On being overdue

I’m still pregnant.

My due date, March 25th, came and passed rather uneventfully much to my dismay.

I never ever once even considered that I would be overdue.  I had always assumed that I would give birth to my daughter earlier than her due date.  After all, I was born early.  Why wouldn’t she?

Apparently, she is quite comfortable in her home and more than a little unwilling to leave, though she is beginning to run out of space.  Her latest hobby is punching my cervix, resulting in sharp twinges of pain that make me flinch.  Though I have long since given up on wondering whether or not every contraction is the beginning of early labor or just Braxton Hicks, I do have a small (and ever diminishing) hope that I will spontaneously go into labor and not have to be induced next week.  Only time will tell.  Until then, I am attempting to not be too discouraged about still being pregnant and distracting myself with the company of friends.  I must admit, having time off of work and seeing people that I love isn’t such a bad thing; in fact, it is rather delightful.

 

Advertisements

What is important?

Featured

 

I often worry about priorities and what is important in life.  I make to-do lists; I get frustrated with myself when I don’t accomplish what I have deemed to be reasonable (and usually isn’t); I worry about little, minute details of life; I stress about almost everything.  What does all that worry and stress and driven perfectionism accomplish?  Do I actually think that I am always doing what is important?

No.

In fact, I often feel like I have wasted my days.  For instance, I spent almost three hours in Target this morning agonizing over the purchase of some baby clothes.  Three hours!  Are those clothes that important?  Definitely not.  But I certainly acted like they were.  I spent 1/8 of my day worrying about them.  I made them that important rather than focusing on things that are truly important (not the fifty-six cents I saved by using my 10% off coupon and carefully selecting the ideal baby dress).

However, rather than beat myself up about it any more than I already have, I found this quote.

This helped me realize that while I consciously have decided that I waste time stressing and worrying and being a perfectionist, I unconsciously have decided that those activities are important because I spend my life doing them.  However, this is something that I want to change.  I want to relax and be more flexible and spontaneous.  And I want to enjoy my life more, after all, I am exchanging part of my life for everything that I do, so I should make it worthwhile.

What do I want to do?

Featured

What do I want to do?  That is a question I ask myself often.  You see, I graduated with a B.A. in English in May 2010.  Did I get a job in my field?  Yes, but only for a brief time as an English as a Second Language Teacher in China.  Then I moved to Portland and began working as a barista.  So despite the fact that I have a bachelors, I make minimum wage in a physically demanding job that involves people yelling at me and being rude.

However, I know that is where I am supposed to be, simply because I am there.  If God wanted me to be somewhere else, I would be.  For a long while I disliked and kind of resented my job.  I felt like I had regressed; most of my coworkers are still pursuing degrees and/or interests and are years younger than I am.  So what was I doing there?

I was learning humility.  I was learning to be content.  I was learning to be real and deal with my own issues and personal limitations.  I was learning how to approach those in authority and ask for help.  When I finally asked God to show me all that I had to learn while I work as a barista, He showed me.  Now I am content to be where I am, learning what I can.  Who knows how valuable this experience could be later in life?

However, I do know that I don’t want to be a barista forever.  I want to be a writer.  So I must write.  I am contemplating the idea of going back to grad school for communication with an emphasis on writing to help me in this area.  We shall see what happens with that, since the programs I love are too far away at the moment.  I also want to be a godly, loving wife and eventually a mother.  And I definitely want to live abroad again, preferably in several different countries (obviously not at the same time!).  Most of all, I want to be live a vibrant, engaging life.  I don’t want to be withdrawn and apathetic.  I want to be alive and thrive.  With God’s help, I will do just that!

Writing

I haven’t been particularly faithful to writing recently.  Part of it has to do with not having internet access at home.  Part of it has to do with laziness and insecurity – sometimes I just don’t feel like I’m a writer at all, let alone a good writer.  And part of it has to do with writer’s block.  I simply don’t know what to say.

Or do I?

Over dinner, John, a friend, and I discussed writer’s block… yes, we are all nerds.  My friend made an interesting point… if we are discussing something we are interested in, we never ever have talker’s block.  So why do we have writer’s block?  Why not just write the thoughts we have?

