Tag Archives: study

2016 Goal-Plan

5 Jan

I have to be in a certain mood to really write, and though I want to be–today I’m just not.  Tuesday is my most tired day of the week, so maybe that had everything to do with it.  I’ll try though, because I do see the new year as a perfect time for new beginnings, and per the usual I want to grow as a person and be better.  I’ve catagorized my goals and plan to MAKE plans of actions to attack them.

element fairy

BODY

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-running.  I’ve certainly been running and it’s a good stabilizing force, and probably the most healthful thing I do.  Though I’m not going to lie–nearly every single day (and this is day 733 in a row) I want to lazy out.  At this point it would take a LOT to make me break the chain, because that many days in a row is spectacular, but it’s pretty hard to get the motivation to put on that sports bra.  I’ll continue on, for who knows how long.  [time-line:  daily]

-water.  I’ve been drinking it daily like I never used to.  I’m trying to get all 12 cups per day (to account for sweating in heat/working out/eating salt/drinking caffeine) and it’s hard.  They key is drinking as much as I can early in the day.   [time-line:  daily, and early in the day]

-flossing.  It seems a constant battle.  Obviously, I want to do it, but it’s just a matter of DOING it, which is often easier said then done.  I think I’ve been pretty successful at doing it before I brush my teeth for work.  In the afternoon, before I’m really tired.   [time-line:  daily, and before I brush my teeth for work]

-Appearance is just one of those things that isn’t SUPER important to me.  I’m a very low-maintenance gal when it comes to grooming and beauty.  But, in the interest of just feeling more motivated for work and looking mature and everything, I’d like to continue wearing makeup on work days (except Sunday, when nobody really sees me and I’m there for 10+ hours).   [time-line:  daily, before work]

things to start

-Going to the dentist!  And this is for sure happening this year.  I’ll get insurance through my work, so just as soon as it kicks in, I’m making the call.  I’ve already research dentists here, and plan on getting the full cleaning, and all x-rays, then setting up a regular 6 month schedule.  What a relief!   [time-line:  call Tuesday, the 12th of January]

-I need to pain my nails more.  It’s an easy thing to do and I have a lot of pretty colors.   [time-line:  Fridays, during the day]

-And I should wear my beautiful jewelry more.  Those are really easy things that add an extra touch of niceness.   [time-line:  Monday, Wednesday, +/- Thursday]

-I’d also like to take more care fixing my hair.  Instead of a pony-tail, maybe a braid or rows, or a nice barrette.  And, as a more expensive, and long-term thing, this year I’d like to start permanently dying my hair.  To cover all those grays cropping up.  I need to schedule a consult to see what the EASIEST color would be so I can just go as far apart as possible and get my roots touched-up after the initial appointment.  Which won’t necessarily be a color I like, but it will get the job done and be cheaper and lower maintenance.   [time-line:  Monday, Thursday to start]

Erin_Hanson_The_Path

MIND

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-I am such a different person than I used to be.  I have learned not to make work my life.  I’m not centering everything around it, or letting myself get stressed out over it.  I don’t even check what color tasks I will be responsible for the next week when I’m there on Sundays.   [time-line:  daily]

things to start

-reading more for pleasure.  I want to do the book challenge that specifies different types of books.  The trouble will be finding the time in the week to just sit and read.  I think on a daily basis, between work, tiredness, it’s difficult just to get my run in.  But on my days off and especially on Sundays I think I can make time.  And three days a week of reading is still more then I’m doing now.   [time-line:  Friday, Saturday, Sunday]

-read/outline my undergrad textbooks and notebooks.  This will serve 2 purposes:  1)  it will utilize some of that money I’m paying in school-loans and not make my degree seem quite so pointless.  I feel like I’m paying all this money back, yet I never USED my education for anything.  2)  I might learn the material better without the pressure of multiple classes, regurgitating info for tests, and papers and projects.  I can learn the stuff at my pace and the stuff I find interesting/important.  And a surprise 3rd advantage–I might be able to clean some of it out and get rid of it once I’ve looked at it.   [time-line:  Thursdays during the day?  Try it and see if this day works, then reevaluate]

Erin_Hanson_Crystal_Light

SPIRIT

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-be more consistent about adding a weekly item to my positivity jar.  I do it, but not that frequency.   [time-line:  Sunday night]

things to start

-I newed to re-start thinking of all the things I’m thankful for daily.  I really liked it, and it was an easy thing to do, which also had the benefit of re-focusing my attention from worrk to gratitude.  I just sort of fell out of the habit the less stressed and the happier I got.   [time-line:  daily, before sleeping]

