Eureka!

We spent the weekend in Fort Collins, CO for Mr. Fantastic’s brother’s birthday.  It was a nice visit and a fun party! Fort Collins, is a happening place. Awesome downtown (with vegan restaurants), close to the mountains and bike friendly.

I realized as I was walking some of their “urban trails” that if I want something different for myself then I need to do things differently versus slipping back into what is habit and routine.

This realization got me thinking a little more seriously about the things I enjoy vs the what I have to dos vs yeah, I’m not going to do that. Being a glass half full kinda girl I’m going to focus on the things I enjoy doing.

I love the open road, exploring, and going places.

The call of the open road, is something that is real for me. Just being somewhere different and getting out energizes me. I realized I had been missing this aspect of my life when we went on this weekend trip.

It hasn’t always been a practical solution. I realize now that I could have made trips on my own the past 18 years. However, a good chunk of those years I was engaged in a  fairly meaningful job and I was focused on making sure Miss Herbivore was happy and successful.  Something to note, that fairly meaningful job actually allowed for going new places, exploring and trying new things!

Last year I spent the year traveling and getting back to living after my stroke recovery. The last trip I took was a 10 day road trip, some of it on my own and some of it with my “adventure buddy” – thank you She Explores for reminding me that I have one!

Once I was home in late September I needed to reconnect to the routine day-to-day living.  Meaning cooking, taking care of the house and our family. Now, with this venture I can put all the pieces of living together in a way I have yet to experience.

Being active and healthy is important to me

I like to exercise, and I like being strong. I do have to work at it a bit more these days but that’s OK. I want to be able to be active as long as the years will allow. I like showing up to my workouts and socializing and sweating. Those workouts quite literally helped save my life. I was at my strongest when I had my stroke and I have no doubt that helped my recovery.

I LOVE to hike, and I want to be able to hike up to the top of whatever mountain I choose. This year it’s Table Mountain and 4,000 feet in 4 miles. (I am feeling under prepared for this challenge with just over 2 weeks of prep time left)!

I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with recipes, especially plant-based ones. I often am asked if I will stick with the vegan diet once Miss Herbivore leaves for college. My answer is yes! because it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle and the more I’ve learned about it the more I believe it is right for me too.

Guidelines and Ventures

I’m still working my way through The Happiness Project and as I read the September: Pursue A Passion chapter on the airplane headed home today, Rubin’s realization echoed what I was learning about myself —

…This showed me, once again, that I was happier when I accepted my own real likes and dislikes, instead of trying to decide what I ought to like.

Rubin goes on to quote what Michel de Montaigne observed,

“The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.”

Before we left for Colorado I saw an announcement for a job that is much like the “fairly meaningful” one that I had several years back, and I was excited to apply for it when we got home. This afternoon, as I was starting to fill out the application I had this nagging thought that this could be an exercise of slipping into what is comfortable for me. So,   stopped working on the application and started writing this blog post instead because working on this blog is something I want to do and I am enjoying learning to write better and to produce something someone else might want to read. It also gives me a pause to think about if applying for this job really fits who I am and what I want for myself or is it what’s comfortable for me.

I am keeping my 12 guidelines handy as I work through this venture.

  • Be Jennifer* – this is one of Rubin’s gems. This is more meaningful to me than “just be yourself”
  • Don’t over think it
  • Act like I want to feel* – this is another of Rubin’s and I found it to be a great reminder that I put at the top of my daily accomplish list.
  • Just get it done
  • Acknowledge what is important to me
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Worry less
  • No judgements
  • Set measurable goals for myself
  • Laugh more
  • Be generous
  • Be kind

This quote from Cheryl Strayed seems like the perfect thought!

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