Honestly, I don’t just write my thoughts because I want to be a perfect writer.  I’m such a perfectionist that I inhibit myself.  I really should try to get over that.  And this blog will be the space in which I try to do so.  Hence this post actually.

So while I’m still not committing to writing daily, I will try to write more frequently.  I do have a few good rants/thoughts/subjects that I’m contemplating on life, work, and people.  That pretty much encompasses just about everything now, doesn’t it?  I’ll leave you to speculate for now…

Fitness

I’ve always dreaded physical fitness.  From waking up to my mother jumping up and down to the oldies while doing Aerobics when I was growing up to the exercise regime and (perceived) constant criticism of my how fit I was, I developed a hatred of anything and everything related to exercise and used this hatred of exercise as a form of rebellion throughout my college years.  I know, I should have rebelled using some method that wasn’t also self-destructive, but you live and learn, right?

It wasn’t until I moved home from China with my husband in February and into my friend’s house that I really actually began to get somewhat serious about fitness for several reasons.

  1. I wasn’t as thin as I used to be despite losing weight in China (perhaps my mother’s exercise regime did some good after all?).
  2. I wanted to be attractive, not only to my husband, but also just in general.
  3. I’d known for approximately a year and a half that my cholesterol was dangerously high and had taken small steps to work on it but hadn’t really been that serious about it.  The threat of beginning lifelong medication in my early twenties should have been more motivating…
  4. I wanted to live a simpler, healthier lifestyle and take care of the body I have since it is, after all, the only body I’m ever going to have.

So with my friend’s encouragement and love of fitness, I painstakingly began to actually work out regularly for the first time in years and not just count the walking around whatever town I lived in as daily exercise.  She had a Pilates DVD, so I started off slowly.  Ten minutes a day five days a week at first.  Then twenty minutes a day five days a week.  Finally, thirty minutes a day five days a week and occasionally the entire fifty minute DVD.  Since it was too cold to run or jog outside (oh the joys of living in the Midwest during the winter!), I was limited to Pilates and my bundled-up walks downtown.

I began to see results.  Nothing drastic by any means, but I had slightly tighter abs and more toned arms and legs.  I had more energy.  I could wear skinny jeans for the first time in my life.  My thighs had always been too big, which I attribute to years of ballet and soccer followed by years of weight gain and lack of exercise to tone the muscular tree trunks that I had developed.  I was on a roll, exercising regularly and eating much healthier.  As the weather warmed up, I even began to occasionally run.  I felt great!  I was confident and hopeful that I would continue this healthier lifestyle for a long, long time.

Then I moved to Portland.  With no access to the Pilates DVD since I was too broke to afford one, I stopped exercising.  I didn’t even run since I was living with a friend and had to abide by her schedule while looking for an apartment, a schedule that meant only being home to sleep.  While I didn’t gain any weight, I lost the muscle tone I had been developing.  I was walking around more than ever, but that was it in terms of exercise.  I was discouraged.

Once my husband John and I moved into our own apartment, I thought about exercising.  I wanted to exercise and regain the muscle tone I had lost.  I wanted to continue to be fit and healthy.  I was walking even more than before due to a lack of car, a lack of bicycle, and a lack of money to buy a transit pass.  In fact, I walked just over a mile to and then from work five days a week.  But even in combination with trying to eat healthier, I wasn’t seeing real results.  I lost some weight, but wasn’t getting toned.  I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with my appearance, especially since any weight I had lost only accentuated the weight I hadn’t lost in my stomach and thighs.

Finally, after several months of hating my appearance, I checked out the Pilates DVD I had used in Ohio from the local library.  But I lacked the motivation to begin again.  Beginning is always the hardest part.  It took feeling like I looked pregnant, being upset that my jeans were wearing out after seven months before they were falling off, the prospect of seeing friends from Ohio and wanting to be thinner, the prospect of going to the doctor to be weighed, continued discussions (and consequent guilt) about healthy living (aka eating and exercising) with John, and getting a bike only to realize that I wasn’t in the same shape I had been the last time I had owned a bike to actually motivate me to start exercising again.  Wow, am I stubborn!

