Friday, March 29, 2013

365 Moments: 37-45


Playing racquetball with Noah.


Noah wrote a sweet thank you note to Kel and left it on his pillow.


Showing up to watch an athlete finish a race literally 1 minute before she finished!


The rising moon over a snowy landscape.


Snowman surprise in my circle.


Ryan stood back and let the one girl at the bus stop get on the bus before him. I guess some things are starting to stick.


The snow finally melted off the road and it was a little warmer today. As soon as Noah got off the bus he ran home and got on his bike and rode it around the circle as fast as he could for about 5 minutes. Then he said, "I've been waiting all winter to do that." Yep, buddy, I know EXACTLY how you feel.


Standing in Cafe Kubal, my favorite local coffee shop, and eavesdropping in the baristas talking about how beautiful their steamed milk is.


Feeling so proud of my flute student at his senior recital.

I have to be honest and tell you that I haven't been doing a good job of keeping track of my moments each and every day. But I am still going to collect at least 365 moments before this project is complete. It has been interesting to me to see what things are the ones I want to remember but wouldn't if I didn't write them down: the way the sky looks, the little things my kids do or say, a quick burst of unexpected joy.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 28, 2013


First of all, thanks for all the great comments you guys have been leaving on my posts lately. It seems I'm not the only one who feels like they are coming out of hibernation this spring! I never know if I should comment back in the comments or if I should email back or if I should acknowledge comments here - your opionions on this are much appreciated!

Anyway, I was on twitter the other day and a tweet with a link to a TED talk caught my eye. Now first of all, if you have never watched a TED talk you are missing out! Basically it is a video of one person giving a dynamic talk about something. There are lots of different topics and now they have cool playlists so you can find talks about things you are interested in. I usually lean into topics that have to do with creating change in your life somehow. So anyway, back to the TED talk I watched. It was Matt Cutts, a Google engineer, talking about trying something new for 30 days. It's only 6 minutes, so if you want to watch here it is:

I have always loved the idea of a project or a challenge. I'm not sure what it is about them that pulls me in. Maybe it's just my competitive spirit. Even when I am competing against my own self, I want to be the best! I have participated in many healthy challenges over the years, some of my own creation. I like having a goal to work towards, it just sort of makes things easier somehow.

I was listening to a Fat Burning Man podcast the other day and the conversation turned to taking willpower out of the equation. I was fascinated by this concept. The gist of it was when you make a decision to do something a certain way for a certain time, you only have to make that decision one time, so every time a temptation comes up you simply acknowledge that you have already made it. Simple might not be the best way to describe it, but I really like the black-and-white-ness of this kind of thinking, especially when it comes to things that are difficult.

In this same podcast, they also talked about the difference between "Can't" and "Don't." They were talking about defining your decisions like this: instead of saying "I can't do that" or "I can't eat that" which means you are withholding or not allowing yourself to do something, you say "I don't do that" or "I don't eat that" and then all of a sudden it is completely different. Suddenly I am not keeping myself from doing anything, instead I am embracing the idea that I am not a person who does certain things. Taking this to a different level, what if I defined myself in positive terms instead of negative? Instead of "I don't eat junk food," I say, "I eat healthy food." Instead of saying "I don't do things halfway," I say, "I go the extra mile." Very black and white, yes, but intriguing nonetheless (look at all these fancy words in my blog today!!)

So, I'm taking up a #Project30Days challenge and I am challenging you to do the same. For the month of April I will be posting my thoughts as I go along on Twitter and Facebook with the #Project30Days hashtag, and I would love to have company!!  After quite a bit of soul-searching here are the projects I am giving myself. They are all kind of related and build upon each other, so I'm hoping that will create some synergy in the next 30 days.

  • I will get up early every day. By early I mean no later than 6 a.m. I have known for a long time that I am basically a morning person who can't stand getting up in the morning! Once I'm up, I'm good and I get a lot done. Usually I sleep until the boys have to get up and on the weekends I stay in bed even later, but I have found if I take some time for myself each morning before the craziness of the day begins, I am much more calm and focused. So, out of bed with my sleepy self! No excuses! I am an early bird!
  • Spend some time in quiet reflection every day. I am using the word reflection instead of meditation because for some reason when I try to "meditate" I find that very difficult, but when I just sit and think everything just flows.
  • Blog every day. There are a few reasons I want to include this. First of all, my blog is a wonderful outlet for me to process things that are in my head. Secondly, I really want to exercise my writing muscles on a more regular basis. And last, I want to connect more with people, and blogging certainly does that!

