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Archive for February, 2008

gratitude.jpgThis week on my weight loss blog I wrote about the fact that I’m looking into a medical weight management program offered through Kaiser. I still need to find out quite a bit of information before I make my final decision, but if all goes well, I may begin the program as early as mid-March.

When I wrote the post I sent it to my close friends, asking them what they thought. Their support and encouragement about my weight loss choices has been overwhelming. It really makes me feel so thankful to know what amazing friends I have. They are there for all of my life’s ups and downs, and I couldn’t ask for more.

My parents, too, have been truly amazing. They know that I’ve struggled my entire life with my weight, and they have always loved me no matter how I looked or felt about myself. They are the reason I am such a strong, confident woman. They taught me to have pride in myself and my upbringing, and without them, I would be lost.

I’m very excited about the possibilities that lie before me. And I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful people that I have on my side. Sometimes it’s overwhelming.

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Watching the Oscars tonight, I’ve come to the decision that I really enjoy listening to acceptance speeches that don’t thank “all the little people.”

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I hate it when people win awards and start to thank every member of the cast and crew, from their agent to the caterer on set. Not that these people aren’t important, because they are, but wouldn’t it suffice to say, “to all those who helped make this film?”

The speeches tonight that I truly enjoyed were heartfelt, and made grander statements about art, film making, and dedication. They didn’t run off a list of names, but rather spoke with emotion about how much winning the award meant to them.

If I’m ever in the position to give some sort of acceptance speech, and believe me, I expect to at some point in my life, I’ll try to stay away from the lists and stick to saying something that truly means something, if to no one else than to me.

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I had this last week off, and I had all sorts of plans for how I was going to fill my time. Some of them fun, some of them work, but all of them helping me get organized and ready for the long haul that I have ahead of me before Spring Break. (At this point in the school year, it’s all about living for the next week off!)

I didn’t get as much accomplished as I had hoped, but mostly this was because I made sure to take plenty of time for me.

I watched movies: Once, Dogfight, Jane Austen Book Club (from Netflix) and Juno (in the theatre).

I read: Lucia, Lucia and Rococo (I was on an Adriana Trigiani kick), and more of Into the Wild. Plus all of my daily blog reads (found on the blogroll).

What I didn’t read and should’ve: my book club pick Water for Elephants (I guess my Tuesday evening is suddenly free now) and some articles for grad school. I will make sure to get to the articles before I go to bed, since class meets tomorrow.

I did grad school work: CTLB and I spent 5 hours on Tuesday working on our action research project (thesis). It was great to accomplish so much, and just reinforces what a great team we make.

I forgot to pay my grad school fees: The 2nd installment of my fee payment was due on Monday, but it totally slipped my mind. By Friday the university completely dropped me from all of my classes! Yes, you read that correctly – I’m disenrolled. Ugh! So now I have to pay a $150 fine and go through some rigamaroll to get re-enrolled, but I guess I have no one to blame for myself. Good thing I have the money, including the extra for the fine, so this should just be a matter of going to the student services office and turning in paperwork and a payment.

I dined: I went out with friends twice this week. Thursday night to the Afgani restaurant and last night to a great Mediterranean place with CBCB (who was just back from Paris) and BeachGirl. I also went to The Counter, but since I ate that at home, that probably doesn’t count. Tonight I’m headed to my parents’ house for a mini-Oscar party. My mom has all sorts of “small bites” that she made for us to eat while we watch the Oscars (and judge the dresses).

I worked out: I went four times this week, which is a lot for me. I never made it to Club One as I had planned, but that’s ok. I’ve decided that I don’t need to join a chi-chi club; 24 Hour Fitness is great for my needs, plus it’s a whole lot cheaper.

I cleaned: I did the normal house chores and laundry, but I never made it to fully organizing all of my files and my new bookcase. The books are all organized, but I have a bunch of stationary and binders that I wanted to get set up. This will be finished before the end of this week — it sounds like a great weeknight project.

I cooked: I tried a couple of new recipes that turned out really well. I didn’t go through all of my great new recipe books and mark the ones I’d like to try, but again, this sounds like a great weeknight project.

I blogged: I wrote quite a few posts on this blog and my weight loss blog, and it felt great. I love having the time to write, a luxury I rarely have during the hectic work week.

I erranded: Ok, so I know this isn’t a word, but it seems like it should be. I ran a bunch of errands this week, which was great.

I decided: I made the decision that I will work this summer again. I was looking forward to having the summer off, but practically and financially it makes a lot more sense for me to work again. After I pay my parents back, the rest of the money will be fun money, which is always nice. Hopefully I’ll have lost so much weight by August that I need to buy a whole new wardrobe!!

I relaxed: Most days I slept in until at least 9:30, which is so strange for me. Even on the weekends, I’m usually up by 7:30, so this was really a treat. It also caused me to go to bed really late, but hey, that’s what vacations are all about, right?

