Confessions of Sorts

My company blocked blogs as social networking sites this week.  I can’t even see pictures posted on WordPress or Blogger in my reader anymore. 

But on the bright side, I’ve never been more productive, I’m getting more responsibilities and surprising myself with my knowledge and performance at work.  Time to grow up, I suppose.

This is why this post is most likely going to be word vomit of things I’ve been thinking about all week.

On my second visit to my chiropractor, he asked me a question about the last place I used to work and it threw me off because I didn’t realize the last time I had been there I was still a hotelier extraordinaire, so I just went with it and I’ve seen him three times since and have had to keep up the act.  

It’s practice for lying to men in bars about my job, I suppose.  I think my job is awesome, but I always feel like when people ask me what I do they want me to respond with something that’s easy to understand (particularly while intoxicated), like TEACHER or NURSE or DOLPHIN TRAINER (which I think I shall be this weekend).

I’m going out to celebrate my friend’s birthday tonight and my goal is to stay out actually late and look at least not TOTALLY lame trying to dance.  It’s my first time truly “going out” in trendy Scottsdale and I’m nervous because I don’t feel like I fit in. 

When that happens, I spend too much time worrying about it and shopping for something that won’t expose me as a misfit and trying on endless outfits.  I also considered straightening my hair to fit in or something, but then I realized I love my hair and being unique is awesome and as long as I bring my confidence along for the ride I’ll be fine. 

I’m also nervous because this is the friend who was the green-eyed monster the last time we went out and things are still strange. I’m not sure if her boyfriend is going, but her cute (and I think single) Steelers fan man friend is.

I went to pay for something in cash the other day and it came to $11.05.  I had the $11 and then I stared at a nickel like I was visiting from another country until the 16-year-old behind the register was like, “yes, that one.”  How sad.

The high schoolers on Friday Night Lights make me believe in love. I’m in season three and Tandry just got back together, don’t ruin it and tell me they don’t end up together.

I still do the arms straight down at my side test that they did at high school to see if my skirts or shorts are too short.  Above the thumb is too short.  I still wear it either way but always check.

My big plans for today are going to the library.  And I’m kinda excited.  Yeah, I definitely don’t fit in.  And that’s fine.

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Mayim Bialik

Reverb11’s April prompt was so short, I scanned the email and thought I missed it!  It’s April, spring is in the air, and they want to know:

What’s blossoming?

Friendships!  I went to happy hour last night with a Meetup group (one I’ve been out with a handful of times) and as awkward as the concept is and as random as the group is, I found myself looking around and thinking, “these are the women I would have picked.” 

A desire for a ripple effect.  For Winter Wonderland Warriors, I wanted to volunteer.  For the Spring Fever Challenge, I am going to volunteer four times.  First of all, it’s addicting.  Second of all, it’s a hell of a lot better way to spend my time than watching Jersey Shore.

My new approach to dating.  This is continuously changing and detouring and rerouting, but always blossoming!

Self love. My strength and my desire to be 100% ME.  I thought I grew into myself in my early-20s, but I’m amazed how much more like myself I become every day.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin, via Bicoastally

I would like it to be known that I spelled Mayim’s name right on the first try without looking it up.  Where was this brain power when I was studying things of actual consequence?!

SFC2

My goals:

1.  Save $750. ($0/$750)
2.  Write two short stories. (0/2)
3.  Outline my novel.
4.  Take a class.
5.  Run 231 miles. (23.5/231)
6.  Bike 120 miles. (16/120)
7.  Learn to play a song on the guitar.
8.  Make a dress.
9.  Volunteer four times. (1/4)
10.  Get to 115. (117.2)

1.  What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?

I ran 23.5 miles and biked 16 miles.

I volunteered at a culinary festival – sold beer to the Arizonans braving it at the picnic despite the rain and low temps (40s + wind).  It was so awful that it was fun.

I made my monthly budget with room for savings.  I usually sock away money after pay days, so the 15th and the end of the month, so nothing saved yet, but soon!

