Day #59

We went to Lee Creek Reservoir with our two sweet dogs, amazing daughter, and beautiful friends. It was unseasonably warm in the low 60s and sunny.

It is like the sun nourishes is my soul. I love the warmth of it on my shoulders, my neck, my face. It is joy materialized.

I watched the girls run ahead, giggling, telling secrets, and breathless. And I loved that moment.adalie-and-taytum-talking-in-the-woods

We stopped to sit for a bit on the top of the rock for a snack and some pictures. I observed families, attachments, and so many, many years of bonding in our circle. And I sat in awe of the work we had all done to be together as family. The odds we’ve overcome, physically and emotionally, to just be present together in that place. And I loved that moment too.

Man with a dog touching a large old tree named the devil tree becuase of its sinister appearance. And I watched my nature-loving husband caress an old tree with reverence. And I could feel him in my core. His thoughts, his feelings, his heart beat with mine as we stood connected by something so much bigger than us. And it reminded me that no matter what … I am him and he is me because we are one. And, you guessed it, I loved that moment most.

Days to wander and observe and be are so rare for me. I try to soak them all in like the sun on my skin. They nourish my soul.

Today I am glowing with soul health

Day #58

Today I ran 3 miles without stopping … and for most of it … I felt awesome. Today I was a true runner.

Today I got paid … and that also feels awesome. Today I am rich.

Today was spent, off and on, with my best friend. My Love. We talked, flirted, planned our anniversary trip and generally were awesome. Today I was in love.

Today I was the mountain peak — unstoppable, beautiful, and breathtakingly awesome.

And I’m just gonna ride the high all the way down to the valley…

Ebb and flow … its a beautiful flow …

Day #57

Today I biked while cross training and walked the gym track a few times. It felt good to do something different, work different muscles, try a different routine. I felt energized and content afterwards …

Adalie doesn’t have school tomorrow so we did something different. We snuggled up in our king-size bed and watched a movie together. The three of us … snug as a bug in a rug.

Adalie loved it, as she flipped flopped back and forth between the two of us, educating us about the movie, because she had seen it before. She finally settled in and eventually fell asleep.

It was a special moment. So much love and peace in a new experience.

It made me laugh to myself how often we avoid changing our routines, our routes, our traditions. We hold on to things desperately because we don’t know if we would like it differently. And what really makes me laugh out loud is that we hold to ways, to people, to jobs, to ideas that we don’t even like because what if we change it and like it even less?!
But what if we change and it’s marvelous?

What about that?

Day #56

Wednesday is REST day. I have never been so happy to see that word.
It’s kinda a joke because I still “mama”ed, worked, and taught class tonight.
But no pressure to run…so there’s that!

Here’s to day of rest, my friends, whatever that may look like for you.

Legs in a bubble bath with painted red toes resting upon the faucet.

Day #55

Today, I … kinda … ran 4 miles.

We went in the morning which is not my best time. It’s like my body hates me for waking it up. So I huffed, and puffed, and wheezed. My legs hurt, my side cramped up, and my stomach revolted on me. I walked, limped, and jogged my way through and … eventually … I finished, but it was tough.

I’m thinking of making some changes in my life … big changes. It terrifies me … I’m the kinda girl that likes certainties and always has a back up plan. I’m the kinda girl who hates to flounder and loathes failure. Because underneath it all I’m a girl who’s scared.

But what is fear and who defines failure? It makes things uncomfortable. It causes self-reflection. It can even be a bit embarrassing. But if you don’t try, you don’t know what it is to lose but neither do you taste the win.

I’m working to overcome the self-doubts. The concern of stability. The drive for easy. The fear … and I think I will … even if I have to wheeze and limp to get there.

Day #54

I ran 3 miles and I dreamed.

I dreamed of skiing down the mountain. I dreamed of wind in my hair. I felt the cold on my cheeks and the tightness of the boots on my feet. I moved back and forth across the mountain in my mind, eyes full of trees and snow and beauty all around. Today, I flew as I skimmed down a mountain to the vast openness of adventure.

It made the run worth it … the dreaming.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my self for being such a dreamer. It makes staying content in the present difficult at times. But let’s be honest, sometimes the present sucks.

My ability to dream keeps me optimistic. Gives me hope in life, joy in mundane. It also helps me to see outside the box of now. Gives me creativity license to freehand my life and often times my life follows. So as silly as it seems in my head at times … it has been my salvation on more than one occasion …

…like running three miles on a treadmill.

