Saturday, December 21, 2013

Blog #165: CHAMPIONS


Today I remembered a couple of things. I remembered why I love football so much. I remembered why I am so proud to be a Bearcat and why Bearcats are special. I remembered how healing an evening gathered with family can be. And I remembered that I am completely terrified to drive in any sort of winter weather.

I never really forgot that I loved football. More like I just took it for granted. Duh, Marissa loves football. No one is surprised. But watching the Bearcats WIN the championship game today was just a reminder of the combination of emotion, skill, and control that football is. 

I guess it's also no surprise that I'm a proud Bearcat. This is not news to anyone. And if it is then I probably need to have a conversation with you about your  comprehension and retention skills. But you tell me what other school can inspire friendships to develop simply because of the commonality of school. I went to a watch party on my own (because my date was my stepdad and he ended up working all night and not being up for a bar watch party) and I was a little frustrated about it. I had visions of sitting by myself like a loser moping. I briefly considered throwing in the towel on the watch party and just going to watch the game at my brother's house. But I went in anyhow. Within an hour I had a spot at a table with new friends. We visited, cheered, high fived, and left having exchanged numbers for future hanging out possibilities. I just believe that being a Bearcat really means being part of a family more so than other college. I don't know anyone else who identifies so strongly with their undergrad alma mater (except for other Bearcats - we stick together.) Sure, the fact that our football team has had a long run of success is probably helpful - but I can't help but believe that there's some kind of magic in being a Bearcat unrelated to sports that creates a bond in those who attended that's stronger than most. It's special for me to be a part of that and I'm so thankful that the choice I made on a bit of a whim as a 17 year old high school senior turned out to be one of the best choices I've ever made. AND WE ARE CHAMPIONS.

Following the BEARCAT VICTORY (sorry, all caps was necessary), I headed up to Smithville for one of my 3 Christmas gatherings this weekend (out of 4 total). I have been really struggling to be into Christmas this year for a number of reasons (I like to refer to it as "the perfect storm" of crap that could have gone down over the last few months). I've been basically forcing myself to feel the spirit of the season by watching every possible Christmas special, listening to Christmas music (on days when I wasn't too frustrated to stomach it) and participate in Christmas festivities. This struggle to "feel" Christmas was a bummer for me because I really love Christmas. I love the whole season from November 1 through the end of the year for all the family and festivities and feeling of gratitude and goodwill. And this year it's been more like I've been going through the motions. Like I've spent every last ounce of energy that I have on just existing and I don't have the resources to enjoy extra things. So, I was expecting that feeling to continue throughout the gathering. But, as soon as I got there, it was like a wake up call. Seeing the kids being adorable kids and the thoughtful gifts given and the conversation being had - it was so nice. It was like a feeling of warmth to just kind of remind me why this time of year is typically a happy one for me. It was a reminder that frustrating times are just that - times - and that they pass because that's what time does.

After the gathering it was time to head home - in the ice storm. I have a storied history with driving in winter weather that does include one totaled car as a direct result of the conditions. This storied history has lead to me being less than confident a winter driver. You might say I'm a bit timid behind the wheel as soon as the advisory starts. I'd kind of forgotten that because the advisories we've had so far have been lame and useless and the roads were fine - leaving me to think that I'm more confident of an inclement weather driver than I really am. But, don't worry, today I got my comeuppance. I got in the car to drive home in the pitch black dark as ice pretty much rained from the sky and solidified upon contact to whatever it landed on. I think I averaged 20mph over the whole drive. What is typically a 25 minute drive took me nearly an hour and by the time I got to park I was so exhausted and tense that I thought I might just sleep there. I mean, I made it without incident (likely thanks to the salt truck I refused to pass that graced me with it's presence for a little over half the drive) but I certainly wasn't comfortable. Then I got out of the car and promptly slipped and caught myself just before totally face planting it. So, to confirm, winter and I? Not friends.

This got more introspective than I really intended but let's roll with it. I just need the Chiefs to win tomorrow and to hone my Bunko skills and the weekend will be a complete success.

Until next time, Internet.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blog #164: Tragedy strikes again.


It's happened.

After all the pain and suffering I've been through trying to get the internet set up in my apartment.

You'd think "This internet inconvenience alone is almost too much for just one person to handle. I'm impressed by her shear heroics of carrying on throughout this difficult time. Certainly she can catch a break and have the internet be really fast and the perfect choice for watching her shows on netflix."

