Resolving to Do More and Stress Less in 2014

This isn't exactly a New Year's Resolutions list, so much as it's a Stay Sane and Productive list.

I've decided that I've been acting a little bat-shit crazy, at least in my own mind. I'm turning to the internet far too often as a distraction. I'm also over-binging on the binge watching of shows that I missed. As entertaining as that all can be, it's not very productive and it'll make you nuts, if it goes on too long.

But turning to the internet and Netflix is the only way I've been dealing with my overnoodling issue. Overnoodling is my sweet little way of saying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I tend to obsess and compulse in times of high stress, which this year, were more often than I could handle. We got through it all, but the leftover affect has been an uptick in my hyper-vigilance and crazy making level of overnoodling. Now I'm constantly worried about locked doors, leaving a light on to make it look like we're home when we're not, and, OH MY GOD is that gas I smell??? All these little worries tend to take up most of my thoughts when I'm not careful, leaving me utterly dysfunctional, rolling myself up into a binge watching ball on the couch.

For 2014, I'm promising myself is to stay out of that loop of crazy, so as much as I hate the triteness of resolutions, I'm stating them out loud on my blog so that I have some kind of accountability. And really, there are only TWO resolutions I'm making for 2014:

1) Keep my idle hands and obsessive mind busy.

2) Set up safeguards to set my mind at ease.

Do More

Sewing:

I've decided to give sewing another try. I had a sewing machine in the 90's when I had my oldest kids. By the time I remarried in 2000, and later had my youngest kids, the sewing machine was just a thing in the garage that constantly reminded me that I failed at something so simple.  I'm sure I gave up on it too easily, most likely trying to run before I could walk. Rather than try again, I sold it at a garage sale for far too little.

Now I wish I would've kept it, not only because I don't want to have to buy a new one, but because someone recently told me that sewing is a great way to tune out from the stress of life. It's certainly a great way to do more AND stress less, so it's going to be my number one thing to do this year. I'll just have to remember to take it easy and just sew some basic things with straight lines. I added a few pins from Tonic Living to my Casa Jones board. I absolutely fell in LOVE with these fabulous fabrics.

Aren't those GORGEOUS??? And just bold enough to wake up all the off white and natural woods that I have filled my home with. I plan to make a few pillows for the couches, some seat pads for the folding chairs outside, and some curtains for the living room and dining area…

...just as soon as I get myself a new sewing machine.

Building:

I've also got a few ideas for our patio. Right now, there's a really awful cover over our barbecue island. It's being held up by to posts that are intruding on our small space. Visible just above it are the front neighbor's stairs to her tiny terrace. Hardly anyone is ever on those stairs, but they're sort of intrusive. And if someone IS on the stairs, well, that's when they're completely intrusive. I found a few patio and terrace ideas (while pinning, naturally) that I'm planning to accomplish this year. The first one is going to involve taking down the old patio cover (reclaiming the wood for a future project) and putting up a little something like this:

The plan is to build it high enough to cover the back of my neighbors stairs without losing too much ambient light that a solid wall would surely block. Somewhere at the top, we'll be hooking up one end of a patio cover and adding some strings of outdoor lights. But first, the slats.

Walking:

Ahhh, walking… without it, I'm a flabby blob of crazy. For some reason, I stopped walking around October. I think that was the height of stress here, I'm not sure. It's all a big haze of craze. The one thing I should NEVER have given up at that point was walking. It's a stress reliever and a great way to burn fat. Thankfully, I was asked to join a WiiFitU Challenge for Nintendo Brand Ambassadors and that was all the motivation I needed to get off my toosh and back on the beach for my regular walks. We were each given a Wii U Fit Meter and divided up into four teams, each competing against the others for most steps taken and altitude climbed. I started trying to just get 5,000 steps in every day, but when we kept coming in second, a bunch of us on the Green Team decided to literally step it up, nearly doubling our personal daily step goals.

And that's how we won!!!

Those steps do burn calories, which is great for weight loss (I lost eight pounds after one month on the challenge… HOLLLAAAA!!), but really, it's more about staying sane! If I don't go out and take those daily walks, the obsessive mind takes over. And that's never good. So now my goal, since I know I can do it, is at least 10,000 steps a day. It's not really that hard to do. It's more about making the time and getting out there. And the Fit Meter connects with the Wii U Fit program on the Wii U, which is filled with all kinds of fun calorie burning games that keep me on a nice endorphins buzz. That'll definitely help with the stressing less.

Stress Less

WeMo Switch

Waking up in the middle of the night in a did-I-leave-the-lights-on-to-make-it-look-like-someone-is-home freak outs when we're away is no way to stay sane. OH! And the iron! Because you know how I'm always wondering if the iron is still on… 

Thankfully, I was given this amazing little gadget that I've set up at Casa Jones to help end those freak outs. The WeMo Switch by Belkin is a WiFi enabled switch that allows me to turn electronics on and off using an app on my smartphone. So now when we're away, I can easily control my lights and electronics!

To really be stress free, the app allows me to set up all of my electronics on a schedule. The WeMo Switch app can handle multiple switches, so we can set a switch for lights in every room. Maybe even a radio or a television somewhere. 

Hmmm… I might be overnoodling again.

NetCam HD 

Another gadget we got to put my worrisome mind at ease is the NetCam HD by Belkin. Also WiFi enabled, the NetCam HD has night vision, a wide angle lens, crystal clear audio, and is accessible through my smartphone. I can even save live video through the app. When we're away, I have it monitoring our home. And when we're not traveling, I can set it up in the learning center to make sure the kids are actually working on their lessons while I'm walking on the beach.

So now I can have some peace of mind being able to access these gadgets anywhere I'm connected through the apps at my fingertips on my Verizon LG G2. 

Sweet!

Here's to stressing less and doing more in 2014!