1. Good food and drink.
I mean really, what’s better in life than good food and a nice glass of wine? I’m really enjoying the cooking that Michael and I have been doing. I’m learning my way around a kitchen and trying new recipes is a highlight of my week.
2. Libraries and bookstores.
I’m a bookworm. Totally and completely. As a kid I learned how to read at an early age and would much rather spend my time reading than doing anything else. I also didn’t grow up in a neighborhood that had kids around. I grew up in the city where I’d play by myself, read a lot, and write my own short stories. It makes me happy. Nothing is better than losing myself in a good book.
I do not want a Kindle or E-Reader. I want a real, live book with paper. I love the feel of the paper. I love the smell of old books. There’s a peace that I can find only in a library.
Specifically my friend Robyn. Even when the chips are down and life is challenging for her, she ALWAYS has a positive attitude! And sometimes I can be a Grumpy Gus and just focus on the negatives. I need friends in my life who are optimistic to remind that things aren’t always that bad…
4. Hiking in the Mountains.
Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the city, away from technology, a place where there’s no WiFi or Twitter or Facebook. Just nature and the sounds of wind in the trees, critters and my own footsteps crunching over rocks and twigs. I’m lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest where there’s a bounty of nature to explore. A short drive in any direction will get me out into Mother Nature.
5. Summers in Portland.
As the long, gray, rainy winters drone on and on and I fantasize about moving to San Diego or Mexico…I am immediately remorseful for ever thinking I want to leave Oregon once summer comes. The sun is out, the weather is warm. It’s finally a beautiful place to spend your time outside. Biking around Portland with Michael, eating outside on restaurant patios, or walking on the beach are perfect ways I spend my summer. Plus working downtown at the job I have I’m able to wear shorts and flip flops if I want and I can walk around the Waterfront during my lunch break. Awesome.
I think I have Gypsy Blood in me. I get restless after sitting too long. My grandpa was the same way: he’d wake up one day with the itch to travel and say “Get in the car, Helen, we’re going somewhere.” He loved to travel and did it as often as they could. I definitely take after my grandfather in a lot of ways and traveling is one of those ways. I wish that I could afford to travel more often and to more exotic places that are on my list. But so far I’ve had a lot of fun seeing the world: England, Mexico, Canada (too many times to count), California, Utah, Vegas, Chicago, Montana, Idaho…Some day I will make it to the East Coast.
7. Celebrity Athletes like Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong.
Their bodies are finely tuned machines that would impress anyone. When I swim I think about about Michael Phelps and the amazing Olympic footage of him swimming. So impressive. And Lance? Not only is he an amazing cyclists he’s also a RUNNER. And a cancer-survivor. Is there anything that man CAN’T do?
8. The desert.
I love the desert. Which is weird because I could never live somewhere that didn’t have trees like the NW has. Growing up in Seattle one of our annual family vacations was in Eastern Washington. I loved it there. I’d explore the cliffs and desert all day long by myself: taking photos, writing, listening to music or just listening to the quiet of the wilderness. I loved the impromptu thunder storms of the desert and the red earth. I miss visiting Eastern Washington.
Having a partner who is a DOER and likes to try new things is such a blessing. We’ve had more adventures that have enriched my life than any other time.
Music is a part of my soul. I love everything (but country) and each song or genre invoked different thoughts, feelings and memories. I’ve been to a lot of concerts.
A few favorites: Death Cab for Cutie, John Lee Hooker, Tom Petty, Depeche Mode, NIN, Dave Matthews Band…The only regrets I have are that I never got to see Nirvana, The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins live. 🙁
QUESTION: What inspires you?
Your list could totally be my own.
1. Everything in moderation. That way you get to enjoy the good stuff!!
2. I used to want to be a librarian 🙂 I could spend days in B&N just gathering up books, scrunching down into a chair and reading hour after hour.
3. From family friends to sporty friend to high school friends – they all matter SO much!
4. I love hiking! We’ll be doing Dog Mountain next month and the wild flowers are so pretty! I love pretty much every gorge hike!
5. I love the smell of summer!
6. I love to travel. I have several REI Adventure trips dancing in my dreams.
7. Dara Torres! All the female athletes inspire me most!
8. I haven’t spent much time in the desert but I’m always amazed at the pictures. Such beauty!
9. I love that you and Michael share the love of getting out and doing things. My husband is a little less adventurous, but I’m working on him 🙂
10. Isn’t it amazing how you can turn a day around with music? Just adding music to my work day completely transforms the dreary into the best mood!
I wanted to be a librarian too, Julie!!
I haven’t done Dog Mountain yet. I hear it’s hard.
That’s cool that you are trying to get your hubby interested. Michael was reluctant at first but I converted him to hiking and fitness type activities. 🙂
Dog Mountain is hard but nothing you can’t handle easily. My girlfriend and I go around every Mothers Day. You would be so welcome to join us if you want. We usually invite about 10 other people and sometimes its just us two that show up. It would be probably during the week since my weekends are booked up with TNT stuff. We usually meet at 8am and return home by 2pm or so.
Let me know if you want me to give you specifics when we start planning it.
During the week would be hard but if it changes to a weekend we’d be interested!
Good food & drink also inspire me! It’s such a great reward after a race or a tough workout!
I jokingly say that Michael Phelps inspires me, but, really, sometimes I think celebrity athletes kinda have it easy. They have trainers, they don’t have regular jobs, .. If I didn’t have to go to work I could train my butt off in the pool too, but I have to go to work & adhere to the open lap pool schedule at the gym, and I have no trainer, just YouTube. I know it sounds negative, but it’s not, he’s just got better circumstances to succeed, in my opinion!
And music is HUGE for inspiration. Some songs make me want to run until my legs fall off. Yesterday Christina Aguilera’s Fighter song was a good pre-run motivation fueler.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to work and just “train” all day long? I could totally get into that. LOL
What are you reading right now? I just finished “Hungry” by Crystal Renn and I have to say, I did not like most of it. I’d be curious as to whether you’ve read it and what your thoughts on it are.
Do you think learning to appreciate good food and wine are a reason you’ve been successful at weight loss? I think it’s been a big part of my success. People aren’t fat because they’re having extravagant dinners with wine every night — they’re fat because they eat boxed crap. I mean, I make cupcakes with butter and shortening now, and I never would have dreamed of doing that when I weighed 300 pounds. It’s difficult to explain, but I do think appreciating good food is a key to weight loss success.
That is such a great point that I never really thought about….when I was obese I NEVER ate good food. I was eating pizza, fast food, food that came from a box….I never had the really nice steak dinner with good wine. It does make a difference I think.