Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 in Review

The older I get, the less value I find in looking back. This is not to say that reflection has no virtue.  Certainly, as a writer, reflection is a big piece of what I do; but in terms of living? I generally think it's best to move forward.  That said, I would just like to take an opportunity to reflect back on the list of goals I had written for myself for 2013 before forging into this, what I will consider, middle year (I'll explain this later).

Without further ado, here is my 2013 goal list (with comments, of course):

Weekly yoga practice -- 5x
There were periods throughout the year wherein I actually accomplished this goal.  In fact, to prepare for my training in July, from May to June, I practiced 8-10 times per week, mostly in the studio.  Prior to May, I may have averaged about three times per week. After I returned from my training, at the end of July, I experienced a some burn-out.  For a few months I made it in to the studio maybe once per week.  I did try paddleboard yoga, which was great fun, though super-challenging; and I did more anti-gravity yoga, which I will just say now: not a fan.  I started teaching in September and was able to teach at a lovely healing arts center throughout September, October and November.  Given my work and school schedule, I neither taught nor made it in to the studio in December.  I did teach a nice private session to my sister over holiday break.  I look forward to returning to my mat this year.

Weekly studio yoga -- 1x

See above. :)

200-hour yoga teacher training @ Kripalu in Lenox, MA

Done!  See

Weekly gym workouts -- 5x
I'm pretty sure I did this consistently from January-March.  Looking back at my calendar, I notice that in April, I began exercising outside more, which I believe to be an apt substitute. Last year, instead of purchasing a gym membership wherein I have to pay a fee every month, I took advantage of the gym's end-of-the-year special to join for a one-time fee of $99, then tried to go 99 times before the weather tempted me to exercise outside. I did this again for 2014. The one-time fee is steep but I rationalize my purchase insofar as each visit only costs me a dollar; likewise, my system of Angel-economics also gives me incentive to get those gym visits in during those long, cold winter days.  Good for me and good for me. :)

On the other hand, by the time the weather began to get cold (or wet or snowy) again, I only made it in to the gym a handful of times.  By late-October I was having a difficult time keeping up with all things work and school so working out,  for the most part, got pushed off my weekly calendar. Not so good for me. :/ Fortunately, I had my 99 visits in by the end of April.

Eight 5k races this year -- Beat 35 min. time
Done! I actually ran eight 5k races and one 10k race this year. I did manage to beat the 35-minute time; I got a new 5k best-time of 30:25, which is a 9:48/mile.  This was kind of amazing to me.  Although, my all-time 5k goal is a sub-30 finish.  Maybe this year?

My 10k time was 65:30, which was also amazing to me. I distinctly remember telling one of our (Aaron and my) running buddies in April that there was "no way I could ever run a 10k." Then, after I returned from Kripalu (high on inspiration), I decided to challenge myself to it and voila. And the race wasn't that bad.  I felt great afterward and even better the days following. I would definitely be up for running another 10k (or two) next season.

Volunteer at least once a month
Sadly, I did not do this.  I think I managed three times the entire year: once at the food bank, once at the radio station during the fund drive (my favorite), and once this fall with the Cornell Cooperative Extension. I should do better this year.

Clear out upstairs bedroom...make into a study/yoga room
Still a work in progress...always a work in progress...

Clear out wardrobe
I did this numerous times throughout the year.  Each time I find it easier to let go of items.  This year I may even manage to give up some of my Halloween costumes.

Write at least once a week
I did a lot of writing this year.  Certainly not the type that I had intended to do when I wrote my list of goals.  Nonetheless I wrote more in 2013 than I did in 2012. I don't think I consistently wrote once a week but anytime I did write, I practiced certain elements of the craft and I do believe that I am getting better.  This is good, of course, given I have a Masters in English-Creative Writing.  Sometimes it just takes me a little longer. :)

Assemble professional portfolio
I did not do this. Based on what I have learned and done thus far in my Nutrition program, in my internship, in my yoga practice, assembling the portfolio may have been somewhat premature. I imagine this year will be a good year to begin such and I look forward to the opportunity to do so.

26 acts of kindness
I didn't exactly do this in the manner of which I had intended (when I added it to the list) but I hope that I did it in some capacity this year.

So that's it.  2013 was a pretty good year. Some things may make the list (which I have yet to finish) for 2014.  After all, they are just goals and while I believe it's good to set time-frames, I also believe the simple act of achieving a goal is admirable.

Again, I learned a great deal about myself in 2013, most of what I learned this past year related to ways in which I learn (For instance, I learned I am a more visual and kinetic learner as opposed to a verbal learner; this was an interesting revelation because I'd always thought that my love of words made me an oral/verbal learner. As it turns out, the learning part of my brain seems to better-respond to images and movement. Although, I still love words.), and ways in which I work.  I spent a lot of time thinking about integration and organization, in various forms. I imagine I will continue to think about these concepts as the new year progresses.

