Currently…

happy

Loving… the simple things. An extra tasty sandwich. A positive email from an actual person. Fun things in the mail. Drawing. Hugs.

Hating… That I my last post was last week’s Currently list. I need to write more, but it’s so hard lately considering not much goes on. I always tell myself I’m going to turn into one of those people who does the “just write something, anything, every day.”

Playing… Gone Home. Well, I was playing Gone Home. It sounded like it had a good story and was on sale on Steam and, when I asked Luke about it, he said it’d be fine to get. Reviews even said it was non-violent and not scary. 40 minutes in, I have to close out of the game because I got freaked out. When Luke found out I got scared, he was like, “oh, THAT game? Yeah, that’s like, totally a horror game.” Way to look out for me. Whomp whomp. Fortunately, Steam has a family sharing option so he’ll get to play it, at least.

Hoping… for lots of things. Time out of the house, a new job I actually enjoy, to actually get everything I feel like I need to get done done, to make actual friends with some of my fellow blog ladies, etc…

Anticipating… a family picnic our family has planned this Saturday. I’m excited to get out of the house and be around people! Yay!

Yeah, there’s not much going on right now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to actually do more with my blog when I get things going on.

Currently…

Loving… having some extra time with my husband. Because he works for the school district, he gets 3-day weekends every week in the summers!

Eating… Breyer’s Gelato Indulgences in tiramisu. Oh. My. Word. These should be sins. I knew the second I saw the ad, I’d have to buy it as soon as I found it and I can tell you for sure that this container will not last long. You know how last week I talked about making a healthy version of tiramisu with cinnamon and Greek yogurt? Yeah, well, this is approximately 92401298301923 times less healthy. Oh, well!

Learning… do not send an email angry. REPEAT: DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL ANGRY. Valuable words of wisdom here, folks. But DO write when you’re angry. Write to whomever you want to write about and say whatever you want to say. Get it out of your system and don’t hold back. You’ll feel worlds better. But? Once you’re done, close it, forget about it, and get on with your life. Life’s too much fun for that silliness.

Playing… Guild Wars 2! This is really the only MMORPG that L and I play, and I absolutely love it. Plus, it’s not a monthly subscription.

Anticipating… CHICAGO!! It’s just a short trip that may or may not have enough time for too much exploration but I have brunch plans with this lovely lady and this is my first time visiting there. (Okay, my family went once when I was like, 4, but all I remember is the American Girl Doll museum/factory/whatever and it doesn’t count.)

Trying… to be the best me I can be. There are definitely hiccups, but I fortunately have an amazing, loving, and kind husband who fortunately puts up with my crap when I mess up. =]

Celebrating… L’s graduation! He finished his undergrad classes in, like, March and was able to take off a semester but he walked at his commencement ceremony on Sunday! I’m so proud of this handsome guy.

10481182_10152215438403736_5315695206133611642_n (1)

Wanting… my own personal chef? Is that too much to ask? I’m stuck on like, the same 5 meals/snacks for myself and one of them may or may not be ice cream and I have got to challenge myself to branch out and try new recipes!  Any recommendations?

So. How’s your life going, currently? What’s new?

 

Ways to Feel Better Instantly

The past 9 months has been a whole lot more on my plate at once than I’ve had to deal with, probably, than ever before. Two deaths, my dad losing his job (and starting to work for himself!), getting engaged, planning a wedding, finishing university, and trying to cope with the fact that my life will look completely different in two months. I am 100% uncertain regarding just about every important aspect of life in the next year; I don’t know where I’ll be living, where I’ll be working, what I’ll be doing, how often I’ll see my mom, what I will be able to afford, etc. In addition to all this, my personality definitely makes it easy for me to get caught up in stress about the future. This is why I decided to flesh out a list of ways I know that I can start to feel better instantly. If there’s ever been a time I need a list like this, it’s right now!

