Life is hard. We all know that. While it’s not hard day in and day out for most of us, there are times when it’s hard. Even brutal, unrelenting, absurd, miserable. You get my point with the adjectives. I’m a firm believer in choosing your hard, though. What do I mean by that? Every minute of everyday we are choosing to do something. Whether it’s working out or sitting on the couch; working towards financial freedom or scrolling our phone mindlessly, we are choosing something. Mindset and attitude play a big part in this. Feeling like you’re worthy of better or more is also a key. I’m going to tell you in this blog the hard things I choose to do and the alternative of them. Hopefully you will learn to choose your own, better hard, and realize that hard you choose is pretty freaking awesome when you get on the other side of it. You'll see it was worth the effort.
Don't Be Like Merlin and Hide in a Basket with a Yoga Mat He Refuses to Use.
Figuring out a personal exercise regimen takes time, but my gosh is it important. Our society is so sedentary as a whole, and too much of the population in the United States is overweight to a healthy degree. I don’t want to be in that number, and I don’t want to be skinny fat. (Skinny fat is when you’re thin but your insides are super unhealthy, in a nutshell.) Heart disease is the #1 killer for women
, so choosing your hard shouldn’t actually be that hard at all. Do you want to die because you didn’t do the hard thing of exercising and give yourself the most opportunity to live? It’s a choice. Choose your body, choose yourself, choose life. Exercising is a non-negotiable in my life. I workout 4x per week doing yoga or Pilates. I walk the other days because it’s free and requires putting shoes on and leaving my house. And I don’t let anything stop me. I also listen to my favorite podcasts
while doing it. Find something you enjoy or at least don’t hate and make exercising the hard you choose.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Eating Clean and Cooking at Home
There are a few reasons eating clean food and cooking at home have become essential to my "choosing your hard" list. First, I’ve found the quality of eating out, from service to the actual food and preparation of it have decreased. This isn’t every restaurant, but it’s enough that I don’t bother going out much anymore. I’m a die hard farmers market attendee
, and the food I get from there is leaps and bounds better quality than most of the restaurants that are going to slap you with a $200 bill. How about fast food restaurants? Sure, it’s easy to drive through, but then your body suffers from processed ingredients and low quality food. Gross. My success to making it easy on me is choosing a few “go to” recipes that are quick and simple, and some that I can make in bulk. This way I don’t give myself an excuse that I don’t have any food in the house. Because that’s all it is: excuses excuses excuses. Figure out a plan that works for you and turn your car from the fast food line to the farmers market or outer aisles of the grocery store.
Pepper and I Assembling Notecard Packs
Realizing Your Career Dreams
For me, owning a business is realizing my career dreams. After having worked in high level corporate and in family businesses for bosses that I would never take advice from, I knew it was time. What would’ve been harder for was staying in a toxic work environment, so choosing your hard might look like a lot of long, hard days building your own thing. I started my real estate career
while working full time, and slowly decreased to part time, to doing real estate full time. Because that wasn’t enough, I decided to take my Roaming with Red brand and monetize it. Here I am, selling products and writing week after week. Owning my own businesses hasn’t been a breeze or walk in the park, but failing fast and figuring out what works has done me well. My life is my own, and the only person I’m accountable to is the big guy upstairs (that’s God for you non-believers). I’d choose this hard any day of the week.
Choosing an Exceptional Marriage
Marriage is hard. Can I get an amen? It’s so.dang.hard. But so is not being, to some. I grew up with exactly zero example of a successful marriage, partnership, unity. Divorce was threatened constantly, yet no one left. It was normal for me to hear that, so here I am on my second marriage, repeating what I learned as a wee child. Something happened not long ago that I realized I need to release that from my vernacular. I realized I don’t even want to get divorced from my husband - I just want to feel safe, secure, seen, and loved. Kind of like my younger self. It was a massive epiphany for me, and I decided that choosing my hard involved staying married. While neither of us is a prize at all times, we have a lot of things going for us. Without the threat of divorce on the table, I think we will start to grow in ways that I wasn’t allowing before. It’s actually scary for me to think about, but it’s also exciting, like venturing into unknown waters and possibly finding a treasure. I’m fortunate my husband is patient. I’m growing, and he sees that. And so is he.
