Stress Ball

That’s the one word you can use to describe me today. And yesterday. And the day before.

My life has been hectic.

Work? Check. Personal life? Check.

It’s a good thing I’ve built a serious routine for during the week. Because sometimes there are days where I don’t want to think and would prefer to just go through the motions.At what point does a theory become an actual law? I swear the “Tuesdays are the worst day of the week” theory is catching on.

Either way, early yesterday morning my “auto pilot” was turned on. Nothing more for me to do other than to just let it rollllll…. 

I already touched on my morning being pretty standard and old ladyish. My night after work is fashioned into a similarly repetitive routine:

Attempt not to scream at a hooligan (let’s edit ourselves) on the way home. Bonus points for me if I don’t get close to hitting someone on a bike (pretty sure some of them have a death wish and seek me out during rush hour traffic).

Get home. Discuss commute with roommate. Also discuss one particular driver that almost killed me and how it’s not my fault. It never is. She agrees and acts appalled. Probably just to shut me up so she can finish watching DVR in peace as I run upstairs to change and head out to the gym.

Hit gym. Realize the ipod is about to die because someone forgot to charge it during work. Know that someone is me, but blame others if at all possible. 

Swear to not run because that’s what has been done the last two nights and it’s really time to switch it up a little.

End up running 2.8 miles anyway. Shake head because a conversation JUST happened with Megan about how I need to cut back on the running. Oops.

After becoming a hot mess and a half from all the treadmill action and 15 minutes on the elliptical and stairmill (for kicks and to work out some more of the rage), run into someone I know. Converse while hoping they don’t notice the sweat stain on my stomach or chest region (seriously?).

Come home to leftovers. Be sad baseball isn’t on, but find a way to work in the Cardinal allegiance for the night…Chicken sausage and yellow/orange peppers. Quite delicious even if you had searched desperately for green peppers at the store and could find none. 

And a rally towel from the NLCS game I went to earlier this month. It is now kept prominently placed in the kitchen.

What? Is that weird?

Probably. What else am I supposed to do with it?

After eating dinner then spending quality time with my pantry and a box of cereal, join roomie on couch for the rest of the evening. No talking. Just watching the screen.

Retreat to bedroom. Look at clothes and shoes on floor. Waste more time pondering picking them up than it actually would take to do so. Decide to leave them there.

Go to bed. Wake up. Be somewhat happier because it is no longer Tuesday.

Breath sigh of relief. Another Tuesday down and out of the way.

Success.

A Little Sunshine

Sometimes it just makes us feel better.

Even if it’s raining as I write this.

And even though it’s been a crazy week and a half (does this explain my random absences?), looking on the bright side can sometimes be helpful. Or necessary. Depending on the day. Like today. As it continues to rain.

And rain…

Anyway… let’s try this, shall we?-I heart my house, although we’re still getting used to it. Creaking wood floors, the vintage-style (i.e. “tiny”) bathroom with the worst placement of the toilet paper holder ever, the sky light in my bedroom (ok, not getting used to it and trying to find a classy way to remedy the situation other than duct tape some cardboard up there). But all in all, it’s becoming “home”. Slowly but surely.

A few have requested it, and you’ll see a pic or two in due time. But there’s still much to be done. Patience… ;)

-As much as I want to bronze it up on Lake Michigan in sunshine and 85-degree weather, the cool down into the low 70’s has been extremely beneficial for at least one thing. My lunch running dates with my buddy. We’re still not quite sure how far we’ve been running (seriously only about 20-25 minutes), but I’m loving the little break up of the work day and am possibly becoming a little more fond of trail running (never thought I’d say that- road runner for life, ya’ll!).

We have plans to run today, but it’s looking pretty dreary out there. Better luck tomorrow?- Working out a little during lunch also leaves time after work for things such as cruisin’ the new ‘hood with my new roomie. On Monday, we found a few interesting restaurants/late night haunts. Picked up some takeout menus. Mexican food until 4:00 in the morning? Where have you been all my life??? 

Then a bird pooped on her shoulder and that was the end of our walk. Win some/lose some.-Sometimes the internet stops working at your house (ahem, another reason I’ve been absent). When you get home at 10:00 at night and want to use it, this is a problem. Hopefully it’s just a minor issue that will be resolved soon. Otherwise, I guess it means I’ll just be that much more productive at unpacking the rest of the house tonight?

