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Holiday Challenge & Stopping the Pity Party

Friday, December 17, 2010


IT ALSO FEELS OUT OF BALANCE IF I EAT too little vegetables and too many carbohydrates - any time I eat out of balance.

MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW IS BALANCING everything. I've never had a life in balance.

IN ORDER TO CREATE BALANCE IN MY LIFE THIS WEEK, I WILL get 8 hours of sleep every night. I need that energy in order to tackle everything else.

ONE ACT OF KINDNESS I WILL DO FOR MYSELF THIS WEEK IS: I traded in my cellphone for a new one that works!

[For me, I had the chance to recommend Steven Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". A coworker was really stressed and I told her the biggest tip I got from the book. Picture 3 concentric circles. The smallest one contains those things that you can influence or control. The next one contains those things you may be concerned about but either cannot influence or it's not the right time to do so. The largest circle contains everything else, especially those that you have no control over. When something worries you, figure out whether you can fix it now, later or ever. If not now, don't spend energy on it!

At work, I am the only one in my department who works in a different building. My boss used to work on this floor, but he moved to Knoxville 2 years ago. The rest of the floor is the finance department. Today, they had a send-off for a contractor who has found a full time job. When the executive admin is there, she makes sure the entire floor is included. But she is off on Fridays, so it was left up to the A/P manager. She left me out. She looked right at me and away and rounded up the rest of the floor. I worked very closely with the departing employee on tax exempt questions FOR HER DEPARTMENT! It had nothing to do with the bagels and everything to do with respect and appreciation. That was why I slipped into a bit of a pity party today. It felt justified and yet, I hate feeling like that!

Today was also the departure day for one of my supervising attorneys. I was not there for her farewell party so I was not tempted by the tiramisu (don't like it anyway!). I left early because I moved wrong yesterday and hurt my back. I stayed for most of the day because of meetings, but I suffered! She understood why I left early and we managed to say our best wishes without tears. I still feel them, though.

Surprisingly, I got in over 9K steps, 3 miles and 42 minutes! I ate within range, but just barely. It was another HUNGRY day. I also ate some crackers when the pain made me nauseous. TMI, I am sure!

The storm has not yet arrived. It has been raining lightly, but not the downpour that was forecast.

Something weird is going on at work. I am quite nervous. Every day, another one or two people leave. I have gotten some weird responses to some routine questions, so I feel a bit anxious about my status...That does, however, fall into the second circle. I am concerned, can't do anything about it, so...........Move on, brain!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GSGKMG 12/19/2010 12:20AM

    Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

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NEWHORIZONSR4ME 12/18/2010 2:52PM

    Thank you for sharing your experience with the concentric rings. Your blog shows you are a wise woman with great self-care ideas. When these types of things happen it is unsettling and yes, depressing. I'm not sure exactly what to say, but it crosses my mind that you have a choice to make about letting it bother you. Please, please don't take that wrong. I'm just trying to say that you are really smart, what with your Covey philosophy, your recent degree, and I hate to see you suffer. Take that wisdom and bring your thoughts to a good place...

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MYSTERY4EVER 12/18/2010 2:19PM

    I have been reading Geneen Roth. The first book of hers I read was "Appetites". I have one more session of a "Books on Tape" self-reflection called, "Food is Food and Love is Love". I borrowed both from the library.

These are helping me separate my eating from the stress in my life. There is a Geneen Roth team here on SparkPeople.

Good luck with this.

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EMPTYNESTER60 12/18/2010 7:01AM

    It's always scary when things are going on at work & you feel like you are left out of the loop - I've been there & I really don't like it. Hope things get better there for you. Love your attitude about sorting things in to circles & then moving on. Let's end that pity party & start a Spark Party!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/18/2010 7:04:34 AM

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JHADZHIA 12/17/2010 11:50PM

    Sounds like you are holding it together really well! Congratulations on a good day! Make sure you get enough protein in your meals to stave off the hunger. Should get 20 to 30g per meal. It is annoying to have to deal with petty people in your work place. But unfortunately, in such a huge organization you will run into it a lot. All you can do is hold your head high and not sink to their level.
Good for you making an effort to get regular sleep, it will make a big difference, wish I could solve this big problem of lack of sleep I have.
I should hope any of your superiors or bosses would give you some kind of warning if your position was in any kind of jeopardy.
Keep up the good work!

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NONIE_C 12/17/2010 10:23PM

    I love the idea of the circles and sorting your concerns into categories - it sounds like a wonderful way to de-clutter and de-stress your brain, and it sounds like you're doing a good job of that. I'm so sorry that woman rudely excluded you. I so dislike it when people are mean. It's so unnecessary. But good on you for going to say your good-bye anyway - that's the spirit.

It seems like you have a great plan for self-care and creating balance this week too. You are so right - a full night of sleep really helps prepare us to deal with the twists and turns of everyday life.
Great Job on logging over 9K steps, 3 miles and 42 minutes, and for staying in your calorie range. You Rock!!!

Keep up the good work, maintain your amazing attitude, and watch the pity party dissipate before your eyes...
emoticon Nicole

Comment edited on: 12/17/2010 10:23:49 PM

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13,257: Look How Far I Have Come! (Thanks, Nonie_C!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

13,257 is what my pedometer says I did today! I walked as much as I could today knowing that it is going to be very stormy for the next few days. I looked for every opportunity to move that I could! I took two bags of food to donate to the food drive, I walked to the cafe for the free fruit, all kinds of back and forth while working, fast walking at Costco at lunch and fast walking through Sears and every inch of the drug store (only a small exaggeration there).

Nonie_C's blog today is a victorious blog, not only for her successful week while on a business trip, but for the retrospective - the choices she's making that are different from before her SP journey.

So where am I at nearly 11 months in? Hmmmm.
Not as far as I thought I would be in terms of weight loss ("only" 25 pounds) and I will take it! I hit a long plateau in the spring and I still do not have exercise fully integrated in my lifestyle.

I have always had breakfast, so that has not changed. What has changed? Instead of pop tarts or muffins, I relish my heavy duty high fiber cereal. I have also switched from 2% to 1% milk for it.

White rice is replaced by brown and I really want to try black rice. Beef is history (but I LOVE it!) and I very often have meatless meals and days. Portion control is inconsistent, but doing much better. Monterey jack, pepper jack and sharp Cheddar have been replaced by lowfat mozzarella and portions are much smaller!

My tape measure has disappeared, so I don't know how many inches I've lost. But I walk a lot more, the hills are not as noticable, I don't begrudge walking more than I have to.

I've started doing some strength training, not enough to get excited about, but that is starting to change and will definitely change this coming year. Looking forward to the new year, making resolutions that I am actually going to keep - this anticipation is new!

Eight hours of sleep is still elusive sometimes, but I am doing much better. I do have cycles of insomnia, but they seem to be less severe. Overall, my energy level is improving.

Instead of guzzling diet soda, I am very consistent about eight glasses of water

And I am mostly at peace with the idea that it is going to take another year or more for me to drop the rest of this tonnage.

The chrysalis is starting to crack. The butterfly will emerge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/18/2010 9:42PM

  wow.. you've come a long way.. be proud of what you've done. you're amazing!!

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CARRAND 12/17/2010 9:21PM


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EMPTYNESTER60 12/17/2010 7:43PM

    Look at all of the progress you've made! You need to keep this blog where you can re-read it when you are discouraged. Way to remind us that success isn't always about the numbers on the scale (even though a 25 pound weight loss is emoticon) You are doing a great job!

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ULEWIJ 12/17/2010 2:36PM

    awesome! that is some life-long strategies right there!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/17/2010 12:01AM

    You have made so much progress and should be so very proud of yourself!

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JGINTX 12/16/2010 11:40PM

    You know....I SOOOO needed this reassurance tonight!! I get frustrated sometimes b/c I think my progress is TOO SLOW - but when I step back and look at the lifestyle changes that I am making, no matter how big or how small, it's still GOOD!! I've only been sparking since mid-August and I thought I'd be alot farther towards my goal by now, but doggone it, I'M DOING OK!

And YOU ARE TOO!!! Thanks for the inspiring words!

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FIGHT2SURVIVE 12/16/2010 10:50PM

    I can't even begin to imagine walking that much. But I have to use a walker with my arms and then drag both legs behind me so it only counts as one step. And now I am pushing dh in a wheelchair while doing this so the forward movement is very slow and I am sweating like a pig when I'm done.

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NONIE_C 12/16/2010 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You've come a long way, baby! (as the saying goes) And you really have. I think it's so important to recognize all the changes. Like you, I haven't seen the huge leaps on the scale that I would've liked to by now, but I recognize that deconstructing old, self-destructive, habits is no small task, but it's an imperative step to becoming the person I want to and will be...we WILL reach ALL our goals, eventually.

I have often wondered if the butterfly knows that light and freedom await outside the seeming safety of the cocoon, or if it is some innate need to press on that drives her...for me, it is a combination of both, I guess. How 'bout you?

Comment edited on: 12/16/2010 10:41:21 PM

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11TT1EDEBB1E 12/16/2010 10:31PM

  You are definitely going in the right direction. Keep it up. emoticon

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No Pedometer, Work and Spreading the Spark

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I forgot to wear my pedometer today! I hate it when I forget it. I had to estimate what I did.

Work is completely nonstop. I have not even had time to address my Christmas cards because I come home completely exhausted. But it has had good moments. Today, our top attorney asked me to find a US Supreme Court case (my favorite thing!). It's actually not a case yet, but it was announced last week that the Court would hear the oral arguments next year. She wanted me to find the filings associated with the case. It took me moments to find the docket number, but, since the case is not yet before the Court, I had to hunt for the documents. I found them and was thrilled. She was amazed that I found the docket number so quickly. The letter about the case that she received did not contain the docket number and that surprised me because it came from one of our outside counsel firms. It may be that the docket wasn't assigned when the letter was drafted and did not get updated when it was done.

Our legal department director supports my interest in mediation, thinks I will be good at it and was impressed that I have a support letter to the county court already lined up.

Yvonne's boss has yet to express any appreciation for my work for his department. His emails have been very high and mighty which makes me react very negatively. I have to watch that! He sent an email to my boss about something else, some sort of contemplated system upgrade and wanted to know all about our department's internal workings. He has probably been tasked to spearhead the effort, but the tone of his email was very rude and condescending. UGH. He was my boss for a few months and, while we were civil, we just did not click.

I had the opportunity to spread the Spark today. Two people wanted to know how I had lost 25 pounds this year and I was happy to answer the questions...! Next year, I need to do a lot more! It may take close to 3 years to lose this tonnage and I keep telling myself that that is ok because I am learning very good habits while on the journey.

My internet connection is unreliable, so I will log off for now and beg indulgence for not thanking y'all for comments and spark goodies.

Cyberhugs to all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/18/2010 9:40PM

  emoticon you are spreading the spark around to others. :) You have done great losing 25 pounds... and, you should be proud of that accomplishment. :)

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NONIE_C 12/16/2010 10:10PM

    Work sounds super exciting, except the bit about Yvonne's boss, but don't spend too much brain time on that nonsense. And emoticon on spreading the Spark!!! How cool!!! You are an inspiration!

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CARRAND 12/16/2010 8:50PM

    Slow losing is OK. And 25 pounds lost is a real accomplishment.


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ISHIIGIRL 12/16/2010 11:43AM

    If it takes you 3 yrs that is ok, you will be able to sustain that weight loss. There are so many people out there who rush through their weight loss without learning the lessons they need to sustain it so they gain it all back. My personal motto, slow and steady wins the race. You can do it! You have lost 25 lbs this year and if it takes you three years to lose the rest it will probably stay lost and gone forever at that rate! So proud of you! Keep up the good work!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/16/2010 6:14AM

    This is the first year in a long time that I got my cards sent out early. One of my goals is to be more organized and I have a "spark" of success every once in a while.
It's wonderful that you have a career that actually involves something that you enjoy doing for the most part. That's how I felt about teaching. It had it's negatives, but the "goods" far outweighed the "bads."

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MEANCARLEEN 12/16/2010 3:41AM


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VENISEW1 12/16/2010 1:39AM

    emoticon emoticonon your progress! I've bought more than enough cards for the year but only sending out as what comes in & just handing out a few in person to save on stamps & time. I'm very proud of you for being civil w/your co-worker. You can never click w/everyone. Take care.

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Decided to Live Victoriously

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I decided I was going to live victoriously today. What did I do? Nothing differently, but I had a very positive attitude. I usually do, but today was a high energy day and I needed it.

The workload is nuts and it does not feel as if it will drop off until after the break. I was a bit upset when I saw Yvonne was on Facebook but I have to remind myself that I don't know everything. She was probably on a break. Normally, I would not care except that I have been working very hard on her desk! My boss might get upset if he heard, but I also don't want to come across as if I am tattling. I hate office politics!

The last meeting with my supervising attorney was postponed until tomorrow afternoon. She sounds really, really stressed and, of course I don't want to add to it in any way.

The interesting conference call was all that and more. It went a different direction than I expected, but I learned a few things. Before the call started, our VP asked for an update on the matter and I started to answer when the outside counsel called. She asked him the same thing and he used the exact words I did! That was pretty cool!

I got in over 9K steps, some strength training and ate within range. Yes, it was a victorious day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/15/2010 8:47PM

    Good for you!

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MISSY455 12/15/2010 2:02AM

    Attitude is everything!

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JHADZHIA 12/14/2010 11:20PM

    emoticon emoticon
Its very hard not to be offended by Yvonne appearing to slack off when you are covering for her. How is it that you had the time to even see her on Facebook? I don't use it and don't know how you tell when someone is online on it, but would guess you have to be logged in it to see.
Keep up the great work!
emoticon emoticon

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A Breathless Day

Monday, December 13, 2010

I registered for the Alternative Dispute Resolution certificate class today. I've been intending to do so for a while, but I had to juggle some things and scrounge for the money. The company is not covering this, it is all me. I view it as a chance to earn some money on the side, make contacts with other paralegals and local attorneys and judges. Who knows what the future holds? I have six months to complete the certificate work. The material should arrive next week. Aside from the money issue, I like the idea of having the communication skills to bring people together to work things out so they don't have to spend the money on a trial. In California, most civil cases require some sort of mediation before a trial can be set.

I had no trouble getting my steps in - I made countless trips between two of the buildings on our campus. Additionally, my routine round trip walks to the cafe (one in the morning, one at lunch time) took longer because I had to detour around the work being done to repair some asphalt. No complaint from me! 9222 steps. Plus, I am back to doing hip flexors, squats and other exercises in the elevator. If I take the elevator, it saves my knee and I can walk every day. If not, I set myself back by a day or two.

I am still covering part of Yvonne's desk. She came in today and, other than being tired, is over her cold. BUT her dad had surgery this morning and she was there with him and her mom. He is in very bad shape due to age, diabetes and the heart issues. Her mom is, we believe, in the beginning noticable stages of Alzheimers, so Yvonne has a lot on her plate. I know she feels alone but part of that is her doing because she puts walls up and doesn't allow those who care about her and her parents to help. She also is one of those people who, when things go wrong, sees everything negatively and as if she is the only one who has a problem. I find myself biting my tongue a lot...!

Tomorrow afternoon, I have a conference call with our top attorney and the outside counsel. The question is interesting and I am excited to listen in on the discussion. I am honored to be included!

Tomorrow is also my last one on one meeting with the attorney who is leaving. She came up to me today and asked if we could still have the meeting (I had not deleted it from my calendar) and between what and how she spoke, it sounds personal. Despite her sometimes prickly manner, I will miss her. She knows I respect her legal knowledge a lot. It will be poignant.

On top of the "must finish this before Christmas shutdown" push and workload, we have to do our self-assessment in preparation for the personnel reviews. These are a big deal because the review impacts a significant amount of the bonus. My boss gave me until next week to fill it out, but I did it today in case he wants to get feedback from the departing attorney. I also added a new category based on the comments our new CEO made last week: leadership. I noted that I will be the secretary for the company Toastmaster club and that I am going to be mentoring the new club. I have also joined the "read to lead" program at work. My cynicism rears its head. All that is fluff because the company has the philosophy that every review MUST have something negative. Not to say I am perfect, but I have received unjust criticisms in the past. On the other hand, I have also gone into a review meeting expecting to be hammered for some transgression and have received a pass! Go figure!

The list of people who are leaving the company gets longer and longer. By law, they don't say why the person is leaving, but the rumor mill does and is usually pretty accurate. I have been surprised! So far, I am ok and I said many prayers of thanksgiving for that today!

I will end the day within range in nutrition, got the steps in and did some light strength/balance training. I should have run some errands this evening, but I am taking care of myself and relaxing. (If you can call paying bills relaxing...But I am on my couch.)

Please pray for Yvonne and her parents. I would appreciate it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAKEANDNELLIE 12/14/2010 12:36AM

    You are wise to continue taking classes and adding new "capabilities" to your resume! I firmly believe education is a never-ending process (spoken like a true retired teacher) and keeps us alert and vital!
You sound much more positive and happier in your past few blogs! I was worried about you.

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MISSY455 12/13/2010 10:43PM

    I am glad you signed up for the certification. I am a firm believer in life long learning. You never know when those skills will come in handy. Even in your current position at work, mediation is always helpful!

Paying bills is my second least favorite thing to do, next to dusting! At least you are on the couch!

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CARRAND 12/13/2010 9:28PM

    You certainly do keep busy! I'll say a prayer for your friend.

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JHADZHIA 12/13/2010 8:37PM

    Busy day, but you sure are getting things done! Well done with the fitness!
You are a very special and forgiving person to put up so well with people's faults, and yet still admire and understand where they are coming from. Its this empathy that is getting you close to your co workers, so that you suffer when they suffer or when they have to leave..
So sorry for Yvonne's parents :((, my thoughts and heart goes out to them.

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NANNER2121 12/13/2010 8:28PM

    Yvonne and family now on my prayers and energies list.

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