Change Needed

June is the month for change, it seems.

This past weekend, I performed in my first orchestra concerts in years. An amazing experience that I can’t wait to repeat! We have a break until July 29th, and I already can’t wait until they start back up. I have really missed having music in my life. For more information regarding the community orchestra I play in, go here!

Another change I’ve been attempting to incorporate into my life this month has been intermittent fasting. I’ve gone on the 16:8 eating pattern (where you fast for 16 hours and then eat during an 8 hour window) and it’s actually going… really well. The University of Chicago at Illinois just published a pilot study they did on it and the the results were fairly positive. Granted, they only used like 23 people. But I guess you have to start small to prove you need more money for a bigger study.

You can Google IF and get tons of results now. They all say that it’s not really a ‘diet’, more of a way to change when you eat. I discovered this YouTube video on IF by Dr. Berg that really outlines how it works. He outlines a four step plan on IF, with the ultimate goal being a 20:4 ration, as in fasting for 20 hours and eating during 4 hours. Yeah, I don’t know about that. I play sports too much to want to try that.

The absolute biggest reason I’m doing this? It’s been personally recommended to me by my PCP. I have got to increase my sensitivity to insulin to avoid becoming type-II diabetic, and this is apparently a way to do that. The video above explains it so much better than I ever could. I’ll have to check back in in a few weeks to see how I’ve kept up with it.

