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Friday, February 25, 2011

Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thrusday... Days 52, 53, 54, & 55

Well I had planned to write a longer more insightful post this week before I left for Peru, but the opportunity to go to Linkin Park was presented to me by a good friend of mine and with it the prospect of spending the afternoon in Los Angeles doing some of my 1000... so I took it.  And as a result you are getting the post you are reading now... the one that is being written at 330am 15 minutes before i have to leave for the airport to catch a plane for Peru.

I am sleepy, but a good sleepy... that sleepy you feel when you are tired, but you are tired because you have done so much and packed so much in that you are happy to be sleepy.  I feel like I really rebounded this week after the tough week I shared with you all.  Work was extremely productive, 1000 Challenges were experienced, and, most importantly a lot of fun was had.

I noticed when posting pictures to facebook earlier I do not get as excited taking pictures or posting them of man made stuff as I do the natural wonders.  I must have took 100+ pictures in the snow in the few hours I was there on Sunday.  On Wednesday I had equal amount of time in LA and I took a dozen. 

I am excited for Peru for the nature aspect of it... being out on the Inca Trail hiking where people have been walking for 100's of years and being able to take in all the beauty from up high the Andes Mountains.  I feel so fortunate to be able to go and am excited to share my experiences with you all when I return. 

Someone emailed me the other day and said how they wished they could travel, I'll share with you what I shared with them.  If you want to travel, you have to make it your priority, just like anything else.  I, personally do not have gobs of money available, but what I do have is the desire to see and experience the world.  So, I have learned to save for travel.  Depending on where I want to go and when, I figure out how much it is going to cost me and start to save for it.  Putting away $20, cash, in a fund that is for travel only, for the cost of a meal out, after a few months I have saved enough money to pay for a cheap trip.  And I use the word "cheap" because I have found that if you are willing to take the time and research deals, you can often find plane tickets, places to stay etc... for at a minimum of %50 off of what the first price you see is.

I have to run to the airport right now.  It will be over a week before I will be able to write on here.  I am not going to lie, I miss it.  Slowing down to share my thoughts, my feelings, my ideas with you all is very cathartic for me.  My life is at a super charged pace right now and taking this time gets me to not only slow down, but also to reflect on all that I experienced the previous week.  It is the reflection I enjoy the most.  It is so import to spend some time reflecting on the days we have lived.  If we don't, how are we able to fully appreciate the days to come?

While I am gone, please continue to pass on the 1000 Challenge to your friends, family, co-workers etc...  I am amazed and humbled by how many people are following me here, on facebook, on twitter.  Post a link on facebook, tweet about it, you all are the ones that can help me get to 50,000.  I was amazed on the support yesterday for CarpeDiem day.  My favorite expression, to see it sent out around the world through cyber space over and over again all day... simply amazing.  Something I will reflect more fully on on my plane ride today.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday... Days 48, 49, 50 & 51

Balancing life with the 1000 is like a five star buffet... you get lots of amazing little treats, but no matter how much you eat you always seem hungry for more. The only problem with stuffing yourself to full of five star goodness is the after effect... the stomach ache, the feeling of not wanting to do anything, the “oohhh I ate to much feeling.”

I feel like the majority of the 1000 Challenge has been five star buffet dining, however this week I was definitely fighting the feeling of “oohhhh I ate to much.”  

Spending most of the week stuffed up, sore throat, runny nose and hive breakouts that stopped short of resembling the plague; left my extra energy and time I set aside for the 1000 vastly depleted.  The preceding combined with my normally long work days - I am not going to lie I found myself really struggling this week.

The 1000 Challenge has been nothing short of an amazing experience.  I look at pictures and marvel at reviewing my life and the variety it has had the last two months.  Having said that all that enjoyment has come at some sacrifice.  My long days have become longer with me trying to create additional minutes here and there to do the extra stuff that brings the 1000 to life.  My social life unless it revolves around the 1000 has become less diversified.  I have hurt feelings and let people down sacrificing my available time for others and put that into the 1000.  I did not realize the extent of this until today when a friend put me in my place.

