I’m not sure there’s any structure or form to this post, it’s a series of thoughts I’ve been mulling over lately in my head. I realize that I’m such an organized person that this might be awkward to read, but I wanted to spend time brain dumping today.
On a related note, one of my favorite things to do while transitioning between projects is to brain dump (so like this week I hosted a 4-day pre-orientation adventure for new first-year students at Washington College, so it was a ton of work but a break from my regular work and fitness class schedule).
Have you ever tried brain dumping? It’s a practice of just writing what comes to mind. Anything and everything. Maybe it is organized in a list, maybe it’s just words on a sheet of paper or on a computer screen.
I find these in-between times to be the best brain dump times because when you give yourself a break from the routine, you’re giving your mind creative freedom to think (or not think) about it. You get to change your perspective when you’re not constantly in it.
So, here goes…
I’ve recently started this #RefusetheStraw project. Basically, I carry my own stainless steel straw with me and use in place of a plastic straw. I love getting coffee at different places vs. making it at home, and I really love iced coffee. Iced coffee comes with a straw. So, in my mind, I use a lot of straws. I found this Refuse the Straw project and thought “hey, that’s a small way I can make a difference, not using disposable plastic straws all the time.” I don’t think I’m better than anyone who uses plastic straws. I don’t think I’m ‘good enough’ to educate people not to use plastic straws. I mean, I’m still using the plastic cups. It’s a small thing I’m doing in a grander scheme of SO many large things. Like, for example, I could not purchase coffee and make it at home instead. Or, I could stop drinking coffee and eliminate the need for the cup and straw at all. I think deeply about things like this.
Earlier this week, I got to plan adventures for first-year students. One of our adventures included visiting a fabulous local farm that is well-cared for and consumer-friendly. We went on a U-Pick adventure and got to “grocery shop” around the farm. We picked corn, cherry tomatoes, and peaches. I don’t eat tomatoes, and Johnny doesn’t like the cherry variety, so I put them in a small bag and Johnny took them to work. One of his student workers immediately ate them. He remarked “they’re so good, much better than any I’ve ever tasted, where are they from?” When Johnny told me this story later, he added that his student had never eaten a fresh vegetable growing up in China. They couldn’t eat fresh fruit and vegetables because of the fertilizer (it’s toxic maybe?). I couldn’t get over that I have a million beautiful farms around me and a garden in my backyard, and fresh fruit and vegetables every single day, and someone lived 18 years without them.
Earlier this summer, I found my newest soulmate class. I love fitness and love working my body, and it’s great to be able to shake up the routine and try things that I can take and not be a student. Buti Yoga is my latest love, and I think it’s for a few reasons. 1) It challenges me in new ways, combining dance, plyometrics, and strength into one workout 2) I never ever bring my cell phone into the studio or building. I’ve never left my phone in my car for anything else. I think I like this break from my phone. OF COURSE I could just give myself a break from my phone, but I’m not disciplined enough to do that. Having this class in this location with a no phone policy is AMAZING and one of the reasons I like this studio so much 3) This will sound awful, but I like that this studio is far enough away from home that I got to meet some new people. I’m super weird and have a hard time giving 100% in a workout when I’m taking a class with my fitness students. I need to get over it, but for now, I’m embracing this new fitness home I’ve found and enjoying meeting some new people who share my love for intense workouts. It’s also really weird to make new friends over 30. There, I said it. I am shy and would rather hang out with the husband and Phoebe vs. going out to try and make friends. So, if I can get in a workout AND meet new fabulous people, I’m there.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my next career move, too. My passion is working with people, related to health and fitness. I’m very organized, self-motivated, and have follow-through, so my current full-time gig is a good fit. My biggest motivation in my current job is to pay off my student loans. My light at the end of the tunnel is paying them off and finally feeling flexible enough to take a different job that allows me to explore fitness and health even more. In the meantime, I’ll continue working two (nearly) full-time jobs.
I also realized that I live a pretty privileged life to be in a position to stop and reflect about these things. I’m grateful to be in such a position to be able to improve myself!