#30 Days Trying To Find Joy Challenge – Day 1

Thursday, March 5th, 2020 9:45pm – First Entry, Rambling Introduction

I write every morning, about 5:00 am-ish with my morning coffee. I use a pen and a sketchbook. Long-hand is the right word. I tend to like cheap pens, Bic blue preferably, with a red one around just in case I choose to draw hearts or arrows or who knows what. I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager.

There was a time when I was trying to post some of those entries and I got a lot of great feedback. There really is something personal and intimate about reading someone’s journal, right? And when it’s hand-written and so unique to that person, it feels even more real. But, when I did share those posts, it was hard because I’d have to re-write what I wrote and then it was clouded somehow by the idea that I was “writing for the blog” sort of speak. Something just felt so inauthentic. And, it was hard. It became a chore.

I don’t want to do that anymore. So, I’ve stopped sharing those outright entries. My morning journals are my private therapy for sure and maybe someday they’ll be shared with the world, but hopefully not. They aren’t very good after-all, just my random thoughts, while I’m drinking coffee and I’d love to think I’m brilliant when I’m writing, but eeeh, I’ve re-read some of that stuff and I’m positive, uhem, no. Not brilliant at all. In fact, it’s just gibberish most days. Venting about whatever, swooning over whomever and maybe, if I’m having a pretty fantastic day, something creative worth remembering to recreate later in my next book or something. But honestly, most days, yeah, nothing…

So, what am I doing? Why am I writing at 10pm at night on my blog and just basically riffing on a blank page? Well, I’ve come up with an idea — nothing too grand, but I want to write about my day for the next 30 days and see if I can see a pattern or maybe learn something more about myself. I’m actually not editing at all, not re-reading and not really paying attention to grammar or whatevs. I say all of that, as if in other posts, I pay attention to any of that. I don’t. I suck at grammar, spelling and the like. Can I be honest? As a “writer”, I almost find pride in that. Sucking at all of that and still calling myself a writer. Ha! Truth is, at the end of the day, grammar and spelling is the least important aspect of writing. To me, that’s what an editor is for! But creating a story, engaging a reading so much that they can’t stop from finding out what happens next, THAT’s writing! Well maybe more story-telling. But I’ve met many people who are great at story-telling and horrible at spelling and grammar, but I’ve never met the grand master of grammar and thought they were a gifted writer, orator and story-teller. I’m sure the unicorn of all of it is out there somewhere, but I’m not at all gifted in either, but enjoy the process of story-telling so much that yeah, I’ll keep calling myself a writer even if my spelling and grammar sucks big time! Ha!

It’s so late and I’m just rambling. I am. I’ve decided that for the next 30 days, I’m going to just account for my day. There are no rules except that I write something on this blog for the next 30 days, every day. My honest hope is to see if I can recognize any patterns and/or make any changes to just make life a little easier. At the very least, like I posted above I hope to find something positive in the day.

Life’s been difficult for quite a while in so many ways. I assume it’s what most people are going through, but keeping my spirits up and keeping myself on-point and engaged has been paramount. This is the next step. I need to account for my day and although I was doing it on my calendar it just isn’t the same. If I have to answer TO someone or, in this case, just answer to my nightly blog post, then maybe that will help keep me on-point!

So yes, this is a selfish activity. I’m not sure where it’s going or what it’s for and I have no real rules. Just, I want to write and update my blog for the next 30 days on a regular basis. I can write about anything that’s happened in my day. But other than that, no rules.

Today was a great day in that I went for a 2.5 mile run and then did a great Centr6 workout. I worked a bit today, but was on the phone most of day. My whole food thing was meh today and honestly if I could just conquer the food thing I swear I’d be golden! When I win the lottery the first purchase is a full-time chef. I swear it! I cook for myself and really do a decent job nowadays of eating well, but goodness, I’d love a CHEF’s meal any day over mine! I’m also just not that into cooking for ONE person — so I tend to cook for the week and then am so sick of eating the same thing by the end of the week that I find myself nibbling on other crap. Yeah, today was a bad eating day, again. Tomorrow’s another day. Crossing my fingers.

