January 25, 2012

I’m dragging pretty hard today after a long day yesterday. We were doing introductions/networking in my capstone class last night and that ran until 10:30. I didn’t get home until 11:15, and didn’t fall asleep until midnight. I still got up at my regular time of 5:45 though.
I’ve uncomfortably noticed how awkward I feel/am when I’m talking to large groups of people. One-on-one, meeting new people is no problem: I’m pretty good at controlling the word vomit. When I’m giving large presentations, I’m fine: the focus isn’t on me, but on the subject I’m presenting, so there’s no room for over-sharing. But when I get up in front of large groups and have to talk about myself, it’s just this awkward diarrhea of the mouth that I can’t control while at the same time knowing that I’m not controlling it and wanting so bad to STFU.
That was last night, during our classroom networking/introductions; it was so painful. I’m still trying to not obsess over it, but we all know how good I am about not vortexing through negative self-talk…
Quite simply, between reliving every awkward moment from last night in my head several times over, and the lack of sleep, I can’t wait to be unconscious.

But there are definitely some things I am grateful for:
  1. Fresh haircut: it actually has shape again!
  2. Being able to grocery shop in a small town in a small store at 8:00 at night. I had the whole place to myself, practically!
  3. I did a Sun Salutation after my workout today, and good gravy, did that ever feel good!
  4. I had a raspberry Life Saver today, which was a nice little treat.
  5. My mini herb garden in my office: I nearly dried them right in their pots, but I’ve moved them around and am trying to save them. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

January 18, 2012

My first day of class was on Tuesday, and I am taking the “capstone” early (before I finish my electives) so that I can get it out of the way in the beginning of the year, and not have to try to cram it into a shortened summer semester.
I assume that this highly-integrated class is going to be just like a thesis defense, except I don’t have a year to finish it, only a semester. And it’s a group project. Which, given my track record with group work through my MBA, this could be bad news.
That said, I’m very committed to learning as much as I can in this class, and starting work early, and working on it often. I will not get caught with my pants down as far as learning the material is concerned, which is exactly how I felt at the end of last semester.
Here’s some other things I’m feeling grateful for, in addition to not proverbially mooning anyone:
  1. My hand-blown drinking glass I got from Hale Farm. I’ve put a lot of gallons through it.
  2. New pants from the Ann Taylor Factory Outlet. I now have more than two pairs of pants in my wardrobe that fit!
  3. Taco night. Good god-particle, I love me some tacos.
  4. Audiobooks that I can listen to while pedaling nowhere on the recumbent bike at the gym.
  5. The feeling you get when you pull the covers up to your chin when it’s cold out. So snug!

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

Grace in Small Things #8

Busy week here in the Wycket world. I’ve been very dutiful in going to the gym, and I’ve been every day this week. Tomorrow will be my “off” day, and Friday my personal training session. I try to do a mix of intense cardio with light lifting, because my PT is all lifting/strength. Sometimes, though, I have to share the small gym with another gentleman who uses every machine in the gym (it’s a small gym), and it’s nearly impossible not to be in his way in some way, or to cycle in on one of the machines he’s using. Today was one of those days, so I just did intense cardio and called it a night.
I got Zumba for Christmas, but I have to re-arrange the basement so that the TV is closer to the “dance” area, which also requires me to move a huge bookcase, move the TV stand, buy a DVD player/requisite cords, and get a longer cable cord. So, Zumba has pretty much sat un-watched, un-danced to since Christmas. And, I really need to learn the steps, because a friend and I are signed up for a Zumba class at the local community college at the end of March, and neither she nor I want to be dancing in the opposite direction and backwards the whole time.
I feel good: I feel like this fitness regime is going to stick, but I realize it’s going to take a lot of commitment on my part: the pounds and inches don’t lose themselves.
Here’s some other things I’m feeling grateful for, on top of the runner’s high:
  1. New nail polish color, from eBay, OPI DS Extravagance, and it’s on my tootsies.
  2. A fuzzy cat, purring on my legs.
  3. My new Zentangle book, Yoga for the Brain, and a set of Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, from K, for Christmas.
  4. My nubbly blanket that I actually got on clearance from Cracker Barrel about a year ago. It’s fuzzy, soft, warm, and looks great.
  5. Flavored seltzer water, which is my new drink of choice: it’s inexpensive, has no sweetener, and comes in 1L containers. I go through about 1.25L a day. I’m finally getting my water in.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

