Archive for do more

Life: Normal by 30

I just stumbled across this article on Refinery 29 titled ‘Weird Things That Start Happening In Your 20s And How To Deal’ or rather ’10 things that will seem normal by the time you’re 30′.

I’m a sucker and I clicked because I wanted to know, am I normal? Their list included things like:

  • Your friends start making more money than you.
  • You can’t sleep in anymore.
  • You will find yourself engrossed in food and health magazines.

I lol’d at a few of them because they are so true now that I’m on the cusp of 30, but #10 on their list shocked me. Not because I didn’t already know it was true, but because it validated all my feelings that I’ve had for the past 2 years.

10. Time starts going by much, much faster.
Even if your job drags and you keep having bad days, it’s somehow always the end of a weekend and your birthday seems to be just around the bend every single year. You’re busy now, doing grown-up things. You’re paying bills, doing laundry, cooking dinner that doesn’t originate in a box, catching up with friends you haven’t seen in months, planning getaway weekends by the beach, working your ass off, and putting in extra hours, making sure you still call your parents, making room for a love life; girl, you are furiously multitasking through life, and you might not even realize it. So, stop. Put that phone down. Your deadline can wait five more minutes. Find a quiet place where you can sit cross-legged. Grab a piece of notebook paper and write down 10 things that you love about life. Savor them, because they’ll pass you by if you let them.

Sometime in my 27th year of life, I had an epiphany (and a small meltdown) that every year was picking up speed. It was all flying by and while I was enjoying it, it was just happening too fast. I tried to rationalize why I was feeling it all now because every day was just as long as the one before, but I couldn’t and it drove me nuts. So I did what any over-achieving 27 year old would do. I came up with a motto and then tried to do everything I ever wanted to do. I tried to DO MORE. And just like that, 2011/2012 became my year of doing more. Feeling more. Loving more.

There were fun adventures like flying a plane…

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And visiting one of my best friends in Seattle…

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And falling in love all over again…

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Then 2013 rolled around and I didn’t just want to ‘do more’. I wanted to cross big goals off my list to challenge myself; so my motto went from DO MORE to ‘Never let your fear decide your fate’ and with that I set off on tackling some big adventures; namely traveling again, but more on that later.

Time still flies, especially when you’re having fun or making plans or some other old cliche that gets thrown in with getting older. So maybe I will take the time (and Refinery 29’s advice) and share 10 things I love about life, because why shouldn’t I? Isn’t that what this blog is for? And we all know how much I love a countdown!

I love…

  1. My relationship with my mom. It’s stronger than ever.
  2. That I’m finally figuring out what will make me professionally happy and working towards those goals.
  3. That my sisters are having babies and I get to be a part of those little lives.
  4. That I don’t give up on dreams, but understand they might change.
  5. That I have really supportive friends who I can text or call in a heart beat.
  6. That I’m crossing things off my yearly goal list and my big bucket list!
  7. That I’m writing again. Still keeping my Happiness Project going every day!
  8. My relationship with my BF. Best friend doesn’t even begin to describe it.
  9. That I’m reading more and that I get excited to talk about books with people, even if it is The Hunger Games or 50 Shades of Grey
  10. My dirty little secrets that make me unique (just like everyone else) and allow me to not take everything too seriously, because Kimye is a big deal to me!

So will I be normal by 30? I don’t know, but I guess finding out will be half the adventure.

The happiness project

It’s Tuesday, nothing new to report except that yesterday I embarked on a 5 year journey. No big deal.

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I’m sure you’ve seen it around and maybe even beat me to reading the book, but I was strolling around B&N yesterday and stumbled across The Happiness Project journal. I snatched it up right away and began my journey on January 14, 2013.

If you haven’t heard of this project before, it’s as simple as what it says on the cover. A few lines a day and that’s that. The scope of the entries may change a bit after I do read the book, but I couldn’t wait. I had to get started. My yearly goals have always been about making me a happier and healthier person, this year I’ll just have a daily documentary.

Anyone else doing The Happiness Project?

Weekend review: Sugarloaf Mountain

This past weekend was strangely warm for a January weekend, so I took full advantage and set out on a wee hike with some canine and hooman friends. We decided to check out Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland. It would probably be more accurately described as a large hill, but it was challenging enough with my recovering knee and my first week actually back into exercise.

The day’s fog burned off by noon and we started the day at the winery at the bottom of the hill, filling our bellies with foodies. Then we hit the trail. It was easy for the most part, with the exception of a rocky incline. I think my fitness level was more a challenge than any pressure put on my knee, but I gotta start somewhere, right? Right! Sophie, Zelda, and Frank were our furry friends and stick chasing was the activity du jour.

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From top to bottom, left to right:

  • Mossy rocks on the way to the top
  • Miss Sophie gets a water break at the top
  • Zelda sunning herself on a rock at the top
  • View from the very top, looking out over Maryland

Hiking isn’t one of those activities I think of when someone asks me what I like to do, but it’s definitely something I enjoy. With so many trails around the area, I think I’ll find myself hiking (and maybe even camping) a lot more in 2013!

