Friends Make Adventures Even Better

 

Once in awhile I will go through my Facebook pictures and look at everything I have done over the course of the last few years and as I did that tonight it dawned on me that I have one hellova support group and adventure team!

It amazes me how different of a person I am now. Sure, I went on vacations with my family, or did some sporting events with the kids, or even an occasional meal with a friend, but I wasn’t a social butterfly. **I think I have made mention to this in a past blog.

Anywho, over the past couple of years I have lived by the motto “nothing cool happens within your comfort zone” and I have truly embraced that.

To be fair, some of my adventures have been non-physical, but they are adventures none the less. When you spend an evening revealing your inner most fears, or sharing stories of your past that still haunt you and bring tears to your eyes – that is still personal growth… and what is personal growth if not an adventure into a new and better you???

Since hanging with these gals I have gone to a Masquerade Ball for Halloween, gone swimming at the drop of a hat, spent a weekend in Florida just because,  been front row at a Joan Jett concert, bunked up for a week long work trip, walked two miles in a Wonder Woman costume, hiked Turkey Run, hiked Plainfield parks, had numerous laughs, numerous meals, and numerous heart to hearts.

These girls brought me out of the comfort zone in their own little way, and I hope some day I can help them the way they have helped me. I have seen several times in my life where females look down, and put down their fellow women. What is the point? What is actually gained by that? The answer is simple – NOTHING.  These ladies need to be celebrated, so that is what I am doing.  This blog is about the good, the bad, and the ugly of #becomingabetterme and maybe sometimes I don’t praise those around me enough… especially when they are the ones who inspire me to do more, and continue on this journey. So here’s to you – Angel, Kait, Jennifer, Jami, and MiMi (ok, Mindi) – Cheers! Love you all, and look forward to so many many more adventures!

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Getting out the Trail Shoes Again

 

22135498_10213809396449702_651359093594914708_oAs a Hoosier there is nothing better than seeing the leaves change and knowing that sweatshirts and caramel apples are upon us… unless you like adventure – then there is something better!

Yesterday Angel and I put on our (underused) Salomons and went for a hike at Turkey Run State Park. There are trails there that range from .4 miles up to 2 miles, and then go from easy to rugged. As Spartan Chicks we were not going to let those easy and .4 milers be our day!  Trails #3 and #4 were the moderate/rugged to rugged as well as the longest ones, so that was what we did.

I have said in passing that the last year has been crazy – even stressful, but being out there yesterday made me remember that there is so much more to life than just working. Yes, what I was doing was important, of that I am sure – but what I lost sight of was how important I am.  I spent far too much time in the gym losing those 40 lbs and gaining self esteem, to let it fall by the wayside.

When I did the first Spartan it was 3500 stadium stairs (which completely explains my hatred for stairs) and in the second one, my toes and socks were all wet – well, as I was hiking yesterday I laughed at the fact that I spent so much money to do out of state what I could do right here in Indy, and at my own pace! I know it is all about the medal and the shirt at the end, but I felt just as accomplished yesterday as I did both of the days  I got my medals.

Anywho, back to the hike…

We climbs hundreds of stairs, we went down hundreds of more steps, we climbed over down trees, we walked through water, we did it all! The best part of everything  was the company. More than the caramel apples, more than the comfy sweatshirts, more than the leaves in the fall, there is nothing more soothing than just walking in the woods on a Sunday with your best friend.

These are the moments where #becomingabetterme mean the most and #movingforward the most rewarding.

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I Don’t Know!

FullSizeR (3)Have I mentioned my job change lately?  Yeah, I believe I have… and with all new jobs, there is always a learning curve, but tonight was WAAYYY different.

Let me start by saying, I have been in housing for 10 years, and in those 10 years have just constantly added to my knowledge base.

Tax Credit, got it. HOME, got it. AHP, got it. Section 8, got it. CoC, got it. HUDVash, got it. I have just taken each section and built on it.  Never at any point did I ever feel like I was completely learning something new. Just built further on what I already knew.

Now that I am in a totally different arena within the housing industry I am reminded what it is like to not be 100% aware of what I am doing, and this is territory I am not used to!

I do not mean to sound conceited, I promise! I just remember rules and am good with detail, and as I have said since I found myself in housing, “Housing is either in your blood or its not… and it is in mine!”

Tonight had me way out of my comfort zone. I was seriously at a loss. This branch of housing has a lot to do with legal jargon and understanding of bylaws, covenants, and voting quorums. Every question for the first 20 mins, and then every 5 mins for the rest of the 2 hour meeting was about the legal side of things.

I had to step back, recognize my shortcoming, and ask for help… and thank goodness I had something with me that could handle what was being thrown at us.

