Cooking Again

This week I got back into cooking dinner a couple of nights a week. I don’t know if I can call it a routine or habit yet until I make it through another week, but at least I can check this week off as a success.

Tuesday night I made some mahi on the grill pan and roasted zucchini and onions with thyme. On Wednesday night I made myself a salad with the leftovers, which was pretty delicious. Then last night I made this pasta that I found on line a couple of years ago that is really good. It has chickpeas, mozzarella, garlic, balsamic and arugula.

Mahi with roasted zucchini and onions
Mahi with roasted zucchini and onions
Delicious Pasta
Delicious Pasta

I also started bringing healthier snacks to work. I almost always bring a banana with me for an afternoon snack, but I find that even mid-morning I get a little hungry. I don’t actually eat anything unhealthy, but I just end up starving by lunch time. For the last few weeks, I’ve been bringing a big tupperware full of grapes or cherries. I set it out on my desk and snack on that, plus other people stop by for a healthy bite. It’s a much better alternative to the chocolates a lot of people have at their desks.

The last piece that I started doing this week was cardio. I’ve been pretty judiciously going to yoga for at least 2 days a week, which I know is not enough. However, while the yoga is a good workout, I’ve known for awhile I’ve been needing to do cardio as well. Believe it or not, I got up at 5:30 on Tuesday morning to get in some exercise.

I feel like I’m on a good path and just need to keep the momentum going. I know myself enough to know that it is really easy to convince myself not to do something, so I have to stay strong.

Looking Towards the Future

I was having dinner with a friend last night and we were talking about where I might be headed career wise. Next week the announcement of my departure from my current role will come out, along with starting a slightly pared down schedule in September.

She was telling me how happy she was for me that I chose to take the time to step back and figure out what I wanted to do. We started talking about what it is that I’d like to do next and the fact that I still don’t really know what that will be. I told her that I was very clear about what I don’t want, but not that lucid on what I do want. While it’s a start, it’s not much.

Then she said something that has been resonating with me ever since. She said that if we keep looking towards what we don’t want, that’s exactly where we’ll keep heading. She rides a motorcycle and when she was starting out and taking lessons, this is what they taught her about riding. If you look in the direction of the electrical pole, then you’ll likely end up crashing into it. Instead you should be looking towards the direction you want to go in.

It seems like a simple concept, but it’s one that is hard to practice in life. Since I’m not completely sure of where I want to head career wise (I know, you’re probably getting sick of this constant indecisive search of mine), the first step is to stop looking back towards what I know is not for me. It keeps the other areas wide open for exploration.

Crowded In at Baggage Claim

Like my pet peeve of someone sitting right next to me in a movie theater when there are plenty of open seats, I hate when people feel the need to crowd around me at the baggage claim when there’s tons of open spaces around the conveyor. I really don’t understand it. I purposefully keep my distance from where the luggage comes out because I’d rather wait a few more seconds than be standing in the midst of a crowd. I get there, I choose my spot, and I wait. It’s annoying enough that as we wait for the bags to arrive, people decide to start crowding around me…like right next to me. It’s not like we are waiting in line or something. They can stand two feet away from me.

Then the bags start coming out and they start coming closer on either side or try to get in front of me in the little space between where I stand and the conveyor. Grabbing their enormous bags forcing me to keep moving around to avoid being majorly hit by said bags. It becomes like an obstacle course or that Wipeout game on TV where I’m avoiding these large swinging foam thingies, except they are not made of foam. It’s like they can’t wait the 2 more seconds it’s going to take for the bag to get where they are standing.

Today this man was almost like pacing around me as the bags were circling. Every once in awhile he’d get right in front of me to look closely at a bag that was passing. He wouldn’t touch it. He’d just kind of bend down staring at it until it passed and then move to my left. I actually started getting a little paranoid thinking that maybe he was just going for the carry on I had on the ground between my legs…that the minute I’d move away to get my suitcase, he’d grab it and run. I know it’s silly, but he was strange.

