Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 344

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a really kind salesperson at the rental car place who only charged me for one day instead of the usual 2
  2. laughing with friends
  3. enjoying another clinical experience
  4. a long shower
  5. a quiet, mostly stress free evening

Tuesday Anticipations, July 31, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • the end of the school semester
  • spending time watching Olympic sports
  • time to read things that aren't related to school
  • my trip to Florida (only about two weeks until I leave!)
  • brunch with a long time friend
  • helping a friend move
  • the beginning of a new month
  • a meeting with a trusted advisor
  • cooking an awesome new recipe I tried with a friend last week
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 343

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a lovely nurse to work with
  2. some great conversations about topics in maternal/child health that really interest me
  3. supper at Ikea (meatballs with gravy and lingonberry sauce - so good, seriously...)
  4. an evening that was productive, doing rearranging, constantly working to make my space more liveable.
  5. settling in at the end of the night to rest

Peaceful Stillness

Yesterday afternoon as I was driving a borrowed car, I paused and realized that for the first time in several months I felt truly at peace.

I worked until 3am Sunday morning, and then crashed at my parents place, sleeping and then enjoying the stillness of an empty house on a sunny Sunday morning.

And so I found myself driving and realized that I felt at rest.

For the first time in a while nothing felt like it was hanging over my head.  I'm slowly settling into my job.  There are minimal deadlines left for this semester of school.  I felt free, still, peaceful, joyful.

It was lovely.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 341 & 342

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a super lazy morning
  2. a sweet teller at the bank who chose not to apply the usual hold to my paycheque
  3. homemade hamburgers
  4. ice cream sandwiches
  5. a fun coffee date
Today's Daily 5:
  1. sleeping in super late
  2. being able to drive home at 3 am because my parents lent me a car to save me the transit commute
  3. the stillness of the first Sunday morning in a long time where I was alone
  4. watching olympics
  5. a long, hot shower

Friday, July 27, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 340

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in
  2. lunch with an old friend (and great conversation and food to boot!)
  3. getting a group project finished for another semester
  4. watching the Olympic opening ceremonies (I may or may not have streamed a good chunk of it on silent - mostly the parade of nations - during a very boring class today...)
  5. a moment of quiet revelation

Friday Reflections, July 27, 2012

Today's reflection spoke to my tired and drained heart.  It's once again written by Henri Nouwen.

What We Feel Is Not Who We Are

Our emotional lives move up and down constantly.  Sometimes we experience great mood swings: from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos.  A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings.  Mostly we have little control over these changes.  It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life.  Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us.  As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are.  We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 339

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a much needed haircut that looks great, at a great price
  2. Sprite slurpee
  3. the moment when my favorite two year old, who is usually brief in speech and only strings one or two words together was fighting his mama on taking a bite of the meat we had and as she brought the bite to his mouth suddenly hollered "whoa, whoa, whoa! Too big!"
  4. drunken pork chops - oh my goodness - simplest recipe ever, but SO good
  5. curling up in bed to catch up on emails before sleeping

Drawing a Blank

Y'all, this has been the kind of week that has sucked my mental capacities dry.

I'm sitting here, staring a nice blank screen, and wondering what on earth I'm going to talk about in this space today.

I've got nothing.


It's just been that kind of week.  Not bad, just very, very full.

It's included tasty Indian food.  And an Ikea trip. And grocery shopping.

And later nights than usual.

And so I'm drawing a blank.

I haven't had the reflective space to come up with something to write in this space.

So I'm writing about the fact that I have nothing to write.

Here's to being super thankful that the semester is almost over, and that I will have some quiet space.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 337 & 338

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a really great chance to debrief a visit with the nurse I was paired with
  2. hanging out on pinterest
  3. working to clean and organize my living space, making little changes to make it better until I can find something more suitable
  4. steamed veggies
  5. netflix
Today's Daily 5:
  1. A Sunday Cup of Quiet on the bus
  2. quiet space to meet with Jesus
  3. starting to read "Love Does" by Bob Goff
  4. having an afternoon of freedom to catch up on a few things
  5. crawling into bed nice and early after a low key evening
  6. wireless internet
  7. supper that consisted of herbal tea and slices of toast
  8. clean drinking water
  9. a natural, homemade trap for fruit flies that works
  10. knocking a major school to do off my list

Whimsical Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday this week is composed of the things I'm dreaming of - the quiet spaces of my heart, and the things that I'm looking forward to as the end of this school semester draws near.

