Compliments

19 Feb

The theater I work at is really far away. Like 20+ miles away. That makes for some long driving and lots of gas. Lately though I have been driving the food truck from the catering company that employs me to Mt Adams which has saved a significant amount of gas per week. $30 to be exact. The other day that I don’t drive I have started riding with the guy who does. He’s an older mostly retired gentleman that has some awesome life stories. We talk about all sorts of things. Last night he was asking me some very specific questions about my life and I answered all of them. Some of the answers were disappointing, others were exciting, and the rest were sad. After I answered one particularly sad question  he gave me one of the most meaningful compliments of my life. He said, “I like your positivity. That is one of the very first things I noticed about you. No matter what you are talking about, even shitty stuff, you always end whatever it is with what positiveness came out of it.”

Wow.

Isn’t that an awesome compliment?!

I didn’t use to be positive. I could have changed my name to Debbie Downer there for a while. My glass was always half full and if it happened to be completely full I would purposely knock it over so I would have something to complain about. That’s why I sometimes go quiet here and in my real life. Sometimes things are really stormy and I’m trying to find the rainbow but I just can’t at that moment so I stay quiet. I’ve decided to look harder to find that rainbow even if I have to make it my damn self.

In other news, Monday and Tuesday were rough this week. Even though I got up early both of those days I didn’t make goal on either of them. I was so damn tired! I slept most of Monday and even decided to skip yoga because my body was just drained. Yesterday I had my small group and when I got home I was empty. I slept most of the afternoon and fell asleep easily when I got home. After evaluating both of those days I realized I made a few changes that didn’t seem to be doing me justice so I went back to what I was doing before today and feel much better.

I also started a new audio book: You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life by Jeffrey Schwartz. This one is a little tougher to listen to because this audio recording doesn’t pause very long after punctuation so it feels like one giant run-on sentence that never seems to ends so you aren’t sure when you are supposed to pause and think about what they are saying because it just goes on and on and on and on so you have to actually pause the recording to get a thought it. Phew! Can you see what it is a little stressful? Anyway, the book is talks about the deceptive messages your brain sends you. Things like no one likes you,  you aren’t good enough, or you just have to eat that entire bag of cookies. It is about rewiring your thinking to reach a healthier way of living. Instead of barely being conscious of the fact that you drove to the store to mac’n'cheese and ice-cream which you came home and ate with barely a thought you think and choose differently. I’ve just barely started so I don’t know a whole lot about it yet. I’m trying to work past the giant run on sentences and hearing the information for what it is. Wish me luck!

Oh and I added a page for talking about what I’ve done and am planning on doing in 2014. I have quite a bit to add but will get there…eventually. Check it out for now!

Green Bars

17 Feb

I am a solid week into waking up early and I, as you’ve seen, I have noticed a big difference. I have also noticed that I need to make a plan for the weekends. I didn’t wake up REALLY early those days. I woke up earlier but not super early. I also only made goal on Saturday night because I went out dancing after work and didn’t make goal on Sunday. I don’t see that as a failure because it wasn’t. It is all about experimentation.

Experimentation leads me to the next part of my self-discovery. The reason I didn’t wake up super early on Saturday and Sunday was because the gym didn’t open until 8:00AM. I still didn’t go to the gym once I was awake and they were open for either of those days. I also noticed that even though I was extremely tired I didn’t go to bed as early as I should have. My body wanted to stay up. I evaluated what I had done the evenings when I had an extra hard time falling asleep. Each of those 3 nights I drank some diet soda in the evening and I worked. Could the caffeine be the things keeping me up or is it the energy from interacting with many human being right before bed?

Even though I have broken up with soda at least a dozen times I still drink it daily. Every morning to be precise. I don’t really drink coffee and I know how they treat orange juice (gross). I’m not a huge dairy person so milk it out but I still like something other than water for breakfast. What does that leave? I’m thinking about fermented tea or maybe regular hot tea but I don’t know. I had a little bit of coffee this morning because I ran out of soda and chose not to buy more but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I’ve thought about chai tea so maybe that is a viable option too. There is also the option to keep drinking soda in the morning because the caffeine doesn’t last that long.