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Questions – Part 4

  1. What did I learn last week? I learned that I am much better at losing than I was when I was younger. I’ve played softball since I was 11, and when I struck out or lost a game as a child, I would cry. I would take it incredibly personal and internalize that loss. This past week, I had a game on Tuesday and Wednesday and lost both games. I reflected that I played the best game I could, that I was a good team player, and that I did no harm to others. If that’s not self-improvement, I don’t know what it.
  2. What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? I acquired a French horn this past Tuesday! I’d only had it in my mind that I wanted to start playing again since I saw The Hunchback of Notre Dame a week before that, so I’m impressed with myself that I accomplished exactly what I set out to do so quickly. Now, I just wait to begin lessons!
  3. Which moment from the last week was the most memorable and why? I’d have to say when I had dinner with Lindsi on Friday night. I was feeling a bit twisted up inside and she essentially dropped everything to hang out with me for a couple hours. That made such an impression on me. She also gives great advice, even when I don’t want to hear it.
  4. What’s the number one thing I need to accomplish this week? I immediately thought of my fitness goals and getting the gym at least 3 times this week, and going on my almost-daily walk as often as possible. I’m almost afraid to say that I feel like I can see results, but that could be wishful thinking. I’ll wait until someone says something, because that’s when you  know.
  5. What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? Get my laundry done and organize the filing cabinet that I haven’t touched since I moved back in November. I have a three day holiday starting tomorrow so no excuses!
  6. What have I struggled with in the past that might affect the upcoming week? My eating habits. I’m not as terrible as I might initially make it sound like when it comes to what I eat, but I am easily swayed by what others are doing. If I lived alone and spoke to no one, I would probably eat very, very clean. But I have a roommate. And friends who care about me and ask me places. So I give in to whatever is brought home or what others are ordering around me. I need to wrestle with my impulse control and not eat the cookies and various chocolate things that are left out for anyone to consume.
  7. What was the last week’s biggest time sink? NETFLIX. I have this mindless habit of turning on Netflix as soon as I get home from work. I toss my purse and lunch bag on to the dining room table, kick off my shoes, and zone out for a few episodes. It pushes everything I want to get done that evening back a couple hours and I hate it.
  8. Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? Yes. Unequivocally yes. This recent… obsession with a particular person is going to ruin my life soon if I can’t compartmentalize it into what it really is: pure fantasy. My conversation with Lindsi has helped this, but I need to channel this preoccupation into my workouts. I need to expand this next week’s goal into attempting to literally sweat out my infatuation because good grief, this is ridiculous.
  9. What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? The filing cabinet, dear Lord. When I moved into my apartment, my parents gave me this really nice side table that is also a well disguised filing cabinet. However, I have severely neglected transferring all my current important documents from a gray, dusty, portable mini-filing cabinet into this nice, real-wood, adult filing cabinet. Ugh. I WILL do it this week.
  10. What opportunities are still on the table? The only thing that comes to mind is setting up my horn lessons. I’ve kind of been playing phone tag with the coordinator so there isn’t a date or time firmly set yet as to when I’ll begin. Another project for this week.
  11. Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? See #8. If I were a more confident woman, I would talk to that person. But I can only set so many goals in one week, and I’m terrified of rejection so there’s also that holding me back. Maybe one day?
  12. Is there anyone that deserves a big thank you? Lindsi, always Lindsi. We’ve known each other for quite a while, but it’s only been in the last couple years that we’ve become great friends. And now that she lives ten minutes away from me, it’s only gotten better!
  13. How can I help someone else this coming week? There are two people that could benefit from me, if possible. Alexis just moved near me a few days ago, and he may need help with that. Also, my roommate Laura. She’s so busy and rather stressed out all the time, and maybe anything I can do to help that? Dishes, laundry, cleaning chores, etc. I mean, I have THREE days off. I can do something.
  14. What are my top three goals for the next three years? 
    1. Improve my health so that I can get off the majority of the medications I’m on.
    2. Transfer within OCSO to a more specialized position.
    3. Maintain a romantic relationship for at least six months.
  15. Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? Definitely yes to number one. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and more consistently to get there. Number 2 is a no because I’m not out of my 2-year probation period yet. And 3… also a no.
  16. What’s the next step for each goal? 
    1. More meal prep, stick to work out routines, don’t get sidetracked.
    2. Keep my job. 🙂
    3. I honestly don’t know.
  17. What am I looking forward to this upcoming week? I’ve got three days off, and there’s going to be a high of 87, so hopefully a couple hours at the pool one of those days. I’d also like to see Black Panther on Tuesday. I’m planning on Pizza Thursday with Alexis and Lindsi. Two softball games on Tuesday and Wednesday, and maybe my first horn lesson on Tuesday if possible. I’ve got a lot going on and I’m excited!
  18. What are my fears? That I’ll ‘relapse’ and give up on number 1 and that it’s actually impossible for me to change. Honestly, I’m afraid I’ll always be the duff in my group of friends, the single one, and at this rate, the very last one to get married.(If ever.) Though I’m realizing that may have some benefits in the end.
  19. What am I most grateful for? MY JOB. I love my job, where I work, who I work with, my hours, the benefits, all of it. Could the pay be a bit better? Yes, but as part of my number 2 long term goal, that will improve with time. I’m also grateful for my health. My doctor says that despite my size, my joints are in good shape, my heart is good, I don’t have any terrible habits like smoking or drinking, and I’m overall healthy. And last but certainly not least, my parents. Since I’ve moved out, I actually get along with my parents 100x better. They don’t live far away so I still go over there and see them sometimes. I realized that my parents are getting older, and I honestly need to cherish every moment I have with them.
  20. If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? My parents. My brothers. A few close friends from Art’s Sake. My cousin Cheryl. I’d find a way to call the person from #8 and just confess everything, knowing there wouldn’t be time to really feel any rejection/elation.

 

Source: Tom Beal: Taking Your Life & Results to New Heights

Questions – Part 3

“Here is a set of random questions for women, conveniently categorized.” Source: thecaffeinatedkansasbabe

