Monday, December 10, 2012

Advancing Milestones

I think that all parents are secretly waiting for the child to grow up so they can do things for themselves. Or at least grow up to the stage when the kid can do fun things. Trust me, lying around with your baby is fun, but only because you are lying around watching something cute. Lying around watching your kid cook dinner is more fun though. As evidenced by my friend's FB post this weekend. His son (I'm going to guess 9 because I have no idea and it doesnt seem possible he can have a 13 year old daughter and a 9 year old son as we just graduated from college. Twelve and half years ago...), anyway, his son cooked  tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner while he got to sit down. His obvious pleasure in this relaxation was marked by the posting itself.

I love every stage of my son's development (except 3 months of his 2s that already occurred) and am looking forward to every coming stage. I loved the plant stage when he just sat and drooled and smiled. The I'm going to crawl, nope walking is for me stage. The talking. The soccer kicking. And I can't wait until he is 6 and on teams and such. Right now is pretty cool too. He just started swimming this weekend.

We've had him in the water since he was an infant. He took his first swimming lessons at a year, and did really well. They told us not to bring him back until he was 4, as he had already mastered the baby basics. Which isn't too much stuff. Put face in water. Blow bubbles. He also jumped in holding our hands. We didn't sign him up to be an Olympic athlete. He loves the water and had a habit of trying to walk on it. It was for safety reasons. He just has no fear of water. Which is terrifying for a parent. At Walden Pond he walks right into the water up to his chin. The kid just loves it.

This weekend we took him swimming for the first time since September. I decided a swim day was in order as he has been practicing "diving" in the bathtub. It creates a huge tidal wave over the entire bathroom, and needless to say I don't clean the bathroom as the floor is constantly wet, and therefore clean. He also has been floating on his back, so I figure, what they hey, I'll see if he will float in the pool. Well, he wouldn't. No way. Not on his back. But he did go right down the steps into the water with a noodle and take off. He pushed the noodle under his arms and did a lap. Yup, a 50 yards. After a while we took the noodle away to see if he would float and, again, he would not. At this point we were in the deep end and the diving team was practicing in the dive well. When he saw the diver, he was captivated. He hung onto the side of the pool. We were right underneath the blocks, and I was hanging off the end, pretending like I was going to start the backstroke. He saw me, and wanted to do the same. He kept pulling himself up and lowering himself into the water each time a diver went off the board. As there were 2 spring boards and 1 platforms going at the same time, he did a lot of pull ups. We asked if he wanted to learn how to dive and, man, he did!

I've always loved swimming and learned to dive when I was 8. Not spring board competitive diving, just off the blocks to start a race. I modeled a small dive, and actually didn't dive at all just fell on my side. It was enough, however, to get yelled at by the lifeguard. Then Dylan jumped in, holding our hands. What was different than any other time was that he popped back up to the surface instead of hanging out underwater like infants do. A few more times and he let go of our hands jumping in. The next time after that, he didn't grab for us when he surfaced. He tred water. And then doggie paddled to the side. It was awesome.

Being good parents of the millennium, it's all documented. Pictures, video, FB within the hour. Our son will be able to watch his first strokes. We took him back the next day just to reinforce the swimming and it was still awesome.

And now, he's closer to 3 than 2. He sleeps in a big boy bed and wears big boy underpants some days. He would rather watch Power Rangers than Barney. He's still so little, but not a baby. We have a porch half filled of his old stuff ready to be sold at a yard sale next spring. High chair, toys, stroller. It doesn't seem possible that he could have anything old yet. He's only been alive for 2 1/2 years. As he searched for a comfortable spot on my shoulder last night, I couldn't help but see the reason he couldn't find one was because he was too tall. Finally, I fully reclined the chair and he stretched out, and rested his blonde little head on my shoulder as we read a Clifford book.

Every milestone he reaches is great, but it's a reminder that he will one day be a grown man. No matter how hard I hold on, he will keep growing and changing. I guess it's up to me to savor every memory he gives me, and remind him that he is my little boy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Lights

We got our tree last Saturday, and last night (Thursday) I remembered that we are supposed to water it. Sorry Mr. Tree. I also realized I should bring my plants off the 3-season porch as it's been below freezing at night now for a few days. The bamboo was white, but everything else was doing well. The porch heats up pretty well during the day. It's 6 patio doors instead of window, all southern facing. Nice in the summer. Would be nicer if the doors weren't used sliders that were 40 years old, but it's not even close to being on the top of the fix-it list.

But like I said, we have our tree. And it's wonderful. It is between the kitchen and living room, which are adjoining, so you can enjoy it in two rooms at once. This is a very big thing for me, because we have previously always shoved it into a corner where you can't see it. And I dont like not seeing the tree during the holidays. If you take the time to go get a tree (and we get a real one), decorate it, and water it (mostly), you should be able to enjoy it. The past two nights I have not even turned on the TV, preferring to sit in front of the unlit fireplace and read, occassionally looking up at the tree. And the Christmas stockings!

This year I finally splurged on Christmas stockings. It was actually on my calendar in October to buy them because last year I got shut out of the ones I wanted at Pottery Barn Kids. We have the woodland velvet ones, with Santa, an owl, and ribbons. I fully intend to never buy stockings again as a) I love these b) they are really good quality c) they were freaking expensive.

