Once a Month, no not THAT

Maybe I am nuts but there is something about having a goal that just makes life better.  I need something to look forward to and work towards.  Something that matters to me that I can make happen or get ready for.  A focus.

Sure the holidays are heading our way faster than a cheetah into a herd of zebras.  (or whatever it is they rush into)

This weekend I found myself going through the swag given to us at the Race for the Cure 5k and one item in particular peaked my interest.

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Yes the morning after, when I should be regretting it the most, I was longing to do it all again!

Which got me thinking.  Why not do one every month?

At least for a year.

So here goes!  Can’t wait til the next one and judging by what I had seen online, if you have the time and the cash for the entry fees you could do a 5k every week.

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Sandy Butts Everywhere

Busy day today wrapping up a few things in getting ready for my return to classes.  Still feels funny to say that & makes me slightly giddy!  I know I’m a bit of a geek & will be kicking myself for doing this later when I am struggling to study or complete homework, but for now I’m just happy!  The closer it gets to the first class the more I realize needs to be done.

  • classes paid for: check
  • parking pass: check
  • ID & libray card: check
  • books: check (& saved around $70 getting them online since the store is closed til Monday, even WITH shipping)
  • get new insurance: working on that one.  I HATE figuring out which medical insurance plan to go with.
  • all the other crap “needed” to attend school:  ……yeah…. working on getting all that stuff.  So much could be helpful, but thinking old school – pens, paper.. with a dash of new school – memory stick.  Who knows.

Already I am feeling like the nontraditional student.  The faces on campus today certainly looked younger than me.  Learned that you can now rent textbooks instead of buying them and they now make erasable highlighters!  Guess things have changed a little since I was carrying around the books.

Part of me just wants to start already but another side says cherish these free moments.  Soon I will be nose deep in books and working again on the side.  Make memories while I can and live each second.

Which is why I am spending as much time as possible with this view

is there anything better than can be done in life alone that makes you feel better than relaxing on the sand with the sound of waves rushing on to the shore?  Thankfully most of the time its still not crowded and the sound of the waves is all I hear other than the occasional engine of the lifeguard’s truck or today the sound of a couple of Ospreys passing by on route back to base.  (I think those guys intentionally take the coastal path to scope the beach & who could blame them!)

I honestly think without the ocean, I would be insane.  It has a therapeutic magic that is unlike anything else.  At least for me.

With today being the 10th I thought it fitting to give some love back to the beach.  To protect the piece of peace in my world.  Plus I’m inspired by someone who is locally doing great things!

Amazes me at how many cigarette butts are left behind.  Even when I did smoke, we never left the butts in the sand.  You picked it up & took it with you.  Obviously not everyone acts the same.

Thankfully there are people who are working hard to keep our beaches & ocean from being polluted with the trash left behind.  Read a tweet today that at Wrightsville Beach, It Starts With Me blogger picked up NINE butts in about a second!  Completely unacceptable.  Currently there is a push to ban smoking on our local beaches.  I understand that many would be upset by this, but when you aren’t respecting the beaches, I’m not sure you deserve to be smoking there.

Unfortunately this isn’t just a problem here.  People are trashing our beaches everywhere.  Check out a west coast view of the issue at The Daily Ocean blog.

Clearly if you see what they can do in just a few moments a day, you have to feel inspired to clean up after yourself when you visit!

There is only one type of butt that should be on our beach! – mine relaxing without seeing a piece of trash or smelling anything but salt water.

Hoping through the efforts she & her family are committed to, others gain a better understanding of the impact of such a seemingly small thing.   May her actions inspire others to join in the process.  I know it has me thinking more about what is in the sand.  Perhaps next time I go out, I will take my own bag to collect trash and those pesky cigarette butts.

Maybe even take it a step further and join the local chapter of Surfrider Foundation.  Certainly feeling like giving some love to the waters that make me feel so alive and ground me into feeling that in the middle of all that stresses me, I am there in that moment and I am as I should be.

Certain sounds just soothe.  My grandmothers giggles & yes she could get them often.  She would get tickled over the most random things and then everything would be silly.  It over took her and she would be helpless to the laughter.  Deep laughing to the point where the tears come to your eyes and you can barely speak.  Skip that days ab work out because you are going to be feeling them.  How anyone could possibly not join it was beyond me.  You wouldn’t have a clue what started it, but it felt right to join in.

