50!

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I am…*looks at calendar*..oh about 33 days late posting this! Consistent with the Xmas photos 🙂 So yeah, 1/3/15 was the big 5-0. And it was a Saturday. The Friday night before I had a very nice dinner with the family up near my parent’s house. That freed up Saturday for my local friends. I had asked Renee to throw something simple together and she did a GREAT job! Not only did some locals show up, but she had extended an invitation to my remote friends to make a video message for me or send me a card. I’ve never had so many cards mailed to me for my birthday! They pretty much replaced the holiday cards on my mantle and the videos were such a lovely treat. So here’s some photos from the gathering at the Beer Lounge. What you wont see is the real excitement – me, setting my hair on fire as I blew out the candles!! Thankfully the person who was taking the photos had the presence of mind to put her phone down and smother the flame out. FEW! I mean, we are alluding to me having a Fabulous Girl on Fire Year of being Fifty, but I wasn’t supposed to be so LITERAL!!

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So, that was 2011.

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And so it begins to end today.

Another year.

365 days.

We are somehow compelled to reflect on what has come and gone – yes, a trap I am falling into right now 🙂

It’s interesting how the entire human race seems to need to wrap up these calendar years with a little bow.

You can’t watch/listen to or read anything today that isn’t a compilation of the Best and Worst of 2011 according to the “experts” in their given categories.

Resolutions are supposed to be made.

The vast percentage will be about losing the weight put on as massive amounts of food/drink/cookies have been consumed since Halloween.

Most will give up before Valentines Day 😉

I rarely make resolutions on New Years since my birthday follows right after and I tend to view that day as my Resolution Day.

Not this year.

Resolutions are too limiting – a lesson I learned in 2011.

After all – the few I made last year…what the heck were they again? (pauses to go back and read last year’s entry….)…hah – that’s funny to look at! Ok, the one annoying bad habit I wanted to stop? FAIL. But…eh..it’s alright. No harm, no foul. I wanted to continue reading more…well..FAIL on that one too! But this one cracks me up…here’s an excerpt:

“I think my goal will be to be able to run farther before I start sucking wind (loudly, it’s rather humiliating the noise that one makes when one is gassed – and I get gassed way to quickly still!). To be more specific, perhaps if I could run twice around the buildings at the gym or once around my block without needing an oxygen tank?”

Well, I think I blew THAT one out of the water quite nicely thank you very much!

See, this is why I say resolutions are too limiting.

Who knew that the eventual cancellation of the circuit training classes that got me so into shape that addiction was formed, would then lead me to take up running in earnest? To the point that not only could I run twice around those buildings now, but that I ran a 5k race in just over 30 minutes AND I actually chose yesterday to RUN instead of NAP?!!

So I guess I’ll call that resolution a big huge WIN!

Notice there is nothing in there about writing?

Sure, I didn’t read AS MUCH as I wanted (though I did indeed finish all the book on my nightstand and read a few more). But, I did start to write more.

I even started to LIKE it.

That wasn’t even on my list.

Now, I am working on writing as a source of supplemental income.

Sure, it’s web content and technical writing…..but still…it’s flexing muscles in my brain that had laid long dormant.

In fact, you could say that 2011 was the year I stopped HATING two things and starting LOVING them instead: Running & writing.

Hell, I’m even starting to be fascinated by the concept of internet marketing and sales. Sales! ICK!

Yes, the universe taught this old dog some new tricks in 2011.

I also learned that that old summer camp song from my childhood was spot on:

Make new friends,

but keep the old,

one is silver,

but the other is gold

I’ve made some wonderful new friends this year who I hold as close to my heart as those I’ve known for decades.

So, if there is ANYTHING to resolve for 2012 and the year I turn 47..which will be the Year of the Dragon when the Chinese New Year comes around which is my birth year..(what, you couldn’t tell I was a dragon? Where ya been?!) it is this:

I will RUN up Torrey Pines Hill this year. I’ve walked it over a hundred times over the years, but this year, I will run it without pushing my heart rate into the stratosphere.

And THEN I WILL need an oxygen tank at the top 😉

But that’s it. Because as far as I look at it, as corny as it is, every day you wake up is the start of a New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday resolutions

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In my typically contrarian way, I am again, bucking tradition and not making any New Year’s Resolutions.

I tend to think of mine more as birthday ones, IF I make any at all given that my birthday is so close to the New Year.

Anyhow, 46 has crept up. I’m trying to remain zen about that.

I’ll get back to you on how that is going.

1) I’ve got myself back into the reading habit so my goal is to keep that rolling again this year. I have about a dozen books left on the dresser from that pile I inherited and after that I’m going to make sure my library card is active and start catching up on some current books and authors that I discovered in 2010.

