6.26.2015

The Benefits of Introspection

Somehow, another month is on its way out, and I am almost a year into living in the Midwest.

There's something so...homespun and small-town charming about it all that I can't quite wrap my head around. I've never lived in a place like this before, and I don't know if I will stay here, but I can't deny it has captured my narrow little mind and shown me all sorts of new things I will never forget.

I've never before had the urge to garden or plant, but now I'm growing three little herbs in a pot (baby steps) and it's truly a challenge not to be proud of myself (though I specifically picked ones I knew would basically live no matter what I did) that they're thriving. The fireflies are coming out slowly now, and I've been enchanted by them too. If there weren't so many darn mosquitoes-that-apparently-don't-give-a-shit-how-much-bug-spray-I've-doused-myself-in, I would just sit outside and watch them all evening.

On the other not-pleasant-at-all hand, N and I recently encountered a person laying at the side of a road near his house recently. He was mostly covered by the tall grass and shrubs, and we only noticed because his leg was about a quarter of the way into the very small road. We looked at each other in a moment of panic, clearly both thinking "Uh shit is he dead? Should we go check? Should we call someone? What do we do?!!!" We did go check, and thank goodness it appeared that he was breathing normally and just asleep. We figured he wasn't hurting anyone so we should just leave him alone and he had disappeared within an hour or so.
A while back N linked me to this seminal post on procrastination by Tim Urban and naturally, as I was putting off writing an SOP (oh my god, so. boring.), I read the whole post and every subsequent procrastination post linked to it. To my slight surprise, I discovered something very important. I fall into the "Successtinator" category where I happen to have a job that makes me feel fulfilled because I have many deadlines that require me to get things done and doing a bunch of menial tasks gives me the false impression of having achieved things, but in reality, my house just periodically gets VERY clean, and that is not an achievement to be proud of in the long run.

Procrastinators like me spend very little time in what Urban calls Quadrant Two: Important but not Urgent. He describes this as the quadrant of true fulfillment through activities undertaken for personal improvement (i.e. hobbies that are true rather than a quick way to ignore other things) and Successtinators spend a bunch of time doing other stuff and telling themselves they're doing really well while putting off the stuff in this section. This blog was started as something of a true hobby for personal fulfillment. I was Quadrant Two-ing hard for a little while, and then all of a sudden my interest waned and suddenly I was not blogging because it made me feel fulfilled, but because I hated to break the commitment I had made. It is nice (albeit a bit eerie) to have someone explain perfectly down to the T the way your procrastinator brain works, and I am excited to take this new awareness and turn it into action...I hope.
I am nearing the end of my first week of what I'm calling my food-discipline, caloric-deficit (FDCD) diet. This is pretty basic and just means I've planned all my meals around creating a certain amount of caloric deficit, while also accounting for the fact that I need to eat like 6 times a day to stave off hunger. To be on the safe side (because Jesus, it is hard to estimate calories), I have underestimated my basal metabolic rate, and overestimated the amount of calories things contain when I can't count them exactly. I have factored in exercise for about 2-3 days a week (though I have been reasonably disciplined as of late and am averaging about 4 days/week of moderate exercise the last couple months). We shall see how long this lasts. Hopefully, if nothing else, I will be exhaustively aware of how much crap I normally put in my body. All this being said, discipline sucks and I desperately want to go back to the land of not giving a fuck. Eyes on the prize, Mugdha...
Lastly, I was thrilled to rise today to the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage. Think what you might, but you cannot deny that love has truly won today. And if you haven't read the end of Justice Kennedy's description of the ruling, you truly should. What a time to be alive!

Happy weekend, all!

6.09.2015

Tuesday Tunes!

Well, as I've said before, summer is here, and with it has come the time for upbeat pop, laid back rock, and the music of sunny days and warm nights. Here's some of my faves:

1. "Take My Hand (Remix)" - The Cab ft. Cassadee Pope
2. "In the Dark" - Dev
3. "Young, Wild and Free" - Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa ft. Bruno Mars
4. "Chase This Light" - Jimmy Eat World
5. "Fight Song" - Rachel Platten

5.31.2015

June

June is here, and with it...summer!
Nobody is more excited than I about the boiling heat. Even though I will complain to my heart's content about being sweaty and that my hair won't do anything in the humidity, deep down, I am rejoicing that it is warm and I am happy and most importantly that there is no winter in sight for SO long! Here are some summer things I'm looking forward to!
Outdoor concerts! I'm going to see Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and a couple other fun alternative bands on the very lawn pictured above in about a week, and I am so excited!! Nothing beats seeing a spectacular sunset to the beats of your all-time favorite songs.

Photo Cred: Tyler Coulson
Hiking! Admittedly, I am much more of a mountain hiker than a woodsy hiker, but something about shady trails in the blazing sun is pretty appealing. Also, creeks and waterfalls!
Water parks! It's a bit landlocked where I am, so I'll have to make do with some water parks or lap swimming. I generally tend to find laying out and tanning to be horribly boring and uncomfortable unless I'm deep into a book, so I prefer splashing around in the water!
Last, but certainly not least, refreshing drinks! Homemade lemonade, fruit-infused water,and I just learned a delicious recipe for a jalapeno, cilantro, and mango infused gin cocktail that I will definitely be trying soon.
What are you most excited for about the summer?!

5.13.2015

A Dark World Aches for a Splash of the Sun

I was in DC last month for a conference, but my timing, fortunately, coincided perfectly with the cherry blossom festival and getting to see two of my best friends. I've been to DC a few times before, so this trip was truly about catching up with old friends, but we did make sure to see the blossoms, especially because the weather was AMAZING.
On our first night, we stopped by a little pub that had Duck Rabbit Milk Stout! This beer was, hands down, my favorite North Carolina local beer I had in all my time in Chapel Hill and I was missing it so bad. Imagine my surprise to see this baby on the bottle list! It was a happy moment.
We went to this adorable little place for brunch the next morning. It's tucked away in a little corner in the Georgetown area right near the water. It's in an old warehouse or auto garage, but decorated all modern! Also, the food was delicious! Now, on to the copious blossom pictures!
 
Cherry blossoms!


Dress:Thrifted
Cardigan: Macy's
Necklace: Francesca's
Boots: Ross
I learned on this trip that the pink blossoms are actually magnolia blossoms! Sorry cherry, but I think I might like the magnolias better...
My lovely friends. I barely get to see these ladies with our busy schedules these days, so having three whole days of time with them was unimaginably wonderful. And will you check out that sunshine?! It was glorious to be able to walk around after the frigid winter.

More blossoms by the Jefferson Memorial. Hoping and wishing to go back soon, because DC is an amazing place!
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