A Netflix List Ramble

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I saw an article about the 50 Best TV Series on Netflix a while back and decided I’d compare the list with my own viewing history and use it to start deciding on new things to watch. What does this have to do with running? Nothing. But I’m not marathon training anymore…  so I have more time to watch TV? Okay, not really… I have the same amount of time because most of the time when I watch old episodes of TV it’s while I’m working and I frequently miss out on lots of the story because I use it as background noise to compensate for the fact that I don’t go into an office each day. And other times that I would have been running (aka 4AM) I think I’ll use for some sleep for a while.

I should use some of the time I’m not running to clear up my inbox. It’s out of control, but I don’t want to. It’s not fun. I’m still debating the direction of this site. In the early days of JillWillRun.com (2008) this site was all about training for a marathon with Team in Training. I made new friends and was part of a running blogger community, several of those people are still some of my most favorite people! As my running obsession grew, I started to post reviews on things I purchased just because I felt like it. Writing was fun and it felt natural.

Then I shared my decision to enter into eating disorder treatment. I wouldn’t call myself an “ED blogger” but I do advocate for positive body image messages, and that falls firmly within my definition of being healthy so it was kind of a natural addition to the site. Running and healthy living and body positivity.

Next I chronicled my years as a running coach with the Team Challenge organization and all the fun that came with that. (Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about Team Challenge!) I started receiving review products for free more frequently and I felt honored that companies reached out to me. I still had a fun community of people on this site and everything here was all fun.

Next up came pregnancy/having a baby and my time became more of a commodity. At the same time the influx of pitches coming into my inbox increased massively. I accept maybe 10% of what comes to me and I ignore anything that comes to “Dear Ms Jill Blogger” – if they can’t be bothered to find out more about my site, I can’t be bothered with their pitch. Many pitches come with the offer “for pictures of this product, write back.” I don’t work for pictures… and posting about all of these things in some ways is work. Even if my income doesn’t come from this site (I have a full-time career and the money I do get from this site would leave me homeless if I had to live off it.), taking the time to test and write a review on something takes time. And there are days it is less fun to run this site. Looking at my inbox usually invokes the “less fun” feeling.

My comments dropped and I don’t feel as much of a community here, yet my traffic increases and the pitches keep coming. But I also feel I’ve lost a little bit of “Jill” in all this. I started blogging in 2001 when I needed to do something to fill the hole that was occupied by my wedding website. (Yes, I had a wedding website way before it was considered semi-normal to do so. I was Super-geek-girl and I loved it!) Blogging was something I read about in tech magazines and I did it as a geek thing, after figuring out that I was already doing a form of blogging anyway… I just didn’t have a database engine behind it as blogs now do!

My former blog site is still out there, mostly stagnant. There are days I think I’d like to merge that one with this site, injecting more of my personal stories/anecdotes/observations into this site. There are days I think I should take this old school and write strictly about running. There are days I think I’ll just shut it down. But I can’t… I’d miss it and feel the void. Writing is my creative outlet, even when it’s really bad writing. But then… there is a void with this site right now. It’s not completely what I want.

Netflix

So anyway… I saw an article about the 50 Best TV Series on Netflix a while back and decided I’d compare the list with my own viewing history and use it to start deciding on new things to watch.

