A lesson in loss

It’s been a rough month.

A few weeks ago, my dad went to the doctor to treat a mild cough. An X-ray revealed a mass in his lung, and after multiple follow-ups, what we thought was a lingering virus is actually advanced lung cancer. We’ve gone from a pesky cough to hospice in a matter of weeks.

He’s a lifelong on-and-off smoker, but in that illogical way people have when faced with dire events, I never thought this would happen. The uncertainty of not knowing how long he’ll be with us has made for many ups and downs.

My relationship with my father (like most relationships) is complex, but I have always been able to count on his love and support. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to imagine what life will look like without him.

Dad has always encouraged my creative efforts — from singing, to writing terrible poetry, to karate lessons, to drawing and photography. He gave me my first film camera — his old Pentax ME — and his Time-Life photography books.

Dad is the one who knew I would be a web developer, long before “web developer” was a common profession. What I saw as a frivolous hobby of playing with code on the fledgling web, he saw as a potential career.

He introduced my brother and me to video games like Myst and Prince of Persia and Sim City, and I am strangely proud to say I’ve raided Molten Core alongside him.

My taste in music is questionable, but I like to think the few rock-solid influences — Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, to name a few — can be attributed to his good taste. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve singing folk songs with my family around the kitchen table while Dad played guitar.

Most poignant is how he and my mom have shown me what 37 years of commitment looks like — loving, respectful, imperfect friendship — something that’s framed all my relationships as an adult for the better.

When I was 11 or 12, I went through this phase where I clung to my father’s arm and called him “Daddy”. I’m not sure what it was about; a last-ditch effort to hang onto my own babyhood, I suppose. My dad was bemused by the extra attention, eventually I grew out of it, and that was that.

That girl is still part of me. She wants me to stomp my foot and selfishly declare that he is not allowed to die, that she is not done with him, that this is not fair.

But I’m 32, not 12, so writing this is as close to a tantrum as I’ll get.

The truth is that people die. All the time. Even my dad.

I suppose the last lesson a parent teaches a child is about loss. How to endure it, survive it, and live without.

I’m not ready to learn this one.



It’s a four-letter word in disguise, and I’m trying to remove it from my mental vocabulary. Its brother, shouldn’t, is also a culprit.

“I should take a walk.”

“I should do the dishes.”

“I should [be doing something other than what I’m doing right now.]”

When that annoying little voice in my head tells me whatever I’m doing isn’t good enough, it’s usually prefaced with a should or a shouldn’t. My therapist gets credit for noticing this pattern, but yesterday I decided to combat the shoulds with some cognitive redirection.

I’m going to reframe the situation when I encounter one of these words, taking a minute to think about what I need and/or want in that moment, rather than a knee-jerk reaction to my laundry list of obligations.

“I’ll feel energized if I take a walk.”

“I don’t feel like doing the dishes. They can wait.”

“Am I content right now?”

What I find most surprising is how much I have to correct myself during the course of a single day. The number of times I beat myself over the head with shoulds and shouldn’ts is kind of sad and astonishing — just think of all the mental energy I could save by not doing that.

winter, you are so…winter…

Winters are long, white, and cold up here in Northern Maine. I’m trying to look for the beauty rather than the ugly. Like how brilliant the stars are on a clear night, or how the world looks perfect with a fresh coat of snow. I just have to look past the fact that I’ll end up shoveling said snow eventually.

My folks have the right idea–they turned into snowbirds at the start of the new year and are traveling in warmer climes (you can even read about their adventures!) Our family has grown by two. Their dogs, Dillon and Coco, have temporarily adopted us. Atticus is happy to have regular playmates. He’s also thrilled to have mountains of snow to romp, dig, and roll in…the Husky is strong in that pup.

The kids spend a lot of time inside due to the weather, but we’re armed with Play-Doh, finger paints, baking, LEGOs, puzzle games, movies, and a ridiculous number of toys. They have an entire playroom to themselves, but you can guess how often they use it.

Ellie is making us proud with her reading skills, although now it’s harder to sneak stuff by her by spelling it out loud.

Gwen hangs out at home, and as a result, our family hasn’t been ill all winter. Usually by now I’d have had at least two stomach viruses and a cold, but so far (knock on wood) all I’ve come down with is a case of the sniffles that barely registered on my Radar of Sick. Even elementary school germs can’t compete with daycare germs. That alone has made this winter more tolerable than most.

