a girl and her boy

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Tag Archives: running

The Power of Intentions – Make Your Life Happen!

“Every morning is a fresh beginning. Every day is the world made new. Today is a new day. Today is my world made new. I have lived all my life up to this moment, to come to this day. This moment… this day… is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day… each moment of this day… a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity.” Dan Custer.

I seem to have something to learn about the power of intentions and positive thinking as the universe has put opportunity after opportunity to think about it, engage in it, and learn from it in my path lately. The quotation at the beginning of this post was in my email inbox one morning earlier this week. On Sunday at church, the message was about harnessing your power and the power of the Universe to set and achieve intentions, and the chapter in my manual on writing just happens to be talking about intentions and goals as well. Okay, Universe, here we go.

I have made much progress in life. I’m very happy with where I am and what’s in my life, in general. I have two postsecondary degrees in areas I am passionate about. I have a comfortable home and plenty of possessions to keep me entertained, progressing, and developing. I have health, youth, and energy to make big things happen. I’ve overcome some huge obstacles and learned many lessons about love, forgiveness, and faith.

Life isn’t over yet, and won’t be for many years if I have it my way, which means there is plenty left to learn and achieve. (I tell Gabe often that I want to live to be 120. He says that with technology and health advancements that it’s quite possible.)

After doing some financial planning with Gabe, I turned the page in the notebook to a fresh sheet and wrote down in concrete terms the things I am going to do in life. That’s right, no “maybe” or “someday” or “it would be nice if I could.” It’s all about “I will.”

Here is what I intend:

I will be financially independent and responsible.

This one is huge for me. I grew up in a family where money was always an issue. There was never enough of it and it was often misused. When I went off to college, having no real concept of how money worked, I got myself into credit card debt and constantly lived beyond my meager means. It took a long time and many hard lessons before I got myself out of debt, stabilized my finances, and learned how to manage money effectively. While teaching, I did very well to support myself and my former husband on my salary and somehow managed to save enough to live on for the first six months or so of living in Salem when I ventured out on my own after the separation. Now I’m in a financially stable committed relationship, but I wake up worrying at night about what would happen if something happened to Gabe, or if there were an even bigger economic upset. I am actively working on getting myself and our relationship set up so that we are individually, and as a couple, financially stable. I want to know that no matter what happens that we are going to be okay.

I will be professionally successful and secure in a teaching/editing/publishing position.

I want it and I’m working for it. It’ll happen.

I will obtain and maintain good health.

I reworded my usual goals because they were too narrow and I found myself constricted and limited. I have learned that if I focus my goals too much and organize things too well, then I “rebel” and don’t do it. I need flexibility and freedom to achieve goals, especially health related.

One big change I’ve made to work towards a lifetime of good health and physical strength is my “minimum” rule: it doesn’t matter what it is or how much, but I must do something physical every day. I can go on a long walk. I can do few sets of crunches and push-ups. I can go to the gym and lift weights. The goal is to move my body every day. This way of thinking has helped me get up and move every day for the last 19 days. I’m close to the 21-days to form a habit!

Beyond that, I have some very specific running goals for the next 24 months. I had to put off my races this past year because of the health situation, but now that I’m on the mend, it’s training time again. So, my general goals as I haven’t set up a training schedule or found races yet is to run a handful of 5k races this spring and summer, and by fall run a 10k race. Then over the next fall and winter, pump it up to half-marathon distance for the late spring or early summer next year and keep pushing for my first marathon in the fall/winter of 2012. That gives me, I hope, a decent amount of time to build up miles and strength for a marathon. Running-readers, what do you think? Prior to the illness, I ran 4-6 miles a day 3 to 4 times a week and long runs of 7-10 miles at my best. Since then, I’ve managed to get in 7-12 miles a week. Not much, I know, but it’s been something.

 

I miss running outside! I can't wait until it warms up.

