Archive for the Life Category

resolution.

Posted in c, etcetera, faith is action, i am not a gym rat, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, the glass is half FULL, the joys of living in Florida on September 9, 2009 by drbolte

i mentioned in passing a few posts ago that i hadn’t worked out since before the wedding. by this i mean that i haven’t been to the gym, put on a jillian michaels sadistic dvd, or otherwise done a formal exercise activity. this, however, doesn’t mean i haven’t spent time doing things that require exertion, like moving things around and walking around theme parks and digging in my small but disgustingly in need of tlc garden plot and walking across campus and you get the idea.

my problem is really time. i just didn’t have the time, or so it seemed, to truck to the gym (which is now much farther away than it once was, across gville downtown/campus traffic), work out for an hour, come home, shower, and move on with my day. i just don’t have those kinds of windows.

so i think i thought that i was just going to have to stop working out, though in the back of my mind, some part of me was screaming both in warning and in horror.

it sounded, faint though clear, a little something like this: WE HAVE NOT WORKED THIS HARD FOR YOU TO GIVE UP RIGHT NOW! THERE’S ALWAYS TIME FOR WORKING OUT! MAKE IT WORK, WOMAN! MAKE IT WORK!

you see how that might be a bit difficult to ignore, even in its faintness.

as the weeks progressed and the stress continued to build and the realities of life hit me, as they hit everyone, i realized that i wasn’t sleeping well, i wasn’t eating well, and i wasn’t feeling as regularly sassy as i normally do.

the sassy was sort of…sporadic.

i knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was because i wasn’t moving.

moving is an incredible stress reliever. it’s amazing to me what 20 minutes of giving my all to  something does not only for my sleep patterns and the way my body works but for my feeling about myself. somehow, when i see that i can in fact run for blocks at a time or i can stay at the jillian michaels workout o’ pain for the full 20 minutes, i feel like i can conquer anything.

(that’s nice to remember when i wonder, every day, if i can manage the daily mountain that faces me. which is probably a grain of sand, to quote carrie underwood, but nevertheless seems like everest sometimes.)

today, despite the fact that i really have oodles to grade and heaps to do, i decided that it was a beautiful sunny day. it’s hot but not death hot. it’s the kind of hot you want to go hang out in.  it’s an inviting kind of sunshiny florida day that makes you want to strap on an ipod and some slightly worn out sneakers and take on your neighborhood for a good game of “how long can i run before i die?”

that’s what i did today.

i tried out a pretty short loop in my neighborhood, one with well-traveled roads and as little ghetto as possible.  it was fantastic. i mapped it. it was 1.5 miles–decent, i suppose. it took me about 20 minutes, which isn’t great but isn’t horrible either.  i gave myself permission to walk as fast as i wanted and run as slow as i needed.

i came away knowing the following:

  • no matter what happens, i have to exercise. if it means that i need to wake up earlier, i need to do it.  i need to do it for me. i need to do it for my job. i need to do it for my family. a better me is a better wife, a better teacher, a better scholar, a better friend.
  • i need to remember that taking care of me is not selfish. it’s essential.
  • i need a longer route. because i’m better than i thought i was at this whole running/walking combo.
  • i liked it. a lot.
  • running slow is not a bad thing. in fact, i am beginning to think that it’s the only way i’ll be able to build up my endurance.
  • my neighborhood is actually fairly conducive to running.  i wasn’t the least bit nervous, scared, or inclined to trip.
  • i need a new ipod holder. the bra isn’t really working well.

this was a very productive day, and i’m proud of myself. even if it’s only 20 minutes a few days a week (but let’s get real: exercise is like a drug. i’ll want more soon enough.), i will find time to take care of me.

it’s going to pay off.  i know it.  here’s hoping i can stick with it.

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selfish.