-painting for enjoyment.  It’s a nice hobby that Cool and I can do together.  I want to paint light switch covers and finish my totem painting series.   [time-line:  Friday or Saturday, twice a month]

erinhanson4

CLEAN/ORGANIZE

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-keep up on apartment cleaning schedule.  This should be OK and easy, because I can’t live with the mess.  Also, I have calender reminders set up in a routine I like.  This will be helpful to keep on everything around home so there need not be any huge cleaning days and at move out we hopefully will not have a Riverton Terrace clean-up/fine situation.   [time-line:  follow calender]

-make a shopping list.  I always do this, but lately it’s been more of a long-term list then is really helpful.  I need to buy the items at least twice a month and start a new list.   [time-line:  as needed]

 

things to start

-scan all my photos and back them up on my external hard-drive to cut down on albums.   [time-line:  tomorrow–get it done ASAP]

-Also consolidate my scrapbooks, and make power-points or DVDs of some of the materials to save space (and future moving hassle).   [time-line:  next Wednesday, January 13th]

-set a consistent grocery shopping day!  Problem is I hate it.  But in order to cook, I need ingredients on hand, so this has to happen.  I think every other Sunday after work will be a less-busy convenient day (relatively) to go.   [time-line:  every other Sunday, starting January 17th]

erinhanson5

SOCIAL

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-I have also learned not to place the expectations I have for myself on people at work.  Through experience, I realized that only creates social problems and makes me stressed and resentful.  People aren’t going to have my drive or dedication, and it’s not my problem.  So a huge goal is to keep that up, because I really am bunches happier for it.   [time-line:  continuous]

-make a firm cooking date with Cool.  We love to cook together and it makes the following week a lot smoother.  Friday or Saturday depending on what else is going on will work well.   [time-line:  Saturday, January 9th]

 

things to start

-2015 was AWFUL for blogging!  I didn’t do it, when I did it felt like an obligation, and it wasn’t too technically great of writing either–much like that last sentence.  Partially, it was because 2015 was such a transitional year.  Partially, I was too tired and adjusting to a new work schedule.  And it didn’t happen a lot, because I was happy hanging out with Cool, and didn’t want to “step away” to write by myself.  This year, I aim to be better than that, though I don’t know if I will go so far as to impose deadlines or post-numbers on myself.  After all, it supposed to be fun.   [time-line:  write again Thursday or Friday this week]

Joel K tree

When to Buy and Sell Textbooks

3 Aug

In honor of back-to-school August!

It’s always a rip-off, but when can you minimize the pain? Textbooks cost around $100 per book and with 12 credits, you are probably looking at purchasing at least 4 and probably more like 6, because that one English or Anatomy teacher always feels like 3 required books are probably better. . .  That adds up to about $300-$700 PER semester.  Which by the time you get a degree looks more like $1,800 to $5,600 (if you’re REALLY unlucky, or changed your major), which is WAAAAAY too much when you also have to pay tuition, school fees, rent, transportation, food, and health-care.  Save money where you can–your books!  I may not have been writing in this blog often at all, but I have been doing research for you!  You’re welcome.

The Quad 2

But before we get to the data, let me mention (what I consider) the obvious.  Do NOT buy your textbooks from your campus bookstore.  Those are probably the most expensive prices of all.  Sure it’s easy, sure the bookstore is right there, but it’s totally not worth ti.  And do NOT sell your books back anywhere on campus.  Not the bookstore and not the easily accessible sidewalk stand on the way back to your dorm.  My first time around, I could not be bothered to mess about with shipping.  Or research.  And how much money I must have lost!  Let’s not think about it.  It’s really, really, REALLY worth it to bother around with shipping textbooks back and fourth.

Go to any textbook comparison website and find your books at the lowest price to purchase and highest sell-back.  I’ve chosen random sites that compare several book companies for the purpose of showing you it doesn’t really matter which company or site, but they’re all cheaper than campus.  Also, know that no one company always has the best prices, as you will soon see–they fluctuate dramatically ALL the time.