As far as food goes, I’ve had so many different ideas on how to achieve health through food and it’s brought me to extreme decisions in the past. My new and best idea yet: moderation! Oldies are the goodies. I do fairly well getting in a fair number of fruits in a day, and I’m getting better with veggies. I’ve been a whole grain person for years now and had a period where I thought I wanted to dump them from the diet completely. Then I had to go off them on doctor’s orders for a few weeks. Now that I’m healthier and feeling good without the dairy and gluten, and thinking long and hard about my needs, what I want, and about world health trends, I’ve decided to keep them. That’s for me. Everyone makes their own decisions based on their needs and how their body responds. Do the best by your own body, folks! Treat it well!

I’m also going to start yoga! Woo-hoo! I got a great deal on 7 classes in Cambridge through Yelp. I can’t wait to have a yoga booty.

I will live a long and happy life.

This whole post is about intentions. I intend to be happy every day to the best of my ability. I’m choosing it. The long part, well, I’m hoping that by a positive attitude, a fulfilling and invigorating career, and a healthy lifestyle, that comes with some luck.

I will write and publish at least one novel.

I’ve been tapping away at the keyboard for at least 30 minutes each day on a new novel idea this year. I don’t know how good it is, but it’s progressing. You gotta write a novel to publish a novel. The best writing is rewriting and revision. It’ll come.

* * * * *

So what about you? What are your intentions? What are you going to make happen with your life?

Happy Thursday, folks!

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Sunshine on the water looks so lovely.

The Causeway, Marblehead, MA

the Atlantic Ocean on the last day of 2010

I went on a run this morning along the causeway in Marblehead. The moment the sunlight bounced off the ocean and into my soul, I had John Denver’s “Sunshine on my Shoulder” on my lips. It was a good run and a great place to do it. (The video itself isn’t that great, but I wanted to include the song.)

Read more of this post

Inspiration

A friend linked to this video on Facebook. I could not help but share. Thank you, Ben, for your inspirational blog and video.

New Place, Old Face

Gabe and I have been living in our new home for a smidge over two weeks now. It’s been wonderful. It’s such a different experience than I even imagined. We’re in an area of Boston that is primarily industrial:  office buildings, restaurants, parking garages, hotels, and a few blank slates for someone’s imagination to take hold of. We have all of Boston at our finger tips but forget trying to get a gallon of milk without hopping on the T or getting in the car after 6 pm on Friday. The only remotely reasonable convenience store is only open when the offices are. But, I’d have to say, that’s really not a huge deal. It’s just different.

I don’t have photos of the new place yet because we’re still settling in. There are books and boxes and bags of stuff in various  out-of-the-way places waiting for furniture to organize them. Maybe next week we’ll have photos? We’ll see.

One of the things I’m growing accustomed to and am rather enjoying is not having Internet access in the apartment. We get it in the club room downstairs, but not in our apartment. It wasn’t until the last two weeks that I realized how much time I had spent idling away the hours on Facebook, instant messanger, and on other web haunts. I’ve read more. I’ve knit more. I’ve spent more time planning, and organizing, and goal setting. Heck, I’ve even spent more time exercising! I’ll take it.

Speaking of exercising, I have absolutely NO excuse anymore for not getting my butt in gear 5x a week or more. Our building has a whole, fully stocked, fitness center. I’ve been focusing on weight training and getting my endurance for running back. When I get to a place where I won’t feel wholly embarrassed to share what I’ve been doing, I will. I didn’t realize how quickly I got squidgy around the edges. It won’t last, though, I’m too determined and motivated after going to my 10-year reunion for that.

Seriously, I didn’t realize how much blogworthy stuff I’ve been up to until I sat down to write.

While in Maine this weekend for my class reunion, we stopped in to Purl Diva in Brunswick where I picked up materials for two new projects:  Noro Striped Scarf for Gabe, and some mohair for some undetermined project for me. I tend to buy fiber I like and figure out what to do with it later. I’ve come up with some great projects that way.

I started the scarf and am poking around for patterns and inspiration for the mohair. All while enjoying being in my new home and living with Gabe.

Accountability and a few Thank You's

Blogging, it seems, is mostly about keeping oneself accountable. When I wasn’t blogging, I felt no “obligation” or “motivation” to do the things I enjoy doing and then talking about, y’know, running, knitting, crafting, reading, adventuring; in other words:  being mindful and observant and engaged.