The ocean is similar.  It mellows.  Takes me to a place inside that still believes in happy endings, love and connections stronger than death.  Comforts me in a way that feel esoteric.   Heavenly.  As if you have found the place where you venture into the outskirts of the after.  You feel peace and forget worries since only your soul will live on.  As long as you have a pure soul and can deal with your choices, you can find peace for a while.  As if laying on that warm sand, feeling the sun’s rays, the body just slips slightly out of line with the spirit.  Like the many kites flown on the beach, our spirits seem to feel safe enough to float & expand beyond our limits.  How many great ideas have been discovered on those sands?  How many troubles have been reevaluated only to see they really weren’t such a big deal to begin with once you remove the passion of the moment.  Its just a magic that is beyond comprehension.  Primal tie to our soul.

Even typing about it has slowed me down and made me think its time to sleep.  Baxter has been snoring away by my side for a while and the birds have long gone “night night”.  We will have to see who is going to be waking who tomorrow.  For a change it may actually end up being one of them!

One night I will sleep on the beach.

I can only imagine the peaceful night that would be.

Outside of a dog a book is man’s best.

Since adding the 10 on 10 aspect to this blog, I have really started to look forward to the 10th of each month.  Its a chance to just give without a reason or giving myself grief about “can I afford to do this?”, “is there a better way to spend this cash”… nope.  Budgeted & its not my money – its to be shared.  More than that its a chance to support in efforts I care about or are inspired by.

This month I am certainly inspired.

Having just finished a book within a couple of days, I am officially bitten by the reading bug.  Started book number 3 of 2012 – still another non-fiction one that is slowly being read, but another fiction work has sucked me in.  I know reading on the treadmill isn’t going to win any races, but it certainly made that 30 minutes fly faster than ever!

I am so grateful for being able to read.

Its a gift that my parents gave to me early in life.  Teachers who knew that by learning to read, you give keys to life.  So many lessons and secrets that would never be discovered otherwise are found within the pages bound in each cover.  Knowledge, guidance, confirmation and reminders.  Even a space to get away from life..  all discovered in books.  The library was a place where we were very familiar, even before the days where my Dad retired from teaching to work there.  New books were always coming into our house.  So many nights spent together reading “just one more story” before we were tucked in & lights out.

evidently my sister was really excited to hear about the Baskin Robbins adventures

Historically, (WAY back when) I know it was something taught to boys, not girls – since it was more for business and government which was not for the fairer sex.  Now I am lucky enough to live in an era where barely anything is off limits for me as a girl.  I can explore the world equally.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  ~Sir Richard Steele

Part of me still struggles with reading electronically, but it works.  It is easy & I guess eco-friendly.  But there is a magic beauty to be found in turning a page to find written words there for you to see.

So this month, I want to share the gift.

I want to help others to read.

There is nothing that will ever give me a glimpse into what the world is like for someone who is illiterate, but I know from work that there are adults locally who simply do not have the skill.  It breaks my heart & I have to wonder what life they have had to endure to reach adulthood without anyone being there who was able to connect in a way that they learned.

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” ~Mortimer J. Adler

So my gift this month is to the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

This group works hard to enable local residents to learn to read.  They work with those who are just learning to read and people who are learning to understand English.  They offer a place for everyone to grow in their learning.

What better gift to give right now?

Even when reality seems hard to face, a vacation from the day can be found in a book.

So thank you Mom & Dad.  You have enabled me to go further than you can imagine by taking the time to share with me this love of reading.  I know it probably wasn’t a quick or easy task, but I truly am grateful.

Mustache Ali

Moustache? for moi?

maybe not… but for today I have to.  Inspired.

Thanks to Twitter I learned of this fundraiser from a seasoned grower himself!  Check out @Jergo for his status on this year’s new growth.  Better yet do like I have & DONATE!  You can give a little or a lot, but every little bit helps kids who could really use the cash.

2011 Mustaches for Kids Promo from Matt Ev on Vimeo.

I moustache you to help too!

Remember back when I said this month’s 10 on 10 was going to be at a later date?  This is why! Had to support this great cause.

Wilmington’s Mustaches For Kids is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been giving to children’s charities since 1999. These guys spend a month growing mustaches and raising cash for local organizations.

Donating is easy.  Just go HERE, make whatever donation you can to jgodwin@jerbgo.com (remember to choose “PERSONAL” & “GIFT”) & follow along as the month goes on to see this year’s ‘stache progress.

To those participating: GROW ON!

Funny enough, facial hair has always sort of been a turn off for me. Throw back to bad experiences of my youth made me slightly untrusting, well other than Santa.  Still lately I am learning about the beard. Part of healing has to be rethinking those thoughts that you think but don’t really have a good reason why.  If you can’t defend the belief, why support it.  So open mind, open heart & forget the fear.

