Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.





Thursday, January 31, 2013

Being a Dork

I am a complete dork.

I am.  I always have been.

I'm not sure when it started.  Having a speech impediment as a kid pretty much labels you as odd early on, so maybe then?

Or maybe it was the mass of curly hair?

Who knows?  I just have never really fit and I've never been nor have ever tried to be cool.

Well, that's not exactly true-- some days I think I'm cool and then I trip and fall.

I met my friend Ellen for coffee at this hip cafe downtown and I told her I was going to wear black and wear a hat so I would look cool.  We both cracked up because neither one of us is particularly cool.  She shared with me about her hilarious times working in LA- which is wanna be cool person mecca-- and being uncool.

It's probably why we are friends.

Being an uncool dork has actually worked for me.  Throughout my life I have been told that I am, in fact, cool because I am so myself.

That makes me laugh.

And usually spit a little and realize I have spinach in my teeth.

And then trip.

And wheeze a little while I laugh.

Because I am definitely, if nothing else, 100% myself.  I am not graceful.  I am not elegant.  I always look a little off.  I never have a good hair day and clear skin day on the same day.  Ever.

I'm a dork.

I tell silly jokes.  That I laugh at even if no one else does.

I dance in public.  Even when the music is in my head.

I laugh far too loud.  I don't know when to shut up.  I ask too many questions.  I fart at inappropriate times.

I have no sense of style aside from comfortable.  I go off on tangents.  I overthink things.

I have not just muffin tops, but also muffin sides and bottoms.

My hair- well-- it's independent.

I can't lie and I roll my eyes.

Beer and soda make me gassy to a point that I can't drink them in public.

I spill nearly everything I eat or drink down my front.

I didn't just go to band camp as a kid-- I went to math camp.  And I cried when I left.

Super Dorkarina.

But I have to say, I've always embraced my dorkiness.  Today the song "Groove is in the Heart" was stuck in my head.  I LOVE that song just not all day, ringing through my brain while I'm trying to work.

A normal person would not have been able to break out into song throughout the day in this situation.  I am already a dork.  I can. It's poetic license to be weird. 

Weird is awesome. 

I was at a conference this week and one woman that I know who is fairly successful shared a few years ago that her secret to client acquisition is being the coolest person her clients know.  She suggested I do more cool things.  I spit laughed. 

Me clubbing... me spending the day at the spa--- seriously?  I can think of 100 wardrobe malfunctions and embarrassing situations in less than 5 seconds.

She can be cool.  As for me, I will embrace my inner dork. 

Being cool is far too exhausting. 

So cheers to my fellow dorks!  May your glass always be half full and spill slightly as you drink!





Day 6 or 7- Avoiding Death

Yes, I know I missed a day and then there were a few where I didn't do anything.... 

The plan is that there is no plan.

WHAT?!?!

I have to have a plan, right?

Well, if I have a plan it's this- I am going to try to work out for at least 35 minutes 5 times a week. 

Yes, Yoda, I wrote try.

Because if I only get to the gym 3 or 4 times it will be better than nothing.

And if I make it 7, fantastic.

In the past, I would say "Screw it, it's not working" and that would be that.

5 am appears to be working out (pun intended).  I wanted to sleep in today as I did yesterday, but I couldn't because I had just done a radio show with my friend Charmaine and talked about how important being healthy was to me.  I didn't really hear the alarm as much as I heard "Liar, liar, pants on fire" in my head when I got out of bed.

Over the weekend we did a charity walk/run for the Girl Scouts.  We did the Shortbread Shuffle- a 1 mile walk which my kids ran.  This has inspired me to do the Cirque 5k run in March with them since they clearly can do it.  I really do not enjoy running.  At all.  It was very inspiring to watch my friend Lisa run her first 5k after losing a boatload of weight- and she killed it.  29 minutes. Wow.  I will not finish in 29 minutes.  39 possibly.

Then I went to Monterey for a business trip. Rough life, I know.  I headed out at 5 for a run on the wharf, but I have to say, running in the dark in a strange city freaked me out, so I went to the hotel gym.  It sucked, but to quote the very fit colleague of mine who was there "You showed up."  Yep.  I did. 

I didn't make it there on Tuesday, thinking I would do something when I got home that night (really??) and then Wednesday morning.....yawwwwwnnnn.... I slept in.

