I can’t believe

I can’t believe it’s been almost exactly one year since I’ve visited and used this space. My desire to journal ebbs and flows for a variety of reasons. But lately, all I can think about is writing down my thoughts.

I can honestly say the past year has changed me. (Can’t I say that about every year?) I am a different and stronger person than I was last year, both mentally and physically. I’ve also been through some pretty horrible times. I’ve had some great and wonderful times too.

My focus right now is on me and my family and finishing my degree. I feel more at peace with my present circumstances than I have in quite sometime. With that peace comes motivation and drive to be a productive contributor to every part of my life.

Random things update:

- Currently reading: Wheat Belly and The Brass Verdict

- Currently watching: I can honestly say I haven’t turned the TV on in over a week. By the time I get home at night I am ready to eat, crawl into bed, and read.

- Currently hoping: That the next few months come and go smoothly. That current circumstances I am in are temporary and will be distant memories this time next year.

- Currently feeling: hopeful, driven, peaceful…

- Currently excited about: becoming a fitness instructor again; kind of like journaling, my motivation for teaching fitness kind of fell to the wayside for a while, I’m happy to report it is back and better than ever

- Currently thinking: about my tasks to complete at work today, that I’m going to have a great workout this evening, and that things will happen exactly as they are meant to…no matter how out of control things may seem at times.

Having some crazy insomnia this morning. Not only can I not fall back to sleep, but also my mind races with every though imaginable. I’m thinking about the day ahead, the bootcamp workout I’ve got this morning, cleaning house and grocery shopping with my roommate tonight. Then I started thinking about Saturday’s agenda.

I’ve come to the striking realization that I have trouble (a lot of trouble) staying present in the moment. And I’m not just referring to mornings when I can’t sleep. I’m constantly looking for distraction from living in the moment. I live for the next workout, the next meal, the next meeting, the next weekend, or just the next time I get to go to bed. Next, next, next…

And to pass time at work I check social media. I read things that are not work-related. I plan my workout. I find focusing on the here and now to be very difficult feat. Another thing is, I can’t even watch a television show without checking my phone and looking at facebook and twitter constantly. It’s like watching TV is not “stimulating” enough of a distraction for me.

I feel like what I need to address is why I am avoiding the present moment, and why it’s so hard for me to constantly need to know the future. As I type this I remember how my anxiety-type personalities needs some sort of structure and ability to predict. It calms me to know what’s going to happen next and when. But I think there’s a fine line where this seemingly healthy “structure” can go into overdrive and ruin what is supposed to be a happy, healthy life.

I really don’t want time to pass by me. I want to pay attention to each and every day. If the past 3 months have taught me anything, it’s that I need to appreciate every day, every person, and every experience that comes my way. Life is a wonderful thing. And the best part about it is that it is my choice on how I live it. Our lives are the one thing that truly no one can change for us. We get to decide how to live. We get the full experience of every day. So why not make the most of it?

Brick Workout

I reserve Tuesdays for my early morning bike rides. It’s more of a challenge to get rides in on weekdays, there’s just less time. But at least one or two mornings per week, I get up at 5:20am and am on the trail/road by 6. That gives me a good hour before I need to be home getting ready for work.

This morning I decided to switch things up a bit. My rides have become pretty predictable, which is nice sometimes, but I needed something different this morning. I told myself I would do 10 hilly miles on the trail at a moderate/fast pace, then exchange my cycling shoes for tennis shoes and run 2 miles. A typical brick workout.

I’m not training for anything, but I’ve noticed that in some of our fitness classes recently that running after being on the spin bike really feels pretty good to my legs and presents more of a cardiovascular challenge at the end of a workout.

It was a great workout, and I was finished in just over an hour. I may start incorporating bricks into my training more often, if only just to break up my cycling routine a bit.

And here’s the great view I was able to photograph at the beginning and end of my ride:

sunriseJust another thing that gets me out of bed in the morning, besides a workout.

 

My Choice

Another Monday. I’m having one of those periods of time where life is feeling monotonous again. Day in, day out, my days pretty much look the same and are very predictable. I can’t help but feeling that part of my anxiety about this comes from living life looking “in” rather that living in the moment and experiencing everything fully. It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling, I guess right now I feel like I’m an observer rather than a participant in my life. As depressing as all of this sounds, I’m generally happy right now. I’m just struggling to figure out where I want things to fall into place and who I truly, truly am at this point.

I realized over the weekend that I depend on others to make decisions for me. And it seems to primarily be over the little things, like going out or picking a place to meet. It’s funny, I don’t want to make decisions, but I also hate getting into situations and feeling out of control. That is an anomaly. Do I want to be in control and make all of the decisions, or do I just want to go along for the ride?

Control is not real. I can’t actually be 100% in control. I can steer my life and my day to day to the best of my ability, and the rest is up to the universe. But, the only thing I do have control over is my decisions and my choices. I can decide what to do each day and I can choose to be happy and content in that decision. I guess I’m still struggling with trusting myself.

