www.superheroliving.blog Baby Steps

Baby Steps

If you’ve been reading along, you know I haven’t had the easiest Summer. It’s been hard to figure out this full time freelancing thing!

So today, I went to work at one of the schools where I have some Summer work and worked for several hours. I went to the gym and lifted. I came home and took a shower.

And then I gave myself a reward.

And Penelope and I went and got ice cream.

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Because here’s the thing. Sometimes, you have to take baby steps. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge where you are and appreciate that spot. Sometimes, even if you’re not where you want to be, you have to appreciate that you made steps.

Sometimes,  that’s what it takes to get you moving tomorrow.

So! If you’re struggling this Summer too, first of all, know that that’s absolutely ok. Struggling is fine. Struggling is good. Struggling only becomes a problem when you don’t do anything about it. You have to keep moving forward. It’s very important!

But if you’re struggling, you just take one step today. Just one. You even get to decide what the step is! Maybe it’s taking a shower. Maybe it’s making a tough phone call. Maybe it’s going to work, or the grocery, or just leaving the house. Maybe it’s going for a walk.

Whatever you choose, do that today. Do it again tomorrow. And you continue to make those steps until you can add another step.

 

You got this. We got this. I promise.

A Walk- www. superheroliving.blog

A Walk

In 2013, I fell in love with a small, 12 week old black puppy. In the four years that Penelope and I have been living together, she has become my best friend, biggest confidante and almost constant companion. img_0555.jpg

Right before Christmas in 2014, Penelope and I moved into my current apartment. My apartment is small. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but it is pretty tiny- about 500 square feet. Not really enough room for 45 pounds of fur covered energy.

And so, Penelope and I walk. We walk two or three times a day, every day, no matter the weather. We walk when I’m exhausted, we walk when I can’t wait to get going with my day. We walk, quite literally, morning, afternoon and night.

Walking is a simple motion. Most of us learned it before we can remember. We do it without thinking. When we need something, we get up, and we walk. But the simplicity of the motion is what makes it so powerful.

Typically, when I workout, I want a workout so difficult that I can’t focus on anything else. I want it mind numbing. I want it to hurt, to stretch me, literally and metaphorically. I want to push my body past it’s limit. After a workout like that, I feel powerful, invigorated, full of promise and possibility.

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But when it’s really my brain that needs the workout, I go for a walk. When I need to think hard about something, I go for a walk. Heck, even when I need to memorize something… I often find myself going for a walk.

When Penelope and I started walking together so consistently, I started to notice some changes in both of us. First of all, her behavior completely changed. She doesn’t tear things up. She doesn’t get into my trash, and she doesn’t get onto my counters. Also, she became better and better with a leash. I guess I always thought dogs just knew how to walk on a leash. But I guess that’s not true- we definitely learned together. She sleeps more and better, she’s more calm in general- she’s just overall a more happy and healthy dog. That alone is enough of a reason for me, but I have seen some real benefits too.

I lost weight. A lot of weight. In the first 6 months we lived in this apartment, without really trying too terribly hard, I lost 30 pounds. And the vast majority of my exercise was walking. I became more confident. I’m cautious about walking at night, although I’ve never had a real problem when I’m out with Penelope. However, I am not afraid to go for a walk at night, and I like that part of myself.

IMG_1080Also, she forces me to get out of bed in the mornings. Sure, sometimes on Saturdays we go back to bed, but like it or not, I am usually up by about 7:30. I’m not a natural morning person, but I know that I’m most productive in the morning, so it’s nice to start my day with at least a little bit of activity. These days, our morning walk is usually about an hour- roughly 2.5 miles- and it is such a nice start to the day.

I also often use our walk as a time to catch up on phone calls or on books I’m listening to- or podcasts, although I’m mostly on books right now. I love to multi task and this is such an easy way to do it.

I am a lover of routine, and I like that about our walks too. In a life that sometimes feels frenetic and zooey, every day, I must carve out at least a few minutes to strap on Penelope’s leash and get outside. I don’t always love it. I don’t always want to do it. But she needs me. It’s our routine. And I always feel better afterwards, no matter what else is going on. IMG_1281

But I think best of all, walking every day with Penelope helps me to find perspective. The morning walk is a time to think through my day. What projects do I need to work on? Who do I need to be in touch with? What are my top three to dos? The afternoon walk breaks up the day: the major part of the work day is over. What do I still need to do for the evening? Did I get everything done I needed to finish up? The evening walk is the hardest- and the easiest one by far to skip, but I find myself in a better place to go to bed if I go ahead and take it. What does tomorrow look like? How am I feeling about today? And sometimes most importantly, can I make my step goal yet tonight?

