll see!

What I really want is a signature style. “Oh, you guys, it’s Kristy again–look, she did it once more! STUNNING. Impeccable! The jewelry, the bag, the shoes, the finely made clothes–an icon.” Instead, it’s more like “Oh, she’s wearing that dress she got at Ross again, with those sandals she wears every day & that bag that doesn’t match.” I’m a work in progress.

Oh–I just remembered. I went to a Concert at the Pier once–basically a free outdoor beach concert. I didn’t google what to wear. I had pastel flowery skinny jeans on, a tank, a cool cardigan & belted it all with this black belt with some silver bedazzlement going on. I thought it was perfect for the beach. I show up, and a friend says, “WHOA! What is that outfit? You look like RIHANNA.” Google Rihanna if you need to. This was not the casual beach outfit I was going for. Yet, silently I applauded myself for once more outdoing all the other hoodie and yoga pants people around me.

Halloween: To Costume or Not to Costume

There was a good 5 year stretch for me when I really celebrated Halloween in style. I would go to at least one haunted house/corn maze/Knott’s Scary Farm type place. I would spend weeks (if not months) ordering wigs, outfits, & putting my own final touches for the perfect Halloween costume for the Halloween house parties. For several years in a row, I even (against my own better judgement) faced the masses on Santa Monica Blvd, where they close the street down for a “festival” that really just means people are walking back in forth on the street in a huge crowd of drunkenness. Whether it was Sarah Palin, a BP Mermaid (covered in oil and pollution), or my attempt at Beyonce (don’t worry, it wasn’t very controversial)–no one could say I didn’t TRY to do Halloween.

I noticed my fondness for Halloween slowly go downhill when a couple years ago, the most enthusiasm I could muster was attending the local apartment complex’s Halloween Dog Costume Contest. Did I dress a dog up like a pirate? Including a wig I bought just for the occasion? Guilty as charged!! But he ended up winning a $50 gift card to Target and doggie treats. Luckily, it was a “vote by applause” contest, and I was screaming and clapping like a mad woman. I guess you can say that was the last time I attempted Halloween.

When I completely “skipped” Halloween last year, I felt relief that for a month I wasn’t focused on adding sequins to a costume or looking through my latest addition of “Especially Yours,” a wig catalog for African American women. I wasn’t trying to get myself invited to a Halloween party, so I could actually wear this costume somewhere. Most of all, I didn’t have to worry about parking–my biggest Halloween nightmare. I stayed in, and I saved so much time and money doing so!

This may make me seem like a buzz kill. It’s not like I’m anti-Halloween. I love any and all holidays. I appreciate the creativity that goes into the costumes–making a boring house party into a mildly amusing one, where you ooh and ahhh at what everyone else is wearing. I will probably not ever have a chance to attend the Met Ball, so this is my next best bet to see people dressed creatively. I especially appreciate people who are REALLY into it–carving intricate pumpkins, having more than one costume ready for multiple nights of parties, touring around all the haunted houses in L.A. County. I just admire them from afar these days.

I’m actually booked to fly out on Halloween this year, which gave me a great excuse to NOT be in costume. Not sure the TSA would be into that. I realize this means I will be arriving into NYC on Halloween night around 11:00pm, so I’m still hoping to see ridiculous costumed folks trying to hail a cab to their parties.

Now, even though I’m not that into Halloween these days–I do love fall. I’ve done my share of cheesy fall-themed activities: apple picking being my all time favorite! I’m probably the only one who will bring home crates of apples and eat them all myself (thanks to my strange apple addiction). It is still 80s these days in L.A., so I figure I could celebrate the season next month & really mean it. Maybe even wear boots or a light jacket to prove that we DO have seasons in Southern California. Someone go apple-picking with me! I should go order my sequined apple-picking sweater right now. (I mean, even though I’m not doing a COSTUME–that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on sequins).