And you'd be wrong.

The worst has happened. I chose the wrong level of internet and now I have to go through the whole process of upgrading my choice and paying more so I can have my streaming video.


Bad things DO happen to good people you guys. This internet situation is all the proof you need. All I can do is stream music and make posts on social media. WHAT IS THIS, THE STONE AGES?

No wonder I've been too stressed to eat.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blog #163: Houston, we have wifi.

Okay. So remember when I made that post like a month ago and said I would have internet installed within a week? That was silly.

So, after a ridiculous back and forth between me, ATT, my apartment manager, ATT, me, my apartment manager that took approximately a month, WE HAVE WIFI HALLELUJAH. Granted, if I had made the necessary phone calls in a more timely manner to follow up on this it probably could have been fixed within a week or so but who has the time to make phone calls? Seriously. I want to know who has the time. I have no time. Ever.

But now, thanks to some above and beyond help from my apartment manager while I was stuck in St. Joseph,  as of today I have the internet in my home meaning my data plan for my iphone will finally get a break.

Because sometimes even though things very often don't work out the way you think they are going to, they still work out in the end. 

So, in celebration of that fact, below you'll find pictures of the things that are good lately. Because amidst stress and frustration and hard work and navigating family crises... there is good. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a TON of Netflix to watch to make up for lost time.


Spent the whole day a while back with these boogers. It was exhausting but they are fantastic.

I'm thankful this picture exists in the world. And for the trip I had to hang out with these wackos.

Duh. CHIEFS. (We decorated this tree on the side of 360hwy in Austin)

It's true love between me and the Chestnut Praline Latte at Starbucks

Double: BEARCATS and I got new glasses. but mostly BEARCATS. Unfortunately I have a full and rewarding life so I am unable to drop everything (like family christmas festivities) for a trip to Bama for the Championship. But I will be watching and eating Mrs. T approved lucky licorice for my beloved BEARCATS.

First annual sister holiday baking day was a success, aprons and all!

These boys are the best kids in the world, and that is a proven fact. Plus, look how they take after their favorite aunt in their stylin' specs! FOUR EYES UNITE

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blog #162: Studio Success

That they do. I'm about to show you what happens when you productively channel emotions... I wish I had taken "before" pictures because this isn't going to look necessarily beautiful... Because I am not an interior designer and am not too interested in "decorating" a studio not designed for visitors. It's purpose is more my own haven of serenity... So while it is rough around the edges there at least isn't an overwhelming feeling of anxiety whenever I look around. I apologize for the lack of structured sentences in this paragraph.

You know, it took some time but I finally accomplished what I intended to when I chose to downsize to a studio. I got rid of some things, found a place for everything, and settled into a manageable living situation I can maintain. I seriously feel so much relief when I am at home now. To reward myself I ordered Internet that I'll self install Friday. And God said it is not good for Marissa to be without her shows. He said let there be Netflix. And it was good.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blog #161: acting as if

Who doesn't love the surge of productivity that follows a major life change? I've felt the most confident at work this week as I ever have. That's not easy to do in the mental health field and I'm going to enjoy it because feeling on top of things is reeeeeeeal fleeting in my position and probably by next week I'll wonder how I even ever qualified for the job.
I have a theory about my level of production this week. While it's at least 20% coffee related (my coffee intake has at least doubled this week) I think the other 80% was a state of mind inspired by a small habit change I made. Instead of rolling out of bed and throwing on whatever and maybe doing my makeup maybe not and the "eh, messy bun is fine" for my hair... I got back in the habit of picking out and putting together an outfit the night before - accessories and all. I styled my hair in the morning. Did my makeup before getting in the car. I felt and looked more put together than I had in months. And what followed was a productive, together week. In a way it's a lot like the "fake it til you make it" mentality but I prefer to call it "acting as if". By choosing to "act as if" I have my shit together, I end up actually... Sort of having my shit together! 
Now, shit gathered or not, I reserve my right to TOTALLY LOSE MY SHIT during both the major football games I have interest in this weekend. It doesn't matter what I wear. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blog #160: on changes and choices and CHIEFS

Before I start anything I need to say that I have that show "The Doctors" on right now and they were talking about an anti aging procedure that could "turn back the clock on your face" which is a nice turn of phrase but then the graphic that went along with it just said in big letters "CLOCK ON YOUR FACE" without the first part of the phrase and now I just want to say that to people who frustrate me. "CLOCK ON YOUR FACE, MF-ER!"

