OPTIMIST1948   27,277
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7DBC: The Start Doing List

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Eh gads.

Well for those of you who watch my "Status" feed know I just started a new job. Sorta exciting. Its education, its close to my house. But it's as a teacher's aide, not teaching.

I have been out of work for *2 years* during which time I have applied for hundreds of jobs. In November I looked at my husband and said "If I cant get something by January, that's it. I'm done. I'll get a job as a cashier or secretary." This particular job pays the SAME as those positions, but at least its something I can put on my resume.

So Yes - Starting Things.
1) I will give myself 2-3 weeks to wallow in "Oh god, how do working people find balance time!" Then I will do it. This may mean getting up early for AM runs. This may mean Child gets to watch me sweat with a Jillian DVD. And when the weather gets warmer, I will start bicycling to work (its 3 miles) at least once per week.

2) I am restarting my program, not because I gained a buncha weight over the holiday, but because I need to reset my brain. 10 days of sickness, sloth and eating had a 3 lb impact. I've already lost 2 of the lbs so its really just one that needs my attention. But I was getting lazy with my tracking and eating anyway. So a Start-Fresh is in order.

3) I will restart blogging in my other blog. I havent posted anything since the August Monroe Triathlon. Family members comment that they enjoyed my writing and seeing what I'm up to. Now its just a matter of doing it.

Oh dear. This entry comes perilously close to New Years Resolutions.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSIFISH 1/11/2013 12:40PM

    Congrats on the job!! I had a friend who was a teacher's aide for less than a year when the lead teacher left and she got the teaching position. I hope this is a great experience for you. Your plans sound good - I hope you enjoy the new lifestyle!

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JPONCIN 1/10/2013 6:26PM

    Are you kidding?!?!? You don't have to deal with grades...parents...standardized testing... I think it sounds like a great gig. Maybe the pay isn't so great, but there is a lot less stress when you are an aide. You will get all that contact with your students, and not so much of the headaches/stress/responsibilities that come with being The Teacher. I'm excited for you.

I'm happy for your re-commitment too. You have great focus. :)

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KRISZTA11 1/10/2013 3:58PM

    I hope you'll like the new job!

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MARTY728 1/10/2013 1:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GINGERHAWK 1/10/2013 11:00AM

    These are great things to focus on! First, I hope you enjoy the new job. While it may not have been the perfect fit, it's in the field of interest and could open up opportunities in other areas. Second, I try to bike to work somewhat regularly - I have 3.5 miles each ways and it's fairly manageable. Pack the night before, check the weather, and you'll be all set. Once you establish a routine, it becomes a little easier to follow and stick with it.

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DOGLADY13 1/9/2013 10:42PM

    Yahoo on the job. You will be back to managing work, family, and health in no time because your are good at that.

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DOGLADY13 1/9/2013 10:41PM

    Yahoo on the job. You will be back to managing work, family, and health in no time because your are good at that.

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BIGPAWSUP 1/9/2013 10:26PM

    You are going to be FANTASTIC! I believe in you. A reset can sometimes be very beneficial!

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    There's nothing wrong with resolutions! Congratulations on the job and on taking a good attitude toward it!

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VIXSTERLU 1/9/2013 7:51PM

    I think balance is a figment of our imagination, just saying. But I am hopeful it exists and I know that if it does, you will find it :)

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FITFOODIE806 1/9/2013 7:49PM

    Glad you got a job in education. Maybe it'll doors down the road...

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/9/2013 7:35PM

    emoticon Perilous, Polly? Hooray for the job that's closer to your field by the way!

And reset is a good thing... renewed energy. Doesn't have to be New Year to have new resolve in your mind! emoticon

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CINERICIA 1/9/2013 7:19PM

    Yay to gainful employment! Extra yay for being in your field! Jobs are hard to come by these days. I'm glad you found something that suits you.

