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Posts Tagged ‘Operation ME’

“I need to shift the sails before the ship goes down.”

Maura had this quote in her last post and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

My attitude of late is not something I’m proud of. Irritable, defensive, reclusive, and lazy. Knowing this is so far from my norm makes it feel that much worse.

I need to push myself out from wanting to be miserable. For some reason it just seems easier to keep riding through the days. But eventually the ship will go down and I fear at that point, it’ll be that much harder to shift my sails.

So I’m shifting. It may be slow but I’ve got to get back to feeling happy, secure, and excited. I think back to how I felt after completing my first triathlon. It was one of the best feelings – pure accomplishment, pride, excitement, and even astonishment. And it carried over for days. The weeks prior to the tri I had a schedule, a purpose and a hobby outside of work and friends and heartbreak.

Today I’m leaving November with my bored and negative outlook.

I’m leaving behind my 25th year and have started my 26th golden year and it’s time to make it golden.

I’m leaving behind the one year mark of B and I being broken up.

I’m leaving behind the heartbreak and the waiting for something to change between B and I.

I’m leaving behind the binge eating at night and the unhealthy living habits.

I’m leaving behind the nights of not enough sleep, of staying up well past midnight watching hours of trash tv.

I’m leaving behind the excuses – to not work out, to not meet friends out, to not clean my apartment, to not be productive at work – no more.

I’m leaving behind the victim mentality – I am responsible for my own happiness.

I’m leaving behind the fear – of moving on, of living my life and trying new things, of being single.

Hey December, bring it on.

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After reading and hearing about vision boards I actually have decided to jump on the bandwagon.

The truth is, I love the concept. In the same way I think people should take time to recognize what they are grateful for or the same way positive affirmations work  I think a vision board can be a great tool.

It helps you recognize and put your goals into a visual tool that you’ll see as a daily reminder.  It focuses on the positive. And it’s creative and fun.

Last night I started perusing through the magazines I had in my apartment. It was really fun to spot words like healthy, meal planning, fitness goals, beautiful journey, etc that might end up being including on my vision board. I want to take my time and really collect a ton of graphic words and imagery to be able to play around with what I will want to eventually include on my board.

 It turned out to be a really fun and relaxing activity. I say it’s worth giving a try 🙂

Some neat examples of vision boards (images linked to sources):

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A few more after thoughts about my first triathlon:

  • The people – the spectators, the volunteers and the participants were the nicest, most encouraging people. The experience was so positive because of them.

For example, one woman who I played leap-frog with during the bike high-fived me as her “bike pace girl” during the run. At the very end she came running over and gave me a big hug.

While I was walking at one point during the run a girl came by and said, just think “blueberry pancakes – you can do this!” (we got free blueberry pancakes at the end).

  • You make it what you want it to be. I can see why some people may not want to do triathlons. If you let yourself stress out about the “what ifs” or go in with a negative attitude – that’s what you’re going to get.

My friend who was also doing the tri happened to be like this. I struggled to block out some of her negativity because I really wanted to focus on my experience being positive. The day before she was questioning wearing socks to save time during transitions. (For a tri newbie saving 20 seconds versus saving your feet during the bike and run seems like an easy pick.)

She admitted to having a total defeatist attitude by the beginning of the bike ride. And her first thoughts at the end were complaints about everything that went wrong. That just wasn’t what I wanted it to be about.

Although I will admit one little poke to my endorphin happiest mood ever, I found out last night that you’re not really supposed to do the backstroke during your swim (out of respect?)  It made me feel a little shitty because I’d never heard that before but all I can do now is practice enough so I won’t have to backstroke next time around!

  • If you want support from people you know, make sure to let them know it would mean a lot to you to have them there. I knew I wanted family and friends to be there so I made sure to mention it months in advance, and of course knew if some couldn’t make it that was understandable. Yesterday afternoon I went and got snail mail thank you cards and printed out pictures to send to all my family and friends who came. It truly wouldn’t have been the same without them.

