Category Archives: resolutions

Cautiously Optimistic-Resolution Updates

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I’ve been taking the anti-depressants for almost two weeks now and I’m noticing a slight improvement.  The doom and gloom is much less gloomy.  I was worried about insomnia, but thus far (knock on wood), it’s not the biggest side effect I’m dealing with.  In fact, I’ve managed to get myself out of bed early enough that I’ve been on time for work the last 4 work days.  Anyone who knows me well knows that’s quite a feat.  I’m always at least 10 minutes late and usually 15 to 20.  As my Dad says, it’s a good thing I work at an organization that doesn’t really care about that.  But I personally prefer being on time, so this has been nice.  I get to work a few minutes before my official start time and the computer is powered up by 8:00.  I get my emails answered quickly.  It’s just nice.  And unusual.  I could get used to this.

It’s spring break at the university I work at, so it’s been very quiet this week.  Staff doesn’t get the whole week-we’re lucky if we get one day-and this just happens to be a lucky year.  We’re closed Friday and I’m planning on getting all of my normal Saturday tasks completed on Friday, so I can play on Saturday.  I decided to take off Monday and Tuesday too just because.  Originally, I’d planned on going to the beach but it turns out that mini-vacations, even short ones, cost money, a commodity I lack.  But it should be a fun weekend anyway.  For starters, any five day period not spent at the office is already good.  But Saturday, I plan on spending some much needed quality time with the one and only Chaucerian Girl (TM).  I’m really looking forward to that.  Book Club may or may not be held on Saturday also, which means quality time with a truly rocking group of kick-ass classy women.  (I love my friends)  I’m also going to take advantage of the alone time to do some meditation and yoga.  So I’m looking forward to a really good weekend.

So resolution updates-I was supposed to do this on March 11th, but I wasn’t feeling very bloggy.  So here are the updates:

Resolution 1: wherein izzybella becomes healthy.  I’m doing pretty well.  Slow, but that’s okay.  I’m now down 11.6 pounds from the New Year.  Some weeks I don’t lose very much at all, but generally, I have at least a small loss every week.  I’m doing a lot better on the eating right and leaving room for “cheat” moments, otherwise known as real life.  For example, last Friday I had the accept no substitutes Chaucerian Girl (TM) and L to the power of two (cause she’s just that much more L-cool than I am) over for Dexter and pizza.  It was tasty.  The pizza.  I’m still on the fence re: Dexter.  But Saturday morning, I got right back on plan.  Lost one pound for the week.  Also so far I’ve lost about 5” from the body measurements.  Exercise is still where I’m not doing well.  So I’m making a resolution within the resolution that next update I’ll be able to type “yeah!  worked out a ton!!!”  🙂

Resolution Two: wherein izzybella becomes financially fit.  Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Sorry, my sense of humor interfered with the update for a moment.  Okay, I’m working on it.  Truthfully, I shouldn’t have quit the second job.  I probably need to get another second job because right now I’m just keeping afloat-not getting ahead.  On the plus side, I still pay every bill on time and it’s been over four years since a creditor has had to call me because I was late or missed a payment.  Also, my credit score, which ten years ago was so dismal I barely got a car loan, is now above the national average.  So, go me.

Resolution Three: wherein izzybella appreciates her job more.  Actually, this is where I’ve made the best strides in the last month.  We used to have a ton of those cardboard bankers boxes piled up on top of our file cabinets, giving my office a closed-in feeling.  My boss got us three new file cabinets, and we consolidated all those bankers boxes into the files.  We also got rid of the white board system for our monthly reports.  The end result is that my office feels less cluttered and stressful.  That inspired me to clean out old files and get rid of stuff I’d been hanging on to.  I’m still in that process, but getting rid of all that clutter makes it easier to concentrate on my assigned tasks.  I’m also making a conscious effort to slow down when I’m on the phone with my clients and really listen to them.  I’ve been doing this for so long that I forget sometimes how confusing the process is.  When I remember back to when I first started, there were so many rules and provisions and exceptions to policy that I thought I’d never understand it.  I’m sort of the guru at it now and on many decisions even my supervisor defers to me.  So I’ve been trying to place myself back ten years ago when I first started and it’s really helped.  I’ve also been remembering how Chaucerian Girl (TM) was so stressed and burned out and felt so helpless at the end.  Family and Protective Services is not an easy job-just listening to them-really hearing them out before I start explaining everything has made it much more pleasurable to talk with them.  So, progress.  Yay!