As always I'd love to hear if any of these images stand out to you, and why.

Source: facebook.com via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: piccsy.com via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Anticipations - July 24, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • my clinical shifts - I'm enjoying them more all the time.  Loving my postpartum rotation!
  • going out for Indian food with a good friend from school - her first experience with Indian!
  • adding "Jesus Calling" to my nightly wind-down routine
  • gathering as a house church to watch "The Way"
  • taking time to do some non-school related reading
  • lunch with a friend from the days of my first university degree
  • gathering for a belated father's day celebration combined with a belated celebration of my dad's birthday.
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 336

Today's Daily 5:

  1. an awesome nurse pairing
  2. having expectations shattered
  3. butter chicken and naan bread
  4. introducing N. to Indian food and laughing our way through an awesome meal
  5. having a rental car to do errands

Bookish Thoughts

On the weekend I went to both the library and the one remaining local Christian bookstore.  With several titles from each place, I can now confidently assure you that we must be near the end of the semester.  It's near the end that my thoughts begin to wander from dedicated text book reading to thoughts of novels, and books that touch the deep places of my soul.  I'm excited to dive in (even before the semester officially ends, and especially over the break and on the airplanes to and from Florida) to some of the titles I bought, and I thought I'd share a few that I'm excited about with you, and ask for your recommendations for good reads.

Some of the titles I'm excited about:

  • Jesus Calling - I like how short the readings for each day are, and I've heard nothing but good things about this little book.  Can't wait to incorporate it into my bedtime routine.
  • Love Does - again, I've heard nothing but good things about this book by Bob Goff, and I can't wait to read through all his stories and mine the truth and beauty they contain.
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible - So I'm not a kid, but I thought a really beautiful, highly recommended kids Bible would be an awesome way to mix up some of my nighttime reading, and maybe even some of the teaching and studying we're doing at house church.
  • The Lost Girls - because what could be better than a travel memoir written by three girl-friends, with the subtitle: "three friends, four continents. one unconventional detour around the world."
Okay, those are a few of the titles on my list for my time off.  What have you been reading lately that has inspired you, made you laugh, caused you to think, or just that you genuinely enjoyed as an awesome escapist beach novel?  Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 335

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in
  2. Chinese dumplings
  3. a ride home from mom and dad's
  4. finishing up a paper that's been hanging over my head
  5. an invitation out for Chinese food
  6. freshly painted toenails
  7. wearing really cute shoes
  8. skinny jeans
  9. a gift of hand carved pencil crayons from Florence
  10. curling up in bed to sleep nice and early

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 331 - 334

So, this week has been just a bit challenging and in the interests of going to bed early so that I can get up early and not fall asleep in every class at school, I haven't exactly made it to writing daily 5 posts.  Instead, let me leave you with one longer list covering days 331-334.

Daily 5 - Days 331-334:

  1. quiet evening at home
  2. getting through the longest day of the week, and finishing just a bit early
  3. spotting the big dipper on my way home from work
  4. catching up on emails that I was way behind on
  5. a trip to the library
  6. another trip to the local Christian bookstore
  7. shopping with a friend and her two boys
  8. "My do it!" my favorite little guy's current favorite phrase
  9. the fun of anticipating the reading of some new books
  10. counting down towards the end of the semester
  11. really smooth work shifts
  12. little boy cuddles
  13. quiet time sitting in the sunshine
  14. watching "How I Met Your Mother" on Netflix
  15. comfy pajamas, perfect for summer
  16. coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  17. fruit salad
  18. the feeling of a shower after a very sweaty work shift
  19. word games on my iphone
  20. weekends at mom and dad's, and letting mom feed me

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Reflections, July 20, 2012

This week's reflection is once again from Henri Nouwen, and greatly moved me, speaking of experiences that I've had over the past several months and years.

Words That Create Community

The word is always a word for others.  Words need to be heard.  When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to.  A speaker needs a listener.  A writer needs a reader.

When the flesh - the lived human experience - becomes word, community can develop.  When we say,  "Let me tell you what we saw.  Come and listen to what we did.  Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us.  Wait until you hear whom we met,"  we call people together and make our lives into lives for others.   The word brings us together and calls us into community.  When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wits End

It's been a while since I've talked about my journey with my body, and that's mostly because I've found myself at wits end.

Life got busy and my motivation to work at caring for my body dropped off.

I gained back all the weight I'd lost at the beginning of the year, and the beginning of this journey, and then I added a bit of extra weight.