But this weekend is the outside of the house. We need to do the lights. Last year we left the nails in the siding to string up the eaves, so I am hoping it won't take long. However, we discovered boxes and boxes of lights in our garage from our many apartments before our house, and I believe dear husband wants to go crazy. I think I will watch from my living room. I just need to hide the green LED lights he thinks look good over the bushes.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Birthday weekend

The mid point of the 30s looms. On Sunday I will be 35, and it seems like such a big number. If I look back 20 years I'm a teenager. That's freaky.

I love my 30s though. They are fun and stable, a time where I have grown more than ever. In this past year I have worked on my career more than ever before. I found myself pulling all nighters, routinely working until 1 or 2 am and putting out work that I was consistently proud of. I pulled in my dream gig, even though it was only temporary. Who knew I wanted to write history textbooks so badly!?

As the project wound down, I saw that I had a severe imbalance in my life. I hadn't ignored my family so much as compartmentalized them. By putting my time into such chunks [journal work 8-4, commute 4-5:30, child time 5:30-7, meetings and writing 7-1, snooze, run 5-6, commute 6:30-8] work was being given the bigger chunks. My child grew and I saw him and noticed, I needed to be more present. So in not picking up another project right away, and by getting another day at home lessening my commute, I am trying to be present.

But wow is it hard. It's so hard I even took a course about life balancing. I saw I needed to change my goal and direction. Two years ago, I saw the perfect life as working at home with a baby on my lap. Well, that baby had grown into a charming and energetic toddler who doesnt want to sit on my lap. He wants me to chase him around soccer fields, play knights with him, and read. He is tired of the email chime on my phone because he knows I have to pause in our search for the dragon. November was a month for me to realign myself, but of course the universe threw more at me to deal with.

Stomach bugs, overscheduled weekends, holidays, bad family news, depression. Over half of my calendar has things written on it to do. Even putting away clothes has bogged me down (you do not want to see the floor of my room right now--in fact, you can't). And the littlest thing is setting me off.

So, as I hit 35 this weekend, I am looking for a new perfect life vision. I know it has to do with writing, but the list of what I don't want or will put up with anymore is forcing me to look beyond what I've been doing and take some risks. I am hoping I am prepared.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall injuries

It's race season! The first weekend of fall I cruise through and try to fill up my weekend with races. 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons. This year I've added some obstacle course races as well.From September 8 through November 18 I'm already signed up for 6 races and will probably add 4 more. Then, once I push pay for the non-refundable course fees, I get injured.

OK, it didnt go quite like that, and I've already done 3 of my races. But the point is, my leg freaking hurts. It's been hurting since August. I have plantar fasciitis which is a new sciencey way of saying I'm old and my arches have fallen. When your arches fall it affects the your calf. The only cure is to stretch along, stop running and/or tape up your foot to create new arches. Which is what I've been doing. But it still feels like a knife is being pushed into my heel and that my Achilles may snap.I gave it a rest the last weeks of August and borrowed one of those rolly things to massage it (ouch) and it's better. The pain now radiates up my leg, but less intensely.

All summer I trained and didnt race. It was too hot, I was too busy. Now that I'm ready to compete Im hurt. Nothing has made me feel old like this ever. Not even my joints popping when I reach to get something off the floor.

But, despite being in pain, I did the Shape Diva Dash in Boston, the Maynard 5K, and the Orchard House 10K. One was easy, one I was hung over for, and the other I was tired for but glad I did and made my secondary goal (which is the realistic one). I am not hitting any PRs this year, but still have a half marathon or two to go.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fall catalogs

I've been doing some online shopping recently. Just the basics really. Checkbooks, glasses, blinds, and a new lunch box for my son. But because I've been shopping, I'm starting to see some catalogs come in. Yesterday I got the fall JCrew "lookbook". I glanced through it this morning to see if I need anything from it. Their clothes are pretty expensive and thankfully there was only one piece I would consider (I love their boat neck shirts!).  But just looking through it made me really happy about one thing. Not having time to do my hair each morning. It appears that messy is OK.

I am going to copy the models of JCrew and not brush my hair. Instead I'll continue to wear it up in a messy bun and believe that I am glamorous.

Thank you JCrew for not photoshopping the flyaways on your models. It makes me feel like your clothes are normal, even if I think $150 is way way way too much for a button down shirt.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mid-August you sly fox

And it's August. Sorry, half way through August. A second ago it was June. I swear.

However, I've come up for air. The past 6 months I've been drowning myself in work and I'm ready for the cool breezes of fall to come and clar my plate. We went camping the first week of Augsut and for the first time in a long while I did nothing. I had no work to do (well, I wasn't going to do it!), and I was surrounded by water and nature. I napped in a hammock. Really.

I feel like it's the new school year. Even though I want the warm weather to stick around, I got excited when I saw the farmers market had apples last week! I'm not rushing time forward at all, just trying to enjoy it more.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Adopting a phone

I broke my phone again. I really feel like it's broken more than it's working. This time I dropped it on my driveway. This would not have been such an issue if the case had not broken a few weeks ago (from being dropped) and the screen went dead. I just had the screen fixed. And, in the time from having my screen fixed to now (about 6 weeks) I voided the warranty by leaving the phone outside while their was a brief sun shower. I nearly got to it in time. I even got to see the battery marker turn red when it got wet. Once it's red the phone is pretty much worth $10. They told me yesterday.

