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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#108 days : final post

warning:  this is a LONG post....  as a summary to my #108daystoanewlife I had much to say...  I contemplated dividing it into 3 posts but I'd rather let you choose how you wish to read it!

I am a little sad today...  I am on day 109...  my project is over...  and I ended with a post on living with MS because this is my reality and it shapes my life... and the decisions I make.  I came across some studies that were saying that most MS patient need a wheel chair by year 15...  I am on 17th... and I can walk just fine...  and my balance is great...  It was also saying that most patient with MS have permanent vision impairment by year 10...  I have 20/20 vision! Another point they made is that the last years of your life are spent in bed... and that you rarely live past 34 years of onset... My onset was at 25! You do the math... I am not dying THAT young... and I am not getting a wheel chair!!!  Or spending years in bed!  And this is why MS shapes my life... I can live like I am OK, because I am... but I am because I make good decisions! I shall never forget that! At my own expense...

Now, in May I had posted an introduction to Project #108daystoanewlife and I have copied some of it here for a final look at it... I am commenting some of it...

1) Why I am doing this?

Because I will be moving to another city and another province. This is huge for me who has spent 41 years of my life in the same city. The lifestyle over there is quite different, from the information I got more in tune with what I want, but still quite different from what I am use to and it will require adjustment for several reasons. First off, I had to rent a place to live in that I have never visited in a city I do not know. This is very out of my comfort zone. My husband and I both have to find new jobs and my son a new school. We'll all have to make "new friends". The daily schedule will be quite different and we'll have to adjust. And for the first time, it will be 3 of us full time. It will be more like a big village than a big city - going from roughly 4 millions people from all over the world to 70 000 people not as diversified.

Our apartment is just perfect... would I have visited it, I could have have made a better choice.  I was lucky. My husband and I both quickly found jobs...  that we LOVE!  And my son is adapting well to his new school.  He even no longer hates Mondays!  Schedule is not issues and easy to deal with.  Living the 3 of us all the time does require some adjustments... but we talk a lot about it and find solutions...  so we all have our personal time and time as a family, as well as each of us time with the other... I love my new, much, much smaller city... the life is slower and much less stress...  people are really nice... there is less temptation to shop and spend money therefore making less in not an issue! It allows me to work part time and take care of my health!

2) What do I expect from it?

Therefore, I imagined this project to help with the transition. If I am going to a new life, I will make a new life. I will need to change the way I live to go even more into the direction I wish to take. There will be no more excuses. I wanted to get full on with this new life in a place where people have no expectation of me, do not know the "old" me and will get to know me for who I am now. I want this "who I am" to be really like who I want to be - really let my inner self come out without boundaries. I know I am use to put barrier and build walls around me - I do not want to do this over there and this project will prevent me from doing it - at least to some extent.

Right on! I am who I am... I assume it... and I am no longer shy or ashamed of it!  I am a Minimalist, Vegan, Hippie of 41 years old.. I do not aspire to be rich or wealthy...  I do not aspire to earn lots of money or increase my status in society...  I want to live a life that is simple... filled with love towards my son and husband... I want to do my yoga...  dress weird and act like a 20 something hippie... I treat my son like another person living with us (not a kid that needs supervision) - mature, responsible and not needing to be told what to do all the time. I do my parenting differently... showing him to take care of himself  by eating well and exercising, showing him to respect himself, others and the nature around him...  I am teaching him to follow his dreams that comes from his hearth and not his brain...  and this is new to me... in a way.  I use to put so much focus on formal education...  and what people say...  I have a son I am proud of!  He has his own dreams and will do whatever it takes to make them come true - he needs support by someone who respects that even if his dreams are not like mine.  He is not attached to people or things... he can move on quite easily...  I think what I expected of this project actually happened even though the mean may have been different then what I expected.

3) How do I see it?

