Category Archives: emotions

24. Reflections.

On Sunday it was my 24th birthday. A part of me says, Holy Crap! You are definitely in your mid-twenties now, no more early twenties. Another part of me says, meh, another day. After all, except for the beautiful day, delicious Chocolate Almond cake (a la Julia Child’s cookbook), and “Birthday Wishes” from friends and family , it was a day like most others.

But in honour of 24 years on this place called earth, here are some reflections on this past year.

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I’ve done a lot this year…
Been an Residence Advisor at UBC.
Had a sports injury.
Been to Africa.
Started my internship.
Moved back home with my parents
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I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of growing pains this past year. When I look back I can’t say this has been “the best year of my life” but neither has it been my worst. I’ve mostly just learned a lot, about myself, about what I believe, and what my boundaries are.

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I wanted to write this post mainly so I can look back in a year and remember what I was thinking about. I can say I’m honestly more excited for the future than I have been in a long time. I’m scared too; this time next year I won’t be a student at all, but will nearly be (hopefully) a Registered Dietitian here in Canada.

(I just tried looking back at my previous posts and apparently I didn’t write anything last year on or near my birthday)

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Where am I going with this post? (^^^ haha, this was an accident actually) I don’t really know, I just felt like 24 years deserved a reflection.

Sorry for the wordy post! I promise I’ll be back soon with food! 😉

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Filed under emotions, thoughts

On getting the goal

Hello internet blog world, my, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

I’m happy to say that for me, the worst of the term is past. I’m not necessarily closer to being done (couple exams, a few summer courses, and you know an internship) but hey I’m getting there, and I feel a lot lighter today.

The worst part is that I’ve been dying to write. Not literally, but it seems like the one week in my life when I know I don’t have time to blog is when I come up with the most ideas. How does that work anyway?

This post was inspired by  Caitlin recent posts on life/work balance, and how it really just a way for us ladies to guilt trip ourselves. (Love her friend’s response by the way)

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(I love this picture, it’s from a project this year, and it just reminds me of holistic health) 

I was reading the response sent by Caitlin’s bff, and one quote stuck out for me:

Generally though, I’m ok with my hectic work schedule because I have secret desires of world domination and I am constantly considering the "long term.”  I think people get into trouble when they have those "What is it all for??!" moments, but you really just need to keep things in perspective.  Remember why you are doing what you do in work and life, and if you’re creative enough you’ll figure out a way to rule the world and and still have your sanity.

I have always been a very goal oriented person, and long term goals, short term goals, any kind of goals really, usually drive me. Something I’ve noticed is that upon hitting that goal, I get a little lost for a while. Somehow when I achieve a goal, I get confused. What do I do now? This is as far as I’d thought.

And this happened when I finally got into dietetics. I’d been driving myself through five years of university to get to dietetics. Then I got in, and I got lost. I asked myself What is it all for? What am I doing here? 

For some reason this year I’ve been avoiding making goals. There have been a lot of barriers, but the thing is, those barriers have been almost entirely in my head. 

The honest biggest mental block I’ve had is not knowing what exactly I want. Sure it’s okay to waver here and there, to be flexible, but I’ve always been someone who wants to (and usually does) know where I’m going, even if the route to getting there is a little bit scenic and off the beaten path.

I know some time off is fine, but there’s a difference between resting and becoming stagnant. And stagnant is definitely what I’ve been feeling lately. I just need to motivation to make the changes I’ve been thinking about.

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But I feel like I’m slowly getting back to being my old self, but I was definitely looking for some thoughts on goals and life/work balance.

How do you get back on track after reaching a goal?

Do you usually have an idea of goals for when you reach goals?

How do you deal with loss of motivation? Do you force yourself to get back at it, or give yourself some time (on that note, how much is too much time?)

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Filed under emotions, mental health, school, Work

Know to be True

Some days you just need a little inspiration.

Today it’s grey outside, it’s rainy, but still bright, and I’m in the mood for a little inspiration.

It started with this post, by the lovely Angela. I love her Daily Glow posts, and her love of quotes. I’m a huge quote person. I know they’re corny and cliché  but what can I say? The cliché had to come from somewhere right?

Because I still didn’t feel like studying, I decided to go and check out some Ted Talks, and came across this video.

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I loved it. There is something about spoken word that is just so… inspiring. It always makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

I loved the idea of three things you know to be true.

Today I know the following three things to be true.

1. It’s grey and gloomy out, but it won’t last forever, spring is right around the corner.

2. I have amazing people in my life; honestly I do, I can’t help but wonder how I can deserve them.

3. I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do in my life; but I’m not too worried about it, I’ll figure it out someday.

And of course it’s the weekend!

What are three things you know to be true?

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Filed under emotions, Fun, health

50 Percent

Don’t worry it’s not my grade average.

