The Second Wave


When you’re scared of something, you always feel better once it’s over. I remember sleeping HORRIBLY for weeks before my first triathlon. The night it was over? I slept like a baby. Same with the time I rappelled down a building for charity. Fear of doing something ends as soon as that something is over. Bam. Done. No more stress.

Social Anxieties, however, are a different beast.

I’ve said before that the first time I ever had a gathering at my house, it was 5 years ago and it was a Harry Potter party, I worried about every speck of dust and strand of pet hair for DAYS before. I’m happy to say that forcing myself out of my shell and hosting many things since has TRULY helped me get over a lot of my Before Event social anxieties. I hosted a book club again last night and I didn’t stress out hardly at all in the days leading up to it.

I’ve come a long way, baby.

But Social Anxieties have a Second Wave of stress that comes after the event. The wave where you replay everything you said and did at the event and want to punch yourself in the face over all of your failures. This wave is stronger if I host an event, but it happens even if I just go to an event. I remember the night after a Christmas party last year, I woke up in the middle of the night stressing out about a self-deprecating joke I had made. I don’t think those people got the joke. They don’t know me that well. Did they know I was making fun of myself? That I wasn’t serious? Should I Facebook message them to be sure?

(I did NOT Facebook message them. BUT I HAVE BEFORE.)

The Second Wave of Social Anxieties is actually what makes us so anxious socially to begin with. It’s the embarrassment over dumb things said or done. Or the shame over mistakes you made. It’s the replaying of those over…and over…AND OVER again that make it so hard to put yourself out there time and time again. All you keep thinking as you consider a social gathering is, “Yes…but how many times will I do something that I will later lose sleep over?”

And yes…you can tell us that no one remembers or cares. And on some levels we know that is true. But the anxiety is not a conscious choice on our parts. We can’t say, “Hmm…she probably doesn’t even remember that I called her the wrong name!” and then stop stressing. Even if part of us believes that, the rest of use with the social anxieties does NOT believe it.

Well…I’ve been up since 2:30am stressing about book club last night. Stupid stuff that logically I know bothered NO ONE, but still! I woke up stressing. My dining room chairs are gorgeous, but not comfortable and I was worried about the people who had to sit in those for too long. Did my kids eat too much of the food sitting out? I bogarted way too much of the conversation. Did I laugh too loud?

Logically, I know that none of those things will keep people from ever coming to book club again.

(OR WILL THEY? ACK. What if people don’t come back because I laugh too loud?)

Anyway…I’m pretty sure that my worries are unfounded. But still…here they are…waking me up at 2:30am so that I can start my day worrying about the night before. Like sane people do.

It was a great night. I have a great group of friends. We joked that the book club grew out of several discussions with people about our own social anxieties or awkwardness so now we’re unofficially the Socially Awkward Book Club. You know, so that everyone feels welcome! Obviously these people get me, so I shouldn’t be worried.

But – it wouldn’t be a thing I talked about if it followed any sort of logic, now would it? Donnie’s sleeping like a baby. It was his house too. We both hosted. (We had three boys in our book club last night! Woo for co-ed book clubs!) But does he torture himself about whether or not people were comfortable? No. He sleeps because it’s over and he enjoyed himself. Bam. End of story. And when he finds out later that I woke up at 2:30am stressing about whether or not I laugh too loud? He’ll shake his head and be grateful that I – at least – don’t let these anxieties hold me back anymore.

Because – in the end – it’s still totally worth it. Rappelling down the building? NOT WORTH IT. Forcing myself to move past my social anxieties to fill my house with people talking about books? WORTH IT IN EVERY WAY.

Summertime Running Gear

As always - thanks to Gregg Gelmis for taking this photo on a recent trail run.

As always – thanks to Gregg Gelmis for taking this photo on a recent trail run.

I wrote an entry here that touched on some of the cold-weather gear I was using in an upcoming race, but my friend Lisa asked about running gear so I thought I’d do another one, maybe more aimed at hot weather.


