Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Split Year

Oh, hey half of 2018 (and all of 2017 tbh), you kind of were a challenge for me personally and I'm kind of giving parts of you the side-eye.



My anxiety was at an all time high.  I cut a lot of people out of my life and kept pretty much to my family and a few friends.  I scaled way back on social media and admittedly shared the most superfluous of things. 

I let people get in my head and a few off the cuff comments take root.  Whether it was real or my minds way of twisting things, it was what it was and I was left questioning my abilities and the things that I loved.

 I stopped writing which has always been an outlet for me.  I don't write for any other reason than to get things out, to share things I love.  I lost sight of that.  I may never have more than a few friends reading and that's all right by me. 

 I stopped running after Dopey.  Maybe it was because I did nothing but train for races for three years, maybe it was because I shifted my focus from loving the running to being something and someone I wasn't.  I'm not entirely sure, but I stopped and honestly, up until lately I haven't really missed it.


I stepped out of my comfort zone when I applied for and moved to a new role at the nine to five part of my world.  I decided that I could do more than what I felt like others thought I was capable of and sure enough I can.  That one small step changed everything for me. 

I have spent the last half of the year reclaiming me.  It has brought me much growth and the realization that the only person who really should be determining my worth and my abilities to do things I like to do, and things I want to do in my life is me. I figured out who were my friends and who most likely ranked me as just a number or a friend when it was convenient and adjusted my expectations accordingly. 

Once I got that sorted out the rest of my year started filling out.  I stopped talking about it  and  finallly applied to become a travel agent with Living With the Magic Vacations and launched my business in August. 



In September, I flew to Disney World by myself went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party by myself and had a blast.  I lost my fear of "what will people think?" Will people think I have no friends, or that nobody wanted to spend time with me?  It no longer matters (or matters less). 

Here's my intent for 2019.  You can expect to see me more around these parts.  More about my travel business and any deals that come up.  More of my favorite nerds.  More of me not being afraid to be me because people might not get it. 

I'm declaring 2019 the year of "Do it Anyway." It's ok to be nervous, it's ok to be scared, but do it anyway.  Most likely it is not nearly as scary as I think. 


Who else is looking forward to 2019?  What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

Monday, November 5, 2018

This is 50

So this is 50 or 350 years in dog years as I was kind enough to point out to my Mom when she reached this new age. I always thought 50 was OLD.

I've always been embarrassed to share my age because well, honestly, I really don't know why.  I just was. 

I spent my twenties largely being stupid. Making poor choices and burning bridges. Believe me when I tell you that I am so thankful social media was not a thing.


I spent my thirties fighting myself, trying to smooth bridges and found my hockey nerd and settled down and had Mighty and Mini. 


I spent my forties in varying degrees of chaos.  It's the decade that I started to  narrow  down what I want to be  when I grow up. Because I'm not there yet. This last year has brought me growth and peace. 

Peace to be me and to thumb my nose at those who chose not to see my worth.  Rather than obsessing with the WHYS.
  
I have faced cancer, miscarriages and surgeries.  I have faced insecurity and anxiety.  I have earned my big ole forehead wrinkle and my crows feet.  

I can choose not to age quietly and protest my double chin, my occasional mustache and my puffy synthroid face. 

I will wear glitter, play with snapchat and have funky taste in hair color and do all the things that I'm not "supposed to do" because I have reached a new decade.  



I am stepping out, being brave and confronting my fears and doing what I want to be doing. Even if I am the only person who thinks I can do it.   

So this is 50, and I think I'm really going to like it here. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Take the Trip

There's this girl I know.  You might recognize her too. She loves her family something fierce, a large part of her social media feeds are of her family and maybe a selfie or fifty because, well she normally takes the pictures of everyone else.  

She works hard, plays equally as hard.  She is mom, chauffeur, counselor, physician.  Equal parts disciplinarian and comedian.  Attempts to keep schedules in her head and quite often makes mistakes. Boy does she ever make mistakes 

She used to have a hobby that she loved, that hobby would take her to fun destinations to meet friends for weekends here and there.  But this specific girl, lost her love for that activity.  Started thinking about the whole "you have eighteen summers" thing and upon realizing that she was getting closer to the smaller end of that countdown decided to take a break for a bit. 



You might have guessed it by now, this girl is me.  But really I think any Mom/parent/adult figure can see parts of themselves in varying degrees/aspects in my story.

I used to get so worked up leading to weekends without family that I couldn't sleep and would have panic attacks leading up to and during my trip. I was often asked about "leaving" my family on the regular.  I was met either with a hard judgey side-eye or a high five.  Neither of which should be warranted really. 



As I'm typing this I'm on a plane home from a crazy short weekend trip to where else? Orlando. 
I met a friend, mostly flew by the seats of our pants but I checked off an agenda that I had in my head, that I didn't even know that I had. 



I did a bunch of new things, revisited some old favorites.  Enjoyed amazing food and great company.   I'm coming home exhausted but recharged.  Relaxed but energized.  The best part anxiety and guilt over what other people think did not weigh me down. 


There will be more I want to share from this weekend.  But if you've gotten this far and see yourself in any of this, my recommendation is this, take the trip. 



