Tag: Life Balance

Onward, ho!

Progress is rarely linear.

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Earlier this week as I talked with a professor she offered me a bit of a reality check. I desperately wanted to discuss the development of different types of theatre in a linear manner. I wanted to be able to look at these moments of theatre in a chronological order and be able trace the growth and progress from one moment to the next. She reminded me that history and life don’t work that way. Instead I should focus on the various shifts and changes from one period to the next. As life shifts and changes it progresses forward, but that progression is rarely neat and linear.

But it can be really frustrating to not be able to see how you’re growing or improving. I’ve accepted that a life in academia means that I put in a lot of hard work and often the results aren’t seen right away in any sort of immediate or tangible manner. A friend once commented that perhaps that’s why I’ve chosen hobbies that do offer the chance to see tangible progress. I’d say that while it might not have been a conscious choice on my part, it makes a lot of sense.

A lot of the tasks on my #Project29 list offer the chance to see the progress I’ve made. So I want to work on documenting the ways that I’m improving or developing — from yoga or swimming to the accordion. This week I’ve been practicing the accordion and I “mastered” my first “song”! Considering only two weeks ago my parents brought the accordion to me and I now grasp the basics, I’m pretty satisfied with myself. I don’t know if I’ll end up an accordion virtuoso (ha!) or if I’ll just play with it for fun, but I thought it’d be neat to record myself every so often so I can see how far I’ve come.

So without further ado, here’s my first accordion performance. It’s a classic piece titled, “Batter Up!”

Enjoy! šŸ˜‰

Wednesday Afternoon Adventure

Cross #29 off the list! A couple friends and I went on an afternoon adventure and got ourselves pierced!

After class and teaching we ventured to Bink’s.

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Like I mentioned before, my only hesitation was whether or not I could go swimming after I got the piercing. I asked Bink and he said that as long as it was clean or chlorinated water I could go swimming right away and I wouldn’t need to bandage the piercing. So sign me up!

I picked out my jewelry, signed my consent form, and prepared myself!

before… drumroll please!

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and after!

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The whole experience was quick and mostly painless, although between the piercing and the tattoo I preferred the tattoo.

Anyway, I’m glad I went through with it. I love it! When it came to the jewelry I ended up going with the basic clear gemstone, but I sort of wish I’d gone for the purple gemstone. The fun part is that I can switch it up if I want to, so maybe I’ll do that the line. Bink also asked if I wanted to wear a ring at any point and since I’m not sure, he placed the piercing in a spot that would allow me to switch to a ring down the line.

So that was my fun afternoon adventure with friends!

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Trying Not to Break the Streak – A Weekly Recap

I might go get my nosed pierced today? The opportunity presented itself last night when a friend mentioned that she was going with another friend who wanted to get a piercing. She was considering getting her nosed pierced and when I mentioned my desire to do it she said I should join. The other people I was with also told me I should do it! I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it, unless I’m told that I can’t go swimming with it. I’ve been on such a roll with the swimming thing that I don’t want to do something that will prevent me from going. I know myself and if I can get myself into a good rhythm with things, then it’s easy for me to stay on track. But the minute I take a day off or something gets in the way it becomes a challenge for me to get back in gear.

But first, if you missed any posts from the past week here’s a recap:

# 5 & 6 – Committing to Listen
# 17 – The #Project29 Version of NaNoWriMo
#& & 10 – Duathlon Day
# 25 & 29 – #29 – To Pierce or Not to Pierce?
#21 – Why the Accordion?

So looking back on the past week I’m pretty proud of my accomplishments. I’ve been very active and even in just a few weeks I can see the benefits from swimming and yoga. I feel much more relaxed, but also happy with myself for making exercise and mental downtime a priority.

I got hot and sweaty everyday! Here’s my activity for the past week:

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Monday – Treadmill for 30 minutes, swam for 35 minutes
Tuesday – Open Flow yoga
Wednesday – Flow+meditation
Thursday – Swam for 40 minutes/800 yards
Friday – Treadmill for 35 minutes, swam for 35 minutes/roughly 650-700 yards
Saturday – Open Flow Yoga
Sunday – Hot Yoga
Monday – Treadmill for 35 minutes, swam for 35 minutes/800 yards.

This is the swim set I’m working on right now. I ordered a book called: The Waterproof Coach: The Waterproof Workout Book for Fitness Swimmers and Triathletes. It’s waterproof and has a mix-and-match set up, so I can customize my own workout. It’s nice to have a plan when I get into the pool. It’s been helping keep me on track and it makes keeping track of the distance I’ve swam a lot easier.

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Over the next week I need to continue to make swimming, yoga, and walking a priority. I’m also starting to see how the increased activity is helping my weight loss. I generally have pretty good eating habits, but sometimes they need a reality check. Am I eating out too much? Am I indulging my sweet tooth too often? Are my portions too big? Cutting out processed food and eating a balanced diet is something that I’ve been working on for my entire 20s.

