What I’m Loving Lately VI

books, daily life, food, music, pregnancy, reading

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

It has been awhile since I have written one of these — not since January. I woke up around three this morning, not feeling well. I fell back asleep at five, but for the most part feel kind of groggy today. This is 38 weeks of pregnancy! Very glamorous.

Watching : Like nearly everyone else on this planet, I finished watching the final season of Game of Thrones the other day. That said, I’m not sure I can include it in things that I love. I liked the endings for everyone, but I thought it needed more time, more development to get to those endings. I’ve also been watching Chernobyl on HBO and it is terrifying and excellent. I feel so stressed out when I watch it, but it is so well-done I cannot stop watching. Bruno says there is a podcast that goes with it, but I have not listened yet. Other than that — I’ve been trying to watch how much television we watch. I’m tired of feeling like my evenings go to scanning through netflix, hbo, prime to find something to watch before bed. I’m not anti-tv. I love it, but I like to be a little bit more deliberative about what I’m watching.

Listening : My big post-dissertation gift to myself was a turn table. We bought an Audio-Technica. After it arrived, we went to our local record store and I bought Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin. For awhile it has been our only record, so I think baby will be a big Led Zeppelin fan. This last month, however, we bought Greta Van Fleet’s From the Fires, so we are expanding. I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to starting and maintaining a record collection, so I feel like such a newb. I will say this: there is a great pleasure to listening to something on analog. I like having to get up and turn the record to the other side. Plus, with headphones on all the time, Bruno and I do not get to share the music we are listening to, it seems much more communal now. I like that.

Reading : Plenty. I’ll share my May reads later, but I’m also trying to make it through some books in preparation for teaching in the fall. I am reading Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People. I did read a new history textbook the other week. I won’t share the name, because I’m not quite sure it is out yet, but I did not particularly care for it. I’ve been reading Introduction to the Devout Life by Francis de Sales in the morning and I love it. And of course — I’m still making my way through re-reading Harry Potter. I’m finally on Half-Blood Prince, so we’ll see if I get through all seven before baby arrives.

Eating : Probably too much. We bought Cook Once, Eat All Week to see if it would help save time and money. I think initially it cost quite a bit — all those different oils, spices, you know. But I think it will end up paying for itself. I spend all Sunday afternoon getting the components of the meals together and I love that it is step-by-step and I don’t have to think about it too much. We’ve been following it for three weeks and have been pretty happy about it. We had some bbq meatloafs with carrot fries which were delicious. Other than that — I am loving ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream.

What are you loving lately?

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A Quiet Saturday

daily life, motherhood, pregnancy

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 

I suppose, being 38 weeks pregnant, I do not have many quiet Saturdays left. I have had low-grade impatience for the baby to arrive beginning this month, but this past weekend I had a nice reminder to enjoy this time of waiting.

I think it began with the fact I actually had a good night’s sleep. Thank goodness, for Benadryl. I did not wake up once and woke up at around 6:30ish in the morning — which is late for me. Planning on going to my small group meeting in the morning, I read the Gospel for the week and some Harry Potter (what else, ha!) before eating breakfast, hopping in the shower, and heading to the church for my meeting. After my small group, I sat at the church for Eucharistic adoration for about an hour, reading Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life.

I walked to Jilly Beans’ Coffee Shop and bought a coffee and cinnamon roll. I sat by myself and just read for about an hour or so. I’m not the type of person to let little moments pass me by and I’m grateful. While reading, I realized that very soon not every Saturday morning would be able to look as calm or peaceful. Even without a baby, not every Saturday goes according to plan. I think I very easily get sucked down the social media/internet rabbit hole and before you know it, I’ve had three cups of coffee and while I’ve been scrolling like crazy, I feel tired, stressed, and frankly meaningless.

Bruno picked me up and we had a quick lunch at home before going on a two mile walk. I hoped I would go into labor. I did not go into labor. Instead, my feet and what is left of my ankles swelled up like melons. I can barely fit in my shoes. It was hot out, so we joked we were training for living in Texas. The next several hours were spent sitting on our front porch reading. After that — we ate dinner and watched some HBO, before an early bed time of around 9ish.

It really does not seem like much. Dinner was left overs. We watched Chernobyl which was probably not the best choice for right before bed. Most of my reading was for work (though very enjoyable — I highly recommend) — I read Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People. Walking two miles is not an impressive work out and a far cry from my Saturday long runs (how I miss thee!). On the surface, the day does not seem special at all.