So, it landed on my driveway. We were going blueberry picking and the people we were supposed to meet there had canceled on us already so the only thing I would have used my phone for was pictures. I designated husband for pictures and we picked just over 15 pounds in about 1 1/2 hours. No pictures were taken.

After blueberries I decided I needed to get a new phone right away. I work from my phone a lot, so it is essential that I have access to my work emails from the beach. Otherwise I need to go into the office on Wednesdays which is NOT going to happen. I'm currently working on a way to get out of the office more.

We hit the Sprint store at Solomon Pond Mall and I cut right to the chase. I needed the same phone, a Samsung Epic 4G. It has a slide out key board which is very handy for taking notes when I am doing my reporter gig. On screen keyboards just don't cut it. The guy of course tries to sell me the newer version, the Galaxy S3. It's an iphone. With no slide out keyboard. I immediately say no and tell him to get me my phone. Then I hear a gurgle next to me. Husband is drooling over new phone.

And he is ready to make a deal. He hands me his phone (we have matching phones not because it's cute but because the Epic is, in fact, EPIC). He will get the new S3 and I can have his phone. 


The S3 is so light, it would have shattered in my hands in an instant. I don't use any of my electronics to their full potential, so the techiness would have been wasted on me. Plus, I know how to use the Epic. We left the Sprint store all a bit happier.

And I got all his apps! And emails. You know your husband trusts you when he wipes his phone but still leaves you access to his email and credit card.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th!

It's nearly the 4th of July!

This morning I laid out my son's clothes for my husband to get him ready and was deciding between his two 4th of July shirts. One is the standard Old Navy flag shirt and the other is a skull wearing a Uncle Sam hat with blue stars where his eyes should be. I love both shirts, but seeing as the daycare lady probably thinks Im weird already, I sent him in the flag shirt. He can rock the skull shirt tomorrow.

And is it disturbing or awesome that they make a skull/Uncle Sam hat shirt for 2 year olds? I'm pretty sure there was nothing like that when I was a 2. Unless your older brother/cousin/uncle hand painted one for you before they rode off on their motorcycle.

Also, I bought this shirt not at a rock concert or t-shirt stand in the park. I got it at the Children's Place. It's a pretty mainstream store. But for some reason this year, skulls are acceptable. I think it came out of the whole pirate phase America is in (which I love).

But, happy 4th! I am taking all day off from writing and editing and will just go to yoga, get a new mattress, garden, and then attend a traditional 4th of July BBQ.

Who's got the fireworks?!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Making up for lost time

Admittedly I spent the first 10 years of my job not doing too much. I used to complain about being bored, watching TV, etc.

Get me the freaking time machine to go back and slap myself.

I've been buried under work since late March. As in working until 1 AM, stressed, constantly tired. I have another 8 weeks to go, and then will gladly revert to staring out the window. I feel like I'm paying for all the work I did easily!

Not only do I not have time to do personal writing, but my exercise routine, sleep, and child rearing have suffered. It's too much!

8 more weeks....8 more weeks!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Watermelon and Strawberries

When I go grocery shopping I tend to buy the same things over and over. Strawberries, watermelon, avocados, goldfish crackers, and milk. Pretty much what my son eats every day. Of course, none of the fruits grow year round in the Northeast, so I watch the prices pretty closely. And the shelves. I knew winter was here last year when the watermelons disappeared. There were the square Japanese ones, but I'm not buying any fruits from Asia. It's just a rule of mine. I don't like to buy the South American ones either, just because of how far they have to travel. It can't be good if it rides on a plane for 6 hours, is in a warehouse for however many weeks, and then trucked around the USA until it reaches our far corner. But when watermelon reappeared about a month ago I got excited.
And it just got better.
The prices are dropping...which means summer (and REAL watermelon/strawberry season) is close! Now the strawberries in my yard are green, but in a few week they will be red and ready to be raided by the birds and chipmunks. I don't even pretend I'll get more than 4 out of them.
As of yesterday, grocery store watermelon was 59 cents per pound and the strawberries were $1.69 per container!! A few months ago a container was $5, so this is a big improvement. Especially when you have a little boy who eats them like hotcakes. And with hotcakes.
The sun is rising early and setting late, prices are dropping on summer seasonals, and it's rarely truly cold out. Must be mid May!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

That old spring thing

It must be nearly summer if I'm joining weight watchers, going on a no-carb meal plan, or found sobbing over a pile of swim suits.

This spring: Weight Watchers. I had some great success with WW back in 2008. Of course I did. I had gotten married the year before and wasn't able to lose a single pound before the wedding. After I was deported to the suburbs with no social calendar *BAM*. 25-30 pounds lost. Perhaps it was WW plus depression. Either way, I got down to a weight I hadn't seen since college. Having a baby and going on a hormone based BC has packed on the pounds. Specifically on my freaking hips.