The question is if I drink soda in the morning will I be able to abstain at night? I’ve found that if I bring my own water bottle with me to work then I am far more likely to ask for water at the bar. If I use their cups I almost 100% ask for soda. It costs me the same ($0) either way so money isn’t a factor.

Honestly, I don’t think I am going to worry about it either way night now. Right now I am waking up early. Sometimes, until I get to sleeping better and going to be earlier, I need to nap during the day, like today. I laid down at 9:30AM and slept until almost 11:15AM. I needed it today even though I was in bed, asleep by 9:45PM last night. It was magical and allowed me to wake up more refreshed than I have in a long time but I still needed and got more sleep.

Anyway, as I’ve looked at the past week this chart speaks for itself.

Step Chart

The bars in green are the times that I met my goal of 10,000 steps or 4.5 miles per day. Today doesn’t count yet because it’s only half over. I still have plenty of time to finish my last 4,000 step. As you can see, waking up early has had a huge positive influence on my activity level. Now…to figure out what to do with Saturdays and Sundays. Once it isn’t super cold it will probably be easier to get out and about but for now I need to look at solutions. Maybe continuing to wake up super early but finding somewhere else to go outside of the gym might be a great solution. Maybe a boot camp or something. Or I might pick up golf like I’ve thought about doing. Maybe hitting up the driving range though they probably aren’t open that early either and it is still fucking cold out. I have a few days to think about it.

Worst Since 1977

14 Feb

Let’s talk about winter. For the last 12 years I had the blessing of living in sunny AZ so the winters consisted of light sweaters and the occasional jacket but mostly just beautiful, glorious sunshine. Summers? They fucking blew. Stifling heat. This winter is the first winter I have spent in OH and it is, according to every fucking person I talk to, the worst winter since 1977. Constant complaining. Constant whining. Constant boo-freaking-hooing. It’s the winter. Seriously. Snow and cold are what happens when you live in a climate like this. I just want to shout terrible things at the next person that sarcastically says to me, “Aren’t you glad you moved here?”

Yes. Yes, I am glad that I moved here. I had a Christmas that felt like a Christmas for the first time in a long time. I also get to have a beautiful summer. It will have humidity but so freaking what. I wish everyone would just stop complaining about the cold.

What’s worse is some of the AZ Facebook friends I have. Good grief. Constantly posting pictures about how “awful all of the beautiful weather and sunshine is”. Giving people who live in colder climates so much shit. Those people absolutely cannot post one single complaint once the 115 degree weather arrives. You brag about your winter. That’s the other side of the coin.

This summer? It is ON! I am posting pictures of the type of garden AZ people could only dream of. I am posting pictures of us at the lake (a real lake not a manmade one). I am posting pictures of Jackson jumping on our large ass trampoline and not burning his feet from the heat.

I earned it.

I haven’t complained about winter. Not once. I feel like if you complain about the winter you can’t brag about your summer. All those AZ people who have been bragging about their winter absolutely CANNOT complain about their summers. There should be law put in place about it. One comes with the other. There are almost no places on Earth that have nice, even weather year round so you have to take the good with the bad. You shouldn’t be able to be obnoxious about the good and then throw an online pity party about the bad. NO SYMPATHY FOLKS! None! That blazing heat is a part of the package. Open that package. Love that package. And, for the love of all that is holy, STOP COMPLAINING! That way you can brag like a mo’ fo’ when the good weather hits. Not obnoxiously. Graciously. Like a mo’ fo’.

