My Brother.

It’s Friday night and I’m at mission FITNESS, grinding it out on the spin bike. 30 minutes until my client arrives and until people start pouring through the door for happy hour bootcamp.

I know my brother is in the main room because I hear the inspiring words of Connor Mcgregor echo through the gym. My thoughts shift to him out there. He has been here for a solid hour prepping for his class, and I have a sudden urge to go out there and give him a hug. So I do it. And I don’t let go for awhile.

Here’s the thing, there’s only a few people that know what this man has been through in his life. The constant battles he fights as this world tries to continuously knock him down. You don’t see what he has persevered through in the business. You just see the amazing product, the phenomenal trainers, and you may think that his life is pretty easy.

Well, it’s not easy. However, Matt will be the first to tell you he has an incredible life. He has a wife that sticks by his side and supports his every goal and passion. He has 2 beautiful girls that fill every moment of every day with purpose. He has a business that he believes in and loves. He has hundreds of clients that not only work their ass off for his mission, but support and promote it as if it were their own.

He has all this and he will be the first to say he is a fortunate man. You will NEVER hear him complain about the curve balls that have been thrown at him in life and in business. In fact, I have to pry the bad shit out of him.

The things he rises above are enough to make me lose sleep at night. If they happened to me directly I would have probably checked out months ago. I guess it’s the shit you go through as a business owner, the things that weed out the weak ones.

Just 24 hours after Matt told me the latest “slap in the face”… one so messed up I wonder how he will keep chugging, I see this picture on Facebook.  The Miclette kids were in at 6am, as they have done for so many years. Their father, Larry, writes, “After 3 years Matt finally gets his turn on the swing.”

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I think to myself, this is why this man is a leader. This is why he WILL BE by far the most successful man in this industry. Because no matter what he has been dealt he moves forward and keeps his head and heart on his mission. He never loses sight of why he does what he does, and continues to make people around him better.

While Matt seems to take the punches for us all, I hope that every MFER continues to stand by his side. I would fight like hell for this man, not just because he is my brother, but because he is one of the few ligit good people doing what he does for the right reason.

Matt is more than a good athlete. He is more than a good business man. A good husband, brother, son, and father. Matt is an amazing human and role model.

People always say that Matt is so lucky to have such a great group of trainers. Ironically, I hear this about another business owner and person I admire greatly, Bill Driggs. Some things have no luck involved. Some things happen because you set a certain standard.  When you are special like Matt and Bill, people want to be around you.  When you lead by example, you will certainly attract people who want to be involved with such greatness.  This is what Matt and Bill have done.

Thank you for setting such a high standard for me, Matt. As an athlete, a business woman, and as a person. You continue to amaze me with your perseverance, and I can say with so much certainty that there is no one else in the game like you!!

Embracing the Winter

As many of you know, I am spending a majority of this winter in Connecticut. About a month before I was scheduled to head South to Florida, I was offered a job working for the Connecticut Section of the PGA of America, located in South Glastonbury. You could say this job kind of came to me, as I was not seeking a job in Connecticut. However, as the opportunity presented itself, I knew it was something I could not pass up.  So, I made the decision to pursue this new venture, which in turn meant having to find a place to stay in Connecticut as I began my initial training for my new position.

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If you know me well, you know I have never been a cold weather girl. I am very cold blooded, and my fingers and toes are constantly freezing. I love the heat, and I’m that girl who is out at 1pm on a 90 degree day, running 20 miles.  I love sweating, shorts and tanks.  I thrive in humidity and spend every possible second outside in the summer.

But, here’s the thing…in DECIDING to take this job with the PGA, I made conscious decision to give up warmth and longer days in Florida for a winter in Connecticut. I made that decision fully aware of what I was getting into. In doing that, I gave up my right to complain. After lots of mental conditioning, self talk, and support from amazing fiends, I decided that I would embrace this winter. I would stop using the words, “I’m cold.” “This sucks”, “I hate winter.” etc. Just by repeating these phrases I am not giving myself any chance to like any part of the winter. I am such a firm believer in the phrase, “what we think, we become” and I practice that in every other area of my life, but why have I always overlooked that with my winter thoughts?

