Just Words – Sort of About Stress & Self Worth

14 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments

Yesterday, I needed a lot of “me” breaks.

I stayed productive filling out forms for school, researching whether it might be in our favor to move to another apartment later this year, baked yogurt biscuits (from scratch by hand) & even debated over a few job applications; but I also spent the day on the verge of losing it.  Like total meltdown.  I don’t even know how to put into words what I’ve been feeling or maybe I just don’t want to put a voice to it yet.

I could throw myself a pity party, but that isn’t really what I need.  Instead I took some me time throughout the day.  Some of it quiet; some of it intense — not necessarily distractions but specific ways I could focus my energy while clearing my head.  I usually come back with a refreshed perspective in place of the former doom.

So early in the morning, I went for a slow walk with Eisley & my camera.  Walking still means I’m in my head a lot; but once I start playing with the camera, my attention shifts to what I’m seeing & trying to capture rather than the stress in my head.  I really only came back with one image I like.  I might share it tomorrow.

Mid-day, I decided to drop in on a yoga class.  Especially tight muscles meant all of my energy went into breathing & trying to relax into even basic poses.

I was feeling better.  I was coping.  Still, “it” lingered.

Finally, Wednesday evenings mean spinning, which is usually a torturous treat I only look forward to.  Fifteen minutes before class, I was barely coaxing myself out the door, knowing it would only do good even if I didn’t feel up to it.

The substituting instructor destroyed us.  I have never sprinted that many intervals, ever.

In the midst of a truly brutal workout, there is no room to feel sorry for yourself or to call yourself weak or think your are worthless.  You dig, you push & you don’t give up.  You tell yourself you can do anything for 30 seconds, because you are so much stronger than you think you are; & you even have a little more to give & suddenly, you are pedaling even harder.  You feel like vomiting, but instead, you grin, grunt & push.  Drenched & fatigued, you can’t stop smiling all the way home.

Maybe I’m just riding the endorphin high.  The issues are still there, but suddenly I’m that strong, capable person again.  I can take this on, breathe, sort through it, push myself, smile & live each moment.

That’s all we can do anyway, right?

June Musings

30 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments

“Wisteria woke me this morning,
& there was all June in the garden…”

~Ann McGough, Summons

I was almost tempted to accuse June of flitting by, but it didn’t actually sweep through barely noticed.  Summer finally made herself known; in the June afternoons, we soaked her in.  When I think about how I spent these days & what they were made of, I smile.  I just love summer.  I thought I would share some of my current favorite things.

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~ Lately I have been loving red leaf butter lettuce.  We wrap the flavorful leaves, filled with a salad of crushed chickpeas, dill relish & lemon or yellow split peas tossed with a pesto of kale, pepitas & cherry bomb peppers.

~ Speaking of kale, my newest fixation is roasting it shortly with coconut oil, just a tiny dash of toasted sesame oil & a generous sprinkle of flaked coconut.  A perfect snack that travels well enough.

~ When I’m home for lunch (or in need of a quick dinner), a favorite fix is an unda-style quesadilla with a little tarragon in a yummy, flaky rice tortilla.  I don’t miss the cheese & sometimes even throw a spoonful of toasted capers on top.

~ Summer reminds me I do enjoy oats in the morning if done right, which is simply & cold: Italian-style muesli (also known as overnight/soaked oats) softened in vanilla hemp milk.  No frills: I like simple combinations.  Currently my jar is filled with thick-rolled oats, roasted pistachios, golden raisins & maybe occasional flakes of coconut.

~ The glass carafe in the fridge is filled with thick slices of cucumbers floating in cool water.  This is so refreshing & sweet.

~ When we want a little something more than water, we fill casual scotch glasses with Tinto de Verano.  Half sparkling lemonade, half inexpensive, Spanish red wine.  I like tempranillo or a tempranillo-merlot blend.  Don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lemon — this makes it.

~ I am craving chocolate shakes & seeing too many interesting homemade ice cream pairings.  I recently borrowed my SIL’s ice cream maker, & July might be all about homemade creameries.

~ Some might find it a shame to puree beautiful, fresh produce into chilled soups, but it’s heavenly.

~ We are usually climbing to some degree throughout the year, but I feel I am finally getting my training in focus & just enjoying it.

~ Though I still have some mixed feelings, I’m really enjoying a new venture: Bikram.  I also started a glute challenge/experiment based on this simple routine.

~ I can’t stop watching this beautiful & inspiring video of Natasha Wang.

~ How did I just learn about this?  The creative (yet-everything-in-its-place) girl is having a hay day.

~ I am soaking in summer with a lot of play.  In my downtime, my head is usually in a book.  I recently finished two great novels by Margaret Atwood & thoroughly enjoyed The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.  Now I’m onto Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent.  Also on my summer reading list: The Comedians, Graham Greene & Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger.

~ I am feeling crafty.  Again, how did I not know about Pinterest?

~ I am obsessed with the vintage fade of photos.  Like this or Faith, here.

~ Also smitten with minibooks.  We are doing one for our San Francisco trip. definitely.

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Tell me about your current obsessions & favorites.  Did June fly by or did you soak it in?

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