Bright side… breathe… there is a bright side with that one…

-Yesterday was my dear friend Annie’s birthday and I was invited over to her in-law’s place for dinner. They’re also the same family that took me in last Thanksgiving. I sort of love them. And love that her mother-in-law can make some ridiculously good fajitas.

I brought the cake.Obviously.

Annie requested a cookie cake this year. With my love of cookies and sugar, this was not a problem.  I just hope she doesn’t mind the simplicity- finding my way around the new kitchen was a little harder than I thought it would be (babysteps…).Happy Birthday, Annie!

The trip out to the ‘burbs to have birthday dinner with Annie and her in-laws worked out extremely well. Because I technically still have a lease at my old place, the opening was taken to swing by and throw down 25 minutes on the elliptical and walk a little on the tread while visiting with Mon (she’s holding it down at the complex still!) before showering off and heading to dinner.

Friends and fitness are important to me. I fit them in whenever I can.

Now, if only I could stop playing phone tag with a few other people…

*Oh and by the way, when it comes to comments:

- It’s true. I’ve mentioned it before, and yes, there are people out there that just don’t like fruit. I would be one of them. Or maybe I’m the only one. There hasn’t been an official headcount. There are exceptions to my “no fruit, please” rule. As in, think of the most nontraditional fruits you can. There’s a good possibility I’ll like them. Like avocados. Or coconut (nut or fruit? Jury is still out…). Or lemons/limes. And artificially flavored things like cherry twizzlers. But I’m thinking that probably doesn’t count. 

You have no idea how frustrating it is to go to a party or summer BBQ and the only dessert option is a fruit salad.

I mean, come on… you’ve GOT to be kidding me.

But anyway…

And I can’t believe so many of you have never been ghetto enough to do the wine bottle rolling pin! Pretty sure that’s all we used one year in college- none of us wanted to throw down the $5 to buy one. It made more sense to buy a bottle of wine for that much, use it for such, and ALSO get a drink while we’re at it.

Don’t ever question the logic of a college student.

You’ll only confuse yourself.

Have a good one!

*The cookie cake was made with Andrea @ Can You Stay For Dinner’s fabulous chewy cookie recipe (used 1 1/2 the recipe). She probably knows I stalk her recipes page often because her food is amazing. The icing is buttercream with a little milk added to make it easier to work with.

Sometimes I have happy thoughts…

I’m aware the last couple of posts have been nothing short of snarky.

It’s just been a weird and “off” two weeks. My apologies. 

I laughed at some of the comments about the retail girl incident. I worked retail, too. And am a firm believer that everyone should have at least one summer in customer service of some sort as to appreciate what customer service should and should not be. 

But that’s a discussion for another time. Along with some of you, I definitely did the “oh hello- oh oops, I’ve already greeted you” thing. So that’s why I wasn’t bothered until the 3rd or 4th round of her approaching me. She really did seem to not remember me from each prior greeting.

It was just really really odd. Or the best prank ever. Was I on candid camera?!?!

Anyway, as the title of today’s post suggests, I do have things I”m happy about right now.

Like the fact that I’m only working half a day on Friday to leave for St. Louis! This trip isn’t just about my half marathon. I’m also getting to see some of my best girls from college tomorrow night and spending time with my fam on Saturday and Sunday. Awesomesauce!

I’m also happy because even though I haven’t been able to run as much as I’d like (or hardly at all if we’re being specific), I still am happy on mornings like this when a solid workout at the gym happens. It was like a little tour of the workout machines- 20 minutes on the elliptical, 12 on the stairs, and a mile on the tread. Weeeee!

Not sure about you, but I become a huge ball of stress if I can’t use cardio as a release.

(Source)

Sorta like this.  So you can assume I feel exponentially better at the moment. And no longer feel the need to rage at any moment. You’re safe. And you’re welcome.

There’s a rumor that tonight will be involving baking and chocolate. Together.

My snarkiness has decreased immensely. It’s all good. :)

Also, if you don’t know Phampants, you should check him out! He’s up for a major award in the blogger world… partially due to all the race videos he’s done in the past. One of which I appeared in as a hot sweaty mess for all of 10 seconds. So I’m also up for this award. By proxy. Don’t tell me differently. 

If you feel like giving him some runnin’ love, head over and give him a shout!

Gotta get head to work so I can get paid (happy!). And also need to get my hands on some coffee (caffeine = happy!!!!).