Okay. Things in life can go from one way to another very quickly regardless of who you are or what you do. And I am no exception. So while now I am again navigating singledom instead of relationship-dom unexpectedly I'm not going to write about it or spend time on it because change is part of life and I don't feel like spending any more time on this change.

Instead I am making choices to manage my feelings - giving myself personal time to experience them but then taking action by doing things I know will ultimately make me better in a more lasting and permanent way than feelings exist. Feelings come and go and are fickle and change all the time. So, instead of spending more than minimum necessary time with indulging them, I am choosing productivity. That means that now I have a clean (though it needs a vacuum) car, and the beginnings of a system of organization in my apartment. And, because my mom is better than yours (not negotiable, sorry) I now have plans in place to spend 3 nights after work next week in organization and downsizing mode. AND - breaking news - a THANKSGIVING trip to Austin in addition to my already in the books New Year trip. So, plenty to blog about and focus on in the future. 

And, now for the most important thing: WE ARE SIX DAYS AWAY FROM SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WITH KC/DENVER MATCHUP. Seriously aside from my organization mode, I am spending a lot of energy sending good chi to the Chiefs. While I'm not surprised at the media's disrespect of the Chiefs and actually believe that it serves a really motivational purpose for my team, it IS starting to wear on me. The Broncos have really had a very similar schedule as KC so far but no one questions their legitimacy as a team even though their one loss came from a team that this week got smacked down on by The Rams. The Rams. No, The RAMS. So, win or lose I need the Chiefs to go into Denver and show them through multiple, painful, smothering hits on Peyton Manning that they are for real. And then when Denver visits us in Arrowhead we can really beat down. I'm lighting the Chiefs victory lamp and considering finding a way to wear a little bit of red every day this week in solidarity. 

If you need me, I'll be the one quietly humming the Tomahawk Chop every spare moment I get over the next week.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blog #159: Imaginaaaaation

Today, we talk about imagination.

I've always had a pretty active imagination. Probably because I've always been a huge reader. I love to read and always have. I go to a whole different place and time and can get in this zone of the story and all of the sudden hours pass by and I didn't even know. 

This served me really well as a little kid. I could entertain myself for hours. Anything could be a toy. Even basic school supplies. One time my Crayola markers were people who talked to each other and traded "hats" around. Another time it was my erasers (the kinds you put on the end of the pencil, are those still things?). Obviously the pink and purple markers/erasers were girls while blue and red were boys. Occasionally this would get me in trouble for not paying attention in class because I was involved in a dramatic enactment of my character's scenes from The Oregon Trail when the yellow marker has dysentery, but mostly the imagination was a good thing. You should see the plot lines and story arcs I had going with my barbies. Soap opera stuff. 

Growing up, however, has translated into a very different direction for my imagination. Instead of sitting at work creating stories with paper clips and post it notes, my imagination instead has me thinking of WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIOS. It gets pretty dark.

Last week I accidentally left my phone in my car overnight while it was in the shop getting a tire repaired. This wouldn't be a HUGE deal except that I don't have Internet or a land line in my apartment so I was OFF THE GRID. So, here is what imagination did for me:  
"No phone. Huh. Okay. Well, I don't need to reach anyone tonight. It's fine. I'll just read. Though, what if there's an emergency? What if something happens to someone in my family and they can't get ahold of me? I guess they could call Eric and he could come get me. But how would he get in? He doesn't have the pass code to my building and I wouldn't know he was here! And what if someone saw him trying to get in and got suspicious and called the police? I guess they would help him get in if they believed him. But what if they didn't!? And then he got arrested and was stuck in jail and couldn't call me? Or, what if someone does let him in and turns out to be a crazy person who attacks him in the elevator? And then they come after me! And then I can't call anyone either! Or what if he gets in and then takes the elevator because he thinks it will be quicker and then it gets stuck!? Oh god I can't be off the grid!"

It was ridiculous. And it was all because of my imagination. Who would have thought that the same gift that gave me hours of cheap entertainment as a child would be the one that fuels my wine drinking as an adult.

