I’m alive (barely). Thanks to lots of this:
Yes, O-HI-30 readers (if there are still any of you…), I’m alive. It’s no coincidence that my last post on this once twice-weekly blog was the day before I started my new job five and a half weeks ago. The fact is, I simply haven’t found the time or the energy for this space until today. But I’m here now!
I knew that making a change as big as the one I made was going to be hard. I knew I was going to be challenged in ways that I hadn’t been before, that I was going to be working longer and harder hours, and that at times I’d question why the heck I made such a crazy decision. I took three and a half weeks off of work between jobs so I could mentally decompress and rebuild. But despite all of this, I still couldn’t fully prepare myself for the enormity of this change.
Perhaps I’m sounding a bit dramatic. Afterall, plenty of people work a lot and change jobs often. But the fact remains that justified or not, this change has been harder than I expected. The transition from a cushy ~40 HR work week to a ~60 HR one has been a real butt-kicker. Hence the reason it’s taken me 5.5 weeks to figure out how to fit my beloved blog back into my life (and hopefully not temporarily)! The learning curve in a completely new and foreign to me industry has been steep (although not unsurmountable). And of course, there’s the new people. Often the most overlooked of challenges, navigating the dynamics of an organization and building new relationships is never easy, even for an outgoing person like myself. Combine all of these changes, and needless to say, it’s been a rough month and a half. When faced with unknown challenges, I think it’s rare that we can ever really prepare ourselves for the road that lies ahead. All we can do it attempt to keep our heads held high and our feet moving forward.
I taught spinning this morning, and post-class I mentioned to my loyal spin student, blog reader, and friend Lindsey that I was thinking about blogging again today. She made an excellent point: that even though my life is crazy and hard right now, there is still a lot of good in it, and maybe posting about those good things would be a helpful reminder of all that I have for which to be grateful. Wow! What thoughtful and insightful words.
So with that in mind, I’d like to share some recent happenings, big and small.
Nash BACH in Nashville!
My dear friend Laura Nash (aka Nash) is getting married three weeks from today! A couple of weekends ago, Nash and 18 of her closet friends hit the skies and the roads from all over the country to congregate in Nashville, TN for her bachelorette party! If you’re like most people, your reaction to this is, “NINETEEN people?!” Yes, indeed, Nash is one popular girl, with many close friends who love her dearly and wouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate such a momentous occasion.
As her maid-of-honor, it was my honor (and duty:)) to plan Nash BACH, along with her sister and matron-of-honor Libby and her four other bridesmaids. Special thanks to Libby, a Nashville local, with who’s help this amazing weekend could not have been pulled off. So how does one plan a bachelorette party for 19 girls?! A daunting task indeed, but one made much easier by Airbnb. A number of months ago, Libby and I found this spectacular 5 BR / 5.5 BA Victorian, located just a couple of miles from downtown and perfectly suited to our massive party. Rather than spilt the group into overpriced hotel rooms, this beautiful home allowed us to all be together under one (very spacious) roof. It’s as beautiful in person as the photos on the website, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the space.
Per usual, I failed capture photos of every aspect of the weekend, but suffice it say we ate well, drank well, and danced even better! The live music in Nashville is all it’s cracked up to be, and this coming from a girl who doesn’t even like country music! We even took a “redneck bus tour” Saturday afternoon, which while far from the best sightseeing tour out there, was a fun and humorous way to spend a couple of hours together.
It’s not easy to plan a weekend for 19 girls, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy everything came together. Kudos to Nash’s friends for being so easy-going, just like Nash herself! And most importantly, the bride-to-be had a wonderful time. Next up, WEDDING!
If you know me at all, you know that my favorite day of the year is not Christmas (and that’s not just because I’m Jewish) – it’s the TAILGATE! Ash’s husband Johnny and his brother Warren have been hosting their annual tailgate for a whopping ten years, and every year it’s gotten bigger and crazier! Recall that last year I actually missed the tailgate when I was in Spain, (a fact I am still upset about), so needless to say I was very excited to be in Columbus and off work last Saturday!
The day started as it always does – with a five mile run with Ash in the crisp fall (more like winter – it was 30 degrees!) weather. What followed was pure debauchery! We piled on the layers and the drinks and partied all. day. long. I had to work early the next morning, so the night ended early for me, but I still managed to squeeze in about nine hours of tailgating. We missed you, Pam! Till next year – GO BUCKS!
One of my spinning regulars is a kind, quiet, older gentleman named Alan. Alan is a hardcore marathoner, having run numerous marathons including Boston. A few years ago, Alan credited my spinning class with helping him set a new personal record (PR) for himself in the Boston Marathon. Well, it appears that PR is no longer valid anymore – he set a new PR a few weekends ago running the Chicago Marathon, with a whopping time of 3:01:41 – a ~6:50 min/mile pace!!! After my class on Monday night, Alan handed me a piece of paper – his official results from the marathon, with a hand-written note thanking me for his new PR. I hardly think my once weekly spin class is to credit for his stellar record-breaking performance, but I’m honored to have contributed even a little to his physical and mental preparedness. I was so touched that he not only took the time to tell me this, but to print out his results and hand write a note. It was incredibly thoughtful and made my day! Congrats, Alan!
Greek Salad Dressing
I have my friend Sarah to credit with finally transitioning me away from bottled salad dressings to homemade ones! I started making this greek salad dressing after she brought it to Memorial Day weekend at the Ash’s lake house, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. What has me really geeking out, though, is the new tool I bought to make it even easier to make: a juicer! Nothing fancy, just a handheld manual juicer. And I have work to credit for that discovery. After working the “bev” station for a few shifts, I discovered how freaking amazing this simple kitchen tool is. No, squeezing lemons is not a difficult task, but it’s made infinitely faster and easier with this tool. I highly recommend! I bought this $12 one on amazon and while it’s not as nice as the one we use at work, it does the job.
As for the dressing, it’s very simple: equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, oregano, and kosher salt. The amount of the latter two depends on how much lemon and oil you use, but for reference, to one cup of liquid (1/2 cup of each), add 1 TBSP of oregano and 1.5 tsp of salt. I squeeze the lemons directly into a mason jar with measurements etched into the side (love), so that way I just add an equal amount of olive oil and modify the seasonings as necessary. These two lemons made a little less than 1/2 cup of juice. The dressing keeps in the fridge for a week or two and is super yummy! No more bottled dressings!
Alright, folks, that’s all – for now. Time to make guacamole and head over to Caitlin and Zane’s for an outdoor football watching party – they are projecting the game on their garage! And if any of you are reading in the Columbus area, I work my last front-of-house brunch shift tomorrow, so come visit the Beechwold location and get yourself a Big Burrito! Next up: back of house – aka, trial by fire 🙂
I hope your “trial by fire” is going well! I get excited when I run a 6:50 during speed work, I can’t imagine doing that for 26.2 miles, especially 15 years from now. Alan is amazing! How lovely of him to give you credit for the conditioning your spin class provides.