Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Heart Day

I always say better late than never so in honor of the V-day weekend I am doing my own rendition of a top ten list. Here are my "I HEARTS" from this sweet, candy coated, over processed, definitely commercialized holiday.
Side note: I did not receive endorsements or campaign support for any of the following ten list items, they come from my heart!

1. I heart my husband who showed up with his endearing Van Ahn style and gave me neon colored daisies from Cub, and a homemade card with a hand written poem entitled "Be mine cheap Valentine". Here's one of the sweeter nuggets from his original piece 'so here you are baby, the first but not the last, my love for you comes in the form of value shopping, just think of the savings we will amass'

2. Again, I heart my husband. He cleaned the whole house and picked up breakfast from Colossal cafe for us.

3. I heart our friends Cathy and Sarah who dropped off our wedding present this weekend. A book on composting AND a compost er. This is going to come in very handy for my 30 days of zero waste experiment. I can't wait!

4. I heart that even though I don't want to go to yoga I can always appreciate Shavasana (corpse pose) at the end of class.

5. I heart that I am going to Dallas on Wednesday to visit my sis Carrie and her family.

6. I heart sleeping in on the weekend.

7. I heart being able to hang with the whole fam on Saturdays when we visit Adam, and I totally heart my bro. I am proud of who he is and his courage.

8. I heart hanging out with wonderful friends through out the weekend. Even on V-day we went out as a group and had the best time!

Pictured from left, Matt, me, B, Mo, Ry, and Adam. We ate steak and laughed till our faces hurt!

9. I apologize in advance for this one but I heart cable. It is awesome that even though a glitch in Tivo prevents it from taping Monk I know I'll get a chance to see the same episode two days later.

10. I heart Nikita, Joey, and Cleo. Our American short hairs. We watched Cats 101 this weekend and found out that our cats are; going to live a long time, have few grooming needs, and get along with other animals. Tell that to Joey and Cleo fighting over the cat cigar Matt brought home this weekend they need to hear it.

My top ten "I hearts". I reserve the right to do this again, whenever I want, even if it is July. Every day should be heart day!

From Og Mandino 'The Greatest Salesman in the World' the scroll marked II; I will greet this day with love in my heart. Henceforth will I love all mankind. From this moment all hate is let from my veins, for I have not time to hate, only time to love....If I have no other qualities I can succeed with love alone. Without it I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world. I will greet this day with love in my heart, and I will succeed.

with love in my heart, L-

Saturday, February 14, 2009

30 days of yoga- day 6

30 day experiments are not as easy as one might think. This is my first week of yoga...

day 1- hung out with my sister most of the day and grudgingly left her house to go to yoga.

day 2- Didn't want to go to yoga in the am, napped instead. Didn't want to go to yoga in the afternoon, ran errands instead. Finally at 7:30pm I said to self, "self, you either go to yoga now or you start all over again tomorrow". Went to yoga, even more grudgingly than day 1.

day 3- Still not in yoga mode but took myself to a hot class at 3:30pm. Nearly passed out from the heat.

day 4- UGH!!! am I ever going to get over my "I don't feel like going to yoga today" thoughts? Drove around the city trying to avoid yoga and finally made it to an 8pm class in uptown.

day 5- went to yoga at 12pm and had negative and brooding thoughts through most of the class. When is this going to be over? seriously...

day 6- Happy Valentine's day! I skipped my usual 10am class (what is going on?) in lieu of more time in bed and now I am blogging in a final procrastinative attempt to be late for the 5pm C2 class in Edina. Matt and I have dinner plans though, so it is 5pm or nothing. I guess I'll head off.

I am genuinely excited about these experiments but I do find it interesting that on my first try I am fighting with myself about doing something that I normally do a few times a week anyway. In reality it is the end of winter.... I'm feeling a bit in the dumps and don't really want to do much of anything that doesn't include laying in bed or laying in front of the TV. Maybe I should do 30 days of 2 hour naps. Yeah, maybe that would be better.

Ok, off to yoga. I am happy that I've committed to blogging about this though, it certainly keeps me on task even when the last thing I feel like doing is downward dog!

Friday, February 6, 2009

This is an urgent now or in an hour!

Yes, it is day 4 of 30 days of yoga and I am off to one of my more brilliant starts. I am famous for these. I have been to yoga 0 times!

There is always an excuse if you wait for it. I won't make you wait too long.