Snowy Slide

In other news, I didn’t want to wake up again this morning. I contemplated going back to sleep like I posted about yesterday on my Facebook page. I didn’t though. I put my imaginary big girl panties on and got out of bed. As I was driving to the gym I decided I would do the spin class, walk a mile, and then head home. As I was finished up with my spin class I decided to bust out an arm and shoulder workout along with the 1 mile walk. It is 9:00am and I already did a 45 min spin class, worked out my arms and shoulders, walked a mile on the treadmill, took care of the dogs, made and ate breakfast, started a batch of bread, did 2 loads of laundry, played on Facebook for a little bit, started a large batch of spaghetti sauce to freeze, and am getting ready to take a nap after I finish my third blog post for the week.

All of this because of my one goal. Wake up earlier.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TODAY TO HELP WITH YOUR GOALS?

Clean Cookie

12 Feb

Day 3 of PROJECT COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO and man, do I need a nap. I actually went to bed earlier last night, even after working and not getting home until 9:50. That’s usually the hard part. I come home all amped up and then stay up until 3:00AM which causes me to sleep until Jackson wakes up at 10:30ish. Not last night. Last night I crashed at 11:00PM. I feel like I should make myself some sort of medal or something. Spin class was great this morning. I also plan on taking a yoga class this evening but that’s not really for exercise. It’s for getting my head on straight. A couple of weeks ago I got a tarot card reading. Don’t get all judgy on me. It’s actually fascinating. It’s the second time I’ve had it done. It isn’t fortune-telling like I what I thought it was. They reader has several different decks of cards and you get to decide which one you use. You then handle the cards. You can shuffle them or just simply hold them. I went in thinking I was going to shuffle them this time but instead, as I picked them up, I just cut them a time or 2 and handed them back. She laid out everything that I was currently feeling. Things are hard right now. Some day I might tell you how bad they’ve been but for now I’ll keep that to the few people I’ve told. She talked about where I wanted to be and how until I found peace within myself things would persist. It was all about my feelings. I think if someone is really in tune then feeling the pain or excitement of another human being is really easy. At the end of the reading as I dried my tears I asked her if I could take a picture of them. She told me yes and that picture sat on my phone un-looked at for a week or so. I showed it to one other person who was blown away by how much red she saw. Lots of fire on my cards. That’s how both of my readings looked so I didn’t know any better until she showed me her reading. Hers was filled with greens and blues. It was peaceful. I need some greens and blues in my life so yoga it is. Luckily my local gym has a large variety of classes so that I where I go and it doesn’t cost me anything above my already paid for 3 year membership. As I’ve sat back and spent more time focusing on how I FEEL I’ve noticed how much good there is in my life.

I’m working on something that could ultimately bring Oh Foxy Pole Dance Studio into existence sooner than I originally hoped.

I changed my attitude about my job. The impact I make at my current job is far different from the one I made at Express MiE. That’s okay.

My son is really the most hilarious little boy in the world. He brings so much delight to my soul. I already knew that but I just wanted to write it.

I’m printing a bunch more stuff later this week. I’m waiting on one more part (a new print board for my press) and then gym bags, kids clothes, and pole shorts will be done! I just barely got the shorts that I ordered WEEKS ago yesterday so yeehaw! The shorts are FANTASTIC! They are actually a little longer than I anticipated they would be which I like VERY much. I have and always will have a big booty and am so tired of have my cheeks peek out either at the top or bottom. This style covers BOTH! If you want to order anything, you can find my Etsy shop HERE.

We have been given a huge blessing of being able to re-finance my private student loans. I think I’ve talked about the stress of them before but in case I haven’t I have over $85,000 in students loans left. I graduated in 2007. Fuck. $50,000 of that is private with 11-12% interest. Double Fuck. We were able to refinance for 2% interest which means that the money we spend on our loan every month will go way further and will pay off that loan way faster than we ever hoped. I almost started crying when I found out we could do it. I made the mistake of attending a private college and financing all of it. Jackson will NEVER have to deal with the debt I created for myself after he graduates. His college fund is already started and will be there when he is ready.

