Lexd's Blog

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Being hungover January 22, 2012

Filed under: life — lexd @ 8:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Admittedly, this title is a little misleading. In no way is this post entirely about being hungover (which I am not … although it sounds like my neighbors upstairs weren’t so lucky).

Instead, I was having a discussion with fiance yesterday (yep, he’s fiance now! :D) about what we miss about college. At first, I was thinking, “oh, I miss just about everything. Only having class a couple hours a day, living with my best friends, partying whenever I wanted, entire classes about case studies (nerd, I know) …” and on and on and on.

Then, I got to thinking. This lifestyle wasn’t terribly fulfilling or rewarding. Seriously, there’s a sort of short-term joy that comes from getting a great grade on a paper you started 8 hours prior to the due date, and drinking with friends spurred some of my greatest memories from college. Hell, I met my fiance there and we managed to get through three years of dating at one of the bigger party schools on the west coast. (We did it in style, in case you’re wondering.)

The answer I came up with? NO.

While it may not always seem like it when I have to get up in the dark at 6 am and commute on buses for nearly 2 hours of my day, or when I am pretty much the sole housekeeper of our apartment, but the lifestyle I lead today is so much more rewarding — personally — than that which I lived in college. Let’s run down the list:

  • Classes a few hours a day: The reality is, I spent a lot of time doing homework. My classes were mostly comms, English and sociology, three of the most reading- and writing- intensive majors at our school. In no way am I trying to say I kept up with all the textbook reading (I think we all know how that is), but I certainly devoted more than 15 hours a week to school. Today? I work between 40-50 hours a week doing something I’m (surprisingly) passionate about, for a company and a team that is very good about respecting work/life balance. I get a shocking amount of time off, and my manager has not only not balked when I ask to take it, but strongly suggested I take more over the holiday break. Win.
  • Living with my best friends. It sounds cliche, but I already live with my best friend. I sincerely hope I never take this for granted, and after all the long distance we’ve done, I don’t think I will. Additionally, I now live within an hour of almost every single one of my best friends. I wish I saw them more, but it’s fascinating to me that when we hang out, it’s pretty clear how we’re all growing up together. Some (most) of these people have either known me for 20+ years, or have seen me in that great limit-expanding college stage, and it blows me away that we’ve gone from just getting absolutely shitty together, to talking about square footage, mortgages, marriage, kids, and more. It sounds dull, but there’s something very special about having these discussions with someone who has grown up with you.
  • Partying whenever I want: Truth be told, I could still party whenever I want. I make enough money to spend money on the sorts of snobby booze that I adore (craft beer and canadian whiskey, oh my), and there’s certainly no shortage of beer festivals and breweries to visit. (My parents actually bought us memberships to the Washington Brewers League for Christmas.) That said, I’ve come to realize that I feel better when I take care of my body. Going out big is fun every once in a while, but with age comes wisdom, and the wisdom I’ve gleaned says I HATE BEING HUNGOVER MORE THAN ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE ON EARTH.
  • Entire classes about case studies: Please get past the point that this is unreasonably nerdy. I read case studies in my spare time, for everything from corporate responsibility to lawsuits to crisis communications. Most are PR-related, some are not. This started in college. It was awesome. That said, part of my responsibility for my job is to OWN the entire evidence function of our team. That means I GET PAID TO READ CASE STUDIES and figure out how to best leverage them. Compete, mission-critical, business intelligence … you name it. I think I shocked my boss with how excited I was to get this opportunity.

College was awesome at the time, but stepping back to look at my life now vs. my life then makes it pretty clear. Live is awesome now, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That said, the one thing I absolutely do not miss about college? Perpetually being hungover. (See point 3 above, and the title of this post.)

Currently loving: “Somebody that I used to know” by Gotye, Pinterest (if you want an invitation I will send you one), The League

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Building (and keeping) healthy momentum September 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lexd @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , ,

I have an exciting announcement: I’m officially heading back into the career world, baby! 

Monday I begin my gig at a PR firm in Bellevue. I’ll be back to normal working hours, regular commute … ROUTINE. After months of not having a regular schedule, I’m looking forward to this. Can you tell?