Posted in bff, family, friends, Life on August 28, 2009 by drbolte

coming out of the haze of the wedding and the honeymoon and all of the attention focused on me, i am feeling like i have been a bit of a selfish beast.  i have tried to not be one, to not go crazy and make the world miserable, but to a certain extent i feel like i have absolutely missed so much that’s been going on with other people.

how could i have not realized? how could i have not been more in tune?

i think this intersects with the realization, which often hits me like a large truck, about how generous people have been. we got a couple more wedding presents yesterday, and i just sort of sat there when we opened them, slackjawed and in shock.

people are so kind.  people have been so kind.  generosity just POURING out from sources far and wide.  dinner ready for us when we got back from our honeymoon, a day that was so exhausting even though all we did was go out to lunch with family and drive home.  i was so tired, and i didn’t have to do ANYTHING.  generous gifts from people who i know–i KNOW–struggle and are having a hard time.  it’s absolutely humbling and absolutely awesome.

and i absolutely have a hard time receiving.

to a certain extent, i think i got over it a bit when all of the hullabaloo was going on. it was like christmas or my birthday on steroids.  it was fun times to open all of the cards, it was fun times to open all of the gifts. it was fun to imagine where that things would go or what we could do with that.

but i think now that we’ve settled in, that i’ve had time to reflect, that the world has stopped (absolutely and completely) revolving around me and my stuff, i have realized just how much people have sacrificed to do for us what they have.  it’s hard for me sometimes.  maybe that makes me less of a developed person, but it’s much easier for me to give, or at least to feel like the proportion is almost equal, than to solely receive.

but solely receive is what i have done, and my reaction is one of all-encompassing gratitude and an almost overwhelming desire to be the one to do the same for others.  i have a ridiculous schedule, which perhaps in other times in my life might have made me feel like i didn’t have time to love the way i want to love and to appreciate the way i’d always hoped to appreciate the ones around me.

that’s crap. we always have time for what is most important to us.

thank you to those of you who have been the source of much of this giving. thank you for focusing on me and my joy and my crazy and for doing all that you have done to make my life so much better.

now it’s your turn.

what can i do?

home.

Posted in bff, domestic goddess, etcetera, faith is action, ghetto life, i love my life, Life, magic, superheckyes, the engaged life on August 3, 2009 by drbolte

when we saw the apartment for the first time, it was only for about 10 minutes–long enough to tour a 500 some-odd square foot apartment and to briefly talk to the tenant about utilities and such.

for the most part, it was a drive-thru tour, but it didn’t matter.

the minute we walked into it, we knew it was the one. it had an incredible vibe to us.  the bff and i both knew it–we just looked at each other and communicated, as we so often do, without speaking that this was the place.

that was the only time we saw it.  being occupied, as it was, there was no real chance to go back, take measurements, make plans. the mental picture was all we had, and even that was somewhat hazy.

or so i thought.

i drove by a couple of times in the latter part of last week. the place was empty by thursday, and so on friday i drove by again, looking in the windows, noticing that the outdoors looks sad and needs some tlc.  i thought the living room looked bigger than i imagined it. in general, i just kept trying to see if the snapshot in my mind was true of reality.

when we arrived on saturday, after what can only be described as a miraculous weekend of moving*, and opened the door to our first apartment, the same vibe was there.  the spirit that’s here is so amazing.  i don’t think i’ve ever felt anything like it.

i’ve moved several times. i’ve lived in lots of different apartments, between moving with mom before she bought the house and moving during my very long college career.  usually, it takes time to feel at home. usually, you have to grow into a place.

that is not the case here.

i’ve never felt so absolutely suited to a place, and like the place is absolutely suited to us.  everything fits.  it fits us. our things fit into it.  we love it. completely.