Tapering for the Marathon

First off, I skipped an entry yesterday, and I had no actual excuse. I was doing nothing but playing Tetris Battle on our new Amazon TV (as well as taking care of two fake babies in the game Adopt a Baby–I’ve fed them more ice cream and chocolate muffins than any person should eat in a lifetime, yet they are still alive and healthy). Oh, and I went on a cool sunset run to the Marina. The marathon is in two weeks, and we are in my favorite training phase of all time: tapering period. Yes, that’s right– where you actually get to slowly and steadily cut down on training. My long run can be 8 miles instead of 16. It’s a glorious thing.

I did do a lot of weekend research on the NYC Marathon. I’ve done the L.A. one so many times, all the logistics come pretty easy to me. Also, the weather is almost always HOT, so there is no question of layering. NYC is a whole different beast. I spent hours online trying to figure out the best way to get to the marathon before deciding on: taxi to Staten Island Ferry to bus to marathon. Yes, getting there is half the battle. I found fun facts like: wear an entire outfit over your running outfit, because it will be freezing at the start. And you will be there for hours. Then you just throw it away, which seemed very litter-y to me. No worries: they donate the clothes to the homeless population. So I bet around December lots of homeless will be wearing track pants and old running shirts. I don’t have any old sweats to throw away, so I bought the ugliest, cheapest ones I could find on Amazon. I will NOT be looking like a fashion icon Sunday morning.

In good news, my corral (they start in waves because there are so many people) doesn’t start until 10:30 AM. This sounds much more appealing than the L.A. 7:00 AM start. And we gain an hour of sleep the night before, so hopefully the time change won’t bother me too much & I’ll be wide awake on marathon morning. Weird: at the L.A. marathon this year, we LOST an hour of sleep. I’m really into time change marathons!

There was also other advice on the internet: bring newspaper to sit down on when you arrive, so you won’t be soaking wet for the start. Bring a “throw away” pair of shoes for the same reason. (Does everyone have all these throw-away items?). Bring toilet papers because the port-a-potties may have run out. You don’t want to run on the lower level at the first bridge because too many marathon runners are peeing off the top level & it could possibly land on you. WAIT–WHAT??? There is such a thing as too much research. I stopped there.

In great news, this marathon will be much cooler (unless there is weird weather) than the last one & all of my training runs. As long as rain isn’t pouring down, the weather should help me out. 50s and 60s seem cold, but it’s actually perfect for running. There are HILLS–it isn’t a flat course, but some incline/decline actually keeps me awake. I’ve read that the fastest marathons are those with the fewest turns. This isn’t one of them. There are turns all over the place, but I love that, too. I can’t imagine running in one direction 6 miles before making one turn & doing it again…yawn. I’ll also hopefully be able to see several friends along the course. I love that my first time back to the city in 3 years will be running through ALL of it. What a welcome back! We end in my favorite of running places: Central Park. And we are staying on one of the streets I used to live on in the Upper West Side–super close to the finish.

How did my training go this time around, you ask? Or you didn’t ask? I don’t run nearly as much as I used to. I got so used to switching it up in triathlons, I just haven’t been able to get back to the same mileage I used to run. I get bored! But starting in January–training for the L.A. marathon–I slowly got back into some kind of groove. And in July, I really tried to boost it slowly without getting injured. That’s the key! The result is: I’m not fast, but I’m not injured at all either. I think it’s one of the first time in my training that I didn’t have an injury setback. I would of course love 3 more months to keep building mileage, but that’s pretty much the story of my life.

I also didn’t do all the long runs training plans tell you to do. But I did enough. I’ve learned that whatever training that happens before a marathon, it ends up being enough to finish the race. I’m not going for a time goal. I would like to run 9:30-10:00min miles–slow enough to enjoy the sights, but fast enough that I’m done before dinner time! I will save my record-breaking times for a flatter, faster course. This is the first time in my training that I’ve ever run with a watch that keeps track of my pace/mileage. Man, those watches keep you honest! A little too honest for my taste…

So, two weeks to go. My new running shoes (a gift to myself, when I discovered my soles on my old shoes are falling apart) are on their way! Thinking of ordering some kind of neon running top, so people can spot me–if you have any fashion running advice, please throw some my way. I usually end up in a boring black outfit.

