Thursday, January 1, 2015

January Goals

And then it was 2015! It seems really weird to say. Especially when I think back to 2000, when I said that I was "officially old." I wonder what that makes me now?

Motivated, that's what! At the start of 2015 I feel very, very motivated. Time to make a list of monthly goals. But first, let's look back at December.

DECEMBER GOALS: 

1) Back on track for marathon training: I'm gonna call this a success. Even though my running continues to be sporadic. And Hal Higdon would be berating me, perhaps even beating me with a stick. I certainly won't be setting any time records. But I feel pretty confident in my ability to complete a 26.2 mile run in Feb. Maybe all the previous hiking has established a baseline level of fitness that will allow me to these things on a whim. Or maybe its just a change in mindset when I think "Oh, its only 18 miles. I can do that." Whatever. I'm slow. But I can go forever.

2) Get Xmas cards sent out before I move: check!

3) Complete FMA certification: Last minute and just under the wire, but I finished that bad boy!

4) Complete licensure renewals: done!

5) 30 days of Dailey Method Workout: fail. I underestimated the time constraints of moving. But I do like the workouts and I'll definitely be incorporating into fitness in the future.

6) Holiday Lights 5K with the family: success. What is better than watching a tree lighting ceremony and running 3 miles behind Santa Claus?

7) Downsize the storage unit: success. Little by little, I'm paring down. Soon, I'll   be able to adopt the title of minimalist. But not quite yet.

8) Hike in the mountains: Fail. Moved to NC, first weekend I spent exploring the town and finishing Xmas shopping, and then I flew home for Xmas. I had briefly considered camping on NYE, but by the time I got out of work, I'd have been driving and setting up camp in the dark. January, then.

9) Girl's Nite with S and J: success.

10) Begin the photo book: Big fat fail.

Not bad.

JANUARY GOALS: 

1) Do the Whole 30: Basically a 30 day challenge of no processed food. I'm jumping in.

2) Long Hike in the Mountains: 2014 is gone, but the mountains are still there.

3) Try out 5 new recipes: going hand in hand with #1. The official Whole 30 site tends to be a bit meat heavy for my tastes, but recipes are meant to be tinkered with, I say! I'll have to, anyway. I have limited kitchen facilities.

4) Increase that running consistency with 3-4 per week. I know, a ridiculous statement 6 weeks before a marathon. But I'm a ridiculous gal.

5) Plan a weekend with my hiker trash friends!

6) Read (and get rid of) 5 books: Moving toward minimalist!

7) Really get that photo book started: I rarely let the sheer magnitude of physical challenges stop me. And yet I did with a photo book.

8) Begin hard core planning for this year's distance hike

9) Journal daily

10) Blog more consistently!   

Crashing out of the gate, y'all!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good-bye 2014

The last few minutes of 2014 are ticking away and though it seems so cliche, I am thinking "Wow, did that go fast!" Maybe because I didn't have a BIG project in 2014. Maybe because the time was taken up with so many little projects. Or maybe because I'm getting old. Whatever the reason, 2014 seemed really short.

I thought of 2014 as "the year after my hike." My entire life has taken on that theme, actually. There's my life pre-hike and my life post-hike. 2014 makes up the majority of my post-hike life. And while it wasn't overly exciting and adventurous, it was a good year. I guess life works out that way -- there are years of expansion and excitement and years of quiet reflection and preparation. I spent 2014 preparing for another year of adventure.

2015 will hopefully be "the year of my next hike".

This year, on New Year's Eve, I am once again away from home, where my family lives. I have once again embraced a nomadic lifestyle. I am out in the world, in a new place, deciding where I am going to run and hike this weekend. And I feel more at home than I ever do at home. I am happy.

2014 was exactly what I needed it to be.

I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A December Rant

Today's post is a rant. Generally, I don't post rants. Ranting  is an art form, really, and only a select few people are good at it. I'm not one of them.

George Carlin-- now he knew how to rant! He could go on forever, attacking serious topics with controversial (even radical) viewpoints all the while making you laugh until you cried. Jon Stewart can rant, too. And he backs up his rants with ridiculous video clips from cable news. Dennis Miller is another good ranter. Me, I get too emotional. I end up sounding like an insane person and then delete everything I wrote. Then I go for a run.

But today I am going to rant.

