On My Mind – 13 – Living Life like Work

 

 

I was talking to one of my clients this week and she was saying that she has been really busy at work and so has been dropping her requirements on some of the ways she spends her time outside work, like gym or meal prep etc. We talked a bit about not sacrificing the things you do to live a better life when you’re choosing what to drop but we then spent some time chatting about structuring life outside of work in such a disciplined matter that it feels like work.

This is what I do.

I have a lot of scheduled items in my free time. I have exercise every morning, blog posts on the weekends, family photos on Saturday mornings, teaching the kids at night, not to mention all the kid stuff like drop offs and pick ups and teaching there every Wednesday and going to a bunch of school commitments, etc. My life is generally very structured.

Which, for the most part, serves me. I know that when I am not very organized, I don’t get anything done. I can sit on the couch for days without choosing to exercise. This is true even for the things that give me joy. I can get lost in wasting time as much as the next person and structuring my life is a way I get around this pull of inertia.

There are times I completely get sick of it. Sick of myself. Sick of all the things on my list. Sick of wanting to try so hard. And I take the day off or sometimes the weekend off.

But then I get back on it because I feel strongly that this is what keeps me stronger. It’s what helps me be the best version of myself and it’s what helps me live my life intentionally. And if work deserves my loyalty, discipline and dedication, so does the rest of my life.


On My Mind is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Stories from 2018 – 13 – STEM Fair

This week was another STEM fair. This one was for the kids’ school. I was one of the volunteers so I was there for a little over six hours. David took the same poster he’d used for the previous Science Fair and had a display in this one, too.

We has many many exhibitors and student exhibits. This is before anyone showed up.

Jake helped out by manning the snack table for a while, too. Our kids found their friends and ran around all on their own.

 

Love these two.

Thankfully it was the one day it didn’t rain this week.

And here’s us. Nathaniel was running around so much that he wouldn’t even stop for a photo.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stronger Than Before – 13

Weekly Intention: This also promises to be a reasonably quiet week. My intention this week is to get some of our summer under control and to plan the rest of spring break and button up david’s application. These are all things i’ve been postponing in one way or another but they are weighing me down so i will be glad to get them done. I also want to really try to not work in the evenings this week. I want to spend time with both kids, go back to preparing healthy food. If I can do these things I’ll feel really, really good about my week. 

This month’s intention is: Party Strong: This month is for celebrating. You’ve worked hard, they’ve worked hard. Everyone’s working hard. Make sure to pause and celebrate. Have a party. Take a moment daily and pat yourself in the back. Pat your loved ones in the back, too. Hmm well we haven’t done any partying. Maybe I can declare this Friday a celebration day for our family. I will certainly be celebrating the end of March.

One way I will stretch this week:  I will be driving a new car around all week which is going to be hard for me. 

One boundary I will set this week: i will protect my evenings this week as well, mostly to sit with all my boys.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: my family by taking care of all the summer plans.

One new thing I will learn this week: more physics i hope!

One area where I will go deeper this week: i will be organizing two summits. 

What do I need to sit with this week? i need to sit with the discomfort of closing out our plans for the summer, booking places, and just getting it done.

I am looking forward to: being done with all these plans that have been weighing on me. can i get it done? 

This week’s challenges: besides what i mentioned above, it’s organizing all my learnings from the last month.

Top Goals: 

  • Work:  start organizing the summits, distill learnings
  • Personal: keep body pumping, buy tix for boston, buy tix for europe, close and submit essays and finish out the app, and for the love of the universe please figure out the food.
  • Family: spend time with all three of my boys!!

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: be extra loving with myself this week, ask for help for some of these tasks that will be hard on me.
  • Learn: learn how to be more helpful at work.
  • Peace: peace with what’s hard for me. and grace. 
  • Service: this week’s service is to nathaniel who will need to prep for his Farmer’s Market at school.
  • Gratitude: for having my husband who is my rock

This week, I want to remember: it’s all going to work out. i will buy the tickets and plan the plans.


Stronger Than Before is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2018 – 12

How I got Stronger this week: Still doing Body Pump though I skipped Monday and I will say I’ve been doing more 15 minutes lately vs the 20. I’ve been tired and feel like I need a break a bit but I am unwilling to take a full break, so this is the compromise I’ve come to. It was a good week at work, too. Especially on Thursday, I worked from home and got a ton of work done. I spent time doing Physics with David and Math with Nathaniel. The one area I feel I am still not as strong as I’d like to be is the food. I’ve definitely been making choices that are not aligned with who I want to be and what’s in my best interest so I need to do a better job there but I am not sure how to help myself reset. Maybe this can be a major focus this next week?

Top Goals Review: finished the results doc and several others and the roadmap, yay! body pumped and thought about food but did nothing. spent time with david and almost done with his essay. didn’t make a new plan for N but we’re still doing math. 

