|September 29, 2014||Filled under Fooding|
Food! Fresh fruits and veggies = amazing meals. Here are some of the more colorful things I’ve been enjoying recently!
Two eggs over a potato and vegetable scramble! Best way to start the day.
Workday breakfast. Peaches with Kashi cereal and almond milk. And coffee. Always coffee.
Tilapia filets have been on sale at the store recently so I’ve been enjoying some tasty fishies. Always paired with a pasta and veggies! mmmm
What’s on the menu for you this week?
|September 23, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
I guess it’s time to finally embrace the fact that summer is just about over and fall is here. It seems days of 90+ degree weather is behind us and we’re enjoying nights in the 50s and 60s, and days in the 70s. So, basically the most perfect weather ever. It’s sort of hard to complain.
Maybe it was the incredibly long winter last year that has kept me stubbornly grasping at the idea of an endless summer, or maybe it’s because the coming fall means a lot of changes. Either way, I’ve never been so reluctant for my favorite season to arrive.
Still, the idea of pumpkin everything, candles, scarves, boots and apple picking has me feeling good. There is just something about this season that makes me want to nest – just bunker down for some cozy time at home.
It’s a bittersweet time of year. So many people I care about are leaving and that makes me incredibly sad. Off to school. Off to new jobs. Off to new lives. Some I will see again, others I probably won’t. But it’s also my first fall in the city truly living on my own. I am incredibly motivated and fulfilled by my job. I finally feel capable to being a functional adult – bettering myself while having a good time.
It’s a good time (with all this change) to start building some new habits (or to fall back into some old ones.)
I wanted to point out a couple of cool websites I’ve been playing on this week, one I’ve used before and one I only just discovered.
First, I love Chains.cc. It’s an accountability app that uses the old Seinfeld methodology of “Don’t break the chain!” I used their religiously for a while, but stopped suddenly and have just now rediscovered it. And so many fun new features! It’s great for keeping a record of how often you do the things you want to do, and those loooong breaks in the chains are sometimes enough to motivate you to finally start doing something again.
These are the chains I’ve listed that I’d like to keep up with. We’ll see how it goes! Obviously, not all of these will get done every day, but being able to see what I’m doing and what I’m not doing will be helpful regardless.
And second, for all my gaming friends, you’ll appreciate this: HabitRPG.
This is easily one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the internet recently. It’s a lot like Fitocracy, but with even more functionality in terms of daily tasks, To-Dos, and habits you want to encourage. Plus, there is a pretty decent social aspect and who doesn’t want to level up and create awesome characters!?! I haven’t played RPGs in a long time, but they still hold a very special place in my heart. And I’m a big fan of instant gratification, so this helps with that as well.
Between the two, I will probably try to keep up with Chains and will eventually stop using HabitRPG, but I thought it was super fun and wanted to point it out. And if in a few months, I’m still toying around in there, then that’s just a testament to how fun of a product it is!
|September 18, 2014||Filled under Rant|
Every so often this really catch song pops up on my Spotify playlist and I start getting into it until I start listening to the lyrics more closely. Watch the video below:
It get’s me every time for two reasons:
1. The concept of staying with someone because they are “the only thing” you know is extremely frustrating to me.
2. I relate to this song WAY MORE than I’d like to.
It turns out, my irritation with this song is more or less my own irritation with myself. Sometimes I stick with people who might not be the best for me because I’ve grown accustomed to the situation they bring. Logically, I know this is ridiculous. No one should be afraid of letting go of the less-than-positive things in their life simply because they are afraid of the unknown or the uncomfortable. And yet, here I am, guilty of this exact thing.
Though, to my credit, I think I’m slowly getting better about this.
I’ve started acknowledging that change is good and that comfortable is not comfortable if it makes you miserable.
It’s about weighing the pros and cons, and if the only pro is that “you know what you’re gonna get” (and what you’re gonna get isn’t what you want) then it’s time for a change. Especially when there are a whole bunch of unknown alternatives out there just waiting to be discovered when you shed the dead weight of uncomfortable comforts.
Sometimes you can’t wait for life to make the change for you. You’ve got to make the change yourself.
Who I am I kidding? I’m just sitting here waiting, so I’m no better than the girl in the song. But hey, it’s something I’m working on and something for anyone else in a similar situation to think about. We’re better than this, we really are.
|September 16, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
I’m sure by now I’ve talked at length about my newfound love of journaling. I’m not talking about blogging (the most public journal ever), but rather the private journal I carry with me wherever I go and try to write in every day.
