when one door closes…

…the universe presents new opportunities.

thursday eve last week, the owner of the health food store where i have worked part-time* for 4.5 years called a “staff huddle” where she shared with my co-worker and me that she has decided to close the store and retire at the end of march.

[*between the health food store and the running store, i work full-time hours; both stores are in my ‘hood and located down the street from each other, so this set-up has worked really well].

my initial reaction was surprise but not shock, and while i felt a bit rattled for the remaining two hours of my shift, i did not feel anxious or like the world was ending. sales have been down ever since king street was closed for LRT construction two years ago. our store owner is approaching her mid-60s, and i had thought that she would likely continue to work for 2-5 more years, max.

although i slept very poorly that Thursday evening – “monkey mind,” as one of my yoga instructors calls it – was definitely going on, my two primary emotions when thinking about this life plot twist were calmness and optimism. i have faith that i will find new employment, and everything will work out as meant to be as long as i make the effort to seek out possibilities.

i am grateful to have almost eleven weeks more of full-time employment between both my stores – this timespan gives me the opportunity to brainstorm, and reflect both on what i want to do and what i could do.

over the weekend, i thought, wow – this is a New Life Experience for me -> losing a job. then i remembered that i actually have been let go once before, from my very first teaching job [lack of students, not my job performance]. that dismissal was the first instance in life where i was exposed to taking an unanticipated new direction, and that change not initiated by me is not dire.

so, here i am with swirling ideas, a multitude of options, and a sense of hope. concrete plans will follow soon.

 

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2018 resolutions: two week check-in

[i will do one more weekly check-in next monday to mark the 21 day milestone of these resolutions, then a one month check-in at the end of january, then will switch to monthly updates for the rest of 2018. so, fear not, you will not have to read fifty-two posts about resolutions!]

two weeks ago today was new year’s day! seems so long ago and far away.

have you noticed how the days are most definitely longer now? i can’t say I’ve noticed it in the mornings, but i have, most certainly, at the end of the day. daylight is extending past 5:30 pm – yea!

let’s look at the five new year’s resolutions that i shared here and see how things are looking…

  1. refrain from talking about running: this one gets a comme ci, comme ça achievement level this week. this last Saturday at the health food store, i was struck by how much i get asked about my running. i must have had a good 7-10 conversations with customers about running – do i run outside in the winter, what shoes do i wear, do i have races this year, how am i feeling, etc. the good news is i have been cognizant of this resolution and have avoided diving into distance and racing specifics. at this point, i feel like i need to reframe “not talking about running” because i can’t get away from it. i do bounce questions back if i know the person who i am talking to is a runner, too. I’ll confirm now that race recaps are going to be a thing on this blog because i adore writing them; weekly training recaps will not be a 2018 blog feature.
  2. work on my posture: thumbs up here -> over the past seven days, i went to three yoga classes at moksha, had a massage, and did stretching on my own at home. this coming week, i intend to ask my usual yin instructor, jen, and my chiropractor, dr sean, for specific stretches, poses or strength work that i can do to work on heightening my shoulders. i’m looking to open my chest, loosen my thoracic spine, and bring my shoulders back instead of rounding forward (think of the way we tend to round forward while driving, typing, eating, etc).
  3. no gum, no pop: awesome!!!! again, zero cravings over the past days, not even at 4 a.m., haha. my “thing” was always walking + gum-chewing, and i had a few walks this week where i suddenly realized i did not even think about popping in gum before heading out the door. anecdote -> my parents have a digital clock on their PVR and it’s always been a little fuzzy. if i wanted to see the time, i had to squint. a week ago or so, i happened to glance at this clock, and it was extremely clear, like shockingly so. and it’s been like that ever since! the only thing i have changed is removing aspartame from my life,* so i am granting “no pop, no gum” all the credit for improved eyesight.
  4. {*when i met joanne at coffee culture on tuesday i did have splenda or similar in my tea. i have since decided that for the rest of this year, i can bump it up a notch -> i’ll either bring my own stevia to coffee shop outings or add real sugar to teas}.
  5. tally my groceries and running mileage on december 31, 2018: no real news. again, i do write down each run’s distance, my running week goes monday-sunday, and i add up that mileage to guard against increasing distance more than 10% a week – that is a necessary non-negotiable for injury prevention.
  6. keep my words of the year front and centre of mind: yes and yessss! 1) i received work news* this week that truly tested staying equanimous about the situation – and i did think of my EQUANIMITY word of the year several times over the following days. i will aim to act with integrity in the coming weeks in regards to this same work situation. 2) my washing machine broke again yesterday for the fourth time in three years AND it was just fixed before new year’s – same issue. i took a lotta deep breaths to stay equanimous about this wretched appliance yesterday!!!{*the next blog post will explain this work news}.

