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Less Laboring, More Living: Part Two

Last Labor Day I wrote a post titled, “Less Laboring and More Living” and it’s been on my mind all weekend…because I’ve done it.

In last year’s post I shared that the norm for me was to get by on 5-6 hours of sleep a night, “because I could.” I had a lightbulb moment where I realized how much clearer, fresher and energetic I am when I’m resting more and living more.

Fast forward to this year and I’ve made some HUGE changes in my life in the direction of less laboring and more living. Here are a few things that have happened in the last year…

  • SLEEP. I am so freaking excited to report to you that I have now given up all but one of my early mornings and that early morning class will shift to start at 6:45 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. after Labor Day…so it’s not so bad. That means 6 days a week I can sleep until at least 6:30 but most days it’s more like 7-7:30 and I wake up naturally without an alarm.
  • I gave up all of my personal training clients. As my role and focus at the studio continued to grow along with my desire to maintain my blog, something had to go. I slowly cut back on training over the last year until I had phased out all of my clients. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the work but I like the stability of having a permanent set teaching schedule with yoga and the flexibility, creativity and alone time that comes with blogging is appealing to me. I’m still thinking of getting into training again but with an online platform instead of one-on-one in-person.
  • I never bring my computer to the couch with me at night. For more years than I care to admit, 90% of my blog posts were written after dinner on the couch before bed. I now carve that time out to watch a show with Tanner and relax. My computer stays in the office!
  • I’m reading before bed. I decided I missed reading and to make it a priority again. It’s been a wonderful shift and the best way to wind down before going to sleep.
  • We are traveling more and taking more time off.
  • We are spending more time with friends.
  • I’m blogging less. I’m not sure if you guys have even noticed but I’ve backed off of my posting schedule. Some weeks I might get 3-4 posts up, other weeks it might be 5. I give myself a lot of grace around that depending on what’s going on in other areas of my work/personal life.
  • I’m saying no a lot more. If something isn’t 100% a fit when it comes to time, money, energy, etc…I say no. This has been so freeing and has saved me from a ton of stress.

Gosh, this is a goal that I’m so proud of actually making actionable steps towards and I hope to continue to improve the balance more and more as we wrap up 2017 and look forward to 2018!

And with that, a few pictures from my Labor Day Weekend.

Two amazing runs. This one on Friday solo and very humid. The other 5 miles with Virginia on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Both around a 9:15-9:30 pace.

The Marriage Lie

Two pool days with my nose in a book. I loved The Marriage Lie and finished it in three days. Tanner started it at the pool this afternoon and is on page 175 already. He hasn’t put it down! Definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for an easy reading page turner.

Truly, Madly, Guilty

I started Truly, Madly, Guilty today. Funny story, I recently purchased The Husband’s Secret at the used book store but when I started reading it I was like, “this is very familiar.” Turns out, I read it years ago. Oops! Hope this one is good. I’m just getting going with it.

Lots of puppy time. We dog sat Virginia’s nine month old cockapoo on Saturday-Sunday. Stella LOVES the big dogs. She had so much fun walking with them and kept up with us like a champ. Virginia told me her usual walk is around 15 minutes…we went for 45. Oops! ๐Ÿ™‚

Look at this sweet face.

Not going to lie…we enjoyed having a lap dog for two days. (Oh and I so need to order those slippers y’all recommended…it’s happening TOMORROW!)

clean juice southend

I tried Clean Juice on Sunday for the first time after I ran with Virginia and then taught strength at the Y. I needed a quick refuel before heading to the studio to teach a yoga class. This was strawberries, bananas, chia seeds, almond butter and almond milk.

And don’t forget to read about our super fun Saturday date night with ramen and vegan gelato!

I sincerely hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend and are entering this short week feeling refreshed and happy.

Is there anything you’ve given up or cut back on or added lately in an effort to “laborย less and live more?”ย 

What was the best part of your Labor Day weekend?ย 

Last book that totally sucked you in?ย 

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • meredith @ cookie chrunicles September 5, 2017, 5:55 am

    I’ve definitely been sleeping later in the morning and I have also given up my sort of strict 6 day a week posting schedule. I don’t know when it happened but I think one day I just said sleep more, blog less and it makes me happy lol. some weeks I post 6, others I only post 3 and it’s all okay ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:38 am

      I think the expectations we place on ourselves around blogging can be a little much sometimes. Good for you for giving yourself more freedom around that!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt September 5, 2017, 8:59 am

    I’ve tried to make these changes too! One thing I need to work on is putting the phone down and only checking social media a few times a day.