I completely agree with the reset thing. I did the same on January 2. (I couldn't quite bring myself to do it on January 1. It felt too resolution-y.) One pound isn't bad. It'll be gone before you know it. Especially with your new commitment to eating well again.

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LESLIELENORE 1/9/2013 7:12PM

    Balance? What's that?!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 1/9/2013 7:03PM

    Good for you! I hope that you enjoy the job and find time to balance everything in your life.

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7DBC The Stop Doing List

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I've never had or heard of a "Stop Doing" list, but there is something to be said for it. By nature, I am a people pleaser, and I know I am not alone in this characteristic. But going full on "FU! I am doing what I want " isn't always thebest way to keep a family and marriage functioning, and is a stupid idea at work too.

There is the easy answer of "I will stop eating candy giant handfulls at a time" but I dont think that is really the introspection the question is looking for.

I think the best I can come up with is I will stop overcomitting myself. This means planning a solid racing season with a training plan, and possibly missing somethings that might be fun infanvor of better options.

I will also stop putting myself second. And I am doing that already because I signed up for swimming lessons on Thursday nights. My husband has his shooting on Tuesdays, so Thursday
*my* time.

So I dont know if my Stop Doing list is what was meant by the question, but its my answer. Contributions and comments (as always) are welcome.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPONCIN 1/10/2013 6:22PM

    Good for you! You have to give to yourself in order to give to others. Sounds like a great plan for your Thursday nights!!! :)

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GINGERHAWK 1/9/2013 8:48AM

    These are GREAT ideas - nice job!

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BIGPAWSUP 1/8/2013 10:44PM

    I like the idea of a "stop doing" list. I'm going to have to think about it. Thanks for always getting my brain working.

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ROXYZMOM 1/8/2013 10:00PM

    I can totally relate to your blog. It is hard to get "me" time without looking selfish. It feels, at times, like I have to hide things that are good for me to do and keep me on track.

Your blog has great points.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/8/2013 7:00PM

    Sounds like a fine list to me! Small, concise, balanced... a good life list.

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CINERICIA 1/8/2013 6:34PM

    Your list, your rules.

Swimming lessons sound like a good way to get out the house and decompress. Nice that you and the husband can both get out and enjoy quiet time and separate interests. It reminds you that you are a person and not just half of a whole.

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DOGLADY13 1/8/2013 5:27PM

    It's your list. You can do with it what you want.

You are going to be a monster swimmer! You are already good.

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LESLIELENORE 1/8/2013 5:01PM

    Your answer makes sense to me. Yay, for swimming lessons! I want to take some.

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7DBG: Getting more of what you need

Sunday, January 06, 2013

2. How can you do more of the things that give you energy and less of the things that deplete your energy?

Hmm. This is a toughie. In the previous blog I identified the people around me as being both the source of energy and the greatest energy suckers. So the answer to this question is pretty simple: continue to surround myself with positive people and reject negativism.


Lets face it, misery loves company and when you feel like whining, there's nothing like a friend's shoulder to lean on. The trick is not to get trapped in that cycle of feeling helpless.

Sorry - its a short blog, but sometimes the answers, while individual, are simple. "And knowing is half the battle!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Ooooo, good answer!

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MISSIFISH 1/7/2013 5:24PM

    I think it is great that you are doing all of this introspection. I should probably follow your lead!!! I don't know why, but I've been thinking a lot about you. I'm sending you my best vibes for a happy year full of energy boosters, NOT SUCKERS!!!

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MARTY728 1/7/2013 11:43AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 1/7/2013 10:48AM

    You are right on target. No sorry. Answer is simple, just not easy!

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/7/2013 7:33AM

    No decent advice, I'm sorry. My own situation was in being married to a "Debbie Downer"... on many fronts, not just weight or activity. I am divorced now, for ten years in 2013. End of THAT story.

Still care about him. And he was great company for misery. But for happiness? Not so much. Is a relationship worth killing yourself over? Maybe Romeo and Juliet thought so, but look how young they died.


