30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 29

Over the past month, what has been the easiest AND most difficult part of writing every day?

I can hardly believe tomorrow is the last day of June! And that today is my 29th post! It is completely amazing how taking things one day at a time… can REALLY add up to something a lot bigger!

The easiest part… was committing to doing this daily and knowing that, no matter what, I was going to write every day. No matter how tired of writing I was, or whether or not I felt like writing what the prompt wanted me to… I was going to write! I know most of that motivation came from declaring my goal publicly. (People could see if I failed.) Also… I wanted it to count for my 40 T.B. 40 list, which meant fulfilling it completely. These two motivations kinda halted my procrastination (Though, I fully admit, some posts have been written toward the end of the day.)

The most difficult thing… which surprised me… was feeling like I had run out of words. Things began to feel a bit redundant. But that also challenged me to figure out other ways of writing about them… or choosing a different topic altogether. (After all, the goal has been to write a blog post every day for a month…. and not that I would adhere to a list of prompts for a month.) It was freeing to realize I could change what wasn’t working.

Overall, I’m glad I did it. I learned some things about myself as a writer that I didn’t know before. (Like, maybe I don’t need to feel guilty about not writing every day, because that isn’t my preferred way of doing things- which is OK!.) And I also learned how strong the external motivation (public accountability) needs to be to accomplish a new, daily goal! (I’m wondering how waking up early or getting on the treadmill every day would work with this?!) Even if no one ever read my blog… or cared… I think the fact that the goal is ‘out there’ is enough of a push forward. (I feel like I might need to test this hypothesis.)

I’m looking forward to my last post of the challenge tomorrow!

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 27

W.O.T.Y Update

My ‘word of the year’ is PROGRESS. I haven’t updated in a while about it… but it is going VERY well! Having my ’40 Things Before 40′ list has made it especially easy to move forward and make PROGRESS in a LOT of different areas. This weekend I’ve spent in my basement purging and sorting…with the goal being the organization of the entire basement. (That’s on my ’40 T.B. 40′.) I’m reading more, cooking new recipes, making adjustments with my sleep and eating that will hopefully lead toward PROGRESS in my health. I’ve also scheduled two trips that should take care of FIVE things on my ’40T.B.40′ list!! And of course… I LOVE being able to plan travel again!

It feels SO good to be moving forward and working toward a goal!

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 9

Write about a habit you are trying to change.

It’s fitting that this prompt came up today, as I am one chapter away from finishing the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. (Which, is a wonderfully FANTASTIC book that has already helped me reframe my ‘all-or-nothing’ way of thinking and has SIGNIFICANTLY impacted my W.O.T.Y. (word of the year) journey with PROGRESS. (Honestly, it helped me pick my WOTY in the first place!)

I have about 5 habits I’m actively working to change this summer:

  1. Wake up at 5:30 am. I prefer to sleep in much later… so right now, I’m working on waking up then. (I’m not even trying to be productive yet, the goal right now is just to get used to waking up.)
  2. Go to bed by 9:30 pm. This is almost more difficult than waking up early. I’m a chronic night owl. I LOVE staying up late. The house is so quiet and I don’t feel like I have to ‘beat the clock’… the way I do in the morning. (Because the rest of the family can wake up at any time.)
  3. Write/blog/journal every day. This 30 Day Writing Challenge has successfully motivated me to blog more consistently. But I want to be better about journaling more regularly too!
  4. Daily exercise. Between all of the exercise programs I own on DVD, and the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike we have in our basement, you would think this would be easy to get down there and start. However, finding more enticing motivation than the obvious intrinsic value of being healthy…. has proved difficult.
  5. Working on chores/projects in small chunks of time, daily. This has also been frustrating to even get started. The projects are BIG and feel overwhelming… and I know I just need to start. I’m hoping if I can make the work-chunk small enough and frequent enough, the progress will add up quickly.

I am using a combination of a habit tracker (a sheet of paper I can check off each day as I complete my new habit) as well as earning rewards after a certain number of days in a row. (Star Wars merch I’ve been wanting, Olive and June nail polish (it’s the BEST), etc, etc.)

I’m hopeful it will go well… but successful or not, I’ll update at the end of the summer!

