I want the world to know I burn for you

OK.  So here we are, almost a month in to 2014, and I feel quite behind.  Not behind where it counts, on my thesis (157 pages and counting) or on my books (finished the rough draft of Book 3, Book 1 is almost finished and ready to go to beta readers, and Book 2 is in its first round of edits), but on self-care, and setting my goals for this year.  Last year, I made a list of 10 goals, and I achieved six of them.  Not too shabby!  In the last month or so I’ve realized that I’m definitely a person who needs something to strive for, something to drive my nature.  2013 was SUCH an amazing year.  As soon as I got over the hump of my divorce and setting massive goals for myself, I went on to hit most of them — and feel really good about myself in the process.  So without further ado:

Goals for 2014:

1. Graduate.  Well, this is a no-brainer.  Right now I’m slated to graduate on May 15, 2014.  I’d say “fingers crossed”, but I don’t believe luck has anything to do with it.

2. Complete my Master’s thesis.  Obviously this goes along with 1.

3. Get a second job.  Ah, this is the toughie.  My hopeful plan is to start shopping my resume even before graduation, in the hopes of getting a summer job.  I’d love to be teaching this summer, and hopefully I’ll score a teaching position by fall.  But even if I don’t, I’ll need to find a second job to pay for my student loans.  Even if I have to work retail, I’ll have to grab something.  I’m fortunate enough to have a really great, secure day job right now that pays enough for me to live on (but probably not enough when the student loans start rolling in, come June).

4. Finish C25K.  I was doing SO WELL with this last year!  I made it all the way to Week 7 before arthritis sidelined me, and between school and the book, I gave up on it.  I restarted C25K this week, this time with a 1.0 incline, so I didn’t feel like I was completely back at square one.  So far, so good.  I’m doing Week 1, Day 3 today.  We’ll see how this goes.

5. Climb Bear Mountain.  I climbed Mt. Washington in September of 2013, and it was an amazing, amazing experience.  And one that I will never repeat.  In hindsight, with my physical issues, it was dangerous and foolhardy and I was in no way prepared for it.  But that doesn’t mean I want to stop climbing in general.  Drea suggested Bear Mountain in CT for this summer, and I think I’ll go for that with her.  Could be fun!  And at 1/3 the height of Washington, it isn’t nearly as dangerous.

6. Work out an adult budget.  *sigh*  I am so bad at this.  I’m great at paying my bills, I’m great at putting money away, I’m not so great at avoiding skidding into payday with minimal money in my checking account.  This needs to stop.  ESPECIALLY with the possibility that I very well may be living on my own come May, with student loans rolling in.

7. Stop having kittens over it and send the book out to more beta readers. Drea read Book 1 and she loved it.  She keeps asking for more.  I need to get over my ridiculous fear and send it to other people.

8. Get over my fears and ship the book to a publisher.  Damn right.

9. Work on my fire spinning, get more prolific with staff and flow wand.

10. Lose at least 10 lbs.  I’m on MyFitnessPal and I’m back to three times a week at the gym.  Hopefully this sticks this year.

I think that’s quite enough to be going on now.  Obviously I’m allowed to add goals as I go.

 

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Little Victories, Week 27

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

– Finished and sent off the final draft of my thesis prospectus.  I haven’t heard anything from Dr. LW, so I’m assuming that no news is good news and that my paper is on it’s way to (or on the desk of) the Dean of Graduate Studies, and I’m waiting for her response.  Approval or disapproval?  I’m trying not to assume the worst.  It’s definitely a bad habit of mine.

– Rearranged my room in my apartment.  Looks better.

– Attempted Week Five, Day 3 of C25K.  It didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but it went better than expected, if that makes sense.  The regimen is: walk 5 minutes, run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes.  I managed 12 minutes of running.  Not even close, BUT.  Considering that my last ‘record’ of how many minutes I could run at a stretch was 8?  I’m counting it as a victory.  And I’m going to keep redoing Week 5, Day 3 until I get it right.  I will do this.  It’s not easy, it’s definitely not easy at all, but I’m determined to work up to a 5K.  This will happen, no matter how long it takes.

Edit: FINISHED Week Five, Day Three of C25K!  It was awful but I did it and I am exhausted but so happy!

– Haven’t had a breakdown yet.  Fingers crossed.  The court date is on Monday, three days away.  I still haven’t completely wrapped my brain around it.  But I consider keeping my anxiety at bay, to the point where I can get through the day and function, a major victory, not a minor one.  A few years ago pressure of this magnitude would have sent me absolutely spiraling downward.  Not this time.  Not happening, no way, no how.

This weekend, I don’t have much on the ballot.  Going out for a friend’s birthday on Saturday night, and seeing David briefly on Sunday to go over some stuff before the divorce on Monday.  My main focus this weekend is going to be on breathing, and taking care of myself.  I don’t think I can remember dreading something this much in my life.  At least on Monday it will be done.

Also, next week, there is so much good coming up after Monday.  Going to NYC with my friend Nicki on Tuesday evening, seeing Marcy on either Wednesday or Thursday, and then taking the weekend off to go see friends in Massachusetts Friday – Sunday!

There’s not much going through my head right now…except to please, please, please let me hold myself together.  Please don’t fall apart.  Please don’t spiral downward into a ball of cringing anxiety.

Please have class and dignity and be a person you can be proud of for the rest of your life.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Little Victories, Week Twenty-Three (with bonus Wildfire recap)

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

I really should have come in here after Wildfire and do a proper recap, because it was an extraordinary trip that really lit me up (pun intended) and left me feeling fantastic.  I definitely suffered the “post-WF crash” after coming home (I didn’t start feeling like myself until around Thursday), but all in all, it was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to (hopefully) do it all over again in August (if I get a ticket! — we’ll find out on June 23rd)!

I talked a really big talk about being so assured that David and I would be fine going to Wildfire together, but NOT together (as in, hanging with the same people, but not actually camping together or being together at all).  The first night, my anxiety was almost crippling.  BUT.  I pushed through it, and we had an amazing time.  All of us.  There was no drama, there were no issues.  It was truly wonderful.  I’m so glad that we were able to put all of that baggage aside, so that we each could have a kickass weekend.

– I learned how to do fire staff at Wildfire.  I took four classes, I was kickass in two of them, and managed to keep my head above water in the last two.  I also did an impromptu affinity class with David and my friends Lyndsey and Matt, on Sunday, just playing around and practicing different tricks.  It was a lot of fun.  I lit up on both Saturday and Sunday evenings (Friday evening I did fans), and even though it was terrifying, spinning fire is one of the greatest natural highs you will ever get.  It’s like playing Prometheus or something.

 

 

Unfortunately, on Saturday night, while attempting a round-the-world with my brand new sexy staff, I accidentally clocked myself in the back of the head.  No harm done, but I did (briefly) catch my hair on fire.  I had a safety (David) who put the flames out instantly, before I even realized my bun was on fire.  The smell of burning hair really shook me up WAY more than the fact that dear God I just lit my hair on fire.  Lesson here, kids — if you have long hair, spray it down well with water before you spin fire.  Or just do what I did when I got home:

And cut it all off!

It was high time.  I had singed hair in the back, my hair had gotten seriously long (people were commenting on it) and because I can’t straighten it in the summer, I said “fuck it” and cropped it.  I. LOVE. IT.  It takes me about five minutes to get my hair styled in the morning.  No more messing with a straightening iron or tons of brushing or binding up when it gets too frizzy.  Love it.

– Set up my appointment to discuss the THIRD round of edits to my thesis prospectus, for next week.  Argh.  If the prospectus itself needs three edits (at least, who knows if it will need more?), what’s going to happen when we got to the actual thesis?  Can’t think about it, won’t be able to cope.

– This doesn’t TECHNICALLY count as a “little victory” for this week, but last week I ran C25K Week Five, Day 2…and did it the first try!  I can now run for 8 minutes at a stretch, no sweat!  (Well, okay, there was a lot of sweat, but I DID IT!)  Because I took a week off of running due to Wildfire and a particularly glorious sunburn (that made bra-wearing impossible), I’m going to dip back down to C25K Week Five, Day 1 today, and see where that takes me.  I made up my mind to not try and put a time limit on how fast I complete this, so I’m okay with holding back a little bit.

– Crazy Bruce has decided that after three years of weekly therapy sessions, I have finally “graduated” to bi-weekly sessions.  Instead of going every Wednesday, I will go every other Wednesday.  I was a little nervous at this idea, but he pointed out that, had the crap with my separation and divorce not happened, I would have reached this point a long time ago, since the reason why I first started seeing him (my anxiety and panic attacks) were almost entirely a thing of the past.  So rather than be nervous, I’m pretty proud of it.

PLANS FOR THIS WEEKEND!  My friend Jess is having a Tastefully Simple party tomorrow (really more a get together than anything) and we’re going over there tonight to help make up the samples.  Tomorrow: gym again (with any luck) and then cleaning the apartment, Jess’s party, and then off to Joe and Lyndsey’s for a spin jam (if the weather cooperates) or Cards Against Humanity (if it doesn’t).  Sunday I’m going to Mass at the retreat center with my father (it’s a once-a-year occurrence), and then…who knows?  Hopefully relaxing at some point.  Knitting has completely fallen off the radar in favor of fire spinning.  I really should try to get back into that…before throwing myself headlong into yet another round of prospectus rewrites.

And I will rise

I know I’ve been remiss in my updates, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks, what with filing for capstone, editing my prospectus and submitting it to the GSO, puppysitting last weekend, and running.  As well as work and still moving stuff (David’s roommates are moving in within the week and I still have a metric ton of shit in his apartment, ugh).

So this is a quick update.

– I’ve finished up to Week 5, Day 2 of C25K.  I am happy to say that I can now run for eight minutes at a stretch.  A few months ago, I couldn’t even do one.  I’m really, really happy with that.  The next step is run 20 minutes…so we’ll see how that goes.  I’m trying not to be hard on myself if I don’t succeed the first time.  I didn’t expect to be able to do eight minutes at a time on the first shot, but I did!

– Paperwork has been submitted to the GSO.  Now we play the waiting game.

– Most exciting of all…WILDFIRE IS TODAY!

 

….as for the fact that temperatures are predicted to reach 94 today and tomorrow (and possibly Sunday)?

That’s why there’s a lake.  And unlimited lemonade.

Half an hour left and then I’m free for a glorious three and a half days.

I.  Cannot.  Wait.
See you on the flip side!

Rather than what I’ve lost

One of the perks of having a roommate who works in the university registrar’s office is getting to find out what you got for grades the moment they’re handed in.  The deadline was last night at midnight, and Sam was able to check my grades today.

A and A.

4.0 a second time in a row.

As soon as I saw it on the computer screen, I became the total loser who was crying at work.

I kind of knew I had it in the bag.  I mean, Dr. S gave me perfect scores on every paper that he gave back to me.  Granted, the three that I didn’t get back (because it was the end of the semester) were all the biggest, most important papers…but I had a feeling I wouldn’t completely bomb them, which is what I would have had to do to not get the A.

But it never gets old, it really doesn’t.  I can’t wait until I actually see the grade on the website, see what my new cumulative GPA is, and can actually go public about it.

 

 

Timing is everything.  And timing might be very fitting, really.  Sometimes, having a good memory can be difficult.  I had a historian’s brain long before I set out to be a historian.  Dates, to me, are very important.  “It’s just another day” doesn’t register.  No, it isn’t just another day.  It is the only day of its kind, it will never pass this way again.  I remembered, Friday night, that Saturday, May 18th, 2013, would have been my five year dating anniversary with David.

On my way to the bar Friday night, for Samantha’s graduation party, I drove alone, and I listened to music, and I thought.  Usually when I’m in the car and listening to music, I think about loss.  I think about the things that aren’t, the things that should have been, and what can never be now.  I don’t usually drive, and think “Yeah, I’m good.”  Except last night, I did.

Part of it was due to a well-timed text from my close friend Kim, telling me how “fucking proud” she was of me for getting that 4.0.  Part of it was because I was thinking about how I had rocked my C25K run the day before.  These are things I didn’t do before.  This is not the person I was going to be, when I was married to David.

Don’t get me wrong.  The years I spent with David, from May 2008 to September 2011, were the best of my life, hands down, at least thus far.  They filled me up in a way nothing had before.  I was deliriously happy with him.  Because he made me happy.  Not because I made myself happy.  And then September happened, and the year and a half of indecision…and then the decision came, and I had to make myself happy.

I found myself.  I found things that made me happy, instead of him making me happy.  I went back to school.  I might have gone back anyway, if I’d been with David, but probably not, because he was never that concerned about it.  If I had told him I wanted to go back, he would have backed me to the hilt, but I don’t think he would have pressured me to do so, and I probably would not have.  Running?  Hell no.  I was good enough the way I was, right?  Overweight, out of shape, I was fine, right?

But look at me now.  Look what I’ve done.  I don’t say this to brag, I’m not trying to be immodest.  But for so long I have been thinking about everything I lost, everything I wouldn’t have.  A husband, security, a family, a house.  And that’s not true.  It will happen.  Just not right now.  Someday, with the right person.  But not right now, because the time isn’t right.

It doesn’t even matter.  Look at me now.  Look at all the things I had convinced myself I couldn’t do, that I am doing now.

Five years ago, I was happy with C’s.  I was just trying to keep my head afloat at school.  Straight A’s?  4.0?  HA.  But I did it.  Not once, but twice.  Two semesters in a row.  I could never even conceive of that when I was 24 years old.  Not even on the radar.  But I did it!  Twice!  And at a time in my life when everything was caving in, everything felt like it was falling apart.  As Jess said earlier, “It was a crap situation but you adjusted and totally BAMFed it.”

Running.  I was never a runner.  And now I go to the gym three times a week and I run my little heart out.  Even though Dr. L told my parents, back in 2005, that I should never do any high impact sports anymore, even though he said my body was prematurely aging because of the trauma of the accident.  I listened way too long, to those voices of doubt, that told me that I was too beat up and broken to do physical activity.  I’m done with that.  I’m going to finish training, I’m going to get to the point where I can run 5Ks, and I’m going to go further.  I’m going to listen to the words my father said to me, when he heard the doctor’s words: “Don’t let anyone limit you.”  

Because there are no limits.

I have looked, way too long, at what I have lost.  It’s really easy to do, in the dark of the night, going to bed by myself, or driving down a long stretch of highway when a familiar song comes on the radio.

But what I have lost is equal to, if not less than, what I have gained.  What I have.  What I am going to be.

And I drove, and I cried, and I thought about everything I have done, everything I have accomplished, since I left David in November of last year.  Look at what I have done.  Look at what else I’m going to do.  I don’t know if anyone understands how much these things mean to me — getting straight A’s, running a 5K, climbing Mt. Washington a third time, graduating with my Master’s.  I look at pictures on FB of my friends who were graduating this weekend, and I thought to myself, that’s going to be me within the year.

It is. I believe it.

Look what I’ve done.  Look what I’ve gained.  Look how beautiful this all is.

woman-standing-mountain-top-16240141

Little Victories, Week Twenty

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week, for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

– Finished moving everything out of my apartment.

– Revised and handed in my thesis prospectus.  It got an A 🙂  I’m meeting with Dr. LW on Monday to discuss the revisions necessary for the Graduate Studies Office, and working on my thesis for the summer months.

– Pushed through and finally, on the third try, completed C25K Week 4, Day 1.  It was an uphill battle but I did it.

– Completed Week 4, Day 2 today and felt fantastic.

Plans for the rest of the weekend involve: um…knitting and watching Kitchen Nightmares.  I think this is the plan 🙂

Little Victories, Week Nineteen

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week, for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

(It is blowing my mind that we are almost to the mid-point of the year)

– MOVED.  That seems like a massive victory, not a little one, but damn I am proud of it.  I now have my new place, in a bigger, brighter apartment, closer to graduate school and my friends.  And I couldn’t be happier with it (well, that’s a little bit of a lie.  I would be if we had a washer and dryer that were completely plugged in — landlord is coming this weekend to check and make sure there are no leaks — and doorknobs that weren’t loose).  But still.  Power is on, cable is on, move is all but finished!  Pictures hopefully after this weekend.  We’re almost done unpacking!

– Finished my last two papers for Dr. S and submitted them.  This means that I…

More than likely finished my last class for my Master’s work!  As long as I get an A- or higher in Dr. S’s class, I should be golden for being finished with my graduate studies classes.  All I should have left is thesis in the fall…but I won’t find out for an undetermined amount of time whether or not my prospectus has been accepted.  (Which reminds me…must finish prospectus edits this weekend…)

– Successfully convinced my friend Drea to buy a ticket to June Wildfire!

– After a week of inactivity (well, of gym absences, since, as my mom puts it, I was working my ass off carrying furniture and boxes up and down flights of stairs), I went to the gym on Thursday and completed Week 3 of C25K.  I think I am ready for Week 4, Day 1, but we’ll see tomorrow.  If it’s too difficult, I’ll redo Week 3, Day 3.  Slow and steady.  I am determined to do this!

On tap for the weekend: finishing my final paper for the semester, gym, meeting up with Drea for knitting and a little introduction to spinning (if the weather cooperates, which I doubt it will).  Then Mothers’ Day on Sunday — church, lunch with Mom, and then volunteering for work in the evening).

I think next week I might just take the whole week off to relax.  This has been a crazy busy month, and it isn’t even half over yet!

Little Victories, Week Seventeen

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week, for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

– Finished the rough draft of my Master’s thesis prospectus!  Twenty-two pages, and granted, it’s a rough draft, but it’s DONE.  And done earlier than my professor expected it to be.  Dr. LW was a little surprised, but seemed pleased, when I put it on her desk.  I should get the suggestions for revision sometime within the next few days.  Fingers crossed!

– Finished my term paper for Dr. S’s class.  Clocking in at a grand total of 28 pages (counting the title page and bibliography, so really only 26 pages of writing), it definitely was the major hump of the semester.  But it’s finished now, and there are only two papers (and the revisions for my prospectus) left!  So it looks like the semester is all downhill from here.  Let’s hope!

– Began Couch to 5K last week.
Friday, April 19 – Week 1, Day 1
Saturday, April 20 – Week 1, Day 2
Monday, April 22 – Week 1, Day 3
Wednesday, April 24 – Week 2, Day 1

And I feel really good about it!  I had to get some new sneakers because my old ones (purchased in 2009) were shot to hell.  I was going to just grab a cheap pair at Bob’s Stores, but when I went there, I wasn’t totally satisfied with the comfort of the less expensive shoes.  Then I slipped on a pair of the $49 Asics…and you know that moment that women claim to have when they buy their perfect wedding dress?  I had that moment with those shoes.  They were just right.  I didn’t mind paying the extra.  They were pretty much exactly what I was looking for.  I wore them all afternoon and evening last night, so hopefully when I hit the gym this afternoon for Week 2, Day 2, they’ll be somewhat broken in.  (I also bought a sports bra.  It was completely necessary.  My 38 DDD girls were not comfortable running in underwire)

– Had my last counseling session with D and DS.  I have to say it was bittersweet.  I will miss DS, but I don’t think I’ll miss the sessions, the rawness, the pain.  We are two months and two weeks away from our divorce date, and I think we’re good from here on out.

– Started getting my preliminary plans in place for the move, which will hopefully take place next weekend, May 4-5!  I can’t wait!

I’m finding it hard to believe that I’m one week away from moving, two weeks away from the end of the semester, and five weeks away from Wildfire!  I just…I can’t wrap my brain around it.  Seriously excited on a lot of fronts.  There are so many good things coming up right now, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the excitement.

Have a wonderful weekend!  My plans, you ask?  Gym this afternoon, then Knit Night at Drea’s.  Tomorrow…calling my grandparents in Florida, cleaning my apartment, tackling those two papers!  Sunday, Ikea with Samantha, and then up to Massachusetts for Tina’s Partylite/Cinco de Mayo party.  I can’t wait.  This weekend’s going to be a blast.

I said last night on Facebook, something that I haven’t felt was true up until now.

I’m nowhere near where I thought I wanted to be. But for the first time in a very, very long time, I feel like I’m on the right path to where I’m meant to go.