Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday, How I Love Thee

My current work schedule in Monday thru Thursday with the occasional Saturday morning shift. You know what that means? Freedom Fridays! It's possibly the best work schedule a girl could ask for. And Saturday morning work? I actually like it--I spend the majority of my three to four hour block working in my office, being productive, and checking off to-do's. It's fabulous!

But today I have quite a few things to take care of today. Our spring audition for the dance school is an all day affair tomorrow so that wipes out any productivity for me. This week alone has been a little hectic. Doesn't seem like it's going to slow down any time soon either (Am I surprised? Always and I really shouldn't be. This is how my life has always been.). We're only a couple weeks away from Spring Break so I guess you could say an end (more like a pause) is in sight.

What's on the agenda today? A lunch meeting, going to find out all the haps on the promotion and tenure process. My two year mark at the university is quickly approaching and I'll be up for a promotion--whoo-hoo! To be evaluated for it, I have to put together a gigantic binder full of everything I've done during my two years of working here. A little intimidating? Sure, but completely possible to do. I've had a lot of offers for help from fellow faculty members and going to these informational meetings helps me get a bit more prepared.

After that, it's a grocery run, couple of errands, laundry, and whatever lesson plans I can possibly squeeze in. Gotta get a work out in, too. My "marriage muffin" is in need of some serious trimming. When a typical work day goes from 8:00 am - 7:30 pm, it's a little hard to find the time or energy to get a little exercise for yourself. Although, last weekend I ventured into something new. A friend of mine is getting married and for her bachelorette hoorah, we took a group pole dancing lesson (More on the hilarity of my inadequacies at twirling down a pole later.). Incredibly sore for days after, I took it as a sign that I'm definitely being easy on myself. Time to take it up a notch.

WHOO! I think I've had a bit too much coffee this morning! So much to do! So much to do! Guess I'll start with putting on real clothes and my war paint for the day. Happy Friday, ya'll!

Honey says "Happy Friday! Now  put down the coffee and pet me!" Yes ma'am, Honeykins!  Right away! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013


It's that time of year again, Lent! One of my favorite times of year that really gets me doing a little soul searching in a self-set challenging way. Could lead to a even a small yet positive change in yourself. I also love the message behind this beautiful symbolic time (I'm not gettin' preachy, don't worry.).

Some look at Lent as a time to give up something food related in hopes of losing those extra few pounds. Some try to pick a habit to break, like cursing, for the next forty days. Me? Well, I've  tried to make a real effort during the Lenten season to choose something I can fully commit to. Not only commit to, but really feel the "tough love" of giving something up and really feel the season's message.

I gave up peanut butter my freshman year of college. This was a particular challenge because peanut butter had oddly become my security blanket (which explain the additional pounds that magically appeared on my booty.). It would call to me in lonely times and I was pulled to it, spoon in hand, ready to twist the red top off and scoop a soft peanutty mound into my salivating mouth. The Jiff jar had some sort of hypnotic power over me. I'd been fighting the urge for some time and I just needed to something to make me really commit to giving up the hard stuff (Just for clarification--I do mean peanut butter. It's not code for anything else. I'm just strange enough to have an addiction to PB.).

By the time I decided my daily PB intake was going to have to stop, I'd already been improving my health lifestyle for several months. Joined Weight Watchers, had a trainer, and was pretty dadgum committed to feeling healthy again. PB was just a way for me to cope with feeling sad or upset--That first freshman year was really tough on me. A spoonful always made me feel better, but it never lasted for long. I had to find some other way of feeling happy without using food as a feeling suppressor. Enter Lent.

Something about having made a promise to the Man Upstairs makes you really stand strong. The result? PB free and happily less dependant upon, but I still have to reign myself in now and again. I learned a few ways to channel whatever emotions I would have smothered in the creamy goodness. Still, I have my moments when I hear the jar of PB call to me from the kitchen.

Junior year I gave up coffee and tried to teach myself to like tea. That had to be the WORST idea I've ever had. I'd been in school for a solid year and a half (fall, spring, summer, fall, winter-mester, and half-way through spring) when I thought it sounded smart to kick my caffeine habit. In retrospect, it was probably not smart to quit cold turkey like I did. Quite a few headaches the first couple of days seriously tempted me to start chewing on coffee grinds. Can you imagine?

But I made it and with a better liking for tea in the end. I know there were quite a few early mornings and late nights where I spoke to the Big Guy and asked for some help making it through the day. Ain't no way I was going to survive on green tea after being up until 2:00 am and going to a 8:00 am class.

Sometimes Lent isn't always about giving up but trying to be better. So two years ago, I tried to count a blessing a day without repeating and I kept a journal the whole time. All I can say is: Whoa. Baby. It was actually quite a challenge! First of all, remembering to do it every day was tough, but that was the point. I didn't always say "thank you" for the good things in my life as often as I should have.

