Saturday, November 3, 2012

Celebrating Life

Today is a bit of a strange day for me. I'm celebrating life in two distinct, yet opposite ways. First, it is my husband's birthday so of course I am doing my best to spoil him rotten. His life has made mine so much more full, vibrant, meaningful, passionate, spiritual, and so many other adjectives I can't think of right now. He is my rock, my soft shoulder, my sounding board, my dream catcher, my best friend, and my number one fan. Life with him is utterly amazing. So today, I celebrate his incredible life.

But today, I am also going to a funeral. I can't remember the last time I went to a funeral. And today's is especially hard, because the friend who passed away was my age. He developed brain cancer last year, and that cancer took his life. I can't believe it would happen to someone so young and talented. It doesn't make sense. I've been an observer of some other far-too-soon deaths in the past few years, but have never had one hit so close to home. All I know is that I want to approach this event with solemn gratitude that I got to know Jordan for the short time he was with us and with thankfulness for his life.

In both cases, it really does make me stop and think about this whole thing we call life. What is it for? Why are we here? What's it all about? And it is times like this when I am extra thankful for my faith. My faith in God allows me to wrestle with these issues in a real, honest way. It allows me to search for the answers to these hard questions. And when things are going peachy, it doesn't seem like we need to search for answers. But we do. I especially do. So as hard as it is to deal with times like this, I go into this phase of searching with a grateful heart.

I hope to wrestle with some of those issues here, in writing, so that others may learn as well.

I need to write more, and I think between the inspiration of last week and the desperation of this week (with the hurricane and these other events), I believe I have more than enough fodder to ponder.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Series: Oregon Trail 3.0

I've decided to start a new series, based on a decision my husband and I need to make in the coming years which will take a lot of thought, prayer, and tough decision making. We need to decide whether to stay put where we are on the East Coast, or move to the place my roots are planted - Oregon.

I'm calling this series "Oregon Trail 3.0" for a few reasons: 1) I, like many of my elementary school classmates, seriously LOVED that game when I was a kid; 2) The real Oregon Trail took place in the 19th Century, the original game came out in the 20th Century, and we are weighing the decision to make our own train now - in the 21st Century; and 3) The number 3 has had a lot of meaning in our relationship, so it seemed fitting to use it as we embark on this important decision making journey as well!

This post will be focused on the first topic and the subsequent questions that come with As a bi-coastal couple, we're automatically put in the situation where we are guaranteed to upset one family unit, especially when it comes time to have children.

Do we stay here and sadden my family on a deeper level, or move west and sadden his family?
Which family are we "closer to" now? (Or better phrased - which family would take more advantage of our close proximity?)
Which family could we depend on more for help with raising our children (child care, etc.)?
Which family is more likely to travel for holidays, etc. in order to see their future grandchildren? Also, which family has the means to travel cross country on a fairly regular basis?
What about extended family? Would one coast put is in closer to proximity to more extended family members?

As I ponder the seemingly forever gray answers to these questions, I can't help but think back to our wedding, and view it as a sort of microcosm of our current support system the way it is now. The long and short of it is this: one family was there for us, through thick and thin during the week leading up to the wedding; the other family showed up to the wedding 15 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to start. So from this broad point of view, it seems like it would be an easy choice which family to choose, if that truly is an important factor in our decision.

I'm sure there are more questions related to this topic that the answers will bring about. But as I write this, the one thought that keeps popping into my head is this: it is OUR choice, not theirs. I realize that, but I also want to make sure that both of our families can be involved on some level, because I truly love both of our families. So there you have it - my constant and seemingly unresolvable internal battle. I know we'll come to a decision eventually, but in the meantime, I want to be better about reflecting on what's truly important to us and the life we want to build together. So no more questions left open-ended. I need to dig, find answers, and come to grips with my own decisions. For those of you who know me well, you'll find that often comes more clearly through writing.

That being said, I'm hoping that this exciting topic will get Greg back on here as an author. I love reading his words, so I know I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Next Decade

My 30's are almost upon me. But before I ring in the new decade, I wanted to write one more tiny blog post. You see, I had a plan to write some big, monumental "what I learned in my 20's and what I plan to do in my 30's" post...but that wasn't in the cards. It may have been if I'd plan a little better, or goofed off a bit less. But you know what, I enjoyed all that time goofing it's fine that the long post took a back seat to that.

