Life is too short to be anything but happy

For a while—as in since last week, when I graduated. I’ve felt so out of whack and I know I’m getting back on the right track, but what is that track?

After taking this Food Science course and diving into this Foods and Nutrition Program (my third go at it, really), I know what I don’t want–to finish it. I’ve known that for a few weeks, and I’ve been thinking about my options (but you guys know I’ve been pretty busy).

While nothing is set in stone, I think I’m starting to wrap my head around a rough idea of where I’d like to head and of the kind of future I want to create for myself.

A year ago, I was sure I was going to be in Journalism school in september. Since then, I’ve realized I want to do more than write. I love to write. I will be a writer. I will keep pitching stories, blogging, and writing my heart out. I don’t need a master’s degree to do that.

A month ago, I was pretty certain I was going to be a dietitian. I knew I wanted to help people lead healthier lifestyles and I liked the idea of helping athletes and people working through eating disorders.

Journalist.

Dietitian.

Safe.

Today, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m forming a picture of what it’s going to look like without needing a label. No offence to anyone who has known what they’ve wanted to be since they were 5 and have come out of it with a great professional degree or something like that, but that hasn’t been working for me. I’m done sticking to the conventional just for the sake of feeling secure. At my graduation, the speaker mentioned something about how times have changed. Making money is tough. Finding “a job” is tough. He told us to take every opportunity. Things can seem overwhelming, but when you look at it as a world full of opportunities instead of feeling overwhelmed, you see that there is so much freaking potential that you can’t help but get excited.

I really never thought that I’d be so confused about what I want to do with myself. If you don’t know me or you can’t get vibes from my blog, I’m a stubborn person. I know where I’m headed, or at least I like to pretend I do. So this is a big shift for me, but it’s one that I know is going to lead me to a happier career and life at the end of it all.

I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day of your life.” It’s also true that by deciding that I’m going to work towards a happy holistic life instead of just securing a career, I’m just embracing all the awesome that I’m entitled to in a new way. I did it with my body–I don’t have to force myself to lose weight or to have perfect abs before I can be happy. In the same way, I don’t have to make sure the tI’ve got a set career path and plan that is stable before I can start living. Cuz FYI, life is flying by and I think the point is kind of to enjoy this whole process, right? Thanks for that realization, recovery!

So enough with the big thinking and rambling…what the heck am I going to do next?

I started to figure this out by thinking about my options and by talking it through with a lot of helpful listening ears. I started to look for examples of people living the kinds of lives–active, inspiring, engaging–that I want to and to take notes or to ask questions of what they’re doing. The truth is, they’re just following their bliss. That seems to be the key.

Right now, what’s making my heart sing most is:

