Where I belong

Next week marks my 10 year anniversary at my company.  TEN YEARS!  That is crazy, especially since when I interviewed, I was a naïve 24 year old who just wanted out of a terrible situation I was in at my last job.  It’s kind of funny, but this was just supposed to be a place I spent a year tops while I applied to law school and “got on with my life.”  I had no clue how drastically my life path would change by accepting a position at my company.

I have held various jobs within my tenure here, some I truly enjoyed, and others I tolerated because I was really good at them.  If I’m being honest, I was so young when I started here that I just felt fortunate enough to have a job that paid me well and that had some pretty awesome co-workers.

I mentioned back in February that I took a new role on a different team at my company and I feel like I finally found where I belong.  Like truly, what I am passionate about.  Where I see the fruits of my labors and can see my impact.  Where I get to work directly with patients, hear their stories and bring their feedback on topics back in and use it to develop pieces and help tell these stories to others like them.  That feeling fills me with so much pride, joy and satisfaction.  Add to that, my new boss, who is SPECTACULAR.  He lets me lead without question, is always around when I need feedback, gives praise often and in public forums and truly cares about me, not just as his employee, but as Sara the person.  He wants me to develop and meet my career goals and motivates in manner that I have not experienced in quite some time.  In a way, I feel refreshed, which is funny because I have never worked harder than I am right now.

I knew I was truly happy when a recruiter called me last week and had a pretty amazing job opportunity he thought I would be perfect for, and I just plain turned it down. I didn’t need any more information, didn’t need to talk to the hiring manager or read up more on the company. This is a big change from where I was a few months ago. For the first time in a while, I feel energized by the work I am doing and look forward to future projects with excitement.  It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, there are parts of the job that are terribly frustrating, but overall, I am happy and it’s a pretty freaking great feeling.  I know at some point in the future, my end goal to find a job closer to home will come into play, which will mean I will have to make a company move, but until then, I am going to enjoy the experience I am having right now, gain as much knowledge as I can from it, so I can take it with me in the future.  I have finally found where I belong.

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Question of the day

What is your “day job?” Do you love it? If not, what do you wish you could do?

Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Recap

Wow, it’s been a month since I updated you guys on anything, basically right before I hopped on a plane to Detroit to run the Rock CF Rivers half marathon.  This is my second time running this race, the first time being in 2014. I absolutely LOVE this race. It’s not only for a cause near and dear to me, but overall, it’s just really well run and a total family affair, which I love.  So, here is my Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Recap.

On Saturday, a team of 13 of us boarded a plane from Boston to Detroit, landed, grabbed a few rental cars, dropped our stuff at the hotel and headed to pick up our bibs before the expo closed.  It was super quick to check in, get our bib numbers, our race shirts (below in blue) and we met up with Emily, who created the event and runs the foundation Rock CF (in gray). She is this tiny, ridiculously amazing force of nature who sheds light and humor to everyone around her.  We talked with her for a while and then took a team picture with her and her nieces and nephew–aren’t they adorable?

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After buying Ashton and myself new Rock CF shirts, we went out for a quick, but yummy team dinner and got back to the hotel early so we could rest.  Here is my flat runner the night before.

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I went to bed early and ended up getting up really early on race day and had plenty of time to have breakfast, get dressed and meet the Vertex team to head over to the race around 6:30 am.  I was a bit nervous because of the flight the day before and that fact that I spent most of that day not drinking any water, so I spent much of the morning hydrating.

We arrived at the race start and thankfully, was able to keep warm in the high school gym since it was FREEZING outside. We were able to mingle and get a team picture with Emily right before the race started and before everyone broke off.  This was the first year that there was not only a 5k and half marathon, but a half marathon relay, which was a really cool option for a few of our team members.

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I had resigned myself before even getting on the plane to the fact that I was likely not going to PR this race.  While I completed my training plan exactly as prescribed, I was just not feeling as strong as I had hoped I would.  Going into training my goal was to run in the 1:40’s, but I just knew I wasn’t able to do that for this race.  I was mostly okay with that and reminded myself that not every race can be a PR and that this is much more about supporting the cause than getting a PR.

My friend Lindsay and I decided we would run together and stay with the 1:55 pace group.  This felt really doable for me, with not such a hard effort on my part.  This was Lindsay’s first half, so I was excited to run and experience it with her.  This was also the first year of offering pacers, which I personally love!  Before the race started, we ran to the bathrooms and then we started to line up with the rest of the half marathoners.  It was COLD out, like 20 degrees cold and SO windy. I am glad I brought my gloves and hat because I could barely feel my fingers!