But today, I didn't.  Today I went.  Today's inspiration was the man who had Parkinson's doing toe touches and fighting it every step of the way with his therapist.

I will be back tomorrow.

Because as I explained to my friend Charmaine yesterday, it's not about weight loss any more.  I'm not going to get to a magic weight and suddenly stop exercising.  I'll have to keep exercising.  And if I don't lose weight it doesn't matter- exercise is important on its own merits.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women my age.  And for the most part, I can do something about it. 

I am nicer when I work out.  I am sharper when I work out.  I am happier when I work out.  It gives me energy and it also makes me feel like I can control something.  If I'm working out, it means I am sticking with my priorities and am in control of my life.  I got fat because I let life control me.  And I ate a lot of Ben & Jerry's and stopped exercising... but you know what I mean.

I may never be a size 6 again, but it doesn't mean I should just throw the towel in and get fatter and expedite my death.

Anything is better than nothing.  Anything.

So get moving.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 4

Please pardon my typing, I may have overdone it on my arms today...  those 8 lb weights are KILLER.

Don't laugh.  I'm trying.

I'm officially getting into the swing of this.  How do I know?  I fell asleep at 9:45 last night.  Sadly, my poor husband had my Kindle in his back all night and was unaware.   I had hoped to finish our book club book last night.  I must have fallen asleep reading.

The dogs are also enjoying the early morning wake up. They mistakenly think it's because I want to play with them extra early in the morning. All three of them.  Even my 15 year old dog drags himself out of bed wagging his tail.

At 4:45 am.

Really?

Gotta love 'em.

Anyhow, 9 pm seems like a good bedtime if I can keep pushing it back to that.  I'd really like to do the spin class at 5 am at least once a week.  Which means I'd need to get up at 4:15, to leave and get there and set up my bike.

I used to go to bed at 4:15 in my 20s.

YAAWWWNN.

Embrace the changes, right?

I would also like to say that while the time of day is a challenge, I'm loving it.  I need to dig out all of my old "Shape" magazines-- I think they're in my husband's nightstand for some reason......  and get some new ideas for workouts.  That's what I loved about CrossFit- never the same workout.  We would do the same exercises, but in different combos. And while I was sore, I could never not go back the next day.  "Shape" actually has some great plans like that.  I need to go in to the gym on the weekend when I have more time and try to pick a few new machines to try.  I'm also thinking of hitting up my neighbor to spot me in the free weight section at least once a week. 

Today I did mainly arms, chest and back  exercises with dumbbells on the BOSU ball.  I was getting tired of crunches, I thought I'd mix up the core workout.  I looked drunk.  I normally look a mess, but me trying to do something as simple as stand on a BOSU ball (they're these half ball things which are squishy so you have to think to keep your balance) is entertaining.  Trying to do curls and such on it, is even funnier.  But I did.  And my core is sore.  As our my thighs.  And, of course, my upper body.  Anything that combines a bunch of exercises into one, I'm all about it.  Especially since I have 35 minutes.

Oh- and today I'd like to thank Elvis. "Suspicious Minds" got me through it.  I was ready to say "You've done great all week, make this a short one...."  and then it came on and I smiled and kept going.

Thank you, Elvis.

And if anyone has any other ideas for playlists, please let me know!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 3- Rumpshaking and Being Fat.

Yes, Day 3.

And I wanted to go back to sleep.

But my neighbor would be there.

Yes, John, I was thinking of you this morning as I rolled out of bed.

It was a later night than usual- Wednesday ;) --- so I was tired.

But I went.

I saw my neighbor.  He was killing it on the elliptical.  He didn't see me.

But I did wave hi to every other shaved headed man in a red shirt for the next 30 minutes.

Not him.

Oops.

And I believe it was him at the red light, rolling down his window to say "Wassup" but I was too busy singing and dancing to "Rumpshaker."

I like a little house music in the morning.

Oops.

I dialed it in a bit today, but I went. 

My friend Helen who writes a fantastic blog on her fitness and weight loss journey wrote a great one on perhaps she should accept that she is going to be fat.

I should point out that she just got her black belt in Muay Thai.  She kicks ass.  Literally.

And here are my random thoughts on that--

This year I may not lose any weight.  I will probably lose some, but honestly, I have been at this weight for nearly 10 years now.  Consistently.

I had a friend say that she was going to start to do something-- join a networking group-- once she lost 30 pounds.