Later kids!

Randmoness

Hey kids! Having a good Tuesday? Mon, Annie and I are still exploring all that Vegas has to offer. Because I have pretty awesome friends, Mon said she’d contribute a post while we were off frolicking in the desert. Funny thing is she wrote this post about burnout about a week before I actually experienced it. So you can imagine she was one of the peeps yelling at me to take a break. Luckily I did and was good as new!  Guess it happens to the best of us…

Anyways, enjoy:

Hello Friends, Mon here!  Apparently I wrote sufficiently enough on my last guest post for Miss Amy because she has requested my ramblings for another guest blog.  This makes number two!  Hooray!  Okay, let’s get to it shall we?

For this segment, I want to talk to you about rest, rest and MORE rest.  I know, I know, BLASPHEMY you say! I mean really Mon, with all of the things I tackle on a day to day basis, when do I actually have the time to rest?  Well, I’ll tell you how I found out the answer to this very question – the HARD way.

Let me first begin my setting the scene….

Stuck in a job that I absolutely hated, my outlet was to go home and ‘forget the day’. This included walking into the apartment, tearing off my clothes and quickly changing into gym gear to work off the loathing and self-pity for an hour or so. Upon my return home, I ate dinner, straightened the apartment, threw in some laundry, showered and settled into my dent on the couch for a couple of hours. I’d go to bed happy my routine was accomplished and spent the night dreaming of the day I no longer had to work at my ‘workplace of doom’.  OCD anyone?  Anyone?

My dream was finally attained on a Friday morning in February.  I was laid-off.  The word was music to my ears!  After getting the news, I returned to my desk, still gleeful but starting to feel this knot begin to develop somewhere in the middle of my chest.  Ten minutes later my cell rings.   The recruiter on the other end of the phone wants me to interview at a company on Monday.  Things are coming together perfectly! Yet this knot seems to be growing a little more.  I decide to ‘call it quits’ (horrible pun intended) and leave for home to immediately began my routine. I ran for the first time in a week due to a knee ‘twinge’ I was experiencing.  I ran because of the incredible urge to ‘run my feelings out’ and not think. 

The weekend consisted of more workouts and endless conversations with friends and family about what had and will happen now.  My brain was overworking and the knot began to expand into my entire core.  My body was aching and at times it seemed difficult to catch my breath. But my thought process was ‘if I stop now, I may lose my ambition to keep moving forward’. I don’t mean just the exercise part of the equation but also the parts that seemed to want to stay ‘On’ at every moment; ‘keep happy’ ‘keep motivated’ ‘keep positive’ ‘don’t shut anyone out’ ‘don’t meltdown’. And repeat.  After all, this IS what I wanted.  I should be more exhilarated than ever, right?

Sunday came around.  The ‘bad’ emotions started to hit me.  I felt the knot in my chest but also a knot forming in my throat thinking about my finances, the possibility of not finding another job soon and ‘OH MY GOD – what if I have to move in with someone until I’m back on my feet!’ So, I went to the gym.  I didn’t want these newfound emotions to bring me down.  I’d work out until I was happy again.  I mean, come on, I DID have an interview scheduled for the very next day! 

Monday came.  I was ON.  I nailed it.  I received news I had my new job by 3pm that afternoon and would be starting on Tuesday!  This is amazing!!  I need to workout!  I need to look amazing for my first impression on these new people! I have this knot in my chest still, but that’s okay, I’m superwoman and I’ll push through it! So I did. 

Tuesday came.  The environment is amazing.  The people are amazing.  My work is amazing.  I’m overjoyed!!  My day started two hours earlier than usual due to a longer commute and I was getting home later.  But ‘hey!! That’s okay!  I can do it!  I can do it all!’ (even though this knot seems to be getting worse).  So, I went to the gym!  I also accomplished the remainder of my routine and by the time I went to bed I felt like a million dollars.  The same thing happened Wednesday as well. Because hey – I’m superwoman!Then Thursday came.  I was utterly exhausted.  The knot was still there and my breathing was not how it should be.  I went to bed.  Friday came.  No gym.  Saturday and Sunday there was no desire whatsoever to return to the gym.  I was tired.  My body hurt. My chest hurt. I thought to myself, ‘maybe I’ll just quit trying to go to the gym and instead really watch my diet.’ I mean, hey, if you watch what you eat, you don’t necessarily need to exercise, right? As much as I wanted to agree with that statement, it disturbed me.  I had worked out regularly since I was 28 and was proud of it.  Not only am I stronger, but it’s my stress reliever.  So why all of the sudden is it causing me stress?  I’ll tell you why – I needed a BREAK.  I took the entire next week ‘off’.  I didn’t schedule a workout and I wasn’t upset for not going.

