Friday, July 29, 2011

Purge 1: Craft Room/Office

Last Sunday I (with Jeff's help) began the process of tackling the craft room.  I needed to place to focus, but my room had become a haven of odds and ends, cast onto whatever surface would hold them as a result of "picking up" elsewhere in the house.  Good for company, not good for living.

So I made a game plan in my head.  Yarn would go in the plastic dressers Cyndall had given me.  Soap- and candle-making supplies would be condensed into one clear, shoe box-sized container each.  Papers would be tossed or filed accordingly.  Books would be put back on the shelf.  The wire organizer would be dismantled and reassembled on the other side of the room.  My laptop would go back on my make-shift desk (a folding craft table) and my electronic gizmos would finally get a permanent home in a wire cubby.

Surprisingly, the cats didn't even offer their assistance.
I am proud to say that with Jeff's help, all that was accomplished and more!

I had a bin of miscellaneous crafting and decorative bits that haven't been used in nearly ten years.  Some things, in particular, plastic floral pieces purchased on sale at Michael's or Joann Crafts, had been accumulated and just stuffed into this bin.  Ninety percent of it was tossed (two large garbage bags full).  I wish I freecycled it but I wasn't thinking.  I was just desperate to reclaim my space.  A lot of the flowers and foliage I wanted to save, but I fought against it.  While pretty, fake flowers and plants harbor a lot of dust.  Not good with a house full of allergy-prone people.  And besides they don't really add any value to my life.  If I want flowers, I will grow cutting flowers or pick up discounted bouquets at the grocer's.  If I want plants, I'll pot real ones and hope Amber-cat doesn't eat them all.

I did find several grommet kits I plan to give to one of my friends active in Renaissance faires (they are essential for corsets and doublets).  I also have some pretty, decorative candles I have absolutely no use for that I plan on giving away to friends.  As far all the yarn?  I'm going to begin working on smaller crafts, particularly baby and toddler items to start thinning out the tangled herd.

It's much more peaceful in my office now.  I moved my laptop there and have been spending a lot more time in my office, getting lots more accomplished.  There is still a bit to be done, much left to liberate myself of, and I'm thinking of splurging on some pretty paint color before I move much more against the walls.

This weekend's activities will likely be more mellow.  I have a couple bins still full of fabric and remnants I need to sort through, including tons of old T-shirts I love that I want to repurpose.  Such a project will be much more difficult because it will require focus and patience rather than stuffing everything into garbage bags for recycling.  Hopefully I'll have more pictures to share (I know! I'm really terrible about that!).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spending When I Should Be Saving

In May I wrote about my ambitious plan to save money and have nearly $200k in debt paid off.  I had plans to make me more accountable, keep a tight reign on what I could spend money on.  I have been aggressive with my money before so it's not unrealistic for me.  

Well, things haven't been going so well with that.  

First, I was invited to take part in a trip through Europe.  A friend's son is turning 18 in December and wants to celebrate it in Amsterdam, to be followed with visiting the UK, in particular England and Wales (and there's been some threat of an Irish pub crawl before catching a flight back stateside).  I was elated to be invited.  I had been invited to take a group trip to the UK a couple times before but was forced to turn down the offer due to financial constraints expected and unexpected.  Now, the only thing that holds me back is me and the worst case scenario is that I'm behind six months on my original debt pay off plan and I gain some amazing memories.  I've been researching as much as I can when I can about activities, food, exchanges, and so forth, including harrassing local friends that are more familiar with the territory.  I plan on doing a lot of grocery shopping instead of dining out and looking for good deals and free entertainment options for the course of the trip.

Second, I am trying to get my 200 hour yoga teaching certification.  I've been wanting to become a yoga instructor since I started taking classes in 2005, and instead of making an endless list of excuses I am releasing fear and getting started. About a month or two ago I got the wild idea instead of just attending yoga classes, I would start hosting them for my friends.  I've been hunting for an appropriate training program, but for the moment it looks like I'll have to go to San Francisco.  So far it's looking like most courses are right around $3,000.  Also, at this point most programs (that I'm looking at, at least) aren't beginning until the winter.  While I am bummed I can't start sooner, it actually works out perfectly with my planned Europe trip, so yay!

