Everyone seems to be in the mood for lists right now. A handful of bloggers that I adore have published list posts lately: The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson’s What I’ve Been Eating, What I’ve Been Reading, What I’ve Been Writing, What I’ve Been Wearing, Holly Would If She Could’s 16 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me, and SnackFace’s This Week’s Sounds, Scents, Sips, Snacks & Sights…
And with my hectic schedule lately, both at work and personally, I’ve been living and dying by my daily To Do lists. First thing in the morning I make a list of all the things that need to get done that day and before I leave the office for the day I take the list of tasks and put them in chronological order. Don’t worry, I’m not going to share my daily To Do lists with you. I thought I’d take a cue from my blogging idols though and share some of the details of what’s going on in my life these days.
What I’ve Been Eating:
I didn’t do a great job following a healthy diet in April or May, as I confessed, so I’ve been doing my best to rectify that over the last few weeks. Tons of fruits and veggies, and smoothies galore. Green smoothies, berry-based smoothies, and even peanut butter smoothies. Yum!
What I’ve Been Reading:
My boyfriend’s mother insisted that I read The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato, and I ended up reading all 544 pages over the course of a weekend because I couldn’t put it down. Botticelli’s Primavera has been my favorite painting of his since I saw it in Florence when I was 21 so I was especially drawn to the storyline. I’ve also just finished Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink and was stunned by how much I related to each and every study that he discussed. Definitely keep an eye out for a Book Report on this! I’ve also just started Add More -Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein, which isn’t a self-help book – I swear – it’s a self-transformation book. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing how it impacts my daily approach to life as part of my #1 2012 goal to Be Positive.
Oh, and I have a serious fashion magazine problem. Like a – I need a 12 step program type of problem.
What I’ve Been Writing:
One of my goals for 2012 is to publish a piece of my writing and while this has been a personal goal for years, this is the first time I’ve officially written it down. Not to make excuses, but as a result of my spinal injury and my laptop dying earlier this year, I haven’t worked on this goal much so far in 2012. Hopefully this post will serve as motivation for me to start editing my first novel, I started writing it when I was 20 and wrote a large chunk of it while I was traveling around Europe by myself when I was 21.
What I’ve Been Wearing:
During May I submitted a handful of looks to a fashion challenge run by Definitely RA, you can so you can check out some of those looks – Mission: Put Together 2012 – Part I and Mission: Put Together 2012 – Part II. The challenge was great and I wish I’d had time to participate more, but even putting together a few looks was fun. And as part of my goals for June I wanted to make an effort to wear less black, especially on sunny weekends, so that’s been a major factor in choosing my daily looks. Definitely an adjustment not to automatically reach for the black pieces!
Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me:
- I don’t actively follow astrology but I’ve always believed that I embody many of the traits of my Scorpio sign – Determined, loyal, suspicious, discreet, introverted, dramatic, passionate, possessive…
- I originally hurt my back springboard diving in college when I was 18
- If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be sweet potatoes. There’s an endless number of ways to cook them… Chips, fries, baked, mashed, in pudding. They can be sweet or savory. Hmmm… Now I kind of want to spend a weekend eating only sweet potatoes and blog about all the recipes I come up with! 🙂
- Sometimes I forget that I don’t really “know” bloggers. I begin to feel like I’m friends with people whose lives I read about every day. Does that happen to anyone else?
- I have three tattoos.
And so that we can continue to get to know each other, I’m going to re-start my short-lived Les Confessions series, where I post some “confessions” about myself and my life on a regular basis.
I’ve been listening to 70’s and 80’s music non-stop. From vintage Bon Jovi, Kenny Loggins, and Twisted Sister to fabulous 80’s movie soundtracks – Footloose, Pretty In Pink, Breakfast Club. The upside is that it’s really upbeat music that wakes me up and makes me smile every morning, the downside is that I dance at my desk. A lot.
I’m a peppermint junkie! Candles, air fresheners, essential oils… Whatever I can find. I’ve also been baking up a storm and I love the scent of raw cacao and carob powders as their heating up.
Peppermint tea – duh – and I have to confess that my guilty pleasure these days is Cherry Coke Zero or Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper. My boyfriend is horrified by the red color from the syrup but I treat myself to one a week! I’ve also rediscovered the Synergy Kombucha drinks, and I laugh every time I get carded buying them!
I seem to have almost forgotten about hummus when the weather was cooler but now that it’s warming up I’m craving hummus daily. Carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, and radishes dipped in spicy hummus is favorite after-work snack. I’ve also been eating my bodyweight in fruit on virtually a daily basis – pounds of grapes, cherries, apples, and bananas. Just can’t get enough!