I celebrate: I celebrate some kind words at work this week. 

I am grateful for: my kids, i am so lucky to have my kids.

Karen’s Points: doing the body pump. doing nothing else.

A Change I embraced: david was supposed to go to NYC this week for MUN conference but a bug storm canceled everything. So they couldn’t go and we all had to roll with it.

I let go of: my email this week, i lost track and wasn’t able to catch up.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Fresh: reading The Little Prince again and it’s all fresh and newly wonderful to me.
  • Magical: this week’s magical moment was getting to listen to brene brown live.
  • Lighter: Lighter at work now that i got a chunk of work done.
  • True: still feeling a little off but trying to be kind to myself about it.

Where I chose Joy: i chose joy by going to my friend Evelyn’s bachelorette dinner. It was wonderful to see old friends.

I showed up for: david this week when he has a tough time with the change of plans.

A Mistake I made this week: nothing that stands out too much from this week.

What I tolerated this week: the low level of anxiety and two headaches. I haven’t had a headache in such a long time that it was extra unpleasant

My mood this week was: i’ve been feeling a bit disconnected still but working on it.

I forgive myself for: not showing up for Nathaniel’s school event, i felt really sad but he said he didn’t mind. i was working :(.

What I love right now: i love that the rain is almost gone (i hope!!)


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Moments from this Week – 12

This week is about the science fair. A few photos around work, some in the car, some hanging out. But mostly about the science fair.

And Nathaniel’s envelope of course.

no family photo this week because Jake was traveling.


Moments from this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 12

I started this week with The Great Alone. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it as I have mixed feelings about Kristin Hannah but in the end I loved it. It was a sweeping read and I read it so fast. 

A Mango-Shaped Space was for Nathaniel since he’s reading it in his Lit Club. David had read it a few years ago and loved it and I loved it, too. 

The Once and Future King was for my Lit Club with my middle schoolers. It was picked by my co-lead but I’ve wanted to read it forever so I was really excited. We only read the first book, The Sword in the Stone, and while I can’t say I hated it, I can say I really didn’t like it. It was just too absurd for me.

The Hazel Wood is for an upcoming YA Book Club meeting. I was thinking I would not like it, but I did. It’s an interesting and different read and not the genre I would usually like but I liked it 🙂

The One came after I picked up and put down five different books. It was a super fast read, and theoretically could have been so much more thoughtful than it was but it was still enjoyable.

Heart Talk was the last read of the week and it was so quick and lovely. I really really enjoyed it.

I’d say it was another okay week. I seem to be suffering for ideas on what to read so I would love suggestions if you have anything you absolutely loved.


Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

On My Mind – 12 – Working Around vs Working Through

 

And perhaps the one thing

that you have spent your 

life working around is the

one thing you are meant to

work through instead.

The above is a quote from Chloe Wade’s Heart Talk which has many, many gems but this one stopped me on my tracks as I was listening.  As I get older, one of the things I’ve been making peace with is that I am unlikely to change a drastic amount at this point. And maybe even more than that, that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with me. Like most people, I have my flaws and I have my advantages. I still work on myself a lot and try to be the best version of me as often as I can. But I’ve shifted my perspective to focus more on who I already am and working with myself instead of always judging myself or trying to be something I am not.

But one of the side effects of this kind of thinking is that I work around things more often now. As I opened my book and read these lines, I thought to myself, should I be working through things more? Is my new way of thinking getting in the way of progress in some areas? And I guess here’s what I’ve concluded.

I still do have things I want to work through but some of them will come naturally and others will be forced upon me by circumstance. And there will still be things I work around, or maybe around is the wrong word here, these will be things I own and just work with them. Instead of judging myself, I will just acept them and own them, like how I like to get to the airport hours early. This is who I am and I am okay with that. 

But then this quote made me think that maybe there are also things that I just drop. Things that I don’t work through or around but I just release them. I don’t have to hold on to this stress anymore. I don’t have to worry about them and maybe I don’t have a lot of working “through” but it’s things I can just let go. I spend so much time worrying and judging and beating myself up. I overworry about details that don’t end up mattering at all in the end. And maybe part of growing up, growing older is also just letting some things completely go. So that’s what’s on my mind this week. 

My plan is to pay attention in the next few weeks to which things I am working around. Where I feel like i am spinning longer than necessary, etc. And then to give myself a moment to think whether they can be dropped. My hope is that at least some of them can. 


On My Mind is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Stories from 2018 – 12 – Vision Board 2018

I realized that I hadn’t shared my 2018 Vision Board yet so I wanted to do that. I love doing these so so much. I also like seeing which ones I use year after year and which ones are new. 