Walking about-July 2012 032

I picked 3 random textbooks (in my Speech & Hearing Sciences major) that I had to buy, then sell back in 2014.  I tracked the purchase price for renting the book and the top two lowest buying price for one book.  On that note, it’s a personal preference whether you want to buy new or used books, rent, or just borrow from the library.  It really depends on the course (make sure you have a chem book accessible ALL the time!!!) and your study style.  If you’re not going to read the books, just go to the library or borrow them from a friend.  But DO read your books–it does help, I swear!  Even if you’re not directly tested on the reading material (you rarely will be), and even if practice problems aren’t assigned to turn in.  It will help you build a foundation for learning, give practice problems, and have useful visuals.  Read.  Your.  Textbooks.  My 4.0 GPA (yup, I’m bragging–and will continue to do so for the rest of my LIFE) I earned the 2nd time around?  Largely due to reading every textbook.  Sometimes professors don’t explain things clearly or at all, and my textbooks gave me a leg up.  Seriously, find the time.

Should you keep the books?

I kept my undergrad textbooks that were in my major and minor.  And I have yet to look at ANY of them.  But I have moved heavy Animal Science, Nutrition, Biology, and Chemistry textbooks from apartment to apartment, state to state, and now they sit in my storage unit–in a different state.  I never used them at all, and they just collect dust losing their value as new editions come out (which is very frequently so publishers can make even MORE money on students).  I wish I would have rented them and saved myself money, muscle-soreness, and space.  Maybe you might want really good textbooks to refer to in your career–but be practical about it.  You probably won’t.  Remember how the info is updated ALL the time.  Go to the Internet, take CE credits, or subscribe to a journal instead.

For the other two books, I tracked the sell-back prices (highest and 2nd highest) over a year.  These trends might vary depending on major and stuff, but I imagine the principles of supply and demand are similar for all subjects.  So next up:  BUYING textbooks, and when the best time to do it is during the year.

Feb Goal Accountability

3 Feb

A] run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

A+.  Even when I had bronchitis and didn’t feel well at ALL, I did this.  Slowly, and with breaks.  But I did it.

B] Read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall. 1) keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class. All semester.

C.  Well, I’m not sure if I’m admitted yet, so I don’t want to spend $$$ on textbooks.  I have been outlining unfinished Audiometry chapters though.  Boy–I am rusty on school stuff.  I’m going to need to review everything BIG time before school does start.

C] Collecting minimum of 2/mo positive moments in a jar

C.  Thus far.  I put 1 in.  I need to make mental notes better in Feb.
1) listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.

C-.  When I sleep well, this doesn’t really happen (most days this month).  Lately, if I’m wakeful I do it.

2) I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.

F.  I need to make a bigger effort in this area.  I was dispproportionaately sad about missing ANY dave matthews band concert, Brandi Carlile, Reno Balloon Races, and the Bristol Night Race because of $$ and school-timing. . .

balloon ride

3) Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day. EVERY day.

A.  I think I’m finally a different person in the area.  At least the way my non-stressful life is set up right now.  We’ll see how easy it is once moving, money, and school ramp up.

D] Dental health. Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time

C-.  At the beginning of the month I did awful work on this one.  Now, I’m getting into more of a routine again.

1) find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

F.  I’m not sure how I’m going to financially going to do this when I have to save for moving and school. . .

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

Bronco sunset

#1: Get the money. Make it, keep it.money

B-.  I have been covering other people’s shifts at work.  But I have not been able to save any money, because of costly travel arrangements for a possible interview.

a) I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

N/A  Does this still count if I just apply my tax return into my savings??!

b) Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month

D.  I made one attempt on Flake’sList.  I hate that nobody follows through, and it’s a lot of effort for little monetary return.  Also, I read on the news (I’ve been reading news!) about all the crazies that go through CL so I’m put-off by that.  I need to amend this to find some other online means to sell things.
i] have one yard sale.

N/A.  This is not the season, and I think I’ll have to have it at my parent’s house–for a yard and to incorporate my storage unit.  In the spring or summer.

c) Apply for every funding opportunity at UU

N/A.  I’m not yet a student there.
i] go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

N/A.  We’ll see if I AM a student.

#2: All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a) read the journals (minimum of average of 1/wk)

D.  I read a few articles, but didn’t keep up with my timeline.
i] e-mails

C.  I tried to catch up on the e-mails from my professional organizations, but got overwhelmed with all of them plus news.
ii] forums

C.  I did look at current discussions, but didn’t do any extra searches yet.
iii] national news

A++.  And this is apparently a full-time job.  I HATE how much news there is, and I care about it a lot less then I probably should.

b) practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

D.  I’ve done this about 3 times, but I’ve been a little slack-ee with it.  Now that my (potential) date is approaching, I’m getting serious about it.  Boy, do I hope I GET an interview.  I lost a lot of money/time over it.  Not to mention I have no viable back-up plan.  Again. . .

c) really follow-up on observing an AuD. I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU.