Finally, I'm going to Disneyland for my birthday, dammit!  I turn the (big?) 3-0 in September.  I'm going to spend it in a place I love.  We already have the season passes (which was honestly likely a bad financial decision on my part, but it's done).  I am going to reserve the rooms shortly, make dinner reservations, and plan on making beef jerky, vegetable chips, and packing some dried fruit we have on hand to keep our food costs down (there's a 24-hour Subway next to our favorite motel, so cheap and fresh late night/breakfast options are there).

So that is my 2011 adventure itinerary.  Keeping my fingers crossed it all goes (relatively) as planned.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I did nothing remotely like exercise all week last week!  Okay, well, I did do a very little bit of gardening on Sunday.  Oh, and I did some yoga classes Thursday and Saturday (not to mention the bits I do throughout the week when no one is looking).  I guess I also did a bit of lifting and running around while doing a major purge and household cleaning.

That's all a lot more than nothing, isn't it?  At least I enjoyed myself while getting some exercise.

This week I'm starting fresh.  Monday was my off day.  I mean, it's Monday!  Starting things on a Monday is just a terrible idea for me.  Okay, true story, I promised myself I would start busting my butt first thing Monday morning but I didn't.  I had a hard time getting up due to some soreness onset by Sunday's crazy time.  When I did get up, I remembered I was out of coffee and went straight to the do some yoga.  Proud moment there!  It was then that I decided that starting things on a Monday was dumb.  Also, moving in the mornings is difficult.  I plan on keeping my mornings quiet with yoga and meditation and some serious kitteh cuddle time.  Mind you, I have no choice in the last matter.  I have been in downward-facing dog before only to have an impatient cat climb up my shoulders and back to settle in.

Seriously, I wish someone snag a pic of what I have to put up with.
However, afternoons will be for serious workout time.  Tuesdays, for the next four weeks, will include Zumba (thanks to a $10 Groupon) at La Bella Dance Company in Clovis.  Two hundred and five people purchased this Groupon, and it's only good through the end of August on Tuesdays.  This is going to be insane!

Wednesdays, Fridays will be whatever night.  Running, jumping, climbing trees...sorry, started channeling Eddie Izzard.  Running, Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, dancing (including dance games), whatever gets my heart rate up (sorry, yoga!) and gets me sweating.

Thursdays, for the next two weeks, I'll be working on the intro to yoga class in the evening.  This will get rotated through the week once the intro class is over depending on funds and my availability.

Weekends will be preoccupied with gardening, hiking, swimming and whatever else I can fit in.  I'm considering getting one of those beach cruisers so I can do some bicycling, but we'll see.  

Hopefully I can keep things fresh and fun and get out of my funk.  I've been holding strong since July 5 at 188.  I'm feeling the standard disenchantment I usually do at this stage.  To boot, my birthday is two months away, and I want to looking fucking amazing in my birthday pictures.  At least, as amazing as one not-so-photogenic person can be.  This is going to require some hard work.  It's going to be an uphill battle.

All that said, I haven't gained weight and I've been feeling pretty good.  In fact, I've been getting a few compliments about how I'm looking good, glowing, more energetic, sexy, and so on.  These are all good things (read: friends, please keep it coming!).  I wish that were enough, but it isn't.  The vanity is just...too...strong.  I have an ambitious goal for my birthday (the little 3-0, "Because I am so dwarfish and so low?").  Wish me luck!

Here's a glowing tiger because it's pretty.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Resuming the De-Cluttering

Memorial Day weekend last year, I made a commitment to myself to begin to eliminate clutter, unnecessary waste, and reign in on pleasure spending.

