Happy New Year!

As we think about our fresh start, the beginning of the New Year, and the intentions and goals that we are setting for ourselves, remember…

“We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.”- Lori Deschene

Let’s begin, go through, and end everything with love.

Happy New Year!

enjoy life…

now i get it {summer 2018}

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Emily P. Freeman’s quarterly habit of recording what she learns during the season is something that I strongly recommend every one, especially one who is seeking to lead a life well-lived, should do. Writing my lessons down (you can record it in some other way) cements them into my consciousness and sharing it with you keeps me cognizant of those lessons.

This summer has provided one major thing that I get now.

To live the life I’ve imagined, I have to do the scary thing, the uncomfortable thing.

I don’t know who said it first but I heard it attributed to a fitness trainer who was responsible for getting Brad Pitt in shape for his portrayal of the Greek hero, Achilles, in the 2004 epic, Troy. He told Pitt, “To get to where you want to be, you are going to have to put yourself in a place of discomfort every single day!”

There’s a wide range to this level of discomfort. Some is absolutely terrifying.  Others are just slightly disconcerting. This summer, I intentionally made myself uncomfortable, furthering a lesson learned from last spring.

Here’s a rundown of a precious few of my experiences, from the mild to the “OMG! I’d never thought I’d do that!”

  • I ate at some interesting spots while on vacay.
  • I interviewed a ceramic artist in another state. I traveled to her home, sat in her kitchen, played with clay in her studio, and recorded over two hours of footage, transcribed that footage (listening to myself is like nails on a chalkboard) and began to write up the story of her journey to awesomeness. It’s coming to the blog soon.
  • I joined a writing group. At my first meeting in July, I knew no one. And then, after about three hours of writing, we had to pass our words to someone else for them to read out loud to EVERYONE! Gulp. But, I’m glad I did it. And I went back and did it again in August.
  • I wrote a piece and submitted it for publication on a very popular web site. Pushing the send button of that email elicited a bit of throw-up in my mouth. I was so on-edge, I promptly went outside for a run to relieve the angst. The run did help.
  • My Hubby has a new hobby – photography. And while on vacay in Miami, we had photo shoots in various locations, including the hotel room. I have never really liked taking pics.  When I was a teenager, I practiced for hours to get my smile to something that I could live with and now I can smile on-cue.  Only people who know me can tell the difference between my “fake” smile and my genuine smile.  Let’s just say, the hotel room shoot involved more than my smile.  It was scary, but incredibly freeing and empowering.  And no, those will NOT be coming to the blog any time soon.

What about you? Have you done anything that scared you a little recently?  I’ve learned it’s the only way you’ll be able to fully…

enjoy life

enjoy life guest post: joy anderson

I am so excited to feature my first guest post on the blog today. Joy is one of my external motivators on Fitbit. She is always initiating Challenges which help keep me moving throughout the day.  She also introduced me and encouraged me to listen to what has become one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. And finally she is my sister-in-law-in-law. Is that a thing? But we were friends long before my sister and her brother decided to be together.

This is how she enjoys life.

Joy Anderson and Quabbin

Joy Anderson and The Quabbin

Two of my personal commandments (Another Gretchen Rubin fan here. Hello!) directly relate to enjoying life: (1) Treat yourself and (2) do more of what makes you happy. In my sometimes successful pursuit of following these commandments, I’ve combined two of my favorite things: listening to podcasts (treat) while walking outside (doing what makes me happy).

My spot to walk (sometimes hike) is the Quabbin Reservoir. Whether it’s sunny or overcast, the Quabbin is gorgeous. After being cooped up all week at work, in my car, or my apartment, it’s glorious to be outside. The Quabbin, the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, also has an interesting history. In the 1930s, four towns were disincorporated – homes, businesses, and cemeteries were all relocated – and the area was flooded to become the primary water supply source for Boston as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. The Quabbin covers 38.6 square miles, and has several park/recreation areas like the one near my home. While working out in my tiny studio gives me a mood boost, it’s nothing compared to walking/hiking in the fresh air. Last Sunday was warm and sunny and I conquered the Visitor Center Loop Trail. I got lost last time; need to work on that sense of direction!

And why not make a good thing even better? I love listening to podcasts, but I have trouble finding the time to listen to a whole episode without interruption. It’s such a treat to listen to my favorites all the way through while walking the Quabbin. Listening to Happier inspires me to try new things, or I can learn something new on Hidden Brain, and even get in a core workout by laughing along with the hosts of Another Round. I ignore texts and phone calls and just enjoy life outside – away from walls, work, and worries beyond how I can incorporate Happier’s Try This at Home Tip into my week.

 I definitely enjoy life more when I have me time (even if you live alone, you still need “me time”) and the Quabbin is my spot. If it’s not snowing this weekend I might consider exploring another trail or maybe I’ll stick to something familiar. We’ll see 🙂

If you don’t already have a favorite spot of your own, I hope you find one.

You can keep up with Joy on Pinterest and on Tumblr.

enjoy life…