Friends

This little cartoon really spoke to my heart.  Whenever I spend time with a friend, I realize just how important the relationship is.  A friend can be someone you grew up with, a neighbor, a work colleague, even the person you chat with weekly at the dry cleaner or grocery store! Without our friends, life would be very lonely indeed.

I always try to keep in touch with friends through cards, Facebook, a quick coffee, and even dinner out.  How we communicate isn’t important, but reinforcing the connection is.  Who can you reach out to today?

Friends you meet on your path

One Last Chance to meet those 2014 Goals and Resolutions

I’m not so sure that I will make New Year’s Resolutions next year.  I think perhaps I am a little bit OCD when it comes to making lists, categorizing things and tracking myself.  But, since I did make them this year I figured I would continue checking on my progress toward my goals.  I have met a lot of these, and I have adjusted some as the year has gone along.  So as we move into the final quarter of 2014, I thought it would be time to check in and see what has been accomplished and what I still want to get done this year!

Career Goals:

I planned to learn the basics of coding and learn to build a website — While I did complete a short online tutorial on basic HTML coding, I have not done anything further.  However, as my work has led me more and more into on-line advertising with AdWords and Facebook, and so I have shifted this goal from learning to build a website to learning all about digital advertising and I am working on becoming AdWords certified.

  • My goal is to complete (and pass) the Adwords Fundamentals and Display Advertising exams to become certified.

I also set a goal to update my professional website, and I am on my way to having that completed this year.  I have gotten mew photos taken, updated the copy and I am having it updated to be mobile friendly.  Hopefully once the new site is up and running I will also meet another resolution which was to:

  • Write at least 2 blog posts a month on my professional blog.

Home and Family:

working dogTraining my puppy has been a year long goal.  I think she is pretty much trained, but accidents happen!

I did do some work on the inside of my house this year.  I painted a bathroom and pained my basement steps.  Both projects came out great.

  • Now I have to sand the paint off of my outside steps and re-stain them before the winter

I always set a goal to visit with my (grown) children at least every 6 weeks — unfortunately, I haven’t seen them since June although we talk on the phone, e-mail and text often.  I do have a trip planned to their area in two weeks for a family wedding so that will be a fun visit, and I have made plans to spend Thanksgiving with them at my son’s house.

And I have planned (and almost paid for) a great ski trip with my kids for early next year.  I have booked the condo and the airline tickets and everyone is ready to go!

Friendships:

One resolution that I make and love completing is to get together with  at least 2 friends each month.  So far so good!  Since my last update at the beginning of July, I have gotten together with Jen, June and Diane, Cheryl, Colleen, Carolyn, Deb and Julie at that was just July.  August started out great as I spent a weekend with my old college roommates: Lynne and Cindy, with Rhonda, Jen and Caryl.  So far in September, I have gotten together with Trudy, and  AZ Reunion

I went to a reunion with 28 of my sorority sisters, most of whom I haven’t seen in a very, very long time!

Another way I like to keep in touch has been to set a goal 52 letters in 52 weeks.  I was going along great with this, but I didn’t send many cards or letters this summer, just two in early July.  But I did buy a pack of Halloween cards so I will be sending out at least 8 notes next month.

Health and Fitness:

I have done great with my fitness goals this year.  I have done a lot of running and road races this summer and I have been very please with my times.  I even met my goal of running a 5K at better than an 8:00 minute mile (just once, but I did it).  I always set a goal to finish in the top 10% in my age group and for the most part I achieve that! I even place in the top 3 (in my age group) at two races this year.

As I have been doing a lot of running, my yoga practice has fallen off this summer (as it typically does), but I will get back to it.  I have also started weight training again in preparation for the Seacoast Half Marathon in early November.

