Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Actually Yes, I Can!

People are notoriously hard on themselves. We constantly tell ourselves that we cannot do things.  We believe we are not capable of doing something because we aren’t skilled enough, smart enough, rich enough, strong enough, capable enough – well, you know, this list of “why not” goes on and on and on.
We are so good at stopping ourselves from doing things for fear of failure that we forget that, without trying to do something new, something harder than we have tried before, something that could lay us open to ridicule and contempt, we miss out on the opportunities that could MAKE us stronger, smarter, more capable, more skilled, richer, happier and more fulfilled.
OH – and we make excuses (lots of them) for why we don’t have the time to try.
So how do we change things? I don’t have the answers for this one for anyone other than myself, but I’ll tell you my internal scripts that help me not only take those first steps, but also the ones that help me move through the fear of failure.
The first one (and for me the most dangerous) is this: “How hard can it possibly be?”
How hard can it possibly be got me into running - which I ended up loving in spite of myself - and miss terribly. It got me into riding a bicycle again after nearly twenty years.  Again – something I love. It got me into trying to do things in my home – things like pulling off drywall, pulling out carpeting and has started me learning how to refinish old things.
Yeah – this is the one that seems to get me into the most trouble.  But honestly, once I’m in it, it is also the one that keeps me going and helps me get to my second script – which is “I can do *anything* for 5 minutes.”
It’s true. I can to anything for 5 minutes – and I started using this script when I was learning to love running. I was miserable and cold and in pain and couldn’t see how I could ever possibly love running – EVER.  Runner’s high was a delusion.  Running outside in Toronto at -30*C was insane.  That was it – runners has to be crazy – I’d see them out in the snow and rain and wind and they seemed to be enjoying themselves – that IS crazy, isn’t it?  What got me through was me telling myself, with every single step, that I am totally capable of doing absolutely ANYTHING for 5 minutes – its only F I V E little minutes!
And it worked.
The thing I am struggling with right now is RE-STARTING good habits. I have back-slid with diet and exercise – I’m feeling sluggish and although my mental state of being is great right now, my physical one is not where I want it to be.  I need to set myself some SMART goals, write out those intentions in red pen, focus on positive outcomes and ask myself: “How hard can it possibly be? I can, after all, do anything for five minutes!”
With love across the waters,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Home Made Christmas Presents…

This year I attempted something I have never tried as an adult… home-made presents.  The bulk of what I was working on was home-made granola – pretty easy to complete as I make this monthly for myself.  There was one present idea I had, though, that was less simple and with which I needed my Dad’s help to do.
When I bought my house, all of the mirrors were included in the deal.  I sold off some of them – I still have a couple I am trying to sell – but one was a lovely little one that I though, with some TLC could have the potential to be a pretty mirror to be given as a gift.
It was painted (badly) blue with white accents on the raised pieces and I thought that, stripped and finished to the original wood, it would be quite nice.

It spent a couple of weekends at Mum & Dad’s place prior to Christmas working on this with my Dad’s help.  First we stripped off the blue and white paint.  Huh.  It turned out that it was not a solid wood frame after all.  The frame (an antique) was actually plaster on wood – something fairly common starting in the 19th century – and although this one is likely an antique, well, it would be pretty tough to date and value it without the assistance of an expert.
The frame type threw a little bit of a wrench into the works – how on earth to finish a plaster frame?  Well, we sanded lightly, worked a little more on the thistle detail work and then left it to sit and wait for another week while I figures out what next.  Internet research and discussion with the paint experts at Slegg Lumber here in the Comox Valley led to the decision to simply cover it with a couple of coats of a Verathane finish (satin for some gloss but not too much) Dad also rubbed a few coats of tongue oil onto the back of the frame (the actual wood part – which we think may be mahogany) and it was done.

Not bad for a first ever attempt at restoration – and honestly, I like the process – something I will, for sure, do again!
With love across the waters,