At the time, I was going through a divorce and needing to dig up important papers, separate join property, and the like.  I was driving my soon-to-be ex-husband even more insane by my lack of organization.  I can't blame him for taking it semi-personally.  In most things I am well-known for my meticulous organizational skills.  The year 2010 was most definitely the exception while I was making several major life adjustments at once.  For the first time in my life, I had more than 300 square feet all to myself (mostly).  I was putting papers down all over the house, not putting things away when I said I would, and genuinely losing things constantly.  Mix that with my mental clutter trying to keep tabs on everything, and I would have been extremely annoyed with myself, too!

I doubled up my efforts and started to go through my crap and gave away a ton of things I had been clinging to for no (good) reason for at least 10 years or more.  It's been difficult to maintain over the months that have passed since, but I have been feeling very trapped lately.  The area I setup as an office space is a disaster area with no sense to be made from its arrangement.  This also happens to be where I keep most of my crafts and important projects.

1. Cast-offs have one week to be assimilated before moving out.
Over the years I have saved a ton of stuff, you know, in case I might want to use it someday.  Most of that stuff just takes up space, collects dusts, and continues to do nothing remotely productive.  I am going to set up a shelf for cast-offs I want to keep for whatever, attach a sticky note with the date saved, and if I haven't used it within the week it will go into the yard sale/give away box.

2. File papers every day.
Seriously, I have SO MANY FREAKING PAPERS!  Why do I have so many papers everywhere?  After I go through the mail, I try to sort things through immediately.  The problem is I'm not consistent about what I do with things.  Some papers move upstairs into my craft room for filing.  Some papers move into my office for filing.  Some papers go into a "to-do" pile, whatever that means.  Some papers go in a stack to be filed in the filing cabinet.  And the rest (hopefully) make it to the recycling bin.  That's all super ridiculous.  When paper comes in, it needs to find it's home.  The only exception will be bills, which can be prepped to mail with a sticky note indicating the date it's okay to be mailed.  Sheesh, no wonder my 2010 vehicle registration card was MIA.

3. Make a running list of to-dos.  Mark off three items every day.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I want to get done in a space of time.  A running list of things I want to do will keep me from forgetting a past wish list.  Accomplishing three things is enough for one day; if I have time for more, I will do more.  Three is my minimum limit though.  For example, one morning I folded and put away some of the laundry (while finishing my coffee); collected and put away my AWOL hair clips (while I brushed my teeth); and boxed up my beading supplies for purge (while cooling off from my shower, I hate jumping into clothes right after) just in the span of time it takes me to get ready for work in the morning.  I really appreciated my efforts later when I wasn't wondering where the hell all my hair clips scampered off to.

These tasks are not so time consuming that I will feel I need a whole weekend to get organized or even a whole day or evening.  It's little things I can do with small pieces of time to work towards my over-arching goals of getting organized, staying organized, and pushing for a simpler life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Absolutely Spoiled

That's what Jeff called me last week, "spoiled, but not."

I've owned my car for a number of years, and it's been very, very good to me.  A few years ago, I started taking it to an independent shop after the metal radiator hoses cracked from wear.  I used to take it to a dealer, but it was just too expensive.  The shop was friendly and thorough, and involved me every step of the way.  Or so I thought.  The shop ended up doing more damage to my car by not using factory or make-issued parts, and it's degeneration has been constant.  We've been working on it at home when we can, and we've knocked out the biggest problem children (yay to finally having a new sway bar!).

Here's it's wishlist off the top of my head:

  1. New front, driver's side wheel (currently bent and causing frequent tire replacements).
  2. Two new tires (this is going to be four in a few months due to issue 1).
  3. New battery cables.
  4. Severe shaking/rattling that causes several oil leaks.
  5. Persistent oil leak.
  6. Wheel realignment.
  7. New hoses and belts.
  8. Mystery overheating/radiator problem (it doesn't overheat do much as randomly die when it's hot out, and I know the temp gauge isn't broken).
  9. Where the front, driver's side wheel attaches to the car has opened up like a flower from a collision several years ago.
  10. Broken electrical outlet, damaged radio.
  11. Miscellany of broken bits and pieces throughout the car.

