Aug. 2, 2012

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My love took me out to dinner tonight. Although you can’t see it, in this shot, we’re dining on fine Italian cuisine, at Romul’s Restaurant. They now have a place in Hood River! Mmmm! delizioso!

Reflecting on Grace and Peace

Columbia River Gorge Sunset

A beautiful sunset reflection: the Columbia River Gorge (Summer, 2011)

This morning I woke up and got out of bed much earlier than I’m accustomed to. I got up, and groggily drank the coffee my kind husband had prepared for me, out of the well-insulated to-go cup he had set out on the counter. As I sipped, and came to, I began reading the Jan. 3 entry in The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo. It was the passage entitled, “Unlearning Back to God.”

I read the words on the page, and drank it in, along with my delicious cup of hot coffee. It was a good way to wake up – as I pondered the beauty that is life – and waited for the sun to rise. I won’t spoil it for you by sharing too much of what I read this morning, but I will share my personal thoughts, which I penned before facing the day:

Starting fresh — embracing the morning — thankful for each new day and the opportunity it affords me to live life and find happiness; to have another chance to grow and change, and be the precious human, I AM. Finding that “…unencumbered spot…the spot of grace that issues peace” (The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo, 2000).

The Number One New Year’s Resolution

Many people, worldwide, are thinking about losing weight at this “reset the clock” point in time, and so am I.*

This morning, as I have been watching Oprah’s shows on weight loss, I see many examples of very overweight to morbidly obese people who lost 50-550 pounds, and I am reminded that I do not have the same problems these people had. I do not have a problem with extreme overeating, or binge-eating, or overindulgence in alcohol, sweets, fats, and really bad junk food. No, I just have a few relatively simple problems to overcome.

I am thankful that I have a very manageable situation – related to my weight loss goals. Unlike those who have to overcome amazing obstacles, and much more weight, I only have a few points to focus on:

  1. I do not exercise enough, and therefore do not burn enough calories per day. (This includes strength training).
  2. I do not eat enough raw fruits and vegetables and whole foods each day, therefore I am not getting proper nutrition.
  3. I admittedly drink too much beer (even though “too much” is really 2-3 bottles or pints a week, it is still “too much” for me, especially given my lack of exercise), and this usually takes place on Friday nights after work, and over the weekends. (This act alone adds 200-400+ calories a week, which throws me over my weekly calorie limit for weight loss).
  4. I do not drink enough water (the recommended 8 glasses a day).

So there are really only a few points I need to focus on. And these are not overwhelming to me. I can manage these! I most certainly can.

I think it really is the simple things in life that can make — or break you. (Emphasis on “make”!) With that in mind, I will continue on my simple, healthy path and keep doing these few, simple things:

  1. Continue to exercise every day, if possible, or at least 5 times a week.
  2. Buy more fresh produce – and eat it daily.
  3. Stop drinking beer during the week, if at all, and for one month completely stop, and then after that – drink a beer only on special occasions. (It doesn’t need to be a beverage at every meal; that just adds useless, empty calories!)
  4. Drink water whenever I think of it, and track it on my SparkPeople iPhone app (very handy).

*Just to share a quick “a-ha” moment I had today: I realized that the New Year is the perfect time to start doing something you’ve been meaning to do – because it’s a group mind opportunity! Everyone is on the same page, and so they are all ready to start fresh. And they’re willing to let YOU start fresh, too! Always been late to work? Well begin anew in the new year, arriving on time, and everyone will forgive you, and forget that you were always late the previous year! Re-set! Re-set! Re-set! But remember, you only have this one chance to have everyone’s full acceptance and forgiveness. Until next year. 🙂

New Year Blog Distress!

The New Year is already overwhelming me – but it’s my doing.  In an attempt to add a new, separate blogging project page, and change the address of my current blog site, I’ve managed to mess things up. (I think…?)