Setting aside her time with her friends she volunteered to be my tour guide for the day.  She spent a great deal of time looking into locations, people etc... so we could pack the most experience into our day as possible.  The lengths she went to on my behalf I can't imagine, she was excited to be my tour guide, to be a supportive friend, to share in the experience of the 1000 Challenge, and more than anything, just to hang out.  I let her down.

Getting up at 430 this am after a late Saturday night, I thought I had enough time to work, watch the sunrise and explore the snow if any had fallen the night before in the mountains of Santa Barbara.  What I didn't anticipate was how many other people would want to see the snow and the challenges it would cause to get down from the mountains.  Needless to say when I finally made it back down around 215, well after the 11am meet up time we had planned, most of the day light had been used up and with it so had much of what my friend had planed for the day's adventures.  When I called to apologize she explained to me the efforts she had gone to to make the day special, efforts, thoughts, feelings, energy, all of which I did not take into consideration because I was so focused on my life, my challenge, my, me, my, me...

Letting my friend down was the proverbial icing on the cake of my most challenging week of the 1000 to date.  A week that began with a successful Valentine's dinner that left me feeling happy and energized, and is now ending with me writing this blog, feeling tired, disappointed in myself, and for the first time unsure of myself during the 1000 Challenge.  

Before you think I am a total Debbie Downer here, let me digress for a moment and say that I did have a lot of really great times and experiences this week.  The hiking on Saturday was epic and the snow in SB today is something I will never forget.  Having said that in the midst of all the good there was also some struggle.

One of the goals in doing the 1000 Challenge is my hope that people who follow it will see me doing little things, big things, weird things, funny things, and they will become inspired to do the same in their lives.  That people will see we can all smile, laugh, and make our lives just a little bit better every single day if only we just try to.  And as important as that is to me, it is also very important to acknowledge the other side of life... the struggles, the challenges, the difficulties etc...

I love sunshine and rainbows, but I am a realist and I know life is not always going to be that way.  Skies do turn gray, storms do blow through all our lives; some storms just pass through the night, barely leaving a trace, while others blow through with such force that when they are gone we are left staring at the shambles of life how we once knew it.

This week was a stormy week for me.  Tuesday I wanted to stay in bed.  Wednesday I wanted to cancel all my appointments and hide from the world.  Thursday I was pissed off for still feeling the same as I had on the previous two days.  Friday I felt a lot better, but was so covered in and uncomfortable from hives that I again wanted to lock myself in a room full of back scratchers and just itch and scratch myself for the rest of the day.  Saturday I felt better, had an amazing time hiking and then took the rest of the day to be with friends, it was good and it was needed.  However, it came at a sacrifice and brought me to today: feeling a mix of excited, behind, overwhelmed, and frustrated. 

And so while as much as I want to jump on here every time and write to you all about the sunshine and rainbows of life, it is also important for me to share the stormy side of it to.  I screw up and struggle just as much as the next person, what's important for me is that in the midst of that struggle, that I keep trying.  As "off" as I felt this week, the highlights of it were definitely those in which I was out doing the 1000 Challenge... the little moments in which I was actively going out and seeking out ways to make my life fuller, richer, and happier.  It was those moments, the moments of me trying and fighting against the struggle that stand out above all else this week.

Shit is going to happen.  We can't change that.  What we can change is what we do when it does happen.  We all are going to have times in our life when we struggle and face seemingly insurmountable challenges.  The struggle, the challenge is really unimportant, what is important is what we choose to do when faced with these challenges.  Do we give in and accept that the struggle is now our life and therefore we are the struggle?  Or do we try?  Do we go out and no matter what the odds, no matter how hard life seems, do we go out and attempt to do something, anything to improve our situation in that moment.  If love can move mountains, if a smile can turn a frown upside down, imagine what power all of us have to make our lives better if we only would choose to wield it.  Just imagine...