  1. Breaking Bad: Never seen it, it’s next to watch with my husband
  2. Freaks and Geeks/Undeclared: Never seen it (er… them)
  3. Louie: Never seen it
  4. Friday Night Lights: Never seen it
  5. Sherlock: Never seen it
  6. Arrested Development: Seen the first few episodes
  7. Friends: Seen most episodes, if not all, in real-time and re-runs
  8. Archer: Never seen it
  9. Mad Men: Never seen it
  10. Orange is the New Black: Watched most of season 1, got tired of it
  11. Scrubs: Seen lots of episodes, never in order
  12. 30 Rock: Seen them all, mostly real time
  13. The X-Files: Never got into it when it was airing
  14. Gilmore Girls: Just finished watching it on Netflix because of this list
  15. West Wing: Never seen it
  16. Doctor Who: Never seen it
  17. Firefly: Never seen it
  18. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Watched first couple seasons on Netflix a few years back
  19. Luther: Never heard of it
  20. The Office: Watched it all, some episodes multiple times. Fantastic show!
  21. Peaky Blinders: Never heard of it
  22. Parks and Recreation: Never seen it
  23. Black Mirror: Seen heard of it
  24. Bob’s Burgers: Never seen it
  25. Better Off Ted: Never heard of it
  26. Terriers: Never head of it
  27. The Walking Dead: Watching it now with my husband, I love it
  28. House of Cards: Never seen it
  29. Raising Hope: Watched it real time
  30. The Wonder Years: Watched it real time when I felt like catching an episode
  31. Parenthood: Watched it real time on Hulu
  32. Lost: Watched it mostly real-time
  33. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Watched everything on Netflix, loved it. Should have recorded season 10 on DVR!
  34. The New Girl: Saw the first couple episodes, didn’t stick with it
  35. Portlandia: Never seen it
  36. How I Met Your Mother: Watched it all real time
  37. Alias: Seen them all, have DVD boxed sets for seasons 1-3
  38. Family Guy: Seen lots of episodes, some more than others
  39. Quantum Leap: Never seen it
  40. Cheers: Have seen lots of episodes, absolutely not in order
  41. Dexter: Never seen it
  42. Damages: Never seen it
  43. Psych: Never seen it
  44. Fringe: Watched the series in real time, recorded each week on my DVR
  45. Top of the Lake: Never heard of it
  46. Arrow: Never seen it
  47. Scandal: Never seen it
  48. The League: Never seen it
  49. Sons of Anarchy: I actually kind of watched half of the first season, but just stopped for some reason
  50. Broadchurch: Never even heard of it

As I mention, I watched the show Gilmore Girls due to this list and I have thoughts on it… a whole blog post rattling around in my head. It’s the type of post that I’d just dump on my old site without thinking. I want to write it, so I shall write it. But now I think, “Will anyone want to read this? Would this upset people if it’s on this running/healthy living site? Will all those companies who send me stuff dislike this? Do I care?”

So while I watch TV shows and ponder what direction this site is going to go, I’ll leave you with this: What shows have you watched on this list and would recommend and/or discourage?



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Freak Out: Commence Now

So…. these past few months have been really really trying for me at work. Lots of big projects and changes have kept my brain capacity and stress level at max. And last Friday was kind of the culmination of it all. Big project launched and the next few weeks will be monitor/maintenance/upkeep but the stress should be greatly diminished. So now that my brain has a little space for something else to take center stage…

OH MY! I AM RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON WITH TEAM STONYFIELD IN ONE WEEK!!!!!

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This is the point where I start to over-think the event:

  • Uh… what am I going to wear?*
  • What’s the weather looking like now? How about now? And now?
  • What am I going to eat?
  • How do I get around Boston?
  • I’m going to miss my baby!
  • Will the kiddo be mad at me for being gone so long?
  • I totally got this.
  • What am I doing? I can’t do this!
  • This is the biggest and best opportunity EVAH!
  • What was I thinking?
  • Seriously… what should I wear?
  • Am I going to be cold?
  • Oh… is it going to be humid? I don’t deal with humidity, I live in the desert!
  • Boston is 3 hours different from my time zone. Oh noes!

I love my cute shirt from Run Far Girl that is at the top of this post and I’m totally going to wear that on my flight home the day after the race! If you want to get your hands on one of those you can do so through her shop, and any purchases of blue/yellow (Boston colors) gear on the shop through April 20 gets 20% donated to Girls on the Run.

I know I’m going to feel guilty for being gone.

The panic is real people…

*I do have a tank to wear from Stonyfield… it is super cute. And I’ve been training in Fabletics capris assuming I’d wear them. But I question if I should wear a shirt under my tank or if arm warmers will be sufficient.

