Monday, May 30, 2011

Sing it Alanis

This month has been quite a mixed bag.  I wasn’t feeling excited about the months I had coming up so I more or less took a break from goals this month and decided to go with the flow, try to take care of myself, incorporate what I thought I needed. 
To start off the month I got a couple massages.  Good start. 
I also put forth what I consider to be a huge effort in terms of a social life.  At the beginning of the month a friend and I took a trip down to Lethbridge because we have a friend that lives there, and a friend from back home in Manitoba was coming there for a visit.  Around mid-month I went out for drinks at a nearby pub even though I only knew three of the 15 people at the table, I participated in planning a going away party at our house by cleaning, making decorations and putting forth an effort with a couple people from the pub that came to the party and knew only a couple people.  I also went to a house party of a girl Flash is good friends with and a birthday party for a girlfriend of one of Flash’s good guy friends.  Turns out I have great social skills when I’m super drunk.  Some people get mean drunk, I get nice drunk.  Even people that I can’t stand I was being nice as pie to.  So I figure once every 4 – 6 weeks I’ll get really drunk and pull my weight as the girlfriend of Mr. Popularity and show up.
Since I don’t drink much, being hung over and wanting to die for half of my weekend is not cool.  I like to chill, cross things off my to-do list like clean the apartment and take my dog to the park.  Lying in the fetal position in the bottom of my shower is, surprisingly enough, not on my to-do list.  So part of being social is accepting that I’m 26 and not 18 and that I have to eat a legit dinner, drink water and eat something before bed to absorb the alcohol so Idon’t vomit the first thing I put into my mouth the next morning.  You live, you learn.
It’s good to be on good terms with people, for me that means a token night out with Flash’s friends once in a while in which I actually try to be nice and enjoy myself.  For us introverts that means getting drunk.  I feel like alcohol = friendship under most circumstances is a lie and a poor life lesson, but us socially awkward people gotta do what we gotta do sometimes I guess.
I’m still doing my cash tracking and receipt keeping.  Turns out a social life isn’t cheap, between dinners, alcohol, cabs and clothes to wear on said social outings the $$ add up.  I guess the next step in my budget is to actually set limits for myself.  I’ve just been getting a sense of what I spend and to be aware of it.  If I spent too much money going out then I didn’t get to buy other things.  Now I should start setting limits.
I thought I needed a relaxing, do what you think you need type month because I find myself constantly thinking about goals and self-improvement and sometimes it gets a bit exhausting.  Always thinking of ways to be better can make you feel like you suck.  Despite this, I still think that I work best when I have clearly defined goals.  Without structure it’s too easy to do nothing.  I hardly blogged, I didn’t make lists, nothing.  In some ways not having goals was as stressful as having them because I felt like I didn’t know what I should be doing and week after week I started to feel more and more like I was wasting the month.  Better to stress about something than about nothing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Drizzle Misery

I want nothing more than to take my dog for a long walk, sit in the sun and read a book.  The rain, or should I say misty drizzle has been non stop since Monday.  The universe and I are not on the same page.  At present I am in need of a new book.  I recently read a couple books that I randomly picked out online and enjoyed them both.  The second turned out to be very much a pre-teen geared book.  It was an easy read and I polished it off in about two days.  I found it immensely comforting to read.  I enjoy fiction, but I have a hard time committing to new books.  I like things that have a bit of a fantasy/science fiction edge to them.  I need some new books, tv is a waste of time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mean Girls

I keep reading that interactions with other people are a huge contributor to a person’s happiness.  So the past few weekends I’ve been doing just that.  Agreeing to a dinner at Flash’s friend’s house when I normally would’ve passed, going out for a girl’s dinner, helping Melissa to plan a going away party at our house and trying to be enthused about it when I normally wouldn’t.  This is me trying to be social.  The funny thing that comes along with a social life is drama.  A friend’s current, past and potential relationship drama as well as drama between girlfriends to name a couple.  I had completely forgotten about it.  It’s definitely entertaining, and something to talk about, but for the most part I find drama to be highly over-rated. 
I don’t like having drama that has to do with me.  Melissa and I had a words a few weeks ago and the next day we resolved it.  This is not the norm with girls.  Silent resentment often builds up for a long time followed by a blowout over something small followed by being friends-off.  The funny thing is that it’s usually not one friend’s fault.  If one friend makes the first mistake, the second friend does wrong by not talking to the other person about the first mistake and instead goes on to make her own mistake.  Often this mistake will far overshadow what the other friend did because it was fueled by her bad feelings about the first mistake.  Suddenly we have a full blown fight happening and even though the second friend’s mistakes are worse than the first; they’ll feel somewhat justified in them because they didn’t deliver the first blow.
‘Fights’ between girls are not seen, they are felt.  Guys get mad they have an argument or they punch each other in the face and it’s over.  You can feel a girl fight.  It is silent and deadly.  Walk into a room in which two girls are fighting and the tension in the air is tangible.  It’s easy to get caught up in drama, to have an opinion, to judge.
Flash doesn’t judge.  He hates gossip; he rarely says anything bad about anyone he’s acquainted with.  He has this gift of living without any resentment.  We’ve had some arguments, some fierce conversations, but we rarely fight, and any time he gets annoyed with me he says so and is completely over it in 5 minutes.  I’ll find myself angry about something for two days and by the time I finally try to talk to him about it he stares at me blankly because issues from two days ago were forgotten 1 day, 23 hours and 55 minutes ago. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Ain't Passed the Bar But I Know A Little Bit...