That's what I am going to do.  After I send this I am going to close my computer and spend my remaining waking moments of the night imagining the power I have inside of me to make my life better... to make it the life I want.  I can't change the hurt I caused by letting friends down, I can't go back and and make myself feel better this past week.  All I can is learn from the experiences, hopefully better myself, and do better to DO better the next time.  Do your best to be your best.  I was not at my best this week, I am glad I got the reminder.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday, Tuesday Wednesday... Days 45 46 & 47 Valentines Day

Monday, February 14th: Valentines Day.

Solo Dinner out in a public well lit, crowded restaurant.

The Rules:
  • Reservations had to be made (7:30 pm)
  • I had to be there at least 45 minutes
  • Restaurant had to be a big, crowded, well lit, open space so I could not hide in the shadows
  • I had to dress up for the event
  • I had to do a full dinner: drinks, food, desert 
  • I could not invite friends to come and meet me at any time
Valentines Day is one of the most interesting days: if your a couple and in love you are supposed to have today be the day where you celebrate that love.  If your a couple and your not really in love, it is the day you are supposed to do the obligatory meal out together. And if you are single it is the day you are supposed to either hide from the world and mope about being single; or it is the day you are supposed to rally your single friends up for a night on the town looking for other lonely singles to mingle with.  If said friends do not want to go on the prowl this year... ice cream, beer/wine, and a movie are standard 2nd options.

I have had my own shares of Valentine's Day triumphs and mis-steps.  In college I bought bouquets of flowers for several of my close, single female friends.  They had been complaining about being single so I thought I would do something nice for them.  When you go to buy flowers on V-Day, make sure they are roses.  I apparently bought carnations or something, and boy did I get a lecture about the difference between the two flowers - lesson learned.  On one V-Day I sent flowers to my girl friend at the times place of work.  I scored bonus point as mine were the first flowers to arrive on scene that day.  She loved me, all the guys hated me because I made them look bad - lesson learned.  Going out on a couple V-Day's as a single with other single friends, I quickly realized that there were not a lot of happy singles out celebrating singledom, but rather the bars were littered with people drowning their sorrows and people who kept buying the drinks, trying to get the drowners drunker.  Lesson learned.

Several years ago I was terrified to go anywhere social solo.  No going out to eat, no movies, no bars, none of it.  Unless I had wing people I was avoiding it.  It took me time to get comfortable in doing those things alone.  The first few meals out by myself I would have to take a book because I felt everyone was staring at me thinking "what a loser that guy must be... he doesn't have anyone to eat with."  I remember the first movie I went to buy myself I felt like I had to sneak in because everyone would be looking at me thinking I was some kind of weird creepy person going to the movies alone.

Needless to say with time and repetition, I have now gotten myself to a place where I have no problem going out to eat solo or movies.  And often times I prefer the quiet of my own thoughts it can be pretty liberating and I often do some of my best thinking during these times.

Valentines Day however, that is a whole other story.  I still feared it, feared being in public, feared being seen as "that guy" who doesn't have anyone.  Since a big component of the 1000 Challenge is to face my fears and do that which makes me uncomfortable... it was time to take my self out for a night on the town on the big V-Day.

Within three minutes of sitting down my waitress asked me if I was waiting for someone else, "Nope just dinner for one tonight," I replied.  "Oh..." was her response.  I panicked, "no no no it's not like that, it's by choice I am trying to do a 1000 things this year I have never done before and blah blah blah blah."  My attempt to explain my situation turned into a panicked sales pitch to justify my being there.  Calm down Jesse, Calm down - quick I need a beer.  Ahhhhh much better, the edge is off, the nerves are settled, on with the night.

About mid way through my dinner one of the managers came over and asked if she could eat with me.  "So, what's your story?"  "Everyone here is talking about you... we reached a unanimous decision that you must have been stood up."