As an opportunity to assume who I am with all that this entails. An opportunity to no longer find excuses for old patterns. A chance to reinvent myself yet again... I have made several changes to my life over the last 7 years but yet, there are some that stayed in the back burner because I made up excuses... I did not want to let people down... I did not want to seem even weirder then I might already be...

One of those things was to take a job a love even if it is less pay and doesn't require all my education and background... and I did it!  And I am proud of it!  And I am really happy at that job!  And it brings in just enough money.

It will be a project that will last 108 days ( I will explain why 108 days in next week's post), a project in which I will have to challenge myself, do out of my comfort zone stuff, do things I always wanted to try but never did.... I will be 108 days to work on a newer me... 

Well... I did work on myself... in ways I did not expect...  my life took me a place I had never imagined I was heading too... and that's OK!  Because by not fighting it, I really believe that I am now where I should be.

I do not know why I would need to go there to do it (although I have some doubt) but I intend to find out during those 108 days.

I do know now why I needed to move so far... and sorry if this is hurting anyone... but I needed to move away from certain people.  I needed to create a physical distance between me and some "not as supportive" people.  And in some instances, to get that distance emotionally I needed to create a physical one...  At least this is the only way I could find.... after trying others of course!

I am not doing this #108daystoanewlife challenge to prove that I can do more - but rather to show myself that I can be who I want to be! Completely! 100%!

And that worked too...  even though I have a few more steps to completely assume myself they are under way and I know nothing will stop me now.

In another post a few days later I officially announced the rules of my #108daystoanewlife .  Little did I know that most of those rules would be dropped...  only because I realise that when I give myself rules, I do all I can to brake them. Therefore another approach I took is to actually take those rules and make them long term objectives... and that has better results! Once again I have copied the rules and going through them to see what happened...

Rules are:

Project start: June 21 2014
Project end: October 6th 2014

- Post a picture on social medias - I have dropped most social media after a few weeks...
- Keep a journal - never did that for more then 3 days in a row! I cannot write a journal... my blog and my status on FB are my journal.  It is what it is.  That stopped quite early. In fact last entry is on Day 26th.

-Every Friday there will be a blog post about the past week.  Sometimes it was not on Friday, especially when I started working and school resumed...  I refuse to kill myself over this but there was a blog post every day...


1)Not buy anything that is not food or a vital necessity. If I do, I have to post a picture and amount of money spent. This will not be easy for me - being in a new place, I will want to buy stuff...
There are 2 exceptions to that rule:
a) what my son needs for school
b) missing furniture: couch, dinner table, coffee table, washer and dryer - but must be bought used Did get the dinner table used..  no need for another coffee table... I am not getting a washer and dryer but using the one from the building...  Couch is not bough yet and will not be used.  I just can't get a used couch.

I did buy a few more things... like bicycles (transport system), clothes for work and some items because my style changed...  but spent very little money on that.  Never did the picture and sharing of the amount because I feel this is no one's business. I also bought a set of dishes because I broke some and I had exactly what I needed therefore we could no longer eat all at the same time.  I bought a set of 4 since we never really get visitors over AND I could not find anything sold by piece.  A set of 4 was the smallest.

2) Complete a Treego obstacle - I am afraid of heights and I could never do one of those things where you go from one tree to another in the forest - it is ridiculous, there is absolutely no danger!
Forget about this!  I refuse to spend 30$ dollar on doing something I hate just to prove I can do it.  There is no added value.  Who cares if I am afraid or height?  Are we suppose to be high above the ground anyway?  If we were, we'd have wings.

3) I will do a fruit/veggie cleanse for 7 days - on those days, I will be eating only fruits and veggies. They can be raw or cooked. A little oil/ herbs/spice are permitted. Smoothies are also permitted but with no "milk" or any protein added to it in the form of nuts and seeds. Juicing is OK of course. If all fails and I really cannot stand my hunger, I am allowing myself 2 handfuls of nuts per day - but I will have to mention it.
Did not do that one... simply because by the time I was suppose to start it, as per my agenda, I had started work and I think it would not have been a good idea to do this while working. Also, I am no expert on the subject but I think I move around way to much for that...I would have to discuss that first with someone who knows what they are doing.  For health reasons.

