Monday, December 30, 2013

End of December, MidVacation Update

Healthy, happy, feeling fulfilled. These are the words I used to describe myself today and are the things I've been thinking on over the simple busyness of the last few weeks. Blogging is blogging. Sometimes I post to keep a running record for myself of where I've been and where I'm heading, sometimes I hope to maintain connections with others via the blog, and sometimes I just let it lay where and how it is.

I don't know that I'd truly say that things have been "busy" as the days kind of have a simple joy to them too and I try to just focus on one or two things each day that happily fill the time. Two weeks of break goes rather quickly I realized, as I woke up this morning and thought about needing to finish prepping for the upcoming term that starts in exactly one week. I already have my term prepped as a student, but I need to prep for my instructor role and alter the courses that I regularly teach. The dogs are lazily lounging by my feet, there is a cup of tea sitting on the ottoman to my side, and I've spent most the morning lost in my own thoughts and reflections. Sometimes it's just nice to have time to b.e.

I'm halfway through that book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker that I've been wanting to read for over a year. It might turn out to be the only book I read fully over break but I'm okay with that. It's words and reflections are allowing me to re-ponder the years of my life when I focused on living a more simple and mindful life that included more awareness of how my actions truly impact the globe as a whole. I also was gifted "MiniFarming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre" from housemate M...and it's reminded me that I probably need to finally let myself ponder a little deeper about where and how I want life to head. I'm pretty sure that some of my coping and happiness has been due to staying busy and allowing myself to live more superficially while not thinking too deeply upon things. In the big scheme of things, I'm still not letting myself really live deeply and authentically these days....which is somewhat ironic, since I FEEL pretty good about who I am right now and where life is heading...and for now, I'm just going to be okay with that alone.

Christmas was quick but lovely. I was able to catch up with one of my gals from grad school and her husband who were in town for the holidays before driving down to my parents for two nights. A little time with my brother and his lady, a good run in my hometown, a trip to the beach with mom and the dogs, the candlelight service at my parents church, and a lazy morning opening stockings, before returning back up to the city where I hosted my parents for a night. This Christmas made me realize how much I consider this to be my home, how content I feel with where things are in this moment, and yet also feel a little hope for what could be in the year or few to come. Prior to heading south, I was able to finally check repainting my bedroom off the to-do list, and the day after Christmas I spent 12 hours cleaning the carpets in my rental home (although they could totally use I would love wood/laminate floors!). My cousins and I were able to spontaneously meet up and have happy hour with Granny, we've had a few other family moments together, and I also had my regular girls coffee date with my gal N.

M's back in the house and working nights, so while it's nice to have him back we're also on completely opposite schedules. In some ways it makes the transition easier as we both do our own things but appreciate the stability of the other. We did have a little transition conversation to reset the expectations in the home to keep the peace with all three of us still being here, but I'm hopeful that things will continue to truck along fine with both housemate C and M here together through at least January. Continuing to rent the middle bedroom will be the best financial option....and regaining financial independence continues to be my main priority for 2014.

Speaking of 2014, I'm really looking forward to what all it might bring. I know I'll be busy throughout the duration of the rest of the massage program, but I'm hopeful that next term's scheduling might ease some of the overscheduledness of the last several months. The last two years have been full of some great experiences and amazing moments (many of which I won't have as much time to repeat this coming year), but the last two years have also taken me through the bottom of a place that I hope not to have to return to.....thus, I'm looking at 2014 with realism that it might not turn out 100% but I'm still hopeful for what it might hold. And's just have that hope.

Some other random things:

--I'm bringing the mayo, meat, and cheese sandwich into daily rotation.
--I'm so incredibly thankful for my brood of gals who normalize that waiting til your mid 30s to have babies is just a-ok. Every time I talk with any of my other MPH related gals, life just feels well, normal...and encouraged. I've been focusing on surrounding myself with supportive friends who encourage and embrace where life has taken us.
--Next Christmas I want to be traveling...
--There's something about a peaceful, organized home that is just so enticing.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy December!