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five for friday number two

[a fb friend posted that a week ago, it was -26 degrees, and overnight/this morning, it is plus 11 degrees -> a difference of 37 degrees in one week! zany, eh?!]

  1. i have a massage after work today! i was doing sooo good with getting regular massages when i was seeing susan who worked out of the building right next door to my condo. when susan went on hiatus last march, my massages fell by the wayside. over the summer, i found megan at the coach house, here in uptown waterloo, and while she is fantastic (she runs, does yoga, is chatty) i got lax in booking appointments, feeling i didn’t *need* or *deserve* a massage while i was injured/not running. i am determined to get back to regular massage as both a self-care and running body-maintenance routine, plus today is a post-birthday selfie gift! i highly recommend megan (or krista) at the coach house if you are searching for a qualified massage therapist in uptown waterloo!
  2. on my christmas list, i asked for lululemon’s wunder under 2″ short:

i hadn’t tried these on, just looking at the lulu webiste, they seemed to be the style i like, and lulu fits me well, so i was super pleased when my parents tracked these down as a gift! (fyi, if you are in waterloo, the shorts are NOT in the conestoga mall store, but they can order them in for you to that location). i love these shorts!! i have worn them for cardio xtraining, strength work, moksha and yin yogas, and they feel fabulous -> lots of stretch, support and wicking.

3. do you have a southern vacation coming up this winter?? i don’t know about you, but i love a good chic-lit novel while lying on the beach or around the pool. just last eve, i finished reading:

while i didn’t read this one on vacation (boo hoo!) it was an engaging, light work of fiction. i liked the format {each chapter alternates voice between two sisters} and the plot kept me interested. if you like emily giffin or elin hilderbrand books, this one will interest you. i give it ***/**** (three out of four stars).

4. this story on runnersworld online: “california woman qualifies for olympic marathon trials at age 50” -> i LOVE reading about *mature athletes* who are kicking a$$ in running. they inspire and motivate my training. molly friel is my hero of the week! i also enjoy reading about runners’ training, day-to-day life, and approach to running. never know when you will find an idea that you want to try.

5. this story on canadian running magazine online: “don’t write off resolutions…just edit them” -> the sports psychology expert quoted is kim dawson, who is an acquaintance in waterloo. this article would make for interesting discussion…IMO, yes, go ahead and modify running goals as the year goes on. however, i don’t agree with giving yourself a free pass just because an intention becomes uncomfortable. dig deep and remember your reasons for making the goal!

happy weekending! 🙂

thoughts on turning 48

since i’ve been 48 for…48 hours (!!), now is the perfect time for some new-age reflections. 🙂

~ overall, i feel positive and open to being 48 (as opposed to depressed, sad, anxious, conflicted – i remember distinctly feeling this way on birthday #30).

~ i’m defining this year as my “floater year” -> i can coast through goals and day-to-day life with no (self-imposed pressure)…cuz the next two years are going to be BIG!! BIG, I tell you!!! 49 = the last year in the 40s decade! must do exciting and memorable things! achieve all the goals! and when 50 hits, well, obv must do big, grand things! seize each day! 🙂 (and yes, i have already started brainstorming all those #bigthings for 2019 and 2020).

~ my brain loves order, structure, balance. i have not looked up official numerology, but for my own mind, 48 is super pleasing -> divisible by twelve, by four, two even numbers…very good. {47 was also positive personal numerology because that was our house number in my childhood home; 49 will be awesome because it’s divisible so nicely by seven…and 50 = five, ten…yup! looking good again!}.

~ 48 does sound old if you say it out loud or really reflect on it. it’s solid middle age. when my mom was my age, i was 22, in 3rd year university – yikes! honestly, though, some days i barely feel like an adult.

