Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Domination in an Evening

I've had back to back to back of really awful work days. Outside of my co-workers who know what is going on, I haven't really been able to talk to anyone about it. Well it is catching up with me. Monday night I baked brownies in an attempt to BTC ( bake to cope). Last night I watched 1.5 hours of mind numbing trash tv ( whoo teen mom finale!). Then tonight....we cleaned. When I clean past the normal wipe, dust, vacuum, pick-up, you know I am in a bad place. Mentally it makes me feel like I have control over at least the task at hand. Well tonight....I dominated.

Tonight I have:

  • finished and cleaned up after an art project ( this may be the first art project I have completed in years!)
  • Did my laundry
  • Changed the sheets on my bed
  • Vacuumed
  • Picked up the main room
  • Sorted through old magazines
  • Organized all my paperwork for things I need to take care of
  • Laid out my lunch for tomorrow
AND! When I was doing my laundry there was a pile of things someone was getting rid of and there was a little organizer. I hauled it up to my apartment and organized the space under my sink. It went from a dreaded niche of my apartment to organized and pulled together.

The pull out drawer is perfect to store all the things I need periodically.

I also had another IKEA storage bar that I bought months ago to try to reclaim 8 inches of precious counter space. Well BAM! Finally hung and reclaimed counter space is mine!

I'm feeling pretty good about the evening. I also feel a bit better. That control...never fails.

Love It.

1) Siggi's Icelandic style Skyr (aka really yummy yogurt)

2) Nutella

When do I not love Nutella? Well, never. But this mini one came in a FREE snack pack I got on the plane last week. So good!

3) The latest photo of my niece.

Adorbs and I know you all secretly wish she was your niece. Back off. I saw her first.

4) Thinking about winter as the weather starts to get a bit nicer in DC and when I will get to use these:

Thanks again Mom & Dad for my birthday present!

5) These new loves. I love me some Toms, but my Saltwaters have a very special place in my heart

My Thoughts, Feelings and Lack Thereof.

It started awhile back. Noticing that my friends couldn't spend time together without everyone having a phone in their hands or on the table. Every subject of conversation was not complete without someone using their phone to look something up, show an email,  or finding a youtube video we were talking about. It started making me frustrated. In response, I started correcting my own behaviors: my phone remains in my purse when with friends at dinner, trying to call people more than tweet, text, email, facebook them, and generally just making sure my "social media life" isn't impacting the people that were tangibly right in front of me.

I feel like I do a good job being present and engaged when I am with people. Most of the time. I will be the first to admit I have days where I can't get off facebook, or evenings where I am texting, emailing away and my presence is half-assed. However, I have made an effort. I have recognized that the never ending stream of information about people, their lives, news, worthless crap could go on all day, and yet what really matters to me is spending quality, focused, and intentional time with the people who deserve all of me.

Even on phone calls, I am trying to be more focused. Giving the person on the other end, intentional (albeit sometimes brief), meaningful conversation. In-person, I strive to make sure I don't  make someone feel the way I feel when someone is choosing to pay more attention to the things happening on their phone than me.

We obviously live in a world where technology drives much of our lives, but I want my relationships back. I want to also feel like I am not asking too much of people to put away their phones and to have intentional, dedicated time with me. I'm tired of feeling like I am asking too much for phones, and computers to be put away. I am also tired of feeling like I have lost the ability to have a life outside of these "social" tools. I want to feel happy, invigorated, challenged, and connected after I spend time with someone or give someone a call. I want to take back control of having meaningful conversations that actually mean something, that contribut to my life, and made me think. Right now, I feel so stressed about not being funny enough, or engaging enough to deserve some one's full attention. And that. Is. Just. Sad.

Jenni's post today over at Story of My Life spoke to me with words I had been miserably failing to utter. I am glad she said something. I am glad I am saying something now. I want to join her in taking the effort to make my time "more intentional". I hope that you will all hold me accountable. Tell me to stop texting you and to call. Tell me that gchat is not an acceptable form of communication for speaking with your best friends (at least as the ONLY form of communication). Ask me why you've seen 11 tweets in 10 minutes. Tell me to put my phone away, or to go home if I have more important things to do. And tell me that it is ok for me to feel like I deserve the same from others.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting Our Bob Ross On

A sad time is nearing and I am getting weepy just thinking about it. One of my closest friends I have had since starting my adventures (and we even go back before that) has made a massive success of herself and is headed off to get a fancy schmancy P to the Hd. While I a, thrilled for Erin, I am undoubtedly sad and will miss her a ton. To celebrate her last day at work and her upcoming transition to studenthood, we relieved one of my favorite DC memories and utilized a coupon to take a 2 hour painting class ( complete with the needed inspirational glass of wine). We expanded the date and I finally got A and E to meet.

