Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keeping up with the Joneses

It's so easy to compare your life with those around you. Call it envy, jealousy, pretend it's hopeful or wishful thinking, be it from peer pressure, comments from family, brainwashing by the media, or just thinking that the grass is greener "over there" - at some point, we all want what someone else has.
One reason why I like my 101 Things list, is that I think it will help me appreciate what I do have in my life, as opposed to focusing on what I don't have. At a point where 95% of my friends are in a relationship, getting married, already married, have babies or are having babies, is it so wrong that I feel a little envious/jealous/sad/depressed/grumpy about it?

I don't think about this everyday, but certain events definitely set it off. This is one of them. Tonight is the Ex's Buck & Doe. Why do I know this? Well, several people told me about the Facebook event, and since I was in the mood for some masochistic pain, I looked it up. I'm like an elephant when it comes to dates/times/information that I don't want to remember! 

Please don't misunderstand, this isn't a case of "getting over him" - But why does he get to move on first?
Sometimes I think that I need to go out and be busy all of the time - how else can I show that things are alright in my life? It's almost like the alternative of staying home will only show how pathetic and lonely I am (I'm not!) On the flip side, I worry that if I stay home, I will start to cocoon myself away from the rest of the world, and miss out on the life that is outside, passing me by.

This feeling goes beyond the relationship realm. I've always worked hard, from high school, through university and teacher's college, I always had a job, or multiple jobs. I'm a good worker, outside of the fact that I am always running 10 minutes behind. I get things done, I look out for my employer's best interest, I'm always a fan of where I am working (for the most part!)
And yet, despite all of that, the fact that I am working as a teacher, that I've never been unemployed for longer than a month, I am broke.
How long can a person tread water before they drown in their debt?
This week I had to, pathetically, call my Mother to ask for money. I felt like vomiting when I did it. In the past few months my Dad & my Mom have been amazing, helping me to get my finances under control and back on track. But there is still a ways to go, and 3 months before I get paid under my new full-time contract.
All around me I see my friends being able to plan vacations, go shopping, heck, even fill up their gas tanks without thinking about it. It kills me that I keep backing out of non-Hamilton related activities because I can't stomach the thought of buying an extra tank of gas for anything.
I'm tired of having to think about every cent I spend, and feeling guilty when I buy something that I need. I'm almost 30, shouldn't I be able to support myself by now?

Inevitably these two issues are connected, as all things in life tend to be. How can I solve my money problems? Find someone who will love and support me enough to get me out of debt! How can I solve my relationship problems? Cough up some money for Internet dating!
Sorry, but neither of those options appeal to me.
1) I actually believe that there is still a chance that I will meet someone in person, who will be interested enough to ask me out. It's sad how many people DON'T think that this will happen for me anymore. I'm afraid to hear the reasons why that is...
2) I don't want to feel like a man is going to fix my money problems. Depending on an figurative boyfriend to come along and pay some of my bills off for me? How pathetic! Not to mention, how much of a factor do I want to make a potential partner's income?

No Things update today - not much has happened this week, what with how busy work as been. Hopefully I'll get a little summary written up before the weekend is through. As for this post, it was off topic from the goal of this blog, I know, but I needed to get this out. Maybe my lousy mood will go away when I publish this post. Or maybe the sun will come out and help melt away some grumpiness. Stranger things have happened, right?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lifestyle Changes

