Winter always feels long and dreary here in Georgia. I always blame my South Indian genetics for why I feel the way I do about winter but really, who loves dead trees over greenery and flowers? Who loves blistering cold to balmy weather and short sleeves?
My husband that’s who. Anyway, too bad Jeremy, victory is mine (for a few months)!
In the middle west of Georgia, just at the border of Alabama lies an unexpected geological feature. Canyons are rare in the southeast. Those that mimic the visual impact of a much larger western cousin, the Grand Canyon, are even more so. We went with our friends Val & Sam to explore!
Jeremy and I spent a week in December in Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach. Those two beaches are a Florida treasure. I’ve been to all sorts of beaches around Florida: Destin, Clearwater, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville. None of them were quite as amazing as the beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers.
I indulged in a font package on Creative Market an I’ll be darned if I don’t use it for funsies.
This thanksgiving was extra special. This Thanksgiving, I was sick as a dog. Starting last weekend, I contracted a upper respiratory viral infection that evolved into asthmatic bronchitis. I didn’t take the onset of cold very well, I suppose. Days of high and mid grade fever, zero energy, no appetite, splitting headaches, awful body pains and coughing fits so bad I didn’t sleep for a couple of nights led me to the doctor’s where a big cortisone shot in the butt and a variety of drugs and inhalers got me back on track. It’s been 9 days of this so far but I feel so blessed! Through it all I’ve had no problem getting to stay home and focus on healing. I have a wonderful husband that took care of everything including solo shooting a session for me. My boss and office kept it stress free as I stayed home and the flexibility that comes with my job is so magnificent. My family was sure to check on me and bring me loads of food. :) My brother made sure to help me out however he could with runs to the store, food, and bossing me into taking my meds at the right times. I’m so very loved and supported. These are people that don’t just say they care. They do things to care for me. I love them and this Thanksgiving I’ve had nothing but blessings to think about. I pray to God that I always be like the people I am surrounded by!
I was pondering over my buffalo chicken wings today. There won’t be any more wings after I eat this last one.
Oddly it felt like a very profound thought. All things in a single human life pass, no matter how notable or trifling. The thought expanded; tendrils of the concept claiming more things it applied to.
School. Childhood. Disasters. Projects. Homes. Relationships. Parents. Jobs. Opportunities. Quiet moments. Wrath.
It was a reminder to endure the parts of our lives we don’t care for and embrace the moments in the parts of our lives we love. The things in our lives that are routine tend to pass by without much impact on emotions or overall meaning in life but we have a tendency to spend the most amount of our personal time and mental energy on them, forgetting they’re only there to enable the wonderful parts of our lives and reduce the impact of the terrible things.
I’m not going anywhere further with this, but let it be known I really savored that last chicken wing.
This weekend my family ran the UNDY race for my cousin Sanjay. Thanks to all of your donations, we raised about $1700 dollars and placed 5th overall for money raised. I am so thankful for both my family, friends, coworkers and even strangers who chose to give so we could help raise awareness, fund research and stand in solidarity with Sanjay.
You all are amazing and I’ll be forever grateful.
Gratitude is something I strive to practice as much as possible and the practice helps keep things in perspective for me. I want to remember these lines from today’s Zen Habits
- When I’m feeling mad at someone, I can try to see what about them I’m grateful for.
- When I procrastinate with a project, I can look at why I’m grateful to be able to work on that project.
- When I get injured or sick, I can remember that I’m grateful just to be alive.
- When I lose a good friend, I can grieve, but also be grateful for the time I had with them, and all that they gave me.
- When something bad happens while traveling, I remember to be grateful for traveling at all, and that these challenges are what make the travel an adventure.
- When someone doesn’t like what I do, and criticizes me, I can be grateful they care enough to even pay attention. Attention is a gift.
Jeremy and I backed a project back in March called Pavlok. In a nutshell, it gives you an electric shock when you want it to. Here’s how it works. It’s called ‘Aversion Therapy’ and it’s going to help me lose weight and be more productive. I can make these claims only because yesterday I used it to help control two things I want to change about myself. First: cravings for food not included in my chosen diet, and second: wasting time when I’m attempting to focus on a task.
The food aversion therapy was surprisingly easy. Earlier this year I lost 30lbs of fat and gained 10lbs of muscle without any aversion therapy, but I became complacent soon after. I haven’t gained any weight back or let my body fat percentage slide back up the scale, but I’ve had trouble kickstarting the second half of my weight loss. Doctors, nurses, and the ‘know your numbers’ ladies for our insurance have had one metric I should meet: lose 40 lbs of fat. I want to gain an additional 15-20lbs of muscle to go with it. The Pavlok has arrived at the right time!
It’s amazing how many times throughout the day I think about food even if I’m not physiologically hungry. I zapped myself yesterday on accident, and it was enough of an aversion that I chose the right foods for the rest of the day. The thought of having to zap myself for choosing wrong and zap myself with each bite made it totally not worth it. In terms of diet, when it comes time to make a conscious decision, the Pavlok is my extremely persuasive friend.
The issue that has been harder for me was the time-wasting when attempting to work. Last night I worked on wedding photos, but my efficiency has been reduced (greatly) by the fact that I wind up alt+tabbing to goof off. Sometimes it even starts out sounding reasonable: “I’m just going to check out how other photographers handled this particular processing issue”… and I go down a black hole of links.
I zapped myself like 20 times yesterday while editing photos for four hours. From 6 pm – 10 pm I felt like a foolish rat. However, after about 2 hours of zapping, I was able to focus more. The last hour was just a solid block of productivity. I think part of the reason this was harder was that unlike the amount of presence my mind had to have while pursuing bad food choices, it’s almost a brain stem activity to alt-tab. I didn’t THINK. It was a habit in the worst way.
Today at work I’ve got my chrome extension all setup and if I wind up on my list of time wasters, I get zapped. Just kidding. I thought I had it setup but it’s actually down for maintenance until later this month. I’m hoping they’ll do a little IFTTT integration so I can really take advantage of this device.
Day two, here I come.