Also, the firm has been nothing short of amazing so far. I always have all the information I need, and they are extremely prompt about responding. So far, the expectations of me are made very clear (and I’m still excited), and they seem very eager to make sure that I integrate fully (not necessarily quickly, either). While I predict that I’ll be thrown into things pretty fast (we have a huge event mid next month), they estimate it generally takes six months for people to be fully acclimated. I appreciate that … not only because it helps me put a little bit less pressure on myself, but also because it gives me a goal to beat 😉

In celebration, I definitely went out and spent a few hundred dollars on biz/biz-cas clothes that actually fit. I haven’t had to wear a lot of this part of my wardrobe since Florida (we didn’t really dress up at my former PR gig), and losing 25 pounds has definitely impacted the way they fit me. SUCH cute stuff on sale at GAP! Blazers on sale for 60% off. I die.

That brings me to my next point … I’m kind of worried about this. I’m absolutely positive that working at a restaurant has only helped my weight loss. Sort of counter-intuitive, but I’m on my feet for 6-11 hours at a time, carrying SERIOUSLY heavy stacks of plates. It’s not unusual for me to break a sweat at work. In addition to this, I’ve been pretty good about working out (or at least walking … thanks, shin splints). What worries me about this is that I’m going from being on my feet for a good part of each day to being on my seat for a good part of each day. As far as I’m concerned, this is going to impact weight loss and maintenance. I’m pretty happy where I am, and I don’t want to lose all my hard work!

These are the biggest issues for me:

  • As previously stated, going from “pretty active” to “sedentary”
  • I am sometimes good about eating lunch I bring from home, but being in downtown Bellevue means a LOT of temptation for eating out, happy hours, etc.
  • I am a stress eater. While being a server is certainly stressful, I clock out and forget about it. I’ve had issues in the past separating “at work” time from “not at work” time, and I worry this will cause me to eat out of stress, again
  • Figuring out when the heck I am going to work the gym into my regular schedule
So far, these are the answers I’ve figured out to address these:
  • I don’t know that there’s much I can do about this besides make gym-going a priority. Anyone have experience using an exercise ball at their desk instead of a chair? Every little bit helps, right?
  • Invest in materials to make an EXCITING and HEALTHY lunch, and make it the night before (or a big batch of something on Sunday). It may be a little more expensive to stock things like goat cheese, but probably cheaper (both $$ and healthwise) than Chipotle or Boom Noodle 4 days a week, right?
  • Get serious about finding more productive outlets for stress. Whether it’s blogging, yoga (which is offered at our local gym), lifting, reading, video games … anything besides eating. Also, keep tea on hand. It’s always seemed to help, and hopefully I will begin to choose that over a 5th cup of coffee (yeah … I’m up to 4 a day already)
  • I talked to the guy at the gym, and as predicted, the busiest time for the (tiny) space is after work, 5-8. I have no problem with late-night gym trips, but when it’s all crappy out and I’m warm and cozy in my apartment, full from dinner … it’s a tough sell. Looks like I am going to have to bite the bullet and go before I leave for work at 7. To get a full workout in, that means I will have to get up in the neighborhood of 5 am. The good part about this is that BF is a morning work-out person, and so I’ll have a buddy.
I know it’s easier to keep momentum than to build it initially, so this week I’ve been trying to work out more and clean up the eats. That being said, hormones slapped me in the face and I’ve had a rough two days, diet-wise 😦 I went to the gym yesterday (before working 8 hours, awesome idea), and did this “Spring Leg Workout” from Fitnessista about 10 minutes ago. My legs are all wobbly, but it’s a good feeling! I’m also bringing some food to work tonight so I don’t spring for a burrito out of starvation and hormone-charged judgment.
Currently Loving: “LMFAO” station on Pandora for workout music, the clothes I bought on Sunday and Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Started playing it again, and it’s so nostalgic for me 😀
 

Checklist for Your Mid-Twenties September 6, 2011

Filed under: life — lexd @ 7:16 pm
Tags: , , ,

And so ends what has been one of the busiest summers I can remember. I didn’t do a TON of traveling or anything, but it was a good mix of working hard, getting out to relax, and some BIG life changes:

A) BF is here!

