Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Blue Monday Brigade

Supposedly, this last Monday was calculated to be the most depressing day of the year for 2012. "Blue Monday" falls around the 3rd or 4th week of January every year and is based on calculations of weather, holidays, failed resolutions etc. I decided to spread a little cheer on this dismal day and form a "Blue Monday Brigade" with Persephone. We spent the day doing random acts of kindness together. Persy's favorite service was leaving bags of quarters on all the machines in our local laundromat with a little note that said, "Take a 'load' off and have a joyful day!" She also thought it was hilarious when I camped out in the grocery store parking lot and waited until I saw a weary parent with children and then left a bag of chocolates on their car and drove away. We had so much fun doing various kindly deeds that I might make this a new family tradition.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tchaikovsky and Children

Gabe and I enjoyed a romantic date to the symphony last night to hear Tchaikovsky's piano concerto no. 1. This is one of my favorite pieces and I love to play it in the car. Persephone calls it the "Thunder and Lightening Song" because of the dramatic opening. I found myself listening to the piece in rapture as the superb soloist effortlessly played, and I began to get excited about taking Persy with us to the symphony some day. (The pianist performing was only 17 and had played his first recital at age 4. I can't even imagine Persy sitting still for that long, let alone practicing the piano right now. Apparently we are really slacking as parents! ;) When the 2nd movement began, I started to feel a strong emotional pull toward the next little baby that we hope to have come to our home. I have no idea how long this adoption will take, but I feel like I am being prepared to open my heart for another child. It amazes me that what I struggle to express in writing, Tchaikovsky seemed to express magically in his music.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New and Improved?

What do you have planned for the new year? I love to get inspired by the goals of others. I actually set my goals during September. I associate that time of year with a new school year and it is also my birthday month. I found that when I made January goals, they were often motivated by the guilt of December overindulgence instead of sincere desire. I reevaluate the goals frequently during the year, and some of my September goals have already been accomplished, while others have been axed.

I was recently asked to share how I make my resolutions a reality, so I thought I'd share a few ideas that have helped me and I hope you'll share yours as well.

1. Only make goals that can be easily measured
2. Reevaluate goals often
3. Break larger goals down into smaller tasks

I use a moleskin note book to help me with the 3rd item on that list. At the front of the notebook are my top 3 target goals. I make tabs in my notebook for the yearly goals, then a place for the monthly tasks and then a third tab for weekly tasks. I also put tabs on my notebook for lists like Christmas gift ideas, movie recommendations etc. Setting goals on a monthly and weekly basis has really helped me with my long distance races and other larger goals.

Here are a few of the goals I have set for this year:
1. Buy a house
2. Complete a sprint distance triathlon (Check :)
3. Get approval for another adoption (Check :)
4. Get 72 hour kits ready for all family members
5. Make an adoption story book for Persy
6. Get CPR and First Aid certified
7. Complete at least 6 more knit projects and learn at least 6 more knitting skills (This one should be pretty easy for me, but I didn't want to turn my joy of knitting into a burden.)
8. Take Persy camping
9. Take an anti-gravity yoga class
10. Complete a mud run or other adventure style race (I am signed up for the extreme Tough Mudder in Colorado with Gabe this summer and we are actively training together.)
11. Get a new half marathon personal record (Check :)
12. Complete at least 4 long distance races of 10K or more

I hope you have a wonderful new year! We ushered in 2012 a little early at our house since the entire family was feeling under the weather. We played games with Persy and ate pizza. When the 8:00pm "new year" came we turned on African drumming music and pulled down my collection of international percussion instruments. We jammed and danced together and then opened the doors to let in the good luck. It was a simple celebration, but it felt just perfect.