4) Do yoga in the park at least 7 times - always too shy to practice outside where people could see me
I meditated a few times and did some yoga once outside...  not on the grass because of all the geese it is filled with crap. Next summer I will know Moncton more and find a proper place to do that.

5) Let my hair go back to their natural color - by day 21, I will have to cut my hair and not dye it again at least until my 108 days are over. I will post picture of my natural color. After the 108 days are over I can choose to stay natural or dye again. This is one of the biggest objective for me. I've been wanting to do that for 2 years now. Now is the time!
THIS is the thing I am more proud off... it may seem like the easiest but it sure is not!  Having silver or grey or salt and pepper hair at 41 is a BIG deal... and not expected... and not even supported by society!  You have to remain young looking at all cost.... and this is not young looking!  Although I must say that after I got use to it (roughly 3 weeks) I did not see myself as looking older but jut as having a different cool hair color and cut! I do not feel older and do not act older either! But my scalp is healthier, my wallet too... and I save time every 4 weeks to do what I love instead of poisoning myself! And quite honestly, I got way more compliments on my new look then I expected (I was expecting none!).

6) Get an indoor plant and keep it alive!
Got 2!!!  Alive and growing.... after I killed one...  Now will look into having a inside herb garden...  Cilantro, Mint, Basil and Parsley..... 

7) For 21 consecutive days, I will do at least 1h yoga. I do a regular practice but most time shorter than that and never did 21 consecutive days. - I rather practice 3-4 times a week
This was way to much for my body.  I did some of it and then cut the 1h yoga to 30 min yoga and 30 min meditation/relaxation...  I now do yoga 3-4 times a week....  back to where I started but this is what works best for me.

8) For 21 days I will wake up at 6am and go for an hour walk before breakfast. Rain or shine.
Nope... I wake up a 5h30 am every day for my husband to go to work... I sit with him while he has breakfast and then hit my mat especially when I have work too and won't have time for yoga later on during the day...  No time for walking and we walk A LOT anyway...  just getting to and from places!  I do not need to do more then that.

9) For 21 consecutive days, I will try a new recipe. Recipes are to be choose a little later and will be shared on my weekly post when I do chose them
I got in a cooking/baking halt... did not feel like it and did not feel like trying anything new... I am now getting back to it with the colder weather...   I did try a few new things:  some pickling (beets, cauliflower, onions), a pumpkin loaf, pumpkin muffins, an easy one bowl muffin recipe, a new Indian dish, some mashed cauliflower,  a apple desert, a fall stew and a new veggie soup...  11 new recipes.  And I also identified some recipe I'd love to try for this winter.

10) I will have to read the books in the above picture at a minimum. I will not list them here but as they are completed, I will share with you on my weekly post - and if by the end I did not complete all the reading I wanted to do, I will mention which are left.
The only book I read form that list was Martin Luther King.  I find reading is an issue still.... I do not seem to be able to make the time for it.  What I will do is continue reading the books I had identified and mention on FB once one is completed. I will get through that list, most likely when the weather is colder and we stay in more.  Summer is NOT a reading season for me - books are more associated with cold, snow, rain in my case anyway...

11) Do one writing exercise in my "642 things to write" about book per day
That too stop quite early.... maybe on day 22nd... because I was already writing enough and all those things I needed to do were becoming to cumbersome and I felt this project was out to show the world instead of turning in... This was the first thing I dropped.

12) Get a tattoo - my first and only one - for 4 years now I wanted to get one - I finally chose which one - I will have to get over my fear of that. The image I choose is very significant to me and I will explain it to you once I get it done.
Did not do that - afraid the pain is not worth the result. Period.