  • teaching fitness
  • blogging and writing in general
  • rounding up cheesy quotes
  • yoga
  • reading, especially about nutrition, eating disorder recovery, and self help
  • working with my life coach
Things I considered for the coming year:
  • working as a fitness professional
  • going back to Western and taking some more kin courses and finishing my writing certificate
  • looking for a job somewhere exciting (mountains, anyone?)
  • applying to teacher’s college in the states or australia
  • applying for my masters in kin or in sports nutrition somewhere
  • pursuing the registered holistic nutritionist designation from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition
  • going somewhere to get my 200 hour yoga teacher training
  • going on an NOLS trip – throwing myself into the wilderness, essentially
  • signing up for a program at Rhodes College, where my life coach went
  • taking violin lessons and getting far enough so that I can teach little kiddies how to play – I was pretty close, but my theory could use some work!
And to be totally honest, I want to do them all. Luckily I had a good reminder come my way from my mother:
(at once)
I also came to a big realization: if you’re meant to do something, YOU WILL. It doesn’t matter when. There isn’t that pressure. If you have to force yourself to do something, why are you doing it (career, but also training, etc.)? The things on that list that I really truly want to do will get done. The ones that don’t really matter won’t. It’s as simple as that.
So what’s my next step?
With a disclaimer that I am 100% allowed to change my mind, my plan is to work away at an independent study in sports sociology this fall while I do the registered holistic nutrition program (in London) on a part time basis and work as much as I can in fitness. I want to teach spin and bootcamp and I’d like to keep training with triathlon club. I’m going to think about doing an energy exchange at Yoga Shack, but if I’m too busy, I’ll keep yoga as purely something I do for the sake of doing. I’m going to see how things go and where I can work in fitness and my motto is to take opportunities that call out to me but say no to the ones that just don’t feel right (if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no). I’m going to keep blogging about all of the healthy living I do and I’m going to keep on writing (freelancing, volunteering at the Gazette, etc.). I’m hoping that when I’m done with the RHN program in two years, I can do one of the coaching programs at Rhodes. I know I want to help people and I think the programs would work together to give me the kind of training and experience I need to make positive change. I also think they’ll give me the information I want to write the kinds of articles and blogs that will do the same. I also know that it sounds a little hippie to say that I’m going to be a freelance writer, holistic nutritionist and life coach who also teaches fitness, but that’s what I’m feeling right now.
So if you were hoping I’d have a simple answer in the form of “When I grow up, I’m going to ______________,” no such luck!
I know that giving myself this end vision — I picture that life coach writer nutritionist fitness instructor, I see her as a slightly older, stronger, only more awesome version of myself — and making it as vivid as I can (she lives in a house in the mountains and has two chocolate labs and drives a nissan murano, btw) is motivating. I have a yoga instructor who often says to leave the picture in the mirror out of it and to see where you want to go and then make it happen, and I’m definitely feeling the application here.
When you can see it, you can feel it, and you can connect to it. And when I see that version of me, I feel so full of energy, happy, and all that good stuff. If you think I’m crazy, I’m telling you: you’re missing out. That’s kind of why I want to be some form of a coach–to help people connect to this feeling of being motivated and energized and pulled by the positive things in life. After recovery from my eating disorder, I know how rough things can get. This is like a second shot at life, and I feel like I need to spread the word and shout it from the rooftops even if some people look at me like I’m a new age hippie or something. I swear–I’m not high on anything (my friend summed up how people sometimes look at us pretty well)–except life itself. Yeah, I just said that!
So that was a whole lot of words and a whole lot of cheese, but it needed to be said! You better believe there’s a bucket list coming and a vision board in the works. I’ve been jotting down random things I want to do before I die on napkins and business cards and in random notes on my phone. This is all good. It keeps me thinking about the positive things that I want to do. Think big. Dream big. Be bold. All that good stuff.
For a really long time, my life was about living small and about listening to Ed. It was about food, calories, workouts, and all that stuff. Then it hit me, slowly, but hard: this is all there is. I’m going to die some day. Like that’s pretty morbid, but it’s true. There’s no point in doing something that doesn’t make me happy. There’s no point in not doing what I want to do or in at least trying to figure out what that is. This could be a post in itself, so I’m going to sum things up:
Hence this blog. Hence my whole outlook and approach to life.
Anddddd smile.
Have you ever changed your mind about school or your career?
What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?

If you’re working, are you doing the job you thought you would when you were younger?
Do you ever think of yourself in 10 years? What’s it look like?
Advertisements

Get real

You’ll be happy to know this is a project-related rant that’s about to go down here.

I’ll start with some background on the project. Basically, it’s a two part menu planning assignment.

First we had to keep track of our eats for 3 days, calculate the cost of them, and input them into a food processor. It analyzed our intake and spit out our results vs. recommendations in terms of all the nutrients you could possibly care or not care about and then we compared our own records to Canada’s Food Guide and to a budget figure set out by the Montreal Diet Dispensary. FYI my daily recommendation for spending on food was a mere $8.30 (or the cost of about 3 starbucks venti coffees, for comparison’s sake). I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me wasn’t that I wasn’t eating enough grains or that I was eating too many servings from the meat and alternatives group (big surprise, right?) but was the amount of money that I spend on my food. And I remember mentioning and posing a question about how valid an external food guide can be for you when it comes to eating healthy, so I guess this project opened up my mind and at least ignited some critical thinking.

