mypostcardsfromhome


“Every job is done halfway. Then the other half is done.”

I just came across this post written by a fellow mom, Kathryn Thompson, and am feeling better about my own half-hearted attempts.

Sometimes my intentions just don’t reach fruition.

Some days I manage to cross a few items off of my To Do list; sometimes I’m super productive, but it seems like I don’t have enough hours in the day for my Want To Do list.  So many ideas and projects I’d like to work on, but I’m either out of time or out of energy (or both!!) once the kids are out the door or tucked in for the night.

Half Hearted Attempt

http://www.howdoesshe.com/in-defense-of-half-hearted-attempts/

The author says: “…people talk about doing a job halfway as being a negative thing. What gives? Every job is done halfway. Then the other half is done. And if you stop after the first half, that’s one half more than you would have completed if you’d never tried at all.”

Perhaps I’ll just set my sights on accomplishing half of what I want to do; odds are, once I start, I’ll finish!  Photo books?  Archiving kids’ art? Sewing projects? Train for a triathlon? So many options. . .

But first, I think I’ll go half-heartedly clean the kitchen and taste the blueberry scones I just made with my son.

blueberry scones

PS.  they are delicious!

 



Half full or half empty?

The age-old question of the glass being half full or half empty is sometimes used as an indicator of your views on life.  Are you an optimist?  A pessimist?

fish

Or perhaps you don’t care either way and are just happy to have the glass.

the glass

Since I became a mom, I found another glass metaphor – the one that measures my energy level.  I remember talking to a friend about parenting young kids and how demanding they are with constant questions, needs, and wants.  She replied ” your kids will drain you all day long; they suck the life out of you, so you have to make sure that you start each day with a full glass” (no, not of wine).  And then she forwarded me a link to a blog post about nurturing yourself while nurturing your child.

After reading this article I realized that, at times, I was too impatient with my kids and frustrated by the lack of time for myself.  I chose to leave my career in finance to stay home full-time with my kids, but I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be.  So this year, as I approach 40, I have made an effort to put myself back on the never-ending to-do list.  I decided that I needed to take some time every day to do something that is just for me.  Something that makes me happy.

I exercise.  I make a cup of tea (and try to drink it before it gets cold).  I treat myself to a great pedicure.  I read.  I savour a square of sea salt Lindt dark chocolate.

If I had more time,  I would sew, paint, make jewelry, garden, but until my youngest is in school all day, I will keep pinning great ideas on my Pinterest boards for future reference; even this makes me happy!

What do you do to fill your cup?

the glass



“9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier”

I came across this article on the subject of Happiness and thought it worth sharing:

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/9-daily-habits-that-will-make-you-happier.html?nav=pop

How many of these do you already do?

How many can you work into your daily routine with all of the competing demands in your life?

Happiness is

My personal favorite is “9. End each day with gratitude.”  How do you know if you’re happy unless you acknowledge all that you have already?  Every night I write in my calendar, 3 things that I’m grateful for and I find myself more grateful, more satisfied, and in the moment than I used to be.

But there is always room for improvement.

happiness-jpg-jpeg



It’s about time!

I’m a little behind on posting and have been getting some attitude about it.  Truth be told, I have 16 drafts started and a few that are almost ready to publish, but I’ve been busy.  I could name all sorts of reasons, but let’s just call it “life”. Time to get back on track.

My 39th birthday was in October; yes, it’s been four months, but a busy four months they were. This year, after my annual birthday resolutions were made,

Vision Board "39"

I also made a vision board to keep me focussed, but, I didn’t post my goals for all to see. If you’re new to my birthday resolutions, check out last year’s post: Happy Birthday To Me.

2013 Birthday Resolutions

To Do: a road bike event

To Have: a regular date night with my husband

To Be: clutter free

To Give: my undivided attention

To Learn:  how to use my digital camera settings

Happily, I can report that I’ve taken steps to help me achieve these goals.  We have interviewed new babysitters to watch the kids so my husband and I can  exercise and socialize together plus we have both registered for the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer in June. You can make a donation here: http://www.conquercancer.ca/site/TR/Events/Vancouver2013?px=3156646&pg=personal&fr_id=1441.

RCTO_Logo12_cmyk_horiz_print

To get more comfortable with my road bike, I am planning to do another Duathlon in March.  And to work toward being clutter free I am following a “declutter calendar” for the year which I stumbled upon  (http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm).

To give undivided attention is aimed at having more “quality” time with each of my kids and my husband as well as cutting back on multi-tasking.  Focus, focus, focus!  Which brings me to my camera; I haven’t yet made a formal plan here, but am confident I’ll get this one done, too!

Now, to check my 40 Before 40 list to see what other goals I can achieve this year!

Have any tips or advice you want to share?



Not only on Thanksgiving . . .

 

Since I started my gratitude journal last year, I have been more thankful.  More appreciative of the little things.  The smell of my sons’ hair when they come in from playing outside.  The lingering embrace at the end of a quick hug from my husband.  A perfect cup of tea.  A relaxing foot massage.  The simplicity of everyday routines.