Instead of joining WW officially, I am using my friend's online profile that she doesn't use. She goes to the meetings and faces real people. She is far braver than I. Because yesterday I found a chocolate, marshmallow, caramel square I had bought on vacation a week ago in Willamsburg, VA. It had melded to a beautiful dark chocolate peppermint patty. And I ate it of course. It was delicious. However, it was the size of my palm and definitely more than the 26 points I'm allotted each day on the WW points plus program. Even though I made up for it by walking 2 miles and chasing a toddler around the playground for an hour, plus having a seriously healthy dinner of broiled fish, I know I ate it.

But here is my problem with WW. I don't think it was made for athletes. Yeah, I said it, I'm an athlete. Not an Olympic one, but I run a lot and do yoga and try to do pull ups. I'm running my 3rd half marathon of the year in two weeks, so I'm fairly comfortable with calling myself that word. When I track my exercises in the system though, I find that it's giving me a lot of points back. I went running on Saturday for an hour and a half. I did over 8 miles, but it gave me 10 points. Over a third of my daily allotment. How do they expect me to lose weight if I am allowed to eat the exercise points? Not only that, but they carry over all week. So that caramel, marshmallow, chocolate, peppermint patty-square I had? Probably covered between that one run, my 4 mile run on Tuesday morning, and my gym class Tuesday night [I did no exercise after eating the heavenly confection].

There goes the guilt.

In the past week I think I've lost a few pounds. I don't own a working scale so I'm not sure, but my hips stuck out less over my pants this morning.

Pretty much, I just want to be able to wear a t-shirt and jeans without looking like a lumpy hippo. A smooth silhouette. And some ripped arms. Yeah, I'd like those too while we're at it.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Something I've been meaning to say

This winter I have been wearing a wool coat. Now, I usually wear wool coats so it hasn't been too big of a deal. Sure, the past two years I bought into the down parka deal, but from 2002-2009 I wore the same black wool pea coat. My coat this year is a Kenneth Cole gray, belted coat. With a hood. Now, I really like hoods. A sweatshirt isn't worth wearing if it doesn't have a hood.

But the hood on this coat is the best hood ever.

It comes out a few inches in front of my face, allowing me to hide from people at the train station. The rain rolls off the fabric. It's warm.

And, it makes me think of one of my favorite books from my childhood, the Witch of Blackbird Pond. I the book they all wear wool hoods, which are pulled up over their heads when they are running away, kissing, leaving huffily.

I just love leaving work every day, pulling the hood up, and rushing out the door. Even if I take it down again once I get out into the sunshine.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cleaning: a ramble

It's amazing how cleaning off the top of your desk can make you feel like a new person. When I got to work this morning, instead of turning on my computer and getting into it, I decided to organize the top of my desk.

I work for a journal and have about 50 issues on my desk at any one time. Pretty much because I don't know what to do with them. Once my advance copy comes in I thumb through it, make any notes, then toss it in the center of my desk. So today I made 2 piles of them. Ahhh, a start. Then I gathered up all the lose notes from meetings back in December and threw them out.

I'm on a new pattern that if I don't need it I'm throwing it out. This came about by my new cleaning lady. Yes, I did it again and hired a new person. And so far so good. But I came home and there were 2 giant black garbage bags. Filled. With I don't know what. So, at first I was concerned that there was stuff in there that I needed. Important stuff. I held back though and waited. I didn't want to open the bags and end up dumping it all back on my kitchen table, undoing all the wonderful cleaning she did. 

But then I couldn't find a container we use to clean the sink drains. About once a week we put this bio-cleaner stuff down the drain to eat away at the gunk that has developed after 50 years. We have to do this since plumbers came to jack hammer up the kitchen and dining room floor to repair an old pipe that had dissolved. That's another story. So, I tentatively opened one of the black bags...and there is was, right on top. I grabbed it, and shut the bag without looking at anything else. Well, I did spy 4 cans of easy off cleaner. (So THATS why my stove looks awesome.) However, trash day has come and gone and the bags weren't put out. So I have another week of not looking in the bags. And I'm not missing anything else. That I know of right now. Next Wednesday, the day after the trash is picked up, I'll probably remember something I can't find.

But back to my office.

I swept clean my desk, then decided to clean out my work bag. I use a canvas tote that I got at the Black Dog on Martha's Vineyard last summer. It's a great bag. And it was cluttered. I found 9 pens, 3 pencils, $2.12 in change, my prescription for contacts, my gym membership form that I need to send into my health insurance to get a reimbursement, two pairs of gloves, arm warmers, tin of Altoids, Chapstick, 3 lipsticks, hand warmers, a bottle of Gatorade, and 4 hair ties, a book, and 2 race medals. And a bunch of trash and dirt.

No wonder it felt heavy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have a confession to make: I don't follow March Madness.

In the realm of sports, I devote myself to football. I'm watching the development of next season's teams and following their off season training schedule. When there is a lull in that, I'll check in on my Red Sox to see how they're doing. But basketball is never on my radar.

A friend of mine is extremely excited for this time of year, and was filling out her brackets last week. I had to ask who the teams were. My alma mater has been in the tournament a few times, including twice when I attended. I remember this because classes were canceled one of the times during the game time so that people could watch. I think we had it on in the dorm as a backdrop to whatever else we were doing. I remember it seeming unfair because we were playing Alabama, and their players were giants. It looked like pros taking on high schoolers. Since then, if they make it I am always proud but still don't watch.