Finding myself seeing past it to the comforting eyes behind.  The guys who are participating in Mustaches for Kids prove the fantastic things these hairy guys can do.  So tossing the old urges aside & opening my world to a whole new view.

Added bonus I never thought of before: its great for exfoliating.  Don’t think about that too long.  Probably too much information but my lips are doing wonderful even in this cooler weather!  Funny enough one of the dates I thought wouldn’t amount to much more than just a night out is the one that I’m finding myself thinking more and more about.  Who knows where it will lead but I know it tis the season of the ‘stache! (no not @jergo! Don’t want to start any rumors by misunderstanding.)

Now I am afraid I MOUSTACHE away & defurrify my face.  Admittedly the fuzz is not my style.

Life Check Time

Time to update & maybe set a few additional goals.   Its been a while.

Health

At the moment, my health is good – still struggling to accept things that are.  Still trying to get into more of a scheduled exercise regimen or set some goals to keep me going.  Just too easy to forget sometimes.

Might be time to do something more structured.  A diet challenge or exercise challenge.  Wondering how fast I can walk the distance from here to Walt Disney World?  Time to dust off the pedometer & see!

Money

Is anyone in this country where they want to be financially?

With the holidays coming up this is a tough one.

Still adapting to making less in a job that fits me better.  Sadly I admit that I am using credit cards more that I would like.  Still haven’t touched the 401k, but I’m not adding to it & frankly its looking puny with the stocks.  Very tempting to slip it out and into an account where I can use it if needed – which I’m sure I would find something that I needed!  So its staying where it is.

Thankfully my parents set up my first account in a credit union and that is where I have stayed (& continue to).  I have not had to deal with corporate banks ever other than HSAs & 401ks set up by employers.  May look into moving the 401k to the credit union soon.  Then I wouldn’t have anything to do with them other than the credit cards, which sooner or later I would like to do away with all together.  Guess this needs more thinking & focus.

Relationships

Meh? well what can I say…. I keep trying.

I continue to go on dates & be open, but honestly I’m not really enamored by anyone at this point.  I have met a lot of great guys and yes a few that I was very grateful to be done with at the end of the date.  Trying new things & staying open to others that I would normally pass by.  Bonus is that occasionally I do let them pay when they offer & things are going good, which is great for the finances.  Still doing the dutch thing mostly for self respect and so I’m not giving anyone the wrong impression.

Not spending as much time with the family as I would like, but have enjoyed the time together more.  Not as much strife or tension.  Some great memories are being made as houses are transformed, trips taken & of course that amazing day going to the Panthers game & getting to sit so close to the field.

I’m still making new friends & sticking to the goal of spending at least an hour with someone non-family related.  There are so many incredible people in my life that its never enough time to catch up with everyone.

Said good-bye to Bongo, which still hurts more than I could have expected.  Welcoming Barris to the flock has been great & he seems to bring a few characteristics that Bongo had – like spending so much time on a certain swing & hanging upside down.  Still building on the relationship & trust, but I already love the lil guy.  Thankful that Bijou grows closer, Grouch still is a riot with the love he gives, Binx is biting a lot less & behaving better and of course Baxter is my world & the best snuggle buddy a gal could ask for on a chilly night.

I’m truly blessed.

Spirituality

Feeling pulled more and more to stay true to what I feel and explore in depth more.  I’m more open with who I am which has made for quite a few interesting conversations on dates.  To one as soon as I answered that I don’t attend church, when asked what church I went to, was the end all be all of that date.  To another learning that I was psychic turned into a constant game of “what do you see for me?”, “how do we turn out?”, etc. which while I appreciate his enthusiasm, I wasn’t there for a reading.  Besides I still believe that every choice we make can change the path we are on.  Although something might come up, it doesn’t mean its set in stone.  Hoping to find the balance soon.

Agreed to do a few new things that will have me relying on believing in my abilities & looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

So less private & more acceptance that what I believe is just as valid as anyone else’s religion.  The divine can’t be pigeon holed into just one path, in my opinion.  Why shouldn’t there be various paths to walk.  Everyone is called to be who they are inside and trust that they are who they need to be or free themselves from the binding holding them back.

While it still is painful to think about the past and things that have been said, I recognize that those people for the most part are not in my life any longer (other than a few family members who I value enough to forgive).  I should be thankful for the test that they presented allowing myself to grow stronger in the end and just be who I am – without fear that everyone I meet will be as judgmental as they were.

Also have decided that I want to get my astrological chart done, but that I’m sure will be another post in the future.