So what was the biggest lesson I learned in my 20's? I would say this: some of the best things that happen in life are unplanned. In fact, most of the groundbreaking changes in my life during the the past few years were very unplanned. My new side career as a photographer, my career with DoD, meeting my husband, stumbling upon a lifestyle that keeps me feeling and looking great, etc. So in this next phase of my life, I want to be more open to what God may bring to my life.

And while I remain open, I also vow to remain gracious, with both myself and others. Because I find that as I am more gracious with myself, I take better care of myself. And if there is anything I learned in my 20's, it is that I am no good to this world if I don't take care of myself.

So there you have short, simple, 30's manifesto: be open and gracious. So here's to the next 10 years. May the be as blessed as the last 30 have been.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year - New Vision

Another new year has come and gone. Like most people, I set some goals (some resolutions) for the year, but they are primarily related to continuing the internal work I was striving for last year: being a better wife, a better photographer, and a better self. And as I've been reflecting on some of these goals during the past week, I keep landing on one thought - and it's a very disturbing and disheartening thought. For the last 29.8 years, I've been striving to be someone else. "I want to take pictures like her." "I want to be as good to my husband as she is to hers." "I want to write like her." "I want her body." "I want her hair."

I don't think this realization has ever hit me as hard as it has now - as I quickly count the days until my 30th birthday. I've reflected back on the list of things I want to do before I'm 30 - my 30 before 30 list - many times in the past few months; but this week, I realized that I want one thing more than I want anything else on any list I could make. I want to like myself. Really, really like myself. I want to let all those quotes saying things like "there is only one you" sink in. I can't believe I've spent so many years trying to chase someone else's successes, trying to seriously be just like someone else.

I'm not there yet, but I know that realizing this fact on such a deep level this time is setting the stage for my 30's to be the best decade yet. This is the year of self-care and self discovery. The year where I pursue the best me there is. Where I strive to be the best wife I can be to the husband I am blessed to call mine. Where I strive to be the best photographer I can be using the eyes, the vision, the skills, and the hunger for creativity God has given me and no one else. Where I strive to love myself, my body, my hair, my flaws, my everything - because it is what I was given.

I am so thankful for this new vision. And I know that once I start trying to be the best version of myself, I'll grow in ways I never though possible. So here's to a year of being, and becoming, me!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cultivating a Mentality of Abundance

How do I cultivate a mentality of abundance? I'm not talking about financial abundance, or prosperity, but rather...abundance of beauty, success, generosity, talent, love. To me, the opposite mentality - and the one I've been harboring for quite some time - is that of comparison. When I compare myself to someone, I am automatically thinking there is a limited amount of beauty (she's so much prettier than I am), success (if he's better at this job than me, there is no way I can be successful), generosity (everyone thinks she is so nice, so I shouldn't even bother), talent (he is so much more talented than I am, I'm sure nobody would appreciate my work), and love (they are such a cute couple, I bet they share so much more love than we do). Now that I have written out some of these thoughts (many of which I have actually caught myself thinking), I realize how silly they sound. However, I have a feeling I'm not alone in this thinking and in dealing with what I believe is one of the most troubling mentalities possible - the mentality of comparison.

While performing some intense intropsection during the past few months, I've noticed that this problem with comparison creates a majority of the other problems I often deal with: self doubt, selfishness, judging others, greed, strained relationships, and many others I haven't thought of. In fact, comparison, according to Dr. Stephen Covey, is one of the 5 metastasizing emotional cancers: criticizing, complaining, comparing, competing, and contending. Now for those of you like me who had no idea what on earth metastasizing meant before I looked it up at, he is talking about emotional "diseases" that spread injuriously and transform into a dangerous form. Wow. That hit the nail on the head. My issue with comparison had definitely injured other parts of my life and has had a very negative effect on my sense of worth and identity.

I've practiced comparing for more than twenty years now, so I'm pretty darn good at it. And therefore, I don't expect to be able to practice the opposite easily or immediately. But thankfully, I watched an incredible short video this afternoon that helped me think of a new way to approach people. But rather than give away the point of the video, I'd like to encourage you to watch it here - it'll only take 5 minutes of your time. I promise it's worth it!