D.  I updated and printed my resume to convey my observation intentions.  And I even made it up to the front door of the ENT building before turning back chickening out.  On the door was a bunch of MD, MD, OD, but no AuD.  So my uncertainty and nervousness made me abort my mission.  Now I have to make a phone call–and you know I’ll procrastinate on that for awhile.  Next week, I promise myself.

Clear Lake--Silverton

#3: Cool.
I define this as:
a) tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.

b) Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).
c) Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.

B.  Cool neutral at the beginning of the month and a little ornery now.  It’s hard to break old habits and play into drama (I think she’s going manic) but I mostly managed it.  I gave tons of praise for her running, and suggested begged her to call her doctor about these latest bipolar signs.  My reactions are on the upswing, and that’s good.

#4: Make a menu

D.  I haven’t made menus exactly, but I have been eating the same items on rotation.
-do a grocery list

A+.  And we have stuck with it for the most part.

c) We can grocery shop once weekly

A++.  MUCH better.  We went to Grocery Outlet 3 of the 4 Sundays this month-yay for us!

-cook.

b) start with 5 days of cooking per week grow it to all 7.

D-.  I tried to start a routine at first.  Then fell quickly back to my lazy ways.

#5: Prepare, but don’t stress out.

b) Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

A.  Done and done.  This was easy once the ball was in my court.  I had to wait for the Y to get their act together (they are so SLOW) to get my W2s.  Then I did it the 1st day I had them.  Now to receive my refund. . .

c) Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

B-.  I haven’t done a new area each day off, but I have done at least 2 a week.  Now I need to find a way to sell stuff or donate it.

d) Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

In February–find a place to donate things to.  Donate them.

A Look Ahead–2015 Goals, Not Resolutions

1 Jan

Last year, having a monthly post with my goals already written out was really helpful.  I liked doing a monthly accountability check–even if it was boring for you to read.

This year, I think I’m going to have less goals, but no less important.

Gorge N1 2014

2014 Maintenance Goals–keep these going!

The key is to be specific, but not box myself in a corner.  And to be mentally prepared to do it, have a plan, and establish a routine.

A]  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

B]  For school I would like to read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.  Additionally, I think it’s worth mentioning (to myself) that I want to keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class.  All semester.

C]  I want to be better about collecting my positive moments in a jar (minimum of 2/mo), as well as listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.  As part of this, I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day.  EVERY day.  Also, I need to remember to do my very best, but not stress out and look for perfection.  It’s a fine line.

D]  Dental health.  Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time, and find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1:  Get the money.  Make it, keep it.money

a)  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

b)  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month and have one yard sale.

c)  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU, and go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

#2:  All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a)  read the journals, e-mails, forums–and the national news (minimum of average of 1/wk)

b)  practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

c)  really follow-up on observing an AuD.  I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU, and of course it’s important that I get more.  It would also be ideal to get it in a variety of settings, but I’ll start with the minimum of 3 hours and scale the goal up from there if I can accomplish it.

#3:  Cool.Spring Finals 001

This is highly dependant on Cool’s bipolar, anxiety, and medications.  I want to be more affectionate, dare I say, sweet and less judgemental.  I will look at this as a continuum though since this is very dynamic area.  I’ll try to be one level more than the responsible that I always am then Cool’s current mood state.   I define this as:  tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.  Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).  Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.  So if she’s having a terrible month, being a real jerk, irritable, mean, and lazy–I’ll try to be both responsible AND tolerant.  If we’re having an awesome month without problem, I’ll try to not only be affectionate, but go the extra mile to sweet.  So I’ll rate Cool’s behavior on a level of 1 (awful) to 3 (beautiful) and try to be tolerant, affectionate, sweet in accordance with that.  This way the goal is more in my control and works with whatever is happening to Cool.  Mental illness complicates things, but I want to rise above it.