Other than that, I have nothing more. I interacted with a business colleague today about the possibilities of working for his firm. Kinda cool and not something I was expecting! That may be what’s next in my life — not sure. But it was real nice to talk to him about it anyways. I may be ready to to work for a big firm that does great work in my field. I guess I can go either way, continue my small business and working with individual clients or…yeah, I think I’m ready to move onward. More security maybe? Actually, who knows. But if there’s a firm I’m going to work for, it would definitely be his. He’s a good man and it’s a great company. Eeh, we’ll see. That might be a good thing.

That’s pretty much it. I also wrote down 10 possible podcast topics since I’m going to record something next week with another colleague/friend. Hmm… I may write more about that later. I’m crossing my fingers it goes well tomorrow.

So, that’s it. Boring I know. But I’ll post again tomorrow and maybe, at the very least, it will help me to SEE what work I’ve been doing and what I can improve upon.

Did I help anyone today? Eeeh, maybe, but I can’t remember anything significant. But, at the very least, I kept to my agreement from this morning and posted my evening thoughts exactly. Sorry if you made it this far reading gibberish. But thank you…

Okay, until tomorrow. I’m dead tired. But I’m still excited by the possibilities!

Carmen (PS. I won’t double check anything so please, forgive any and all of it. I’m just riffing here way past my bedtime and just seeing how this goes).

Support

Like many things in our lives, it’s so much easier when you have the right support to walk you through.

Today, I ran to the beach and back – in total it’s about a 6 mile run.  I ran fiercely today – it wasn’t a struggle at all.  I took no breaks. I felt like the music carried me easily through to finish back home in fairly record time. This may seem silly to those athletic friends of mine who do a 6 mile run at lunch on a regular basis, but for me, this was finally finding my stride.  My comfort zone.

It’s taken me a long time to get back here.

I met a great work-out group via MeetUp a couple of years ago —  Sabertooth Fitness —  and I continue to participate in those classes regularly.  I train with Pete Neumann privately, once a week and I’ve started taking a yoga class at Goorus.  Yoga is something I’ve NEVER been interested in at all, since I’m NOT a fan of the practice.  But I found this YIN class that works for me and it has added a whole other level of mind and body care that I hadn’t even considered.

One of the best things I joined,  which is free, was Kasey’s Walking Group which is just a facebook page of people committed to walking or running every day during the summer months and posting a picture or any update of your “moving” that day.  You go for a walk or a run, post a selfie, and watch others post their pics as well. It’s like a great big support group across the country motivating you to just go for a 10 minute walk if it’s all you can do that day.

This morning, on my way back from my run I stopped and while taking my selfie to post, I realized all this support, all this encouraging, has walked me through a very difficult time in my life. Since February 2018 life has pretty much been a bitch!  It really has!  So many things have happened – some real good: like my book being published — but mostly a lot of bad stuff.  Truth be told, all of them stressful, anxiety driven and very disappointing.

And yet, I’ve stayed on point working out, walking, running and have found myself dealing with each situation with calm and even joy (I know, it sounds weird, but I swear it!).  Today it hit me:  all these groups and “new” friends I’ve met where our common goals have been to stay fit – all that support and encouragement – has helped me get through so many obstacles these past few months unscathed. It’s been incredible.  And today I realized it – lightbulb moment!

For some people I think it may be hard to ask for help.  But for me, I didn’t even realize I needed help.  All this time, as I walked through some minefields these past months, I’d been supported by the camaraderie of friends in a class, or getting to a work-out, or meeting my trainer or just having to post on the group page.  All of these interactions motivated me to get out of the “minefield” situation I was in – take a break, maybe talk about it or not, but return with a fresh new perspective. And today, that just all came together and made so much sense, I had to share it!

