Archive for May, 2009

everything i need to know i learned from jillian michaels.

Posted in etcetera, i am not a gym rat, life lesson number 498, me, mirror mirror on the wall, the glass is half FULL on May 29, 2009 by drbolte

not really, but i am learning lessons.

1. nothing is impossible.

i did plank jacks today. do you know what those are?  imagine yourself in pushup position.  then imagine doing jumping jacks with your legs.  while in pushup position.

it sounds like death on a stick, right? like it would be impossible?

not true. it was easier than i thought it would be.  i thought that it would be too hard every other time that i did level 2.  i never tried it.  i never knew if i could do it. when i tried it today, i expected it to be like plank thrusts (which is jumping in your knees while in plank), which were very difficult.

but they weren’t.  they were easy.  FUN.

therein lies the lesson.  what seems crazy and impossible can often be fun. and easy.

if only you try.

2. progress comes in flashes and you have to pay attention.

with 30 day shred, you’re supposed to do this deal every day, progressing (i guess) every 10 days.  so the effort is kind of constant.  in that way, you see your progress.  but sometimes, you don’t.

because if you’ve been shredding for longer than that, and you’ve been at level 3 for a while, you might realize that things are a bit easier or see that your heartrate doesn’t go into “imminent explosion” mode as often, but you’re still pretty much doing the same thing as you’ve been doing for a while now.

but when you’re trying to escalate your efforts, taking every opportunity to do more, to reach a new fitness goal and to finally, once and for all, shatter a plateau, you start noticing.  that, even though jillian tells you that it’s okay that you don’t kick to your head in high kicks, you’re darn close.  that you’re far more flexible than you used to be. that situps are just as easy as crunches and that, actually, you prefer them.

sometimes, you have to stop, turn around, and look at things from a different perspective.  that’s when you see the progress.

3. results come in lots of ways.

for example, the above information.

and NOT the fact that the scale keeps creeping up.

(i know i know muscle repair retaining water muscle weighs more than fat blah blah blah)

30 day shred will DEFINITELY teach you to pay attention to all of the results, not just the shiny ones that you thought that you wanted.

bridal diaries: invitations, part two.

Posted in bridal diaries on May 28, 2009 by drbolte

shopping for deals on DIY invitations that weren’t ugly: at least 1 hour.

buying, formatting, font-choosing, and printing said invitations: approximately 4 hours.

copying, cutting, and addressing unique reply cards, registry information, and pictures: 2.5 hours.

stuffing envelopes according to the most awesome post-it driven, list-checking, amazing time-saving system ever: the end of so you think you can dance and two episodes of man vs. food…or in other words 2 hours.

time angsting over the fact that, because postage went up two weeks ago, there are no new pretty wedding stamps: 2 minutes. (who really looks at the stamp?)

time freaking out about the fact that some of our newly trimmed pictures (goodbye white ugly border!) have a raggedy edge because of the paper cutter: 3 minutes. (i got over it. and we used them for announcements, not invitations…not that announcements aren’t good, but…you know.)

time spent watching too much TV and addressing 190+ invitations: 4.5 hours.

time stamping according to destination: 45 minutes.

how long will it take to hit me that this is all really happening? 🙂

nesting.

Posted in bridal diaries, etcetera, i love my life on May 28, 2009 by drbolte

the birds in my apartment complex, since a few months ago, have taken to sitting on my window most every morning.

i realized this when i thought that the scratching and tapping that i heard was wasps trying to get in–last summer we had problems with that, and i definitely wanted to be prepared before i got surprised one late night by a buzzing intruder.

but no. i was so happily surprised to see that it was a bird.

she (i’m going to say it’s a she because this is my blog and i have no way to know) has been my fairly consistent neighbor for these months. sometimes, through the haze of sleepiness, i hear the tapping and it makes me smile.

i consider her a symbol of all of the joy in my life.  today, as i was sitting here addressing announcements and invitations and watching enchanted (seems appropriate, doesn’t it? i wanted 27 dresses, but can’t find it in my dvd stack…), another bird (perhaps my friend?) landed on our living room window to get out of the wind.

i said hello.  he (for some reason i think it’s a he…yeah, i don’t know) stayed for a minute and then left.

another symbol of my happiness.  they’re all around me.

i’m glad that i’m seeing them.

bridal diaries: DIY invitations = first bridal meltdown.

Posted in bridal diaries, drama drama drama, going quietly mad, the engaged life, you have to be a chick to understand on May 27, 2009 by drbolte

it’s invitation week.

i’ve been working on gathering addresses for weeks, and we have most of them. our goal was always to get them sent out the week after memorial day–before the end of may. it may seem early for an early august wedding, but it’s a) the summer b) dependent on the schedule of people throwing me showers (current count: 3. i have no idea what to say about that except wow.) and c) just really good because i shouldn’t do invitations when i’m teaching three classes.

rationale now explained.

we decided to print our own. it’s cheaper (it really is, actually).

so that’s what i did last night.