2013: new year, new adventures

In case you hadn’t noticed, I recently updated my goals. I crossed off and deleted many 2012 goals leaving only 2 as still in progress:

  • Finish my dress (sew zipper & hem)
  • Take my dog training certification final exam

Both of these projects *should* be finished by the end of January, which gives me plenty of time to get started on my 2013 goals. The first goal is a little different than how I’ve done things in the past, but I’ve set it up to be something fun and rewarding – goal 1: go on an adventure at least once a month. Big, small, it doesn’t matter – as long as it’s fun! My recent trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway City was January’s adventure. We also made it out to Father Ted’s house…

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I’ve already decided I want to visit Luray Caverns in February, now I just need to plan the other 10 adventures which will be half the fun. I know it sounds like a lot, but my criteria for an adventure isn’t a big, expensive weekend away – it’s more about discovering and finally doing all the fun things I keep saying I’ll do.

My other 2013 goals are fairly simple, but they will keep me on course to continue to grow and learn. I decided to nix a few of the usual goals that I already do like DIY, crafts, and sewing simply because they aren’t challenges anymore. I do them on a regular basis. The goals below are meant to challenge me mentally and physically and I like where my 2013 is headed.

  • Run a race – any race, to prove to myself that my knee still works
  • Complete at least 1 new dog training course
  • Read 20 books
  • Attend 1 music festival

So there you have it, my 2013.

Weekend review: 3 week rewind

So much has happened since I was last able to post. The reason for my absence was due to a computer malfunction and for once it wasn’t user error! I’ve missed all the new years posts, resolutions, and my chance to really tell you about my last month of 2012, so I’ll just throw the best of the best from the last 3 weeks into this one. Enjoy the countdown:

5. Santacon NYC

BF and I finally made it up to one of the biggest Santa pub crawls on the east coast. It was chaos, but the best kind of chaos. Here we are in Times Square on the giant red steps.

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4. A very White House Christmas

One of my friends hooked me up with a holiday White House tour. There weren’t as many Bo-riffic things as last year, but I took a picture with every Bo I could. Here’s my fave Bo, all tangled in the lights 🙂

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3. Manchester girls

As promised (to myself), I made it back to England to see some very dear friends in Manchester.

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I also got to catch up with my sis and my wee nephew, Lewis. Isn’t he a ham?

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2. Manchester United vs. West Brom

Part of our trip to Manchester also included a Manchester United match. BF is a lifelong fan and soccer addict, so this was clearly a must. He was like a kid on Christmas the entire day.

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1. Road trip around Ireland

And last but not least, our road trip around Ireland. The main goal of the trip was to just see a bit more of the country. We settled on Cliffs of Moher and Galway as our 2 destinations (it was a whirlwind trip), but ended up stopping by Father Ted’s house and also attempted to see New Grange. Funnily enough, we arrived 30 minutes after the last tour.

Christmas (and New Year’s) was spectacular in Ireland and I loved spending it with BF’s family and friends, but the road trip was unforgettable. So many memories made.

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Listen: 2013 anthem

Looking back, 2012 had it’s ups but it also definitely had it’s downs. I know the year’s not over yet, but I can’t help looking to 2013 and the promise that it holds. I feel like a lot of days in 2012 were a battle. A battle to stay positive, to keep my chin up, and of course to always DO MORE! I’m really proud of myself for feeling like I came out on top because I think it could have easily gone the other way sometimes.

We can go ahead and insert all the cliches about what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or that I’m better off with the lessons learned. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate them. However, for me it’s more about appreciating the overwhelming feeling of goodness in the air (and I don’t just think that’s the holiday season). If anything, it’s recognizing and fully accepting the good for what it is, only because I’ve trudged through the bad.

I haven’t made any big 2013 plans or set any goals yet, but I think the overall theme will be this one: NEVER LET YOUR FEAR DECIDE YOUR FATE. Much like my Do more campaign of 2012, I hope to push myself further than I’ve ever gone before. Maybe even set out a big adventure, one that would likely scare me. So let’s just go ahead and celebrate 2012 for what it was and set ourselves up for an awesome year in 2013.

ps. if the world ends on 12/21, I’mma be pissed 🙂

2012 goals: [Make a dress] sneak peek

It’s November 1 and in case you’re keeping track, I have 3 major 2012 goals left on my list. I also have a few on my DC list, but they will likely carry over to 2013. I could potentially knock out the museums, but I’ve definitely missed my chance for orchard picking.

However, if when I complete the last 3 goals on my list, I will be very proud of myself and won’t feel as if I’ve failed in my 2012:do more campaign at all.

My dog certification is well on it’s way. I was a little held up by my ACL surgery, but I’m aiming to get back on track this weekend and I have my trip all booked to see not only the Manchester girls in December, but also my sis, her hubby, and my wee nephew, Lewis.

So really, that just leaves the big one…MAKE A DRESS. Which at this stage, I have absolutely no doubts it will be completed. I’ve been tipping away at it the past 2 weeks while my mom was here. I was confident I could do it on my own, but I also felt a little rusty so it really worked out that she was here to offer advice and to help out. I will admit she helped me with a lot of the pressing and cutting as it was hard with a bum leg, but I’ll definitely take credit that I made the dress, doing 85% of the work.

I still have a few finishing touches to do and need to finish putting in the zipper, but there’s no reason I can’t finish up the dress this weekend! Here is a sneak peek, just so you can be sure I’m well on my way! The color of the dress is in line with this season’s oranges and corals, but I have no doubt I’ll be wearing it proudly for many years to come.

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