As I have spent several of those 10 years training and assisting others, I have received compliments like, “I hope I know as much about housing as you do at some point.” Or, “Ask Heather-pedia, she knows housing!” and I really never thought anything of it, until I looked at my coworker tonight and thought, “I cant wait until I get to that point.”

I know this isn’t my traditional style post, but I do kind of have a moral to this story… I felt so out of my element, but it is ok to not know. It is ok to ask for help. It is ok to have a new knowledge goal – just like a physical goal. It is just one step in #becomingabetterme, and I will continue to exercise my brain and one day I will reach that goal too!

Venturing Out: A Walk in the City

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As I sit here and type this I cant help but to chuckle at myself. A walk. A simple little walk and I have my arm flexed over my shoulder happily patting myself on the back. Half in seriousness, half in jest.

Today I got to a spot in my day where I could take a break so I messaged a friend and asked if they would like to grab lunch. I knew getting fresh air would probably do us both good, so I thought it was worth a try. Surprisingly the answer was YES and we agreed on the Living Room Lounge. Nothing special, but they have decent food and decent seating and the distance was not too bad either.

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As I started walking to the door I found myself having a bit of an internal struggle: do I walk the quarter mile to my car and then drive the half mile to lunch, or do I risk going on foot and possibly being late? Lots of questions went through my head…

what if I get tired on the way there? (BRAIN-drive)

what if there is no parking? (BRAIN-walk)

what if I get a blister from these shoes? (BRAIN-drive)

what if it turns out to be a waste of gas? (BRAIN-walk)

I started to look like the duck that you shoot at the county fairs, and I was getting dizzy walking back and forth in front of the door!

I made the executive decision to just hoof it! Yup, I was going to walk the half mile there and hope I wasn’t late! SIDE NOTE: I have been going to the gym for what, two plus years now, and I know that my directions telling me it was a 12 min walk was incorrect! If I can whoop out a mile in less than 20, I can sure get a half in less than 12!

Anywho, I did it. I met my friend for lunch (even beat them there), and had a great time. (Thank you again, Friend… if you are reading this)

The walk back was just about the same…an easygoing, beautiful day in Indy, and I loved it.

So now I am sure you are thinking, “OK Heather, where is the great moral or even small point to this interesting story?” The point is simple… especially if you have met me… I stepped even further out of my comfort zone! I walked almost a mile to and from lunch during the week! For me that was another obstacle in my life. Venturing out when I was on a schedule and couldn’t just flop down after it was over! Going it alone! Doing something that felt a little scary, but still so very right.

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I know it is small potatoes to a lot of people… maybe even you… but when I was standing at the cross walk looking at my building, I felt something I haven’t really felt in awhile – I felt proud of me.  It has been a minute since I did something that I can truly say is part of the journey of #becomingabetterme, but this was definitely a good something.

Hello April – Log Blog

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As I have posted already, April has been a trying month for me. A really trying month, but for every rain cloud there is a silver lining, right? That lining was how many miles I actually get to tell you about.

I am going to log this one kind of the same way I did the last one. There aren’t any treadmill or bike miles, and I never stopped to count the difference in my stair climbing, so they are all “Life” miles.

Here goes:

Sat 4/1 – 3.49 TOTAL: 3.49

4/2 1.78, 4/3 2.01, 4/4 2.13, 4/5 3.12, 4/6 1.92 4/7 2.77 Sat 4/8 1.38 TOTAL 15.11

4/9 1.93, 4/10 2.34, 4/11 2.27, 4/12 2.53, 4/13 1.49, 4/14 2.78, Sat 4/15 1.09 TOTAL 14.43

4/16 1.63, 4/17 3.03, 4/18 3.17, 4/19 3.14, 4/20 3.29, 4/21 3.68, Sat 4/22 2.71 TOTAL 20.66

4/23 .95, 4/24 3.82, 4/25 3.84, 4/26 3.07, 4/27 3.41, 4/28 3.17, Sat 4/29 2.19 TOTAL 20.45

4/30 2.34 TOTAL 2.34

And the drum roll please ….  *insert drum roll sound* … a grand total of 76.48 miles for the month of April!! HOLY COW!!!! I knew I had put in the steps and saw the numbers getting bigger, but it was not until I really started doing the math that I started to become more wide eyed about it!

Thinking that once I get this schedule figured out, and am working in Indy again, that I should up my planned miles from 50 to like 65! Even if I don’t, I will still be able to say that I have walked over 500 miles in 2017… I got this!

When Life Gives You Lemons… or However That Goes

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I do not know exactly how this is going to turn out because honestly, I have so many things swimming in my head that I do not know where to begin.

After stepping off of the boat from the cruise I found out that everything at work had gone HAYWIRE. I am not going to go into any details, but trust me, it was not good.

When you are the Director of Property Operations, and a property isn’t operating, its up to you to deal with it… whether I liked it or not, it was the only option, I was going to be going to Kokomo (an hour and a half away from my house) to handle the problem.

