Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge 3/14

1. Best place you've been lately?

Honestly, it's been crazy busy with musical practices finishing up and track practices starting, so the best place I've been lately is at home in bed!  That feeling that you get when you can finally settle in at the end of the day is the best!

2. What's something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

This year, I'd like to say yes to adventures more.  It's hard being single in a small town at this age because all my friends either live away from here or are married with kids.  I'm not a huge fan of traveling by myself, but I don't really have anyone who can just pick up and go with me either.  But I'd like to be creative and find some ways to travel, even short distances, and see some things I've been wanting to see.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures, the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'green'?

I'm not a big St. Patrick's Day person.  I do usually try to wear something green, though.  When I hear the word green, I think of winter wheat which is the most beautiful color of green.

4. What's a product or service you love so much you'd happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I really struggled with this question.  I've been trying to find a new face regimen and ran across Soap and Glory's 4-1 Cleansing Milk, which smells like peaches.  I feel pretty strongly about that right now.   Or my Kenra 25 Hairspray, which with my recent hair issues has been a lifesaver.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What's the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What's your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?
My math skills are not much to write home about.  I can teach a lot of subjects, but math is not one of them.  Yesterday, I was helping some students figure out what their target grades had to be for the 4th Quarter, so that's probably the most recent use.   

As for pie, I'm very picky.  I like my grandma's apple crumb pie, and I like a couple of pies from a local bake shop, but that's probably it.  Always ice cream.  Always.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's possible that I've just mentally shut down from all the things that I have going on over the next month.  Between school stuff and my sister's wedding, I'm just on auto-pilot.  But I'm trying to remember that things will all get done, one way or another.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What's keeping you there?

I'm probably operating at about 90% most of the time.  I was very sick and in the hospital for a month in the fall, and while I'm back to work and doing well, there are still a lot of times when I have to deal with some residual effects of what happened.  

2.  Have you done your taxes? Planned/booked a summer holiday? Thought about or started your 'spring cleaning'? Besides what's listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

I've got to sit down at some point this weekend and get my taxes done, but it won't be Saturday because I have my sister's wedding shower!  She's getting married in just a few weeks.  I don't know that I'm going to take a summer holiday, even though I would love to spend a few days at the beach.  And as far as spring cleaning, I always need to do a little of that!  I'd like to finish up my new closet space while I'm off on spring break at the end of the month.

3. What's a favorite food from your part of the country?

I don't know that the Midwest is really known for its fine cuisine.  On top of that, I have pretty simple taste.  There's a restaurant in my area that's famous for its potato skins, and sometimes I do have dreams about them.  So, maybe that?  

4. This isn't a leap year, but let's run with it anyway...look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity...which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I'm all about the leap of faith right now.  I'm directing a pretty ambitious musical this spring, along with all of my other pursuits and I'm really just believing that it's all going to fall into place.  

5. As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

  • The nieces are always fun and fabulous.
  • I successfully organized Senior Night (with a lot of help).
  • I introduced my music class to That Thing You Do (highly underrated movie).
  • We had a fun field trip day last Friday, even if the show we saw wasn't that great.
  • I accidentally fixed my flooded basement on Sunday.  (The pump had stalled.)

6. Insert your own random thought here.

It feels like February was a complete whirlwind!  It feels like the rest of the school year is a very fast downward slide from here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

I saw some pretty good ones last night!  The people a block over were shooting them in the street and it was like they were in my yard.  

I used to be easier to trigger, but I have mellowed with age.  I tend to only get really fired up when someone is unfair to someone in a position of less authority.  This is usually when it comes to students, but can show up in other forms, too.  

2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

I'm not an outdoor person.  I certainly haven't thrown any outdoor parties, and every time I think I'm going to one, I talk myself into some AC instead.  It's humid here and I just don't enjoy the heat.  

In that vein, the key to an outdoor party is cool weather or access to a pool!

3. What does freedom mean to you?

To me, freedom means that I have the right to have opinions, even if you disagree with them.   And vice versa.  One of the most frustrating things to me right now is that no one is open to actual discourse on seemingly any topic.

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?

The thing that annoys me most is when people use cell phones as an excuse not to have manners or be present with people.  

5. What's your current summer anthem?

I have been listening to Glorious by Macklemore, There's Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes, and Cut to the Feeling by Carly Rae Jepsen pretty heavily on my walk playlist.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

It always feels like the summer ends quickly after the 4th.  But by the time we get there, I'm always ready to get back to work and see how the kiddos have grown over the summer..   

