Friday, May 29, 2009

Exhaustion on a Friday

Confession: I am a complete wench about getting enough sleep.
I admit it.
I think it's going too far to say I take pride in it, but at least I know my flaws, and do my best to deal with them. Now, that means that I am super duper sure to get enough sleep (but sometimes, things happen)

In future years, when I have little ones running around and less free time and such, I know I won't be able to be such a baby about it, but right now, there is no concievable solution - I go more than 1 night with less sufficient sleep, and Charis = Dragon.

So, today instead of a regular post (it's been one of those weeks), I'll give you a glimpse of what I did last weekend and what I'll be doing this weekend:

Enjoying the Pacific from a healthy distance (I don't know which is better, toxic sludge on our side or medical waste on the Atlantic side, hmmm., I'll stay in the sand, thanks.)

And dozing:

Have a lovely weekend!

And today's whiteboard quote:
"Dwell not upon thy weariness, thy strength shall be according to the measure of thy desire."
~Arab Proverb

Now get to work!

oh, and by the way, baking soda as deodorant totally works. Who knew?
last night this happened -

C: "Why the heck doesn't everyone use baking soda? It works 10 times better than regular deodorant..."
T: "Because it doesn't have millions of dollars of commercials pushing it. And it doesn't have special smells added to it (that are probably bad for you too)."
C: "Hmmm..."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stinky Part II and Other Gross Stuff

So the alcohol worked just fine (I know, I was shocked too - who knew?), however after some further investigation by T and me, it turned out that having your skin absorb that particular stuff is also pretty bad for you. Mild poison is still poison, after all. T saw, in his research (and I caught up to him about an hour later) that you can use baking soda too - just apply it with your fingertips after the shower. Moisten your fingertips, sprinkle baking soda on them, then apply the paste it makes just like you would deodorant. So far, so good, although I am only about 1.5 hours out of the shower (still carrying that regular deodorant in my purse for backup, don't worry)....

Now, onto other grossness,

I'd been having some subtle and seemingly non-related physical symptoms that I couldn't quite peg down to any cause, and in finally sitting down and researching them yesterday, I found out something that still makes my skin crawl. Did you know that 85% to 95% of Americans have intestinal parasites? I'm serious, like, not even little bacteria, I'm talking hard core animals living in your body. And a lot of folks are criticizing USA health care because it's never addressed although so prevalent. Apparently in other parts of the world and throughout history de-worming (I'm cringing as I type that, ewwwwwww) is a normal part of life, because everyone and their Uncle Charlie has them.

Holy fudruckers.

Are you screaming inside your head right now?

That's what I did for most of the day yesterday.

Then I ordered this (one each for T and me). Scroll down and read the user reviews...

I have no words.

All I'm saying is, you can bet your buttons that I'll be doing that once a year from now on. And I'm kind of afraid at what'll happen. Ew, just the thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Oh, and I also found out in my research (this is right before I actually let myself come to the conclusion that it may actually be the problem) that these are the ways you can get them:
  • Undercooked meat (yes, we all know that. And I don't eat much meat, but when I eat those couple of steaks a year, I'm a medium girl)
  • And here's the big one: Produce. Yep, if it's been washed by water that's had contact with soil that held the eggs (which are tiny, and live for years and years, and are pretty much wherever animals are, hello farms and gardens), then you're screwed. And we eat organic (no pesticides killing the eggs). And I never wash my apples before I eat them. I know, I know. I will fo sho be washing them from now on...
So there's some information that I'm sure that you are thankful to now have floating around in your brain.

You're welcome.

I'll let you know how the baking soda works for the stinkiness. Don't expect updates on the other one though, this blog ain't that personal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Strange Day

I am having a strange day today.

I can't concentrate and I'm having a rough time staying on task...I haven't even written my little daily minute-by-minute schedule (the mini spiral notebook for this express purpose still resides in my purse. That in itself is an anomalous phenomenon...)

