Sunday, December 18, 2011

In limbo

For the past few weeks, I have been committing a crime. Daily. Not just any crime, either. THE blogging crime. For the past few weeks, I have been...lurking.

Yes, I turn on the computer and navigate over to the blog and then I...just...read what everyone else is doing and get the heck off the computer. *gasp*

One of the things I like about blogging is that it seems to put you back in touch with that inner voice, the one that is the real YOU. At least blogging does that for me. In times where I felt like I had lost myself, I'd just sit down and type for a while and I'd find myself all over again. Plus, there was the added benefit of all those other like minded souls on the same journey who acted like guides by either sharing their own journey or by making observations and comments on yours.

But for the past few weeks, I've been feeling this need to feel paper under my hands. To hold a pen in my fingers. And to keep my thoughts closed up in a book, safely closed in a drawer when I'm done.

I know I'm not the only one who feels that way from time to time. In her book, The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron assigns daily writing assignments that have to be done longhand-- typing not permitted. And I've read that sometimes Stephen King writes entire novels longhand on legal pads (and then paid his kids and their college friends to type the pages into a computer). Given the average legnth of his books, I'm surprised he even has his hands left!

I miss it though...the community, the camraderie, the practice of putting something a little less free-form, a bit more structured out there into the universe. I know it'll wait for me, though.

It's weird -- my blogging habits (not just the words, but the habits) really are a reflection of what is going on in my life. I was away for an extended period of time this year, when it felt like my life wasn't really my own. And now I'm sort of here and sort of not, lurking around in limbo. I'm on the periphery, ready to jump back into life, but not quite able to yet.

Just a few more obstacles to get around. A couple more weeks to sort things through.

Then, I'll be ready to jump back in, full force. Not only into blogging, but into life, as well!

Friday, December 9, 2011

things that make you go hmmmmm

I've found myself in a rather reflective mood the past week. (Interestingly enough, I spoke with 2 other friends who expressed the same tendency) It may be that the holidays are upon us, it may be that the year is drawing to a close, it may be that I had a number of sad cases at work that made me think that life is so tenuous.

This past week I have also been trying to shake a cold.

And my reflection and lingering cold have caused me to think of the ongoing goals that I never seem to reach. And the reasons why I never seem to reach them (not enough time and too much stress appear to be the ongoing themes) The giant pile of surprises that end up on my desk that reinforce the caffeinated rushing around existance that I continue. And the exhausted collapse that seems to happen at the end of the week. The half effort workouts, the full effort workouts that seem like just another item on the to do list. And the journal entries, blog entries unwritten, guitar unplayed, food uncooked in the fridge as I grab another protein bar on the way out the door.

It occurred to me that maybe what I need to do is cut back my work hours. 8 am to 7:30pm is too long. (It's also ironic that an industry that supposedly promotes health and well being--health care-- forces such unhealthy demand upon its workers!)

So now I have some number crunching to do.

I'm hoping it'll reveal some extra time that I can spend ab-crunching.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

weird weekend

Weird weekend. Lovely, unseasonably warm weather and me...fighting a cold. On Friday, I set out in the nice temperatures for my long run (18 miles). Well, I did it, but it was miserable. It was one of those runs where you just keep repeating "Get the miles in. Get the miles in." The miles are in. But it wasn't pretty.

I kept stopping to cough and blow my nose and hock up lugies. I walked a large portion. It took me forever. But I did it.

Saturday I paid for it. I pretty much slept the whole day. I got up to eat soup, drink tea, mega-dose with vit C and zinc, and nettie pot. I watched about 15 minutes each of 4 different Harry Potter movies. And I slept.

Today was better. Never underestimate the power of sleep! I dragged my sorry carcass to the gym and just sweated in the cardio room for an hour, letting those lungs expand and contract and move all the nastiness out of my system. And tonight...well, I'm not 100% but pretty close. All in time to go back to work tomorrow! (where did I go wrong?)

I'd take a day off to balance out the unjustness of it all, but after Saturday's sleep marathon, I feel like I just need to get the heck out of here!

Friday Dec 2nd: 18 mile run = 18 points
Saturday Dec 3rd: sleep marathon 0 points
Sunday Dec 4th: cardio = 4 points

Friday's Joy: I stepped outside and the wind was blowing just right and I smelled the ocean in a wonderful and overpowering way.
Saturday's Joy: Slipping into a hot bath and feeling the cold leave my icy toes
Sunday's Joy: watching my neice dance in her school play. (I don't know how moms do it. I almost cried watching her dance!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Goals

Can it be December already? I feel like I was just at the beach! Thankfully....at least my sidebar (which I haven't been able to alter for some reason) is now appropriate. I've had a December quote up for a year now!





December 1st... when we can start opening the little doors on the advent calendar, listening to the Nutcracker Suite music, and frantically trying to get the holiday shopping done. And reviewing the goals :)


November Goals:





1) Stick to Marathon Training Plan: more or less. I'm running. I've done all the long runs. The shorter runs and speed workouts have sometimes taken a back seat to other pressing issues, but I feel like I'm where I should be.

2) Start Weight Training Again: Not as regularly as I should, but better than before.

3) Journal Daily: About half credit. It's amazing how much better I feel on the days I journal!

4) Eat Clean: Ok, this is a big fat fail. Def not clean this month. Yet I'm feeling and looking better than over the summer. I guess stress really does have a lot to do with weight, eh? But then again, so does EATING! So we'll be revisiting this next month...

5) Read and get rid of 5 books this month: Let's give a big WHOOP-WHOOP for my first complete pass! This month, I read A Discovery of Witches, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Thrive, Finding Happiness in the Blue Zones, Cocktails for Three, and Where is the Mango Princess? Gave em away, too. So there's that.

6) Turn in my recert info...done and done!

7) And my kinesiotape certification stuff...not done and not done!

8) Book my plane tix for upcoming trips: check times two!

9) Get rid of DVDs: no...just didn't get around to it.

10) Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily: oh, half credit.

So all in all, for my first month back to goal setting I got about half credit. Not great, but not bad either. A good warm-up, if you will. Preparation for new years!

December Goals:

1) Continue with Marathon Training and Weights 3x/week

2) Eat Clean-er

3) Get rid of 5 books (again) 2 of them reference books: I was noticing last month that I have an awful lot of reference-y type books. Some work reference and some life reference. These tend to be books that I don't even consider getting rid of. Even though many I haven't used them in years and will probably never use them again. So I'm focusing on that now.

4) Do the kinesiotape cert this month

5) Get rid of 5 DVDs

6) Increase water intake to 8 glasses per day

7) Finish and turn in advanced clinician application for work

8) Decorate the new apartment in an hap-hap-happy holiday way!

9) Treat all the December activities: the cards, the decorating, the gift buying, the obligatory get togethers.... as treats, not obligations.

10) Wrap everything green Not the color green! Just in recycled bags and wrapping. Started trying to do this a few years ago. Harder than you'd think!


Exercise:

11/29: seriously fighting a cold! came home and showered and mega-dosed with zinc and vit C and soup and tea and bed: 0 points
11/30: Cardio blast: 6 points
12/1: still fighting that cold! 0 points again :(

on 11/29 I was Thankful for:
a good presentation at work
on 11/30 I was Thankful for:
tea

December's theme: joyful! (closely related to Thankful but subtly different. For instance, I would be thankful for my cute nephew, but a joyful moment would be when he smiled at me. See? Subtly different! And in a different color.)

Dec 1st joy:
Pulling on my new fleece for the first time. So soft!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Think Locally Act Thankfully

So it was a busy weekend filled with lots of warm weather and lots of activities. (Though blog posting was not one of them!) How wonderful to have 60 degree weather at the end of November in New England?