Basketball is one of those games that I love to play but hate to watch. It's repetitive, and I get angry when people miss free throws. It's called a free throw for a reason. You get an unblocked shot at the basket. While I give some leeway for the college teams to miss them (they're young, they have nerves), when a pro player misses I want to shut off the TV. You were just paid how much money to not get the ball through the hoop? If I were making a gazillion dollars playing ball, I would practice free throws all day every day so I wouldn't miss. It's not like the basket ever moves or changes.

I played basketball when I was a child and adored it. I grew early, and was one of the taller kids on the court in the 4th and 5th grades. And then when I stopped growing in the 6th grade and everyone else kept sprouting up I made up for my height by being a terror on the court guarding. I loved boxing out and setting picks. Alas, my b-ball career ended Freshman year when two girls took me out in the last game of the season. One slid under my legs and the other pushed me over the other way. My right leg did not go in the same direction as my body, and I was carried off the court. I had a severely sprained ankle, partially torn ligaments, and my leg below the knee was swollen and black. My ankle never fully recovered, most likely because softball season started three weeks later and I was determined to play and threw the crutches away. Running sprints up the baseline and crouching in the catcher's position for hours (sometimes with my right leg straight out besides me) put a permanent kink in that ankle. It's still doesn't turn properly. 

In that game our team got a technical shot because of my injury, and I left the court having had my best scoring game ever. I got 32 points in the first half. I probably wouldn't have ever beaten that again, so it was a good way to go out. That summer I found out during a game on my driveway with my neighbor that I had lost my jump shot (my best one!) and my ankle gave out every now and then when I ran up the court. The spring was gone from my step. I still played with my neighbors, but my drive for the game was gone.

But, I will always remember the games I played as a kid. When competition was friendly, even if the fouls were blatant.

Maybe I'll take a look at the standings to see who's winning.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Am I there? It feels like I am.

This week I've been working like a dog. But like a golden retriever more than a doberman. You know, catching balls, chasing cats, sleeping on the couch. But steadily working.

And I don't mean at my office job. Sure, there's tons of stuff there need my attention (which is why I'm in the office at 7:45 this morning) but my freelancing work has really picked up, and I'm thrilled about it. I'm now doing more writing than acquisitions editing (that's what I do in my office job), and I will now will officially call myself a writer without the disclaimer that in my office job I don't write at all. Because emails don't count.

But in the past two weeks I've been hired as a paid blogger for a great website where I'm learning cool tips like practical uses for olive oil, picked up some assignments at the Harvard Post [that's Harvard, MA and not Harvard University], and been contracted to write reading passages for two history textbooks that will be published by Discovery Education.

Success! Even though I've never had set career goals, I've always been good at writing. And as you tend to like what you are good at, I've always liked writing. Loved it. I never complained about having to write a paper in school, and looked for the classes where you had to write the 20-page research paper instead of take an exam. So I think I'm where I'm supposed to be in my career. Sure, I'm not writing Hollywood blockbusters or wining the Pulitzer (yet), and I totally fell asleep while writing my article Tuesday night on two public hearings because it was 1 AM and I had been up since 4:30 AM but had a 6 AM deadline to meet. My hands were on the keyboard still though. But that's the business.

And that is something that is important in writing. The schedule. I used to think that you had to schedule time to write--set aside a block of time to sit down at your large desk, overlooking your beachfront property with a cup of tea and a scone. But you know what? Scones are really bad for you, I love coffee, my desk is buried in junk and I don't live near the beach. Plus, if I were to schedule in a writing block, my powers of procrastination are so acute that I would probably retile the kitchen floor to avoid it. Because then it's a task. So I write in the few minutes between meetings, on my phone on the commute, and on my sofa at midnight with reruns of Friends on to keep me company.

I write like I breathe, naturally, unconsciously, and all the time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Introducing me as a paid blogger

I am now in official blog format!

Want to know how to workout on a tight budget? Read about it on SheBudgets

Check the site every Thursday for new articles by me! Will take suggestions for writing topics here in the comments section.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reaching out through yoga

About 10 years ago I walked into my first yoga class. It was through Bally's Fitness and taught by a ballet teacher. I loved it. I wasn't great at it, having little balance and no mind for meditation, but continued to stick through it. I toured the yogi realm, trying out Hatha, Prana, Bikram, and Kripalu styles, and even dipped my toe into the Dahn style (which was not for me).

Recently I have been practicing with a group in my town, first in a friend's living room, and now in a full studio through Murali yoga.  However, I also do a pilates-yoga class at my gym. Needless to say, yoga has improved my life and while I am no expert, my skill has greatened--especially in meditation. I have moments of quiet in my mind.

I've always wanted to do a yoga retreat somewhere, but I just haven't the time. But my gym yoga instructor told me about an event happening at Gillette Stadium in May that I thought was really interesting. Yoga Reaches Out is a day of yoga with speakers and lots of practice. Probably the closest I'll get to a real retreat. Baron Baptiste will be there which really excites me, and it's for a good cause. Proceeds go to the Boston Children's Hospital Boston and the Africa Yoga Project.