In the end, I mean it when I say, my first Tri was one of the most positive experiences of my life.

~~~~~

So this morning I was reading Tina’s blog (I’m an avid follower, though not much of a commenter) and somehow I ended up on this post: Life’s To Do List

In her words, “When I graduated college and moved to Boston, I had a really tough time. I didn’t have a full-time job, I gained 20+ pounds, and my boyfriend of 1.5 years broke up with me. Obviously, I was not a happy camper.

I felt so lost during this time. In college (and even high school), I always had a plan and direction, which kept me on track with achieving my goals. This was the first time ever that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.”

She goes on to mention how she is goal-oriented/not a complainer etc and came up with a “Life’s to do list” to help herself get out of the funk. Reading about that really struck a chord.

I have been in such an on and off funk for a while. But I’m at this amazing point where I can create myself and my life into anything I want right now. Since I’m single I really can make decisions that don’t have to involve anyone but me. Sometimes that’s scary but ya know what? Sometimes it’s really exciting. Something about crossing that tri finish line made me start thinking. I have been single since the day I turned 25 and I have accomplished so many things. I have about 3 months left in my 25th year so what else do I want to do?! 🙂

So today I:

  • Signed up for a small group training boxing class with a “pro” boxer once a week night at my gym. It starts mid-September and runs through early November. It allows for only 7 others in the class meaning a tough workout, I can’t miss it and maybe even meeting some new gym friends. I’m really excited to try something new and start strength training!
  • I also signed up for a night photography class at New England School of Photography. Once a week for 8 weeks starting mid-September I’ll learn the basics of using my SLR camera. (I mean, I need an SLR first haha.) I’ve been wanting to take a photography class since before college and never could. Now my more “open” fall schedule is perfect. I can’t wait to be able to post pictures on here that aren’t dark and fuzzy!
  • I also revisited “My Summer to do list“.
    So yeah, I did not accomplish everything on my summer to do list, BUT, I’m proud of what I did do. And it makes me rethink what types of goals I want on there. I’d like to write another post tomorrow really revisiting these (I mean, I need to see how many of them I can fit into tonight ;)) and spend some time thinking of a few fall goals.

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So if you’ve been reading my blog by now you now I am really goal oriented. As soon as I have something written down, or thought of as a goal it makes it that much more a reality that I’ll actually do it. But they have to be pretty specific. While my Wheel of Balance idea was great – it took signing up for a triathlon and creating a pretty specific training program to really focus on the exercise portion.

Anyway, lots of people have bucket lists. Today I decided I need to spice up my life a little bit. What better way to do that then by coming up with 10 things to do before September? What better way to combat feeling lost? And really, I love making to do lists.

In reality they’ll all be things I want to do. But sometimes life gets in the way and it’s easy to let things slide. So I want to do the following 10 things before September and the best part is that my triathlon is August 29th which will be a perfect end goal.

  1. Read 3 books
  2. Buy a back up hard drive and save my crap
    (I worry about this constantly since my old computer died with all of my Tasmania/Australia pictures 😦 )
  3. Adopt a soldier
    I just did! Through this amazing organization, you write to a soldier once a week and send care packages 1-2 times a week. I feel such strong support for anyone willing to fight for our country (even if I don’t support the war) I support the people out there. So even if this helps the soldier on one day – it’s worth it!
  4. Try to have conversations with my new gym crush, “Georgia” (somehow need to find out his schedule! Stalker much?)
  5. Go on a date (preferably with Georgia 😉 )
  6. Make a new friend.
    I have amazing friends in my life. But I’m finding each new person teaches me something, or adds value to my life, or is open to do activities with. I am a little shy and reserved when meeting new people so it might be nice to drop that and try to make a new friend.
  7. Create an excel budget.
    No more debt, no more spending $150 a week on groceries (seriously, I shop for one person), or $100 a week on new clothing.
  8. Go to a drop-in dance class with my younger sister and cousin who will only be in Boston for the summer
  9. Go to a BODYPUMP class
    my hope is that with one of these, I can get into routine of doing it once a week. I need some strength training!
  10. Do a triathlon!
  11. *Have really good sex 😉

So number 11 is a bonus. I can’t really have sex unless I find someone I feel connected with so there isn’t any bad hang-up after but I’m opening the door to the possibility. My body is basically screaming at me to open that door. And what better way to re-assign my thoughts towards the number 11 (the number which has always reminded me of B for a number of reasons.)

I know some of these sound like silly goals but the truth is, if getting them on paper is what gets to do them so I get cross them off my list, so be it. I say it’s worth a try.

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My blog isn’t really themed. For the most part, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Some days it’s about my relationship with B, some days it’s about my tri training, recently it’s been about food/exercise/healthy living, some days it’s about friends or my family. Some days it’s a little bit of everything!

There are days when I think for anyone reading it’d be a lot easier if I focused on only one topic. But I just can’t seem to do that.

When I started “The Pursuit Of Happiness” I was doing just what the title says. Trying to find happiness or really trying to figure out what happiness is to me.

I can’t explain how great this blog has been for me in the past few months. It has introduced me to a world I never knew existed (an amazing world) and it’s given me an outlet. Sometimes it’s just venting and sometimes it’s sharing vulnerable details that I wouldn’t ever say a loud. Whatever it is and whatever it is becoming, has been a huge part of me finding myself and my way to happiness.

It’s through writing on here that I have begun to recognize myself again and who and what matters to me. It’s comforting to look through my more recent posts and realize, I truly am living, with or without B in my life in the role I thought he’d be in.

