Meditation: Can this head case make head space?

At the end of April 2015, I was invited to a guided meditation event. Prior to the evening, I knew very little about meditation but increasingly it seemed like everyone I knew was talking about it and starting their own daily practices. That meditation was capturing the minds (sorry I couldn’t help it) of so many people I knew, all of whom were so different from each other, furthered my curiosity. I assumed this event would be the thing that pushed me into the meditation zone and henceforward I would begin each morning in a state of total Zen. Spoiler: This did NOT happen.

Curse you tumblr images for making meditation look so perfect.

Curse you tumblr images for making meditation look so perfect.

I didn’t dislike the evening, but I certainly wasn’t hooked. The more I tried to sit still and open my mind, the more I felt myself fidgeting and my mind started racing. About half-way through, my foot fell asleep and I didn’t know if I should try to stomp it awake or let it be. I felt like a total newbie and completely out of my element. Didn’t I sign up for something that was supposed to make me feel calm and centered? Just before the program ended, we did an exercise where you look into a stranger’s eyes for a few minutes. As if this wasn’t already awkward enough, my contacts fogged up, prompting a fit of blinking/tearing up. Admit it, you wish you were this cool :)

Not wanting to give up in my quest to be more mindful, I decided to try the app Head Space. I know many friends who use it and have read that it’s a good introduction to meditation. Shortly after beginning the first session I put my phone down, turned off the sound, and turned on the TV. A+ to this girl. The next day I deleted the app and unsubscribed from the company’s emails. Since then, I’ve continued to feel weirdly guilty about my inability to meditate. This past week I tried a short guided meditation session on Biet Simkin’s website (she led the aforementioned guided meditation event). I made it maybe one minute. However, what Biet said in that minute about the practice of meditation turned out to be just the self check-in I needed. I was reminded that for me, a sense of calm comes from taking a walk, sitting in a park, and looking out at the water or up at the night sky. I am very in-tune with my body and can feel when my anxiety levels start to rise or something is out of whack. In those moments I stop myself and ask, “What’s bothering you?” Even if I can’t pinpoint it, these pauses help. Could I be more self-aware and make the time to do this more regularly rather when something is already giving my subconscious grief? Of course. But I realized that perhaps my attempts at meditation had been fruitless because I have been meditating, albeit in my own way, all along. Three cheers for Leahtation (Lee-uh-tay-shun).

Love getting schooled by a puppet. Whatever, no biggie. 

Love getting schooled by a puppet. Whatever, no biggie. 

So what if upon waking up I check my email, go on Instagram, and then sign into Facebook. I like starting my day knowing what’s on deck (email), seeing what people have been up to and reading funny and/or inspiring quotes (Instagram), and finding out whose birthday it is (Facebook), and there’s nothing wrong with that. Minds come in as many varieties as there are people; why should mindfulness be any different?

Do you meditate or have some other mindfulness techniques? Am I the only one who isn't all about the traditional meditation?

Wintertime, or Anytime, Motivation

According to Punxsutawney Phil, spring is coming. Nevertheless, this is the time of year when, much as I love my sweat sessions, find it gets hard to motivate myself when it comes to fitness. It’s dark, it’s cold, I’m tired, I have so much work, the weather is like this:

Jonas you beast.

Jonas you beast.

or this:

Even in the rain, NYC is gorgeous but getting drenched before I workout, no thank you.

Even in the rain, NYC is gorgeous but getting drenched before I workout, no thank you.

and my bed or a cozy snuggle on the couch seem much more appealing.

On days when I need an extra push, I employ any combination of the following:

1.     Make it social

Call a friend and get him/her to join you for a workout. By making your workout take on a social aspect, it minimizes any of the “ugh I don’t want to” factor AND you don’t want to be the person who bails on their friend, right?  

Doesn't everyone buy matching Spice Girls necklaces with their friends and wear them to spin class?! 

Doesn't everyone buy matching Spice Girls necklaces with their friends and wear them to spin class?! 