That was a joke. Don't send me things about substance abuse.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blog #158: are you there blog? It's me, Marissa

Well. THAT escalated quickly. It really got out of hand.

One minute I'm pouring my heart out excited about my new job and new life and new possibilities and then all the sudden 7 months have passed and here I am all bleary eyed like I've just snapped out of a trance.

It's a whole different world from when I blogged last. I mean, the Chiefs are undefeated, Pitt State beat MOworst, cats and dogs are living together... It's like a weird parallel universe I never dreamed of being a part of.

I'm sorry. I really am. Not to the 3 people who ever read what I write here but to myself because this is a thing I enjoy doing and I let myself get swallowed up and overwhelmed and I stopped. And this wasn't the only thing I stopped doing. I stopped working out, I stopped having fun with my nails and clothes, I stopped reading as much... I basically spent the last 7 months In a haze of eating, sleeping, working, working, sleeping, watching Netflix, eating, drinking, and a couple sporadic other activities here and there to break the cycle.  Throughout that time you will also find some coping with family tragedy, relationship growing pains, no small amount of anxiety and fretting, and being just plumb tired. It's been an intense several months. I'm certainly not complaining as I'm convinced more than ever that in this world I'm definitively and unfairly one of the lucky ones - my own struggles included.

Don't worry about me. Things are okay. Pretty great even. And this is just a note to say that I think I'm back. No promises or anything but I'm settling in pretty well now in my new life and figuring out where things fit, and I'm pretty sure I am going to make room for this blog. I've been reading a ton lately which really gives me an itch to write, and blogger gives me a place to put my thoughts. Expect to find my musings here, with a lot less work stories than before because the most interesting (and often most hilarious) part of working in the mental health field is protected by HIPPA and they tend to frown on telling those stories on your blog. People are SO sensitive, I know.

Anyhow. Hey again. That's all.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blog #157: ANNOUNCEMENTS! (and my overreaction to the loss of google reader)

"The water always looks too cold until you jump in and get used to it"

These are wise words from my mother about making big changes in life, a timely adage for my current situation. No, this is not just me being over dramatic about the end of Google Reader and my quest to find a new way to check all my favorite daily blogs.Though, you're right, I wouldn't put that past me either.

I have been so very lucky to spend the past 4 years working for my boss at Centrinex. I couldn't have asked for a more generous, flexible, and understanding person to work for as I pursued and finished my Master's degree. Very few other companies or bosses would have allowed for the creative scheduling and flex hours needed to make my educational aspirations a reality. On top of that, I have been able to have experiences that I would never have gotten to have on my own at this stage in my life. I've sat in the exclusive "Crown Club" at Royals baseball games numerous times. I've participated in company fitness challenges. I've gotten to go to banquets, conferences, concerts, and of course Chiefs games all in seats that I wouldn't be able to purchase on my own. I've planned parties, had Friday Happy Hours at the office, and drank for free at many events all because of who I am to my boss and the company. It's an experience that has likely spoiled me for other work environments.


I've overstayed. That's happened to everyone, right? I got comfortable to the point that even when I finished my education, I was slow to start looking for jobs that used it and challenged my newly developed skills. Instead, I let the same tasks that once used to be fun for me eat away at me and annoy me. I began to resent the very things that I enjoyed even just a year ago. I knew it was time to be more active in my search for a job that justified the time and money I had invested in my education. So, I did. And I found something. Then I interviewed. Then, Friday, they offered me a job.

When my sweet nephews were 5 and 9 my cousin and I took them to the Omaha zoo. That's a big deal because we're in KC and our zoo doesn't have an aquarium (the KC aquarium wasn't there then). Anyhow, the 5 year old was SO EXCITED to walk through the tunnel to see the sharks. It was all he talked about the entire trip up there. Then, when the time came to walk through the aquarium tunnel, surrounded by glass and sea life on all sides, he FREAKED. He took off in the opposite direction. I had to chase him down and carry him into the tunnel. Eventually he calmed down and ended up loving it.

I tell this story because upon actually interviewing for the job and getting the offer my first instinct was fear. Like my  nephew I've been waiting for this moment, talking about it, excited for it, but all the sudden it's in front of me and it's so much bigger and all encompassing than I could have imagined. But, I'll get to see and learn so much more - much like he did once he actually forayed into the tunnel.

