21 Day Challenge: Day 8

Sometimes I feel like there should be a recovery day between the weekend and Mondays.  Since there isn’t I’ve decided to start looking at Mondays as an opportunity to set the pace for the rest of the week.  So when I go up this morning I started thinking of what was great about this new week and making a mental list of what I wanted to do this week and why.  I’ve decided to invite gratitude back into my life.  Because I know that I am very lucky and that whatever burdens or issues and challenges I think I have don’t even begin to compare to the hardship millions go through around the world.

Day after day horrible things happen in the world, and lately some people have started asking me why it seems that I’m never really aware of these or don’t find out until it comes up in conversation.  To be honest in the last few months it’s not that want to be ignorant of current affairs or that I don’t care, but more so that listening to so much negativity and chaos can sometimes get to be too much.  It really sucks us in, and we start to think that the world is just getting worst.

We forget that there are wonderful human beings out there trying to save lives everyday.  We forget that there are still strangers doing Acts of Random Kindness everyday.  We forget that there is still good and love in this world, and that all the energy we pour into reacting to all those terrible stories we could invest in doing good.  The world can still get better, and we can still make a difference.  So for those of you who ask if I just don’t care anymore, I say of course I do.  It’s because I care so much that I want to work on me, so that I can do more instead of just talking about it.

For now I want to follow Mr. Rogers’ advice and look for the helpers amidst all this senseless violence.  If only CNN would start focusing on them too, we’d see that there is still hope for us all.

That’s all for today.  Signing off at 12,685 steps today, and wishing you all a good night!  May tomorrow be a better day, and may you find a moment to be kind to yourself and others.

 

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21 Day Challenge: Day 6

This morning I woke up and asked myself why am I doing this?  What is the purpose of this, and what do I expect to accomplish?  That early in the morning my mind really didn’t have a crystal clear answer, and my body was saying just go back to sleep it’s Saturday.  Still, as tempting as that was, there was a stronger uncomfortable feeling saying quitting would feel worst than just getting up.

Over the years I’ve started many things and never really seen them through.  There seems to be something about commitment that scares me.  Maybe that’s why I like trying things but not really sticking to them once the experience is done.  So far it’s made for an interesting and rather fun lifestyle.  I’ve traveled, I’ve tried bubble soccer, snowboarding, skiing, archery, fencing, roller coasters, parasailing and so on.  I’ve live on a mountain and off the grid and it’s really all been about seeing if I could do it.  But once it was done and checked off my list, then it was just one more level completed and on to the next new adventure in the game of life.

Still, all of these things were fun, and that’s why I don’t have any regrets about trying them out and getting them done.  But this business of getting up so early is not fun.  It’s hard, and I wonder if it’s because that’s what I keep telling myself.  I keep using this language over and over and maybe that’s all my mind is hearing.  It keeps hearing that I don’t know if I’ll make it, that it’s hard, that it’s crazy and so forth.  Not the most positive self talk for someone who is looking for a transformational outcome.

When I think of how I talk to my friends, and how I try to be encouraging and supportive, I wonder when my words to myself stopped being encouraging and supportive and why they’ve become so self-limiting.  The change in my self-talk language, and how much more I use the words “I’m exhausted”, “I can’t”, “it’s too hard”, just crept up on me.  It’s funny that it took a sleep deprived brain to realize that I need to change more than just my bedtime.

I knew from the start that this would be a challenge.  At first I thought I could complete it and just check it off my list.  But now I realize it’s more than just a challenge, it’s a journey I have to see through.  The purpose of this challenge is no longer just to have more time for a workout, but also to take control back, to change my words and maybe even my perception.

Let’s see how this all unfolds in the next few days, and what other insight skipping the 4:30AM snooze brings.

Good night world, I’ll see you on Day 7!

21 Day Challenge: Day 4

Well here I am, back from another busy day.  It’s 22:44h and I’m ready to get my pjs on and call it a day.  I had a long productive day at work, and attended a bereavement workshop, and then it was time for the drive home.  This time of year there’s traffic everywhere and never ending construction on every major road it seems.  The worst part is that they do it every year, they patch up a spot and then the next year another spot or the same spot.  I don’t know much about road or construction, but I’ve often wondered who does quality control on these repairs.  Again I know nothing about construction and this could very well be how it is, but it could also be that sometimes they are just poorly done and that’s why they keep needing patch after patch.