And that’s where I am.

It’s a lovely day today-rainy, which I happen to like.  It’s coming down cats and dogs right now, but I’m inside warm and snug.  It’s supposed to rain off and on all day and into tomorrow, but the sun should be out by Thursday, round about the same time I leave for my mini-vacation.  The only thing better than a cloudy, stormy, rainy day is the sunshine that peeks out afterwards.  It’s gonna be a good week.

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Thank You, Red Robin

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I subscribe to an email group called Hungry Girl.  If you haven’t heard of Hungry Girl-she provides useful tips and healthy alternatives for comfort food, recipe swaps and all kinds of good stuff.  If you’re into fitness and nutrition, yet you also enjoy eating well, I highly recommend you subscribe.  She’s down-to-earth, funny, honest, matter-of-fact, and easy to read.

In today’s email, Hungry Girl attached a link for Red Robin, a restaurant chain in the states, who is now providing full nutritional information for their menu items.  What’s great about this is that you can customize your order–add a little of this, subtract a little of that–and get nutritionals based on your modifications.  On the one hand, it’s a little appalling-I looked up the nutritional information for products I’ve ordered in the past and the amount of calories and fat was absolutely staggering.  But I’ve also learned how to customize the order to bring it down to a managable level.  Plus, there are a few menu items I’d never even considered ordering before, but seeing how they could work within my healthy eating habits, I’m all for trying. 

It was pretty brave of Red Robin to make that information available.  Although the majority of their entrees are completely out of the question for the lifestyle I’m choosing now, there’s enough there that I can still go out with my family for dinner and not feel deprived.  Thank you, Red Robin, you’ve made me extremely happy.  I hope other restaurants will take a cue from this.  Till then, I’ll be giving my business to those restaurants, like Red Robin, who provide the information I need to be an informed consumer.

Fast, No Feast

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Friday Feast’s website is down, so there will be no partaking today.  I figured I’d just do a general what’s up in my world post instead.

Things are going okay.  Still working hard on all of my resolutions, but I can sense it’s going to be a long, difficult journey for each one.  That’s okay-I have the time and I’m very determined.  If you could actually see me right now, you would see my determined face.  It’s very resolute. 

I’m going to a book club next week for the very first time.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of one of those, but never enough to start one of my own.  My sunshine friend took the hard part out of my hands and we’re going to meet next Saturday (not tomorrow) with book choices. Should be a lot of fun.  I’m a little worried, because I can have trouble clarifying what did and didn’t work for me when it comes to books and poetry.  Usually, I give a general “I liked it” or “Eh.  Read better.”  I’m much more eloquent when analyzing plays/performances-but c’cmon, how different can it be with a book, you know?  Jehara and chauceriangirl have the smarts going on, so I’m sure they’ll keep the conversation going when I’m lacking.  I’ll get the hang of it.  I should practice, though.  Maybe I’ll put up a review when I finish the one I’m reading right now.  I think I will.  You can hardly wait, I know! 🙂 

I’m finally going to see Juno tomorrow, after my MMM meeting.  Haha, someone passing by saw the words “MMM meeting” and wanted to know if I was meeting with Red, Yellow, and Green.  In case you were wondering, no.  I’m not actually acquainted with them, and anyway, if I saw a six-foot tall MnM talking to me, I’d actually freak out a little.  MMM just refers to the theatre company I am an ensemble member of.  So after the meeting, chauceriangirl and I are going to the comic book store (because we just can’t stay away from Lone Star Comics) and then to the movies.  It will be a very good day.

