I’m Leaving- Never to Come Back Again

Why, yes, I did just quote a Jesse McCartney song. Yes, I really am still 13 years old.

But Jesse has it right. I’m leavin’ and I’m not coming back again. Am I leaving my job? Minnesota? Nope. Just the blog.🙂 Fernando created me a brand new shiny space all of my own called Purple Chicken. On that site, I’ll continue the same ramblings and crazy musings I posted here, but now I won’t be bound by WordPress limits. I hope to have Fernando occasionally post things, too, but that probably won’t happen because he shares information only a need-to-know basis, in which people usually don’t need to know. Sigh…

Signing off,

Hol🙂

5:45 am- What’s a Girl to Do?

Well, friends, it’s 5:45 am and I’ve been up for an hour. This has been an interesting morning. Sharing a bed with someone who has been coughing and blowing his nose for the past three days sure makes the nights interesting. At one point, Fernando coughed right in my face. Thanks- I love you, too, darling.

I finally got up and decided to be productive. Apparently to me productivity means playing on the computer. One of my 30 Before 30 goals was to take a monthlong Facebook hiatus, which started December 21. I considered making it longer because at present, being on Facebook feels like having teeth pulled. I don’t know why; this seems to happen to me every few years and I need a break.

Since I had nothing better to do this early morning and I can’t work out just yet because I hurt my neck, I decided to go back on Facebook since I’ve made it past the month mark.

Before the hiatus, I found myself wasting more than an hour every day of my life on Facebook. That’s just unnecessary. It became an excuse for why I couldn’t work out, why I couldn’t go for a walk, why I couldn’t do laundry… A website should not have that kind of hold on me. And let’s be honest, it’s not even that COOL! I’m willing to make those kinds of excuses for cross-stitching, but Facebook just shouldn’t merit that kind of attention.

While off of Facebook, I didn’t really miss it. I’m glad that it helps me stay connected to my friends, but it also frustrates me that we seem to have morphed into a society that feels a need to share every little thought that’s in our heads. So many of the posts are so whiny (mine included) that it makes me sad. What if instead of whining about our lives on social media, we actually stopped posting, got offline and DID something to improve our lives? Sometimes I find myself trying to think of funny status updates just so I can get more likes and that’s horrifyingly embarrassing. I shouldn’t care if people ‘like’ the things that happen in my life. I  seem to have developed this mentality that I have to post cool things in order to feel like my life has value.  That’s just gross!

I’d like to think that this experiment has broken my Facebook habit, and I think it has- at least for a while. I’ll probably slowly return to my old habits and need another break soon enough, but for now, I’ll settle for this.

PS. Stayed tuned for a cool update soon! I’ve got some big blog changes in the works!

Whole30

An interesting challenge that I’ve added to my life this year is called the Whole30.  Some of you may have heard of it- it’s a 30-day paleo eating challenge that a lot of people use as a nutritional reset. The challenge, just like most paleo eating plans, focuses on real food: meat, veggies, fruit, nuts and healthy fats. No processed anything- including sweeteners, snack foods and even meat with hidden ingredients (bye bye, grocery store rotisserie chicken)! My particular interest in the challenge was to learn to cook vegetables in a variety of ways (and learn to like them) and to wean myself off of the mostly processed food diet I seem to have adopted in the last few years.

I’m not a picky eater- in fact, there are only two foods in my life that I now refuse after trying them : papaya and blood sausage. I’m happy to try anything at least once, though I will say that I have yet to try liver or other organ meats on their own (I did enjoy haggis, though). I do have a can of sardines in the pantry, but haven’t quite been brave enough to bring that out.😉

My biggest problem is that I prefer processed foods. I’m not a very imaginative nor intuitive cook, and being in the kitchen kind of scares me. I don’t really even know how to fry an egg, and every time I try, it never quite turns out right. Fernando happens to be the exact opposite of me in the kitchen- he can pull together a fabulous dinner off the top of his head without having to consult 17 different websites like I do. I thank his mum for that- she told him growing up that he would likely not marry a girl that knew how to cook and so he’s been cooking since he was 12. Gracias, Gloria! I appreciate your wisdom more than you’ll ever know.

