Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February Challenge Wrap Up

Somehow I missed a few items on my list so I added them to this one!

67. Cat litter to put on the ice so we could get the car out of the driveway
68. Brussel Sprouts
69. Red wine with friends
70. My car (which is nearing the end of its life)
72. Seat warmers
73. The wildlife that lives around our house
74. A warm face cloth
75. My strong legs
76. The clothes in my closet.
77. Opportunties to travel
78. Having a working garage door.
79. Sam
80. My family
81. My friends
82. My privilege
83. My brain
84. Glasses

That wraps up 28 days of gratitude. While I don't think I will necessarily write them down every day, I think I will continue to practice gratitude daily. I truly have a blessed life!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

February Challenge - Update 3

Last week I was asked, how has being grateful changed your life. Here is my short answer.

Being grateful hasn't protected me from never being grumpy or frustrated or overwhelmed but it does help me to reframe some of it, or at least keep it in perspective. Even though I generally write what I am grateful for in the morning, I think about it all day and usually have more than 3 things I am very grateful for in a day. I think gratitude, along with meditation have been very helpful in preventing the February blahs that normal leave me feeling like a big grumpy puddle.

Now back to the list:

43. Meditation to help me stay the appropriate amount of stressed in some situations
44. Sleeping in
45. Seeing the clouds from above
46. After 4 nights in a hotel, my bed
47. Having a nap on a work day.
48. Pjs
49. Photo share so I can see pictures of my niece and nephew as well as get work related documents
50. The National Arts Centre (even if I didn't enjoy the show) - I am grateful it is accessible to me
51. The grocery store
52. A good night's sleep
53. Wireless headphones
54. Playing in the snow with my dogs
55. Watching the sunrise
56. The heating pad
57. Hearing birds sing in the morning
58. My ices
59. The sound of rain
60. Having someone clean my house
61. My tattoos - they remind me of things that make me happy
62. My washing machine
63. My self-discipline
64. Stars
65. Garbage collection
66. It being light until around 6 pm (the days are getting longer!)
Number 45

Thursday, 15 February 2018

February Challenge Update 2

The Gratitude List Continued

22. Waking up before my alarm
23. Mitt warmers
24. Smell of a fire
25. Zaphod
26. Yoga
27. OJ
28. Dental Floss
29. Lunch out
30. Book stores
31. Being physically able to work out
32. Music - especially songs that transport you to a different time and make you smile
33. Safe flights in the freezing rain
34. Red wine
35. Treadmills in hotels
36. After speaking to families who are in true crisis - my entire life! (perspective is an important thing)
37. Tea
38. Time to read others blogs
39. A night with no one sleeping on my legs
40. Having leftovers to eat in my hotel room instead of having to deal with restaurants on Valentine's Day.
41. Chocolate peanut butter balls
42. Neck circles

Thursday, 8 February 2018

February Challenge - Update 1

The challenge this month is to find 3 things I am grateful for every day. So far this has been pretty easy and I often find myself thinking of more things I am grateful for.

Here is the list for the first 7 days:

  1.  The pigeon art
  2. Having a sense of humour to keep me sane when dealing with work problems 
  3.  My stubbornness that helps me finish difficult tasks (like hand shovelling our very long driveway
  4. Hailey Bug snuggling on my legs
  5. The weather network - it lets me check the temperature to determine if it is too cold before I head out with the dogs
  6. The ability to solve complex problems at work
  7. Fuzzy socks
  8. Podcasts. I have been listening to them instead of watching TV on the treadmill.
  9. Saturday afternoon naps
  10. My bird feeder
  11. My bathtub
  12. Pancake Sundays
  13. Sunshine - especially in the winter
  14. Sunglasses 
  15. Silence 
  16. The swarm of Blue Jays that empty my bird feeder daily (it started with one and now is usually at least 5 or 6 and has been as many as 12 - I need to try and photograph them)
  17. Swedish Berries - one of the few childhood treats I can still eat (no gluten or soy)
  18. Pizza
  19. Video conferencing so I can work at home
  20. My home gym - there is no excuses if the gym is in your house
  21. My green sweater - I love how cozy it is. 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

January Challenge Wrap Up

Yesterday was day 30 of the yoga and meditation challenge. YAY! I completed it!

The pros:

  • My legs look awesome. Apparently I looked more toned as several people commented how I was looking extra fantastic! 
  • The last of my flabby underarms are toned
  • I had a moment where I actually meditated! 
  • I do feel meditating helps me stay calmer and clearer. January has been a stressful month and I have hardly freaked out at all!
  • I have embraced being bad at meditation! It isn't stressing me out! 
  • I am proud of myself for having completed it. 
  • My back never got really sore (it feels good!)

The cons:
  • My body hurt, especially my hips and legs. Last Saturday my legs were so sore I could barely walk when I first got up and it took a long time to get to a place of less pain. 
  • Because my body was so sore I actually listened to it (which may be a pro) and skipped a couple strength sessions. It was impossible for me to do both at this time.
  • When I started meditating I felt very unfocused the first few weeks. I felt like my mind was on speed. It took some time to feel clearer and more focused.
  • The exercising 7 days a week forced me to have to get up really early some days and added a good 45 minutes to my morning routine (so I need 2.5 hours in the morning before leaving for work). It also took away from some of my reading blog time etc. 

The plan going forward:
As 30 days of yoga, at least 5 days of over 10 000 steps, and 2 days of strength training is too much for me, I am going to reduce my exercise to the following:
  • 2 strength sessions per week (45 minutes each)
  • At least 3 yoga sessions (they must be at least 15 minutes in length)
  • I will continue to meditate daily. 

February Challenge:
The winter blahs continue to haunt and I know work is going to be crazy busy the next few months (thanks to new government funding I will be spending all my time writing and reviewing huge reports),  I am going to practice gratitude for February.

Every day I will write down 3 things I am grateful for. They need to be different every day. Nothing will be too big or too small. I am confident I can come up with  84 things I can truly appreciate.

Once a week I will post a list of what I was grateful for. 

Here is the first one for today - I am grateful for this piece of art work. I drive by it on the way to work most days. Missing is the 3rd pigeon who is to the left looking at the can (this picture was taken when Sam was driving).  It always makes me smile!