7 Year Life Anniversary

WordPress just sent me a note this morning letting me know that today is my 7 Year Blogiversary!  7 years ago today I set up my first WordPress blog….which was the blog that I charted my course to health and happiness on.  Seems fitting since, nearly 7 years to the day later, I’m embarking on another health and happiness shakeup.

I’ve been putting this one off for years.  YEARS.  Since…..er…..2010 when I first heard about it.  I didn’t want it, didn’t think I needed it and wasn’t interested in doing it.  But the little voice in the back of my head has spoken up loud and clear and said that the time is drawing near.  Whole30.  I have given myself leeway to not do it because “most of our meals are W30 approved”, “I don’t want to give up alcohol”, “my eating is already restricted enough”, “I’m fine following my own rules”, “I don’t want to.”  And many, many more excuses!

 When I started thinking about doing it and I started making those same excuses again, I realized something.


“Most of our meals are W30 approved…..except when I use butter…or sour cream…or fish sauce….or the cheap sesame oil blended with soy oil….or corn starch.”  Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with those additives in general (except the soy…the soy is BAD) but the “wrongs” are sneaking in.

“I don’t want to give up alcohol……except I don’t really drink anymore so it’s a non-issue.”  Open bottles of wine last weeks or until I dump them out.

“My eating is already restricted enough…..except, no it isn’t!”  Ice cream, popsicles, potato chips, halva, GF cookies, GF muffins, GF tarts, chocolate.  Ya, not really restricted. 

“I’m fine following my own rules….except apparently I’m not because my rules are wispy and given to disappear randomly.” 


Once I’d realized that my excuses weren’t really valid anymore, the only one left was “I don’t want to.”  Only….I also don’t want to be itchy anymore, I don’t want to be feeling snug in my clothes anymore, I don’t want to be exhausted anymore.  Plus…..considering that if I refuse to make a change, nothing changes, I thought I would pick a change that has 10,000+ positive testimonials behind it and is based on science and logic that I know is true and that I completely agree with and understand.  Therefore, Whole30.  I always said I would do one eventually…when the time was right….and September 8th is the right time. 

I’m off on holidays next week (which is why I chose September 8th as my start date instead of the 1st like normal people) and I have plans for decompressing, unplugging, resting, being out in fresh air (rain or not…although it looks more like rain than not) and prepping my kitchen and my mind for a bit of a life reset.  I’m looking forward to it…..structure and detox and reset. 

I’m going to create a page along the top where I will track the various markers I’m trying to improve as well as log my meals. I’ll update it daily but it won’t show up as new posts….because I surmise that would be very irritating for people!

If you’re doing a Whole30 around this time, comment me up so that we can support each other!


Change of Plans

It’s the first of April and that should mean that the snowy days are behind us, right? It’s all daffodils and baby bunnies from here on in!

Before I forget, you can go and check out our Weekend Away complete with pictures on the blog that I share with my sister.

It is gorgeous sunny and warm weather here for the first part of this week and I’ll be walking home tonight. The last day I rode my bicycle, the day I fell into traffic and ended up bailing and having Ray’s son come and get me, made me nervous for riding. I really want to enjoy this gorgeous sunny weather and I want some quiet time on the commute home and unfortunately the bicycle isn’t providing that right now. It is SO hard…..45-53 minutes of only uphill pedaling and also traffic to contend with and to be a bit honest, I’m truly not in decent enough shape right now to do the ride home safely. With walking, I’ll leave my car down here, put all my stuff (lunch bag, tea cup, purse) in it so I don’t have to carry it home, put on some music, eat an apple and walk home. It’ll take about an hour, I think.

I feel kind of fail-y in admitting that the bicycling didn’t work out (right now) but on the other hand I don’t think there is anything wrong with shifting and shimmying and trying different things to get the result you want. If I drive to work and walk home I get the sunshine, the air, the exercise and the alone time but I don’t get the crashing, the traffic, the having to get ready at work, the missing breakfast/coffee with my hubby. So more of the “pros” that I was looking for when I undertook biking and less of the “cons” that I ended up with.  After work I’ll walk the 8 kilometers home. I did drove to work this morning so we’ll just run down and pick my car up after dinner…it’s a 6 minute drive so that shouldn’t be too cumbersome. I’ll let you know how it goes!

