Hey guess what? I bought a domain!!
Come check me out at my new home:
She Is Sparkling
So excited for the new adventures that await.
Hey guess what? I bought a domain!!
Come check me out at my new home:
She Is Sparkling
So excited for the new adventures that await.
It’s really hard to find month-themed songs for these little goal posts of mine! LOL. November Rain is the only one I could think of – but too much rain makes me sad so I’d rather not have a November full of it! 😉
It’s chilly here in Boston – I’m loving wearing layers and rekindling my romance with my fuzzy Ugg slippers but MAN it is hard to get motivated for morning workouts – especially cardio ones outside!
Last month I set out to achieve a few goals:
October has been a month that attempts to strengthen my patience (for those of you that don’t personally know me, patience is NOT one of my stronger qualities). I’m getting acclimated in my new job and learning my new day-to-day routines. Since I’m based remotely I’m trying to build relationships sight unseen (which is sometimes tough) and I’m also trying to find that magical work/life balance. I’ve had a few meltdowns – but overall I’d say I’m adjusting fairly well. It’s tough to let go of who you were (especially when your identity was tied to your job for as long as mine was!). It’s also tough not to fall into the same patterns you once had (blindly saying “yes” to every request, trying to be a superhero etc.). I’m working every day to build new rather than resume the old. October has taught me that I need to allow things to take time and not rush – magic doesn’t happen overnight.
I feel like learning the art of patience will be a life-long lesson for me….now let’s see how did I achieving my monthly goals!
Of course I totally owned the “embrace Autumn” task -tons of leaf peeping adventures were had, pumpkin baking occurred and I enjoyed a few PSL’s:
I also totally owned my goal of doing more barre – especially with my beloved SP rolling out a new bar(re) program that debuted at a bar nearby a week ago and was MAJORLY fun. I forgot how SORE barre workouts make you! I’m looking forward to more in the future. Here we are tucking and pulsing:
Sadly I did not take a hike w/ Jewels – the one weekend we both had free it rained the whole time, making hiking just impossible. Weather pending that may roll into November!
I’m adding the following goals in to the 11th month (11 being my favorite number):
There we have it (and I’m actually posting on the first day of the month for a change!). What are you planning to tackle this month? I’m all for finishing the year strong while appreciating where I’ve been. Take time to give thanks in your own life but don’t forget to hustle! 😉
I don’t usually love radio hits but the Calvin Harris/Rihanna “This is What You Came For” is one of my favorite fierce workout songs that always gets me amped up. It also reminds me of the goals I set and how reaching them IS what I came for. 😉
At the beginning of October when I set a few monthly goals I decided a long-term clothing goal would help me stay motivated through the long winter. I bought a super cute lace up sweater from New York & Company in a size I’ve never bought before (18!). I hung the sweater right next to my mirror so I could admire it while getting ready. I was excited to hit this goal and decided to see how far I had to go the other night before going out. Guess what? IT FIT!!! I was so excited I think I texted every girlfriend I have and then totally wore it to my dinner date. One of my gf’s reminded me I was the #goaldigger and this was what I came for-which which made me giggle.
I’ve never hit a goal this quickly, I was beaming all night. I try not to be someone who brags and I feel guilty when I post too many selfies / share too many excited things in a row on social media. (Sidenote: isn’t it sad that in our society you feel GUILTY for sharing the good parts of your life!? Seriously). However, I posted it anyways and I was taken aback by all the sweet notes / texts / comments I received. I truly have the best support system a girl could ask for. ❤
Trying to redirect those feelings of guilt I’ve decided the people who share in my excitement and support my goals will be happy with me and the rest? Well they don’t matter. 😉 Since I needed a January goal for my birthday I bought the same sweater in a 14 (instead of the 18 I’m wearing above). My financial planner was just thrilled about this decision, haha.