Maybe that’s why I leave decisions up to someone else. Decision-making still makes me uncomfortable and fearful. I’d rather blame someone else for things not going well than hate myself for making the wrong call. And, that is the honest truth about it. Even though there’s no such thing as perfect or “right”. Every situation can be labeled. That’s another choice I have. I can call it whatever I like. But deciding to shed positive light on the situations in my life is a heck of a lot more productive and healthy than shedding negative light on everything and feeling regret and anxiety.

I want to live my life. I want to be an active participant. I want to love everyday and know that I lived it to the fullest. That’s life. This is life. Right now. There’s nothing better around the corner, and tomorrow is not promised.

Get on it, Monday.

7 Thoughts

Wow, I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I written something to this blog. July went by like a whirlwind, and I was out of town for an entire week, so I guess that’s why it feels like it never happened. Today, August 9th, I am sitting in my NEW home, at my kitchen table, drinking coffee before work. I LOVE my new place. And I love the fact that I have a roommate again. I’m doing so much better than I was two months ago. I’m happier, less stressed and overall more satisfied with my life.

I came across this post this morning, and I thought it would be fun to use it as a template to write some things down. I am in no way perfect and happy 100% of the time, so journaling is a helpful way to get any kind of stresses or worries off of my mind.

7 Questions to End Your Week With:

1. Pleasant surprises of the week?

That I am capable of more than I realized at work. We had a few hectic days in the lab this week, and it really forced me to leave my comfort zone and step up to some responsibilities I’m not used to having.

2. What lessons did my work teach me this week?

Mostly, that my role in graduate school is a process. Nothing is going to be finished in 24 hours, nor should it be. There is a need for feedback, conversations and thinking before anything is made final or fully planned out.

3. Short-term and long-term goals still aligned?

I actually am pretty satisfied with myself on this front. My short-term goals (starting my dissertation, getting data for my September presentations and submitting an abstract to a conference by December) all are going to build on the much longer-term goal of earning a PhD and going into a solid post-doc position.

4. What could I have spent more/less time doing?

I definitely, definitely could have spent less time checking social media this week. I am very aware that a lot of my time is spent going between facebook, twitter, instagram or tumblr. I am going to try to unplug this weekend and see how things go.

More time could have been spent on my aims. I was really motivated at the end of the week, but for some reason, as the week progressed I started feeling a bit lost and not sure how to approach them. Hopefully I can get back on track today.

5. Fear and uncertainty?

Those two things, especially the uncertainty part, really affect me on a daily basis. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but decisions are sometimes still pretty difficult to make, and I think a lot of it has to do with trusting myself. I want to gain more trust in myself and hopefully a side effect of that will suppress some of the fear and uncertainty I still experience in my head.

6. What mental clutter can I clear?

Body NOISE! More specifically, constantly wondering if what I’m doing for my body is the right thing (what I’m eating, how much I’m working out…). Furthermore, I am having a hard time getting out of the comparison trap lately. I want to be assured that I’m not doing anything “out of the ordinary” so I compare my actions with those of others. UGH. So annoying and really wish I could de-clutter that.

7. For next week…

- Take my time when making plans, appointments, promises etc. Everything will get done in a decent amount of time, so there’s no need to stress or overwhelm myself before things happen.

- Be more open. Don’t shut down thoughts and ideas before you give them a moment to sit in your head. You never know where one might lead.

- Love myself. I know I am a smart, capable, amazing woman. I just need to live that way.

July 1

It’s another first of the month. I don’t even want to recap the month of June because it was a time filled with so many ups and downs, devastations and loss. There were of course many good things about June: personally, I worked hard to stay healthy, maintained my normally active lifestyle, and spent a lot of time with good friends and family.

As I was typing this, I realized we are also exactly halfway through 2013. That in itself is a crazy notion to me. If you had asked me in January what life would look like in 6 months, I would certainly have been way, way off.

Regardless, new months are new beginnings. And I am to make the last six months of this year even better than the first. I’m going to end this post on a positive note, by laying out what I have to be thankful for and what I have to look forward to in the coming weeks:

  • Only 3 1/2 days of going into work this week!
  • 4th of July is Thursday…Yay America and yay summertime
  • Already have TWO bike rides planned for this week, I’m pretty pumped about that
  • Beach trip on Saturday
  • Pontoon boat rental #daydrinking
  • Several books in the line-up for this month. I plan on getting some leisure reading done in the next few weeks.
  • Moving to my new house in a few weeks…complete with huge, fenced in yard and an awesome kitchen!
  • Starting over. Starting fresh. Taking deep breaths and taking one. day. at. a. time.

And some Monday Motivation/Truths 

 

self

 

 

successBring it, July.

