February 26, 2010

march madness

I was trying to make an appointment with my pastor today and suggested this upcoming Thursday. He emailed back to ask if it could be the following week and as I was flipping through my planner to see what would work, I realized my March schedule is insane and I ended up in April looking for an open date for a meeting.

Here's a brief synopsis:

Week 1-
Lunch meeting about an internship next year
Class two nights
Dr. appointment
meeting for my mentorship class this summer
(3.5 off work, otherwise a full week)
leave for Chicago which carries into....

Week 2 -
attend a conference in Chicago (read working exhaustion mixed with fun)
Skype into Tuesdays class while in Chicago
fly home and immediately drive from airport to Wednesdays class in which a paper is due
work late at an Admissions event
hibernate and refuse to do anything that weekend to recoup
(3 days off work but not really because I'll be working at the conference)

Week 3 -
register for NEXT YEAR'S classes 6 months early
two nights of class
therapy
sorority meeting
(1 hour off work to get to an off site class in time)

Week 4 -
two nights of class
therapy
sorority sister's baby shower

Week 5 - because March is trying to kill me
two nights of class

So the month gets progressively better, I guess, for goodness sake! The first two weeks really suck, and week three...well, let's just say the last sorority meeting was 9 hours. Gracious!

I should probably pack for Chicago this weekend, and write that paper that's due when I get back. I'm excited about the conference! A lot of my college friends live in Chicago and some folks from grad school, so hopefully I'll get to see some folks! And I get there the day before the conference since it starts early in the morning so I'm hoping to do some fun Chicago stuff! Any suggestions?!

February 25, 2010

at it again

Y'all, I have been in the worst mood lately, but I am feeling so much better, thank God for endorphins! And dolphins with dorsal fins...speaking of which did you see the thing on the news today about the killer whale at Sea World that KILLED its trainer! And how no one is sure why it was allowed to perform because its KILLED BEFORE!!!! I hate that there were children and families who witnessed it!

But that is not why I have endorphins or am in a better mood. If you remember, last year, I started running. Well, I broke my foot (not from running) and then got sick for over a month with a nasty cold that wouldn't quit, then bruised my rib from all the coughing (which is PAINful by the way) and so needless to say, I was down and out with the running for a while. My friend, Martha, who I originally started the running with and who is still doing it, encouraged me the other day to get back into it with the Couch to 5K training plan.

You've heard me talk about this before, it was how I started running way back when. But y'all. The first time I did it this week, I thought I might die. Oh. My. Goodness. Around minute 13 I could no longer find my breathing rhythm and felt like I was going to pass out from all the lightheadedness. So, I quit, because I was home along and didn't want Penny to have to witness my face being burned off because it landed on the treadmill when I fell out. So I talked to the Best Friend, because she runs, ya know (what, does EVERYONE do this?) and she gave me some tips:

1. Eat something about an hour before you go exercise. Something like a banana, something about simple carbs, that part I don't really get. Her trainer eats a sweet potato with brown sugar? Seems counterproductive, but he's a trainer (in amazing shape, really) and he should know.

2. The breathing thing will adjust itself because your lungs need to be conditioned too, just like your muscles.

3. Load up on protein afterwards.

So, even though you're not supposed to do the program two days in a row, I did it again last night because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do it until Friday and that was unacceptable, I may have lost my motivation by then. First, I ate the banana. Then an hour and a half later I went down to the treadmill and did the five minute warm up. I thought I might die from the lactic acid BURNING, which is, I guess, why they tell you not to do that two days in a row. So, I got frustrated and got off the treadmill and changed my laundry. I decided I wasn't going to quit because then I would never EVER be a runner, so I got back on the treadmill and did the rest of the 20 minutes. Did you read that? After the first time of only being able to do 13, I did the WHOLE 20 MINUTES!!! Here's what I think:

1. the banana helped.
2. my determination helped.
3. I slowed my walking in the first part so I could catch my breath, but found that the slower I walked toward the end, the worse it was, so I walked faster so I could keep up with my breathing
4. I noticed that I was raising my shoulders while I was running and it was making the breathing more difficult, so I consciously put them down and it made all the difference.
5. I should not have waited an hour and a half, I should have gone after an hour because by the time I was done, I was STARVING and a little lightheaded.
6. Afterwards, my bad mood was totally gone!

Now, I will wait a day before I do it again so that I don't ruin myself somehow, but I'll probably do the Wii Fit tonight after work so I don't get out of my momentum.

February 23, 2010

opportunities taken

I had lunch with a friend after church on Sunday and boy have I missed her! Life has gotten far too busy this semester, trying to keep up with deadlines and such, fearful I will fall behind in homework, and admittedly, trying to keep myself busy so I won't wallow.

So anyway, we were talking about an opportunity she has to move out of state for a year and how everyone is encouraging her to do it because she has nothing she can't put off for a year, no one making her stay in Michigan, and nothing but new experiences waiting for her. It got me thinking about taking opportunities or missing opportunities, and I realized, the only thing you can really count are the opportunities taken.

