Saturday, January 19, 2019

This is 39: Month 12, Update 2

It is ridiculously late, but also, better late than never, no? After this I'll be posting a final update recapping my This is 39 experience. But for now, I need to take my own trip down memory lane to try and remember all the things I accomplished in my last month of 39!

My first post of month 12 was all about the half marathon. I'm still so proud of that accomplishment. I've only gone running once since then- on my actual birthday in Ireland (take me back please!)- because I did aggravate an injury that came on the week before my race. I did something to my right quad which is why I had Advil and Biofreeze the day of the halfie. I needed to numb that shit up so that I could make it through the race. Because not running it was absofreakinglutely not an option. But it took nearly two months before I was able to run without feeling some sort of pain in my right leg. Now (mid-January) that it's not hurting, I'm itching to slowly get back into running.

There was a lot of stuff that I did in month 12 that had nothing to do with my big race. Like:

  • Be mindful of communication: try not to say anything about someone I wouldn't want them overhearing- Yep. Continued to be mindful of this even though I wasn't perfect at it.
  • Blog at least 2x/month about my goals and progress- Only got this done once in October. Mostly because I was too busy partying it up in Portugal and Ireland.
  • Buy and use really good eye cream every day- Missed this only one day in my final month.
  • Call my grandparents 1x/week- I only called my grandmother twice in October, but I blame that on being out of the country for the second half of the month.
  • Date night with Steve at least once night a week (when I'm not traveling)- I left on October 7th for the rest of the month and I truly don't remember what date night(s) we may have gone on from September 23 - October 6th.
  • Do a Segway tour- You guys. I freaking did it. And I freaking hated it! No one was more surprised than I was at this plot twist. But it truly makes me laugh, still, all these months later thinking about how miserable I was. Katie was such a good sport about doing this even though it wasn't her idea of a good time. But the plot twist thickened while only moments into our Segway experience, it was evident that I did not like it one bit and Katie was having the time of her life.

    I didn't feel safe or confident on the Segway because I couldn't figure out how to stop it. And instead of asking for help, I just white-knuckled (literally) my way through the 3 1/2 hour tour (it was supposed to be 2 - 2 1/2 hours FYI). Katie took to it like a fish in water and really did have so much fun. I fell at one point. No big deal, it was just right in the middle of the busiest part of the city and was 100% dangerous. I was lucky I didn't really hurt myself since my foot got stuck while the Segway kept spinning around. Our tour guide was amazing- cute, knowledgable, nice, friendly, sweet, helpful and fun. But it didn't matter. I just hated it and couldn't wait for it to be over with. Katie took the funniest video of me- rim-rod straight, white-knuckling my way down a narrow, cobblestone alley, with a scowl on my face- and every photo taken of me on the Segway has my disdain on full display. Even still, I'm so glad to have crossed this goal off my list because as much as I hated it, it's one of the best memories. And I'm so grateful to have shared it with my wombmate. See for yerself:
Happy as can be...before I stepped on the Segway!
Wondering what in the hell I've gotten myself into.
And looking a helluva lot like my dad with what would become my perma-scowl for the duration of our Segway tour!
I'm thinking "I really thought I was gonna like this more than I actually do."

Perfectly captures the yin vs. yang of mine and Katie's experiences on the Segway tour
  • Get 4 facials and 4 massages- I got rear-ended five freaking days before my half marathon, so I went that night to get a massage to be proactive. And then just a few hours post-half marathon, I treated myself to another massage and it was the best way to recover after my great big race! I don't think I've gotten a massage since October, but have plans for one tomorrow and I can't wait! (I also got a facial the day after my birthday while in Ireland but it was So Lame and basically just someone putting lotion on my face. Plus I was still sort of drunk and kept falling asleep and waking myself up by making weird noises. So it wasn't the best facial I've ever had.)
  • Get my photography hanging up somewhere in public- This wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I can say that one of my photos is hanging up in public inside the Thatch. It's a wonderful (if I do say so myself) photo of Percy pulling a perfect pint of Guinness.
  • Go to Weight Watchers every week that I'm in the country- Yep. I did this in October. And while I didn't set any weight-specific goals, I'm super happy to share that when I turned 40, I was close to the lowest weight I've been in as long as I can remember. I know a big part of this was due to going weekly to weigh myself and being accountable in that way.
  • Hike 1x/month- We did this awesome hike in the Irish countryside (to see the Caves of Kesh) the morning of our birthday. We went hiking up to these caves that had these amazing views that Ireland is so well-known for- green, rolling hills as far as the eye can see. There's this great vantage point and photo op where the cave acts as a frame, and I had everyone take a photo expressing our gratitude for the moment:

  • Journal at least 4x/week- I accomplished this goal in month 12 and actually journaled a ton because I was trying to make up for not doing this 4x/week consistently throughout the year.
  • Milk a cow (in Ireland)- I tried like hell to accomplish this goal during my June visit, but it turned out to be much more difficult to find someone who still milks their cows by hand. (Who knew?) But my friends Mary and Alo (real name = Aloysious O'Hara, can you even deal with how Irish his name is?) hooked me up. Milking a cow isn't easy as it turns out. It's also not very glamorous, although I'm not super surprised at that. I milked a cow for less than 30 seconds because it was really hard and the cow wasn't totally digging it. I'm sure it was picking up on my nervous energy. But hey, I did it and I have the photos to prove it. Here's one:
  • No McDonald's for a year- Check!
  • Nurture my marriage- Check'ish. I spent a lot of my final month away from home/Steve which made it challenging to feel like I really accomplished this goal. (A theme throughout this year and something that I know I need to do some internal work on.)
  • Plan a kickass 40th birthday trip to Ireland & Portugal- While the planning took place many months before the trip, I can honestly say that everything came together seamlessly. Katie and I had a wonderful time in Lisbon (along with a 1/2 day side trip to Cintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais). We loved the city and did so much exploring in the 4 (full) days and nights we were there. It was so great to have some twin time before going to Ireland and meeting up with 17 of our friends who traveled from all over the world to celebrate with us. Here is a collage of some of my favorite photos from our birthday trip:

  • Travel some place new- While I accomplished this earlier in the year when I went to Miami for work last February, Lisbon was a new-to-me place to travel to as well. Katie and I really loved Lisbon and explored on foot and via Segway so we really got a great feel for the city.

    I LOVED all the freaking stairs all over the place. It is truly a city of stairs. And graffiti. I didn't love that part as much. 

Pastel de nata, also known as Portuguese custard tart is a Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.
And Katie and I fell hard for these.
  • Use my real camera 1x/month- Several of the photos I've already shared throughout this blog post were taken on my "real camera."
  • Volunteer 1x/month- At the end of September, when I could have gone out drinking in Philadelphia, I stayed in and wrote postcards in support of Beto O'Rourke and Adrienne Bell. 
  • Write an article/short story about Clancy and try and get it published- I actually completed this! I wrote a first draft of my short story about my final year with Clancy. It was really hard to do. But also really healing in many ways. Thanks to my sister Kara for checking it out. I have another writer friend taking a look at it. And then I'll see if there's any place that's appropriate to share it. Otherwise, I'll post it here. Here's a little peek of what I wrote:

    "Saying goodbye to Clancy was a pain and heartbreak that is difficult to put into words. We had 4,104 days with Clancy in California and every single one of them was filled with adventure and love. He expanded my heart in ways I didn't know was possible. He helped me grow in ways I didn't think I could. He taught me more than I knew I needed to learn.

    He was so much more than a dog. And while my heart will never fully heal, my overwhelming feeling is one of gratitude. That I got to play such a big role in his life. That he chose my family 14+ years ago. That he was an important connection to my father. That I had the pleasure of loving on and living with him for as long as we did. And that he had 5,198 days to spread his magical energy, spirit and love to everyone who knew him."
My final month was another busy one filled with lots of activity. The half marathon is still fresh in my mind, as is our epic trip to Portugal and Ireland. And I feel so grateful for all the things I did in October.

I know some people freak out at turning 40. Age has never really been something that sets me off. I think it's a side effect of losing my father at a young(er) age. I see aging as a gift and look at it very practically- you either get older or you die. And right now, I'd rather get older.

Next up is a recap of This is 39!

As always- thanks for coming along for the ride!


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