Book Review: The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

minimalist home

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Everybody has the aha! moment that starts their journey to minimalism. For me, it was a basement full of stuff at my mom’s house after my first divorce. For some, it’s knowing there’s a pizza cutter somewhere in the kitchen but being absolutely unable to find it in all the chaos. For Joshua Becker, it was when a neighbor mentioned that people don’t actually have to have so much stuff when Joshua was mid-garage-cleanout.

Joshua is the mind behind the Becoming Minimalist blog and the author of Clutterfree with Kids; Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life; The More of Less; and the freshly published as of December 18 The Minimalist Home. I received an advance copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. So here we go, my honest review of The Minimalist Home.

First, it’s similar to other minimalism and decluttering books. But everyone has their own spin on the approach. Where Marie Kondo suggests touching everything to check for joy, category by category, and Dana K. White outlines the way you can declutter whether you have five minutes or five hours, Joshua Becker has a blended approach. His decluttering method goes room by room and follows the same basic steps each time, but what I really found differentiating in his book was the checklist for each room that was based on questions to ask yourself that focus more on how the space feels vs. how it looks.

Here’s an example from the chapter on kitchens and dining areas:

  • Is my kitchen easy to maintain and keep clean? Does it promote safety?
  • Is this a space I enjoy cooking in?
  • Are the tools I use most frequently easy to access?
  • Have I removed visual clutter from counters and surfaces?
  • Does my kitchen promote healthy eating habits?
  • Does this space encourage optimistic attitudes in the morning?
  • Does my dining room offer freedom to move about, rather than being cramped and cumbersome?
  • Does my dining area offer opportunity for meals together as a family – a place where we can recap the day?
  • Does my dining area encourage me to show hospitality to others?

Some of these questions are predictable and common sense (clean counters and surfaces, tools easy to access, etc.), but I was opened up to a new way of thinking about clutter when the questions became “is this a space I enjoy?” and “does the space promote optimistic attitudes?” and “does my dining area encourage hospitality?”

Suddenly the kitchen is no longer just another room to pass through on my way into the house after a long day, but the place I start a productive day with a healthy breakfast and the place that my partner and I feed each other and our friends. We actually enjoy hosting friends for dinner, and we’ve benefited from organizing our kitchen and the rest of our home in a way that makes the entire place feel more hospitable and welcoming.

Also throughout the book, Joshua includes stories from his readers and followers about the real-life ways minimalism has given them freedom. Freedom is a big theme of the book, whether it’s the freedom to travel, freedom of income when you stop spending so much on random stuff, freedom to whip up an impromptu scone because you know exactly where all the baking equipment is in your well organized kitchen. The combination of real life experience helps drive home the points that Joshua makes, because you can clearly see the tangible and intangible benefits of simplifying your space.

The chapter that made the biggest impact on me was about the home office. Having a simple and pleasant work space makes all the difference, whether you work from home or just need a place to pay the bills. I moved in with a partner about three months ago, and the whole house feels optimized… except the office. My desk has become a repository of stuff I haven’t dealt with yet. But I am an author and I work from home part-time for my day job, so I kind of NEED TO DEAL WITH IT. Joshua’s questions (“Does this space encourage me to focus on my work?” “Does this space invite me to enjoy the work I do?” “Is this space easy to maintain?”) forced me to acknowledge that I want to create a safe haven for my work so that I can feel better and more excited about sitting down to be creative. Thanks, Joshua.

After a room by room guide to minimizing, the book also includes a Minimalism Maintenance Guide, with tips on staying minimalist once you’ve pared down to a new baseline of simple living. This is often one of the hardest parts of minimalism, especially when you live with someone and must contend with other people’s possessions too.

Overall, I quite enjoyed reading The Minimalist Home. It’s an easy read and very skimmable if you already know the basics and just need a refresher, but reading it closely will provide more context and a better feel for the why behind simplifying and de-owning possessions. The book is full of shareable bite-sized wisdom you can tweet or write down for later, such as “Just because you have the space doesn’t mean you have to fill it with stuff,” and it comes from a wonderfully approachable perspective. Anybody can start minimizing and creating their own minimalist home!

Keep up on where you can buy The Minimalist Home on Joshua Becker’s website. Many sellers are already out of stock!





