beka stays : april recap

April was good.

I really liked this meal.

And this post.

And this picture.

And this place.

The end.

(No, really.)

(But if you’d like to know how January and February and March were, I wrote really lovely recaps about them.)

 

Advertisements

beka stays athletic : don’t hold back

Don't Hold Back - 8 x 10 Typographic Print
pinned here via here

Remember when I thought that running 3 miles and then finishing them off by running an 8 minute mile was cool?

Well…guess what?!

On Saturday I went to the gym with a plan: run 6 miles at a steady pace over mild hills (so that I’m not quite as shocked when I transition to outdoor running and the ground is not perpetually flat and electronically powered beneath me).

(That joke is always on me.)

Anyway…I started running.

It did not feel good.

It felt like the opposite of good.

Problem: I should have waited longer in between breakfast and running. I’m not one of those people who eats to fuel workouts…I actually have much better results on an empty stomach.

I toughed it out until mile 2.5, when I decided to pause the treadmill and head to the bathroom since I wasn’t sure whether I had to pee or throw up. Turns out it was the former (lucky for one and all). (And apparently the theme of today is Unwanted Personal Information Day. Apologies, Internet.)

I got back on the treadmill determined to at least finish the 6 miles I originally set out to run. It kept getting easier and easier as the miles passed and I kept feeling less and less like I was going to keel over in the middle of Planet Fitness.

The six mile mark came and went. I started walking to cool down. But then I thought a dangerous thought.

“I could probably keep going.”

And then I had to keep going. Because I’m crazy.

So I decided to bump the speed up to 8.0 and see what happened.

No worries, PF patrons beside me, it’s totally ok that I’m glaring angrily at the PAC 12 gymnastics championships for no apparent reason other than athletic motivation while Jay Z shouts into my eardrums and yours via my amped-up inspiration playlist and I’m sweating/panting uncontrollably. Nothing to see here.

Except for my new mile time: 7:30.

Stranger things have not happened.

I am really starting to be convinced that hard work for your body is better for your soul. Because – at the risk of sounding like something that has the potential to start trending on Pinterest – doing something that challenges you changes you.

Over the past few months I’ve felt a passion not just for committing, but for committing to being the absolute best version of me that I can be. Giving 100% all the time, no matter the circumstances. Being that person means I can’t cater to excuses or explanations, won’t be derailed by disappointments or discouragement, don’t leave well enough alone.

On Saturday, that meant not calling it a day at the gym when I knew I still had more left to give, even though I had “other things to do” and “wasn’t feeling my best” and “had a great workout already.”

Nope, nope, and nope. All of those factors are well and good. But only if you want to meet the minimum requirements.

And I don’t! I want to far exceed them!

Every time I make the decision to take the harder road, the one that asks the most of me, I change a little. I learn that good enough is never really good enough. I become someone who is confident in the knowledge that I can always give 100%, and that giving 100% is always better in the end.

I also become someone who laughs out loud and jumps up and down with arms raised in triumphant victory while stepping off the treadmill.

Which is what everyone else does, right?

beka stays : february recap

Well.

February was a bit of a hott mess.

Basically because I was a bit of a hott mess.

But there were good parts, too!

Read on for an assortment of experiences:

[faithful]

DEFINITION: to be in constant relationship with Christ; to live a life which bears evidence of that relationship

2012 GOAL: complete Project 345, keep a one verse/one gratitude daily journal, memorize Galatians 5

PROGRESS: Small tweak to this goal. I’m still loving Project 345 and chronicling life in verses and gratitudes, but I’m currently working on memorizing A Psalm for Life instead of Galatians 5 because it’s so many things that I need to remember on a daily basis.

//

[relational]

DEFINITION: to love the friends and family who make my life so rich; to make people a priority

2012 GOAL: make one meaningful connection per week with a friend or family member

PROGRESS: I’m living up to this goal and then some! Who would have guessed that?! So it needs to change, I just don’t know how yet.