Still, I feel as if escaping traffic isn’t really possible at rush hour, so I’ve decided to invest in Siriusxm radio.  Some people think it is a waste of money, but I like the idea of driving without having to hear all the news breaks about all the bad things that keep happening.  At least for that 30-45min I can just be free with my thoughts and tunes.  Well as free as one can be when driving since there are so many reckless drivers out there.  I see mini vans zoom past me with their baby on board signs going 70km on a 50 road.  It’s just crazy, do speed limits mean nothing to people?  Or people who honk when you are waiting to turn at an intersection and can’t yet do so ssafely but they are almost kissing your bumper in the intersection, when, if I remember correctly there can only be one car out there to begin with, right?

It’s all these little things that make me consider taking the bus again and letting someone else worry about these drivers.  If only they knew that honking won’t make me turn unless I’m ready and feel it’s safe.  Someone should tell them that honking is to warn of danger, not a magic sound that makes others go faster.

But aside from all the crazies, I got to celebrate my friend’s Pokemon themed birthday.  The lady at the party story asked me if the balloon bouquet I was picking up was for a child or an adult, and I told her that I believed the word she was looking for was “man-child”:)  Since I had a round at the golf range after, I did something I have never done before.  I said no to ice cream cake.  I still can’t believe it!  But being lactose intolerant means there are somethings you shouldn’t have before going out.

Then I hit the range with two equally newb-ish friends so it was a safe judgement free area where everyone laughed at themselves and with each other.  Golf balls flew in all directions, but I am glad to report that everyone left injury free.  Then off course someone suggested frozen yogurt on the way home and how could I say no.  So after my vanilla almond milk frozen yogurt with some added deliciousness, I’m back here ready to call it a day.

Was this morning easier, no, it was not.  Will I keep trying, yes absolutely.  Why?  Maybe because I’m deranged or maybe because I need to see this through.

Today’s micro workout:

  • 12 push-ups
  • 12 sit-ups
  • 12 stationary lunges
  • 12 squats
  • 12 Spiderman crawls
  • 10 minute walk in the park post frozen yogurt

Well that’s it for this Cookiefiend.  Good night world, I’ll see you on day 5.  Officially signing off at 23h14.

 

The Giver

colorappleYears ago, I read The Giver.  It reminded me of 1984, Utopia, and Plato’s Republic, and it made me wonder if the Receiver of memory chose the right path.  Since then, many things have happened in my life.  I’ve traveled, I’ve lived, I’ve loved and I’ve seen how beautiful life can be for some, and how incredibly cruel it can be to others.  Thoughts of the latter still haunt me… I’ve never known hunger, and aside from history books and television I have no memory of war, but I’ve seen the turmoil it leaves behind long after peace treaties are signed.  I’ve lived in a gang-infested country, where people live in constant fear, and hunger drives people to things we can’t even fathom.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand why there is such disparity, and part of me almost wishes we could all live in “sameness” and fairytale happiness. 

Still, one look at the news and I can tell that our global village is still light years away from peace and the opportunity for everyone to have all the freedoms and opportunities we have and sometimes take for granted.  Although the movie is but a shadow of the book, it still managed to shed some perspective on my first world problems.  Which, truth be told, seem trivial in comparison to what people around the world endure.  So as you go through your day remind yourself that you have freedom of choice, and make sure your choices count for something…Choose to be happy, choose to be kind, choose to do good and choose to get better 🙂   

problems in a pile

 

 

 

Echos through the years

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Echos through the years

Birthdays…so bittersweet. I had such a great day yesterday, that I almost forgot to think of you…It dawned on me that I have lived over three decades now and still I know so little. But for all my shortcomings, I have and continue to know love and kindness.

You may no longer be here, but what I learned from you will continue to echo through the years, even long after I am gone…

To you, whom I once knew, who I loved, admired, with whom I laughed, cried, climbed walls, mountains, held hands, colored outside the lines, cheated at UNO, stared up at the stars, jumped off from chairs, sat in silence and learned lessons that no textbook will ever teach me, I say thank you.