Also wonderful...to have the opportunity to donate to charities that are worthwhile. Last week I commented on a charity that operated out of Africa. Today I'm going to talk about a couple closer to home. Not only closer to my home, but closer to just about everyone's home as there are local chapters all over for those who like to think globally and act locally.

Two of the booths at the Alternative Gift Fair were taken by: Habitat for Humanity and the local food pantry. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide affordable homes for needy families. They build a number of homes in areas with donated materials and volunteer labor and assist the families with reasonable mortgage payments and affordable loans. The goal being to keep at risk families above the poverty level and prevent homelessness. Habitat operates worldwide. The other nice thing about Habitat is that in addition to monetary donations, volunteer opportunities exist for those of us who want to give back but have financial issues of our own to contend with.

Food pantries also exist all over in local communities. The food pantry in this area operates by accepting donated food and then putting together and delivering boxes to homes in the area. Most food pantries are especially in need of baby food, baby cereals, and formula. They also accept canned items, boxes of cereal and oatmeal, pastas and sauces, and juice boxes. Some organizations accept fresh produce, others cannot. Its important to check with local agencies to see what they are most in need of. Volunteer opportunites also exist for these organizations, as well. I have worked in the past "out back" sorting food according to category, getting rid of expired products, stocking shelves, and putting together boxes. It sounds rather boring, but in fact, its kind of nice, almost meditative. It's especially nice if you deal with people all day long and just want to chill out and decompress after work while simultaneously doing some good. I spend a couple Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings working in soup kitchens, as well. We made soup, mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies, etc. We served turkey and ham dinners to homeless folks (who always seem to be really, really funny. It's like having a great sense of humor is a needed coping strategy or something) We put together care packages of socks, granola bars, lip balm, sun screen, soap, wet naps, and little first aid kits that all the folks could take when they left. It was a good way to start off a holiday.

I haven't done the soup kitchen thing since returning home where the family lives, but that doesn't make lot of sense, does it? Maybe I need to look one up for this Christmas.

Exercise
Fri 11/25: 30 min walk and abs-- 3 points
Sat 11/26: 12 mile run --12 points
Sun 11/27: 30 min bike and arms--4 points
Today: 0 points :(

Friday I was thankful for:
the fact that my car trouble was totally minor (up and running!)
Saturday I was thankful for:
the unseasonably warm weather
Sunday I was thankful for:
a restful day. they don't come along very often
Monday I was thankful for:
Carol, a former co-worker who is moving on to another job in Florida. She is great. Florida is lucky to be getting her!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thanksgiving

Oh, Thanksgiving! The other 364 days of the year, I never consider Thanksgiving a "favorite holiday". But on Thanksgiving day itself, I love, looove, lurve it!

This year, we went to my younger brother's house, not my older brother's, as has been the tradition for the past 5 years. They have a much smaller house, so in order to accommodate the number of people present, they had to move the dining room table from the little dining alcove into the living room and move the sofa from the living room into the dining alcove. Sounds crazy, but it totally worked. Worked almost too well, as my sister in law, at the end of the day, said: "I kind of like the sofa here. You can sit and relax and talk to everyone in the kitchen while they work. I'm keeping it like this until at least Christmas!"

Here's the thing about having dinner for 22 when nobody wants to show up empty handed (and half the folks in attendance are Italian) way too much food! We had three salads, three types of cranberry sauce, three types of stuffing, three types of sweet potatoes, three different breads, a turkey and a ham. Don't even get me started on dessert! (I vowed that in the future, I would not bring food, but would be the designated container supplier so there would be something to bring leftovers home in!)

For the first time in a few years, I did NOT do a turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning. (which is kind of a bummer since it was warm for the first time in many years) My car broke down yesterday. I got a ride to work yesterday and will deal with the car tomorrow. Which kind of puts a damper on my chock-full of events weekend. But then again, maybe its a blessing in disguise. It forced me to slow down a bit and just take care of business on the homefront. Relax a little more. Maybe watch a movie or two. So there's something to be thankful for.

Plus, I had all those neices and nephews to bring to the playground after dinner. Maybe I didn't get a turkey trot in, but I did get a little exercise in. And that's something else to be thankful for!

EXERCISE

Mon 11/21: 4 mile run + abs = 5 points
Tue 11/22: 8 mile run = 8 points
Wed 11/23: 12 hour work day and a ride home from work = 0 points :(
Thur 11/24: playground with the kids: 3 points

GRATITUDE

Mon 11/21: I'm thankful for taking chances
Tue 11/22: I'm thankful for a good, hard, sweat
Wed 11/13: I'm thankful for unexpected twists that show you that you really aren't in charge
Thur 11/24: I'm thankful for my crazy, off the wall, loving and totally sane family. (seriously. I know so many people who are involved in feuds and drama and this one isn't talking to that one or one ripped off the other or somebody will never forgive somebody else in the family. Got none of that in my family. We just all get together and eat. )

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's Bad Dates...Computer Dating

Before I relay the next bad date story, I have to give a little background information. Background information of a different sort:

Tuesday's Good Date!

(unfortunately, not mine)

A while back, my co-worker, Pat, set up a profile on one of those on-line dating sites. She had been toying with the idea for a while, but was always a little nervous. But one more bad encounter with her ex was all she needed to upload a few photos, write up a little profile, and hit "post." She figured, what did she have to lose? She'd just take a chance and see what happened.

You know those advertisements for weight loss pill that say at the bottom in little tiny print "results not typical"? Pat's on-line dating results are not typical.

She decided she wasn't going to contact anyone else's profile, but instead just see who would respond to her. Day one she got a bunch of responses, weeded through them, and kept 2 or 3. Same day two, day three, day four. At the end of the week, she responded to the bunch of keepers and waited for their response.

One person responded back. They emailed a couple times, talked on the phone a couple times, and then decided to meet for dinner.

A year later they're engaged.

One person. ONE PERSON! How lucky is Pat? I mean, I'm happy for her. Pat's awesome and she deserves to have a super cool, nice guy who can actually keep up with her. (She's an Ironwoman. Went to Kona and everything) But how often does that happen? Not much. Results not typical.

Pat's story is what inspired my other co-worker Sharon and I to mock up a couple profiles of our own.

Let's just say, the results were -- typical.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Alternative Holiday Gifts

Today was a bright, beautiful, sunny warm day. An unexpected surprise on November 20th! It was a great day for a long run along the canal. Not fast, by any means, especially since I was battling cramping the entire way but still a good day.

Today was also one week since my visit to the Alternative Gift Fair last Sunday. A great idea and a nice reminder to me of my oh-so-optomistic vision at the beginning of the year to highlight and donate to a different charity each week of 2011. 2011 sucker punched me right in the head to knock those wonderful thoughts right out of it. But I'm happy to say cynicism won the battle but not the war. 'Cause as of today, I'm reinstating the weekly charity post.

One of the charities at the fair last week was an organization called Touching Tiny Lives. This organization aims to provide medical help and support to children in the small African country of Lesotho. It is estimated that 30% of Lesotho's population is HIV positive.

Touching Tiny Lives has set up a medical clinic to house and care for up to 20 children at a time, as well as providing visits to more remote villages for primary and follow up care. Their booth at the fair included two possible "gift items": $20 to provide a month's supply of food/formula for a child or $35 to supply fuel for 8 medical visits to remote villages.

If anyone else, like me, is feeling that sometimes we get a little too materialistic during the holidays and is looking for their own "alternative gifts", I urge you to visit their website and make a donation in a friend or loved one's name for the holidays.

Today's exercise: 16 mile long run = 16 points + 1 hour of playing "Just Dance" with my neices = 2 points.

