Friday Five~ Under the Wire

I have just about 20 minutes to get this Friday Five posted before its officially Saturday, but that’s pretty much how things have been going lately! I’ve been slightly sick for the last couple of days, plus with the sleeping issues I feel like I’m always just a few steps behind lately!

After all of my talk and anticipation, I am leaving on my vacation on Wednesday! Just 4 more days to go! Here are 5 things that I need to take care of in the next 4 days:

1. Work! Yes, I work every day up until I leave, so with commute about 10 hours a day will be committed to work

2. Pack! I have pulled out my suitcase and thrown some random clothes in it so far, but I need to put together outfits and figure out what I still need to pull together before I go.

3. Get my room together! While it’s not a complete mess, my room definitely needs some cleaning before I head out… namely the floor, my pantry & changing the sheets on my bed. My bathroom needs a good cleaning as well.

4. Get myself together! Trim my hair, manicure, pedicure, etc.

5. Stay sane! And get some rest!

On that note, I need to head to bed, I have an early day tomorrow.

Photo Catch-up

As I was uploading pictures from a recent walk and saw how many pictures I had not uploaded yet or shared with you all, I decided I really needed to do a quick photo catch-up blog from the last month! I’ll be posting my regular photo walk photos tomorrow, but here are some things that have been happening:

Our dog (ok technically she’s my roommate’s dog, but I still claim her) had surgery to remove part of her ear due to a malignant tumor. She is thankfully 100% cancer free and fully recovered now!

I randomly shot this photo of our backyard one day. We found out last night that apparently our yard is city property and they are going to put a road through it for new construction. The swing set would be torn down. (We rent, so of course this has been turned over to our landlord to dispute and is out of our hands).

Not a pretty shot of my wrapped leg while recovering from my injury. Thankfully I feel great now and will start running again after my vacation.

My textbooks for studying for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification

I went to the horse races for the first time ever! I won a few, lost a few and had a great day all around!

And we experienced summer-type weather up until just this past week, when fall arrived with a vengeance!

I’ll show you some of the signs of fall in tomorrow’s photo walk blog…

Sleep Disturbances

I think one of the main contributors to my melancholy mood of late has to do with the quality of sleep that I’ve been getting for the last couple of months. I wake up at least once every night, usually multiple times. Most of the time I fall back to sleep right away, but there are some nights when I am awake for at least an hour before I fall back asleep. There have even been 3 nights, including last night, when I am awake for 3 or more hours before I fall asleep again. If I work late or have the day off, this isn’t as much of a problem because I can just sleep a little later in the morning, but when I have to work early, it makes me drag for the entire day. And honestly I’m really not sleeping any later in the mornings after those nights. I wake up between 7 and 8 almost every day, even on those nights I wake up multiple times. I cannot remember the last time I slept through the entire night.

I’ve had sleep disturbances in the past, including intermittent insomnia over the years and one very notable period (about a week and a half to two weeks) where I couldn’t sleep at night at all and ended up grabbing a few hours in the morning or early afternoon each day. Most of the time these bouts of sleeplessness are accompanied by major stress or hormonal imbalances (insomnia around TOM). But this time I am not really under a lot of stress (though I do worry about money, so it’s a possible contributor). And I’m not aware of any hormonal imbalances happening, though I am at an age where its possible that I’m perimenopausal (and I think this is a definite possibility).

I don’t believe in taking sleep medication, though I have taken a homeopathic aid that helps calm my racing mind so I can sleep on occasion. But right now, my mind isn’t racing when I go to bed and I fall asleep easy, I just don’t stay asleep. I take a few other supplements that also help to promote restful sleep, but while I noticed the ability to fall asleep much quicker than before, I still wake up intermittently. And I should note that I don’t drink a lot of caffeine (an occasional soda or natural energy drink), or take any stimulants (guarana, green tea, etc.).

I’ve always slept well when it rains, but Seattle hasn’t seen a lot of rain lately (though we did get some during the day yesterday). I am hoping that we’ll get some overnight rain here soon and maybe that will help me sleep. Of course the other possibility is to evict the kitten, but she has always slept with me and it hasn’t been an issue in the past, so I don’t have the heart to do that.

In the meantime, I am going to try a few different things that might help me sleep better and hope that something does the trick. I really don’t like being so tired throughout the day, and when my mood gets affected as well, it’s just no fun for anyone!

Retreat and Regroup

Every once in a while, I need to retreat into myself and withdraw from the world for a little while. Lately I have really been feeling this need. Last night I withdrew, but didn’t completely close myself off from the people around me. Today I have closed myself away for a while to just sit with myself and figure out what my next step is. Of course, I will have to venture out at some point because I do have to go to work a little later, but for now I am embracing solitude.