My #teamstonyfield jersey just arrived!!! #bostonmarathon #AwesomeA

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

It’s a Hard Taper

ta·per 1. diminish or reduce 2. the training phase right before a long distance event, such as a marathon, when a runner starts to cut back on his or her mileage.

I ran a grand total of 2 times last week. 10 measly miles. Wait! No…. it was only 9 miles. During the taper you are supposed to cut back on your mileage, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be 60 to 0 (or 45 to 9, as it may have been) in one week… it’s usually a little more gradual than that.

I had thought I was going to run about 28-30 miles last week, but life got in the way. I don’t talk about the specifics of where I work on my site, but in my day job I work (more than*) full-time as a “Director of Web Services” and we are supposed to be launching a new site this week. So last week was filled with tons of calls and meetings to get ready for this week. I worked early in the morning to get tasks done before my daughter woke up and I was testing things on my iPhone and iPad while playing with her in the evenings. Combined with the fact that I was just exhausted all week, I only made it out to run twice during the work week.

Then we had visitors on Saturday morning and I didn’t want to traipse all over them before dawn. Sunday I set my alarm for 4 am to go run before #AwesomeA woke up to see what the Easter Bunny had left behind; but I must have just turned that alarm off and went back to sleep because around 6 my husband poked me and said, “You didn’t go run.”

Ooops…

This week holds more stress. Our new site is supposed to launch on Friday, but when you work with a team of people and several of these people have failed to get things to you by deadlines… you gotta make it work somehow, especially when you’ve basically been told “You have no choice in this launch, it doesn’t matter if you have to work all hours of the day and night to make it happen, it will happen.” And we combine that with the fact that I am essentially a single parent from January until May because my husband works stupid-long hours… it’s a challenge. My heart races just thinking about it.

But on the flipside, I really want the site to launch by the end of this week, so I have the weekend and early days next week for follow-up troubleshooting. Because I definitely don’t want to carry that into Boston with me for the marathon.

AAAAAAAGH!!!

So while I try to pace my brain and wish that all of my meditation attempts had stuck, I’m going to leave you with the joy of a two-year-old experiencing Easter.

“How ’bout eggs?” #AwesomeA

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

*When you telecommute and live in your work, it’s so easy to just do that “one last task” at odd hours. And with our world of convenient technology, it’s sadly gotten to a point that instead of making life easier, it’s making it so I feel more betrothed to the job. You will work the standard 8-5 (or 7-4 as in my case) PLUS you’ll respond to emails/texts/calls around the clock.

Friday Fete

Yesterday I drove to Utah for work, a nearly 200 mile drive each way. My kid woke up exactly 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, so I was up at 3:30 trying to calm her down. Then it was pointless going back to sleep, so I just got ready and then I started my drive. And realized when it was too late to turn around if I was still going to make my 8:30 AM meeting… I forgot my wallet. And suddenly I felt so vulnerable. No license, no credit cards… Fortunately my mommy works with me (for a little longer until she retires this summer – Boo for me and everyone at work, Yay for her!) and she was able to help me out. I had meetings, I was a guest lecturer and I drove home still in time to pick #AwesomeA up from school… but we couldn’t go directly to a park. I was in dress clothes and my work shoes had been munching up my Achilles tendon all day. I needed to go home and bandage those up!

Some random thoughts floating through my head as I drove…

I love peanut M&M’s… I mean, I REALLY love them. I lived 34 years of my life thinking “Peanut M&M’s… they’re tasty enough to eat a couple sometimes.” And then for the past 2.5 years my thinking became “Peanut M&M’s are the best thing in the whole world. I NEED them now!” I wonder if having a kid had something to do with my addiction surge? Like the way some mothers use wine to make it through?

peanut-m-m

I recently finished the book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. It was well-written, easy to read… but I’m starting to think that maybe I shouldn’t read any books that have anything to do with parenting.