I'm at a place where I look in the mirror and feel unhappy with what I see, but also recognize that what I see is largely a result of choices I've made.

And can I be honest? I'm not that motivated to change my habits.  I like eating sweet things and having the occasional glass of wine or cocktail.  I like not worrying about what I eat.  I don't like exercise - never have.  Yoga classes are the only thing I've ever really enjoyed, and I just don't have time to fit classes into my schedule at the moment.

I have some thoughts on how to change that, but for the moment, I'm at an all time low in motivation and an all time high in frustration.

In fact, even as I try to write this post, I find I've run out of things to say.  I'm stuck, a bit at wits end, and not totally motivated to change any of that.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to find myself in this place, and I'm wondering how those of you who have been here have navigated this space?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's a random blend here again this week, but I'm smiling because of these images.

As always I'd love to hear if one of these images stands out to you and why.

Source: indulgy.com via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 330

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Finding ways to laugh about some terrible dreams from last night
  2. an interesting and challenging debrief conversation
  3. a long shower
  4. settling into my room to read and do some catching up for the evening
  5. a very early bedtime

Tuesday Anticipations, July 17, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • several evenings with nothing scheduled
  • hanging out with friends at house church
  • baby cuddles
  • a very low key weekend
  • knocking another paper deadline off of my countdown to the end of the semester
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 329

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a day doing home visits with a really great nurse (and getting to hold two super cute babies)
  2. trying out a new kind of rental car
  3. having a vehicle with which to do grocery shopping
  4. comfy summer pajamas
  5. curling up for a quiet evening at home

Slowly Revived

Every time I start a new job, I forget that it takes a physical and mental toll on me.

In the case of my current job, it has exacted a pretty high emotional cost as well.

Like I said, I forget about the cost of adapting to something new.

I forget about it until I'm beginning to come out the other side.

Until I'm beginning to find myself feeling slowly revived.

I think I'm finally there.

Slowly, oh so slowly finding my footing again, and not feeling buried by life.

It's a pretty awesome feeling, to start emerging from that fog of stress again.

I'm so thankful I'm being slowly revived.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 325-328

Day 325:

  1. grace through a challenging lab
  2. sitting in the sun
  3. understanding instructors
  4. crepe lunch with a good friend
  5. baby cuddles
Day 326:
  1. sleeping in
  2. a quiet, restful morning alone
  3. laughing with a friend
  4. witnessing childlike joy
  5. an awesome fireworks show
Day 327:
  1. not having a ton of things on my schedule and thus being able to sleep in and take a nap after a long work shift
  2. herbal iced tea, made from scratch
  3. fresh cherries
  4. dinner with my former roommate, her hubby, and baby
  5. a work shift that went incredibly smoothly
Day 328:
  1. getting home safely by train in the wee hours of the morning through the end of the Stampede parties after a late night work shift
  2. sleeping restfully
  3. doing a school assignment with a great classmate and the help of a couple good friends
  4. baby cuddles
  5. settling into my own space after a couple days away, and enjoying the quiet and the beauty of normal routines

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Reflections, July 13, 2012

This week's Friday reflection is from Henri Nouwen:

Spiritual Courage

Courage is connected with taking risks.  Jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorbike, coming over Niagara Falls in a barrel, or crossing the ocean in a rowboat are called courageous acts because people risk their lives by doing these things.  But none of these daredevil acts comes from the centre of our being.  They all come from the desire to test our physical limits and to become famous and popular.  

Spiritual courage is something completely different.  It is following the deepest desires of our hearts at the risk of losing fame and popularity.  It asks of us the willingness to lose our temporal lives in order to gain eternal life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Digging Out

I'm still very slowly digging myself out from the hole of exhaustion that the last month led to.

I'm noticing though, that the oddest things make me tired.

My email inbox for example - just staring at it makes me feel exhausted.  The outstanding messages are all from people I want to correspond with - mostly my closest friends.  But somehow, I'm struggling to find the energy to respond and share life in what is normally one of my favorite methods of communication.

A cluttered or dirty space makes me tired, too.  That's not totally abnormal, but before it was something I would simply pick up and take care of.  Now it just exhausts me.  I stare at whatever the mess is, and wish it would go away, and let it paralyze me.

It's becoming clear to me that a new normal and balance of life is going to need to emerge - just how or what that is, I'm not sure yet.

