It’s about time for a change

As the song goes, times they are a-changin’.

I’ve been pretty stable for the past few years– I just hit two and a half years at my job, I just resigned my lease on my apartment for a third year– this is all big stuff for me, a wanderer at heart.

So I’ve been a bit antsy for some change, especially since I’m now several months out from massage classes (and officially certified!), I’m ready to learn something or try new things or do something to shake things up.

My biggest problem, though, is I’m so tired. I’ve always blamed my tiredness on a lot of things– lack of sleep in college, lack of a proper schedule when working in food service, school on top of work during massage classes, and now? I sleep, I sleep regularly, and I only put in 40 hours at work. So why do I come home to nap at least 3 evenings a week? Why am I so exhausted?

After ruminating on it for quite a while, I’m taking a long-overdue look at my  diet. I eat a lot of junk. No seriously– a LOT of junk. I tend to be a convenience eater- I’ll grab whatever is there with the least amount of prep. This results in a lot of microwave meals and popcorn dinners. In keeping a food diary since March 1, I’ve also realized I eat consistently about 300 calories less than my body requires.

No wonder I’m so exhausted– I’m not fueling my body, especially with the things it needs. So– it’s time for a change.

For the month of April, my mom and I are going to do Whole 30. I recommend going to the website– it’s going to explain it a lot better than I can. But basically– it’s a way to restructure how you think about food. I’m not doing a “diet” to lose weight– I want to change how I feel about food (especially prepping/cooking food).

While I have had several panicked moments, I am armed with my book and the support of my mom. April has 30 days, which settles in nicely with this 30 day challenge, and I am excited to see what changes this brings about in my mindset and my life.

My goals are more energy, to have fun meal planning/prepping, and becoming more comfortable in the kitchen. 17 days until this little adventure begins!

Advertisements

Introducing… myself, via 20 questions

Question 1: How tall are you?

5’3.5″ …. that half inch counts for a lot.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

I am not good at keeping things hidden, I think. If I figure out I can do something, pretty much everyone knows. I guess I’m good at making up new lyrics to fit for my cat… I do that a lot. And only she knows. And now you.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Perfect lives that look like they’ve never met a struggle once. I live on the Struggle Bus.
Also recipes with really obscure ingredients and they act like it’s no big deal, but I wonder “where in Indiana would I find THAT?!”

Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?

Bad drivers. People who “get in my way.” Rude people. Hangnails.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

Oh man. I have so many. Dream On by Aerosmith, anything by Agnes Obel or The Beatles or Queen, really digging “I wanna be yours” by Arctic Monkeys.  Nara by Alt-J. Mostly anything by Alt-J.

Question 6: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

I am a bookworm, I’m always reading. Or Netflix-ing. Recently took up watercolors. Also love napping.

Question 7: What’s your favorite junk food?

Baked goods, especially cookies. Or ice cream. So… ice cream sandwiches seem like the appropriate answer.

Question 8: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

I have a very fluffy cat named Iris.

Question 9: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?

Hm. A few questions after saying I’m a bookworm, and I don’t think I can answer this question. For fiction, maybe The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, and nothing is popping into my mind right now. I am spending a lot of time with my massage therapy anatomy book, does that count?

Question 10: What’s your favorite beauty product?

Any moisturizer with SPF. Or mascara. Or powder foundation.

Question 11: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Red wine. I think.

Question 12: What’s your favorite movie?

You’ve Got Mail, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Mean Girls

Question 13: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Oh geez. Well definitely not prom queen. I guess I was a bit of a nerd, a bit of a loner, I ran track and played soccer but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a jock, ever. I did theater for a bit, too.

Question 14: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I really love where I am now– Indianapolis. But there are all sorts of other places I could see myself living.

Question 15: What’s your #1 most played song on iTunes?

I don’t use iTunes. It mostly just annoys me as a program. I think I listen to music most via my phone. Probably most played would be anything by Alt-J or maybe if I reach back to my iTunes days, Adele.

Question 16: If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?

Where am I going with my life? Also, why does my cat keep throwing up? I think I’d prefer an answer to the latter, actually.

Question 17: What was the first album you bought with your own money?

I wasn’t allowed to have my own music for a long time. But a rebellious aunt bought me a CD player sometime in middle school, so Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park was my first album.

Question 18: If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?

Life on the Struggle Bus. Or some better title, I’m pretty terrible at titles.

Question 19: If you could try-out any job what would it be?

I’ve always wanted to be an editor. Getting paid to read and work on books all day?! Yes please.

Question 20: What’s something you’ve done that you would never do again?

Get blackout drunk, or any sort of drunk that produces hangovers. Car wrecks, I’d like to avoid those again. As well as speeding tickets or tickets for any other reason.