  • One, it made me really nervous about the teen years (and my kid is two! I have a way to go here!)
  • Two, it made me discredit the book when I read the teen year info. What do you mean they can’t think about future ramifications of their actions?! That’s all I thought about when I was a teen!
  • Three, it made my resentment toward my husband increase. It discusses how most men say they split childcare duties 50/50 with their wives but research shows that it’s actually more weighted to women doing the work. (Like 60/40 or something, I don’t recall the exact numbers.) And all I could think was “Who are these men doing 40% of the childcare?!” Because… the vast load of childcare falls to me in my household and I frequently look at it as a 95/5 split! Maybe 90/10 if I’m having a pleasant day!

But it was interesting how modern parenting has changed. Compared to my grandmother’s time, when women didn’t work as much to now… parents actually spend more time one-on-one with their kids. We live in a world where we can’t just say “Go outside to play and don’t come back until it’s dark.” like was possible in the past. So now we stress ourselves out with making sure that we’re super employees and super parents, thus we’re not having any fun despite thinking our children are our greatest joys. (And yeah… #AwesomeA is pretty much the best thing in my life… while also the hardest thing in my life!)

The author did a TED talk, if you’d rather just spare 18 minutes on the subject as opposed to the whole book:

I also read The Girl on the Train. At least in that book I didn’t find myself comparing my domestic life to the ones in the book. But I’ve decided I’m tired of book reviews saying “It’s the next Gone Girl!” No… it’s not. There is only one of those and that’s the way it should be. It was a good book, but I think that led me to think it would be more explosive than it was thus leaving the book to feel a little like a let down. But if I hadn’t been given that pre-conceived expectation, I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.

I’m ready to taper. Next week… my taper starts. I don’t think I’ll even have any taper madness. I’m just looking forward to it! I’m going to throw a taper party. No I’m not… I don’t throw parties. But I’m going to be relieved! This tweet made me feel better about my current level of exhaustion:

Balance: Is this a real thing?

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This month Stonyfield wanted those of us on Team Stonyfield to talk about how we balance everything as we train for the Boston Marathon. And I gotta say… some days I feel like the whole idea of having balance in your life is a myth. Like a unicorn.*

There are days where I feel like the wheels are turning and I’ve got it all going smoothly.

  • Get up early and run 8 miles before work. CHECK
  • Shower and eat. CHECK
  • Get the kid dressed with no battles. CHECK
  • Food in the kid. CHECK
  • Productive day of work. CHECK
  • Take the kid to a park and have a lot of fun. CHECK
  • Make dinner that the kid eats cheerfully. CHECK
  • Give the kid a bath and get her in jammies with smiles. CHECK
  • Bed time with hugs and kisses and stories and cuddles. CHECK
  • Make the kid her lunch for the following day. CHECK
  • Husband is home in time to watch The Walking Dead on Netflix with me. CHECK

But then we have days that feel more like this:

  • Get up super early to run, as I’m on my way out the door I hear a wail, “Mommy…. I need you.” Soothe the kid, get her back to sleep and go run half my planned distance.
  • Get home, kid is waking up and crying. Go into her room and she is happy until I tell her she needs to get her uniform on, then we have a meltdown.
  • Kid is finally dressed, take her downstairs to get breakfast and she refuses everything. Instead she just wants to watch videos on the iPad, which isn’t allowed before school.
  • Strap the kid into her carseat so husband can drive her to school, go back inside and realize I am a good 45 minutes late for work, still gross from my run and haven’t eaten. Grab something simple to nosh and sit at my desk. Go take a shower when my co-workers are usually going on break.
  • Every project at work decides to take a left-turn on direction. Months of work is kind of thrown aside like it was nothing. Finish the work day feeling like I want to scream.
  • Pick the kid up from school. Go play at a park, but the park I take her to is the wrong one so she’s not happy.
  • Kid doesn’t eat anything for dinner.
  • Kid won’t read stories. Jammies are all wrong. The blankets are all wrong in her bed. There are no happy faces when the kid goes to sleep, an hour past bedtime.
  • Husband strolls in from work about 10 minutes after the battles have subsided, getting to miss it all.
  • I go to bed annoyed at everything then toss/turn all night long.

