About Me

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My goals for the future is to obtain a teaching/librarian job, lose weight, own a house, and to travel the world.

Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year in Review for 2010

This is my year in review of what I have learned about myself and where I need improvement.  This blog has certainly helped me open my eyes about myself and inspired me to make some changes for the better.

There are two blogs I like to read consistently: the first is Minimalist Adventures by Dusti Arab and Blog of Impossible Things by Joel Runyon.  Gathering ideas from these two amazing writers fits quite nicely with what I am trying accomplish in writing this blog which is to reduce my spending, i.e. minimalize and to weigh less, i.e. increase my activity.

My Accomplishments:
While it is easier to focus on all the goals that I have fallen short on, it is important to recognize what I have accomplished.
  • I have worked on a project consistently for more than two weeks.  This is my fourth month blogging and a huge step for me. 
  • My writing skills have improved.
  • I am volunteering with the International Girls Group of Portland a.k.a. "Kinetic Midnight Energy"!
New Revelations:
  • Goal Setting:                                                                                                                             Goal setting is huge when trying to get something done.  I have not really used this tool much in the past.  When I started this blog, my "goals" were too vague.  Having something specific in mind makes a task much easier to manage and complete.
  • Procrastination:                                                                                                                       "Why put off tomorrow what you can accomplish today"  This old wives' tale rings so true for me.  I am a huge procrastinator and constantly put off things for later, someday, next week, etc.  My husband is forever accusing me of procrastination but I did not understand how this effects not only myself, but it also effects my family.  Plus, my son is starting to become a procrastination.  Nothing gets accomplished with procrastination.
  • Networking:                                                                                                                              With my sister moving away to another country, I have learned to rely on the other people in my life.  I was too dependent on one person which is not healthy for me.  Also, I am beginning to open up to my husband more about my thoughts and feelings; he is actually more insightful than I gave him credit for.
  • Minimizing:                                                                                                                                     I no longer need to keep clothes that do not fit or does not fit my style.  Since my main goal is get healthy and loose weight, I need to make room for clothes that reflect my personality and style.  I really love fashion from the 1920s through the 1960s.
Goals for 2011:
This will serve as a starting off point as I am sure that I will add to my list as the year progresses.
  • Ace the job interview:                                                                                                              Some people have no problem with the job interview but for me, it is a huge obstacle.  I have the knowledge and the talent but I freeze up. 
  • Run a race:                                                                                                                               First, I will start with walking the Shamrock Run (Portland, OR) and ease myself into actually running a race slowly.  I have not run since the Army when I was 20 years old, so this is a big goal for me.
  • Visit Saudi Arabia:                                                                                                                    This will be accomplished one of two ways, by getting a job with the same company my sister works for or by saving money and visiting my sister.  I have always wanted to visit the Middle East.
  • Scrapbooking:                                                                                                                                 I have procastinating for years with scrapbooking my pictures into a single books vs pictures spread out all over the house.  This will also help with minimizing.
  • Lose 50 lbs by June:                                                                                                                While I will love to be ina bikini by June, is more manageable to loose 50 lbs first.
Work on my List of Impossible Things!

Well, this is what I have so far.  I am sure I will think of some more things.  Let me know if you can help with accomplishing any of these things, especially practicing for a job interview!

What are your goals for 2011?

Monday, December 27, 2010

I fell like I am falling behind...

It has been a full 24 hours since my sister has left.  It is hard watching my best friend move away.  My husband accuses me of running off on a whim whenever she calls; there may be some truth in this.  But it is not as simple as "I miss her"--good grief she only left yesterday and will visit in the summer; plus there is e-mail and Skype...

  When I was 19 and newly graduated from high school (yes, I was 19), I joined the Army.  Not only was this completely outside of my personality and comfort zone, it was unexpected and unconventional for a girl to join the Army.  While I was scared senseless with running, yelling, and shooting stuff in basic training, it was also secretly thrilling.  It is also the one adventure that my sister will never have. 

So here is my true dilemma.  I am jealous. Why am I jealous?  Since those long ago Army days I got married, had a baby, and earned a master's in education.  In the mean time, my sister has traveled to Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Japan, and now Saudi Arabia.  There is one snag that holds me back and that is I cannot interview worth a damn and I am stuck in substitute teacher land.  I feel like I am falling behind.  I want to go on my adventure, I want to teach in another country, and I want people to be excited and sad that I am leaving.  I realize that I sound whiny when I don't mean too; of course I am proud of her. I am just frustrated because I want to join her and start crossing things off my list of impossible things.

With the closing of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, it the time of New Year's resolutions.  Naturally, I will be making one but I also fully intend to keep my resolutions, not just let them fall to the wayside.  What are they you ask?  You are going to find out....next post.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 102: I am tired of watching her go, this time I want to follow...

What is a good way to have a minimalist Christmas?  Limit the budget which forces you to be creative.  While my husband may not exactly endorse mininmalism, he understands the power of a budget.  With all the craziness of shopping, cooking, and cleaning, the holidays is a fun time for me.  I love to entertain despite having a small house.  I have exactly the right amount of dishes, even though I may have to get a little creative (I don't have duplicates of everything like my mother does--love you mom!)  There were many surprises this year, such as flowers, cookies, and presents delivered to my house.  A kind stranger even bought my groceries for me!  Plus there is ymmy leftovers--my philosophy is cook once and eat twice.

However, tommorow, December 26th, my sister is moving overseas for job reasons.  While I am excited and proud of her, thinking about her leaving brings up childhood nightmares.  Every since I was 5 years-old, my sister has been moving somewhere...California, Japan, Brazil, and now Saudi Arabia.  Well, I am tired of watching her go, this time I want to follow...and meet up or better yet she can follow me to somewhere, anywhere. 

Two opportunities are unfolding before me, first my sister in Saudi Arabia and second, my friend is getting married in Mexico.  So I plan on crossing somethings off my list of impossible things.  I plan on visit my sister in the Middle East and attend my friend's wedding in Mexico.

Share your thoughts with me....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 97: Casino Royale

This time of the year is both exciting and stressful.  Stressful because money is tight but we are taught this notion that Christmas is not Christmas unless we buy a bunch of presents.  Growing up, I remember having dinner on Christmas Eve and then rushing over to the tree to open our presents (we couldn't wait).  Christmas Day was when my oldest brother and family would come over and we had the big dinner with turkey and trimmings.  I had no idea how much my parents spent or if they worried. 

My husband has far different experiences.  Being raised by a divorced mother, he felt every stressful and tense emotion from his mother, especially around Christmas.  His mother tried to compensate by buying lots of inexpensive gifts to create an illusion of plenty. 

Now that we are the parents, my husband feels bad if we don't have a multitude of gifts surrounding the tree.  I try to remind him that quality is better than quantity.  I also remind that we are broke because we are finally paying off our student loans so we are broke for a good reason.  He knows this but sometimes old habits creep up.

The exciting part of the holidays is two weeks vacation from teaching and parties to attend! We attended the "Casino Royale" party at my neighbor's house.  Even though I didn't know most of the people it was fun to inneract with random and kind strangers.  It was also fun to "gamble" at blackjack and craps.  Later, I drank a type of German schnapps (yummm) and chatted with the "dealer" Daniel who was one of the other party goers that ended up teaching the rest of us how to play the games.  We talked about the importance of good conversation, good company, and good food.  All the best parts of the Christmas holidays....

What are your best memories of the holidays?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 94: I am so dang slow!

Why is is that when you finally admit the truth it feels like a new discovery?  Or more like "Duh, I guess I should have put the pieces together sooner!"  What am I talking about?  Apparently, this pattern of procrastination  before the panic rises is something that crosses to other areas of my life.  This is something that I suspected but now I am beginning to make the connection.  My family has been teasing me about starting projects and never finishing them.  Furthermore, my friend was talking to me about weigh loss and the struggles that go along with it.  The truth is I have not lost as much weight as I think I should have by this point.  If I go back to my original rules so why am I doing this, I should have lost around 24 lbs.  So why haven't I?  Why do I sabotage myself?  Of course I could argue that injury both my shoulder and my knee in the last few months has not helped the cause. 

Uggh, this is so frustrating!  Learning about yourself is both exciting and eye opening at the same time.  My mother told me that when I was younger she decided that it was easier to do things herself then to make me do it, i.e. chores.  Maybe I am still waiting for someone to do things for me.  Now I need to do things for myself.  Making my list of impossible things and writing this blog is a step in the right direction.  Getting started is easy for me but finishing a project...homework, housework, weight less, anything seems so daunting that I want to walk away and distract myself with something else; I need to focus on completing my projects.

I have made some progress.  My darling friend helped me paint my dining room (I am tired of living in my rental house painted "landlord white").  I have been wanting to paint the house for a long time but getting started seemed impossible.  We painted the first coat yesterday and I finished with the second coat today, but I am so dang slow!  I am slow in everything and get distracted easily.  I have also started to sort through my stuff moving toward a minimalist direction.  I can except that I may be slow, I just need to remember to finish what I have started, just like the saying "Why put off tomorrow what I can accomplish today."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 90: Pseudo zombies

One thing that I like about blogging is that it is an outlet for my thoughts.  It is also a good tool to keep track of myself and what lessons (even if it is the same lesson) I have learned to improve myself.  What also is fun is to read other people's blogs and consider their thoughts.  So here my thoughts about a post I written by Everett Bogue, a radical minimalist, about Zombie Hunting 101.  He is talking about those individuals whose soul is tired and hates their life.  These individuals are too caught in their past, their miserable job, and unfulfilled dreams they will never pursue. 
The problem I have with his argument is not that I disagree but that Everett Bogue seems to classify people into two categories: those individuals who hate their jobs, are "caught in the system", and therefore is miserable in all aspect of their lives or those individuals who quit their jobs in order to pursue other dreams.  I would argue that there is a third group of people--"pseudo zombies" or "half zombies" if you will.  "pseudo zombies" are those individuals that shuffle through their unwanted jobs for a variety of reasons but when they come home is when the truly wake up and come back to life.  So why stick with an unwanted job?  Perhaps it is for money, a family to support, or to maintain a certain lifestyle.

I think I am part of the third category, "pseudo zombie".  As a substitute teacher, I am getting tired of teaching in someone else's classroom.  However, I went back to school, started this blog, and an identifying areas of growth I need to work on.  At home and with the International Girls Group, I come to life.  I spend time with my family, sew with my mother, and study with my sister. 

Another example of a "pseudo zombie" is my neighbor.  She hates her job, it is boring to her.  However, in the evening she comes to life.  My neighbor has ran a marathon, biked a 100-mile race, goes hiking, camping, and traveled with her mother to Panama.  I would never classify her as full zombie!

Share your thoughts about zombies or "pseudo-zombies".  Do you know any?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 89: Pulling myself out of sefl-inflicted hell!

I finally finished all of my assignments for the fall term on time and turned in.  No incompletes and no missing assignmens.  This has been two of self-inflicted hell and it is a wonderful feeling to finally have pulled myself out of it.  I never want to enter this hell again.

What are your thoughts about self-inflicted hell?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 86: Downhill toward the finish line

This past week as been pure hell and what is worse is that I created this hell.  My husband asked why now, why am I now coming to the conclusion that I have a procrastination problem?  I am not sure why now I woke up but I have and I plan on staying awake.  So far, I have just completed all of my assignments for one of my classes and now I have two more assignments left and will accomplished my goal.  Now intead of the panic rising and having to force myself to breathe (Before the Panic Rises) I can start on my metaphorically trip downhill toward the finish line.  It is a wonderful feeling.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 84: 5 more to go

5 more assignments to go!  1 final project + 4 little assignments = 5 more assignments to go.  I feel like I am on the last hill before before descending toward the finish line.  The last hill is the hardest but if feels so sweet to finally finish.  Yet I almost succombed again.  Apparently changing my habits is not going to come so easy...this is why it is on My List of Impossible Things (see other page of blog).  I worked today teaching little angels how to read new words and subtract big numbers.  When I came home my internal voice began to whine.  I am tired, I can do it tomorrow, I am almost done.  But what I finish tonight will set me up so much nicer for tomorrow, so I sat down and finished one more assignment.  Now I only have 5 more left.   I decided to reward myself.  If I finish an assignment, then I can to yoga.  It was a great motivator.

I think I have an answer to my previous rant (see Day 83: One Down and One More to Go).  Why is that I can cram 10 weeks worth of work into a week and a half but I can't spread out over the course of the semester?  Somewhere along the way I fell into a pattern of tommorow, tommorow, I can do it tommorow.  Eventually the tommorows run out.  I need to do things now, just right now, whether it is homework, working out, losing weight, saving money to travel, accomplishing my impossible list.  Just do it now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 83: One Project Down and One to Go

Sitting in the school library helps me to get a lot done, although my husband thinks I am completely bonkers.  I understand his frustration...my procrastination means time spent away from the family especially on a Sunday afternoon.  I need to work on this because as I said before procrastination sucks! 

The bright side is that I finished one major project with one more to go.  I do have some smaller assignments to complete but those won't take long.  Why is that I can cram 10 weeks worth of work in an week and half but I cannot complete over the course of a term?  This has always haunted me from 5th grade to the present and now my son is starting to do the same thing as me.  Great role model!  Although growing I did not have a role model as far as study habits are concerned.

It is interesting to sit in the university library and listen to a flurry of languages...Arabic, Chinese...I wish I could understand.  I wish I was the international student (or teacher).

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 82: Procrastination sucks!

I am progressively, slowly work my way out of this work load and moving toward the light.  My newest item to add to my list of impossible things is to work ahead in my assignments through the entire term and not fall behind.  That is the central lesson in all of this...procrastination really sucks and it gets in the way of accomplishing some many other goals from list!

How has procrastination prevented you from accomplishing goals in life?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 81: Some of the light is shining through

As I remind to just breathe and I pray to the Univerise to get me through my scramble to finish, I have made some progress and some of the light is beginning to shine throug.  I am not quite to the surface.

Share your thoughts about working through difficult projections.