Saturday, January 26, 2013

You Want Happy? Here's 45 Things...

I keep many lists in my Filofax, but one list in particular holds a special place, front and center.  It's a list of 45 Things To Make You Happy Right Now.

I discovered it on the Lifehack blog.  Have you guys been there?  You really should.  It has crazy good information about, well, how to hack your life.  I visit there almost every day.

Anyway, I was drawn to this particular list, so I printed it out and slid it into the promenent top-loading clear pocket at the front of my Filofax, so I am reminded about it every day.

A few of the things on the list I have done, like taking a power nap (ok, I've probably done that one a dozen times or more -- I heart naps), buying someone lunch, and drawing a picture.  I hope to get through them all before the end of the year, but I'm not making that a goal and I won't beat myself up if that doesn't happen.  That would take the "happy" out of it for me!

So here's the list.  You can also find it here in its glory at the Lifehack blog.  Really, you should go there right after you read this list.  You won't be disappointed.

  1. Take a power nap (20 minutes).
  2. Leave a generous tip at a restaurant.
  3. Become a vegetarian/vegan.
  4. Get rid of 3 things you never use.
  5. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for.
  6. Don’t use Facebook for the rest of the day.
  7. Stop watching/reading the news for a week.
  8. Buy a new album on iTunes.
  9. Write a journal entry.
  10. Meditate.
  11. Go to the local coffee shop and talk to the barista.
  12. Sign up for a fitness class.
  13. Set a fitness goal.
  14. Watch a romantic comedy.
  15. Grab a book at the library.
  16. Join a book club.
  17. Take a deep breath.
  18. Clean your bathroom. Just do it. There are surprising benefits to a clean space.
  19. Sit on a park bench.
  20. Talk to the stranger next to you.
  21. Send someone a card “just because”.
  22. Go for a walk.
  23. Buy a plane ticket…to anywhere.
  24. Call a friend.
  25. Email a friend.
  26. Set a goal and get super-motivated.
  27. Stop being busy. Start being productive. Ask yourself: “Is my work producing direct results?”
  28. Cancel everything on your schedule that you’re not excited to do.
  29. Hell, just cancel everything on your schedule.
  30. Hide your credit card.
  31. Start your life list.
  32. Clean-up your desktop. Use Alfred to find things on your computer. It’ll change your life!
  33. Watch a TED talk.
  34. Go for a bike ride.
  35. Turn off the computer for the rest of the day.
  36. Smile.
  37. Buy someone lunch.
  38. Make a list of every kick ass thing you’ve already done in your life.
  39. Draw a picture
  40. Make a decision to stop doing what’s making you unhappy.
  41. Make a list of things you want to do before your next birthday.
  42. Drink some water.
  43. Take a picture of something beautiful.
  44. Read Zen Habits.
  45. Stop reading this. Get off your butt and do something. NOW.
Is there something that makes you happy that is not on this list?  Please share it in the comments below! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Review of My Week #3

Hi there!

So I set out this year to share "A Week in My Filofax," where I share a photo of my week on two pages from my Filofax.

Well, last week I ran into a challenge.

I switched to 2-page-per-day pages.  (You can watch a YouTube video here of my planner setup.  Yes, I'm on YouTube!  You can see all my videos here.  Totally out of my comfort zone, but I'm going to give it a go and see what happens.)

So I don't think it would be very interesting to share seven photographs of each day.  Because, quite frankly, my pages have become less art and more utilitarian, as can be seen in the photo of Wednesday, January 16, below.

(My apologies for the poor photo quality.  I'm working really hard to improve my photography skills!)

I'm not doing much artwork in my planner now, which is a little bit sad, and may change.  But I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to use my planner to the fullest to help me achieve the goals I've set for the year.  That doesn't leave much room (or time) for stickers or drawings.  Don't worry, I'll work hard to fit that in too going forward.

I do have a bit of doodling to share with you, which occurred on Thursday, January 17.

(My apologies again for the poor photo quality.)

We actually had a dusting of snow!  I was beside myself.  We only got a dusting, and although I'm still praying for the 20-inch snow like we got in January 2000, I'm happy with what we do get.

So, I do want to continue with a recap of my week.  Here we go.

  • Monday:  Big temporary project started at work.  Should last for the next three weeks or so.  Not that hard for me to manage, but I was instrumental in setting it up, so I'm proud of that.  I also worked out at the YMCA, doing a weight routine for my lower body.  I'm especially proud of that because I hate exercise.  (No offense to exercise.)  But since my gastric bypass surgery, I've reached a plateau in my weight loss, and at this point exercise is the only thing that will help me to reach my goal.
  • Tuesday:  Nothing of significance to report.  My exercise yesterday (I am assuming) helped to stir up a health-related flare up that made me quite miserable, so I didn't get to do my upper body workout.  Not cool.
  • Wednesday:  Very busy day at work (related to the big temporary project that started on Monday).  Also, a WINTER STORM WATCH was issued for Central NC for tomorrow night.  You know I had a hard time containing my excitement.  Also looking into Yin Yoga.  A blogger friend of mine is doing it, and I think it fits right it with my "personal well being" goal that I have.
  • Thursday:  WE HAD SNOW!  It was only a dusting, but that didn't matter to me, or to our two daughters.  They were outside with their winter coats at 9:00PM as the snow fell (and didn't stick) because they "wanted to experience the snow."  They are definitely girls after my own heart.  Aside from that, I spent the day home from work because of the health-related flare up that occurred on Tuesday.  Not cool.
  • Friday:  Nothing really of significance.  Just a regular old day.
  • Saturday:  We were going to take a friend out for dinner for his birthday, but he was under the weather so we rescheduled.  John and I still went out.  It was lovely, and I really enjoyed spending time with him (outside of our home where electronics are a huge distraction!).  We spent a lot of money, but were really not happy with the food.  The restaurant was lovely, and we'd go there again for cocktails and appetizers, but not again for a meal.  
  • Sunday:  This was an uber productive day for me.  John went with his friend to watch football, and the girls were at their mother's, so I had the whole house to myself.  I got a lot done and am proud of that.  (Although a part of me was disappointed that I didn't get *everything* done.  I think I schedule too many things for myself sometimes.)
So that's basically it for my week.  I hope you guys had a good week, and have a good week to come.  I'll see you again in a couple of days.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gastric Bypass -- Why I Did It


