I’ve done a bit of soul searching this week.
Not for any particular reason. Nothing’s wrong. Life’s just fine. Yay hooray! But I’ve been feeling more introspective than normal. (I blame this on the fact that I spend a lot of time walking my puppy — and therefore a lot of time with my thoughts, since she doesn’t really respond when I talk to her…which I do endlessly.)
One of my biggest takeaways from this week is to stay focused on the big picture — the big, life-changing hopes, dreams, and goals — while making sure to appreciate all the little things along the way.
Journey. Not the destination. Preach.
With that mindset locked and loaded, here are 15 things that made me happy this week.
1. The long walks with Ellie. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m grossly obsessed with my dog. I’m not just one of “those people,” I’m way worse. I know. I get it. It’s happening.
In addition to taking Ellie outside every time she has to go to the bathroom (or whenever I think she might maybe kind of have to go), I also take her for at least one long walk during the day.
I talk to Ellie the entire time I’m out with her. I’m not on my phone (except during our photo shoots, which I can’t resist), I’m not reading emails, I’m not listening to music. It’s just me and my furry sidekick, strolling around the city, chewing on sticks and peeing wherever we want. (More her than me on both accounts.)
I have really come to relish this time we spend together. When we first got Ellie, she definitely preferred Brian. He was “the alpha,” and I — never having had pets before except the beta fish that died after 19 minutes — didn’t really know what to do with her. Now we have bonded bigtime and are BFFL.
2. The fact that I still got to be in Central Park every day, even though I’m not running. Whenever I’ve been sick and unable the run, the thing I miss the most — besides the sweat and endorphins and general feeling of health and having quality of life — is Central Park. It’s no secret Central Park is my favorite place in the whole world, and I miss it on days I’m not there. So even though my knee is keeping me sidelined a bit longer than I had hoped, I love that I still get my daily dose of the Bridle Path by taking Ellie on walks.
3. Taking another Justin Bieber dance class with my November Project pals.
We learned the second part of the “Sorry” video, so now I know the entire routine. We had so much sweaty fun and I want to start taking daily dance classes again. Come with us next time!
4. Ellie’s A+ report from the vet. Ellie went to the vet on Tuesday and, as usual, she loved it.
The staff is so good to her and she gets so much attention and she doesn’t even mind the part where they stick a thermometer up her butt. The vet called her “perfect” and I wanted to douse her in gold stars. I will never be able to have children. I will be the worst. (She’s a healthy, happy pup, and she weighs 27.3 pounds and counting. So big!)
5. This version of “Under Pressure.” I had to resist the urge to get up and sing and dance when the yoga instructor played this song during savasana on Tuesday night.
6. Writing this for Self.com. (Though, really, I never get sick of hearing about anything running-related. Except maybe right now, when I’m not running at all on account of a bum knee.)
7. Seeing a familiar face in a bunch of New York Road Runners newsletters. My face! (And my thighs. OMG my thighs.)
I probably should have worn a more photo-shoot-appropriate (translation: more flattering) outfit, but I swear I told the photographer I didn’t want to be in pictures and just wanted to do the workout. Yet here I am, showing up in peoples’ inboxes every damn day. Sorry, runners of NYC.
8. Lots of new work opportunities, assignments, and clients. Yay!
9. This website, which made me LOL IRL. If you watched Making a Murderer and thought, “Wow, so many cool hairstyles!” you are not alone.
10. Watching 10 Things I Hate About You and immediately transporting back to ninth grade. Finding this on HBO Wednesday night was the ultimate treat (with a side of udon noodles and crab rangoons, #eatclean #whole30). Not only do I still remember many classic lines (“Shit, Bianca, I’m shooting a nose spray ad tomorrow!”), but I also remember my tap solo to the Save Ferris classic, “I Know.” Did I perform it [full-out] for Brian and Ellie, grand finale fouettes included? YES.
Also, I am ashamed to admit that instead of idolizing cool Kat Stratford (AKA Julia Stiles), I always wanted to be Bianca (Alex Mack/Larisa Oleynik), her super shallow bratty sister whose only quality was “being pretty.” Dream big, ninth grade Ali.
11. Doing online makeovers! They just never get old.
I’ve been addicted to these hilarious things since computers were invented and I graduated from Oregon Trail and Barbie Fashion Designer. (I also went through a pretty intense phase where I liked designing and decorating houses, and my parents got me all the “3D Home Architect” software. I used to make the houses as big as possible, but then I didn’t know what to do with the empty space beyond adding a couch and a toilet.) Anyway, online makeovers. Get into them. The results are never not fantastic.
12. Hearing this quote: “Get little things off your chest before they become big things.” So often we let things simmer for too long, and then they eventually come to a boil, and it’s all too much to deal with and it’s a mess, but then it’s delicious because it’s pasta with pesto. Stop stressing over the little shit. Air it out, deal with it, or forget it. Move on accordingly.
13. Every time Ellie yawned and a little squeak came out. It’s her signature move. I love when she wakes up and she’s so sleepy and just wants her belly rubbed and can’t stop yawning.
14. Doing some yoga. It sucks not to be running, but it sure feels good to do yoga in a very toasty room. Plus, I’m starting to feel stronger than I did a week ago. Last week I didn’t even have the strength to press up into Wheel. This week, I’m back in Wheel, and I’m handstanding and forearm standing again. Progress!
15. Every minute I spent in bed. I love being in bed. I love crawling into bed, I love watching TV in bed (for 36 seconds before I pass out), I love having the heating pack on in bed, I love everything about bed. I used to be someone who didn’t need or crave much sleep. But now, bedtime is my favorite time. Horizontal is my favorite way to be.
PLEASE PLAY ALONG: Tell me something good, great, grand, or wonderful that happened in your life this week!