A Quick Christmas Break

Hello friends and family. I sat down tonight to write a post and before I could form my thoughts I decided something. To give you and myself a holiday present.

Many people who blog do it for extra income or their only income. Everything is carefully crafted to be the best version of their “brand”.  Even if that brand is their own self. I’m envious of these people at times, but then I think of moments like this and I’m thankful of my own world. Of what I’ve developed with ROJ.

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I’m taking a quick Christmas Break. Between holiday gatherings, last minute celebrations, charity opportunities and play involvement I can barely imagine time for working out or sharing my life with everyone. Which I do plan to keep doing, but for now…go out there and create happy winter memories. I’ll be here when you get back and I hope you will all be here when I get back.

It’s my gift to you and myself. Happy Holidays. There may be a post here or there, if the urge strikes me, but for the most part….let’s send 2014 out with peace and love, maybe a bang isn’t needed this time around.

Social Creativity

We touched before on the importance of nurturing your creative side. Although I haven’t mentioned it much since then, I have been practicing what I preach. This weekend was full of art and crafts, but in a way I made it social and even found a way to give back. Yes, a part of the process was just for me, but why not include others in the process too?

Saturday I woke up and headed out the door to my quilting class. Recently my grandma came across a great deal on sewing machine, and in more easy payments than I’d like to think about, it will be 100% all mine. Since I’m used to using a machine where I didn’t do much more than forward or backward movement, I needed a class to know how to use the advanced functions.

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I won’t bore you with all the details, but I learned every stitch and button on the machine. Overall it took about 4 hours. The things I loved most were learning how to make a button hole (and attaching a button), darning a sock, and how to change feet on a machine. Important because I now have a quarter inch foot which will make quilting a bazillion times easier.

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While at the shop I saw a sign for Project Linus. Back in high school we were required to do a certain number of volunteer hours in order to graduate. The students called it “forced volunteerism”.  Since we were the only class where it was required, apparently others saw it this way too. Anyway. One of the options for volunteer hours was to make a blanket for Project Linus. We were taught a very basic crochet or knitting stitch and sent along our merry way. This was great for me because I could do it on my own time (hello work plus 10 extra curricular activities) and I learned a new skill. Once I completed my task I didn’t think about the organization for another 12 years.

Seeing the sign this weekend I was so happy it was still around! When I got home I immediately went to Google and found our local chapter and donation site. I also found out if there were any special requests. Sometimes sources need a certain size or type of blanket more than others. As long as I make it at least 36 x 45 inches and don’t use any scented cleaners I’m in the clear. I headed to Jo-Ann Fabric and picked up new crochet hooks and two HUGE skeins of yarn. Should be enough to make 2 blankets.

Mom and I paused while shopping to admire their creative department specific “holiday dresses”.

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Sunday I headed off to my first BYOB painting experience. Since it was 1 in the afternoon my “B” was water instead of wine. And it stayed water the entire time. Honestly, I was a little nervous about the experience. Would I make an ugly picture? Would people laugh? Would it be quite and serious?

Corky Creations was the name of the place giving the party at a host’s house. For $15 (since there were more than 9 of us, otherwise it is $20) we were provided with EVERYTHING we needed. Canvas, paint, brushes, ETC. The host even had snacks and drinks if you wanted. We looked around at previous projects

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and upcoming features.

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I decided I really need to make the classic looking snowman next month.

At the start of class we all made a toast and repeated key phrases. Basically “I will not say mine sucks” “I will have fun” “I will not say ‘I effed it up'”. Once we were all laughing, and the hot chocolate and cookies were flowing, we cranked up the Christmas tunes and got to work. Our project was to create a Christmas Tree in the woods.

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We started with the moon, then the sky, then the tree, the snow, and finally decorating the tree.

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I snapped pictures at each part of the process, not to be able to share later, but because I was convinced each next step would be the one where I “messed up”.

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Amazingly I was beyond exciting when we finished and I really, really liked my painting. I liked it so much I now can’t wait to do the next class!

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I’m going to find a spot in my place perfect for various crafts and as my collection grows I can change it out seasonally.

How did you spend the weekend? Do you remember to keep up with your creative side? Do you use your creative side to be social or give back to others?

Make a Losing List

With Christmas just around the corner it’s the perfect time to think about making a list and checking it twice. Let’s find out what behaviors are naughty for our bodies and which ones are nice.

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This week at Weight Watchers we talked about our losing lists. We approached it from a few different angles. First we examined or reexamined as the case may be,  our motivations for joining. Was it to feel more active? Was it to fit into a certain pair of jeans? Everyone had their own story. Things which touched me personally in our group included an older lady who shared how her grandchildren would call her “fluffy grandma” and she didn’t want to be “fluffy” anymore. She wanted to be able to be more active with them. It struck me because there’s a part of me that always assumed there would be a point in my life where I could stop trying so hard. Where it wouldn’t matter what I looked like, I would be content with my life. It never occurred to me that 1) If I don’t take care of my body, one day I wouldn’t be able to have a good quality of life. 2) If I learn the right practices NOW it will stop being work, because it will simply be natural.

Another member who struck a chord with me was a girl slightly younger than myself who shared she joined not because of a weight problem, but because she knew her eating habits were bad and she wanted to restructure herself before any weight related consequences found their way into her life. Listening to her speak I could hear myself at her age…I could also hear myself often today. “I can still do my events” “My figures are still good at the doctors”. For how much longer though? Do I really want to play a game of wondering the rest of my life if my weight will (would have) caught up to me? Or would I rather life a healthy life and have one less thing to worry about?

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When it was my turn to speak. I shared how in the almost year that I’ve been a member, I’ve have different “goals” related to being a member of WW. At first it was about losing as much weight as possible. There’s a part of me that still wants to lose some weight. Now there’s a few more things I want out of my experience. I want to change my relationship with food. I hate how I still see a lot of healthy stuff as “need to eat more” and the not as healthy as “normal”. I want to be that person who buys fruit and veggies without thinking. I want to be the person who doesn’t have to debate on not buying a candy bar at the checkout line. It’s also important to me I learn how to fuel better for my events. It would be careless and dangerous of me to go for longer distance events before I have a grasp on proper self-care and nutrition.

We were challenged to make a “Losing List”. Essentially a list of reasons why we joined. A list of reasons why we stay. What benefits we gain from WW? How our lives are improved. Who else is impacted by our changes? Everything from physical to spiritual to emotional or psychological. Everyone has their own journey with their own milestones and end point. A powerful moment for me was when I thought about the lives I change with my involvement. It would be easy to say “Just me” or “Me and my family”, but when I really thought about it, everyone I interact with is impacted for the better from my lose. I am a happier, healthier person, with a different outlook on life. Meaning for the rest of my life, every person I meet, especially clients, are benefited by my involvement with WW and my losing weight or losing old habits. Very cool to think about if you consider each of those drops in the water can ripple out to so many more people too.

Now it’s your turn. What’s YOUR Losing List? What old habits are you shedding? What old attitudes do you want to send away? How will you benefit from these changes? Who will feel the impact of your progress? Try not to forget, it may not happen overnight so try to be patient and try to enjoy the journey.