As I practice in the coming month for 8 hours of yoga, perhaps you'll help me on my way...because I'm fund raising. Yes, despite my vow to never have to fund raise again after the Boston Marathon team event of 2009, I figure I can raise $250 for a good cause. It's definitely less daunting than the amounts I've raise for the PanMass Challenge and Tufts Marathon Team!

So, if you have a few spare dollars, can you throw them my way? I will actually bend over backwards for your donation!

Feel free to check out my fund raising site here. Or, if you are interested in  participating, join us on team Upward Dog!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stuck in my own mud

Last Friday I went to a psychic. 

A few days prior we got our Action Unlimited in the mail, which is essentially a community publication that has listings of local events, classified ads, and other tidbits and happenings. I like reading it because I can find events and classes I want to attend, even though I rarely do. But it's nice to have a free publication mailed to me that keeps me informed. I found my short-lived cleaning people in there, a roofer, and my psychic. 

I wasn't looking for a psychic. I saw an ad for Aquarius Sanctuary in Westford, and became intrigued. I love a good New Age book store, and happened to need some herbs so I decided that I would go there. One day. I've been trying to get to Old Navy for the past 3 weeks for clothes, so my getting to the New Age shop three towns over for less necessary items was a long shot. 

But then I had a situation where I needed to go to the doctor, and my regular doctor didn't have any room. So they called the Westford office who could see me immediately. Immediately I was in and out in 20 minutes (absolutely healthy, but all fears quelled) and found myself less than a mile from the bookstore. I took it as a sign and turned into the parking lot. 

Entering the store, I noticed it was clean if not a bit sparse. I was used to more crowded stores, like the Tao of Books in Medway, or Unicorn Books in Arlington. Both of which I believe are now closed. But it was peaceful and after being greeted they owners let me poke around, probably annoyed that I was actually poking everything. 

On the couch in the back sat a young woman sipping tea. Another of the clerks came up and asked me if I wanted a reading. I had been on their website and saw the schedule of readers, and had noted that they usually were not there early Friday afternoons. Just following the "signs" I said why not. I had some time, and hadn't had a reading since I lived in Salem nearly 10 years ago. 

The young woman led me to the back and pulled out a Rider-Waite tarot deck and began. Communication. Writing. Spirituality. These were things that I had been dealing with, the reader said. Yup. True dat. 

The reading went fairly smoothly, and I have to say she was accurate with some details about a particular project I've been working on for 3 years. Even got the genre. So, I left the shop with some good ideas and a good psychic to hire for house parties. [Really, she does do that and if you want her name let me know.] 

This week though, I've been in a funk.  I've not even opened the project last Friday I thought about so much, my commute is stressing me out, and work is hectic. I need a change. So this morning I applied for 4 jobs at Harvard University. They all appealed to me, and one was even part time, which would free up some of my time to work more on my writing and spend more time with my son. Oddly enough, when I submitted my resume I didn't check the salaries. To be honest, it's usually the first thing I do. 

Well, I went back and checked. All of the jobs' starting salary ranges are at least 5K more than I'm currently making. Starting. As in, starting maybe not with the 12 years of experience I have in the field. 

I've known I was underpaid here at my current position, but never could really get a good idea of where I should be. A large part of me thought that due to the economy, perhaps my field's range had gone down. I've been holding myself back.

So tonight at sunset, I will be walking into a crossroads to throw a magic bean and make a wish for a better work situation. The reader gave me some infused with a fortune oil.

Beats making a dream board.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl Countdown...

3 days.

3 days until the amazing New England Patriots defeat the New York Giants.
3 days until Brady vs. Manning.
3 days until we are absolutely certain Gronkowski will take the field [fingers crossed!!]
3 days until defensive tackle Wilfork makes the Giants' running game collapse. Repeatedly.
3 days for the Pats running backs spread their quick speed and thinking into a fast paced game.
3 days until Welker gets in the end zone.

How excited are you?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Passivity and social media

I've noticed a trend recently of people abandoning social media. It starts with taking a "vacation" from Facebook, dissing Google+, and leads to a deletion of Twitter and Facebook accounts.


In the past month a few people have announced their intention of not using Facebook anymore. Reasons why vary from being sick of status updates that detail the minutia of someone's day, to it not fulfilling a need to connect, to just being a time sucker.

One particular person I only connect with on Facebook, and I really enjoy her updates, photos, and comments on my photos. But she left a forwarding email address and blog site, so I'll have to be more proactive in finding out what she is up to.

Then I realized, that is the problem with Facebook: it's passive. Feed me more updates! What? No one has posted since 1 AM? Where is everyone? Not that I'm going to search right now. I'll just play some games while I wait. And the people appearing in my feed are interesting, but I find myself connecting with them only because they are showing up. Some people who don't post every week may as well have fallen off the face of the earth. If I don't see it in my timeline, it's not there.

The same goes for Twitter. I can just log on and read updates, many of which are repeats of Facebook postings. But I still log on, even though I'm not sure why. I have random twitter people following me @Rt95Chevorlet why do you follow me? I'm pretty sure you are a car dealership. The last car I bought was a used 2002 VW in 2003.

Social media does pander to its audience, but I feel like I can't even change the channel.

That isn't to say there aren't good days. Just yesterday I participated in a 41 comment post on Facebook about swimming, zombies, bikinis, and cats with string. But that creative spark isn't always showing.

