What does it mean to be happy?

Are you happy?

Are these questions silly, or important? Why all the happy talk?

Because happiness is the truth!

But it all seriousness, I like to take some time to reflect on my happiness. Not because I am unhappy
I’m actually feeling pretty satisfied in my life right now. But sometimes it’s easy to get in a rut, and I need to be reminded of all the good things in my life. I few years ago, I read the book “The Happiness Project” for book club. I enjoyed the book a lot more than I thought I would, and more than the other girls. The author reflects on the “splendid truths”, or sort of mantras, or points of reflection.

I really like the first one.

“To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth”Gretchen Rubin

what makes me feel good? I feel good when I have completed a project. My husband, my family, and my cat make me feel good. I feel good when I look nice. I enjoy running (finishing, and doing well it). Nothing feels better than a beautiful spring day. I love the feeling I get after a great workout.

what makes me feel bad?I am frustrated by a feeling of uncertainty in our current living situation. I feel anxious about my job. Clutter irritates me. Money makes me angry, and anxious.

It feels good to reflect on these points! If I feel sad or anxious, I try to break it down to basics and remember what it is that is making me feel bad- and not forget what also makes me feel good.

what cheers you up when you’re feeling down? What makes you feel good??


Monday list update

Cleaned the whole apartment last friday morning- BOOM! I felt really productive. It took me longer than expected! 15 mins to get organized and declutter, 15 min in the kitchen, 15 min to dusk/clean mirrors/surfaces/bathroom, 15 min to sweep, 10 to mop and 10 to vacuum. So almost an hour and a half (with a apple + peanut butter break while I waited for the floors to dry!!) total. Hey, at least I did it, and it took way less time than the week before. I think it’ll get quicker as I do it more often! I felt really good going into the weekend clean and organized.
It feels so good to be living day to day with less clutter. I’m not keeping up 100% with my daily chores; I think I was too ambitious to imagine I would do any deep cleaning during the work week. I have been really consistent about minimizing clutter, cleaning/sweeping the kitchen and wiping down the bathroom almost daily. Otherwise, I might have to be fine with keeping the big stuff on the weekends (like I did Friday!)

You guys know I have even working hard on getting comfortable in our small apartment. Part of this project has included a lot of list writing. I thought you might enjoy keeping up with what I’m working on, in list form! I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Living room:
-Clean out game chest/coffee table
-Upgrade TV table to hide wires
-Organize/ minimize book shelves
-Organize/ declutter closet
Organize hall closet, make shelf for beer supplies
– clean out planters
– organize patio

-Re-organize cabinets
-Minimize things on countertops
-Clean out top shelves
-Top of fridge

-No storage in open space
-Create “landing strip” elsewhere in house (in a closet?) for goodwill stuff
-Spraypaint bed frame white?
-Declutter closets
-Clean out dresser
-Organize/minimize book shelf
-Wash curtains (whole house)

Guest bedroom/office:
Clean out filing cabinet
-Organize desk surface
-Under bed?
-Clean out closets
-Minimize old paper/notebook storage under desk/in closets
-Create usable storage in “green monster” (the nickname of our huge green armoire)
-Consider flip flopping bedrooms

I think I’ll try to update this list monthly. Hey, that’ll at least make me get something done once a month!! For now, getting in a routine with cleaning actually seems to be taking away from the time I have for projects, but I’ll get there.

Happy Monday!

did you take on any projects last weekend?

Summer running + weekend wrap up

Welcome to “summer” in Georgia. It’s getting hot out there. It is hard to get used to the sunny running. I can’t imagine running almost degrees warmer than this… But I guess we’ll get there soon. I try to stay comfortable in the hot GA summers by running at dawn, wearing sunglasses, light colored tanks, and carrying a water bottle. We’ve gotta train for the peachtree somehow!

How could you not want to run outside when this is the view from the living room?!

I ran outside in the hot sun 3 times this week, twice in the middle of the day! Friday (on my day off!) I enjoyed a midday run, but remember the benefits of shade.

The cat was jealous and wanted to join.

Friday I wanted to attempt track work,
But I kept it simple since my legs weren’t really ready, and I ran Thursday. I had a VERY strategic plan for my track workout- but then I got to the track and it was LOCKED. I hadn’t been the track at the local college in almost a year, and apparently they set up a key pad/membership system. It’s $100/year, and I’m not sure if I want to invest in that. We’ll see! Either way, I was really feeling a hard workout and ran some hill repeats instead for a total of 3.5 miles.