Last weekend while I was out with the monster, I saw this little contraption that resembles the Staples “Easy” button, only it says “Good Day.”  Ordinarily, I pass noise-makers by with disdain.  Just ask Chauceriangirl.  But for some reason, I felt compelled to smack that button, so I did, and suddenly “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves comes on and I got so excited!!  I love that song.  Seriously, I can’t NOT dance when I hear it.  It’s just a happy-making sort of tune.  So the monster bought it for me.  Every time I get a cranky client, I smack that button.  Luckily my co-worker is very tolerant and amused.  I just played it for her a second ago when she was cranking up and she laughed.  The Good Day button is swell.

Oh, and I heard about two wonderful things this week and I must share!  1. Tim Minear (aka the other guy) will be the special guest at the Dallas 2008 Can’t Stop the Serenity event benefitting Equality Now.  I’m so excited, I could dance without the Good Day Button blaring out Katrina and the Waves.  Seriously, ya’ll-he’s the credited writer for Out of Gas, my very favorite Firefly episode.  So that’s very good news.  I’ve already put the date on my calendar for the purchasing of tickets.  2. New book release date for Breaking Dawn was announced and I will be hosting a shut-up-and-read party.  Yay! 

I’m really a geek.

Okay, in the spirit of resolution #3, my break is over.  Ya’ll be good.

January Progress Report on Resolutions I Actually Intend to Keep

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Goal One-Doing pretty well.  Joined WW and have picked up losses every week.  As of last Monday, I’m down 8.6 pounds.  Some days are a lot harder than others, but overall, it hasn’t been too bad.  Now that I’m getting a handle on food, I need to get a handle on the exercise component.

Goal Two-Doing pretty well here, also.  Everything I’ve purchased has been a cash/debit card purchase.  If I can’t afford to pay for it without credit, I can’t afford it.  The weight loss goals have actually benefitted me here in that I don’t spend nearly as much money on fast food and related bad-for-me crap.  As long as I’m not spending while I’m paying them down, I’m going to feel pretty good about this.  I also have some savings going which I’ll be able to use in July when ChaucerianGirl and I do our sister’s weekend.  So overall, I feel pretty good.  Still annoyed at myself for letting it get so bad, but I’m getting over the self-flagellation.  At least where that’s concerned.  🙂

Goal Three:  Mixed progress.  I’m just so burned out on this job and I let myself get frustrated too easily.  I’m working on it.

That’s all for now.  I’ll post another progress report the end of February. 

The Blog That I Wrote

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Before we begin, What Not To Eat.  Is it wrong that I think the kid’s mac and cheese from Macaroni Grill still looks kind of good?  I’m a mac and cheese whore.

So I picked up my now-working laptop from the computer repair guy.  Cost $200.  He put a new hard drive in and it runs so fast and pretty.  I wanted to buy a Mac instead of fixing my little PC laptop, but the frugal beast deep down inside me wouldn’t hear of it.  The frugal beast (FB) is obsessed with New Year’s Resolution #2.  I’m a little worried about FB-she’s begun stalking my credit card bills and every time I see something and go “ooh, neat, I want,” she’s all “fiscal responsibility, you!!!” FB’s a buzzkill. 

I’ve been listening to the Twilight series on CD while driving to and from work.  I was at a pivotal moment last night when I got home, so I was really excited for this morning.  Only, I wound up taking my dad to work so I didn’t play it.  It’s so silly to be disappointed because I’ve already read the book.  I totally know what happens.  But I was involved in the story and bummed I couldn’t play it out this morning.  My dad probably wouldn’t have minded, but if I’d played it, I’d have missed his dorky dad joke.  Are you ready for it?

Dad: So, if a doctor who treats skin rashes on people is called a dermatologist, then what is a doctor who treats skin rashes on elephants called?

Me: Ummmm…don’t know. What?

Dad: (laughing already even though it is truly the dorkiest joke known to mankind) A pachydermatologist. hahahahahahaha!

Me: (not laughing) Yeah, dad, that’s really funny.

