I Think I'm Figuring It Out

Date: June 1, 2012 at 8:45 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 60

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit! It’s June!

You may be aware that on the first day of every month, the first three words out of my morning breath-filled mouth are “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.”

Apparently saying that brings you good luck for the rest of the month.

But considering how the past few months have been going, I’m not sure I still believe in this little gimmick. So I still said the words this morning — and nudged a very sleepy Brian at 5 AM so he could say them, too — but I’m not relying on them.

This month, I’m making my own luck. Good things will happen not because I wished for them and made a deal with three imaginary bunnies, but because I worked for them. I’m so ready to put the past few months behind me — the injuries, the illnesses and the stress — and I’m eager to move into summer with a fresh, wicked perky attitude.

Flowers from a colleague. Peonies! My favorite.

Yesterday, I got a very exciting promotion at work.

I am now the Editor in Chief at Dance Spirit. I get to write the editor’s note at the front of the magazine and everything. It’s very cool and I’m very honored, of course. After the company-wide email was sent out announcing the promotion, the entire day felt like my birthday. Everyone was so nice and so supportive.

Now the plan is to take yesterday’s energy and positivity not just through the rest of the month. I want to run with it for as long as I possibly can.

As the title of this post indicates, I think I’m really starting to find my groove in life and figure some things out. These past few months were a wake-up call for me, that’s for sure.

I always thought I could do it all. I love working hard. I thought nothing, including Crohn’s disease, could take me down. I thought I was the strongest, most motivated, excited-to-do-whatever-comes-my-way person in the world.

Watch! I'm going to try to "do it all!" And then I'm going to get sick…forever.

Sure, I can try to be those things.

But sometimes, I might fall short.

Sometimes I might fail entirely.

I may make mistakes and I may lose perspective.

I may harp on the things that really don’t matter much in the end.

I’m finally figuring out what’s important. I’m learning what to prioritize and, most importantly, I’m learning when to put the pressure on myself and when to ease up.

My schedule was always so rigid. My days were so packed with activities, meetings, must-dos and “every single thing is important and necessary right this moment” commitments. I’ve realized over the past few weeks that sure, I was productive most days, but I wasn’t always getting the most out of my efforts. I was flying through everything at rapid speed and not taking the time to reap the rewards.

Last night, I planned to leave work, go to the gym for a strength class or yoga, and then meet up with a friend later on.

But at 5:30 PM I was like, “Wait? Why am I going to the gym right now?” It just seemed so ridiculous. Why was I going to force myself to exercise when I had just been promoted? I should be celebrating!

And so I raged: I went to Bed Bath & Beyond.

It was fun for me. Back off.

I spent the rest of my night laying low with good friends and a really cute puppy.

Parker are you yawning? Why are you so tired? All you did was sleep all day. I don't get you.

At no point during the night did I think, “Man, I really should have gone to that Chisel class.” I used to beat myself up for skipping a workout or straying from my oh-so-crucial plan. Last night I couldn’t have cared less. I did what I wanted to do, not what I thought I should do.

And it was wonderful.

I did ride my bike over to my friend Lauren’s apartment. She lives six blocks away. It was a huge ride.

I also ran with Parker for roughly one block. That’s a big deal, too.

I call this photo "Ali, Parker & The Thighs."

Brian and I didn’t go out to dinner until 10 PM — much later than I usually like to eat.

I was in bed far later than I would have liked considering I had a 6:15 AM spin class booked for today.

So I didn’t get enough sleep. So what?

I spent many, many years beating myself up and telling myself I wasn’t good enough: I wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I trained better than I raced. I had love handles and thick thighs. I never fully get through an entire To-Do list. I can’t cook. I don’t eat enough vegetables. I’m too lazy to tweeze my eyebrows. I don’t take very good care of my hair.

I look at this photo and I see split ends. (On me, not Jess. Jess, you are perfect. I like you.) Photo by Steven Meyer. Thanks, Mr. Meyer, for capturing this moment and not offering to give me a quick trim.

Where was all that getting me?

Well, it got me a whole bunch of Crohn’s flare-ups.

I call bullshit. It’s all so silly and stupid. Yes, I want to excel and be good at things, but my goodness, falling short sometimes should not be the end of my world!

I don’t foresee my “I’m too hard on myself and I’m wired for stress” syndrome fully going away anytime soon. But I’m so aware of it now, and I hate how it affects me and the people around me. (Hi Brian!)

So starting this month, I’m prioritizing better. I’m spending more time with people I love and less time with people who suck. I’m getting important things done and saving silly tasks for another time. I’m visiting my nephew. I’m playing with puppies.