Why? Probably because I never had a good reason to change my way of thinking. I always knew I wanted to spend my winters in Florida so I was using my energy toward getting there, not staying here.  Guess what? It worked. I became a snow bird. However, the universe is funny and I somehow ended up back here in CT.  My friend, Kyle, said to me matter of factly recently, “Dar, I know you. You are a New England girl. You are a winter girl. You just have to get out there and embrace it.” Then there’s my boss who sees all my incredible friends stop by the office, out at night with me, or beep as they drive by my office and says, “I cannot understand what made you ever go to Florida. You have such a huge network of people here.”

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Maybe they are right. However, whether they are or not, the reality is that I am here….and I decided to be here. So, this winter you may have noticed a different me.  I’ve had so many people ask me, “how are you doing with this cold?” Or, “wish you were in Florida?” I am pretty sure (unless you caught me at a bad moment) my response was a positive one.  “I’m fine!” “No, I’m happy to be here. I’m embracing it.”

Maybe part of me is trying to convince myself with those answers, but a big part of me isn’t lying.  I am living in a warm home (unlike the last 14 years where we FROZE) working in a beautiful, cozy, warm office, and also making a huge effort to change my thoughts about winter (with a lot of help from my buddies Justin and Bill) I bought some good clothing after hearing several times, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” All of this has helped. But what has helped the most? The thing that seems to make the biggest difference in EVERY area of life….the people I surround myself with.

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I already mentioned Kyle. Her and I will be doing IRONMAN Lake Placid together.  This girl is bad ass and amazing and always up for an adventure. She loves every ounce of life. Todd and Loren who make every hike and run an adventure, and every night out one that I walk away from feeling incredible.  My brother…he may not love the cold, but rarely do you ever hear him complain. Instead, he summits Mountains with Davey at 6am.  He embraces it. Davey actually had me sad I wasn’t staying before I knew I was, talking of all the amazing winter adventures they had planned.  Bill, who is the first one to call me out about bitching and tells me, “it’s like summer out there” when it’s literally 9 degrees. Trish, who always gets me out in the woods, even at night chasing the Super Moon through the woods.

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A big turning point for me was a cold November night when Justin asked me to join him for a track workout. There is 0% chance I would have done this on my own.  It was amazing. Pitch black, motivating talk, shooting stars, Pukey speed work, and even sweat.  That night shifted something in me….if you surround yourself with the right people, ALL of this world is amazing. The cold, the warmth, and most of all the adventures and the company.

Dont get me wrong, I’ve had my moments and some lows since being back here. In fact, after my 50 miler I went into what some may call “post marathon depression”. I went into a slump, and I am slowly now coming out of it. A 10 day visit to Florida may have helped…or maybe my body just needed that time off.

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I posted my vacation workout goal (3000 squats/2000 push ups/1000 burpees) on Facebook. It did it for 2 reasons. One, to hold myself accountable. If I posted it, I would do it. Secondly, maybe to inspire another to do something similar. I hesitated in posting it in fear it would come off braggy. However, I’m happy I posted it because in return our trainer, Kim, became inspired and signed up for a 10 mile race, but also because of the responses I got. Ones that made me think. “You are amazing.” “I want to be like you when I grow up” etc. These comments always surprise me.  I wish people knew how THEY ARE LIKE ME!!!! I am not special. Trust me. I have the same thoughts, battles and issues as you. In my life I’ve been 20 lbs heavier than I am now, I’ve suffered from anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphia. I’VE BEEN THROUGH IT ALL. My body hurts all the time and I want to give up just as much as you do.