The second part is a little bit more work but this time we are to plan a 3 day menu and then cost it, trying to fit within that spending allowance and trying best to manage to the food guide recommendations for our age/sex. We also have to comment on how we will use the leftovers we make, the food that we don’t include in the meal plan, etc. It’s a bit tedious–calculating the market order costing, thinking about how to match the food guide, etc. It dawned on me that it’s all kind of ridiculous. I get it–there are people who need meal plans, but are there?

What if we didn’t? Aren’t we born knowing how to eat? Aren’t we hardwired to like the foods that are good for us? Somewhere along the way I think I lost sight of this and started to look for the answer outside of me. A diet book. A dietitian. A magazine. A friend. Whatever, whoever, wherever. And it took what felt like an eternity for me to find out how to start to feed myself for me, but I think I’m there. Yes, I’ll read your article about going vegan and I might be swayed a bit. I’ll read a Paleo book and start to embrace some of their philosophies. But if someone tells me that there’s a plan out there, a guide out there, an expert or a whatever out there that knows better than I do what I need to eat? I think that’s silly. PLEASE NOTE that I don’t think a year ago I could have been here — I was using food for reasons besides fuel/nourishment. When I was emotionally attached to things and still active with my eating disorder, food took on a whole new power — it carried with it fear and so much more than the nutrition I know it provides me with today. There was good food and there was bad food and I was good or bad based on what I ate. Then I got to the point where I thought that there was no bad food. But what I’m realizing more and more now is that there is such a thing as stupid food. Bad might be the wrong word for it — and eating something that’s junk doesn’t make you junk, but now that I’m out of the depths of things I feel alright saying this: there is such a thing as crappy food. And if you eat TOO MUCH of it, you will feel like crap.

Sorry if you have your hand in a bag of chips or something right now and that came off a little blunt.

Common sense says this: eat real food. ED says: don’t eat food, don’t eat fake food, eat fake food to prove you can, eat only this kind of real food, avoid that food, blah blah blah. But remember something: ED IS STUPID. We are smart. If you’re eating something, ask if it’s food. Does it have an ingredient label you can hardly make your way through without getting confused or flashing back to organic chemistry? Will it last forever (food is supposed to go bad)? Did it come from the ground or have a mother? Is it recognizable? Could you buy it at the market?

Let’s just get real and honest and to the point: we should eat real food. Saying that doesn’t mean froyo and candy bars are gone forever, but it does mean that you have to get real with yourself if you want to get healthy. That goes for you whether you’re overweight, recovering, or whatever. I spent a lot of time learning by making mistakes. I guess what I’m trying to do here is to share with you what I’ve taken my sweet arse time to learn in the hopes that you can learn it a bit faster yourself. I’m grateful that I learned this “the hard way” through all the struggles and experimenting, but that doesn’t mean I can’t shout what I’ve learned from the rooftops or tell you that if you feel like you’re constantly trying new things out and not getting any answers that you’re probably en route to an epiphany and that you should keep going!

…or so you can argue with me and tell me to shut up and eat a granola bar. I have a good friend who sent me a private message a few months ago that came entirely from her heart. At the time, it caught me off guard because she called me out on some of the things she saw me eating on a regular basis on my blog that were, looking back, that stupid food that I mentioned earlier in this post. But now I get it: she was trying to reach out and help me. Not saying that I think everyone needs to get real with themselves and ask themselves if they are really eating right because I’m scared of offending someone might rob me of the chance to get through to someone who’s on the same wavelength as me: if that’s you, EAT REAL FOOD. Don’t be scared. Scared is for wussies. Get real!

I’ve held back on posting this for fear of coming off as mean or as high and mighty. I don’t think I’m better than you. I don’t think eating a candy bar makes you a bad person. If you think it does, that’s an issue. If that’s how this sounds, I apologize for not getting my point across but I have never really held back before so it doesn’t make sense to do it now.