Since dusting off the blog I’ve already found myself perking up some and looking to my big pile of UFOs (for non-crafters/knitters, that means unfinished objects) and half-read books and reflecting on my recent shenanigans out and about in the greater Boston area. So much stuff to take note of and talk about! So much stuff to appreciate.

Speaking of accountability, there are some big things I’ve done that I’m very proud of that I’d like to share:  I’ve almost been in the north shore area for a year (it’s been a full year since I started visiting, July will be my 1-year anniversary of living here) and I’ve managed to keep afloat financially. When I moved down here, it was after leaving my teaching position in Maine and leaping into the dark hoping to land on something solid. Now, I don’t have a teaching position (yet), but I have been able to earn enough to keep my bills paid and pay off my minor medical debts from last spring. Granted, I have had help from friends along the way with small floating loans, but I did it. I did it!

Last spring when I was meditating and sending out my intentions and asking for help, I asked for a teaching position, but knowing it takes a while to get established, I also asked for just enough income to meet my needs and to be of service to others. Whelp, I certainly got what I asked for. My current position is all about service to some of the neediest students out there. And I’m making just enough to make ends meet and set some aside for future months. I’m feeling my teaching position just around the corner, too. This fall. C’mon, cosmos! Let’s make it happen!

I’m almost done getting my Massachusetts certification. I’ve paid off my non-student loan/car loan debt. Stayed current (mostly) on my bills. Built a solid social and professional network. All while having a helluvalot of fun at the same time!

I want to thank the people (not naming names, but you know who you are) who have helped along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me and giving me a stern talking to when needed.

dusting off the blog

It’s about time I dust off this blog and post again. Last post was about my renewed efforts on running and getting into top shape again. Unfortunately, that is on the back burner for now. When you feel like you are being stabbed with a serrated knife just below/under your ribs and can’t keep down food, you don’t much feel like running. But that’s a story for a little later.

Just a little on what I’ve been up to in the period since I last posted:  I’ve been working 30 hours a week at my therapeutic program, and 14 hours a week tutoring. Now, if you add those up, it equals 44 hours a week and you’re probably thinking, “pshhhhh, that’s not much at all.” But it actually is a lot because I do in-home tutoring and I have to drive to each of those appointments. So add 20-40 minutes to each of those one-hour tutoring appointments and you get a better sense of my weekly hours. I leave at 7:30 am and get home around 8 pm, sometimes a little earlier, but not often. I’m wiped most of the time. I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been nibbling on some books and poems, but that’s about it. I’ve put a few more rows on my Earth Angel cross stitch project, and made Gabe a hat in December/January. I’ve been working on my Massachusetts teaching certification (taking the MTELs). That’s about it.

Now, on to that stabbing pain. I’m going to withhold some details simply because I’m not ready to share everything yet, but here’s the gist of it:  Started feeling icky Sunday but didn’t think much of it because I work in a public school and bugs are par for the course. I was up all night throwing but went to work anyway. When I got home from the day job, I dropped to my knees in pain, began crying, and honestly felt like I was about to die. When the initial shock ebbed, I called Gabe who, of course, urged me to go to the ER. So I went. And sat. And sat. And sat. Six hours later I was finally seen. I was sent home jut a little before midnight with a script for antibiotics. I finished the antibiotics yesterday and was on drip antibiotics Monday. I’ve been in pain all week. Still not sure what is going on but you can be sure Gabe and I are on a mission to find out.

As I sat eating (nibbling on) breakfast this morning (a slice of sourdough and a few dried fruits), I realized that I have been doing some things that are worth noting on the blog, namely, changing the way I eat (adopting a veggie/raw/paleo-type diet slowly), they way I move (really thinking about how I move my body, how I expend energy, etc.), and the way I think (intentionality and positivity over fatalistic and negative). Over all, despite this recent snag in health, I’m feeling okay. Better than that, really. So I’m going to start weaving that into the narrative. My inspiration comes from Jen over at the Beautifully Strong Project and the community she is an active member of. And Gabe has been a huge inspiration, too, with his eating habits and inclinations.

