Life lately

It seems like when life is going well/things are going smoothly, I post on here a lot less. I feel like I don’t have much to write about at the moment — in reality, nothing could be further from the truth…but I’m just struggling to find the time to sit down and write quality posts on some fairly in-depth and detailed topics.

So what’s been keeping me so busy?
-Finishing my last semester with a full course load. I’ll begin student teaching in the fall (for an entire year!) and only have one course left to take during that time.
-Exercising. A lot more. I’m finally starting to run again, and making slow but steady progress in that area. I’ve also begun regular strength training – as with most things I get excited about, I’ve been overdoing it a bit and had to take today off to give my body a break. But that’s okay.
-Trying to be more mindful about what I’m eating. While I want to make ED recovery my top priority, I do want/need(?) to lose some weight for health reasons. I feel much more at peace with my body now than I have at any point in the past four years or so. But my doctor would like me to lose a little weight. I’m not so focused on what the scale says…but I want to feel fit/strong/healthy/badass again. I don’t care if I never get down to my lowest weight. I just want to be physically active consistently, because almost nothing makes me feel as good as regular exercise does. I could definitely make a very long post (or series of post) on the challenges of losing weight with a history of disordered eating. So to be continued for this one, I guess.
-Summer job search. While I won’t be broken-hearted if I stay in my current job for the summer, if possible, I would like to make more money and do something different the summer before my internship. I’m currently looking for a full-time nannying position and have a few leads so far. I feel kind of guilty about the possibility of leaving my current program…but ultimately I need to do what’s best for me, my finances, and my future.
-Taking care of myself. Getting enough sleep, taking time to relax, taking time to appreciate the small stuff. Not putting as much pressure on myself to achieve some ridiculous idea of perfection (which doesn’t even exist). My sinus infection seems like it may have returned, so making my own health & stress management a priority is all the more important.

Expect more regular posting sometime in mid-May, but for now I’m guessing my posts will continue to be few and far between! 😛

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Sunday night thoughts

The weekends always seem to fly by! I’ve had a lot on my mind today, almost too much to try and fit into a single post. Here goes nothing!

I hung out with a former co-worker of mine yesterday morning. It was a pretty impromptu decision, but one I am SO glad I made. She is a bit older than me (okay, try 15 years!) and I really look up to her in many ways. Most importantly, though, is that she is very assertive and always stands up for herself. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with standing up for myself at work lately, and my conversations with her have inspired me to slowly but surely start speaking my mind more. I’ve put up with a lot of rudeness and disrespectful actions from my co-workers (not all of them, but a handful) this summer and I’m sick of just taking it. I want to start to express my feelings in a polite but honest manner.

The other main thing on my mind is that I’m not “getting enough” out of summer. What I’m referring to in that statement is basically the feeling that if I’m not doing cool/fun/new stuff during my free time, I’m somehow “wasting” my summer. Deep down, I know that’s absolutely ridiculous. Even if I didn’t get to go anywhere or have any new experiences, I would still be having a great summer hanging out with the people who are important to me. I think social media probably plays a huge role in my (and others’) feeling that I need to DO as much as possible. I’ve had fun “doing” things this summer- going to the beach, playing mini-golf, getting drinks with friends, seeing movies, etc. but I’ve also had plenty of fun curled up on the couch with Doug watching Kitchen Nightmares, baking something new in my kitchen, sleeping late, and going for walks in my city.

I guess what I need is a balance between going out and trying new things (even if sometimes I don’t want to- usually when I push myself, I have no regrets) and staying in and doing the same things I always do that I really love. For example, today was a typical Sunday for us- sleeping in, grocery shopping, getting lunch at a local place, cleaning, and doing laundry. We’re about to have dinner and watch a movie, which is also pretty typical. Even though I’m using the word “typical,” there is nothing I dislike about our Sundays. They are comforting and relaxing for me- so why do I feel the need to significantly alter these days? Or that these days aren’t good enough? I’m sure I will continue to grapple with these feelings as I get older, and while this is certainly not the worst problem to have– nor is it really a problem, by any means– it’s definitely kind of tough to resolve. To find that balance. To remember that life is short, and to use my time in ways that are meaningful to me — even if they aren’t the rest of the world’s idea of a good time or the “perfect” summer.

So that’s what’s on my mind during this beautiful August evening. I hope you all had a good weekend, and are able to give yourself the time & space to reflect upon whatever it is that’s kicking around in your mind. 😉

Stuff that’s on my mind tonight:

  • How my closest friends will always be my closest friends, regardless of distance. Whenever we Skype or talk on the phone or have long-awaited hang outs in person…it’s like no time has passed at all and nothing has changed.
  • It’s fun to be REALLY drunk approximately once per season…for me, anyway. Friday night was the night my wasted summer self made an appearance. I met some new people, sang “Come On Eileen” with one of my best friends, drank 1.5 rum buckets, and laid down on the floor of my living room and refused to move.
  • I really love doing somewhat mundane things around the house on Sundays with Doug. It’s not exciting, but it’s our routine and it feels comfortable. Plus we really do need an entire day to do all of the following: cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping/putting food away/prepping food for the week, folding & putting away clothes, etc.
  • I’ve been thinking about whether or not we’ll renew our lease (it’s up in November). After having lived in this apartment for 2 years, it’s a bit difficult to imagine living anywhere else, at least in this city. Also, I’ve been doing a bit of looking, and in our price range, there isn’t much out there that’s better than where we currently are. We lived in one other apartment for six months before moving here, so this really has been our “home” for the majority of our relationship. Not quite ready to leave it behind yet.
  • But I really want a pet. And we can’t have one here.
  • I can’t believe there are only three weeks left of our summer program. I’m excited, but at the same time, I am reminded that we’re approaching the last few weeks of summer. I’m looking forward to our anniversary trip to Boston, a few more beach days, spending time with friends, late night ice cream runs, having all the windows open, and summer storms.
  • I felt SO GOOD working out today. When I don’t work our for a few days in a row, I always seem to forget how amazing I feel when I’m drenched in sweat! Lately, it hasn’t been one kind of exercise in particular that makes me feel like I can take on the world- it’s anything and everything.
  • Sometimes I really misjudge people. Our neighbor (who I have complained about both online and in-person to EVERYONE in my life) is actually a really cool guy. We’ve had many long conversations with him this week, and I just brought him some of the banana bread I baked tonight. I have the feeling we’ll actually hang out together one of these days.

Returning

Hello. Long time, no blog. I could give many excuses, but it’s really a combination of factors: starting a full-time job for the first time in a while (and the exhaustion working at a summer camp entails), going on vacation, and sheer laziness. However, now that I’ve adjusted to longer work weeks and less free time, I feel like I can begin writing again. I’ve never worked at a summer camp before, so I was unprepared for coming home in the afternoon and basically collapsing for 2-3 hours. Now that I am mentally and physically used to the job, I have more time and energy to invest in the things I love- and blogging is definitely one of them!

Work has been very demanding, but very rewarding- isn’t that always how it goes? The summer camp environment is obviously very different from the after-school program environment, but not different in a bad way. Just more kids, more planning, more field trips, and sometimes, more fun. I primarily work with the older group of kids in our program, ages 9-11. So far this summer, we’ve gone to the beach, a Minor League baseball game, the pool (every week), the library (every week), and some different parks/playgrounds. We’ve had some fun theme days, too- Pirate Day, Christmas in July, Color Wars, etc. Tomorrow we’re headed to a (small) amusement park. I’m actually looking forward to it- we split the kids up into really small groups, so each adult is responsible for 4-5 kids for the entire day. Not too bad.

My husband also works for a summer program, but in a different town. In our free time, we’ve been watching lots of Law & Order SVU re-runs. We recently finished watching BBC’s Sherlock, which I loved. I’m finally making some progress in the bike-riding department– I never learned as a child! We’ve started going for runs together, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m currently reading Atonement and really enjoying it. We’ve had some beach days, and are planning more before summer ends! Our first wedding anniversary is coming up (!!!!) and we’ve got a long weekend in Boston planned. I’ll be going to my first Red Sox game in over ten years- very excited!

All in all, I’m pretty content. My mental health is really good most days, and in general I feel positive and optimistic about life. I’m not dreading the start of school at all- I’m excited to finish the final semester of my Bachelor’s degree, excited to no longer wake up at 5:30am every weekday (I currently work 7:00am-3:00pm, and all of my fall classes begin at 9:40am or later), and excited for the cooler weather! However, I am certainly enjoying the last month or so of summer. My eating disorder symptoms/behaviors have been very under control as I continue to experiment with eating/not eating certain foods. So far, certain types of dairy do seem to really bother my digestive system. It’s definitely a process, but it’s not something that I stress over anymore. 🙂

Well, that’s about it for now. Expect to see more posts here in the very near future!

Gratitude

  • My ancient tiny desk fan that keeps me cool while I write, read, and (more frequently) watch YouTube videos
  • The amazing kids I’ve spent the past 9 months getting to know
  • The birthday surprise my coworker and I planned for our boss today
  • The breeze coming in through all of our open windows is so strong we don’t need to turn on the A/C this morning
  • I just finished a wonderful book and am about to start a book of poems
  • I get to see two of my best friends over the next 48 hours
  • Doug is cooking dinner tonight for me and one of those aforementioned friends
  • We leave for our 9 day vacation in a week and a half!
  • On a whim, I decided to paint last night. I’m glad I’m able to make spontaneous decisions like that.
  • I made a delicious smoothie for breakfast: blueberries, cranberries, banana, blueberry yogurt, coconut milk, cranberry juice & cocoa powder
  • More often than not these days, I feel happy and peaceful.

Weekend recap: 06.13-06.15

I really enjoyed writing this post last week, so I think I’m going to try making these weekend recaps a regular feature on my blog!

Friday 06.13
Friday night was pretty low-key for us. We watched some World Cup matches and another episode of Sherlock– I can’t believe it took me so long to watch the show. I love it! I also did some cleaning & meal planning Friday night- nothing too exciting, but it was nice getting it out of the way.

