Well HELLO! Let’s catch up!

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Literally WHO IS THIS!?

I figure there is no better time to [finally] blog again than when I am home sick with COVID. *womp womp* Is this what it takes for me to get my blogging act together??

Yes, actually, it definitely is.

I am very grateful to say that I have only been moderately sick with flu / bad cold symptoms this week. Started with a mild cold, then to a high fever, lots of fatigue, and all that traveled down to lower respiratory symptoms, which is where I’m at right now. The pesky (to say the least) virus appears to be making its rounds a little more again where I am. I hope you and yours are staying well ♥︎

Anyway, onto more exciting things. Let’s catch up! At the end you can find a montage of photos and videos of life recently.

Easter

He is Risen! Happy Easter season! And almost May!

I keep telling people that, starting from Easter weekend, it’s like all my weekends are going to be filled with plans after plans all the way until mid-June. And then it feels like the year is pretty much over at that point. It might as well be Christmas already; that’s how quickly it feels like time is flying.

I had the opportunity to spend Easter in Boston with my beloved friends who are still living up there since we all graduated college. All of my closest friends are still the ones I met through the Boston University Catholic Center (and now their new friends who they’ve made since then!). If you are a seasoned reader of this blog, you know I am pretty obsessed with them.

To love Him more and more

This is my petition to Jesus for this year especially. It’s simple and it has always been my petition, I guess. But more explicitly now, I desire to love Jesus more and more deeply, truly, and completely from all those small and perhaps imperceptible places of reservation in my heart. I am a slow work in progress, but He is helping me a lot.

What a pitiful state of humanity to need so much help just to love Jesus who has Loved us to death, but thankfully, He doesn’t mind us asking for the help.

Work

Can you believe I’ve been working as a doctor of physical therapy for 1.5 years already!? Neither can I.

I am still working at an outpatient orthopedic clinic, helping people with things you’d expect: neck, low back, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, ankle, post-op rehab, concussion (a fave of mine to treat!), headaches, vestibular dysfunction, balance/gait dysfunction… The list goes on. I’m learning a heck of a lot, and I hope to continue becoming the best clinician that I can be.

Training

Well this week training has been a big wash due to having COVID and not really loving the feeling my trachea gets when I try to do any sort of physical activity. Just these past couple of days I have been able to do some lower intensity KB things with lots of rest in between sets. I am grateful for that.

Otherwise, I am still training with kettlebells at home, though I recently joined my high school friend’s gym that he owns to start picking up the barbell again and to use other pieces of cardio and conditioning equipment that I don’t have at home. I am indebted to KBs and all my friends who have taught me how to use them, because they certainly have made me stronger and faster in ways that 6+ years of working out on my own could hardly do.

What am I training for? As cliché as it sounds, I really am training for life and work. My struggles and successes with strength and aerobic training (mostly strength though…aerobic I need to work on) help me to truly understand what I am asking of my patients and to give them the best cues for motor learning. It also makes my actual physical job easier!

I train 3-4 times per week for 15-60 minutes, depending on how much time I have. Making it work!

I would do another Spartan race perhaps… (I did a Spartan Beast (15 miles!) back in October and I am just now realizing that I never mentioned it on this blog! It was a grind but it was so fun.)

Eats

Check out the video below for a peek at some of the things I’ve been eating. I would no longer call myself a “healthy living blogger” based on the merit of my nutrition, but I would call myself a “healthy living blogger” by virtue of how much I don’t overanalyze my food anymore. I think it’s relatively nutritious, but ask a registered dietitian. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh, I do still love peanut butter and banana though. And dried figs with Greek yogurt. Some things don’t change.

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Here is the little spring montage covering life as of late. I created this because my media storage on WordPress is nearly full. I used to embed my Instagram posts on here to spice things up with media, but I decided to make my Insta private because creepy accounts/people abound on the interwebs, and it’s not worth it to me to keep my profile public, since my goal is not to grow a huge following. Instagram is way too palatable and addicting of a platform (as opposed to WordPress) with all of its algorithms that draw cool people, yes, but alsoooo unwanted eyes, so I’ll just keep the bubble closed.

Hence, a montage here to keep things exciting. Enjoy!

When I am not sick at home and when I am working, life is quite full to the brim. I expect that to be the same moving forward into spring and summer, but with Sunday school being over, I hope to add a couple more posts per month to this ol’ blog (which is 9 years old this year!). No promises, but I’ll try! I still love doing this.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

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So tell me:

What is a highlight of your spring so far?

Have you returned to any activities recently as things have opened up more?

Anything exciting coming up for you in the month of May?

Growth this year so far…

Now that we are almost halfway through 2021, I figure it’s a good time to check in again.

On the for real though, I thought about coming back to blog at least ten times in the past three months, but it was one of those things that felt too far gone to just pick up again because thinking about how much I could say was too overwhelming. It still is, but what can ya do?

My last post was published just before Lent. Those 40+ days were lonely at times as I gave up videos, music, and podcasts (except for the daily “Bible in a Year” podcast, because I didn’t want to be 40 days behind on that). I found myself really being averse to silence, trying to fill it with other things like calling friends, playing Words with Friends, or just scrolling on social media instead. But I really tried to embrace that silence and talk to God more about everything, and it was a very rich time. Giving Jesus a chance is the best decision you will make, day in and day out, no doubt.

