2017 - A work in progress and a few standout lessons

You can do more than you think you are capable of, but you can't do it all.

Luckily for me I don't really have the "can't" gene. I have no problem making a fool of myself, especially at this point in my life, and I truly am up for anything. The flip side of this coin is that I also think I can do everything. Don't get me wrong, I certainly am not under the impression that I can do everything even remotely well, but I choose to take on practically everything that is thrown my way. One of the few things that I pride myself on is my work ethic. I have always tried to outwork or outdo any lack of talent, skills or experience in both my athletics and business. I mean, what could a 24 year-old possibly know about running a business? When I purchased Crabapple Clothing Company in 2010, I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so I just put my head down, busted my butt and figured it out as I went. This value has served me well throughout my life, but I am starting to realize that eventually something has to give and quite frankly, I'm tired! While fun is sooo important, sleep and recovery need to top that list! I constantly feel as though my FOMO is at odds with my human need for sleep...

So how do you find the balance of making sure you are doing the things that enrich your soul, keep you fit, put food on the table, spark your creative juices, and make you laugh; yet take the time to nourish your body and give you the energy to do these amazing things? Apparently, this is where I am supposed to start listening to my body...but what is it saying that it needs? An extra hour of sleep rather than my morning run? Coffee with girlfriends instead of my scheduled strength session (one should never underestimate the ab workout associated with laughter)? To pick up a book rather than a kettle bell? Choose a relaxing Epsom salt bath over a night out? Truthfully, I have no idea how to be so in tune with my physical and mental needs that i can decipher what is best. But what I am starting to figure out is that quality in more important that quantity and a shitty workout or a half assed anything is useless. Sometimes we just need to re-prioritize the "to-do" list and go with the flow when necessary. This year I also learned that sometimes expectations need to be re-evaluated. As much as that stings if I'm not willing to give anything up then goals need to be adjusted to be more realistic. And who knows, sometimes by just ditching that pressure, you can surprise yourself!

Forget motivation, get disciplined. And when you can't do that, get consistent...

So all of the above aforementioned listen to your body blah blah blah is definitely valid and was a key factor for me this year. In fact, if I had done a better job of paying attention earlier in the fall and not just pushing through, I probably could have saved myself some of my current fatigue. So, what happens when motivation goes out the window? Well for me, I have always relied on discipline. Motivation is so fleeting, inconsistent, and rare and in the middle of winter there is absolutely nothing that is motivating. And so that's where discipline comes into play. You just do what you say you are going to do. But what happens when you get sick and it lingers and lingers? All of a sudden you are out of your groove; your discipline slips and you are sliding down the slippery slope of making a permanent self outline on your sofa. You are no longer ill but still completely and utterly exhausted. The burnout is real and needs to be respected. Obviously the body has found a way of slowing us down through sickness. That being said, eventually enough is enough and it is time to get your ass off the sofa. I know that I depend on a certain level of activity and adrenaline in order to re-energize and function throughout the day. So now I am reverting to plan c and creating some consistency. Advice from a friend, just MOVE! Ditch the watch, the "plan", and the unattainable workouts that you don't do because you feel they are far beyond your current ability, and do something! And guess what? I'm finding my discipline again. The routine is stabilizing. I'm still not jumping out of bed every morning at 5am but I am committed to starting the day with movement. And plus, when you have a face like this starring at you, how can you say no?

Sometimes it's not about you!

"It's not you, it's me" - sometimes this is actually true - it really is them. I have spent a good chunk of this year trying to improve my own intuition, a life long process that I figured I better start figuring out. I have spent a good chunk of my life taking on other people's crap and projecting this as my own or being my own "issues". This year I have learned or maybe just accepted that sometimes, it actually, truly, really has absolutely nothing to do with you. So stop being so damn hard on yourself! Have the confidence to be yourself, find out what it is that you want and ask for it! The trick is that you also have to work for it... In the fashion industry it is actually really sad to see how cruel women are to themselves. I am absolutely no exception, but at least I feel like my awareness is heightened. So basically, I guess what I am trying to say is that we should never ever stop trying to better ourselves by learning more, exploring more, experiencing more but remember, you are enough. Please please don't try and be a new 2.0 version of yourself in 2018, embrace the current super awesome you and just be. Notice how I keep switching perspectives? Clearly, I don't have this whole "self-acceptance" thing down pat, but there is forward progress...

Everything is going to be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

How many times has someone told you "it will be okay"? How many times have you wanted to slap that person across the face? Well this year that became my self mantra in numerous situations. I am not a religious person, I don't have a higher power that I put my faith in, but I do believe that things ultimately just work out. That being said; I have had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, relinquished a lot of control, ridden the wave of uncertainty, adapted the plan, and thrown other plans out the window. I have surrounded myself with a tribe of people that are smarter, funnier, more creative, and better than me and I am learning to ask for help. If you are fortunate enough to have amazing people in your life, they start to recognize the problems before you do, turn them on their heads and make these "problems" into something magical. They reinforce that failure shouldn't be feared...

~ "Failure is success in progress." - Albert Einstein

It's interesting to think about these lessons and how they are not even remotely specific to one area of my life. They translate across my athletics, my business, and my relationships. They are intertwined and moving targets and although I had some pretty incredible physical adventures this year, my 32nd year on this planet has been so much more about growing on the inside. I am looking forward to more adventures, more growth, and more lessons in 2018.

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