Why Life Shouldn’t Always Be Comfortable

All Gold Everything

Yesterday I was 28 and today I’m 29. I didn’t change much overnight, but I did over the last year. One year ago, I was settling back into living in Minnesota after spending three years in NYC. I was desperately missing public transportation, seamless web and of course, my friends. I became highly dependent on my GPS and spent nights researching good places to eat. Most of the people I grew up with were married and many had children. Popular bars from college were closed and Northeast was no longer just a place with a hockey rink. I was back in Minneapolis, but for some reason the city I spent a good part of my life in felt so foreign.

I spent the last year trying to find my footing, searching for a way to make Minnesota feel like home again. I found a great apartment with all of the things I would have given up a lot for in NYC. I started an amazing job with smart people who challenge me to be better every single day. I took Minnesota winters head-on and bought a new Jeep, with a snow feature. I started serving at Eagle Brook Church, got more involved in my small group and spent time reconnecting with friends. I traveled, met new people and even got my mom to run her first half marathon. It took a year, but today I realized the Minnesota I knew before isn’t and shouldn’t be the Minnesota I know now.

Every day we meet people, have experiences and make decisions that change us. We may not notice it overnight, but we are constantly becoming better versions of ourselves. We live in a world that has given us the opportunity to continuously grow, learn and change. In fact, I don’t want to live in a world that always feels comfortable. A little bit of discomfort, a feeling of being in a foreign place is a good thing. When we get complacent in our lives, we stop living in a sense. We have to keep challenging ourselves to live each day with a purpose. If we wake up every day and try something new, we are allowing ourselves and those around us to grow.

As I turn 29, I’m not going to reflect on the 20 things I learned in my 20s. Yes, I learned a lot. I made mistakes that turned into opportunities. I made decisions that turned into lifelong memories. I had experiences that changed how I see the world. Twenty-eight was another year in my journey that made me who I am today. I did a lot, but I could have done more. So my focus for 29 is going to be just that. Try something new every day. From small things like taking a new route to work to bigger things like backpacking through Germany, I’ll spend this year toeing the line between comfort and discomfort. Always learning and growing so I can turn 30 and do it all over again.

If you’re wondering what new thing I tried today, it was Goldschläger. Yes, a liqueur with 24K gold leaf flakes in it because the theme at my work birthday party was All Gold Everything. A theme that will continue throughout the year.

Finding Comfort Around the Kitchen Table

Bread and Wine By: Shauna Niequist

What happened at the Boston Marathon today was horrifying. In fact, the past few days have been tough. Last week we learned a young family friend has cancer. Friday we found out an amazing person and her husband experienced a horrifying, unexpected situation. Today we watched as bombs went off at the finish line of one of our country’s most prominent marathons. These past few days have been filled with pain, confusion and a need for comfort. Not only for me,  but for many people in my life, the running community and this nation. These are situations that impact so many people. So many good people. This is a time to remember what’s important in your life and to hold your loved ones close.

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Twitter Converting All Profiles to Header Image Layout

 Twitter announced that starting tomorrow, all existing Twitter accounts will automatically be converted to the new layout. This means  all personal and company/brand accounts will now have a gray header image unless the account was previously updated with a personalized header. 

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post  explaining how to change a header image and highlighted the benefits brands will see from the new layout. Similar to Facebook’s cover photo, Twitter’s header image is now a focal point of the profile page. All companies, brands and personal accounts should be taking advantage of the new layout. The Twitter header image is a great opportunity to tell a brand story and strengthen messaging, or tell your own story. Unlike Facebook, this header image does not yet have regulations and can be used for branding, contests and much more! 

A few of my favorite headers images include Nike, Coca-Cola and General Mills. What are some of your favorites? 

 

Nutella Stuffed Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

The final product for the bake-off

I work at a healthcare agency and like most good communications agencies, we usually have an abundance of food. From free lunch to cooking/baking contests, we are very well fed. Today we had a bake-off to raise money for multiple sclerosis, a disease close to the hearts of several people who I work with. About 20 people baked amazing bars, cookies, pies and cupcakes for the panel of judges to score by taste, presentation and overall experience. After the judging, all employees were invited to an all-you-could eat baked goods feast for a $5 donation. The bake-off raised more than $300 for a great cause AND my cookies got first place! I can’t take credit for the recipe, but I thought I’d share it with you along with a few tips and pictures. I plan to try several variations of this cookie, so stay tuned.

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Officially a Tough Mudder

Some of our team post-Mudder

After about 11 miles, 22 obstacles designed by British Special Forces, more mud than I could have imagined, bruises, cuts and awesome team camaraderie, I am officially a Tough Mudder. Yesterday when I toed the line with hundreds of people I’d never met and my team of about 15, I had no idea how important we would all be to each other for the next four hours of our lives. The Tough Mudder is considered one of the toughest events on the planet and I couldn’t agree more. While marathons test endurance and mental strength, the Tough Mudder also requires overcoming fears, risking the unknown, trust and teamwork.When asked which was more difficult, I would answer they are just different and probably not for everyone.

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Running: It’s a Zen Thing

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Read this is Competitor magazine. It’s a good reminder to just let your legs carry you on every run. Also, for those running Fall marathons, trust in your training and just go! Good luck out there.

 

Don’t Give Up

Don't Give Up

I saw this quote on Pinterest and really related. Remember, you’re alive for a reason. The author is unknown.

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