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Posts Tagged ‘daily life’

What a busy week! So many adventures, surprises, and milestones happened throughout the past week. I had to take my car to the dealership to check on an emissions leak that turned out to be nonexistant. I received an Easter surprise from my dear friends, the Picone family. I hit the one year mark of walking daily for at least 20 minutes per day (walking streak). Kelsi and I had a ZOOM meeting to finalize details before we launch our virtual book club on April 1st. I got my 2nd COVID shot. And, Sophie, my German Shepherd, turned 13 years old. What a blessed life!

Not only has the past week been busy and a blessing, but the first quarter of the year has also proven to be stellar. I have some PROPS and FLOPS for the first three months. As you know, dear reader, I created a 21 for 2021 list with goals, activities, and courses that I want to accomplish this year. For the first quarter, I chose seven items to work on during January, February, and March. I’m happy to report that I get props for six of the items on my list with only one item being a flop.

PROPS

First of all, I completed #11 (Read Atomic Habits by James Clear) and #8 (One NO spend month). I picked up some great strategies to build good habits from Atomic Habits and saved some money during Frugal February. I now subscribe to Clear’s weekly newsletter to continue receiving terrific information and inspiration about habits, and I plan to do another NO spend month later in the year since it was a vast victory.

#1 (Manage Time) is going well. I schedule my time weekly, and it has been quite effective. #4 (Eat more vegetables) has been a huge success thanks to my hubster. He enjoys cooking way more than I enjoy it, so he has been the one cooking the new veggie recipes. He definitely deserves the props for this item. #14 (Take a WordPress Blogging Course) is going smoothly. I am half way through the course and have picked up some helpful tips. I anticipate completing the course next quarter. #20 (Scrapbook at least two times per month) has been a delightful way to spend my time. I’ve been catching up on the journaling portion of Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook. All of these items are ongoing, so they will appear again on my 2nd quarter list.

I’m happy to report that the various schedules that I created back in January, with the exception of one, have been working really well. I’ve been wholeheartedly sticking to my housekeeping schedule and course schedule. As for my self-care schedule, I have (for the most part) been sticking to everything in that category. My daily routine (#Read21in21, Walk 20 for 2021, gratitude journal, and daily Instagram photo) is an enormous happiness boost, and I look forward to it every day.

Finally, I must mention that I have engaged in some additional fun and fulfilling activities this first quarter. I completed one movie marathon in February and started another one in March that will conclude in April. I am participating in RCIA at St. Margaret Church where I am sponsoring Mr. Mike (Shelly’s step-dad). He will become a member of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, and I will become his Godmother. I’ve been involved in a project called Tranquility by Tuesday with the author, Laura Vanderkam, who writes about time management. And, last but not least, I’ve been working with Kelsi to create a Horror Book Club which will launch this upcoming Thursday. There is still time to take a survey (deadline on March 31st) and help us choose our book club name.

FLOPS

My one flop this quarter was #6 (Declutter and organize each room in my house). I created a decluttering schedule back in January that would have me decluttering and organizing one room in my house each month. Needless to say, it was ambitious and unrealistic to think I could tackle such a monumental item, even broken down into smaller tasks, with everything else I want to accomplish this year while also working a day job. Does that mean I am abandoning this item on my 21 for 2021 list? Absolutely NOT! However, I have set it aside for the time being until I can shed some of my other responsibilities.

My other flop is minor but still needs to be addressed. Since Daylight Saving Time has started, I have not been going to bed on time. I can now walk later in the evenings which puts more pep in my step, and I stay up later doing all sorts of wonderful things. Thus on Friday evenings, I am in bed and asleep by 8:00 p.m. because I basically run out of steam. I need to practice better self-care and adhere to my bedtime, so I do not get sick.


Not too shabby, dear reader. I am pleased with my progress and productivity. So many activities and adventures await me in April. The second quarter will mean the end of some events and the beginning of others, including a book club, Easter break, and summer break. Anticipation, what a glorious feeling! Happiness!

Easter Surprise from Jeff, Joanna, and Jackson

“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” ~ Jonas Salk

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Sonic 6-2018

Sonic

For educators, Fridays during the summer months have a remarkably different vibe than Fridays during the rest of the year. In fact, I almost forgot today was Friday. Tooty (aka Comet) woke me up at 6:20 this morning. I lazily rolled out of bed, fed my fur babies, made some tea, got back in bed, and proceeded to finish The Dante Club. Ah, how I love these mornings during the summer! And, nowhere to go until this evening when my family and I have dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. Andrew drove himself to his dermatology appointment. Barry, Jr. stopped by for a visit. Today was a day similar to quite a few days for me this week. My days were not heavily scheduled which allowed me plenty of time during the week to read, watch television, relax, and fiddle faddle in my scrapbook room.