and i think i love it more because of its flaws.  it’s this lovely diamond in the rough.  the closets are fantastically huge and there are shelves for miles, but the metal bifold doors are a bit wonky and tempermental.  the kitchen has one million tall cabinets, but the stove is probably older than me and probably hasn’t seen a decent cleaning since i was in elementary school.  the living room is much bigger than i thought it was, but the deadbolt is seriously screwed up and there’s this strange spot near the door where i think the rain might leak in (see earlier comment about the deadbolt).  we have a mailbox that’s a real mailbox and a trash can that’s a real trash can and the beginnings of our very first home.

i am in love with this life. i am in love with this place. i am in love with this time, when i feel absolutely and one hundred percent the confirmation of the Spirit that the decisions we are making are right and true and when the pieces are falling into place in the most beautiful ways.

i’m not sure i ever really imagined what my life would be like as a married person.  yesterday, when i spent the whole day with the bff in our new house, cooking dinner, unpacking the kitchen (in order to cook said dinner), talking to my mom on the phone with him next to me, playing monopoly for hours, i realized that i really love it.

it’s nothing whatsoever like i would have expected.

it’s better.  so, so, so much better.

and i’m not even married yet.

*the two of us packed an entire van full of my stuff, got rid of truckfuls of stuff, and kept going for 8 hours straight…on friday. then we got up and did it all again–but kept going for probably 12 hours that day. and we didn’t fight, squabble, bicker, or get upset with each other once.

i swear.

the miracle of that isn’t that it’s unusual. it’s that it’s not.  we are the best team ever.

and that’s just the start of the miracles.  rain held off. things got done. keys were turned in on time.  keys were picked up on time. utility confirmations were gotten. in short, every worry that i had was eased, every problem solved, every minor glitch dealt with quickly and with cheerfulness.

i actually had a good time moving.  my feet STILL hurt and i am bruised like someone beat me with an ugly stick, but it was incredible. i am ridiculously grateful.

i’ll admit it. maybe i’ll be the only one who will.

Posted in celebrities, Life, the internets on June 25, 2009 by drbolte

you can call me callous if you want.

i’m more saddened by the death of farrah fawcett than i am by michael jackson. perhaps it is the 24-7 news world that we live in, aided by facebook (on a lark, i decided to see how many of my friends had updated their statuses about mj…the answer? MANY.), twitter, eonline, and a whole host of others, but i am no longer really surprised by sudden things like this. heath ledger perhaps did me in.

(of course, i’ll date myself, but i remember princess diana and gianni versace…and the oj chase…so i feel like i’ve seen it all evolve.)

i suppose i feel like both of these tragic souls deserved some peace.  i hope they find some.

but really, and i feel like a jerk for admitting this, but one of my primary thoughts (after the “seriously?”) was this: can i still play thriller at my reception, or is that going to be morbid?

i may, in fact, be a horrible person. but seriously?

life goes on.

have you left me?

Posted in bff, family, forward my mail, Life, me, my amazing mother, superheckyes, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL on June 17, 2009 by drbolte

…or are you just melting somewhere in the death hot?

my main goal every single day lately is to stay alive in this heat and to stay hydrated at the same time. it takes effort, i want to tell you.

i’m off to nc tomorrow morning to spend a week with my family. it will be wedding preparationspalooza, with a side of going to the apple store and forcing them to replace my shorted out power cord and some time spent at the gym and blissfully asleep in the seriously air conditioned house, hopefully with a cat or two by my side. i feel like naps are definitely going to be in order.

i’m very excited. i don’t think i’ve been this excited to go anywhere for a while, and that makes me very happy. i can already feel the weight of stress leaving me.

changes of scene are good.

the bff is not so excited to see me leave, for which i feel a bit guilty.  i will miss him, of course, but i am thrilled to be able to go hang out and get taken care of by my mama.

i need it. i’m not ashamed to admit that at all.

the bff will be here, finishing classes and working at a new job and probably playing a lot of ncaa football 2009 and (i hope) doing fun things with his friends too.  i am hoping he will catch up on his sleep as well. and i am really hoping he will eat while i’m gone.