I will be starting April 1 (no kidding) on my #Project30Days. If you were going to do something new for 30 days what would it be? Think about it...and join me!! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Know Thyself

I've been doing a lot of self-reflecting this year. This year (and by year I mean this school year, of course!) has brought a lot of changes for me. Both of my kids are now in school full time for the first time since I became a mother almost 10 years ago, and I had a change in jobs that impacted me quite a bit on an emotional level. As a family we have also been seeing a therapist to work on dealing with the challenging difficulties we have in a household that includes a child with Aspergers. These changes, while difficult, have been very good for me and have really allowed me to see myself and my family in a different way.

As part of this reflection I made a list of things I know about myself to be true. Some of them are deep, and some of them are not, but I think in order to be true to who I really am, I must first recognize that person and honor her.

  • I like the idea of perfection more than I like actually working on it.
  • Even though I don't want to admit it and actually quite dislike doing it, I get more done in the morning.
  • I should workout in the morning if at all possible
  • What I eat for breakfast has a direct correspondence to what I eat for the rest of the day.
  • I like things to be, in my dad's terms, "ever so" which sometimes leads to disappointment.
  • I am my harshest critic.
  • The more I have to do, the more I get done. I do not do well with too much free time.
  • It takes me way longer to do things than I expect it to.
  • I'm slowly coming to the realization that sometimes it is better to just be good enough.
  • I am very patient to a point wherein I have absolutely no patience at all.
  • I am much better at abstaining than I am at moderation.
  • I take myself too seriously.

After this is posted, I am going to bookmark it so I can come back and remind myself to honor who I am every day.

"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self."
Benjamin Franklin

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mind Dump

I need to do a little clean out. I feel like my head is a really big purse that hasn't been cleaned out in a while. There is a lot of stuff bouncing around in there, some of it is really good and a lot of it is just junk that needs to be thrown away. If you are a woman who carries a purse you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Lately I've been feeling two things:

1. Full of energy and inspired with amazing ideas about what direction to take my life and career.

2. Frozen at the thought of where I should begin.

I have a very good friend who talks things out with me, but sometimes I find if I write it down things become a little clearer. Some thoughts I have been contemplating lately:

  • focus more energy on my coaching and creating more relationships to further that part of my career
  • this includes seeking out some more certifications like a personal trainer certification, nutrition studies and possibly beginning some yoga studies 
  • really start to develop my social media skills more...even though I think I'm pretty savvy with the social media stuff, I think I have a LOT to learn and that would really help focus my goals and help me start to develop relationships with people who can help me do just that
  • start to be more organized with my goals, so I actually begin to accomplish things instead of just think about accomplishing things
  • give myself hard deadlines to put steps and goals into action - this is really hard for me since I am primarily self-employed the only person to really enforce deadlines is myself
  • begin to rethink what I want my life to look like - I mean what if I could structure my life EXACTLY the way I wanted? What would that look like? Is it possible to start working towards that vision? What can I do to begin to make that happen?
  • develop my blog further - I've gotten a little lax with blogging and part of that is I feel I've lost my voice a little bit. I need to sit down and ask myself what exactly I want my blog to be and how to make that happen. This might involve a forced blogging challenge like blogging every day for a month. (oy, just the thought of that makes my head spin just a little and that pretty much means it's something I should seriously think about doing.)
So, friends, my questions to you...what do you do when you are frozen with ideas? When they are overflowing, but overwhelming at the same time? How do you focus yourself and start to make things happen?

Friday, March 1, 2013

One Step Closer

This morning I had a 3 hour trainer ride on tap. I had been looking forward to it all week. I had some new Powerbar nutrition to try out and I had some good movies lined up in my Netflix cue. I had even moved my bike and trainer in from the freezing cold sunroom to the living room, so I would actually be able to feel my feet at the end of the ride.

So I hopped on the bike and after what seemed like a long time I looked down and it had only been 17 minutes.

Ugh. It was going to be a long ride.

I did my best to stay within my parameters for the ride, but no matter what I did it seemed like I just didn't have the get up and go in my legs to stay where I needed to stay. I took in some nutrition, and that didn't help. I changed the movie. I tweeted for some encouragement and even that didn't give my legs a boost!

At about 1:15 in I thought about throwing in the towel. I wasn't in my zone, my cadence was way too low...I mean, really, what was I getting done anyway?

Yet, I pushed through. I took that ride out to the very last minute, and what did I learn?

Well, some days you have it and some days you don't. The days you don't have it are the days that you learn the most from. Those are the days where you see what you are really made of. Those are the days that you develop toughness and grit and drive. Those are the days that you become stronger in mind AND body. Those are the days that ensure you will get to the finish line. If every day were easy what would be the point?

The days that seem the most pointless and the most terrible are the days that create warriors.

Today because instead of in spite of my day, I am one step closer!