What a crazy, wild, wonky, emotional, and judgement filled week we’ve all had.
After my freshmen year of college in Texas, I knew I wanted more. I wanted a more diverse experience and was thrilled with my decision to transfer to George Mason University in the Washington, DC area. My time at Mason was like nothing else. My eyes were opened to the world around me and I was so thankful for the community I was able to be a part of. It was nothing like Texas and I was so grateful for the new experiences and opportunities!
Working at Dartmouth for a year after college opened my eyes even further. I am still forever grateful for the friends I made at Dartmouth and for the ways they helped me to learn, grow, and change as a person. Growing up in a military family, in fairly conservative states, kept me from a broad range of experiences, despite moving every two years.
Living in the DC area for 12+ years now and working at an extremely liberal institution for 10 of those years, I often forget how different DC is from large portions of the United States. I forget that DC is a bubble. As diverse and open minded as this bubble often is or appears to be, compared to many of my experiences in Texas 15+ years ago, it is one incredibly judgmental bubble. Living in DC, during any election year, is exhausting and boy has this year been exhausting. This week has been exhausting. I’m tired of reading all the Facebook rants, of the judgement coming from those around me, for the labels being applied to large groups of people we don’t know or necessarily relate to, and for the fear being instilled into our nation.
Yesterday I went from singing the national anthem at a NCAA women’s field hockey game to seeing college students burn American flags on campus … BURNING AMERICAN FLAGS. I’ve never been left more speechless in my life. I am incredibly thankful for the United States, for our freedom to speak or not to speak, for our right to protest, and for our right to vote. I hope that in time, the judgement will lessen, that we will all learn to love our neighbors as ourselves (and not just say we should love one another), and that the fingers will stop being pointed. I truly pray our country will heal.
Living in DC during this time has been hard, but I am grateful for the reminder to focus on something bigger. I am choosing to focus on God, family, and the fruits of the spirit. Yesterday, despite it only being November 9, I decided to get into the holiday spirit. I started listening to Christmas music, putting together our Christmas cards, and made plans for decorating our house. I don’t intend on putting up our Christmas tree until after thanksgiving, but I am going to decorate the front of our house early. Bring a little joy to our neighborhood a little early.
Aside from the election, I’ve been feeling pretty discombobulated. It has been a tough couple of months personally and professionally and although things are really starting to fall into place, I’m feeling really worn out mentally and physically. I could use a real break, and thankfully I’m going to be able to use quite a bit of vacation these next two months.
Although I’ve been productive, I’m feeling rather scatterbrained. I’m sure the election and the pending holidays have a lot to do with that, but my goal this next week is to refocus, to get organized, and to tackle my to do list before the Thanksgiving week. I then want to use December to get things in line for the spring semester before going on winter break. I want to return to work in January, with the fall semester behind me, and a renewed energy. I also want to get into a better routine and to improve upon my time management.
I am going to be making some big changes to Coffee Cake and Cardio in the coming months and have some projects I want to tackle at home over the winter break (painting for example). I also want to make my family more of a priority than they’ve been and to get into a really good routine at work, which might include changing my work schedule. Neal and I have made things work the past few months, but I know some things need to change as we move into a new year and I move into a new semester at work.
Health and fitness wise, I’ve been feeling really great! I’m proud of my weight loss these past 4 weeks and for my consistency. I’ve tracked every single thing I’ve eaten for 3 weeks now and have gotten some awesome workouts in. I am going to try adding in two workouts during the work week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love my Monday and Friday OrangeTheory workouts and think adding in the Tuesday and Thursday workouts at work will be great. I’ve tried adding in workouts at work before, but they haven’t kept because it’s just too hard to get away from my desk to workout over lunch. I’m hoping my new work schedule will help with that and I can make these workouts a part of my routine by tacking them on to the end of the work day. All in all though, I’ve been feeling really good about my diet and exercise.
Life lately has been anything less than routine, but I am so overjoyed for the upcoming months. I’m thrilled to spend Thanksgiving with Neal, Magnolia, and Alison, can’t wait to decorate the house for Christmas, am excited to fully immerse myself in the Christmas spirit (music, movies, activities, you name it), and am eager to take some time off work. The bubble I live in here in Washington, DC is crazy, wild, wonky, emotional, and judgement filled at the moment, but I hope those feelings will soon turn to peace, love, joy, kindness, and patience as the holidays arrive and we are able to spend more time with friends, family, and loved ones.
I hope each of you are doing well and that no matter where you live or who you are, you know you are loved, appreciated, and fully accepted!