8 Guilt-free tips to minimize Christmas spending

12-11 Christmas

I was already a few purchases into my holiday season when a friend of mine said she’d really enjoy a no-spend or buy-nothing Christmas. She envisioned swaps of artwork, clothing, and books between friends who could give freely from what they already had without adding to the stress and pressure of the holiday shopping season.

I budgeted around $400 for holiday gifts, but I probably won’t end up spending that much at all since I shifted my focus to giving experiences and artwork rather than purchased goods (though the unicorn calendar was a great buy and I stand by it).

Here are some ways you can reduce or eliminate your holiday spend without feeling like you’re downsizing the holiday cheer factor.

  1. Give your time. When I asked a friend what she wanted for Christmas this year, she thought about it and said that she’d love a day we spend together more than anything I could wrap up and give to her. Pencil a friend onto your calendar for a day of movies, hanging out, or even going out to window shop and try on the most hilarious Goodwill outfit you can find.
  2. Create something. One of my hobbies is painting, and I plan on creating art for many of the people on my list this year. It’s something that means a lot to both me and the recipient, since I create something personalized and inspired for each person on my gift list. You could also write letters or poetry, draw something, make homemade bath products, or sew something for your recipient.
  3. Cook something. So technically you’ll have to buy ingredients, but baking some cookies or cooking someone’s favorite meal for them is a great way to put your time and energy into showing your love for them.
  4. Regift. If you got some gifts last year that are still hanging around, new or barely used, give them to someone on your list who will love them and have a good home for them. And if you can’t bear to regift, then admit to yourself that you’re not using them and send them to the local charity store.
  5. Host a party. Instead of shopping for a personalized and unique gift for everyone on your list, you can opt to host a holiday party instead! You can focus your time and energy on preparing a delicious meal and ask everyone to bring their favorite dessert for a mouthwatering pot-luck of treats.

If you’re a dedicated gifter who just wants to reduce the budget instead of shoestring it entirely, try the following ideas!

  1. Try the “four things” holiday gift. Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. This is a great way to give gifts to the kids in the family so all bases are covered, while maintaining a frugal gift budget.
  2. Shop local. Buy from local crafters and shops instead of Amazon Priming everything* or shopping big box stores. Check your city’s calendar for local craft shows, which are all over the place leading up to the holidays!
  3. Shop handmade. ETSY ALL THE THINGS*.

*Some people have no reasonable options but to purchase from large sellers like Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, etc., due to finances, schedule constraints, physical ability, etc. Your own mental and physical wellbeing is more important than shopping local or small.

Are you planning on a “less is more” holiday this year? Tell me your gifting plans!

PS. If you’re in the Cleveland, Ohio area, don’t miss your chance to buy tickets for the Jolobokaflod fundraiser for the nonprofit Reading Room CLE on December 21! The Reading Room promotes literacy in the Cleveland area through a nonprofit bookstore that supports educational and artistic programming.

The Holiday Obligation Bill of Rights

christmas catIt’s that time of year again. It’s only the first week of December but the flames on your holiday stress fire have been getting hotter since mid November. I’m prone to seasonal affective disorder, which starts as soon as the time change happens and the clocks roll back an hour. Suddenly it’s pitch black when I’m driving home from work, everything is gray and overcast, and the deadlines are rushing at me like something out of a Final Destination movie.

Personally, I’ve got a book deadline, three blog commitments (I have a new website and I’ve started publishing on Medium, though I may adjust the frequency so I’m not tripling my workload with a weekly piece on each platform), and social plans all vying for my attention. Luckily, the whimsy of the season and the thrill of shopping for the perfect gifts for my loved ones gets me through the first couple months of fall/winter, but after the new year starts, it’s just three more months of slush and snow and darkness and existential angst.

As I’ve been working toward a lower impact life (both physically and mentally), I’ve found that I naturally have created guidelines for how to spend my time. Ever the minimalist at heart, it’s important for me to remember that minimalism isn’t just about physical stuff and clutter. It’s also about a healthy schedule and mental clutter so that I make time for the priorities.

Since the holiday season is usually stuffed to the brim like an overfilled stocking with social and family obligations, I want to remind everyone that boundaries and taking care of yourself are still important and valid, even when it feels like your time is more necessary elsewhere.

Here are ten rights you have this holiday season.

