Whammies 2.0

A few months ago I wrote a post called “Whammies”. The post was about some the stressors that I had endured during that week which included; husband being gone, school work load, and being sick. All things that filled my time, while also making me not be at 100%; which is something I strongly dislike. Well, the week of whammies has returned. The good thing is that, this time, my husband is home; he’s so good at doing things.

This time my stressors/limiters are:

*Two back injuries in less than a week. I haven’t pulled a muscle in my back in over a year, and I managed to pull two different muscles in five days. The first happened Wednesday night. I fell asleep on the couch while watching “The Golden Girls”, and remained there for over an hour. My upper back let me know the next morning that it did not appreciate the particular position I had settled into. The second happened yesterday while doing a Pilates exercise that I have done a hundred times. For some reason my lower back was not having it.

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*Last night our son threw up in his room, thankfully my husband took care of that one.    : / He seemed fine this morning, so I sent him to school; a couple hours later the school nurse called. Yep, but at least he got to enjoy his first field day before tossing his cookies, again.

*School work. Oh yes, the ever present school work. Although this time its not the large quantity waiting to be completed, but rather that there is not much left. I have less than two weeks before I finish my last class, and my big 21 page paper will turned in tomorrow. This paper was quite the epic under taking, and soon I will hand it off to my professor with the hope that he likes it. And he just had the mention (in the comment section of one my rough drafts) that he sends some papers to the dean, to be reviewed, the ones that are very good. Some of those win awards. When I read that I was like..

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…Did he mention that to everyone, or just ones he is considering. Will he like my paper? Is it serious enough? Will I be just a big fat disappointment? Will I end on a high note? And of course, the biggest stressor is that in only two weeks I will no longer have school work to hide behind. I will be free to be what I say I want to be, which is great, but I also have to get over myself and actually do it. And what I want to do involves offering my heart and soul to the world, and wait to see if they accept or reject my offer.

………………

Nope. Not stressful at all. I suppose the best I can do is take things one step at the time, which is difficult for me because I have no patience and I am very future orientated. I may succeed or I may not; but I’ll only fail if I don’t try.

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If you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my heating pad.

Until next time,

The Texan

Still Fitting in Fitness

I must admit I woke up this morning with no ideas, not a single blog idea. Perhaps it is because most of my brain cells are locked up in that 21 page paper that I have been working on these past few weeks. The good news is that it is all written, all I have to do now is polish it up, and make it awesome. I also got to “blog time” a little later than usual today because I had some extra errands I needed to run, and the electricity went out at the grocery store I usually go to. It wasn’t too big of a deal because the power came back on after about ten minutes of sitting in the parking lot. And luckily, I stumbled upon the Victoria’s Secret undies sale, just a heads up ladies.

Anywho…

Whilst putting the groceries away, I thought, and I thought…

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Then I got an idea. I wrote a post about my exercise routine a couple of months ago, and why I am committed to it; maybe I could write an update. Are you on the edge of your seat yet? I know me too. Or…umm…anyway..

In that post I wrote about the five reasons why I fit in fitness. The first was to achieve my goal of once again being able to do a bunch of pushups. Unfortunately y’all, I totally fell off that wagon. I made it to twenty a day, and then just stopped. However comma, I did add a different workout DVD to my routine that has a lot of focus on the upper body, well and lower body too. Its intense, for real y’all. But it does give me the opportunity to come up with creative swear words like hominy, fujita, homina, and sassafras. The first time I did the routine, I could barely walk, stairs were super fun, but its better now. Another reason was because it gets cold in my house in the winter time, and working out was good chance to not be cold for a while. Thankfully its now summer….ish…or something, anyway its not cold anymore.

Here are the reasons that are still in play:

  1. Bucky’s legs, and looking awesome in yoga pants, which I think is coming along nicely.

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2. Appreciating fitness humor such as…

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and…

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Lol! This is sooo accurate! Good thing I do my workouts at home.

