Tag Archives: 31 days

#31Days: Day Twenty Nine (or, my day in photos)

Today, you get to see what 14 hours of life as Chelsie Baugh feels like. You are welcome.

6 a.m. – meditating on Psalm 30

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7 a.m. – Jackson decides to wake up

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8 a.m. – driving to work

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9 a.m. – sorting email, making a list for the day

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10 a.m. – I wish this was closer to my desk

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11 a.m. – driving to Fort Worth. Don’t let the clouds fool you, it’s warm and muggy.

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12 a.m. – team lunch before a big afternoon

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1 p.m. – media event set up

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2 p.m. – CEO of RadioShack remarking on new concept store in Fort Worth

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3 p.m. – “thanks for coming, here’s a gift bag!”

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4 p.m. – driving back to Dallas (not pictured: Pop2K on Sirius XM)

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5 p.m. – also, that drive took a whole hour to get back to my office

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6 p.m. – bootcamp, because I am crazy

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7 p.m. – continuing work, also setting up my blog

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8 p.m. – Asian chicken and stir fry vegetables, because food is good.

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So there it is. Day 29 of the month of October in the life of Chelsie B. Additional items not pictured: 4 bottles of water, 2 glasses of red wine, a shower, 4 phone calls to Kate, many texts from the family group text, Halloween costume ordering, me crying while watching The Biggest Loser and Jackson losing his mind barking at the most well-behaved dog ever.

Xo,

Cb

This is the 29th post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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#31Days: Day Twenty Eight (or, how to not drown)

You can be a little over your head, but don’t drown.

This quote is one of the fifteen (not kidding) inspirational-ish items tacked up around my cubicle at work. It’s a good thought with a lot of real-life credit behind it.

Think about it: in your life, when have you tried the hardest? Usually, when you don’t want to (or you’re scared you will) fail. When you’re a little in the water, but you’re not sinking yet. When you’re having to swim against the current, but your arms and legs aren’t fatigued yet.

This is where I sit today.

As I said yesterday, I am bone-tired. Not tired in the I-need-more-sleep way. Tired in the  I feel very empty way.  My wheels are spinning and I’m moving, but getting nowhere. I’m putting energy into a lot of things and feeling empty, getting no investment in return. The current is strong and I’m sitting neck-deep.

But, when you have to – you will. I stumbled across Dre All Day’s motivation posts and this happened to be the one that popped up. You’re lazy when you can be lazy – if you’re in a situation where you can’t not do it, you will do it. Same principle as being in over your head without drowning. You start swimming.

This morning I was most thankful for the quiet hour before 7 a.m. I read a magazine and I purposely thought about nothing other than what I was reading. This didn’t change my schedule for the day, didn’t remove my anxiety or auto-pilot my laundry. Unfortunately. But what it did do was give me some still, quiet moments to think about how to swim before I had to jump into the day.

I’m so glad I’ve made this a habit.

Xo,
Cb

This is the 28th post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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#31Days: Day Twenty Seven (or, additional voices in my head)

Some days I am very satisfied with myself – these days when I mark up a to-do list with highlighted lines and check marks. These lists are not limited to my cubicle at work, I make them for cleaning or cooking, for personal goals and packing. I mark up mental lists, post-its and lined notebooks.

Today I had a thought – what if I didn’t make these lists?

Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I don’t need to list and structure my life. Maybe these lists – this pressure – is one of the sources of my deeply rooted guilt I can not shake when even the most minor of infractions happen.

Tell me – who feels guilty when they live alone and leave toothpaste in the sink? Who can’t shake the feeling of irreversible wrong doing if they let a call go to voice mail? Who feels a consistent need to confess a minor fender bender to any and all coworkers, as if not telling them of my act would somehow be worse? Who believes their dog is sad when he isn’t taken for a 15 minute walk? Who goes to bed at night worried because there is one load of laundry left in the dryer? Who wakes up mentally calculating the hours in the day and wondering when they can fit in work out and a light dusting of furniture because they have to do it today, this Monday, right now? 

I can’t believe I am the only one with this insane amount of self-pressure. Some blame the internet or TV – pinterest is the root of all self-doubt, right? But I think this pressure actually comes from the tiny voice saying you have to figure it out as soon as you can, and you better figure it out correctly.

