2018 Update. So Far.

I just read my Happy 2018 post and a) that was already 4 months ago. Wow. And b) it seemed like an update to that might be a good place to start with my renewed desire to blog. Which hopefully turns into something more than once every few months.

  1. Small shifts. I’ve seen the shifts begin to take root. Probably the biggest one is that I’m not going to just quit stuff because it doesn’t go well like I used to. My mindset is more along the lines of “just get back to it” when I make poor choices. In the past, I was far more likely to throw my hands up and give up. But I’m recognizing that whatever good changes I want to make in my life need to be for the duration of my life. It’s not a short sprint with a quick finish line. So I have to just keep coming back over and over and over again.
  2. Power Sheets – I rocked them in January. Not so much in February. Or March. Or April. And now that I think about it, May is in the not so much category as well. It was super helpful to use the Tending Sheet and maybe I’ll start that back up again. Or maybe not. Part of the mindset shift is figuring out what works and letting go of what doesn’t.
  3. While Flourish is the word, it’s kind of been sitting on the back burner. Maybe Perseverance is more appropriate. However, I also think that flourishing will happen as I persevere. So maybe they’re actually joined and the flourishing will begin to show up. I know I’ll be watching for it.
  4. The house. Well, I’ve been keeping it up a little better than in the past. Sometimes. I can still use some help here. I was recently thinking that instead of splitting all the chores up throughout the week that I might just take care of the entire house in one day. Then I don’t really have to think about it so much the other six days. Maybe that’s a better system for me. We’ll see. It’s also a good thing we paid some bills off since January – April was a much slower season with much smaller paychecks for my sweet husband.
  5. Cathy Zielske’s Fit 2018 course. I haven’t exactly followed along with the tracking and everything, although I still keep up a bit in the closed Facebook group. However, I have joined Weight Watchers (for the umpteenth time, but that’s not important). The Freestyle program is actually super easy to follow, especially with tracking via the app. In almost 3 months, I’ve lost 13 pounds and I’m really good with that. It’s nothing crazy fast, but I didn’t put the extra weight on crazy fast, either. My water intake has improved a lot. And I’m walking. A lot. So in relation to #1 above, when I choose things that aren’t the best for me (like the 41 point Salted Caramel Milkshake at Smashburger!), I just keep coming back to the program and the tracking. No matter how many times it takes.

There are plenty of other things going on, but this is good for now. And that will give me material for future posts. Posts in May. Of this year, even. What a concept.

And Smashburger’s Salted Caramel Milkshake with Haagen-Daaz ice cream? Dead to me.

long and short hair

Oh yeah. I also got my hair cut short again. Shorter than I really wanted, but that way I could donate it. And it grows fast, so it’ll be where I want it before long.

 

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Minor Irritants

Yep, a rant is in order. And I know, this is nothing of major importance in the whole scheme of life. Totally a first world problem. But it’s one of those stupid little thing that is super annoying and I often let this type of thing mess up my day and waste my time. Ugh.

I signed up with an online company  for a monthly club wherein I will get a box of paper crafting/journaling goodies each month. The first month was majorly discounted, so I thought it was a good opportunity. My package was in the hands of UPS on Wednesday. It showed an estimated arrival date of Tuesday, February 13th. Okay, cool.

I checked the tracking on Monday (yeah, a silly compulsion) only to discover that it had been handed off to the USPS (I hate that gig, btw. It never seems to go well!). Not only did the US Postal Service now have it, it was already out for delivery on Monday, February 12th – a whole entire day early! Shocker. Usually that transition means the package will be a day or two later than the original date. But it never arrived. Sigh. Fine. It’ll be here Tuesday, which was my originally anticipated date anyway.

Tuesday comes and no package.

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So here we are on Wednesday (yes, it’s only ONE WHOLE DAY past the estimated arrival date) and the mail arrived early (yippee!) with NO PACKAGE. What the heck?

I go online to investigate a bit further and here is what the USPS website shows for tracking information.

February 12, 2018, 6:27 pm 
No Access
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80XXX
We attempted to deliver your item at 6:27 pm on February 12, 2018 in COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80XXX but could not complete the delivery because the employee did not have access to the delivery location. Your item will go out for delivery on the next business day.

What is that supposed to mean? We live in a house. We have a mailbox. We have a front door. At no time does the postal worker have NO ACCESS TO THE DELIVERY LOCATION. In fact, I was here at 6:27 pm and there was no attempted delivery, no ring of the doorbell, nothing. But that was Monday. It will be out for delivery on the next business day.

NOT.

And NOT the NEXT business day, either.

However, I can do nothing at all. Not a cotton-picking thing.

Unless my package has been missing for 30 days, the post office won’t even consider this an issue.

Since UPS handed it off to the USPS, they’ll be of no help.