Today, Brandon and I headed out in the middle of the day again. Mistake, it was even warmer today. Brandon actually sad in the middle of our run, “we’re waking up early next week, I don’t know what we were thinking”. We enjoyed a destination run (my favorite!) to the Inman park festival. It was hard! We took walking water breaks every mile for 4 miles total.

Rehydrating with beer.

We enjoyed a beautiful festival afternoon.

We walked at least another 2 miles around and then back to his car, which we (coincidentally!) left close by on Friday night. It was a great Sunday. We came home in time to watch a afternoon thunderstorm on the porch, and then had a game night with friends.

Friends, including a pup.

I haven’t done a workout wrap up a while- but I think now is a great time to bring it back!

Monday: rest
Tuesday: Morning yoga for legs, and core
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: neighborhood 3 miler
Friday: 3.5 miles with hill repeats
Saturday: morning self led living room yoga
Sunday: 4 mile run

I’m so happy to be back out there running, and the yoga feels really good too. I’m hoping to do a little more swimming/strengthening/cross training. Here’s to next week!!

Friday fun

You guys, something amazing happened.

I’m off work today.

I have been working way too hard and too often. But “thanks” to a new policy, I’m going to have a few more days off within the next 10 weeks. My employer is forcing us to use 6 days of PTO by the end of June. There are a lot of cons to this (since we don’t get sick leave, holidays, or maternity leave, saving up our PTO is the only way to be sure we get paid), but there is at least one pro- I am at home today. I’m planning to work on my todo list, but also get some serious relaxing done. I already slept until after 9!!

Hair update! I donated 9 inches this week.

I love it. It’s so easy, and it makes me feel light and free to not have hair all over my back!! It’s going to take some adjusting to remember how to style short hair, but the most important thing is that it can go from shower to completely dry in five minutes. My old hair would take at least 20! That’s something to celebrate.

In other news, Brandon passed his certification tests (more on that later), and his moms recovery from her knee replacement is going slowly but well. We have had a busy, but satisfying week.

My outdoor runs have been few and far between, but I went for a great run yesterday afternoon.

It was HOT- 77 when I finished, but I kept my pace around 820 for 3ish miles. I’m hoping to squeeze in another run today.

Wish me luck with the todo list, and happy Friday!!

What’s new with you?

So, how was Easter weekend?

Ours turned out really well. Brandon had family visiting from Chicago. They (his uncle, aunt, and 7 year old cousin) stayed with his mother, who lives about 45 minutes away from us. we did spend a lot of our weekend in the car, but it was totally worth it to get to spend so much time with family. It was a rainy, not so springy weekend- until yesterday!! Sunday was beautiful and sunny, we spent all day lounging in the park. The Perfect Sunday, if you ask me.

Brandon and I were also able to squeeze a run in yesterday before heading up to hang out with family. We ran about 3.5 miles around the neighborhood. We have been slowing down a little bit since we haven’t been as consistent, but it felt nice to get out there.

I spent a lot of last week focused on my new cleaning task list. I would have to say it was mostly a success.

Here was what I planned to do:

weekly schedule
daily: Wipe down bathroom, wipe down kitchen surfaces and sweep kitchen floor.
Monday: Nothing else!
Tuesday: Sweep all rooms, 1 load laundry
Wednesday: Clean toilets/tub, declutter and dust whole house
Thursday: Sweep bathroom, 1 load laundry
Friday/Saturday: Declutter whole house and clean all surfaces (kitchen), sweep and mop all floors.
Sunday Laundry x 2, finish weekend tasks, projects.

I was really successful until Wednesday. I managed to do my “daily” tasks and minimize clutter (everyday!) but ended up hiking stone mountain and then heading to dinner with friends Wednesday, so I didn’t get home until late. Thursday I managed to get back on track, but I did not go back and do Wednesdays tasks. I did nothing on Friday, but I think that’s a-ok with me. Saturday we went into a whirlwind, since the daly wanted o stop by and see the place, so we certainly got it all done for the weekend. I’ve already done all my Monday tasks, and more.

the verdict? I’m going to try to keep it up. The reality is, there will be a lot more days like last Wednesday, and we probably won’t work so hard cleaning every weekend. I have to remind myself that the point is to be less stressed about cleaning- I can’t let it hamper my fun with hanging out with friends that the tub isn’t getting clean. There’s always tomorrow 🙂

Its a busy week again in our house. My husband has his certification test tomorrow. I’m cautiously optimistic. May he will notice all the cleaning Ive been doing when he is done, and maybe he will even want to join in on the schedule! My mother in law is having her knee replaced Wednesday. I’m just going to try to stay afloat!!

See you on the other side!

Where have I been?! + Priorities

WOW, it’s been a while!! What happened?!