2) The ever classic resolution to “go to the gym” is covered since I managed to continue with the circuit training group and trainers who I love. I saw a weight in 2010 that I probably had not seen since 1995 and even though Mother Nature keeps heaping the numbers in the old age bucket on me, I actually feel stronger and more capable of keeping my balance when needed (such as putting up and taking down decorations on a rather steeply sloped hillside!). I think my goal will be to be able to run farther before I start sucking wind (loudly, it’s rather humiliating the noise that one makes when one is gassed – and I get gassed way to quickly still!). To be more specific, perhaps if I could run twice around the buildings at the gym or once around my block without needed an oxygen tank? Yeah, that’d be good 🙂 I’d also like to get some 12 and 15lb hand weights to add to the challenge when I work out at home. I’m trying to keep up doing 20-30 reps with the 10lb weights on the days in between formal work outs.

3) I have a ridiculously small, silly, yet highly annoying bad habit which only really impacts me that I’ve had since I was quite small that I have just GOT to stop to preserve minor levels of sanity. One of those things that happens unconsciously and then irritates me to no end, but since no one else is impacted or even notices it is triple hard to stop. But, stop I will and I bet this will be the hardest one for me. Since it is something related to concentrating on things, I’ve started breaking the habit while being home on vacation. Getting back to work is going to be a real test. Actually what it will take is keeping my mind more present and aware at all times. Which is really hard with all this ADD inducing technology surrounding me! But conquer it I will (dammit).

Just those 3 should do it. Age has brought me the wisdom to know not to push it & then get all distressed when items are not ticked off successfully 😉

Plus, I’m lazy.

And not young.

Now, pass me the ginko so that I don’t forget those three.

ZEN! ZEN!

“Age is just a number” (yeah, but that’s a pretty fucking high number).

Have you noticed how places group the ages? Yeah, I just crawled into the 46-50 group.

Shit.

ZEN ZEN ZEN!

*help*

 

I resolve not to make any resolutions

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Except maybe to walk along the beach below the Torrey Pines trails more often – here’s why:

High clouds created muted, but interesting colors on the water

Guy Fleming trail viewpoint

The boy on Red Butte off the Razor Point trail - 13 year olds are so cooperative with the smiles!

The tree that I use as my profile pic sometimes. Razor Point Trail.

He only agreed to smile nicely since it was my birthday 🙂

On the beack below the Guy Fleming Trail

Willet foraging at the wave line just before he escaped being lunch!

Perfect example of the layers of sandstone that make up the cliffs. Green to tan to red. There must have been a falcon perched up there because...

….just a little further up the beach Sportsboy & I noticed an interesting looking “ledge” of the green sandstone at the base of the cliff & we went for a closer look and I was about to take photos when out of the corner of my eye I saw two birds swooping down from the cliffs straight at him! They swerved right past (he swears he could have reached out his arms and knocked one out of the air) and leveled out and flushed the Willet and chased it up the beach. I thought for SURE the Willet was lunch because I knew right away they were a pair of Peregrines. One noticeable larger than the other and the big one was on that poor Willet’s tail! Somehow the Willet was just evasive enough – I think it used a life guard tower as a diversion – to escape at which point the smaller falcon swooped back up to the cliff face just above us and settled down. The larger one actually perched on the somewhat distant life guard tower rail for a bit & I was insanely jealous of the people near there who seemed clue less to the spectacle! Meanwhile I tried my best to get some sort of shot of the smaller one above us – here’s a cropped version which gives a little bit better look:

Peregine Falcon on a cliff ledge just below Guy Fleming Trail at Torrey Pines

The larger one then took off and came swooping right past us again – got a full view of all those dramatic markings, particularly the face mask and streaked underbelly. Such glorious birds to see in flight like that!

No Resolutions. No Year End Lists. Just a post like any other.