I continue to feel hopeful for humanity and will try to do my little part to make the world a better place. For me, 2014 will be somewhat of a bridge year, as I will finish my Master's program in 2015 and have no real professional changes in line for this upcoming year. I know what my Spring and Fall and Winter will look like but haven't quite mapped out a plan for the summer.  Nevertheless, I'm content to settle in for a year that holds no specific expectations yet has much to offer.  Happy New Year! And thank you for reading my blog. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Everything

Instead of doing what I should be doing (sleeping), I just wanted to take a few minutes to rave about the new semester.

I taught my first class yesterday morning and it went well.  It's only a 50-minute class which does not leave much time to do little more than take roll, review the syllabus, and facilitate an ice-breaker.  But it was all good. It seems the majority (like 95%) of the class consists of first-time college students...those are my favorites!

I had my first graduate course yesterday afternoon which was actually the second part of a course I took last term (which was actually the first part of the course sequence). Anyway, we have a new professor for the course so it does feel like a different course. This term we will focus on the macronutrients (i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, lipids) as opposed to the micronutrients (i.e. vitamins, minerals, trace minerals). Nevertheless, I imagine the course itself (a metabolism course) will be just as challenging this term as the second half was last term.

This morning I had my Advanced Food Sciences course which, from our introductory lecture, I think will be extremely interesting. The professor is amazing. She was a guest speaker in one of my other classes and has done some super-impressive research. This course also has a lab and the lab itself is brand new.  It was completely renovated and looks like a state-of-the-art test kitchen.  I'm so excited! I hope I have time to blog about our labs this semester (apparently we'll be making yummy things like candy, gluten-free breads, cakes and taking a field trip to a!).

I had an opportunity to check out the newly renovated library at Sage, now known as the Shea Learning Center.  It's really beautiful. I feel pretty lucky to have such a posh place to study.

Tomorrow I have my final first which is a class in research methods. I love doing research but I'm certain that my methods could use a little honing.  Quite certain.

I spent a great deal of time this week working on my internship. So far it's fabulous and I really love doing the work.

Oh, and finally I'd like to mention that Hudson Valley has a big, brand-spanking newly-constructed Science Building. It looks crazy fancy and one of these days, this lowly liberal arts faculty member will wander over and check it out! Wahoo!

So that's that.  Hooray for the semester start!

PS: Don't get me wrong, I know it's going to be extra-challenging and a lot of hard work. (I already have an immense amount of work due on Thursday and Friday) There will likely be a fair amount of frustrations and, perhaps, some tears, but that's okay because I'm up for it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Outward, Onward, Update

I'm going to write this here because I don't know where else to write it, yet I feel compelled to get this information out of my head before I can really organize it.  If I do it here, I can also provide a bit of an update, yes?  I'm already being efficient. If I do say so myself.

The other day I mapped out my schedule for the fall.  The schedule consisted of teaching three classes at Hudson Valley, taking three classes in my grad school course work, and...well, I guess that's all.  Those tasks alone had me busy Monday through Friday.  The tasks that I did not have on the schedule were teaching a yoga class (or two) and working five-hours a week for an internship with the New York State Public Health Association.  Nor did it include actually studying.  Or lesson planning. Or grading. Or doing my own yoga practice. Or spending time with Aaron...or the dogs...or my friends. Or 5k training.  Or eating. Or sleeping.  So I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed.

I guess I should back up and say that yoga teacher training was great!  I am now officially a certified yoga instructor.  Plus, yesterday I registered with Yoga Alliance so I am also officially an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher).  Now all I have to do is teach some classes.  In other yoga news, I have received an unofficial offer to teach classes at my favorite studio...but I don't know how or when or if that will work out for sure.  Right now, I'm thinking I might get some classes in September however, nothing is official yet.  Still, I'm hopeful (and excited!) (and scared).

I have been home for nearly two weeks now and I'm beginning to get back into the swing of things: finalizing teaching schedules -- I was offered two more sections to teach but only took one of them, finalizing class schedules, writing a syllabus (or three), unpacking, sorting through some things here at the much STUFF!