#4:  Make a menu, do a grocery list, grocery shop, and cook. I think if I start out simple in order to establish a routine, this will go better.Easter 022

a)  I thought of the 7 easiest meals I know how to cook:   quesadillas–>tacos, spaghetti–>fancy pasta, mac & chee–>add-ins, PB&J–>grilled chee, oatmeal–>add-ins, eggs–>scramble, pigs in a blanket–>snake bites.  We can start with the easiest version, then move to the more complex as we get into the groove.  If we really find success, we can branch out with new dishes.

b)  I’d like to start with 5 days of cooking per week (with opening a can of chilli, stew, hash, soup, or bag of salad for a cheat day) and hopefully grow it to all 7.  So that takes care of the menu and helps the cooking.

c)  We can grocery shop once weekly, let’s say optimally Sunday morning, but if that’s not possible Sun-Tues (to save time).  I WANT this one, it’s just hard to make it a habit.

#5:  Prepare, but don’t stress out.Laurel's pics 026

I want to do everything in my power to set myself up for the move, for school, and excelling throughout the school year.  I want to work continuously on this one, doing at least 1 thing every week towards the future.  I’ll start with a big 3:

a)  Starting all these goals

b)  Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

c)  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

d)  Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

To help me accomplish these 5 new goals and maintain the 4 older ones, I’ll do a monthly accountability post like last year and make a poster I can see daily.

A Look Back–At 2014

31 Dec

Here are month-by-month grades from my check-in posts for a more quantitative assessment of my resolution progress.

2013 Goals to Maintain:Tucsan

-study habits (A+, A-, A+, D-, B, C, C+, A+, A, A), -floss daily (A+, A-, A+, A-, A-, A-, B, C, D, F-), -drink water(A+, A-B-, C, A, A+, A-, A+, B, B), -read for pleasure (A-, A-, D, D-, B+, C, D+, F, F-, F-), -weekly massage (B, F, D, D+, F-, F, F, F, F-, F-), -abstain (A+, A+, A++, A+, D+, A+, A+, A++, A+, A+)

-I’d say studying went well always, and only slid in the summer months–which is fine.  This was easy since having the 4.0 GPA was of the utmost importance to me.

-Flossing was going well, but majorly crashed when school started and I got a night job.  Taking away my evening contributed to the current failure of this one.

-I managed to do an average to wonderful job with my water throughout the year.  It helps that water is available, free, and keeps my headaches away.  It also helps that I no longer drink most other beverages, so no much is left TO drink.

-Reading is easy when I’m not doing anything else.  But during school or when my evenings were removed (for work) it’s one of the first things to go.

-I felt/feel(?) that weekly massages were important to me, but I’m not sure, based on my consistent failure that they really are.  I like them and everything, but logistical issues are quick to undermine this.

-Abstaining from alcohol was a lot more successful then I ever imagined.  I followed through in a big way.  And my mind was in a good place.  I only really wanted this at the start of summer break and during October (hence the double ++ when I DIDN’T drink those months).August 2011 105

2014 Goals:

-add in exercise AND produce (subtract bad things)(A+/F, A+/F, A-/F, A/F-, A-/F, A+/A-, A+/F-, A-/F–, A+/F, A-/F+), -have gratitude (D, F, F, C-, D, A+, A+, A-, C, D-), say nice things (D, F, F, F, F, B-, B, B, D, F), -Straighten out my sleep (F, D-, F, C, A-, A+, F, B-, F, D+), -min. extraneous spending and save a small amt $ every paycheck for moving to CO (F, D, F, B, D, F, C, F-, F, D), -volunteer (D, C, F, A-, F, F, F, F-, F-, F-), -Take pride in my appearance:  Wear contacts more, use makeup, wear jewelry(C, B, F, A+, B-, C-, D+, D-, F+, F), -Judge Cool less and show her more kindness and love (C-, C, B, C+, C, D-, C+, B+, A-, D+), -worry only 30 min/day (instead of all day & night) AND think positively for at least 10 min/d (C, C-, A+, B-, A, B, A+, B, D, C), -make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead (F, C-, D+, F-, F-, F-, F+, F+, F-, F+), -Don’t over-pluck eye brows (A-, A-, B, D, C, A-, A-, A-, A, A-), -increase eye contact (D-, F, D+, C, F, C, F, F, F, D+)

SkyFest 056So did I make it for the new goals?

-Running a daily mile in the morning is my best goal I’ve EVER accomplished!  This worked so well because I was mentally ready to do it.  Also, because having a treadmill to make it easy and warm worked for me.  The time constraint (first thing in the morning) also helped me keep it up, as did a minimum distance (1 mile).  Lastly, completing “days-in-a-row” made this impossible to break–even on the few occasions I was lazy or had a stressful, busy day ahead.