We started the evening grabbing some drinks at JPaul's in Georgetown and then stuttered around trying to find the location of the class, which was less than obvious.

The class was smaller. Around 15 people and we lucked out by getting to sit all in a row with a great ledge to set out or spread of cheese and grapes. Not even 10 minutes into the class we were already laughing and chowing down on the cheese plate.

We were attempting to paint an "abstract" that we later learned was a sunsetty skyline, a body of water and some creative looking rocks that looked like poop at first attempt.

Our instructions were a la Bob Ross-esque, but replace "some happy little trees" with " we are just going to tap that" (yes. We died laughing. So did the poor schmuck that got dragged to the class with his over-controlling and self-loathing girlfriend. We then couldn't keep it together and with each " tap that" we became even more like 6th graders.)

Soon our masterpieces started taking shape and we put on our serious Bob Ross faces.

Then the aggressive "taping" started as we developed our sky.

Then came the rocks. Now if you are saying " the look easy"- guess again. Some looked like little poos, I had one end up looking like a dead Phoenix, rather than the rocky mass I was going for.

After some fine tuning things started really coming together.

In all seriousness I was crazy impressed with our work! As a set, they look pretty awesome together!

It was a great night and another memory I will put in my favorites!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekending and Hometowns

Finally. Saturday! Hurrah! I am headed out the door so this will be quick but wanted to get a little something down before I start my day.

I shouldn't even be complaining about this week! My boss has been on vacation this entire week (and next) so my to-do list, while long, has at least be something that I can shorten rather than just add to like most weeks.

Yesterday I got some fantastic news. Probably not ready to put that here yet....this is a public forum ;) but I was pretty excited and hoping that things just keep falling into place on this!

The SO is back today from a week of travel, which is nice. I don't know about everyone else that has SOs that travel a lot, but it gives me anxiety. If I don't hear from him I start thinking I should call every hospital in the area, or place a report for a missing person! Granted he is fine, but it can be a lot of travel and well I worry.

I hung out with some friends and past co-workers I hadn't seen in awhile which was a pleasant surprise ending to the week.

This upcoming week I am headed on a trip that I have been eagerly waiting to take for awhile now. Both the SO and I live pretty far away from where we grew up and it can be pretty challenging for all of those "normal" relationship milestones to happen. Like meeting the family, seeing hometowns (sounds like the Bachelorette over here!), going places you went as a child that are important to you, etc.. Well finally we are going to check off a visit to one of our hometowns this week. I am pretty excited to see where he grew up, as I know Boise explains a lot about me, so I am sure this will be equally as enlightening as whenever we get him to Boise/Sun Valley.

I've got some errands planned, some cleaning I need to do and a few other items I need to take care of before Friday.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and get some relaxation in amongst busy schedules!

Friday, August 10, 2012

These are the Best Years

Are they? Are they really? I feel like I have heard the "___Insert time period__ are the best years of your life!" more times than I can count. Naturally there isn't any consensus on what those years are, but apparently there are years, that happen to be the "best".

"High School is the best three years of your life!"

"College is the best four years of your life!"

"Your twenties are by far the best years of your life!"

and now I am hearing that I am now supposed to be looking forward to my thirties!!?!

First of all, let's get something straight. My thirties scare the living daylights out of me. I think I have such expectations of what my life will hold by thirty, that I am terrified to get there, and possibly be unmarried, without kids or any sight of kids and still living in 415 rented square feet.

On the flip side I can't wait for my thirties. Maybe because I hope to be more established. Less in that IonlycanownIKEAfurnitureandshopatONformyclothes stage of my life. Additionally....I hope poodle ownership will come in my thirties as well.

My twenties seemed like the time that I would get a lot done in. You know, like conquer the world. Save a company from total meltdown. Be the answer to some man's prayers. Rescue multiple homeless poodles. Donating more money to the SPCA than Sarah McLaughlin knows what to do it.

Now I will say my college years were truly awesome. Without flaw or drama?...not even close. But I wouldn't have changed a thing about those years.

High school...well let's just say I survived! No really, it wasn't bad, but I wouldn't say that I would go back to high school given the change.

So what am I saying? I guess I am saying...What are the best years of your life? When do you know you are living out these epic years. What is that supposed to look like?