I struggle often with doubting my ability to do things I want (hitting my goal weight, finding my love, paying off my debt, buying my first place)…. This sweater is so much more than just a sweater. It’s a symbol of how I CAN do what I set my mind to.I will wear it proudly for the next few months until the smaller one currently hanging next to my mirror fits. 🙂
A great quote into keep mind:
Sometimes I have an idea rattling around in my head that I want to share but I can’t find the right words – then I hear a song that brings it all into focus perfectly. “The Heart of The Matter” by Don Henley is a CLASSIC post-breakup song (although this post really isn’t about breakups per se) but the line “I’ve been tryin’ to get down, to the heart of the matter. But my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter. But I think it’s about forgiveness. Forgiveness” just gets me every time.
There are some people in my life that I don’t talk to anymore because we’ve just drifted apart (see: We Don’t Talk Anymore) then there are people who I have consciously chosen to walk away from. Sometimes it’s because I recognize they are not contributing to my life in a positive way. Have you ever dreaded seeing a friend but not known why? Maybe they’re self-absorbed, maybe they make you feel bad about yourself by reliving past failures – whatever the reason if you don’t look forward to spending time with someone you’re choosing to spend time with – tune in to those feelings. In some cases a “real talk” conversation of “it feels shitty when you bring up XYZ – cut it out” can totally set the record straight and salvage your relationship. However, other times there is no real talk cure for this feeling of dread.
Sometimes people have consistent shitty behavior and your best course of action is to walk away and stop allowing them to negatively affect you. I saw this on a friend’s Facebook the other day and it made me stop in my scrolling for a full internet minute (which similar to a treadmill or a microwave minute is a lifetime ;)).
I can forgive someone who has wronged me (and for the record forgiveness doesn’t always mean letting them back in your life – sometimes people need to stay gone as Jimmy Wayne says). I can accept an apology and move on with my life. Forgive but not forget is how the saying goes, right? Well, ironically I have the worst memory when it comes to people who have wronged me. I will forget something awful someone did to me (thankfully for me I have a series of elephants with LONG memories in my life that don’t let me get hurt twice by the same person!).
However, what about the times when you don’t receive an apology? How do you move past the hurt and forgive then? Where’s the good in forgiving someone who isn’t sorry? I was trying to find a good quote to explain my thoughts on this but I came up short. I guess the way I see it is at the end of the day you have two choices:
Sounds simplistic, but I really think it’s true. Life gets better once you say “fuck it, your bad behavior and lack of sympathy are not going to affect my world anymore. Peace out!“.
Now in the spirit of honesty, I have absolutely hurt friends and family in the past. I have been that self-absorbed person, I’ve been so concerned impressing someone new that I’ve neglected people who would do anything for me. I totally get the momentary lapses in judgement – and I try to be more cognizant of it in my relationships now. I try to be the person who remembers things that are important and let’s the people in my life know that I value them. I have been forgiven for things I’ve done without issuing a much deserved apology – and I believe in paying that karma forward.
From the same song:
There are people in your life
Who’ve come and gone
They let you down
You know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby
‘Cause life goes on
You keep carryin’ that anger
It’ll eat you up inside baby
Let go of that anger, accept an apology you never received (or did receive but maybe left you feeling unfulfilled!). Accept it and move on with your life. Not for them but because you deserve peace. ❤
Closer to Free was the “Party of Five” theme song by the BoDeans. So catchy, so 90’s. “Everybody wants to live, like they wanna live and everybody wants to love, like they wanna love and everybody wants to be closer to free”. You’re bopping your head and humming right now aren’t you? 😉
I used to be a self-help junkie. If there was an inspirational, motivational or uplifting book to be read, I was all over it. Over time I have found some things I’ve read that stuck with me and others weren’t quite as impactful. One of my favorite books/activities was “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte. It was all about figuring out who you are, what makes you light up and then embodying those qualities. I spent my staycation last fall pouring through the book and identifying how I wanted to feel, who I wanted to BE etc. It felt amazing to finally capture all these things on paper.
