Dying Car + Martini Meltdown Does NOT = Broken Down Woman

This week my car died.  Initially, I didn’t handle the news well.  I knew it was coming but it just hit me on the wrong day.

Maybe it’s PMS, or the fact my body was a little achy or maybe it’s fighting the fight alone for so long, whatever it was, after talking to the mechanic, I poured myself a martini, sat in front of the TV and cried. I allowed myself to just sit there and let it out.  The loneliness, sadness, the endless stress around money and the weariness I feel of having to handle things alone.  I was tired of it and so I let the tears fall.

It’s a car; it’s not the end of the world.  I am humbled every day by people who are fighting real fights, far more difficult than a broken down car and stress around money. 

A few years ago, the martinis would have kept flowing along with the tears.  The anxiety would have got the best of me. But I’m different now.

Now, I have the awareness and skills to make different choices. I am stronger. I am physically stronger and I am emotionally stronger, but I also have bad days and so on Friday, I wept on the couch…

I cried because I thought:

 “I wish someone was here to wrap their arms around me and tell me it’ll be ok.”

 “Why am I always alone?!”

“Why is this so hard?”

 “Why can’t I just get a little help?”

Ah yes, that little victim inside me had a lot to say and I let her say it.  She went on and on and on …I just let her talk…and cry…and together we sat on the couch, eating popcorn, sipping a vodka martini watching Sex in the City. 

THE NEXT MORNING, I GOT UP AND WENT FOR A GOOD LONG HIKE.

It was a sunny day and I had to do some hill training.  It was good timing. Hills require an extra push, extra energy and focus.  Hills have truly saved me from myself.  So I took all that sadness, loneliness and stress and put it into the mountain.  I pushed myself, but I KNEW IT WOULD GET ME OUT OF THE RUT I WAS TRYING TO PUT MYSELF IN. 

I used to be a victim.  I used to have no control over my life. I used to have no skills. 

Today life is different. 

Today it is up to ME to change my life, and create what I see for myself and I don’t see a life that incorporates more than one martini over more than one night crying as I watch Sex in the City!

No, today, I have CHOICES. I can choose to face situations from a victim’s perspective or from an empowered perspective.  I give the victim her time to say whatever she has to say so she feels heard, but ultimately she no longer has the final say.

Today my life is a thousand times better than it was just two years ago.  My life is better than it was six months ago. 

MY CAR MAY BE BROKEN BUT I AM NOT.

Internally I am healthier and therefore the rest of my life will reflect that. 

Am I stressed over money?  Absolutely.  It is a huge stress for me right now. One that gives me bad dreams or doesn’t let me sleep at all; however, I am equally focused on changing that situation, as I am training for this marathon.  It is with that DETERMINATION and FOCUS that my life will CHANGE. 

Really the car is a blip on the radar.  Money is stressful, but I am healthy, I am capable and I am determined.  NO OPTION TO FAIL.  It really is a fantastic motto for all areas of your life.

So cheers to my old car…and here’s to a week of blessings for you all,

With a smile

Tina

PS.  Don’t forget to come back on Thursday for the JogBlog and if you are interested, I have 4 new articles on ezine !

5 Reasons Why I Jog

"Jogging makes me happy"

I was reminded this week of a list I put together during my training for my 40k.  The day I made the list, I was jogging. I was having a bit of trouble focusing on positive stuff and was getting tired and sore due to where my thoughts were going, not actual fatigue. I decided to create a top 20 list of why I jog. Funny enough, after that, the jog went by very quickly!

Here are five out of the twenty:

1.   I jog for my mental health. Jogging keeps me centered, focused and balanced and I am able to sort through my problems and my emotions.  I cry, I laugh and I run really hard when I’m angry or frustrated.  Jogging helps me process things in a healthy way so that I am not struggling with depression like I have for so many years.   

2.   I jog for my childhood.  On the most part, I had a crappy childhood and as a young adult I didn’t take care of myself either.  I put myself into terrible situations and wasted a lot of time. As an adult in my early 30’s I continued that pattern but disguised it in a different way, or came at it from a different angle. I wasn’t always aware of what I was doing, but jogging has helped me gain clarity. So, I jog for the kid long ago who didn’t understand her value and worth as a person.  I jog for the kid that didn’t see she was beautiful, inside and out.  I jog for the kid that was so sad, and just wanted to be loved.  I jog for her to tell her, she’s being taken care of NOW.  It seems silly to some, but to me, I am nurturing her when she’s never been nurtured before.

3.   I jog because I am moving forward.  It’s a metaphor for life, isn’t it?  If I’m jogging I know I’m not looking behind me, I’m not regressing and I’m not stuck.  I’m actively MOVING FORWARD, THINKING FORWARD and LIVING my LIFE in a FORWARD motion. I LOVE that.