We made the decision last night that the garden on the side of the house that I was going to do this year is not going to get done fully this year. We’re going to take some measurements and possibly build the beds but we won’t be filling them with dirt this year….at least not all of them (dirt is expensive!!!!!!!). Instead, I’m taking the money that I had set aside for that and we’re going to properly finish the basement gym….proper flooring (not bare concrete), a mirrored wall, some paint, a rower and a dumbbell rack (we already have the equipment). We used to work out together down there many moons ago and really enjoyed it…..and even if we don’t do it together in the mornings (which is when I would use it), I still want the gym downstairs done properly. I want to stop paying over $60/month for gym fees and it would be great if Ray would lift again, he loves it and he wants to put muscle on (he’s an awesome gainer too, the bugger!).

So…..now I’m pricing rowers and mirrors and imagining paint colors (I’m thinking a soft buttery yellow?). We figure with the floor, the mirror, the rack, the rower and the paint etc….it will be about $1500 – $2000 to get it done. And if there’s leftover money I want a big punching dummy and a pair of gloves!

So that’s my update for today. Trip recap over on Half A Pear, bicycle is being benched in favor of walking shoes and we’ll be working on the downstairs gym. I’m trying not to feel too badly about how short lived my bike-commuting career was…..but I wildly over-estimated nearly everything about both it and me. As I’d mentioned, I want everything I do in April to be self-respecting and self-valuing and I think this change to walking shoes over cycling shoes is the best decision right now on several levels.

My Passion Experiment – Week Two Summary

Today marks two weeks into My Passion Experiment.  You can catch up with the project here, Day Two, Day Four and Day Seven if you like.  I’m feeling pretty good compared to a couple of weeks ago.  Here are the things I’ve noticed last week:

  1. For me, becoming complacent or thinking I know what’s going to happen or how I’m going to feel robs me of the ability to actually experience each day.  This one is très difficile but incredibly important for me to prevent feeling like I’m trapped in my own routine! Getting up and going through the same motions day after day; shower, cook breakfast, make coffee, feed dog, eat/drink, wash up, watch news for 11 minutes, drive to work, make tea, find something to do until noon, eat lunch, find something to do until 430, drive home, walk dog, start dinner, eat, cleanup, bed between 8 & 8:30, read for 20 minutes, sleep.  Repeat.  Can you see how that would get depressing?  But what if each day could feel different?  I’m trying to do small things that change how each day feels in order to avoid monotony and cultivate some passion for The Everyday.  Playing tuggy with Gracie for 11 minutes in the morning instead of watching the news, turning Ray’s alarm off and waking him up with kisses and cuddles instead (I like that more than he does, LOL!).  Doing a lemon sugar facial/upper body scrub before getting in the shower once a week, taking Gracie on a longer walk after work instead of rushing home to start dinner, having an after work drink in the driveway on nicer days, of course, biking to work, turning on music in the morning instead of the television, having a water-only day, going tanning in the evening instead of couch-time, floor stretches during my lunch break when no one is around. Anything to make the day feel a bit different.


  1. Passion grows on itself.  You put a little teensy seed down on a welcoming foundation, cover it up and then spend time cultivating it. You can’t see anything yet.  Nothing looks different….but you keep watering and you keep letting the sun’s warmth get to it.  You don’t lose faith.  And eventually a teensy little speck appears.  You rejoice that the little guy is alive and then you just keep doing what you were doing.  Watering, protecting, feeding and allowing it to grow. Some days it seems as if it’ll never get any bigger….and then poof, new leaves!  Everything that it is and everything that it will be comes from that first tiny seed and the faith that it would grow in time.


  1. Letting the past go is still a work in process.  A couple of times this past week I’ve had to gently (and then not so gently) tell Ray that I don’t want to talk about the plant or what might be happening there and that I sure as hell (that was the not so gently part) do NOT want to go for a drive and see what’s going on over there.  Not.  I also bumped into a former customer last weekend whom I knew outside of work before I knew of them as the customer….so I completely forgot that we had both associations.  Until she started grilling me about what had happened and what was going on and how could she contact someone there now.  I was so blindsided and not expecting that discussion that I nearly fainted.  So this part is still a work in process.  Although it has been successful by some measure as well in that I have not used the past as an excuse to do or not do something.  It’s simply irrelevant now.  I’ve stopped using the word “anymore” (eg, I don’t get four weeks of vacation anymore) or the word “now” (eg. I work 8 – 4:30 now).  I did that because if I drop those two qualifiers, what’s left is just a true statement.  I don’t get 4 weeks of holidays and I do work 8-4:30.  “Anymore” and “now” are those little tentacles trying to hook onto the past and keep pieces of it in the present.  I also try to avoid starting sentences with “I used to” and instead I say “When I” because I feel like starting with “I used to” makes it too regretful sounding and saying “When I” is more positive and more of a statement of fact. (eg. “I used to have an amazing boss” vs “When I worked at ABC, my boss was amazing”).  Maybe this is all BS as far as “professionals” are concerned but I find it useful for myself in staying current and closing that door.