//

[hungry]

DEFINITION: to eat thoughtfully prepared (or purchased) food enthusiastically; to expand my culinary skills beyond brownies

2012 GOAL: make one new dinner recipe (from the millions of magazines or billions of blogs I subscribe to) per week

PROGRESS: This month’s dinners were a good deal less thrilling than last month’s. I think my favorite was last week’s quick chicken parm. (Thanks, Mom!)

//

[athletic]

DEFINITION: to make the most of the healthy body I’ve been given; to run a lot of miles, do a lot of yoga, lift something heavy every now and again, and make every effort to be active as opposed to inactive

2012 GOAL: run 1000 miles

PROGRESS: Oh boy. Did this goal ever crash and burn in February. A hearty dose of IT Band issues for the first half of February punctuated by a hearty dose of laziness for the second half of February resulted in less than 25 miles run in the ENTIRE month of February. Awful. I’m deciding whether I want to keep this goal and run my legs off for the rest of the year or change it to something less run-centric/more strength and conditioning oriented. It’s neck and neck at this point.

//

[creative]

DEFINITION: to use the gifts I’ve been given to see the world in a unique way; to appreciate beauty everywhere

2012 GOAL: take one new (legit) picture per week

PROGRESS: Dear Photography, I’m so glad we’re friends again. I’ve missed you. And I’m so grateful to have captured this authentic moment, my favorite of the month.

//

[compassionate]

DEFINITION: to love people, especially those who need love most

2012 GOAL: volunteer one day per month

PROGRESS: I had my first day of training for the Better Day Buddies program at Strong last Monday, and it was incredible. Definitely one of February’s highlights – expect an actual post on this coming soon!

//

[intelligent]

DEFINITION: to use my brain

2012 GOAL: read one book per month

PROGRESS: Way behind on this one. I’m only about halfway though Wooden: a Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court. But honestly, this is a read that needs to be savored. SO much wisdom in such a small book!

[in rochester]

DEFINITION: to make the most of the city I live in by exploring new places and frequenting well-loved ones

2012 GOAL: visit one new place in Rochester per month

PROGRESS: Um, yeah. I don’t think this happened. Which means March will receive two new locations!

//

[out of rochester]

DEFINITION: to scratch the travel itch, expand my perspective, and regularly recharge by getting away

2012 GOAL: travel outside of the greater Rochester area and, if at all possible, the state of New York, once per season

PROGRESS: But this did happen!!! Thank you, Pennsylvania, for being so wonderful.

//

[real]

DEFINITION: to enjoy life, warts and all

2012 GOAL: not to get so caught up in goals and plans that I forget to enjoy laughable life moments, football and snow, coffee and chocolate, Gilmore Girls and magazines, candles and Pinterest, stumbles, falls, and a boatload of other things that make life so much fun

PROGRESS: I think this day was my most successful real moment this month. And we all know that I had my fair share of bonding with the Gilmores, as well.

//

favorite post: Without a doubt, the Valentine’s Day whoopie pie post.

favorite good thing: Carmelitas. Of course.

favorite pin:

do something you've never done

pinned here via here

favorite verse: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

BUT…despite some initial complacency, February did end on a redeeming note. I’m looking forward to maintaining these goals while also diving with gusto into a new goal!

Farewell, February. I’ll try to be even nicer to you next time around.

(And March, just so we’re clear, I’ve got my game face on.)

*Also – the blog got a little spring makeover, so if you’d like to see some bright new colors and you’re following by email or in a Reader, hop on over to the main site!

**Also also – how was YOUR February?! And what are your plans for March?

beka stays : january recap

Usually, I stand at the brink of a new month and think, “Where did the last one GO? How is it a new month already?!” But today, looking into February and evaluating January, I don’t feel like that at all. January didn’t fly by, nor did it crawl, it just was. It felt happily full, steady. It felt like a month living by the mantra of “staying.”