People wanting to be in such close proximity to others they don’t know is weird. It’s like they have no concept of personal space.

I honestly have tons of pet peeves about airports and traveling. I’m not quite as organized or anal as George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air, but I have my quirks. I’ll just leaving it to the baggage claim etiquette for today.

Getting Myself Back to Cooking

I have to get back to cooking dinner at least twice a week. Around the time that I moved, I started cooking less and haven’t been able to get back into the habit or routine. Every so often I get what I think is a little jump start, but then it goes away again. I can’t blame it on work and getting home too tired to cook because I barely cooked the two months that I was off. It’s about discipline, a plan and routine. I know this about myself, yet it’s so hard to get back to it. If I go do my food shopping without a list then I buy tons of veggies, but nothing that then I can figure out how to make into a meal. I need to sit down and pick out my menu for the week and derive a shopping list off of that. This is how I got it to work before. It’s really not that big of a deal…I just need to make 2 complete meals a week. The leftovers then last me for the other nights a week that I eat at home.

The crazy thing is that when I was being much more disciplined about my home cooking and regularly going to yoga, I was feeling great. I was thinking to myself that there’s no reason to not continue with what I’m doing and maintain, but then it’s like one slip then takes you down the rest of the slope. I’m not eating everything in sight, but I haven’t been as conscious of portion control. I’ve never been a dieter. I don’t believe in diets. It’s more just about eating in moderation. I really can just take a couple of bites of the dessert or eat only 1/3 of the fries on the plate. And that works for me. I got off track and started eating more than I need to. It takes a little while for the weight gain to start showing, so I think I’m still in control and then one day I notice my pants are feeling tighter.

It’s not that I’m eating garbage necessarily and it’s not like I’ve gained all the weight back. It helps that I’m still exercising and so I’m fitter than I used to be. I just know I could be doing better. I don’t want to be stick thin and long ago I accepted that my body type doesn’t allow me to ever be a size 2 or even 6 most times. As long as I feel good and look good to myself I’m fine. I think I’ve just reached that point to where I know I could be healthier.

The traveling for work doesn’t help either as it takes me out of whatever routine I have going on. Not only does it make it harder to get in regular exercise, but it also means eating out for 3 meals a day 5 days a week. It’s tough. In the last 4 weeks, I’ve been out of town twice and am about to take another trip on Monday. The good news is that soon I won’t have to do that monthly travel anymore.

Putting all this out into the universe or this blog is my way of admitting that I’ve not only realized I’ve gotten off track but I’m committing getting back on track. So after this next trip to CA, I am going to plan my weekly menu and get right back into the habit of cooking myself balanced meals.

Writer’s Block

I’m sorry I haven’t written all week…I have writer’s block I guess. Every night this week, I’d get home from work saying to myself that I needed to write a post, but I couldn’t think of anything worth writing about. Even today I spent most of the day vegging out at home and I still haven’t been inspired by anything. So now you’re stuck with me writing about how I have nothing to write about.Fascinating!

In case anyone was wondering, I did end up having a phone call with the person who had pissed me off at work the week before. My boss was on the call too and by that point I had calmed down. I did end up pointing out some things to him, but decided overall to be diplomatic and political and move forward. At the end of the day, I’m on my way out of this position, so I don’t have to deal with him much longer. It seemed like the better approach to just try and move forward and leave things somewhat stable for my department. I did face the conflict, just not as head on as I could have…baby steps.

I can tell you that I am really ready to move on from my current job.

When I got back, everyone kept saying how much I was “glowing” and how relaxed I was. I was able to keep it for the first few weeks because I also kept reminding myself in the back of my head that this was temporary. But this last week or so has started to take its toll and I want to stay more balanced. I told my boss that I want to start phasing out even before a replacement is found and start working on a more flexible schedule. I’ll be back out in the California office the week after next and so we’ll be finalizing a job posting for my replacement and my schedule.

I’m hoping the flexibility gives me the time to not only keep that “glow”, but to also start working on my next move. There are a couple of options, but I have to spend more time fleshing them out.