It’s hard to describe how sweet my day actually was, boring as it may have been in some people’s eyes.

Health + Wellness

208.3 Again. Not going up. Win. And, I can almost guarantee you after a couple of beers and a fish fry last night I would have seen a gain.

How do I know? I have about 20 years of proof.

I forgot my stupid Apple Watch before I went to work again and as you might have seen yesterday, my sister and I are in another heated Activity competition. I see she even upped her active calorie burn to match mine. I had to get a move on this afternoon if I have a chance at all of beating her this week. It was 50 degrees here today. If you aren’t familiar with a Wisconsin January, this is as abnormal as it gets; putting us just one degree below a record high.

I laced up my sneaks and headed out for a walk. I just couldn’t stop. The sun was setting and it was so warm and peaceful and amazing. Had I had those two beers (read below), there’s no way I would have done that today.

How do I know? I still have two decades of proof.

House + Home

Ok, I promise myself I am going to Unfuck my house tomorrow. The cleaning ladies are coming Monday and I really need them to be able to actually clean.

Debt + Finances

Not a whole lot to report here today. I plan to do my budget and start on taxes (barf) tomorrow. I will say that my goal for January is to pay $1K toward our debt.

Parenthood + Relationships

I woke up with no headache and more energy. I went to work with a clear head and thoroughly enjoyed watching Miles in his first full-court basketball game. We went to lunch with dear friends where I drank way too much club soda (while everyone else drank beer) and again, I was totally fine, except I had to pee like 10 times throughout the day.

When Dale and I walked in to the Thirsty Goat, I did say out loud, “This will be interesting not ordering a beer with the rest of you.” Saturday lunch beers are my jam, but, then again they have also derailed the best of intentions for Saturday afternoon or evening plans more times than I can count. Five short days ago I DECIDED it would be different.

I took Maddie and her friend to Mary Poppins Returns and as I sat there watching the delight on their faces, I couldn’t help but be proud of myself. The movie was fantastic. (I so want to be Emily Blunt’s best friend.) I would have missed this a week ago.

As a matter of fact I did.

I chose to “cocktail” instead of take her and her friends to a movie. Not one of my proudest moments in hindsight. As I sit here writing this on my bed I can hear Maddie in the bathtub next door singing in her sweet voice, “This was the best day eveeeerrrr.” Parenting win.

Travel + Staycations

My little staycation came earlier this evening when I dropped a bath bomb my cousin made me for some “zen” during my 90 days. It was packed with red rose petals and the faint smell of lavender and could only be topped by the Matcha Green Tea polish she made. I am clean, relaxed and exfoliated.

And sober.

Happy Saturday night and even better Sunday morning to me.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction/Universe/Divine Intervention, what or whomever you like to call it. Last week, while on my period, I just gave up on everything. I couldn’t get the motivation to compete with my sister on any level or even get out for a walk. I was deflated, unmotivated and irritable.

But, it seemed, Mother Nature was a little “off” too. Most of December, where my only intention was to meet or exceed my 600 active calorie goal on my watch, the weather was close to perfect for a long walk every day. With the exception of a few chilly days, it was sunny, the roads were safe and there was little rain.

I noted this verbally to Dale a few times; like the Universe was making it easy for me to reach my goal. Then last week the weather changed to rainy, icy and then snowy making walking outside all but impossible. Yes, I work at a gym, so I most certainly could have gotten on a treadmill or walked the track, but I just didn’t.

I needed a break.

Then, since Tuesday, I have been able to get out every day and close all of my rings. Today, she delivered the most glorious spring day in January. Maybe Mother Nature just needed a break too.

We all do.


Honestly, I woke up at 5:45 this morning, had enough energy to get a ton of shit done and am still awake at 8:20 pm, even with a puking, feverish kiddo.

This is a miracle in and of itself.

Health + Wellness

208.3 Again. Not going up. Still a win. I refuse to freak out about this number right now. I can imagine my body is going through a little WTF right now, so I’m gonna give her a break.

I wish I would have gotten out for a walk or made it to yoga today, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I did, however, eat all three meals at home, made dinner from scratch and prepared healthy lunches for the entire week.

Not like me to do on a Sunday.

I’ve always wanted to, just never have. I will also mention that I am hardly hungry. I’ll spare you the rundown of my food intake today, but I can tell you that last Sunday I probably ate triple what I did today. I’m not even really trying, on purpose.

Remember, I’m doing things I’ve never done before so I’m concentrating on one thing at a time. In a few weeks, if I’m ready, I’ll start looking in to my diet and some strength training, but for now, I’m just aiming for Day 7.

House + Home

Holy shit did I unfuck this house today. (By the way, I have used this method for a couple years now. Totally works for someone like me.) Ok, well WE did. I approached my husband this morning with a little hesitation about employing his cleaning services for just two hours, but to my surprise, he enthusiastically agreed. I guess all I had to do was ask nicely…who knew?

