My First Thirty Day Challenge

081Currently, I am on day eight of no soda for a month.

So far, I have only been tempted once. It feels good to be accomplishing something, even if it is something so slight.  Everyday for the last eight days, I have been successful. I know there are a lot of folks out there that have ceased drinking soda a long time ago and don’t look back, but for me the ties to soda go deeper than just a sugary choice.

I was raised with it. I am not lying.  When I was sick, I was given a soda. When I was upset, I was given a soda. And so on and so on. There are pictures of my mother and grandmother sitting by a Coke sign with coke in my mother’s bottle. Once on a family trip, I suffered from horrible gas and bloating after eating too many clams that left me crying.  The first remedy tried was a coke that had gone flat.  Drinking all of my mother’s Cokes was a felony offense growing up. One I committed on multiple occasions.

My heart has not been in the anti-soda fight for a while thought I have tried in the past to cut back.  I reasoned that since I don’t eat anything with gluten further restricting my diet would be a burden.  A silly and definitely immature reason, if something isn’t good for you then not giving it up based on other things given up for health reasons makes no sense.

So here I am, the first day back to work after Daily Light Saving time, with my morning coffee haven’t successfully dodged the urge to get a coke for the caffeine and sugar rush to get me started. It was hard to go to sleep last night and then my sleep was interrupted by a friend in need.  Not a problem, it happens, but the result was less sleep than my body commanded.  So walking into my beloved 7-11,  I was tempted to go for the quick fix, a soda and coffee, to solve my exhaustion dilemenia.   I settled for a banana and some pomegranate juice along with the coffee.  My fuel for this morning is sitting in my purse uneaten, but I made it through the day without a soda.

The decision to undertake a thirty-day challenge was inspired by watching the following TED talk video.   

After watching Matt Cutts, a co-worker of mind decided to join me on my quest.  Next month, I am toying with several ideas from biking to work to returning to daily meditation.  I love the idea of breaking the stagnation that had settled into my life with small sustainable challenges. What would you try new for thirty days? Seriously, what would you try?

My New Hobby – Exhaustion

Last Thursday night, I fell asleep at 7:30 and woke up in time to go to work the next morning.  I did it again last night.

This evening, I feel asleep once again around seven and  woke up three hours ago. My kitty boys gently reminded me that I had other things to do beyond sleeping.

Jack and Nu Mu

My house is a bit cleaner now, litter box and turtle tank included.  The boys are happy, well except for the kitty who is confined to the potty room but that is another story.  There is more work to be done, but then again there is always more work.

Deciding to clean my house wasn’t an attempt at perfection, far from it. It was an attempt to breathe.

Exhaustion is something that with my work current schedule, I can’t avoid.  Between job no. 1 teaching and job no.2 answering phones for a local theme park, I have worked the last eight days straight. I still have five more days before I have a day off. On top of all of this, I agreed several months ago to chaperone the senior trip to Universal’s Grad Night.  It was a blast and I was happy to do it.

I have also written more than five thousand works on my latest project, read about twenty student research papers and designed lessons for four different classes.

Cleaning the house tonight will allow me just a bit more relaxation time this week and provides me with a little more mental clarity. A clean house may not actually be next to godliness, but it is next to sanity.

It was my choice to clean tonight; no one forced or pressured me.

It is a choice that I am proud of; along with my choice to be positive and happy.  Sometimes we forget that those are choices. We wait for the perfect time to do this or that and never let ourselves breathe. Never let ourselves see the man on the street doing the robot dance as he waits for a safe time to cross the street or let out a laugh because we remember doing that in the fourth grade. We are too focused on getting to the store and using our coupons to save another fifty cents. We will drive an extra ten miles do so; never taking into account the gas we are using or the time.

My time is precious.   It is as valuable as my happiness.

Tomorrow afternoon when I walk in the front door my floors will be clean, the living and dining rooms will be free of clutter and the bedroom won’t contain a basket of clothes waiting for my attention. Then I will be able to take part in my latest hobby-exhaustion napping.  If I wake up before the morning alarm goes off, sweet. Otherwise, I will just let my body exercise its own choice to be happy and sleep.