My point is we should find ways to put the right people around us so we’re always in a nurturing supportive environment.  I know that sounds easy.  And yes, it seems logical.  But when we’re “in” a bad situation, the last thing we want to do is join a work-out group or post something on a page.  But, if you can push yourself  to join a group on Facebook or Meetup —  to just get out of your head for a bit – it really could help you get through things easier.  If only to give you a break from dealing with whatever “IT” is.  You may also be helping others by possibly being that “support” for someone else, even if you don’t realize it.  And yes, depending on the support environment you choose to create, you could also enjoy the side benefit of having that bikini beach body you’ve always wanted!  🙂

Clearly, today, was a good day for me.

 

 

Competing Beach Wisdom

I went out for a run yesterday morning by the beach.  Five miles, slow and easy.  Nothing too fierce.  James came up beside me and started running backwards in the sand, and as always teasing me a bit with his beautiful self:

“Hey, looking good…race you to the Pier Carm?  Come on.”

I laughed, just a little in that flirty way so he gets the hint that I’m not about to go any faster than I am right now.  He prances off turning around every so often to see if maybe I’ve taken the bait.  He’s absolutely stunningly, by the way.  Even if I could race him, why would I choose to miss such a magnificent view?  The boy’s got perfectly  long muscular  legs, stands about 6 feet tall.  The perfect “back” if you get my “meaning” and has that beautiful “triathalony”, not-one-ounce-of body-fat frame anyone would be jealous of.  And lastly, the dark beautiful skin that’s golden tanned like only the California sun can produce with perfectly blonde “surfer boy” kinda hair that’s a little too long, but perfect all wet and sweaty….

Let me tell you, if there’s ever a question why I work out every morning, let’s just say, I have incentive!

But as I watched James get farther and farther ahead of me, I started thinking a lot about racing and competition.  For as much as I competed as a kid in so many different activities, I was never really a competitor.  I never felt great about winning because I knew that meant someone else had to lose.  And since I had my share of losing, well… it just wasn’t in my nature to like making someone else feel bad,   even if it was fair competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important for kids to learn about competition and more specifically, learn how to compete.  People should learn what it feels like to win and to lose.  I’m completely opposed to these new “rules” in some schools that say everyone always wins and no one ever loses and everyone gets an award and blah, blah, blah.  No.  Winning and losing help develop character in a way that no other experience can.

But, now, when I think back on it – I know I’ve never been a competitor, not in the classic sense anyways.

As a kid, I never competed with anyone else but myself.  I wish I could say it had to do with being so wise, but actually it had more to do with knowing what it felt like to lose and realizing early on that when you win, someone else has to end up feeling bad, someone else has to lose. . . and I hated that more than anything else.  So, when I danced or played basketball and won competitions or games, I always went out of my way to try and be kind, gracious and appreciative to the other competitor or team.  But I hated both – losing and winning for sure.

What I did love, was “being better than I used to be”.  Hearing my instructor tell me that I was 150% better from last weeks show,  or,  when I passed the basketball to a team member and they’d hit the winning shot when before they’d never even really played before…  That was brilliant!  The joy in their eyes or their overwhelming happiness was a different kind of feeling for me  – it’s better than winning actually.  It’s something sort of magical!

Well, suffice it to say, I gave in and started running a little faster to meet up with James.  He wasn’t really running afterall.  He was lightly jogging and turning around every so often to wave at me.  Taunting me really.  I couldn’t help but run as fast as I could when he wasn’t looking and then I leaped  on his back…  we both went crashing down onto the sand, the waves came up ever so close and it gave me just the little head start I needed.  He was surprised and still finding his footing when I dashed ahead towards the pier.

So much for not competing.

Eeehh, I cheated…  But come on, this wasn’t a real competition – suffice it to say, he still beat me (is there anything worse than cheating and still losing?  OYVEY!).   But it was a great work-out and a lot of fun and the reward for finishing was….spectacular!   😉

Happy Day everyone!