In any case, he cleaned the disgusting office while I organized the desk and all the mail and a few junk cabinets. [Side note: the other day I was sitting in my kitchen with my bff and we got talking about junk drawers. I have no less than 16 junk cabinet/drawers in my kitchen.]

I did all the dishes, all the laundry, with the exception of the customary last load in the dryer that will never actually make it upstairs, cleaned out bathroom cabinets and drawers tossing about 2/3 of my make up, lotions and toothpastes. While I was bringing garbage bags downstairs I spotted Dale bringing in our mega garbage can; rolling it right in front of the toy closet.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

It was like angels sang from the heavens. He filled that sucker to the brim and poured it in to the dumpster. He was my hero today. I’ve been ignoring that mess for months.

This afternoon brought me a sick kiddo but while she slumbered away, I made Chicken Tortilla soup for dinner, Chicken Salad for lunches this week and Puppy Chow for the kids (and me). I don’t remember the last time I had enough energy to get all of this done without a nap stuck in there somewhere.

I probably can’t remember because it’s never happened.

Debt + Finances

The only thing I really did in this department today was to put all of my investments (that were shoved in to one of the said junk drawers) in to a folder, went through old remotely deposited checks where I found $100 that was never deposited (yay me), and organized all of my cash envelopes so I am ready to budget tomorrow.

Parenthood + Relationships

One thing I have noticed this week is that I am not yelling at my kids near as much. I came from a yelling family so it’s not really a surprise that I do it, but I don’t love that about myself. I remember how scared and anxious I used to get as a child and here I am following in those footsteps.

Now, let’s not get crazy. There’s no doubt that I will yell again, but for today I’m proud I’ve reduced it to a dull roar.

Travel + Staycations

The staycation came in the form of purging a bunch of shit we no longer wanted and definitely didn’t need. It’s amazing how much space it opens up; both in my home and my mind.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

The epiphany today was that I made it through the weekend relatively unscathed. Some of you may be thinking, “wow, she thinks six days is a long time to go without alcohol, coffee or soda?”

You’re right. I do.

It isn’t that long in the big scheme of things, but in my case, it’s just the lifestyle I got accustomed to. Made a habit out of.

I’m proud of myself. I don’t say that to ask you to be proud of me too. I say it because I mean it. If my best friend were doing this I would tell her I was proud of her so why on earth is it so hard to say to myself? Logically, it makes no sense.

It’s about time we talk to ourselves a little nicer, with a little more compassion, a little more forgiveness and a lot less judgement. Is this not what we teach our children to do on the playground and in the lunchroom? I’m not sure I would have felt the same way a week ago.

What a dreary, icky, windy January day. No wonder so many of us give up on our healthy habits on days like these. I wonder if we shouldn’t move the New Year to July 1st so that we all have a fighting chance.

Health + Wellness

208.3

Same same. Again, another win. I will say this afternoon I found myself feeling a little lighter. I didn’t, however, DO a whole lot today. I still had a sick kiddo, that slept until 10:00 am by the way, and on a perfect day to snuggle, so we did.

I didn’t do it, but damn it did I want a fucking cup of coffee today.

House + Home

I took my 15 minutes this morning and cleaned out #14 of 16 junk cabinets as I knew I’d probably have most of the day to do the dumb daily stuff.

I also ACTUALLY finished all the laundry. I mean I literally washed, dried and put away ALL the laundry in the proper places today. I also matched all the socks. I know, I know. It’s crazy. Don’t get used to it.

Debt + Finances

And, again, I did not get to my budget today. Oops. Pretty soon I’ll have to pay enough attention to the reason WHY I’m not doing it because it’s been on my list since December 15th. Yikes.

Parenthood + Relationships

I will admit that I sort of love it when my kids are sick. Before you get all judgemental and gaspy on me, I don’t love that they are actually sick, I love that they sleep so sweetly and cuddle with me without any coaxing.

Alert: #momfail coming up

I was so enthralled with my sock sorting I totally forgot Miles had basketball practice so we had to run out like crazy people to get him there 15 minutes late. Thank God for friends that double as coaches. Makes me a little nervous that between both kids this winter we have 5 out of seven days of sports.

Bonus: I won’t be knee-deep in to a bottle of wine so I can drive them safely to and from practice. Yay me.

Travel + Staycations

Ya know how you sometimes you sit at your desk looking out the window on a rainy day wishing you could just lay in your flannel sheets and watch a movie? Well, that was my staycation today, albeit done with a computer on my lap designing a website, but still dreamy.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

While today was a pretty normal, mundane day, it’s not lost on me that I am one week in to this thing. And to be quite honest, it really hasn’t been that difficult. I think the difference this time is that I made the decision and it’s pretty water tight.