Well, you’re supposed to run through the goal setting activities a few times a year to make sure your life aligns with your goals and vice versa. Turns out my life got busy and I hadn’t checked in since that afternoon last year. I was surprised how much has changed. On October 19, 2015 I wrote “I wish I felt strong – not just physically (although strong > squishy/fluffy which is how I currently feel, lol) but mentally strong. I am still so emotional, so easily influenced and upset by others. I wish I could toughen up“. I think I have DEFINITELY toughened up (thanks to some people and some situations acting as “sandpaper” as my friend Michelle describes it). I’m also much stronger and slimmer physically than I was this time last year. Sometimes I take for granted the things I can do (like 3 hours of back to back classes or walking 3 miles at the lake or completing a Chrissy Clawson abs of death series without ACTUALLY dying 😉 ).So, that goal was definitely accomplished on multiple fronts!
The “Core Desired Feelings” I chose last year were:
Sunday afternoon I started redoing the activity, this time in the cutest revamped workbook:
Halfway through I realized what I wanted was to feel free, or at least closer to free. Freedom from debt, freedom from weight, freedom from the limiting beliefs I’ve placed on myself over the years. I’m getting there – slowly, surely. I have goals around each of those items and I water them daily. Turns out those words no longer define what I want to be or who I am. I needed new words. I pondered for a bit and came up with these:
I want to be engaged in meaningful work, inspired to write my book and reach my goals, I want relationships that light me up and excite me (and I’m totally fine if I have fewer close people in my circle; as my girl Meghan says 4 quarters > 100 pennies any day). I want freedom from the things I’ve carried so long (knowing that freedom alone doesn’t always feel free, I need things like gratitude and appreciation for my season in life knowing I can’t rush what’s meant to be). Lastly I want to feel and be loved. I have SO much to offer someone that I literally can’t wait for him to come into my life. ❤
My goal is to embody these qualities, focus my energy on continually refining and improving my life. Oh and to check in again in a few months and see how I can realign myself to these words!
Jack Johnson became a favorite of mine in college. We did a group video project where we had to film a live musician and our friend Steve came to class and played an acoustic jack Johnson song (“Bubble Toes”) – I fell in love and bought anything Jack put out from that moment on. “In Between Dreams” is my favorite album of his and if I had to pick a favorite song it would be “Banana Pancakes” (though really cinnamon swirl pancakes from my favorite diner are my guilty pleasure). 😉
I’m a goal setter, a goal “digger” if you will (check out my new favorite workout tank from Etsy – so adorable!):
I do best when I have a series of goals / projects I’m engrossed in at any given moment. Well, right now I am in a bit of a lull. I conquered my huge weight loss goal – the dress fit, yay! Professionally I started at a new job this week and I’m still getting my bearings. Suddenly I found myself caught in between goals – and very much lost. I was out driving and I saw a sign for a road race that said “Life happens at the finish line!” and in my head I thought “No, inaccurate”….life is what happens on your way to the finish line and sometimes you reach this destination you’ve been driving so hard towards and it doesn’t look or feel at all like you expected it to. Sometimes it feels better than you could have imagined – sometimes you feel unfulfilled. The importance of the finish line changed during the race and now the accomplishment doesn’t hold the same significance you expected.That’s life.
The in between finish lines is where you grow, where you take what you learned from your last accomplishment and apply it to this task. I am taking the lessons I learned in losing my first 145 pounds to apply it to my next weight loss goal. I am taking every lesson I was taught in my last role (and the one before that and the one before that. LOL) and I am applying those to my new job. I’m asking questions, I’m discovering what I can bring to the company to leave it better than when I found it. I’m carving a new path that I hope to reflect fondly on some day.