Do you, be unabashedly you, the non-parental figure you, grab a friend and go have some fun.  It is so worth it.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Refocus

Hi! It might be time to reintroduce myself and why I'm here in my little corner of the Internet.


When I first started Suzanne Ran it was to chronicle my running journey. Then I got all wrapped in runDisney, new friends,  and other things I thought I wanted to write about and my focus changed.

None of the above are bad and change and new adventures are always good.  But I tried to turn myself into someone I wasn't and lost my voice and the fun of writing at the same time. The same could be said for my love of running too.  

I lost sight of me in the process. I was so concerned about how people perceived me and my faults that I forgot how I perceived myself was just as important. I found myself constantly apologizing for being quiet, being weird, being occasionally awkward or whatever.



Now that Mighty and Mini are older how can I expect them to embrace who they are and to do what they want to do, if I am not wiling to do the same myself? Every morning before Might is dropped off at school, I tell him to "focus, focus, focus, focus" and it's time for me to do the same thing. 

So here I am.  My name is Suzanne and I am the chief nerd and my family's biggest fan. 



I love Marvel in any incarnation, Star Wars and road trips. Road trips that often lead to Orlando and Universal and Disney World. My favorite place in the world right now other than my home is the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando and the pool and its nachos bring me joy.




I can't say that I will write on any specific schedule.  I can't say what I will write about specifically  but I hope that you will stick around for  my thoughts on fandoms, family and fun.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Day in the Cabana Life

It seems only fitting that since our summer is starting to wind down, less than a month until my little nerdy's are back to school, that I start dishing on our annual big summer blowout.  Two glorious weeks visiting my homes away from home.  Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World.

This trip was a big one for us in the sense that while we had a lot of amazing firsts, we had some pretty big lasts as well.  The growing up of our little people was so evident on this trip and it was as phenomenal as it was bittersweet.

Today though I'm going to talk about the awesome first that was a highlight for this Mama.  The Beach Club Pool at the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando is my happy place.  Seriously, no exaggeration.  Well, truthfully the whole resort is my spirit animal.  If a resort could be a spirit animal that is.



I could spend all day at this pool.  Sun, absolutely amazing food, music piped in and live music for part of the afternoon. Oh and beverages. While my kiddos love the pool, it's me that you have to drag away kicking and screaming to go play at the park.  Don't think I haven't toyed with the idea of letting Hockey Nerd take them to the park and let me just soak in the vibe. But FOMO is real and I don't want to miss that fun just for a little extra piece of zen for me.





So in that vein, we decided to splurge and rent a cabana for one day of our stay.  We called the Body Rock Spa at the Hard Rock in March to book our cabana for June.  Our one request was that we be close to the slide, we got the second cabana away and it turned out to be the perfect location.



Pool days are a good thing, but why be happy with a ten.  When a cabana rental can take your pool day up to eleven?


That being said here are my top four reasons why you should consider a cabana day on your next vacation at the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando.  Or really anywhere.  But some of what I discuss will be specific to what I know.

1. Location.
This will be your home for the whole day.  No looking for a spot, no jockeying for a better location. Once you are there you are home.  Our cabana came equipped with four lounge chairs a table and a couch in the shade.  Also a TV, a ceiling fan, piped in sound.  You could soak up the sun or chill out in the shade and never had to worry about trying to find a different spot.






2.  Service
We had a designate server all day.  She would check on us regularly when we were there.  A big shout out to Kristen from the Beach Club, she was a rock star.  Super friendly and personable. She was amused by my taking pictures of my food and when I told her I had been counting down since Thanksgiving to have it again.  She later came by and asked me how my pictures turned out.   Whenever we saw her after our cabana day she remembered us and our preferences.  If you are going to have a cabana be prepared to be totally taken care of while there.  I know we were in good hands.


3.  Food
Oh guys, I dream about the Beach Club food.  For real.  Reasonably priced (for a resort) and you definitely get what you pay for.  Hands down my favorite is the loaded nachos and I am not going to tell you how many days I had them (and maybe shared) while we were there.  The sampler is amazing also.  With our cabana rental we received a 50.00 food credit.  Which was a great start to the day as well.  This was a big plus for us when factoring whether the cost was worth it. Additionally, our cabana came with a refrigerator which was stocked with soda and water.  We also received a fruit tray and another big bottle of water during the day too.



4. Relaxation
It was nice to have a day with no big plans just playing in the pool,eating and having fun. Mighty and Mini got to play and be kids.  Hockey Nerd and I got to hang out and talk. Even though it was right in the middle of everything we still felt like we were able to have conversations and just be.  We meven put our devices down and just enjoyed and people watched.  There may or may not have been singing and or rocking out depending on the song.  It may or may not have been me.


If you want to try something different for a pool day.  I cannot recommend a cabana rental enough. For us it was a splurge, but it has turned into something that we will do again when we head back. The entire experience was well worth the cost and we all ended up enjoying it.  We also ended up getting an unplanned poolside portrait session when we were there.  New professional pictures of my favorite people at my favorite pool in the world.  What can be better than that?



Have you ever rented a cabana? If not have you thought about it before?