I finally saw 120 on the scale after a long time of being over that and felt in control of the weight situation again.  It was on my crappy Friday morning (but I felt “thin” so I pulled the scale out) and I realized I had the power to either make it drop more or allow it to hike up again.  Crappy morning or not, I packed a good lunch, leaving the mini peanut butter cups in the freezer instead of taking them to work like I had considered, emotionally eating them all day and feeling bad about it. I guess I did okay because on Sunday, my official weigh-in day, I was 117.2.  I was really surprised by it and will see how it sticks in the coming weeks.

I decided a few songs I might want to learn – Jewel or Miranda Lambert – and looked at my guitar.  Haha.

 2.  What did you do this past week to make you feel good about yourself?

I learned a skill all women should have – how to untangle a necklace!  And because I untangled, I was able to wear one of my favorites I haven’t worn in so long and felt like a hot mama headed out to the picnic with my lady friends.  It was forecasted to be chilly, but I risked it with a sundress and it was perfect temps, so I felt totally cute!

3.  Is your mindset future-oriented or living in the now? How does this impact you when you are working towards a goal?

I’d love to say it’s a balance, but I am thinking ahead more often than I would like.   Coming up with lists of goals (something I’ve been crazy about for about the last two years) has helped me think more about now.  It’s allowed me to think about the things in my future that I want and realize thinking about them won’t do much of anything.  So I get to the future and have those goals as a reality by living them and working toward them now.

4.  Is there someone in your {real} life that inspires you to strive for the best?

When it comes to wellness, I don’t have a big real-life fitness-focused community I’m a part of (but I am working on it).  A lot of it is self-motivation, but I also am inspired to work hard and achieve my goals in hopes of becoming an inspiration to my family, if that makes sense. 

My dad wants to lose some weight and my mom wants to become a little more toned.  My sis and I can still share clothes even though she’s mostly inactive (which drives me crazy!) and her fiancé is hoping to lose 40 pounds (the weight he’s put on since meeting my sis!) before the wedding.  I hope by hearing about me going after my health goals and seeing me make good choices, it inspires them to realize it’s not just about hoping to lose weight and wanting to lose weight, it’s about working and making it happen.

5.  Fun Question of the Week: Do you read blogs on the individual websites or via Google Reader?

 I had a blog roll when I started blogging and clicked through my favorites daily, but then I learned of the amazingness that is the Google Reader!  I have way too many blogs on there, but there’s always something new and entertaining to read.  I even have a “Challenge” category now!  Sometimes I’ll click through to the actual site if there’s a link that intrigued me or something!

 Positive picture of the week: 

My tri is not for five months, but this week I set up my training plan for that (will start in July) as well as a training schedule for all the other races I’m doing (I’m assuming it’s going to change, but it’s a good base).  Further proving that I really am future-oriented! I got really excited about the idea that I’m going to rock out all these training seshes and continue to improve as an athlete.  That’s my motivation!

WWW11

Life's Journey with a SmileMy 10 goals are:

  1. Lose 5 pounds in January and maintain (starting is 122.6).
  2. Sign up for a new dating site in February (assuming Mr. Amazing doesn’t waltz in before that).
  3. Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.
  4. Make a real meal at least once a week.
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Get a bike and decrease my gas usage.
  7. Write my guest post for The Chick Lit Bee.
  8. Roll over my 401(k)s.
  9. Do six things with friends (happy hours, game nights, etc.).
  10. Find and participate in a volunteer opportunity.

This week’s questions:

1.  What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?

Meal of the week:  burritos! 

My mileage is getting back up to where I want it to be and my work outs finally feel like part of my pattern again and on Sunday I went grocery shopping and loaded up on produce and other good things. 

 2.  There are two weeks left in this challenge – what goals are you making priority?

I’ve kind of given up on the weight loss goal.  I’m at a loss there.  My last two goals (bike and pet) are still looming over my head and I’m evaluating them this week and figure out if they are priorities to me still.

3.  Many people are on or heading into Spring Break right now, do you find it easier or harder to stay on track when your routine disappears?

That definitely depends on where I am with my workouts.  When I’m just working out to work out and my schedule gets crazy, it’s difficult to keep up, but when I have a specific training plan and a purpose in mind, it’s a lot easier to get my sessions in.