B) We’re now in our third month of sharing a 800-sq.-ft. apartment in Lower Queen Anne. I hate parking and I hate traffic, but I am truly unable to express how much I love where we live. I can’t explain how it makes me feel to step outside our building and smell the ocean, hear the trains in the distance, see the sunset on the water. LQA has a great assortment of bars and restaurants, and two major grocery stores and my bank are 3 blocks away. Hipster level: Medium. Fully acceptable.

The view from my neighborhood on a nice day. BOOM

 

C) I walk or use public transportation to get absolutely everywhere with a Seattle address (this excludes work and parents’ house). If you know me, you know this has been a dream of mine. IT IS AS AWESOME AS I EXPECTED

D) Getting back into baking. The Stand Mixer has a place of serious esteem in our minikitchen … taking up valuable countertop real estate. That being said, I’m making it earn this place. Peach pie, banana bread, zucchini bread, and cookies galore. Good thing I’m walking everywhere …

In other (less cool) news, I hope I’m not the only one who has seen a lot of upheaval in 2011 … and not necessarily the good stuff. While I’ve been pretty lucky, a lot of my friends are facing some pretty challenging situations. I don’t want to get into details, but I’m trying my best to be there for them, and it’s reminding me of the value of friendship … something I’ve sort of been neglecting since we got back from San Diego in June. Resolution: Hang out more with my friends when it isn’t necessary. Working odd hours can make this challenging, but I do miss them.

In closing, check out this 10-item “Checklist for Your Mid-Twenties” that I did not write. While the vocabulary gets a little lofty at times, quite a few of these resonated with me (and, at age 26, I suppose they should, given the title). It may not be off base if you’re a little older, too. It’s kind of shocking sometimes to see the things that you are dealing with explained so succinctly.

Have a great (short) week everyone 🙂

Currently Loving: Those cartons of egg whites at the store … no more wasted yolks!, The Head and the Heart (if you’ve never heard of them, please listen … so chill), and zucchini bread. My parents have more zucchini they can handle … good thing the folks at work seem to like my baking!

Seattle image by dherrera_96

 

Getting it all out of the way March 20, 2011

Filed under: life,other — lexd @ 8:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Again, with the dormancy. So much for working on blogging more in 2011.

The last 1 2/3 months have been pretty tumultuous for me. In a nutshell:

  • My badass (and last living) grandmother Gloria passed away a month and a day prior to her 80th birthday
  • I got laid off, with less than a week’s notice
  • Long-distance is really starting to take its toll on my relationship with BF.

I think I hardly need to go into my grandmother’s death. Unlike the passing of my other two grandparents, we had time to prepare for this, and she was in so much pain all the time. Privately, her physician told my dad that he couldn’t believe she was still holding on — her body was completely failing. If this makes sense, it was hoped for but unwanted. We held a nice service, told stories about her, and drank Carlo Rossi Sangria in memoriam at a shindig later at her home. I am hesitant to expose family dirty laundry on this forum, but dealing with the estate has been challenging, and unfortunately has brought out the bad side in some folks. However, I cannot say enough good things about the Franciscan Hospice in Tacoma, WA. She spent a little over a month there, and between the massages, daily ice cream carts, and daily allowances of sangria (her favorite), I think her last month was as comfortable as it could have been. Their involvement was truly a blessing.

I am now also a product of the economy — laid off from a corporate job. Yes, I was contract, but it was cut short three months early with 6 days notice. I would also like to note that this is the first job that I haven’t left of my own accord. And, I loved it there, in case I didn’t make that clear on previous posts. I cried a LOT when they told me, I cried a lot all the way home, and I cried really hard when I told BF. While it was strictly a business decision (and my colleagues there have been wonderful in helping me find new career employment), I let it hurt my feelings … inadviseable. I worked so hard there, and I was so disappointed.

That being said, the timing was right. Better last month than the month before BF moves up here, and the bar I’m working at was actually looking for someone to pick up some extra hours — bingo. I’m currently working there full-time, and freaking loving it. I enjoyed working one day a week, but I so love my coworkers, the environment and the fast pace. I can honestly say I look forward to going in to every shift.