So that’s everything in a nutshell. I’ll weave in details as I go.

Ode to Amy

Amy got me running about 2 years ago when she moved back to Maine from Texas. It was serendipitous that she ended up moving two blocks away in the town where I got my first teaching job. We hadn’t seen each other since a random encounter in the parking lot of Borders in our college town when she was pregnant with her first child. She and her husband stopped in for a quick book pick up before going on a camping trip. Her son was a walking-talking toddler with budding mechanical engineering skills when we were reunited.

After a few quick emails back and forth, we met up in my sparsely furnished apartment and sat on the living room floor with some chunky yarn and chunky needles to teach her how to knit while we caught up on each others lives. Somehow, someway during this conversation, she convinced me, the girl who hated running in high school for sports, to go out on a run. It didn’t kill me. I was very surprised.

Soon after, AT and his brother hauled their mother’s treadmill that was used to hang laundry at the homestead up the stairs to my second floor apartment. It took about a week for me to turn it on and run on it that first time. Staring at the blank white wall in the spare room wasn’t exactly motivational. So, after a while, I began putting motivational pictures and words on the wall to focus on instead. I kept running all through winter 07-08.

When spring arrived, and Amy was in town full-time  (it took all winter to close on the house, pack up and move back to Maine from the Lone-star State), I began running outside with her. I was shocked, shocked to realize that I actually liked running at this point and looked forward to pulling on and tying my running shoes each evening.

I felt free. I felt powerful. I felt in control. It was great.

And all Amy had to do was grab my elbow and drag me through those beginning runs, and up  hills, and into races to get me to that point.

Thank you, Amy.

And now, here I am, two years later, still running. Still loving it. And looking forward to running a 10k at the end of February with her.

Today is Amy’s birthday. I not only have my love of running to thank her for, but her unflagging friendship and support since we first met in 2001. You not only drag me through the rough spots of runs, but of life. Amy, you are the best friend a person could ever hope for. You are a blessing in my life.

Happy birthday, Amy!

Double Duty

So, I totally gave up on trying to manage both my life blog and a fitness blog. Why do two? It’s all part and parcel of the same damned thing! Good-bye Little Bee Runs!

I did double-duty today with cardio with a 4.8 mile bike ride to check out the feasibility of commuting to work by bike. It totally is so I’m going to start leaving my car at home and trekking in with my Fuji Crosstown 3.0. I also went in to town and took Gracie the Greyhound out for a quick run while Amy layed on the couch watching American Idol and nursed her earache. The poor girl is in rough shape.

It was nice being out with Gracie again. I haven’t run with Gracie in months! She reminded me how much I look forward to having a life and running companion. Which leads me to a discussion on dog breeds.

I’ve always loved Weimaraners, but I’m beginning to think they may not be right for me at this time in my life. They are very high energy and can be rambunctious in an apartment which is where I’ll be living for the next few years until I can save up enough and find a place I want to live for the long haul. So, I did some talking with friends and some research online and I think I’ve narrowed the options down to either a German Shorthaird Pointer (which I LOVE anyway!) or a Vizsla (pronounced like Veeshla). Either dog would be a great life companion and a great running companion. I’m going to have to do some more research and visit some breeders to get to know the dogs better.

Vizsla

Vizsla

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer

Content

a view from the living room door

a view from the living room door

I haven’t posted in forever. Part of the reason is because I’ve been in a rut and the other part is because once I got out of the rut, I was simply content with nothing major to report.  Then today, in the 43 degree weather that allowed me to open up all the windows and doors to air out the house and sit on the front steps, I realized that contentment is just as worth to write about as everything else.

So there you have it. Life is good.

