Thursday, December 20, 2012

Springer Anniversary!

Today is my Springer anniversary!

What's a Springer anniversary? It's the day, twelve years ago today, that I finished my southbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Here's my journal entry from that day, if you'd like to read it.

Navel Gazing

Navel-gazing. A pejorative term used to describe someone who is preoccupied with self-reflection and the understanding of oneself; preoccupation with attempts at understanding the psychological and/or existential meaning of the self. (Urban Dictionary)

Ever since I said my blog is a place for navel-gazing, several people have asked me what I mean by “navel-gazing.” I thought this was a commonly known term, but maybe it’s not. It’s an idiom, of course—I’m not literally gazing at my navel (that would be omphaloskepsis). That would be pretty boring, since I have no navel piercings and therefore no interesting jewelry to grace them if I did.

The attempt to understand “the psychology and/or existential meaning of the self” can be pretty boring, too—at least for everyone but the self who is self-reflecting ... unless the self-reflector is a skilled and interesting writer, which I try to be occasionally. So we’ll see how that works.

So far, it hasn’t worked so well because I’ve had little time for an online life over the past few weeks, and even less time for self-reflection. Plus, I've been down-in-the-dumps depressed for days, which is never a good condition for blogging (or self-reflection).

That’s about it for now. I just wanted to post something so you, dear readers, did not think I’d quit blogging yet again. Have a lovely Thursday!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rambly and Doldrumy


I have tennis elbow in my right arm. I’m thinking that if only I could use my right arm without pain, I would be happy.

Funny how that works, isn’t it. As my husband says, “There’s nothing like some good physical pain to get your mind off your emotional problems.”

It was a people-filled weekend, and I think I’m coming down off that, too. Saturday morning was my Beachbody “Shake & Share” event at a local coffee shop. Not many people attended, though the ones who did attend were great. Still, I was a little disappointed at the low turnout (considering the number of people I’d personally invited), and that made the afternoon a little doldrumy. And then on Saturday night, we went to an event at the church (which I hardly ever attend anymore, so it felt a little wrong to show up on the night they had free food, but Hubster wanted to go for the fellowship, and Anne wanted to play with her church-friend Eden). Not a bad time at all, but I was really exhausted after that. And we even left early.

The next day, everyone but me went to church while I cleaned for company later. And we had company later. And more company a few hours after that.

Again, I had a nice time with all these lovely people … but the introvert in me (i.e., my defining nature) is completely worn out. So today I’m in a sort of fog. All day I’ve felt like I’ve just woken up and can’t quite get my bearings. It’s a good thing Anne went to school today, and a good thing I don’t have a job. “Decompression” days never go well when there’s no time or place or quiet to decompress. The fog just gets thicker and I get more panicked that I won’t be able to find my way out.

In the midst of this mental fog is this stupid, throbbing pain in my elbow, radiating up the back of my forearm and into my wrist.

(I’m not a very good representative of a health-and-fitness company today, am I. I probably won’t be tomorrow, either. But who needs a good rep when you have a link to her website? Here’s where you can order stuff like P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, Les Mills Pump, Ultimate Reset, and Shakeology for the health nut (or the couch potato) in your life.)

Man, I am rusty at this blogging thing. I’ll go ahead and post this one, even though I’m not happy with its rambliness. Maybe my next post will be better … and the one after that even better, and the next one even better. Until then …

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Morning Time ... Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo!

On the rare occasions that our kid wakes up before we do, she comes into our bedroom and announces, "It's morning time! Cock a doodle-doodle-doo!" She repeats it over and over until one of us gets up. Cutest thing in the whole world.

But she usually isn't the first one up. I am. I get up at 5:00 a.m. when I can, but usually it's more like 5:30 or 6. I need my writing time. Chalene encourages me to work out first thing in the morning, and I know I should because it would make the rest of the day so much easier, but ... I need my writing time. And my brain wants me to write in the mornings. So that's what I do.

My, has life changed since I was last blogging here--and since I was last blogging, period. I feel a little bit like I've been in a tornado for the last few years and have just been spit out into some strange land, only there's no yellow brick road leading to anywhere. So where do I go? My heart (or whatever) is screaming, "Write! Write! Write!" So I've been writing. Mostly poetry, but some ideas for stories, too. But even those ideas end up coming out as poetry. It's like I have this aversion to wasted words, and a poem represents the ultimate economy of words. Perhaps I got this aversion from years of tech writing and composition teaching ... or perhaps it's my effort to save every last bit of this life I have. Honestly? I think it's the latter, though all that professional stuff hasn't hurt.

