Very Best Self: Weeks 4 and 4.5

Well, we did it. We’ve come to the end of our Very Best Self experiment/challenge – are you a new and improved person like I am?

woman stands on mountain over field under cloudy sky at sunrise
Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!  (^^^Obviously not me.)

Okay, actually last week went really well. I figured out that if I get up and get in the shower first thing, then, while my hair is air drying, I have time to do a 5-20 minute workout. I got up early and worked out 4 days last week!! These are not intense workouts – they are low impact – but they are challenging enough that I felt a little soreness in my muscles and I didn’t get sweaty so I didn’t feel like taking a shower first was a waste of time.  It was a nice feeling to know that I did at least some form of exercise in the morning, and one morning I even had time to fit in a short meditation.

This week however, has been a different story. I have been so tired all week and I’ve had to force myself to wake up at the latest possible minute. My husband and I had a fun night out last Saturday night and stayed up way too late, then I had trouble sleeping Sunday – Tuesday nights and it has been a sleepy struggle to stay awake and be productive during the day ever since. So this week, I’ve gotten up early exactly zero times.

So what did I learn from this experiment? A) I can be a person who gets up early only if I get enough sleep the night before, and B) that it takes me several days to recover from a late night out. This may seem like a no-brainer, but having an early morning habit is the direct result of a solid evening routine, and I’m thinking I may need to work on that part first because I don’t have a great evening routine. I often get to bed later than I’d like so some focused attention on that will help with my goal of becoming an early riser.

How did your experiments go? You guys were making some great progress last time I checked! Did you learn anything about yourselves that surprised you or that will be helpful going forward? Any ideas for another experiment or challenge? I thought this was fun and interesting – I’d like to do it again. 🙂

 

Bonus Post: A good quote

I don’t consider myself to be a cynic, but the notion of a soulmate has always bugged me. I just don’t believe that there is ONE person out there for everyone – I think location, time, and circumstance all contribute to who we fall in love with. So when I read this quote today from Belinda Luscombe, her definition of a soulmate is definitely something I can live with:

We don’t find soulmates, like some fantastic shell on the beach. We become them. And as we do, the other person becomes ours. One of us is the waves and the other is the sand, and together we make the beach, changing the shape and passage of the other and maybe even bringing some amazing conches to the surface alongside the seaweed and knotted fishing wire.

We become the soulmates we need for each other.

One of us is waves and the other is sand, and together we make the beach. I just love that.

You can find Belinda Luscombe’s book here.

beach foam landscape nature
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Very Best Self Experiment – Week 3

Same song, third verse.

I think got up early one, maaaayyyyybe two days last week, but I had some weird allergy thing happening plus the stress of worrying about my car really took a toll on me and I was TIRED. My husband thought I was dead one morning because he couldn’t wake me up – I’m usually a very light sleeper but I was sleeping so hard that he had to physically shake me to get me to come around (don’t worry, I didn’t die, I was just super deep in the middle of a really weird dream).

BUT! I think I have cracked the code. Maybe. Next week I’ll hopefully have something new and awesome to report.

Here’s what I’m learning: just because I say I’m going to do something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I have to arrange and rearrange my environment and routines in such a way that makes it easier to make the thing happen. Also I’m learning that it might take a few weeks to figure out exactly what arrangement works best for me and that is perfectly okay. The Jill of Years Past would have felt like a total failure and given up on this because I didn’t get it right, but Present Jill knows that changing a habit takes time and effort and tweaking the routine and readjusting this or that to make it do-able. I know that if it isn’t working, I probably need to come at it from a different angle and see what needs to change. So that’s what these last 3 weeks have been about – seeing what works, what doesn’t and bobbing and weaving my way through the obstacles. I’m getting there, I think.

How about you? How are things working for you?

I love that you all chimed in when I pouted about doing this alone last time!! It cracked me up that you all piped up with your experiments – I really was only joking, but thanks for being in this with me! 🙂

Updates and stuff

Happy Friday!