Yesterday I had a meeting with my advisor and the internship director.  As I was sitting in my advisor's office, listening to the internship director I began to feel a little uneasy about the transition.  Not just taking on this internship but shifting my focus from personal goals to professional goals.  While I think my personal and professional goals are finally aligned, I find that moving from a place where growth seems easy and natural (writing, philosophy, yoga) to a place where it is not-so-easy (science, nutrition, big internship deadlines) and somewhat daunting, can be...well...somewhat daunting.  Although, I imagine it will all balance out in the end, yes?  I mean, seeing the two extremes splayed across my little computer screen sort of makes me feel like this is what's supposed to happen. That's what life is like, right?  The journey anyway?  Full of peaks and valleys...that's what makes it interesting.  Let's face it, anyone who's driven across Kansas or Nebraska may appreciate the flat route but man is it boring!  So yes.  I'm glad I came here.  This has been helpful.  Besides, I have two weeks to prepare for my trip...and I can't imagine it will be anything less than that: a trip.

Thank you for reading...I'll send postcards. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Oops! I did it again.

Here is a link to my yoga blog:

I will catch up here on the East Coast Girl blog later this week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It is time.

It is time for East Coast Girls Are Hip to go private.  This will not happen for a few weeks but if you are interested in reading, please email me and let me know.  Include the email address with which you like to "sign in" to read this blog.  Chances are I will not post here very often.  I have some other ideas mulling around in my head.  As I have mentioned before, I've had a lot of things in my head for a long while.  Since my summer [teaching] course was canceled, I shall have plenty of time to sort out what's in my head and possibly begin some new projects. :)

Additionally, I have been accepted into the Kripalu 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.  Those closest to me know how very excited I am -- and continue to become every day -- to begin this program.  It is a four-week in-residence program and Kripalu, the place, from what I hear, is phenomenal.  Take a look for yourself:

In any case, I have a busy summer planned:  cleaning, sorting, purging, exploring, renewing,  and refilling...all so much easier to accomplish when the days are long and the sun is shining! :)

Namaste, my friends.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why doesn't this add up?

It is Sunday evening, nearly Monday morning.  I feel like I have been busy all weekend yet, it's past my bedtime and I still don't feel as though I've made any significant accomplishments even though I:
  • took morning dog duty
  • spent about an hour and a half at Panera grading papers over breakfast
  • picked up some groceries for dinner
  • dropped the groceries at home, started the laundry
  • hit the gym / read documents for a school project
  • took the girls to the park / met up with Nicole :)
  • gave the dogs a bath
  • gave myself a bath
  • out to lunch with Aaron
  • returned home for an hour / folded laundry
  • went to yoga
  • picked Aaron up and headed back to the park for 5k training
  • out for frozen yogurt :)
  • returned home to work on project, laundry, etc.
  • cooked dinner
  • cleaned up after dinner
  • worked on project 
  • gathered the trash for tomorrow's pick-up and...
  • wrote this kind of sad, whiny blog post.

Yet I still feel like I have a million things to do.  Which, of course, I don't have a million things to do but I still have four very important course-related things to do, a few lesson plans (though they should be pretty easy to draft up at this point in the term), a short stack of Comp. I papers to grade, probably some emails to respond to, emails to write...blah!  Too much!  So that is why I don't blog here regularly.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

These days...

These days, I am dragging myself and a handful of documents to the gym.  I work out on the machine for a good 30-minutes while reviewing APII Power Points or reading about specific micro-nutrients for my metabolism class.  Afterward, I head back home to get ready for the day.  Usually my days consist of attending class or prepping for teaching my own courses.  I am out three evenings a week -- two evenings teaching and one graduate seminar -- and try to make the most of my short little weekends.  That generally includes time with Aaron, the dogs, yoga, more homework, grading, and spending time with my lovely friends.  It's a good life.  Full in all the best ways, which is more than I can say about my days as an associate dean.

I rarely have the desire to write blogs these days.  For nearly a year now, I've been turned off by the blog and, as much as I try to be not turned off by it, I find it difficult to get excited about writing anything online.  I tried getting back onto Facebook but found it to be a distraction that I could not afford to entertain. Besides, I have plenty of other things to keep my busy.

One of my goals for 2013 is to participate in eight 5ks.  This week I began "training" on the treadmill (which has turned out to be a second trip to the gym).  My hope is that I can participate in my first 5k in April.  Cross your fingers for me!  Although yes, at this point, it will take a lot more than finger-crossing for me to cross any finish lines in a timely manner.  But that's okay.  I'm up for the challenge.

My dear friend, Nicole, and I have been trying out various hummus recipes: avocado, black bean, cilantro-lime, carrot...all fantastic.  Last week, Nicole and I also went to see "Silver Linings Playbook" which I liked, admittedly, much better than I thought I might.

I have been offered a summer class (teaching) and two, possibly three, classes in the fall.  I was offered a fourth possible class but did not want to commit to teaching four classes this coming fall.  All in all, the year is moving along quite nicely.  I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life and thankful for all the many opportunities I have been/am given.  Happy March, everyone! :)