There have been a number of positive side effects associated with regular journaling, including:
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings. Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
- Know yourself better. By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being.
- Reduce stress. Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. By doing so you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present.
- Solve problems more effectively. Typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
- Resolve disagreements with others. Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict.
Found this while walking around DC
As a near-daily practice, it’s just nice to get it all out on paper. If nothing else, once it’s on the page it’s out of my head and as I write it, all of those jumbled thoughts start to come together. I can really start to understand how I feel. And since I know no one will ever read it, I can be completely honest with myself.
Though, it’s funny how when I’m journaling, I can still feel my inner voice trying to censor my thoughts. Even in our own minds, we are trying to say what we think we should say, or feel how we should feel, rather than how we actually feel.
It’s also a great way to reflect on the victories behind you.
For me, always looking at the next few steps ahead is one of the most defeating feelings ever. When you are always looking in front of you, up toward the peek of the mountain, you never take a look back to see how far you’ve already traveled. Sometimes you need to flip back a few pages and realize how much you’ve already accomplished and feel good about that instead of beating yourself up for still having so far to go.
And other times, you discover the patterns of your fears and failures, and realize exactly what you need to do next.
For example, a personal insight I gained from journaling:
For so long I’ve been anxious and nervous in so many situations. Meeting new people. Starting a new job. Doing pretty much anything I haven’t done before. And I’ve come to realize that this anxiety is present because I lack the confidence in myself that I am able to handle these new situations.
When you are always looking for the support of someone else to be the strength that pushes you forward, you are leaving yourself woefully unprepared for life. Once that person—that perceived strength—is gone, you realize you haven’t cultivated any faith or confidence in yourself. I had gotten so used to being lead around that I never learned how to take charge of my own direction.
So here’s my new goal: have the confidence to know that I can take on whatever life throws at me, no matter who is or is not at my side.
“A bird sitting on a tiny branch never fears for the integrity of the branch, for he has faith in the strength of his own wings.”
|September 11, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
It absolutely baffles me that I feel so good when I’m being productive, and yet, I put off nearly every simple task or chore I have. It’s as though everything that gets added to my to-do list (both at home and at work) needs some sort of “resting period” where it sits there while I contemplate it for a bit. This is often why I take so long to respond to emails or pay bills.
But I’m pretty good at making my bed every day, so I’ve got that going for me I guess.
How is it that I know the things that make me happy, but I still struggle to do them. Learning Spanish is fun, but I haven’t played on Duolingo or Rosetta Stone in weeks. Running is incredible, but I struggle to even glance at my shoes when I get home. And reading and blogging are some of my favorite ways to relax and unwind, but instead I just dick around on the internet for a few more hours, wonder where my night went and then promise myself I’ll get to the important stuff tomorrow.
But I won’t.
I feel like I need to set an alarm on my phone for 4:30pm before I leave the office to ask myself what I’m going to do that night so at least I have an idea in my head for when I get home.
Actually, that’s not a bad idea.
Sometimes just considering going on a run puts me in the right mindset to throw on the shoes when I get home.
And maybe if I actually stuck with the Spanish, I would get past the boring intro levels and move on to something more exciting. (Okay, full disclosure, when it comes to the Spanish, I’m actually just really embarrassed and self-conscious. I listen to all these fluent speakers and I get so anxious that I’ll never be able to understand them. I just want to confidently say hello to the really nice people at my local pupuseria! Just have to remind myself that I have to start small and work up to the conversational level…and ask people to speak really, really slowly.)
I think we all suffer from something similar. It’s that whole inertia concept that I’ve talked about before. It’s still true. Go figure. After all my changes in the past year, some things stay the same. I guess that…comforting?
But being aware of this and trying to be present in the moment is crucial. I think the days when I find myself running on autopilot are my least productive days. But when I’m actively thinking about what I’m doing with my time, I get a lot more done. One more reason to stay mindful and practice mindfulness. It keeps you productive.
Be present. Be active. And get shit done.
|September 9, 2014||Filled under Fooding|
I love having a full kitchen again!…so much space….for activities!
Lentil veggie medly!
Vegetable medley with rice! (you’re gonna start noticing a theme)
Margarita, chips and salsa!
Salmon, tomato and bok choy pasta!