I realized the other day that when Ellie was two and some months, I was already pregnant with Gwen. This is probably why I’m enjoying Gwen’s two-year-old-ness–life on the whole is more enjoyable when you’re not vomiting and/or exhausted! Who knew?

It occurs to me, as Gwen moves away from baby-dom and into full-fledged kid-dom, that we’re rapidly shedding the accoutrements of baby life. She gave up both her binky and diapers in January. Her crib has been retired to the basement. She’s talking more clearly and showing preferences, and her goofy, sweet-hearted personality is making itself known.

I admit, this is a transition I’m feeling great about. They were cute as babies, but now they’re cute and (more) independent! I’m getting the best of both worlds, with the occasional tantrum thrown in for good measure. I can handle that if it means I spend less time wiping other people’s butts.

As for me, I’m in the process of writing/editing my NaNoWriMo novel, and it’s taking for-ev-er because I keep finding ways to distract myself (like, say, writing this post). Meanwhile, I posted the first novel on its own site.

I’m also taking advantage of the indoor time to redesign all my sites that have fallen into a state of neglect over the last year, including this one. I’m using slightly modified versions of my recent theme designs, a process developers know as “dogfooding.” Dogfooding takes on a more literal meaning in this house.

I feel like I’m coming out of a rather uncomfortable phase that’s equal parts hormonal-sleep-deprived-mother-of-two-little-kids-craziness and late-twenty-something-problems and oh-my-god-we-moved-and-adopted-a-puppy-at-the-same-time-last-year-insanity.

In other words, things are finally starting to level out. So while the weather is still brutal and bitter cold, to the point where I have an actual physical craving for spring, I also feel pretty good about life right now. Maybe even great. Yeah, we’ll go with great.

my village


We’re in the middle of yet another snowstorm, and the only reason we have food today is because our nanny, E, offered to go grocery shopping for us before the storm hit.

Let that sink in for a moment–our nanny volunteered to take our two-year-old to the grocery store to do our shopping for us. She even made a special trip to Wal-Mart because the valentines I asked her to get for Ellie’s class were too expensive at the grocery store. And then she took Gwen to the candy store to pick out a few treats, just because.

Never mind all those trips to the library, the park, and the quality playtime she’s spent with both kids since we moved here.

It really got me thinking about how lucky we’ve been, not just with E (who is amazing) but with all the people who’ve treated our kids like family instead of charges. We may pay for the care, but you can’t buy the kind of relationship my girls have had with their various caregivers over the years, and for that, we’re incredibly fortunate.

Beyond that, we’re lucky to live with family who do things like mow the lawn and watch the dogs and act as back-up care for the kids (and just being here–sometimes it’s nice to know there’s another adult in the house!) We have a family friend who cleans for us once a week. And I’m personally grateful to have a husband who is an equal parent and does his fair share of juggling All The Things.

Then there’s my job, where I’m lucky enough to have the autonomy to work when I need to, the flexibility to work with my family’s schedule rather than around it, and to have the freedom to stay creative and genuinely love what I do.

A question I keep coming back to, specifically as it relates to work and life and having time for myself, is “How do I do it?”

It came up at dinner with some teammates in Charleston a few weeks ago. I was rambling on about my newly-acquired fanfic writing habit, and a co-worker asked the question.

I said something to the effect of, “My kids watch a lot of TV.” I was joking, of course (though my kids do watch too much TV, sigh), but I keep coming back to this question because people keep asking me–how do I do it? And I would like to be able to give a concrete answer.

So yesterday, when E was standing there with my kid on her hip, saying, “Hey, do you guys need anything at the store before the storm hits? I’m happy to do it, and it would keep Gwen occupied for a bit,” I realized a big part of the answer to that question is, “I have help!”

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we’re lucky to have a village plus some.

But this got me thinking about a tangentially related issue, which is about recognizing my strengths and admitting my weaknesses and accepting them for what they are. For me, “how do I do it” means giving up unrealistic ideas about the kind of person I “should” be, and not pitting her against the person I actually am. I am not a full-time, stay-at-home mom–why would I expect myself to act like one? Likewise, I can’t stay up ’til the wee hours writing and theming, because: kids!

It’s a constant struggle for balance that no amount of hired help can fix. If nothing else, I’ve learned that I can survive on a little less sleep and a little more coffee.

