I’m baaaaack!

It’s been over 3 months since I posted on this bad boy, and I am thrilled to finally be back! The last several months were jam packed with school, work, and incredible experiences so much so that my dear old blog got left in the dust. By far the biggest intruder of blog life was grad school. But after many research papers, all-nighters, and one very stressful capstone defense, I am officially done with school forever! (Or at least for the next 10 years. As my mom told me, “never say never.”) Don’t believe me? Here is a little glance at my all-too-detailed planner from March and April.

photo (12)

So. While I was gone, a few things happened. Here’s a quick recap.

  • I ran my very first half marathon, the Nike Women’s Half!

half marathon

  • I graduated.

graduated

  • I helped plan the GW Class of 2012 1st year reunion.

alumni

  • I saw so many of my favorite bands live and finally went to Bonnaroo!!
WB

Wheeler Brothers at the Hamilton

hmbsms

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister at the Black Cat

roo

Roooooo! How I miss you!

Lucius

Lucius at Bonnaroo

He's My Brother She's My Sister, take 2 at Bonnaroo

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, take 2 at Bonnaroo

Sons of Fathers at Bonnaroo

Sons of Fathers at Bonnaroo

Needless to say, it’s been a busy few months. The one thing I haven’t done? Work on my apartment. But now that school is over and my responsibilities do not extend beyond my job, I am so ready to get back into the DIY swing of things. So cheers to real life and the many projects ahead! Let’s do this.

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Finding Balance

With the start of my last full semester of grad school, I have found myself struggling to keep a healthy balance among all of my responsibilities and commitments. While I know that working full time while going to school full time is only temporary I find myself dreadfully overwhelmed and often end up doing nothing instead of trying to take the first bite out of the tower of things on my plate. This brilliant strategy ultimately leaves me in worse shape than I was in before and creates a nasty circle of no productivity. So, to help me stay focused I’ve decided to make one realistic promise to myself in every aspect of my life. And hopefully by sharing them here, I’ll force myself to stick to them.

 

Grad School:

    • Do not let a day go by without doing at least one school related task.

 

Work:

    • Spend at least one hour a day entirely in Final Cut with nothing else open. Because once I get in the zone, I stay in the zone. 

 

Half Marathon Training:

    • Keep a set of running clothes in the office so I never have the excuse that it’s too cold to run outside, and I don’t have clothes with me to go to the gym. 

 

Apartment Renovations:

    • Don’t update something just to update it. Take the time to really figure out what I want from my space and wait for the perfect items to come along. 

 

Personal Life: 

    • Continue to do what makes me happy but be more cognizant of budgets. Opt for nights in with friends instead of dropping $15 on one cocktail. 

 

And of course, to help keep me focused here are some wise words from my favorite ladies Kathy and Melody from Brave Girls Club:

Do you over commit and then beat yourself up when you under-deliver? 

Are there a million things on your list that were really really important that you didn’t even get to because you got caught up in doing things that weren’t nearly AS important?

Ok now. Take a deep breath. Now take another one. One more.

Remember that you are wonderful. You are loved. And, phenomenal friend, amazing woman, you are a human being. You DO have limitations.

When you don’t stop to rest, to think, to recharge, to remember, to restore, you end up grouchy, tired, uncreative, angry and numb to lots of life. You are a sparkling, beautiful girl and we need that sparkle. So STOP today and make a list. Prioritize it. Be realistic…

Say yes to yourself, to joy, to rest, to being 100% present to the things that matter most to you — instead of a tired and diluted version who has too much to do to ever do her best at ANYTHING. Don’t lose yourself while you are trying to be everything to everyone….

If at all possible, only have enough on your plate that you can do your best at everything you have to do. Your life will take on new meaning and happiness.

Just practice. This is a hard one, but so worth it. Hang in there. You are loved!

Xoxo

 

They always know exactly what to say. Here is to staying focused and refreshed!

You’re Toxic, I’m Slippin’ Under

In kindergarten my PE teacher, the incredible Mr. Pitts, once gave a chapel talk that to this day I will never forget. He had a student come in front of everyone and asked her to squeeze the toothpaste out of a tube of toothpaste. After she had squeezed out the toothpaste he told her simply, “Now put the toothpaste back into the tube.” She of course couldn’t. This he taught us is how our words work. Once we’ve said something, there is no way to take it back.

It’s a simple concept really but one I feel we have quickly forgotten. This famous chapel talk of course happened in 1994? 1995? But today at work I found myself thinking how this lesson is even more relevant today. With the internet, particularly social media platforms (which I love don’t get me wrong, it is my job after all), today people are quick to spread hateful and hurtful words with increasing anonymity and little repercussion. Today I found myself reading so many nasty comments that clearly crossed a line of decency about an institution that has given me so much. I agree that every person is entitled to his or her opinion, but I urge people to express those opinions in a rational, respectful way.

I know I have spread my fair share of nastiness and it’s no secret that I have the mouth of a sailor, but I have discovered that as I grow older and (hopefully) wiser Mr. Pitts’ lesson continues to mean more and more to me. Why use hurtful words when you can share the same message in a different way.

I so want to dwell on this. I want to read all the hatefulness and let it take over my night, but I’m trying to remember that other people’s feelings and comments are out of my control. What is in my control? At least one of these bottles of wine, my Runner’s World December issue, and a night of relaxation and detox after what has proven to be quite the toxic day. Here’s to letting go.

Think on your words. I will continue to think on mine.

P.S. In the spirit of this post’s title. A little Britney to make this night a little better.

Fired up and ready to go!

It’s here. Finalllyyy! It’s election day! And I prepared my steel cut oats perfectly this morning despite having woken up late, which I’m pretty sure means the stars have aligned in my favor and the universe is ready to hand me the result I’ve been waiting over a year to hear. But of course only time will tell. And until then I’ll be biting my fingernails, shooing away butterflies, and shaking in these brave girl boots.

It’s no surprise that I have my issues with DC. The people aren’t polite, there is more construction than should even be possible, and the competitive, cut-throat energy leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But there is something about being in the District on election day that is unmatchable. At GW we call them only at GW moments (shameless work plug you know you want to click on the link). But really, there is nothing like watching the election results just blocks from the White House. And while I still don’t see myself ever staying in this city for the long term, I’m trying to enjoy these moments while I am still here. To know that I was at the center of history in 2008 and will be again in 2012 still gives me goosebumps and it reminds me why I chose this school for undergrad… and grad school… oh yeah and as my employer.

Election Night 2008 in front of the White House

And sure, my absentee vote doesn’t really count… thanks a lot Rocky Top. But I couldn’t ever imagine NOT voting. As the daughter of two Cuban immigrants, just knowing I am a part of this process feels like such a privilege. So thank you Mom, Dad, and my fearless grandparents. I’ll be taking in today from in front of the White House. But I’ll still be celebrating with some frijoles negros and a piece of cornbread, because you can’t ever forget where you come from.

Saludos! And go vote!