2.     The Writing’s on the Wall

If you know your instructor, tell him/her that you’re coming. Better yet, ask if you can request a song. You can’t make a request and then be a no-show, that’s just asking for bad karma. Take it a step further if you like and tweet the studio, put it on Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, whatever social media is your jam. I find that saying something out loud or writing it down (fitness or not) makes it very real. Making your plans public in this way adds a layer of accountability. Plus in discussing it and having your posts/tweets/etc. liked will get you excited for your workout (it’s ok to admit this, humans are social creatures and we like external validation).


3.     GDFR (Going Down For Real)…

If it’s a day when I’m doing a very early morning workout, i.e. pre-7am, I have been known to tell myself it’s an adventure. I put on pump-up music and think of what a badass I am. Seriously though, there’s a reason why bpm is a big factor in choosing music for a workout, the louder and faster it is, the quicker I’m up and ready to get moving.


4.     Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all

Sometimes it’s as simple as knowing that you’re paying for a gym membership or have already sunk X dollars into a class pack or particular class. Investing in yourself is always a great decision, letting that hard-earned money go to waste, not such a great decision.


5.     Real Talk

There’s little that compares to the way you feel when you have just worked as hard as you can and are on a total endorphin high. On days when I look over and see the clock getting closer and closer to the “it’s not happening” time, I remind myself of this. How will I feel if I don’t go? Am I going to be annoyed? Do I really want to miss out on what might be my only me-time of the day? How good are you going to feel after?... Ok self, you’ve made your point, I’m up.


6.     In it to win it

Getting out of your PJs is tough, so why not sleep in your workout gear? I have done this a few times though I just stick to the bottom half- i.e. I’ll wear crops on the bottom and a normal sleep tee/tank on top. If you work out at the end of the day, just think of how nice it will be to get out of your work clothes and into your workout clothes; don’t be tempted by your sweats at home! If you don’t want to actually sleep in your clothes, try setting them out the night before. It’s one less thing to think about in the morning and will guarantee you won’t have an “OMG what am I wearing?!” moment when you get to your workout. We’ve all been there and it’s not cute.

Do you have a hard time motivating in the winter? What are your motivation go-tos?

Five Favs: January

One of my favorite series of blog posts/YouTube videos to watch is monthly favorites. From learning about new products and lifestyle items/experiences, to getting information on things I’ve been considering purchasing, or having someone else confirm (or totally disagree) with my assessment of something, I am always excited at the end of a month because it means a new round of favorites. I’m very excited to get in on the favorite action this month with my first installation of favorites; I'll be calling these “Five Favs.” It will include anything and everything I’ve loved that month. I’ll try to focus on new-to-me places, items, etc. but I can’t promise that an old standby or rediscovered gem won’t make it’s way onto the list from time to time. Now without any more preamble, here are my January Five Favs:

Sources: urbanoutfitters.com, Broadway.com, @whatimholding (shameless self-promotion), Holly Rilinger's Instagram

Sources: urbanoutfitters.com, Broadway.com, @whatimholding (shameless self-promotion), Holly Rilinger's Instagram

1. UO’s Diamond Convertible Plush Gloves

My beloved glittens (gloves without finger tips which have a fold-over mitten top), ripped last year in such a way that was unfixable. I knew this winter I would need to part with them. Luckily NYC didn’t get chilly for a while (70 degrees on Christmas!). Right after the holidays, I decided to take advantage of the crazy sales going on and, big spender that I am, sprung for Urban Outfitter’s Diamond Convertible Plush Gloves. They were approximately $12 when I bought them and now are down to $10 so if you need something stylish but VERY warm, you should go for it!  