Saturday 06.14
We slept in a bit Saturday (sleeping in for us means getting up anytime after 7:00!). Then we headed out so I could get an oil change and rotate/balance done on my car. I used to work at the dealership I get my car serviced at, so it’s always fun visiting my old coworkers! After we finished there, we headed to a local street festival. It was so much fun!

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We didn’t do any shopping, but we had fun looking at some of the interesting items available for purchase. We did sample a variety of foods- horseradish onion dip, maple cotton candy, green Thai curry, and dark chocolate caramel popcorn! After walking around for a while, we each got a slice of pizza and shared some fries. The fries were from a local Greek Orthodox church that was selling food and they were really unique (seasoned with tons of herbs). Yum! Finally, we headed to one of our favorite bars for a drink and to catch another World Cup match- Colombia vs. Greece.

Then we came home and pretty much crashed. Being out in the sun makes me so tired sometimes! After resting for a while, we did some laundry and then I headed to the gym. Working out helped me regain some energy! I think we had dinner and watched something on Netflix. Later on, we went for a lovely walk to get some snacks at a local convenience store. Even later, I realized I still needed to bake part of my dad’s Father’s Day gift: blueberry dark chocolate oatmeal cookies!

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They are so delicious! I would definitely make them again. Here is a link to the recipe I used.

Sunday 06.15

I woke up around 7:30 and headed to the grocery store. That probably sounds ridiculous, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to shop later in the day. Doug helped me put everything away, and then we grabbed some bagels at our favorite bagel place. I love that they offer hummus as an alternative to cream cheese!

Then we headed to my MIL’s house. Our plan was to take her dogs to the beach, but on the way there, we realized dogs are only permitted during certain hours in the summer (very early in the morning, and after 6:00pm). So instead, we drove to a local fort/historic site where leashed dogs are always welcome. They were actually reenacting a battle, so there was lots to see!

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We had fun walking around and exploring some of the old buildings. The dogs received so much attention- for some reason, we were the only people with dogs! I never had a pet growing up, so I absolutely love spending time with my MIL’s animals. Izzy is the black Pomeranian in the photo above.

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We stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home, and decided to have ice cream for lunch. Unfortunately, it seems like I am undoubtedly lactose intolerant. I don’t really want to take pills before eating dairy, so my plan is to only have it occasionally and accept the consequences.

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And of course, let’s not forget- Father’s Day! I called both of my grandfathers in the afternoon to let them know I was thinking of them. I saw my dad Sunday night! The photo above is of the two of us- I think I was about 2-3 years old.

My sister came over Sunday afternoon. We had a ton of fun listening to some of old favorite songs. Then we (along with Doug) met my parents for dinner. I hadn’t seen my mom or dad in a couple of weeks, and it was so nice to get to spend some quality time together.

Of course, our Sunday night is never complete without Game of Thrones. Doug and I have both read the books, so we knew what last night’s season finale was going to entail! Except for a few minor complaints, I absolutely loved the episode. Our Sunday nights are going to seem quite empty now- no Game of Thrones and no Walking Dead!

Five things I’m loving right now

  1. Italian ice — pretty much any flavor will do. We buy them at the grocery store, and in the warmer weather, we can finish an entire box in a week! They’re super refreshing, especially after a really spicy meal (we tend to eat a lot of those, too).
  2. The library — during the school year I spend an insane amount of time in my university’s library. However, it’s only a three minute walk from our apartment to our local library, and I’ve been there quite a few times already this summer. During my last visit I discovered their rather large Education section and I’m looking forward to reading a bunch of those books this summer! Although I own way too many books I haven’t read (or finished), I really love going to the library and returning home with a stack of “new” books.
  3. Fresh air — it’s the little things, right? My husband really only enjoys having the windows open in the late spring and early summer. I, on the other hand, would probably crack open a window in the middle of January if he was okay with it! I just love letting fresh air into the house. It improves my mood tremendously. It’s been pretty warm here these past few weeks, and it’s only getting warmer. We have six windows and a screen door, which let in more than enough air in our one-bedroom apartment.
  4. Getting out of the house — while I love being at home reading, watching Netflix, cooking, and just relaxing, I’ve been making more of an effort to get out of the house for something other than work every day. Sometimes feelings of boredom and sadness creep up on me if I get lost in my own head, and that usually happens when I’m just bumming around the house. Forcing myself to get up and dressed always dramatically improves my mood. Lately, I’ve been to the beach, the library, on walks downtown and on a local trail, to nearby downtown areas, and to a local festival today. Even going to the gym or grocery store helps!
  5. Cold-brew iced coffee — I could probably write an entirely separate post about this. If you’re interested in learning more about this wonderful beverage / how to make it yourself, a quick Google search will satisfy your curiosity! Needless to say, I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario in which I would ever have regular iced coffee again. Basically, cold-brew iced coffee involves making a coffee concentrate, so adding ice to the drink doesn’t dilute its flavor at all. The only thing I’ve been adding to my coffee these past few weeks is French vanilla-flavored coconut milk creamer. No more sugar or Truvia for this girl! I’m fairly certain my Truvia habit is what caused my light-headedness after drinking coffee for the past six months or so. I’m glad those days are behind me 🙂