Checking in on New Year’s Resolutions

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I actually had to go back into my archives to find out if I made any New Year’s Resolutions this year.  That tells you how closely I intended to stick to them, doesn’t it.

Well, it turns out I DID make a resolution.  A few, actually.  Sort of. Let’s see how that went for me.

So my goal this year was to be honest with myself, in the hopes of losing weight, improving my fitness, and taking control of my finances.  And really, things went well on all of those areas.

After years of trying, I’ve finally figured out the key to losing weight. I’ve made a number of small changes, but I think the big one is sugar.  I’m really consuming a lot less sugar, and it seems to be helping a lot.  Of course, with the holidays, I’ve not been so great about it, but the key has to be not giving up.  Just because I had a few bad days doesn’t undo all the hard work I’ve done.  I’d like to lose another 5 pounds before triathlon season starts, because the less weight I have to haul up the hills, the better!

I’ve also been pretty solid on sticking to my training plan this year and it’s definitely showing in my race results.  A lot of it was just making the training routine.  It has also helped that I’m really focusing on biking in the winter season, which I enjoy so much more than constant treadmill runs.

My budget, well… it’s okay.  I’m being better about where my money is going, and that has helped a lot.  But I still need to tighten the purse strings.  Buying things is just so fun though!

So two for three.  Not so bad at all!  Now to decide whether or not to make 2016 resolutions…

 

Back to the real world

AlexVan / Pixabay

Over Christmas week, I was at my parents’ house, hanging out with family, which includes their herd of dogs and cats (so many cute animals to pet!).  What I wasn’t doing was spending much time on the internet.  Sure, I checked my email and looked at fun pictures on Facebook, but for the most part, I stayed pretty disconnected.

And it was awesome. While I love the internet, it’s also nice to be able to get away from it from time to time and not feel the need to stay on top of everything going on.

Of course, I also did not spend enough time looking at my training plan, so that did not happen, but I got in a few workouts, so I figure it’s better than nothing.

Tragically, now it’s back to real life.  Well, sort of.  I’m working this week, but the majority of my office is still out, so things are likely to be pretty quiet.  It’s a nice way to ease back in, that’s for sure.  I’ve got plenty of work to get done this week.  And fun things like paying my mortgage and booking a bike fit.  (Santa brought me a power meter because – okay, let’s be honest, my parents bought me a power meter because they are incredible and they support my crazy habit even though I’m convinced they think I’m insane.)

And now, it’s time for my workday to start.  But first?  More coffee.

 

Here Comes Santa!

skeeze / Pixabay

In the office the other day, we were talking about Santa, and I commented that if you don’t believe in Santa, you get underwear and socks for Christmas.  (Though let’s be honest, who among us couldn’t use some new underwear and socks?)  And the discussion turned to believing in Santa and when to tell your kids about Santa.

I told them I didn’t know what they were talking about.  Santa does exist!  Maybe not in the way that we think of him, as a guy flying around in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, but at least in the spirit of holiday giving.

Santa Claus evolved from Saint Nicholas (as well as other figures – I believe he is a combination of a few different gift givers, and I think his beard came from Odin).  But Nicholas was known for his generosity, leaving gifts in secret.  The most famous story is where he helped a poor man with three daughters.  For the daughters to marry, they needed dowries.  Otherwise they would never marry, and since women had no real means of making money during that time, they would have likely turned to prostitution.  So Nicholas, under cover of night, delivered dowries for the girls in the form of three purses of gold, slipping them through an open window.

So to me, the idea of Santa Claus has sort of evolved from a guy who comes in and brings awesome toys to a fun time of gift giving.  Secret gift giving can be a bit harder, but still a lot of fun to try, even if you get “caught” immediately.  (Though maybe don’t try to break into someone’s house to leave gifts.  That can end poorly.  I’m not sure that Santa can get to you in jail.)  I’ve found that I enjoy the gift giving more than the receiving.  It’s so much fun to know that you’ve found the perfect gift for someone.  And it’s not about what it costs, but it’s the meaning behind it.  Some of the best gifts I’ve given have been the most inexpensive.

