I think I’ve mentioned this before but I have trouble accepting success. I am a perfectionist in so many ways. The mere thought of failure or not making things work out just right terrifies me. On many occasions I have literally been paralyzed by my fears. I’ve avoided a lot of challenges in my life. But recently, I’ve been working on changing that attitude and adopting a new mantra: progress is progress. And since I’ve been repeating that constantly in my head, I’ve actually been making some progress! And while I’m not where I want to be, I’m actually making changes that are sticking. And that feels so incredibly good. So today, I’m going to be a bit of a show off and tell you about some of my recent accomplishments as I work through my life right now.
I’ve officially lost 10 pounds. I have 10 more before I reach my goal weight but I’m officially noticing the difference. My clothes are almost falling off of me. Being able to actually feel and see a difference is a thrill that keeps me going on this weird anti-weight loss shift I’ve been making in my life. Instead of focusing all my energies on my weight and how much it depressed me, I set fitness goals for myself. In addition, the boyfriend and I have been making some small changes to our diet and viola! This system is far from perfect (we went out for Panda Express tonight) and yet it still is bearing the sweet fruit of results.
Even better than the weight loss is my physical achievements. I’m slowly but surely getting stronger as I sweat my way through weekly yoga sessions, climbing sessions where I’ve already surpassed my former achievements on the wall, and running. I never though I would be consider myself a runner but I’ve finally completed the Ease into 5k program. For athletic types, this probably doesn’t seem like much of an achievement but for me it has been huge. And seeing what I am capable of only makes me want to work harder. I’m going to be continuing to train myself in the running department. I’m pushing myself to complete my regular routine at faster times and then eventually I’ll start pushing myself to cover more distance (hello ease into 10k!).
The Happiness Project is still going strong. This month I’m focusing on work. I’ve been meaning to write a post about September’s goals but work has literally been consuming me. I still don’t quite have the work-life-writing balance thing down but I’m adapting the best I can. The fact that I’m writing this post right now seems like a mini-miracle. Still, I have finally discovered that I can push some thing back when it comes to work. Not everything needs to be done right this moment. And that realization has made a huge difference in my sanity department. And yes, the 2nd year of teaching is easier but as soon as I got my first stack of essays, everything went a little crazy. Plus, getting sick so early in the year didn’t help me get off to my strongest start. Still, I’m adapting and adjusting and doing what I would certainly consider a much better job than last year.
And that’s the gist of my life right now. I’m on a definite up and up and it feels so good. I’m so thankful for my family and my boyfriend who have been so supportive and inspirational as I’ve worked to pull myself together. I’m still a work in progress but I’m making progress and recognizing that this is a process has made all the difference. Don’t worry, this is just the beginning. There is so much more to come. Thank you to all of you who have decided to be a part of my journey. I appreciate your kind words, your opinions, your well wishes. You mean so much to me!
I just excitedly installed the iOS update on my phone. I’m going to have to wait a bit to update my iPad since work wants to test the system to make sure all our apps are still working properly. Still, I’m going to playing around with the new features like a schoolgirl for the next couple days. I love the new look and am already enjoying the functionality of some of the new features. I’m going to give Reminders another try to see if I like it for managing my massive to do lists. As always, I’ll keep you updated to my acclimation and let you know what I’m using and why I love it!
Life in General: Despite all my best efforts, I ended up getting sick, so much of last week was spent in rest and recovery mode. I worked my way through the week, but rushed home every day after work for afternoon naps. A week later, I’m feeling mostly better but my lack of being able to work through my afternoons means that there are stacks of grading awaiting my attention. I’ll be a very busy girl this week.
Fitness: Obviously since I’ve essentially been bedridden for the last week, I haven’t really been working out a whole lot. I did hit the climbing gym over the weekend and found myself actually making some serious progress as I tackled some climbs that would have almost definitely been impossible for me a couple months ago. I found that somehow I am overcoming the mental blocks that frequently prevent me from utilizing the climbing techniques I need to overcome my previous peak. For the longest time, the fear of falling (even though I was attached to a top rope), made me a static climber. I literally clanged to the wall like my life depended on it. And this mind set prevented me from making the moves to reach my goals of completing ambitious climbs and looking like a bad ass. But I’m finally overcoming some of these fears and mastering the techniques needed to climb more difficult routes. And every success I have only feels me up with more confidence. I’m finding greater resolve to stick with climbing!
Music: I actually haven’t really been listening to a whole lot of new music. I’m excited for some upcoming new releases like the new Naked and Famous album, In Rolling Waves, which comes out TOMORROW!
