In Review: August

Photo Credit: Lindsay Brown

Photo Credit: Lindsay Brown

For some reason, I still act surprised whenever I start this post at the end of the month. There haven't been any recent changes to the calendar or anything—I should know it's coming. Nevertheless, I'm still amazed by the pace of post-grad life (yes, even 2+ years out)!  

Thankfully, August has been much better than July. There weren't any drastic changes, but a few key conversations and realizations over time served to remind me, "Hey, the Lord's in control and hears my prayers." 

More than anything, August served as a time for me to process life and understand that a few things need to start happening for more holistic life balance. Sure, big events can drastically change the flow of life, but it's the discipline of day-in and day-out that keeps it going steady. 

Here are a few thoughts as a result of the month's conversations. If you have comments or suggestions about living an organized, disciplined life, please feel free to comment below or drop me line via email. 

Personal health is more than outdoor running.  

I ran a half marathon in May. This was supposed to be my big break, getting back into a fitness mindset. While it was a huge success in terms of a personal best time, nothing really came after I crossed the finish line.

My "two week recovery" break essentially turned into an almost "summer long lazy" break. There wasn't another race on the horizon, and it was just too stinkin' hot to run outside. I justified the decision, saying that I'd sign up for another race in the winter or following spring. 

But, that's not healthy.

Growing up, all I really needed to do was run consistently during the week with my team and race on Saturdays. I didn't have to lift that much (though I probably would have been faster), and I didn't have to worry about my caloric intake (unless it was too low). My body could run on little (to sometimes no) sleep. I was fine. 

Six years later, though, my body doesn't do that life well anymore. And the heat and travel of this summer proved it in a not so fun way. While I was never terribly sick, I was very sluggish and moody. I wasn't sleeping well, and I kept spending too much money on "convenient" food. 

Luckily, August has been different, and it started with sleep. I have every intention of adding on more personal fitness and dietary goals; I just needed to start with sleep.

Rest is a good thing; it's glorious! 

So, as an initial report, the goal now is to be in bed as close to 10:30 as possible (at least every weeknight), and always find a way to sleep eight hours. Currently, this means having a countdown timer set instead of the traditional alarms and only one backup alarm instead of three. 

Communicate with actions and words. 

Communication is something I'll always bring up on this blog. I love words and love learning how to string them together in the most effective way, regardless of medium. 

To that end, there were a few high points throughout the month, personal and professional. Ultimately, I was reminded how important it is to know the reason why a conversation is had (and the goals) and to understand how tone and body language are perceived. 

Usually, it's easier for me to send a text or type a beautifully written email, but that isn't always the way other people like to communicate. Moving forward, I'm continuing my efforts to know people well, specifically as it relates to how they like to receive information and how they receive/perceive actions.

Ultimately, this is resulting in my attempts to be as direct and kind as possible, knowing the reason for every word spoken and followed up by appropriate actions taken.