The difference?  Two things. One, I’ve conditioned my brain for many years through athletics to keep pushing. To stay in it, even when I feel I have nothing left to give. Because when you’re the star player on your collegiate basketball team and the game goes into triple overtime, coming out isn’t an option.  So, you suck it up and play on.  And you survive. All of those years of being a 3 sport Athlete have made me stronger. You have that same ability in you. To keep going and push further, but so many of us quit before we even see that we don’t just have a 2nd wind, but a 3rd and 4th.  You have to start conditioning your brain to keep going.

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The other thing that may separate me from you…the people I surround myself with. I wish you could have seen the Florida me.  The one surrounded by elderly, unmotivated people. How I began to slowly morphe into, “4 miles is good, why push it?” Then I get to CT.  I hang out with Matt, Bill, Davey, Justin…and suddenly I’m signing up for a 50 mile trail race. An IRONMAN? And guess what?  I am feeling more alive than ever.

I cannot think of the video of my finish at VT 50 without crying. I think about the grind of it all. The mental battle that I WON.  Hearing Kyle screaming in the video as my Dad pumps his fist for me.  Erik looking back to make sure I wasn’t going to be caught, almost skipping with happiness. He was there when my alarm went off at 5am so I could run for 5 hrs before work.  He got it.  My brother who was there with his camera at the finish, but more importantly with his arms open wide, because NO ONE will ever understand the battle I had those last 4 miles like him.  As I write this, tears pour down my face. Nothing feeds me with this emotion like these adventures do.

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My own wish is that every single one of you understood that I AM NOT DIFFERENT THAN YOU!!!   You can do everything I do IF YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.  I could never make you want it, you have to want that yourself. All I can promise you is that whatever you want….all of it….is on the other side of fear. It will be uncomfortable, but I swear it will be worth it.

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As 2016 comes to an end, I encourage you to look at 2017 as a transformation year. DECIDE to make it your year, because when we make a decision and stay committed to it, anything is possible. Anything, like me running to the store today (because I still can’t embrace driving in snow, after some bad close calls because of other idiots) and really enjoying it. We control our own world, and this winter I’m going to have some fun! Yes, it will be cold, but I chose the cold.  After all, we are in Connecticut!!!

 

Vermont 50 and IRONMAN Lake Placid Registration

I really just moved to Florida to get away from the Winters. I knew it would just be a place we would hibernate, make some money, and leave when May came.

I had no idea what would come next. Would we spend the Summers in Coastal Maine? Would we take the camper and go out West and see the National Parks? Would we end up back in CT?

If you asked me last October, the last option was not my favorite. I knew financially it would be the best option, but I was ready to explore. Nothing about going back “home” for more than a few weeks made me excited.

Fast forward 2 months. As I came down from my “Marathon High” I quickly lost any desire to train. My body felt broken, and my head was in a bad place. I would hear about, and see pics of my bro training “Bill” who would soon be attempting MT. EVEREST. He would send me pics of them in the trails, doing hill repeats, etc. For the first time I started to want to be in CT.

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That’s when I started to realize the significance of being surrounded by people who make you want to be a better athlete and person. Something that seemed so normal at home was actually not so normal. I wrote a blog about it, expressing how what we have at MF could NEVER be replaced.

Three months later we were offered an amazing opportunity to come back to CT and stay at a beautiful Lake house. It was all of a sudden a No Brainer. I needed to go back and surround myself with my MF Family…”Yes, we’ll take it!!”

Within hours of stepping off the plane I was at a mission FITNESS bootcamp. I left that night on a high that I hadn’t felt in 6 months. “This was what I need.” I thought. “This is home.”

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Leading up to this point I had taken a month completely off from working out, trying to mend my broken body. I was unable to even stand without immense pain. I had done Yoga 30 days straight in an attempt to be able to begin running again when I got back to CT.

Well, 1 week after my return I had a date to meet Matt (my brother) for a trail run at one of our favorite spots. I was nervous, given my running was nearly non-existent for the past 5 months. I show up to the trailhead and Matt says, “Bill’s coming.” Shit. I’m running with my brother and a man who just came back from climbing Mt. Everest. Any other day I would have been psyched, but I was unconditioned like I’ve never been.