2. NEUTROGENA makeup remover cleansing towelettes

My dermatologist has told me you can see how sensitive my skin is from across a room. Really? Maybe if you have a trained eye like he does. Knowing that rashes and hives are my face’s specialty, I was nervous when I found myself changing post-exercise class and discovered I had left my tried and true face wipes at home. I tentatively reached for the Neutrogena wipes the studio stocks. It was love at first wipe. The following day I was 100% converted, adding them to my basket at Duane Reade. They are gentle while still getting the job done. After I use one, my face feels clean but not at all dry or irritated. When it comes to makeup, I pretty much just use concealer as a spot treatment where needed, but I’ve been upping my game a bit more recently, adding in mascara some days. The wipes get rid of any concealer I have on but their mascara removal skills are about a B-. If you’re looking for a straight-up makeup remover, I’d say pass but as a post workout or pre-face washing extra clean, I highly recommend these wipes!

3. Phone calls

“Hello?... It’s me.” I will never be sick of that song. #SorryNotSorry

I don’t know what category this falls into; let’s go with lifestyle. I’ve always preferred using a phone for its original use- I got your back Alexander Graham Bell, I’ll fight the good fight and make sure we don’t become a bitmoji-only society, though bitmojis are pretty brilliant. Recently I’ve spent more time connecting with people over the phone and this has only reinforced my belief that the quality of communication when you are actually hearing someone’s voice is far superior to that of a text/other text-based means of communication. Of course there are times when a call isn’t feasible or might not be the best means of communicating something, but when you can, try it. You can thank me later.

4. The Color Purple

A few weeks ago I got to see the current production of The Color Purple on Broadway. I’ll be honest, my reasons for accepting the invitation were 1) The Color Purple was the last movie my late surrogate grandmother ever saw in theaters (approximately 20 years before her death, she didn’t go to the movies much) and 2) Jennifer Hudson. I expected JHud to steal the show, but no. Don’t get me wrong, watching Jennifer (yeah, we’re on a first name basis) sing is amazing. She just seems to effortlessly open her mouth and beautiful notes come out, but the person I couldn’t tear my eyes off of was Danielle Brooks (Sofia). The character of Sofia has so many layers and at times her story line makes you laugh, cry, feel empowered, get angry, basically #AllTheEmotions and Danielle Brooks captures the range so naturally.  

5. Fitness for All!

This past month I’ve noticed a surge in bringing fitness and healthier lifestyles to the masses and I LOVE it! From Soul Cycle’s collaboration with Target, to start-ups like AirFit, and shows like Work Out New York inspiring people (I’ve now witnessed more than one instance of people coming up to one of my all-time favorite Flywheel instructors Holly Rilinger post-class to say that they came because they saw her on TV and she inspired them- How cool is that!?). Whatever your feelings on reality television or companies partnering with big box stores, I’m all for anything that motivates people and makes them want to lead a healthier lifestyle.   

What were your January favorites? Do you agree/disagree with any of mine? 

Why I don’t use a fitness tracker

Recently, some friends and I were discussing wearable technology. It began by one of my friends asking if we thought wearables would be the demise of watches. Then I took it a little farther, positing that eventually we’ll have to sew our clothing to get away from wearable technology. Ok, I took it a lot farther... Or maybe not.

Ok, the Apple Watch does look cool, but still. Sources: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=10048700011 & apple.com

Ok, the Apple Watch does look cool, but still. Sources: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=10048700011 & apple.com

Why my the-sky-is-falling attitude towards wearables? While I have flirted with the idea, mostly out of curiosity regarding their accuracy, if the alarm clock features some boast would actually wake me at a better place in my sleep cycle, and wanting to know what I really do in a day, ultimately, I don’t want to know the answers to any of these questions. I’m too Type-A to quite literally have no boundaries between the data and myself. Caveat: If I were preparing for a race, I would definitely invest in a wearable for training re: mileage and pacing.

