pause + rewind + try again

8 things to do if you woke up alive today

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a chance you’ve heard about the most recent string of mass shootings. No doubt you’ve heard about other countries warning their residents against the dangers of traveling to the US. I’m also confident that you are devastated by what has happened, and likely, a little fearful as well. (I considered calling my mother on my way to Wal-Mart yesterday, just-in-case I didn’t make it back out.)

While Crystal and I are absolutely not, I repeat NOT dismissing or diminishing the seriousness of our current situation (we both believe that as a country, we are past the point of “needing to do something” and having a full-on national crisis) we would like to offer a few suggestions that may help us move forward with love. 

In case you happened to wake up alive this morning, here are some ideas to celebrate the beautiful and precious life you get to live today.

  1. Tell someone you love them. Not your partner, your children, your dog, or other immediate family members that hear it all the time, but someone who won’t expect it. Even if you’re not one to throw the “L-word” around, telling someone you genuinely appreciate something they’ve done will make them feel good. And then you’ll feel good for making them feel good, and then everyone will just feel all happy and warm and fuzzy.  

  2. Eat, drink, and be merry! We don’t get nearly as excited as we should about the abundance of food that is available to most of us. There are places in this world, in this country even, where people do not know if they will have access to food. Those people would be elated to have the leftovers or well-intentioned groceries in your fridge. Challenge yourself to avoid the grocery store and deplete your cabinets. It will be fun and cheap! And make you feel a little more resourceful.

  3. Go outside! It’s summer for many of us, take off your shoes and socks and step outside. Feel the earth under your feet and remember that your mother (earth) is always supporting you. She’s right there, underneath it all, holding us up. We should show her some respect for that.

  4. Make up a silly song about something mundane; a musical narration as you get ready for work or an impromptu interlude as you make yourself lunch. You have a voice! You have a brain! You can use them both together to create something! You don’t have to sing out loud, all though it’s more fun. 

  5. Give yourself 60 minutes of free movement. Close the door to your office or bedroom and let yourself go! Whether you’re perfecting your #Narutorun, your dance moves, or riffing on the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube-man, you can’t go wrong just moving your body organically. It will make you feel free and we bet you can’t do it without laughing. *Bonus points if you combine 5+6*

  6. Help somebody! We are all capable of helping others and the good news is that we can do this in a variety of ways. Maybe you go big and donate to an NPO you love or volunteer regularly at your local animal shelter. Maybe you run an errand for a coworker or water your neighbor’s plants. Seek out opportunities to be of service because service does not discriminate! Everyone can make a difference. Even small gestures can be extremely valuable.

And then there were two…These last suggestions are critical but can be tough to implement. They will require constant vigilance and call upon the most American of ideals –  that we as individuals are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

  1. LOVE YOURSELF. Trust that no one can be you, no one can know you, no one can love and care for you, the way that you do. You matter, you are important, and you are a beautiful part of this world. If a message makes you feel less than, don’t look at it. If someone says something that makes you feel judged, get curious about what THEIR problem is. No one can make us feel inferior without our consent. Stand up fully for the magical awesomeness that is inside of you and others will be drawn into your light.

  2. If you really want to stick it to the man, LOVE EVERYONE ELSE TOO! Sometimes it is hard to do this, especially when people in high places try to tell you what/how to think. It’s hard to avoid judging others, buying into stereotypes or rejecting what we don’t understand. It’s exponentially harder to apply a critical lens to ourselves to better understand our own behavior and prejudice, but it MUST be done. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to SEEK OUT COMMONALITIES that unite us! Make it your mission to be ANTI-HATE, to find good in every individual. We are all, every one of us, somebody’s child. 

We may not agree with some (or many or ANY) of the policies and strategies being implemented by our leadership, but that doesn’t mean we should give up and call it a loss. Let’s take things back to a local level. Treat others; not some, or a few, or just the ones you know, but ALL OTHERS, how you want to be treated. Celebrate the joy of being alive today and find gratitude for all that you have. 

If you do these things, I can guarantee it will make it a little easier to carry on in this crazy world. 

In love and light,

pause + rewind + try again

The Two voices

If you’re a kid of the looney tunes era, you’re keenly familiar with the imagery of the angel and devil sitting on your opposing shoulders. BUT in real life, it never turns out quite that way. In reality, there are two voices crying out for our attention. These two voices have their own opinions of what we say, do, wear, and even sound like. Frankly speaking, of the two voices, one is an asshole and one is your biggest cheerleader.

