I went for a fantastic hike on Saturday. Jay had to spend the day in studying for a final and so I decided to go out alone. It was supposed to rain all day, but when the weather seemed fair, albeit windy, I set out in search of a multi-geocache with an estimated round trip of 4 miles. I need to get some consistent workouts to prepare for backpacking. I’ve never gone for that long of a hike alone and was pretty excited about the prospect. With no distractions I could completely immerse myself.

After I’d been out for about 1.5mi, I could hear the storms approaching. I decided to tough it out, and donned my raincoat despite the heat. The day just became more beautiful as the rain fell. I stumbled upon a huge toad that covered my entire palm. And I was searching for one of the last waypoints I discovered the most amazing moth, just out of its cocoon and drying its wings. I stood for ages just staring and snapping pictures.

New born moth

The terrain was easy, but the distance was substantial for me and included a daypack. I was proud that I kept good posture, and it was only when I neared the end that I began to feel fatigued. Now I just need to do this more often. My goal is once each week to get a sizable hike in.

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It was a beautiful day compared to the past two years I ran it. I was much, much less in shape but I did pretty well for my level of fitness. I ran/walked as such: run 1 mi, walk 1/4mi, run 1mi, walk 1/4mi, run 1mi. I finished with an official time of 56:24, which is considerably slower than last year, but not my slowest (also a run/walk). For my actual time, subtract the approx. 5 minutes it took me to make it to the starting line.

Our company had our biggest turnout ever, more than twice our previous attendance. There were a total of 29 of us registered, plus various other supporters. We had food, laughs, and look forward to next year.

I had an epiphany this morning. I keep looking for this fancy answer to my shin pain, but maybe it is just due to tight calves! Commence stretching!

I’ve never been good at making online friends. Not that I’ve won any popularity contests on either plane of existence. It has always seemed to me that the people that are best at making friends online lack those same skills for the real world. Me, I fall somewhere in between, leaning more toward the real world, but I’m not sure why. I’ve decided that not only do my real-world personal interactions need some work, my online ones do too.

As I’ve mentioned, the attention I’m giving in the real-world is to listening. Online, I am going to shift my attention to talking. I read quite a few blogs, many of them I skim, but several I look forward to on a daily basis, and I never tell them so. I’ve started digging articles, but I want to comment more too. Chris over at the Art of Nonconformity writes some inspiring stuff. He recently asked for some feedback, and it made me realize that I am not giving back for all that I am getting from all of my sources. I commented there, but one comment isn’t enough.

The other day I linked to an article at Work Happy Now, and not only did Karl notice, he came over and commented on my post. So little things are appreciated, and I want to do more of them. Aside from composing some intelligent comments, I am going to try to compose a weekly-ish “link love” post to let them know I care. Even if I never become a great blogger, at least I can be a great blog reader!

In the past week I feel like I’ve said more stupid and inconsiderate things than ever before. The worst thing, luckily, was just something that just came out wrong. The others were just not nice and I increasingly regretted them. When I was a kid, I can remember my father instructing me to think before I speak. I still don’t, at least, I spend more time wishing I could take things back than I’d like. It is a source of anxiety for me, and I need to eliminate as many of those as I can. The anxiety is often caused by the though of someone finding out what I’d said. Whether it’s the person I said it about, or someone that would be aghast that I said something of the sort. Solution: don’t say things you wouldn’t want everyone to know. Simple.

Unfortunately, I’m not a social genius. As I am sure is true for many, I know my motivation is not a malicious one. It’s the one that struggles to be liked and takes the wrong means to get there.

I was inspired the other day by a post on Work Happy Now entitled Create the Work Atmosphere You Want. For me this post can be applied to all social situations, not just for interacting with coworkers. I want to take a more active role in conversation, rather than waiting until I can submit my experience to the story, as I so often always do. I want to be a better listener, to ask more questions to bring people out, and to remember their answers. This is how to get people to like you.

And for something specific, I want to stop labeling people and things as stupid. It’s a terrible adjective, and one that I cannot bear to have assigned to me, to even perceive that it’s been assigned to me or something I’ve done. I have a primal fear of being thought of as stupid. So why would I place this label on someone or something else? Awful.

This afternoon I had a brief conversation with a coworker that I don’t often get to talk to. I asked him what his plans were for the long weekend, made a joke (I’ll never be able to quell the urge to make people laugh), and didn’t tell him what my plans were. He didn’t ask, and that was OK. I felt really good when I walked away. I want more of that.

