Tagged: plans

Slow and steady

I am a runner.

I have worked really hard to be able to call myself that.

I am not the fastest runner or the longest-running runner, but I am a runner. I lace up my shoes and map my routes like the best of ’em.race bib 6
In return, I get a ridiculously-low resting heart rate and big calves (hills). My resting heart rate is so low that whenever I give blood, the tech asks me if anything is wrong with me. It’s quite funny to see their reaction when I say that I run… I don’t look like a runner (besides the calves). I look like I eat too many cookies and too much ice cream.
But I am also learning to be patient (Lent, anyone?) while I run. I know that I can’t make my watch (or GPS) go any faster. I can only go as fast as I can talk my legs (and brain) into running. The corner won’t come any closer to me. I have to RUN to it. And that hill won’t get any smaller by complaining or by walking up it.
Running is the only answer.

Slow and steady. Easy pace. Keep going. Don’t quit.

These are the mantras that run through my head as I run. I also turn around (just my head) sometimes and look at how far I’ve come. Wow. I impress myself.
2013-07-04_07-47-01_629
So, I know slow, I know how to move slow on a running route.
But when it comes to the men in my life… I don’t know how to go slow.
So another mantra I use, in the rest of my life, is:
“Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14

Last Thursday, the man in my life gave me a book.

It blew my mind. We had only gone on three dates – coffee to meet, dinner, dinner again – and he gave me a book.
A book, first of all, goes straight to my heart. I mean, you can’t buy a book without being thoughtful about the person you’re giving it to. You have to think about what they like, about who they are, about how they think.
When I saw it was a book, without knowing what book it was, he won my heart. Already!
Then I realized it was a book about Croatia! What?!
A travel book about Croatia…
let me give you some back story. His parents were both born in Croatia. He’s a first generation American, and he still goes to a Croatian Mass and is a member of a folk lore group.
When we met and he told me this, I was fascinated. He’s actually passionate about something.
So I asked him all sorts of questions about it when we met for the first time.
I gave him a hug when he gave me the book. One of those hugs where you don’t want to let go and just lay your head on his shoulder, right? One of those.
He told me later that he bought the book before we had gone out the second time.
He bought it after we had that awkward coffee date? Mind blown again. Wow.
I devoured most of the history and culture sections of the book the night he gave it to me. I am just amazed by the beauty of this country.
I am also amazed at my ability to put him and I there in a few years. Together. Married. Thinking about our kids back home, or having them with us.

WAIT. WHAT?

Married. Kids. A home. Vacation together.
Slow down, lady. What are you trying to do?
Just what I know how to do, go fast and ruin things.
In my last relationship, as I’ve shared before, I didn’t go slow. We slept together right away. We didn’t date. We didn’t get to know each other.
With Robert, I want to date. I like dating, I’ve found out after the last few weeks. I like talking to him on the phone. I like getting his “good morning” text message every day… or beating him to it.
I like thinking of date ideas and organizing our schedules. I like learning about his friends and talking about running plans. I like this. I like where we are right now.
For our most recent date, we were going into the restaurant and he reached in front of me to open the door and put his other hand on my back.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I did for those few seconds. I imagine that he’ll be the kind of guy that waits for me at the end of the pew so I can go through the Communion line in front of him.
THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT OF. COMMUNION. Of going to Mass with him.
Not of how his hands would feel on my bare skin, but of Communion. I can’t really chastise myself for thinking about that, can I? He and I have talked about going to Mass together soon, probably after Easter.
I think that most of the time my head and heart are in the right place with this relationship, I know that he wants to take it slow to and see what happens.
But there are just some things, some moments that shoot me way ahead of where we are.

He asked me, yesterday morning, if I had read any more of the Croatia book.