Which voice do you listen to throughout the day?

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who can shut the asshole up, but most of us aren’t so lucky. We spend our days looking in the mirror repeating horrendous things to ourselves…

  • You look awful.
  • You’re too fat for that outfit.
  • Do you even know what you’re doing?
  • You should go to the gym.
  • You can’t do this/that/the other, so someone else should do it.
  • Do you even know how to put on makeup?
  • Maybe you should get a haircut…

If we begin our days listening to these awful things, it only gets better from there. You get to work and the nastiness continues to grow.

  • You second guess yourself on everything.
  • You feel like you’re suffering from imposter syndrome.
  • You dread meetings with your boss because you’ll be told all that you’ve done wrong.
  • You think you personally don’t make a difference.
  • You reduce your qualifications to imperfections.

This negative internal monologue feels awful. What if we decided to flip the script?

Perhaps we could press pause when the asshole began to speak? What if we decided to hit rewind and try again? What if we were our own biggest cheerleader?

I think our days would begin so great…

  • You look stunning!
  • You’ve been working hard on that hot bod!
  • You’re great at what you do
  • You are one great catch!
  • You’re the best person for this assignment
  • You are so talented

If we began our days saying such wonderful things, imagine how great the rest of our day would go? You could walk into that important meeting at work and rock that project proposal with confidence Perhaps you would ace that exam you’ve studied so hard for knowing you were prepared for success. Better yet, you would spend your day knowing that your company/school/team is lucky to have you.

So how do we get to the point of listening to the cheerleader inside of instead of the asshole?

  1. We pause when we recognize that, at some point in our day or our lives, the negative voice began winning over the positive.

  2. We rewind to before the when the negativity began to rear its ugly head.  

  3. We try again by reframing our negative thoughts. That doubting Thomas doesn’t have to be the voice that speaks the loudest and longest.

This battle between the two voices is something most of us have to work through…

and it’s a process even for me. As a little girl, I loved to write and draw and dreamed of publishing my own books. At some point, that dream became a far-off memory. I’m not sure what changed, but I think it had something to do with that inner asshat. Somehow, it convinced me I wasn’t that great at drawing, and that my writing was mediocre at best. Where was my inner cheerleader? Why did I ignore her? I’m honestly not sure, but I do know that like the positive person inside so much more. She helps me believe I’m capable of great things and pushes me to keep growing.

Have you silenced the cheerleader in you?

Maybe you have and you didn’t realize it. And guess what? You are not alone in this struggle to be kind to yourself. The best way we can all do better is by listening to this kind encouraging voice on the inside. As we work through reframing our negative self-talk, we may need a little help. When we’re having a hard time listening to your own cheerleader, ask someone in your life to help get you back on the right track. Here are on The91Rewind we are passionate about doing this too. If you don’t follow us on Instagram, we’d recommend it because we throw some positive reminders at you all week long. Some days Erica and I both need the reminders too, because we’re still a work in progress.

Ready to silence the asshole and get your cheerleader louder?



taking care

5 reasons to #loveYOU

At the beginning of March, I had the privilege of attending Sweet Cheeks All Natural’s “#LoveYOU” kick-off event. This was the first of many Sweet Cheeks events focusing on self-care. The topic of self-care comes up everywhere these days…Maybe that’s because most of us don’t do it enough, if we do it at all. Taking care is something we value at The 91 Rewind. We believe that everyone can share a little more of the T.L.C. we dole out to others with ourselves as well.

Not too long ago, Erica and I were having a conversation about what self-care means for each of us. As you may expect from two best friends of nearly 27 years , we have similar ways of caring for ourselves, BUT there are still some differences to note. We both love yoga, but our connection to the practice happened at different times. I began practicing yoga a little over ten years ago at Yoga Source. Erica didn’t step onto the mat until 2011 when a friend conned her into taking a class. I love a great  restorative class, where I can focus on my breathing and allow myself to relax through deep stretches. Erica gave restorative a try a few weeks ago and told me she would rather do someone’s calculus homework than to take another restorative class. If I had to describe Erica‘s preferred type of yoga class, it would be one in which she is upside-down as MUCH AS POSSIBLE (FYI-I simply cannot fathom how a person finds relaxation from something like that…).

