October Challenges Review

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C+ I modified the daily Fall In Love with Yourself PHOTO challenge and did it JOURNAL style. But I did it.

I started strong with my GBBO baking challenge but mostly just reorganised my pantry.

My get ready for the holidays challenge didn’t even exist. I finally pulled out my Halloween decorations on Oct 31. I had plenty of real homegrown pumpkins so getting out fake ones seemed silly. I do Halloween & Thanksgiving decorations in the same box so the turkeys can get put out today!

We had a huge work curveball thrown at us at our yearly convention (virtual this year). I have to double my training to continue to offer some of my special services. That was a mental challenge!!!

I also have a client that, due to the extended tax season, I am behind in their books. She is down an office girl, so I am actually going to “get a job” two days a week. I am so burned out at my own business that I hired my own staff back early to do my job! It will honestly be a nice change of pace to do something different for 6 weeks.

My November Challenge for myself is WWABPWIPD? What would a business person who is prepared do? Some of the pieces of that are: (for both my business & hers)

  • Getting staff contracts ready
  • Job manuals
  • Payroll & benefit plans updated
  • Getting paperwork organised digitally
  • Training & CE’s done & an accounting plan for all staff
  • Bank reconciliation & loan balances updated in software

Challenge(s) Accepted!

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In my Year of Challenge it is only fitting to do some fun challenges. I don’t know if the link below will work but the first challenge is Teetotally Fit’s Fall In Love With You Photo Challenge. One photo a day shared – I’m not a photo taker so this will be a challenge! And the topics make me think a bit about who I am and what I love about being me. Please join me!

I’m of course doing my own GBBOchallenge each week. This one is to push myself to do some difficult bakes. I need to get out of my convenience food rut and back to some joy in cooking.

Then I have two declutter & decorate holiday challenges!! I follow Taylor Flannery’s Household Management 101 and one of my new loves – Clutterbug! They are both doing holiday challenges – Stress Free Holidays and Holiday Home. They are similar but I love a good management tip!

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It's time to FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU!! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿงกโ  โ  After sharing yesterday's post about where my mindset is at these days and seeing that many of you can completely relate, I'd say this challenge is EXACTLY what we need for a little 2020 pick-me-up! ๐Ÿ™Œโ  โ  This challenge began four years ago (!?!) and was created to encourage you all to take time each day to reflect on what makes you YOU! What are the ways in which you love yourself, your day, your life? ๐Ÿงกโ  โ  We'll be kicking off the challenge NEXT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1st, so mark your calendars and store the prompts! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ“†๐Ÿ™Œโ  โ  The rules of the challenge are simple:โ  *Each day tap into your creative self and snap a pic that represents the given prompt for YOU! ๐Ÿ“ธโ  *Post it to IG and share some deets ๐Ÿ“ฒโ  *Use the hashtag #FALLINLOVEWITHYOUCHALLENGEโ  โ  โ  *(Optional) Tag me @teetotallyfit so I don't miss a bit of that self-love! ๐Ÿ˜โ  โ  โ  Are you up for the challenge and amping up that self-love this FALL?? ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ’šโ  โ  .โ  .โ  .โ  #selflove #photochallenge #loveyourself #sober #sobermom #soberlife #sherecovers #odaat #livesober #love #fall #october #autumn #momlife #sahm #momof3 #militarywife #airforcewife #soberaf #grateful #strength #fitmom #fitness #strongmom

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Cake Week Self Challenge!

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It was a 4 page long recipe. (Rose Levy Beranbaum – Heavenly Cakes) I cooked all day postponing my own #GBBOcakeweek challenge to the last. Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake.

Very seldom do I need to do more than glance at a recipe. Even when baking. So this pushed me to slow down. Cake is something I rarely make from scratch. It’s an entirely different experience – yet it is still mix it up & pour it in a pan. The combination of egg whites, sour cream & butter along with silky cake flour & leavening was a brilliant white, almost crumbless cake. Dense like a pound cake but light like an angel food at the same time!

Sadly I used two old apples. When I planned the cake I thought they were fresher! I also didn’t use bourbon in the whipped cream topping but I can see where tart apples & a smokey hint would be nice. (I don’t need to buy $40 bourbon to add 1T for 8 servings – lol.)

I brought out to my farmer friend (who had been canning pickles all day!) – potato casserole, ham, macaroni salad, overnight fruit salad (like 7 layer but with fruit!), Greek salad, cashew tuna hotdish, rolls (I made tortellini soup too but kept it home.) This is what I call PROCRASTINATION!