For me, the only number that matters is 1. One being “number one” (i.e. me) and the one team that I and my group fitness classmates become. I used to take classes with an instructor who would always say, “What you do we do, what we do you do.” For those 60 minutes, we would dig through heavy torq, sprint on flat roads, and tap it back as one, cohesive whole, feeding off of each other’s energy. Does it make me a hypocrite that this class was at Flywheel (where technology, in the form of the torq board and individual tech packs on each bike are key elements of their cycling classes) and I love taking cycling classes there?I don’t think so. The tech pack allows me to gauge how hard I'm working and make sure that I'm keeping pace with where I need to be. Sure, I get a rush when my score ranks high on the torq board, don't we all? (I don't put myself on the board but I'll look up and see how my score compares with what's up there.) But when all is said and done, my final score doesn't get to set the tone for the rest of my day, instead my endorphins and the collective "we did it" do. What it comes down to is working my best on that given day. I know when I’m pushing myself, just like I know when I need to pull back or when I can give a little more. If I worked as hard as I could and had fun, then it was a successful workout. Plus, that number stays in the studio – yes I can access it through my account later on, but that choice is mine, it’s not sitting there on my wrist all day. There’s no, “I can’t go to bed yet. I didn’t hit my X quota;” it's the perfect balance of knowledge when you want it and out of sight out of mind.

As I always suspected, I’m not alone in feeling this way. To paraphrase a recent study by Professor Etkin of Duke University, when people know their efforts are being measured, the activity (fitness or not) starts to feel like a chore. (Click here and here for additional coverage of the study.) I don’t want to ruin fitness or my love of going out on aimless walks through the city or Central Park. Maybe one day I’ll feel differently and perhaps when tech takes over the world it won’t be as bad as I imagine but until then, I’ll stick with my analog watch and take my cues from my body. 

Maybe I should just go with Tattly's tattoo watches: http://tattly.com/products/watch-set. 

Maybe I should just go with Tattly's tattoo watches: http://tattly.com/products/watch-set. 

Do you use a fitness tracker? Does it make you feel like you're always chasing X number? Am I being a total luddite?

I Could Win “Worst Cooks In America”

Actually that’s not true, or it might be. I have no idea if the show is a competition. I avoid watching it for fear that these so-called “worst cooks” will look like Mario Batalli next to my “I used to make a mean play dough burger” self. I did cook dinner almost nightly while studying in Stockholm my junior year of college, but having a roommate and no access to easy take-out options made it so much easier to do so.

My mother is a fabulous baker. She makes the best challah and I’m not speaking out of bias, we’ve done many a taste test with bakeries near and far. My father and sister are the chefs of the family. The two of them are fearless (Spatchcock a turkey? No biggie. MacGyver a deep fryer to make French-fries for dinner? Pass the tinfoil.). They can also craft a gourmet meal out of a seemingly empty kitchen. I am an expert assembler of prepared food (shout out to my crew at Citarella Greenwich Village, for always serving me with smiles) and orderer of take out from actual restaurants (I’m on a stop and chat basis with the Westville Chelsea delivery guys when we pass each other on the street). Much as it delights me that my pizza guys know my order and will pull it when I walk in and frequently take $1-2 off my total, I really do want to cook more.  

I recently explored the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. Scoff all you want but as I learned from a nutritionist, frozen veggies are not something to mock. They’re often flash-frozen and thus have more nutrients than the fresh produce on offer, which has been slowly losing it’s stock of goodness since it was picked. By the time it gets to you, it could be several days since that tomato was on its vine. Convenience-wise, frozen can’t be beat. No more worries about schedule changes or feeling guilty that I am no longer in the mood to make X but should since my beautiful bell pepper will go bad otherwise. The trickier bit for me has been the protein or what I’d consider the main course. I don’t eat red meat and tend to eat fish, eggs, and other plant-based protein, though I do eat chicken and turkey. I’m fine with freezing cleaned chicken breasts and ground turkey for burgers, but frozen fish isn’t something I’ve warmed up to (chilled up to?), though I’ve read it is fine. While I experiment with finding more freezer-friendly mains, or at least ones that have more of a shelf-life, I’d like to introduce you to my new go-to meal: TJ’s frozen turkey burger (just turkey, kosher salt, and rosemary, no junk!), steamed sweet potato, and veggies – easy and delicious!

