Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘you can do it’

Adventure is Coming My Way!

I’m uber excited!!! Adventure is coming my way! During the last few days, I decided to take my kids on a road trip to see Katy Perry this summer and my boss asked me if I want to go to Vancouver next month!!

I know, can you believe it?

The road trip was kind of a spur of the moment idea and will cost big bucks but the 3 of us will have an A-MAZING time. I was actually considering not going when I discussed it with Sven and he said I should definitely do it.

I thought he would be all practical and say it was a lot of money, but what he said was, “Do it, you won’t regret it.” And I’m quite sure that I won’t regret it. Plus, it will be so exciting and it will make an awesome memory so I put down a deposit and we are doing it!!!

vancouverThe day after that, my boss asked me if I wanted to go to a conference in Vancouver. First of all, I’ll be working a booth and forced to network which I hate,but the conference is definitely going to interesting and I`ll be exposed to a different culture, plus I get to go to Vancouver and I have never been before! I’m so excited about going that even the thought of exploring Vancouver by myself has not got me down. I’m going to bring my camera, take some pictures and just enjoy.

I have been itching to go somewhere for ages and this trip to Vancouver falls on a week that I can actually go and leave the kids with their Dad. And it will be Springtime and there’ll be mountains and the Pacific ocean and flowers and grass. I am all over that! Can you tell I’m excited?

I was hoping for travel adventures with other people but that plan fell through so I’m just going to suck it up and have my own adventure! And then have another one with my kids. Adventures are good for the soul so I’m glad that I have grabbed both opportunities.

I think there are always the possibilities of adventures, you just have to agree to take part in them. I’m really excited that I said YES!

 

Still Being Grateful

I have been such a slacker with the blog.

I have done some writing but it was on my novel and even that has not been as much as I would like. I don’t seem to have much time for the blog these days. But perhaps we should just blame that on Candy Crush and move on. “Hi, my name is Gwen and I’m addicted to Candy Crush.” It’s a sad, sad thing to say out loud. Eep!

Anyway, now that I have chastised myself, let’s talk about what I have been doing. I have still been doing the 365 days of gratefulness thing. It’s actually fairly easy to find things that I am grateful for every day. The tricky part is either remembering to take a picture or sometimes you can be grateful for stuff that can’t really be photographed.

For example, I’m still not in the practice of always being grateful for the thing while it is happening. I often do a little recap at some point during the day and if that thing is long past, it can’t always be photographed. Or sometimes you can be grateful for music or warm breezes or something that is difficult to capture by photo. So even though it is slightly trickier than I originally thought, it is still totally do-able and I am happy to report that I am doing it.

I hope that some of you are doing it too!

That’s it, that’s the whole blog post. Just a recap more than anything else. I will try to write more, I promise!

2014 Project – 365 Days of Gratitude

I’m starting a new project this year in addition to the blogging. It’s really an extension of things learned last year. Upon reviewing my blog, I realized that although I say what I am grateful for every evening, I don’t acknowledge what I am grateful for when it happens as much as I would like. Therefore, this project is going to help me with that.

I got the idea from 365grateful.com. The premise is to take one photo every day for a year of something that I’m grateful for. I have my phone with me all the time so taking a picture every day does not seem too taxing. I’m going to post the photos right here on my blog, also not very taxing. So in theory, I should have no problem completing this project.

I’ve only just begun and I’m already having a hard time choosing just one photo for the day. I think this is going to be a fun project that is good for the soul. You should do your own. You’ll like it :).

Here’s the first picture from Jan 1 (go check out the page):

snow on the deck

Jan 1 – I’m grateful that I’m healthy enough to shovel all of this snow off of my deck. I’m grateful that I am strong and capable.

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.

Putting on Some Big Girl Panties

My youngest daughter was talking to her Dad on the phone the other day and his girlfriend was with him. My daughter heard her speaking and wanted to talk to her too. After a brief chat between the two of them my daughter told her “I love you.”

I have to admit that my first reaction in overhearing this was to flinch a bit. I don’t want to say that the statement hurt, it really didn’t, I guess it just caught me off guard.

I’m not concerned that she will replace me or that my girls will love her more than me. I’m their Mom. I have a great relationship with them and they love me a lot, just like I love them a lot. I don’t have any insecurities there.

