Monday, August 29, 2011

The First "Non-First" Day of School

Today marks the first “non-first” day of school for me in 18 years. I was so awash in my current state of life, I almost forgot about it. Last night, when I realized that Sac State was starting up again today and I didn’t have to go, I did a little happy dance, but I also thought I might feel some tinge of nostalgia. Of missing getting new books, notebooks and syllabi and seeing what was in store for the upcoming semester. (Yes I’m a dork and actually liked back-to-school shopping.)

But the nostalgia really wasn’t there. I have absolutely no desire to be sitting in class all day listening to teachers talk – half the time about subjects that I didn’t really find interesting. Perhaps it’s because I’m still too close to having graduated to miss school. And I'm sure I will miss the creative writing classes, eventually.

But maybe it’s just because I’m really happy where I am now. I really love my job and the people I work with. I love the friends I have made and grown closer to over the last year. I love and am really proud that I am finally licensed to teach zumba as of this weekend. Even though my 50 + hr work weeks plus 8-10 hours at the gym leave me exhausted and in need of multiple glasses of wine on the weekends – I really am happy. I don’t need to define myself by school or what major I am or how long until I graduate anymore. I can just be. I can be an adult, I can be a piano teacher, a zumba teacher, a writer, a “communications specialist.” I can just be me.

So as I start my longest day of the week – Work 7-330, Teaching 4-530, Body Pump/Zumba 630-8:30 – I am thankful that I will not end the day with homework, stress and anxiety. But with my favorite people at the gym and then my husband, a glass of wine and “The Big C” on TV. Happy Monday!

And for your Music Monday -- One of my fav new zumba songs from Alex’s classes:

Suavemente – Pitbull ft. Nayer and Mohombi <3

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some Positive Thoughts for Your Hump Day

Despite the fact that I may have a cold this week, and some weird random lower back pain from probably doing something wrong in Body Pump - (Oops) – I am overcome today by the positive thoughts of some wonderful people.  And I thought I would share them on this hump day.

Two of these are stolen from my friend Brigid – who in turn stole them from someone else.  :)

When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy." They told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life.”   - courtesy of Brigid

And here, an excellent post on what is truly important in life: 

It’s not about how many fish you catch or how much money you make, but it’s about the quality of people who you surround yourself with and spend time with in life.

Bringing me to something my very good friend Stephanie told me several months back:  “Only surround yourself with people who make a positive impact on your life” It sounds simple enough, but it can be hard to follow.  But thanks to many fantastic friends, coworkers and family, new and old, I am so happy to say that I really making that happen these days.

And last – one of my favorite quotes that I have hanging in my cubicle at work:

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. Viktor Frankl

If you choose happiness, it will come to you. J

And if you open your heart to new friends, they will find you.

Happy Wednesday All!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music Mondays: Slice

Here's a quick late Music Monday for today.  Again, this was a pandora find.  I like the message of simplicity. :)

Here's "Slice" By Five for Fighting

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Borders

I am still always surprised with how much hope and promise going into a bookstore fills me with – even one that will soon be non-existent.   We took a trip over to the soon to be closed Borders last weekend.  The “going out of business” signs cluttered the ceilings and fixtures with a forlorn air as shoppers rushed to scoop up great deals – the line longer than I’ve seen at either Borders or Barnes and Noble in a long time.  The saddest thing I realized about this trip was that I absolutely contributed it.  I actually was making a list of books that I want to read (which I think topped at least 10 books that day) – but I was making that list to go home and purchase on my Kindle.

To be fair, the major reason for this was I still have textbook trade-in cash left on my Amazon account and was too broke to buy regular books to at the moment.  I was actually pretty slow to get on the kindle bandwagon.  I thought – no these are my books, I want to be able to hold them in my hands when I read!  Smell them, bend the pages.  Just as I was slow to jump on the iPod wagon.  Who needs one of those, I thought.  Ha, Ha!

But just as I did with the iPod, I do truly love my kindle.  I love not having to hold it open when I’m reading in bed.  I love that my cover has a built in light that feeds off of the kindle’s battery.  I love that I can have multiple books on it and that the screen looks like an actual book. 

But I also will always still love books…just as CDs will always have a fond place in my heart.  Memories of stacked CDs cluttering the dining room table as my dad prepared his radio shows will always be a treasured memory and hold a soft spot for me.   As will browsing through bookstores – with all the hope and promise of finding a new story to love.

And while after attending so many writers conferences and events over the last few years as well as doing publishing internships – I have had the “e-books vs regular books” “indie bookstores vs. chain bookstores vs. Amazon” conversation more times than I care to count – the truth of the matter is:  Times are a changing.  Embrace the ebooks or don’t.  But the reality is that the way that we read is going to change and evolve quicker than we can imagine – and that’s exciting, scary and bittersweet all at the same time. 

So goodbye Borders.  Hello new chapter.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finding a Balance

As I felt the soreness of Saturday’s workouts setting in this weekend, I started thinking about finding balance.  

Finding a balance in my life and my schedule has always been a challenge for me.  And while as I’ve gotten older I feel like I have gotten better at it…I have definitely in no way mastered it. 

A good friend of mine has taught me in the last several months to let go and have a bit more fun than I used to do. Love you Steph! I have balanced my ridiculous amount of working 2 and 3 jobs with stress busting workouts – though I tend to overdo the quantity of them at times. J  I sleep more. I read more. I eat healthier.

But I forget that sometimes you need to just BE.

It's not a concept I'm very good at. But sometimes, you need to have absolutely no plans and walk in the park.  You need to read for hours and hours until you lose track of all time.  You need to do Yoga in the park and feel the grass and listen to the birds.  You need to listen to your body  and slow down.  Sometimes, as much as you hate to, you even need to skip said high impact workouts to spend time with friends.  Because a beer or a jello shot and a laugh can brighten up the darkest of days.

J Sometimes you need to eat greasily awesome grilled cheese sandwiches from the Drewskis food truck or drink 3 glasses of wine to dim of the stress.  It's gotta be a balance.

You also need to forgive yourself forgetting to keep that balance.  You need to believe that everyday is a new day and a new start.   No matter how bad the previous day was.  You need to break fridge doors and chairs and laugh until you can’t possibly laugh anymore.  You need to make new friends and embrace change.  Writing can heal.  Sometimes the dishes can wait.  Things are never perfect. 

“Don’t let perfect become the enemy of good”

The ultimate goal will always be to find the balance. My writing is fractured and so is my balance.

But I am getting there…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Music Mondays: Keep Us

It feels like it has been ages - or at least weeks - since I was able to sit down and write a blog. But yesterday I was able to sit down and just write solidly for more than two hours, and it felt so good. I truly must find more time in my schedule for this. (See a future post this week – about finding balance)

But for today on this bright start to a new week: here is a song that comes up frequently on my Parachute Pandora. It has such a calm quality and is really beautiful, and I hope it brings peace to your week.

“Keep Us” By Peter Bradley Adams