In 2018, I resolved to make some changes. I wrote about them in my first post. I completed my Whole 30, and then from Superbowl Sunday until Mardi Gras, one could say that I took a break from healthy eating. So I decided to recommit to my resolutions for Lent, which began on February 14th this year. Here is what I’m doing:

Eating healthy.  I’m doing another six weeks of eating Whole 30 compliant foods. Maybe this time I will be able to do the reintroduction of foods when it’s over and see which foods affect me negatively, if any.

Exercising.  (5 times a week for at least 30 minutes) I have only been doing the Couch to 5K weeks one and two so far. But I think I might step it up with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I know that it will work my arms and abs (and everything) much more than the walking and running.  I also own her Ripped in 30. That is super hard for me.

Daily meditation. I usually start by reading from a book called The Language of Letting Go. A friend gave me a copy of it years ago, before I met Bobby, at a time in my life when I was trying to take better care of myself.  I loved it, then passed it on. I recently purchased a second one, and it’s as good as I remember. I’m at another time in my life when I am trying to take better care of myself after years of letting my physical and emotional needs be low priority. I’ve also been watching the daily videos from Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever. So far, they seem to go right along with this theme of self-care. I usually do some journaling and spend about 15 minutes talking to God (like a friend) and listening in quiet.

Continuing Operation Joyful Space.  I’ll admit, progress has been slow. I need to remind myself of why this is important to me, and stop the time-wasting distractions. I visualize this project as taking things off of my overflowing plate, or taking a weight off my shoulders. I long for a calm, orderly, peaceful environment.  My ideal home is tidy. There are places for everything. Only what we love, use (or will use at a specific time) would be in it. It would be beautiful… with candles, flowers, art, music and space. Everything in it would be in good repair, taken care of, maintained.  It would be comfortable and cozy. In addition, my life would have rhythms or routines, balance, and time for what’s important. (satisfied sigh sound)  That’s why I need to persevere!

The Menstrual Journal. (shown above)  This is not for Lent. I’m doing this for three months as recommended by my OB/GYN. This is a new interest for me. Science was my least favorite subject in school. In fact, I liked every subject except for science. I’ve said for years that I have a mental block when it comes to medical things. And I used to get bored when anyone would talk about food and nutrition. And food talk, channels, shows, allergies, photos and foodies seem to have increased over the years. Food talk seems trendy now. BORING! Then I found out I was having problems with my hormones. Suddenly, I’m reading about medical stuff.  Around the same time, I began to have a desire to take better care of my body, mostly to have more energy, but also to stop the night snacking. I believe eating when I’m not hungry dulls the mind and can numb feelings too. I may be getting off track here….but my point is that now I’m interested in hormones, and my menstrual cycle, and how food affects it, etc. I’m considering that being aware of my cycle may be a key ingredient in self-care. So I’m actually enjoying keeping this journal. And I’m tracking my food, sleep, exercise and feelings in it too.

I will continue to read, learn, pray and act in ways that will make me physically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally healthier.

One Month Update

I started this blog almost a month ago. Since I haven’t posted in over three weeks, I am writing a little update about what I’ve been doing.

I successfully completed my Whole30. It’s way to early to tell if it will change my life or not. I did lose 7 pounds, learned to cook many new recipes, and improved my food label reading. And I did often feel like my mind was clearer and I had a good amount of energy, but I also found out this month that I have a uterus related medical problem. I had to temporarily take hormone medication that I believe made me tired and nauseous at times, screwing up my Whole30 results. I’ve continued to eat many Whole30 compliant meals and I’ve reintroduced food occasionally without being able to tell if the way I felt was related to food or other changes in my body. I also have kept up with my plan to exercise at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes. The Greatest Showman was my go to music almost daily, but I did listen to Something Rotten a few times.

Operation Joyful Space is in progress, but I am behind in my schedule. This is partly from sickness, and partly from an unexpected project that came up.  Bobby has been wanting new living room furniture for quite some time now, and last week we shopped, purchased and rearranged the stuff in our home for many days and nights. I don’t think we are finished yet. We might be changing the wall hangings or end tables, but I can get back to my decluttering project now. I hope to write about my progress soon.

Operation Joyful Space

What a goofy title! But I had to call it something, and Bobby liked it better than “Totally Organized,” which was the first simplifying book I ever read.  It was 1998.  I was pregnant with my first child. Our five room apartment looked pretty tidy, except for the SPARE ROOM, which was filled with all of those things we didn’t know what to do with. It was my dream to be totally organized before the baby arrived. It didn’t happen.

Fast forward twenty years. We now have six children and instead of five rooms, we have ten rooms! (Not counting the three bathrooms, the three car garage, the shed, and a basement the size of eight rooms.) Yikes!

Our house looks pretty tidy, (if you don’t go in the pantry or garage or basement or upstairs).  I feel like I’m working my butt off to keep up with the main living areas and any extra efforts I put into those “spare rooms” are short lived. I know it can be so much simpler.

I’ve seriously read at least 30-40 books on simplifying. I know the FlyLady. I’ve Konmaried. I always stop somewhere in komono and never reach that elusive clicking point. I’ve been an aspiring minimalist ever since I heard of the concept in 2009.

But back to Operation Joyful Space. I got the “Joyful Space” from Rachel Jones, founder of Nourishing  She calls herself the Joyful Space specialist. I just finished a free five day Minimalist Mindset course she offered. (You know I like these kinds of things.) As a result of that, I set a goal to declutter my entire home in six months. (I’ll write more specifically about this goal, criteria, and assessment in a later post.) I’ve made a handy-dandy checklist, titled “Operation Joyful Space”, designed for my unique home and schedule.  Operation Joyful Space I’ve also made decluttering checklists, which break the tasks down into smaller chunks. And while I was at it, I made a checklist for the normal monthly tasks that I try to do in addition to daily chores and weekly cleaning. Monthly Checklist


I realize I’m going to be busy. One of the tasks in the course was to decide exactly what you are willing to give up to complete your goal. I decided that I’ll give up DVD’s and Netflix on weekdays, time reading my iPhone in bed and fiction novels. This doesn’t include going out to the cinemas with Bobby during the week. I’m just giving up sitting around on the couch at home. And by the way, I don’t know the FlyLady in real life, just her ideas.


Day2 (1)

I’m beginning this year with a BANG! I’m making lots of changes around here, such as starting a new blog and making it public. Here is where I’ll write about all the other changes I’m making too.

In 2018, I started doing a Whole30. This is drastic for sugar-loving me. I’ll admit my biggest reservation about starting it was giving up eating movie popcorn, “with extra butter layered,” as my husband requests it. So far I’m doing well. I’m cooking my butt off; and cooking, for those of you who know me well, is not something I do frequently. Unless you count popping frozen food into the oven.

I’m also exercising. No killer workouts for me. I’m taking it easy, but committing to doing it almost daily. Let’s say five times a week for at least 30 minutes. Last week I did the Couch to 5K (week one) five times on an old treadmill we have in our basement.

The next thing I’m doing is not much of a change. I’m decluttering my home. Yeah, I know I’ve been trying to get totally organized for 20 years now, but I mapped out a plan to finish my whole house in six months. This means that by June 30, 2018, everything in my home should have a place, and all of my own stuff will be used or loved (or both), including sentimental and digital clutter. That is the goal. I plan to take baby steps daily to get there.

Finally, I’m making daily prayer and meditation a priority. This, more than any other thing, will be a change for the better.