Hashtag 100 Days of Happy

Writing hasn’t come to me. I fall asleep when I read. My journal is no where to be found. I force myself to run, lift and yoga–when I do I’m always happy. Always. I’m trying, still trying, to get out of this funk and get back to doing what I love. I find myself on Facebook and InstaGram way too much, being jealous, pining for the days that I was on the road, wishing I was in the mountains or with those friends I met so many years ago. Today that changes.

Today I move. My car is packed and I am literally sitting in the spare bedroom at my Mother’s house on the bed that is stripped of sheets, freshly vacuumed and void of everything mine. Finally, I’m moving home…home will now be Chicago and I’m planning on enjoying it, being who I am and becoming who I want to be. But right now Facebook and InstaGram are flooded with people Hashtag-ging (#) 100DaysOfHappy and writing about what they are thankful for, happy about, excited about RIGHT NOW IN THIS DAY. So I’m jumping on the band wagon.

Since I can’t seem to keep up with blogging, journaling, reading or anything else I’m giving myself the task of Instagraming and Facebooking #100DaysOfHappy every day. Starting with today. By adding a new status or a picture everyday brings accountability to my ‘writing’ but also forcing me to recognize that every day there is something to be happy about, even on the most horrible days we can all find something to be thankful for.

Day ONE:
#100DaysOfHappy #Day1 Today I move to Chicago and I’m an incredibly happy and thankful for the people in my life that have been so outrageously supportive of me the last six months. (You know who you are, I don’t need to list you)

Here’s the plan: Follow me on IG @Sloanderr to see pictures of #100DaysOfHappy or I’ll be updating them on here as much as I can and feel inspired. I have a feeling the next 100 days is going to be an intense emotional roller coaster and I’m nothing more than excited!

Pay It Forward

>PING<
You know when Facebook makes a noise and you see the notification is from someone you don’t recognize. Someone you friended when Facebook was new and you just wanted all the friends you could get. >PING< Who is this? >PING<>PING<>PING<

The message is long. Who is this!? Reading, she apologizes for being ‘creepy’, and identifies herself as someone who I went to summer camp with 12 years ago. 12 YEARS ago! An image of a chubby me in braces carrying a riding crop and mucking stalls flashes in my head. I think back to the cheers, the horse back riding lesson, being too self conscious to put my swim suit on and swim on the hot July days. I remember family style dinners and waking up before the sun to hike up the huge hill to the horse pastures.

Ashley’s e-mail begins by talking about an inspiring talk she had heard (I wondered if she’s as obsessed with TED talks as I am,) the speaker talked about the power of kindness. Ashley said my 13 year-old self had comforted her when she was homesick. That something I said impacted her not only in that moment but she had carried it with her for the last decade and a half. The idea of being open, caring and honest without fear of judgment had led her to be as compassionate as she says my 13 year old self was. I was speechless after I read the message. I had no idea how to respond. I was in shock that something I had done when I was so young had been kept close to someone’s heart for so long. I remembered the girl, I remembered  that summer, but I didn’t remember that moment.

So I thought back to a time where I felt vulnerable and someone had helped me. I wrote Ashley back, thanking her for thanking me (awkward,) and said that she had inspired me to ‘pay it forward’ and tell someone from my past how much I appreciated a small act of kindness and tell them how it had effected me. Just by acknowledging these small acts I think inspire people to continue to do them. We don’t do them for recognition or gratitude,  most of the time we don’t even know the things that may have profound influence on someone else, but I think the acknowledgment can be really powerful.

So I did. I emailed someone and thanked him. I don’t expect a response or a ‘thank you’ in return. I wanted him to know how he had made me feel on a certain day and maybe it will encourage him to think back to a time and ‘pay the thanks forward’ to someone from his past. Do me a favor and do this. Spread this love, this peace, this powerful energy–cast your web further and dig into your past (deep into it or to yesterday) and say thank you. The power of gratitude is incredible.

Defining ‘Community’

Community. I love to define things here on my blog. Not that putting a definition on something really creates it for you, but sometimes it helps convey some sort of message by means of words that I didn’t write—the real meaning of the world, and then I’ll throw a curve ball with my own twist on the it.

 

Community:

noun, often attributive

: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)

: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

: a group of nations

 

I like the middle definition the best. I mean, a community of people have the same interest generally flock together in the same area to form a community, right? WRONG. Not in this day and age with the internet, blog-o-sphere, skype, email, facebook, texting, facetime…what other techy communication words can I throw around? Twitter, life 360, uhmmmm… I’m running out, MySpace? Is that still a thing? I probably still have one floating around somewhere online.

 

Anyway.

 

Community. I’ve always ended up finding myself in the physical fitness community. Both literally and interwebbidly (that is a word now.) I’ve tweeted about my training, I blogged about my races, my classes, my goals, etc… facebook has been a huge motivator and encourager and keeper of commitmenter. (Feel free to start using my new vocabulary any day now.) It’s all helping to morph into another form of community. One on one interaction of awesome people helping awesome people via…you guessed it…the internet.

            My amazing friend, Ashley, is a kick ass trainer over at Comfy Fitness in Chicago. She and I skype and text most days about workouts, she’s setting me up and kicking my ass virtually three times a week. I still need to have the motivation to get my ass to the gym and do the routine, but she supports me and encourages me even when I’m super sore and tired. I love having this support.

            My friend who lives in Miami is training for her first 5k (!!!!!) I love getting facebook messages from her telling me that she completed her first ever 2.5 mile run, she asks me questions, she tells me that my voice was in her head when she wanted to stop but I wouldn’t let her. My friend in Michigan is also beginning his running venture—totally new for him and he’s having triumph after triumph and tells me about it. I love hearing from and supporting these friends! Then I tell him my struggles with yoga and meditation and he reels me back into reality with wise advice, amazing quotes and things to read.

            The yoga community at Power Yoga Morgantown is amazing. This studio has had me commit to 30 days of yoga, I’m on day 16 and cannot wait to get to class tonight! I truly feel myself growing daily with my practice. #yogachallange (check it out on instagram, every time I get a ❤ from one of these amazing yogis it makes my day). I’ve also started building a yoga community at work. Getting people involved, girls who have never done it before trying it! Opening peoples eyes up to the power of yoga, exercise, stretching, bending and pushing themselves is amazing. Having the support while I push myself into uncomfortable places is amazing.

 

I guess my point of this blog post is to say that community, whether you’re involved via the internet or real live life—both are a wonderful thing to have. Cherish them, help them grow, let them flourish and bloom. You never know who you’ll meet and what connections you’ll make.