WTF Parker? Sit still for the freakin' camera.

I vow to stress less in June. It’s summertime! What’s so stressful about that?

A STRESS-FREE JUNE: Who’s with me?!

60 Responses to "I Think I'm Figuring It Out"

Kamaile says: June 1, 2012 at 8:54 am

Congratulations on your promotion! I vote YES for stress free June. Parker is so cute!

Congrats on the promotion. I’m hoping for a stress free June too but don’t see that happening with wedding planning and studying for the Bar Exam. Maybe I can just have enough stress for everyone 🙂

Congratulations on your promotion!!!!! I am so happy for you! I’d like to try to stress less too… I’ll try..

Congratulations! I read Dance Spirit growing up, and still visit the website now. Best of luck!

Congratulations!!! So happy for you! By the way, I have a very fuzzy dog for you to play with any time 🙂

Look at you doing big things 🙂

Congrats on the promotion! That’s awesome.

Congrats on the promotion!! Stress free for June- I’m on board with that too!

CONGRATS on your promotion! How exciting!!! I am definitely up for a stress free June. We actually call Fridays at work: Stress Free Fridays!

ALI! What an incredible accomplishment! Sending a huge congrats your way!

I don’t think June will be stress-free around these parts, but I’m definitely on board with thinking positively and taking things as they come. Instead of feeling like I’m never going to get all of my work done (and I have a LOT of work to get done), I’m trying to come from a place of positivity and reassure myself that I CAN do it and it WILL get done. Just that little push in the right direction is making me feel more confident!

Congrats, Ali!

I’m saying Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit today since I have a job interview this afternoon. AAAAAGGGGHHHH! Being a grown-up is only fun when I choose to have ice cream for breakfast 🙂

Congrats! Celebrate lots- promotions deserve some time off! Also, my friend Josh is supposed to have an interview with Dance Spirit at some point- he isn’t a Newsie boy yet, but give him few years.

Yay! That’s amazing! Congrats – it just goes to show what a positive attitude can get ya 🙂

*raising hand* ME!!!!!! stress free!

CONGRATS ON THE PROMOTION!!! That is very exciting news 🙂

Stress free June works for me! Congratulations on your promotion. Editor-in_chief is kinda fancy. Can you shout out your blog in the editor note? Find a way to use the word Rabbit in it for good luck! 🙂

CONGRATSSSSS on your new position!! that’s awesome lady!

and i agree- stress free is the way to be! i am trying to stop beating myself up about not going to the gym or whatever! it’s not worth it

Congrats on your promotion!

I’m with you on a stress-less June! What has been killing me lately is work. I freak out about all the stuff I don’t have done and mistakes I make and it’s actually keeping me up at night. It’s just a JOB. I work to live, not live to work.

Congratulations!! And I am motivated by your vow for a stress free June! I am with you on that one. For me, June is my month to get everything back together. Enjoy summer, but be productive too. Enjoy your weekend, you’ve earned it!

ALI!!!!!! Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you. You are such an inspiration 🙂 Keep up the good work!

Question: Why are you spending ANY time with “people who suck”??

I’m totally in for (attempting) stress-free June. True Story: My doctor recently ran blood tests to determine if my over-stressing was caused by certain blood inbalances that apparently affect that. [Results: Normal. I must just be nuts 😉 ]

And…CONGRATS Miss Big Shot!!!!!!! Awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!

I am irrationally excited for your promotion. Yay you!

At the end of last month I decided to finally stop obsessing about watching everything that went in my mouth. I’ve spent the last 10 years obsessing and re-obsessing and it’s crazy-making for me and boring for everyone around me. So – decided to give that up. Scale goes to the top of a tall bookshelf, comes out 1x a month, just to not lose all sanity, but that’s it – I will trust myself. So I’m with you – stress free June!

YAYYYYY!! Congrats on the promotion, how freakin’ cool is THAT?? now I want to subscribe just so I can read the “letter from the editor” hehe 😉
I love your focus for June – stress less. Stress is NO BUENO!!

Courtney says: June 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

Congratulations on your promotion – so exciting! Agreed on the stress-free June. May was nutzo for me, and I essentially gave up exercising and healthy eating. Stress = not working out for me. My goal for June is to translate stress = working out because it actually de-stresses me!

congratulations ali! glad you got a little bright spot in a time you’re not feeling too hot

Congrats on your promotion!

Congrats on the promotion! Peonies are my fav, too!

Congrats on the promotion! What a fun gig.