I told him no, because I couldn’t afford to go and I didn’t want to get excited about a place I couldn’t go to for a while… AND I told him I felt like I was getting ahead of myself with “us.”
I think he knows what I mean.
We talked about a road trip I’m planning for myself in July. I told him I was thinking about inviting him but that it might not be a good idea.
It’s NOT a good idea for a lot of reasons:
1.  the car ride is six hours.
2. we’d be sharing a hotel room.
3. I don’t want to give up my goals for his goals.
I know that in my last relationship, I was so READY and willing to give up my goals to help with his goals.
I forgot about what I wanted to make sure he got what he wanted.
And while in a marriage, goals become “ours,” right now, I’m only a week into dating the man, and these need to stay my goals.
I’m going on a road trip in July, by myself, to see the Apostle Islands and to run a 10K. It’ll be great.
By myself.

So how am I going slowly?

I have to constantly remind myself that we are DATING. We are not engaged.
I remind myself to be STOUTHEARTED and to WAIT FOR THE LORD.
I still don’t know this man THAT WELL.
And I can enjoy this time. I get to learn more about him, I get to learn about his family and his past. I get to hold his hand and be happy when he texts me good morning.
It’s all new and happy and I want to enjoy it NOW instead of enjoying the FUTURE now.
I am also planning on weekends, sometimes, maybe once a month, that we don’t get together.
Planning retreats, more of my bucket list goals, going out with my friends.
Gardening.
Any advice on taking time to fall in love is much appreciated.
God bless.
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Organizing my whole life

I think… nope, I know, that I’ve written about my obsessive list-making habit.

But while lists get me going and keep me going, I have found I have a few too many goal lists.

Here’s a run-down of my current goal lists:
The 28 by 28
The 12 Week Year
Diet reward point system
Daily goals
Running training program
Returning slowly to the Slow Carb Diet

So, for example, I’ll take the 12 Week Year (you already know about the 28 by 28).

The 12 Week Year is a great book I read about GETTING THINGS DONE. Consistently. Setting bench marks and DOING STUFF.
I loved the book. The general idea, and really you should just go check out the book, is that instead of focusing on making annual goals (who can see that far into the future?) make 12 week goals… and call it a year.
So every three months, it’s a year-end review. How did you do, honestly?
At the beginning of March, I started a 12 week year again, with two goals:
     1. Read six nonfiction books.
     2. Finish the knit labyrinth circle rug.
Then I broke down each of these goals into micro-steps. Sometimes it was ridiculously tiny steps. (Finish the current yarn ball, buy filler cord, buy clear thread, buy yarn needle…)
The books I just wrote down which I had read… and I knew I needed to average about one book for each two weeks. So far so good on that.
Another example? OK.

Daily goals…

In January, the goal was 100 push ups a day. In February it was sit ups.
In March it was lunges. This month it’s tricep dips.
So with all of those things floating around in my head and on my dining room table… I’m trying to find a way that organizes ALL OF THESE THINGS into one system.
I’m looking for suggestions.

But here’s my idea so far:

EVERNOTE. Evernote used to be my best friend. It kind of faded out, but now it’s my best friend again. It’s nice to have it around.
     Unfortunately, my phone isn’t the best for typing on and I don’t have a computer at home, but Evernote gets things recorded for me at least.
ONE SYSTEM TO RULE THEM ALL. I want EVERYTHING on one sheet of paper. Two at most. I can always make a back-to-back copy or something.
How can I have check mark boxes for some goals, lines for items I need to list and a rewards area to keep me motivated?
I want this one (maybe two) page thing to last for at least a month.

This system won’t be:

-a daily scheduler or calendar (my calendar will be based off of my goals)
-something I carry around with me everywhere (I wanted a printed system to hang on my fridge or near the door or on my mirror or all of those places to keep my goals on the top of my mind… Evernote can be my carry along tracking system)
-something I share with everyone (a lot of my goals (everyone’s goals) are incredibly personal and private, this isn’t something I want my coworkers to find)
-a way to put myself down (any progress is good progress, and I really believe that)
OK. If anyone has designs they’ve seen for something similar or suggestions on how I can make my own, let me know.
I’m heading over to InDesign right now to start laying out something for it.
Actually, scratch that. I’m going to sketch it out first. My mind works faster than my mouse skills in InDesign.
God bless! Stay organized.

