Monday, March 29, 2010

An Actual Post Without (much) Whining

Hello there! Yes, I have been absent. I am in a somewhat better mood, for no good reason. I'm enjoying it regardless.

Today I wanted to discuss my workouts. And I want your opinions. As you all know, I am a runner, and I am currently training for my second full marathon. The word "training" is a bit of a stretch because I am actually coaching, and coaching people who are considerably slower than my normal pace. Anywhere from 2-4 minutes slower per mile! I don't mind, because these people deserve the attention and encouragement! But it has made me think about my own training.

At first, I thought this would be a good time to lift heavy, since my goal right now is not speed! So I started up the BFL program (I'm sure you remember, and might have even noticed my lack of updates). But now I am finding that my muscles are tighter than normal, which causes some nagging joint pain. I am stretching certain body parts multiple times a day, and I started using the foam roller as well. I was already adjusting the program to fit my needs (lifting heavy with my calves was NOT working with my running!), and once you start doing that, are you really still doing the program? Of course, I want to finish BFL because it's on my 101 things list! But now I'm wondering about how to work it with my running.

I mentioned it to my head coach, and of course he adamantly feels that light weights and lots of reps is the way to go. But most distance runners say that. Is it because they are right, or because they are sticking to a possibly outdated belief, just because that's how it's always been done?

If I really think about it, I would be happy with gaining upper body strength only, mostly because I am a weak girl with skinny arms. And theoretically, that wouldn't affect my running so much, right? And I am pretty happy with the strength and muscle mass on my legs. I could technically wait until I had a stretch of time when I wasn't running distance, but considering I want to run Nike, LA and complete the RNR "Four-titude", plus do a triathlon in the next couple of years, I'm not sure when I would fit the program in.

But if I only do the BFL upper body workouts, is it cheating to say I did BFL on my 101 things? What do you think? What would you do in my position? Can heavy weights and distance running live harmoniously?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Keeping my head up

As frustrated as I am with our financial situation, I have to remember "It's only money."

Right after facing up to devastating financial news, I found out a friend of mine lost her baby. So sad. It makes my own situation pale in comparison. Lots of people survive dire financial crises, but losing a child is too horrible for words.

Please send out positive thoughts and vibes into the universe. There is so much loss and sadness, and I think we could all use less of it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bling Bling

I finally got my rings back. After spending over two months with no rings, putting it back on is shockingly noticeable, even to me! I have worn that ring for more than three years, and the wedding band with it for more than two. But a couple months without it and I once again notice it visually as well as the weight of it on my finger. Weird.

Anyway, I hope the diamonds stay put now. If I have to wait for a matching baguettes again, I might smack someone.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm so full of it

I thought I had an epiphany, thinking that my depressing blog posts might possibly coincide with my cycle! But no such luck. I guess while my mood may be cyclical, they are not on the same schedule as my period. Lame - I was hoping for a correlation. That way I could force myself into a short hiatus monthly so that you, poor reader, would no longer be exposed to the dreary thoughts my mind sometimes comes up with. So sorry!

But I have figured out something, possibly somewhat less earth-shattering, but important to me: (almost) all roads start with the GRE. With the exception of nursing school, everything else is a graduate program of some type. Since my scores are... well... really, really old, I have to take it again. Therefore, I have pulled out all of my GRE study materials (Thank you Universe, for not letting me donate them in a purging fit), and will be getting more from a friend (Thanks EAGCG!). I have already reviewed about 80% of the Math portion, which reminded me about what a math nerd I am since I actually enjoyed it. Of course, the language portion has always been harder for me (vocab, vocab, vocab) and now I have to prepare for an essay portion. Goodbye, 99 percentiles in multiple choice logic games. I'll miss you. I am also shocked at the $160 price tag. ::shocked::

As far as deciding wtf I want to do with my entire life, I am kinda hoping focusing on the GRE will buy me time. I did talk to a friend about it, and found out her brother in law is a Physical Therapist, so I possibly have an opportunity to shadow and find out more about that particular career. Did I also mention how for $25 CSULB will look at my transcripts and tell me what else I need to complete for the dietetics program? I'm not 100% clear if that is only to complete a second Baccalaureate, or if that's to get into a Master's Program, but at this point, does it matter? I just need some info. I can still look into getting my teaching credential too, but I have some serious concerns about teenagers pissing me right the fuck off, so that might not be my best option. I am still considering Graduate School in Biology, and maybe even Vet School again if I really want to take a risk.

I do think I have walked a bad line between playing it safe and taking risks. I didn't go the totally safe route - that would have been nursing or medical school - but I didn't take enough risks either. I don't think it was necessarily the worst thing I could have done, but it wasn't great. I didn't really follow any dream, my own or anyone else's, which I guess means I am able to move forward with something else, primarily because I don't have $150K in student loans.

Maybe I'll just focus on vocabulary flash cards for now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And the verdict is....


Let me explain. The test results started with the "Overall Themes" including Artistic, Conventional, etc. - I was average in all themes, but above average in the Investigative theme.
Next, it went over my basic interests, and I came up higher than average in Nature/Outdoors, Animal Science, Mathematics, Scientific Research, Medical, Performing/Entertaining and Food Service, to which my husband said "Great, you're already in food service so just stay there!" Thanks babe, but you're not helping. ::grumble:: Then of course he came back with, "Maybe you should be an actress, and then when they make a movie about Meryl Streep's life, you can play her." To which I responded, "Well, I guess I need to either lose 30 pounds or gain 100 because there are no average weight women in Hollywood." He's SO helpful.

