Sunday, January 19, 2014

Things that I'm Loving Lately

Hi all!

Man, I don't know how regular bloggers are so good at routinely posting :)

But anyway, there have been a lot of things going on it feels even if they're all probably routine things. It seems most my days revolve around the following categories: massage school, teaching, running or hiking miles, Granny evenings, massage homework and exchanges, grading, and pet care. Food, bathing, laundry, house duties, commuting those are all in there too.

But I've also been realizing that there are a lot of things I've really been enjoying within the routine...and there's no better way to continue a positive mentality than to....focus on the positives!

So here are some of the things that I'm loving:

--meeting new people in my new courses, continuing to attempt to suspend pre-judgments and be open-minded, and enjoying the connections I made last term

--nailing a week of great lunches that I took to school with me: BBQ chicken salad & an orange, baked sweet potato w fixings & a mixed greens side salad, left over homemade fajita fixings and an orange

--excess padding on my butt and posterior illiac crest aka hip bones. It's nice to again feel like I need to be mindful of keeping fat deposits off instead of desperately feeling like I'm wasting away

--school thoughts: the intensity of my lower body treatment class, that I'm learning new things, that all three of my courses this term totally relate to each other and are making me have to seriously rely on last term's kinesiology course, that my other two courses feel fairly straight forward and simple, that it's completely awesome to feel muscle adhesions "melt" and tissue soften under one's pressure

--that I'm trying to increase my monthly mileage average this year. I'm having a lot of leg "stuff" going on so I'm trying to be cognizant of my legs, my strides, the fact that I desperately need to be better about cross training to increase strength in my weak muscles and stretching, and hopefully I can make some alterations due to my lower body treatment course this term....but it's still nice to actually feel like running 70-80 miles a month isn't too far fetched these days

--that at least once a week housemate M knocks on my door with hot coffee in hand to wake me up so we can chat/check in/try to catch up before I start my day and he heads to bed (he's working nights); with opposite schedules, outside social obligations, and differing responsibilities it's been harder for us to connect or spend much time together at all since his return, so sometimes those 30-50 minutes in the morning 1-2x a week feel especially awesome

--how funny it is that the dogs can distinguish between my clothes. It doesn't matter what type of running gear I put on...they know which items mean that we're heading out to get some miles. Although that also means it's near impossible for me to sneak out without them... It also seems like lately they're recognizing what means work wear, as they tend to not beg to leave with me as much when I'm dressed in the evenings to head to work

--that I refound the BBQ chicken salad recipe. Amazingness in my mouth. Tonight's nachos were pretty dang good too, especially after craving them for the last two weeks.

--finally finished the master bedroom and I love how it turned out. The ex used to always say that our bedroom didn't need to look nice because our eyes were closed in here....uh no sir. Fluffy old bedding, the cheap corner chandelier that was installed this summer, new created easy burlap curtains (from fabric in the closet), various textures, soothing colors, the new crisp white paint job, and a 3 panel coastal canvas art piece above the bed.....all put together it makes me very, very happy.

--this term's schedule. Seriously. I knew it could be an improvement, but it's most definitely amazing. It's so amazing that I called my boss to ask if we could cancel our change for spring so this term's schedule remains constant. I'm on my natural sleep/wake schedule....up til midnight-ish and sleep in til 8 or 9 and it's awesome since it's no longer varying every night. I teach M/W nights and I'm in school for 6.5 hours on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I never have to do major double duty this term (except to check work email every day and then do studying/reading on M/W before I run and teach.) I have 2 recovery days when I can't work out & the remaining mileage gets in on weekends. Granny time remains on Thursday evenings, but I also now have T/F evenings to grab a bite with people, run errands, or attend a lecture downtown. By driving to campus this term, my commute time has also been cut in half. Plus all this together means the dogs have a better schedule too...and because M's a gem, he usually lets them out as needed also. Verdict: new term schedule rocks.

---AND I also discovered that as long as we don't have any crazy weather, I do indeed get an overlapping spring break. Massage school just reserves that week on their schedule for make-ups, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get a week to just exist...although I might suck it up and try to take as cheap a flight as possible to go down to see my gal in AZ. While paying down debts is my primary goal this's also important to me to invest energy to lift up some of my best ladies.

