Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taking it all in strides

Well it's been 24 hours since I decided to change my perspective on life and I already have another piece of reflection.

I realize it is not enough just to take a deep breathe and accept things that don't go according to my expectations. I also need to appreciate things and people for how and who they are.

For instance, I was super frustrated with unexpected traffic yesterday, and was not provided with words of encouragement but rather asked if I would get there in time to leave for the game. I told myself not to be upset with said person, but then recognized that I needed to appreciate where he was coming from. It wasn't that he didn't care that I was in traffic, but I was already running late to get to the game and he loves his soccer games.

I'm not sure if that all makes sense, but I'm just realizing that taking things in stride also involves appreciating things where they are at.

With that, I also had a realization this morning. Despite all the smaller things in life that are continually going "wrong," I am sort of living the dream. I have always wanted to live outside of Arizona--on my own from my family, doing things on my own, paying bills, grocery shopping, the whole nine yards. I have successfully done that for the past year. I am pursuing a career that I am absolutely passionate about and have a knack for, which are two things that people cannot often say together about their careers. Although I am not near my family (a catch 22 of my dream life), I am still close enough with them, they are all healthy, and I even get to be involved in birthday parties via video chat. I have a great place to live, a job to keep myself busy (and pay the bills of course), and time to bake all sorts of goodies. This is glass half full, folks. I have quite the dream life and I need to start remembering that a bit more.

I can't forget to mention one important piece. I met someone new. A new boy who I have been too scared to talk about with many people for fear of hearing "isn't it too soon?" To be honest with you though, I am finally convinced that it is not too soon after the past week or so. I was under the impression that I was too much of a mess to be able to give anything good into a new relationship. Through many not easy conversations, I've finally been convinced that I'm wrong.

And let me tell you. This boy is cute...maybe even smokin' hot. He pushes me when I need to be pushed and reminds me that I am worth the fight. I did not expect this in the least and definitely dug my heels in the sand telling him and everyone that I wasn't sure this was the best idea for right now. But then I just couldn't get enough of him. He makes me smile and laugh uncontrollably. I have honestly had some of the best weekends of my life this summer--and I do not say that lightly. I could gush about this for quite a while, but wouldn't want to make ya'll jealous. I'll leave you with the fact that I am really happy and things are so good.

Seattle is 70 degrees today and I am going to happy hour with boy and friends after work. Even with the boy I nanny throwing things at me and yelling that I am evil--this day cannot be ruined. Here's to looking at life as glass half full.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Perfectionism is such an interesting vice. It is one of those strength-weaknesses that you spout in an interview. Well you see, I am very detail-oriented which ensures high quality work, but sometimes I get caught up in wanting things to be perfect instead of moving on.

I often value perfectionism—I tell myself that it helps me strive toward being the best version of myself or doing my best work on a project. You know, if you are striving toward perfection then you’re trying your hardest. Sounds like a pretty rational thought process, right?

Today, I had a revelation that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Who knew it would be such a slippery slope.

When I take a look at nearly every stressor, relational argument, or self-criticism—they all revolve around perfection. I either expect perfection in others or myself and it is quite demoralizing on all accounts. I can never win in the game of perfection, and neither can anyone else for that matter. This is definitely something I have realized before on a smaller scale, but I am beginning to comprehend the negative attributes of perfectionism now more than ever.

I have all these expectations for people, which I think is a pretty normal thing…right? Expectations come from all sorts of places and they are okay to have as long as you cut people some slack when they don’t meet your every expectation. This is where the ugly perfectionism runs in to wreak havoc.

For instance, say I expect someone to arrive at 6:30. He said he would leave his house in a half hour, which would be around 6. Add about 20 minutes driving time (because I am feeling nice) and a few minutes for slack (feeling extra nice) and call it 6:30. You follow me? Then when said person arrives at 6:50—I can’t figure out what went wrong and feel frustrated. {I promise this scenario is hypothetical….ha…I wish}

When you tie perfectionism up with my love for planning, you get scenarios such as the above story quite often. I expect perfection according to my expectations. And goodness gracious—how incredibly ugly is that scenario? {Wouldn’t you all just love to date me? Sounds fun, right?}

Lately, I have been feeling like nothing is happening according to plan—jobs, health, relationships, living situations, car problems, dinner menus, baked goods, arrival times, and everything else under the sun (or more like under the clouds because we don’t get sun in Seattle). I can handle one or two things, but am feeling a big overwhelmed over here. I hit a wall yesterday wondering when it was going to stop. All I wanted was a rejuvenating summer, but the lemons just keep coming. I knew this was a perspective problem. I had to be positive in order to come out on top, but had no idea how I would muster the motivation to snap into positive land just one more time. The idea of it feels exhausting in and of itself.