This past week's focus has really been on Thing 6 - Reach Goal Weight. I managed to work out a little bit everyday but Friday. It started last Sunday with the step class, then Monday night I worked out with Laura on her Wii. That little board is deceiving, from Wednesday to Friday my stomach was so sore, and I think it was from the hula hooping! Every time I sneezed, I winced! Tuesday I got up early to run cross country with one of my students. He needs a little extra encouragement, although I was worried that he would easily outrun me, since I'm not the strongest runner. Happily, we both made it through the run, and I'm pretty sure that I could have run even longer than I did. Hopefully I can get over my anxieties about how I look when I'm running, and continue to pursue the hobby! Wednesday night Laura and I tried to go to a Body Flow class at Good Life. Unfortunately, after we got there, changed, and headed up to the class, we found out that the online schedule was wrong! Very disappointing, since we co-ordinated schedules for 2 days to figure out what class we could both go to! They offered us gym bags to make up for it (no thanks), then offered us both 5-pass Hot Yoga cards ($60 value) for free(yes please)! We've been warned that you need to drink a lot of water before doing Hot Yoga, so we're working up to it. We ended hitting another Good Life that night for some strength training - I'm happy to report that I managed to do most of the machines at similar weights to last year, which was a relief! Thursday I ran with my students again, although I was a few minutes late that AM (oops), so not as much as I would have liked to. Laura and I attempted another workout Thursday night, but it turned into a glass of wine and chatting - currently in contention for best workout ever. ;) Friday I took off, then Saturday I hit up the gym on my own, did 30 minutes of interval training on the elliptical, and 30 minutes of weights. It actually felt really good, and I'm hoping to add this in a few days a week, maybe bright and early if I can stay on top of things. Yesterday I went to Laura's step class again, and managed to keep up with most of the steps. The biggest hurdle to get through, beyond lifting your legs up onto the step 40 minutes into the class, is the lingo - which Laura has promised to help me with. It's almost like learning another language.
I haven't decided if I'll work out at all today - Janey Canuck and I discussed going for a hike, but unfortunately the thunderstorm warnings have stayed in place all weekend. According to the scale I lost about 2 pounds this week, but I wasn't expecting a lot. Once you work in strength training, the scale can't really be relied on, since you are building muscle. My diet went well this week again, I even made chili! The amount of sweets and treats I've turned down is pretty amazing. I'm pretty sure I need to make a bigger calorie deficit in my daily diet, and I'm currently trying to decide where it will come from.
Alright, onto some other Things!
I started out on Thing 59 - Drink 8 glasses of water a day for 8 days straight and Thing 28 - Get up when the alarm goes off every day for a week this week. I didn't actually complete them, and here's why: for Thing 59, it actually takes a lot of effort to work up to this. I made it to 8 glasses for 2 days, 6 glasses on 3 days, and less than that for the other days. I am going to keep working on this until I get it right, and hopefully incorporating Hot Yoga will help. I'm not going to worrying about making up for the water I sweat out while exercising, if I need more I will drink it, but I'm not doing the math! For Thing 28, I made it to Stage One of the goal - I got up everyday after snoozing twice. Every morning I set 3 alarms on my phone, 5 minutes apart. I'm a little OCD about the whole thing, really. Usually after the 3 alarms go off, I reset them again for 20 minutes later. That's where it gets really ridiculous! I'm happy to report that this week I got out of bed right after Alarm 3 every day. Not the whole goal, since I really just want to hop out of bed for an entire week right away, but a good start! This week I hope to continue on both of these Things.
I really view this List as a way to make changes to my lifestyle. Yes, the list is made up of some one-off experiences and dreams of mine, but I also tried to put in Things that I want to start to do automatically. Mentally, this week was tougher than the last few. I felt happy, but I also felt stress that I might not reach some of my goals. I expected this, and so far I've been dealing. I didn't really feel like even writing this blog entry, but obviously I pushed myself to do so! I keep telling myself that Rome wasn't built in a day... 
This week was the first time since April where I felt like I might have a panic attack. I haven't missed that feeling, believe me. I'm not sure why I get them, the situations rarely match up, but thankfully they didn't progress and I was able to redirect my thinking both times I started to feel anxious. 
I think I forgot to update this last week, but Thing 5 - Find a full-time teaching job with benefits progressed a little last week, as I signed a full-time contract at Kehila for next year. No benefits as of yet, but I'm halfway there!
As you can see, my biggest focus right now is on Thing 6. I'm hoping I can sustain the drive to reach it before my 30th birthday in January. I let it slide for far too long, and now it's time to give it all I've got! :)
I'll try and blog more often, but it may have to wait until my report cards are written! I'm thinking about incorporating the way Janey Canuck and kidAmy have written about each Thing separately, but I need a bit of a tutorial on how to create those fancy links they use from post to post!

Until next time,

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Happy Little Update

After slowing down last week, I accomplished several exciting things over the weekend! I ended up going out Saturday night and ended up watching some great live music with friends! Another check on Thing 49 - See 1 live music event a month :) (Bonus points this month, because I ended up seeing a duo that I knew & liked!) I also accomplished Thing 29 - Phone 1 friend or extended family member a week to keep in touch, as I called my Grandma - that was definitely a good feeling - I think she was a little shocked I called! (Oops!) I am going to try and make a concerted effort to call her on the weekends that I don't go home, since I think she gets a little lonely at the nursing home on those days!

