At long last the end of the road. This is it for the Ultimate Blog Challenge in October. I’ve done a good job. I did what I said I was going to do – my best. I had a beginning, middle and an end. I had goals. They gave me directions each day. They led me to the finish line.
There were days when I faltered, when I didn’t feel like it, when I was tired, when I was…blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I am just full of excuses, but I pushed through them this month. I have many unfinished projects. I have this bad habit of incompleteness, unable to follow through even on simple things. That’s why I am such a clutter bug. I don’t put things away. I don’t throw things away. I don’t…You get the drift. This writing challenge has helped me to see this part of myself. I can now move on to do some corrections.
A fellow challenger had a post on the benefits of making lists. It resonated with me. I kept the post up on my tab for many a days. I would read it again and again. It appealed to me. I saw the value of what was said. Though I never did make lists literally, I made them in my head. I would decide a few things that I would do for that particular day. I was not religious about it. I didn’t do it every day but I did it enough that it came back again and again.
That’s the thing. If we do healthy actions regularly, they would become habits. When they do, we wouldn’t have to struggle so much in doing the right thing. Life would be easier. We would be healthier and happier. That’s the end products I’m aiming for. These days of writing regularly made me more aware of my thoughts and feelings. I pay more attention to what I say and do. I ask myself more questions. Do I want to say/do this? Do I need to say/do that? What difference would it make? I think questioning has made me wiser and choose better ways of being. It made me see that I had been doing the same thing over and over. Yet I was expecting a different outcome. Dummkopf!
I am in the honeymoon phase of enlightenment. It’s like being in the throes of first love. I hope I won’t crash. I know it is possible. I have had that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even if I do, I know the landing will be softer this time. For now, I will enjoy my euphoria. I saw the big fat moon last night. I saw it again this morning. I even saw the stars. We are stardust. We are golden. Song of Joni Mitchell.
I generally like my eggs easy over. When I do just one egg for breakfast, there’s nothing to sopped up the yolk with. A runny yolk after a couple of weeks is not tasting delish even with hemp hearts and chia seeds. I try to think of something different and equivalent for a change. I could find none. It is a perfect little meal in itself. I could get through my aerobics class without a sugar low. Since I’m this far in without a carb in the morning, I want to finish the month. So, I requested to have the yolk broken and fried. Perfect! I added half an avocado. A perfect combination in taste and texture.
What is the result of my dietary efforts thus far? I’ve decided that I would not step on the scale as a measurement of success or failure. Rather I would focus on observation, how I feel and how my clothes fit. 17 days into the Ultimate Blog Challenge and changing my diet, there are definite changes. They were minute at first but they are getting more dramatic. Maybe I am just losing fluids but it is encouraging enough to keep on. I am feeling slimmer along my neck with a lesser double chin. My belly is not so bloated and bulging. My arms don’t feel as chunky and my fingers don’t look like sausages. I can bend and flex them better. They don’t ache as much.
Aside from cutting out the toast in the morning, I am eating kimchi with lunch and supper. After buying the first jar, I am making my own, experimenting with different recipes. I think it is helping with the bloating. It’s suppose to promote good gut health. I am super delighted with my results. I am encouraged to be more conscious with what and how I eat. I try to remember to taste and feel the texture of the food I am chewing. Being mindful, I realize I do not need as much food as I had thought. I often eat out of fear of being hungry.
I need to learn how to apply my energy and success here to work with my paper clutter. Yesterday was not a good day for it at all. I did recognize when my head’s all heavy and clouded up like the sky, not to fight it. Those are the times to just do what I can and to laugh at my mistakes, try to relax and read a good book. Tomorrow will be another day.
I was sleepy as soon as I woke up this morning. I was hungry right after breakfast. I think my body is getting ready for winter. If I was a bear, I would look for a hollow log to sleep in. Since I’m not, I have to find ways of functioning while sleeping on my feet. I could be a one woman band and call myself The Sleepy Head.