So that’s the summary of Week Two.  Week Three should be more of the same, and instead of dreading the next 5 days of life, I’m going to be excited about it and try to wake up every day looking forward to what may come.

In other news, I rode my bicycle to work today and have revised my “scaling in” plan.  Since today is only Monday and Thursday & Friday are supposed to be nice days this week, I don’t see any real reason why I can’t ride on both those days as well, especially since the weekend is right there for recovery afterwards.  I’ll judge how I feel after riding on Thursday but this morning felt great even though I did 30 minutes of hill training on the indoor trainer on Saturday.  Bicycling is such a low impact activity that I don’t feel I have to recover my joints, ligaments, tendons after every ride; so far I haven’t been in any pain or discomfort.  I feel fantastic when I’m done and I look forward to the next outing so I’m going to keep letting my body run the show.  Going out in the morning and smelling that damp air and breathing hard; I know it’s where I’m supposed to be right now and I love it.

March, In Like A Lion

I was going to do a “picture an hour” post this morning about my Saturday.  It’s a thing going around right now for a neat post.  You take one picture every hour.  I took one the first hour, one the second, forgot the third and then got busy and ditched the idea.  So while I didn’t end up with one every hour, I’ll share what I did get.

Let me preface this weekend “outline” by saying that there was a LOT of lazing around and couch time….which is exactly what I wanted to end February.

Friday night I was, once again, home alone for awhile while Ray went for dinner with his mom (I hate the restaurant that they go to and would rather skip!) so I did the extra fun task of grocery shopping, dishwasher unloading, mayonnaise making and meat packaging.  I LOVE meat packaging day.  Makes me feel all content.  Friday night was an early to bed one, mostly because I was bored and didn’t feel like staying up.

1. Meat

Saturday morning I loaded myself into the truck and went about 45 minutes up the freeway to my mom’s house to pick up my new sideboard.  I have desperately needed some storage in the kitchen, our cupboards are packed with fry pans, pots, crockpots, glassware for lunch containers, stoneware, food processor and mix master.  PACKED.  It’s a puzzle getting things out sometimes and a complete ‘giveup’ putting them away from time to time.  Many a time one of us has gotten frustrated and either just left the item sitting out (on our very limited countertop space) or whipped the item into the cupboard and slammed the door, hopeful that nothing was broken.

No more!  My mom and sister and I went thrift shopping a few weeks ago and I found something I really liked that was absolutely perfect for my storage needs.  Only….they wouldn’t sell it to me unless I took the table and chair set that was with it. My mom persevered though and went back every second day to bug them into separating the sideboard off.  And they did so I got to go and get the one piece on Saturday.

First up though was a visit with her little furball!

1a. Tucker

After the doggy-loving we went to get the sideboard.

2. Haul

I knew it was big but I had no idea how HEAVY it was!  It is solid hard-wood and weighs about 350 pounds. It took Ray and I 20 minutes of heaving and resting and heaving to get it out of the truck and upstairs…around a corner and finally into position!

3. Sideboard

I’m debating painting it or stripping and restaining it.  It is a bit chewed up in spots so it does need to be refinished….just not sure how yet.

After we got the sideboard all in place and full of cookware (LOVE how it’s working and the extra spacious cabinets I now have), we took Gracie and went to a dog birthday.  Not just any dog, this particular one is becoming a bit famous in our area. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and isn’t a candidate for surgery, he’s going to die soon. Instead of getting too sad about it and missing out on his last good days, Riina (his mom) made him a bucket list and has spent the last months marking things off.  Meeting Biff Naked, drinking beer at the pub, riding in police cars and firetrucks to name a few.  His 9th birthday came this weekend and she threw him a party for all his boxer-dog friends.

