I started this year with the idea that I would do 30 day challenges each month. I quickly realized that they were not for me. There are people out there that have lived fulfilling lives by challenging themselves every day for 30 days, with something different every month. However, in my active and busy life, it became more chore of a chore than a way to inspire and improve my way of life.
Instead I am making a list of goals and fun things to do before I turn 25. Me and my best friend value the word goals instead of resolutions because it sounds realistic and attainable. Here is my list of various learning experiences and adventures to go on before I turn 25: in no particular order
I turned 24 on Friday and am rather indifferent to it, or at least I like to think I am. Am I turning old? I certainly don’t feel it, or look it, I’d hope. However, on my birthday I went to purchase some liquor at the LCBO and did not get carded. I always get carded. I had wanted to get carded on my birthday so I could be like Hah! I am actually turning 24 today! Maybe it was the fact I was taking out my Air Miles card. Who under 19 has an Air Miles card?
While I ponder turning 24, it certainly doesn’t feel that much different. Maybe I’m sleeping earlier than I used to, eating less candy. Actually, no I’m not. I didn’t have a party this year though. I spent my day of birth having dinner with my best friends and then attended a concert. I found it far more exciting than a drunken bender that I wouldn’t remember and would be still recovering from. I had many of those in my early 20s but the appeal has kind of disappeared.
As I ponder the future, I don’t actually want to grow up that fast. People around me are getting married, starting families but I still have dreams to fulfill and goals to meet before then. I’m not ready to know where my story ends, as I’m still adventuring in it.
Me and my boyfriend didn’t really want to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, especially since we’re still both in job hunt mode. I decided to look to Pinterest for some DIY card designs. Here is the front of the card I made:
The paper heart was inspired by this love note pin. The skittles represent a chapter in the beginning of our relationship. Before we dated, when we had just started talking, I was eating a pack of Skittles and told him I hated the green ones. I also blurted out that I would love the boy who would eat my green Skittles. He told me he liked green Skittles. It’s funny because we had not even thought of each other as date-able material at that point but it’s one of our first memories as friends.
February is a short month, therefore I’m already half-way through my challenge of giving up coffee for a month. I can tell you that time didn’t pass by fast at all in the beginning. The first few days were highly dreadful. I would wake up with headaches and quite nauseous. This all happened because I did not drink my usual cup of morning coffee.
I began to find ways to help my body feel awake and refreshed. Some things worked and others didn't. Here is what helped me:
Splashing Face with Cold Water
This sounds almost stupid, but the cold water on your face really does refresh and wake me up.
Walking the Dog
There’s nothing more refreshing than fresh air. Walking the dog became a good way to activate all my joints and muscles as well absorb some sunlight. Sometimes I think my mood is directly related to my weather and seeing the sun really does brighten my mood. I also love it when Teddy meets a new friend along the way!
It’s really hard to give up caffeine entirely so for those times when I needed a bit of a jolt tea helped. I find green tea makes me sleepy though. Black tea works best. Hot chocolate with a hint of cayenne pepper and cinnamon is also a great way to spice up the morning!
15 minute naps Sometimes you just need to nap and taking a little 15 minute power nap can be what I need. It’s a great way to rest the eyes and get them away from the a billion screens that make up my life.
I hope I can continue to ignore coffee for the month. However, I have a business meeting on Friday at a coffee shop called the Roastery. Would it be too pretentious to order a tea?
I don’t know why but every time I go out to eat I get rather trivial looks and then am asked the question “Are you sure that’s what you want to order?” Yes, damn it. Why would I ask for it if I wasn’t sure? I admit that me (and my boyfriend) are pretty small framed people. That doesn’t however mean I munch on salads and bite size portions. I enjoy and can chow down on any fat guy’s happy meal.
One day I was in BQM in Toronto and was faced with a dilemma: Should I get the bacon filled poutine or a delicious burger? The solution? I got both.
I avoided the journal for a while because I failed at finishing it all in December. I came to the realization that it’s not something I should necessarily set a deadline for because that isn’t the point in the journal. It’s an escape, a release and at the same time it’s supposed to be fun. It’s not a project that can have a deadline.
So I picked it up again with something easy first:
January’s challenge was an hour of practice every day. In an increasingly busy life, it was unrealistic and fell through at times. However, it taught me that I missed it and still loved it and that I needed to schedule a couple sessions in my future weeks. Now that it’s February, it’s time for a new challenge and I will do the impossible.. I will give up coffee.
I think I’ve become too dependent on coffee in keeping me awake. Keeping away from caffeine altogether is impossible as it is in drinks as well as chocolate and deserts and hey, February has Valentine’s Day.
I have at least 2 cups each day and they are loaded with sugar. It keeps my heart constantly pumping quick and (which I don’t think is that healthy) and feeding me a ton of hyper energy. I picked the shortest month to give it up, but I hope it will lessen my need for it and lower my risk of diabetes from too much sugar. My coffees tend to be 1/3 sugar and if I’m out the most caramel filled.
I chose the shortest month to do this but guess what? It’s a leap year.. damn. As stated in earlier posts, 2012 will be a year for monthly challenges of self-improvement. Join me and challenge yourself at something!
Only half the month has passed and I have already failed. My excuse, I didn’t feel very well. Whether that is true or not I used to be able to go to class with a fever, so not practicing because of a stomach cramp seemed so trivial. There has also been days where I did in fact challenge, but they didn’t last my original guidelines of an hour. The puppy would be too distracting, my iPad ran out of battery etc.
I should have some sort of failing the challenge, but having to blog about it is punishment itself. I failed.
However, I will keep going at it. I was not neccessarily out to just do this for 30 days, but to hopefully build better lifetime habits. I don’t want to forget how to play piano. As I get older and busier, I want to know how to be able to schedule time for the keys. I’ve decided in my lifetime I’m going to learn Chopin’s entire repertoire and Bach’s WTC amongst other pieces.
This has not only been a return to a skill but a return to having an outlet to relax and speak some emotion non-verbally. Not only will this happen this month, but it will be a part of future months to come.
I was on a mission to clean my room. I had a gigantic garbage bag ready to throw things away but my mind kept going, I need this. Luckily, I got past that and finally uncluttered my drawers and closets full of things from the past. The majority of the things I threw out fell into one of these categories:
To fall in love at first sight is something that happens a lot in movies and TV but not something I really thought about in real life. To reflect back on myself though, I do believe it has happened. No, I am not talking about how I met Nash (that’s a much different story). This is about how we ended up with Teddy.
The day we decided on a dog was pretty random; serendipity even. Our parents have denied us from having dogs and cats as pets for years. Mom used the excuse that she was allergic. However somehow (i still can’t really describe how to this day), we talked mom into allowing us to get a hypoallergenic cat. Yes, we had begun the search looking for a cat. Me and my sister browsed the cats on Kijiji for a while but then something enticed us to look at puppies. And there it was, 6 hypoallergeneic bichon poodle puppies.
All were adorable but it was one specific photo we were drawn to and had fallen head over heels for:
We called up the owner of the ad and within an hour had driven across town to see all 6 puppies in his backyard. We had wanted a male puppy and chose the most active and friendly from the litter. 5 months later, Teddy is now part of the family.
I had not noticed this until I recently found photos of the original listing on mom’s computer. We had chosen the exact same puppy we had seen online. The one we had fallen in love with on the Kijiji ad was the same one we would take home an hour later. Serendipity or not, we had fallen in love at first sight and we were destined to meet Teddy.
He may come back all muddy, eat our slippers, paw at us for food but we could not ask for any other puppy.