Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Missed Opportunity

I realized earlier this week I missed a chance to conquer one of my biggest fears. Call it what you want, a fear or hatred, I think it really boils down to something that is very difficult for me to do that would have pushed me out of my comfort zone and would have been a great learning experience for me. This week is Girls' Camp for our stake. When I was younger I hated Girls' Camp. I know there are some of you that just read that statement and gasped, how could someone not love girls' camp? Spending a whole week with 100 girls that are all emotional? Wearing crazy outfits, singing silly songs, and being girly? It was just never my thing. I never felt like I had any good friends there to hang out with, I felt very lonely, and I missed my family. Like many things in my life it was something I managed to endure and continued to go until I had accomplished all the years possible at girls' camp. And I am grateful for that. But if anyone asks me if I love Girls' Camp, they will get a big NO in response. But you know what would have been great? To have gone this year. To conquer that fear/hatred of Girls' Camp. T0 be around 100 girls and all the craziness that is out of my comfort zone. The difference though would have been I have friends there to hang out with. Mrs. B is there this week along with other friends of mine. Wouldn't that have been fun? It would have been hard for me to be away from my husband that long, we don't do well apart, and since I'm pregnant I would have been miserable physically wise up there, plus I only have one child up there and three more at home with no place to go. But to have been able to go and just possibly walked away at the end of the week and tell everyone that Yes! I love Girls' Camp and I can't wait to go back. I think the year of no fear will extend well beyond the year. Being pregnant put a damper on few goals I had and one of these years I'm going to have to get up the nerve to go back to Girls' Camp. Do you have a missed opportunity? Something that you said no to or didn't think of doing until it was too late and regretted your decision? Someone you never met or never said hi to?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wishin' Accomplished

My husband had a birthday was this week, and we had a lovely dinner out. However, at one point, I realized that this:

was on his plate. (He was a little dumbfounded when I whipped out my camera for a picture . . . or two . . .)

My husband is an adventurous eater. I like to stick with the safe stuff, especially if I'm paying for it, but my husband wishes I were more courageous and always offers me bites of his culinary ventures. So I KNEW I was going to be offered a tentacle or two.

Normally I would politely decline (and then change the subject when he persisted), but the rules of the Year of No Fear dictate that any new experience to come across my or YONF's path has to be tried out (unless it involves things like actual danger or sin or . . . you know . . . sauerkraut). If it's something we've tried and truly don't wish to repeat, we're allowed to pass on it.

So of course he offered, and yes, I bit off a tentacle, which was rubbery and blessedly flavorless. Not as bad as I thought it would be. (Interestingly, this has been the case more often than not with the Year of No Fear.)

Anyway, seafood aside, I was very inspired by this comment left on YONF's last post:

"I read your post and decided not to wish but DO. I quickly
changed into my swimsuit and layed out. . . . "

GENIUS! So here's a challenge: Find something you've been wishing to do and DO it! (You know, something that you can reasonably accomplish . . . nobody's asking you to hop a plane to Venice . . . although if you can reasonably do that, I think we should be friends . . . ) And then tell us about it!

(I'm sitting here trying to think of what my Wishin' Accomplished will be, and wondering how I can do it with all the other things I have to do today, and then thinking about what a hypocrite I am . . . I'll get back to you . . . but I'll think of something . . .)

HAVE FUN! I can't wait to read about it!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Confession Wednesday!

I confess I want to do nothing today except read a good book and drink a cold Diet Pepsi. I am having one of those days with the kids and it’s only 9am, where would I wish I could take the day off. What would you love to be able to do today that you can't?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Week to not Freak (har)

Recent attempts at fearlessness:

Root canal. Check.

Company for dinner (lovely time!). Check.

Spoke up when a conversation took an unkind turn. Check. But fizzled to a mutter when challenged, then backed down and just stewed silently. Uncheck.

Didn't run for cover at the sight of someone who last saw me wearing acid-washed jeans with zippered ankles. Check.

There's no telling what I'll do next!! Maybe something crazy like post a question on a SUNDAY?!?