The gun went off and we crossed the starting line.  We were right next to our pacer for the first mile and a half and then I felt it….I had to pee.  Not like, oh, I can hold it until the race is over, a….holy shit, I need to find the quickest port a potty.  I definitely over-hydrated, something I have never done before while running. I have never once had to stop during any kind of run or race before to pee.

Thankfully there was a port a potty at mile 2, so I told my friend Lindsay to keep going and I would catch up with her.  I thought this would be a minute process.  There was one person in the stall and one in front of me waiting.  I was stopped for almost 6 minute…yes, you read that right SIX FREAKING MINUTES…DURING A RACE?!?  My anxiety level escalated at each second ticking by.  I was so frustrated but knew there was no way I could run and make it to the next port a potty, so I was stuck waiting.  When it was my turn, I peed in record time and was off and running.

To say I was annoyed is an understatement but I raced as fast as I could ahead, trying to catch up to the 1:55 pace group and my friend Lindsay again.  I knocked off a few miles in the low to mid 7’s and knew I needed to slow down.  At this point, I knew I wasn’t going to catch up to my friend, 6 minutes was just too long of a time to catch up.  I was also kicking myself for such a rookie mistake of trying to speed up really fast, because I definitely felt it in the latter half of the race. I end up having to walk through all of the water stops and walked for about 20 seconds five or six additional times because my calves were cramping so badly.  There were many times during the last part of the race where I wondered if  I was even going to make it in under two hours and I was devastated.  I know that 2 hours is a respectable time and that I wasn’t going to PR this race, but for some reason, the thought of running a 2+ hour half made me want to cry. Thankfully, I finished with a time that was respectable (to me.)

post race

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I don’t know if the almost 6 minutes I waited at the porta potty or the 2+minutes that I spent taking walking breaks would have equated to an end time 8 minutes faster, getting me that PR in the 1:40’s, but I definitely know that I would’ve done better than what I did if it wasn’t for the bathroom stop but I suppose, it doesn’t really matter because that isn’t what actually happened.  After the race, we waited for everyone to finish and took some team pics at the finish line with our medals.

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Quickly after this, we all piled into cars and ran back to the hotel to shower and get to the airport for our flights back home. It was a whirlwind trip that lasted less than 24 hours!

All in all, the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon is a GREAT race for an even better cause.  I had a really fun time with some of my co-workers and I am happy that I had the opportunity to run it again and look forward to doing it in the future!

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Question of the day

Have you traveled by plane to a race before? If so, what race?

Did you watch the Boston Marathon on Monday? Thoughts?

 

 

A bad week

I try to keep this blog light and fun, but let’s be honest, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and one thing I am always is transparent, so you are going to hear a little bit of about the dark side of life and what I experienced last week.

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For those of you who have been with me for a while, we often talk a lot about balance and trying to find it in our everyday lives.  Lately I feel like I’ve been really slacking in this area of life.  Last week was probably one of the worst weeks I’ve had in my organization in almost 9 years.  As many of you guys know, a few months ago I took a new job within my organization.  When I started, there was a team of four of us. As of last week, I’m the only one of the original group still here. My boss took a “six-month rotation” in another group that has the potential to become permanent (I’m not actually expecting her to return,) one of my coworkers moved to another team and one suddenly quit last Friday leaving just me and a new “temporary”/potentially permanent boss with no marketing experience. Couple that with a very highly visible project that I had to have implemented by today and an agency that was late with all of their submissions and a review team that kept making changes, I worked late every single night last week and even throughout the weekend. I was stressed to the max, not sleeping well, and even had a tight neck from stress. That’s not much for balance if you ask me.

My breaking point however wasn’t so much all of this “other stuff” that was happening at work (although it definitely attributed to it) but rather the fact that on Thursday night as I was brushing our teeth with Ashton, he asked if I was going take a bath with him (he asks this question every single night during brush time) and I almost always say yes to which he responds, “Yay, that makes me so happy Mama!” However, my agency was late getting me something and I had a very quick window with which to review the piece and get it back to them, so I said that I couldn’t because I had to get some work done.  Well, he had a breakdown of epic proportions which made me feel like the worst person on the planet. This wasn’t one of his “I’m going to fake cry so I get my way” breakdowns, this was a gut wrenching, heart breaking sob. He kept crying and saying, “please Mama, I want you to take a bath with me, why don’t you want to take a bath with me, please Mama, please?”  Talk about a punch to the face.  Was my job really more important than spending 15-20 minutes in the bath with my son, something that I do almost every single night?  I was so stressed that I couldn’t see beyond this little boy asking his mama to spend time with him because I was so focused on just trying to get this work done that I completely crushed my little boys heart, talk about feeling like such a failure. I ended up saying screw work and took that bath with him and it was worth the additional 20 minute delay of not reviewing my work so that I could spend time with my boy.

