Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee today…

Definitely_one_of_those_mornings

I found this meme a while back on Study.Read.Write. and I have not followed up on posting on it regularly.  But, I love the premise, so I’m going to go ahead and post for a second time today (!).  Two posts in one day, talk about unprecedented!  So, grab a cup o’ joe and join me at the table!

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how much I wish I was rich or had investors who would give me some money to start a coffee shop here in Chico that had a kid’s play place – kind of like this place, which isn’t too far from us.  I really need to get some work done and I really need some coffee right now, but none of the coffee shops in Chico have much to offer a six year old.  So, here I sit.  It is probably better this way because it saves me money and allows me to get stuff done around the house, but I still think it would make a ton of money if it opened here.  So, there is my retirement plan.  I might ask if you know any investors I could hit up – or if you have some extra cash laying around yourself.  I guarantee it would be a money maker.  I can’t count the number of times mothers in the mothers club have talked about where to go for coffee and a play date.  McDonald’s just doesn’t cut it, but it is one of the only choices to keep smaller kids entertained.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I’m dreading going back to work on Monday.  Really.  Dreading it.  I’m not usually like this after a week off, but this time I really enjoyed my time off and I can see it extending well into the future and not becoming a disappointment to me.  Of course, not having an income would become a disappointment to me, so I’ll be going back to work for sure.  🙂

If we were having coffee today, I would talk about how I’m torn between wanting to be more physically fit and just not having the motivation to do what needs to be done to make that happen.  I did a one mile fun walk this morning with my DD that was done in coordination with a 5K fun run and I really want to do 5Ks, but I HATE running.  I always have.  I used to swim competitively and I always felt like I was built for water sports, not those on the ground and running was a particularly painful enterprise for me.  But, now I have a bad shoulder thanks to the 20+ years of competitive swimming so I need to find some other form of exercise.  My schedule really kills my ability to take classes since it is constantly changing, so running seems like the simplest and most reasonable alternative.  But, it is running.  5Ks are always so much fun and seem so social.  I would love to be able to do that short amount of running and run in one once a month or so.  So, I might ask you if you had any advice for me to stick with a couch to 5K program.  I also might ask if you had advice about good shoes because that has also been a sticking point for me in the past.  I have a decent pair of Sauconys now, so I feel like I might have what I need in the short term.  Hmmmmmmm…

At this point, I would probably say I should get back home to grade and clean and grade and watch more of the Murder She Wrote marathon on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.  I would ask if you have some time next weekend for coffee again, as this was really a nice break…

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Motivational Mondays

Motivational Monday – Spring Break Edition

pi joke

A little humor in honor of Pi Day this weekend.

Well, motivational Monday is upon me once again.  And once again, I am feeling a little lacking in motivation.  I am thankful it is Spring Break and I have no instructional duties for a week as I have a TON of grading to get caught up on and it would be nice to go back to school with it all graded and entered in the grade book and prepped through the end of the semester, which is actually spiraling towards us at break-neck speed it seems.  So, I guess I’m kind of motivated to do that.  I am also motivated (sort of – I’m feeling a bit ambiguous about my motivations versus my must-dos, but in the end, if I can converge those two things it would be great) to get all the laundry caught up and get the house somewhat clean and organized.  Oh, and I HAVE to clean up the backyard because the dog comes in with stickers all over her every time she spends any amount of time out there because of all the weeds.  So, yeah, my Spring Break is basically booked up.

But, I am also motivated to spend some quality family time doing things that are fun this week.  So, tomorrow we are heading an hour and a half north of us to Redding, CA to stay a couple of nights in a hotel (which, in itself would be enough for my DD) and go to Turtle Bay Exploratory Park (one of our favorite family outings, which we have annual passes to thanks to my in-laws) and maybe find a couple of other touristy things to do (although playing in the pool and reading and relaxing sounds like enough things to do for me).

Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing pretty good in that area.  I’ve already read three books since the beginning of the year, which is really good for me during the school year.  I’ve stayed off of Candy Crush at night and read instead and I’ve been motivated to finish books!  I’m excited about re-establishing my reading habits and I’m motivated to get as many books read this year as possible!  So far, I’ve read Inferno by Dan Brown, The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian and Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenblaum.  I am currently reading The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons which seemed like a good read for Spring Break.

I think that motivation sometimes stems from desperation (the procrastinator’s way) and some of my motivation will be coming from that (laundry, grading, etc.), but other motivation stems from desire and that will be my motivation to read and spend quality time vacationing with my family.  So, I’ve definitely got some motivation going on this week.

What about you?  What is motivating you this week and what are you motivated to do?