Instead of summarizing the video, I will describe where it struck a nerve for me. For most of my life, whenever I meet someone new, the first question most often asked is "What do you do?" Now, not only is that an ambiguous question, but at the same time, it invites comparison. Becuase all of a sudden, now I'm thinking thoughts like "Wow, that sounds like a cool job. I bet he is much more happy with his professional life than me. And he probably makes way more. Which means he's better. Man I suck!". Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, "Wow, he really hates his job. I mean, I don't love my job but at least I can still get out of bed in the morning." Now, those are exaggerations, but hopefully I made my point. When I enter a conversation, or a new relationship with this attitude of comparison, I have very little hope of leaving the conversation feeling refreshed. I'll usually leave feeling diminished, or with a false sense of confidence.

I then watched another follow-up video about a man who did a "generosity experiment". One day he realized often he said no to those who needed his help, so in order to become more generous, he decided that for 30 days he was going to give to anyone who asked. Through this, he discovered that when you act a certain way, you make it a habit; for example, when you are always saying no to people, you start to become the word no. But when you instead start making yourself say yes, you become more generous. And when you become more generous, the world becomes more generous. This is when I started to ponder ways I could cultivate a mentality of abundance - how I could become less comparative? How could I see people more for who they are, instead of what I'm not?

I'm trying ot figure out how I can do an experiment that will help me cultivate a mentality and spirit of abundance. Not thinking that it's me against them, him, her, the world. But rather, it's me and them, him, her, the world. We're all here together. And there is enough for all of us. But how do I do that? Right now, I have no idea. But that's what I'm working on pondering. Let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Primal Diaries

This past week, I recorded all my thoughts, feelings, food choices, decisions, and random facts related to my Primal journey. I'm trying to eat more whole plant and animal based foods, avoid grains, and moderate dairy, caffeine, and alcohol intake. Doing this journal was very eye opening, and I will summarize my lessons learned at the end.

Before I begin, I want to outline the ten "Primal Laws" associated with this lifestyle:

1) Eat lots of plants and animals
2) Avoid poisonous things
3) Move frequently at a slow pace
4) Lift heavy things
5) Sprint once in a while
6) Get adequate sleep
7) Play
8) Get adequate sunlight
9) Avoid stupid mistakes
10) Use your brain

I hope you enjoy this snapshot of one week in the life of someone who is dramatically changing how she lives. Or at least trying to.


8:50am - Finally roll out of bed with a slight headache. Don't know why. Oh well, I'm hungry and really excited to indulge in the spinach, tomato, and blue cheese omelet (with a side of bacon) cooked by my "also becoming primal" husband. Yum! Headache dulls, but it's still there.

9:50am - Head out to work a scavenger hunt in my Vibram fivefingers. I've seriously fallen in love with these shoes. So glad my husband turned me on to them.

10:15am - Try to mpark at the Metro station so I can read en route (Primal Law 10 - use my brain). No such luck. Punch the address into the GPS & drive to DC. At least my boss reimburses for parking.

10:45am - Get parked and walk to the meeting place for the hunt. Nobody else is there yet, so I decide to venture 5 blocks over to get some Starbucks. Feels good to do a bit of walking after 40 minutes in the car.

10:55am - After debating all morning whether to get iced coffee or an iced latte, I decide on the latte...with sugar free syrup. Doh! Primal Law #3 - avoid poisonous things - violated. Oh well. It was either that or have a drink with a massive carb count, thanks to all the sugar. Next time, I'll go for the iced coffee - although that's tough too because I like my coffee sweet. But at least that way, I can control how much sugar goes into the cup.

1:15pm - After walking around the mall (the grassy one between the capital and the Lincoln memorial, not the indoor variety), we arrive at the first check-in point for the hunt. Boss asks if I'm hungry and offers to buy McDonalds. Ew. No thanks.

3:20pm - Boss is warm, offers to buy frozen yogurt. Hmmm. Still no.

3:30pm - Feeling kind of dizzy. Not sure why. Hoping it's because it's hot and smells like fish inside the building. Weird since I've been feeling much better overall since starting the primal thing.

