Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Woo hoo, I’m 45!

I had my birthday over the weekend. Woo hoo, I’m 45!

I don’t feel 45. I wonder if people ever feel their age as they get older. I suppose, on those days when you are creakier than others you probably do. But for me, I still feel like I’m in my 30s.

Some of my friends were organizing a girls night out and it was just the thing I needed on my birthday weekend! The 8 of us had a fantastic time and it was so great to see all of them. We chatted and laughed and drank, it was just what the doctor ordered. My drink of the evening was a waterfall martini and my friend Jess felt the need to keep buying me more. Thanks Jess!!IMG_20140321_224504

And apparently when you are drinking lots of martinis, you feel the need to take bathroom selfies and send them to old boyfriends, lol. Oh well, at least I look pretty good for 45.

So what did I get for my birthday other than lots of martinis?

I got myself new boots and recycled an old boyfriend for my birthday. Sven and I went out a couple of times earlier in the week as friends but last night we went on our first date again. It was good, I like him. Is he a perfect match for me? I doubt it, but maybe we’ll be able to be better together this time. He was on his best behaviour last night and is really trying to make up for some of our previous misunderstandings.

I’m allowed to have fun, I’m not dead yet. I’m only 45.

Month 12 Check-In

December has been over for a few days but figuring out my wisdom for 2014 took longer than I thought it would. Who knew that I had learned so much? Anyway, here is my final check-in for 2013, in case you were wondering if it was coming.

I’m not really sure what happened in December. I remember frantically getting ready for Christmas. I remember baking with the kids and us attempting to decorate a gingerbread carousel. I remember present wrapping and unwrapping. I remember last-minute errands and visiting family. I remember arguments, laughter and love. But the rest is just a whirlwind of busyness.

I wish I could say I wrote, ate healthy and exercised. Well, I did write, just not my book… Ah well, there’s always 2014.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I’m quite sure there were days in December where I didn’t eat one fruit or vegetable :(. I also put some weight on for Christmas. However, I am still down 10 pounds for the year so I’m happy. I just need to eat better!!

Exercising – I think that the only exercising I did this month was one session of yoga and several sessions of shovelling. I also made it to badminton one time this month. As I’ve already said, there’s always 2014. I did find out that there is a free skate at lunch time 3 days/ week close to where I work, so I’m going to try to get there at least one day/ week in the future. I’m not a good skater but every little bit helps.

Blog 4 times/ week – As 2014 came to an end I struggled to meet my blogging goals but I have decided to continue on and keep blogging. Yay!  I think I will aim for 2-3 times/ week as opposed to 4 but we will see what happens as the year goes on. The reason I decided to keep blogging was really because of the Winter Solstice Ritual. It was really great to look back over everything from the past year. It made the learnings more tangible and made me feel like I really accomplished something so I will soldier on and see what 2014 brings.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I had one friend lunch this month and the work Christmas party and New Year’s eve so I did OK with putting myself out there. Plus I hung out with my big, old family and that was awesome.

52 Actions – I tried to make December pretty easy and I did OK with my weekly goals. I think I’m going to keep them up for 2014, I may even re-use a few. But I also think that I will try to do less each week. Working full-time makes it a bit trickier to get some things done but I’m sure I can manage some small actions.IMG_20131231_204109

General happiness – Am I happier? Yep. Why just today I marvelled over a beautiful sunset, some deer I spotted on the way home and the great deal I got at Wal-mart. I was even pretty happy about the warm hot chocolate I drank while trying to warm up from the cold. And look how happy I look (even if I’m a little fuzzy).

2013 was a great year!! I declare it complete!

One other thing I like from the Winter Solstice Ritual is taking the month of January as a time to dream and then starting the new year in February. So there will be no goals or actions for January, just a time to dream and think of the possibilities for the rest of the year. Thanks for following my exploits in 2013, and here’s to more learning, love and laughter in 2014.

Unexpected Surprises

What a great holiday this has been. (I’m not counting the blow-outs with my teen as those are temporary and eventually we will outgrow them… hopefully before I run away from home.) But the rest of the holiday has been grand.Tree

The few days leading up to Christmas were a rush of last-minute organizing, shopping, crafting and wrapping but it was all worth it. We even had some family photos done on the 23rd and although I expected none of them to turn out we actually ended up with a couple of really nice ones.