I think, in response, I will do what my spirit's telling me to - be a good girl and continue to inhabit my office persona until 4:15pm, at that time drive home (listening to Dune, my current audiobook, very thought-provoking), and promptly go to bed, sip some herbal tea, maybe watch the Bachelorette online (my guilty pleasure), and wait for T to come home and snuggle me (I'll likely be asleep first. It's okay, I don't mind being waken up for a good cause)...

Stinky (or not)

Today's whiteboard quote:

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily."

~Zig Zigler

So there.

Speaking of bathing and such, today I'm trying out the isopropryl-alcohol-instead-of-deodorant thing that I've heard of here and there over the past few years. Supposedly classic antiperspirant/deodorants have a bunch of nasty stuff in them that's bad for you (possibly poisonous, according to some. Mildly so, of course, but who wants to even be mildly poisoned?)

My dad did this while on his distance bike trip (he went around the northern border of the country - you can find his record of it here under the second bullet), and said it worked just fine. Lately T is educating me on how many household chemicals and even cosmetics can have dire consequences when absorbed through the skin (no more nail polish for me - I know. But I can understand how you would NOT want that, or remover for that matter, absorbed into your body. So I'm getting lots of mileage from my buffer, you'd better believe it...), and since I'd heard good things about this method, I decided at Target yesterday to give it a go.

Rubbing alcohol only has 70% strength, so I just got the isopropyl stuff and used it last night after a shower, this morning I was non-smelly, so I'm'a keep going and see how it is today (yes, if you're wondering, I do have a standby stick of regular stuff in my purse, just in case)...

Although now, after googling for the correct spelling of isopropyl, I'm seeing that IT may not be all that healthy either - bollocks! More research will be undertaken...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

As WE Are

Today's whiteboard quote:

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
~Anais Nin

I think most of us have a love/hate relationship with sayings and concepts like the one above. On one hand, it gives us the opportunity to change our lives in an instant, just by changing our outlook, and as a result of that shift in perception, to make future decisions that work "toward hope, instead of away from fear" (according to my undergraduate Learning & Behavior prof), and that will make our external lives better, bit by bit, until we one day raise our heads and look around and realize that we can't quite remember what it really felt like to be as unhappy as we could swear we once were....

Man, that sure was a run-on sentence.

But on the other hand, it also puts the pressure on us to choose how we want to live, and to choose how we want our lives to be. Once you realize that there is a choice, how can you justify making the choice to be unhappy? Also, once you realize there's a choice, how can you justify not doing things to improve the world, in whatever small or large way(s) that you can?

So having that power isn't necessarily always a good thing, from our own perspectives.

I know that I often sigh in begrudging frustration when it occurs to me, after a bad day or a fight or an unproductive week, when I'm feeling bad about myself anyway, that the whole thing is mostly, if not all, my own fault.

Yes, things happen that are outside of our control. But how we handle them is always within our control.

Dang.

So, with this knowledge of choice in my arsenal, I'm off to make my goals for the day, the week, the month (or, until I forget and need to be reminded again :) )

How will you choose to be?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Take Your T to Work Day

That's what Friday was for me.

Unofficially, of course.


The thing is, I had a conference to host (which = sitting outside in the courtyard of the conference building by the entrance and reading a book all day), and since T was going to be in Pasadena anyway, at the same campus, doing work, he came and kept me company, doing his work across the table from me.

I don't think my boss liked it very much.

However, my productivity wasn't stalled at all! (Before T = sitting at table, reading book. With T = sitting at table, reading book. I don't see much of a difference....)

But that was neither here nor there.

I was definitely more entertained with him there for this reason:

He's one of the reasons why college campus squirrels are so fat.

But I love him anyway.


