Thursday, April 9, 2015

THRIVE - March Review

I'm trying to stay accountable to myself for the things I have set out to do. THRIVE is a big word. This is what thriving looked like in March...

1. Read A Book:  I read not one, but THREE books in March!  
  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande - I read this on Karen's recommendation and I have to say this should be required reading for anyone at or nearing retirement age and ALL doctors! It's a sobering read, but well written and engaging. Check it out.
  • Breathing Room by Lauren Rosenfeld - Essentially this book is a new way of looking at getting rid of the things that are no longer serving you - not just your "stuff" but also your negative thoughts, toxic relationships and other clutter in your life that is holding you back from being your best self. This book took me several months to read. Good information, but not as engaging as I would have liked.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - another recommendation from Karen. It really goes hand-in-hand with Breathing Room and covers a lot of the same concepts. Kondo's difference is that she recommends you get rid of everything and anything in your home that doesn't "spark joy" - that is her measuring stick. And I know if I got rid of everything that didn't "spark joy" a lot of really useful stuff would be out of the door. Like my treadmill, free weights, and exercise ball. What I really did find useful in Kondo's book was a new way of folding clothes. Things fit much better in my drawers now and I can SEE everything! That alone was worth the price of the book.

2.  Try A New Recipe: I did!   Pork with Squash and Apples. Sorry, no photo. I started with a Betty Crocker Slow Cooker recipe that you can find here. Then I tweaked it. On the second try, I had something quite yummy!  I'll try to share it when I have time. 

3.  Declutter:  While reading the two books mentioned above, I tackled most of my winter clothing. A lot went, even a pair of jeans never worn - impulse purchase, totally not me.  Then I took a shot at the Kitchen Desk.

This is the BEFORE photo. The Kitchen desk tends to be a clutter magnet and I have been one of the worst offenders! So I rethought how it should be used (since no paperwork actually happens here, but it is a convenient repository for receipts until bills get paid.)

And here is AFTER.
Believe it or not, the stapler and tape were on the desk in the before photo!  The one file folder is for receipts which I pull out when I pay bills.  The bin under the phone is for paperwork that needs to be shredded - a job that Jay does.

We have a couple of drawers in the front hallway where we save stuff that is destined for charity.  Between those drawers and what I pulled out of my closet and dresser during March, we now have eight boxes waiting to be taken to Care & Share. 

4.  Complete An Unfinished Project:  I am so proud/happy/relieved to announce that Sarah's Kindergarten through 6th Grade School of Life album is DONE!!!  I actually ending up enrolling in "The Finishing Project" at Simple Scrapper for the extra push and accountability to finish this album. So glad I did!

This puppy is 4" thick and very heavy!

The last page created - the Title page.

One of the internal pages that just needed journaling. Definitely old style - no way would I use that paper today!

5. Improve Flexibility - I'm working on it! As of my April 1 measurements, I am a mere 5" away from being able to touch my toes... I was at 8" on January 1st!  My low back and hamstrings are still pretty tight, but this is truly a baby steps kind of goal.

6. Scrapbooking - My Favorite Five - nope, not a single one of the photos I identified in this post were scrapped during the month of March.  They will remain on my list for April, although with all of the travel I have happening this month, I'm not really sure it'll happen this month either.  And that's okay.

7.  Photography - I've been doing my best to keep up with Kim Klassen's "Be Still" class.  Just today I caught up on reviewing all the weekly material, but I haven't done all the weekly photo shoots. Hoping to do some of them in the next week.

8.  Art Journaling - I hate to admit that the prompts from the Documented Life Project and from Artfully Inspired are just not inspiring me to do any art journaling. Maybe I had an off month. Maybe it is the fact that furniture awaiting refinishing has taken over my creative space making it hard to get to my craft table... in any event... there has been no art journaling lately.  I'm actually considering "letting go" of both of these classes (one is free) and looking for another source of weekly inspiration.

9.  On the Wellness front... my "numbers" have definitely been moving in the wrong direction.  But I AM moving more and making healthier eating choices.  Continuing to experience winter weather in March made it difficult - I tend to really crave comfort food (bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.) when it is cold and snowy. I also experienced a nasty fibro flare in March. Hopefully April will be a bit kinder.  I have been attending Tai Chi - only one class left of this session - but by the time class ends, I should be able to get outside for walks!

And here are the March pages from my One Little Word Planner:


Karen said...

I'm truly impressed with all the progress you're making on your intentions. For one thing, you're trying to make progress in a lot of areas all at once! I think it's perfectly fine to let go of classes that aren't meeting your needs.

Melissa said...

Great review Cheri! Congrats on finishing three books - they all sound interesting. And great job on the decluttering - that's quite a pile going to the charity! Way to go getting Sarah's album done - I like the title page & think it's FUN to have a variety of styles in albums! Three inches improvement on touching your toes in great for one month!! I'm doing all sorts of things I didn't know I could do & am back working out with the trainer these past couple of weeks. I tried my Step DVD workout earlier this week & definitely need to work on my aerobic endurance some more! LOL My numbers are the same but I expect some movement in the next few weeks.

scrappyjacky said...

That's an amazing amount that you've got done,Cheri.
I so agree with you on the winter 'comfort food' eating.....the weather here is drastically improved now and when we return from our vacation I am certainly hoping to get back into better eating habits.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

You're doing great on all fronts and a fantastic job with the decluttering. It seems to have become a bit addictive for me, after a very slow start. I didn't think I would get on with the Kondo method so I plumped for Sheila Chandra's book instead. Banish Clutter Forever ~ How the toothbrush principle will change your life.

Sian said...

Winter weather definitely makes a difference to eating's going to be easier very soon! (and I'm always interested in good new slow cooker recipes)

The school album is fabulous. The school albums here are everyone's favourites: well worth doing

alexa said...

Well done on all that clutter-clearing; your before and after photos are a testament to your powers of endurance and determination! Hoping the flare has subsided, now that the understandable nudge towards more comfort food lifts with the better weather.

Alison said...

You HAVE been busy..keep up the good work! Xx

Carola Bartz said...

You accomplished a lot in March - you can be happy with yourself! I'm quite interested in the books you mentioned, so I will check them out later. I love all your decluttering projects. Your kitchen desk looks like our kitchen table, it attracts any kind of junk in almost no time. It's unbelievable. Every now and then I clean it up, but it's cluttered a couple days later again. However, I'm constantly decluttering, and I like the idea of getting rid of everything that doesn't "spark joy". I will keep that in mind!

Miriam said...

You are amazing, I'm so impressed. Loving your de-cluttering. I have to say that it is my favourite thing to do. I have been finishing a project half done and started and finished something I have been wanting to do for ages. It feels so good.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great post! We really do seem to be on parallel tracks this year. Congrats on getting that album done! It is very hard to scrap and photograph and art journal, etc. Looking forward to your takes on Be STill. I just did a few photo shoots last week. One is up on my blog today.
I finally went to the doctor and have started doing all those over due tests (pap, mammo, blood sugar, etc.). She was very happy with my general "look." I could lose ten pounds but have great blood pressure/pulse rate and muscle tone, plus healthy eating and exercise habits.

Missus Wookie said...

Thanks for the book recommendations - all of them are in my library's catalog so I'm off to see what I can pick up :)

Agreeing with others that you are trying to improve/change in a lot of areas. That is always tricky. Weather and health definitely make a difference to choices and activities I find.