120 announcements. 60+ invitations.

and on at least 35 of the announcements? black ink smudges on the edge.

i nearly lost my mind. i was already stressed beyond reason about these stupid invitations. the pictures aren’t exactly what we ordered, meaning that around the black collage there is a white border. there was not a white border around the original collage. but i reprinted them and apparently that’s what happens.

i would really like to trim the 200 pictures, but who has time for that?

(not me.)

i didn’t know how to make the black smudges stop. they were erratic–not always happening at the same time, but happening fairly consistently. i tried to google it. it told me acetone. i tried it. it ruined the paper.

commence the beginning of my first bridal meltdown.

i was tired–still am. all the time.–and stressed–it’s the last week of job training and i am barely hanging on, i swear.–and feeling the pressure of all of the things that have yet to be done but have to be considered soon and was just trying to get through the invitation printing so that they would be done in time for tonight, when one of my bridesmaids and me and the bff have a homemade pizza/stuffing invitations/addressing invitations party.

i just wanted it to go smoothly.

and i was already really nervous about it. i don’t know why. i just was.

the bff came up with a plan to fix it, and he did a brilliant job. and eventually, once i had to change the ink cartridge, they just stopped.

but by that point it felt like me alone, waging war against the dragon that is DIY invitations, and i was mad and frustrated and dissolving very quickly into tears and irrationality.

it was not pretty. i hope to never repeat it.

i tell you all this to say that i’m pretty tired.  and i am pretty bad at asking for help.

but after last night, i’m pretty sure that i need to start doing it.

and i’m pretty sure that i will be really, really happy when all 190 of those envelopes are in the hands of the USPS, complete with a white bordered black collage that i’m sure people will still think are adorable.

and if they don’t, in the immortal words of my bff, stuff ’em.

started the “jillian michaels kicks my butt six days a week for 30 days shred program” again.

did level 3 yesterday. i’ve been on level 3 for a while. i have yet to master rock star kicks, but i’m working on it.

am willing myself to do level 3 again today.

ironically? i worry that my dress will be too big.

cross that bridge when we get to it, i guess.

in which i learn from jon and kate.

Posted in bff, life lesson number 498, TV and me are pals on May 26, 2009 by drbolte

so, i watched jon and kate plus eight last night, along with much of the tv-watching public.

unless you live under a pop culture rock (like my bff who just doesn’t care, bless him–he balances me out so nicely), you know what’s been going on. heck, if you’ve been to a grocery store in the last month and taken a gaze roundabout you, you’ve seen the magazine covers.

so i watched it.

it was terribly sad.

i was going to talk about the show and the people and the situation but now i just realized that that’s part of the problem, isn’t it?  we should stop talking about them and let them live their lives. i hope, soon, that they will just go back to living their lives, pre-TLC.  i hope that they will find a way to mend their family, if their family should be mended, or find a way to raise their children together.  i think they will.

but as we were watching, the fiance and i got to talking because i was rather perplexed at the difference, for example, between this family and a family like the duggars, who have been in the spotlight FOR YEARS. (you don’t have 18 children without some media attention.) they’ve been on tv for a while now as well.  you just don’t see the same changes. 

the fiance suggested that it was because they had their faith to ground them.

now i don’t mean to say that the gosselins don’t have faith. i actually don’t believe that at all. but the duggars make EVERY decision in their family based on a principle of faith, even down to how they spend their money and what they choose to do on vacation. you can agree or disagree with what those principles are and what they choose to do, but when every decision is based on a bedrock principle, doesn’t it make it a bit easier to not be slammed by every wind of reality television fame?

i think so.

but the principle is the same, i think, for every couple and every family.  making your foundation something substantive allows you to survive the storms.  making every decision consciously allows you to map a course for where you really want to go, so that the likelihood is that you don’t end up far, far away from where you thought your destination was. 

surprisingly, amidst the terrible sadness of that show, i think i learned something about who i want to be.  

and i looked at the bff and said “i’m glad you’re in this for forever.”

and he looked at me and said “i am” with a kind of comfortable certainty that made me sure he is.

gratitude is the word of the day.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2009 by drbolte

i got a part-time adjuncting job today. three classes. not paying great, but paying enough for me to be able to sleep through the night and for us to be okay.

and there’s the potential for future growth. as in a full-time job someday.

we’ll see.

in the meantime, i’m intensely grateful and immensely busy.  so as i’m stuffing my face full of bagel and leftover tater tot casserole (it’s way better than it sounds, trust me), i thought i’d share my news with you.

what are you grateful for?

grace in a million little things.