I need to maintain my activity levels this week, but in addition to that I really need to shift my attention a bit to other projects like NaNoWriMo and reading more. I’m struggling with getting in my writing, even thought I’m only trying to write for a total of 20 minutes a day! I know I can do better than that!

I also found some time over the past week to play around with the accordion!

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It’s fun using a book that Nain used. In some ways it’s like having her teach me the accordion, even if she isn’t actually here.

The other biggish thing that came up this past week was getting a flat tire on the interstate.

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The experience made me realize that I’m a bit helpless when it comes to changing my own tire. So I told my dad that in addition to learning to drive a stick shift (#23), I also want to learn how to change my own tire.

So what are my goals for this upcoming week?

I want to continue to maintain my level of physical activity. I want to actually write for 20 minutes a day for NaNoWriMo. I want to work on establishing my morning routine. I think having a set morning routine will go hand-in-hand with meeting my writing goals.

Committing to Listen

Listen to your body when it speaks to you. Why is this such a hard concept to put into practice?

I tend to override what my body is telling me to do, begging to me do, with whatever my brain thinks is actually the best course of action. Shockingly (or perhaps, not so shockingly) my body happens to be a lot smarter than my brain. If it needs to my body will bring me to a crashing halt, even when my brain is telling me to keep going.

In yoga classes, the teacher with often say to only do a pose if it speaks to you. They’ll suggest to back out of a pose if your body disagrees with it. This idea of listening to our bodies and conversing with them has stuck with me over the past few months of doing yoga on a semi-regular basis.

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The older I get the more I realize that my body communicates with me on a regular basis. I’ll get headaches from stress or I’ll feel anxiety in my chest or sometimes I just feel like crap. Usually the way I’m feeling directly correlates to whatever external things are going on in my life.

The other day I stumbled across a blog entry that really hit home. It was titled, “Is commitment the missing piece of the happiness puzzle?” In the blog the author talks about committing to her yoga practice, but then she broadens the discussion out how in our society we are offered so many options that it becomes overwhelming and thus makes it difficult to commit.

This idea of committing or rather having a hard time committing really struck a chord with me. I’m committed to my work and finishing the PhD program. I’m committed to loving and being there for my friends and family. I’m even committed to taking care of Sirius and Charlie. But am I committed to taking care of myself? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Why is it that when life gets stressful the first thing to go out the window is my healthy eating habits and my exercise routine? It seems like one of those things that’s superfluous or a reward, but really it’s the aspect of my life that keeps me grounded and balanced. Exercise and healthy eating habits keep me happy, healthy, and sane.

In the past few weeks I’ve been doing great when it comes to making smart food choices and working out on a regular basis and you know what? I feel great! Sure I’m stressed and I feel a bit guilty that I’m not making as much progress in my work than I’d like, but I don’t have headaches or any of the other physical symptoms of stress.

So my challenge to myself is to work on listening to my body. Next time I feel like I’m too busy to exercise, I need to really look at my time and see if there is something else I can cut from my schedule before I sacrifice my workout time.

And on that note, I’m off to hot yoga!

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Why the Accordion?

The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, but I’m just gonna shake it off, shake it off and play the accordion!

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I told my sister about my plan to learn the accordion she responded with true sisterly support, ha. She said, “Is the accordion that thing that goes back and forth and plays awful music, like polka?” Then she followed up by saying that I should send her lots of videos of me playing so she can endlessly mock me.

My mom asked me if I was *sure* I wanted to learn the accordion. Wouldn’t I rather learn the guitar or something more modern? The funny thing is that she is the one who suggested I play an instrument for #Project29. She actually suggested that I take up the piano again. I started playing piano when I was seven after Nain (the Welsh word for grandmother) died. She tried to teach me when I was a kid, but of course I didn’t have the interest or patience to learn at the time. Then when she died I decided that I wanted to learn. I play for 10 years before I gave it up in high school. So while I loved my mom’s suggestion to take up the piano again, I knew I would want to do it on my own piano and my house isn’t big enough to accommodate it.

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So why choose the accordion? Well, much like how Nain tried to teach me the piano, she also tried to teach my dad to play the accordion. She was a music teacher and taught between 30-40 students out of her basement. She played the piano, organ, and accordion.

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I like the idea of learning to play the accordion because of the family connection. I can carry on the family tradition of playing. šŸ˜‰ I’m also doing this for #Project29, which means I’m doing this for me and no one else. I don’t really want to perform for other people, so I don’t really care that the accordion is an antiquated instrument or might seem like an odd choice. It’s for me and no one else. šŸ™‚

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Also, the nerd in me wonders if I can tap into some repertory knowledge a la Diana Taylor to help me in the learning process. If you want to nerd out on some performance studies theory, check this article out that explains the concept of the archive and the repertoire.

At least Charlie approves of my decision!

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Anyway, bring on the haters because I’m gonna play the accordion!