I’ve said it before, but I love cooking and hate drinking while cooking. So I didn’t drink and I cooked. I stocked my fridge with meals for the week and shared meals. I can’t wait for next weeks show to see what my next personal challenge will be!

A Gooder Week

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I feel great! Which is almost always a recipe for disaster. By Wednesday night I had accomplished all I wanted. I started thinking of how nice it would be to celebrate with a glass of wine. So…..Thursday I spent the day in bed watching a live webinar alternately napping and trying to keep food down.

Thankfully I was able to stop that shit show and get back on track. Feeling great again and so excited for the weekend I woke up at 2. I really need to try to go to bed later than 8! I have lots of organizing plans but nothing emergency so I’m looking forward to crossing some fun stuff off my list.

At my Master Gardener class we were asked what we love about fall. My answer was GETTING ON A SCHEDULE. crickets I mean we were studying bugs that class but no cozy blankets or pumpkin lattes, I want a schedule.

I took a break from list making, menu planning, chore charts, rewards lists, bullet journals and e-organizers. BUT I’M SO READY TO GET BACK TO SOME STRUCTURE.

My newest guilty pleasure is watching TV in bed. That has helped my sober evenings. Last night was GBBO Cake Week. I’m doing caramel apple upside down cake from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes in honor of cake week. Also coming this week are three new cookbooks & The Hone Edit books.

And yes I will post pictures!

A Shocking Third Night

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Three nights in a row has only happened twice this summer. Then I feel happy & celebrate ๐Ÿ˜‚. Lol (Or I’m so miserable from lack of good sleep.) I started getting ready for bed before supper – thereby messing with the routine. I washed my face and did my undereye mask and The Home Edit. Then it just flowed from there. I got on all my fun creams & lotions and crawled into bed around 8:30. The last few nights I have been watching movies in bed. Highly rare for me. (On the Basis of Sex is amazing btw.) Since everyday is basically a stay-cation I figured I may as well act like it!

Every Sunday with masks we are allowed to visit outside with my kids grandparents. (My ex-in-laws) It’s a good reminder to not smoke & drink. Folks 15 years older than me in the nursing home lock up because of poor health choices.

Sunday has been a day I laughingly call Lori Love. A no-guilt pampering day. Yesterday was a good one.

September – Where For Art Thou?

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I love working from home. I’m very good at it and actually can sink my teeth into long boring projects. But I looked up and September is almost over!

I’ve had quite a summer of “I will never drink again, hang overs, moderation, not drinking, and maybe I will just try this” conversations with myself. I’m quite tired of my own b.s.. I’ve spent the last couple nights not drinking. And therefore, not sleeping. Good old addiction. When I started this journey I knew nothing of addiction – I just blamed myself.

I don’t want to say that it isn’t about me & my choices, but addiction is a medical truth. The words I use can either be a victim voice or a knowledge voice. Passing out vs going to bed. Can’t sleep vs waking up from sugar imbalance. Exhaustion & stomach ache from covid vs withdrawl. It’s just medical not a drama crisis moment.

Even though it’s only 2 nights of not drinking I will take it. I need to trust in the process that my body just needs a hot minute to adjust. I’m uncomfortable and we all know what happens then!! I’ve gotten very good at rewarding and being kind to myself. Yeah me! But I’m feeling an urge to push myself a little bit more. I’m happy, have free time and home. Two sober nights closer to a little bit better than the day before.

June July Aug

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Grinding my teeth from addiction may be the new catalyst for change. The dentist keeps saying he can’t figure out why my teeth went so bad this year. In my heart I know. I have had three teeth pulled, two crowns, one more scheduled and four cavities just since January. My jaw pain is constant day & night from grinding. Before this I have had three cavities my entire life.

All summer Mon-Wed-Fri at 7am I have zoom exercised with Alison from Teetotally Fit. I’m not sure, but I don’t think I cancelled once. To watch a fellow blogger get sober in these blogs and then move on to fulfill a dream of sobriety coaching & physical training is incredibly inspiring. We both have relatives that live on the same lake in Iowa so we met up in July. It was seamless. I can’t really think of a better word.

Live zoom yoga has also been huge for me. It was the same instructor I had been seeing in person but she offered ALL her classes either live or to watch taped later. The first month I did almost 30 classes just to get my head straight from stress and my body loosened up from sitting for months. I don’t know how I will ever be able to go in person after this. I didn’t have to put on a bra or shower or makeup and I could snuggle with my dog as he “helped” me by sitting on my lap.