So is it any question as to why people are leaving? They are bored. The only way to change the channel is to turn off the set.

In thinking about this topic, I remember a few years ago how people were talking about the rise of the global community and how we were all going to be able to learn from each other no matter our nationality, culture, gender, etc. The worry was that our local, "real" [read: non virtual] communities would go undeveloped. Neighbors shutting out neighbors.

A young lady I tutor said that she deleted her account after taking a break last fall. She felt free. She found other things to focus on in the real world. I have to admit, when I'm not online for a chunk of time, my frontal lobe relaxes. At night now I make an effort to not be on the computer (or tv, or phone, or xbox) and take care of myself and family's needs.

As a matter of fact, since I began limiting my social media time to office hours, we've been eating dinner at the dinner table. Which is now cleaned off because I'm not checking email every 15 seconds. I wouldn't say it's changed my entire way of being, but it's given me the 30 minutes I need at night to get stuff done.

Personally, I love Facebook and have found it easier to communicate with family, actual neighbors in my community (I hate phone conversations except with 1 or 2 people), and to stalk people. Don't laugh, you know you've done it. But I am posting less and less. And I don't think it's to be secretive about my glamorous life. The passivity is now overtaking me. I'm a lurker, wanting to be entertained.

So, I put it out there to you...why are you laying off the social media?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Touche universe

I have to hand it to the universe. You really know how to get a message across.

Yesterday I put it "out to the universe" that I wanted my boss' job. Honestly, my boss has been acting grumpy all week, and we've had some production issues spring up that resulted in a 8 person conference call between 4 offices. It was chaos. However, during that conference call, my boss started taking his pulse. Odd, right? Turns out he's been having an irregular heartbeat for the last 3 days (and 6 months...this has been going on six months). He's worried he will have a heart attack, as his father died from a heart attack fairly young.

Well, I don't want to get his job THAT way. Him dying is not how I would usher in my year of the EDITOR.

To further prove a point, I was contacted by a head hunter this morning about changing jobs.

So, what I'm hearing universe, is that if I want a new position, I need to leave this current office. OK, got it. We'll see what type of benefits this other position can offer--because it is all about benefits these days.

I just hope my boss doesn't have a heart attack in the office, because I am very rusty on my CPR.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You know it's bad when you want your office to implode

I've been with my current company for 12 years. It's been a long haul, and what kills me most is that I'm really good at my job. I love publishing, I love editing, I love working with authors.

I don't love working with people who don't know what they are doing, however. Or understand how publishing works. If you aren't going to learn about the industry you have a job in, you shouldn't be in it.

This all comes about because one of our production people is leaving next week. She was fabulous. British, smart, productive, and communicative. She once sent our office a box of Roses chocolates, so she won me over long ago.

Replacing her are the people underneath her. While I am not enthused, it's fine. But then...we are also changing production flows. Again. Today we have a conference call to discuss our office taking on more production work. Which is really ME taking on more work, because heaven forbid someone else have to do stuff here except look over other people's shoulders.

I'm adaptable, I really am. At work. Not many other places. But at my job, if you have a valid reason for changing something, I will listen, offer an adaptation to make it even MORE productive, and change.

But not my boss. He fights everything. And it's really annoying...especially when his reasoning sounds like my 2-year old's "I dont want to!" Or worse, "we've never done that before!"

So, when the call begins at 1 PM today, I'm actually secretly hoping he does cause a giant fuss for no reason. I want him to scream and cry. I want him to hang up and quit.

I want his job.

There universe, I've said it. It's out there. Make it happen. I'm already doing 90% of his work. Give me the full posting and salary.

Crossing fingers for a tantrum-like melt down. I've already started pushing his buttons this's like punching in the code.


Monday, January 23, 2012


Ahhh, the glory of Monday mornings. Especially when your team wins.

No Monday morning quarterbacking here, although Brady played a horrible game. The Patriots were given a gift last night when the Raven's kicker (ex-kicker?) went wide on a 3-point field goal.

And I was there. Not just there, but mere rows away from the goal posts the football did not sail through. It was majestic. The crowd did in fact go wild. Men around me threw me up in the air, something that hasn't happened since the Pats won the Super Bowl title 10-years ago. High fives abounded and this morning my throat is scratchy and hoarse.

To celebrate I bought my son a Gronkowski jersey this morning through the Patriot's website. While he is not yet 2, he somehow (thankfully) has become a football fan. True, we watch games with him, but on Friday evening we had the news on and Ty Law (honorary captain of the Pats) was on TV being interviewed, and Dylan pointed at the TV and said "Football". How he knew Law was a football player we are not sure, but he got really excited and refused to come away from the TV until the interview was over. Any time he sees anything to do with football he gets excited, so I figure he will appreciate the fact he had a jersey as a child when he is older. I bought it big so he can wear it for a few years.

So now the Super Bowl is in front of us. A Patriot/Giants rematch...14 days from now.

Let the nail biting begin!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Product blurb

The past few winters my face decides to shed a few layers. It gets dry and flaky and gross. My pale skin turns bright red. It ain't pretty.