So I guess I’ll say it one more time:

  • We don’t need fancy meal plans.
  • We need to eat real food.
  • We don’t need a diet label — paleo? great. vegan? awesome. vegetarian? cool. lacto-ovo-pesca-vegetarian? you go girl! Regardless of your label, you better be eating mostly whole foods if you want to be healthy.
  • The food guide is generic and right now I think it’s crap.

Now that I’m not scared of gaining weight, I can eat real food. Now that I don’t care if I have a six pack or not, I can eat real food that makes me feel good. Now that I don’t think froyo has some magical powers, I can go get it and leave it at that. I can make mistakes. I can eat too much and end up with a stomachache and not do it again–or accidentally do it again. It’s all good. It’s just food.

Where I’m drawing inspiration these days:

Phew.

You know those rapid fire posts where you literally can’t type fast enough? That just happened. If you could follow along, congratulations. If you need a recap, it’s this: this project is stupid. 🙂

Have a good night!

What do you think about this real food approach?
Have you ever gotten to the point where you’ve had to tell yourself to get real in some aspect of your life?

Change

Sometimes when I am out and about and daydreaming, I write blog posts on whatever I can get my hands on. Remember my Strong is the new skinny post? I wrote it on random paper on the plane to visit my dad and saved it for a few weeks before posting it. This is just proof that my blog is really my diary and that you should feel privileged to get so into my head. Ha – ha.

Just joking, but in all seriousness, I’ve been writing a bunch of these notes to myself/future blog posts/random musings lately and thinking that they’d make decent blog posts if I could clean them up a bit and if I had a reason for writing them.

It’s funny when that reason smacks you in the face.

Like this quote of the day, which I read before I even got out of bed today.

Not a bad way to start the day, huh?

Anyways, it relates back to one of those notes I wrote where I started thinking about how much I’ve changed in the last year, two years, four years, etc. and about how I’ve really come into my own power and am starting to feel increasingly confident about who I want to be and where I want to go. It is funny that my eating disorder was the wakeup call I needed to make me realize that I’ve been holding myself back.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: eating disorders make your world small. When you let ED bring you down, you can’t fly. It’s really hard to figure out what it is that’s missing, but when you do, things start to click. Until I realized that I was convinced I deserved to be miserable/didn’t deserve to be happy, I was stuck. Sure I was “in recovery” but I wasn’t there. If I didn’t deserve all the good in the world, do you think I thought I deserved recovery?

So after telling myself over and over again (I’ve got reminders posted around my apartment, I’ve got popups on my phone, I’ve got events scheduled on my google calendar): “You deserve all the good in the world,” I am starting to actually believe it. And I’m noticing where else I might be holding myself back:

  • school – going back vs. not going back
  • career – writing, fitness
  • relationships – friends, family, boys
  • training/eating/body
It’s taken a lot of looking in and being really brutally honest with myself to see how I’m bringing myself down and then the next step of it all has been to ask why. Am I scared of making really strong friendships because I think people are going to hurt me? Am I scared of being a really successful writer because I think “how dare you?” While I do think it’s important to do all this, I’ve started to just focus on where I want to go and who I want to be instead and to move towards that, which feels really goal. When I was stuck in my delusional eating disordered ways I would set these huge goals and give myself direction, albeit misguided. For a while, I wasn’t sure if setting goals was healthy for me or not, but now I’ve realized: that same drive and determination that I used to use to fuel my ED can fuel ME on the path to being great.

The other day I was looking for something in my old workout books and I came across a dog-eared page in Jackie Warner’s book where she wrote about goals and discovering what you really want and about visualization. She said, “Voice your goals and passions with as many people as possible. The more you talk about them, the more you imprint and program them into your subconscious mind. Talking the talk will lead to walking the walk.”

So that’s what I’m doing. But what am I saying and who do I want to be?

  • I want to be healthy, fit, and strong. I don’t want to be skinny, I don’t want a six pack at all costs, and I don’t want to be obsessive. But I do love fitness and I am allowed to like my body when it looks fit.
  • I want to eat real food and I want to eat food that makes me feel good without apologies or worrying about what people will say. Like I’ve mentioned before, eating disorder recovery means opening up to fear foods, eating them and seeing that your life goes on, etc. etc. But I’m talking here about finding what makes you feel the best–and that might mean leaving out some foods not because they’re “scary” or because you think they’re going to ruin you, but because they’re not working for you and your body. What I have noticed is this: I feel best on whole, real foods. Imagine that. I feel worse when I eat certain things because I feel like I should (i.e. have a bun with your dinner because if you don’t have starch you’re going back to your ED ways. Hello, still giving power to ED.) I’m in charge of my food choices and I will never forget all the recovery lessons I’ve learned–skipping a bun or choosing not to eat certain foods doesn’t mean ED is back, it means I’m ready to eat for me again!
  • I want to find a career that calls to me and go after it whole heartedly. Right now, I don’t entirely know what that looks like. One thing I do know is this — fitness and health and nutrition call to me. I might be on the right track with going back to school to be a dietitian, but I might be using this as a way to further delay things because I am scared. But fear isn’t a good reason for me to do/not do certain things and I’ll just admit it: for a long time, I thought I was too fat/inexperienced/young to start my career and thinking all of those thoughts also made me see myself as someone who could never really succeed in the fitness/health industry. But you know what? I’ve been thinking more and more about those presenters, leaders, movers/shakers in the fitness world and I think I could be a force. And I don’t think I need to change at all on the outside: I think it all has to do with continuing on this track to confident Cheryl and believing in myself and visualizing myself as that woman!
  • I want to do something unconventional with my life. I don’t know what it’s going to look like. Motivational speaker/adventure race coach/personal trainer/author/blogger/wellness coach/sports nutritionist/writer/athlete/? This is the fun part – I’m only going to be 23 with wide open possibilities once and rather than fear the unknown, I want to take it all as an adventure – that’s why we’re here!
  • I want to be me. I want to wear the weird clothes that I like, not the “cool” ones that everyone else wears. I want to be loud, random, spontaneous and awesome because that’s who I am.

This change, this movement in my life feels GOOD. Even though we resist change sometimes, it’s so important to be open to it. Whereas in the past I’ve been terrified of change, this time it’s different. I chalk it up to knowing I can take it on–that confidence thing again! I also think that a big difference here is that this is coming from my core and is about who I want to be, not how I want to look or present myself to the world. If there was a lot of resistance to these changes, I wouldn’t make them because I’m learning that I am in charge and know what I need and trusting that intuition. And I think that for me to make lasting change and a real shift, it’s got to be something I want with my whole heart and feel good about making. So often we think about change as something we have to force ourselves to do or as a struggle, but that ignores the fact that we are the ones in control.

That’s a news flash: it’s not ED, the media, your parents, your friends, or anyone else that you have to answer to when things are said and done. It’s you and what you think of yourself that matters. Trust yourself, listen to your intuition, and ask yourself who you want to be? Find changes that feel good and lean into those–don’t worry about the changes that make you feel bad (chances are they’re for someone else).

I don’t know a better way to end all of this than to share some of my favourite cheese on the topic of inspiration and of course, you might as well have a little background music to reflect to.


What do you guys think about what I said about change?
How do you see your ideal self?
Do you ever write blog posts on random papers/napkins/your phone for later?

(Almost) wordless Wednesday

Today, in a (photographed) nut shell:

  • midnight snack

20120516-213223.jpg

  • breakfast attempt 1, with sour cottage cheese = fail

20120516-213232.jpg

  • breakfast attempt number 2, with chocolate chips = pure success

20120516-213236.jpg

  • my reaction to the rain/bad hair day conditions upon my decision to walk to Brescia today

20120516-213240.jpg

  • the products of our lab work today

20120516-213244.jpg

  • my PB and pumpkin butter sandwich with sprouts and carrots

20120516-213248.jpg

  • my vice (it’s decaf)

20120516-213252.jpg

  • my daily mile post for the day:
  • how i spent my afternoon: mother daughter time and pedicures
  • dinner: after just an apple as an afternoon snack, this came at a hangry point (bad idea, folks!) thus there are a few handfuls of unphotographed croutons that were absolutely necessary

20120516-213256.jpg

  • how I’m feeling: awesome, loving the positive feedback on last night’s post and really trying to carry all those realizations forward and live them out!