Both the bar job and the long-distance are starting to take a toll on my relationship, however. I work odd hours, so BF and I don’t get to talk much. When we do, I guess I come across as terse and uninterested. Clearly that’s not the case on my end, but it’s hard to figure out how to fix it when we only get to talk for about 20 minutes a day. I don’t want to air our shared dirty laundry on here, but we are currently trying to manage each other’s expectations and attitudes in a way that becomes a win-win for both of us. We’re both growing resentful of each other (he of all the fun I’m having up here, at work and socially), and I’m growing resentful of his inaction regarding job searching, committing to a date to move, etc. We’re working on these things because we love each other, but I can honestly say the last couple months have been the most challenging we’ve had in more than 6 years. It’s a good thing I get to go see him on Wednesday!

Anyway, looking forward, I get to spend a week in Orlando (while the fam spends 4 days in Vegas, jealous!), I am really enjoying my job, as un-career as it is, and am still squirreling money away so I can move out in the next couple months. I am spending time with old friends, reconnecting with others, making new ones, and enjoying the hell out of living in the Seattle area. Still glad I moved? You betcha.

Currently loving: “Ratatat” by Lex, SUN DRESSES, and that I’m comfortably back into my early-college Lucky Jeans!!

 

 

“Get it off my chest” sort of entry October 19, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:34 pm
Tags: , ,

The last two days have been a little rocky for me. (Well, sort of the last couple weeks, but whatever.) I finished training at the restaurant/bar on Sunday, after 2.5 weeks making tips for other people, and was excited to work last night … but it was too cold to have the patio open, so they called me off. Then, I looked at my schedule for this week and realized I’m not working a whole lot of hours (as in, a third of what I worked last week and the week before). And, I’m working fewer hours for my PR gig.

Combined, that means I have more time on my hands to let anxiety build. That is NEVER a good thing for me.

To deal, I’ve been mentally following the usual guidelines and reviewing the reasons that I should absolutely not freak out about this:

  • I just finished training at the restaurant. It’s not exactly reasonable for me to expect them to give me closing shifts on busy nights straightaway. I know this — I have to earn them, and that takes some time.
  • Fearless leader (aka boss at my PR gig) is spending some time to review and realign strategy. I came into this arrangement knowing these hours might fluctuate, depending on the workload. No reason to panic.

That being said, it is making me feel absolutely terrible to be awake and functional and yet not be making any money. I figured out that I am carrying a lot of guilt right now — BF is miserable and lonely in FL. In order for him to move up here in ~3 months, we both have to do our part financially. And, that’s not just saying that we need to pay bills — we need to build up some savings so we can afford to live on my salary alone while he looks for a job.

I guess all this just hit at once (when it rains it pours … thanks, universe), and I’m in a whirlwind of “what do I do?!” I can’t meet my goals based on my current hourly work schedule at both jobs. I know I shouldn’t really judge things as of today (given the reasons above), but I’m starting to get worried about meeting my financial goals. That being said, I also don’t really want to jump the gun and look for a full-time job because:

  • When serving picks up, I know I’ll be making money that way (seriously, the girl I worked for walked with at least $300 last Friday night).
  • I enjoy my PT PR gig — both the company itself and working with fearless leader. I’m learning new things about an industry I thought I was falling out of love with, and I’m continually being challenged.

But, it’s halfway through October. We’re trying to get BF up here before January 23. I’m starting to feel a crunch. So much so that I actually cried on the phone with fearless leader this morning (I’m still embarassed, so unprofessional).

I’m sure I’m overthinking this right now because I have too much time on my hands, but I’ve been mulling this over for a couple days, and I just needed to get it all out there so I could clear some space in my mind. SO:

On the positive side: I know that I am where I am supposed to be. I know there’s a solution to this situation, and that it will come to be without me freaking out and trying to force something to happen. I know that I am giving 100% to everything right now.

Maybe it’s time to get away from the computer and go enjoy the beautiful fall weather for an hour.

Currently loving: The crate of apples my parents brought back from Eastern Washington (TIME TO MAKE PIES!!), “Dog Days are Over,” by Florence + The Machine, emails from my dad like this one:

“Lex,

I am here for you any time you want. I promise to just listen. You are growing by leaps and bounds. Growing’s not all fun. You have the whole world out there for you. You are an amazing person. Love, Dad_D.”

image from *Micky

 

Where do you fall? October 7, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 5:51 pm
Tags: , ,

Ok, so I’ve been wanting to blog about this for a couple months now — since I returned home, really. I think I’ve hesitated because it’s a pretty personal topic.

