Tomorrow is a Brand New Day

I am suffering from a serious case of writers block and self doubt today. So instead of a blog post I have written a poem for you. It’s darker than I intended but I hope you like it!

Tomorrow is a Brand New Day

My thoughts swirl like a vat of misdirection,
bubbling and festering with clouds of exhaustion.
Jolts of anxiety and terror bombarde me
creating a toxic, twisting concoction.

Hopelessness builds around me,
negativity overwhelms me until it is all I see
I gasp, beginning to sputter and choke
and then, suddenly, I’m free.

My breath returns and air reaches my lungs
and the fog around my brain begins to dissipate.
Relief floods in and I feel peace settle in
as the balloon of anxiety starts to deflate.

A smile plays across my lips
and I know it’s going to be okay.
Life can knock you down, but
tomorrow is brand new day.

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Tips for Brand New Cooks

Now, let me start by saying I am no Martha Stewart. I’m far from it. There are a few recipes I can rock every time, but there are also a lot of recipes I have messed up and will never try to make again. I’m working on it though. Baby steps. If this sounds familiar here are some, obvious I admit, tips to help you become a better cook.

Do not buy “easy” meals.
If you buy pizza rolls, hot pockets and simple, easy meals, you will make those simple, easy meals. Don’t do it! You are setting yourself up for failure. If those options aren’t available them you cannot utilize them. Be a winner!

Do not buy fast food.
There is almost always a better option than fast food. Yes, is is easier than cooking yourself. However, it is considerably harder on your health, waistline and wallet. The easiest road is not always the best choice.

Do not forget to thaw necessary ingredients.
There is nothing more frustrating than when you plan to make tacos and the meat is still frozen. This is a place where you want that easy road. Do not give yourself an excuse not to make what you planned.

Do not forget to buy necessary ingredients. 
Work smarter, not harder. Have all the ingredients. Don’t make yourself stop mid-recipe to purchase an ingredient you forgot. Don’t throw off your groove!

Do not forget it’s okay to eat leftovers. 
Leftovers are like fast food, except from your own kitchen! Win!

If you are already a good cook. You probably stopped reading already and that’s okay. If you’re like me and you are still figuring things out I hope these tips helped. Good luck to you in all your cooking endeavors!

Five lessons I have learned since joining roller derby

Well, it’s official. As of yesterday I have been skating for one year. I just celebrated my first derbyversary. Wow. It is hard for me to believe I have already been skating for that long! I still feel like a brand new skater, however, the calendar says otherwise.

It has been a fast year, but it has been a great one. I feel like I still have so much to learn, and I do, but I have also learned SO much and not just on the track. I just wanted to share a few things I learned with you.

1. You should always try new things
It is easy to make excuses. There will be always be a reason not to try something new. Don’t let those reasons stand in the way. I realize it’s different when you have a family to think about and there are a whole slew of valid reasons not to try something new, but if you are at all able, branch out. Step outside your comfort zone because you might just encounter something awesome. Last year I gathered up the courage to attend my first roller derby practice and I am so happy I did. Roller derby is more of a lifestyle than an athletic commitment and I LOVE my new lifestyle.

2. My body is amazing
I realize I am relatively young, but I am still impressed by my body. I regularly force it to take hits and push its limits and it keeps letting me get back up. I found a few new muscles that I never knew I had until they were sore. I feel like I am astill constantly surprised by what my body is capable of.

3. Attitude is everything
It’s harder to learn when you have a bad attitude and, frankly, you aren’t any fun to skate with. For most skaters roller skating is a completely foreign concept and it takes time to learn. You cannot get down on yourself when you a skill or drill doesn’t come easily. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others. Unless you have the exact some body type, background, experience and endurance than someone else you will not see the same results. I am 5’12” and I know there are spaces smaller skaters can fit through that will just not work for me and they never will. That being said I probably have longer legs than most shorter skaters and can take advantage of that when they can’t. Just keep smiling and keep skating, the rest will come.

4. Embrace the community
The derby community is so welcoming. The Circus City Derby Dames are a newer league and the support and love we have felt from leagues and officials all over the state is amazing! I love it. I try to say thank you to officials as often as I can and I LOVE getting tips and feedback from experienced skaters. I am honored to be a part of the community.

5. Trust is everything
You cannot successful play roller derby without trusting your team. It is not a sport where you can play “lone wolf” or do everything yourself. You are nothing without your team. Even if you are a jammer, you need your blockers to hold the other jammer back and, if you lucky, help you though the pack. The bonds you will forge with your teammates are priceless. Which is great because gear can be expensive.

I am super excited to see what the next year has in store. It’s crazy to think about what I accomplished in six short months. As I was mentally preparing for our home bout a few weeks ago, I thought back to my first bout. It was in March. I was in one line and I could barely stay up on my skates. I remembering leaving the track that night stoked about the bout and the sport and all the things! Now, looking back, I’m pretty sure the only thing I did that night was clean Beloit’s track. Since then, I learned how to stay on my feet when I block and how much I love jamming. I have learned zip blocking, juking and so much more. Plus, I found a second family.

