Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There'll be joy in the morning!

I love lists.

To-do lists, shopping lists, packing lists, this list of lists.

There's something satisfying about writing out a list and then checking it off. Actually, not so much checking it off as much as crossing it out with a big black marker. If I still had my to-do lists from college, that's exactly how they looked - handwritten lists on whatever paper I could find with big, black marks completely obliterating the task underneath.

These days, without classes and homework to keep track of on top of work, I'm not making as many lists. I also have so much more free time than I'm used to (I know, I graduated a year ago, but I'm still not completely accustomed to it), but that doesn't mean I'm accomplishing more. I'm hesitant to start any classes, huge projects, or theatrical endeavors because of the job hunt, but I still have all this personal time I could be doing a lot more with (and writing cover letters ALL the time does not make me very happy).

I just had to figure out my priorities and "schedule" my time accordingly.

My priorities these days can be summed up into four categories:

  1. Come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
  2. Build strong and successful relationships with my friends and family
  3. Become the best me I can be
  4. Be happy

Now, I've seen "life lists" and "bucket lists" and there are all sorts of things I know should do, but those are always daunting. If I'm supposed to do everything, I'll never feel like I get anything done.

So, when Eilonwy and I stumbled on this feel good list from a woman who started it as part of her depression therapy, I fell in love. I was inspired. And for my own personal Family Home Evening,I even started with a prayer, I designed a joy list of my own.

(click to enlarge)

Everything on my joy list falls under one of my priority categories, and all of them fall under "Be happy". It leaves plenty of room for the other necessities in life (groceries, laundry, cover letters), but ensures I'll make time each week for the things that are truly important. As necessary, I'll edit it from time to time (as soon as I get an apartment with a bathtub, take a bubble bath is going on the a la carte menu).

Here's to a happier life!

What would you put on your joy list?

Monday, August 16, 2010

All By Myself

I love having my own little apartment, all to myself. I know to some people it sounds reclusive or lonely, and maybe it is sometimes, but most of the time it's really perfect for my current situation.

Most of the time.

There are certain problems with living all by my lonesome.

For example:

Missing things - I'm highly organized and fairly predictable with where I put things, so anything going missing can be really disconcerting. Recently found - large whisk, angled makeup brush. Still missing - tape measure, one red flat (that's a shoe, boys). Where could they possibly be?

Stuck/broken zippers - I know Eilonwy will laugh about this, but I just got absolutely stuck in a zipper again. The skirt fit, but the zipper broke just as I finished zipping it up, and rendered it both unwearable and unzippable. Fortunately, my visiting teacher arrived as I was fighting with it, but she couldn't get it to move either. So I seam ripped my way out of it as we talked. Whatever works, right?

No divvying up of chores - If I want something cleaned/cooked/folded, I have to do it myself. Even for a small apartment, this can still be a lot of cleaning/cooking/folding.

The mess is always yours - I can see three pairs of shoes that should be put away from where I'm sitting. And they're all mine. I can't make anyone else put them away.

No one to talk to - I like being in charge of when I interact with other people, and not be surprised by roommate's friends I wasn't expecting. But sometimes, no one answers their phone or is online when I am in a social mood.

No one to hang out with - Again, I like knowing who is going to be in my house when, but sometimes there is no one here when I want them to be.

Only decision maker - This definitely can be a good thing, but just as one example - 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. I love cooking and food, but it gets old deciding what to eat all the time!

Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad, and I still love my home!

On a related note, this video and poem is awesome, click through if the frame gets cut off:

County fair, county fair, Everybody in town'll be there

As promised, this weekend involved petting goats and eating fried Oreos, plus a lot more fun times, at the Howard County Fair with the Bluebell family.

Big O and the friendly goat

Hey look! That's my hand! And a happy goat!

Bluebell and Little S check out a chick
Aww, sibling piglet love
The goat got a little too curious about the contents of Mr. Bluebell's pocket

Mmm, fried Oreos


Hang gliding!
The boys and I also threw darts at balloons and we all three won a prize! I decided that the carny didn't need correcting that I wasn't "Mama", as he kept calling me as he encouraged me (e.g. "Try it again, Mama!"). I'm just going for Coolest Fake Aunt these days, and since Little S' favorite thing was the dart throwing, and that was my treat, I definitely think I'm in the running!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Come down to DC

Remember how two years ago I said I was going to be a better tourist in my own town?

