28 May 2012

50 Questions that will Free Your Mind - #1
I caught wind of this a while back when a fellow writing friend started using the list as inspiration for blogging. I liked how she dedicated a blog post to each question. I’ve looked at other blogs that try to tackle 5 or 6 questions per blog post and it just feels like they’re in a rush to answer.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
The world “ageless” comes to mind when I try to answer this question. It’s been hard to think of myself as a 26 year old because I don’t feel any different than when I was 20 or 16 or 10. Yes I’ve “grown up” or “matured” in that the way I see the world is different but I don’t feel different so I feel ageless. 
Not that I’m gifted with awesome genetics like some women are and I tend to spend very little time in front of the mirror trying to perfect my face. I have noticed small and subtle changes in my skin and hair that have reminded me that I have reached a certain age, though I would say I look my age, even though I had a salesman try to peddle me Dead Sea products for a lot of money because I have wrinkles in my face. 
Seriously, those are laugh lines.
But I was curious to see what the internetz would reveal when I searched “ageless” and lo and behold the search results almost exclusively had something to do with cosmetic surgery or spas. I got the impression that a person is only allowed to feel ageless once they appear as such. 

I don’t think I’ll be integrating that concept into my thought process. I enjoy feeling like how I always have, at every age that I have been.

25 May 2012

Paper vs Electronic Scheduling

Scored 43 on the quiz, giving the result of “You're good at some things, but there's room for improvement elsewhere. Focus on the serious issues below, and you'll most likely find that work becomes much less stressful.” My weakest areas being goal setting and prioritization, my strongest being scheduling. I did OK in the procrastination and managing interruptions department which kind of surprised me since I always thought I was worst with procrastination.

While this was interesting to know, and the website has a wealth of information, I had wanted to read discussions related to methods of scheduling: paper versus electronic. When I say paper, I mean like a physical calendar where you have to flip the page to see the next month. When I say electronic I mean like using GoogleCalendar or your smart phone’s calendar.

I haven’t been able to find a discussion on methods and I was really hoping for some input besides my own experience. The reason being that I have a schedule for work, a schedule for play, and a workout schedule. I am trying to keep everything together without getting ridiculous as well as meeting my working/learning style. Despite my attempts to use my iPhone’s calendar and syncing it to Google and using both interfaces and the alerts but it got really irritating.

I had alerts going off at midnight, waking me up, telling me it was somebody’s birthday or I had a meeting that morning. That got irritating pretty quickly. Then I would e-mail reminders on top of everything so I’d have nothing but spam in my inbox. I started to get thrown off with all of these alerts and I felt like I was panicked, trying to get from one appointment to another. It felt awfully reactive and like I relied too much on somebody else to keep me right.

It didn’t take me long finding a paper calendar and write everything down. And not just the smaller paper scheduler, the full sized and coil bound scheduler.I felt quite relaxed when I could see the whole month at a glance, notes in the little squares, and have little tabs indicating where the next month. Everyday I look at the month and sort of evaluate what was going on. Sure I could do that electronically but the little dots really never gave me an overview of what I was up against.

Despite all the awesome apps designed to help you be super productive, I found that non-electronic method just gave me that overview I needed. It’s a bit cumbersome to drag around everyday and everywhere but I really feel more focused when I have the ability to see the big picture and then make small to do lists every day in the pages provided between the monthly calendars.

What’s helped you stay organized and focused? Do you find yourself using more electronic or more traditional method of organization? Or a combination of both?

Some helpful links I found:
 Time Management Worksheet
Mind Tools (where I took the quiz)
18 Minute Plan For Managing Your Day

23 May 2012

"Do it like a Dude" by Jessie J

Counter to last week's music videos? Maybe.

21 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 21, January 27

I have looked into the mirror lately and am liking what i am seeing. From Jan 1 to 27 I had lost about 3kg. Which doesn’t sound like much as far as KG are concerned, but it’s roughly 6 lbs. That doesn’t sound like a large number either, but I will challenge you to buy 6 lbs of sugar, throw it into a backpack and walk around all day with it. See what kind of a difference 6 lbs really makes.