Motivational Mondays

Motivational Monday –

Well, today’s motivation is a little low because I’m suffering from a cold and not looking forward to traveling with it in a couple of days.  To be honest, my usual motivation is much like a fire alarm – I get a note saying there is a deadline looming, so I do whatever that thing is.  But, as of late, that really isn’t working for me.  First of all, some things don’t come with a note that there is a deadline looming, so those things tend to NEVER get done.  And a lot of that stuff is stuff I would REALLY like to get done or I REALLY need to do.

So, I’m trying to figure out how to give myself meaningful deadlines on things to motivate myself to do them.  I’m just not good at fooling myself.  But, I’m also realizing how stressed out the way I’m living is making me.  And stress is not good for me.  I am trying to use the “act now” principle as often as possible.  But, often I can’t act immediately due to circumstances or other fires that I’m putting out.  So, that doesn’t always work.

But, I’m really trying to either “act now” or identify the time I will act and then follow through on that.  It isn’t always working, but I do seem to be making improvements.

I feel like I’ve read every time management and productivity book, blog and article out there, but nothing seems to work for me in the long term.  I start off strong and then fizzle out when things get overwhelming.  I think part of it is that I lack discipline, but part of it is also that I can’t find my “thing” that is really going to work for me.  I have been better about saying no to things this semester.  I’m consciously trying to not try to do everything (although it is often very tempting) and prioritize things to make it work better, but it hasn’t been easy.  There is so much cool stuff out there and people I’d like to help and things I’d like to do.  But, then I get bogged down in it all and I end up not doing anything at all.  So, making some choices will help me get things done in the end.

I really would like to do the 21 Day Fix (I failed at it the last time before I even got started), but the planning aspect seems totally overwhelming to me.  I can barely plan my life as it is, I can’t imagine having to plan the meals so far down to the measurements, etc.  So, I’m thinking that really won’t work for me.  I need something simpler.  I think Weight Watchers might work because it is just recording, not necessarily planning (although some planning has to happen to avoid running out of points on day 3 of the week, but not nearly to the level that is required for 21 Day Fix).  I need to do something because I’ve got myself scheduled to do a 5K in three weeks and then a mudder run in 3 months.  I need to get in better shape and start eating better.

I would also like to put together a budget and actually get on following it.  But, again, it seems a little overwhelming.  Which is ridiculous.  How simple is it to put together a budget?  But, it seems like a lot and then requires planning and follow up and all those things I’m not very good at doing.  Sigh…I really wish I could just have a personal assistant that I could hand everything over to and have them put it together and tell me what to do.  🙂  If only I were famous or wealthy or wealthy and famous.  I could probably get one of those.  I’m good at following instructions and doing what people tell me to do.  Maybe I just need a bossy, overly involved life-coach.  I wonder if I can find one of those on the internet…why yes, there is:

http://auntbossy.com/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/bossy-outsider-life-coaching-hanover

There is even a bossy nutritionist – that would probably help me out:

http://thebossynutritionist.com/

But, its relatively limited.  I think it may be that whole Ban Bossy problem.  No one wants to claim they are bossy…

Anyways, if you’re a bossy person who wants to use me as your test subject, I’m open to it!

What about you?  What’s your “thing” that keeps you on track?

 

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Countdown to 2015 – FOUR!

countdown4

Well, four days until 2015 now.  So, as I said earlier, I thought I would choose a word or phrase for 2015.  It is a popular notion nowadays.  There is My One Word, One Word 365, as well as many one word challenges out there on blogs.  I am not sure I like the idea of having to choose one. single. word.  That seems tough.  But, I can probably reduce it to a short phrase.  Maybe I can find a word…and yes, if you have not figured it out, I have yet to choose a word or phrase.

I like the rhyming scheme idea – like “Long and lean in 2015.”  But, I don’t want to focus on losing weight, so that doesn’t make any sense for me.  “Don’t be mean in 2015.” seems a little negative, and I’m not really mean all that much anyways.  Actually, “Less screen in 2015.” may be on point.  I want to be on the laptop less, watch less meaningless TV, get my daughter off the iPad and watching less TV, get out more, read more, do more.  So, that may be it right there.  I like it.  Easy to remember and will cause me to question myself or her every time we go to turn on the computer, iPad, TV, phone, etc.  There is just way to much screen time in our family.  Both my husband and I use work as a reason and it sometimes is, but we could be a lot better at managing our screen time for sure.  So, there it is…my phrase for 2015:

Less screen in 2015!

And I think to follow that up, if I have to have some kind of one word I will use “Recalibrate”.  I think I’ve focused too much on changing myself in ways that I don’t really need to/want to in the past.  When really, I need to get back to some things I’ve left behind (e.g. my love of reading, my activeness) while still maintaining my overall self-identity.  So, I like the idea of recalibrating.  It allows for some “measurement” but doesn’t indicate that I need to find a new measuring stick, just get back to an old one that worked for me.  It may bring in some new things as well – to increase the precision or make the use of the measurement more efficient, but overall, it is the same tool and the same thing being measured.

