Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Category Archives: New Year

Thanks to my friend Debra, for the past few years I have decided on a word to describe how I want the new year to unfold for me. I could go back and look for the posts for the past few years, but I also think it has been well established here how lazy I am. And besides, I’m pretty sure that whatever those previous words were, I didn’t stick with it for the full year.

Moving on.

In previous years, I also typically spent the last few days of the year scrambling to come up with The Word. Maybe I didn’t stick with it because it was a word I settled on – sort of felt right, so go with it.

But this year? This year the word for 2013 came to me in November. It woke me out of a sound sleep and took up residence with me. It has been patiently waiting for January 1 to arrive, slowly unpacking all its meanings and possibilities for my perusal, giving me plenty of time to know it is the right one this time.

So. What is my word for 2013?

CLEAN

Yes. You read that right. Clean. Why am I so excited about “clean”? Yes, it probably has some to do with how long I wait to actually clean my house. *shudder*

But I can see that for me, it also is going to be:
~ clean mind
~ clean heart
~ clean eating
~ clean goals

I think the possibilities for this word are tremendous. And as I mentioned before, 2012 was not a great year, so I am looking at 2013 as a clean start.


It’s the end of another year. Today is the day before Christmas Eve.

This is my first post in months and there is so much to say and yet nothing is coming out. I try to write. And then I sit, staring at the blinking cursor as it mocks me.

I want to write about what happened in Connecticut, but others have already done that and better than I could have. I want to write about what’s been going on with me, but then it seems so trite in light of all the bad bad things going on in the world.

I am off from the Gas ‘n Sip for the week and hope that I will get my feathers smoothed in time for the new year. I have big plans for 2013. Good things are on the horizon. I’m THRILLED to see 2012 go away – mostly, it was horrible.

I am working on the look of things around here too. I hope to be back around and that at least someone is still interested.


Hello! I’m serving up pizza tonight. Eat up.

*****

Today marks the end of the first half of 2012. 

I want you to take a moment and think back to December 31, 2011, when you were reflecting on the year past. Think of what you hoped 2012 would bring for you. Think of the goals you set and the vision board you created. Are you there? Can you see it clearly?

Great.

Now. Fast forward to today. Take a moment to look at that vision board. Look at your list of goals and intentions. Have you met any of the goals you set? All of them? Is the vision you set for the year still relevant to where you are now? 

6 months doesn’t seem that long, but it’s enough time for your life to have had a few realignments. 

Perhaps it might behoove you, us, to review what we wanted and what we have accomplished and to see if these things line up. Or is it time to modify things? Re-evaluate? 

We all want to live our best lives. I’ve written here before that we should treat every day as the start of a new year. Sometimes we need to have milestones that remind us.

Is it time to update your goals?


Well. I did it. I turned my cable off. I turned in the box and the remote and said, “Turn it off.”

This may not be a big deal for many people. I know many people are cable-free and it’s not a big deal for them. But, for me, it is.

I grew up with television. It was my company and my entertainment and my source of information. It is as familiar to me as brushing my teeth. I use television to unwind after work. I turn on something mindless and just chill.

But lately? No. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve flicked around at night thinking, “Goat, eleventy-hundred channels and there’s f*ck all on!”

There were (are) a few shows that I really like that I will miss, I think. But, be it due to age or temperament, the show that I used to *love* just didn’t do it for me any more. Either the characters changed, I lost my taste for blood and gore, or the “plots” just became insipid. I could no longer get interested in CSI or NCIS or any of the other letter-shows. I didn’t want to see anything with vampires or cops or hospitals.

So, both for that reason, and to save money, my cable is gone. I disconnected the box on Sunday. I turned it in on Tuesday. It was strange  to come home from work and not just flick on the mindlessness. A friend sent me a text on Tuesday asking me if I was watching a particular show. It was strange.

I have taken on Netflix though. So I will continue to rot my brain at times.

I hope I get used to it. I hope it motivates me to use the Wii again. I hope it motivates me to read more.

Baby steps, right?


We all do it. We spend at least the last week of the year looking ahead to January 1. We plan how we will improve our diet, our exercise routine, our finances, our clutter filled homes. We vow to be kinder, happier, sweeter to everyone and ourselves. We look at the shiny new number after January 1, and think, “This is it! *This* is the year I will _____.”

