September: New beginnings and more joy on the horizon

I’ve always loved September.

When I was younger, it was because it signified the start of school. It launched football season for the lifelong cheerleader in me. As a youth cheerleader, it was also the kickoff of competition season.

September has always signified the start of fall (my favorite season), the kickoff to Halloween (you KNOW I love everything about the holiday), and every joyous thing that goes along with it.

Growing older, September became a time when I started new jobs — many of my careers launched in September, from catering to student teaching (I didn’t make it much further than that) to copywriting. It gave me the same feeling as the start of the school year. New people. New things to learn. New everything.

For me, September represents new beginnings — not spring. There’s a freshness in the air that you didn’t get any other time of the year.

I’m not even sure why we feel the need to make resolutions in January. I feel like I’m more apt to start goals in September. Good things happen in September.

Which is why it made perfect sense to tell Brian, in September of 2015, that I wanted to marry him in September. As we had already discussed getting married the following year, it meant that he didn’t have much time left to *ahem* pop the question. (And yet, he still waited until December to propose).

And why it made perfect sense to leave my corporate desk monkey job on this day three years ago.

September 8th is my day. The day I said, “I will not be miserable in a job I hate.” The day I said, “I want to surround myself with people and things I love.” The day I said, “I have dreams, and it’s time to chase every single one of them.”

So today, I am celebrating. I am celebrating me, and everything that comes in a Chrissy-sized package. I’m celebrating the accomplishments I’ve achieved over the last few years and the dreams I’ve realized as an actual reality.

I’m currently working on two (and two very different) novels right now instead of just the one I quit my job to write. Both are about halfway finished, and I can’t wait to see how they look when they’re ready. I may also have a third starting on November 1, because I like to juggle.

I am so close to finishing the Second City Music Program I can taste it (I was one class and a run of shows away from the end, and I truly hope that when this insanity is all over, I get the opportunity to finish it).

I found an improv home, and it’s minutes from my house. I started taking classes at Westside in Wheaton a little over a year ago, and just days before the pandemic shut down, I was invited to join a house team at the theater. It is one of the few standing Zoom calls I have continued since March. That team has truly kept me going through the pandemic, and I can’t thank them enough for being such a bright light in my life. If you want to help my local theater as it braves the continued shutdown, please consider donating a dollar on GoFundMe to help so that when the pandemic is over, we still have a space to perform.

I’ve taken a few jobs as background actor and had SO MUCH FUN getting paid to play pretend on some TV shows that are filmed in Chicago. One of those shows recently ended its series, and another is a brand new series about to air.

I started working on a podcast (about Disney, of course), and I’m so excited to take you on that journey. Podcasting is a lot harder than we realized it would be, but the end product is so worth the time we are putting into it.

I’m still figuring out where I want this blog to go, but I promise you this — it’s not going away. And because September is full of new beginnings, it feels like the perfect time to make a commitment to writing here. To sharing my world with you again. So if you’re already receiving my emails, I hope you’ll stay. And if you’re new, I hope you’ll sign up to receive them. Because there’s a lot coming down the pipeline, and I would love to have you be a part of my journey.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember that some of my dreams are on pause and the stress levels are high because *ahem* global pandemic, but today, I’m going to remember how cool it is to live a creative life.

What are you doing to live your best life, even in the midst of a pandemic?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Because I Need to Take Care of Myself

I’ve been thinking about self-care a lot lately. I haven’t been taking proper care of myself. Brian likes to joke that he feels responsible for making sure I’m well cared for, and I joke that it’s because my parents gave up that responsibility when he walked into my life. In reality, I need to make sure that I’m doing everything in my power to actually take care of my mind and body. Because when one part of me isn’t working right, the rest follows suit.

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Massage Envy. I received compensation as a thank you for creating this content. As usual, the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs expressed in this post are wholly my own.

With the last week and a half off work, I’ve been focusing more on me and what I need. As a gregarious lady, I need vastly different things in my life than my introverted boyfriend. I’m at my happiest when I’m surrounded by people that make me smile, laugh, love or some combination of the three in a comfortable setting. Basically, I consider myself to be an introverted extrovert so I want to be in a place I know and feel welcome, but I recharge through the energy of people. In short – Party at my house, people!