Tater Driving Me to Therapy So He Gets a Break
Therapy is a massive commitment. It’s not just a time commitment, it’s a work-on-yourself-day-in-and-day-out kind of commitment. My gosh is it hard. Choosing your hard and going to therapy is the biggest gift you can give yourself, in my opinion. Don’t think you need it? Ha! I’m talking directly to you, friend. You do. We all do. It’s clear who believes in it and has done in/is doing this inner work and who doesn’t. For those of us in the pro-therapy boat, trust me when I say that you won’t be a worse person for attending. My therapist has helped me not lose my entire sanity, stay married, and supported me distancing myself from toxicity in my life. I wouldn’t know what to do without her. You want bigger and better for yourself? It’s time to make that appointment. Living small and accepting things you wouldn’t encourage your best friend to accept is not the life you want to lead. I know and you know it. Get the gunk out of your system and get into therapy.
Remember You are Loved. I Love You!
Distancing Myself from Toxic People
Goodbye, toxic humans. Why are people so toxic? Oh…because they haven’t invested in their growth (ahem, therapy). So that leaves us folks having to make hard decisions. When you grow, change, become your most authentic and genuine self, people don’t like that. They want you to stay the same because it’s what they know. It’s comfortable to be the same, but man is it hard. Choosing your hard by backing out of toxic relationships is the hardest hard I’ve ever done. But I would do it again 1000x over. I’ve been alienated, rejected, insulted, badmouthed. Do I care? Yes. Not enough to go back. It’s hard. I keep saying that. It’s also the most necessary piece of my life. It has given me the ability to do amazing things. I've started this creative venture with Roaming with Red, met some amazing people, chose not to have children, and am breaking the cycle of dysfunction. Find people to support you if you decide to go on this journey. Trust me, you will need it. Also trust that there are more of us out there than you know who've done it and been through it. I support you. Make the break for your own sanity. You’re strong and worthy enough to do it.
Friends: Quality over Quantity
I’ve never needed a ton of friends. I like who I like, and I’m good with that. Choosing your hard by eliminating the fluffy friends is a very adulting thing to do. I partially feel like this is inevitable in your adult life, but if it hasn't happened yet, I’m here to tell you that it is ok if/when it does. Quality over quantity has become my hard that I’ve chosen because I want to relate to my friends on a deeper level. If I’m still partying with my college group, I’m not really growing. Nowadays, I pick and choose who I want to hang out with. If I’m hanging out with you, it’s 99% of the time because I like you enough to make the time. Otherwise, I’m at home with my pets or spending time with my favorite person: myself. Or my husband. Whittling your friend list down is hard, but it’s liberating. You can really hone and get to know the select few in a greater way. I'll give you this list on how to
! You’ll all be better off for it, and the feeling of safety in this is amazing. I love my friends, and they know it. And I know they love me.
A Sculpture in London of Friends with Clear Differences Loving Each Other
Being Honest with Myself and Others
Man, do people either love this or hate this about me. Going back to the previous section about friends, I know the people who choose to be in my life like my honesty. The people who are forced, like certain family members, haaaaaate my sense of security in being perfectly honest. It’s equal to brutality to them. You’d think that being honest was a flogging. I don’t care, though. Honestly is kindness; fake is nice. I’m not in this life for being nice. Kindness is what matters to me, and that is just what I will be to anyone I come across. Choosing your hard to be the most truthful and honest version of you is hard because you have to get real with yourself. Getting to know your truth translates into being honest, and that is the kindest gift you can give. It’s about being the person who tells someone they have a booger in their nose without mocking them in front of people. Honesty will naturally eliminate people from your life, but I promise that the truth will literally set you free, especially from miserable people.
Choosing Your Hard is Amazing
Life's a journey, alright. Choosing your hard is something I think of everyday. It's about choices. Do I sleep a little longer? Not do that one more notecard pack I need to wrap? Stay in a toxic relationship that sucks my soul? Choices. The more I get to know myself, the easier the choosing is. I know what I want and I go after it. There is no waiting for permission from someone. It’s not going to fall in my lap, either. Going after whatever it is that you want, whatever life you want, takes work. But the alternative is just as hard. How many doctors visits do you want to go to when you could’ve spent that time cooking a healthy meal or going for a walk? How much longer do you want to rot at the job you loathe before starting your dream path? Choose your hard. I’m here to support you, and so are many other people. A healthy, fulfilled, badass life is what you deserve, so start today. Choose your hard.