"Sorry to disappoint, but I am actually here by choice, you see...." while I was explaining the 1000 Challenge to her another one of the managers came over the three of us laughed at the situation I had created.  In the midst of Valentines Day, I had become quite the subject of conversation.  Fictitious stories of me being stood up and the reasons WHY I must have been swirled through the air and were circulating through the restaurant faster than Charlie Sheen's latest stint in rehab.  It was something else and I could not stop laughing about it.

Finally I left after almost two hours at dinner.  I left feeling happy, empowered, and much wiser than when I first walked in. I left feeling liberated, like a weight had been lifted  off my shoulders.  I no longer had to feel sad, or depressed, or angry or anything because I was solo on Valentine's Day.  I left feeling like I could just feel happy and love myself.  That I could go out and let the "voices" and "conversations", about me go on,  and in the end not really care what everyone else thought.  It was kind of sad in a way, mid way through my conversation with the two manager ladies I stopped and pointed out how quiet it was in the restaurant.  "Do you notice, that we are the loudest table right now?  And we are definitely laughing more than anyone else.  Look around, these are all supposedly couples in love out celebrating their love and listen to how quiet it is in here."

In fact, in that moment I felt like I was one of the more "In Love" people in the restaurant.  I was out by myself on couple days and having a great time.  Lesson learned.

So what did I gain from my big date, confirmation of some and learning of new life insights which I will share with you all now:

  • Self love is imperative...the more you love yourself the more love you will have to give to another
  • If you really love yourself you are never alone because you always have YOU.
  • If I can't enjoy my own company, how can I expect anyone else to?  
  • People love to gossip, and my appearence of being "stood up" gave them something to talk about.  What is gossip really?  Gossip is just a way for people to avoid dealing with their own issues, by talking about others.  Which leads me to...
  • Don't let what you think other people are thinking hold you back or intimidate you 
  • The only limitations we have on our happiness are those which are self imposed. For the last several Valentine's Day's I was sad.  Lets say I continued that pattern for the rest of my life... say another 73 years.  Now, by making the choice to be happy on V-Day I get 73 more days of happiness in my life that's over two additional months!! 
  • You have choices, we get to choose to smile or frown, laugh or sulk... sure there are circumstances in life where Sh** happens and we can't have sunshine and rainbows all the time, but for the majority of it... the choice is ours.
  • Enjoy the pics,
  • Carpe Diem
  • Jesse

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sunday... Days 41, 42, 43, & 44

Wow, what a weekend!

  • Three States Traveled (California to Arizona to Nevada and back to California).
  • 1300 Miles traveled by car; probably another 20 by foot
  • About 8 hours of sleep until I got home last night and put myself in bed by 730pm because my eyes would not work to stay open any longer :)
  • Deserts, Casinos, National Monuments, Big Horned Sheep, Mountains, and an Ocean - We saw them all
  • Roller Coaster's ridden, race's run, new friends made, greater bonds formed in existing friendships
  • 1000's of pictures taken
  • 100's of memories made
What a weekend indeed...

One of the things I was most looking forward to on the 1000 Challenge was organizing a traveling running group.  This weekend marked the inaugural run of "The Supers (this is the tentatively working group title)."  And what a weekend it was.

Leaving Santa Barbara at about 10pm on Thursday night our group of eight "runners," (I use quotation marks here to emphasize the word runners as we really aren't "runners" we just enjoy the experience of it), ages 21 - 70, set off for Sedona Arizona - approximately 600 miles by car

The experience was nothing short of amazing.  The road trip there was a blast; lots of laughs, lots of jokes about who was more tired, lots of junk food snacks!  Sedona, is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  The desert is home to some of the most famous rock formations in the world.  They have have these amazing redish color's to them.  If you ever get a chance to visit there, please do yourself a favor and do it - it is magical.

After driving through the night on Thursday, Friday was a free day.  I am two others spent the day exploring and experiencing some of the things on my list.  A few took a long, well deserved nap, and the others went and did some shopping and hiking.  We all met back up for a great time at dinner.  Back at the hotel, we sat around and made super hero capes, personalizing them so they all fit the cape bearer's personality.  Written on the back of mine, I put, you guessed it "Carpe Diem... 1 Year 1000 Challenge."

