Apartment hunting, thy name is evil

I thought it would be fun.  The universe told me to come here.  I followed every sign that led me to Columbus.  I was clearly putting out job/career vibes to the universe.  Every part of the new job (in the three days I’ve had it) is awesome.  We’ll talk about that later.

Perhaps if I had spent as much time day dreaming about the perfect place to live as I had the perfect job, I would not be in this 6th level of hell that is apartment hunting in Columbus, OH. Who knew it had one of the hottest rental markets this side of New York City?!

It all starts on Memorial Day, aka, my first trip to Columbus ever.  I assume I’ll check out a few places and find something.  The weekend before it started – folks canceling appointments because a place had rented, not having availability at places I wanted to look at…all of a sudden there was pressure.  I was moving here.  No doubt.  I started a job in a week.  I wigged out and took the first place that hadn’t already been claimed.  (Well, I took the 2nd place that hadn’t already been claimed – the first one D walked 10 feet into and decided I couldn’t live there.  The neighborhood is still “transitional”.  Which I kind of like.  Perhaps, not so safe.)  In retrospect, I wish I had just spent those first two days in Columbus exploring with no pressure.  I wish I would have plotted a route that took us through the neighborhoods, walked around, made a progressive food plan (breakfast in one neighborhood, lunch in another, cupcake in another, drink in another, and end with dinner somewhere).  Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to get to know a city?  I regret that was not my plan.  Instead I got all stressed and panicked.

Once calm returned to me back in St. Louis during my couple of days to pack, I realized the place I applied was not the best choice – primarily due to timing.  It’s not ready until August 1.  It’s June 5.  Temp housing is expensive, yo.  I need it sooner.  So…I decide to pass and keep looking.  I find a neighborhood that feels great to me – Clintonville.  I find a house.  Four hours before I’m supposed to see it – rented.  I find another house – after I’ve applied, seen it, fallen in love with it – they tell me they really don’t want a cat in the house.  (That one really left me heartbroken – there was a movie room in the basement!!)  And PS, owner – my cat is way less mess than the toddlers the current tenants have in your house right now.

So, last night around 11:30pm, when I get the email telling me that the cats are a deal breaker to this woman who has been emailing me for three days now (she didn’t think to tell me this until AFTER I’d see the house and fallen in love with it and the area?!) I give myself a good talking to.

“Self,” I say, “you’re going to have to settle.”

There are some things I know I don’t want: I don’t want it to be a really long drive to work.  And when I say long, I generally mean anything around 30 minutes.  I really hate to drive in traffic and such.  I also didn’t want an apartment complex.  I believe I referred to the one I did look at as “soulless”.  It’s time to pick the lesser of the two evils.  There’s a nice townhouse in a nice residential area very close to a great running/biking trail that is far from work.  OR, there is a pretty well maintained complex, slightly closer to work.  With complex, I get a pool and a 24 hour work out facility.  With complex, there are maintenance people and no yard.  So, I’m leaning towards complex.  I’m heading to see it tomorrow at lunch.  It’s available June 13.  The town house is available now.  Timewise, about the same, since I’ll be out of town this weekend.  Price wise, they are about the same.  It’s time to decide on the lesser of two evils.

The suck-y part is, I like Columbus.  Which means I want to live in these vibrant, awesome neighborhoods.  I want to support local business and walk the community.  I’m kind of buggin’ that I’ll be stuck on the outskirts of town with either place, really.

But, that’s not really what this year is about, right?  It’s about the career, the experience.  It’s about paying off the credit card and finally contributing grown up amounts to the retirement plan.  It’s about getting my PROSCI Change Management certification and going to visit the boyfriend on the weekends now that we’re finally in the same state.  I can become a hip and fun city dweller next year at the ripe old age of 34.

That’s not too late, right?

Above all, I just want to stop lurking on Craigslist.  I’m so over Craigslist.

A story. In many, many parts.