While my need to retreat can sometimes indicate a bout of depression coming on, it doesn’t always mean this. Sometimes its just a hint that there is something out of balance in my life or something that just isn’t working quite right. I know that this, combined with the sudden change in the weather, is what is driving me right now.

For the last several weeks my life has felt like its running out of control with work and other obligations. I have cut back on several of these obligations, but am having a difficult time shifting gears back to what I need to be focusing on. Other changes in my life (mentioned in yesterday’s blog), have me re-assessing how I spend my time as well. Like figuring out what to do on Friday and Saturday nights now. Like looking for ways to meet new people that will fit with my very limited budget and time constraints.

I know that I won’t have a lot of time to really withdraw this week, I have way too much that has to get done before I leave on my trip. But I also know that I need to spend some time in solitude to really figure out what’s going on in my head and where I need to go next. The only certainties regarding my next step are my devotion to fitness, studying for my certification, and building my blog. Everything other than those things are possibilities for change.

In truth, I am not unhappy, though I am a little discontented with things the way they are now. This tells me that I definitely need to make a change. And I need to consider what I need to fulfill myself, not necessarily what others think I should do, when I am making changes.

Hopefully I will have some answers soon. Perhaps my trip will help me realize what I need to do next, since it will take me out of my regular day-to-day world. If not, at least it will provide me with some much-needed rest and relaxation time!

Odd Numbers

Life is about change and growth, welcoming people into your life and sadly saying goodbye to others. I have gone through a lot of transitions over the last year and a half, grown a lot and really come to know myself better than I ever really did before. The one thing that really hasn’t changed though, is that I usually feel like the odd one out. And with one of the newest transitions in my life, it has been brought to the forefront of my mind lately.

All of my friends are now paired up with someone and I am the only single person in the group. I still get together with friends one on one, but most events seem to have everyone partnered up together, creating an odd number when I’m there. My friends have never made me feel unwelcome at these events, but I definitely feel my singleness on occasion. And now that my last single friend has someone in her life, I feel it a little bit more. Especially since the times we usually used to hang out together are now spent with the new guy in her life.

Am I jealous? Maybe a little, but not so much that there is someone in her life now (or any of my married/ partnered friends’ lives) that takes time away from me, but because I want someone in my life too. At least most of the time I do, there are other times when I wonder if maybe I am better off remaining alone, or if being alone is what is meant for me. Afterall, I have been single for a really long time and have rarely dated during that time. I’m used to being on my own… to being a party of 1 (or 3, or 5); its safe. But it’s also lonely at times.

In our society, it seems like everyone is supposed to be in a couple. I often get pitying glances when I eat in a restaurant alone. I have friends offering advice on where to meet people and what websites to sign up for, and telling me just to hook up with someone for sex once in a while. And I have signed up with various internet dating sites over the years, but I haven’t had much luck. And while I don’t condemn anyone who goes for the casual hookup, I just can’t do that. I need more of a connection before I can be intimate with anyone, and that kind of connection doesn’t come in a night at a bar or a club.

I’ve always said that I don’t need a man in my life to be happy, and I don’t. I am totally happy most of the time on my own. But I know that having someone special in my life would only enrich it further. I still believe (most of the time), that there is someone out there for me, and that I will meet him when the time is right. But there are days when I really wish he would hurry up and get here!

Random updates

Just a few random updates on the Saturday night (that yes, I am spending sitting in front of my computer).

1. I promise to post some pictures soon! This blog has been without pictures for too long!!

2. My computer guru tells me he is close to figuring out my website and getting it ready to release

3. I wore my size 10 pants to work today!!!!!

4. The offending issue mentioned in yesterday’s blog has been discussed with the person in question and I have been assured that it was all a mis-understanding. I will move forward under this mindset.

5. It looks like I might be getting a car sometime in December. A co-worker is looking to get rid of theirs and offered to sell it to me cheap.

That’s really all I’ve got for tonight. I am trying to make sure that I am posting more frequently and am working on an entirely new format for the launch of my website, so my posts may be a bit random and/or brief over the next week and a half before my vacation!

Friday Five~ My Day

Its been a long time since I last posted a Friday Five (or posted blogs on back to back days). I had the idea this morning to do 5 things that I did today. The day started out awesome, but unfortunately hasn’t ended up that way… so here goes

1. Took a nice walk, about 2 miles, on a different route than I take to and from work.

2. Met my good friend Jeff at the Space Needle and spent time looking over Seattle and buying gifts to take home on my visit. We also ate lunch at Quincy’s while at the Seattle Center.