The first time I made this I was so nervous. I texted friend Kayla that I hoped the next time she saw me, it wasn’t on the news for burning down my building (and was really only half kidding). I’ve now done it twice more and have discovered that I am an expert at microwaving sweet potatoes #NoShameInMyGame. Mastering this pretty fail-proof dinner has boosted my cooking confidence tremendously and I have set an unofficial goal of cooking dinner for myself 2-3 times a week. For someone who still struggles with flipping her turkey burger (and now you know why I don’t make pancakes at home – I can barely flip anything), this is a do-able but challenging target. I’ll let you know how this goes and share any great successes, or epic failures.

I WILL flip you. Maybe. I hope.

I WILL flip you. Maybe. I hope.

How I cook this up…

For the turkey burger I pretty much stick to the directions on the box which call for cooking each side for 6-8 minutes. While my burger is cooking, I stab my potato all over (no explosions thank you), soak a paper towel, wring out the excess water, and then wrap the sweet potato; doing this allows the potato to steam and keeps it from getting dried out in the microwave. I pop the potato in the microwave for about 3 minutes and then rotate it and cook for another 1-2 minutes, continuing until I can easily slide a fork in. For the veggies, I will *fingers crossed* have defrosted them earlier in the day and then it’s just a matter of serving myself whatever I want, but if I forgot or have ended up at home late and am starving, I zap them in the microwave as well. I told you I’m no Martha Stewart. Then I add whatever condiments I’m in the mood for. Usually I add some nutritional yeast to the burger and ketchup, which I use for both the burger and the sweet potato, think sweet potato fries.

Dinner is served! I promise I will work on my food photography skills.

Dinner is served! I promise I will work on my food photography skills.

Do you cook for yourself? What’s your never-fail recipe? (I really want to know so I can add it to my list!)    

"Hip, Hip Hop, Hip Hop anonymous?"

A love affair with fitness

My name is Leah and I'm a fitness junkie. Before you start picturing me spending hours at the gym with dumbbells, I should clarify. I nearly always feed my addiction at Flywheel Sports with their cycling and barre classes (if you've never been, I strongly suggest trying them out and if you're in the NYC area and want a buddy, I will happily go with you). That said, I do like to mix it up and try new things. Changing exercise routines is great for your body and can stave off plateaus and getting too familiar with a particular method which, for some people, can lead to autopilot. I know I should probably mix things up more often than I do; I'm working on it.

Luckily for me, New York City is FULL of fitness studios. On my block alone there is a famed bootcamp studio, a yoga studio, and a dance studio. Confession: I live on the border of Chelsea/Flatiron, the so-called "Fitness District." Still, studios are expanding quickly and new stand-alones opening all the time. If you love to sweat, NYC is paradise. Among the delights in this fitness Garden of Eden, is Uplift Studios.

#getuplifted

In a word, Uplift is awesome. It is all-women, but not in a cheesy way. Instead, it's a fun, easy-going environment, free of any judgment. The locker room is stocked with all things a girl might need (even straighteners), and I think the lack of guys is what keeps any gym smell away. Sorry dudes. The space itself is gorgeous. High ceilings, a bar/check in area with high stools where you can sit and read a magazine before class. There is a personal training area and an enclosed classroom (though you can see in from the rest of the studio). I probably didn't describe that well, take a look

Left: View from our hike. Right: Photos from Uplift's website and Facebook page (top to bottom: bar/check in area, photo from the panel I attended in the personal training area, shot of a class in the group fitness studio).

Left: View from our hike. Right: Photos from Uplift's website and Facebook page (top to bottom: bar/check in area, photo from the panel I attended in the personal training area, shot of a class in the group fitness studio).