GENERAL WOMANHOOD:
1. Do you like the color pink? In very small doses.
2. Did you play with Barbie dolls as a child? I did, and often.
3. How easily do you cry? Way, way too easily.
4. What food do you eat the most of when you’re sad? Bread. Definitely bread.
5. How often do you experience boob sweat? Not very often! Which is surprising, honestly.
6. How moody are you when you are you are on your period? The days before are the worst. But once it actually starts, I’m not that terrible of a monster anymore.
7. Have you ever thought you were pregnant because your period was late? No.
8. Have you ever been on the pill? Yes.
9. Would you ever want to have children someday? Probably.
10. Have you ever given birth? If not, would you ever want to? No, and maybe one day.
11. How good of a cook do you consider yourself? I’m adequate. I won’t ever unintentionally poison someone.
12. What is your favorite thing to cook? I like to bake things. 🙂
13. Can you sew? I sure can! My grandma taught me.
14. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Yes, I’m all for equality.
15. How do you define “girl power?” When Storm in X-Men sends lightning at people.
16. Have you ever wished you were born a male? Sometimes when I’m on my period. :/
17. Breastfeeding or formula? I… have no idea.
18. What is your opinion of equal pay? That it should be equal…?
19. Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Pro choice
20. Have you ever experienced any sexism? If so, please explain. In softball, actually. It’s not easy to explain how it happens, but there’s a mentality that women are just ‘weaker’ players.
21. What is one thing about women you think most men don’t know? We are not as complicated as you think we are.
22. Complete this phrase: I’m so glad I’m a woman because______. I get to have great, genuine friendships with other women and not have to worry about if someone will think I’m trying to date them. Continue reading

Questions – Part 2

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:10am EST
2. How do you like your steak? medium well
3. What was the last film you saw in a theatre? Star Wars: The Last Jedi
4. What is your favorite TV show? Star Trek: Voyager (seriously)
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Germany
6. What did you have for breakfast? orange juice
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican
8. What foods do you dislike? avocados, beans, peanut butter, squash
9. What is your favorite place to eat at? I honestly don’t think I have a singular favorite place to eat at.
10. What’s your favorite salad dressing? Ceasar
11. What make and model of vehicle do you drive? Chevy Cruze
12. What are your favorite clothes? leggings, my long fuzzy blue sweater
13. Where’s do you want to visit next? St. Augustine, FL
14. What are you procrastinating on? Shopping for gifts, cleaning my apt, laundry, making the gifts I said I would for this Wednesday…
15. Where would you want to retire? I already live in Florida, so I’ll probably stay where I’m at.
16. When is your favorite time of day? Early evening
17. Where were you born? Altamonte Springs, FL
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? baseball/softball
19. How many siblings do you have? 2 younger brothers
20. What’s your favorite pastime/hobby? painting
21. Are you a people watcher? Oh, yes.
22. Are you a bird watcher? Not at all.
23. Are you a morning or night person? night
24. Do you have any pets? My cat Elliott, who lives with my parents.
25. When is the last time you took yourself on a date? Not in a while.
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A professional softball player.
27. What is your best childhood memory? Being at my grandparents’ house in Sebring during the summer where my brothers and I went swimming, fishing, and rode bikes around the neighborhood.
28. Are you a cat or dog person? cat
29. Are you married? no
30. Always wear your seat belt? Probably 95% of the time.
31. Been in a car accident? Yes, but it’s been about 12 years.
32. What are your biggest pet peeves? knuckle cracking, blatant racism, someone dropping the same item over and over.
33. What are your favorite toppings on pizza? pepperoni, italian sausage, peppers, onions, chicken
34. What’s your favorite flower? spray roses
35. What’s your favorite ice cream? cookies and cream
36. What’s your favorite fast food restaurant? Chick Fil A
37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? zero
38. From whom did you get your last email?  Yankee Candle
39. At which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Target/Torrid
40. Have you done anything truly spontaneous lately? Not really.
41. Do you like your job? I do!
42. If you could turn one of your hobbies/passions into a paying job, which would it be? scuba diving
43. What was your favorite vacation? When I went to England a few years ago, specifically Greenwich. I actually still dream about it sometimes.
44. Who is the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you go? Lindsi, and we went to Moe’s.
45. What are you listening to right now? the radio at work
46. Do you drink coffee? Not at all.
47. If you could give yourself advice in high school, what would it be? Get more serious about your school work and stop caring so much about what the people around you think. You aren’t going to remain friends with 98% of them anyways.
48.  What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned? That life really is easier if you’re pretty.
49.  Do you have a Pinterest board full of wedding ideas? Ugh, yes. And it’s secret.
50. What is your greatest fear about your future? That I’ll never be financially solvent.