April 12th is my last day at the job where I consider I did the most of my "growing up" in the past 10 years. The following week I'll begin my new adventure as a Clinical Supervisor at Family Guidance Center. (It's in St. Joseph but it's a great place anyway. Don't worry, I'll bring all my Bearcat enthusiasm and shout it loud and proud)  I will be in a brand new situation with new expectations, goals, and responsibilities. A whole new life, really.

Change is scary, and transition is rarely easy. You're cold at first when you jump into the pool. However, you're also refreshed and exhilarated.At least with this change I don't have to worry about getting water up my nose. I'm so excited about my new adventure.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blog #156: Big News!

This morning I got up and did my workout at the gym BEFORE work all on my own without having the accountability and $ motivation of having an appointment with my trainer!

These clothes actually got worn for their purpose today!
Granted, my motivation wasn't entirely pure. Aside from my upcoming poolside weekend in TX, my trainer has me on MWF resistance workout days.If I didn't get up early for this one, I'd have to do it after work meaning:
1. I'd be stuck inside for my workout while the sun was shining outside.
2. I'd be rushed to clean up in time for one of my all time favorite church services. (Good Friday is so powerful)
and perhaps most convincingly (though I know how admitting this makes me look)
3. I wouldn't be able to entertain the possibility of Friday happy hour at the office.

So, I was at the gym by 5:40am, warming up on the treadmill and then busting my muscles.

(What, you were expecting different news? THIS IS MY LIFE.) 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blog #155: "Spring" Break?

Yes, you did lie, Phil. Not okay. But that didn't stop me from taking a last minute "spring break" trip with boyfriend.

Yes, this guy.

We found ourselves in Eureka Springs, AR for 3 days of rest and relaxation just for the heck of it.

That's our little cabin, complete with the bikes out front which we didn't end up riding because we forgot to bring helmets, the bike store wasn't open when we needed to get them, and SAFETY FIRST.

We did, however, hike like it was our job. (Meaning, after sleeping in and leisurely getting ready, we hiked for a couple hours in the morning, took a lunch break and a nap, then hiked a couple more hours before dinner.Best job ever.)

Boyfriend wouldn't let me take this heart shaped rock we found home because he is noble and unselfish unlike myself. I settled for a picture.

Here are more shots from our intrepid explorations.

And then, of course, we spent an evening like this:

The trip home included some BBQ Nachos & Quesadillas at Danna's in Branson that may have changed my life. Were they really that good or was it the fact that I was eating them relishing in the knowledge that Coach T was returning to Northwest? We may never know. And I have no photographic evidence because we devoured that stuff before I had a chance. I did get a shot of this though:
We went to another distillery! After the fun we had touring the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Distillery in TX, we were excited to check this place out. Not quite as big of an operation but still delicious stuff.

Then, from Branson, we went through Springfield. Boyfriend wanted to stop a specific boating/surfing/etc shop and I wanted this:

If someone opens one in the KC area I will be forever indebted.

That's all for now. I'm going to be cryptic and tell you I have a few things in the realm of possibility over the next week or so that I will definitely be back here sharing if/when they happen.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blog #154: Love and Ashes

Happy Valentine's Day lovers!

That was weird.

But seriously. Today is a fun day. It is fun no matter what your situation is. No one is saying coupledom is inherently better than singledom or vice versa. I'm just saying that a day devoted to sweets, love, love songs, and giving people cards is a good day. And also I like wearing my red pants.

I've written Valentine's Day posts before (here is a good one from 2011) so I don't feel the need to go on too much about it today. Also, I'm about to carb/sugar crash because of the heart shaped bagel, strawberry cake bar, and giant sugar cookie I've managed to eat before noon.

I tried to go to the gym before church last night. I had a strength workout prescribed by my trainer so I did 20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill to warm up and then headed over to the TRX rope things that the bulk of my listed exercises depends on. AND THERE WERE PEOPLE. No one was using the thing that I needed to use but there were so many guys standing around using the equipment right next to it and blocking my space. I was beside myself. Did they not realize I was on a schedule? I stood around awkwardly for a minute before leaving post haste to finish whatever strength exercises I could manage at home.

Then I went to Ash Wednesday. It's one of my favorite services. Weird how a solemn day meant to basically remind you of your mortality and helplessness is such a favorite of mine. Maybe I'll go into therapy and figure it out at a later date. That's neither here nor there. I wanted to note 2 things about the service.

