Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just because it's January...

I think I'm suffering from "New Year's Syndrome." This is something I just invented to explain the feeling I suddenly have that I need to DO SOMETHING about my weight. It's actually not bad - I need to lose about 10 pounds to get back to "normal" - but it just seems so DAUNTING. And it sounds all well and good to start eating better (read: less cheese) and exercising more (read: at all), but I start school next week and I just know that there's no point in trying to start something until I know what the term is really going to look like. My work schedule is even more travel-heavy in the spring than at other times of the year, and I just don't want to do what I did last fall, which is to try to start working out only to find that I was too exhausted to make time for it. When your only real workout options are 5 a.m. or 9:30 p.m., it's pretty hard to find any motivation. Those are sleepy times.

I guess I hope that because I'm only taking one class this semester, and I don't think it's going to be too work-intensive, maybe I can get myself together and actually do something. I'm at the point where it's just kind of a nagging annoyance that I've gained weight, and I'd like to reverse the trend before it becomes a) worse and b) even more daunting than it already seems. I think it must be true that your metabolism starts to tank in your 30s, and my metabolism wasn't really firing on all cylinders to begin with.

But really, I'm not going to think about this anymore for another week. That's when class starts and I'll see how time-intensive the syllabus looks. If I won't have 2 hours of homework a night, maybe exercising at 9:30 won't seem like such a bad idea.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Done done done! (For now.)

Yesterday was the last day of this semester at school. It has been completely brutal. It didn't help that I had to travel a lot for the first half of the term, that my work AND B's work were insane, that I was taking the most work-intensive class of the whole stinking program, and that BOTH of my classes had group projects. I just realized I didn't even post here for almost two months!! Not that anyone probably really missed it, but it does say something about how busy things have been. It also says something about how busy things have been when the thing I'm looking forward to most is now having time to clean the shower.

I have always loved school. I'm that person. I'm the one who loves to learn things just to learn them, who actually likes writing papers, etc. I've especially loved grad school for two reasons: 1) sometime in my 20s, I lost my shyness, which I had to fake my way through in all my classes as an undergrad, so I've made more friends and participated a lot more in class; 2) I can actually use 90% of what I'm learning (the only real exception here is my PR class, which was a giant waste of time). But this semester, an alarming thing happened. I started to understand why people don't like school. I even started to understand why people drop out with a class or two to go. This semester really sucked. I think I did well in both classes, although the capstone class might have blown my 4.0 (down with group projects!), but I've also grown up enough (barely) to be able to realize that nobody but me cares about my GPA.

When I came home last night, though, my awesome family had decided to take me to dinner at my favorite restaurant, and I ate almost an entire bowl of guacamole by myself, and things started to look up. When I woke up this morning, my very, very first thought was: no homework today! So I'm going to just enjoy the next few weeks before I have to go back, and try to tackle more things at work and at home that I've been meaning to get to. Like Christmas shopping, which I haven't even started!

I'm pretty proud that in all of this craziness (me on overdrive with work and school, B having to work extreme amounts of extra hours), H doesn't seem to have noticed that we've been stressed out. I think that's the most important thing.

I'm so happy! Weeks and weeks off, and my last class in the spring has the potential to actually be fun. But for now, it's time to relax!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I'm going to do when I graduate

I have come to hate school so very much this semester that I've decided visualization might be the only way to get through. Thus, I have taken to imagining myself walking across the stage at graduation, wearing my nifty hood and feeling ecstatic that I'm done. In my imagination, I am also shouting, "Woo hoo!" at the top of my lungs, and smiling really big. I must make this vision a reality, and so I have to power through 7 more months of school.

I've decided that, as further, motivation, I am going to start a list of stuff I'm going to do after I graduate. This is just the beginning:

1. Sleep.
2. Go out to dinner and drink a lot. I haven't made up my mind if it's going to be martinis, or if I'm just going to get a big bottle of Riesling. I have time to decide.
3. Do something fun with B and H.
4. Have a HUGE party. I'm inviting everyone I know. One of the reasons I decided NOT to push it, and to go ahead and graduate in the spring, is so the weather won't suck and I can actually have a party. I didn't have a chance to celebrate my undergrad degree because it was December in Indiana, and we had snow storms, and they interrupted our graduation ceremony to announce that parts of I-65 were closed.
5. Avoid school for a long, long, time, with the exception of H's school. Her school is fun.
6. Actually exercise with some regularity. I'm holding out hope that I might have the energy for it then.
7. Sleep some more.
8. Start watching TV shows again.
9. Re-institute movie night with B.
10. Eat cake. I think I will have earned a cake. Cake for everyone!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Workout Log - Day 2

I did it! I got up early again this morning and worked out. I skipped yesterday because I figured that overdoing it my first week would just make me bitter and resentful about the whole thing.

So, good for me, I guess.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Workout Log - Day 1

I finally got tired enough of being tired, gaining weight, and feeling stressed to actually make myself get up early (er, on time) and work out for 20 minutes this morning. It's dorky, but I actually bought a kickboxing video and used that.

News flash: I am SO out of shape! I had no idea it had gotten this bad. About 30 seconds in, I was thinking, "Wow, I used to be able to do this for a whole hour, and I already feel like my legs are going to fall off." And let's not even talk about the crunches. They've never been my favorite and I've never been that great at them, but holy abdominals, Batman, those were hard today.

So...I hope this trend continues and that I actually have a "Workout Log - Day 2" to share with you. I figure a little activity is better than nothing, and it might help me lose some of the weight I've gained over the past several months. I'm forming a loose plan in which I use the Wii Fit on my off days from kickboxing and crunches. If I can be just a little bit active every day, it will be better than I've been doing. It did work really well for my schedule to get up early and get it out of the way, but getting up early is not an easy thing for me to do!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

10 things I wish everyone would realize about traveling

1. You know those little boxes at the gate that show you how big your carry-on can be to fit in the overhead bin? They are not a joke. Your bag really won't fit if it's bigger than that box. Save us all some time and stop trying.