Then, round about February, we find ourselves sliding back to what was – what was comfortable, familiar, safe. Many will feel a sense of defeat or shame or self-loathing. Oh, great. Something *else* I have failed at.

A few will turn things around and keep going, and actually stick to their resolutions. We look upon these few with awe. How did they do it?

I’m sure I’m not the first person to think about this, but what is it about the “New Year” that causes people to be all motivated to change/improve/grow?

So my question is this: why do we wait until the “New Year” (or Monday? Or next week?) to make changes? Isn’t every sunrise the start of a “new year”? Can’t we consider January 3, 2012 – January 2, 2013 a year?

I just blew your mind, didn’t I?

Get yourself together. I’ll wait.

Okay?

As I’ve mentioned, I have goals that I want to achieve this year. But, for some reason, it feels different to me. For example, in my S2M goal (I just made that up – Step 2 Million)(I know. Shut up.), I need to walk an average of 5,500 steps per day. I didn’t achieve that yesterday. Previously, t is very likely that I would have given up or maybe continued for a week and *then* given up. But today, it feels different. I know that even though I didn’t do it yesterday, I have a new 5,500 step goal for today. If I go over that, great! If not, I can start again tomorrow.

I’ve decided in my quest to “do better” this year, my goals are long-term. One bad day won’t derail me completely. I’m going to view every morning as a new beginning; shiny, bright, and full of potential.

It just occurred to me that children feel this way. Don’t they spring up out of bed crazy-early to start exploring and to make sure they don’t miss anything? (Also, to drive Mom and Dad bonkers.) When did I lose that child-like enthusiasm? More importantly, why?

So, here’s to you. May you wake everyday thinking “Happy New Year to me”.


Yes, just like everyone else, I’m doing a New Year’s post. I also have set 11,000 resolutions, just like everyone else.

I am happy that it is a new year. Although changing the year doesn’t make today any different from yesterday, does it? Really? There’s something about the new year, though, that makes everything seem shiny and new and optimistic.

It almost seems like we all get a clean slate. A do-over.

I’m not looking for a do-over. I’m looking for a do-better. I am using this shiny, clean slate to start writing a better ending.

I have already written about what some of my goals are for this year. This morning, I wrote in my journal about some other ones.

One that I will post updates for will be my step goal. 2,000,000 steps in the year. That is about 5,500 steps per day.

So, here’s to a happy, healthy, beautiful new year. I wish for you that all your dreams are realized.

0 down, 2 million to go.

 


I’ve decided on some of my goals for the coming year.  I won’t list them ALL here, because some of them are none of your business. F’realz…

Here goes:

1. The push-up challenge. @annieology on The Twitter did it last year, and I didn’t join in time. You can learn more about it on her site at annieology.com. I’ve recruited 3 others so far to do it along with me.

2. 2-million step challenge. “They” say that we should all walk 10,000 steps-per-day. If I do the math right, I think setting a goal of 2-million steps works out to be around 5,500-per-day. I wanted to set something high enough to keep my moving, but not so high as to be discouraging long about August. I’ll keep you posted weekly on how I’m doing.

3. Hot yoga. I used to do it regularly when I lived out-of-state, but didn’t know where the good places were here. I have finally heard about a good place and I want to attend at least 3 times per month. That’s a good number, I think.

4. Reading. For many years, I kept a list of the books I read each year; I wanted to read more this year than last. In 2010, I read 84 books. Or was it 86? I don’t remember, but it was a lot. I decided to not keep track this year – no pressure, just read what I wanted when I wanted without a focus on the bottom line. But I think I will set a goal for 2012. One a week should be good. So, 52 for 2012.

5. Cancel cable. I do watch TV. I’m not going to say “I never watch TV”. But honestly? There isn’t much on TV. There are a few show I watch regularly, but that number is dwindling. As I get older, I find myself less willing to tolerate the shows that I used to love. So, cable seems like less of a priority. I don’t think I will miss it.

So there you go. 5 of the goals I have set for myself for next year. There are more, and I’m sure there will be more still. But that’s all I have worked out so far.

What are your goals?


It’s December. 2011 has just flown by!! I’m already looking ahead to 2012.

About this time last year, I was on top of my game  – feeling good and ready to make 2011 my bitch! I started the year that way too. But then, as the year progressed, I slipped back into my old ruts and habits. My word for the year was Kind. But regressing back to self-destructive behavior isn’t very kind, is it?

I was kind to others. I was kinder to myself than I had been in years past. But I’m still a work in progress.