Today I was thankful for:
a beautiful warm sunny day

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turkey Trot

Today I officially kicked off the holiday season...I did a turkey trot. Nothing major, just a 5k. But it was super festive and fun and, much like my last weekend with the "more for less" theme, it was a multi-purpose event!





About a year ago, my aunt was diagnosed with uterine cancer. It's been a bit of a tough road for her over the past year, but she is doing pretty well with her treatments and things are looking hopeful. The turkey trot today was for an organization that raises money for cancer research. So a large number of family and friends all signed up and formed a team for her!





This morning, bright and early we all met at a community center and did a little run and then hung out and reconnected and played with the kids and ate some food and generally partied for a while. Plus, there was some good fund raising going on.





It was nice to go for a run with my dad, as well. He was just getting over a cold, so we went at a slightly slower pace than planned (9 min mile) but finished and had fun. What's better on a November morning than running with your dad?





It turned out to be a good kick off for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge which is also a great holiday tradition around here.





Today's exercise: Run 3 miles, ab workout ---5 points





November 14th I was thankful for:
unexpected and pleasant surprises

November 15th I was thankful for:
a quiet place to come home to after work

November 16th I was thankful for:
being able to teach what I know

November 17th I was thankful for:
organization

November 18th I was thankful for:
productive days off

and today I was thankful for:
the opportunity to hang with my cutie pie nephews

(and the chance to sit down and write a post. I was thinking of it all week, and I was just too busy!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More for Less

This weekend, the theme seemed to be more than you bargained for. In a good way! And I took advantage of it all.

On Friday, Veterans Day, I signed up for a few races in 2012. Which means I can't be lazy and back out. It also means that the race promoters will be making donations to the Paralyzed Veterans Association. With my involvement in adaptive sport and rehab, its a cause that I believe in and I'm glad that race promoters are doing their part to help out.

I also got a head start on some on-line Christmas shopping for the same reason. I received a few emails from sites that were donating to veterans funds with purchases made on Veteran's Day.

Of course, if I were a little more on the ball, I would have posted links to the sites and spread the word to all those other runner type people out there. But I'm a little scattered and flighty. Always. But now more than usual. I'm still blaming the daylight savings debacle we go through every year. Twice.

On to Saturday, when all I had to accomplish was a 15 mile run. (Everything else was put on maybe status pending how I felt after the run) I did finish the run, but it was arduous. Because of the non-stop wind along the canal. At one point, I had to stop and walk in a near horizontal orientation in order to make any headway. (after turning around, the way back was much easier. like flying) In any case, I feel like I got a lot more bang for the buck by running against the wind for, well, 7.5 miles. More than I bargained for.

I felt so good after the run, I stopped at the Christmas Tree Shop to get some household items because I had a friends and family coupon. I got 3 bags of stuff for $15. Practically free! Score!

And then, today. I went to something called an Alternative Gift Fair. (which is such a fantastic idea, I think it deserves it very own post, unencumbered by talk of 15 mile runs) In a nutshell, you the fair is comprised of booths where charitable organizations have displays about what they do. Then, you can make donations to whichever charities you wish and you get a card to give to somebody for a gift. (kind of like "The People Foundation" from Seinfeld, but legit)

And lastly, I got the very last Just Dance 3 in the store today. (Because 10 year olds really wouldn't appreciate your buying a flock of chickens for a village in the Sudan instead of a video game)

Things just kind of rolled my way this weekend.

November 10th Thankful:
good food, good drink, good times, good friends

November 11th Thankful:
the hard work and sacrifice from our veterans and all the other people out there who give selflessly and expect nothing in return

November 12th Thankful:
that I live close to the ocean and get to see it every day. Even when the wind picks up exponentially when in close proximity to the water.

November 13th Thankful:
that I am lucky enough to be able to share with those less fortunate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daylight Savings Blues

Whew! I have been exhausted all week. I haven't adjusted to the time change yet. It's amazing how just one hour can cause such chaos inside my little ol' body. I've been ready to fall asleep at the drop of a hat and eat everything is sight all week. I've been getting up at the same time every day (my bladder hasn't adjusted to the time change) yet I feel like I've been working for two hours extra because its so dark. Just one little hour. It's kicking my ass!

Yesterday I was thankful for:
my co-workers. they are great

Today I am thankful for:
my patients. I have such a great caseload of nice people right now!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday's Bad Dates: New Hampshire styel

Last weekend, in addition to spending time with lots of cool people for a cool cause, I also spent some time in a bar in a ski town in New Hampshire before ski season. It's a lot like spending time in bar in Cape Cod in March.

Lots of local yokels and a spattering of tourists who are disappointed that tourist season isn't in full swing. So they drink and act like buffoons. Of course, last weekend, it was more like lots of tourists and a spattering of local yokels. And me right in the middle, taking full advantage of the last vestiges of pumpkin ale before it disappears for another year.

If I could have a dollar for every time somebody picked me up in a bear hug and walked me across the room without my consent, I'd have...well...six dollars. But hey- that's at least 3 bear hugs too many!

But the walking bear hugs weren't my big problem.

I went into a bar with some friends to play fooze ball and air-hockey for a while. Turns out, quite a few of the 200 plus volunteers were in this bar, as well. Never did get around to air-hockey. But I did talk to quite a few of the volunteer people. Plus a couple guys who I thought were part of our giant group but actually weren't.

They were actually up in New Hampshire doing some winter camping. "Oh! Winter camping!" I whined. "I miss winter camping! I haven't been in years." So one of the guys, Quinn, asked where I had been winter camping. I replied that I had been in Utah, Texas, Washington, Oregon, and my favorite winter camping spot, Yosemite National Park. "Do you have any tips for winter camping?" he asked. "Get good gear," I replied. "Keep your clothes inside your sleeping bag, and sleep on top of your boots so they don't freeze." "Well, I thought we had good gear. But I'm still really cold." he said. "We stopped at Dick's on the way up and bought all our stuff." "Dick's!" I screamed, "You can't get good winter camping gear at Dick's! It's like 20 degrees out there! Dick's sells bags for, like, 50 degrees. You need to go to REI or EMS and get a zero bag! You should really get a hotel room tonite." "Maybe I could stay in your hotel room" he said. "Yeah, no." I said. "We need to change the direction of this conversation now."

"Ok, how bout...you tell me what are your vices?" he said. "Ok. I drink way too much Diet Coke. I eat too much junk. And I don't get enough sleep. Those are my vices. What about you?" "BORING!" he said. "Your so called vices are going to put me to sleep." "Well, what do you want me to say? That I'm a heroin addict? I drink too much Diet Coke, eat too much junk, and don't get enough sleep. I have no idea what you are looking for with this." "How about...I have sex with random strangers I meet in New Hampshire." he said.

Here's the deal. I don't know what was more pathetic. His God-awful attempt at a pick up line or the fact that this did not phase me a bit. Not one bit. It's like I expect behavior like this. Because I said: "Good try. But no. I guess you had to give it a shot. But that ain't happening. Not a chance. So...it was nice talking to you for a while. But I think we're done. Have fun camping and don't freeze to death."

Like the "criticism sandwich" you are taught about when coaching: compliment, constructive criticism, another compliment. That's how I respond to creepy guys in bars. God forbid I harm their self-esteem or anything!



Monday, November 7, 2011

looking forward to a good winter

Last weekend, I was up in New Hampshire, attending an orientation weekend for volunteers for the adaptive skiing program run by New England Disabled Sports (NEDS). It is a fantastic organization and I am so lucky to be doing some work with these guys this year.