In his defense, I think the nuts were organic so maybe it's not so bad....we did see a squirrel (probably the same one as featured above) hanging out with an entire blueberry scone....Maybe the "good fat" he gave them helped lower their cholesterol?


note: those pics aren't taken with my new and awesome camera. You'll see pics from it before long, promise :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bow Chicka Wow Wow


This is my new camera.
...or in other words, my new lover.

My fingers dance along its smooth body as I figure out which buttons to push to make both of us oh so happy.

I learn more about it everyday, as it is complex enough to make me work but gorgeously simple enough that I have full confidence of cracking every combination and hidden setting...

(oh yeah, right there...)


What does this mean?

No one is safe.

Prepare to have a blog overloaded by pictures.

Well, sometimes.

A girl has to keep her old lovers happy too (as in, the keyboard. You have to remember who's been good to you).

For Smiles

I just found these two sites, and they're awesome. Go and prepare to be charmed:
http://little-people.blogspot.com/
http://innercitysnail.blogspot.com/

Rekindle

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light."
~Albert Sweitzer

Last night I was thrown into a completely unforeseen, unexpected, and exciting situation because of which I now have the opportunity to really help another person. I won't post much more about it until I get their permission to blog about something that's pretty personal (kinda rude not to), but if you have a spare prayer, send one to Pasadena!

(don't worry, it's not a physical life or death matter - could be a spiritual/psychological one though!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dispositions

Today's whiteboard quote:

"I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances."
~Martha Washington

That said, today is not one of my best days.

I can feel annoyance simmering right there, under the surface, primed and ready to rear up and rip someone's head off.

(figuratively, of course)

At times like these, I have a little system that I use, and that, when I actually do it, bats 1000.

First, I take a few deep breaths and have a moment of contemplation, wondering what the heck is wrong with me. Today, the answer to that is my feeling of stagnation. I just churned out that paper and was doing everything at a (needed) breakneck pace, and now things have slowed down a bit, and I'm having to wait on other folks (and their busy schedules) in order to meet my goals, and it's rough on me.

The next question is - in my estimation of what the ideal Charis would be and do, what should I do with my time now? (in other words, what would she do?)

So, I sit down with my little notepad and schedule out my day, including all of the things that she'd do (with a cheerful smile of course - remember, this is a perfect world that I'm going off of here).

And for the rest of the day, the focus will be on the list. I know that if I leave the moment-by-moment decisions up to me, ain't nothin gettin done.

Wish me luck! And I'll work on that disposition! (crossing off lists makes me happy, so I'm thinking my mood will be steadily increasing from here on out, as now I can cross off "blog" :) )

Monday, May 18, 2009

I feel the earth move under my feet...

We had an earthquake last night. A big 'un too! It was a 4.7, centered about 10 miles away from us.

Time: 8:39pm
Place: maison a la Redondo Beach
People: T and I

M was out to a movie and B was working, so we had the house to ourselves. I was sitting in bed with my laptop, reading emails (btw, my DQP got approved. Yaaaaay! If you want to read a 30-pager on exceptional human experiences, email me. yeah right) and T was in the bathroom down the hallway, brushing his teeth.

The town houses that we are in one of have garage doors under each unit, and when they open, the whole thing slightly trembles. Some are also louder than others, and right before the earthquake, there was a horrifically loud, screechy, rumbly garage door episode right outside the open window. T poked his head in to ask what the heck that was, and I replied that it was only a garage door.

The garage door closes and all is quiet...

...for 1.8 seconds.

Then, the shaking starts. At first, with my attention in my email and my body prepared for garage door shaking, I though nothing of it, but when I felt an unpredictable lurching shaking and heard the house groaning and shuddering around me, I knew.

And it was a big one. Lots of little shakes punctuated by big shakes - not up and down, but lateral, so it's hard to keep your balance.

I shoved the laptop away, and squeaked out T's name.