A few weeks ago, my dad (who bought the car for me 10 years ago) asked me how it was doing.  I lamented its problems, but shrugged it off.  If it gave out, buying another car was not an option.  I planned to take a bus and we'd be a single-vehicle household until we could save up for another car (or not).

I was mildly surprised when he offered me a consulting gig with him to help finance a new car for me.  It's a sweet deal!  So why am I not excited?

Right now my car is still working.  It gets me to work.  It lets us run our errands (so long as we're not doing too many start and stops in anything above 90 degree weather) with very good gas mileage.  Plus, I'm kind of attached to my car (the deal would require letting my dad donate it for a write-off).  But mostly, I don't want to take advantage of my dad just for the sake of something new.

Besides, I technically could buy a new(ish) car if I needed to.  I could certainly use the savings I've been collecting to use for my fall and winter trips if I needed to buy a new car.  But I don't want to.  I would honestly rather have amazing lifetime memories than get an expensive hunk of metal that will just be a financial black hole.

So that's what spawned the comment from Jeff.  I'm spoiled (yes, I'm absolutely spoiled), but I don't act spoiled (meaning, I don't expect or take for granted the gifts I'm given).  I'm lucky that I never have to worry about going hungry, because my parents would invite me over for dinner, buy me groceries, and help me get some crops started in the garden before they let me go without eating.  I never have to worry about having a roof over my head because my family would cover me and help me get back on my feet if I needed it.  Being so blessed, I'm also proud and have done everything in my power not to put myself nor my family in that position.

Back to being torn, I'm not sure which direction I will go in.  But if a reasonably priced Prius pops up, I totally know what my answer will be!

Ooooo pretty!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Challenge Update: Week 4

This week was sort of blah.  I started really strong and just kind of fell of it through the course of this challenge.

Really, I shouldn't beat myself up too much.  I lost about 10 pounds in the last month.  I busted my ass through fibromyalgia flare-ups, mother nature, and a serious repetitive stress injury.  Huzzah!

To boot, I've been eating pretty well.  Snacking maybe a little more than I should, but I've found myself addicted to Green Giant Steamers (broccoli and potato) and being super filling they've been helping me stay on track.  Having said all that, I've been inconsistent about tracking my actual food intake most days.

I didn't get a chance to weigh in last Friday because I woke up late (after having not slept again) and rushed into the office for a time-sensitive issue I needed to resolve ASAP!  But my clothes fit better, I am much stronger (even Danny said, "Why did you get stronger than me, mommy?"), and I feel better.  It's just a matter of time.

I loved the results from Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, but I got bored.  I was hoping to do the next workout on the difficulty scale, but I don't want to fail due to bored.  I think I'm going to go the route I came up with months ago: 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day.  I'm going to strive for two to three days a week working the next level on the 30 Day Shred so I can have a structured work out, but other days I will supplement with bellydancing, running, swimming, and some much needed gardening.  All this supplemented with 30 to 60 minutes of yoga and meditation every day to keep me grounded and working towards my other goals.

This week I'm going to take a bit easy.  Last week was mentally trying, and I need to focus on recuperation and restoration.

How are your summer activities coming along?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Whining, Passive Aggression, and the Subtle Art of Asking for What You Need

I whine and complain a lot I'm sure.  When I'm in a bad mood or not getting whatever I want out of a situation I tend to devolve into a preschooler.  I throw an irrational tantrum, never communicate what I want, and invariably frustrate the people around me.

I promise I am working on this ridiculousness!

Last week I was having such a bad day.  I got little sleep.  I was still suffering from a repetitive stress injury in my back and neck rendering me unable to maintain my vigorous exercise routine.  When I arrived at the office, I realized that while I was a good girl and packed my lunch, I neglected to pack a vessel to eat from and utensils to eat with...and I couldn't buy lunch because a visit to a favorite restaurant earlier in the week had all my bank funds locked up because the bus boy ran my debit card five times due to a card reader malfunction (ahem, it was out of receipt paper).  I mean, I had canned fruit and some pistachios in my drawer so I wouldn't starve, but it wouldn't satisfy me like the proper lunch I had planned.

