Post That Selfie

Josie Davis

Last year when I decided to go from freelancing back to full time work I realized that if I was ever going to make daily workouts part of my life I had to do it then. It would never get easier to add it in later. In fact, it would only be harder to try to change my habits once they were set, but since my daily habits were about to change for work anyway, now was the time to add exercise in.

Getting up at 5am and going to the gym is not easy, especially those first few months. No doubt about it, you’re tired and your brain is foggy and, if you’re like me and had mostly been an afternoon runner, you move like a sloth that’s carrying all it’s luggage through the airport. All I wanted was to crawl back into bed and forget the gym existed. But I didn’t.

I actually started a fitness instagram account. It sounds super cheesy, especially since almost all of the photos were mirror selfies, but here’s the thing, it actually helped. Not only did I use that account to follow other fitness people who I could look at for motivation, but posting that dangon mirror selfie every day felt dayum good. It was like a little victory lap for my brain. I may seem silly, and heck, it actually is a little silly, but that little mental victory lap definitely kept me going some mornings.

Even in the moment I thought it was just some goofy thing I was doing, but I’ve been listening to the audiobook of “Eat That Frog” and Brian Tracy actually encourages using social media to post about your goals and help hold you accountable. It’s funny how little things like that can make such a difference. For years I wished I could build a healthy workout habit and seriously struggled to come anywhere close to it, but putting myself out there more and celebrating with something as basic as a selfie, I found it a lot easier to mentally push past.

As a society I think we tend to think really poorly about selfies. It’s easy to write them off as something self obsessed teenagers do, but I actually think they can be so helpful for acknowledging achievements and for someone learning to build their self confidence. As someone who’s always had low self esteem I feel a weird unbalance when posting a selfie that is so hard to get over some days, so if you have ever felt the same, I’m here with you. It may feel weird, silly, or just plain strange at times, but forget all of it - post that selfie.

Alone

Josie Feather URBN Home Office

I woke up at 3:30am this morning.

I wake up most days at 5am, but 3:30 feels much more brutal. 5am is quiet, but people are starting to rouse, there’s movement. The gym is usually humming along, working itself up to the buzz and bustle it hits by the time I’m leaving.

But 3:30. Everything is dead and silent. Especially during the winter, with only the wind briskly cutting through the silence. I wish I could say I am some incredibly deep individual who spent my extra time this morning thinking deep thoughts about how profound that silence is, but I most definitely did not. After dropping my husband off at the airport and realizing the work gym didn’t open until 6, I promptly fell asleep in my car.

Now that I’ve drug myself from my warm car nap, ran a few miles, forced my body to move and stretch a bit I feel much better, but 3:30 still lingers with me. I can feel it like a slight haze over my brain, with only my coffee to fight it off. What I am thinking about though is the week ahead. My husband has traveled for work since before we even started dating, so our entire relationship is dotted with these big and little gaps in time that we’ve spent apart. I’m an independent person though. To some degree I actually enjoy being alone, but I that doesn’t mean I can’t fall into a seriously bad headspace by letting myself hunker down alone for an entire week while Frank is away. In fact, last time I did that it turned ugly real fast.

So, if preparation for a little time with just me and my pups I have a few ground rules. These are things I would highly recommend if you have some solo time coming up, whether you struggling with being alone, or are just afraid of letting yourself turn into a monster person with the social skills of a yetti like myself:

  • Plan out dates. Reach out to close friends, or ones you haven’t talk to in a while and finally set that date to catch up. Brunch, coffee, a round of foosball, whatever it is, this extra time is the perfect time to do it. Even though I truly love a day spent alone at home catching up on things, when Frank’s away I’ve made it a rule that I have to go out and interact with someone every day, even if it’s just for little bit #introvertproblems

  • Make a list. Leading up to Frank leaving for a longer stint I like to make myself a list of all those little things I’ve been meaning to get to, but just haven’t. This keeps my brain engaged and keeps me from falling into a netflix trap. Whenever I start to feel myself get into a bad headspace I like to pick something off my list and jump right in. These things don’t have to be chores, sometime I add pampering things to it. Crossing “take a nice long bath” off your list feels twice as good.