As I look to 2012, the word that keeps coming up for me is Wellness. I know some people won’t understand that I need to take care of myself. Since I’m single and have no kids, what else am I doing? How can I *not* be taking care of myself? Right? Well, in 2012, that is my focus.

How, you ask?

1. I’ve already started eliminating beauty products with chemicals in them. My goal by the end of the year, is to use homemade or organic products only.

2. My job at the Gas ‘n Sip – I will either get a new job or get promoted. Either way, by the end of the year, I will be in a different job.

2a. I reached my absolute limit at the Gas ‘n Sip Monday. Background: You already know I am the Slurpee Manager. However, there is an exam to become certified in Slurpee creation. I have been working towards this certification for years – it’s a combination of education and hours. You have to spend a certain number of hours making Slurpees before you can take the certification exam. I? Have completed all the prerequisites and now I just have to take it. But here’s the thing. The exam is ridiculously difficult. So, in order to help the Slurpee Managers at the Gas ‘n Sip pass the exam first try, the company is hosting a prep class. YAY! The class is being held in another state. BOO! My manager said I could go. YAY! But her manager said it was too expensive to send me there. BOO! What the phuck??????? Am I so dispensable? You can’t send me to a class to advance my career? I was so pissed. I am pretty defeated.

2b. I spent Monday evening stewing and not sleeping and feeling like a loser. But then? I got up on Tuesday, and turned on the radio, like I do every morning. The song playing was that woman screeching “You are loved, you are loved, you are really really reeeeeeeeeeeeally looooooooooooved.” You know the one I mean.  The Universe has spoken. I stopped and listened. And then I realized, Slurpee Manager is what I do, not who I am. I have been beaten by them for the last time. If they don’t want to send me to a prep class? I’ll send myself to a prep class. I *will* get certified. And then #2 will be realized.

3. By the end of the year, I will have all but eliminated processed food from my diet. I can’t promise to give up pizza, because, c’mon. It’s pizza! I’m human, not a robot.

4. I won’t quit the group I joined. I still think it’s a tough group to get into, but everyone is so nice and I totally support what they do, so I’m going to tough it out. It’s worth it.

There will be more that I will add to this list before the end of the year. I may have slid downhill a bit this year, but I plan to keep trying. 2012 will help me regain that ground and move ahead again.


So, I had mentioned that I would keep you updated with my training for the Tri. Yeah, I suck. I’ll do it now.

So much has been going on.

First up, I am down to 138 days before the event. OhEmGee!

My plan for training was that I would start with running training, since that is my weakest “event”. Then when the weather gets warmer, I will add in biking to work. And then around June or so, I would start with swimming. In a previous life, I was a competitive swimmer, so I’m not too worried about the swimming portion.

Right after I signed up, I started on a Couch-to-5k program. There’s an app for that. I thought that would be a good way to ease in. Week 1, you run 1 minute, walk 90 seconds, 8 times, with a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down. And each week you add in a little more running and a little less walking. Granted, my running speed, according to charts I’ve seen, qualifies as a “brisk walk”, but so what. I’m doing it.  So far so good.

I am prone to plantar fasciitis, so in order to prevent injuries, a friend took me to a running store where I got myself professionally fitted running shoes. They make my feet look big and clunky, but they have good stability in the heels. While I was there, I also signed up for their running club because they offer coaching on tri-training. Cool. I’m in.

I made it through 2 1/2 weeks of the C25K training.

And then, my knee started getting wonky.

I think I have water on the knee. It’s all swollen in places that aren’t normal. So I bought a knee brace. It helped, but wasn’t great.

My sister found out from my mother that I had signed up for the Tri. She offered me her membership to the Y so that I could swim. I know, right? How cool was that?? The caveat was that I had to take my niece with me sometimes. It will help her with her swimming.

So, in order to give my knee a break, I went swimming. Remember how I said I used to swim competitively? Yeah. Clearly, that was a LONG time ago. Swimming is hard! *heheh* It will still be the easiest portion of the race for me, but it won’t be easy. And considering, I will have to wait until July to do any actual ocean swimming – due to the fact that even then, the ocean temperature will be around 60 degrees – it will be a challenge.

Also, I started on the stationary bike. Clearly easier than riding on the actual street, but again, I felt I needed to give the knee a rest.

I gave my knee about 2 weeks to not take the pounding and tried the running again. I did okay with it. Still not 100%, but I’ll take what I can get.

