Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Reads - 2 down, 48 to go!

26. Read 50 books or more.

It is the last day of the month, so time to see what I've been reading.  I've finished just 2 books this month, but I have a couple I'm working on now.  I love reading - so this is going to be one of my favorite parts of the year!

1.  The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares
Ann Brashares is the author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.  I loved that whole series and really enjoyed it.  But this one I had been hesitant to pick up because I had read some not-so-good reviews.  It was definitely a different kind of book for her.  I had recently read her newest book, My Name is Memory, and thought it was fun too.  It is going to be a trilogy and I am anxious to continue that story.  So - I picked up The Last Summer (of You and Me) from Paperback Swap http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php .  It was a really enjoyable book with some different twists in it.  A great book to end the summer and kick off my 50 list.

2. The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me - Bruce Feiler
Bruce Feiler really made headlines with his series Walking the Bible.  I found it fascinating and I'm planning to teach a course on the series this fall through Wisdom:  http://www.wisdomem.com/byol-bring-your-own-lunch-walking-bible - It is not too late to sign up!  :)  This book tells the story of Feiler preparing to launch a new series on walking when he is given a diagnosis for cancer.  He decides to share his journey of wha the calls his "lost year" as he battles cancer.  He also decides to invite six men that are important in his life to help father his twin daughters should the cancer win.  For a man whose life in recent years has been based on writing and walking, then faced with the real possibility of not walking again, Feiler's book is both realistic and extremely inspiring.  Over and over again I found myself marking notes on my Kindle http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=sr_tc_sc_2_0?node=133141011&qid=1283279462&sr=1-2-tc for this one.  I am sure I'll read this again at some point very soon in the future - and I'm forcing John to read it now so we can discuss some of the life points in it together.

More books on  my list coming soon.  If you decide to check either one of these out or have some thoughts of your own, please share.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Okay - I want to start today with a word for all my sweet friends who have expressed concern over my health or sanity since reading my blog.  Several people have worried that I am making too many goals, not thinking about rest, or have set unrealistic expectations. 

So, let's clear that up now.

This list is totally for fun.  It is just some things I'd "like" to do.  I may do other amazing things!  (Gosh, I hope!)  Others on the list just might not happen.  I'm guessing several are more likely than others to fall off the list for different reasons.

So - right up front - thanks to everyone for the love.  I'm just being thoughtful with myself, not a terrible taskmaster - that would definitely defeat the more spiritual purpose of this year! 

Having said that, let's go back to the list.

16. Exercise for a total of 500 miles.

This means anything I do as a workout will count toward mileage if that is a natural part of the exercise.  In other words, if I do yoga, I'm not going to even attempt to convert that to miles.  Just using items on this like walking, running, an elliptical (which I totally stink at doing), or something similar.

Well, my goal, as you can tell is 500 miles.  As in, "I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the (wo)man who walked 1000 miles and fall down at your door."  I think I should also have a figurative door to fall down near.  So, I picked my friend Anneliese.  I'm going to try to get to her house metaphorically this year.  She lives in Chicago, and according to Rand McNally, I really need to pull closer to 741 miles.  (Maybe Anneliese can walk 241 miles to metaphorically meet me?)  Let's just see how far I go.

So, I find myself today and the almost end of August and it seemed a good time to count up my miles for the month.  I'm really excited - I've put in FORTY ONE miles this month!!!  I can't believe it.  Which, interestingly, puts me on the road following directions to Anneliese - just about in Kingston, GA.  This is where my mom and dad live, so I'm waving at her right now and metaphorically visiting.  :)  After all, it took me a month to get there!

Wish me luck as I head closer to Anneliese every day.  I'll keep you posted again at the end of September on my mileage.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hot Chocolate

12. Enjoy what I eat.

Oh my gosh - can hot chocolate be any better?

Last Monday I gave myself a total treat.  The hot chocolate was only part of it.

I decided to SCHEDULE time for myself.  Every week.  So, don't even bother trying to reach me on Mondays midday.  I have a date with myself, and I'm working.  I'm writing.  That's #1 on the list, remember?


So, this past Monday I was a little late getting started, but I did it.  I went to Caribou Coffee.  I got wi-fi.  I set my headphones on some background stuff from Pandora, thanks to my friends who sent some great ideas.  I booted up my slow laptop and while I waited to get my writing going - I had a hot chocolate.

Honestly, I only got one because I felt bad taking up space and not buying anything, and I had a gift card I've been carrying around for 2 years, and no, I'm not kidding.  So, I order, I set up, and I wait.

The Caribou Man brings over my hot chocolate with apologies.  "I'm so sorry," says the Caribou Man.  "I put too much whipped creme on top and the lid won't fit.  Is that okay?"

Um, for real?  Is that okay? To have too much whipped creme?  Is that even possible?

I am talking A LOT of whipped creme.  And little teeny chocolate chips.  And I had to use a spoon.

And it was divine. 

It reminded me of the list, and I have to say I had forgotten how good hot chocolate really is.  It was worth every calorie.  I never put the lid on, even when there was room.  What fun is that?