Maybe this is working!

Here’s a recap of the 2012 Staying Goals and how they fared this month:

[faithful]

DEFINITION: to be in constant relationship with Christ; to live a life which bears evidence of that relationship

2012 GOAL: complete Project 345, keep a one verse/one gratitude daily journal, memorize Galatians 5

PROGRESS: Oh my goodness. If anything has been a positive change for me, it’s this time that I spend with the Lord every morning. I look forward to it every day! I love the flexibility that Project 345 allows, love Tony Dungy’s daily challenge devotional, love focusing on one verse and one gratitude a day, love praying confidently and specifically. This is the one change that makes all of the other changes possible.

//

[relational]

DEFINITION: to love the friends and family who make my life so rich; to make people a priority

2012 GOAL: make one meaningful connection per week with a friend or family member

PROGRESS: Um…I need to refurbish this goal. Who knew I was not as much of a hermit as I thought?

//

[hungry]

DEFINITION: to eat thoughtfully prepared (or purchased) food enthusiastically; to expand my culinary skills beyond brownies

2012 GOAL: make one new dinner recipe (from the millions of magazines or billions of blogs I subscribe to) per week

PROGRESS: I love this goal. I love making a conscious effort to have a real meal for dinner. I love this one best: Salsa Chicken.

//

[athletic]

DEFINITION: to make the most of the healthy body I’ve been given; to run a lot of miles, do a lot of yoga, lift something heavy every now and again, and make every effort to be active as opposed to inactive

2012 GOAL: run 1000 miles

PROGRESS: I’m behind on this goal due to a minor setback. I ran 50 miles this month. I need to run 83 per month to be on pace. But I already made up for 10 of the miles I missed, so I’m hoping to keep chipping away at the deficit and start getting ahead over the next few months.

//

[creative]

DEFINITION: to use the gifts I’ve been given to see the world in a unique way; to appreciate beauty everywhere

2012 GOAL: take one new (legit) picture per week

PROGRESS: This one makes me happy. I’m having fun taking pictures that I love. Favorite so far: Crepes and Bacon.

//

[compassionate]

DEFINITION: to love people, especially those who need love most

2012 GOAL: volunteer one day per month

PROGRESS: This one is almost ready to be a reality! I’m in the final stages of application/orientation for the Better Day Buddies program at Strong and can’t wait to get started!!! In the meantime I’ve been enjoying spreading as many random acts of kindness around the greater Rochester area as possible.

//

[intelligent]

DEFINITION: to use my brain

2012 GOAL: read one book per month

PROGRESS: I love being held accountable for reading actual literature (i.e. not blogs and/or magazines and/or cookbooks) regularly. The library is my BFF. And so is this book, which couldn’t have given 2012 a more apt start.

//

[in rochester]

DEFINITION: to make the most of the city I live in by exploring new places and frequenting well-loved ones

2012 GOAL: visit one new place in Rochester per month

PROGRESS: Done! The Gate House was the newbie of the month…and Aladdin’s, Finger Lakes Coffee, Simply Crepes, and Wegmans saw plenty of me, too.

//

[out of rochester]

DEFINITION: to scratch the travel itch, expand my perspective, and regularly recharge by getting away

2012 GOAL: travel outside of the greater Rochester area and, if at all possible, the state of New York, once per season

PROGRESS: I was all I <3 NY this month. No worries…a trip is in sight for February!

//

[real]

DEFINITION: to enjoy life, warts and all

2012 GOAL: not to get so caught up in goals and plans that I forget to enjoy laughable life moments, football and snow, coffee and chocolate, Gilmore Girls and magazines, candles and Pinterest, stumbles, falls, and a boatload of other things that make life so much fun

PROGRESS: This is the easy one. See: here. And here. And here.

//

favorite post: being an exclamation point

favorite good thing: milk & honey chocolate banana granola

favorite pin:

dream big

pinned here via here

favorite verse: Here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” John 5:39-40 (MSG).

