Turning Forty

I turned forty today.

That felt funny to write and then read, so let’s try it again:

I turned forty today.

I’m not sure what I expected of myself when I was forty, but I know I am not living it right now.

My business is not successful. It’s a struggle right now. Our personal debt is growing as a result.

I am married with two kids, which is about right, and I own my own house, but it’s definitely more cluttered than I ever envisioned.

I am overweight. In fact, I think I weigh the most I ever have, except for when I was pregnant. A few years ago, I could not have imagined being this big again, and yet here I am.

In my mind, I imagine that this is the turning point for the story’s heroine, but life is not a story. In a story, this is where I have an aha moment, where I make the time for daily exercise, where I spent a few minutes each day tidying the house, where I become a marketing genius and grow my business, where I shut down my emotional eating habit and lose sixty pounds, where I inspire everyone around me to be better as a result of my life shift. In other words, I become perfectly and effortlessly disciplined. Er, perfection is not possible, so I need to take a step back here.

How do you live the life you want?

I think it starts with a clear vision of what it is exactly that you want to live.

I don’t think I have a super-clear vision right now. I used to think that I did, but I’m not so sure anymore.

So, for the sake of clarity, let’s take a stab at getting that vision out and on “paper.” In my mind, I envision:

  • a husband I love and spend time with on a regular basis (I’m actually not far off here)
  • two happy, healthy kids (again, not too far off, but I definitely don’t have the parenting skills to be the parent I want to be, which would involve less yelling, less swearing, more talking things through, more listening (by me and them), more fun, more discipline (not punishment), and healthier family habits)
  • a neat, warm, comfortable, beautiful home with artwork and pictures that have meaning for me
  • a business that allows me the flexibility to pay off all of my personal and business debt while making a good income that allows me to save for retirement, travel extensively with my family, and pay for my kids to go to university
  • a life of physical fitness, where I am practicing yoga, lifting weights, and running races, all with enjoyment, and mixing in cross-training that I have fun doing, while involving my family so that we’re all healthy
  • a whole lot of veggies, lean meats, more vegetarian meals, simple meals; fruits, nuts, yogurt, hummus as snacks; green smoothies on the regular; fewer processed grains and more whole grains; homemade desserts regularly; portion control; feeling emotions rather than emotional eating; food journaling daily; using my slow cooker; loving less sugar; drinking a lot of water and being happy to do so
  • making more friends who are part of my tribe; they are smart, entrepreneurs or managers, practice yoga, are on a path of self-exploration, practice gratitude, like to eat but also stay fit, understand that family comes first but make the time to gather on a regular (if not frequent) basis; they love science, reading, TWD, and Star Wars
  • reading novels regularly, taking time to write a novel a little bit at a time, spending time outside enjoying nature
  • creating a beautiful yard that I love to be in with family and friends
  • staying on the path of personal growth through daily meditation, daily yoga, morning pages, reading “self-help” books, and personal development courses

Hey, I’m not saying that this is total clarity, but it is clearer.

I can start right now, tonight, by taking the time to meditate, practice some yoga, tuck my daughter in, write in my gratitude journal, and have a cup of herbal tea. It doesn’t get me debt-free and fit in a day, but small steps are better than no steps.

I am not aiming for perfection; I am aiming for life.

 

 

Blog Posts for a Fabulous Weekend

It’s Friday evening, the start of a few days off, the punctuation at the end of the work week, the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the perfect time to set yourself up for some rest and rejuvenation over the next couple of days.

Need some inspiration to get your weekend off to a great start? Look no further.

After a long week, it’s easy to feel rundown and low energy. From Marie Forleo, what to do when you doubt everything and just wanna stay in bed.

Easy hair is imperative on your days off. Try a subtle twist into a side braid from Cute Girl Hairstyles. I didn’t get it quite right on my first try, but I did on my second, and got lots of compliments on it at the hockey rink last weekend.

After hunching over at work for hours and hours, a good stretch can be just the thing. Try these three yoga postures for rounded shoulders from the Peanut Butter Runner (and now I have peanut butter cups on the brain).

Saturday is the perfect day to get your body moving after a good night’s sleep Friday night. Not eager to workout? Check out what Tara Bliss tells herself when she doesn’t want to move her body and galvanize yourself to get physical.

Wanna tackle some of that clutter? Check out the biggest decluttering mistake you don’t know you’re making from My Love for Words and tweak your approach to make it even more effective. If you need a little more inspiration, check out my three simple steps for easy decluttering.