Bring it on year two! I’m ready!

PHOTO BY BOB GOOD

Removing the Beer Goggles

Perspective is important. For, what was probably, the first time last weekend I went “out” to a bar on a Saturday night and I stayed sober. At first all I could think about was my stomach because it was so full from gorging myself all day, but when that subsided I realized something.

Now before you start judging me, no I am not an alcoholic. I don’t drink super often and I’m not always out on weekends. I was actually pretty lame. I didn’t drink until I hit 21 and because of that had zero tolerance so it took very little for me to start feeling intoxicated. Since college I have virtually stopped drinking and I rarely go out to bars so it’s not that strange for me to experience my first sober night out at 24. So there.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me explain my realization. I’m sort of a grown up. I feel like a large portion of the posts I have written so far explain my shortcomings as a young adult and fail to examine my successes.

As I watched the drunken goofballs out on the dance floor, first I wished I was one of the so I could dully enjoy their dance moves. But then I felt like I was too old for it.

No, I am not saying I don’t enjoy a night out now and then and I don’t condemn anyone for being drunk. I’ve been there and will be again in the future. I have a sleep schedule now though. At 10:30 p.m. when it becomes “primetime” to go out I’m ready for bed. I no longer sleep in past 9 a.m. and I’m okay with it. Things are going okay for me.

I graduated college in four years. I am in my second position in career field. I have a fantastic boyfriend. I discovered my love for roller derby and became a Circus City Derby Dame. I have a 401K. I have paid off my student debt. I’m going to be okay. I’m sort of a grown up.

Don’t dwell on your hardships and failures. Be proud of the things you’ve accomplished. It took a night out without beer googles for me to understand. Don’t make my mistake.

5 Ways I am exactly like my puppy

 

I’ve heard it is common to take on the characteristics and habits of the people you live with. Well, I am pretty positive the same can be said for the animals you live with. In the weeks since we brought Thor home, he has picked up a lot of my habits. Or have I picked up his? Either way, we have a lot in common.

Unlike like me, Thor is not very good at holding still for photos. So I only have pictures of five things we have in common. So those are the similarities I will share with you.

1.  We get distracted really easily

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I will sometimes stop talking in the middle of a sentence. This is not because I am thinking of a way to rephrase what I am saying or anything. More often than not it was because I was thinking of something else or I was talking about something else and I was distracted. Thor is the same way. He will switch toys in the middle of playing tug of war because he walked passed another toy and needs to play with that one instead.

2. We love food

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I love eating. Who doesn’t really? I am almost always looking forward to my next meal or craving something. My life is ruled by food. I get hangry and it comes on fast. If I leave for the weekend I will probably bring some sort of food along in case my host doesn’t like breakfast or I know there will be a long break between meals.

3. Sleep is our favorite thing

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I love sleep. I used to be a champion napper. Now, there aren’t as many opportunities for me to nap, but if I get one I am not about to lose it.  To be quite honest, I pretty jealous that Thor gets to nap whenever he feels like it.

4. I like being comfortable

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Maybe it is because I am tall, but I hate being cramped or uncomfortable. Sometimes that means stretching my legs out by hanging them out a car window. Sometimes that means putting my legs along the top of the couch. Thor gets it, just look at him.

5. I want you to pay attention when I’m telling you something

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One of my biggest pet peeves is when I start telling you something and you stop listening. Just please pay attention to me when I’m talking to you. Thor is the same way. We are working on the training thing, but right now when he wants your attention he barks at you until he gets it.

Do you see what I am talking about? He is clearly my dog. Seriously, we even look alike. We have the same smile. Look:

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20 Thoughts Every Twentysomething has on a daily basis

I had chili for lunch today and now I feel like I gained thirty pounds. I don’t regret it, but man do I wish this waistline was more forgiving. It really wouldn’t hurt for me to get back on track with my workouts either. There are a lot of things I need to get under control. Do you ever feel that way? If you’re thinking yes, here are a few other thoughts you might have on a daily basis.

  1. I’m fat.
  2. Where will I be a year from now?
  3.  I like my job…right?
  4. Is that a stretch mark?
  5. Tomorrow I’m going to start eating healthier. For real.
  6. Seriously another one?! Who’s engaged now?
  7. I’m tired.
  8. Her hair is perfect. I hate her.
  9. Maybe I should run away and travel for awhile.
  10. I wonder if my boyfriend will propose this year. Hopefully not.
  11. Oh my god! What if my boyfriend proposes this year?! Am I ready for marriage?!
  12. I’m really tired.
  13. There is no way I will ever be responsible enough to be in charge of another human.
  14. I’m definitely fat.
  15. Could I BE any more stressed?
  16. Does he/she still like me? Why don’t we talk as much anymore?
  17. I should wear that one outfit again, I look hot in that.
  18. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could cook?
  19. I did a killer workout today. I probably lost like 10 pounds.
  20. Do I have to go to work tomorrow? I wonder how many vacation days I have left…

I feel like I could keep going, but in the interest of time, and keeping your interest, I’ll stop. You’re not alone with these thoughts. We’re all there. Every day.

Thanks for reading!