So, that’s January! A wonderful month by all accounts. What a nice start to 2012.

How about you guys? How would you rate January 2012 in your book?

2012 goals : resources

Thought Number One: This afternoon I went for a run outside. I went for a run outside  in Rochester in January and I was not wearing a parka over 18 additional layers of clothing. This is because it was 50 degrees and the sun was shining…in Rochester, in January.

Apart from the fact that I haven’t watched a single episode of Friends OR Gilmore Girls all week long, stranger things have not happened.

(Also, let the record show that I’ve officially completed an outdoor run for the month of January (and loved every second of it). I think having a goal of running outside once a month throughout the winter is probably lame but probably as frequent as is realistic for someone who hates running outside in the cold, so therefore it’s reasonable and doable!)

Thought Number Two: Although I had lots of fun creating and sharing my 2012 plans, I’m ready to resume normal posting asap. (AKA…I’m ready to run on ad nauseum about what I ate for dessert dinner last night.) So here ends the 2012 goals series. From here on out you can expect to see the following:

  • Weekly Relational, Hungry, and Creative Posts
  • Monthly Compassionate, Intelligent, and In Rochester Posts
  • Seasonal Out of Rochester Posts
  • Faithful, Athletic, and Real Posts as they happen

You’ll also be getting lots of “Good Things” posts, which I’ve already started incorporating as a little preview of what’s to come. Basically, anything that makes me smile, think, cry, or beam will be featured in these sporadic posts.

I’m already loving this year and this new blog format.

Thought Number Three: I want you guys to have ambitious and full 2012’s too. So if you are in need of planning materials, feel free to peruse the few I’ve posted over on the Resources page. There are three PDF files (yearly, monthly, and daily worksheets) just waiting to be opened, saved, and filled with big ideas.

Happy 2012, everyone!

2012 goals : organization and documentation

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

So goes one of my dad’s favorite sayings. And I agree. I also agree that if you plan to not organize and document your plans, you plan to watch 3 consecutive episodes of Gilmore Girls while catching up on Google Reader instead.

Not that I would know firsthand.

I find that organization and documentation help goals progress in two different but equally important ways. The first one is obvious: accountability. It’s harder to not do something you committed to doing when you know you’ll have to face an empty page/journal/check mark at the end of the day. There’s nothing like the fear of failure for a good, healthy motivator!

But that’s what the second one is for. Keeping track of my progress keeps me from thinking that I’m not getting anywhere with my goals. When I can’t see that I actually have done something, it’s easy to believe the lie that I haven’t done anything. Seeing the proof in black and white is a huge motivator.

For this year’s goals, I decided to overhaul my Gmail calendar and use it as a multipurpose work/schedule/goal recorder. Each “section” of my life became a different calendar (and therefore a different color) so that I can easily see how much I’ve accomplished on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

See? And that’s just on January 1st! Think of how full this baby is going to be come the end of the month!

I mentioned this briefly in a rant a few months ago, but another calendar-related thing I’ve been doing consistently that has been ENORMOUSLY helpful to my productivity (and general well-being) is listing a Daily Top 5 using the Tasks bar in Gmail. This has seriously been such a lifesaver. Every night before I go to bed I pick the Top 5 things that need to get done the next day. Five and only five – no more and no less. If I know it’s going to be a fairly free day I’ll add a bigger project to the list. If I know I’m going to be gone from 8am-8pm I’ll only add things that can be reasonably accomplished, like answering a long-hoarded email or stopping at the bank.

This system works really well for me. It helps me get a realistic number of things done every day and keeps me focused on what I actually need to do. Otherwise, this happens: I come home after a long day, visualize an overwhelming mental to-do list, and decide to do nothing instead of something because it feels too daunting to tackle anything when you don’t even know where to start. It also helps me expedite the to-do list items I’m dreading for no reason in particular (whether it’s a bill to pay, a call to return, a decision to make, etc). That email that’s been suffocating on the bottom of my inbox for weeks on end? It’s so much more painful to realize, “Oh, I really need to reply to that” for the 50th time…and then not reply, again…than it is to just open up the email and write back already. Add it to the Top 5 and get it done. Over and out.

