Lexd's Blog

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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!ย 

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€
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How Do You Slow Down? April 9, 2011

Filed under: life — lexd @ 9:24 pm
Tags: ,

While I’m actually somewhat of a homebody (and I can be obscenely lazy when the mood strikes), I’ve spent the last few months in a whirlwind of activity — particularly after my corporate stint ended. I’m not sure if it’s because my less-than-traditional schedule makes me a little neurotic about what I do with my time or what, but I’ve pretty much been working every single day (even if it’s just a lunch shift). I picked up some shifts at my dad’s office to help him out this last week, which meant I worked from 6:45 am to 2 pm, came home for a power nap and then worked from 3 or 4 to 1 or 2 am. Earlier this week I had to decide between eating or sleeping.

While this week has been a pretty extreme example of how busy I’ve been, it’s fair to say that I usually don’t have a lot of unscheduled time during my days. Even if it’s social time spent hanging out with friends, I haven’t been home lately … at all.

That being said, I had ALL DAY yesterday off, and don’t work until 4:30 this afternoon. When I woke up yesterday morning, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I’d deep-cleaned my room already this week, cleaned our bathroom, done everything with my taxes except actually PAY them, painted my nails, donated clothes to Goodwill … all of the normal errand-type stuff I usually do was taken care of. Still, it took a good couple hours Friday morning for me to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have any plans for the day. To further cope, I actually slept for most of the day in front of VH1’s “Top 100 Rock Songs.”

That’s right, I actually slept away my day off. I imagine it was a combination of the following:

  • Feeling less-than-awesome after a night of wine tasting, karaoke and miscellaneous cocktails
  • Legitimately needed to catch up on sleep
  • Anxiety at not having plans. Sleep made the day go by faster.

While the first two are acceptable, the last bullet makes me a little worried. I always considered myself sort of a workaholic, but sleeping away my days off doesn’t really sound like the Lex I thought I knew.

On a slightly related note, I am considering picking up a second serving job at a wine bar in a nearby town. Currently weighing the pros and the cons. Because clearly I need something else on my plate.

Anyway, I guess the point I’m dawdling around here is my inability to be okay with slowing down — even for just 36 hours. Anyone have any coping mechanisms, or am I alone in being this way? I’m okay with being slightly Type A, but this just strikes me as silly.

Currently loving: The Yankees rising to the challenge and putting the Red Sox back where they belong, “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit, dark chocolate with sea salt ๐Ÿ˜€

image by dannysullivan

 

The Final Countdown April 1, 2011

Filed under: life,love — lexd @ 5:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you probably already know that they often exist in phases — generally speaking, the countdown until you get to see one another again. Because really … what else is there to look forward to?

Wednesday morning, BF and I started our final countdown. The next time we see each other, he will be on the west coast, having driven across the country. The details of this meetup are still being decided (there’s a wedding we’d like to attend in Napa, and he’d like to just be in the area when it happens), including important details like THE DATES. Looks like he’ll be here in June, though ๐Ÿ˜€

My time in Orlando was fantastic for several reasons. First and foremost, I saw BF all day every day except for Tuesday (he had to work). I got to go to a Yankees spring training game. We got to do a lot of cooking (something we both really enjoy). I caught up on some movies and TV shows, and I made him watch Despicable Me. I got my sunshine quota (and my sunburn quota, apparently). I also realized that I do not miss the Orlando area at all. I am fully convinced that the only reason I stayed as long as I did was BF and all my friends there. At the risk of being too dramatic, that area is a hellhole to me.

I also learned that I love to travel, but I hate the process of traveling. I experienced the worst flight I have ever taken (when the captain says, “please hold on, we are in for a rough ride” he isn’t kidding) — not just bumpy turbulence, but drops lasting 5-10 seconds in duration … for an hour and a half. I cried not out of fear of crashing (which was interesting to realize), but because I was desperate not to feel that my-stomach-is-in-my-throat feeling you get on roller coasters anymore. I arrived in Minneapolis in one piece, but in tears and with an adrenaline hangover. I also decided that every airport should have a pharmacy that dispenses Valium. I could have used it.

On the bright side, I got to listen to the new Adele album (BF’s computer has all my music, and it was so nice to update!), and I read a LOT: re-read all three Hunger Games books, as well as the second book in the Odd Thomas series, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and I started Alice in Wonderland. I love vacations. I would also recommend any of the above books. Additionally, I decided that it’s too easy to buy books on the Kindle (good for Amazon, bad for me!).

Yesterday was sort of a crash course back into the normalcy of non-vacation life. Sort of jetlagged (3 hours is just enough to be annoying), I drank way too much coffee and managed to jitter my way through a lunch shift. I know I’ve said how much I enjoy my job (and I do), but yesterday it didn’t captivate me the way it has for the last month or so. Oddly enough, this realization coincided with a job interview at a non-profit here in Seattle. It was my first-ever phone interview, and I ended it feeling like I did really well. It was truly a double-sided interview — being employed definitely gives you a chance to better evaluate potential job opportunities without feeling like you have to take them. I enjoyed the conversation I had with the executive director, and I feel like my skill set would be a good match for the job. (It involves RESEARCH!!) The issue is, it’s non-profit and it was a (probably appropriate) red flag that the low pay for the job was mentioned in the first interview.

