DAY 100! This is Just the Beginning.

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It’s day 100. I feel no need to make a big deal out of it.

Thursday I ran 5.5 kilometers like a cheetah. Well, maybe not a cheetah, but faster than I have before. Later in the day I played in a soccer match between my daughter’s soccer team and the parents. All I thought, throughout the game, was ” I could never have done this last year.” It was fun too.   It really brought me back to my youth when I played soccer year round. It also reminded me of the time I played dodgeball against a bunch of ten year-olds and crushed them all. I think I have a picture of it somewhere, me standing there, ball in my hand, raised to the air in victory. KING!

Seriously. What have I accomplished in 100 Days? There is one simple answer. I made my life better, every damn day. I am better, inside and out, than I have been in years.

Now on to the next 100 days!

 

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Days 60 and 61: Heaven

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This project is the best damn thing I have ever done for myself. I am seriously considering writing a book about it. Seriously. I have it all mapped out on my computer and could fill the pages with advice, methods, and thoughts, in a short time. For now, I am focusing on me though.

I was going to spend the evening with my oldest daughter last night. We were going to watch a movie, eat junk food, and hang out. Well, she ended up sleeping over a friend’s house. My youngest went to her friend’s house too. It turned out I had some time alone! So, what did I do? I went to bed at 10.30 and slept for 10.5 hours.  I feel amazing today. My body needed the rest.

A lot of what you read here is only the surface of what I am working on for 100 Days of Awesome. I am doing a lot of personal work to get my mind and body into balance. Part of that was visiting a psychophysiotherapist (spelling?). She was amazing. A PPT focuses on the mind/body connection. I was quite skeptical, but was proven wrong in just 3 hours.  I learned how to properly stand and sit, which has really helped me feel better. What I thought was correct was so wrong, and I really can feel the difference. We did a body scan which facilitates a better mind/body connection and helps with mindfulness. We also discussed mindfulness at great length. At our last session I had an epiphany that is going to change my life, for the better, forever. I am not sure how other people would fare seeing a PPT, but I am open to trying new things, am consciously working on myself, and the woman I worked with was absolutely amazing. We had a good connection and could have talked for 10 hours. We even joked about getting coffee to continue our discussion.

Running is going great.  The running intervals have gotten longer and the walking shorter. At the same time, I am much lighter. Having less fat on my body has given my heart less work to do. I have had to make a new running route and it includes some hills. I’m not gonna lie, it can be a real ball-breaker.

Mindfulness changing my life. The interesting change is how I am doing it. Before, I had to remind myself to be mindful. There would be “chaos” and the normal thoughts flowing through, and I needed to push myself back into the mindfulness. Now, I am just here. Not always, but enough that it is making a difference. It takes time to find what is right, lots of thinking and working with how I think and what I focus and give my energy to. That doesn’t mean I am free from worry or anxiety, just that I am improving my mental state and will continue to do so. I really feel I found the “holy grail,” of what works for me. I will elaborate.

Lets say, during the course of the day, I have a worry. If I envision my mind as a sky then there are clouds, the sun, and the big blue areas. Each one of these clouds are thoughts. Some are dark and rainy, some are light and fluffy. When one of these clouds comes near me, I can choose to let them come down on me or I can let it float by. “Look! Over there! There is a childhood trauma floating by.” Should I let it come near? Or, should I just let it float by and be here in the sun? If a cloud decides to float close to me, I simply let it float through and away from me. It may sound strange, but it is working. Visualizing it this way makes sense in my head.

So, today is some grilling and enjoying the good weather.

I lived, am living, and will continue to live!

Yesterday was awesome. Today is awesome. 

 

 

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Happy Day 50: Halfway There!!!

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You see that picture at the top of this website? It’s from the movie Rocky, when he runs to the top of the stairs and screams and cheers. As much as I love the montage that ends with him on the stairs, and I know that it isn’t real life, I still yearn for it. It’s day 50 for crying out loud! Shouldn’t there be something climactic?! I may yearn for it, but I know better.