I also am so grateful to have the means to share it as it gives me enormous accountability. Even if there is just one of you reading this, it’s been extremely helpful.

One of the mistakes I have personally made in the past was to try to tackle any “resolution” or goal by myself. I didn’t tell anyone that I:

  • Wanted to lose weight

  • Wanted to quit drinking

  • Wanted to get out of debt

  • Wanted to eat better

And so, therefore, I was alone in my struggle with no defense when I came upon a roadblock. I didn’t feel like explaining my reasons to every single person that chuckled when I said no thanks. I isolated myself thinking that if I could avoid the situations all together it would just be easier and I would finally succeed. It’s not sustainable.

I can tell you it never works. How do I know this? I have two decades of proof.

It was a long day.

Not in the sense that I hated it and just want to crawl in to bed, but rather that I have just been up a long time.

And I want to crawl in to bed.

I volunteered to take a 5:00-8:00am shift at my health club job on Tuesdays. For many others this probably sounds like torture, but I am an early riser so a 4:15am wake up call doesn’t really bother me. Plus, I can get SO much done in those three peaceful hours.

I’m tired, but I’m still up and it’s 6:56pm. Those of you that know me, that’s a major accomplishment for the 8th day in January.

Health + Wellness

208.6

I’m not going to lie, I was quite disappointed this morning with that number staring back at me.

My right brain was running in circles with her hair on fire asking, “WHY, WHY, WHY? Why have we not lost 20 lbs in 8 days? WHY? That’s it, we should quit. What’s the point?”

While my left brain was leaning back in her chair, smoke hanging out of her mouth like, “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ sister, calm the fuck down. It’s been only eight days.”

Welcome to my crazy. Jump in, the water’s warm.

I’m happy to report I (mostly) listened to my left brain today. I’m just going to keep pluggin’ along. It also helps that I have a pretty sweet app that tracks my weight “trend” rather than just straight numbers. I love that I trust an app on my phone more than hard science. When I say it out loud I sound like an idiot.

House + Home

My cleaning ladies came today. HALLELUJAH.

I know there are some of you out there that think having a cleaning lady is ridiculous, especially my mother.

But, sorry, I am not sorry.

I have many justifications for this but these are my main ones.

  • I work hard. I want to spend my money on someone else to make my home a place me and my family want to be together. I have many hats and juggle many balls in the air most days and cleaning and tidying up is not one of them.

  • I am providing a job for someone. This is important to me, not only because I love a clean house, but because I know where my money is going. I am more than happy to give up a few material things per month in order to pay someone I know personally.

  • I suck at it. Isn’t one of the first rules of good business practice is to hire out the things you suck at so you can concentrate on the things you are good at? Why should my family be run any differently than a good business? In any case, these gals rock. They are local, professional and put up with the mess of me and my animals.

If you want a cleaning lady and think you can’t afford it, take a good look at the things you are affording. I had to cut some things out too. And, now that I’m not spending a bunch of money on wine, I can have them come twice a month.

If your reasonings are because your mother would roll her eyes, well, I deal with that too, but I can’t help you there. You’ll just have to figure out a way to not care.

Debt + Finances

I honestly didn’t have time to do my budget today. That’s not an excuse, I really didn’t have time. I will have time tomorrow, promise.

Parenthood + Relationships

Someone please help me. Fortnight. I just had a ten-minute, very emotional conversation with my nine-year-old son about this game. It started out as a very innocent suggestion (from him) that if he isn’t crabby in the morning for 30 days then we will let him play Fortnight. It then escalated in to a level five meltdown revealing the real reason: he’s feeling left out because all of his buddies are playing together and talking about it and he’s not.

Um, twist the knife in to my bleeding heart.

On one hand, I could totally give in, and I probably will because I don’t have the willpower to keep up with him; he’s relentless when he wants something (<chip off the old block). On the other, I hate to give in to the pressure of greener grass.

It’s a pickle. Check back with me on day 38.

Travel + Staycations

Part of my intention behind volunteering for the 5:00am shift is that I can go right to yoga after. It’s been too long since I have attended my favorite instructor’s class and today it felt like coming home.

As I lay there on my mat before class began, I thought about how the next 60 minutes were going to be all mine. My intention for the class (besides not looking at the clock) was to be grateful for every pose even if I didn’t look like how my warped mind thought it should.

I just wanted to enjoy the heat, my mat and my breath. A little hokey, I know but when it’s January and blowing 50 mph, you need to fake a vacation somehow.


>
Epiphany: a veseral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

Today’s epiphany is actually something I read out of her book, You’re a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero. How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.

I have actually listened to this book about 10 times (which is a total of 90+ hours) since July. It’s great, you should read it.