Well I am sure there aren't any answers. There is certainly no way to live your life to ensure you are living "the best years of your life". I do have to say, I am not sure I am a fan of this "best years" statement. I mean, what happens after these "best years" that everyone keeps referring to!?

Do you just shrivel up and become old and lame after that last ditch attempt for the "best years" in your thirties (surely not as I know some pretty awesome older than 30 people!).

So why has this become in infatuation to try to pin a certain specified period of your life to be something that comes with all these expectations. Looking forward to these years that will just magically bring the most amazing opportunities, memories, friends, love, success and general amazingness. In searching for some others thoughts on this subject I came across a quote:

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the President. You realize that you control your own destiny
Albert Ellis

BAM! There. That sums up my thoughts. You create the best years of your life. You create the best days, the best moments, and the decision to control your destiny.

So while I am sure there is someone out there telling me that these years in my twenties are magical and have unicorns running in the streets, I like the idea better that I determine what are the best years of my life. Maybe they aren't all going to be clumped together, and I sure as hell hope it isn't just 3 or 4 short years, but rather periods of time throughout my life that write a wonderful tale.


I have started and not finished a total of three blogs tonight. Nothing seems to be "right" tonight. Under sharing. Over-sharing. Cliche. Too deep. I just can't get it right.

I've been flying solo this week. Someone  (not this girl) has been off in the state where Bigger is (supposedly) Better. I don't envy him. However, it has cause me to dig out those old photos, think back to the kids I nannied, the sticky summer heat, berries with whipped cream, my 12 day job,  the children's museum, and some really really good steaks. I've also had a lot of time to have an extended "me-date" or "mate". I just came up with that. (Catchy- I know. Brilliant- perhaps)

So "mates". What are they? Consultant girlfriends should have a special club and "mates" can be a topic of conversation. (oh you aren't a girlfriend of a consultant--well I am sure it is the same for SOs of doctors, lawyers, busy people, and SO's in general. I as a consultant girlfriend just have a SO that travels and works a lot.) Simply--it are the evenings that you invest some quality time in yourself. I have been trying to "mate", and not just vegetate on my couch (although tv watching can be a very needed mate ritual). So how have I been spending my time on these "mates" with myself?

1) At the gym.

Like a lot of time at the gym. I usually get home from work late and then just forgo the gym, but I have kept a very steady schedule this week due to bosses summer vacations and I have been in the gym before I even get home some nights. With nowhere to be and no one to see me after I have sweated glistened my heart out, I have been putting in an extra 30 minutes on top of my normal workout. This has resulted in long runs, time to really do some strength training and stretching.

I have been falling into bed exhausted and also really sore, but really proud too.

2) Making dinner

I don't cook. Like not even in a ImakesimplethingslikeburritosandIambeingmodestbysayingIdon'tcook. No. Really. I don't cook. Don't really know how. I have like 5 dishes up my sleeve. So without the SO around to play chef, I am usually resorting to cereal, chips and salsa, or something I can just put in my oven. Budget constraints have really forced me to not eat lunch out, so I've been trying to cook and to take left overs for lunch. It has been moderately successful.

3) Catching up on Breaking Bad

Here is where my TV watching got a tad bit out of control. I have been trying to get through all 4 seasons (and the part of the 5th that has aired) so I can watch in real time. I just finished season 4 tonight so I am almost there!

4) Crafting

This is my outlet. Creating something. Living in 415 sq. ft. doesn't afford me the luxury to spread out and have my craft stuff out all the time so I can just have ongoing projects. I did make some cards the other night and I could feel some of my stress just melting away. I have left some of my supplies out to hopefully entice me to do this more often.

5) Blogging

It is hard work to document. Blogging as a job would be hard and I admire all of those writers, artists, creative folk who take this on to provide income and to be more than just a running journal like myself. I need to make time for this. It is important to me. It makes me feel good. I LOVE (Yes, LOVE) readers comments, getting a new follower, finding a new blog that I want to read every entry of and just looking back at what I have documented so far. It is rewarding. I want to be more in this community. The people I have connect with through blogging are inspirational, uplifting, and I hope to build on those relationships. It is so much more than just slapping some words up and calling it good. Like I said. Sometimes it doesn't come easy. There is a line to evaluate. It takes time. You also have to connect if you want to be connected. So I have used some of these hours to try to make some meaningful comments and connections on others blogs that I read but sometimes don't pause to tell them how awesome I think they are.

So there it is, what I have been doing on my "mates".

