goodness gracious…

Good gravy-Tuesday was a doozy.  The air was thick with anxiety!  Unfortunately, not kidding.

The morning was kind of an odd frenzy of activity in the office that seemed to breed angst.  Per my MO, I soaked up all of the stress & anxiety like a sponge.  I thought I was going to vomit at one point since this is also part of my MO when it comes to being overwrought with nerves.

it’s even a dino puking a rainbow – big win! I’m working on being positive so this sort of counts

BUT!  After I calmed down a bit (leaving for lunch can help with this) I realized something.  A few months ago I felt like this EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY!  I can’t believe it.  I mean, I recognized that I felt less shaky/panicked on the inside but somehow I pushed aside how it felt physically.  So while yesterday morning was unpleasant, I am happy at the strides I have made.  Yes, chemicals are part of the equation but so are some behavior modification & more exercise.  This feels good.

The rest of the day was busy.  I had a doctor’s appointment at 2pm & I was really proud of myself, as I got there 15 mins before my appt time.  I got to the front & said my name & appt time.  The clerk:  “umm, your appt. was at 1:15”.  Nooo!

I apologized profusely, felt like a jerk & apologized again.  They took pity on me & still fit me in between other patients.  I was very grateful.  Oh & they were kind about the whole thing as well.

I was relieved to see the end of the day.  Some quality time on the couch was necessary along with some deep breathing and meditation.  I’m not so hot on the meditation piece but I’m practicing.  Also, letting go of the stress of the day – the animal section of pinterest is always helpful with this.

so much adorableness!  this is a big year for sloths - I wonder if they realize?!
so much adorableness! this is a big year for sloths – I wonder if they realize?

a smelly good apartment

It finally dawned on me to buy an air purifier.  Took me a year and a half but suddenly I gained some smarts!  My old apartment was not only bigger but was near the top floor.  I could keep windows open often and didn’t have to worry about scary individuals trying to get in and steal Simon.

simon has it pretty good, the idea of being stolen doesn't sit well with him either
simon has it pretty good, the idea of being stolen doesn’t sit well with him either

Now that I am on the ground floor, I barely open my windows.  I keep my fans on to at least help with some air movement but I have my doubts this is helping much.  You know how people say you don’t realize the smell of your own house?  I’m kind of paranoid about this.  I burn candles as much as possible but with a small living space and a cat I’m assuming I could do better in the smelly good department.

Off to amazon!  I swear, amazon prime is the greatest thing ever!  Since I hate going to the grocery store with a *fiery passion this allows me to pick up those pesky items rather than trudging to the store where I am likely to find other things to purchase.  Although I do order a lot from amazon, 1) with prime I don’t have to pay shipping 2) it gets here in TWO DAYS and 3) when I see the price of things I find I am much more mindful of the money I am spending.  Typically, I’ll wait to order it to make sure I want to spend the money.  I highly recommend it and I even hate paying subscription fees!

to amazon!

I found two that I really liked – one mini ionizer (super cute!) and one regular.  I tried to figure out which one is better since they are both approximately $50.  Or do I want both?  Again, my apartment is barely 500 sq feet so do I need both?  Or if I buy just one, will that be enough to take care of any cat litter box odors if it isn’t in the same room?  Please help me purchase!!  Just think – you can (sort of) spend money and it’s not even your own!

this is the one I am looking at
this is the one I am looking at – it’s a regular one

Other than this thrilling business, I didn’t run yesterday.  My lungs are a bit crabby right now with a cough.  Two rest days in a row should help the healing.  In Spirit of the Marathon Deena Kastor was saying how she runs an average of 140 miles per week!  NUTZO!  I did the math – with a calculator of course and it’s 20 miles per day.  This doesn’t allot for a rest day but I have no idea if she takes one every week.  My goal for the month of Nov is 180, which will be my highest ever, at least since I started tracking a few years ago.  I realize she is a pro athlete but somewhere along the line I didn’t compute how many miles in a week it would take to achieve this.  It’s amazing!