My car is getting fixed! For freeeeeee! They finally called yesterday and said “Well we just had a big meeting about your car and here is what we’ve decided – we can pull the valve covers off and if the engine is sludge-y, it won’t be covered under the warranty and you’ll have to pay for us taking off the valve covers before we can go any further. If the engine is clean, we’ll order you a new engine and repair the car, which will all be covered under the warranty”. I told him (with a wee bit of false bravado) “Well then you go ahead and take off those valve covers because you aren’t going to find a sludge-y engine – we have kept up with the oil changes and done everything we were supposed to do.” A couple of hours later, guess what!! Clean engine and a new one ordered! I was really nervous even though I KNEW there was nothing I had done to cause such a catastrophic failure, but sometimes you just don’t know how dealerships are going to play the game. My husband had the phone number of a good lawyer handy juuuuuust in case. My mantras for the last couple of weeks have been “I did nothing to cause this” and “Be anxious for nothing”. I’ve probably said those phrases to myself a hundred times since all of this started because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra $5000 sitting around for a new engine. I’m really just so relieved that it’s going to be repaired and covered under the warranty.  And they gave me a loaner car so I don’t have to drive my husband’s work truck or borrow my son’s car anymore – which is a relief because I do not like not having my own wheels. 

Curly Girl Experiment – I’m one month in. If you don’t know what the Curly Girl Method is, it’s a technique of enhancing your natural curls by using sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free hair products. It’s a process, y’all. I mean you have be committed to it because it takes a bit o’ time and a lot of trial and error, but if you can reach curl nirvana, it will be worth it. Now, there are some people out there who are almost militant about livin’ that CGM lifestyle (CGM = Curly Girl Method) and there are those of us who are rebels because we do what we want! I mean I guess so far I’m following it pretty closely but because I have fine, thin, wavy hair there are some things I have to do differently than the original method, and I’m completely fine with that. Just like in health, there is no one-size-fits-all and you have to do what works for you (and your hair). Here are pics of Day 1 vs. Today (One month in):

 

Honorable mention goes to these two days which were somewhere in the last couple of weeks:

Yes, I take pictures of my hair when it is behaving nicely because it is such a rarity and I want to document it for posterity. You can see how much my curls have perked up already. This is a really fun experiment and I think that once I get a little more length, I’ll really love wearing my hair curly all the time.

Well, I’ve rambled on about those two topics that are probably of no interest to anyone except myself longer than I intended. My plans for this weekend are to just relax, get caught up on my handlettering course that I am 3 weeks behind in, and maybe declutter some areas that are driving me bonkers. What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever they are – I hope they are enjoyable!

 

Very Best Self: Week 2

Really? Y’all are going to make me do this all by myself? Nobody wants to be their very best selves right along with me??

Fine.

pout

Anyway, so this was not a great week for being my Very Best Self apparently. I only got up early ONCE last week because hey, guess what! I can’t go to bed at 11 pm and expect myself to get up at 5:30 am. Not happening. So I’m going to have to reverse engineer this thing and go to bed by 10 pm at the latest. Setting an alarm at 9 pm would probably help too – that would give me plenty of time to wash my face, brush my teeth, set the coffee, and make my lunch for the next day.

Guess what time I went to bed last night? 11 pm! So, not off to a great start this week already, but that’s okay. Mondays are hard.

That’s really all I have to report. How is everyone else doing? Oh that’s right…NO ONE ELSE IS PARTICIPATING. It’s okay though. No, really, I’m fine.

TOTALLY FINE. 

sneer

 

 

Enough already!

I’m not used to living my life in chaos. My live is typically lived at a blissfully boring level with occasional blips up in the chaotic air, but for the last few months I feel like I’ve been living in the chaotic air with only occasional blips of boring (I know I keep talking about this, and trust me, I’m over it even more than you are).

And just to add a little more fuel to the dumpster fire that has become my spring/summer, wouldn’t you know it, now my car is giving me fits.

Not just run of the mill fits, catastrophic fits. Like the engine-is-totally-locked-up fits. The kind of fits that take more than a couple of days to repair. Fortunately, it’s still under the factory warranty so everything should be covered. I’m working with the warranty company to get a loaner car because the dealership says they don’t have anymore cars to loan out. Um..excuse me, you’re a car dealer. Your only job…is CARS. You literally have a whole entire lot FULL OF CARS! I understand they have a limited number of cars set aside for loaners but it cracks me up when they say “we have no more cars”. Yes you do, you have plenty of cars – how ’bout loaning me that super slick Camaro you got sittin’ over there? I’ll take that.

So anyway, yay! More stuff to worry about! I love having zero brain capacity for anything other than stress!

On the bright side (because I will ALWAYS search for the bright side, dammit!), we have the supplies to build a nice patio and deck for our pool, we just got some nice kitchen appliances (at a really great deal because they were from the scratch-and-dent section); the hubs and I are reconnecting now that the kids are out of the house/almost out of the house/never home anyway, and my book club is coming over tonight to discuss this book and then watch the movie based on the book on Netflix (Book Club and chill?). So things are not all bad, and I am desperately clinging to the good, easy things in my life.