But, even though I’m impatient for baby, I’m grateful for these last few quiet Saturdays. I’m grateful for these last few walks with just Bruno and myself. Even as the the weeks until baby’s arrival turn into days, I’m going to take advantage that the quiet time I have: read more, write more, walk more and enjoy the calm, not before the storm, but before the creation of a new normal, with new Saturday routines, and a brand new person in the mix.

Monday Miles : May 13 – 19, 2019 (37 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, pregnancy, training

I would be lying if I didn’t say it is just getting harder. I’m happy that I did a lot of walking this week, but I also have not been sleeping much — so nothing felt good for most of the week. Towards Friday, I started feeling a lot better, but I’m truly counting down the days now. My ankles are huge and swollen and everything for this week seemed to require a lot of motivation. I showed up though.

Things to improve on: Stretching, stretching, stretching. I suspect it is my lack of mobility, but the last thing I want to do is get on the floor and stretch even though I know my hips could use it.

5 – 13 : CrossFit. We did the Open Games 11.1/14.1 wod. Of course — I did it heavily modified. 10 minutes AMRAP – 50 single-unders, 35 lbs. hang power-snatches. I managed 4 rounds + 10 single-unders. Aside for all the jump-rope, I thought this was a fun work-out.

5 – 14 : Walk – 41 minutes, 1.5 miles.

5 – 15 : Walk – 40 minutes, 1.69 miles.

5 – 16 : CrossFit/Walk. The actual work-out called for a 5k time trial. I joined in for the warm-up and walked two laps of the 5k route. It was a good reminder that even when I really cannot do the work-out, it is nice to show up. 37 minutes – 1.89 miles.

5 – 17 : Rest.

5 – 18 : Walk – 53 minutes, 2 miles.

5 – 19 : Walk – 20 minutes, 1 mile. I actually stretched after this walk too.

Totals : CrossFit – 2 hours. Walking – Around 3 hours, 20 minutes. Around 4 hours of working out total (combined that crossfit/walk session).

Onward!

Favorite Things : May 11 – 17, 2019

favorite things

Good morning and happy Friday! I’ve been up since around 3:30 today. I took some time to read, but decided to just get into the day. I submitted my minor revisions for an academic article the other day and have been working on editing and cutting down another chapter so that I can send a new article out. I’m reading Paul Johnson’s A History of the American People and will hopefully will go out and take a walk later. I’m tired, but I have not been able to sleep. Week days and weekends can kind of run into each other when working from home, but I’m hoping that I can find some good time to relax.*

I found a few favorite things from the ‘net this week:

Definitely in line with the idea of 1% better, Modern Mrs. Darcy writes on just giving our goals a minute.

Interesting article form Vox about moving to an affordable city in the midwest.

Things to improve on.

I’m just going to say it. Danielle Steel’s work schedule is insane.

But don’t take my advice!

Progress is never dramatic.

On base lines and finish lines.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

*Amazon affiliate link.

A Review of The Wealthy Teacher by Danny Kofke

books

Something Bruno has been saying a lot lately is, “Boomer is not an age, but a state of mind.” A boomer is defined someone who considers measures of success, how things are going in politics by the stock market, their 401k, the gdp, etc. Frequently, he’ll say something along the lines of “boomers gonna boom” when discussing anyone who tends to fall under this category.

I joked last night that I was probably the “boomer” in our marriage. I’m the one who regularly listens to Dave Ramsey, keeps up the excel spreadsheet that charts our progress in paying our student loans, and reads all the personal finance books and websites. Bruno said he didn’t think so, because I don’t think those things are an end in themselves or the ultimate sign of the health of a society.

Anyway – I finished reading another personal finance book the other week. This one specifically written for teachers: The Wealthy Teacher: Lessons for Prospering on a School Teacher’s Salary by Danny Kofke. I thought it was just ok. I like common sense books about budgeting and money — things are fairly obvious, but I like having guidelines written down. This book is good for that, but you could probably find them anywhere else. It also contains its on “baby step” process makes a few divergences, but for the most part is essentially Dave Ramsey for teachers.

For example, he writes, “In most marriages, there is usually someone who is more of a free spirit and the other one is more of the nerd; in my case, I am the nerd.” This is straight out of Total Money Makeover, but Kofke never cites or provides his source. I think this really irked the scholar in me. Provide your citations and sources — this is basically plagiarism, dude! You’re a teacher. Do better.