I went to my first step class with Laura & I have to say that it was a great work out! I haven't sweat like that before - and I only did about 1/3 of the steps everyone else did!! I hope to continue going, and to keep improving - the women in the class were very encouraging and supportive of my progress, which was a really good feeling. :)

Other exciting things over the weekend: seeing a fashion show with some Hamilton Firefighters, trying mussels for the first time, a surprise visit from my Mom, and finally getting some laundry done - oh, and scoring some much needed sunglasses (only $10!) - now where's the sun?!

Unbelievably, what came next topped all that had come before it, and was the happiest moment of my weekend:

I got on the scale to check my progress from last week's weigh-in, and a number in the 150's showed up! I nearly lost my mind and made Laura weigh herself as well - after 2 scales and much discussion, it was confirmed that I currently weigh 158lbs!!!! Oh happy day!! Turns out I lost about 3lbs from the last time I weighed myself, but I was weighing myself on a scale that was wrong!

Only 30lbs to get to my goal for Thing 6 - Reach goal weight - how exciting!!!!!!

This week's goals: to get up everyday right when the alarm goes off (I did this today!) and to drink 8 glasses of water each day - Up to 1 so far, wish me luck!!


Happy Monday! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Challenge Interrupted

Well, it's been about a month since I started this challenge, and I have to say that I am feeling pretty good about my progress. Unfortunately, I didn't get much farther on my list this week. Actually I don't think I did much this week except try to get my "diet" back on track and keep trying to walk regularly. I walked Monday & Wednesday nights, and was back on high protein/low carbs by Thursday. Hopefully my mood continues to improve, it's definitely better than Tuesday!
I've been itching to get on a scale, but thankfully haven't yet. None of my clothes feel like they are fitting any differently, and I think that getting on a scale will reflect that still. Because of that, my desire to not be disappointed is so far winning out over finding a scale. The fact that I haven't been anywhere with a scale recently really helps as well. Pseudo-self-control - good enough!
Other than that, I don't have much to report. I had hoped to accomplish either Thing 28, Thing 55 or Thing 59 this week, but it didn't happen as the beginning of my week was completely a wash. Maybe I'll try again this coming week, we'll see how it goes! I guess there isn't really a "rush" for the things that are easy, I do have 972 days left... Time enough to accomplish my things when it feels right, and not because I have to finish them. The minute this list feels like a chore, I know I will brush it to the side, and I really don't want that to happen!
One thing I love about this list is that it has allowed me to really put a focus on what I want, and what I need - putting the focus on only worrying about myself. I'm afraid that at some point this list could become a selfish endeavour, but I'm hoping I will be able to keep it as an empowering one.
I don't want to become a broken record about healing from the last few years, but I will say this. At some point during my adult years, some told me that it takes about half the time you were in a relationship to recover from its ending. Well, I was in a relationship for just under 3 1/2 years, and it's been just over a year and a half since it ended. Maybe that is also a factor in my mood upswings?
Remember when I said I was going to maybe post about online dating? It's actually amazing how often the topic comes up in conversations now. Are people subconsciously trying to tell me something?
My need to write a blog post about the topic has been unnecessary though, as someone I follow on Twitter succinctly covered my thoughts in less than 140 characters: "It's so cute how with internet dating you don't know if you are going to get murdered or married" - Thanks @sofifii for your words of wisdom - I may put this on a t-shirt!
That's all for today. This needs to be a weekend about doing, not reflecting!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are you what you eat?

So, starting about a week and a half ago, I made a concerted effort to improve my eating habits. I focused on increasing my protein intake and decreasing my sugar/carb intake.
Here's a rough outline of what I ate:
(I know the list is long, but bear with me - or skip to the end to read my observations)

Mon May 2
B - Smoothie (Kale/Berries/Coconut Water/Protein powder)
L - Tuna salad w/ red pepper, broccoli, fennel, celery wrapped in lettuce leaves
D - Avocado, hummus & tomato sandwich on spelt bread
Daily Snacks - hard boiled egg, cheese stick, apple

Tues May 3
B - Smoothie (Banana/Berries/Coconut Water/Protein powder/Vegan Coffee Coconut Water "ice cream")
L - Same as Monday
D - Scrambled eggs with veggies, Sauteed Kale with onions and bacon
Daily Snacks - same as Monday
Glass of red wine

Wed May 4
B - Smoothie (Kale/Berries/Coconut water/protein powder/Vegan Coffee Coconut Water "ice cream")
L -  Avocado, hummus and tomato sandwich on spelt bread
D - Chicken breast & sweet potato fries
Snacks - cheese string, salami, hard boiled egg, apple
Glass of red wine

