#70kChallenge Update & Invite

At the end of last year, I proposed a challenge to Mrs. 1500.  She had mentioned she wanted to start being more active and I knew I needed accountability to stay on track.  The challenge was to walk 70k steps a week for all of 2019.  If one of us fell short for the week, we would owe the other $5 to be paid up at the end of the challenge…you know us frugal people hate to part with cash!!  Once the rules were all set, we thought it may be fun to let others join in so on January 1st of this year, I wrote a blog post introducing the #70kChallenge and opened registration to the first 8 people to respond.  Within a few hours our #70kChallenge team had swelled to 13 (we just couldn’t say no!) and we had to start turning people away.  Rules were explained, a Twitter DM group and Google spreadsheet were set up, and the challenge began.

 

In the first couple of weeks, we had 2 people drop out.  One due to time commitments, the other due to seriously high numbers.  He had never tracked his steps before so he didn’t really know what his daily steps were.  Turns out, it was DOUBLE what everyone else was stepping so hitting 70k wasn’t much of a challenge.  As the weeks wore on, we lost a few more folks, mostly due to other priorities trumping this one.  Currently, 30 weeks in, we are down from 13 to 8 members deeming this less of a challenge and more a walking version of The Hunger Games.

Reflections from the past 30 weeks are as follows:

  • 52 weeks is a loooong time to run a challenge
  • 70k steps a week is sometimes hard to get when you factor in illness, injury, travel, and other things that pop up in the course of a year.
  • $5 is difficult to part with for a personal failure – no matter how much money you have…
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But the best reflection of all…

Continue reading “#70kChallenge Update & Invite”

New Year, New Challenge…70k Steps a Week. Join Us!!

Happy 2019!!  Today is the day that many people will hold themselves accountable for past resolutions gone wrong or future resolutions to begin anew.  According to THIS post by INC., the top 10 New Years resolutions people commit to are as follows:

1. Diet or eat healthier
2. Exercise more
3. Lose weight
4. Save more and spend less
5. Learn a new skill or hobby
6. Quit smoking
7. Read more
8. Find another job
9. Drink less alcohol
10. Spend more time with family and friends

Like most people, I start every new year with grand illusions that I will live a healthier life in the 365 days to come.  One year I started with my apple a day challenge.  The daily part lasted a few months until I skipped a few days and never got back on track again.  Even though I didn’t make it the whole year, I continue to eat apples more regularly than I did before.  That’s something, right?  Last year I decided to hit the gym more often – I didn’t set a daily or weekly goal which most likely added to the lack of accountability factor that made me never once hit the gym (minus the few times I used Planet Fitness for showers during my road trip) until October…a full 10 months after committing to more gym time.
Continue reading “New Year, New Challenge…70k Steps a Week. Join Us!!”

Oh, The Places You’ll Go…

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Seaside, FL

So far, I have been on the road a little over one week.  In 9 days I’ve driven 2599 miles and spent $290.69 on 115.42 gallons of gas…it’s been worth every cent.

I didn’t have any expectations for this journey, but I did have a variety of reasons for setting out on it:

  1. I wanted to escape the brutal chill of January in Chicago.
  2. I wanted needed to untangle some of the thoughts in my head.
  3. I wanted to shake the dust off my physical being.
  4. And financially, I could.

The road has taken me from Springfield IL to Nashville TN, Atlanta GA, Destin FL, Mobile AL, Lake Charles LA, Amarillo TX, and finally to Longmont via Denver.  I have visited with family, friends, and even dropped in on a ChooseFI meetup in Atlanta!  If you aren’t following along on Instagram (hint hint), here are a few pics from the road… Continue reading “Oh, The Places You’ll Go…”

2017 – That’s a Wrap!

I was listening to a Mad Fientist episode the other day and was thrilled to hear the guest, Chris Hutchins, speaking about a habit I too have formed for myself over the years.  He was saying that each month he does one thing significant so he can look back on his life and know that he made the best of it.  He can pinpoint exactly what he was doing at the time – whether it be learning a new task, breaking a bad habit, or volunteering on a project.  I too have adopted this idea throughout the years, I just never wrote it down…until last year.

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2018 – A Fresh Start! (FYI  this picture was taken at 10am…NO SUN!!!)