Just kidding. Sort of. Self-maintenance, for me, involves a combination of activities that allow my physical and emotional well-being to thrive. This is how I do:

In your busy life, you need to make sure you're taking time for yourself. Try one of these 5 ways to promote self-care in your own life.

Yoga – physical and emotional

My practice is a safe space to meditate, relax, and breath. Not only does it help me move my body physically and stretch muscles to encourage activity without injury (well…I try anyways), but it also calms my thoughts, minimizes my anxiety and makes me a more positive person. I need yoga in my life. It gives me confidence, strength, peace. It gives me a sense of control. This is something I’ve been missing for a few months, since returning to my normal from my back injury, and I know I need to regain my yoga time. I’m starting back up again, and can’t tell you how excited I am to do so.

Yoga is part of my self-care routine.

Writing – emotional

Who needs a therapist when you can write all your crazy out in a story or blog post? When I’m anxious or depressed or just can’t seem to sleep, writing is my go-to version of insta-therapy. I can sit down with a notebook or in front of a computer screen and pour my heart out through words. In my previous role, I was writing so much dull marketing content, that I was slacking on writing for me, a mistake I won’t be making again.

Writing and painting my nails are both therapeutic exercises for me

Writing and painting my nails are both therapeutic exercises for me, which leads me to the next part of my self-care

Painting my nails – emotional and physical

Yeah, yeah…I know what you’re thinking. Chrissy, that can’t possibly be part of your self-care routine. And yet, here it is. When I can occupy my mind doing something that requires physical concentration, I can often think better, focus more thoroughly, and listen more intently. I paint my nails when I’m binge watching TV or having a conversation with Brian, because I’m more apt to pay attention without distraction. Also, when my nails look nice, I feel better about myself. It’s something I can pride myself in, and I take that as a necessary part of caring for myself and my body.

Socialization – emotional

While I can’t get behind the idea of forced socialization (something that happens when you feel obligated to join a group for a social outing – typically a work or organization obligation when you don’t love your peers), I love being with my people. It is an unfortunate circumstance that some of my writer friends are scattered around the world, but I’m also super lucky to have a lot of fabulous friends right in my backyard.

Just me and a bunch of awesome ginger writers. No big deal

Just me and a bunch of awesome ginger writers. No big deal (except that it’s totally a big deal).

In addition to interacting with my peer groups through parties, dinners, and board gaming, I find myself soaking up the brilliance and silliness in Facebook groups with writers I adore, I attend conferences and meet those writers face to face, and I recently met up with one of my new favorite people to talk, snack, and write.

Massage – physical

Monthly massage is one of the most important things that I do for myself. I’ve been a member of Massage Envy since the summer of 2007 when I was a catering manager who was consistently spraining her ankle and pulling muscles. For a few months, I saw whatever therapists were available, but the day I met Craig, everything changed. He asked if I had a preferred therapist, and I shrugged. His response is burned into my memory, ‘Well, let’s see if we can change that.”

Eight and a half years later, I feel like I’m cheating on Craig when I visit another therapist (which he,  encourages when he’s unavailable). When I hurt my back this summer, I made several extra visits to Massage Envy in addition to my regular monthly massage (sometimes with Craig, who only works Monday through Friday, and sometimes at another location with my secondary therapist who works weekends).

 

Massage is not some fluffy thing I do as a luxury for myself, it’s a necessary part of my Total Body Care.

Because I am active.

Because I spend 8-10 hours a day sitting in front of a computer.

Because I fall down, trip over chains, walk into poles.

Because I hurt myself.

Because I still feel injuries from more than a decade ago whenever the weather changes.

Because I care about my mental and physical health.

Because it makes my body feel healthier.

I am an advocate for taking care of yourself, your body, and your mind.

What is your because moment? What do you do to take care of your emotional and physical well-being? Do you take the time out to get regular massages? What activities do you participate in that make you you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!