Wednesday Things

  1. So, I’m in the process of applying to grad school. I love the idea of having a Master’s degree to impress everyone and make more money and be qualified to do more than I can now. Sounds great! But? Considering the fact that I may or may not have had a mini-breakdown when confronted with my first writing assignment (1-page writing assignment), maybe not grad school. I’m still applying, though. I can make up my mind to accept their acceptance after I know if I even get in.
  2. Speaking of grad school, does anyone else feel this way?: Sometimes, it seems like a really big deal to be graduating with my bachelor’s. A lot of people in my fiancee’s family don’t have one, I hear a lot of students talk about how they are coming back to school because they reached a point where they couldn’t continue professionally without one, and there are a lot of reasons people choose to continue with their lives in different directions than obtaining a degree. Other times, a bachelor’s degree doesn’t feel like it’s worth much anymore; the job market is so much more competitive and a lot more people are having to resort to going back to school or attending grad school just to keep a job. I don’t know.
  3. This semester, I am seriously having a hard time just relating to anyone new I’ve met this semester. In both groups I’ve been separated into so far, it’s felt like I’m speaking a different language than everyone else. In my Laughter class, my group mates were really, really quiet and I also got the feeling that our senses of humor are significantly different.
  4. I FINALLY got my Lorna Jane Move, Nourish, Believe Planner after numerous delivery delays due to recent weather (it took an entire extra week). Even though it came just one week into the semester, I felt super anxious about not being able to put all my syllabi into my planner. I know this is more of a psychological issue than an actual one, but it’s still necessary to my well-being.
  5. I just realized this is the last semester I’ll ever have to put all of my syllabi into one planner. Ah! Yay!
  6. I’m out of TV shows! I’ve finished Sherlock, House of Cards, Doctor Who, Parks and Rec… Survivor is over. I can only go week-by-week (gasp! no binge-watching?) with Community, Parenthood, Agents of SHIELD, and Arrow. Also? I’m out of time to binge-watch shows, I guess… Now that school is taking up so much of my time again. Sadface.
  7. This semester, I am very unlucky and somehow ended up with four 4-credit, writing-intensive courses. It sounds like it may be a lot of moderately-sized writing projects, which is both good and bad: Good, because it means I don’t end up with one 20-page paper to put together all at once. Bad, because it means I have a lot of small assignments to keep track of.
  8. We had a great meeting with the wedding coordinator at the location where I’m getting married and having my reception. We were able to flesh out a few more details and had a great talk. I feel so lucky that the events coordinator is a friend of my mom’s and she is just lovely – energetic, involved, supportive – everything and more that we need her to be.
  9. Does anyone get into food kicks? I definitely do. Like, I’ll find one thing I like and just eat it all day every day for a week or two, and then I’ll get over it. This past summer, it was greek yogurt veggie dip and raw red peppers. For a while it was yummy gluten-free granola. Then sushi. Right now, it’s yellow veggie curry. I’ve been to the same place by my university for lunch every day so far this week. Some may say it’s a problem. I say whatever. I love food.
  10. Confession: right now, I’m in my Laughter class. I don’t really feel like I connect with my assigned group, but so far in class today, we’ve just been watching a Bill Cosby stand-up video. It’s been an hour. I have no idea how long it goes, but I hope it takes up the whole class time, even though I don’t think it’s funny, just so I don’t actually have to do anything like talk or think or pay attention today. Pssshhhh.
  11. I’ve been obsessed with motivational articles, quotes, Pinterest pins, etc. Anything I can process. I think I just know that I really really need it and part of me is continually searching for the motivational tool that’s going to magically make me turn into the most proactive and organized morning person ever. One can dream.

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Thoughts and Inspiration

Lately, I’ve had a few things get stuck in my head that I just want to write about, or even just share with someone – anyone. And what do I love more than a good list? So today, we’re putting the two together. (Also, I’ve missed my Wednesday Things for the last couple weeks from the holidays, so I’m just writing things out instead of saving it all for Wednesday).

