Archive for the the joys of living in Florida 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.

Advertisements

the days are just packed.

Posted in bridal diaries, domestic goddess, forward my mail, going quietly mad, me, perfect brightness of hope, the engaged life, the glass is half FULL, the joys of living in Florida on July 30, 2009 by drbolte

today we got our marriage license.

as we were sitting there, signing documents and giving social security numbers and attesting to the accuracy of the information we had provided by raising our right hand and swearing that it was all true, i realized that this is the one time i’ll do that.

that was cool.

tomorrow marks the beginning of the big move. because of a series of what can only be described as hilarious timing debacles, i have to turn in my keys for this apartment by noon and can only pick up the keys to the new place at noon. so we’ll be loading all of my earthly possessions, save a few essentials and my mattress, into a uhaul cargo van tomorrow night.

i had been a bit worried about the move. there’s nothing like smashed toes and heavy boxes to bring out the very best of your personality, you know? but we had a heap of stuff to take to goodwill today, in the death humid hot, and we did it cheerfully.  my beloved bff doesn’t even seem to mind my procrastination or my need to do things my way and in my timeframe.  in fact, he seems to understand it and quickly falls into whatever helpful role i need him to fill.

it’s been wonderful.

i opened my wedding dress garment bag last night and saw, right before my eyes on the bodice, a small stain. the stain saga with my dress has thus far been confined to the sash, which is a really long story not worth rehashing because my future mil picked it up and said it’s perfect now, but now apparently there is one on the bodice of my perfectly white dress.  it’s smaller than a pencil eraser and is tan, not black or red or anything absurd. it would probably not even be noticeable.

but i noticed.

and i cried.  in fact, if i have cried hard about anything related to problems, stress, and misunderstandings related to the wedding, it was this. as the bff held me and i cried for my two minute freakout, i said “i just wanted one thing to be perfect–and it was my dress.”

you well know that i am trying very hard not to sweat the small stuff about the wedding.  but i wanted my dress to be perfect–at least for those initial moments that he sees me, that we take pictures, that we bask in the fact that we are now married forever and for always, no ifs ands or buts.  i don’t care about much anything else. if it rains, okay. we’ll figure it out.  if something goes wrong with the sound system, we’ll figure it out.  if the cupcakes are hideous, we’ll figure it out.

but my dress. ohmydress.

so i freaked out a little bit. he let me. and then he told me that he was absolutely sure that i was going to be exquisitely gorgeous and that we’d figure it out.  he’s right about the last part. mom comes on tuesday, i talk to her on sunday, and we’ll figure out what i should do.

or maybe i’ll just forget about it and realize that it, like me, is a bit flawed but nonetheless perfect for him and for that day.

i wanted to write a deep post about leaving and moving on and the strangeness of a house that is now in transition, about going by the new apartment and seeing that it’s empty and beginning to picture us there and thoughts of flower boxes and decorating, about moving on and moving out and moving closer to the rest of my life, about how strange it will be to be the last one in my apartment, the last night of my old life essentially, about how awed i am by the generosity of people i don’t even know, about how all of my fears are systematically being eliminated because of faith exercised so often and begun so long ago that it is now as familiar and subtly essential as breath.

but i can’t really do that yet.  maybe when i’m sitting in an entirely empty apartment, those thoughts will coherently come to me.  but right now, like the rest of my house, they are sitting in heaps and piles, to be sifted through and organized.

so much is happening. so fast.  and yet the miracle is that time has slowed just enough for me to do an insanely ridiculous amount of work in a short, short time.  but the true miracle is that i am recognizing all of the big stuff amid the petty chaos.

the five things that i don’t like about teaching in summer. and their upsides.

Posted in books are bliss, drama drama drama, me, teaching, the joys of living in Florida, will work for food on June 29, 2009 by drbolte

1. the blinding, pit-soaking heat.

i’m really sorry if that’s too much information, but it’s the honest truth. i have to mop myself up before going to class. and that’s just with a 7 or so minute walk across campus. at 11 a.m.  i love florida summers, she says to herself.

upside: it’s training me (and my sweat glands) for august 8th, when i’ll be all decked out in satin and crinoline and hairspray, taking pictures.  at 11 a.m.

2. the blank stares of students on the first day of classes, when they stare at you as if you have the answers to all of life’s problems. or at least like they’re a tiny bit afraid of what you’ll do to them.

upside: when they laugh for the first time? it’s like a zing of success. i love watching them visibly relax when they realize that i am not in fact satan.

3. how hard it is to fill time in a 75 minute class. you can either plan for 50 minutes or you can plan for 90 minutes. i find it incredibly difficult, especially EVERY SINGLE DAY, to fill 75 minutes. i was rather surprised at how quickly i got through what i had planned for the first day. my syllabus schpeel? took like 4 minutes.  hello speed talker.

upside: i am not a clock watcher, so i go with the flow.  we’ll probably always get out a bit early. they’ll love me for that.