See, growing up, I always thought I was more like my dad. I’m not sure if this was my actual perception, or if I was just really irritated by stuff my mom did, and therefore thought I was more like my dad. My mom has always been kind of forgetful and super anal. It seemed like she was always “fussing” around, cleaning stuff up and handing out to-do lists. You can imagine how much this irritated me as a teenager.

I pretty much kept this perspective until about a month ago. I moved back into my parents’ home. I integrated myself into the daily routine that existed here, and discovered something:

My mother and I are almost exactly alike.

In the three years that I’ve maintained my own home — as well as the years I lived away from my parents in college — I developed many of the exact same habits as my mom.

We both talk to ourselves when we do stuff (out loud, shamelessly). We both pick up and clean compulsively — especially the kitchen. We don’t ask for help very often. When we do ask for help and don’t get an immediate response, we do it ourselves. We tend to bottle up anger — and it’s easy to tell when we’re doing so. We tend to snap, blow up, and then require a cool-down period. We like routines — especially in the morning. We tend to take care of the people in our household (excessively so). We both tend to forget things unless we write them down.

Hell, we even both have loud sneezes and say “What?” the same way when asking someone to repeat something. My sister routinely tells me that I’ve “pulled a mom.”

At first, to be completely honest, I was shocked (and kind of upset). But as I thought about it more — and watched my mom — I realized I’m not actually upset. That was more a knee-jerk reaction to the way I’ve always seen my mom’s habits (read: annoying).

In fact, I actually understand where she’s coming from, and I can better appreciate what she does — because I do it myself. Seeing my mom do these things (after almost certainly doing them for at least the 30 years she’s run her own home) gave me some perspective. For example, I now understand why my mom has “to do” lists for everyone — because (intentionally or unintentionally) people take advantage of her willingness to just do everything herself, and to-do lists are her way of nipping this in the bud.

Having realized this, I’m not sure where to go from here. For instance, I see that her compulsion to clean can make her unhappy, because she feels like she is constantly running around after the four of us and the dog, cleaning up to maintain the house. I have felt this way, too (and I only lived with one other person!). But that doesn’t change the drive to do it. And once she (and I) have seen that something is dirty or out of place, we cannot forget about it until it’s addressed.

At this point, I’m torn. I understand why she’s doing it, because I do it myself. BUT I CAN SEE THAT IT MAKES HER UNHAPPY. And I know it makes me unhappy when I do it. What do I do? I guess it’s kind of like getting to see into the future a little bit. What is the best way to handle this? CAN I manage this?

I guess this was where the title of this post came from — they say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. And, they also say that the things that irritate you most in others are actually the things that irritate you most about yourself. In this case, both items ring true. So … where do YOU fall? Are you surprised at all?

Currently loving: The idea of a Florida visit in early December (^_^), Mad Men on demand, the beautiful fall Seattle weather

seriously cute image from Jake Spurlock

 

Food for thought October 6, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 11:49 pm
Tags: , ,

For some reason I’m really anxious about things today (and missing BF a lot more than usual). I saw this on Angela’s Oh She Glows, and it helped quiet my nerves and calm me down … especially the first one:

Zuda Yoga Teacher Training – 7 axioms/Universal Truths

1. You are exactly where you are supposed to be
2. Fear and pain are life’s greatest teachers
3. Laughter and play are the keys to the fountain of youth
4. Exercise and rest are the keys to vibrant health
5. Touch and intimacy are basic human needs
6. Everything is impermanent
7. Everything is connected

TBH, reading this again is making me cry. I guess I feel like I work really hard (and I’m worried about something all the time), so to read something like “you are exactly where you are supposed to be” takes some pressure off.

Okay, Roy Halladay just threw a perfect game in the playoffs. Now I’m totally crying.

Currently loving: MLB playoff season!!, making cookies later, getting back into yoga via YogaDownload tonight (hoping it will help my shins!)