Tag Archives: writing

Unexpected Gift

via the Soulful Spoon

Weekend was extremely busy–some of this was my fault. I did choose to stay up to 4:00 AM on Friday night (technically Saturday morning). I also chose to stay up till 2:30 AM Saturday night (Sunday morning) to watch an NXT two-hour special. Side note: I’m now getting into professional wrestling. More on that in a different entry.

Therefore, despite all the coffee I drank Monday, and the Soda Stream “Red Bull”  I had at dinner last night, about half way through my three hour Organizations Theory class I was going to pass out.  I called Heath so that I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel going home, which I have done before–both the sleeping and the calling. My roommate just blamed it on the class, which certainly didn’t help, but I had feeling like taking a nap since lunch.

My original plan was to do like last week: wake up 6:30AM to do yoga, shower, breakfast, work 8-5PM, class 6:30 to 9:20PM, and then cardio for a little bit.

This week, 6:30 has been transformed into 6:50AM, I grabbed a shower and one of my home-made freezer breakfast burritos. I went through the rest of my day like the schedule above, because that’s the inflexible part. But, as I left the class, I realized I would be hurting myself if I went to do cardio.

Let me be clear, this cardio desire I had wasn’t a compulsion. It wasn’t punishment. It wasn’t to blast fat, to quote Denise Austin. I wanted to do cardio because I had been sitting for almost 12 hours with only a few breaks. I knew cardio would feel good for my body, which had almost been sedentary all day. So that’s why I was really proud of myself to put the breaks on and say “hold it–you might actually get hurt if you do this.” And, for once, ED didn’t scream in protest. I think he was tired too.

Heath made the suggestion on the way home that I do a video workout of some sort. I kind of poo-pooed the idea. But when I hung up and went inside the house, I realized that was precisely what my body needed. When I sit all day, my stupid tight hips get tighter. By the time I got home last night, they were aching. I took a moment, looked at my two Rodney Yee tapes and saw that there was a hip openers sequence.

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

So, last night when extremely sleepy, I did a gentle hip-openers sequence and the bonus restorative sequence (which honestly was just a lot of laying down, but I give no fucks). Thirty five total minutes on Monday! I’m thinking I should memorize the flow of that hip opener session so I can do it without Rodney. Some day, the seated wide-angle forward bend will be mine!

(Also, for your information, I learned if you look for “yoga gifs,” its mostly girls in yoga pants being sultry…sigh…great.)

Another gift I gave myself is a new way to journal. I am a daily email subscriber to Tiny Buddha. If you don’t already read their work, you should! I’t is daily bite-size enlightenment that always improves my mornings when I see it in my inbox.

I’ve been doing a daily gratitude journal for awhile now in the mornings that is separate from my regular evening journaling time. I am grateful for even the silliest stuff sometimes, like how I didn’t stress at all about being late to class last night. One thing I’m going to add to my gratitude journaling is this technique from this entry “3 Steps to Instantly Boost Your Self-Esteem.” While I’m doing pretty good on the self-esteem front lately, I loved the tips from their #2 suggestion:

Step 2: Create an activity diary for achievements, fun, and relaxation.

This step had the biggest impact upon my self-esteem by far. I was given instructions to list daily entries with an A (for Achievement), an F (for Fun), or an R (for Relaxation) besides each task or activity. I was also told to list small things for A’s to build up my confidence before listing bigger tasks.

These simple instructions transformed how I saw my time and, most importantly, how I viewed self-care. No longer did I think of fun and relaxation as frivolous or insignificant. I now saw them as equally valid to tasks and an important use of my time.

That’s such a wonderful idea! Yesterday I was pretty wound up about thinking how I had no time for doing anything for me. I proved myself wrong when, after I performed my Achievement (I read my chapter of my Orgs textbook that I had no desire to read during my lunch break…a seemingly small feat) and STILL had time to knock out a chapter of “The Golden Compass” by Phillip Pullman before I had to go back to work! I also allowed myself to light a soothing candle and read another chapter before I drifted to sleep as well. Scheduling self care like a boss.

smug face included.

I have a bad habit about playing hard (all nighters, days like last Monday) and having to rest hard because of burn out (NXT till 2:30 AM). Maybe this will help me give myself a priceless gift: balance.

How have you incorporated balance into your day lately?

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Filed under Adventures, Health, Mental Health, Project Enrichment, Yoga

First Full Week of 2015 (1/52 Week Yoga Challenge)

Happy Sunday Funday, dear readers!

I have been meaning to write this entry for awhile. Lot has happened in the short time we have been in 2015!

As you recall, this past week was my full first week back to work. This coming Monday, I’ve got school on top of it. Depending upon my tuition waiver (which may have a full time requirement), I’ll be one or two classes. Tomorrow, regardless of money though, will be my first day of Organization Theory. I’m rather excited for the course, although not so much the 8-5 work schedule followed by a class 6:30-9:20. Scratch that, 7:15 to 5. Why?

