Yikes! It sure has been ages since I last posted! As always, I’ve missed my sunny scrapbook. Here’s why I’ve been quiet:
From me and my four furries, Happy World Rat Day everyone! 😀
To celebrate the joy of owning rats, I’ll be treating Moon, Knight, Mishka and Vodka to some salmon today. That’s always fun 🙂
I also want to take a moment to say that you’ll probably be hearing less from me for a while, or at least between now and the end of May. Ninja and I are in the process of moving house, and as everyone who’s done it knows – it’s chaos!
If I do get a chance to shoot off some quick posts I will, but otherwise please bear with me as I make this transition. I’m sure once it’s all behind us and we’ve settled in, I’ll have plenty new stories and pictures to share. Besides, many of the goals I’ve set for myself can only really come alive once we’re in our new home, so that should kick off an exciting new season for us!
Until then, keep well and keep smiling 🙂
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
~ Anthony J. D’Angelo ~
Yesterday, 20th March, was our autumn equinox down here in the southern hemisphere. It was a particularly beautiful, quiet and sunny day – a welcome treat after all the rain that the Gauteng province has been receiving for most of March!
As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of my favourite seasons. I greatly appreciate the chance to stop and reflect on life. This autumn feels especially poignant for me as we’ll be spending the season wrapping up our lives in our current flat and preparing to move over to our new home. By the time the winter solstice rolls around, Ninja and the fuzzbutts and I should all be happily settled in our new cottage.
I really love that this year I get to clean out the cobwebs (sometimes literally!) at a time when I’m already feeling inclined to make changes. And because of that, I thought that today – technically our first day of autumn – would be the perfect time to share with you my updated and improved ‘101 things in 1001 days’ list 🙂
As I explained a while ago, the direction of my life has changed so much since my original list (and even my updated version) that I need to redirect my goals to match my new circumstances. So you’ll recognise the first 47 goals, as they all come from my earlier list. But from Goal #48 onwards I’ve added new ideas that relate better to where I see myself heading over the course of the next 1001 days (all else being equal, and Lord willing). I also have a ‘someday’ list that I plan to set up separately (perhaps with a separate blog page of its own) and update and attempt as I’m able.
So here goes…!
PS – By the way, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet… Remember that my husband was facing retrenchment at the beginning of this year? Well to the glory of our great Heavenly Father, Ninja has been granted another work opportunity! Lord willing he’ll begin at his new job in April. We are very very thankful for this provision; it certainly changes the outlook for our year ahead 🙂
#11: Grow my hair to my waist – I’ve outgrown this goal, I reckon. My hair was waist length when I was younger, and it was lovely and all, but I don’t think it’s ‘me’ anymore. I’m happy with the short crop I have for now. We’ll see!
#13: Get a belly button piercing – I should’ve done this a decade ago. It’s a bit corny to do it now. And I don’t need it anymore in order to feel sexy 😉
#19: Go horseback riding on the beach – I definitely still want to do this one day, but I live far from the beach and I don’t foresee I’ll afford a holiday anytime soon. So I’m moving this to my ‘someday’ goals list.
#21: Go for a walk in a forest – No forests nearby… moving this to my someday list.
#28: Go on a road trip – Like I said, no holidays expected anytime soon! Someday…
#31: Go camping – Well, we’ll be selling our tent before we’ve used it even once, because we need the dosh. Doubt this will ever come up again, so I won’t put this on my someday list.
#32: Go to a concert – There’s nothing wrong with this goal, but I’ve been to concerts before, so why am I just repeating myself? Besides, it’s pretty rare for bands I like to hit SA, so this can happily go on my someday list, to be fulfilled ‘if and when’.
#36: Go vegetarian for a month – You know, I’ve just realised I don’t want this enough. I still want to eat fish, chicken and the occasional slice of pastrami. And yes I know that it’s pretty impossible to claim to be cruelty free if you still eat animals, but there’s just too much else going on in my life right now. I can’t face the thought of fundamentally changing my diet and cooking on top of all the other major life changes going on at the moment. At best I can make gradual changes over time in this area. I also want to make gradual changes towards more natural, healthy and cruelty-free cosmetics choices too… but that’s a thought for another post 🙂
#47: Do a punk photoshoot – It has taken and is taking me a long time to let go of my awesome punk years! But I think it’s time for this goal to finally go. This goal is only here because I was longing for my past instead of looking forward to my future.
#51: Spend a day without technology – Hah! There’s no need for me to have this as a goal. Our national power supplier (Eskom) will arrange it for me!
#57: Go to Sun City – I don’t know if I should take this off the list or not. Part of me says there’s no way we’ll afford it during this next season of our lives, but the other part (plus my husband!) says it’s still worth aiming for, even for a day trip… someday…
#60: Go on holiday with friends – Can’t go on holiday for the foreseeable future. With or without friends. M’kay?
#67: Visit Namaqualand in flower season – Someday!
#71: Holiday in the Drakensberg – Sheesh, I really did dream big huh! Also moved to the someday list.