5. Romeo

Gracie was a good sport and played nicely with the other dogs, donned her bday hat for pictures and ate cake!

4. Bday Hat

You can click this link:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dog-with-cancer-gets-bucket-list-for-final-days-1.2554369 if you want to read more about Romeo.

After the party it was naps all around, some cooking and some hockey watching

5a. Sleeping

Sunday was more of the same but with a trip to Mecca….Gourmet Warehouse thrown in. Sunday was a lazy day (as always) filled with television, silly dog playing, reading, some cooking and movies.

6. Couch Hog


7. Movietime

I made absolutely certain to spend as much of the weekend (and the end of February) doing lazy, relaxing things.  I want change in March and I work well with drawing a line and then stepping over it to start.

Tonight we’ll be working on getting Pedals all geared up so that as SOON as it stops being winter outside, I can bicycle to work.  It has either poured with rain, snowed like crazy or been freezing rain the last four weekends in a row.  It’s been awful!  So…..as much as I would prefer to “test run” my ride to work and back, I’m almost positive that’s being chucked out the window.  The moment it’s sunny out, I’ll be riding to work, test-run complete or not.  Pedals will have new, clip-in pedals put on tonight, the headlight and taillight batteries replaced, the odometer calibrated and then tomorrow I’m going to go after work and get new panniers and gloves.

In the meantime…while it’s pissing down with rain outside, I’ll be rowing at the gym in the mornings.  I desire change in both my body and my attitude and the only way to make change is to be the change.  Someone, please remind me of this at 4am!


Well. That’s Disappointing.

Let me come right out and say it, “I failed at meeting my Century goal of 100 kilometers by March 1.”.

I missed it by around 20 kilometers.  I say “around 20” because it’s not yet March 1st and I’ll still get one more dog walk in tonight.  But finishing on time is, at this point, unachievable.

I’m disappointed in myself, to be quite honest.  I missed a lot of gym mornings and after work walks that would have certainly propelled me over the finish line with little effort.  But….I didn’t do it.  I slept in when I shouldn’t have, I let Grace go for a walk with someone else instead of insisting on taking her myself (or going alone).  In simple words, I didn’t make my goal a priority and it stalled, faltered and died.  Simple as that.

I was thinking this morning about ultimately having failed and how I should put a positive spin on it and that I got 78km done and that’s better than nothing and I was injured and life happened and I still deserve to feel good about the result, blah blah blah.  But honestly, that’s bullshit.  I set a goal, I could have achieved the goal and I didn’t put my energy into it.  Fail.  So having been realistic about the failure and my feelings about it, now I will be positive (and realistic) about what to do next.

I piddled away February.  I gave a half assed (and sometimes no) effort and I am experiencing the results of that.  I feel crappy, my mood is crappy, my spirit is low.  I hear negative words in my head and I talk myself out of nearly everything without even trying to fight back.

I am so grateful though, that I am awake and aware enough to admit to wasting the month of February and that I can look at what happened, where I got stuck and get moving again.  Yesterday my sister said that she thought that I was tough and that I was a fighter.  Sometimes fighting and being tough takes a shit-tonne of energy though, both mental and physical.  Sometimes that energy just isn’t there….and it wasn’t in February.

In order to help myself be more successful in March, I’m scaling back on the goals list and am going to focus my attention on the things that really bring a lot of added value for me.  Painting my nails would be nice, organizing my cupboards would be great….but what I really need to do is refocus on the “SELF” goals and push away the noisy little stuff that can cloud my vision.

Strangely complimentary to my blog post is the one that my sister wrote today, go check it out:  http://onelittlelifestory.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/not-making-a-choice-is-a-choice/

In the same vein as my post above and the one I just linked to, I am making the choice to choose to let the rest of February go.  I’ve been trying to figure out ways to salvage the month and with three days left to go, it’s not saveable and that effort to keep pumping life into it is just reminding me of everything that I didn’t do. 

Goals and a Shameless Plug

I’ve read a couple of good blogs over the weekend and I’ll be damned if I can find them now.  The gist was….what you would expect at this time of year.  Get your head straight, get your house in order and, if you want to see change you have to actually make change.  That part was my favourite.  It’s the hardest for us, sometimes, to remember that just wanting something isn’t enough to make it happen.  That just believing in something isn’t enough to inspire change.  That just envisioning it isn’t enough to bring it to life.  Sure, those are all good things and they help but the reality is that if I want to run a race I have to go outside and train for it.  The reality is that if I want to lose a few pounds I have to stop eating crap food.  The reality is if I want to change my relationship with food I have to make changes in my encounters with it.