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CINERICIA 1/7/2013 7:21AM

    The key is having a positive shoulder. Attached to a hand willing to give you a good wallop when the legitimate whining has progressed to "poor me." Cause that's what friends do.

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DOGLADY13 1/7/2013 7:07AM

    One of my Debbie Downers is a friend I used to go to for misery loving company. This challenge helped me see that she can drain the life out of me. The killer is that she thinks she is positive, but the glass is always half empty for her.

I an going to limit the time I spend moaning and groaming to the people who will give me a kick in the pants after 5 minutes.

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VONBLACKBIRD 1/6/2013 8:50PM

    You find the friends that support you and are truly honest when you whine.

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LESLIELENORE 1/6/2013 8:40PM

    Misery does love company. It is finding a balance that can get difficult.

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7 day blog challenge: Energy

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Leaping off of my SparkSister DogLady13's idea (she does a lovely intro)

First Question:
What has given you or depleted energy from you this year?

One year ago I decided that the key for me finally losing the weight was to start tracking calories. I had lost my job in June 2010, decided this was the impetus to finally "Lose the Baby Weight!" - Nov 2010 I weighed in at an astonishing 197 lbs. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my SparkFriends, I'm now a much more manageable 156.

I gain energy from the people around me. The people around me also deplete me. You dont realize how much until you spend time around such a relentlessly positive group like SparkPeople. When you need energy, you post a blog, a question in the forums, I've even gotten emails from people when I put a sad little blurb on a Team Huddle. And we all pay it back in Spades when we have extra. We encourage each other and the group dynamic makes it possible for us to succeed as individuals.

On a more personal level, my brief stint this fall, refueled my desire, my love of teaching. When I lost my job, I lost my identity. Where most people have confidence and self worth, I was plagued with doubt. I would drop Child off at preSchool, sit on the sofa for 3 hours and cry, then scrape myself back together and go pick him up. Although the teaching assignment was temporary and flippin' FAR to commute, it refilled my confidence that I can do it, I'm not a terrible teacher and person.

Depleted: well, when you finish your first Triathlon in the freezing rain, charging up that hill and there is nothing NOTHING left in your gas tank. Then you are depleted. But go to the diner and eat Pork Souvlaki WITH the french fries. Do your first Brick workout. Then you are depleted. Break something: I've done ribs and fractured my elbow. The pursuit of endurance sports has taught me in a more viceral way than any other lesson that I should measure my best against my own best and not any others. I'm 38 yr old woman, not a 19 yr old boy. I will never be able to complete a triathlon in 56 minutes. Just not gonna happen! But I can do better than I did last time. I can set new goals for myself and be satisfied with my own performance. I can inspire the people around me. I can lead by example.

Let that be good enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPONCIN 1/10/2013 6:19PM

    This is a great post. I think a lot of people hold themselves to the standards of others, and that's why we "think" we fail miserably.

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MARTY728 1/7/2013 1:54PM

    emoticon Sorry about the teaching situation. emoticon

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    Good blog! emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/6/2013 6:04PM

    You are definitely an inspiration to me!

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BIGPAWSUP 1/6/2013 8:55AM

    You are awesome! This is a fantastic blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

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DOGLADY13 1/6/2013 8:36AM

    "relentlessly positive" - excellent description of SparkPeople. There were plenty of times when I didn't have much to give, but someone else was down deeper in the "I can't do this" hole than I was. I'd give the little bit I had and found that some how my positive energy multiplied.

I'm not sure how to help re teaching. I guess I can't other than to send positive, loving karma in your direction.

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CINERICIA 1/6/2013 8:28AM

    Teaching is such a wonderful, unique profession. Every teacher I have ever met (myself included), has defined themselves by their calling. Even when they are not actively teacher. It is an integral part of who you are.

As Missifish said...you are more than good enough. You are amazing. A big part of that "relentlessly positive" group. And you are a better, stronger version of yourself every day. You continue to challenge and inspire yourself, and that challenges and inspires everyone around you.