Last week I participated in my first Sock Wars. Wow, what a blur! I’m not a terribly fast knitter, so I didn’t hope to win. I only hoped for some fun and perhaps to finish one pair of socks to make a kill. I bought a crazy color for my weapon. The Supreme Commander mentioned that the pattern was inspired by the comic book BANG! POW! bubbles, and so when I saw this, I couldn’t help myself!

Comic Book Killers WIP

That first weekend that the pattern was released was nuts for me. It was my birthday weekend, and Mother’s day. I didn’t even get to cast on until Sunday evening. Monday I found out that my assassin had mailed my socks. Already.

At first I was disappointed when I learned of her great skill and speed. I didn’t have lofty goals for this war, only to extinguish one soul.

I only just managed to turn the heel on my first sock before death arrived on my door. Wow. What a fine and beautiful pair of socks I died by.

IMG_2646

I watched some of the drama unfold on the Ravelry boards. It’s like a train wreck over there. Or maybe a lynch mob. Either way, I stayed uninvolved. What a mess. I hope the Supreme Commander knows that many more people had fun.

Even though it was a little sad to be eliminated so quickly, I got the most beautiful socks I’ve seen in this battle and made some friends in the process!

Concentration. Rather than a game, something I lack. I try to do too much at once. I procrastinate. I daydream. I always have. I remember the nun calling me on it, then calling me on my eye-roll.

I need to meditate. I don’t really even hesitate to claim it will solve all my “problems”. I know it will help. I know I’m not going to make much progress on all my other things without it. There are too many of them. I need focus.

How to commit?

Total Net Worth $252.89

For the first time in over 15 years, I am in the green! This takes into account my almost $50K in student loan debt, which I’ve managed to offset in retirement savings. I figure the student loans will be gone at about the same time I’m eligible to use the retirement money. Heh. I honestly can’t believe how fast it’s happened, as I can remember it being -$20K in the not so distant past. I got a sizable graduation award from my employer when I finished my masters degree 2 years ago, but it didn’t even account for half of that.

This has totally made my day. I’ll be even more excited when my credit card debt is paid off. I’m aiming for year end.

It’s been a busy week. I’ve averaged about 6 hours of sleep/night, which is much less than usual for me. I’ve had something going on every night, which has fingered me a goner with no kills in Sock Wars. This morning, quite amazingly, I got up at 5:15 to fit in a run. It’s not enough. Yes, it’s taking me forever to get through the C25K, but that’s not what I’m referring to. I need to take better care of my diet.

Tonight I’m off to Red Robin for my birthday burger. (You are on their mailing list, right?)

Are you getting a good indication of my diet problems? I’ve been making excuses. When I have my own kitchen, I’ll stock more whole foods. I’ll eat healthier. As if I’m powerless right now. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the childishness of my overeating. Oh, and the laziness. Berating myself will help, right?

The JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge is exactly two weeks away. I’m planning on a run/walk. I’m going to play it by ear, but since I won’t have finished the C25K, I should take walk breaks. Jay found out he has an exam that night and won’t be able to run. I’m pretty disappointed, I love racing with him. Not that I can compete, I just love loving a runner.

I think it’s time for me to take a more active interest in all things green. I try to be conscious of my actions, but the things I do are just little things here and there. Like bringing my own grocery bag, recycling my plethora of print magazines, and refraining from buying bottled water. My sister even makes fun of me because I’m so terrible at recycling.

I think the environmental movement is something I could really get behind and become really passionate about. I have a bachelors in biology, so it’s also something I can understand on a higher level and maybe even work toward professionally if I felt so inclined. I read several environmental blogs, but I need something with a little deeper substance. I’ve been wanting to start reading more non-fiction, and always linger around the “green” table at the local bookstores. I’ve never bought any of them, mainly because I’m not sure where to start, and with everyone jumping on the green bandwagon, I’m afraid to purchase without seeing some reviews. And there’s the whole debt repayment thing. Plus, it seems silly to buy a book on this topic. I’m headed to the library.

Gentlemen, you’ll want to tune out on this one.

Ladies, I feel a little funny writing about this topic, but it’s one that’s close to my heart. I’m doing you a disservice if I don’t tell you about it.

The DivaCup has totally changed my period. No longer am I a slave to it. In fact, I only think about it twice a day. No more tampon changes in public restrooms. I haven’t bought another feminine care product in the 1.5 years I’ve owned my DivaCup.

I won’t lie to you, it did take me a couple months to get used to it. But I’m really glad I stuck with it. And it isn’t for the faint of heart. You can’t be afraid of your body to use the DivaCup.

According to the Lunapads website, May is DivaCup month. So check out the resources there (FAQ, how-to guide, testimonials) and maybe give it a try. Let me know what you think! I’ll never go back.

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