Then, when I’m done with the day’s essential tasks, I’ll wind down with a little Google Reader or a magazine I’ve been wanting to dive into. It makes me feel like I’m legitimately spending time doing something I enjoy instead of feeling like I’m borrowing time from getting other priority items done because I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do for the day. Everybody wins!

And if that weren’t enough…there’s more!

I use the Gmail system to keep track the Top 10 2012 goals and the Top 5 tasks that keep things swimming along productively (I’m starting to sound like a late night talk show). It’s a great system. Two thumbs way up.

But then there are the little things. The daily disciplines that so frequently slip through the cracks. Things like washing the dishes and making the bed. And do they really need to be organized and documented? Probably not. But I already had this graph set up on my fridge:

Untitled
I used it as the first draft of this blog over the summer! And it’s been sitting there all pretty and unused ever since. So I decided to make it the daily disciplines fridge where I keep track of things like washing the dishes and making the bed. Because the world won’t fall off it’s axis if they don’t happen, but my life moves along much more pleasantly if they do happen.
It’s an aesthetically pleasing way to trick me into flossing, basically.
Want to do this on your own? Go for it! I just used floral tape to section the fridge off, magnets I had already collected from the dollar bin at Michael’s to use as markers, and punched pieces of scrapbook paper for the tags. Couldn’t have been easier.
Whew! So that’s 2012 Organization and Documentation: 101. There will be a test. Study hard. And then go crazy on your own organizational systems!
But really, how do you guys stay on top of things? Does anyone else get inordinately excited about color-coded calendars?

2012 goals : pinspiration board

It’d be going a little far to say that Pinterest single-handedly saved 2012 from becoming a barren, aimless, unproductive wasteland. But it’s almost true.

When I started thinking about things to incorporate into a goal list for 2012 I wondered if perhaps a little inspiration board might help get my brain waves flowing. Hours Days later (Indecisive: party of one), I not only had this, but I also had a iron-clad plan for all things 2012.

Pinterest, you are my very best internet friend.

So here’s how I rolled with this: I started collecting images for the goals I already knew I wanted to put on the 2012 list. I didn’t have plans to expand the board/goals beyond that, but then I…wait for it…got inspired and added on from there. Shocking what an inspiration board can do for inspiration.

When I started collecting images I searched for keywords using the search bar, but then I realized that some of my favorite pins that were already pinned on other boards would fit perfectly for the 2012 board. Plus, I liked the idea of using pins that I already loved instead of finding random ones. Then the board expanded from goals to verses to chapters to themes to results and then exploded and then I had a finished product I was beaming over.

Here’s the signed, sealed, and delivered final board:

Pinned Image

chapters: found here

Pinned Image

verses: found here

Pinned Image

goal: found here

Pinned Image

key phrases: found here

Pinned Image

key phrases: found here

Pinned Image

key phrases: found here

Pinned Image

faithful: found here

Pinned Image

relational: found here

Pinned Image

hungry: found here

Pinned Image

athletic: found here

Pinned Image

creative: found here

Pinned Image

intelligent: found here

Pinned Image

compassionate: found here

Pinned Image

in rochester: found here

Pinned Image

out of rochester: found here

Pinned Image

result: found here

If I could wallpaper my apartment with this board I probably would. Clearly, heading over to Pinterest to make your own 2012 board gets my highest recommendation. Hop to it!

beka stays : 2012 goals

Usually I kick and scream and bemoan my way into the New Year in an anti-change protest. I hate to bid farewell to an entire year. It makes me feel like time is moving too fast.

But this year…I was more than ready to ring in 2012. Peace out, 2011!