3. Now that the weather doesn’t suck all the time, well its not awesome all the time either. It rained all day today, all day. Today’s rain cancelled my daughter’s field trip and my son’s soccer practice, but at least its not butt cold anymore, but I digress. Now that it is warmer, I have worked in some running. I was a little nervous at first because last time I got a little over zealous which resulted in giving myself runners knee, and the purchasing of an ankle brace. But this time I am taking it slow starting with just one day a week, instead of ummm….three. The last two runs have gone well, there’s some pain and stuff involved but mostly well.

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Lol! Oh well, just gotta keep going right?

4. It has now become a habit. They say it takes 45 days to develop a habit, and I surpassed that long ago. Its now simply a part of my day. So if you have wanted to start working out, or have just begun, stick with it. You’ll be glad you did, trust me.

Well if you’ll excuse me, its about workout time.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

My Lions

I have discussed fear a little bit on this blog, and on my previous blog as well. By the way, if you’re interested its called “Hope, Faith and Star Wars” and can be found at hopefaithstarwars.com. Fear has always been a big limiting factor for me, I have many fears, and I imagine that I am not alone in that. But eventually one gets to a point in their life when they attempt to find the positive or the good that came from bowing down to fear, as in “how did I benefit from avoiding things that I am afraid of”. If you’re like me, and you too have gotten to that point, you may be struggling to find the aforementioned good.

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Now don’t get me wrong, fear on some levels is good. Fear is a necessary human emotion, because it stops someone from being reckless when they drive or encourages them to be cautious when things look a little dangerous. After all with out fear, the human race would have died out long ago. Fear becomes a bad thing when it crosses into worry, anxiety, or causes the person to give up or hold back. That, my friends, is when fear becomes a big waste of our precious time.

For my final project for my Myth and Ritual class, I analyzed a great story from the Middle East called “The Story of the Prince and the Lions”. The tale is about a prince who in order to prove that he is worthy to be king, has to face a lion; a task that will test his courage. The prince is afraid, so much so, that he decides to run from his destiny and build a new life else where. However, at the first refuge he learns that the surrounding forest is filled with lions and that everyday they attack anyone who is outside the walls of the large estate. So the prince runs again. At the second refuge, he is taken in by a group of Arabs who live out in the desert. A week after his arrival, the prince is asked go to the distant hills, kill a lion, and bring back its skin. This would prove that the prince has courage and would be valuable in a fight should the need arise. Unable to face such a task he runs yet again. At the third refuge, he discovers that the family who has taken him in have a pet lion. This lion is completely harmless, but the prince is so afraid that while listening to the lion walk the halls at night, he breaks into a cold sweat barely able to breath; while hiding in a dark corner. He then comes the realization, that running from his fear has proved impossible because it followed him each time he ran, and would continue to do so. He returns home ready to face his fear, come hell or high water. Much to his surprise, while standing face to face with the lion he discovers that the lion is tame, and even rubs up against his legs like a house cat. When the prince ran from his fear, all he found was more fear, but once he faced it, he got everything he ever wanted and then some. He also found that the task he had been so afraid of, really wasn’t that bad. His motto, which he had put on a sign and hung over the front door of the palace, became “Never run from the lion.”

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This got me thinking about my own lions, the lions from my past, the lions that await me in the future, and ones that I face today. I think that putting something out in the open is a great way to deal with it, to make yourself accountable, and gives you the opportunity to benefit from some else’s wisdom, and encouragement. Today I will share with you some of my fears, with the hope that the act of sharing will encourage you to share your fears with someone, and will allow me to see my own fears in black and white.