#72: Do a 30 x 30 challenge – You know, I tried valiantly to do this. But halfway through I realised that I’ll never stick to it, because for at least one week out of every 30 days, I feel far too unwell for exercise. Hint: Maybe I’ll attempt this one day after menopause! LOL 😀
#73: Get a zoom lens for my camera – Argh. I really wish I could. But I don’t know if I can justify the cost when we’re scraping together every cent to pay off our new home. So I’ll stick this on my someday list… but you can be sure it’ll be right near the top!
#74: Go on a boat ride – I’ve been on a boat ride! Gah! Can I just stop repeating old goals? Where’s my imagination?
#80: Visit Knysna Wolf Sanctuary – Be still, my heart. Someday, hopefully someday soon.
#82: Take the tourist bus around Cape Town – The which to do, I must needs get to Cape Town… someday…
#83: Go on holiday by bus – Someday
#84: Learn to touch type – Erm, shew… not all that inspiring! Striking through this one. If I do learn it one day, great, but it needn’t be on my fun goals list.
#86: Publish my best poems – Someday, when money allows.
#87: Spend a night in a fancy hotel – When money allows, I’d love to still do this too
#101: Brainstorm an overseas trip – Why brainstorm something that could be light-years away? Rather just stick it on my someday list and plan it properly when it does finally seem to be a possibility.
Well, those are the changes. I’ll be taking the next few weeks to work on a new 101 list that works for my current season of life. And then I’ll share it with you, whether you want me to or not! Hehe 😉
I really don’t seem to get the concept of a 101 things in 1001 days list, do I?!
All I know is that these lists are supposed to inspire you to achieve personal goals… but what if your life has changed so much since the time you first penned those goals that many of them are now rendered useless – depressing, even?
By way of an extreme example, let’s say you had a list full of goals relating to physical activity, and then all of a sudden you’re crippled in an accident. Now what? You can no longer have goals like ‘Climb Mount Kilimanjaro’ on your list… they would just be an annoying reminder that you’re not who you were. The only sensible thing to do would be to make a fresh start with new goals for your new life.
Well, in a much more mundane way, that’s where I’m at right now. When I started this list I was a housewife with plenty of freedom to dream big. When I later updated the list it was because I’d moved back into the working world and had to adapt to that busy schedule. And now I’m itching to change the list again, because building a new home and having an ongoing career have reshaped my life once again.
Building a home costs me money, and working outside the home costs me time. Together, these factors limit what I can reasonably do for fun.
For instance, I love travelling. But keeping travel goals on my list for the next two years, when I know that there’s absolutely no budget for travelling, is just getting me down. As I see it, there will be no long holidays or trips over the next few years, because of finances.
Another reason I’m ready to rework my list is that I’ve recently realised how many of the goals are there for silly nostalgic reasons. Some of these goals I’ve already achieved once or twice before in my life, but they’re on my list because – until very recently – I’d been hankering back to my past as if I could recreate it in some way.
It’s only in the last month or so that I’ve finally come to realise that yes, my past was pretty cool, but my future could be even more amazing if I’d just face forward and dream again. Sure, some things are great fun and worth repeating… but maybe not if there’s something new to try instead.
I’ve also learnt a lot about the ‘101 things in 1001 days’ list since I first began. I’ve realised that it would be much more realistic if I had two lists: a ‘101 things’ list and a ‘someday’ list. The someday list could record many of the places I’d love to travel to and adventures I’d like to have, but which seem too large, expensive or impractical at this particular time in my life. They’d still keep me motivated, but without the pressure of a deadline. Then the 101 things list could be for the more achievable short- to medium-term goals, which rightly deserve a deadline.
My mom always used to say, ‘What’s a mind if you can’t change it?’, which drove me batty as a kid because I was usually the exact opposite: sticking boringly, tenaciously, stupidly to one thing until I’d completed it – even if the task had long since lost its usefulness.
Well, now it’s my turn to draw on my mom’s idiom and change my mind about some of my goals. So in the next post I’ll take a look at some of the goals that I think definitely need to go…
So! Who’s up for a challenge?
Earlier this week I decided it’s time to tackle Goal #72 on my 101 things in 1001 days list, namely the 30 x 30 challenge of doing 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 consecutive days.
I planned it strategically right at the start of a blazing South African summer, of course.
And that wasn’t enough, so I decided to add another ‘x 30’ on the end of that challenge too. Along with the daily physical exercise regimen, I’ve committed to a personalised detox.
It’s nothing hectic – nothing like my 21-day sugar detox – but I’m cutting out as many fatty foods, processed carbs and sugars as possible for the next 30 days, and I plan to eat a salad for at least one of my three main meals each day. I’ve reduced all my portions too, and I’m stocking my
pantry I don’t have a pantry fridge and cupboards with the healthiest foods I can afford.
Or at least I will be, once payday rolls around 😀
But like I said, it’s a personalised detox. I know myself well enough to accept that 30 days without any sugary treats at all is going to be counterproductive – I’ll just give up that way. So each morning with my cup of unsweetened rooibos tea I indulge in a single, small vanilla biscuit. Treat? Check 🙂
Over time I’ve come to accept that some diet fads and detox ideas will never work for me. For one thing, I don’t do low-fat dairy. Period. It’s yucky and a waste of money and full of unhealthy additives. I’d rather enjoy a smaller portion of a full-cream product than mess around with low-fat and fat-free options.