I’ve written my monthly weight goals down on a sheet of paper in my day planner where I can see them.  During the Christmas cleanup though, our scale went missing.  So….for the better, I can weigh myself once a month at the gym!  Anyway, although some of these goals don’t necessarily meet all the SMART (specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, timely) criteria but they’re close enough.  And…although I said earlier that I wasn’t making resolutions, I don’t believe that monthly goals fall under that category.  I think it’s important to have goals and to put them out there in the world!  So here they are for January:

  • Reduce food budget to $130/week
  • Reduce eating out to once this month
  • Adopt friend’s idea of “No Spend Month” and do not spend money on anything that is not critical for survival.  Wine is not critical.  Cry.
  • Eat at the dinner table at least 3 nights per week, no TV, no technology.  Be willing to encourage by example if Ray is not yet on board (ie, do it alone)
  • Participate in 1 community/charity run
  • Get new Video Blog up and running and promote it
  • Limit fruit to 1/day max (includes whatever is mixed into a salad)
  • COMPLETELY EXCLUDE:  dairy, added sugars or grains of any sort
  • Limit Alcohol to only Friday and/or Saturday
  • Meet gym dates, three per week
  • Work to meet weight goal for January
  • Practice making decisions consciously

I was going to highlight the ones that I thought were the most important….but then the whole list was highlit so I nixed that idea!  These are the goals that I have for January (starting now).  Nearing the end of January I’ll review the list and reassess and see what will continue on to February and what I’ll change.  There is no point in making decisions now for June, or now for November or even now for March.  I know that there are things that will change and things that will happen between now and a month from now and instead of trying to wedge my goals around my life or cram my life into these goals, I’ll make conscious goals that will work with everything else I have going on.

A long time ago a blog friend made a statement, I can’t remember if it was her original statement or copied from somewhere.  “Do The Next Right Thing”. That’s it and it will be my motto for January 2014.


Let me know what you’re doing in the next month that will improve your life?  Giving up alcohol?  Exercising more?   


I encourage you to click on over to “90 Seconds of Real” and take a look around.  We have four women at the moment who are going to share their ups, downs and sideways.  Below is the description of the project from the website.  We hope to have a new video every day (or pretty close to) and we would love a “FOLLOW” or a “LIKE” or even the most cherished of internet communications, a “COMMENT”!  Check out the videos that are up there now as well as the brief biographies and pictures of the contributors under the “About” tab.


The goal with this project is to relate to, reach out to and appeal to other women who are trying to live a strong healthy life in today’s world of convenience, inactivity, instant gratification and a to-do list that just won’t quit.  It’s not an easy road to travel and sometimes when you’re walking down it, you can feel like you’re all alone.

Meet the women of the “90 Seconds of Real” project and know we’re all walking down this road too and we get it!  We’re charging on and powering through and screaming into a pillow right along with you.  We’re cooking Yet Another Paleo Meal for the billionth time and dragging ourselves out of bed to get to the gym and turning down cookies and trying to stand behind our choices and our values.   We hope that you can relate!

Lent…Or Something Harder

OH!  LENT!  Today is the start of Lent, that is frigging awesome!  I’ve just been sitting here this morning ruminating over things and while I’m not Jewish, having Lent start today goes along really perfectly with some of the things that have been bugging me the last little while.

So, the idea is to give up something(s) from your life or diet for 46 days (correct me if I’m wrong).  I think that whatever you give up is supposed to be something you like or value so that you can know personal sacrifice.  It’s supposed to be something that you’ll notice missing for this time (no sense giving up drinking pop if you only have one Coke a month) and I believe it’s complete abstinence.  I imagine chocolate and alcohol are probably fairly popular ones!

I’m not really that excited about Lent as far as giving anything up, although I should probably put the boots to sugar (as per usual!).  I’m more looking forward to it because it’s one of those cool “lines in the sand” that come up as the year progresses.  First is New Years, we all know how that one goes, then Lent, spring, the transition into back to school.  All seem like natural times of refresh and renew and I’m totally going to use this one to try and clear some stuff up.