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stronger Than Before – 12

Weekly Intention: It looks like this is going to be a quiet week, too, so my hope is to also stay on track each day, make a bit of progress on some of the work I do have piling up and then spend time with the kids. David travels to NYC this week with his school so I want to make sure to spend time with him until he leaves and then focus a bit extra on Nathaniel while it’s just the three of us. I also want to work on journaling or finding a way to reduce some of the anxiety I’ve been feeling.

This month’s intention is: Party Strong: This month is for celebrating. You’ve worked hard, they’ve worked hard. Everyone’s working hard. Make sure to pause and celebrate. Have a party. Take a moment daily and pat yourself in the back. Pat your loved ones in the back, too. I have to say we haven’t been partying all that hard. But I could still do something here before March is over.

One way I will stretch this week:  I will be driving a new car around all week which is going to be hard for me. 

One boundary I will set this week: i will protect my evenings this week. Especially Monday and Tuesday before David leaves.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: myself so i can get back to being a bit more level.

One new thing I will learn this week: how to distill a lot of data and comments into a comprehensible document.

One area where I will go deeper this week: making a product roadmap still working on this.

What do I need to sit with this week? i need to sit with the anxiety which will be hard with the new car and david traveling.

I am looking forward to: my new car i think even though i’m anxious.

This week’s challenges: i need to finish some of the work i’ve been working on so i can feel like i made progress.

Top Goals: 

  • Work:  finish the results doc and the initial roadmap
  • Personal: keep body pumping, think about food more and see if you can make some decisions
  • Family: spend time with david, finish the essay for his app, spend time with Nathaniel and make a new plan for him now that he’s finished the math

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: be extra loving with david. kind and generous, too.
  • Learn: learn how things work in this org.
  • Peace: peace with the new car. and with driving. 
  • Service: this week’s service is to the kids’ school. for the STEM fair.
  • Gratitude: for being able to take it one step at a time.

This week, I want to remember: life is good. i am okay. everything is ok. i am grateful.


Stronger Than Before is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2018 – 11

How I got Stronger this week: Still doing Body Pump daily. This week was extra tough with the time change because my 6am workout became a 5am workout. It took me until Thursday to get used to the time change. I made a lot of effort at work to spend more time during the day working so that I didn’t carry over work to the weekend. I still have work but at least it’s not email. I spent a lot of excess energy on buying a new car and my taxes this week which was showing up to the bits of my life. I spent a lot of time with Nathaniel and math and David and physics this week so I feel happy about that, too.

Top Goals Review: had more 1-1s, planning a small amount but likely not enough, body pumping, did olw march, but i made no plans for food at all, that needs attention, tried to spend more time with boys.

I celebrate: I celebrate hopefully getting a new car this week.

I am grateful for: finally making some summer plans. i feel like maybe things are getting a bit clearer.

Karen’s Points: doing the body pump. doing nothing else.

A Change I embraced: i’ve been feeling off for the last few weeks. More anxious and more down than usual. I’ve been trying to embrace it and remember that it’s likely temporary. It will not be my new norm. 

I let go of: having all the answers. things are going to take a while.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Fresh: does a new car count?
  • Magical: this week’s magical moment was doing math with nathaniel and physics with david. i love watching my boys in action.
  • Lighter: am changing our vacation plans a bit and it’s making me feel much lighter.
  • True: honoring my needs by trying to not attend evening meetings as much as possible.

Where I chose Joy: i chose joy by buying a lot of flowers. they never fail to make me happy.

I showed up for: david and nathaniel with work this week.

A Mistake I made this week: i’ve been meeting a lot of new people and making a lot of new impressions, some go more smoothly than others.

What I tolerated this week: the low level of anxiety still. also had a lot of trouble picking books this week for some reason.

My mood this week was: i’ve been feeling a bit disconnected and out of it. Trying to make sure I acknowledge it without making a big deal of it.

I forgive myself for: how i’ve been feeling. it will get better.

What I love right now: i love the quiet saturday mornings when i sit and work as my kids climb.


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Moments from this Week – 11

This week is lots of random photos.

A card from CMU, Nathaniel and I looked up the ASCII code and it says Congratulations 🙂

And Nathaniel’s envelope of course. i love it.

so grateful for how easy this project is.


Moments from this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 11


I started with The Friend and while it was okay, I never fully got into it.

Next up was some Pema. I liked Fully Alive even though it didn’t have anything wildly new, I still can use a refresher regularly.

Animal Farm was a read for the kids’ school. I can’t remember if I’d ever read this or only saw the movie but either way it was a good read. 

Surprise Me was a quick, fun read. Not one I will remember years from now but it was good for what I needed at the time.

Educated was the last read of the week. It was an interesting read but also quite disturbing. I am not sure I am glad I read it. 

I’d say it was an okay week. I’m now on book #57 for this year. A few that I really loved so I’m grateful. 


Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.