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Goals Check-In #3

I'm in a much better head space than the last time I was here. While I never turn a blind eye to my anxiety, it does ebb and flow and this week has been much better.  Even better, I've made progress on more than just one of my goals.  Let's check in!

  • Read more. -  I have finished four books in June and still have a couple of days left.  Check the Book Challenge tab to see just what I've been reading.  
  • Turn off the TV.  -  The TV is still on at least some of the time.  Seriously, watch GLOW on Netflix.  I was sad that there were only 10 episodes, honestly.  So great!  But I've been listening to a ton of podcasts in the last couple of weeks, too.  My true blue will always be The Popcast (check them out in the sidebar to the right), but I've loved Broadway Backstories, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Theater People, The Broadway Cast, Young House Love, and That Sounds Fun with Annie Downs.  
  • Lose weight/Eat right. - I'm still down right around 20 pounds, but I'm not discouraged because I am changing shape/gaining muscle.  Yesterday, Sister and I did a six mile walk before breakfast, and while I enjoy walking that was much longer than a normal workout.  Eating right isn't terrible, but I also don't deprive myself.  For instance, during last week's adventure I had 3 AM fresh donuts, Ben and Jerry's and Cracker Barrel french toast for breakfast two days in a row,  It was a delight!
  • Learn to cook. -  I made hamburgers while baking half a dozen sweet potatoes yesterday.  And all of those were just prep to eat for the rest of the week.  Does that count as cooking?
  • Prep curriculum. - July is going to be my month to work on curriculum.  We have a workshop next week, so I'm hoping that will give me the jump start I needed.  Because I have completely vacated thoughts of school planning since school let out.  
  • Go on adventures.  - Sister and I went on a 36-hour road trip last week.  We left in the middle of the night, drove to Tennessee for an appointment, then stayed the night in Pigeon Forge before coming home.  It was crazy, but it was an absolute blast!  This weekend, I have some time carved out for my bestie, Amber, and I'm really looking forward to that.  

It always seems like summer goes fast once we get to the 4th of July, so I'm just buckling in to enjoy what's left before it's back to that school day grind!  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Goals Check-In #2

This is a space where I intend to be honest, so here goes nothing. I am not doing so hot with my goals overall, minus improving my health at the moment.  Moreover, especially this week for some reason, I'm really struggling with mental spin out.  If you don't know what I mean by that, let me explain.  

I've always struggled with anxiety.  I used to have hyper-realistic nightmares about failing tests long after I was out of school.  I tend to latch on to the worst-case scenario of most situations, and prepare as though that is the inevitability.  I'm a bit of a raging hypochondriac.  Depending on where I am in my life, anxiety manifests in different ways.  Currently, I spend a lot of my time alone.  I don't have a tremendous amount of friends in my life right now, and those that I do have are traveling or don't get their summers off.  My sister works the night shift, so half of any week I'm sleeping while she's working or vice versa.  And that leaves me alone with my thoughts, and I don't always need to be alone with my thoughts.  Now, let me say upfront that I am not a danger to myself or others.  That's not at all what I'm talking about.  Now feels like a good time to include that I am a control freak, and I do not handle change well, at all.  And here's the thing about life--it often changes quickly and without the courtesy of even sending advance notice.  (Preferably on engraved stationery, please and thank you.)  All of these things have been building into the greatest anxiety sandwich you might ever want to behold. And I've ponied up to the table ready to take it down in one gulp.  

I hear myself when I'm spinning out.  I know what I sound like.  (Like I should be in a bunker in a tin foil hat, more often than not.)  But, that doesn't always stop it.  The good news is that since I'm on a reasonably successful health kick, I haven't been using my two favorite methods of shutting off the anxiety, food and alcohol.  I've been filling that gap with obsessively checking social media and reading the comments of other people who may actually be in bunkers with their shiny, shiny hats. And while it's calorie-free, it's not doing much for my mental health.  Ironically, I thinned out much of Facebook during 2016, so my feed is mostly businesses selling antiques and comfy t-shirts (I see you, Ruby's Rubbish).  But Twitter might as well be Pandora's box right now.  Part of it is that things happen there in real time.  No sooner has something happened than you have video and first-person accounts, and all of the commentary on it (SO MUCH COMMENTARY, and everyone's an expert).  I love that about the medium, but it's also something that isn't great when you have unlimited time to obsess.   So, I'm really working on thinning out who and what I connect with there simply for my own sanity,  And I will continue to wrestle the beast, and keep out of the tin foil.  

