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Monday, February 28, 2011

Dramatic Ending

I think everything in life should have a dramatic ending. Like a pointy-pose, or jazz hands, or a withering (fake) death. Or firetrucks!

Yesterday, I went to the gym for the first time since before starting physical therapy for my back. I started with the treadmill, then my PT exercises as adapted for the fancy gym machines, then some time on the elliptical. For my big ending, I decided to do another 15 minutes of walking on the treadmill.

Just as I set up the treadmill, there were blinky lights and sirens around the workout room. It's possible I've been watching too much Let's Make a Deal because my first thought was that someone had won something. Oooh, maybe *I* had won something for having such a great first workout back! I popped off my headphones and waited for someone to come my way with a big check and balloons, only to hear the PA system announce that this was an emergency and everyone needed to calmly proceed to the nearest exit immediately.

(A quick note - aren't "calmly" and "immediately" a bit contradictory? Yeah, I thought so too.)

I stood outside for a bit before the manager told us that firetrucks were on the way and we could not re-enter the building until they had arrived and cleared it.

At that point, I figured firetrucks were a perfect dramatic ending for my first workout back at the gym, so I hopped in my car to head home. And as I pulled to the curb while the firetruck came blasting through from the other direction, I may have even done some jazz hands.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Six Word Saturday

One door closes, another one opens?

AKA the "big news" we waited and waited for fell through.  Now we wait for the next opportunity.  I'm talking about jobs, people.  Not babies.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, February 25, 2011

Meditation for Moi

As I continue to search for ways to deal with anxiety and bad dreams, I find myself often turning to meditation. Granted, I'm sure I'm doing it wrong if you look it up in some "how-to" guide. But I say I'm doing it right because it achieves my desired end result of feeling centered and calm. SomeMonkey recently did a search on meditation and found some video that tried to make her breathe out of this nostril and then that nostril. That's way too complicated for me. Not to mention a nightmare this time of year with sinus issues.

Here's how I meditate. I sit somewhere quiet. I don't do any kind of crazy pose - I just sit comfortably, usually with my back braced against a wall or the side of the bed. With my eyes closed, I breathe in slowly, I breathe out slowly. Sometimes I count. Sometimes I think "happiness in, anxiety out, health in, headache out." Whatever seems fitting at the moment.

I got that last bit from a book or a blog post or some other place I can't remember at the moment. The idea is that we're all part of the universe, therefor the universe has what we needs. So breathe in what you want, out what you don't want. This was great until I thought to myself what a jackass I must be to be putting my anxiety and pain into the universe. Like it doesn't already have enough without me adding to it? Once my train of thought goes there, it usually ruins the meditation.

In the past, I've used a meditation podcast I found for free on iTunes. It was called (wait for it!) "The Meditation Podcast". I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock. I think when they started, they intended for this to be an on-going podcast but they ended around 10 episodes. Each episode featured guided meditation focused on fear, pain, etc.

One podcast I particularly liked was meant to lead you to a deep, restful sleep. It started with steady breathing and then started progressing your thoughts through colors. Bright hot colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black... By the time the guiding voices hit black, you are completely zonked out. Problem? The same podcast then leads you back up through the colors to a state of being awake. Which would be awesome if there was a whole lot of dead space in the middle. But no. It's like a 10 minute sleep at best. Kinda defeats the purpose, no?

Anyways, meditation. It seems to work for me and it doesn't take long. The challenge is keeping the husband and the kitties quiet for five minutes so I can effectively relax. Really, it's in their own best interest because it's probably their fault I want to punch someone in the face. With the funk I've been in recently, I should remember to meditate more often. It makes the world safer for everyone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day #1 of Blogging with Discipline

You can probably tell because it's so late in the day that this new daily blogging thing isn't going so well. I had planned to write last night, after I finished my second session of PT for the day. However, a freak resistance band accident meant going to bed earlier than anticipated. You know how much it hurts when you're snapped with a rubber band? Imagine a 4 ft rubber band. And it snaps you right in the forehead. You'd cry and go to bed early too!

This morning, I had my PT appointment and she feels I've improved enough to start using weight machines. That's good, right? Except since I practically knocked myself unconscious using a resistance band last night, I'm not sure how brilliant it is to let me work on heavy machinery.

So this weekend, I'll start a new routine that involves daily trips to the gym for PT and some cardio. It might help me add a bit more structure to my day. It might help with the blogging. It might result in permanent injury and/or disfigurement. Stay tuned?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discipline & Happiness

Way back in the day, I was following C. Beth's lead and blogging with discipline. The idea was that by blogging every day, it keeps your brain writing skills from growing rusty. The consistent practice was often very rewarding.

Then, life grew super busy. I decided to let myself off the hook and instead embrace "blogging without obligation". A tremendous amount of pressure lifted as I gave myself Sunday off. And then I scaled back to a few days a week. Lately? I'm struggling to puke up even one post a week.

In part, it's because I'm going through a bit of depression. Part of this is seasonal. Part of it is related to a sad anniversary (not a wedding anniversary). This year, it's compounded by physical pain (though my back is improving), lack of direction, and stress related to my husband's job search.

Recently, I've come to believe that a lot of my ability to be happy comes from my decision to BE happy. That's been a struggle lately. Also, I believe that our attitude can very much influence the attitudes of those around us. Ever notice how you may wake up in a bad mood but you find yourself surrounded by happy people in the office and suddenly you don't feel so glum anymore? The opposite also seems to hold true. I don't want to be the person that brings others down.