13) No processed snack (chips, cookies, crackers...) for 108 days - if I cheat' I'll have to mention it
Followed that for 35 days... then I cheated... I had some Oreo cookies... and then a few days later very little chips... only to realise that I enjoy those snacks...  even though I know they are not the best for me, I know they are vegan... and that once in a while is not that bad!  After all I love those life little pleasures... But, what resulted from that is that I eat much much less frequently of those vegan junk food and when I do the quantity is MUCH smaller because I get satisfied faster.... and nauseated faster too! Perhaps one day I will no longer be able to have those... I can see it.  In due time.

14) No eating after 7 pm for 108 days. In the case where I would be really hungry, fruits would be permitted - If I cheat (meaning something else then fruits), I'll have to mention it
Quite easily done... we changed supper time so that we finish around 6h30 -7h pm... and then I eat an apple before bed.  That works out just fine. I may have cheated 3-4 times while watching a movie on Netflix.

15) Organize a vegan potluck to meet new vegan friends in Moncton - this is not something I am comfortable with or ever did... but I want to try it and see what happens!
I came to my senses.... I do not like to have people over.  Period.  Except for tea and desert... or snacks...  I have to accept that.

There was another rule that I created that I could not find in my posts (I think it was announced at a later time)..  but I wanted to stay 21 days without television - we did 35!!!  Easily!!! And now the only time I watch TV is when my son ask me to watch something with him.  And that is perfect!  We did not take a TV service and stuck to Netflix.  That works fine for us - we all watch much less of it and are not influenced by advertisement and the like...

And in the end, on top of all that, here's what my #108daystoanewlife gave me:

A life that I love... I life for myself.  Over the last year and a little more (since my book came out), I had set myself up to change the world!  Well I just can't do that!  I am not strong enough... I am not big enough.... or known enough...  I had to come to my senses... by trying to change the world, I was loosing myself and neglecting the 2 people I love most - my son and husband.  I was getting tired and depressed about the too little impact I had... I was in constant contact with social medias... Interact, check numbers, make sure I am visible... I would post every single thing I did and every single breath I took... I wanted to prove to other that my way is the best way... for your health and for the planet... well I do not need to prove anything to anyone... I live my life the way I want and I know I have some influence on some of you and that is good enough!  One by one you guys make small changes... and influence others to do the same... and this is how it woks!  Through a community... not a single person.

This brought me to take the decisions to cut some of my presence on social medias... and therefore cut the time spend on them...  I currently am only on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.  I have shut down my website, Facebook page, Goodreads, Bidstrips, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and also lost the iPhone and got a regular flip phone.  I go on social medias once or twice a days... almost never on Saturdays and Sundays....  and that is just great!

Another huge change was in my  wardrobe... I dress with less then ever.  You can see my list of clothes for the next 7 months here . And I do realise that this is much more then I'd like to dress in but this is what I need for now with work requirement and the fact that I refuse to let go of clothes because of a number.  If I love the clothes and they fit me and my lifestyle well they are staying and I will only need less replacement in the future years.

I also have a better sense of direction as to where my life is going and I am now sure that 9in no specific order):

1) I love to work part time
2) I want to get involved with a yoga studio to share my knowledge
3) I am aiming to cook 95% from scratch... I am currently at 75-80%
4) I want to write more
5) I want to have more time for longer yoga practices  and register with a studio
6) I want to live in a tiny house - long term
7)  I want to choose more wisely who I surround myself with
8) My husband and I want to travel America in a Winnebago, live a few months in Portugal and a few months in Bali.  This is LONG term... maybe 15 years...
9) We want to live debt free - as soon as possible and forever after and believe it is possible as the rate we are now spending money, reimbursing debt and increasing our savings.
10) I will not go back to permanently live in Montreal OR Quebec.

OK... that is enough...  I do not know what to write anymore...  but in the end, these #108daystoanewlife were really a way to create a new life for myself... to stay open to possibilities and try new things.  When you let your guard down, when you stop trying and planning and start to let go and watch things unfold and happens, you get to where you should be much faster.  This was lesson #1 from all that.

thanks for reading!
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