 

Pictures in this post are various things I’ve seen while out walking! Enjoy!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: Carve out 20 minutes, and go for a walk. Try to make it a habit!

50 fun and (mostly) free things to do

It’s Memorial Day Weekend!

Do you have time off work? Are you celebrating the end of the school year? The beginning of Summer? Or are you just thinking about trying something new this weekend? Well! I have a list for YOU!

 

Money is tight for me this summer, so I thought it might be fun to look at all the different things we can try to do for cheap or free- regardless of where we live. So, without further ado, 50 things to do, Memorial Day Weekend style:

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  1. Go for a hike! Grab a friend or a dog and look up some local hiking trails. Penelope and I like to eat ice cream afterwards, but that’s optional.
  2. Take a picnic and sit in the park to eat.
  3. Go to a neighborhood you find interesting and explore it
  4. Find an outdoor performance and enjoy it
  5. Check your local park service and see what they have going on- mine has free yoga classes sporadically this summer!
  6. Go for a bike ride! If you don’t own a bike, a lot of cities have places you can rent them for pretty cheap
  7. Go to a nearby small town and wander through the downtown area. Explore.
  8. Go fishing! Parks often have poles to rent.
  9. Go birding- there are free apps to help you recognize what you see
  10. Grab a blanket and drive a good long ways out of town at night Sit in your blanket and look for constellations
  11. Go to the library and pick out some new books to love!
  12. Take a long bath
  13. Give yourself a home mani pedi.
  14. Go to a museum and enjoy
  15. Clean out your closet. Make a game out of it!
  16. Do a home decorating project
  17. Rearrange a room of your home
  18. Look through old photos and upload some fun ones to facebook for laughs!
  19. Plant something green- indoors or outdoors!
  20. Revisit your itunes collection and rock out. Get really wild and dance around!
  21. Invite a few friends to bring snacks and have an old fashioned movie night
  22. invite a few friends and have a board game night! Ask them to bring snacks!
  23. Arrange a clothing swap with some fun people- take your old stuff and trade them for their old stuff!
  24. Volunteer somewhere. All kinds of places need helping hands, and you’ll be surprised at how fun and fulfilling this can be!
  25. Try a new recipe and throw a dinner party
  26. Have a photo shoot! If you don’t like photos of yourself (you totally should) find cool things around your home, neighborhood or city
  27. Think and journal about your short term and long term goals, and think about your dreams
  28. Look up a youtube video on something you want to learn, whether it’s figure drawing or calculus, and watch a few videos about how to do it
  29. Wite a letter and mail it old school to a friend or loved one
  30. spend some time coloring!
  31. Move your body! Try a youtube video or go to a class
  32. Try a new restaurant
  33. Plan your dream vacation
  34. Spend some time writing
  35. Find someplace to swim (if its warm enough!)
  36. Have a squirt gun fight!
  37. Put away all the evidence of winter in your house (boots, coats, etc.)
  38. Go to a sporting event of your choice (minor league, major league, or just for fun leagues)
  39. Work on a jigsaw puzzle
  40. Find a public garden and explore it
  41. Get on the water! Go kayaking, canoeing, tubing or boating- there are lots of cheap places to rent in a lot of places
  42. Find a local festival and go go go! Festivals are great for an afternoon or evening of fun!
  43. Go to the farmer’s market- enjoy looking, at the very least!
  44. Find a u-pick farm and enjoy picking your own produce
  45. Go camping! Some outdoor stores rent gear for reasonable rates
  46. Find a beach and play on it! Even us land locked folks often have some lakes we can play in and around
  47. Check out a local play or musical- many companies have cheaper matinees, and lots of cities have some cheap or free outdoor options!
  48. Go to a local cemetery and think about what memorial day is all about
  49. Attend a parade in honor of the weekend! There are lots of local parades, and they’re cheesy, but fun!
  50. Spend time with the people you care about, whether it’s a barbecue with family or a night out with friends

 

I hope this gives you some fun ideas to look at on this long weekend! Whatever you decide to do- enjoy it!

I’m hoping to make Fun and (mostly) Free Fridays a series- so stay tuned!

 

Superhero action of the day: what fun and (mostly) free things do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments and hopefully I can check it out!