*I’m not a total brat in regards to not wanting to go to the grocery store.  For 9 years part of my job was to go to the grocery store 2-3 times per week.  It’s just not my favorite thing…

**Any advice on the air purifier?!

running down a dream

I came home Tuesday and practically fell onto my couch.  I was done.  I was on call last week for work and got plenty of calls in the wee hours of the night.  While my on call status was over as of Monday morning, the last few days were hectic enough.  I’m just beat and it’s only the second week of Sept – boo.  Also I’m whiney.

Anyway, I finally got my act together.  Last week I stopped by the registrar’s office to figure out how to start taking classes.  A very helpful woman explained the process to me including a short application with a copy of my diploma or a copy of my transcripts.  I also had until Monday to get this all handed in to the Admissions office.  I went in last Wednesday.

Cue the procrastination

Sunday night I decided I should probably look for my diploma – yep, nowhere to be found.  To be fair, I remember where it was in my old apt, just not where I moved it to in my new(ish) place.  Monday at lunch I called the Gonzaga registrar’s office and ANOTHER very helpful woman led me through the website to print off a set of unofficials (transcripts).  I raced over to the Admissions office between meetings and a half hour later


And now I want to panic!  Haha, okay, so I’m being slightly overdramatic but this morning I pulled up my class info and suddenly realized, I.had.homework.  This class is an online class and due to closed courses that fit into my schedule, I am only taking this one.  I’ll be speed rushing my books here and getting online starting tonight.  It’s crazy weird.

my impending future (wait – present!)

So there you go – I can talk a good game but my follow through can take a bit of an upgrade.  I started trying to take classes at the beginning of the summer.  I’m thrilled I finally made it.  I think it’s scary to start going after a dream.  I’ve been swimming around this idea of holistic health for years now.  Not necessarily as a field but the whole concept and how to apply it to my work life (as well as the lives of my co-workers).  Ever since my mom died, I wanted to start looking into it more and more.  Finally I’m doing it.

And Tuesday was the last day of rest/recovery!  I’ve rested my splinty shins for four days.  I was going to hit up some miles Tuesday but considering I was almost crawling through the door I wasn’t able to motivate my feet to move.  94* heat didn’t help either (which was probably why everyone I interacted with that day was crabby!).

my legs are ready to move! pleaseohplease

I have a 10k/5k this weekend that I refuse to miss and then that ol’ pesky half in a few weeks.  I know I will be able to run the distance and I know pace doesn’t matter but seriously.  Who are we kidding – I want that clock to be kind of on my side!  Last night’s run was a bit ugly but at least shins didn’t hurt too much.  I did 3.5 and will do 4 or 5 tonight and tomorrow and then a little over 9 on Saturday.  We’ll see!

I’m upbeat and exhausted – it’s totally possible

Yesterday I had four presentations.  And one of them, I had to give four times.  I was BEAT by the end of the day!  But the presentations went really well.

That’s what August is all about.  We are waste-deep in training and after this week students will start coming back for the new academic year.  Work is all-encompassing so I’ve been working to add a bit of balance/taking care of myself.

As I mentioned, this is typically the first thing I sacrifice when times get busy.  Even though I am aware this is an ill-fated practice, it’s almost like I can’t help it.  Or maybe it’s just that change is tough.  Whatever the reason, after my cycle of sickness, I’ve been paying more attention.  Here is what I’ve been working on:

1.  Taking small breaks during the day – these small breaks allow me to regroup.  I need to have a bit of alone time; it helps me to process whatever has led up to this point and allows me to take a deep breath so I’m not so caught up in the comings and goings of the workplace.

2.  Running – yes, there are still some ups and downs in the way of consistency!  Oh well, I’ve dropped my insecurities and now when I run it isn’t all angsty.  It’s simply fun… well, okay, it’s hard work!  But my mind is “at rest” during this time.  Winning!

