Brass Tacks – a flurry of things to share

Hello Friends!

Well, as I settled in for this wintery wonderful 3 day weekend I knew I felt a familiar feeling – the anticipation of a long airplane flight, one of my favorite treats. I have always loved the long flights, the longer the better, for all that uninterrupted “me” time (guiltily says she with no kids, 2 easy cats and the most low maintenance hubby on earth). Yes, I love those flights and I always, always, always put way too many things in the “to do” bag (yes, KC & Lisa & Diane… you remember!). Totally unrealistically making lists of all the indulgent pass-times possible of a flight to Mumbai or Sydney: reading, writing, napping, movies, knitting, and a 100 other things that have been lingering on the to do list forever (not to mention the eating), that will surely feel like the most fun thing ever once buckled in for 14 hours. Alas, as with every one of those flights, for all the activities engaged, there were always more left wanting upon arrival. Sigh.

And here we are, coming in for our landing at the end of a wonderful 3 day weekend. Same feeling – both the good and the bittersweet. The most wonderful thing about this time is that we’ve just begun, at last, this much anticipated season of long flights (aka homebound-ish weekends). The unprogramed time may really have been one of the top 3 reasons I’ve been so excited about this move. As much as I loved the bustle of DC, it’s just so wonderful to not have 12 things scheduled every non-working hour. I know it’s still novel to me, but I gotta say, it’s pretty awesome.

So, on the list of “not quite done” is the blog each of the 3 days. Oh well. But, wait, here I am – 2 out of 3 ain’t too bad, right? 🙂 So, as I race the clock to get to bed by 11 and I thought I’d dedicate this post to a flurry of tactical, practical things I’m trying in service of my New Year’s intentions shared in the last post. I’d so very much like to know what anyone reading this may think of any of my ideas.

Technical Note: To comment, I think you have to go ahead and sign up for a WordPress account (there’s a free app) and then follow this blog there. I promise it makes reading it lovely, format-wise, and you should be able to comment. If you are relying on the simple “sign up to get an email” feature that I rigged to let folks know when I’d written something, you’re stuck just emailing me your thoughts – which I warmly welcome!

Here goes, a few of the things I’m trying/doing this year in order to achieve my intentions:

  1. The Facebook Fast – this is something I’ve done a bunch of years (probably not last year), and I really can’t recommend it enough. It’s just signing off and NOT LOOKING, SCROLLING, CHECKING and worst of all COUNTING (likes, comments etc). Usually I un-install the app for a month, which makes this easier but now I have a role to play on the TRF facebook account so I’ve kept it on my phone and buried on page 4 of my apps (yes, I have a lot of apps, and yes, one of my goals is to prune!). Here’s the fine print – which some of you have noticed – I’m still posting, but not directly thru FB because that would be too tempting, and (hopefully) not as often as usual. Instead, I allow myself to indulge in small doses of insta scrolling and I only post on insta, which links to FB and Twitter. Somehow, for some reason, I think folks will still want to know what we’re up to… but the really liberating part is to post and then NOT CHECK to see who liked, loved or commented – because I think that’s the most insidious part of “the book”, it’s like looking in the mirror every 5 minutes. Gross! For what it’s worth one of my more annoying apps “Moment” which tracks my screen time, told me my screen time was down 5 hours last week. That sounds like 5 more hours to FOCUS on the things I’m trying to accomplish this year. Food for thought!

2. The Journal – since it is my BIG year, I thought it might be a good time to try the journal that every productivity approach known to man seems to recommend. From Tim Ferriss to Oprah, it seems like people find this helpful, so I’m giving it a shot. For my die-hard blog readers, I’m really hoping this will save you from hearing the day by day of my life (which I seem to be pouring into the journal) and hopefully by parking all of my jumble of ideas there, I’ll be a bit more organized about what I share here. It’s a work in progress, but I think it’s going to help me focus – because at least I’m doing it for 30 min minimum at a time and because I like having an escape hatch for the running dialogue/commentary in my head.

3. Yoga at Home – I’ve mentioned to a bunch of you that one of the bigger changes for me in our new life is giving up the “in studio” approach to yoga, which has been such a beloved part of my old life in Alexandria at Pure Prana. It’s a new scene, and I have a great basement and it’s really quite wonderful to not have to rush to go to yoga, but to know I can start whenever I’m ready – for free! So, the two programs I’m using so far are:

  • Free on YouTube: Yoga with Adriene (and Benji). I really like her, the classes are pretty short, but I love her voice, her approach and the spiritual element she includes with the physical practice. I honestly look forward to taking her classes, and I’ve probably taken a dozen or so to date.
  • Purchased due to a FB promo: Yoga Burn. Yes, I did it, I got sucked into one of those ads, I listened to the whole video, and I went for it – I bought the CDs for the 12 week program and I’m going to go for it. 3 days a week, 45 min a session, designed to trip, tone, lighten and strengthen… all things on my list for 2019. I’d love to have a buddy join me, and I have an extra CD, so let me know!
  • And, once it’s warm (April?), I’ll be back to my trusty Couch Potato to 10K App, but also planning to try the running meditations on Headspace, which I hear are great!

4. Meditation – I’ve been pretty dedicated to Headspace since we moved, doing 10 min every AM. I’m going to try to extend to 15 min on the weekends. I’m also replaying one of the Oprah + Deepak Chopra series I purchased last year called Manifesting Grace through Gratitude. It’s awesome, and even thought I always fall asleep when Deepak is speaking, I’m finding it a great way to go to sleep.

5. Scheduling – trying something new to work with the winter schedule. I am quite intent in my belief that like the earth, the plants, the stars and the weather, we each are impacted by the seasons and the length of days. I believe it’s just unnecessarily exhausting to fight this with a commitment to the same schedule every day, all year long. I’m a fan of seasonal schedules, but I must admit that the winter here is hard to resist, combined with my much easier AM schedule (9am start time and no commuting = easy to rationalize sleeping in, many days). So, this month I’m trying a 3/2 plan – 3 days a week (MWF), I’m getting up early and heading into work by 8:15/8:30 (8 is actually the goal) and 2 days a week, I’m enjoying the more relaxed schedule to get in by 9 – this is the day to go for a walk, when I rally or have a call scheduled with my friend Rebecca. I’m also trying to go to be earlier, heading upstairs by 10… knowing my bedtime prep process, and my nightime “to dos” always take a while to complete.

OK, I’m drooping, and I’m sure this isn’t exactly the most riveting read – but I’m glad to share a few things I’ve found helpful so far this year as I work toward: FOCUS + Strong & Lean + DeCluttered (more on that tomorrow). More to share, another day!

Two final notes:

  1. After” photos of the snow below. I think we got about 18+ inches, it looks like more once the roads are cleared and driveway shoveled. It is beautiful, and now it is CHILLY which means the snow will stay. Yay! More expected on Wed & Thurs.
  2. A MUST WATCH TV PROGRAM really, seriously, absolutely AWESOME PBS show “Equus – the Story of the Horse”. Whole episode is available online, it aired on Wednesday 1/16. If you love horses, you will love this. If you know someone who loves horses, or are interested in why I, and so many people who know horses, love horses – you will find this fascinating. It is simply amazingly well done. I can’t recommend enough and I think you’ll find some insight into our love affair with horses, racing and the whole crazy world of horses in this beautifully produced first episode. I can’t wait for next week!

OK, that’s it for now. Signing off from 2 degrees!


Jan 21, 2019 – after the snow
Sunshine on the snow
Good morning – here’s a forecast to make you pull the covers over your head. Thankful for a holiday!
Just had to share… love this!