Quick Takes Friday (on lists)

— 1 — 

I have been a list maker since I can remember. I love all kinds of lists: grocery lists, to-do lists, wish lists, bucket lists, goals,  benchmarks, ideas.
I even love outlines.
Remember in high school when you had to “brainstorm” your essays before writing them? Yeah, I was the nerd who always used an outline instead of a thought bubble matrix.
Recently, as you know, I started my 28 by 28 list.
My longest list, by far, though, is my to-read list. Once I found the Good Reads app and website, I thought I’d cruise through my list finally. Not even close.
I just keep adding… and usually when I go to the library, I get something that wasn’t even on my list.

— 2 —

The same with Evernote… I use Evernote for everything… and then I start cleaning out some of my notebooks.
Oh, look, a grocery list from October.
Oh, look, a to-do list for the weekend I never finished.
I hate finding lists like that.
Or my goal charts that never happened.

— 3 —

Yep, I’m still obsessive about the lists.
I have a running list on my fridge for the 10k coming up in May. I am so excited about it, but it’s almost stressing me out seeing in on the fridge.
I also have a list of things I decided I wanted to do when I moved to my new place… it’s pinned up right next to my calendar at home… I’m only doing a few of those things.

— 4 —

Now I have the 28 by 28 list… and seeing those past two items, I’m worried I won’t complete it either.
And part of me says, that’s OK, it’s the journey not the destination.
But I don’t want to give up. These are all things I really actually want to do.
I don’t want to forget about them… but I also don’t want to stress about them.
Ugh…

— 5 —

I think a budget is considered a list, too, right?
Well, I have that as well. I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan and am in my debt snowball, while trying to save money for a car.
It’s hard because I know my car is falling apart (underneath me), but I want my student loan debt gone.
Since I’ve gotten serious about paying those off, it’s been really great to see the number come down… but I’d like to feel better about having a car savings account built up.
I imagine I’ll need about $8,000 for a car (I’d like to move up from the car I have). The one I have now cost me about $6,000… six years ago. Wow I can’t believe it’s been that long.
The car is old too… from 1999. They don’t even make Pontiacs anymore!
Oh boy. So when I look at my budget, and my debt snowball, I just feel out of control.
A list is supposed to make you feel in control.

— 6 —

Thankfully, I’ll be able to start riding my bike or walking to work as it warms up (ie: quits snowing and stays lighter longer at night).
That will help extend the life of my car… AND save me money. Bonus.

— 7 —

I tried really hard to keep this whole quick takes post about one topic… it kind… of… worked.
OK, it didn’t.
If you’re curious, this is the running schedule I’m doing, these are my 28 goals for the year and these are some great kitten videos.
TODAY AND TOMORROW IS EAGLE DAY!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO BRING BACK PHOTOS FOR YA’LL.
 

Have a great weekend!
God bless.

Read posts from lovely lady bloggers at Conversion Diary!

28 by 28

I usually start these posts by apologizing for not posting in so long. It’s been over a month.

