Archive for March, 2010

Yay Spring!

Even though spring begins in March, April always feels like real spring to me.  The weather starts being consistently above freezing, flowers begin to bloom and we sometimes luck out with an amazing weather weekend.  It’s also the start of the second quarter of the year, when I take inventory of my progress on my yearly goals.  And yes, I’m a total nerd as confirmed last weekend when I said, “I’m not a nerd.  I’m practical!” and I got a bunch of eye rolls indicating that the response was all the proof needed.

Areas of Good Progress:

1. Finish Upgrades to House – so far this year, we’ve replaced carpet and an old oil tank.  Two more items on this list but we’re working on those too!

2. Reading 52 books this year – 19 down as of March 31st

3. Read 5 Pulitzer Prize winners – 1 down (Interpreter of Maladies – fantastic!)

Areas where I’m doing okay:

1. Work out 4x per week – So far, I’ve been averaging 4 workouts per week about 75% of the time.  I took a week off when I was on vacation in California, and I tend to do worse in the winter anyway when it’s dark and cold.  I want to be more consistent in this area this quarter.

2. Limiting alcohol – I have been trying to average less than one drink per day each month.  I’ve ranged from 1.00 (February = 28 drinks), to 1.16 (March = 36 drinks).  I don’t know why this is so hard for me.  Oh wait.  Yes I do.  It’s the super easy access I have to alcohol all the time.  Drew brings samples home from work.  I love happy hour.  That’s why!

3. Staying up past 10pm – In my attempt to stay up past 10pm 5 nights per week, I’ve been mediocre at best (success about 50% of the time).  Part of me is resistant to this goal because if I’m tired, I’m tired.  What am I supposed to do?  In the heat of those moments, I cannot convince myself to stay awake no matter how hard I try.  I think the solution here is to be engaged in more things in the evenings – whether at home (walking Basil, reading, taking a bath, cooking), activities, social plans, or school.  And not drink wine.  That does me in every time.

Not much progress (notice I didn’t say FAIL because I’m trying to be nice to myself):

1. Entertain once per month – I did this in January and that was it.  I like to entertain, but I think it’s hard to coordinate.  Plus, I always try and think of good and interesting ideas which can be difficult.  But, I always have fun and I like having fun plans to look forward to.  I want to work on this during the second quarter.

2. Travel plans – I have lots of ideas for travel plans this year (visiting two of my sisters, a Western road trip in July, a potential trip to Central America this fall).  Even though plans are well underway for the Western road trip, I don’t have any hard plans in place for anything else.  This is so unlike me because I love to travel (it’s practically an obsession, in fact)!  I have been looking for flights, etc., but the lack of good deals and free weekends has been limiting.


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For the month of March, I tried to spend a month free from gossip and complaining.  A couple weeks ago I wrote an update on my progress which was mostly good with one crucial slip-up that I felt bad about.  I told a secret accidentally, and felt really horrible.  Fortunately, I was able to get it all cleared up.  Now that the month is over, here’s the final wrap-up.

Thoughts on Gossiping:

1. It is really hard to completely remove myself from all gossiping and complaining.  Even if I don’t instigate any gossip myself, it’s hard to not hear it.  Yesterday, a colleague said, “You want to hear some juicy gossip?  Oh wait.  You’re not doing that this month.”  I was so excited about what the gossip might be that I made an exception and listened to it anyway. 

2. I did very well overall on the complaining front.  I realize that I’m not a big complainer.  It wasn’t too hard for me not to complain about my poison oak (which I still have, thank you very much!) or my commute to school, or the weather.  These topics tend to be high on my complaining list.

3. I also think there is some gray area in this discussion.  For instance, when I ask a friend how a mutual friend is doing after a break-up, I’m not meaning to be a gossip, but if the answer is “Well, she’s horrible and her ex is a loser and kidnapped her precious pet,” did that become gossiping?  Or, if you’re telling someone something that is TRUE, is it gossiping?  For example, “My boss just fired the entire department” could be a straight-up fact, but depending on who the recipient is of this news, or the tone in which you say it, it could be gossip, right?

Anyway, the bottom line is, refraining from gossip is really hard.  I’m glad the experiment is over!

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#37 Indulge in beauty

Hello lovely spa!

 I don’t get to do it often.  Any time I feel flush with cash and want to buy something fun or splurge, I have so many ideas that going to a spa normally loses the fight.  Usually clothes win.  And purses.  I heart purses.  Really expensive ones – I only have one in this category and it’s one of the few things I would save in my house if it burned down.  Yes, that’s me: shallow and vain.