I wont bore you with compliance details or info on what Low Income Housing Tax Credit is, but since that is the core of my job, I had to take care of it because losing money at a nonprofit is not an option.

Going into the property knowing I had less than 20 days to get an specific number of residents was a heavy load to carry. I knew that I would be able to get the applications –  it was just the processing and the moving in that I was concerned about. Sure 20 days seems like a long time, but when you only have nine days to sign the leases, the 20 is cut down rather quickly. Truly, sincerely, legitimately scared I was not going to be able to make it happen. I do not think I have ever been so stressed in my life and being away from home, in a strange town just added to it.IMG_3327

Since my blog always has something about gym therapy or working out the stress with exercise, I feel like I should add that in as well. Working from 8am until 10pm some days left little time to sweat out my emotions, until I realized how many stairs there were in the building. At the end of a rough day (again sometimes at 10pm) I would put on my tennies and just walk the stairs. Over the course of 13 business days I was at the property I would get in over 3 miles a day. I wish my Garmin counted the actual flights of stairs, rather than just plan steps taken, because I know I went up and down those things at least 50 times! It was not enough to work out the stress, but it did take the edge off.

Going back to the problem I was facing: how was I going to accomplish this goal???? What the EPH was I going to do?!?!

The answer turned out to be – JUST DO IT! More than that, do IT – and then some. FullSizeR

Now, instead of being behind and worrying about whether we could make it all happen, I am ahead of the game. Still have a long way to go, still have to be away from my family, but trying to do right by the people we serve, make a difference in the community, and support my organization.

Is it hard, hell yes its hard! Have I cried, hell yes I have! Will I break down again? I am sure of it… but I am not a quitter and failure is not an option.

Walking on Water, Vacation at Sea

DSCN2253.JPGAs promised, I am writing a blog about the last week of March – aka CRUISE!!!!

 

When we went on the cruise in 2015 I decided not to take my Garmin with me, but after walking back and forth from the Lido deck (10th floor, and where the food and pools were) to the room (2nd floor at the front of the ship) I realized there was a lot of walking. After that experience I decided that I would make it a point to take it on this cruise, and I did…

From the very beginning of Sunday (3/26) we were walking. From the lines to the boat were really put in the steps for what was actually just a half day of “cruising”. Once the boat pulled away from the dock we walked to the Lido deck to get a snack, then back to the room to unpack, then to the dinning hall (which was on the back side of the boat as well), to the Encore Theatre for the safety briefing and then up to the Serenity Deck looking at the stars. When we went to bed that night, I took my Garmin off – I racked up 3.07miles! I was floored. I knew there had been a lot going on, but 3 miles worth, didn’t believe it. So I chalked it up to the lines and the activities and decided that with Monday being the first day at sea would be my indicator on an accurate number of steps, so I went to sleep and called it a night. Day 1: 3.07 miles

Monday (3/27) morning before rolling out of bed I put the Garmin back on. To the Lido deck for breakfast, to the coffee shop for real coffee (side note: the coffee on the boat really sucked) to the casino, to the room, to trivia, back to the Lido deck, to the room, to dinner, to the comedy show… back to the Serenity deck for the more star gazing. It was a full day. Definitely a full day. At around 10:30 we decided to call it a day and went back to the room for bed. I looked at my Garmin and 4.09miles. WHATTHE??!!?? Day 2: 4:09miles

Tuesday (3/28) was another sea day. This day I decided to do a little walking. This time on purpose. After Lido for breakfast and coffee house for coffee, we walked the whole Deck 5. This has a really cool outside deck that goes all the way around the ship. Made that trek twice. Then off to do more adventuring.  Trivia, casino, food, the room, the front of the boat… yes, I said, “I’m king of the world!” at least once, music in the main lobby, drinks, dinner, fun, and more walking Deck 5… it was truly a great day. The end of the night and I checked my Garmin and damn, 4.63 miles! I really started to see a pattern! Day 3: 4.63 miles.

Wednesday (3/29) was out port in Jamaica, we went to a private beach and it was beautiful. Seriously a little piece of Heaven. We sat under a palm tree for shade and just looked out over the water. I loved it. It was only 3.5 hours, but it was wonderful. After the excursion we got back on the boat and did the usual  –  get ready for dinner, do dinner, and then goof off after. Totaling 3.87 miles. Day 4: 3.87 miles

Thursday (3/30) – another excursion day. This time in Grand Caymans. It was a beautiful boat ride to a sandbar and Katie kissing a stingray (which is supposed to be 7 years good luck). Then a nice lunch with some tactless wait staff, but hey, I guess they lived on island time?? Anyway, back to the boat and back to have more fun. That day left us beat down and super tired. However even with all of that we put in 5.17 miles. HOLY COW! I would not have believed it!!! Day 5: 5.17 miles