In one of the chapters she talks about how giving something up is actually easier than doing it. She uses smoking as an example, but I’ll use wine as mine.

So, when I give up drinking for 90 days, I actually don’t have to DO anything. I don’t have to go to the store, find the money to pay for it, get out a glass, pour it, drink it, then wash the glass and put it away.

I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and fight getting back to sleep. I don’t have pop ibuprofen like candy. I don’t have to sweat like a hog through my pajamas. And, that’s just the physical part.

My mind always went bonkers the day after an indulgent evening.

I felt guilty and ashamed that I couldn’t say no even though it went against all of the goals I was trying to reach. I felt like a failure and worried that I might have said or done something I shouldn’t have.

This would go on for a couple of days (or more recently, just a mere 6-7 hours) until I would just numb it out all over again. That’s another whole story for another day.

The thing I know for sure is that I haven’t had any of these feelings for a week. The work I am putting in now is next to nothing compared to the energy I was spending on navigating the muddy waters of my mind surrounding this topic.

How’s that for a dose of reality?

Health + Wellness

208.3

This is so lame.

However, this is where I would usually say fuck it. Actually, it probably would have been yesterday. But, since I’ve made the decision to stick to this for 90 days, I have no other choice but to see what happens tomorrow.

And before you get their undies in a bundle, I KNOW this is going to take time.

I know it’s just a number.

I know I should pay attention to how my clothes fit instead.

I work at a health club. I am surrounded by personal trainers, nutritionists and all around healthy people all day long. I know all the research and all the facts and all the science behind losing weight. I have researched it for decades.

But, this is actually what it FEELS like to do it and that’s all I am writing about here. The daily ups and downs, not knowing if what you are doing is actually working. It’s frustrating. And annoying. And discouraging.

Unfortunately, the scale is the best measure, besides taking body measurements everyday and ain’t nobody got time for that.

{Allow me a digression: If you’ve been struggling, or have struggled with weight loss in the past, you know what I am talking about. If you have never had to struggle with your weight, self-confidence or self-worth, first, good for you.

Secondly, do me a favor? If you see someone at the gym or in a class that looks confused or lost, have a little compassion and help them out. It took the motivation of a freight train to get in the car, walk through that front door and try to navigate a spot in an uncomfortable place. I’m not asking you to do anything, just asking that you to think about it.}

And, I’m smart enough to know that on Day 38, this is going to seem so dumb.

As I was whining to myself in the shower this morning, my Apple watch dings with a text from my sister. (I know it’s ridiculous how much I rely on this stupid thing.) She showered (no pun intended) me with compliments, as she usually does and I probably don’t tell her I appreciate them enough, and then mentioned something about a Whoosh effect.

Well, of course, I had to search everything I could find on the subject. Pinterest had an awful lot to say on this very thing.

Interestingly, most of the sites that have articles on it are Keto diet focused and while I’m not on a Keto diet I poked around.

It seems almost all of them give credit to Lyle McDonald for explaining the effect in a simple way. I’ll summarize, but you can read the article I found of his here.

Basically, the theory is that after fat cells had been emptied of stored triglyceride, they would temporarily refill with water allowing for no immediate change in size, body weight or appearance. Then, after some time, specific to each person’s body type, the water would get dropped and the fat cells would shrink making the number on the scale go down and a noticeable change in body composition.

So, I guess I’ll wait. After all, patience is just waiting with a good attitude.

On a brighter note, I think I had the best night’s sleep in almost a decade last night.

House + Home

My house is still clean. My 15 minutes were spent just doing dishes and putting one, yes one, load in the dryer. That load is now folded AND put away.

Who knew laundry could be so satisfying when there isn’t 17 loads to do?

Debt + Finances

So, I got to it today.

I spread out everything I had been ignoring from the last two months, organized it, went to the bank and got my budget down on paper. Tomorrow is for putting it all together.

Parenthood + Relationships

Today was my mother-in-law’s birthday.

We spent a couple of hours out to dinner with family and it was lovely. It was basically my first real social event where everyone would have expected me to have a beer. I didn’t. No one asked. And it was seriously no big deal on many levels.

But it wasn’t about me.

My mother-in-law is the bomb. I write about her here at her retirement, but she’s the same, if not better than she was then.

Travel + Staycations

I laid on that beautiful yoga mat breathing heavy and feeling my heart beat against my bones, sweat dripping down my temples.

The instructor chose to play sounds from an ocean scene during savasana; waves crashing, sea gulls chirping, wind blowing. It took me to a place where sheer curtains blew gracefully inward while I leaned against a balcony overlooking the beach.

It was a lovely daydream. It was so real it was disappointing when I finally heard the instructor say namaste.

Namaste right here, thanks.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

I can’t believe I am about to say this, mainly because I have believed the opposite for so very, very long, but not drinking is so much easier than drinking.

