See what I did there? Tying in the word sweet as a regular adjective and making it about cookies, too? Where's my friggin' Pulitzer?

Appreciating The Moments

Date: January 21, 2013 at 8:12 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 41

I still look back on 2012 as a bad year.

And that sucks, because I know the year wasn’t all bad. As I’ve reminded myself (and the world), 2012 may have been plagued (kind of literally) by illness and injury and other frustrating setbacks, but it was also the year that brought me the job of my dreams, a new apartment with a fun roommate, a somewhat shocking marathon PR and a new best friend.

What camera? We failed, Ty.

I went through the year feeling, for the most part, depressed. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed. Days I just didn’t think I could do it, whatever “it” was that day. I took a beating physically and emotionally.

I think that’s because I was constantly looking at the big picture.

I was always thinking about how I was injured, so I was missing out on my training runs.

I let myself get bogged down by every Crohn’s symptom and I was overwhelmed by days out of the office (and in the bathroom).

I had big goals and I was always thinking about them. In many cases, I was watching those goals fall by the wayside or drift away entirely (Eugene Marathon, we’ll meet someday, I know it). Most days, I felt like a failure. A sick, unhappy little failure.

Woe was Ali.

We may only be a few weeks in 2013, but I can already say with tons of confidence that this year is kicking 2012’s ass. Hard.

There are still, what, 49 weeks left in the year? So a lot can change between now and December 31.

But regardless of what gets thrown my way, I know this year will be better than the last because my mental stability is more solid than it was in the past.

My overall mindset is optimistic, positive and determined to see the good things more than the bad.

I am obsessed with sunrises. I’m going to tattoo one on my face.
No. That’s a terrible idea.

An example of my overwhelming optimism: If I sleep through my morning run, don’t have time to brush my hair, rush to the office in the rain, get stuck on the subway and then realize I’m dangerously close to missing a deadline at work, I won’t freak out. I won’t look at all those terrible things and resolve to a day of distress. I’ll force myself to think, “Well, that all sucked, but the rain was a great excuse to wear jeans, blow-drying my hair would’ve been a waste anyway, and my body probably needed the break from running. Plus, my umbrella is cute.”

It’s not just the view on life I’m trying to improve.

This year, I want to take better account of the little moments in life that are so important. They get brushed aside because they’re not, say, 26.2 miles long.

But the little things are crucial. The little things are kind of magical. And the little things add up.

Nothing huge happened in my life this weekend. There were no running breakthroughs, no major accomplishments conquered, no big changes made.

This weekend was filled with the little moments, though.

There was quality TV watching time on Friday night with Brian.

In honor of Lance’s big confession, Brian made E.P.O. for dinner: eggs, potatoes and onions. Sadly it didn’t give me much of a boost the next day. I obviously just need a higher dose. And some testosterone. I want to blood dope so badly.

Date a cyclist and you’ll have plenty of opinions about Lance Armstrong. You’ll read all the books. You’ll know about all the riders. You’ll feel cool when someone challenges, “Name a cyclist other than Lance Armstrong” and you can rattle off a dozen. OK, you can rattle off like nine.

There was sleeping in on Saturday. No rush to get out of bed, nowhere to be, nothing to do.

There was a morning Skype session with my favorite fast-crawling dude.

Got my mind on my monkey and my monkey on my…PJs.

There was a slow, Jersey Boys soundtrack-fueled run in the Saturday sunshine with unexpected good company.

There was an entire day spent on the couch watching TV and napping periodically. In a bunny onesie.

Recovery mode: Nailed it.

There was a second Skype session, this time with the whole Feller family.

I used to pride myself on “not being the jealous type.” But when Tyler looks at anyone but me during our Skype sessions, I become filled with jealous rage.

He looooves typing. He prefers GChat to text. SO DO I. Yet another reason we are besties.

As soon as Grandpop comes around, Tyler does not care about Auntie Ali. Grandpop hogs him and sings him songs from “Fiddler on the Roof.” And you know what? I just can’t compete with that.

There was a dinner date at one of my favorite NYC restaurants. There was mac and cheese I couldn’t not order.

There was a Sunday morning spin class with friends, a leisurely trip to the grocery store…

You people told me to “plan for the week on Sundays.” So yeah. I DID THAT. Boom.

…and an unofficial Bejeweled Blitz tournament between Brian and me.

There was a shoe shopping trip.

Black tie wedding shoes. Now I just need to learn how to walk in them without looking like Mariah Carey.

There was a long-overdue massage.

And, at the end of the weekend, there was a home-cooked meal (yup, by me)…

See that pot on the stove? I PUT FOOD IN IT.

…clean sheets (courtesy of Bedmaker Brian)…

Nothing is better than fresh sheets on a Sunday night. Brian was PSYCHED when I pranced into the bedroom and was like, “BRIAN! POSE WITH THE SHEETS! LET ME TAKE YOUR PICTURE FOR THE INTERNET!” This is the fakest smile I have ever seen. I’ll allow it, since he worked for roughly 40 hours this weekend.

