Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Case of the Missing Voice

I have a problem. I think I've lost my voice.

Not my literal voice (I can still speak) but when I open my mouth, there's a disconnect between my brain and what comes out. The things I want to say and the things I hear myself saying... are two totally different things. I don't know what happens! Sometimes I walk away talking to myself, "Did I really just say that?!"

I've always been self-conscious about talking out loud; afraid of looking stupid, I suppose. I tend to only speak when I have something important to say. Which, frankly, on a day to day basis isn't much; especially at work. I tend to only get spoken AT instead of TO; big difference there people. At lunch today, we were talking (I was listening) about how the convenience of texting and IMing has completely ruined our generations' skills at verbal communication. I firmly believe that to be true.

While I've never been very good at verbally communicating my thoughts, I know the Internet didn't help this weak muscle of mine; in fact, it only encouraged lethargy. I remember my friend Amy (then Vos) McLeod telling me that while IMing is comfortable and easy, I'm not doing myself any good. Fast forward 13 years... in some ways, not much has changed, in fact, one could argue it's gotten worse. Thank goodness for unlimited texting plans! My mom always gets onto me, "Why are you texting them when you could just give them a call?" Old vs New, both have their place.

But for me, I sorta had an epiphany today. I've lost my voice! I depend so much on the written word: emails, texts, blogs, etc, that I've forgotten how to speak. Unfortunately, the only way to strengthen this muscle is to open my mouth and speak. But of course, that takes us back my self-consciousness. You know what though? I used to be scared to walk in the doors of the Y. I didn't know what to expect and was afraid of change. I've always been afraid of change. But now, I confidently walk in and get down to business. I suppose the same is true for speaking?

I had a dream once that I was speaking to a room full of women. I was testifying all God's goodness in my life. Apparently I said something funny, because everyone was laughing. I wasn't nervous at all. In fact, I was very calm and collected. It was as though I knew what my purpose in life was. . . . . and then, I woke up. So, I honestly can't tell you what that means, maybe Jennifer could. (God's given her a gift to interpret dreams.)

I've got to find my voice again. God's not through with me yet; not by a long shot!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Random Ramblings

I got my nights and days a little mixed up this weekend, so last night I only got four hours of sleep. I knew today would be a FULL day so I should have tried going to bed earlier, but no matter. It was indeed a long, long day. Not only dealing with the normal stresses, but also, still trying to think ahead of what I need to do before leaving. My boss has been interviewing; hopefully someone will get hired soon! I'm ready to move on. It's honestly kinda freaking me out.... to move from somewhere where I know exactly what's expected of me, to somewhere new, where I don't know what to expect at all. It'll be interesting, but I'm ready.

I did surprisingly well on so little sleep. Part of me wanted to come home and go straight to bed, but I was to meet a friend at the Y. (She actually didn't show up, but that didn't matter.) I jogged/walked for 25 minutes. I continue to amaze myself. Just when I think I can't run anymore, I push myself a little longer and a little further. I discovered that my best running partner, as far as music is concerned, is Linkin Park (the clean version). Something about it, just spurs me on. I get to the fast part in the song, bump up the mph and start jogging. My friend recommended threading my iPod cord through my shirt so I wouldn't have to deal with the cord constantly flopping all around while I ran. It did the trick! Great suggestion, Melissa!

Almost immediately, my shins were hurting and my feet felt like bricks, but I just pushed through the pain. It wasn't horrible, just uncomfortable. The runner's high far out weighs the pain! I was just listening to a past sermon today and my pastor mentioned he'd never had a runner's high. I can't imagine! I get one every time I work out! Thank goodness! Some days are definitely harder than others.

After my cardio session, I lifted most of my weights (9 of 12). I have to find a happy place sometimes to escape the pain in my arms. There are certain machines that I just don't like; but I do them anyway. Once I was all done working out, I realized how proud I was of myself for working out on so little sleep. Just think what I can do when I've had good rest.

I went to Publix on the way home. I hope I didn't knock anyone out with my lovely fragrance. I always feel like Pig Pen after having a good workout. My main reason was to get an onion, which I forgot to get at Walmart yesterday. But I found all sorts of random goodies, like: sunflower seeds (for a breakfast cereal recipe you put together that's full of fiber), sushi (California Rolls - my friend Amy got me hooked on those), Pina Colada Sobe, two baking potatoes, AAA batteries, just to name a few. I just realized that you probably don't care what was in my shopping cart. I could be wrong? I'm always fascinated by what other people consider to be mundane details about their life, so I figured you might be as well?

