Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting out of bed...

This morning, getting out of bed was a bit rough...not so much physically, but mentally.  I woke up and convinced myself that I just needed to stay under the covers all day...

I had to really work to determine what would motivate me in getting out of bed (after all, I did have 2 kids to get up, dressed and to school on time...)

Here is a glimpse of the converstation I had with myself:

Maybe I will get up and get the kids ready and take them to school and then come back home and sleep the day away...I could use a mental health day...

No, I am doing this Leslie Sansone challenge, I have to at least get up and do the 2 miles I had planned...or, I could do the 2 miles after I take the kids to school and come back and sleep some more...

No, I am going to just get up and do the 2 miles now...all dressed, maybe I could just wear this all day and lounge around the house, no workout needed, I think I have a sore throat anyway....Kelli has had a runny nose, maybe I am getting what she has....

NO!  Get your butt downstairs and do the 2 miles...you have to go to work because you are getting a Laptop today, there is a new co-worker starting today and you have several meetings with people who have a booked schedule anyway...maybe I'll take Friday off...

Let me just explain that after getting out of bed and getting the workout done...I am at work and feel great...my perspective is better (hey, wasn't the traffic great today)...I am excited to do the tasks I had planned for today (after blogging of course :))...

Not letting my lazy mind overpower what God had planned for me today...Success!

Here is to a great week!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent

I have never really "given up" anything for Lent before.  Last year, I tried to do this 40 Bags in 40 Days thing and I did really well for about a week and then...well, off the path I went :)

Earlier this year I saw a post on Facebook from a friend who was going to do a 40 Days of Water project during the Lenten season.  Essentially participants would drink nothing but water each day of lent except Sundays when they could have whatever they wanted to drink.  I seriously thought about participating in this...a lot...I told people I was thinking about doing it...I contemplated how my body would react based on the fact that I really drink so little water each day and not having caffeine has potential side-affects on my family and friends :).  I really thought about it...my son even reminded me this past weekend about it asking when I was only going to be allowed to drink water. 

I thought about it, but decided, no. I am not going to participate and here is why.  Giving something up/changing a habit for Lent has always been known to me as something that helps remind us of the sacrifice of  Jesus' Death and Resurrection on the cross.  The goal of this initiative was different.  It was to remind us of others who don't have clean drinking water.  Now, don't get me wrong, an initiative to bring awareness of the grave need for clean drinking water all around the world is a greatly worthy cause in my opinion.  I just don't want to confuse it with Lent. 

Being that today is Ash Wednesday and I haven't decided on anything to give up/change for Lent, I will probably just do what I have done for the past several years and enjoy the Lenten season and the reminders of what Jesus did for me on the cross.  I will attend the services associated with the season and reflect and re-commit myself to living a life that pleases Him.  I will work to "do everything I do to the glory of God" and "do unto others as I would have them do unto me"...

The walk of Faith is different for everyone...this is how God and I walk together.  Your experience may be different and I respect that. 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Charity Knitting - Knit-A-Square

Several years back I bought a Knifty Knitter Loom Set and some yarn to make a hat.  I can't remember exactly if I bought the loom to do charity work or I just wanted some sort of craft to do and the needles looked like a little more work than I wanted to do at the time.  I do knit with needles now and I have to say that it is much easier than it looks once you get the hang of it.  I even knit one of those blue and white scarves for the Super Bowl this year with needles. 

Anyway, back to the topic...As I started enjoying knitting these hats, I became addicted to buying sale yarn...any yarn on clearance at Walmart magically made it into my bag...no project in mind...no idea if I even had enough yarn of one color or type to do anything with...I just loved buying the stuff.  I started buying books of patterns for loom knitting and knitting with sticks.  I made some crafts as gifts..made a whole bunch of hats :), a few dishcloths and then wondered what I could do for charity with all of the yarn I have accumulated.   

I have searched around and even subscribed to a blog about Knitting For Charity which was hugely inspiring and through a pattern of links from that site and other free pattern sites, I encountered Knit-A-Square (KAS). (Knit A Square on Facebook, Knit A Square Web Site)...

Basically, I can use all of my yarn to make 8" squares of knitting.  I can play around with different stitches and even make patterns into the square of fun pictures of animals or make stripes, whatever, as long as it is an 8" square made with the gauge and yarns they recommend.  Bonus that most, if not all, of the yarn I own is on their list..

KAS will take the squares that I send them and combine them with other squares sent by other knitters and make blankets for AIDS orphans in South Africa...how cool is that.  There are also patterns for a quickly knit warm sweater or knit stuffed animals for these little people that I can tackle if I need a break from squares or want to try something different. 

I haven't sent any squares/projects in yet, but I am excited to get started on this and to put some purpose behind my mission to knit for charity...