David Foster Wallace saidin a now famous commencement address, much of life is tedium. “There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine and petty frustration.” His speech goes on to explain that you have a choice about how you think.  There is much more to the speech. If I could recommend one thing for everyone in the world to read, it would be this speech, but I digress.

The point is, much of my life will be tedious, uneventful, and boring as hell. Today was filled with it, but I still noticed little things that made the day special. I know that I beat the mindfulness drum often, but it is playing a huge role in making my life awesome. That… and forgiveness.

So it’s day 50. No banners or parties. No shots of tequila or Jager bombs.  Nope, just me in a quiet house, with two sleeping daughters, thankful for my life and what I have, and feeling very glad that I am taking these steps towards… awesomeness. And I know, if I continue this way, the months and years to come may literally have moments where I am actually shouting from the top of a mountain. Either way, I feel like I am winning.

I lived today. It was awesome! Happy Day 50!

 

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Days 46,47 and 48

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Today I’m going visual.  Here is a simple  representation of my plan.  Results and evaluations are below the chart. Screenshot 2015-04-26 15.47.50 The first 100 Days are broken down into three parts. That is what I felt worked for me. I could have, for example, gone week-to-week, or day-to-day.

Results and Evaluations: 

Health: I am down over 30 pounds and feeling more energy than I have in years. Running and eating right are things I will continue to do. I do plan on finishing 5 kilometers, without stopping, by the 100th day. I am comfortable with my eating habits and will continue with them. I feel good! Strength training and stretching will need more attention in the coming weeks.

Mind: My mind is much more in the present. Mindfulness has helped me move through my life in a very peaceful way. I am less stressed and notice the things around me more. There is more work to be done, but I am on the right path. When I wake up I feel grateful and excited about the day…most of the time. I could use more meditation and reminders to be in the present.

Money: This is a tough one. I have a budget and am sticking to it. The hardest part, since moving in November, was having to buy so many things that I gave away when I moved in with my ex. I’ve had to buy new utensils, appliances, furniture… you name it… almost everything.  It’s costly and makes budgeting tough, especially in this very expensive country in a one income household. Things are getting better though.  I like living simply and don’t feel the need to fill my house with lots of “stuff”. Minimalism makes me happy. Overall, the months ahead will be much better, as I have gotten most of what I need now.

Unfinished business: This includes ridding myself of relationships that hurt me, and things that I needed to personally deal with in order for my life to run more smoothly. I have completed around 80% of it. The other 20% is already planned for this and next week.

Step it up: The last 33 days will be to stick with the habits I have developed, and then go further. It may be to run more. It may mean biking more, or tougher strength training. Budget wise, maybe I will find areas that I can trim and save more. The last 33 days will be about putting it all together and making these changes a part of my life in a way that they become instinctive. I want them burned into my being. These habits will be who I am.

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The Next 100 Days of Awesome: It’s tough to say what it will be. The first 50 days of it will be spent on vacation with family and friends. As always, it will be so much fun. Sure, I’ll run and exercise there, take time to read and be mindful of my time. I also really want to take in as much as I can of the moments I have with all of these friends and family. I want to be there 100%.

The Third 100 Days of Awesome. – It’s exciting to think of the possibilities! Travel more? Closer friendships? New friends? Volunteering to help others? Writing a book? The possibilities are endless.

I can’t remember a time when I was so excited about my life, now and in the future. 

Today has been awesome. I lived today. 

 

 

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Day 39: Less of Me

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Short post today, promise. I am really tired.

I really don’t check my weight very often. I did in August and once, a month ago, on a wonky scale that kept giving me different readings. Today I used a good one.

My dad told me that one pound of fat has 200 miles of blood vessels in it. I googled it and, with the exception of one shady looking website, it looks to be true.* That means, in 9 months, I managed to give my heart 6600 miles less work to do.  That feels damn good to know. It also explains the rise in my energy levels.

I lived today. It was awesome. 

 

 

*If I’m wrong, please feel free to give me the facts.

