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:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Me On Monday

It was a thrifting, catching-up-on-sleep, ham cooking, cleaning, laundry doing, blog reading, hanging with the family, kind of Easter weekend. Trying to catch up with my life after a four day trip to Baltimore for work.  Amazing how three sleepless nights in a hotel can wreak havoc on your ability to get stuff done.

But at least I had this gorgeous view:

Even though it was a holiday weekend, I spent Friday afternoon traveling home and then early evening (missing out on dinner with the family) on a conference call  working on a contract. So here I am today:
Neck deep in final version to version review of a 17 page contract.  And not at all sure when I'll be able to come up for air. Ugh.