All in all, I feel good about how I spent this week. I was able to find a nice balance between work and play. I can’t ask for more than that.

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Decision Made

After careful consideration, and lots of input from friends and readers of this blog, I’ve decided that I’m going to work this summer.

As CTLB pointed out, I’m borrowing more than $2700 from my parents to pay for my taxes, and it would be nice to have extra money so I could pay them off this summer. Plus, I can do a lot of fun things with the money that I’ll earn.

The other thing I have to remind myself of is that since I won’t be teaching, there won’t be any papers to grade. Which means that when work is finished, it’s done. I can enjoy my evenings and weekends and make the most of them.  I am going to make sure that I take lots of time to enjoy life this summer and not get too wrapped up in working.  I’ve come to realize that I’m better when I have a routine to stick to.  I get more done, and don’t let things slip by.  When I’m off, I tend to slack off and not really stay on track with everything I need to accomplish.

Whether I get the fellowship or a temp job, working just makes the most sense this summer. Maybe next summer will be my time to take the summer off.

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I know it’s only February and summer is a long way away, but I need to decide soon whether or not I’m going to work this summer.

You see, the past few summers I’ve worked in industry through an amazing fellowship program for teachers. The premise is that teachers can take what they’ve learned in their industry jobs back into the classroom, thus enhancing their teaching and the students’ learning. The thing is, all of the jobs I’ve taken each summer have been more about the extra money than what I’ll bring back to the classroom. Each of the jobs didn’t really help me acquire new skills, but used the skills I already have.

So, here’s the conundrum.
I can make $900 a week, plus $1000 in grants and work in industry for 7 weeks. The jobs start the Monday after school gets out and will last until I go back east for CTLB’s wedding. Not much time for a relaxing summer vacation. The job would have to be one that didn’t involve a huge commute and was fairly low-stress.

~OR~

I had planned on taking this summer off and truly enjoying one of the main benefits teachers get — a full summer vacation. I thought I could really work on my exercise and working out routines, and spend a good deal of time organizing my files and classroom (I wouldn’t want anyone to take a peek at the current situation in my filing cabinets at school). The one fear I have is getting bored. The only other time I took the summer off I was really bored, spent way too much money, and didn’t have a lot of fun. Of course back then I didn’t know a lot of other teachers to hang out with during the summer. This time it would be different, since I know quite a few teachers who stick around for the summer and who I could hang out with.

I don’t necessarily need the money, but it would be nice to have a bunch of extra cash to spend while I’m back east. On the other hand, I was really looking forward to taking a true break for the summer and relaxing. These past two years have been crazy-hectic with grad school and teaching full time, etc. Not a lot of balance.

So, what should I do? I really don’t know at this point. I put my application in for the fellowship, because if I don’t do it now, it might be too late to get any position later, and I want to at least look at my options. I have to apply for the position(s) that I want by March and then sign contracts, etc.

Any thoughts? I could really use a few perspectives on this. I’m usually not indecisive, but this one is really throwing me for a loop.

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mainimg-gno.jpgTonight a few friends and I went to an Afgani restaurant in a nearby city and had one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time. Not only was the food delicious (I had lamb kabobs), but the conversation was so fun.

We chatted about everything from books (we are all English teachers) to babies (2 of the girls have kids) and it was relaxed and happy.

It reminded me that that’s the purpose of going out to eat with friends — it’s as much about the great conversation and fun times as it is about the food. You’re paying for the entire experience. I really need to get out more often, because I love dining out.

The other thing I realized (although I knew this) is that on SBD it really is easy to eat out. I don’t need to feel like I have to cook at home all the time. I enjoy cooking and have rediscovered how good I am at it, but there’s nothing like trying different foods and enjoying a fabulous girls’ night.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the simplest things help me break out of my routine and add some joy to my life?

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I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to begin the Couch to 5K program in earnest so that I can compete in the Mermaid Run in March.  I know that the C25K program takes 9 weeks, and March 30 is only 5 weeks away, but I feel pretty confident that I can do it.  Even if I have to walk part of the way.

Here’s the thing.  When I try to go on the treadmill or walk on a track outside, I get terrible, sharp, shooting pains in my calves and shins.  I wrote about this before in the summer, and a few people had some ideas, but they didn’t help the problem.

  • I got new shoes that fit, so that’s not it.
  • I eat plenty of vitamins, including potassium.
  • I drink lots of water before and after trying to walk.
  • This never happens to me on the elliptical machine, or even when walking around at a more leisurely pace.

So, here’s where you come in – I need your guidance about what I can try to do in order to fix this.  I’m willing to try almost anything.

Any of my friends who are reading this post and want to join me for the Mermaid Run, please let me know.  I’d love to do this with a few people.

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