I definitely may come to regret those words in the next few weeks or months, but right now, that’s how I feel. For those of you that know me well, you’ll be surprised to hear this considering I have spent the better part of 20 years making drinking wine my part-time job.

But no one is more surprised than me.

I feel so good right now. I am doing things I only thought about and “wanted” to do forever. I am sleeping better, eating better, have more patience with everyone, accomplished more in the last week than I have in months and genuinely have a more optimistic view on what 2019 holds for me and my fam.

If you would have asked me a month ago I would have told you I was scared shitless of what the other side of 9 days would look like. One of my biggest fears is that I would be bored. Weird, I know. I’ll get in to some of my other fears around this again, but for today, I am just happy to be here.

On the other side of Day 9.

You jumped ahead to Day 38 didn’t you?

DOUBLE DIGITS.

That’s an accomplishment, eh?

Health + Wellness

208.3 Well, this is just funny.

But, alas, the opportunity for some perspective was presented to me while walking outside, in 19 degrees by the way, today.

If you haven’t gathered already, I have been ‘working’ on losing weight for quite some time.

Decades as a matter of fact.

I have more than a few daily planners with starting weights in them. In March, on another crusade, I started with the app Noom. Maybe you’ve seen it all over every social media outlet imaginable. Good marketing dollars spent this time of year for sure.

I actually loved it and it worked, for a while.

Since I started it up again this January, I was able to keep all of my historical data over 2018. While I was walking today, still annoyed with the number that was staring up at me from the scale this morning, I realized I had this data and I looked it up a few minutes ago.

233.0 on March 19th, 2018

Do you know how thrilled I would have been to see 208.3 on that scale then? Since March 2018 I have lost 24.7 lbs, only trying a little bit.

How’s that for a dose of perspective?

And, I bet there are people out there that only wish to be 233, just like I only wish to be X while someone who is already there is wishing to be x – 20 lbs, x – 50, and so on.

It’s all relative people.

How quickly we forget where we were and how far we’ve come. Progress is progress, no matter the time it takes. I’ll try to remember that tomorrow morning.

House + Home

Still clean if you can believe it. I am pumped to try a new Honey Mustard Chicken Salad recipe tonight. It’s the little things in life.

Update: I did make the salad and it was super good, however, I chose to use chicken thighs…DO NOT DO THIS. Stick with the safe, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But the dressing/marinade is delicious.

Debt + Finances

The only thing I can say here is that I saved $13 on a $60 bill at the grocery store today. Plus, I didn’t buy wine so add $21 to the savings. Yay me.

Parenthood + Relationships

After I got off the scale this morning, I voiced my frustration to my husband. He, of course, assured me that I will see results soon and I’m doing a good job, bless his heart. (I probably don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate his support.)

I made him get on the scale to make sure it wasn’t broken. I was convinced it was going to give him 208.3 too.

It didn’t.

I also received just about the nicest email from a dear friend. She has showered me with these notes before more than motivating me to keep going. I cried as I read it. I am so grateful to her for taking the time and energy to write it out. She certainly didn’t have to do it and I know she’s got a plate full too.

You know who you are; thank you for the time you took out of your day to tell me things I so badly needed to be reminded of. xoxo. It’s so hard to see yourself the way others see you. If we can all just get out of our head for one freakin’ minute, we can do anything.

Travel + Staycations

Let’s move on from staycations for a while and talk about real travel. A few days ago, on that cold, blistery January day, I texted Dale that I wanted to go on vacation for our anniversary, just the two of us. Since then I’ve been searching and talking to friends about where we should go.

Some ideas have been Napa Valley, maybe a mountain lodge and of course, somewhere warm and beachy.

But, for the past few years I have wanted to go to Hawaii and, of course, it’s always been too expensive, too far, too long to be away from home, work, kids, animals, etc. But, here’s the thing, we have 10 months to save money, prepare for childcare and line up our ducks at work. And life is too short not to go.

I think it’s time to throw out these excuses too.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

The epiphany for today has actually come and gone a few times over the last few years. I wrote a long article about it last fall and it holds truer today than it ever has.

It has to do with being ok with walking, not running.

It’s my baby brother’s birthday today. Thirty-six years ago that bouncing baby boy came in to this world, much to my older sister and my dismay, but, he has proven himself over the last three and half decades by making us laugh with his stories, antics and all-around jovial attitude.

The below video was taken one year ago just before my siblings and I boarded a cruise with my dad. It’s hilarious for many reasons.

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But also a little sad for me. I wasn’t in a good place last year at this time. All the more reason to rejoice where I am now.

Health + Wellness

207.9. Pop the top people!

I mean you should for me. I won’t but I will however, add a little fresh lime to my club soda tonight; a special treat.