~ in terms of physical health, i feel really good. i am grateful for a strong body and lots of energy. nothing hurts when i get out of bed in the morning. i can still pluck any grey hairs that pop up. 🙂 while i wear contacts due to being short-sighted, i don’t need bifocals or have to switch between long-distance/up-close glasses. the one thing i am mindful of is bone health.

~ what i want to work on this year: intuitive living -> what decision or course of action just feels right in my heart? not caring what others think -> yes, even at this stage of life, i can still be influenced by seeking external approval; be willing to be vulnerable (thanks, brene brown), take risks knowing that i might make a mistake or be wrong, and guard against perfection. (this last realization came to mind as i was reviewing my new year’s resolutions – as a perfectionist and Type A personality by nature, i innately go towards trying to be perfect. i want to relax that expectation and again, be willing to know i might make a mistake (the horror).

final thoughts: age is a state of mind and what i make it to be. i am genuinely looking forward to a year of growth and discovery of what brings personal peace and happiness.

credit: rebel dietician

{i posted the quote above to facebook yesterday and absolutely love it. as i mentioned when i shared it, it is exhilarating and a little scary – which is a-ok}. 🙂

 

how i spent my 48th birthday :)

it’s a tradition in our family – instituted long ago by the brother – that on your birthday, YOU are the boss of the day. you can design how and when* to celebrate, and any group choices are decided by you. keeping this thought in mind, i set up a super delightful day for january 9th, yesterday, my birthday.

{*a belated family celebration day will take place in TO on sunday, jan 21 -> a race and brunch! my idea of a great bday party!}

here’s my day from start to finish!

like the message on my new front door mat?!

i went out for an early-morning run – on the good side, the temp was much warmer than the last while (somewhere around zero degrees celsius); on the flipside, the footing was quite mushy at times due to monday’s snowfall and salt being thrown down. i so enjoyed reflecting back on previous birthday celebrations -> everything from childhood parties to getting my driver’s permit on my 16th birthday to seeing the first tom cruise/jack reacher movie a few years ago.

refreshing nuun subbing in for coke zero this year as beverage of choice!

my post-run celebratory beverage was…a tall and sparkling glass of nuun! #nuunambassador 🙂 honestly didn’t miss my traditional birthday pop – yea!

this is what 48 purefits looks like! they need their own storage shelves!!

[my celebrations actually started monday at the health food store -> our store owner gifted me with 48 of my favourite protein bars! i could mix n match whichever flavours i wanted. i thought this was a hilarious gift…until i practically cleaned out our stock of purefit bars in collecting 48 of them! #suddenlyfeelingold]

gotta highlight my shoe brand of choice – nike!

i love my two jobs so i decided that a half day’s work would be just perfect. with my tuesday schedule, that meant i spent time at the running store til 1:30 pm.

we met at our favourite coffee shop – picked by ME!!

right after work, i met VFBF (very first best friend) joanne at coffee culture for tea and chitchat. i treasure our friendship as there is no topic that is off-limits and we can share anything and everything with each other. since we have been friends since i was two years old, jo is practically a sister.

today – jan 10th – is my fifth anniversary of attending moksha yoga waterloo 🙂

at 4pm, i went over to yoga and took the 60 minute moksha series class. this is my favourite type of class of all the options at moksha. the heat was yummy! my running friend sara randomly happened to be in class, too, so it was fun to have a side-by-side yoga buddy and then chat with her after class. this class was #1054 at moksha! [i’ve kept track since my first class].

i had time for a quick knitting session while listening to the rich roll podcast #334 (with tim ferriss) before heading over to my parents’ for the evening.

presents are fun, even now!

i dictated that present opening time would be first, then we watched a PVR’d “chopped.” my choice in tv pickings!

an obligatory bday selfie – #thisis48

so, it really was a birthday that included all of my favourite things. i took time to journal and reflect, too, and look forward to sharing some thoughts on being age 48 in the near future.

