My Past, Present, and Future

Hello friends,

Over eight months ago was my last rambling in this lovely space, and I feel … stuck at how to begin telling you about the major transformation my life has taken in such a short time.

It’s like these stairs in my new neighborhood…

Singer Hill Creek Stairs
Up and up and up and up…
There have been challenges.
Physical pain.
Heartbreaking loss.

After it all, I have continued to climb this hill, and find myself in a very happy place.

I now own a home. I am finally running again! And a new sense of purpose is subtly finding a place in my mind, rolling off my lips, and it is finally time to make space for this new adventure on a page.

After the broken toe (and spirit), the healing solo vacation, and buying my first home, I now know what I need to do.

While I was on the journey through Yoga Teacher Training two years ago, I found myself contemplating creating (what I thought was) a new career: healthy lifestyle coach. I found so much joy in talking with my peers about what they really wanted to do and encouraging them to step forward, plus I was exploring cooking and baking without sugar, with success! And I really want to share my ideas and recipes with you, my friends.

So this is when I get to tell you: I am starting a new project.

Alwayslovinlife has fulfilled her purpose for the time being. She will stay here, and perhaps I will visit from time to time with notes or pictures from my running adventures (because I do plan to have many more).

This is a new adventure to share my real life with you (not just the running highlights):
– Recipes created without added (processed) sugar (using REAL FOOD)
– Reduce/reuse/recycle ideas and DIYs (Save the Planet!” because I have always been that   way. And now I have a house that needs furniture and fixing – on a budget!)
– Relevant ideas regarding mindfulness & self-care. This is a practice that is difficult for me to maintain, so I am asking you to help hold me accountable.
– And more developments to come, once I catch my stride in the new space!

That’s the scoop! I am happy to finally have the processed enough of the stuff of last summer/fall/winter, and have the mental clarity (and drive!) to start moving forward again. One step at a time.

Look for another post coming soon regarding where to find more updates from me in the near future!

(To all you friends and family that I have been talking about starting that food blog: Yes – it will be live within a week!)

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and patient with me as I spent time with myself, in my mind, in workbooks, staring out windows, and painting furniture to work through my grief for all this change, and process how to make my next steps. I appreciate all of you so very much.

Much love,
~Alaina

First Run in the New ‘Hood

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My legs were itching. The last adventure outside with my running shoes on my feet was on Saturday, and I was dying to get outside again.  Today, I had great intentions, taking my clothes to work, with the plan that I would go out for a 3-5 mile run around noon.  As it often does, life got in the way.  Circumstances at work prevented me from taking the time for myself.  I found myself glancing at the clock after three o’clock and wondering where the day had gone.

Still determined, I changed as quickly as I could and headed out my door with running shoes on and no specific desire to follow a route. As it was after dark, I chose to put on my reflective vest and headlamp and head out down busy streets where the streets were bathed in lamp-light, and plenty of people were driving by.

With the holidays coming, there are evidently decorations already enhancing many homes around town:

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It was a lovely, chilly and clear night.  There was some fog, but otherwise no precipitation.  A great first run in the neighborhood.

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Lunar Luster

I am already looking forward to my next opportunity for exploration.

How often do you find and try new routes?  Do you drive to new locations to shake up your routine and escape monotony?

as always, with Joy,
~Alaina

Colorful Leaves, Sunset, and Reservoirs: Running Again, at Home

This afternoon I had the great pleasure of running during the daylight hours, when the skies were fabulously rain-free, and I went exploring with a friend.  Can it get any better?

Fall in the neighborhood.
Fall in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, with moving, work being absolutely crazy, and business travel this past week, I did not make time to run for two whole weeks!  I missed it!

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Trails on Tabor
Color *Pop*
Color *Pop*
Peek-a-boo view
Peek-a-boo view
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Sunset
Reflection
Reflection

This time away from home, and moving from a very familiar neighborhood into unexplored territory made me very nervous about running at dusk or in the early morning pre-dawn haze.  I had so much more freedom in my old, familiar “home zone” this new space on sidewalks and around all these houses is intimidating.  I really enjoyed my first experience out running with a buddy, conversing and looking around.  I think I’ll learn to like this area, very much.

With any luck, in the future I will not let a little fear keep me from doing this thing that I love so much: Running.

with joy,
Alaina

 

The New Neighborhood

When I woke up this morning, I was stunned that I did not sleep past eight o’clock, when I suddenly realized, 7:30am is the old 8:30am.  So I did sleep in, and rightly so, after packing all morning yesterday, moving in the afternoon, taking a huge load of things to donate, a (somewhat) smaller load of clothes went to a friend, and finally returning to my old apartment to clean… getting back to my new place at 11pm.  At which point I had to find my bedding and eventually crawled into bed at almost one am.  Dear goodness, moving is tiring!

One last capture of the view from the old apartment.
One last time; the view from the old apartment.

After checking my email, listening to my stomach rumble, and remembering the awful headache I endured all day yesterday after skipping my morning coffee, I decided it was necessary to check out my closest local coffee shop.  I set out for a short jaunt in the crisp morning air through the neighborhood.

For those with pets who like meat.
For those with pets who like meat.

I passed our local pet food store, and continued up the street.

Jackpot!
Jackpot!

The shop was relatively empty when I entered, but by the time I left, every table was taken, and there was a line at the counter.

"heart"
“heart”

I looked up at the prices on the chalkboard in disbelief.  Coffee on the East side costs more than coffee on the West side…?  I was not at all prepared.  The fact that they did have a large slice of gluten-free pumpkin bread mollified my train of thought as I pulled off a piece of the crisp crust thinking… this is gluten-free?  This was just what I needed to get going on my room, and at least get partially unpacked before going to a late brunch with my roommate.

"Please do not disturb the roaster operator"
“Please do not disturb the roaster operator”

I walked back a different way, on quieter streets, and was immensely pleased with what I saw: an old man talking to his phone very loudly, a girl trying to find her car, countless beautiful craftsman homes, and trees with leaves of all shades of yellow, orange, red, and green.

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My new friend, the neighborhood black cat.
My new friend, the neighborhood black cat.

It was a beautiful start to the day, made even more fantastic due to the hot latte I held in my hand as I strolled back home.  I can’t wait to go for my first run in this area!

IMG_7430I am very happy to have made this move.  Truthfully, I will miss my old apartment very dearly.  I regard it now as the place that I grew up.  I have learned so many lessons and begun to understand myself so much more since the first moment I lived in that apartment.  It is hard to let go of the sense of security that I think I feel peace holds for me, in my mind.  And yet, I feel totally at peace, happier that I have been in some time, living in this new space, and so thankful that everything has fallen into place.

with joy and peace,
~Alaina

… until tomorrow (I am participating in NaBloPoMo  – check it out!)