Happy quote Friday everyone! Just a quickie from the Cathe Road Trip (we have a quieter day today, though we did kick it off with a wicked hahhhd spin class at the gym, things don’t get rolling till this afternoon though, officially) – today’s quote”

“The only failure is the failure to try”

This one grabbed me today because of how much I try to push, push, push to new levels with everything that I do – and in this case, with this weekend, this signifies my constant interest and pursuit of challenging myself physically (and also mentally) with the workouts and goals I set for myself. It’s something I’ve dedicated myself 10X over since getting divorced, it’s just something that I love and makes me feel alive.

This year already, I am proud of myself for not failing in the face of challenge – when Group Kick got frustrating, extremely hard, and tiring, I kept at it, and passed, when running becomes overwhelming as I try to up my pace to hit the 13.1 miles for the half marathon, I keep at it, and it will come…and when I wake up tired and don’t want to move, getting up and moving actually makes me feel better. And I try my best not to fail, because this is what runs through my veins, this is what I am passionate about and if I’m passionate about it…I won’t fail.

What are you passionate about? What do you keep at and not want to fail at?

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Enjoy your weekends everyone and of course I’ll share a recap of the weekend ahead. I’m going to drink it in and enjoy every.last.moment.

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A recent blog post from INRIS sparked today’s post – around long-term goals.

One of mine?

Let go of routine. Just a little bit.

Why is that so hard to do for me? I’ve written about this before (here and here), but more in the context of dating, and today, I’m focusing more on routine, generally, in my life. I have a lot of trouble with letting go of my routine – I am SO much more rigid than I really thought I was, but I absolutely am, and in a way, it impedes me from throwing caution to the wind and just doing something different.

And that could be as simple as aiming to be at work just “on time” and not early. For example, I get up at 5:15 am or so every day (sometimes a little earlier if I go to a class at my gym that starts at 5:15) and work out until 6:30 or 6:45 (or, if my class is at 6 am, I am done at 7 am), make myself a cup of coffee (my “pre-game” to my venti Starbucks on the way to work – oh yes, it’s the little joys in life!) and jump in the shower promptly at 7. I aim to be out of the house by 7:45 (preferably, 7:40) and get to work anytime between 8:15 and 8:30, typically, depending on traffic.

But I don’t need to be at work until 9.

So, why so early?

Sometimes, it’s easier to get there early, get myself settled, while it’s still quiet, check my email and blog comments (of course), but sometimes why not just shoot to get to work at 9? I simply cannot do it. I literally stress myself out if I leave past 8 am – even if I “try” to leave later.

It’s my routine and it balances me, in a sense, but in another, it keeps me too rigid sometimes and I want to free myself of that line of thinking just a little bit.

That’s just a simplistic example, but it begs a larger question for me – why is it so hard to let go of routine and be a little more spontaneous – and not so scheduled and well, uptight? I literally do the same thing every single day and I think it’s starting to add to my fear of becoming stagnant.

So, my goal in the next couple of months? Switch it up a little – leave for work at 8:30 (wow, that one’s gonna be tough!), go out “just because” on a Tuesday night (one of my good friends suggested that tonight, and granted, I’m beat, but I’m sure I would have perked up if we did go out), or skip a workout once in awhile and sleep in during the week (in my defense – my cats practically won’t allow it, and wake me up anyway, but this is one I know I need to “try” to accomplish). It doesn’t have to be so routine (especially during the week), the weather’s getting nicer (hopefully no more snow to worry about), the days are getting longer and I need to let go of routine and just do, act, have fun.

To some, routine is boring. To me, it’s ME, it’s organization, it’s what I know. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a whole other way of living life out there that’s a little less structured. So, I’m gonna give it a go…who’s with me? Any type A’ers in the house?!

A good friend of mine sent me a great “handbook” for 2010 and since I’ve been ruminating on ringing in the new year differently, better, stronger, wiser, and more “dangerously” (why not?!), I thought this would be a fun post for tonight (considering I am en route to Chicago today and won’t have time to blog on much else.

This is a great list – focusing on health (hugely important to me), personality, society, and life. I pulled out one of my favorites for the subject line, because it captures what I have aimed to do with the last year of my life (as tumultuous as it has felt at times). And now? I am at peace with the past, and feel content with the present. I think that’s such a good way to enter the year. I feel like I have a stronger mindset more than ever.

So, enjoy this list, and I hope you take something away from it yourself, perhaps, to work on in 2010….the year of “why not?” 🙂
HANDBOOK 2010

Health:
1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile..