I. Vacation

I was on vacation last week.  I took the opportunity to stay away from most social media while I was gone.  It was really nice.  All of it was nice.  It was a vacation in three distinct phases.  I took almost no pictures and I’m going to try and capture the highlights.  Which as I sit here seems incredibly daunting because last week was monumental.  It was a week that goes in the Sarah History book.  That sounds dramatic, but, you’ll see…

My time away started 40 minutes north of Asheville, NC at a big, beautiful cabin at the top of a mountain.  6 bedrooms, amazing kitchen, 5 classmates, 2 facilitators and an emotional experience to beat the band.  A few classmates and I chose to be part of a organizational behavior process called a T Group.  It’s an experience that focuses on feelings in the here and now.  There are only two rules – use “I” statements and you must remain in the present – if the experience, feeling, person, etc isn’t in the room then they are not in the conversation.  It’s intense and there’s a real learning curve for those rules.  I really didn’t know what to expect going in and I purposely kept myself in the dark about the expectations of the weekend so I wouldn’t create biases.

Warning: cheesy ahead.  I can’t describe the weekend.  It was every bit as intense as promised and I love these classmates and facilitators I went through it with in a very special way, as they were witness and participants to this work.  I felt overwhelmed, confused, sad, bad, mad, glad and afraid at certain parts.  I really experienced change and internalized awareness.

I also felt a yearning.  Marcus Buckingham, who presents on the Strength Finders assessment and co-authored a good deal about the topic, says one should pay attention to the yearnings – those intense callings to something.  For me, it was Graphic Facilitation.  One of our facilitators also worked as a graphic facilitator – a tool to visually record and organize a meeting, process, thoughts, etc.  You can go here for some examples.  A friend of mine had recently posted on FB that she was taking a graphic recording workshop and I was really intrigued then.  Once I saw this facilitator complete some of it – I was hooked.

I’m getting off track.  (I could use a graphic recording for this post.)  That was vacation part 1 and it was great. Vacation part 2 was EVEN GREATER!

Mystery Man (actually, it’s not much of a mystery any longer – let’s call him D from here on, shall we?  I shall.) D and I left the retreat and headed to a different cabin atop a different mountain.  It was a belated birthday present – a peaceful trip off the grid and a chance for us to spend time together – no school, no hotels, no classmates, no kids, no pets – just he and I spending actual time together.  The cabin we found was right out of Sleeping Beauty – when the King and Queen send Aurora to live in the woods so the evil lady can’t find her?  It was like that.  A sweet, little, comfortable cabin for two.  We had everything we needed, including lots of dry firewood to make lots of fires while we curled up, played Scrabble and I was introduced to Duck Dynasty.  (Which I surprisingly loved.)  We hiked, and read, and talked, and napped and sat in the hot tub under the stars (more on that later).

Vacation moved on to West Virginia for the next few days, but took on a different tone.  D organized an offsite retreat for the company he works for and I was along for the ride.  I went to a few dinners with them and spent some time at the spa and managed to have breakfast at the Greenbriar with my friend Meg.

II. Boys

So, let’s talk about boys.  One boy, in particularly.  And, man is probably the more appropriate term.  D is in the master’s program with me and we’ve been seeing each other when we can – mostly school weekends.  The more I see him, know him, listen to him, understand him, learn about him, make him laugh, ask him…the more I like him.  He was always my favorite classmate and transitioning to him being my favorite guy has been really wonderful.

This week was something new for us – spending 8 consecutive days together is a first.  And not just regular days – intense retreat days, fairy tale cabin days and then work conference days.  Each of those phases brought different aspects of me to the relationship.  Sometimes I’m good, sometimes I’m a lot to take.  And I’m constantly afraid people are getting tired of me.

There were two distinct and dichotomous moments on this trip.  That shouldn’t seem like blog-worthy news.  Couples have highs and lows.  The intensity of these two moments came in such a short time span that both left me speechless in their own way.  I’m hesitant to describe either of them here because I know we have mutual acquaintances who read me blather on here – and while I opened myself up to public viewing of my thoughts – he didn’t necessarily sign up for that.  So, those are stories going in the old fashioned hand written journal.

