40 Bags in 40 Days

This year, I’m trying out the 40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge.

No, it’s not actually getting rid of 40 bags of stuff, though that would be nice.  Rather, it’s about decluttering one area a day for 40 days.  I’ll be honest, there will be days that get skipped, so my goal is to declutter 40 areas.

What I like about this challenge is that it’s not just physical areas.  What I really like about this challenge is that it also focuses on digital decluttering.  Let’s be honest, we all have way too much email piled up.  As of right now, I have over 1400 emails in my personal inbox and something like 29,000 in my work inbox.  These are both problematic.  For work, I can’t actually delete very much, but I can certainly sort it into files.   For my personal email, I KNOW I can delete a ton of it, and much of it can be archived out of the inbox.

Another digital area I want to tackle is my photo storage.  Because I don’t need 40 blurry pictures of my cats.

Of course, there are plenty of other areas to go through as well.  I like the idea of breaking it down into very achievable goals.  On the list of areas to declutter, some examples are “junk drawer,” “food storage containers,” and “mail.”  Nothing too big, but when you take 40 little things, the end result certainly adds up.

It’s been an entire race season since I’ve gone through all my gear and race shirts and I’m sure it’s past time to get rid of more than a few items.  Just because it’s all neatly stored away doesn’t mean that I need to be keeping it.

I also need to go through my makeup.  It’s embarrassing how very expired some of it has to be.  Do I really need 30 lip products?  Nope.  Time to declutter.  My skincare arsenal is a little cluttered (I’m partial to my Meaningful Beauty products) but it isn’t anywhere near as bad as my makeup situation.  I’m so close to labeling myself a hoarder!

Anyone want to join me on this mission?  Tackle a few areas in your life that need to be cleaned up?

Friday Faves

It’s kind of a crazy day in the US today.  Today is also my day off, so I’m spending it doing what I do on many of my Fridays off – doing laundry, getting my house in order, and getting a super painful, but super helpful massage.  And in honor of Friday, here are some things that I’ve been loving as of late.

The Royals on E!

A coworker recommended I watch this show, and I started it while on a marathon trainer ride.  I was hooked.  It’s a show about a fictional present-day royal family and they are a MESS.  It’s exactly the sort of drama you’d expect from E! – affairs, scandal, intrigue, drug use, murders, and people coming back from the dead.  And it is a joy to watch.  The first two seasons are available for free on Amazon Prime, and the third can be streamed on E!’s website.  It’s total trash tv, but it’s so addicting.  Not everything you watch has to be deep and meaningful.

Metal Earth 3D Model Kits

I have wanted to make these models for a while, but couldn’t bring myself to buy them (plus if you remember, 2016 was sucked up by 70.3 training).  Santa (who in this instance look strangely like my mom and dad) brought me a tool kit and a couple of Disney models.  I just finished the Haunted Mansion and am probably starting the Wheel of Death… I mean, Mickey’s Fun Wheel this weekend.  They are incredibly tiny, so it helps to have good lighting and good tools (and good eyes or glasses), but it’s nice to just sit and make something.  I’ll probably work on some non-Disney ones at some point, so if anyone has a favorite, please let me know.

The Bright Sessions Podcast

The Bright Sessions describes itself as “an audio drama about therapy for the strange and unusual.”  I don’t remember what led me to this podcast, but I’m certainly glad I found it.  It’s definitely hard to describe.  Each episode (for the most part) is a recorded therapy session with someone who has special abilities.  The cast of characters isn’t too huge, so you really get to know the different patients and their abilities.  Of course, they can’t stay separate forever, and the stories start to work together.  It’s really well done and worth the listen.  Definitely start at the beginning.

My Instant Pot

Santa also brought me an Instant Pot.  For the uninitiated, this is an electric pressure cooker.  I’d been hearing about them and decided that I definitely wanted one.  And I was not wrong.  This thing is amazing.  I haven’t done any major recipes yet, but I have used it to cook:

  • sweet potatoes
  • hard boiled eggs
  • chicken breasts (from frozen!)
  • quinoa
  • steel cut oats
  • spaghetti squash

So really, I’m just getting started.  The big perk to the Instant Pot is that everything cooks so much faster than it would using traditional methods.  Considering I’m always putting together meals in a rush, this is awesome.  Is it something everyone needs?  Certainly not.  Plenty of people have no trouble finding 45 minutes to bake a spaghetti squash.  I am not one of those people.  If I can cook it in under 20, count me in.

The Big Chop

Once again, I have chopped my hair off.  Every two years (or really a little less), I chop my hair off and donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  They only require 8 inches of hair, so the chop is pretty darn easy.