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:37 am

      You and me both girl. If I could make that happen, it would be a HUGE step in the right direction for me.

  • Laura September 5, 2017, 11:21 am

    I love this life update! I’ve definitely noticed you are relaxing more and taking more time for you! I’ve noticed you post less, but when do you post, it’s more meaningful. Less “fluff” if you will. Question–are you and Tanner going to be married any time soon? Do you think you’ll start a family of your own? Sorry if that’s too personal, but I think you’d be a GREAT momma!!

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:36 am

      Thanks Laura! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m not sure. We talked about getting married towards the end of the summer and then summer passed so quickly. I think both of us are just kind of okay with the state of things. I so hated wedding planning the first time around that I just haven’t been interested in doing it again. We’ll most likely elope or have a very small family ceremony when we do get married. Yes, we hope to start a family one day!

  • jessica September 5, 2017, 11:49 am

    Love this post! Kudos to you for finding more space in your life for the things you love and need. I sure do love my sleep.

    I recently decided to take an intentional 2 year break from fundraising, committees and board service. I have spent the past 10+ years being deeply involved and engaged in the community. While it has led to incredible work and personal growth, it was taking a real toll on me – to the detriment of my personal energy, interests and relationships. I’m only a few months into my break, but it’s been fantastic and 100% the right decision for me. I am focusing my time on my personal life and my career, and my marriage is thriving as a result.

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:35 am

      Hey Jessica – thanks for your kind words and also for sharing your personal experience with this. Giving back and being of service is so important but we can’t be in giving mode 100% of the time. It sounds like you absolutely did the right thing by taking a step away to shift your focus for a period of time. So inspiring to hear that you’re already reaping the rewards of that.

  • tara September 5, 2017, 1:30 pm

    WOW you have made huge strides. how wonderful ! i really want to get back to reading more. where does all my time go ? i probably do to much phone “stuff”. i have practiced the saying no thing for a bit of time now and i encourage people to do it. its hard at first and people may not react well but eventually it gets easier and you feel less anxious about it. i am about 3/4 of the way through jodi picoult (is that how you spell it?) book small great things and i LOVE it. im listening in the car and i seriously cant wait to get back in my car today to continue.

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:32 am

      Hey Tara – I do most of my reading at night before bed. It’s been great for me to get OFF my phone at night and read instead. It helps me so much with sleep. I love audio books too! Great way to sneak “reading” in all over the place!

  • Ana September 5, 2017, 3:02 pm

    Yess! I love this! Congratulations on making those big changes. This is something that’s so important to me – to live my live in a way that’s intentional about selecting what I devote my time to and what I say ‘no’ to (even when that’s hard) and not giving in to the cult of busy-ness. I’ve noticed that in periods of my life where I was extremely busy, life passed by in a flash and I was hardly enjoying or even registering what was going on. I quit a bunch of stuff too, and I make sure to get plenty of sleep, and life is better in every way. It feels like a life that I created and is full of stuff I want and prioritize, not a whirlwind where I’m hanging on by a thread.

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:31 am

      Hey Ana – thanks for the feedback and sharing your personal experience with saying no and slowing down. I couldn’t agree more with you that time seems to pass in a flash when you’re super stressed and hanging on by a thread. Life feels much richer and rewarding when you do slow the pace and enjoy the moments more.

  • Sherri September 5, 2017, 5:07 pm

    I love this post. Definitely need to work on a few of these myself. Also, as someone who used to have online clients (nutrition coaching) I will admit that I loved the flexibility of it, but definitely had to carve out special “working” time to reply to clients, etc. I miss it (and the extra cash!) but my crazy schedule meant that I needed to give it up to maintain some sanity.

    • Sherri September 5, 2017, 5:18 pm

      Oh – and what kind of watch is that?

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:30 am

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with online clients. I could TOTALLY see how you’d have to carve out response time. That would be a tricky thing for me.

      It’s the Apple Watch Series 2!

  • Colleen September 6, 2017, 10:45 am

    YAY! Thank you for the playlist!

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:28 am

      You are very welcome!

  • Laura September 8, 2017, 8:04 am

    I’d be very interested to hear if you decide to do training through an online platform! I’ve been considering finding a trainer to work with online so let me know if you’re looking for someone to test it out on ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jen September 18, 2017, 10:18 am

      Thank you Laura! I will certainly let you know if I do a pilot program! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Megan September 21, 2017, 2:55 pm

        Ohhh please let me know also if you do a pilot program! But I will definitely be interested whenever you do launch your online training ๐Ÿ™‚

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