This made me sad.  I told her that.

I am putting nothing on hold until I lose weight.  I've done that before.  I started to let it go a few years ago.  I think this year I have fully accepted that I may stay at this weight and it is completely irrelevant.

Which is making it a little easier to drop a few.

Ironic, isn't it?  Once I quit caring, it started to work.

I am working out and eating healthy so that I don't drop dead from a heart attack.  I can't keep putting it off.  We all know someone in their 40s who died from heart failure .  It's not that unusual.  It's the #1 killer of women.

If eating healthy and exercising happen to result in some weight loss, great.  If it doesn't, oh well.  It certainly isn't hurting me.

I will have a donut every month or so.  I will eat a little chocolate and have some wine.

I will also push a little harder at the gym because to be honest, there isn't any time left to put it off.

I don't want to be 70 and not able to go up a flight of stairs.  At 90 sure.  Not at 70.  I work with a lot of older people and every day I'm reminded that for the most part, the quality of your life is a choice.


My amazing husband has lost 175 pounds over the past 4 years.  He and my son hiked up Lone Mountain 2 weeks ago.  He was shocked he could do it-- he's lived here his whole life and never tried.  He was GLOWING when they got back.  His quality of life is so different from 4 years ago.  He's a participant not a spectator. 

It's amazing when the motivation has nothing to do with the scale or the size, but really is about the quality of my life that it makes it a little bit easier to get to the gym.  A little easier to eat healthy.

I would really like to lose weight.  I won't lie, it would be great to feel a little better about myself.  It would be a great way to show the world "Hey-- look at what I can do!" 

But if this doesn't result in weight loss, I can't throw in the towel, because that's not what it's about any longer.

I get it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 2 and the Head Nod Gym Buddy

Two days does not a habit make, but don't ruin it for me.

I really like working out in the early morning.  I like the silence.  I like the sunrise.  I like that I can get a parking spot and the gym is nearly empty.  And the average age isn't 20.

I really hated working out at 4:30- the after work crowd is nuts.  The traffic in the parking lot is horrible.  It sucked.

So this early morning thing is working out for me.

The best workout schedule I ever had and the best shape/lowest weight I've been at in the past 10 years was a year after my son was born. I joined the Y.  There was an aerobics class with an amazing teacher on MWF at 9 am.  I did a spin class at 5 am on TR. 

I was working from home on MWF, so it worked out great.  I would get up early, do my emails, any trades I had, feed my son, then head to the gym. We'd play at the park after, come home, have lunch, he'd nap, I'd work.

After about 2 months, I became "gym buddies" with a woman named Ann Marie.  Her son was my son's age and they both were fairly quiet unlike some of the spazzy kids in the childcare.  We used to call it the Lord of the Flies room.  Our sons bonded and so did we.  We would save each other a spot or move if the class filled up.  I have no idea what her last name is.  We never hung out outside the gym.  If either of us missed a class, however, we would say "I missed you!"

It made all the difference. 

Seriously.

A complete stranger held me accountable.  And vice versa.  When they moved to Korea (her husband was in the Air Force), I was sad.  I was pregnant with my daughter, so my workouts started to slow down a bit.... then I had my daughter.. yada yada.. I ... it became impossible to have both children not sick at the same time... the workouts slowed down more... then my husband signed up for an early bird class and I couldn't even make the 5 am spin class....

But I swear, not having Ann Marie to check in with, made a HUGE difference.  There was no one asking me where I was.

It's happened before.  In my 20's I took a step class and I was the youngest person in it.  By about 40 years.  You would THINK that would be a good thing.  These women were MACHINES.  They kicked my ass.  When I would miss a class, they would give me crap about it.  Something about being 65 and being able to kick my ass.

Or the yoga class where this one woman and I would try hard not to crack up  as we aligned our chakras and chanted.

You would think having real friends to work out with would be a better option.  Not so.

Not even my super fit friends.  In fact, most of them were the lamest workout buddies.  Most of them had other options for fitness so meeting me was not their biggest priority.

The random strangers were, by far the best.  Or the class instructor who knows your name and asks about your weekend. 

Silly, but it really was motivating.

Yesterday, I thought I saw our neighbor who is actually one our closest friends.  I knew they had joined my gym in the fall but I had no idea when they were going. 

And yes, it was him.