Today, I spent the morning de-friending a bunch of people on Facebook. I don't like to do that. I've never done that. In the past, if somebody's posts rubbed me the wrong way, I'd simply block their posts from appearing on my wall. I'd still be their virtual friend. Especially if they were relatives. Or old classmates. We all don't have to think alike or have the same dreams or goals or values to respect and like one another.

I've noticed a trend over the past couple years, though. People seem to think that if your viewpoint differs from theirs, then it is okay to be disrespectful. To start arguments. To try to prove how wrong you are, and how right they are. To name call.  To attack who you are at your very core. It's pretty disheartening.

I'm not sure where this comes from. I'm guessing the cable news outlets, which quite frankly treat "news" as subjective information that can be changed or manipulated as needed. Or our insane political system, in which elections are basically mud slinging contests.  Now it seems that social media is, too.

Yesterday, I woke up in a wonderful mood. It was warm out. Warm in that way that you can just FEEL it, even with the windows closed. Maybe the heat hasn't kicked on as much. Maybe its the way the morning light filters in through the glass. Whatever the case, it was a wonderful gift -- an unseasonably warm day on the first day of December.

And it was the first day of the month! On a Monday! Did I mention that I find this very neat and tidy and organized? It makes me happy.

On this wonderfully neat and tidy and unseasonably warm Monday, I was thinking that it is hard to go back to work after a holiday weekend. But I could do something to make it easier for everyone. I could post a positive, uplifting message that would put everyone in a good mood and make that transition a bit easier.

So I did.

I posted a close up picture of a Christmas tree from Disney World. And next to that, I wrote: Happy Monday. Happy December. Happy Everything! It was truly inspirational.  Yay me!



Then, feeling really good about myself, I went about my day.

Sometime later, my phone started pinging. That little chime that lets you know that you have a message. Many, many pings throughout the day. I smiled to myself. My happy little post worked. People were messaging me to let me know how I had made them smile! And it was warm out. And sunny. And the calendar was neat and tidy and organized. It was the best day!

Until it wasn't.

In the evening, I logged onto my Facebook account and saw that I had 7 messages. This was going to be good! I hunkered down like I was pulling a bow off a great big present. What I got was a stocking full of coal.

Not one of the 7 messages said how the post made them smile. Or made them happy. Or wished me a nice day in return. Every single one of the messages was an angry, confrontational remark. How dare I wish people a happy Monday? It is December! And therefore, if you don't say "Merry Christmas" every time you open your mouth (or your keyboard) you are apparently violating somebody's rights. I'm apparently what is wrong with this country! If I don't want to say "Merry Christmas" (even when I don't mean "Merry Christmas", when I mean, for instance "have a nice day") well, then, I can just get the hell out. (I'm not sure where exactly I'm supposed to go, as I am an American citizen and all)

What the hell is the matter with people? Where did this sense of entitlement come from? Stores start putting up Christmas displays in September. Radio stations start playing Christmas carols before Halloween. At least half of the people I know have their trees up on Thanksgiving. Yet somehow, people think that by wishing everyone a happy Monday, I have initiated guerrilla warfare on Christmas.  And they were more than willing to tell me how wrong I was.

It was a bad night.

This morning dawned cold and windy and overcast. You could tell how cold it was even with the windows closed. It looked like rain. I was thinking how mean people could be sometimes. But I could do something about it.

I de-friended 7 people this morning.

Then I posted a picture of a beautiful sunrise and wished my remaining friends a happy Tuesday.

today's workout:
45 min elliptical
full body weights
Daily core







Monday, December 1, 2014

December Goals

Oh, the start of a new month. It seems so tidy when it starts on a Monday, doesn't it? And December 1st is all the more nice when you can go for a walk on the beach in a T-shirt! Took advantage of that, because that nice weather will be gone tomorrow.

The other nice thing about the start of a month is that I get to write my list of goals.
This month will be a little weird, as I am moving to a new place for a new (short term) job in the middle of the month, which always makes for a bit of upheaval. But hey, I'm nothing if not ambitious, so I'm gonna try to meet all my goals, move or no move!

DECEMBER GOALS: 

1) Get back on track for marathon training: I signed up once again for one of my favorite races, the Myrtle Beach marathon. Training was going along great, until I went to Haiti for a week. (no real safe place to bang out miles. Plus really hot) I figured I'd just get back on track at home. Enter plane sickness, which knocked me out of commission for almost 2 weeks. And now I'm struggling back into training. I'll get it back in December. I have to!