Maybe a lot more coffee…

2013 in review

2013 was rough–stressful in both good and bad ways, and looking back I’m floored at the amount of stuff our family has been through. There’s been travel, moving, new additions, injuries, and work–we’ve run the gamut, and I’m proud of all of us for making it through with relative good humor and patience. Hopefully 2014 will go a little easier on us.

A rough timeline of events:

  • A work trip to Hawaii in January made for a picture perfect start to the year
  • In April, we adopted Atticus. I had no idea one puppy could be so much work! But he is a sweetheart, and he’s calmed down quite a bit since we first brought him home. He likes to lay on my feet on the couch at night while I write or work.
  • In May, I traveled to Italy for work. Our team stayed in a rustic countryside villa in the hills outside of Florence, which was as amazing as it sounds.
  • We sold our condo in central Maine and moved north (the nearest Starbucks is in Canada, if that tells you how far north we are), back to my childhood home, to be closer to family. Easily one of the best decisions we could have made. The girls are thriving, and we’re loving all this space.
  • Gwen turned two in September, and boy, did she ever turn two. She owns her two-ness. She climbs, she runs, she’s maniacally happy and sad in one breath, she’s persistent and driven, and she wants to do everything by herself. Yep, definitely two.
  • Speaking of Gwen, we had that burn accident in September, which landed her in the hospital for three days and scared us all pretty badly. Thankfully everything turned out OK, we held it together, and she came out mostly unscathed. Though now she likes to tell everyone, “Mama spill hot coffee on my monkey shirt! Hurt. I cry.”
  • Another trip, this time to San Francisco and Santa Cruz for the Automattic company meetup.
  • We were without regular internet access until November, which made things difficult for working at home, but we managed. Got pretty familiar with the very few free wi-fi spots in town, and drank a lot of Tim Horton’s coffee.
  • I wrote not one but two novel-length pieces of X-Files fanfic, completing my first NaNoWriMo! Woohoo! I’m in the process of publishing the first novel here.
  • November also marked my second European trip of the year, this time to London, and I really want to go back; I feel like I could have spent weeks there.
  • I worked a lot. I may have spent more time in pajamas than is considered socially acceptable. I continue to marvel at how lucky I am to work with the people I do, and to get paid to do the stuff I do. From home. In my pajamas with the Ninja Turtles on them. Yeah. I love my job.
  • I struggled with depression, and it took a lot of time and convincing for me to acknowledge it, but with help from an SSRI and therapy, I’m ending the year from a happier, more balanced place.
  • Ellie turned five in December, which feels like a personal milestone for me. When she was a newborn, I remember thinking of five as some magical, mystical age in the distant future, and now it’s here, and I am so proud of my smart, funny, beautiful little girl. She drives me crazy, but I love her to pieces and I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.

Upcoming in 2014? More travel. Potty training (redux). More fanfic writing. Working. Family. And hopefully a happier, more positive outlook on the whole.

2012 in review

More of this deliciousness in 2013
More of this deliciousness in 2013

This year started out a bit rough, but ultimately turned into one of the best yet.

Some of my favorite things:

  • Watching my kids grow. Gwen is running away from babyhood so fast we can barely keep up, and Ellie has grown six inches in the two days it took me to write this. Even more exciting is watching their relationship unfold. Two kids definitely present more challenges, but seeing them play and laugh together makes it all worthwhile.
  • My new job. I felt a little weird leaving the university after so many years, but it was definitely time for a change, and I’ve found a second home at Automattic. It’s humbling, exciting, and some days I even think I kick ass a little (others, not so much, but you can’t win ’em all).
  • I’ve visited more new places in the last six months than I have in my entire life. Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Winnipeg, plus our family trip to New York… and there will be more in the coming months. As hard as it is to leave my family, travel is one of my favorite things.
  • Creatively, I’ve felt inspired and happy with the work I’ve produced, both in quantity and quality. Most of it was WordPress themes, but there’s been some illustration, too. I always feel happiest when I’m making things, no matter the medium. More of that in 2013, please!
  • It probably qualifies as one of my healthiest years to date, with particular focus on improving on and creating good habits. I floss daily, exercise frequently, and take my vitamins!
  • Celebrating five years of marriage, twelve years of general together-ness, and four years of parenthood with this fella.
  • I discovered the wonder and light that is coffee! This tweet pretty much sums it up.