One thing I thought was helpful from this book that I’m not sure the Ramsey-lit offers is the chapter on retirement. Once again we get into boomer territory. I think it is funny that we still have books that suggest that retirement is an option in the same way as it used to be, or even that it may even be desirable (especially for those of us who are not physical laborers). I don’t envision a retired future for myself playing golf, traveling, whatever. I like the idea of continuing to be productive until the inevitable happens. Most people have zero idea how to spend leisure time even when they work 40-50 hours a week. Do you know happens after retirement? You wait around and then you die.

But I digress. All the above does not mean I do not think you should be responsible and save for the future. Like I said, I’m totally guilty of being the “boomer” in our marriage. The retirement chapter is helpful if you are thinking about where to put your money, especially since most teachers will not have 401ks. It did give me plenty to think about for our plans.

Still — I’m not sure I would recommend this book. I mean it is ok. If you’ve never read a personal finance book ever, it is fine. If you are afraid being a teacher is going to lead you to a life of poverty and just want to be assured everything is going to ok, I think it has its uses in that realm too. But for the most part, it seems like ideas taken from other personal finances gurus and put together for money-interested teachers.

Graduation Weekend

dissertation, graduate school

Even though all my doctoral requirements were completed on February 14, I made it official by graduating this weekend. I was not planning on walking. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m feeling uncomfortable and I’ll admit sitting through a graduation ceremony did not seem like the best use of my time when I could prepare. I think the nesting impulse is strongly alive and well.

But I decided to walk and had some family come up to Michigan. It is strange to think that the next time I’ll see them it will be as a family of three, not two. I was told the day of graduation, I could leave after receiving my diploma, which was a great kindness. I watched the rest of the doctoral and masters students receive their diplomas, but left before they began calling the undergraduates.

60581477_1025689444303044_8239642105924812800_n.jpg

We went out to eat at Cascarelli’s in Homer afterwards. I don’t have any pictures, but let me tell you something. For a small town, Homer surprisingly has the best pizza I have ever tasted. My grandparents and parents agreed. After, they left for Ohio and we returned back to Hillsdale, making a quick ice cream stop at the Udder Side first.

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It was nice that the day was over for us by 6:30. Even though it was not a long day, I’ve been wanting to be home more and more — that nesting impulse.

I’ve had time to get used to be done with my dissertation — time that has been better improved now that I’m looking forward, preparing to teach. Still — it was a nice capstone on what has been six years of graduate school, six years of reading, writing, and if I am being totally honest, stressing out, but also six years of joy.

Graduate school is hard, but not in the way I thought it would be. I hardly ever had to pull over-nighters, sleeping six to eight hours most nights. I think the work is manageable, provided you are good at time management and getting things done. But it is hard in the length. It can be hard to dedicate yourself to something that maybe you make 1% progress on a day, especially when you are working on the dissertation and you only receive feedback every couple of months or so. It is a test of endurance and trust in yourself.

I know academia has a bad rap. It is harder and harder to get an academic job. I think someone told me yesterday about a prestigious English Ph.D. department who recently graduated 36 Ph.D. students, none who have academic jobs. I knew my chances of getting an academic job were slim. I think I went in with my eyes wide open. All I really wanted to do was read great books and teach and I’ll be doing that this fall. I consider it an enormous win.

60087810_595461407602070_5219562914607792128_n

I’m grateful to have had six years to take classes on thinkers from Hobbes to Marcuse. I’m grateful that I could spend two years writing a dissertation on Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a topic I cared about. I’m also especially grateful I managed to do all that without accruing any extra debt, thanks to a full-ride and living stipend. My time will be a little different now — not as flexible with both teaching and a baby — and I’m glad to say I never took what I doing very granted. Yes, I complained about the stress and the pressure, but overall I was grateful. I still am.

 

 

 

Monday Miles : May 6 – 12, 2019 (36 Weeks Pregnant)

monday miles, pregnancy, training

I am thirty-seven weeks pregnant. At this point, everything hurts. I’m exhausted. And while I was counting down the weeks and days until my due date (June 3) before, by the end of last week I became impatient. I woke up last week, just feeling different. Walking has become much more difficult. I waddle and cramp up. I cannot seem to get comfortable no matter what position I’m in — sitting, standing, laying down. These are all normal things, of course. Once again, I know I’m blessed that my only complaints about pregnancy have all been the normal things that come with pregnancy. But suddenly, I can see why that ninth month can be long.