This year I tried to head it off. I began to feel the dryness settle in with the new year and took a good look at my moisturizers. I had 2 daytime ones but one of them I only used if I ran out of the other as it burns my eyes (no, I don't put it in my eyes, but it finds its way there). And the other I was nearly out of...and it obviously wasn't doing the job. So I treated myself to a solo (read: non-kid) run to CVS to find some killer moisturizers.

First off, let me say that shopping without a child is heavenly. I could read labels, take my time, and not look up every 15 seconds to make sure no one has snatched my beautiful child, or that the little devil wasn't wrecking the place or running out the door.

I decided on the Aveeno line--although the Burt's Bee's that were directly above them got a good screening too--and chose 2 moisturizes to help me through the bleak months. I nearly got the eye cream as well, but the areas around my eyes are not dry...probably from the unnamed moisturizer above leaking into my eye area to blind me.

After much wandering, I settled on Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer and Aveeno Smart Essentials Nighttime Moisture Infusion. And let me say, I am happy with the moisture control they offer.

I've been using the products for 1 week and notice a difference in my skin. Before I started using them I exfoliated in an attempt to get the dry flakes off. My first use was the night cream, and although I think the bottle is TINY it glides on so you do not need too much of it. The next morning my skin was nice and springy (I think marketers would say supple) and I used the daily cream next. I haven't had a chance to test the SPF, because it's January in New England. Cloudy.

But, my skin is like silk again. You can resume your jealousy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Voices inside my head

Down but not out. Up up up. Nope. Dowwwwwn. Psychotic. No, no. I'm fine. *hold breath*

I got a nice glimpse last week of how I spent my late teen years and most of my 20s. I want to blame it on being over caffeinated, but being over stressed, mixed with darkened days, and an arctic front moving in I hit the trifecta of anxiety, depression, and angst. I'm pretty sure the universe sent that gorgeous 55 degree, sunny Saturday to the northeast for me. By Saturday morning, as I pushed my son in a swing at a gorgeous playground in Sudbury, I was OK again. A-OK.

But basically, I remembered what I had felt for years. Blackness, sadness, and paranoia. I became antisocial, had conversations in my head with people (um, creative energy!?) and tried to remember they weren't true. It was like lucid nightmares all day Friday. Gray and twisted. For no reason at all, which is the hardest thing to understand. It began Thursday evening as I skipped my yoga because...for no reason. I just sat on the living room floor. For 4 hours. Then woke up Friday feeling blue. I immediately told my husband so he would know and understand, and just tried to make it through the day. I skipped another workout--which may have helped me, it definitely couldn't have hurt--and barely spoke at all at work. A writing assignment got pushed back. A creative thing I was doing was filed away. My knitting needles were clumsy in my hand. OK, that one is normal. Friday evening at our house was quiet as the flickering TV held conversations for us. Husband was coming down with a cold, and I was trying my hardest not to be dragged into the depths of the creases of the couch.

When we went to bed I couldn't sleep. I can't remember the last time this happened. But I drifted off, and when I woke up the film had lifted. It was sunny, warm, and bright. Plus we were running late, so buzzing around helped get my energy level back up. When I went for a run later that day, I tried to stomp the negative thoughts out. And I could tell they were weakening. Finally I screamed at them to stop. And they did.

Determined not to start the week the way it ended, I changed my routine today. Curled my hair and parted it differently, took my time going out the door, had a coffee in the car, and read a book on the train instead of sleeping. I approached my office work as something I was good at instead of someplace I was stuck. Friday remained in the past.

So the voices are quiet again. I'm not entirely energetic, but it's January and cold.

I am going to chalk this one up to the end of the holidays. For the past three weeks we have celebrated and seen family and friends. Plus, my mother just left for Florida until April, and I think this bothers me more than I thought it would. I have a week in Florida to look forward to, and a supportive family around me.

Countdown to palm trees: 34 days.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Keeping up with the Jones

So I guess that should have been my new year's resolutions, as everyone is doing a new year's resolution post. Hmm. Right after I posted my blog I went over to Practical Whimsey and read about 5 reasons NOT to post a new year's resolution.

I should have written about Bill instead.

Happy New Year

A happy 2012 to you!

January 1. Again. Rip the page off the calendar and plan to make yourself a better, thinner, healthier, more omniscient being. No? Not this year?

Do people even do resolutions anymore? Write them down, burn them at midnight, shout them for the rooftops so people know with the hopes that the more people who know will make it happen.

I'm trying to be a more positive person in life. Have been for a while. But that's not my resolution. As part of that constant battle, I decided to become more yogi like. Take the time to appreciate the moments I have, and not have it rush by so that in twenty years I'll wake up and be like, "where did it go?" Because I'm headed there. Rush, rush, blindly rush.

My resolution then is essentially to control time.

I'm not sure if I should rethink it or try it.

But basically, this will involve me attending yoga classes more, writing more, running more, and perhaps even getting the word patience tattooed across my hands. All the while continuing the ever challenging house-work-home balance. Thrown in with a little friends-home variables, 2012 will most likely make me juggle a bit.

There is always a chance I can grow another set of arms. Wouldn't that be awesome?

But now as I write this I am in front of a fireplace with my feet on a pillow, enjoying the extra day to my holiday vacation. I am very much starting on the right foot this year. One more day off from work life, enjoying the friends-home variables at their apex.

I hope you're enjoying the New Year as well.