4.  Tell us something positive about this challenge. Could be something that happened to you, you did, you realized…etc.

I realized in this challenge that if  want to do something, I just have to do it.  It’s something I’ve been learning for a while, but really saw during the challenge.  I wanted to climb the seven summits, but if I didn’t make it a goal and go out and do it, it wasn’t just going to happen on its own!  Same thing with my 401(k).  Wanting to do it and constantly putting it on my to-do lists didn’t make it happen.  Mapping out and taking the steps did.  I really learned the power of “don’t talk about it, be about it.”

5.  Fun Question of the Week: The clocks sprung forward this weekend, does the time change mess you up or do you just go on like nothing happened?

Haha, another question that allows me to wave the freak flag!  Arizona does not believe in/participate in daylight savings time. 

I just tried to read an article about why and it seems there are many reasons, but since I grew up here, I’m just used to it.  Our spring and summer nights still seem long.  The sun comes up pretty early during the longest days so it means I have to get up really early to beat it and get in an outside work out, but it goes down earlier (than it would if we switched), which gives us a little reprieve from the sunlight (still HOT though).  Plus, I happily enjoyed a full 48-hour weekend!

Positive Picture:

As I learned…


{from}

Spring Fever Challenge!

I’ve really enjoyed WWW, so when Amy announced she was hosting another goal-getter challenge for the Spring, of course I was on board!  The structure is a little different this time around – love the “do something every week that makes you feel good about yourself” rule – so check it out here and sign up to play!  It starts right after the WWW ends – April 4!

WWW2

Alternate title:  Bring It On

It’s week #2 of the Winter Wonderland Warrior Challenge.  Check out my first Winter Wonderland Warriors post here

Life's Journey with a Smile

Or, if you’re feeling lazy, don’t move an inch, I’ll bring my goals to you.  You’re welcome.

  1. Lose 5 pounds in January and maintain (starting is 122.6).
  2. Sign up for a new dating site in February (assuming Mr. Amazing doesn’t waltz in before that).
  3. Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.
  4. Make a real meal at least once a week.
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Get a bike and decrease my gas usage.
  7. Write my guest post for The Chick Lit Bee.
  8. Roll over my 401(k)s.
  9. Do six things with friends (happy hours, game nights, etc.).
  10. Find and participate in a volunteer opportunity.

This week, the warriors are answering:

  1. What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?
  2. Are any of your goals repeat offenders (i.e., have you made them before and not succeeded)? If so, what do you intend on doing this time to ensure you achieve them?
  3. Do you have a support system in place to help you achieve your goals?
  4. Are you a planner when it comes to meeting your goals, or do you tend to “wing it” and hope for the best?
  5. Fun Question of the Week: Who knows about your blog? Are you on blogger lockdown or do the “real” people in your life know about your blog/read your blog?

I am a big time planner (4), so immediately when I set my goals, I mapped out when I would be completing most of them, mostly in January and February.  A few others I’m winging, the idea being with March largely unscheduled, I’ll fit in the rest. 

Some of the things are things I’ve had on my to-do lists or my I’ll get around to it lists forever (2) – specifically 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Damn, I’m a procrastinator.  Putting them on THIS to-do list gives me a deadline, but these are the ones I had to jump on right away. 

So what have I done about them? (1)  I opened a Roth IRA account that I will transfer my 401(k)s to.  I just got an email this morning that it is approved and ready, so now my next step is actually moving the funds.

I also attended a Meetup for a new group I just joined and RSVPed yes to a few others.  My intention behind “do six things with friends” was to make an effort to see my friends who I recently moved 30 minutes away from (and I spent time with them once last week too), but I’m excited about shaking up my social life and meeting new friends closer to where I am as well. 

I signed up for a new dating site.  It sucks and it’s not THE dating site I had in mind, which I still plan on joining in February, so I’m not sure if it counts.

I holed up in Barnes and Noble and “researched” my Chick Lit Bee post and started writing it.  This is my positive picture because I love that this is how I spent an afternoon:

I made my first real meal last night – alfredo pizza piled HIGH with garlic chicken, bell peppers, spinach, baby bellos, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, yum!

And I found and signed up for a volunteer opportunity that I’ll be doing next weekend!

Not too shabby, eh?

I don’t really have a support system (3) because I keep my blog private from people in my real life (5).  I do have a good friend who’s staying on top of me about the adopt a pet thing, I think because his roommates don’t want a pet, so he wants to live through me!  I love the support I received from other warriors on my first post though and have added everyone to my Reader so I can support them as well!

Eating Like a Grownup

Ugh, enough with the relationship crap, am I right?  I really am not always thinking about exes and future-exes and boys, boys, boys, I swear!

Case in point, today I wanted to switch gears and talk about wellness and food and all that good stuff.  One of the themes running through my many lists for 2011 is wanting to cook more and ensure that I’m eating healthy meals.  Yeah, we’re only a few days in, but so far, not so good. 

What types of things am I passing off as meals lately?  Christmas turkey leftovers, mustard and swiss on a Wasa cracker.  A Full Bar followed by string cheese and yogurt.  Coffee.  A crab cake and a handful of M&Ms (kind of separately).  PB&J (um, delicious, but I feel silly taking it to work because I am not actually 4).  McDonald’s.  Cereal for dinner.  Ugh.

And that’s all SINCE the new year started. 

Um, boyfriend?  Anytime now…I’m STARVING over here and need you to a. take me to dinner and b. come over so I can cook for two.  Oh, that’s right, we’re not talking about boys today.

You see, I’m not good at eating real meals.  It’s a convenience thing, a money thing, an impatient thing, a history of my relationship with food thing, a not wanting to eat the same leftovers for days on end thing.  It’s also an immature and unhealthy thing.

Even though that’s what I grew up with, it’s unusual for me to eat a vegetable if I’m not at my mother’s house.  My meals are usually more one-dimensional.  A burrito is my pièce de résistance and I don’t do sides. 

Generally I start snacking  and have a hard time stopping because there’s no real plan.  I really wouldn’t consider it a binge because I’m not stuffing it in mindlessly until discomfort.  It’s just a handful here, a snackie there and there’s no signal to my brain that I’ve had dinner. 

I’m 26 and I’d like to eat like a grownup now please.  Thank you. I’d like to plan meals, not munch while preparing them, sit down to eat, package up my leftovers for a thoughtful lunch the next day, maybe have a simple and small dessert and then move on with my evening.

I started small last night with pasta, zucchini and garlic rolls (although I did snag a roll once they were done).  I’m lusting after the delicious, but simple and healthy meals I see my foodie blog crushes making and eating and take note, collecting recipes for my once a week goal for the Winter Wonderland Challenge.  My body wants real foods and I’m going to be better about obliging that request.

Winter Wonderland Warrior

I am a warrior.

Life's Journey with a Smile

Amy at Life’s Journey with a Smile has created a great winter blog challenge to avoid the winter blues and kick off the new year in the right direction.  This challenge is kinda funny to me in that it runs through March 28th and that’s pretty much summer in good, old Arizona. I may have to revise it to “Wilting in the Warmth” Warrior!

Check out the how it’s going to work here and join in!

I am crazy about goals and enjoyed the ritual of participating in Reverb 10, although the repetitive. daily questions kind of wore me out at the end, so once a week might be just right!

This week, the warriors are answering:

  1. What are your ten goals for the WWW challenge?
  2. Why did you choose them?
  3. Are you making a New Year’s Resolution beyond the WWW challenge?
  4. What does this challenge mean to you?
  5. Fun Question of the Week: What did you do when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve?