I was re-introduced to re-usable Soft Cups by an online group I belong to and THEY HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE! The first time I heard about them I couldn’t get back the “fuckin’ gross” mentality but after reading post after post about women SWEARING by them I had to give it a go. My shark week now only costs me less than $4 for the ENTIRE TIME. BOOM!

I did my own measurements for a correct bra size. I’ve always been frustrated with my bras. I’ve worn either a 38D or DD for years but yuck. When I followed the directions for THIS video it measured me at a 34J. A motha’ fucking J. How is that even possible?! I thought about forgetting this whole thing and just continuing on my current path but, since I’m such a big advocate for wearing the right size instead of the size you want, I am biting the bullet and shelling out $60 for a bra from Nordstroms. The only place you can find a bra that size in store so I can try it on. Seriously. Watch this. It will change your life in 16:01 minutes. Seriously.

I’m sure there are a ton more things contributing to this change in attitude like my post the other day but for now this is all I have to say. Hope your day today is better than it was yesterday. P.S. I’m trying THIS out today on my legs and…um…cookie? Fingers crossed I don’t regret it.

Cock-A-Doodle-Doo

10 Feb

Holy 2014! Things have been moving and shaking since I committed to overcoming my lack of self-discipline. I decided that since I’ve tried in the past to make changes over and over and over again, only to revert back to the very thing(s) I didn’t want to be doing feeling completely defeated, that I should change my methods. Instead of trying to will myself to be better and make changes, I am, instead, learning why I do what I do, how habits work, and learning about how to change my habits instead of creating new ones so that I replace the bad habit with a good one. Enter 2 extremely helpful situations.

First, my church, that I’d been having a really hard time connecting with, finally had a series that struck me to the core. A punch to the gut that started me in the right direction. The series focused around best-selling book Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success by Rory Vaden. Each week I came back only to leave captivated. I had to read that book. Even though I was trying to focus on reading books I already had, I made the decision to buy this one because it seemed to hit on so many of the areas that I need to work on. I’m so glad I made that choice. I’m already 60 pages into the book and enjoying every bit of it. The reality that this book points out is that successful people are successful because they do the things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do so they don’t. Guilty! It also pointed out that while so many people are okay with making average choices they neglect to realize that average choices lead to average lives. I want more than average because the average in this country is quite sad.

Second, my father-in-law kept talking to me about the new library in West Chester. He said something totally out of the blue about the extensive books on CD that they have and how I should check it out. I had  been wanting to get more active with teaching Jackson so off to the library we went. I had no idea what I was looking for. After we picked out some learning DVDs for Jackson we popped into the audio books section. Randomly I picked up a book on habits. Best. Decision. Ever. You see, on the days that I work I have an average drive of over an hour. Working 4 shifts a week equals 4 hours I could be learning. What a perfect solution, huh? The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg is probably one of the most fascinating books I have ever “read”. I find myself hanging out in my car whenever I get to my destination(s) to hear just a little bit more and more and more. This book focuses on the idea of a cue triggering a routine to get a reward and how something like 40% of our lives happen strictly out of routine.

Habit Loop

Habit Loop

These 2 books being read in conjunction has been like a whole new world opening up for me. The Power of Habit talks about the idea that many people change their entire lives by deciding, first, change one thing. That one change, over time, creates a habit that seems to have the domino effect on the rest of their life. I decided to do that. Make just one change. Only one. Wake up early. Like really, really early. I was up at 5:20 this morning and since being awake at that ugly time of the morning would have just resulted in me going back to bed, I headed to the gym and took a spin class followed by lifting some weights. You see? One small change already triggered so much more. I’ve played around with waking up early for a while and every time I do I walk an average of 5,000-7,000 more steps per day, sometimes more.  That ends up being 1.5 – 2 extra miles a day. Just by waking up earlier. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!

Check these books out ladies! Borrow them. Buy them. Anything! Just get your eyes/ears on them!

What one change would you want to make if you were to make just one?

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