I finally realized this morning that I am expecting my definition of perfection in every aspect of my life, which is slowly but surely tearing me down. The joke is on me--it is my own perspective that is eating me alive, not all of life's stressors. That is something I can definitely handle.

This has been eating at me for a while. I have always wanted to be a more easy going person, but could never figure out how to grasp that perspective. I think I found the path toward that today. I am going to slowly but steadily begin to accept the perspective that things will fall where they may and I need to take it all in stride. Sounds simple enough, but I am well aware it is an uphill battle slashing out perfectionism. Nonetheless, I am excited and hopeful.

Except for the fact that I probably won’t do this perfectly either. Darn it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another creation

I am the worst at follow through. I wanted to post all my homemade Christmas gifts for the world to see and I failed on 2 occasions.

1. Didn't actually post them (well only 2 of them)
2. Didn't actually take pictures of all of them

I am just glad all my projects were actually finished in time for Christmas. Two were finished at about 1 am Christmas morning.... Procrastination at its finest.

One gift I particularly loved making was for my sister, Jen. I am thoroughly obsessed with my niece, Jaylen, my sister's now 3-year-old munchkin. She is the best. No questions asked. For Christmas 2009, I gave Jen a decorated wooden block of pictures of JJ from throughout her first year and a half of life. This past Christmas I decided I am going to make it a tradition and decorate a block every year of Jaylen pictures from the past year. We'll see how long this tradition actually lasts--I feel like Jaylen will think it is creepy once she reaches about age 12.

Here are pictures of the creation!

Can't you imagine how cute all these blocks will look together in a few years? I can't wait.

Life is funny

For about the past month now, I have been wading around with this cloud over my head.

My wonderful dermatologist decided to throw out to me that I might have PCOS.

Her: "OH! You might have PCOS which is common in people with chronic acne...(words trail off as I begin to process what in the world she just said)"
Me: "PC..what? what?"
Her: "Oh PCOS, you know, that's Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome {oh, of course}--it's pretty common in women but it's just a possibility. You should talk to your gynecologist {Yeah we're besties, I'll shoot her a text}. So...I'm thinking we should try acctuane. {...yeah over my dad's dead body}"
Me: (in my head because she won't stop talking) "Cysts? What even is that exactly? In my ovaries? What does that mean? Wait accutane? WTF! Sure lady, sign me up."

{please catch the severe sarcasm...The background on miss dermatologist is a whole other story not worth mentioning. Moral of her story: she sucks.}

What is PCOS you ask? Look it up here. Sounds like a lot of fun, right?

So this began a month ago. I have had this looming cloud of possible PCOS without many answers from doctors, but just an excessive waiting game. Just when life got good again. Just when I am literally having the best weekends of my life. Life is funny. It couldn't let me just enjoy myself, but had to throw a curve ball. I guess I should be so fortunate that this {possible} bomb dropped in a particularly happy time in my life. That's just the way things go. But let me tell you one thing, I wouldn't change my summer for a second {and that's a story for another post}.

Well, one gyno visit and one hormone blood test later and we have reached today. The day for a pelvic ultrasound. An ultrasound? Aren't those for pregnant ladies? Yes, I thought the same thing. So they just rub the goo and little camera thing across your stomach, right? Again, that sounds like what I imagined walking into the hospital this morning. But oh no...they have to poke and prod your insides too. No big deal... Why did no one warn me about this? Why is the only info I have about PCOS still from webMD? {apart from my lack of asking questions due to shock}. I {supposedly} find out the results tomorrow, but reflecting on the way things have gone I doubt that will be the case. I would like to wave my white flag and let someone else win the waiting game. I'm definitely over it.

After my exam today I decided to celebrate. No more pity parties. I have come to realize that I am very thankful that no matter what the results are (PCOS or not) that it is not a death sentence in the least. As my level-headed sister put it "medical science will have (my) back." Who knew those words would be so comforting.

In order to celebrate, I bought a delectable breakfast sandwich from Homegrown along with a delicious coffee. Since the sun was just beginning to peak through the clouds, I went and sat at Kerry Park which overlooks the Seattle skyline. {Like so}

I consumed my sandwich, basked in the sun, sipped my coffee, and leisurely read The Poisonwood Bible {which I just began last night and am already enthralled}. I sat for about an hour watching the tourists roll in and out--snapping pictures from every angle and with every combination of fellow travelers. I also am going to bake, do laundry and probably go for a run--all some of my favorite things. After all these wonderful activities, I get to end the day reading at the park while sharing dinner with one of my favorite people. As much as I hated the thought of today, it might have just turned it into one of the best days of summer.

Today is a pleasant {and much needed} reminder that life is good. So incredibly good.