I think the issue is that my kids are having a relationship with a woman who I have never met. She has been a part of their lives for over a year now. My ex has been with her for somewhere around 2.5 years (although I don’t know the exact dates) so I don’t think she is going anywhere soon, and I have never met her.

I have never asked to meet her and he has never brought it up but I think it’s time.

I’ve looked her up on Facebook before and based on a purely physical evaluation I thought she was prettier and skinnier than me and that made me feel less than. Less than what, I’m not sure, but I guess it had to do with feeling inadequate, feeling feelings about how my ex likes her more than me. I guess that made me not want to meet her. I’ve heard about her. My kids like her and say nice things about her. She sounds like a good person.

I think it is time for me to put on my big girl panties and to meet this woman who spends so much time with my kids. I think it’s time to take another step forward and move onto new chapters of my life.

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 :).

More Abundance Because No Man is an Island

A thought popped into my head the other day about how I view certain areas of my life with a feeling of scarcity. And by certain areas I mean the whole relationship side of things. I hadn’t given it this label before but once the “scarcity” word popped into my head I realized that it was very accurate.

Even during this past year, I have been focusing on how to create happiness when I am alone. Now it is important, to be happy by yourself and with who you are, but part of the reasoning behind this idea was that I figured that I probably wouldn’t find another long-term relationship. If I am thinking those negative thoughts then I’m sending them out to the universe. So here’s the deal, I’m not going to be thinking those thoughts any more (or I’m going to work on not thinking them). What I will be doing is welcoming an abundance of connections into my life. And by connections, I mean that I want to feel some type of connection with people, both men and women.

I’m at a place in my life where I want to let people in, I want to feel connected. When I was younger it wasn’t an issue, I had lots of close friends. Then when my marriage ended I closed myself off. I built up walls. I couldn’t connect with men or women.

I think I have knocked down some of those walls or at least have punched a few holes in them. So this means that it is time for me to welcome an abundance of connections into my life.

English: Palm island to the left

English: Palm island to the left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is harder now though. We are no longer kids playing together in a sandbox, we are now adults with our own versions of baggage. I can’t make others leave their baggage elsewhere but I can do my best to let mine go. I’ve been working on that and will continue to work on that.

Connecting with others on a personal level will lend itself well to living a happier life. No man is an island, no woman either.

Compliment 7 People in 7 Days

I’ve been slacking on my 52 Actions so this upcoming week I’m going to try extra hard to do this one. It’s an easy one but pretty important. Compliment 7 People in 7 Days.

I mean, who can’t compliment 7 people in 7 days?

In fact, it’s so easy that I dare you to join me. I dare you to compliment 7 people in 7 days. Even if just 2 of us do it then 14 people get compliments. If 3 of us do then 21 people get compliments. You see where I’m going.

So I triple-dog dare you to join me in complimenting 7 people in 7 days. You know you wanna. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.

And to inspire you further, listen to Kid President, he’s pretty smart and says that you should do it too!

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.

I Thought Writing a Short Story Would be Easy

I came across a short story contest that I want to enter. I don’t expect to win but I thought that it would be a good way for me to practice writing some fiction.

For some reason I thought it would be easy. I figured that I would have no problem pounding out the 1200-1500 required words. I mean, I can easily write 500, how hard can 2 to 3 times that amount really be?

Well, first of all, let me start by saying that I haven’t written pieces of fiction in over 20 years. I’ve written during that time, but not stories. Not things that have a setting, plot, conflict and character development.

At this point, I have now started and discarded 3 different stories. The first one had too many things going on and I didn’t know how to pare it down to one key theme without all of the other add-ons. The second 2 were more concise in terms of plot and theme but were also more concise in terms of number of words. Each one hit about the 600 word mark when I realized that I did not have enough content to stretch them to 1200 words.

I haven’t completely given up on the third one yet. The issue is that it will need to continue on beyond my initial plan and I’m not really sure what the new plan is. It will require some thought before I tackle it again.

The contest comes with a deadline though, Oct 31st. In theory, I should have enough time to dig deep and try to get it figured out. But I also have a new job that I’m starting tomorrow. That will be a bit of a distraction and could cut into my writing time. I’m hoping I can manage both, it would be pretty cool to get my first actual story onto paper.

I think it would also prove to myself that I can write a story, even if it is just a short one.

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