Friday, March 22, 2013

Mastering Mind: Embracing Vacation Opportunities

The title of this post implies that I have trouble going on vacation and the truth is, I do.  I have the difficulty for 2 reasons. One, with my independent contractor status at work; if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  Two, I worry about leaving my clients for a week.

However, this new year and the Pilot’s new job has offered vacation opportunities that have just been too good to pass up.  So I’ve had to challenge myself to embrace these fun opportunities in appropriate and responsible ways.

In January, the Pilot was training in a new airplane for 3 weeks in Teterboro, NJ.  This presented the opportunity to fly to visit him in the middle of his trip and go across the river into New York (where I’ve never been).  This trip ended up being a long weekend trip from Saturday to Tuesday and because of the way my schedule works, I only missed one day of work!

Next week, I head to St. Thomas.  My father currently lives there, my Mom is down there visiting and the Pilot’s first flight at his new job is to (none other than) St. Thomas.  So I’m flying down there to join in the family fun.

I’ll be gone Tuesday to Tuesday, which is a full week of work, but if client’s want to see me next week they can squeeze themselves into my availability on Monday. 

I was also able to easily justify the cost of this trip; by traveling on off days (Tuesdays) and staying with the Pilot and then with my parents for free!!

Plus, I never took Spring Break vacations as a kid or in college, so why not embrace that idea now?!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mastering Spirit: First Day of Spring Blues

I know that Spring doesn’t typically bring about melancholy feelings, but this year Spring is being brought in with unseasonably cold temperatures.  Like a wind chill in the single digits.

Today it is definitely challenging my spirit.  It’s hard to remain positive and motivated to do anything when winter just keeps holding on.

However, a couple of weeks ago, The Pilot and I came up with the perfect solution to keep my spirits high during this lengthy weather transition.

We booked a vacation to St. Thomas next week!!!  (The same site as our honeymoon)


Monday, March 18, 2013

Mastering Body: I Want to Lose Weight

I know I’ve proclaimed this many times before.  And I also know that I’ve bragged about weight loss accomplishments.  However, the truth is, nothing seems to stick.  I count calories for awhile, then I stop. I cut out bread, or alcohol, or coffee and then I stop.  I try to add more fruit and vegetables and then I stop.

I am so used to eating what I like (which is rarely healthy), I can’t seem to stay away for very long.  And to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand it.

I am unhappy with the way my body looks (sorry to be a Debbie Downer and publically post negative self talk) and I have every reason to fight to be healthy.  My father is diabetic and has had open heart surgery. I know the consequences of my choices, yet I choose poorly anyway.

I often talk with client’s about how food is fulfilling some need within them, but I can’t for the life of me look inside and figure out what my psyche thinks I’m missing.  This is the one area where I really feel like my training failed me.  I really feel like I can’t fix me.

I know what I should be doing and I also know that I can do it (because I’ve done it before), but I just can’t seem to do it.  It’s very frustrating.

And for some reason, today, I can’t seem to focus on anything else.  So I had to share with you all;  I’m completely at a loss as to how to Master my Body.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mastering Mind: Blogging on Time

I had another Mastering Mind post planned for today, but since I basically completely forgot to blog, I thought I would change it up.

This blog has lived various lives. But for the last 6 weeks or so, it has begun to live the life I’ve been envisioning for it; 3 blog posts a week, each one themed either Mind, Body or Spirit.  I’ve also been trying very hard to have the blogs post at the same time on each of those 3 days (I read somewhere, that in order to increase readership, consistency is key).

However, that task (posting at the same time) has proved to be way more difficult that I ever would have thought.  On any given week, I usually have an idea of what I want to blog.  But, just because I know what I want to write about, doesn’t mean that I do it in a timely fashion.  I wait until the last minute and slap something together.

Today is no different, I knew what I wanted to blog about, but when I sat down to do it the words weren’t flowing.  I looked at the clock and had plenty of time before post time so I decided to step away and get other things done.

Some laundry, a 6 mile run and a shower later, I look back at the clock and realize that I’ve completely missed my post time.  Without even once, thinking about the blog from the time I walked way to the time I realized I’d messed up.

Now, today’s post is late and not what I had originally planned to talk about. But, I think this a good time to publically proclaim that I will come up with a better blog writing plan.

Like writing all 3 blogs on one day and schedule them to post accordingly. While it’s true that the consistency of my blog posting has improved, I really want to challenge myself to have the quality of the posts improve as well.

The only way to do that is to make a better plan and not slap something together at the last minute.  Wish me luck as I continue to improve the quality of this blog.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mastering Spirit: New Pope

I’m still sick and finding it extremely difficult to string coherent sentences together.  Luckily, this happened just in time to save me from posting something nonsensical today.

Once more information becomes available, I may share some more detailed thoughts.

But for now, I would just like to wish the Holy Father the best of luck. I’ll be praying for him.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mastering Body: Feeling Sick

I have managed to make it through most of this winter’s cold and flu season without feeling sick.  Until this weekend…

Saturday I felt fine during work, but then during my afternoon run, I really struggled.  I powered through and even went to my nephews birthday party that night.  After the party, the Pilot wanted to go meet up with a buddy for a few beers and I just knew I couldn’t do it.  I had the Pilot drop me off at home, told him to have a great time and I crawled into bed at about 9:30.

I slept off and on and into Sunday morning I progressively felt worse and worse each time I woke up.  Sore throat, scratchy voice, low energy, dizzy upon standing, labored breathing, and slightly achy.  I took yesterday “off,” as best I know how.  I still did laundry and dusted, but didn’t work out and tried to lay in bed.  The Pilot was amazingly attentive.  If he hadn’t responded so awesomely, I probably wouldn’t be a work today.