---and speaking of this lady, she sent me the most awesome package....pecans from her backyard tree (she doesn't like them), real oranges from local trees, and a few pens that I could use for notetaking. And let me just tell you....I had truly forgotten just how amazing a real, fresh orange tastes. They were the sweetest, most delicious oranges I've had since my childhood in Florida....just like candy. (I may have eaten three in a row soon after taking that first bite.)

---and speaking of my childhood, over Christmas break I reconnected with two of my childhood friends. One lives in Florida but was my first best friend and we met in the Philippines. The second was my pen pal for years and was the older sister of a classmate I had when we lived in Florida...she now lives in California though. SO awesome to reconnect with these two ladies :)

And that blogger friends is where I will conclude even though I'm sure I could think of many, many more items to new running gear that I stocked up on at Christmas, or running in shorts THREE times this last week, or the happiness Anna gets when it's a new dog food bag, or her willingness to share so much love and kisses in the last several weeks, or various delicious Yogi teas, or evenings with Granny in front of the fire or making cookie replicas of the cell for my "creative" project this last week, or thinking about how close spring (& garden planning) is....the list could go on and on. The mood isn't always happy and high around here and there are lots of uncertainties for the months and year to come (such as M's 1yo kiddo and the grandma potentially coming to stay with us for 2 months....or whether or not I think he'll be here long term this year), but life sure is better when we attempt to focus on everything that is good and positive in our lives.

Wishing you all the best!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back to the Rat Race in 2014

Playcation is over....and this was the last overlapping break I'll technically have until September, which is when I need to study for my board exams. I'm still hoping to get some long weekend trips and outdoor adventures in this spring/summer, but we'll just have to see how the year pans out.

Over the two week break much got accomplished though:
--Housemate M returned and we've been discussing middle bedroom rental options
--my bedroom finally got painted white (THREE coats!), new lampshades, purchased a cheap curtain rod to add burlap curtains, and I finally got neat artwork for above the bed
--cleaned the carpets (12 hours!!) in the house
--rearranged the two main rooms in the house to streamline and move the TV back into the den area which can be closed off
--fixed my shower by myself
--looked over finances and made some goals for the year
--made my 800 mile goal! for the year and covered over 70 miles in Dec
--enjoyed a family happy hour at my aunt's and then arranged a cousin happy hr out with granny
--made a quick trip to my parents to spend Christmas with them and my brother & his lady (got in a quick trip to the beach, a hometown run, the Christmas eve service, and stocked up on running gear)
--hosted my parents for a night here
--made and froze 10 soup/stew portions from crockpot concoctions
--celebrated New Years with regular D
--managed four hikes (one solo with the dogs on an icy outing, one easy but fun one thru old growth forest with regular D, one New Years Eve day outing with old housemate Ang, & one yesterday with my hometown buddy R who will be moving to Texas next month)
--went to a baby shower for my dear gal E, had the regular coffee meet up with my gal N, and got a quick breakfast in with my gal C and her husband who were visiting from California
--finished all prepping for the term so all copies, exams, lectures, etc are ready and applied to go through an admin process which (sort of) grants me a bit more job security
--transported my buddy/coworker L across town on an errand (they don't have a car) and enjoyed one of the best meals of the year cooked by his lady K (lobster, sauteed spinach, and diced tomatoes in a cream sauce over fettuccine, mixed greens w honey mustard dressing, and ice cream with walnuts, caramel, and whipped cream for dessert....I'm still drooling....)
--went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (LOVED IT!) with R
--3/4 of the way through my 7 book by Jen Hatmaker and loving it

I went to bed early last night, wiped out from yesterday's hike, and dreading the start to this 8-9 month haul......but ya know what? This morning I woke up, still tired, but with a fresh mind and excited to get this show on the road. I lounged in bed, readying rosters for this term, responding to student emails, and transferring over pictures from my phone to my computer. I enjoyed seeing all the fun (all the L.I.F.E) that the last few months and year has held...and there's been some growth in there too. Life is still evolving (as it always will be) but I'm looking forward to seeing what this year will disclose....

Here's to officially starting 2014! :)

And while I've made a separate tab for them, currently my goals for this year are these:

2014 Goals

Regain financial independence
Pay off credit card
Pay car loan to below $8k
Altered clothes challenge

Run 15 miler for fun
Finally try surfing
Go kayaking again
Backpack in Olympic Forest
Hike/trail run entire Wildwood Trail (1 day)

Roadtrip somewhere out of Oregon

Run in official half marathon race
Sprint tri in summer