While I do love a good week of "mates", I will be excited to get back to "dates"...since I kind of like that person I do those with too ;)

What do you do on "mates"?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DCversary-4 Years

August 4th came and went.

It look me awhile to realize that it was the passing of my 4 year DCversary. Wow.

That is really all I can get out of my head right now. Is wow. How did 4 years go by?

My reflection back at three years seems like yesterday! There is another year to add, full of new tales. So to continue on with a summary of my life in DC...

I learned; and am learning what trust means, and also how your heart and head can be in two completely different places. I had emotionally trying year. I traveled to the other side of the world. Skied in Colorado, and was reminded of what makes me truly happy. I went to New York. The newest addition of my family arrived, and I yet again learned how big your heart can be stretched with love. My worlds finally collided when I went to Brooke's wedding and the boyfriend got to see me in my city. Friends are moving away from DC and I am scared for how I will fare with some of my closest friends on the other side of the country yet again. 

No one knows where they will end up. Where they will meet the person they are supposed to spend the rest of their life with. Who their friends will be that will see them through thick and thin. You just kind of have to do this. See where it takes you, and make changes when you don't like what you see anymore.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'll Always Be Thinkin' of You

Let's finish up New York shall we? In that final home stretch of documenting this trip and I should just get er done.

On our last day we slept in once we woke up and heard the light drizzle of rain. We also had some recovering to do after the amazing meal the night before. We packed up and got out of hotel room before we ventured out to find this shop I had read about in our travel book. With umbrella's in hand, we headed back to the area near Eataly. Fish's Eddy sounded like an awesome place to find some vintage and unique finds for the kitchen. Not only did they have some unique finds-- the also had a plethora of dish sets and kitchen items that I would love to buy.

I did limit myself and only purchased two items for myself. The first was this mug. I loved the design and since I love my eclectic set of mugs I have started to collect, I knew this had to come home with me.

The other piece that had to become part of my kitchen was this teeny, tiny plate that has the floor plan for a studio apartment printed on it. Since Ashley and I have the running joke about our "hotel living", I knew this would be a perfect memento for my time in my 415sq. ft.

After our little shopping adventure we stumbled upon the Beecher's Cheese shop in New York. When Nick told me he had never been to Beecher's we knew we had to try it out! It is one of my favorite things about Seattle, and a fixture of the Pike Place Market area in Seattle. We both ordered some Mac N' Cheese, salads and some fancy drinks. We even lucked out, and from our seats that looked into the cheese making area, we got to watch some cheese making for awhile!

Braving the rain, we knew we should get on the road and get back to DC. We headed back to the hotel, picked up our bags and grabbed the car. So I could say I had gone over the Brooklyn bridge, we headed out of NY that way and found ourselves right by the Brooklyn Museum. On a whim we decided to check it out. We completely lucked out and were able to catch a Keith Herring exhibit AND see some mummies. (Side note: I have a crazy interest in ancient Egypt, thanks to a class I took called "Digital Egypt" (there was nothing digital about it)). It was a perfect ending to our trip!

Unfortunately, the weather only got worse and we had a very long, stressful, and quiet car ride back to DC.

But my first taste of New York could not have been more fun and awesome. I am still dreaming about when I can go back and starting to plan some of the things we missed that I would love to see!

For all you New York people...did we miss anything I should add to my list for next time?? (I am hoping for Christmas time and the Nutcracker!)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Like a Fine Red

Today is my mom's birthday! Another year older, another year better! My mom raised two amazing girls ( if I do say so myself!) and now she has two wonderful grand babies that love her too!

Happy Birthday Mom! Love you so SO so much!

HR Learnings

I took an into to psych course in college ( one of those classes that 700 people took each quarter) and I remembered really enjoying it.

Well, while studying for my PHR I found this section on principles of human behavior. It went a little something like this:

All behavior is caused. People have a reason for doing what they do.
All behavior is directed toward achieving a goal. People do things to accomplish something. Behavior is not just random.


It was a very stark reminder that people do things and with thinking about them. They make decisions. It may be decisions I don't like, or it may be a decision that hurts me. I have zero control over the decisions people make. What I do have control over is:

  • My own decision about how to react.
  • Based on other people's decisions, do I want them to remain a part of my life.
  • And while judgement is not something I should do, I can decide to not agree and I'm allowed to be hurt.
It can be jarring to realize that all those behaviors that people have exhibited did have an intention. It can open a world of wounds and a long list of questions that force you to make some tough decisions. The beauty of it all?

You are making your own decisions.

Which means you can do that whatever you like.

No rules. Just the awareness that your behavior is never random. So be nice.