Posts Tagged Goals

On Being Sick

“Without the bitterest cold that penetrates to the very bone, how can plum blossoms send forth their fragrance all over the universe?”
— Dogen, from How to be Sick

I’ve felt under the weather for about a month now and with that usually comes a pause in my running and blogging. Unfortunate, I know. So about that…

Sunday at Wayfare (my unbelievably loving, accepting, genuine, and amazing faith community), Roger directed the conversation to what we center our lives around. Most of us “Jesus-followers” claim to be (or at least desire to be) Christ-centered although that often isn’t the case. So he asked what our lives do center around. What shapes our views, values, beliefs, or daily lives? What directs and influences how we live? I was shocked to find that the first the that came to my mind was “being sick.”

Each day revolves around how I feel and what I can handle that day. Lately fatigue has been plaguing me like none other. I find the pain I experience is the main cause and only compounds the tiredness. I can get enough sleep at night  and come home to take a two hour nap. Each thing I do seems to wear me out and I barely have the energy to do the essentials. So each day I plan when I have time to sleep, or try to figure out if I will have the energy for school, homework, etc. Will I have a break in between things? Do I have snacks to keep me awake? Can I squeeze in a nap? I have a doctors appt next week to discuss these problems but in between I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much my illness determines how I live.

I just started reading Toni Bernhard’s book How to be Sick which I think is going to give me a fresh perspective on how to accept illness and live completely within the reality of my limitations.

I want to find satisfaction within my situation. This is difficult to do, especially when I’m still trying to find a “cure” – still going to PT, going to get blood levels of vitamins and thyroid/adrenal hormones checked, trying new diets, trying different vitamins and supplements, trying everything. But. Life wouldn’t be interesting without a challenge. So here I go, trying to learn “how to be sick.” Wish me luck! 🙂

…more to come…

What does your life center around? Through illness or difficult times how do you maintain quality living?

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B is for Badass

In this yucky in-betweenish kind of weather my motivation to run spirals down the drain and gets all chopped up in the disposal. I can’t wait to run some races this year and really want to push myself to go farther and faster. In order to get to that point, I’ve got to put in the hard work. I don’t like hard work. But, it’s one those annoying life realities. So I dug out this old pic from Head for the Cure last year to remind myself that the work is worth it. If nothing else, the work is worth that calf muscle. BAM! 🙂 It’s the little things, right?

I think I need to post this picture on my mirror or something to remind myself what a badass I can be when I set my mind to it. This picture was taken at one of the highest points in my life. This was my second 5K and my second time proving to myself that I could do something I never thought possible. Due to a mild case of asthma and the ever-present endo pain, I never thought I could be a runner and consistently told myself that for years. This is where I proved myself wrong. And it felt AWESOME.

I hope you don’t think I sound boastful or vain, because that’s not what I’m going for. What I AM going for is some of that all-important positive self talk. If I encourage and believe in myself, I can do anything and nothing will stop me. I think that’s pretty valuable.

So here’s to motivation and goals and encouraging ourselves to be awesome. May you dream big and, more importantly, believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dreams can become your reality.

“Decide what to be, and go be it,”
— the Avett Brothers

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Workin’ it on out

I got my booty in gear today and ran a couple miles.

Hollaaaaaaaaaa! Look at me, keepin’ up with my goals and priorities. 🙂

So you know how I’m too much of a wimp to run outside in the winter, right? Thus, I ran at the community center today… on a treadmill. I’ve walked on treadmills before, but never ran. I was always (justifiably) afraid that my uncoordinated self would lose focus and fall off the back of the dang thing. But I mustered up some courage & balance today and tried it out. It wasn’t that bad! It was actually kind of fun, but weird because the whole time I was thinking “I’m not going anywhere! I’m running and I’m seriously not going anywhere!” I felt like it was easier to zone out though because I could just focus my eyes on one point and run, run, run.

I should note that I’m not just running for the sake of working out. I have an ulterior motive. Rumor has it that exercise might be able to help out endometriosis. Who knows, but I’m willing to try anything. (This is the same reason I eat sardines or herring at least once a week… something about omega oils…) So, fingers crossed, and hey – we all have our reasons for trying to be healthy right? Seriously, I don’t know many people who are in relatively good health who work out or eat well just for the heck of it. (Except my husband – he loves vegetables. Crazy.) It seems like there’s always a reason. Endo is mine. What’s yours?

Alright, well, time to go work on another priority: STUDYING!

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Time to Do Stuff

Note about yesterday’s post: feeling much better about the whole thing… still a bit sad, but grateful for the experience and very much looking forward to continuing to serve the individuals on hospice and their families. Even though the work is bittersweet I feel this type of thing is exactly what I want to do and what I’m made to do which is a wonderful, satisfying feeling.

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So I’m finally figuring out what my schedule is like between the nursing program / work / volunteer activities. Now that I have an idea of what each day is like it’s time to attack my schedule with priorities, goals, and block out the time to accomplish them.