  1. I’ve lost track of the link where I originally read it, but one of the more powerful (and effective) strategies to judge others less that I have ever come across is this: next time you find yourself starting to judge someone else based on their looks, imagine that person standing in front of you, looking you in the eyes, and saying “I’m beautiful.” Just like some say doing this to yourself makes your brain start to believe it, you will begin to start seeing it in others. 
  2. I just finished reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty for Bon’s monthly book club  (lovely gal! I love that she runs a book club through her blog!), and I didn’t really expect to love it when I started it. However, as things progress (especially into the last half of the book) I knew it had some amazing observations of and questions to ask human nature. At least to me, it did. 
  3. When my grandmother passed in October, the core strategy I’ve clung to is to drop all my self-criticism – about how I feel like grieving, about what I feel, and in general. I feel like, initially, I used this escape from my own self-judgement as an excuse to procrastinate, indulge, and overspend; but right now I feel as if this break has naturally come round to a state of mind where I feel genuinely motivated for self-development and self-improvement goals in contrast to the years I’ve spend trying to shame or guilt myself into “fixing” things about myself. I’ve got goals, plans, and a support system. I’m good to go.
  4. Speaking of self-improvement: thank goodness New Year’s started in the middle of the week, am I right? I got four or five days to flesh out my resolutions, set up my plans, and indulge in the last few treats (sweets, not going to the gym, not keeping my room clean, etc.) that I’m limiting a little more in this coming year, starting Monday. These last couple days have also been especially restful since the holidays really didn’t offer too much peace or time to relax. Thus is the life of a server. Now that the holidays are done, we’re in one of our slowest months for the restaurant industry, and even though the nights I do have to go in are slow, part of me feels that they are a nice reprieve from the crazy holiday shifts and hours I’ve worked this past month.
  5. One of my resolutions is to try and take the extra moment to do a little more for others. I find that, when one suspects someone else needs help or someone to talk to or encouragement, it’s so easy to assume some one else will be there for them, and so we aren’t. In reality, this often leads to no one being there for them. It’s another demonstration of the bystander effect.
  6. I know I mentioned this before, but I am absolutely loving audio books! Gone are the days where I have to sit still and read and feel like I may be giving up time to do something else more productive. I listen to books whenever I’m in the car. I drive a lot. In the last two months, I’ve gone through 7 books (that’s almost a book a week!), They make my frequent hour-long commutes go by so quickly, and I’m never scared of being too sleepy to drive home late, and I’m excited about seeing if I like using them while I work out. I’m currently using Audible, but I recently discovered that there’s an app call Overdrive that lets you select a local library, sign in with your library card, and download free audiobooks to your phone or computer (here’s one link for more information).
  7. Um, all I’ve been eating lately is Thai food and yellow curry? One of my resolutions is to start making it myself. Buying it daily is… expensive. Whomp whomp.
  8. I’m watching the series House of Cards on Netflix. I did not expect it to be my thing, but holy crap, do I find it exhilarating. It’s so different than anything else I usually watch, but the story and characters are amazing and at the end of every episode I always find myself wanting more. Let me know if you watch it so we can talk!
  9. For years and years, I’ve pictured “the girl I want to be.” Heck, I’ve even made lists and plans on my computer of how to become that girl. However, this year is about realizing I already am that girl. I’m already exactly who I want to be, but sometimes some bad habits of taking the easy route or worrying too much or losing perspective get in the way. This means that, instead of seeing some perfect goal I hopelessly aim to obtain, I tell myself I already have/am it, and I just have to to choose not to fall prey to an obstacle and stay true to me. Helllloooo perspective change!
  10. Another resolution/goal? ORGANIZATION. I want to go container- and label- and file-crazy this year. There’s no way being organized can hurt, and it does so much for my psyche knowing that I know exactly where to find things I need. Committing to making organization a habit now only strengthens my ability to continue on with it for the rest of my life.

All in all, I feel excited, positive, and confident for 2014. What are your resolutions? What are some thoughts that have been sticking in your mind lately? What are you excited about?

you go girl.

On Motivation

For some people, motivation is automatic. I’m sure there are people out there in the world who never hit snooze, never skip a workout, never let the house get messy, never let the dishes pile up before putting them in the dishwasher, and never skip classes.

I am not one of these people.

I do not possess the self-motivation for any of that. This piece from the Thought Catalog most accurately describes my daily inner dialogue regarding self-motivation. And just look at the title: “Self-Motivation for Losers.”  So, yup, that essentially summarizes it.

At this stage in my life, I am primarily motivated by money and not getting yelled at. I do my homework because if I fail, that’s such a waste of money on my education. I go to work because if I don’t, not only will my bosses yell at me but also my parents and boyfriend and anyone who doesn’t yell at me for getting fired for just not showing up to work would be silently judging me for being that person.  Also, I go to work because there are people there who are going to give me their money. Work’s a double-whammy.

When it comes to finding motivation, I tend to seek help from others. Namely, I tell people to tell me to do stuff. My boyfriend, Luke, can attest to this. “Luke, tell me to go to class tonight” and “Luke, tell me to clean my room” are common inclusions in our conversations. One time I even posted a picture of my messy room on the Facebook of my best friend and told her to yell at me about letting it get that way.

Ultimately, the best (and worst) person for me to go to for motivation is my mother. Mothers have the ultimate yelling ability. Mothers raised us. Mothers yelled at us when we did something stupid or were about to do something stupid or were about to ground us for three weeks for being stupid. All of this conditioning has lead to my mother possessing the most powerful ability to motivate me.

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Yoga and Flexibility

Since December started, I’ve been working full time as a waitress, and that means all I have been doing is running around and walking and such. I’ve been bad and haven’t gone off to the gymn lately, and I’ve been noticing a large change in my flexibility – more so than in my muscle toning or size or anything like that, which is where I was expecting to see a difference. But thinking back, it obviously makes sense; my muscles have had a limited range of movement and I also don’t stretch like I do after a workout.

So, I’m adding to my (admittedly already doomed) ambitious list of New Year’s Resolutions This 21-Day Yoga Challenge. I’ve been looking for one like this for a while, and it’s perfect! Day-by-day videos, a progressively more challenging sequence of routines, clear instructions, and and mediation tracks! Oh, yeah, and it’s free!

Aaaaaand, I have to get back to the gymn. Currently, I’m in a tough position. I have been wanting to sign up for a class at my YMCA (or multiples) but between working and school, both full time, I haven’t thought to remove another couple hours from my availability to sign up for a class. So honestly, the thing that will be most easily stuck into my schedule is working out on my own.

So, now not only do I have to commit to a yoga routine, but also get serious about working out again and getting my motivation in check to do so.

Oh. And work. And schoool.

But hey, at least I will be on my way to a tranquil and, frankly, freaking awesome morning work out routine like this: