Monday, June 09, 2014

It's still awful -- but slightly less awful


I've wanted to be a runner for over a decade. I remember going for jogs in Cleveland Park when I lived in Greenville. I could probably run for 30 seconds at a time. Then walk for 2 minutes, then run for 30 seconds. I never improved because I never kept up with it.

Every year or so I make another attempt. I run for about a week or two, and then I drop it like a bad habit. I've been running in the same pair of gray and pink Adidas that were a Christmas gift to 15 year old Stargirl.

So, it was time for my annual running attempt. Turns out I have several friends who run. Some run casually. Some run regularly. A couple of the local breweries have running clubs so I decided to join a couple weeks ago.

I hung back with my casual running friends. We argued whether we would do the 1 or 3 mile loops. I was going to attempt the 3 mile loop and talked them into it. I'm short and have a snail's pace. Most of them could walk as fast as I could jog, so I told them to leave me behind. Every once in a while one of them would turn around and wave, but soon the turns in the path meant we were no longer in each others' line of sight. But I wasn't alone and I wasn't last, so I kept running.

About 45 minutes later I was done. It sucked pretty hard, but the day ended with beer and tacos, so we'll call it a win. I realized that I enjoyed running with others. I realized that I preferred running without music.

So, I did it again the next week (no friends this time, but this brewery run attracts around 200 people so I was far from alone). I've replaced my 14 y/o trainers, and it's sucking less and less every day.

I'm posting this for posterity. Maybe this time I'll feel too guilty to quit. Because on my list of "Things to do before I'm 30" is "Start running regularly-- and keep it up!"


Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 5

Last week was a very weird week. Very stressful and busy. I didn't keep track of any of my mornings last week so we'll just skip that




 "Black ops... black ops... dropping presents from the helicopter..." The song gets louder and louder. After 60 seconds it's playing at full volume. I blink my eyes and reach for my phone. It's been plugged in and under the pillow all night. SleepBot has kept the screen dark, but technically on. My finger practically sizzles as I swipe the glass to indicate to indicate I am awake. I squint at the screen. 7:00am on the dot. It's rather bright in my room. I realize that I left the blinds open last night and my apartment is flooded with natural light. It's kinda nice.

 I forgot to set up the coffee last night. No, that's a lie. I thought about it at 10:30 but I was already under the covers and reading. I couldn't be bothered to set up the coffee last night.

I lie in bed for another 15 minutes swiping at my phone, checking Facebook and Reddit. Eventually I stretch, pull on the long sleeve shirt that lays at the foot of my bed and sit up.

I plod into the bathroom. Strip, shower, etc. After my shower I'm feeling much more awake. I chat with a early rising friend on Facebook for a few minutes while I lotion, paint, brush, clothe.

It's only 8 o'clock! I make my way downstairs. I get the coffee maker going while I pack breakfast and lunch. I make myself a "detox" drink in a water bottle and toss that into my messenger bag. I'll chug it on the way to work. I don't know that it actually does anything, but the spices in it certainly feel like a boost.

I tidy my kitchen - do the dishes, clean the sink, wipe down all surfaces. It's 8:35 am now. I put on my shoes and jacket, poke through another one of my bags to find some papers I have to bring to work. I'm out the door by 8:40 am.

It was a good morning.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

OH MY GOD COOKIES

I've come to work to be greeted with a bag of Thin Mints, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Thank U Berry Munches, and Trefoils. And now I have to sit here with these cookies next to me ALL DAY.

I made the mistake of going onto the bakery websites. The troop I'm buying from uses Little Brownie Bakers. The other bakery has Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Lemonades, and Cranberry Citrus Crisps.

My god. If I run into girls selling the other cookies I'm going to be in trouble. I really want to try the chocolate chip shortbread and cranberry crisps. Why can't I buy, like, half a box? Or just two or three cookies? Auughhhh.

I have been known in the past to eat an entire box of cookies in one sitting. That is probably why I was super fat in college!
Entire box of:
Thin Mints - 32 cookies, 1280 calories, 80g sugar
Samoas - 14 cookies, 980 calories, 70g sugar
Savannah Smiles - 25 cookies, 700 calories, 50g sugar
Thank U Berry Munch - 14 cookies, 840 calories, 49g sugar
Trefoils - 40 cookies, 1280 calories, 56g sugar
By comparison:
Oreos - 42 cookies, 2240 calories, 196g sugar
Chips Ahoy - 33 cookies, 1760 calories, 110g sugar
Walker's Pure Shortbread - 10 cookies, 650 calories, 25g sugar

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 4 - the first Monday

A soft melodic tone trickles into my ear. I reach out a hand and, eyes closed, swipe it silent. My hand curls around the phone. My foot twitches. I'm a bit warm.