-Eating did not go well-per the usual, because I was NOT mentally ready for change.  This was not super-practical, nor specific enough to keep me chained to it.

-Having gratitude improved immediately after I left veterinary work.  And I liked it, so I guess I was also mentally ready to DO it.  On the other hand, saying nice things was a failure throughout the year.  Maybe it wasn’t actually a priority?

-I made a concerted effort all year to fix my restless sleep.  I think I mostly failed, because sleep is largely out of my control.  After fixing my sleep hygiene, schedule, and stress levels–I wasn’t sure where to go with it.  I have to remember to make goals that I CAN control.

-When I made the money saving goal, I had good intentions, and was mentally ready to follow-through.  I couldn’t have predicted my financial situation would change so drastically early in the year.  Once I quit my job, the story became–hold on.  Saving isn’t really all that possible without an income.

-I really failed hard on the volunteerism.  Mostly because my priorities changed, and I no longer cared about this as much.

-My appearance was adequate only when I had time or special occasions.

-I’m disappointed that I didn’t show Cool as much kindness as I wanted, but I feel like this was another goal that was largely out of my control.  You see, when a bipolar person is cycling, they are often–a jerk.  It’s hard to deal with that stress–ALL the time, or most of the time, as we did last year.  She rapid-cycled the entire year, which is very tumultuous.  I feel like I managed to keep my head above water-mostly-and that any more was asking too much.  Next year, I want a similar goal, because it’s important, but something 100% in my control.

-I don’t know what a mental breakdown feels like, but I’m pretty certain I was about to have one by the end of 2013.  I was anxious, stressed, frazzled, bitter, and burned out.  It was awful and major things had to change for my own peace of mind.  For starters, I got out of veterinary work.  I had done my time, and was increasingly disgruntled with (primarily) the thanklessness for my hard work.  The low pay, long hours, and high pressure–not to mention social issues didn’t help.  One of the best decisions I ever made was removing myself from that scenario.  Once I got out of the veterinary work, I was able to worry a LOT less.  And my life because more balanced, my attitude better.

-This is another item (make a list, make a menu, grocery shop) that I really WANT to do–in theory.  It’s also something that when it comes down to it I slack off on.  I need to take a cue from my running success and change this goal so it will actually happen next year.

-Don’t over-pluck was, I guess easy–by default.  My mind wasn’t right, I just didn’t have the time.  And now I’m not sure I care about this all that much.  What’s done is done.

-Increase eye contact never came to fruition, and right now it doesn’t seem like a huge priority for me.1st day school 040

Overall, I’m happy with 2014.  I made some big life changes, like switching jobs, quitting alcohol, and starting to run.  And I finished my time at Riverpoint–with all A’s.  I feel like I’m a happier, more relaxed person then I was at this time last year as a result.  Sure, I flat-out failed on a lot of these goals, but I don’t feel bad about most of them (aside from Cool and groceries).  It was fun to try for them, and it worked out nicely to keep track every month.  I’m going to make goals for 2015, but try to model them after the running goal for more success.  Also, I’ll pick only a few, because 11 proved too many, and some became unimportant.  Be looking for my 2015 Resolutions post–then–some music!

A Very Uncommon Name

10 Dec

I know–you thought I had stopped blogging altogether. I have just 2 lectures and 2 finals left this semester–actually in finishing my post-bac! As soon as I’m finished with Riverpoint I’ll be back full-force. Until then, I found an interesting meaning to my name.

the symbolic laurel meaning deals with:

Glory
Victory
Nobility
Immortality
Intellectual superiority
Second Sight (the gift of prophecy)
Recognition (renown) of High Achievement
Long-term Vision (“big picture” understandings)

is kicked off primarily from the ancient Latin word laurus which means triumph/success/victory. The Latin moniker for the laurel plant is laurus nobilis, which accentuates the theme of high honor as nobilis is a term meaning nobility/regal status.

So what’s the big deal about the laurel plant?

We can look to Greco-Roman mythology for insights where Apollo was interminably and hopelessly in love with Daphne. And, in spite of his endless wooing, Daphne would have none of Apollo’s advances (in part, due to Cupid’s “reverse-action” arrow shot at Daphne which made her loathe Apollo).