Some challenges:

  • With a lot of new changes (even good ones!) comes stress, which for me translates to anxiety and minor dysphoria. Some of this is seasonal, though, and will probably pass by spring.
  • I’m still not where I want to be, health-wise, despite my progress. Not sure where to go from here, but I’m learning that the result is the process. More doing, less thinking about the doing. I’m starting up Health Month again in January, we’ll see where it leads.
  • Balancing work life and family life is more difficult without clear boundaries between office and home. We’ve made a few changes to cope with that — hiring someone to help clean the house every couple weeks (she’s a lifesaver!), instituting a no-work policy in the evening hours so we can focus on the kids — but I still feel like my attention is in a constant tug-of-war, which creates feelings of guilt on both sides. I can’t be everything to everyone, and I have to learn to accept good enough.

Park with papa

Some favorite photos:

[slickr-flickr set=”72157628996657277″ search=”sets” items=”49″]

So, what’s next in 2013? I’ve never been much for setting big goals — I don’t fare well under that pressure. But the new year has a number of things in store for us, and given last year’s challenges, I have a general idea of what I’d like to do differently.

  • We’re moving back to northern Maine, in an effort to stay closer to family, save money for travel, and get away from the “city.” This is a biggie, and I’ve been meaning to write about it more, but you know, *insert excuse here*
  • I’d like to take more time for books. I miss reading, and the kids are getting better at entertaining themselves (!) so I think I might be able to pick up the occasional book this year. I have a stack of stuff from Swaptree on the shelf of my bed’s headboard, plus a bunch of ebooks on my iPhone.
  • In an effort to balance myself and my life, I need to be better about living in the present, not trying to live in the future.
  • I’d love to start taking photos again, maybe?
  • In less than a month I’ll celebrate my 30th birthday. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about the big three-oh, but I think it’s going to be positive.

Happy new year, all!

the good life… with a little more nothing

Gwen!It’s still hard for me to believe, but a few weeks ago this little monkey turned one. She also started walking, and now she’s in college, working on an ambitious Furniture Climbing degree with a minor in Bumping One’s Head On Things. It is ridiculous how fast kids grow up these days, no? If this one doesn’t land us in the ER at least once before she’s two, we’ll be very lucky. Her favorite things are shoes, a toy bus, and a dancing stuffed bunny. She will eat almost anything, although she’s not as fond of fruits (except avocados, those are a big A+). She is as jolly and giggly as she is hot-tempered and stubborn — I did not know babies could have mood swings, but Gwen makes sure to have several each day. She can say “kitty” and “Ella” and “ny-ny” and “kick kick”, and when she grins, her dimples are magnificent.

Ellie!And what about this little girl? Well, she’s very precocious and full of thoughts — so many thoughts! She tells us she’s getting a computer for her birthday (I have no idea who put this idea in her head) and that she’s going to marry her little sister someday (hey, works for us — we’ll only have to pay for one wedding, and we already approve of her future spouse!) Her favorite Halloween costumes, in no particular order: Rapunzel (from Tangled), a zombie (her sister would accompany her as a sunflower, a la Plants vs. Zombies), a bird. She has the facial expressions and vocabulary of a thirteen-year-old, but with all the sweetness of a three-year-old. She is afraid of trains (but only the sound they make — she loves riding them) and thinks having a little sister is awesome, except for the part where she has to share her toys, but only sometimes. She is my cuddlebug, and I think four is going to suit her well.

The much dorkier monkey in the photos above has had a busy couple of months. Tim and I had the pleasure of spending a week in San Diego with our co-workers at the beginning of September, which was awesome and worthy of its own post, if I could ever find the time to write it. I’ve never been in a situation where I loved my job so much that I had to remind myself to stop working… and that’s where having children keeps me grounded, since they have this thing where they need to be regularly fed and bathed and snuggled.

AutumnFor the last few weeks we’ve tried to get out and about as much as possible. There’s a certain sense of urgency that sets in about this time — winter is coming, enjoy this while it lasts. Normally I find autumn inspiring and invigorating, but I’ve had a difficult time getting into it this year. S.A.D. may be the culprit; I have to soothe that panicky little bird in the back of my mind that tells me the cold will never end, that we’ll all be sick and miserable and stuck in the house FOREVER!

In an effort to pick myself up a bit, I got back on the exercise bandwagon. Well, I didn’t quite fall off the bandwagon this summer, but I was definitely dragged behind it for a while. I’ve been taking 2-3 mile walks in the evenings, and I’ve just recently discovered Just Dance 4, which will keep me company when it gets too cold to go outside.