So, with those results in mind, the test comes up with suggestions in which more than 75% of my answers match  successful and satisfied people in those careers. In order, they were:

1. Dietitian
2. Medical Lab Technician - salary too low
3. Pharmacist - nights and weekends again?
4. Math or Science Teacher
5. Physician
6. Veterinarian
7. Physical Therapist

And then, "since no two people are exactly alike" it encourages to look at all the careers I scored higher than average on and gave another list of careers in addition to those. Most of them were medical, but some of the more interesting ones were Actuary (I have actually considered that), Aircraft Test Engineer ::shocked::, Cartographer ::mildly amused::, Market Research ::hmmm::, Nurse Anesthetist (another one I have considered), Oceanographer, and Physicist (My High School physics teacher would be so proud).

Anyway, if I rule out a minimum of four more years of school and major student loans, low paying career and another career that could require nights, weekends, and holidays, my original list gets pared down to Dietitian, Teacher, and Physical Therapist.

How do I know if one will make me happier than the rest? How do you know? How do you make a decision? Part of me thinks the best decision is the one that is the most direct and quickest path, which would probably be Dietitian. I already have a degree in Biology - for $15 Cal State Long Beach will review my transcripts and tell me exactly what additional classes I need to complete to be eligible for exams. I could even go into food research, which would satisfy my investigative side. But I still think about the research I did in college and wanting to be a veterinarian. I decided not to reapply (long story there) because I was tired of being bit by scared pets, but when I look back, I really wanted to be an exotic animal veterinarian. In my mind, I knew how much competition there is, and I was playing it safe. I still play it safe. I am afraid of choosing something with too few spaces and too much competition because I am afraid of waiting tables while I try to break in. Maybe that's why I never moved to Hollywood (hahaha).

Trying to make a decision about the rest of your life sucks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Low Places

I took a couple of days off after my month of straight blogging, hoping my mood would get better. No such luck. I am in a very, very dark place right now, filled with questions about the meaning of life. Why the fuck am I here? And who did I fuck with in a past life? Because I certainly feel like I'm paying for it now.

I am so over the rat race that is living in society. Money can't buy you happiness, but it does make the world go 'round, and when you don't have it, you are severely limited. H and I are currently scraping by with his unemployment, but now we are faced with some hefty medical bills because my insurance seems to pick and choose what they pay for and how much of it they cover. I am going to appeal, and talk to the hospital as well, but the best I really hope for is a payment plan. Which makes me really, really sad, because my husband went through lots of pain, and the amount we owe now would have covered anywhere from 3-6 IUI's. And it may not even work. I feel stupid. I feel duped.

As far as money goes, what are we going to do if UE runs out before he gets a job? What are we going to do if our bills start getting more out of control? What will we do if I get laid off, or have to take a pay cut? I know we will owe on our taxes this year, but the question is how much. I think of all the things we have that take so much money. A moderately priced car bought only when my last car blew up after 12 years. We own a condo with a mortgage that costs less than most rents. We aren't keeping up with the Joneses really at all. We aren't extravagant. I suppose we could try and rent our condo and move into a studio in the Barrio. I guess we could cut the cable. I suppose I could try and talk H into re-rolling the toilet paper, but FFS, that's just stupid. What happened to the American Dream? All I have ever wanted was to own a small house with a small yard. I never wanted a mansion, I just didn't want a condo. I never wanted an extravagant car. I like Louboutins, but I will never own a pair (unless I can find them at a Goodwill for $20). I have never even been tempted by a $500 purse. And yet we struggle.

And now that our insurance has proven they can just opt to not pay some things, based on loopholes I am not aware of, I truly wonder how much money we would be in for just to give birth to a child? Some things are covered at 100% and some things aren't. Nobody can tell me how much they will bill us, because nobody can predict the future. So then, how much do I need to set aside before I can get KU? $2k? $5K? $10K? More? I guess it depends on how labor goes, what is actually needed, and how they bill it. Who the fuck knows? I'm sure Anthem will pull every string they can to pay as little as possible. If we do manage to save enough to pay the hospital bill, then there is no way we could afford day care.

Why do we all need to work like dogs just to afford the simple things? When did the world get so expensive? How can I feel motivated to get on with my life when everything is stacked against us? What is the fucking meaning? What is the fucking point. I have always tried to not regret any decisions I have made in my life, but I sure as shit wish I could have a do-over. I would tell the younger me that I don't have all the time in the world. Time marches on, whether you want to admit it or not. Just because you wait until 34 to finally get married, means you don't have the same amount of time to start a family as that 24 year old. Hopefully it also means you won't be on your second husband before the kids ages are in the double digits.

The more I am faced with the reality of life and money, the more I give up on starting a family. Kids are fucking expensive, so if you aren't even sure you can pay the hospital bill, how the fuck can you afford to feed and clothe and educate the monkey? But then I think about all those people - the irresponsible ones. The ones that think you can live on $1000 a month, including kids. Why do they get to do it, and not me? The whole situation makes me want to throat punch somebody, and curl up into a little self-pitying ball, all at the same time.

Shit, and I haven't even touched on retirement, or lack thereof. I'll be the 90 year old woman greeting people at Walmart because I can't afford to live without a minimum wage job.

I have to try an focus on what isn't going wrong. Otherwise, I will probably go crazy. H and I are still healthy. We have use of our legs and arms, fingers, toes, and especially, brains. There has to be meaning. How do you find the meaning? How do you find the things that keep you going? What is the meaning of life?