That week off was the best thing I could have done mentally and physically.  There was time to readjust myself to a new schedule and make the adjustment. The knot in my chest left and my breathing returned to normal.  I caught up on sleep and my body was given time to heal. I looked forward to exercise again.  I realized that even though really good things were happening, good things can still be very stressful.  Resting was the best thing I had ever incorporated into my new routine. 

Giving yourself the time to relax will recharge your body and mind in amazing ways.  Don’t be afraid to let yourself take some time off.  It does NOT mean you still aren’t a superhero, it just means that you are a superhero that needs a good nap now and then.

Have a good one, everyone! See you sooooon!  :)

Words of the Day

Let’s play, shall we?

1. Stress. It’s at work. It’s at home. It’s between work and home as I’ve been running around with all kinds of things to be taken care of (procrastinate much?). Recently, it can also be found on my face when I check out my bank statement. The weekend is coming.  If I’m not hiding out at my local watering hole, you can bet I’m still under the sheets of my bed (not sleeping, obviously, but still there).

2. Elliptical. It was a cross-training day for me last night. So I fit in 30 minutes and walked it out on the treadmill for a mile. I had no sadness that it was a rushed workout because my leg feels a little off.  To be honest, the “off” feeling helped me decide to chill out on running last week in hopes that I’d be 100% by my first day of training. Instead, I think it’s been steady at an 85%. Passable, yet not my best. It doesn’t hurt.  It just sometimes doesn’t feel “right”. If that makes any sense?

3. Lunch. Plans for another lunch outting were postponed and I had no backup food in the break room (I’m usually so good about this), so I grabbed something from the little cafeteria downstairs.This is not my standard salad fare… My eats have been a little out of the ordinary this week.  Which has been awesome (who doesn’t love buffalo chicken?), but it’s throwing me off. I need to get lunch back into check. I miss my routine. And sort of miss my boring salads.

I sound so old.

4. Football. It’s amazing to me how much hype this Bears and Packers game is getting. You really would think it’s the Super Bowl being played this weekend. Anyone watching?  Not sure where I’ll be yet, but can promise you it is on the agenda. The only thing on my agenda for Sunday, actually. Priorities.

5. Friday. I have to include this word because, well, THANK GOODNESS IT’S FINALLY HERE! I’m crashing hard tonight, but it’s a big weekend and I’m ready for it.

(Source)

So there you go.  Stress, Elliptical, Lunch, Football and Friday. I feel like that pretty much covers things. What’s your top word of the day?

Oh… and I like your responses to my Regis question. I’m pretty sure I’d love to see some Neil Patrick Harris action (hey mister- you do everything else, why not a talk show?).  I would not, however, like to see Kelly’s husband Mark on there.  I’m just not a fan of the husband and wife tag team.  I feel like a little too much personal info and flirtation would be shared.  And I’m not sure if I want to be ending each show with “I’ve Got You, Babe” at such early hours.  No thanks.

Weird

Thank you for confirming I was not the only one to find the Twilight poster unsettling!  And just really weird.

I’m currently trying to figure out something creative to do with it.  So far, the choices are either making it into a dartboard or drawing hearts on it and hanging it somewhere obvious to get reactions from people who come to visit.  Any better ones?

Because I had to leave work a little early yesterday, I took a short meal at my desk.  You know what’s weird?  When your whole lunch is green.Zucchini (leftover from the night before), broccoli and peas.

If I eat enough green, do you think I could possibly end up with an olive complexion? 

No?  Boo…. Oh well.  Just a thought.

I left work early because I had an appointment for a physical.  Nothing serious, just my yearly.  Which I skipped last year.  Mostly because I hate doctors and don’t like the hassle. 

What hassle, you ask?  Well, how about the waiting around for 40 minutes to actually see the doctor?  And have him in the room for a whole 10 minutes?  Or maybe it seems that every time I have to get a prescription filled, there’s a mix-up.  Then I wait for them to straighten it out for 25 minutes.  Oh wait, they actually didn’t do a thing and the guy that pretended to help me disappeared to the back in order to avoid my rage.  So then I leave the pharmacy without the prescription because it’s still going to be another 30 minutes.