If you look at life like a series of milestones then you need to be certain your day to day hustle leaves you happy and fulfilled – that “in between” goals thing is your LIFE. How does your life feel? For the past few weeks leading up to today mine felt a little empty – I need those things to keep me excited and motivate me each day. So, I decided to set a lofty series of goals, buy a clothing item to drive towards wearing then do the *Sam “write it down, make it happen” exercise. My birthday is 111 days from October 11th. I realized this serendipity at 1:11 in the afternoon and decided I need to track my #111daysofhappiness as we lead to this goal. So, the goal is 3actually 3 goals (good things always come in 3’s):
Stay tuned while I embrace the area in between goals also known as life. 🙂
One of my favorite driving songs is “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg. My brother and I often include this on our aimless driving playlists; switching singing parts depending on our mood. As I often joke he’s my ride or die it only made sense to title this post with our song.
Throughout the evolution of this blog there have been a few series that have emerged, organically. California conversations, monthly goals and of course, features on the core of Team *Sam – the people who motivate me, inspire me and support me in all my endeavors. So far you’ve heard about my mom, dad, Jewels, Danielle and now it’s certainly time for you to hear about my one and only brother, Derek.
We’re four years apart, he being younger but a foot taller so I always joke he’s my little big brother. We were close enough as kids, playing Nintendo or watching cartoons one minute then bickering the next – typical siblings. However we always had each others back. That was never more evident than in November of 2009. I had quit my job months early and by Thanksgiving it was clear my dream of being in L.A. wasn’t going to happen. I cried, a lot. I was devastated and felt like such a failure. I took a lot of aimless drives to clear my head.
One night Derek offered to join me for an aimless drive and the resulting conversation elevated us from siblings to friends. I shared how lost I was feeling and how much of a failure I was and with wisdom far beyond his 23 years Derek helped put me back together. He said how proud he was of me just to TRY and he told me I’m so much braver than I realized (citing dozens of examples I had forgotten in my self-loathing state). We drove until the wee hours of the morning, returning home exhausted but grateful for the bond that was just formed.
That was the first of probably hundreds of life conversations we’ve shared during aimless drives. Our vehicles have changed, our soundtracks have changed (though Regulate is almost always in the lineup!), our ideals have changed but the friendship we now share has not changed – if anything it’s gotten better. It’s funny, we don’t seem like we’d be friends. I’m emotional, dramatic, bossy, sometimes naive and almost always sunshiney. Derek is quiet, reserved but insanely smart and witty. He’s a realist, never an optimist. However, he also elicits the most laughs in our family, by far, because he’s hilarious. He is the OG of not giving a fuck, he says what he wants and never sugarcoats things, long before it was trendy. He keeps me in check, brings me back to reality and is someone I can always count on 100% (whether I need to cry about a boy or quote The Town, he’s my guy).
In the last few years he’s helped break down some of my walls- getting me to loosen up, laugh more and not get so wound up about things outside of my control. He’s someone I can trust with anything (from the mundane to the insane) and will support anyone with any goal they have – something I’m lucky enough to know first hand as I’ve tackled so many challenges personally and professionally.
He’s been conquering his own weight loss battle and I’m so proud of him and how strong he’s become (physically and mentally). Once we both reach our ultimate goal we’re going to celebrate with a sibling trip to California. I can’t wait to share my favorite place with one of my favorite people. Love you, D! Thank you for being the best brother and a core member of Team *Sam! ❤
I completely forgot to post this earlier and then I couldn’t find an October song I liked so I spent 3 days waffling. <eye roll>. I settled on this one, on to goals!
September was a frenzy, I don’t even know if I’ve fully recovered! I set some important goals, let’s see how I measured up.
Okay I’m pleased to say I accomplished every goal!
Autumn adventures have included fire pits with friends, S’MORES, walks among nature and little early leaf peeping. Oh and I made a tasty apple pie cookie that was a success. 😉
Spin class was…a giant fucking fail. Read all about it here! Someday, not soon, I’ll try again.
