First Blogiversary

Happy birthday to my little blog! I’m happy to say I have successfully made it through my first year here. I was talking with my husband about this blog the other night. At first, he was reading it, but I asked him to stop because I felt like it was inhibiting me a bit. (After that, I think he’d pretty much forgotten I was writing at all.)

Talking about it with him, I realized that not only do I appreciate how much this space holds me accountable to myself, but also how much I enjoy my little blogging community. I don’t have a ton of readers, and that’s fine with me. This space is way more about me figuring out my life than it is to get a bunch of followers. But those of you that have connected with, it means so much to me! I love following along with your adventures and goals. You guys really inspire me to push myself, and you give me tons of great ideas, many of which I steal to write about here 😉

So, thanks for reading, for commenting, and for your own sweet blogs!

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Moon in Cancer

I have found myself wanting to write here all week long, but unsure of what to post. In the Project Downsize area, I took a ton of before-and-after pics of my bathroom decluttering and reorg, and I got a lot done in my closet too. But I ended up not wanting to write about that. I also thought I’d maybe do one of those this-is-what-I’m-packing posts for my trip to Portland this weekend, but the week has gotten away from me and I haven’t even gotten my suitcase out.

It’s been a very happy week. Even two days of some of the worst traffic ever (like it took 40 minutes just to get out of my office complex on Tuesday – then another 40 minutes home!!!) couldn’t bring me down. I don’t know if I’m still riding on that half-marathon high, or I have a good feeling about a job lead, or being scared about my flight is making me appreciative of how sweet my little life it, but whatever it is, I’ll take it. I have been full of joy. I saw that last night, the moon was in Cancer, so maybe it was that? Or maybe, it’s that mixed case of French wine I bought yesterday 😉

Anyway, this week has been lovely and flown by. I am looking forward to a run this morning, and drinks out tonight with Jack and maybe some friends. If the rain holds off, tomorrow we’ll hike by the river before I have to leave for the airport. There is a bottle of sparkling rosé in the fridge to take the edge off before my travels.

I’m still trying to decide the direction for this space. “Lifestyle blog” sorta seems like a cop-out. I don’t run seriously enough to have this just be about that. I’m not especially creative or productive or handy or inspiring. I do like sharing my progress on my goals for the year, but that’s not enough content. I also like telling you about new restaurants and bars we’re trying, but that’s usually just worth a couple of posts a month. I did update my tagline, which I feel sort of gives me some direction. All things in moderation! But for now, I’ll keep being random, and keep searching for the best plan.

What interests you in a blog? What content are you hoping to find? Do you enjoy the random mullings of a stranger?

Please keep your fingers crossed for my safe travels. Hopefully I’ll be writing to you next from the PNW.

 

Write 31: March 31st

I did it! I wrote/posted every day in March. Let’s be honest, it really wasn’t that hard because I didn’t try to do any kind of a theme, like 31 Days of Paleo Breakfast or 31 Days of Conversations with Your Partner. I used it as a way to challenge myself to think about writing, and to get in the habit of writing daily.

And with that, my two main takeaways are:

  • Writing needs to be a habit for me if I’m serious about developing my skills.
  • Blogging is not the same as journaling.

Moving forward, I think I’ll keep the habit of writing each morning, but I won’t be posting on a daily basis. Rather, I’ll take the writing time to develop more thoughtful posts, and to come up with a schedule and some themes for those posts. I’ve always been a stream of consciousness kind of writer – just going full-tilt and letting everything flow out of my brain. I haven’t been great at editing myself, so I’ll be working on that.

As for the Accountability part, I did like that, but March was a bad month to start it. I wasn’t being thrifty at all (to say the least!) because it was the month I got my annual bonus and knew I’d be: paying off my car, and spending money on some new clothes, and doing a lot of dining out, and celebrating my husband’s birthday. I also totally sucked at my food intake. I did pretty well with the workout portion, but I think all the running has completely thrown my body out of whack. I spent most of February sick, and have been laid out for the past four days with a horrible cold, punctuated with the stomach flu. I’m still so exhausted I don’t want to go shopping. You know things are bad…

So, yeah, March was a bit of an anomaly. I think life will be getting back to normal over the next couple of weeks. I’m still aiming for my half marathon on April 18, assuming I stop being sick and am able to get back to running. We’re aiming to put our house on the market in mid-May, so that will keep us at home, getting everything ready. Most importantly, spring is here, with lots of sun. I’m anxious to be outside in it 🙂

Write 31: March 23rd

Well, yesterday was the most irresponsible day I’ve had in a long, long time. I did manage to clean the half-bath and sweep/mop the kitchen and living room. I may have also emptied the dishwasher. But then any semblance of responsibility ended, and Jack and I spent the rest of the day shopping, drinking, listening to music, and watching basketball. I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the Louisville game, but could only make it to half-time (Go Cards!). I’m starting off the week very sleepy and not at my best, but I think I would do it again. We had a really fun day together, and I think we both needed that.

I will refrain from my Accountability portion of #write31, since yesterday was accountability-free 🙂

As we’re getting closer to the end of March, and the end of writing every day, I’m starting to think (again) about how I want this blog to be moving forward. Quality over quantity, for sure. I’m still undecided about whether to have some kind of writing schedule or be more of a when-the-inspiration-hits kind of blogger. I like the regimen of the schedule, but one thing I’ve learned through this #write31 exercise is that this can be mighty boring without the focus of a specific top or inspiration. I never wanted this to be my journal, after all.