1. We got to sing my favorite hymn (My Song is Love Unknown) during communion. Unfortunately, whenever this happens I turn it into this anxious obsessive moment. First of all, it was the second song listed. The organist took awhile to get started and we were getting through the communion pretty quickly and I began to worry that we wouldn't get to it. I started silently tapping my fingers on my bulletin and occasionally craning my neck back to see where the organist sat and why she wasn't getting on her game. Obviously we had plenty of time for the song and then some but leave it to me to find some way to feel anxiety over a hymn.
2. You guys. I am a child. A friggin' 8 year old. EVERY YEAR, as I line up to get my ashes I am first reminded what a solemn and meaningful moment it is. Then, as I get closer and my turn approaches, my brain decides that this would be a good time to remind me how incredibly inappropriate any form of laughter would be during the distribution of the ashes. Obviously. What do I do immediately upon knowing that this would be the worse possible time to laugh? I spent the next 2 minutes in line twisting my mouth in all kinds of contortions to keep from smiling while keeping my head down. Then, I as I looked up at the pastor to get my ashes, he held his forefinger out to make a cross on my head, but in my mind for a brief second I thought he would just poke me in the nose with his ashy finger and say "BOOP! GOT YOUR NOSE!" You picture an old man doing that to your face in a church and try not to smile. Anyhow, proud to say that I made it though I did immediately look down and walk very quickly back to my seat after I got my ashes. To dust I shall return indeed.

Then I went home and baked all kinds of deliciousness for various sets of Valentine's (work, the boy).

Enjoy the rest of your day of LURRRRVE.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog #153: I was funnier 5-7 years ago

I keep going back and reading my old xanga (password protected for those of you that would try to search for me) and just LAUGHING because that girl was hilarious. And not in a "I can't believe I wrote that" laughing AT kind of hilarious but just really funny. I don't think I really knew it at the time. I mean, my main goal was usually to be light hearted and jokey (as it often is here though sometimes I spend an inordinate amount of time being overly wordy and talking about my nutrition) but I guess maybe I didn't realize I was accomplishing it.  I don't feel very funny on my blogger all the time. Maybe I use up all my wit on Twitter. Probably my nearly daily xanga habit was the cause of my free flowing easy writing style. I imagine that if I kept this up as frequently maybe I could someday be that funny again.  So maybe I'll just start telling random stories about my day and seeing if I can get back in the practice of getting a laugh here and there by posting more often.

I could tell you about last Friday.

I had worked out over lunch and chosen comfy clothes to wear to work (leggings and a longish loose striped shirt and ballet flats). My boss came in for the day at 2pm (it's good to be king) and saw me with my hair in a ridiculously bad messy bun (yes, there actually is such a thing as a bad messy bun) and headband to hide my sweaty bangs. Any makeup I'd had on had likely been a victim of the gym as well. I had no reason to reapply it. He looked at me and said "Have you just given  up now? Is that it?"

This, from the same man I once witnessed conduct an interview in green tear away track pants and a black hoodie while the interviewee wore a suit and tie. But that's neither here nor there.

I probably did look pretty ridiculous for an office setting. An outfit that could basically double as pajamas would probably have been more acceptable if my face/hair were to par (which it mostly was before lunch). However it was a Friday and I had already told him that I was going to work out over lunch so I'm not sure what he expected.

It's a bit of a wake up call though. I have noticed that as I get more comfortable in a relationship my motivation to look halfway decent in anything EXCEPT for things involving the relationship (dates, group outings, family gatherings) goes away. Why do I need to look good at work? I'm not trying to impress anyone new! I might have taken this too far in the name of sleeping an extra 30 minutes in the mornings. But I'm only human.

(Please do not worry about the seeming verbal abuse from my boss. It's okay. It's the kind of rapport we have. I've made a number of comments about his wardrobe choices.)

PS I'm taking the NCE next Wednesday. Hopefully that means I'll be more marketable in my chosen field. Unfortunately that will mean that I will not have my boss to use as material for all my funny stories anymore.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blog 152: It wasn't just in my head!

Hi again you guys!

