Looking back: I want to breathe easy and feel loved

28 Dec

So, I sort of abandoned the challenge for a bit, but I am back and ready to finish it out.

I want to breathe easy. This is definitely one of the “wants” that I still work toward daily and find myself struggling with but also finding some small successes. I still have a some crazed days but I have also found the joyousness in the little moments. I have worked on finding some ways to deal with the craziness and stress and I think it has really ¬†helped me. I definitely will continue to strive for this.

Lastly, I wanted to feel loved. Well, there was some big news on this front, I got engaged! But, this “want” is much more than just checking a box. Got a man, check. Nope, sorry, not that easy. I wanted to feel loved in a bigger, more consistent way. And boy have I made some big strides here. The man totally makes me feel loved, and helps keep me grounded when I start to spin out. He reminds me how loved I am, not only by him, but by my family and friends. I’ve also learned that loving might help me feel loved even more.

Looking Back: I want to be present

28 Nov

We entering week three of the challenge, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Just a few days ago was Thanksgiving and my goal to “be present” was put to the test.

Now that I’m part of a pair, me and man had a bit of running around to do. We are very lucky that our families are close by, but the flip side of that means that we are expected to stop by and see everyone. Making a conscious effort to be present at each location, to soak up the thankfulness and feel the love, was just awesome.

Finding ways to say grounded and be in the moment is not always easy. I have found myself very often distracted by all the electronics in my life and multi-tasking to the max. So, I’ve made it a practice lately to step back when I find myself getting pulled in to checking my phone a million times a minute, switching over to the Internet while doing another task, or switching on the television when other things are going on. I am really getting better at pulling back and paying attention. Focusing on the moment and really enjoying the seconds, minutes, and hours as they come.

This is definitely a goal that I am going to keep working toward and hope that I can find some ways to make being a present a constant activity rather than something I have to make a conscious effort to do.

Looking Back: I want to be creative

19 Nov

So while I got the memo about this new challenge, I apparently didn’t GET the memo, if you know what I’m saying. Definitely took a different slant on it, but hey, week one is in, so I guess I’m going for it now.

If you’re just tuning in, I’m reflecting back on some goals I set for myself over a year ago.

So, to be creative. Oy. This is one that is still so true for me, but I do not manage to bring creativity into my life as much I’d like. In fact there are so many days when I find myself saying, man, I’d like to just sit down and make jewelry again. I could blame this on grad school, but I know I choose how I spend time, and so in the next couple months I am going to need to make an even more concerted effort to be more creative.

Via HoneycombPrintShop on Etsy.

However, on the positive side, I have made some strides in finding new ways to be creative. One way, is in the kitchen. Last night, for instance, I made some delicious pumpkin, cinnamon pull apart bread. This required yeast, people. Which to means a serious recipe.

I’ve also been working with the man on some Christmas presents this year. He does some of the heavy listing, especially when saws and nails are needed. But we’ve been able to work together to make some pretty awesome things. I can’t wait til after Christmas to share some of our projects!

So, I’d say this goal is still very important to me. And something I need to push myself toward, because it does really enrich my life when I let the creativity flow. Often, I think I let it get pushed to the backburner because being crafty or creative in some way doesn’t seem as important as say, school work or my job or cleaning the house. But, I need to realize that being creative does have merit and that sometimes I can just go do crafts just for the sake of doing some darn crafts.

And, I will continue to look for new creative outlets. Sometimes trying new things is even more fun. What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

Looking Back: I want to be strong

12 Nov

Back when I sat down and tried to figure out what I really wanted for my life, the first thing I came up with was to be strong. And not just, I can lift 100 pounds strong, but mentally and emotionally strong as well.

Looking back on how I outlined this over a year ago, I am really proud of myself, in a way I hadn’t expected. I’m not exactly where I want to be quite yet, but hey, life’s a journey right?