Oh. And I didn't realize how much I looked forward to responses to my blogs and posts and comments until you mentioned it. I smile every time my email goes off, telling me that someone has cared enough to reach out and connect. It's a beautiful thing.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/6/2013 6:34AM

    So many good points here! I totally agree about the Spark community... it's a huge energy pool where we take some when we seek it, and give it back when we have it... in the form of shared enthusiasm for things that are important to us!

But the best thing is the realism in measuring our progress: against ourselves, not others. I may laugh that it made me feel "old" when the 22 year olds called me "an inspiration" toward the end of my first triathlon, reading the "59" on my right calf. But it also made me feel good.

Well written and well thought out! emoticon

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MISSIFISH 1/6/2013 12:14AM

    You are more than good enough!!! I'm so sorry about all the yuck related to the lack of teaching. I went through a similar thing too, when I decided to stay home as a full time parent. What worked for me was doing the part time thing while they were little, and now I'm back to teaching full time. You'll figure out what works for you, too.

I wish you all the best and many days where you earn your souvlaki and french fries without gaining an ounce!

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Will someone as verbose as me, be able to confine myself to one word answers?

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

My guess is no....

Where is your cell phone? ummm
Spouse? MacGuyver
Your hair? there
Your mother? retired!
Your father? admirable
Your favourite thing? musical theatre
Your dream last night? black
Favorite drink? tea
What room are you in? office
Your hobby? reading, canning, cooking - planning for the zombie apocolypse
Your fear? child falling off a bridge by a strong gust of wind. (Not rational, but there)
Where do you want to be in 6 years? tenured
Where were you last night? home!
Something that you aren't? graceful
Muffins? yes
Wish list item? new house
Last thing you did? Wii Dance Party 4
What are you wearing? pants
Your pets? fish & dust bunnies
Friends? many
Your life? better than this time last year
Your mood? good
Missing someone? always
Drinking? socially
Your car? SUV - not me, but was given and needed
Something you're not wearing? hat
Your favorite store? Adams (local grocery/plant store)
Your favorite color? green
When is the last time you cried? this morning (I watched Christmas Castle episode)
Where do you go over and over? gym
Five people who email me regularly? sister, cousin
Favourite place to eat? Indian!
Favourite place I'd like to be right now? warm

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    One word is hard. I am a multiple word describer myself.
I'd like to go back and do this with goofy answers but it might scare people. emoticon

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MARTY728 1/3/2013 4:10PM


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CINERICIA 1/3/2013 7:56AM


I think fearing your child will be blown off a bridge by a gust of wind is completely rational. I have a similar fear that my daughter will fly off the steep water slide at the park. The one that they weigh you before you go down to make sure you're at least 100 pounds. She barely qualifies.

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VIXSTERLU 1/2/2013 11:18PM

    You want more dust bunnies? I am not a fan of mine :)

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ERICADAWN1986 1/2/2013 9:54PM

    Lol Planning for the zombie apocalypse ey? If you're a runner, check out the "Zombies, Run!" app. It's completely rediculous but it's fun! You listen to your regular play list and between songs, it cuts in with a story line. Periodically there will be "zombies" and you'll have to speed up (it has an accelerometer so it can tell). If you don't get faster, you get "caught." I think it works for walkers too :-) Something different if you're bored.

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DOGLADY13 1/2/2013 9:34PM

    I know what you mean about one-word answers. There were a few where it was just too hard and the one that asked about the five most emailers - that was a trick question!

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BIGPAWSUP 1/2/2013 9:33PM

    Very cool.

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    My guess was, "No" and I just had to see what you were up to.
I'll be googling, Christmas Castle, I have no idea...I could be missing some fun!

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LESLIELENORE 1/2/2013 8:25PM

    I totally agree with you about being warm! I just came in from walking the dog and my toes and fingers are cold and my nose is running. ewwwww...

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