So, one thing I hadn't mentioned, whether because I thought it was boring (it probably is) or I was subconsciously worried it was something really serious (it's not at this point) , was that I had been feeling MAJORLY worn down and fatigued lately. I mean not just the "I'm a grown up so I'm always tired" feeling or the every day "2pm crash" feeling but actual significant weariness and fatigue that lead to me honestly thinking some days that there was no way I would make it without a nap. And some days I really did even take a nap in my car (or under my desk) instead of an actual lunch break. This would happen no matter how much or little sleep I got at night and regardless of whether I had been consistently eating well (which was most of the time) or being bad and eating crappy non nutritious foods from like mid October (maybe earlier) through the present. This was more exhausted than I felt when I was in grad school working 16-18 hour days 6 days a week between classes and internship and work, and I was doing LESS. And I really could barely work up the motivation to do any more than I absolutely had to because I knew that I would just be exhausted. Which made me feel lazy and worthless which aren't good for the whole self esteem situation.

I reached out to my FB friends about the daily fatigue which lead to all kinds of recommendations from eating more protein to taking a vitamin supplement. Because my diet was already consistently full of leafy greens and natural peanut butter and whole grains lean proteins and consistent small meals, etc... I wasn't convinced that was the problem. I also had been getting my 10k+ steps in every day and doing additional workouts a few times a week despite being utterly worn down because I was convinced that regular activity would give me more energy (like it's supposed to!)

Finally, at my annual appointment in January, I asked my Doctor for blood work because I was just so tired and at the end of my rope about it. She agreed, but tended to think it was more  of a "winter blues" thing. At first, I started to think that maybe she was right, maybe it is just seasonal tiredness and I just didn't remember it each year (though this time really did seem more noticeable and severe.) After a little anemia and low calcium came up in the first test I went back for further tests. And, it turns out I'm iron deficient AND super vitamin D deficient .. both of which lead to tiring easy and all that other fun stuff. SWEET VICTORY WAS MINE!!! I've never been more relieved to get not so stellar blood test results back in my life because these are pretty tame problems to have (as long as you don't let them fester for long) and sooooo easy and relatively inexpensive to treat. So, now I'm one of those people taking iron and vitamin C supplements with breafkast and dinner and mega doses of vitamin D once a week for the next 2 months (the deficiency was more than anything non prescription would be able to touch to get back to healthy) then we'll check it again.

You guys, I seriously can not wait to not feel devastatingly tired every afternoon. I feel better just knowing that there was something actually wrong and that I wasn't crazy or lazy (or hazy... sorry I love rhyming) or doing something wrong. I had an actual, physical/biological/tangible reason why I was so tired and it is totally fixable (but needed help from a doctor).

If you read all this, thanks and congratulations and get your vitamin D levels checked. Our indoor modern lifestyle makes this a really common problem! I know because as soon as I got my answer you better believe I was all over Google and Web MD to make sure that these weren't signs of a much more sinister problem. (Real Doctors probably hate Web MD "doctors" like me.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog #151: I'M NOT A CLICHE

I joined a gym. And it is January. But I will have you know: I AM NOT A CLICHE. Yes, it's very common for people to join gyms in January because of New Year's resolutions that are typically kaput by March but that is not (I repeat in all caps: NOT) what I'm doing. In fact, I've been wanting to join a gym for the classes since like, October. What kept me from doing so? I thought about the craziness that I had coming up in the form of travel, holidays, and Christmas spending and decided that it would not be a fiscally responsible decision to join something (at full price mind you) and be stuck in a contract while I had lots of upcoming expensive things that would also keep me from even having sufficient time to USE said full price gym contract. I made the decision IN OCTOBER to wait until January because I knew two things about January: 

1. I knew that January would be when my life would settle down and the extra costs above eating and living would be normalized.
2. I knew that in January gyms are HELLA busy capitalizing on the people's New Year's Resolutions so they were knocking down prices and waiving enrollment fees right and left. 

Knowing these things, it makes sense that I would wait until then to join a gym. I was all set to go with Title and take kickboxing classes until I found out these 2 things:

1. No New Year's sales? Who do they think they are?
2. My friend Ashleigh told me all about Aspen fitness and how they will soon be opening one right across the street from my apartment! I could (and will) walk there. It doesn't open until February but in the meantime I am welcome to (and do) take classes and use the equipment at their other locations, which aren't totally convenient but will work for the month.