So is the simple fact that I get up each day and do it all again and hope for scenario number one “balance”? I guess so…  I just need to keep in mind that when there are the frustrating moments, “it is what it is” and “this too shall pass” and “days are long but years are short.” Are there other cliches that are applicable? Because I certainly don’t ever feel like I’ve got a balance going, I feel like I’m just careening through the days, mostly out of control.

It’s been an adventure training for the Boston Marathon, that’s for sure. I’m thrilled that I get this opportunity (Thank you Stonyfield… every day, Thank you so much!), but I have decided that I am not going to do anymore races that are out of town in the months of January-May as long as my husband is still in public accounting.

*Speaking of unicorns… my daughter started saying yesterday she wanted to “go to the unicorns” and she almost cried this morning when she asked if she could go to the unicorns instead of school. So I promised her a “unicorn adventure” after school… trying to figure that all out while I work. Wish me luck!

Oh… and while searching for unicorn stuff online for this “unicorn adventure” I stumbled upon this picture and it reminded me of when my daughter turned me into a potato and then I laughed! So… the fact that I can still laugh, that’s balance?

unitato

Kid Day

Yesterday, this happened:

Just had to share… she’s learned the joy and excitement of new running shoes a lot younger than I did! :-)

Today I had to take the day off work because my daughter’s school was closed for parent-teacher conferences. (BTW – she’s brilliant and has “mastered” everything at school!) There was no discussion about who would take the day off, there never is. It’s just always assumed that I will. It’s a good thing that the massive work projects are delayed a couple of weeks, not because I’m failing on any of my parts in the project. I always have my tasks done on time!

But school closed = no kid care. So I’m hanging out with #AwesomeA today. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done some work today, responding to emails all day and assigning tasks/approving things while playing at the park and actually sitting down with my computer while she watched some kids music videos for an hour as “quiet time.” But we’ve been to a couple different parks today, had lunch with a friend of mine where “A” got to have an ice cream cone for the first time. (Jason’s Deli… you rock for having tiny cones!)

The next couple weeks may be my undoing though! Marathon training is peaking, work projects will be peaking, my daughter’s school has a week where there is no school for spring break so she’s enrolled in spring camp for the week, but that’s just 6 hours a day, and my perennially busy spousal work schedule… my head may implode. I actually bought these from Swanson’s Vitamins:

Swanson's Stress Burnout & Exhaustion Relief

I hope they do something to help me, because truthfully… my heart starts to race when I think about everything I have on my plate and I feel my chest start to constrict.

But aside from feeling anxiety about missing out on stuff, I do enjoy having time with my daughter. She wanted to go buy nail polish and paint her nails. We bought this blue nail polish by Sally Hansen that she picked out herself… after I directed her to those Insta-dri ones because it’s impossible to get a 2-year-old to sit still long enough to let nail polish dry.

And aside from the fact that I haven’t been able to figure out how to appease her constant request today for “frogs riding bicycles” – it’s been a pretty chill day. I decided I wasn’t going to do any household chores, so no laundry or grocery shopping. Just hanging out and playing with her (with little spurts of work inserted throughout the day!) and that’s been good.

I’m a Potato!

Being a potato sounds so nice right now… you just lie there, until someone mashes you up. Or roasts you. Or bakes you…. Wait, that is what work is like now. Except you just sit there and voice your opinions until someone mashes or roasts or bakes them. But then they try to form the original idea back into a potato, so it becomes twice-baked? This is one messed up metaphor. Maybe it’s my brain that is a potato now.

