The 2-Ton Page

I’m trying to turn a new page on things in my life.  At the moment, I picture myself struggling in that endeavor, stooped over a book on the floor, with both hands pulling at the corner of that page – trying with all my might to turn it.  No matter how hard I try, the page doesn’t budge.  I strain every muscle, from the tips of my fingers, into my hands, through my arms, into my shoulders, down my back, pulling and pulling.  My feet are firmly planted, my legs locked in an effort to garner some sort of leverage.  Still nothing.

I work myself into exhaustion.  Do I give up?  Do I keep pushing through?  The little voice in the back of my head tells me to keep pulling.  By putting everything I have into the effort, I will eventually get the page to move.  The first time I give up, is when it would have taken one more pull, from the depths of my soul, to get it to move.  Isn’t that the way it always goes?

So, I keep pulling.  And, pulling.  And, pulling.

It’s Go Time

Today I restarted my weight loss plan.  I’ve put on more weight than I want to even think about over the last month.  Today, I started back to the no sugar, no carbs plan that was really successful earlier this year in helping me drop over twenty pounds.

And, I’m not a fan of it.

Do you know how difficult it is to adhere to a diet plan when you’re traveling?  No carbs means no bread.  And, you can’t exactly order an MTO hoagie without bread.  (Seriously, I tried it at Sheetz.  There wasn’t an option.)

So, I opted for a pre-packed thing of veggies.  I supplemented that with some pepperoni to add some protein.  And, I got a GIANT bottle of water.

And, I realize I’m likely going to be miserable (primarily from the cold-turkey caffeine withdrawal) until I get things more straightened out and get back into the swing of how happy I was when I originally did this a few months ago.

Sleep? Who Needs Sleep?

The answer to that question is ZOMG I NEED ALL THE SLEEP!

As previously indicated, yesterday I ventured out for a roadtrip to Cleveland.  Average drive time from the ‘Burgh to Cleveland is, give or take, about two hours.  When one of our roadtrippers lives in California, Pennsylvania, it added a wee bit more time to that leg of the trip.  Pittsburgh to California is about an hour.  California to Cleveland required a little bit of backtracking, and took about three hours.  Our two-hour drive turned into a four-hour drive.  But, it was okay.  It just meant more time for roadtrip shenanigans.  And, oh there were definitely shenanigans.

So, the show we were going to see was the AIW anniversary show in Cleveland.  Despite the cramped seating and lack of air at the venue, the show was pretty damn good.  It was my first show for that fed, but I knew some of the talent from working with other wrestling feds in the area.  It was nice seeing what they’re all up to.

The show itself started about an hour late.  (Not surprising.  It was, after all, indy wrestling time.)  It wrapped up after midnight, and we of course had to stop for our traditional post-show Denny’s,  I’m not at all familiar with the Cleveland area.  Unlike Pittsburgh, there aren’t multiple Denny’s restaurants scattered throughout various parts of the city.  Our map showed us one option.

Hopping on the roadways in Cleveland is akin to roadway roulette.  The one exit our GPS was telling us to take was confused with a different roadway because it wasn’t clearly marked.  Once we got straightened back out, it turns out the exit off that route was actually closed for construction – without a clear delineation for a detour.  Soooo, back to the GPS.  The third time was a charm.  We finally found our way successfully to Denny’s.

After our bellies were full, we piled back in the car to start the return trek home.

I drove the entire way.  Sorg offered to take over at one point, but I was on my second, or third, or fourth wind – so I kept going.  I drove the entire trip, to Cleveland, back to California, and finally back home.

Our trip lasted a whopping sixteen hours from start to finish.  It was when I finally walked in the door back home, after the sun had risen on a new day, that I realized just how tired I was.  I crawled into bed, hugged my pillow and my cat (only because he wouldn’t leave me alone and kept rubbing his face against my mine) and passed out in a matter of minutes.

And, it was glorious.

Short, Short Week

I was off work Monday and Tuesday as I was wrapping up the remainder of my vacation time in California.  I was at the office Wednesday and Thursday.  And, today wound up being a half day as I left early to head to a show in Cleveland.

Part of me feels guilty about leaving work.  But, that part is definitely a minority.  I’m looking forward to some time in the car, jamming some tunes, and just kicking back with some friends.  It’s going to be great to reconnect on the homefront following my brief hiatus.

How to Keep Moving

I had all sorts of motivation while I was away.  I put together a list of things to do, a plan, building blocks to reach goals.  I set out with a to-do list.  I actually did a couple of things on that to-do list.

And, then it stalled.

want to do what I set out to do.  I want to achieve the goals I’ve set.

So, how do you move beyond the fizzle?  How do you respark that flame and keep moving forward?

If I had a magic answer to that question, believe me – I would share it.  Unfortunately, I’m like the majority of folks out there.  I try something.  If it works, I keep it up.  If it doesn’t work, I make some changes.  Sometimes it’s just a a few tweaks.  Other times, I scrap the idea and move on to something else.

What works for me is to generally abide by lists.  That way, I can literally check items off when I complete them.  If something requires multiple phases or subparts, I will subcategorize my list for those particular items.  As I finish each subcategorized item, I check them off.  Once the category is completed, I check off the main heading and continue down my list.

So why have I stalled?  Why can’t I seem to get things moving again?

I honestly think I have too many things going on at the moment.  I have so many awesome things I’m trying to do, that the new things I’m trying to create are sitting on the back burner and keep adding to my burnout.

So now what?

Now, I take a look at everything I’m doing.  I will prioritize those items into their own checklists and work through them the same way I work through everything else.