  1. You have the right to stay home. Seriously. Even if it’s Christmas at your mom’s house. Even if you haven’t seen your second cousins in fifteen years. Only accept plans you WANT to do and have the ABILITY to do.
  2. You have the right to limit your budget. While “gift giving” is one of the five major love languages, the price tag is not a defining characteristic. Don’t go broke (or into debt) in an attempt to show people how much you care. If you’re close to your budget limits and still want to give more, consider handmade gifts or writing heartfelt notes, especially if the recipient is a “words of affirmation” love language person.
  3. You have the right to leave early. If you’re at a holiday party or family gathering and you’re tired, uncomfortable, or otherwise just don’t want to be there, it’s okay to say your goodbyes and head home early.
  4. You have the right to eat what you want. Love your body, eat a cookie, don’t punish yourself.
  5. You have the right to ask for what you really want. Nobody has to give it to you, but you have the right to create a wish list and be clear about what you want. One year, my sister asked for cash to help fund an alternative break trip she was taking with a group in college, and family members deemed it inappropriate to ask for cash. Unless it hurts somebody, it’s okay to ask for what you want.
  6. You have the right to reschedule social plans. Some of my closest humans probably won’t be able to get together until after Yule and Christmas have actually passed. It’ll still be a great time. You can literally reschedule your holiday festivities to a later date, or celebrate early!
  7. You have the right to call it whatever you want. Celebrate Yule, Christmas, Hannukah, or any other of the myriad winter holidays happening within this timeframe? Rock on and celebrate it your way. Pay no attention to the grumps arguing about the war on Christmas. That’s not a thing.
  8. You have the right to not call people you don’t want to talk to. I am estranged from my parents, and the holidays are one of the toughest times to be estranged. I still feel a little tug that says I should call or reach out. Nope. I do not have to open myself up to emotional abuse, and neither do you.
  9. You have the right to return or re-gift. If you receive a gift that isn’t up your alley for any reason, you are under no obligation to keep it. Don’t stress out by finding a place for it or worrying about what Great Aunt Edna will think if she never sees that sweater in your selfies.
  10. You have the right to not hug people. Neither children nor adults are obligated to hug or otherwise show affection to anyone if they don’t want to. This is especially important to impart to children, who are learning about bodily autonomy. If a little kid doesn’t want to hug and kiss grandma, make it clear to everyone that it’s not okay to force it.
  11. BONUS: You have the right to decorate as much or as little as you want. I hung my favorite ornaments on a potted palm tree. You make the rules!

Tattoos as self-care

Since leaving my marriage I have embodied just about every cliche imaginable. I changed my hair. I pierced my nose. And now, I have completed the Leaving a Traumatic Relationship trifecta: I got a tattoo.

I have long loved tattoos and had ideas about what I wanted indelibly etched into my body since my early teen years. Of course, mom said no and I had to wait until I was 18. I also had plans for a bunch of piercings too but still just have the single set of Claire’s style gun piercings (please do not do this) in my lobes I got when I was 20, plus the nose ring I got ten years later. For someone super into body modification, I was kind of a late bloomer. Also, my ex seemed to think he had some veto power over my body modifications so I kind of let it all slide and take a back burner since I didn’t want to have to fight about it.

My first tattoo was my birth name on my right ankle. I got it done right after my first wedding, because I was salty about being forced to change my name upon marriage. Forced is a harsh word choice, but after all my talk of keeping my name when I got married, my first husband pulled the “I actually really want you to change it” card with a month to go before the wedding and I didn’t realize “no” was an option. As I have now become estranged from both parents who gave me this last name and I’ve legally changed it to something completely new, I no longer feel attached to this tattoo and plan to cover it. My sister, who has a matching one, is also planning to cover hers.

My second tattoo was a celtic knot on my left arm, but I was scared of the pain and chose a size far too small for that part of my body. It looked absolutely ridiculous. My fourth tattoo was a lotus to cover this tattoo up. It is, thus far in the story, my largest tattoo.

My third tattoo was a matching tattoo with my now second ex-husband after we’d been dating for about a month. Luckily, it’s not something that you can tell is a matching tattoo by looking at it, but I still have plans to cover it up and reclaim it so I no longer think of him when I see it.

I, uh, had a habit of getting cheap tattoos. I never invested in the beautiful large pieces I admired on others. Investing in quality tattoo work was never something I allowed myself to do because it was so utterly indulgent. How could I reconcile spending so much money on something that does not add value or productivity? How could I justify this when I could pay half of somebody’s rent with the fee for a three-hour session under the needle?

