Another chilly walk

The puppies and I went out for our walk today.  It was a chilly 36 degrees, but we warmed up pretty quickly.  I’ve been noticing that more of the neighbors are out walking their dogs, or out jogging.  It’s so nice to see people when I’m out for my walk.  It builds a great sense of community.

The Pomeranian only does one lap with us, but Ollie would go for days if he could.  Once he does his business, we just keep going for the full 40 minutes.  I’m hoping that in a few weeks we can start jogging.    I think he’ll love it!

Am I fit yet?!

I did my arms and abs workout today. At the end I felt good because my arms were pleasantly sore and I didn’t quit.

Truth- I really wanted to quit. I loath push-ups. Push-ups and then lunges.

But today, I didn’t quit! I did it and was pleased with myself. Then I looked in the mirror because of course, I must look fit now! And sadly, no. Still kinda fat.

LOL- it’s okay though. I know that if I keep having days with no quitting, I will eventually look more fit and less fat.

Here’s to saying yes to health and fitness!!

First workout of 2017

I finished my first workout of 2017!  Wow, it was a killer!  I was huffing and puffing like the Big, Bad Wolf.  But it felt awesome to finish it and know that I had done something positive for my health.  I use the app Sweat by Kayla Itsines.  It has a workout for each day (3 cardio and 3 strength a week), a food plan and a great Facebook group.

 

My Word of the Year

I have never done a “word of the year.”  Honestly, I thought they were kind of silly.  I mean, one word for a whole year?!  But after listening to a podcast by Gretchen Rubin, I found my word and knew that I had to write about it.

The Year of Yes

The podcast was about saying yes to holiday parties and activities even though you may be busy because they are a great way to improve relationships.  Having good relationships is one of the best ways to increase happiness!  So I thought, this is  my thing!  I need to say yes to more things; things that I would normally be afraid of, things that I wouldn’t do or even try for fear that I would screw it up.

Here are some things that I am going to say Yes to:

  • nurturing friendships
  • trying new adventures- glass-bottom boat rides, paddle boarding, para-sailing, etc
  • blogging!
  • telling people how I feel, even if they don’t like it
  • fitness
  • healthy eating
  • my morals and values, even when they conflict with others’
  • my needs (and not feel guilty about it!)
  • going to bed early
  • my gut instincts
  • love
  • success
  • relationships

I am going to use this as my theme for the year.  My mantra, my guiding principle.  I want to take advantage of every opportunity I can that is a good fit for me and my family.  Fear will no longer rule me.  I will say “Yes!” even if I’m afraid.  If I don’t think that it’s a good idea for me and my family, then I will say Yes to following my gut instincts and not do it.

20 Facts About Me

  1. I have 2 great kids.
  2.  I am a teacher.
  3.  I love to read.
  4.  I wear a Fitbit and try to get 10,000 steps a day.
  5.  Chocolate chip cookies are my biggest weakness!
  6.  I listen to country music.
  7.  I have 3 podcasts that I follow- Happier, What should I read next and This American Life.
  8.  I don’t have a tattoo, but I’m giving it serious thought.
  9.  I was on the ski team in high school, though I wasn’t very good!
  10.  My favorite food is my mom’s stuffing at Thanksgiving.
  11.  I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  Seriously.
  12.  I have 2 cute puppies- a pit bull and a Pomeranian.  so. much. work.
  13.  My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years.  He’s adorable.
  14.  I am a morning person.  I wake up early and usually go to bed at 9:00.
  15.  I’m addicted to Diet Coke.  I’ve tried to quit a couple of times, and just can’t!
  16.  I am the baby of my family.  Though my brothers would argue with this, I was totally the favorite.
  17.  I like to bake, but hate to cook dinner.  Ugh.  Dinner again.  Why?!  Why do they need to eat every day?!
  18.  My favorite sport is probably swimming, though hiking would be a close second.
  19.  I adore Jane Austen.  I could watch Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility or Emma everyday.
  20.  As an introvert, this is very uncomfortable!

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 1

I’ve failed already!  Bah.  I am a sad state of affairs.  I should have started blogging 3 days ago, but I procrastinated again.  My motivation is crap and so is my diet.  I’ve been trying to get myself up off the couch, but it’s been difficult.  Taking the dog for a walk has helped, doing household chores like laundry and using the Motivated Moms app has also been a good way to keep me moving after I get home from work.

I think there are a couple of things that would help me get over this laziness and procrastination problem.

  1. Schedule my after-work time like I schedule my work time.  I get a lot done at work and follow a strict schedule.  It’s what I have gotten used to , so it seems likely that would work at home too.
  2. Keep myself accountable by blogging!  Even though no one is reading this now, it’s possible that someone may read this in the future.
  3. Recognize that I don’t have to “feel like it” to actually do something.  When I am trying to decide if I want to do something, try to remember that I don’t have to feel like doing it.  I just need to do it and recognize that I’ll feel better when it’s done.  Quit complaining and just get it over with.

30 Day Challenges

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project.  To be honest, I need a bit more happiness in my life.  My life is pretty good as it is:  great kids, job I love, sweet boyfriend, enough money to pay my bills, and I don’t want to complain, but well, I want more happiness.  For my own benefit, yes, but also for my family.  You know the old saying:  if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!

One of her projects is to write a novel in 30 days.  I love 30 day challenges.  I think they are fun, and it gives me a confidence boost when I think about what I accomplished.

