Monday, January 23, 2012

Life is Good


Life is good, and here's why...

Recently I updated my Facebook status with the saying, "Life is Good." and someone asked me a few days later, "What's so great that's going on in your life?". I had to stop and think about it for a moment, but quickly realized (being the eternal optimistic that I am, or at least try to be) there wasn't one big thing going on that makes my life great, rather lots of little things. Being of the mindset that life is indeed what you make it, I believe if you decide you're going to be in a bad mood and have a shitty day, that's on you. There are ways to make the most out of your day, whether you choose to do so or not, but don't blame "life" and the general universe as to why your life sucks (if it does). Rather, change your mindset and mantra.

Too often I hear people bitch and complain about everything that sucks (and I am one of them at times, I admit!) but the difference between me and them is, I don't stay in that place. I make the conscience decision to try to do better, and to make my day better. There are so many things I can't control, but I can control me, my thoughts, my words and my actions. I am still clinging to the new year's hopefulness that only the clean slate of a fresh year brings, and remain excited about everything the new year has to offer me. New friendships, new events, new  adventures and of course, new lessons to learn.

Here are some of the small "things" that help make my life good right now. Some are achievements, some are upcoming plans, but all of them help keep me hopeful that the best is yet to come!

I have officially gone 23 days without any type of soda/pop beverage...

I just mailed my registration form to participate in a Mini-Triathlon!

I survived my first two weeks of Boot Camp (and keep going back for more)!

I'm super excited that I am rallying a team of great women together for the 2012 Dirty Girl Mud Run. We will officially be team, "Mud Puppies"!

I started my third session of ASL (American Sign Language) classes and despite being "voice off" I can actually follow the instructor's signing (for the most part).

I donated blood the other day, and despite not having a blood pressure, I'm still alive. (The technician couldn't find/read my blood pressure!!!).

I have great friends that encourage me to pursue my dreams.

I just mailed my application to be a Canine Good Citizen evaluator/judge!

Most of all, I'm just happy to wake up each morning, pain free (coming from someone with frequent headaches this is AWESOME!), and thankful to God for the air in my lungs and for all the wonderful things I can do and have to look forward to!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twelve

If you've come here as a previous follower from my blog, "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", you know I'm no stranger to self induced challenges. This year's challenge finds me wanting to celebrate the number 12 by completing 12 separate challenges, 12 times each, in the year 2012! Some of my goals may seem simple to others, but obviously, if they're on my challenge list below then I have a real problem with them!

1) Schedule and attend a minimum of 12 monthly chiropractic visits.

2) Volunteer 12 times (in any capacity) throughout the year.


3) Perform 12 Random Acts of Kindness.

4) Face and conquer 12 fears (at least!).

5) Attend or go to 12 new places.

6) Participate in 12 events (one per month) throughout the year such as a 5K, charity walk, etc.

7) Wear a dress/skirt to work 12 times over the year.

8) In efforts to make more friends, meet and talk to 12 new people!

9) Learn some new things, by taking 12 new classes/seminars!

10) Read 12 new books.

11) Ride 1200 miles on bike!

12) Get back down to a size 12 (or less) this year!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Don't

My friend, and fellow blog reader Lynn (great name isn't it?) shared this on her Facebook page. I had to "steal" it and share! So often we let one "little" thing ruin our day. I say, "DON'T!". Thanks for the reminder Lynn!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Crawl


They say you have to crawl before you walk. I think that also pertains to Boot Camp classes. This morning was my first session of Boot Camp and yes, at one point, I was literally crawling on the floor. I mean, come on, it's not like I just gave up and quit, crawling is still moving right?!

Remember when exercising as a kid was fun, and wasn't even thought of as exercise? Why is it that something so enjoyable as a kid, like jump roping, becomes so much more difficult as an adult?

Thank goodness the instructor has a great sense of humor, as I made jokes and laughed at my sad inability to crab crawl, bear walk, seal walk or chicken walk. I think a sloth walk would have been more my speed, but that wasn't on the circuit. The best thing is, despite the difficulty of the class, it was fun, and with enough practice, I know I'll be able to conquer everything from the kettle bell swings to that darn crab walk.

(Sure, this damn kid makes it look soooo easy!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Ever wish you could close off your emotions and treat matters of the heart as a business deal and transaction? Here's a business response to an emotional letter...

Dear Sir,

It is with a heavy heart that I feel the need to write this letter. While I have gladly consumed and previously enjoyed the experiences your product has supplied me, I must ask that you now refrain from sending any future communications about said product. While I have tried to unsubscribe multiple times from your database, it seems that your computer system has not effectively deleted my information and/or account history As stated previously, I wish to no longer be in contact with your firm as I no longer use your product, and may be forced to seek higher action if your harassment continues.

Your lack of ability to meet substantial terms of our verbal contract have deeply saddened me and forced me to take evasive action, boycotting you, your company and any products you may pedal. Your product deceived, and emotionally damaged many consumers in your effort to line your emotional pockets, and I advise you to remove your faulty product from the market so no others will be harmed by it. Hopefully, this strongly written letter will provide you with enough feedback to encourage you to look past your own needs, and to look out for the average consumer you may encounter. 

In addition, advertisements stating that you have strengthened and improved your product will go unresponded to as this consumer no longer believes in your defective product. Sadly, I have lost all faith in your manufacturing abilities and any statements of being able to repair the damages and wrongs done throughout this business-consumer relationship. Incentives and gifts will not persuade me to change my mind about your product, and I believe your offers are in direct violation of the FDA enticement regulations.

In closing, please cease all communications and remove my email address from your databases as again, I wish to no longer receive any advertisements about you or your product. I will be reporting you to the Better Business Bureau and encouraging others to do the same.

