Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer of Awesome Reloaded

Where does the time go? Is there a black hole over my house sucking up all the seconds that haven't been assigned to specific tasks? Are they really gone without a trace, or did they serve their purpose with honor and I just don't remember?

I just can't seem to keep track of my time. Hours fly by and I can't account for them.

I'm not talking about work days, because I automatically chalk those up to a loss. Yesterday, for example, I worked from 10:30am to 9:30pm then had just enough energy to watch an episode of Spartacus before I crashed out. I don't bemoan those lost seconds, because I'm exchanging them for dollars.

Ready for work! This is how I look at the beginning of the day,
by the end I look like I've been hit by a bus.

The lost time I'm worried about losing is the stuff that's supposed to belong to me, but still seems to get away from me. If I don't want my dogs to run off, I just put them on a leash, it's not so easy with time. Time doesn't care for your "sit" and "stay" commands. Time is crafty. Time can get under the fence.

I'm pretty sure that I burned an entire day last week just sitting on the floor chewing on my hair.

Well, not really, but that's how it feels. I can't figure out how I had, in my estimate, almost 6 hours of uninterrupted free time where I accomplished absolutely nothing.

I want to put my time to better use.

Today I decided to keep track of everything I do so I have an accurate representation of "a day in the life" of Selina Shehan:

At 9am I rolled out of bed and onto the floor where I was immediately dive bombed by two chihuahuas. I wandered into the kitchen where I made coffee and stood in front of the open fridge for five minutes until I realized we are out of waffles. I made myself a quesadilla.

9:30am - Thought really hard about doing dishes but then didn't do them.

10am - Checked my emails, bank accounts and bills, threw some money at my big credit card bill and got a little upset that I have to buy a new phone (mine is being discontinued).

10:06am - Cracked the books and began my lecture materials for class this week.

10:55am - Notified the Earth Day longboard winner about his prize (a totally rad board made by Dan Dengler).

11:30am - Played fetch with the dogs and took photos of their adorableness.

Spike and his favorite toy

Romi and Lola

11:55am - Made some fakie-fake buffalo wings while washing dishes. Dishes had to happen as I otherwise would have no place to put barbecue sauce and ketchup for my soy products.

Sidebar: The main reason I let my dishes sit for so long is that I'm still not convinced that it doesn't take a full 16 hours to wash them...even though I've proven time and time again that it only takes about 20 minutes to wash every dish in the house. My kitchen does not have a dishwasher as my house was built in the paleolithic era when people mostly cooked outdoors over campfires and had little use for Kitchenaid appliances.

12pm - Ate some wings. Note the 5 minute time difference between making wings and eating them. If I was not a vegetarian I would probably die of a combination of salmonella and e-coli because I have no patience for food that takes more than 5 minutes to cook completely. I would also like to point out that vegetarian buffalo wings are no less "buffalo wings" than any other kind.

12:30pm - Called t-mobile store about a new phone, thought about the upcoming art event for the INBA and realized it's scary close to go-time. Fired off a few emails to make myself feel better.

1pm - Delivered the longboard prize to the raffle winner and wandered around in Fred Meyer talking on the phone to my mom. I managed not to buy anything but I now strongly desire tiny solar powered lights and a bench shaped like a bunny for my yard.

2pm - Visited Greg at Radio Shack and picked up the new t-mobile Sidekick to replace my soon to be useless old SideKick phone. Also picked up some new running shoes and new skate shoes to replace the torn up pairs I've been kicking around in.

Old Shoes

New Phone

3:30pm - Arrived back home felt a little sluggish, fixed this problem by eating an apple dipped in peanut butter.

3:40pm - Set up a meeting with a new client (exciting!)

3:43pm - Briefly worried that if I accomplished too many things today, I would have nothing to do tomorrow. These are the kinds of deep thoughts that cloud my mind.

3:45pm - Puttered around on Facebook and watched the videos other people posted today. This down time helped to quell my fears that Tuesday would present an overwhelming amount of opportunity.

I really wanted to go skating today but it's still raining. The upside is that the plants and the tree look really happy.

Dreary sky, happy tree

4:07pm - ...hungry again. Rewarding myself for doing not much really all day today by making stir fry and watching an episode of Star Gate SG-1. Because really, what better way is there to celebrate having clean dishes than by making them all dirty again?

There's no better way. None.

I was recently introduced to SG-1 (it's not a drug, it's a show) and it's causing me to break my cardinal rule of never drinking alcohol or watching television when I'm by myself (just the t.v. part).

This rule was put into place due to my poor impulse control.

Allowing myself to watch one episode of a show is my way of testing the waters to see if I can wade a bit and enjoy a show without drowning in eight solid hours of mindlessness. I guess we'll all know for sure by looking at my next time stamp...