Well, we all know I made a hefty list of resolutions for this year.  To me, this challenge is a way to not settle into a cozy end to winter.  As we’re all standing around scratching our heads saying, “Um, 2010?  Where did you go?” we KNOW how quickly 12 months flies by, so I’m using this challenge as motivation to get some of those resolutions crossed off.  They’re also some of the things I’ve had on my to-do list FOREVER and I’m hoping that now being accountable to a group will help me get them done.  Mine are:

  1. Lose 5 pounds in January and maintain (starting is 122.6).
  2. Sign up for a new dating site in February (assuming Mr. Amazing doesn’t waltz in before that).
  3. Climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.
  4. Make a real meal at least once a week.
  5. Adopt a pet.
  6. Get a bike and decrease my gas usage.
  7. Write my guest post for The Chick Lit Bee.
  8. Roll over my 401(k)s.
  9. Do six things with friends (happy hours, game nights, etc.).
  10. Find and participate in a volunteer opportunity.

And what did I do when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve?  I toasted with wonderful old and new friends and then, since we were a group of late twentysomethings, naturally we sang Lean on Me as a group to Glee Karaoke on Wii.

Oh!  And the weekly post includes a positive picture and this week I made a collage of my goals for the challenge.

 

On How Panicked Shopping Kinda Worked Out

As I JUST discussed in my post about how appreciative I am of my family, I had SUCH a hard time with Christmas gifts for them this year (and I’m actually not completely done either).  I prefer to do my shopping online, so today was pretty much crunch time (because I’m cheap with shipping and all…not sure if I can totally call it panicked shopping).  I did pick out a few good ideas from my blog crushes, so I figured I would pay it forward and share my picks too in case anyone else is struggling!

For my dad, I wanted these booties from Eddie Bauer, but I saw them on the Today Show and Matt Lauer is just about as awesome as Oprah, so they were all sold out.  I got a  less expensive version from Cabela’s, that he’s probably more likely to wear anyway since under pants, they will look like regular shoes.

For my mom, I was surprised by this necklace while checking out Eddie Bauer, but I think it’s something I’d want to see in person and she might be concerned it was too young for her, but still I like it, so I wanted to share.  I usually get her a big purse, but the last time I was at their house she showed me one she just bought herself (the nerve)!  Kenneth Cole is a friend to all women with his beautiful bags, like this one that is out of my price range, but since she doesn’t need a new purse anyway, let’s just enjoy its beauty.

I’m also giving my parents this sign, which is an Apache blessing. (It reads: May the sun bring you new energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. May the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.) I’m into the history and culture of the Southwest, but not the cheesy design often associated with it and this is a nice way to pay homage to the influence without reverting to turquoise and kokopelli.

I got my sister a pink tank top with a Hindi-inspired design WAY back in September, which gave me the false sense that I might actually do my shopping early this year.  She may also get some fun jewelry.  She’s not afraid of statement pieces, so I accessorize vicariously through her (more so-not-in-my-price-range Kenneth Cole love).

My future brother-in-law is getting this grill toy as I’ve been referring to it because I’m not entirely sure what it is or does, but I know he likes his meat.  (This set was full-priced when I bought it just a few days ago and when I went back for this post, they had knocked $10 off.  I asked for a refund of the difference and they happily obliged…go Sur la Table!)

Beyond liking to grill, my sister and her fiance love to entertain, so I got them this cute serving display, which I am going to fill with chocolate-covered pretzels and cookies to take to their Christmas party.

My grandmother is often the hardest to shop for because she’s not one of those grandmas that loves crap.  But, she does love to read and I heard that this year’s Best American Short Stories is very good, so I hope she’ll enjoy it.  I also would like to find something else for her, maybe a pin, since jewelry seems to be my go-to for my female family members.

This led me down a very dangerous path.  I went to Barnes & Noble and realized I could have completed all my shopping there.  And that I’m a big, book-loving nerd.  I orgasmed in half of the aisles and my “Books” note in my phone grew by at least ten.

I wasn’t really planning on getting anything for Rebel, but I saw a section on Arizona and since he recently moved here and is interested in exploring his new home (love that), I just wanted to get him this book and a subscription to Phoenix Magazine.  They’ll be fun resources for him and perhaps we can get lost exploring together! I’m definitely feeling more affectionate (and still no oxytocin)! 