Sigh…

Also… why did my kid decide she was turning me into a potato? Of all the things to turn someone into, why a tuber? That cracked me up!

a potato

Friday Fête

Well… I’m off to a race this weekend! The following text was all written when I thought I was going to a race… I actually started on my way to the race. But my kid puked in the car twice within 30 minutes of home and I knew I couldn’t handle at least 2 more hours in the car with that on my own. So… like I said, what follows was all written when I THOUGHT was leaving town to run a race. But once you read the final lines of this post, they feel even more important to me now!


I’m super excited to run the Zion Half Marathon this weekend (it will be good for me to practice pacing myself in a race environment, since marathon pace is not the same as half marathon pace) and experience the event once more. This was the first half marathon I ran postpartum, when #AwesomeA was 6.5 months old. Now she’s 2.5 years-old and life is a whole lot different!

2013 Zion Half Marathon - Alex and Mommy

Throwback pick to the 2013 Zion Half marathon, one of my favorite race related photos EVER! #AwesomeA is almost 7-months-old here.

When I did the race in 2013 I was a stressed out mess because I forgot a part for my pump, so I had to wake my baby up and feed her before I left and then hope she was all good when I finished. She was sooooo hungry when I finished and I felt like a selfish jerk.

This year, at least I don’t have that worry, but I have all new stressors. I’m driving north to my mother’s house in Utah, “A” and I will stay there overnight and then I’ll wake up at some insane hour in the morning to drive an hour to the start line. Then I’ll do the race, catch a shuttle back to my car and drive back north to my mom’s place so I can get my kid and then drive back home. I just stress because I have so much work to do (seriously, this site gets pushed further and further down my priority list because… well, it has to. It’s not my job and it’s not my family!) and I thought I would have to take today away from work to drive to packet pick-up, but they are offering that at the start line race morning. But my mom had plans tomorrow and her husband had surgery yesterday, so I felt like an imposition asking them to watch my rambunctious little girl. I am sure it will be okay and they are excited to see us, I just hate feeling this overwhelmed.

Fortunately I was able to still send my kid to school today and I was able to get a lot of work done this morning (probably because the rest of my co-workers are OFF today for a holiday… so I had gloriously uninterrupted time to be productive). And now I need to go fill my car up with gas, make some sandwiches for the road and double-check that I have everything I need packed up.

Hope you have fun plans for the weekend! And that you aren’t as stressed as me.

Remind me to not do races January-May in the future, okay? And tell my work to not decide to do huge projects during this time period when I’ve signed up for races too, okay?

Run Run Head Games

This weekend I had a dreadful run. Like, just really really awful where I don’t want to get into the gory specifics… but it’s one of those runs where you’re passing a construction zone and think, “I could totally hop that fence to get to that porta potty.” And where you end up with chafe wounds, despite using some kind of product to prevent that type of injury. And where you feel completely depleted emotionally and can’t bear to go on any more, so your planned 18-19 miles turned into 10. And where you may have cried a little in frustration.

This run sucked! Oh well… Another day, another time. #shoeselfie #runselfie #teamstonyfield

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

And this kind of run, combined with the previous week of zero running because of a sick kid and a sick myself, starts messing with your brain. “Why am I doing this? Why was I even selected for this journey? I so don’t belong on the team with these other amazing women. I was a wee baby of 29-30 last time I ran this distance. Now I’m so old* and just can’t do all of this now.”

*I’m not old.

I feel like I’m failing at training, I feel like I’m failing at being a mother, I feel overwhelmed by stupid decisions at work, I feel unsupported in daily life and I’m just tired. Basically, to use a direct quote from my 2-year-old… “I have too much in my hands.” Except in my case, it’s that I have too much in my brain.

I start to compare myself to the other ladies on Team Stonyfield and wonder why on earth I was selected to be with them. But then, we all bring slightly different perspectives to the training. Mine is that of the woman with a 2-year-old kid, a busy more-than-full-time job with completely unrealistic deadlines right now, a spouse that works a bazillion hours from January to May, trying to train for a race distance that bested her and forced her to face her eating disorder once upon a time. And in looking at my teammates blogs, they all have their own issues that crop up and play head games with them too.