I became deathly ill on Tuesday (only a slight embellishment) and thanks to my husband's corporate job with corporate insurance, I believed myself entitled to a visit to Urgent care on Wednesday morning. I was overwhelmed with fever and my body was on fire and I was positive I wasn't going to make it. Never mind that in all of my years as an independent, self-employed woman with affordable catastrophe only insurance I was never "positive I wasn't going to make it" (yes I used these words with my husband) until I had full coverage. My body's timing is impeccably considerate.

I wouldn't have thought I would so quickly bounce myself to urgent care on someone else's dime, and yet I did.

When I was single and not relying on my husband's fabulous insurance plan I did not go in to urgent care, or set up appts. for minor aches and pains, or take medication that required prescriptions. I paid for one yearly exam (around $200)to check in on my overall health, and the few occasions I fell ill? Well, I would ride it out like any penny pinching catastrophe insurance holder would. I figured as long as I was conscious and able to whine about my pain, I was probably going to survive.

Here's what happened as a willy-nilly-free-for-all- insurance holder that was positive I was not going to survive. I asked my husband to drive me at 7am, turns out Urgent care doesn't open until 8am so we drove home and then drove back at 8am, and then I waited in waiting area #1 30 minutes so I could fork over $25, be led into a back waiting area #2 for 20 minutes, then be ushered into a room (aka waiting area #3) and asked to put on a gown, wait another 30 minutes in a feverish chill to have the doctor come in and jab a swab down my throat and a long metal stick up my nose, wait another 20 minutes and have her announce that I tested positive for flu, should go home and rest, take ibuprofen, and that I was probably going to survive.

Here's the lesson I received...

What a gentle reminder that although it is "safe" to have a job with insurance, it isn't necessary. It is definitely better and more courageous to be thrilled-love-your-life-overjoyed in a career that doesn't give you coverage, than "safe" in a job you hate.

I really believe that most of the corporate medical coverage is going to the stressed-out, depressed types that are only holding onto their job so they can have insurance, which they need, to get treated for their stress and depression, which they have, because they hate their job. If only they knew....more happiness means less doctor time, which means affordable catastrophe insurance is really all you need (and all I plan on using now even though I now have the option to pay $25 to whine to a doctor, wait for an hour in three different rooms, and have her jab at me).

Be clear that I am not in any way saying there is not a need for western medicine, or insurance. Especially if you have children the luxury of only going to the doctor I.C.E. (in case of emergency) is really not an option and even with catastrophe insurance you can incur some large bills if you DO have a catastrophe (my plan was a high deduct able $5,000 before insurance kicked in 100%) However, I think part of the problem is that doctors are way over utilized. We know our bodies better than anyone and yet we doubt our instincts and believe it is better to check in with the professionals, who often tell us what we first knew to be true. That we are probably going to survive.

Here's what I know, doctors are great in these scenarios; oops I cut off my finger, I am pretty sure I am having a heart attack, my baby is coming out right now, or damn, you ran over my leg with the car. But in all these instances you would skip over urgent care and go right for 911. At least I hope you would. They don't even open until 8am.

PS. I am on the mend and will give my second go at 30 days of yoga beginning on Monday!

Monday, February 2, 2009

12 months of 30 day experiements

As a part of designing a brilliant 2009 for myself I am taking on a few things that I have always wanted to A. tackle or B. try out. I created a list of 12 things I am committing to doing(or not doing) for 30 days in a row. If you look to the right you will see my top 12 list in no particular order of the actual taking on of the task. Most likely I will move from easiest to hardest, after all it is in my nature to save the worst for last.

For example, I will definitely NOT be attempting non-motorized transportation this month. That one will likely happen at the beginning of our warmest month (to make it as painless as possible). Also, since it is a combined effort, I do have to check in with my hubby and make sure he is on board when I/we begin the 30 days of sex. Secretly, I know he is more excited about my 30 day spending freeze experiment.

My hope and intention is that during this process I will discover some new and different ways of living my life. New ways I've been afraid of trying... i.e., committing to no TV scares the Charles Dickens right out of me, but I know I can do anything for 30 days so why not go for it? Hopefully what I experience will carry me forward into a life with less TV (either that or I will binge on TV for 3 days and swear never to be without it again) and different ways that I've always doubted I could be...i.e., even though I have t-shirt that claims I am a green queen I stand in awe of my cousin Catherine and how committed she is to saving our earth. (Frankly, I don't know if I could ever measure up). I came to each of my varied choices by asking myself "what am I afraid of trying?" and "who do I doubt I can be?" As well, I have other questions to ask and I want answers!


what does it mean to consciously walk or bike to my desired locale each day? To schedule and plan everything around the time it will take me in transport.

