I am absolutely pleased to say that the semester is finished! If nothing catastrophic happens with the grading of my paper, I should be looking at 2 A’s and an A+ for my final grades. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
This semester was a rough one. All of my classes were labor intensive and all were complicated in different ways. Now that they are finished, I find myself relishing the thought of a summer unencumbered by schoolwork. I am sure I will pay for that later, I should just be getting on with it, but I am not feeling it this semester. A break is warranted.
This semester was also full of work for, well, work. My job was very busy for the last several months. We had a triennial program review to plan, execute, and generally have nightmares over. I had several, and they increased in repetition the closer we got to the review. I am happy to report that every went well, and I think I would have received an A+ on that assignment as well.
So I have been busily finishing up school and work projects, going in and out of the box and working my butt off to build a little muscle and endurance. (And burn off stress and stave off fatigue at the same time.) I missed a lot of hoop class, but still managed some hoop time, and even got my Jay into the spirit on Take Our Kids to Work Day. He hooped with my trainer and she rewarded him with a gorgeous smile, and a big hug.
Over the last two weekends, Ed and I, with the help of Ed’s son Justin and his best friend Jacob (assisted by the most adorable 2-year old foreman you ever met) started working to rejuvenate the front yard.
Now that we have lovely level dirt, we have to dig some more to lay the irrigation system. I have been banished from digging, as the King says watching me dig raises his blood pressure. Its too bad he didn’t feel that way about letting me move rock, he seemed all for that! No matter, no digging for me! While Ed is digging, I can be busy going to the box, and hot yoga, maybe even a farmer’s market or two… Until the irrigation is down, I won’t have much to do. Once it is in, however, I will be busy planting and making the yard look beautiful!
The puppy has grown into a horse, which we knew he would but it took us by surprise anyway. He is, at 6 months, able to reach up and stare over the kitchen counters. He is twice the size of Saki dog, and although he is large and ungainly, he is also a big teddy bear who just loves to be loved on. I am also happy to report that the dogs and cat are living together in what can only be called disdainful acceptance. Which is fine with me, they are not bothering each other.
So, all in all, the summer season is starting off well with good news all around and lots of fun things to keep me going. I am thankful for the reprieve from school work, and looking forward to a summer filled with new adventures and hopefully some familiar faces. Maybe a visitor or two. Maybe some fun trips to new places. Who knows. I will make sure to keep you posted. No matter what, I am blessed to have so many wonderful people to share this summer with!
Have you ever wished that you still had that same sense of wonder that you did when you were a child? When you grow up, you stop seeing things as magical and start seeing them as logical. We seem to train our bodies and brains to do the exact opposite of what we should do. We train ourselves to eat for convenience instead of for fuel or nutrition. We train our bodies to rely on machines instead of our own strength and flexibility. And we train our minds to rely on what we see as fact, on logic and science and dogma, as we ignore the inner voices that see pictures in clouds and turns cardboard boxes into sailing ships.
Today, two things happened to help me see the wonder in the world. First, I went to hoop class. Surprised? Spending 30 minutes inside a hula hoop is not just exercise, its recess. When you are hooping, you are going to be smiling, even if the hoop falls a lot. Even if every else looks like they are doing it better. Because you are moving around shaking your body like you did when you were a kid. Hooping is good for your soul. It lets you see the world like its full of magic and wonder, just like when you were young.
Second, I gave my cat a bag. Yes, you read that right. If you have a cat you need no further explanations. If you don’t, let me tell you of the magic that is a cat and her paper bag. Cats love things that crinkle and rustle. They love to jump in and out of boxes and bags and drawers and cupboards and, well, you get the idea. When you give cats “cat toys” they will be interested in them for a while, but then the magic fades and they either destroy the thing or ignore it completely. But a big paper bag? That is kitty crack
There is nothing on this earth like a cat in a paper bag to make you realize that there is joy and wonder to be found everywhere. Inside the hoop, or in a bag, go find some magic and stretch your imagination. See the wonder in your world.
I am exhausted. I have had so much to do these last few days and so little time, it seems, to do it. But I had a really productive week and am feeling pretty good about a lot of my big rocks for the Spring. On Friday, I had my first lesson in Escrima at lunch. It was pretty awesome, actually. I am sure I looked fairly idiotic, but it was really cool to learn. I have always wanted to learn a form of martial arts, and this one seems like a good fit! We will see if I decide to stick with it.
Friday afternoon my kitchen and I had an “up-close-and-personal” chat. It has been behaving badly lately. If you know me at all, you know that I despise doing the dishes, probably more than any other job in the house. Despise it. Really. But since it stubbornly refuses to clean itself, I had to give in and spend two hours cleaning and mopping and organizing and generally making it a useful room again. We have decided to play nice, at least for a while.
