Posts Tagged ‘making changes’

Today is the last day of February, and for the past few weeks (really all month) I have been feeling a bit discouraged. I have not made much headway on my 22 for 2022 list. I have not written a blog post in weeks. I have been struggling more with my house still being in shambles because of Ida. I made the crazy decision to adopt a rescue puppy, complicating my life. My tooth cracked last week and had to be extracted, causing me great discomfort. The pain meds make me tired as well as feeling worthless and weepy. And, sadly, I ended my walking streak (walking daily since 03/23/20) on Friday because I slept most of the day, and quite frankly, I did not have the energy to do much of anything but hang out on my sofa. Welcome to Kat’s Pity Party! Even though I am not a pro at feeling sorry for myself, I feel like it has been my modus operandi lately.

Luckily for me, I came across an article on Facebook today that Gretchen Rubin wrote for Inc. Magazine about turning today from discouragement into determination. Rubin writes, “Instead of Discouragement Day, let’s reframe February 28 as Determination Day–a date that reminds us to reflect, review, and do the hard work of asking ourselves, “If something isn’t working, why not?” If we’re determined to keep our resolutions, we shouldn’t fear failure. We should stop, observe it, and learn from it, so we can keep going.”

Therefore, after reading the article, I took several moments throughout the day to reflect and review on the happenings of this month, and February has actually been better than the narrative I have been telling myself all month. I am making progress with my goals, just not by leaps and bounds. I made a little extra cash this month working the ACT exam at SLU which will go towards future projects. I did fairly well not spending extra money during Frugal February. I continued reading more this month and participated in both my personal book club and Year of King project with Kelsi. I am currently writing this blog post. Yes, I adopted a puppy, for good reasons, even though the timing was not ideal. I helped my friend Helen move into her new place to be closer to Shelly and me. And, although my house is still a wreck due to Ida, my hubby and Daddy are working every chance they get to rebuild Andrew’s bedroom, so he can move back home, and we can finally get our home back in order again. They are making progress, but it is slow going. Honestly, after much reflection, I think the disorder of my home is the root of my overwhelming feelings, the frustration, impatience, and lack of concentration I have been feeling that has bubbled over into this month as discouragement. So many days this month, I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up because I just did not see the point. I am not a failure, but I am burnt out. I still feel like I am on the struggle bus, but my season of sacrifice feels like it is ending soon.

Hope is on the horizon, dear reader. A tree guy came Saturday to remove trees and trim broken branches. My hubby has been installing Andrew’s new floor since yesterday. I am super impressed with his skill set and his determination. Tomorrow, my daddy and my hubby will install baseboards and shoe moulding. Then, we can start moving Andrew’s belongings back into his room. An inspection request has been made and more progress along with it. Discouragement has changed to Determination. Happiness!

“You will reach the destination you are destined for! You just may encounter a few detours or unexpected routes. Allow them to motivate you rather than discourage you!” ~ Christine Hassler

Photo: Flooring being installed in Andrew’s room. Notice crown moulding has been installed as well.

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June has come and gone, and yesterday America celebrated Independence Day. Due to the impending bad weather and social distancing, I spent the day at home. I walked in the morning, read some, and finally wrapped up answering some questions from Mind Over Weight that I needed to answer before rebooting (again) my exercise/clean eating routine. Needless to say, I was not successful with getting back on track with eating properly or incorporating additional exercise into my daily routine. Clearly, I was not really ready to change my indolent ways. So, since I have now listed all the reasons I want to take this journey, selected some motivational strategies to keep me on track, and created an action plan with some realistic goals, I think (eye roll) I’m ready to take the first step starting tomorrow morning.

I have two main goals:

  • Lose 20 pounds (#5 on my 20 for 2020) by 06 December 2020. I weighed in this morning at 159 pounds. I haven’t lost anything since June 1st, but I also haven’t gained anything.
  • Run a 5K (#20 on my 20 for 2020) by the end of 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has currently halted road races. Therefore, if I cannot actually register to run a race in 2020, I will have to create my own 5K. I ordered new running shoes which should arrive sometime this week. I will start my run/walk program next Monday.

I must think about my future self. Obviously, I am not getting any younger. If I do not commit to a healthier me TODAY, it is evidently not important enough to pursue, and my future self will be the one that suffers when it’s all said and done. If not now, when? Without sounding overly dramatic, the answer is never. I have made the decision that if I cannot change my ways in the health and wellness area of my life at this point in time, then I’m done. I’m tired of talking about it. I’m tired of thinking about it. Frankly, I’m tired of dealing with it.