I lamented (whined) my case to my best friend.  She empathized and apologized, but it just made me feel empty.  I struggled with my frustration for a short while.  I vented the same on Facebook (passive aggressive).  Then I put on my big girl pants and honestly and simply told my friend that I needed some encouragement.

You'll never believe what happened next!

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Still waiting?

She delivered EXACTLY what I asked for.  In her busy day she stopped and said all the positive stuff she knew I needed to hear because I told her specifically what I needed.

And then, guess what?

I felt a million times better.  I wasn't frustrated, I wasn't throwing a tantrum.  I had my needs met.  Amazing how that works when you ask for it!

Awhile later, a coworker offered to give me some money for lunch; another coworker offered me bowls and utensils she (smart, intelligent woman that I am obviously not) kept on hand for such things; and Jeff showed up with a bowl and utensils as a surprise since he was out running errands.  For a moment, I was elated to have such amazing, thoughtful, and helpful people in my life.  Then I felt guilty.  They were responding to my passive aggressive post on Facebook.  Sure, I got the reaction I wanted or needed, but I wasn't very proud of the means by which the reactions came.

I know, I know.  I think too much.

I needed a moment to complain to the world.  There's no shame in that.  I shouldn't feel guilty about it.  I just wanted to vent, and vent I did.  People who didn't have to offered to come to my rescue.  I also asked for help constructively and received it.

By the time my lunch hour rolled around, it was definitely a good day.

The complex, often dualistic, meaning 10 of Swords was definitely my day in a nutshell.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Challenge Update: Week 3

So far, each week of this challenge I have been plagued with some pain or another.  It's incredibly frustrating, but, dammit, I have prevailed!

My week opened with a repetitive stress injury underneath my left shoulder blade.  Shame on me for hand-pulling all the mint out from the front of my house.  Yeah, that one I have to own.  Silly me.  Fortunately, it didn't keep me from working out, but it did force me to take extra care on form to make sure I didn't aggravate it further.

I did make my yoga goal, but I never did get out running.  I'm only a little disappointed about this because Jeff is wanting to go running with me, too, so hopefully this week we will get out once or twice and hammer the pavement!  I'm thrilled about getting back into running with him. (By they way, Jeff went to his first parkour class last week and loved it!)

I did pretty well on the yoga.  Last week I wasn't sure if I should challenge myself with Boat Pose or Dolphin Pose.  Considering the shoulder injury, I decided to go with Dolphin since it's great for improving upper body strength, especially shoulders and upper back.  This was my uber win for the week.  I've had this sort of stress injury before and it took years to heal.  A deep tissue massage from a friend and liberal use of Dolphin Pose when the mood struck me, something that would have taken weeks before being full functional with some discomfort is now pretty much fixed.  There's still a bit of tightness but that's functional.  I'm pretty pleased with myself!

Speaking of yoga, class was again amazing.  Although I had everyone turned around the wrong way for the standing poses so they couldn't see me.  I need to learn to give directions more like a fitness instructor (when they tell you to lead with your right foot and they mirror with their left foot).   This is about learning from mistakes, and I'm sure to make a few more for...pretty much the rest of my life!  Everyone seemed to have a good time despite my awkwardness, which makes me happy.

After yoga, some of us went out to lunch at California Wok before running over to check out the Forestiere Gardens.  You can see the pics over at Cyn's blog.  It was pretty beautiful and everyone sounded resolved to get to work on their own underground houses!  After the Gardens, we retreated back to my house for dinner and Sucker Punch.

Unfortunately, I think the heat got to me while we were running about earlier and I couldn't shake the crankies.  The crank monster followed me into Sunday even and I spent the day freaking out about money, life goals, work, and a host of other things.  Thank goodness for Jeff and his patience, let me tell you.