First off, let me say that I am simply not in the same league as the rest of the volunteers for this program. I am merely somebody who will be accompanying some clients up in a van to try some skiing (many for the first time). The rest of the volunteers are super-duper expert skiers who pledge 20 days of their ski time over the season to assist people with spinal cord injuries, strokes, CP, MS, autism, amputations, and any number of other ailments to ski. That's a pretty big commitment. That's a pretty great bunch of folks.

I only hope I'll be of some sort of help when I go up, not a clumsy doofus who creates more of a problem just by being there. I can ski. But I'm not great at it. Plus, after living on the west coast for so long, I moved back to New England, went skiing once, and declared the skiing here "Absolutely sucky and not even worth it." Then I proceeded to spend my winters in the gym or on the sofa or sometimes winter running but never on a mountain, which is really where any self respecting outdoor person should be in the winter.

Sometimes it takes something bigger than yourself to motivate you and bring you back to things you used to love (and can love again, given the chance). So instead of moaning and groaning this winter about how much I hate being cold, I'm going to go hang out with some really cool people and have some fun. Maybe, in the process, help some folks who never had the chance to hang out on a mountain in the snow to love it, as well.

It's gonna be a good winter. I can't wait.

(that may be the first time in my life I've ever said that)

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR:
skiing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Back from a long weekend

Back after a weekend away doing some orientation stuff for winter adaptive sports. LONG weekend...made even longer by an extra hour. And I, like an idiot, chose not to use that extra hour to SLEEP, but to exercise. (Hence my exhaustion tonight)

But along with my new found faith in long runs, this weekend I have added a new found faith in people. I met a lot of really great people. (along with a lot of really local yokels and touristy jackasses which just reinforced my faith in the old adage: "The more things change, the more they stay the same") But it's November. Time to focus on the positive and the things to be thankful for.

Yesterday I was thankful for:
pumpkin beer (gotta enjoy it while its still here!)


Today I was thankful for:
hidden hiking trails (found one this morning and ran it)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

successful long run

Yesterday I headed out for a nice, long run. 14 miles. Really starting to kick up the mileage in the marathon training program. And the magical point which, for me, is the transition to REAL distance. (It's always been 14 miles. That's when it feel like a LONG distance) It's also when the mental benefits of long runs kick in.

Last weekend was a 13 mile run. Not much shorter. And really? I should have been feeling those mental benefits last week. But with the impending storm moving in, I was focused on getting the miles all done before the wind and rain and possible snow started. So I started mixing workouts. Distance + speed + intervals. It's kind of like mixing beer + wine + hard liquor. After 13 miles of tempo plus ladder intervals and ending with more tempo, I felt like I had just ingested a few red party cups of Jungle Juice. And the next day I pretty much felt like I had gotten run over by a truck. So much for the nice, relaxing, Zen effects of long runs.

This week was different. This week I focused on the LSD I can become so addicted to. (don't worry...Long Slow Distance! I'm not turning to pharmacology just yet) This week, my brain cooperated, as well.

The last marathon I trained for specifically to empty my head I was so happy to find that the endlessly chattering voice in my head shut up on long runs. Yesterday, I found something different. The chattering voice came back. Which was a good thing, this time. Because as endlessly chattering as that voice is, at least it's sort of happy. Upbeat. Optimistic. Though at times annoying.

What I hadn't fully realized until yesterday was that the voice in my head over the past few months has been angry. Really, really angry. Without justifying it or getting into the ugly details, I'll just say that I did have reason to be angry. But I never knew that the anger would take up permanent residence in my head. And make me into an angry person.

I mean, there's angry and then there's ANGRY. I was angry with a lower-case l. But even that's too much. It's just not me. Yet it had become me.

So somewhere between mile 5 and 6, the anger melted away. It didn't melt away and drift off with the tide, but it stopped talking. And the chipmunk voice came back. I missed that chipmunk voice! It plans and arranges and supposes and what-if's almost to the point of obsession. But it never feels like taking a Louisville Slugger to somebody's head. It's a happy voice!

So even though when I was driving home from the canal, the angry voice tried to weasel its way back into my head, I recognized it and was able to shut it out.

Chipmunk: 1, weasel: 0.

And that's what I call a successful run!

Next week I do 15.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chaos Theories

Ok, so once again, I must ask: WHAT IS UP WITH THE UNIVERSE?

2011 seems to be the year of chaos. Any physicists out there, feel free to email me and explain the finer intricacies of chaos theory and how it came to cumulate in 2011. (Or maybe I'm just some kind of vortex pulling in bad energy this year?)

Finally, I've moved onto a place where there is no more bad energy at home. Now work is in absolute chaos.

Weird stuff. Yesterday, two people walked out...just walked out in the middle of the work day...in tears. I have no idea why. There was lots of speculation and theories flying around the staff room yesterday evening, but no rock solid evidence.The afternoon was spent running around like lunatics trying to accommodate their patients and workload. (We got it done, though. We are awesome)

Until now, work has been, sadly, the one consistent thing in my life. Sure, there were little annoyances, as there always are in any work situation, but for the most part, it was -- well-- work. Go, do my job, come home. Now, it's drama. What's up with that?

Is it me? Am I exuding some kind of chaos pheromone that causes those in close proximity to me to have meltdowns? Is there a soap for that?

Will 2012 change all that? Or is the Aztec prediction going to come true and the world will end in 2012? Maybe I'm merely a seisometer to the upcoming disaster.

I got plans, though, and the end of the world will really mess them up.

Yesterday, I was thankful for:
starting a new book
And today I am grateful for:
long runs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Boom Boom Pow

So today, I was walking into the gym while this guy was walking out. He gave me a once over and said "BOOM."

Not sure what that meant.

But I decided to take it as a compliment and said "Thank you" before going in and working out.

Boom.



Today I am thankful for:
ambiguity

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

november goals

Happy November Everyone!

I have officially been in my new place for one month today. And I didn't fully realize what bad energy was floating around my old place until I was out. It's much better here. I can sleep. Even when things were better at my old place I couldn't sleep. Now...well...things are always better when you can sleep!

Anyhow, now that I'm a little more settled and a lot more rested, it's time to jump back into my nice little bloggie routine that I have been neglecting for the past 8 months!

Which, in JeepGirl land means

Goals for November:

(where would I be without my goal lists?)

1) Stick to my marathon training plan.
Despite my more relaxed place and better sleeping habits, my running has still been a bit sporadic. Not good when a marathon is looming. It's ok though. I can ramp it up.

2) Start weight training again.
Now that I've eased back into cardio, time to pile the weights back on. So I can take off the weight I piled on.

3) Journal Daily
Fell out of that habit for a while. And felt a little lost. Journaling, I have found, like exercise, keeps me grounded.

4) Eat Clean.
Or cleaner, anyway. Just as soon as I finish this handful of candy corn. Totally. I swear. I'm starting now.

5) Read and get rid of 5 books this month
I got too many books. I really do.

6) Turn in my recert info for adaptive technology professional.

7) And my kinesiotape certification stuff.
(and maybe cut the crap with all this certification stuff. seriously)

8) Book my plane tickets for marathon in January and my big trip in March
I'll share more about that later. It's going to be SOOO cool!

9) Get rid of 5 DVD from my basket of DVDs.
How the heck did so many accumulate?

10) Drink a 8 - 10 glasses of water daily.

In a weird way, I started feeling bad about myself when I was writing goals down on a little sticky yesterday. I mean, how many times do I have to try to accomplish the same goals over and over again? But then, I read something on Facebook from an acquaintance of mine. He lost 150# three years ago and now works for that Herbalife company as a spokesperson of sorts. Seems he had some hard things in his life this year and he put 60 pounds back on. And he was posting a very humble post about starting all over again from square one. I didn't feel like HE was a failure. I thought that he was very brave for starting all over again. So why didn't I feel like that about myself when I keep revisiting the same goals? I really should.