 

2018 resolutions: one week check-in

happy monday!

here we are! it’s January 8th, and exactly one week ago was new year’s day. how are YOUR new year’s intentions going?!

it takes 21 days to break habits and form new ones, so to help stay on track, i’ll check in at this seven day mark. good news! things are going well!

in my January 1st post, i shared five resolutions for this year. here’s how things are going:

  1. refrain from talking about running: this is going really well! i do consciously have to make an effort with this goal, though. i’ve taken a pause a few times, esp at the running store, to stop myself from talking specifics about my running. at the health food store on saturday, the temp out was minus 30, and i had several customers ask if i was still running outside in these conditions (yes). i kept my responses simple, along the lines of “yes! as long as you layer up, it is quite enjoyable!” or “after being injured, i am happy to get outside and run pain-free.” i mentally composed a facebook post for my birthday run (tomorrow) then i remembered i wish to keep details to myself. so that post will not go up. 🙂
  2. work on my posture: yes! i’ve gone to yoga a few times, done my strength training, and made the most of 5 or 10 minutes gaps of time at home where i can stretch and lengthen on my living room yoga mats. when walking, i am aiming to keep my shoulders down, shoulders even, head tall and front ribs soft. each day counts!
  3. no gum, no pop: this goal is the most surprising right now as i have had ZERO day-time cravings. i was sooo not anticipating this resolution to be so easy [am i crowing too soon?!?]. two nights, i have woken up about 4 a.m….and thought how good pop would taste (??). i’ve realized 1) that i was really ready to give up gum 2) that i have been chewing gum out of habit 3) that the thought really is quite distasteful right now. **what has helped when out for a walk (my habit was if I walk, i chew gum) -> focusing on really looking around at my surroundings; listening to how my feet sound hitting the ground; consciously breathing in/breathing out. as mentioned, my treat of the 9th of every month was coke zero and that will not happen tomorrow; rather, i am thinking of other great and happy things to look forward to.
  4. tally my groceries and running mileage on december 31, 2018: my grocery receipts have been stashed in my accordion file folder, and running distances logged in my journal. that’s it!
  5. keep my words of the year front and centre of mind: yes – i have thought on EQUANIMITY and INTEGRITY at least once per day. one cool experience was when a neighbourhood friend and i shared our words of the year when i saw her at the health food store. for integrity, i am trying to give 100% effort, avoid shortcuts or “that’s good enough” work at both stores. I’ve been feeling calm and centred this week which is equanimity right there.

the visual reminder that will be in my fridge all of 2018…beside the coffee that is not drunk. 🙂

 

eating out: famoso neapolitan pizzeria, waterloo

[full disclosure, i am totally stealing this review idea from blogger hollie, and modifying the format to suit me. hollie posts a weekly diner review every saturday/sunday – such a fun idea!]

last eve, we held our running store staff christmas party (belatedly!) at famoso. famoso is right next door to our store, and has been open about three years.

party of: four -> in attendance, we had our store manager, myself (assistant manager), a part-time associate, and her husband. this was my first visit to famoso.

atmosphere: busy -> we met at 6:30 pm, and pretty much every table was filled when i arrived. famoso has a bar with a couple of large-screen tvs (tuned to hockey), a long harvest-style table down the centre of the room which accommodates multiple parties, and individual tables. it felt quite crowded with the tables placed close together, especially with the fullness experienced on this Saturday night. i actually expected it to be noisier, given the high ceiling and cement floor. unfortunately, we had the worst table in the house as we were closest to the washrooms and the backdoor so there was a lot of steady traffic passing us by.

service: uneven -> our initial server, Chiselled Biceps Boy, was excellent. he was personable and not pushy, agreed readily to take our table’s photo when asked, and meticulously made note of the dietary intolerances of one member of our party. from him, however, we segued to Curly Haired Girl and while friendly enough, she left us hanging interminably between finishing our food and bringing our bill (which we had to ask for).

food: acceptable -> we started with the cauliflower artichoke dip which was served quickly and was piping hot upon arrival. we had requested double tortilla chips and pita bread which was brought agreeably and without issue. our store manager and i shared a margherita pizza which was also piping hot. the crust was crunchy and crisp and had good “pizza crust” flavour, but i found the pizza bland overall {is this a margherita pizza, in general, or this version??…} as it really was just cheese and tomato sauce. i am not a fan of spicy food, so if i found it lacking zip…!!

cost: reasonable -> our total was $107.00 which included tax and tip. i thought this was a respectable price given what we ordered – a non-alcoholic beverage for each of us, an additional latte and an espresso, two full-size pizzas and the full-size gorgonzola walnut salad with chicken added on. we did not order dessert.

would i return? yes -> famoso has a broad and appealing menu, it’s close by, and had an energetic, upbeat energy to it. i also like to support uptown waterloo businesses.

overall rating: B