I enjoyed the loveliest yoga class at noon today. On any other given Friday at noon I could be found having a glass or two of wine at lunch. For sure.

Not today.

House + Home

I had to do a once over again today as we are having our monthly card club here tonight, which basically means I did the dishes and ran the Roomba.

I’m exhausted.

Debt + Finances

You know what another advantage to not drinking is? I don’t have to go on a beer run. I wasn’t even asked. I assume it was a nice gesture so I didn’t have to walk in to a liquor store and be tempted and I’ll take every bit of that.

And, I didn’t have to pay for it.

Funny enough though, I actually have no desire so I would have been happy to go. (I’m taking a chance he won’t read this so he won’t send me next time.)

I have taken sabbaticals from the bubbly before. This time feels so different, I think because I made the decision for a whole 90 days. Maybe I’ll feel differently on a different day.

Maybe not.

Parenthood + Relationships

It’s card club night…our turn to host.

For those of you not in the Midwest, or more locally Wisconsin, I’ll explain what our card club does.

There are about 8-10 couples in our group with about 6-8 attending on any given month. We meet the second Saturday of each month at someone’s house where the host provides the main dish and others bring a dish to pass. We eat, a lot, then sit down for some traveling Euchre.

The night usually ends with many beer cans and half drank Captain and Cokes strewn about the hostess’s sink. It’s fun and hilarious and a perfect excuse to over indulge.

Will in be a challenge for me tonight? Yes. As a matter of fact it’s 4:43 pm right now and I can guarantee that a few months ago I would be a couple of glasses of wine in to take the edge off hosting a social gathering.

Not today. And I’m totally okay with it.

Travel + Staycations

I day dreamed on my yoga mat today about Hawaii. Stay tuned for more research and decision making.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

I ran in to a couple of gals today that I know on a surface, Facebook kind of level. They stopped me to tell me how much they loved my writing. It was hard for me to hear, as it has been when others have said it too.

I don’t love that. I wish accepting compliments came easy and didn’t make me feel squirmy. I have gotten better at merely saying, Thank You, but still it’s hard.

For everyone who has ever said anything to me about my talents, Thank You. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

And, if we can, let’s all try to see ourselves as cool as other people see us.

Before I left for a walk today, I had to download a new audio book. I have been listening to the same 3-4 for the last few months, so I thought it was about time to shake things up.

Since I planned to walk about 6 miles, I needed something to hold my attention for almost two hours. I stumbled upon May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein, downloaded it and headed out the door.

I am super picky about the authors I listen to; it sort of makes or breaks the book for me. But, right off the bat, I liked her.

In just the first few chapters, she had me hooked on believing in miracles as just a switch in perception from fear to love. (The more self-help books I read the more I am accepting that the word love is just going to become part of my vocabulary and I am going to have to stop rolling my eyes at it.)

I started thinking about all the things I was afraid (and am no longer) of before I made the decision to quit drinking for 90 days.

  • The judgement from my family, friends and people I don’t even care about.

  • How my relationships might change

  • How will I spend my time?

  • How will I function in social situations?

  • How will I cope with stress and my “feelings”?

This last one is a doozy. For a very long time I have used alcohol and/or food as a coping mechanism. It was so much easier to “check out” than to actually deal with the things I was struggling with. I couldn’t get myself to believe that things could actually be better than they were.

Little did I know then that the things I was struggling with were actually the things causing me the most stress and inner turmoil. And, all the things I was so afraid of were not real. How was I to know what could be on the other side of this massive change?

I had no faith, only fear.

Well, that, my friends is changing.

(Ironically, I wrote an article about exactly this about a year ago; Love or Fear. I had forgotten all about it.)

Body + Mind

209.4

So, I sort of knew this was coming today.

Like I said yesterday, we had card club last night. I slaved over stromboli for most of the afternoon only to have the freakin’ dogs swipe it off the counter and eat the whole f’n thing. Oh, man I was so pissed.

So, we had to order pizza. Plus, everyone brought a dish to pass, which judging by the spread, no one had started a diet at the turn of the new year. We had lots of laughs and played a ton of Euchre and I drank enough club soda with fresh lime from my Soda Stream to hydrate me for weeks.

I know my husband was moving just a little slower than normal this morning.

I was not and so grateful for that. Put one up in the W column for muah.

I want to mention here that I have had an unexplained dull headache on and off for the last three days. I’m not sure if I am getting sick or what. There really isn’t any explanation for it; possibly the caffeine withdrawal? But, still 12 days later? Since I haven’t had anything but plain water, herbal tea or club soda, pretty sure it’s not dehydration.

In any case, I think my body is still like, “what the fuck are you doing, man?”

