Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pursuit of Perfection, Days 2&3

I'm not going to lie. I'm tired!
Today was my third day in a row of waking up at 5:30 to go to they gym before work, which is great. I feel really good about that. But I'm dragging a little. 8PM bedtime, anyone?

Yesterday I decided on something I wanted to add to my experiment: try being nicer. It's not that I'm mean per se, I can just be impatient - a typical New Englander quality. I'm working on it.

Overall, things are going well. I have yet to bite my nails. I'm trying to avoid mindlessly sitting in front of the television. And I'm checking in with my body every once in a while to make sure I'm not slouching. I can already tell the "shoulds" that I'll carry with me and the ones I'll leave behind. I'll save those for later.

Tired and all, I know I've been more productive the last couple of days. Maybe not a better human, but at least more productive. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Pursuit of Perfection: Day 1

Well. This is serious business. My day began at 5:30 when I woke up without using the snooze button to get ready for 6AM spinning. Before I left, I made my bed and straightened around the house.

Keep the house immaculate: Check
Go to the gym five days a week: 1/5 Check

I was three quarters of the way to work when I remembered that keeping up with the news was one of my goals. Switched the station to NPR. Became depressed. Switched back to my iPod. Fail.

I drank massive quantities of water while I worked.
And peed. A lot.

During my lunch break, I planned dinner menus for the week and I shopped after work. It's amazing how much better things seem when you have a stocked refrigerator.

I refrained from even looking at the vending machine and opted for 2 Hershey kisses to satisfy my intense, after-lunch chocolate craving.

And I write this as a delicious and healthy dinner works away on the stove.

Am I a better person yet? I don't know. I do feel a little more organized and on top of things though. Stay tuned. It's only Day 1!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In Pursuit of Perfection?


Do you ever notice how often those words slip from your lips? Lately, I’ve been noticing that I ignore “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” a lot. With work, culinary school, family and friends, I have a busy schedule and often I find myself letting go of the things I “should” be doing just to get a few blissful moments of peace with a glass of wine and my DVR.
But is that helping me? Making me happier? I know folks who spend so much time doing what they should – eating salads for lunch, waking up early to go to the gym, doing yard work on Saturday, balancing their checkbooks, flipping their mattresses. Sometimes I hear these Type A personalities talking about their “to do’s” and I feel rather smug knowing that I myself am not a slave to “shoulds.” Sometimes I park myself on the couch from the moment I get home from work until the moment I go to bed. Sometimes I spend my Saturdays lallygagging. Sometimes I wait until the last possible moment to do an assignment for school. Sometimes I leave dishes in the sink. (OK. A lot of the time I leave dishes in the sink.) Sometimes I don’t blog for 5 months.
But this week getting ready for work, as I maneuvered around the laundry I haven’t done yet and determined that I did not have sufficient groceries in the house to whip-up a healthy breakfast in no time flat, I wondered if maybe those Type A people have it right. What is a normal “should” to “screw it” ratio? If you browse the pile of magazines geared towards women accruing under my coffee table, you’d find that you could occupy every moment of your time with tasks that would help you to have a happier / healthier / more beautiful / more time saving / more money saving / more stylish / more delicious / more fulfilling life. All with the end goal of having more time to spend doing the important things.
I got to thinking. What are the important things? Am I really a happier person because I’m not beholden to “shoulds?” Or just a lazier person? So I’m going to try an experiment. For one week, I’m going to do as many of the things one “should do” as possible. I’ll try it their way and blog about it. Off the top of my head, some “shoulds” I tend to ignore:

 Plan ahead in order to have a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 Not partake of the office vending machine.
 Do a load of laundry after work on most days rather than battling a giant pile.
 Keep the house immaculate.
 Drink plenty of water.
 Take my make-up off and moisturize before bed.
 Go to the gym 5 times a week.
 Make my bed every day.
 Catch up on the news every day.
 Iron my clothes.
 Not bite my nails.
These are, of course, not the most meaningful goals in the world. I could be striving for world peace and understanding. I also started writing this on Thursday, before the Japanese earthquake. So for this week, fear of seeming frivolous aside, my goal is to see if doing all the things “they” tell you that you should will make you a better human. And blog about it at the end of each chore-filled day. In the meantime, let me know what “shoulds” you find especially important (or annoying.) Is there anything you think I should throw in for good measure? Monday will be day-one of Super Kate. See you then!