Weekend Update

I know, I know. “Weekend Update” is already taken. I’m using it (for now, at least) to introduce my new beginning-of-the-week posts. Moving from Reflections and Intentions to something that requires me to be more thoughtful and genuine with all of you. 

What I Did

I wore this alpine meadows outfit at a wedding. Apparently I became semi-famous as “the girl in the yellow shoes.”

Speaking of the wedding, we stayed in the most beautiful hotel that had a curved, purple velvet chair. I read this book front to end in that chair (and on the plane). Adding a curved, purple velvet chair to my dream apartment list.

I began the first of several administrative updates to my blog. I am hoping to expand in many ways, including affiliate links in my holiday posts, which will help me divert more time and attention to those details. I would also like to open up The Wonder Of to guest submissions. More news to come!

What I’m Going to Do

Go on a ghost tour of Chicago with some awesome friends! Even better, we are going on Friday the 13th! I am excited for this spooky evening.

Teach guitar to middle school kids??? Keep me in your thoughts.

Pay my debts and plan for the holidays. If I get those things cleared now, I should be stress-free by December. I think. I hope. Planning to give you a peek into my holiday travel arrangements, including details on multi-city flight bookings, and a top secret update about some of TSA’s newest changes.

Related: 

Discovery

Fall Outfits in Three Moods

Four Things

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Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-Kept my boyfriend’s birthday gift a secret for a whole month and surprised him with a kayaking trip through downtown Chicago!
-Kept eating right, kept exercising, kept losing weight.
-Took a sick day and felt better for it. It’s hard to know when you are really sick and when rest will fix it. Hint: rest will always fix it.

Intentions
-Schedule group personal training and other exercise opportunities (read: hiking, dancing) for the upcoming months
-Stay one day ahead of schedule so flying to a wedding this weekend is zero stress
-Really, TRULY stay up to date on the blog

Intended
-meet my blog goals. Sorry for the inconsistency, guys!
-My Climb Like a Girl program is almost over. I need to set a new personal challenge.

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Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-I forgot my keys. It’s definitely Monday.
-I went rock climbing outside  !!!!!!
-I am rectified in CPR.

Intentions
-meet my blog goals. Sorry for the inconsistency, guys!

-My Climb Like a Girl program is almost over. I need to set a new personal challenge.

Intended
-Climb a V2 at the rock wall
-I’m climbing outside and camping this weekend!
-Get more sleep. (Tuesday night maybe?)
-Do more things that aren’t Netflix. Bike. Play piano. Play a long game of chess.

Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-I’m really tired.
-Spent precious time with my family.
-Spent a lovely Sunday afternoon watching my boyfriend play with the Elgin Symphony.
-Trained hard at the rock wall and had healthy meals planned in advance (food diary coming soon!) and watched the number on the scale go down.

Intentions
-Climb a V2 at the rock wall
-I’m climbing outside and camping this weekend!
-Get more sleep. (Tuesday night maybe?)
-Do more things that aren’t Netflix. Bike. Play piano. Play a long game of chess.

Intended
-Get my car fixed for significantly less than the car is worth (goodbye, Midas. It’s over.)
-Adjust work/life balance. The first week of school had me there two hours early and two hours late most days. I am paid for a 40 hour week, not 60. Figure out how to get it all done efficiently. Lists. Lots of lists.
-Visit my family.
-Keep working on that side hustle. Finally hang advertisement for private lessons.
-Do all of my food prep at the beginning of the week!
-Don’t purchase anything except groceries and maybe one more pair of leggings for my climbing training
-Get consistent with the blog!

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Learning to Ride a Bike

I learned how to bike when I was really young. Somewhere between the ages of 5 and 7 if I had to guess. It is curious, actually, that my parents made a point of buying each of us bikes and teaching us to ride. We lived on a busy, narrow road, the kind with ditches on the side and blindman curves throughout. There were certainly no sidewalks or bike paths in that entire side of town. There still aren’t.

The process of learning went like this. I would pedal all over the front yard and pace across the fifteen feet of uneven patio-style sidewalk and zoom and skid down the steep gravel driveway with my training wheels on. At some point, the training wheels were removed and my dad would walk me back and forth on the tiny sidewalk, letting go every once and a while. I have no memory of the actual transition from needing help to riding independently: one minute he was holding on, and then suddenly I could do it on my own.

I do think that is how we remember skills that we learn when we are young. There is no process or technique; we have known how to do this for so long that it is innate. Some people are this way with swimming or playing an instrument. Learning those skills as an adult, though, and practicing at them alongside people who have those skills internalized is intimidating and humbling. I have been thinking about this as we bike along the lakeshore path  in Chicago. Several times a week, we pass a woman in her thirties or forties who wears a bright blue helmet, has a broad and sturdy bike, and moves glacially slow. Her legs push the pedals in a controlled cyclic motion and her hands are firmly planted on the handlebars in the bicycling equivalent of hands on two and ten. We pass her immediately each encounter, but she is never surprised, she just moves methodically ahead, eyes focused on the path ahead of her.

I am sure she just learned how to ride.