It wasn’t a bad year by any means. It was just a bit messy. A little frenzied. Full of employment, not so full of sleep, and overall unremarkable. It’s painful to admit but it’s so true: 2011 was not a banner year. Banner-less, you might say.

So onward and upward! Since 2011 was kind of a dud 2012 was ushered in with a refurbished set of goals. I’m not trying to overachieve my way into 2012 or fail-proof it so that it’s less lame than 2011, but seriously, I needed a kickstart like nobody’s business. So for the rest of the week I’ll be posting about the formulation of the 2012 master plan and sharing the resources I’m using to keep everything organized and on track. Using the phrase “2012 master plan” literally made me laugh out loud because it usually follows that for every human master plan there is an equal and opposite divine master plan, but it’s a starting place. One of the things I prayed about when I set these goals was that I’d wholeheartedly pursue them but not be so attached to them that I’m blind to better things God might in store.

I actually started by making an inspiration board on Pinterest (try to contain your surprise), used that to formulate a 2012 list, and separated that list into big projects, goals, and regular disciplines. I knew that if I kept all of that in one big list it would be overwhelming, so I broke it down into daily, monthly, and yearly lists, which I’ll be sharing later this week! (Along with my therapist’s number, because I’m sounding a little OCD right now.)

Today’s feature: the top ten goals of 2012. One of the things I tried to focus on was making everything realistic and specific, which led me to make some changes to the pages on the blog. If you’re reading this on the actual site you may have noticed that some of the pages have changed. I decided to exchange the healthy, authentic, and committed pages for some new pages that were less ambiguous. It’s hard to achieve things that are general. “Commit to volunteering one day per month” is more likely to succeed than, “be committed.”

With that in mind, here are the Top Ten!

Faithful : Read one chapter a day from the New Testament via Project 345, a really helpful daily reading plan offered online and through the app YouVersion. Also, I used to be in the habit of recording one verse from every day’s reading in a journal. After I got out of that habit I realized how beneficial it was so this year I’m using this fun daily calendar to write down one meaningful verse and one thing I’m grateful for every day.
Relational : Make one meaningful, face-to-face connection with a friend or family member every week. (This is what normal people call being normal, but I tend to veer on the side of hermit so I’m making this a goal for my own good.)
Hungry : Make one new dinner recipe every week from the millions of magazines and billions of blogs I subscribe to. This will encourage me to not eat cereal for dinner every other night be more well-rounded in the kitchen and put many (MANY) saved articles/posts to good use.
Athletic : Run 1,000 miles this year. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that running keeps me sane. There has never been a time when I went for a run and regretted it or felt worse afterward. I always end up feeling energized and happy and healthy. So to make sure that I’m running on a regular basis I’m throwing down this pretty ambitious goal. It breaks down to about 20 miles a week, which is challenging enough to keep me motivated but doable enough to be realistic. I’ll be using Nike+ to keep track of my progress.
Creative : Take one legit picture that I genuinely like every week. This one is really important to me. My enjoyment of personal photography took a nosedive in 2011 and I am not on board with that! I started taking pictures to see God’s beauty on display and don’t want something that I love so much to turn into work. I’ll be using Flickr to keep track of each week’s photo.
Compassionate : Volunteer one day every month. I really, really miss helping people. It was something that was kind of built into my temporary job as an RD and something I haven’t built into my life since that job ended, which is disappointing. But I’m hoping to start volunteering at the Golisano Children’s Hospital later this month! I can’t wait!!!
Intelligent : Read one new book every month. I don’t even want to fess up to this…but I read 7 books in 2011. SEVEN. I can’t even remember the last time I had a single-digit book year. I think my English degree might be retroactively revoked. I hope that I end up reading more than 12 books in 2012, but it’s a reasonable place to start considering how many blogs and magazines I also read. I’ll be keeping track of each month’s reading progress with goodreads.
In Rochester : Visit one new place in Rochester every month. I’m not anticipating having any trouble with this goal. I’m also not anticipating visiting any many places that are not restaurants.
Out of Rochester : Travel outside of the greater Rochester area (and, if at all possible, the state of New York) once every season. Can I tell you where I traveled in 2011? I went to Massachusetts. Twice. OH MY WORD! This pill might be even harder to swallow than the fact that I only read seven books last year. No wonder 2011 was such a bummer! I was so boring! I really believe in the restorative power of getting away every now and then, so I’m looking forward to taking at least four trips this year.
Real : ENJOY LIFE! This is the junk drawer page to remind me that life is full of things that don’t go on lists. I want to value the map and follow the directions, but look out the window and enjoy the ride, too.