I keep attempting the same goals repeatedly. Maybe they are just very worthwhile goals, eh?

And, because November is Thanksgiving month:

TODAY I AM GRATEFUL FOR:
my new apartment.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

breathe



Sometimes, I just need to remind myself that there are only TWO things I need to accomplish each day:

1) breathe in

2) breathe out


sigh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

RECLAIMATION

So...the dilemma I have been facing is this: how do you move back into the center of your own life when you have been living at the perimeter for too long? It's harder than you'd expect. And I really don't have all the answers, even though I scoured Oprah magazine at the gym for several nights. I've been left to figure it out on my own. So far, this is what I've come up with

HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR LIFE

1) Be outside as much as possible
I find that when I'm inside, there are too many unhealthy distractions. Too many things to obsess about. Too many things to keep my focus outside myself. But when I'm outside, the opposite happens. First, my attention is pulled outside my scattered brain. Then as I absorb all the good, nature-y things around me, I feel myself being pulled back in. But lower. I feel centered somewhere around the bottom of my rib cage. And my diaphragm doesn't chatter incessantly like my brain. It just breathes.
I'm happy the weather has been nice on my days off. I'm especially happy that my new place is one mile from the beach.

2) Downsize
Getting rid of things has been an ongoing theme in my life. And for the most part, I don't have a lot of stuff. So how come when I moved, I ended up moving so much STUFF? It would make more sense to purge before a move. But it's much easier to purge after you've had to lug all your crap from one place to another. As I've unpacked, I've thought: really? REALLY? I kept that? For what? Then other things, I have to "go through". And still others, I need to use, or wear, or read and then decide. My goal, in 6 -12 months is to cut down by half. (I got way too many books) The nice thing is: as I downsize, I feel lighter. And freer. And more me.

3) Clean UP
In the weirdest way, on my day off, as I go through my weekly chores of laundry and vacuuming and doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom and going grocery shopping, I feel centered and at peace. And happy. I never thought that cleaning would make me happy. But having control over my own environment sure does. And cleaning gives me a sense of control.

4) Volunteer
I've been doing a lot of volunteering with the adaptive sports program we have at work. And another organization that does hiking with disabled folks. It feels good. (and goes nicely with the be outside goal, too) I may check out the local animal shelter one day a month, too. I'll see if I have the time.

5) Drink lots of tea
It's a nice little ritual I got into since my move to my new place. It's a nice transition to sleepy time from work-and-work-out time. Plus, it keeps me from eating at night.

6) Cut down on the junk food
I was stressed out a lot this year. And I ate a lot of junk this year. (I'm a stress eater!) As a result, I put on some weight this year. (thank goodness I got all those cute tankini's last year on sale!) So now, I'm trying to get back to my happy weight and my happy state of health.

7) Train for another marathon
I've just never found a more effective way to move past something bad and onto something good than in running long distances according to a specific plan with a specific time frame and a concrete goal. Marathon training is the best! Plus, this particular marathon has Mickey Mouse and Goofy along the route! (Disney 2012!)

8) Spend time with your dad!
My dad helped me move. My dad helped me clean out the jeep and put the hard top on last weekend (so sad to put the soft top away) My dad showed up at my place with all new cleaning stuff, picture hooks, batteries, light bulbs, and easy to cook food for the first week. My dad is the best. I've felt better since hanging out with my dad.

9) Tie up as many loose ends as possible
I haven't been able to tie up the BIG ones. But I'm trying to keep all the little things in a state of completion. At home. At work. At the gym. In the car. No half done daily notes before I leave. No dishes left in the sink. No laundry left on the floor. No recycling sitting on the passenger seat of the car for three days until I make it to the recycling center. Everything is started and finished. Nothing to distract me. Nothing to keep me from being front and center!

10) Start blogging again
I started blogging way back when to "find my voice" once again when I forgot who I was. And now I'm back. For the same reason.

Let the journey begin!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting Back to Center



So I've been away for a while. A long while. But I'm back now.

I've moved out of the Garaje Mahal and into a new place. I got my internet hooked up. I'm trying to get my life back.

Long story short...my life was hijacked over the last few months. That's right -- hijacked! For several months, my life was not my own. My thoughts and deeds and emotions were spent on somebody else's agenda. Their problems became my problems. Their drama became my drama. My life became a distant glimmer on the horizon of which I had a vague recollection. I was downgraded to supporting player.

How did I let that happen? Well, yes, I've always been the kind of person who doesn't seek the spotlight. I don't like a lot of fanfare and fuss. I don't want my picture on a cereal box. I don't incessantly post updates on Facebook about how my day was better than your day. I don't write empassioned letters to the editor and sign my name like John Hancock. I blog anonymously.

But still....to paraphrase Sting: "In this theater I call my soul, SHOULDN'T I play the starring role?"

Maybe it all starts when you start identifying with those bit players. The supporting cast. I always liked them better, anyway. And I sort of saw myself as a quirky, quick witted Joan Cusack kind of girl, rather than a Julia Roberts kind of girl. Those girls could get away with things like wearing ridiculously out of place outfits to formal events and everyone let them. Laughed with them. Admired their spunk. Who wouldn't want to go to a dinner party with Jennifer Coolidge and Annie Potts? Who doesn't love Rose, the crazy neighbor from Two and a Half Men? I sure love em! I sure want to be em!

But maybe the zany, left of center persona comes with a price. I never wanted to live in Kate Winslet's shadow. But I haven't seen direct sunlight in a while.

SO now that I'm back with my new internet connection and my new place (so new, I don't have a fun little nickname for it yet. But it has buttery yellow walls. Which may come into play in the naming ceremony) And I'm thinking.... maybe it's time to be Sandra Bullock for a while.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

"Come gather 'round people * Wherever you roam * And admit that the waters * Around you have grown * And accept it that soon * You'll be drenched to the bone ** If your time to you is worth savin' * Then you'd better start swimmin' * Or you'll sink like a stone * For the times they are a-changin'" ---Bob Dylan


So July 4th has come and gone and things are good, but very different than they were a year ago. Around Christmastime, the air fills with the sound of that old holiday stand-by: "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year." While some will hear that song and truly believe that Christmastime fits the bill, I'll always think of July 4th when I hear it.

Maybe it's from growing up near the beach. The weather gets warmer, the summer people come back to open up their cottages, and suddenly your pool of friends doubles. The summer friends come back in fits and dribbles, but everyone is sure to be there by July 3rd (the nite of bonfires and bottlerockets in the sand) and July 4th (parade, beach, and fireworks on the waterfront). The excitement never dies, no matter how old I've become.

Or so I thought.

Sometimes it takes an earth-shattering change to make you face what you've been slowly realizing for a while. That the excitement has given way to a been there, done that, sort of resignation. That memories of last year, and the year before, and the year before that, all seem to include you saying: "Well, next year will be better." That you can clearly remember feeling relieved the year you got the flu and had to sit this one out. That many of your friends from years ago have little in common with you anymore except geographic closeness and bonfires on July 3rd.

This year, we skipped July 3rd altogether in lieu of the playground and movie nite in. This year we picked a different spot to watch the parade. This year, July 4th was spent on a different beach with a different group of people and a totally different vibe. This year the fireworks were watched not from the waterfront, but from across the bay on a blanket in the sand with a tiny little fire and an acoustic guitar playing.

This year, I learned that sometimes we do things only because we've done them that way so many times in the past. They aren't necessarily the best things for us now. And when we reach out of that comfort zone, sometimes we discover that there are better things out there, if we just look.

