Tag Archives: happiness

I Think We Moved to the Arctic. Here Are Some Things Making Me Happy Today.

I think we moved to the arctic when I wasn’t looking.

It’s cold. The temperature hasn’t been higher than 20 in weeks (okay, days… but still).

It’s dreary and I miss the sun. Like consistent days of just sun. We did have some sun yesterday. And it was warm. I was tempted to lay on the dog’s bed with him and sun myself.

There’s too much snow. We got another foot and a half on Sunday. We now have over 8 FEET of snow on the ground.

I have cabin fever. And I just want spring. Or at least 40 degree temperatures.

But it doesn’t look like winter is ending anytime soon. More snow today. And bitter cold this whole week. So instead of sitting here and complaining about it, I’m trying to focus on the things that are keeping me happy, and pushing forward to spring.

Doing a little local shopping!

I worked in Amesbury, MA for a couple of years. During that time, I never really had a chance to enjoy the shops. So, when I was there for an appointment I decided to stop in one of the newer ones, The Nest. Let’s just say this may have become my new favorite shop. So many incredible items. Including…. the next thing making me happy.IMG_2097

My adorable new carrying case.

My work bag is a disaster. It’s a bottomless pit. So when I saw this adorable case, not only did it make me insanely happy and remind me of spring, but it would be incredibly useful. Hello organization.

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Getting my engagement ring cleaned.

It was starting to look a bit dingy! Have I told you guys how much I love my engagement ring? I’m obsessed with it. It’s been two years since we got engaged and nearly every day I catch myself staring at it. It’s so…. me. I just love it.

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My Valentine’s Day flowers.

My love surprised me at work with them on Friday. They’ve been opening up and blooming since then, and are absolutely beautiful. Tulips make me think spring, so they are keeping me smiling!

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Counting down the days until we leave for Las Vegas.

We’re right around 40 days. I’m so looking forward to warm weather! We’ve been twice before, in 2011 and then in 2012. Our 2012 trip was extra special since that was when we got got engaged. At the top of the Eiffel Tower, at night, overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Perhaps I’ll write our engagement story one of these days! Needless to say, it’s been over 2 years since we’ve been and can’t wait to get back! I also can’t wait to take pictures with the new camera. The photographer in me can’t wait to play with the lights at night!

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During our first adventure in Las Vegas in 2011. It was early (like 7 AM) and we totally had jet lag, but couldn’t wait to get up and start exploring. This is from Tropicana looking back at New York, New York. Clearly.

One last thing making me crazy happy. My new blog design. I found one I loved. I found one that will really versatile and exactly what I was looking for. There are still a few more changes to come, but at least the base design is done!

I hope you all like it too. I know many of you loved my previous design, but it just wasn’t me. This one is definitely me :)

Have a great Tuesday!

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What I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self: Tips for Happiness, Overcoming Anxiety, and Tackling Life Head-On

Life goes by in an instant. One day, you’re 18 and off to your freshman year of college, and the next you’re nearing 30.

Recently, I’ve found myself looking back at my life so far. Nostalgic? Perhaps. But I’ve been thinking more about what I’ve learned so far in my short life, more than I have been reminiscing.

And as I thought about what I’ve learned, it made me think about the things I wish I could tell my younger self; the lessons I’ve learned, how to handle the bumps in the road and to remember that even those dark moments, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If I could go back in time, these are the things I would tell myself.

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Kick your worries to the curb. Worrying is normal. Letting your worries overcome your day is not. Some worries are worth fretting over. While others, like saying ‘no’ to someone isn’t worth it. Worrying takes up too much energy.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.  You may have a fear of what others think of you, but don’t let it hold you back from trying something you’ve always wanted to. Letting what others think of you get in the way of life will only cause missed opportunities and regret.

You will suffer from debilitating anxiety and depression. And you will get through it. Anxiety and depression run in your family. You’re bound to face it at some point. It just so happens that it will be your first semester of college and your first time living away from home. A very common time. You will battle with it all through college. Panic attacks and debilitating depression will become a normal part of your day. But in the end, you will get through it. You will learn how to cope. You will learn how to fight back. And in the end, you will want to help others simply by telling your story and letting others know they are not alone.