How are you going to be fearless this week?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Recognition and saying "HI"

So I'm the type of girl that will walk a different direction in the store to avoid saying hi to someone I know. There is probably a handful of people I don't do this to. I am always afraid of getting their name wrong, them not recognizing me, or just an awkward situation occurring. There have been many times that friends have had to introduce me to the same people multiple times. There is one instance where Mrs. B introduced me to the same person about 4 times before we realized it wasn't that she didn't remember me she just didn't care to say hi! Now you are starting to see where my fears are coming from!

We pick up our mail for our business at a UPS Store. The beginning of June the owners sold the business and there were new workers in there. I always said Hi to the old workers, so with the new workers I had to force myself to say hi. I did really well. Then I realized I recognized one of the men there. I couldn't place my finger on it. I thought maybe he was an actor from this fabulous comedy group I use to go watch when I live in the Salt Lake Valley, I assumed that was where it must be, since I seemed to recognize him but he didn't recognize me. I decided to continue to say hi because why not? It was good for me to be brave but since he would have no idea who I was I wouldn't let on that I recognized him. Baby steps.

One day after getting our mail, I sat in the car and pondered his name over and over in my mind, where was it that I met him? Finally it hit me! Then I had to get up the nerve to let him know I remembered him. A few weeks later I am mailing something inside the store and he is helping me and I think of my husband and how friendly he is and how talking to a complete stranger is no big deal for him. That is one of my favorite qualities of my husband so why not? I need to not be afraid and just let him know where I recognized him from. I never expected to get the response I did. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you want to know something weird? (Clever opener don't you think?)
Him: Okay (Said in a very nice, interested way)

Me: I know you from somewhere. When I was living in Salt Lake City, 6 years ago, you managed those bright blue apartments I lived in.
Him: Yes, that's right! I knew I recognized you from somewhere but I couldn't remember where. I looked up your name and couldn't place it, (he even said my maiden name which is not easy to pronouce or remember.) You lived up in the back right? I totally remember you! (He seemed very excited that I was able to solve this mystery for him.)

Not only did he remember me but he remembered where I lived and everything! I was really shocked. It made my day. The longer I conquer my fears the more I realize how good it makes me feel. I felt so great all day that someone from 6 years ago remembered me and that I ran into him in my home town over 800 miles away. Very random!

So all that happened a few weeks ago. Last night I got a date night, someone offered to watch the kids (how often does that happen?) so we went to dinner with my parents and then grocery shopping. At dinner my dad and husband were wanting steamed clams, the waitress said they had this fancy form of clams but no plain steamed clams. The guys passed on the appetizer since the waitress wasn't willing to figure how to get the chef to steam clams. The waitress leaves and my husband, who should be listed on the blog as GG (because he looks just like an actor from Heroes), realizes he recognizes the waitress. Just like with my situation he couldn't place her, and instead of analyzing it to death and since he isn't afraid of anything he says to her when she returns, "I know you from somewhere." He asks her a few questions and realizes he knew her from a college course over 5 years ago. After they banter back and forth and she takes our order she is able to produce steamed clams for the guys. My point? By not being afraid and befriending the waitress GG was able to get what he wanted. I have so much to learn!

I have so much to learn! During the grocery shopping part of the date we walk by someone I know, very nice woman, I've talked to her numerous times, she doesn't see me so I continue walking and even avoid running into her so I don't have to say hi. My reasoning? I can never pronounce her name right, and I would have had to introduce her to my husband and then ask again how to pronouce her name. Two steps forward, one step back.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Merrily we roll along . . .

Isn't this ( a good idea? We thought so.

In order to participate, she asks that you put the blog on your blogroll. So we did.

Then I started looking at who else I ought to add, and suddenly it was like mailing invitations to a baby shower! Who do I invite? Who will feel left out? Who will be irritated at having to buy another gift? Who am I forgetting? What if I invite somebody who busts out jokes about contraception in front of my British aunt?

So we're leaving it up to you . . . if you'd like to be included on our blogroll, leave a comment or drop either of us an email ( That's not a real email. You have to put in one of our actual names, if you know what they are, in which case LUCKY YOU! Otherwise it's off to the comments with you. Either way, as long as your blog is PG, we'll add you to our itty bitty blogroll!

