Day 23: Not Every Day is 100% Awesome

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I try to follow a writing process. One, write. It doesn’t matter if anything is wrong or jumbled, just get it written. Two, organize, edit, and make sure I explain my day without getting too personal. Three, reread and post. It’s that simple. Most posts take around 30 minutes. There are some days that I am not that meticulous. Today is one of those days.  It’s really late.

Pre 100 Days me would say, “I had a bad day today.” I am still tempted to start with that.

I had a difficult and challenging day today.  That’s better.

Not every day is as awesome as I want it to be. 100 Days of Awesome is not just about how great everything is. It is also about the struggles I have when trying to make the most of each day.

For the last 4 1/2 days I have renovated and worked on my place. The plan was 3 days tops. Even now, as I lie in my bed, there is an old bunk bed in 4 pieces to my left and 6 or 7 empty furniture boxes to my right. The kitchen is a disaster, the dining room is still filled with furniture and clothes, the fridge is almost empty, and one bedroom is still not completed. My home looks and feels like chaos.

Today’s plan was to run, assemble both new beds, put all the furniture back, and do some cleaning. Everything was to be done today. Instead I slept really late, exhausted from the physical activity I had on day 22. I was in catch-up mode from then on. No time for running… just get the stuff done!  My head was everywhere except in the present.

My oldest was also very upset.  I had to make a judgment call yesterday and decide whether to get her the new bed, but with the wrong color, or wait 2-3 weeks and get the color she liked. I decided to get her the wrong color rather than go through putting all her old stuff back in her room, waiting three weeks, then taking it all out again, getting the truck for a second time, and making another trip to Ikea. To be clear, I did try to call her and ask if I should wait or not. She didn’t answer though. Well, holy hell broke loose when she saw the color this morning.  I simply forgot to tell her yesterday.

Now, she is not normally like this and is actually very easy-going. She is also starting to get older…aka changes. I just didn’t know how to deal with it. The chaos I felt from a house that looked recently carpet bombed, my brain whirling like an out of control rusty carnival ride, coupled with her sobbing in the bathroom, fried my brain. Exhausted and feeling low, I did my best to talk with her without getting upset. It was really tough, but I think I handled it well. After that I was in another world.  Nothing felt right and it continued for most of the day.

I did manage to get ahold of myself in the evening. A little quiet time to stop and assess the situation can really help. I am just disappointed that I waited so long before I did something. I just feel exhausted. There is no question I have done too much without resting enough.

So what can I learn from today? It’s 12.40 am and I am not sure I can analyze it too much. The best I can do is…  Listen to my body… Listen to what I need. Rest. It will get done eventually. And, when I make high expectations of myself, it isn’t always going to turn out the way I want it to. It’s kind of like a prom or a wedding that’s been thought about too much. We create an image in our heads of how it will be and end up being disappointed when it doesn’t end up that way. I have known that for a long time, but somehow I let it all get away from me today.

So yes, I did do much of what I planned. And yes, I lived today. I just didn’t live it the way I wanted to. I am still thankful knowing that the struggles I face are nothing compared to what most of the world deals with.

I am going to stop thinking about it now.

Time to forgive myself, get some rest, and try again tomorrow. Forward!

 

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If I Could Show You One Video…

I believe everyone should watch this video.

I hold a great fondness for the, now deceased, writer David Foster Wallace.

In 2005, at Kenyon College, he gave a commencement speech. I was lucky enough to have stumbled upon it not long after. Recently, someone made a short video using part of the speech.

I watch it often. I need to remind myself that this is water.

 

This is Water from Patrick Buckley on Vimeo.

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Day 13: What We Want vs What We Need

64020-Office-space-meme-Tlk3Today was what I needed, not what I wanted. After the major brain hijacking this morning, I decided to slow down and assess what it was I truly needed. The day ended up being really awesome, just not what I thought it would be. 100 Days of Awesome, for me, is also about quieting my mind.

I needed a nothing day. Yes, it was nice outside today. Yes, I did get outside. I threw the list of things to do out the window, took a short nap, and then read on the porch, breathing the fresh air and feeling the sun on my face. That was my day. It was fucking glorious. 

The book I read was relevant and perfect for where I was in my head. I highly recommend it.

A passage from it:

“While we practice conscious breathing, our thinking will slow down, and we can give ourselves a real rest. Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. It helps us stop thinking so much and stop being possessed by sorrows of the past and worries about the future. It enables us to be in touch with life, which is wonderful in the present moment.
Of course, thinking is important, but quite a lot of our thinking is useless. It is as if, in our head, each of us has a cassette tape that is always running, day and night. We think of this and we think of that, and it is difficult to stop. With a cassette, we can just press the stop button. But with our thinking, we do not have any button. ”

Excerpt From: Thich Nhat Hanh. “Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.” 

I lived today. It was awesome. 

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Day 12: Pretty Damn Satisfied

3w7RBLsI am really satisfied! This project is a great idea (pats self on back). Making a conscious step towards making my life better has woken me up. I feel alive. In less than two weeks my life has improved, inside and out. 

It’s Friday, everyone’s favorite day. It’s also my errand day.  I made and extra effort to focus on mindfulness as I ran through my list of to-dos. It’s opening my eyes. Things are beginning to look different, better… more… peaceful.

 

While I was running errands today I heard what sounded like American voices talking. I was unsure, and a little hesitant, to ask if they were American. People just don’t talk to strangers very much around here… unless they are drinking, or are crazy. I took a chance and asked if they were from the US. The girl walking with her friends said she was. She asked me, “What part of the States are you from?” I said, “Buffalo, NY”. Her eyes widened. She said, “I am from Oswego!” (That’s about 2-3 hours from Buffalo. Buffalonians would even consider that Buffalo-ish).  We exchanged Facebook info, chatted a little, and went on with our day. Pretty cool. An almost hometown person living in the same little city as me on the other side of the Atlantic. They were headed to a poetry reading, which I thought was even cooler. We are going to have to hang out.