Oh, as I'm leaving, the bag boys always offer to take my groceries to the car. I guess that's just a Publix kind of thing to do. I always tell them, "No, thank you." To which they ask again, "Are you sure?" "Yes, I'm fine. Thanks." I thought about that tonight. Why is it that I don't want to accept help? I mean, in this culture, I'm frankly used to doing things on my own. Chivalry seems to be mostly dead, so I'm just used to fending for myself. But should I allow them to help me to the car? What do you think? What's been your experience?

Growing up, whenever my mom brought food to someone, she always made two. One for them, one for us. So when I got home, I made two Overnight Chicken Casseroles. There are many steps involved and it took me probably longer than it should take, but I enjoyed making them. I'm hoping to bring one to my friend Tammy, who a few weeks ago gave birth to baby Isaiah. I can only imagine how tired new moms must be so I wanted to do something special for them. I hope they like it.

Wow, I just realized how tired I am. My eyes were literally closed on that sentence. I don't remember why I originally was going to post, but I'm falling asleep now. I'd better go pick out my clothes for tomorrow and get to bed.

Happy trails!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Legacy Manual

During my time with Aliant Mortage, I've kept a file called "Legacy", filled with many instructions (how to's). My job is pretty random; rarely the same day twice. I'm responsible for A LOT of little things behind the scenes. So, once I knew I'd be leaving, I needed a way to help my replacement out. Too many details for the person to remember once I'm gone, so I created a training manual. I also created this cover - the picture is mine too! I'm quite proud of it!

There are 17 different categories, each one filled with step-by-step instructions and screen shots on how to do everyday tasks. My coworkers were really impressed, "You really are good at organizing." "Told you," I said.

Bringing order to chaos is going to come in really handy in my next job. I'm looking forward to creating a system and implementing it. Then when new things come in, it won't seem so overwhelming for all involved.

Please be praying that the right person is hired to replace me! I don't want to leave Aliant in a lurch without me, but I also don't want to my new boss to have a handicap either.

Everything But The.... Kitchen Sink

This post has been a few months in the making. I didn't have anything to show you until now. You see, I strangely asked for a kitchen sink for Christmas. My current one isn't deep at all which makes it really hard to wash dishes. My big gift was a promise note for a new sink! Yeah! Well, my parents watch a lot of HGTV and my dad dreams big. My sink has morphed into not only granite counter tops but a new faucet as well! What fun!

Last weekend, the whole family went to the granite warehouse on 5th and 45th Street South. To say that it was overwhelming would be an understatement; so much to choose from! My mom and I had very different ideas of what we wanted. She wanted something light... Me, dark. After much discussion, we came to an agreement on one! This picture doesn't exactly do it justice, but it gives you an idea. The cream from the cabinets really makes the cream in the granite pop! There's also specks of blue, which is an interesting and unexpected twist, but fits well and looks pretty.

Today, my mom, dad and I went to Lowe's to shop for sinks and faucets. We found what we wanted almost immediately! The sink is kinda funky, modern-even. I like how they are different sizes. The bigger is 21" long, the shorter is 19", I believe, and both sinks are 9" deep! Stainless steel and 19 gauge, whatever that means.

Our next decision was the faucet. There were sooo many to choose from!! I decided I wanted a "goose" neck, which narrored it down a ton. The sprayer pulls apart from the head and reconnects via a magnet. The little squatty thing on the left is actually a soap dispenser, cute huh?

I'll definitely be updating pictures as this renovation project moves along. I have no idea when it might begin, but I'm already eager to have it all done. I know, we haven't even begun. :)

When Did I Get Old?

I don't usually feel old but the other night when playing Catch Phrase, I had a moment of 'are you kidding me?' I gave the clues: "Two words", "90210", "Not Luke Perry/Dylan but the other man character", when I looked around the room and got nothing but blank stares, I realized I had to change my way of giving clues. I couldn't believe they didn't know what I was talking about! If Christy Parvin had been there, she would have gotten it immediately; though we're pretty unstopable in that game. (I later found out the girls were in their early 20's.) Time ran out before I could get them to guess.

Btw, the answer is Jason Priestly.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Irony of Commitment

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” Anne Morriss (Starbucks customer from New York City)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Whirl Wind

