A Forgotten Spoon

This morning when I sat down at my desk, I had a lovely little surprise!

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Let the games begin!

That’s right, today begins the stepping contest and I am ready to rumble! Things are already getting silly around the office… I had a “mobile meeting” this afternoon where we walked up and down the halls to tack on the steps instead of sitting idly at a table as we usually do. By the end of the eight weeks, I’m pretty sure that we will have driven each other batty with all of the pacing and back-and-forth stepping!

And now, let’s talk about my spoon-less lunch!

It has happend roughly 12,000 times since the first of the year. I don’t know what my deal is, but I just can’t seem to get a grasp on packing utensils with my lunch in the morning.

Today, I ended up eating my yogurt by the  forkful. That’s proper, right?

ForkI don’t know what my deal is! Maybe I should keep a stash at work.

And now, let’s dip into my not-so-secret obsession: nail polish. I have a new find to share with you!

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Last weekend, at the chocolate expo, I saw a girl with the coolest nail polish. When she showed it to me closer, it was a zillion little feathery speckles! Plus, it had the funkiest texture I’ve ever seen in nail polish! Of course, because I have the will power of a squirrel in a stack of walnuts when it comes to nail polish, I had to have it! Tonight I finally tried it and I am in love!

The brand is nails inc. and it’s from the “Feathers” line. My favorite part about it is you can create a million different looks with it! At first, I almost left it at just one coat which was a very faint, speckle-y (dare I say, feathered) look! It was super cool. But then, I decided to go for the effect that the woman had when I first saw it: lots and lots of layers. With several layers, the feathering effect piled up and now, it kind of looks like confetti!

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Love it!

I hope you have a great night! Guess where I am headed— off to the gym! (I know, how far from the “I’m going to wake up at 4:45 and get an early workout in!” of yesterday. Whoops?)

 

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All My Baaags are Packed, I’m Ready to Go.

Hello there! Happy Friday!

The title of this post is a lie. It is 100% false. But my bags should be packed…

Tomorrow, I am headed out of town for the weekend! Bright and early in the morning, I will be making a voyage to a town just outside of NYC for work. Even though it’ll be a pretty short trip, I am quite excited to skip town for a couple of days and to see a new place. Traveling for work really isn’t something that I thought I’d ever do or enjoy, but these trips are proving to be really great experiences. I cannot believe how quickly I am meeting new people and learning all sorts of new things. And plus, in a few months time, I’ll be a more efficient traveler than Mr. Ryan Bingham of Up in the Air.

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Well hello there, Mr. Clooney.

Source.  

Have you ever seen Up in the Air? It’s one of my very favorite movies. It’s definitely not the most cheerful movie that I’ve ever seen, but it is thoughtful and smart and… well, see image above. Gotta love the Clooney.

On the stupid human front, somehow, I managed to hurt my foot today and it is still bothering me! I don’t know exactly what I did, but when I was jumping out of a van and onto the pavement, somehow, I slammed my foot down JUST right to send a shooting pain right along the arch. I really hope it’s nothing serious. Or even anything that will make standing on my feet for HOURS at a time this weekend too terribly miserable. 😦 Stupid pavement! (Errr…stupid me?) 

On a very different note, for some reason, I was one sleepy lady today! Very sleepy and verrrrry hungry. Speaking of hungry, how about you follow me on my Quest for Alertness and Satiety that lasted all the live-long day.

Ehem. Let us begin:

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Around noon, I resorted to an extra cup of coffee to light a spark, which it only did halfway. (Oh hey, have I ever mentioned how much I HATE Keurig machines? They coffee just does NOT cut it for me! I don’t know what the deal is, but I have tried everything: different K-cups, different amounts of water. Today I even added some of my favorite flavored creamer and I still just couldn’t get behind it! For some reason, it always tastes like hours-old coffee to me. I guess I will be sticking to the old fashioned coffee pots for myself!).

And then came the snacking.

First, it was an orange. 

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An Orange Orange on an Orange Plate!

Somehow, that seemed to make me hungrier. So next, I dug into the snacks that I had stocked earlier in the week:

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How exciting! Not. (A word to the wise: don’t stock sweet things in your stash of snacks for when you’re “desperate.” They’ll be gone in 14 seconds flat. Kind of like those yogurt covered raisins… I don’t want to talk about it.)

Eventually, I caved and went for the Kashi bar:

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Quite tasty, but STILL not filling!

I also devoured a cup of Oikos Greek yogurt. It was a flavor I had never seen before: Vanilla and Toasted Coconut! It was kind of bizarre, but pretty tasty.

So I think the moral of this story is that next week, I really need to make the time investment and prepare some lunches ahead of time for myself as I was doing a couple of weeks ago. What a remarkable difference a fully and happy belly can make in a workday! Oy vey.

And now it is time to stop just TALKING about packing and to actually get my rear in gear and DO it! 

Tomorrow, I’ll be off to the tropical land of 45 degrees! I will take it! (Is it sad that 45 degrees actually really does sound warm to me?)

I hope you have a great night and I will talk to you tomorrow! Happy weekend!

Optimal Challenges

Hello friends!

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine weekend was relatively relaxed, but that was just what I wanted. Once again, I slept in a little later than I intended to this morning, but it was quite a lovely change of pace from my typical 5:00 am rising hour.

I also got to see Jordan this “morning” for a quick workout which consisted of a Jillian Michaels’ video. (Granted, we didn’t actually finish the video, but ended up stopping it halfway through and sitting on the floor catching up instead… don’t tell Jillian.)