House + Home

Another advantage to not drinking at card club was that I wasn’t so tired at the end of the night I actually cleaned up the whole kitchen (with the help of my bestie) and did all the dishes. This is very unlike the “old” me; I’d be the first one to shut the lights off and stumble up to bed.

It was like a present to myself to wake up to a clean kitchen. No stale beer smell or caked-on crusty dishes, no sticky cards or full garbage cans. Just a sparkly kitchen to drink my coffee in. Ahhh.

So much better.

Debt + Finances

Nothing to report here today.

Parenthood + Relationships

One of the things I was most nervous about was how people were going to react. I realize now there was really nothing to be nervous about.

Remember how I told you people don’t think about me as much as I think they do? It’s true. I’ve gotten a couple of questions, a couple of eye rolls, but all in all, nothing I couldn’t handle with a “yup”.

It also helps I have aired this out for all to read on the world wide web. Ha.

Yes, my social card isn’t as full these days, but interestingly enough, I’m totally okay with that. I have become much more content being with myself, which is new too.

Also, I realized that I was usuallly the one instigating a drinking sesh so it’s no surprise I don’t have people beating down my door. They never did before either.

Travel + Staycations

Good news! I read today that Southwest Airlines is going to start flying to Honolulu.

I think the Universe is telling me we should go to Hawaii.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

I am so grateful for this life.

There’s no doubt some of these posts sound real whiny and like these are real problems; I know most of them are made up in my mind and that there are others dealing with much more than I ever will. But the truth is, I am thankful for everything I have, even the struggles.

This isn’t really about a number on the scale or how many days I can go with or without something. It’s about being thankful for where ever I’m at and believing that whatever I want will present itself with precision timing and perfect delivery.

It’s called faith. And I’m all in.

Today I sort of wanted to quit writing about this.

Partly because I am sick of hearing all of my woe is me (maybe you are too) and partly because this is for sure where I give up.

Two weeks? Yah, that’s my quitting cue.

I don’t see the results I expect, I get tired of keeping a positive attitude and I usually have already cheated more than once making me feel like a failure.

And, two weekends was too hard.

Except, this time is different. Even though I feel like quitting, I’m not going to. I have made it my part-time job to read and listen to as many self-help books as I can and almost all of them have in common one thing for achieving success; tenacity.

I am almost certain that the million times I have tried to achieve a goal…any goal…I quit right before it starts getting good. So, you’re stuck with me for the duration.

Body + Mind

209.4

I can’t express to you how good I am sleeping. It’s like a whole new life at night.

Last night I must have slept so hard I had a dream that my late father-in-law was able to come back from heaven for an hour long visit. It was so bizarre, yet so real.

I don’t remember the last time I slept hard enough to have a dream and remember all the tiny details later.

I got myself out for a walk today and went to yoga this evening. I am still shocked as shit every time I get up and actually do something active with little to no effort or negotiation.

The intention was always there, just rarely acted upon and man could I argue my way out of just about anything . It’s just started to become part of my day.

Weird I know.

House + Home

There’s been a lot of talk about Marie Kondo lately, even turning her last name in to a verb. “I’m Kondo’ing my closet today.” I must admit I watched a half an episode of her new series on Netflix but I couldn’t get in to it. The one I watched the wife was a total bitch to her husband because it was easier for him to get rid of clothes than it was for her.

Jesus H. Christ. I mean, I get it. I am a clutter bug too, but if you have TV cameras in your house and you (probably) begged this woman to come help you, follow her directions and shut up.

She probably did, but I didn’t watch long enough to find out.

In any case, I do have the bug to declutter too, and shockingly, I have actually done the things that have been on my list for over a year.

I organized (and chucked all my nasty) pots and pans and cutting board/cookie sheet cabinet. I finished and put away the two loads of laundry that I worked on over the week. Way better than saving 11 for tomorrow.

Debt + Finances

I finished my February budget today. Way ahead of schedule. But, more importantly, I called Chase and had them send me a new credit card with a new number.

This sounds weird, but hear me out.

I have had my Amazon card number memorized for years. This makes it VERY accessible and VERY dangerous. More than once I have laid in bed after a bottle of wine and ordered something from Facebook ONLY because I could punch my number in with little to no effort.

You don’t want to know how many cowel neck sweatshirts from China I have, which if you can also admit you have done this, then you know the extra-large on Facebook is actually a child’s medium. Hence why they’ve been hanging in my closet. I can hardly get my eyelashes through the neck hole.

So, now if I want something I’ll have to get out of bed to find my credit card. Oh, the ways we trick ourselves. Whatever works right?

Parenthood + Relationships

Remember when I asked for some advice about Fortnight? Well, Dale and I told Miles that he would have to get 100 points in order to download it. We get to chose the points per chore.

Best. Idea. Ever. That kid will do anything we say.

Travel + Staycations

My staycation today was actually cooking. I made more chicken salad, homemade key lime Lara bars and tuna casserole.