I feel like I’m finally getting into the swing of things with work now as well. My colleagues do feel like a family, and I believe I am growing in confidence and competence overall, which help foster a positive feedback cycle. So many people are teaching me nuggets of wisdom, whether they know it or not. I am definitely still asking questions and trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing sometimes, but I am grateful to be serving others in this profession of physical therapy.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting some of my friends’ babies in Boston a couple times since February. You read that right. I have (several) college friends with babies now. I don’t think there was a time for me to process that this the new norm, so it just is. I am somewhat stunned still, because I still feel like I’m the 14-year-old baby sitter coming over for the evening when I show up to their houses. But I am also incredibly joyful that this time has come. Cool auntie Alison is HEREEEEE.

Kettlebellarmine (aka my 35lb KB that I named last year when I got it during the lockdown) now has a 97lb/44kg friend that I have named Goliath. Swinging kettlebells has continued to be an excellent way for me to grow in strength, motor control, and patience above all.

Occasionally, I’ll bust out some dance moves and grooves, like this one time I choreographed a little bit to “Name” by Justin Bieber and my fave girl Tori Kelly (in many ways, I’m the same 2015 Alison).

Felt good to dance again 🙂

I am thankful to have had more opportunities to see family and friends as people become vaccinated and feel more comfortable going out into the world within < 6 feet of each other. Hugging people is just the best. I never thought I was a physical touch kinda gal until last year. *slaps your shoulder as I laugh*

The biggest area of growth has been in my desire for God, to just be with Him. Something a friend recently told me was that my desire for Him is only ever a response to His first desire for me. By no means does this mean that if you do not desire God, He must not desire you. Rather, it is one’s prerogative to choose to just listen for His call — His desire for you — in the first place. If you even at this moment have the desire to know what He’s all about, that’s Him inviting you. He is the most unimposing host.

Happy May! Holy taquitos, it might as well be the Year 3000 (@jonasbrothers); time is flying so quickly. Here’s to more blogging this season! *clinks a glass* that’s probably filled with nothing but water

So tell me:

How have you grown this year so far?

What are some highlights of the spring time for you (if you’re reading from the Northern Hemisphere)? Or the fall for you (Southern Hemisphere friends)?

“Alison, this year will be hard.”

“Alison, this year will be hard. But I will carry so much of the burden with you if you let Me. You will grow in so many ways, in more ways than just one. You are ready for it. I am with you always. It will be very good.”

I was prayer journaling on January 3, 2020, and these are the words I had in my heart that God was responding to me after I probably word-vomited a bunch of my anxieties and fears to Him.

This journal entry was written before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, before I left Boston, before my relationship ended, before political and social battlefields blew up, before death and anxiety consumed everyone’s minds, before starting my new career, before being in solitude for 6 months. I’m no prophet, because this could apply to many different years of my life, but it was made very clear to me this year that things would be particularly difficult.

“I will carry much of the burden with you if you let Me.” There were many times I did not let God carry the burden with me this year, because I thought I didn’t have time to think about anything except all the things I just listed. Those were the times when “difficult” became “crushing,” and when I felt the ground beneath me collapse. But in all the times I allowed Him to come and be with me, “difficult” became “difficult but peaceful.”

I’m not here to say that every hardship can be turned into a happy ending now that it’s December 31st. There is a bitterness that humanity tasted this year that won’t go away by holding hands (definitely not that) and singing kumbaya. Hard days are made harder when you specifically asked God to help make the day easier and He didn’t. Death and loss are harder when you prayed that God would perform a miracle and He didn’t.

But God is not wrong. Do not be mistaken — COVID (and all the other bad things of this year) needs to die in H-E-double hockey sticks; I hate it all so much. But as Fr. Mike Schmitz says in this video: God never promised we would not suffer, but He did promise that He would always be with us. “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20)

My last post about solidarity is an ode to this fact. I said to God about 20 times before 8:00am this morning at work: “I can’t do this, Lord. I can’t do this.” But He made His crown of suffering readily visible in my mind. On January 3, 2020, He promised I would grow, and I would not have grown on this day, in this year, had He not let me suffer with Him, as much as I wished He didn’t let me.

“It will be very good.” Death is not good. Suffering is not good. But into whatever I allow God to enter, suffering and death included, it will be very good. Just like the day Jesus suffered and died is called Good Friday.

Some things I still feel have not shown to be very good at all — continued death, continued division, continued hopelessness. Some things I can see are indeed very good — the Zoom calls with relatives; the virtual book clubs; the new, rediscovered, and transformed relationships; the job that both drains and sustains me; the time I received to fall in love with God again.

“You are ready for it.” The times of the past are now 1000x sweeter when I think about them. Seemingly dumb and insignificant memories and experiences of friends, family, and faith have become powerful motivators for me when I’m feeling very low. I am grateful for every sweet and bitter moment that has readied me to be standing in my kitchen typing all of this half asleep right now (before 9:00pm, might I add).

God has kept all His promises this year, and at first it seems to be at my dismay. I wish it wasn’t so hard and I wish He didn’t ask us all to go through 2020. But even the “best” year is not good unless the One who is Goodness Himself is with us. He is with us, if we allow Him to be, and that is very good.

Happy 2021!

So tell me: Anything you want about how you feel about this year or the next!