The Year of You

learning to live without limits

#painting #triathlons #margaritas #oh my! — February 26, 2017

#painting #triathlons #margaritas #oh my!

This weekend Jason and I were kid free! Kid free, people! My fantastic in-laws took the boys camping, and Jason and I did what every kid free couple does when they have a weekend to themselves…..WE GOT SHIT DONE. I got to experience that glorious feeling of doing anything uninterrupted…anything and everything without interruption. Not having to feed/clean-up after other human beings, not having to wipe anyone else’s butt and just being able to do whatever the heck I wanted for two solid days. It really was joyous. Don’t get me wrong, I miss them instantly, but when I don’t have to microwave my coffee in the morning for the third time…I call that heaven.

We spent all of Friday night getting our normal stuff done…grocery shopping, meal prep, laundry, etc so that we could really get to work on Saturday. We have big exciting home projects going on right now, and we used all the time we could on Saturday to paint, move stuff around and then paint some more. I quickly remembered that painting is only enjoyable once you are done.

Between painting we had our Sprint Triathlon…400yd swim, 8 mile bike, 2.5 mile run at our YMCA. I have been so anxious about this event since I signed up. Based on how my swim sessions have been the last few weeks, I knew that my swim would be rough, but I just kept pushing through.  I have learned that swimming is just about the ugliest thing that I do, and my swim on Saturday did not disappoint. It was probably my worst go in seven weeks, but that is okay. I did it. Swimming was really the main reason I signed-up for the Sprint. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone and force myself to work at something that I was terrible at. I am still terrible at it, but I plan to keep working on it. The most important thing for me was to just keep moving forward and stay committed to improvement, or at least this is what I told myself when I got in the pool.

The most disappointing part of Saturday’s sprint was my bike performance. I set myself up for failure. I had never used the Y’s bikes and it was not the bike/ride I was used to. To spare the boring details, my seat settings were off and I spent my first 2 miles wasting time because I was so uncomfortable. Needless to say I added 3 minutes to my normal 8 mile time…terribly disappointing. Once I was off the never-ending bike ride from hell, all I had left was a 2.5 mile run…HOME. It may have been one of my best treadmill runs ever. I knew I had time to make-up to ensure I hit my sub one hour goal. It was a good run. I hit a really good stride early on and was able to consistently build speed throughout. I finished at 58 min 48 sec and it felt great. I would sign-up for another Sprint Triathlon in a heart beat.

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Jason and I finished Saturday with Mexican food and margaritas. I don’t like to use food as a reward, but we flipping deserved it. All the painting…so much painting then the Sprint and then more painting when we got home….tequila was a good choice.

Sunday mornings without kids call for sleeping in (until 8),  a Starbucks run and then an hour perusing leisurely online. Perfection. I love Sunday mornings.

 The boys arrived home in the late afternoon, and we were instantly back to reality. Tired, crabby kids…I think one of them even peed their pants within the first 10 minutes home. I’m not sure..it all happened so fast. It was as if they were adjusting to civilization again…but it was okay because I had two days to recharge my batteries and fill-up my “patience” tank. I needed to do another load of laundry and clean that spot on the floor anyhow. It is good to have them Home.

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#TimeofyourLife — February 17, 2017

#TimeofyourLife

One of the greatest lessons that I learned last year was how much I got in the way of letting myself live; the limitations that I had placed on myself, the excuses that I had made, and the perceptions that I had. There is a tremendous value to letting go of the things that hold us back, weigh us down and prevent us from reaching our full potential. When I made the decision to free myself from these things, my entire worldview changed. This post is the first in a series on the topic of letting go and de-cluttering your life. Over the course of the series, we will dive into things that consume our day, our mind, our heart and even our physical space (don’t worry, I won’t be writing an article inspiring you to buy a tiny home).

When I think about the limitations we all have, I immediately think of our most valuable resource as humans, and that is TIME. What consumes our day. How we spend each day is largely based on the obligations that we feel we have, but my challenge to you and what I hope to achieve from this is that you start to question those 1440 minutes that you spend each day. What are you doing with your time, why are you doing it, does it really need to be done and most importantly what is the return on this time investment?

