Inhala, exhala, inhala, exhala.

The last time I had the chance to blog, Rob, Lucie and I had just gotten to Florida and she was just about to turn two. As I write this, I am sitting in the airport in San Juan, so thankful for a whirlwind trip where I had the chance to see one of my favorite bands, Maná, in concert!

In between that trip and this one, I've also had two work trips to Dallas one week after the next. And when I get back to NYC tonight, I will keep the suitcase out and prep it for my next work trip on Monday to Albany.

After that, I think things will simmer down, and I am very much looking forward to the change in pace for a bit. 

A week ago, I had a check up and the doctor noticed a rash on my rib. I thought it might be an allergic reaction to a bug bite or something. She told me it looked like shingles. SHINGLES? “What causes shingles?” I asked.

"Stress and travel.” she replied.

Welp, that makes sense. I’ve been traveling a lot. But I didn't feel stressed. Busy? Yes. Stressed? No. I mean, everyone has a lot going on, that's just life, right? But this constant sense of needing to get it all done... that pressure... I don't think everyone else feels that. So after 31 trips around the sun, and two times of having Shingles in 15 years, I actually think I am starting to recognize the physical weight of stress I put on myself and realize that it doesn't have to be that way. It’s helpful to understand what I feel like when I am experiencing stress so that I can breathe, pray, and give myself a break from that performance pressure so that it doesn't keep turning into crazy things like Shingles. Because, ouch!

Thus, the title of this post:

Inhala, exhala, inhala, exhala.
— Rogelio (Jane the Virgin)

I need to take a step back. Breathe. Stop thinking that, sure, I can add another thing to our iCals even if it will be for something really fun! I want to be glad and thankful for every new client and opportunity Rob is able to pursue in his business without worrying about how that will "fit". I want to just enjoy every new thing Lucie is doing, even if that means the meals I needed to make won't get made right now, dishes won't get done and this blog won't get updated for weeks because instead, I get to stop and play tea party with her, Curious George, and "Mo-Mo" - (Elmo). So, I'm praying for greater sensitivity to how I handle (i.e., bottle up and ignore) stress, so that I can hit the brakes sooner, and have the chance to recharge in a healthier way. Prayers and encouraging advice welcome!

With that, thanks so much for reading my reflections of the past few weeks. We've been to Florida, Lucie turned TWO (believe it or not!), we had Christmas in Puerto Rico, work trips, date nights, a (very helpful) visit from Grandma and Abo, karaoke nights, kitchen dance parties, shingles, stomach bugs, played in the snow, got Lucie a scooter, went to the Museum of the City of New York, celebrated the opening of the second avenue subway, I got to see Maná and Lucie got to see Mateo, one of her NICU buddies!! Hope you enjoy the pictures below... how we still have any space on our phones for photo storage is beyond me, LOL!