  • Get those endorphins flowing baby. I typically don’t workout on weekend when Frank’s home to give us some extra time together, but when he’s away I make it a priority to do even just a short workout every day. Getting your blood flowing and your endorphins going can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your mood up when you’re home alone.

That’s it! Even after 10 years together, with almost 8 of those being married, I still am trying to figure this stuff out. Even for someone a introverted as me some of his trips are easier than others, and I have found I still have to be really proactive to keep myself feeling my best.

Oh, Linda.

Josie Davis

Hiking through the rainforest can be a magical thing. The lush greenery all around, the far off sounds of birds you’ve only ever seen in a zoo chatting with one another, the light rain on your face, and the deep smell of mossy rocks. What’s not so magical is getting stuck in a downpour under a lean-to with a woman named Linda who insists on calling everyone she’s ever met and loudly talking to them about how her arthritis is putting a bit of a damper on her dating life.

I don’t mind rain. For a few minutes me and Frank stood together under the lean-to watching the rain fall with only the steady beat of drops falling around us. I love the sound of rain. Probably because I’m a fairly privileged white girl who’s only really bad experiences with rain were when a it put a bit of a damper on our family’s day at Epcot and I had to buy children’s large sweatpants because my jeans got soaked through (Seriously though, why does it always rain on Epcot day?). I mostly find rain storms charming and even calming, and was perfectly happy to stand with my husbands arms wrapped around me, watching the rain until it slowed. And then, Linda came.

I was standing on the edge of the lean-to looking down the hill when a middle aged woman came towards me waving frantically and yelling “I found you!”. I instantly attempted to hide behind Frank, which doesn’t work so well since I am a nearly 6 foot tall tree of a gal. The woman quickly realized that me and my husband were not the date that she had lost on the mountain, but decided it was best to hang out with us under the shelter anyway. I did what I always do in awkward social situations, and promptly pretended I’m deaf and mute and have no way of communicating with other humans, so I might as well just face the opposite direction and watch the rain some more and hope you don’t insist on talking to me.

Linda was not hindered by us not buddying up to her though. Even though we were thousands of feet up the side of a mountain she somehow had the teeny tiniest bit of reception on her cell phone which made it possible for her to voice to text, leave rambling voicemails, and call everyone she’s ever met. We heard all about her date that presumably had abandoned her and left her for dead in a Puerto Rican rainforest. We head about how she was aggressively trying to get a coworker to spend more time with her, despite this woman spurring her advances (her words, by the way), and we heard her lament about how tough dating is when you have arthritis in your hands…

It was awkward to say the least. After five minutes that felt more like an hour we decided to venture into the pouring rain and hike as swiftly as we could down the mountain in fear that Linda might catch up to us and we would be forced to listen to make more phone calls and dictate text messages. I couldn’t help but think how incredible it is that you would hike through the rainforest and still be unable to put your phone down and enjoy what’s around you. But if I’m totally honest with myself, I do that too. Sure, I don’t make phone calls unless absolutely necessary (why can’t doctors just text you anyway), and I certainly am not going to voice to text in public when my hands are perfectly free (I mean, common guys, why even bother texting at that point), but I’m sure way more often than I realize I’m standing somewhere amazing and beautiful and am too busy scrolling through instagram to even notice.

I am not someone who thinks technology is evil, quite the opposite in fact. I have no desire to get rid of my iPhone or live in some remote cabin without internet. I think all of that stuff is awesome actually. I believe instagram has truly pushed me creatively. I love that I can check out an ebook or audiobook from my library and read it right on my phone. Heck, without the internet and AIM I wouldn’t have had half my boyfriends. The question is, am I able to disconnect when real life calls? Am I able to put down my phone and enjoy the sound of rain in the actually rainforest when it’s right there in front of me? I really hope so, but maybe Linda was there to remind me to pay attention and not miss out on what’s happening. So, thanks Linda, I really will try to be more present this year, and also will try my best to avoid arthritis by whatever means necessary.