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The run started off manageable. Bill says, “this is a good pace” Matt responds, “yeah, none of us are trying to kill ourselves” Bill was still suffering numbness in his toes from Everest, Matt was battling back and knee pain, and my hip and back were still sub par. We continue to run, holding a casual conversation. Then came the 1.5 mile climb…

Matt all of a sudden took off. My lungs and legs immediately felt the absence of ANY elevation and as we neared the top, I was doing everything I could to not walk. Bill was behind me, and I told him to go ahead. (I wasn’t about to walk with him behind me. Not after what he just did on Everest.)

Unfortunately, he said he was fine and stayed behind me. So I pushed. I wanted to walk. Vomit. Stop! But I kept going. Because Bill was behind me and he just did freaking Everest!!! It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fast, but I made it to the top.

After that it’s about 2 miles to the car, mostly downhill. The 3 of us, all hurting from injuries, took off. I want to say we probably averaged a 7 minute mile to the finish. Where the hell did that come from? Here’s what it was..it was 3 like minded people feeding off each other’s energy. Not one word was spoken in those last 4 miles, but no words were needed.

That run was a turning point for me. My soul had reawakened and I was ready to start training again. Not 3 weeks later I text Bill, “I’m thinking of doing Vermont 50. Should I do the 50K or 50 Mile? I don’t feel ready for 50 miler.” His immediate response, “50 miles.  Sign up today” Five minutes later I sent him a screenshot of my registration. I was back!!! Back home and back with people who make me better!

Since that day I have enjoyed my time in CT like I never thought I would. My training has been going great, and I’m loving being back in the trails.  I am also doing some road runs, biking, swimming and strength.  My heart is happy with such a great group of people to train with and I feel so lucky!

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Just last weekend I joined my brother and a bunch of other MFERS to cheer on our peeps who were competing in IRONMAN Lake Placid. I attended this event in 2011 for the first time and it was such a powerful experience for me. I remember standing at the finish line, eyes full of tears and saying, “I’m doing this event”

Years passed and although I continued each year to spectate and be incredibly inspired, I never took the plunge. I watched my brother run the Olympic Oval to the finish, full of pride & happiness, yet still feared making the commitment myself.

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Sometimes the timing just has to be right. Sometimes you just know when it’s your moment. I left this years IRONMAN on such a high. I felt drunk with happiness and inspiration watching our MFers finish, but still went home that Monday with no real thought of signing up.

Then the texts starting pouring in. Many asking if I was going to sign up, and a couple from 2 bad ass chicks (one a close High School friend) saying they had signed up!! With the thought of moving back to Florida in October looming, I suddenly realized that this may be the year. I could work on my swimming in Florida and hopefully stay motivated with the focus of being an IRONMAN while down South.

I reached out to 4 men that I admire deeply. I admire them for how they push limits and do things that many don’t even think is possible. Mt. Everest. A TRIPLE IRONMAN. 100 Mile Trail Races. Each one of them gave me their own bit of advice. Then I hovered over the “Registration” button for a good 30 minutes.

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Then something clicked. These amazing athletes that I have the pleasure of surrounding myself with have shown me that FEAR and our MINDS are what hold us back from so much. Once I get rid of that, I am unstoppable. And this was the first step. 140.6 miles scares the shit out of me. Especially that first 2.4. However, I wasn’t meant to be average or to live an average life. And I’m sure each one of these men will try to explain that the reason they do this “crazy” stuff is because it is the closest to LIVING that you will ever get.

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So, in the next year I will do another 50 Mile Trail Race and an IRONMAN. Then I will continue to keep doing Races, Adventures, and LIVING. Life is short….Time to start getting uncomfortable.

I thought you moved to Florida?

