Friday, March 30, 2007

Good Day

So it looks like today is rounding out to be a good day. I was thinking that nothing was going to top the Cold Stone Cheesecake Fantasy I had last night. It has fruit that makes it healthy. But then there was this good news. I know that it is 18 months out, but it gives a girl something to look forward to. UPDATE: The link isn't working. The good news is that Dunkin Donuts is going to come into the Memphis market!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Burn Baby Burn

This afternoon I started to feel that lovely muscle burn associated with exercise. That's right: I exercised last night. I got home just after 6p and instead of turning on the TV I decided that it was nice enough to go for a walk. I walked my normal route which is about 3 miles round trip. Last night was the first time I've been walking in about 9 months! It felt good to be outside and I took my time getting into a grove. Now if I could only keep it up... As for that other goal, I've cut down on the nightly TV watching but haven't quite reached the 1 hour a night point. The main reason for the cutbacks this week has nothing to do with self control. I went out to a show Sunday night, cooked dinner on Tuesday night (Polenta Pizza: it's a must try), went for a walk last night, and tonight is TMNT movie night. Needless to say I haven't made any headway with the extra reading and devotional time.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Just me?

Have you ever been in a crowd (of any size) and felt completely alone? Tonight I went to a local rock club to see Skillet. This was a station-sponsored event and the potential for free admission was key (the record rep was supposed to put me on the list this afternoon, but it didn’t end up that way). I really enjoy concerts and smaller venues are better in my opinion. I think this is due in part to the fact that I have no musical talent whatsoever but know a large amount of people who do. Anyway, I made it to the club only to be told I was not on the list. I paid my $17 and waded through the crowd until I got a semi-decent view. All I could think about was how much better the acoustic set was this afternoon and the fact that in this crowd of hundreds I was completely alone. (I felt the same way in the crowd of a dozen or two at the acoustic show too.) This is something that is starting to get to me. I have always thought of myself as an independent person. I am financially independent, have a good job, live on my own, can cook, and even run a power tool or two. Lately I no longer feel independent; I feel alone. I sit alone at church; I either sit with strangers or annoying children at potluck. Ninety-nine percent of the time that I leave my apartment it is to go somewhere alone. I shop alone, eat fast food alone, rent movies alone, and watch TV alone. I know this shouldn't bother me. But it does. I even feel alone when I’m with others. Last week at Ever praise E & L came with me. We rode to church together and sat in the same pew. It felt no different then the times I sit by myself. Even when E joined me at Festival of Faith, I had the same issue. I wish I knew why this is becoming such an issue. I do believe that the worst part is that I’m extremely angry at myself for getting so worked up about it. On a completely unrelated note: I think that Memphians are descended from Pygmies. I've never seen so many height challenged people in my life. I know it was an all ages show, but it was ridiculous. At least 80% of the people were shorter than me and I'm 5'6".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Goal Setting

One of the things that I am really bad about is time management. I would almost go as far as to say that I am lazy or lacking in any form of will power. Almost. When I am at home I am more apt to turn on the TV than be productive. Sundays and/or Saturday nights are usually my TV days. What I realized this week was that when I come home by 6 I waste at minimum 4 hours sitting in front of the TV. This cannot be good. I am not a morning person, so devotions don't tend to happen then. The TV goes on as soon as I get home from work, so devotions don't happen then either. I need to change this. The epiphany came Monday night when I started my new book, Shantaram: a 936 page novel. The last book I read of that length was a Harry Potter book and I had to go to Oxford, Maine to make the time to finish it. While I love to read, I never make it a priority. I will read for 30 - 60 minutes before bed but that is all of the reading I do in a day. It can take up to a month or more to finish a book at that pace. I have come to the decision that this is no longer acceptable. I need to spend more time in devotions and reading and less time in front of the glowing TV screen. So what does this mean? Should I go cold turkey and unplug the whole thing? I hope not. I think the solution is to ween myself off TV. I will still DVR the shows I want to see (do you really think I could miss out on Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galatica, and Lost?) and have a mega catch up session on the weekends. So here is the plan: one hour of TV a night on Monday - Friday and no more than four hours of TV each for Saturday and Sunday. This way I can spend my nights reading and start using that 30 - 60 minutes before bed doing a devotional. The one possible hiccup to this plan is that for the next week or two or three I still have E&J here who are big TV watchers as well. We usually eat dinner while watching whatever is on TV. I'm going to have to be strong and set up camp in my bedroom while they watch TV in the living room and resign myself to the fact that the one hour of TV each night may be reserved for dinner time. Heck, if I really get adventurous I could start walking again in the evening for an hour. Don't hold your breath on that one though. Do you ever have issues with the magnetic pull of the TV? Have you figured out the best way to manage all 24 hours in your day? I'm always looking for a better idea.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekend in Review