And that’s all. Promise to be back with tons of words soon.

Life is messy

Today ended up being a bit counter productive, but in the long run, these days are important.

I had an awesome rainy run this morning on the trails. I got lost a little and found myself walking a tree like a tight rope to get back to a path. It happens, and when it does you realize running on the road is oh so boring. I had Garmin issues and I was a soggy rat but I was smiling.

20120430-211552.jpg

My lunch was uber early since I worked up an appetite on the trails. Warning: this picture is terrible. But it’s a turkey and cheese sandwich with sprouts and mayo (no surprises here) and an apple.

20120430-211557.jpg

After lunch a hurricane hit my apartment, or maybe I tore everything out of my hallway and bedroom closets/drawers?  I worked away on it all afternoon, but I took a break to meet with a prof (about doing my Masters, but that will have to wait until after my nutrition degree is done and who knows what I’ll be passionate about by then, but still cool and I really did enjoy sociology so…I’m keeping my options open! RD with a Masters in Food Sociology? Does that exist? Maybe…or maybe I’ll have to pioneer it) and to have a session with my counsellor, which was a lot about the voices in my head. If that’s not stereotypical of a shrink session, what is? I’m just kidding…but seriously. I wrote down the things that my dominant (the disempowering voice I hear so much) voice (right now) says — things like “you’re meant to be fat. you’re not pretty enough. you’ll always be single. you’re lazy” — and the things my empowering voice says — “your deserve all the good in the world. you’re perfect. you are beautiful. you’re smart.” — and then committed to at least trying to entertain this positive voice more in my life. There’s a good goal if I’ve ever set one!

Anyways, I made some good progress in my apartment as the before/after below will show:

20120430-211647.jpg

20120430-211654.jpg

I also took a break for a snack that I didn’t get a photo of (I was hungry): Kashi organic wheat biscuits and peanut butter. Random but delicious. The ingredients list for the cereal is literally wheat, sugar, and natural flavours. Simple, yummy, easy!

And I whipped up a good dinner with some of the ingredients I know I should eat up before I go away for the week: a spinach salad with acorn squash, turkey, and cranberries (there was maple dressing in the mix, of course, and a few pecans). I think this is the first time I didn’t eat my acorn squash cut in half with a spoon. It was awesome so expect to see me spice it up with squash from now on.

20120430-211706.jpg

After spin tonight (the class was awesome — I used almost the same playlist as Friday since I was at a different gym but I changed the order around a bit since hindsight is 20/20), I was hungry!

My snack is more delicious than beautiful: a banana with peanut butter and coconut and chocolate chips. You know there were a few extra licks of peanut butter and I’m not really going to be ashamed to admit that.

20120430-211710.jpg

Now it’s time for me to:

a) sleep

b) read blogs

c) work on my summer to do list

d) clean

e) work on my freelance assignment

f) foam roll

I think b) is going to win. Then a), of course (I made sure my bedroom is clean so I have a nice place to crash soon). I’m reminding myself I’ll be able to write from my Grandma’s with my downtime and that my article isn’t due for another week (and I already have sources!) and trying not to let the anxious “you’ll never get it done” voice rule when I have never not gotten it done before…so there!

