It was a last-minute decision to see Jerry Seinfeld at The Fabulous Fox Theatre. Heading out the door for a run turned into jumping in the shower and a glass-half-full assessment that, yes, my hair can be salvaged without washing. There’d be no time to eat before the show and the ticket price still hovered between special occasion and splurge, but wow, it was money well spent.
The laughs started with the opening act and only grew louder and deeper after Seinfeld took the stage. Our seats were in the balcony…in the very back row. But even from a distance, it felt like hanging out with an old friend. Jerry (old friend = first name, right?) distills the mundane into bust a gut humor better than anyone. He started off by lamenting the inconvenience of a night out on the town, holding up a mirror for the audience to recognize our generally miserable nature. Did you complain about how to get to the theatre? Parking? The cold wind? The logistics of dinner? Umm…guilty. It’s brilliant how he shines a light on the absurdity of human nature, but then makes you laugh about it.
As Jerry seamlessly transitioned into the next set of jokes, we arrived at the storyline that really stuck with me. He poked fun at our nearly universal tendency to hurry. The ‘I gotta go’ mentality. We rush to the airport, then can’t wait to get through security. We count the minutes until it’s time to board, then it’s, “why aren’t we taking off yet?” followed by, “why can’t we get off the plane?” and “where are the bags, why aren’t the bags here yet?” Sound familiar? I’m certainly not capturing how funny this whole thing was, but the way Jerry summed it up put a pause in my laughter. He said, “we are obsessed with being anywhere but where we are.” Light bulb. What a shot of truth. And jokes aside, that is not how I want to live.
The evidence to back up Seinfeld’s statement is everywhere. It’s every single person in the doctor’s office or check out line staring at their phones. It’s the students scrolling Facebook during lecture and families eating dinner in front of the TV. We are obsessed with being anywhere but where we are. We are squeezing out any spare moments for self-reflection or conversation or even recovery from the fire hose of information coming at as all day, every day. It makes total sense, but it’s not a status quo I’m willing to settle for.
The best way I know how to fight our tendency to look ahead and to hurry is to be aware of it. There are not two groups of people—those who magically have the ability to stay present and those who don’t. It’s a learned skill that requires practice. An easy way to do that is to get stuck in traffic. Easy enough, right? The frustration no doubt creeps in, but instead of getting caught up in it, try stepping back and just watching. Same with social media. Notice the urge to open the Facebook app (I’ve had it no less than 15 times while writing this) and let it pass. Fill that mindless scrolling with breath. Channel the super-human observation skills all the best comedians have, and you’ll likely find something to laugh about. Maybe send up a little prayer of gratitude to your freshly minted self-help guru. Who might that be? Jerry Seinfeld, of course! No joke.
When the uncertainty feels heavy, go outside. Spend the day there. Document it all if it feels fun and creative (like today). Or leave the phone inside if it doesn't (other days). Take a walk in the woods. Bonus points if your dog and/or dad tag along. Breathe. Remember you are not your circumstances. Say thanks for the beauty that surrounds you. Get back to work. 🍃💛🌾🍁
It's been a slow courtship between running and me. Lots of ups and downs, highs and lows, and false starts (the first running pun but certainly not the last!). Even now, I can't say that I love it. In fact, I actually still really dislike running much of the time. But after a summer of consistently sweating it out, I can finally say I have a new perspective. I managed to change my relationship with running from one of fear and loathing to respect and appreciation, and I think that's as close to a runner's high as I'm ever going to get.
This isn't a how-to on creating a running habit or morphing from couch potato to Ironman. It's about much more than that for me, and I suspect many other people as well. The biggest lesson I've learned from the last few months of training is to appreciate the practice of doing something hard. The reward is in proving wrong that mean voice in your head and reaching a goal you couldn't have gotten close to in the past. It's a road worth taking, my friends!
When it comes to exercise, my default setting has always been that I can't do something. Not one of the standouts on day one of basketball practice? Must not be my thing. Didn't memorize the entire dance routine after one walk-through? I'm just not 'a natural'. Struggled with the warm-up lap (a quarter mile) at track practice? Better hide out with the throwing team, even though I have the upper body strength of a T-Rex. What an absolutely ridiculous mindset. What was I thinking? I was too scared to even try out for the high school dance team. Looking back now, I'm bummed for that version of myself and what she missed out on because of fear.