It’s summer, staying hydrated is much more essential this time of year. Every new runner HATES all of the water options at first. The most common ones are hand-held, waist belt, and hydration pack (backpack). Trust me when I tell you – they will ALL take getting used to.

I like the hand-held water bottle the best. I wore a waist belt for awhile but it just irritated me. I’m so used to the hand-held bottle now that when I run without it I feel completely off-balance. I choose this one because it A) Holds my iPhone and B) Can fit all of the generic/free water bottles we often get at races. That’s the thing I hate about most hand-held systems, they ONLY use that ONE water bottle so you have to be diligent about washing it every time you use it. I like that we can use any of the small/standard generic bottles in our house.

However, that bottle only lasts me about 3 miles in the heat of the summer. So, I often use a hydration pack. My pack has survived 3 trail-running seasons when you need to carry more water on you because setting up aid is more difficult on the trails. I definitely recommend buying one with pockets on the front straps. These packs are all well-designed in that they’re adjustable in 100 different ways so you can set yours up to fit your perfectly. I love filling mine with ice in the summer before putting water in it so I get the added perk of a cool surface on my back in hot sun.


In the winter I swear by the full buff to keep my face warm but during the summer I swear by the headband buff. Not only does it keep my frizzies hidden but it helps catch the sweat from my hair so it’s not pouring down my face while I run. I would not go on a run without one. UNLESS…

It’s raining at which time I wear a visor. That’s really the only time you’ll see me in a visor, is in the rain. You really need a hat/visor to help keep the rain out of your face because that’s really the only bad thing about running in the rain. Especially in the summer when running in the rain feels AWESOME, you don’t want to be constantly cursing it and unable to enjoy it. If there’s even a threat of rain, I’ll throw on a visor. (If you can, choose a visor like HEADSWEATS that has the added plus of the sweat absorbing fabric.) I don’t wear a hat because A) I have too much hair and have yet to try one that fits and B) They smoosh the hair to my head making my head REALLY hot.


Obviously cotton is a HUGE No-No when you run, but especially in the summer. Cotton will hold your sweat against your body and you will get hotter as you sweat instead of cooler. My favorite clothing winter AND summer is the running skirt I bought last fall on sale at Fleet Feet. It’s the Brooks Mesh Skort. It’s super flattering AND it has long enough shorts to cover my chaffing spots on my thighs. Also, the shorts have that anti-move sticky stuff on the inside so they won’t ride up as you run. And finally – the best part? A hidden pocket on the shorts, under the skirt. It’s perfect for a pack of gummies or some chapstick or anything else, really. I don’t know why all skorts don’t have a pocket there because it’s GENIUS. I only have one of these skirts but it gets washed at least twice a week because it’s my favorite so I wear it the most often. I’ve probably gotten 100 wears out of it and it’s not even a year old (trying to justify spending $50 on it). I even wear it in the winter as long as it’s 40 or above. Below 40 and I’ll wear my running tights, but at 40 or above I’ll wear the skirt and some compression socks.


Speaking of compression…

I wear Zensa sleeves when I run in the winter just to help prevent shin splints. HOWEVER, everyone should have some compression socks to put on AT LEAST for recovery after a run. There’s debate about whether or not they’re helpful DURING a run, but almost everyone supports wearing them AFTER. I’ve worn compression socks all day following a long run. My favorite are these from Swiftwick and while the price makes you want to puke a little – I’ve been using the same pair for 2 years now and they still feel amazing. And I don’t even take special care of any of my gear. If I tell you something has lasted X amount of time, know that I’m throwing that shit in the dryer every time I wash it. I don’t bother with hanging stuff to dry. I’m too lazy and it irritates me to have to sort through stuff before throwing it in the dryer.

SO! That’s about it for my gear! Any other questions about stuff I use while I run?