ICE CREAM SUNDAE
Salmon and veggies over rice!
Sweet potato noodle stir fry
|August 6, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
Change is one of those things that never comes one thing at a time. It arrives in massives waves of intense, life-altering events. And the past few weeks have been no exception.
I’ve known for a while that I wasn’t happy at work — a mix of frustration and the realization that I’ve done as much as I’m motivated to do there. I knew it was time to move on. So when I was offered a new opportunity doing similar work in a completely different industry, I accepted and immediately put in my two-weeks notice.
But it was with a heavy heart that I did so because it was this job that really jump-started my life here in the city. I met some of the most amazing people who changed my life for the better. And it propelled me to finally get an apartment and move into the city where I’ve been living the last four months and loving it. Yet, I know it’s the right move and it actually worked out for the best because one of our interns was able to replace me, essentially launching a career in her field of interest. Hooray! I always love a good silver lining.
But with new opportunity, there is always more change on the way.
I’m also leaving the apartment I’ve been in for the past four months for something new (and above ground!) While a basement apartment was an ideal location for the summer, I’m excited to start building a home in a row house with a porch, patio and space for a garden. And a den! With a desk! And a reading chair! weeeeeee! Plus, I think being able to see the sun during the short winter days will be huge.
I’ll be eternally grateful for the girls who welcomed me into their home here, but I’m also excited for my second home in the city.
Of course…this means a lot of packing….ugh. You’d think I’d be better at this moving thing by now, but no.
It’s a good time to start downsizing and really purging the things I don’t need. For example, I have four pairs of sweatpants…and five pairs of soccer shorts. I wear exactly two of those sweat pants and play soccer exactly once a week. I think it’s time to cut back, don’t you?
Yet, in the spirit of the rule of three, there is one final change headed my way as well. I can’t say much about it because it’s someone else’s private business, but essentially a very good friend of mine is moving away in three months and it breaks my heart.
Everything I’ve grown to know about the city in the last year is changing: my job, my home, my friends.
It’s hard. Exciting — but difficult.
The past few weeks have been some of the most stressful moments of my life thus far, not because anything is bad — all of these changes are good — but because change is scary, especially when it’s all at once and you have no idea what your life will be like once it happens.
But change is always happening and that’s just how things go. And watch, once things do actually calm down, I’ll be complaining that I’m bored and need a change. Go figure.
|July 20, 2014||Filled under Uncategorized|
I did something tonight that I’m not proud of. In fact, I’m actually pretty disgusted with myself and ashamed that I behaved the way that I did.
I recognized someone that I used to not get along with in high school, said mean things about her behind her back and then was absolutely lovely and pleasant to her face when she recognized me and came over to say hello.
I acted like a grade-A bitch.
And I feel terrible.
I don’t like to think of myself as someone who would do that, be so stereotypically catty.
Sure, I can come up with a million excuses why:
- We have a long history of not really getting along.
- I still hold a grudge against the entire activity that we knew each other through, not because of her, but because of a variety of bad circumstances.
- And there has been some pretty strong negativity in my life recently that I think it’s affecting me more than I thought.
But at the end of the day, these excuses don’t make up for my absolutely abhorrent behavior. I know I am better than this.
And the fact that I still hold a grudge against her and the whole activity that we were a part of is pretty pathetic. I’m 25 years old. Holding on to any hatred is only poisoning me, not making me better.
I want to be better than that. And I can be — I will be. Because no one deserves to be treated so poorly, and what’s more, it reflects extremely poorly on me.
In terms of the present negativity in my life, I can’t let that get me down. I can’t take the easy way out and just say negative things or complain or rant all the time. That’s the low road. Sure, sometimes you need to blow off steam, but it’s important to fill your life with more positivity. Find the good in people and in situations because when you only see the negative, you become toxic. I’ve been around people like that and it really hurts your world. It takes you to a dark place and you struggle to see the good when all you hear is the bad. I don’t want to be that or be around that.
And the first step is being better myself.
Normally, I would just feel terrible about this and hold it in until eventually something else takes over my thoughts. But I needed to get this out. I needed to call myself out on this because this isn’t something that should just be let go.
I am better than this. We are all better than this. And I’m not letting myself off the hook.
All these months, I’ve been working on being a better person, better to myself and to others, and this was a massive step back. Maybe I can’t make it right with her, but I can definitely make it right going forward.
|July 18, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream|