Friday, September 30, 2011

Don't let it get to you.

It's really hard sometimes to not take things personally. Someone doesn't quite live up to your expectations, you think someone will change, become more mature, do what they say they're going to do or just generally be a good person. I have found myself struggling with this recently and just try to tell myself it's all going to work out and that while I don't have to completely stop doing favors, putting myself last or working so hard that I begin living for the moments I have off the clock - it is ok for me to say no. It's ok to not act like a doormat. It's ok that I'm not going to be that person who makes you feel like your behavior is acceptable and that of a mature person. Because it isn't.

What I am focusing on today is that I am blessed to be able to pay my bills. I am so much stronger and fitter than I have been in a long time. I graduate next year. I can almost always see the sun straining through the fog. Fall is coming. A change in season. A continued changed perspective on all those things that I can control. I will travel again before the year is over. Even if it's Chicago, Grand Rapids, St Louis or Louisville. I hope you can all see the sun today through the rain and cold!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Never take it for granted.

Sometimes I gripe, sometimes I vent, sometimes I storm and whine and pout and stomp my foot like the most spoiled of children. However, I believe that I have found the perfect balance. While I still work and am fully aware that it comes with drama and frustrations and not everything being perfect, I do love the simplicity and rewards (both monetary and otherwise) that come from my job (my one, main job. I still have the's just a one-day-a-week-er). And the biggest beauty of it all is that I can leave it there - I no longer have to bring work home with me! And where I've found this balance, this ability to be happy is that I don't start any kind of obligation until 5pm at the earliest! I have my mornings and afternoons all to myself! For example: I had the freedom to stay up until 3am and catch up on Grey's Anatomy and then sleep until 10am! Love that! Then I went for a run enjoying the beauty of the changing seasons and the strength and stamina I am gaining as I continue to run 4 days a week. After returning home sweaty and invigorated I went out for brunch - so good - read a book, drank delicious coffee and again, enjoyed the day. Grocery shopping with the boy's money and now home smelling the delicious banana bread baking in the oven while I write this post. This is what it's all about. This entire morning/afternoon has been moments of happiness. I am happy when my time is my own - or at least some of the time. I will probably never stop working but having this opportunity to enjoy freedom from waking until 5pm at least 4 days a week I will never take for granted. Especially when I produce yummy things like this...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day Off

They never quite go the way you want them to - sometimes they turn out better, sometimes worse, sometimes just different. Today was different. I wanted to drive up to Grand Rapids last night thinking how nice it would be to get groceries at the local market (the bridge between Martins and Whole Foods - not quite as expensive but still cool stuff), get a cup of coffee and read in my favorite college cafe. But, thoughts of bills, saving money and the fact that I would be driving 4 hours for a total of (at most) 5 hours of time spent there wasn't quite what I was willing to do. SO I slept in and got a great cup of coffee in town instead. Got quite a bit of reading done, hung out with my fella and got rid of A LOT of excess things I've just been collecting and unwilling to let go. I am now 10 pairs of shoes, multiple items of clothing, outdated and unused product from lotions to hair products to masques, broken and never worn jewelry, and dozens of magazines lighter. I will bring it to my sister to see if she would like to add anything to her collections - if not - to Goodwill it goes. Delicious and half-off wings wrapped up the day.
I don't work until 5 tomorrow and my goals for the day are to write, study, run, and cook a Cream Cheese Banana Bread after grocery shopping. However, I am open to changes, moments of happiness and opportunities that present themselves. All in all, very happy girl here. Hope your day was wonderful too!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Crisp Morning

Today is already starting out better than the last! A dear friend shared a surprisingly delicious Earl Grey tea latte (normally I hate Earl Grey...but this was just lovely). Made it out of bed early enough to grab breakfast on the way into work and am loving being surrounded by windows and able to see the bright sunshine on this crisp, fall morning! I even chose this day to enjoy my very last Sake Lemon Candle from Voluspa - shame they discontinued it but we must enjoy things when we can! Goals for the day include finishing homework and beginning my response journal for poetry (blech) but excited about this new piece I've been working on...let's see if it goes anywhere. Happy weekend all! I hope there are many wonderful things that bring a smile to your face this adorable sheep scarf I've been wanting to go back and buy now for days!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Little Bit of Happy

When asked this morning if I was working by my Mother, I responded somewhat despondently "Unfortunately" to which she replied: "I wish you had a bit of happiness to carry around and get you through every day...right where you are." Now, upon first read, the last thing I wanted to think about was what I could do to be happy. I was at a job that I no longer wanted to be at, received another text letting me know that someone ELSE was very unhappy and considering their place here and I (as I so often do) continued to think about everything else in life that I had a gripe with. So for my mother to tell me that she wished I was happier actually catapulted me into being even less happy so as I sit here wondering what it is that makes this little girl tick I felt like writing it out - that does always make me feel better.

I love to travel and yes, sometimes it may seem like I'm running away, but genuinely, deep down, it really, truly is about wanting to take a trip. Who honestly does not love taking a vacation and once done, looks back and says they wish they could do that more? I work really, really hard. And have worked really, really hard for the last ten years of my life. I've never known more than a month without employment (with the exception of living in England but even then I was still in school!)
I love to cook. I love to feed people and hear their groans of delight and know that I am giving them something to enjoy and turning something that is meant to be simply fuel and energy into something that is fun and a pleasure.
I love to enjoy the weather. If it is beautiful out, you can't stop me from finding a park bench, a dry patch of lawn or a picnic table and sitting down with some iced tea and reading, journaling or listening to music. What I love most of all about beautiful days is the opportunity to enjoy them - they are so rare here in the Midwest and are forever seemingly fleeting.
I do love being good at what I do. I wish for a world that wherever we found our niche, we could exist in a drama-free zone and make enough to be comfortable. Silly thought though that may be, I do wish for it.
I love the frustrations and struggles of writing. I love the joy of being transported by and through a story.

My happy today is knowing that I have finished my homework ahead of schedule. I got a great night's sleep. All our bills are paid. I will have time to work on this blog today because I remembered to bring my laptop to work (hah!). I have stuck faithfully to working out 6 days a week for the last 4 1/2 weeks (no weight lost but I feel great!) Hope you all have some happy today and those in your life to remind you to find it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cooking again!

Having free time means I cook more. In the past few days I've made Chai Morning Glory Muffins, Vegan Poppyseed Muffins, Andes Mint Chocolate Cookies, Sage and Wild Mushroom White Pizza, homemade chicken and bean tacos, and a summer vegetable quiche. I continue to forget to take pictures and it's all the more difficult to do so before the boy gets a hold of a fork and within reach of a still 400 degree something. If I had it my way I would cook every meal. Perhaps this fall I'll try my very best to do just that. Any suggestions? Requests?

Hope your day was as beautiful and as wonderful as mine was. Not only did I get to cook but I got to talk about books, go for a run, enjoy the cool, rainy, Seattle-esque weather and have breakfast with ma mere. Many, many happy moments today.

(Funny how much happier my posts are when I don't have to go to the spa...)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good Day

So after a weekend where I was seemingly being taken advantage of by everyone I knew, Monday brought with it a fresh start and a fresh perspective. I was impressively lazy, dozing on the couch until noon, woke up craving donuts and coffee with ma mere and later a 60minute run/walk followed by a headache kept me indoors for the rest of the night. I washed newly bought towels and enjoyed their warm fluffiness. Then I made this incredible pizza and watched tv all night.

Today has been just as good if not better. Woke early, had a productive work meeting, went to the gym and after 30minutes light cardio I did a wonderful yoga-inspired strength training routine. An egg white omelet at the restaurant and hot green tea to top it off and here I am writing you!

Hoping for good news today for the boy. Please dear God let it be good news. Then a MASSAGE at 5 and yoga at 7:30. What a great day! Must fit some homework in here somewhere....maybe tomorrow :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bad day

Don't you just hate those? Doesn't it always just make everyone and everything irritating? I literally pointed and said "That needs to stop" at an INFANT who was babbling and goo-goo ga-ing. I felt an explosion welling up inside of me and that is simply NOT ok. It's time to take a step back and realize the things that ARE going right in my life.

-more than halfway through my M.A. (somewhat mediocre classes but maybe they'll get better as time goes on)
-almost 4 weeks into a great running program and tomorrow is a rest day!
-a mom who knows when I need a frozen yogurt and a vent-session
-a boyfriend who is so close to something that will make EVERYTHING better.
-two jobs where essentially I could get away with murder (even so, this privilege comes with the cost of being everyone's bitch.)
-Monday is Labor Day, I intend to take my recently repaired car (for the small, small sum of $3,000) to either Chicago or Grand Rapids. My flight, never fight instinct is kicking in strong and while I can't yet move I can certainly get outta town for 12-24 hours or so. I think I might go alone. I need some time that's entirely devoted to myself and no one else's hang ups or happiness.
-the (hot) sun is shining.
-a recent gift from above-mentioned boyfriend makes it possible to listen to great music in the car from my iPod instead of suffering through either U93 or the multitude of country channels our dear town boasts of.
-it's a home game tomorrow, join us at the restaurant and sit at my table ready to spend some money all you locals and visitors alike.

There really are many more wonderful things that make my life and time here in the Midwest worth getting out of bed for. I just need to remind myself from time to time and in the mean time - I need to learn to say "no".