Please forgive me for wasting the time and potential you saw in me. Forgive me for wallowing in self pity for so long. Forgive me for not embracing the life you fought so hard to keep. Forgive me for not honoring the memory that is you…

As I type away, the people who love me most in this world wait to celebrate the fact that I am here. Such a simple concept. I often find myself wondering what it is that makes people love us in spite of all our flaws. It’s kind of magic and rare really. Love is the real unicorn in the room. It’s that thing that keeps us together. A smile, a hug, a text, a call, a note, a hello for no reason at all…all little testaments of love ❤

So simple, yet so ephemeral. For all my absentmindedness know that thanks to you there is never absent-hearted-ness here. So in a few minutes when I walk up those stairs and get ready to celebrate one more year of being just me…I will also be celebrating you.

You, all the wonderful people I was privileged to know before your journeys on this world were cut short too soon. You my friends and loved ones who don’t get to Skype me at midnight to wish me a happy birthday anymore. You whose number I can still recite off by heart, but who now are in a better place, yet still make me smile when I hear that stupid song you use to sing so horribly. You who no longer have birthdays, and who are missed by so many…there’s a few of you up there now, so do me another little favor will you? Give my Guardian Angel a hand on keeping me out of trouble, it seems I am a handful at time 😉

I still suspect he purposely blinked to miss that moment before I broke my leg. Longest 5 weeks of my life!

But I digress…and apologize to those of you who read my blog and were expecting a workout related post. I did have a great pre-bday workout on Saturday and will likely post it at some point, but not today. I even climbed a wall with AG and walked in thigh deep snow and across some tracks on our way to get a very delicious meal…this winter workout though I might not elaborate on because my writing skills would not do justice to such and epic adventure #livingontheedge 😉

It’s getting late, birthday feast and cake await. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being you. Never forget that you have the power of being kind to someone. Let love and kindness be your legacy in this world, let it too echo through the years.

To my living friends, thank you for sticking around this long, I luv u guys!!!! To the friends I have yet to meet, I can’t wait to beat you at UNO, Jenga, Monopoly and who knows maybe even at a burpee challenge…uh I mean can’t wait to meet you, darn auto-correct LOL! 😉

P.S. Let’s keep moving, let’s keep breathing, but most importantly let’s start LIVING!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

These last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with old friends. We’ve shared meals, walks, and talks, and I’ve enjoyed their company immensely. The time they’ve set aside to share with me, is by far the greatest gift I’ve had this Christmas. Proving once more that Christmas doesn’t come from a store, and truly means so much more.

The time I spent watching my friend’s baby boy crawl around, looking at the world around him with such wonder, is a memory so precious that it almost makes me cry. For a moment I stop and stare and remember how I sat there not so long ago, chatting away with his mom, about life and things, when he was just an idea. And now years later, I’m here watching him transition from baby to little boy. I imagine one day I’ll sit in that very room and stare in amazement at a young man whom I will have know since he was just an idea…

In a way I find there is a little Walter Mitty in all of us. A hidden dreamer who hopes for greater things. We yearn for moments, connections, memories. That’s probably why social media is everywhere. People Facebook, Tweet, Instagram everything today, from meals to things that seem taken right out of a movie reel. But in doing so, perhaps we do to memories what commercialization has done to Christmas…we dilute them.  In our attempt to capture “The Quintessence of Life”, we seem to somehow miss it all together.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, may not be an original idea, it may very well pale in comparison to the original work, but perhaps it will remind viewers that it’s okay to unplug, set aside cameras and phones and simply enjoy the moment through our own eyes instead of a lense.

I’m not sure if it was that nice feeling of having a friend to go to the movies (as opposed to sheepishly going alone), or the fact that I’m a sucker for happy endings, but I really enjoyed this movie.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes can say what they want, but those higher viewer ratings prove that people still enjoy seeing a Walter Mitty kind of ending.  If anything, this story is a nice distraction from all the craziness of the world, and a reminder that as Sean Penn’s character says: “Beautiful things don’t demand attention”.

Christmas Cookie

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Christmas Cookie

I hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas! I hope it was full of joy, love, laughter, and more than one Christmas cookie, nom, nom, nom!

Wishing each and everyone one of you a wonderful 2014.

May it be filled with countless beautiful moments and all those memories that make life worth living. This 2014:

Honor the loved ones you’ve lost by living your life to the fullest, and by being as happy as they would have wanted you to be.

Make time for yourself, your family and friends and make amends to those you’ve wronged.

Be kind to others and to yourself.

Seize every opportunity this new year presents to you with both hands, and strive to be better than you were the year before…

Work hard, stay strong, love and pray…it might surprise you how far a little faith can go.