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?

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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.