If you’re rolling your eyes at me right now because you remember all the other ill-fated food experiments I’ve attempted in the past (vegan, vegetarian…), don’t worry- my eyes are rolling with yours! I find it fun to take on different challenges and see what my body likes best. I’m learning that my body seems pretty happy without grains and dairy. I’m on day 11 of the challenge and I haven’t experienced a lot of the, erm, tummy trouble I’ve been facing lately. I do find it a struggle to eat so much meat, though. I usually lean toward the vegetarian end of the spectrum for a lot of ethical, nutritional and environmental reasons, so it’s been quite the process.

I’m also trying new foods. One of my all-time favorite foods is mashed potatoes, which is eliminated on this challenge because white potatoes aren’t allowed. Luckily, I found a great replacement: mashed cauliflower! I don’t particularly enjoy raw cauliflower, but this stuff is rad. I’ve eaten it almost every day and brought some to share with my colleagues, who gave it rave reviews! It’ll be on a permanent rotation in the household, I can assure you!

Oops- now that I’ve practically written a novel, I’ll stop yammering your ear off and go finish eating my sweet potato. Yum! After 11 days with no sugar, it seriously tastes like marshmallows.

#21: Clothes that fit

My 30 Before 30 list still doesn’t have 30 items on it (yet), but I’ve decided that’s ok! I’m fine with leaving room for new things to inspire me.🙂

Though the list isn’t complete, it is growing! Earlier this week I added a few new things to the list, but the one that’s going to take the most ongoing effort is # 21: Having clothes that fit! I’ve made multiple jokes about it for months, but my clothes haven’t fit in a long time. I gave in a purchased a few things in a bigger size, but for the most part I’ve just been stuffing myself into clothes that don’t (and shouldn’t) fit because I promise myself that I’ll “do something about it soon.” It’s not comfortable and it’s not attractive. I’m at a higher weight than I’ve ever been in my life. Almost every picture taken of me over the past year (or longer) has made me cringe. Fernando and I went to San Antonio earlier this year and all of the pictures disgust me so much I haven’t shared any of them, and it’s only gotten worse.

Fernando recently got a Google Glass, which is an Internet device you wear on your glasses. (For the record, yes, I think they are horribly dorky. But I did marry a horrible dork, so what was I expecting?) It has a ton of neat features, like the ability to take a picture by winking. Unfortunately, he likes to use that feature to take pictures of me at often unflattering angles, which is mildly amusing and completely disheartening when I see the results. I’m going to share a picture of the awfulness, keeping in mind that when I see these pictures, I hear Tim Allen’s voice in The Santa Clause when his usually-fit body has morphed into a plump jolly body upon his transition to his life as Santa, “Does this look like A LITTLE WEIGHT to you?!?”

purse

I don’t want to look like this anymore. I want to be proud of myself when I look in the mirror. I want to look at myself and see a strong woman that makes good choices for my health. I won’t be turning this blog into a weight loss blog and I won’t be posting numbers that I see on the scale regularly, but I am happy to report that over the last week, I’ve already lost some weight. I think that’s a good start, given that I survived a week of Christmas treats.🙂

I realize that this goal may not be as specific or measurable as others as I’m not setting a specific weight that I need to reach by the time I’m 30. I don’t want to, because I don’t want this journey to become a fight with the scale. I’m willing to set the metric as “feeling good in the clothes that are in my closet as of December 27th, 2013.” Maybe this journey will mean I’ll get so fit I’ll be able to buy new clothes- if that happens, great! If not, I will be just as happy fitting into the clothes I have now. Either way, I’m never giving up ice cream.😛

First item DONE!

It’s now Friday night and I am gearing up for the second busiest days of my work year tomorrow: winter commencement! I apologize to those of you that were promise Christmas newsletters and have not yet received them. My intentions are good, I promise, and they will be mailed soon- it just might be December 29th when you receive them.🙂 It’s going to be a busy day tomorrow and I fully intend to go to bed as soon as I get home around 7:30 pm. 

