Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 365 - The End

As 2011 comes to a close, I hope you all had a great 2011. My 2011, as you may have read, was not without it's ups and downs, and wins and losses but being the hopeless optimistic that I am, I believe the best is yet to come! I'm looking forward to 2012 as a fresh start and hope you are too. I'll take a moment here to reflect on the past here, and hope to see you in my future at Twenty-Twelve.

In 2011, I wore things I thought I shouldn't. I tried new foods and well, enjoyed some of them (am I the only human that does not enjoy Tiramisu?). I went to new places and loved the West Coast and soared to new heights, like the top of the Willis Sears Tower. I traveled farther by foot then I thought I could (60+ miles!) and did things to help others that I never believed possible. I survived heartaches and heartbreaks, and know that (of course) life goes on. I persevered at work and over came more IT projects then one person should ever be responsible for in the course of one year. I've learned to stand up for myself and ask questions, even the hard ones. I've learned that dreams are limitless, and that the best friends are sometimes the quiet ones just waiting in the background for their opportunity to cheer you on and lift you up. Hugs heal and blogging, just like training puppies, is some of the cheapest therapy ever. I learned that saying no is not a bad thing and that taking time for yourself and doing absolutely nothing is okay! Below are some of my favorite pictures from 2011.

Somewhere over the central United States

My view leaving work...

At home...

Post Dirty Girl Mud Run

San Diego

My city

The best day ever!

Forever Marilyn


Zoo life...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 364 - The Future of My Blogging

As I have only one day left of my 365 day, 2011 blog challenge, I've been wondering what to do with this blog in the new year. Do I continue this blog? But how? This blog is all about tackling daily fears in 2011, it's even included in the description. After much thought, I don't feel that I can continue this blog, while undertaking a new year, without changing and altering the original intent so I've decided that this blog must come to an end. Like any good chapter in a book, 2011 and "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You" are indeed coming to a close.

Through my 2011 challenge, I've learned many a lesson and also found that I'm addicted to blogging! With that said, I can't leave my blogging adventures to just one chapter, so I've started a new one! I hope you readers will follow me in 2012 as I chronicle my life and of course, throw in a few new challenges and adventures! As of January 1st, I will be blogging at Twenty-Twelve. Please visit, follow and comment, as you my readers make it all worth while! I wish you an amazing new year, and hope you enjoy what you read from me in 2012, and I hope to read some things from you too! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 363 - Addiction

Yep, I guess I'm continuing my "one event per month" addiction challenge in the coming new year as I've signed up for the New Year's Day, 5K event.  Now, I'm just hoping that this cold subsides long enough for me to get through the first 3.1 miles of the year. I will remember this time to either drive, or take a cab or bus to the event, and not walk to it!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 362 - Random Act of Kindness

Today I felt absolutely terrible. A head cold. A headache. And of course, I had to work both jobs. It seems my body has perfect timing to go "ka-put" on me when I have the most things scheduled to do and take care of. Despite vitamins, zinc and Advil I felt horrible as I drove to my second job and could only hope some miracle would occur that a substitute might be available for my classes.

Since they say feed a cold and starve a fever (or is it the other way around?) I made sure not to skip my dinner which was going to consist of two tacos from my much loved, Taco Bell. Probably not the most nutritious food to nurse my body back to health, but it was about the only thing that sounded "good" to eat and probably the easiest to acquire. As I drove up and placed my order I grumbled in pain as I waited for multiple cars to receive their orders in front of me.

"Come on already!!!" I literally screamed out loud in my car as the car in front of me seemed to forget something and hand their credit card back to the cashier. A minute or so more and I was finally at the drive up window to collect my food. "About time!", I thought to myself. "Sheesh, how hard is it to get some food around here" my mind thought preoccupied with pain. Finally the cashier popped her head out the window and handed me my items and stated, "It's already paid for." with a huge smile on her face. While it took me a moment to comprehend it all, I did manage to say thank you and slowly pulled away. I of course, felt like a complete schmuck for being the typical impatient customer behind the very nice person who was paying for my meal.