Since November 2011 I have lost a total of 7 kg. A friend of mine, Crystal, blogged about measuring her weight loss success by more than just a scale. It’s hard to stop thinking of health success as anything but inches lost or pounds dropped. Ask yourself, when was the last time you read an article in a fitness magazine that didn’t talk about the above to measurements? Offhand, I can’t recall. When I did a Google search there was only one article I really liked.


And while I am conscious about the points in the article, I still feel frustrated and disappointed whenever the numbers don’t change in my favour. But when I looked in the mirror in January and over the last couple months I can see the changes in my clothes. I can see that I’m looking better in my skinny jeans. While no one has actually complimented me on any changes, I know that when I work out I feel like I have more energy to give to my work outs. I also have tracked my runs and made a mental note of the weights I lift and the reps, and each week I’m able to do a little more.

So yeah, today I feel good.

And goal completed.

18 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 20, January 26

Winter is so difficult to do anything outdoors. It snows, and even when it doesn’t, it’s cold, and then the days are so short.

These sound like excuses, but I’ve always found it quite debilitating most days. While I still don’t do that many outdoor winter activities I had been keeping up with running at least once a week at this point though I was hoping that it would have snowed a bit more so that I could have tried snowshoeing before my birthday.

17 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 19, January 25

I had a slight problem with this challenge. It’s winter time. And not really a precipitous one at that, so I couldn’t even have said that I have amazing shoulders from all the snow-shoveling.

I went swimming instead.

16 May 2012

"International Love" by Pitbull f/Chris Brown

"She Doesn't Mind" by Sean Paul

I won't ever make a point of putting up music videos where the music is more appropriate for clubs than for writing. But I did find the two songs catchy and I thought I'd see what the music video were like since I don't ever watch TV anymore, and thus, no MTV or Much Music.

A couple things, firstly, what's with Sean Paul's and Chris Brown's hair? Sean Paul's is passable, but Chris? WTH? Not that I had any respect for you before this video, but seriously.

I'm surprised "International Love" didn't have at least equal amounts of T & A as "She doesn't mind", but what really gets me is the pseudo sex/rape that's going on at the airport. I'm not a prude, but when you've got "security" feeling up people to the lyrics "she doesn't mind" I feel fairly certain I'm watching Sean Paul's dominating fantasies being played out.

I think I remember why I don't watch music videos anymore...

15 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 18, January 24

I had a lot of things to do this day. It was a day off of mine but I needed to do a lot of things and the gym didn’t seem possible. But working out for 40 min in my apartment was an option since I stopped underestimating the effectiveness of push ups, squats, and sit ups with a ridiculous number of repetitions. Courtesy of 100 Push ups, 200 squats, and 200 Sit ups programmes.


And if I had a machine at home, I would complete the work out with dips and chin ups.


14 May 2012

I wasn't going to do any more of these blog hops for a while, but I think I signed up for this one well before my life erupted. Being the kind of person that finishes what they start, I will do this last one of the year. Or at least, until I find one that I really really like.

First Movie Love - The Last Unicorn

First song/band Love - Roxette

First Book - "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

First Person - In a round about way, my husband:

11 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 17, January 23

I would like to be running outdoors but this is not a good time of year. The constant snowing and melting has left a lot of ice on the roads and sidewalks. Which is a big bummer since there had been some really nice days the week previous. I run on an indoor track and depending on the day of the week I either run clockwise or counter-clockwise. Needles to say, it’s a challenge I won’t be able to complete at this time of the year.

10 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 16, January 22

You don’t have to tell me twice!

On the other hand, I’m not scared of the scale. I don’t mind seeing my weight, even though I’m not always happy about the number that the scale displays. But I’ve learned that scales can be helpful and harmful all in one ball.