In the meantime, have I mentioned that there are only about three weeks left in this semester? And that I then have about four weeks off before the next semester kicks in? And that one of those weeks I'm going to spend in Florida with some cherished friends?  Because those three things are keeping me going right now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 324

Today's Daily 5:

  1. knocking the last midterm of the semester off my "to do" list
  2. getting home early, and taking a night to relax
  3. ticking a task off my to do list that had been there for a solid month
  4. eating baby corn
  5. Bamboozled tea from Davids Tea

Whimsical Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's a truly random collection this week, but things that made me laugh, or caused my heart to cry out in some way.  As always, I'd love to hear which images or phrases stood out to you, and what kind of reaction they evoked.

Source: someecards.com via Lisa on Pinterest
Source: trekearth.com via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 322 & 323

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a day of clinical visits, paired with an awesome nurse
  2. "the baby shits a lot" - most random statement ever said to me in my nursing "career" thus far
  3. having a rental car with which to accomplish a ton of much put off groceries
  4. awesome iced tea
  5. settling in to bed at a really reasonable time
Today's Daily 5:
  1. blueberry muffins
  2. another awesome nurse pairing
  3. air conditioning in my rental car on a really hot day
  4. an instructor I really appreciate this term
  5. mom and dad feeding me dinner so I didn't have to cook

Tuesday Anticipations, July 10, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • finishing off my last midterm for the semester
  • our monthly house church gathering wherein we simply eat together and enjoy each other's company
  • an evening of new experiences taking my work client to an event at Heritage Park, put on to coincide with Stampede
  • a weekend with almost nothing on the agenda
  • mostly quiet evenings at home as I continue to recover and rest from the stresses of the previous month
  • lots and lots of sunshine (hooray for there finally being an awesome forecast for the week!)
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, July 09, 2012


It's that time of year again in Calgary - the time when the natives either party on or get out of town, and the city is overrun by tourists.

That's right ladies and gentlemen, it's Stampede!!!

If you're a native Calgarian, you might just love to hate this particular event.  It means 10 straight days of horrendous traffic, packed out trains for commuting, and a city wide excuse to get drunk.  Locals know and love to quote random statistics like the fact that Calgary has a baby boom about 9-10 months following stampede, and divorce lawyers have their busiest season for new clients in August, after Stampede has come and gone, and various affairs have been revealed.  Girls seem to take it as an excuse to wear as few clothes as possible (seriously, skanky is just skanky, never sexy!) and everyone drinks way too much.

I've honed my complaints over the years, and rarely head down to the grounds, but this year I did.

It's the Centennial.  100 years of what is known as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".  I talked myself into going because my favorite country singer, Paul Brandt, was headlining the evening Grandstand show.  I tagged along with a couple of friends who've never experienced Stampede before, and surprised myself by having a great time.

It turns out the key to having an awesome time at Stampede is to entirely avoid the midway. No rides. No carnival games.  Skirt the outside of that whole crazy section.

It helps if the friends you're taking are new to the whole thing.  It's even better if they both have agriculture degrees, and what they're really interested in are the things that Stampede was founded to celebrate, and not so much the beer gardens and midway rides.  We wandered through barns, watched a sheep shearing competition and a vintage tractor pull.  We checked out the entirety of the tradeshow, watched a little bit of surfing (indoors!), and walked through the arts and crafts.  We savored the best tasting goodies (hello beef bacon BLT, mini donuts, and little greek honey donuts, not to mention dole whip).  And then we left, took a break and ate dinner in their back yard. Burgers and sangria never tasted so good.  (I walked away with a recipe for a great pasta salad dressing, too!)

We came back in time for the grandstand show, found our seats, tried to pick winners in the chuckwagon races, and then watched the show, which included variety acts, motorcycle trick artists, acrobatic troops from several countries around the world, and of course, Paul Brandt.

I admit that it helps that the grandstand wraps up with a 20 minute long fireworks show.  I love fireworks, and the grandstand building has the best seats in the house for this amazing show.

After finishing late Saturday night, I dragged myself out of bed early Sunday morning to meet my work client back at the grounds by 8 am.  We checked out the Superdogs show, and got some ice cream.  My perspective was different as I guided her in her wheelchair through the grounds and crowds, and watched her enjoyment of a season she describes as "my Christmas!"

Apparently it turns out that the key to appreciating Stampede is some new eyes and perspectives.  It's avoiding the crowds and embracing the agriculture and spirit that caused this event to spring up 100 years ago.  It's seeing the joy in someone's eyes as they taste a treat that they look forward to all year long, and it's laughing at bad jokes with new friends.  It's learning the finer points of a tractor pull (who knew this was a competition sport?) and marveling over the speed at which someone shears a sheep.  It's mini donuts and dole whip and laughter.