Maybe I should stop telling you all how many voices are in my head, I’m starting to look a little crazy. At any rate, these voices are doubling down on my sheer exhaustion at the pace of October this year. I’ve worked a lot, traveled a lot, moved a lot, thought a lot. Everything is just a bit much and I have a deep, deep desire to rest.

Hoping this week shows a balance. Only 4 more days of 6 a.m., if you can believe it.

Xo,

Cb

This is the 27th post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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#31Days: Day Twenty Five (or, life is good)

Life is messy.

Some days it’s tough and mean, some days it’s just unkind. Some days move too fast or too slow and they don’t cooperate. Some days people ask too much of you. Some days people don’t speak to you.

Some days it’s good to you. Some days are sparkly and give you presents. Some days surprise you with their depth and the happiness.

Today, it’s pretty.

Life is good.

Xo,

Cb

This is the 25th post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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#31Days: Day Twenty Four (or, you may be alone forever)

Emotions, right?

Did you read the title of this and think, oh okay cool definitely what I signed up for in this life? Doubtful. Did you read it and think, how did she know the voice in my head repeats the word ‘alone’ at least 12x a day, especially while I shower and in the sweet, quiet, honest moment right before I fall asleep? Oh, because the voice is in my head too.

The thing about fear is fear is a sneaky jerk. Other emotions, anger or joy or passion or empathy, these bubble right up. They show up on your face, in your words, through your body language. Tears or smiles or laughter or cuss words all convey instantly yes, I am mad or hooray, I am happy. But fear? Fear hides in the faces of strangers, small words in your head. Fear slips in the unknown, the quiet, the unseen and settles in the cracks you left open for Hope.

Fear does not present itself instantly or honestly, doesn’t show up in a package and say “guess why you can’t sleep? you’re scared of being alone. you’re scared of success and also of not succeeding. you’re scared of losing. you’re scared your dreams won’t come true. you’re actually too scared to dream.

Fear is rude, to say the least.

I thought about fear this morning as I lay in the quiet on my couch. Fear is so grandiose when portrayed – the giant great white shark eating you, the scary ghost-girl haunting the house. But the scariest fears are hidden in the tiny voice in your head, so quiet you don’t even realize the voice is speaking these words to you and controlling your actions.

I thought about this voice in bootcamp this past Tuesday. I’ve been going to bootcamp regularly for about five weeks, and as the weeks pass I find myself recognizing the voice telling me it’s too hard or you look silly. I didn’t hear it at first, I just truly thought it was too hard, or I did look silly. Then I remembered, hello this is not too hard – you are an able-bodied human just go for it. Maybe this is the same attitude we should have when it comes to work, love or family.

Annie Downs, one of my favorite bloggers, is writing for 31 days this month on how to Speak Love in your life. I think (and she does too) it is crucial for you to speak love to yourself. She posted this a few days back and I realized, my own negative self-talk is hurting me – my bones, my soul.

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 (credit Annie Blogs, @speaklovenow)

Maybe the voice telling you your friends think your sweater is ugly, or you won’t ever get married, or you can’t get stronger is just a mean little idiot who is wrong. Maybe you should start talking back with kind words. Or, at the very least, with truth.

I know I should.

These are the realizations you have in the dawn, before the sun has risen and your puppy is still snoozing.

Xo,
Cb

This is the 24th post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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#31Days: Day Twenty Three (or, the day we address delusion)

For about 18 or so months now, I’ve held firm to the belief I know who I am and how I became who I am. I reflect on major shifts, gravity drops, mountains climbed from 2010 or so to today and I think, yes those made me who I am. Those tests made me stronger, those weaknesses made me pray more.

  • Finding strength to do a strict 30 day Paleo challenge made me aware of food’s effect on my body, my emotions.
  • The bottom dropping out of my family but coming back together in a new, stitched-together, almost imperfectly perfect way made me believe in hope, how if you keep hoping – really hoping, not surface level – you find peace.
  • Settling into a routine, a life, in Dallas on my own made me realize you are never really alone if you are busy living life the way you desire.

All of this to say, I really thought I had it all figured out. I really thought “hey I’ve made it. I’m almost a quarter through this life and I know who I am and what I want and maybe I don’t get it today but I’ll get it someday. Look how adult I am.”

