enjoy life guest post: joy anderson

I am so excited to feature my first guest post on the blog today. Joy is one of my external motivators on Fitbit. She is always initiating Challenges which help keep me moving throughout the day.  She also introduced me and encouraged me to listen to what has become one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. And finally she is my sister-in-law-in-law. Is that a thing? But we were friends long before my sister and her brother decided to be together.

This is how she enjoys life.

Joy Anderson and Quabbin

Joy Anderson and The Quabbin

Two of my personal commandments (Another Gretchen Rubin fan here. Hello!) directly relate to enjoying life: (1) Treat yourself and (2) do more of what makes you happy. In my sometimes successful pursuit of following these commandments, I’ve combined two of my favorite things: listening to podcasts (treat) while walking outside (doing what makes me happy).

My spot to walk (sometimes hike) is the Quabbin Reservoir. Whether it’s sunny or overcast, the Quabbin is gorgeous. After being cooped up all week at work, in my car, or my apartment, it’s glorious to be outside. The Quabbin, the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, also has an interesting history. In the 1930s, four towns were disincorporated – homes, businesses, and cemeteries were all relocated – and the area was flooded to become the primary water supply source for Boston as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. The Quabbin covers 38.6 square miles, and has several park/recreation areas like the one near my home. While working out in my tiny studio gives me a mood boost, it’s nothing compared to walking/hiking in the fresh air. Last Sunday was warm and sunny and I conquered the Visitor Center Loop Trail. I got lost last time; need to work on that sense of direction!

And why not make a good thing even better? I love listening to podcasts, but I have trouble finding the time to listen to a whole episode without interruption. It’s such a treat to listen to my favorites all the way through while walking the Quabbin. Listening to Happier inspires me to try new things, or I can learn something new on Hidden Brain, and even get in a core workout by laughing along with the hosts of Another Round. I ignore texts and phone calls and just enjoy life outside – away from walls, work, and worries beyond how I can incorporate Happier’s Try This at Home Tip into my week.

 I definitely enjoy life more when I have me time (even if you live alone, you still need “me time”) and the Quabbin is my spot. If it’s not snowing this weekend I might consider exploring another trail or maybe I’ll stick to something familiar. We’ll see :)

If you don’t already have a favorite spot of your own, I hope you find one.

You can keep up with Joy on Pinterest and on Tumblr.

enjoy life…

friday’s “secret”: know the things that are saving your life

What's Saving My Life, Write Now

Too often, we go through life knowing exactly what is ruining our life, what is messing everything up, what we need to change in order to make everything better. I know I do. On any given day, at any given time, I can tell you what I wish was different in my day-to-day life without much thought. What I can’t tell you is what is saving my life, what things are making my life easier, happier. Today’s “secret” is that in order to be happy, I should focus on what things are saving my life, what is working for me today.

Anne Bogel feels that February is “the cruelest month”. I would feel the same except my hubby and I celebrate our wedding anniversary at the end of it and we try to take a trip someplace warmer and sunnier than our home. This year, we plan to return to the scene of the crime, Las Vegas, Nevada, where we were married ten years ago, after exactly three years of dating. Thirteen years with this guy; can’t believe it! “Time flies when you are having fun.”

In spite of the Blizzard of 2016 (view of said blizzard from my front window pictured above), we have had some remarkably nice days with sun and warmth. This has allowed me to take my half marathon training outside and running outside always saves my life. I love listening to the sound of the birds and the bullfrogs that live in the mini pond in our neighborhood.

And nothing is so good after a cool run as a hot shower when it’s all said and done. Being very cold natured, I am always so grateful for running hot water and heat in the winter time.

And finally, writing (how many of you caught that intentional misspelling in the pic; like my play-on-words there?) both here in the blog and in the journaling that I have started doing again in the mornings is saving my life write now. It feels so good to put pen to paper and write through my thoughts and feelings, getting clarity in the process. And by the way, this is my 50th post on this blog! Hooray!

All in all, I feel like I am doing pretty good with staying relatively happy and contented this winter. Seems like changing my mindset about the cold, as discussed in this article about the Norwegians, may actually be helping. I think I have only asked my hubby if we could more further south one time so far, a remarkable feat for me.

In addition to being Friday’s “secret” this post is a very special link-up with Modern Mrs. Darcy especially for all of us who abhor these dreary and cold winter days and long for spring time and sunshine and warmth. Check out what other people are doing to enjoy life this winter here.

What is saving your life, right now? Oh please, do tell.

enjoy life…

what i learned {january 2016}


Beach. What I Learned

“The body keeps score and it always wins.” -Brené Brown

I was sick for a week this January. I had pushed myself hard in December: not sleeping well, getting up early, pushing my body and working out harder than I have been in a while, a lot of responsibilities and guess what, “the body always wins.” When you don’t take care of yourself, the body will make you take care of it.

First, I learned that I whatever I do, I must keep up, what Gretchen Rubin refers to as, my foundational habits: Getting proper rest, staying hydrated, eating better, and keeping my stress levels down. These habits allow me to be at my best self and able to function at an optimal level.

Simply TuesdayAnd second, while I am doing that, I must always stay in the present moment. Living too much in the future and in the past ruins the present, and surprisingly, increases my stress level! Who knew? So while, I was sick, I did everything that I could to listen to my body and rest. I drank hot tea, read, and caught up with my favorite television shows.

I am currently reading Emily P. Freeman’s book, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. I am finding it to be a great book to start my day and I am enjoying savoring it slowly. I am linking up with her and others to tell you what we learned this month. Check out all our collected wisdom here.

What have you learned recently?

enjoy life…