Dad-rightly-pointed out that if I’d been up on my game, I could have ruined his joke with the actual correct answer of “veterinarian.”  I clearly wasn’t up on my game.  My dad is really sort of an adorable nerd. 

My mom’s a nerd, too, but she’s a different kind of nerd from my dad.  Mom’s a book nerd.  And Dad’s just a nerd with geekish tendencies.  I understand why they aren’t together anymore-what I don’t get is why they got together in the first place.  Don’t get me wrong-I’m glad they did or there wouldn’t be a me or a chauceriangirl (which would be a CRIME, I tell you, a CRIME!).  Let me just say they’re both better off with their respective spouses.  And I get bonus parentals.

Over the holiday, I talked my dad and my stepmonster (and believe you me, it took some serious pouting to convince her) into watching The Princess Bride DVD with me.  Neither had seen it before, and I knew Dad, at least, would really get a kick out of it.  The Monster has this unreasonable prejudice against technology.  She only embraced the VCR about seven years ago.  She hasn’t really embraced the DVD player yet.  She also will not see a movie in the theatre because she thinks it’s too loud.  I’m not kidding.  I own several movies she likes on DVD.  She will watch them on network TV, all cut and sliced up with commercial breaks, but she won’t watch them on DVD.  Am I the only one who thinks that’s weird?  Because it really is.  Anyway, Dad liked Princess Bride a lot.  And the Monster laughed twice, but stopped short when she realized Dad and I had noticed.  It was good fun watching her trying to not enjoy it, but enjoying it anyway.  She’s finally conceded it’s useful.  Chauceriangirl loaned her a movie she wanted to see over the Christmas holidays and Monster unbent sufficiently to express interest in seeing the extras, too.  It’s still a very tenuous relationship between the Monster and the DVD player, but she’s becoming reconciled.

I didn’t actually mean to blog about my parentals today.  I don’t really know how that happened.  Oh, well.  It’ll do.  My break is over and per Resolution #3, I have to stop blogging now and do this thing I call job.  Have a really good day.  Hey, that includes you with the grumpy face!

The Official “In With the New Year, Out With the Old” Post Part II (wherein Izzybella makes resolutions she actually intends to keep)

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Last year was neither good nor bad for me-it was just there.  There were some really good things about the year, and some not-so-good things, but overall it just existed.  I didn’t do anything really noteworthy.  I just stood by while a bunch of things happened and I sort of body-surfed my way through it.  It was life at it’s most effortless, and consequently, it was a little dull and not very worthwhile.  There’s really no excuse for choosing to not be an active participant in one’s own life.  You can either make things happen or sit back and let them happen to you.  It’s fairly obvious which is preferable.

Last year, I started out the year steadfastly refusing to make any resolutions.  Why bother, I justified to myself, when I hardly ever keep them anyway?  It was an apathetic way of beginning the new year.  I wish I’d made resolutions even if I hadn’t kept them because it would have been a way of saying I care about what goes on in the world around me.  I care what I do, who I am, and how I impact others.  It would have meant I thought enough of myself to at least try. 

So, in the spirit of the New Year, I am making three resolutions.  They’re big ones, too.  They are:

1. Get in physical shape.  Bet that’s one you haven’t heard before.  Joking aside, this is the year I’m taking it seriously.  I’ve already made some good strides the last few weeks.  It helps that I look for things to motivate me every day-for example, from Fitness magazine, there was this terrific article about how profoundly self-flagellation doesn’t help.  You know I’ve never met a man who stares in the mirror and says things like, “you are so fat and ugly, and you have no freaking self-control.”  That is so ridiculously counter-productive.  This article talked about appreciating your body for all it does.  Even though I’m not in the shape I want to be in right now, my body has been my friend-persevering through the ups and downs despite the abuse I’ve inflicted on it.  The fact that I can walk, run, and dance (especially dance) seems so commonplace that I’ve forgotten what a miracle it is.  My body isn’t my enemy-it’s like my brain’s really cool workout partner who totally wants to go outside and play for a while.  It’s kind of a cool paradigm shift and I’ve found it helpful. 