And the company I ordered from? They won’t consider it missing for 30 days, either. And since it’s a monthly subscription kit, it’s not like these are regularly stocked items. And if they’re out of stock, they’ll refund my money. Well that pretty much bites. By the time 30 days passes, it’s very likely they won’t have any more of them. GRRR. So the reason I joined the club will be completely negated.

Happy 2018

There have been so many things flying around in my head as we move into 2018.

1. Biblically, the number seven represents completion. The number eight represents new beginnings. In many ways, I feel like 2018 is going to be different. During 2017 there were a number of small shifts in my life and I think they’ll impact my 2018.

One big shift that I am really enjoying is that I’ve been able to spend more time just being creative. Not always to a specific end, just creating. Some art journaling, a bit of mixed media, some fun memory keeping and journaling in my traveler’s notebooks, and hand lettering, to name a few. Of course, spending less time on social media has definitely contributed to this. As does having a cleaner room/studio/space. I never really know what to call this room. I do all the things in here. In fact, some days I pretty much live there, minus a few trips to the kitchen and bathroom.

2. I can’t say that I’ve been sad or in a bad place starting other years, but I think I’ve always felt like I’d made no progress in the previous year; that I was in the exact same place. It probably wasn’t always true, but as humans we’re so prone to notice the negative. This year, however, I’m much more hopeful and excited to see what God has in store.

I don’t like to set New Year’s resolutions as they’re usually just a big guilt-inducing bust. But I did buy Power Sheets for the 2016 year and only ended up doing the prep work. So I picked them back up in October and since not much had really changed in terms of goals and desires, I’m going with what I have along with a little tweaking.

3. In recent years, I’ve picked a word (or words) for the year. This year my word is Flourish and it’s turning up everywhere – in Scriptures, on my Starbucks cup ornament (long before I chose the word), and other places. Just one of many ways I see God’s Spirit weaving little details of my life together.

4. We finished 2017 with our house in better shape than it’s been probably since we moved in. We’ve gotten rid of a lot of things and there’s more to go, but it’s really great to have some breathing room at home. We also were able to get a few bills paid off and others paid down, so financially we’re in a better place. Neither the house nor the finances are completely where we’d like, but both got a boost, which further motivates me to keep pressing on to more progress.

5. I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2018. While I didn’t accomplish a lot last year, the one thing that did change is that I actually drink water now. Not always as much as I should, but I do drink it regularly. For a girl whose veins flowed Dr Pepper for many years, that’s huge. No, the Dr Pepper isn’t gone, but it’s decreased quite a bit. So let’s see what I can accomplish this year.

Overall, I just feel more hopeful, purposeful, and motivated about the new year than I have in the past. It’s an exciting place to be.

 

Small Shifts

In December I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2017 class. I would say “again” but the last time I signed up, it was for 2016. Yeah, details. In typical Dianne fashion, I pretty much fell off the proverbial wagon about a week or two. Oh, I’d think about tracking that wagon down every so often, but not for long.

So I really debated about even trying again. Would this year be any different? Did I have any chance of actually sticking with it? I guess that remains to be seen, but I have noticed a small shift in my thinking this time. For one thing, I’m all about the baby steps. That’s a big change for me. I’m usually an all-or-nothing kind of gal. Which lasts for an extremely short period of time since once I’ve slipped up, I’ve missed the goal of ALL.

water-tracker-optIt started with water intake, which I’ve already written about here. It’s still going well. I’m fairly consistent in drinking 8-16 ounces first thing out in the morning, which helps a lot.

I also began walking, usually with one of the boys, but sometimes by myself. It helps that Colorado has had some unseasonably warm temps this year. After the first walk in January, I knew I really wanted another Fitbit since my Zip had died last year. So I picked up an Alta and that’s helping to increase my daily steps, especially since it’s kind enough to remind you if you haven’t met your hourly goals. I find myself walking circles in the house sometimes just to get those steps in.

img_5438One more area I’m often not good with is sleep. Fortunately, the Alta tracks that, too, I’m doing a little better there, too, as far as getting enough sleep. Now I just need to go to sleep a bit earlier.

I just seem to have a small shift in my perspective. Making changes feels like it’s less of a big deal, but more of a matter-of-fact, just do what I need to do. Drink more water. Walk a few more steps. Whatever.

Even though a very small shift may seem unnoticeable in the beginning, after awhile you’ll find that you’ve actually made a significant course change. My overarching goal for all of these changes is to just keep at it. Even when I stumble, fall, or completely bail, just get back to it as soon as I can and be merciful and kind to myself.

I’m hopeful that small shifts in perspective will result in some eventual big changes.