Two things happened:

1. I was home for a weekend in early August and stood in my old closet studying my old bulletin board. Riddled with football tickets, New Year’s Eve crowns, song lyrics I printed out on our home computer and old photos, I saw a poem written  by my sister when she was in elementary school. The point of this poem, as far as I can tell, was for her to use metaphors and she wrote it about me.

She had long brown hair
When she smiled it was so bright, you could hardly bare
Her eyes are diamonds shining bright
If you ever needed her she was strong and could put up a fight

They said she was stubborn; sure, sometimes things had to go her way
I mean, to her she was right any time of day
Her voice is a horn if things don’t fall into place!
But even if you don’t need her, she’ll come just in case

But stubborn?

To me, she was the light that led my pathway
She wanted things done right without anyone to complain
I’ve always wanted to be like her someday
Believe that I can do anything and nothing will stand in my way

So first, I’m not sure how my voice was a horn when I was 14 (or what I could be that stubborn about) but she was right. And I was floored. Here I am thinking I’ve discovered *the* secret, I’ve faced challenges and I’ve become this strong-willed person who wants things done correctly when in fact, this is who I’ve been since forever.

Then…

2.  The sermon in church one Sunday was on wrestling with God and how we won’t admit when we need help, when we’re vulnerable. We’re trained as a society – as women, especially – to be strong, to be capable. To overcome, persevere. But there was a line the sermon where I caught my breath:

 The opposite of perseverance is stubbornness. Eventually, vulnerability results in glory.

I feel I’ve been fighting a war in my head against my head for about two months. This sentence may not make sense to any of you who don’t over-analyze anything, but for those who do, you know what I mean. There is no tangible ‘problem’, there is no one event or person or thing to which I can point and say here is why I feel anxious. I can say with confidence I feel I have painted myself in a corner, have these strict rules of who I need to be, what I need to do and I give myself credit for getting to this point of “routine.”

Here’s the issue, the person I believe I became (notice a lot of “I” statements here, credit does not always belong to me but I do love to give it to me) in the past few years is the person I was a decade ago when my sister wrote a poem about me. So I have not done anything new. I’ve just accepted a few things that were already true about me. Which means I don’t have to continue to strive for anything, because I ALREADY AM THE THINGS I WANT TO BE.

More than this, I don’t have to do it all alone, it is not ON ME to construct this life. 

Sorry for yelling. Revelations don’t come quietly, it seems.

Xo,

Cb

This is the twenty-third post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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#31Days: Day Twenty Two (or, the dismissal of social media)

For Lent this year, I gave up the big 3: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On February 13, I pulled the saved log ins for all three from my work computer, personal laptop, iPad and iPhone – and while I’m startled anyway at the myriad of access points I had, I was more startled to feel so disconnected from people.

For about two days.

The first weekend, I felt very free. I could do whatever I wanted and it did not matter what people (near or far) were posting, saying, filtering and tweeting. I did not have to answer to anyone or any platform. Nobody was able to know where I was, how I felt or what I thought unless they called me. Calling me! How novel.

Now, I had my reasons for disconnecting and they ranged from things or people I didn’t want to bother myself with seeing to just me as a human trying to think about only me. I also know I am not the first and won’t be the last to disconnect from social media. I did not break new ground here on the stress or anxiety caused by seeing everyone else’s ‘fun’ or ‘perfect’ life, FOMO is not something I invented, etc.

What I am here to tell you is I am proud of myself for spending 46 days only answering to people I saw in real life, heard over the phone or to myself. I spent 46 days filling my time with cleaning my apartment, reading books (! real ones), getting adequate amounts of sleep or exercise and face time with people and activities. In those 46 days, I had no desire to check Facebook or Insta to compare, I did not feel guilty for staying in alone on a Saturday and I did not let my mind wander into the dark places of anxiety or loneliness.

I like to challenge myself – to see what I can live with or live without, to test my limits of endurance and willpower. I thought of this Lenten challenge this morning when my instinct was to immediately open Instagram as soon as the clock hit 7 a.m. I was up at 6, working (not the intention of these 31 days, but I digress) and was itching to check social media. For what? Good Q.

As the months pass, I consider giving it all up again – or at least taking a hiatus. Could you? Would you? It’s freeing, I tell ya.

Think about it.

Xo,

Cb

This is the twenty-second post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.

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