Not today.
I went to Mass and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration this morning.
It was beautiful and peaceful and I can’t believe I’ve been away from daily Mass for so long. What was I thinking?
I started day dreaming, or un-focusing, or thinking about things other than God, and I just quietly centered myself again. I had to keep pulling myself back.
But what a great exercise in self-control. I hope to go every morning I am able.
It’s at 7 a.m., but I live in town now and can thus make it to work at 8 a.m., which is nice to get an hour of work done before everyone else comes to the office.
Why I live in town now is complicated, and I want to get into it in another future post.
But for now, I just want to share my birthday news.
I turned 27 on Feb. 8. This isn’t news. My birthday happens every year.
The greatest gift I ever got for my birthday was life. Second best gift was my name.
This year, I wanted to create a 28 before I turn 28 list.
I want to do 28 crazy, fun, interesting, awesome, adventurous and outrageous things before I turn 28.
Also, some things that I’ve just wanted to always do and haven’t. So I’m going to do them. They probably aren’t all that zany and crazy at all!
Here is the list. They aren’t in any order other than the order I thought them up in.
  1. See the eagles fly
  2. Go zip lining
  3. Go stand up paddle boarding
  4. 10K run
  5. Washington, D.C./March for Life
  6. Carmelite retreat
  7. Catholic Youth Expeditions retreat
  8. 10 Latin Masses
  9. See an opera
  10. See a play
  11. Go camping
  12. Go fishing
  13. Attend a leadership seminar or conference
  14. Attend a Catholic women’s event
  15. Take a dance class
  16. Learn how to bake artisan breads
  17. Ride in a hot air balloon
  18. Go ice boating
  19. Sew a dress, sew a skirt that I actually wear
  20. Refurbish the chair and foot stool
  21. Finish the knit circle rug (completely!)
  22. Knit mittens
  23. Pray outside an abortion clinic
  24. Fast for 24 hours
  25. Visit the Apostle Islands
  26. Visit Washington Island
  27. Learn some basic auto maintenance – replace my own oil!
  28. Volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
Here’s to the list (I raise my glass), to goals, to challenges, to a new year, a fresh start, a celebration of life.
I already have some of these things planned, so I can’t wait to tell you about them!
I reserve the right to add things to this list that I think are worthy.
I also reserve the right to not feel guilty if I don’t finish everything on the list! I reserve the right to forgive myself.
Jesus forgives me. I think I can forgive myself.
God bless!
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence.
Proverbs 14:26

Quick Takes Friday (vol. all sorts of win)

Thanks for hosting, Jen!

quick takes

— 1 —

NaNoWriMo was a surprising success.

If you’re not familiar, it’s a mad rush of writing 50,000 words in 30 days of November. It’s intense.

I had to write nearly 5,000 words on the last two days, but I finished it. And I don’t want to look at the “novel,” that I know needs a lot of editing, for a long, long time.

— 2 —

Thanks for all my readers who continued to visit the not updated blog last month.

I will be back in full action starting next week.

Here are some upcoming posts I have planned: Ad Catholici Sacerdotii review, five ways to read the Bible and a learn something post on different translations of the Bible.

— 3 —

I have started keeping very strict budgets.

Everything is written down on paper. I read Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover,” and it really set everything in focus for me.

In the next 12 weeks (that started Wednesday), I have a goal to pay off $1,000 of my student loans. That’s more than I typically pay in a whole year since I received a military payment earlier this year. It’ll be tough, but I know I can do it. After that I’ll continue the regular payments and try to do another 12-week goal sometime in 2014 to pay another $1,000 toward it. I want the loans paid off by the time I turn 29. (eeek! 2 years, 2 months!)

But with all my writing budgets down, I somehow have $126 extra in my checking account… and I double, triple check everything. It’s weird. I can’t explain it.

I’m using that as my food budget for the next month and a half, so I can focus more of my paychecks to the loans. Yes!

— 4 —

It’s Advent!

And I’m at my fourth parish in four years for the Advent wreath lighting.

I don’t like my current parish, and I am finding myself drawn ever more to traditional Masses and priests.

My current priest doesn’t even wear the Roman collar! 😦

I desire a Latin Mass, and I know there are some not too far away. I am making it a mini Advent goal to attend one of those Masses.

— 5 —

I signed up to do Salvation Army bell ringing tomorrow. I did it a few years in a row a while ago, then quit when I moved. It’s a 3-hour shift, but it’s inside. The organization does such great thigns.

— 6 —

I started a new diet and have ACTUALLY been following it. Today is 2 full weeks done and I like it. I’m losing… something. I plan to get a scale in the new year.

— 7 —

My personal intention this month is for babies, for families, for finding solutions to the problems that make babies “unwanted,” that split families up… not just treating the symptoms.

Oh, Blessed Mother, pray for us.

Have a great weekend!

God bless.

Read posts from other Catholic folk at Conversion Diary!