3:45pm - Watch a girl eat some sort of smothered french fry dish. Looks kind of good. I sometimes miss fries. But I like the way I feel now more than I like french fries. Try fantasizing about sort of works.

5:00pm - Head to husband's restaurant for dinner. Steak salad with blue cheese dressing. Serious goodness.

5:45pm - Commence play time (Primal Law #7). Have an absolute blast goofing off with two awesome kids - 7 & 5 years old respectively.

6:15pm - Get coaxed into wine tasting next door. Trying to avoid alcohol, since I'm aiming for weight loss at this point, not just maintenance. But the thought of girl time outweighs that concern - we're going for long term change here. Indulge! In the future, I do need to remember I can dump the wine if I don't like it. But not this time - oh well, my heart and vision will thank me.

7:30pm - Finally leave the restaurant, with a bit of coffee for dessert. I only take 2 sips for a few reasons. 1) Primal law #8 - Get adequate sleep. 2) It has Splenda in it, and earlier in the evening my husband was discussing the research on Splenda - the healthier you are, the worse it is for you. Eek! Kinda makes me regret the sugar free portion of the latte earlier, but I still have the internal primal battle - "carbs" vs. "poison". The more I think about it, the more I'll choose carbs in the future.

8:00pm - At the mall (the indoor one this time). Find some bridesmaid shoes for the wedding in two weeks for only $18. Woo! And I get some more walking in my Vibrams done too.

9:15pm - At home. Cleaning. Realizing it's easier for me to indulge in sleep and play when the house feels clutter free. Need to seriously work on that.

10:10pm - Husband is home. Watch a movie, east some cheese, and a hardboiled egg for late night snack.

12:30am - Head to bed. I think this whole going to bed at an earlier hour without digital distraction right before bed is going to be one of the hardest part of this lifestyle. Hoping our camping trip for the anniversary next month will help.


9:25am - Roll out of bed. Finally. Hope some day I'll be able to wake up naturally...and refreshed.

9:40am - Iced coffee on the way to church. Dunkin Donuts french vanilla coffee, raw agave nectar, & organic, grass fed half and half from Whole Foods.

10:55am - As I listen to the post-Eucharistic prayer at church, I can't help but think of all the references to wheat, grain, etc. in the Bible. I don't mind ingesting gluten when it's the Eucharist, and in some ways, maybe it's more special that it's the only gluten I do intentionally ingest now. Just some thoughts...

11:50am - Leave church, just in time to go on a shopping spree at the farmers market.

12:30pm - Apples, pears, plums, eggplant, green beans, and kale. Oh my!

1:45pm - Sushi! I know it's not the most primal meal out there, but husband wanted some and I really missed it. Seaweed salad, salmon avocado roll, philadelphia roll (salmon & cream cheese), and some red snapper sashimi.

3:00pm - Arrive at home. Do some more cleaning and organizing so I can focus and work toward the uncluttered, less stressful life we really want.

8:00pm - Dinner time. Grassfed steak (in a not so primal, vegetable oil based, store-bought marinade), fresh green beans cooked in butter with salt and pepper, and sweet potato fries. For dessert, strawberries with farmers market peaches and whipped grass-fed heavy cream. I'm seriously loving this food, so good, and so satisfying.

10:10pm - My stomach isn't feeling the best. Not sure why, but I think I'm having some digestive problems. Took my Arbonne digestion supplement and almost immediately felt better. Should research ways to improve my digestive system...

11:30ish - Build our tent in the living room to test it out for the upcoming camping trip. Felt like little kids sleeping in a tent in the living room. Gotta get that play time in!


6:30am - Wake up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating. A bit soar from sleeping on top of my right arm all night. Decide it's time to go upstairs for a short stint of more comfortable sleep.

10:30am - Roll out of bed after a morning of cuddling and chatting with the husband.

11:15am - Breakfast. Spinach and blue cheese omelet, with bacon. Honeycrisp apple. Espresso shot over fresh whipped heavy cream. So. Unbelievably. Good.

1:00pm - Begin our camping trip shopping spree at Hudson Trail Outfitters and REI. Super excited for "campaversary" trip and how well it fits into the new lifestyle we're trying to achieve. (Side note: Vibram makes boots now. Heck yes!)

