May, 2012

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Seasons

Friday, May 25th, 2012

For me, the year is split up into four different “seasons.”

Fall is running.
Winter is gym.
Spring is walking.
Summer is hiking.

When it comes to exercise, these are my natural inclinations – during that particular season, the corresponding activity just feels RIGHT. They’re not mutually exclusive – I’ll still go on walks in the fall, or to the gym in the summer, or hike in the spring – but by and large, the weather and the air dictate my workout, and this spring, I’ve found myself a 9-mile walking loop.

I start at home, and head south through the Sunnyside and Highlands neighborhoods until I hit Lohi. Then, I cross the pedestrian bridge to downtown, and wind down Platte Street past REI. With the rollercoasters of Elitch Gardens off to my left, I walk underneath the Speer Bridge and past the Denver Aquarium, cross back over I-25, and through Jefferson Park. It’s a mile to Sloan’s Lake, which I circle, and then make the long trek north back to the house where I drink a gigantic glass of water.

Last night, my friend and former co-worker Anna joined me on this walk. If you know Anna, you know that she is something special: kind and generous and authentic, an insanely hard worker, and uniquely talented. Also, if you know Anna, you know that she will probably be embarrassed that I wrote those things.

Sorry, Anna. I would say you’re lame, but that would be a lie – and I’d rather go to heaven.

Anyway, Anna has been in Denver since last September, and has done such an amazing job of embracing this current season of life. She, like many of us, finds herself in some unexpected circumstances – but has marched forward and done the things that feel right – for right now. Her current season is helping to determine the direction that she goes, and she is rolling through with such grace and aplomb. For a girl like me – often hell-bent on bulldozing my own path, come hell or high water, with nothing but The Future in mind – it’s so inspiring to see Anna live in the moment, enjoy the simple things, and take each day as it comes.

There are seasons to life, and adaptation is key. Like my exercise-of-choice, different seasons call for different routines, different practices, different processes. Little by little, and with friends like Anna, I’m learning to embrace my current season, shelving my expectations for the future, and experiencing the Now.

Except I’m really excited that it’s almost hiking season. You understand.

[Quote by Gabrielle Blair. Who made it into art? I don’t know, because sometimes Pinterest fails us. If this is your picture, let me know so I can credit you (and tell you that you’re great).]

What I “do”

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

I changed jobs at the beginning of the year, and have spent the last several months learning what it is that I “do.”

Here is my conclusion: my job is pretty cool.

I work on the marketing team for LÄRABAR, which is a brand that I was smitten with long before I was ever connected to; my title is “Community Host,” which I couldn’t love more. A series of hilarious events led to where I stand today, and I don’t hesitate saying that I think I have one of the best “how I got the job” stories of anyone I know.

But lest you go thinking that my entire role revolves around jingle writing, let me tell you about some other cool things I’ve been up to.

First of all, I’m paid to be on Facebook and Twitter. I’m the “voice of the brand,” and channeling the LÄRABAR personality gives me an excuse to use exclamation points – something I rarely do in real life. *Like* LÄRABAR on Facebook, and delight in the secret knowledge that every status update you see is posted by yours truly.

Another part of my job is to help give free stuff away. Blog giveaways, surprising friends of the brand, sweepstakes – the joy of giving is alive. For example, do you like the Avett Brothers? Do you live in Colorado? Then you should enter this sweepstakes I helped organize with the City of Denver.

LÄRABAR has a new bar called über, and it’s super delicious. We built and launched the über Gallery on our website, and are featuring photos and videos of friends who are living life in a bold and unique way. Check out the current content – you may see some familiar faces – and then submit your own “über moments,” because you are wicked awesome.

The biggest project of the summer is hosting the LÄRABAR Half Marathon with 5K and Kids 1K. Have I ever put on a race before? No. Has anyone on the team? No. But we are learning a lot, and prepping for a crazy-huge undertaking – and if I may be so bold, I think it’s going to be fantastic. If you’re looking for a race to run in August, we’d love to see you there – the registration will be live in the next few days.

Mainly, my daily routine consists of not having a routine, holding a million details in my brain, and telling everyone I know that LÄRABAR is the greatest little fruit & nut bar on the planet. If you’ve never tried one, I highly recommend Peanut Butter & Jelly, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte, Cashew Cookie, and Blueberry Muffin.

Caine’s Arcade

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

You’ve probably seen this, since apparently it’s been viral for a while.  I don’t know how I missed it, since the internet is my most frequent stomping ground (ugh, depressing).  Anyhow, it was new to me.

