I need a Healthy(er) Moment!

I know that title is grammatically incorrect.  Deal with it.  It’s for a theme.

I’m farther off base on my challenges than I’d like.  I’ve spent nearly 3 straight days doing nothing but grading, grading, grading.  I had NO idea it was so difficult to read a syllabus and find out when your final exam was, nor how difficult it was for students to submit a link to a web page via Blackboard.

I’ll stop ranting about that and commence whining now.

At the end of every semester, teachers get just as swamped as students. Students feel stressed because they have final exams in every class. Like, 5 of them!  Teachers feel stressed because our Universities often have ridiculous policies such as “thou shalt submit thy final grades within 24 (or 48) hours of the final exam.” Dear Mr. Dean/President/WHOEVER: I have 400 students.  My final exams have essay questions because it’s important.  I have hundreds of blankity-blank emails coming in.  That is NOT a reasonable timeframe for the faculty! We feel stressed, we feel pressured, we stay up all night and grade all day and all night in a desperate attempt to handle this mess.  We cry, have w(h)ine, cry some more, and secretly scream our frustrations.  Okay, in my case, not so secretly.

I colored this mermaid using the FreshPaint app in Windows 10. This is for both my #HealthyMoments challenge and the #28dayjumpstart #fitgirlsguide challenge (they're into mermaids & unicorns).
I colored this mermaid using the FreshPaint app in Windows 10. This is for both my #HealthyMoments challenge and the #28dayjumpstart #fitgirlsguide challenge (they’re into mermaids & unicorns).

My lifestyle for the last several days has been the antithesis of healthy.  What’s a vegetable?!  This exercise thing?  What’s that painfully bright thing in the sky?  Food has been what’s available: read as leftover Chinese delivery, cookies, microwave popcorn, anything I don’t have to cook because I don’t have time.  Add in the departmental and college parties that I don’t have time to attend because of the grading and I start feeling like I should ask Santa for a punching bag for Christmas.

I’m taking a few minutes to write because I desperately need a break today.  I’m feeling burned out and I’m not done.  I got in a 20 minute walk today and really truly did feel vaguely surprised by the SUN.  I’m going to try to fix a healthier dinner and do my planned workout.  During my Digital Imaging class I’m going to do my Healthy Moments coloring challenge for the day (see?!).

Sometimes, you have to manage life.  Sometimes all you can do is desperately hang on and try to survive.  I’m more in the survival camp right now.  Add on to this: experiments, textbook reviews, car needing repair, departmental evaluations and surveys, surveys, surveys, holiday parties… I’m an INTROVERT.  I want to crawl in a really dark hole and stay there.  Can I have that for Christmas?!

For those who need gift ideas for end-of-term faculty, I recommend the following:

  • punching bag (because we can’t vent our frustrations on our students/administrators)
  • wine (in which to drown our sorrows and with which we become slightly more generous graders)
  • red pens (because we’ve probably used up all the ink in our existing ones)
  • Xanax (see above reference for wine)
  • Dinner & laundry service (because we ain’t got time for dat right now)
  • a shoulder to cry on/someone to vent at (we don’t hate you, really we don’t)
  • chocolate
  • fuzzy socks
  • sympathy
  • Your complete understanding that we will, in fact, revert to being normal, sane humans a week or so after this ends.  It takes a bit to resolve the trauma and recuperate.
And this one is my unicorn, also colored in FreshPaint. Different tools, different paint effect. Also applicable for the #28dayjumpstart and #fitgirlsguide challenge.
And this one is my unicorn, also colored in FreshPaint. Different tools, different paint effect. Also applicable for the #28dayjumpstart and #fitgirlsguide challenge.

PS: Not sure if the coloring helped me relax or if it was the combination of beer, Xanax, and coloring. I am not visually artistically skilled and I haven’t colored in a long, long time. It’s also a tad harder to do it on the computer, even with a good N-Trig stylus on a Surface Pro 3.

Car Accident: not a Healthy Moment

Some days are not made of win. Today was one of those days. It was the last day of classes for the semester. I dressed up. I then proceeded to have a car accident in my parking lot. I’m fine, and the damage to my car should be all repairable, but that still causes me to feel stressed. I don’t like feeling like I did something wrong. I don’t like feeling like I wasn’t cautious enough.

I left my apartment this morning and as usual scanned the parking lot for others getting into their cars to leave.  It looked empty… or I was oblivious. I got in, started my car, checked my mirrors and over my shoulder, and started backing out. I checked the front to make sure I was clear of the neighboring cars to turn. And then… CRUNCH. Followed by that unexpected stopping and that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Just before the impact, I saw the other car traveling straight back in reverse.  I didn’t have time to react.  I don’t know how I didn’t see it, but my car is the size of a pregnant roller skate. Maybe the cars next to mine blocked my view just enough. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I thought I was. Maybe shit just happens.