On with the check-up, such as it is:
  • Read more. -  I have finished half of one book.  I have good intentions, but a short attention span.  I am starting a new one today.  We'll see how it goes.  
  • Turn off the TV.  -  I think this may have been an unrealistic goal, peeps.  I have been medicating with a lot of TV repeats.  Whenever I'm feeling low, I watch comedies.  I'm firmly camped in Parks and Rec, Designing Women, and Mom.  I will say that I have been listening to some podcasts, which both gives this quiet house a little noise and brings other happy/interesting conversations into  my life.  So, I guess that's a little progress?
  • Lose weight/Eat right. - As of this morning, I am down 19 pounds in 39 days.  I walk a lot while I watch TV, and have even been getting up crazy early some mornings to walk with my sister.  
  • Learn to cook. -  Nope.  But I am eating well.
  • Prep curriculum. - I have only thought about curriculum once since school let out, and that was because I went to work to sign some papers and someone asked me a question.  But I am going to get to work on that in the next couple of weeks.  
  • Go on adventures.  - Sister and I have an adventure on the books for next week.  More about that when it gets here.  Otherwise I have been watching a lot of t-ball games, which are their own kind of adventure.  
I will be back sometime soon with hopefully more progress and updates.  Thanks for sticking with this post if you made it all the way to the end.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Work

I promise this isn't going to become a fitness blog.  However, as this is my space, I get to decide the programming and tonight we're going to talk about what I've been up to the last 26 days.

The last 26 days I have logged every bit of food that has gone into my body and drank more water than I ever thought possible.  (Seriously, no sodas in nearly a month.  Not even a sip.)  I've clocked every minute of exercise.  I've counted every single step.  I've compared this week to last week and the week before that to see where I can improve.  I've crunched more numbers than can possibly be healthy, and read every chart and graph the apps have offered.  I've treated my body like a science experiment.  And in 26 days, I've lost 16.4 pounds.

Now, before we start up the confetti cannons, I should let you know that I have a long way to go.  Very long.  Ideally, I would like to reach my first goal (60 pounds gone) by my 36th birthday this October.  It also means that when we go shopping for bridesmaid dresses I will be ordering one much smaller than what I would order right now.  Once I reach that goal, I would like to try to lose even more, but what I want most is to be as healthy as possible, no matter the size.

I love how I feel right now.  It's work, but it's the best kind.  And if I already feel better, imagine how it will feel when I hit my goals farther down the road.  I've got to stop now because I'm getting up at the literal crack of dawn to go walk with my sister and I need my rest.  (I totally log my sleep now, too.  I'm such a weirdo.)  Just wanted to share.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Goals Check-In #1

I know, technically, it's not even summer vacation yet.  But I felt like this was a good time for a baseline check of how things are going in each of my selected areas of interest.  I'll try to do this every couple of weeks this summer to keep you, my dozens of readers, up-to-date and to keep myself honest.

  • Read more. -  I haven't started reading yet, unless you count the books I bought for my nieces. But it's on starting Thursday.  I haven't completely organized my reading list, but I'm looking forward to a lot of time in my sun room reading this summer.  
  • Turn off the TV.  - Not doing so hot on this one either, but I am exercising while I watch, so that's an improvement, at least.  I mean, Netflix released the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this weekend and I got hooked on their new true crime documentary, The Keepers.  The Lemonade episode of Kimmy is so great (and the season as a whole has some great laughs).  But let me talk for a minute about The Keepers.  I still have two episodes left and I am so intrigued by that entire story.  I don't want to spoil it with too many details, but it's a murder mystery involving a nun, but so much more is revealed in the process.  I highly recommend the series.  
  • Lose weight/Eat right. - I'm doing really well with this particular goal.  I've lost 13.2 pounds since I started about two weeks ago.  I'm watching what I eat (using the Lose It! app) and exercising a lot (thanks, Fitbit!).  I still have a long way to reach my first goal, but it certainly doesn't seem like such a pipe dream anymore.  
  • Learn to cook. -  Okay, I'm not really eating junk, but  I'm also not really cooking yet.  I've pinned some recipes that I'm interested in and I'm looking forward to having plenty of time to work on them.  
  • Prep curriculum. - I'm in the "gathering up what I need" stage at the moment.  Of course, I also live very close to my school, so it's not like I can't come trade out when I needed.  I am looking forward to putting together some fun projects for next year for a several of my classes. (At this point, I'm not even totally sure what all I'm teaching next year, but I am working on what I know.)
  • Go on adventures.  - With my sister having time off each week, I'm guaranteed an adventure or two at some point.  I'm also going to be hanging with the nieces a lot more, so who knows what we might be up to?!  
I'm well on my way to summer vacation!  Wednesday is my last official day, so I'm looking forward to not waking up to an alarm on Thursday.  I will check back in on my goals Monday, June 5.