And if nothing else, there is always ice cream, which is always good and easy.

Take it easy, like ice cream and Sunday morning,

Jill

Very Best Self: Week 1

Hey!

So how did it go? Did you do the thing your VBS would do?

I did okay – my VBS thing was to get up a little earlier to fit in some exercise and other good things. I got up early Tuesday & Wednesday, then Thursday was the holiday so I didn’t have to get up early, and on Friday I got up and even had time to sit on the patio and enjoy my coffee. 🙂 I did a bonus workout on Sunday because my son and I planned on watching all of Season 3 of Stranger Things and then go see the new Spiderman movie, so I knew it would be a day of sitting. And it was, so I’m glad I got that workout in.

If you want to join us, it’s not too late! Just put it in the comments below – or not, you can keep this to yourself if you want to. 🙂

If you do feel like sharing your progress, leave it in the comments below. Tell me what worked or what didn’t work – maybe we can come up with a solution together to make it work for this week. 🙂

Please enjoy this inspiring photo of a sunrise because I’m in a hurry and couldn’t decide on an appropriate picture for this post. 

aerial photography of landscape with view of sunset
Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

How to be awesome, Deux

The website Sweatpants & Coffee posts some great stuff that resonates with me – I posted part one of 44 Ways to Cultivate Happiness here, and a couple of days ago they came out with the second part of that list which can be found here. I love these articles and found myself nodding my head at several of the ideas listed.

A few of my favorites are:

#28 Find your Fun. This is one that I often have to remind myself to do. It seems odd that I have to plan on having fun, but if I don’t, I end up cranky and out of sorts and it takes several minutes of contemplation to figure out “oh! No wonder I feel so stabby, I haven’t had done anything fun lately!” It doesn’t have to be anything grand either, it can be watching a funny movie on a Friday night at home, or talking to a friend who makes me laugh, or scoring some deals at a thrift store.

#36 Say what you need to say. Nothing is more of a joy-killer than seething resentment. I lived like this for a long time and it was no bueno. There are ways to express your needs that don’t invite conflict – avoiding conflict is one of the reasons I didn’t want to speak up, but peace at any cost is no way to live. Also it’s not good for your health to keep things bottled up.

#37 Rest. In our current culture where Busy is King, we (I) often feel guilty if I’m not doing something productive, but we (I) need downtime. According to the article, being bored leads to creativity and inspiration. For example, my 14 year old  decided yesterday to design a very cool swimming pool complete with swim up snack bar and a hidden cave with a water fall. When I asked her how she came up with this she shrugged and said “I got bored.” Go get bored and see what creative ideas you can come up with.

#38 Take a nap. Why do we not, as a culture, take a nap everyday after lunch? Other countries do this, don’t they? Can you imagine how much better we would all get along if we all had to shut down between 1 and 2:00 every day to take a nap??? One of my very good friends took the 3rd row seats out of her SUV, put in a big fluffy comforter and pillows and every day at lunch she would go out to her car and nap for 55 minutes, then eat lunch at her desk afterward. I always thought this was the most genius thing ever.

dog cute sleeping puppy
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

 

Anything on this second half of the list resonate with you?

Don’t forget, you can still join our Very Best Self Experiment – jump in any time! Maybe something on this list is a habit you could work on for the month of July.

For my US readers, Happy 4th of July tomorrow! And for those of us who have to work on Friday – I feel your pain. Womp Womp. :/

Very Best Self Experiment

Hey hey hey!

The last time we were all gathered here, I had the bright idea that I would try and do the things that my Very Best Self would do and several of you said you would be on board to try to be Your Very Best Selves also, so I decided we should do this as an experiment because the word “challenge” feels to restrictive and overbearing and I just don’t need that kind of negative vibe in my life right now. Experiment feels nicer, don’t you think?  Here’s the idea behind this: if you were the best version of yourself, what is something that you would do? Would your Very Best Self (VBS) do yoga in the mornings? Would your VBS organize your kitchen? Learn a fun new skill? Do some volunteer work? Take a fun class? What is the thing you are pretty sure would enhance your life but you just haven’t had the oomph to actually do it? <—- That’s the thing you are going to work on for the next month.