Christmas eve included chilli for 4 (with my kids and ex) and then off to an inter-denominational church service. By the time we got home there was time to open one Christmas present each, track Santa’s progress and get jammies on before hopping into bed and dreaming of sugar plums (OK, probably not sugar plums, more like Monster High dolls and a new cell phone).

Christmas morning began at a leisurely 6:50am with my ex knocking on the door. The kids were already awake but waiting patiently in their rooms for their father to arrive. Then began the flurry of unwrapping, laughter, happy children, games, turkey and movies. All in all, everyone had a fantastic day and I didn’t even mind having my ex in my house for 10 hours.

On Boxing Day we packed up the car and headed out to visit family for a few days. My sister always hosts the whole crew and it started out with 10 people then up to 13 who needed beds for the night. There are always loads of games, food and drinks to go with the newly added abundance of teenage hormones and attitudes. In spite of the latter, a good time was had by all and it ended much too quickly as per usual.

We got home last night to a lot more snow in the yard, luckily I had my ex call a plow so the only shovelling was the deck and walkway. Once inside, I rushed like a madwoman to get ready for my date with Sven. Dinner was a little later than expected but we had a nice time.

We had planned to see each other before Christmas but those plans got cancelled so I took his present to him last night. My kids thought it was a lame gift but he had mentioned wanting a cast iron frying pan so that was what I bought him. At least I knew he would like it.

I actually bought it expecting that I wouldn’t get anything in return. I just didn’t think that Sven would think to get me anything. I was wrong. He bought me a lovely pair of earrings with a matching pendant. I was so surprised at his thoughtful gift. Did I mention I didn’t expect him to get me anything? We didn’t discuss exchanging presents, I got him the frying pan because I wanted to. I guess he got me earrings because he wanted to. For all of the complaining that I do about Sven, this is definitely a +1 for him. We even have plans to get together this weekend even though he doesn’t like to make plans. Hopefully no one will have to cancel.

And tonight is New Year’s Eve. I thought I would be spending it by myself  but a dear friend of mine has invited me over. I’m not sure who I will know there but I have accepted the lovely invite as one of my final ways to put myself out there in 2013.

I Squashed the Squash

Sporting life

Sporting life (Photo credit: uonottingham)

I was supposed to go play squash this weekend. It didn’t happen. Things just didn’t feel right.

A guy that I used to date a couple of years ago asked me if I wanted to get together to play squash. I said yes because I have always wanted to learn how to play. We had to schedule it for a couple of weeks out due to busy schedules but it just didn’t pan out.

After he asked me to play squash we emailed for a little bit and then I didn’t hear from him for about a week. I sent him a message this past Thursday to confirm the squash game on Friday and he told me that he assumed that we weren’t playing squash because no one confirmed. And then he apologized for forgetting to call me and asked if we could go on Saturday instead of Friday.

Hmmmm.

I was a little put off by him assuming that we weren’t going instead of confirming one way or the other but I said OK to Saturday anyway. Then he asked me to go grab a coffee afterwards and wanted to know if it was a date. I told him ‘no’ it was not a date as he had just told me the previous week that he didn’t have time to date anyone at the moment. I did tell him that if we felt like coffee afterwards that was fine but we should play it by ear. He didn’t like that answer and said we should just stick to the squash game.

Finally he asked me if we could do it earlier in the day. During the conversation I had told him I was busy with my kids during the day so it felt like he wasn’t really listening to me.

All of this added up to me feeling uneasy about the whole thing. It just seemed like things were not really going to be that different from before.

We had communication problems the last time we dated and I don’t want to get mixed up in something that is going to be basically the same thing as last time. I’ve been there, done that and I hope I have learned enough not to repeat the same mistakes. So, that’s when I cancelled.

His final response: he thought I was being mean. I think I made the right decision.

Month 11 Check-In

I’m a few days late getting this blog post up but, better late than never.

November feels like a blur. I was sick, my youngest was sick, I had family over for the last weekend in November so that required some prep, plus I was also adjusting to being back to work. Throw a little bit of Christmas shopping into the mix, the regular ups and downs of being a parent and bam, 4 weeks is gone.

I wish I could say I succeeded with my challenge for the month, however, the catching up on my writing course was limited in nature and so was the healthy eating. As a matter of fact, my diet is a disaster area these days. I need to bring it back into a better realm of healthy.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – There were some smoothies this month, of course, but not as many as there should have been. However, if chocolate was a food group I would have it covered. Somehow, I am down one pound which is a total of 14 lbs for the year. I seem to have plateaued at this point but luckily I’m not putting any weight on so I will take it.