I am finishing my second year of classes for my doctoral program and while I knew for a while that I wanted to persue that degree, when I first applied, it was at another school than the one I am attending, while I was working at another school than where I do now, and at that time, I thought not being able to enter that program, or not even finishing that application process was a missed opportunity. In hindsight, it was not, it was simply an opportunity that wasn't right for me at the time. So, when I came to work at my current institution, I felt like it was time to start my Ph.D. partly because I had nothing else going on at the time and no one else to prioritize. So, I took the opportunity. I started the program and could not have been happier! I love school - the classes, the homework, the challenge - adore it. Shortly before starting my second year, I met someone and we became involved to a certain extent. He lives in another state and there was talk about moving there, which I was totally willing to do if things became very serious and very permanent, but I didn't think I needed to move to date someone and I had obligations here. We are no longer involved, partly because of the distance (I never realized how important proximity is to men), and I wonder now if that was an opportunity missed. I've decided it's not a missed opportunity, it was another opportunity that wasn't right for me at the time. That is not to say I don't regret it, and I wish I lived there...it's one of my favorite places in the whole world. And maybe if I did live there things would be different with the relationship aspect, but probably not. And I chose my opportunity, school, for good solid reasons, and it's not a permanant thing, so perhaps one day I will end up moving and taking that opportunity.

I hate living in regret, and I'm glad I don't. I'm pretty happy with my life, and am secure in the fact that the things I don't like will change. But take advantages of the opportunities, if they are good ones, that come across your path. You never know the experiences God has for you in some other place than you are now.

February 18, 2010

says my therapist

After a sort of muddled start this summer, I have been in therapy for a few months on a regular basis. I was referred by my best friend (she is also a therapist) and have been seeing the most wonderful and challenging therapist since....mmm, maybe October. And I'm a little excited that it's been so regular because the only regularly scheduled activities I do anymore are school and work, which get in the way of EVERYTHING fun I've ever wanted to do regularly. Like date. Or have a dog that I can be responsible for all the time. Or, I don't know, read a non textbook from time to time. Ugh. Anyway, in my months of being therapalized (that's what my best friend and I jokingly call it) I've apparently made wonderful strides. I don't see them for the miraculous result she seems to think they are, but I guess they are there. I started therapy for a number of reasons. I don't think I ever processed through my parent's divorce and even though you wouldn't think that would affect an adult, it threw me for a loop and resulted in all kinds of messed up things like mothering my own mother and eliminating all contact with my father. And about the whole contact elimination, that's not the only time I've done that and I am more interested in resolving conflict rather than cutting that person off because, hello healthy relationship anyone? And basically there are things I need to fix about myself before I can ever be in a husband-wife relationship with anyone, not that there is opportunity for the moment, but I like to be proactive.

Part of the reason there were fumbled beginnings to this process is because shortly after I initially saw the therapist, I met someone and was happy so what would I need therapy for? Right. So after I realized that it wasn't all happiness and I was a PARANOID FREAK about everything and had a ridiculous number of insecurities, and started smoking again because I needed a coping mechanism for these issues I hadn't encountered in a very long time - I contacted the therapist again to really, seriously, find a regular time we could meet. And the relationship? Ended pretty quickly after I realized how much I didn't want him to date someone else and how that couldn't be avoided because he was in a bad place where he thought everything in his world would be better if he dated EVERYONE else. And don't get all frowny, he's not a cheater or mean or anything, he really is a wonderful man and I regret every day that things aren't different and he's having such a hard time trying to be happy. It's hard to be happy when awful things are happening and you wish everything were different. Anyway, this is not about him.

So here are my strides: I quit smoking (again and hopefully for the last time) at the very least because I started again because of a boy who isn't part of my problem anymore so why smoke? I realized that I am smart. I've spent a better part of my life thinking that I was stupid and couldn't learn certain things because of that stupidity. I'm all the way done with that now. The reason I couldn't learn those things was because I didn't have the tools to understand how I best learn things like that, because I, like many others, learn differently depending on the content. I have stopped crying everyday about lost loves. I don't know that it's a huge stride, because there are still days when I'm sad, but I'm working on it and realize it's probably going to take time. Also, I think I will be able to complete a homework assignment given to me at the very beginning of therapy.

My therapist asked me to write a letter to my dad, not mail it, just write it, about how he hurt me. Whenever I sat down to write it, all that would come out is how I am angry at him, nothing about hurt. I initially thought that it was because I was being prideful, that I was tamping down all these hurt feelings as if to say, "I'm too strong, you can't hurt me, you aren't important enough to hurt me." At the time, he was important enough to hurt me, he was my Dad! Now, it's more a matter of annoyance because he sends me presents at Christmas and my birthday, which I promptly return because I've asked him not to contact me. But hurt isn't the only thing and in fact it's a very tiny portion, the rest of it is a whole bunch of other stuff that I am better able to sort through and identify now.

So, sometime before next Thursday, I will be completing that homework assignment. Wish me luck. And pray that I can figure out forgiveness, because I know that's the next step.

February 12, 2010

things that are annoying

1. the way you can hear the same 16 songs on the radio over the course of the day. please, find some new ones. or even old ones. just not the same ones.

2. that alicia keys song about New York. and alicia keys in general.

3. the way people cannot figure things out for themselves and must be told the simpliest directions - click here. see the drop down menu? select that. my gosh, use your literacy skills and exercise some logic.

4. that ludacris song with the chipmunks. stop it. chipmunks should not sing about booty.

5. my ability to take forever to get over someone. i was in love with him and given the opportunity would readily pick up that habit again. but given the overarching complications, why can I not just get over it instead of wishing it were different. i annoy myself.

February 1, 2010

a deep breath

it's an addiction, slow to create
but too quick to satiate and i know.
i know it's the here and now
but you don't know what you're missing
because all you can see is immediate.
it's immediate, that numbness that explodes
all at once, unable to tell if it is worth it.
is it worth it? that deep breath tonight
becomes a short gasp in the morning
that you can't take back. that cool rush
becomes a slow burn and it's not like before.
like before when the solution was a deep breath
and a cool rush and that slow burn never came.