This week was very full. L came down for a long weekend. It was great to see her again even if it took her sister moving here for her to make the trek :) Thursday night we all went out with LadyBoyd and her hubby to see 300. While it was high up there on the violence scale (it is about a Spartan battle after all), it is well worth seeing. The backgrounds were amazing. I was so into the story I found myself clapping at a scene near the end of the movie. Ladies, when you see the movie you’ll know which scene it was. I don’t know if it was just me but I noticed a lot of Jesus allegory in the movie. The Spartan king cared more about his countrymen than himself and proudly stood up to Xerxes. At the end I was blown away by Xerxes speech and Satan’s temptations of Jesus. Friday I took the day off. After an early morning filling/teeth filing session and a mid-morning nap, L and I made the trip to the Brooks Museum of Art. We had lunch at their cafĂ© and took our time wandering the building's three levels. L was very generous and thought that the Brooks was better than the MFA in Boston. Personally, I disagree because the MFA has more Egyptian and Asian pieces. Yesterday was an extremely productive day. After dropping L off at the airport I curled up on my bed with O’Malley and finished Deep Storm by Lincoln Child. The book was every bit as entertaining as one would expect from Child, but I was disappointed by the source of the illness and how it came to be located where it was. Highlight if you have no intention of reading the book or don't mind being spoiled: a weapons stash sent to Earth by aliens. (Quick plot summary: an oil rig off the coast of Iceland finds something unusual so the military and multiple high level scientists move into an undersea Facility to investigate and dig beneath the Earth’s Moho layer. The crews fall ill—no real common symptoms—and a submariner doctor is brought in to solve the medical mystery.) While I was finishing up the book, E cleaned the whole apartment. I sorted through papers and mail for about an hour. I was finally throwing out mail from August 2005! I’m really bad about keeping up with that sort of thing. E did a great job and the place is sparkling. I don’t think it has ever looked this good. I did have to promise to keep up with the papers and throw things out a minimum of once a week.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Long time no post...

This week’s sermon really hit home with me. Pastor Lombard spoke about giving up control. One of the examples that he used was someone trying to give up smoking. The epiphany came when she said “I can’t do this.” My mom and I were having the same conversation Friday night. I still feel overwhelmed on multiple fronts. Last week I finally became fully staffed at work. This will really kick in next week when I’ve finished closing the books and can start handing things off. Last week I put in some 10+ hour days at work. When I was telling a friend about my week, all he could say was “There is no way I would do that. They better be paying me tons of overtime if they expect that from me.” I have a huge issue with this train of thought. I don’t do my job for the money. (That’s not to say that I’m not well compensated, money just isn’t my motivator and it never will be.) The way I see it, I’ve made a commitment and have to do what it takes to follow through with that commitment. I am responsible for my deadlines regardless of what that entails. This is not just a work issue with me. One of the areas where this has become an issue is at church. For example, I don’t think it is fair to a youth Sabbath school for the teacher not to be prepared. It is also not acceptable to promise something and not deliver. I think I’ve mentioned before that I often find it necessary to have a backup plan when I am counting on someone else to follow through. I have had to use the backup plans on several occasions. I’m starting to believe that I’m being taken advantage of for being “the responsible one.” People know that I hate having the youth (or prophecy seminar attendees) get the short end of the stick from the church. I won’t be the person who contributes to the church letting them down if I can help it. As a result, people are slacking off because they know I’ll take care of things. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping. I am quite the helper. But if I wanted to be a leader or coordinator, I would’ve signed up for that job. I have enough on my plate with work. I don’t need to deal with finding out that I am supposed to help teach the Sabbath School lesson for up to 40 youths with one week notice. On top of that, I don’t need to deal with the “Leader” telling me that he will help with the lesson and then not facilitate a planning session so that the whole lesson is now my task. Just once, I’d like to be the one who brings the OJ and the CD player. At some point church needs to go back to being a fulfilling experience for me and not a draining one. I accepted the position of assistant under the guise of helping out one Sabbath a month. The reality is more like three to four times a week because I actually take the time to read the lesson and learn about the subject. This is very stressful when you consider everything else that is going on for me and the fact that I may not know until I get to church if I have to teach. Now that I’ve been very long winded, this is just another reminder that I need to STOP being the independent cuss that I am. I need to start asking for help and guidance even when I am afraid of where it may lead. I don’t expect to rely on people because we all screw up and people don’t change. I need to take the help offered by the one person who has the Map and is the Light for my path. Easier said than done.