Sunday night through Monday night, I traveled with my boss to San Mateo for one of our sales campaign kick offs.  In the nine years I've worked in advertising, I had never been to a kick off.  It was an experience.  Half the time I didn't know whether to be embarrassed for everyone or to sit back and enjoy the show.  I guess I did a little bit of both, but it was fun.

So this week, I have the running thing and I think I'll leave it at that.  Oh!  And the four-week yoga class I am starting at Fig Garden Yoga.  As the second week of the month, this is my crazy week.  My schedule is packed and running and a yoga class seem like quite enough to keep me motivated without being overwhelmed.

Oh, how's my weight loss progress?  Non-existent.  I'm remaining stable at 188 but I'm completely bloated thanks to my double X chromosomes.  My weigh in this Friday should be much, much better.  I feel better and I can see from the pics Cyn took on Saturday that my face is thinning up a bit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reboot Frugality

In May I made some huge changes in my spending habits in order to curb overspending and work towards some hard core saving.  Well, I should say that I tried.  I did take a huge step by making my finances a little more transparent, something I would have never done before.

Some crazy things happened though.  The least crazy being some medical bills that had been piling up due to the past year's illnesses.  Then my poor Honey-cat needed an emergency vet visit to fix a portion of her tail that I caught in the front door after coming home from a doctor visit in Sacramento (she's healed up perfectly, no permanent damage!).  Oh and my best friend got married (while I helped her setup and maintain a budget for her own wedding, I didn't make a budget for me or if I did I didn't stick to all).  That was all in just the first couple weeks of June.  Ouch!  Obviously, July needs more discipline.

The second to last week of June, Jeff's temp assignment ended.  To date, he's still looking for work. So far it's only been a week and a half, and I'm honestly not as stressed about it  now as I was the two weeks leading up to his last day.  He's a hard worker, he can learn just about anything, and he has a really likable personality.  I'm just hoping whatever he finds next is even more enjoyable and longer term (read: permanent) than what he's done so far.  His happiness is most important.  Money will follow.  Eventually.  Right?

My work front is apparently stable.  I have a weird feeling about things though.  Nothing in particular.  Call it intuition, but it makes me antsy.  Most days I don't let it get to me.  I try to do my best (although that's admittedly difficult while being packed into a sardine, being constantly interrupted or distracted by office noise from the cramped conditions) work and just focus on my projects.

But with that latent anxiety, I would be STUPID not to have a backup plan.  I've been watching job sites for the last week just to see what skill sets are in demand so I can continue to challenge myself to stay relevant.  I'm honestly not interested in changing jobs.  Despite my uncomfortable seating arrangement, I love my job and the people I work with.  But still, the best time to look is while you are employed.

However, I am primarily looking to supplement my income through other projects.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life in a cubicle, in front of a computer, coding.  I want to have a flexible schedule doing more creative ventures, like YOGA!  Last Saturday I kicked off my first yoga class in my living room for friends.  I won't spend a lot of time talking about it since I have another blog I've dedicated to that project (and a hopeful future project in simple living/personal organization).  I also have a Facebook page you should totally "Like"!  This is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  I'm using the small class fee I am collecting to help subsidize getting my certification so I can work with a studio and a more diverse client base.

I also have other ideas I may or may not experiment with to help bring in extra income.

Why all the income supplementation?

Why not?

I'm celebrating 30 years of life come September.  While I have done a number of amazing things I am very proud of, I want more.  I'd like to spend a few days at Disneyland to celebrate my birthday (including pictures will all the Disney princesses, of course) and we're planning a tour of Europe in December.  It's possible to do this with one income, but just barely.

Maybe I want too much.  Maybe I'm just being a ridiculous little girl chasing after unrealistic dreams.  Maybe everyone will laugh at me.