The race was highlighted by Justin finishing his first ever half marathon (13.1 miles).  Justin, has lost over 120 pounds in the last year and a half.  Appropriately he had written on the back of his cape, "120 pounds later... here I am."  He finished the race in under three hours and with a smile on his face - one of the greatest moments of my life was watching him cross that finish line.  When I met Justin, he could not run more than 20 seconds without having to stop, now 13.1 miles, in the desert, at elevation, in the cold air - simply amazing.

Post race we piled into the car and set out for Las Vegas and a night of celebration for all that we had just accomplished.  The drive there through the desert was beautiful.  The scenery presented some amazing contrasts: there would be snow covered hills on one side, filled with greenery, but on the other side would be just barren save for a few cactus and rocks.  A stop at Hoover Dam was very special to me as it was one of the underlying reasons why I wanted to make this whole trip happen.  My Dad had always spoken about his love for that place.  He was mesmerized by it and the desert surrounding it.  He talked about it often and every time he went to Las Vegas, he always would make a trip out to see the Dam.  With this trip falling so closely to the one year anniversary of his death, it was extra special for me to be able to experience the Hoover Dam in person.

Next stop was Las Vegas.  We had a group dinner at the "Top of the World" restaurant in the Stratosphere (on the list), it is world famous for how high up it is, and as you dine, the restaurant actually rotates around so you are treated to ever changing panoramic views of the Las Vegas skyline. 

After dinner, Rollar Coasters were ridden, "black jack's" were had, money was lost, drinks were drunk, and myself, in the midst of probably the worst allergy attack of my life, went through about two boxes of Kleenex and saw the inside of just about every bathroom in every casino that we went to trying to get the swelling down in my eyes.  It made for quite the sight, you might even say an eye sore (hahaha pun intended), we all had a few good laughs at my expense. 

Sunday started the day with a walk from one end of the strip to the other, pausing in the middle for a tasty brunch.  I randomly ran into a friend who lives in London and was in Vegas on business.  Him and I have only met once.  What a "it's a small world encounter" (on list). After that everyone piled back in the car for the 350 mile car ride home.

I insisted on one more stop, Buffalo Bill's casino at the California/Nevada state line to ride the "Desperado" roller coaster which, in 1996 Guinnes Book of World Records recognized it as the fastest and longest roller coaster of its kind.  I have driven by here on many trips before to Vegas, but never stopped because I have always been terrified of roller coasters.  It was not until last year I finally decided to face that fear.  Don't get me wrong, I am still a nervous wreck when I get on them, but at least now I CAN get on them.  What a ride that was... check out the video at the end of blog.

Making it back to Santa Barbara at 730pm on Sunday night, I was wiped out and put myself to bed - falling asleep thinking about what a great weekend and all the great experiences I had just had.  We did, saw, experienced so much in such a short amount of time it just goes to show you on what can be done when you set your mind to something.

The theme of being a tourist in your own town keeps coming up for me throughout this Challenge.  I have been to all the places I described above, save for the Hoover Dam, but I have never slowed down to really experience them.  Las Vegas has always been a place to go, drink myself into a stupor and party.  Sedona was a place my Grandparents drove me through when I was 16 and I was annoyed at having to stop and look at "some rocks (my attitude at the time)" on an already long car ride back to their house in Prescot Arizona.  I was excited I was lucky enough to get to experience Sedona's beauty without my crappy teenager attitude.