You guys, I got caught up in a whirlwind at work. It started three weeks ago (when I last posted). Basically, the main PT in the area where I work left suddenly, and I inherited a huge new job responsibility (plus doing the job of 2 people) on a very busy week. I didn’t leave before 630 that entire week- not to mention my car was in the shop and my poor husband was stuck driving me everywhere.

Things have calmed down a little, I’m easing into my new role, and we aren’t so busy. I think I’m going to be able to handle it, things are just very different.

Luckily, that very busy week ended early, and we headed to Savannah to celebrate the wedding of some of our closest friends. It was one of those perfect weekends- lots of nice relaxing time with people you love. I almost cried when we were getting back on the highway!!

This is where I are really fell off of the blogging bandwagon. I should have caught up then, but I felt too far behind. I’ve stayed pretty busy since then, but I’m back now.

What else is new??

workouts/running: As you can guess, things took a turn for the worse on my crazy week. I ran once. I eased back into it the next week, but haven’t run more than 2-3 times/week since. And until today, I had done no strength or cross training. I promise I wasn’t being lazy either- I just felt like I had no free time. We forced ourselves out of bed to the gym at 6AM today. Im getting sleepy now, but it was so worth it to feel like I have accomplished something, and have more time this evening.

Today: stationary bike x 10 minutes. elliptical x 10 minutes. And 0.25 miles x 4 with “rest breaks” between laps to complete a total of the following: crunches 5 x 10, pushups 5 x 10, and squats 5 x 10. I wouldn’t want to overdo it now, it was my first day back 😉

husband has been studying like crazy for a certification exam (fingers crossed, and more details if he passes!) This has made me more busy, because I’m trying not to ask him to do anything! The more free time he has to study, the better. One more week!

The homefront:
THIS is where all of my energy has been going. When my husband got a new job recently, we considered (again) buying a home. But, in our neighborhood, in our price range, that would be a tiny 2 bedroom condo, and most things we have seen are very similar to what we have now. It’s hard to decide if we want to put a lot of money into something we may like less than what we currently have, but on the other hand we are getting tired of renting. Ah, being a grown up.

So for now, and at least for a few more months, we’re sticking it out here. We love our apartment, and our neighborhood, but I’m starting to feel a little cramped. Cramped because we have too much stuff. Not enough storage, so things overflow into corners. You can’t have everything in its place when everything does not have a place, ya know?! When I get stressed about our apartment being in disarray, it isn’t pretty. But the reality is, we live in a tiny apartment.

You might have seen where I was going with this… Basically I am in super clean/rearrange/organize mode. My first big project, which I actually did a few weeks ago, was cleaning our office. I turned our filing cabinet/desk space into a usable area! This was actually a technique I used to procrastinate on filing my taxes (finally finished last night… I don’t want to talk about it.) It’s been 3 ish weeks, and we haven’t junked it back up yet! This is carrying over to keeping our mail area more organized as well, because I actually know what to do with bills when they arrive- imagine that!

I have also made some progress reorganizing the linen closet, and opened up a whole shelf for my husband to store empty beer bottles (for future homebrew) that had previously lived in the corner of my bedroom. I’ve donated some clothes, and kept my bedroom neat for the better part of a week.

But by far, my biggest accomplishment, was coming up with a system. I have a list of daily tasks, and then other big projects I hope to accomplish in the upcoming weeks/months. The daily tasks are not intended to be stressful, but to actually minimize stress by splitting things up. Prior to this schedule, I have attempted to to laundry tues/thurs/sun, I wipe down the sink in the bathroom a few times a week, And do a decent job cleaning the kitchen daily. Tasks like floors, deep cleaning the bathroom, and general clutter just overwhelm me on a regular basis, and I have a “only do it if it really needs to be done or we are having guests over” policy. Not cool.

weekly schedule
daily: Wipe down bathroom, wipe down kitchen surfaces and sweep kitchen floor.
Monday: Nothing else!
Tuesday: Sweep all rooms, 1 load laundry
Wednesday: Clean toilets/tub, declutter and dust whole house
Thursday: Sweep bathroom, 1 load laundry
Friday/Saturday: Declutter whole house and clean all surfaces (kitchen), sweep and mop all floors.
Sunday Laundry x 2, finish weekend tasks, projects.

I’m not going to lie, Friday/Saturday still kind of intimidates me. But honestly, if I keep up during the week, it shouldn’t be that bad!! More on other upcoming projects soon, but my goal for this week is to get in the routine of daily cleaning.

Speaking of which, it’s time to go sweep the floors! (and I don’t feel stressed about it at all!!)

do you have a weekly system for keeping track of chores/household duties?

how do you prioritize home duties vs working out?