It's time to start looking. It's summertime. The most wonderful time of the year.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer day

So today was the day that I took control and decided to live my life the way I want and ignore the rest of the drama. Rollerbladed 9 miles along the canal in the am, went to the farmer's market (very low turnout of vendors today, I'm wondering if the holiday weekend in the beach town kept them away) and then to the beach. Feeling like a summertime girl again! Top off the jeep, ocean water feeling warm, and a ridiculously lite chick-lit book in my beach bag. (I even got a once over from a cute hottie about 15 years younger than me)

Summer's looking up.

Friday, July 1, 2011

One July Goal

I've been away for a while. A long while.

Whenever one of my regular bloggie friends whom I read takes a hiatus, I like to imagine that life is going swimmingly for them; that they are too busy having fun to stop and write about it on a computer, for crying out loud! I like to think that the opposite isn't true.

In my case, the opposite was true.

It's been a trying couple months, filled with court appearances and restraining orders and other such horrible things that you never wish to have in your life. It's been sucky. And it's not over yet. Far from it.

To think that just 3 months ago, I was bemoaning how boring my life was and how I needed to shake things up a bit. This is not what I meant.

When I started blogging, way back when, it was a way to find my way out from a different life crisis. (Which seems oh-so-quaint and manageable now) At the time it seemed much more pressing.

I had lost myself. I had no idea who I was anymore. I felt like I no longer had a voice. So I started this silly little blog to just write something...anything....until I found my voice and myself again.

Plus, I discovered that between blogging and marathon training, my insomnia went away and I felt like a person. (If you want to feel like anything, feeling like a person is a good start!)

In the past two months, insomnia has returned. Exercise and tri training has evaporated. I've been cranky as hell. My food choices are in the toilet. And I'm a caffeine addict again.

And now it's July. July 1st to be exact, which has always felt like more of the beginning of summer, up in New England. Especially with the rainy June we had this year. So maybe it can be a beginning of another sort.

Once again, I find myself at the keyboard, humble and just looking to say something...anything... to make me feel like a person again. To make me feel like me again.

I, the poster of goals, the maker of lists, the assigner of "days" to "themes" (Tuesday's bad dates, Thursday's bad cooking, Friday's wrap up, Monday's charity) have but one purpose this July: Just be here. Just write something. Just pull myself kicking back up from the depths, back to the surface where I can breathe.

'Cause if you can't breathe, you can't laugh.

And laughing is what makes you feel like less of a person and more of a goddess.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Goals

And here we are in May. I haven't been around in bloggie world a lot in April. I've been a bit enamoured with paper journals and colorful pens. Something is just so soothing about your hand moving across the page and the feel of the paper beneath your fingers. Computers just don't have that tactile soothing quality.

Anyway, April was strange, just as March was. My little JeepGirl world is in upheaval and I'm just at the periphery of the problem. It's as if my entire existence now revolves around "being there". With a shoulder to cry on. A comforting word. Or a handful of chocolaty something. Sometimes that's the most important thing you can do.

Anyway, in light of that, a lot of my own goals took a back seat. Which is OK. I guess. Life is like that, sometimes.

April Goals:

1) Go Vegan for a month: I ended up going about 80/ 20. Feeling better overall. But I did learn that I need to pack more snacks for work. 11-12 hour work days followed by the gym requires lots of nourishment.

2) Read 4 books: This month I read Zero Regrets by Apolo Ohno (liked it a lot), The Alexander Technique (kind of a posture and body alignment theory thing. Work stuff) Dedication by Emma Mc Laughlin and Nicola Kraus (the authors behind The Nanny Diaries. I liked Dedication. It was very funny) and I'm half way through Power vs Force by David R Hawkins (It was given to me by an old coworker. I like some of the stuff, but some is quite out there. I'll let you know when I'm done). I'm thinking in the months to follow, I may choose my monthly books -- mind, body, spirit, and fun.

3) Continue Tri Training: This has been going, but quite sporadically. I have some great workouts under my belt. The mileage is going up. The strength training is consistent. But sometimes a brick workout has to take a back seat to being a good friend. So I'll finish the races. But I won't be fast.

4) Study and pass Kinesiotaping exam: Almost. I took the class, but due to a registration snafu, I'm waiting to get my exam registration details to take it on line. Next month.

5) File taxes. Done. What a pain that is.

6) Spring Cleaning with a major trip to the thrift store: Done. It's looking more clear in here.

7) Daily Journaling: 3/4 credit. I missed one week

8) Girl's Day Out: Success. We saw Water for Elephants at the movies. I thought it was pretty true to the book. I liked it. And I didn't find Robert Pattinson completely annoying the way I do in the Twilight films. So thumbs up.

9) Have a great Easter with the kids: success

10) Hang with Nerd: Fail. Sometimes a nerd takes a back seat to being a good friend, too.

And now its May. And the weather has FINALLY started to warm up! So its high time to

1) Do the winter/summer clothes switch. And get rid of stuff I don't wear.

2) Read 4 books -- mind body spirit fun

3) Send 4 snail mail letters. I'm still in the paper and pen state of mind.

4) Get summer race schedule set and summer fun schedule set, too!

5) Make 3 contacts at Abilities Expo

6) Get aerobars on the bike!

7) Brick workouts, brick workouts, brick workouts

8) Daily journaling in my paper journal :)

9) Have a great time at my nephew's birthday party

10) Finish half marathon in less than 2 hours.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm feeling so behind! In so many ways. Mostly with the whole one charity a week thing. When I last posted, I was on my way to the Caribbean and talked about donating to the Red Cross in reference to the earthquake in Haiti last year. Then, while I was on vacation, another earthquake hit in Japan. Followed by giant tsunami. And a problem with a nuclear power plant. Oh, those poor people! Can you imagine? And where the heck do you go to get away when you are on an island? So once again, the Red Cross it is, earmarked for Japan relief. Also, a while back, I had mentioned that I may have a chance to run the Boston Marathon for a charity event. Alas, I did not win out in that lottery. But one of my co-workers did. So I'm donating to her fund raising effort. Money goes to Spaulding Rehab for a patient fund. In other news, I've been doing the vegan thing for one week. A couple slip ups: I went out for mexican and my veggie burrito with salsa and guac only ended up with a little cheese in it. (I didn't send it back. I just ate it) Plus, I have a few protein bars left that have whey in them. I didn't throw them away, I ate a couple last week. But I'm one pound lighter than last week. So there's that. Finished book #1 yesterday. And taking the training up a notch. Yeah, I'm feeling like I'm back.

Friday, April 8, 2011

april goals

Since March threw me a curve ball, my goals were largely undone. Well, a couple got done. I did have a great vacation. I did read 4 books. And I did do (at least) 4 brick workouts. So there's that. And April , though we are already more than a week in, looks very promising. And spring is trying to creep its way in. There's that, too. April Goals: 1) Go Vegan for the month: I got a link sent to me about a 21 vegan kickstart challenge here. So I tried it. Thus far, its been going pretty well. The food is good, I'm using the crock pot again, and aside from a little excess gassiness (TMI?) no problem-o. We'll see where I am at the end of the month. 2) Read 4 more books: Last month, I completed Think Twice, Go Your Own Way, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Networking for People who Hate Networking, and The Nanny Returns. I had a week's vacation. Lots of reading time. This month, I am into "Zero Regrets", a memoir by my celebrity boyfriend, Apolo Ohno. Lovin it! 3) Continue Tri Training with a vengence 4) Study for and pass Kinesiotaping exam! 5) Get my taxes all filed & shit. 6) Spring Cleaning with a major trip to the thrift store for donating! 7) Daily journaling 8) Girl's day out 9) Have a great family Easter with the kiddies 10) Hang with Nerd. (He got dropped from the forefront last month) And there you have it. I'll keep posting in all my sore-muscle, Apolo-obsessed, extra-gassy glory!