I’d like to say that this was a one time incident at work, but these are the types of things that are happening more and more in my job and I’m struggling to find the right balance between doing my job, doing it well and also balancing night-time with my family. I know I’m not the only person who deals with these struggles, we all struggle with balance on many different levels, but I have never felt this bad at work, I can count on one hand the number of times in the past 8 1/2 years that I said I had a bad day at work.  Busy? Crazy? Chaotic? Yes, but not BAD.  Everything went to shit last week and it was so emotionally and physically hard on me that I literally collapsed on Friday night and I slept so hard that I don’t think I moved the entire night (which is a rarity for me). I don’t know what I’m going to do about this right now other than to try to strike a better balance between the number of nights that I have to work after I put Ashton to bed and trying to actually spend more than 5 minutes talking to Robyn at night and maybe even watch a show that we enjoy together.

I know that we are in a very busy time at work with launching new products and indications but this clearly is not the situation or the work/life balance that I signed up for when I took this new job. I’ve talked a lot to Robyn about the situation over the last couple days, which says a lot because we don’t typically talk work once we get home, but how long do you stick something out?  How does that timeline change when you really love the work you do but the environment is just chaotic? Is it like this everywhere in this function?

What I love about Robyn is that he sees things like this very black-and-white. It’s probably the only thing in life that he says there is no gray area for him, and that is family.  I guess if you’re going to see something black-and-white, the strength of the family and the importance of that is probably the thing that you want to see black-and-white. He just wants me to be happy, he wants me to come home and not be exhausted, he wants me to be able to enjoy my time with him and Ashton and not have to work every single night and feel stressed that my work needs to get done over spending time doing things together, and generally he wants me to just have more energy at the end of the day.

I don’t really know what I’m saying or what I’m going to do, it’s hard when you actually enjoy your job but the environment is just not exactly ideal.  I’m hoping that maybe in a couple of weeks things will settle down and get better, but I also can’t count on that either, so I may have to make some difficult decisions in the coming months.  I’m trying to be objective right now and open to seeing how these things play out.  I have to be realistic that it’s going to be uncomfortable for the next couple of weeks or months until my new boss gets his footing and we hire a new team member and I have to just try to go with the flow as best I can while trying to also maintain a balance at home of spending not just a certain quantity of time with my boys, but focusing on being present and the quality of the time I spend with them. Lately I’m so worried while I’m spending time with them about all that I have to get done after we put Ashton to bed that I’m not really living in the moment. I know a lot of us find ourselves looking to the future and not being present, but it something that I’ve been terrible about lately and I really need to focus more on the present instead of worrying about the next couple of hours.  This will not only help my sanity but be better for all of us. The last thing I want is for Ashton to have memories of me stressing out in front of him over work or picking work over spending quality time with him, because really, as much as I love my job, I love my son and my husband much more.

I would love any ideas opinions and suggestions on ways to find better balance because clearly it’s something I’m still struggling with.  It’s weird, I go through these ebbs and flows and I swear sometimes I have it under complete control and life seems to work like a well oiled machine and then something completely throws us off track and everything becomes so chaotic and I feel like I’m starting from square one again trying to regain that balance.

Okay, well that’s it folks. The good news is I do feel better this week. Things aren’t perfect, but I don’t feel like I’m in a constant state of flight or flight–so I guess that is progress, right?

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Question of the day

Suggestions? Any words of wisdom?

It’s not all about me

Hi guys…I hope you are having a great day. Having Monday off as a holiday and then taking Tuesday off, I feel so off kilter today.  It doesn’t help that I’m still trying to get caught up at work from being out yesterday either! Oh well, we are half way through the week and we have a super fun weekend planned so I have a lot to look forward to!

So, today I want to turn the tables a bit in this post, but first, I will give you a little background. I’ve recently been working to onboard a new creative agency at work who will be my partner in a large amount of my deliverables this year at work. This process can be extremely time consuming as we are not only getting to know one another on a personal and professional level but at the same time, I need to debrief them and get them very quickly up to speed on our therapeutic area, our product, market research, insights and strategies as well as discuss our tactics and objectives with each project. I also have to learn their processes and flow so we can optimize our working relationship and meet our goals in the most efficient manner.