Anyone else knit?  Do you knit for charity?

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Soft Skills

Do you have that soft touch...you know, the one where when people come to you to talk you are open arms and accepting?  In some circumstances, I hold my own well with this, but in most circumstances I don't.  I am a natural born problem solver.  My attention immediately goes to "fixer" and not "feather-pillow"...

I have received several reviews over the years asking me to work on my skills in this area.  Essentially, the thought is that being a softer, listening, patient person will make the other party feel better and want to help me.  I have been told that this will help others feel a need to support the work I am trying to accomplish with them.  I will look more like a team player, etc...

At home and with family, I am softer than at work, but not all that great at it.  I want to be a good listener.  I don't cry for the most part unless I am fed up with trying to be able to have a compassionate heart and it just isn't happening.  I want my family to know that I care, but I just don't show it in conventional ways. 

I am not saying that I don't want to or have to work on these skills.  I do, everyday!  Sometimes it is just plain exhausting though.  Sometimes I get frustrated that I don't naturally gravitate towards this softer side.  I feel like not being able to connect emotionally with others at this level somehow diminshes their acceptance of me and that I am not a good enough person (friend, wife, co-worker, daughter, sister, leader...). 

The problem is two-fold (from what my analytical mind is telling me).  First, I have to want it bad enough to make the changes.  This means, for me, that I have to see the value of changing.  It sounds cold to say, but maybe I am not changing because I don't want it bad enough.  I might just be okay with one or two cry outs each month with frustration because a close emotional connection with too many people doesn't exist.  Second, I have to figure out what I need to change.  I frankly just don't know what specifically I need to do to make this happen.

I am asking God for help on this and I ask you all to pray for God to show me the way in this.  Generally, I am happy with life.  I am happy with my existing relationships.  I want to go the step further...I want it to work...Like parenting, there is no guidebook on how to gain soft skills.  There is no guidebook on changing the natural response.  It takes dedication and discipline.  So for now, I review each opportunity to connect with people and try a little more each time...if it is God's will, it will happen, but perhaps, just maybe, God made me this way for a reason...and whatever the case, I am willing to live with that.

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(Liz, I don't have the whole "Pour Your Heart Out" image and link stuff, but if I did, this definitely would qualify, don't you think?  :)  )

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Round 2

I am back and ready for round two of my 30 Day Workout Schedules...I have started a workout calendar of Leslie Sansones Walk Away the Pounds and I am loving it.  What surprises me is that the workouts feel different to me this time around.  I have done most all the DVD's I have at least once before this month, but it feels like muscles that I toned doing the TransFIRMation series in January are hard at work this month too!  It is exciting to be able to kick higher and to be able to use more hand weights.  I can feel my muscles burning.  I love it!

I will admit that I did not start the month exactly on task.  I did the 1st day and then decided to take the weekend off.  I was feeling...blech...and exercise would have probably helped, but...well, the excuses set in for a couple of days "got so busy doing something else, I didn't have time", "I forgot", "my legs are still sore and tired from my 5hr walking stint at the NFL Experience (it was awesome, by the way!)"...it was only 3 days off and I am so glad I pulled myself out of bed yesterday and got back on the program. 

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebration

I am celebrating today! 

At the end of December, Jeremy took the kids on a trip out of state and I was working from home.  I knew I wanted to have a more dedicated focus to fitness in 2012 so I decided to dust off the old "TransFIRMation" DVD's from The FIRM.  There are 4 DVD's and adjustable weights that come with the set (1lb to 8lb each).  (note:  these were purchased between kids as I tried to "get my body back"...I think I did one workout and shelved the whole thing :), needless to say, there was much dust...)  Anyway, they also came with a booklet that described each of the DVD's in the set and also a handy calendar (you must know that I LOVE CALENDARS to tell me what to do every day).  The calendar was a 30 day that gave the appropriate workouts to do 5 days a week and called for 2 days of rest. 

I was bored after finishing my work for the day and so I gave the first DVD a shot.  I loved it.  It was a 25 min sculpting DVD (the workouts range from 25-55 min).  I looked back at the calendar and told myself I would do the whole month.  It helped to know that as soon as Jeremy was back, he would be starting Insanity.  That gave me some motivation knowing that I wouldn't be the only one to get up at 5am to do a workout.  :)

So today - a month later - I am celebrating!  I finished the last workout on the calendar and realized that I finished something.  I did have two days during the month that I got off track simply because I wasn't home, but instead of just skipping them, I found myself repeating the whole week to stay on track.  This is really major for me. 

So major in fact that I have printed off the Leslie Sansone Walk At Home calendar for February and I am ready for the challenge....29 Days...sure I CAN do it.  I plan to reward myself by purchasing a DVD pack of WATP from Walmart that I saw the other day.  And maybe I will get a pedicure :)

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