No, apparently, 50% of your happiness is genetic. Did you know that?

Cause I sure didn’t.

Yesterday in a fit of procrastination I turned on the TV and flipped through the channels to Oprah.

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(source)

50% of happiness is from birth. The other fifty is up to you. This was interesting to me. I’d never thought of my happiness as something that has a “set point” if you will. But it makes sense at the same time. I have friends who can get ridiculously excited about things that would barely make me react. And other friends who react even less than me.

Angela over at Oh She Glows also made a post about her Daily Glow. It was interesting to read what other people thought of sense of purpose in life, and the relation to happiness. I commented on it about my lack of a sense of purpose lately, because I used to associate “purpose” with “goal” and how I haven’t really had any goals lately. Goals to me are associated with improvement, or pushing yourself. That’s not to say I’m not trying hard, but rather just not trying to do better; I’m satisfied with where I stand and I’m trying to be okay with that. I got some great replies to my comment about purpose in life.

My original commentL

I’ve been feeling so without a purpose recently. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because I have always had a goal; a running goal, a school goal, this goal, that goal. And right now… nothing. I don’t feel like I need to improve everything, (dare I say anything?) about me right now… and that’s left me stuck… what can I do to invite purpose into my life if it isn’t about improvement? Maybe that’s a self-fish point of view for purpose, but it’s not like I’m not volunteering, or giving, or being a good friend and person. But I’ve felt directionless lately, and I more question what is “purpose” to me.

The replies I received:

Hi Bronwyn, can’t the purpose in your life, if only for now, just being? You say you feel like you are a good person and friend, and you don’t need improvement in yourself. isn’t that a great thing? much more important than achiechiving some running goal? I think if you live from goal to goal sometimes you can miss out on the REAL purpose of life, just being yourself and enjoying life and being a good person. I know it’s sometimes hard to see wat you have but pleasure treasure where you are now and how good you have it and live in the moment. – Sabine

Hi Bronwyn!
I can really feel with you. When your live is dominated by tangible goals like finishing school it’s so hard when this changes! I had a rough time after I finished my master degree and started a “real” job because there wasn’t something I could work towards.
I agree with Sabine that it’s important to take time to just enjoy your live and acknowledge what you’ve achieved so far – which IMHO is a lot from what you write! Your individual purpose should not solely be defined by goals and personal improvement. Those can be a part of it.
Maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself why you think you need improvement. Why do you feel that you and your life don’t seem to be good enough right now? – Julia

That is such a great question that you have touched on. I think it is actually great how you feel. It tells me that you feel very balanced in your life and I think that is a great thing. :) I think as Sabine mentioned, sometimes you can focus on just ‘being’ and focus on being present in your life. It sounds so easy, but for myself, that is one of the biggest challenges that I face each day. I don’t think it necessarily has anything to do with self-improvement in the traditional sense, but just to be mindful of things we encounter each day can be a prupose in itself. Of course, only you can define what purpose is in your life obviously…I am glad the post got you thinking about it. – Angela

I don’t know exactly where I’m going with my post, but I guess I’m trying not to associate my happiness with just the achievement of goals, but maybe more with the process of just living. Yes there are things that I want to achieve in my life, but is there anything I need to rush towards? No, not right now.

What does make me happy?

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Sunsets from my window. Best part of my day.

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Huge piles of biscotti.

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Okay, or maybe just a couple at a time. 😉

Also being able to say that biscotti was my homework makes me really happy.

What makes you happy? Do you believe you have a happiness set point? Or an expectation of what will make you happy?

I used to be the type of person who said “once I achieve _________ I’ll be happy” or “If only I had ________ then I’d be happy” or “If only I was _______ then I’d be happy”. Then I realized that won’t make me happy. I must admit, I’m happy most of the time these days, I have ups and downs. But I don’t have an expectation of what will make me happy. Sometimes you seek out happiness, sometimes it’s a struggle, but there are totally moments where it just sort of happens, and that’s always great.

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Filed under baking, emotions

White Devil

Well hello my friends! It has been awhile hasn’t it?

I’ve been up to normal student life events; going out with friends, procrastinating, paying for that procrastination by cursing myself during the midterm!

I’ve also been indulging my student eating habits. Sugar, sugar, sugar has been my drug of choice for the last few days. I’ve just been craving chocolate (and for coffee) like mad, and giving in like crazy. If I indulge in extra coffee I do get decaf, seriously, it’s the taste I like, coffee with a bit o’ cream? Heaven. But usually it’s a coffee and a cookie that I crave.

My sugar has ventured into many aspects of my eating…

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chocolate chips?! How’d those get there… (shifty eyes)

Why am I craving sugar? I can’t really say… There’s a couple things.

a) I was stressed about the midterm
b) I like sugar, and unfortunately I’m getting in a cookie-before-one-class habit.
c) I’m hella tired.