Posted in bff, dissertation, etcetera, faith is action, Life, me, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, will work for food on May 20, 2009 by drbolte

for a while there, at the beginning of the year, a bunch of bloggers were doing this thing called grace in 365, where they listed five things about their day that made them feel as though they had been blessed. it was a fantastic idea, and one that i remembered often during that time and thought about doing myself.

i am reminded of it as i try to encapsulate what’s been happening in my life lately.

i thought that i would talk about the  daunting nature of my training for a new job. i’ve mentioned it a few times, mainly in passing about how busy i am, but not in any real detail. i still don’t want to speak of it in detail, because i don’t think it’s appropriate, but it’s the second of three stages of interviewing to see if i can hack it as an online instructor.  i like the training. it challenges me in a different way than every other challenge that i have in my life right now, and i like that very much. i’m already online way too much, so at least now i feel like i’m being productive.

and this job is one hundred percent a blessing from God.

i’m a little more than halfway through the second stage, and as i began the second two-week training, i found myself staring at the syllabus, feeling paralyzed almost by nervousness. i don’t know why. yes, there is more to do in this two-week training. yes, i am trying to balance potential out-of-town plans and invitations and all of that with this. yes, i had gotten a bit tired at the end of the last training.

but why would i be so daunted?

i am tired. straight up, lots of things in my life make me tired. life, right now, is a struggle. it’s not bad.  i am in no way depressed. but job searching, and worrying about that, and planning the wedding, and thinking about that a lot, and working on training, and hoping that i’m doing enough for that to get the job, and interviewing for more jobs, and praying fervently that i will get it, and thinking about how i’m not doing my dissertation at all, and wondering if it will even be possible to do everything that i had hoped to do this month–it’s all just a lot.

i think i kind of have a right to be tired.

but as i was walking back to my car from work, in the rain, i realized that despite all of these things, i keep moving on. i keep making progress. sometimes leaps and bounds of progress. and it’s an extraordinary gift. the gifts have been piling up of late.  here are just a few:

last night i didn’t want to go to institute. i was tired. it was rainy and cold and the thing i thought i wanted most was to curl up on the couch and wile away some hours doing nothing but cuddling.  but thing that i needed most was to go. and there i felt the Spirit and felt instructed and comforted and directed in ways that i needed.

i went to the store, shopped some serious sales, and got $175 worth of groceries for $100. the bagger lady said that she should go shopping with us because she was so impressed with the deals we got, one of which was HEAPS of pork chops for free (buy one tray, get two free).  as we were breaking them up into individual freezer pouches, we realized that not only were they much larger than i thought, but there were more in each pack than i thought. that means more meals for less money. that is a blessing during the very lean month before Summer B work starts. oh, how i hate the summer sometimes.

in the midst of these challenging times, i feel my faith growing. i have been wondering why the struggle is important for me–the job struggle, specifically, is what i mean, but i suppose the way that all of these major life events have come together at this time also contributes to the nature of the struggle that i feel every day to keep on top of things–and now i’m realizing that the struggle is the point. you’re shaking your head at this point, aren’t you? duh, drbolte, of course the struggle is the point. but sometimes, when you’re struggling, you think the point of the struggle is to get where you want to go. sometimes you think that the reasons that the answers haven’t come or the reason why things are challenging is because maybe you’re not putting in your best effort or maybe you haven’t found the key to all mythologies yet (and, uhm, if you get that reference, i’ll give you a cookie).

i’m realizing, again, probably for the fortieth time at least, that this struggling? is where the lessons are.  i approach things that are hard now with a sense of determination, an internal fierceness that is grounded in the idea that i will do whatever i need to do, whatever He wishes me to do, in order to keep the Spirit with me, in order to stay close to the Lord.

that determination is probably the greatest gift. because in the moments when i don’t know what to do? like when i’m looking at a syllabus and don’t know if i can muster the energy to do it?

i dig deep. and it’s there.  i just decide that the best way to get through it is to GET THROUGH IT and i dive in.

and the RWC is quiet and i manage to get all of my reading done and my assignments and participation done and ta da…i can work on something else.

all of this is surrounded and wrapped up in the most amazing fact that, in all this struggling, the bff and i are growing closer. we struggle together. i can’t even do justice to how much that means to me, that our love is growing and the pressures on us are just teaching us that we are absolutely essential to each other.

in a million little things, and in one or two huge ones, i am being shown that the struggle is the prize.

it’s the struggle where the grace truly lives.

that’s what keeps me going.