Nobody was injured, but we called the police. It took 2.5 hours… which is very unusual. About 45 minutes after we reported the accident, a police car drove through the parking lot but didn’t notice us. We tried to flag it down to no avail. Apparently, though, there had been a separate accident at the same intersection where I live, and the dispatchers thought ours was a duplicate report.  Since the incident occurred on private property, there was no police report or assignation of fault. They provided us with copies of the information exchange forms for insurance purposes.

The first question GEICO asked was whether I was okay. Yes, I’m completely fine. Was I sure? Yes. Nobody else involved was injured.  Can I just say that my experience filing this claim was as painless as possible?! They asked a bunch of questions about what happened. I was totally honest. They decided it was my fault. I’m oddly okay with that, because the other person’s situation really was incredible: they were already driving  a rental because they’d had a recent accident and their car was in for repair. It would have been financially devastating for them to have to fight a claim with a rental company.  GEICO is handling everything.  Since this was my neighbor, I called them after I submitted photos of the damage and a copy of the police information exchange form; GEICO had already contacted them and told them they were covering the incident.  I’m very happy that my neighbor is relieved and will have less to worry about.

“But you’re not supposed to admit fault!” Yes, I was taught this. I’m not positive that there was fault or that I did something wrong, but my car (thus me) hit the other car. That’s why I have insurance. My car will be repaired, also on my insurance, and the world won’t end.

I’m still upset and stressed. This was my first new car. But it’s minor damage (my tail lights still work and everything).  Having to cancel my classes for the day wasn’t the end of the earth.

So today I drowned my sorrows in National Cookie Day comfort and an Espresso Martini (guest post coming soon!). I skipped my workout and napped with a fuzzy, comforting kitten. I did NOT make a workout jar. Otherwise, though, I stayed on my diet plan and called today a wash.  Here’s to imperfection!

Jolie kept me company after my accident.  Note the happy kitty grin.  She doesn't curl up with me often!
Jolie kept me company after my accident. Note the happy kitty grin. She doesn’t curl up with me often!

Healthy Moments Challenge Day 3

Today’s challenge was deceptively simple: eat veggies at every meal.  I interpret that as meaning at least one serving of veggies (not just a garnish).  In this case, the two health challenges I’m doing directly conflicted with one another!  The planned breakfast for the FitGirlsGuide 28-day jumpstart has cherries, but no vegetables.  I expect that’s going to happen occasionally.

Embracing the “progress, not perfection” mantra, I grabbed a handful of baby carrots with my breakfast and skipped my snack during the day.  Normally, I’m quite happy to incorporate vegetables into my eggs.  Especially onions or shallots.  Also tomatoes.  And maybe spinach sometimes.  I like the combination of tomatoes and eggs–especially something like salsa!

For lunch, veggies were already included: 1 cup of roasted vegetables.  Mine was  a mix of roasted pumpkin, carrots, and onions (because that’s what I had on hand when I started the challenge).  There’s also a handful of steamed kale in there.

Dinner also already had vegetables included: the pita pizza party called for mushrooms, bell pepper, and spinach in addition to the marinara sauce.  I found that I really missed onions on my pizza.  I also think that next time I try that recipe, I might put the toppings IN the pita pocket since mine slid off and made  a horrible mess… but still a fairly tasty mess.  If it had been photo-worthy, I’d’ve taken a picture for this post, but nooooo….

Fuyu persimmons, one of several varieties and definitely NOT a vegetable.

Special bonus round: tonight’s meal was also to be accompanied by a half cup of fruit.  I had a persimmon.  If you’ve never had a persimmon, they taste like jam and they’re heavenly.  My spousal substitute just had a bite and I swear I think his eyes rolled back in his head–and he’s a carnivore.  You can learn more about one of my favorite seasonal treats over at the Botanist in the Kitchen!

Healthy Moments Challenge Day 2

Today’s calendar item on the Healthy Moments Challenge was to try a new workout.  My very first thought this morning was

…does surviving a migraine count as a workout?! Today is gonna be a loooong day….  🙁


Some days I wake up with migraines.  Sometimes they tend to cluster, and I get one every week, a week apart.  I’ve never figured out what causes them.  I was able to get through my day thanks to Excedrin, but the pain hasn’t really gone away.

Despite that, I did my workout–and I love it when I can have something serve dual functions.  Today’s abs workout was simple.  I even had a helper.

Every single time I tried to lean back (to get a better picture) my kitten crawled up further.  This also complicated accomplishing pretty much all of the abs workout.

This is supposed to be about my experience with this, so today’s experience was a combination of brain-pain and “obviously the human isn’t busy enough if they’re exercising.  It must be pet-me time.”


What I really want to know at this point--does your pet "help" you with your workout(s)?

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Healthy Moments Challenge Day 1

Today’s challenge was to take a picture of yourself from the front, back, and sides.  Semi-fortunately, I actually had to do this for another challenge as well (waste not, want not).

I realize these aren’t the most attractive pictures of me.  They’re not intended to be.  They’re documentation only; yes, I’m just wearing a sports bra and shorts.  No, I’m not good at taking photos of myself on a wobbly tripod with a remote trigger for my phone.  On the very good side, though, this is me, already down 20 lbs from where I started this year, and definitely seeing PROGRESS!