Friday, April 28, 2017

Investments

I like the kind of questions that make me stop me in my tracks. The kind that get down under my skin and really make me think, forcing me to repeatedly revisit it.

April has been nothing short of a whirlwind, with two fantastic weeks of back to back visitors. First we had the honor of hosting Andrew's brother and wife, who then went on from here to Greece. Two days after I headed back to the airport to scoop up three of Andrew's high school/middle school/elementary school (IDK these guys have been friends forever) buddies, who we had a blast running around Israel with.

Andrew's friend count of visitors: 5
Kait: 0
(not including family)
Where ma' girls at?

Since the dust settled this past Monday and the boys went on to their next connections - including Andrew who had a work trip - the apartment has been eerily quiet. Too quiet. So quiet that I made a point to hardly be in it at all, jumping from working in coffee shops to dog walking to visiting new babies to the gym, etc.

But it was the quietness and loneliness of this week that made me revisit the question that one of Andrew's friends asked me last week - What would I even be doing with my time in Israel if I didn't have an interest in fitness.

The question honestly left me without an answer, and my response at the time was to laugh and shrug, admitting that I had never even thought about that.

Think about it though. Think of the most prominent interest/passion that you have in your life, whatever you are most invested in and love, and then pretend you actually don't like it at all. Wipe it off the map. What do you think your fall back would be?

I'm still scrapping my brain. I would say my runner up is writing - but how do you make friends through writing? Attend slam poetry contests? Maybe a local writers workshop hosted in Hebrew?

Perhaps I would get heavily invested in dogs. I mean I already am - and genuinely, heavily miss being a dog mom every single day. I've always had in the back of my mind to volunteer at one of the local shelters - and have even looked up courses as to how you can become a dog trainer. Dogs are probably my second passion tied with writing.

I don't know why, but the question shook me and simultaneously made me step back and really appreciate what this passion has done for me - actually for both of us as a couple - in regards to the life that we have built here in TLV.



Outside of the fact that fitness-related activities take up a lot of my time and are slowly but surely intertwining with my career, it's also how we have made roughly half of our friendships in Tel Aviv. So to imagine removing that entire portion of my life actually makes me wince a little.

It's an odd thought to have, but I found it to be an equally productive brainstorming session. At any moment passions/loves/interests can quickly be extracted from our lives, and perhaps it's smart to know what you can fall back on when it comes to dedicating your time and energy.

Just felt the need to share, and let the general realm of health and fitness know that I'm appreciative of it. On that note - I'm off to swim. Have a great weekend!

Cheers - 
Kait

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

L's

Never in my life have I wanted to fast forward through a few weeks more than this past month of March.

More than back when I had college finals, more than long weeks of two-a-days during volleyball preseason; I would go through all of that again without hesitation to avoid the pain that March brought with the loss of our pup.

It's been eye opening how together we've dealt with the gaping wound that loss brings. At first I felt pretty desperate, knowing there was literally nothing that was going to heal my heart besides time.

Time.

It's time that it takes to heal a lot of things really - physical and emotional - injuries, getting over relationships, etc. And so with that comes patience that you don't want to have.

I wondered how I was going to get work done, get groceries purchased, when every 5 minutes something would trigger tears and I would literally belly-flop face down onto our bed and get mascara on the sheets for the 4th time that day.

Don't worry, I'm not doing that anymore.

Andrew has a habit of using sports analogies throughout conversation, a habit I've grown to love. So March was a lot of discussion around 'curve balls' and 'taking an L' (a big one) and re-figuring out our life in Tel Aviv without a dog, a life we haven't known here.

Anyways, the point of this blog post isn't to make you sad, even if it is a little sad. I waited a long time to write again because I wanted to wait until I had something positive to say, and until I had a grasp on what I was learning. Because there is always something to learn from situations that life throws at us.

So here is what I learned, that I've always known, but never really known:

1. You will always need your family more than you think.  Even when you're 29 and "all grown up" you're not - you will need your mom and your sister to lay on the couch with you and cry while they bring you a glass of wine. And your dad to take you out to breakfast and simply reminisce about times when life was a little more simple.

2. When you're upset, wait to write. Actually no, write whenever you want to but wait to publish your words. You don't want to see some of the dark stuff I have in other drafts and journals.

3. We will never be confronted with things in our life that we aren't able to handle. It might feel like it at the time - I fully, 100% believed that I wasn't going to function in Tel Aviv without Kai; she was my right-hand woman and went everywhere with me. And while I'm still sad and sometimes lonely, I'm very much functioning - waayyyy better than I thought I would be able to. Even if functioning means I'm stopping to pet every other dog I see on the street.

4. There will always be good in bad. You just have to allow yourself to see it - which can take awhile. When you are sitting in a situation that feels like 100% shit, I promise there's something good you can dig out of that shit.

It snowed my last day in Chicago, and to me it felt like a sign. Snow has always been my thing, and it brought this weird sense of calm when walking into O'Hare through the flurries to get on my flight to go back and see my husband and face our empty apartment for the first time.

Losing things; people, pets, jobs - loss is never easy. There's often a big fat why, but honestly what has helped me to keep my chin up (besides my great husband) has been to stop questioning. If I'm being honest 2017 started off super bumpy, I felt like my heart was being repeatedly stomped on - situation after situation, a lot of which will never make it here in text. But I had to force myself to stop trying to figure out WHY it was all happening, stop always trying to find logic in hardships, and instead just trust that it was supposed to happen.



Trust - keep on swimming, and find the good. Joy is tattooed on my foot for a reason; because we are designed to be joyful, and to find it even when we think we can't.

So cheers, to the life that a new month brings. Andrew and I have a pretty crazy two months ahead of us, and I'm excited to sit back and enjoy that ride - good and bad.

Kait