a girl and her boy

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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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Inspiration

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

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.)

Striking Out

I have one strike left and this week will be counted among the worst weeks I’ve had in a while. School is going fine; it’s the after school stuff that is frustrating right now.

I have been wanting to take yoga classes since I was a freshman in college. I was always too shy to do so, though, because of various insecurities. So I never did. I’ve thought about yoga, read up on stances and practices, and have dreamed about being a yoga-master. In August, I read that one of the local adult education programs is offering a beginner’s yoga class. Great! thought I and I sent in the registration form immediately. I waited for six weeks for the class, bought my mat and block, and began reading up on some of the beginning stances to get ready for class. Two weeks ago I drove to the neighboring town for the first class, waited in the room for twenty minutes wondering what was going on since no one else showed up, and then went to the adult ed office. Come to find out, the class had been postponed for two weeks because their minimum enrollment had not been met. They waited to see if anyone else would sign up. Yesterday, I got home from work all excited after a very long day (staff meeting and then an SAT Prep Training organization meeting – more on this soon!) knowing that after my stressful day I’d be going off to yoga to relax, meditate and get some exercise. WRONG. I called to be sure the class was on and this time it was cancelled and I was told my refund is in the mail. What a major let down. I’m really bummed about it.

And then today was a good day at school. No big meetings, no major behavior problems with the students, no major failures with lessons. It was a good day. And I was looking forward to a good visit to an orthopedic surgeon I’d been waiting to see for a month, no, correct that, five years.

Back in 2003 I fell and hurt my shoulder, and this is after a history of dislocations. I saw a doctor, got x-rays and a MRI, began therapy, was told I needed surgery, and then lost my insurance. I’ve been waiting five years for resolution on this issue. Every day for five years, my shoulder has been achey, if not outright painful. I have limited motion and use. Sometimes I’ll pick up a medium-sized hard cover book and I’ll get shooting pain and I’ll be incapacitated for a few days. Running makes it ache something fierce.

I was looking to the surgeon to offer me relief in the form of knowledge of the issue and a plan for care. Instead, I got incredulous looks when I said I dislocated it three times growing up (didn’t see any supporting damage on the five-year-old x-rays), and was told that the tear was teeny and the previous surgeon’s suggestion to get it operated on right was jumping the gun a little. He essentially told me that he couldn’t do anything for me and to kindly leave so he could go to his meeting he was late for because he saw me 45 minutes late (I was there 20 minutes early).

So, I’m totally okay with the surgeon being honest with me about the situation. That’s his job. But not offering any suggestions on courses to take for resolution, rushing me in and out in about 10 minutes, and not asking questions about the effects of this injury on my activities and other probing questions made me feel like he didn’t see any need for me to be there and that I was wasting his time. He made me feel like I was lying about my previous injuries and care. He made me feel like there was no hope of ever having full use of my arm again.

Let me repeat, it’s been five years since I could reach for a glass in a cupboard at eye level without pain, on the days that I’m able to do so.

I’m very frustrated. I’m very hurt. I’m very let down.

This appointment was a gateway for me. I’ve been channeling all my pain towards this day, saying that once I see the surgeon I’ll get better, I’ll be fixed. And not having that right now really hurts.

Everything comes in threes. What will strike three be?

Scheduled Events

After going through bouts of feast and famine, I’ve decided to make a schedule so I have something very specific to post about on each day. The topics come from all the stuff I want to post about but never get motivated enough to follow through with. Here’s the line-up:

  • Sunday – running/training updates
  • Monday – Reviews (Etsy, green products, green habits, or anything like it)
  • Tuesday – Reading progress and comments
  • Wednesday – Knitting Works in Progress/Finished Objects
  • Thursday – Rave and Rage
  • Friday – Teaching Notes (reflections, learning experiences, etc)
  • Saturday – Slice of Life and Creative Writing

Now, this isn’t to say that I’m only going to post on those topics on those days, I just want to have a defined focus so I have more motivation to gather my thoughts in an organized fashion. Stay tuned later today for a reading update!

The Mega-Update

It’s been about ten days since I last posted. Again, it’s not for lack of content, but rather, lack of dedication and time. I’ve been so unbelievably tired these last few weeks. The year is winding down with four weeks to go but the work is winding up. I have a pile of grading as tall as my Norton Anthology of literature is. I also have two more units to plan and execute, finals to administer then grade, a supply order to place after taking inventory of my room, and all the normal work-day stuff.

I have not knit a stitch in the last 10 days, either. My second sockotta sock is halfway done and I was so excited about finishing it off and then I saw this:

You may not be able to see what is going on here readily, so here’s the scoop. The pattern is a k3, p1, k1, p1. On one section, I had been purling the middle knit stitch. And I didn’t realize it until it was time to make the heel flap. The above image is after I started running the stitches so I could make them knit stitches. That’s all done now. It’s just a matter of getting the momentum going on this sock again.