I finally got over it and designed the most beautiful piece of art I have ever had placed on my person (so far). It’s a beautiful complement to my lotus, building on the existing tattoo and then circling around it in an array of different flowers.

Underneath the lotus are a zinnia, a dahlia, two violets, and a rose. Zinnia represents friendship, constancy, and lasting love – like the love I have for myself that I will always prioritize. Blue dahlias represent fresh starts and new beginnings. Violet is the birth flower of February, a tribute to my late stepfather who died as I was in the midst of my exit from an abusive marriage. Pink roses represent appreciation and gratitude – for myself and for those around me who helped support me.

Coming up and around the lotus are a larkspur and a Phalaenopsis orchid. Larkspur is the July birth flower, a tribute to my sister, and orchids represent proud femininity, new beginnings, and respect. Lotus, of course, represents growth from darkness. Each flower in this tattoo represents something precious and important to me, and it was a very healing experience to finally allow myself this act of self-care (albeit slightly painful self-care). I’ve been overjoyed by the sight of it in the mirror every time I see it, and I can’t wait to go back and get it finished.

Per commenter request, here are some photos:

Picking off the burnt bits


In November 2017, my ex-husband’s father died. I had never felt more married than I did at that time, supporting him from an ocean away and acting as his rock in one of the hardest times of his life. I cried with him when his father passed. My heart was broken for him, for my mother in law, for their family. When he came home again, we talked about how things would be a little different. He’d be processing and grieving. I invited him to come to therapy with me and speak to my therapist, and he agreed. She advised him to join a grief support group, and we both encouraged him to seek individual counseling with a therapist of his own.

He was fine, he said. He didn’t need therapy or a grief support group. So we went along with life, but the grief came out in its own way, as grief does.

One night, while cooking dinner, my ex stepped away from the stove to do something in the living room. Dinner burned slightly to the bottom of the pan, and he refused to eat it. He told me to go out and pick something up for myself because dinner was ruined. He went to bed immediately without eating anything. He was angry at the curry, at the pan, at whatever he could be mad at. The curry was fine and I ate it for dinner. It wasn’t ruined at all, but he wouldn’t listen to me say so.

I found myself talking to a friend about this, and she told me it was the grief. It would come out in moments of stress, especially since he wasn’t seeing anyone proactively to deal with it. She reminded me to stay the course, give him the space he needed, and to not do anything life changing in the first year after a loss — no talking about us moving, or my husband changing jobs, or anything. What we needed was a stable home base while he sorted his grief out.

One night he asked me if we were happy and if maybe we should split up. Where I would have previously panicked, wondered what I’d done wrong to make him think that, etc., I was calm. I said, “Do you want to get divorced?” And he said no. So I said okay, we wouldn’t be getting divorced. I told him we should take a year after his father’s death to settle back into normal before any big decisions got made.

He agreed. And yet, he still refused to see his own therapist or go to a support group or even talk to his friends about his father’s death. I was sinking under the weight of being the only one he felt he could talk to about it. I was his only emotional outlet. And eventually I told him I needed him to go and see a therapist because I could not be his only place to process. He seemed to understand, he apologized, and he called to make an appointment with a therapist — with my therapist. I was uncomfortable with this. She was my safe space, and I didn’t understand why he didn’t listen when I told him I wanted him to get a different therapist.

Fast forward to nearly a year later. We’re divorced. (“You couldn’t even give me six months,” he had said to me, referencing my “no life changes in the first year after a loss” guideline).

I’ve experienced two panic attacks in the intervening months, triggered by a new partner stumbling over the landmines in my psyche that I didn’t know were there. This partner sat with me, held me while I cried, shushed my promises that I’d get it together in just a minute, let the panic and anxiety flow through me and out of me while he sat in silence next to me, ready to give me whatever I needed.

What caused the panic? Once, he playfully suggested that I’d said something to test him and he had passed my test (Does he think I’m fake? That I’m not genuine? That I’m manipulating him?). Another time, we were having a discussion around feminist topics and the familiarity of having a “debate” with my partner triggered a panic because of how many times I’d been forced into debates with my ex, when he wouldn’t even let me go to sleep until I’d given him an answer he could accept to explain whatever improper conduct I’d subjected him to.