I pull the phone towards my face. My eyelids flutter, blink, squint. 7:00am. The text in the phone is insistent - "Wake up, mutha fucka!!!!"

I blink, I sigh ... I doze.

A harsh electronic beat pours into my ears. I reach out a hand and, eyes closed, swipe it silent. My hand curls around my phone. I bury my nose into my pillow.

"WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK" exclaims the silenced alarm. It is now 7:30am. A tentative sniff reveals my saving grace. There is premade coffee. Thank you, past me.

I pull on a pair of socks. I grip the railing as I teeter down my spiral staircase, brain half-asleep, eyes half-closed.

A few moments later, I'm slightly more awake, sipping my coffee with too much cream and staring in my mirror with displeasure.

"Christ. You're a hot mess." Another sip of coffee. Another glance into the mirror before walking into the bathroom.

I cast a defiant glance at the scale and step into the tub. Hair, body, face, lather, scrub, shave, rinse. Soak. Sigh.

I am loathe to leave the hot water, but lingering now will only make me late. I dry off. I return to the mirror and counter. Lotions and creams are applied. Hair is tamed.

7:52am. I could use some music.

In the bedroom, I tap my laptop to life. Without thinking I hit [Win]+[3]. Chrome launches, trading along are Facebook and Reddit. I begin mindlessly scrolling, chatting, clicking.

I glance at the system tray. 8:27am. Fuck what is wrong with me.

A flurry of paint and powder, camisoles and cardigans. Fifteen minutes later I'm scurrying back down the stairs with my now cold coffee.

Microwave appears dead. Damn. I pour the cold coffee into a travel mug, top it off with what remains in the carafe and another shake of lite creamer.

Shoes laced, jacket zipped, I grab my bag and keys and hustle out the door at 8:46am.

I know I can do better.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fortune smiles on you

It's snowing pretty heavy here. (Heavy for Carolina snow...) Sticking, too. I haven't got a cancellation email from my college yet, but it's not like I've left the bed for more than a few moments anyway...

As I sit here in my bed with my laptop and coffee, I can't help but think how very lucky I am. I have a job I love (and I actually use the skills I was taught in undergrad). I work from home one day each week. If I cannot go into work for any reason (inclement weather, illness, travel) I am still paid.

It wasn't always like this. I had my fair share of wage-slave jobs. Even now I sacrifice a certain amount on income for the flexibility that my job provides, but stress and hours of many higher paying job cannot make up for sitting in my bed with my laptop and coffee, working from home and watching the snow.


Friday, February 07, 2014

Last three months

I've been journalling (like physical pen and paper journalling) a lot lately, which is why I haven't posted here much. I have things I need to spill that I don't want to put on the internet, that's why.

What's been going on lately?

November

  • K-Swiss and I split mid-November
  • Thanksgiving with the family
  • Spending more time with my bro. Haven't spent enough time with him. Would like to.
  • Took a solo trip to Asheville
  • Made some friends in Asheville. Friends who are bugging me to return (and I'd like to!)
  • Begin going out to Meetup.com events to make some more friends in town


December

  • Lived with some college friends for a week or so
  • Found an apartment (it's a loft with a spiral staircase)
  • Moved into apartment
  • Accidentally lost weight -- how did this happen?
  • Home for family X-mas party. Spent more time with my siblings. Made some new friends.
  • Got sent home with three dozen siopao
  • Had a fantastic birthday including presents and sushi
  • Decided to learn to cook. Ask for nice skillet for Christmas.
  • Realized that I'd stopped eating carbs and snacks and had started eating mostly protein and veggies -- K-Swiss and I would have pizza once a week and we always had Hot Pockets and chips in the house. Bought bread to make sandwiches. 
  • Christmas at home with the family. Wonderful! Shopping, ice skating, Thai food. New skillet
  • Went out dancing with old friends. Made some new friends. 
  • Fraukuech had a baby
January
  • Begin watching The West Wing. Realize that Rob Lowe is a main character. Fall for Sam Seaborn.
  • Decided to start cooking one new dish each week. Use skillet a lot
  • Spend a lot of money at Asian market. Learn to make Thai Curry, black bean burgers, a chicken/broccoli casserole, and sweet potato fritters.
  • Continued to go out dancing. Made new friends. I now have a couple of friends who I can text to go out for dinner/drinks/dancing/all of the above
  • Get a little over excited about having new friends. Go out 8 nights in a row. Want to cry. Learn my lesson.
  • See stage version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It was amazing. I was over the moon.
  • Finish getting all of my stuff out of the old apartment. Exchange keys. Bittersweet. But we're amiable.
  • Snow day! Use my free time wisely by binge watching House of Cards. 