I’ve been bringing my Noro garter stitch scarf to school to work on at lunch. It’s getting pretty long quickly despite the fact that I’ve frogged the scarf at least four times and put on various numbers of stitches on various size needles. Currently it’s 18 stitches on size 15 needles. Ever try going between size 1 and size 15 before? It’s interesting to say the least.

Allan is down my way permanently now. It’s been really nice to cut the weekend commute, either his or mine, out of the agenda. We’ve spent the last few days with the Lawsons. Allan has been learning to fly fish with Jared, and I’ve been running and commiserating with Amy. And James has been James. Allan and I put in tomatoes at the Lawson Garden today. It’s the first of many vegetables to go in over there.

Speaking of running, I never posted about my race results! I ran the whole race about 8 minutes faster than my training times, at about 32 minutes, roughly 10 minute miles, versus about 40 minutes at about 12 minute miles. I didn’t hurt until the day after the race. I was sore for about 2 days. I’ve run twice since the race.

And that, as they say, is that. I’ll try to be better about posting more frequently.

Today's Run

I’m sorry if you’re getting sick of the running posts. I swear, after this one, I’ll post one summary weekly. Today Amy and I ran 3.25 miles (according to Map My Run) and we only had one .1 mile walk break! And we ran the whole thing faster than our normal pace, too, without being conscious of it. We also tackled two hills, one is long and steady, the other short and steep and at the very end of our run. I felt amazing after today’s run. By the end of this week I’ll be running four miles no problem. End of next week? Five! A half-marathon this fall will be within range if I keep this steady improvement. Amy’s thinking about running her third marathon. Maybe someday I’ll be at that level, but not anytime soon. As it is, I’ve been conscious of taking it slow and easy so I don’t stress my joints and muscles. I want to be sure my entire body gets stronger at the same rate. I’ve incorporated some gentle yoga and pilates exercises based on the text Pilates and  Yoga by Judy Smith, Emily Kelly, and Jonathan Monks. It’s been feeling really good.

Racin' for the Strawberries

Setting aside the fear of losing my dear readers due to jealousy: who wouldn’t love to come home from work to hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries! I have the best beau in all the world. I couldn’t keep from bragging especially after the photo came out so well. 🙂

Furthermore, I will not fear the pound put on by eating all that chocolate in one sitting because Amy and I are going to run a 5k on May 10. She messaged me earlier today to inform me of the fact. It’s the annual Mothers’ Day run in Augusta, Maine. It’s a good thing I’m mostly there! The date is in a week and a half! This is my first road race ever. Yes, you heard me right: first ever. I’ll post pictures of sweaty and tired me afterwards.

I also don’t fear the seated time it’ll take to finish my WIPs. I can never finish project sooner than I start new ones. I currently have the following items in progress:

  1. crocheted baby blanket
  2. Mission Falls socks
  3. Peace Fleece cardigan (damn those button bands!)
  4. Sockotta socks (1 down, the second halfway)
  5. Knit Picks Simple Stripes socks (just cast on)
  6. Bold striped Berroco Ultra alpaca scarf in a moss stitch for my future BIL
  7. Noro Niji garter stitch scarf
  8. and I’ll add an extra for a project I probably forgot about because it’s buried in my knitting basket

Phew. I love knitting, and I love to finish things, but I’ve learned that I’m much more of a process knitter than a completion knitter. I have no problem ripping a project out and starting all over again if it doesn’t come out just right. Although I say this and I have my Peace Fleece cardigan haunting me: I fear it is too small so I’ve been putting off the button bands so I don’t have to face the fact that it is probably not going to fit. This is my first ever sweater and I didn’t do the gauge swatch correctly. Erm, okay, I didn’t do a gauge swatch at all.

See, I had this idea in my head that because I was using the same size yarn and same size needle as called for that I’d have the perfect sweater roll off my needles without doing a gauge swatch. I also didn’t realize at the time that although I have a 38″ bra band that a 38″ bust wouldn’t fit. I should have at *least* knit the 40″, if not the 42″. Live and learn, I guess. Instead of being an oversized comfy cardigan, it’s going to be a fitted cropped jacket.

Anyhow, more pictures!

The Sockotta socks:

Knit Picks Simple Stripes sock:

Training Update

I got on the treadmill today, first time in about 6 or 7 days. I pushed out 1.4 miles in 20 minutes at the 4.3 speed setting on my treadmill. Not too bad. For those keeping score at home, that’s the same distance as usual with two minutes shaved off. Not too shabby for a week off, huh. The difference? I ran 4/5 of the distance this time, instead of about 3/4. I’m slowly building stamina. Now I need to build distance. I’ll work on time later.