4:00pm - Hungry. Stop at TangySweet on the way to the movie, Crazy Stupid Love. Banana frozen yogurt with chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and strawberries. Definitely hits the spot.

6:50pm - Time for dinner at the Russia House. $20 off thanks to Groupon. Mango Martini - mango/orange/pineapple infused vodka, mango puree, raspberry puree, and cream - roasted lamb, pork pillows (in pasta - oh well), tomato/olive sauce. And I indulged in a few bits of bread. So glad I did - the butter was absolutely incredible.

8:15pm - After dinner, discuss dessert options for home. Make a plan to stop at Whole Foods if it's open. Gourmet cheese - plus we need half and half. Fingers Crossed!

8:43pm - Whole Foods is open! Score! Eggs, cream, half and half, arugula, and some cheese bites for dessert. (Side note: I love the whole foods cheese section - they have little bites of cheeses, small leftovers, for around $1. Great way to try all kinds of new cheeses without going overboard.)

9:30pm - Cheese, apples, and whipped cream for dessert.

10:00pm - After watching a few episodes of The Office, we get a call from husband's co-worker. He locked himself out of the restaurant. I drive the 8 miles there and back while husband starts reading for homework in the car.

11:30pm?? - Finally go to bed (in the tent again). Fell asleep in the living room with lights and television still on. Primal fail.


9:00am - Out of bed, make some eggs with spinach and iced coffee for breakfast.

10:00am - Leave for a few hours of errands on my day off from work.

12:30pm - Errands take a bit longer than expected. But I think my thrift store/mall browsing successfully counteracted some of the stress caused by earlier errands (primarily speaking of my dealings with a horrible un-named internet service provider). Mission accomplished.

3:30pm - After doing some on-the-phone errands and projects on the home front, I sit down to enjoy our FINALLY reconnected internet with some celery, carrots, and homemade (okay, husband's restaurant made) blue cheese dressing. Yum!

6:30pm - Time to get my butt moving with the one primal rule I've been seriously neglecting - exercise. Go to the gym and do 4 of the 5 body weight exercises. Almost 2 full cycles - fall a bit short on the squats. Then walk for 20 minutes on the treadmill while reading a chapter of my new book.

8:15pm - Dinner! Roast beef, wrapped in bacon. SO good. Plus fresh green beans in butter, and honeycrisp apples with almond butter for dessert.

10:00pm - Finally sitting down to get some things done on the internet. Will finish by 11:00pm and read before going to bed. Seriously need to get better about this sleep thing.


7:30am - Alarm sounds. Back to work. Yuck! I must admit, having the long 4-day weekend was a nice break from reality. Thankfully, it's a telework day - this should help ease the transition.

8:30am - Spinach, tomato, and blue cheese omelet. With bacon. (That is definitely our routine breakfast - when we have time in the morning). Never gets old. Oh, and hot coffee with cream and agave too.

9:00am - Hit the ground running with work after reading through emails while eating breakfast.

9:30am...10:30am - still working on a horrid spreadsheet for work.

12:30pm - go to the mall for lunch. Wanted to do some sprints today, but it's pouring outside and I really don't want to do my first set of sprints on a treadmill. Plus, shopping sounds like better therapy.

2:30pm - Finally eat some lunch. Spinach and tomato salad with celery and carrot sticks. Have a little left over roast for protein and dip the salad in a side of blue cheese dressing. I think I may be forming an unhealthy addiction to blue cheese dressing.

4:30pm - Still hungry. Still working. Still stressed. Have a honeycrisp apple with almond butter to curb the cravings.

6:20pm - Head to the high school to take pictures of a friend's volleyball game.

7:40pm - Is volleyball primal? Watching these girls play sure makes me miss it! Also reflect on today's work. Realize that I really need to start pursuing this photography business. I want to do something I love and stop working for the weekend...and vacations.

8:40pm - Get home from the game. Husband made me a salad! Love him! Baby arugula, green apple, raw cashews, flax seed, blue cheese (see a pattern?) and poppyseed dressing. This is what we affectionately refer to as "our salad".

10:00pm - Editing pictures while watching Law and Order: CI. Still hungry. What the heck? Snack on some gourmet cheese bites from Whole Foods. Finally think I'll be good til morning.