Monday, April 4, 2011

She's baaaack.

So I'm back. It's April 4th and I'm back. Not that I went away...I was still around, reading everyone else's blogs, occasionally posting a comment, and unsuccessfully trying to update the December quote on the side of my page. (Seriously Blogger! Why do you keep freezing up every time I try to change my page? WTF???) In real life, I've been doing a lot of thinking. A lot of soul searching. A little new apartment searching. But as of now, I'm staying put. Doing a lot of hand holding and lending my shoulder out to cry on. It's what friends do. When we can't do anything else. That was March. And now it's April. I decided on Friday, April 1st (when I was doing my "I'm stressed out and there's nothing I can do about it 3 1/2 hour workout") that I really need to turn the focus back to myself and start taking care again. There's only so many pints of ice cream three girls can share while watching chick flicks before it starts to take its toll, crazy long workouts or not. It goes without saying that March's goals pretty much went out the window. So now I'm making some new goals for April. ANd coming back to this place. To keep me on track. See y'all tomorrow

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life has suddenly become very complicated. Before I left for vacation, a had a little trouble here or there, but overall, things were pretty straightforward. I may not have always enjoyed everything I was doing at all times, but at least everything made sense.

I came back from vacation and everything has been turned upside down.

Two of my friends who have been together forever are ending things. They have built a life together over the past 17 years, and now they don't want to be together anymore.

I'm heartbroken for them both.

I want to be a non-issue in this whole ordeal.

But somehow, I feel myself being pulled into it. I don't want to be caught in the middle.

I have some thinking to do...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

post vacation pooped

Hello all you bloggie peeps! I'm back from my wonderful trip to Turks & Caicos. I believe I may have found my most favorite place on earth, so far. Great weather; white, powdery sand; turquoise water that is exactly the right temperature and saltiness; friendly marine life; and a nice breeze all the time. (I might have to trade in this glamourous life of mine and just move down there)

Now I'm suffering from post vacation fatigue. (mechanical problem on the plane caused a delay which got me home at 3:30am PLUS we lost that hour today)

Back in full form tomorrow, I hope

Friday, March 4, 2011

charity times two

Tomorrow, I am heading out to the Caribbean for a vacation. I'll tell you all about it upon my return!

For the past couple weeks, I've been saying "It doesn't really matter what island you pick, eh? Any island in the Caribbean is going to be great."

With one exception, of course. (well, half and island as the exception) I'm talking, of course, of Haiti which is still in turmoil after the earthquake last year. Progress has been made in cleaning up the mess, setting up schools and medical centers, and getting food and water to the people of Haiti. But there still is no real infrastructure. And chaos continues.

So as I embark on a trip to that beautiful area of the world, my charity (for the next two weeks) is a charity that specializes in disaster relief like that of Haiti. I doubled the usual weekly 25 to 50 and chose the Red Cross.

You can read about their efforts at their website. They also provide relief more locally and to military families who need assistance.

Check it out and have a great week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What is it about the last week of work before a vacation? Not only was the workload huge, but the clinic was in total mayhem.

Sun and beach, here I come!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bad Date a Couple Days Late

The last time I was bemoaning my sheer lack of luck in dating, we were right smack in the middle of a dinner date that more or less resembled the Mad Hatter's tea party. Paul, my "date" was halfway down the table, chatting and buzzing and socializing with just about everyone EXCEPT me. I had had a conversation with some puffed up self absorbed dude who, as far as I could tell, did NOTHING. And did I mention (once or twice?) that everyone at this dinner had a PhD. Except me.





So after my conversation with the economist ended on a sour note, I looked to my right and left and struck up a conversation with the two girls on either side of me. Let's call them Amelia and Bedilia.





Amelia had a PhD in art history. (This dinner took place before my trip to Italy when I realized that if I had majored in art history, I could have traveled to Rome on an internship and could now be giving tours of the Vatican, looking at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel every day and getting paid for it!) This dinner took place when I heard "art history degree" and thought "useless"! Of course, Amelia did nothing to change this point of view.





Amelia worked at the Museum of Fine Arts.


"Oh, wow!" I said. "So, do you, like, put together exhibits?" No.


"Compose those plaques they have on the wall explaining the paintings?" No.


"Give tours?" No.


Amelia worked in the gift shop and behind the admission desk.





(Amelia and Bedelia had exchanged a knowing look over my head, like "she doesn't know how competitive the world of art history is") Hey, competitive or not, I was duly unimpressed. My friend's mother worked in the gift shop and behind the desk at the MOFA. As a volunteer. In exchange for free admission to the museum for herself and family members. No degree needed.





And what the heck was Bedelia doing, acting like she had an in on the inner workings of a museum? Her PhD was in something like marketing. (can you get a PhD in marketing? Or am I remembering incorrectly?) Anyway, Bedelia worked for some apparently super-famous person who I never heard of. And it was really really exciting. Because she made all kinds of contacts with other super famous important people.



"And what sorts of things do you do for your work?" I asked her.



Bedelia, the PhD graduate, got coffee and picked up dry cleaning for some super famous person. She got her car washed and bought birthday presents for her employer's neices and made appointments for manicures and hair cuts. Bedelia was a personal assistant.



Again...does this require a degree?



Why was everyone at this table so self absorbed when they were so boring?



Why hasn't one person at this table asked me what I do for a living?



And where the hell was my date?



I finally found Paul right around the time we were divying up the bill. (He paid. I figured it was the least he could do) And on the way home, he went on and on about how amazing this group of people were and wasn't I glad I got to meet them?



And then he asked me when I was going to go back to school.



Right around the time of our next date.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March goals

Happy March! I'm not sure if it is purely psychological or if I just suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but February always gets me down. Just writing "3" at the beginning of the date today made me feel infinitely better. Plus, the sun was out today!

And on this day, the first day of the month, its time to review all the goals that I fell short of last month:

February Goals:

1) Increase water intake to 8 glasses a day: not fully. I'm still working on it. Last half of the month I reverted to diet Coke again.

2) Transition from working out to training: success! Despite last week's cold and decreased exercise, I'm well on my way to increasing milage in all three phases of the race!

3) Go on a winter hike: fail. epic fail. no winter hike. more like winter hibernation

4) Feng Shui the apartment: success. (what else was I to do when I was holed up, hibernating?) It was kind of fun, cleaning, re-organizing, and rethinking the place I live.

5) Finish 3 more books: Success! I read: "Younger", "Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life" (the feng shui book, and "VisionBoard".

6) 4 more snail mail letters: done. my friends will be wondering if I was somehow transported back to the 1930's!

7) Ride bike outside 2 times: yeah, no. Not even close

8) Go out to movies with J and S: that didn't happen, either. I asked and tried to plan. But J and K were even more sluggish than me last month!

9) Complete 2 more projects from the project box: ok, that was a success. Funny how the "stay at home and putter around" goals got done and the "go out and do something" goals did not.

10) Get spectacular valentine's day presents for the kiddies: done. Love giving books for gifts.


And now on to March:

1) Water intake again

2) 6-8 servings of veggies a day

3) 4 brick workouts

4) 4 books read

5) begin studying for kinesiotaping exam

6) 2 projects done

7) have a great vacation!

8) daily blog post (except for when I'm away!)

9) Go out to the movies with J and K, REALLY!

10) hang out with Nerd!