And while all this was going on, I had a little break down. My happy pills were not working. I cried all the time. I knew that I was a failure because I couldn’t run as well as everyone else. Just add this to the list of everything I have failed at. And on and on. It was really pathetic. My mother finally called me on it and told me to call the doctor to get them adjusted. I called, and I cried while making the appointment. The doctor came into the exam room and I burst into tears. Nice.

We adjusted things and I seem to be getting back on track. Even someone at work told me that my Chi was low the other day. So clearly others have noticed. I’d like to think it’s a function of my jarring something loose with the exercise but I know it’s a sign that I’m a little bit crazy.

Anyhoo. When I signed up for the running club, evidently my name was entered into a lottery to get a registration for a 10k in August. The race is a pretty big deal around here – we get runners from all over the world participating and the 6,000 registration slots usually fill up in about 30 minutes. Personally, I have absolutely NO desire to run a 10k. So I’m going to find out if I can give my slot to someone at work.

I start running training with the running club tonight. I’m hoping that some seasoned runners will give me some help with my form to help with my knee issues.

Last night, I did my first-ever spin class. Holy goat, that was hard!! I haven’t sweat that much in a long long time. There were some hate-vibes aimed at the leader during the class. But by the end, I was thinking, yeah. I’ll do this again. My lady-bits are a little sore today, though. And the standing hills we did on the bike wonked my knee. So, back to the ice and ibuprofen. It gets easier, right?

So that’s the long long (very long) version of what I’ve been up to. I am doing things that I’ve never done before. I’m more willing to try things. I’ve been swimming a bunch of times and biking. And running. Who knew a card-carrying couch potato could do this?

I’m pretty proud of myself. And I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can do. And I’ll do better with updating this. A few people at work have been inspired by my story, and have started some form of exercise as a result. That gives me a warm, yummy feeling.

Okay. Enough now. I have to go ice my knee.

UPDATED: I forgot to mention that I really was fated to participate in this event. There are 1,100 registrations available for it, and those filled up in 4 1/2 minutes. Four. And. A. Half. Minutes.  I registered on my phone, while at a swim meet. What are the chances that I got in?? I’m still astounded.


177 days.

That’s how long I have until my life is formally changed forever.

Over-dramatic? Maybe.

But if you know me at all, you know that I tend to freak at new things.

Last year, in the midst of posting all the drivel just to say I posted something, I alluded to the idea that I wanted to sign up for a mini-triathlon in this area. I said that, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Pfft. AS IF that will happen.”

The mini-triathlon is called Tri-For-A-Cure and it’s an all women’s triathlon with all the money going to help breast cancer research. The events themselves are a 1/3 mile ocean swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k run.

Back at the time I said it, research told me that the event is REALLY popular and registration fills up almost immediately. YES! I had an out, if I needed it. “Gee, I *tried* to register, but it was full. I couldn’t.” Followed by much relief and batting of eyelashes.

However.

The Universe called my bluff. Registration opened last night at 6:30. I was at my niece’s swim meet, sweating my butt off in a humid pool area, and thought, “Okay. You have to at LEAST make the attempt in order to say you couldn’t register. You don’t have a computer, but you have your phone.”

So there I am, trying to watch my niece, watching the clock, trying to register on my phone.

I hit send, thinking, “Be full. Be full. Be full.”

“You have new email.”

“Congratulations! You have successfully regis….”

CRAP!

I swear I heard the Universe chuckling. It is getting the last laugh. I have the confirmation and I am officially committed to doing this thing. I have spent the last 12 hours alternately excited, freaked, scared, hyperventilating, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

One of my favorite things is the Notes from the Universe that I get sent to me via email every morning. The motto is “thoughts become things”. Well, I just received confirmation that THAT is true!

NEVER EVER challenge the Universe. It will push you into new and exciting things.

So, now, I need to ask for your support and encouragement. If you would like to contribute financially to breast cancer research, you can pledge at: http://tfac2011.kintera.org/mhemphill

This pledge *might* be able to be applied as a charitable contribution on this years taxes. I’m not an accountant though, so don’t hold me to that.
If you can’t contribute financially, just your love and encouragement will be more than enough. Truly.

I’ll be posting updates here on how my training is going. I have 177 days until the event. (Yes, I counted.)

So, I guess the only thing left to say is…. where do I get a wetsuit?