I wrote a lot today about a range of topics. None of them are finished yet,  but will be soon. I have blog posts about mindfulness, running, how to approach 100 Days of Awesome, what to do when you fail, and meditation.

2015-03-20 10.44.27I missed running today. Not happy about it, but am going to make it up tomorrow. Three times a week is the goal. I forgive myself and will do better tomorrow.

I didn’t eat as healthy as I usually do.  It’s 100 Days of Awesome, not 100 Days of denying yourself unhealthy things all the time.

Saw a solar eclipse too. It was just cloudy enough to look at it with some sunglasses on. I even snapped a picture of it on my phone.

The rest of the evening will be homemade pizza, a little candy, a movie, and some serious relaxing with my kids.

Have an awesome Friday. 

I lived today. Life is beautiful. 

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Day 11: Back in the Saddle!

Listen to your body. If you are tired, I mean really tired, sleep. Yesterday I slept almost 12 hours. My body needed it. Why? I have no idea. All I know was I was having difficulty functioning and needed to rest. I feel 100 times better today.

This morning I made up for yesterday’s missed run. I will admit that it was not easy, as this video shows. You see, last night I promised myself to make a video of what it is like when I wake up. I wanted to show just how hard it can be for me in the morning. I am sure it’s not just me either. There is no acting involved, though I did add some music before publishing the video. If this guy can do it, so can you. 

 

Right after I made the video I saw that I had a message. It was from an awesome friend, back in the States, telling me to keep going. This is what got my ass up out of bed. I actually had a small amount of inspired tears (don’t tell anyone! I need to maintain my manly persona.) as I started down the road, “Blue Sky” from the Allman Brothers playing in my ears. It’s good to get it out sometimes.

It’s a struggle to run but, when I am finally out there, it gets easier. I ALWAYS feel better afterwards. Watching the sunrise is a bonus.

Running was one of the main goals to start 100 Days. It’s not the only thing I plan on doing, but it really gives me a boost throughout the day. The trick to making this project work is taking small bites instead of trying to do too much at once. Small obtainable goals become habits and new challenges follow.

I can also add writing, mindfulness, and laughing, quite a few times, to the day.

It’s close to the end of Day 11 and I can see growth, outside and in. I see it. I feel it. I am living better each day. It was an awesome day.

I was here today. I lived.

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Where Do you Go? Comment

9be9a716837e815f942262a8602503cbThe internet provides a wealth of information. Some may argue that there is too much. Most just google something and pick the first search. I am trying to find blogs and online websites that focus on becoming a better, happier, more peaceful person. Where do you go?

Do you have a site you like? Is there a person who you read often that offers great advice and perspectives on life?

Share in the comments!

 

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Day 6 and 7

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“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.” 

Thích Nhất Hạnh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living

#100daysofawesome

Day 6 was active enough that I didn’t get to post. I did some private journaling but didn’t get to the blog. I did have a great morning walk with my girls and a nice visit with a friend in the evening. I also bought a used bike. Bike to work now that the weather is nicer? You know it baby!

I am finding being more active has raised my mood and overall sense of well-being. Shocker right?!

I love my Nike Fuelband. (Bought in the US for $100, sells in Norway for $182.) I bought it last summer while I was in the States and it has been a wonderful addition to my life. It’s a simple tracker, there are no pulse readings or phone call apps on it. What it does do is track my movement throughout the day and estimates calories burned. There is also an app on my phone that I connect to see averages, and current averages for others my age. Nike uses a point system called Nike Fuel.  You can connect with friends and compete or just use it to set goals for yourself. I set my point system to 2500 per day.

Here is a visual of last week (not awesome) and this week (awesome). It is so nice to have a visual log of my movement and activity. It really motivates me.

Here’s last week. As you can see, it was not a week of awesome.

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And… Week #1 of 100 Days of Awesome:

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Big difference huh? Sunday, of course, has just started, so it is still red.

I am setting my goal points to 3000 for week 2.

This day, this Sunday, will be less active. That I know.  We all need a day to rest. What I will do today is focus on my goals for week #2, while staying consistent with the things I have done in week 1. Mindfulness and Meditation are playing a huge role, but are a more personal journey. I continue with it.

So far so good. I am here, I am alive, and I am getting better and better every day. Sucking the marrow is proving extremely rewarding. 

Loving these songs while I write.

Ben Howard- Promise     Spotify link     iTunes link

Jude in the Mountains     Spotify link    iTunes link

 

 

 

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Why This Piece of Zen Wisdom is Critical to Helping Your Relationships Thrive – Buddhaimonia

Fantastic Article. #100daysofweseome

If you love a person, you say to that person, “Look, I love you, whatever that may be. I’ve seen quite a bit of it and I know there’s lots that I haven’t seen, but still it’s you and I want you to be what you want to be. And I won’t be happy if I’ve got you in a cage. You’d be a bird without song.”

 

– Alan Watts

via Why This Piece of Zen Wisdom is Critical to Helping Your Relationships Thrive – Buddhaimonia.

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The Year Ahead

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I need to take stock in the past, and look towards the time ahead. I need an overview of what I have done and want to do. Living in the moment, as strange as it sounds, requires looking behind and ahead. If you walk through a forest without a map, you may end up getting lost. This week I am using some time to do a task called the The Year Ahead.  You can do it too.  Shouldn’t everyone stop, once-in-awhile, reflect, and look towards the future?

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