Did I tell you how excited I am? I’ve been waiting to run this course forever, and I can’t wait for all the crowds (New Yorkers are EPIC) & the views. I hope they play lots of cheesy NYC music before the race starts!

My favorite weekends are the ones with no plans.

I love waking up with nothing pressing to get done. This means I can sit in my pajamas and write my Saturday entry. Yes, there are some things I SHOULD do this weekend, but I don’t have to be anywhere particular at any given time. Some people thrive on making plans, but I’m not one of them. I crave empty space. My favorite answer to the Monday question, “How was your weekend? What did you do?” is me just staring and thinking, not being able to recall anything specific I did. People look at me with a pity face as they tell me about the movies they saw and the festivals they went to, but I reassure them these are the best kinds of weekends.

No plans are better for the following reasons:

#1) I don’t have to run first thing in the morning in order to get home by a specific time. I can even put off that run til late afternoon if I want. I am such a rebel.

#2) I don’t have to drive, make my way through busy parking lots or attempt to find street parking when there is none. Believe me, there is enough of this to do on a typical weekday.

#3) I actually have time to water my sad plants. I look at them for too long and hope they’ve forgiven me for the past 4 days of no watering.

#4) If there is a huge space of nothingness, I get to do my favorite thing—read! I’m still reading the Hillary Clinton book, which is so huge that I will need lots of empty space to be able to finish it.

#5) Everything takes on a feeling of “calm”–I’m not rushing to do anything, which is good for the brain. Washing dishes, paying the bills, etc–it all becomes meditative.

#6) I can do all the planning for trips I should’ve planned a long time ago (example: Thanksgiving in Texas).

#7) I can have last minute plans! That I actually want to do, not something I agreed to do weeks ago & am now trying to get out of. Today, for example, I don’t mean to sound pretentious–but I may go sailing. Nope, anyway I say it, it makes me sound like a snob. If it makes you feel better, they just drink Bud Light on the boat. Sailors are just like us!

#8) A nap! This doesn’t always happen for me, but when it does–it’s a glorious thing. A mid-afternoon nap. Not the post-work-exhausted-I-have-to-power-nap-to-make-it-through-the-evening kind of nap. The leisurely, “Well, there’s nothing else to do but nap” nap.

#9) Can you imagine all the money I have saved not making plans?!? Gas money, parking fees, entrance fees, ticket costs, food/drink tabs, etc. This is frugal living at its best!

#10) These weekends balance out the weekends that are packed with plans. For instance, the NYC Marathon is coming up. It’s not just like you show up and run. You have to go to a massive convention center the day before to get your race number and travel (by ferry!) to the race hours in advance of the marathon. Next up: wait in the shivering cold for the race to start. Add to that the celebratory meals, catching up with friends, and doing touristy stuff–anyways, I want to go back to bed just thinking about it. It will be a blast I’m sure (not so sure about miles 20-26.2), but I’m happy to balance it out with a day like today.

Plans or no plans, I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend. Is it nap time yet?

Growing a Business

For about 4 years now, I’ve been growing my side business. I plan and run scavenger hunts for kids, adults and corporations. It grew out of a pure love of doing them myself, and it makes me so happy to see an idea I had grow and become something that people actually pay for! I’m still surprised when I receive an email–you just FOUND my website? How did that happen?

What I didn’t plan on was keeping a full time job while growing a business. It keeps you busy to say the least. It means that many weekends are spent planning and running the hunts. It means I have to get things done late at night when I’m not longer in my right mind. I make mistakes, I can’t return the phone calls as fast as I should because I’m often working at the full-time job. I lose potential clients because of my lack of flexibility. Sometimes I just forget the side business is even still there, and so does everyone else. It’s crazy how important it is to keep talking about it just to keep it real.