It's been an interesting month thus far. Sorry I've been so quiet in blog-sphere. I just have to process things internally before I can even hope to make any rational sense of them. Here's just a taste of what's going on in my life right now:
  1. I've begun training for a 5K run. (I mentioned it in my previous post.) It honestly freaks me out and kinda overwhelms me to think about the end, but I'm up for the challenge. I hope I can do it. I want to do it and that's usually all the motivation I need; my simple stubborn and strong-willed self. Each time I walk into the cardio room at the Y, I have to mentally prepare myself to accomplish the goal. I honestly psych myself up all day, getting ready to go for it. I LOVE the runner's high, even if I'm not officially running yet. It makes me so proud of myself!
  2. I had to say goodbye to a 13 year friendship. I'm not going to go into any of the details here to protect those involved, but it was a long time coming. When I was having the conversation, I was honestly surprised by how calm I was (a peace that passes all understanding). God's been trying to get me to let go for a really long time, but I kept giving it to Him, then picking it back up again. This time, it's for good. I know that and have accepted it. Part of me mourns, but the rest of me knows this is a good thing. Bottom line: I deserve better.
  3. God dropped a new job into my lap. I certainly wasn't looking for it and that's usually the time God moves in my life. I've done a lot of thinking and praying and receiving wise counsel from my parents/friends and I honestly believe this is right choice for me. I'm going to work for a friend of my parents. He sells magnets all over the world; does educational classes; had instructional videos on YouTube -- look up "Super Magnet Man" on Google and you'll find him. I'll be doing office type work, but there's potential to help him do website work and video editing. It's all been very sudden, but God's been in all the details from the very beginning. Plus, I'll be making about 60% more than what I'm making now. :)

How can you help? PLEASE PRAY! Pray for me... for strength, energy, determination, peace and whatever it takes for me not to get so stressed out. Also, please pray that we're able to find someone to replace me at work. There are many details left to iron out...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Couch-to-5K Running Plan

My friend Emily told me about this program, "The Couch-to-5K Running Plan". I gotta admit, I'm pretty skeptical. But, I'm also willing to give it a go. Tonight was my first night to do cardio since I was sick... and I loved it! Who would have thought that I'd enjoy cardio? Oh certainly not me! I put on my special play list, "I Am Jason Bourne", and get working pumping blood to and from my heart. (Funny story behind this play list. My boss said that when he runs, he tells himself that he's Jason Bourne and it helps him go longer. So, I created a play list that had a bunch of heart pounding music, from artists like: Linkin Park, Toby Mac, Foo Fighters, Yellowcard, Thousand Foot Krutch, etc.)

I mostly stuck to the plan (see above link). I did warm up for 5 minutes, but then I tweaked it a little. I'd walk briskly for three minutes, then jog for thirty seconds. Walk three, jog thirty. Over and Over for thirty minutes! I was sweating like crazy, but that's to be expected. I would have loved to keep going, but my legs started to feel like tree trunks again.

I think next time, I'm going to stick to my routine, then the next week add in jogging for a minute at a time. I really don't know if I'll ever be conditioned enough to run for 5K, but who knows, stranger things have happened! I'll keep you posted.

I'd love for you to try this program along with me, where ever you are. If you do, let me know!

Happy trails!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

God's Timing

Friends... please pray for me. I've got some decisions to make and can use all the prayer warriors I can get. Thanks so much! (I'll expound on this in a few months.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Instant Star

Anyone know where I can get a copy of Instant Star (season 3 and 4)???? Please let me know, thanks! I just finished watching season one and two on Netflix, but alas they don't have the other seasons. Augh! Help!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lead of Love

Sometimes when a lot is going on in my head, lyrics are the best way for me to process.

Looking back at the road so far
The journey's left its share of scars
Mostly from leaving the narrow and straight

Looking back it is clear to me
That a man is more than the sum of his deeds
And how You've made good of this mess I've made
Is a profound mystery

Looking back You know You had to bring me through
All that I was so afraid of
Though I questioned the sky, now I see why
Had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view
Looking back I see the lead of love

Looking back I can finally see (I'd rather have wisdom)
How failures bring humility (than be)
Brings me to my knees (a comfortable fool)
Helps me see my need for Thee
---Caedmon's Call


He seems always in this place,
Where the things I seem to take,
Are the things I wish would fade
I always purpose in my heart,
Well to do things the right way,
Then I realize I’m still clay
And this piece that’s being shaped,
Will be a beauty you create

I am nothing without Your love
I’m unworthy but Your death has been enough
I’m completed by Your touch,
But I feel like I’ve been given so much so I thank You,
I thank You

I wouldn’t even face,
All the troubles of the day,
If it wasn’t for Your grace
Sometimes I even wait,
To see if I’m awake,
Seems so good I can’t relate
And Your every word I crave,
And I’m grateful for every breath I take

I am nothing without Your love
I’m unworthy but Your death has been enough
I’m completed by Your touch,
But I feel like I’ve been given so much so I thank You,
I thank You

When I’m feeling all my shame,
You won’t let it stay,
I sail away into Your love
I’m taking every day,
To give my life away,
It’s the only way I know

I am nothing without Your love
I’m unworthy but Your death has been enough
I’m completed by Your touch,
But I feel like I’ve been given so much I am nothing
You are everything
So I thank you. I thank you
Lord I thank you
I thank you
--Jeremy Camp


If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

I am not my own
I've been carried by you all my life

Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
--Addison Road