I had fun gaining a new perspective on Stampede this year.  I'm probably set for another five years or so, but it was great to have new eyes and find enjoyment in something that I mostly dread each year.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 320 & 321

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in
  2. some sweet deals (including a set of summer pajamas) on clothes 
  3. Dole Whip at the Stampede
  4. spending the day checking out the parts of the Stampede grounds I actually enjoy with friends who'd never experienced it before
  5. an awesome dinner and sangria at a friends house
  6. late night laughter over some of the ridiculous footwear girls pick for Stampeding
  7. Paul Brandt performing in the grandstand show
  8. the fun of watching Chuckwagon races with first timers
  9. managing to wear enough sunscreen to not get burnt badly
  10. an awesome collapseable tupperware that's going to make my lunch packing SO much easier
Today's Daily 5:
  1. fun with my work client at the Stampede
  2. watching my client's face as she took in some of her favorite things at Stampede
  3. cookies fresh from the oven
  4. a long shower, washing off two days of sunscreen, sweat, and grime
  5. a cup of awesome iced tea from David's Tea
  6. coming home to quiet
  7. the feeling of looking around my space and knowing it's clean
  8. getting a few key things done
  9. red jello
  10. heading to bed super early

Friday, July 06, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 319

Today's Daily 5:

  1. coffee with a friend
  2. baby smiles
  3. ease of replacing some things that went missing, and at less expense than I thought.
  4. an evening off (wasn't really planned, but it happened, and it felt great)
  5. crawling in between freshly washed sheets

Friday Reflections - July 6, 2012

We studied this passage at house church last night, and it stands out to me, bringing conviction as I consider some areas of my own life and relationships right now. I'd love to hear if something from this passage stands out to you today.

Romans 14:1, 22-23 (The Message)

1 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

22-23 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 318

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a long shower
  2. some helpful processing with my therapist
  3. audio books for long bus commutes
  4. cuddles from both of my favorite little boys, including M coming to cuddle up to me while I read the scripture portion for the evening out loud.
  5. the chance to share and pray together as a core group of original home church members

Saying No

I've been thinking a lot about saying "no" this week. About the hows and the whys.  About the actual experience of it. About how context affects this.  About how hard it sometimes is.

I've had two opposing experiences and I find myself pondering them.

Early in the week I said no to something I very much wanted to participate in - the kind of thing I actually dream about participating in.  The reality is that I can't manage to participate in this activity right now.  That my schedule and mind and heart are already stretched thin, and that even though this activity is seemingly made for me, I couldn't give it the sort of time and attention it deserves.  Even with all of that, though, it was easy to say no.  It was in the context of some trusted friends, people who I knew would understand immediately, and who I could be confident wouldn't feel rejected, wouldn't read anything into my answer, and wouldn't judge my character.

Yesterday I said no to something I really had no desire to participate in right now, for exactly the same reasons.  My heart and mind and schedule are stretched thin, and even if I had a stronger desire to participate, I couldn't.  But saying no yesterday I wrestled with.  I wrestled with it because it's in a context of someone who doesn't know me well, and who I don't know well.  I wrestled with a desire to please this person, to be recognized and esteemed by them.  I wrestled with wondering if they would pass judgement on my decision - if I would be somehow less in their mind - because I said no.

I can honestly say that today's post is more about pondering the contrasts in these situations than about having solid answers.  I find myself thinking that I want to create opportunities that come without fear or judgement, like the first one this week, rather than opportunities that come with a weight of guilt.  I find myself recognizing my own ongoing worries about how I'm seen by other people.  And I find myself just a little bit proud of the fact that I'm at a place in my life where I can recognize, however hard or easy, when I need to say no.

What about you? What are your experiences in saying no? Is it a positive or negative thing for you?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Days 316 & 317

Tuesday's Daily 5:

  1. two really interesting clinical visits
  2. eating healthier meals
  3. a little bit of netflix
  4. checking a few more deadlines off of my to do list
  5. fresh cherries
Today's Daily 5:
  1. listening to Christianne's Sunday cup of Quiet lectio on the bus this morning
  2. a teaching activity in class that went well
  3. supportive friends
  4. being able to text a friend in a tough moment and know I could give minimal details and she'd understand and be praying
  5. being able to have a quieter evening after what was an undeniably harder day than I've had in a while

Whimsical Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Today's Whimsical Wednesday post is a conglomeration of things that made me laugh, or things that challenged me as I browsed pinterest over the long weekend.  As always, I'd love to hear which image stands out to you, and why it caught your attention.

