it’s time for a break

life, The U

It's official, the semester is half over. Orginally I had planned on going to Death Valley for the week. I craved a place where my cell phone wouldn't work and I wouldn't be able to check my email every 15 minutes. (in reality, it's probably every 5 minutes) But funds have been tight this month and driving 10 hours each way for just a couple days of quiet really kind of lost its appeal. So in Salt Lake City I shall stay.

And then I won't have to leave Ellie behind either. 

And it's not like I don't have plenty to do while I say here. There's always laundry and dishes to get done, plus a house to clean, but I could do with getting my taxes done and my room cleaned out and decluttered as well. There's a tree in the backyard so I can still string up my hammock and check out of daily life if the weather is nice. 

The problem is I've been having a hard time concentrating on just one thing. I'm constantly jumping from a to b to c and rarely making it back to a in a timely manner. 

Case and point, while typing this post I decided to update my phone and ipad then got distracted with organizing my pictures and then downloading new podcasts. I thought I would listen to one while typing and that didn't really work out either. Even the music playing now is distracting me. *Le sigh* I'm breaking out the coffee shop noise.

And since this morning I've bopped around starting a whole bunch of things and not really finishing any of them. It's time to get focused. Though I am glad I finally learned how to take video with my dslr.

Maybe I'll feel more motivated after I eat something. And while I'm out grabbing food I should swing by the bank and run by Target. And I have a hankering to create something but I'm not sure what. I'm sure a trip to the craft store would solve that problem… but so would Pinterest and I'll spend two hours there and not even realize I still haven't eaten and now the bank is closed and I don't really want to go to Target anymore.

See what I mean? This is a real problem.

I'll get to Death Valley another time, I'm sure.

out for the winter

life, The U

School's out now. It's pretty much official, even though I have a monster paper to finish up and turn in, tests and classes are complete. I'm well on my way to relearning what getting a full night's sleep is all about.

I'm hoping to make it to the ski slopes this winter season, so far not so good. While classes ended last week, I still have work to do and getting this paper wrapped up has been a royal pain in my side. But with the promise of three full weeks off and away from campus, I'm plodding ahead, making slow but steady progress.

Christmas is around the corner. Are you ready? I'm so not ready. My roommate has been busy decorating the apartment with garlands of bottle caps and paper trees and I haven't purchased one gift, mailed one card,  or even made one shopping list. I'm plumb out of inspiration this year and it's starting to bother me. I'm hoping that now the semester is wrapped with a neat little bow I can get moving on my holiday preps. 

There is much to look forward with next semester. But until then, I'm trying to take care of myself. I've been warding off a cold for a week or so and I'm still hoping it will give up and go away. I have a list of leisure reading so long that it's no longer leisure. And with a to-do list of website, resume and cut file updated to get done I won't be spending so much time watching movies and drinking egg nog as I'd like to.

But it's all topped off with a lovely trip to California to visit family and an adventure to Southern Utah for an assignment or two. And with these trips in mind, I have about 10 days left to get myself back in order and ready for the next semester. My how time just flies.

And hopefully between now and then, I'll find my Christmas spirit! 


overachiever? whaa??

life, The U

There is a ton of stuff I'm trying to get done, get caught up on and teach myself to do. I always have something I should be doing, though a lot of the time I just plain don't have the motivation to do it. It seems I work better on a deadline. But I think that's just a major cop-out. 

Either way, when someone I admire called me an over-achiever the other day I laughed out loud. Mostly because even though I'm getting things done, they are not to the standard I hold for myself and usually past the deadline that has been set. *sigh*

But the thought occured to me, am I really trying to do too much? I thought I was just trying to acheive. But am I taking on too much? I'm definitely feeling burned out. But is that because of me or because of everything I'm trying to take on? Or is it all the same thing?

I need a nap just thinking about it.

When I get as busy as I am these days there is usually something that ends up falling through. Or it just doesn't get the attention it needs. And when I finally end up getting the task or project done, it hardly every turns out the way I want. 

And somewhere along the line I get tired of the stress of it all and quit the thing altogether. Which, of course, is terrible news and a terrible way to take care of the problem. But I confess that it happens and accepting that I have a  problem is the first step on the road to recovery. Or so I'm told.

Anyway, this semester has been a big lesson in learning how to say 'no'. No, I don't have time for that. No, that won't keep me on the right track. No, I don't have the energy for that. No, that won't progress me in my career. No, that doesn't make me happy. It's a lot of 'no' and it makes me uncomfortable.

But somewhere along the line I have been able to find some sort of peace through it all. A friend reminded me to look at my past and what I have given up, or put on hold, to get to where I am now. It's a reminder to not give away all that hard work I've already put in. A lesson in self-sabotage and simplicity. Keeping my tasks, responsibilites and projects pared down to the must-do list keeps me sane and in turn leaves time to pick up something fun every now and then. 