5:39pm - A fresh pot of coffee is on and now I'm typing my lecture materials for tomorrow night's class. I managed to enjoy my stir fry and television responsibly.

6:44pm - Finished typing out the first 2 hours of lecture material, time for a break!

6:55pm - Created a coffee/chocolate syrup/soy milk concoction and read the internet for 10 minutes, now back to work.

7:26pm - About halfway through the rest of the material, time for another break...and some cookies

8:47pm - Just finished watching the last episode of the Spartacus prequel. Thankfully Netflix still streams just fine through the PS3 even with the network outage. No gaming though.

11:01pm - Returned triumphantly from the gym with 7.38 miles under my shoes.

11:12pm - Uploading the random photos from my random day. I'm going back to documenting everything visually since that really helped me keep track of everything I did last summer.

11:30 - I'm about done with this post and ready to spend the next 8 or 9 hours dreaming about better weather.

So there you have it, an entire fairly typical day off from work for me.

Yesterday was a legitimately nice day, leading me to believe (in spite of today) that we may have a Spring, and possibly even a Summer this year. Now that I know where my time goes, I can apply myself to inserting radness wherever possible.

This summer I am going to fill my time with so much rad, there will be none left for anyone else.

Last year I declared a "Summer of Awesome," a season for me and all the things I love to do. The most important take away from last summer was a reset of my priorities. I took a chainsaw to my life and began to rebuild and reshape based on what I'd learned about what I actually want from everything.

Summer 2011 will put Summer 2010 to shame. Not only will I do all the things I already love to do, but I'll introduce brand new things, gain new skills and experiences, and hopefully better myself in the process.

Honestly, my main goal is to make my real life at least half as awesome as it appears on Facebook.

Let's see how I do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where are you going? Where have you been?

It's already near the end of April (I know, right?) so it's about time I looked back at those resolutions I made at the beginning of the year to hopefully re-ignite the fires of effort and progress.

On the last day of last year, I made the following goals for 2011:
  • Run another half marathon
  • Take a cross country road trip
  • Complete an Olympic distance triathlon (my first was a sprint distance)
  • Pay off my car (early)
  • Run the Spokane Marathon in October (the full marathon)
  • Get published
  • Read at least 10 books from the banned books list
  • Dine out once a week or less (unless someone else is paying, haha)
  • Make a will (I've been talking about this for years but have yet to do it)

I did end up running another half marathon, although it was only at the gym on a treadmill. As a result of my work schedule and my efforts to tighten down on spending, I've been running in a lot less of the organized races this year. The good news is that I'm still getting the most out of my gym membership, and if it continues to snow and hail every time I think about running outside...I may never run outdoors again.

There's also a definite check mark for making a will, thanks to Liz and the RocketLawyer website for making that so easy. That is one of those things that I just avoided because I thought it would be time consuming and sad.

I'll give you fair warning: it was definitely sad.

If you've even taken stock of the life you've made and the people you've come to know, you can relate. If that's something you've never done, there's no time like right now.

When I was done filling everything out, I got up and walked around the house a bit, and it was incredibly surreal how disconnected I felt from all of the objects I've brought into my space. I found that what I wanted to do more than anything else was to grab the dogs and go sit out in the yard.

So that's what I did.

Then I called some friends to grab breakfast the next day and to be the witnesses for my will. The thing that really stuck with me in this process is that my first response to thinking about my own death was not to bemoan the fact that I haven't seen all of TruBlood, or to cry about the possessions I would leave behind, but to grab the living things and reach out to the people I care about. Wills are important because they give the people you leave behind some sense of closure; clear instructions to follow when the world seems confusing and scary.

So yeah, sad for sure. But honestly, it wasn't time consuming at all. If anyone out there is reading this and doesn't have a will yet, the RocketLawyer site is offering free wills throughout the month of April, check it out here:

Out of the sadness and back to the goal list:

My reading habits are still a pale shadow of what they used to be. I'm only two books in to my 10 book challenge. So far, I've read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The problem here might be that the library is just too close to my house. Seeing it every day lures me into a false sense of ease about gaining access to books.

At this point I won't say that I'm completely off or on the track for completing my other goals. The year is still young and anything can happen.

What I can say is that I'm a total rock star at not going out to eat. I wish I could say it was because of my iron will, but actually it's because my schedule makes it so that I'm nowhere near an eating establishment when it's actually time to eat. I may find myself walking by O'dougherty's 9am. Or perhaps driving by the Dairy 11pm when it's 25 degrees.

This wasn't a goal that I set before, but I'd like to say right now that I will not go so long in the future without writing a post for this blog. A month and a half is ridiculous, especially by internet standards.

So there you have it, the goals are set! The time is now! Go Go!