new year, new me

Ahhh, new year, new you.

I’m so familiar with both my optimistic and sarcastic thoughts on this phrase.

While I love a fresh start, I’m a little weary of change these days. (See update on previous year.) A new baby, a new home, a promotion…while I’m grateful and excited for all that happened in 2018, I’m also looking forward to finding my groove with these great changes in 2019.

That said, I did think of something broad I’d like to work on: Improving my health and my family’s health.

Now, for me, I don’t mean run to the gym and work out religiously in January and then fall off the wagon. Yes, I want to make better food decisions. Move my body and way more often. But it’s not just for me anymore. I want to take care of my physical body so that I can live a long life with my family. If that doesn’t motivate me, I’m not quite sure what will. I mean, look at this guy.

My girl has (another) cold, so she wasn’t feeling celebratory last night, but I still love her so and want to see her grow. (Shout out to my sis for bringing over the NYE goodies!)

But health is about so much more than the physical. I’m talking mental, emotional, and spiritual health, too. I want to make time to slow down and read a book instead of being hypnotized by an Instagram video on icing a cake. I want to call my 97-year-old Grammy and go see her when I can because she’s funny and wise and I love her so much. I want to go on dates regularly with my husband instead of twice a year. I want to have a hobby again. I want to plan a vacation. I want to live in the present instead of being sad about the past or anxious about the future.

And I want to blog again.

Last year was about the big things…this year is about self improvement, challenging myself to be my best, while slowing down to enjoy life. Taking care of myself and my family is number one.

Happy New Year to all!

thank you, Oprah

One thing I don’t talk a lot about on my blog is that I worked for Harpo and The Oprah Winfrey Network just before my current job.

My time there definitely had its ups and downs. Compared to my first job at a publishing house, it was really hard work. I honestly didn’t know if I’d make it six months. But six months turned into almost four of the most challenging, thrilling, inspiring, and unforgettable years of my life. I learned so much. I worked on projects that were meaningful. I shared the stories of people who were influencing and changing the world as we know it, and, in turn, changing me.

And then there was Ms. Winfrey herself. An icon. A change agent. A powerhouse for good. Although I never worked closely with her, her magic was felt at all times. When she spoke, we listened. Just as many did last night to her moving speech during the Golden Globes while she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

I happened to turn on the show right before her speech, and listening to Oprah speak brought back so many emotions. Joy. Pride. More than anything, gratitude. For the time when this inspirational woman—and the amazing corporation and its even more amazing employees (read: my lifelong friends)—were part of my everyday life.

And then my joy turned into sadness. Sadness that our country’s leadership lacks this ability to empower and inspire the way that Oprah does. I cried tears of longing for a better time for this country and its people, and I get emotional just typing this.

But I realize that I cannot rely on anyone but myself to make change. And I realize that I can lead by example, and I can focus on the small acts of kindness that can have a ripple effect to create bigger, better change.

Will Ms. Winfrey run for president? Oh, I have no idea, but what I know for sure is I need a little more Oprah in my life. Don’t we all?

I’m so thankful for that transformative time in my life, and the woman it has made me. Grateful is an understatement.

It’s Time for a Change

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I’ve been seriously absent from my blog. I’m not going to lie, since Ellie arrived we haven’t gotten “out” to new places all that much. And I haven’t had a ton of free time. (New moms who are back to work: I know you can relate!)

But I’ve been thinking for some time about evolving this blog into something different. When I started Second City Gal, I had just turned 30 and was ready for a challenge and ready for some fun. What I wasn’t ready for was the hole in my wallet from going out so much, and sometimes I felt like a robot because I liked everything I was doing or was too scared to be completely honest about bad service (it didn’t happen often, though, I promise).

So, instead of writing reviews about all of the cool things I’m doing and places I’m going, how about just writing about my experiences and life in the city? I’ve embraced the fact that my life has changed a lot over the past three years. I like staying home on a Friday night with my husband, pup, and now daughter. I like going to the pizza place in my neighborhood where our favorite waiter knows us. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to try new places, but familiar is just as fun as fresh in my eyes. Have I grown up? Have I becoming boring? Probably a little bit of both. But I’m ready to share more about my life and experiences than the cute decor in a new small plates, farm-to-table restaurant. (Although there might be some of that, too!)

So I hope you continue on the journey with me. I might not post as often, but I hope it’s more meaningful.

Talk soon. Xo.