Like I said… not a fan of the hassle.

But it’s cool.  I made it home in one piece.  And still had plenty of time left in my evening to get things done.

After dealing with the doctor mess, I had some pent-up energy. And needed a run. Even though a girl was already on my treadmill (the quiet one).  Since the last two workouts were on the elliptical, I just sucked it up and used the noisy treadmill.  I didn’t make any friends last night with that choice. 

I accepted that.  And actually had a pretty good run.  Because the girl beside me was clearly going to be running for a while, I just cranked it up and got in step with her.  Then faster.  It was really motivating.  :)  I did 4 miles at an 8:28 pace and felt pretty good about it.  Followed with walking a mile for cooldown. 

Ahhhh…. the stress of the day disappeared.  :)

That’s very cheesy.  But very true.

How do you channel your energy when  you’re full of rage?  I go both ways on this one.  Sometimes a good sweat session works.  Other times, all I want to do is go home and lay on the couch in self-pity with a glass of wine (or bottle?) within reach (probably not a good idea, but then again, I’m not perfect).

Oh… and I got a few comments about my posting schedule.  The majority of the time, I write about half of it at night and the other half the next day.  It just makes it easier with my schedule.  Plus, I’m less likely to forget about something.

That’s just how I roll.  Usually.  I have started completely over after writing an entire post before.  No fun…

How long does it take you to write a post?  When do you do it?  Am I just weird?

That last question can be answered not regarding the way I write.  And there is only one answer.  It is “yes”.

“A Mood”

Have you ever revisited a meal you used to have all the time?  A meal that you probably had at least twice a week for who knows how long and then all the sudden it just disappeared off the menu? 

I did last night with a mini veggie casserole.  Or like the egg souffle I used to make  minus the cottage cheese.  Mostly because I didn’t have any on hand.

Anyways, this is how it all went down…

First, sautee an obnoxious amount of vegetables (assume the veggie to egg ratio will be off-balance).Then, whisk a whole egg plus an egg white with a little milk and realize yes, you were right, the veggie to egg ratio is off.Pour it all into a ramekin.  You get bonus points if your ramekins are from 1980 or older- gotta love the 70’s flower power designs.  ;) Bake at 375 degrees until the egg has set and is maybe a little browned on top (depends on your oven, but mine was baking for a little over 20 minutes).  That’s your cue to add a mini corn muffin and some extra parmesan cheese as a topping.  Turn the oven off, and throw the ramekin back in for another 5 minutes or so.  Preciseness has never been my strong point when it comes to cooking. This shortcoming has rarely bothered me. Sometimes red wine goes with everything.  And clearly I had some before I sat down for dinner and Modern Family.  Sometimes I’m very impatient.

I used to never be a big red wine drinker.  But it has recently replaced white wine when I’m in “a mood”.

Running often helps pull me out of “a mood”.  But the workout room was busy (because of the size of my apartment’s work out room, 5 people would qualify as “busy”) and I got stuck on the obnoxiously loud treadmill.  The loud treadmill really messes with a girl.  It makes you want to go faster to get the run done and get off.  But, at the same time, you’d almost prefer to run slower because the faster you go, the noisier it gets.  Blah.  It’s hard for me to get annoyed by the good treadmill already being taken. Even if it is being used by the slowest walking person of all time.  I know I take up a lot of time on that thing.  So I try to be patient.  But you can guarantee that within 15 seconds of Mr. Slow Walker stepping off that treadmill, I had already stopped the monster I was on, jumped onto the good treadmill (or as I like to call it- MY treadmill), and was off and running. 

Most of the people who frequent my gym know I do serious time on it, so I’m pretty they were all breathing a sigh of relief that I switched ‘mills and that they weren’t risking hearing loss by continuing to be there.

I’m not kidding.  The second treadmill is THAT loud.

Rant over.  I got my 5 miles in.  So I won’t complain anymore. 

Oh and because I did the mid-run switcheroo, I’m totally guessing, but I’m pretty sure my pace was a little under 8:25 if my math skills serve me correctly.

Either way, I’m really glad I’ve been keeping at 5-mile runs during the week.  It makes me feel my rest day today is well deserved!  Now if only I’d be as focused about upping my game with the weights…

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