  1. To start off a rather silly fear; ferris wheels. This does play into my slight fear of heights, although strangely enough I will ride roller coasters.
  2. Next up an irrational fear, fast moving ceiling fans.
  3. Getting a tattoo. This one is new because I had never considered  getting a tattoo until I watched the Captain America movies and discovered the awesomeness that is James Buchanan Barnes. What would I get? Bucky’s red star on my left arm right where his is. Why am I scared? Because tattoos hurt, and I don’t like needles. For real y’all, I endured the pain of childbirth head on (twice), because I was scared of the epidural needle.
  4. Going to New York City. I have always wanted to go to “The Big Apple”, so much history, so many restaurants, and so much of anything and everything. But its so BIG, and I am weary of big things. I won’t go to Hobby Lobby because its so big.
  5. Wasps, I got stung when I was a kid and it hurt like the devil y’all. Actually, this fear is pretty solid, I see no issues with it.
  6. Another irrational fear, creaky second floors or really second floors in general. A rule in our house is, “no running or jumping upstairs, because it makes Mommy nervous”. Connected to this is my slight fear of tall buildings. My husband and I went to Chicago several years ago, and we visited the John Hancock Building. I almost had a panic attack when I saw that the observation deck was on the 94th, 94th!!, floor. I made it up there, but I walked very gingerly and pretty much felt like I was going to throw up for a good ten minutes. But the point is, I’m glad a went, and I suppose that further solidifies my more than slight fear of heights.
  7. This one is the big one, failure. Fear of failure can prevent a person from, taking a risk, taking a chance, following a dream, and can leave them wondering, “what if?”. If I never ride another ferris wheel again, I won’t be sad, but giving into this fear; I can’t allow that to happen.

Do I know what the future holds? No. What will life after college look like? I’m not sure. Will my ideas for movies ever make onto the big screen? I don’t know. Could my awesome trip to NYC be a big fat disaster? It’s possible. Will that stop me? Never.

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Until next time,

The Texan

Stronger

They say that what ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and to quote Wendy Cooper (from What To Expect When You’re Expecting), “I for one, hope that’s true.” College has challenged me in ways that I didn’t expect that it would when first started this degree all those years ago. I have grown, as a person and a writer. I have felt awesome about myself, and I have felt terribly inadequate. I have had bright shining moments of brilliance, and moments where I could not focus or put a sentence together if you paid me. I have had teachers who basically told me I could do no wrong, and teachers who basically told me I was the scum of the history profession. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little on that last bit but I definitely have had teachers that didn’t seem to like me very much. The important thing is that I kept going and stayed true to my view of history, which is not that of a scholar and its not really formal either. My favorite part of history is the people, and being able to breathe some fresh life into the story of someone who lived hundreds of years ago. So many people think that history is boring, maybe you are one of them, and I hope to change that by not being a stuffy formal historian.

College has been big part of my life for a while now, it has been my focus, and has been apart of my identity. But one day soon it won’t be anymore. I won’t just be someone who is working on their degree, but someone who has their degree. Then I have to go and be what I want to be, instead of just talking about what I want to be. On one hand that’s awesome, but on the other, that’s scary. The world is big and foreboding and full of unknowns, but also open and limitless and full of opportunity. I have my hopes, and my dreams, and a thousand and one ideas floating around in my head waiting to be discovered and nourished. I haven’t the slightest idea what it will all amount to, but I know that they are all worth striving for.

But first! I need to finish my last eight weeks of school!! Eight weeks, y’all! Eight weeks! However, there is a big nasty gatekeeper guarding the gate to freedom. I call it, the Senior Seminar. (shutter shutter, and why not a crash of lightening)

seniorseminar

Before it will let me pass, it demands a twenty one page research paper, seven of those pages are due in two weeks. The good thing is, I can write this paper on anything that has to do with history, the bad thing is, the final product is 54% of my grade; so if it sucks I’m toast. I also have to finish the last four weeks of my Myth and Ritual class, the final project for that is a power point presentation that must consist of twenty slides; all I’ve done for that little gem is read instructions that made me think about Captain America. On top of all that is the nastygram I got from my History of Africa teacher for disobeying the final exam instructions, which by the way I could not find, I looked in four different places; so I decided to wing it. Let’s just say my efforts were not well received. So yeah, these next eight weeks can go by as fast as they want.