I mention this not to suggest that one type of yoga practice is better than the other, but to highlight that different methods can yield the same outcome. We both experience a euphoric yet relaxing, warm-fuzzy, post-class feeling, but we take different paths to get there. Caring for ourselves is much the same, in that it depends on individual preferences. Each of us will need something a little different, and only you can truly know what that is. 

So, while I cannot tell you exactly HOW you need to care for yourself, I CAN tell you some reasons WHY you should care for yourself; why you have to #LoveYOU. I’ve debated the best way to do this, so I decided to go with a David Letterman-esque “Top 10 List.” Unfortunately, ten is far too many reasons to really remember, so  I’m going to stick to five. Let’s keep it simple. Now, without further ado, here are the top five reasons to #LoveYOU!

#5 You are beautiful! Society wants to tell us what beauty is and should be, AND how or what we need to make ourselves beautiful. But let me tell you, none of that is true. There is nothing you need to do to make yourself beautiful. Beauty comes from within and extends to our outer being. You are beautiful with or without makeup; with or without the perfect outfit, or expertly styled hair. You are real and flawed and amazingly alive and that is truly beautiful. You are already here, my dear, living and breathing. There is nothing MORE you need to do to  make yourself beautiful. Just #LoveYOU, and everyone else will, too.

#4 You are important! Obviously, our needs are important. That’s why we have jobs! So we can provide for ourselves…but how many of us REALLY feel that our needs are the MOST important? How often do we put off going to the doctor because we can’t miss work? How many times do we reschedule appointments because we are just too busy? How often do we want to take time for ourselves but feel too guilty to actually do it? What are we afraid of? If you ask me, it’s the fear that once we finally DO put ourselves at the top of our list, that we will never be able to go back to how things were before. Maybe that’s true, but hey you are important! After all, no one else can authorize our self-care. You deserve to feel important and it’s okay to put YOU first.

#3 Your happiness matters! I find this is hardest for mothers, and women in general, to grasp and embody. Women are natural care-takers and have a habit of prioritizing the needs of others, sometimes at the expense of our own happiness. We make a lifestyle of overextending and begin to feel stressed out and unappreciated. We wonder why no one seems to care about us, yet we behave as if we never need anything. Acknowledging that we deserve happiness and taking time to discover and create our own joy tells others that we DO matter and that our happiness is a priority.

#2 You are enough! The world would like us to believe that we are needy and ill-equipped. There are entire industries that thrive on people’s fear that they are not good enough (we won’t name any names…). Tapping into the human fear of inadequacy is a great sales tactic, but a terrible life philosophy. We question our career choices, believing the right job will suddenly fulfill us. We think we need to buy the right clothes or accessories to help us feel more love. We feel like a bigger house means a better life. We believe that our adventures only count if they get lots of “likes” on social media. We seek affirmation of ourselves from external sources. No one can tell you who you are. You would still be you without an instagram account, without a fancy job, without the latest clutch that you paid a fortune for. You are not perfect, but you are whole. You are complete, you are enough.

#1 (and Most Important) YOU’RE AN ADORABLE BADASS! You are a first-edition, limited-release, ORIGINAL. There has never been, nor will there ever be another YOU. You are the only person you can be. Embrace your originality my friend, because no one has it quite like you. 

 It may sound backwards, but taking care of ourselves can help us take better care of others. Learning to cherish ourselves; working to #LoveYOU flaws and all, makes us better. It makes us more kind, more compassionate. After all, you can’t convince anyone of anything until you first convince yourself. 

There are a truckload more reasons to #LoveYOU and we hope this little countdown may inspire you to some steep on some reasons of your own. We often feel pressure to achieve or obtain. That self-worth is derived from doing things. You are alive and individual, and that’s all that is required.

If you doubt any of these reasons, stand in front of a mirror and repeat as many times as necessary. Some days it’s easier to believe than others, but EVERY DAY you need to #LoveYOU…no matter what!



just for fun, taking care

valentine shmalentine

I have to admit that I’m not much of a romantic. I refuse to watch The Notebook and try my best to avoid any books, movies, and shows of that particular genre. I do not consider myself to be cold and unfeeling, but I simply do not believe it is healthy to indulge the notions proffered by these stories. In my experience, love is unpredictable, painful, and complicated, with romantic love being the most wild variety.  AND if we choose to measure the “love” in our lives by romantic heteronormative relationships, we stand to miss out on a LOT in life—a lot of LOVE that is. 