God is being especially faithful to me this morning and ministering to me in ways that are making me tear up (or is that because I’m tired from being up at 3am with a vomiting cat?!)   Anyways… wanted to share this blog with you– if you don’t have time to read it all, I copied the paragraph(s) that hit me.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of needing “more” in our everyday lives. Keeping up with our neighbors, and even the strangers we follow online, leaves us looking around with discontented eyes and unhappy hearts. We are urged to do, to be, to strive for the next thing that seems to promise, “This will be it. This will be happiness.” Yet it never is. The Illustrated Bible Survey says it this way: “Thus, it is the burden of excess that humans can not handle. All that life offers eludes any sense of meaning and purpose without God.”
This passage in 1 Timothy isn’t about comparing our material blessings with someone else and feeling guilt for what we or they do or don’t have. Oh, no, the Gospel is much richer than that.
Paul is calling us to our own fight for faith. We don’t often recognize our battles in this life that offers instant gratification at every turn. We are constantly being lured away from recognizing our need for a Savior because we’ve grown comfortable with the lie that our needs can be met with earthly comforts. Our lives may look vastly different from those of our faith family around the world, but our desperation for the grace of Jesus is the same. – http://shereadstruth.com/2015/04/30/fighting-for-what-matters/

This, and Psalm 25 have been God’s way of reminding me, gently (even though for the millionth time) that he’s GOT THIS. That he’s WITH ME. That all the other stuff doesn’t actually matter, it’s me and him that matters.

If Blog Neglect were a crime, I’d be brought up on charges.

It’s not that I don’t want to blog, or am already over it or something. I still read all my blogs religiously, and am constantly finding more to read. Soon it will be a full-time job (attention all – how do I get paid for reading blogs all day?).

I’ve been sort of busy the past few weeks. The past month, maybe.

About a month ago (exactly a month ago) I went to Chicago for a few days for work. I sat through meetings, napped in the afternoons, and drank copious amounts of red wine.

We drove home from Chicago and I headed straight to the airport to pick up a friend for a weekend of hanging out, fun, and copious amounts of beer.

I recovered the whole next week. It takes me a while.

And with work full-time plus massage school on the weekends, I say I’ve got no free time. This isn’t true, of course. I have the week evenings. I went on a date (!), I’ve hung out with friends, I’ve read a few books, and mostly I crash and watch A LOT of TV.

With the weather getting nicer, I’m hoping for more time spent outside, and maybe for random inspiration to strike me to want to work out.

But blogging has taken a backseat to everything clamoring for my attention (and energy). I’ve been out of practice writing regularly, or maybe I’ve never made it a true habit. I have at least five half-filled journals around my house somewhere. I think I’ve only ever managed to fill a journal once. They’re like chapstick.

So I’ll be looking to carve out a bit more time to fill this space up– I have several painting projects planned and all kinds of thoughts swirling around in my head that I never quite get to putting down on paper (or on the screen…)

See you around!

-Abbi

Book Review: The Girl on the Train

The Goodreads blurb:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

22557272

It took me a while to get used to all the jumping around of viewpoints and even name changes, as we learn “Jess'” real name. But once I finally got the ladies all straight, I started really getting into the story. I rooted for Rachel as she struggled with her sobriety, I detested Anna, and I outloud gasped when I figured out whodunnit.

Goodreads likened it to Gone Girl, but I wouldn’t go quite that far. It’s not as dark, and maybe not quite as intense. But it was a fun and quick read that I would (and have!) recommend, and I’d rate it 3/5.

Reading List

I used to be a voracious reader; I can tear into a book in a matter of hours, depending on how wrapped up in the story I get.

These days, I’m not reading as much. Most of the time, I come home too tired to use my brain– or so I tell myself. I’ve made a minimal effort in the past months to work up the energy to read again, and I’ve been exploring book lists of “must reads.” Instead of just hearing about them and then forgetting, I’m making it my new habit to immediately request them from my local library. If they don’t have it, I’m also adding it to my Goodreads To-Read bookshelf, in case I ever run out of books (as if that could ever happen!).

So the following is my reading list for the foreseeable future. I’m really looking forward to them for so many reasons, including just getting back into reading!

I may update with some book reviews– stay tuned!

What are you reading, any suggestions?

Three reasons to get a massage this month

It’s cold & flu season

And according to this 2010 study, Swedish massage can help boost your immunity!

You’ll be happier

Massage Envy, a growing massage chain, wrote this article about massage therapy can reduce cortisol levels and increase serotonin and dopamine levels!

Your heart will thank you

The American Massage Therapy Association says this about massage therapy lowering your blood pressure (and helping lower stress levels).