The million dollar question!  Here are the answers to all of your questions:

Yes!  We sold our condo in Connecticut and bought a condo in Venice, Fl.  We did this for one main reason: WE HATE WINTERS!  We hate being cold, we hate driving in the snow,  etc.  Each year we would spend more and more time in the winter in Florida, and last year we spent 5 months down South.  We bought a camper and spent a month in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 2 months in Venice, Fl then another 2 months exploring in our camper (Jacksonville, Fl/Jekyll Island/St Simons Island/Savannah, Ga/Beaufort, SC/Charleston, SC/Southern Pines, NC)

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We work in the golf course industry and we would have our winters off, allowing us very little places to travel (again, we want to be WARM)  So, many years ago we had the idea of moving to Florida, saving money on taxes, cost of living, etc and having our Summers off instead.  Golf courses tend to die down Summers in Florida.  This would allow us so much more options to explore with the Camper and for Adventures.

When we decided this, we wanted to make sure we weren’t settling with Venice, Fl because that’s where we were comfortable. That is the reason we explored last year in the camper. We absolutely LOVED many of the places we explored, but even Jacksonville, Fl was freezing! So, Venice it was. Erik’s parents own a place there, and we bought in the same condo complex as them.

If you read this blog regularly, you know this winter was a tough transition for us.  We lived with my in-laws for 4 months while we waited for a current renters lease to be up then renovate the  condo.  That was a nightmare, but in the end we were settled and happy.

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People would constantly ask me if we were coming back to CT this summer and I told them I had no idea. That wasn’t a lie. We sold our condo and at that time the only thing we had planned was to spend the Summer traveling in the camper up North.  However, I always knew there was a chance we would find a place to stay in CT.  Here’s why:

Last year when we decided we would sell our place in CT, we had the thought of renting in CT for 6 months. I put the word out that we were looking, and we found out Erik’s friend from High School had a small cottage on Bashan Lake in East Haddam.  We checked it out and the place was gorgeous. He had completely renovated the whole thing, all top of the line. The yard was HUGE and it had amazing lake views.

Well, it was out of our price range, but while we were looking at it Erik’s friend (the owner) mentioned he needed help taking care of his properties (he owns 4 and constantly has projects going on) So, when Erik told him we weren’t going to be able to take the place, he mentioned he would love to help if he still wanted someone to help around the properties. He ended up doing about 25 hours a week and LOVED it. Outside all day, physical labor, not dealing with people, on the lake, etc. Well, his buddy kept bringing up, “next year” and Erik would say, “well, we have nowhere to stay so I may not be able to do next year” He made a comment hinting that maybe we can use one of his places…..So, there was hope of CT, but we weren’t sure.

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In March, Erik contacted his buddy, and it turns out the original (gorgeous) house we looked at was still available and he offered it to us and Erik would continue to work for him 30+ hours a week.  This was so amazing because now I was able to make some money at the Golf Course and go back to mission FITNESS, which made me so happy. Not that a summer traveling in the camper wouldn’t make me happy, but I didn’t work all winter and I really was ready to WORK!!

So, here we are. Living in East Haddam and happy as hell. We still plan to take the camper on weekend trips, but to be honest to have a house (not a condo) for the first time it almost feels like we are camping!

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This is what’s going on for this Summer. Who knows what next Summer will bring. That’s the beauty and excitement of it all. If it looks like we aren’t going to come back to this place next Summer we may take the camper out West and explore the National Parks.

 Life is good. However, I can’t say it enough that this life we CREATED was not luck. It was a lot of calculated, small decisions mixed with a lot of hard work and living very simply and below our means.

Follow your heart…take that leap. You will find your wings on the way down!