You know, I'll be laughing too when I'm having lunch with Ariel or sitting with my friends in a cafe in Amsterdam or stretching into Pigeon pose among the sheep in Wales.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Challenge Update: Week 2

Oh!  Before I forget!

When I said "without exception" I totally lied.  Last week some anxiety got the better of me and I took a break for a couple days.  I'm not proud of myself, but sometimes the body needs rest.  Also, our computer was down so instead of monopolizing the DVD player for my work out video, I had to restart it every morning.  The player is slow, the intro is slow, and it takes over 10 minutes for me to get my work out started.  Sadly, the longer I have to wait for my workout to start, the more time I have to negative self-talk myself.  By the time my work out begins, I'm too unmotivated to put my heart into it and I do half-assed work outs.

Since the beginning of June, I've lost 9 pounds, but only three since I began the 30 Day Shred (which boasts losing up to 20 pounds). Last time I officially weighed myself I was down to 188.  I keep trying the measurements, but I'm physically incapable of measuring the same place twice.  It's typical for me to gain lots of muscle when I begin a new workout program (which I can see it true, I'm toning up quite a bit), which translates usually to about a 10 pound gain for the first 6 weeks of a routine.  The fact that I have lost 3 pounds in two weeks is a HUGE deal.  By late July when I progress to the next, more difficult, 30 day routine I anticipate will begin the melt zone.  That's when my body acclimates and I'll drop some dramatic pounds, often five pounds per week for about a month before I plateau.  But that will ONLY work if I'm consistent.  Too many breaks or binges, and it's all for nothing.

This week I have a couple challenges for myself.

Try to jog one to two days this week.

I love to run.  I haven't been really consistent about it since I hurt my ankle in March, but I miss it.  Doing it every day or every other day was too daunting.  Now that I'm doing this 30 day challenge, trying to do it so often will probably just set me up for failure.  Instead of setting a schedule or making up a routine (like Couch to 5K), I'm just going to run when the mood strikes me for however long feels right.  I just want to enjoy it, I don't want the effort of some program to weigh me down.  I promise to be careful and warm up and stretch properly.

Get at least one hour of yoga every day including one pose I suck at.

Now that I'm officially on the path to teach yoga and get my teaching certification, I need to start challenging myself more.  An hour every day is more than doable, and I'm going to permit myself to get that hour however I can, if it's 20 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes at night I'll consider that a success.  And I need to work on a pose I'm not good at.  Right now I'm debating between Dolphin pose which requires I strengthen my upper back and shoulders or Boat pose which requires I strengthen my core (both very weak areas for me).  Maybe I'll go crazy and do both.

Good Times

It is with great elation that my first venture teaching yoga to a room full of friends was a HUGE success. Four friends came out to get bendy with me (I was expecting three more, but I'm glad they didn't come because we were kind of packed in my living room).  We started a little late, but everything flowed really nicely.  I chose a restorative sequence, but that didn't mean we didn't sweat!  There were lots of frustrated giggles, but everyone expressed how comfortable they felt during the hour session.  I felt so relaxed myself.  There was obviously no reason for me to be anxious or scared at all.  Already I have had several more friends express an interest in attending sessions.  In fact, I have so many people wanting to come next Saturday that I'm not sure where to put everyone.  I'll have to cap it to a few and invite everyone to the following week's class when I can find a bigger space.

The rest of Saturday was relaxing, rewatching episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix streaming. Gods I love that show!  Fortunately the boys really enjoyed it too.

Sunday we cleaned up the front yard.  I really wish I took before and after photos.  It looks so much nicer!  The remainder of the day was occupied by the boy playing video games while I flipped lazily through magazines, and then later more Star Trek.  It all made the weekend go by so quickly.

Monday, being Independence Day, was spent at Chez Malm swimming, eating, and enjoying good company. By the time evening set in I was so tired from all the water and sun that I had to call it a night early.  We didn't get to see the fireworks, but that wasn't a big deal.  We spent the evening at home, cuddling the furry babies, and watching America's Got Talent.