So friends, that’s that: my Top Ten for 2012. Stay tuned the rest of this week for more 2012 fun!

beka stays authentic : to err is human

Well friends, this weekend left me feeling highly disgruntled. Which is sad, because there was a whole lot of good that went on, and we’ll get to that soon.

In retrospect, I set myself up for failure. I had a huge and highly unrealistic list of things to do this weekend. On top of that, a bunch of the things that I did do were unsuccessful. To the tune of 3 out of 4 recipe flops. (Really, is there anything more frustrating than finding a recipe you’re excited about, spending time and resources on it, anticipating the result…and then having it be less than great, or just plain awful?) And finally sitting down for long enough to watch a movie….and not liking the movie (Crazy Stupid Love = just crazy stupid. I should have known better.) And going to bed early enough to get NINE hours of sleep…and then waking up wide awake at 5am. (Are you kidding?)

Overachievers Anonymous: talk to me. I find that in situations like the above in which I do not meet my goals I tend to focus on the lack of goal-meeting rather than on any sort of progress that may have resulted from the failure. So instead of celebrating getting 500 pictures edited in one day – a day in which I also did several other time-consuming things – I lament not getting the remaining 300 pictures that are still unedited done. Does anyone else have this problem?

Can I get an amen?! Or just crickets?

Whether I’m a normal productivity freak or just a plain old freak, I wouldn’t trade the ambitious side of my personality for anything. However (and it’s a big however), I don’t want to constantly come up short in my own evaluations, turning a perfectly good weekend into a sub-par pair of days.

All through the morning the quote “To err is human, to forgive is divine,” has been running through my head. For me, to not achieve everything I want to achieve is normal because of the high standards I set for myself. But to give myself a little grace? That would be truly divine.

So in an effort to facilitate some grace and see the gains instead of the losses, here’s what I truly loved about this weekend:

  • Spending quality time with THREE good friends
  • Having real conversations, not just fluffy ones
  • Getting a DIY project done successfully (post coming soon!)
  • Finding at least one good new recipe (post also coming soon!)
  • Getting my car washed (thanks to the many birds who assumed it was their personal restroom)
  • Not getting a parking ticket after forgetting to move my car to the other side of the street (seriously…THANK YOU)
  • Editing a substantial chunk of photos
  • Taking a long walk in the fallen leaves while listening to the Packers game (and cheering uncontrollably in the middle of the street…much to the surprise of the other walkers who were not listening to the Packers game)
  • Using unexpected extra time in the morning to read this week’s Sports Illustrated
  • Figuring out how to watch one game on TV, listen to another on my phone, and track a third online
  • The Packers! Oh, the Packers! For making my heart race unexpectedly in the 4th quarter and pulling out another win to remain undefeated
  • Football in general
  • Sitting outside and reading magazines at one of my favorite places
  • Burning a cinnamon roll candle…it makes the whole apartment smell so wonderful
  • Listening to CHRISTMAS MUSIC for the first time this year. It’s early, I know, even for me! but it was a necessary and appreciated mood-booster

So that’s that. Stay tuned for posts resulting from aforementioned successes: a fantastic and cheap DIY project and (another) recipe for the pumpkin lovers among us. It’s a good one!