Additionally, I also have to learn about a whole new team. That means a group of about 10 new people with whom I have to build strong, successful working relationships with. Doing this in a short period of time is hard, but critical in order to move my projects along. I recently spent a day with this team in NYC where I met face to face with my team for the first time. We started going about the table telling a little bit about ourselves: name, work background, you know, the standard intro kind of things. But then we took it a step further and had each person tell us about their favorite vacation. The most interesting stories came out of that exercise. Not only that, but I am usually TERRIBLE with remembering names when I have to learn a lot of new names in one setting, but their stories helped me to connect to them on a different, more personal level and I left not only remembering the stories, but which story went with which person and I remembered everyone’s name!! This never happens and it just went to show me that when you take the time to learn more about people and their stories, it deepens the connection and makes the relationship much more personal and meaningful.

So, today, it’s not all about me. I am going to stop talking writing now and turn the tables and get to know you all a bit better. Some of you I have been friends with for quite some time, but others of you are newer (welcome) but I want to learn something new from each of you. Tell me something about yourself that I don’t already know. Maybe it was your favorite vacation or something on your bucket list, maybe it’s what you wanted to be as a kid or your favorite ice cream flavor. You can tell me anything, but it has to be something I wouldn’t already know about you from our previous interactions. Okay? And because I love Napoleon Dynamite so much, I leave you with this!

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Ready, set….GO!

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Question of the day

Tell me something about yourself that I don’t already know!

My night in the Rent the Runway dress

Happy Wednesday!  I left my house this morning for the first time since Saturday and let me tell you, I was THRILLED! I was so excited to get back to the office I may have even skipped to my car!  So, now that I am back in action, I owe you something.  I know I am WAY overdue with this post I only realized it when a friend emailed me some pics of the event last week and I remembered I never updated you all and then I posted it early twice on WP–clearly I have to be better at hitting save and not publish!!!

Well, better late than never right?  So, I mentioned a while back that I was attending a very special fundraiser for work.  It was an event called Uncork the Cure that took place at the beautiful Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston.  The purpose of this event is to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and that is exactly what happened.  This year’s event had over 400 people attend and raised over $381,000 for CF research and patient care. This has been the most successful night for Uncork the Cure to date and I felt so honored to be able to attend.

On the day of the evening, I wrapped up work and quickly ran down to my car to get my Rent the Runway dress and I went back into my building and got dressed in our gym locker room (hence the awesome selfie! HA!)

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Because my company is a large sponsor of the event, we were invited to attend a special VIP wine tasting before the doors opened to those who purchased tickets. It was really a nice, intimate gathering where we got to mingle, drink great wine and listen to some really motivating people speak. The photographer came around and snapped a picture of me with my previous boss (on the far left,) the head of our Medical organization and his wife.

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When the general doors opened, we had our bidding packets and the evening truly began.

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As you can see, the ballroom was beautiful and running though the middle of the room were some incredible bottles of wine you could bid on along with baskets, gift cards and exclusive getaways.

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The room started to fill up pretty quickly and the wine and food was flowing.

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I did a terrible job of capturing any of the food so you will just have to take my word for it!  There were chef stations all along the perimeter and they were cooking up some pretty delicious food, my favorite being crab cakes, YUM!  The wine was great and there were so many different varieties to choose from.  I even found a really great new (and cheap) Riesling that I have already purchased and had at home.  After walking around and bidding on a few items, I ran into some friendly faces…some of my co-workers!

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They had some speakers that were really touching and a patient talk about her experience with CF.  After everyone was in tears, they started the live auction portion of the night and it got exciting.  Sadly I didn’t win anything I bid on, but there were some really awesome things auctioned off.  My favorite things however were the handmade ornaments from patients with CF.

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I stayed for a few hours, but the party lasted long into the night with a live band and dancing but it was a long week and I just wanted to get in my car, get home and relax for a bit with Robyn.  This was the last pic I took as I was walking out to the lobby.

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Overall, it was a wonderful night for an even better cause.  I had a great time and absolutely loved my dress. I received so many compliments on it and felt like that was the perfect dress for the event and for me. I will definitely be using Rent the Runway in the future if I have a fancy event to attend!

Have a great day my friends!!

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Question of the day

Have you been to any fancy events like this fundraiser before? If so, what was the best one you have been to before?Do you love them or can you leave them?

 

 

 

A quick trip to NYC and what would you have done?

Hi friends, happy Monday!  I’m currently sitting at home with another snow day, this time, our offices are closed so I don’t have to log in today and work while Ashton runs around all day asking me to play with him…a win all around in our house!  I also wanted to thank you for all the awesome ideas for blog posts you left for me, that was just what I needed to get some creative juices flowing!!  I knew you guys would be able to help me out, I appreciate it SO much!