Hobbies, Leisure:

I like to set a goal to see all the movies nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture.  I must say that I wasn’t too excited about this year’s picks, but so far this year, I have seen:  America Hustle, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Osage County.  (I watched Last Vegas not that it was Academy Award material!)   I also re-watched Midnight in Paris and Dead Poets’ Society.  Really out of last year’s winners, the only others that interest me at all are Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, and Blue Jasmine

Two goals I have met are to organize my vegan recipe book (both on-line and in paper), as well as cleaning out unused things.  I have been good about getting rid of old make-up, miscellaneous electronics, kitchen gadgets and clothes.  As a new season is approaching, I will be clearing out more unworn clothes soon!

  • One goal that I haven’t gotten to yet is finishing my daughter’s High School scrapbook (she graduated in 2007).  I had set a goal to finish it by June, but maybe by December?  And, now that he has a house with some space, I will bring my son’s scrapbook(s) to him for him to keep!  (Thereby also meeting the previous goal of getting rid of things!)

Mental and Spiritual Health:

Well I really haven’t made any progress of these goals.  I still fret and complain about issues.  And while I am very, very grateful for everything in my life, I haven’t had any luck meditating or keeping a gratitude journal.  (I’ve never had any luck keeping any sort of journal.  It just seems silly to write this stuff down, and I wouldn’t want anyone to read it if I were to “depart”!).

everything in my life, I haven’t had any luck meditating or keeping a gratitude journal (I’ve never had any luck keeping any sort of journal.  It just seems silly to write this stuff down, and I wouldn’t want anyone to read it if I were to depart!).

Image by Tiverylack, courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

Image by Tiverylack, courtesy of freedigitalphoto.com

  • However, it is never too late to start.  I should be able to simply spend 5-10 minutes a day in stillness and being grateful.

 

And lastly, I had also set a goal to ready and study more about philosophy, and I must admit, in preparation for writing this post, I purchased an audio lecture series on the philosophers and their teaching throughout history.  So far I have listened to the first 3 of the 60 lectures. These lectures series are great, they have them on a ton of topics ranging from fine arts to history to cooking to mathematics.  If you want to check them out here is the link.

Friends Forever!

I haven’t been blogging much this month as I was on vacation and I’ve been busy getting together with friends.  I can’t think of a better use of my time!

I  make it a point to get together with friends on a regular basis.  (If you’ve been reading this blog you know that I aim for getting together with friends at least twice a month).  But that wasn’t always the case.  For a long time in my life, when I was busy with boyfriends, and then a husband and children, I let my relationships with my girlfriends slide. Oh we sent Christmas and birthday cards, and made the occasional phone call, but I was busy with my family and they were busy with theirs, and the years slipped by.

Then I had a bit of a personal crisis and it was my girlfriends who rallied to me and got me through it!  Yes, those same friends who I never quite had time for, were there for me when I needed them.  (Thank you Janet, Cindy, Brenda, Diane, Wendy and Barb).   After that I promised myself that I would put my relationship with my friends high on my list of priorities.  And so now, I get together with local friends on a regular basis and make sure that I send cards and letters to my friends who are further away.  I must admit that Facebook has helped me stay in touch.

Facebook has also been a great way to reconnect with old friends.  A few years ago I reconnected with my first friend from college, Nancy who I hadn’t seen since before we graduated in 1981.  Just this summer I have reconnected with a friend who I haven’t seen in over 13 years (Deb that’s you!), and I am looking forward to seeing my 2 college roommates (Cindy and Lynne) in a few weeks –It is hard to believe that it has been over 30 years since we’ve seen each other!

So to my girlfriends, old and new, I love you all, and I wouldn’t be where I am without you!

Click to play this Smilebox collage

Neglecting Blog, but Staying on Track

I’m not going to start with, I’ve been neglecting my blog…..

Although I have been neglecting my blog!

However I have been running and eating well and visiting friends!

