Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And so it begins!!

Today is the first day of the semester at UMD, tomorrow is my first graduate class, tonight marks the end of my sanity…or not!

For the first semester I have decided to work part time and go to school full time (brief update- I am starting a PhD program at UMD). This decision has been frowned upon by a few but is also not completely uncommon..many people work and go to school full time (and some raise kids too!) because, let’s face it, life ain’t cheap! I am definitely scared but also very confident that I will survive (maybe exhausted, sleepless, and angry…but I will survive). So I have asked around for words of wisdom going into this crazy journey of becoming a doctor and here is what I have heard:

1. BALANCE- Maintain a work/life balance. Make sure to continue doing the things you enjoy and make time for them because they may be what keep you sane. For me, this includes my personal relationships and exercise. I really believe that my relationships will help me get through this stressful period (if I don’t go tooooooooo crazy haha). But in all honesty, the support I’ve been given gave me the courage to apply and accept and I have no doubt that that same support will make sure I don’t give up! And…yes, yes I know (everyone has told me...) it will be hard to maintain my current (mildly insane) workout routine with this work/school schedule and I AM (sort of) mentally prepared to cut back (a little...haha, noticing my hesitation?). But I also know how much these hobbies mean to me and how sane they keep me, and therefore will continue to make an effort to always make time for exercise (to the best of my mental and physical ability…).

2. PRIORITIZE- It was recommended to prioritize your work/school tasks. Then figure out which time of the day you work best and assign the most important tasks to that time. I work best in the morning hours and plan to schedule accordingly :)

3. SAY NO- I was told it was okay to say no (who knew!). So I hope to carry the confidence to say no to additional work/life/school tasks when I know I can’t handle it. I do not want anything to suffer because I have willingly taken on too much.

Now, one would hope that I am able to take my OWN advice, read through all these uplifting and motivational blogs I have written, and do what I tell others to do…but usually those that can’t do, teach ;) I will keep you all updated on my highs and lows throughout this experience and will hopefully be able to share words of wisdom (or “what not to dos”) for balancing life and taking on HUGE challenges. I have no doubt this will be the hardest thing I take on in my career, I am hopeful that it takes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to work on my weaknesses, and…READY! Here’s to sleepless nights, brutal critiques, overload, exhaustion, knowledge, experience, networking, and GROWTH!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just do it.

First of all (and most importantly)...GO OUTSIDE. My lordy it is GORGEOUS out today! Drop what you are doing...and go for a walk, open a window, take the dog out, do whatever you need to do to GET OUTSIDE. And then...just enjoy :)

On a random aside...I thought about turning my blog into a healthy living one like all these others with exercise and eating tips...then I reflected on what I had for dinner last night (spoonfulls of peanut butter) and decided it wasn't in anyones best interest to take food advice from me ;)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program... JUST DO IT.

I love that our (my, if you are older) generation is rash, impulsive, and craves more! This causes us to change our "life decisions" constantly, move across the country (or world!) and DO what makes us HAPPY. Our parent's generation picked a career path when they were in college (or high school) and stuck with that for 20+ years and who knows if they ever really enjoyed it or just accepted that that was their life. We, on the other hand, feel that we have no limitations, no restraints, no guidelines, and are constantly testing the water in different careers and locations. I think this is wonderful! I believe it is a blessing that we are so free spirited and passionate and maybe a curse that we are always seeking more. But advice for you is to JUST DO IT. Always be assessing your life...always be thinking about what would make YOU happy...and then figure out how you can feasibly achieve that. Don't quit your job and move to sunny California because you like the beach...but if your dream job is in California and you have a friend who lives out there that you can live with...DO IT. Life is too short to have regrets :)

PS- this blog is stemming from my brother venturing to Singapore for the fulbright scholarship in research, another friend venturing out for grad school, and another friend quitting her unhappy job to work at starbucks until she figures something out.

Do what makes you happy...because at the end of the day, you are the only one looking out for you.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Start Anew with the Sunrise

A reflection created while on my morning run watching the gorgeous pink and orange sunrise over the trees… (which inspired a kickass 8 mile run!)