But today is Thanksgiving (in Canada) AND my 39th birthday . . . I have much to be thankful for:

  • a husband who does more than most
  • two boys who inspire me to be better and do better
  • true friends who remember my birthday (without the help of Facebook)
  • old friends who are still there despite the passage of time
  • new friends that have come to me through my children
  • a family that has supported me whether they agreed with my decisions or not
  • grandparents that are still around to teach their great-grandchildren the joys of baking and the many uses of a magnifying glass
  • being able to stay home with my boys until I decide what to do next
As Edith Piaf croons and I prepare a traditional turkey dinner for my loved ones, I am savouring a glass of wine while my boys watch a movie and my husband takes a well-deserved nap.  Life is good.
Now to commit to my resolutions for 39 . . . to do, to have, to be, to give, to learn. . .

 



“An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities.”

My thought for today as quoted from my Yogi tea bag.  I love it!

As part of my Happiness Project, I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal, but I’ve fallen behind.  So today, I am picking up the pen again.  It’s great to be reminded of how lucky I am and to keep things in perspective when I’m facing a challenge!

It really is the little things.  A hug from my boys, tea made by my husband, ballet class . . .some days I have so many moments that I want to remember, I don’t even get to write them all down.  But I do spend the day trying to be mindful and appreciative.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m cheerful and perky all day – my kids still don’t listen to me when I ask them to stop bugging each other, there are still terrible drivers everywhere and petty annoyances, but focussing on the best of the day seems to make it easier to forget the rest.

Yesterday . . . my dishwasher.  I am lucky to be able to turn it on when I go out and come home to clean dishes – allowing me to spend time with my family instead!

Today . . .  I’m grateful for a much-needed morning shower and clean hair!

And you??



Duathlon Rookie

After “quitting” running last fall, I have taken up ballet following a 20 year hiatus and started Dailey Method classes to get my muscles toned, but I’ve been missing the cardio high I used to get from running.  The spinning classes I’d like to attend are so popular that I seldom manage to secure a spot so I dragged my old mountain bike out of storage.  I haven’t ridden my bike since my 5 1/2 year old was in my womb!  So I rode with the kids and felt good – keep in mind they’re not going far or fast so this is no indication of my physical fitness.

While dropping my bike off for a tune-up, I saw a flyer for a local triathlon/duathlon and stuck it in my purse.  A few days later, I found it again and asked my husband “how long do you think it would take me to bike 20km?”  I mapped out a 10km route and hopped on my bike; at a leisurely pace it took me about 30 minutes.  Good? Bad? I have no idea; I just know it didn’t hurt.  Knowing I could easily run 5km, I figured I’d challenge myself to this duathlon – the distances were reasonable:  5km run – 20km bike – 5km run.

I would casually mention the event to people and gauge its difficulty by their reaction and their level of physical fitness.  One friend said it’s very well-organized and I shouldn’t have any trouble at all.  A gal from my book club told me she did the triathlon at the same event and the cycle route is “uphill both ways” but again, encouraged me to go for it.  I looked to my husband for reassurance that I could do it and wasn’t crazy to try.

And then I signed up.

One week prior to race day.

I know better; you’re supposed to train for an athletic event or race.  I’ve run marathons, half-marathons and completed two sprint-tri’s.  But I haven’t done a duathlon before and, on a whim,  signed up a week before the event.  Obviously, this means I didn’t train enough, but . . . my goal was to finish.

At this point I decided I should at least get “slicks” put on instead of my knobby mountain bike tires.
I laid out what I thought would be appropriate attire, packed some transition gear (water bottle, towel, snacks and my jacket) and then forgot to pick up my race package.  “No problem” I thought to myself, “I’ll just pick it up on race day.”  My start time was 11am, so there would be plenty of time for me to get there, park, and get organized without rushing.

Except . . . I forgot about daylight savings time the night before so when I set out at 9:30 to head up to the race site, I was already running an hour behind!  With my adrenaline already pumping, I “warmed up” and rushed to the Start line.  After a few course rules were reviewed our race officially started.  The 5km run was easy,  an out-and-back that was scenic enough to keep me interested without any real hills.  I was on track to meet my goal of 30 minutes and got myself through the transition to my bike in a leisurely fashion.  I even changed my shoes so I could clip-in to my pedals – every bit counts, right?

The bike was a double loop of reasonably flat out and back.  I found myself relaxed in the saddle, enjoying the scenery, I counted 5 bald eagles overhead and then as I was passed by 2 people I had passed while running, realized, I should focus.  As I embarked on my second lap, I was a little envious of all the people on their road bikes.  They made it seem effortless whereas I could feel my suspension absorb just a little of every pedal.  Or perhaps, they had trained for this race?

Coming around the final loop to the water station, I spotted a kid that looked like my eldest, then my husband, and finally my little guy.  Is there anything better than being cheered on by your family?  I actually tear up when I see other families en route, even though they’re not there for me!  I was overjoyed.  Stopped my bike for some slobbery kisses and encouraging hugs and then pedaled  away to the transition zone to run the last 5km.  Which were a little harder.  Somehow there seemed to be more uphill.  But I finished without injury or tears.

Later that night, checking the race results, I was thrilled to see that I beat my goal time of “under 2 hours” by a couple of minutes. 27:50 – 1:00:48 – 29:06  for a total of 1:57:42.69

I didn’t finish last overall as I had feared I might, but I was slowest in my division.  Perhaps next time I’ll train.




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