4.   I jog because at 41 years old I’ll be damned if I’m going to live the next half of my life unhappy, unhealthy and surrounded by people who are negative.  I jog because it empowers me more than anything in my life ever has.  I jog because it gives me STRENGTH to say goodbye to some and hello to others.  I jog because it gives me strength to take risks, to dream, to believe and to work hard towards what I want for my life.  This is MY LIFE, and it’s time I started to LIVE it.  Jogging gives me that focus.

5.    I jog because it makes me happy.  I am not happy each morning as I’m grumbling, half awake to put on my shoes.  I am NOT happy when it is raining or windy and it’s miserable outside.  I am not happy when my legs start to ache a little or my back is sore. But I am ALWAYS HAPPY when I finish my workout.  If you see number 1, it’s the best thing for my mental and emotional health.  So I jog because it is in active pursuit of my happiness.

 So those are a couple of my reasons for jogging.  I also have an additional list at EzineArticles.  It may take a few days to come up but there are a couple other articles there that you might be interested in.

Ultimately you have to find your own reasons for enhancing your life and making changes that will inspire you.  Remember, this is YOUR LIFE, and YOU CHOOSE HOW TO LIVE IT.

Choose happiness

Choose love of self.

Choose authenticity.

Choose YOU.

With a smile,

Tina

PS.  Check back on Thursday when I’ll post my weekly training journal entries and tell you about my first crosstraining with Jody Kennett from Leapfit

NO OPTION TO FAIL

Sweet Victory!

That was my motto for running  40k on my 40th birthday.  It got me through the most difficult of times. As hard as it was to get myself out the door some days, the possibility of failing at my goal was worse.

When it was cold, raining and dark outside and I was sick, tired and depressed I repeated that motto to myself.  No excuse could stand up to it.

“It’s cold and I don’t feel very good.”

“You won’t care about that when you are running 40k in 3 months.  You’ll really be glad you ran today. NO OPTION TO FAIL.”

“I really have to get this work done before the end of the day or I’m going to be so far behind. I can’t afford to use that time up jogging”

“Stay up late tonight or wake up early tomorrow.  You can’t afford not to jog. It’s one day.  NO OPTION TO FAIL.”

“My back aches, my shoulder burns, my knee aches, my foot is sore…I can’t continue on.”

“NO OPTION TO FAIL. NO OPTION TO FAIL. NO OPTION TO FAIL. NO OPTION TO FAIL”

Subsequently my aches and pains would go away or switch sides and it was in my mind, not my body.  You have to differentiate between the two.  NO OPTION TO FAIL, cut through the bullsh**.

NO OPTION TO FAIL meant that if I had to walk 40k I would.  If something happened and I couldn’t walk then I would hobble.  It could rain, snow or hail and I was going to be out there. There just wasn’t an option of not doing it.

As a result, it got me through my training when almost always I was on my own, willing myself out the door.  No one was there to tell me to do it. Each morning I had to do it on my own.

When you give yourself a motto like NO OPTION TO FAIL, no excuse will work. Trust me, for a year I tried every excuse in the book, but nothing was as strong of an argument as that. It means you will do whatever you have to do in order to accomplish your goal.  It forces you to be organized and prioritize. It helps you sort through what’s truly important and what’s not. For me, it was running 40k, but more than that, it was about honoring a promise I made to myself. Now how many times do we break those promises but keep all the ones to other people?

NO OPTION TO FAIL, meant that I wasn’t failing myself.

That’s BIG!!

NO OPTION TO FAIL got me off the couch and running 40k within a year.  I truly felt empowered, joyful and fulfilled when I completed that goal.  Now I know I will feel the same when I complete other goals, with the same motto.

NO OPTION TO FAIL, what can that do for YOUR life?  Can it make POSITIVE CHANGE for you in your choices?  It’s something worth thinking about….

With a smile

Tina

“I am going to live my 40′s better than I lived my 30′s…”

I had no idea that statement could be so powerful. 

Think about it…if that is your defining life statement, then every decision starts to be affected by it. 

For example, “Is this second glass of wine on a Tuesday night really living my life better in my 40’s than in my 30’s?” 

For me it wasn’t…because on Wednesday morning I would feel sluggish, a slight headache and not be nearly as productive.  I want to LIVE, truly feel alive and for me, that second glass of wine made the difference of feeling energetic the morning after or feeling tired.

 It also affected how I looked at my relationships. 