But back to running-- I still wonder if long stretches on the road will ever come naturally for me. A few decades of inconsistent trying and eight weeks of diligent training and I’m still waiting. Where is that magical second wind, that runner’s high, that effortless experience people talk about but I can’t seem to find whether it’s the first or fifth mile? (Look at me acting all casual about five miles! I have run that distance exactly two times in my life. Saturday, March 16, 2013, and Sunday, July 30, 2017.) Of course there’s nothing better than the feeling right after you finish a run, all sweaty and full of satisfaction. The endorphins are flowing and you’re dreaming about the extra calories you’ll be able to eat. (Oh, just me? Disregard.) But now, it’s more than that. Each completed run is a goal accomplished. It’s taking all the stories I’ve been telling myself about my athletic ability or self-discipline or circumstance, and tossing them in the garbage where they belong.
One song that will always remain on my running playlist (which will also always remain out-of-date and lame by any cool kid standards) is Mean, by Taylor Swift. Tay sings about a bitter jerk who points out her flaws and is ruthlessly, well…mean, for no reason. Working in TV news, I’ve had plenty of run-ins with such characters, from bosses to viewers, and especially my own inner critic. And that rude roommate in my head—that is exactly who I’m singing to as I push through the third mile and I don’t.stop.running., even when walking would probably be faster than my painfully slow jog.
If you're considering getting back on the running wagon, I hope my experience can be the encouragement you need. I've only done one run since my 10K, but I fully intend to keep it going. I'll wrap this up with a few tips for my fellow reluctant runners. Let me know if any of them work for you!
1. Awkward Smiles: be that girl/guy who smiles at runners, walkers, dogs, tourists, etc. Am I the only one who does this?? I feel so goofy at times, but I can't resist the urge to say hello and mentally send the message, "HI, I AM RUNNING, DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THIS IS FOR ME?! WOOHOO!"
2. Tourists: These people are your saviors. I can only imagine the number of family photos featuring the Washington Monument that are on Facebook right now because of yours truly. As I was training and desperate for little breaks, I practically accosted people on the National Mall. Sure I'll take your picture!!
3. Great Views: What a gift it has been to train in Washington D.C. I highly recommend finding a beautiful neighborhood/backdrop/streetscape to explore. Now I get why runners say it's the best way to see a new city.
4. Running Buddy: Huge shout out to my sister-friend, Cody, for getting me to sign up for training and inspiring me all along the way. Juggling a husband, a toddler and grad school but 100% dedicated to Hal Higdon. Well done, my friend!! We really did it. I'm not crying, you're crying.
5. Training Schedule -- sign up for a race!! I'm a certified penny pincher, so spending on the money on a race really sealed the deal for me. Plus it's a date on the calendar. It's real. It's public. Just do it!!
Thanks for reading,
I went into the theater without much background. I didn’t know the impressive resume of Gal Gadot, or the current standing of the film’s history-making box office open. The name of the movie and its director’s gender were all I had to go on. That was enough to push me out into the rain on a low-key Sunday, going to not one, but two cinemas to find a seat. It was my first 3-D movie and my first superhero flick in at least a decade. I was not disappointed.
The setting is beautiful from the beginning, and mesmerizing until the very end. My eyes widened and an involuntary smile spread across my face at the sight of a field full of women training for battle. All women? Yes, all women! A community of fierce, beautiful, united females running the show without apology. They rely on hard work and skill to support them in battle. The outside world, in the thralls of war, is a stark contrast. Diana’s ignorance about the culture continues to give the audience a glimpse into a woman’s mission, minus the burdens of being…well, a woman. She is unapologetic about her intellect, her beauty, her wardrobe, her opinions—the list goes on. Sounds like a superhero to me. In Wonder Woman, the greatest warrior of all time, the comic relief, the genius mad-scientist and the savior of the free world are all female. Oh, what a feeling. The word refreshing doesn’t seem to do it justice. I wondered if this must be what it feels like for little boys and young men to watch a majority of the stories told in Hollywood.
I know there are people who will roll their eyes at the proclaimed significance of all of this. In fact, I think I sat a few seats down from two such characters. When I first heard them laughing at Diana, I did that thing so many women do on a daily basis. I thought to myself, “surely, I am mistaken. That feels like they are laughing at her, but it can’t be.” The name of the damn movie is Wonder Woman, after all. They knew what they were signing up for, right? Nope, there they go again. Every time Diana lifted something with super-human strength (again, the title wasn’t a big enough hint?), an unrestrained chuckle rolled out from behind their blue Icees.
By the fourth or fifth time, my blood was boiling. I was suppressing an obnoxious “shhh” and imagining what I would say in a chance encounter while waiting for a popcorn refill (aside from, “more butter, please!”). I was so distracted and annoyed; I realized I was paying more attention to these losers than the actual movie. It didn't take long for me to connect the dots about why the situation was so distracting. Because what I was feeling in those moments was familiar. It was the very same emotion that once spread through my body when a boss asked my male counterpart to contribute his editorial opinion, then glanced at me and inquired about my boyfriend’s golf game. The same feeling that rises up when yet another article about the gender pay gap makes the rounds. And it surfaced again in the scene where Gal Gadot’s character is hurried out of a room of male decision makers.