So how do you spend your day? I read an article once that said you can really only do three things well at any given time; the thought being that if you spread yourself across too many activities you can only give minimal effort whereas if you select three areas of focus you can give maximum effort. The article (which I can’t find for the life of me now) broke these categories into decent sized buckets (family, work/school, friends, health/fitness, hobby, you get the gist). It really made me think about how I spend my day and what I wanted to put my focus on in order to give maximum effort to the things that I cared about. In general, I tend to agree with the article in that you really need to prioritize what is important to you and invest your time in those areas. What would your three buckets be? At this minute, mine would be family, work, health/fitness…I’m sorry friends but maybe we can work out together?

When you think about your day, try to focus on the activities that turn a positive return. Interactions with your family will fill your love tank, working gives you a sense of purpose and has practical returns like salary and health benefits, reading a book is enjoyable and is just plain good for the brain. Really think about the things you are doing and make sure they have purpose and provide value to your life. If they don’t, stop wasting your time.

In thinking about how I used to spend my time, I removed many mindless activities that provided little to no return, things like pointless internet time (you know that time between 8:30p and 10:00p when you are sitting on the couch like a mindless zombie missing out on contact with other humans in your close proximity), obsessive list making just for the sake of making a list (I have list issues), sitting on the couch watching TV during the kids’ naptime, and stupid Pinterest projects that just never turn out or save me money or give me tank top worthy arms in 10 days (you know what I am talking about). It seems minimal, but these things add up each day. Use this time gained and do more of the things that you want to do. When you are 85 you aren’t going to wish you would have spent more time making your own baby wipes or laundry detergent…go buy the damn things and move on with your day.

Last year I took steps to take back more of my own time. I think women tend to give most of their time to others because generally speaking we invest a lot in our children and families and want to make sure everyone else is taken care of because they are so important to us. I think far too often we forget to take care of ourselves, and for me I started to feel this growing feeling of unfulfillment. So last year I decided to get a little selfish. I started taking back some of the time that I was spending making others happy and used that time to do more of what I wanted. What’s the saying, “if mama aint happy, aint nobody happy”? I made time to do things that I wanted to do like run, take a girls trip, actually post things on Facebook that were about me and not just about my kids. Let me tell you, it was amazing. Never once did I feel neglectful to my family and I don’t think my young children were any the wiser that I didn’t have a full list of kid centered activities planned each and every weekend. My goal was never to take anything away from my family, but instead give myself more so that I could feel more fulfilled and in turn give them more of me. This can be a hard topic to fully embrace because you do have to find the balance.

So back to my original question, how do you spend your day and what are you willing to let go of? What non value added activities can be cut? Once you are able to let go of these you are one step closer to removing self-imposed limitations. One thing I want to make sure is still understood even after all of the prioritization and no value added time comments that I have made, I still do believe it is possible to do/have it all. I absolutely believe this, but in order to do/have it “ALL” you have to be willing to redefine the word “ALL”.

 

#ShineBright — February 7, 2017

#ShineBright

On Chase’s first birthday, I started a tradition of taking off work and planning a special day just the two of us.  I have kept this tradition with both boys on each and every birthday, and today is Shane’s day! His third birthday!IMG_1719.JPG

Having a child born in early February, you never expect to be able to take them to do fun outside activities on their birthday, but the stars aligned today, and we were blessed with a beautiful  mostly sunny warm wonderful day at the zoo. I am not sure if Shane will ever get a 65 degree birthday again in his life, but I am so happy that I got to spend this one with him. We practically had the zoo all to ourselves, and because it was so warm all of the animals were out to play. It was perfect, and we made sure to see everything.

This sweet little boy makes my life better each and every day. He keeps me on my toes but somehow manages to melt my heart in the same sentence.  He lights up every room that he walks into and takes a bad day away with his sweet smile. Happy birthday to my baby boy! Keep shining bright.