This first full week, we have free opportunities to try out the Fit/Rec center classes. Morning yoga will be a wonderful experience, I’m just certain of it. The earliness of 7:15 will not. On the bright side, if I have to sit all day and don’t have the time to lift, this will make my tight-hipped body feel much better.

Speaking of yoga, just in case you thought I forgot–

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

When you see this, you know I did my part for the week!

On week one of fifty-tw0, I went above and beyond my requirements! To ease myself back into doing yoga solo, I did this restorative sequence from the December 2014 issue of Yoga Journal. I lit some soothing  candles, and improvised in my room. I don’t have bolsters, just giant euro-sham pillows. I don’t have a block either, but I use my thrifted Poe anthology.

It's seriously the perfect size.

It’s seriously the perfect size.

I followed the instructions and took an hour to do this. The legs up the wall pose felt insanely good on my hips, which have been more tight than usual because of my 40+ hour work week.

The next day, I suggested to my roomie J that we do one of her Denise Austin videos. She suggested the “Fat Blasting Yoga.” Denise Austin is pretty early 2000s hokey and tries to turn yoga into aerobics , BUT she did a Sun Salutation vinyasa flow sequence throughout, and reminded everyone the importance of alignment constantly. I’d say a good 20 minutes were mostly performing flow sequences with modifications. I felt yoga-worked afterwards, if that makes sense. But, I am aware of the lack of training that she has, so if I need to use a yoga video to fulfill my yoga week requirements, I’ll stick to Rodney Yee tapes.

Overall, I am pleased with my performance. While I don’t have roll-over credit for this yoga scheme I’m doing, the fact I’ve done two more 30 minute chunks of yoga during week one is great!

Three more tidbits relating to this week. I have been in correspondence with Proud2Bme, an initiative of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which focuses on “building a nation where confidence rules”. It’s the place where I discovered Kate and her wonderful blog PB is Better than ED (a must-read for anyone alive on the planet). Kate, when I reached out to her, suggested I write for them as she has done in the past. Long story short, I have been accepted as an author for P2Bm! My first article is due January 30.

Basically, I am going to tell the story that I’ve been telling here for years–learning how to love my body through weightlifting. Telling this story on a public forum that will have my name attached is scary. It is scary, also, considering the fact that many of my friends and family will learn of my struggle. I know it has a happy ending because, hell, I’m living it. But the intimidation factor is huge.

Another tidbit is related to policy making in OK! I learned recently that a state legislator who I’ve known for a long time is coauthoring a bill about texting and driving. This is the “in” I’ve been wanting to have. He requested to read my policy analysis that I wrote on this topic for my first policy class this past fall. I hope it’s thorough enough for his needs. He’ll at least read the most important article, from which a lot of my content derives. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Lastly, as I was cleaning my room today, I watched the Director’s cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990) for GTGC. The beginning for me was challenging to get into (depictions of mental illness in media trigger some of my own anxieties), I enjoyed most of the film. The effects were delightfully gross out, not unlike John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). It didn’t drag like other 120 minuters I’ve seen. Craig Sheffer was very hot in this movie, and Cronenberg played creepy as if he didn’t know how to exist any other way.

It is LITERALLY as crazy as the poster looks.

Today, in my analysis, I’m going to justify why this film counts as a magical realism text. This is more of a formalist reading for me, but I feel like it deserves it. My other cohosts are going to talk about “Othering” and the AIDS epidemic of the 20th century. This episode should drop within the next week.

If you want to go waste an hour and a half, you can watch The Last Stand (with Arnie, love of my life) and listen to last week’s episode. Episode is definitely worth it though, so check them out.

Now I’m curious, how was your first week of 2015?

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Filed under Movies, Project Enrichment, Purchases, School, Writing, Yoga

Pick a Vein, Any Vein

She runs out of the store
weapon of choice in hand.

She was no longer being chased
by the fear of the stress of the night.

Now that she had her heart’s desire
everything was going to be okay.

She is now urgently consuming it
until her brain was bleached of its humanity
as it hurts to think of the alternative.

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Filed under Poetry, Writing

1/3

by Klaus Pichler

I talk about food a lot. However, there’s an underbelly, a darkside to what we consume daily that ought to consume our minds and consciences until it is solved. There is an ongoing problem occurring in the United States and throughout the world. The figure 1/3 may seem like a harmless fraction, but consider the implications of this statement.

According to a 2011 United Nations report, the world wastes 1/3 of the food it produces.

1/3, a harmless little fraction now represents a very large number, which in turn represents a very large problem.

Narrowing the problem slightly, a turn to look at the United States produces more staggering statistics. Each year, Americans waste nearly 1/4 to 1/2 to food it produces. Using the conservative figure, this can be in the range of 160 billion pounds of food wasted per year. Food waste is defined broadly by Anthony Gallow in “Consumer Food Waste in the U.S.” as “all food purchased (or produced at home) that is not actually ingested by humans” (13). In comparison to this staggering statistic, a figure cited by the non-profit organization “Food not Bombs” says the total amount to feed the hungry of the United States is that of only 4 billion pounds.