People say “Oh, it’s so nice that you do this.”  And I guess it is.  But it’s also because I’m super lazy.  Until last week, I hadn’t gotten my hair cut since January of 2015.  Because I don’t dry it (lazy), my hair stays pretty healthy, so I don’t have to worry about ends getting frayed.  It probably doesn’t hurt that I’m good about taking vitamins.  Apparently proper nutrients help keep your hair healthy too.  I can tell that the ends do get a bit dry, so I’m going to try to be extra careful about getting moisture into my hair.  I’m sure all the time in the pool doesn’t help.

So. Much. Hair.

So. Much. Hair.

By the time I’m ready for a cut, I’m ready for a cut.  My hair gets so unwieldy.  And big.  And I end up just wearing it up in a bun most of the time, but it gets so heavy that it gives me a headache. I know, my life is so hard.

bundles of hair

It kind of amazes me how much hair I have when it’s all chopped off.  It’s hilarious to watch the stylist try to cut through the giant bundles.  I know my hair is thick, but I always forget just how thick it is.  Also, it looks kind of pretty all bundled up.

As always, I love the new cut.  My head feels so light, my hair dries so quickly (well, comparatively speaking, anyway) and it’s so much less work to deal with.  It does mean that I can’t just pull my hair in a messy bun before work anymore, but I think I can deal.

I’m also weirdly excited to find out how easily it fits into my swim cap.

Ignore the giant bags under my eyes. This was Friday morning and I haven't taken another pic since.

Ignore the giant bags under my eyes. This was Friday morning and I haven’t taken another pic since.

The Universe Conspires Against Me

hand holding four leaf clover

Bellezza87 / Pixabay

Among some triathletes, there seems to be a superstition that as your race approaches, the universe tries to make things difficult for you.

If you’ve seen or read 11/22/63, you know what I mean.  (If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing right now and go read/watch.  Seriously.)

So even though my race is over a month away, things are starting to get a little crazy.

Work is nuts, as expected.  We have a huge project milestone coming up mid-September, so that’s intense.  Going well, but still pretty intense.

My poor house… Let’s just say that someone who owned it before me did some very shoddy construction work and now I’m having to have some major work done on the house.  It could be much worse, but the work has only just begun and I’m not sure how long it will be until it’s complete.  Fingers crossed that as the work progresses, we don’t discover things are much worse than we thought.

Of course, the added stress is that everything that was once in my office is now stacked around the living room and dining room.  It’s… not relaxing.  I’m not a neat freak in any way, but the mess is definitely distracting.  Once all the repair work is done, I’m still going to have to rip out the remaining carpet in my office and paint the entire room.  I’m probably not going to get that done until after Augusta so… that’s fun.

Then on Wednesday night, the engine coolant light in my car came on unexpectedly.  The car wasn’t overheating, so I wasn’t immediately worried, but that’s something that needs to be dealt with.  A trip to the dealership later (all covered under warranty), everything was fine, fluids were topped off, and it was likely an air bubble that caused the light to illuminate.  Ultimately a non-issue (plus I got a free car wash out of the deal), but still just one more thing I had to deal with.

So now I’m just waiting to see what happens next with the home repairs and how many days I will need to work from home to get it done.  Thank goodness for flexibility in my work schedule!

The germs, they have found me

Last Sunday, while running my 12 miler, my throat was scratchy.  I thought it was perhaps reflux from eating too close to running.  Hey, it happens.  Monday, I decided it might be a cold coming on.  By Monday night, I knew I was right.

Tuesday, I did what no one should do.  I went to work sick.  I didn’t really have a choice – we’re understaffed and had some big things going on that required my presence.  I hated that I was risking exposing everyone to my cold, but well, being a grown-up sucks sometimes.  I am pretty sure this also meant that my recovery would be greatly slowed.

And I was right.

Luckily, I haven’t been feverish and am not showing any signs of infection, and I’m probably getting better, but seriously, I have gone through so many tissues that it’s getting ridiculous.  I should go buy stock in Kleenex.

Apparently, there are three major cold viruses going around the area.  This will make number two for me.  My goal is to not get number three.  So it’s time for some immune boosting methods.  A number of ladies on the Coeur Team recommended Sound Probiotics, so I’m going to try those.  Also going to be better about remembering to take my vitamins.

The big key is getting enough sleep.  That’s a tough one when I’m working extra hours and also trying to keep up with my training and having a life, but if I don’t get enough sleep, things happen like missing the entire last week of training and having no life.