What am I doing with my life?
It’s been just over 18 months since I posted anything on my website. That’s not to say I haven’t written anything – I have. I’ve got a ton of half-finished posts about eyelash curlers, gel nail polish, fountain pens, clothes… And I didn’t publish any of it. For a long time, playing with and talking about makeup and skincare was a fun little escape for me, but over the past year and a half it feels trivial.
So I just sort of… let it go.
I’ve gotten better at that over the past few years – letting go of things that don’t make me happy, that is. I don’t have a paralyzing fear of getting older or anything, but the fact is I’m not getting any younger. There’s not enough time to spend doing things that don’t add something to my life. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
What have I been doing instead of blogging, you ask? I’ll tell you.
Back at the beginning of 2019, Joseph and I started a massive effort to get ourselves in better shape. We were both at a point where our physical fitness (ahem, lack thereof) was limiting our ability to do the things we enjoy. We did the ol’ healthy diet and exercise – sorry, I have no miracle instagram detox teas to recommend – and got our weight, cholesterol, blood sugar and all that back in a healthy spot.
A major perk of all that was I rediscovered my love for running. If you’ve been lurking my instagram you’ll already know that, of course. I started training seriously again. I registered for my first marathon in 8 years, then ran it solo when it got changed to a virtual race. I somehow didn’t hate life at the end of it, so I kept up my training. I actually got to run another one (Carmel, IN) in person this past April. I took an hour off my solo marathon time, and almost two hours off my very first marathon.
I have trouble with long runs that are more than about 15 miles, so I joined a local running club to get some running buddies and help motivate me. Somehow that turned into me being the lead race director for the club’s flagship race this fall. Making major time commitments 15 miles into a 20 mile run is probably a bad plan, but here we are :-) Shameless plug: it’s the Thoroughbred Classic 5K. The race is in Lexington, KY on Thanksgiving day, and there’s also a virtual option. You can sign up for it here. The $$$ supports local non-profits.
Right now I’m not actually doing much running because I’m in an air cast due to a stress injury in my foot. Some general health problems at the beginning of the year combined with 50-mile weeks probably contributed to that. The injury forced me to bow out of the Portland Marathon I was planning to run at the beginning of October, but I still have hope for the Flying Pig half on Halloween. Second shameless plug: I have a 10% discount code for the Flying Pig and Queen Bee weekend again this year. The code is PW2021GILLAND10. For now I’m trying to keep up my fitness by swimming, pool running and biking on the indoor trainer. Who knows, maybe I’ll attempt a triathlon next year sometime.
I’m still working on a second undergraduate degree in Integrated Strategic Communications. It turns out I really enjoy brand-building and communication, so maybe I’ll work in public relations when I grow up. In the meantime I’ve been using my new mad skills to promote running events (see above), advocate for adding a track to our local Parks & Rec facilities, and build up AO Lexington, the local US soccer supporters group. If you told me 10 years ago that one day I’d be doing sports promotion FOR FUN I would have assumed you’d lost your mind. And now here I am, thinking seriously about my five year plan should sports promotion for fun and profit. We’re living in a crazy upside-down world these days.
My husband and I are really fortunate that we got through 2020 pretty much unscathed. He already worked from home, and my job was an almost seamless transition to remote. We stayed home when we were supposed to, and wore masks at the grocery store. We managed to stay healthy, and got our COVID vaccines as soon as we could (I actually got mine way early because I did a clinical trial).
In comparison, 2021 has been a lot harder. At the beginning of the year I found out I had thyroid cancer and had to get my thyroid gland completely removed. That was mostly a non-event (it was caught WAY early and there was no spread) but getting the replacement thyroid hormone worked out has been an ongoing struggle. In February, a few weeks after my surgery, we lost our dog Dexter to congestive heart failure. We knew it was coming but of course that doesn’t make it any easier. Then the hubs had some health stuff acting up. My work made us go to a hybrid work schedule, and now local COVID cases are spiking again. I don’t like to think about it too much actually, because it’s kind of overwhelming.
Travelling (a little)
In 2020 we had SO MUCH travel planned. Our New Year’s trip to Barcelona happened, but after that… nothing. We were supposed to get on a flight to Tokyo on March 17 but we ended up cancelling it. Ditto for every other trip we’d planned to take. It was disappointing, but far from the worst thing that could happen.
Like I said, we got our vaccines as soon as we were eligible, so when the CDC said it was ok to travel we decided to get away for a little bit. We spent our 15th anniversary in Aruba, our first trip there. We got to spend time on the beach for which we got ourselves a new tracker, snorkel with sea turtles and hike in the national park. That’s a whole other post though.
So is Lipstick Latitude dead? No, I don’t think so. I don’t know how much I’ll get to post because weirdly, I have way more time commitments now. Work, school, directing the race, and that that’s not even considering the sheer amount of time marathon training takes.
Is it still a beauty blog? Probably not. There will probably still be some posts on makeup/skincare/etc – I have all those half-written posts, after all – but the beauty content will be a ghost of its former self. But you can still look forward to travel shenanigans (assuming that happens), fitness things and maybe some pseudo-intellectual articles on promoting non-profits.
Then again, who knows? I think if we’ve learned anything in the past year and half, it’s that you can never really predict what’s around the corner.