4. needy students with complicated questions. class hadn’t even started when i got an email from a student.  then i had two fairly complex issues to deal with straightaway after class ended.  yeesh.

upside: i am apparently approachable.  that’s not a bad thing.

5. the panic i genuinely feel when i start reading a novel and wonder how on earth i am going to find anything of substance to say. i have read jane austen’s persuasion probably at least six times, conservatively, at this point.  i know the novel backwards and forwards. i still find new and interesting things in it, but i am sometimes awash in panic that i am either going to come up with topics too mundane to suit the needs of a 3000 level literature class or too obscure to suit anyone but a phd teaching one of the novels in her dissertation.

i really do worry about this stuff.

upside: it makes me a better teacher, i suppose. and usually about the time that the panic starts to set in, the ideas start to trickle in. i’ve been scribbling them down on the title page in yellow highlighter the whole time i’ve been reading. i think it’s a hodge-podge of simplistic and profound.  i guess that’s pretty good.

at least i’m not depending on them to guide the class.  although they’re supposed to…

we’ll see how it goes.

i’m rather tired already.

hello goodbye.

Posted in bridal diaries, etcetera, faith is action, i love my life, the engaged life, the joys of living in Florida on April 27, 2009 by drbolte

so i’ve lived here for almost five years.

let’s all stop and go WOAH, shall we?

because in that five years many many many things have changed.  i have changed.  the world has changed. but mainly, i have changed. and since this is my blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about that a time or two. i don’t really think you can go through the phd process and lose 130 pounds and find the love of your life, hope he really is the love of your life, keep hoping for a long time while dating people who weren’t the love of your life, and then see all of your dreams come true without changing a little bit.

unless you’re deeply unselfaware or perfect.  and i am neither so there you go.

but it’s almost may. and here in gville, that means it’s graduation time.  and unlike a lot of the other mays that i’ve been in gville, this may brings with it a nearly stunning exodus of many of the people who have populated my stage for so many years. both of my roommates are graduating.  a bunch of the people that i genuinely like are leaving. it’s a strange, strange feeling.

because, actually, i’m kind of graduating too.

in my church, we have congregations solely comprised of young single adults. while i have been a trifle bit beyond the age ceiling of that designation for a while now (but i was leaving anyway, so i stuck around), they serve single adults from 18 to 30 and are an awesome way to be able to meet people who are in similar circumstances to you. once you get married or get too old for the congregation, you move on to more traditional ward (that’s what we call the congregations).  i have loved my ward and have really seen it change a lot over the years.

there’s nothing wrong with change.  i like the ebb and flow of it.  new people come in, people get married and move on to exciting new things.

but this time, somehow it’s different. i feel a little bit of sadness to see all of these people move on, even though i know that i too will be starting a life entirely different from the one that i have known for so long.  i know these things. i am excited for these changes.  i am not scared about getting married, not really very nervous about the changes that it will bring.

maybe, though, somewhere deep in my heart, doors are closing. they should be. it’s natural. but i always have these moments when, faced with a future i’m not familiar with and a past that i am, i look back with a hint of nostalgia at what i’m leaving behind.  i always do.

my apartment will be packed up.  one roommate is almost gone, the other will be about a week before i move.  girls that i have taken under my wing are now flying away, off to start their amazing lives.

and i am getting married.

i am very grateful for all of the people who have made my life in gville so much awesome.  i am grateful that some of them will still be around, that i will get to make new friends (probably “couple” friends…weird…), that i will have a new life that i’ve only ever dreamed of.

with all of this, i guess i say goodbye to my old life and hello to my new one.  in really concrete tangible ways which are only now starting to feel very real, as i contemplate what to move and what not to move and begin to prepare for my summer jobs.

that’s weird and awesome and mindboggling and sad…all at the same time.

insert appropriate title here, because dangit…i’m too tired.

Posted in bff, disney princesses got nothin' on me, domestic goddess, faith is action, family, forward my mail, i love my life, Life, me, the joys of living in Florida on March 16, 2009 by drbolte

what’d i do over the past week and a half? lemme break it down for y’all.

(and, yeah, some of it was countryfied. but wait for it. that’s when it gets good.)

