Anna Maria Locke

Spring in the City + Weekend Recap!

May 2015Anna Locke3 Comments

The tulips right now are INSANELY GORGEOUS! It's been a perfect tulip spring. I took this picture with my iPhone 4 camera, can't get over those colors.

And just like that, summer has arrived in Chicago and the entire city is waking up. It always feels like we go straight from 40s to 80s, typical Midwest climate rollercoaster!

May is probably my favorite month here. The trees are getting greener every single day, the flowers are glorious, the days are long, and on the weekends everyone is outside either brunching, gardening, or running. It’s like a big collective “exhale” after surviving another brutal winter, a joyful and calm buzz in the air before the oppressive heat arrives.

For the past few months I’ve been making an intentional effort to turn off “work mode” on the weekends and live my life. This sounds so obvious, but it’s been really hard for me to transition out of full time employee + night/weekend side hustler into full time self employed creative entrepreneur, especially since my job revolves around social media and staying plugged in and connected. It's been SO SO SO freaking hard to define boundaries and balance, even though it's been nine months since I quit my job. I was constantly thinking about my to-do list, my business, and new ideas, to the point that it was driving me insane and preventing me from really being present and fulfilled. Even though on paper I’m literally living the dream, on the inside I was still feeling desperate, stressed, and trapped in the endless cycle of “never good enough.”

After a few months of implementing a daily journaling practice, completing a session of Jess Lively’s Life With Intention Online e-course (SO worth it!), consistently working through The Artist’s Way, getting an amazing life coach Cady to help me process this huge career/life/identity transition, and slowly giving myself permission to back off and have more fun, I’m feeling like I’m finally settling into my groove and finding myself. It feels amazing! The warm weather, sunshine, and flowers are just icing on the cake. Last week was the first week I can remember NOT having any anxiety or feeling overwhelmed. I'm learning how to trust myself, let go of my ridonkulous expectations, go with the flow, and embrace being a beginner!

May has always been my spontaneous, drop everything and carpe the heck out of the diem month. Time to come out of winter hermit mode and live outdoors! This weekend was perfect.

Ben and I have lived in our apartment for almost three years, but we’ve never really connected with any of our neighbors until recently. It’s so fun to have friends in the same building as you. Friday night we met up for game night and played Ticket to Ride with wine and dinner.

Nope, this is most definitely not our house. Yet...

Saturday was the warmest day of the year so far, one of those glorious perfect sunshine-y days that beg to be spent outdoors. We ended up wandering around Wicker Park, feasting our eyes on the gorgeous gardens and old mansions and then went out for a run.

I'm finally in shape enough to be able to run WITH Ben instead of dying and feeling discouraged and frustrated. It’s amazing! And really ironic, since I haven’t even been trying to run more. I 100% credit Insanity and Shaun T for giving me insane cardio endurance and speed!

After running past lots of people cleaning up their yards, we were inspired to go to Home Depot and pick up some gardening supplies and gave our dirty concrete yard a mini-makeover.

Our building is ancient, poorly maintained, and I think of it as "gross," but I'm sick of complaining, feeling resentful that I don't have an updated kitchen etc, so I'm going to take ownership and make the best of what we have right now! I've been craving outdoor space, so now I have a tiny corner on the front porch where I can sit in the mornings to drink coffee, listen to the birds, and journal to start my day with stillness and peace! I'm going to start coming to you from Behind the Fern up there on the porch ;)

On Sunday I went to my favorite fitness studio The Barre Code for a big meetup with some other girls from the Chicago Tone It Up community. We were treated to a killer interval class, free socks, fun swag, and a free week of classes! 

Afterwards we headed out for brunch and mimosas and I ended up making several new friends and talking for hours. I feel so incredibly lucky to live in a big city where I can network and meet other women with similar goals and perspectives. I’ve made so many amazing friends through Instagram since I started my health and fitness account almost two years ago! Kind of like online dating for girlfriends...haha.

I also devoured this amazing book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, over the weekend. It’s all about how to simplify your life by letting go of possessions that don’t “spark joy” so you can live more spaciously and stop being bogged down with clutter and chaos. This book came into my life at the PERFECT time. My mind has been feeling so calm and clear lately, and I want my home and work space to reflect that. I can never feel calm or focused and I think it’s because of the clutter. We always complain about the lack of storage space in our apartment, but in reality we just have too much unnecessary stuff!

I can’t wait to start purging and de-cluttering our apartment! I’ll keep you updated on how it goes…

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
What's your favorite part of spring?

xo Anna

p.s. TODAY (Monday) is the last day to order Mother's Day scarves from the shop! I've added a convenient "Ready to Ship" section for the designs that are just waiting to be gift wrapped and popped into the mail :)