I have this haze of unhappy right now.  I’ve made a huge commitment that’s going to start coming to fruition in the next couple of weeks and it’s totally throwing me.  Paralyzing me with fear and inaction, actually.  As completely idiotic as that sounds when I read it back, it’s the truth and I should have seen it coming.  Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of change and however crazy, fear of success. 

So when you’re existing in a quicksand filled with fear, how do you get out and get going and let go of “safety” and leap into the abyss, come what may, fuck fear, embrace success, shout your own value from the rooftops?  It’s so odd that I’m asking myself (and you guys!) this question because someone just asked it of me last week.  Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary that I quit smoking and the 5½ish year anniversary that I lost nearly 100 pounds and changed my life.  HOW?  I had absolutely nothing to lose.  Nothing.  I was fat and extremely unhealthy, depressed and dejected, alone and with no spark.  There’s nothing to fear when all is already lost.

I feel like I should know how to power through and fight dragons and shatter fear like it’s a fragile vase.  But….I don’t.  Obviously.  Time is ticking away from me and I’m still sitting here.  Unmoving.  Frozen.  Sinking in the quicksand.  I know what I want, I can see it.  I know how to get it.  It IS what I want (in case you’re thinking that I’m trying to force myself to want something that I really don’t). 

I’m not unique, just in the last week I’ve read posts with people struggling in the same way:



These two in particular really resonated with me.  Women, having powerful internal struggles.  FEAR! 

WHY are we so scared of ourselves?  WHY do we fear our success?  Why do we crush the little seedlings of happy and success with the rusty, enormous fear hammer?  How do otherwise smart and successful and confident women eradicate the fear that brings us down?

How do I do it?  How do I move towards change, towards the future, towards the unknown?  How do I arrest fear and set free my own forward motion?

I realize that this is probably not exactly what “Lent” had in mind, giving up wine for 40 days would definitely be easier than this.  I’ve always been stopped here.  Always.  When I was fat I was stopped here.  Now that I’m not fat, I’m still stopped here.  I’ve often had other focuses and distractions….but here…..is where I’m stuck.

I really don’t want to be stuck here anymore.

A Beautiful Door!

Do you get the sense that the door on 2012 is slowly closing?  Or, even more so, that the door to 2013 is starting to open up and maybe you can get a little peak?

This is the first year I’ve really felt excited for that opening.  For fresh and new and renewed.  This is the first year that I’ve felt like the current year is used up and getting a big stagnant.  I realize that so many people have the same sensation, hence the obsessions with making resolutions and huge life changes.  I think the mistake comes in thinking that because you want it to be, that everything will be different when you wake up on January 1st.  Obviously, as humans we’re flawed by design and part of that flaw is the inherent inability to change.  I’ve been through enough new years now that I think I know the difference between how to make a positive change and how to set myself up for failure.

This year, this turn of the calendar is going to be a different tactic for me though.  I’m not telling anyone what my plan is.  Not because I don’t want to be held responsible for whether and how I commit to my goals, but because I know that it’s the right way to do it this time.  I’m seeing in myself little signs that are pointing me in a certain direction, I’m seeing certain needs that I’m not fulfilling for myself.  I’m hearing little signals that in some ways I need to return to roots and in other ways I need to discard that which doesn’t work for me anymore.  I have stagnant thought processes that need to change, some actions that need to stop and others where I need to foster their growth.  I need to put myself first in some important aspects so that I’m not always showing up last and I need to find some balance between not rocking the boat so everyone is happy and rocking it a little to make sure that I’m happy.

We have quite a few big plans this year but the hands down biggest one for me this year is Me.  We all get a little lost from time to time and I thought I was.  I realize now that I haven’t been lost at all, I’ve been listening and watching and learning.  Events and people and timing has all changed me a lot this year.  Some of the “me” that I’ve always banked on disappeared this year while new traits have solidified, some for the better, some not so much.  Everyone changes all the time, little by little but for the most part, the core of who we are remains solid.  My core is still solid, I’m still who I’ve always been.  Some of my peripheral stuff this past year may have muddied that up, but the waters are clearing!  I haven’t been lost at all…….I’ve just been waiting patiently on the other side of the door in 2013. 