III. Lists

If you’ve ever wandered over to the page on this blog entitled List 2.0 you’ll see my list of things to do before I die.  An oddly specific item is this:

Spend time in a cabin in Asheville, NC to recharge, hike and sit in a hot tub under the stars

I know.  Oddly specific.  I attribute it to the blog Peanut Butter Runner.  I started reading a lot of fitness and running blogs when I started training for the half and ran across this one.  Jen lives in Charlotte and gets away to Asheville, NC pretty regularly.  I was reading her Asheville posts – about the great food, funky vibe and the cabin and the hiking and I was overcome with the yearning to do this.  (Pay attention to yearnings!)  Onto The List it went and crossed off it is.  I felt incredibly recharged after just a couple of days at the fairy tale log cabin with D.  Monday night, after Scrabble, after dinner, after some more Duck Dynasty – the clouds had all gone away and there were stars.  I sat outside and tilted my head back so it was resting on the edge of the hot tub behind me and just stared at the stars.  And made lots and lots of wishes.  It was a beautiful moment, and a really romantic one at that.

IV. Wishes coming true

So, then this thing happened where I got a job.  A stars-aligned into the perfect scenario kind of job.  April 2nd I was told my position is being eliminated.  April 15 I was told I wasn’t right for this job.  April 30 – I kind of bombed a technical interview they put me through on a 2nd chance.  May 7 – I have a 20 minute interview with the actual hiring manager and I have the offer 24 hours later.  And it’s not just a job.  It’s a job that will let me do what I’ve been doing and am good at for the last 8 years and combine that with the Organizational Development tools and concepts I’ve been working on with my master’s.  It’s this perfect bridge to the other side of Organizational Change Management – which is what I want to do.  It’s a job where my title is consultant.  It’s a job that will pay me enough to start paying back the school loans I took out to get the legitimate education behind what I want to do.  It’s a job that makes me feel valued.  Like all the steps back in the last few years were worth it – because this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I’ll be moving to Columbus, OH in just a couple of weeks.

I’ve never been to Columbus, OH before.  I really need to figure this out.

When I think about the roller coaster of the last 6 weeks, it’s nothing compared to the roller coaster of these 6 days!  Leaving the school retreat content to start thinking about what comes next and focus on what I’m good at and two days later have that job in hand.  I had no idea what the week would bring when it started – but I almost like that it all happened so close together.  We never know when the biggest days (or week) of our life is going to be – and this was absolutely one of the biggest weeks of my life.

I can say this next sentence without it being scary…

I don’t know what happens next!

I don’t know where in Columbus I’m moving, I don’t know what happens next with D, I don’t know who I’ll work with, I don’t know exactly what the work will turn out to be…and I can hardly wait to find out!

The universe is messy

That is what a friend said to me tonight about the last few weeks and I have to agree.

Today was rotten.

The queen of the Mouseketeers died.

M-I-C...See you real soon!  K-E-Y...Why, because we like you!

M-I-C…See you real soon! K-E-Y…Why, because we like you!

Margaret Thatcher died.

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

This next one is strange, but I’m sad the CEO of JCPenney was fired today.  I’ve been following the story of Ron Johnson since he left Apple to turn JCP around and thought some of his strategies would resonate with shoppers.  They didn’t.  JCP has been in a tailspin of lost revenue and confused patrons.  This bums me out.

jcpAnd then, it stuff in my own small world as well.  My best friend Claire had to put her cat down and that is devastating to her and hard for me to console her at all because I don’t know what anyone could say to make me feel better if the situation were reversed.  The day I found out I just burst into tears every time I’d hear one of my own cats purr.

I saw my ex-husbands niece and nephew today.  My ex-brother in law was giving me some software and I stopped by to pick it up and I haven’t seen those kids in years.  As friendly as Ex Hubs and I are, there are still some boundary lines and I would never want to confuse the kids or create more awkward conversations, so I don’t see his family anymore really.  But once I left, I was overwhelmed with how much I’ve missed those kids.  They were my family for a minute too.  And my ex-brother in law and I get along better now than we ever did (not that we didn’t get along, I think I’m just older and less pain in the ass-y).  And I know that I don’t want to have kids, so people think I hate kids, but that’s not true.  I appreciate kids more once they get to the age those two are now – I just need a kid who can have an actual conversation and is potty trained.  The kids told me about camps and running and friends and school and it was just nice.

