The Good Stuff

Life can be rough. We sit in traffic, get ingrown hairs, stuffy noses, wrinkles and parking tickets. We step in dog poop, chewed gum and muddy puddles. We track it into the car and through the house. We breakdown, stress out and mess up. {Sh}it happens. But I’m tired of focusing on the sad stuff, the bad stuff and the downright crappy stuff. I want to pay tribute to the stuff that makes us smile, the stuff that makes us grateful, the stuff that makes us LAUGH. Here’s to the good stuff…

Here’s to nitrous at the dentist, ‘that’s what she said’ punchlines and arriving on time. To Facebook birthday wishes, A/C on a hot day and freshly shaved…legs. To brand new love, lifelong love, following the rules and breaking the rules shortly thereafter. To horoscopes, cold beer and authentic Mexican food. To inspirational quotes, rediscovered gift cards and fresh, clean sheets. To thongs…both kinds. To productive Saturdays, lazy Sundays and actually completing a Pinterest project. To good neighbors, easygoing landlords and a roof over your head. To inebriation and sobriety. To public libraries, laundromats and people watching. To sugar highs, carbohydrates and raw, organic food. To televised sports, higher education, dogs that look like their owners and family around the dinner table.

Here’s to community pools, the sound of children’s laughter and taking pictures. To waking up naturally, your favorite coffee mug and your morning pee. To green lights, a good sneeze and popping bubble wrap. To low tide, a great fortune in a cookie and home videos. To good hair days, witty banter and happy hours. To full tanks of gas, old CDs and road trips. To ripe bananas, the first beads of sweat during a workout and perfect playlists. To that cop who finally passes you, after driving behind you for what seems like forever. To sand dollars, rainbows and shooting stars.

Here’s to mermaids, palm trees and the smell of sunscreen. To hiking, driving and cuddling on the couch. To the carpool lane and clean underwear, co-ed softball leagues and bikes. To seat belts, sunshine and windows rolled down. To the snooze button, hugs, good news and free samples. To fully charged batteries, sticky notes and email. To animal videos on YouTube, tasteful tattoos…and not-so-tasteful tattoos. To the sound of waves crashing on the shore, warm sand between your toes, salty skin and the first few seconds of a hot shower. To greetings from a friendly dog, wind chimes, foreign accents and kids’ perspectives on life. To free time, concerts, ball games and the smell of a BBQ. To Wi-Fi, sweat pants and the taste of food after you’ve rolled one up. To farmer’s markets, purring cats and the ocean. To spontaneous kisses, holding hands and date nights.

Here’s to sweet text messages, friends you know outside of Facebook and weekend plans so exciting, they get you through the week. To 18 holes of golf, a home cooked meal and feeling that good-kind-of-sore. To cell phones, front row parking, online dating and paychecks. To the Eagles, Tom Petty and Bob Marley. To Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks and Beyonce. To blue jeans, bidets and Netflix. To the smell of rain, modern medicine, finding the remote in the first place you look and coffee of any kind. To back cracking, Chapstick and Craigslist. To a fresh coat of nail polish, the sound a vacuum makes when it catches something and the day after laundry day. To gardening, wildlife and California. To the good ‘ol U.S.A.

Here’s to sunrises, sunsets and every breath between. Here’s to the good stuff.

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Spinning as a metaphor for life

I love Spinning. Not the kind of spinning you may have experienced in college, lying on the bathroom floor, bargaining with a higher power to see you through. Rather, the kind of Spinning where you ride a bike…that doesn’t move…indoors.

Some Spin instructors are better qualified to kick your butt than others, but I have two favorites in particular: one is an ever-positive, girl power, cheerleader type that uses her microphone headset for good—making a point to encourage everyone putting forth any kind of effort whatsoever. The other is…well…militant—the kind of instructor I feel a Stockholm syndrome type love for. One who has beaten me into submission and given me the gift of steel buns. What I love most about her class is that it’s a reflection of life: hard as hell yet there’s a certain ecstasy to being part of it.

This endearing Spin sadist is always chanting “THIS IS NOT A BREAK! THIS IS ACTIVE RECOVERY!” Like her Spin class, life doesn’t offer breaks; it doesn’t allow you the luxury of stopping to rest your weary body. Life only allows for active recovery…if you’re lucky.

And, similar to life, each day in Spin finds me in a different condition. Some days (although never often enough) I feel invincible. My endurance is seemingly limitless and I possess the energy to vanquish any and all hypothetical hills that inevitably lie ahead. Other days find me struggling for breath, suffering with every pedal stroke, sweating like an animal and feeling like Andre the Giant and his equally behemoth-esque girlfriend have affixed themselves to each of my feet. Sometimes we go fast with little resistance to slow our pace. Sometimes the resistance is devastating and we must delve deep within for the strength to power through. But we do. No matter how daunting the climb, how heavy the load—we always keep moving.