11:30pm - Seirously wondering how I can find a new job. Or be less stressed. Or both. Minimal BS (aka work) stress = uber primal. When I'm not stressed I eat better, play more, sleep get the idea.

Day 6

7:00am - Wake my butt up around 7, after 30 minutes of the snooze button. Back to the office.

7:15am - SO thankful for my husband. He helps make me breakfast, lunch, and dinner...since I have photography class tonight. I have an Arbonne vanilla protein shake with frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries blended in for breakfast; one of "our salads" for lunch; and for dinner...celery and blue cheese dressing, left over roast from 2 nights ago, and a peach. Whip together an iced coffee for the road.

7:20am - Weigh myself before getting dressed and heading to work. Notice I'm back to the weight I started at on Saturday morning. As of yesterday I had lost about 1.5 pounds. I know it's not about the "weight", but I'm not feeling as good as I have the past few days either. Attribute it to stress, since yesterday was my first day back to "work" after a 4-day hiatus.

8:30am - Finally get to work after nearly an hour in the car. The post Labor Day commute is always killer, and the seemingly endless rain for the past 3 days hasn't really helped either.

11:00am - Sitting at my desk with a growling stomach. My co-worker is not ready for lunch yet, so I bring the salad to my desk to ease the hunger.

11:35am - Co-worker is finally ready for lunch. Since I'm still working on my salad, we both head down to the cafeteria to get out of the office a bit.

11:45am - While eating in the cafeteria, I keep debating whether or not I should buy some coffee. My iced coffee this morning had Splenda in it (because we ran out of Agave a few days ago). Oddly enough, after several weeks without it, I can now taste the Splenda, so my coffee tastes like chemicals. Yuck! I feel justified in getting more coffee since I'll be "going" until 10:00pm tonight. But I decide against it, since I would be drinking it mostly for the effect, not the enjoyment.

2:00pm - Start a boring meeting, which goes until 4:00pm.

4:20pm - Notice that shortly after the meeting, I feel like I'm starving again. Oddly enough, I wasn't hungry at all before the meeting. Starting to think there is a BIG correlation between stress and my cravings. Dip into the celery and blue cheese to satisfy the urges.

5:45pm - Finally leave work to head to photography class. It's going to be a long commute as it is STILL raining. I do believe this is about the 3rd straight day, with hardly any breaks. I'm from Oregon and even I think this rain is just insane.

6:50pm - 20 minutes after GPS said I would be at school, I'm still on the road. I open the container with my leftover roast and begin eating it while driving. Feel like I look a bit crazy eating pieces of meat behind the steering wheel, so I try to only take bites when there are no other cars stopped beside me.

7:10pm - Finally parked and in class. Only 10 minutes late! Whew. Within the first 10 minutes, I'm already liking class better this week than last.

8:30pm - Break time. Eat my peach and refill my water bottle.

10:00pm - Excited to head home. It's been a long day!

10:30pm - Notice the part where I got stuck in construction traffic last week is empty because of the rain. First time all week I've been thankful for the percipitation. Will be home before 11. So excited.

11:10 - Get home and head straight upstairs. So. Tired. And still soar from my workout 2 days ago.


7:00am - Same kind of wake-up as yesterday. Hating life after 30 minutes of snooze. Make breakfast and lunch for the day - protein powder smoothie and spinach, strawberry, and cashew salad. Hot coffee with the new bottle of agave.

7:20am - Out of the house. Dreading the horrid traffic before I even sit down behind the steering wheel.

7:50am - Traffic is extra horrid, much worse than yesterday. 30 minutes in, I'm at mile 2 of my 15 mile journey. Call co-worker to let him know I'll be inexcusably late today. He suggests that I telework. I take the offer.

7:52am - Also hear from co-worker about the "boil water advisory" that was issued in the city where I live. Eeek! I had no idea! Hang up and immediately call the husband to warn him.

8:20am - Finally arrive home. Had to travel one more mile in the insane traffic in order to exit the highway and turn around.

10:50am - Head out to the grocery store to get some jugs of clean water. Get some Starbucks while I'm out, since I threw out my coffee due to the contaminated water. (The Starbucks I went to was outside the advisory parameters.)