This Spring was amazing with weekends in Sonoma, San Diego, and Sea Ranch, but June has been a gorgeous month in San Francisco and I’ve been really enjoying spending time in my favorite city. Walking everywhere, trips to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, lazy days spent shopping and wandering around the sun-drenched streets… Amazing!
So tell me, what have you been up to? Do you like to make lists to ensure that you get everything done that needs to be done each day?
Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? Planned too many events or social engagements for a weekend? Scheduled too many meetings for an afternoon?
This post is for you!
Multitasking is the word dejour.
I am continually impressed, and frequently amazed, but the sheer volume of things my friends are able to accomplish in a given day, week, month, quarter… I have a friend who worked full-time and went to law school at night. And another who commutes hours to work (damn you Southern California traffic!) and still has time to train and kick booty at marathons and bike races. And another who is a law school student while working full-time for a law firm and still has a social life my 18-year-old self would envy.
Then there’s the rest of us… And by us, I mean me.
Over the years I’ve learned a lot about myself, my capabilities, my strengths, my weaknesses. I, for one, am much more productive on days when I have a million things to do. I schedule, I make lists, I get sh*t done! Whereas on a day that I have a single thing to do, I’m much more inclined to skip my appointment and make a date with my couch and the Indian food delivery guy.
Staying on track with everything and making sure that I breathe every day has made me a ninja – if I do say so myself – in the art of scheduling. I have a planner (I’m jealous of those who can enter everything into electronic devices but I remember more when I write things out), a journal and a dozen or so post-it notes with me at all times.
I’ve found that with my busting-at-the-seams schedule the most important things for me are (1) staying in touch with how I’m handling things and (2) staying healthy. I can’t get anything done if I’m frazzled or sick!
When I was feeling overwhelmed in college my mother passed along something that she found helpful for staying focused – the art of affirmations. Writing down goals, making positive statements and putting your hopes for yourself on paper. I’ve always been an avid journaler, but I found writing these short, declarative statements to be both motivational and inspirational.
Each morning I write down something in my calendar, a goal or plan or hope, that I can keep in mind throughout the day. Something that keeps me focused and centered, and keeps me from wallowing or descending into helpless “why is this happening to meeeee?” moments.
- Find a view on the walk home and take a minute to appreciate how lucky I am
- Embrace that I’m a work in progress
- Be grateful
- Make someone else laugh
- Think about what makes me happy
- Realize that it could be much worse
- Smile for no reason
- Don’t dwell
When I start to feel overwhelmed or can’t remember why I’m trying to do all of this, I go back and look at what I wrote that morning, that week, that month. I take a deep breath and I’m centered again.
Each day does not go as planned. Schedules are changed, classes are skipped, appointments are cancelled, rain days are a must. But the goal isn’t to be perfect, the goal is to get through the day with my sanity in tact and a sense of humor.
That brings me to my second key to sustaining an overwhelmingly hectic life, keeping myself healthy. Stress, long hours, trudging between appointments in the rain, not getting enough sleep… All of these are guaranteed to at the very least make you feel rundown, but more likely you’ll end up getting sick.
While you’re not always going to be able to slow down your schedule in order to stave off illness and fatigue, there are a few things that I’ve learned over the years that can help keep your immune system in fighting shape and your body healthy enough to get you through your busy days.
 Drink your water! I cannot stress enough how important this is. Water flushes toxins and waste out of your body so drinking enough is key to keeping your system clean. And bonus, it’ll hydrate your body and keep your skin from getting tired, dry and wrinkly after a long day. I keep a water bottle on my desk that I refill during the day, one on my bedside table, one in my locker and one in the fridge for an extra cold post-workout drink!
 Try to get enough sleep. Between late evenings at the office, social obligations and trying to turn an overworked brain off at night, getting enough sleep can be a challenge. The negative effects of sleep deprivation should motivate you though: reduced mental clarity and memory, weight gain, overeating, puffiness… Not good! If you’ve having trouble getting to sleep at night, try a walk after dinner or a session of stretching or yoga before hitting the sheets. Part of my pre-bedtime routine includes packing food/snacks for the next day, getting gym clothes ready and prepping my work outfit. Once all of that’s done, I find that I relax into sleep much, much better.
 Get your nutrients! Eat your fruits and veggies, get enough calcium, protein, B & D Vitamins. While sitting down for multiple well-balanced meals a day may not always be feasible, try to stay away from packaged and processed foods, load up on fresh, whole foods in any form you can: smoothies, blended salads, raw/whole food bars like Larabars & Raw Revolution bars, add whole food supplemental powders to water if smoothies are too much effort (highly recommend Vega’s Whole Food Health Optimizer) and/or take vitamins and calcium supplements if needed.