And lastly, I think the shock of something finally wore off today and I’m feeling it.  My company has been in trouble for a while (Google Supervalu – you’ll see) and those troubles finally reached the banner I work for under that parent company.  Last Tuesday I was told my position is being eliminated as of June 1.  I got laid off.  It’s the 2nd time in as many years that I’ve lost a job.  The thing is – I know it was the right move.  My company was overstaffed at headquarters.  I even wrote a paper about it for grad school.  It wasn’t wrong to eliminate jobs.  We had a hunch it was coming.  I never saw it being my position.  I didn’t love this job, I didn’t love this company, so I’m not devastated that it’s all over.  I’m suffering a wounded ego and today it started to sink in that this is scary all over again.  I have to find something new.  I have to support myself.  I have to do so while finishing my last semester of grad school.

I don’t want to make a hasty decision.  I’ve been thinking about moving out of St. Louis for a while now.  I have a short list of cities that are interesting to me.  Do I just move and then figure things out?  Do I stay in St. Louis where I have a stronger network?  I just don’t want to take another “job”.  I want to take something that feels like a next step.  This whole past year was just a “job”, but it allowed me to concentrate on school so it was okay.  I accepted this stagnant feeling.  I am bursting at the seams now.  I am antsy for what’s next.  I want to feel somewhat settled.  I think that has something to do with why I was overwhelmed after seeing my ex-niece and nephew.  I don’t for a second think I’ve started to hear any kind of “biological clock” but I do want some stability.  I want this family unit of my own.  And for a split second I saw my alternate life with a brother in law and a niece (I have nephews on my side – Ex Hubs had the only niece – and I seriously do not know what to do with boys – but I can be a princess with the best of the 2nd grade girls) and I felt extra lonely.  And jobless.

I’m just having a moment of self pity.  I haven’t really felt this since I got the news last week.  I stayed pretty busy, I concentrated on reading and watching a Hoarders marathon.  (Come to think of it, that may have been the beginning of the self pity taking shape… I may have texted Claire with “How come a hoarder can get a husband and I can’t!?”  Claire responded with 1) Hoarders aren’t picky and I am and 2) Have I seen my spare bedroom because I might actually be a hoarder and I shouldn’t sell myself short.)  It’s what friends are for.

So, thanks for indulging my pity party.  Just a bad day.  Deep down I know losing this job isn’t the end of the world, that it really is an invitation to find a new opportunity.  New city.  New job.  New direction.  I just have to figure out what those things are.

Tick Tick Tick

I was inspired last night.  I needed some inspiration and the inspiration appeared.  In the form of a new book that I downloaded a couple months ago but had not gotten around to opening.  Until last night when I got home from Christmas and looked around my apartment and thought – “What’s next?”

I’m going to keep you (all 5 of you reading this) in suspense for just another minute.  I have some work to do on formulating a plan before I can post about my 2013 intentions/resolution/goals.  I’m looking forward to making some charts and lists and maybe even a graphic this weekend to frame 2013.

Before I jump into all that fun, I want to acknowledge the year that was 2012.  I had a pretty good 2008 and a complete crap 2009, a great 2010 and a mediocre 2011 and a really wonderful 2012.  I’m a little nervous about that pattern.  I also think that armed with a 2013 plan, I can overcome the slump cycle.

I had a three part plan for 2012.  Run. Work. Grad School.  I focused on those three things and must say that all three are still viable parts of my life here at the end of 2012.  More than completing the mini goals within those three categories it’s that I saw something through to the end.  I just needed to find the right stuff.

In 2012…

(Editor’s Note: SOOOOOO many pictures ahead)

I became someone who runs.  I did plan on that.  I set out to train for the Disney Princess half marathon in spring of next year.  Two things happened along the way to that goal.  1. I got to the half marathon goal even faster, running the Rock and Roll half in St. Louis in October. 2. I have to postpone the February Disney Princess run until 2014 because it’s a grad school weekend.  Here’s what’s cool…even though I found out in March I wouldn’t be able to run Princess Half next year, I kept running.  I changed the goal.  I found Team in Training.  It became so much more personal and important at that point.

