• sassyprincess70   
  • Idaho Falls, United States

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Even though this is a goal (and an ongoing one at that), I actually have the story associated with this on a story page. The reason being is that I wanted to post some pictures and I'm not sure I can do it on a goal page. So, please click on the story with the little boy's picture. That'll give you the scoop on this goal/story.

From making blankets for street children in Peru to working on my degree, I have many goals that I want to accomplish this year. However, the goal I picked for my 21-day challenge is a non-sensational goal that I am trying to achieve out of necessity and not necessarily desire. It is to start working out regularly and try and maintain a healthy lifestyle overall. I've already been working on incorporating healthy homecooked meals to my days (thank you Jamie Oliver, aka Culinary Genius!). However, my stumbling block is fitness. I could say that my decision to work out regularly is due to my moment of insanity when I mentally committed to running the Marine Corps Marathon (see a previous post as to how that brilliant idea came to be). I could say that working out will eradicate the 10 pounds that have taken up permanent residence on my eh-hem in the past 2 years. I could tell you the story of how my then 12-year old son, upon meeting my then-new boyfriend for the first time, jiggled the fat underneath my arm and said, “Look mom, you have wings” in front of said boyfriend. (I obviously haven't impressed upon my children the importance of survival skills, as he almost didn't see his teenage years for pulling that stunt.) Those are all good reasons for me to workout and eat healthy. However, the biggest reason for me is blood pressure. My blood pressure is really, really, high. We're talking 154/98 high. Not good especially considering I'm not old (despite what both my boys say). I know there are medicines that can lower it, but that is my last resort. I know a great deal of it is stress-induced, however, Oprah said that eating right and working out regularly will lower blood pressure...and I have absolutely no reason to think she would lie to me. So, here it is....my goal is to work out regularly, eat healthy, and not be tempted by Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups. If I don't get a handle on my ever-expanding waistline, it will only get worse. If I don't get a handle on my high blood pressure, then I'm prescribing myself an early death sentence. And, I have to say, I'm kind of fond of life and have way too many things I have yet to accomplish. So, here goes my 21-day challenge. I will plan dinner menus that will make Mario Batali envious. I will visit the gym so regularly that people will start to talk. And I will continue to try and stay strong and not resume my love affair with chocolate (minus the one itty-bitty piece of fudge that I ate 2 days ago...oops)

I don't know how this happened. One minute I was happily chatting on Facebook, and the next minute I mentally committed to doing a marathon in DC in October. How could this be? Oh wait, I know....it's because it's the MARINE marathon. I saw the word MARINE and all logic and reasoning quickly evaporated. Don't get me wrong, marathons are great. My ex-husband does multiple ones every year and loves it (we won't go into the fact his toenails have fallen off and all the other wonderful side effects of participating in them on a regular basis). I admit that running really is wonderful exercise. However, this is coming from the girl who got thrown off the treadmill last week. Humiliation quickly followed. Definitely not one of my better moments. In my defense though, people should not be allowed to squeal like banshees when they see a girlfriend. I mean, here we all were, minding our own business, working out, and getting into a rhythm, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes this shriek like someone was being killed. Well, wouldn't you look? Unfortunately for me, everyone else obviously had better coordination than I because they were able to maintain their balance and see what all the fuss was about. I, on the other hand, lost my balance, stepped on my shoelace (which I found out a bit too late had come undone), and was thrown unceremoniously off the treadmill. But I digress. In October, I am going to laugh in the face of fear over losing my toenails (which I've become rather fond of over the years, especially in the summer when they're painted all pretty and cute), and do this marathon.

Because I absolutely love the idea of Paying it Forward. By the way, if there is some person out there who hasn't seen that movie yet, you need to rent it now! But be forewarned, you must watch it with a box of tissues...yes, even you guys out there.