…and fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies.

Raise your hand if you eat so much dough that by the time the cookies are done, you don’t even want them. Or rather, you DO want them, but you’re too full to eat them. Life sucks.

From scratch.

Despite what Naive Ali always believed, “from scratch” doesn’t mean “add water to the bagged mixture and stir.” Evidently, from scratch means you use ingredients like brown sugar and flour and eggs.

At the end of the weekend, I felt refreshed, relaxed, happy and full.

It probably won’t be a perfect year. Heck, it probably won’t even be a smooth-sailing week.

I’ll probably face some challenges, some setbacks and some straight-up crap.

But I promise to remember — and to appreciate — the little things along the way.

Because even on the worst day, even under the worst circumstances, you can always whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. And then at least one of out those 365 days is guaranteed to be a sweet one.

See what I did there? Tying in the word sweet as a regular adjective and making it about cookies, too? Where’s my friggin’ Pulitzer? Or do they not award Pulitzer Prizes to people who say “friggin’?”

SHARE YOUR LITTLE MOMENTS: Take a minute to think back on the weekend. Forget about the long run you did, forget about the big race you ran (congratulations, though!) and forget about whatever was on your To-Do list that you didn’t get to. Tell me about the little things that made your Saturday and Sunday special.

Comments (41)
Posted in Happy Things and tagged , , -
Sunrise picture. Makes me temporarily forget about the pain in the digestive system.

15 Useless Facts Friday

Date: January 18, 2013 at 6:53 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 69

I read a few blogs that include features like “15 Things Friday” or “Random Fact Friday.” I very much enjoy those posts for a few reasons: They are in list form. They typically make me laugh. They don’t require me […]

Photo stolen from Instagram, which I have never used nor browsed. But my friend sent it to me last night and I was all, hell yeah, I'm going to screen shot that! Sweet photo! Snow!

Thankful Things Thursday: Gettin' Perky With It

Date: January 17, 2013 at 8:25 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 35

I hate myself for writing that title. And yet…I did it anyway. Will Smith, I hope you’re proud. Here’s the thing about today: I need a hefty dose of Thankful Things Thursday. Sometimes, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, […]

Just a little something I whipped up. 

No, just kidding. Brian made this. Show-off.

Kitchen Nightmares

Date: January 16, 2013 at 6:34 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 48

Remember last week when I was like, “Hey everyone! I have run out of food ideas! Can you help me? K great, thanks!” And then you came out in droves and you helped me? And I promised to report back […]

Posted in Food and tagged , -
Grilled ham and cheese sandwich. With the GOOD cheese. And the CHEAP ham. And baby carrots and a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. Perfection, man. PERFECTION ON A PAPER PLATE.

Respecting The Recovery

Date: January 14, 2013 at 8:43 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 33

Tyler says hi. Last weekend, I ran 10 miles. By now I don’t remember the run at all, but I do remember how I felt afterward. Tired. So tired. Perhaps “exhausted” is a more accurate word. My run, from what […]

I'm pretty sure that if I have a training plan, I'll actually get out of bed before this beautiful thing happens. It's OK. I've gotten my fill.

I Found That Loving Feeling

Date: January 11, 2013 at 8:15 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 30

It was only for a moment, but it’s not yet a fleeting thing. Last night, I planned to run. Really. I was going to leave work, head home, suit up and head out. But then, I lost the little bit […]

The view from my second apartment in the city. Not terrible. I loved that place and proudly negotiated the hell out of the rent.

In 10 Years

Date: January 9, 2013 at 9:31 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 52

If you’d asked me 10 years ago, “Hey, Alison (no one called me Ali then), where do you see yourself in 10 years?” I could have answered you pretty matter-of-factly. “I’ll be living in New York City, working as an […]

Oh, this? This is no big deal. Just a little something I whipped up last night. That happened to taste amazing.

What Do You Eat?

Date: January 7, 2013 at 7:18 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 136

Don’t freak out. This isn’t a “What I Ate Whateverday” thing I’m starting. (We’d all be horrified if I kept a daily log of every morsel that went into my mouth. I try not to think about it.) I’m not […]

Posted in Recipes and tagged -
I took a picture of the door again. I think it's really pretty.

I'm Still Here

Date: January 4, 2013 at 9:03 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 35

So we’re on board with being thankful, yeah? Mostly. Whenever. Sometimes. Thank you for the honest feedback yesterday. Whether you love or loathe the grateful day, it’s always good to know where your head is at. Especially since most of […]

Posted in Happy Things and tagged , -
These deliciously fancy macarons were the favors at my friend Lauren's bridal shower. I definitely only took one...

Thankful Things Thursday: Kicking Off The New Year

Date: January 3, 2013 at 6:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 89

I am sick. I know. Wahhhhh! My life is the absolute worst. No. Not really. Not at all. I just have a cold, and I’m handling it supremely well. I did not scream for Brian six times last night asking […]