Archive | March 2011

Forecast: Foggy

I’ve had a pretty foggy week… Woke up Wednesday feeling sick and rather awful, so I called and had some others cover my shift at work. I also missed choir practice to avoid getting other people sick. Then Thursday, I felt well enough to go on the pre-planned IKEA trip, but still not fantastic. I still enjoyed myself, despite not feeling 100%. Bought a duvet cover, throw pillows, and rug for the guest room, and five dining room chairs. (Still need to sell the old ones on craigslist.)

On Friday, I struggled internally for a considerable period of time before dragging myself out of bed to go see my friend David’s paper presentation at 8:30am. I really wanted to be there for him, but felt awful, but my desire to see his talk won in the end. I had lunch with my BigS at a favorite local place, which was great, but I still owe her a hug when I am not at risk of infecting her. I spent just a few hours at work after lunch to cover Marilee on her break. Then I headed back home to hunker down in my sick misery. That last statement was a little dramatic, but it is certainly true that I haven’t left the house in the past 24 hours.

I’ve been sleeping mostly, eating a little bit, and cleaning when I have the energy. Oh, and I’m making good progress on Gilmore Girls Season 5. It’s good background TV because I’ve seen it so very many times. I’m feeling much better now, though, and I think I’m going to continue with my evening plans … dinner and a dance show! I’ve been looking forward to it all week!

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Shortest Blog Ever?

I don’t have much to say, but I feel the urge to record the fact that even in the sea of overwhelming support from everyone around me, I sometimes stumble and fall. I’ve begun to feel the weight of the adult responsibilities that I have inherited, and it’s not the easiest of burdens to bear. I feel like most people are able to ease into adulthood slowly, while I am diving in without a lifejacket.

Today, I did everything I was supposed to do, showed up at the right places, but I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I’m hoping tomorrow will be better, but I think I may need to start cutting back on my fluffy commitments and focus more on slowly getting things accomplished. As my attorney said today, we’re making progress, just slowly.

I think I've Stumbled on to something BIG

2011 has been the year of change for me. Going even further back, I have done so many things since graduation in May that I never, ever thought I would do. But these past few months in particular have been all about changes in my habits.

Early in January, I made the commitment with my friend Lydia to train for a 5k. This simple promise has translated into a very real change in my attitude about exercise. It’s embarrassing how little I cared about my health this time last year. I was totally engrossed in the academic and social lifestyle of college, and it took something pretty major for me to rethink my priorities. The PT program in NCCC was my first wake-up call. But like any good 20-something, I am an expert at the snooze button. I hit snooze on that priority both by leaving the program and by not really buying into it fully. I mean, I was compliant with it as my duty and responsibility as a Team Leader, but I hadn’t embraced it personally.

I started out running with a friend to have that accountability, and that was a very important first step. Now, I’ve reached a point where I hold myself personally accountable. I go out of my way to run on the days I’ve committed to do so.

I started out dreading the physical activity, and only going because I made that promise to a friend to be there. Now, I acknowledge how good I feel after I run, and I enthusiastically track my progress.

But running is not the only change I’ve made. I won’t go into the details, but so many of the healthy things I am doing now have been so easy to incorporate into my life that it’s shocking I didn’t do them before.

Changing my habits has been something I’ve only been able to do after personally committing to the change. It’s not something that others can tell you to do – you have to want to do it yourself. And every day, you have to make the conscious choice to alter the habit, until the alteration becomes your new habit.

I think all of these changes were kicked into high gear as a result of my mom’s sickness. She had a wonderful life, but it ended too early as a result of some unhealthy decisions she made. Partly because I’m the only thing she left in this world, and partly for selfish reasons, I started to realize that if I’m going to live a long and healthy life, I needed to change many of my own bad habits now. Now. Not tomorrow, not when I have time, but now.

And now that I’ve started to make these healthy decisions, I’m stuck by the urge to share my realization with others. But the irony is that if I was in the “unhealthy” mindset and read a blog like this, it would have no noticeable impact on the healthiness of my lifestyle. For me, it had to be an internal, personally-driven change. But maybe not everyone is like me. Maybe some people do take random advice from friends and strangers that helps them in their life journey.

I promise I’m not getting holier-than-thou about this. I just realized that what’s driving the series of changes in my life is the overall desire to be healthier and more responsible than I have been in the past. Ultimately, this is about me, so take this or leave it. As my friend Shawna says, “You do you.”