So, there you have it – I have a phrase and a word.

What about you?  Do you pick words or phrases or make resolutions for the New Year?  Or do you just ignore the whole thing and treat it like any other day of the year but with a new number on the calendar page?  I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year’s Edition

 

Christmas crash and New Year anticipation!

Yup…I’m one of those people who seems to crash a bit emotionally after Christmas.  So much build up, so little Christmas day.  But, I recover quickly as I anticipate a new year and all that comes with it.  I do realize that the 31st and 1st are days like any other, but with the calendar change comes a clean slate and new possibilities.  Any day can bring those same things, but it seems that New Year’s day is a shared experience among all people, so it makes it a bit more universal or communal.  What am I looking forward to in 2015?  Who will be in 2015?  What will 2015 bring?  I can’t wait to see!

What about you?  What are you looking forward to?  Who will you be?  What do you think the new year will bring?

My countdown post for today will be on my word or phrase for 2015.  I’m still mulling it over…so, I’m not even sure what that post will be about!  🙂  Guess we’ll all have to wait and see.

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Quicky Post – Back to Work…

 

Borrowed from: http://letsgreet.blogspot.com
Borrowed from: http://letsgreet.blogspot.com

So, yeah.  It is Sunday night, 9:30 p.m. and I have a pile of clean laundry on the couch next to me that needs to be folded and put away, a ginormous pile of laundry that still needs to be done upstairs, a broken washing machine (belt went out – smelled like a bad vacuum in our garage and the agitator is no longer agitating except to agitate me), a pile of grading still to do (even with the week off – I feel as if I accomplished next-to-nothing as far as grading is concerned…I HATE grading), a guest bed to remake for another house guest who is headed in this Thursday (after three house guests for a couple of nights and one that stayed four nights and just left today), a DD’s bed to remake after said house guest (even though she doesn’t sleep in her bed, I like the facade of it being made up for her each day), a 300+ competitor Rookie Speech and Debate tournament to plan for and host this next weekend, and only two more weeks until Finals (which makes that pile of grading oh-so-much-more daunting)!

The broken washing machine is a real pain in my you-know-what about now.  But, I’m just going to find another used one online and have someone come and haul this one away.  I may have them haul it, the horrible too-large-for-our-house footstool that I have stashed in my guest closet and some other crap we have in the backyard as well.  Or, maybe whoever brings another washer will take this one to repair and resell.  I am pretty sure replacing a belt would fix the problem, but neither me nor my husband has any patience for that, so I think a new washer will probably be just as economical for us.

On a positive note, I am NOT going to Ohio like I was supposed to this coming weekend.  Such a relief.  Even though all this stuff is happening, it would be 100X worse if I knew I were leaving town for five days starting on Thursday.  AND my husband’s birthday is Tuesday.  I’ve already scheduled a sitter and we’re going to his favorite restaurant for dinner and I’m going to surprise him by taking him out to our local casino afterwards and giving him $100 cash to burn.  Hopefully he can turn it into more, which he sometimes does (more often, he just loses it all, but hey, its his birthday).  But either way, we’ll have a good time.

So, that’s it for me tonight. I have to send out a bunch of flyers for that Rookie Tournament and our semester’s Speakers’ Showcase (oh yeah, forgot to list that – which is happening on Wednesday night) which will get 100+ audience members we hope!  Busy week.  Ready for semester to be OVER.  Totally over.  Grading done, classes done, moving on over.  I am teaching a Winter Session class starting January 5, so my break will not be long and if I don’t have the grading done early, it will be even shorter.  So, that is my motivation now.  Grade, grade, grade so I can have a full two weeks off of EVERYTHING having to do with school (well, probably a little planning will need to be finished for this crazy 14 day = a full semester winter session class…this will be interesting)!  That is my goal.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving last week!

 

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For All Those Who Lack Sticktoitiveness (aka commitment)

ice melting science humor4

A little science humor for all you science geeks out there.  Today has been pretty much a bust for me.  This blog is so representative of me and my total lack of both focus and commitment.  And every time I start to type one of these posts, I think to myself, “what is my problem?”  So, I’m a self-help/improvement dropout basically.   Forget Beauty School, I can’t even pass the “check your to-do list” or “organize your days into routines” classes.

