Not to sound like a total downer but is there anything less obsession-worthy than being back to reality? I submit that there is not.
I know, I know. Woe is me. But in all honesty it’s probably for the best that I’m not on a perma-vacation from work and life and all that jazz. Turns out schedules and deadlines kind of help me to thrive. Also turns out I’m incapable of staying awake past 8pm.
So even though I kind of feel like this lady:
I also know it’s good to be back in a routine and the jet lag will eventually subside. The memories are priceless and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, so that’s keeping me motivated to push through the week (and look! It’s already Wednesday!).
What tips do you have for getting back to real life? Let me know in the comments — I could surely use them!
Our first seven days in Ireland have had their fair share of ups and downs, but as I’ve learned from the Irish to say, “It’ll be grand” and “We’re not here for a long time so might as well make it a good time.” These also remind me of a family favorite saying, “If you’re not having fun it’s your own damn fault.”
Quotations aside, we’ve done a TON of learning and laughing along the way from Dublin to Killarney, the Ring of Kerry and more. We have just a few precious days left here and I know we’re both trying to soak up every second of it (even if it means the 6:45am alarm comes way too soon).
From remembering my Grammy’s passing to my eldest niece starting kindergarten on Monday and tomorrow’s 24th anniversary of my dad’s stroke, it’s been quite the emotional adventure as well. I couldn’t be more grateful, though, to spend the time with my mom in her parents’ homeland and with unforgettable memories in the making.
So, that’s about all I’m obsessed with this week. No breakdown of the four top things, because I could hardly choose from the live music to my bag being returned to the stories to my bag being returned… well, you get the idea.
If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans, right? I’m going into my 12th hour of travel and have only made it to Chicago. Same for my mom and she’s JUST getting off the ground from Orlando.
Our destination? Dublin, Ireland! The luck of the Irish might not be on our side today but I have high hopes the delays will make the destination that much sweeter.
Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary since my maternal grandmother passed. I was studying in Ireland at the time and didn’t make it back for the services and to be by my mom’s side. So while my genius idea to take Magz to Ireland for Grammy’s angelversary has gotten off to a rocky start, I have every hope that the next nine days will be incredible.
May the road rise up to meet you 💚🍀
Tomorrow is my birthday, which means I’d normally be in a constant mode of self-reflection and criticism and wondering if I’m where I “should” be. It only feels good in the moment, as if I’m “doing something about it,” but then leaves me in a tailspin of turmoil. What I find much more rejuvenating (and as a result, better for my skin!) is to live and let live. Look out, 32!
- Birthday, Unabashed: I’m a constant work in progress, always looking to learn and grow and evolve. All that pressure, though, is exhausting. When I take stock of things in my life, I am more happy than not. I am more at peace with my accomplishments and failures, my triumphs and trials, than I’ve been in a very long time. That’s something to celebrate.
- Self-Care Saturday: A big piece of my identity has been how low maintenance I aim to be. But, that’s often equated to me not taking care of myself in ways I actually do enjoy. So last Saturday, I had my makeup done by the magical Melinda at Sephora and my hair done by the genius Paul at Atelier Emmanuel, and I didn’t feel ashamed or frivolous or self-conscious for a single second 💁♀️
- This Map: The first gift this year was from my biggest fan, my Mom. Another selfish (in a good way) pursuit I’m working on is traveling more, and this scratch-off map will help ensure inspired planning. Spoiler alert: We already have tickets booked for Ireland in August, and I’ll be hitting up Germany’s Oktoberfest in the fall. Danke, Mama!
- “Truth Hurts” – Lizzo: I’m obsessed with Lizzo’s entire album, music videos, voice, body, ALL. OF. IT. This banger is far and away my favorite. I wake up with it in my head, I go to sleep with it in my head, I hum it in the shower, I’ve contributed to ~100 views of the video. Painting a pretty clear picture of my devotion, no? Some NSFW lyrics but I dare you to not love it.
Well, we made it to 2019. Can you believe it? However you spent the countdown, I hope you had more fun than Chrissy Teigen getting hit in the face with an umbrella (still love you, Leslie!) and Andy Cohen listening to Anderson Cooper describe his mother’s affairs with Marlon Brando.
God bless this wacky, weird world.
- United Airlines: Don’t @ me. I continue to fly United when it’s got the lowest prices and best itineraries for my destinations (hello, nonstop SFO → MCO). After the Kenya snafu, I was able to use my credit toward a holiday flight home, and the service was top-notch on both routes. Flying is often frustrating, but United’s customer service is still among the best I’ve experienced.
- Whole30: I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. Well, not really since I can’t have sugar for the next 30 days. This clean-eating phenomenon has an annual resurgence each January, and I’ve joined the bandwagon to reset my palate and mindset. The biggest struggle so far is not reaching for sweets, but I know I need this to get back on track. Let me know if you’re interested in joining my low-key accountabili-buddy group!
- This Candle: The real winner from the four White Elephant parties I attended this holiday season? None other than a Saint Kanye candle. I enjoy most of his music and agree he’s better off without a Twitter account, but every time this catches my eye from my desk I gain a little smirk. I won’t actually be lighting it, so hopefully I don’t summon any more crazy.
- “Stronger” – Kanye West: There are many variations of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but I’m obviously inspired by the candle so this one wins. Through all of 2018’s ups and downs, faith and humility helped me along. It doesn’t hurt that this is one of my fave workout songs, but I also recommend when you’re having a shitty shit day and need a reminder of your superpowers.
This week’s obsessions are brought to you from a faraway place — the Masai Mara in Kenya!
During a very deep lunchtime conversation in July, a co-worker reminded me how important it is to use PTO for things besides weddings and babies and birthdays and funerals. Another co-worker chimed in about her friends’ upcoming safari trip in Kenya and shared the info with me to consider.
I literally came home that night to yet another wedding invitation — and while I am truly honored to be thought of by so many for their life milestones, I considered my own life milestones and what I’d like to achieve for myself.
Africa has been on my travel bucket list for some time, but I didn’t ever think a trip like this would fall into my lap. But thanks to some luck and a fabulous family-owned company called Safari Spots, I’m here!
I left Thursday and will return to the US on Monday. It’s been a whirlwind in every aspect of the word and I can’t wait to share more upon my return.
For now, I’ll simply say: Don’t wait. Life is truly what happens when you’re making other plans. So go on that adventure, take that leap of faith, do whatever it is you’ve been itching to do — because you never know if the chance will come again.
I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.
- “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
- Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
- Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
- “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.