Thurs May 5
B - Same as Wednesday
L - Same as Monday
D - Pork Souvlaki with tzaiziki, veggies, 1 quarter of Greek pita
Snacks - same as Wednesday

Fri May 6
B - Same as Wed
L - Same as Monday
D - All you can eat Sushi - YUM
Snacks - apple, cheese string, salami

Sat May 7
B - Same as Wed
L - hard boiled egg, salami, cheese string
D - Japanese dinner - Veggies, Rice, Tofu, no meat 
Dessert- Cinnabon, Cookies
Glass of white wine

Sun May 8
B - Same as Wed
L - Tim Horton's Ham & Swiss sandwich
D - Steak with sauteed kale/onions/bacon & mixed veggies
Glass of red wine

Mon May 9
B - Same as Wed
L - Steak slices with lettuce wrap & snow peas, red peppers
D - Veggie burger with edamame & mixed veggies
Snacks - Cheese, Salami, Apple, hard boiled egg

Tues May 10
B - Same Smoothie
L - Mac n Cheese - snow peas & red pepper with hummus
D - Popcorn & Nibs (at movie) & diet coke
Snacks - apple, cheese, salami week I was in the MOST amazing mood. I was happy. I'm not a happy person. It was weird and enjoyable at the same time. I received compliments on my mood, and my brother was a little freaked out when he saw me. (Seriously - does happy come to mind when you think of me?!)

Around Sunday evening, through Monday & up to now, my mood has considerable worsened. This afternoon I thought I was losing my mind. Yes, it was a stressful day and school, and yes, I am working longer days (and earlier mornings) this week, but my mood was BAD. I even woke up grumpy. Sadly, it felt more normal than last week. I didn't LIKE the fact that it felt normal.

So I'm asking all of you, out there in the blogosphere - am I crazy to think that my mood is affected by my diet? Does anyone else out there see a difference in what I ate over the weekend & this week to change my mood? 

I liked feeling weirdly happy and I want it back!!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

End of Week Three Update: A happy apartment = A happy life?

Life has gotten a little busier with my holidays being over, as you can see from my lack of blogging this past week. Thankfully I've been able to complete and work on the Things on my list, even if I'm not writing about them!

Here's a recap of my latest accomplishments:

Thing 6 - Reach goal weight
Unfortunately I didn't weigh myself to confirm how much I weighed before I started my healthy living routine this week, but I did get the chance to hop on the scale Friday, so I will be able to monitor how well I am doing from here on out. I have felt unbelievable this past week. From my morning smoothies, to my increased protein intake & my decreased carb intake, my diet has me feeling great! Walking out in the beautiful outdoors has been such an uplifting experience as well - from walking the Bayfront last weekend, to walking 3k around Ancaster, and a 5k hike up the escarpment, I have felt challenged and energized physically. Hopefully I can keep this healthy lifestyle going, and get closer to achieving this Thing!

Thing 19 - Research my family tree as far back as I can
This Thing has decided to start itself up - I received a message through from someone who was related to my great-grandfather. I haven't explored too much further into the matter, but it is exciting to thing that there are relatives out there that I haven't met yet!

Thing 21/29 - Phone 1 friend or extended family member a week to keep in touch
I decided to combine these two Things, so I will be on a lookout for a new Thing 21. Realistically, 1 catch-up phone call a week is enough for me - I barely talk on the phone, outside calling my Mom and Dad, and it is so expensive to chat on my cellphone! This past week I had a great phone conversation with a friend, that really helped both of us feel good and even closer (I hope!) It's so great getting to know your friends better, especially when you've spent so long taking them for granted. I definitely haven't been a perfect friend over the last few years, but I hope that I am able to hold up my end of all the friendships in my life. I truly believe that outside of your immediate family, your friends are the most important people in your life. For awhile I forgot that just calling a friend to chat can be the best medication for a bad day! I hope this Thing helps me to remember that in the future!