So, I joined Aspen for like, half of what I would pay for Title boxing. They have a kickboxing class one or two nights a week but they also have a huge variety of classes that will (and one already has) totally kick my ass. And, I am not on contract, so I can cancel my membership at any time should my situation change. Thanks for the heads up, Ash.

Another thing that keeps me from being a cliche is that I lost like 10lb from October-December just doing my fitbit and MFP thing. So, you know, I didn't need a New Year's resolution to shake that relationship weight. Granted, I did manage to gain 2 back since the end of December and am now refocusing to get those last 5 pounds to get back to ideal... but I'm feeling good about it. And it's not a New Year's resolution. It was just nice and intentional timing for the bargain.

And that's all I have to say about that. Let me know if you wanna work out or something.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Blog #150: In the Year 2013:

You're only allowed to read this if you promise to read "In The Year 2013" in your head like on Conan when he did the "In the hear two thousaaaaaaaaaaand!" bit on his show. Carry on.

In the year 2013:

I intend to take & pass the NCE and finally get a job in my field that challenges me and motivates me to grow. I've started the track on this by mailing in my application for the test and will accomplish this by continuing to look for and apply to relevant jobs daily.

In the year 2013:

I intend to continue to find fun ways to be physically active that lift my mood and keep me healthy. (This one I did fairly well with toward the end of last year - except for the last couple weeks when sickness and coldness and holidays threw me off.). Same thing with eating clean. Not necessarily for weight loss or anything, but just for feeling better and being healthier. I'll do this by continuing to use my fitbit and the myfitnesspal app to keep me in line. (Full disclosure: I typed this after eating 2 servings of sweet tarts gummies for breakfast.)

In the year 2013:
I intend to blog more and make good use of my digital camera by taking lots of pictures and sharing lots of them here. I'll do this by keeping my camera with me so that it's easier to grab during the special moments, and using the evernote app to keep my ideas together. I'll also try to keep up with the "fms photo a day" challenge for each month on instagram. Because that's what the cool kids do.

In the year 2013:
I intend to take better care of my teeth! I'll do this by flossing way more often (hopefully daily) and continuing to keep up appointments with my new dentist.

In the year 2013:
I intend to get rid of a LOT of stuff. To pare down on clothes, knick knacks, and clutter. The less I have the less mess I make. I'll do this by dedicating a weekend to going through everything I own and being brutally honest with myself about my use of each item. Additionally, buying less/saving more.

In addition to these goals I'd love for 2013 to bring more travel and more fun with the BF (including a summer of boating and sun bathing!). I have a good feeling about this year. Maybe 2013 will be the year I grow up?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blog #149: So long, 2012.

We made it. It's 2013 now which means I should say some things about the ups and downs of 2012 and hopes and dreams and goals for this year because that's what people do when there's a new year.

If I were going easy on myself, my goals would be to listen to the new Les Mis soundtrack as much as possible and make sure I see every episode of season 3 of Downton Abbey.

But I might need to be slightly more ambitious.

Anyhow, 2012 was full of memories to be treasured, so let's focus on that for now. Here are some favorites:

- An entire year without a paper to write or a test to study for.
- Weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks when BF became BF and we hung out with my BFF for Memorial Day
- The perks of having a 2nd job... that also helps keep me sharp in my field :)
- Colorado family reunion for my Aunt's 50th birthday.
- "I love you" outside a coffee shop in Parkville after a wonderful dinner at Cafe Italia while talking about silly day to day things and getting ready to go see The Dark Knight.
- Got a roomie for keeping company and splitting costs!
- Labor day in Branson with BF and his fam.
- Got a brand new baby nephew. Those are the best.
- NYC!!! Loved traveling with boyfriend to see the sights. And hang out with Tina Fey. Sort of.
- Thanksgiving at Big Cedar with my fam & BF
- Hosted my first Christmas Baking Day at my apartment to continue the tradition with mom & sis.
- Making new family traditions and joining in on others' old ones.
-2 Austin trips. One way back in May and the other just recently with the BF in tow. I have lots to share from the more recent one and can't wait to show you all the fun we had.
- Ringing in the New Year with a kiss from my love!
- Pretty much everything related to spending time with boyfriend. We have been having probably too much fun. More than our share.

So, a large part of the good in 2012 was due to a certain special someone it would seem. I may have just become "that girl." That's okay.

I'm so excited about 2013.