IMG_0050 IMG_0036

My series of race starts in front of the Arch!  LOVE!

My series of race starts in front of the Arch! LOVE!

IMG_0028 IMG_0021 IMG_1013

I took a lot of pictures of my feet during this time.  It's weird.

I took a lot of pictures of my feet during this time. It’s weird.

IMG_7437 195108_794504210129_1659004074_o IMG_0131

I met all kinds of new babies this year!

I met all kinds of new babies this year!

Started a new job in the grocery industry.

Started a new job in the grocery industry.

Crossed something off my list of things to do before I'm dead!

Crossed something off my list of things to do before I’m dead!

IMG_1222There was grad school  One of the big three of my 2012 plan.  It has brought new knowledge, friends, self awareness, challenges and excitement and I’m so grateful I picked this program at this time.  It is revealed to me all the time that I made the right decision.

 

 

Started grad school and love it more than I thought I could.

Started grad school and love it more than I thought I could.

IMG_1043Grad school has brought odd side effects as well…

Starting noticing this logo everywhere I go.

Started noticing this logo everywhere I go.
And I can tell you all about David Cooperrider - a name I certainly did not know a year ago.

And I can tell you all about David Cooperrider – a name I certainly did not know a year ago.

And finding huge value in investing in multi-colored post its

And finding huge value in investing in multi-colored post its

Was asked to take photos - still fueling fire that I could someday be a free lance photographer.

Was asked to take photos – still fueling fire that I could someday be a free lance photographer.

IMG_6780

 

Ended a relationship with this guy's owner.  Even the right things to do are hard and sad, sometimes.  I taught this dog to 'shake'. He was good at it.

Ended a relationship with this guy’s owner. Even the right things to do are hard and sad, sometimes. I taught this dog to ‘shake’. He was good at it.

Saw Newsies on Broadway!

Saw Newsies on Broadway!

I lost about 25 pounds this year also.  Not quite as much as I would have liked – but it was a good start.  Running helped and school helped and rebuilding some self esteem after the break up helped.

Before (last Christmas)

Before (last Christmas)

After - (this Christmas!)

After – (this Christmas!)

 

And then there are the constants -

My Family

My Family

My friends (mostly this gal - it takes a special kind to deal with me on a daily basis)

My friends (mostly this gal – it takes a special kind to deal with me on a daily basis)

 

My friends AND Harry Potter - the perfect combination!

My friends AND Harry Potter – the perfect combination!

These crazy felines.

These crazy felines.

And, of course, good food and drinks through it all.

And, of course, good food and drinks through it all.

I just cannot wait to see what adventures and surprises and amazingness 2013 brings.  You can be sure I’ll be documenting it all…there’s always a camera close by.  The other constant in my life.

 

 

Counting blessings instead of sheep

I’m wide awake at 1:45 am.  Instead of focusing on being decidedly ungrateful for that, I’m going to listen to Bing Crosby.  He sings a song in the movie “White Christmas” (my favorite Christmas flick) that goes a little something like:

“When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings”

On this very early Thanksgiving morning, that’s just what I’ll do.  The obligatory Thanksgiving day post (see previous years here and here and here).  I didn’t write one last year.  Which isn’t particularly surprising when I think about the lousy place I was in last fall.  I’ll make up for it this year.

* I’m grateful for another year and my family is all still here, happy and healthy.

Christmas 2011

* I’m grateful I pushed through the pain and became a person who can just get up and go run 3 miles.

* I’m grateful for grad school.  I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made because of the program.  They are absolutely the right 14 people to go through the program with and I’m only sad they don’t all live closer to me because we would totally hang out.

grad school friends!

Some are even more than friends – they’re people who change your life.

 

* I’m grateful I get to meet my friend Alex’s baby boy, Lucas, in just a few more weeks!  It’s official, my oldest friend is now a dad.  We don’t get old, we get better.