I think I may have frightened him with my nasty morning breath, but he seemed happy to see me.

He gets there around 4:30 or so. 

A head nod buddy.   The person who gives you the "Wassup" head nod when they see you.

My accountability person.

I don't get there until 5:10, but still, there's overlap. 

That "I'd better be there or else he will know I'm totally full of shit."

Awesome.

We don't have to chat.  We don't have to work out together.  We don't have to carpool.  We don't have to be BFF's (which I'm sure he just sighed a huge sigh of relief, because my breath was REALLY bad this morning and he's not a chatty Cathy at the gym... and believe it or not, I'm not either... but that's another blog for another day and is also why I don't like working out with friends). 

But I have that person who will know I'm there so when the alarm goes off and I think "Noo......" I will add on "But John is there and if he can get there, I can, too."  Especially on the mornings after the times we've all stayed up a bit and had some wine....

So Day 2 is down.  19 more until it's a habit, right?


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back at it... again

So you may be wondering why I haven't posted much about the Whole 30, losing weight, etc. for the past few months.

Um... ah... um...

About that...

The good news, I only gained 8 pounds back of the 18 I lost.  You might think that's awful, but considering I went from great behavior to I don't care in 30 days or less, I'm pleasantly surprised.

So what happened?

Well, I tried to work out during my son's jiu jitsu class.  It's in my gym for crying out loud.  It started at 4:45  I could do that.  Then they moved it to 4:30.  Small change, but that last 15 minutes was a big deal at my office.  It meant hitting school zones on the way home.  Which meant I lost not 15 minutes at work, but 30 minutes.  Plus, I was already leaving an hour earlier. 

Then I decided to be a troop leader for my daughter's Daisy troop.  Let me restate that- I started a Daisy troop (I have a great co-leader who is a pro).  The only day I had was on Monday.  I didn't want to do evenings (because my kids sleep early), so we did it after school.  So Monday was now shot.

Which left Wednesday, which became impossible to leave.  And Friday which was exhausting after a long week.

Then I got really, really, really busy at work.  After the recession, I'll take it. 

Then we got a new dog which required SOMEONE to either stay up or get up.  If you're married, you know what that means.  So I was tired.

Then I got that stupid bronchial thing that wiped me out.

Excuses, I know.  But honestly, they are the truth.

It was a time issue.  In sales you are taught that every objection appears to be time or money, but they are really about not seeing the value.

I have to say, in this case, it really was a time and energy thing.  Because I missed it.

So rather than head back to the gym January 1 with the rest of the resolutioners, I decided to wait.  In 3 weeks, they are gone.

And I also decided that unless I went back to 5 am workouts, it wasn't going to happen.  My husband leaves for school around 6:15 am, so I can't screw around in the morning.

I have a decent 35 minute workout that I can do every day.  It's an interval set.  My gym (LVAC for you locals) is great.  There's a track upstairs.  The ab section is on one side, the machines on the other with some free weights by the ab section (the main free weight section is downstairs).  I walk/jog/run from one section to the other.  With a short time frame, I focus on either upper body or lower body and mix it up.  I use all the cool things I learned in Crossfit, with some of the stuff I learned from our trainer a few years back.  And there you have it- my workout.

Last night I updated my playlists for my iPod.  Because I need music to workout.    I laid at all my stuff.  When the alarm rang at 4:45 I considered sleeping in.  But I didn't.

Because it's this simple--

I like working out.  I like eating healthy.

I do. 

After doing the Whole 30 and realizing how sick some of the foods I was eating made me, and then feeling as great as I did after, it seems kinda silly to keep eating stuff that made me feel bloated or queasy.  I felt blah because I wasn't working out.  I like it.  I sleep better and I'm a better person.  I also like how strong it made me feel.  I love when I can pick something up and people are shocked.  Not at the gym-- but in real life. 

So how did it go today after 3 months off?

Fine.

I was shocked.

I walked a bit, but I ran much better than I thought I would.  Really shocked me.

I couldn't lift quite as much, but it wasn't awful.

It was a really quick workout. I got in 300 crunches.  Jogged/walked a mile. Did my shoulders and my chest.

But I went.

As for the food, I'm juicing and going back to the Whole 30 pretty much.  A little bread here and there, some rice, and a little parmesan or feta cheese from time to time but honestly, that's it.  I didn't need it and I didn't miss it.  When I added it back, I felt like crap.