Exercising – Exercise has also declined as the month passed. I haven’t been to badminton for the last 2 weeks as I’ve had my kids during that time and the last walk I took was only 15 minutes because it was so cold out. I’m supposed to play squash tomorrow night, so barring any cancellations maybe that will help motivate me to get back to exercising.

Blog 4 times/ week – I’ve struggled to meet my blogging goal for the last 3 months and as the year is drawing to a close I’m wondering if I will continue blogging into 2014. I haven’t made any decisions yet but I am thinking about letting it go. We’ll see, still a few more weeks before the year is over.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I’ve had a couple of lunches with co-workers this month, I also had lunch with a co-worker from my last job and dinner with another. It’s funny how hard it is to coordinate things when you no longer see each other every day but I will keep trying, it is worth it. And as for Sven, it’s been hard seeing him this month too. Between kid schedules and being sick, we didn’t see each other all that much during the month of November.

52 Actions – I wish I was doing better with my weekly goals. I didn’t fail completely this month but I wasn’t overly successful either. For some reason they are no longer top of mind or maybe they are just things I don’t really want to do. Something to think about.

General happiness – Overall, I think I have learned a lot about how to be happier during this past year. It is so important to live in the present. To stop worrying about what may or may not happen in the future and to stop obsessing about what has happened in the past. Some days these things are easier said than done but if you can stick to the present, life will be better. I think that is the key.

Only 28 days left to 2013, where has the year gone? During these last 4 weeks I will try to review some of the stuff I have learned during this past year of blogging and make plans for 2014. Not sure what they are yet, but I’ll figure it out :).

Month 10 Check-In

There are only 2 months left to 2013. The year has flown by.

October has been a bit of a chaotic month for me but in a good way. I have returned to work after a year hiatus (that sounds like a nice way to say it). I have written a short story and submitted it to a contest. And I am still trying to ride the happy train. I find that the hardest time for me to be happy these days is when I think about the whole boy-girl relationship thing or lack thereof. I just find that area of my life frustrating. I’m trying to let things be what they will be more, but that is difficult for me (hence the frustrating part)… maybe there is a better way to deal with those feelings.

I had a writing challenge for September and October. My plan was to write every day for at least an hour/ day. I found the challenge pretty challenging. It was hard to commit to writing everyday but I do think I wrote more than usual during these past 2 months. But in spite of writing more during these 2 months I was short on blog posts for both September and October. I was doing a different kind of writing so I’m still happy with how things have gone.

During the month of October I also discovered that I would like to write some fiction, I had no idea that this would interest me but I was inspired by one of the women in my writing class so I’m going to try something new.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – This month has not been great for the fruits and veggies. Junk food has snuck into my diet and I need to get a handle on that. Halloween sure does not help the situation. My weight is up a little this month so I’m only down 13 lbs for the year, I need to refocus on eating better and exercising as they are important habits to establish.

Exercising – Exercise has not happened as much as I would like this past month, especially during the last 2 weeks. The new work schedule is making things a bit crazy but I did manage to walk at lunch time a couple of days in there. If I can continue with those walks that will help me fit exercising into my schedule.

Blog 4 times/ week – I missed my goal in October again! I’m hoping to catch up in November or at least to hit my weekly goal.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I went for a couple of lunches with friends this month and to my sister’s for Thanksgiving. I also started a brand new job and have been trying to get to know my new co-workers.

52 Actions – I managed to purge some clothes and give some gifts but other than that the weekly goals are taking a bit of a beating. I haven’t forgotten about them but I may need to re-jig them as I have less free time than before.

General happiness – I think I am happier than I have been in quite a while. I’m still welcoming abundance into my life, I try to say what I am thankful for every day, I try to focus on living in the present, I try to write about my negative feelings when they happen and release them into the universe, and I think these things all add up to being happier with what you have. Not every day is a stellar day but a greater majority of them are and that makes me happy :).

Only 2 months to go, time to really focus on what’s important during this time. It might be a good idea to reflect on that and make sure that’s what I’m doing. I’ll try to come up with a challenge for November that encompasses that.

Month 9 Check-In

I cannot believe that 2013 only has 3 months left in it. How things have changed and yet how they have stayed the same. As of the 24th of October I will have been unemployed for a year. I did some consulting in there but not enough for it to feel like a real job. I have another interview coming up soon, perhaps this will be the one. As for changes, well I have been blogging for 9 months, I’m taking a writing course and I have spent a tremendous amount of time trying to find my happiness.