Book plan – okay so I didn’t finish, per se. Instead I got connected with the most fabulous team ever to help me make this happen. My friend and fellow blogger Nina has now become my publishing guardian angel. I love our FaceTime meetings and I’m so, so excited to work with her! Three of my marketing maven girlfriends (Lauren, Heidi and Laurie) are on board to help me identify my brand, get my website up and running and design a logo. I have SO many talented friends, I’m really lucky! Oh and last but not least my new friend Jenn took some FIERCE headshots for my website! So excited to share them. ❤
I spent a day without an agenda! It was…. Painful. Haha. I’ll just have to accept I’m not the person who can be 100% unplanned. I need some thing, even if it’s small to check off my to do list at the end of the day.
October is only getting 3 goals, since you know, we’re 8 days into the month. Haha.
This song is just the cutest but I must confess I had a list of cute notes titled “to my future husband” long before Meghan Trainor. 😉 That said it makes me smile every time we do it in Zumba and it seemed appropriate for my feelings tonight. I got to see her live a few weeks back with a great bunch of girlfriends and she was amazing!
The hardest thing about being single isn’t what you’d think.
It’s not having to fill my own social schedule (because I like to be in control and I have a ton of friends).
It’s not making dinner for one (because leftovers are amazing and I love feeding other people).
It’s not trying new recipes (because I have a ton of taste testers who appreciate my cooking).
It’s not weddings (because BFFs are BFFs for a reason).
Nope, the absolute most agonizing part of being single is knowing there is no one who considers you #1 in their life.
No one who always takes your calls or replies to your texts or looks forward to seeing your cute face at the end of a long day. No one to cuddle up to every night and share dreams and fears and day to day minutia. No one with your best interest in mind.
So, no matter how busy I make myself with chaotic jobs and side jobs and workout regimens and cooking it doesn’t fill the void of being without a #1.
Tonight that feeling is tangible, palpable. I’m exhausted from running around all day, it’s a chilly October night and now it’s 9:13pm and I’m starving so I’m making an underwhelming dinner of fried eggs that I’ll eat alone, curled up on the couch watching “Married At First Sight”. I wish I had someone to text as I left the studio and say “heading home, can you heat me up something? Love you, mean it”. ❤
Someday that will be my reality. And I wonder where he is, my future husband. Is he curled up on the couch watching TV? Is he curled up with some basic bitch wishing he could have more for his life? Worse did he marry her and now he’s wondering how he’ll survive the next sixty years of “okayness”? Wherever he is, whatever he’s doing I hope he knows I’m coming for him…in my very own note:
Dear Future Husband,
I can’t wait to find you and spoil you. We’re going to have the best life, EVER. Hope you arrive soon…. The to do list I’ve built is long. 😉
Transitions are funny; changing from one state or condition to another in life sometimes happens without notice, but other times there is a definitive shift and you actually feel the difference before and after. “Transitions” is also an album by Westbound Train (local Boston band Jewels introduced me to a few years back). It includes so many gems that it has become one of my frequently played albums on iTunes.
This last week has been one of the most emotional of my recent years, and while sitting on the couch Sunday afternoon decompressing, I realized it was filled with so many transitions that it was worth documenting my feelings.
As I mentioned this was my last week at work, and while I felt prepared, I was very much NOT prepared for actually saying goodbye.
Monday and Tuesday – The beginning of the week was a blur of training my replacement. It was a delicate balance of being honest about the challenges she will face and being optimistic so as not to scare her. Leaving was something I had to do because well, it was time.
Wednesday – Time for my farewell happy hour. I throw the best parties (not bragging, just factin’) and this was no exception. Back in 2009 when I quit to move to LA, I threw myself a fierce party and my BFF came to work with me for my last day. Thanks to her status in life at the moment (full-time nursing student doing her internship) she was able to come to happy hour. I can’t tell you how amazing it felt for so many people in my work family to meet my bestie!
A cute photogrid from the night that included some of my favorite ladies, BFF, brother and work husbands 1-4 (I had 7 but 2 quit and 1 is in LA). This was a night I won’t ever forget.