  1. Close out of all of you tabs on the computer, and actually shut it down/restart it.
    I know I’m not the only one who tends to keep tabs open on their laptop because I plan to read or make some sort of use of it in the future. Having a cluttered computer without actually shutting down or restarting it for a few days just begins to feel like being in a cluttered room. Clearing off my computer makes me feel like I can breathe a little bit better, and go about the things I actually need to do on my computer with more organization.
  2. Clear out your inbox.
    No, seriously. How many emails are in your inbox? How many have you already handled? How many are spam? I just looove going through all my emails and mass-deleting useless ones, or unsubscribing from newsletters or subscription emails. On top of all of that, I couldn’t survive if I didn’t label and archive my emails. If my school sends me an email about graduation, I read it, label it, and archive it. Same with important emails from anything else (especially online shopping receipts and such). Archiving in folders means I know exactly where to look for it later, if I ever need to reference it. It’s like deleting everything without having to worry about losing it.
  3. Clean your room.
    Just do it. Start by putting everything all in once place – a chair, bed, the middle of the floor, etc. Play music. I end up reaching a state of flow at some point and just go until I know I’ve either finished or made some significant progress.
  4. Just do one thing. Then do another.
    Mail that letter. Answer that email. Make that call. Set up that appointment. Doing one thing will help you feel like doing the next thing, and soon enough you feel like you’ve been at least marginally productive.
  5. Chocolate! 
    This is self-explanatory. Treat yourself. Be nice to yourself.
  6. Write it out.
    Here I am, doing just that. Whether it’s a blog post, a journal entry, a letter to a friend, or a list of some kind, getting it put down on paper helps you separate yourself from and organize the things buzzing around your brain.
  7. Hug someone
    This one is science, peole. Oxytocin is released in your blood stream when you hug or shake/hold hands with someone for more than 6 seconds.
  8. Look at baby things.
    Watch youtube videos or browse pictures of baby animals and baby people. This is science, too. Don’t pretend you don’t love doing this.
  9. Stretch.
    Whether you do yoga or just need to stretch out a bit, it feels amazing. Put down your phone, take your eyes off of your computer, step away from the to-do list, and just stretch. There’s no way to doubt that this will make you feel better right away.
  10. Work out.
    It’s okay if it’s just going on a walk! You don’t need to go spend an hour at the gym to gain benefits (both physically and emotionally) from exercising your body. Getting up and going on a short walk outside is worlds better for your sore back than pain killers or further resting. (Also science.)
  11. Look at pretty things
    The specific way I tap into this is browsing and curating my Inspiration Board on Pinterest.
  12. Remember that there are more important things.
    Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that there are more important things than killing yourself over not getting 100% on a school project, or being 15 minutes early to everything. Cut yourself a little slack once in a while, and remember that there are people who love you no matter what. That you’re not going hungry. That you are smart, capable, and special.

If you’ve been feeling like you really need a pick-me-up (who hasn’t at some point during this ridiculous winter?), hopefully some of these ideas help, or at least get you thinking about what makes you feel better.

What kinds of things always seem to brighten your day?

Guys I had a really bad day... I found out that one of my friends got hit by a car and died. I was crying like CRAZY in my first class and everyone stared at me. He was so nice and funny. I'll miss him. And on top of that I have a massive headache, I don't feel well, and I failed two quizzes... I'm so sad :'(

Wednesday Things

a b

1. For the last week or two, I’ve been experimenting with different makeup products and looks with the intention of defining and practicing my wedding-day look. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck with landing the look that feels just right for me. Many of you know that lips are my beauty soft-spot. A bold and bright lip is my signature look and I’ve decided that I just need to give up on the expected “romantic smokey eye” or “natural makeup” and stay true to myself by staying true to that. Now the fun part is experimenting between all my lip products to see which stay in place best, have the right amount of pigmentation, and the perfect amount of glam. I mean, obviously, this is what I do anyway, but I just have to pay more attention to it now!

2. Saturday night was the last shift for me at the restaurant I’ve worked at for just under 2 years. Friday night was actually one of the better nights in a long time, followed by my last shift being one pretty lame and all-around disappointing shift. Part of me is glad for this because, were I to leave on an amazing night, I may have questioned my leaving or been sad about going. But, the other part of me wished I could have gone out on a high note. The next place for me is still waitressing but I got a job in a town that is much closer to everything else in my life. In fact, it’s right between where I live now and where Luke lives. This means I get to complete training and get somewhat settled in before the wedding, and then have someplace ready to come back to once I get moved in with Luke. It’s also even more fine dining than the last place I worked and is supposedly hard to get hired into; the manager said she hardly ever interviews because everyone stays there so long. To me, this indicates that they have good systems set in place as well as consistency in the management and cash flow. I’m trying to stay more positive than anxious.

3.  I mentioned in my Wife2Wife link-up post of Marriage Goals for 2014 that I was determined to get a real dining table into Luke’s apartment for us. I’m so happy to say that I finally accomplished this goal. My university has a Facebook page for people to use as a forum to seek or offer items for free or for sale. Fortunately, when I asked if anyone was selling a table and chairs, some one reached out to me with a great set for very little money. We were initially concerned because it’s a metal frame with a glass top, but once everything was put together, no amount of leaning or pushing can even make that glass table top budge! I even got a cute, coffee-themed tablecloth for it. We were ridiculous when we got it all together: no one has ever sat down at a table so excitedly. We beamed at each other and I said “wow… what do you want to do with it??” Luke responded with “I dunno! Do you want to, like, make dinner? And eat it? Here? At the table??” I know it’s silly, but eating food while sitting on a couch for months is a huge pain. The table isn’t going to be what lasts us for the next 30 years or anything, but it’s infinitely better than no table, much better than expected, and will hopefully last us for some time!