Grace in Small Things #7

Today is my last day of my mini-vacation. I’m definitely ready to be back on a routine. Too much unstructured time leaves me all at loose ends. That said, I am not ready for the “get back into the swing of things” rush that always happens when one comes back from vacation.
I’m definitely feeling some gratitude this week, too:
  1. Having supportive people in my life, no matter how near or far.
  2. Pictures of sunny beaches, even if there are none around Cleveland for miles.
  3. In a similar vein, huge, wooly, comfy (if ugly) sweaters to stay warm with.
  4. Fuzzy socks.
  5. Long naps on a comfy couch.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

2011 Year-End Recap

It’s time for the 3rd Annual StyckyWycket look-back.  I’m recapping the year with a series of 27 questions, that really get to the meat of what happened.  For other year-end recaps:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Attended my first Lebowskifest.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I tried starting a second Day Zero Project, but to be honest, my heart wasn’t really in it. I couldn’t even find 101 things that I wanted to to. It was the perfect project for me three years ago, but I don’t think it’s as applicable today. For 2012, I’m going to scrap the Project, but have a small list of things that I want to get done in 2012. But, as far as “resolutions” go, I don’t have any nebulous ones.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one close to me, that I talk to on a regular basis, but two of my fellow high school classmates did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, thank god-particle. But the husband of my mother’s friend passed away very suddenly, and I get very sad every time I think about it.

5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed stateside again this year, but plans are in the works to head to Niagara Falls this year…like last year. We’ll see how that pans out, I guess.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More disposable income. More financial security. A better attitude and more patience and self-confidence.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The end of July, because I got to meet a long-time, transnational heretofore-only-by-internet friend and his wife as they toured the United States.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting myself into a personal training regime, and also seeing a therapist bi-weekly. Both have done wonders for my body and mind.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Biggest failure? Probably squandering opportunities I didn’t see for what they were, I guess. I realize that it’s a nebulous answer, but I don’t have anything that sticks out right now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Two bouts of strep throat in a year, which blew majorly. Also, the various strains and sprains of working out with improper form.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably the fee I paid for the Zentangle class I took this summer. I really enjoyed the gateway it opened up for me.

12. Where did most of your money go?
A toss up between the basic bills (added a car payment to the mix at the end of 2010), and continuing to pay down debt.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Finally getting to meet my longtime friend and his wife. Also, seeing Anthony Bourdain live. Seeing Charlie cross the finish line of his first official 5K was really exciting, too.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
The only real music that I listened to this year were songs off of my workout playlist. Everything else was podcast or audio-book related. I can tell you the songs that I loved hearing when they came up, though:
Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Gimme Sympathy, Metric
Help, I’m Alive, Metric
Young Blood, The Naked and Famous
Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
Creature, Phantods
Dog Days are Over, Florence + The Machine
Don’t Cry Out, Shiny Toy Guns
Club Can’t Handle Me, Flo Rida

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Getting happier.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter, I think, but much, much stronger.
– richer or poorer? Still pretty cash poor, but I’m doing better than last year.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d spent more time making art. I also wish I’d spent more time actually studying for the classes I was in, rather than trying to cram in everything in the last three weeks. That would have made life a lot easier….

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about what other people thought.

18. What was your favorite TV program?
I discovered the Cooking Channel, and Simply Baking is one of the only cooking shows that’s gone on my DVR, so I think that says a lot. So, when I did have time to watch TV, that’s what I lazy-watched. Of course, Justified came back for season 2, so I watched that religiously.

19. What were your favorite books of the year?
The Nerdist Way, Medium Raw, and Emotional Blackmail. I also read The Help, which was good, but not my favorite. I need to get into reading more fiction.

20. What was your favorite music (podcast) from this year?
I listened to a lot of Nerdist and Extra Hot Great podcasts: I think those stayed on my iPod and got listened to religiously throughout the year.

21. What were your favorite films of the year?
I loved seeing True Grit, and also really liked Sherlock Holmes.

22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I celebrated with a good friend of mine a joint birthday at Lola. I turned 27.

23. Who was the best new person you met?
I got to “meet” a lot of people this year, but the vast majority were not physical, and the one I finally “met” in person, I’ve known for 13 years. So, the best new person I met physically, this year, without knowing previously, was probably Sunshine.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Probably better documentation of my year as it went by: more pictures, more blog posts. It’s easier to remember when you have pictures and words. Breaking my spender would have helped out, too.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Jeans, Woot Shirt, long-sleeved undershirt, and boots on casual days. Business casual-to-almost-formal at the office. Dark denim, boots, and jackets on up-dressed days. Very few dresses.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Don’t feel the troll.