Slow down, be a tourist in your own town.  Take some one to place you have been, but they haven't and experience it with them.  Stop and appreciate the beauty in the world around you.  If you do not live in or have the opportunity to travel to a beautiful place like Sedona right now, slow down and seek out the beauty nearby.  Start by looking for flowers, a few blades of grass, a bird perched on telephone wires - whatever it may be, seek it out, enjoy it and experience it.  Remember that all our lives, your life, is what you make of it - do your best to make the most of it.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mon, Tues, Wednesday... Days 38, 39 & 40

Tonight after I finish with clients, I am taking a group of friends/clients to Sedona Arizona to participate in the festivities surrounding the Sedona Marathon.  With ages ranging from 21 - 70 and athletic abilities ranging from pretty good to "ehhhh," we are going to be the most eclectic looking group the race has ever seen.  And to top it all off, we will be wearing capes and potentially super hero paint to keep our identities a secret.  Of the eight of us: two will be running the 5k race, four the 10k race, and two the half marathon.

I am especially looking forward to the half marathon.  One of my clients/friends is running his first ever half marathon.  Running 13.1 miles is significant by itself, but what makes it even more amazing is in the last year and a half he has lost over 120 pounds.  When I first met him in September of 2009 he could NOT run one quarter of a lap around a college track.  That is equal to about 2/3's of one city block.  Not very far at all.  He has worked so hard last year and a half to get him self to this point where he can run the race.  It is going to be a very special experience for him and I am really excited to be there to witness it.

I am excited for the whole up and coming weekend.  I am excited for the challenges, the experiences, I am excited for the bonding time I get to have with my friends... we are driving through the night, approximately 600 miles to get to where we will run the race.  Friday will be a day of exploration... I am planning on going to the famous "Snoopy Rock,' visiting at least one energy vortex, and many other touristy things before resting for the race Saturday.

After the race we are going to drive another 4 hours to Las Vegas for a night of celebration for everyone's hard work.  The best part through all of this is we will still be wearing our super hero capes from the race.  Great fun indeed.

It is so great having events, moments like these to look forward to.  They are what keep me going, what keep me excited about life.  I'll be the first to admit, I get tired, I get frustrated, I get down on myself.  I have had a blast the first 40 days of the 1000 Challenge, but there have also been times during it where I feel worn out and question myself for taking it on.  It requires a lot of extra time on my part and for me to stay as committed and as excited about it as I want to be, I need to have events like this coming weekend to look forward to - we all do.

It just changes the game.  As of this writing I have completed 110 unique experiences for the 1000 Challenge.  The ones that have been the most memorable have been the ones I have gotten to share with my close friends.

Many of you have written to me sharing with me stories of how you are creating your own lists to take on now.  I think it is awesome that you are making the choice to do so.  The best piece of advice I can give you to make sure you stay focused and excited to tackle your list is to make sure you have some communal challenges in there as well.  Some challenges that you and your friends can experience together.  It does not matter what it is or how big or how small, what matters is you just do them.  I promise you that the experience will be enhanced, the memories will last a lifetime, and you will be left invigorated to check off the next item on your list.

On that note, I want to share a few pictures of some of my most recent experiences with all of you, my friends from around the world.  But, before I do that, I wanted to remind you all to check out the article that Kelly Kuebler, from Siena Heights University in Michigan did on the 1000 Challenge Click Here to check out the article.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, Sunday... days 36 and 37

I loved the contrasts this weekend provided me.  At the essence of this Challenge is my hope to better understand myself and the human race as a whole.  This weekend provided me with just the platform to do that.

All day Saturday was spent Scuba diving at Anacapa Island, one of the islands that is part of the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara.  Sunday was spent running around parts of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu.  Saturday was filled with sea lions, dolphins, lobsters and thousands of fish; Sunday was filled with art, museums, and thousands of people.

I got certified as a scuba diver in November of 2009.  I had no idea I would love it as much as I now do.  It was something I had always thought about doing, but a long standing fear of the ocean brought on by... you guessed it, watching the movie Jaws when I was young kept me from ever going under water.  Trust me there are times under water where I swear I can hear that famous duh dum DUH DUM music playing.  However, eventually my desire to explore the world including the over 75% of it that is under water outweighed my fear of Jaws so I got certified.