Source: google.com via Lisa on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tuesday Anticipations, July 3, 2012

This week I'm anticipating:

  • nearly universally quiet evenings (hooray for some down time in which to catch up!)
  • an appointment with a trusted advisor
  • coffee with a good friend
  • a couple free meals (Thank you Stampede!!)
  • seeing Paul Brandt headline the Stampede Grandstand show with some friends from school
What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 315

Today's Daily 5:

  1. A quiet morning, including a nice sleep-in
  2. just a little bit of netflix time
  3. the fun of greeting my brother and his wife at the airport after their honeymoon, and giving her flowers
  4. totally productive time prepping healthy meals for the week (honestly, some of the best moments of my week are the ones where I get to do things like cooking, vacuuming and meal prep that make my crazy living situation feel just a bit more normal)
  5. curling up in bed to rest

Of Work and Holidays and Beginning Again

Normally posts on my blog go live sometime around 8 am.  That's because normally by 8 am on a weekday, I've left the house, and I'm on my way to school, or work, or wherever else it is that I'm going.

This is the first holiday Monday in quite a while (thanks to Canada Day yesterday.  I love it when stats fall on a weekend and earn you an extra day off!).  I'm curled up in bed, and I only woke up about an hour ago.   I feel almost rested, having had three days off from school in a row.

Almost, but not quite.

I worked all three of those nights.  Evening shifts, from nine to around midnight, and then I trekked home on the train.

I haven't talked a lot about my new job here, in part because I need to protect the privacy of my employer, and in part because I haven't quite known what to say.

I'm working as a care aide for a disabled woman, and right now that mostly entails putting her to bed a couple of nights a week.

Going back to work, and juggling school and life as well has not been an easy transition for me.  I've struggled quite a bit with a resurgence of anxiety.  I've battled the extra exhaustion that comes from a change in schedule.  And the job itself has been one that has brought quite a few stresses. It's physically, mentally and especially emotionally demanding, and I've fought a lot of fears and dreads as I adapt.  Last night was the first mostly smooth, quickly accomplished shift that I've had, and I'm thankful for that.

The juggling of school and work is something that carries a lot of fear for me.  I've never done both successfully, and maintained a state of physical, mental and emotional health.  I feel like I have the tools to do that now, but it's still been incredibly rough.

I'm challenged particularly because over the last year I've recognized that I feel the most healthy, and the most "myself" when I have lots of space and downtime to attend to my need for stillness, to connect with God, and to find creative expression for myself.  The combination of factors in my life - the choice to go to school, the financial necessity of working, the knowledge that I need to maintain and pour into certain relationships - is not leaving much of that space for me, and there is a pretty steady level of stress in my life that to be honest, is stressing me out!  By that I mean that the knowledge of the presence of that stress, and the fears that go with my history of not being able to handle stress particularly well, are adding a layer of stress to what is naturally existing.

And so we come around to beginning again.  When I'm stressed, my diet suffers.  My willingness to exercise suffers.  I flip easily into survival mode.  I stop taking vitamins.  I don't manage sleep as well as I should.  I generally stop using successful coping techniques.

I've becomes so aware of this, and convicted of it over the last few weeks.  And I'm trying to take little steps, make little commitments, to begin again.  To use the coping techniques that I know are helpful. To take five minutes to swallow a handful of vitamins that will help protect my physical health and energy. To walk that extra flight of stairs, and eat blueberries or a nectarine instead of a cookie or cake.

I'm also thankful that there's only a month or so left in this semester, and then I will have nearly four weeks off from school.  That I will get to spend one of those weeks with some dear friends, away from home, gaining a change of scenery, and the chance to connect on a heart level.  That I will have some of that space I crave, and have to do less juggling for a time.

And so, I ponder work and holidays and beginning again, and make little baby stepping commitments towards the things that I know work for me.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 314

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Canada Day! While I didn't really celebrate this year, I am so thankful to live in this country.
  2. sleeping in
  3. fresh fruit (cherries, blueberries, nectarines)
  4. the first really quite smooth and successful work shift
  5. knowing tomorrow is still a holiday, and therefore not having school
  6. a late night shower
  7. homemade cake and buttercream icing
  8. a treatment from mom
  9. getting some homework accomplished
  10. an afternoon nap and time spent reading a novel