Days 1-3

I'm working on getting back into a habit I used to have that involved getting to bed at a reasonable hour and waking naturally around 7am. It's a struggle. I'm going to try to start posting how my mornings go here. If I can, indeed, get back into my habit, then we'll also have daily outfit photos again.


Day 3:

Wake. Brain is confused. A savory scent is wafting into my loft and a curious gurgling sound pricks my ears. Phone declares 7:04am. Did my alarm go off?

What is that sound?

...

COFFEE!

Commence mental argument
Get out of bed get coffee
It'll still be good in ten minutes, let's just take ten more minutes. 
Seriously? Get your ass up. Hey, here's the water your poured yourself last night. Drink that, get up.
Soo comfy. And it's cold out there.
You left your robe at the foot of your bed, no excuses. Also I think you need to pee.
Gorramit...

I stretch. I sit up. I drink some water. I shiver. I blink rapidly. I grab my glasses and my robe. Arms through sleeves. Stand.

SUCCESS! I am standing and it's only 7:05am!

Bathroom, coffee, leisurely shower, music, dressing, makeup (including eyeshadow, lip gloss, and highlighter!), hair, packed breakfast (yogurt, fruit) and lunch (leftover Chinese), out the door by 8:40am. Relaxed, not rushed.

I hope I can replicate this on Monday





Day 2:

Wake. Groan. Grab phone. 5:31am. Fuck this shit. Roll over.

Wake. Shiver. Burrow under covers. Reach out hand to grab phone. It's off. IT'S OFF?!?! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. Please be before 8, please be before 8, please be before 8.

Sprint. 4g. Doo -- doodoo doodoo.

7:14am. Thank fuck. I stretch. I start to sit up. I think better of it. I curl up under the covers.

Facebook, reddit, swipe, swipe, scroll, scroll.

Did we learn nothing yesterday? Apparently not.

It's 7:30. Okay okay... I'll get up.

Facebook, reddit, swipe, swipe, scroll, scroll.

Plan days outfit. Think about cute guys. Argue with self.

15 minutes later and I'm finally sitting.

Throw legs over the side of the bed. Stand. Grab glass of water. Guzzle. Bathroom, long shower (shaving), dress (where the FUCK are my Loft cords???), makeup, hair (Oh my god why does my hair hate me today?), Yogurt, fruit, and siopao into a Harris Teeter bag. Rush out the door by 8:50am.

Damn. How did I get out of bed earlier and leave later? I'm going to figure out the delay brew on my coffee maker tonight. That'll wake me up.





Day 1:

Wake. Blink. Grab phone. 6:53am. My alarm hasn't gone off yet. A few swipes on the screen. The 7:00am, 7:30am, and 8:00am alarms are deactivated.

I stretch. I think about sitting. I'm so cozy. I don't sit.

I huddle under the covers. Facebook, reddit, swipe, swipe, scroll scroll.

It's 7:30.

I stretch. I sit up. I spy a glass of water left by Yesterday Me. I sip. Sip turns to guzzle. I shiver.

I huddle under the covers. Facebook, reddit, swipe, swipe, scroll scroll.

It's 8:00am.

I curse. Why why why? I haul myself out of bed.

5 minute shower. Rush rush. Concealer, lip balm, eyeliner, mascara. This outfit. No, that outfit. No, the first outfit was okay. Yogurt, fruit, and siopao into a Harris Teeter bag. Rush out the door by 8:45am.

I need to stop redditing in bed.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

This is from a reddit post, but I thought it would be nice to post here, so I keep it as a reminder


Someone posted the above photo on reddit, and the top comment was "It isn't that easy." Below is another redditor's reply.

I love this post. I've had to develop lots of coping mechanisms over the years to deal with crippling anxiety and depression. ALL of these, particularly #10 and Bonus are ones that have been of great assistance to me.

Now -- on to the plagiarism! All credit to IdeaPowered

1) No, he/she isn't the only one. There are millions of people. Go meet more. Those aren't your only friends. They are just your only friends NOW. You can make more, and often better, friends.

2) Molehills, not mountains. Keep things in perspective. You might feel shitty because you fucked up about this one thing. In a year you probably won't remember it and it will be inconsequential unless you keep chastising yourself for it. Everyone else is too busy being paranoid about themselves to have to remember every stupid thing you did.