Two of my favorite things in the world are sunrises and sunsets. Mainly because they are gorgeous and peaceful and natural and calming…but also because they represent the close of one day and the start of a fresh, new day. And recognizing that each day ends and a brand new day begins is something I am trying to do more often. You see, I tend to dwell (I am sure you are thinking “duh!”) on things that are really unimportant and trivial in the grand scheme of life but I am constantly paranoid that a stupid comment I made two days ago is still bothering someone in my life and they are still annoyed with me for it. Enter the sunset/sunrise concept…

I am working on letting go of the small things. In life, your relationships with others are built on numerous events, countless emotional connections, years of laughs and tears, good times, bad times, awkward times, and everything in between. Bottom line, me whining about something on a random Sunday night is not going to completely destroy a relationship built on numerous positive interactions! So why sweat the small stuff? The day when I was crabby and feisty has ended (with the sunset) and a fresh day will begin (with the sunrise) that will present me with the opportunity to start anew, with a happy and healthy outlook.

I hope that you can use this concept in your life as well. Maybe today is rough, maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe nothing seems to be going right, and maybe you are just too tired…but guess what! Tomorrow is a new day. The sun will set and close the book on today…and the sun will rise and open your book to a new page and maybe even a new chapter in your life tomorrow. How better to “fix” (what you see as) your wrong doings than to start a fresh day with a positive outlook and happy, healthy interactions? I promise you this will make a larger impact then saying “I am sorry” 500 times :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

You have to stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be...

That was my facebook status a year ago today. Facebook is now posting your statuses from last year on the side of the page and I think its a pretty cool feature! It is very interesting to see what were you thinking or doing on this day a year ago. What were you doing? Where were you in your life? Could you have guessed you'd be where you are today??

I like this quote, "you have to stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be", because it is so applicable to many parts of your life. You can't wish things will change for the better, you can't wish that someone in your life will eventually change or your job will get better or you will get noticed around the office or your friends will realize what is important to you, if you don't get a backbone (and/or some balls!) and say/do something about it. No one in this world is a mind reader (except these two weird twins I saw on Oprah or Ellen that claimed they could read people's minds and tell the future...creepsters) and, for the most part, people are going to look out for themselves and do what betters their lives unless you speak up and they see an importance in acting a different way.

And obviously I am not saying go out and cause a scene and protest everything to better yourself, but speak up...because I do not know too many people that reached happiness and success by wishing on stars :)

And my last thought for this morning (came to me while I was working out) is to learn from others and then make it your own! This morning my friend and I held our own spin classes and both had awesome workouts! We took what we've learned in all our of classes and from a variety of instructors with different styles and levels of intensity and we put that to our own music and tailored it to meet our goals for the day. I think that there is no point in reinventing the wheel when it comes to most things, BUT it is important to make something yours so that you enjoy and appreciate it. Everyone is unique and wants and needs different adapt what is created to meet your needs and I am sure you will be satisfied :)


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daily Inspiration

So I haven't blogged in quite a while but that's because I haven't had too much to say about sobriety or exercising (which seem to be my focuses)...SO I have decided to revamp the focus on my blog...sort of. Still focused on the concept of bettering oneself but not specific to drinking or exercising. Hopefully you enjoy :) I read a lot of healthy living (foodie, exercise) blogs on a somewhat regular basis and have been searching for a yogi, zen, crunchy, feel good, holistic, mantra focused blog to read each morning to get the day started on a positive note and I haven't found one (although I am SURE one exists) I've decided to do it myself...sort of. I won't be detailing the crunchy yoga poses I recommend or going crazy hippie on you...but I will give you (what I hope is) some insight on a healthy attitude and outlook on life for you to reflect on each day. I usually have a "runners high" euphoric moment during my morning workouts, so why not share that with my friends?!

I haven't worked out yet today so the insightful section of my brain has not been activated yet ;) but I'll start you off with this notion. Step out of your comfort zone...push yourself to do something you wouldn't normally do (e.g. talk to a random person, go to an event without knowing anyone, offer to present at work or for school...whatever it is that makes you get nervous and sweat). Doing something outside of your comfort zone helps you grow...helps you change...and expands your comfort level! And I am sure you will be happier, stronger, more successful, and maybe have more friends from it. The reason I say this is because I am going back to graduate school and am well aware that this experience will take me out of my comfort zone. I have taken graduate courses for my masters but tried to be quiet and sit in the back...I know this will not be an option for my doctoral classes and I don't want it to be. I want to push myself, make myself uncomfortable, feel my heart race while I contribute to the classes conversation...and in the end, make myself more outgoing and comfortable in a professional setting!! (And I bet this will translate into my social life!).

So this week...push yourself. Feel you did in middle school...see how you turned out from that experience?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope you continue reading my blog!