Daphne’s dad, Peneus, observed Apollo’s unmerciless pursuit of his daughter and how it made her so weary. Being the kind-hearted father he was, he decided to offer Daphne a break from Apollo’s over-exuberance by transforming her into a laurel tree.

Seeing this, Apollo proclaimed the laurel tree forever sacred, forever a plant of divine status. And this, is where we see our ancient forebears creating wreaths of laurel leaves – the symbol of crowning glory and achievement as rewarded to the winners of those who have undergone Olympic challenges.

The laurel acknowledges higher accomplishment of the soul – and did so way before it was recruited as a sign of physical prowess as we see in ancient Olympic games.

Laurel leaves were used to adorn people with distinctly precious and uncommon insights. Furthermore, the mark of the laurel could only be worn by those who used their higher knowledge and spirituality to serve the public in beneficial ways.

And so, only the best, the most cunning and most noble in heart and deed were given the honor of wearing the laurel. Supreme priests, priestesses, prophets, poets, heroes and royalty would be adorned with laurel – but only if they commanded their gifts of intellect and willpower in honorable ways.

These chosen few tacitly lived by the old adage “with great power comes great responsibility” – they gave of their insight selflessly because it was their responsibility to do so – and upon these noble souls where the mantle of laurel shall rest.

I particularly love ancient Chinese views of the laurel meaning. In Chinese myth, the laurel plant is associated with the moon, and so shares its themes of femininity, intuitive power and immortality.

Within the moon lives the Jade Rabbit (interestingly, Chinese symbolism of jade is very auspicious and deals with fortune, luck, wealth and status). The Jade Rabbit is a very clever herbalist and is always busy with mortar and pestle, grinding up sacred mixtures to supply the elixir of immortality to those who are worthy of it. Laurel is said to be one of the secret ingredients used by this ancient rabbit chemist.

This may come from Chinese legend claiming one of the eight Immortals lived in the laurel bush. Hé Qióng, the Sacred Virgin and one of the eight Immortals picked laurel leaves and supplied them to the Jade Rabbit – this act is profound in symbolism – it speaks of tenderness, cooperation, feminine power, tradition and abiding by the infinite quality of both Time and Nature.

These are just some thoughts about laurel meaning, as well as the laurel’s ties to the name Laura.

As you can see from this short entry, symbolic laurel meaning is rife with import, and those who bear its name (in whole, or in part) will share these incredibly vibrant flavors in deed and personality.

Oct Goal Accountability

30 Oct

Maintenance Goals (from 2013):

-floss daily.

Unfortunately no.  I slipped a few nights because I was tired.  Or because I forget to do it at 4PM before I go to work.  It doesn’t make sense to do it before I eat.  But sometimes at midnight, I’m just so done for that I can’t manage it.  In November, I’m going to try to do it every night no matter what.

-drink water.Kidron's post b-day pics 035

I’ve had 7-16 glasses every day.  I never expected to be able to drink so much, and I certainly didn’t expect chapped lips and concentrated urine if I had “only” 10 glasses.  I’m going for 12/d next month–to help flush all the sugar out of my body.

-read for pleasure.

Not even close to a thing.  Reading notes and textbooks is as far as I’ve taken it.  Plus, I no longer lie awake for any length of time before bed.  My head hits the pillow between 12:30 and 1AM and it’s right to sleep.  I’ll do double-time reading when the semester is over.

-weekly massage.

Also not a thing.  Our schedules are late-night now, so there is no awake time to do so.  I think in November we could manage this on Sunday.  Though I’m notoriously dead-tired that day.  It’s not fair, I feel more hung over from post-work then I did as a drinker.  Fatigue, body soreness, mental tiredness, and UNproductive is how my Sundays have been going lately.

-abstain from drinking.

Even though fall-brews are my favorite beer, especially pumpkin ales, I’ve abstained.  As a result, I’ve treated myself to waaaaaaaaaaay too much candy, caramel dip, Pizza Hut, and junky, shitty food that makes me feel more tired then I already am.  I shouldn’t have to feel totally punished and go without everything though!  It’s bad enough I have to work on Halloween (4:30PM-12:30AM) to add insult to injury.