4. I was raised thinking that everybody just went to college. I thought it was just what everyone did. Only now, as I’m nearing the end of my undergrad education and have more opportunities to meet people outside of my university, am I realizing just how few people actually finish a bachelor’s degree. Luke and I were talking about it and he made me look up the statistics. According to the census bureau, only 30% of people aged 25 or older in the US have  bachelor’s degree. Only 40% have an associates, and 8% have a master’s degree (which just makes me want to get my masters even more). I feel very fortunate for this clever bit of strategy on my parents’ part to ensure I attend and complete college.

5. Okay, so I know I haven’t shared many details at all about the writing job I got – it’s the best thing ever. I’m the first writer (other than the founder) that My Subscription Addiction has brought on to write reviews of subscription boxes! If you’re unfamiliar with subscription boxes, they’re monthly (some are bi-monthly or quarterly) packages of goodies that get sent to your door. The kinds of boxes range from makeup to kids toys and products, to organic/natural home goods, to snacks, desserts, and recipe boxes (with all the ingredients inside!), to clothes and jewelry. Really, there’s something for just about anyone. There’s even boxes like Mantry and Birchbox Man that are for gentlemen! (There’s also a box dedicated to different kinds of meats each month!) My favorites are Birchbox, Ipsy, POPsugar Must Have, and Wantable (I love their intimates box – it’s something different than all the rest and it sends you lots of high-end tank tops, leggings, socks, under garments, tights, nightwear, etc!).  Basically, I get free stuff sent to me and I get to review it for My Subscription Addiction!

One of the coolest things about the site is it has a Swap Site where you can list the samples and products in your boxes that you don’t want and swap with other subscribers for the ones you want!  It adds a whole new layer to the fun.

6. I know the whole world has already finished talking about the Oscars, but I just have to say I’m so sad that Leo’s never won one. I’m perpetually rooting for him. He’s more than earned quite a few, in my book.

7.  I have to set my own bedtime. Seriously — I’ve been worse than ever at actually getting myself to put down everything, turn the lights out, and go to sleep. Aaaand I’m definitely paying for it. I’m so exhausted all the time.

8. All I’ve been eating this whole week is fish and seafood because I stocked up on takeout on my last shift. I’m now sick of seafood. Whomp whomp.

9. Speaking of which, my first day at my new job is tomorrow night. It’s Italian, and the menu is huuuuuge. As dumb as it sounds, if I can just have someone read me the names of everything once, just so I know how to say it, that would be a big help. I get to wear all black, and I don’t have to wear a tie. It’s already an improvement!

10.  I know I applied for the Master’s of Public Health at my university, but what I’d really love to study for my masters would be Positive Psychology. I suppose the next step is seeing where that masters program is even offered! I hope there’s one in Michigan, and even better near me.

That’s all I have for right now. I hope everyone’s doing well!

What’s something you’re excited about in your life right now??

Options and Contentment

Okay, first of all, I have to tell you about my lovely weekend! This past weekend I was able to have the honor of seeing my best friend play in her senior recital (she’s a piano major) and we got lots of time to go shopping and eat Thai food. It was just an awesome weekend. Also, her (actually down-to-earth and very sweet) sorority sisters welcomed me right in with their hall and sat with me during the recital and basically I feel like I made about 25 new friends this weekend. They were all super excited that I was engaged, even though they didn’t know me, and it was great to feel instantly brought in by a great group of girls. The bottom line is that my bestie is awesome and an incredible pianist and has great taste in friends (I mean, obviously!).

Now for the think-y stuff.

Even though I’ve only actually been back in my own house for about an hour an a half, I’m beginning to feel some anxiety again. Yes, a lot of it has to do with wedding planning, but most of it has to do with things I can’t control – people who I know will or won’t be willing to attend, the distance between us and my amazing photographer of an aunt (leaving us with only one weekend as an option for engagement photos by her, conflicting with other plans), and the fact that I have to just nail down a date and run. I’ll be touring some more reception sites this week (and hopefully choosing one) and I’m just hoping I can be guided to know when all of my upcoming decisions are correct. For example, I really hope it’s as easy as falling head-over-heels for a venue that seems too good to be true and they just happen to only have an opening on one of the two main dates we’ve been considering.

This brings up a whole philosophical discussion and struggle about whether or not people are happier with the more choices they have. Personally, I don’t think so. I firmly believe that more choices and options lead to dissatisfaction, second-guessing, and discontent. I’ve even read a couple studies that have backed this up.

