Healthy, Good and Quick

Most of us live very busy lives.  The tradition of families sitting down together at a dinner table every night has become a sitcom fantasy.  The quick and easy / grab and go meals sometimes seem like the only way to go.  Unfortunately this leads to less than nutritious  lifestyle habits.

But what if you could pump out a healthy meal in 30 minutes which you could eat for days?  I strive very hard to come up with such meals for my very active on-the-go family.  Most of their favorites I came up with on the spur of the moment from whatever I could find in the house.  You would be surprised at what you can toss together and make culinary magic.

Below I thought I would share one of those favorites.  Takes less than 30 minutes and lasts ‘very well’ for days.  I’ll take it to lunch at work and/or makes a quick 2 minute meal after I get home from the gym or a run late nights after work.  None of those fancy special ingredients necessary.

I will list exactly how I fix it but you can substitute many different vegetables or sauces.  This is definitely a recipe you can play around with.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs 90/10 ground beef
  • 1 yellow squash chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1/2 large white onion chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled and chopped
  • 1 large jar of medium chunky salsa

Steps

In large stew pot add ground beef on medium heat.  While beef begins to brown chop the rest of the ingredients.  Add to pot as chopped.  Cook until beef is done.  Drain the juices. Add ingredients back to same pot and stir in salsa.  Continue to cook on medium low until heated.  Store left-overs in fridge.  Enjoy.

Mother Daughter Trade Off Day

I rarely take days off work even though I have plenty of time.  Why you might ask?  Well, my job is just fun.  I love a good puzzle and my job is nothing but a constant revolving set of puzzles.  Odd but yes, I love to work.

But this summer I decided to purchase season passes to Water County / Busch Gardens for my youngest daughter and myself.  This would force me to take some time off this summer and do some fun things outside the puzzle world.  So we planned to take Wednesday and make the long trip and spend the day speeding through the water.

Unfortunately my daughter developed a stomach issue the night prior to departure and did not feel like it would be a good idea to keep our travel plans.  Minus 1.  So I decided to take her shopping for some new school shoes.  It would still be a day together.

We get ready, hop in the car and leave after breakfast.  First stop, the bank.  I walk up the ATM, do what I gotta do, then get back in the car.  As soon as I sit back I feel like a knife is stabbing me.  We jump loudly out of the car and jump around like monkeys.  We see this very large bee fly away.  Ohhhh great!  I’ve been stung.  Minus 2.  I bend over to grab my card and money which flew out of my lap and then my bracelet brakes.  Minus 3.  Ok, not gonna be my day.

Bee Sting

She looks area over for me while I cringe in pain to find a stinger.  To describe what I was feeling would be to tell you to imagine a large set of tweezers digging into your skin, pinching you and twisting.  It then began to shoot up and inward.  We sit still for a little while so I can decide if I will let this ruin our whole day or if I can keep it together until we get home.  Because I do not take days off, I decided I was not dizzy, could still breathe and should be okay, so we left and went shopping.

There was no traffic on our route, which was very odd.  There is never any ‘no traffic’. Plus 1.  So we arrived at the mall in good time.  I go into a changing room to try on a top and my dress strap decides it will add to my lucky day and breaks.  Minus 4.  Luckily the top of the dress is tight so the missing strap just made the dress look like it was supposed to be strapless.  Plus .5.

We go to the second mall to get some strange 3DS game, pull up to the normal parking spot and notice they have closed down that doorway.  Minus 5.  Sigh, we have to drive around and go into one of the department stores a ways down.  It just keeps getting better.

We decide to grab some lunch at the food court, walk right up with no line, get our food, sit down and a line forms with tons of folks.  We got lucky.  Plus 2.  We make a bathroom stop, no line, we walk out of the stall and there are literally 10 people now waiting.  Plus 3.

So all in all we had a good day since we spent it together.  3.5-5 was the ending score, but I guess the trade off to not having to wait in any lines all day with the bee sting, broken bracelet and broken dress still was an okay trade off for a mother daughter day out.  Now the remaining days after with the itch that follows is another story.  What if karma is nudging me to never take another day off again …  Pfft, Water Country take two next Wednesday.

The Seven Year Ditch

A story of week one post Yaz:

Disclaimer: Because I believe an actual account is important for anyone on Yaz, maybe thing of taking Yaz or coming off of Yaz it may be TMI but informational.  Also this is my experience and may not be the same for anyone else.

For more than seven years I have been prescribed Yaz.  Not for birth control but for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) management.  We have all seen those commercials with warnings and death threats but even so I was told by a doctor I trusted that this was my best bet and since I was in good shape and never smoked I wouldn’t have anything to worry about.  So I started popping one every morning.

Roughly two years later I begged to be switched to a different pill.  I just couldn’t handle the odd side effects and wanted to see if a different one would be sufficient.  After six months I was begging him to put me back on the Yaz.  The hot flashes, cysts, cramps and more seriously the strong feeling to brake down walls with my fists for no apparent reason was too strong and I hated that feeling.  So he gladly put me back on it and all went back to my new normal.

Here it is another five plus years later; my trusted doctor retired and I switched to a new one whom I thought would be perfect for me; a woman, a runner and a PCOS sufferer.  Second year exam I mentioned stopping Yaz again now that I’m 40 to see if it would help with my newest symptoms; high blood pressure, rising blood sugars, excessive weight in the mid section no matter how well I eat or how many days/work outs I do per week.  The latter has been a struggle for which I still have yet to understand, but that is another story.

I got the excuse that I’m getting older and those things will happen.  I’m sorry, but I’m only 40 and I just did not except that reasoning.  But like a good little school girl I kept on taking it.  Well one week ago my prescription ran out.  My appointment is in two weeks and I tried to get it refilled for one more month to take me to that day.  The phone kept hanging up on me after the transfer.  I took this as a sign and stopped taking Yaz.  After this long but choppy introduction, here is how it went:

Day 1:  Very tired but nothing really felt different

Day 2: Woke up with enough energy at 5:00AM to run the earth.  Needless to say I got a lot done around the house this day.  Also had my first strong headache in quite some time.

Day 3: Exhausted even before waking. Never recovered.  Fell asleep even while walking through the grocery store, so missed a few of the isles we walked down…  seriously… sleep shopping is scary.

Day 4: Energy burst throughout the whole day similar to day 2.  A project on my to do list for two years – done! (re-staining deck)

Day 5: Day 3 all over again

Day 6: Pain, oh the pain!  Cramps kicked in like I have not had in seven years except for the few cysts episodes and I wanted to kick in those walls again.  Needless to say I gave the office a warning when I walked in that the devils nightmare has returned to posses me.

Day 7: Oh unwholly mother of all hot flashes!  Decided that my hibernating hormones for the last seven years are trying their best to get a jump start.

Day 8: Here is the most unexpected post side effect day.  The others I knew would be coming.  Yaz shuts off your own hormone production and since I came off of it, I knew my body would eventually begin to make its own again and thus the ‘normal’ hormone-y symptoms would be exasperated 100 fold, but this?  I literally began to feel like I had been wearing a heavy blanket over me for seven years and now it was gone.  I have no other way to explain it.  I just felt really different beginning on day 8.

Day 9: So for the last seven years the sex drive was G-O-N-E.  I could have cared less.  Guess it is a good thing my husband loves “me”.  I always attributed it to my high stress job, was going to school, having three children with two going through teen years and one just born, yard work, house work, piling bills; you all know how this list continues…  I’m sure this still played a factor but on day 9 this also kicked back in but with pain.  I’m telling you my body had completely forgotten all about this part of life and when I say came back with pain I mean with pain.  Not a good thing.

This loss of the heavy blanket feeling has continued since day 8 and I am really loving this the most out of all of the so far experienced post side effects.  I just cannot explain adequately how much better I feel over all.  A feeling I have not felt in so many years that I believe my heart grew three sizes in the first week post Yaz.  Yes that was a Grinch reference and it really does sum me up.  Think on that…

My mid section has shrunk two inches and I have changed nothing about my routine.  Still eating well, still working out hard.  Who knows how much more I will continue to improve, change or morph into the person I used to be whom I had long forgotten existed.

Do I believe that this was the drug of choice for my condition?  I do…  It helped me get through a very rough diagnosis with symptoms that were horrible.  It did not stop them completely but made them manageable so they did not effect my daily life every day.  I think after so many years I just became dependent on it, especially after trying to switch off and having such a horrible experience.  Fear kept me a daily partaker more than anything.

Do I feel this is the right thing for me at this point in my life?  Most definitely.  Do I think it will be easy?  Heck no!  But I am more educated now than seven years ago about PCOS, what it is, what causes it and alternative ways to fight it.  As this is a condition and not a disease, it is a life long battle but one I feel much more prepared to fight.

Now my new doctor…, am I ready for that battle next week?  Probably not so much as I know it will end with a conflict of personal interest but I refuse to accept the reasoning that since I am in my 40’s that it does not matter how well I eat or my fitness level that the newest symptoms are only manageable by drugs.  Until I see this for myself I will fight it like…, uh this is a PG blog, Ares.

Pausing the Stubborn

For quite a while now we have seen the ads, heard the speeches and probably like most still ignored them all.  The Go Red for Women campaign.  There is a reason this exists.  Women are a stubborn gender.

We endure many things as silently as possible.  After all, we are the caregivers, the providers and the rock of many family units.  We do not like to show weakness, and this includes pain or giving into illness.  That big ‘Ignore’ button is always flashing and ready to be pushed at a moments notice.  And let’s face it, we push it often.  Too often.

I was a lucky one but like many before me I pushed that button so many times two nights ago it almost short circuited.  In foresight, it was a dumb thing to do and I’m glad I eventually made the right decision.  But if this story had been different, it may had been one time too many.

Sunday morning, first longish run after a half marathon, group of ladies hit the trail like we do every Sunday at first light.  It was a chilly 48* which is perfect for running.  Unfortunately my ankle was just not going to allow me to run so I speedily walked until everyone had completed their intended distances.  We hopped in the car to head to our breakfast hangout and as I was turning back to speak to the ladies after yet another forceful sneezing frenzy a very sharp pain shot right through the left side of my chest and down my left arm.  I had never experienced such a pain.  I knew for certain it was not muscle strain or the like.  It was just ‘different’.  I stopped mid word and could not even breathe.  I played it off like a champ and all of about 30 seconds later it eased off and I finished that word and continued through my day.

At 1:00AM that morning I woke suddenly with severe upper stomach pain and nausea.  First I thought perhaps it was something I ate and just laid there for about 30 more minutes trying to breath my way through it.  Then came the slight dizziness.  I chalked it up to being tired.  Then the chest pain hit furiously.  Just on the left side.  It began to radiate through my back and to the center of my chest.

I would get up and walk around to see if I could make it ease off to go back to sleep.  I even had a slight thought of heart attack and started up my Surface to do some research.  There was no throbbing, no dull ache, no pain like explained on the many webs sites for heart attack, not exactly as written anyway…

I went back to bed again and then my left arm went numb.  That funny feeling that you get if you sit on it for a while and the blood comes rushing back.  Almost painful.  The nausea got worse and I got scared.  I really had the feeling if I closed my eyes and went to sleep I would not wake.

All the moving around woke my husband and I actually still tried to talk him out of going to the emergency room as it was 2:30AM.  Our daughter was asleep and I did not want her to miss any school as she is having her nine weeks tests this week.  I didn’t want to wake the in laws at this hour especially since this could still have been something else.  I just did not want to burden anyone.  That is why I did not intentionally wake him.

But finally I gave into the fear and we went.  As I mentioned, I was lucky.  They repeated told me I did the right thing and diagnosed me with Costochondritis.  They mentioned it feels just like a heart attack.  If this had actually been my heart waiting all day to mention it ( well I guess I really did not mention it until almost 16 hours after that first pain shot through my chest) could have left my children motherless because I did not want to inconvenience anyone.

As a gender, we women are stubborn and not always as smart as we would like everyone to believe.  This could have turned out much differently and unfortunately for many has and probably will.  Moral of this story?  You never know.  Just go if only to ease your mind.  Think of the inconvenience of not being there you would cause your family instead of the few hours it takes to see a doctor.

Phantom Sea Legs

It’s absolutely crazy how I am now 48 hours on shore and still feel the swaying of the ship.  It is quite disconcerting actually.  I also cannot seem to focus on anything but anyone who has sailed the seas fully understands just where I am coming from.  So why was I rocking the boat?  Why else than a cruise.  Not just any cruise but my very first.  Not just my very first cruise, but a Disney Cruise.

What made this cruise even more special than being the very first steps taken out in the open ocean was that 24 of us all decided to take the plunge at the same time.  We had grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends voluntarily contracted to embark on a tremendous three day journey.  And what a journey it was.  Let me break it down for you.

Day 1:  A few of us flew down early to stay around the Downtown Disney area to chill and relax.  We had a great dinner at T-Rex.  This place was so cool albeit a little noisy.  The food was fantastic!  The ribs I ordered just fell off the bones and melted in my mouth. (Hungry yet?)  Then we were able to take a boat back to the resort to grab some shut eye.

Day 2:  Embarkation Day!  We arrived at Port Canaveral around 11:00 AM hoping to beat the buses and the bulk of other vacationers via limo.  It was definitely a surprise to see the man holding our name card in front of a stretch limo since we were scheduled for a van.  Another positive to our group vacation.  Check in went very smoothly.  You gotta hand it to Disney, they have their act together.  Another positive added.  The whole process was very organized as we boarded the ship and headed to lunch.

The buffet was delicious.  There was something there for all taste buds.  And there was a reoccurring theme starting from day 1 of the cruise which continued throughout…. it was very clean!  Everything.

After lunch, we all headed to our staterooms and changed with a single goal in mind.  The aquaduck!

DCP_1903

A few hours later we cleaned and dressed for the first show, The Golden Mickeys.  Great show even though this is where my first naivety of water travel began.  I have been known to get car sick while driving.  Yes, not kidding.  So my decision to go without a patch relying only on ginger root was not a smart one.  As soon as the ship began to leave the port, it hit me.  I struggled to stay vertical.

After the show we headed to dinner at the Animators Palate which was located at the very back of the ship.  I stuck with one bowl of soup and tons of breads.  I literally felt like the floor was constantly rushing up to meet me face first.  Still I fought it as I enjoyed Crush and other Nemo characters interacting with us.  That was beyond cool.  Finally after two hours I gave in and slapped on a patch then fell into bed which was ready and waiting for us due to the awesome young man assigned to our room.  Note to all, wear the patch!  I missed the first nights activities due to the mental whirl pool I had taken up residence within.  Awful feeling.

Day 3:  Waking on the second day of the cruise was much better.  I could still feel the rocking but it did not seem to incapacitate me like the night prior.  So we headed to the breakfast buffet and ate more than I probably should.  But it was so good and I was so hungry.  Once fully fed we headed out to explore the shopping street in Nassau.  This was an experience all in of itself.

Back on board we headed to lunch, a couple more hours around the pool, then cleaned up and dressed in our pirate gear.  A few of us signed up for the wine tasting and this was well worth the ticket price.  We learned a lot and tasted some great wines.  We then headed to the Villain’s Tonight show.  This was awesome!  It’s really hard to believe the quality of shows Disney can perform on a ship, but it was spectacular.  Dinner after in the Enchanted Garden was delish.  I loved the fact that the same wait staff followed us from restaurant to restaurant.  This really gave us a feeling that we were well taken care of and familiar with the service provided to us made it that much more relaxing.

After being stuff to a tilt, it was pirate party time.  Great show.  Disney makes everything so much fun.  They had the big screen going (below), characters on stage, pirates in stations around the dance floor and fireworks to end finish it off.

PirateMickey

After the pirate party, some of the adults headed to club Evolution for karaoke then dancing.  This was the most fun I have had in years.  We left around midnight dripping with sweat from head to toe smiling like children.

Day 4:  Race day.  This was the one event I most looked forward to.  How many people can say they attended a 5K on the Disney Island.  It was delayed slightly due to the wind but Captain Gus got us into port even in those conditions and the race was on.  No timing chips, no corrals, no race anxiety, no expectations, just pure thrill of the run.  They handed out medals at the end to everyone.  As more of our group finished, we stood around and cheered on everyone who crossed to the very last person.  The course was gorgeous but confusing as it wasn’t really marked but we didn’t care.  It wasn’t about PRs, it was about fun.

After we all finished, we headed to the beach area and the waiting BBQ lunch prepared for us.  Then back to the ship to get ready for our last show and dinner.  Tonight was Believe.  Again the show was awesome followed by dinner at Royal Palace.  Once again a yummy dinner with great service.  Once stuffed, we headed to 80’s Name that Tune game in Evolution.  This was very fun.  We missed the first four due to tardiness but still scored high.  Unfortunately we left earlier than we wanted and headed back to pack up and prepare to say good-bye to Mickey and the gang.

Day 5:  Breakfast was held at the Royal Palace.  The wait staff attended to us which was great because we were able to give a proper good-bye to those who had taken such good care of us.  Not once did we run into any rude cast member.  The other vacationers on the other hand could have used a little of that Disney magic pixy dust to just be happy, but the cast made up for everything.  We never wanted for anything.  This was the cleanest vacation I have ever taken.  And when I say clean, I mean spotless.  These are some of the hardest working, most polite and happy people I have ever met.  Everyone of them regardless of their job, appeared to love what they were doing.  Even the bathroom attendants.  This cruise has raised the standards for all others that follow if I ever do a non Disney vacation.

Leaving the ship was just as organized even though it took us a little while to actually get off the ship.  We jumped on the waiting van, arrived back at the same resort we stayed at the day prior to the cruise and headed back to Downtown Disney.  Our last dinner was at Portabello’s and was delicious.  We were sad to leave the following morning but did not feel any disappointment in our vacation at all.

I love doing Disney vacations.  They are definitely worth it.  Everything is planned from arriving at the airport to leaving the airport and you always feel like they love that you are there.  Nothing is a burden and all questions are approached with a smile.  Everyone was so accommodating.  I’m now just waiting for my land legs to kick back in and the swaying to stop.

Sneaking to the bathroom stall

Oh how life can get hectic.  So hectic at times that all you can do is think about what else you have to do for someone else.  Never once does the thought of what you may need to do for yourself come to mind.  This is the world we live in.  Kind of sad isn’t it?

I must admit, I had class tonight.  Only two weeks left of this mobile apps class and we really only meet to talk once per week.  There is no actual class.  Plus I have to drive over an hour to get there since I’m still working remotely due to three times per week physical therapy for a stubborn ankle injury.  Truth be told, they get more work out of me here than they do there.  I’m one of the paranoid type.  Somewhere they have an installed camera watching my every move right?  So the laptop goes to the bathroom with me, I have no idea what lunch break means and how dare I try to eat something during the day.  I’m that type of worker.  Good for them, bad for me.  Only good thing for me is they cannot just walk in through my door and drag me away along with the IMs, emails, phone calls like in the office.  One less tug of war helps with my own projects or the thought of my own projects.

But that is an aside from the screen play.  I should be in class.  I do not really feel guilty about not being there truth be told.  It would have only been for a couple of hours and not really doing anything I cannot do here (which I should be doing right now but am not).  Unfortunately I’m sitting here watching the second Sex and the City movie drinking a nice glass of red wine.  I’m mentally done.  My eyes are even rebelling and the sexy librarian glasses have stopped ‘working it’.  Looking into a laptop screen for 18 hours plus per day for umpteen weeks is just, well …. it’s just…

I only have 6 1/2 weeks left of school.  I am grateful for that and do not want to ruin everything I’ve worked so hard for, but can you say done?  So done in fact that I cannot be reconstituted in liquid, even though at the moment this red is strangely helping.  Coupling with the fact that I have not had a good long run since December 8’s Surf n’ Santa 10 miler and the injury that ensued, the stress factor creeps in under the hair line with no rainbow full of charms.

I’ve mentioned before I love being the go to girl but the last few days have been insane!  I cannot even respond to one person before two or three others are asking for something else.  I need a numbered pull tag!

So you’re thinking, this is more of a rant than a thoughtful, informative post in this It’s All About It All blog, but let us all face the facts.  This is life, this is about it all, concerns it all and involves it all.

Delimna of a Today’s Woman

I am woman, here me roar!  Okay you can turn the volume down now.  Yes you read that correctly.  I said down.  My roar these days is more like a soft meow.  Why is this?  It’s because today’s women are exhausted.  I do not mean physically exhausted.  Even though going strong from sun up to midnight can wear anyone out.  I do, however, believe this is why women out live men but that’s slightly off topic.  It’s also not mental exhaustion even though the constant thinking about this and thinking about that brings about monster headaches that only a tall glass wine alone in the dark quiet can cure.  It’s emotional stress that has us hiding in the corner covered by that duvet we have yet to wash again.

Where is this coming from?  Tonight while doing a two mile walk on the treadmill, since the ankle is still protesting, I got to thinking about the 94 my 8 year old received on her math test today.  It took my breath away and left a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Sound odd that such a good grade would have this effect on me?  Let me explain.

I attended a parent/teacher conference yesterday afternoon.  The teacher proceeded to show me my daughter’s progress this year, or lack of.  Her average math score was a 45.  Luckily I composed myself before the reaction could surface and just nodded my head.  They are worried she will fail her EOG and will have to repeat the third grade.  When I asked my daughter once we left the building how she would feel if she had to repeat this year while her friends all went to the next school, she promptly replied “I don’t care”.  Just what every mother wants to hear from their 8 year old.

What compounds this all is she reads at a fifth grade level, so she is a smart kid, just lazy.  She, like most of today’s children, is more interested in playing with her DS or watching SpongeBob on TV than concentrating on her school work.  What makes that hole in my stomach grow is the fact that I work in the next state.  That sounds worse that it actually is but it is still over an hour commute one way for me.  I leave shortly after she gets up in the morning and do not return until she is in bed.

Not only do I have a remote job but after I punch the clock I attend class.  I’m also a graduate student trying hard to obtain a Masters in Information Science.  This puts me home around midnight some nights and then others I have to work on my homework.

Anywhere in the previous paragraphs did you see, ‘and my daughter and I worked on her test / project / book’?  No.  I’m not here.  It will get better once I am done with school myself but until then I have to contend with parent /teacher conferences and the threat of a repeat school year.

Back to the 94.  Yesterday after we returned from the conference I did have to work a few more hours which I did remotely.  As soon as I logged out, she and I studied hard for her math test.  I made it fun by making it like a guessing/memorizing game.  We did this for an hour.  Then we repeated it again after she got dressed for school this morning and she flew through them all.  A high five was in order.  She was smiling and excited about her test.  What a difference an hour spent the night before helping her made.

So what this tells me is if I could be here for her and help her each week, her grades would be significantly higher and perhaps she would take more pride in the grade presented to us on the progress report.

So as women admit it, we try to do it all.  And even when we delegate a few tasks they just aren’t handled in quite the same manner as we would try ourselves.  We’ve obtained the high stress successful careers, we have the housework, the cooking, the whole family package, we try to stay fit to enjoy it all but suffer in return from all of the hard work we do to try and have better lives and provide more for our family.  There is just not enough time to be both husband and wife but this is the role we as today’s women are trying to wear with pride and it just may be doing more harm than good.

An Ineffective Worker

I was sitting here working yesterday switching over to Outlook yet again to check the batch of emails that I received after the last five minute batch and noticed an interesting title.  Forbes.com had an online article that listed “The Hidden Habits of Ineffective people“.  I thought to myself “self, this might be interesting.  You know you are one bad arse, multitasking, hard working woman.”  Shall I say after reading this article I now carry a new label; ineffective worker.

This was hard to absorb.  I mean I turn over more work per calendar year than most, I have become known over the last decade as the ‘go to girl’ because things get done and efficiently, and I have become an expert at juggling all the balls thrown my way.  So how could this be true?

I have my daily schedule of tasks I need to work on and the order of importance they should be tackled.  I am able to assist others as they approach me with issues or questions and still stay on track, for the most part.  Hmmm.  Okay that does throw me off my time schedule somewhat which may push this list into tomorrow.  Especially if what they are asking for is a quick training session or an odd issue they have forgotten how to Google to find an answer.

And I guess if this happens daily (and who am I kidding, it does) that pushes things even further into the week and possibly into the following week.  I began to see the spiral.  I do sometimes feel like I have fallen into a rabbit hole and the light appears to dim even more with every IM, phone call or 911 email I receive and quickly respond.

But there was one bullet that really caught my attention.  No matter how well I am at multitasking, this may not be a good trait.  I do not agree with that, but what followed stopped my eyes from continuing on and ponder what was just said.  An ineffective person has their day dictated to them.  Okay, this is not verbatim to the article but how I perceived it.  No matter what tasks I lay out for myself, if I follow what others need done for their daily tasks instead of my own, they are pulling me through their goal of completed projects and mine are left behind to gather dust and cobwebs.

As I thought on this more it became alarmingly aware to me that regardless of the praise I receive from others about how well I have helped them (or the absence of a second thought) it really does not reflect on me and mine.  My projects may not hit deadlines and my only excuse is “I’ve been helping them over there with that project they have”.  Wait, what?