I still managed to get some moving in this past week and hopefully will continue to until the very end. I’m not sure how much CrossFit I’m going to be able to do. Suddenly it seems that no matter what movement I do, I look down at my stomach and it is coning. From what I read, that is a big no-no and can contribute to diastasis recti, but it seems like no matter what movement I get torpedo belly. Just a couple more weeks, just a couple more weeks.

5 – 6 : Walk – 30 minutes. 1.34 miles.

5 – 7 : CrossFit – 3 push-press every 2 minutes, 30 seconds for 13 minutes : 55 lbs., 60, 65, 70, 70, 70. Alternate every 10 minutes: Held 20 lbs. overhead, 10 pull-ups with green band. This is what I mean by torpedo belly, I would be trying to do the assisted pull-ups (badly, I no longer can get my chin over the bar) and I would look down and boom cone. This was not there before.

5 – 8 : CrossFit – 5x AMRAP 2 minutes, 1 minute rest – 3 hang power-cleans, 50 lbs., 9 wall burpees (squat, wall push-up combo). 13.5 rounds. I loved this work-out. I’m sure it would have been much for difficult if I was actually doing the burpees, but it felt good to be able to move quick and to push myself. No cone baby, either. Walk – 40 minutes – 1.97 miles.

5 – 9 : Yoga with Adriene — Deep Stretch.

5 – 10 : Rest.

5 – 11 : Walk – 30 minutes – 1.37 miles.

5 – 12 : Rest.

Totals : CrossFit – 2 hours. Walking – 1 hour 40 minutes. Yoga – 45 minutes. 3 hours 25 minutes working out.

Onward!

 

 

Favorite Things : May 4 – 10, 2019

favorite things

Graduation is tomorrow. I will be rocking those big doctoral gowns (I’m renting) and will walk across stage to receive my diploma for my Ph.D. I have to confess (authenticity being a virtue and all) that this seems sort of “meh.” When I presented my dissertation, that felt like a big moment, the moment I was done, the moment I shared my hard work. This just seems like a task I have to do on a Saturday, along with making bread, yogurt, and cleaning the house before my parents and grandparents arrive.

Bruno and I found out what classes we are teaching next year, so finally I have a project to work on. I’m grateful. I still do not seem to have the capacity for long-term concentration on anything related to Rousseau or my dissertation, though I have been working on edits for my journal article. However, I can spend all day reading American history. I also just love having direction and goals again. Plus, I mean…American history…it really is a joy.

Not too much for favorite things this week. I really have not spent too much time loafing around on the internet (!).

Habits of “lucky” people.

I’m always complaining about how cold the library at my school is. I love that this exists.

Apparently the fashionable aperol spritzes are causing controversy (I’ve always preferred campari spritzes myself).

I may have to write more on this, but I keep seeing this New Republic article shared and compared to the sports-writing article I shared from last week, the writer seems incredibly entitled. Who promised the intellectual life was a money-maker? (Asks the political theory Ph.D.)

What are your plans for this weekend? Anything on the internet catch your eye?

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

books, goals, motherhood, pregnancy, running

Contains Amazon affiliate links. 


I re-read Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think this week. I read it a few years ago, liked it, and of course, never implemented anything from the book. I never kept a time log, but I did like her approach to time management. Sometimes I just like to read these books for the inspiration and motivation.

This time around I think it was better for me. I’m not keeping a time log because I know life is about to be drastically different in the next few weeks or so, but because it was a good reminder that I can still have personal goals and ambition post-baby. Women do it all the time – she has the time logs (ha!) to prove it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I move toward the end of my 36th week of pregnancy. As someone put it, “Baby can come any day now.” Yet – I frequently have people tell me all I can say good-bye to sleep, eating, working-out, reading, any sort of leisure time at all, and lastly my sanity. I’m sure that I am about to achieve a real shock to my system, but are these things true?

I appreciate Vanderkam’s answer to that question: no. I’ll admit, I’m very excited to be a mother, but not at the expense of giving up my entire self. One of my big post-baby goals is to train for a trail 50k. I suspect training for that will not happen until 2020, but I’m thinking about it, planning for it. Is this naive because I have no idea how motherhood will take up my time? Is this a completely selfish goal? Or, with a lot of planning, self-disciplining, and my new Bob stroller is this goal doable? I think the answer is yes to the latter. I hope it is.