And then one night, my new boyfriend burned dinner. Smoke filled the kitchen and we both jumped into action opening windows. I went to the bedroom and got a box fan and directed the smoke out of the kitchen door to the chilly fall air outside. I even joked with him that it was all just extra flavor and it was clearly time to eat. I picked the burnt bits off and the rest was completely edible and tasted great.

It only occurred to me after the problem had been solved that months, even weeks ago, this would have been another trigger. Another echo of my previous life, another moment I had somehow been at fault for my partner not minding the stove. But it wasn’t. Everything was fine. No one was angry, or stressed, or upset. We ate dinner and had a lovely evening.

This is what life can be like.

This is what life can be like when someone else’s stress doesn’t make your stomach turn to ice, make your heart race, make your eyes sting with tears.

Sometimes you just pick the burnt bits off and enjoy the delicious remainder with good company.


An open letter to my abuser’s best friend

pexels-photo-959308In an age of believing survivors, and given how much of a feminist you are, this one really hurt. It hurt to lose you. I didn’t think I would lose you, but I am not sure why I expected things to go any differently. You’ve known him much longer than you’ve known me, and he was very careful to only confide in you when things could be my fault.

He never reached out to you when he struggled with my expectations around the house. Never said, “Do you think she’s being unreasonable?” when I asked him to handle something he told me was unreasonable. He could never risk you saying, “Uh, dude, she’s being totally reasonable.” I don’t think he ever came to you when the situation wasn’t about me upsetting him.

Whenever we had issues, he’d bring my friends into it. “You have your friends to talk to and I don’t have anyone.” I always told him that yes he did. He had you, he had other friends, he could get a therapist or come with me to mine. But he insisted he couldn’t talk to you about the things we struggled with. It struck me as odd but I didn’t realize until after I left and he started his storytelling that it was because he could not dare to confide in you a story in which he might be in the wrong. He must play the part of the victimized husband who bent over backwards to meet my whims and was tossed aside when I got bored.

I gave my twenties to that man. He preyed on me when I was 23, as close to “barely legal” as a 40 year old man could get. I believed every word of his fairy tales about how we were meant to be. How he had never felt this way. How neglected he was and how I made him feel things he never thought he could feel again. I stepped in as the savior, the second chance.

You told me when our marriage started to deteriorate that you’d never seen him so happy. It hurt me to read those words. Of course he was happy. I took care of his house and his cats and his laundry and his meals. He didn’t have to lift a finger. Of course he was happy — but did you know me enough to notice or care if I was? When he met you for breakfast, I’d drop him off so that I could go get the shopping done. When you two went out for a day of photography, I’d clean the house and catch up on laundry. Because there was no fair division of labor, my fun always had to come after my responsibilities — otherwise no one would do them. When I did go out with friends or for a morning on my own, I’d be in constant touch with him, letting him know when I’d be home, because I always felt that he owned my time. He’d tell me with words that he didn’t own my time, but his behavior when I didn’t want to sit and watch four hours of television a night was one of a petulant and pouting child not getting his way.

I saw you and your family making things work. You share cooking, pet care, cleaning, parenting. You share everything, and there is balance. I never had the sharing or the balance. He would not learn to use the Instant Pot or a cast iron skillet. He acted like he had achieved greatness when he made soup one time with my supervision. When he made dinner, I pre-chopped the vegetables for him and put frozen french fries in the toaster oven. Even when he made me dinner I still needed to be close, on hand, ready to take over. Once, he walked away from the stove and dinner burned slightly, and he threw a tantrum about how ruined it was and refused to eat. He went to bed immediately.

I was always on eggshells. Always stressed. Always one moment away from being triggered by his stumbling into my childhood traumas from my abusive mother and then left alone to cry on the kitchen floor when he asked if my panic attack was “about my mom issues.” He was not kind to me, unless people were watching. This is the key. You never, ever saw what it was like alone with him. With an audience, he was captivating, clever, charming. He said the funny things for me to post on Facebook. But when I wasn’t happy and charmed by him, he asked why I was so distant, demanded to know what was wrong. He never told me to smile like a catcaller on the street, but I had to smile anyway. Act happy or deal with the pouting.

When I saw you in September at an event and you asked me how I was, I was relieved that you even spoke to me. My face broke into a smile and I said I was great. In the moment I felt so happy to have seen you again. Someone who was my friend. And now, I worry that you thought I was gloating.