He was already headed for the bedroom and called out to me to come over and join him. We stood in the doorway, him with one arm around me and the other braced against the doorjam, both of us trying to keep our balance and wondering when it was going to stop, and if it was going to get worse.

note: They've been predicting "the big one" for awhile now. This is because there haven't been many earthquakes for the past several years, and the pressure of the plates moving against each other (which is what causes earthquakes in the first place) hasn't been relieved like it should have. That spells a big reliever of pressure on the horizon, or in other words, a huge building-tumbler earthquake. That's what has everybody on edge and us wondering if it's going to get worse as we stand there in the doorway.

Finally, after a few more shudders, it's over. I mention to T that we're upstairs (in case it's not really over and the building decides to collapse or something, and he agrees and asks if I want to go outside. Of course! So we both quickly survey the room, seeing what we really need, and I grab my purse and him a messenger bag that he usually takes with him, and we high tail it out of the house.

Yeah that was mostly it. We stood on the front patio for about ten minutes, hearts racing, agreeing that we both hoped the motorcycle driver who just passed was at a stop sign or something during the quake because driving on a motorcycle would certainly suck at a time like that, then we went inside.

The hanging light over the table was still swaying.

Yeesh.

Friday, May 15, 2009

TGIF!

It's Friday today. Yessss.

And I finished my paper already. Double yesss.

And I finished my school work for this week a couple of days ago in my remaining class. Triple yessss.

So tonight, is celebration. T, B and I are going to walk down to a horrid and disappointing (according to yelp.com-this'll be my first time going) hole in the wall pub, but I'm going to have a nutty irishman (or two, or three...and maybe a mai tai) and pretend that I'm overseas and the creepy people in the bar are just quaint natives.

Then tomorrow it'll be time to go full-speed ahead on the photography thing, now that I actually have time to! What's that you say, I haven't mentioned it before?

Yes. It'll be a side business, soon. And T and his fam got me an amaaaaazing camera for my birthday to start me off. Very exciting.

I'll post more about it later....

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Journaling (for Button)

This post is an answer to a request I had from my buddy Button. We were in grad school together and one of these days we'll actually complete one of the many visits we plan! :PI think journaling is one of those practices that a lot of people think they should be doing, and a slightly smaller number of people actually want to do it. A fraction of those folks buy journals and actually start a practice, with most of us falling off here and there, until updating the darned thing is such a hassle (because of the amount of time that's gone by and that we feel a responsibility to address), that we just quit.

note: there are always those of us who blog, but blogging is not the same as journaling. For some, it is about the same and all of their thoughts are put in the blog. But for me, and for a lot of bloggers I suspect, the thoughts that we blog are still a bit edited. I know that in my case, I wouldn't always be comfortable putting my deepest emotions, fears, and loves and all of the sappiness and crudeness that accompanies that into the cyber-universe for anyone to be privy to...

So anyway, back to journaling. It's just a healthy and interesting thing to do. How cool would it be to have your mother's or grandmother's old journal that she wrote when she was your age and going through the same things that you are now, and being able to see into her in a way that you couldn't only through her memories, especially considering the unintentional edits that I'm sure that most women make when they're talking to their family members, even the most loved and trusted ones?

Add to that the awesomeness of being able to go back and read your own journals - I've journaled pretty steadily since the beginning of high school, and once every couple of years (usually when I'm either moving or spring cleaning, and therefore procrastinating) I come across my old journal stash and am thrilled to read them and remember details that I never would have any other way. For instance, who knew that I was such a ridiculous and self-centered teenager? Not, I, at the time! But I sure do now! And it makes me laugh (and slightly embarrassed, and very much humbled), and more compassionate towards others...