Take 10 minutes to watch this short film called “Caine’s Arcade” about a 9-year old boy who built an elaborate DIY arcade out of cardboard.  The ingenuity and cleverness are astounding.

Just when I think that technology is ruining all of our brains, a kid like this comes along and renews my faith in creativity.  Caine’s sweet heart won me over.  His square root security system blew my mind.  And his reaction to the crowd made me cry.

Visit Caine’s website, throw a few bucks at his college fund, and if you’re in L.A., make my day and go buy a Fun Pass.

Lists

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The days are flying by, and I wish that every weekend was twice as long.  At night, I crash into bed and stare at the ceiling, making lists in my head of everything that I still need to do, remember, purchase.  While I’m sure that obsessive list-making is a habit of some men, I think it’s safe to say that women have cornered the market on this one.

We moved into a new house at the beginning of the month, and I can’t wait to show you pictures.  It’s wonderful and homey and perfect – or at least it WILL be, as soon as I finish all of the tasks on my list.  We need to hang curtains and pictures, and get an extension cord to run underneath the couch to be able to plug in the lamp, and organize, and paint the bathroom, and maybe the kitchen, too.   But even now, this 1909 bungalow is such an improvement over Hooker Street.

I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but here it is: after years and years without one, I’ve decided that I want a TV.  There are what look to be some great shows coming up, and I’m sorry, but I want to be able to watch them in real time.  A TV is on my list of “things to buy” – but not before porch furniture and a mint muddler.  I have my priorities.

Summer is so close.  Starting this week, we get “Summer Fridays” at work, which means we leave at 1pm.  On my list of “things to do this summer,” you’ll find: Charlie & Julia’s wedding in Nashville, Jeff & Greta’s wedding in Seattle, climb 10 14ers, walk 1,000 miles, turn 30 (SO SOON), and play with my nephews.

On my list of “hopes for today,” it’s this: do not get overwhelmed, keep breathing, and stop making lists.

False alarm

Friday, May 4th, 2012

I am spending the weekend in Boston with my dear friend Christina. Boston is one of my favorite cities, and Christina is one of my favorite friends, so in other words, everything is wonderful.

Before I boarded my flight on Thursday, I got an email from Christina saying, “Hope your flight leaves on time and that you’re not sitting next to another trademark weirdo” – bizarre plane-interactions seeming to be par for the course for me.

When I found myself seated next to a nondescript, completely silent gentleman, I was overjoyed. The 4-hour flight was without incident and without conversation – which equates to a hearty “hallelujah” from this introvert. We descended quietly into Boston, and I stared out the window at the clear night sky.

But as we taxied to the gate, something happened. Something surprising. Something shocking.

In the dark and silent plane, the man next to me suddenly yelled at the top of his lungs, “IT’S SNOWING!”

My head was suddenly on a swivel. Where do I look? Outside! At the man! Around at the other passengers! Back outside! Every person on the plane had turned to look at my row-mate, who was staring blankly ahead, ignoring all attention and acting as if nothing had happened.

It was not snowing.

He wasn’t even sitting by the window.

Eventually, I took a cue from the man and stared straight ahead, too.

What to do with this blog

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I have a confession: I don’t quite know what to do with this blog.

The posting has been light, at best, in 2012.  I’ve thought about scrapping the whole thing, taking the site down, going off-the-grid in the virtual world.  I’ve thought about forcing myself to post more often, rehashing the meaningless minutia of each day.  I’ve thought about doing a series, dedicating each day of the week to highlighting all 5 members of various boy bands.

Instead, most days, the site just sits here.

I have so many amazing friends who are doing a great job of keeping up their writing, featuring vignettes from their lives, sharing what’s on their heart and mind.  I used to do these things, I think.  But these days, when I sit down to write anything – a blog, an email, a journal entry – it just feels flat.  It feels forced.  It doesn’t make me happy – which is alarming, since historically, writing has made me happier than just about anything else.

It’s been a long time since my heart has felt full to the point where I feel like I have something to share.

I keep trying to rally, but the truth is, I feel too tired.  I miss my friends – I really do. I miss having a sense of belonging.  The future feels big and overwhelming. I wish my family was intact.  I wish I wasn’t broken.

I know, I know – this is the point where I’m supposed to stop and say how lucky I am, how many things I have going for me, how there are good things about my life and situation (because there really are, and I know it).

But just now, as I was writing this, the tears came – and damn it, but I’d rather cry than say nothing at all.