2. If you cannot lift your bag over your head, you will not be able to put it in the overhead bin. You should not expect anyone else to help you with this. You should CHECK YOUR BAG.

3. Guess what? You can even beat the system and gate-check your bag. You still don't pay, and the rest of us won't have violent thoughts when you're holding up the line trying to cram your oversized, overweight "carry-on" into the bin. This will also save those of us who always sit on the aisle a lot of stress, as we won't have to worry about your bag falling out and giving us concussions. And if that doesn't happen, there's no chance we'll sue you! See, everybody wins!

4. Check-in counter and gate agents should really have the authority, ability and initiative to make you gate-check your bag if it is going to make the rest of the plane's passengers feel in a way similar to that described in #3. Only once have I ever seen a gate agent actually come around and tag carry-ons whether you liked it or not. That person was one of the heroes, people.

5. If you go to LAX and I go to LAX, you will always be the one to see the famous person. I have the worst luck with that!

6. My bag has a bright pink handle cover on it. I have never seen any other luggage with bright pink covers on the handle. The reason I have the bright pink handle cover is so I can recognize my bag, and you can recognize that it's NOT your bag. So...hands off my luggage.

7. No matter how comfy the hotel bed is, it is never as comfy as your bed at home. Never. I wish the hotels would stop trying to convince me otherwise.

8. Room service is never as good as it sounds on the menu. It is convenience food. But it definitely beats sitting in a restaurant alone. Some people don't mind that, and good for them, but I hate it!

9. I get to go to a lot of "cool" places for my job, but I never get to do any of the "cool" stuff there. Business travel is really not all that fun, exciting or glamorous. That's why it's work. The best business travel is...effective. Woo! Effective!

10. Life would be better if every rental car came standard with satellite radio and a GPS. You'd know how to get where you were going, you could find a gas station close to the airport, and you would never be faced with choosing between the best of three different local country stations.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

OBX, Day 6: homeward bound

Well, that's it. We're home. And I've already started on the laundry. :)

Yesterday was our last day of vacation, and consisted mostly of traveling. Therefore, it's not a terrifically exciting story. We checked out of the hotel, loaded up the car and drove to Norfolk. We stopped for lunch on the way, and dealt with H's somewhat snippy attitude. We think this was a combination of 1) being bummed that vacation was almost over; 2) being tired; and 3) dreading the plane ride.

We'd planned to kill some time in Norfolk because our flight wasn't until nearly 6:00, but H fell asleep right when we got into the city, so we felt like we should just drive around and let her sleep (see "snippy attitude," above). I managed to figure out how to use the Maps app on my phone to get directions, so we just drove around for awhile. We drove by the Battleship Wisconsin, which looked impressive. There was a big waterfront shopping district that also looked interesting, but we didn't stop. I got the impression that downtown Norfolk is kind of a neat place.

We headed for the airport and considered stopping at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, but decided it wasn't worth $20 to kill just an hour and a half or so. We just returned the car instead and headed for the airport terminal. H had definitely perked up and returned to her usual sunny self by then, so we were all in a better mood. H and B went to explore the airport a bit while I sat with our many bags, and they returned with Starburst and chocolate chip cookies. :)

After we checked in, H found a little play area and made a new friend in the playhouse. It turned out she and her family were on our flight back, so they also got to hang out a bit at the gate. H had bad memories of her ears popping on the first flight, so she started whimpering before we even got on the plane. After we were seated (in a nice, new plane, actually), she kept up a steady stream of crying and saying, "I want to get off, I want to get off." I explained we couldn't get off because the plane was thousands of feet in the air, but this didn't seem to help. Neither did cookies and a whole lot of Starburst. Our theory is that the IDEA of her ears popping was worse than they actually felt, because my ears weren't that bad and I have terrible airplane ears. I let H sit in my lap when the seatbelt light went off, and did a totally mean mom thing and told her if she cried anymore I was going to make her sit back in her seat. However, it worked. I could handle the whimpering and being unhappy, but there was just no call for crying. After awhile, I think she realized her ears actually were okay, and she sit back in her seat and colored and had a fairly good time. Big props go to B for distracting her and making her laugh on the flight. We told her that she'd have to get used to flying, because if you want to go anywhere really cool, you usually have to fly there. I think she's resigned to it. In fact, while we were landing, my ears were the worst they were on the entire flight, and H didn't seem bothered at all! We were totally perplexed. See? Happy:

We'd made reservations with a car service to bring us home from the airport, and they sent a stretch limo! So we ended our vacation in style. H kept saying, "Why are we riding in this very long car?" I think she thought it was pretty cool.

Oh yeah, and I need to write the Official List of Atchison Outer Banks Vacation Quotes. So, here it is:

1) Arp Weefee! (Still hilarious, and I don't care what anybody says.)
2) "It's not a bear butt, it's a dog butt!" (This takes explanation. I told H I saw her bare butt after a bath one night, but she was pretending to be a dog at the time, so she corrected me.)
3) "Sorry, we're out of velociraptors. I only had one and somebody took it!" (See the family blog for explanation.)
4) Pool Weefee! (Seen on some other hotel marquees.)
5) "The kite is gonna hit that cloud! I'm just joking!" (H likes flying kites.)
6) "I don't want to go in the water!" (Guess who said that one...a lot.)

And that's that. We had a great time. Now we have to think about where we want to go next. H suggested India, but we think that might be a bit expensive... :)