So maybe, if your kid stops believing in Santa, you encourage them that Santa does exist, but more in the spirit of giving.  Because Christmas isn’t about receiving, it’s about giving and finding joy in doing for others.

Quick Choir Concert Recap

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It has been a whirlwind few weeks.  Space Coast, Disney, home for a few days, then back to my hometown for a family funeral, then back to DC and straight into concert week, then a weekend with three choir concerts.

No wonder I’m exhausted.

I’ve missed probably 75% of my workouts since Space Coast.  I’m okay with that.  Life comes first, and I don’t have any major races for a while.  I did manage to squeeze in an 8 mile run yesterday morning, which should count for something.

The majority of my weekend was taken up with choir concerts.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I sing with the Cathedral Choral Society, the secular choir at the National Cathedral.  It is a gorgeous place to sing, and our Christmas concerts are definitely our big event of the season.  Normally, we just have one concert, but for Christmas we do three.  Two big concerts and one hour-long concert that is designed to be super kid-friendly.  It’s a lot of fun, but it’s totally exhausting.  On Saturday night, after two concerts, I could not believe how sore my body was.  I’m in fairly decent shape – I don’t know how people who aren’t manage it.  But even though it’s exhausting, this is my favorite concert set that we do.  I love the holiday music, even though it may not always be traditional.

This is a recording of my favorite piece we sang.  It’s not us, but I’d like to think we did at least half as good as this choir.  It’s sung in 8 parts and is a lot of fun to hear the lead bounce around.

 

Holidailies – The Holiday Brag Letter

2015holibadge-blueFor the I don’t know what-th year, I’m doing Holidailies. And I’m doing quite well, seeing as it’s the 11th and this is my first post.  Credit for the attempt?

This year, there aren’t regular prompts, just random prompts, so I figured I would give it a shot.  My random prompt for the day:

Write the annual holiday brag letter for your family.

This has been an eventful year for the Maryland Sullivans.  Still a family of three, they continue to impress with their kindness and talent, as well as their ability to leave their fur on everything that comes within striking distance.  (This includes the human, who manages to leave long red hairs everywhere.)

This year, Pippin remains on his doctor recommended diet, but he is a fan of the concept of “Go big or go home,” so he remains big.  And at home.  He’s not great at the concept.  But that just means there’s more of him to love.  He also continues to work on his singing skills.  When visitors arrive, he gleefully sings them the song of his people.  He also enjoys going outside and gnawing on the plants in the landscaping.  His war with the dove pair is ongoing, as they continue to peer at him through the window and he continues to growl at them.  Other birds are viewed more kindly, but those doves clearly wronged him and he will get his revenge.

Cadu continues to lament his brother’s weight loss plan as it often means fewer snacks for him.  However, he is skilled enough to jump onto the counter (much to his brother’s dismay) so he occasionally gets extra treats there.  He spends his day following the sunbeams around the house.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Now that the Christmas Tree has once again returned to the living room, he sacrifices some sunbeam time for hours spent sleeping under the tree and occasionally gnawing on its (synthetic) branches.  It’s a holiday tradition, after all.

The breadwinner of the family continues to fill up her days with work, friends, and ridiculous fitness pursuits.  She writes a blog, so you’ve probably heard this all before. After all, her blog is ridiculously popular (oh wait…).  In 2015, she aimed for quality over quantity, and the race results prove that it was a worthwhile pursuit.  No new race distances for her this year, but 2016 will involve her most ridiculous race yet.  For Christmas, she’s really hoping for some uninterrupted sleep, but somehow, sharing a bed with two cats leaves little room for her and she’s often woken up by a large furbeast trying to steal her pillow.  They are furry little jerks, but they are family.