 Uplift offers three class types: ENDURANCE (HIIT style), STRENGTH, and SCULPT and then variations on these, i.e. STRENGTH Happy Hour which means there is wine after (I'm not really a drinker but I do love me some good wine). Kickass classes aside, Uplift offers an incredible slate of programming to round out their aim of creating strong, empowered women in all aspects of life. I love these events as there is really nothing else like them. Fun stuff, all women, positivity- sign me up! With Uplift I have gone to Cold Spring for a late-fall day of hiking, attended a superb career panel, made a vision board (more in a later post), and most recently attended a Hip Hop class!

It had been a long time since I last put on my dancing shoes in any formal way. When I was younger I did a hybrid modern-ballet class for many years but stopped in 5th grade. By that point there were only a handful of us still in the class for my age group and I was the youngest. One afternoon, I had a wardrobe malfunction. I don't know how I told my parents I was done, but I do know that I didn't tell them why. I just kept hearing the older girls laugh at me and felt that I could never show my face again. I was even ashamed when I saw them in the hallways at school. I hate that this was my reaction and way of dealing with this situation. Looking back, I want to scream, "Just tell Mom what happened and you'll realize it's not so bad! Don't stop just because of this!" Monday quarterbacking. In college I got bitten by the dancing bug again and spent a year taking Modern Dance but after that, nada. 

Just go big.

This past Thursday I was finally able to take the now monthly hip hop class at Uplift (one of their instructors, Rachel, has a hip hop dance background and as part of Uplift's aim of going beyond their traditional offerings, they have created a class that she teaches). Spoiler: I can't wait for the February class!

I was so nervous leading up to class. Not only was dance pretty far in my past but hip hop, say what?! (Ok, ok, we've all tried to be Justin Bieber and Beyonce.) I kept thinking of reasons to cancel- it might bother my knee, my friend was having a vision board party, I have a lot of meetings tomorrow, but I wouldn't let myself and I'm so glad I stuck it out. Musically, the playlist went from old school Missy Elliot and Prince to Fetty Wap and Justin Bieber and everything in between. The choreography was do-able but still challenging. As Rachel reminded us pre-class, "Just go big. Everyone is only looking at themselves" and she was right. Plus, Uplift is the kind of place where even if someone is looking at you, it's not in a judgy way. So I went big. Popping, freezing, booty shake, all in. Sure there were some Left Shark moments...

Bitmojis say it so well.

Bitmojis say it so well.

But we all had them, or at least I hope we did. I really couldn't tell you because I was too busy having fun and not caring!

In case you were wondering, yes, I've noted down the March class date in my calendar too.

Have you ever taken a hip hop class? Did you have a long-time hobby/activity that you gave up?

My New Year's Ritual

New Year's Eve may win the prize for my least favorite night of the year. I'm not a big drinker and the thought of going out and being surrounded by people who are completely sloppy and belligerent has zero appeal to me. Growing up, my family was always away for New Year's Eve, mostly in St. John. We would eat dinner at home (we rented a house on the island for 12 plus years), watch movies, play charades, and come midnight do poppers and bang pots on the balcony. If the TV was working, we'd stay up an hour to watch the ball drop on TV- St. John is an hour ahead of New York. For the last few years, New Year's Eve has found me in NYC. I've kept it low-key, fireworks uptown with family and friends and last year a special ride at Flywheel Sports which ended at midnight. This year, all I wanted to do was stay home and so I did. It was a cozy night of movies and reflecting on everything this past year held and all the things I'm looking forward to, and wondering about, for 2016.

I don't make resolutions. There were a few years during middle school and high school when I did because I thought that was what grown ups did and in my brain, I was just not a kid anymore :) I have no idea what was on those lists, but I do know that I didn't keep any of the resolutions. Even while writing them I knew they wouldn't be achieved, because that's what happened with New Year's resolutions, you write them down and then in a few weeks forget, give up, or both. Eventually I stopped, what was the point of declaring something I knew wasn't going to last beyond the end of January? There was also the added fact that in the Jewish tradition, we cast away our sins and resolve to do better at Rosh Hashana (for those who don't know, RH usually occurs in September though this year it will be early October), so by the time New Year's rolls around, I had already done this exercise. However, I do have two non-resolution rituals.