Recently I have been longing for the cubicle life again. Which is crazy, life is always greener huh?  While I think about those moments in the past when I was blissfully typing and working away in my own little cubicle not talking to people, I have to remind myself of the stuff I didn't like too. There's a reason I left that job. There's a reason I went back to school. School is just the purgatory between the hell where I was and the paradise where I am going. 

And for now I'm stuck in purgatory, completely in control of my destination and the route I take to get there. And I really couldn't ask for much more. 

Except to maybe get there faster? Oh wait, I have control over that too. And that is the ultimate test in knowing my limits and exercising my ability to say no.

two months and counting

life, The U

Yeah, it's been awhile. Thanks for reminding me. 

It's just that, y'know, it's busy around here. 


But things are moving along. The semester is half-way over. Can you believe it?! Only seven weeks left. I'm not sure I'm quite ready, I feel like I'm still trying to get used to my schedule and I'm working so hard (too hard?) to stay on top of everything.

Last week was fall break and I was able to mostly enjoy a whole week off from school and being on campus. Needless to say I slept quite a bit. But with other commitments on my time I was still quite busy. I'm sure that ended up being a good thing, it did get me out of bed and showering every morning. 

At the end of the week I headed down to Panguitch Utah to do a story about some pharmacy students doing rural community outreach. It was a fun trip and wrapped a whole bunch of firsts into one tight little package for me. Traveling for a story, camping by myself and visiting Bryce Canyon. All good times.

Visiting Bryce was amazing, I'll share some photos from that later. 

And while it was all fun and I got some rest and I feel like my normal chipper self again, I didn't learn anything about Photoshop or web coding like I had totally planned to do. Oh well. I guess that's what winter break is for, right?

Either way, here's a short update to let you all know that I'm still alive. And there are a few thoughts kicking around my brain that don't have anything to do with first ammendment rights, communication technology or politics that as soon as I get another moment of free time I'll share with you. And some pretty kick-ass pictures too.

early mornings and late nights

adjustment, change, life, meditation, morning person, schedule, school, The U

It's been a long time since I actually blogged first thing in the morning. I used to get up at 5:30 regularly for the express purpose of waking up slowly.  I enjoy a leisurly wake up padding around the house drinking my coffee and eating breakfast. To think that I would get up extra early to be able to do that makes me laugh a little.

The dogs wake me up pretty regularly at 6:00 a.m. I don't mind, I still like being up in the early morning. There's something peaceful about the dark hours that happen before the world rolls out of bed and greets me. It's because of these hours and waking-up habits that I would call myself a morning person.

Though I'm also a sleep person. Y'know, someone who can sleep for 10-12 hours in a stretch. Though those instances are less and less frequent since, well, the dogs wake me up. But they can be satisfied with a quick potty break outside and some breakfast and then I'm allowed to go back to sleep, usually for another couple hours or so.

And all this was working like a well-oiled machine. They wake me up at 6 a.m., eat, back to sleep for two hours, wake me up again for a walk and we start our day. It was a beautiful relationship that ran like clockwork. All of this worked so well beacause I was going to bed by 11 p.m. Ideally, I was in bed reading by 10 p.m. A solid eight hours of sleep has always been my best friend.

Until last week when I started school. Who knew that me waking up to an alarm could be so jarring? Or that because of the alarm, those dogs wake me up EARLIER than 6 a.m. BEFORE the alarm goes off? 

As with every school or work adjustment I've ever made, my schedule is wonky, my eating habits are not consistent and now I have crazy dreams and can't even sleep through the night! *big sigh* 

I find that I'm getting to bed later and later, last night was the earliest in two weeks when I finally decided to call it quits at almost 11 p.m. Even Sunday night was closer to 11:30 and most of last week I saw the terrifying hour of midnight. 

Lately I'm getting home from 12-hour days on campus to dig around for dinner and unwind from the newsroom only to have at least four hours of reading to do, for which it would be nearly impossible for me to stay awake for the entire thing. 

Lest you think I decided to stay awake this morning for the purpose of complaining, because that's just not my style, I am awake to get some reading done. One more chapter before class today. And then after class there are three more and about 10 law cases to brief and understand their impact on laws about my bible, the first amendment. 

But before that all begins again, I'm taking these few moments to morning snuggle with my little corn dog the way I used to. And while I've switched from coffee and oatmeal to tea and fruit, today begins the way I want it to: with quiet reflection, a short planning session for the rest of the day and a little pep talk to get me through it. 

Good morning early morning, it's nice to see you again.