2. Get in financial shape.  Okay, I’m the original impulse buyer and I’m really bad about it.  But there’s no point struggling to pay off school loans while I’m simultaneously charging up the credit cards.  I’ve worked very hard for my vastly improved credit score-I don’t want to blow it now.  So, I’m limiting movie consumption and dining out.  And on those occasions when I go to the mall with foi (’cause it will totally happen) I’m leaving the credit cards behind and bringing only cash.  I think I’m a little too overextended to be out of credit card debt this time next year, but I’ll be awfully close.

3. Appreciate my job more.  I know I appreciate it verbally all over the place, but sometimes I think I’m just trying to convince myself.  On paper, I have the best job ever, but the truth is that I’m burned out.  I’m going on my ninth year here and I think I take a lot for granted.  So I’m going to give 100% to my job-the kind of 100% I always give the day before I leave for vacation when I want all loose ends tied.  I’m going to try to recapture that feeling people always have the first few months on a new job where you take pride in everything you do and you always leave your inbox sparkling clean. 

And those are the 2008 resolutions.  I further resolve to give a monthly update on how I’m doing.  And that’s all the resolving I’m gonna do!  🙂

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for hanging in.  I appreciate the support!  Have a good one!

The Official “In With the New Year, Out With Old” Post Part I (wherein Izzybella lists stuff she’s grateful for)

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I got this idea from Jehara and I think it’s a really good one.  It’s so easy to dwell on the negative stuff, but I do have quite a lot to be thankful for. So in no particular order, I’m grateful for:

  • My sister and greatest friend, foi (aka chauceriangirl, aka the most witty, warm, brilliant, wonderful person I know)
  • My family-we’re disfunctional, sure, but aren’t all families a little?
  • Being a part of Women of Juarez-at once the most difficult and most rewarding show I’ve ever done
  • Getting to know jehara much better-we were friend-ish from the moment we met but now we’re actual friends and I think that is SO ridiculously cool
  • Getting to know v better-she intimidated the hell out of me when I first met her.  come to think of it, she still kind of does-but, like jehara, she sets a kick-ass example with her art, and that matters to me
  • Getting to know the infamous and much loved l-squared (I was getting a complex over how very much foi loves her too, but after getting to know her better, I totally understand)
  • Having an actual group of girlfriends-I’ve never really had that before
  • The two most adorable yellow dogs anywhere, Baxter and Cydney
  • Being aunt to the cutest little black border collie there has ever been in the whole world
  • Cheap rent (it’s not free, and come to think of it, not necessarily cheap either until you consider that it includes all utilities and meals) while I work on paying down my school loans
  • Books, books, books-especially getting to finish the Harry Potter series.  I was so satisfied at the outcome and really enjoyed being able to experience it in a way future generations won’t be able to
  • Can’t stop the Serenity
  • Buffy sing-along
  • Lone Star Comics
  • The most perfect Christmas celebration ever with my girlfriends
  • Blogs, which made it so much easier to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones
  • My co-worker Evie, otherwise known as my office mom
  • Getting off caffeine altogether (six weeks caffeine-free!!!)
  • Getting off Ambien as a result of getting off caffeine
  • Knowing that if I can do that, then I definitely possess the resolve and will-power to accomplish other goals
  • Am now officially half-way through writing my play, which is way better than where I was a year ago-so it’s taking longer than I thought-at least I’ve been working on it instead of just talking about it
  • Getting to have the last week of the year (and then some) off from work without even having to touch vacation time-just one of the benefits of working in higher education
  • Speaking of that, I’m also grateful to have a job that allows me such flexibility
  • Jane Freaking Espenson answered my dorky-ass fan mail
  • Found a new hairstylist who actually doesn’t mind the fact that I’m not all that chatty-she’s not either

Yep, Jehara was right.  Writing all that actually put in me in a better mood this morning.  Weird.

Ya’ll be good.  Part II coming soon.  I know.  You can hardly wait.  🙂