-study habits.dissecting Eugene 068

You see, MY things haven’t changed.  But about at the halfway point of the semester, both my professors simultaneously realized class was moving too slow to get through the material.  So my phonetics exam got moved 5 weeks sooner and out transcriptions tests got pushed closer as well.  So it’s test after test in that class.  Literally–every class session is a test.  And we got to microneurology which is intense and has a vocab all it’s own, so my teacher has been doing the sneaky–learn this at home, memorize that chart on your own time, and study this power-point on your own.  In essence double-tripling the amount of material we will be tested on without taking any class time to go over it.  This sucks, and double-triples my test-prep and study-time for that class.  Add in tutoring demand and transcriptions for my professor friend–I feel like all I’m doing is school and work.  I’ll be relieved when the semester is over–and yet I’m not stressed out?!  I can’t explain this either.  Very busy, but not overwhelmed. . .

January=fitness.

October has been not so good on the eating front.  And because life has me so busy, I started running the mile as fast as I could muster (8.5-9 min on average) which was not so fast.  So I lot at least a min of speed since the summer, and because I was trying to rush through, no incline.  I changed my lazy ways and started running on incline again when I noticed my love handles re-appear.  They had been a staple of my body since puberty, but had disappeared as of late.  Well, apparently, it was thanks to daily treadmilling incline they had.  So now I’m jogging up a hill while looking at my notes.  I promise to be so much better in November and try to add in produce and stick with chicken and rice and such to feel better again.  Sugar is getting heavily reduced!

Feb=have gratitude; say nice things.

Only so-so.  I do fall asleep immediately now, so I can’t list what I’m thankful for prior to sleep.  But I have been tending to wake up in the early morning, and recite the positive things to fall back asleep.  I’ve gotten annoyed by inefficiency at work and I need to chill out and let them do things their way–even if they don’t make sense and are slower then need be.  What do I care?

March=straighten out sleep.

I think as long as I have both this job and school it’s not all that possible.  I am trying to maintain a strict routine, and even have the cats trained to it.  The time-change will put a crimp in our style, but we’re getting ready for that early (and slowly) so it doesn’t whack us out.  In November I’m going to do my best to sleep in until at least 9AM since I’m now a night person.

April=save $$$.thumbs up poster

Now that I’m making money this should be easier.  But I bought a discounted snowboard at the swap, which will save tons of money in the long run, but didn’t allow me to put any aside in October.  I also found out that my big plan to take half-time credits in order to get another loan disbursement and keep my undergrad loans on forbearance is made impossible by the loan companies.  You have to take at least 6 credits towards a degree.  And since I’ve completed all the post-bac courses, there’s nothing left “towards my degree.”  Total bummer–and a game-changer for spring semester.

May=volunteer.

What was I thinking?  No way will this be possible.  But next semester (when I’m not a student) I do want to shadow an AuD.

June=Cool.

New meds are making life great again.  When Cool is her old self, things are wonderful.  She went through a mania earlier in the month, but we recognized it early on and followed the proper medication changes, and things have calmed down nicely.  I hope this version of Cool gets to stay a long, long time! *crosses fingers*  It’s easy to compliment her and get along well when we’re not dealing with bipolar moods, anxiety symptoms, or medication side-effects.

July=my appearance.

Also not a thing.  And fuck my circle of gray hair that won’t remain dyed for long at all.  Am I supped to dye my damn hair every 2 weeks?!  I am in too much of a hurry for jewelry or makeup on most days also.  I don’t care what I look like at work, since I’m just scrubbing toilets anyway.  In November, I’ll try to put on quick makeup/perfume/jewelry (one of those things) for class at least.

Aug=Worry Less, Thank more.

I got slightly stressed out about work, but I realize that stressing out about this particular job is a waste.  I don’t always have to overachieve, don’t always have to rise to the top, and don’t always have to strive to make things run better.  My new plan is to fly under the radar, do my time, then move.  Who cares if some things are stupid?  Not me.

Sept=make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead.dissecting Eugene 027

Ha ha.  Now that I’m a night person (and am working/exhausted Thursday-Sunday) I have no idea when to shop.  Cool does a good job getting items we ran out of at Safeway, but it’s not the same as generating a menu, making a list, and going to Grocery Outlet together with a list.  I do not have high hopes for the rest of the semester though.  Maybe we can at least make a manu. . .

Oct=don’t over-pluck.

If anything, I have been under-plucking.  When I’m home I’m pretty much incapacitated by soreness and tiredness, so no worries.

Nov=Increase eye contact.

I am naturally terrible at this.  Trouble is, I don’t realize it’s happening until AFTER the encounter is completely over.  I need to think about it before or during in November.