Man, I wish I could do that for baby showers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don't get us wrong - we LOVE (most) comments!

We've reluctantly decided to try moderating comments. We really don't want to do anything that will discourage normal people from commenting, but we've picked up a blog troll, and we'd hate for any of you to come across any of those comments before we can delete them. So please keep commenting, and we'll check frequently to get them posted quickly.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Anonymous Confession Wednesday: Why I'm nodding off every time I sit down.

I got an email a few weeks ago. The subject line was "Fitness Group."

You see the problem already?

Look, I'm not exactly sedentary. I hoof it 3-4 miles around the neighborhood with other women on a sporadic basis. Because of genetics, I'm stronger than your average woman, and I have done things like move a piano across the living room or bring a chest of drawers up a flight of stairs all by myself. (My husband says there are a lot of men that I could beat arm-wrestling, and although curiosity makes me want to try, I think that would be a horrible thing to do to a man's ego if I actually won. So we'll never know.)

Ahem. So anyway, in spite of all that, the word "fit" hasn't described me for a long, long time.

But I read some more: Women and youth were invited to meet together every weekday morning at 5:30 (!!!!) for an hour to do stretching, strength training, and cardio workouts.

So in short, this involved:

1. Real exercise.
2. Real exercise at 5:30am.
3. Real exercise at 5:30am in front of other people.

Just the thought of showing up had my heart beating nervously. And cursing the Year of No Fear just a little.

So I emailed YONF. (Who's YONF you ask? She's the author of this blog, and I got tired of calling her the author of this blog, and I named her YONF. We are YONF - figured it out yet? - and Mrs. B.)

And I typed, "YONF, Does the fact that reading the attached email makes me break out a nervous sweat mean that it's a Year of No Fear item? PS - If you answer yes, you have to come with me."

She begged off on some excuse like being 6 months pregnant. Whatever.

I spent several days waffling on whether or not to give it a shot, but the day before it started, I mentioned it to a fitness-loving, early-rising friend who loved the idea and suggested we go together. It was just the boost of moral support I needed.

And so it went like this:

Day 1:
Showed up, utterly self-conscious. Realized I was the largest woman there. Tried to pretend that didn't bother me. Tried to stay at the back of the group where nobody would see me. Forgot to care about my size 15 minutes into it when my lungs became the size of grapes and my peripheral vision began to darken. Hoped nobody was noticing. Secretly decided I was not coming back, even though that would look worse than never showing up in the first place. Also, had an epiphany when somebody said, "Tighten your core. The shape you use it in is the shape it will stay in." That explains why I always look like I'm pregnant!

Day 2:
Came back anyway. (Or rather, limped back. Oh, the sore muscles.) Another participant said, "Hey! You came back!" (Laid to rest any illusions I had that nobody noticed my struggling on Day 1.) Found out that the "Fitness Group" is based on another program called "BOOT CAMP."

Day 3:
Testing day for Presidential Physical Fitness. (Did you know grownups can do that too?) All I want to know is, how can a bathroom scale tell me my fat percentage based on the soles of my large, summer-worn, calloused feet? If you ask me: scale = crock. (Based on the numbers it spat at me. Because it had to be the scale's error, right?) Also could not walk normally due to SORE CALVES. Played Shoulder Bingo. Rolled "20 wide-arm pushups" three times. Could not fold my arms that night without wincing.

Day 4:
Brought my 2-year-old who woke up at 4:50am. What an excellent excuse to bring up the rear as we navigated the track. Made sure 2-year-old didn't pass me on the track.

Day 5:
SKIPPED due to a sweet, blessed, timely family reunion.

And so it has gone, for nearly 3 weeks now. (That's a LONG time in my fitness world, ok?)

