Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowshoeing and Sunrises

Just a collection of cell phone pictures from my mornings on the way to school and our weekend snowshoeing trip. No editing or fancy filters, kind of grainy, but I like 'em.

School is going well, teaching is great, and I've been reading a lot lately. All in all, life is good.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh, Right...

A perk of leaving my house at 7 a.m.- sunrise as captured on my cell phone, no filters/editing

I suppose I never did the follow-up post to my 2011goals in review post. I know we're almost an entire month into 2012, but I figure I'll get these goals nailed down for posterity, so I can either revel in victory or toil under shame, depending upon how they work out.

As I mentioned, I think a huge issue last year was my glaring oversight in not making pre-grad school and during-grad school goals. This led me to decide that I would make a set of goals that were specific to January 1st- May 31st. That encompasses my entire second semester of grad school, plus all of my student teaching, plus the end of our lease here in Colorado. What happens come June 1st is truly completely up in the air. A lot depends upon where Bobby is working by then, where I might be working, where family members are in the U.S. and where we might be visiting them, etc. There is a possibility we may go month to month and stay in Colorado through August, maybe not. Basically, the only logical thing is to plan from January to May because that is the only thing I'm sure of at the moment. I'm also taking into consideration how much of a brutal, stressful time suck grad school+ student teaching is (something I had no idea about last January) which led to a significant paring down of any goals. In fact, I only have 3, as follows, in no particular order:

1. Work/Life- specifically Work/Relationship- balance: A lot of the particulars of this goal are personal to my, well, personal relationships, but let's just say that last semester was a big stressful wad of no social life and little to no fun/going out. This isn't good for me, or the people who put up with love me. Therefore, I set up my weekly schedule so that I do absolutely no lesson planning/homework on Friday night after school, all day Saturday, and Saturday night. This gives me two nights a week of guilt free, I'm not worrying about homework freedom. It also averts the problem of letting fear of finishing a project interfere with needed downtime, which I wrote about at length. Plus, it gives Bobby and I a guaranteed date night, or time for hanging out with friends, or making random day trips to Boulder/Denver, etc. And I get to stay out late/sleep in, because homework/lesson planning are not even options.

2. Graduate School and Student teaching: My goals here are simple and straightforward: successfully complete my student teaching (with all the reviews and lesson planning and grading and after school work and professional development that entails) and end the semester with another 4.0 in all of my grad classes. Come May I will have 27 hours towards my graduate degree and have all of the necessary training for my certification. I've kicked ass for the first half of this journey, and I want to finish strong.

3. Health and Fitness: Return to my former level of fitness and lose the 18 pounds I gained while on crutches. I know a lot of people think it's terrible to focus on a scale, but facts are facts: before breaking my foot, I was incredibly active and ate whatever I wanted, in moderation. After breaking my foot, I wasn't active at all, and I turned to food for entertainment/stress relief. There were several times when I wasn't hungry at all, was physically full, but was so bored and stressed that I would knock back dessert and sweet coffee and sodas because it was the only fun to be had when one is chained to a chair with a broken foot doing 5 hours of homework. I am not saying that everyone who gains 18 pounds does so because of inactivity and eating poorly, but for me, that is clearly the case. Further, only 1 pair of jeans fit, none of my professional slacks fit, and half of my button front shirts do not fit. Further still, in only two weeks of going back to my previous activity levels/eating habits, I have dropped 6 pounds. I'm not counting calories or obsessing, I'm just returning to my previous lifestyle of frequent, fun activity and eating mindfully. I went snowshoeing- one of my favorite activities- last week and was so out of shape that I had to stop after every single hill, no matter how moderate. This is not a feeling I enjoy, at all. I want to be fit again. I will be fit again. My specific goals in this arena are to do the following, weekly: 2 hours of cardio, 2 hours of yoga, and two sessions of weightlifting (full body, free weights). This schedule is necessary for my sanity in order to counteract all the time I am forced to sit for hours on end as I commute and lesson plan and do homework and grade papers.

4. Read 52 books in 2012: This is the only yearlong goal I'm making, because I can do this wherever I am in the world. I love using Goodreads to keep up with this easily, and it definitely motivated me to turn off the internet and pick up a book instead.

Really, 1-3 Jan-May goals all come back to this: organizing my time wisely. I'm trying to avoid the trap of feeling pressure to get homework done, not wanting to do it, forcing myself to sit at the computer, and then wasting 3 hours on the internet as I try to avoid said homework. If I can structure my weekly schedule more realistically/efficiently, I can easily have time for a social life and working out, and still be successful in school and student teaching. So far, it's going well. I think just keeping a laser focus on these three areas will keep me sane over the next few months, not to mention give me a lot of happiness and stress relief, too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year's!

This was Martinelli's Sparkling Apple-Cranberry. I highly recommend it for all the perennial DD's like me out there.
New Year's Eve was really the perfect kind of laid back but still fun and social night- exactly what I look for in a NYE experience. We picked up our friend, Matt, for a late dinner and then headed to a house party hosted by Bobby's co-workers. Lauren was one of those thoughtful hosts who made appetizers, put up pretty lights everywhere, and generally made sure we all had a good time. I only knew Bobby, Matt, and one of their co-workers, Christy, and it was fun to hang out with new people and talk to random strangers. We were up and out until 3 a.m. and unfortunately I woke up at 8:30 this morning, but if that's my only complaint I'm doing okay.

We spent New Year's Day eating a late breakfast at Whole Foods before getting a much needed pile of groceries to replenish the pantry that has been barely used all fall and early winter. Laundry and house chores and a 3 hour nap followed while Bobby picked up snowshoes- weird, this is a carbon copy of last year. It's 10:30 p.m. right now and I feel so terribly sleepy and fuzzy headed/dizzy that I can't even imagine how crappy I'd feel without said nap. I just finished making this soup on Jenna's recommendation, and I'm keeping myself awake by blogging while I wait for it to cool enough to food process- fascinating stuff, I know. Trust me, forming semi-coherent thoughts is about all I have right now, witty/interesting is a frill that requires more sleep. The first day of 2012 goals have gone well so far, but I'm much too tired to blog about that, so another time.

Tomorrow morning it's back to the grind with a 6 a.m. wake up before heading to school to plan and prep all day. I'm actually, in a weird way, kind of looking forward to getting back into a routine of school and teaching, if only because I'm looking forward to May when I will finally be certified. I have a feeling the next 5 months are going to be stressful, rewarding, overwhelming, and busy. They'll probably also fly by, if last semester is any indication.

Ok, off to food process and then drop from exhaustion. Merry fabulous 2012!