So, that’s my life in a nutshell. I work, I enjoy our family, and I carve out time for myself when I can. What I struggle with is finding peace in the chaos. There’s always one more CSS bug, one more runny nose to be wiped, one more load of laundry, one more trip to plan and pack for, one more project to start. “Just one more thing” turns into “ALL THE THINGS” and at the end of the day I am exhausted and yet, full of experiences and life. But I wish I knew how to live in the moment, just… being. I’ve never been good at that — I get impatient in the time it takes to pour myself a glass of water, for pete’s sake (because there are SO MANY THINGS I COULD BE DOING in those ten precious seconds, right? Who has time to pour water?!?). I take long walks because I have a destination in mind, with no focus on the journey. In the interests of keeping my sanity, I think I need to spend some more time on… nothing. Yeah, that’s exactly what I need. A little more nothing.

i’m not crazy, i’m just a little unwell

I started composing a post about two months ago and never finished it. I kept coming back to update it, tacking on bits and pieces here and there, until I realized I’d built a schizophrenic Franken-post. So in an effort to condense this summer into something someone might actually read, I put Frankie out of his misery, and here’s an only-slightly-incoherent bulleted list:

  • I joined the ranks of Automattic in May.
  • Las Vegas trip was Las Vegasy!
  • Work. Work, work, work work worky work work.
  • “Vacation” to New York to visit extended family. (I put “vacation” in quotes because a twelve-hour road trip with two young children hardly qualifies, but it was a surprisingly good time nonetheless.)
  • Germany, Tim was in you! I was home with a sick baby and a three-year-old. Guess who had the better time.
  • Winnipeg, I was in you! You were fun and only slightly haunted. Also, my co-workers are brilliant.
  • The baby is finally sleeping through the night! In other fantastical news, unicorns are real, and if that wasn’t awesome enough, they poop Skittles! Life is AMAZING!
  • The baby is going to be 1 (ONE) next month. Life is horribly continuous, what with time and the going forward-ish-ness of it all! Make it stop!
  • Overuse of exclamation points? Don’t mind if I do!
  • Ellie graduated from pre-pre-school today. She’s going to pre-school. I am feeling pre-nostalgic and pre-grumpy about this whole babies-growing-up business.
  • Tim and I were married five years ago today. We’re celebrating in true parents-to-two fashion — he fell asleep on the couch at quarter to ten, I am writing this disjointed post. Oh yeah, it’s business time.
  • Themes. Themes, themes, and more themes.
  • We’re moving in the next year, but that’s a whole post in and of itself. Construction! Renovations! Secret mystery destination! Stay tuned!

general update, health and otherwise, february

My motto throughout February:  Balance.

This month has been really creative and productive, which is a nice change from pretty much all of last year.  Yay! I’ve spent a lot of time with my WordPress themes and my camera phone. I decided to get more involved with the WordPress Theme Review Team as a means of learning more about theme development, so I made it a personal goal to try to review at least one theme a week.  Then I picked up some freelance web development work. Then I was lucky enough to land a contract to design a premium theme for WordPress.com (!). Then I decided to build a whole new theme in one weekend, just for kicks.

One thing that makes me happy: That I have the ENERGY to even attempt a schedule like this on top of the usual daily life! But man, it does make it harder to stay physically active. I find myself saying it often: Why do all my favorite things–website design, photography, illustration, blogging–involve sitting at a computer? Oh, if only I could find sports enjoyable! But then I probably wouldn’t be fat in the first place, heh. I need to get a treadmill desk up in heah.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m still keeping up with Health Month and walking/exercising regularly. I’ve also started watching calories a little more closely–not being super strict, just more mindful of my choices. Fitbit is forever my favorite motivator–case in point: my two birthday presents were a Fitbit premium membership from my parents and a (pre-ordered) Aria scale from Tim.

I’m happy to report I’ve officially lost 21 lbs since starting this process back in October. The weight started coming off in earnest about three weeks ago, and every time I step on the scale I’m surprised to see a slightly lower number. I keep expecting to plateau any day now, but for now I’m really happy with the results.

And as part of my reward to myself for another 10 pounds gone, I think I’m going to get my hair done. Not my usual “just a quick trim, thanks” done but a nice haircut and (probably? maybe?) some color. Yes, some color. Because, while I don’t mind looking a bit older than my age thanks to all this premature gray…

That's not the light playing tricks... I really am rocking the gray at 29
That's not the light playing tricks... I'm rockin' it little old lady style

… it’s been this way for years and I’m getting a bit bored. I’m genuinely curious to know what I’d look like as a brunette again.

health update, january

January is always a challenging month for me, personally. I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to start the new year in January–I’m hardly up for tackling major resolutions in the dead of winter. Wait until spring, then I might feel inclined to change my life, but this month is only good for hibernation.