I’m supposed to hear back in 2-3 weeks, so we’ll see where that goes! I’m spending much of the day Saturday evaluating potential places to live for BF and I — we’ve no idea if we want to look for a place that can accommodate roommates, which neighborhood in Seattle, apartment or rent a house, etc. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m really looking forward to it. Talk about a step in the right direction!

Currently Loving: My Kindle (no joke), Fable 2 (got back into it after playing Fable 3 at BF’s place), getting all my bills paid for the month! WOOT

seattle skyline image courtesy of dherrera_96 (I know it’s randomly placed and huge, but I like the photo, darnit)

delray beach, fl sunset photo courtesy of dawnhops

 

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!!

 

 

Crazy Forces at Work December 16, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 11:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Either I have a tendency to be obscenely lucky and score awesome coworkers (obligatory “knock on wood” right here), or people are just cooler than I ever anticipated.

Also, UNINTENDED DOUBLE MEETING IN THE POST TITLE. My work is done here.

Currently loving: My coworkers (both past and current), today’s weather in Seattle, and one of my best friends in the whole world being home from overseas!

 

Things I have learned … December 10, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 12:30 am
Tags: ,

… after working 2.5 weeks in corporate retail PR:

  • While it’s important to be nice to everyone, it’s especially important to be really nice to assistants and the mailroom. In my experience, they are first witness to all of your mistakes (and may just keep their mouths shut and guide you along), and the last line of defense if you are trying to get something done in a jiffy.
  • You can never have too many boxes. I would even go as far as saying that there is a black market for boxes on our floor (creative/retail/marketing). As in so many other parts of life, the bigger, the better.
  • Don’t ever refuse to go to lunch, even if you already brought food. I swore that I wouldn’t eat out more than once a week, but in corporate (as in most other jobs, actually), getting together outside of office/cubicle walls helps to build rapport.
  • While you do not have to be fully outfitted in your brand, it is frowned upon to wear competitors’ clothing in the office.

So far, that is all ๐Ÿ˜€

Currently Loving: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; learning about programming from Carl H (for FREE, it’s my new hobby); new interval for running, 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking. 2.5 miles on Monday!

 

Going Corporate November 10, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 6:41 pm
Tags:

I think I am currently dealing with more competing values than I’ve ever dealt with before. (And, no, it didn’t count in college when I had to decide between class, video games, a movie, drinking, or sleep. NOT THE SAME.)

See, the big overarching goals of this time when BF and I are living apart are as follows:

  • Make money — improve our $$ situation. Reduce debt, increase savings … both personal and joint.
  • Establish security … namely job security.

As you can imagine, these two are interwoven. I’ve covered this in a previous post, but at the time of the move, I’d envisioned splitting my days between 2 jobs: freelance PR gig, and a serving job. I’d be doing what I love, as well as filling in extra hours with serving (maybe the best legal, quick-money job on the planet).

Unfortunately, things didn’t go exactly to plan. It took forever to get a serving job, and then I spent three weeks training (ie not earning tips … sometimes I’d be making $200+ for other people PER NIGHT). Hours began to scale down at both jobs. While I knew deep down that things with both companies would level out given some time … the longer I waited to achieve the overarching goals, the longer BF and I would be apart.

So, a few weeks ago, I started looking around for full-time employment in the area. I was being pretty picky with places I applied. And, I didn’t want to rush into anything simply for the sake of job security.

About 2 weeks ago, I attended a screening interview for a big retailer headquartered in Bellevue, and they requested another interview yesterday. This time I actually got to meet with the three-man PR team, and it was one of the most relaxed, low-key interviews I’ve ever had. I asked as many questions of them as they did of me, and it felt like a legitimate conversation instead of an interrogation. I walked out of the interview with a huge (dorky) grin on my face.

How often does that happen?

As it turns out, they were as excited about me as I was about them. I got a call about 4 hours later, offering me a position on the team. And, I took it.

So, hence the title. I start next week. I think this new position is going to be fantastic — both traditional PR and social media, developing a couple of brands that are AWESOME. I really liked the team: All three are previously from agency backgrounds, and they seem like neat people. It was clear that they really love what they do, and they really like each other as people as well as coworkers. They enjoy the company and the culture — as I think I will (it embraces part of why I moved back to the PNW, for goodness’ sake). I think it says a lot that I was excited just walking out of the interview. Seriously, I’m still all smiley ๐Ÿ˜€

Currently loving (besides the obvious): This playlist I created on Grooveshark, with the best of what was on my first iPod (RIP), WinDirStat (if you need to clean out your computer, run this bad boy and it will show you exactly what is taking up how much memory and where it is so you can delete it), Memoirs of a Geisha (if you have not read this book, please do. It is written so well, this is probably my 6th time through it and I love it more every time).

image from trailkev.wordpress.com