Charting life's circuitous path


Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Being Thankful

My Update:

I’m tired.

I’m stressed.

I’m feeling weirded out by the mail I’m being sent.

Ummm, I know I've had a hard week, but . . .

I’m not sure how, but my name has been on the, erm, senior citizen listings for some time now.  I get offers for hospice care and retirement communities.  Now I’m receiving cemetery plot purchase plans.

I’m in my 30’s.

Sure, I feel like I’m twice that some days (this week in particular), but I’m not quite that ready to purchase my plot. 😛

I’m still trying to balance work, “home” work, and life.  I’m hoping for a better week this week, but we’ll have to see.  Everything is getting done, including my daily hour exercise sessions and my healthy eating, but I feel like I’m getting it all done by the skin of my teeth. 😥

iChallenge Week 45 Topic: Being Thankful

For the last week or so, I’ve been “spinning the spoon” on the Quaker Oatmeal Facebook page and hoping for a win.  Every day, I get this message:

I’m still spinning the spoon until the contest ends, but my hope of winning is about as high as my hope of winning the lottery.

And I don’t play the lottery.

Even though I’ve lost the Quaker game every time, there’s a lot about this “you lose” message that I like.  And a lot that speaks to me this week.

I want to focus on being thankful in this ELB post.  Too much of last week consisted of worrying, stressing and complaining.  In all of the tussle, I began to lose a sense of self and about what makes life, life.

  • “Great Days Start with Quaker” – while I do have great days when I start with a warm bowl of oats, local apple butter, and sliced almonds, what I’m thankful for is the ability to enjoy that warm bowl of oats in the few quiet moments of the morning.  It doesn’t hurt that I enjoy my bowl with my hubby. 🙂
  • “You can try again tomorrow” – Tomorrow is always a new day.  Tomorrow is full of possibilities.  But while tomorrow promises a win, don’t let that make today a loss.  Today isn’t over until tomorrow comes, so make the most of today.  Take for example our Saturday:  we changed up our schedule and instead of doing our exercises in the morning like usual, we spent the day having a fun day out together.  We enjoyed a nice meal and we did some shopping.  I still got in my biking in the evening, but I didn’t let consistency rule our days.  There’s been too much “scheduling” going on this week and we rebelled a bit to change things up.
  • I’m thankful, too, for the ability to actually waste a minute of my time each day clicking on the “play” button.  While I fuss about the loss of “free” time, in reality, I have the time to click on the link.  Others don’t have that kind of time.  My life might be busy, but in a lot of ways, that’s a good thing.  It means an income, security and living out my possibilities.  It means doing something I like and not something I hate.  It means experiencing something new and developing skills that will enrich my life.

I’m totally all for complaining to release stress, but I think it’s even more important to stop sometimes and remember all that is actually good with life and be thankful.

What are you thankful for? 🙂


Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Meditating with Help (review)

My Update: *yawn*  A soft pillow, a cup of hot tea and a good book sounds like heaven right about now.  I’m beat and this week has really taken a lot out of me.  (Hence the late ELB post.  And the late end of the month photo roundup.  Yikes!) I’m slowly adjusting to my new schedule and it’s taking longer than I thought.

Officially, I’m part time.  I loved my new schedule because it meant one day off a week and a max of 6 hours of work a day.

I envisioned a more care-free workday where my job was just a thing I did during my “down time” (read: surf the net, blog, bake and cook time).  I’d even have loads of extra time where I waited until the hubby was done.

I even worried about having too much time on my hands and played with the idea of buying an iPad.  You know, cause I could keep blogging  busy as I waited.


The reality?

I’m still off one day. Check.

I get a 20 minute break. Check.

Loads of free time and twiddling of thumbs?  In my dreams (course, that’s if I dream…been too tired to do even that lately).

I find myself quickly munching on carrots and trying to down a dry peanut butter sandwich before getting myself back into presentable and working mode during my break.

First day I arrive? They ask me if I can stay later on Fridays to help out.  Did I agree?  Course I did.  It’s money and I’d be there anyways.  Do I regret agreeing?  Ask me when I’m awake.

I spend all the time from when I wake up to before going to work squeezing in my exercise routine and getting things done.  Turns out, all of that “down time” I had before was actually crucial in getting my day nicely spaced out and manageable.

I suppose the upside to this is the increase in pay.  🙂  Still, the days of “luxury” are all but a distant dream.  At least I like what I’m doing and it keeps me busy.  I’d rather work and make money and be happy doing it all than the reverse.