Am I feeling happier? Well not every day, but I have discovered some techniques that make it easier to redirect negative feelings and some techniques to focus on the positive ones. Today I’m feeling pretty damn good actually :).

I had a writing challenge for September. My plan was to write every day for at least an hour/ day. I thought it would be pretty easy as I have been blogging 4 times/ week but things seemed to change once I set up the challenge. All of a sudden I was no longer inspired and I could barely write a blog post (as a matter of fact I was short on blog posts 1 week this month).

I think that once I told myself that I had to do it then all of a sudden I felt like I couldn’t, I was resisting. I’m working on clearing up that resistance so I’m going to implement the same writing challenge for the month of October. I have sketched out an idea for a book so I need to put some effort into it. Even if it never gets published, I can leave it to my kids so they have a part of me later on. On a positive note, I have written a few things that I wouldn’t normally write this past month so that has been a fun exploration of my creativity.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I was on and off with the fruits and veggies this month. I’m going to try to re-focus on this for the month of October. I really do love the smoothies and they are so good for me. I’m down about 1 1/2 lbs this month, so 15 1/2 pounds in total for the year. I’ve plateaued a bit but if I can increase the fruits and veggies again I should be good.

Exercising – I’ve been sick this past week so not exercising but I have big plans for badminton and boxing this fall.

Blog 4 times/ week – I missed my goal 1 week in September but I know I’ll hit it in October!

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I took two classes this month: I went to a cooking class with Sven and took an HTML/CSS one-day course called Ladies Learning to Code. I also had coffee with a friend of mine who I hadn’t chatted with in ages, it was so good to catch up!! And every once in a while I manage to snag one of my friends for lunch so that’s always fun.

52 Actions – I’m doing OK with my weekly goals. I planned a scavenger hunt in town (which I have been talking about for ages), now I need to gather up some folks and try it out!! Some of the other stuff has not been accomplished but I’m moving in a forward direction.

Getting a job – Still no job. I really thought I would have one by now. I think I’m not selling myself enough. Job interview at the 11th company coming up next week. Wish me luck!!

General happiness – The writing course that I am taking is so much more than a writing course. There are sections about dealing with your inner critics and negative feelings. All of these things are helping me feel happier these days. I didn’t feel that good while I was sick last week but now I’m mostly better and feeling happy!!

3 months left, WOW! I think I need to take some time this month and see what I really want to accomplish by the end of this year.

The Top 8 Benefits of Being Unemployed

I’ve been unemployed for 10 months now and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. This time off has been an opportunity for me. An opportunity to explore new things, to take time for myself and to re-evaluate where I’m going in life. So without further ado, here are the

top-8

Benefits of Being Unemployed:
  1. The gift of time.
    One of the things about not working 8+ hours/day is that you have a lot more free time to do other things. Of course, searching for work takes up some time but you can’t spend 40 hours/week doing that soul-sucking task or you would end up in a fetal position on the floor.
  2. Less stress.
    I’m sure that several of you are looking confused at this one. Let me clarify, some days are pretty damn stressful, when you wonder why no one is hiring you after multiple interviews, that can be pretty stressing. But I haven’t been feeling that every day. For the most part I have been enjoying the lack of work-related stress. No deadlines to meet, no lack of communication, no problems with co-workers… you get the idea. Plus, when the kids get home, the evening rush of homework and activities is a lot less rushed and a lot less stressful.
  3. Better health.
    I have lost 14 pounds during the last 8 months. It has not been due to dieting. It has been due to eating better, less stress, more exercise and an increased focus on self-care.
  4. An opportunity to try new things.
    During this period of unemployment I have embraced blogging, tried meditating, learned about chakras and life energy, completed some small challenges, reached out to friends new and old, and signed up for a writing course. Plus, I learned a lot about happiness, positivity and gratitude, started playing badminton, and spent some time volunteering.
  5. Did some things I did not previously have time for.
    I’ve done a lot of reading, purged some stuff, organized a get-together, scrapbooked, did more yoga, taught my youngest how to ride her bike, planted a flower garden and a few vegetables, went on some day-trips, did a little dating, and watched too much TV.
  6. Explored options for my future.
    This time off has given me an opportunity to assess where I am in life and where I want to go. It did not happen quickly but after some soul-searching I have become a lot more serious about writing a book. I think I needed to go through certain steps to get to this point but I am excited about writing and I want to see what I can do in this field.
  7. Improved a friendship.
    I have this friend who I liked but we didn’t hang out that much. We both got laid off together and it was a bonding experience. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders in the whole blogging adventure and job search process. I really appreciate her support and I ❤ her. Thanks Regan!!
  8. Made new friends.
    Blogging has put me in touch with some people I never would have connected with before. I like that I have readers and I like reading other people’s blogs. Plus the writing course has added more people to my life. I’ve only been there a short time but they seem like a super supportive bunch and I am excited to get to know them better.

