Right...it is November...how is that novel writing coming along? Well...in all honesty...I have not felt like sitting at Panera or Starbucks huddled behind my laptop. The weather is beautiful...and being outside seems like the best thing for my soul. There was a time when writing the words was what I needed...but I don't need that any more. I think it is okay that I haven't been feeling like barfing out new words for word counts. There is something else I have felt like doing...editing old words. What? Yes...editing. My NanoWrimo Novel from 2009 is still the one I am closest to finishing. It is the one I carry around with me...all...the...time. It is always in the back of my car...taunting me to read through it and get it closer to done. So, that is what I am doing. My novel...The Accidental Agent...is going to get another rebuff...and then...I will send it to my friend in Texas to read. I was supposed to do that last January before I visited her on my birthday. She hasn't asked me about it once. I think that means more. I know that she knows I will eventually send it to her. I know that it will happen...eventually.
Years ago...one of my old bosses called me out on something regarding my writing. She said that I never finished any of my novels because I was afraid of finishing. If I finished one, I would have to do something with it. She was absolutely right. Maybe the fear is subsiding...maybe finishing a novel no longer seems so impossible...ready, steady, here I go...
Friday, November 14, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
I am completely out of my element this November for National Novel Writing Month and it feels awesome. I have never written a Fantasy before...so the words are coming very slowly. I'm okay with this. Rather than count on the weekends to get 10-15K words...I'm getting back to the basics...I will write 2K words a day. I love the month of November...it gets colder...the fun of the holiday season starts...and I write a crappy first draft of a novel. I love having to adjust my life to be sure I have time to write. I love keeping track of my word count. I love that I can wear all of my boots. I love that each year I focus on something different. This year is all about balance...time with gym, time for soccer hooliganism, time for work, time for paying attention to my health, time for writing, time for sleep, time for play with friends and family, and time to just be. Each year I fear that delving into the writing world will bring back old habits...too much food, too little activity, and too much time in my own head. I have vowed to not let this happen this year. I have vowed to not eat my way through my novel writing adventure either. I think that is why I am focusing on the 2K words a day. I don't want to put myself in a situation where I have to sit and write for an entire day to catch up. So here is my November plan...10K steps a day...2K words a day...and time for work, sleep, and play. I got this. Happy November!!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Early on I deemed 2014 as the year for shaking things up…it was to be easy, breezy and full of fun. This year has not disappointed me one bit…and there are still two whole months to go!! So in keeping with the theme…why would my November writing adventure be any different? No chick lit novel writing this year…no funny, quirky female characters trying to figure out their life. This year…I’m switching it up entirely. Thanks to a thought posed by one of my friends during an 8 mile walk on Saturday. My entire life…I have been obsessed with dragons. Yet, I have never written about them or read about them. This is going to change…well the writing part. Let’s not expect miracles here…I’m a terrible reader…that is not going to change!!
So I guess I have declared a genre for NanoWrimo 2014…my novel will be a Fantasy. I need to start googling dragons and shape shifting. A little mythology. A little good versus evil. An epic love element will surely get created too. I have no clue what I’m doing. It feels really, really good. It is all about embracing the unfamiliar with open arms...
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Even if I don't give much attention to my writing throughout the year...it is a big part of what makes me...me. And in those moments when I think that it is not...I remember this note that my Grandma wrote to me a long, long time ago. What more motivation does a person need? So here we go, for the ninth year in a row...I am going to write a novel. It may never get finished. It may never be read by anyone other than me. It may sit on a shelf along with the eight others I have done before. I won't remember my characters names. I may not even remember the title. It doesn't matter. What does matter...is that I had fun and for one whole month...I made writing a priority in my life.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
|Me with a Clipboard - Drawn by my Mom|
I think I get nostalgic this time of year because I interviewed in late May...started in June...and most of my big career moves tend to happen in the Summer/Fall. I'm not anticipating anything big on the horizon...but I can definitely tell that I'm ready to slow down. I know that sounds strange...and I will always have a clipboard...but the stakes of what is on the clipboard don't have to be so high.
Monday, May 12, 2014
|New Goals...New Gym Bag...|
Did I ever tell you about the time I almost signed up for another marathon…but then stopped myself? I stopped myself not because of my ankle issue, but because I realized I was about to sabotage my own goals. When you train for a long distance…you put in time, focus, and you make sacrifices. I decided that I was not going to do that for a second year in a row. I want to have fun on a whim. I want to enjoy Friday nights. I want to go to camp. I need to finish what I started back in August 2011. Doing another marathon would have thrown me off course from my initial set of fitness goals for 2014.
My Fitness Goals for 2014:
* Complete an Indoor Tri [Done – March 23, 2014]
* Go to a Cycling Class [Done – May 2, 2014…and will go to more!!]
* 10K Steps a Day
* Attend (and Complete) an Adult Soccer Clinic
* Do Unassisted Pull-ups (five...let's say five of them)
* Get to Goal Weight
I think this is a good list. There are a few things to take me out of my comfort zone. For an introvert…that cycling class took more gumption then you would think. The soccer clinic feels even more challenging then the marathon…considering the fact that I have never played soccer…never played on any kind of team…do not take direction well…but I’m sure I have kicked a soccer ball…maybe? This activity may be my greatest feat yet. And believe me…I’m not just doing this because I know I have to get special shoes. I think I will be a better spectator and fan. I think it will be good to be a part of a team. I think it will good to do something that frightens me greatly. You learn great things outside of the comfort zone.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
|My pretend pancreas...|
So…the thing about Type 1 Diabetes is…it is not trivial. I have spent almost 27 years trivializing it and I don’t want to pay a price for that. I don’t keep it a secret. I’m totally fine with people knowing I have it. But the question is, do I accept that I have it? Really accept it? I wonder sometimes. I am lucky. I have an intuition. I trust it. I meander through my day knowing (based on how I feel) whether my blood sugar is high or low. I check it in the morning and then go about my day…never checking it again. I did a marathon without checking it once. I always figure out a work around. It always seems easier. I can’t keep doing this. It should not be easy. It is not trivial.
I am really, really lucky…in my almost 27 year relationship with my non-working pancreas…I have had very little complications. My eyes have had a few laser zaps to preserve my vision. I see my Retinologist two times a year to keep tabs on things. It is all about preservation…things never get better with your vision…but you can keep them from getting worse. This has been the only complication…until I went on vacation.
It was an amazing vacation. I think it was the first real vacation I have had since I started working the summer after my Junior Year of High School. It was so good, I forgot that I got a blister just above my right ankle from an amazing pair of Sandals. Two days later…it started to hurt…I looked down…it wasn’t pretty. I went to the Doctor at the Resort the next morning. I got a prescription for a topical medicine. I never went in the ocean again. I just had a bad feeling. It didn’t get any better. 19 days pass. I am worried. I go to my podiatrist…he has to use a scalpel to stir the healing process. I feel worse…then feel better. I go back in a week…he has to use a scalpel to stir the healing process. Are you sensing a pattern? Like anything…wound healing is a process…this will probably go on for a few more weeks.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
|Oh So Serious on the Bike...|
I am late with my event reporting...but I did indeed complete the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri on March 23. The event was really well run...even with the fire alarm. Yes...there was a fire alarm about 20 minutes before my wave was to start. The fire truck arrived (and yes there were cute firemen!!). I was so glad my wave time changed...otherwise...I would have been swimming or on the bikes when it happened. I was supposed to go first thing in the AM...but there was a husband and wife who wanted to be in the same wave...so I switched with them. I love it when events run smoothly...no glitches or problems...it was like the fire alarm didn't even happen.
I got to the pool nice and early and could swim a bit before and watch the wave ahead of me. I also figured out how to put the swim cap on...have never worn one of those before. A super serious swimmer was warming up too. A watch and all. It is our start time...two sisters are in the other lane. I'm sharing with the serious swimmer. We start. He is amazing...so fast...doesn't knock me...I know this guy is training for things way bigger then this. I'm moseying along doing my breaststroke...head above water...I don't even know how many lengths I got. I was having fun...being slow and at my measured pace and trying to stay out of the way of the serious contender.
The transition goes easily...I got to the bikes in plenty of time. I needed to get fitted because the bikes were different than the ones I was training on. I'm next to #61...my swim lane partner. He is hard core. We get to biking. The music is good. I'm into it. I love it when the sweat drips off and onto the bike...I view it as evidence of hard work. #61 is killing it. Lots of pictures are taken. Everyone is curious about #61...his speed...his distance...he appears to be famous at this Gym. Before I know it...the 30 minutes up and it is time for the run.
|Looks like I'm a speed demon...but I'm not...and that is okay...|
#61 is one of the guys to watch...people are continue to constantly check in on him and snapping his picture. So yes...there were way more pictures of myself that I really didn't need to see. #61 picks a treadmill. I pick one next to him...and on the aisle...I like to be on the aisle for some reason. They tell him the fastest run so far is 3.11 miles. He is unsure. I'm like...you got this. You can totally do it. And then I laugh and say...how funny is it that the fastest and slowest ended up together. We are back in race mode and in the zone. The run starts. I'm plugging along...no pain...it was great. I got up to 4.7 mph by the end. My goal was to run the entire 20 minutes...and I did. No walking. It was glorious.
In the After
What I loved most about the event is that being slow didn't matter...you are still part of the action and celebration. I have never experienced that before. I'm always last..at the end...the race is over and shut down by the time I come in. For this event...that wasn't the case. I was just as worthy as everyone else. That was a first!! It was great to me in the middle of things...with everyone at their own level...working hard. And...in case your were curious...#61 did win the event. And in 2015...I'm giving strong consideration to doing more than one of these Indoor Tris...one in Fairfax, one in Columbia, one in Sterling, and one in Springfield. It was that much fun...to train for...and complete.
|My first fitness goal of 2014...Done!!|
Monday, March 24, 2014
8 hour Work Days this Week (4): Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Spolier Alert: My cold cleared...and I did the Indoor Tri...my goal was to run not walk...I nailed it!!
Thursday, March 20, 2014
And then you are just down to one week before the big event!! Despite the St. Paddy's celebrating and soccer watching at the pub...it was still a good training week and my nutrition has been on point. I'm doing what I should be doing...checking my blood sugar...counting carbs...and no surprise...all my numbers are looking much better. I know that it doesn't define me...but when my blood sugars are good...I feel better about myself. (Truth - I still feel like I am a failure when my blood sugar is high. So...you know...I feel like a failure a lot.) Everything went according to plan training wise...except for the start of the week...Sunday is a running day...but I was having fun in Annapolis. I walked for 2.5 hours...so I gave myself a (.5) for that one. Truth be told, I think the Indoor Tri is going to be rough...I know I have been training...but I am still struggling when I bike and then run. My goal this go around was to run the entire time...no walking...so I will need to push hard and focus. 10 min Swim. 30 min Bike. 20 min Run. I can totally do this!!
8 hour Work Days this Week (3): Monday, Thursday, and Friday
Spolier Alert: Week 8 of training will be complicated by a crummy, gross cold...
8 hour Work Days this Week (3): Monday, Thursday, and Friday
Spolier Alert: Week 8 of training will be complicated by a crummy, gross cold...
|On my nutrition game...stress eating at work...|
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Does each year get easier? Maybe. Does the level of missing diminish? Not that I can tell...but I think that it is a good thing...it is all the love...it never stops. In the first year of missing someone...you mark the day they left with every passing month. We did this with Grandpa (December 14, 2007) in our Year of Firsts in 2008. We did this with Grandma too (March 18, 2011)...in our Year of Firsts in 2011/2012. The span of time between December and March is always tough...I think because as much as you want to remember all of the time before...you hold the time during closer...the last months, weeks, days, and hours. I was lucky to have that time with both...that doesn't always happen. It is a sacred space...but you have to keep moving forward...no dwelling allowed. That is not what my Grandma would want.
Three years ago tonight, my Grandma was finally free to dance among the clouds. She would want me to be smiling (check), wearing my hair down - because you look prettier that way (check), enjoying an alcoholic beverage (check), and being happy (check).
Monday, March 10, 2014
You would think that soccer fandom would cut into my training time...but now that the DC United Season has started up again...I will actually flip back to being even more on my game. Especially on the weekends. It is not just the motivation of watching soccer live...but in having to manage my time better. I have to admit, the one thing that will be better about this season is that I will not be completely exhausted and struggling to walk for almost all of the home matches. I never missed a game...no matter how many miles I had to get...even 26 of them didn't hold me back.
8 hour Work Days this Week (4): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
|Back at home...|
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I have been thinking a lot about time...making better use of it...respecting it...trying not to waste it. One of my friends called me out on something a few weeks ago...as I was talking about my training for the Indoor Tri...they said that it seemed like I was filling my time with yet another race instead of focusing on other things that I should be giving more attention too. There may be a point to that...but there are worse things to fill my time with. For example, working longer hours at work (been there and working to correct that) or consuming an enormous amount of carbs (been there and will not do that again). As I get better at working only 8 hour days, I will have more time. All of that time doesn't need to be soaked up on dates with Gym.
So in the funny way life works, I ran into a work colleague today. They also write. They were pestering me about my writing. They were insisting that I make time to do it everyday...even if just for 15 minutes...even if I am just editing. I suddenly remembered...yes...writing...that other thing I do. The thing I would love to do every day...day in and day out. The thing I really wanted to do when I grew up...to be a writer/novelist. One of my dreams. Other than blogging...I am not doing anything to make it happen.
This needs to change. I know that if I work at it, I can do it. I do have a track record for accomplishing my other dreams...
* Get Driver's License on 16th Birthday
* Get an A on my High School English Term Paper
* Get a Government Job (to pay for school and to have health insurance)
* Have a Job Keeping Important Papers Organized (I was a weird kid...what can I say?)
* Volunteer at Camp Fantastic (and a few years later...to get dinner time Med Line to run efficiently)
* Finish a Marathon
Why should being a novelist be any different? There are (of course) other dreams on my list. Your life should always be filled with them, right? Otherwise...what is the point?
Sunday, March 2, 2014
|A little bit of snow still at the Soccer Plex...|
This week compared to last week was a whole new world...it was almost perfect. For some reason, I have not been on my strength training game. I'm starting to think that maybe it is because I am enjoying the swimming so much. It clears my head in much the same way that strength training does. I'll go with that. I'm still happy with my progress this week. Instead of strength training on Wednesday...I got some good quality time with the Elliptical Machine. It felt really good. The other thing I did this week was take my Rest Days. It also helped I think.
My one lesson...wasn't really a lesson at all. It was a verification of what I did for the half and full marathon training. I never wore heels...it was the hardest part of training. On Thursday I wore my favorite high heeled boots...and then did a swim / run. Big Mistake. I will not do that again. I am allowing myself to wear fun shoes...but I should not do so on days when I need to run. Noted.
I'm feeling really good. I hit the Maryland Soccer Plex on Sunday AM for a nice run...the weather was perfect...shorts and tee shirt weather but there was still snow on the ground. I loved it. I saw VA Gym twice to get in two swims...I even had my own swim lane both days!! This was also the first week that I had zero skips on my plan...all X's across the board. That always feels good. There is definitely a relationship now between my success in getting to the gym and the hours I put in at work. If nothing else, the added two hours of travel to swim has helped me to prioritize my time better. I think this is a good thing.
8 hour Work Days this Week (5): Yep...Monday - Friday!!!
|Week 5 - Nailed It!!!|
Sunday, February 23, 2014
So yes...I think if I were to take a "bye" week...it would be this week. I started strong...a bike/run on Monday and a 40 minute swim on Tuesday. Admittedly, after Tuesday, everything fell apart. It ended up being a weird week. I let work rule me. I let others things rule me. But, luckily, there is a whole new week ahead of me to get back on my game. I'm at the halfway point in my 8 week training, there is much work to be done. I like work...so I got this!!
8 hour Work Days this week (1): Friday
Note: The above data says it all...
8 hour Work Days this week (1): Friday
Note: The above data says it all...
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
|Take the time to look up...meeting spaces can be beautiful!!|
Of all the things I do, I love meeting/event planning the best. So many lists. So many logistics. So many people to please. So much office ninja opportunity. No matter how many meetings or events you plan...there is always some hiccup that happens and it becomes part of your work lore. These hiccups help you to refine your prep lists...as long as the same hiccup doesn't happen twice (unless it is weather-related...because even I know you can't control that). It is not that I anticipate them, but I do sort of look forward to them. No matter what...you have to figure out how to smooth the path and keep things moving along. I love the challenge. I love problem solving. I love getting better and sharper. I love a good addition to my work lore.
I had a meeting late in January...it was one of the best for this one particular group that I gather for an all day meeting twice a year. The meeting ended...there were no hiccups. It is winter. Everyone has coats...they are in a coat closet. There are some folks who need to catch planes. There are cabs on the way. The coat closet is locked. I call my contacts for the meeting space...no one answers. They are located off site. People are getting angry. The meeting space is actually an old chapel and the coat room has a partitioned wall...with an opening for a "hat check" type of set-up. One of the attendees has managed to open the partition, but there is a large table blocking the now open space/window. I tell everyone to ignore the boom that is about to happen. I push the table, it falls to the floor. I'm ready to do work...I'm going to jump the wall and open the door from the other side. I'm the Office Ninja...nothing stands in my way.
One of my workmates pleads, "You are wearing a dress." I laugh. "I have on leggings...it is okay." And then I jump the wall...this is why I go the gym...you never know when you are going to need to hoist yourself up on a wall and swing over. I make everyone promise not laugh if the weight of me and my boots breaks the table when I land on it. The table doesn't break. There is an applause. I unlock the door. Coats are retrieved. Attendees are happy again. It is still a good meeting. My record stands. Then the cabs don't show...so I drive a few folks to the metro. They are happy. I am happy. The office ninja has done it again. And now...the office ninja is working hard at getting it all done...within an 8 hour window.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
|Birthday Cowgirl Boots...|
Change is scary...but I am getting braver. If I can finish a marathon...I can do anything I set my mind too. I need to keep reminding myself of this. I'm also learning to never say never. I have always hated Country Music. I was an east coast kid...schooled in Punk. I just never got into it. Since the Texas trip...I have been downloading lots of country music...and enjoying it. I know, I'm still processing this. I think maybe it is new state of mind. Open mindedness. Well, that and my new cowgirl boots. I think there is magic them.
A few pictures from the best birthday week ever...
|Airport Reading...Sir Alex Wisdom...|
|Lane!! Still miss this sweet face...|
|Of course we need picture in the Vera Bradley Store...|
|It was nice to see flowers...|
|Always a sucker for a pretty tree...|
|Amazing Views during a good walk/run... (70 degrees of Beautiful)|
|These were in the running...for DC United Games...am I right??|
|A fire pit and good friends...all one really needs...|
|The perfect welcome gift!!! International Travel will happen!!!|
|My birthday cake...made by my Mommy...|
|MLS Superdraft in Philly...VAMOS UNITED!!!|
|Philly Fun...and there was a video of me hugging our draft pick's Mom. We also|
gave his Grandma and Sister our DC United scarves. Very cool experience...
|Lots of Laughter over my tracking my own birthday party guest list...|
anyone who knows me should not be surprised by this!!
|A pub...soccer...friends...all the essentials... :)|
|Second Morning in the Pub...next day for ManUtd vs. Chelsea... :)|
|A perfect birthday...plus a few candles...with each one added...|
life get's better and better.
Monday, February 17, 2014
|Lots of Snow!!!|
What I am finding is the most important measurement of the week are the number of days that I worked 8 hours. The exhilaration I feel each day as I am more mindful of the time...it is a type of freedom I have never felt before. I'm holding myself accountable...I am in control of my time.
8 hour Work Days this week (5): Monday - Friday
Sunday, February 9, 2014
|Life Essentials...caffeinate and hydrate!!|
Last week, I had zero swims. This week I had two...both on work nights!! It felt fantastic!! I did not strength train this week (missed my Friday workout), but other than than that I nailed it. I had all of my required runs (one following a swim) and all of my required bike rides (one following a swim). My lesson learned this week is that I think I need to get to the gym on Friday mornings...and just make that part of my routine (even if I am there on Thursday nights). I am loving having my plan. I'm good with lists and checking things off. The difference this go around is that I'm making the plan work for me. I'm switching some days around to fit better with other activities I have going on. I can do this.
To hold myself accountable...I'm going to start tracking the days I work 8 hours. I am on it!!
8 hour Work Days this Week (2): Thursday, Friday
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
If I were to start from the beginning, this technically should be part of a 2012 rewind as well…at the end of the 2012 DC United Season. I still have the sticky notes in my DC United file where I “mathed out” how much money I would save by being a Season Ticket Holder (STH). As it turns out, what I gained was much more than what I saved (and that includes the 15% discount at the Team Store!!).
I had no expectations other than not paying ticket processing fees and perhaps a few more events throughout the year. As a sports fan, there is something empowering about solidifying your support for your team…so I did feel that too. I was pledging to stand up for the Black and Red…no matter what. It felt good. I was truly going to be a part of the “12th Man”…even if it was from the quiet side.
The thing about not having expectations, is that everything is a surprise, and the result is a genuine feeling of being happy. That is what being a soccer fan does for me. I have written before about always being the one with the clipboard. When it comes to soccer, I don’t have to be. Being an STH, I found this to be even more so. There were so many events and happenings that I would not have enjoyed otherwise. I took great pleasure in arriving to games and events and not having to worry about anything. All I had to do was have fun. The results may not have been a winning MLS season, but I have so many pictures and memories of amazing times with my family and friends.
My first unexpected surprise came early in the season when I was bestowed the honor of being the April Season Ticket Holder of the Month. It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I could have never dared to imagine. My family and I got to watch the team warm-up on the pitch, we had our 15 seconds of fame up on the Jumbotron (my name in lights…and spelled correctly), we sat field level for the game, and had access to the VIP tent filled with food and beverages (best Limerita I ever had). For the first time in my life, I wasn’t the one responsible for organizing people and happenings. I was the one being organized.
All of this came to be when I received a cold call from DC United in September 2012. I usually never answer my cell phone when it rings (in fact, I don’t even have it set to ring). I think I just happened to look over and see it blinking with an incoming call. I answered it. I’m glad I did. I didn’t just math things out and decide on the spot to become a STH for the 2013 season (who does that?). I had a fantastic conversation about the sport of soccer. I also became fast friends with a fellow soccer enthusiast who would soon learn who the Smashing Pumpkins are.
Before moving forward to the 2014 DC United Season...here is my look back at some of my favorite moments from 2013:
|Home Sweet Home in RFK...|
|Home Opener Tifo...|
|We met Nick DeLeon!!!|
|On the Jumbotron...|
|The plus of being on the quiet side is seeing all the Tifo...|
|Meet the Team Day - Lucky 13!!!|
|This has also doubled as my wallpaper on my work computer....|
|At the tunnel at half time...|
|First DC United Away Game - US Open Cup vs. Chicago Fire|
|On the bus to Jersey!!!|
|Flag Wavin' at Red Bulls Arena...|
|We won the cup!!!|
|Tailgating with Friends...one of several gatherings at RFK...|
I should have taken a picture from when I nearly filled two rows in my section!!
|Me...with the Cup...and Chris Korb!!!|
|I finished a Marathon and made it to RFK in time!!!|