  • went to a wedding in miami at the ritziest hotel i’ve ever been to…and realized that ritzy weddings and places just really creep me out. i am, as i told the bff, a jeans and flip flops girl. having a carving station and a pasta chef on hand during your COCKTAIL HOUR? wayyyyy over the top.
  • that said, i realized that i really do love weddings.  i just love temple weddings more.
  • won over the bff’s aunt in a BIG way (she said to the bff, and i quote but only secondhand because obviously i wasn’t there because how creeptastic would THAT be?, “so…your girl…i REALLY like her.” FOR.THE.WIN.  doesn’t suck that i totally loved her too.
  • wore my new outfit which was super sassy and managed to keep my lipstick on all night (thank you longlasting lipstick and that i finally figured out how to actually MAKE it longlasting).
  • got like three hours of sleep and then drove for 11 hours. and by drove, i mean intended to drive but almost killed us in georgia so only drove for one of those eleven hours because the bff is one hundred percent a prince among men. and i was dead on my feet.
  • spent sunday night through friday morning in nc.  went to grandfather mountain for the day on wednesday. but basically just spent every waking moment with the bff…and we didn’t even get tired of each other.  that’s amazing right there.
  • played wii for the first time. results? i SUCK at tennis. i WIN at boxing. knocked my cousin out. tko. take that, sucka.
  • i now very very very much want one. and a wii fit. because boxing? made me feel my arm muscles the next day. because i actually box.  and it’s actually hecka fun.
  • went to keaton beach on friday, after stopping in gainesville only long enough to shower and get ready to see the bff’s family again.
  • on saturday, i did the following things for the first time: participated in a hunt (didn’t shoot anything, but helped put out the quail for the hunt); watched quail being cleaned and wasn’t even the least bit grossed out (even though the guy who was cleaning them literally stopped and was going to wait for me to pass by because he thought that i would be grossed out.  what’d i do instead? watched him do it for like ten minutes. oddly fascinating, i think.  judge me if you must.); fished in the Gulf of Mexico (according to the bff, i’m pretty good) and caught a blowfish, which we promptly threw back, and part of an oyster bed, which i will bleach and keep as a memento of my awesome); rode on a fourwheeler (wow, was that awesome let me just tell you); DROVE a fourwheeler (got up to 43 mph thankyouverymuch).

other things happened and are happening and i really do want to talk about them but i can’t just yet which i know just makes you want to punch me in the face but i just can’t yet.

suffice it to say that it was an amazing spring break, full of big and small blessings on my right hand and on my left, and i’m sad to see it end.

real life sucks, but it’s here.

so i go grocery shopping and i try to recover from what is either the beginnings of a sickness or a serious reaction to the yellow coating of pollen that is covering every surface i encounter and i look for apartments for the fall and i apply for jobs and i try to figure out how everything will get done and i pray for strength and in the meantime i am so blessed that it’s not even funny.

i’ll never be able to show enough gratitude. i know it.

maybe knowing it is enough?

i had a plan when i started this post. i promise.

Posted in bff, etcetera, faith is action, friends, going quietly mad, i love my life, Life, me, sigh, teaching, the glass is half FULL, the joys of living in Florida on February 27, 2009 by drbolte

i wonder if, from the outside, it would look like a giant step backward for me to go back to teaching middle school.

i think it’s almost hilarious that i want a job in a charter school teaching 8th grade english so bad.  i ran away from those kids just a few years ago. Now i want to go back…just about the time that all of my past students are old enough to be students of mine now–in college.

sigh. i’m old.

i’ve been thinking about the way a changing life changes your priorities. i used to have ambitions of tenured professorship. i always knew, though, that it wasn’t the position i loved–it was the job. teaching. i really love to teach in whatever venue i get to do it.  i love it.  i’m good at it.  i love making a difference. now my dreams are much different. i want a job that will allow me to do what i love while striving to achieve goals.  i just really don’t care much at all about prestige.  or even money, really. all i want is sufficient for any needs.  i want enough to build the life that i want–and that has nothing whatsoever to do with money.

i used to be a social butterfly. i used to be the one who made things happen, who created the fun, who had lots of friends. now i feel like my group is changing, shrinking–as if the sifting has begun and the notable few who love me no matter who i am dating or what i am doing have risen to the top and the others have sort of…fallen by the wayside.

thank you to those of you who are still around and who act now like you always did.

i would like to say i don’t care.  it’s not that i particularly do…just that i don’t understand it and sheepishly wonder if i did the same as a single person.  i feel like this topic is a post that i’m not sure that i’ll write.  i think a few of you will understand, though. if you do, message me (lindzml…i’m actually thinking of you…but anyone is good).  what do you do when this happens?  i feel like i should feel guilty, like i should chase after those people who seem to have left me behind. but the reality is that i have left a lot of my old life behind in favor of a new one that is certainly different but is absolutely right.  am i being selfish?

i don’t feel like i am.  i don’t feel like i am any different, except that my focus has shifted.

but i feel a little fracture in my heart that the people that i thought would be my friends always, who i thought would be actually happy for me, have not been that way.  how it seems like when i am with the bff, i am invisible to them.  i get at once sad and angry.  and then i think…maybe it’s for a purpose. maybe it’s all part of the natural course of things.  i am moving on.  that must be apparent.