Other books on my list…
Paddling Arizona for my dad (saving it for his upcoming birthday)
We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier or anything by Celia Rivenbark for my sister (and then me!)
My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space by Lisa Scottoline for my mom (and then me!)
Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things for the perpetual 12-year-old (bro-in-law)

And finally, items I may or may not have bought for myself while attempting to shop for others and/or items on my wishlist:
Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffee Maker
Cuisinart Food Processor

nightgown (aka dress) from H&M and knee socks from Target
a pretty, little, brand-new Toshiba laptop
running gear, including a Garmin
Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald
girly Steelers gear
a spin bike
a hybrid bike

Okay, I only bought myself the two things in bold and one was with a gift card and the other was to qualify for free shipping!  I’m still doing great with my December budget and will get around to another update on that soon. 

I’m trying to remove myself from all these things that I WANT, WANT, WANT because I don’t WANT to be a materialistic person (and, for the most part, I don’t think I am). 

I decided today that I kind of give up on the holiday season this year, but that next year, I’m totally going to do it right…early shopping and no other obligations around this time of year so I can focus on actually spending time with family and friends, baking, decorating and Christmas movie marathons!  But, then again, isn’t this always the BIG idea that NEVER really seems to happen?

Oh and here’s hoping this blog hasn’t been discovered by any of my loved ones or else there goes the element of surprise!

Community

Reverb 10, Day 7 Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

In 2010, I definitely found myself in the blogging community.  I think it was in 2010 that I discovered the awesomeness that is Google Reader and began to actively jump into strangers’ lives on a daily basis (and stopped thinking of them as strangers).  I lost a little of that when I switched blogs and I actually felt that loss.  It’s why I was upset with my mother in a way that I hadn’t been since I was a surly teenager.  The blogosphere is a funny space because you put everything out there but then think you can stay anonymous.  I’m trying to balance that now and am happy with the growing sense of community I feel around my new blog.  I’d like to nurture that in the new year and even meet some of these bloggers with whom I sometimes feel so kindred.

In 2010, I left my job at a resort, which had hundreds of employees but never felt like a community.  Everyone there was out for blood and only looking out for number one.  I joined a small office as the sixth employee and feel much more connected with the people I work with now.

In 2011, I’d like to find a sense of community in my city.  I proclaim, probably a little too loudly, that I don’t fit in here.  I always wanted to live in Scottsdale, but now that I’m here, it feels like L.A. East and I left L.A. because it’s not my style.  That’s very narrow-minded of me and I know that.  Stereotypes are typically there for a reason, but they are not absolutes. I think with a little effort, I will find a niche in Scottsdale in which I feel comfortable, whether it’s with other bloggers/writers, through a running group, by volunteering or something else.

The Nice Guy

Recent events have me questioning if nice guys really do finish last.  I’ve got this great guy interested in me and maybe it’s a little too easy.  He doesn’t play games.  He strives to make me happy.  And what do I do?  Exchange emails with ex-boyfriends. (And actively participate in a dating website, which I don’t feel guilty about, because although playing the field is a little foreign to me, that’s what dating is about, until I decide I want to focus on one guy.) 

The talking to exes is just stupid.  Phone numbers can be deleted, but email addresses are too damn easy to remember.  It starts off innocently enough, but their numbers had been deleted for a reason.  These are the men that I can’t be friends with because one or both of us tends to forget why we’re not together. 

I go into it knowing I have a valuable secret in my back pocket.  If we tried again, if I got him back, it wouldn’t take away the hurt that losing him created.  It’s been on my mind since reading Write Meg!‘s post about young adult books she wishes she would have read when she was a young adult, paraphrased from a line from An Abundance of Katherines.  It’s a great way to remind myself to keep looking forward.  I don’t even want these men back, I just like remembering relationships that I felt, at one time, passionate about. 

In my defense, I can’t be totally damaged.  The last guy I was into was a “nice” guy.  After just a few dates, the first word that came to mind when trying to describe him was “considerate.”  That’s a wonderful quality.  At the same time, he was confident, which worked with the nice, making him sexy.

See?  Not damaged.  Nice is good.  Too nice is not.  Whether you’re a man or woman, too nice will get you walked on.  I don’t want to walk on nice guys and be the hurter in relationships.  And I really don’t want to end up with the bad guys and be hurt.  Dating is such a balancing act.