Thursday, January 31, 2013

Putting myself out there, with mild success

I was recently challenged by my little bro's girlfriend to take more risks and put myself out there relationally. And, I have been doing my absolute best to head her words and proactively build some new friendships with people I'm in grad school with. It has not been going well.
Okay, it hasn't been going poorly, per say, but it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing. Here has how my most recent three attempts have gone. (All names have been changed in the event anyone from grad school ever actually reads my blog.)
1. Tim. I found out Tim rides his bike to class and happens to live a mere 30 blocks from Karen and I. So, I had this brilliant idea to give him a ride to my apartment and then he'd have a mere 5 minute bike ride as opposed to a 45 minute bike ride. He took the front tire off the bike, couldn't get it to fit into the car, so Karen and I left him stranded in the parking lot near school as we drove safely and warmly home.
2. Matt. I tried to get a Greek study group together but our schedules didn't quite mesh well. I was excited when Matt asked me in class if I wanted to get together with him and a couple other people to study at 4pm on Thursday. Unfortunately I work until 5pm, so I told him to text me then and let me know if they were still studying. I didn't get a text, so I opted to go and meet them anyway and just trust they'd be there. They weren't. I did, however, write a (self-proclaimed) hilarious email to try and explain why none of them were there. Here's an excerpt:
The mistake you made, however, was that you left your almost completed chapter 17 worksheet on the table. They saw with one glance that you totally understood everything they were agonizing over, and so they joined forces and turned on you. Each of them emptied five packets of sweet 'n low into their palms and blew the poisonous powder in your eyes blinding you, but leaving a sweet after taste. After that it got really out of hand. In short, bloodshed, ruined lives, etc. Rich Erickson happened to be there on a break in between classes, and I don't even want to relive what happened to him.
All of that to say that I totally understand why you guys weren't there at 5:45 PM when I showed up Greek flashcards in hand to study. You couldn't be there, because you were in prison.
3. Katherine. After talking in class for a bit, K sent me an email asking me to friend her on Facebook b/c she couldn't find my Facebook profile. I had to break it to her that I didn't have a Facebook but we set up a "crazy reading party" on Saturday so we could just sit and read in the presence of another person and then I would make us dinner and we could hang out a bit. After making the plan, she emailed me a couple hours later saying she's unsure whether she'll be able to make it b/c she has to get homework for her other class done.

So, there's the record. I'm currently 0 for 3 in the making new friends department. But, Tim and I are going to study this weekend. Matt promised to bring me a treat to make up for the unintentional ditching. And Katherine and I are going to try next weekend if this weekend doesn't happen. Maybe that'll make me 3 and 0?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Music that gets me through

As much as I love music, I have a very hard time listening to it while trying to study. Especially while trying to study Greek. Something about the intense concentration it takes for me to learn a new language paired with English phrases flying at my ears. Which is why I'm thankful for my Sigur Ros Pandora station. However, tonight, while making flashcards I decided to tempt fate and listen to something with...wait for it...words I can understand! I figured since all I was doing was writing words down that it wouldn't hurt for me to listen to some music I love. So, Mumford and Sons Pandora it is.

One of the best decisions I've made all week. Here are the songs that got me through (and are actually doing so as we speak) this incredibly long day (links have been put in for the two songs that were new to me tonight):

January Wedding by the Avett Brothers
Dust Bowl Dance by Mumford and Sons
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
It's Time by Imagine Dragons
Broken Crown by Mumford and Sons
Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine
Ho Hey by The Lumineers
The General Specific by Band of Horses
Home by Phillip Phillips

But the night is not done. And it's time for me to do some Greek. Which means I'm going to finish listening to this song (The Way We Get By by Spoon), and move on to un-understandable but delightful Icelandic music.

Taking care of yourself is hard

It's not just the eating well that sometimes throws me for a loop, it's doing all the other things that make for an all around healthy person: getting enough sleep, finding time to go grocery shopping and cook food I'm excited about, cleaning my room so my head doesn't feel like it's going to explode, taking time to call or write emails to the bajillions of people I want to stay in touch with.

Right now I feel like I'm doing well at being "healthy" in my grad school life, I'm "healthy" in my work life, and I'm "healthy" in my health life, but I'm kind of lacking in the healthiness of my "me time" life. I realized yesterday at 9pm that I hadn't stopped moving since 6:30am.

I walked to work. Worked for 8 hrs. Came home. Skyped with my brother and his girlfriend while making dinner. Cleaned up a little after dinner. Went into my room to start packing my stuff for the next day and about went to bed right then (9:00 pm) because I was just so tired. However, I powered through and studied for an hour. Getting barely 7 hrs of sleep, I woke up at 5:30am this morning and studied for two hours before going into work.

And trying to balance friend time so emotionally I stay healthy? And exercise time so I can continue to be physically healthy? All I can say is, it's really hard.

Thanks to everyone who has provided me a random word of encouragement or lifted up a prayer on my behalf. Also, apologies if you call or email me and I take days, weeks, or months to respond. I promise I'll get to you. Really, I will.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The year of 13

I hardly ever keep New Year's Resolutions. So, I decided to address that by making 13 of them. One is bound to stick, right? For some reason, framing them in terms of "goals" rather than in terms of resolutions make them seem more manageable. Who knew that utilizing a thesaurus could be the deciding factor in success over defeat?

13 things to accomplish in 2013 - in the order they occurred to me
1. Make a decision about grad school
2. Pay off my Chase and American Express credit cards
3. Audition for a play
4. Visit Liz in Nashville (March 2013!!)
5. Read Sense and Sensibility 
6. Visit Kara in Bellingham twice
7. Do five (5) full push-ups
8. Get into a healthy weight range
9. Cut my hair (12 inches!)
10. Go three (3) months without refined sugar
11. Write forty-five (45) blog entries
12. Write two (2) finished plays/scripts
13. Take a "for fun" class (not grad school related)

Let the games begin!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Year - A New Game

I have actual semi-relevant things I could speak about with this blog entry - my first in many many months. And I will actually do that. I'll definitely speak about my 13 things to accomplish in 2013 list, and being in grad school, and work, and life, but right now the purpose of this post is to play a new game.

My friend Tanya and I work together.

Today we emailed each other.
Then she texted me.
Then she IM'd me through our interoffice IM.

I pointed the abundance of forms of communication and invited her to send me a carrier pigeon.

She wrote down a note on a post-it and put it on my desk.
I created an ecard with my message.
She created a webpage.
So, now I have a blog entry.

To answer your questions, Tanya: I'm doing kickboxing tonight and so that is how I'm going to get my workout in. Why do you have to meet with Beej before 8pm? Did you put a time limit on your good habit? Or is it related to sleep? I miss writing fun things with you as well! I'm going to try and include an extra curricular into my study schedule in the spring, but I think my extra thing this quarter will be kickboxing three days a week. Maybe taking a modern dance class next quarter!

Also, this post is helping me with one of my goals for 2013 which is writing 45 blog entries. Love you, Tanya, and love this game.