Making Goodreads Remember The Stuff I Can’t

Screen shot 2014-06-24 at 6.04.44 AM I love Goodreads for one HUGE reason – it allows me to keep track of books I want to read. I also rate books I’ve read, sometimes I’ll write a half-assed review if I feel inspired, but mainly I love it as a way to easily add books to a “shelf” that I want to read so that when I go to the library, I can try to find books on that shelf if there’s nothing else I’m wanting to read.

HOWEVER, the downside of this is that the shelf gets HUGE and I forget why I put certain books on the shelf. Did someone recommend it to me? Did I see it on a list somewhere? Did the author get interviewed on The Daily Show? (I get a lot of book recommendations that way!) Did John or Hank Green recommend it? Why is this book on my To Read shelf? I was rolling through that shelf on my phone last night at the library and half of the books I could not remember why they were on the shelf AT ALL. And this kinda makes me not want to read them, honestly. If I can’t even remember why I put them on there!

So, this morning I cleaned off the shelf and removed books if I couldn’t immediately remember why I wanted to read them. Then I pulled up an article I found yesterday about 5 award winning books you should read and started adding those to my To Read shelf. BUT! In order to avoid the problem I had before, I decided to add a “review” to them and see if that helps in the long run with reminding me why they’re on the shelf to begin with. This is what I put in the “review” box for each of the books I added:

(Note to remind me why I put this on my “To Read” shelf – read about it in this article on Huff Po.)

Hopefully that won’t irritate anyone actually looking for a review, and hopefully it will be a quick/easy way to remind me why it’s on my To Read list to begin with. Sometimes I actually am looking for an “Award Winning Book” – usually after I read a “Will Never Win Awards For Anything” book, just to balance things out. So, if linking to that article will help me remember why I added it, maybe I’ll be more likely to read them in the future?

Although my small branch library had NO copies last night. Not even checked out, they were all checked out at the main branch of the library. So! If I want to really read them I’ll need to put them on hold at my library so the main branch will deliver it…alas, I went through that effort for nothing!

But still…I’m hoping this will help in the future because that To Read shelf gets OUT OF CONTROL.

What about you? Do you use Goodreads? Do you use it for the To Read functionality? How do you remember why you wanted to read a book?

For Now…A Photo Of Hope In Alabama

I did SO MUCH AWESOME STUFF this weekend, y’all! And all of it was – in one way or another – a type of “City” event. Meaning that The Rocket City was Rocking Hard this weekend and at the end of it all I just sat in bed last night, (before I ended up sleeping on the floor – long story) and thought, “I love Huntsville so VERY VERY MUCH.” But, I’m tired and slept late (due to the aforementioned sleeping issue) so I’m just going to give you one teaser photo. This is a local church that has – as long as I’ve known about it’s existence – prided itself on welcoming the LGBT community in our city. They sponsored our #RocketCityPride festival and parade yesterday, and here is their group in the parade itself. They had bible verses taped to their truck, I wish I had gotten pictures of those but I was too busy crying behind my sunglasses. I just know how important religion is to so many people, and knowing those people have a home here in Huntsville that welcomes them with open arms? Warmed my heart and actually had me – involuntarily – thanking God for their presence.

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Edited to add: The Unitarian Universalist Church was there too! And the Quakers had a tent too (Not sure if they were in the parade, it was hard to tell if the groups didn’t have a big sign that caught our eye) but they’re another group I know nothing about so I have no idea what class they fall in other than: Church! Yay! And there was a group called “The North Alabama Freethought Association” which I didn’t even know existed. So, Yay for spiritual diversity!

And then sometimes you feel stupid.

There was a recipe posted earlier but someone pointed out something I feel very VERY dumb about not knowing. (Or, rather, maybe being naive about? I don’t know. I’m undecided.) Which made me write a ranty-type post about how I struggle most, not with the food, but with people’s reaction to Veganism. Some vegans say you’re doing it wrong, Some non-vegans tell you you shouldn’t do it. And then I felt stupid writing THAT ranty-type post so you know what? I give up. I’m going to go back to bed. Wake up again. Start over. And just leave this picture from my all-time favorite instagram feed to make you smile.