There are days, most days actually, when I still don’t understand. There are days when I’m terrified that I will never again find a match, a connection, a love like I had with him. But at the same time part of me is realizing that maybe, just maybe, the end of us was a good thing for myself. It is still so heart-wrenching to say that, to accept it, to believe it – and yet – I am.

I would have married him. I think I would have been really happy too. But I don’t think I would have ever taken time to be really selfish and figure out who I was in the way that I have the past 7 months. I don’t know if I ever would have started a blog, or signed up to do a tri, or gotten so interested in nutrition and fitness. Slowly, I’m finding these passions that I just didn’t know even existed. And I don’t think being with B ever stopped me from being myself. But in a way, I do think it allowed me to settle back and feel content with what I had and where I was.

It took that shake-up to realize there’s a lot I still want to learn about myself and what I selfishly want out of life. It’s scary but it’s EXCITING.

As independent as I was before in my relationship, I think I have an even better sense of independence now. Right now I feel like I can be a team in a relationship while still letting myself grow. I may not be quite ready to be in a relationship yet because I don’t want to pause my growth, but I think I’ll know when the chance comes around what the best choice is for me.

I don’t think I completely have found my way by any means yet. But I am starting to feel like I’ve finally found my way to the right path. Now it’s more a matter of starting down and continuing down the path. As Thoreau said, “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way”.

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Ok first, the past few days have been crazy and I feel out of the blog world! I haven’t gotten a chance to post anything or read any of my fav blogs in a few days. Just a day or two more and I should have more free time.
 
Here’s what’s really on my mind…
 
Should I do a triathlon? Remember the bachelor? He does triathlons, hasn’t though in two years but is running one end of August up in Maine. We exchanged brief messages about if it’s even possible for me to do one. (Sprint distance – 750 m swim, 20 km bike, 5 km run) Now this would take A LOT of a work, time, commitment, and even money. BUT, I have been looking for something to distract me (and even just thinking about it the past 3 days has distracted me more than anything else has in weeks months. For the first time my daydreams or thoughts didn’t immediately go to B – and they have been going to B way more than I want or need them to), they went to visions of me crossing that finish line (and likely vomiting) but crossing the finish line none the less.
 
Now I may be somewhat impulsive with adventure activities, but, I still have my rational side. I think I need to sit down, put the training into a spreadsheet to make sure I have enough time and commitment to do this, figure out the cost associated (umm… I need a bike), and then decide.
 
It’s really exciting to think about.
 
What better way to focus on me then by exercising and feeling great and working towards a goal that’s all about me. Plus this would be a great goal for my wheel of balance.
 
I mean, there’s no good reason not to other than I’m terrified. Ahhh I don’t know… should I do it?
 

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OK thoughts are little more positive right now. (I am glad I wrote the earlier post. It was honest and it’s how I feel – even if it is slightly exaggerated as I’m super tired and pms*ing.)
 
Anyway, I have an idea! So Life Coaches sometimes use something called the Life Balance Wheel (see image below). I am challenging myself to focus on each aspect of the wheel for a couple week period so that I can start finding a better balance among the various aspects of my life as well as increasing satisfaction in all of these areas. I think if I have more balanced and fulfilled life among all of these that a dip in one wouldn’t be so crushing.
 
 
 
I need to make these tangible and SMART goals otherwise it’ll end up like a vague Operation ME that in theory sounded great but easily got lost. As I focus on each section I’ll come up with a list of short-term/continuous goals. So here’s how I’d currently rate myself on the wheel. A 1 is completely dissatisfied and 10 is fully satisfied.
 
Health: 4
     To start, I need to make my annual doctor checkup, and well past due dentist appt & eye doctor appt.
Exercise: 6
      I am at my lowest weight (5’7 and about 135lbs) but I would like to lose another few pounds and tone up. I’d love to feel as strong and healthy everyday as I did that day after my spin class. I’d love to run my upcoming 5k’s in 28 minutes or under.
Relationships: 5
      I think this encompasses three different sections. Family, Friends and “Other” (bf/lover?) I think this will be one of the hardest and one of the last categories I tackle because I think I need to focus on me in order to be able to give to others.
Home Environment: 3
     I love my own place. But it’s a complete disaster. It’s messy, disorganized and is in desperate need of serious cleaning and permanent organization set up. I need to make this place my sanctuary again.
Play: 6
  While I allow myself a lot of play time I’d love to find a hobby or a passion.
Money: 5
   I’m finally almost 100% out of debt! (Well, depending on how much my car and attending showers, bachelorettes and weddings set me back). But I need to be smarter with my money and come up with a better financial plan to start saving.
Work: 5
    I’ve been in a really non-productive state at work. This HAS to change. My lack of productivity is causing me to become paranoid and to not feel valued.
Life Purpose: 2
   Ahh, I don’t know how to tackle this one. I’m going to have to do some research…
Spirituality: 2
    I truly believe in God but I haven’t given myself the chance for this connection. Maybe that means going to church maybe it means meditating or connecting in nature or maybe it even means reading Joel Osteen books. Something tells me that if I work on this one the rewards will be magnificent.
Self Esteem: 5
   My hope is that with focusing on some of the other components, exercise, play, spirituality, etc that this will raise on its own. I think seeing a therapist (which is hopefully planned to start in mid-May) will also help this one. I also think that in this case if I try to push out of my comfort zone my self-esteem will go up too.
 
This is scary to see. All of these areas are lower than I want. And out of balance. Alright, I’m excited for my journey!
 
First section up is EXERCISE. STAY TUNED!

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