I decided to stop being frustrated about it, and instead, to find a new “4 year plan” that will help take the business to the next level. There is absolutely no security in this, except for my own sanity and excitement. Regardless of the outcome, it will be EXCITING! It will mean CHANGE! I always imagine that businesses start overnight–find a building, buy some stuff, sell it, and there you go. I originally thought after a year, I would be making six figures and saying goodbye to any other kind of work. Perhaps I was a little misguided. Or perhaps I should’ve just gone on Shark Tank. Whatever the reason, 4 years in and it still brings me such joy. I get nervous before an event & feel such a since of an accomplishment seeing people running around, laughing & enjoying themselves. Did I mention it is all outdoors?

The one thing I’ve learned is that people have lots of awesome advice, but in the end–my instinct tells me exactly what direction I want to go in and how much business I can handle at any given moment. I understand now that it took me 4 years to just really develop the events and make them the highest quality I can. And I’m ultimately happy I’ve taken my time developing it. I feel like now I’m ready to push it out into the world (my little baby, should I keep going with labor imagery????) Mostly thank you to all you guys that have supported and asked about my events. You remember I had a business, even when I momentarily forgot. Happy Weekend!

Relationships are OK

Today, I had an interesting conversation with my boyfriend. We were comparing single life to being coupled up (not just us, but people in general). I said, “When you are single you can do whatever you want, whenever you want & make all the decisions! I mean, that’s awesome!” His concerned reply, “Whoa, you’re making quite an argument for being single.” I backtracked: “No, but this is great. There is someone to see at the end of the day.” And he says, “Yeah, it was great that you made me that calzone the other day. Usually those are so greasy, but yours was really good.”

He says, “It’s a trade off. You deal with the monotony of ‘Oh, we’re watching alien shows…again’ to have all the other benefits.” Believe me, watching alien videos was not on my list of things to do. Ever. Isn’t he the one that likes the alien shows? Why are we STILL watching them? There are no aliens!

I have really held a torch for the single life. I loved it, not the dating aspect–but just the doing what I want when I want thing. I loved spending time by myself for hours or days at a time–reading, working out. I love training too much for a sport no one cares about. I loved that I got to choose every social engagement I wanted to go to & could pass on any I wasn’t interested in. I loved that I could eat literally the same exact menu for months, even years at a time with no one to call me out for my lack of variety.

But to look across the room and shrug your shoulders at someone and say, “You know, this is pretty good”–it is the best feeling. I never would’ve even made a calzone if he wasn’t going to eat one with me. I never would’ve hopped on a paddle-board, got sloshed around by waves attempting to surf or roamed the Santa Monica mountains on a mountain bike. I never would’ve traveled to Mexico, Telluride, Charleston, etc. I wouldn’t have had a cheering section for me at all my triathlons. Sure, he says things like, “Congrats! Now you have to run! hahaha” as I get off the bike–but hey, it counts.

My favorite parts of life: the adventures, the challenges, the surprises. This has relationship has been all of those, so it’s not so bad. Oh add to that, the food. THE CALZONES!!

Lots of DRAMA today…

Today we had some of our culminations at work. This involved a morning of Crime Scene Investigation themed theatre (is this a thing? The students seem to think so…) that some 4th graders performed. Followed by an uncomfortable moment when a 1st grader wet her pants onstage (Miss Kristy, what is that water?? A fellow student said–pointing at a quickly growing puddle). This was all followed by a weird kid-devised script where students were dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” & meanwhile a monkey (of course) was throwing banana peels down and making them slip. Hilarious! It’s a day of nonsense, costumes, laughter, me yelling “LOUDER, we can’t hear you!!!”

And right now, I’m off to more theatre–of the professional kind. A Trip to Bountiful! I’m looking forward to sitting back and not having to be the constant director. This means I will probably take at least two naps during the show.

It also means that I’m spending my only free minutes of the day to make sure this blog happened. Short, sweet, drama-filled. Hope your Wednesday was as entertaining!