I know that these are my benefits, but if you’re unemployed you can make some of them yours too. Don’t spend all of your time feeling sorry for yourself. Put yourself out there, take risks and do something that you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for. Of course, don’t give up the job search but keeping busy with things you like will help you keep a positive attitude and that will help in the big scheme of things.

Month 8 Check-In

I’m 2/3 of the way through this project and it has been a learning process. I have enjoyed writing and sharing on this blog. I’m not much of a Tweeter or a status sharer on Facebook but I have been committed to writing here. I’m enjoying the process and I have been tossing around the idea of trying my hand at some type of book. Eep.

I had a meditation challenge for August, I certainly didn’t do it every day of the month (esp on my vacation) but I have made progress. I wouldn’t call myself good at shutting off my thoughts but I think I have made a tiny bit of progress. I’m going to keep at it and see if I can’t figure it out eventually. I’m thinking about some type of writing challenge for September but will let you know for sure tomorrow.

Here’s the round-up for the rest of my overall goals:

Eating more fruits and veggies/ day – I’m up 1 pound this month due to vacation and a giant bag of chocolate covered almonds. Remind me to never buy one of those bags at Costco again. I’m still enjoying my smoothies, they seem to be my go-to food when I don’t want to cook (unless there is junk food in the house).

Exercising – I did a lot more yoga this month, plus I still love walking :).

Blog 4 times/ week – Still on target here, I had to do a bit of catch up after the vacay but I made it.

Putting myself out there more and creating better relationships – I spent a week hanging with my family and I went to a cooking class with strangers. I already have a great relationship with my family so that probably doesn’t count but did I mention cooking with strangers??

52 Actions – I’m doing OK with my weekly goals, I wouldn’t say I have made stellar progress (I still have not painted my bedroom) but I’m hacking away at them as best I can.

Getting a job – Still no job. I had an interview this past week, it’s something a little different than what I have been doing but I think I would be good at it so I am crossing my fingers for a 2nd interview.

General happiness – My vacation week was good for my soul but the no job thing is hard on it. I am hanging in there and doing my best.

I can’t believe there are only 4 months left until the end of the year. I still have so much left to learn and do :).

Just Looking for Friends – More Dating Adventures

There’s this guy I’ve been chatting with for about 2 weeks. Funny, smart, good job, articulate, stuff in common with me, lots of good qualities… One major strike though is that he tells me that he has only been separated for 6 months. 6 months really isn’t that long when you’re separated from the mother of your children.

On another note, I’m computer savvy. I can find my way around the internet.

While talking with this guy he has shared some details of his life. Enough details that I have Googled him and found out his last name. This information has led me to his Twitter account. And… the conversations he has had with his ex. (As a matter of fact, I’m following his ex on Twitter, did I mention I live in a small city?) Anyway, based on these conversations they have not been separated for 6 months… it looks more like 3 months. As a matter of fact, she brought him back cheese curds from her recent trip to Quebec, and by recent, I mean about a week ago.

I guess his online dating profile did indicate that he was mostly looking for friends but was open to the possibility of a relationship. Perhaps he thinks he’s ready for a relationship but I highly doubt it.

Anyway, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to meet him this week as planned. I mean who can’t use more friends? I just need to approach this meeting as a “friends” meeting and not as a potential mate meeting. I wish I didn’t already feel attracted to him on some level though. We will just have to take things super slow and keep things on the “friends” page for a long time before pursuing anything else, if he actually wants to.

All I need is one awesome guy, who is available, and who likes me, and I like him, and who has enough money that I don’t have to worry about work, and all of my problems will be solved. Is that too much to ask??

Want to know something funny? He said that he has no Facebook account because he knows what happens to our data on there. Seriously… he even has pictures of his daughter posted on his Twitter account. At least Facebook has privacy settings.

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