I’d love to know about any posts you found particularly inspiring or uplifting this week. How are you taking care of yourself this weekend?

The End of My 39th Year

I turn 39 this month, which means that I’m heading into my 40th year. I have that voice in my head telling me that I haven’t accomplished enough, that I should be farther ahead than I am, but I am deliberately not listening to it. I’m not saying that there aren’t things that I want to accomplish in my 40th year of life and beyond, but I am where I am, and that’s okay.

I’m sure I seem to have life sorted, but I don’t. My husband and I are both building businesses, which means that we’ve pretty much used up all of our available credit. We haven’t been doing a good job of budgeting (working on it) and I’ve been avoiding taking a hard look at the numbers in my business (working on that, too). I recently asked my mom for a loan for my business because the bank wasn’t a great option (we have assets but not steady incomes, so they weren’t going to be eager to loan us money), and while I am still dealing with the shame and embarrassment of having to borrow money from my mom at my age, I am dealing with it.

On the other hand, I have a whole lot to be grateful for:

  • my kids, who are mostly sweet and loving and funny (though sometimes I want to strangle them)
  • I have a home, food, and everything I need
  • my parents are in a position to lend me money when I need help and are willing to help
  • my husband works hard and helps out around the house way more than any other man I know
  • I am making friends
  • I’ve started doing yoga regularly, which I am proud of because it was one of my goals for this year
  • I am working with a life coach and it is making such a difference in my life
  • I have a massage booked for tomorrow, which means that I can get some relief from the tightness of my chest and back muscles that’s been plaguing me since my cold/bronchitis started mid-October (coughing is a b*tch on the thoracic musculature)
  • I am finally feeling better and getting over my bronchitis, which means my energy levels are increasing again
  • I have the day off from work tomorrow so that I can run some errands and practice self care
  • Christmas is coming!
  • I’ve been easing back into exercise and I feel good about that
  • I got to watch The Walking Dead without distractions tonight

As I countdown to my 39th birthday, I am thinking about what I want my life to look like. Of course, I am working with a life coach, so this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot already. I’ve started making changes: going out of my way to talk to people and build relationships; joining a women’s cross country skiing group to develop relationships, work on my fitness, and enjoy winter for a change; decluttering my house; practicing yoga on a more regular basis; developing an attitude of gratitude. I have been considering committing to a race sometime next year – a local one so that it’s easier on the budget – because I would like to get back to running and setting a bigger goal, like a half marathon, is often very motivating for me. At the same time, if I commit to such a big goal, I also have to give myself permission to listen to my body and take care of it with a healthy diet, yoga, sleep, and strengthening so that I don’t end up with a(nother) long-term injury. As I read somewhere, possibly Runner’s World, if a race entry of 50 bucks gets you running and healthier, it’s worth it, even if you don’t make it to the race. I couldn’t agree more.

Workout Motivation: Why I Love Netflix

Netflix is one of my favourite things. I am not a huge T.V. watcher (although I used to be) and I don’t have the patience to figure out when T.V. shows are on (except for The Walking Dead, which I watch quite religiously, being a zombie freak), so Netflix is perfect for me. I get to watch the shows and movies I like when I want to watch them, which turns out to be quite convenient during the winter when I’m stuck working out inside, because if you are a regular on the stationary bike or treadmill, you know how boring it can be.

Instead of staring at the paint on my walls, here’s what I’m sweating to these days:

Friday Night Lights

If you haven’t watched this (now-cancellled) show, you should. My husband and I are totally hooked on the characters in this drama. Tami and Eric Taylor are my parent-heroes.

Breaking BadI’m sure looking forward to seeing how this series turns out.  I’m in season 5 and have been fascinated by Walter White’s (rather scary) transformation into Heisenberg.

ABC-Nashville-PosterI started watching Nashville quite recently, and am loving the soap opera-ness of this show. I am a big Connie Britton fan (see Friday Night Lights above) and find her very entertaining as Rayna James, even as I want to reach into the T.V. screen and smack Hayden Panettiere’s character Juliette Barnes upside the head.

Homeland

I started watching this show because my sister told me to. Netflix, sadly, has only one season of Homeland, and after watching it, I was hooked on this show. However, I have been able to PVR Seasons 2 and 3 from Bell ExpressVu.

What are your favourite T.V. shows?

NOTE: I realized just today that the links I had set up didn’t work properly for the images. Sorry!