 

Laser Die CutOn Tuesday, I ordered a few more scrapbook supplies. I pulled some pictures from Andrew’s trip to Ireland, set up my Scrap’n Easel, assembled a laser die cut, and semi-laid out the page. Now that my room is set up specifically for scrapbooking, I can leave everything out and leisurely work on my pages. After lunch, I met a friend of mine, that I had not seen in a few years, for coffee. It was a nice couple of hours catching up with Angie. Visiting with her made me realize that I want to carve out more time this summer to connect with my friends that I do not get to see on a regular basis. Friendships bring an enormous richness of joy to one’s life; however, they need to be cultivated in order to flourish.

Early Wednesday morning, Andrew and I headed to North Cypress Fitness Center to play tennis. Andrew played tennis for the first time this spring, and he really enjoyed it. He has been after me the last couple of months to get a tennis racket, so we can play together. With no exaggeration, I have not played tennis in the last 20 years. I had no expectations for myself but hoped I could manage to get the ball over the net. We played a total of eight games, and I won two. Woo-Hoo! However, I must definitely work on my serve. After playing tennis, we stopped at Home Deport to get a few more plants for our front garden. My BFF Shelly had given me some white impatiens last week, so I planted those along with my new plants as soon as I got home.

 

Sonic with Toy

Sonic is always ready to play.

On Thursday, I attended a professional development workshop at HGCS. It was informative and a nice opportunity to see my school friends. In the afternoon, my hubby and I drove to Mandeville with Sonic to see his dermatologist for a follow-up. Last June, Sonic was diagnosed with perianal fistulas and was put on an extensive and expensive treatment plan. At Sonic’s April visit, his doctor dropped his medication down to twice a week. Thankfully, the affected area looks terrific. Sonic will remain on the medication twice a week and continue his current diet with a recheck in six months. This was exactly the news we wanted to hear.

 

While listening to an episode of the podcast, Side Hustle School, a speech pathologist shared with Chris Guillebeau something her mother always told her:  “you should have something to look forward to every day.” Liz Martin’s mom gave her daughter some awesome advice that we can all take to heart. Basically, many of us work all week looking forward to the special experiences we will be engaging in on the weekend. TGIF does not have to be our mantra. Every day this week, I had at least one “something” or more to look forward to every single day that brought me joy. It really is up to us, dear reader, to pay attention to any moment, big or small, that may make our DAY more enjoyable without having to wait for the weekend to experience it. With that being said, and while I’m mentioning the weekend, I do hope you have wonderful plans in the works for your weekend. I’m spending mine in New Orleans with my hubby. Happiness!

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ~ Marianne Williamson

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The month of April is practically over, and I feel like it passed rather swiftly. I attribute that to being extremely busy at work along with commitments for both Andrew and me throughout the month. This post will be my only one for April. While it would seem quite disappointing to me that I only got around to writing one post this month, I am taking it as a win. And, I credit my 18 for 2018 list for feeling that way. I must publish at least one post per month throughout the year, and I have successfully been meeting that goal.

Setting goals and having aspirations are wonderful and fulfilling; however, we must remember that we will not always hit the mark and succeed which is perfectly fine. Sometimes, our goals take a bit longer to reach, and sometimes we have to abandon them due to unforeseen circumstances. Regardless, we cannot get too hung up on the outcome, but focus more on the journey towards the outcome.

For me, reaching my goals is all about the timing. I figured that the week after Easter, I would accomplish so much. After all, I had a week off, and Andrew was out of town. Nope! It did not happen the way that I planned. I did, however, get the ball rolling on a couple of items I planned to achieve. I wanted to update my LinkedIn account, so I met with my fabulous friend and future writing partner (keeping my fingers crossed) Michelle for lunch to get some advice and feedback on how to go about it. Well, I received valuable feedback, had a terrific lunch and even more terrific conversation; however, my LinkedIn account still looks exactly the way it did when I walked into that coffee shop. And, that’s fine. I know it will get done at some point this year.

I also figured that I would get a huge start on organizing my scrapbook paraphernalia for my annual trip which is at the end of May this year. Nope! Instead, I spent most of my week working on school related items. BAMI had rough drafts, lesson plans, and graduation tasks to complete. I admit, I was disappointed because of everything that I wanted to do during the break, this was on the top of my list to accomplish. This would have been possible had I been able to take care of the school stuff the week before break. Unfortunately, the week before my break was pretty hectic. You win some, and you lose some. The silver lining is that I now plan to scrapbook Andrew’s trip to Ireland, Wales, and London. Furthermore, I will start organizing the materials next weekend.

Finally, I thought that particular week would be perfect to start the 2-Week Jump Start portion of my eating clean program. I created a form for my food journal for those two weeks to record the additions to my diet, as well as what I currently eat. Nope! I did fair the week I was off, but it fell by the wayside the week I returned to school. This was definitely the wrong season to start thinking about changing my eating habits. On the other hand, I succeeded with exercising and have been on a streak ever since my week off. I have been walking about an hour a day for five to six days a week, every week, since Easter. Walking has become a habit again, and I look forward to it. Now, if I could just manage to look forward to eating clean more consistently, the goal of eating clean may become easier.