Anyway, I WILL spend time and money indulging in beauty treatments under the following circumstances:

1. If I have just completed a really tough semester of grad school.  After that last final I can always justify a few hours lying in a sweet smelling room being massaged. 

2. If it’s my birthday.

3. If I have a gift certificate.

Last year for my birthday I got a gift certificate to a local spa that expires next week!  And, since I’ve been suffering with poison oak for a month (yes, still experiencing my best souvenir ever from my vacation), I have avoided making an appointment.  Now that most of the itching is gone, I signed up for a facial this weekend.  An hour of lying in the dark smelling tea tree oil (my favorite Australian smell!) sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday, don’t you think?

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Drew and I just had our three year wedding anniversary.  I kind of can’t believe that I’m old enough to be married, let alone for three whole years.  I remember waking up on the morning of our wedding with my sister lying beside me on the pull out couch in our hotel room.  I remember getting ready, hanging with my sisters in our little waiting area.  But the actual ceremony – a complete blur.  I heard later that a cell phone rang and that two of my sisters were bawling wrecks.  Don’t remember any of it. 

Fast forward to now.  Since Drew and I are both busy and we work different schedules, we didn’t have a chance to celebrate on the actual day.  I spent the evening taking a test at school and he spent the evening working. 

Instead of just ignoring the day altogether (which I am sometimes apt to do – it’s just an anniversary, right?), we decided to postpone our celebration until last night – our fauxversary.  We cooked dinner, I got flowers, and then we went out for ice cream. 

While eating fro yo in the car, we played the game “High/Low” where we each tried to come up with the high and low points of the past three years.  It was surprisingly difficult to do as there haven’t been any major events (either bad or good) during these years.  One memorable low was being stuck in Madrid’s airport for the better part of a day.  But, a great high was that trip to Spain.  I’m glad in retrospect that our little game was so difficult – since you never know what life can throw, sometimes it’s just nice to ease through for a while.

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Great Links

Two great links this week:

Kate Swoboda (of Your Courageous Life and the Daily Courage blog) wrote a post this week about her beliefs surrounding the law of attraction.  It’s like she read my mind!

Michelle from When I Grow Up Coach quit her day job to pursue dreams of self-employment.  I really enjoy her honesty around what scares her about her new life.  I wrote about it a couple days ago, but here’s the original link to her post!

And, finally, willing the icky weather away today with this photo of California!

Missing the warmth and the green!

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If I weren’t scared

Oh Florence...I promise to return....

1. I would start actually planning RIGHT NOW for an extended trip around the world, including actually buying airplane tickets, even though things like jobs, house, dog, graduate school, $ to travel, have not been figured out in the least bit.

2. I would get involved in more things locally (organizations, groups, things that require subscriptions or memberships) even though I have no idea if I will be living in the area long enough to see them through.

3. I would understand that despite the fact that my pup Basil is my furkid in every sense of the word, he really is a dog and doesn’t need me to worry and think about him and his well-being all of the time.  And that other people can care for him just as well as I can.

The Furkid

4. I would take more financial risks – being open to starting a business, taking a chance on an investment, or being a major part of someone else’s dream.

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Confession: I have become a sucker for the e-course.

I’m not sure when and how I first learned about the e-courses offered out there.  Like most great finds on the Internet, it was probably a link within a blog post that I stumbled on one random day.  I was intrigued enough at that point to build a folder in my Favorites to keep track of these things but it took me months to actually sign up for one.  Maybe it’s because I’m already juggling a lot with work and school, or the fact that I wasn’t sure that the investment (which varies a lot depending on the class) was worth it.

I jumped in with Mondo Beyondo.  I’ve written about it before.  I loved it.  I was hooked.

Next up: The Courageous Year.  This starts next week and is 10 weeks for the first phase.  I’m psyched about the class, and will post here regularly about my progress.

And, because I can never really half-ass anything, here is the list of a bunch of other courses I’m interested in taking!

Blogging Your Way – from Holly at Décor 8

Unraveling – a photography course from Susannah Conway

Bloom – another photography course

Uplevel Your Life – from Christine Kane

I’m also becoming interested in summits and retreats.  I have this dream of someday hosting a retreat (where, or with whom or about what is still to be decided), but I’d also like to attend some.  Like these:

Be Present Retreats

Healthy Living Summit

Gosh, writing this list just made me realize I’m turning into my mom.  Yikes.

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