In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer
there are no words for the beauty that i experienced this morning. not a soul in sight … a moment to remember (thanks to my iPhone)!
He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
in our day-to-day lives, we tend to get comfortable in our routine and don’t often push ourselves out of our comfort zones. work-gym-life-work-repeat. that being said, i think that in order to grow as individuals, we must find ways to push ourselves beyond the boundaries of what makes us comfortable – whether it be at work, in the gym, with relationships, etc.
today on my vacation in beaver creek, of all places, i overcame a challenge that i never really thought i would – i skied my first black diamond trail.
for some people this may not be that big of a deal, but for me it meant putting my fears aside and just skiing the terrain – one turn at a time. there were times skiing down that the trail was steep and unpredictable, but i had to keep telling myself that if i just continued to take it one turn at a time that i would ultimately make my way to the bottom.
but that’s kind of like life right? when faced with difficult and uncertain situations the path might not be predictable or clear at first. however when confronted with these challenges – in skiing or in life – the only way to take them is head on, one turn at a time. sometimes i feel as if my life right now is a bit uncertain, trying to decided what i want to do, where i want to live, whether or not business school is right for me – the list goes on – however i know that if i just take life one day at a time, and continue challenging myself to be better, the path ahead will become clear.
i just hope that there aren’t too many black diamonds ahead.
a few weeks ago i decided to take a little mini-mental-break-vaca and I hopped on a plane and flew out to good ‘ol san fran. just for the weekend, nothing super fancy, but a much needed break from the chaos of work. in fact, it was me trying to get that “life” part of the “work-life balance” concept in check. in theory it was on my weekend … but that doesn’t really mean much of anything most times! i always love love love going out to the west coast (not all places … but most) because it means a break from the fast-paced craziness of east coast professionalism. sometimes going out west feels a bit like Europe, like there is something they have figured out regarding work-life balance that we didn’t get the memo for here on the east coast. don’t get me wrong … work is still clearly a priority, but it seems to be accomplished with a little less stress and probably a much lower average blood pressure!
as I enjoyed my weekend drinking good coffee, wandering the streets and hanging out by the marina, i was once again reminded of all the wonderful things life has to offer that can often be put on the back-burner when we are bogged down in our stressful lives of just trying to keep up. as i often have a chance to do while on my “eat-pray-love” adventures (as my co-workers call them), i had ample time to reflect on everything that life has thrown my way the past year, and it’s been quite a bit, but it has really helped me to start to figure out what i am and am not willing to sacrifice in life. i love such active cities like san fran, austin and denver where people are always out walking, biking, running, smiling, laughing and generally just being happy. not to mention drinking superb coffee. it is such a different dynamic than most places on the east coast where it’s just a little more serious, a lot less relaxed and overall just different.
i don’t like to think that i’m really a diva when it comes to most things, and it’s no secret that i will work long hours and weekends in order to get something done, but i am reaching a point where it’s no question that there need to be certain non-negotiables. for instance, it’s extremely important to me that I have an hour a day to workout. and ten minutes to talk to my family. and it would be nice to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep. your non-negotiables might be different, as i’m sure mine will be as i grow older and go to grad school, start a family, and have kids. but i think that it is important for us all to recognize what our non-negotiables are and find ways to uphold them to the best of our abilities. are there going to be exceptions? absolutely. however, they should remain exceptions and not become the norm because that is when we start to get out of balance. it is undoubtedly a difficult game to maneuver, but hey … the french have it figured out, and those folks out in silicon valley seem to as well.
my hope is that someday in the not-too-far future i will find myself out on the west coast living a life that will allow me to bike to work; but for now the cards are a bit different. i guess it all goes back to the fact that we must remain faithful in the fact that everything happens for a reason and there is a path for all of us. and we must keep everything in perspective. work is just that … work. we work so that we can live to enjoy the things that we love; like our families, friends, nephews, significant others, or if you are me … soulcycle and whole foods. whatever it is that gets you motivated in the morning, let that drive you and continually motivate you to go after your goals, because at the end of the day the only person that is going to go after them is yourself!
on that note, my plane is about to land so i must sign-off. until next time my friends.
have you all seen bj novak’s new book in stores? it came out a few weeks ago and i cannot wait to read it. this is a video for a trailer that they put together to promote the book and it’s pretty funny. the beginning is a bit slow, but wait it through to the end … it’s worth it! plus mindy kaling is in it, and we all know that she is my soul-sister. her book “is everyone having fun without me” is one of my all time favorites, so i have pretty high expectations for novak here.
i’ll be picking this up at the airport on sunday. what are you reading these days?
