Posted in Inspiration, This is me, Uncategorized

Take a Break!!

Stop working so hard! Have I gotten your attention yet? Before anyone comments that I am promoting laziness, please know that I am definitely not doing that. I am just telling you to make sure you are taking a break every now and then. With the movement of so many people to working from home due to the pandemic, a lot of the lines between work and home got blurred, if not erased all together. If you are leaving work every single day and you are feeling like your gas tank is permanently running on fumes, there is something wrong.

Ronda is running on empty

We are all guilty of it. We work just a little longer to finish up the day’s tasks. I hate having things on my to do list that don’t get checked off by the end of the day. I have a need for there to be no notifications on my phone or iPad because that signifies that something needs my attention. I will repeat: Quit working so hard!! I have to say it to myself (and I’m a horrible listener when I tell myself something). I am writing tonight, from my office, because I just finished teaching and wanted to finish up a couple of things. Writing a blog post has been on there for several days, so I decided to mark it off the list tonight.

Why are some of us so driven? I know the reasons for motivation and drive. I get intrinsic and extrinsic value. But what makes us push beyond normal limits? Is it a fight against perception? Sometimes I really think it is. Maybe it is that we don’t want to be perceived as lazy or expendable. Maybe it is because we like to feel important and needed. If we just work a few more minutes, or maybe another hour, we prove how helpful we can be. When we prove ourselves, people need us more. Or at least that’s a theory.

I have another theory for the push to keep moving. I think sometimes we are afraid of what will happen if we stop. I do realize that could go with what I just wrote as well, and there is some fear of being not needed if we don’t keep proving our worth. Think about it though, how many times have you heard the saying, “I will rest when I’m dead,” and how do you relate that to your life? Is the motivation to keep going synonymous with a fear of what happens when we stop?

How does that fall in with this pandemic? Does that add another layer of if I keep moving, it means I am healthy? Are we turning our homes into this?

It's OK to Miss the Office During the Coronavirus Lockdown - WSJ
Where is the work/life balance?

Who suffers the most when we lose the boundaries between our work time and our home time? The argument could be made that it is our children, and it is a very good argument. The argument could be made that it is our relationships with our family members or the ways in which we deal with stress when stress is present in every aspect of our life. I think it is changing us in ways we don’t even think about. For instance, have you emailed someone over the weekend and gotten irritated that they didn’t respond? Does everything seem like an urgent situation to you? I have heard the term surge capacity several times over the past couple of weeks. At first I thought it was a crazy term being used to make excuses. I’ve done a little more research (just a little, don’t have time to do much), and I am a believer. I think most of us have hit or exceeded our surge capacity limits. The world feels upside down and topsy turvy, and it seems to be getting crazier by the day.

Our Brains Struggle to Process This Much Stress | Elemental
Somebody put us back to right side up.

I don’t know how to solve the problems, and I’m really not even certain I know what all the problems are at this point. I do know this, we have got to take a break and get off the merry go round every now and then. We have got to start reestablishing the lines between work and home life.

50 Ways to Take a Break from: https://themostefficient.com/50-ways-to-take-a-break-infographic-brain-breaks-for-adults/

There are some great resources out there to help you re-establish those boundaries. I found the graphic above, along with some really great ideas for both work and home, at https://themostefficient.com/50-ways-to-take-a-break-infographic-brain-breaks-for-adults/. There are a ton of things that I don’t understand, and what is going on in the world is right up there near the top. I do know one thing for certain; if we all keep working this hard, we are all going to end up broken.

Take your foot off the gas and don't push yourself too hard. If you need to  rest, then take a break. Theā€¦ | Inspirational words, Be gentle with  yourself, Cool words

So give yourself some grace, set some boundaries, and look up from your work. These things can only help you feel better.

Posted in CrossFit, Inspiration, This is me

40 before I hit 40

So, after an extremely long few weeks at work, I am finally on Fall Break, and I had a realization this morning. It is right at 16 months before I turn 40. I was sitting here, trying to decide what to do with my day, and I thought about going to get a book to read. That, of course, led me down a rabbit hole on Pinterest trying to figure out what book I wanted to go get, which eventually led to me figuring out how long it is until I turn 40.