Luck o' the Irish

Such a great St. Patty’s Day! The day started out strangely, as I heard my friend was in the hospital and went to go visit her. But not before FINALLY taking care of my SUV with the dead battery… I let it sit for weeks, but because I was planning a longer trip tonight, I wanted to drive it as opposed to my other car that recently had a factory recall (but they can’t do the work until next week). The good news is that the SUV took a charge, and I was able to drop it off and get the work done by 3pm on the same day. There are certainly some advantages to using a local auto shop that knows you as opposed to some cheap chain.

I had meetings in the afternoon with my CPA and bookkeeper, both of which resulted in a lowering of my overall stress level. Having my finances taken care of by professionals is a great option until I understand everything better myself. It has the added bonus of making me feel like a very important and successful person.

I had plenty of time after the meetings to come home for a break, visit the gym (Continued improvement! Fastest time yet!), visit my storage unit, and come back to get ready for the evening. I picked up two end tables, and one fits perfectly beside the twin bed! I really need to clean out that storage unit and sell what I don’t intend to keep. Eventually.

Then, wonder of all wonders, I actually made dinner for myself. In my own kitchen. It was magical. I made one breast of bbq chicken and steamed some broccoli in the microwave, and ate while watching The Office: Manager and a Salesman (from Season 6). Then I headed out to join Melissa at a (free!) Carbon Leaf concert! It was a lot of fun, with a festive atmosphere. They played a good variety, and ended with some really upbeat Irish tunes. And I ran into Little Little!!! Then afterward, Melissa and I paid a visit to Firkin & Frigate – a pub nearby! We spit waffle fries and each had a Navy Grog (aka margarita).

Everything was delicious, and we managed to find a cozy booth. Though we stayed true to twampy-ness and talked about her Earth Science curriculum. I found it really interesting! Apparently, students now have to have a “Meaningful Watershed Experience” as part of a state-wide high school graduation requirement. I didn’t have one of those until college. I don’t even think I knew what a watershed was until college … oops!

So now I’m back from a lovely evening. I got everything done today that I meant to, except for taking the dog to the park. But we’ll go tomorrow. She still loves me, I expect. I have a lot to accomplish tomorrow, but I’m pretty flexible with my schedule.

Loser Like Me

You know, one of the things I’m most thankful for is that my mom always taught me that it’s okay to be me, that I should never try to be anything that I’m not. This is especially good advice, because it’s pretty impossible to be anything other than who you are, and yet so many people spend their lives trying, or being dissatisfied with who they are. One thing I’ve realized is that being yourself is not about being perfect, it’s about being comfortable and confident in any situation. Because the only thing you can control in life is yourself.

In the toughest of times, and believe me these times have been tough, I somehow manage to find the bright side. I don’t really know how I do it, but I think it’s just that a positive outlook is my natural response. I don’t know how to be overwhelmed by bad things, because I am confident that everything will turn out okay, or I’ll make the best of it.

One of my mom’s favorite sayings was, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” My personal take on this is that if you are the “sugar” in your own life, everything is sweet.

While it’s true that I have been ridiculously, overwhelmingly busy, it’s all been positive things that have filled my days. For instance, yesterday I went out of my way to go to a sorority alumnae event, but I was rewarded by seeing many of my wonderful friends and getting as many hugs. There are so many wonderful people in my life, like my neighbors who helped me paint my downstairs guest room and then came over later to save me when I locked myself out of my house.

It’s like every thing that happens can either be positive or negative in your life. But the undeniable truth is that anything can happen, and you have very little control over it. So I am choosing to be happy whenever I can, and the result is that I AM happy.

Loss of an Hour

Wow, I didn’t realize it had been so long since I last posted. I’m not even going to try and cover it all. I’ll just focus on today and yesterday.

Yesterday I went to work in the afternoon, but I got there an hour early for a meeting. Upon arrival, I discovered the person canceled, which was annoying, but afforded me the opportunity to get a real lunch. I tried Firehouse Subs for the first time. It’s been the only business in an almost-dead shopping center for months, or so I thought. Turns out, a Subway moved in shortly after they did, but in a year, I’ve never seen the Subway, because you can’t see it from the road. In any event, my Firehouse sub was good!