It’s impossible to believe that tomorrow is May, and I’m going to go ahead and set goals:

  • find my empowering voice — and write down what it says at least once a day
  • act like the person I want to be — i.e. get dressed in clothes that fit now and make me feel good, not in comfy clothes so I can work out or in clothes that are uncomfortably tight just to prove I can; eat things that I picture a healthy, happy version of me eating (not the same thing day after day) in a way that I would do so in front of people (i.e. chew?); take the time to take care of myself and my things (i.e. do my laundry and put it away where it belongs, do my dishes every night so I don’t wake up feeling lazy, paint my nails, etc.)
  • do more workouts with friends and outside (if this is an option, take it!)
  • do one thing every week just for the sake of fun (I played my violin the other day and as rusty as I was, it was bliss)
  • for every magazine I bring in, take two out (I have a problem in the form of hundreds of magazines)
  • make a vision board (I have wanted to do this for so long–who’s in?! for real!)
  • eat dessert with friends at least once a week (or more, but at least!)
  • read more books (before bed, when I’m “bored”, and when I’m killing time–rather than just texting, reading random things online, or worrying that I should be doing something productive)
And now methinks I should call it a night! I’ve got a bunch of cleaning to finish up tomorrow, a bike ride with a friend to look forward to (hoping for sunshine!), and maybe a yoga class if I’m feeling good. Oh, and errands. And packing. And smiling. Busy!

Have your set any goals for yourself lately? Care to share?
Do you hear different voices in your head? Any tips for listening to the “nice” one?
What’s your favourite way to eat squash?

 

Things to do when you can’t sleep

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…NOT. I am stressed. I know this for many reasons including the fact that I can’t sleep. For someone used to going to bed at 10:30 and waking up at 5:30, being awake at 2:30 (I tweeted to mark the time) is not ideal. I tossed and turned for a while and finally got hungry enough to just get up. I admittedly had a real coffee later than normal yesterday, but I think my mind racing had more to do with not being able to sleep. Eventually, I unset my alarm and got up, snacked, and worked on my take home exam/essay some more. Things to do besides worry about not being able to sleep:

  • read blogs
  • write in your journal
  • embrace the opportunity to have a true “midnight snack”
  • research wild trips you’ll likely never be able to go on—or find one you actually want to try! (I am particularly drawn to the semester long treks through NOLS)
  • finish the draft of an essay you’re worried about
  • read a book
  • paint your nails
  • clean
Those come from experience. Enjoy.

My midnight snack of choice was a boring bowl of greek yogurt that got more exciting when I added a spoonful of peanut butter. I think there’s a saying that a spoonful of peanut butter makes life complete? 😉 20120410-073052.jpg I almost repeated my morning snack, which was similar—greek yogurt with honey, cocoa, and a few Mini Eggs. I think my thoughts just caught up with me at night because I was going all day and didn’t have time for them to sink in or swirl around my head. After my morning post yesterday, I ended up spinning at the gym before heading to The Gazette. I ran into Nina and ended up eating lunch (turkey sandwich with leftover kale chips). I love seeing her, but realizing we are almost done this semester and that she might not be here next year makes me uber sad and reminds me of all the other good friends who are going to be friends from remote locations after this year :(! I worked for a bit but I started to get really anxious about my assignments so I went to the library. I saw Ellen, who has a knack for making me happier, and sat in the less stressful cafe part of the library where eating my afternoon granola bar wouldn’t piss everyone off and where my stress levels wouldn’t increase by association. 20120410-073032.jpg Afterwards, I went for a swim! Luckily I had company, otherwise I’d probably have bailed. I did a short set with more kicking than was originally planned to save my shoulder a bit of stress. It really didn’t hurt much, just felt tight, so I don’t know what to do. I have a massage (for my hip, mostly) on Thursday, but I think I’ll see if getting her to loosen up my oh so stressed back/neck/shoulders helps things out. I also have physio on Friday so I can bring it up there too! After the swim, I had dinner with Nina (spinach salad with leftover sweet potatoes, salmon, cranberries, and pecans) and after arming myself with Mini Eggs, we met Angela for a night of studying at Starbucks. Studying with friends makes me more likely to smile and not to go into tunnel vision about “never finishing this essay” or about “having nothing to do in the summer”—common worries for me during the final stretch here! So, even though it’s kind of a stressful time, I’m trying really hard to spend as much time with people as I can and to enjoy the last bit of time here! I had a few “OMG I AM SO GLAD I’M COMING BACK NEXT YEAR” moments yesterday. Not only does taking time to see people and to just slow down keep me sane and make me happy, it also is important since the semester is coming to an end and I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss these folks. And, tear. 20120410-073036.jpg This morning I woke up a little full from last night’s middle of the night snack, sad that I missed swim, but ready to get on with my day. I started things off with a few of my favourite things: cereal, coffee, and blogging. It’s on to working on my exam, trying to make it to campus, spinning, and teaching bootcamp. Busy is better than bored! Do you get stressed when things end/change? What do you do if you can’t sleep? What kind of trip would you go on if you had unlimited money and resources?  

