life: 2016 recap, life changes

The time has come for yearly recaps!

I already went over the good things that happened this year (let’s not speak of the bad again), but today I wanted to talk about the changes I’ve made; these include health, life, and wellness in general, but also little changes, like taking the time to play with the cats every night, or just learning to enjoy the moment.

This year, I completed 3 Whole30s (I’m in reintroduction mode right now). I’ve never followed a health plan, and I have my doubts about some of the methods out there, but the Whole30 just made sense at a time when I was feeling adrift with my health (see my original post, video, and initial reintro). I love the program. It works for me and it helps me reset when I’m not feeling my best. I am currently reading Melissa Hartwig’s Food Freedom Forever and it just makes me feel all kinds of YES!

I started journaling on a regular basis (stay tuned for a journaling update this Friday). Just taking the time to reflect on my day has improved my mental state when dealing with stress (and there has been a lot of that this year).

I dove head-first into minimalism as a serious lifestyle goal. I became intrigued by the idea of the KonMari method when looking to help my mom with her own excess, but I fell in love with the idea of a light, joyful lifestyle that relies on conscious consumerism and intentional living.

These are the big ones, and I look forward to sharing my progress into the new year.

life: giving thanks

2016 has been a shitty year. Personally, politically, it’s been an all-around mess. So when I think of giving thanks, I have to think a little harder to find the joy I’ve been missing… whether they’ve been subsumed by loss, pain, or stress, the good times have been there, I just need to shine a light on them.

After mulling it over for a few days, I realized I’m grateful for:

  1. Surviving what could’ve been a tragic car wreck with little more than a ruined car and a few scratches.
  2. The briefest of vacations with the boy, but a vacation nonetheless.
  3. Two healthy, well-adjusted cats. After a few hiccups, they’re getting along and experiencing no more poopy drama.
  4. Minimalism. Because it’s made me appreciate what I have, what I can afford, and what I can live without.
  5. YouTube! A silly one, but I started making videos as a way to force myself to use my camera and learn some Premiere basics. Now, I’m hooked and it’s my preferred form of “reality” entertainment. Plus, I’ve learned so much.

There’s so much more, but I will reserve those for my year-end recap. In the meantime, have a happy holiday!

life: on not following tradition

I’m doing something different this year: I’m not planning/making/stressing over a Thanksgiving feast. Nope. No, sir, not this year. I’ve decided to make it a take out sort of night. Just good, non-homemade food and time spent with family (mom, gran, bf). That’s it. No recipes. No shopping. No cooking. No cleaning. Just time to kick back, watch some films, and veg out.

Being on the Whole30 during the holidays is supposed to be next to impossible, but I’ve actually realized that I’m not really missing any of the stuff I would traditionally gorge on. Growing up Cuban, the foods associated with Thanksgiving were not really on the menu, so I have little nostalgia towards things like pies and casseroles. I only discovered pumpkin pie as an adult, and I prefer my own to anyone else’s, so I can make it any time I really crave it. As I write this, my coworkers are arriving with all manner of dishes for our holiday feast, and I know that I will only pick out those sides that I enjoy and which are compliant. I won’t feel deprived, nor will I feel deprived when we’re chowing on friscase or picaddillo on Thanksgiving.

Sometimes, not following tradition is the best tradition.

life: absorbing the reality

Too many thoughts have been running through my head since the election was called. Too many fears and worries. Primarily, I am afraid for a rights as a woman. I am afraid for my rights as a woman who does not plan to have children and what that might mean. I am afraid for my mother, my grandfather, my father. I am afraid that their lives will be in danger. That their benefits will be cut. That the lives they’ve built in retirement will be taken away and their health put at risk. I am afraid for my friends and my students. Those who do not fit the bill in this regime. I am afraid for my career and my role as an educator. I am afraid for the world and what can happen if there are no checks and balances to prevent a war, keep trade alive, protect rights. I am just afraid.

life: goals and moving on

My goals for November are simple: just get back to something like normal. At work and in life, things are slowly shifting into a routine, and I just need to keep working at finding that equilibrium. The semester is winding down; my conference is over and done; and the leadership program I’m attending is wrapping to a close. There have been days when I’ve just wanted to curl up and hide, but I’ve managed to stick it out (despite the boy’s grumbling about the amount of complaining he’s put up with).

I haven’t kept up with my writing and, some days, the only exercise I get is the walk to and from my car (a long one at least), but I’ve needed the pause, even if only to find the energy to start again. Even now, I’m debating whether I have the mental capacity to work on a chapter (the answer is likely no), but I know I will with time. Fall is a time for new beginnings for me and I’m more than ready for a fresh start.

life: getting there

Still emotionally and physically spent. I have a video that I recorded last week, but I’m not in the right state of mind to post it, so it will keep until next Friday. I’ll be traveling next week, which gives me very little time to find normal before heading out. I’m going to try to make the best of the weekend and get some writing done/catch up on the little things/spend time with the cats and family. I’ve fallen behind on every aspect of my life and I just have to accept it.

life: a pause

I had a post planned for today, a video that needs editing. I was going to stay home and rest, try to beat my cold. Instead, I woke to find that one of my colleagues died in particularly tragic manner. Grief and loss strike in different ways. No one way is the “right” way to grieve. Right now, I just need to step back and reflect and be there for my department.

the view from Sunday: in which I am a toxic mess

Friends, I am sick. Stuffed up, drippy, wet, sneezy, sick. It was deceptive at first… I thought it was just good ol’ PMS, but all signs point to cold. Way to ring in the season. What I’m saying is, I’m a mess and my brain is in a bad, spacey place. Bad enough that I started editing the wrong draft… at least I caught myself before I saved it. My skin is also not happy. My whole body is rebelling. No bueno. I’m comforting myself with tea and Zarbee’s and a mad wave of decluttering to clear out the air. And youtube. Lots and lots of youtube.

The piles are getting smaller…
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And only two pieces from the wardrobe… the shirt is a little too worn and just doesn’t fit well anymore, and the skirt just hugs my hips the wrong way. So long.
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Reorganized the last of the TBR books…
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And trimmed one of the houseplants, therefore, new greenery in the bedroom 🙂
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managing online profiles, or my life is not for you

I’ve seen a rise in the number of followers I have on Instagram. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I am making a point of being a public figure on social media, but I do like to draw a line where people I know in real life are concerned. Family in particular. I am not “friends” with my family members. I barely speak to most of them and have little desire to get any closer. Former students and colleagues are a similar situation. If I haven’t stayed in touch, I don’t really want you in my life. Cold, but true. There are some I will ignore, but I just blocked someone I didn’t want following me. Is it a harsh move? Maybe, but I don’t want to deal with the mess that will inevitably happen when that person is offended by something I post (this person is related to me BTW).

How do you handle the divide between those you know IRL and everyone else? I find that I prefer my online followers; I actually have a better relationship with some of the people I’ve met through this blog or on twitter than I do with relatives or people I’ve met through work (my last job was at a Catholic school, needless to say, my views didn’t always mesh).

Just some thoughts worth mulling.