Yes, he is wearing a Harry Potter onesie. Yes, I did buy it for him.

* I’m grateful that there will always be at least one person in my life I can text a West Wing or Sports Night quote to and have them complete the punch line.

* I’m grateful for my sister Emilie.  I’m grateful to have a sister who is so funny and reasonable and interesting and considerate.  If any member of my immediate family was asked who their favorite was – we’d all say Emilie.  She makes us all feel like the most important person.  I’m so glad she saw me run the half and came out to support me.  I’m glad to be someone she can be proud of.  She deserves that in a big sister.

Sisters go to brunch

* I’m grateful for avocados.  I just love them.

* I’m grateful to be working.  There’s a lot of change and some scariness in my company right now and so far, so good.  I won’t ever take having a good job for granted after last year.  I have a job that allows me to do the things I love – run, eat and a little bit of traveling (although most of that travel right now is to glamorous Toledo, Ohio for school.  Oh well.  And in that same vein, I’m glad that the hotel I stay in for school every month is a really nice one.  Boy would I be cranky if I were at a lousy hotel every month.  Thank you, Hilton Garden Inn – Perrysburg.)

* I’m grateful my clothes fit better.  Getting into your old clothes is actually a lot more fun than buying new ones when it means the new ones were a bigger size.

* And I’m just going to go on and say this and boundaries be damned.  Have you heard about my friend, Claire?  My friend Claire, who has been exactly what I’ve needed every day since I met her three years ago.  Claire, who let me borrow her car when mine got smashed so I didn’t have to pay for a rental.  Claire, who checks in on the cats when I need a cat checker.  Claire, who listened to every long run story.  Claire, who listens to every story.  Claire, who is always right.  Claire, who will bring you soup when you have a sinus infection.  Claire, who will brag to your boss for you so you don’t have to.  Claire, who will take you to your favorite restaurant for dinner to celebrate your new job.  Claire, who will let you tag along to Jazzercise with her and only make fun of you a little for using 3 lb weights when she is using 5 lb weights.  Claire, who makes sense of it all for me.  Claire, who will eat vegan Ethiopian food with me and be patient when getting a tattoo takes all day and sees right through me and validates that my cats are so important to me and always knows what to say to me.  I cannot imagine my life without her not only in it, but 50 steps away from me.  CF – I try not to get sappy with you most of the time, but by golly, ain’t so bad being on your short list.

Sometimes we’re fancy. Although really all Claire remembers about this dinner is how much wine I had.

* And coffee.  I’m really grateful for coffee.

Coffee with a side of Oliver

I’m going to now try to get some sleep at nearly 3am.  I can fall asleep grinning.  I still have a big day of being at the Y for “Work Out before you Pork Out” and then watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while addressing Christmas cards, reading the black Friday ads of which I have no intent to shop and then meeting my family for some Thanksgiving fun where my uncle Floyd will most likely sing “Whip It” as he spoons Cool Whip onto pie.

Tubthumpin’

“I get knocked down

But I get up again

You’re never going to keep me down”

I got some disappointing news today.  I had interviewed for a new position at my company several weeks ago.  It was a project manager position under the Director of Organization Development.  Could that be any more perfect?  Well, I didn’t get it.

I was sad.  I had been hopeful and optimistic.  It was such a great opportunity to move into the field I’m studying, have more of a mentor as a boss and, selfishly, get a more regular schedule.

I didn’t get much done at work after getting that news.  I was bummed.  I left work a half hour early.  I came home to run and shake it off.  And shake it off I am.

I treated myself – with flowers!  The gentlemen at Botanicals Design Studio were so kind when I told them I was looking for a bouquet to cheer me up.  They put together some colorful flowers and wished me a better week.

Pretty (and tall!) flowers

Then I went for a run.  I laced up the shoes and went to the park.  I tried not to focus on the running and focused instead of all the things I have to be grateful for instead.  I don’t want to get bitter and resentful.  So, I thought about the beautiful weather, the furry cats, the girlfriends you can talk dirty with and the friend you can tell everything to, the opportunities to help someone else out, still being employed and having the ability to focus more on school and running.