Becoming physically strong. I’ve started working out again with much more regularity. I’ve even attempted CrossFit which seems to be all the rage now, and I can certainly see why. Part of what got me going was this video. Somehow, it hit me. Yes, I wanted to be able to wear skinny jeans and look fabulous, but it was more than that. My goal, when I put it on paper (or in electronic form as it may have been), was not to be thin, it was to be strong. And I think I’m getting there.

Becoming emotionally strong. As with most families, my family is a challenge. Dealing with them and with the situations that may arise is not always easy. But, I’ve found that I’m getting to a place where I can deal with the things that come my way. I still cry sometimes, but I don’t think that is a sign that I’m not becoming more emotionally strong. Being confident in my choices, finding calmness in the craziness, and understanding that I can’t change other people, but I can decide how I will react helps me to move forward in a strong and supportive-of-others way. Again, still getting there, but I’m happy with where I am.

Becoming mentally strong. I am proud to say that I am more than half way through my grad school program. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been great. I have learned so much and have gained confidence in my abilities at work because of the things I’m learning. There have been times when I have questioned this decision because of the money or the time, but I know that this was the best decision I could have made for myself when it comes to my education, and it’s really paying off.

I am becoming the person I want to be. And I’m so thankful to the people who have been there with me along the way to support me.

I Have My Moments: A Challenge

5 Nov

I love a good challenge. Especially with Katie W and Kristen. You may remember some of our past challenges (here and here). But, over the next couple weeks I’m going to reflect back on one challenge in particular, the things I want for myself.

Over a year ago (wow how time flies), we sat back and envisioned five things we want for our lives. And it was amazing to write it all down. And then life happens.

So over the next couple weeks I’m going to take each of these things one by one and reflect. How has my vision for myself changed in that area? Is it still what I want? And in that particular week how am I, or how could I be, living my life to pursue that mission?

I invite you to join us in this challenge for November. If you don’t have a list of five things, make one today and then join us as you reflect on how you are living that life you want, or how you aren’t, because that’s okay too.

41. Set up a hair stylist consultation to get ideas for hairstyles that work. – COMPLETE!

29 Oct

I am no good at hair. A messy, twisted knot is the typical day-time do for me. Not exactly professional.

So, lately I’ve really been trying to make an effort. It started several months ago with a trip to PR at Partners in Old Town. I went in and showed the stylist what a hot mess I was. He not only gave me a great cut but also went through step by step and gave me some tips on how I can have better hair at home.

Fast forward to last week. I had slipped back into my knot routine. I was also due for a trim, so I went and visited my buddy again. Not only he is just sweet is as can be, but he talked me through again, not just trying to sell me product, but gave me some ideas, and told me some things I probably should be avoiding.

Combine this with some awesome tutorials over at the Small Things Blog, and I should be set. I just need to start working on that morning routine to make sure I have enough time to do all these amazing things with my hair. But that, my dears, is another 101 post.

63. Have a meal prep day with the girls. – COMPLETE!

27 Oct

Slight disclaimer: this post is incredibly overdue…

I love my girls. It’s amazing how three very different people can all come together somehow and it just, works. Kristen and Katie W are definitely my girls and we have some good times together. One of those times was several months ago, during a planned get together at my place. This was not just for the 101 but also a good excuse to get together and catch up.

And, I will say this is definitely something I want to do more often on my own and with friends. A Meal Prep Day. It was not difficult, it was fun, and it was so practical. We did a little bit of prep, deciding what kinds of full dishes we wanted to make, and what other things we wanted to put together. We also decided who would bring what. Ultimately, none of us ended up spending a ton of money, but we came away with tons of food and ideas.

Some of what we did was full meals, which we split into bags for freezing. We also prepped a spice mixture that we could all split, so none of us had a ton of this new spice, and we were able to split the cost (thanks to Kristen who found this, guided us, and provided most of the ingredients!).

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this awesome event, but I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is having some trouble with meal planning and prepping during the week. Things are always better together!