Friday, January 10, 2014

Photo Fridays: Key West Sunrise I (2008)

Sunrise over Higgs Beach, Key West, Florida (2008)
I was up early for a charity 5K and I snapped this picture as I walked to the starting line. The camera was a point and click made by Fuji, that eventually died on me from overuse. There are times I really miss that camera.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Resolutions, Gold Stars and Shiny Objects

2014 has decided to come in with a bang, or shall I say a Polar Vortex? Being a transplant from Southern California I am not sure my body will ever get use to the normal cold that January in the Mid-Atlantic can offer. However this Polar Vortex thing is enough to make this girl rethink her geographical choices.

A New Year brings New Year’s Resolutions right? No, I hopped of the resolution express a long time ago. Why create more pressure in my life? I was already very accomplished at doing that without resolutions adding more.  Why set myself up for failure? So several years back I tweaked my thinking after being hard on myself for not sticking to my resolutions, and started focusing on goals I wanted to accomplish in the new year. At the end of the year I would check back to see what I goals I accomplished and those I had not, what I learned over the course of the year and set new goals for the upcoming year.

So let’s take a look back on my 2013 Goals:
1) Set personal bests (PBs) in two half marathons ( & )     
2) Hit the gym or run at least 3xs per week (√)                 
3) Take French classes (√)                                                       
4) Taking cooking classes to improve my culinary skills (√)
5) Travel to a place I have not been to (√)
6) Don’t be so hard on/Cut myself some slack (half √)
7) Buy a home (swing and a miss)

With the exception of 7 and well maybe 6… I can give myself half credit on 6. I checked off most of my goals for 2013. Gold Star!!!
What did 2013 teach me? It taught me how to shift my focus and find things that stretched my abilities and learn new skills that would enrich my personal life (French lessons, culinary classes, PBs and traveling) instead of focusing on just my career. 2013 also taught me, once again, to embrace serendipity that life throws at you. Something good will come of it whether it is an adventure, a new skill or new friends added to your life.

The one and half goals not accomplished are a little harder to explain. The purchase of a new home… well let’s just chalk that up to the year got away from me. The “Don’t be so hard on/cut  myself some slack” goal almost wound up in the not accomplished heap. I have the duo of bad habits of over scheduling myself and over estimating how much I can get done in a given time period. I do not factor in breathing room, so one mishap and my to-do list can easily derail. Instead of adjusting things I still try and do everything and when that fails, well cue the self-scolding. I was on the express train to self-scolding over holiday cards this past December.  But a moment of clarity and encouraging words from a few friends, just as I was about to beat myself for not planning ahead and getting my holiday cards created and mailed well before the holidays, helped me refocus. I took a deep breath logged on to the website where I create my cards and found the New Year’s templates that helped me achieve my goal of sending out cards to friends and family while buying me about two weeks more time to create them and send them out.  

What are the goals for 2014? well the goals and half not accomplished last year are at the top of the list.
1) Buy a home.
2) Continue to break the habit of being too tough on myself.
3) Continue my French lessons and cultivating my culinary skills.
4) Participate in 3 half marathons (two are already picked and I am registered).
5) Travel to a place I have not been before.
6) Be consistent in posting to this site.
7) Improve my photography skills (I will master manual mode!!!)

Check back in December and see what I can check off!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Quotable Monday: The First Quote That Stuck With Me.

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
e. e. cummings

4th grade was a rough year for me, a teacher wrote me a note to pick up my spirits and included this quote. It is probably one of the best gift of encouragement I have ever received.