Just Once

I’m giving myself permission – just this once – to whine about my inconsistent blog posting. Why? Because every time I want to start a post, the first mental words I hear are along the lines of, “…I know it’s been a long time…” or “…Wow! Three months since I last posted? Sheesh!” and other such drivel.

Is it true? Yes. Does it matter? No. Not really. It doesn’t make me post more often. I have got to move past that mentality. I used to do it a lot at my old blog. But this is the new blog. And I hope to have matured – at least a teensy bit. So here’s my five minutes of commiseration (is that a word?) and then I need to put it away and move on. No matter the time gaps. I hope to get to a place where I post sort of regularly (2-3 times a week, maybe?), but I also need to give myself the grace to let it be what it is without the condemnation.

Okay.

All done.

And rather than leave you with my whining, I shall leave you with peaceful waters and blurry chipmunks. Not necessarily in that order.

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Growing Younger

Apparently, it’s true. At some point in life, you hit an apex of maturity and then you begin to descend the other slope. Or maybe you just learn to relax and have fun in life, no matter the activity. I think I’ll go with the latter.

Yesterday was my birthday. How old, you ask? Old enough. A number large enough that I have a hard time imaging that it applies to me. A fact which I cannot change, no matter how disconnected I feel from it.

Happy Birthday to me! I found a store in town who still had chai! #getthechaiback #starbucks #ridiculoustorunoutofchai 😊I was at Starbucks twice in the morning. Once for breakfast with John where I discovered that our favorite store is again out of original chai! They said all the stores in town are out. They’d already been out on Tuesday and Wednesday, had it back Thursday and Friday, and were all out again! How was I supposed to use my free birthday beverage on my favorite drink on my birthday when they’re out? Sheesh. So after dropping my niece off at a class, I went to another Starbucks location. They did have some original chai…for a little while longer, anyway, so I happily ordered my free birthday chai, hung out, and did some journaling.

The early part of my afternoon was spent playing on the Wii with my son and niece. We raced on Mario Kart, ran after one another on Mario Chase, and beat up cartoon enemies in Pikmin. Good times.

We went up to fix some lunch and my niece showed me some hilarious videos she’d created using the Rewind Camera app. It plays your video backwards – your actions, your words, all of it. I shouldn’t have been eating while watching her eating chips backwards. They merge together from bits in her mouth to a full chip. It was a riot. We wrote down words to figure out how to try and say them backwards so they would sound “normal” when played back. Which, of course, they don’t, which is what makes it so funny. We laughed ourselves silly.

It’s not easy to say “Happy Birthday to me” backwards.

Last night my whole family all went out for Italian. Whole family includes Mom, Dad, my sister, her husband, their two daughters, John, the boys, and me. Ten in all. It’s one of those places where they put butcher paper on the table and hand out crayons. Naturally, that means some doodling is in order. My niece wrote the smaller Happy Bday at my place before I sat down. The rest was all me. I tore that entire section out and brought it home. I just couldn’t see leaving it there.

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Afterward we came back to our house for presents and cake. And a little more laughter and fun. Then I sat down with my iPad to read all the sweet birthday greetings I received on Facebook. I was surprised by how many there were. It was a wonderful day of fun, games, laughter, family, and friends.

Video games, silly backward videos, doodling at dinner. Sounds perfectly appropriate. Right?

Yoga, part 1

I called it Part 1, because I’m anticipating a part 2.

Last month, Creative Live had a sale on their video classes and I kept Yoga for Photographers open in a tab for weeks. I thought it might be a good place to get started with something to stretch my body and improve my flexibility. The last day of the sale, I finally bought it.

pink water bottleToday, I finally downloaded it and got cracking. Fortunately, I sleep in clothes which are conducive to yoga, so I didn’t even have to change. Talk about lazy. It was later in the morning than I’d hoped to do it, and yes, I had other things I should do, but I knew I needed this. Especially after shooting a volleyball tournament on Sunday and being reminded of how inflexible my body really is. I don’t want to go through another season being so stiff and sore.

The first class is an hour long – although she does talk a little bit in the beginning. I made it about half way through before getting kind of lightheaded. Sometimes when I’m up and down or bending over and standing up or other such movements, I get a bit woozy. Since the two things she emphasized were 1) listening to your body and 2) breathing, I decided that lightheaded and woozy was my body’s way of saying it was time to stop now. But that’s okay. I did it. I got started. I’m a long ways from getting well into some of these poses, but I don’t care. I still started.

The really cool thing? I actually feel more energized – even after a short first yoga session. I think the blood and oxygen flow in my body is better and I don’t feel all sluggish (like I often do!). Kind of exciting, really. I also notice my breathing, just in everyday life. So I’m working on breathing better. That’s an area I definitely need help in, as I’ve noticed that I have rather shallow, through-the-mouth breathing, which I really don’t like. Hopefully, this will help that, too.