In any case, I knew last week would be a wash due to Tim’s trip–playing chauffer to the girls meant no walking to and from work, and obviously I didn’t count on having a stomach virus. It was not a good week for exercise. I lost just over 10 pounds thanks to the flu, 5.5 of which I’ve gained back in the last week. But hey, that’s still a net loss of about 5 pounds, bringing the grand to-date total to 16 pounds lost. I can’t say I see the difference, but I feel better.

It’s hard to stay motivated now that it’s colder outside but I manage. This week I tried walking to Gwen’s daycare in the evenings, about twice the distance I’d normally walk in one trip (roughly 1.5 miles), but it’s very cold and a little treacherous due to ice on the sidewalks. On the upside, I’ve found it’s easy for me to walk that far now–that wasn’t the case three months ago! When spring comes it will be the perfect walk to end my workday.

Other than that, I’ve moved a lot of my exercise time indoors due to single-digit or lower temps. Tim is jumping on the “get healthier” bandwagon with me, and we’ve started playing Wii Sports in the evenings (I walk or jog in place between turns). I have yet to convince him to try Just Dance, but someday, someday. 😉

I’m still playing Health Month with success–it appeals to the overachiever in me. Despite last week’s setback, I haven’t had much difficulty following my rules, so in February I plan on tackling 6 rules instead of 3. I worry that I’m upping the ante too much too soon, but then remind myself, what’s the worst that could happen? Plus I’ve built in a bit of flexibility such that I get a free day each week.

One of the things I’ve been pondering is my motivation for continuing this project in the long term… what about it will keep me going after this has become routine? When the weight stops coming off? Or when I suddenly just don’t feel like doing it? My biggest fear is falling off the bandwagon and not getting back on. It’s funny because I’m really enjoying this new routine and you’d think the enjoyment would be motivation enough, but it’s not that simple. I suppose it just goes to show, even enjoyable things require effort.

Part of this means looking at past experiences and examining what caused them to fail, so I can make this round “stick.” A few points come to mind…

  • In the past, one failure meant total failure. Broke the no candy rule? Eat the whole bag. Forgot to exercise one day? Stop exercising for the rest of the week. I can’t let myself get bogged down with slippery-slope thoughts.
  • I have a tendency to let my actions (or lack thereof) have an unhealthy impact on my self-esteem. How much I eat, what I eat, what I weigh and how I exercise has no bearing on my worth as a person…. except in my mind. A single failure does not mean I am a failure. It’s a necessary distinction if I’m going to be successful in the long term.
  • I’m easily discouraged by big goals and I often fail to take into account the smaller steps and time required to achieve more complex things. I didn’t have the patience for “big picture” thinking in my early 20’s, but now I’m starting to understand the value of making small, incremental changes over time.
  • I have a tendency to set myself up for failure by being too inflexible. For example, forcing myself to do one type of exercise for a set amount of time every day. This is something I’ve become better at in recent months–finding alternatives when the usual routine falls through or when I simply want a change of proverbial scenery. Allowing the occasional indulgence such that I don’t feel trapped or left wanting.
  • And finally, boredom. If my mind isn’t occupied or if there isn’t a short-term goal to be met, I’m less likely to enjoy something, and therefore much less likely to continue doing it. Ever since I got a phone this hasn’t been a problem–there’s always a game to play or a show to watch, right at my fingertips. I’m surrounded by tech–“boring” can no longer be an excuse.

I’m happy to say I’ve reached the point where this new lifestyle is not a huge physical challenge for me. I feel much stronger than when I started this process back in October, and it’s nice to see a noticeable improvement. At some point I’ll want to step it up, but for now I want to continue enjoying the experience without pushing it.

The real challenge is a mental one. Committing to my goals while at the same time accepting the occasional failure and moving past it (better yet, accepting that an indulgence is just that–a worthy indulgence, not a failure!) It’s hard. Getting past that annoying little voice in my head that says “I don’t wanna!” from the moment I get up until the time I go to bed. I suppose what I’m really trying to figure out is where that voice is coming from so I can shut her up… or at least get better at ignoring her.