Write 31: March 11th

Day 11 of #write31 and Day 3 of my diet. Good times 🙂

I’m starting to think about what I want this blog to look like after I finish the 31 day writing challenge. I do want it to be a lifestyle blog (since that means I can write about pretty much anything). I’m considering some kind of a schedule, with themed days of the week, but I want to continue to enjoy writing here and not feel like it’s a chore. Sometimes I think the less structure the better, as I tend to resent obligations. And since my goal here is to hold myself accountable and explore my thoughts/feelings, I don’t want to lose that focus by thinking more about building an audience. So now that I’ve talked in a circle, I’ll just leave this topic for another day…

Accountability

  • Food: oatmeal with fruit and nuts and milk; Subway veggie sub with Baked Lays; salad with tuna and tofu; snacks (popcorn, apple, nuts, dried fruit, cheese); two cocktails
  • Workout: 3+ mile jog (in the rain, no less)
  • Spending: $6 on Subway (was planning on lunch at a work event but I wasn’t able to attend due to an emergency meeting)

Today is my work from home today, so I am expecting more of a challenge in terms of eating. All this temptation around here!

I just realized I didn’t eat anything sweet yesterday, other than fruit. I have a slight tendency towards sugar addiction, so I can’t believe I didn’t have dessert yesterday! Twice I thought about having a piece of chocolate, but each time decided I’d rather consume my calories in other forms (and yes, gin was one of them ;)). Interesting.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Write 31: March 4th

Y’all. I did this yesterday and it kicked my butt. It’s been awhile since I’ve done any HIIT training, as I’ve been focusing on increasing my running miles and doing weight training. I forgot what an amazing workout it is! I felt so energized afterwards, I cleaned the kitchen and walked to the grocery store in the rain, all before 7:30am. Boom.

Food wise, I had a giant bowl of oatmeal (we’ve been cooking it with chopped up banana – so good!) with fruit and nuts and a green juice for breakfast. Lunch was sushi. I was super healthy with my roll – just fish and veggies and brown rice. But then everyone ordered dessert to share, so I kind of had to eat some bread pudding and banana waffles. Plus a little bit of calamari for the appetizer. Wouldn’t want to be rude, right? The benefit of eating a giant lunch was that I didn’t snack in the afternoon, which is unheard of for me. For dinner, we had leftovers again: chicken, kale, potatoes, with two cookies for dessert. Thank goodness Samoas are only around for a month or so each year! I had a cup of tea before bed, and resisted even a glass of wine. I think writing here that yesterday would be booze-free totally held me accountable. ❤

Today I’m looking forward to a four mile run this morning (and it’s not freezing, woo hoo!) and another free lunch. Tonight we’ll be watching the Louisville vs Notre Dame game, so I imagine it will not be a booze-free evening. I’m thinking a lot about budgeting, and trying to get my husband and me on the same page. I’m also thinking about creating good habits, and how much one can really change themselves. I always get fatigued when I’m trying to change too much at once, aka, trying to increase my self-discipline/self-control across more areas of my life. I know to think of willpower as a muscle, and to continue to work on it and to also allow it to “rest” now and then. I’m beginning to think, however, that my willpower is not necessarily limitless, that I may not be able to practice it in multiple areas of my life simultaneously with success. Like, if I’m not drinking and I’m not eating sugar and I’m exercising every day, I might really struggle to not go shopping or to keep up with the laundry. Or maybe it just requires more practice, more patience, more failures-as-learning-experiences…

Ack, or maybe I’m just making excuses. On with the day!

Write 31: March 1st

I’ve somehow gone a week without posting. It was an odd week, as I was at a conference for work (which was cancelled early due to the impending snowstorm that of course never happened), and then work-from-home days due to said “snowstorm,” and then, to be honest, I just haven’t felt very inspired to write anyway,. I started this blog with the idea of learning to be a better writer, and then it morphed into all this goal-setting, and then I’ve been trying to think of topics that my followers would find interesting. But that’s taking me away from my original “vision,” because I’m so not ready to be entertaining readers!

For March, I’m going to try #writeandrun31 again. Although, for me, it should be #write31andrun10 since I’m following a half-marathon training plan and generally only running three times a week 🙂 If you’re not reading Matt Frazier’s No Meat Athlete, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not a runner and/or a vegan, there is just so much good advice, I think you’ll gain from it. Two of his most recent posts felt like he was in my head:

He also included this in one of his newsletters, which I adore:

be curiousI had a dear friend in college who dreaded each February, as she had been very sick with Hodgkin’s lymphoma one February in her youth. She always said she was in the bell jar in February, and that has stuck with me all these years later. It is the dead of winter, and the clean slate feeling of January is gone. It’s too far from spring to even start to look forward to warmer weather. I spent a lot of this February with that bell jar feeling, fighting off the doldrums and trying to maintain the momentum I started the year with. I was sick for about half the month, which certainly didn’t help. Thankfully, February is over, and spring suddenly doesn’t feel so far away.

For March, my goal is to write every day, and to continue to experiment with my diet to find the right balance that will give me energy for running but won’t include half a box of Girl Scout cookies daily!

Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the progress I’ve made towards my 2015 Resolutions.