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So I’ve been “creeping” the WordPress Daily Prompts sporadically since I started blogging again (you know, WAY back in June 2013) thinking maybe I’d give it a go.

But I never got ’round to it.

Until today.  Today I’m joining. [I’m TOTALLY a joiner, so I’m surprised it took this long]. The prompt that grabbed me: Write up a mid-Year “State of My Year” post.

Huh?  Half over?  Already? Oh.  Yeah.  Wow.

And you want to know about me?  Thanks for asking WordPress!  So thoughtful.

Well WordPress, so far this has been the year of self-inflicted change.

January found me mid-way through mat leave with my second daughter.  Given I’m Type A, this also means I was in the process of chugging through a number of “personal growth projects” given all the “spare time” I’d have not being at work.

I didn’t have the first mat leave delusions that I’d write my first novel when I wasn’t busy making my own baby food, signing to my infant or otherwise being a fully hands-on busy-bagging Pintimidating nurturing interactive super-wonder-mother to my two girls, but I did have a few plans…

And generally speaking, I moved the marker on a lot of them.

In January I realized that doing what I’d always done wasn’t going to lose the baby weight (okay, if I’m honest, the weight slowly gained over the last 10 years from my mid-20s onward).  So I joined Weight Watchers and, in 5 months, lost 30lbs bringing me back to where I was in my mid-20s.  And since May – within 5lbs, I’ve kept it off.

The weight loss success then led to some “athletic” success.  I’ve been running for fitness for the past five years and do 10K races as a way to stay in shape.  I’ve done three 10K races since May and was pleasantly surprised to find that apparently 30lbs less of me runs faster.  I’ve managed to shave about 5 minutes off my 10K time.  So I’ve been enjoying setting sports goals – which also helps keep me motivated – a nice positive cycle.

But that’s not all Type A me had in the works.  So moving right along….

With the help of some classes and Pinterest, I finally learnt how to cook properly.  This was a huge “getting over myself/growing up” moment.  After years of telling myself “I don’t cook” with the same certainty that various people tell you they “don’t eat red meat” or “don’t watch reality television” I finally figured out this inability was in no way empowering.  Rather it was expensive and a diet of frozen pizza and fast food wasn’t really healthy (or Weight Watchers compatible).  So I now have a collection of healthy recipes I do that everyone in the family enjoys and I am beginning to master the art of “meal planning”.  I’m pretty sure everyone chez nous is better for it.

The cooking success led me to try a few other new things out of my comfort zone.  Given my first home economics success, I took a cake decorating class in March/April and a learn to sew class from April to June.  With two young girls and thus a gazillion birthday parties, bake sales and Halloween and dance costumes in my future, I figured both were sound investments.

My "final project" from my Wilton Level 1 Cake Decorating Course

My “final project” from my Wilton Level 1 Cake Decorating Course

I’d show you the finished product (and I DID finish it) but I don’t have a photo. Also – sewing is still much more a work in progress…

Leaving “personal growth” for a moment, after six years in our home we finally added a second bathroom this spring and gutted and remodelled our main bathroom.  So I can now contemplate the balance on our credit line from the comfort of a six-foot bubble tub.  Conclusion:  TOTALLY worth it.  Considering we were on a home reno role, we also paid for some long overdue landscaping in late June.  Also TOTALLY worth it.

Entering “professional growth”, mat leave ended and I went back to work in May.   I’ve been thinking about changing jobs for about a year and a half, so I put myself forward for a few opportunities.  My husband is home with the kids until September which gives me some flexibility on the work front at the moment to try a few things that would be less practical during the regular daycare circus of life (unless we spontaneously acquired a nanny).

Results there?

Well, I didn’t get one job I tried for, but because I put myself forward I’ve now been acting for a Director on leave for the last month and a half.  That’s been both a great and eye-opening opportunity.  I’ve always thought I’d like to be a Director and so getting management experience is wonderful.  But I’ve also been able to figure out for myself that, at this stage of my life, I think I want a job that allows for a more consistent balance with home life and I’m okay trading some salary or advancement for seeing my kids more often. So instead I’ll be starting a different new job in about a month that I’m hopeful will give me the change I’m looking for along with that balance.

Other than that, WordPress, I’m trying to find ways to keep some of the good routines I established on mat leave.  Eg: the cooking, the healthy eating, the regular exercise.  Work is making it more challenging, but once things settle I’m hoping to figure out a schedule that makes it work.

Because – simply put?  I’m pretty happy about the State of My Year to date.  May it not roll downhill from here.

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