When I realized you had unfriended me on Facebook, tears welled up in my eyes. It shook me. I know you had talked about reducing your Facebook use, so I thought maybe you removed me for my own safety so I didn’t feel like you might be watching me. But you were gone on Instagram too, and you never replied to the text I sent wishing you well. It all hurt.

But you were his friend before you were my friend, and you never actually knew me. You knew the version of me from his head, the version that I destroyed with “toxic feminism” and expecting more of him. It is no coincidence that I left him three months after I started antidepressants. Once the fog cleared and I stopped being so afraid of HIM leaving ME for daring to ask him to take out the garbage, I realized he’d been steering my behavior all along. So I left. And then he started his story of being abused and manipulated by me, a flipping of the truth, and some people will always choose to believe the Nice Guy’s story. I can’t control that.

This letter has no purpose except to say that I miss you, and I value your friendship, and I do hope you are well.

I don’t expect you to believe me. But I’d love to see you again.

Seven life lessons from a Ragnar relay

pinkrunning-pink-running-new-442400I recently did a Ragnar Relay race at the end of September. If you’re not familiar, it’s two vans full of twelve runners (six per van) running about 200 miles over two days. You don’t sleep much. You don’t eat great. You run a lot and you get to know some people pretty intimately.

It was amazing.

And I came away with a few life lessons I hope to include in my new routine.

1. Pace yourself. In life and in racing, it’s important to pace yourself. Push and challenge yourself but don’t overdo it, especially if you are still early in the process. Big pushes are for finishing strong.

2. Make self care a given. When I packed for this race, I packed one bag for my running clothes and gear and a backpack with toiletries, first aid, and recovery gear. By making my recovery process part of the overall plan, I made sure to take good care of myself. When I’m not doing a race it’s so easy to let basic care (stretch, wear comfy clothes, massage sore muscles, eat a snack) go by the wayside. Amazingly, I wasn’t in absolute agony after the race. I was sore and tired, of course, but I was back to normal within a week (physically… the sleep deprivation took a little longer). Making self care a non-negotiable aspect of my life, I’ll recover from stress faster too.

3. Show up. Sometimes you just gotta show up. We got to our air bnb at 11pm to the sound of charming church bells in a drizzle that had just calmed down from torrential downpour territory. We clambered in, claimed our beds, took turns so all seven of us could use the bathroom, and were asleep around 11:30 before a 3am wake up call. Except the bells rang all night. Just when you thought they were done, you’d hear a “bongggggg!” We all got about three hours of sleep and woke up pissed at the bells. We arrived at our starting line before 4 and started the race at 5. We weren’t excited but we had to show up even though we didn’t feel our best.

4. Changing doesn’t mean failure. A third of the way through my first leg, a 6.3 miler with a wicked hill, the first nine legs of the race were canceled due to flash flooding and the race was rescheduled to start at leg 10 at 1pm. So at 7:12am, after I was finally heading downhill and felt excited to be really doing this, my van picked me up after only two miles and change. But I still count that leg as legitimate. That uphill climb was hardcore and I handled it! Even though I had to cut my goal short, it was still a success. I still showed up.

5. Ask for help. As we were running our legs, many of us texted the van to request water or a sweatshirt or a snack at the exchange point so we could quickly get what we needed. And the runners in the van always made sure to have these things ready to go. When we take care of each other and feel confident to ask for what we need, everyone does better.

6. Say yes to new experiences. First of all, I said yes to a Ragnar in the first place. But more specifically, I was dozing in the van when my boyfriend (our van driver) popped the door open and said “Caitlin get up. Come with me.” I groggily complained, “Whyyyyy,” and he replied with three very important words: “Baby moo cows.” I was up and moving already, “Baby cows!?” He took me through a barn at the dairy farm where our exchange point was and I got to pet calves in the middle of the night. By “middle of the night,” I mean it may have been 8pm or 2am, I seriously don’t remember. But I got up and said yes to something awesome.

7. Pack extra underwear. ALWAYS.

Now that my “race season” is over for the year, I’m not taking on any races longer than a 5K through 2019. My new “season” is one of low impact. Low impact exercise. Low impact schedule. Low impact social life. Low impact lifestyle. It is time to rest and recover.