Thursday, April 26, 2018

This is 39 (Month 6, Check-In 3)

Month six has flown by, but it's also been filled with lots of progress and lots of insights. I'm gonna do a quick rundown of the list of goals:

Attend a yoga class at least 1x/month: Yep. Done! I did another restorative yoga class. This time I tried Naam Yoga in Santa Monica. Unfortunately they don't offer a free class or a free week like many other places here, but I bought a two-week pass for $35 so I can get in month six and month seven, and maybe even hit another class or two because why not. I really like restorative yoga and I don't even feel badly about going and not breaking a sweat because I do so many other things for exercise and it's good to have something chill. So yeah, I think restorative yoga is gonna be my jam. 

Be mindful of communication: try not to say anything I wouldn't want anyone overhearing: Okay. Am I still being mindful of communication? Yes. Absolutely. But I'm not really doing a great job of holding back on the things I don't want people overhearing. So I need to put more attention to this goal.

Blog at least 2x/month about my goals and progress: Check! I actually got in three blog posts this month. Go me!

Buy and use really good eye cream every day: Oh yeah. This has really become routine at this point. I missed a day in the past month, but for the most part, I'm nailing this goal.

Call my grandparents 1x/month: I talk to my grandmother once a week and I really like it. Our conversations don't last that long, but I love that she expects my call. In fact, when I called her on Saturday, she said how much she looked forward to my weekly call and it made me smile. My grandfather has been gone for four months now and I've certainly noticed a difference in my grandmother. Her memory is fading a bit (to be expected for 92 years of age) and she's definitely not as active and social. So I worry about that a bit. But I do enjoy our conversations and look forward to the few minutes when we do chat and I fill her in on what I've been up to since our last talk. And she never misses an opportunity to tell me how much she loves Steve "He's such a nice young man." Which never fails to make me laugh.

Date night with Steve at least one night a week: I have to say that this one has slipped a bit. I've been getting lazy on this front and we've been relying on dinners at home or a quick meal out as date nights. So I want to put a little more attention to this next month and plan some nice, unique and fun things for us to do together. We did have some nice time together when we went up to San Francisco, but I want our time at home to be a little more...intentional and couple'y. So I'll work on that.

Finish the remaining stair walks in the stair walk book: I realized that I really needed to get a freaking move on it if I planned on accomplishing this goal. Because while there are a lot of days between now and October 23rd, I am going to start running out of weekends that I'm home starting in June. Between Ireland (two times) and a family wedding in October and then six event weekends, I'll be gone quite a bit. So I decided to kick it into high gear and in the past two weekends alone, I've crossed five stair walks off my list. I absofreakinglutely LOVE this way of getting around and seeing my city. I've said it before, but there's just no way I'd ever see these parts of Los Angeles if not for the stair walks and I love, love, love them. And when there are people visiting (hi Leah!), it's a great way to explore and get out of Santa Monica.

Walk 5- Mt. Washington. 466 steps over 3.2 miles.
Walk 6- Hermon and Highland Park. 386 steps over 3 miles.
Walk 7- Highland Park-Southwest Museum. 568 steps over 3.2 miles
Walk 9- El Sereno Circles. 350 steps over 1.8 miles. 
Walk 10- Happy Valley and Montecito Heights. 626 steps over 3.7 miles.
I did the first two walks by myself and then Katie and Leah joined me for walks 7 & 9. And then Leah and I did walk 10 on Sunday. It Was Epic. Super hard in one spot where we scaled the side of a mountain, but then we got that crazy unexpected view of Los Angeles (by gaining permission to trespass on private property). 

19 more walks to go!

Get 4 facials and 4 massages: This month I treated myself to two massages and it was amazing. It no longer feels like a painful experience and I actually fell asleep during my last massage (something I've always heard of, but never believed could really happen)! While my friend Leah was in town, we had a luxurious day of self-care. We hiked (see next category). We went to Burke-Williams and used the spa amenities, bouncing back and forth between the shower, the hot tub, the misting shower, the steam room, the hot tub, the misting shower, the sauna, the hot tub, the solarium, and once again, a bitchin' shower. It was just magical! We capped off that day with massages and honestly, the only thing that could have made it better was restorative yoga. But we opted for soosh instead!

Hike 1x/month: Leah's birthday started off at Will Rogers for a quick hike to Inspiration Point. I'd like to do some more strenuous hikes, but I like that this hike is so close by and easy. Plus there are horses and while I don't want to ride them, I do like to look at them!

Nuture my marriage: I've done a really good job for the past five months in giving some serious thought to this and doing small things here and there. And I've continued that in month six, but I've also found myself slipping back into some habits that don't lend itself well to nurturing my marriage- like being...unsupportive and sassy (not in a fun way) and kinda egging Steve on a bit. So while I'd like to think I do something every day to nurture my marriage (and I know I in fact do) I need to do more work on this in month seven. In a nutshell, progress is being made for sure, but I'm nowhere near perfection (and that's okay).