Monday Motivation on a Tuesday

I was quite exhausted and sleepy yesterday after a very active and fun weekend, so I didn’t remember to do a “Monday Motivation” post, which I’ve decided is something I’d like to keep doing on a weekly basis. To say I’m going through a rough patch life- and career-wise right now is putting it lightly. I feel like so many thing are up in the air and I’m a bit lost. I also am coming to terms with the fact that the somewhat planned trajectory I had envisioned for the next 2 years is not going to happen the way I anticipated. With all of these emotions and uncertainties in my head, it’s been extremely difficult to find motivation to get back to what I consider to be normal. When I don’t have a clear cut goal in my head (either long- or short-term), it’s hard to know where to start and what to do.

What better time to throw some motivation out there…

done

Remember. Look for the positives, look at all I have to be thankful for and excited about.

Good-Day

 

Don’t stop. Keep my momentum and let it be my guide.
keepgoing

So go out, and do the things you know you want to do. Don’t let others tell you that you are wrong.

life

Successive approximation to achieve my goals. It cannot all happen at once.
slow

Thursday Thoughts (What You Taught Me) 6/20/13

1. A week ago today my mentor passed away unexpectedly and very suddenly. The next few months are going to be hard. Who am I kidding? This is tough. Period. And it will never be quite right without him. He was a trusted friend, an advisor, and a support for me both personally and academically. I feel somewhat abandoned and lost right now. Sometimes I feel like he was the only person who really believed in me, more than myself even.

2. I feel like I’m slowly getting back to work since all that has happened last week. It’s not the same. But I go through the motions and sometimes I feel normal.

3. Life is precious. Live every moment. Don’t look down at your phone all of the time and be in another world, be in the moment, always.

4. Listen and learn from those around you. Especially the people you are close to. They have many, many important words of wisdom to share.

5. Try and think and DO with abandon. Never let someone tell you that you aren’t enough. You are.

6. Be patient. Don’t be in such a hurry. Everything will come in time and never a moment too late.

7. Laugh. Tell jokes, even if they seem silly. It’s good for the heart and soul.

8. Never start a meeting in too much of a business-like manner. Give the other person time to settle in, ask them about their day, ask them about their hobbies. Break the ice, then get down to business. There’s time enough for that, and it makes any meeting more comfortable.

9. Put stuff back where you got it from. No one will ever be able to use something if it’s not put back in its rightful place.

10. Know who to talk to when you need something. Know who holds the key to getting what you want and most importantly, know how to ask. It will get you far in this life.

11. Questions are not meant as an attack. Questions are usually merely asked in order to gain more information. Novel idea, right?

12. Don’t go too fast. Maintain a pace you’re comfortable with and that you can do until you’re 80 years old.

13. Respect the past. Acknowledge it and learn from it. And never forget what those who came before have done and what they have contributed to this world.

I hope I live up to all that you believed I could be.

Over the Hump

Over the hump of this week and I must say today was the first day I’ve felt *almost* normal in an entire week. I got some work done this afternoon and didn’t feel the need to rush home and crash on my couch. I actually had a good deal of energy today, so even though we did a brick workout (spin-run-spin-run) at F360 this morning, I decided to venture to a PM Spin/TRX class to get some strength work in. REST day tomorrow!!

I must say that going to rough experiences lately has reminded me how important it is to reach out to others. And I’ve been reminded of how many amazing, wonderful and loving friends I have. Every day I get a text from someone, near and far away, that just wants me to know they care about me and that they are there for me. It feels pretty amazing, and it causing me to come out of my shell just a little more each day.

I need to remember that reaching out to others is key in making people feel loved and cared for and comforted. I will return the favor, because everyone goes through a time in their life when support is needed.

To end on a positive note, here’s a list of things I’m excited for in the coming days:

1. Baseball game tomorrow night with my dad. Free food and beer provided by his law firm :)

2. It’s almost Friday, which means this week is over and another one is on it’s way. I need a new week to get myself back to normal.

3. I’ve got my usual Saturday bike ride planned for this weekend. Always at the top of my list!

4.  Getting out of my comfort zone in the next several days/week. I’m going to work on myself for a while, and work really hard at it.

Rainy Tuesday

It’s a rainy Tuesday morning around here. The rain woke me up at about 3am, thunder and lightning, the who shebang. I still slept really well last night. I needed it. I also am glad and thankful to get back to my routine. I did my usual 5:30am workout (weights + HIIT cardio). My left knee was feeling funky last night, probably from no rest day this weekend, so I kept the cardio to the elliptical, which always helps.

I definitely try to listen to my body these days. Yesterday, I only stayed on campus til about 12, when I decided I was too tired and emotionally exhausted to stay the entire day. So I came home, ate lunch, and laid/napped on the couch for the next 4 hours. I woke up feeling a bit better. Sometimes, your body nudges you, sometimes your body screams at you to slow down and take a break. Yesterday was the latter.

I saw this post yesterday, and considering the direction my life is taking currently, I was intrigued and had to read it and subsequently email it to myself.

I found this quote to be exceptionally striking:

“I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

I have so many questions, fears, and worries at the present time. So much is unknown to me and so many things I do not have the slightest idea how I’m going to achieve. I remind myself to have patience. To live each day at a time, and do not push myself further than I am currently able. I know that I need to live the questions right now and ride out this experience. Does not make this any easier though.