There is a unique blend of heartbreak and fury so many of us feel when women are disregarded or diminished. It’s wondering why we’re not enough and how men came to that conclusion in the first place. But it is also what makes us unstoppable. Like Wonder Woman learned, love and compassion are our brute strength, and the world needs more of it. We must continue making these movies with strong, badass female characters, until the people watching them are no longer surprised. That’s why this is so important.
Gather up your girlfriends, vote with your wallet, and prepare to be filled with wonder.
I just love this. As someone who doesn't naturally have the best memory, it especially rings true. I don't always remember exact happenings but I never forget how they made me feel.
I'm feeling very lucky in love this Valentine's Day and I hope you are too. Here's to celebrating the love in our lives this year-- whether it be your "galentines" (see mine in the pic below! So fun to have girlfriends visit St. Louis.) or your special someone.
I realize this is one of those holidays that has become quite commercialized, but I'm all for an excuse to make someone feel loved. No need to spend lots of money anyway, when it's the thoughtfulness that counts!
Have a wonderful week!
Hey everybody, happy new year. What a wild month it's been already. As a lot of you know, the TV world is a bit different than some jobs, and taking time off during the holidays is not usually in the cards. Lucky for me, I live very close to family, so working on Christmas or the days before and after doesn't always mean I have to choose one or the other.
Now that being said.. come January, I'm often in need of some R&R! Keeping up with the crazy holiday schedules and work can be a bit draining, and I was very lucky to have a week of vacation in the middle of the month. As you can see, I escaped Missouri and headed straight for the sunshine! Palm trees, you are my friend. I spent some time in south Florida, exploring both sides of the state. The Naples area is so beautiful, and Miami... well what can I even say. Wow! I can't wait to go back.
I also did a lot of reading-- one of my favorite things! Books I read (and recommend!):
- First Comes Love, by Emily Giffin
- How to Live a Good Life, by Jonathan Fields (also love his podcast, the Good Life Project!)
- Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
- in progress.. the sequel, After You, by Jojo Moyes
Versailles was such a fun stop in Miami-- had to have some authentic Cuban food! Curious if any of you have favorite spots in Florida? Share them with me!
I returned to St. Louis feeling rested and ready to go. It's always fun to see coworkers and I'm lucky to work with people whom I consider a second family. I hope you'll join us every morning to get the day started on a great note. And let me know what stories and content you'd like to see- we are always looking for ways to serve you better.
Thanks for reading!
Good morning, everybody! Happy Thanksgiving Eve. Almost time for my favorite holiday. I know a lot of people are off work the rest of the week, and I love days like this imagining everybody waking up at home, taking extra time with the kids at breakfast and sipping coffee instead of rushing out the door. Mornings are so special and I consider it a privilege that we get to be part of them for so many people.
Since this week is a great time be grateful, I wanted to share something that I'm thankful for: my coworkers. I know I've said it before, but we really do have some nice people at KMOV. The picture above is from the St. Louis Crisis Nursery's 'Nursery Night at Napoli,' last Thursday. We stayed up late to support a good cause and had such a fun time. The hours are hard enough as it is on the morning shift, so staying up few hours late is no easy task. Here's my public **thank you** for your time and for working through some extra fatigue on Friday.
And after a little nap Friday morning, I got to be part of our Home 4 the Holidays event in Hazelwood. This was really cool. That's Fornisha in the picture with me. We handed over the keys to her new home, just in time for Thanksgiving!! I loved getting to meet Fornisha, and be part of the festivities. She worked so hard for this home, and the community really rallied around her. She said she's not the best cook, but I have a feeling the turkey dinner in the new place will be one of the best meals she's ever had. Enjoy, Fornisha!
Alright one more thing before I get back to work. I'd like to invite you all to join us tomorrow for the Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade. You won't regret it! Here's a throwback pic to last year. We had great weather and a big crowd out on Market Street in Downtown St. Louis. I can tell you this time last year, I was resisting the holiday season a little bit, but not after the parade! No shortage of spirit and tomorrow will be no different. I'm really excited to host with Kent and the lovely Claire Kellett! She's one of my favorite people and combined with Kent, we're bound to have a fun time. Please join us-- either downtown or from your kitchen or family room. I know my family watches from home as they prep the turkey. (This gives me a great excuse to get out of table-setting duties!) Fun side note: KMOV won an Emmy this year for the 2015 parade broadcast. That's a good sign, right?