So, I’m sorry I missed you all on Friday, I mentioned last week that I had to take a quick trip to NYC to visit my new creative agency on Friday and I couldn’t get the wifi working in flight so I couldn’t say hi to you all! I was on the 6am shuttle from Boston which meant I had to leave my house by 3:40 a.m. to get to the airport, park and get through security. I ended up waking up almost an hour before my alarm (this happens almost every time I have to travel) so I was able to get ready at a leisurely pace and I was out the door and on the road on time. At this time of morning, there is almost no one on the roads so I was on the highway and about 30 minutes into my drive, I was in the middle lane and up a ways ahead I saw a car in the break down lane but its lights weren’t flashing so I thought it may have been a cop. I moved into the far left lane, not really thinking anything of it. It was super early in the morning and I was listening to a Ted Talk and kind of in a zone.

As I was approaching the car stopped on the side of the road, I noticed a man standing almost in the middle lane waving his hands in the air and yelling something, signaling me to stop my car. I didn’t notice him at first because he was wearing very dark clothes and of course, it was pitch black out. I jumped and let out a little scream as the guy knocked a few years off my life. What the hell was someone in their right mind doing standing almost in the middle of a highway? In that instant, I was torn. It was around 4:00 a.m. and there was almost no traffic at all on the Pike. Clearly, I couldn’t see what the situation was since I was travelling around 70 mph in the dark, but what if this man was injured? Was there someone in the car? It didn’t look like an accident as there were no other cars around. I was alone in my car and knew it wasn’t safe for me to stop and offer help. I quickly started to voice dial the MA State Police and let them know about the man and the broken down car. If I couldn’t help the guy, at least maybe a trooper could. But the rest of my drive, all I could think about was this man and the situation.

I felt guilty, I mean, what if there was an immediate, serious need and I just drove by him? Could I have even helped if that were the case? What if his cell phone was dead and he (or someone in his car) needed help? What if that were me and the roles were reversed and everyone just kept driving by me and I needed help? Or…what if his intentions were cruel? Did the State troopers get to him and help him? Did I do the right thing?? I asked these and a dozen more to myself over the course of the day.

I think what bothered me the most was the fact that I knew I couldn’t stop and help him because it wasn’t safe for me. I mean, isn’t it sad that we live in a time now that women (or anyone for that matter) doesn’t feel safe stopping to try and help another person without worrying about their own safety or the intentions of the other person? I hate to question the intentions of others, but you hear so many terrible stories these days that you can never be certain about someone’s motives. I really wanted to help this guy out, I supposed I at least took some sort of action that could have helped him I the long run, I guess I’ll never know.

What would you do?

For those of you home today because of the weather, stay warm and enjoy the extra long weekend!  I’ll see you on Wednesday!

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Question of the day

Have you ever been put in a similar situation where you wanted to help but you couldn’t in the way you wanted to?

What would you have done in this situation?

Highs and lows

Over the past week or so I have been thinking about writing this post, it took me a bit to get it out, but here it is….my highs & lows over the past month.

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As many of you know, I started a new job about 6 weeks ago, while the first few weeks were REALLY tough, once I started week 4, I felt like I finally hit my stride. I was confident in meetings, knowing what my colleagues were talking about, I was using the right language and generally understanding my new role, how I could contribute and I began implementing some critical projects.  It felt good, I remember sitting in a global marketing team meeting when everything just kind of clicked, I sat back, took in what was being presented and was able to contribute something meaningful to the conversation.  It was at that moment when I realized I made the right decision to move over into this new role.

Change is never easy, change for someone like me is even more difficult. I am not a risk taker by nature, but I took a big risk.  I gave up a promotion for this new role which was really hard for me.  I was scared and while many call this a leap of faith, it felt at the time like I was being pushed off a cliff and was free-falling, but it turned out okay.  This past week I was passing the VP of our sales team in the parking garage and he asked me how I was liking my new role and I could honestly tell him that I was loving it.  While it still has it challenges and I am still very much learning, I truly get excited by the work I am doing every day and for the first time in a really long time, I feel like this is exactly where I was meant to be.