Obviously, having not asked her directly, I have no way to truly know her history of biking. Maybe she just keeps her bike on a low low gear? The way she moves, though, with a steady pace and careful balance, I am sure that she is a student driver, if you will.

I have been biking my whole life, and was  still very intimidated to bike on the road to get to lakeshore path, and then equally intimidated to ride along and be passed by speedy “real bikers.” The kind that have those ugly sporty sunglasses on, those alien-shaped helmets and those tight, padded pants. Those guys. I cannot imagine mustering up the same courage if I was new and unsure and all alone but guess what? This woman does that. All the time! She practices with regularity and determination. Color me impressed.

I guess in a way I do that with other things. Practicing my instrument even though I started five years later than the masters and always feel a little behind. Enrolling in a rock climbing training course with real climbers even though I can’t make it up the wall right now. Having conversations about child behavior with parents who are older than me. There is definitely a fake it till you make it confidence requirement for learning and growing in different skill sets.

I think that watching this woman’s focus and determination has given me a fresh inspiration to try new things and to commit to hard things. It is really tempting to withdraw from uncomfortable challenge, but the struggle makes us stronger.

I’ll be sure to wear a helmet.

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Reflections and Intentions

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Image and listpiration from Shutterbean

Reflections
-Survived the first week of school!
-Not only survived, but arrived hours early each day, was consistent with my students, and supported them at their football game over the weekend
-Went climbing… twice!… as pre-training for my training for my upcoming outdoor climb
-Walked and biked and ate kale every day and lost weight

Intentions
-Get my car fixed for significantly less than the car is worth (goodbye, Midas. It’s over.)
-Adjust work/life balance. The first week of school had me there two hours early and two hours late most days. I am paid for a 40 hour week, not 60. Figure out how to get it all done efficiently. Lists. Lots of lists.
-Visit my family.
-Keep working on that side hustle. Finally hang advertisement for private lessons.
-Do all of my food prep at the beginning of the week!
-Don’t purchase anything except groceries and maybe one more pair of leggings for my climbing training
-Get consistent with the blog!

Intended
-Join Brooklyn Boulder’s “Climb Like a Girl” program and enroll in REI’s outdoor climb!
-Figure out my morning exercise. Yoga? Long walks? Biking?
-pick up some side work like coaching, teaching lessons, leading choir… thins I enjoy (peel Lyft stickers off car and switch to cheaper insurance 🙂  )
-stay busy and happy and engaged every day

Reflections and Intentions

Reflections
-Yay! We had our best blog day every last week!
-New workout routine (making adjustments for myself)
-I’m changing my mindset
-Clean, fresh apartment space
-Conversations with old friends, celebrations with new ones

Intentions
-Prepare myself for the next 2-4 months right now!
-Buy plane tickets for a personal getaway
-FINALLY pay that parking ticket
-Set-up freelance opportunities for teaching and playing
-Have fun every week (every day?) this month

Intended
-Continue our Professionals series
-Make a pinhole viewer and observe the eclipse
-Get ready to go back to work

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Reflections and Intentions

Reflections:
-Visited the Chicago Field Museum
-Enjoyed a whole week at our apartment FINALLY
-Ate kale every day
-Started a novel?!?!?!
-taught myself poker and rummy

Intentions:
-Continue our Professionals series
-Make a pinhole viewer and observe the eclipse
-Get ready to go back to work

Intended:
-Run! Bike! Walk! Hike!
-Build new Rituals
-Clean my apartment/ my life

Related:
Back to School
5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Roadtrip
Space is my Jam
5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Applying for Jobs
Book Lists

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Reflections and Intentions

Reflections:
-I laughed for hours with my family
-Shared banana pancakes with people I love
-Sang
-Listened

Intentions:
-Run! Bike! Walk! Hike!
-Build new Rituals
-Clean my apartment/ my life

Intended:
Make a playlist for my grandpa’s birthday party
-Spend quality time with my family
-Write three new music-centric blog posts*
-Visit this theme park or the Exotic Feline Rescue Center while in southern Indiana

*In Progress

Related:
Back to School
5 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Roadtrip
Final Days of Summer
Unexpected Party Playlist
Vacations: Good, Bad, and Beautiful

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Monday Reflections and Intentions

What a wild summer. As soon as we got back from Canada, we washed a load of laundry, went for a great bike ride in Chicago, and turned right around and drove to New York City. I’m having a blast, but am ready to slow down. This week we are headed to southern Indiana to visit my family, and I am hoping to share some local favorites with my boyfriend while we’re there. Here are my reflections and intentions for the week. I hope your summer is action packed and sunny!

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Reflections:
-Went to the Bronx Botanical Gardens (as pictured above)
-Saw Béla Fleck and the Flecktones!
-Ate lots of NYC bagels
-Biked in Central Park
-Saw the Statue of Liberty from afar

Intentions:
-Make a playlist for my grandpa’s birthday party
-Spend quality time with my family
-Write three new music-centric blog posts
-Run! Bike! Walk! Hike!
-Visit this theme park or the Exotic Feline Rescue Center while in southern Indiana

Intended:
-Rent a bike in NYC
-Learn this song
-Pay all of my bills !!!
-Share photos of my trip to Canada

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