3. After the Needle, Jeff and I wandered around Pike Place Market, enjoyed some spiced cider (the weather has definitely turned to fall), and I picked up some marinated cheese curds (which ended up being my dinner).

4. Went grocery shopping and picked up some inexpensive lunches to get me through the next week and a half. Probably not the healthiest of choices, but not too bad considering my budget.

5. Had a mini personal crisis (and cried). Vague explanation: A person I just met said/did something that offended me last week and I thought that I had let it go, but when I was confronted with the person again today, discovered that I had not let it go and did not be around them. Normally, I would just not have anything to do with them and call it quits, but they are dating someone close to me, therefore I can’t avoid being around them. Plus I didn’t tell the person they are dating about it because they really like this new person and are really happy, so I have to figure out how to deal with it and/or let it go. Right now, I’m avoiding the situation completely, but that can’t go on forever.

 

So close…

A theme in my life right now seems to be “so close…”

1. My vacation is less than 2 weeks away

2. I weighed in at 165.4 lbs, less than .5 lbs away from a total of 50lbs lost

3. The size 10 pants I mistakenly bought a month or so ago now zip, but are just a little too snug for public wearing.

4. I am due for another promotion (and raise) November 1st

5. My new website/blog are almost ready. (I have enlisted the help of my computer guru to help workout the remaining glitches).

As you can see, I have some very big milestones/ events on the horizon, all of which should come to fruition over the next couple of weeks!! To say this is an exciting time for me might be an understatement… it’s truly a life-changing time for me!

What is Going On??

I have not blogged in so long! What the heck is going on?? Have I lost my passion for blogging? NO!! I just really need to work on my time management skills because life has gotten so busy and time is getting away from me. I need to make sure that I am finding time for the things that are most important to me in my very busy schedule right now… namely fitness and blogging. I am not doing a very good job with that right now.

Why am I so busy? Work hours have increased due to vacations this month, and my commute time has increased because I’m walking again (Yay!). Of course one of the vacations is my own, so I am busy getting ready for that as well. Then there’s studying. And social commitments. And extreme exhaustion!

So the details:
Work: As I stated, there are vacations happening at work, plus we just hired 2 brand new people who need training, this means I am working longer shifts (and sometimes 6 days) to make sure the store is fully staffed. Just yesterday I ended up leaving late because we were so busy. While this is a good thing for the wallet, it’s not so great for my focus and goals, because I have less time to commit to them and I am completely exhausted when I get home.

Fitness: My calf is feeling much better and I am back to my regular walking routine. I get some occasional tightness in my calf, but no pain. Of course, now that I am walking to work again, it means that my commute time has doubled. Of course I was walking all the time before so it’s really just back to normal, but since I’ve gotten so busy, it seems so much longer. I also restarted my strength workouts (lower body) this week as well. I will be gradually increasing my workouts until I am back up to normal in about 4-5 weeks.

Vacation: Three weeks from today I will be home for the first time in a year and a half! I am super excited of course. I can’t wait to see 4 very special people, plus anyone else I can happen to fit in. This means that I am trying to get everything together before then. I have things to buy, appointments to set, instructions to write, packing lists to make, cleaning to do, etc… I am completely burned out at work right now, so this makes this vacation so much more welcome and anticipated as well.

Studying: I was so excited to get my text books and set up a study plan that I went a little lot too ambitious when putting it together. I feel like I am so behind, when in reality, studying for my personal trainer certification does not have a due date. While ACE recommends allowing 3-6 months to take the exam, I have not registered yet and have time to prepare without trying to cram everything in right away. I’ve decided to ease back on my studying to allow more time for things like my blog, and am cutting back to an hour a day, with extra time on my days off as well.

Social: My roommate’s birthday was Monday, so we had a big football brunch on Sunday to celebrate (my roommate loves football). So many people came over and we had a really great day! Also school is back in session, so her son is back home, which means sit down dinners again and time spent talking to the kid ( in addition to the time I spend talking to his mom). These are all things I enjoy, but they also consume time, so I have to consider them when I am planning out my days.

Random: I am also still trying to build my website for my self-hosted blog. It is taking longer than anticipated, but I hope to be able to share it with you all soon (or at least before the end of the year). I joined an online dating site. I have a couple of friends who are using it… one chats with several guys every day, the other has already been on a date. I’ve gotten one very obscure, nonsensical message so far… oh well. And I’ve started a sort of virtual life coaching thing as well. My first task was to make a list of things that I am tolerating and to start eliminate them… it’s a pretty long list, but I have already eliminated 7 things and am working on more.

Really all of these things are great, it’s just that I am apparently terrible at managing my time! I am really working on that and will be posting here more frequently again!