Post-Vacation Reality Check

We’ve all experienced the reality check coming back from vacation.  While on vacation, there are no cares in the world!  The world is your own little magical snow globe.

But, then the abrupt brakes hit the moment you step foot in the office.  Recovering from the whiplash, I found my way through the backlog of e-mails and back into the routine.  It was like I never even left.

I’m just a little sleepier after my midnight arrival at the airport.  That’s all.

Back to Reality

I’m writing this post mid flight on my way back to Pittsburgh.  Between screaming babies (I swear there are a dozen of them – and they’re all within a 2-3 row distance from me) and the fact that today has been an extremely long one, I figured writing would give me a chance to escape into my thoughts for the next hour or so.  (I’m not even going to get into the dozen or so screaming babies that are on this flight due in to PGH at almost midnight tonight.  Seriously parents, why would you travel this late in the day with your very young, very tired, and very cranky kiddos?)

As indicated, I’m on my way back to Pittsburgh – after about a week away in sunny California.  My batteries aren’t quite as recharged as I had hoped they would be.  But, they’ll get me a little further than I’ve been running for the past month or two.  I will once again set my alarm tomorrow morning.  I will wake up and get back into my morning routine.  I will go to work.  I will put in my 8 hours.  I will come home.

It’s when I get home that things will be a little different.  I have a plan to break my mold and get me out of the rut I’ve found myself in.  I have a grand scheme to distort and redefine my reality.

Let Me Count The Ways

We are all (generally) aware of the sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

While Browning’s words are nice, they’re her words.  My husband recently sent me a text message, simply stating “Thought experiment: Why do  you stick with me?”

I almost responded with a smart remark like, “I’m not with you now, I’m across the country,” or “Because I lost that bet, and am true to my word.”  Instead, I figured it would give me some good fodder to write something.  (Especially because the text I started to write in response was quickly becoming e-mail length and growing.)

In response to my husband:

I love your creative spark, and the light in your eyes from it when you have a new idea to build your media empire.  I love your dedication, not only to me, but to all that you do – even when I question your dedication to certain clients or projects, you maintain your loyalty to them.  Although you are self-conscious of it, I love that little spot on your chin where you can’t grow a beard.  It’s a soft part of your face I can snuggle my forehead against without having to deal with stubble burn.  I love that you are the most gentle of giants, but that that gentle demeanor can turn to a hulk to stand in protection if anyone threatens those that you love.  I love that you always push me to do things I normally wouldn’t do, and that you have challenged me to push my own boundaries.  I love that when I’m with you I feel that the world around me disappears and I can spend, if even just briefly, that moment with you and only you.  I love how you hold me in the crook of your arm while you read graphic novels on your tablet and I drift off to sleep.  I love you, not because of one or two little things, but for all that you are.

On Top of the World

Mom and Dad took me out for a drive to Mt. Diablo today.

a)  The drive was really nice.

b)  The view was AMAZING.

Mt. Diablo is a little over an hour away from where I’m staying while I’m out here.  It’s somewhere my parents have wanted to take me, but winter (which is when I’ve visited in the past) isn’t the best time for a treacherous mountain climb.  We packed into the car and headed out.  Shortly after reaching the highway, Mt. Diablo is viewable across the horizon.  Although it stands looming in the distance for most of the drive, it is impressively looming once we’re at the base and climbing along the winding roadway to the top.

OBSERVATION 1:  The road is rather harrowing.  There is no shoulder for most of the climb.  If you drift off the roadway, you’re dropping off the edge.  Period.

OBSERVATION 2:  Cyclists are CRAZY.  (See below for a little more explanation on that part.)

Back to the winding roadway…Literally, winding – weaving back and forth around the mountain.  It was intertwined with walking trails and horseback trails.  We occasionally came across a hiker or two throughout our 13+ mile trek to the top.  Mt. Diablo is, in addition to being a mountain (volcano if we’re being literal), a national park.  It is a notable touristy place for visitors.  It is also apparently a mecca of sorts for cyclists – as in cyclists pedal themselves from the base of the mountain to the very tippy top.  To put it into perspective, we were passing a ton of people on bicycles on our way to the summit.  People.  On bicycles.  Pedaling 13+ miles.  To the top of a 3500+ feet elevation increase from the base of the mountain.  (See why I called them crazy?)

When we reached the top, I couldn’t believe the view.  It was comparable to the view from my flight when I was coming into town.  I could see a variety of towns sprinkled along the valley below.  I could see San Francisco off into the distance.  I could even see part of the Golden Gate Bridge through the fog on the Bay.  I could see vineyards on the hillsides.  I could see just about everything.

Mt. Diablo

And, it was beautiful.

Happy Birthday ‘Murica (And, Thank You)

It’s the Fourth of July.  I don’t say it enough, but I am grateful for our service men and women – the people who put their lives on the line to preserve the freedoms so many Americans take for granted every day.  Truthfully, I recently saw (for probably the 50th time) a Facebook meme with an American flag and the phrase “The American flag does not fly because the wind moves past it…..The American flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died serving it,” written across it.

It makes my heart swell knowing that I can spend the day enjoying time with my family, barbecuing, swimming, and watching fireworks.  With all the bickering back and forth recently over whether gay marriage is right or wrong, or whether a Civil War flag is right or wrong, I think we should all take a step back, at least for the moment, and be grateful to those who gave their lives and continue to dedicate themselves so that we can express those very opinions.  There are plenty of other people in the world who are unable to enjoy what we take for granted.