Thing 40 - Become a regular at a Pub Quiz night
Well, considering that I'd never even BEEN to a Pub Quiz night before I decided to do this Thing, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first Pub Quiz experience this week! It was a pub in Ancaster called the Brassie, and I went with a co-worker, and ran into a twitter friend there as well! Despite some bad calls (The Canary Islands are NOT in the Caribbean, despite my vehement argument that they were) and along with some amazing and slightly sad pop culture knowledge on my part (Tripplehorn is both the last name of the the actress Jeanne, and the last name of James Franco & Mila Kunis in the movie Date Night, and the last name Tina Fey & Steve Carrell were mistaken for in the same film), my team ended up in 2nd place out of 14 or 15 teams. Hopefully I am invited to go back again, and this Thing can continue growing :)

Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done 
This Thing still isn't done. Doing little chores is much harder when you're free time is limited. Screw the deadline (I say!) and I'm just going to hope for the best that this list is finished soon! If it's done by the end of May I will be happy :)

Thing 56 - See the Top 16 waterfalls of Hamilton 
I'm using this list as my guide. Yesterday I went on a 5k hike with the Little Clan & Darryl, and we hiked up the escarpment between Waterdown & Dundas to see Borer's Falls - #2 on the list. It was an amazing feeling to make it up to the top, and the waterfall did not disappoint. It was about 17m high, and running freely as we watched. It would have been nice to have seen it from the base of the falls, hopefully some of the other waterfalls have viewing points from the bottom as well.
Unfortunately I forgot my camera, and only had my cell phone. This picture doesn't do it justice, but gives you an idea of what we saw:

Thing 67 - Go for a whole week without leaving any dirty dishes in the sink
I didn't advertise that I was doing this Thing, because I felt like this would be one of the most challenging on my list. I have never been a good dishwasher; in fact, I have HATED it in the past. This last week I have successfully managed to do my dishes before leaving for work, and going to bed. Check out what my counter looked like this week:
This may be one of my greatest achievements in my domestic life thus far! Surprisingly, it didn't take much time out of my day to do this, and it felt great to be on top of the mess in my kitchen at all times. A happy apartment = A happy life? Something to ponder...

Thing 86 - Keep a plant alive for 6 months
I am a little worried about this Thing - my wildflowers haven't popped up at all yet, and after my Dad visited yesterday he told me that my hanging plant isn't one that will grow in lowlight conditions. He warned me that it would start to drop leaves soon, and sure enough today it started. I am pretty unimpressed, since I went to the greenhouse with ONE specification, and they misled me! I am going to try and return it later this week for something that will hopefully grow a little better in its location. Looks like this Thing might have a slow start!

Thing 101 - Save $10 for each completed thing (*will raise to $25 & save retroactively if get full-time job!)
I need to start this. Anybody have some odd jobs I can take on? 

Thing 69 - Complete the A-Z Challenge
Today I went with my Aunt & Uncle and discovered some new areas of Hamilton through the Doors Open Hamilton event. I was able to walk through an old country estate, Auchmar Manor. This is the only weekend that it opens to the public, and I am so glad I got to experience it. It started all sorts of ideas flowing through my mind about stories to write, as I'm sure most visitors experienced while there! We also visited Eco-House & the Green Cottage - two buildings that promote sustainable living and being eco-friendly. Eco-House was definitely the better of the two, and I hope to bring my students there in either June or next September. Our last stop was the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I'd never been there in all my time living in Hamilton, and it was inspiring to walk through the exhibits. My favourite one featured found materials used in new ways - There was one piece that had umbrellas hooked up to accordions that opened and closed with lights. I can't even explain it, but it was such an interesting concept! I hope to go back again - and am now considering adding some sort of art class to my Things list. This experience has allowed me to complete the letter D in my A-Z Challenge, for Doors Open Hamilton. 

Looking forward to attempting another Thing this week. I don't want to get ahead of myself, or jinx myself by sharing yet, but will hopefully update you all next week with some more exciting accomplishments!

Hope you've all been able to get out to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Two Weeks In...

Just a quick little catch-up post to fill you in on how Week 2 went!
I didn't reach my personal goal of finishing Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done by April 30, but the date thing was mostly motivation for myself, and I just ran out of time! The updated goal is to have it done by next Sunday May 8, which I think should work - I'll obviously keep you all posted!
When my list is done, I will also simultaneously finish Thing 9 - Get Rid of 101 Things because I've decided that the 101st thing to be "gotten rid of" will be the list. Sure, I want to keep it as a memory, but I'm not going to! (Repeat after me: I will not be a pack rat, I will not be a pack rat...) Thanks to Darryl for the idea of the list being #101. I'm actually at 96 things either thrown out or packed away for goodwill or yard sale, so I'm getting close!!
Last night I unexpectedly started Thing 49 - See 1 live music event a month. I ended up going out to a pub (Vicar's Vice in Stoney Creek - it's in a converted church, and is really interested inside) and there was a live band playing. I have no idea who they were, but they sounded pretty good, the lead singer was cute & I saw some live music - all win-win! Clearly I won't be going to major concerts once a month (or even once a year if Bon Jovi is going on hiatus) but just getting out to hear some live music is my goal. I really enjoy it & hopefully I can mix it in with some patio visits this summer as well :)
A few other quick updates:

Thing 86 - Keep a plant alive for 6 months (unrelated to Thing 64) - The wildflower seeds have been planted, here's hoping they actually grow! 