So there you go - those are the virtues of journaling, but the big question is,
how do you actually do it?
Well that depends on the kind of journal that you want to keep. Do you want it to be an account of everything you did, to remember later? Do you want it to be relationship-oriented, or mostly full of your deepest and most private emotions, or just opinions you have that you don't share with anybody?
As for me, I currently have four journals going:
  1. A dream journal (which I'm the worst about keeping up with),
  2. A meditation journal (which I update just about every day, because "med, write" is right there in my daily planner with a whole half hour devoted to it alone),
  3. A goal/wish journal (with the thought that, down the road, I can see how many of them I accomplished/made come true), and
  4. A regular, "stuff that happened and how I feel about it" journal, which I update a few times a week, if I'm lucky.
I also type up two journalish pages a day based on a specific topic (right now it's "Co-Creating Healing Relationships") and send off to my mentor, to keep my typing fingers nimble.

For me, there are two main things to remember when journaling.
The first, and the one that applies to my journal #4, is that, no one, including me, wants to only read a list of what I did each day. It's boring. And honestly, who cares. Just recording stuff doesn't interest me at all. So I made a resolution to never just gloss over things, but to only write how I felt about things that had happened, or how I felt in general. This changes it up a bit. It's as if, at the end of the day, and especially if I'm tense or stressed, or even really happy, I drain out all of the overflowing emotion onto the pages of my journal, and my internal thoughts and feelings end up neatly straightened and easy for me to navigate after I'm finished. I start off a jumbled and tangled mess sometimes. (which is of course when it's most beneficial to be writing!)
The second issue, and the one that applies to all of my journals and whether or not I'm writing in them, is time. I am a busy person, like most of you are who are reading this, I'm sure. For instance, my dream journal is still mostly empty because each morning, when it's really the best time to record dreams, I hit the ground running and don't have the time to write if I want to get to work when I should. I could, of course, set my alarm clock for a half-hour earlier, but I usually get to bed later than I intended because of the sheer amount of stuff that I have to do each day and want to have every morning minute of sleep that I can get. Besides, what if I didn't have a dream that I remembered that night? I just woke myself up earlier for nothin.
So in my case, the solution here is to schedule it in. I sometimes have a rough go at falling asleep, and one of my classmates once told me to imagine that I'm just drawing a curtain across all of the things that need to be thought about during the bustling day, and see them as "put away" for the night. When I remember to do that, it works like a charm. And it's usually done as I'm changing for bed, taking off my makeup, laying out clothes for tomorrow, that sort of thing. So, if you force yourself to start your bedtime routine about a half hour earlier than usual (I've found a half hour to be the sweet spot for journaling), and imagine pulling the curtain as you go through that routine, while also imagining yourself letting all of your important and intense feelings, impressions, and thoughts float to the top of your mind, like cream separating, then when you sit down to write, you'll be ready to go.

Last but not least, and this is important, don't edit yourself. Don't think about whether what you're writing is good enough, or interesting enough, or whatever. Just let the thoughts flow down onto your paper. And for that matter, the deeper you go into how you're feeling, the better the journal will be, I promise you.

So, those are my 2 cents. Happy journaling! And feel free to ask any questions/make any comments that you want on this, I'm always up for some new knowledge drops! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sides

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Everything has a bright and dark side to it. those who only see the dark side of things bring sorrow and pain upon themselves. To those who are able to see at the same time the bright side of it, every day is a good day."
~Yunmen


Last night I finished my paper. Sort of. It still needs an abstract and a good proofread, then it's getting mailed off! Yay! (It's due date is technically May 17. You can bet that a year ago I would've been starting the paper, like, today. That's one tally for me against procrastination! Improvement is always good...)

By the time I was done my eyes were crossing. I emailed the paper to myself (there was no way I was letting it get deleted in a computer crash, thanks), T made me a root beer float, and I went to bed.

And today I'm tired, but happy :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Busy Busy...But a Brain has to Break By and By


Exhibit A. Still wearing work attire. No, I have not been upstairs since my arrival home.

Exhibit B. In my work nook. (now sitting on a pillow because the floor is a lot harder on the rear end when you're working than it is when you're sprawled with a book or your laptop...)

Exhibit C. Busily typing fingers.