So, last Monday I enjoyed two big items on the 13x40 list.  I thought you should know.  :)

Happy weekend!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eye Opener

24. Drive with full attention.

I am already behind on this one.  I had a very eye opening event yesterday that reminded me of my 13x40 list - #24.  Drive with full attention.

I took Bailey along with me to drop off an item to a friend's mailbox.  We came back out of her street and I stopped at the red light, ready to turn left.  I paused and waited, then made my turn.  When I was about 3/4 the way through the turn, I hear horns and tires to my left - in the lane that I just crossed to make my turn.  I tried to turn back but was at an odd angle - I couldn't see what happened or why they were horn blowing.  But, I did notice that the light that was not mine, the light they were in - was green.  I also noticed someone was where I had just been, at a red light.

Then it hit me - did I just totally run a light?  Had it not turned green?  Honestly, this light isn't that long - so it could have changed quickly.  But I was terrified to think I had *maybe* blindly pulled across 2 lanes of traffic trusting a light I thought had changed.  I'm embarrased to admit it - but they *might* have been blowing at me.  I know I stopped.  I know the light was red.  And I'm pretty sure it turned green.  But there was that tiny, doubting moment of which I am not sure.  And that, my friends, is scary.  Because I was not on my phone, not impaired in any way, have a great driving history - just *maybe* not paying full attention for that one moment.  And that is enough to have an accident.

So, I'm reminded of my Big List for the year.  I'm going to focus on driving with my full attention.

As I said, I wasn't using my phone, but there has been a big push lately about not being distracted by a phone call or texting while driving.  In fact, my home state of Georgia, just passed a law on the matter, which can be found here:  http://www.drivinglaws.org/georgia.php.  Also, Oprah has made this a personal mission - information can be found here:  http://www.oprah.com/packages/no-phone-zone.html.

Think about signing the No Phone Zone pledge.  But whether you do or don't, PAY ATTENTION.  I know I was lucky to just have an eye opener... and not an "eye closer."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So, what's on the list?

So, I wanted to have a good solid list of 40 things I'd like to do before I turn 40.  But I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I have a few less than that.  It still feels right - because I'm open to ideas (send them my way!), or to a growing experience this year that challenges me to things I haven't thought of yet.

Nothing on my list is earth shattering - but again, this is about LIVING WITH INTENTION for 13 months.  Some items on the list are light, others are much more deep than they might appear.  So... drumroll please - here is my list "so far."  :)

13 x 40 - a list of things to do before my 40th Birthday!


2. Help people who really need it.

3. Have a massage.

4. Go on a *big* trip to a place I’ve never gone.

5. Take my kids out of town by myself.

6. Participate in a 5K/10K… and a 1/2 marathon.

7. Lose 10—15 lbs. Again.

8. Earn a bikini.

9. Do something that really scares me.

10. Go camping in our new tent.

11. Paint a canvas. Draw and frame a picture.

12. Enjoy what I eat.

13. Go to a few movies all by myself.

14. Listen to my children.

15. Date my husband.

16. Exercise for a total of 500 miles.

17. Forgive someone… and then move on.

18. Explore cooking. Then, throw a dinner party.

19. Do something incredibly romantic.

20. Get all my photo albums caught up.

21. Say YES. But only to what is right to say YES to…

22. Make a regular practice of prayer and meditation.

23. Stop using bad language.

24. Drive with full attention.

25. Spend time with people I love.

26. Read 50 books or more.

27. Get our finances in order with a set budget.

28. Complete my gratitude project.

29. Have a physical.

30. Face my fear of water.

31. Ride a roller coaster. (David Wilcox)

32. Ask for letters. Write some letters.

33. Be content.

34. Plan a big 40th celebration!

What else should I think about doing this year?  What are your thoughts about my list?

I've already started my journey - and I can't wait to share it with you!  Thanks for following me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

13 going on 40

Welcome to my new blog!  I'm so excited to start this personal extension of Wisdom Educational Ministries for my friends and followers.  In 13 short months I am going to turn 40, and I want to be intentional about what this year will hold.  I believe that every birthday we can celebrate is a gift - we're here and alive to enjoy it!  So, rather than look anxiously toward 40, I plan to look expectantly toward it. 
My friend Scott (who has his own blog at http://scottdoes.blogspot.com/) inspired me to start running last year.  Now he has inspired me again - Scott is turning 40 this year and put together a list called 40x40.  He wanted to accomplish 40 athletic events before he turned 40.  (At last update he was at 32!)  I decided I'd take on a similar challenge - but it wouldn't be focused on athletics. 
Instead, I decided to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish or experience before I turn 40 in September 2011.  I'll be posting that list soon, and I'm also open to ideas!  I'd also love to challenge any other friends to join me - regardless of whether they are my age or not - in seeing what the next 13 months can bring.  Then I look forward to celebrating together!
So, send me your ideas, subscribe to my feed, and join me on my journey of "13 going on 40."  I look forward to hearing from you.