Project Finish Line: Has it Really Been a MONTH???

The last time I had ten seconds to myself that weren’t occupied by some other pursuit was two weeks ago, and I haven’t posted at all in regards to Project Finish line since January! Yikes!

So, let’s get caught up, kids. 

 

Goal 1: Size 8/145 pounds

Business travel gave me one helluva setback. I went from 149 (so close!!!) all the way back up to 153. Amazing how taking it off requires Herculean efforts, and putting it just requires a box-to-mouth Donut Curl. It’s entirely unfair. Fortunately, one week back home eating somewhat more intelligently and hitting the gym a few times has me at 151.2. I’ll take it. And I’ll try to remember the progress loss the next time I feel like a cookie might be an okay breakfast. 

Thank all good things in the universe for Chris Powell and his carb cycling! Seriously people, if you haven’t checked it out by now, nothing is working for you, and you’re like me an need immediate results to stay motivated, you must try Carb Cycling! Please at least just read about it here. You’ll thank me. I promise. 

 

Goal 2: Write a book

Done. Well….sort of. I wrote it. I’ve made some changes on screen, and as I said previously I have no printed all 212 pages and am slowly setting to the task of some hardcore editing. Alas, I have no red pen – or green, as was the favorite of my journalism teacher in high school – but I’ve gotten through a whopping three pages, so blue must be acceptable. 

I’m wondering if there’s anyone anywhere who would be willing to do a seondary edit of it. After a while you have read something so many times, you stop seeing the mistakes. But there was an excellent piece I found online about editing by writing your books four times. Check it out!

 

Goal 3: Pay off debt 

This has proven to be quite a bit more difficult than I’d hoped. Following the drama of emergency dog abominal surgery, a broken car, and some unexpected medical expenses, it’s going to take well over a year to get where we need to be. BUT – we completely paid of a dishwasher, and are now very close to doing the same with a small amount of student loans (under $500), and then we move to the big time: CREDIT CARDS. Two of them. Totaling more thousands of dollars than I’m willing to admit. Under twenty but over ten, and it makes me exceedingly uncomfortable. 

 

But on to more fun things! 

 

I have nearly a week of solo time (hubz is out in Miami DJing during the annual Winter Music Conference – so proud!) over which I’ve also taken some PTO. The goals of Project Finish line will, of course, be a focus, but so will some long-time-coming DIYs I’ve been dying to finish! Check it out: 

DIY 1 – A reading nook, or what I’m also calling my Cone of Silence. The idea being that, when in the cone, leave me alone. 😉 I’ve been inspired by these coupld of pics on line:

     

This chair will be the foundation of said nook: 

I have vaulted ceiling, so I’m imagining translucent curtains with white Christmas lights, and perhaps some kind of additional color and shine involved. Stay tuned…

 

DIY 2 – Seriously, my wine rack. It’s time to get it done. Two years in the making almost. Ugh. DOING THIS! 

Lots of Pinspiration of this project out there, and I have all the wood, stain, tools, etc. Just need to get my @$$ in gear. 

 

DIY 3 – A wine bottle light fixture for the dining room. The only thing lacking here is some electrical wire, fire proof wire coverings, and bulbs. Oh, and my spouse’s faith that I can install it without A) killing myself, B) burning down the building, or C) both. It will be something like this, but with wine bottles instead of mason jars: 

 

I will get pics of each project step-by-step and share them here, along with the super easy, lazy-girl’s way I recovered my black, white, and purple chair shown above. 

I also may be painting the master bathroom blue and grey above some white bead board. We’ll see how motivated I get. I mean, at least ONE of my days off should really be a day OFF, right??? Is that how it works??

That is a TON of DIYing in five days. I may have to call in reinforcements! 

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Project Finish Line: When Life Gets in the Way

 
Yet again I’m a bad girl slacking off on my commitment to post weekly. All you fab folks reading this probably didn’t mine the break, though! Before I get into a progress report, it’s important to note that as I write this I am still in a positive place. Life has not been terribly kind to me this first week of 2015, but anyone who expects kindness (or fairness) from life hasn’t been paying attention.

I’ll preface my progression down the Finish Line journey with my self-indulgent tail of woe in hopes that it will help you understand why I’ve made the decisions I’ve made regarding my goals.

We recently purchased a new (used) car and paid cash (Dave Ramsey would be so proud!). The car was purchased and brought home one snowy Saturday, January 3rd. Such joy! We had a paid-for vehicle that wasn’t the total POS our other car had become. The hubz brought it home, and I ooh-ed and aaah-ed over it’s dent/ding/dimple free exterior, scratchless paint job, beautifully detailed interior, and the fact that my guy would no longer have to roll down the window to open the door from the outside because the inside door handle had broken. Sunday, January 4th, the car showed signs of the transmission needing work.