C is probably the main reason. I’m really tired, and the culprit is not being able to sleep. And why can’t I sleep? I’m not really sure, because I’m definitely tired when I go to bed,but something just keeps me awake. I don’t think it’s completely in my mind, sometimes I definitely just can’t turn my brain off. But the light coming through my windows really bothers me. I might have to try something to block it out. Anybody use those eye cover things people always wear for “beauty sleep”?

Of course, the tired might be because my main source of food lately has been sugar, and that gives you a spike of blood glucose, then quickly drops, leaving you tired and lethargic (oh yeah, that’s right I just finished studying glycemic index thank you very much)…

So maybe it’s a whole twisted circle; I’m tired and my body wants sugar, because that will give me energy fast, then I’m soon tired again… leading me to want sugar! oh no! Whatever shall I do? (just kidding, I honestly think I’m mainly due to sleep deprivation)

What do you do with a craving? Just give in? Or think about what it is your body might be asking you?

PS, you know what’s not helping? Watching Alton Brown cook up some cinnamon buns on Good Eats.

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Filed under eating, emotions, school

Make Me Smile

Go on. I dare you.

There’s been a few happenings lately that have left me feeling kind of blue. To be completely honest, I think half of it is due to the horribleness that is the Vancouver winter. Let’s just say when it’s been a little too grey for a little too long I feel a little too blue.

But in agreement with my 2010 resolutions, and my reflections on said resolutions, I’ve decided to focus on a few things that are making me smile these days.

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Sort of random, but this yogurt is delicious. Mostly just this flavour; lemon. I bet there’s a brand that does it better as this one is a little thin and sour, so I’m going to be looking. Does liberte by chance have a lemon meringue?

(Also notice the SUN in the above picture, yesterday was warm and sunny and that definitely made me smile.)

smiling 013This is more then just a pretty flower, which hey makes me smile even on a grey day.  But it reminds me of my awesome friends, and good roommates here.

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Noodle Box. Spice Peanut noodle box. Possibly one of the best Victoria exports. Deliciousness in a box. Not only that, but well, going to the Noodle Box is a trip down memory lane for me, as it was a thing for me and my roommate back in Vic. And also it’s another good night with good friends.

Another thing that makes me happy? Going for a run, which I’m off to do as I type. (Well after I type…)

What has been making you smile lately?

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Filed under Dinner, eating, emotions, Fun, health

Resolutions 2010

So for much of December I was thinking about what my goals would be for the New Year. In true dorkyness, I was excited and anticipated these goals a lot. See, I’m a HUGE goal setter. I’m a list maker, every day I have “goals” I have to accomplish. Some days I finish those lists, most days do not. I set goals all year round. I have some long term goals, and some short term goals going on all the time.

Pretty much all day 2009 I was thinking about how to write down my goals, what to make them. In fact I even wrote down a few, and even had some “SMART” ways of achieving these goals.

Then 2010 came… and well, I suddenly didn’t feel like those goals. Or like committing to them. Am I all goaled out? Could it be? Oh no! It cannot be!

But alas, it isn’t so. I’ve actually sat here tonight and complied a few goals I’d like to achieve this year.

  1. Get more ENERGY.
  2. Keep my grades where they are or higher!
  3. Be an awesome prez (do some bossing around yo! 😉 )
  4. Explore my creative side; maybe take a photography class (if I can afford it)
  5. Live on a budget (OMG I am so poor right now, or will be when I pay my student fees)
  6. Get my running mileage up to 1/2 marathon distances
  7. Swim, bike, and strength train.
  8. Do yoga
  9. Make actual meals (Means cooking once in a while)
  10. Embrace life!

They’re sort of ordered in importance, though that last one is honestly one of the biggest of them. I want to try going with the flow more, not worrying or stressing as much about those things I cannot change.

But yeah, i feel like the first one, getting more energy will help me to achieve a few of my goals, like grades, the running, and other exercise goals. to do this I’m going to try getting more sleep, drinking less coffee, and eating healthy balanced meals. This past semester my eating has been just…crazy. Or not crazy for most people, but for me it hasn’t felt right. I plan to really try and improve my eating.

So there you have it, a few goals for this New Year.

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Filed under emotions, Exercise, health

2009- Reflections

I can’t believe this year is coming to an end! It’s crazy.

I usually take some time to just reflect on what I’ve done this year (ok, this isn’t just regulated to the end of a year for me, but this time of year it’s just more prominent in my thoughts.).

This year has been crazy for me. And if you add in fall 2008 (sometimes I think in terms of “school years”) it’s been super crazy. But let’s just stick with 2009…

What have I done in 2009?