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Jan. 1, 2012

I am working on creating a sub-blog, or sub-domain for this project, and in the process, I am managing to really stress myself out. I now realize I went about it all wrong, and am suffering from a bit of anxiety – from not knowing what I’m doing. (That is my biggest source of anxiety: not knowing or not feeling like I understand.) So…I am going to take a break from trying to figure it out – and walk away for a few hours. I certainly do NOT want my first day in 2012 to feel like this…a sickness in my belly and a heart that is racing. Nope. Not good. I only hope those who were kind enough to follow my blog are still following me – and I can figure out this domain and subdomain mapping thing, and get it all cleared up soon.

Off to read my first day’s reading in The Book of Awakening. Maybe that will chill me out…

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This whole experience is showing me how little I understand about managing a blog/site/domain!!  Aack! Not the best way to start my year. I am freaking out a little inside. I need to go on a walk…and step away from the technical stuff I admit I do not know enough about.

This is the epitome of what I do to trouble myself: I start with a good, simple idea that soon explodes into a very complicated, distressing problem. :-\  I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack, and throw up, all at the same time.

This is supposed to be FUN…not more work.

[A day later footnote: I was trying to manage my site while dealing with a nasty headache…and…um…a slight hangover from New Year’s Eve – so I should have cut myself some slack!]

Cooking up some resolutions for 2012 (the blog kind)

Oh look! It’s been exactly one month since my last blog entry.

It feels like I’m due for a confession or something, for I have committed the cardinal sin of the blogging community, by not blogging regularly enough. Some say a good blogger will blog once a day; some say, once a week; but nearly all will say, you definitely need to blog on a regular schedule, so as to keep readers interested. (Makes sense.)

So far, this is my greatest blogging challenge: consistency. (But wait. I think that’s my all-time greatest challenge…in life.) Yeah. Well. As in the large things, so in small. Or however that scripture goes. (Bible readers: if you know which scripture I’m referring to here, please refresh my memory?)

So that brings me to my most grandiose statement of the year: I think I shall try to…*dum-dum-dum*…do a variation on my Project 365: Photo project in true written blog style. That’s right. I think I will commit to writing some kind of blog once — a — day. Oh my. It’s scary to even type the letters on my keyboard for that one.

For my 365 Days of Blogging, I could:

  1. Follow along in my new, as yet unread, book The Book of Awakening, which I came across by watching Oprah (my “guru”), and write my brief reflections on the daily readings.
  2. Follow in the footsteps of author Gretchen Rubin, whose book The Happiness Project I am reading right now, and do a sort of scaled-down happiness project of my own. (OK. This will take some quick planning — as I don’t  have much time before the New Year!)
  3. Do a gratitude journal of sorts, recording and commenting on what I am most grateful for, each day. (I most recently heard about his idea while, again, I was watching Oprah, on a Sunday, as she and Elizabeth Gilbert, another “guru” of mine, were talking about happiness and such.)
  4. Simply commit to writing a brief account of what I’m thinking of, working on, experiencing each and every day, of 2012. I can let myself be fast and loose – and just see what happens, committing to a minimal blog, say 2-3 paragraphs a day. Or maybe even lift all restrictions and order completely, and tell myself simply: just write something each day. (So, a poem, a haiku, even a few syllables, would suffice. But, to be honest with who I am – I bet I’ll find it more difficult to stick to a few words than go for a few paragraphs, a day).

The goals of this project would be for me to: get more comfortable writing regularly, and thus improve my writing ability (this is what I would hope for, anyway); get through some inner issues I have been working on (the ones suitable for a public audience, that is); attain consistency in something meaningful to me; and to have another healthy habit in my life – something that brings me joy and fulfilment. 🙂 (Those are great goals, yes?)

To supplement these lofty goals, I will, of course, also be doing my Project 365: Photos, as started in June 2011, as well as trying lose weight and get in better shape. The latter will give me plenty to reflect on, in conjunction with my possible Project 365 Days of Blogging topics. 

So in typical blog rhetoric: what are some of your 2012 resolutions?? Please, dish!