Also, I’ll never stick to a diet plan that involves foods I’ve never even heard of, let alone eaten. If I can’t find it in the shops I usually buy from, it’s just going to be a stumbling block in my detox. Ditto if it tastes gross. You can keep your kombucha and your tempeh, thanks very much!
And finally, I’ll probably never stick to a diet plan that cuts out one or more food groups altogether. Yes, I do intend to give a month of vegetarianism a go e.v.e.n.t.u.a.l.l.y (despite my repeated failures in that area), but I still don’t expect it’ll become something permanent. I like my food, and I love variety in everything, so that’s what my current diet plan is based on 🙂
I started the challenge on the 13th of November, so that it ends the day before my dating anniversary with Ninja… at which point I believe we can celebrate with a well-deserved, detox-destroying romantic dinner.
The salads have been easy to fit in and perfect for the hot weather, but the exercise is obviously the harder part. I often get to walk for more than 30 minutes during lunchtime at work, and there are stairs to climb and weights to lift at home. No excuses!
Being the pedant that I am, I laid out all of this in a handy checklist. And here it is, free for you to download should you wish to attempt something like this for yourself 🙂
Here’s to good health and achieving our goals!
WordPress has just reminded me that it’s been a year since I first signed up with them to begin creating my blog. I can hardly believe it’s flown by so quickly (but don’t we say that kind of thing every year?) 🙂
It all started with a tentative first post but soon kicked off properly with a post about – of all things! – cayenne pepper. After muddling around a bit with my doomed-from-the-start Fascinating Womanhood experiment, I branched out into a variety topics ranging from ratties to baking to setting goals. Along the way I’ve learnt a lot about myself. I’ve discovered some very special fellow bloggers and their writings. I received a few blog rewards, which was an honour, and I gained a few more followers over time.
But a lot has also changed in my life over the year that’s passed. When I first began, I had just recently quit my job to become a freelancer and housewife. I had so much free time to spend creatively, and I had a good idea of why I wanted to blog here. A year later and I’m back in the routine of an office job, which, although a blessing in its own right, leaves me with precious little time and energy for so many of the things I’d like to do.
I’ve realised that this blog is going to have to grow and change with me. I’ve been letting it lie fallow for a while (which by all accounts is blogocidal!) in order to think about my goals for this space. You may have noticed I’ve been posting infrequently, and I thank you for your patience. Just know that it’s with good reason. I want the Sunshine Scrapbook to be something more than a happy, messy jumble of rats, recipes and randoms 😉
Here’s to a new year filled with fresh perspective, fun ideas and new friends!
Goal #26 – Participate in a 5km run/walk – is DONE!!! Today my best friend and I finally checked this fitness goal off our lists, and if I may say so, I am inordinately proud of myself for succeeding! 😀
You see, I’ve never, ever excelled at anything physical. I’ve rarely even participated in anything physical. I’ve just always felt clumsy and not 100% at home in my skin; I don’t take part in sports, I can’t throw or catch, and I’ve believed everything people told me through the years to affirm that I’m ‘no good’ at physical activities.
Occasionally it’s bugged me that that aspect of my self has been left undeveloped for decades, but usually I forget about it because most of my living is in the emotional, intellectual and relational spheres. That’s the stuff I’m good at, so of course that’s what I’ve channeled most of my energy towards.
But then along came two factors that set me on a path to working on what I lack – and that path led me to today’s race.
The first factor was a very negative influence: a job that robbed me of everything that mattered to me (or, I let it do so). Months of erratic overtime and constant stress made it all too easy for me to compensate with feel-good foods, quick-fix dinners and zero time for exercise. In short: I got fatter and unfitter than I’d ever been in my life. This negative factor pushed me to to a place where I was desperately ready to reverse the damage and improve my physical health.
The second factor is a very positive influence: my best friend. It was her idea to do this race at first, but the more we chatted about it the more I realised that I actually really wanted to do this for me too. I wanted to do it precisely because every voice in my head was arguing that it’d be too tough and I’d fail and I simply wasn’t made for this kind of thing. I wanted to do it because I’ve spent my whole life avoiding physical challenges, which is just ridiculous!
So I had a push factor and a pull factor that got me through today. I was running away from something – from being overweight, from disrespecting my body, from making unhealthy choices, from the labels of ‘lazy’ and ‘unfit’. And I was running toward something – a physical challenge, a body I’m more comfortable in, a special achievement with my sister, new labels of ‘growing’ and ‘willing to try’.
Being among those thousands of milling women of every shape, size, age, colour and fitness level, I came to accept that there’s no need to be as hard on myself as I have been in the past. Sure, I’ll never be a pro runner; I don’t aspire to it at all. I’ll never look that way or train that way or try to fit into that mould. But hey, I can still run for fun! I can still set goals that involve hard work and physical fitness. I can still deliberately choose to challenge myself to become better for as long as the Lord grants me breath.
Today was amazing 😀
One tiny 5k race for Jozi, but one enormous leap of growth for me!