The universe is telling me I’m on the right track.  I got three emails from friends or colleagues thanking me for something or other.  I’m not so bad, after all!  I sent the most belated Christmas present ever to my friend Cyndi and she was so happy with it – yay!  I sent a recommendation/introduction email to a woman I used to work with on behalf of a former colleague who is interested in a position with her company and that friend was so grateful.  I also wrote a recommendation letter on LinkedIn for a woman who used to call on me when I was the training manager at the casino and she sent me a note of thanks.  It was nice to come home to those notes.  Put good in the world, get good back.

Also after my run, I was thirsty.  I opened my fridge, which was weird because I don’t keep a lot of beverages in my fridge.  I forgot I had some Coconut Water in there that I bought on a whim at the store last weekend.  Seemed like the perfect post run drink while I made dinner.  The package declares that it’s the ideal hydration beverage.  I took one sip and I made a face.  It was not good.  I took another.  It still wasn’t good.  This surprised me.  I love coconut.  I did not like this coconut water.

Sorry, Vita Coco. Not for me.

I’ll use the rest in my smoothies this week.  Perhaps that will help mask the taste of it.  I did make a smoothie dessert (sans coconut water tonight).  Tonight’s smoothie was a banana, almond milk, 2 T of peanut butter, 1 T of cocoa powder and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs.  Add ice and blend!  Super good!

And to top off my feel better night was the season finale of How I Met Your Mother!  There were two episodes tonight and wooooo!  SPOILERS AHEAD!

I love you, Ted Mosby!  I love the girl from the past who returned, I love the decision they made at the end and I can’t wait to see what happens.  I’m slightly confused by the image of Robin at the end.  I’m thrilled for Barney and Quinn, so I’ll be sad if that doesn’t work out.  But mostly, Ted Mosby, go get her!  And if it doesn’t work out – come and get me!

Seriously – don’t you remember how great they were! They were great together. So fun. I want this to work!

The New Year is here

I don’t have any resolutions to share.

I am proud of myself for not waiting for this new year to put into place the things I wanted to happen.  I applied and was accepted to grad school when I had no idea how I was going to pay for it.  But thousands of people figure out how to pay for it, right?  I knew I would too.  I didn’t wait for this year to start to begin my longest half marathon training process ever, I ran my first 5K a couple of weeks ago.  I didn’t sit around and collect unemployment and wait for a job to fall in my lap.  I took on my random part time jobs where I met new people, learned new things and got out of the house, even though the combined total from those two part time jobs was never more than an unemployment check was.  My friend Claire likes to point out that I was essentially volunteering during this time because I still got partial unemployment during that time.

I have a “word” for 2012.  It’s FOCUS.  I have three big undertakings in 2012, things I began in 2011 and are only going to get more intense:

  1. Disney Princess half marathon training for Feb ’13  (I know – longest training process ever.  I know.)
  2. New job.  As a corporate trainer that has just moved to an entirely new industry (casinos to groceries) I know there is much to learn on top of a very rigorous training schedule.
  3. Grad school.  So much reading!  I’ve always been smart, but I’ve never been an exceptional student.  Creating good study habits is going to be a challenge.

Making time for all of these things in addition to life getting in the way is going to be my challenge.  Therefore, I choose to FOCUS this year.  So, instead of creating a list of lofty goals and books to read and instruments to tackle – I’ll FOCUS on these and see what else happens.

This new year snuck in.  I’ve been sicker this week than I can remember being in a long time.  I’m fortunate to never have sinus or allergy issues.  I’m experiencing my first sinus infection and it is wiping me out.  From a couple of days before New Years Eve until last night I was pretty much bed bound.  I had a few friends over for New Years Eve, but even they were out by 10pm.  I was even driven to purchase and experiment with a Neti Pot for the first time.  I have a few friends who swear by them and I will admit I felt relief after using it.  Also glad I live alone while using it.  Least sexy thing ever, I imagine.

Happy New Year to all of you.  I’m excited to enter this year with intent and purpose.  And a place to share it all.