Yeah, I didn't so much come up with a plan to make it happen. And now that I'm job hunting, it's more realistic that I won't live in DC forever, something I never planned on doing anyway (especially since up until 4 years and 5 weeks ago, I never planned on living here in the first place.)

Now, I don't exactly have a plan or even a list of things I still need to see or do, but I have been doing better lately.

First, this summer I've had a small crew of people to have DC adventures with. They and our adventures deserve a whole blog post of their own. I split these cupcakes with Apple on one such outing (and a couple with Mr. T on my way home.)

Second, it's SUMMER! I have more energy, the sun is out longer, and I'm not in school!

Third, my current apartment really is more accessible to DC, and I've been braver about driving instead of just taking the metro.

Overall, I'm having a blast!

So, two weeks ago I took that long drive through Shenandoah.

Last Saturday, some girlfriends and I helped celebrate National Dance Day on the Mall. We got to see Nigel and Russell from So You Think You Can Dance, watch several performances of local groups, and dance a hip hop routine from Tabitha and Napoleon Duomo as sort of a flash mob. So great!

Yesterday, my car had to get some routine maintenance done that would take hours (30K miles - woohoo!), so it was a perfect day to explore a new neighborhood (14th and U, near Logan Circle) that was having a sidewalk sale. It wasn't as exciting as I was hoping and the participating shops were far more spread out than other places like Old Town or Georgetown, but I still enjoyed poking around. Not surprisingly, the other shoppers were young single women like myself, cute little families with babies, and gay men. I did manage to find a lovely ring and some cute earrings, see what all the fuss was about at Ben's Chili Bowl, eat a couple delicious cupcakes, and see the African-American Civil War Memorial. I capped off the day by showing an intern friend the Library of Congress.

This coming Saturday? Howard County Fair! I am so looking forward to petting a goat and eating something deep fried.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The girl who does yoga

Since Apple moved to town, I've been doing a lot more yoga. You see, she's a certified yoga instructor. So, if she or any of her yoga teacher friends want to practice teaching, or just want to get together and do yoga, I get invited along.

Okay, okay, so this has happened twice.


I like it. I like it enough, and know that she and I will continue to practice together, that I bought some yoga supplies today. I have a new mat, straps, and block, plus a mat sling and a DVD that came with the gear. To celebrate, I went to a yoga class at my gym.

So? You say. You bought a bunch of bike accessories and how often have you used them? You have an exercise ball, inflated, in your wee apartment and when was the last time you used that? Have you ever actually finished the Couch To 5K training?

Alright, so I could stand to go biking more. The exercise ball is the wrong size. And my right ankle is thrashed. Running is so far out of the question right now.

So why do I think yoga is going to stick?

1 - I need variety. After dancing for so many years in so many different styles, any one exercise is boring. Going somewhere on a bike or via my feet helps that, since there's a purpose, but since I have a gym membership and shouldn't let that go to waste, I mostly use exercise equipment, and "running" on an elliptical or pedaling away on a stationary bike is super boring. I have music and reading material. But if I switch it all up sometimes, I don't die of said boredom, plus I keep my muscles engaged and not used to doing the same thing all the time. So, yoga is one more thing I can do, and I'll continue to collect various workout accessories along the way. More than 10 pairs of dance shoes, remember?

2 - Other people teaching challenge me. If I'm on an elliptical, no one but me knows how fast, at what incline, or how long. Not so in a group or personal training setting. I'm still encouraged to modify if something isn't going well. I will make the full hour (with the exception, once and only once, of a kickboxing class that was way too full and my feet were killing me) and I will work hard.

3 - Apple is not just a teacher, she's a friend. This makes me want to work out with her even more.

4 - I like it. Even if my thought process goes something like this:

Minute 0-19: Alright, let's do this.

Minute 20-39: Gah. I can't do this. Why am I so unfit? Why does my right shoulder hurt when it's the left one that's messed up? What IS that pose?

Minute 40-60: Why don't I do this more often? This rules.

Especially today. After a very productive work day, very little internet time , and an hour of yoga? I'm feeling very good.

If only I had a bathtub to soak out some of this soreness.