In the fast-paced, fast-food society of the United States of America, the consumer drives the production of a variety of resources. Capitalism, at its core, caters to this highly demanding mode of existence. Webster’s Standard Dictionary defines the noun resource as something “that is available for use”.  Under that definition, what happens when the multitude of resources are not available for use anymore?

Petroleum, natural gas, and water all fall under this concept of a resource that in the future may not be  readily available for use. Unfortunately, a very important commodity not contemplated using this concept is that of food. Food, despite its availability on the shelves of gas stations and in aluminum cans in food pantries, should be treated with the respect that these other difficult-to-renew resources receive even though this is typically not the case.

My proposed best solution to this problem is that of consumer education efforts.

The largest problem with educational programming is accountability—how will businesses and consumers be held responsible for the information they gather? They may be sent to mandatory food waste prevention trainings trainings, but how many will actually do anything with the information? The phrase “You can lead a horse to water…” definitely comes to mind in this instance. However, consumer education and prevention efforts will yield positive results across the board.

Eventual savings (somewhere to the tune of $150-160 billion dollars) will outweigh immediate costs of starting the program making efficiency high. It is highly feasible that this could be incorporated into public education and mandatory food-service trainings. The best part of educational programming is that teaching the consumer and the business the implications of food waste will hopefully encourage them to waste less on the most part thus making effectiveness high.

So what now?

Continue to talk about it. Tell everyone you know. Share the number 1/3. See what happens. People are already coming up with creative and innovative ways of conveying this information. Photographer Klaus Pichler’s new exhibit, entitled One Third displays food destined for disposal in various stages of decay, along with a tagline about where the food is from, energy needed to produce it, and the ingredients. This display, besides turning stomachs, is turning gears in the mind of its audience members. Pichler is looking for wide distribution to non-profits around the world in order to raise continuous awareness to the problem.

The goal in writing this blog entry is to raise awareness to motivate audience members to waste less food. The effort to raise mindfulness through the presentation of this may only get one person to consider not trashing their leftovers they bring home from a big meal, or consider eating the food they already possess instead of getting pizza delivered.

That’s okay though.

However, if that one person continues to make life choices that support the concept of decreasing food waste, that will be enough to consider my work and research on this issue a success.

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Filed under Food, Project Enrichment, School, Writing

Tales from a Dead Planet: 2

via Pinterest

Anna’s growing up. Instead of squishing the spider, or yelling at me to kill it for her, she scoops him up in her hand and takes him outside.

She brushes off her hands whenever she comes back in and says “I hadn’t seen anything alive but you in a long time.” She looks down at her arm and picks at a scab.

It was only a matter of time.

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Tales from a Dead Planet: 1

by Kubeen on DeviantArt

by Kubeen on DeviantArt

Her trembling hands gave her away. As she ties my arm with the tourniquet, I saw her eyes were sufficiently damp, assumedly regarding my future (or lack thereof). My hand reaches out to her out of instinct, but out of instinct, she takes a step back. The thin second skin of her blue latex gloves allowed her some comfort to touch my flesh, but, just like the AIDS scare you read about in all those history books, we weren’t sure how people got infected.

Some people refer to potential as a hope for future, some hope for a guidance counselor berating a heavily-eyelinered teen about wasting it. The Potential was not something you get yelled at for not having.

She steps forward again and takes her capped syringe from her pocket. A quick smile and soggy glance into her eyes told me that she was about to stick the needle in. I look away as I hear the small pop of the cap.

A painful pinching sensation runs up and down my right arm. It feels like a short eternity before the pain stops.

“Done,” she says in a voice that sounds like she has a bad head cold. “It’ll take four hours to react to the air, but that’s just a small price to pay for knowing for sure.”

The truly convenient thing about The Potential–oxidizes and turns a different color. All the old diseases required you to spin the blood in a centrifuge and add fancy chemicals, maybe take a DNA sample. I wish, though, there was something we could do for four hours as we watch, almost as if its a timelapse movie, for it to turn mold colored.

“And now, we wait.” She doesn’t meet my eyes as I can tell she already expects the worst.

“And now…we wait,” I repeat.

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Filed under Fiction, Writing

Separated

Coffee

via Ben Cumming

 Richard had forgotten why as he packed the last vestiges of his books and papers into the trunk of the car. He continued to forget why as he slept in Angela’s embrace, the closest thing to a free man he had ever been. He had tasted the bold taste of the new and fresh, like the cup of coffee he poured himself as he signed the final paper. He tried not to be reminded of Joann as Angela rummaged around in the refrigerator for the orange juice.

The coffee was hot and bitter.

A/N: This is a continuance of the short story “Separating” by John Updike.

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Filed under American Literature, English, Fiction, Writing