All of which is a long rambling way of saying two things:
  1. I am going to double my efforts to choose positivity
  2. I am going to blog with discipline for a bit to get past this creative slump
I expect I'll post some entries that aren't very good but blogging has brought me great pleasure in the past and I'm hoping that by committing myself to it, blogging can help bring me some happiness in the (very near) future.

Cheers, mates. Let's bring back the awesome!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Six Word Saturday

A lovely sneak peek at Spring



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Painting

The stresses of life are too much and today I decided to toss my "give a damn" to the wind and just go with it.

I blogged about the messes I painted on my other blog, Never Fall Away, if you're interested.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thoughts on Valentine's Day

This post is especially for those who dislike today, but you're all allowed to read it. In fact, I insist.

Let me share a secret with you. A lot of us in long-term relationships don't care a whole lot either way about February 14th. In fact, the people who care most about Valentine's Day are:
  1. Greeting card companies, restaurants, florists
  2. People in a relatively new relationship
  3. People not in a relationship
Perhaps rather than snarling and hissing about Valentine's Day, you could try putting some love out into the world. Do something nice for a coworker, a friend, a neighbor, a family member... Maybe even a stranger. It will make them happy and likely make you feel good too!

In fact, I think that's the best way to acknowledge Valentine's Day - it's not about the expected things, it's about the surprises. We should all think outside the (heart-shaped candy) box and do something unexpected for someone today.

So instead of growling and making people feel guilty for enjoying today, try a smile. And, in the end, the love you take/ Is equal to the love you make. (from some Beatles song)

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone reading this little blog. I appreciate you all very much! <3

P.S. Just, please, whatever you do, do NOT say "Valentimes". First person I hear say that today is getting punched in the face.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Cutest wittle piggy in the world




Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit. In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Thursday, February 10, 2011

Less Than Three

Joe clearly needs to buy this for me. You know, to go with all the less than three cakes I make for him.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Limbo

I keep thinking I should write a little something here. Actually, I keep thinking I should do a lot of things. The problem is not lack of time but lack of inspiration.

See, I like to have a general idea of where life is heading. And since I left my job in late November, it seems that life is more and more in a state of limbo.

I'm unemployed but I can't start making plans for my professional future until Joe finds a new job, which might be out of the area. He's on the trail of an opportunity that 10 days ago seemed like a sure thing and now we're just waiting. We can't really plan any trips to take advantage of my free time because a) I'm unemployed so spending money freaks me out and b) I'm still undergoing physical therapy for my back and until that issue is cleared up, it's not that exciting to go on a trip that involves any amount of walking or exploring because that causes ridiculous amounts of pain.

And so I'm wandering a bit aimlessly. I'm frustrated that I don't know about the future and even more aggravated that I can't do certain things I want in the short-term because of my back. I can't even clean the house because the therapist said vacuuming was a horrible idea. (I tested this theory, by the way, and vacuumed downstairs last Friday. Guess what? She was right.)

With the lack of direction, I find myself wanting to nap all of the time. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to realize that I need to grab control and make some changes before I allow myself to slip into a depression. Which, thanks to gloomy days and historic events in my life, I very often do this time of year even without all of the very special things happening right now.

So! Starting tomorrow (or, as you read this, today), I'm going to try finding a bit of a routine. At the very least, I'm going to start working from my desk instead of the sofa and instead of giving into the urge to nap, I'll try to get up and distract myself by doing something else.

In the meantime, yeah, I just don't have much to blog about. When I do, you'll be the first to know.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Might run away to join circus.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit. In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Wednesday, February 02, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

Physical therapy is starting to catch up with me. My body is achy and tired from the exercises that constant target my core and my left leg. I'm hopeful that this will mean long-term improvement but in the short-term, it's tempting to complain.

Monday, I cut my usual time on the recumbent bike short because I just felt miserable. Yesterday, I was determined to last the entire workout. Thanks to the proximity of Gwen, I was able to tweet around the halfway mark that I was losing steam. This was followed immediately by a response from @cbethblog:
Power through it, Cate!! :) (My run didn't feel too great this morning. Amazing how some days are just way harder than others.)
Let's hear about Beth's run in her own words:
Wow...the race Sunday was around 70 degrees. Today? 30 degrees, 19 windchill. Imagine, if you will, a short, skinny runner with stiff, post-race legs, trying to run uphill into gusting wind without being blown away like a tumbleweed
That race on Sunday? Just a little half-marathon.

Beth's tweet was just the inspiration I needed to keep going and finish my workout. Because surely if she can run in that cold windy weather with legs tired from 13.1 miles on Sunday, there's certainly no reason that I can't finish my 80 minutes on the recumbent bike in a climate-controlled room staring at the television.

Now, if only I can get her to stand over me and crack the whip while I do my PT today... Thanks, Beth!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

4.0

I FINALLY got that last grade from the class I finished just before Christmas. An A. Thank goodness, because I seriously never heard a word from that instructor or got any feedback on my work so if it had been less than an A, I would've had to punch some people in the face. It's much less effort this way.

I will be contacting the school with feedback about this class with the MIA instructor. I'm happy with that A, but I also feel like I didn't learn anything from the guy. I could've just bought the textbook and read that on my own for a whole lot cheaper. I have no idea what I did right or wrong with my projects so what did I actually learn?

Still, I'm done. I need to contact the school today to see about receiving my actual program completion "stuff", whatever that may be. But the classwork is finished and I did well. I'm not a braggy girl but I worked hard and I'm glad it paid off.

Next, I get back to that plan for world domination.