Saturday morning, tragedy struck. The Keurig (yes the brand new Keurig) stopped brewing. Calamity! I had it packed up in its box and ready to return to the store so fast you would think I had done it by magic. Which I did, the magic of WHERE IS MY COFFEE!!!!!! Ed and I made a morning of it, went to breakfast, checked out the new Target, and then finally got him a new cell phone (which, I must say, has cut down on the swearing coming from his chair immeasurably.) After that, we got ready and met his daughter Amanda, and her cousin Danielle at the ball park to enjoy a little baseball and some good company.
Saturdays have a funny habit of turning into Sundays, which is the day you remember all the things you were going to try and get done over the weekend are still on your to-do list. Instead of going on the Sunday Run Club Cantina Crawl, with the people from Cantina Crossfit, I ended up sweeping, mopping, and dusting the living room and doing laundry (and burpees, I mean come on, its only day seven of the challenge) and then working to clean up the flower bed and plant some new living green things. The king and I even started talking front yard landscaping and porch revitalization. Hopefully we can keep on that momentum.
And while shopping for all things landscape, I found this little treasure at, of all places, Lowes! This is hands down my favorite barbecue sauce in the entire world. I fell in love with it way back in the 1990s, when I found it in a flea market in North Carolina. Every now and then I will come across it in some random store or another. This stuff makes the best wings on the planet, so if you happen into a Lowes, check and see if it is in the section with the grill accessories, you will thank me for it! Honestly.
And while I didn’t really go too crazy this weekend, I did manage to spend some time practicing a new hoop trick, hanging out with the dogs and the kitty, and had a nice weekend of doing things inside and out with my King Edward. Overall just enjoying life a little. What a great way to start off the Spring season, feeling like I am getting things done. I am even all caught up on homework! Well, for now.
A mixture of chores and treats is a great way to feel like you have accomplished a lot. Even small tasks feel impressive when you have checked them off the to-do list.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
So this was a pretty big week! Here’s how it went…
I have been really enjoying my Crossfit experience, and one of the coaches talked me into giving it a two week test drive. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday in the box. My friend from the Saturday morning Meetups, Barbara, goes at that time also, so it worked out pretty good. I was going to start last week, but got sidelined by the stomach bug. So Monday, February 25, I headed over to Cantina Crossfit to start my new workout regimen. Fear and Panic, followed by Pain and Suffering, with a healthy dose of Awe and Confidence to finish it up. That is pretty much my experience. I freak out panic all day that I won’t be able to do what they ask of me, then I push as hard as I can to be able to do it. At the end out each session I am amazed that I was able to achieve the goal for the day, even if I finish dead last, or have to scale back for my strength. Crazy, huh?
So, my first weekday workout, and they are doing squats, and presses, and pullups. Weightlifting and Ida lifting all at once. (I won’t tell you which is harder, but the weighted bar was only 45 pounds, so I am sure you could guess. Just not out loud please, I do have my pride.)
This week was also really homework intensive. Microeconomics is becoming my chief academic nemesis, and the sheer volume of reading involved in Psychology and History is starting to overwhelm. Although I have a much better understanding of ancient civilizations and what perception really means…. I am still a little rocky on our to understand the marginal cost of something as related to the number of units to produce, but I am working on it.
Tuesday I did go to the sculpt and strengthen class at lunch, and it kicked my butt because I was still tired from Monday night, so I may not do that again! But we will see. Wednesday, hoop class where I am still working on isolations and my new direction change move, then back to the box where Barb and I had a lot more company than on Monday. Three younger women, and a couple whose children sat quietly doing their homework while Mom and Dad worked out. It was another tough workout, but I am starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the whole point is to make it tough. And they are doing a fine job of it if that is the case.
I came in with the last time for our group, but I really don’t mind. The interesting thing about recording your time or reps for the workout of the day, it seems like you would compete against everyone else, but you don’t. Well, not really. Because even though everyone is doing the same workout, each person has a different level of achievement or progression, so you are only ever really competing with yourself. I know there is a gripping metaphor for life their somewhere, but I will let you find your own version of it, it should be scaled to your own existence, just like this workout was scaled to mine.
I did try and study a little on Wednesday night, but it seemed my attentions were needed elsewhere…
Thursday I managed to finish all of my homework, get quite a bit of work done, clean the kitchen, take a 50 minute walk with my Miss Rebekah and still have coffee with my girls Toni-Lei and Stephanie. It has become increasingly hard to find time for all three of us to get together, and we are now down to about once a month. Toni’s business is really starting to pick up with her real estate and property management business, Couture Brokerage, and Steph has a handful with working crazy hours and watching her grandson several times a week. But it is nice that we all have a chance to get together even if its limited, and more importantly, that we still work to find time together.