(apparently, most things about how completely and totally nuts in love i am with the bff is communicated via metaphorical  surround sound to those around us…even though we think we’re the only ones who know and sort of try to not be all HEY LOOK AT US WE’RE IN LOOOOOVVVVVEEEE around other people.  except in my house. because that’s my house and oh well.)

but it’s still sad.  and annoying.  and i’m not really sure there’s anything to do. i know that there’s a time and a season for all things, and i am on board with that. i think i am seeing that in action right now.  but it’s still hard to realize that when one season begins, the other ends.  i think i’m in the overlapping period, that time when the chill of winter still remains but spring has pretty much taken hold.

i guess i never really expected to miss winter.

updates.

Posted in bff, c, dissertation, etcetera, family, grrrrr., me, mirror mirror on the wall, my amazing mother, oh so very random, sigh, someday I'll be a real middle class girl, teaching, the joys of living in Florida, will work for food, you should really worship me on February 12, 2009 by drbolte

hi there.

i know, it’s been ages.  this week has flown by and with it, seemingly, anything interesting to say about my life. i’ve mainly just been trying to keep on keeping on.

but i have a few things to updated you on/vent about/describe. enjoy. (or don’t. some people don’t like these update-y posts. more power to you, but it’s what i’ve got.)

  • the toe.  still broken. turned an impressive shade of purple earlier in the week. i have yet to try to wear regular shoes, although the doc told me to wear more supportive shoes than flip flops. i’m having trouble understanding how that can happen since these allegedly more supportive shoes often require me to STUFF MY ENTIRE BROKEN FOOT (whatever. toe. i know. hyperbole.) INTO THE WHOLE THING.  that seems, i feel, counterproductive to the whole “i avoid pain” campaign.  (pain. campaign. ha. i’ll be here all week.) but as a result of walking strangely, hobbling, and trying to walk normally (these happen in succession usually and i’ll let you guess which one i do most often), the outside of my right leg (the one with the wounded wing) hurts. in a strange way. it feels strained or pulled or something. i’ve tried massage (well, i whined a lot and got the bff to rub it for me) and it didn’t really help.  i’ve tried ibuprofen. didn’t help.  so, yeah…the broken toe is SUCKAGE.
  • can’t work out really because of the toe. or, i should say, i’m afraid to try this week since it hasn’t even been a week and i really don’t want to screw it up even more than i have.  so i’ve been doing random things like crunches (which i’m actually sort of starting to feel, hallelujah) but those don’t give a good calorie burn (stupid. stupid. stupid.). but the result is that i’ve had to be SUPER self-disciplined with my eating in order to not dig myself into a hole that will freak me out and require massive amounts of effort to extract myself from.  so, the result is that i’m probably going to WAY slow down the progress, which is SO. FRUSTRATING., but…that’s life, right? you do what you can with what you’ve got.  pretty soon i’m going to try the stationary bike.  that can’t possibly hurt my foot, right?
  • actually wrote a page and a half of my dissertation chapter yesterday. in a relatively short amount of time (total actual writing time? like 45 minutes.  of course, i spent three hours doing other random crap on the internet, but let’s focus on the successes, shall we?).  this gives me hope, which anchors my soul.  i believe that i can actually accomplish this thing.
  • had an interview for an adjunct job on monday in jax.  i expected it to be one of those interviews where, you know, you try to sell them on you.  wrong. i walked in there (limped, probably, but that’s neither here nor there) and she basically already wanted to hire me and spent the next forty or so minutes convincing me that i wanted to work there–or at least telling me all of the things that i would be getting myself into.  it was a nice switch, let me tell you, from the solemn deathmarch that is the tenure track job market right now.   so…i’ll be working there in the late summer.  possibly in the fall as well.  and she mentioned the possibilities of visiting professor lines being opened up next year. so, there’s that. which leads me to my next point…
  • decided that i’m staying in florida for the timebeing. actually, probably for a long time.  i feel really good about this decision, which is completely opposite to what i thought i would do.  i feel like even if it means adjuncting for the rest of my life, cobbling together a living based on jobs here and there, the payoffs are definitely worth it.  some things are just more important, and i’ve always felt that way.  besides, i’m still not completely counting out high school.  that actually seems sort of fun to me. does that make me insane? maybe a little.
  • valentine’s day is coming up. i’m working on that project that i solicited help for. i’ve been told that i need to post the final playlist when it’s finished. i will, i promise.  i hope it’s good. your suggestions were WONDERFUL, and in some cases led me to other things which were amazing and perfect so…you all win. and hopefully i win with the bff too.
  • mom comes on sunday! YAY! she hasn’t been here in AGES…and she gets to meet (finally…) the bff.  despite us being best friends for nearly three years, she’s never met him.  it’s about time, eh?

that’s about all that’s going on in my life. what’s new in yours?