I have a feeling that my mood over the next eight weeks is going fluctuate between “I am awesome. I am one with the Force. I am super historian.” and simply Bucky Barnes.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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By the way, I’ve been thinking about changing the name of the blog/website to better reflect its content, and so that my writing doesn’t have to be connected to winter. Stay tuned for a new name, and if you would like follow me on Twitter at @TheTexan5. As always thank you for reading!

The Homestretch

Good day readers! I have some super awesome amazingly stupendous news! Spring has finally found us here in Upstate New York or at the very least is trying to get its foot in the rather heavy door that winter has equipped itself with. Yesterday it got up to 77, 77 y’all!!, the sun was shining and I had the windows open all day, all day! The heater didn’t even come on! I know, awesome!! Here is a picture of our cat, Kiki, enjoying the 70 something degree sunshine.

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Yesterday evening however a cold front came through, today it’s cloudy and about ten degrees cooler than it was yesterday; and I hear that we will be getting close to freezing later this week. While we are in the homestretch of winter, which is great, winter is most certainly not finished yet, which is not so great. We’re nearly there but not quite in the clear, just yet. This got me thinking about homestretches in general. The homestretch is the last bit, a sign that you’re almost finished, and that you are about to finally reap the fruits of your labor. People tend to focus on the “I’m nearly there” part, which is indeed a positive thing. However, when most people use “but you’re in the homestretch” as motivation, they often leave out that it’s the hardest part.

It’s the part where you’ve expended much of your energy and you have to dig down deep and hope that you’ll find more. It’s the part where even after all your effort, you could still lose, fall short, or something could go wrong. It’s the part where you’re the most vulnerable, but also where your determination is at its highest. It’s the make or break point. The part where it is decided just how the event, the race, the goal will be remembered; because it colors the whole thing.

For the past uh…eleven..uh..years, I’ve been working on my bachelors degree, babies and moving to/from Europe kinda slowed me down. I now only have nine credits left, nine!, and I have officially entered the homestretch. The problem is that every forum post, every research paper, every page of notes, every short essay is sitting right on my shoulders. I have had to prove myself a hundred times over, but there is still more to give; and honestly most of time I feel that there is nothing left up here. (taps on head) Now this is partly because of the work load, partly because of the uber high expectations I put on myself, and partly because I am itching to start focusing on the next chapter. As a result I often sit in front of my computer like this (refer to picture below) when it’s time to do school work.

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Or like this..

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Or like this…

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I honestly feel bad for these last few classes because they are not getting my best work, because my heart (ie my drive, my focus) is getting pretty darn close to leaving the building. For real y’all I require a pep talk from my husband like three or four times a week. The homestretch is not easy, but it does mean that I am almost there, almost there. My motivation is to be an example to my kids to never give up, and actually be able to show them with my actions rather than just tell them. It’s knowing that one day soon, I will have that degree, and the next chapter can finally begin. It’s being able to soon basque in the glow of my accomplishment, and take a deep breath and say, “I did it.” Then I can do this (see below) with my degree!

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If you are the midst of your own homestretch, I encourage you not to give up. Get that pep talk, think about the next chapter, bake that cake (you known so you can eat it), listen to your new favorite song five times in a row, whatever it will take to drum up the strength to keep pushing forward. I know its hard, but you’re almost there. And I am certain that it will all be worth it.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

The Side Effects of Winter

It is still winter here in Upstate New York, even though according to the calendar spring started eight days ago. I don’t see much prove of that event from where I sit, except that the little tree next to our driveway has started to bud; which on a positive note is a step in the right direction. Now it is important that you understand that my distaste for winter goes beyond my distaste for being cold, and I do not enjoy being cold. You know I’ve had people tell me, “At least in the winter I know I can just put more clothes on.” Hmm yeah….I don’t know about you but I find no pleasure in putting on 2 jackets, 2 pairs of socks, a scarf, a hat (that covers my ears), and gloves; and yet still be cold. That makes the “at least” in their statement a little pointless don’tcha think?