(ok, maybe they seem kind of lame. I didn't plan ahead and was just winging it. Goals subject to change)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More things that make me happy

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can bust out of this winter blah mode I've been in. I think seasonal affective disorder is no match for happy thoughts.... 20 of them



20 things that make me happy:



101) the Oscars. (in general I'm not a fan of award shows. But I do like the oscars)
I'm looking forward to this years because I like:

102) James Franco (I like Anne Hathaway too, but not enough to include her on the list)

103) My new tankini ( I got it super cheap at the Title 9 warehouse sale)

104) the Title 9 catalog (if I won the lottery I'd buy everything in it) as well as the:

105) Athleta catalog and:

106) REI. Basically, I'd spend my entire fortune on outdoor & athletic equipment and cute sporty clothes. Not really. I'd:

107) Travel, too. Travelling makes me very happy.

108) Dreaming about winning the lottery (and all the travelling I'd do afterward makes me happy, too. I mean, not in a dysfunctional, I don't want to take responsibility for my life kind of way, just in a daydreamy kind of way.)

109) Exercise classes. Generally, I'm a solo kind of exercise girl, but lately with my poor motivation I've been hitting some classes. The gym likes you to reserve a spot ahead of time, which I do, and that makes me go. Which is a good thing.

110) Hooded sweatshirts. (Is there any more perfect article of clothing? Its better than a LBD)

111) Ice skating I've been a couple times this year with my neice and nephew. I'd forgotten how much I like it

112) Soup Been eating alot of soup lately b/c of my cold. It's good.

113) Packing for a trip (it involves two of my other favorite things: lists and travel!)

114) Sun dresses They are cute. And I look good in them!

115) Mark Wahlberg I wasn't a fan back when he was Markie Mark. But I like him now. Especially when he has no shirt on!)

116) Collages

117) Ridiculous midnight drunken texts

118) When my friend calls and says she's in love. That makes me so happy.

119) When (other) friends take a risk.

120) And I have the chance to support them in that risk.

I feel happier already. How bout you?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Charity and whining

Even though I began last week with lots of enthusiasm to post and exercise and work like crazy, things fizzled. I was fighting a cold all week and I decided to just go with it and rest. I didn't want a repeat of last December with the month long cold that turned into bronchitis and laryngitis.

Anyway, a week has passed and I think I've gotten this cold beat. So that's good.

But the exercise and daily posts? Not so good.

And here I find myself once again on Saturday thinking, I gotta post my charity of the week.

I also had great plans to do this cool charity race thing today called FIGHT FOR AIR CLIMB. It is a stair climb in a public building to benefit the American Lung Association. My sister in law and I were both going to do this event together.

But then she got the flu and I got a cold (I think I may have actually caught the cold from her kids. I talked to my brother this week and said "Your children are a menace. Sure, they look cute. But its all just a ploy to lure you in closer so they can infect you with their germs." He responded: "Tell me about it. They always get me with 'Daddy, can you tuck me in to bed?' ")

So anyway, we were both recouperating from our perspective illnesses and decided to forego these events. And even though I did feel better this morning and I probably could have gone and done the challenge as a last minute thing, I think the FIGHT FOR AIR may have been a bit too literal.

Instead, I'm just going to make a donation to the American Lung Association.

This is probably a good indication of how I'm feeling now: Climbofyourlife.org, lung cancer, research, asthma, blah blah blah. Go check it out on your own. I'm getting a cup of tea.

It'll put me in a better mood. I promise

Monday, February 21, 2011

Two worthy causes

There is something about February. It should be called "Febru-weary". It's the shortest month that feels like the longest month. It's the winter doldrums.

Its the month I let blogging slide. (along with eating right and exercise, I'm sad to admit) Plus, I'm fighting a cold right now.

Fortunately, my present job gives us Presiden't Day off. It's the only job I've ever had where we get this day off. I did a lot of sleeping today, sleeping, drinking tea, taking cold medicine and catching up on things.

Including blogging!

So one of the big ideas for this year in blogging was the weekly charity donation thing. But I seem to have dropped the ball.

So in honor of this Presiden't "catch up day", I'm honoring two charities today. Two related charities.

A few years ago, I worked at a big medical center in Boston. A number of our patients were homeless. During a particularly cold winter like this one, homeless shelters are often booked over capacity with little funding.

When I lived in San Francisco and walked to work every day, I'd pass the same homeless people every day in the same spots. They'd say hi and I'd say hi and if I had a granola bar, I'd give it to them and if the light was against me, we'd talk before I crossed the street. It's much harder to think of homeless people as "less than people" when you see and talk to them every day.

So this week, I'm honoring two local homeless shelters for all the work they do.

The Pine Street Inn provides food, shelter, counseling, job training, and emergency assistance to homeless men and women.

Rosie's Place focuses on poor, homeless, and abused women. It provides food and shelter, advocacy, counseling, mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing assistance, job placement, and health care. They also have a nifty program where the women make and sell crafts that are worth checking out.

I encourage everyone to check out the above websites and also to learn about local shelters that you can support with a donation or by volunteering.

Have a great week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day

So I've been absent the past week or so, simply because I've had "A case of the February's" You know like in the movie Office Space: "A case of the Monday's" Only this can last up to 28 days.
In short, I've been unmotivated, grumpy, freezing cold, with a desire to eat any and every morsel of comfort food in the vicinity.

And to make things even worse, up creeps Valentine's Day, the most annoying pseudo-holiday there is. (And no, it's not because I'm single. I hate Valentine's Day even more when I'm dating somebody)

So, today, since it was Valentine's Day, I decided that I'd acknowledge the day by doing extra cardio (get it? exercise for the heart? I'm so witty!) And guess what?

I think I cured my ailment!

Exercise rocks!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

20 things that make me happy

On this lovely Sunday, I'm happy. Here's 20 more reasons why:

81) The Superbowl
82) the half time show
83) the Superbowl commercials (so far, the Star Wars and the border guard Coke ones are my favorites)
84) Superbowl parties. (I'm not at one this year, but I still like em)
85) Jack La lane. (Though I always questioned his fashion sense in those jumpsuits, I never questioned his fitness advice. I thought he'd live forever)
86) brick workouts (I know I'm a dork. But they make me happy. During and after)
87) The show Glee (I watched a Glee marathon yesterday and loved it)
88) Shutting my phone off so nobody can text me
89) Turning down plans and not feeling bad about it (do I sound like a hermit?)
90) Girl Scout cookies
91) when my skinny jeans are loose :)
92) even though I've been eating Nutella all weekend
93) brussels sprouts
94) wrapping gifts (in recycled materials)
95) the heart shaped stone I have in my jacket pocket to rub when I'm bored or worried
96) scented candles
97) Apolo Ohno (he's my celebrity boyfriend. he's in a new Oreo commercial. it makes me happy)
98) Vega Whole Food Optimizer Shakes (they are delicious!)
99) the new pool I joined this weekend (so much nicer than the old pool I was going to at the high school)
100) my new bathing suit for lap swimming. (my other one literally disintegrated)

American Heart Association

Since this week was the first week of February, I decided to go with a heart theme by choosing the American Heart Association as this week's charity. Like diabetes (and intrinsically related to diabetes), which we talked about last month, cardiovascular disease is one of the greatest health care risks in America. The American Heart Association aims to reduce cardiovascular disease through education, lifestyle changes, rehabilitation, and funding for research.

The have a fantastic interactive website, featuring risk calculators for heart attack, stroke, and other conditions, information and online communities for lifestyle changes such as starting a walking program, tools for finding CPR classes in your area, and lots of links for caregivers, health professionals, and family members. There's also a shop if you want to get one of those nifty little red dress pins that you see everywhere in February.

Since I just dropped $100 this week for a new pair of running shoes this week for my own cardiovascular health, I think its only fair that I can drop another $25 to promote cardiovascular health elsewhere. Check out their website and then go for a walk (or jog, or bike ride or do an exercise DVD while your kids are napping) Your heart will thank you.