i need to start keeping a list of things that i want to write about, because i have all of these things happen and then i forget to share them! right now i’m laying on my hotel bed thinking about life, work, family, and trying to figure out what i would like to do with my life (boy, do i sound like a broken record)!
as i was sitting here, i thought that it would be fun to pull up airbnb, just to get an idea of how long i could live in italy off of the savings that i have put away. the answer? depending on the season (and if i pick a home where breakfast is included) i could definitely live for a good while – maybe
three two months – if i am interested in eating at all. i know it’s probably not very realistic at this point in time, but i think that sometimes what all of us need is a little time to get away. to clear our heads, our hearts, and to regain focus on what is truly important in life. for me it might be italy (let’s hope it is); who knows where it may be for you. heck, for john mayer it was montana. and he came out of that with katy perry by his side … so i would hope that italy would mean more than spaghetti bolognese and olive oil for me!
there is so much that we have to gain out of this life that we have been blessed with, and i think that each one of us must choose what we are willing to sacrifice in order to be successful. the cover of the harvard business review this month is titled “work vs. life – forget about balance, you have to make choices”; it’s an interesting article, focused on several years of research and interviews with corporate executives regarding how they have managed / not managed to find success while having families. while the article claims to have interviewed a proportionate amount of female to male executives, i found it interesting that a separate article in the issue was quoted saying that of all “fortune 400 CEOs: only 23 are female, six are black, and none are openly gay.” astonishment aside on that statistic alone, it is no question that it continues to be a challenge for females to find the balance in the workplace that we are all seeking. the balance that will allow us to be successful while having families, children, friends and lives. i think that it is something that not only females, but everyone will continue to be challenged with throughout life. finding that balance between work and the aspects of our lives that make us happy – whatever it may be.
i know that i speak about it often, but it is becoming more and more clear that there is much more to life than working all the time – i hope you see the same. one day i hope to have a family, my own company and a house to call home. but for now, back to jimmy fallon, “the evolution of hip-hop dancing” and picking a rental in southern italy.
i know that i have posted this before, but it’s just one of my favorites especially during tough times.
keep that head up.
planes. trains. automobiles. i’ve spent quite a bit of time on each the past couple of days, which means that there has been a lot of time for thinking, reflecting and all that jazz. this past weekend i was in nebraska for chelsea’s wedding (more on that tomorrow), where I was reunited with my long lost friend tala and her newly minted fiancé. I met tala at church while I was in college, where she was a missionary and led the student-athlete bible study at the church on campus. she became a dear friend and confidant, and is truly one of those people you can talk to about … anything. she recently got engaged (at the grand canyon … no big deal) and at the wedding I had a chance to meet her fiancée john, who coincidentally was equally cool as tala.
after knowing each other for approximately 7 minutes, john and i progressed right to “straight talk” for few minutes while T was hitting up the candy bar at the wedding. when talking about work and life, he asked me a question that I am still thinking about 5 days later
“what makes you happy?”
easy question right? So I thought as well. however, when asked this question, i couldn’t formulate an articulate answer. sure, there are the obvious answers . family. my nephews. friends. kate spade (kidding). but what really makes me happy? i think it’s a hard question to answer. i love health and wellness, helping people happier, and i love feeling happy. but when i think about what i want to do the rest of my life, what i would really be happy doing, it’s hard to answer that question.i’m not sure that there is a right or wrong answer, and i certainly believe that it is an iterative process figuring it out. for now, i think that i am working on figuring out what does not make me happy *cough* working crazy hours at work *cough*and i think that is part of the cycle as well.
one thing that I know makes me happy is this blog. i love writing and sharing my life and experiences with you all. when i started the barre life in december of 2012 i didn’t really think anyone would read it. heck, i didn’t even know how people would find it to read it. but somehow you have found it, and i thank you so very much for coming back! i have been saying it often recently but i plan on re-dedicating myself to writing in 2014 – especially here – even if it is only a few short sentences a day. expressing myself through this blog makes me so happy, and i hope that you enjoy reading it as well. i think it is so important to have some sort of outlet to express yourself and just kind of be free. for me, that outlet is working out and blogging. for you, it may very well be different; however it is important for everyone to have their “something”.
i may not know right at this moment what I want to do the rest of my life, but i am getting there one day at a time. i will continue to figure out what makes me happy and what makes me … not so happy. i will spend more time doing that which I love, and less that which i loathe. i will surround myself with good people, doing good things, with the hope that it will one day lead me to bigger and better things.
in the words of ben howard “keep your head up, keep your heart strong”.
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...focusing on the evolution and economics of high technology business and strategy. By day, I am a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital.
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