These were three of my New Year’s Resolutions, and I am very pleased with my progress on them this year. One of my goals was to visit with at least 2 girlfriend each month. As August winds down I am happy to report that this week I spent a wonderful afternoon with two dear friends, Jeannette and Cathy; and today I saw my old friend Wendy (I can say that as she is younger than me!) We spent the day together laughing, talking, having lunch, drinking some tea and talking some more! Did you know that they make English Afternoon Tea? It was very good!

As for running, I ran a 10k last Thursday night in Rye. While it wasn’t a PR as those days are loooong gone, I was very happy with my run. It was my very best 10k time since I’ve been running again. I even finished #10 in my age group–yeah me! One more 5 miler coming up in early September than nothing but training for the Seacoast Half Marathon in November!

And lastly, my goal for the year was to eat healthy and lose those last 5-8 pounds that have been lingering. Well I went from eating well, to eating VERY well. I haven’t been eating processes foods, desserts or added sugars, dairy or meat. I’ve been making a fruit and vegetable juice 5-6 times a week, eating mostly vegan fare, and I feel physically (and mentally) healthy and strong. As a matter of fact, my running has improved greatly on this new meal plan, and I lost those 8 pounds rather easily! I will be posting more in the future on the benefits of a plant based diet, stay tuned…..

March Check in with My Resolutions

This year, I’ve decided to treat my  New Year’s Resolutions more like personal and professional goals rather than resolutions.  To reexamine them each month, and to set 1-2 specific monthly goals to keep on track.  So far it’s been working out well.  Here is my review of March:

  • Welcome every morning with a smile 🙂 — I have been pretty good about this one.  Rather than start the day growling at the alarm clock, most days I’ve remembered to smile and being thankful for another day!
  • Post at least once a week on this blog –So far so good!
  • Complete the Seacoast Race Series –The race series runs from May to November, so I haven’t actually run any of the races yet, but I have started running again and I did sign up for the first race in the series.
  • Lose 5 pounds– I’m down 3 in March; buying that scale really helped keep me on track for this one.
  • Remember to take my vitamins daily –I have a new trick.  I got tired of standing at the cabinet opening bottles of vitamins, minerals and other supplements, and I am way too young and healthy for one of   those pill boxes with a compartment for every day of the week, so I bought some of the little snack size plastic bags and filled up a bunch.  Now I can just take a baggie out of the cabinet and have all my vitamins, etc. in one place. (I know it’s the same thing as a pill-box, but it makes me feel better)
  • Cut coffee down to 1 cup a day and drink more tea –Amazingly I’ve been able to do this.  I don’t even miss the afternoon cup of coffee anymore.  And, since I’ve been cutting down on dairy, I put soy milk in my morning coffee.  It really isn’t as good as cream or half and half, and so I often don’t even drink my full cup of coffee in the morning.  (Unless I get a soy latte at Starbucks, then I finish it all up!)
  • Make a new friend and deepen 1-2 existing friendships –Last night I stepped out of my comfort zone and made some new acquaintances.  I got together with a group of women I met via a local  Facebook group, Pink Martini Confessions.  I had been reading some of their posts and we’d commented back and forth.  I felt a connection with one of the women as we shared a lot of interests, so when the opportunity to meet came up, I went for it.  We had a lot of fun over drinks and dinner!
  • Get together with girlfriends –Just last week, I had dinner with my friend Diane who I hadn’t seen in 2 years.  After dinner, another friend of ours, Brenda met up with us and we had a great time catching up.  I also rejoined the book club I used to be in.  I forgot how much fun wine club, oops, book club was.  Everyone was very welcoming;  I’m looking forward to next month.
  • Listen to more current music–I have been tuning into “The Loft” more often on my XM radio–trying not to always listen to “Classic Vinyl”!

Some things that need work are:

Keeping up with my professional blog (goal of 2 posts per month.  In March I got in one post)

Watch less TV.  Now that “my shows” are back on — Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, I won’t be working on this goal until after May!

Goals for April:

  • Post at least twice on my Media and Communications blog
  • Refuse to participate in negativity–at work, at home or on the news!