Additionally, I will be spending the next 30 days breaking up with my phone. A couple of weeks ago, I listened to Episode #6 (“Dial D for Distracted”) of Season 2 of The Happiness Lab podcast. It was an eye-opening conversation between Dr. Laurie Santos and Catherine Price, a science journalist and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone. Yes, I bought the book! Sadly, I am addicted to my phone, and COVID-19 has added fuel to that fire. In order to protect my brain, I must reevaluate the relationship I have with my phone and set some boundaries with it.

The next few weeks of my life should be interesting, dear reader. I’ll be going through withdrawals from sugar, a breakup, and the pain of having a tooth extracted, so approach with caution if you see me in public. I hope my future self appreciates everything that I’m doing for her. Happiness!

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? But when I am for myself, then what am “I”? And if not now, when?” ~ Hillel the Elder

Books & Coffee Cup


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One activity I get a kick out of doing is taking quizzes on Facebook. Last week, I took the “What is your word for 2016?” quiz. My word of inspiration for 2016 is INNOVATION. Innovation is the action or process of innovating or changing. According to the author of this quiz, I will find inner peace and harmony this year. Therefore, I have decided that my theme for this new year will revolve around INNOVATION (change, transformation, creativity, breakthrough). At this point, all I have is a theme; no real action plan, but some ideas which I hope will blossom as the year progresses. I have been down this path of change before when I took my hiatus from teaching a few years ago, and that journey was bliss; yet, it was short-lived because as soon as I started teaching again, I began neglecting my personal life and started back down that old path to burn out from working too many hours, feeling overwhelmed, and not practicing self-care.

One of my first steps towards innovation is signing up for The Busy Boycott on “Be More with Less” (http://bemorewithless.com/). It is basically a free challenge to try and become less busy. Each week Courtney Carver will send out a Challenge Action for the week. The first challenge action: stop talking about it. I am extremely guilty of telling everyone how busy I am when asked how I am doing. I also have to contemplate what I am compromising for the sake of busyness.

My second step towards innovation is financial. I have signed up for a free on-line workshop with Smart Cookies (http://smartcookies.com/) called “Crush Your Money Goal in 2016.” The webinar is Tuesday, 05 January. If you are interested, there is still time to sign up. There is a morning and an evening session. In addition to the financial advice workshop, I am participating in another “52-Week Money Challenge” to save money for a new treadmill. Two years ago, I saved money for our family trip to Universal using this method of saving.

My third step towards innovation is reading The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo. I absolutely enjoy reading devotional books. They provide a daily dose of inspiration. This particular book offers brief passages each day with ideas for meditation and contemplation. I have already had an aha moment, and it is only 03 January.

I hope, dearest reader, that you have thought some about what will inspire you to action this year. I am taking baby steps by first feeding the soul. Then, I will venture down the path of change a little more. Happiness!

“Innovation is not the result of chance, it’s the result of action. It’s NOT a thing to wait for. It’s a thing to do.” ~ Phil McKinney


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    The new year is fast approaching.  I’m getting excited because I like new beginnings.  However, before I embark on my litany of new year’s resolutions, I want to take a moment to revisit what worked and didn’t work for me in 2011.

    I started January 2011 off with taking an acting class with the actor Lance Nichols, who has a recurring role as Dr. Larry Williams on the HBO television series Treme.  February showed some promise in my pursuit of a new career as a freelancer. I booked my first background acting gig on Treme, worked as an office production assisistant on a Web Reality series, and signed up with a temp agency. I started working a temp job at WYES in March, which I absolutely loved. I love my WYES family! In addition to the WYES job,  April was also my debut as a zombie, another acting class with Lance, and camping with the Cub Scouts at Fountainebleu State Park. May was somber with the death of our guinea pig, Cinnamon, and the end of my temp job at WYES. However, June brought about a callback from an audition I had for Edible Arrangements, directing shifts at WYES for Art Auction, and no surgery on my liver. July was pretty relaxing. Spent a lot of time at home with Andrew, as well as doing things with family and friends. We even fostered a stray dog for two weeks. August was the start of a new school year and my happiness project.  I did NOT have to go back into the classroom. And, I started running again. I subbed at HGS a lot in September and started working another temp job at WYES. October was super busy with subbing at HGS during the day and directing the Showboat Auction at night. I also ran a 5K. November brought Thanksgiving, my evening with Stephen King, and my first speaking role in a short film called Hotcakes. Alas, December….subbed most of the month, celebrated a quiet Christmas with family, and son #1 came home for the holidays. Overall, a busy year, and these were just some of the highlights. I looked into possibilities, took opportunities, and made a few assessments. I NOW know what I don’t want to do;  however, I am still trying to figure out what I want to do, which brings me to a new year.