The juicing is because after fighting off the bronchitis for 10 weeks, I decided I needed to up the nutritional content in my diet.  Plus, I like it.

There you have it-- I'm doing this because I like it.  It makes me feel good.  I like to feel good. 

I know it's going to suck getting up that early every day, but that's going to be the trade off. 

Don't expect to see me late night on Facebook!

And please, feel free to post what you're doing and we can all support each other!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Misquotes and Other little Annoyances

The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine. —Abraham Lincoln

Sigh.

I am really trying to get a grip on Facebook.  I'm still not sure why because honestly, my life was full and fine without it.

But there's a part of me that thinks perhaps it's my secret mission to spread actual information.

But I also realized that the same people who repost this crap don't actually seem to care.  Very rarely does anyone ever take it down after I comment "That's not true... here's a link to the actual comment/article/biography."

A few years ago I got this email about Mr. Rogers.  It was about prayer in school.  Since he was actually a minister, it might have been true.  It wasn't.  He wasn't a WWII vet.  His family even released a statement because with time, the original misquote had things added to it and it became boderline crazy.  Someone just made it up.

There was a quote a few weeks ago supposedly from Ben Stein about prayer in school (apparently a hot topic for the misquoters).  It was from "CBS Sunday Morning."  It's one of my favorite shows.  I record it every week.  I saw the piece when it aired so I knew the "quotes" weren't true.  What it was actually about was that he was not offended, as a Jew, when people wished him Merry Christmas.  He also was not offended by Happy Holidays.  He thought all these people who were offended by it should shut up.  The "quotes" weren't even remotely close to what he was trying to say. In fact, it was the opposite.

And then's there's the Warren Buffett supposed Congressional Act of 2011.  Mr. Buffett made a quick comment about how if Congress exceeded the debt by 3% of GDP, none of them should be eligible for re-election.  One sentence.  And he was trying to be flippant and funny.  The 15 paragraph essay that followed had nothing to do with him.  In fact, Mr. Buffett's opinion of many of the topics addressed in his supposed letter are the complete opposite.  Rather than argue the point- here he is talking about it.  I can't fake the video.  Well, I could, but I'm not that good!

Just a Regular Billionaire

And it goes on and on.

Now in real life, I usually just smile and let people live in their very confused little world of misinformation.  Sometimes I take the time to point out that no, that's not correct, let me show you the actual information.  But I don't think I realized how quickly bad information spreads until the dawn of Facebook and email.

Just because you see it online doesn't make it true.

Snopes.com is a great resource for verifying data. 

I just wish that before people posted facts or data, they actually checked them out.  It's one thing to post a link to an article that's an opinion piece.  Or post your own opinion.  We can disagree.  But when you are quoting people and it's not true-- well, um-- don't.

I know news organizations no longer check facts.  CNN horrified me awhile back when they started a report with "We can't confirm but..." Well, if you can't confirm it, why are you reporting it?  Isn't that some sort of breach of the journalist creed?  We had to confirm our stories in our junior high newspaper.  I expect the same of CNN. 

And while we're talking about posting stuff-- here's what I think about the posts on guns--

I don't have the answer to how to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people.  I don't.  You don't either.

I DO know that posting pictures of yourself holding your guns and holding a Gun Appreciation Day barely a month after 20 children were massacred is disrespectful to the families and friends who lost loved ones. 

Regardless of your views on gun control, your behavior is disgusting and insensitive to say the least.  I say that as a gun owner.  You give all of us a bad name.  If your child were killed by a drunk driver, would you want to see photos of people holding their beer and making toasts?  I think not. 

I just had to get that off my chest.

But back to the point at hand- don't quote stuff until you check it out. PLEASE.  And if someone points it out that it's not true, take it down.

Because it's really, really annoying and makes you look very, very stupid.







Friday, January 4, 2013

The Large Box of Crap

We had a GIANT and I mean large bin sized box of crap that at some point, I dumped a bunch of stuff in and never seemed to have a chance to go through it.

My husband had threatened to toss it, but I assured him there were things in there that I needed to go through.

He said I was my mother.

My mother has a tendency to um... keep things, shall we say. 

It was not a compliment.

If you've been to my house, I really don't think we have a lot of clutter.  My husband thinks we do.

Let me rephrase-- he thinks that I do.