Read 20 books: I've made some good progress this month finishing for more books:
14 down, 6 to go! I've got this one!

I have three books I've got in rotation right now and one of them is a library book, so I'll probably focus on this one next. I'm definitely enjoying reading more and love that I have a non-digital way to engage my brain and my heart.

Ski in California with Katie: I blew this goal. As in, there's no way I'm going to accomplish it. I waited to long to look into this and by the time I did, the only place to go skiing was 5+ hours away and would have cost like $350 just for two one-day ski passes, and that doesn't include gas and lodging and food and I don't want to hit this goal that badly to blow more than $1k on it. So I'm going to think of another goal and replace this one. Moving on. 

Track each day's food in the Weight Watcher's app: I'm still hit or miss with this. But the good news is I'm still 100% hitting all my food goals. The nuggets of super helpful wisdom I took away from The Food Therapist are still so present in my day-to-day actions with food (#winning). I haven't had any major meltdowns with food (hooray) and I've lost every week for the past six weeks (f yeah!). I don't feel like I'm completely depriving myself (phew), but I also feel like I'm guiding my decisions based on my long-term goals and not my right now cravings (a major shift for me). I'm also working out a ton (which I love) and enjoying feeling lighter and fitting into my clothing better (boo yeah). So I'm not gonna beat myself up for not doing this one thing perfectly when everything else is seemingly falling into place (good for you Molly!). Plus. I haven't abandoned it all together. I just tracked my food today 😁.

Try meditating for 21 days: I talked about this during my Month 5, Check-In 2 update, but I successfully completed by Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience: Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit. And I really, really liked it. There was so much I took away from the experience and I wrote those mantras, centering thoughts and key takeaways down after each meditation so I can go back and read them when I need it. Overall, the meditation was a positive experience and I hope to find time to integrate meditation into my daily life. I loved the intentional energy put into breathing and sitting quietly and being still. It felt hard and yet completely healing. I need more of all of this in my life and I don't see how it could do anything other than help. So here's hoping I actually make the time to prioritize meditation on an ongoing basis.

Use my real camera 1x/month: Our spring break getaway to Montecito (boring), Cambria (beautiful) and San Francisco (fun and delicious), was the perfect opportunity to break out my real camera! Here are some of my favorite photos taken on that trip with Spring Break Steve:

Moonstone Beach, Cambria, CA
A gorgeous scenic overlook along route 46 from Cambria to Paso Robles. How very Irish looking!
One of the highlights of the trip was driving by the headquarters for Andy Boy- makers of Steve's favorite vegetable: broccoli rabe!

A beautiful day in San Francisco and a gorgeous and clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge
Volunteer 1x/month (must include something to help flip the house): Another month another volunteer shift with Food Forward and I did 12 more postcards for Postcards to Voters. This time for a special election in upstate New York!

Write an article/short story about Clancy and try to get it published: I met with my friend Elisabeth (thank you!) who helped me put some thought into what it is I'm trying to accomplish with this piece about Clancy. She helped me think through some things like: what's my angle, what makes this story different from the others written about dogs dying, what audience is this for, etc. She also helped me think about practical things like spending some time just sitting and writing and not judging myself and just seeing what comes out on the page. I haven't done anything since our initial meeting, but it was good to pause and consider this goal since pretty much nothing has happened since I put this on the list.


As you can tell, month six was another really busy month. I'm glad that I made so much progress on my goals, including eliminating credit card debt and making major decisions about which marathon to run and committing to a program and a race!

But I learned a few things this month too. Mostly that while I'd love to hit all these goals I've set out for myself, I'm okay with it if I don't. My intention behind this whole thing was to make this final year in my 30s really count and to feel really good about myself as I head into my 40s. And if nothing else was accomplished, I'd be more than okay with what I have done. That kind of progress makes me feel happy in a way that's hard to describe. I've spent so long beating myself up for the things I haven't done and it's led to some really destructive behavior and negative self-image shit that I don't want to carry forward in my life.

I was talking with a friend about this shift (Hi Terri!) and how this experience in setting these goals and working towards accomplish them has taught me that the journey is just as, if not more, important as the crossing off of all these goals. Being mindful of all of these goals is helping me be a better person, a better boss, a better employee, a better wife, a better friend, a better sibling, and most importantly, a better, kinder friend to myself. And at the end of the day, that's way more important than saying that I crossed everything off my goal list, especially if it didn't feel fulfilling to accomplish all of that.

As I head into the second half of this year, I'm going to see where I can go deeper and where I have room to put more intention to some of the goals. And I'm also just going to enjoy the journey and continue to be excited by the overall benefits and transformation in this quest to get to 40 gracefully and honestly as a better version of myself.

Thank you for coming along for the ride!


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