Will I have a deeper appreciation for money if I knowingly withhold my spending for a month?

How will it deepen my relationship with Matt to connect in such an intimate way every day for a month?

What does it feel like to be daily present to my carbon footprint in our world?

Can I find things in my home that I don't need or love when I am required to dispose of at least one thing everyday for 30 days?

These are all questions I am interested in exploring and by taking these 30 day "tests"(after all what is an experiment other than testing out an experience) I have an opportunity to try on a new life. An alternate reality if you will. For example what does the parallel world Lisa that doesn't have TV do with her time? Does she wish TV was available? OR does she not even notice?

I want to shine in 2009 and I know that facing head on my secret questions and hidden desires (I've always wanted to be a veg since my sis Ash went veg over a decade ago) will enable me to live each day as fully as possible.

So I know you can't are dying of curiosity. Which of the 12 will be my first experiment?

HMMMM.....Let me think...come on now, I already told you, I have to warm into this. I am going straight up easy! As a matter of fact I picked this one knowing it would be a great warm up month.

I am taking on 30 days of yoga (I already go 3x a week). It may seem easy, but as we all know with our new years resolutions, the intentions are beautiful, but the discipline often dies out after a week or two. I am committing to this because I want to really see how I can stretch and expand my practice by doing 30 classes in 30 days.

The first experiment of 12 begins tomorrow! What a ride, this life. What a joy to be able to engage our hearts and minds in awareness and find meaning and purpose on our paths. Even if it means we play some games with ourselves along the way.


A good little bookworm

Ahhhh....the refreshing sigh that comes from a week of warmth, sun, community, ocean, and reading. Our trip to Puerto Rico was fabulous! We had beautiful sunshine everyday, yummy food, wonderful conversation, and loads of free time.

Unbelievably I finished almost all of my wish list books + 1 that I picked up (for my hubby) in the airport store. I know you all wait with baited breath for lengthy descriptions of my favorite t.v. shows but for once I relinquished my precious t.v. for chatting on the veranda between chapters of whatever book I was engrossed in at the time.

Here's my book report (in as few words as possible):

Day 1 (traveling day)- The Amazing adventures of Diet girl
Funny, witty, relatable , and a fast read. It was passed on to Sarah when I finished and then off to Stacey who was still mid-way through at the end of our trip.

Day 2- Buddha
Engrossing, beautifully written, and inspiring. I made a Buddha statue in the sand after reading and then contemplated the incredibility of how many grains of sand I could hold in my hand.

Day3/4- Life of Pi
Absolutely my favorite book of the week. A MUST read for everyone. The words danced off the page and I fell in love with Pi, his spirit, faith, and courage. I hope someday to believe so strongly in something that it becomes real to everyone around me too.

Day4-The Shack
This was not on my list but I saw it at the airport and got it for Matt. He didn't read it but I did. My sister Carrie declared it life changing. I thought it was a radical story, especially coming from a christian publisher. It was the perfect book to read after Life of Pi, because I believed every bit that happened (in the story) DID happen. We should all look for God-breathed experiences in our everyday life.

Day 5- In Defense of Foods(partially)
A great read, most of the information I was already clear on, but I like the different approach he took on sharing it. I found that I moved around chapters and didn't finish it because I wanted to be wrapped up in another beautiful story.

Day 5- The Greatest Secret in the World
This book is a ten month journey that I began on the trip. There are 12 scrolls to be read over the course of ten months. It is a great book to begin if you have first read The greatest Salesman in the World. I am excited to see where the scrolls take me.

Day 6-
I spent a little more time reading In Defense of Foods but spent most of the day in town, shopping and people watching.

Day 7 (travel home)- She's come Undone
This was my final book and I began it, but spent most of the travel time home reading Sarah's graduate paper and revising it with her. Though I am not sure if her paper will become an open publication when she completes it, she did a fabulous job and I have a deep understanding of usability testing in the health industry thanks to her breakdown and explanation. I am confident she will get high marks from her professors and peers.

OK.... that was my trip and to show it off best just ONE of the many pics taken of me with (of course) a book.
p.s. when my album is ready to share I will post the link here on my blog!