3) Chastising yourself and beating yourself up about things is useless. Take responsibility, do what you can to fix it, and then accept that you have done all you can. You can't fix every mistake. Learn from them. Repeat them until you learn from them if you have to. So you know you get annoying, violent, or depressed when you drink? Don't drink. You know you get an upset stomach when you drink milk and eat a burrito... don't do it.

4) Don't let pride/fear get in the way. So what if those people who you don't know will make fun of you for riding your bike as you try to get healthy? You aren't here to please other people unless they mean something to you. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't be proud of who you are but that you shouldn't let pride dictate what you can and can't do because you are afraid of what people will think of you if you make a mistake, fail, or look like a fool while trying.

5) People's opinions are just that. They really don't matter. Opinions are like lies. The only power they have is if someone believes them to be fact. As they aren't fact and just some other person's point of view you can discard most of them. That doesn't mean don't listen to advice from loved ones... but it does mean that it is just advice and their opinion.

6) Get moving. Every day you sit there wallowing in self doubt, fear, and sadness you only make it worse. Your journey is still going and it doesn't pause for anyone. Go out there and fuck up. Get out there and make a fool of yourself. Put your neck on the line and fail. At least you are doing something and that alone is something to be proud of.

7) Ask for help. This one goes in line with pride. There is nothing wrong in asking for help. If you don't know something then ask. If you can't do something alone then ask for help. It's OK. Anyone who judges you for it isn't worth the time (and that is just their opinion anyway).

8) Form good habits. Wake up early even if you have nothing to do and get dressed. Get out of those smelly pjs. Respect yourself and have some pride in what you look and smell like. Eat healthy. Learn to feed yourself properly. Help people if you can. Focus on solutions not problems. Do your best all the time. All that sort of stuff. Will, commitment, and discipline will get you places.

9) Don't say "I can't" until you at least tried, gave it your honest to god best shot, and failed... a few times. Lots of things are hard as hell to do right. Stop telling yourself you can't do it just because you are too scared to try and fail.

10) Be patient with yourself. No one was born knowing everything they know now and things they know how to do now. No one knows everything. Everyone, every single person, fucks up. So will you, so give yourself a little breathing room.
Bonus: Last but not least...

Learn to forgive. Yourself as much as others. People will do you wrong sometimes. Shit happens. Forgive them if you can so you can move on. Holding on to all that weight just slows you down.
Sit down and write down why you think you are a mess. Be honest with yourself. Make a plan to stop being a mess, ask for help if you need to. Stick to the plan. When it gets hard cry if you have to but keep pushing on. It gets easier the longer you stick to it.

The only way out is through, friend. Good luck.

TL;DR: It ain't easy being cheesy

Friday, January 03, 2014

Millennials

I'm going to make some of you feel a little old -- I just used a fax machine for the first time in my life. I get a buzz of irritation when people request faxes. When I needed stuff faxed in college, I would email it to my Dadders and ask him to fax it. I don't understand why everything can't be done digitally. Waste of paper. Once, KSwiss needed work done on his car, they emailed him the paperwork, he signed it on his tablet (literally, signed his name with his finger) and emailed it back to them. This is the way it should be.


Of course, the next generation will probably think I'm old for having used an actual phone instead of an implant in my head or something. Of course, I think it's amusing when people still have landlines. My parents don't even have a landline anymore. And of course, some people pride themselves on their lack of modern communication technology. And the Millennials say: What's that? You can't play any song you could possibly want in 20 seconds from your phone? What's wrong with you?


When I play with my tablet and my phone, sometimes I feel like I'm in the future. WHAT YEAR IS IT? This isn't even a phone anymore! It's a pocket computer!


When I first did a little research on generations, I was irritated to find that my year was slotted as Millennial (roughly 1982-2002) and not Generation-X (roughly 1961-1981). Not only does Gen-X sounds way cooler but also I'd mentally placed Millennials firmly in the idiotic youth category in my brain. (Could still be true.)


If one notes my complete attachment to technology and social media and my narcissism (constant selfies, constant need to share what I'm doing with others), I think it's plain where I sit. Add my aversion to Facebook*, preferring Instagram and Snapchap, I'm such a Millennial. Yes, I have a Facebook. But I use it mostly for messaging (... aaand posting Instagram pictures.)


I wonder what they'll call the next generation. Those born in the 2000's. Right now I've just seen it labeled as Gen-Z, but Millennials were called Gen-Y for a while.


Also, please note that children born in 2000 are starting high school this year.


Yup.




*Late Millennials and Gen-Zers are starting to drop Facebook because of all the parents on it. Of course, early Millennials are now having babies and stuff, so they'll probably stay on Facebook. Because now they are boring parents.