Monthly Archives: January 2013

Looking Out From Atop the Plateau

I took a break from “dieting” from Thanksgiving to Christmas. By that I mean I didn’t count calories and I didn’t sweat over having some holiday goodies. I just tried to be reasonable. And apparently that worked. Within a week after Christmas, I was back to my pre-Thanksgiving weight. Actually Thanksgiving day pre- dinner weight:). I’m proud of how I handled what could be a really challenging time of year. And I think it goes back to that 80/20 rule. For me, it’s about changing my mindset. That it is ok to not be perfect every day. And a little misstep doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. It is about making choices every day. Do I want the extra helping? Maybe I do, but if I decide to it will be because I thought it through and made a conscious choice. It will be intentional.

So I recovered from the holidays pretty quickly, but since then….ufda! I don’t seem to be able to get any traction. I’m doing what I did before, with no results.  I’ve actually added in some exercise now and then. Grrr… I know this happens. It will work again, it’s just frustrating waiting. I decided to track a few other things that I want to accomplish so the number on the scale isn’t my only motivation.

I made a colorful chart to track my progress. Because I like colorful charts:)! I’m trying to build a chain of  good habits. I have goals for weight, water, calories, activity minutes, reduced soda, servings of fruits and vegetables, and hours of sleep. I have progressive targets for each. Trying to step myself up a little at a time in each of those areas. It helps. The pounds still aren’t where I would like them, but I feel good about the other pieces. I’m drinking much more water and less soda. I’ve started doing some consistent minutes of activity and actually eating fruits and veggies. The sleeping part is tough. I can get really distracted at night and lose track of time. Suddenly it’s midnight and I get up before 6. I think getting a good night’s sleep will help my overall health too.

I have plateaued, but I’m still plugging away. I have an 8 week goal and I need the scale to move! I’m sure it will…all in good time:).

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Intention

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of a word for the year. Have you heard this idea? Choosing a word to define a time in your life. Or choosing a word to live  your life by. I haven’t done this before, but have been intrigued by the idea.
I think the word that would define the last year is capacity. I feel like it was a year of being stretched to capacity. Of doing everything in my capacity. Really maxed out. Not all in bad ways, but still maxed out.

I didn’t really know I was thinking about a word for this year. It came to me much more organically than that. I’ve been mulling it over for almost a month. After much thought I’ve decided my word for this year is INTENTION. It is such an integral component of where I see myself going.

I want to live my life intentionally; not waiting around to see what happens or making decisions in isolation. I want to think things through in the larger context of my life. I want to move my life forward making progress toward my goals. I want to move forward in a deliberate way, knowing that the things I do are things I have chosen. Changing from reacting to all that happens around me, to intentionally choosing my path. Owning how I spend my time, how it reflects my priorities and passions.

I want to make choices, carefully considering the options. Actually making decisions about the best options. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in life. To be like a tiny leaf on a rapid-flowing river. Bouncing along, out of control. I don’t want out of control. I want intentioned. deliberate. purposeful. It feels right. To make decisions in the bigger context of my life and my world.

I’m not sure what happens from here. Maybe I put it on the wall in my office and my home. Maybe I look for inspiration about my word. I don’t know. I do know that I’ve been sitting with it for a few weeks and it feels right.

2013 word of the year: Intention

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Filed under Goals, Intention, Lifestyle

Time for a Little Respite

Today I head back to work after 11 days off.

I feel spoiled.

I am a bit spoiled by it. The proof was in how hard it was to drag myself out of bed this morning! I’ve been staying up til 1 or 2 in the morning every night. And sleeping in quite a bit too. That’s something I almost never do. But it sure did feel good!

I look forward to this each year. With the way the holidays fell this year, I only had to take two days of PTO. Not bad. It reminds me a little bit of when I was a stay-at-home-mom with the boys. Long stretches of time we could fill as we saw fit. Only now they can fend for themselves pretty well:). I really enjoy the potential the break holds; the opportunity to do those things I don’t seem to get around to the rest of the year. I try to make it a mix of have to’s and want to’s. Things that keep me sane and things that feed my soul.

The first day of break I jotted down some things I wanted to do; a mix of things that I had been putting off or hadn’t had time to get to and things that I had been looking forward to doing. Writing it down helps me so much! If I don’t jot it down, at the end of the break I have inevitably forgotten something. I hate ending a break with that sinking feeling. Lists are my friend!