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
p.s. Looking for some reasons to be grateful? Fantastic tips here: http://time.com/4579105/thanksgiving-grateful-gratitude/?xid=tcoshare
It's Election Day!! It's finally here. We made it. Deep breaths.
People are geeking out about voting and I love it. We had a newscast this morning chock-full of ballot issues, candidate updates, and current polls. I also heard from a lot of folks on social media who encountered some seriously long lines at the polls. The good news is, from what I can tell, it didn't deter anyone from casting their vote. Just be prepared to wait in line. What a privilege we have to make our voices heard.
In honor of what my friend, Cate, calls her favorite holiday, I used my WashU Debate thermos this morning, which made me realize that I never posted these pictures. Being on Washington University's campus for the debate last month was such an electric experience that I won't soon forget. I feel that same energy today. Of course being in a newsroom, that feeling might be magnified, but I'm not so sure. It certainly is a special year.
There were so many journalists-- big names and otherwise-- on campus. When I walked into the big room you'll see below, it was literally tables and work stations for as far as the eye could see. That's what you call an IT challenge. And aside from wifi and battery power, a reporter's next favorite thing is snacks. The Anheuser Busch hospitality tent didn't disappoint. I wish I had better pictures, but on the way to the free coffee (mine was confiscated at the security checkpoint), everybody passed by the iconic Clydesdales which pretty much speak for themselves. So beautiful.
A highlight of the day was definitely getting to talk with John Dickerson and Norah O'Donnell of CBS News. They were so gracious to spend a little time with us. We did a Facebook Live interview and I tried to soak in as much of their thoughtful, intelligent commentary as possible. (Also, Norah's hair. Can we talk about that for a moment? It could not have been more perfect. Can I organize a trade deal of some kind? I'm here to confirm that she is even smarter/prettier/more stylish in person than you might have imagined.) I spend a lot of time watching CBS, so it felt surreal, but also natural to be speaking to Norah and John face-to-face. Intimidating to say the least, but I'm really grateful for the opportunity.
Time for me to go vote! I hope you all get a chance to do the same. And as for the outcome... how about we all find a way to be friends either way?
Thanks for reading,
It's time to share some good reads for the weekend. Themes in these articles? Workplace and wellness. A few of my favorite topics. Always room for improvement in those two areas, right? Enjoy, and please let me know what you think in the comments, or over on my Facebook page.
Interesting take here on what we should value most about a workplace. Not money, not flexibility or upward mobility, but culture. It makes sense to me, because culture probably has a big influence on all those other factors that may be more top of mind.
This list totally captivated me! Seriously. I don't believe this is a strictly female issue, so guys, you should read up as well. It's 25 tales of well-known women talking about money. Not fun, right? We need to talk about it more, until the problem goes away. I heard some really great theories about this at TedXStLouisWomen on Thursday, I can't wait to share more about it in another post.
I stumbled upon this next link after following a TedX panelist on Twitter (@clioknowles). Richard Branson is obviously onto something when it comes to living a big life with intention, so when he writes about his tips and tricks, I'm all ears...er...eyes.
I'm always looking for ways to be just a little healthier, and I know I'm not alone. I sent this easy read to about five people and bookmarked it for myself. It's the little things that add up to the big things, as they say. I probably won't start weighing myself 'often' as the article suggests, but I will continue to fit in more veggies and steps wherever possible. Anybody else use the iPhone app to see how many steps you've taken? Not sure how accurate it is, but it's been a helpful marker for me.
And here's my favorite find of the week. I even shared it on my Facebook page. I relate to Savannah's take on beauty and self-confidence because of our shared career field, plus I've been a big fan of hers for years (way before the Today Show gig!). When I worked in Virginia, my sister surprised me with a trip to see a live broadcast of her show with Chuck Todd. Hashtag FanGirl.
Don't forget to let me know your takeaways! Curios if they're similar to mine or something totally different.
Have a wonderful weekend.
I was on the phone the other day with a loved one, hurriedly reeling off my list of things to do and sources of stress. As our conversation was wrapping up, I heard, "oh Em, one more thing! Don't forgot to look at the leaves. They're starting to change and it's just beautiful."
That little reminder changed my entire day and I've thought of it every day since.
Leaves! That's it. So simple but what a perfect, timely reminder to put ourselves back in the present. It's almost like the whole thing was designed that way...
If you happen to read this today and you're feeling a little overwhelmed, let me remind you to look at the leaves. When you hear them crunch under your feet, take it as a divine nudge back in the moment. An invitation to embrace the current season of your life.