My First Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

I definitely am feeling some of that pre-holiday and pre-vacation stress, and also trying to figure out where 2014 will take me. I need to make some big decisions about my career, my location, and just how much uncertainty I can handle. I have SO much on my mind that I figure it will help get it all off my chest to think out loud a bit.

Amanda's new link-up has already seen great success!

Amanda‘s new link-up has already seen great success!

1. I cannot stand the aforementioned uncertainty. I have no idea what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be this time next year. Okay, maybe I have some small idea of where I’ll be. But what I’m doing? I don’t even know. I keep wishing for something to come along that will be a huge “sign” and tell me exactly what to do with my life and what direction to go in and what decision to make and when to make it. I know, be careful what I wish for, because that something could end up being awful!

2. I’m worried my traditional NYC trip followed by over a week in Florida for Christmas is going to result in lots of ED thoughts. Worrying about getting anxious is the least productive thing in the world so I need to just experience my vacation, enjoy it, be grateful for it, and not let fear hold me back from living it up. My mind has been filled with lots of questions like “How often will you be going out to eat?” and “Where will you work out?” I bought a Living Social deal for five classes at a Florida spin studio, I have dumbbells at our condo, and I plan to pack my go-to TIU Beach Babe DVD. It’s a vacation and I should be giving myself credit for even being that prepared, but instead I’m worried about any rest days I’m going to encounter. Florida is home to some special restaurants I don’t often get to visit so I need to be okay with allowing myself to take advantage of that and enjoy some nice meals out. And to be honest, that warm weather sometimes has me craving a cold libation in the afternoon. Would having a few really be the end of the world? No.

With this outdoor rum bar within walking distance of the condo, how can I not sit in a beach chair and sip a marg?!

With this outdoor rum bar within walking distance of the condo, how can I not sit in a beach chair and sip a marg?!

3. It’s my last day of work in 2013! I took the remainder of my company’s workdays off and then we have our holiday shutdown, and I return to work on January 2, 2014. I am more than ready for almost two weeks (holy crap!!!) off of work and I can tell everyone else around here is ready to be off too! I’ve been in a stinky mood here this week but a surprise gift yesterday from our IT guy did put a smile on my face.

I immediately put the bracelet on, and then began dreaming of drinking the hot buttered rum cocktail from Andrea’s wedding out of that holiday glass. How cute is the pink box!

4. I managed to get out of work early enough on Monday to make it to the Step class I haven’t been able to go to in eons. It was just as I remembered it – intense, awesome music, and no “set” breaks. Though I nailed the moves as well as ever, I had to take more water breaks than I did back when I used to make it to that particular class regularly. Of course that had me wondering if I have lost some endurance over the last year…but every day is different. I could’ve taken the class a different day and done BETTER than I used to! So many variables go into how a workout feels that it’s pointless to try to figure out why it felt harder than it used to, and question myself. So I went home after the class and enjoyed time with a sister and a friend and just felt happy that I even find things like intense Step classes fun.

5. In response to getting out of work early on Monday, karma served me up a commute from hell the next night. Don’t you love those days when the snow starts coming down after you’ve already made it into work? My boss let us start home an hour earlier than usual but it still took me more than twice as long to get home in the still-falling snow, adding onto the accumulation on the un-plowed roads. I had plans to go out that night and had even woken up early and gotten my workout done in anticipation of that but even this restaurant queen was defeated by the snow and I stayed in. At least I had a Manhattan, red wine, and a fantastic dinner waiting for me once I got settled on the couch. Which is where, by the way, I caught up on the last two Nashville eps. Um does anyone else watch this show and is anyone else pleased by the mid-season finale? I know I am – about several story-lines.

I was so excited and in a hurry to dive in that I unintentionally “no filtered” this.

6. My giveaway for two tickets to see CONNetic Dance‘s Nutcracker: Suite & Spicy ends tonight. So if you’re near Hartford (OR want to come see the show and take advantage of a discounted room at the Hampton Inn & Suites) then check out my review from last year’s performance and enter the giveaway! And if you’re nowhere near Hartford you can still check out the post, because it contains a hot buttered rum recipe (wow the second mention of this drink in this post…seems to be on my mind, huh?)

7. The Kelly Clarkson Christmas Special has had more than one type of lasting effect on me. I enjoyed the delightfully cheesy NBC special Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Tale (despite the obvious flaws in the homeless shelter scene, such as the fact that the homeless kids were using SMARTPHONES to film Kelly singing for them) and it’s had me listening to Kelly’s Christmas CD Wrapped in Red on repeat. My favorite song, by far, is “Underneath the Tree”. But also that night, I had a dream that Blake Shelton (a guest star in the special) came with my family and I to Newport for a vacation…and he was my boyfriend. I nonchalantly introduced him to all my friends as “my boyfriend Blake” just so I could hear them say, “SHELTON?!” I was so smug.

8. The winner of my Blue Nile Diamond giveaway is a fellow CT resident! So I got to meet up with her and give her the Sterling Silver Branch Necklace in person – talk about speedy delivery! I always love meeting a reader. I myself rocked my necklace yesterday, along with my sister’s fur vest.

Does this still count as a selfie?

9. I have some bangin’ restaurants picked out for NYC. You’ll just have to wait and see what they are but I’m particularly excited for the dinner destination, selected upon recommendation by NYC Food & Travel. If you ever need a NYC dining recommendation, check out that site or tweet the best handle ever, @nycfat.

It seems weird not to have a 10th “thought” but I am sufficiently thought-ed out for this Thinking Out Loud Thursday. I’m off to get through the last day of work in 2013!

When is your last day of work for the year? Do you have the week of Christmas off?

Do you have any travel plans for the holidays?

Do any holiday plans have you stressing?

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