To keep me sane this year…

I updated the kids resume tracking documents – a spreadsheet I keep of the volunteer hours, clubs, leadership, and activities they are involved with and their grades. This was really helpful when it came time to do scholarship applications for Oldest Son and I haven’t entered anything all fall semester. It feels good to be caught up. And it reminded me why Middle Son meets himself coming and going! He is involved in so many things – that snuck up on me.

Did lots of paperwork for our health insurance. Hubby’s employer has a great insurance plan with potential for big discounts by doing some wellness things. I had put it off for a couple of months and the deadline was looming. Feels good to have the time to finish that!

Cleaned out two of my dresser drawers – the unmentionables. I no longer own any socks with holes in them! Gone. And I’m so glad. I love reaching in the  drawer and knowing I can pick any pair of socks! Provided they match that is. Lots of other purging here that makes it so much easier to find what I need in the morning.

Emptied the desktop on our laptop. This was making me crazy! It was completely covered. Completely. I put things on the desktop when I don’t need to keep them, but need a place to put them in the meantime. Like when I’m saving an attachment to edit and resend. Except, I’m terrible about deleting. So it was a mess. I cleaned it up and the next time I logged on I had a moment of panic thinking the laptop crashed when the desktop was empty. Ha!

To feed my soul…

We read the Christmas story together as a family. We had a great conversation about Mary and what she must have been thinking, about Joseph, where Mary’s parents were and what they thought. I think the boys heard it through a new filter this time. Good stuff.

We made cutout cookies. We actually made a bunch of goodies together on Christmas Eve. We had a list of people we wanted to take them to just to say we were thinking of them. We didn’t get them all delivered, but we did some. I’m sorry if we ate your treats. But we were still thinking of you! Does that help?

I made big, fleece, feather pillows for the boys. This was to feed my need to sew and they turned out great! Start to finish in half a day! That is unheard of for this chick.

Crocheted a scarf. I just started crocheting again – I did a long time ago – and wanted to make a fun scarf. I actually made two! And a cover for my new Kindle. I have another one started – they go so quickly!

Lots of scrapbooking happened over this break. Lots! I started and finished 39 scrapbook pages! Impossible you say? Here’s the thing, I’ve switched to scrapbooking in Picasa. It is so quick and easy! And when I’m scrapbooking something like Christmas, that each kid was a part of, I only have to make one page and order 3 prints. Sometimes I switch out a picture or two; maybe make the focal picture different depending on whose page it is. But that is simple to do. Thus, 39 pages done! I finished December, November and most of September. And I just got an email that prints are on sale. How lucky am I?!

I did some outdoor photography. We have a lovely blanket of snow which makes for great pictures. I had to take advantage of the snow while I could. You can check out  a few of the pics here. So much fun.

I did a little writing. Not as much as I expected. I just wasn’t feeling it. I have lots of ideas swirling in my head though. I’m hoping they firm up and form into some good writing soon.

I also did a few things just because I could…

I watched every episode of season 1 and season 2 of Downton Abbey. And I can’t wait for season 3 to start this Sunday! It’s such a good series. But yes, that was 15+ hours of TV shows. Just because I could.

I stayed in my pjs all day…several days. More than I would like to admit. But, no shame. It was my break, time for a little respite. If staying in my pjs all day gives me that, I’m ok with it.

I didn’t finish everything on my list.

I’m working on my first book on my new Kindle, but I’m not finished. One of my goals was to read at least one book. I’ll get there, just didn’t make it before the end of break.

I did a lot of thinking about wardrobe refashioning. That’s a start I’d say. This will have to move to my 2013 goals:). I hoped to refashion a few pieces or at least spend some time looking at my clothes a little differently. Seeing what I could put together that I haven’t thought about before.

We also failed at getting our Christmas letter written. It will go out, and probably before Epiphany. Maybe. But I had really hoped to have it done over break. So if you sent a card and haven’t heard from me, don’t take it personally. Or if you took me off your list because you haven’t received a card, hold on I’m working on it!

Now it’s time to step back into reality. The grown up world where I must shower and wear real clothes. The world where I have deadlines and fires to put out. I’m ready! I’ve had my time for respite and I’m ready to hit the floor running!

Ok, maybe after this cup of coffee…

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