Life Is Better When Battled

To start this week, I’d like to first reflect on an awesome book that I finished reading a few weeks ago,  “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. It came recommended by an awesome lady, and I am glad she thought of me when recommending.  This book changed the game for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels just a bit overwhelmed with whatever they have going on in their life. The concepts are basic, but written in an entertaining conversational writing style. If you don’t like an occasional cuss word, this book is not for you. I feel like the title is enough to tell you this, but just in case it’s not: close the book and walk away. For those who don’t mind references to “a bag of burritos” or “the disappointing panda”, press on.

This book will make you think about how you approach challenges in your life and what is truly within your control. It’s a self-help book that feels nothing like a self-help book. I’ll quote the book (and hopefully not do it incorrectly) “Happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems. Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through choosing and managing our struggles.” I’ll leave the rest up to you, but you should really check it out.

(Side note: You may start to notice that I mix in more and more items related to personal growth. If I am going to work the heck out of my body, why wouldn’t I do the same for my mind?)

In more personal news, my 6-year-old has not one, but TWO girlfriends and earlier this week my 3-year-old told me (and I quote) “to check myself, before I wreck myself”. So that’s life these days.

The kids spent this past weekend camping, and Jason and I participated in our first obstacle course race, the Battlegrounds. 5 miles, 30 obstacles, and mud. So much mud. Our wave was at 12:30pm and for some strange reason I really wasn’t nervous. My goals were different for this challenge, it was more about enjoying the experience, completing the obstacles and finishing the run. Each wave started with a call to battle led by a guy who I assume was a former (or maybe current) drill sergeant, but now does motivational speeches inspiring people to overcome all obstacles in life. He started the call by asking everyone to squat down to the ground and at the end explained that he asked us to squat low to remind us that we may be low to the ground (or at a low point in our lives from time to time), but we aren’t underground and that we can always rise up. This guy  is good at what he does.

With the recent rain, the mud was muddier than normal.  I know this sounds stupid mud being muddier than normal, but it apparently made the course harder.  Instead of running in two inches of mud at the easiest points it was four to five inches of mud. The five miles of running became a consistent battle with balance. The obstacles themselves were challenging, but no one was ever left behind. I had strangers throwing me over walls and I was boosting grown men. This was truly the most amazing part of the experience everyone helped everyone else. Sure, I got kicked in the head (really hard) by a guy that felt really bad about it, sure I haven’t regained the feeling in one of my fingertips after attempting to scale a chain link fence, and sure I burned a layer of skin off the inside of my knees. These were my “battle wounds” and I earned them every time I overcame an obstacle.  It helps that I  was determined to do my best and that I had the best partner right there with me, low-fiving me every time we completed an obstacle together. Would I do it again, heck yeah, but not until I re-grow some skin on my knees, elbows, stomach, wrists…should I go on??

To wrap things up, I’ve decided to start ending my posts with things that I am obsessing over lately, and I think it goes without saying that I love these things because I use them, not because anyone has ever even thought about paying me to say that I like them.

Overnight Oats: yeah, I am pretty late to the overnight oats game, but I love them. My recipe is below.

1/3 cups oats, cover with unsweetened almond milk (leave in fridge overnight, hence the name). In the morning I will add chia seeds, cinnamon, chopped almonds and a sliced banana.

Blue Apron: I listen to a ton of podcasts during my daily commute so I knew it was only a matter of time before I caved to the Blue Apron marketing team. Jason and I knew we would have the weekend to ourselves, and instead of going out to dinner (which we often do and ultimately feel guilty when we get the bill) we decided to stay in and cook dinner together. For those unfamiliar with Blue Apron, it’s essentially a subscription service for meal kits. You get all the ingredients to make awesome meals sent directly to your front door. I am not sure we will do this every week, but definitely when we want to do something different and not pay restaurant prices.

Brain Quest Workbooks. Now that my oldest is finishing Kindergarten, I don’t want to get out of the learning routine this summer so I purchased the “Summer Brain Quest: Between Kindergarten and First grade” workbook. These workbooks are seriously awesome. Grade appropriate and engaging because who really wants to do school work during the summer.

Next Time: Summer unofficially begins! And I reflect on my first week of practicing mediation.

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