Given it was a mid-week happy hour and end of quarter, I planned for 10 people, max. The bar that hosted laughed when I made the reservation, but I was certain we wouldn’t exceed that many people at any given time. Boy was I wrong! We had nearly 50 people throughout the course of the night! I felt so loved and so special – I really didn’t know I was so popular! The night ended with several of us who came up the ranks of tech support reminiscing and FaceTiming with my missing work husband (and official PhotoShopper) Tyler. He and his wife are expecting their first child and we all paused to recognize the big transition they will be taking on as they add what will most certainly be the most beautiful baby, ever to their family.
Thursday Morning – Jewels and I got breakfast and I set off to pack 13 years into 1 box (a joke with favorite work husband, it ended up being 2 boxes he had to schlep to my car but he didn’t seem to mind). As I made my round for goodbye hugs I found myself FAR more emotional than I expected. I have spent 38% of my life currently at this company surrounded by these people….they have been part of the fabric of my life for so long it’s hard to imagine not seeing them come Monday morning. I held it mostly together until after my last coffee date with my aforementioned fav. work husband. He wasn’t out of the car 3 seconds and I burst into tears. I don’t do well with change and the thoughts of not having all these familiarities is one I wasn’t processing well. Can I be *Sam without these people having my back? Alas, I didn’t have long to dwell on this because Thursday evening was the rehearsal dinner for Layne and Jay’s wedding (my other BFF and her fiancée). Suddenly all the work she and I had been doing to prepare for this wedding seemed very real. We both joined Studio Poise with the goal of looking amazing in our dresses; standing at the altar with her running through the motions I found myself crying again – yet another celebratory transition point! She was on the cusp of being a wife and we were both about to show off our fierce dresses and celebrate our accomplishments. I swear, I should really have been out of tears by Thursday. Haha.
Friday Night – I sat down and digested all the sweet responses to my work farewell email. They were all so personal – a few detailing things I had long since forgotten that made an impression on someone’s life. One email really hit me and will stay with me for a very long time: “In addition to the place being less sparkly it will also be filled with a lot less love. No one will remember our kids names or ask about our spouses or celebrate our birthdays or send out 4,000 personalized Christmas cards. You were the heart of this company and you will be dearly missed.”. I worry sometimes that I don’t make an impact on the world around me (something the humanitarian in me longs to do). But, given the influx of very sweet notes it’s clear that I DO make an impact by showing up and making everyone around me feel special.
Saturday – This was the wedding of the year and despite a few comical and not so comical SNAFUs we had the best day ever (one couple forgot all their clothes on the drive to Boston, it downpoured most of the day, the hotel wasn’t ready for us and ended up with a lobby of annoyed, overly caffeinated girls in the lobby). Layne and Jay have amassed a really special group of people in their shared lives and you could feel the love in the room. In addition to being the Unofficial Maid of Honor (we had all known Layne so long that she decided not to designate one, but my bossyness had earned me the UMOH monicker, lol) I was asked to give a speech about the new couple. I had practiced several times in front of people but right before I took the mic I was shaking like a leaf. Thankfully I owned it (with the help of my friend Andy who sang the songs I quoted from!) and as I toasted the newlyweds (with tears running down my face, obv) I realized we were hitting another transition. I was standing there in front of friends and family in a dress I worked SO hard to fit into (then ended up being too small for and needed to alter yet again, LOL) rocking public speaking (something I could NEVER do for years), truly happy with myself at that moment in time.
A celebratory dress photo. On the left is during our first time trying dresses on, January 2016. This charming mustard yellow size 28 was too small, by a lot. On the right is getting ready in the suite before heading to the venue on October 1. The size 24 I bought had to be taken in so much I should have bought a 20. That’s 4 dress sizes in 9 months! 4 dress sizes, 38 inches and 91 pounds. Amazing.
Suddenly all the things I’ve been driving towards feel so real. I guess that’s part of the transitional period – you look up and suddenly the destination that seemed so far in the distance is here and maybe it doesn’t always feel exactly the way you thought, but it’s worth pausing and commemorating nonetheless. ❤