How did I do today? I tried not to sit too long at any one time. It is torture to get up again then. I did the hard stuff first – in the morning. After everything is said and done, the hard stuff was not so tough. I made 3 quarts of tomato sauce. The thing to do is not think. Just do, one step after another until fait accompli. Then I wonder: What was the hard all about? The sauce is in the freezer and everything cleaned and put away.
It is good for me to keep up with my routine, to keep up with tapping on the keyboard, painting my little index cards and walking Sheba. They help me stay on track, keep my eyes open and my spirits up. Aside from drowsiness, wanting to curl up on the couch with my quilt and closing my eyes, I feel fine. It helps to have sunny days. Even so, I struggled to keep going. I would have rather sat on the deck and study my toes than walk Sheba. But no matter what, I always rise to the occasion. I had to push not to cut our walk short. Just one more block was how I egged myself on. It was a lovely afternoon as we trudged leisurely among autumn’s golden glory.
So don’t think. Put one foot in front of the other. It’s a good motto. It works. I will use whatever works. Measurable results are what matters. I have 3 jars of tomato sauce in the freezer. I’ve painted, walked Sheba and my dining table is still clear or will be in a minute. What more can I ask for this day? It is enough.
Day 45, September 5, 2016 @ 1:51 pm
The two hardest thing for me in life is getting things started and putting things away. But look at me. I’m here early! But before you give a hooray, let me tell you. I’m here because I’m putting off the dishes and cleaning up after lunch. I’m having a spot of tea. I would really like to just sit and sip my tea – and doze. But I’m re-training/re-inventing myself. This is my year long/life project. The reasons why:
- I felt dissatisfied with myself and the status quo
- Life was affecting my health
- I read a book called I Dare Me – about doing something different every day
- I want to see if by doing something different daily would affect the way I see, feel and handle life
- I had finished my 100 day project of doing art. The project was very helpful and I wanted to do another project.
How I started:
Since I was dissatisfied with myself, I started by enhancing my physical appearance. Since retirement, I have given up makeup totally. I have not bothered with jewellry for a long time. I stayed in my lounge clothes or wore sweats. So I started by brushing and styling my hair soon as I got up, applied my makeup, draw in my eyebrows and chose a pair of earrings. I had forgotten how many pairs I had! I started doing selfies on my iPhone. There’s a knack and practice does make for better. I asked friends on InstaGram for tips. After awhile, I stopped grimacing when I look at my selfies. I started to have FUN!
Things have evolved. One day, two days. Now I am on day 45. I do not have a plan on what ‘different’ is. Things just came up as the day comes. They are not necessarily big things. After all, isn’t there a saying that goes, Little things mean a lot? Sometimes the ‘different’ is changing how I feel – even if it’s for a moment.
Results for me?
Having a project have given me a rhythm to my day. Life is a worthwhile project. Changes come slowly but I have felt them. It has given me a sense of empowerment – I can change. I am the captain of my ship. I can steer it towards my own destiny.
My dishes and Sheba are calling me. Where is your ship heading? Till tomorrow.
Day 35, August 26, 2016 @6:09 pm
Egad! I am here in this space in the same state of mind as yesterday. Not any earlier either. It is habit that has enabled me to be here. A well worn groove in 35 days. If it would help my fatigue, I would scream. It wouldn’t. I’m grinning and bearing and faking it. I hope I make it soon. In the mean time I’ll just keep moving and faking it. In Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. Ratey states the results are the same (good) even if you don’t feel enthusiastic while exercising. So I am kicking up my heels and pumping my arms to the music of Mama Mia and following our instructor, Val. Monkey see, monkey do is do-able.
I can do that, is what I say to myself all day. I gather the cucumbers, pick the beans, the tomatoes. I prepare them and put them all away. I took all the laundry off the line downstairs, folded and put them all away. I was dying to sit down with a cup of tea. I was really looking forward to it. Then I got a call from the guy. He said he got a flat tire. Come and get me at SuperStore. So I did.
Then I sat down with my cup of tea and my book. I felt I’ve really earned it today. It is a very good book. Hard to put down. I finished my tea. Then it was wine and cheese. It is amazing I’ve show up. See, I could feel whatever I feel. It doesn’t have to affect the result. How are you doing? What are your results?