Friday, February 28, 2014

Checking In - February!

My 5K team - the Dancing Sloths!
Another month has gone by, so let's see where I am with my five challenges for 2014.  To recap those challenge:

  1. To give myself some "soul calm," I decided to work "zone cleaning" into my housekeeping.  An ordered house is calmer and less "hair on fire!" for me.
  2. To further contribute to some "soul calm," I decided (with FryDaddy) to keep a stringent budget to lower our household debt.
  3. To strengthen my body, I decided to train to participate in a 5K race sometime this year.
  4. To improve my mind, I decided to read six "good books" that had slipped past me.
  5. Also to improve my mind, I decided to watch 24 "good movies" that had slipped past me.

Zone cleaning, while not quite a natural part of my everyday routine, is showing signs of having staying power.  Every week, a different room is the focus and I have a checklist of things to do to give that room, if not a true "deep clean," at least a mid-range clean.  I don't hit every item on every checklist (my wooden living room floor could really stand a cleaning instead of just a thorough sweeping), but it's better than it was. Further, I spent a chunk of this past month decluttering the attic.  The trick there is (of course) Babysteps.  One box at a time and one 15-minute session at a time.  I laughed and cried and pitched and tossed.  It's not totally done yet, but I have to say, I'm really pleased with how much I did manage to accomplish.  I even got some digital photos organized - another long-term goal.

The budget continues to be a challenge.  We're doing okay in that regard, but need to get serious, especially about eating out.  We do that too frequently and almost always wind up eating food that isn't good for us, because, you know - eating out.  We can do better and we both want to do better, so we WILL do better!  Having car repairs this month didn't help, either - but what can you do?  Neither of us has a car payment to make and with the commuter marriage, travel is a necessity, so repairs just have to be dealt with.

The 5K training - well, here's the fun part for this month!  I've continued to train three times a week and am now up to three 12-minute "jobble" (that's a cross between a jog and a wobble) sessions with very brief walking recovery sessions in between.  In the last week, that's started to add up to 5K territory, so it was time to Pick a Race.  I chose the April 12 Color Vibe and paid my money down, so this is going to happen!  I'm hoping to get drenched in color as I stagger around the course (my team of one is called the "Dancing Sloths," by the way) and I might even make one of those no-sew tutus.  I'm going to look ridiculous anyway, so I figure I may as well embrace it with a tiara and tutu!  Honestly, I've been so gratified by the level of support I've gotten from Facebook friends and real-life neighbors - it's heartwarming and I mean that.  Maybe this old-ish dog has a few tricks left.

The "good book" read - I just started my second "good book" (I read other stuff in between, you see) and selected Dumas' The Three Musketeers for this one.  So far, I'm just loving this!  It's so over the top and the language is so flowery - it's like literary curlicues!  We'll see if it maintains my attention for the next 400+ pages, but so far, so good!

And lastly, the "good movie" challenge - this month was Rent and Bad Day at Black Rock. (Not a double feature, by the way!)  I wrote about Black Rock on another blog earlier, so I won't say anything here.  I watched Rent during the mid-month snowstorm.  I'd had it on my shelf for quite a while (probably picked it up when the local Blockbuster closed) and I knew it vaguely follows the outline of Puccini's La Boheme, but that was about it.  I liked it and I'm sure that if I'd seen it in my early 20s, when I was living my version of the Bohemian life, I'd have swooned over it.  Now, I'm a bit more cynical and world-weary.  Still, it's hard not to be moved at "Seasons of Love" and I've been fortunate to have known an Angel-like character and I wept that he no longer walks this earth, for the planet was a better place with him on it.

So overall - not a bad month.  Work still remains to be done and there's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm liking how things are shaping up in 2014 so far!

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