As I start to sum up and reflect upon this past year and begin to move forward, I feel that it is crucial to really, truly give this adventure one last “look back.” This blog, as hard as it was to do (for many reasons) was the catalyst for pushing me to try new things, forcing me to stand still long enough to truly think about what has happening around me and within me and opening my heart to new people and new experiences. I know, without a doubt, that so many of the moments I have had this past year would not have occurred without Deconstruct The Yuck leading the way. Some of these moments are too good to not revisit. Here are my personal highlights throughout the past 12 monthly challenges!
- Learning all about the garbage and recycling systems in our city. The tour of city dump and recycling plant was sooo eye opening! To see all the garbage and recycling from our city on one single day, was mind boggling. The people who worked there and those from Green Calgary who went through the tour with me, were so inspiring! It would be impossible for me to not be more aware of what and how I recycle and throw away garbage.
- The first month for me was actually one of the most impactful. It started out being a month of decluttering my house, but ended up being a month of declutter my mind. I will never forget laying in the snow in my backyard, looking up at the sky and “letting go” for the first time in a long time.
- Fitness First in June was my favourite challenge which is the hugest shocker ever! I despise exercise – seriously – but this came at the right time. Forcing myself to walk everyday (and feeling justified because it was “for the blog”) just when the weather was getting nice was awesome. During my walks, enjoying my music, I had a true chance to unwind and de-stress (not like the “lock myself in the bathroom while my children screamed and banged on my door” kind of breaks I was used to!). Now that I have done meditation, I realize this was a type of meditation all along. I feel that this month created the biggest positive impact in my life and I am commited to work on creating this in my life from here forward.
- During our Essential Potential challenge in November, I was so moved by our tour of the Calgary Food Bank and then joining together with others to make a difference. Completing a week on the food hamper was hard but so impactful for myself, but more importantly, my children. We are still talking about it. In the end, my daughters day home collected materials to create EIGHT birthday bags for the food bank, filled with everything a child would need for a birthday including cake, icing, candles and a small gift. This was a remarkable feat for a group of 4 year olds and my baby was so proud when she dropped off the donation! It was such a moment!
- One of the hardest moments of the blog for me was during our Vanity Insanity challenge, when I had some professional photos of mine retouched so they would be “magazine worthy.” To put unflattering photos on the blog for the world to see, but to then have them altered so I would look better (and therefore hightlight all the things about me that looked bad) was… well… pretty agonizing. But, in the end, it was worth it. I am thrilled to see that my post “Day 78: Part Two – Retouched” was one of the highest read post we had all year. I hope that the people who read that post were able to see that most of what we see in magazines and media is not real and that we absolutely have to stop comparing ourselves to it! I know that I will never judge myself against this illusion of perfection again.
- Being involved in my son’s school for “Sugar Rehab” was such a privilege. While I cut out sugar for an entire month, my son’s class completed their own “Erase the Azucar (sugar)” challenge. The entire class learned all about sugar and how to figure out how many teapsoons and grams of sugar was in the food they were eating. The learned about ways to reduce their sugar intake and even how to swap out unhealthy choices for healthy choice – all in grade one! I was honored to go in at the end of the month and do a cooking lesson with the class. Not only did we have a blast, but we made some delicious muffins if I do say so myself!
- And, of course, my birthday this year will be a hard one to beat! To honor my 36 years I completed 36 acts of kindness in one day. From leaving loonies on shopping carts, to bringing coloring books to the children’s hospital, to passing our coffee’s to friends, to dropping off special notes to people who I care about, the day was packed full of amazingness! I gave and gave and gave that day but I am quite sure I have never felt so full in my life!
It really has been an adventure! I wonder what’s next??? 🙂