16 Months. Just 16 months. I don’t feel almost 40. I mean, I guess my knees definitely feel over 40, but in my mind I don’t feel like I have been alive that long. Since I realized how close I am to getting there (after David did since he hit 40 this year), I decided I want to do something special, set a goal to reach between now and then. I am actually going to set 2 goals.

40 Before 40 image with colorful dots

Goal 1

Starting this month, I want to read 40 books before I turn 40, but to do that I need your help…

I have no clue what I want to read. I have spent so much time reading for education or reading to/with my kids that I don’t even know what to read anymore. Leave me a comment with your top books so I can make my list.

Lots of books on shelves with vintage hanging lights

Goal 2

I am going to do 40 hero/memorial workouts in the next 16 months. I will probably have to scale them (see the over 40 year old knees comment), but I really want to do something cool between now and then. Leave me your favorite hero/memorial WOD in the comments, too. Get ready Mossy Creek Fitness, I am ready to come back from this stupid mono thing with a vengeance!

Boo from Monsters, Inc. Dressed as a monster with Gym Time #BEASTMODE

My plan is to blog about each book and workout as I finish it, but I really need help finding all the books and workouts. Let’s see if I can hit this goal!

Posted in Inspiration, This is me

Not My Comfort Zone

If you know me, you know I am a slight control freak.  By slight, I actually mean living in a constant state of having a totally over the top need to know exactly what is going on, how it is happening, when it is happening, what the next step is, who is going to be there, etc.  I don’t really like when plans change (shocker), and I am not a huge fan of the unknown.   Somehow, all of those things that I hate managed to happen this week.  B was invited to a huge Jr. Young Leaders Conference this summer, which is great.  The not great part of it is that it is almost 9 hours away form home.  I decided, about a month and a half ago, that instead of driving back and forth so much, I would get an apartment on AirBnB and David, Alyssa and I could come up and spend the week.  Of course, plans didn’t work out the way I had them set up.  David had meetings he couldn’t move, Alyssa got her wisdom teeth out, and when they released the schedule for B, he had to be there earlier than we thought.  After thinking through all of that, I ended up in an apartment 9 hours away from home by myself.

As much as I enjoy having some time to myself, this, plus a few other things seems to have thrown me into a tailspin this week.  I never really thought of myself as having anxiety, but last weekend it has practically paralyzed me.  I cried all weekend.  I managed to be ok for most of the drive, but then we hit traffic.  It was at the point that we hit nasty traffic that I truly began to realize how much anxiety I was having.  I got B dropped off, then made my way back to the apartment I had rented for the week.  Keeping in mind that I was tired, and starving, the actuality of bursting into tears when I even thought of having to go find some food happened quickly.  I finally got it together enough to go to a grocery store about a block and a half away, and managed to get food to last me through the week.  That was Sunday night, and I didn’t leave the apartment again (other than to go downstairs to the Starbucks on Monday morning) until Wednesday.

So why am I telling all this on my blog?  First off, to dispel the myth that I have it all together.  For the past few years, I have had people say things like, “I don’t know how you do it all” and “You manage to balance everything, how do you keep everything together,” but in actuality, I don’t have it all together.

It’s also been hard to navigate being off my normal schedule while I am also trying to deal with the anxiety.  Without workouts with my Mossy Creek Fitness family to burn off steam, and without my family around to distract me, I have actually had to face the anxiety as it hit.    Thankfully, I had some great help.  With lots of talks with my husband, lots of soul-searching and journaling, and a great visit with my cousin, I managed to get out of the apartment yesterday.  We went to Arlington, and had a great time!!

So, while it hasn’t quite been the week I had planned, it has definitely been a week that I will end up celebrating.  I managed to work through some things, and figured out some ways that I can work through things in the future.  I also learned a lot about myself.