Here's why I can't believe I'm still doing this:

1. I'm still bringing up the rear, with or without a toddler. And I'm pretty sure I'm not practicing good form yet in most cases.
2. DID I MENTION 5:30 AM??
3. Do the words: "20 plank-walks with a resistance band around your wrists" or "boat position" mean anything to you?
4. All the exercise is making me HUNGRY, which is potentially counter-productive.
5. At least once a day, I try to figure out a justifiable way to quit (ie. pregnancy, injury, surgery, typhoid fever . . . )

And here's why I'm getting up at 5:00 tomorrow morning:

1. My pants are so loose, I have to go shopping for a belt. (YOU BET that's reason #1!)
2. I'm getting every muscle in my body worked, without having to figure out how to do it myself.
3. It's free. (Thank you , thank you, thank you!)
4. I really like how our fearless leader runs the program. We are encouraged and challenged, but not pressured or embarrassed.
5. Almost everyone who finds out I'm doing the program gives me a look of surprise, and then says, "Wow! I'm proud of you!" (Also laying to rest any illusions I had that my unfit state that gone unnoticed thus far. But the moral support is wonderful.)
6. When I fell off a toybox-that-makes-a-dangerous-stepstool the other day, and considerable pain shot through my ankle, my immediate, unfiltered reaction wasn't "Yippee! An injury!" It was instant panic that I wouldn't be able to work out anymore. I took that as a good sign. (Ankle is fine, thanks for asking.)
6. Let's be honest: I'm so stinkin' proud of myself I can hardly stand it.

So, since it's Anonymous Confession Wednesday, I ask you:

What are you proud of?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Confession Wednesday

Dear Person Who Left This Comment:

"I'm wondering, what about other fears? What about never taking your husband, who LOVES to dance, to a stake dance because you're afraid of people watching you dance and thinking, WOW! she really can't dance. Or what about not standing and doing all of the crazy claps and cheers at pack meetings because you're afraid that you will look stupid, even though EVERYONE around you is doing them. What about not yelling and clapping at the 4th of July parade because you'll feel like an idiot, even though your kids are saying, "clap mommy, it's fun." and everyone around you is clapping. What about not wanting to go to the town where you grew up, where your dad lives, where your husband's family lives, because you don't want to run into anyone from high school because you've had a few babies and put on some, ok a lot, of weight. Do any of you have some of these fears?"

To answer your questions:

I'm with you on the dancing fear. I've NEVER enjoyed (or been remotely good at) fast dancing, although it's one of my life's ambitions to conquer ballroom dance one day. But let's hear from everyone in the comments . . . do you notice how other people dance? Or are you too busy trying not to look stupid yourself?

Here's a Year of No Fear challenge for you, dear anonymous commenter: At the next pack meeting, I challenge you to stand up and clap with everyone else. No cheering if you're not inclined . . . . but make yourself stand up. Nobody else will notice if you're on your feet, but here's your chance to smack a fear down. (They're so much smaller when thusly smacked . . . I'm always surprised!) Let us know how it goes!

And - whew - returning to your hometown? Amen sister! I came back after 9 years with 4 children and so many extra pounds that I can't bear to type the number. Honestly, that was very difficult for me. I cringe at the thought of running into people who I haven't seen since high school or college. What do all of you do about it?

So I think that the fears you listed are bouncing around inside of most of us to one degree or another (can I get a hear hear?), and I love that you posted them. Sometimes I think what I'm most afraid of is that I'm the only nutty one. Reading that you organized your shoes made me a little more inclined to organize mine, but more importantly, reading that you couldn't find two matching shoes made me feel REALLY relieved that I'm not the only person that happens to!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fridge, Bed, and Shoes

Part of confessions and having a year of no fear is to let it all hang out. To not worry about people judging me for what is in my fridge, what my bed looks like, or what my favorite pair of shoes is. To help disguise some of images in the post I've included pictures of my fridge, bed, and shoes along with Mrs. B's and a mystery contributor whom I sure is loving that she is a mystery but also loving she was included in this post.


Beds: Only a corner shot in one because a husband was sleeping.

Shoes: (one set is a mismatch because someone bought two pairs of shoes at and is trying to decide which set to keep, or trying to convince herself she deserves both pairs.)

What does your fridge, bed, and shoes look like right now? If someone stopped by, a mother-in-law, friend, etc. and asked to see those three things would you be embarrassed? Thrilled? Or run away?