2) Get Xmas cards sent out before the move. Gotta sit down with some envelopes in front of Netflix for a good long stretch.

3) Finish up FMS certification exam. What is it with me and certifications? I have like a million of em!

4) And get licensure renewals completed Got a million of them, too.

5) 30 days of Dailey Method workout. One of the girls I went to Haiti with swears by this. And my back has been feeling -- off for a while. So I'm jumping in.

6)  Holiday Lights 5K with the family My nieces and my dad are doing this fun race with me. Times will be slow, I'm sure. But Santa oversees the race! So its a must

7) Downsize the storage unit to the smallest size. I've had a storage unit for over a year. Storing stuff that really isn't worth the cost of storing. I mean, they have Ikea for a reason!

8) Go for a nice, long hike in the mountains. No sense in moving if you're not going to take advantage of the new surroundings!

9) Girls nite with J and S before I go

10)  Finally begin the digital photo book I've said I was going to do for about a year!


today's workout:
Dailey method legs
3 mile run
walk on beach

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Different Black Friday Tradition

Black Friday always leaves me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I don't want to begrudge anyone who wants to save money on their holiday shopping. On the other hand, I feel like Black Friday is nothing but a tribute to out of control materialism and a me-first mentality. Not a good start to the holiday season.

A few years ago, I started my own little Black Friday tradition. Ok, maybe "starting my own tradition" is overstating things a bit. I found that somehow I wasn't working on that day and decided that it would be the perfect time to clean out a few closets. Since then, it has become my Black Friday activity.

On Thanksgiving, we are supposed to get together with family and friends and take time to be grateful for all the things we have. It doesn't make sense that the next day we focus on what we DON'T have and then scramble around wildly to get as much as we can. Something as simple as cleaning out closets can take that grateful mentality and extend it one more day.

First, I take a good look around the house and really appreciate all that I have: the clothes in the closet, the food in the fridge, the books on the bookshelf, the toiletries in the bathroom, the knick-knacks and electronics and sporting gear and hiking boots. This is all stuff I am lucky enough to own; stuff that makes life a little nicer.

Then, I look things over a second time to determine if there are things I'm holding onto that AREN'T necessarily making my life better -- just a bit more cluttered. Do I really need 2 rain jackets? How did I end up with 5 navy blue T-shirts? How long have I had that scented candle that is still in the wrapping?Two years? Three? Why am I holding onto these things? Did somebody give it to me as a gift and I feel obligated to keep it? Am I afraid I might need it someday? No reason?

Now is when the real fun begins. I take stock of all the "extras" I have identified and ask: can I pass  these things along to somebody else? Maybe the scented candle would be perfect for Secret Santa or a Yankee Swap.  I know exactly who would enjoy that book that I've already read. I could part with a couple navy t-shirts (thrift shop). My niece has been saying she needs a raincoat -- the black one would look great on her!

Appreciating what you have and sharing it with others has a wonderful effect. I always end the day with fewer possessions, yet feeling way richer than I did at the start of the day.

I have yet to encounter a door buster sale that can do that!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2014

Its Good to Be Back

Oh, its good to be back. Like the feeling you get after returning home to your own place, your own things, your own bed after a long vacation. The vacation was great, but its great to be home again.

I took a little (ok, a long) vacation from blogging. For a vast number of reasons. And I just didn't know how to get back into it. I became a lurker for a while; I found that a good number of my old blogging buddies were on hiatus, as well. (we were all apparently vacationing in different areas because I didn't run into any of them in my travels) Maybe they don't know how to jump back in, either.

But, eventually, I just came to the conclusion that jumping back into blogging required only one thing: writing.

I started this crazy thing called blogging many years ago when I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn't start a blog to generate a big following. I didn't do it because I thought I was such an amazing a prolific writer that I'd become world famous. I didn't do it to generate income. (and thank goodness, because I'd be in the poorhouse if that were the case) I did it simply go get my thoughts out somewhere and to find my voice again.

I had no idea that it would become such an important part of my life. I had no idea I'd become part of a community. I had no idea I'd actually make FRIENDS with people I'd never meet in real life, by connecting with these little snippets of insight we all put down in our blog posts.

I've missed it.

So today, with no fanfare or expectations. I'm putting it down on the page once again. Blog post number one after a very long hiatus.

The hard part is over.


TODAY'S WORKOUT: 

60 min yogalates 
3 mile run
15 min stretching