Television: I am so excited about the rush of premieres happening this week. I’m excited to see what happens in all of my favorites and to discover some new favorites. Tonight, I treated myself to the newest episode of Bones which had me in tears! I’m interested in the new Sleepy Hollow show but decided to call it a night a little early so that I could finish this post. I’ll definitely be watching it On Demand later this week to see if all the hype is worth it.
Books: I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately. I downloaded and have delved into the creepy dystopian masterpiece, Maddadam by Margaret Atwood. I’ve been picking away at that one. Cutting for Stone is on hold for the moment. I did listen to some more of The Elegance of the Hedgehog this weekend but haven’t really gotten too involved in the book yet. I’ve also been reading some quality short stories for my English 1 Accelerated class. I’m going to try to do a piece on them as separate collections at some point in the future.
Honorable Mention: I went up to San Francisco to see Chris Hardwick at at Cobb’s Comedy Club. He was hilarious and far better than I expected. I’ll be reviewing his book The Nerdist Way soon. Let’s just say that Hardwick is very quickly becoming a little bit of a hero for me. He’s funny but also has this sweet nerdy introspective genius side to him. He also manages to create an insane amount of quality work. I wish I could harness some of his productivity prowess which is part of why I listened to his book in the first place!
Also, I just started on online course called Jump Start Your Creative Spark by Melanie @ Inward Facing Girl. I have been severely lacking in the creativity department lately. I blame it on balance but really, I just haven’t found the discipline to create a writing schedule that works. I’m hoping that through this course, I’ll find some inspiration to get me writing more frequently so that I can improve this blog and begin some serious work on some stories! More to come on this in the near future!
And shall we discuss … How do you overcome your mental hurdles? When you get stuck, how do you get yourself unstuck? Right now I’m definitely finding myself in a place where I feel paralyzed by the amount of work I have in front of me. I keep wondering where I should begin. The obvious answer is at the beginning but the beginning isn’t always easy to find. How do you find the beginning? How do you harness those difficult to master tools like balance, discipline, and dedication? I’m not necessarily looking for advice on this one. I’m more curious than anything. It seems like there really is no one size fits all approach when it comes to these kinds of struggles. And that is probably a good thing.
General Check In: I’m in catch up mode. Although the retreat was absolutely fantastic, coming back home after three days away means that there is a lot on my plate right now. I’m pacing myself in the catch up process so as not to overwhelm myself and land in the sick bed. Despite all the feelings of falling behind, I am proud of all that I have accomplished in the last couple of days. The retreat gave me an enormous confidence boost and I somehow came back feeling incredibly energetic despite the fact that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep while away. I used up a lot of that energy in wrapping up another week at work.
Music: Because I was away, I haven’t been listening to much music. The only thing I have to mention as of right now is that I have been totally rocking out to the new Katy Perry song and the new Eminmen song on the radio.
Books: I have a lot of reading ahead of me. My freshmen class is about to start a short story unit so I’m going to be reading through those in the upcoming days and weeks. I also just bought the new Margaret Atwood book, MaddAddam. I’m still working on Cutting for Stone. Unfortunately, at this point in time, I feel like that book is a bit daunting and overwhelming for me, but I’m pacing myself accordingly. Even more, I received some ARCs in the mail and need to dig into those ASAP. Good thing I like reading!
TV/Movies: I just bought The Great Gatsby and watched it last weekend with my family. I absolutely loved it (all over again)! I’m eagerly anticipating the conclusion to the final episode of Burn Notice. Aside from that, I’m looking forward to the fall premieres and the return of some of my old time favorites (and possibly discovering some new ones!
Health and Fitness: My workouts have been less than extraordinary lately. With all the work that awaited me when I got home, I’ve been struggling to make and find time to work out. Still, I have been incredibly ACTIVE at work. Long days on my feet constantly running around to run errands, complete meetings, and trying to catch up on grading have led me to feel more worked than some of my actual workouts!
And Let’s Discuss: Have you gone on any retreats? What impact did these experiences have on you? As a teacher helping to lead the Kairos retreat that I went on, I know that the retreat isn’t actually for me. Nonetheless, I always find that I get so much out of going on these retreats. On this Kairos, I wrote and delivered a talk called the “Life Graph.” For this talk, I spent some time reflecting on key events in my life that have shaped me as a person. I thought about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I want to be. Taking the time to do this reflection work has been quite and experience for me. A necessary experience. A time for honest reflection. I don’t make nearly enough time for these undertakings. And the clarity of purpose and energy that I got from partaking in these activities is powerful. The retreat lasted for a LONG three days but the were an incredibly rewarding three days. I have an increased sense of perspective after my time there. I’m excited to see where these feelings and energies lead me in the days to come.
I’ll be writing a bit more vigilantly in the next couple days and weeks so please stay tuned.