I know what I have to do now and writing it down or posting it or advertising it isn’t going to serve me in any way.  I know what my plan is and I know what I have to do to achieve it.  “They” say that there are ways that you can make more effective goals, ways that you can give yourself a head start to achieving success and I’m sure they work too.  But I think?  If you just listen to that voice in your heart, there is no formula required.  We all already know the path we’re supposed to be on and when we can learn to listen for the plan, the actions take shape of their own accord.  I’ve heard my plan.  The same way that I heard it 7 years ago (September 4th) when I quit smoking and lost 90 pounds, the same way I heard it last year (January 31st) when I went grain free successfully.  I’ve heard my plan and it’s not a new year resolution, it’s a wonderful coincidence this time that the plan is meant to start at the beginning of 2013.

2013 Door

Short Recap of a Long Weekend

I have 15 minutes to chug some coffee while writing this post and then get in the shower and start my day (off).  So I thought I’d do more pictures, less talking.  We’ll see how that works!  If you follow me on Twitter you may have already seen these pictures.  If you don’t follow me on Twitter, why not go click the button?

Friday morning I got up and took Grace for a gorgeous warm 6 kilometer walk and then came home and got ready for my big appointment of the day.  At 11am, I got this!

I’d say it didn’t hurt, but I’d be lying, obviously.  However…..it really didn’t hurt that much.  Since my only comparison was the one that I have down my right side (starts up on my ribs, ends on my hip), this one was a frigging breeze!  Just the shading in the last 20 minutes or so was very bothersome, but it’s all worth it, I love it!  In good intention, he put a nice big piece of Second Skin on it and it’s meant to be left on a new tattoo for 12-24 hours.  I took it off after 20 hours and ended up with a big rash where it had stuck to the surrounding skin.  I’ll know for next time though!

Friday night my dad and Janet were supposed to arrive but unfortunately they encountered a closure on the highway.  55 kilometers took them 2 hours and then they were turned around and had to go a long detour.  They chose to stop for the night and we didn’t see them until the next morning.  In keeping with our plan though, Ray and I went to the John B for dinner.  I had a Roasted Ahi & Grapefruit Salad with Thai Basil Clams & Mussells.  It was The Best Restaurant Salad I have ever had….and I have had quite a lot.  The tart-fresh of the salad with the grapefruit pieces and champagne dressing balanced the very salty earthy mussels and clams.  Really impressed!

Saturday we all got together in Chilliwack and spent some time helping my Grampa clean out his workshop.  It was very hard on him emotionally, maybe more than he could have predicted.  My dad took a lot of his tools and I think it made my Grampa feel a bit better that someone in our family would have his stuff rather than a discount store or a junk collector.

We left Chilliwack in the afternoon and came back to our house and spent a few hours sitting on the driveway drinking and snacking and chatting.  When it got too dark for out there we moved onto the back deck and lit our little campfire and had dinner and a few more drinks.  I went to bed with a spinning head and woke up with an aching one.  Totally fun though!

My 15 minutes are up now, I leave you with a picture of my dog wearing my dad’s shades (she L O V E D him, absolutely and completely fell in love with him) and my dad, goofing around in a store yesterday.

This weekend was set up long in advance and came wtih some baggage and some presumed stress.  It turned out very well, there was some uncomfortable moments but not where I thought they would be.  I got to have that unique time with my dad that only comes when someone is staying with you.  I also got to see him and Janet together and they seem very happy together.  I got to see and hear her taking very good care of him and that makes me very hapy.  As in my own life, we don’t all have to be best friends with each other but it’s certainly nice to be able to recognize a good partnership and be happy that he has someone.

Today I have a bank appointment, a lunch at 12:30 with an old co-worker and then a wax at 4:30.  Groceries and a walk in there somewhere!  Tomorrow is back to work and I have a coffee date with a friend in the evening.  Ray’s on graveyards (which I hate) so it’ll be quiet here on the home front this week.  We’re camping (infamous potluck, thanks for all the comments, I’ll be sure and update that one when it’s happened) this weekend as well.

Personal Paint Job

This weekend was both relaxing and completely consumed with stuff at the same time.  Saturday morning the alarm (yes, the fricking alarm on a Saturday) went off at 6am and we got up and started getting ready to go on a motorcycle ride to a lake/resort town about 2 hours away where we would play some pitch n’ putt and then have lunch and ride back.  Fortunately the weather turned out to be absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately I’m a bit sick so the morning didn’t start out with a bang for me.  Since it was also an event I actually had no interest in, I wasn’t overly thrilled for the day.  But on the positive side, Ray was an absolute prince the entire time, it fully reminded me of when we first got together, attentive and affectionate.  It really turned my whole attitude about the day around! 