1.) Choosing a theme for the year.

On the eve of 2014, Shay Kostabi, a fitness dynamo -- if you're in LA find her; if you're in NYC seek her out when she's here which happens every few months; and for all of us, LA, NYC, and everywhere in between, follow her, you won't be sorry -- introduced me to the concept of picking a theme for the year (here's the first video, she's since made one for 2015 and 2016). The concept really struck a chord in me. No resolutions. No list of things you scramble to write down without fully thinking them through. No realizing you didn't do any of them and don't even know where your list went come February. Instead, you choose a theme, something to guide your actions throughout the year.

The first year it took me a little while. I wanted to find something that felt just right and I definitely put way too much pressure on it. In March I finally settled on "phoenix." I had just lost the person who, after my parents and sister, was the closest to me and the idea of rebirth and rising from the ashes was something I needed to hold on to. For 2015 I chose "radiate," my goal being to put out only positive energy. This year, my word is "now." As I mentioned in my first post, the time for putting things off is over for me. If I want to do something, I'm going to do it. Obviously this doesn't mean breaking with social mores or being rude, hasty, or unnecessarily cavalier. Rather, I will not wait for the "timing to be right" because it never is. No one can guarantee that what you want will work out, so you just have to try. Prepare, do your best, and if it works out then fabulous. Rejection (or no answer) is NOT failure. Not trying is the failure. So here goes my attempt at NOW.

2.) A Letter to Myself

My other ritual is to write myself a letter. I don't know how I came up with this as a NYE tradition but I began it the same year as I began picking themes. At some point on NYE day, I sit down at my desk and let whatever is inside spill out. It usually ends up being a mix of highlights from the year, whatever is currently on my mind, advice for myself, references to upcoming events, just a whole mishmosh. Then I save it and don't read it again until the following NYE. It's so interesting to see all that has changed, what dominated my thoughts, and read about things that I'd long forgotten about. Writing my letter yesterday, I kept thinking, 'I can't wait to see how this sounds next year.'

What are your New Year's traditions? Do you make resolutions? Do you ever write letters to yourself?

 

[Insert epic first post title here.]

I've written this post so many times in my head. Part of the delay was fear -- Am I really going through with this? What if no one likes what I have to say? What if no one even reads it? -- and part was my computer crashing. (Fun fact this just happened again and this is now my second time actually typing this. Let's hope this isn't a "third time's the charm" situation. It was. Actually it took four tries.)   

I won't go into "who am I?" here. Check out my About section for some basics and the rest will unfold as we get to know each other through subsequent posts and comments. Please comment. I want to know about you, what you want to hear, your thoughts on the topics I cover, the best joke you've heard recently, just NO movie/tv spoilers.

One thing I will tell you is why I'm starting a blog now. As trite as the phrase is, I truly have been writing for as long as I can remember. Poems, song lyrics, stories, seriously- I have The Little Mermaid notepads with my massive-sized, child penmanship to prove it. Maybe one day I'll share. Writing is the medium in which I've always felt most comfortable and able to express myself, be it a purely creative exercise, a space to air frustrations, a way to collect my thoughts, an outlet for my emotions, or a safe place to share my dreams. Prompted in large part by career developments, this past fall I really took stock of everything that has happened over the last few years- career, friendships, boys, family, all of it. I've been lucky to experience incredible success and unfortunately have also had to deal with profound loss. I have big dreams and it was time that I gave them the attention they deserve, I owed it to myself. One of those dreams was starting a blog. So on my birthday (what up December 3rd, i.e. the BEST day of the year), I made a deal with myself: By the end of the month, I would start a blog. Thus, I bring you Glitter for Breakfast. I'm so glad you're here!