Staying Focused in the Hurricane

It’s been a full two weeks since my last post. In that time, so many things in my life have changed. My car went in for and out of the repair shop. My husband and I started looking for, found, and offered money for (that was accepted, yay!) a little house of our own. He and I also started a new vegan lifestyle that has changed the way we look at our eating habits and how we cook.

During this time, I started taking the bus to work. Turns out Nashville has a regular, well-run, clean and fast mass-transit (bus) system! Taking the bus meant that I either had to get out of bed earlier, get to work later, or lose a lot of my me-time in the middle.

You’ve heard this story before: it’s like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, but with your needs. If you don’t have a car, you have to take the bus. If you take the bus, you have to make time to walk to the stop. If you walk to the stop, you have to cut out meditation. If you cut out meditation, you start to feel icky. If you start to feel icky, you have to be on guard for self-medicating behavior.

I was lucky to stay on a semi-schedule because I have to get up for work, and I have a wonderful, supportive husband who is willing to help me stay on track. I also was able to take a few minutes to meditate while walking to the bus or driving home from work when I borrowed the car.

What I have been missing is my morning routine of journal, yoga, meditation that has kept me so grounded for the past few months. The struggle to stay balanced and happy not only depends on the things you do, but how you view the struggles you’re presented with.

So, how do you stay focused on staying well in the middle of upheaval? What do you focus on (or ignore!)? Let me know in the comments!

Time Investment and Relationships

Last week I traveled to Buffalo, NY, to visit friends from high school. These ladies were not those I considered my best friends for much of high school. We didn’t have a ton of classes together and we didn’t engage in a lot of activities after school together, either.

What made these relationships different was that when we went away later in life, to college, to jobs, to other cities, we always found ways to make time for one another.

So now, 15 (yup, that long!) years since we graduated high school, we still make time for one another at least once a year. I live in Nashville and my ladies live in Buffalo, but they come down here or I fly up there. My parents no longer live in Rochester, where we all went to high school, so that makes visits more difficult because we don’t have the holidays to share with one another.

When I started this post–two weeks ago as I was thinking about my journey to Buffalo–I was thinking about how the time and resource investment is what makes these relationships special. There are friends of mine from that same period in my life that are visiting Nashville this week, but although we were close then and follow one another on social media now, we haven’t made the requisite time investment to see one another recently.

This is what changes people in your life from acquaintances to friends and from friends to family: the amount of time you invest into your relationships. Your Significant Other becomes the most important person in your life, and eventually a member of your family (if you’re lucky) because the two of you invest time in building your relationship. Remember that “best friend” you had once upon a time? You spent all that time together and really connected because you spent that time together. There may have been some initial chemistry in any of these relationships, but the investment is really what will carry them through.

When people say “Relationships are work,” sometimes they mean that one has to make compromises and do things one doesn’t want to do, but more than that, on a basic level, relationships require investments of time and attention. What do you invest your time in, and in whom do you invest? Contemplating (and actually answering!) these sorts of questions are a path to happiness.

So: who and what?!