After running into my old boss on the street (something that took longer to happen than I would've guessed seeing as my old and new jobs are two blocks apart) and having the girl from my old office come to my new office for a meeting I decided to stop by my old job and say hello.  So last week I did just that.  It was...weird.  While working there we had taken over the office next door and the building guy had come and put a door through to it, but tra la la we just left it sitting there empty.  I walked through the door and the room was not empty, the walls were covered in sketches, a couples of tables were in there for brainstorming.  My initial reaction was this pang of "Oh of course things start getting into motion as soon as I leave".  I struggled for a long time with my decision to leave and do something else because I did feel like it would be a step in a different direction, quite possible the wrong direction, or even a step backwards in terms of ever having a career in the design world.

Then my old coworker walked me out and proceeded to tell me his life story from the past three months and I started to remember that feeling.  That stagnant feeling.  Being around people that I neither particularly liked or disliked, feeling stuck.  I left there with a twinge of what might have been, but the more I thought about it the more I felt I would still be in the exact same spot I was three months ago, there would just be more shit on the walls.

Today at my current job I have just passed the three month 'trial period' mark in which I am no longer an almost employee.  I now have my benefits, etc. etc.  I also got to have a meeting with J.  J is the kind of person who is motherly-ish.  She kind of makes me feel like her niece sometimes.  She's paranoid that I am unchallenged and will become miserable at my job and leave her.  She hints at this regularly telling me to always let her know when I need more work.  I've gotten into this weird position now where I feel like if I'm not crazy busy all day she'll get nervous and fret.  It's to the point where I feel like I can't even take 5 minutes to check my personal email without someone walking up behind me and thinking I need more stuff to do.  

She gave me the big "What is it you want to do?"  "Where do you see yourself?" questions today in our meeting.  I never know what she wants me to say.

At one point she referenced how it could be perceived as a step backwards to be an admin person at an architecture firm when my education lends itself to being a designer in an architecture firm.  For a moment I felt like crying.  I am well aware what it looks like J.  What did she want me to say?  "You can be honest with me" she says, taking on that weird aunt-like familiarity.  No J. I can't say that I took this job because I sat around and did nothing for hours on end at my old job, I can't say that I was making less money as a "designer" than I was in my trial period here as a glorified receptionist, I can't say that I hate when people ask me what I do because the answer makes me feel like a huge failure.  I'm busier, I make more money and work in a nicer office.  That's why I'm here.

I'm happier, but I'm certainly not doing my dream job.  In fact, I wouldn't really have a problem with what I'm doing if my education didn't imply that I should be doing more.  It would be nice if every time someone asked about what I took in school and I said that I have an undergraduate degree in design they didn't immediately follow it up with "Oh so you're an architect?"  No you f'ing moron you have to go to school for 7 years, intern at a firm for 3-5 years and pass a bunch of really difficult and expensive tests.  It's a small miracle for anyone under the age of 30 to be a full blown architect.  Idiot.  Stop asking ignorant questions that make me feel bad about myself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good, You?

I started out my week with a massage, which is the way all weeks should start.  I've been drinking more water and walked home from work a couple times.  I also went out for a few drinks on Friday with Flash, shopping with a girlfriend Saturday afternoon and a girl's dinner Saturday night.

I know I feel better when I get out and do things, interact with other people and fight my homebody tendencies.  It's getting easier now that the weather is finally getting warm out.  The cold and dark are so depressing.  Scurrying from one indoor environment to the next, dark when you get up, dark when you leave work, cold and miserable.  The days are getting longer and I can feel the city starting to wake up.  It helps keep my motivation up and now instead of coming home and wanting to curl up and go to bed I'm more energized, open to doing things that involve leaving my apartment.

I find I bottle my emotions up and don't talk about them, but I do wear them on my face.  I can't pretend to be happy when I am not.  It creates a lot of tension with the people around me.  Tom Hanks was on Oprah the other day and he said his life motto was be honest.  I think of myself as very honest, but I often stew on things for a while until I feel like I've distilled down what is bothering me.  Sometimes this works, but most of the time I'm just dragging out my frustrations by not finding a way to communicate them right away.  Be honest with myself, articulate my feelings better.  It's a hard balance between not sweating the small stuff and letting the small stuff snowball into bigger stuff.