For me winter is when my vitamin D levels tank, and I experience the lovely symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. If you search for this particular ailment, also known as seasonal depression, on Pinterest you can find some neat infographics and even a little S.A.D. humor, if you can believe it; because laughter is indeed the best medicine. Here is an example:

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In my case, the effects of winter don’t get too bad until about early to mid February, March being the worst; which stinks because my birthday is in March. The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, as I experience them, are as follows:

  1. No energy and/or lack of interest in…things and stuff.

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2. Resting disappointment face, brought on by looking out the window or having to go outside.

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3. Justifying extra snacks and baking stuff, because I’ve been cold and miserable for like three months, with no end in sight.

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There is also being super tired all the time, muscle weakness, and having trouble focusing; which is also a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. But I couldn’t find a good picture that I liked to go with those.

Now there are things that I am doing to try to cushion the blow of winter, being deficient in vitamin D, and having an extreme case of the winter blues. And if you struggle with this ailment as well, I encourage you to give them a try, now I know that they can’t take the place of warmth and sunshine; but they do help.

  1. I work out
  2. I lie in sun with my cat, when it does come out.
  3. I take a vitamin D supplement every morning.
  4. I drink lots of water.
  5. I find things that make me smile everyday.

Stay strong friends spring will get here, it may be taking longer than we would like, but it will get here. In the meantime, I hope that this man’s adorable smile will brighten your day.

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Until next time,

The Texan

P.S. I started a Twitter account! If you would like you can follow me at @TheTexan5, “I Write A Little”.

Fitting in Fitness

Greetings from New York, the state in which the governor has declared a state of emergency because of snow. Emergency snow, y’all! I mean it is directed more to the city and Long Island, but I still fall under the umbrella, and I still don’t like it. It is crazy cold, it looks like a snow globe outside, and school got released early, its just winter displaying, once again, why it sucks. I feel like Batman in the Lego Movie when he’s in Cloud Cuckoo Land, except he’s outside and its winter and he says this instead..

batmaninwinter

I planned out this post a few days ago, you know before the blizzard of the century decade showed up at my door step. And it does have a little bit to do with winter, being cold and hopes for the new year. So I figured I would just go with it. I will begin by introducing you to my Pilates lady. Her name is Lara Hudson, she’s really encouraging and helped to create a realistic workout for beginners such as myself. This is the DVD that I use..

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I understand that committing to working out on regular basis can be difficult, believe me I’ve fallen off the wagon plenty of times, but this year I have decided to make fewer excuses and do more things that may be challenging but are for my own good.

Now I present my reasons why I fit in fitness:

#1: I am a student working on a degree that requires a lot of writing, a blogger, and an aspiring writer. If I don’t get up and move I’ll find myself slowly becoming part of the couch.

#2. I can join in the toast with one of these people. 007

Even though I don’t go to the gym, I just do Pilates in my living room, its the same idea.

#3. Bucky’s legs and goal to look awesome in yoga pants

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#4. Its fun feeling like a bad a- oh wait I don’t want to use foul language. Its fun feeling like a bad buuttt…woman…thing. Hmm. Oh I got one, tough girl, we’ll just go with tough girl.

#5. Being able to appreciate fitness related humor such as..

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and..

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I’ve made it to 16 earth downs, every day!

#6. It gets cold in my house in the afternoon, working out is a practical and beneficial way to get the blood pumping…and not be cold…at least for a little while.

Once the weather stops being junky, all. the. time, I plan to gradually add a little running into my routine. Yep should be fun, and by fun I mean pain mixed with determination, but also fun, actually more rewarding than fun. **sits in silence for a few seconds**

Any way.

If you’ll excuse me its almost workout time! But first I need to look out the window like this..

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Until next time,

The Texan