30 Day Challenge

So I have decided to do a year of 30 day challenges.  Here are the  ideas that I’m seriously considering:

  1. 31 day blog challenge
  2. 30 day photography challenge
  3. 30 day fitness challenge
  4. 30 days of no dessert!  ahhh!
  5. 28 day kindness challenge
  6. Self-love challenge
  7. Art and lettering challenge
  8. 30 days of letter writing
  9. 30 days of gratitude on 5 minute journal app
  10. Drink 90 ounces of water a day
  11. Brush teeth after dinner for a month
  12. 100 carbs or less per day
  13. 10,000 steps a day
  14. Write a novel in a month
  15. Work on my bullet journal each day
  16. Track my food for a month

When I reread my list, I see that some of these go together.  For example, no dessert, drink water, 100 carbs or less, and tracking my food are all about eating healthier.  If I combine those to all be a part of one 30 day challenge- 30 days of\ healthy eating- then my list would be whittled down to 12.  One for each month.  I love numbered, organized lists.  (I have 4 separate planners and am trying to not buy a fifth.)

The next step is to assign each one to a specific month.

  • December:  30 Day Blog Challenge.  I may as well start with this so that I can blog about my experience.  Plus, I know that December would not be a good time to start eating healthy.
  • January:  30 Day Healthy Eating Challenge.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!  It may actually be easier if lots of people I know are choosing this as their New Year’s resolution.  Misery loves company.
  • February:  28 Day Kindness Challenge.  The month of Valentine’s Day seems like a good time for this particular challenge.
  • March:  31 Day Fitness Challenge.  Get in shape for my bikini!  (hahaha.  I will never wear a bikini again.  ever.  ever.)
  • April:  30 Day Photography Challenge.  Spring sounds like a perfect time to get outside and take some pictures.
  • May:  31 Days of Letter Writing.  Mother’s Day and several family birthdays are in May.  Sounds like a good time!
  • June:  30 Days of Bullet Journaling.  I love my bullet journal.  It’s more of a scrap book for me, but I don’t take time to work on it.  With school over for the year, this will be a nice change of pace.
  • July:  Write a novel in a month.  Summer vacation for us teachers means time for this challenge!
  • August:  30 Days of Gratitude.  Back to school means NO time for challenges and the 5 minute journal sounds do-able.
  • September:  10,000 steps a day Challenge.  Back to school also means stress, so taking a walk each day could be a great stress reliever.
  • October:  30 Day Art and Lettering Challenge.  This was the only one left, because I wanted to save November for one about just me.
  • November:  30 Day Self-love Challenge.  My birthday month!  This seems like a great birthday present to myself.

Too bad that today is the 6th of the month.  Too late for a nice, clean start to the first challenge, and a ways to go before I get to the next month. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  Perhaps I could use the next 24 days to get organized.  Make a nice check off sheet, or accountability calendar.  Or a page in my bullet journal.  A nice printable to put here on the blog.  I like the idea of starting right away.  I can be a bit of a procrastinator.  Haha, My mom is rolling her eyes and saying, “a bit?!”

But 24 days might be the perfect amount of time to get ready.  Since I love lists, let’s try a list of 24 thing that I could do in 24 days to get ready for my 12, 30 day challenges!  (so many numbers, must try to not confuse myself)

  1. brush up on my blogging skills-I realize that I have forgotten quite a bit in 3 months (could take several days or weeks!)
  2. make a calendar for my wall to cross off day
  3. make a pretty printable
  4. make pages in my bullet journal
  5. take a mini photography course (a week?)
  6. buy a new pair of workout sneakers
  7. buy art and lettering “stuff”
  8. get a new toothbrush!
  9. buy a 90 ounce water bottle (do they make those?!)
  10.  organize my desk
  11. buy Xmas gifts so that I’ll be done with this when my challenges start
  12. research for each theme

So I think that these 12 things could actually take me at least 24 days.  Blogging and photography could take 24 days by themselves when you consider that I also work full time.

So wish me luck and check back in to keep me accountable!

 

 

It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

Traveling always makes me anxious.  I start to get a nervous, twitchy feeling a couple of days ahead.  I make lists, do errands and chores to get ready, but the feeling never quite goes away.

Anxiety is fear of what could happen. What can I do to stop being anxious?

Whenever we went on a summer vacation, it was always the same thing. Up before the sun, packing the car, and arguing. Always with the arguing, followed by a long period of awkward silence.  When we arrived at our destination, whether it was a friend’s or a relative’s house, we always pretended that everything was fine.  

Aunt:  “How was your trip?”

Mom:  “Oh it was great.  No problems at all.”

Me:  *eye-roll*

I recognize now that they were also anxious and that was how they dealt with it.  Bickering.  I do it too if I’m not careful.  Thankfully we now know more about anxiety and my BF and I can talk about it and can predict that I will be anxious and have some strategies to help.  Not cure, but help.  Maybe they will help you too.

Practical deal with anxiety

I’m going to print this out for myself and put it in my planner that goes in my purse so that I can refer to this list and try some of the ideas.

What do you do when you’re anxious?

Book Review

Text Talk Tuesday- The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood

This multi-dimensional story features a 104 year old woman, a quirky, young boy and his imperfect family.  The boy is the title character of the book even though we learn of his death in the first chapter.  Oddly enough, we never learn his name, he is only referred to as “the boy.”

The boy is working towards a merit badge in boy scouts when he suddenly dies and so his father takes over his volunteer work for Ona Vitkus, the 104 year old woman he has promised to help for the next couple of months.  His father takes over the job and forms a bond with this somewhat-crotchety old lady.

I absolutely adored this book, even though it is certainly sad at times, it is touching and sweet.  The characters are real with many flaws which make you root for them all the more.  The ending was perfect.  I would not have changed a thing about it.  It’s the kind of book that has rich language and causes you to think about the most important things in your life.