Monday, May 2, 2011



May is all about Money for me. Not so much watching my money, or limiting my spending, because I'm pretty good at not being a huge impulse buyer anyways, but understand WHERE my money goes. Kirby helped me out in letting me on her trade secrets from her money month. I'm going to keep all my receipts from the month, as well as track (via my blackberry note pad) all the little things that you don't even think about---random coffees, grabbing a banana from sunterra market, a morning smoothie...etc.) And add everything up at the end of the month. With the assistance of my Royal bank funds tracker....I can put everything in a pie graph so I can also visually see the amount of my income that goes towards random crap.
In an effort to be more wealth conscious, I am going to attempt to bring ALL my snacks to work so if I do have to buy something it will only be my main lunch meal which, for me, always consists of a sandwich or salad. I find it hard to make lunches because I get VERY sick of homemade sandwiches (they're SO blah) and I don't like eating what I had for dinner the night before.
For the longest time I was buying a Protein Plate from Starbucks almost every day. These are not cheap. So this week I took the effort to make my OWN protein plates. My darling friend Amy found Justin's all natural, organic peanut butter online, so she gave me a jar (it's the peanut butter found in set protein plate a la starbuckles) which was a huge first step. I also hard boiled 5 eggs on Sunday night so I could put 1 in my protein plate each morning. I bought the pitas that they put in there too....added some sharp old cheddar cheese and BOOM a make shift Protein Plate for SOOO much less money. I feel like a coupon clipper already.
Other than that I'm reading some monetarily educational books such as "SPIN Selling" and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". From these readings I hope to be able to open up my mind to my future. I really want to raise my kids in a very "a dollar is hard earned" kind of way. I JUST learned what an RRSP is....actually I still don't even know what the acronym is. I just know that money IN to them equals not owing the government money at tax time. Hahah that's pathetic. I only got through my Finance and Accounting classes in University through 100% memorization....I understood hardly any of it.
Anyways, being smarter and more aware is m ultimate goal. Kirby told me that once she realized where her funds were going she was much more aware of random purchases. Also, only purchasing these small things with CASH makes a big difference. In the age of blind digital's easy to not care when you don't see it actually leaving your wallet.

I'm excited about Money month. Maybe at the end i'll treat myself to something lovely for a job well done :)



Sunday, May 1, 2011

May - Repair and Restore

I fell off the map this past week.  I’m often frustrated by how up and down I am as it makes being consistent with goals extra challenging.  The 'I feel like doing nothing' mood that has been plaguing me for the past several days has made it extremely hard to pick next month’s topic.  After writing my post on anger management I thought, gee maybe you should work on not being a psycho.
I’ve decided on a month that’s a bit of a mixed bag.  I’m going to call it Repair and Restore.  Basically, I’m going to try to be more in touch with what I need, not what I want, or what I think I should be doing.  It’s about taking care of myself. 
I think I have some of self-destructive habits.  Not like hookers and blow destructive, but little things, things I’m not even that conscious of that detract from my happiness by contributing to these funks I get myself in.  So the goal is to be super aware of myself and what I need.  For example, when in a bad mood I tend to shut down and go into hermit mode  Spending the afternoon in my room stewing about whatever is bothering me sends me into a funk that can last days whereas if I went for a walk, got out and did something else to clear my head I often feel instantly better.
I plan on taking better care of my body.  I could eat better; I could also drink a lot more water.  Distinguishing between wants and needs with food will be hard.  I rarely feel like a snack and think, mmm carrots would be great.  You also can’t but carrots in the convenience store downstairs.  You sure can buy chips and candy though.
I’m not about to start hitting the gym 5 times a week, but I do need to incorporate exercise in some form into my life.  If it would stop randomly snowing I would say walking home from work and going on longer walks with my dog.  Maybe taking a class in something other than yoga.  Something fun.  I have debated indoor rock climbing if I could get a group together.  Or driving to Banff and going on a mountain hike.

If I need time alone I need to finds ways to get it.  I want to pick up a couple new books and when I go on my long walks with my dog after work I'll stop somewhere and sit and read.   

Another thing for taking care of my body is to do nice things for myself like get a mani pedi, a massage, etc.  Bringing back some of look good feel good.

Doing the happiness project has made me fairly self involved, but his month I am giving myself permission to be selfish, think about what I want, and do things for myself.

Pay Attention - End of Month Summary

Mindfulness was okay.  I didn't have any big epiphanies about life.  Did really well with my tutorials for a week and a half of my two week goal and then fell off with them.  Writing in my journal wasn't a habit that I found a good system for, but I did record several dreams and are much more aware of them and make a conscious effort to try and remember them in the mornings.

I still want to take a class, the one I wanted to take wasn't offered in this cycle of classes so I'll check back.

I'm still keeping all my receipts, trying to live mostly on cash, and recording my spending into a budget.  I'm still spending too much on lunches and snacks.

The weather has been so back and forth, nice one day, snowing the next.  There's something about the onset of summer that feels full of promise.  As a person strongly affected by their moods, who's moods are strongly affected by the seasons, I feel optimistic that the summer will help the upcoming months be some of the most effective ones yet.