Daunted, I didn’t do so well the first two weeks.  I had set unreasonable goals and got stuck in failure.  However, since I really dislike my stomach and thighs, I reevaluated my goals this week and set smaller, achievable goals.  I can always go above and beyond these goals if I really want to (now that would be quite the accomplishment!).  So far, I’ve stuck with them, and exercising is getting easier and more enjoyable.  In addition to riding my bike to work (hooray for a shorter commute!), I decided to do twenty minutes of Pilates at least four times a week.  Also, I am going to go on two or three bike rides this week – the first of which will be tonight once it is not blistering hot outside.

I’ve already done Pilates twice this week, and since I don’t work mornings for the next three days, I plan to do Pilates all three of those days.  I may need to plan time for an extra long bike ride to prepare for the 7-miles-one-way jaunt that I planned for Monday.  Oops.  It’s a start.  And while I’m sure my weight won’t be what I want it to be at my doctor’s appointment next Wednesday, I’m sure it won’t be as bad as it once was either (a number so high it is unpublishable).  I am starting to be toned again (perhaps I can buy a size smaller in my jeans?).  Most importantly, I have more energy and feel healthier, a definite step on my way to being confident with my body again.

I’ll keep you all updated on my fitness progress…. perhaps I’ll even investigate a widget or chart or something to track what I’ve done.

What is your favorite workout routine?

Meijer Kettle Cooked BBQ Chips

I’ve been trying to eat healthy food for a while now.  Like since we moved to China more or less.  Sometimes the only comfort food in China was potato chips, so I indulged.  But for the most part, we ate healthy food in China.

Once we were back, I decided that we should really step it up and eat healthy food.  So we began eating fruits on a daily basis, packing our lunches, and eating dinners at home.  Also, we decided not to keep junk food at home and avoid fast food restaurants as much as possible.  It has been fantastic!  We are much healthier due to our changed eating habits and exercising.

However, my downfall is always Meijer Kettle Cooked BBQ chips.  They are so delicious!  I prefer them to name brand kettle cooked chips.  I could eat them all day long.  Sadly, I have been known to eat an entire bag in a day.  😦  Given this tendency, I don’t often buy these chips, or even really shop at Meijer.  One must avoid temptation as much as possible, right?

The other night, I was craving them, so I bought some.  I’m proud of myself because the vast majority of the bag is still sitting on the top of the refrigerator untouched.  They were so good.  I’m going to miss them when I move to Portland.

What is your favorite kind of chips?

Ruby red, raspberries, and refreshment

“What color is that?  Is it red?”

“Well yes, it’s called ruby red.”

This is how my friend greeted me today when she saw my hair as I walked into our local coffee shop, Grounds for Thought.  I’ve always had reddish hair, from red hair when I was two to the reddish brownish color that naturally spirals out of my scalp now.  I love it; having curly red hair is exciting because it reveals my personality even when I wear dark v-necks and jeans (which is my typical and favorite choice of outfit).  I can’t tame my hair; it almost symbolizes my desire for freedom and uniqueness.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyway, though my hair is naturally considered red, I like to enhance its redness from time to time.  Usually I pick a natural color, and no one really notices that I dyed it.  However, when debating hair color at Walmart the other night, I finally opted for the edgy color (something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now).  I picked ruby red, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  It is funky and fun.

To keep with the red theme of the day, I decided to order a raspberry Italian soda tonight.  It is quite delicious, but before I tell you about it, I must first divulge that I have recently discovered that I love raspberries.  I’ve never minded them in the past, but I also would never choose raspberry if other flavors were offered.  However, for some bizarre unexplainable reason, I have begun to adore raspberries recently.  I even seek them out and choose raspberry when flavors are offered.  A few nights ago, when debating what fruit to buy, I chose raspberries and proceeded to eat the entire container while watching TV with John.  This new love astounds me, but I quite like it.  Raspberries are delicious.

Now onto the raspberry Italian soda.  It is so good.  The raspberry flavor is sweet, but not so sweet that it is overpowering in its sweetness.  Drinking a raspberry Italian soda is refreshing after a long day.  It quenches my thirst and brings happiness to my soul.  What more could a beverage do?

What is your refreshing beverage of choice?  Or what crazy color would like to dye your hair?