Be The Change You Wish To See

I have made it pretty clear that the transition of our move from North to South was far from smooth. I frequently think back at January and February and think, “I wish my clients could have seen me.” Here’s why.  Many of them have this idea that I am an extremely positive person with mental toughness and can take on anything. Why do they think that? Because back up North I created a positive environment and life. My shit was figured out. I had a comfortable home, an amazing community of inspiring, positive people, unbelievable friends, and 2 jobs I loved. I was surrounded by my family and the comforts of a small, country town I lived in my whole life. I had amazing trails and bike routes around me, and even better, a ton of athletes to accompany me on my adventures. I was never alone if I didn’t want to be. I was a phone call and a 5 minute drive away from my parents, who would gladly spark a fire in the back yard for me if I was craving it.  I was spoiled. Don’t get me wrong, as I said, I CREATED that life.  I’m just saying it was easy to stay positive when everything around me was positive.

However, I knew something needed to change. I knew I had to give up GREAT for INCREDIBLE. I knew to do that I had to change our “home base” to Florida. For so many reasons that we have been plotting, listing, and planning for years, this had to happen.

So, there I was….Starting fresh. No real job. No immediate family. No car. No friends. No home.  Well, a home that was unlivable and a disaster due to (poorly done) construction forcing us to live with my in-laws.  A body that felt as though it was falling apart, only to match my life. I hit rock bottom. My husband was working 50-60 hour weeks (including holidays) making me feel more alone than ever. Thanksgiving without him. Christmas without him or my family. I was drowning in my own sorrows and not even fighting it. I was, in a weird way, welcoming it. I just let myself feel it.  I let myself fall apart and kind of stayed in my own cacoon (a small bedroom in my in-laws).

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I reached out to my brother (who is in many ways a soulmate to me) and he said to me, “sometimes you have to fall apart to put the pieces back together and rebuild”.  Well, the pieces are slowly coming back together. We are finally living in our own home, and I am now able to see clearly.  I’m able to remember why we did this, and how this is the first BIG step into the direction of our dreams.

I mentioned earlier that I wish my clients could have seen me at my worst. I say that not only to show that I can break, but so they can see the importance of having a positive, inspiring support group around you. I know it was such a huge lesson for me, and I am slowly trying to build that village around me down here.  I am also staying close to those positive influences back home. One way is by running the MF Facebook page.  The other way is by collaborating with friends who have similar desires and visions as me and starting to MAKE A CHANGE IN MY LIFE.

One of the biggest reasons Erik and I made the move down South was so we could have Summers free if we desired. We are in a community that thrives on “Snow Birds” and dies in the Summer. We made the decision to make our income in the winters (in paradise), allowing us Summers for adventure. That’s huge. So huge. Not just to see the World with the Camper, but to also do some amazing things.  Hike the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. Bike the East Coast Greenway Trail.  I have plans and I am so excited for our future.

Things are turning around.  Then, this week a saw a post on Instagram from a High School friend of mine and things got more interesting. You see, this girl is not only traveling and doing amazing things, but she is GIVING BACK!  She is making a difference.  I have noticed that so many people want to complain about what’s wrong with this world, and very few do anything to make a difference.  We so often get caught in our own little bubble and the insanity & craziness of what life has become that we don’t take time to think about what we could do to make the world around us better.  Or the Town we live in. Or maybe just the small network around us.

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An example: Erik and I walk every morning.  We see garbage on the side of the road and will later comment how it’s a shame how there’s so much trash everywhere.  Do we ever think to pick up the trash?  No!  Until we saw a woman one day with a bag and a picker and cleaning the road as she walked!  Why did we not think of that? But, guess what? That one woman has now made me want to start doing the same, which in turn may make others. Be the change you wish to see.

Then there’s Kyle’s post:

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This post rocked me.  I read it to Erik (the same way I read him the post from Kim at So Many Places) and started to cry. I cried because I’m not doing enough. I cried because I want to do more. I cried because I have a friend who is so amazing and it felt SO GOOD to be inspired by someone again.  I started to realize that we have shaped our lives in such a way that I now have free time in the Summers to DO MORE!  Why just do these amazing adventures for me?  Why not combine it by GIVING BACK!

