Thursday, September 20, 2018

Checking Things Off of My 2018 "To Do" List

As you know, at the beginning of the year, I made several goals for myself. I'm glad you're helping me stay accountable!

1. Give back to my community by volunteering my time: I've been trying different volunteer opportunities: at my local nature preserve, the no kill animal shelter, random community events, Tampa Bay clean up with co-workers but nothing has really "stuck" or inspired me to continue with any of these so far. Have you had the same experience? Did you find something that you loved?

2. Travel! This year, I've had some staycations, traveled for work and for fun, so I think I'm good there. Recently, I checked two items off of my list with one trip. Friends and I celebrated our birthdays by hiking a 14er and just generally having a great time. Years ago, I told myself that I would "get out of this country" once a year. I haven't always met that goal and since purchasing a house, don't know if I'll meet that goal this year, but I still have time! One of my dearest friends just moved to England for a few years. My goal is to visit her by the summer of 2019...while I'm there, I might as well go to Paris...if someone twisted my arm, then maybe visit my friend in Switzerland, too. Side note...I was mentioning the people who I met when I worked a summer in Colorado. One of my friends from that summer and I re-connected via social media. She now lives in New Zealand. I've always wanted to visit that country and within the past week, New Zealand has come up at least 3 times. I think the universe it telling me to GO! I'd love to do some hiking there, and catching up with my friend would be icing on the cake! I've heard wonderful things about the avalanche trail - although, I'm not too fond of the name! Have any of you traveled to New Zealand? Do you have any must see places?

3. Go snorkeling at Egmont Key: I went, earlier this year, but it was too choppy and cold to snorkel. This goal is a primo reason to go back! The Gulf is having quite a horrible time with red tide - so many animals are dying...tortoises, fish and dolphins. :-( Hopefully, it will end soon & I can check this one off of my list.

4. Read one book per month: as far as reading one book per month...I knew that this was going to be difficult, but if I gave myself that challenge, I would definitely read more...which I have. So far, I've read:

"Bon Bons to Yoga Pants" by Katie Cross

This was a freebie with my amazon prime account, so I thought I'd give it a go. It was a quick and easy read. Although, it was a chick-lit (which I actually love every now and then) that was a bit too young for me, I did enjoy the writing style and humor. I would highly recommend it for a younger audience.

"Clean" by Alejandro Junger

Parts and pieces of this diet were good, but I don't know how sustainable. The book was ok. Mostly it pointed out that we have become creatures who value convenience over health and nutrition.

"The Code of the Extraordinary Mind" by Vishen Lakhiani

This book was recommended to me by my primary care physician...their group is ALWAYS giving me homework! It was a good reminder of little adjustments that you can make in your everyday life to achieve and surpass your goals.

"Deep and Simple" by Bo Lozoff

I just finished this book and will be reading it again. Yeah, it was that good. There are a lot of references to God and religion which would normally be a turn off for me, but in the context of the book, it doesn't bother's not "preachy." Although, I was raised Christian, now my beliefs are a bit different and I don't identify with any organized religion that I know of...anyway, this book provides different, powerful perspectives. It encourages the reader to embrace difficulties or road blocks, as they are placed in our way to teach lessons and/or catapult us to a higher level, to be more mindful and engaged in the most mundane of tasks or interactions. Deep and simple is much more essential and valuable than shallow and complex. I highly recommend this book!

"We're All Doing Time" by Bo Lozoff

I loved "Deep and Simple" so much, I wanted to read another book by Bo Lozoff. This book (I think) was really intended for incarcerated individuals, who are literally doing time. However, my view is that this book still provides insight and guidance on practicing kindness and breaking free from both mental and physical prisons. I'm not that far into the book. So, I'll get back to you on this!

"Girl Wash your Face" by Rachel Hollis
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

I received a 30 day trial of audible, so started listening to this book, by recommendation. In true attention deficit disorder fashion, I was switching between listening to this and reading "We're All Doing Time." This one was ok...towards the end of the book, I really couldn't wait for it to be over. Had I been reading it, I'm sure I never would have finished. Overall, I found that I didn't relate to much of the book. Also, the narrator plays a role in book likability, don't you think? Well, I do, now. The author is the narrator. It's her story. She's passionate about what she's learned about the lies that she has told herself...but it's HER story. She's had a lot of therapy to discover things about herself; how traumas have shaped coping mechanisms that are stifling. She tells herself all sorts of lies. Lies about being the perfect mother, having the perfect career, making excuses for others to make her feel better, how to be the perfect partner...all of these lies that are doing no good. My story is different, yours is different. She tends to sound preachy in some parts, which was off putting to me and the way she pronounces contractions began to grate on me. Didn't was "Did-ent." I know it's superficial, but it's like nails on a chalkboard. The more it grated on me, the more contractions she spoke. Some of the book is common sense, like giving yourself a break, goal setting, meditating and envisioning those goals, but still they are good reminders.

Almost 6 books in nine months isn't so bad, right? I also took a Law for Financial Professionals (yawn fest) class that sidelined my "reading for pleasure" for a few months. So, I'm happy with what I've accomplished with this goal!

5. Hike a 14er with friends - Check! I'm ready to do the next one. Luckily, I have friends who are ready to plan and hike another one with me. Maybe in New Zealand??!!!

6. Gratitude Jar! While I haven't been officially doing my gratitude jar, I do try to think of 2 things each day for which I am grateful. On my birthday, one friend asked me 3 things that I was grateful for this year and 3 things I was looking forward to in the upcoming year. I really liked thinking about it...I might make it a birthday tradition. :-)

7. Kayak more: My paddle board and I have become good friends. It's not exactly the same, but they're both manual powered vessels on the water, right? I think that qualifies, so I'm checking that off the list, too.

8. Always find time to play! I think I'm pretty good with this one. I'm still such a little kid. Those who know me well, can attest to this! :-)

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