Personality:
11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

Society:
25.    Call your family often.
26    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything..
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come..
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

2009 – wow, it’s officially over, and while I won’t say “good riddance” even though part of me wants to, I will say, I think 2010 is going to truly be the year of “me” – not the year of divorce, transition, and, to a certain extent, sadness.

2010 is going to be the year I really want to look back on and say I lived without abandon, I “lived like we’re dying” (a la Kris Allen – see lyrics here and audio below – it’s a goodie!!), I continued to grow, and turn over a new chapter in my life. On this quote Friday, I thought the following snippet from this song would totally fit:

Sometimes we fall down and can’t get back up
we’re hiding behind skin that’s too tough
how come we don’t say I love you enough
till it’s to late, it’s not too late

Yeah… gotta start
lookin at the hand of the time we’ve been given here
this is all we got and we gotta start pickin it
every second counts on a clock that’s tickin’
gotta live like we’re dying

Good words to live by, right? And, with that in mind, here are a few of my goals for this year (which I plan to revisit in December). I call them “goals,” since “resolutions” feels so finite.

  1. Continue being uncomfortable. What I mean by this is – STAY out of my comfort zone, and stretch myself. I’m doing this right now with Group Kick, and I know that will play into this goal in 2010 as well, but I find that one of the only ways that I will grow is to BE uncomfortable in what I am doing, as it forces me to grow and build strength and confidence. Whether that be shifting some of my career goals, taking on more training certifications, or something beyond that, this IS my top goal for 2010.
  2. Go on vacation alone. Okay, so this is a bit of a toughie and I may “stretch” this one a bit, but I want to take a trip by myself. I’m already planning to go visit BDF this winter and/or spring, but that isn’t quite “alone” beyond the traveling to and from part. I think it would be awesome to go up to Maine at the lake house and just BE. Read a book, lay by the lake, go jetskiing. Alone. My grandparents will be around, but being alone up there, for the most part, could be a very eye-opening and amazing experience.
  3. Buy my blog domain and make this blog ME! I’ve mentioned this before, but I really want to expand my blog’s capabilities, get it out of wordpress (the free templates are okay, but I want it to scream me!) and make it unbelievable.
  4. Find love again. This one is a toughie, because it may not happen, and I am going into 2010 with set expectations that it may or may not happen, and I am okay with that, either way. I’m writing this down to remind myself to BE OKAY WITH THAT. We’ll see what happens. I’m just going to let it flow.
  5. Run a half marathon. Yup, you read that right. I want to run a half marathon in 2010. I’ve pushed myself a lot this year, fitness-wise, and have really LOVED every minute of it. I’ve run farther than ever during a race (5 miles) and solo (6 miles), I’ve becoming a spinning addict, I’ve had a love affair with STS, and Group Kick (as noted above!) is sure to kick my ass, in a good way. Running a half marathon will be a huge feat if I can do it. Next September, here I come!

So, there you have it. Some of my goals for 2010 – what do you think? I’m excited, I think this year is going to be amazing, and I’m ready to breathe it all in. Ready, set, go!!

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On another note, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading some of my fellow bloggers’ takes on 2009 and 2010. A few goodies:

  1. Diary of a Divorced Guy: PHENOMENAL read – he comments on a letter to himself (from 2008) – the changes are amazing.
  2. Big Mama: a simple, yet powerful read, including a great story about God. Give it a look.
  3. Big Little Wolf’s Daily Plate of Crazy: she takes a look at the past decade, hers, and more holistically. Fresh, honest, and hopeful.
  4. This is Why I Date: Because she is one of my favorite “real life” friends (AND BSF!), her post makes me SO proud of her. She came a long way this year vs. last and I have a feeling 2010 will also be “her” year – LYLAS! 😉

After this week’s decision and the mass of up and down emotions over what to do with the house, I thought the following quote from Joel Osteen that I pulled from Twitter was very fitting for this quote Friday:

“God would not have put a dream in your heart if He had not already equipped you with what you need.”

I see the use of the word “dream” here to mean a few things – aspirations (traditional use of the word dream, IMHO), but also trials and tribulations (obstacles to overcome). I feel like this week was really trying for me and somewhat of a test of my faith and I really had to dig deep to think about what I wanted to do about the house, and what was best for ME – not US, but ME personally. I am realizing now that all too often, I put Pete or US before ME in our relationship – intentionally or not, I didn’t ever put myself first, and I think there needs to be a balance there, and I am finding that now more and more. It’s amazing. So, I do truly believe that God doesn’t place goals or dreams or even obstacles to overcome within us, if we aren’t capable of overcoming or reaching that dream or obstacle.

With that – happy Friday all – and cheers to a fantastic weekend ahead.