Tuesday, November 30, 2010

At This Very Moment

  • At this very moment, it is 10:58pm.
  • I am staying up until midnight when registration begins for the Utah Grand Slam (run 4 marathons over the course of a few months this summer).
  • The Grand Slam is hard to get into, just a limited number of spots. Maybe I could just do it in the morning. But I would punch myself in the ear if by chance other neurotic people are sitting around their computers too, and when I wake up in the morning all the slots are filled.
  • Part of me is thinking this is foolish. I must have been dropped on my head too many times as a child.
  • Do yourself a favor and read THIS blog post by Fat Cyclist about getting a massage. I laughed until I cried.
  • I didn't eat hardly any junk food today.
  • (I had to make up for multiple indiscretions yesterday.)
  • The latest book I'm reading is called Overdosed America. I highly recommend it, although it will make you nervous to go to the doctor.
  • Eggnog? I saw eggnog at the grocery store today and thought to myself "Does anybody really drink eggnog?" The very word sounds yucky. Why would someone willingly put something into their stomach that ended with "nog"?
  • Is it midnight yet?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kids Like Peas

Apparently, children like peas. Well, if the peas have black eyes.

In our primary class at church our sweet little 8-year-olds were working on a project. And suddenly out of nowhere one of these sweet little 8-year-old boys started singing.

He proceeded to sing EVERY single word to a Black Eyed Peas song. I'm talking every word. If it hadn't been for the high-pitched voice, you'd think an actual Pea was there in our classroom. You know that song "I Got A Feeling"? Yep, that one. (I'll pause for a moment to apologize for the fact that this song will now be stuck in your head for the next 14 hours.)

And, speaking of peas......
funny graphs - Also: The only non sodium or polystyrene based ingredient
see more Funny Graphs

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mesquite Marathon

I ran my sixth marathon yesterday, the Mesquite Marathon. To read the story, see the pictures, and watch the video, CLICK HERE. (www.fastcory.com)

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Happiness Project - Part Three

I highlighted lots of information as I was reading The Happiness Project. Some of the pieces became part of my Personal Commandments. But there were many more aspects that I thought were important to consider as I work on boosting happiness. They are like valuable little nuggets of wisdom. Rubin calls these little reminders her Happiness Manifesto.

Even though the commandments provide some overarching principles, I liked having these things to remember during the course of each day to keep me on track. These got added to my bathroom mirror too. So….without further adieu….here is my Happiness Manifesto:
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • "One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”
  • Don't compare yourself to others.
  • Accept the things you can't control.
  • Don't gossip.
  • Enjoy the process.
  • Don't complain.
  • Honor God.
  • Be positive - in thought and speech. Re-frame negative thoughts.
  • Live simply.
  • Don't take it personal.
  • Look for reasons to laugh.
  • You're not happy unless you think you're happy.
  • Lighten up.
  • Be forgiving.
  • Don't buy useless crap.
  • Make footprints: "I was here!"
  • If you can't get out of it, get into it.
  • "It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light." G.K. Chesterton
  • Do it now.
  • Choose to be happy, not right.
  • Imagine the eulogy - how do I want to be remembered?
  • Be a haven.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Happiness Project - Part Two

The first step I learned from The Happiness Project was to make a list of my Personal Commandments. For me, the personal commandments are some core principles that I want to use to guide my life. When I follow these guidelines, I am more likely to feel happy. I had a long list of possibilities for my Commandments but I eventually narrowed them down to ten. I chose these particular ten because I believe in them very deeply, but I also have lots of room for improvement in each of them. None of them are easy and I don’t do any of them perfectly. They give me a good challenge. My Personal Commandments are:

1) Act the way you want to feel.
2) Do what ought to be done.
3) Be present in the moment.
4) Be kinder than necessary.
5) There is only love.
6) Live deliberately.
7) Say “yes” to life.
8) Smile always.
9) Spend out. (Taken from the Happiness Project book which talked about not taking things for granted, and celebrating the small victories of each day. Don’t save the nice dishes for a special occasion – because EVERY day is a special occasion.)
10) Be Cory.

I printed off my Personal Commandments and taped them on my bathroom mirror. If I’m really going to work on these, I need constant reminders. So here is the challenge: figure out what YOUR personal commandments are.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Happiness Project - Part One

I’d like to tell you about a fantastic book that I read recently called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book is based on her experience over the course of one year where she focused on boosting happiness. She chose a different area of her life for each month and had specific tools to strengthen happiness, such as:
Remember Love (Marriage)
Aim Higher (Work)
Lighten Up (Parenthood)
Keep A Contented Heart (Attitude)

For me, the structure of the book was perfect. Instead of a general discussion about how to be happy, these are real, everyday tools we can use. And the tools she talks about seem to come from three main areas: 1) Research, 2) Her personal experience, and 3) Suggestions from people who have truly mastered happiness.

Originally I checked out the book from the library. I returned it after two days and ordered it from Amazon because I quickly realized that this is a book that I would need to underline and write in my own notes.