Anyway — these are questions I’m thinking about right now. I suspect I will return to Vanderkam’s book again as I recover post-pregnancy and begin the new job. I hope to pick up I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time and have been scanning through her blog archives all week, happy to have hope that having a family and personal goals (or even work) goals do not have to be separate or even contradictory. As Jennifer Fulwiler puts it, it really can be One Beautiful Dream.

May 2019 Goals : Year of 1% Better

books, goals, Harry Potter, pregnancy

If you’re new here, I declared 2019 the Year of 1% Better. Here’s a list of all previous goal posts.

January: Goals | Outcomes

February: Goals | Outcomes

March: Goals | Outcomes

April : Goals | Outcomes

May will be my last month as a non-parent. I mean — I guess technically I am a mom, but rumor has it taking care of babies is a lot harder when they are on the outside. I’m inclined to believe it! Hah!

So it feels weird to make goals for this month. I mainly feel like I am holding my breath. This is the last month of the old normal, before the new normal arrives. I do not feel too stressed, thankfully. At the same time, however, I wonder, “Am I doing enough? Am I prepared enough?” This goes for baby, moving in July, and beginning to teach in August. Frankly, if I think about it too much I become mentally overwhelmed by newness.

Part of me wants to rush head-long into it. Let’s just get started already. I’m sincerely and truly excited for everything to come. I’m grateful that the baby will be here soon, to be moving somewhere exciting, and to teach subjects I love to smart students. But I have enjoyed my life with Bruno for the past nearly two years of marriage with just the two of us. I love living in Michigan (a bold statement for this Ohio girl!). I have had an exceedingly flexible schedule the last few years. Writing your dissertation does not require that you get dressed in regular clothes. All of these things are big changes.

I’ll admit another part of me questions, “What is the point?” Everything is about to be disrupted anyways — why start new habits? Why not wait – post-pone – until baby is here, we’ve moved, and I see what life looks like teaching in Texas?

But that just is not me. I have never been the type of person who says when “x” happens, I’ll do “y.” I just make “y” happen, whether that be run a marathon during an exceedingly difficult four class semester, get pregnant while finishing up my dissertation, or working-out while pregnant. Though I’ll admit circumstances do matter, for the most part we can do more than we think.

So – here are some of my goals for this month. Yes, the big goal is to just breathe, enjoy the calm before the baby, but nine months pregnant or not, I’m still capable of moving forward, of being 1% better. They are small, but that is the point.

Scholarly writing/editing – 30 minutes – 5x week : I found out at the end of last month my revise and resubmit for an article was accepted with minor style revisions. I’ll admit I’m still too burnt out (ok, I’m babying myself here) to just sit down and go through the revisions in one day and turn it in. Instead — I’m taking it little by little, thirty minutes a day of going back through and re-reading everything. I’m about half-way done and should have it re-submitted by the end of this week, but I’ve been thinking ahead. I think with baby and teaching full-time, thirty minutes will continue to be doable for me. I want to start the baseline for that habit now. I think people underestimate what they can accomplish in a focused 30-60 minutes and overestimate what they can get done in a day. I also plan on continuing with my April goal of fifteen minutes a day notebook writing.

Scan all class notes. I know it is tedious. I know sometimes the scanner refuses to cooperate, so I spend on hour scanning to find nothing was sent to my e-mail. Just get it done. I’ll be happier knowing that I do not have boxes of files sitting around my desk anymore. I’ll be happier knowing I can find what I need in DropBox and Evernote. I’ll be very happy to recycle everything and know I do not have to pack all these loose papers for Texas and find a place in a small apartment to store them. JUST DO IT.

Keep television to weekends. I do not even really watch much tv, but sometimes it can be easy to watch something I do not care about at all on Netflix or HBO or what have you. This is the last month Bruno and I have as just the two of us, I don’t want to waste it by staring at the tv for the last few hours a day.

Finish re-reading Harry Potter. Here is my fun one. I’m reading Order of Phoenix right now, so I should be able to get done by the end of this month. I want to be done before baby arrives when I plan on listening to them read by Stephen Fry (which I have never done before!). It is always the season for Harry.

I’m keeping it simple this month. Just four! Of course, I plan on continuing to CrossFit for as long as I can until baby comes and watch my social media (holdovers from previous months).

What are your goals for May?