It’s strange for me to say that, because I loved my last job.  I don’t mean to sound braggy, but I know I was great at my last job.  I worked really hard and took pride in being an expert at what I did.  I adored my team and my old boss is one of those spectacular people, you know, the salt of the earth kind of people?  The hardest part of me leaving my old role was my boss.  You know the old adage, people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.  While I usually agree with that, it was not the case in my recent move.  But, in hindsight, my last job, while wonderful, was not where I belonged.  While I was given opportunity to grow and was challenged, I never felt the level of excitement that I do in my current job.  Seeing the work that I am doing, that is going out to patients and actually making an impact in their lives is truly an incredible thing to see and feel.  While this new job is not without its challenges (more working at night, evening events that means more time away from my boys, etc) overall, I feel like this position was made for me and it’s where I belong and will allow me to reach my future goals and that is such a great feeling. I feel invigorated, I  mean, I have been on vacation since Tuesday evening and I went into the office on Wednesday and have worked for at least a few hours on both Thursday and today and I don’t mind at all, that is how much I am enjoying myself.  It really is a great feeling.

Now, clearly my new job is my high, but this post is titled Highs and lows, so here comes my low.  Last week I received an email from my fitness director at the gym alerting the team to some schedule changes.  Our club is part of a local franchise of fitness clubs and they want to move all their clubs to a schedule where the classes start on the hour.  I have been teaching Group Power since 2007 and while I have significantly cut down the number of classes I teach a week since I had Ashton (I’m down to only one class now from six) my Thursday night class has always been at 5:30 p.m.  They are now moving the class to 6:00 p.m. and I had to make the very hard decision to stop teaching it as of January 1st.

While a half hour shift doesn’t seem too drastic to most people, it would really impact my home life.  Currently, I get out of work early on Thursday, I race to pick Ashton up at daycare, I drive him to Robyn’s work where we do a hand off at 5 p.m. and I drive to the club with just enough time to get changed and get on stage to teach at 5:30 p.m.  My class ends at 6:30 p.m. and I clean up the fitness room and race to get home a little after  7:00 p.m., just in time to brush Ashton’s teeth, give him a quick bath, read him a bedtime story and tuck him in for the night.  If I continued to teach this class, it wouldn’t end until 7:00 p.m. and I wouldn’t get home until after 7:30 p.m., meaning I would not get to spend any time with Ashton.  I am just not willing to give up what very limited time we already have during the week for this class.

In a way it was a really easy decision, time with Ashton is too precious, but in another way it was brutally hard to say those words.  Even as I type this I have tears in my eyes.  I LOVE teaching, there is nothing better than helping others realize their potential and reach their fitness goals…it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of so many people’s fitness journey and it have been a really fulfilling part of my life for many years, but right now, it’s just not fitting my current life situation.  I hope that one day in the future, maybe my work and life situation/schedule will be different and I can come back and start teaching again, but for now…I have to focus on what is most important and that is my sweet little boy.  Last night I told my class that next week will be my last class and I was met with a lot of shock and questions, but also a lot of thank yous, good wishes and hugs.  I know next week’s class will be bittersweet, I just hope I can hold it together and make it though.

The times, they are a changin’.  I am beginning a new phase in my career and laying to rest another phase for right now.  It’s wonderful and sad at the same time, but all we can do is move forward and make the best of what we have, right?

Have a great weekend my friends!

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Question of the day

Tell me some of your highs and lows lately! How do you deal with the lows?

What are your weekend plans?

Help me choose a dress!!!

Hi guys!  Happy Friday!  First, I want to thank you all for the sweet comments you left on my last post, and for all the emails and FB messages as well, I appreciate it and love you all!  So, let’s start today off by talking about something fun, shall we?  So, as part of my new job, I have been asked to attend a fancy fundraiser in a few weeks.  While I am really excited to be a part of this fundraiser, I have absolutely nothing to wear to an event with a dress code of cocktail chic. Like, what does that even mean?  Long, short, fancy, business?  Not only do I have no idea what that means, the thought of dropping some serious cash on a dress I will likely have no use for afterwards is just not that appealing to me, and even more so, when the heck do I have time to go shopping for said dress?

Well, that is where Rent the Runway comes in.  Rent the Runway is a site where you can rent premier designer dresses for really affordable prices ($30 and up)  What I love most about it is that you can sort your choices by so many different categories like price, color, occasion, level of formality, body type, etc.  Also, real people who have rented the same dress upload pics of themselves in the dress with reviews so you know things like if it runs large/small, if it’s comfortable, what kind of undergarments you need to wear, you know, important stuff! This is always really helpful to hear from real people rather than just reading a generic description from the site.  What I also love is that when you order a dress to rent, you can choose the length of your rental (4 or 8 days) and they will send you TWO sizes for the same price. For me, this is critical since sizes are never uniform across designers.