Questions – Part 1

What do you hope you grow out of? This question gives me hope that I can still grow out of things at the age of thirty. I honestly hope I grow out of my tendency to diminish myself and my intellect.

What is the healthiest and unhealthiest thing you do on a regular basis? The healthiest: I take my medication regularly and I recycle. The unhealthiest: I drink soda.

When looking for a significant other, what three things are most important (besides looks)? 1. How do they treat wait staff/retail employees? 2. Can they read music? 3. How often/quickly do they text/call back?

How much do you judge a person by their appearance? It wouldn’t be the truth if I said ‘not at all’, but after living next door to a crack house that had prostitutes walking up and down the street at all hours, it basically comes down to how adequately you’re dressed to have small children see you in public when they get off of a school bus.

What is the most embarrassing thing you own? A blue stuffed platypus that I will never, ever give up. Fight me.

What is the strangest habit you have? I hang all the clothes in my closet by color.

What movie made you cry the most? So many. Almost any movie involving the U.S. military (especially after my brother served in the Navy).

What was one of the happiest moments of your childhood? They all involve the pool at my grandparents house in Sebring. So many great times happened there.

What was the worst date that you’ve ever been on? I genuinely don’t like talking about this.

What’s your favorite vacation memory from when you were a child? Being at the beach with my immediate and extended family.

What belief do you have that most people disagree with? That it’s possible to live a life without a credit/FICO score.

What impression do you try to give when you first meet someone? That I’m a happy, outgoing person who’s well-connected and popular.

Who or what inspires you to be a better person? My former roommate, Jenna. She’s successfully lost over 100 pounds just by diet and exercise, and she’s incredibly positive and open about the entire journey.

What’s the TLDR description of your last relationship? Guy convinces girl to keep it a secret the entire time, he loses his mind when she decides to move away for college. The end.

If you found out your current life has been just a dream, would you choose to wake up? (You don’t know if your real life would be better or worse.) I would not wake up. I am fully aware of how fortunate I am with my job, my friends, my apartment, and family.

What dumb thing did you believe for a really long time? That Democrats are evil.

What are some things you would you like to achieve before you die? Scuba dive again, see the Northern Lights, fall in love.

Where would you like to retire? Colorado

What brings you the most joy in life? Giving things to friends.

What is the best and worst part of your personality? Best: I remember birthdays and send out cards for practically everything. Worst: I bring myself down in front of other people which essentially forces them to bring me up.

How would your perfect partner treat you? With respect, but it’s more than that. Would they think about their actions or things they say and how it could affect me in the short/long term? Would they assume I would or would not want to do something with them? Things like that.

 

Source: Personal questions to ask a girl

People are worse than you realize.

That’s what this job has made me realize. Working in the warrants unit of your friendly neighborhood sheriff’s office has introduced me to some of the lowest of low lifes society can produce. Murderers, child abuses, animal cruelty, drug dealers, and that’s just on a Monday. I feel like I could write a new post every single day about what I see.

I’m not going to write about how at the end of the day, I walk out of work telling myself that because I’m a fairly decent person, the world is fine. It isn’t. I have watched someone get arrested right in front of me. I have had officers walk in, warrants in hand, to tell me they need it entered ASAP because they’re going to catch the guy right now. I have had family members call us directly, asking for any information about a warrant of someone they care about, insisting that they did nothing wrong.

The first month I was here, I felt like it was something crazier every day. I remember my first murder warrant. I remember my first sexual assault warrant. I’ve learned that it’s best not to read the affidavits (the officer’s full statement on what happened and who they interviewed). They’re horrifying. And there’s tens of thousands of active warrants within the county I work. People really are worse than you realize.