I figure I can’t be a total failure at finishing things.  I finished an undergraduate and graduate degree (a little lengthy for both, but still done).  I also have held a job for the past fifteen years, not leaving one until I had another (usually better) in place.  I have made it through five years of parenthood under rather rough circumstances and my child is relatively healthy (for someone with a heart transplant) and happy.  I have been married for over ten years and we’re still pretty happy.  So, I do have some level of commitment to things.  Important things.  But, for anything cursory, I have a really hard time committing.  And mostly, I think it is because as soon as I start doing them, I realize I don’t REALLY want to do those things.  I start doing them because I convince myself I REALLY want to do them (get fit, get organized, read more, etc.), but then when I actually do most of them, I realize it is truly not something I want to dedicate my time and effort and emotion in doing.  It is sad really.  Sometimes a waste of money.  And often at least a little disappointing.

So, instead of being disappointed and chastising myself, I’m going to just let it all go.  I’m going to figure that having a clean house, an organized pinterest-like life and cooking dinner each night at home after running a couple of miles and playing a game with my 5 year old and my husband is beyond my capabilities.  I’m never going to become a physician, a physicist or a physical fitness star.  I am also tired of trying and trying to be someone I am not.

I don’t want to “focus” on anything.  I just want to live my life as best I can.  Sometimes that will be relatively poorly.  The piles of stuff on my stairs. My stained carpets (getting more stained by the day as my dog suffers a horribly depressing and distressing gastrointestinal problem that has her vomiting multiple times a day, often just bile that stains the carpet and smells horrible – my Oxi-Clean carpet cleaner is getting a real workout the past three days), my hoarder’s garage piled high with stuff that I can’t figure out whether I should keep or get rid of (a giant dog kennel we used for our dog when she was a puppy – its seen better days, but if we ever get another dog it may come in handy…and a new one would be very expensive OR the many, many, many books that I took so long to organize this summer and now just feel like we can go to the library and give that space to something more valuable or entertaining AND so much more), my piles of papers and magazines – most of which I don’t read or need but pile up because I MAY some day be interested in them or need them.  It is just all too much for me.  I want to be someone I am not because that other person seems so much better than me.  So much more productive – a better mom, a better employee, a better sister/daughter, a better friend, a better neighbor, a better wife.

So, More at Forty (Five) is now Forty-Six.  And I don’t have much more.  But, maybe it is because I don’t NEED much more.  Maybe I should focus on that “More” part being “More” credit.  More kindness.  More self-respect than self-improvement.  More recognition for getting through instead of focus on changing things.  More woulds and less shoulds.  More enjoyment and less guilt.  More Candy Crush and less couponing (heck, who am I kidding? I gave up on the couponing a while ago).  More joy and less junk (getting rid of all the “stuff” that doesn’t bring me joy would be a great start).  More teaching and student interaction and less grading and administrating.  More loving life and less stressing over it.

So, yeah.  Do I NEED to lose weight?  No, not really.  I’m happy with my weight.  Would I LIKE to have more energy?  Yes, definitely.  But, I don’t know that those two things are really tied together.  Do I want to measure out all my food and focus on measurements and scales or do I want to eat better and enjoy more activity in my life?   The latter sounds so much better.  The 21 Day Fix is great for someone who has organization and is ready to make a committed effort.  But, I just don’t feel like its for me, right now.  I want to eat healthier, but I don’t want to be so strict with it.  It just isn’t what I REALLY want.  I REALLY want to eat good food that I made with little effort.  Sometimes I want that food to be a little less healthy than that plan would allow.  The shakes seem like a really healthy addition to my daily caloric intake.  So, I will keep up with those and maybe switch over to something similar, but cheaper once the 21 days is up.  I’m sure that my “coach” will be disappointed, but I think the whole purpose is to make you feel better about yourself and your diet.  And in a way, it did that in one day.  I feel pretty good about myself right now.  I realize that I don’t feel the NEED to change because I feel okay with where I am right now.

So, where does this leave me?  It leaves me in the same place I’ve been.  Behind in grading, sitting in a less than clean house, dealing with a calendar that is too stuffed and an energy level that is too low for it, without a social life, and feeling okay about all of that. Is that “settling”?  Could I do better?  Probably.  To a certain extent.  But, it also leaves me feeling better about my life, myself and my home.  So, why not settle for satisfied rather than strive for perfection?

How about you out there?  Want to join me in settling for satisfied?  Perhaps we can start our own movement…the “Settling for Satisfied” movement.  We will resist the urge to constantly compare, to strive for perfection, to be dissatisfied with the disasters that we are.  Instead, we will embrace our own ineptitudes.  Let’s hear it for settling for satisfied!

I was Soren Kierkegaard for my graduate level ethics class and I soon fell in love with his philosophy on ethical living.  And this is what I want to be my “focus” now:

from www.youthareawesome.com
from http://www.youthareawesome.com