So yea...apparently I didn't exactly use my Thanksgiving break to catch up on blogging! :) Oh well...I relaxed and focused on trying to heal myself which was much needed. Currently I'm up to speed on everyone (I think) and I'm up to speed on grading/studying....and sitting in my kitchen area waiting for the repair guy to return and finish fixing my leaking shower faucet. So what's the latest?

a) I ended up staying home sick most the rest of that week after I last posted. I slept in way late for me (and even now on my "sleep-in" days I'm sleeping for 12-13 hours some days). I also chose not to receive any massages that week which was a nice break (yes, you CAN get tired of getting massaged!), AND I finally got an anti-biotic from the doctor. Apparently an article had come out that week in the Oregonian talking about over prescribing for bronchitis, so of course my request was poorly timed...BUT an antibiotic seems to be the only thing that actually kicks my chronic cough. I still have some coughing but WAY improved compared to 2-3 weeks ago. (Chalk it up to crappy childhood lungs!)

b) Housemate turn over! The late night comer and goer moved out and the room has been readied for M's return. He and I video chatted on Saturday night for several hours to get him up to speed on a few things and just to check in---it'll be great to have him back, even if it'll mean a whirlwind of activity next Sunday/Monday...right as I head into finals :) The gal who is still in the house was offered a job (her dream job mind you) at her internship site, so it's looking like she'll be here a few extra days this month and then be here at least part of January too. In looking at (and starting to stress about) finances recently, this actually will work out perfectly. M and I have also decided to try to switch from using Craigslist to AirBNB to rent out the middle room for short term individuals after January--we'll see what comes of this.

c) My work term ends this week, so all the major grading is already done, and this week I'll grade their finals and transfer grades over. Next week marks the end of my school term with a final this Saturday, one on Tuesday, and the other on Thursday. Hopefully the weather continues to hold out so that we don't have to extend any days on....wrapping up on the 19th/20th already seems far enough! Part of the two weeks of vacation will be used to prep for the next round of 12 credits I'm teaching next term. I'll be teaching four sections of the same class, but two are in the evenings and two are online.

d) My running has totally hit a new groove. I think sitting long hours in class has made my body just itch to still get mileage in. I'm running much less in terms of days but still smashing mileage out. My outings have just gotten now it's much easier to average a 5-7 mile run. Last month I had a goal of doing at least two 10+ mile days and that totally made it easier to achieve major mileage. My original goal was 70 miles for the month and I made 80! This month has started slow due to the COLD weather we've been having, but thanks to Lauren's layering advice yesterday I finally got out for 7.5 miles with the equally antsy dogs. I have 54 more miles to go this month to round out my 800 for the year. But the recent cold front has provided more than enough snow on the mountain already for snow shoeing season, so I'm hopeful to get up there at least 3x for at least 20 miles before the end of Christmas break.

e) I've had a lot of feedback about my being really thin in the last month or two, although it's not something I've consciously been trying to do and in fact I'm not really thrilled to have dropped down to where I am. Those black skinnies I bought and love are now too big...and honestly my ideal size is a 6 and I'm definitely below that at this point by at least one size if not more. Ironically I still weigh exactly the same (145ish has been my weight average/goal for about oh...15 years?! (I have been 10 more than that but I never let myself go below 140 even if the BMI charts say I can go down to 120....say what?!)) More than anything I'm annoyed that again my clothes are bigger though...although it makes it easy for me to be layering leggings under everything at this point with the cold weather! I finally had one of my instructors who also is big into fitness look up how many calories a LMT burns and it turns out that it can be up to 280 an hour depending on the individual of course. This term I've been giving 4 massages a week so that equates to 800-1000 more calories being burned potentially. Sigh....I just.can'

f) In other eating news, I've started eating chicken. Although I had to figure out how to cook it. And don't laugh at's been 17 years since I've routinely eaten meat :) I've discovered I like breast meat....but not legs.

g) Thanksgiving was great. Very relaxing and it was nice to have time run, spend time with family, and enjoy friends. I made cranberry sauce, traditional bread stuffing, salad, and an apple pie and split my time between my family's and the Tall one's gathering of his friends.

h) There's nothing quite like the sparkle of a Christmas tree. I dragged my buddy R out with me to the Christmas tree farm the weekend after Thanksgiving and it was the fastest tree picking/cutting experience ever. We didn't have too much time but settled on a great one, we split the sawing duties, and then he hauled it up to the paying station. We loaded it into the Sorento--it just fit! And then we got it set up inside that night and decorated the next day. Super easy....and I love the nighttime sparkle of the tree.

Off to campus I go to pick up a make-up exam....after I eat breakfast #2. Bundling up, because this cold spell is COLD! :) Hope you all have been well!