But there are good things to remember:

Despite the terrible run and feeling kind of beat up, I actually did feel like I could have kept going to complete those remaining miles… assuming I hadn’t been bleeding from open sores on my back and running on complete empty from being sick.

I finally booked my flights for Boston!

Cute AND comfortable new compression socks from Lily Trotters!

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I basically “paid” for some other woman’s yogurt at the grocery store the other day because I saw her looking at the Stonyfield yogurts and gave her a coupon for a free big container of greek yogurt. Share the love!

My kid is freakin’ awesome… and no matter how hard things are when taking care of a kid, my heart melts a little with all the cute things she says and does. For a woman who loathed her entire pregnancy and didn’t want to have a kid, I sure have turned into a sap when it comes to her.

A photo posted by Jill (@jillwillrun) on

2015 New Year Crap: Hobbies

It’s a New Year and I’m not unique in that, just like everyone else, I’m pondering my future and what kind of changes I’d like to make. Right now I envision multiple posts on the subject, but I haven’t hashed that out fully in my mind. So don’t hold me to that.

But to start off, a friend shared this on Facebook and I liked it:

Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, one to be creativeHobby That Makes You Money

My hobby that makes me money is web development. It was my hobby when I first started building web pages back in 1994, then I turned it into my career in 2001. However, doing freelance web development does NOT make me happy. I can’t do a full-time job and take on all kinds of freelance work, while still maintaining time to take care of my daughter and my own sanity. I feel guilty for turning people down, whenever someone asks me to do something I spend days laboring over the idea. I’ve got such a request in my inbox right now, a project that would be a fun site to build but the actual time to devote to it might burn me out. I gotta weigh these things more. In the actual career, I’ve felt burnt out and I don’t want to feel that way anymore. I don’t foresee any career changes for several years… my telecommuting gig just works well for being a mother. Her school is close to home so I can run over to get her or drop something off as needed fairly quickly and my longevity with the job allows me some flexibility to take days off easily if I need to due to child illness. But I’m sick of feeling out of control in my job. This year, I’m taking back my control. Of my voice, my creativity and my team. Without turning into a control freak!

Hobby to Keep you in Shape

Running… straight up. I love to run, I love learning about new running technologies and innovations and science. I love running news and articles and books. Running keeps me in shape physically. But when I start to let it get in my head and tell me that I’m not fast enough or that I’m not built like a runner (these are both bogus claims, BTW) it gets to a place that takes me out of “mental shape” – if that’s a thing. I’m not going to beat myself up over paces this year, I just want to run for the enjoyment. Sure, I may try to do a little more speedwork this year, but I think I will do it more on rate of perceived effort, or lactate threshold (my BSX Insight should help with this when I get it) or even heart rate.

Hobby to be Creative

I like writing… that’s why I can’t quit blogging. Sure, I’ve enjoyed not having to write the past couple weeks over the holidays. But I feel the need to write out my thoughts. When I was a kid I thought I wanted to be an author. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll write a book… but a blog-to-book thing for me seems like it would be highly improbable and slightly boring. But I’ve been writing a blog since 2001… It’s basically a part of who I am now. However, I’ve had so many pitches coming to me and I feel so many deadlines from people that it feels like a chore, not an enjoyable and creative outlet. So I need to be more selective. I will still review products that are sent to me or that I purchase myself. But I am not going to let someone who sent me a $7 product badger me repeatedly to get something posted about their product. I mean, to test and then write about something takes more than an hour. Even if the testing might come during the course of a run I’d do anyway, I take my mind to a place to evaluate the product. And then I end up “working” for people for essentially nothing. I’m worth more than that. And all of you who take the time to visit my site are worth more than a half-assed review on so many products that I can’t keep them straight!

Do you have three hobbies that fit those categories? What are they? I think I could stand to have more hobbies too, just for my mental health!