2:00pm - Finally figure out that I was reading the advisory boundaries wrong - our water is ok. Oh well, we'll use the gallon jugs for our camping trip in 3 weeks.

3:42pm - Dig into my salad for lunch. Decide on a late lunch since I have to work an events gig in the city tonight.

5:45pm - Head into the city.

9:01pm - Open bar! I have one vodka tonic. At least it's not soda (more primal?). Don't think they had red wine, which would normally be my first choice.

9:10pm - Holy CRAP this music is loud. Poor, poor ears.

10:30pm - On my way home, get a call from the husband that brother-in-law is playing at a local bar tonight. Agree that I will pick him up at home and we'll head straight there.

10:37pm - Wonder if there is anything primal I can pick up at Wendy's on the way home. I'm hungry. Can't really think of anything. Oh well. Call husband and ask if he can bring an apple or something for me to much on en route to the bar.

10:55pm - Get to bar. Accosted by uber loud music again.

11:10pm - Husband and I order drafts of Shocktop from the bar. I know beer isn't very primal, but it's okay to indulge in such things moderately - in my humble opinion.

11:20pm - Am plugging my ears by this point. I can actually hear the music now! I don't know how these people do it without earplugs. Am also reminded of the article I read a few weeks ago about silence, and how it is really lacking from the way we live these days.

11:40pm - HEAD HOME. (Oh, sorry, just realized I don't have to yell to be understood anymore). So happy - felt SO out of place in that venue. But glad we could support brother-in-law.

12:10am - Have an avocado and some hard boiled eggs for dinner. Finally. After I eat, I almost immediately crash.

1:00am - Husband wakes me up from my nap on the couch so we can get upstairs. Still can't seem to get this good sleep thing down.


Lessons Learned:

1) I eat WAY too much cheese. Especially blue cheese. I need to learn how to eat it more "moderately". I know I'll get there eventually!

2) I'm really having a hard time with this whole "get adequate sleep" thing. Need to really work on that as well. Perhaps get in the habit of reading (and using my brain/relaxing) before bed, instead of being online or in front of the TV.

3) I'm not so good at fitting in the primal fitness. I really need to make more time for exercise in my life.

4) I need to research some ways to improve my digestive system, even though it has been much better since I cut out the major carb culprits (bread, pasta, grains, etc.).

5) I've come a LONG way! And though I still have a longer way to go, I need to be proud of what I've accomplished. Making a lifestyle change is always hard, and after recording my thoughts for an entire week, I can honestly say I have changed. I still struggle, but at least I am observant of what I struggle with. I'm pretty darn proud of myself (which is not something I say often).

I hope you all learned a little bit about what I've been trying to do this month, and hopefully had your eyes opened to a different lifestyle. Whether you agree with it or not, I always think it's better to be informed than ignorant.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blog Fail

Epic blog fail. For the last few months, I've had serious writers block. I tried to figure out some sort of "series" last month with the posts on gratefulness, but after a while, it was hard to think of things that would be interesting to write about (and read) - and honestly, I felt like the two posts I did write were...well...lame. There are a lot of things I'm thankful for in this world, but those things can't always be expressed in an exciting way with words. So I'm going to move that feat over to the photography blog at some point, because I think I would find it more challenging, more meaningful, and frankly more possible to exemplify my gratefulness with pictures.

In the meantime, I've come up with a new idea to break this block, based on a series run by both New York Magazine and, one of my favorite personal finance sites, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. They are called the Sex Diaries/Money Diaries respectively, and each contributor tracks their thoughts and experiences with sex/money over the course of a week to share with the world. I love this concept. I want to engage in this concept. So for the next six months, as I continue my journey to 30, I want to take each of the 6 remaining months and focus on 6 important areas of my current life. So next month, I will aim to redeem this blog fail by focusing on my current trials and triumphs as I transition to a Primal lifestyle. I'll do a week long "diary", and also write individual posts whenever the desire arises.

Next week, I will be recording all my thoughts and activities related to my efforts to improve my diet, exercise, sleep routine, and my attempts to add more playtime, sun, and creative pursuits into my life. This may sound more like 6 things...but in actuality, it's all wrapped up into the Primal lifestyle. So stay tuned, as I once again attempt to break my writer's block, and reignite my journey into the next decade of this beautiful life.