I am strongly opposed to the way we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. It irritates me to no end that couples fight over this arbitrary milestone. It troubles me that people are made to feel “less than” because they don’t have a special someone. I have a hard time believing that the only people who deserve happiness and love are those “in a relationship” on social media.  It seems like the unwavering mission of Valentine’s Day is to remind those of us lacking romance that life just isn’t as good. Like we are alone and broken.

The true origins of this holiday are widely debated, but without a doubt they have NOTHING to do with romance or love for that matter. Let’s not forget that this “holiday” was rebranded in the early 20th century to do little more than stimulate the economy.

I wasn’t always so bitter and jaded. There was a time when the fleeting nonsense of Valentine’s Day didn’t make me bristle up with tension.


Flashback to elementary school…as a young child, I LOVED Valentine’s Day for two reasons: first, because my mom and I would make Valentine’s for my class and there was always extra candy, and second because it was the only day where it was acceptable to wear pink and red together.  Plus,  even in the early 1990s, teachers mandated a progressive equivocal approach to this holiday. The rule for exchanging Valentine’s in class was that you had to have one for everyone. You would come to school with treats to share and end up with just as many to take home. The world seemed fair and just, and quite delicious. These were simpler times.

Flash forward to my mid-late twenties…I finally had a steady Valentine, but some ideological differences kept us from celebrating this or any other holiday. His family wasn’t into gift-giving or celebrations, so it was no surprise he too, saw them as a waste of time and money. Things I took for granted, like birthday parties and summer vacations; things I thought everyone just sort of did, were foreign to my partner.  Like many things in our relationship, he and I just were not on the same page here. I tried a couple of times to make it special without spending money, but he would only get upset. Valentine’s Day, and all the other holidays, became a dreadful reminder that a gifting is a two-way street. It isn’t enough to give a gift, it has to be received, in order to be truly meaningful. 

Ironically, our five-year relationship ended, due to irreconcilable differences, a few days before Valentine’s Day in 2013. It was messy untangling our lives, and I moved in with my parents to get back on my feet. The morning of Valentine’s day came and I was still a bit raw from the death of my relationship as I headed to work. I did not realize what day it was as I sat in the daily production meeting,  absently staring out the window.

I noticed a car pull up in front of the building—well I heard it before I saw it. To my horrified astonishment, it was a car I recognized. My ex appeared and proceeded to decorate my tiny Fiat 500 with bows and hearts, flowers and candy, a stuffed animal. It was as if he purchased the entire Valentine’s Day crap section at Walgreens. The commotion garnered the attention of others in the meeting, and we sat together and watched as this desperate man made a last ditch effort to save our relationship on Valentine’s Day.

I was beyond mortified, but more than that, I was damn mad. In the years we were together, this dude could not even produce a Valentine’s Day haiku. Now after a pretty volatile break-up, he thinks $40 worth of themed garbage is going to make everything right? No. Just, NO! How dare this guy come to my office and make a spectacle of me? I couldn’t believe it.  

After he drove away, I marched out there, collected all the stuff, and walked it right to the garbage. And of course, I had to entertain questions from my coworkers for the rest of the week about what happened and how I felt about it. To make matters worse, most of them thought I was frigid for rejecting what they perceived to be a sweet gesture.  Appearances can be deceiving, am I right? 

After hearing about my theatrical day at work, my wonderful parents did all they could to salvage things. Mom and Dad got me a sweet Valentine’s Day card and ingredients to make home-made pizzas after work.  We celebrated the “day of love” as a family and had such a super fun time that I forgot all about my embarrassing morning.

Every year since then and probably each year from now on, they are my sweet Valentines. It’s accurate, I mean, they are the people I love the most, and in my eyes, the people most deserving of my appreciation and affection.

There are as many different types of love as there are reasons to celebrate it.  We love our families and friends. We love our ZUMBA instructor and our favorite hoodie. We love the way that one guy at Chipotle is a little heavy handed with the guac. All of these instances foster good feelings within us. They make us feel a little special and help us treat others with more kindness.

Devoting an entire holiday to focus on one specific kind of love seems a bit exclusive. Truthfully, it wasn’t until I didn’t have a “valentine” anymore that I began to appreciate all the different ways I experience love in my life. Deepening the relationships I hold dear and learning to love MYSELF brings me more joy, warmth and fuzzy feelings than any date I could go on. 

Valentine’s Day should be about sharing love! Not just with a particular type of person, but with all the people. Just like elementary school, if you’re not prepared to share with everyone, keep it to yourself.