Thinking Thursday

Thinking Thursday 

Yikes. It’s been longer than I wanted. 
My motivation hit a brick wall and my habit wasn’t well-developed enough to kick butt through it. 
Lots of even well developed habits stopped (if only for a day). I’ve been keeping a date book since January. I loved writing in it. Now I barely care. I want to care. I know I will care again. 
Have you ever walked up a hill in high humidity and high heat? I’m a speed walker. I walk this one hill multiple times a week. I normally bolt up it. But today, the humidity was too much. It felt like I was walking through a wall of molasses. That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling lately. I think, in part, because I’ve been doing so well. I’m starting to kick butt on student loans. I developed a great jogging habit. I developed a great writing habit. I think I’m getting complacent. 
So now’s the time to force myself to do the things I love. Which is funny, why wouldn’t I be excited to so the things I love? Why am I collapsing in front of the TV? Because I’m sleepy. 
Dang it, don’t say you’ll sleep when you’re dead. Love yourself, get a healthy amount of sleep. 

Thinking Thursday

Thinking Thursday | Myself

Today I’m thinking about favors. 
I’m weird about favors. I am more than happy to help people. You need someone to help you move? I’m there. Someone to babysit your kids? I’m there. Need computer help? I’m there. I kind of love helping. It tends to be more one on one, and it’s nice to deal with grateful people. 
But I’m the worst at asking for help. There’s a video of me two years old trying to get my jacket out of a closet. Loudly yelling to everyone around that “I can do it myself!” Half the time I could use help, I don’t even realize I need help, I just assume the stress is normal. The other half of the time I fret about being a pest until I wait too long. And when I do ask for help, most people are happy to. 
Legit, I know it’s a problem. I’ve wandered around stores for an hour, refusing to ask someone to help me. I’m getting better at that. I’m not necessarily getting better at recognizing when I need help though. 
I can do it myself, dang it. 

Thinking Thursday

Thinking Thursday 

I do not hide the fact that I have anxiety. Which is a mostly true statement. I am constantly aware of tremors and my hands and voice that I fight to control, I try not to let my fear slip through cracks in my facade. But I do openly admit to having anxiety. I view so many things through a lens of fear. People are amazed to hear that I never got a detention, had near perfect t attendance, never skipped class. Didn’t drink before I was 21 (except for a few sips in Germany when I was 17, but it was legal there and I had a signed permission slip). All because anxiety. I want to say that it’s because I am a good person, but a lot of it is due to fear. Which is a sad way to be good because it’s not about what you want to do, so much as what you have to do. 
So, I want to try seeing the world through humor. When weird/awkward stuff happens, I won’t go cry in the bathroom, frustrated with my inability to cope. Instead, I’ll break the fourth wall like Jim in The Office. I’ve been practicing. Honestly, life is full of moments like that. So many things are funny in retrospect. So I’m going to try to laugh at them now. 
When you work in a cave, the only way to go is up. 

Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday | Lists

I love lists.  I have so many to-do lists.  I have a little notebook dedicated to lists.  Lists of songs to listen to in order to get myself pumped for the day.  Lists of fruits and vegetables I’d like to try to grow someday.  Lists of really cool artists.  Once (HUGE nerd alert), I would open the dictionary at random, find interesting words, and write them down in a little notebook (mixed with words I didn’t know from books).


But my favorite list right now is my clothing do’s and my clothing don’ts lists.  See, I used to shop a lot.  An unhealthy amount.  Product of my raising.  Product of my culture.  I had an unbelievable amount of clothing.  My mother would try to be helpful, if it isn’t completely satisfying when you try something on, then don’t get that.  But I fell prey to other people thinking things looked good on me.


Also, I’m working on being a part-time minimalist.  I hate thinking too much about what I’m going to wear.  It stresses me out.  How about I just look nice all the time (unless I’m working and messing up my clothes)?  I know VERY well, now anyway, that there are certain things that I will refuse to wear, no matter how much I liked it in the store.  Why waste my time and money?  Also, why not make my life super easy and make all of my clothes match?  I can just grab things at random and just automatically look good!  That’s all I want in my life.


I make my lists based on me.  On my body shape, on my skin tone, on what makes me feel comfortable, on what makes me feel nice.  I think everyone should personalize lists like this to themselves.  It’s a little bit of work to make so much of your life easier.


My (personal) clothing don’ts:


  1.  Visible elastic
  2. Bright colors
  3. Awkwardly short shirts
  4. Mini skirts
  5. White socks
  6. White
  7. Bulgy pockets
  8. Cap sleeves
  9. Empire waists
  10. Words/symbols (unless band/movies I love, I don’t generally advertise for free)
  11. Tight skirts
  12. Platform shoes
  13. Too warm colors (yellow and orange, gross)
  14. Ruffles
  15. Puffy sleeves
  16. Itchy sweaters
  17. Turtlenecks
  18. Slacks
  19. Anything that causes me pain.
  20. Anything that rides up and needs fixed constantly
  21. Transparent clothing
  22. Brown (I can wax poetic on my hatred of brown clothing/accessories.  I’m a cool skin tone, so it isn’t great on me anyway.  Also, there’s like a billion shades of brown, good luck matching your belt and your shoes and your purse.  You know what’s good?  Black.  Black always matches black.  Black always matches gray.  And white.  But brown?  Not for me.)
  23. Bedazzling
  24. Knee high boots (or higher)


My (personal) clothing do’s:


  1.  Stripes (I love stripes passionately)
  2. Black clothing
  3. Teal clothing
  4. Gray clothing
  5. Burgundy clothing
  6. Deep green clothing
  7. Sweaters
  8. Dresses cut at my waist
  9. Simple designs on jean pockets (no bedazzling, no sparkles, but not just blank)
  10. Socks for flats with grips
  11. Plain t-shirts
  12. Tank tops that perfectly hide my bra straps
  13. Skirts that dance when I spin
  14. Short boots
  15. Black socks (particularly ankle cut)
  16. Big, comfy hoodies
  17. Clothes made to fit me
  18. Hidden, good-sized pockets
  19. Blue jeans that actually fit my hips/butt, which is no easy feat

I would love to see other people think of something like this.  I mean, you go shopping, you find something you think you like, but it has something on the don’t list?  Don’t get it, you won’t wear it.  You know you.  You do you.



Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday

Today, having just enjoyed 2 hours in the kitchen making some ridiculous cheesy potatoes, I realized that I love taking my time on things I enjoy.


I enjoy actually shredding the cheese myself.  I enjoy chopping the potatoes on my own time.  I enjoy folding laundry with my own hands.  I enjoy making spreadsheets that are easy to understand and foolproof.  I love drawing and making pictures.  I even enjoy learning about drawing.


The jobs worth doing, are worth doing well.  If your work is what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  Other platitudes.


But legit.  There are some things I really enjoy, and today I just want to relish in the fact that I can find some joy in the mundane.


Life is about the journey after all.



Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday | Pets

I decided to read this lovely blog and found myself crying.  I was already planning on writing about our much-loved Storm.  Our beautiful, 80 pound, black lab.


Storm doesn’t quiver at lightning or thunder or honking cars.  She doesn’t gallop for comfort when the sweeper comes her way.  She stands bravely at the door, warning those who knock that she means business (unless you’ve come to pet her, then you’re welcome anytime).  The only word that frightens her is the word BATH.  Her tail goes straight between her legs and she cowers.


Her ears perk up and she jumps a few feet in the air (pretty impressive for a 10 year old dog with graying chin and belly) when the words CAR, RIDE, or WALK are mentioned in even the politest of conversation.


As soon as I exit the bed to get ready for the day, she’s immediately in it, curled up next to her boy, my husband.  She follows him around like…a puppy.  And when he’s not around, she follows me.


She drools whenever food is remotely near her.  She lays by the oven in anticipation, endangering everyone carrying hot, heavy objects and not looking where they’re going.


Storm is the best alarm clock; she works in stages.  Upon discovering she is hungry (never before 7), she starts to cry ever so quietly.  If that doesn’t work, she nudges us gently with her wet nose.  If that doesn’t work, she resorts to wrapping her paw around whatever arm she can grasp and attempting to shake us awake.  That always works.


When times have been hard, and they have definitely been hard, she sits still and lets you hug her.  She’s been known to lick up a tear or two.  Storm always sits still for hugs.  She knows when to comfort.  She never says I told you so.  She never refrains from loving you.  She loves anyone who is willing to give her butt scratches or food.


Storm has the most impressively awful farts.  They can clear multiple rooms of the house at once.  No one else’s farts have ever been mistaken for hers.  Silent but deadly rings true.  But as she’s gotten older, stairs make her fart loudly.  Nothing can make us laugh like Storm “toot toot tooting” all the way up the stairs.  She does not seem to get the joke.


Storm is getting old for a lab.  She gives us slightly annoyed looks when children play a little too rough.  She sighs when she lays down.  More and more white appears, contrasting with her black coat.  Two lumps are slowly growing in her armpits.


I’m so scared of losing Storm.  I know that when you get a dog, that they won’t live as long as you.  I know that you should give them the best possible time in their short lives.  But I’m still scared.  There’s no replacing Storm.  No other dog could possible be like her.  I wouldn’t want to replace her either.


Our Storm is beautiful and loved.



Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday | Survive

via Daily Prompt: Survive


I work so hard to fight my anxiety.  To fight feeling out of control.


Authority figures terrify me.  I’m not sure why because I pretty much never get in trouble.  Talking to teachers, I’d literally bit my tongue to hold back tears.  When I got pulled over for speeding (the one and only time), I cried uncontrollably.  Just thinking about confronting someone will eventually leave me sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth, trying to remember how to breathe.


I hate how stupid it is.  I know, logically, that these things are survivable.  I know that.  But my body tenses up.  My chest tries to strangle my heart beat under control.  My brain won’t slow down.  It thinks and pushes the thoughts and feelings further and further.  Then I’m doubly frustrated, first at whatever situation calls for a confrontation, and second that I can’t get myself under control enough to actually do what’s necessary.


So I plan.  I put systems in place so as few things as possible upset me.  And that works, sometimes.  But life is unpredictable, uncontrollable.  People misunderstand and their intentions aren’t always clear.


In order to survive, I’m putting better systems in place.  Seeing a counselor.  Exercising.  An app on my phone.  Challenging myself.


I can’t avoid me forever.



Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday

I write a lot of my blog posts on my non-driving portion of my commute home from work. Also, I’m lazy and the service is iffy, so this could be a re-write of something I wrote a week ago. Just a forewarning.
I’ve been trying to make myself healthy in a lot of different ways. Physically, spiritually, financially, etc. Trying to find a nice balance, something I can do for the rest of my life, like the way I always brush my teeth twice a day or shower daily.
I feel like I’ve already talked about jogging, how much it sucks, how I’ve gotten used to it, how I just do it now. I’ve definitely talked about how I enjoy going over my finances. That’s pretty habitual now.
Here’s the one I’m struggling with: diet. Diet meaning what you eat most of the time. Growing up, we were always on a diet. We didn’t yoyo diet, there was no massive gaining of weight between diets because there was no between diets. Mom would get bored of one and transition directly into the next. We ate very healthy meals most of the time. I went to college and managed to eat more than I bargained for and gained more than I was comfortable with. Look, I know that I have always been within a healthy weight range. But having eaten healthy and not healthy foods, I know there’s a difference between how I feel. The healthier I eat, the better I feel.
Once, I cut out sugar for a month. The cravings were hard, but I felt amazing. I’d really like to get myself to do that again (if only they would stop offering me the most amazing junk food at work). It didn’t feel sustainable though. Saying no to foods that are delicious is an exercise in torture. I tried no wheat for a month for no particular reason. It was nearly impossible, especially after I got food poisoning and could only eat crackers. Also, it really didn’t seem to have a decent change in feeling. It was mostly just annoying.
I’ve been trying a version of intermittent fasting, and it’s not nearly bad as I thought. It also seems really sustainable. But, I’m still definitely eating too much sugar.
I know the best option for me is to have complete control over the food that comes I to my home and to cook. But sadly, that’s not going to be the case for a long time. I live with people who cannot give up junk food. And I will eat it. Also, I love cooking, but I barely have any time between my jobs and my jogging.
I’m still figuring it out. Someday I’ll get there. Presumably once I’ve purchased a giant freezer so I can do all my grocery shopping once a year.
I hate grocery shopping.
Thinking Thursday · Uncategorized

Thinking Thursday

Today is Thinking Thursday so I’m going to talk about what’s on my mind today.
I was sitting on meetings today and yesterday, and as refreshing as it is to get away from my terrible desk, I’m not an active participant. I am a doodler. The less informative the meeting, the more advanced the doodles. It keeps me awake (which is more than I can say for everybody else). I was also feeling a little down because I haven’t posted what I would call my “good art.” The stuff of mine I genuinely like. Which, in a way, is more terrifying than posting junk. I know my junk is junk, I don’t care if other people agree with me. But posting my babies out into the world to be judged? That’s scary.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I set out to draw a real human being the other day, which I posted. The drawings looked like a person, but not the person. I wasn’t using my preferred pencil and I was sketching with a purpose. But dangit, when I sketch with no purpose, mindlessly, I draw things I really like. (For example, the woman in the middle below).
I can do good work (in my opinion, until I learn more and realize it wasn’t as good as I thought) when I work really hard.
So my question for myself is, why do I like my bored sketches and my hard work but not the middle of the road stuff?
And honestly, I think I have an answer. Now that I’ve thought on it. When I work hard, I’m focused, I fix things. When I’m bored, I do a TON of sketches. Obviously, some are bound to be good. Some are bound to be mind-numbingly atrocious. But when I do middle of the road stuff, it’s like doing one semi-focused bored sketch. Which probably only gives me like a 50/50 shot of it being any good.
Such is life.