Exhibit D. Concentration.
Exhibit E. Blanket around shoulders in lieu of sweater (again, upstairs).
B took that pic of me about 15 minutes ago before he left to go see a movie. I may do that again once I can see the light of day....And to think, I didn't even procrastinate this time!
Ok, I think that's all the break I'm allowed to have right now. Back to the wheel. Sorry for the messy letters, I could've figured out how to put real ones in, but that definitely would have gone over my break time limit.
Sheezers I just found out that T's on his way home - already? Dangit. Okay now I'm really getting to work...
Wish me luck!

Positive Pause

Today will be devoted to finishing up my DQP, so please accept my apologies for lack of a proper post.

Go here instead - it'll help make your day better, I promise.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Make the world a better place, one thought at a time."
~Unknown

Monday, May 11, 2009

Best of Intentions...

This weekend I planned on hunkering down to reel out that 30ish page Doctoral Qualifying Paper that I need to mail off this week.

....yeah. And this is what actually happened:
It's not like I didn't work on the paper at all, I certainly did...do...some work on it.

But, it's now needless to say that this week will be a busy one getting everything ready. I'm envisioning the paper as a piece of fabric I'm weaving, with all of the information I find from my sources serving to be the threads and yarns and the finished paper as the fabric forming under my fingertips, which hopefully will end up being neat, complete, beautiful in its organization and warm and lovely in its insight and usefulness.... so we'll see how it goes.(visualizations help me, can you tell?)

But as for yesterday afternoon, I think watching Amelie at home, going to the beach, getting some Vitamin D, doing the 5-step rule (as in, when the water hits your feet you go in for 5 steps, then are free to high tail it out as fast as need be) that T introduced to me in order to cool off without losing a foot to hypothermia caused by the frigid Pacific water, and then going home for an evening of relaxation and gentle work, was just what the doctor ordered.
So here's to the week! May yours be productive and happy, and may mine too!

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."
~Oprah Winfrey

Friday, May 8, 2009

Opportunity

Today's mantra (and whiteboard quote):

"The fool sees difficulty in every opportunity, the intelligent one sees opportunity in every difficulty."
~Nahsti

Today I'm running late, and am (still) hormonal (which for this 2-hour span = feeling insecure about any and everything), so I have my work cut out for me.

How about you? What opportunities will you choose to see today?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Curious meeting on a Wednesday afternoon

Remember those flowering bushes around campus I described several posts ago?

Well the flowers are just about totally shriveled up now so the bushes are mostly just green again, which is fine with me - I like them green too. And I suppose that some bees still find nectar or whatever they're looking for occasionally, but mostly the happy busy buzzing is gone.

Incidentally, Wednesdays are my busiest days and at about 4:00pm I move my car closer to the building. My street parking ends at 4, and instead of leaving to go home (which I do every other day of the week), I stay a smidge later to clean up from a tea that we have every Wed afternoon that ends at the same time I usually leave - 4. So I'm rushing out to my car with full arms trying to hurry (I was running a little late), and passed by the bushes mentioned in that earlier post on my way to the street parking where my car was.

At that moment, something flies out of the bush, up over my head and is gone. I thought nothing of it. Bees don't particularly freak me out (that goes for bees, not wasps, mind you. A certain traumatic experience comes to mind in the back of my Dad's huge maroon car at age 8ish that involved my sister sitting completely still, breathless, as the rest of us watched a giant wasp crawl across her closed eyelid. It was summer and the wasp had flown in through one of the open windows and landed on her. I still remember my Dad's urgently soft voice "Michal, don't move"...). But back to the subject, I'm cool with bees.

So, like I said, I though nothing of it. About 2.7 seconds later, I felt a little pain on my forehead. The two things were completely unlinked for me and I absentmindedly untangled one of my arms to brush that spot, when my finger landed upon...

it.

That damned bee.

It was stinging me on the head.