I’m on the downward slide to the end of the school year and I have all my planning for classes done from now to the end of March. My grading is completely caught up (actually, I’m so on top of things I grade stuff the same day I get it!). And I’ve actually had time to knit, watch TV, and read!

raglan cardigan

raglan cardigan

I’ve been working on a basic raglan cardigan and I’m a row or two away from taking it off the needles and trying it on. I’m going to post about that later today. It’s a nice grey-brown color that will go with just about anything. I love brown. It’s a great color.  While that’s going, I’ve been carrying a basic k3 p2 cowl around with me in a charcoal alpaca yarn that I bought back in 2003 and only used part of for a hat for Allan. I bought enough for a hat and scarf set but ended up only getting to the hat, actually, two hats. Allan has two hats out of this stuff and I’m making a cowl out of the rest. It’s super soft and had a great sheen.

It’s been sunny a lot the last week and my mood has been perking up. I always knew how much the lack of sun and the cold affects me, but this winter hammered it  home. I have a light therapy lamp. I’m going to make regular use of it next  year starting in October. I stopped using it because you have to use it for half an hour or more every day in the morning. And it’s on my desk. So I have to get up, shower, get dressed, make breakfast and then sit in front of the thing for half an hour. It’s a huge time commitment. I stopped because of how early I’d have to get up, and how late I was up to get school stuff done. I figured the extra sleep would help out more than the light. And it did, a little.

That’s another huge change I’ve made. I made a commitment to myself that no matter what, I’ll get enough sleep each night. Each night I go upstairs by 9:45 to read a little before I fall asleep, which is usually around 10:15. And I’ve been getting up at 5:40, 40 minutes later than usual. Getting a solid 7 hours of sleep has greatly improved my mood and memory. Prior to this change, I’d head upstairs at 10:30 or 11 and wake up at 5. I didn’t get nearly as much done because I was so tired all the time. Getting enough sleep isn’t just a luxury, it’s necessary for full functionality.

I also started running seriously again. I have posts on my running blog about my recent sessions. I’m training for a duathlon in early May and I’m excited. I think I’ll do just fine, once I get the miles under my belt again, that is.

So that’s that. I’ll post pictures of knitting projects as soon as I have something worth showing. (And as soon as I have someone to take pictures. My resident photographer has been out and about on the weekends during the daylight hours.)

Feeling Calmer

This week was incredibly busy and stressful. The quarter ended yesterday and students were cranky with me for enforcing my grading policy. It’s 10% of the assignment off per day late and if it’s not in my hands by 2:15 on day 5, it’s a zero. There are some kids who missed stuff a month ago trying to pressure me to give them some credit on the assignments. No dice.

And on top of getting a mound of assignments in, I had SAT training 3 nights in a row from 4-7. It was insane. I hate the pressure to teach to the test. I won’t do it but I will help give kids the confidence they need to feel like they’re playing on home turf. But I will NOT do an entire unit on SAT skills. Little mini-lessons here and there, and after school workshops are fine. But I will not, I repeat, will not teach SAT skills as a unit in my classroom.

I have done absolutely no knitting. I have done no housework. I have done nothing for myself in the last 10 days and it shows.

However, I did take last night for myself (and Allan). We dressed up and went to a Halloween party and it was great. I haven’t danced since high school and it felt nice to let loose a little and groove to the music.

I wish I had more time to knit. I have so many things I want to make and so much wool I would love to have, but I have no time at all. Even my 40-minute lunches have been usurped by dealing with school business in the office lately. I’ve gotta stop that. I need those lunch periods for myself. And I need to knit for at least 20 minutes every day when I get home.

And I need to start running again, too. I think I’ll try morning running, even if it’s just 2 miles; 2 miles is better than no miles a day. Allan’s worried because I get up early as it is. He doesn’t want me to wear myself thin. And it’s cold in the morning. But I haven’t run in the afternoon when it’s warm in 3 weeks because I’m so mentally exhausted that I can’t get myself out the door. I figure a short run each morning will jumpstart my metabolism and boost my energy and mood. And it’ll build miles so I can do long runs on the weekend. Come spring when it warms up and grows lighter, I’ll probably run in the afternoon and tack on miles again. For now, I’m simply looking for maitenance of my conditioning and waistline.

That’s it for now. I’ll write about seeing Michael Pollan later today or tomorrow. That was such a life-changing experience that I simply have to blog about it. But later. For now, I’m going to work through a huge pile of grading and planning.