After finding out I was selected to attend yesterday afternoon, I quickly got online at Rent the Runway (affiliate link) and started looking around.  Thankfully, there is no shortage of gorgeous dresses  So far, here are my front runners:

PicMonkey Collage dresses

I think I am leaning towards the black lace one even though I really like the blue and gold dress.  It’s funny because both the gold and blue dresses are really sparkly and that is not a style  I am typically drawn to, but they really are beautiful dresses, but I think I may feel more comfortable in the black lace one.  The dress below is actually my favorite one and if we have a wedding to attend in the near future, this IS my dress, it’s so me!  But, I just can’t justify the price ($90 plus shipping) for a fundraiser event because I would actually like to bid on something at the event to raise money for this great cause instead of shelling a lot of money out on a dress that I can’t keep post event!

moon goddess

 

Okay friends, let me know in the comments what YOU think and don’t forget to have a great weekend!  I’ll see you all on Monday!
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Question of the day

Which dress do you think I should choose? Have you ever used RTRW?

A first time for everything–some unproud moments

Over the past 24 hours I have done two things I have never done before, neither I am extremely proud of.  Let’s start with last night.  I had a tough day.  Hell, if I am being honest, I have had a tough few weeks.  I love my new job but it’s freaking killing me right now.  I am drained when I get home.  I spend the days running from one meeting to the next, half the time straining to follow along and then working after Ashton goes to bed because how do you get anything done when you sit in meetings for 8 hours a day?  It all happens at night after 8 p.m.  So, the one part of my day I look forward to all night is picking up Ashton at daycare. I don’t get to see him in the morning so the evening is my time with him.  Robyn does the cooking and dinner clean up so I can play with him, give him  a bath, brush his teeth and then Robyn reads to him while I sit with them.  It’s great and even when I am tired, I look forward to it.

Well, I picked Ashton up from daycare last night and he wanted nothing to do with me.  He told me he didn’t want to go home and after coaxing him out of daycare and getting him in his car seat, he told me he didn’t want me to pick him up from daycare anymore, that he wanted Daddy to pick him up.  When I asked him why, he said “Because I don’t like you Mommy.”  GULP.  I was already frustrated with my day, my long commute and my welcome from him and this shocked me. I took a deep breath and said I am sorry you feel that way but I love you.  We got settled in the car and I asked him if he wanted his book (He likes to listen to Dr. Seuss audio books on the way home) and he said yes, so I put one on and started to drive home.  I tried to ask him about his day like we do every evening and he turned his head away from me, held his hand up to me and told me to stop talking.  Who the heck is this child and where is my sweet boy?  Then out of the blue he said, “Mama, I don’t love you.”  I didn’t think I heard him correctly so I asked him what he said.  He repeated it confidently and then said, “I love Daddy, not you!”  Thankfully it was pitch black outside and in the car because the tears started.  Before I knew it, I was sobbing.  I told him that made me really sad that he felt that way but I loved him.  I couldn’t speak to him for the rest of the ride home–a first for me.  I didn’t want him to see me crying in the front so I turned up his audio book and he proceeded to recite Fox in Sox for me while I drove.  I know this is a phase.  I know a lot of my friends with kids the same age go through similar things, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt like hell.  I should have handled it differently last night, I shouldn’t have shut down. I should of brushed it off, but I just couldn’t.  I am not proud of the fact that I stayed silent and stewed in the car feeling angry and sorry for myself instead of trying to engage with Ashton, but I just couldn’t. I suppose it’s better than me yelling at him or showing him how upset I was, but I need to get a better handle on this because I am pretty certain this isn’t going to be a one time thing. A true #mommyfail on my part.

love is not proud

Fast forward to this morning and I was looking forward to my spin class. I have talked before about how much I love my Wednesday morning class and instructor Erin.  She is AWESOME and I look forward to her class every week.  Well, she was away this week on vacation and we had a sub.  Now, I will preface this with saying that I know as an instructor myself how hard it is to come into another instructors class, especially with an established group of regular participants and teach.  It’s freaking hard, I get that so I always try to be sensitive to that when a sub walks into one of the classes I take.  Well, this morning the sub walked in to teach spin and I smiled, said hello and after she got her music queued up, she began.  This is where things started going downhill for me.  She blasted her music and didn’t mic up, so you could barely hear her, it didn’t help that she kept her head down too so we couldn’t see her mouth.  Then, she was off beat with the music, so the cadence was off and it felt all wrong.  Her music was terrible (however, this I will give a pass for since everyone has different music tastes) and she didn’t warm us up/stretch us at all.  She kept us at a level 4 for the first few songs and when the music was getting faster which would indicate we should speed up or power through a hill, she had us sit and recover.  Recover from what?  We were all at a really low-level and I hadn’t even broken a sweat.  I told myself to give her more time to find her groove but by the 20 minute mark I was done.  I mentally was fighting with myself to stay through the class but I just couldn’t do it.  I unclipped from my bike, wiped it down and walked out.  I have never walked out of a group fitness class before.  I guess there really is a first time for everything.