I love it!  It is so relaxing, so peaceful, and so beautiful.  The pictures I took do not even begin to do the world below us justice.  We did four dives on Saturday.  By the end of the third dive I was freezing.  The one down side to diving here in the winter is the water is about 55-57 degrees.  I made sure everyone knew two things: One, I was going to do the fourth dive, but would only go for about 20 minutes because I was soooooo cold, and most importantly, Two, No the mustache was not helping to keep me warm under water.  As a side note, the mustache was definitely the highlight of the boat, everyone took turns making fun of it, by the end of the trip I was checking in as "Dirk Diggler porn star."  It provided so many extra laughs which made the whole experience of wearing this ugly thing worth while.  Well I did the 4th dive and ended up staying in the water until I had to come up because I was running low on air.  Well beyond my stated 20 minutes.  I was just having way to much fun.

Sunday on the other hand was much different.  I set out for Los Angeles intending to go to The Museum of Tolerance.  The Getty Museum was on the way and right off the freeway so I made a quick stop.  It was 75 degrees outside, and a beautiful day.  I wanted to back out of the museum and run to the beach, but kept reminding myself that part of this Challenge is supposed to be about exploring new things that I would have never done otherwise.  So, i ventured into the art museum. 

The Getty, structurally is beautiful to look at, and the works of art are impressive, but, as I soon learned staring at art, indoors, especially when it is freakin beautiful outside is not my cup of tea.  I got scolded for taking pictures in one room (my mistake I'll admit there was a sign I did not see).  I felt like if I talked to loud one of the paintings would break.  I struggled to "get into it."  I was, however, very impressed by how old the paintings were and that they could survive hundreds of years in the pristine condition they were in.  I was also extremely impressed with just the raw talent on display by the artists who lived 100's of years ago.  Having said that, I am not going to lie, I had the "Beach Boys" "Surfing the USA" song playing on repeat in my head.  I needed to get outside - asap!

The Museum of Tolerance was vetoed, I will still visit there, but on a future date.

I learned a lot this weekend.  I learned just how much I love being outdoors and interacting with nature vs being inside looking at human made art.  And as I said earlier, that is the essence of this challenge - self discovery.  I am going to do 1000 things.  I consider myself to be an open minded, up beat, positive person, but that does not mean I have to like/enjoy everything I do.  I did enjoy the experience of going to the Getty, I do not know if I will ever go back.  I have driven by it 100's of times and always said I would love to see it, well now I have.  I realized how important it is to spend MORE time doing MORE of the stuff we love and spend less time doing the stuff we don't.  Each of my dives were a total of 30-40 minutes long and they built a foundation for a full day of laughter and smiles.  I'll take an extra serving of that please! :)

I love the experience of exploring, I love learning more about myself as I feel the more open I am to experience and the more I learn about the things that excitement me and make me laugh and smile, the more I will prioritize those things in my life.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wed, Thurs, Friday... Day's 33, 34, and 35

I have noticed my outlook on the weekends has begun to change.  I used to always look at weekends as recovery days; the days where I worked less and recouped my energies for the next week ahead.  Now, I approach the weekends with this desire to milk every minute out of them that I did not have before.

Several years ago when I was just starting my career I worked for 24 Hour Fitness, one of the largest, if not THE largest, health club chain in the United States, maybe even the world by this point.  I worked there for two and half years as a personal trainer and as a manager of the fitness department.  I worked long days too.  In a typical week I would meet with over 50 clients, each appointment being one hour along.  In addition, I had floor hours, orientation hours, meetings, conference calls etc... as much as I loved training I was burnt out.  I didn't like working for someone else as I always felt like what my vision of making the world a better place and 24 Hour Fitness's were much different.

When I would get my one day off, I would not want to move.  I was so anal about having to get up do my laundry, go to the store, minimize movement and try to recover for the next draining week ahead. I would stress out if I was not in bed by a certain time so I could get at least 8 hours of sleep as I felt I needed to have that to be able to survive the next day's work. My girlfriend at the time wanted to travel and I never would because I was scared that if I ever took a day off I would fall behind.  My life was horribly out of balance.