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Amazing!!

I am down a little over 33 pounds since August. Extremely proud of myself. I don’t care about how my body looks, just how I feel. Well, I feel fantastic! 

The best part is, I have no problem with keeping the eating habits I have now. 

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Day 27: Living Every Day

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One of the smartest things I did in the last 27 days was to start writing again. (I use this app on my phone and Mac. It’s wonderful. Everything is backed up and synchronized. I highly recommend it. ) Writing privately and publicly has re-energized me. Years ago I wrote pages upon pages… everyday. It feels good to do it again. I write about anything and everything. If I have a good fiction story, I write it. If I need to reflect, figure something out, or remember a moment, I write.

I told the kids that today was a “me” day. That meant that I didn’t want to be bothered too much. I cut up a nice pound of Porterhouse steak, threw it into the slow cooker, added some spices, onions, garlic, and broth, and let it cook itself to deliciousness. Amazing Beef Stroganoff for dinner.

I went out on the porch, in the crisp air and sun, and painted the patio furniture. The porch itself is next, but I have to wait for all the stores to open again on Tuesday. Yep, pretty much everything is closed from Thursday-Monday here because of Easter. Some stores were open today with “special” hours, meaning not too long. I like it when everything is closed. There is something comforting about knowing that the whole of a nation is getting some rest and relaxation time to be with family and friends. Sundays are like that here too.  Sure, when I first moved to Norway I hated it. Now I think of it is a necessity. The US should at least go back to closing everything on Sundays. Having a day free to rest can rebuild the moral and personal health of millions of people and families. It’s just a pipe dream, I know.

Just knowing I had the day for me was all it took. I wrote, painted, wrote, cleaned, wrote and even sat in my youngest daughter’s newly renovated room and taught her how to organize her things for the 6 billionth time.. Every step I took, and everything that I accomplished,  I was grateful for. And, when I felt frustrated or stifled, I stopped and breathed a little.  It was an amazing day, yet nothing particularly amazing happened. That’s where I have been trying to get to, turning ordinary days into something special. A new way of thinking has found its way to me. I need to make each day a “me” day.

I lived today. It was awesome. 

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Day 20: !! F#*@ ing Great Day.

It’s Day 20! I am 1/5th of the way there! A Guinness is in order!!!

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In the last 20 days I:

1. Jogged at least three times a week and have a lot more energy.

2. Got an official cheerleader who, by the way, said I write well. I think it may be a cheerleading tactic. Cheerleaders are like cheer ninjas, sneaking motivation in without you realizing it… the good ones at least.

3. Wrote a lot every day. Personally and publicly.

4. Ate very healthy.

5. Was mindful of my life and feel… here now. I am present more than I have been in many years.

6. Figured out a great budget for living well with good savings.

7. Fixed, resolved, worked on personal things.

8. Become a much happier person and have started to find myself again.

9. Have reconnected with my kids. We were good before. We are better now.

10. Read more.

11. Was a better teacher.

12. Lost weight that was weighing me down. That was a bonus. I really don’t care so much about that part.

13. Made new friends.

14. Learned a lot.

15. Struggled but overcame.

Today? Fucking great.

Yesterday I was worried about falling out of my routines. Being conscious of it helped. I ran this morning . Yes, on a Saturday morning. I went faster than any day yet. Not as far, but faster. Oh yeah.

I then went to task redoing the girls’ rooms. It took a little time and effort, but they helped me as best they could. Had to wash the floors really well, and prep it for painting. The floors are 100 years old. I finished the walls when I first moved in, but the floors needed some help. Finished with the first coat today and tomorrow will be a piece of cake. It took all day but looks amazing.

One fun part was sitting there painting while my oldest sat and watched me, asking me questions about life and the universe. It was… fun. Working, scrubbing, and painting, was fun. Seriously.

I am very, very tired now… Going to sleep like a baby tonight.

And that brings us to the end of Day 20. If this keeps up, day 21 will be even better.

I lived today. I loved today. I laughed today. Today was awesome. 

 

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