Sincerely -

An Unsatisfied Customer

  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Yoga

Why do I ever stop going to yoga class? Today was an awesome early, A.M. yoga class with meditations on such things as to what we wanted from the new year, what we were letting go of, what we give thanks for, what we were surrendering to...it was just an awesome re-invigoration of self, and a great way to keep the new year bliss flowing!  Not only did this session do wonders for my mind, but the stretching was phenomenal for some very over worked and under pampered muscles. Hopefully by blogging about my experience, it will serve as a reminder to continue participating in yoga and reaping it's wonderful benefits! What do you do to keep the new-year mojo flowing?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Water

Bruce Lee once said...

"Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend."

I plan on being water this year. It shouldn't be too hard since my zodiac sign is a water sign, right? Yeah, I know, easier said then done but I'm hoping that this year, I don't get wrapped up in the stress of work, and drama in general. I want to be like water - go around it, over it, or damn it if I have to, I'll go through it!

Speaking of water, I gave up pop (or soda if you prefer) as one of my "resolutions".  That leaves me with pretty much coffee and water to drink (and hopefully the occasional margarita). Wish me luck my fellow water-goers! Have you decided to give anything up as a new year's resolution? If so, what?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meet Me On Monday

Although Java at "Never Growing Old" normally hosts these questions, she's taking a break until next week, so I've made up my own 5 questions for today's post. If you're new to "Meet Me On Monday", it's a weekly post of 5 questions to have fun with, and hopefully provide my readers with a little insight as to what makes me tick. Feel free to copy and past, of follow along at Java's blog, her link is on the right side of my blog.

1) What 3 words best describe your 2011?
Surprising. Shocking. Over.

2) With whom were your most valuable relationships?
An old friend, and a new one. My connection definitely deepened with certain people as we saw each other through our trials and tribulations of the past year.

3) What was an unexpected joy of this past year?
Finding that people supported me in the pursuit of my dreams, more then I ever thought someone would. More so, achieving those dreams and having people to celebrate with.

4) What was the single most challenging thing that happened last year?
I think ending things (with people and pets) that I knew were not good was the most challenging lesson that I had to contend with and learn to do.


5) What is the biggest lesson learned this past year?
To listen to my inner voice and that I'm stronger then I think I am. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dragons and Addams

THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON, 2012
01/23/2012 - 02/09/2013 (Water)

"According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which begins on January 23, 2012 and ends on February 9, 2013.  The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal signs.  The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend.  In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents an emperor and  power. Today, it  is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.  May the celestial Dragon bring great good luck to everyone."

While I won't go on about the details of the Chinese zodiac, I will mention that I was born under the sign of the Dragon, and plan on doing a lot of roaring this year! After all, it's my year! Dragons unite! (OK, that sounded like some type of role playing game - eek).

So how did this Dragon start off her new year? By continuing my "1 event per month" challenge and participating in the NYD - 5K! My first 3.1 miles of the year were painful due to the whipping wind that Chicago is notorious for. I thought I'd experienced it all over the past 12 months, rain, snow, heat, cold, but this - this was new. The wind made today a challenge and a half! At times, I felt like my eyes and sinuses were on fire, and that's definitely not a good feeling. A new feeling, but not a good feeling. Towards the end of the race, I started talking to a fellow "eventer" and we pushed each other along the horrible terrain, and onto the finish line. As I tapped her on the shoulder and declared "Let's go girl! We got this!" we picked up the pace and jogged over the finish line to a cheering crowd. It was awesome.

Post race, I rushed home to fix lunch, shower and head out to see the musical, "The Addams Family". On a whim, I bought a heavily discounted ticket for one for the kooky play. Upon arrival I found my seat and was surrounded by strangers but oddly enough, as I looked up from my Playbill I spotted someone familiar in the crowd. I sent a text to see if my friend/co-worker was indeed at the theater, or if there was just a twin of her walking around seeing a New Year's Day oddity. The lights went down, and I surprisingly, enjoyed the first half of the musical. The orchestra was phenomenal, and the players were well suited for their roles. The set design, costumes and make-up were amazing, like I figured they would be in order to bring such an iconic show to life.

During intermission, I decided to walk around and get a closer look at my friend's potential doppelganger, only to realize it was her indeed! She introduced me to her eclectic and hugely extended family and invited me to come sit next to her. "Sure! Let me go get my things!", I said. Not only did I get to move a few rows closer, but it was nice to be "adopted" for the night instead of surrounded by strangers. As the show came to an end, she asked me if I wanted to go backstage and meet the cast. Umm, do you know how much of a theater freak I am? "Sure!", I said as I learned her brother is a director, and knew some of the cast. And off we went!

As we rounded the back of the theater we entered with ease into the backstage area. There I saw Morticia sans cleavage gaping dress, and Uncle Fester's stand in as we were lead to the actual stage by Gomez himself (Douglas Sills). He was more then enthusiastic while describing the props, the way the stage worked, the computers, the lighting, the costumes - everything. He made me feel at home. My adoptive family and I were shuffled around the stage, and then eventually out to the dressing rooms. Soon after we headed out, and I  thanked my family for their hospitality. I drove home shaking my head in amazement at my good fortune. What an exciting way to spend the first day of my new year! On the drive home, I noticed a small statue that simply said, "HOPE" and I couldn't help but think that's exactly what this year is all about for me. Hope of good things to come that is!

I hope you all had as good of a day as I did to ring in the new year! Happy 2012 my readers and friends! Below are a few photos that I snapped backstage. I didn't go overboard in my photo taking (like usual) as I didn't want to out-wear my welcome!

The Addams' crypt...

Gomez - sans make-up and costume.

Grandma-ma's cart of concoctions...

Gomez's chair of torture...

Pugsley's bed (left) and another part of the set floating above...