Now, I still work a lot (hahaha), but my balance in life is different; not perfect by any means, but definitely better.  Hence the new outlook towards the weekends.  I realized that if I was to really hit 1000 I had to maximize the weekends.  And I also realized that if I really wanted to make the most of this year, well I work and average of five hours a day less on Saturday and Sunday than I do any other day of the week.  That is 10 hours a week more I have to see,experience, live life.  Keep doing the math and you are looking at 40+ hours a month or 520 hours a year.  Just those 10 hours a weekend, when measured over the year equal out to over THREE WEEKS of extra life that I can live - WOW.

It makes it hard to sleep in when I am excited to get up and live and experience. 

It is about 5am here in California on a Saturday as I finish writing this - I can't help but have a huge smile on my face for some of the activities I have planned for the Challenge this weekend.  How can I stay asleep any longer when I know I have so much to look forward to?!

Planning ahead helps to light the fires of excitement in life.  The more we have to look forward to the more passion we live with.  Looking ahead in life can help motivate and inspire in the present when things may seem stagnant or hopeless.  The list has been, and will no doubtingly continue to be, stressful at times.  It is a lot to manage.  However, every time I look over it stressed out, trying to figure what I am going to do when, I help but smile and get excited when looking ahead of all that is to come.

I have to run, I do not want to miss the boat to Anacapa Island - going there is on the list.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sun, Mon, and Tuesday... Day's 30, 31, and 32

I Did IT!!  I made it through the first month and, more importantly, I did/saw/experienced/tried 82 things that I had never done/seen/experienced/tried before. WOW!!!  Not only that I have made 100's of new friends from all around the world and strengthened the bonds with many of my already close friends.

So, have you ever wondered what can be done in a month: hikes, museums, new food, celebrations, site seeing, meeting new people, laughs, giggles, tears, there is a gambit of human experience out there just waiting for all of us.

I spent $254.56 (excluding costs of leather jacket which I will discuss below) on 81 experiences that averages out to $3.14 per experience.  If you look over the list, the majority of that money is spent on food and two alcohol related costs.  Why I am telling you all of this??  Because, if you really want to change things up in your life, if you really want to get out and try new things, it is NOT going to cost you a fortune.  For as little as $3.14, the cost of some gallons of milk, you can change the ebbs and flows of your every day life. 

I reviewed all the pictures I took before writing this post, and I have to tell you, I could not stop smiling.  I really am in shock that I did all of that in just one month!!  Which leads me to the leather jacket.

If you have reviewed any of the list, or any of what has been accomplished you will notice that there are very few material things on there.  I want the list to be about experience, not the acquisition of "things."  Having said that, there is a time and a place for "things" in everyone's life. 

As a practice I save $10 a week and set it aside in a "reward" account.  This account is basically for me to use when I really want to treat myself, when I want to celebrate something.  Celebration is such an important practice.  So often we achieve great things and never stop to bask in the moment; instead we quickly shuffle on to the next letting the moment fade to a distant memory.  I used to be guilty of this and it is something I am continually working on improving.

I have always wanted a leather jacket.  Ever since I was a little kid, I do not know why, there is just something really "cool" in their appearance.  As an adult, when I go out I always see people wearing them and admire how cool they look.  I promised myself I would get myself one, one day as a present, but only when I deserved it.

You see for me deserving means two things: one I have to have saved enough money to be able to afford it (hence setting aside money in the reward account), and two I have to have achieved something really significant that was cause for me to celebrate.  And when I look back over the last month, I feel like it is worth celebrating.  I did a lot of amazing things, met a lot of amazing people, and created some amazing memories that will last a lifetime. 

Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories, made comments, followed me on here, on Facebook, on Twitter, your on going support, words of encouragement, and sharing of your personal journey's mean more to me than I can ever describe in words.  I begin February excited to tackle what lies ahead on the next chapter of the 1000 Challenge.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,