Congratulations on the promotion!

Keep up with the positive attitude and the low stress lifestyle!. I’m working on those things myself right now 🙂

Thank you for the important reminder to stress less and congratulations on the promotion!

Congrats on the promotion!!

I am with you on a stress-free June!!

Are they going to take a fancy picture of you to go with your letter at the beginning of every magazine? (I’m envisioning the one that Kristin van Ogtrop does for Real Simple magazine …)

I’m going to have to track down this magazine in the next couple of months. So exciting! Congratulations, friend 😉

Congratulations on the promotion! And I think you’re making a really important realization about what you want your life to look like. Have a happy June! 🙂

Congratulations on the promotion!
Count me in for stress free June!

Congratulations adorable ass-kicker!

Congrats on your promotion! I could definitely use a stress free June. Somehow, I always find unimportant things to stress about.

Happy promotion! So proud of you!

Congrats on the promotion!! And yay for no stress! I’m with you on that goal 🙂

Cynthia says: June 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Promotion? HUZZAH! Congratulations!

And I’m all onboard this Stress-Free June idea. I spend way too much time flip-flopping between plans or worrying that my priorities don’t seem to meet others expectations/ideas. I need to choose what makes me happy and works for me. Or so I’m trying to teach myself. 😉

EIC of Dance Spirit?? That might be the best job in the entire world… congrats!!!!!! I can’t wit to open my copy (yes, i’m 23 and get DSM) and tell people I “know” the editor. I feel really cool right now =)

xo Marie
Chocolate & Wine

Congratulations on your promotion! That is so exciting!

Melissa says: June 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Just wanted to say congrats!!!

Congratulations on the promotion! I think that’s a great way to start off the month!

Oh my gosh. CONGRATS! That is awesome!

sign me UP!! Life has been nutty lately and I’m feeling the toll of it on my body. Thank you for the reminder … summer is meant to be carefree. I’m going to find that feeling too 🙂

Congratulations on the promotion!!!!! That is amazingly awesome news. Which issue will be the first issue in which you will be listed as Editor-In-Chief with your first letter from the editor?

I wore my new SWEAT shirt to the gym this morning. My trainer asked me who Ali is because your name is on my shirt. I told him that you’re the best blogger in the world…. well, not really. I told him your a blogger/runner with Crohn’s Disease. I also told him that Crohn’s is no joke. Seriously, I never realized what having Crohn’s disease did to one’s body.

Apparently the new shirt color (the light bluish/green, mint?) is poplular now because I was working out and there was another woman with a shirt in the same color right near me. Then when I was leaving my office for lunch earlier I saw two women with cardigans in the same color.

Big congratulations. And by the way, Peonies are my favorite flowers, too!

congrats!! That’s so exciting; the ex-dancer ex-journalist in me is kind of freaking out with excitement on your behalf.

A 20-something EIC? Hot damn. If that’s not something to celebrate, then I don’t know what is. Tequila!

Or, just keep doing what you’re doing, it seems to be working quite well. Congrats!

Way to go Ali! Congrats on the promotion. I like you attitude for June, and I too am too lazy to pluck my eyebrows 🙂

Congratulations! Parker is ADORABLE!

CONGRATS on the promotion, friend! That’s awesome, and I want to read Dance Spirit now just for your editor letters. 🙂

Congrats! That is an amazing accomplishment! And love your attitude!

Congratulations on your promotion! Hope your celebrations continue throughout the weekend 🙂

Congratulations on your promotion! That is awesome! You are looking like you feel better. I want to join you. I need to start prioritizing better myself.

Congrats on your promotion!!
I love this post, I am the exact same way – always beating myself up for little things or telling myself I’m not good enough – it’s so not worth it! I’m going to join you, stress free june!

Me, me, me!!!
Congrats Ms Editor-in-Chief!

First of all, I think your hair looks great in that photo! Second of all, major congrats on the work promotion!! Woo.

I like this post. I think I’m finally starting to figure out this “being a happy yet responsible adult” stuff too. Since college I’ve gone from being a type A personality, to…maybe a B+. And it’s been a good change.

JUST SAY NO TO SUCKY PEOPLE. I hope I am not one of them. <3

CONGRATS on the promotion, Ali! That is really fantastic. And good luck striving for a stress free June – YOU can do it! <3

Congratulations on the promotion that is wicked awesome!
I totally feel you with the “thinking you can do everything” attitude, I’ve had my moments with that until I realized it wasn’t really getting me the results I wanted in any aspect of my life and I really had to sit down and rethink things.
Hope it all works out for you!