Friday (3/31) was the day I was looking most forward to. I was going to be going to see the Mayan Ruins. It was something that I know MoMo would have been jealous of. She loved to see historical remnants like that. Side note – the Mayans used shells in their road so when the moonlight hit it, it glowed. Awesome fun fact for you. When we got to the ruins in Cozumel I did not realize how much walking we would be doing. Color me crazy but I truly did not think about it. The walk around the grounds put us at over three miles. When we got done there we went to this little sea side cantina and had pico… and holy cow, it was ridiculous. After getting back on the ship we had more fun – dinner, fun, shows, etc…. putting my Friday total at 5.81 miles! Day 6: 5.81miles

Saturday – the start of April… I was not going to talk about this day since it will be part of my Hello April, but with the last day on the boat we chilled. Did some more trivia, got in some bingo, watched a show, you know… just chilled. Funny thing, we still got in 3.49 miles! I cannot believe  for as lazy as we were, it was still a lot of walking! Day 7: 3.49 miles

I know this blog is about #becomingabetterme and vacation is a time of doing exactly what you want, and indulging in things that are not so good for you, but all of the walking I did… I would have to say I keep myself going. Sure, I might have had dessert, or even a drink or two, but I felt better about myself being there!

2017 has already been a rough year for me, not getting to the gym like I need to, or maybe doing short cuts at dinner or at lunch… just really not doing what I need to to become the better me I have been trying to keep going for the last 2 plus years… but I can say knowing that I could put in that many miles and still have a good time reminds me that I can get off of the couch and take a walk, even if it isn’t in an exotic location!

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Hello March – Making the Miles Count

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Had a conversation with a friend today (you know who you are… and thank you for the kick in the butt) and I was reminded that my HELLO MARCH was a little behind. Even if I hadn’t had a chance to type it all out, I did keep track of my miles! I will be posted a vacation post, but let me say, that out of my 50 miles, 26 of those were from being on the cruise ship. YES! I said on a cruise I racked up over half of my miles… I wont go into detail as I will be doing another blog, but as for March – here goes!

3/1 1.34,  3/2 2.17,  3/3 2.23,  3/4 1.78,  3/5 2.13,  3/6 2.34,  3/7 1.06,  3/8 1.62,  3/9 1.79,  3/10 1.88,  3/11 2.14,  3/12  1.11, 3/13 1.43,  3/14  2.24,  3/15 1.67,  3/16 2.03,  3/17 2.37,  3/18 1.42,  3/19 2.35,  3/19 2.35,  3/20 2.79,  3/21 1.84,  3/22 1.84,  3/23 1.31,  3/24 1.43,  3/25 1.92,

3/26 3.07, 3/27 4.09, 3/28 4.63, 3/29 3.87, 3/30 5.17, 3/31 5.81

Monthly Total of: 73.03

Holy cow!! For all the hours that I am putting in at the office and the few I am getting into the gym, this has been a huge month for me!

Things are all kinds of crazy right now, but I am still planning to get my way back!

Fingers crossed for me, all!!

Feeling Like A Monday

StressI have been debating on writing this one for awhile now, but I promised I would be honest about the good, bad, and the ugly of this journey, and for the last few months I have been in the middle of the ugly.

When I wrote a couple of months ago, I mentioned my job morphing and it continued to do so… I am now titled: Director of Property Operations… and I love it. My struggle, however is the stress… I have been putting in roughly 60 hours a week and still being so far behind I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This is when I take a minute, step back and regroup. You know that one way I do this is via the gym, but I also use music to get me through.

Yesterday on my way home from work I was playing vehicle karaoke – don’t judge me – and listening to my husband (Jon Bon Jovi) and this song came on…

I know that it is just a song, but sometimes singing at the top of my lungs and remembering that I don’t have to keep it together all of the time…. and right now I do not. I am so far from together it isn’t even funny. So until I get myself back on track this is what I am going with the idea that Someday I will be Saturday night.

LOG BLOG – Every Mile Count, Hello February!

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I waited until the end of the month before I started this blog. Although I was REALLY bad and did not distinguish between gym and life miles I did log every single day before I went to bed!

Here goes:

2/1  1.75

2/2  1.21

2/3  1.38

2/4  1.92

2/5  2.31

2/6  2.81

2/7  1.81

2/8  2.93

2/9  2.12

2/10  2.41

2/11  2.39

2/12  2.07

2/13  2.92

2/14 1.87

2/15  2.18

2/16  1.78

2/17  1.39

2/18  1.47

2/19  2.37

2/20  1.77

2/21  1.97

2/22  2.53

2/23  1.99

2/24  1.81

2/25  2.92

2/2  1.11

2/27  2.03

2/28  2.38

month total = 61.51

My 50 miles in a month success!