I feel better today than I did yesterday, but still not great.  I have zero concentration which made driving to work and therapy very difficult tasks.  But again, I’m going to power through.  I’m going to do less than I would on a completely healthy day, but more than I would do on a completely sick day.

When you are sick, do you muscle through and keep going?  Or do you rest and recuperate?  I try to find a balance between both approaches, but sometimes my body just won’t do as much as I want it to or it takes so long I get frustrated and stop.  everything feels so much more laborious when I’m sick.

I am incredibly thankful I am not down and out with the flu, but having a cold is frustrating because there is really nothing you can do other than let it run it’s course and I’m not a very patient person…

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mastering Mind: Flexibility

This week I took a big step and planned out my work outs.  I carefully looked at my schedule figuring out what I was capable of doing, on what day, at what time. Typically, I vaguely commit to working out and then do to a lack of any real planning and organization, something gets in the way and I don’t do it.

With this approach, I decided that Thursday was going to be my rest day.  I was working from 11 to 7 and seeing 6 clients during that time.  I knew there was no way I would work out before work and I knew I wouldn’t want to work out after that kind of day.

Then Wednesday came around and a string of several crises' got in the way of my day working out as I had envisioned (including my pre-planned work out).  Slowly, but surely, Thursday’s schedule started to shift and I realized I could work out on Thursday and make Wednesday my rest day.

This week, my commitment to working out was planned and strong.  Being that detailed, helped me remain committed to working out, instead of throwing in the towel like I would have on other weeks.  But, also, I wasn’t so hyper focused that I wasn’t able to problem solve and switch things around.

That was a great victory for this “all or nothing” girl!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mastering Spirit: What is Spirit Anyway?

My blog header alludes to the idea that Spirit is supposed to be tied with my religious identity as a Catholic woman and recently my posts have followed suited, especially with Confirmation right around the corner. 

But my Spirit really encompasses so much more. 

My religious spirit is Catholic.  But I also utilize other spiritual practices; yoga, meditation and Sanskrit chanting (to name a few).  My spirit also includes my soul, psyche and emotional well-being (as in “keeping your spirits up,” or “broken spirit”).

This is a short and long way of informing you, dear readers, that future Mastering Spirit posts might include other spiritual ideas, not just religious ones.

What does Spirit mean to you?  What topics would you write about, if you were blogging about Spirit?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mastering Body: Getting Reacquainted with the Long Run

As I mentioned in last week’s Mastering Body post,  I am starting to train for multiple half marathons throughout this race season.

The first race is Sunday March 24.  3 weeks away now!  In order to run this race, I’ve got to get back into distance running shape. Sounds easier than it is.

The first week of training the long run was only 4 miles, which was very manageable for me.  The following week, I was able to run all my prescribed runs, but my long run had to be shortened from 6 miles to 5 because of time constraints.  Then this week, running was just no on my radar.  I barely followed my plan at all, ran a horrible 7 miles and feel terrified to double that distance in 3 weeks.

However, after yesterdays run, I’m realizing 2 important lessons.

  1. Each shorter run really builds up your tolerance.  Last week when I ran as prescribed, each run felt better and better and I could have tackled the 6 miler with no problem.  And this week when I was barely focused on running, each run felt awful, my body and mind were not into it and took every once of energy I had just to make it to a long run of 7 miles (1 mile short of the planned 8).
  2. Training trickles over into all aspects of your life.  Even for “shorter” races like a half marathon.  I need to eat better, sleep better, stretch better and schedule my work outs better, so good things build on each other (like the week where all of my runs built on each other).

Now that I’ve made these realizations and connections this weeks training schedule and life plan looks very different.  Hopefully, next week I can report back a much better, more prepared feeling about having to run 13.1 miles in 2 weeks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mastering Mind: Deadlines

At job interviews when people ask me what my weaknesses are, I always answer, “I’m a perfectionist and a procrastinator.”

When projects are assigned, right off the bat, I typically have thousands of great ideas.  However, because of my perfectionistic tendencies, I become overwhelmed by my own ideas, buckle under the pressure, procrastinate and then end up turning in good (but not great or perfect) work.

Because of that process, deadlines are my best friend and worst enemy.  They are my best friend because at least they at least require the work to be completed, otherwise I could put it off for forever.  They are my worst enemy because, as they approach my work seems to get sloppier and more frenetic.

Today is my worst nightmare in regards to deadlines.  I started out this morning finishing up a work assignment that was actually due yesterday.  Now I am writing this post 15 minutes before it’s supposed to post.  And what am I actually supposed to be doing today?  Taxes!  I told the Pilot, my tax stuff would be organized and totaled by this weekend and told myself I would spend all day on Friday on it.  Well here is Friday and I haven’t even started!

I know I could do incredible work, if I learned to start earlier and budget my time better.  But, I only remember this procrastination cycle throughout my whole life (elementary, middle, high school and college).

My approach to work changed drastically in grad school.  And, as I write this, I can’t for the life of me remember, what motivated me to stay so on top of things.   But, even if I could, would that same attitude be what motivates me now?  I kind of doubt it.

I think my best approach at this point is to make mini deadlines, that keep me on track before the big deadline and tell someone (maybe the Pilot?) about the mini deadlines, so the accountability is there.

Although, I would really love to discover a bit more personal accountability and motivation.  That’s a deadline for another day.

How do you handle deadlines?  Do you crave the structure?  Buckle under pressure?  Do you avoid the project?  Or do you get it done days before it’s due?

Any advice you have, would be greatly appreciated!!