Speaking of professional ... I'm no longer a professional. After years of bopping from one professional job to another, I am now a stay-at-home. I've been a stay-at-home since October, and I don't know when or if I'll be able to go back to work. It hasn't been good for us financially, but it's been good for me mentally. For the first time in five or more years, I actually feel relaxed.

So, what am I doing now? Trying, with some success, to be a good mom to my almost-three-year-old. Trying, with a little success, to start my own little health-and-fitness business in partnership with Beachbody. Trying, with more success, to get physically and mentally healthy after years of self-neglect. Trying to make sense of it all, as my profile reads. I'm not there yet, but maybe this blog will be of help in doing that. If it is to be done at all.

And that's it for this post. Not because I'm ready to stop, but because my little rooster is finally awake. More later!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Back Home Again

I have a bit of housekeeping to do. Like change my whole blogroll to blogs that I actually read now. Most of the ones in my current list are blogs I read three years ago ... and life has changed quite a bit. So here's a list of stuff that's gone on, in no particular order, mostly:

1. I gave birth to my lovely child in December 2009.

2. For two years, I cried every morning as I had to leave her with someone else while I went to work.

3. I decided a career change was needed. Something more flexible if not as lucrative.

4. So in May 2011, I went back to teaching, this time on the college level.

5. As with my previous teaching job, I loved it.

6. As with my previous teaching job, I gave it 200%, if that's possible.

7. As with my previous teaching job, I neglected my own health and ended up very sick.

8. As with my previous teaching job, I had to quit (for the time being) in order to heal.

9. There is definitely a pattern here, don't you think?

10. Anyway, I stepped down from my teaching job in early October.

11. That job didn't pay much, being a mere adjunct instructor position, but it did pay (unlike writing poetry, cleaning my own house, and playing with my own kid, which is mostly what I was doing after I left the paying job).

12. Number 12 is number 12, and that's good enough for me.

13. I've begun to promote health-related stuff by Beachbody. Ironic, I know, considering how I've tended to ignore and/or abuse my own health. And how I hate going to the beach and all.

14. Now that I'm not being an English teacher, I'm using the "and/or" construction all the time, and it feels naughtily delicious (as does using adverbs) (and numbering sentences that really shouldn't be numbered).

15. Anyway, about Beachbody--it's been a huge part of my recovery, which is why I want to share it with people.

16. These days I'm writing lots of poetry, working out, eating right, playing with my kid, getting to know my husband again, and being broke. It's a pretty good life, except for the "being broke" part. 

17. Ah, well, can't have everything.

18. Come to think of it, I miss teaching, too. But not grading papers.

19. The is the penultimate item in this list. (Pet peeve: People who use "penultimate" when they mean "ultimate")

20. The End.

That's it for now. More later. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Have a Facebook Page

The Facebook page is for my Beachbody business. Please feel free to stop by and click "Like"--and share the link with anyone you know who desires to be more fit.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Back for a Spell

Well. This new look is a little garish. Good thing I like garish.

Since my last update, I've burned out and dropped out of life. Suddenly started having health problems, most of which were brought on by (and all of which were intensified by) the ridiculous amount of stress I had cultivated in my life.

No more.

I dropped out. Quit teaching mid-semester. Quit communicating at all with people for a while. And I've long quit tech-writing.

These days, I write poetry and hang out with my daughter and watch our monthly bills grow.

I've started a new business, though--one that won't own me. and hopefully one that will help shrink the bills a bit. If you'd like to support it, make your way over to my Beachbody site and buy something. I get a kickback on anything you purchase. In return, you get to transform your body and your life (if you willing to commit to it). Not a bad deal, IMO.

I voted last week. What scares me a little is how confident one side is that Obama will win, and how confident the other side is that Romney will win.

There. That's my political commentary for the four-year period.

And this is my first blog post in forever.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Long Day

What follows is a very boring post about my humdrum life. This stuff isn't blogworthy, but I want to write it down for myself, and I left my journal in the car and am too lazy (and tired) to go get it.

Anne sick--vomiting, trouble breathing, diarrhea--for most of the weekend of my 20-year college reunion. Long, long story, but the weekend--which I already knew was going to be a little stressful due to timing and logistics--turned out to be far more stressful than I imagined.