You know, crazy things like tax returns (filed by year), our mortgage paperwork, warranties, birth certificates and one small box (a photo box) for each year we've been married.  In those small boxes I include pictures, report cards, a few of the kids' art projects, their awards and Christmas cards.  Crazy, huh? If it doesn't fit in the box, it goes.

It's 11" x 7 1/2" by 4 1/2"-- not exactly massive


I also have sewing stuff, which to be honest, I don't actually do much of these days, but if you sew at all you know it's a lot like fishing- you need a lot of crap to do a little.  And for some odd reason, I have a LOT of wrapping paper crap.  Four purses.  One travel, rolling briefcase. But other than that, that's it.  Please note that this is the same man that thought 25 pairs of shoes- including winter boots and sneakers-- were a lot.

Of course, we have a shed full of camping equipment (last time we went was 2 1/2 years ago), hunting and fishing gear, and a full workbench of tools for the 3 times a year when he needs to fix something.

And when I counted HIS shoes, he informed me that boots, waders, etc, don't count.  Because then he would have 20 pairs.  And that would apparently make him Imelda Marcos.

But in this case-- this ONE case, he had a point about The Box.  The Box had been sitting there for about 6-7 years.

Yep.  That long.

For whatever reason, I was avoiding it.  No, actually, I know the reason.  I deal with paperwork all the freaking day long.  The last thing I want to do when I come home is more paperwork.  My office is immaculate.  We have a strict policy of file, shred or toss.

But at home, I have a co-chair and for the first few years I thought he might actually be interested in some of the stuff.  So I kept it. Now I know he, in fact, does not care.  He is also very paranoid about throwing anything out because he has in the past, thrown out very important documents that I have had to fish out of the garbage- stains and all.  It was bad.  I will leave it at that.

So in the assignment of marital duties, paperwork is my duty.  Which I still hate, but the reality is, I'm the one who always need to be able to find it, so in the org chart of my marriage, it's under me.  Lucky me.  He gets lawn care and vacuuming. 

But honestly, it wasn't any psychological war at this point, it really was my lack of interest in addressing it.  Because I hate paperwork.  But it has to get done.  Just like the vacuuming that I know he does not especially enjoy.  I said I would take care of it and I didn't.  For a very long time.

And so today, bronchitis be damned, I went through it because I had, as I had many times before, promised him that I was going to go through it during this vacation.  Because when most people think of vacation, they think "Hey, let's spend it sick and going through stacks of paperwork!"

But this time, I meant it.  Last week I went through my office and I had a half bag of things that need shredded.  It was too much to do at the office (we've burned up a few shredders over the years) and I knew I had some at home that would make the drive across town to Opportunity Village to their shredding service worth the drive. 

So it was time to tackle The Box.

It took me, I kid you not, less than an hour.

For 7-8 years (yes, I realize the time period is lengthening....) I avoided going through The Box.

And there were definitely things to keep in it:
  • Our air conditioning paperwork
  • 2 marriage certificates (so that's where the extras were...)
  • My son's 1st & 2nd year birthday cards
  • Letters from my grandmother who passed away 7 years ago
  • The house sale paperwork from our old home
  • Baby girl cards (so it couldn't be more than 7 years...)
  • 2000 business expenses and taxes
  • Photos from college, his late dog as a puppy, a prom picture of me, some pictures of my friends' kids- great stuff-
And a bunch of crap that I have no idea why it's been in there
  • Power cords to something
  • A Palm Pilot docking station
  • Old video tapes that we have no way of playing
  • Bank statements and credit card statements
  • Catalogs
  • Gift bags
  • Chargers
  • Manuals to things we don't have any longer- like our first digital camera
  • A Franklin Planner that was never filled in
  • Baby's First Bank, Tooth, Curl gift set- never opened- oops

You know, things that are invaluable.  So invaluable I hadn't looked at them in years.

It reminded me of when I got rid of our storage unit 6 years ago and realized I had been paying $65 a month to basically store what turned out to be my trombone, a dressform and a small box of letters (which I think got dumped into The Box). Don't get me wrong, it was full of stuff that I felt was so important when we moved in together that I couldn't part with it when he didn't have any room for it at his townhome.  But looking at it years later, most of it was silly to keep- college textbooks, clothes that no longer fit (THAT's where I threw my reds that were in the dryer when I moved...), cassette tapes, plates, mugs of things I had participated in-- all crap.