The idea is to think of an area of your life that you would really like to improve, or an activity that would make your life better, or maybe something you’ve been procrastinating on and you really need to just get it done (because Your Very Best Self would totally have already done it). It can be one thing or a few things, but I think it should be something you can measure in some way. And it has to be realistic – we’re just doing this for the month of July so don’t say “My very best self is going to lose 40 pounds” or “learn astrophysics” or “marry Bradley Cooper” or something like that. Not saying you can’t do those things eventually, but for the sake of this experiment, keep it in your wheelhouse for now, okay?

Here are the rules (read: very loose guidelines) for this:

  1. The first rule is really the only RULE and it is non-negotiable and totally binding: You absolutely canNOT beat yourself up or shame yourself over your performance during this process. This is an experiment – there is no pass/fail, no all or nothing, no win or lose…we are collecting information to see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s just for fun and curiosity.
  2. What can you do set yourself up for success? How can you make your thing work? Will you need supplies for this? Do you need to do some research first? If so, that’s totally fine – take a day or two and make your plan.
  3. If at first you don’t succeed…then change your mind and do something else. If you get 5 days into this and you realize that you actually hate the thing you’ve chosen to work on, guess what? You can change your mind and begin fresh with something else. You are running your experiment, you get to decide how you’ll proceed or if you need to change directions.
  4. I’ll do a weekly post so that we have a place to check in on our progress. Try to stay engaged on these posts so we can all be there to support each other and bounce ideas off of one another!
  5. I can’t think of a fifth one.

If you want to join in on this SUPERFUNGOODTIME! then post the thing your Very Best Self would do in the comments. Since today is the first of the month already, let’s officially start tomorrow July 2 and go through July 31st. Sound good? Then let’s do this thing!

giphy

 

Bad hair, unfunny, and unevolved – just what you want in a blogger.

Thanks so much for you comments on my last post. I know that exercise and taking care of yourself are BIG ways to ward off stress and/or deal with stress, and I try to do those things, although honestly I have not been exercising very much at all lately. And why do I forget that writing everything out is probably one of my biggest stress relievers? I felt so much better after writing that post the other day. If I were MY VERY BEST SELF I would get up early in the morning and do a little workout, a little meditation, and probably a little bit of journaling (or even blogging), however, I’m still evolving into that person; the person I am now sleeps til the very last minute, says she’ll go for a walk after work (but then doesn’t do it for a variety of reasons excuses), hasn’t meditated in months, and typically goes weeks between blog posts. What can I say? I yam who I yam. Maybe I should do a challenge for a month and actually do the things my very best self up there would do and see what happens?? Hmm…I kind of like the idea of doing that. Anyone want to do it with me? We could do it for the month of July – you can choose whatever behaviors you want to work on and we can reconvene here weekly and report on how it’s going. What say you? Anyone interested?

In other news I’m having a flirtatious relationship with the Curly Girl Method. I just started like…I don’t know…three days ago, maybe? And what I have discovered is that my hair is in terrible shape – it is dry dry dry!! Years of high-heat blow drying and flat-ironing has left my tresses arid and frizzy. I need a serious deep conditioning treatment. Do I have any Curly Girls reading me right now? If so, leave me your best tips for starting out – I’ve already seen some improvement but I could use a little more guidance. My hair is 2b low-porosity fine thin wavy hair, in case that information is useful to you.

And on a completely different note, I think I’ve lost my funny. I’ve noticed over the last few weeks, when I say something that I think is funny, it just falls flat (like my hair). This morning a radio show asked the question “what do you do to embarrass your kids?” (in a fun lighthearted way) so I called in and said that I have teenagers and all I have to do is exist in order to embarrass them. What I expected was “Haha! Teenagers, man! They’re tough!” etc, but instead I got “Awww, that’s so sad. I’m sorry you feel that way. That’s terrible.” Uhhh, what? That was not the way I expected that exchange to go. And they didn’t even use my clip at all! I realized later that the 2 DJs are both in their early 30s – one doesn’t even have kids and the other has a 5 year old, so neither of them has encountered the joy of raising teenagers, but still…  And it’s not just with the DJs, I’ve had conversations with coworkers and family members and either everyone is just over me and I never was funny, or I have just lost my ability to deliver a funny line. I guess I’ll go back to laughing at my own jokes…on the inside…silently…to myself.

Work is calling so I better get to it. Let me know if anyone wants to do a Better Yo’Self Challenge, and also please let me know if you are a Curly Girl or a modified Curly Girl or if you are a Rebel Curly Girl (who completely does her own curly hair method).

Have a great day, friends!

🙂