Another example of this that happened today is that I submitted a take-home final exam for one of my classes. Two days early! Initially, I was all, “Go, me!!” but then I thought, I had more time. Maybe I should have proof read it again. Maybe I should have checked my math. Maybe I should have added more to the essays. It’s not like I was rushed. I could have done something different. When I submit assignments right on time, I feel more able to accept the fact that there’s nothing else I could have done – that I did what I did and had to submit it when I did. Having extra time makes me feel so anxious and like any points I get marked down are just all the more shameful and ridiculous because I could have theoretically put more time into it and should have (theoretically) no excuse to get any point at all taken off. It’s not like this for in-class exams because the moment the test starts, there’s a sense of calm I get when I know there is nothing else I can do – no cramming, no studying, no flashcards. I know what I know and I’ve done what I can and the only thing that is left is to answer the questions I know the answer to. But take-home tests, with all of their glorious benefits, still have that subtle, strange different layer of pressure, because they’re take-home.

I don’t know – am I the only one like this?

Put all of these feelings on top of getting to plan the biggest party I’ll ever throw, and there are so many decisions and different ways everything could go. I have to learn a new coping mechanism for making decisions other than “well, I finished it just before the deadline so it’s not like I had any more time to make it perfect.” This contentment strategy will not fly in the real world, and planning my wedding is my first big taste of it.

Really, I plan to commit to just sitting and writing any time I feel like I have to talk about or debate different decisions in my head (or when I’m laying awake trying to figure it all out in my head). Like, right now I need to go type up a specific conversation with myself about photography sessions and dates. I obviously also call my mom and friends when I need it, but there are so many decisions where there’s no real right or wrong way to do things, and they can’t really make the calls for me.

Do you experience this dissatisfaction with increased options? What’s your go-to decision-making strategy?

Just so we didn’t go the whole weekend without getting pictures together, I made sure to wake her up with some before I left!

One of the most awkward things in the world…

You know that favorite pen of yours? Or maybe it’s a really nice mechanical pencil. You use it all the time and, even though you know better, you like to think it magically improves your handwriting.

But  one day, you can’t find it.  You settle for other writing utensils, maybe consider buying a new one of the same brand.

And then about a week after you lost it, you see some one in your class room writing with it. There’s two ways in which to approach this situation:

     1.  Be straightforward. Say, “Hey, that’s my pen!” They’ll get a little freaked out and uncomfortable by your possessiveness/need to have that specific pen. This interaction is awkward.
     2.  Be subtle. “So… Where’d you get that pen?” They’ll feel uncomfortable because you’re inquiring about their writing utensil as if it were a cute top. Chances are that they’ll have one of two answers: “Uh, I’ve had it…” Or “Uh… I found it the other day…” If it’s the latter, then you’ll probably say something like “Um, I think it might be mine…. I lost one just like it not too long ago…”       Either way, they’re feeling awkward.

   If they’re one of those pen/pencil hijackers that take writing utinsils from your book bag or when they’re clipped onto the binding of your spiral notebook because it has a cuter color of ink or it has more of an eraser, they probably think they’ve put in too much effort in acquiring said writing utensil to admit they just found it and risk you being 98% sure it’s yours and taking it back.

     If they’re an honest person and they admit they just found it some where, and you declare that you think it’s probably yours, then both of you will probably uncomfortably feeze for a moment, and they’ll slowly hand you said pen or pencil. From there, it’s entirely your fault whether or not the awkwardness continues.     Unless they have no back-up. Then they have to borrow a pen. Major awkward alert if they ask you if you have an extra.

Everything is easier in theory.

In English, we just finished reading Beloved by Toni Morrison (phenominal book). In it, there is a stream-of-consciousness section.  Every week, we have to do two journal entries: One assigned, one that we choose. Today, we wrote our own streams-of-consciousness for our assigned journal entry. 

After I got through the initial I’m-writing-with-a-blue-green-pen-because-my-purple-one-won’t-work-right thoughts, I ended up on one core idea. Because it’s in stream-of-consciousness, the grammar and punctuation are not correct.  That’s how it’s supposed to be. Here’s that part of my writing – right off the paper:

 

 

I love people. The hardest thing about people is when you have to hurt them. How do you comprimise your not wanting to hurt them with your I need to hurt them? How do you take not hurting them and the amuont you need to and take the average? When you have to tell some one something but it hurts or when you have to do something but it hurts. How has the human race lived through life? I mean, how have people not just decided to stop living? and i don’t mean suicide, I’d never, ever do that. I mean going numb or deciding other people are too much to deal with? Do things end up worth everything it takes, eventually? Everything is so much easier in theory. You say oh, I’d do this in situation X, but wwhen situation x actually happens, it starts looking and feeling like the quadratic equation. Is there a math problem that you can use to figure out what to do? Plug in the result you want for Y, plug in who your action and decision will effect for X and Z, plug in the outcome you absolutely DO NOT want as Q, plug your heart into the equation and solve it. Or would that mathmatic equation take the worth and purpose out of life? Take the trial and error and learning out of life? If we had a math problem to make our choices for us, would we stop thinking? stop feeling? stop valuing other people and start viewing them as mere variables?