3.  Laughing.  A lot.  My co-worker who is freakin’ hysterical keeps me entertained.  Last week there were two days where we didn’t see each other because we were crazy busy.  I certainly didn’t laugh as much during those two days.  I put him on notice that we couldn’t go two work days without seeing each other again.

it’s exactly like this

4.  Attitude – in one of my presentation today, I talked about how important attitude is.  It’s a good thing I heed my own words of wisdom!  Attitude can change everything and it’s definitely made me more open to laughing, to going for a run and to allowing myself those small breaks.  Attitude allows me to brush off the little work snafus that happen when everyone has a colossal work load.  It allows me to regroup faster, use my resources better and actually get out of bed in the morning.  My attitude isn’t always perfect but over the last couple of months I realized I don’t want to be bitter and unhappy.  There is so much more to life!  Sometimes it’s easier said then done but I won’t let happen stance or any one person, event, bad day determine this for me.

5.  Confidence – let’s hear three cheers for confidence!  I would interchange confidence with feeling more comfortable in my position and better embracing my role.  During all of the presentations these last few weeks, I’ve noticed I don’t have to have a script.  I can walk around the room, change course within the presentation and allow for my personality to come through.  I don’t have to be a robot relaying information, rather I can enjoy myself and bestow all of my MASSIVE amounts of knowledge to others!

yep, it feels this great!

My cycle of sickness is over and all I have left is this crazy itching issue.  Hmmm, that sounds gross.  I will be a bit sad if it is caused by anxiety/stressed because I thought I was making progress.  I feel I’ve eliminated everything I can think of as far as allergens, too.  I cleaned my air-conditioning unit (turned it off, wiped it down and sprayed the hell out of it with Lysol), washed all of my bedding and even my mattress in case mold spores invaded.  So hopefully, the above will ease some of this because I absolutely know stress isn’t HELPING!

Maybe spores have taken up residence elsewhere?  How do you get rid of mold spores in the air??  Need advice!

I have thoughts – hear me roar!

*Maybe just talking excitedly is a better description

On Sunday I woke up and knew instantly that not only was I not feeling well, it might result in having to see my doc.  I was disappointed and started stuffing pills down my throat in hopes these natural “cures” would take of it.


I called my doc on Monday to beg for antibiotics… over the phone.  Yep, apparently they don’t do that.  But she did work with me so I did some quickie testing and antibiotics were be in my system Tuesday evening.  I am eternally grateful.

yep – I ate lots of them

On Saturday I was frolicking in the grass with some friends’ little tykes.  All was well.  I started breaking out in hives all over my legs Sunday night and they culminated into a blotchy disaster.  They are getting better but are still driving me bonkers! today.  It’s been a bleak start to the week!

It got me thinking though… As I will mention a few hundred times, August is a BUSY month with work.  We are prepping for the students to come back and it seems like my to-do list is five miles long.  What led to my sickness (in part) was being super occupied with work and not taking care of myself.  Why?  Because I felt like I was to busy and placed my health on the back burner.  I looked around at my colleagues and you can see by their faces, they are doing the same.  (Droopy eyes, dark circles, yawning – just the whole sluggish look about them.)

tru dat’

This isn’t simply my department/job.  In my opinion this is common in most professions.  When we get busy with work or family or other obligations we put our health last.  It’s completely whackadoodle!  If we did pay more attention to our health, all of these other areas would BENEFIT!  All too often I hear people say (along with the voice in my own head) “I don’t have time to eat well, exercise, sleep, or relax (and not in front of the tv, actual real relaxation) because X, Y, and Z get in the way”.  All of which seem to take a higher priority over our health and well-being.

As you might be able to tell, these thoughts (and what I consider my own epiphanies) are what has led me to wanting to take the holistic health classes.  However, while I feel I will be able to help people, the help will only be to treat the symptoms, not necessarily impact the actual problem.  I get that our society has a “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” mentality along with a work, work, work coming first.  So, recognizing that working from home or flexible schedules or breaks for exercise/meditation may not be embraced by the workforce world.  But we need to do something.  Or try harder to bring attention to this important issue!