"What the heck?", you may say. That's what I said too! (I didn't do anything to the friggin bee)

So there I am, in my "I'm a grown-up" office attire, absolutely flipping out on the campus sidewalk, squealing who knows what, and brushing my head and hair in that if-it's-stuck-in-my-hair (WHY did I wear it curly that day) then-I-want-to-get-it-out-but-I-don't-want-to-have-a-beestung-finger sort of way. And honestly, I was beyond disgusted and didn't want to touch it anyway. Of course I forgot that I'd worn a couple of pins in my hair that day so every few steps I would stop and frantically brush at them until I remembered, after about 3 such mini freak-outs, that no, they were not alien objects after all.

And yes, of course, there was someone behind me on his cell phone, probably wondering what in the world was wrong with me. I didn't turn around to see if I knew him. It's a small campus.

Thankfully I caught the bee mid-sting so there is no damage visible now.

Yikes.

(I'm not gonna lie - it is comforting to think that I have come away slightly stung but mostly unscathed by the encounter, while she's almost certainly in bee heaven by now...that's how I roll)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Moment Living

Today's whiteboard quote:

"The more you live in the moment, the more you value its gift of peace, safety and stability."
~Marlana

Today I'm in a rotten mood because of scheduling (and let's be honest, hormones). There's just too much to do! I'm approaching a deadline for my doctoral qualifying paper (DQP) that's terrifying and that, although I've been working steadily, I'm afraid I won't meet, work is getting busier by the day and I'm on the brink of falling behind, my classes are rough (as in, instructors criticizing my work and me not understanding even after the critique is explained what I've done wrong), I'm trying to start up my business and all that it entails (I'll link it once the website's up, maybe it'll happen this century), I'm doing my buddy's wedding invitations and she wants to change them every time we talk (seriously, come on!), I still owe my father those paintings, and I'm having trouble sleeping.

If that's not a recipe for stress, I don't know what one would be....

And I cognitively know that the answer (as usual) is in mindfulness. It's not too hard to do, you just have to remember to live in the present moment -

Make a realistic schedule for the day that addresses all that you have to do.
Focus on what you're doing as you're doing it.
Remain aware of your breathing and the flavor of your thoughts, trying to inject gratitude in whatever way possible.
Drink enough water.
Eat often enough.
Go to bed earlier.

So, today, I'll be attempting to follow that list. Wish me luck. I know you stressed out folks out there may benefit from the present-moment-mindfulness track as well ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm Back!

Well I've returned from the land of the rain, haze and shadow...

...otherwise known as Hazleton, PA.

T and I discussed on the return flight, between sharing his ipod headphones and listening to Ted Talks, the way that the weather really made H-town feel more dreary than it actually is. Inside any of his family members' warm and bright homes, you'd think you were in a lovely setting, but as soon as you step outside and have to open your umbrella and raise your collar, you're reminded of this sad fact -

The summer there lasts for about 3 days.

And this year we'll miss them. So hello sprautumter. Yep, that was a "spring", "autumn" and "winter" conglomeration that I just made up. But it's the truth of the matter (the very sad truth, at that).

However, weather notwithstanding, it was a lovely trip. It was great to see everyone, as I previously said, I had my very first birthday cake and candle-blowing-outing that alone would've made the trip worthwhile, and I'm suitably exhausted this morning.

On that note, here's today's whiteboard quote:

"Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms."
~Kahil Gibran

So, in honor of knowing myself, my goals for the day will be to:
#1) Hydrate (planes and all that).
#2) Focus (and catch up on all the things that I'm 5 days behind on).
#3) Exercise (do I need to cite East Coast food here? I realized during this trip that what they consider 'diet' food is what we just usually eat. Let's just say that an extra set of crunches is definitely a good idea for me presently).
#4) Get to bed on time (stinkin jet lag).

Hope you're having a sunny start to the week, no matter whether it's inside sun or outside sun!