Sunday, September 2, 2018

This is 39- Month 10

I'm actually partway through month 11 (woo hoo!), but realized I never reflected on month 10. So here we go. In month 10 there were a handful of things that weren't difficult to accomplish as many of my goals have become like habit now. Like:

  • Be mindful of communication- try not to say anything about someone I wouldn't want them overhearing- The thing I've continued to say is that I'm not perfect with this, but it is something I'm mindful of each day. And that continues to be true. 
  • Buy and use really good eye cream every day- Oh yeah. I'm all over this one! It's certainly become habit and isn't something I even really need to think about as it's become part of my routine. I even went through the eye cream I bought at the beginning of This is 39 and just bought another one. (Also side note: really interested in trying this.) 
  • Call my grandmother 1x/week- This remains one of my favorite goals because I know for a fact that I wouldn't talk to my grandmother as much if it weren't on this list. While we don't have a ton to talk about every week, it's nice to hear her voice and, as said before, I love that she's come to expect my call now. 
  • Go to Weight Watchers meetings every week (I'm in the country)- Yep. And while I'm not tracking my food (like at all), I am eating well and getting weighed-in each week. Since I started This is 39, I'm down 13 pounds. But. Throughout this goal period, I've yo-yo'd a bit. So from my highest weight since 10/23/17, I've actually lost 37.6 lbs. Woah. I didn't realize that. 
  • No McDonald's for a year- Not missing it at all. Although it was touch and go for a second when my friend Eileen brought me a diet coke on event and it was from McDonald's. I'm so committed to this goal (even though it's really about the food) that I happily handed it over to Tara to enjoy 😁
  • Use my real camera 1x/month- My intention with this goal was to learn the technical aspects of using my camera more and while I haven't done that as well as I had hoped, I am glad that I'm taking the time to use my camera more and take decent photos. Combined with my goal to organize my photos better, this is helping me be more critical and selective with what photos I take, how I edit them and which ones I choose to save. Here are the ones I took in month 10:

  • Volunteer 1x/month (must include something to help flip the House)- More postcards to voters. This is an incredibly rewarding experience and makes me feel like I'm part of a solution to move the country in the direction I hope it goes after the midterm election. (Which I've said before). If you're looking for a simple and effective way to volunteer and also want it to be politically minded, check out the link above and get started. It is really so easy. 
In month 10, there were goals I accomplished (mostly), but still needed to work hard to get them done. Like:
  • Attend a yoga class at least 1x/month- I really love yoga. But getting to a yoga class is a different story. I don't always make it a priority so I find that I am scrambling at the end of the month to make it happen. During the past 10 months, I've taken classes at different studios and learned that I love restorative yoga and I really enjoyed class with one particular instructor. So when I contacted her and found out that she was teaching at another yoga studio on my side of town (the one where I took here class from originally closed down unexpectedly), I jumped on the chance to go to her class again. As luck would have it, there was a special on Groupon that I took advantage of, and I know for the rest of the year, I won't have to do any research on what studio I'll go to, just what day and time the class is. 
  • Blog at least 2x/month about my goals and progress- I only did this one time in month 10 but I'm hoping to end This is 39 blogging 24 times so that it'll all even out. The process of accountability is so huge for me. And I have been so grateful for the encouragement and support I've gotten from friends and family who have been following along and reading my blogs and watching my half-marathon/workout related Instagram stories. 
  • Date night with Steve at least one night a week (when I'm not traveling)- Steve and I went out for one of the most delicious meals I've had in a while at a small Italian restaurant in Venice, Barrique. If you're local in LA, I cannot highly recommend this enough. Month 10 also coincided with the start of my heavy work travel schedule. This means that Steve and I need to get creative with date night and nurturing our marriage- not always our (my) strong suit. So...good to have top of mind. 
  • Hike 1x/month- I did this (yet again) toward the end of the month, but used it as an opportunity to see my friend Chris who I hadn't seen in a long time. While I went back to Will Rogers (my go to easy nearby hiking spot), it was a perfect workout. 
  • Journal at least 4x/week- I realized in month 10 that I slacked a bit on this so I'm working overtime to get this goal accomplished. It may require me to journal daily for the rest of This is 39, but I'm okay with that. No shortage of things to journal about, that's fo' sho'!
  • Nurture my marriage- As I mentioned in date night above, I'm getting into the full swing of work (and personal) travel, which doesn't always go hand-in-hand with nurturing my marriage. But it's top of mind and I'm hopeful that (Steve and) I can get in front of this. 
  • Resistance training 3x/week- Now that my weekly mileage is starting to creep up there and my weekly long runs are in the double digits (woo hoo!), I've stopped doing leg-focused resistance training. I figure I have that more than covered. So...I'm only doing resistance training 2x/week now (arms one day, abs another day). And I'm okay with that. But I tend to wait until the end of the week and then have to cram this in. I'm hoping I can be a little more strategic with this in the final five weeks leading up to the half marathon and space it out a bit more. But because I have been consistent with this (thank you Sweat app!), I can totally see improvement in my ability to complete certain moves and it feels good to get stronger (and still get sore after each workout). 
  • Run a Half Marathon- So...setting the time aside to do my half marathon training is not an issue. The act of running isn't an issue either. It's just that this isn't entirely easy. It's been incredibly rewarding and I'm so proud of myself for sticking with my training and I actually can't wait for the half marathon. But running is hard (not a news flash, I get). And it's hard for me. I find that I'm constantly softening what I'm doing with statements like "Yeah but I run really slowly." Or "I'm not a fast runner, but at least I don't stop." I'm trying really hard to stop with that because the fact that I'm doing this and sticking with it and following a plan and increasing my distance each week are all things to be proud of and celebrate. And I feel like I'm putting myself down each time I cushion it with a "yeah but". In month 10 I broke 10 miles for my long run distance. While I still have things to work out with my training (namely what I need to eat leading up to a long run to have the energy to complete it without feeling like I'm barely moving), I'm happy to say that it's going well!
And there were a handful of goals that I completed. Like:
  • Stay on top of my BRCA2 gene appointments- I had my latest round of appointments at the end of July and all is a-okay. In fact, I don't have to do the ovarian cancer screening every six months. Because ovarian cancer is harder to detect and the testing available isn't as good as breast screening, my doctor and I talked about reducing the frequency to one time per year. I'm more than okay with this. I feel good monitoring it at least once throughout the year and know that in about five years, I'll need to make a more permanent decision that will (hopefully) eliminate my risk of getting (ovarian) cancer all together. 
  • Learn how to properly apply eye liner! I spent one Saturday evening practicing over and over and over again. I'd apply, remove, apply, remove and repeat (seriously about 15 times), until I finally got it right. I had a few different kinds of eye liner that I owned and tried out. But the two that I've used most frequently are L'Oreal Paris Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner (in carbon black) and Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eye-Lining Pen (also in black). I never want to go too crazy, but I am really enjoying the simple look and definitely think it helps enhance my eyes. I've continued to use eye liner when I apply make-up and don't find it to be so challenging anymore. Hooray. But this was from the night I kept practicing:
I didn't even know I owned this much eye liner!
  • Read 20 books- (I think I actually did this in month 9, but whatever). Since I last wrote about books, I've completed two more:
  1. Next Year in Havana (by Chanel Cleeton)- This is one of my favorite books that I've read during This is 39. As soon as I finished it, I posted about it on Facebook because I love a good book recommendation and know many of my friends do too. The book went back and forth between Cuba in the late 1950's/early 1960's and Miami in 2017. I was invested in the story and the characters and learned a lot about Cuba. Highly, highly recommend (obviously). 
  2. The Story of Arthur Truluv (by Elizabeth Berg)- This was a quick and easy book. I definitely recommend reading it, especially if you read and enjoyed A Man Called Ove. 
And finally, there were a couple of goals that I got started on. Like:
  • Plan a kick ass 40th birthday trip (to Lisbon & Ireland)- Katie and I had a few things to work out with tickets and travel dates and locations and all that stuff, but we've booked all our birthday trip travel and are getting really excited! After going to a wedding in Maryland, we'll both make our way (separately, unfortunately) to Lisbon where we'll be for five days in mid-October before going to Ireland for a week and a half. We'll have a few days to ourselves in Ireland before our friends start arriving from all over the U.S. (and even some from Europe). And while we haven't specifically planned things yet, I know our time in Ireland with our friends will include things like: drinking (a lot of) Guinness, seaweed baths, hikes, good food, good music, late nights, early mornings, drinking, fresh air and no work! 
  • Write an article/short story about Clancy and try to get it published- I'm only a paragraph in (so far), but I am just happy that I've started. And I know why I've put it off; it's so freaking emotional. To go back to the last seven months we had with Clancy is going to bring up all sorts of emotions. I've put that period into a compartment of my brain that I only tap into at certain times because it's so sad and I still miss him so much. Just writing the small amount that I did made me cry. So I get why I've waited so long to work on this one. But at the same time, I'm glad to get moving on it too. 
Woah. That's a lot! I know 39 goals is kind of bananas to work towards. But it continues to be so meaningful to work towards crossing (as many of) these goals off my list as possible. I've loved the way it helps structure my month and has created a focus in a way that I wouldn't have without this project.

As always, thanks to all of you who take the time to read and comment and reach out with words of support and encouragement. It helps more than you'll know. So thank you!


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