That iPad dream?  On the back burner, cold.  Now?  I’m hoping to gain access to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ site to listen to some hockey.  Apparently, they don’t block all of the net. 😉

iChallenge Week 44 Topic:  Meditating with Help (review of Five Good Minutes in Your Body)

This week, I want to continue the discussion on meditation and give you a review of a book that I’ve found helpful.

Review: Five Good Minutes in Your Body


My meditation attempts are going well.  Actually, let me rephrase that.

My meditation attempts before starting work were going well.

Now?  Not so much.  I’ve got to find the time to really squeeze in even those five minutes.  Because, honestly?  I’d rather be surfing my foodgawker or pinterest account.

Sad.  I know.

Still, during those blissful days where I can meditate, I love it.

Back in the summer when I started for the first time ever, I found it daunting and hard to do.  The most I could sit still for would be a couple of minutes.  Slowly I built up the ability to spend longer periods meditating until I could do it easily for 10 minutes.  Like with all things, it takes practice.

This book is a great way to build up that “stamina”, so to speak.  The book is comprised of four sections: Inhabiting the body, mindful movement, feeling your body’s senses and wise body.  Each section offers you a quick and easy practice that you can do either before bed or even during your normal day’s activities.

I tried a few from each section and my favorites involve meditation.  They give you something to focus on without being directive.  So, for example, one exercise had you bask in the feelings in your body parts and to thank them one at a time.  Another practice had you focus on an area that distressed you.  As you focused on that feeling or part, you directed kindness to it, like you would to a friend in need.

Each practice is easy to understand and doable.  Some of the more movement directed practices were a bit more involved (such as mindful walking or mindful group gathering).  However, the book is set up in such a way that you can pick and choose which practice you want to do at any given time.  The book is also small enough that you can slip it into a bag (although I’d love it if this book came in card format so that it became even more portable).

I really liked this book and it’s going to become part of my collection.  I highly recommend it for those that need a bit of guidance or tips for meditating.

(Disclaimer: As with all of my reviews, I wasn’t compensated or asked to do it.  It’s just me. 🙂 )


Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Work Food

My Update:  I had an 8 hour orientation today for my new job.  This involved a lot of smiling, nodding and so much  general pleasantness that I’m tired.

Oh, yes, and cute shoes:

Blowfish Naina Flats


Which got wet because it poured once I arrived.  Still, they survived without damage, so all’s good!

I also had the unfortunate embarrassment of having my stomach growl right before we were let out to get lunch.  Why does this have to always happen to me?  Others can be starving and not have a stomach that wants to vocalize it for all and sundry to hear.  Why can’t mine?

Add to that the one person I happened to be sitting next to was one of those people that don’t think you’ve noticed your own tummy growling and has to helpfully proclaim it out loud.

Le sigh.

This weekend involved a Chocolate Festival.  It was sugar coma inducing yumminess all around.  We ate our weight in chocolate (well, okay, that would be 1. not possible and 2. gross, but it certainly felt that way).

Our stash that we brought home. This doesn't include all that we ate while there.

Need I say more? 😀

I tried my best to calculate what I ate, but I’m resigned to the calories being above and beyond even a “bad” day around here.  Still, it’s not like this is anything remotely normal, so it was a fun day out and a good time.  Just with lots and lots of chocolate. 🙂

iChallenge Week 43 Topic:  Work Food

No matter what shift you work, you’re more than likely needing to eat something while you’re there.  I’m working part time, but it still interferes with one of my meals so I’ll need to eat.

Knowing what to eat is very important and choosing the best option is critical.

  • I have to take into account the protein and fiber levels of the foods involved so that I stay full for longer.
  • I need to be sure that I also have the right calorie count so that I don’t sabotage my efforts.
  • I also want my lunch to be “fun” so that means having something that I can view as a “treat”.

So, with all that in mind, here’s an overview of what I’ll be packing:

  1. A homemade granola bar
  2. Cut carrots (have to get my veggies!) with hummus
  3. A pot with brown rice and curry (either a lentil or bean curry) OR
  4. A pot of plain greek yogurt and a pot of kashi go lean to mix in

I’m going to start with that and see how it goes.  I’m hoping that my food choices are a good balance.  I think I have the whole grains down pat, plus the protein and the veggies to even things out.

Tomorrow is my first official day, so here’s for the best! 🙂