Anne's illness wasn't the only thing contributing to it. I managed to forget my make-up, and I also managed to forget my shampoo and conditioner. So I had to go to Rite-Aid and find some cheap make-up (I don't wear much make-up and often don't wear any at all, but I wanted to look under 60 for the reunion). Then I went to Kreative Kuts, across the parking lot from our hotel room, for shampoo and conditioner. Ended up spending some ridiculous amount of money on base, blush, shampoo, and conditioner (and two free bottles of hairspray that I'll never use).

It was an expensive weekend. It was a good weekend in many ways, but boy was it stressful, and boy was it expensive.

Sunday morning we took Anne to urgent care. Diagnosis: bronchitis. Or asthma. Or an infection. Or all three, or a combination of at least two.

This morning Anne was crying at 6:30. I went to check on her. Diarrhea. All over her, all over the bed, all over everything.

Cleaning, bathing, comforting--that was my early morning. Thank God Dan was home and not off on some business trip.

Then we went to the doctor and came back. And then I went to school--not having seriously looked at my plans for the week since last Thursday.

Today I was halfway through my Literary Research class and finally said, "Look. I know I'm not making sense. I'll just show you this BBC clip on YouTube. It lasts about 10 minutes and explains A Midsummer Night's Dream  better than I could in a lecture." So I sat and watched the clip while my students sat and watched the clip.

I think I'm going to start calling YouTube "Plan B." I definitely resorted to Plan B today, and I'm feeling very thankful for YouTube.

Then, this afternoon, Dan had to go to work before I left school, so he dropped Anne off at my school.

"Dan, where are the diapers and wipes?"

::pained look on Dan's face::

So. No diapers and no wipes, and there I had a child who has been having diarrhea every few hours.

Yep. We had a blowout about 10 minutes later.

Then home. Diaper change. Clothes change.

Then, in one of the few bright spots of this literally poopy day, my brother Jonathan came for a visit, and we had dinner and played with Anne and gave Anne a bath and put her to sleep. Dan finally came home at 10:30.

Somewhere in all that, I cleaned toilets and washed and folded two or three loads of clothes.

No schoolwork done yet, but that can wait until tomorrow.

If, that is, I can drag myself out of bed. I'm ready for a vacation!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not Motivated

I'm going to blog now because I'm not feeling motivated. I slept two hours later than planned (but that's OK since I needed the sleep), and now I have quite a bit of work to do before my first class begins at 12:30 today.

It's been a special treat this semester not to have any morning classes!

My classes this week have gone really well. My freshman comp class has an in-class essay today, which means little to no class prep for me. So I'm feeling lazy. Even though I have plenty of other work that needs to be done--finishing up prep for my creative writing class, writing two critiques, reading three essays that students want to enter in a contest, grading three essays (that's an hour's work there, just grading the essays) ... it's a lot.

So why am I being lazy?

I'm pretty exhausted. A couple of people at Dan's job resigned recently, so he is having to do both their jobs in addition to his own. Many days he's having to travel at least two hours, one way, to get to meetings because one of the former employee's districts was in the Banner Elk area. That's a long way from Franklin! With him gone most nights (and gone early most days), I'm left to do much of the parenting, plus teach my five classes.

The semester has gotten busy. My literature students have turned in their second essays (drafts) and we're just finishing up process analysis in my freshman comp class. My professional writing students are working on research papers. In addition to grading and class prep, I've been meeting with a lot of students one-on-one, and also e-mailing comments on work-in-progress that they send me. Busy, busy, busy!

I'm getting my work done between 3:30 and 7:30 a.m.. Then I get ready for school, and then I wake Anne up and get her ready for school. After dropping her off at 9:15, I go to the library or the coffee shop or home to finish getting ready for the day's classes. From noon to 5:15, I'm at school, teaching and meeting with students and doing school-stuff. At 5:30 I pick up Miss Anne and we go to the playground or the library (or to the Appalachian Trail for a short hike when the weather is nice). Then home. Plant her in front of YouTube or the TV (yes, I'm one of those moms after all), cook and eat dinner, get her bath, and hope I don't crash before she does. Then Dan gets home at some point.

It's been a tiring semester! I am looking forward to summer, when I have only a couple of classes and very little class prep because I've taught them enough time now that I feel "ready."

And in the fall, I'll have various sections of only two classes--freshman comp and professional writing. I'll have very little class prep to do at all. Definitely looking forward to that!

For now, I need to grade some papers and write a critique and prep for a class. Yawn. Or maybe I'll go back to sleep.