Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 45: Awesome Observances

When I asked for awesome ideas a couple of months ago, one of the suggestions was to base my challenge on some of the monthly or weekly observances going on at that particular time. Since it’s the beginning of the month, I thought I’d do a web search to see what special days February might have.
Since most of you know me pretty well by now, you have probably guessed that I’m not going to focus on those old boring standbys like “American Heart Month” or “National Black History Month” – those are way too mainstream. Instead, I’m going to celebrate the quirky, lesser-known festivals of February – like these:

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month – Because everyone needs a Honey Bunny for Valentine’s Day.

AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month – Perfect for me since February is one of my busiest months for proofreading.  And let us not forget that February 6-12 is Freelance Writers Appreciation Week. (Please start thinking now about how you’re going to show your appreciation. Operators are standing by.)

Avocado and Banana Month – Though I’m not entirely convinced that they belong on the same plate, I do like them both.

From Africa to Virginia Month – Not sure exactly what this is supposed to celebrate but I’d imagine it would be quite the swim.

International Hoof Care Month – Important if you’ve been riding in that one-horse open sleigh since Christmas.

Jobs in Golf Month – Right now the only one I can think of is shoveling the snow off all the courses in the Northeast.

Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month – I have never been aware of Marfan Syndrome and still am not.

Marijuana Awareness Month – Now this I’m aware of. 

National Cherry Month & National Condom Month – Is it merely an alphabetical coincidence that these two are grouped together?

Pull Your Sofa Off the Wall Month – To be followed shortly by “Suck the Dustbunnies Up with Your Vacuum Month.”

Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month – Time to stop using them to tote around all your earthly possessions.

And my personal favorite:
Spunky Old Broads Month – Honestly, I think that should be EVERY month!

So what are you celebrating this month?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 44: Awesome Fun

My morning meditation was very appropriate, and a couple of lines hit me right between the eyes: "Fighting against something only gives it more power over our life. … Rather than battling what you don't want, cultivate what you do want.” Right now what I want – more than anything else (except maybe a tropical vacation) – is to get outdoors and have some fun. I’ve been spending way too much time whining about the snow and cold and not enough time planning ways to either escape it or enjoy it.
So I decided to take the bull by the horns and start having some fun. For this SAD sufferer (see earlier blog post), this could be my most awesome challenge yet.
We’ve heard it said that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing. So the first thing I needed to do was learn how to dress when it’s freezing or there’s a two-foot blanket of snow on the ground. I’ve come up with this oh-so-attractive yet terribly effective layered look:
  • First layer: Underwear, thermal socks
  • Second layer: LL Bean silk thermal pullover, Eddie Bauer winter pants
  • Third layer: Old Navy hooded thermal pullover, sweat pants
  • Fourth layer: Scarf, fleece pullover
  • Fifth layer: Winter jacket, Mad Bomber hat, gloves with hand warmers inserted, hiking boots with gaiters and Yak Trax.
Easy stuff! Just as long as I don’t have to use the ladies’ room anytime soon!

Since we received another 15 inches of the white stuff last week, we finally broke down and bought two inexpensive sets of snowshoes at Ocean State Job Lot. Snowshoeing was something I’d always talked about doing, but never bothered to act on. Probably the cost was one factor – serious snowshoes cost a lot more than I was willing to spend on something I wasn’t sure I’d like. But $35 for “kids’ size” snowshoes (they support up to 150 pounds – guess they’re making really big kids these days) was a price I could justify.
Plus, previous winters simply haven’t yielded enough snow to make it a worthwhile investment. Since this winter has given us more than an adequate supply, that wasn’t an issue in my purchase decision either. Lastly, until I conquered my innate hatred of being cold and wet, there was no sense in entertaining the thought of any type of winter sport.

That said, I think I’ve found a new passion! Despite it being one of the most vigorous workouts I’ve had in a long time – and despite slipping and falling into the snow a couple of times when I stepped wrong – I really enjoyed snowshoeing! There was something incredibly beautiful about being the first person to cut a path through virgin snow. (Also something incredibly exhausting.) And unlike my recent elliptical workouts – which, when you get right down to it, amount to expending a lot of effort to go nowhere – when I was done snowshoeing I felt as if I’d actually accomplished something and had seen something no one else had seen. When I got home, I was soaking wet but my muscles were smiling. (Next time I’ll remember to add snow pants to the above list.)

Now, instead of bemoaning the fact that I can’t walk safely in my neighborhood due to the mountains of plowed snow, I can head to the park across the street, strap on my snowshoes and have fun on the trails. Who has it better than me?

This morning I am sitting in my office, looking out the window at more snow falling. I could be upset. I could get on Facebook and piss and moan along with everyone else. But instead I think I’ll contemplate the fun I’m going to have when it stops – just me and my snowshoes.