I could really relate to Rubin who said that her purpose in doing her own Happiness Project wasn’t because she was particularly unhappy. In fact, she felt quite happy. But she had a nagging sense that maybe she was letting some important things pass her by, or maybe wasn’t sucking everything out of life that she could. I sometimes feel that way too.

And so, over the next few days, I’ll share with you how I incorporated her tools into my own Happiness Project. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Hostess Diet

Looking for another reason to register for the upcoming Hostess Half Marathon on December 18th? Look no farther than THIS article from CNN.

My brother forwarded me this story of a NUTRITION PROFESSOR (!!!) who lost 27 POUNDS (!!!) over two months on a Hostess diet. I ain't kidding you! Read the story. If it's on the internet, it must be true.

Feel free to start your own Hostess diet during the race. To earn a medal, runners must eat a Hostess product at each aid station spaced approximately two miles apart. Pick your poison: we'll have Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and bite-size donuts.

The deadline for race registration is December 4th. CLICK HERE for the link to the registration form. Bring your shoes. Bring your speed. Bring your appetite.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Horrors Of Middle School

Recently our family watched the movie Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. It’s a good thing the movie was funny. Otherwise it may have triggered post-traumatic stress disorder. I could relate to WAY too many things in the movie.

While watching, I recalled a few situations that made 7th through 9th grade miserable:

1) Mt. Jordan Middle School was an oven. Seriously. It was an oven with desks inside. The school was old and had no air conditioning. You could have baked a loaf of bread in my math class. I always felt so sad for my history teacher Mr. Murphy. He had the hottest classroom in the school and he always had enormous sweat tacos under his armpits.

2) PE Class: are you kidding me? I could write a Bible-sized story just about the misery of PE. This is going to come as a shocker, but in middle school I was (am) a scrony, skinny weakling. “Shirts and Skins” is a cruel punishment passed down from Hitler to PE teachers.

We didn’t play Dodge Ball in middle school. It was called “War Ball” (for good reason). Apparently bouncy balls are for sissies. We used fully inflated volley balls. I had braces, and a few times my face got an up-close-and-personal meeting with a volley ball traveling the speed of sound. The inside of my mouth resembled bloody ground hamburger. Sometimes I would pretend I got out and go stand on the side just to minimize the carnage.

3) Home Economics: I don’t remember what we actually DID in the class. I just remember that our teacher was MEAN. And if you got in trouble, the punishment was to go to the classroom across the hall and sit in “The Box”. I am among the lucky majority who never saw The Box. I don’t know if anyone ever returned from The Box. I don’t know what happened in The Box. Maybe kids got water-boarded.

I’m sure there were many other traumatic experiences that my brain has protectively blocked as a way to prevent life-long mental scars.

What was your most miserable middle school experience?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Piggy Back Ride Dilemma

I had a sad realization Sunday afternoon. Our family took advantage of the awesome weather to go on a walk around the neighborhood. Along the way my two little girls asked if I'd give them a ride on my shoulders. I can't turn down a question like that.

But I realized that they are getting bigger. They aren't the little people they used to bed. And I thought to myself "What if this is the last time I ever give my kids a piggy back ride?" That thought made me sad. I wished that I could freeze time and keep everything exactly how it is right now.

And then I remembered a quote I heard from author Richard Paul Evans years ago. He was writing about feeling sad that his daughter was growing up, and then came to a realization that has stuck with me ever since I heard it:

"To hold the note is to spoil the song."

Kids grow up. Things change. You won't be able to let them ride on your shoulders forever. But maybe this is all part of "the song". It was a good reminder to me that I need to slow down and enjoy the music.

(I may also start weight lifting so I can provide piggy back rides until at least seventh grade.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Strength, Courage, and Confidence

Recently I saw some cool quote pictures which were conveniently sized to fit perfectly for a computer wallpaper/desktop. So I thought I'd try my hand at it with some pictures of my own. Here is #1:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What NOT To Wear For Halloween

A week ago with Halloween approaching, Mel's sister brought over a clogging uniform that she had worn when she was 12 years old and dared me to squeeze myself into it. I'm always up for a challenge so I took a deep breath in and pulled the shirt over me. And I thought to myself "Hmmm, I guess this would be an okay costume for Halloween."

And then I looked at myself in the mirror.

I looked so completely ridiculous that I laughed until I cried. It was the kind of laugh that makes your stomach hurt. I looked like a mix of:

1) A frizzy poodle.
2) Neil Diamond's sequins.
3) A younger Richard Simmons.
4) A cheerleader who fell out of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Our family did a 5k fundraiser race on Saturday where costumes were encouraged. I abandoned every ounce of self-dignity and wore the costume for the race. I fully admit that it should be illegal to look like this in public.

I ran the race in 25 minutes, then participated in the Men's Sprint race afterward. And then my friend Tom had a genius idea: I competed in the Women's Sprint race right afterward.

So to all you innocent community members who happened to be driving down the road on Saturday and witnessed an ugly man/woman in red sequins running down the street, I am deeply sorry that this horrific image was burned into your mind. I pray that you will one day forgive me for the mental anguish I have caused.