Although I have had some ups and downs this month, and I have stalled a little with reaching a few of my goals, I am still optimistic and fired up about the remainder of the year. For once in a long time, I am truly excited about the goals that I have set for this year which is re-energizing me. Get ready for your week ahead, dear reader, with enthusiasm and focus on what is good in your life. Happiness!

“The unpredictability of life sucks. One minute you’re riding high with the wind whipping through your hair and the next minute you’re flat on your ass with a face
full of gravel.” ~ Alison G. Bailey, Present Perfect

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I have completed the first week of my happiness project. Honestly, I feel I did pretty well. Even though I still have not created my official resolutions chart, I tallied up my accomplishments.  My trend these past few years has been to allow stressful situations or my busy lifestyle to influence my health and fitness decisions.  I realized as I was making my resolutions that my life is always going to be busy, and that stressful situations arise; however, those two factors are not a free pass for me to not take care of myself the majority of the time. It really boils down to choices.

My week started off really great. My little guy’s birthday was Monday. To celebrate, my husband and I took him to Chili’s for dinner. Since we had planned this ahead of time, I planned my meals throughout the day to bank some extra calories for a restaurant meal and a couple of bites of dessert. Earlier that morning, I did a 20 minute cardio interval DVD and my run/walk interval training. Tuesday and Wednesday I continued eating well and exercising. Thursday I hit a bump or a few bumps throughout the day. And, amazingly that day snowballed and led to a stressful event. Of course, I blamed it on the fact that I did not get out of bed earlier, as I had done successfully the previous three days.

Thursday was my little guy’s Supplies and Hi’s Day at school. He would have the opportunity to meet his teachers and drop off his school supplies. I’m convinced NOW that I must have a “sabatoging demon” that resides in my body. Of all the days to lollygag in bed, I choose the busiest day of my week to do it. Reluctantly, I dragged myself out of bed. I was cranky because I did not get up earlier. I still managed to do my strength training. However, I had to wash my hair, so I got even crankier for not getting up earlier. Even though I dislike getting up early, I am MUCH happier when I do because it allows me the time to do the things I need to do to keep me healthy. The day proceeded with other activities, and I was irritable and antsy all day. Everything managed to aggravate me. Even going to Books-a-Million didn’t even help. I skipped an opportunity to get a mocha latte. Why? It is August, and they still had the July newspaper with all the book reviews. I already read July. I wanted August! I had a mental temper tantrum. I couldn’t wait to get home. Once home, I made a cup of coffee and ate about 15 M & M’s. Then at 6pm, all hell broke loose.

My husband always goes out in the backyard when he gets home to spend time with the dogs. My little dog, Comet, spends the majority of the day inside. However, when my husband gets home, Comet wants to be out there with the big dogs, too. Apparently, in the short time he was out there, he ate something poisonous. When Comet came inside, he started vomiting and collapsed. He went into a trance-like state and wasn’t breathing very well. After calling the vet, we quickly left home headed for an emergency vet hospital in Mandeville, which is about 30-40 minutes away. It was an extremely stressful drive. There were lots of tears, lots of fear, and lots of prayers. Thankfully, we made it to the hospital in time.  Comet stayed overnight, as well a Friday night. We took him home on Saturday afternoon. He is doing well considering his liver was assaulted, his blood wasn’t clotting, and he almost died.  

Now, I could have used that stressful event to make the choice to eat poorly and not exercise. However, I chose to keep my resolutions. I also decided not to get irritated with myself if I didn’t honor one of my resolutions. Soooo, I didn’t get up earlier; however, I still exercised, ate well (minus the M & M’s), and drank enough water. I would do better tomorrow. And, I did do better. In fact, I even lost a pound this week, which puts me at 142.5 pounds. Remember, I’m working on getting to 135 pounds by August 29th.

Okay, share time. I tried a new recipe on Sunday. The recipe is “Bacon Cheeseburgers to Die For.” I wouldn’t really go that far, but they were good. Even my little guy liked the burger. He can be picky. I’ve attached the link: http://www.justapinch.com/recipe/cookin4me/bacon-cheeseburgers-to-die-for-better-than-gourmet/beef?k=bacon+cheeseburgers+to+die+for&p=1&o=r.  I opted to use water instead of beef broth. I may try the beef broth the next time, as well as making my bacon bits a little bigger.

Something that I discovered that makes me happy: Double Chocolate Biscotti. Not terribly high in fat/calories. I enjoy one when I’ve had a good day (eating/exercise) and want something sweet without the guilt. Keep in mind: having one of these treats everyday lessens the happiness quota.   

Also, I want to share how I’m becoming a 30 minute runner using a run/walk interval program. The program is outlined in the book Running and Walking for Women Over 40 by Kathrine Switzer. The running schedule can be used by both men and women. It is designed to help you become a 30 minute runner in ten weeks. I started Week 4 (walk 6 minutes/run 4 minutes, repeat 3X) today. If I continue successfully, I see a road race on the horizon.

“Life is the sum of all your choices.”  ~Albert Camus

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