The rest of my day pretty much revolved around running 1,000 different errands that took about four times longer than necessary because I kept forgetting things left and right. (My wallet? My debit card? My life?). I have finally returned home and it is time for some reading and  the Oscars! The Handmaid’s Tale is proving to be infinitely easier reading than The Help was. I know what you’re thinking. Allow me to define MY idea of “easier reading.” The Help was a good book. It had engaging characters, an interesting story and was rich with sings of the times– the southern US at a time of serious unrest, change and history-in-the-making. Yet I still didn’t find it an easy read. It took me WEEKS longer than it should have to complete. It just wasn’t holding my interest. In my opinion, it was a lot longer than it needed to be and didn’t accomplish a ton. This book, on the other hand, is captivating. It is not the sort of book that I would ever, ever think that could capture my attention and hold it, but it is a page-turner! The frightening, dystopian environment in which the characters are living is chilling. Moreover, it is a challenging read. It keeps the brain cells jumping as you think about not only the characters and their situations, but also the implications of all of the concepts and the connections to today’s world. It’s an intellectual, scary, riveting read. 

So this novel, along with my recent venture into “the arts” and my new job have all got me thinking about positive challenges.

Back in my psychology days (hey, I took about 4,001 credits in social and clinical psychology. I might as well put it to use somehow!), we learned all about “flow” and optimal challenges. The Cliffsnotes’ version of that whole concept (/ what I remember) is that there is a certain level of challenge that is ideal. Somewhere in the middle of “Ohmygod this is so ridiculously difficult I will never, ever be able to solve this problem” and “This is so easy that I’m pretty sure my cat could do it…” there lies a happy medium. (Or the level of “optimal challenge.”) Tasks that lie within this part of the spectrum excite us, challenge our minds and give us a sense of accomplishment and self-worth when we complete them successfully. They are goals that are not entirely out of our reach, but take some effort and work to attain. When you’re immersed in these activities, you are in a mental state known as “flow,” which is when you are wholly immersed and invested in some activity. It’s fulfilling and you (willingly) offer all of your attention to it.

So what’s the point? The point is that post-graduation and pre-new job, I started to feel like I was losing something. It wasn’t that I necessarily wanted to go back to school (at least not yet), but I DID want the challenge. I wanted to shake up my brain cells and feel like I was exercising my brain. It seemed that upon graduation, I had suddenly abandoned all of my intellectually stimulating hobbies and activities that I used to enjoy: reading, writing, learning random things. But it’s starting to all come back to me. The blog is forcing me to write and to write carefully. I am reading again and my job is so full of new tasks and challenges and environments that I feel like my brain is swinging on mental monkey bars 8+ hours each day!

So here is my challenge for you, find something to do that puts YOU in your “optimal challenge” zone. Read a challenging book, write something, learn how to knit, teach yourself 2 new words each day… It is a seriously rewarding place to be and that is how you grow and learn! The best part of all, is that you feel GOOD while you’re doing it.

And that’s about all I’ve got for you tonight! I hope that your week is off to a great start and I will talk to you all tomorrow!

Some Starbucks Inspiration

Happy Friday, friends!

A 7:45 meeting this morning had me stumbling out of the door brrriiiiight and early. (Who am I kidding? It was black as night.)

Fortunately for me, I managed to carve out enough time for a Starbucks pit stop. Such a lovely treat. As a way to cage the spending rage, and to also cap the coffee cals., I have made a little deal with myself. I have decided to allow myself Starbucks stops en route to work twice a month: the two mornings monthly that I have those early meetings! Not only will it serve as EXTRA incentive to get my keister out of the door early, but it will also tackle the cost/calorie issue! Now. Let’s see how long that lasts. 😉

Today, I managed to incorporate TWO pieces of fruit into my lunch. I had an orange AND a banana and was just a little too proud of myself.

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I can’t believe how wonky my eating habits have become in the past couple of weeks! It is actually ridiculously scary when I actually think about how my lack of free time has quickly become my worst enemy. Not only does it affect my meal-planning, but moreover, it seriously gets in the way of my gym time. I know that there is an adjustment period whenever you start something new, but I really need to find a way to make this schedule work for my healthy living goals. Yikes!

So, let’s cut to the title chase here.

Today, I bumped into a rather stressful situation that (very long story short) revolved around getting stuck smack dab in the middle of a pretty sticky mess. Throughout recent months, I have made it my personal goal to STOP caring about the way that others act. It is my daily mission to live my life for me, and to act ONLY in ways that I legitimately endorse 100%. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has missteps and sometimes those missteps may affect your life, but when it all comes down to it, YOU are really the only person who is in control of YOU, right? So what does that mean? It means that even though I may not always like what is happening around me, or the ways that things are handled or the things that people think, that is entirely out of my control. But the way that I act and react and think are all things that I have at least some degree of control over. But, in the thick of frustration and disbelief, it can get a little challenging to remember that. Which is exactly what happened today. Until I looked at my water bottle that I picked up from Starbs.:

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Ethos.

I know it sounds weird, but that one little word popped out at just the right moment. Ethos are guiding beliefs or ideals. The word itself goes hand-in-hand with character.

Sometimes, one simple word is all it takes to remind me of what is important. Character. You control what you can control, and take responsibility for yourself and your actions. In my mind, leading your life with good character and good intentions is most important. I am a firm believer that when you take those two goals to heart, things will be just fine. I can only take control of me and what I do, right? 

Who woulda thunk that a BRAND NAME (that evidently, is helping children to get clean water!) would snap me out of highly flustered mode and back to reality? Thanks for the life reminder, Starbucks!!

My day came to a close with a mug of Keurig hot chocolate. Yes, I STILL hate the k-cup deal. I will never understand.

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After work, my night was filled with some tutoring and also some old-fashioned catch-up time with friends/ former co-workers which was quite lovely.

And now it is time for bed because I am so tired that I am 99% positive that a feather could knock me down.

Have a fantastic night and I will be back tomorrow! TGIF!!