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Ever the independent rebel, this is not the typical Year in Review or New Year’s Resolution post. The most you get is the header change to New Year’s fireworks 🙂 You see, those other things take organization. Clear mindedness. Heck, any kind of mindedness! And the timing is just not right for me on those at the moment. I need to de-clutter first. Literally. I know, you see the pictures of  my house and think, what clutter? True enough that I have been successful at maintaining order int the areas seen by guests. But that does not mean by a long shot that there is not excess stuff in here. It’s just quite cleverly hidden. At Thanksgiving break I made a list of those hidden places that needed clearing out. A few were tackled before the Christmas decorating began. Looking at all this time off work, one would think the rest would be done. Theoretically. Maybe. However, there is a clog in the process. Ok, two clogs. The main one is that the last step in any de-cluttering process is throwing things away. Which I cannot. Because the trash in the garage is already overflowing thanks to DS1. In his prepartions to move out, he’s been stocking up on things he didn’t have before. Like a real bed. A new computer. A new tv etc etc. All of which means the old items need to be disposed. And the new things came in boxes. Then Christmas meant more new boxes for everyone. And even though we toss out as much as we can with each weekly trash pick up, the containers can only hold so much. So I am stopped. I’ve cleaned out a couple of little drawers and one closet shelf which makes me feel that *something* is getting done, but it’s no where near what I wanted. Even if I wanted to take down decorations, I cannot get near the shelf with the holiday boxes anyway. So instead I allow myself to be distracted by the other reason for not getting things done – Harry Potter.  It’s so much easier to just get lost in the books.

The only thing I can say is that once the clutter is dealt with, I will most likely think through the best way to handle all that 2009 will be. I know that on the surface it will be as hectic as 2008 since I have the same obligations and DS2 will be in the same activities.  I’d like to handle all of those with a little more balance. Which probably means less blogging. Certainly NO daily commitment 🙂

Have a safe and happy new years eve and new years day. I do look forward to sharing 2009 with everyone! I know that many of my cyber-friends have had truly crappy times in 2008 so in support of you I will say Goodbye and Good Riddance to Suck-It ’08!

Hello 42

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As in 42 years old. Hmm. Not sure if I like that or not!!

I am taking the day off. Slept until 9:15. Oh, that was nice!! Now I am taking down outdoor decorations. It’s a gorgeous, warm sunny breezy day here. I’m enjoying being outdoors for the first time in many days.

Ok, on to resolutions. I think I was about 50% successful with last years. As always, nothing is set in stone and as the year evolves, those things that seem important in January may lose their luster which is fine. Remaining flexible with this is as important as staying focused 🙂 Overall I am happy with 2006 and will continue to build from there.

I really have just one this year: Be more open to people on an everyday basis. My plan for accomplishing this is to make eye contact more often with everyone I see throughout my day. Smile more. Say hello. Make small talk. Listen more. The background to this is that I have always felt somewhat socially awkward and insecure. My nature is to be very reserved. Not shy, just quiet and contained within myself. Which makes me look aloof and unapproachable I know. I don’t like that. I never developed real chatting and small talk skills because I tend to avoid such everyday contact with people I don’t know. Of course, if I let down that guard and chat more, then I will know more people, right? Bingo! It’s not that I don’t feel like I have enough friends. Not at all. But I feel as if it is all or nothing with me. I think it is time to fill in the middle bit.

Resolution check in

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I figure its halfway through January – typically the falling off point for New Years Resolutions 🙂 So it might be a good idea to document my self discipline.

Credit cards have stayed unused. I also created a budget which includes deposits to savings every paycheck. That started automatically from my 1/15 paycheck. Stuck to my 1/1 pay period budget without issue. Of course the Ebay proceeds helped, but I would have been fine without those too.

5 workouts at Curves so far this month so on pace for that.

I was thrilled that my one forray into fast food – In n Out – created no stomach issues like McDonalds had back in December. Gotta have me a double double every once in awhile! Otherwise I have kept up with the organic meats and produce. Vons is really helping me with this one AND helping with it not hitting the aforementioned budget too hard. They introdued their own full line of organic food products! Pastas, sauces, salad dressings, cereals, juices – all very good tasting so far and much more economical than the brands at Jimbos. Nice! No Claritin so far this year. I did battle some minor sinus pain during my hormonal week, but it was controllable with ibuprofen only. The hormone head and neck pain did last nearly the whole week though. That was a bummer.

I finished a book! Al Franken’s The Truth with Jokes. The one that one of my bob friends got signed for me when he was on his book tour. Boy did that fire me up! I’ll be getting on that political essay soon now. I’ve made reading a priority every other night and shut down the computer. Only have two magazines in the rack right now. I get two monthlies – Oprah for my fun stuff and San Diego Mag for local articles. Also two weeklies – The Nation for my progressive political interests and of course Sports Illustrated! So its pretty good that only two are unread at this point. Next up for a book is Direct Actions bu Terry Olson. He’s a Bootribber 🙂 I am three chapters into it and hooked!

Last one – emoting. Hmm..guess I should have an outside opinion on this one! No, I can tell. I just *feel* more open. Its not that I am not thinking before I speak, but I am trying to think with my heart if that makes sense. There were a couple of situations that came up which I think I handled better than I have in the past.

Ok, not bad. Will check in on these again in February!