  1.  I am definitely a small town, southern girl.
  2. Big cities are nice for vacation, but I miss my mountains and cows.
  3. I like to go on vacation, but not by myself.
  4. I like alone time, but not this much alone time.  I love the time I have been spending on my back deck this summer, but I also love being able to go inside and spend time with my family.
  5. I do not do well when I skip devotions.  I have never been someone that set aside my time for God.  In fact, I have tried to do that in the past few years, only to get bored, or feel like I am not doing it correctly (that’s a topic for a whole other blog post).  Since I have been setting aside time for devotions this summer, I have really begun to look forward to that time each day.  I missed my time on Saturday, and on Sunday, but when I made time on Monday, it made a huge difference in my day.

I am definitely ready to be home, and I can’t wait to hit the road tomorrow.  I am even more excited that I get to spend the next week on vacation with David, the kids, and my parents!  There might even be some mountains involved.

Posted in Inspiration, This is me

Lifting the Fog to Find Abundant Life

So, this morning, after I went and worked out, as I was sitting on my back desk with my coffee getting ready to do my devotions I noticed the “smoke” in the hills. Around here, it is not an uncommon occurrence, but it struck me as extra beautiful today. The thought of the new mercies we receive every morning from God was sticking in my head, and I took a picture, just because it was pretty. Now, in the south, in June, you have to catch it early because the fog burns off pretty quickly as we heat up. I took my picture, then got started with my devotions.

20 minutes later, as I looked up from my devotions expecting the fog to have lifted, I was shocked to see it had gotten thicker.

All of a sudden, I was struck by how much this mimicked life. You see, we keep looking for this “abundant life” as being life with lots of things and people, without challenges and difficulties. We watch for the clear picture of who or what God wants us to be, then despair because it isn’t clear. In actuality, we are living our abundant lives when the fog gets thicker. It is our abundant life because God is with us, even though we don’t see him through the fog. He handpicks us and, just like the mountains, is there whether we can see him in our current circumstances or not.

My community has had a rough 6 weeks. We have lost people suddenly and tragically, and it feels like our small town has been touched by something that we don’t think of as happening here. It feels like things have changed and may never go back, but, I’m also seeing people pull together in support and compassion. That is our abundant life. God is here, just like our beloved mountains didn’t go anywhere when I couldn’t see them for the fog. It is not easy, and there is a lot of difficult healing that will still have to take place, but eventually the fog will lift. For today, I’m just thankful that God is there, in my abundant life, whether I can see him or not.

Posted in Inspiration, This is me

2018 . . . Outside My Comfort Zone

Word of the year.png2018, so far, has been all about trying new things that test my comfort zone.  I started a bullet journal, which pushes my boundaries of being creative and is forcing me to step away from my computer more often; I started the year down one organ (everything is ok, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing how life changes without that extra baggage); I just finished the Crossfit Judges course (which is pretty comical to have thought this time last year that I would be judging other people on their workouts); and I have chosen a word of the year.

The bullet journal is something that I had looked at for a few years, but never committed to because I thought I couldn’t keep it up and that I wasn’t artistic or creative enough.  We are one month into 2018, and I have been keeping up with it ok.  This week I have not done very well, but I am trying desperately to give myself grace and remember that skipping one week is not the end of everything.

Speaking of “Grace,”  I guess now is the time to announce my 2018 word of the year.  I have chosen Grace.  It kept coming to me when I was thinking about how I want to grow this year, so I finally just looked it up to see the exact definition of grace and determined that there are so many (8!) definitions (for real there are 8 definitions for the word grace https://goo.gl/Jkvbsv ) that it really fits what changes I would like to see in myself over the next year.  With my bullet journal I am learning to give myself grace to not be perfect.  Grace to let things slide every now and then.  Grace to keep rolling when something doesn’t go as planned.  I also want to push myself to give others more grace when they mess up or irritate me or don’t follow through.  I am a slight (yes, I know you are rolling your eyes if you me in real life) control freak and I tend to not give very much grace when things don’t go as planned.  Also, let’s just be real that the person who broke her arm falling off a box from a step-up needs a little more of the physical type of grace as well.

I have truly been making a concerted effort to show more grace and I am finding that I feel better about daily life when I am able to stop myself and give grace, whether it is to me or someone else.