(i feed him a lot.)

come what may, it will be good. when i return, i will return to my first bridal shower and the start of the summer class that i will be teaching up until the wedding and the sprint to the finish.

the finish, of course, being the absolute bliss and blessing of starting our lives together.

i’m not sure if i’ll blog this week. i imagine i might, but i’m not sure. so keep me on your readers and i’ll pop back in when i’m back, when my computer is fixed, and with heaps of updates on lacy, frilly, pearly, gorgeous things i bought and fun times i had.

it will be good.

take care of yourselves and each other in the meantime. and drink some water, will you please? it’s hot out there.

unfriend.

Posted in etcetera, facebook is the new crack, faith is action, huh?, Life, me, the internets on June 10, 2009 by drbolte

tired of the masses of people that i haven’t met/talked to/seen/heard from/corresponded with in ages and ages, and for whom i feel no real affection if i am to be truly honest, that populated my facebook friends list, i went on an unfriending spree last night.

but it really started with my  desire to unfriend, once and for all, my ex.

there’s no drama as there was the last time i unfriended him. i have just felt uncomfortable with the idea that, whenever he wants to, he can just pop back into my life via facebook. when that happens, it catches me off-guard and i feel glimmers of the girl i was circa fall 2007.

in case you’re not keeping track at home, i am REALLY not that girl anymore.

i didn’t like it and here’s the straight up truth: we weren’t going to be friends.

since the bff and i started dating, i had pretty much cut off all contact with the ex.  we had been, prior to the bff coming home, exchanging messages weekly. the ex is on a mission too, far far away in the far far east, and i was trying to be supportive and friend-like.  for a while, it was fine. we were friends, i suppose, in the way that we ever really were friends which by comparison with my other friendships remained strikingly shallow.  in parable metaphor, our friendship consisted of seeds sown in the heat of the day.  it worked, but only briefly.

once the bff came back and things started happening as they were meant to happen, thoughts of the ex quickly left my mind–friendship or whatever it was–and he became, as he was meant to be, a distant memory. except when he would pop back in and i would be jarred backward.  it felt wrong.  the bff doesn’t like him, doesn’t trust him, because of how things went down.  i think i probably understand better why things happened the way they happened, but i realized last night, as i considered whether or not to unfriend him, that we were really never going to be friends again–or perhaps it’s better to say that i didn’t ever want to be friends again.

for a while i thought that that was a character flaw of mine–to not be able to redefine the relationship once it changed. last night, i began to think that perhaps it is a strength to be able to see when something is done and to let go of it with grace.  i have always hated the part of me that held on too tight when something had clearly run its course. perhaps that part of me, like so many others of late, has changed.

i sent the ex a message, lest he think i was bitter, to explain my reason for unfriending him, to thank him for the blessing of his friendship so many moons ago, and to wish him all good things. i have been on the receiving end of unfriending of late and, if it is done without any real warning, it can be interpreted lots of ways. i really didn’t want that to happen.

i did know, though, that by doing so i was opening the door a crack. i erred on the side of kindness.

he replied tonight by sort of questioning my reasoning for unfriending him, seemingly halfheartedly wishing me good luck, and then telling me that he still wears the ring that i gave him (it was mine, it was a guy’s ring anyways, it was too big, he liked it, i told him he could have it, blah blah blah).

what do you do with that?

i’ll tell you what i did.

i deleted the message.

i recognized the guilt trip implicit in it (something i perhaps should have been expecting).

i let it get to me for a few minutes and then  i gave the bff the readers digest version of the whole thing and realized that this is exactly why i made the right decision.

i shrugged and moved on.

i feel inclined, right now, to move on from lots of things.  this one? i think this one was important.  far more than being about an ex, i think this one was about me recognizing that the choices i make for myself, as long as they are not intentionally harming others, are valid. i think this one was about stepping up and unapologetically claiming what i want.

this one was good.

i’ll admit it. it’s beginning to get to me.