    2012 is my year to shed. Without sounding melodramatic, I believe if I can shed some things from my life, I will be able to focus on what I want to do with the rest of the time I have left on this earth. Below is my list of what I want to shed or get rid of in my life this year:

  • bad habits
  • weight
  • responsibilities
  • stuff
  • debt
  • fear

    I figure I should tackle the issues that are holding me back, so I can really maximize my life. Some of the things on my list I will shed naturally, while others will take work. Although I am grateful for my experiences in 2011, I’m excited about the prospects of 2012. Happy New Year!

Check out Gretchen Rubin’s blog about resolutions. http://www.happiness-project.com/

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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The Journey Begins

     I have been an educator for the past fourteen years. Recently, with my husband’s blessing, I was given the gift of one year off, a sabbatical of sorts. I planned on keeping a journal about my time off to have a record of how well I used my time throughout the year. A friend suggested I blog this new chapter of my life. Cool idea! One tiny problem, I knew nothing about blogging. Fortunately, with a another friend’s encouragement and a former student’s help, I now have a blog.

     It has taken me almost two months to write my first post. Why, you might ask? So much has happened in my life since school started on August 12th. Basically, I over extended myself. Yes, I figured being a full-time wife and mother was not going to fill my whole day, so I decided to fill my day with some new activities.  

     First, let me establish what I want to do with my year. Besides reorganizing my life and repainting my house, I want to get back into the entertainment business. Now, let me give you a brief history of why I’m not currently in that business, and how I became an educator in the first place. I have a degree in Drama & Communications. When I graduated from college, I worked for a local PBS television station. After working there for about a year, I left to work as a production manager at a small advertising agency. Needless to say, that experience proved daunting. It was “Melrose Place” without the good looking guys. A word of advice….never leave a job you like a lot just to make more money elsewhere. I had a fatter paycheck, but was miserable. Don’t get me wrong, more money is great, but your happiness is greater. This is definitely the lesson I learned from my advertising experience.   

     Anyway, at that time in my life I was a wife with a preschool age son. I felt guilty every evening when I picked my son up from school. He seemed to always be the last child in aftercare. And, he always seemed sad. One day, by the grace of God and a with the help of a parakeet named Sammy, I quit my advertising job. I took a part-time position at Barry Jr.’s school. Long story short….I went back to school and earned my teaching certificate in Lower Elementary. Another word of advice…never leave a career in something you really like because of one bad experience or stay in a career you don’t like because of FEAR. Fear kept me in education for fourteen years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, being a teacher can be rewarding. I loved my students, and it afforded me the opportunity to have the same schedule as my children. To put it simply, I was never passionate about teaching. 

     I spent last year reading some books on spiritualty by Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dyer, and watched a movie called The Shift with Dr. Wayne Dyer. The messages I received from the information in their books and Dr. Dyer’s movie helped me to make the decision to take this year off. I am trying very hard NOT to let fear be a factor in making my future decisions about my life.

     Despite the fact that I have been really busy, I am having a great time. I took an acting class with Veleka Gray. She is a wonderful actress who has worked on soap operas, television programs, and movies. I am producing a three-to-five minute feature on a local artist for public television; networking with actors, producers, and directors in the television and film business; and writing a blog. In addition to my projects, I am helping Andrew break into the business as an actor. We are attending workshops, and both of us are in the process of signing with a talent agent in Louisiana.  It is an exciting time. Meanwhile, I still have to take care of my pets, my husband, my children, and my house.

     Did I mention? I’m also subbing at the school I taught at last year. I’ll be there for most of October. However, my horoscope this week in the TV Guide states, “Cosmic activity in the career area of your chart suggests one phase of your work life must end for another to begin. It won’t be easy to let go of the people that have been your anchor for so long, but it must be done because a new life awaits you.”

GOOD-BYE second grade and HELLO Hollywood!  


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