But what really cracked me up was how quickly I went through The Box.

For the last near decade, I had been tripping around this stupid box, moving it from place to place. It was heavy, by the way. We had FIGHTS over The Box.

And it was empty in an hour.  In four piles- garbage, shred, donate and file.  I just dropped off the donation stuff. I'll drop off the shredding next Saturday.  Everything else is filed or in the trash.

Done.

That was all it took.  An hour.

Now I'm really motivated.

There are 2 small boxes left in the garage on shelves that I am excited to go through.  I've moved them twice without opening them.

Clearly, they must be full of VERY important things.

I'll probably find some shampoo and Q-tips.

Maybe I'll find something like this gem...

My beloved passed out while enjoying nature with some friends.


Because to me, a picture like this, after being harassed for years about my ONE box of clutter, is truly priceless. 



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year- A New Me?

One of the cool things about New Year's Day is that for many of us it's a reset button.  It's a day to say "I'm going to try a little harder, be a little better."

It's like the first day of school.  A fresh backpack.  New clothes.  New crayons.  By the end of the school year, you've got rips in the backpack, the clothes don't fit and the crayons were worn down or missing.  That's how most people feel after the holidays.

So the thought of new, fresh things is a bit rejuvenating to the soul.

My husband is a teacher.  He gets to do that every August- high hopes for the new school year after a nice break.

For the rest of us, life is a bit more like a 50 year treadmill run-- very few breaks and perpetually uphill.

January 1st gives us that mental refresh.

Except this year, I don't want to change anything.

Is that arrogant?

Except for the last 2 months of this year, I worked out fairly regularly.  I had lost weight (I only put 5 pounds back on, but holy crap, it looks like I gained it all back...)-- I did find something that worked for me-- Crossfit work outs (or my watered down variations) and the Whole 30 food plan.  I'm spending more time with my kids on school work at night.  We eat out less.  My business is doing well (13% growth)--  I lost a great assistant but I stumbled onto a team that is fantastic and I'm excited about the growth we had during the 4th quarter.  After a few years of being in limbo- staff changes, office moves, the Great Recession, etc-- it feels like I'm finally in the swing of things professionally.  I got back in touch with some fantastic friends over the year.  My husband and I regularly go out and have fun.




I'm happy.

I kinda want to keep things the same.  Well, not exactly the same, but moving in the same direction. 

We are always under pressure from the corporate office to do business planning.  I always try to explain that my "year" coincides more with the school year and not the calendar, but I find myself taking time to reboot regardless.

But this year, more than any other, I don't want to.  I just want to enjoy and keep on keeping on.

Maybe it's because I'm always sharpening the saw that Stephen Covey discusses?  Or maybe it's because I feel like more than anything I want to enjoy what I have.

New Years so often forces people to bring up their shortcomings- as if they are some terrible deficiencies that must be conquered and overcome.  

What if this year, rather than focusing on everything that's wrong, I focus on what's right and keep doing more of it?

I took a great marketing class when I first started in business 18 years ago.  One of the things I learned was when it came to marketing not to waste your time doing things that you don't enjoy or aren't good at-- focus on what works and do more of it.   And it was true. 

I have much more weight to lose.  I still can't run as well as I want.  I have some business goals I still need to meet.  I'd like to travel a little more.  I'm excited about some opportunities I have this year to become more civic minded.

But overall, I'm good.  Two years ago my resolution was to get my head out of my ass.  Seriously.  To just appreciate what I had and to "stop spinning." It worked.  I gave up the woulda, coulda, shouldas.  I quit comparing myself to others.  I focused on the good, not the bad.

So if I have to have a resolution this year, it will be to to enjoy more of the simple things.  To season the food a little differently.  To take more bubble baths.  To read the books my kids are reading.  To go to coffee with friends.  To drink more tea.  To laugh at my husband's jokes more.  Well... that might take some effort.

Bascially, it will be to do the things that don't take any effort but I love to do and sometimes forget. 

We spent New Year's Eve with some great friends at a completely last minute, impromptu gathering at our house.  It was a blast.  The kids played while we all chatted, played a game, laughed.  Perfect.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing special.  Just friends getting together enjoying each others' company. 

So this year I encourage everyone to enjoy the simple things.  You're not as screwed up as you think.