Giving

While the Breast Cancer walk might have been a bit of a let down since I wasn’t aware of how it would actually work, I’m proud to say that I was able to raise money that without the walk, I wouldn’t have been able to give them.  Sure I may have gotten flak for helping such a highly publicized organization instead of one that could have benefited from the money more or that helped the cancer that my mom is battling.  Truth is that if we have to focus on one in particular to find a way to prevent, cure or treat effectively, I’m all for it.  Solutions for one problem sometimes can help to solve others.  I’m glad I was able to help some & thankful that I’m not fighting that battle myself.

Loving the 10 on 10 challenge.  Looking forward to helping a few more causes or people every month.  The $10 might not be a huge donation, but being able to remember and give each month is great!

Hobbies

I have the urge to sew again, but just haven’t taken the steps to restart.

Loving the shots of life I have captured and looking forward to catching a few more.  Still working on completing the scavenger hunt.

Home

I still hate this house.  I have given up on it.

This morning I checked on my dream stuff in hopes of inspiration, only to find that the dresser with the mirror on top is no longer available at IKEA, so it seems life has given up on the dream bedroom change too.  Whatever.

Its just a box.  A cage.  A place to do what I have to in the inbetween work shifts and meeting with people.  There is no love in these walls.  Still I am thankful to have what I have.  Its not a tent or box on a street or moving back in with the parents so for my own space I am grateful.

Could be worse, but it could be SOOOO much better.

Work

Daily I am reminded how tough the work search is & I am so thankful that my own change in employment never led me to unemployment assistance or some of the other drastic things I hear others have had to do.

I wish I could help everyone connect with there own dreams.  Glad I am able to assist a few along the way.  Sure I see some of the horror stories and take the brunt of angst for those who are frustrated with their process.  Hoping that every day I can do something to help someone – be it the employees to find someone new to work with or the people seeking a new way to get by.

Also recognizing that it takes so much to get by living alone.

Hoping to add something new to the income stream, but working out the details and dreams.  Still enjoying working as a recruiter and catering server when I get the chance.  Fulfilling work indeed! Making dreams come true should be something everyone gets the chance to do.

I truly am lucky.

Pink, pink, pink

pink1
pink2
pink3

So many shades of pink.
So many ways to wear it, live in it, love it.

Tonight, let it be a reminder. As different as we all are, we all are effected in some way. A mother, a daughter, a aunt, grandmother, sister, friend or co-worker… any of us can be called to fight.

Thankful for those who become survivors.
Thinking of the warriors.
and honoring those who we have lost.

Do your part.

Fight breast cancer anyway you can.

I am. (& you can help with donations or sharing the link)

Saturday is the walk. So thankful I am able to walk.

Enough

A catalog arrived today and on the way inside I stopped by the recycle bin & dropped it off.  Didn’t even flip a page.  Directly into the bin.

There used to be a time where I would be excited to see the book of possibilities and new ideas in the mailbox.  I would spend hours looking through and wondering if this or that would be the next best thing in my life.  What would I bring into my world to define me or enhance my life?

Some I still look over, but lately they just make me sad.  I want things that I don’t need.  Things that I do not have money to be spent on.  Things I already have.  Excess.

But why?  Part of it has been growing up shopping filled a need.  Part of it is just the desire to make life better.  Its not the things we want, its the potential promises they represent.  The new bed frame represents the release of old memories.  The potential of making more memories.  Redefining the room to more of my style now instead of the style of the person I once was.  I want to, but do I need to?

I have a bed.  A clean, comfortable bed in a room with a roof that keeps me safe and dry.  Why this constant craving for more?

As kids my sister & I had more toys than we could ever have played with.  We were blessed with games, hot rods, barbies and all the play-doh, crayons and bubbles a kid could dream of.  Yet take us to a toy store & we were bound to find that thing-a-ma-bob that we just had to have otherwise we would be scarred for life.  Sometimes we ended up getting it then, the next birthday or holiday.  Sometimes we never got that thing.  Funny thing is, I can’t recall a single thing I didn’t get that I thought I had to have.  I lived on.

Yet even as an adult I feel these urges to have this or that.  To have the kitchen table with matching chairs.  Even though I am alone in this house and what I have is enough.  We always want more.

I remember my sister & I would play a game with the catalogs & sales ads that would start to arrive this time of year.  We would go through page by page & each pick one thing on each page that we would “get”.  We couldn’t pick the same thing.  The person who picked first on one page would be the second to pick on the next page.

Do we ever find that place were we just are happy with the people and things we have in our lives? or is it a constant search of the next best thing?  Maybe the key is to stop searching & looking at what can be and focus more on what is – right now.

That & to be sure to do what we can to help others

and give ourselves a bit of TLC!

Well and read actual books instead of just catalogs!