Is this relationship really what I’m looking for in my life?  Is it balanced?  Am I receiving what I am giving out?  Is it draining or inspiring?  Is it heavy or light?  Does it make me feel good generally speaking or am I feeling sad, depressed, stifled or suppressed?  Is this relationship where I want to be in my 40’s? ”

The answer to those questions for a few of my relationships (friendships and otherwise) was, “No”. 

That statement has helped me make decisions that otherwise I would have waffled on.  Simple decisions such as what I’ll eat for dinner….poutine and beer or salmon with wild rice and salad?  Trust me, I’m not a saint, I absolutely went for the poutine and beer sometimes, but it makes me think about my choices more.

“Does this job, relationship, purchase, conversation, bottle of wine, credit card debt, clutter or procrastination truly exemplify living my life better in my 40’s than in my 30’s? ”

If you start to ask yourself that question, you’ll notice change.  You have to truly want a better life because the choice won’t always be easy, even though it’s better for you.  Nature is strange that way.

For this week, ask yourself the question and see if it makes you more aware of your choices…you may still make the same choice, but you thought about it first…and that’s a great start.

Today, I AM living my life better in my 40’s than in my 30’s.  I am sustaining happiness by keeping that statement in my head and allowing it to affect my decisions.  As a result I am HAPPIER, FULFILLED, INSPIRED and LOVING LIFE. What a gift I gave myself…what a gift you can give yourself.

It’s not without difficulty, but it is with authenticity…and I love that.

I hope today you allow that to resonate with you when you make some of your decisions and see if it doesn’t make a difference…it sure helped me and I truly hope it will do the same for you…

With a smile,

Tina

Defying Gravity…

"Defying Gravity"

As a singer my life is one big soundtrack.

In this stage of my life, having made the promise to live my 40’s better than I lived my 30’s I now have a new soundtrack.  It is from Wicked, A New Musical.  I love this soundtrack, but specifically the song Defying Gravity.

FEAR has been a debilitating factor in my life; one that I have had to challenge and continue to challenge.

I was raised to fear everything.  I was scared of the rooster (mind you, he did attack me), scared of heights, scared of the water,  scared of the dark, scared of being attacked, scared of what people might say or think about me, scared I wasn’t doing it right, scared I might fail, scared I might succeed, scared I wasn’t pretty, scared I’d die from cancer, scared he wouldn’t love me, scared he would leave, scared to be broke and homeless, scared to try, scared not to try….so much fear.  Drowning, suffocating, and totally consumed and controlled by it.

So when I was training for my 40k I started to challenge those fears.  My dear friend asked if I would go bungee jumping.  No way would you catch me jumping off a bridge with nothing but a cord wrapped around my waist. Absolutely not!  But as I was jogging, I thought about it and this little voice inside my head quietly said,

“It’s ok Tina, you can bungee jump.  You’ll be fine and you might even like it”.

So I trusted that voice and went back to my friend and said,

“Ok, I’ll do it”

(For the record he was totally shocked because I’m more librarian than I am dare devil).

For the rest of the day I was an anxious, scared mess.  But I kept reminding myself,

“You aren’t bungee jumping yet.  You are sitting in Starbucks enjoying a Chai.”

…oh ya, ok…so I’d calm down.  Then I’d start to freak out again.

“Where are you Tina?…I’m in the jeep, the sun is on my face and the wind is in my hair and we’re driving on the highway.”

So, I’d calm down again.  I did this repeatedly throughout the day, reminding myself to BREATHE and STAY PRESENT.  FOCUS ON NOW.

I am so glad I made the decision JOGGING because if I’d made the decision while driving and then arrived at the bridge, I would have backed out…too scared to even consider walking on the bridge never mind jumping off of it.  But I trusted the quiet, calm voice I heard jogging as opposed to the loud, screaming fear… so I walked onto the bridge, with both hands on the railing, inching myself across.

As you can see by the photo, I jumped and I loved it.  I loved it because in the moment, mid air, I realized,

“Well, if anything goes wrong there’s nothing you can do about it now, might as well enjoy it.”

And I did.  I totally surrendered to the moment and felt such a connection to life, to myself.  It was a defining moment that has since helped me in other difficult situations.

As the song says:

Something has changed within me

Something is not the same

I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game

Too late for second guessing

Too late to go back to sleep

It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes

And leap…

So I ask you, are you playing by someone else’s rules?  Are you listening to FEAR instead of INSTINCT?  Are you ready to challenge that negative, scared voice and rise above it?

BE BRAVE. HONOR YOUR INSTINCT.  CHALLENGE YOUR FEAR.

You don’t have to bungee jump off a bridge, but you can step out of your comfort zone. I know you can do it.  It might not be easy, but it’ll be worth it because YOU ARE WORTH IT.

With a smile,

Tina

PS. For the rest of the song  go to:

17 Defying Gravity (Glee Cast Version)

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