First up – priorities. My priorities for the semester include:

1. Be a kick-ass nursing student (i.e. get good grades [I have a passion for getting 4.0’s and that’s still a goal I have in the back of my mind but I don’t want to kill myself doing it], and perform well in clinicals)

2. Take care of my body

3. Maintain a great relationship with the hubs

4. Keep some semblance of order in the house.

5. Accomplish the above with enough heart and sanity left to give the rest fully to my volunteer efforts

That’s about it realistically and if I wanted to be reeeally realistic I’d probably cut down that list to 3 things. But I’ll roll with 5 for now.

Second – goals:

1. Dedicate a set amount of time each day to study for each class so I can stay on top of the material and not be cramming at the last minute (I know, this is a monumental goal)

2. Run or do yoga at least THREE times per week (NPR reminded me again today that to maintain health, prevent cancer, heart disease, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, we should all be working out for 2.5 hours a week. This is not a lot. But it feels like a TON.)

3. Set aside “fun” time to hang out with friends.

4. Keep my house clean

5. Eat healthy meals (I’ve been so busy that most of what I’m eating is coming out of the freezer lately, which is fine because I made [most of] the food myself so I know it’s healthy, but I need to be sure to supplement that with my fresh fruits and veggies)

6. Continue to use my planner (this is the only reason my life is kind of organized right now) and literally block out the time in it to do all of these things.

7. Actually follow what I write in the planner

8. Start making a t-shirt quilt

I’m going to stop at 8 goals because I don’t want to overwhelm myself. Anyway, I had to write this stuff down so I will actually accomplish it. I’m one of those people that needs a constant reminder of what is important to me and what I want to accomplish otherwise I get all scatter-brained and crap.

OK then, time to go do stuff!

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Balancing Act

Life is all about balance, right? At least that’s what I enjoy saying. But how good am I at actually balancing? Literally, not so well. Figuratively, even worse.

As part of my 30 x 5 challenge, I’ve begun practicing yoga. After only a few sessions, I’ve already fallen in love. Yoga is weird. I always thought so, and I still do after trying it. It’s a bunch of crazy looking poses, some of which are ridiculously hard to achieve. But (there’s always a ‘but’!), through all those oddly-named poses, those sometimes annoyingly slow transitions, those instructors that keep telling me to ‘focus on my breath’, I find peace.

source

It’s a practice that makes you slow down, forces you to still your mind. I (and probably 99% of America) can attest to the fact that I suck at slowing down and resting my heart and mind. As an anxious person I’m always thinking, often tense, easily stressed, and overly analytical. Practicing yoga makes me set that aside for a moment and breathe. Thinking of nothing but my breath and the pose and what I’m feeling. And it’s in that stillness where I can feel free.

Free to think (or not), meditate, and pray. It’s so hard for me to slow my mind down that I rarely feel in the mood to pray. Practicing yoga leaves me feeling still enough to draw close to God. Like that story about Elijah in the Old Testament, I find God is not in my hectic, crazy moments of life, but in the still ones. In a culture of busy-ness, I rarely take the time to find still moments. Incorporating yoga into my fitness regimen is helping me find more of those moments for which I’m so grateful.

If you’re wondering about my 30 x 5 progress, here’s the breakdown:

10/6 – 30 minute jog
10/7 – rest day!
10/8 – 40 minutes of yoga
10/9 – 70 minutes yoga workout
10/10 – 80 minute yoga
10/11 – rest day!
10/12 – Does walking around the mall with my mom count? Hope so! I’m not going to beat myself up for missing this day, I’m just going to borrow some minutes from the 10th to apply to this day. 🙂
10/13 – 75 minute vinyasa flow yoga session
10/14 – Two hour hike through the state park with Kris

Namaste, my friends!

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So far, so good!

6 days into November and my 30 x 5 challenge is still going strong! Is it easy? No. Do I always like it? Heck no! But does it make me feel fab and happy that I’m taking care of my body. YES! Here’s the breakdown of my workouts so far

Nov 1 – 30 min jog
Nov 2 – insane 1 hr 15 min spinning class
Nov 3 – 30 min walk (still sore from the spinning class!)
Nov 4 – rest day
Nov 5 – 40 min run/walk
Nov 6 – I haven’t gone yet today but plan on going for a run in honor of my pal Krista who’s running her first marathon in Indiana today!

Whew! With the weather cooling off and the crazy wind we’ve had lately, I’ve had about zero motivation to get outside and run like usual. I’m going to have to come up with some new winter workout plans because – let’s face it – I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather.

What motivates you to keep exercising when it gets cold?

In other news, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. I joined a book club and we’re currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Talk about a page turner – I can’t put the dang thing down! It is an expertly crafted mystery that keeps taking twists and turns I never would have expected. It’s dark, gripping, and suspenseful. It also distracts me from the reading I should be doing for school. Like this “light reading” number I picked up to help me write my final paper for my aging class:

Actually, I find the latter book just as fascinating but I’m not going to say it keeps me up till one in the morning flipping pages.

Anyway, that’s all I got for today folks. Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend and that the LSU tigers can whoop up on Alabama today. 🙂

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