Thing 87 - Read 20 of the classic novels on my Kobo - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen has been read. It was fairly enjoyable, and I've moved on to Sense & Sensibility.
Thing 88 - Walk the Bayfront path 30 times - Walked it for the first time in probably 6 years yesterday afternoon - still a little brisk out, but it was a nice, sunny afternoon & I was in good company :) Hopefully we can walk it again soon, if Spring decides to stick around!

My holidays are, sadly, over for a few months. It was a great break, and I feel good about what I accomplished, and I look forward to seeing how I can keep moving forward with my 101 Things as I am working. Hopefully what I have finished so far will help to keep me motivated & moving!!

Personal Post - I Love my Apartment!

This post isn't really a direct response to my 101 Things list, I just feel like I have a few thing I'd like to write about, and since I would hope the people reading this would be interested in what I have to say, then what better a place to do so? If you are here reading, and you're not interested, well - life is too short - find a blog you'd like to read!

I think mostly I just want to talk about what I ate today. For real.
I was amazing today - I might be turning into a machine*.
Breakfast was a Green smoothie - kale, banana, frozen blueberries, coconut water, protein powder - Yum!
Lunch was Scrambled eggs with sauteed broccoli, fennel, red pepper & red onion
Dinner was Baked haddock with salt & pepper, and sauteed baby vegetables with bacon - weird but good!
Eggs are my new favourite thing. Why did I not eat them very often before - they are so fast to cook!

OK, I won't just talk about what I ate, even though, really, it was amazing...
Yesterday I walked 4km with the Little family & it felt really nice to get out and exercise. I actually woke up and debated doing it again today on my own, but the rain was enough to keep me inside!
I haven't followed through on the gym plan yet, but hopefully I will get over there this week a few times. I've even been discussing running with a friend. I'm not sure how that will turn out, but I really think that if I started running it would be a HUGE confidence boost. I have serious anxiety about running - I really think that I look ridiculous when I do it. Sadly, it's partly why I have avoided sports for most of my life. If I was able to work it into my exercise plan I think that would be amazing! I'll keep you posted on how it goes :)

I can't believe how much clearer my head feels now that everything has been unpacked & organized in my apartment. It's an amazing feeling - I'm in love with my apartment!
This is my new favourite place:

I've had breakfast here the past two days. I hope I can turn that into a daily thing, or at least a weekend thing. It's so calming to sit by the window & just chill out. Unfortunately, my neighbours spend a lot of time in their driveway, so hopefully they don't think I'm staring at them!
I also lightened up my living room a bit with a new curtain. It's not perfect, but the white & beaded ribbon looks so much better than the black curtain I had up before:

Did I mention that I vacuumed my stairs & the corners of my ceiling? 
Or that I spent half an hour yesterday just sitting and daydreaming in my window seat?
I'm seriously in love with my apartment.

I hope you enjoyed, I just wanted somewhere to share my accomplishments & ideas from the day. On a completely different note, I've been debating writing a post on the pros & cons of online dating. I haven't fully signed up for any website, but I've considered it a bit. I do a fair bit of hemming & hawing about it as I go about my day. Emotionally, I feel much stronger than I have over the past couple years. Not having to worry about the house anymore helps a lot, and I finally deleted the hundreds of text messages that I kept this long for some reason. That actually felt extremely cathartic. This weekend was the first time in a long time that I actually felt like it would be nice to meet somebody. In a healthy way anyways - I think it's important that you don't feel like that out of fear. There have been many a night where I've felt like I needed somebody because I didn't want to be alone. This weekend I felt like it would have been nice to have had someone important to share my accomplishments with. I think that is an important distinction to make.
Anyways, we'll see if I decide to explore the online dating world a little farther in a future post. I'm not rushing to do so, but it would be nice to present my thoughts & hear what you all have to say as well. I'm currently leaning towards the negative side, as some of you know, but I'm also afraid to cut out what might be a really great idea (even though I can't see it at the moment). Hmmm....

Thanks for reading :)

*My roommate, Kate, from 1st-year at Mac, always referred to herself as a machine when she did well on exercise or diet. I've found myself using the term over the weekend & am feeling a little nostalgic - Must catch up with Kate!!