So, I’m excited. So excited. I’m ready to start planning ways to give back. Not just on a large scale, but ….Every. Single. Day. I need to be the change I wish to see. I can do more and so can you. Whether it’s bringing a bag on your next walk and picking up garbage, or donating your shoes to a local charity.

Stay Tuned. The pieces are coming back together and I will rebuild myself better than ever !

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It’s Time for a Change

Everything in me says I want adventure.  My heart aches for travel.  I see pictures others post of their adventures and I feel I would give up everything (possessions) for that.  It is all I want in this lifetime…adventures, new places, exploring, etc.

However, when I take it a step further, I have to ask myself…are you ready for that?  The same way someone goes to an IRONMAN or sees a Millionaire and says, “I want that” but then when they realize all the work that goes into it, it isn’t as glorious.  We tend to see things that we desire through false lenses.  Hell, isn’t that what Facebook and, even more so, Instagram set up for? We take a picture…most likely the best scenery of the whole day,  add saturation, contrast, filters.  We crop, add a beautiful quote and call it reality.  The picture doesn’t capture the smells, the noises, the heat, the cold, the mosquitos, the fear, the anger, the sadness that may surround that photo.

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So, as I am admiring other people’s adventures I have to ask myself, what is the reality of that picture?  And most of the time the REALITY is not something I am ready for.  While I feel like my heart aches for adventure, I know that mentally I am not ready for those crazy adventures (yet).  Here’s why:  I am a bit neurotic.  Ok, very neurotic.  I blame it on Howard Stern.  Really…he has made me so much worse.  I worry about germs.  A LOT!  I worry about food and how it’s being handled and cooked.  I worry about sleep.  I worry about safety, especially in other countries.  I get easily annoyed by others who do not respect other humans and our planet.  I hate not having control.  I don’t do well with not having a plan because I am obsessed with making sure we are hitting the best places and things in the area.

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So, now you see my battle.  I want to act on the free spirit soul I know that is within me, but I have some work to do.  SO, guess what?  I am doing that work.  I am working with my best friend who works with mind training, and I am going to work hard to LET THAT SHIT GO!  I want to go on these adventures I have planned and not stress the whole time about sitting on a nasty bus or train filled with germs, or eating from a restaurant that doesn’t look clean.  I don’t want to worry about if a local kid kisses my cheek if I will get a disease.  Or if I take a wrong turn if I will be taken by a gang.  These are seriously my fears.  Howard Stern tells “me” every time he hears a report of a news woman or a hiker getting taken or hurt to STAY IN YOUR HOME.  “Paint, like I do” he says.  And while I love that man like hell, I am ready to see this beautiful world!

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I am happy to say that things have turned around quite nicely since my last post. Now, this was something I knew would happen. I knew when everyone was telling me, “everything will be fine in the end” that they would be right. I knew that the little “mistakes” and “imperfections” would fade away as the beauty of the decor and overall look of the condo took over. However, when you are in the moment, staring at those imperfections, those comments don’t really mean anything to you. In those moments it isn’t about what it will be, it’s about what is.  That’s not true with everything for me, just when you are spending a lot of money to pay professionals to do a job you expect to be perfect. That’s when it’s hard to look past the imperfections.

Anyway, that phase is over, and while I can still see some of the imperfections, they are starting to fade as time goes on.  We still have a lot of work to do, but at least it is livable now.  We aren’t rushing on the decor, so the pictures you see below may look a little empty.  However, if you scan down to my previous post and see the before pictures you will appreciate the differences:

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I can’t tell you how much everything has changed since we moved into our own space. I had no idea how much staying in a small bedroom in someone else’s home affected me. To now be able to wake up and have the whole house to ourselves is so freeing and inspiring. I feel like my mind has opened up and I have such a clearer vision of everything. I am starting to actually SEE the views from our condo and appreciate the town that we live in. I can’t imagine what it will be like when we come down next year and almost everything is done and we can relax and enjoy.