Evidently, this was the beginning of the (temporary) end. 

Monday – aside from just being Monday – was the beginning of what I shall now refer to as Hell Week.

My poor pup had been suffering some GI issues since Christmas Eve. He saw the vet who ran some tests and prescribed an antiobiotic as per usual (this was the second time my baby boy – who is 11 – had this issue), and we treated him, kept him on a bland diet, and generally coddled him. A second round of meds was prescribed when he didn’t show much improvement, but on Day 1 of Hell Week, I came home from the gym to my husband telling me to turn around because our boy needed to go to the Urgent Care.

 

 

So off we went – sneakers, sports bra, sweaty ponytail, and all.

And of course we went in two cars, because we were told earlier that day that we had to bring the car back to the dealer to have it looked at. Turns out my sweet pup had swallowed a rock and needed emergency abdominal surgery that included a myriad of complications and possibly fatal outcomes. So I handed over my credit card for more thousands of dollars than I care to admit, and signed my furry child’s life away. Then we dropped off our two-day old car, that in fact did turn out to be need transmission work- to the tune of nearly another grand. Much to the unknown delight of the dealership, my husband was able to talk them down to almost half that price before anyone had to talk to me.

 

    

Oh, and did I mention? Whilst my fella and I waited on pins and needles, agonizing over the fate of our dog and aching over the state of our severely abused finances, I told him I had to be up early for a doctor’s appointment to have a new lump in my breast checked out. It’s about the size of a golf ball, and though the docs not worried I get to enjoy an ultrasound and mammogram anyway. Woohoo!

So where does this metaphorical bitch slap from the universe leave Project Finish Line? I’ll tell you : 1/3 less fun and fully grounded in harsh reality.

Goal 1: Size 8 by August

The holidays and Hell Week were not kind. I gained back 5 pounds of the weight I lost due to holiday indulgence, eating my emotions, and not having as much gym time – like 5 days in the last 2 weeks. But!! I know what has to be done now, thanks to Chris and Heidi Powell! Carb Cycle and keep moving.  You can check out info on Carb Cycling on the Powells’ blogs, but I would also recommend picking up Chris’s book, Choose More Lose More for Life. In doing so I already got back to 154 in about a week, which is just over one pound from my all-time low. 

 

Much better than the 155.6 from last week!

Goal 2: Finish Writing My Book

The good news is, I finished writing my book! It is definitely not ready for prime time, so now it’s back into the trenches to edit, edit, edit, and edit some more until I’m satisfied. Then, I’ll print, bind, shelve, and be able to say: I finished writing a book.

My taste in literature – much like ALL my life preferences – are quite omni-polar, but you can see Mr. Ramsey’s book stays close.

And perhaps write another…

Goal 3: Go to Europe in 2015

Here’s where things get…a little sad. I just don’t think we can do it this year. I’m experiencing A LOT of anxiety and major stress around financial stability (or the lack thereof) for a variety of reasons I won’t enumerate here, and as a result of thousands of dollars in dog and car bills adding to an already overwhelming amount of debt (ridiculous student loans and a car repossessed by my ex, as examples) I have come to believe that one thing I can do for my own mental and emotional well-being is to take active steps to get out of that debt as soon as possible.

I’ve been reading Dave’s book, Total Money Makeover, as you already know, and now I’m on a mission to get my guy on board and pursue a new goal with the “gazelle intensity” Dave talks about: Kill Credit Card Debt (& Sell Rental Property?) in 2015. We’ll do this through Dave’s Baby Steps.

We already have a small emergency fund (Baby Step 1), and are beginning the Debt Snowball (Baby Step 2).

This will require some serious, committed, uncomfortable sacrifice. And first on the chopping block is Europe. For now…

Sure, I’m sad, but I also feel in my bones that it is the right thing to do. It’s the right decision for me and my family. I spend my work and personal lives taking care of others, and if I’m going to continue to do so I have to take care of myself. The stress of debt and having what feel like never-ending streams of payments sucking the life out of my bank account is also making me feel trapped and without any choices or freedoms. And in turn that is making me irritable, angry, and not very much fun to be around. That can’t happen.

 

So I don’t look at this as giving up on my travel dreams, just adjusting the timing. Goal 3 has changed, and that’s okay because life happens and – as much as I hate anything outside of my control – the trick is to let it happen without letting it happen TO you. Experience, evaluate, adjust, move forward.