Despite the busyness, I’m happy to report that I’ve completed my first item from my 30 Before 30 list! Yay! Over the weekend, I learned how to tie a French embroidery knot, thanks to watching the same 22-second YouTube video about 1,259 times and my darling mum that also took time to figure it out with me.

Sometimes, the tricky thing about having a disability is that it takes an extra hand or four to work on projects that people with two functioning hands can do without help. Luckily, I figured out a way to make the darn knots work for me. (You should see the way I have to knit- ha!)

SUCCESS! See those little holly berries? Those would be my French knots! I’m finishing up a Futurama Christmas stitch project for Fernando. It probably won’t get done before Christmas. I tried…

FuturamaSanta

Starting… Now!

All the cool kids are doing it.

Yoga? No. Line dancing? Heck no! Cross-stitch? … Are you serious?

What am I talking about? 30 before 30! The hip, rad, groovy bucket list all the hipsters are throwing together these days. Why make a life bucket list that changes with the seasons when you can make one that is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable [depends on who you ask], Realistic, Time-related)? Of course, I’ll try to throw in a few nonsensical ones, too, for good measure. Life shouldn’t always be too structured!

I’ve probably had about 17 bucket lists over the years, and I’m fairly certain that the items I created on that list at age seven probably no longer apply (I never got that baby brother and I’m pretty sure I never had any authority on that subject…). However, there are several things I want to accomplish in life and haven’t really been working toward any of them.

Over the past year or so, I’ve become decreasingly active in almost every aspect of my life, with the exception of cross-stitching. I love cross-stitching so much that it has taken over my life and made me uninterested in lots of things. That worries me a bit. Most of my life these days involves cross-stitching, watching TV and eating junk food. It’s certainly not the worst life to live, but it seems so… disappointing.

You want to know something deeply disappointing? In the entire course of 2013, I have not read a single book. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I can’t cross-stitch while reading or exercising. I’M A LIBRARIAN THAT HASN’T READ IN A YEAR! I think they’re going to take away my library card!

Thus, a quest. A specific, measurable (yet hopefully not boring) quest to do 30 things in just under two years. I’m still building the list, but I’ll be posting the items on this page and will be blogging about them as they’re either in progress or have been completed. And- bonus!- I’ll actually have real things to write about in this blog!

Please, follow along as I navigate this new journey, and help me think of things worth adding to the list! Help me stop being such a cotton-headed ninny muggins and start spending my time doing remarkable things!

A Nice Little Rut

I’ve been stuck in a rut of sorts lately, and I don’t think I mind. Is that weird? I can’t decide if it’s weird. Lately, my life looks pretty much like this: wake up, make breakfast and lunch, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, cross-stitch, go to bed. It should be boring, but in a way, I find it so predictably comforting. I fear a little that I might be giving in to predictability too often. I’ve stopped making plans with a lot of my friends because I find it more comfortable to sit at home. I think that’s the weird part. Maybe it’s normal for newly-marrieds to feel this way?

Case in point: a friend from high school and I were supposed to get together a year and a half ago, the night before I left for Scotland. I ended up canceling because I was in a packing frenzy and was concerned that I would leave for the airport half-packed! Well, now we’re getting together this morning, a year and a half later! At that time, we were both dating. Now, we’re both married! At least we’ll have things to talk about!🙂 But why does it take me a year and a half to get together with people? I like them!

Some of my coworkers that also now fit into the ‘friend’ category are working on “30 Things to Do Before 30” lists. I have a bucket list, but it’s full of mostly vague ideas that I put together when I was 19. Most of them no longer apply. Even though it’s kind of a fad to have one of these lists, I like the idea of challenging myself to do things, because maybe it’ll break me out of this boring rut of predictability! Trouble is, I don’t even know what to put on it! I have a few ideas, including reading a few classics I’ve yet to experience and visiting a few places I’ve wanted to go. I have almost two years until I’m 30, and there are lots of things (great and little) that I could do. But where do I start? Any ideas?