#6 “Complete a Disney Princess Challenge… even if it is virtual.” (40 T.B. 40)

Honesty time: I hate running…. like, I’ve HATED running for as long as I can remember. Most of that hate came from needing to use my inhaler every time my P.E. class had to run the mile. (Yay asthma.)

Fast forward to February 2017…. and I saw the most beautiful race medal I’d ever seen while scrolling Facebook. (Still not sure how that algorithm got triggered to push such an irrelevant ad on my wall.) And as I thought about it, I figured it might not be so bad to walk or run to earn it. AND it turned out to be a virtual race! Which meant I could take as long as I wanted to finish it… and I could run, OR walk, OR BOTH if I wanted to! This also meant I could complete it on my treadmill… which satisfied a few personal exercise boundaries, like not running in any kind of heat… ever… or up large hills.

That was just the beginning of the rabbit hole…

I started really paying attention to other Facebook friends’ race posts… and seeing all of THEIR medals.

Let’s go ahead and get it out of the way now… I don’t walk/run for the personal goal setting, or the runner’s high (that I don’t think I’ve ever had), or even the health/fitness side of it.

I participate 100% because there is a medal at the end of it.

I knew Disney did in-person races because my sister had done an Avenger themed one at Disneyland. And my sister-in-law started running the Princess Half Marathon Weekend races… and those medals were BEAUTIFUL!!!! But Florida and California would never be cold enough. So I just had to hope that Disney would offer something virtual.

Eventually, they did start virtual summer races… but the themes were less than appealing medal-wise. (I think the first year was Pluto themed??)

And then, COVID happened.

For the first time EVER… Disney made the Princess Half Marathon weekend events VIRTUAL!!!!!!!!!!

I signed up immediately.

The 5k was Ariel themed, the 10k was Rapunzel themed, the half marathon was Belle themed, and if you signed up for the ‘Fairy Tale Challenge’ (completing both the half and the 10k) there was a Tiana themed challenge medal!

I’d never done a half before. And knowing how slow my mile is right now… the thought of being on my treadmill for more than 4 hours straight was daunting. Thankfully, I’ve done the Hot Chocolate 15k (in-person) and so I knew I could do 9.321 miles… a half is only 4 more miles than that. It would be a challenge… but I was optimistic about finishing!

If you’ve ever known anyone to run one of these Disney races… you’ll know… dressing up ‘on theme’ is a vital part of the experience! I don’t have many Disney clothes… so I got a bit creative.

For the Ariel 5k: I wore dragon scale leggings and red shoes. I dug out a tiara… that I had originally bought for a Big Bang Theory themed race (because Amy Farrah Fowler wears one for her wedding… and it was a whole ‘thing’ with the other ladies on my team… and really fun!) because tiara just seemed more ‘princess’ than my Minnie ears. I also found some large sparkly starfish-looking earrings.

For the Rapunzel 10k: I wore my pink and purple floral leggings, braided my hair, and added a pink flower along with the tiara.

And finally, for the Belle Half: I wore my Reading Rainbow t-shirt. (Because: 1. It was yellow. and 2. I figure Belle would be a big supporter of a children’s reading program.) I put my hair in a bun, added two different yellow flowers, and of course the tiara (which I almost didn’t wear… but did at the last minute, and I’m glad for it now!). I also found this preserved-in-resin red flower bracelet… which felt very red-rose-esque.

And I found my daughters’ princess figurines and used them to decorate my treadmill.

My race times will not win any records… But I am very proud that I stayed on the treadmill until I finished.

5k: Time: 00:57:01 Mile Pace: 18:21

10k: Time: 02:07:44 Mile Pace: 20:33

Half Marathon: Time 03:59:18 Mile Pace: 18:16

The only race I had any significant goals for was the Half. First, I wanted to finish! Then, I wanted to finish under 4 hours. I just BARELY squeaked by hitting that goal!!

This was a wonderful experience!! And I am so thankful I attempted it! I’m not sure if I will attempt it again. (Perhaps if the virtual race stay an option… or if I feel like my fitness level significantly improves.)

Side table prepped for the Half… the Haribo gummies weren’t eaten… but they were a fun decoration.