Simple Pleasures & Small Victories (J.O.G.T. 1)

“The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, those are really good days.” Ray Willey Hubbard.

In my first post of the year, I included an image that explained the “Jar of Good Things.” It is basically an idea that was circulating around the New Year where you start the year off with an empty jar. And then you fill it with notes of good things that happen through the year. The theory being that at the end of the year, you can go through those notes and remind yourself of all the good days that you experienced during the last 12 months. I’m not waiting that long.

It’s borderline hippy bullshit, but I thought it might not be a bad idea to try to find something positive in the world every day, so I do. I don’t actually have a jar, but I do record something into my “J.O.G.T” word-file every day. Some days it’s easier than others.

Now, I don’t buy lottery tickets or otherwise gamble, so I don’t expect to share any monumental financial announcements. I have absolutely no “game,” so I suspect exciting romantic news will be unlikely as well. But I do have a pretty good life and a modest lifestyle which allows me to enjoy small victories and simple pleasures that I’ll share around the end of each month as a semi-interesting reminder to myself that life really aint that shitty. Here are a few of the highlights from January.

(The only editing that was done was to change/omit the names of the innocent. Please forgive any syntax errors and the like.)

Jan 1. Today my first blog of the year, “No Resolutions,” prompted the highest ever number of views of my site for a single day.

It was the highest traffic day on my blog BY A LOT, and it felt like a really great start to the year. Thanks everybody.

Jan 9. I think I finally let my heart say “goodbye” to [her] today. It sucked to have to do it, but there was a feeling of release that I think is a positive thing.

Pretty self explanatory. Life’s a bitch. Those years were an indescribably amazing time that have given me some of the best memories anyone could ever ask for. But you can’t move on if you’re holding on. I’m ready to see what the day brings.

Jan 18. Recorded with Jenn and Ray again for the first time in a long time. We recorded two covers but Jenn sounded awesome and I loved being able to record it.

Over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to regularly record two local singer/songwriter friends of mine. I’ve got a pretty simple recording set-up but it seems to suit us pretty well and we always have a good time working together. And occasionally the recordings are actually worthy of the talent I’m so lucky to be allowed to witness.

Life’s schedule has resulted in longer breaks between sessions in recent months. It was nice to just get together, enjoy each others’ company, and goof off with some covers. It was definitely a good thing.

Jan 28. Payroll got my pay straight and put the money back into my account today. I realized that my pace has been the same for my 6, 8, and 9 mile runs. And I smoked zero cigarettes today.

Looking at my training schedule (where I record times/paces as I complete each step), I realized that my pace was the same for all of my “long” runs as I was progressing through my plan. And after running my snowy 15K at a faster than intended pace and feeling so comfortable afterwards, it made me wonder if I was maybe not running at my full potential. Maybe I could run faster than I thought.

Oh, and I apparently didn’t smoke any cigarettes that day either. Good thing.

Jan 31. I left work early because the computers were down, and had a really nice 9 mile run around the entire neighborhood. Averaged a pace that could make a 2 hr Half Marathon possible. Felt really good.

After several hours dealing with recurring computer related hurdles and getting totally frustrated with wasting so much of my time getting so little accomplished, the system went down completely. I left, and spent the rest of my afternoon doing something productive and enjoyable; running in the sun.

I still don’t have a set time-goal for the Shamrock Half Marathon because I do not want to let a finish line goal get in the way of my starting line goal. But it would be awesome to finish my first half marathon in two hours. I will not let that idea sabotage my training though. Just because it would be awesome does not mean that I’m not going to party just as much after a three hour finish. Any finish is a good finish, and I can’t finish if I don’t start.

Starting line goal: To get to the starting line healthy. That is goal number one. I don’t have a goal number two.

That’s it. Not a bad start to the year. Like I said, it’s nothing crazy or exciting. Just simple happenings that seemed like “good things” on the days I wrote them down. Training is going well. Work is steady. Life is good.

How has your new year been so far? Any of those resolutions complete yet? Given up on any of them yet?

January’s J.O.G.T. Honorable mentions:

Jan 11. Got pulled over for running a stop-sign on the way to work and only got a warning. Had an awesome 7 mile run trying “chi running” techniques for the first time.

Jan 16. First attempt at speed intervals during 3.5 mile run. I may actually be able to run fast some day.

Jan 20. The New England Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens. That’s a good thing.

Jan 23. Went for my 4 mile run, all but ignoring my pace or pacing. Just a good therapy run. Just as I made it to 4 miles and stopped running…I found a dollar. Good thing.

Jan 24. I got my first copy of Tape Op magazine today.

Jan 29. Went to the doctor and got my very first complete check-up as an adult. I waited way too long. We’ll see what happens.