This was our first real ride of the season (which, yes, I realize is almost over, late start, I guess!) and since my CB is busted and I haven’t had enough seat-time this year, I couldn’t listen to music, I had a lot of time with nothing but the wind in my ears.  If you’ve never ridden you may not understand, but there is a different kind of thinking that you do on a bike.  It’s more scattered but with more clarity. Must be all the oxygen being forced into your lungs!  I had tonnes of time to think about all sorts of things, completely uninterrupted.

Part of it was a bit of reminiscing about the way things used to be, back when Ray and I first got together.  We used to spend all of our time on bikes, riding and chatting and hanging out together.  Granted, it was just weekend time because once Sunday afternoon rolled around I would get in my car and go back to my apartment alone which sucked to high heaven and got incrementally worse on my heart each weekend.  I realized that I miss the “free” time that we used to have, no errands, no bills, no date planner with too much stuff packed into it.  But while I do miss that more unencumbered time, I wouldn’t trade what we have now for the world. Absolutely not.  I wouldn’t trade being able to go to bed and wake up with each other every day and the complete confidence and comfort of a solid, loving relationship.  We had so much fun on our bikes but what that time together did was bring us to where we are together, in love and living a regular life.  We’ve both agreed to make a way bigger effort to ride more next year because it’s something that we love and something that nourishes our relationship in a way that nothing else does.  

I also spent a lot of time thinking about who I want to be this fall and winter.  You may think that’s a fairly short period of time to “be” someone, but I don’t think so.  I think we’re always fundamentally the same as we’ve always been and any change that comes does so very slowly over time.  However there are aspects of ourselves that we can create and recreate at any time.  Two aspects of myself that I’m going to reshape over the fall and winter are who I am as an athletic, fit woman and who I am as my hubby’s partner.  Fundamentally who I am isn’t up for change (although that could come as a byproduct) but I am going to put a coat of paint on these two aspects of myself for a few months. 

My “fit, athletic woman” paint job actually starts this week, that was planned out last week.  I cannot work out on Monday’s (something that I just can’t pull off and am better to understand and work around than try to change) so this week will be Tuesday and Thursday at the gym in the morning, next week I’ll move up to three days for a couple of weeks and then possibly add a fourth cardio day later on.  I’ve decided that every four weeks I’ll take a full week off.  I’ve done this all long enough now that I know at about week three and a half of getting up at 4am, I’m starting to get burned out and need a break so this time I’ll plan that in!  Why am I getting a paint job for this?  Because I really enjoy who I am when working out consistently is a bigger part of who I am and there is no reason that I shouldn’t cultivate that.

The second part of the renovation is who I am as Ray’s partner.  As I said, who I actually AM isn’t going to change because that sort of change takes much longer than a few winter months.  But nothing ever changes is if you never make any effort.  Now, I realize you should never make changes for other people so saying “who I am as Ray’s partner” may be a bit of a misnomer.  What I actually mean is that there are parts of me that I don’t like, parts of my behavior or reactions that do not make me feel good and they are in the context of my relationship.  So, over the course of the next few months I am going to try harder to relax and let the little shit go.  I’m going to breathe first and talk second and I’m going to make sure that my feelings about things are made known, either in advance or as a calm conversation after something has happened.  This should hopefully replace some snarky conversations I’ve instigated as well as a bad habit I have of not thinking through what I want to express and then doing it over and over until the whole thing is just a huge mess.  I’m not really great at expressing my feelings very well but I’m going to work on getting my point across better, one time and calmly.  I realize that relationships take work on the part of both people however I can only change my own behavior and since there are parts of me that I don’t even appreciate, I figure it can’t hurt to work on that myself.  Plus, since most people generally “go with the flow”, if I’m making quiet, positive change and that becomes the flow then theoretically Ray would be picked up in the current and swept along.

As I said, all the random wisps of thoughts that I’ve been having were all pulled together on Saturday on a gorgeous, sunshiny ride.  Their catalyst was a sign that I saw first thing that morning:

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Does anyone else ever recreate aspects of themselves from time to time?  Are there things that bother you about you?  Anything you ever try to change?