I was beyond annoyed.  I was mad that Erin was on vacation (irrational I know) I was mad that our gym had this terrible sub, I mean don’t they test their subs before allowing them to teach?  I am pretty sure that being able to follow a beat is a bare minimum requirement to teach a class with music.  I was mad at the instructor who ruined my favorite class for me, I was mad at myself for not bringing anything other than my spin shoes to the gym with me which meant I couldn’t really get in any other cardio today and I was mad at myself for walking out of this instructors class.  I started my day off on the wrong foot and I was just plain disappointed.  After I got ready for work and had time to cool down I gave myself a little pep talk and told myself that I could let this ruin the rest of my day or I could let it go and start again.  So, I dropped my gym back off at my car, walked to the Starbucks in our building, ordered myself a tall, skinny mocha and vowed to make today a great day.

stabucks

I have to learn to let things go, something I am not great at but am working really hard to change about myself and this was the first step to doing just that.  So, here’s to making today a better day and being a better, more patient person!

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Question of the day

Have you ever walked out of a group fitness class?  How do you deal with frustrating situations?

 

Indoor Skydiving Adventure & a must see video

A few months ago, Groupon was offering almost 1/2 off  for an indoor skydiving adventure at a place called SkyVenture in Nashua, NH.  Nashua is about an hour away from us and since there is no way in this lifetime I would ever get Robyn to jump out of a plane (he is TERRIFIED of heights) I asked him on the off-chance he would try it in a controlled environment and he surprisingly agreed so I bought the tickets and we went this past Saturday.

My niece came over right around Ashton’s nap time and we headed to NH for our “fly high experience.”  We booked two individual 4 minute sessions that had to be used by the beginning of November.  We finally squared away a date and when I called and booked our date and time, they told us that we needed to get to our appointment early as there was a mandatory training session. In my usual Sara self, we arrived in PLENTY of time and then they made us wait over an hour because there was a scheduling issue 🙁  #planningfail

We filled out all the waivers and after we waited almost an hour, it was our time to go through our training.  It took about 20 minutes and we went through hand signals, how to enter and exit the tunnel and the instructor answered any questions we had.  Then, we got all suited up.

skydiving
What is so cool about SkyVenture is that it is supposed to simulate free fall so accurately that skydiving teams from all over the world often use this technology for their training. So how does it work?  According to SkyVenture, some tunnels (in warm climates) simply suck the air in from ground level, push it through the flight chamber and diffuser and expel it at the top. SkyVenture uses a recirculating airflow skydiving simulator.   This means the exhaust air is channeled and redirected to become the intake air. Because they have complete control of the air, they can maintain a comfortable atmosphere in the flight chamber regardless of the outside weather conditions.

So, after we were suited up, we got helmets, goggles and ear plugs and we were ready to go inside.  We went into the waiting chamber and I was the first in the group to make my first of 2 “dives.”  I wasn’t nervous but I didn’t really know what to expect.  I thought it would be fun, but I didn’t know just HOW much fun I would have!  Once I entered the chamber the instructor immediately helped me get into place. I felt like I was floating and depending on how you positioned you feet and arms/hands, you would move in different directions, so it was really fun to play around with that.  You also feel your cheeks moving around a lot from all the wind, it was kind of a weird sensation.  Before I knew it, my first dive was over and Robyn was up.

What is really cool is that they have photographers standing inside the chamber to get action shots during both dives.  Here are some from our dives.

skydiving 3

skydiving 1skydiving 2

At the end of our second dive, the instructor held onto us and flew us up to the top of the tunnel and would bring us diving down really quickly and spin us around.  That was so exhilarating!  Both Robyn and I wish we had more time to play in the chamber, it was a total blast and we both agreed we definitely would do it again.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you a video and song from One Republic called “I Lived.”  I’ve had this song on replay for a few weeks and not only is the song amazing and speaks to me, but in the video they highlight a Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patient from Denver.  I have talked about my connection to CF through my work and it’s a disease and community that I am really passionate about helping. I am so proud to be working on products to help patients in this therapeutic area and I love that One Republic is bringing more awareness to this disease through this video.  It’s worth a watch and the song really is inspiring and motivating!

That’s it from me today folks, have a great Wednesday!

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Question of the day

Anyone been indoor or outdoor skydiving before? If not, would you try it?

Have you heard this song/seen this video before?