Exercise is necessary.  Just because you rode horses and practically lived at a barn, does not mean you will stay skinny and in shape forever. Learn to enjoy going to the gym, going for runs, and being outside. Because once you have a full-time job, finding time to exercise will become an excuse. And you will end up having at least 10 excuses every day for not going to the gym. If only you developed a routine in college, you’d be less likely now to fight the idea of working out.

Ask questions of family members before it’s too late. Your family members hold the key to your history. Learn everything you can before it’s too late. Find out more about your great grandparents. Ask your grandparents about their families. Listen intently. Your grandparents love to tell stories from their younger years.

You will know when you fall in love (and it will happen when you’re 22). It’s life-consuming, mind-altering and the best feeling in the entire world. When movies describe finding your soul mate, they most definitely got it right.

Friendships come and go. Some friendships will fade away on there own as you grow up and grow apart. Some will disintegrate before your eyes and there is nothing you can do. Others will end abruptly and painfully for various reasons. Others will grow stronger than ever, and you realize that they are some of the best people you know. Some will be new; that will develop over college and your career. And you can’t imagine life without them now.

Life will challenge you. As cliche as it sounds, life will throw you curveballs. And you will have times where you question how you are going to overcome them. But you will, and you will come out stronger than before. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. Without challenges, we as people aren’t able to grow and change. Take those challenges head-on and know that you will rise above.

Your best laid plans will change. At 16, you had a plan. You were going to graduate high school. Go to college. Become a teacher. And teach 2nd grade. Suddenly, as a freshman in college, you discover you would rather be writing, change your major, and focus on Journalism. As graduation nears, it hits you that print journalism is disappearing. You flounder. Take a few odd jobs, and end up at a company that changes your direction. You start a Master’s program in Marketing, and focus on a new career path. You end up in financial marketing for 2 years before landing a career that you are both passionate about and enjoy.

Sometimes those initial plans are meant to be disrupted. Because without the disruption, you may not end up where you are supposed to be.

You are responsible for your own happiness. The actions of others can make you happy, but they are not responsible for your happiness. Find ways to enjoy life. Find your passions. And do them everyday. Life is too short to not be happy.

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#TransformationTuesday

As an avid Instagram user, I always try to keep up with the latest trends. I don’t always participate, but as someone who loves social media, and uses it daily both in my life and career, I like to know what’s popular. Social media is always evolving and changing, and it’s important to me to keep up with those changes.

One weekly hashtag that I’ve had an interest in has been #TransformationTuesday. Search for this particular hashtag and you will have thousands of photos in front of you, of people who have made incredible weight loss transformations. Whether it be from a weight loss pill company flaunting the results of their products, or the hard work of someone over a couple of years to reach their goal weight, these are truly incredible and inspirational transformations.

CREATIVITY.

Someday, I’d love to be the person flaunting my huge weight loss. It would be a great feeling to have a #TransformationTuesday like that. But, since I’m nowhere close to that, it made me think long and hard about what #TransformationTuesday means.

Is it about weight loss? Or is it a representation of a new you?

My own personal #TransformationTuesday – it represents a new me.

At 18 years old, I was 50 pounds lighter then I currently am. I was an avid horseback rider who spent most of her high school years living at the barn, where I was the happiest. The four-legged creatures were my favorite. I was a freshman in college. I had a core group of friends from home. I was a homebody. I was shy. I didn’t handle meeting new people well. I had never been in a serious relationship. And I was ashamed of my body. Even though, looking back now, I would love to be back at that size.

Fast forward 10 years later. I’m close to 50 lbs heavier. I don’t ride nearly as often as I would like, but I still get to the barn at least once a week, nor am I as active I should be. I’ve graduated with my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I’m engaged to the love of my life. I grew out of my shyness. I’m not afraid to speak up and express what’s on my mind. I enjoy meeting new people. I have a career I love. And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Yes, I don’t like my body. But I’ve learned to accept it and know that the only one who can change it is me. But the difference is, I’m happy. I may be overweight and not in good shape, but I’m happy.

10562506_10100146174202975_5170983196039126486_oOne of our engagement photos done by the talented Jaclyne Beaupre Photography

So what’s my transformation? I may have gained 50 lbs, but during that time, I found a sense of happiness and well-being that I never fully allowed myself to have.