Second, all I challenged myself to do was find one different blessing a day and after the first, I don't know, week, week and a half, I got a little stuck. I know. How do you start to run out of counting blessings in your life? Well, I did simply because I'd always counted the same ones over and over so it sounded like an easy enough challenge (What an oxymoron right? Easy challenge. Emphasis the "moron" part for me.). The longer I stared at my journal, the more apparent it became that I didn't really see all that  I had in my life.

I couldn't have picked a better time to try this out. I was out of school for the first time ever, had a masters, a ton of auditions lined up, a serious lack of income, student loans coming 'round the bend, and was completely terrified of all that was happening. In short, I was lost. And scared. And a little sad. Being lost, sad, and scared is not the best color on me, but I know this activity was a blessing in an of itself. It made me pull myself up by my bootstraps a little, open my eyes, and say, "Holy Hannah! I am going to be OK!" I like a quote I found, "Sometimes in my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed!" Helps you put your "big" problems into perspective.

This year. Man. This year I've chosen to restrict my screen time including my facebook time.

I know, right?

Well, let's put it this way. I spend way to much time on there and I don't use it in the most positive light. I usually "stalk" the people who's lives seem to be absolutely wonderful and far better than my own (We all do it, that's the whole point of facebook is to see who is doing what when and where. Don't judge.). Green actually is a good color on me, but not the jealousy kind.

I guess you could say that in a way I'm a little bit of a masochistic facebook stalker--hurts so good that I keep going back for more. I love to see what fantastic lives people are leading and it seems great and then it tailspins into this mental issue where I get sad and down on myself. "Why am I not doing that?" and "I'm missing out" or "Why does everything seem so fabulous for them?" Well, duh, Julie. Like anyone is going to post the seriously sad things or unhappy things in their life. I suwannee. Sometimes I just have to shake myself.

It's a sad truth to admit. For probably the last year I've been telling myself to just sign off, delete the account, get rid of it if you can't handle it. But then I remember my beloved peanut butter and our love/hate relationship. You shouldn't through the baby out with the bath water. I need a little self control. My family is on still on there and especially since I'm having a hard time visiting as often as I'd like, this is a the best way to see how they're doing.


SO. I'm limiting myself to two check-in's a day (I don't count being on instagram and posting photos from there. I have to set myself boundaries!). I had no clue how often I get on facebook out of habit! Just click in and roll through all the news feed. The last few days have been really difficult not to just click the icon on my phone. I see my finger reaching for it and my brain starts screaming "NOOOOO!!!"
 If I didn't do that so much, maybe, just maybe, I'd be out living my life and enjoying things around me a bit more instead of questioning what I'm missing out on. What a concept! I'm truly hoping these forty days of limited activity of the F.B. will help me find a little more happiness, stop living vicariously through a screen, and create my own adventures. So far it feels pretty good. And extremely hard at times.

If you're participating in Lent, good luck to you. I know what an individual challenge it can be and how a little word of encouragement goes far. Whatever you get out of it, a few lost pounds, less of a sailor's mouth, or just a little self peace, I hope you find it. I think there's no better time to try and change than in the spring. It just fits with how everything else in the world begins to change, too, so you don't feel quite so alone.

On that note, go out and enjoy this beautiful day! Try hoppin' off facebook yourself and see what you can really do with that time. Happy Saturday ya'll!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all!

I absolutely adore this special day! I can't think of a better way to spend the day than celebrating love in a pink and purple sparkly way! Not to mention there's always chocolate involved or in Pyro Man's case, pink cake!

I gave him my (Strawberry Cake) heart this year! 

Hope you're having a wonderful day! Don't forget to spread a little love yourself today!

Flowers from my sweet, Handsome man! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hump Day Wednesday

Every Wednesday feels just about the same. I've passed the Monday stress of starting the week and roll into the "Tuesday Triumph" where I feel I can do just about anything (Only because I've survived Monday.).

Wednesday just feels like I really have reached the top of that giant hill I started Sunday night. Things are good, and it's only down hill from here. Thursday, my favorite day of the week, usually ends my work week and I look to my three day weekend of chores, catching up, and prep for the next week. Not that I'm in a rush. Still, I am ready to roll along down into Thursday now. But I've got many things to keep me busy and occupied for the day; planning, grading, reviewing, and such. In short, work.

Can I really call it "work" when I spend most of my time creating dance classes and working with some of the most talented individuals day in and day out? Probably not. Can't even complain about having to go into the "office" because it's really not an office. It's a creative hub, a daily musical set, and an all out dance party 24/7.  Even my personal office can't help but soak up the the music that seeps out from the dance studios below. My little work space picks up the various classes and rehearsals, the echoes of tap shoes, and the bellowing "dancer speak" from my fellow faculty members. Definitely better than most typical office sounds.

Work? Not really what you think of as typical work. Sure, I've got paperwork to do and lecture classes to prep, but when I'm passing down information, teaching students about being a teacher or how to dance. It's absolute joy and I really do love it.

So, with a fresh cup of coffee in hand and the sounds of a tap class resonating in my office, I think I can handle this hump day just fine.

Happy Wednesday to you!

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