Day #53

It was a cold, wet, dreary day around here. We decided to go to the gym again instead of trying to walk in the ice rain.

I am SORE today after yesterday’s run. But it’s a good sore, a just sore enough. I jumped on the elliptical today to switch it up a little because we are suppose to run 3 miles tomorrow. My body is sore but my mind is sharp and my energy is good. Reminds me why I love working out … although the thought of it exhausts me every time!

After the workout, I walked around the track a few times to cool down. My face was red, my bangs slick with sweat, my heart beat pronounced. But I felt light, and good chemicals were pumping.

It reminded me that we all have choices to make but nothing to control in this life.

A fruit smoothie in a little mermaid cup with a candy-striped straw and a cookie jar in the background.

Day #52

Today I ran! Double!!

We have decided that due to a ski trip we are planning next month, we should probably work on strength and stamina before we go. Also, we really want to run a half marathon this spring. No time like the present to start training I suppose.

I am no real runner. We trained for a few months back in April and May and June last year, ran a 5K, went on vacation and have only played at it since then.

I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love it because I feel so alive and strong after doing it. I love feeling the muscles in my legs loosen and stretch over the first mile. I love feeling the sweat start beading on my forehead from exertion. And I love the sense of empowerment that comes over me when my power songs come on.

I hate it because it’s hard. It’s work. I spend half the time feeling like my lung is collapsing, my heart is exploding, or I am going to puke my guts up.

But isn’t this true of most things in life?

Either way it feels good to be back in training, adding up the miles and increasing the clean energy in my head.

Day #51

Today I felt like I spent a lot of time avoiding the grasp of anticipation. There are a couple of opportunities that have come up that I “think” would be ideal. But I am uncertain if I will even get the chance to make my case as the best candidate. In neither of the situations do I feel much control. But I desire them both greatly.

Isn’t it funny how we can be so convinced of the idea of something that we have not yet even known.

And so I am fighting attachment, dear readers, attachment to an idea about how I want things to be. Furthermore, that smells a whole lot like expectation and that seems to breed rigidity.

I walked after dark with my Love, hand-in-hand. He directed our walk and I gladly accepted his guidance. I felt a little lost and overwhelmed from the pull of the tide today. We walked slowly and quietly as I worked to still my inner turmoil and tornado of thoughts. I centered on his hand in mine, the sound of my feet hitting pavement, and the cold on my nose.

I became grounded in the tangible, the real, the present.

And in those moments, I was able to truly let go of all that I cannot control and just be my present self, wholly.

It felt good; it felt right.

And I became calm and flexible again.
Sure we have ideas and goals and hopes and wishes. But I will not become attached to how they will happen.

“Now they’re blue,” he says beside me.

The lights at a particular house. They change regularly and it’s always fun to see what’s going to happen next.

I like the way this guy rolls,” my Love continues.

Me too … may I always see the thrill in the lights that lead the way and may I always know the joy in the unexpected changing.

Day #50

The day was long and extremely hectic. I worked all day then taught a 4 hour class an hour-and-a-half away. I felt stressed about trying to get a walk in. In the midst of the day, I was texting with a friend and we were discussing self-nurture. How we live in a world with so many rules and with superegos yelling too many shoulds in our own heads.

I am an overachiever by nature. In 10 years, I’ve always had more than one job. I was the first in my family to graduate and the only one thus far to also complete a masters degree. I have a full time job and still make a point to take my daughter to dance class, help with every school party, and attend all parent-teacher conferences. I do not feel pride about these things, it just is me.

I am a multi-tasker by first nature. One of my biggest self-“projects” is to slow down and enjoy my life, to live presently without the to-do list running a marathon in my brain.

So I said to her, my friend:

“Absolutely … the way I think about things is not what is right or wrong but what brings me to my healthiest state emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc. Because me being my healthiest puts me in the best place to flow with others. And it changes everyday for me … sometimes it’s choosing dinner with a friend, sometimes a bubble bath, other times I want to work so I don’t feel stressed about falling behind.”

And it dawned on me, gentle readers, that a walk every day is not serving me if it is constantly stressing me. Most days it is the healthy choice for me because it moves my body, clears my mind, grounds my soul. But on the days it is not, I will not allow myself to feel guilty or “less than” because of this blog.

But I will be authentic with you in this journey, and will learn to be real with myself in that process.

A headshot of Rachel Olienyk with brunette hear and wearing a pearl necklace.