I must add here that I love being that person.  The one everyone knows they can ask a question I’ll have the answer and if not can get it quickly.  It is just the truck that is speeding toward me with the flashing holiday lights on the side reading “This is your career” is beginning to scare me.  I cannot let it just blow by me like a blur.  It’s time for me to stomp on the passenger side driver instructors brake, jump back into the main seat and take my job by the wheel.

If I don’t do it, no one will do it for me and I’ll remain the others project accessory and evidently that road kill my truck left behind.

Typical morn full of contemplation

I even shake my head as I read this subject line.  Contemplation, do we really use this word on a regular basis or just when we are trying to sound literary.  But I digress (I do actually use this word a lot).

As I sit here drinking my first cup of coffee, I think about everything that I have to do today.  It’s 7:15 AM and my youngest daughter has just hopped on the bus for another day of third grade, the husband was up all night with a serious case of heart burn from some entirely too hot wings we had for dinner, and I’m already feeling exhausted from things I have yet to do.

I just sit here staring off into space imagining words flying around my head that I will too soon experience as my normal Tuesday.  Do to an unfortunate running over use injury (under trained for the race course conditions if I’m honest) I’m side lined for week number seven.  This means no outlet, no stress relief, no mental break from the non stop whirlwind.  But I should focus on today.

I’ve successfully logged into work, combed my way through hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of emails I have received just since midnight (I’m the Exchange admin) and now try to organize my thoughts from the other tasks that are laid out before me.  Let’s see how they will go:

  • work to complete a help desk policy
  • continue training another admin on their new Sharepoint site (I’m the Sharepoint admin)
  • gather specifics for new forest design and create a project timeline (I’m the enterprise forest admin)
  • continue troubleshooting DirSync issue for migration to Office 365 for Education from Live@EDU
  • chip in on other ongoing and upcoming projects
  • try to concentrate on my biggest of the four currently active projects implementing federation and single sign-on for our organization (this should be #1)
  • respond to the many IMs from other employees with issues, concerns, basic questions
  • help resolve issues that always seem to come up
  • work on domain infrastructure design for new location for meeting tomorrow

To name just what is doing the frantic flying at the moment. This by no means completes my to do list.  But I do seriously love my job and strangely enough wouldn’t have it any other way.

Then around 3PM-ish I’ll leave for an hour plus commute to class (I’m a grad student) and present what I have developed so far on my Windows Phone 8 application which is due in four weeks.  Luckily I only have nine weeks left and I’LL BE DONE!!!  Sorry for the all caps but this has been a very long journey with work, school, family, health commitments, blah blah to get to this point.  And to not be able to run or even stand up on my toes due to this nagging stubborn injury is pulling at my patience strings.  I love to run.

In the rain, in the snow, in the heat, not so much in the teens and below temps however.  I do have my limits.  Oh I need to finish up this long and boring post and get going on that list.  I know you’ve thought it.  That little ‘sprite’ I designed two days ago for my game is sitting on my shoulder yelling at me “Be Productive Woman!”

Happy Tuesday!  I need another cup of coffee..

It’s All About It All

The world is complex.  There are many ins and outs and way more topics than any one person could discuss.  I am also very complex (perhaps a touch attention challenged) and this blog will jump through many different topics.

I am a mother of two, a wife, a home owner DIY-er, a runner, a cyclist, a fitness fanatic on occasion, a tries hard to eat clean, an IT professional who has so many hats acquired throughout my 12 years in the biz, a graduate student, a wanna be triathlete…  The list goes on for so long it gets boring and a little scarey how many personalities can pop up at any time.

There is absolutely no possibility of me picking one interest and being happy talking only about that on a daily basis.  I have read many others blogs that are centered around running, swimming, Sharepoint, Exchange, organic gardening, etc that I love to follow.  It’s just that I have a foot stuck in them all and want the freedom to be able to express what I happened to be thinking at that point in time about which ever topic comes to the surface.  You may not read them all.  Perhaps only a few are similar interests.  However, I feel there are many of us that are multifaceted and have many passions that bring a smile to our day, or hour to hour.

I hope to entertain, to inspire, to learn and repeat, and hopefully bring as many folks along for the roller coaster of a ride that presents itself as life. ‘ALL ABOARD!’