Things that make me immeasurably happy

I felt kind of crappy on Friday – was kind of off at the gym, couldn’t catch my breath, and started crying for no reason at work.  I woke up Saturday feeling like garbage.  My head hurt, my throat hurt, and I felt like I could sleep for another day without a problem.  I went to work anyways, where sprinting around for 8 hours left me near tears for the second night in a row.  Sunday, I woke up with a fever and a headache and an itchy throat.  Today, I woke up inexplicably exhausted and really dizzy.  It’s official: I am sick.  Therefore, I am moody.  Because I’m moody, my life seems pretty desolate.  In an effort to kick-start my happy filter and forget how miserable my life is at this moment, I present you with a list of my very favorite things:

Camp's Bay

1) The beach.  I don’t really know what I’m doing living in Seattle.  Neither the climate nor the terrain are conducive to leading a career in beach-bumming, which is all I really want to do with my life.  Take away everything else, leaving behind a towel on the beach on an 80-degree day, and I would be set for the rest of my life.  I love everything about the beach: the sound of the waves, the salty air, the sand and rocks that refuse to stay out of your purse, and the permission being on the beach gives you to laze about unexcused for hours at a time.  In a perfect world, I’d live across the street from a white sand beach, where I would go each morning to ride the waves, take long naps, and read celebrity gossip magazines.  I wouldn’t own shoes and I wouldn’t really own any clothes.  My hair would be perfectly tousled at all times and I’d be covered in freckles.  I’d have a light beer for breakfast, sangria for lunch, and a burger accompanied by a margarita for dinner.  And I’d always be really, really happy (or drunk.  You decide).

Prada

2) Prada pumps.  To say that I love Prada pumps would be putting it lightly.  I LOVE Prada pumps.  They are the perfect height (4″), refuse to stretch, fail to scuff, are comfortable enough to walk a city mile in, and look good with everything.  There isn’t an outfit in my closet that I wouldn’t rock my Prada pumps with.  On a good morning, I might even rock them with my lululemon running capris and hoodie.  I have them in black, brown, nude, and pinkish nude, which means I’ve spent a small fortune on footwear (shocking, I know).  But you know what? I don’t really care.  My love affair with Prada pumps isn’t fleeting – it’s the kind of love that will last a lifetime, and make me look damn good in the process.  When was the last time you could say that about a relationship with a man?

My point exactly.

Another Shot of the 2012 Gorilla Games!

2012 Gorilla Games

3) CrossFit.  In six months of practicing CrossFit at Urban CrossFit, I have gained over 5 lb. of muscle and lost two dress sizes.  I have never experienced any such success with any other fitness program I’ve ever tried.  I’ve also met a bunch of really cool, really sarcastic people that appreciate red wine and the Paleo diet as much as I do, wear funny hats, take fitness seriously, and have fun pretty much all the time. Funny, sarcastic, red-wine loving Paleo fitness freaks?!? I’m going to be CrossFitting for a very long time – even if the bruising can be a little inconvenient.

PacNW Love

4) Flying home after a long vacation.  I never really appreciated how wonderful Seattle is until I started traveling.  I spent most of my adult life actively trying to leave my hometown.  I couldn’t reconcile myself with the fact that Seattle was the perfect city for me to live in.  It’s socially tiny (think 3 degrees of separation instead of 6), the sky is grey for 4 months at a time, the cost of living is rising rapidly, and we don’t have comprehensive public transportation.  I kept leaving, in a desperate attempt to find a better city to call home.  I visited and lived in over a dozen cities over three years.  Then, I came home.  After an especially long trip during the summer of 2010, I took a window seat (which I never do) on a flight home from Luxembourg.  I was a train-wreck: not emotionally ready to head back the States, but close enough to broke that I didn’t have much of a choice.  I spent the entire flight reading depressing news stories and listening to a playlist that I named “I have the Blues.”  The poor guy sitting next to me offered me tissue at least 3 times.  When the Captain announced our decent into the Seattle area, I opened my window to see what Seattle had in store for me.  What I saw took my breathe away.  Seattle – and the mountains and sea that surround it – is freaking beautiful.  It took me 28 years for me to appreciate the temperate climate, the quiet busses, the farmer’s markets, and the city’s proximity to mountain and sea.  It took me even longer to appreciate how polite and well-educated Seattle-ites are.  Flying home from Europe that afternoon, I fell deeply in love with the big-little town I’m lucky enough to call home – and promised myself that I’d always take the window seat from there on out.

5) Dark chocolate.  Whether it comes in liquid, candy, bar, nib, spice rub, or sauce form, one thing is clear: few things make me happier than high-quality, super-dark chocolate.  If I’m feeling bluesy, I don’t need to do anything more than throw on my favorite pair of Prada pumps and hop on the bus to Theo, a chocolate factory located a convenient 2.5 miles from home.  For $5, I can tour the factory or for $4-50, I can skip the tour and go buckwild in their chocolate store.  Either way, I leave incredibly happy.

6) Accomplishing improbable things.  If I were a reasonable person, I would take a minute to stop everything and take a look at where I’m at in life: I have a great job, good friends, and a somewhat eccentric family.  I live in a quiet neighborhood five minutes outside of downtown Seattle.  I am fortunate enough to be able to afford expensive footwear and plenty of vacations.  I have a lot of fun.  In all seriousness, I could probably stop over-achieving right about now.  But I won’t.  Some people call me a workhorse, others simply call me insane, but here’s the truth: I really like accomplishing things that people don’t think I can do.  Travel around the world on a shoestring budget with no experience abroad? Check. Run a marathon? Check. Finish my MPA? Check. Changing careers after hitting a solid stride in my industry? Check.  Every time I do something improbable, a door opens to the next opportunity.  Traveling –> MPA –> marathons –> Paleo –> CrossFit –> Nutritional Therapy & Corrective Exercise –> PhD –> world domination via beach bum-centric early retirement.

7) Getting lost in a book.  You know that kid in elementary school who was always slightly disheveled and awkward because she stayed up all night reading a book with a flashlight under the covers in her room? Yeah, that was me.  Once a nerd, always a nerd.  My schedule doesn’t allow it to happen often anymore, but when it does, I get lost in a book like you wouldn’t believe.  I recently read all three Hunger Games books in a two-day period, emerging from my room to eat, run, and shower.  I’m a little strange.

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