  • I was a floor rep for my Council, and then ran and won (due to lack of IMG_1947opposition) for president.
  • Went to Arizona for a leadership conference as a result (seriously, so cool…).
  • Applied to dietetics, and was rejected (sadly) but they fortunately give second chances.
  • Challenged myself and went tree planting for a second time. Learned my limits, physically and mentally weren’t as good as they were my first year planting.
  • Started my presidency at my residence in UBC. This has already taught me so much.
  • Got sick at least three times this year. Not necissarily something I’ve “done” but relevant to health and balance I think. I even had food poisoning for the first (and last hopefully) time.
  • Tried out for a musical. Oh man, was this crazy/fun/insane. It was just a little too far out of my comfort zone. The main problem was people just interested in a, say, chorus roll, had to try out with the people interested in leading rolls. Nerve racking.

There’s been more too, in terms of emotional and social journeys that might be hard to understand for a lot of people. I used to be a shy quiet girl who would watch life from the sidelines, and 2009 has definitely been a year of stopping the wallflower behaviour and really participating in life.

What did I learn as a result?

  • I’m so much stronger than I give myself credit for. This is in terms of emotions, and as a leader. I never knew I could make choices and boss people around the way I do.
  • If I put my mind to it, I can pretty much do anything. I won’t be the best,  but at least I tried right?
  • In the same vein, I’m beginning to learn my boundaries, the line I draw between being too comfortable, and going too far into the wilds of world. If that makes sense. I used to stick so close to comfort zones, now I’m exploring how far I can go.

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Man this year has been crazy! For me anyway, add in all the little things you never think about every day, and really it’s been quite the year.

I’ll see you all in 2010, with some of my goals/resolutions for 2010!

Happy New Years!

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Filed under emotions, Fun, health, Uncategorized

Mental Health 101

Hello all!

My marathon study session continues. Well sort of.

See I’m a horrible student. I can’t do the marathons study sessions, never been good at, hope to never be good at it. I can’t sacrifice my health (physical or mental) for the sake of an A in a class. I get decent grades, I do the work, but hey I like balance.

How Do I keep myself sane during exam periods?

These are some of my favorite random tips I’ve accumulated over the years:

  • Take Breaks: I usually take a break every hour or so. Sometimes it’s 5min. Usually it’s about 20min. And sometimes it’s an hour. 😉 What can I say? Sometimes I really need a break.
  • Exercise. Usually at least one of those breaks is exercising. The past few days it’s been really simple for me; running errands. Going over to the free gym in residence for a treadmill workout, and doing a little yoga. I actually started my day today with exercise.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes you have to let some other things slide. Don’t feel like doing the dishes? Room a mess? Didn’t quite hit your study quota? Bet you got a lot done anyway! Unless it’s really distracting you, oh well! you’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • Don’t guilt trip. Ok this one is personal, as has been mentioned before I’m a total stress eater. I’m actually not doing too bad right now. Sure I’ve had some ice cream and a cookie or two, but on the whole? I’m not stressing about it. 🙂 Other things to worry about.
  • Have a plan. I like a plan. I usually make a list of what I’d like to get done; everything from just start time, to exercise, to breaks and what I’m going to study. But I don’t guilt myself if I don’t follow it strictly. Just sort of gives me structure when there really isn’t a lot of structure in my day….
  • Just do it. Sometimes you have no idea how to go about studying for something, and you let the worry get to you. Honestly, sometimes you just have to dive in, and hope the path opens up to you.

Those are the main ways I keep sane anyway. I do think I take too long of breaks, and I probably could have really good grades.

I mean just look at what I’m doing right now? A little procrastination? Maybe…

Alright, I’m back to studying! This has been one super long break. 😉

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Filed under emotions, Exercise, food, health, school

Ice Cream Time

Last day of classes done and gone!

My cold is nearly gone!

And the weather has been so nice!

And tonight I’m going to study! Nah. Don’t think so. Though it might happen. Mostly I’m taking this evening to just sort of… do what I feel like without feeling guilty. I don’t have plans to go out, I’m not doing anything big…. Just watching TV and of course enjoying a bowl (or two) of…

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I might write in my journal (pictured above). I used to write in my journal a LOT. Then I got busy. It’s always funny to me how when it’s probably most interesting to really record what’s going on inside, we don’t. That journal was start by yourstruly two years ago Dec 1. Wow. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Oddly enough, I do flip through it, and it’s funny because I totally know what I’m talking about sometimes. Other times, I’m like, what am I talking about?

Either way it’s fun to look back.

My appetite came back tonight, which is nice. Supper was an egg on a bed of brown rice. Sooo good.

Alright, a really intriguing episode of Criminal Minds is on, gotta go!

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Filed under eating, emotions, health, school