Parents are interesting creatures. I know because I am one. However, I am bound and determined not to look in the mirror one day and discover that I have turned into my mother…both physically and behaviorally (as much as I love her). As my kids tromp through their teenage years with reckless abandon, I am determined not to slip on my crazy panties and start screaming at the top of my lungs at them for being 15 minutes late even though I know they are right next door at the neighbors (personal story from when I was 17). What can I say, I’m an only child so they had no one else to focus on. Yes, I am going to be a rational parent. Or at least that is my intent. I never had a rational parent, so I don’t know what it feels like. Maybe when it’s all said and done, having a rational parent won’t be all it’s cracked up to be. I mean, at least my parents’ nuttiness makes for good story telling. Maybe my children will find my rational, mature behavior boring. Maybe they will resent me for being normal because they won’t be able to bond with their friends who might have crazy parents. It’s definitely an experiment that has the potential to go horribly wrong. However, I’m willing to gamble a bit. In a nutshell, my parents are great people…in small doses. They have big hearts and even bigger mouths. They are idiosyncratic creatures of habit who display tendencies towards hoarding. However, they view themselves as non-offensive clutterbugs. Today is the one year anniversary of my keeping the peace with my parents. We were estranged for a while due to an unfortunate situation which I will explain, and which I was truly distraught over since I really do love them despite our many differences. However, why this is listed in the “GOAL” category is because this peace-keeping is ongoing. Every week some discussion takes place that has the potential to go completely pear-shaped based on my reaction. So, every week I make the conscious decision to take the high road…not an easy decision but one that is made a wee-bit easier by taking a sip of wine before answering the phone. The last (and hopefully final) bout of estrangement occurred when I asked them to move their car. Pretty heinous, huh? Five years ago, when my ex-husband and I got divorced, my parents moved one of their 4 cars over to my house. Please don’t ask why they have 4 cars when my dad is the only one who drives. There’s no explaining that except for the fact that it falls under the hoarder/clutterbug category. At any rate, their motive was good. They wanted to make it seem like there was more than just a single mom and her kids living there. I totally appreciated it at the time, and it was a good idea…in theory. They would come over and move the car around pretty consistently for about 5 months. Unfortunately, as time went on, the car sat in one place until the tires got flat. It must have sat in the same place for at least 3 years. So much for the illusion. Well, my boyfriend was never too jazzed about a non-functioning car residing in the driveway, so needless to say he was like a dog nipping at my heels to get it moved. To be fair, I wasn’t thrilled with car establishing permanent residence at my house either. But it was easier just to let sleeping dogs lie. Finally,when I talked to my parents about moving it, they gave me permission (excuse me, permission?!?!). Well, I didn’t have the $100 to move it at that time, so I let it sit some more. We won’t even go into why I had to pay for it. Suffice it to say that it was easier than the alternative. Eventually my boyfriend and his friend were able to move it, so I called my parents to get the keys and it culminated in them threatening to call the cops and charge me with trespassing if I touched their car. Yep, you read that right. Trespassing on my own property…that’s a new one. Well, in an effort to keep the peace (and not end up on Jerry Springer) I extended the olive branch. I am pleased to announce that my effort to keep the peace has continued even today in the face of complete lunacy. However, tomorrow is another day…which means another chance to connect or do something else incredibly offensive. I’m enjoying this peaceful co-existence so much that I’m not even going to talk to them about their sewing machine which is currently residing in my basement. I’ll save that for the summer.

Ok, admittedly this goal might not quite fit under the relationship category. However, I have grown so fond of chocolate over the past year that I feel it deserves this category as I say my farewell. You see, this past year has brought about a great amount of stress into my life (or should I say that I have allowed myself to be stressed over the events of the past year?). Either way, my escape was chocolate and also mochas (aka cup o' lovin). I have decided not to sever ties with the latter, however, the chocolate must go. I can no longer justify sneaking bites saying it's just a little bit. Or inhaling several truffles in one sitting while quoting the American Heart Association's PR person saying it's good for our health (yeah, a square of dark chocolate....not a king-sized bar of milk chocolate covering a decadently-rich peanut buttery center). Yes, it must go. It will be a painful process, however, I have decided that I need to get in shape if I'm going to tackle hiking the Inca Trail and everything else my adventurous kids will have me do on our Peru vacation. BTW...I have a to-die-for truffle recipe if anyone wants it. Once you take your first bite, I will undoubtedly be your new best friend. However, a week or 2 later when you notice that your wobbly-bits are a bit more wobbly, then I am fairly certain you will hate me!

Every year, around New Years, my kids and I try to take on a charity project for that year in an effort to leave this wonderful world a bit better than when we found it (as well as try and combat the over-commercialization of Christmas). Well, this year I remembered how a friend of mine spent 2 years in the Andes. She was amazed at the level of poverty that exists in that region. I have always remembered her stories and thought that if I ever make it over there, I would try and help somehow. Well, I'm planning a trip to Peru with my kids and one of the places we're going to be is in the Peruvian Andes. The more I talk with organizations over there the more I see what incredible need there is especially when it comes to children. So I, armed with my new-found sense of purpose (and trying not to gripe about the fact that I still haven't won the lottery...not sure what's up with that), decided to make 60 (what am I thinking???) blankets. That's how many street kids are in one of the impoverished orphanages there. Don't worry, Martha Stewart, I have no intention of upstaging you in the craftiness department. I do not sew...so these blankets are going to be quilt-tied blankets made out of fleece. I mean really, who doesn't love fleece?!

Aside from the obvious "how cool would that be" factor of seeing Peru, I think it's really important to give back. I love Ghandi's words, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I want to impress upon my kids how difficult some people have it as well as the value of helping others.

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