Posted in bff, bridal diaries, dissertation, drama drama drama, etcetera, i love my life, i promise you that you won't care, Life, me, mirror mirror on the wall, sigh, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, wish i may wish i might on June 3, 2009 by drbolte

last night, while i was sitting in institute, i realized that i have about zero weekends between now and the wedding that are not already planned/carved out/offer no opportunities for relaxation or beach trips.

this weekend: friend of bff’s visits, i meet for the first time despite having an email/facebook/texting relationship. i will be cleaning. also, one of my roommates is moving out for reals (i.e. she’s been gone for a while, but her furniture’s still there, so…she’s really leaving this weekend.  so…there’s that.

next weekend: otown for bridal gown bolero shopping/measurements/planning. take dress to be altered. father’s day.

weekend after that: in NC (finally! i haven’t been home since march and not since i was officially engaged) with mom, doing all sorts of wedding stuff that will hopefully alleviate some stress but is likely to be jampacked with wedding stuff, including meeting with my NC bridesmaids to talk dresses and jewelry and squee a little and my bridesmaid/photographer to talk shot lists and to get her what she needs.

weekend after that: my first shower in otown, filled with people i don’t really know yet very well. note: this is the weekend before i begin teaching my summer class(es).

weekend after that: 4th of July. i’m guessing we’ll be up north frolicking on the boat with the bff’s family. sounds like restfulness, but it’s still somewhere to be on my best behavior. depending on the teaching schedule, i may or may not bow out of this. however, i get friday off…so maybe it won’t be so bad.

weekend after that: my NC shower. i fly out on friday night, attend the shower on saturday late morning (which i’m REALLY excited about), fly out on sunday afternoon.

weekend after that: my gville shower on friday night (aka girls night…). saturday i have free, but will likely collapse. or, don’t forget, that i’ll be teaching, so i’ll probably be grading grading grading grading.

weekend after that: the weekend before i move, aka the packing weekend. i very much doubt i’ll get much done before that.

weekend after that: we move all of our stuff into our new apartment. as of right now, me and my stuff will be homeless for about 2 1/2 days.  i’m hoping to use my considerable powers of persuasion to convince the apartment complex to let me stay. we’ll see how that flies. but i will take up residence in our new place that day, and the bff will stay at his place until we’re married.

weekend after that: WEDDING!

this sounds like complaining, doesn’t it.  i’m not complaining.  i’m just…absolutely overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.  my attitude used to be to chuckle and say WHOOO! when i talked about how crazy things were going to be.  but i’m tired already, and i think it’s simply the weight of everything that stands between now and august 8th.

i have classes to plan for that i haven’t even started, really, other than constructing a syllabus. i have an online gig that i have to finish. i have to find out if i’ll be teaching another upper-division class in the fall and, if so, i’ve got to plan that deal because i sincerely doubt that they’re going to let me not have a syllabus to them as it gets to be a month or so before classes begin. i have a room to pack and, what’s more, i have TONS of crap to wade through and get rid of.

(luckily, mom is doing a yard sale in NC when i’m there the first time, so i’ll be hauling copious amounts of stuff up there to see if i can sell it. if not, it will go to goodwill there and i will be done with it. but when will i have time to gather all of that stuff together?)

and let’s not even talk about the dissertation, which i haven’t touched in a month. at all.

this all sounds like complaining still.  like everyone doesn’t have a busy life.

i know.

i’m venting.

it’s my blog. it’s where i do such things.

but…how? how do i do it all? the bff, oh how i love him, says i can do anything and, thus, i can do everything.  i adore him for thinking that, but i want to know HOW.  how can i do it all?  how can i get everything done?

it seems impossible.  truly.

and how do i keep my wits about me when all the world is losing theirs?

oh, let’s face it…when i’m losing mine?

suggestions? is this normal? am i a bridezilla?

i think i have lost all perspective.