It’s a good idea to weigh yourself regularly, but only if you’re making lifestyle changes. If you weigh yourself regularly without trying to live a healthy lifestyle or make changes my question to you is this: what is the point? You know it’s a weight you don’t like and it’s going to get you down, especially if you’re one of those people who weighs themselves in the morning. It’s just going to ruin your whole day.

On the other hand, if your goal is lose weight or something of the sort, then it’s a good tool to see if your progress. There aren’t too many other ways to measure progress, except to feel how tight your clothes are. Which, as a woman, isn’t a good indicator either since we have ever fluctuating hormones that affect water retention and how we look at ourselves.

But there is a smart way to weight yourself:
1) pick a day of the week and stick to that, like every Monday or Tuesday
2) try to do it at the same time every day, like before you have breakfast that Monday or Tuesday
3) Keep in mind weight easily fluctuates depending on what you’ve eaten: the more sodium or alcohol, the more water retention
4) If your weight stagnates use your clothes as an indicator
5) Don't’ weigh yourself once a month on your designated day: you should stress about the numbers all the time, you need to live a little too!

07 May 2012

A to Z challenge? Mission accomplished.

 It's hard to think of what to blog specifically now that I had a month of theme centered topics. I kind of feel like I've been cut loose now, you know like a kid getting out of school for summer vacation: so much time and all summer to waste it.

There are a few things I'd like to say about the whole experience. Firstly, I'd like to apologize to everybody that commented on my blog that I didn't get around to your blogs and return the gesture. Life has been absolutely hectic the last six weeks and I’ve barely had time to hammer out all the necessary posts. So this is just a little shout out to everybody who stopped by, read, and commented.

While I am happy that I completed the A to Z challenge, it doesn’t feel like a huge accomplishment at this point. It was such a whirlwind month that I never had a chance to really enjoy the challenge and all the entries other people had submitted. It’s kind of like it didn’t live up to my expectations of achievement once I completed it. I would definitely like to try this again next year when life is a bit more settled (one can only hope...).

 I had one annoyance from the last couple challenges, not just the A to Z challenge. It’s this irritating reminder that I should be turning off CAPTCHA. I’m sure they are well intentioned reminders, but I find them annoying, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, while I’m not ungrateful, most people stopping by are doing just that: stopping by. People stopping by aren’t going to bother reading any other blog posts and so they aren’t going to know that I’m preparing to move. Not just across the city, or across the province, but to another country. While I don’t work full time all my spare time is consumed with this move, something perhaps my actual followers can know and sympathize with.

 I would love to sit down, revamp my blog, and turn off CAPTCHA, but I don’t have time. Seriously. That is 5 min that I need to be doing something else. That I don’t get more comments or page views doesn’t really bother me at this point in my life. My priorities are currently all related to moving and not maintaining this blog (not without sadness, however). Sporadic updates is the best I can promise anybody at this point of the year, writing will be on hold (majorly) until after the move, and good luck having me respond to e-mail.

 The second reason that having people remind me to turn off CAPTCHA doesn’t feel like a reminder. It feels like people are telling me I need to turn it off to have a successful blog. I point this out because it really is difficult to discern tone of voice and intention through a comment left by someone I’m not familiar with on my blog.

I could just be becoming uptight about it, but every time someone mentions that CAPTCHA should be turned off, I just want to turn around and say “I don’t tell you how to run your blog, please don’t tell me how to run mine.” I suppose I could just say “I don’t have time” and then direct them to above reasons why I can’t be bothered to make the changes. However, it does come down to the principle of the matter: let me worry about my blog, because ultimately, it’s my “job” and my “career”.

04 May 2012

21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 15, January 20

I went to Canmore, AB this weekend with the idea in mind that I was going to be active by taking a snow boarding lesson or snow shoeing.

My friend and I ended up window shopping and having beverages.

It wasn’t what I wanted to do but it was certainly what I needed for my brain and my body. Thanks Britney.

02 May 2012

"Brokenhearted" by Karmin

I posted a video of Karmin before when they did a cover of "Party Rock Anthem". This is one of their originals and I'm finding it quite catchy.