In my haze, it didn't occur to me at the time to pay it forward to the car behind me. As I've paid things forward in the past, and never once had something like this happen to me (yes, I understand that's not the point), I always wondered how others felt when they got the surprise that their coffee, food or tolls had already been paid for and now, I think I know! Although my cold and headache clouded the moment, I was a little shocked, but extremely thankful and appreciative of the stranger's random act of kindness. Now, thinking about someone else's kindness at least got my mind off my own issues and thankfully, my meal and multiple Advil later I felt much better. 

What random act of kindness have you done? Or have you been the recipient of one? I'm definitely taking this lesson forward in the new year and will be handing out thoughfulness and reminders to others that goodness still exists in others!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 361 - 2011 Event Totals - Wow!

At the beginning of my blog (360 days and posts ago!), I created a self induced challenge to participate in some type of "event" every month. I even started a page within my blog to track my progress and now, to some shock, have added up my totals. Total money spent on registration fees (YIKES!), miles traveled (roughly), and the amount of dollars raised for charity. So here's the break out!

In the past twelve months I have participated in:
15 different events.

In the past twelve months I have raised:
$1,400 for charity, specifically Children's Memorial Hospital, breast cancer research, and my favorite, the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

In the past twelve months I have spent: $506 on entry fees. Wow, is all I can say...wish I hadn't kept track of THAT number! But, the fact is, I wouldn't change a thing about the events I've participated in and can't wait to repeat some of them next year!

In the past twelve months I have traveled: 61.9 miles via foot and pedal during events, and heaven only knows how many extra miles I've tacked on to this total by driving and walking to the events themselves.

In the past twelve months my favorite event has been: The Dirty Girl Mud Run allowed me to prove to myself that I can tackle anything and I felt a HUGE sense of physical accomplishment after completing this event. Climbing over the two-story cargo net was the worst (and best) thing in the event, besides the mud of course!

In the past twelve months my greatest event based accomplishment has been: Being able to raise over $1,000 dollars for the Cheetah Conservation Fund! At times I thought I was never going to make this goal, but with tons of help from tons of people, even strangers and fellow blog readers, I made it! In doing so, I was one of only 5 Chicagoans who raised this amount of money, and earned the opportunity to meet and pet a live cheetah! It was so amazing!

In the past twelve months I learned: This challenge was not easy! There were days that I didn't feel good and didn't want to get out of bed, and there were plenty of weather challenges that just out right sucked to deal with. I won't even mention the sore feet and tight muscles. There were times I thought to myself, "Who would know if I did these events or not?" but my self conscience always won and shoved me out the door. Despite some of the drawbacks, I learned that I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to, whether I go alone or have fellow "eventers" with me and that I can make friends anywhere I go. I met a lot of new people, if only at the events, who not only did I help, but who helped me through the events in return. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 360 - MMOM

Since our normal "Meet Me On Monday" host Java is taking a break from posting questions until after New Years, I've created my own this week to finish out the year of Mondays!

1) What does the day after Christmas find you doing?
I actually started taking down all of my Christmas decorations! I really want to start the new year FRESH with nothing from the previous year sitting around, including decorations. That, and I've been downloading lots of new tunes for my I-pod.

2) Do you have plans for NYE?
Nope - and I'm just fine with that, I think New Year's Eve is my least favorite holiday! Everyone puts too high of an expectation on one night to make the rest of their year magical, when the focus should be on finding the magic and adventure that the year has to offer in every single day! 

3) Do you plan on making any new year resolutions?
I don't really think of my goals as resolutions but if ya want to put them in the same category, sure.

4) Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?
I had an awesome holiday this year! It was one of big surprises and great people.

5) What will you do with your Christmas dinner leftovers?
I was smart and sent them ALL home with someone else! I just don't do left overs very well. No matter how well intentioned I am to eat them, they always sit for WAY too long and go to waste.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 359 - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!