Work was productive – helped lots of customers and placed an order with one of our vendors. But I was getting stir crazy, so I clocked out before closing to go join Carlie and David for dinner. Taco night! We watched Henry play until he was tired, then we watched Toy Story 3 while Carlie was sleeping. Then I went home and returned the prematurely rotten head of lettuce along the way.

Got up this morning in time to meet Lydia for a run at the gym. Decent run – 2.48 miles! Then we headed over to Aromas, got drinks, and registered for our 5k in May! I’m pretty pumped. If you’re reading this and want to run on our team in Richmond on May 7th, get in touch with me and I’ll tell you how to register (particularly sorority friends still in undergrad :P)!

Directly after that, I met Carlie back at my home for a handmade lunch followed by incredibly productive cleaning. Throwing away my stuff is so difficult! After hours of hard work (and a girl scout cookie break), I dropped off 3 boxes to the GoodWill, and threw the rest in the recycling bin. There is still a lot that needs to go, but this is progress! I’ve just got to get the other bookshelf and the bureau cleaned out, and the furniture moved, before Tuesday when we paint! I’m thinking this time next week, that room will be completely redecorated in the best possible way.

Took the dog to the park where she got lots of great exercise. Saw everybody there, but will see them all again tomorrow at brunch. After a few money-saving errands ($5 off my purchase at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and $15 off at Bloom), I fixed a mini pizza for myself and sat down to catch up on gLee! No sooner than I finished my pizza, but I hear a knock on the door. One of my neighbors tried call, and when I didn’t answer the phone, just walked over. He needs a ride to work tomorrow due to car troubles.

Tomorrow is going to be busy! Also, daylight savings … spring forward!
7:45 – leave to take Brian to work
8:30 – church choir practice
9:30 – early service
11:45 – brunch with dog park group
1:00 – pick Brian up from work?
3:00 – Skype with Jabote
5:00ish – gym to run
7:30ish – NKE dinner

Looks like I’m going to need some chai tea to help me power through the morning. And that I should be getting to bed nowish.

One Day at a Time

So, I’m really slacking on the Spain updates. I’ve just had so many things to fill each day that I get caught up in those reflections and fail to return to my Spain journals. I will happen, just not tight now.

I left off my last post on Saturday evening. After the dog park, I modified my “quiet night in” plans with Lyds. We decided to meet Chelsea for dinner and drinks at the Leafe. It’s spring break for the students, woohoo! I don’t envy them at all, but I do miss getting excited about thinks like that. I guess Spain was my spring break. I think I got the better deal! We three had a great time! It’s a miracle when we’re all free at once, so I really appreciate when it happens.

Sunday morning, I decided to sleep in and simply ATTEND church, rather than singing in the choir. So, I sat with my Little and Michael. Afterward, we enjoyed a delicious lunch and our check proceeds benefited the church, which is always nice. Then I had a short break in the afternoon where I caught up with Lynne on the phone.

And the day just kept getting EVEN BETTER. I ran at the gym, and achieved my farthest distance ever. I always run for 30 minutes, but this time, I ran 2.54 miles! I track my progress on RunKeeper, and when I posted the run, it gave me a shout out for my achievement! I’m quite proud of myself for sticking with this and actually improving!

I had just enough time to get ready for my dinner plans with Amanda (and Kyle, which was a pleasant surprise!). They treated me to a wonderful steak and salad dinner. I can still almost taste it … so good! Also, our waiter recommended a new white wine that I really enjoyed. I think I’m developing my taste for wine much more as a result of all my traveling.

Today was just as busy as yesterday, though nothing happened quite according to plan! I woke up early and had an incredibly productive morning of phone calls. I’ve been waiting for “business hours” ever since I returned from Spain. I had a noon appointment that canceled. Then I canceled my 2pm appointment due to technical difficulties.

This left me with my spontaneous tea meet-up with JoBeth. I don’t think either of us intended to stay longer than an hour, but it ended up being over three! It was so so good to catch up with her, though, so I took full advantage of the opportunity to see her! However, as a result, I just barely made it to the dog park. The dogs still had fun, though, like they always do. And then I headed back out to meet Evelyn and Melissa for dinner, which was a fantastic time as well.

I just can’t seem to ever find an end to all the loving support and kindness the people in my life show me. It’s unfathomable. My support system stretches from the depths of the ocean to the tallest mountain. I could not be more grateful to be where I am right now.