I fully believe that we are never done ‘transforming’ ourselves. In a world that moves fast to move forward, we are always in need of some form of transformation to stay relevant. My next transformation will be working on getting to a body I’m 100% comfortable with. Not a weight; a body.

And from there, my next transformation will be continuing to live, love and learn and enjoy every day to the fullest. While not a normal transformation, continuing to open our lives to those three things every day will help up to transform as human beings.

So let’s change the traditional #TransformationTuesday from a weight-loss inspired hashtag to one that shows how our happiness has transformed.

 What defines your #TransformationTuesday?

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Why Horseback Riders Make Everything Better

Hello, all! My name is Susie, and I wax poetic about life, running, food, cooking, and how to live one’s life beyond expectations over at Suzlyfe.com. I am quite excited to be guest posting for Eryn today and especially to discuss a few of our favorite subjects, namely, horses, riding, life, and being freaking boss at all of it.

I rode and competed in hunter/jumpers and equitation from the age of 5 until 24. Riding, simply put, was my life. Looking back, there is nothing beyond sleeping and going to school that occupied more of my time–I rode just about every day of the week, multiple horses a day, and horse-showed on the weekends. The last 30 minutes of my time at school were dedicated to counting the minutes until it was time to rush to the car and get on the road, and I  can say that I can change clothes while driving. But that is neither here nor there.

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Riding was expensive, could be disappointing, infuriating, and even painful. It took me away from social engagements, put thousands of miles on my car, and seemed boorish to my peers. But everything that riding “took,” it gave back to me. All the heartache rendered from fallen dreams or the loss of a close equine friend, I got back in love, companionship, and the best of life’s lessons. Though I have not ridden in nearly 2 years, I take the education that I received in the barn, in the saddle, and in the paddock with me, and I have found that it has numerous applications to my life, and also to my pursuits in fitness.

Why Horseback Riders Make Better Everything:

We like to be on top. Riders are in the practice of pursuing perfection, but also knowing that there is no such thing–the hardest and best life lesson the equestrian must learn is that you are not perfect, though you may have the ride of your life. Sometimes, you can do everything to a t, and have it just not be your day; sometimes, you can do everything wrong, and it somehow just works.

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We know how to be early risers. No, this does not mean we are morning people. Also, we are the best road trip companions ever because we know all the good exits and we always have snacks.

Riding involves a variable and testy animal that may or may not want to cooperate. Like point number one, some times, your stomach just wants to buck and carry on, even when your legs are in perfect form.

Injuries suck. It is best to be preventative and aggressive in one’s therapy than to push one’s luck and end up in the stall for months on end. Soft tissue injuries really blow. But injections, alternative therapies, accupuncture, and massage can be very helpful.

Proper footwear, use of compression, and well-fitting equipment can take a so-so worker to a graceful athlete. And some are more naturally inclined towards to grace than others.

The early bird may have to feed, muck, and clean up, but they also get first use of the ring, the fences, and all the best brushes.

Carrots, apples, oats, sugar, and molasses are delicious.  And proper diet is key.

Cross training is indispensable, makes you a better athlete, hones your fitness, and prevents injury.

Waking up at 4 in the morning for a workout is made infinitely sweeter when it means being greeted by a friend. Speaking English at said hour is neither necessary nor encouraged.

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A good canter in an open field is terrestrial flying. But control is necessary.

Everyone needs a proper warm up and cool down, as well as a thorough grooming and washing. And equipment should be cleaned and well cared for.

Riding and running are both mental exercises in determination. Hold a sitting trot for extended periods of time, or post without stirrups. You’ll understand.

Sometimes the smallest muscle movements, and control over the smallest movements and weight shifts, are more effective than anything else in achieving desired results. Sometimes, you need a good thump for encouragement.

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Everyone needs a day off and a sense of a training plan.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I will leave you there, except for one last thought:

Riding, like running, fitness, teaches you to respect the beauty of life, of morning rides, of the crunch of feet on a path with no other sound. These pursuits teach us rhythm, sweat, dirt, polish, and panache. And though we may learn everything we possibly can about them, we will never master them. But we can keep trying 😀

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How have your pursuits prepared you for life and your other passions? What has left the greatest impression on you, that you still carry with you today?

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