A Master Gardener Certificate has been a dream since I was in my twenties. I started my first class this week and invited a friend from town to sign up too. Because the classes are normally offered only in larger cities & at night it wouldn’t work for me before. Now with virtual meetings I get to pursue this dream.

Working has not really ended and I’m concerned (jaw clenched) that I won’t have enough mental break until the next season starts. I’m trying. Even though parenting is easy now (senior in HS and sophomore college) I miss alone time as high school hasn’t started and college is online & he lives at home. So far he has saved over $50,000 in student loans by living at home and financial aid. This is my gift to his future so I keep remembering that.

My garden was okay, not great but I will start canning today and that popping sound of the lids sealing brings me such joy. For something new I’m going to do a fall vegetable garden.

I was fed up with my manfriend not returning phone calls or texts. He had a new grandchild and then I got sick and then the world closed. I just let that relationship slide for a while. I finally opened that door again. He’s a farmer and it is a difficult scary job. One of my clients, a 33 yr old newlywed lost his life in a farm accident. Other clients lost their crops in our Derecho storm. Iowa has been devastated and we are a farm based community. Farmers are not people who ride in and save the damsel in distress. They are ornery. It’s a love em or leave em deal. But they are loyal. Even though I took a break, no one went looking for anything else.

The time I had spent in any relationship in the past, including parenting, I finally decided to invest in myself. I meditated one month over 80 hours! LOTS of that was sleepless nights. The biggest change hasn’t been from me, but from the world adapting to the things I love. Live interactions from home.

Puttering Along

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Still doing some form of exercise a day and not being hard on myself is feeling pretty good these last couple weeks. Maybe, finally, grasping what “a lifestyle change” means. It’s more a series of small choices than an overhaul. It feels doable rather than overwhelming.

One of my new meds (an allergy med to relieve post nasal drip) makes me sleepy to the point that I’m yawning all day & my eyes get heavy when I drive. (Its once a day so i took it at night and slept great.) The last two nights I haven’t taken it and I was able to get out of bed before the sun came up which felt wonderful. I hate to miss a sunrise. Hopefully my sinuses are dried out so I can stay off of it, which was the long term goal anyways. I like the clear head feeling this morning!

Most of my garden is planted and my bird feeders are full. The neighbor saw 5 Orioles at once yesterday. The orange color is just brilliant. I wish I could watch the birds more often myself, but my neighbors are retired and it’s really for them. They can’t afford the seed anymore so I put the feeders where we both can watch. And everyday he peeks at the garden – he loves walking around it and guessing what I’ve planted.

Another Week Went By

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That went fast! I finally got back to my normal summer routine, work Mon & Tues 9-3 and have the office phones forwarded to my cell. One new perk is being able to work from home. Clients can sign & pay online so I was able to get a few more returns wrapped up without having to drive in to the office. Win for them & me, especially when I’m waiting on just one little thing.

I’m feeling amazing! The new meds are great. Emotionally this week, I was super gentle on myself. This was my time to relax & rest and I did. Planted a couple fruit trees and my son found buried treasure – an old spoon and an army man – while digging the holes. Played some candy crush & spider solitaire and cooked a lot of frozen pizza. I didn’t write any to-do lists.

I did yoga class everyday, sometimes twice a day. Got a couple meditations done and I no longer need naps to get through the day. Finally ordered some groceries (ran out of pizza) and dark chocolate treats for myself.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future of my business. Do I need two brick & mortar buildings? How many staff? How will clients feel if I do another year of drop off? Can I handle the extra burden if I only re-hire half my staff? They are good thoughts, not OMG what will I do?! thoughts. I can lead the change or I can react.

I want to lead, both in business and in my health. After all, this is my Year of Change. It feels uncomfortable so I know I’m pushing the right buttons.

A Good Weekend

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Might not have felt great while I was in it, but from the perspective of a quiet, calm, sober Monday morning I will call the weekend a success.

I’m starting to get some proactive practices in place versus reactive. In the last two weeks I’ve done 16 yoga, garden or exercise sessions. I’ve stuck to a fairly consistent schedule. I started a new med that makes me sleepy so I’ve had excellent sleep.

From a positive reactive place, I’ve done some meditation when I had terrible racing thoughts. I ordered take out & a pop when I just couldn’t pull the morning together to make a lunch. I played yahtzee with my son while eating ice cream to avoid drinking. I ate a big meal to calm cravings. (No need to discuss the negative reactive actions!! Lol)

I cut waaayyy back on my to-do list at home. Just picking one thing that seems most urgent & doing it. Overall, a few things got accomplished, spent time outdoors with my quiet son and woke up with less racing thoughts than normal. That’s good.