Friday was my day off (yay!) and I took the opportunity to sleep in until almost 7:00 a.m. before getting up to feed the puppies and then start my day of leisure. I did hit the scale first, and check it out!
I am now only 2.8 pounds away from my next weight goal. This has taken over a year and I am super excited to think I will hit 150! Now I can work on strength and conditioning, you know, in case of a zombie apocalypse…
Friday morning I met my friend Alyssa for tea at Figments Tea Shoppe and we had a pot of their delicious chocolate raspberry truffle black tea. And since we were in the tea shoppe and enjoying a pot over scones, we had to find the perfect tea party hats as well. Luckily, Figments supplies a nice variety to pick from.
This week was busy, and a little overwhelming. But it was also very rewarding, and filled with accomplishment. Its nice that we can balance that sense of panic and pressure with an appreciate of achievement and joy. I think that is what makes our human existence so unique, the limitless amount we can feel and experience at any given time. I know I am grateful that I can carry both drive and contentment with me throughout my life.
See you all soon, have a great week, and try and find a moment for a spot of tea! (I have a great hat you can borrow.)
Okay, I know, “Where have you been?” The truth is, I have been overwhelmed and overloaded for the last ten days. Between work, and school, and home, and family, and friends, and health commitments, I have not had a lot of time to sit down and blog. But I missed you guys, and I missed sharing with you, so let’s get caught up.
Since we last spoke, I have been to two sculpt and strength classes, spent 4 hour hooping, one yogalates class, three sessions at the gym, and session of kick-your-butt crossfit. I have also been trying those ViSalus shakes and I have to admit they are really good. I have tried about four different recipes with everything from chia and oatmeal to pistachio and cocoa. All came out really delicious! Even the King seems to like them. Considering he despises anything that would be considered healthy, that is pretty amazing.
Over the last ten days, I have also spent about 19 hours on school work and another hour and a half on psychology research studies. As we get further into the semester, the assignments are getting tougher, and more interesting. I think three classes may be more than I should have grabbed this semester, but at the same time, I think I am glad I took all three.
Along with all of my responsibilities this week, I have had some really great moments. I was shocked to discover that several people actually recognized me from my speech at the Biggest Loser kickoff. I spent several hours of time yelling at and snuggling with my dogs and my kitty. My friend Cindy got her hula hoop and is digging it, which is so gratifying, because I love to see people pick up the hoop for the first time an find a little joy with it.
We also celebrated some pretty impressive milestones around here. On February 12, my Moms and Daddy celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. A pretty impressive number. They have truly been wonderful role models and I am fortunate to have such a great example of what it takes to make love work. And just yesterday, King Edward and I celebrated our 4th anniversary, which we both agree is absolutely shocking and highly unlikely.
So, there, I think we are all caught up again. I am hoping for a good weekend of crossfit, hot yoga, friends, furry kids, and a little rest. I know that no matter what else it may contain the next few days will hold lots of laughter. What else could you possibly want out of life?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go hit the books
YAY! Today I get to go back to my hoop class! It has been over two weeks since my last hoop class, and my favorite hoop instructor is back. My Miss Rebekah is back in hoop this week also so double yay for that too! I think the best thing about hoop class, other than all my girls who come to class with me, is that its like recess. Middle of the week, middle of the day, 30 minutes to feel like a kid while you work on strength and balance. Not too bad, huh? Seriously, grab a hoop and give it a try.
Along with hoop class, I actually did get a lot accomplished on Wednesday. I got a great review from my boss, I worked on organizing my calendar, and checked off some big items off of the looming ToDo list that sits in my office. The biggest of which was something I had been nervous about for about a month.
Have you noticed that when you are afraid of an outcome, you will often avoid a problem. Kind of like doing your taxes. You know you need to do them, but at some level you just can’t believe its going to end up being a good thing, so you put it off until the last minute. I have a bad habit of doing that. If there is a chance it won’t come out the way I like it, I am likely to avoid doing anything. I know, its a failing of mine. I work myself into a blind panic, just certain that its going to come out bad. Today, I confronted that small fear. And the result was so positive, that I felt a little silly for avoiding it to begin with.
As part of my year of thankfulness, I keep trying to let go of some of these things that are holding me back. When I am afraid of something unknown, I need to stop writing the story with a negative ending and write a good ending instead. Our positive thoughts really do make a difference. Today I felt empowered by letting go of that fear and that feeling of empowerment is one I get to keep for a long time.
What fear do you have holding you back from greater levels of happiness. Do you think you can let go of that fear?