At the start of 2017 I took a normal size calendar ($1 at Dollar Tree), cut all the months apart, and pinned them to our bedroom wall (very romantic – in hindsight the kitchen would have been better) – 3 across, 4 down.  In a few minutes, I had a giant wall size calendar to keep track of our crazy lives.  My work trips, my boyfriends (John) work trips, Dr appointments for us and the boys, birthdays, anniversaries, sleepover’s (for the kids, not us), vacations, dog walkers – everything went on the calendar.  Important things were highlighted and slowly, one by one, the days were crossed off.  This method made it super easy to see everything at a glance and make sure I was accomplishing all of the things that I had set out to do.

I won’t bore you with the details, but a few of my highlights from 2017 are as follows:

  • Multiple meetups hosted by yours truly via the Rockstar Finance Forum – heck, I even crashed one in MSP!
  • Travels abroad to Cuba, Budapest, and Prague
  • The almost purchase of a caboose (more on that soon)
  • Community-based events like Camp Mustache, Lola Retreat, and FinCon
  • More charitable donations than ever before including Houston Food Bank, Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House and PAWS (you know I can’t forget the pups!).
  • A last-minute opportunity to attend Tony Robbins’ seminar Unleash the Power Within (UPW)… (also, more on that soon!)
  • And taking my mom on a day trip to NY to do a crown tour of the Statue of Liberty

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I also had the opportunity to meet several friends during overnights from work.  Anyone care to guess who is responsible for this madness?? Continue reading “2017 – That’s a Wrap!”

Spreading the FIRE

As a flight attendant, there are no two things more important than your base and your seniority.  The base becomes your home and your seniority gives you access to the best trips and vacation weeks possible.  For a few years now, my seniority in Chicago has been stagnant due to the droves of flight attendants jumping ship from MDW (Chicago Midway Airport) in favor of the DEN base.  To add insult to injury, DEN has been voted Best Base 4 years running (dethroning MDW from our own winner’s streak) and has quickly become the more junior base.  What does that mean for me?  My decent seniority in MDW would be muuuuch better if I too took the DEN bait.  Hmmmm…  In early July, I decided to jump a flight to Denver to see what all the hullabaloo was about.  Maybe I too would jump ship.

Let me start by saying, I love the mountains and all the fresh water lakes that they create.  I also love the outdoorsy life and all it has to offer including the fresh air, camping, hiking, kayaking, swimming.  With the exception of skiing (grace is not a word best used to describe me), I love it all!  The closest I ever got to that type of lifestyle was when I worked in the ski shop at a resort in Ashland, OR.  Being surrounded by the mountains and their constant unrelenting beauty, made me feel alive.  In that regard, Denver didn’t disappoint…

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Breathtaking, right?!

After a few days I decided that as much as I loved Denver and all it has to offer (and despite the urging of my DEN friends), I have no plans to move at this juncture. 🙂  Instead, I made a mental tally of the things I liked (Happy Hour, dog friendliness, mountains, outdoorsy peeps) and didn’t like (altitude sickness, cost of living, car dependency) in the event I decide to revisit the DEN base idea in the future.  But don’t worry, folks, this trip was not for nothing.   I’m happy to report I did accomplish something while I was away…

Anita

While visiting, I had the pleasure of staying with my dear friend, Anita.  I spoke about Anita in my last post, how we met through a volunteer trip in Thailand, but I failed to mention we are the SAME EXACT person…minus the fact I am 10 years her senior.  Up until now, our lives have followed similar paths including adventures in real estate, travel, and flight attending. While both of us have no children, we are both dating men in their mid 40’s with teenagers (I happen to live with mine, she doesn’t).  We are both entrepreneurs in various outlets and love to create new streams of income.  We don’t eat meat, though she is vegan and I a pescatarian.  We both relate to our spiritual sides more than religious.  She has solo traveled all over the world, as have I.  She cranes her head out the window to yell at people riding in horse-drawn carriages on a sweltering city street (witnessed by my own eyes in Golden, CO) and I yell at people who leave their dogs unattended in hot cars.  We both love animals, after all.  😉

 

Oh, and we are both complete dorks.  But that’s beside the point.

During my stay, I was able to catch a small glimpse of Anita’s life in Denver and, even more fascinating to me, her overall spending habits.  This is where I discovered one glaring difference between us.  She is a spender, ya’ll. Continue reading “Spreading the FIRE”