I will concede we are making baby step size progress.  Many businesses and companies hire outside wellness companies to come in and work with employees on overall wellness.  But as I stated above this is only treating the symptom and not getting to the root of the issue.  I don’t have all of the answers.  I am not exactly a role model of balance although I do want to get better!  So folks – how do you do it?  Heck, I don’t have a family and I still struggle!  I would love to hear the different ways you work to fit things in!

I love some good visualizing!

Edited:  My apologies!  I didn’t realize the photo credits were hyperlinks in the original e-mail so I have fixed this below. 

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the incredibly nice and helpful Michelle.  She works in a spa called Skana in upstate New York and she gave me the suggestion of making a health motivation board.  Michelle talked to me about how her knowledge of health and wellness has led her to help clients live healthier lifestyles.  She was kind enough to type up how you can live a healthier life!  Here is the information she provided!

Visualize Your Inspiration for a Healthy Lifestyle

Staying physically fit takes more than just a few good workouts. It also requires you to maintain a strong mental focus toward reaching your goals. Although you likely track your goals on a regular basis, it is also important to make sure that your aspirations remain at the forefront of your mind. For those who are actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, here is how a fitspiration board can help you to visualize your inspiration.

Clarify Your Goals

The first thing you will need to do as you begin to create a visual representation of your goals is to clarify what it is that you would like to accomplish. Ideally, you should have a combination of short and long-term goals that are challenging yet achievable. Once you have established your goals, decide which one should be the main focus of your board.

Find Inspirational Images

With your goals in mind, begin searching for images that inspire you to achieve greatness. These can be photographs of you or your loved ones, images found online or pictures that you cut out of a magazine. It is important to take your time to find only the most inspirational images possible that reflect your goals. As you search for images to include on your board, be sure to select one that best encompasses your fitness goals. Then, use this image as the main focus of your board.

Choose a Central Location

For your board to serve as an inspiration, you will need to make sure that it is placed in a central location so that you will see it several times each day. Depending upon your personal habits, this could be in your exercise room, kitchen or even next to your bed. If after hanging for a few days in one area you notice that it is rarely noticed, then feel free to move it to another area of your home.

Reflect and Revise

After viewing your board for a few days, take a few minutes to reflect upon your reaction. Have you been feeling more motivated towards meeting your goals? Does it remind you of the things you would like to accomplish? Then, revise your board as necessary so that it always leaves you feeling inspired.

Here is an example:


What inspires me to be active and aspire to live a healthier life is the outdoors.  I love to travel and see new places.  To me, there’s no better feeling than enjoying the outdoors.  I’m really inspired by yoga for a number of reasons.  Yoga focuses the mind and body, teaching ourselves to find a spiritual balance.  I also love that yoga can be done anywhere, even the beach!  Yoga is great for beginners and the more advanced athlete.

The outdoors are what I’ve used for the center of my inspiration.  I’ve been taking lessons near my work at New York Golf resort, Shenendoah, as a way to spend more time outside. Golf is great because not only is it less strenuous activity, but you also have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.  Really any activity outdoors can be motivating. You feel like you have more energy when you are out enjoying the warm weather.  I’d like to try more leisurely activities like fishing or kayaking with a friend.

Your body needs nutritious foods as fuel for when you exercise.  A great source of clean eating recipes is Clean and Delicious.  They have delicious recipes along with instructional videos including a clean chicken & veggie stir-fry recipe.  An easy nutritious breakfast for on the go folks are smoothies!  Customize nutritious smoothies to whatever supplies you have on hand!

Making a fitspiration board is one way to stay inspired to live a healthy lifestyle. Over time, your goals will change as you meet each one. Therefore, be sure to add new goals and images as needed to keep your board fresh and your mind focused on always reaching your full potential.

Thanks so much Michelle!  I am currently working on my board as well and hopefully I’ll be able to post it next week!  Readers, I would love to hear about any images you may use to keep you inspired!