Jen’s Favorite Things
I love lists. I love when people share what they’re currently crushing on, and you don’t need to be Oprah to do it. I always listen to my fave authors when they recommend a book they love. But lately, there’s been a few things I’ve been a tiny bit obsessed with this New Year, and I thought it would be fun to take a quick break from the writing cave for a post.
Yeah, I know I haven’t been here in a while. I know I’ve been lacking a bit on social media. But I’ve decided the most important thing I can give you this upcoming year is more books, rather than constant status updates and random pics of my dogs. Oh, I’ll post some of those—I’m not giving any of my apps up, but I may be a tad less constant for my own creativity.
Anyhoo, here’s what I’ve been up to since January 1st and the things that have come into my life that I love or am grateful for. In no particular order:
1. Cheer – the docuseries on Netflix.
I highly recommend this show. It brings you into the heart of competitive cheerleading—which is fascinating enough—but the real draw are these kids. They are rawly honest, sharing their pasts, their dreams, their struggles, and heart aches. I feel like I know each one of them and want to give them a hug, to sit and talk to them and let them know how extraordinary they are. The coach is amazing the way she relates to them individually. Basically, if you are a writer, you need to watch this show. I am a character driven writer and I was buzzing with the need to sketch out people like this – real people who live both big and simple lives. If you’re not a writer, you’ll enjoy it anyway. A shout out to my joyous Jerry who taught me to be better just by sharing his story. And I love Lexi and would do anything to meet her. And Morgan. And Gabi. Oh, hell, ALL of them have become important to me!
2. Nounos low fat Greek yogurt.
Yep, yogurt made my list. I had this for the first time and am officially obsessed. The flavor of Coconut Mango is like dessert. It’s high in protein, low in sugar, satisfying, and tasty. I’m not a big dairy person so calcium is a problem, but now I eat these for breakfast and I’m more energetic and satisfied. Please note: this is my opinion. I’m no doctor or nutritionist. I just love this shit and want to share.
In the new year, I made a commitment to my health. I’ve done it before – drink more water, lose weight, get fit. I try different things, too many mostly, end up starving myself, losing weight, then putting it back on with one party weekend. But I noticed I don’t feel good. I’m not moving. So, I really looked at my life to make changes that would actually work. Long term – not short term.
One of them was exercise. I used to be fit. I taught yoga. I meditated. I did kickboxing. I felt great. As I get older, it’s getting more difficult and time is a huge factor. 2 years ago, I purchased T25 with Sean T., did it for a week, declared I hated it, and packed it away. Goodbye one hundred fifty bucks. Hello, comfy couch.
I stumbled upon it looking for a dish, and took it out. Dusted the DVD’s off. And felt like it was a sign. 25 minutes of hard work outs a day. I could handle that. I tried it out for the first week and got hooked. It’s amazing to feel so damn good after such a short time, then go on with your life without driving home, or looking at a full hour lost and wondering how you were going to make it up. I waste half an hour all the time. Now I put it to good use.
It’s not about the weight this time. That will come. I want energy. I want to feel like I can run and play with my dogs without getting out of breath. I want to make my Fast Pass at Disney without huffing and puffing! I go at my own pace, and after 2 and half weeks, feel stronger and more fit. It’s made a big difference for my mental state.
4. Rob Thomas
I was extremely lucky to be able to attend The Sidewalk Angels Foundation benefit concert at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Rob Thomas – singer from Matchbox 20 – packs the place and sings all his songs in an intimate manner, giving us background on the songs, how he wrote them, and parts of his life that inspired them. ALL proceeds from the concert go to the Sidewalk Angels which is his charity started with his wife, Mari. Most of the funds go to animal rescue – which is close to my heart. One of his songs was even about his dog and not missing a moment in this life. Basically, for two nights, I was able to lose myself in his music and think about life with a new perspective. I was re-motivated, relaxed, and creative. I forgot how attending a concert can be such an amazing experience. So, I finished downloading every song he ever sang and have been listening to him and Matchbox 20 on repeat for days. Note: Matchbox 20 is going on tour this summer. I’d highly recommend it.
5. Becca Syme’s Course – Write Better Faster
Writers always want to do better. Market better, write better, sell better. But there are so many minefields which are completely unique to our lives and makes it difficult to be at our best. Enter this course, which uses a variety of tests to pinpoint individual strengths, using discussions, and one on one coaching. I wanted to start the year with a better mindset and get help with my obstacles. I’m now so much more aware of how my strengths can propel me forward, and by recognizing how my brain works, I can input systems that help rather than hinder. In a nutshell, if you are a writer and looking for help – take this class. Her book also rocks.
That’s it, my peeps! It’s always so nice to connect with you – please drop me a note and let me know if there’s anything you’re loving this new year!