So this is not something I'm used to talking about publicly.  But if it helps others, I'm all for it.

I had gastric bypass surgery in 2012.

Ok, I said it.

I don't know why I'm so afraid to tell people.  I mean, they can definitely tell that I'm losing weight at a rapid pace.

I decided to have gastric bypass surgery because I was over 100 lbs. over my goal weight, and diet and exercise didn't seem to be cutting it.  I was starting to have health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol; and overall was having trouble functioning.

My brother had gastric bypass surgery, and lost over 100 lbs. without incident   My husband had gastric bypass surgery, and lost over 60 lbs. without incident.  They both had amazing results and little to no problems.  I was encouraged by this.  After looking into it further, I decided to take the plunge.

I did not take the decision lightly.  I am scared to death of health procedures, and had never spent a day in the hospital in my life.  But I knew if I didn't do something quickly, I would live a much shorter life than I intended.

So I bit the bullet.  I signed up for my first "orientation" class to see if this was really right for me.

The rest is history.  I will share more about my experience with the procedure, and how things have turned out.  (Spoiler:  I have lost 53 lbs. so far and feel better than I have in years.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

After-Holiday Blues

Does this happen to anyone else?  Do you get the after-holiday-blues?

This is the time of year when the blues usually set in for me.  Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is over, and New Years is over.  Our family Second Christmas, when my entire family gets together to celebrate Christmas, is usually held at or around the Epiphany.  And that's what truly marks the end of the holiday season for me.  Now that's over, too.

I love the holiday season SO MUCH.  It just holds so many good memories for me.  Aside from the pumpkin pie and twinkly lights and colorful packages under the tree, it's a time for family, and being grateful for them, and everything I have.  It's a time for baking, and decorating, and planning that only comes once a year.

And when it's all over, I get sad.

This is usually when I start to wish for snow.  I need something to look forward to, something to hold on to.  But that usually ends up being a disappointment.  Central North Carolina is not especially known for its snowy winters.  But I'm trying to change that by PRAYING REALLY HARD.  :)

The thing is, seasons are supposed to be...seasonal.  The holiday season wouldn't be so special and memorable if it happened all year long.  So while I'm sad to see it go, I know that another one is just around the corner.  (Somehow the older I get, the faster time flies!)  And I'm looking forward to the end of September -- when the Halloween decorations start to appear in the stores.  Then I'll know that Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't too far behind.  And the cycle will begin again.

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Filofax Week #1

Hi all!  I'm following along with Paper Lovestory and all of the other awesome Filofax bloggers and YouTubers who are sharing their Filofax weeks.  I've been playing along for a few weeks now on Twitter, but I think it would be fun to blog about it too.  This will give me a good start to getting this blog up and running again, which is one of my goals for 2013.

So, let me introduce you to Week #1 in my Filofax!

(Pardon the shadows.  My photography skills are a bit lacking.)

  1. The first thing you'll notice is the two different types of calendar paper.  I ended the year with the Filofax week on two pages, which came with my Raspberry Chameleon Personal when I purchased her earlier this year.  I'm starting the new year using the Day-Timer Flavia week on two pages.  I don't know if I'm going to stick with that, though.  I'll post more about that later.
  2. The week started with me being sick for New Year's Eve.  We had dinner reservations with a friend that evening, so I managed to go to that and we had a wonderful dinner and a really nice time people-watching.
  3. New Year's Day was a holiday from work and was spent at home relaxing.  
  4. Our family joined the YMCA, and we visited on Wednesday so the girls could have their orientation for middle-school-aged kids.  While they were doing that, I managed to get in 45 minutes on the stationary bike.  Woot.
  5. Thursday I went to the Y for my orientation.  I wanted to get to know all of the machines, as well as which ones are best for me and my goals.  That hour-long orientation turned into two hours because the trainer was so thorough in explaining.  It was great.
  6. Friday night John and I went out for some karaoke fun, and were surprised by our friends who recently moved out of state.  They were in town and we didn't know it.  They saw on John's Facebook page that we were going out, and decided to join us.  It was great to see them and we had a lot of fun!
  7. Saturday I got to use a portion of my anniversary gift from John -- a visit to a wonderful spa for a Swedish massage.  It was my first massage ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  And what made the experience even better was I took my good friend with me to treat her to a massage for her birthday.  
  8. Sunday was our annual family Second Christmas, hosted by my sister and her family.  It's always so good to see family from out of town.  Our Crazy Santa gift exchange is always a hoot.
So that's about it.  This week we get back to business.  The holidays are over and life returns to normal.  (Sad face.)