I’m ready for the week!


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

Gratitude time. This time though, it’s for my body.

If I could write out the nasty things I have said to my body, we would all be crying. Guessing I’m not alone here either.

But here’s what I remembered today.

Our bodies are not separate from us. We can’t blame them for not cooperating or playing along if we are constantly putting them to shame. I have been guilty of this for a very long time. Luckily, it’s easy to turn it around. With gratitude.

So, here goes:

  • My legs work. I could walk to California if I wanted to.

  • I breathe. The more yoga I do the more I notice my breath on a daily basis. It’s amazing what just a deep breath can do to calm my nerves.

  • I see sunrises, hear the birds chirping and smell the roses. I can pick up my sleeping daughter and put her in to her own bed. (Damn those kids are like a sack of cement when they sleep.)

  • I can do a yogi squat to pee in the woods on a six mile walk. (Yes, I just had to do it yesterday, nature called. I was so proud I could squat low enough I didn’t pee on my ankles.)

  • I can receive a hug and more importantly, give one.

  • This body carried past term and birthed two beautiful, miraculous humans in to this world.

Our bodies do amazing things every single day that we take for granted. And, clearly none of these things depend on whether my thighs rub together or not. One of my favorite quotes of all time is: “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to remember this…I have a hand-painted sign hanging in my foyer with this exact quote on it.

Two weeks used to seem like forever, but now that I’m here, it’s really no big deal. The time does pass anyway.

I saw this quote today when I was looking for inspiration. It seems to have found me instead. I can agree with the first sentence, the rest we’ll have to see, but it feels like something just shifted today. I can’t really describe it, but it felt really good.

Body + Mind

Ah, my old friend. Welcome back…208.3

I felt like I could have conquered the world today. It was like the yoga instructor and I were on the same wavelength; everything she offered was exactly what my body needed.

I had a ton of energy when I got home (after waking up super tired) and banged out three hours of uninterrupted work time followed by a walk (it was impossible to turn down that face) with one of my (four) best furry friends, pictured below and then back to more work.

IMG_1090.jpeg

And…drum roll please…I loved every minute of it. I know…someone should check my temperature. The other three dogs were not happy I took Greta, but I decided that I’ll take one at a time for the next few weeks. Like children, they like one-on-one time too.

On a separate note, I am still waking up super tired even though I am sleeping magnificently. I’ll be curious to see if this changes in the coming weeks/months.

House + Home

All the laundry and dishes are done. I went through one closet and donated another bag of clothes and linens and put a few more items up for sale.

I recently had the chance to watch The Minimalists documentary on Netflix. If you are currently in the stages of chucking everything out and wishing you lived in a tiny house with no stuff like I am, this is a super great watch.

Debt + Finances

It’s my intention to pay more attention to what goes out, but more importantly, what money is coming in. One of my self-help junkie books suggested I write everything down that is coming in as income.

All of it.

Interestingly enough, every financial article, blog post and book I have ever read has me focusing on my expenses, not necessarily my income. Yes, I get the logic, however, this concept focuses on lack, not abundance. So, I’m going to try this for a few days and see what happens. Stay tuned. Maybe I’ll manifest the $50K I’ve been looking for.

Parenthood + Relationships

Not too long ago, I read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I also “suggested” (not so gently) that my husband read it too.

Game changer is all I can say.

If you are in a relationship, and we all are; parent/children, friendships, marriages, siblings, adult children, etc, you need to read this book. I am not getting paid to say this.

This thin, easy-read paperback book played a hand in saving my marriage. I digress. That’s a story for another day. The point of this shameless plug for Cooper has to do with what I did tonight. One of the ways my husband receives love (he’s not going to like that I am saying this) is to have help with things he hates doing, even if I hate it too.

But, I love him so there I was for three hours tonight painting the inside of our newly remodeled shed by his side. I possibly hate painting more than I hate cleaning out the litter box, but I shut my mouth and rolled.

He was grateful, which made me feel good, which then made him feel good. It was like a good old volley of gratitude. And, it wasn’t lost on me that a month or so ago I would have never offered to help; love language or not.

I would have been way too “busy” (read: drinking wine in the dining room scrolling Facebook.)

The things we do for love.

Travel + Staycations

We plan to take the kiddos down to Chicago this weekend to either the Shedd Aquarium or the Field Museum. Ask me when the last time I stepped foot in a museum was.


>
Epiphany: a visceral understanding of something you already know.
— Jen Sincero

I got nothin’ today. I am sure if I thought it about it long enough I could come up with something, but I have to get up at 4:15 am for work tomorrow so I’m out. Check back on Day 15…I’m sure I’ll have something very interesting to say. Ha ha.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
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The Struggle of High-Achieving Women

balancing success and everything else