Home stretch

In 3 days, this semester will be over! I only have one exam this semester and then I’ve got time off before summer school. Can’t wait is an understatement.

Yesterday was a productive day which didn’t feel much like Easter, except for the mini eggs I treated myself to for dessert. The Easter Bunny (my mother) delivered a family size bag on Saturday, so I put a decent amount in a container to last me a while and will take the rest to the Gazette office tomorrow to share with all the people who couldn’t make it home to obtain junk food from their families in the name of studying.

20120409-073905.jpg

Things started off with a pretty mundane breakfast.

20120409-073815.jpg

Then I spent a few hours at Starbucks (my version of the library), where I wrote Bonnie’s birthday post  and did a bit of homework while drinking copious amounts of coffee and snacking on an apple with nut butter.

20120409-073826.jpg

20120409-073831.jpg

When my butt was numb, I headed home to go for a run. Of course I managed to time my 30 minute run for the middle of the hour when it rained…but running in the rain doesn’t bother me as long as I’m warm, and warm I was.

20120409-073836.jpg

Yeah, the point of the picture is to show off my new shoes–which match my running jacket! I love it when life coordinates itself. I also love wearing brand new shoes on a muddy trail. Liberating!

20120409-073840.jpg

After my 30 minutes of bliss, I got greedy with giving myself permission to have awesome breaks and went to yoga for an hour of sweaty awesomeness. The class was a power class but luckily for my shoulder, which came alive during the class, it wasn’t that tough but was more of a stretch.

I did manage to catch the lyrics to one of the instructor’s songs I love. I proceeded to google it, download it on iTunes, and listen to it on repeat for the rest of the day.

When I got home and showered, even though I’d had a second apple in the car on the way to yoga to tide me over after my run, I was ready for lunch so I tossed together leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and a salad with cranberries and pecans.

It hit the spot! I went back to Starbucks (I have a problem) and I got down to work on my assignment due today. I finished most of it using plenty of decaf coffee as fuel. I also mowed down on a Kashi bar when my tummy started to talk to me.

20120409-073854.jpg

When I got home, I wanted something quick for dinner so I threw together stuff I had kicking around the fridge. I cooked beef and mushrooms and onions (oh red meat, I missed you…I felt a twinge of guilt but again, I’m trying to be more conscious about my meat choices and definitely am grateful to this cow), kale chips, and added some  leftover mashed potatoes to make a meal. Yum.

I finished up my assignment last night and headed to bed, expecting to fall asleep immediately. Instead, my mind raced until I let it all out in my journal. Lots on my mind…but at the end of the day I realized all I can do is do my best. Yes, it’s cheesy, but spending the day with me myself and I yesterday was awesome. It gave me the fuel I needed to write a personal essay about that topic—realizing that you come home to you at the end of the day and that you need to learn to be okay with that person first and foremost. Epiphany much. I’ll share that essay ASAP, as soon as it’s done serving it’s scholastic purposes.

And now it’s later than I thought it would be and I’ve checked breakfast and submitting my final portfolio for my writing class off the list. One of my courses is officially done, so that’s kind of a big deal.

Now I’m debating whether or not to head to the pool to attempt a swim with my shoulder. It’s fine but it I’m a bit anxious to swim since it likes to wake up during the middle of the day or a workout. Decisions…

How was your Easter?
Is school wrapping up for you?